“Do I have any Scott Pilgrim jokes?” comedian Asterios Kokkinos asked as he stood on stage in the back of Sunset Boulevard comic book shop Meltdown.
Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour was upon us and, as the clock ticked towards midnight, fans of the indie comic juggernaut had gathered at Meltdown for a night of comedy, music, cosplay and a chance to pick up the final installment of Bryan Lee O'Malley's series. There were a few Ramona look-a-likes, a couple Roxies and one young man dressed as our hero, complete with a Sex Bob-omb t-shirt and a patch on his jacket commemorating the defeat of six evil exes. And, while Kokkinos' jokes dealt more with Max Lord and Dungeons and Dragons than Scott Pilgrim, it was enough to keep the energy high in the room.
It was a big moment. Meltdown announced on the store's blog that 20,000 people had tuned into the Stickam broadcast of the party. In between the events, which included stand-up from Kokkinos and Shannon Hatch and a cosplay contest, there was a countdown to the moment when Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour was released. After the cosplay contest, the countdown grew more intense. Five minutes. Three minutes. Fans darted from the back room of the store to join the line that was winding down Sunset Boulevard. It was like New Year's Eve with comic books instead of smooches.
But Monday night's event wasn't just about Scott Pilgrim. Comic-Con was a major topic of discussion throughout the night. What panels are you attending? Who is hanging out at which booth? Did you actually get a hotel room this year? It was part release bash, part pre-party before the annual pilgrimage to San Diego. Given the hefty presence the franchise will have at Comic-Con, particularly forthcoming film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, this was apropos. Monday's event was a prelude of what's to come over the next week. This is Scott Pilgrim's moment.