Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Very First Comicon

Okay this isn’t an analysis or critique, but it’s VERY much related to film and related to the field I want to go into. I am going to share with you my Comicon experience in which I get to speak to Adam Baldwin!
Oh Comicon, where do I begin? First let me start off by saying this was the Phoenix Comicon and the “main one” is in San Diego, however I have heard from multiple people that ours is one of the best. Yay Phoenix! This was my first Comicon and it was an exhausting and overwhelming experience in which I definitely learned what NOT to do in the future. For starters, get their as early as possible on your first day to get your badge or you may not see anything! The lines are horrendous.
Oh Comicon, who can describe? It is like a roaring sea of people in which the tribes of nerd, geek, dork,  (and the few from the actually cool) come to gather. Storm Troopers and Boba Fetts march through the crowds, everyone is suddenly decked head-to-toe in Steampunk apparel. There are tons of costumes that are pretty much unrecognizable except to teenagers and I like to call them the “insert-random-anime-character-here” costumes. Star Trek captains, comic book heroes, and people wearing t-shirts with in-jokes only others in the tribes would get. It’s absolutely wonderful! I think my favorite costume may have been this beautiful girl dressed as Padme from Star Wars (besides my cousin! lol) because she was pregnant and she did a spot on costume of pregnant Padme and used her pregancy to her advantage. Very clever! But before I go into all the AWESOME parts about Comicon, I am going to announce to all what the worst part was…  
These tribes are amongst the rudest of humanity. I was very surprised by this. I thought surely young men who dream of saving princesses, being spies, and wielding swords and lightsabers would be fans of chivalry and kindness. I was wrong. Boys/guys/men of Comicon here’s a bit of knowledge for you: No hygiene. No Manners. No woman. And ladies could have used a lesson or two in acting with propriety too. Just like Halloween, girls use Comicon as an excuse to dress slutty and get away with it. That was disappointing, bad girls.  Everywhere you went people were pushing, shoving, and being obnoxious. Ugh! So take a lesson from your games, films, books, comics, and learn to actually ACT like heroes and heroines. Sheesh.
What’s funny about this collection of people is that they claim to be anti-society and “different” however they are as much pretentious jerks as the rest of the world, and perhaps worse because they actually think they are special simply for liking the things they like. I definitely wouldn’t say ALL the people at Comicon were like that, there were actually a lot of older people there too who are way past the “everyone is a conformist” stage of life. Anyway…
Saturday was the first day, and after spending over an hour in the lines me and my crew finally got all of our badges. I have to share that I got a professional badge (details will not be disclosed haha!) and I could skip lines at any time if I wanted to. Sweet!
Saturday’s highlight was definitely getting to see Leonard Nimoy and hear him speak. For those of you who don’t speak fluent nerd, Leonard Nimoy is the man most famously known for playing Spock in Star Trek the Original Series. He’s done many other things, including being a guest star on several episodes of Fringe (yay!) but Spock is his role of a lifetime. It was wonderful to hear him speak as he shared so much about his life. He used his computer to give us a picture slideshow as he talked and his stories were so interesting. I could have listened to him all day. A couple things I thought were especially cool was that when he was working in L.A. as a starving actor he also drove taxi cabs and he drove J.F.K before he was president and got to have a good talk with him. So neat! Then he shared with us how he came up with many of the things that made Spock’s character unique and how they were drawn from things in his own culture and life. For instance, the Vulcan hand greeting and also the Vulcan death grip. I loved the pictures he showed from his days on the Star Trek set. All in all, it was “fascinating.”
After Leonard departed from us we wandered around the countless exhibitions downstairs. I absolutely loved that most of the tables were art related and the artists were there showing it off. Jason Palmer Studios was perhaps the most impressive. His artwork is practically perfect. He had shirts in addition to posters and canvas. He was mostly known for making Firefly/Serenity paintings but he pretty much hit every aspect of nerddom. My cousin bought a book of his collection of Padme Amidala drawings from Star Wars. They were absolutely stunning. He has a website if you are interested in seeing his work. I also really loved this girl who did all her artwork on small cards whose name was Ashleigh M. Popplewell and she also has a website. My last favorite thing was this group of Firefly fans from Austin, TX who made teas for characters and places in Firefly, really unique lovely blends called Sereni-teas. Yum! I am currently a broke little lady so I could only get one souvenir and I got the adorable Star Trek picture to the left. Love it!
After all the roaming, costumes, artwork, and weirdos, I was ready to go home and get prepared for the next day, which was the day I was looking forward to most of all…
Sunday came and I arrived just in the middle of George Takei’s spiel (he played Sulu in this original Star Trek). I found out that he was in the Japanese internment camps during WWII which was very interesting. After that, it was Billy Dee Williams (Lando from Star Wars) and he was hilarious. He didn’t give very detailed answers, which would have annoyed me but I think he was doing it just to mess with people and it was funny. His assistant (pictured with him here) was very funny and had to help poor Billy Dee every step of the way. He got a lot of laughs. I liked how this one Black young man came forward to ask him how he felt being one of the few Black actors in sci-fi (which is a bunch of crap, there are many) and Billy Dee was just like, “You know, I really don’t think about it. It doesn’t matter.” And I loved that because he is so right! However, the best question came from one of many adorable little boys in the line. The question was “What was it like to dance with Ewoks?” I seriously lost my breath laughing, but it’s only funny if you’re a geek.
And then… the moment I had been waiting for all weekend… Adam Baldwin!!! He was on the stage with Chuck producer Robert Duncan McNeil who was also very cool and now I am a fan of him too! These guys were just amazing. Adam was everything I thought he was. Not only am I a huge fan of Firefly and Chuck (two fantastic series in which he stars) but I am a fan of Adam as a person too. He keeps a blog and twitter with updates and thoughts about our political sphere. I’ve also heard him on radio shows. He’s incredibly well-informed, well-spoken and intelligent. He is a personal inspiration to me because he’s one of the very few people with a conservative viewpoint in Hollywood, and a legit one at that. He’s also a Christian and it’s nice to see someone like him in the limelight. He loves his family and his children, and when was asked during the Q&A at comicon who inspires him the most, he said his wife and kids. Awww…
Anyway, he was just as lovely as I imagined. Filling the room with his huge, thousand-kilowatt smile across his handsome face. He was hysterical. One of my favorite moments of their talk was someone mentioning Osama Bin Laden and Adam says, “Yeah, I was out of town that weekend…”  as he took a swig of water and we all just cheered! He was funny but incredibly humble, and “real” for lack of a better term. He was completely laid back and kind with the audience. It was so weird, but I felt like I had met him before, but perhaps that’s from all the recent watching of Chuck. Both he and Robert Duncan McNeil were completely down to earth about their work, especially on Chuck, and they showed a great love and appreciation for the cast and crew. The gaffer from Chuck was in the audience and they encouraged us to give him a standing ovation. It was so great.
These are the guys I want so badly to be working with. They love their work, but more importantly they have a genuine love for the people they work with. Adam talked about Zachary Levi (who plays the title character in Chuck and who I also happen to LOVE) and how much he appreciates him and loves watching him work. I always knew that the Firefly cast and crew had a great sense of family and love, and it’s nice to see that continue on. It’s so hard to find decent, loving people in Hollywood and it’s such an inspiration to me as an aspiring artist in the industry. I do not want to be stuck with all the pretentious big-wigs, I want these people. The middle-levelers so to speak. They have big vision, but not big egos.
Thankfully, the entire Q&A with them is available on youtube! It’s about an hour and worth every minute. My question comes about 28 minutes in and the Bin Laden moment is right after. The fun thing is that my question is the highlight of the video’s description. YAY! The link is here: http://youtu.be/mN7R6TJqahs   *The photo to the right above is the back of my head as I ask my question to the guys!
This was a great experience I’ll never forget. A high point of the year. I hope to go to many more and use the opportunities wisely. To all my fellow nerds out there may the force be with you, and live long and prosper!
*This photo is me in the Wonder Woman get-up with my cousin Danielle as Padme in the Star Wars exhibit.

1 comment:

  1. FIRST? Are you joking me? I didn't get that feeling from you!

    Granted, I've only gone to various conventions four times.

    I can go with you next time, I know everyone's anime costumes. They love it when I yell out the show tag lines. Yes, all the boys are typically rude and gross; and somehow feminine. Well, most teens at ComiCon are rude and typically thoughtless. Youth!

    Aww, I like Chuck.
    - Devin