SDCC ’09 Fat Bastard Challenge

Editor's note: Today we kick off a series of posts about a weight loss challenge between two of the entertainment world's finest journalists (and I'm not saying that because one of them mails me checks). In one corner, you have Comic Book Resources' own Jonah Weiland. In the other corner, you have Entertainment Weekly's Marc Bernardin, who also writes comics like Monster Attack Network for AiT, the Highwaymen for Wildstorm and Genius for Top Cow. What started on Twitter will surely end with blood, sweat and tears. Or at least a lot of sweat. Now here's Jonah to get everything started ...

by Jonah Weiland

So, you’re asking yourself, what the hell is the SDCC ’09 Fat Bastard Challenge? Have a sit.

Monday, comics and Entertainment Weekly writer Marc Bernardin tweeted that he really wanted to get in better shape for Comic-Con International in San Diego and said his goal was 20 pounds. Now, I’ve been trying to convince myself to get back on the bicycle to get in better shape for CCI as well, but I needed that push. So I sent Marc something of a challenge –- the person with the most weight loss by San Diego is treated to a $50 meal by the loser.

Marc loved the idea and we began planning. We both realized that 20 lbs. in five weeks might not be possible, so we added a twist – for every pound of weight less than 20 each of us hasn’t lost by San Diego means a $10 donation per pound to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

The challenge was accepted and we’re off to the races or, hopefully, the gym, as there’s not much exercise involved in betting the ponies. All that was needed was a name, which Marc supplied: the SDCC Fat Bastard Challenge. You can even follow our regular updates on Twitter with the #SDCCFatBastard hash tag.

After the challenge was accepted publicly, ROBOT 6’s John Parkin wrote us and asked if we’d like to contribute updates on our progress to this here blog and maybe even do a bit of smack talk to motivate each other. Look, I’m a longtime fan of NBA star Larry Bird, one of the greatest trash talkers the game has ever seen. When it comes to competitive activities –- be it a game of softball or even air hockey -– well, I talk a lot of smack. I blame Larry. So when John offered the opportunity to further embarrass myself publicly, I figured what the hell!

Bernardin and I have both revealed our starting weights. Wearing jeans, t-shirt, socks and unmentionables, Marc clocked in at a weight of 256. Myself, wearing the same, clocked in at 234.5 (I love my digital scale). The fight is on and we even have some honorary supporters, like Leverage executive producer John Rogers who’s going to get his 220 lb. butt in gear for San Diego, too!

The weigh in will take place on the CBR Yacht at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Thursday, July 23. While I could bring my scale from home, I’m sure Marc will call foul and say it’s not a trusted scale and that we must have a brand new, neutral scale, the Switzerland of scales, that doesn’t “favor” me. Marc, look, it’s not going to help – I’m going to destroy you. (See, the smack talk has already begun).

So, Marc and I will check in periodically updating you on our progress. We’re both going to be safe about this -– no starvation diets, no diet pills, no weird Hollywood fad diets where you have to eat 10 cans of beets daily followed by an anchovy chaser. Just a mix of good eating, exercise and a little self-restraint.

I suppose I should let Marc close this out. Marc, do you have anything to say to the public before I embarrass you and start scouring the San Diego restaurant guides?

"Only that I'm going to crush my enemy, see him driven before me, and hear the lamentation of his women. Too much? Maybe. I'm not much for the smack talk, really. I've always subscribed to the credo made famous by the fighting men and women of the finest dirt-bike-and-dune-buggy assault force the world has ever seen, Megaforce: Deeds Not Words.

"So, suck it, Weiland. (And by "suck" I mean "drink," and by "it" I mean "your losery tears.")"

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