Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rebecca Blogs Comic Con: Day Three

Another convention has come and gone and I'm here to document my Friday experience. When I came in view of the Salt Palace I was disturbed to see a line winding its way away from the entrance around the block. The other two days I have been able to walk right in so I was like, “……if this prevents me from meeting Felicia Day I’m going to riot.” After a momentary debate about trying to cut into the line closer to the entrance, which I observed others do, my Lawful Good side won out and I began my quest to locate the back of the line. It ended up being all the way around the block, under a bridge, and back at the other entrance of the Salt Palace. In other circumstances it probably would have been miserable. However everyone was good-natured about it and it was fun to spot cosplays as they passed us on the way to the back. The line was mostly in the shade and moved steadily forward; I was inside within thirty minutes, when I had anticipated probably two hours. Crushed it.

The first thing I did was go on the hunt for a Deathly Hallows necklace for Mckenna, because you may recall that I am now a Comic Con dealer. Hit me up next time it comes to town and I'll hook you up. Once the necklace was located I got in line to meet Felicia Day. She is one of the few celebrities (at least of the ones I visited) who allowed selfies, so I was excited to have photographic proof. The deal was that if you bought her book and got it signed you got a free selfie. All three of those things for forty dollars is a good deal; color me sold. I chatted with the girls in front of me and we spied on Robbie Amell (from The Tomorrow People), who was signing autographs a few tables down. Dean O’Gorman, from The Hobbit, came out to do his signing on the table right next to us while we waited. The man knows how to do tousled hair right, yowza.

 It finally got to be my turn meeting Felicia, but she had to run to the bathroom. So I was standing in front of her table for ten minutes trying to compose myself (spoiler alert: it didn’t really work). When she came back I told her how glad I was she’d come to Salt Lake again; she ate a gummy worm and said thank you. She is so gorgeous and adorable in person and I LOVE HER. She thanked me for buying the book and we took a picture together, in which you can see that I am infatuated. The volunteer took several of me meeting her and I’m just like :D. I'm sure she gets that a lot. 

After that I wandered around the booths some more, trying to get a handle on everything that I would only have easy access to for one more day. I ran into Andi with one of her friends; they are both delightful and impressed upon me the importance of going to the Twisted Toonz panel later in the day. Today was my day for encounters like that. I didn't meet anyone I know the other two days, but yesterday I also ran into Joy, McCord and Lisa, and Thomas’ little brother, who introduced himself to me in a fashion that was miles out of my comfort zone when I was that age. The con was tightly packed yesterday; throngs and throngs more people than the other days had joined us. I’m always glad that I get a multi-pass, because trying to get everything done in only one day sounds like hell.Everything moved more slowly because of the crowds, but it was all right because there were only a few things on my list. I caught of a glimpse of Hannah and Hilly Hindi from the Hillywood Show as they were greeting fans; I can’t get over how *tiny* they are.

Alan and Production Man
The next panel I wanted to go to was the preview for Con Man, Alan Tudyk’s new show with Nathan Fillion. The line filled the lobby and into Hall E, but I was all right with that because I was getting overwhelmed with people and I just wanted to eat my pizza quietly. Hall E was a good place to do that. I was surprised when I actually got in, that Grand Ballroom is ENORMOUS. The panel was hosted by Sean Astin, Felicia Day, and a member of Con Man’s production team. We were told Alan Tudyk would join us via Skype, but then he ran out onto the stage and we were like YESSSSS. Alan is great. And yes, he brought his bag of sh!t. (His words, not mine.) It's his thing. He gives out signed random stuff from his house to people who ask questions. When Alan said that we reminded him of San Diego Comic Con Sean Astin said that ours was better. Sean Astin has our backs. Best quote from this panel: “Hi, my name is Sean Astin and I go to conventions."
Felica and Sean being adorable

I stayed in the Grand Ballroom for the Twisted Toonz panel per Andi's command. I’ve never gone to this panel before, but definitely will again. They have five voice actors who can do basically any voice, impression, whatever and read scenes from a script (in this case, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) as characters that the emcee assigns. The actors, for those of you who are cooler than me and may recognize their names from shows like Simpsons, Futurama, the Animaniacs, TMNT, and many others, were: Maurice LaMarch, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, Jess Harnell, and Dee Bradley. 

It was HILARIOUS. Dee Bradley was my favorite: he could do all these crazy noises like elephant seal, crickets, or any other animal without any trouble. These animal noises were always assigned to Ginny, haha. He did Daffy Duck for two scenes and is apparently the only actor who can do that voice in real time. My favorite moment of his was when he did Harry as this German guy. Talking to Dobby: “I wish you came with subtitles, little creature.” Jess did a great Kermit and a mean Christopher Walken. His Transformer voice was hilarious. Tress was Dot from Animaniacs and it was awesome. Rob would do this adorable pandering grin every time he did a new voice and was too adorable for words. Maurice did Inspector Gagdet and you guys I cannot communicate how funny this panel was in words. I think they put them up on YouTube, I'm definitely going to check them out. My favorite thing (besides Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ron) was how much the panelists adored our Comic Con. They sincerely loved it, especially Jess. He threw in Salt Lake City shout outs whenever he could, whether they fit or not. Crowd pleaser. (I love him for it.) I hope they come back next time so I can meet them, I didn’t have time after the panel. 

That was a two hour panel, and it was getting close to the time I had to leave for Drowsy Chaperone, so I was almost done with Comic Con 2015. Sad day. (Our con broke world record yesterday for Most People Dressed as Comic Book Characters in one place. Aww yis.) I went through Artist Alley one more time. The first time I went to a convention I don’t think I went through the art at all, which was a huge mistake. I find it more interesting than a lot of the merch, because you can find that on the internet and these are originals. I only hope next year they don’t organize it by color…. I bought some adorable stickers, took some more photos of cosplayers (my favorite sighting was Ash fixing Belle’s hair), and had my wristband scanned for the last time on my way out. I played “Tonight You’re Perfect” by the New Politics as I drove away, because that has been my theme song for this convention. Until next time. <3 


Friday, September 25, 2015

Rebecca Blog Comic Con: Day Two

You guys, today was so great! I started the morning by showing off my children’s books to Savannah and her visiting sister; her sister gave me cash to buy her one of the If You Give a Hobbit a Ring because she knew her husband would love it. Yesterday I bought a time turner for Kira; I am becoming a Comic Con dealer.

 So the first thing I did was search out the Hobbit book because responsibility to others trumps waiting in life for James and Oliver Phelps, although I couldn't wait to do that. I had such an issue finding the booth again; the Artist Alley booths were organized by color, which, in my opinion, is the worst way to organize anything. If you haven't been to a convention I cannot convey to you how much your senses are overloaded, and trying to remember you saw one booth among the myriads is nigh unto impossible. The search for burgundy (where the artist was listed in the guide) was never successful, but I eventually found it, at a teal covered table. SMH. 

Next on my agenda: meeting  James and Oliver Phelps. Even from the back of the line their smiles are blinding. Too handsome for this world. At the table next to us was Anthony Daniels, the voice of C3PO. Fox13 news was there filming him meeting this awesome remote control life size R2D2 which moved and beeped and basically could be in the movie. It was cool to watch Anthony interact with the fans and use the voice on the robot. "R2, you stop that!" The man controlling R2 sent the droid lover to this little girl in the Anthony Daniels line dressed as Rocket Raccoon (her dad was Starlord; this was a parent-child costume I saw several times) and the robot put out its arms for a hug. Adorable. 
Anthony Daniels is the one in black.

Although I wanted the autographs of both twins, I couldn’t justify paying for two autographs when I knew that I’d still get to meet both of them even if only one was signing. The volunteer at the table assigned me James as I didn't much care. When I was next in the line, that is to say, right up by the twins but not having them focused on me yet, they were talking to the people in front of me about how it was a huge ego boost. Oliver said: “I should’ve just dropped the mic after saying SLC and the crowd roaring back.” Then he said that he did that once and the crowd booed and he was like, “no no no I was kidding.” Then it was my turn and these gorgeous British twins are in front of me and I’m like YES. James said, “I’m James.” It took me a second to respond because I was like, “I know who you are.” I finally said my name and then the volunteer said that this one was for only James to sign. I said, “I’m poor” because I didn’t want Oliver to think that I didn’t love him too. James said, “You chose the better one” and it was like a vocal wink and ahh so roguish. I said thank you for coming to Salt Lake and Oliver said, “We’re having a good time.” Then he asked if I was enjoying myself and I said, “Yes, definitely.” James was signing the photo and I said, “I don’t have anything really cool to say, I’m just like ahhh” and Oliver laughed. Oliver asked if I was here “for the whole weekEND” (I love the British inflection of things) and I said yes and then it was time to go and I thanked them both and shook their hands and ahhhhhhh so hot so great so British. My hands were shaking as I walked away and I had trouble getting the photo into the plastic, a smile plastered to my face. James wrote “To Rebecca, Great to meet you, All the best, James Phelps.” I LOVE IT.

After that I wandered around the booths, took pictures of the pirate ship, and many amazing cosplayers.I caught a glimpse of Hannah and Hilly Hindi from The Hillywood Show. ("Harry Potter Friday" is one of my favorite videos, and their parody of Hunger Games is my jam. My favorite cosplayers spotted today were a duo: the first was a mix of the dude from Arrow and Luigi and the second was the Flash plus Mario. Honorable mention to the guys dressed in drag to be the soldiers from Mulan. Creative costumes are my favorite. 

Today was my panel day. The first was Sean Astin. They played the video clip of Samwise talking about the good left in the world, and how they need to fight for it and I legit started tearing up. It was happy tears: I love Comic Con so much and I love Sam and I'm just glad to be alive. Sam and Rudy are basically the same person: the best of us all. Sean was cool. It turns out he’s very Christian, which I'm all about. He gave some rambling answers but I had fun. 

The next panel was Sebastian Stan. Confession: I haven’t seen Winter Soldier (I know, I know, it's disgraceful. One of these days....) but hey, I will stick around for hot men any day of the week. He was very charming and sassy and seemed chill. He struggled not to give us spoilers about Civil War. He grew up in Romania and didn’t read comic books because “I was a communist.” One girl asked a question in what I assume was Romanian and he answered in the same language and bilingual people are cool. He was very cool, but I don’t remember a lot of specific stuff that he said.  

The person I was most excited to see at panel today was Felicia Day. She has been my absolute favorite ever since she came to FanX in January. She’s so gorgeous and awkward and hilarious and I LOVE HER. I was thrilled that she came back, and she says she usually doesn’t but we are her favorite con so AWWW YIS. I couldn’t get enough of her-- she kept talking about this show called Poledark and the title character is this hot dude. She talked about him brooding and being like, “Look at my chest hair.” When asked about shipping she said “I ship me and Poledark.” When asked about crossovers she’d like to see she said, “There’s this great crossover with Poledark and me….” She said she likes wacky out there stuff like putting Joey from Friends in Game of Thrones or Big Bird in Days of Our Lives. You guys, she is so funny. Her phone went off during the panel and she checked it. “It says I’m doing a panel soon. I should probably get to that.” She was asked her opinion about a certain comic character and she said, “I have mixed feelings. Are you crushing? I would not make out with him.” Asked about meeting Jensen and Jared she said that Jared could deadlift her with one finger and her impression was, “You are strong and large.” All her characters keep dying ("I'm the Sean Bean of women.") so she tells herself that it is because the writers remove the characters that they think the audience cares about. “When one door closes, another opens. I hope one day I open a door that doesn’t include death.” Basically she was perfect and I have such a woman crush, it is out of control. I HAVE to meet her tomorrow since I missed out meeting her the last time she was here. One of many favorite quote: "The worst is when your friends are having a party and post about it on instagram, and you heart it, but really you're crying." Felicia Day is me.

Today I kept being overwhelmed by emotion because loving things makes life beautiful and I love being surrounded by people who “embrace their weird.” Yesterday the hashtag SLCC15 was the number one on both Twitter and Instagram IN THE WORLD. Aww yis. I love that the celebrities genuinely seem to love the experience of Salt Lake. I love conventions. I love the camaraderie and the bazaar of merchandise and cosplayers and everyone. It’s so great. Anyway. I squeal a lot when talking about meeting James and Oliver and how adorable and British they were and how cute Sean Astin was and Felicia Day's perfection in general and I AM SO GLAD THAT SALT LAKE HAS A COMIC CON.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rebecca Blogs Comic Con: Day One

Day one down for my fourth convention! I FREAKING LOVE COMIC CON, let's just start with that. I can’t believe that I didn’t come the first year Salt Lake City organized one because I was afraid that I would be judged for not cosplaying; I thought that you had to have people to go with. Today I spent an hour wandering around Artist Alley and realized that the only time I’ve felt frantic at Comic Con is when I’m trying to make plans with someone else, because you have to keep track of them, and follow them, and it’s lame. When I’m by myself it doesn’t matter where I am, it’s the right place. I can take my own time and I never feel lost. And no cosplay, no problem. (One of these years, though.)
The entrance line took, what, ten minutes? I’m okay with that. I wasn’t so sure about the wristbands at Fan X, but the volunteers/organizers seem to have this down to a science now and I hope the trend continues. I walked in what used to be the gold entrance and reoriented myself to the layout of the main hall. Didn't take long, as it is almost identical to January's layout. (January's Layout is a good name for a band.) I took a jaunt to Celebrity Row first thing to see what’s what. The celebrities have times posted outside their table including when they will be available to sign autographs, which is the most lovely thing in the world. It has caused much fear in my life wondering if I will have a chance to meet people I want to, and this alieveiates that. I noticed Sean Astin’s line was short, so I jumped in, although I hadn't planned on meeting any celebrities today. I made friends with two girls cosplaying Kim Possible and Jack Harkness and a fellow who was very chatty, very friendly, and quite funny. He was an OC from the Pokemon universe, I believe. We all had a good time talking to the little girl behind us, who told us she was Supergirl, with lightning powers.

Lightning Supergirl
Meeting Sean Astin was cool. I told him that he was my little sister’s favorite actor in the world, and he said my little sister has good taste. I mean, I like him too-- heaven knows I'm all about Samwise-- but Julia is in a class all her own when it comes to loving Sean Astin. He is her James Marsters. (Sometimes I still have happy flashbacks to meeting James Marsters.)

There was a Buffy panel I wanted to go to at four, so I snuck in the room around 3:30 and caught the tail end of a discussion about Star Wars RPGs. Best quote was about the use of present day technology in a Star Wars movie:  “Leia could have emailed the Death Star plans to herself but then there wouldn’t be a movie.”

The Buffy panel was so great! I didn’t go to any non-celebrity panels at the last convention, but this reminded me how much I like them. I wanted to sit down and discuss more topics with each of the panelists. They talked about Buffy being an icon of strength, but not because of her supernatural abilities. Willow, Tara, Anya, and even Cordelia and Joyce were strong in their own ways because Joss Whedon “writes fully realized characters.” The moderator, Travis Tate, was a funny dude and the other man on the panel, Christopher, was so chill and like, “I have learned that sometimes men need to take a step back and let the women take charge.” He named his daughter Buffy, which I can't help but admire. Riley was mentioned and we were all like, “…..eww” One of the panelists commented that we all did a simultaneous eye roll. The moderator said that he saw that actor in another movie where he gets shot by Tom Cruise. Quote: “I was like, ‘Finally! Yeah, Tom Cruise! Shoot him again!’” Angel was also called a wuss. #MyKindofPanel Season six was summed up as “Everyone failed so spectacularly at making decisions in life," which is exceedingly accurate. I love Buffy and I love talking about Buffy and I love people who love Buffy, so basically I loved it. 

After that panel I headed over to the new ballroom (they combined the north and south into one ginormous one). I caught the last portion of Studio C's panel (Matt continues to be too attractive for his own good) and then moved up several sections closer for the next panel, the Phelps twins, James and Oliver. (Fred and George.) They were both gorgeous and adorable. Oliver did most of the talking while James was quieter. Their accents are to die for; I freaking love British men. When they first came out we all screamed our hearts out and after that subsided Oliver said, “I thought there was going to be about three men and a dog here.” YOU THOUGHT WRONG, MR PHELPS. You thought wrong.

Highlights of the Phelps twins-- Q: “Which character do you wish you could have saved?” James: “I can think of one.” Oliver was silent a long time and then said, “Definitely Dumbledore.” As I mentioned, Oliver was doing more of the talking and after one question James looked over and said, “May I speak?” all snide like. They’re such brothers I can’t stand it. Q: “How do you feel about Voldemort?” Oliver: “He’s alright.” James: “Misunderstood.” Talking about a muggle Quidditch match he had observed, Oliver said, “I didn’t know people got sent to hospital doing it, but they do." The moderator had them answer a bunch of snap questions at the same time and they were almost all the same, causing the audience to roar. We delight in the twin-ness of them. They wouldn’t weigh in on either the DC/Marvel rivalry or Star Wars/Trek because "that's like jumping into a bear pit." When talking about football teams back in England someone in the back yelled out, “Chelsea!” and they both booed. James’ patronus would be a hedgehog because “they’re quite zippy but when trouble comes they don’t want to be there.” A hilarious story was told about running from fans in Paris. (Apologies for the horrible picture quality.)

After the Phelps twins I went to explore the main hall more thoroughly. I bought a time turner and my annual Comic Con shirt. I found the Pop Culture Cat booth again! I was thrilled because I have been thinking about this booth since the last convention. I shared this with the artist and she was flattered. It’s seriously the best thing in the world, though. I already have Han Solo cat, Harry Potter cat, Thor cat, Hawkeye cat, and Tenth Doctor cat. Today I bought Tardis cat and a yellow shirt Star Trek cat.

 I love Artist Alley because all the CREATIVITY. I picked up so many business cards. I stopped to look at one man’s geeky children’s books and ended up buying If You Give a Jawa a Broken Droid, Go Smaug Go, Goodnight Wampa, and If You Give a Hobbit a Ring. They are all perfect. I swear, I seldom make impulse buys but at Comic Con the money flies itself out of my purse.

So that’s day one completed. My favorite cosplayers: two Thermians from Galaxy Quest who looked, sounded, and acted exactly like the movie. Lots of pirates around today. (There was an awesome pirate ship which I plan to get pictures of tomorrow.) Also, a family of Incredibles. The family that cosplays together, stays together.

It was a beautiful day and I felt so grateful to be a part of it all.

Times are tough: Superman has taken a second job.