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‘Thrones’ no-shows, puppets galore: Comic-Con takeaways

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Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger may have stolen the show on day one, but there is plenty more to San Diego Comic-Con than Hollywood A-list glamor.

As thousands of fans swarm the city’s baking streets for day two of the world’s biggest pop culture convention, here is the news you need to know from Thursday.

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– When fans get mad –

Friday’s “Game of Thrones” cast reunion was already an intriguing prospect, with nothing new for HBO to promote in the magical realm of Westeros beyond unconfirmed and presumably distant prequels.

The outraged fan reaction to the fantasy epic’s clumsy final season always made this intended celebration seem more likely to be a lightning rod for devotees’ anger.

It has now emerged that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have withdrawn — along with actors Iain Glen and Nathalie Emmanuel.

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HBO cited production and scheduling conflicts. Social media was quick to suggest the pair had preferred to quietly evade the wrath of their slighted fans.

– Puppets take San Diego –

In an age of unprecedented special effects, the humble puppet has made a surprising comeback of sorts at Comic-Con.

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Panelists for HBO series “His Dark Materials” — based on Philip Pullman’s bestselling novels — described how traditional puppeteers were brought in to help the cast and crew imagine the characters’ magical “daemons.”

(All humans in the alternative universe of the books are accompanied by animal-shaped “daemon” companions.)

Admittedly, these will be cropped out and replaced with computer generated imagery by the time the series hits screens.

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But with Netflix promoting its big-budget prequel series to 1982 classic fantasy “Dark Crystal,” which will combine “classic puppetry with cutting edge visual effects,” is the puppet back in fashion?

– Pointless sequels? –

New editions of “Top Gun” and “Terminator” drew a rapturous response, even if critics say they are symbolic of Tinseltown’s risk-aversion and failing creativity.

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Others were met with more of a perplexed shrug — including a trailer for “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” in which the stoner duo from 1994’s “Clerks” learn Hollywood is remaking an old movie based on their lives.

They head on a cross-country trip to stop the movie from being made.

A satirical dissection of the state of filmmaking? Or the ultimate case of Hollywood eating its own tail? Time will tell.

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– Sweet 50 –

San Diego Comic-Con turns 50 with this year’s edition — an anniversary that has received a lot of love.

Eddie Ibrahim, Comic-Con’s director of programming, opened Schwarzenegger’s “Terminator: Dark Fate” panel in the huge Hall H by remarking on the event’s humble origins.

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“I know, it’s probably hard to imagine at this point that the first one had 300 people,” he said.

“More so, what’s exciting is the fact that we have always been fans of these things… comics, movies, television, games. And now it’s cool to be a fan of that,” he added.

“We are now the shepherds of stuff that’s cool!”

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Arnie himself later put it more bluntly: “This is unbelievable, Comic-Con.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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5.0 earthquake strikes Ridgecrest, California — two months after 7.1

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Two months after the 7.1 earthquakes that hit outside of Los Angeles, another more modest quake was detected, ABC-7 reported.

While the location of the quake was about 20 miles north of Ridgecrest, California, at the Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake. People as far away as Clark County, Nevada also felt the rumble Thursday afternoon.

https://twitter.com/ClarkCountyNV/status/1164643506494689280

It left several people asking if it was considered a foreshock or a really late aftershock from two months ago.

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92% of HPV-caused cancers could be prevented by vaccine: health authority

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An estimated 92% of cancers caused by HPV could be prevented through vaccination, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday, adding that boosting immunization coverage was a key priority.

Human papillomavirus was responsible for an estimated yearly average of 34,800 cancer cases between 2012 and 2016, according to a new study published by the CDC, meaning that more than 32,100 cases could have been avoided annually.

The virus can lead to cancers in both men and women, including cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).

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New poll shows Republicans may get wiped out — in Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky

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This year, Republicans may be heading for a rough election in an unlikely state: Kentucky.

New internal Democratic polls reveal that the GOP is struggling in three critical Kentucky races taking place in November. In the gubernatorial race, incumbent GOP Gov. Matt Bevin is trailing Democratic Attorney General Steve Beshear 48 to 39.

Further down the ballot, the GOP is also vulnerable. In the attorney general race to replace Beshear, former Democratic state House Speaker Greg Stumbo is ahead 46 to 39 against Republican Daniel Cameron, the former legal counsel to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And in the secretary of state race, where incumbent Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is retiring, Democratic former Second Lady of Kentucky and Miss America 2000 pageant winner Heather French Henry leads GOP former Justice Department lawyer Michael Adams 52 to 37.

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