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COMIC-CON WATCH

Caped crusaders crowd the room

July 27, 2007

Highlights from Comic-Con, the annual celebration of all things pop culture, at the San Diego Convention Center through Sunday. For updates through the weekend, go to latimes.com/entertainment/news.

Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman

those are the names you think of when you hear "DC Comics," but the publisher had quietly established itself as the most successful pipeline of non-tights comics properties for Hollywood with "Road to Perdition," "History of Violence," "Constantine" and "V for Vendetta." Next up are adaptations of the Losers, which began as the story of a scrappy quartet of military outcasts in WWII, and Jonah Hex, a disfigured Old West loner who rents out six-shooter services. Rumor has it "The War That Time Forgot" is optioned, which brings the prospect of Nazis and dinosaurs together on screen.

I'm with Spidey!

Sorry, not even Superman can help you if you don't already have a ticket. The three-day passes to Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center have long since been sold out, as have the day-only passes for today and Saturday. Unless you're looking for tickets to Kids Day -- on Sunday -- you're out of luck.

What? No sword?

Three of the most-talked-about giveaways? A Warner Bros. bag that has a "Smallville" promo on one side and "Superman: Doomsday" on the other; a Scholastic bag of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"; and a cardboard shield given out for the DVD release of "300."

That explains it

Sometimes those elaborately costumed folk you see walking around the convention center aren't just random "Ghost Buster" fans. For many, putting on the makeup and clothing is a way of life, such as for members of Gotham Public Works. We'll leave the explaining to Tara Nicole Strand, a.k.a. Harley Quinn -- get it? "When I dress up I'm just really into wearing stuff that's as authentic or looks as genuine as possible

[members] look like a certain character, relate to that character, can act like that character

[Other than Harley,] the only other characters I consistently dress as are Alice [in Wonderland] and my pirate character, Poppy Liddell. And my burlesque and clown characters."

Man of few words

"I've never been in anything that's got this much crazy movie violence in it." That's Clive Owen speaking recently about his role in "Shoot 'Em Up," about a deadly ex-commando of few words who takes it upon himself to protect a baby being pursued by an army of gunmen. We caught up with Owen before his appearance today at Comic-Con.

Q. There are several scenes bound to get people talking. Namely, your sex scene with Monica Bellucci as a lactating prostitute -- that's got to be a movie first -- during which you manage to also shoot at least a dozen people dressed in combat armor to death. How logistically complicated was that to shoot?

A: It was tricky

Michael Davis animated all the action sequences. He storyboarded the entire film frame by frame. In some ways what we had to do was execute it as close to the storyboards as we could. The whole film has this heightened reality to it. It's not about making it real. If anything, it's the opposite. [Despite the body count]

It is a comedy! I would argue that it is a comedy.

Compiled by Times staff writers Geoff Boucher, Jevon Phillips, Sheigh Crabtree and Chris Lee.

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