As many of you know (and as several might have come out and seen us at), this past weekend was Planet Comicon. Planet Comicon has the dual distinction of being home to SciFi4Me and also my very first Con.
Yup. Up until this weekend, I was a Con Virgin.
For a first experience, I don’t think I could have topped Planet Comicon. First and foremost, it was local. There’s nothing better than being able to go home after an exhausting day fighting crowds and enjoying the geekery and sleep in your own bed (and use your own shower!). Second, the fact that it’s the home to this site just makes it that much better of an experience. Getting the chance to not only be a part of the Con but also to be involved on a level such as having our own editor and one of our contributors moderate panels (Mr. Jason P Hunt and Mr. Chris Hager) is beyond cool. It presents new experiences not directly afforded to many of the other convention goers-namely the chance of meeting so many people.
Planet Comicon had everything a geeky girl could have asked for- amazing panels, overflowing booths with exclusive and unique merchandise, and of course that whole local bit…but it pales in comparison to just what made it something spectacular: the people.
For starters, I’d be remiss to not mention the cosplayers- what fantastic quality AND quantity! I didn’t see a single Slave Leia and even every Harley Quinn had a variation to keep things interesting. Sure, there were plenty of Wonder Womans and Supergirls, but that’s bound to happen. I was especially impressed by the various groups out and about during the Con. Both the 501st and the Rebel Legion were represented in force, as well as a collection of “unofficial” Star Trek fans and the Kansas City Time Lord Society. It was great to get the chance to meet people from all walks of geekdom.
Another great part of the Con was the chance to connect- to connect with new fans, meet people who are already aware of the site, run into friends of the site, and make new ones. To start my Saturday, I had the pleasure of seeing (most of) The Damsels of Dorkington (I missed you, Arianna!), who are entirely awesome and always a lot of fun. The day continued with the chance to meet awesome new fans (I had a great time talking to two families in particular-I love seeing parents passing on the geek!), making the acquaintance of a few readers that took the time to stop by and say hello, and also shooting the breeze with our booth-mates (area-mates? What’s the proper terminology here?) Renee Witterstaetter and Michael Golden. Renee was super sweet and Michael was a riot! Every chance I stopped back at the booth, I had to check out his progress on his various drawings and that usually ended with a goofy comment or two. His humor matched well with my oddness, so he and I got the chance to talk quite a bit and I wouldn’t have been able to pick someone better to find the ability to actually enjoy my Sunday morning. It’s funny how things work out, sometimes.
Of course, it goes without saying, the guests were something else. Planet Comicon brought in some amazing talent this year with the likes of Edward James Olmos, the cast of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, and Felix Silla), people within the Star Wars universe (Billy Dee Williams, Adrienne Wilkinson, and Jake Lloyd), Knights of Good (Robin Thorsen and Amy Okuda), and so many more. It was quite daunting, especially considering my absolute fandom of The Guild and my love of Edward James Olmos, and it was definitely a task to remain professional at all times. Yeah, I’m a fangirl, but I don’t always show it. My spastic moments were left to phone calls to my wonderfully supportive boyfriend (who is used to my squees by now, hopefully) and stressing with that pretty understanding editor of mine (thanks again, Jason).
His favorite phrase this weekend? “They’re people, too.”
It was my mantra and my saving grace. I kept my cool enough to shake hands with many of the aforementioned guests, as well as introduce myself to the Senior Editor of the X-Men group from Marvel, a very gracious Nick Lowe. I’ve been an X-Men girl my whole life, so this was particularly interesting. “They’re people, too,” gave me the nerve to do the interview with the girls from The Guild. “They’re people, too,” almost gave way, though, during the panel featuring Edward James Olmos. He’s a force: a well-spoken individual and a passionate man, he had the crowd roaring with “So Say We All!” despite baking in the sun drenched atrium. This was my first chance with any sort of personal icons, and I’m so thankful to have met these people, ornery to gracious.
I wrapped my weekend with a bittersweet sense of triumph. I got my interview I’ve been anticipating for a while, I survived my first on-camera appearance in approximately nine years, and I managed to keep my cool in the face of some pretty amazing experiences. I still had enough money in my pocket to purchase a minor token of the whole experience and I ended up with a print from our booth-mate, Mr. Golden. He happily signed it for me and we went about packing up and going along our merry way. It was only Monday when it truly hit me: Michael Golden co-created my second favorite X-Men character of all time- Rogue! Yes, I knew the name and remembered that he had drawn for X-Men as well as worked on several other successful projects, but I had completely spaced his purest claim to fame! It just goes to show you, they’re people, too.
Thank you to my editor for an experience I’ll be looking to repeat and will definitely never forget. Until later, geek on.