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Comic-Con Gets Wired

The Wired Cafe offered a respite from the pop culture fanatics on the terrace of the Omni Hotel.

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COMIC-CON GETS WIRED: As expected, superhero suits dominated the dress code at Comic-Con in San Diego last Thursday through Saturday. The slew fanboy movie panels designed to promote hype and hopefully ticket sales included the “Sin City 2” panel at the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday afternoon. Jessica Alba skipped the spandex for a Tanya Taylor crop top and floral satin Zimmermann skirt while cast mate Rosario Dawson wore a Narciso Rodriguez frock and still sported her faux mohawk hairstyle from the film, causing the crowd of 6,000, some of whom camped out for hours to gain access, to cheer in approval. Also drawing applause: Alba, who worked with a choreographer and acting coach to get in touch with her “psychotic, dark” side to play Nancy. “She was sort of a victim in the first one. In this one, people will be pleasantly surprised to see her turn into a warrior,” said Alba.

Rodriguez, noting her grin, said, “[Jessica] was not smiling when she showed up to set. She was so in character we thought she hated us!” Fans were treated to a screening of the blood-spattered opening sequence from the film. Frank Miller, whose graphic novels inspired the films, told them, “Robert and I already talked about ‘Sin City 3,’ so you better show up for number two or else [the studio] won't pay for it.”

Across the street, the Wired Cafe offered a respite from the pop culture fanatics on the terrace of the Omni Hotel. Wired vice president and publisher Howard Mittman said, “When you look at the biggest grossing movies in Hollywood, [Comic-Con] became one of the biggest deal-making weekends of the year. So six years ago we started [the cafe] because there was no place for celebrities to go during the day.” He continued, “Hollywood is really what we're here for and to help foster and create those connections.” He added, “A lot of our advertisers are here. I think Comic Con's become one of the stops on the CMO bandwagon.”

The magazine also collaborated with Stan Winston Studio on The Wired Creature, a 14-foot-tall, 2,000-pound robot let loose on the streets of San Diego. “It was a really fun way to have an impactful role in and around what's happening here without having to have a presence in the show floor,” noted Mittman. He noted the magazine’s increasing investment in — what else? — digital, indicating more hires this year and next. “Digital is representative of about half of our revenue now. We're really evaluating our digital properties and thinking in terms of who we need, what talent we need, what individuals to help propel the technology side of the story.”

Guests at the café — including the cast of BBC America’s cult hit “Orphan Black,” Stephen Moyer, Kristin Bauer, Aisha Tyler, Kevin Smith, Evangeline Lilly, Kellan Lutz and Mira Sorvino — sipped Ben and Jerry’s beer floats, sampled a new Ommegang beer inspired by “Game of Thrones,” and dodged fiery persecution in the Oculus Rift demo, which offered a 360-degree view of the HBO show’s fantasy world.

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