The legendary group of super powered teenagers return for their 2nd SDCC, this time with an entire season of their hit show “The Aquabats! Super Show!” in the can. Come with me, we’re going to dig into what went on during their panel, roundtable interview and the concert at the House of Blues!
The day started off fantastic, working the booth in my Aquabats! gear feeling pretty much a pimp. Time for the panel and interview and I am walking at a nice pace towards the meeting room. High as a kite, so excited to see what great things will happen, when the absolute worst happens! My SD card in my phone imploded. All my pictures and notes from the week were toast. Gone. POOF! My big Aquabat fanatic heart sank. Then it fell even further into depression when I saw the line. It went down the hall, around the corner and looped back THREE times. I slumped down in the hallway and nursed the dieing battery in my phone. Sadness overcame me. I was defeated even before I started. Then I spied the guys from Toddland. The great group of guys that make the new Aquabats! merchandise! I walked over to say high again and to chat more about their products. I walked up and talked to the head beard himself, Todd Masters.
Shane: “So how did you guys come about making this new merchandise for the Aquabats?”
Todd: “Well we all are the old Paul Frank Kids. We created the original belt for the Aquabats. So we were already fans.”
Shane: “Now all your products I’ve seen on the floor are REALLY cool. Where do the designs come from and what is the logic behind them all?”
Todd: “Well we basically make things we like, we make the shirts and wallets and sweaters for us and like minded people are attracted to us. Also everything kind of goes together, the Aquabats wallet goes with the Adventure Time sweater and so on.”
Todd assured me they were just fans making gear for a group they appreciated. Being able to make the pajamas from the “Floating Eye of Death” episode was really really fun for them.
After our brief chat I returned to my wall charger of despair. Knowing I’d never be able to make it into the panel, I was just going to wait for the press round-table. Then again, my eyes spied another friend. JP from The Hub wandered into view. I ran up to say hello and he recognized me and quickly pushed me into the panel. Then my bad luck with my busted SD card started to balance out when I saw our own Matt Blackwood up front saving a seat for me! PLUS HE HAD A WORKING CAMERA!
The panel started out with normal ‘bat vigor. The lights went out and the opening from the Super Show! played on screen while the ‘bats ran up and took their places. Also joining them were directors Matt Chapman (AKA Strongbad) and Jason deVilliers. The most surprising guest was the panel moderator. Gerard Way!
The panel went smoothly. Finding out how Matt Chapman met the Aquabats and conversely how they met Gerard Way. Way back when, before MCR, Way was making vinyl figurines in a small shop in New Jersey. One day the Homestarrunner crew came in and wanted some of their own. The rest is history.
We saw some funny bloopers and clips, and even were able to see a commercial that was removed from air just DAYS before the episode went out. It was one directed by Mega64 and it was called “Garage Door Escape”. It was a product that mimics some of Indiana Jones greatest escapes. We see a kid hit his garage door close button, and run through an obstacle course consisting of skeletons, poison darts, boulders and magma. The ultimate goal is to slide under the garage door before it closes, insuring survival. They said The HUB pulled that at the last minute, I’m assuming it’s because if the kid didn’t make it he wouldn’t have “survived”. At the end of it his Dad watering the lawn says “Nice survival son!”. Kind of morbid, but very hilarious.
It also wouldn’t be an Aquabats event if a baddie didn’t show up. This time Snakey walked in from down the hall and caused a ruckus.
As you can see he was a menace. He knocked over an easel and pulled all the mic’s off the table. Shortly thereafter the panel was over and all who were there to interview them stayed in the room preparing for the round table. Mulling around I started talking with a couple of guys. I met Ryan Brunty of Insert Coins 21+ arcade in Las Vegas and Shahab Zargari of Verbicide Magazine. Shahab really saved me with these pics from the interview, my SD card was still fried.
The actual interview was fairly mellow. The Aquabats looked very tired, and The Bat Commander was answering most of the questions. The most crucial piece of information was that the HUB is in talks to get the show renewed for a second season, but nothing is confirmed. When asked about a possible soundtrack for the show the band did say they had full length versions of all the songs either recorded or planned out. My hopes are high for some great music to come out of the show. We all shook hands and the group went and recorded some clips for HUBWORLD. I gathered my things and headed home. The next day called for all my energy as I was going to the concert at the House of Blues!
I arrived at the House of Blues and got my press ticket. Brandishing my entire Cadet Uniform I was ready to have a great night. I got some food and partook in the free bar. Now everyone who told me they would be at the show, WEREN’T! I’m looking at you Ben Dunn and Molly Mahan! I did bump into Matt Blackwood again and he snapped some more pics for me. I walked up to the bar and realized I was standing next to Shawn from Mega64! I said hi and we chatted for a bit and I followed him back to the group.
What comes next is stories that are only told in movies and dreams. Eric Baudour and Bryan Abou Chacra and myself, right before the band came on, drank some pretty big shots of tequila and went downstairs into the pit. The second The Aquabats came on stage the crowd erupted into a frenzy. I instantly lost Eric and Bryan for the rest of the show. The ‘bats opened up with “Cat with Two Heads”, a classic from way back when. They played some old, some new and some that wasn’t theirs.
In normal fashion a monster showed up to terrorize the band. A GIANT DINOSAUR!
After he was defeated the Bat Commander shouted “MAN! THAT WAS A TOUGH DINOSAUR DRAGON!”. Then we hear a voice exclaim that this wasn’t a real dragon and he knew who a real dragon is! Out walked Strongbad, from Homestarrunner. In reality it was Matt Chapman in a wrestling mask. Then a childhood dream came true. I witnessed Strongbad sing his hit song Trogdor while the Aquqbats played the tune!
I was having a blast. The show just kept getting better and better. Another great guest was a San Diego local band that had been around forever called Rocket from the Crypt. They played one of their classic songs “Young Livers”. I had never heard of this band before but I was very impressed with their performance. More and more great songs churned out. When the band played “Burger Rain” the crowd from the VIP balcony dropped paper cheeseburgers down in a wonderful rain. It was truly a sight to behold.
The show ended and the crowd dispersed. I was sore, wet and satisfied. The HUB really has a passion for their fans and their shows. They put on a fabulous panel and a one of kind concert.
So you. If you don’t already have the HUB call whoever is your TV provider and demand it. Let’s keep support great people who love to make the world happy.