Monday, August 15, 2011

Wizard World Chicago Comic Con

I haven't posted anything in a l-o-n-g time, partly because I've been super busy training for a marathon, and also because I've been taking a break from costuming.  I'll be starting back up this week, however, working on some touch-ups for my Clockwork Droid costume, which I'll be wearing to Dragon*Con!

However, this past weekend I attended Wizard World Chicago Comic Con as press with some of my friends, the Space Gypsies.  I was there to film panels and general Con activities.

After having been to Dragon*Con, I have to say - I wasn't that impressed with WWCC.  They had no idea how to handle crowd control, their volunteers were clueless and rude, their exhibit hall was way too small, they had a shockingly small number of panels, and some of the autograph tables had organized lines and some didn't.  There were very few costumes - I had expected some pretty kickass comic book characters, but most of the costumes I saw seemed to be held together with duct tape.  Of course, there were several really well-done costumes, but after the high level of work that I've seen at Dragon*Con, some of the costumes at WWCC were almost pathetic.

I did not wear any costume, since I was working, but I was dressed up in my best geek attire; on Saturday I wore my Let's Play Doctor shirt, and Sunday I wore a Jayne-inspired graphic tee.  It was so strange not to have people stop me every ten feet to take my photo, but one girl did tell me that she liked my SPEW button!

I attended the Julie Benz panel and the Charisma Carpenter panel.  Julie was a total sweetheart, and Charisma was very personable.  I've noticed that all of the Whedonverse panels I've seen have been the most enjoyable; not only do the guests seem down-to-earth and pleasant, and they're really good at acting like each question is unique and they've never been asked it before.  Late in the day on Sunday, I even saw Charisma buying her son some Asian candy at one of the booths, just like a (gasp) normal person!  It was kind of surreal to walk about two feet from Cordelia Chase while being jostled by the crowd.

For as disorganized and frustrating WWCC was at times, I had a great time.  I spent the weekend walking around taking video, and to be able to do that in whatever way I wanted (as opposed to the strict rules I have to follow at work) was very liberating.  I also was able to have a few conversations with David Vox Mullen of DVM Podcast Empire about his New Who Podcast, which he produces with his stepdaughter, and Torchcast, which covers Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Not only that, but both Kai Owen and Gareth David-Lloyd of Torchwood fame were there.  I had met Gareth at ChicagoTARDIS last November, but I was in full Clockwork Droid gear and with the wig and mask off, I look a wreck (hair sticking out everywhere, creases all over my face from the mask).  So, I'd kept the wig and mask on, and the mask makes it impossible to speak, so I'd just kind of mimed my way through the autograph.  I'm always so much braver when I'm a Clockwork Droid ... So at this Con, I wanted to meet him properly, but DANG - he's so much hotter in person that it took me the entire weekend to get up the nerve to meet him!

On Saturday I noticed Kai was by himself (no Gareth around) and I took the opportunity to get his autograph.  He is a very lovely and gracious person, and he took the time to answer one of my questions about Miracle Day.  I wanted to know who Rhys and Gwen were hiding from in Wales, since at the end of Children of Earth it doesn't seem like anyone is after them anymore.  He said that he thinks the government still wants to get rid of Gwen since she knows about the government taking children to give to the 456.  I felt kind of dumb because it seemed so obvious, but really, it wasn't clear at all.  Anyway, he was great and I'm so glad I met him.  Over the last year or so, Rhys has become one of my favorite characters on Torchwood, and I love that he and Gareth do so many conventions together.  They clearly are good friends and their panels (which I have yet to see in full and in person, since I only caught about 15 minutes at ChicagoTARDIS due to the masquerade meeting) are hilarious.

On Sunday I finally worked up the nerve to say hi to Gareth, and he was just as sweet as Kai.  He seemed a bit amused when I told him I'd gotten his autograph last year while dressed as a Clockwork Droid.  After I left his table, I pulled out my iPhone to text my husband, and as I brushed some hair out of my face, a crumpled piece of paper fell out of my hair.  I almost died!  I had checked myself in the mirror before venturing over to Gareth's table!  However, on closer inspection, it was a gum wrapper that I'd had in my pocket, so I think it got caught on my iPhone and fluttered off as I reached up to my hair.  I hope so.  Oh god, I hope Gareth wasn't smiling at me because I had junk in my hair!

About two minutes after that, some nerd hit on my and shook my hand, tainting the hand that Gareth had just shaken.  ARGH!

Peter Tork from the Monkees was also there, and one of my friends is a big fan, so instead of buying her an autograph (which really doesn't mean much unless you get it yourself), I bought her a video message!  He was fantastic and super nice, and I am so grateful that he was willing to do something a little out of the ordinary.  Yeah, I know he was making money off of it, but some stars are very picky.

I also picked up some fantastic Doctor Who artwork from Kurt Wood.  I'm not into comics - even when I read the Buffy comics, I mostly ignore the artwork - but I was really attracted to his drawings of the Tenth Doctor.  (I also got an Eleventh Doctor and Amy poster for Matt.)

All in all, it was a long weekend, my feet still hurt, my shoulder hurts from carrying around the bag, and I'm just plain exhausted - but I had a lot of fun.  I'm not sure I would go back, but I definitely have Con Fever (the good kind, not anything contagious) and can't wait to see Gareth again at Dragon*Con (god, he's going to think I'm stalking him) as well as Lea Thompson.  I'm trying to decide if I should get a photo op with her and wear my Lorraine Baines dress ... Also, I'm really excited for ChicagoTARDIS, even if no one I know shows up, just because I like to lurk in corners and scare people!  Although, I know Toby Hadoke is booked, and I'm loving his book Running Through Corridors, in which he and Rob Shearman go through classic Doctor Who one episode at a time (which is what Matt and I are currently doing). 

That's all, I'll be back soon with photos of my brand new Clockwork Droid mask, wig, and shoes.  And dang it, I just found a new photo that shows that all the ruffles are lace - not sure if I want to go and replace all of my current ruffles or not ... decisions, decisions ...