The blog for the final day of a convention is always my least favorite to write. Because it’s over. And when you walk out of the hall, you see all the vendors packing up their wares, and suddenly there’s no need for you to keep on your wristband, and tomorrow doesn’t include any opportunities for a Kylo Ren cosplayer to exclaim, “I like your shirt!” (which features the emo Sith’s face). But just because the aftermath is melancholy (Melancholy Aftermath is a good name for a band) doesn’t mean the day wasn’t a blast.
Last September’s Saturday (another band name) started with a line that stretched all the way around the huge city block the Salt Palace lives on. I was apprehensively anticipating this again, but I was able to walk right in. Score. I sat in on the last ten minutes of Alex Kingston’s panel; I don’t like her character but I like her. Describing how she never played Juliet: “I would’ve said, “To hell with this; I’m moving on!”
Jason Isaacs was up next; I’m a big fan of his. He was fantastic as Captain Hook and Lucius Malfoy. (I’ve always said that though the writing of those movies was abysmal, the casting was spot on.) Did you know that he initially auditioned for the role of Gilderoy Lockhart? Neither did I.
Jason started his panel by standing dead still for a couple minutes so we could all get bored of him and stop taking pictures. It must be so bizarre to look into a crowd, gathered to see you, and be constantly greeted by “the little flashes of auto focus.” While I’ll admitted I could’ve done with better pictures, I think it’s important to respect a celebrity’s requests when they’ve been kind enough to come and talk to us all.
Jason was a funny man, who told us all the questions he’s constantly asked, and imitated them in a teenage boy American accent. “Man……what was it like working with Daniel Radcliffe?”
“Who is showing The Patriot to their history classes?? Harry Potter is more historically accurate.”
“Richard Harris takes no prisoners.”
“No one in the world played menacing better than Alan [Rickman].”
“I could say anything at all and you would cheer. I don’t like cucumbers.” [crowd cheers] “Everyone in the world should have this as therapy.”
He was insulted when they asked him to read for Lucius instead of Gilderoy, and imitated himself on the phone with his agent doing this outraged hissing noise; I was dying. Then, in the middle of an outraged hiss, they asked if he was ready to read again and he went, “Yes, of course. Fabulous.” (I LOVE HIS ACCENT.)
The best story was how he created Lucius Malfoy’s style. Originally they had him with short hair and a banker’s suit. Jason kept saying, “He’s a WIZARD” and adding things like a long wig, a wand cane, and old aristocratic clothes. Chris Columbus, the director of Chamber of Secrets, said, “The toy guys are going to love you.”
Jason ended his panel by saying, “I’m just a guy who dresses up and does silly voices for a living. But there’s an Avenger waiting in the wings……”
The Avenger in question was Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye, aka my second favorite Avenger. But I was unable to stay for his panel, as the bridal shower of a dear friend called me away. Emily, this proves that I love you more than Jeremy Renner.
Tied quilts, then back to the con. A priority on my list is the Twisted Toonz panel, where voice actors from cartoons such as Animaniacs, Spongebob, Adventure Time, Disney, Scooby Doo, and MANY others come together to read a script as their characters. It is sidesplittingly funny. Also, I love the love that the panelists have for Salt Lake City. Jess Harnell (who has rock star hair, and is neighbor's with William Shatner, who thinks he is Gene Simmons from KISS) started off with, “I want to say publicly that Salt Lake Comic Con is the best Comic Con IN THE WORLD!!!!!” [explosion of cheering from audience] “People ask me, ‘Aren’t you worried that someone will put that on YouTube and the other cons will see?’ I say, ‘Screw it, it’s true.’” <3 Jess <3
The movie this year was The Force Awakens. Some of you know that I might have a slight fondness for this film. You haven’t experienced this film until you’ve heard Kylo Ren’s lines delivered as Tweety Bird, with Goofy as Supreme Leader Snoke, and Bill Clinton as Han Solo. (One panelist kept impersonating Donald Trump for us, and he had Drumpf’s waffling, sleazy style of speech down to an art.)
A couple of scenes in, who should appear onstage but Jason Isaacs! The panel was as surprised as the rest of us. He came on and wanted to read a scene. Umm, to quote the host, “Jason Isaacs, you can do whatever you want.” So he read a scene as Finn with Ian Mckellen/Sean Connery’s voice, and it was glorious. So random, so great.
Jess did his crowd favorite Christopher Walken voice, Grey DeLisle did Judy Garland, and we heard from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Goofy, Pluto, Yogi Bear, and so many others……I love this panel. It's a must for any fans of voice acting.
After Twisted Toonz I walked around the vendor floor some more and spent my last remaining souvenir pennies. I spent time walking around the floor every day, and I still found booths I hadn’t seen before yesterday. Infinite variety, thy name is Comic Con. One of these years I want to have my caricature done.
|Actual Disney princess Kylo Ren|
By six I was ready for a break, and retreated to the ballroom to await the cosplay contest at seven. I have never seen that room so empty or had a seat so close to the stage. Chris Provost (the host who basks in the hatred he gets for his lamentable jokes) came out and told the twenty or so of us who were there that we were diehards. You know it, Chris.
The cosplay contest always makes me tear up because it’s the end of the convention and the crowd is so happy and these people have worked so hard to create a tribute to something they love. I don’t know, I find it both beautiful and tender. Thank goodness they didn’t have a children’s competition this year or I would’ve been a puddle on the floor. Next time I’m going to try and bring someone with me….. I love Comic Con by myself, but it would be fun to have someone to experience everything with.
Anyway, the contest was great. My favorite was either a gender bent Jareth (did she crush it or what?), Captain Hook, a group of Avatar: the Last Airbender cosplayers, or the terrifying Blade Queen.
Actually, I take it back. Those guys were all awesome, but if you want to know my actual favorite I have only three words for you:
YASSSS GURL YASSSSS
Favorite. And she won a prize at the end sooooo. Jareth also won, and she’s donating the prize money to charity. Man, I love the people at Comic Con. I love them.
I walked back to the parking garage with a bag full of swag and the glow that comes from belonging somewhere. While I'm glad the convention is only three days (I was so tired I slept till 10:30 today), I'm always looking forward to the next one. And so with that I bid adieu to the Salt Palace for another six months. Where else would I almost get hit in the face by a Harry Potter cosplayer carrying a sword? (True story.) As always, the pleasure has been all mine.