Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wonder Woman and Shaking Hands with the Hulk

Amazing weekend. Some stuff I just have to write about while it’s fresh in my brain. I didn’t get a chance to blog about the deeply cool stuff that happened at Fencon because the day job ate my life for a while. Maybe I’ll still do a retroactive post on it later. And I know, I’m behind on Damson Dragon posts, but it’s for a very good reason, Austin Comic Con was this weekend!

It all started last week when I went on a day job business trip to Las Vegas. Walking from the Luxor where I was staying, to the Mandalay Bay, where the convention was, involved walking through a shopping mall. Each day, I passed a window dummy wearing a nice Wonder Woman costume. I have wanted a Wonder Woman costume since I was 10. But I’ve tried to find one many times before. I’m no petite size 5. They never carry those things big enough to cover my .. um  .. assets. So, I sighed and kept walking. Finally, on the last day, I went in and gave it a shot. Not only did they have the costume in my size, it was on sale. Score!

A little white electrical tape on some old red gogo boots buried in the back of my closet and a new dark brown wig, et voila! I went to Comic Con as Wonder Woman! I ran into dear friend Jarrett Crippen, the “Who Wants to Be a Superhero” winner, creator of “The Protectors” universe hero TakeDown, and director of my favorite charity, Scare for a Cure. Jarrett was wearing a pink bow tie, since we all know that bowties are cool, and doing his thing as Wizard World MC and costume contest organizer. He made an appearance the next day in his Defuser spandex and armor, but I missed the chance to grab a pic unfortunately. You’ll have to settle for his MC suit.

If you look closely at what Jarrett’s holding, you’ll see that he, too, is a massive geek, as if that weren’t already common knowledge. You see, there were some folks from this obscure TV show called Star Trek The Next Generation. But you wouldn’t want to hear about that entire cast being all in one building at the same time for the first time since the series ended. Or, maybe you would, but while I got to see them all, I was at a booth most of the con, so seeing them from a distance was about all I got to do. Will Wheaton wandered the floor for a bit, and I hoped he might swing by, but alas, it was not to be. Jarrett, on the other hand, since he does some work for Wizard World on the weekends, when he’s not keeping Austin safe from criminals, actually knows some of the folks from TNG. He’s got a pic and post on his facebook of the back of Patrick Stewart and John De Lancie’s heads as they drove him in a golf cart to his interview at a con, and talking about how surreal that felt.

I shared the booth of my friends and fellow “The Protectors” writers, Alan J. Porter (@alanjporter) and Rick Klaw (@rickklaw). Alan did especially well with his Bond, Star Trek, and Beatles books as well as being a big hit with the kids with his Cars comics. Tony Stark seemed particularly fascinated by the Bond books. He came by twice. Maybe he and Bond are friends.

Wonder Paige also got to hang a bit with my favorite Doctor.

The Protectors” sold quite well. It helped that, in addition to me, Alan & Rick, Jarrett, Dave Justus, and Zach Spivey were all there to sign them. So, anyone who got a book at the show, could collect autographs from about half the contributors all at once.

I chatted with Matthew Sturges (@matt_sturges), Mark Finn (@FinnsWake), and Will Conrad (@willconrad). They’re all in for contributing to “The Protectors” upcoming sequel, “The All-American Alliance.” The first Protectors universe book is barely out there, and I’m already gearing up for the next one. Loving this shared universe.

I did a quick interview with Eric Stewart, a Scare for a Cure friend, who did a series of podcast interviews from the Con floor. I don’t have the link for it, yet, but will post it as soon as I do.

I took a ton of pictures, like you do at Comic Con, of very cool costumes mainly. 

The Sesame Street martians were particularly awesome. Stayed in character all day. If asked for a picture, they'd say, "Yup, yup, yup." If handed something, they'd eat it.

But one of the most enjoyable moments, I didn’t get a picture of. Lou Ferigno is a friend of Jarrett’s, and he says a lot of nice things about him. So, when Lou’s autograph line was short, I went up and chatted with him a bit:

“Hi, I’m a friend of Jarrett Crippen’s.”

“What?” Lots of background noise at a con.
I leaned in close enough to whisper in his ear and said very clearly. “Jarrett Crippen is a friend of mine.”

“Oh, Jarrett, yeah. He’s a great guy.” Shakes my hand. He’s got great hands, very warm and strong, and looks absolutely amazing for a guy his age, or any age for that matter.

“Jarrett says a lot of nice things about you, so I just wanted to say hello.”

“Nice to meet you,” still holding my hand. He looks at the Wonder Woman get up. “Aren’t you cold?”

“No, not at all. This wig is really warm.”

He nods knowingly. “I know.”

I grin. “You would know, wouldn’t you?”

He chuckles and shakes my hand again as more folks line up for his autograph. “It was great meeting you. Tell Jarrett I said, Hi.”

Short conversation with a very nice man.

Austin Comic Con isn’t the massive madhouse of Comic Con in San Diego. I walked up and chit chatted with my childhood hero, Lindsay Wagner for about 10 minutes last year. It’s the same awesome guests, costumes, comics, creators and kitsch, without the insane crowds. It’s a little slice of geek nirvana. I had a blast. See ya there next year!


Added this as a comment, but the images don't show up that way, so:
Jarrett came back on Sunday in his full superhero spandex. He's been working out a bunch and looked fabulous. I didn't get any pics, but other folks did. In this one, he's holding up his two superhero in training grandbabies. Yup, you heard that right. The Defuser, and creator of TakeDown, is a grandfather. I still wouldn't suggest taking him on in a fight, though:

While he was at Comic Con, The Defuser was forced to apprehend a dangerous criminal. It seems that Will Conrad was a supervillain in disguise. Who knew?