Day Two at Emerald City Comic Con began with a failed attempt to get into Wil Wheaton’s 90 Minute Awesome Hour. The panel was so popular, we were unable to get into either one of the two back-to-back presentations.
We ended up wandering the show floor aimlessly for a bit, taking a few cosplay photos here and there, before finally deciding to grab some lunch and head back to the main hall (4A) for the Warehouse 13 panel with Eddie McClintock.
We arrived at the hall a little early, and actually caught the tail-end of The Walking Dead panel with Jon Bernthal (Shane) and Laurie Holden (Andrea). They both seemed nice enough, especially Jon, who was getting the majority of the questions as his character’s arc had ended with the season 2 finale. Nothing revelatory came out of the last five minutes of questions. Mostly just well-wishing for Jon and excitement for the new season.
Eddie was super personable and a treat to watch. He admitted right out of the gate that he’d been instructed not to spoil anything for the new season of WH13, and then promptly announced that he was going to disregard the direction. Naturally, this garnered many cheers. Eddie was determined not to be constrained by standard panel rules and, during the Q&A, grabbed a mic and actually left the stage to speak to the questioners face-to-face. He offered hugs and handshakes and kept running from stage right to left to give each person his full attention and presence.
Finally, the con volunteers had reached a state of apoplexy and the moderator quietly asked Eddie to please finish the Q&A from the stage. He complied, but continued to stand, running back and forth across the stage to get as close to the fans asking questions as he could.
I know this is the type of thing that drives convention personnel up the wall, but I LOVE it when the Talent does this. By being completely open and willing to “mingle” with fans, Eddie actually guaranteed a smooth and enjoyable panel.
Even though he threw down the gauntlet with his willingness to offer spoilers for the new season, hardly anyone inquired of any truly “spoiler-y” information. The most spoiler-ific questions anyone asked were regarding whether certain actors would be appearing again. If Eddie knew the answer, he gave it, if not, he admitted ignorance and you could tell he wasn’t lying, or being shady.
Ok, so here are the “spoilers” Eddie offered… I don’t think they’re that big a deal, but still, you have been warned.
Q: With the destruction of Warehouse 13 at the end of last season, will the new facility be named 14?
A: The name of the show is Warehouse 13, that’s not changing. The new facility has some surprises, but the name isn’t one of them.
Q: Will Kate Mulgrew be back?
A: Yes. I keep trying to convince the producers that Bruce Campbell should totally play my dad. Hasn’t worked yet, but I think I can wear them down.
Q: Will there be any cross-overs with Eureka characters, even though Eureka has been cancelled?
A: Not that I’m aware of. I’d love a cross-over with Alphas, though.
Q: Did the dog survive the explosion of the Warehouse?
A: There was a secret doggie-door in the back he got out through. Kidding. But seriously, dude, we’re not gonna kill a dog. Yes, he survived.
Q: Will Jinx be back?
A: He’s so important to Pete, I think he has to be.
Q: Will the relationship between Pete and Micah evolve into something more?
A: I really hope not. I’ve told the writers that I hope not. I think it would be a mistake. They really are more “brother/sister”, and I think changing that would seriously mess things up for the show.
Finally, not so much a spoiler as an “everyone was wondering the same thing” question:
Q: Is the [sexual] tension between H.G. and Micah on purpose?
A: The writers totally know what they are doing there. But, I will say that I think it’s more of a deep, mutual, respect for each other [between HG and Micah] as strong, intelligent women than genuine sexual tension.
I don’t know what to make of that answer. If you’re a fan of the show then you know what the questioner was talking about. If the writer’s “totally know what they are doing” than that poses the follow-up, then WHY would it only be “deep, mutual, respect” when it reads on screen as SO MUCH MORE. Seriously, every time they share screen time, I keep expecting one of them to say, “step any closer and I’m gonna kiss your face” or something.
If there is anyone that I regret NOT getting an autograph from it’s Eddie. He is the nicest, funniest, chillest dude and just a guy I’d love to hang out with (although not get a beer with because he’s 12 years sober).
We had a little time to kill between panels, so we headed back down to the Signing Floor to scope out the lines. Wil’s was impossibly long, as was Summer Glau’s (River from Firefly), and Jon Bernthal’s, however Laurie Holden’s was surprisingly short. I actually felt a little bad for her not having as many fans as Jon (apparently), so I decided – being a fan of the show in general – to pay her a visit.
Well, I’m gonna be honest. Laurie did not seem like she wanted to be there. Maybe her ego was a little bruised at the low turn-out to her table, I dunno, but she sat there smacking her gum like a valley girl and completely aloof to the proceedings. I went out of my way to compliment her acting skills (to the unnecessary point of almost gushing) because I wanted to brighten her mood a little, and she just said, “Yeah, well, thanks.”
Admittedly, I don’t know what was going on inside her head at the moment – she might have just found out her goldfish died, or her flight was cancelled, or something – but I still think she would have benefited from a quick read of Wil Wheaton’s Guide to How to Behave at Conventions. Especially Rules Four and Five.
After this (the second day in a row leaving the media signing room with a WTF just happened feeling) we headed over to a small, pleasant, panel spotlighting Lady Death comic creator, Brian Pulido.
Much like the Robert Kirkman panel on day one, this panel had no moderator and Mr. Pulido held the floor solo. He started off giving a circuitous history of his career, often mixing up dates in his timeline – I was almost certain he’d secretly discovered the ability to time-travel between the early 90’s and 2000’s at one point. Finally, I was able to figure out that when he said 2002, most of the time he meant 1992, and when he said 1992, he may have been referring to 1989.
Time crises aside, Brian Pulido was a decent speaker – clearly very passionate about his books, and open about both his successes and his failures. He’d started his own independent comic publishing company in a time when it was MUCH harder to do so, and with absolutely no clue what he was doing; you’ve got to respect that kind of drive and determination against such odds.
After the Pulido Panel, we hoofed it back over to the main hall to get in line for the George Takei panel – which was certain to be packed.
George Takei, man. What a guy. What an AWESOME guy! I could listen to him read the phone book. I just wish that the convention planners hadn’t thought it was a good idea to hire Danny Bonaduce to moderate. Danny refers to himself as “The Duce” (pronounced “dooch”) which is sort of appropriate because it closely sounds like “douche” – which he is.
The “Duce” literally tried to make George’s interview about himself. Every time George made a reference to an event in his career, Danny felt he needed to compare it to his own and how awesome he was. “George, you were on Howard Stern – I was on Howard Stern! You speak Japanese, I know one phrase! Score for the Duce!”
Anyway, the real interview started when the floor was opened up to the fans. Someone asked about the musical George is producing called Allegiance. It’s about the Japanese Internment camps in America during WWII. George and his family were forced to live in one. George was only five at the time, but the experience left an indelible mark on him. George worked with composer/lyricist Jay Kuo and writer/producer Lorenzo Thorne to create the musical which is now in rehearsals for its world premier at The Old Globe in San Diego, CA. I encourage to learn more about it.
Another fan asked about his work for LGBT rights, and George spent a good deal of time discussing his “It’s OK to be Takei” movement, which is a direct response to the new Tennessee law prohibiting teachers in public schools from using the word “gay” in discussions about sexuality. Seriously, the word is illegal. So George launched a campaign authorizing the use of his name in substitution for “gay”, because he’s a proud member of the LGBT community, and his last name happens to rhyme with gay. It’s pronounced “Tah-kay” not “Tah-KI”.
As a worthy follow-up, a fan gifted George with a lovely purple sash with the golden words, “It’s OK to be Takei” painted on it. He wore it for the remainder of the panel. So. Awesome.
That wrapped up Day Two.
Day Three was essentially me standing in two lines for signatures. One, Wil Wheaton and two, George Takei.
Wil was very nice, and very rushed. The guy had hundreds of fans to get through, and not a lot of time to make it happen. He was scheduled really tightly between signing and photo ops, and he really did the best he could to give each fan his full, if brief, attention. By the time I got up to him, he looked pretty ragged out, but was still smiling, polite and appreciative of the attention. We didn’t say much to each other, except what I’d like him to sign, and where, and a quick “nice to meet you, thanks for coming” and still I felt like he’d given me his full attention. If you have the chance to meet him, do.
George Takei is the coolest dude ever. Despite having a line equal to Wil’s, he spent almost a full minute with me (in fairness, he didn’t have as tight a schedule as Wil). I was actually feeling guilty for the attention. We chatted about his work in LGBT rights, and he made the incredibly valid point that we aren’t truly free in America until ALL of us are free. I thanked him for being a true patriot, and then we talked about his awesome April Fool’s joke from his Facebook page. If you missed it, here’s a link. I shook his hand, and cradled my newly signed 8×10 close as I walked away.
On the way out of the convention, I stopped to buy a couple of art pieces (including a personalized, signed by the artist copy of Jim Henson’s A Tale of Sand), and took a few more cosplay photos.
And then I (finally) headed home. I was exhausted. But it was soooo worth it!!
Here are the combined cosplay pics from Days Two and Three:
And finally, my favorite mash-up cosplay of ALL TIME:
Everyone sing with me (to the tune of the Star Wars theme)
Meep meep meep meep MEEP meepmeepmeep MEEP meep!
Meepmeepmeep MEEP meep!
Meep Meep Meep Meeeeeeep!