By Torsten Adair

While the Beatrix goes forth among the ravenous hordes of Comic-Con International, I remain at stately Beat Manor, stuck on monitor duty.

So, while we wait for news from the Californian Cannes, let’s see what’s been happening online!

As reported here, CCI:SD hopes to lock down hotel space to prevent others from holding events parallel with Comic-Con. However, nearby space is available, and a brand-new gaming convention has set up shop just a few blocks from the convention center.   Gam3rcon, at the 10th Avenue Theater, features 17 performances of the hit one-man play GAM3RS, as well as special screenings, video game demos, web series premieres, gaming lounges, celebrity appearances and a brand new RPG.

How will CCI:SD react? The space used is not part of a hotel, and as regular attendees know, exhibitors at Comic-Con regularly rent out nearby spaces for promotions. (Disney’s Flynn’s Arcade being one such example.) If CCI decides to stay in SD, and is unable to control parallel events such as this, fans might see San Diego becoming more “Mardi Gras” and less “Nerd Prom”.

ngaghchuqbogh loDpu’ be’pu’ ghap DIbvaD wo’lIj vuD nuq?

Another theater group is actually performing at San Diego. Stranglehold, a local support group for those who follow the Klingon lifestyle, will once again perform what one reporter called “Klingon Community Theater”. Are Klingon-Americans suitable parents?

And while Klingons get a bad rap as villains, Debbie Hanon insists the culture inspires good parenting skills that they’ve used with their own daughter.

“Klingons have good values,” she said. “The culture teaches the importance of respecting the parents. There is no talking back. They also honor their family history. A lot of kids today don’t know their roots. Also, they know the importance of only fighting when you need to, such as defending yourself.”

Fred Phelps best beware! The group will perform on Friday at 8:30, in Room 6A.

Klang Klang Klang Went The Trolley…

In related news, Klingons occupied the Gaslamp Trolley Station Tuesday morning, forcing Metropolitan Transit System employees to change signage into native Klingon (tlhIngan Hol ). MTS Chief Executive Office Paul Jablonski met with the Klingon contingent, and after successful negotiations, agreed to their demands for expanded service during Comic-Con, offering a special four-day, $15 pass for all bipedal species during Comic-Con International.   In celebration of this historic accord, a special costume contest was held that evening, hosted by local radio station “Rock 105.3“.

Over in Hong Kong, the 21st Hong Kong Book Fair is underway.

“The 2009 edition saw nearly 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions as well as 900,000 visitors, many of whom lined up overnight to get author autographs and book bargains and to attend the hundreds of cultural events held as part of the fair.”

Of course, there is an official bag.

Cost of the the “Book Lover Super Pass”? HK$80. That’s about US$10.

Immediately after that event is Ani-Com Hong Kong, from July 30 to August 3. Organizers expect more than 700,000 attendees. The official site does not have an English page, but you can try translating the page, or reading the Wikipedia entry.

If you feel that those events might be too crowded, then perhaps Comiket, held August 13-15, might be less stressful. Only 500,000 are expected to attend.

…Back At The Ranch

local news sources investigate how the Con affects locals.

Local businesses profit from the needs of studios and other exhibitors:

This year, [Disney] is returning to the Culy Warehouse to re-create a movie set from its film “Tron: Legacy,” expected to be released later this year. The redo of the warehouse interior, which is netting the Ahern family $60,000 in rent, is so hush-hush that security guards were hired to keep passers-by from peering in through a door that was slightly ajar to get a sneak preview.”

Read the article to discover what it cost Universal to display that awesome Scott Pilgrim billboard! (Or is it a window cling?)

San Diego’s Channel Ten News reports on the expected onslaught, with area employees anticipating traffic jams and higher parking fees. Of particular interest,

In a scientific 10News poll, about 48 percent of San Diegans intend to avoid the downtown area when Comic-Con opens. Of those avoiding the area, 57 percent blame the traffic, 14 percent wanted to avoid the crowds and 9 percent wanted to avoid the people dressed as Star Wars Stormtroopers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

And Finally…

Since this is Nerd Prom, and since The Beat has a fine tradition of presenting the best celebrity photos, I present today’s candidates for Nerd Prom King and Queen.   Today’s candidates are sponsored by Entertainment Weekly, which reports that both Dolph Lundgren and Olivia Munn will appear in the season premiere of Chuck on September 20.

dolph-lundgren-strech1-300x240.jpgDolph Lundgren, action hero, gained initial fame portraying Ivan Drago in the movie ROCKY IV. He also starred in MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, PUNISHER, and JOHNNY MNEMONIC. While that is impressive Greek cred, Mr. Lundgren also possesses a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering (Mad Scientist?), and speaks FIVE languages. He was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to MIT, but dropped out to pursue an acting career.

big_olivia-munn-101-240x300.jpgOlivia Munn is best known for her many appearances on G4, and can currently be seen on The Daily Show. She just released her first book, Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek.