Friday, April 11, 2014

St. Louis Comic Con 2014

If I had to use one word to describe St. Louis Comic Con 2014, I'd probably say surreal. Then I'd quickly follow it with amazing, exhausting, exciting, and awesome. Really I could go on and on and on with all the wonderful adjectives but suffice to say, I am one lucky girl. The weekend was downright fantastic.

Wizard World STL in 2014 was several times larger and definitely more badass than 2013. For starters the vendors and artist alley was held inside Edward Jones Dome instead of on the convention center floor which served as the entry to the con this year. From the moment I stepped onto the floor, I could feel the con energy. There's something about a nerd dressed in cosplay surrounded by her people. And while I was bouncing off the walls for at least a month prior to the con, when the day finally came I was calm cool and collected because I was finally in my element, finally home. It’s the best feeling in the world to be in the place where you know you belong.

Stargate Sg-1
After getting our wristbands and waiting in line for the con to officially start, the lines finally started to move. We wandered the vendors and artists alley for a bit, looking at geeky tshirts, toys (yeah I still REALLY want a lightsaber), and awesome art! I even ran into the awesome Heather Brewer who was signing books and giving away swag! It was also fun to check out all the people in cosplay. In general there’s tons to see and explore.
Ghostbusters cosplay
After that we went to a Doctor Who panel followed by a panel on the psychology of science fiction. Both were really interesting. And then it was time to head home and rest up for day 2!

Day 2
When we arrived we waited in line to get in. Then we wandered the vendor floor again and I got my picture taken for the online cosplay contest. After that we headed over to the theater to wait for the awesome panels. As much as waiting in line sucks, I always ALWAYS meet the most awesome people. And day 2 was no exception. We met fellow whovians and other sci fi fans, and honestly when you put a bunch of nerds in a room together they will never fail to find something to talk about. We talked everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Doctor Who while we waited to get into the theater.

And then once again the line finally moved! We found our seats on the first balcony and waited for the first panel, Eliza Dushku. I loved her in Dollhouse and Bring it On but I honestly had no idea what to expect from her. She was surprisingly very funny. She talked about Buffy, Dollhouse, even Bring it On as well as the difference between working for James Cameron and Joss Whedon. She joked about how her hair was her superpower and her comfort zone (which call me crazy but I can totally relate too) and how Joss Whedon loved to take her out of her comfort zone by frequently putting her hair up in Dollhouse. She later got a tattoo on the back of her neck so that every time they’d want to do that they’d have to put her through 30 minutes of makeup. Check out a brief clip from her panel below.

Next up was the Sean Astin panel. He mostly talked Lord or the Rings but there was a a couple questions about Goonies, which was fun because someone asked about what he thought about the possibility of Goonies two and if he’d want to be involved. He responded “It’ll be sooner rather than later.” And sure enough 4 or so questions later, someone said they had announced online that Goonies two would happen. Astin’s response “What did I say before? Sooner rather than later.” In general Sean seemed very down to Earth and loved interacting with the fans. Check out a clip from his panel below.

And then it was time for the main event! Matt Smith’s panel. The theater filled to capacity and after a sonic salute, Matt took the stage. There was a lot of I love you’s and some awesome questions from the fans during this panel. Matt was a lot of fun and a great sport about all the crazy fan love. I recorded his whole panel so check it out below.

And then it was time to rush out of the theater and stand in line again. This time to meet Matt Smith. We tagged up with some friends and did a lot of people watching while we waited in line for his autograph. And finally FINALLY it was my turn.

Matt looked up at me and the first thing out of his mouth was “Are you an expendable?”

I laughed and said “No I'm an incredible”

He said, “Oh right, the Disney thing. Is expendable even a thing?”

I said “Yes.”

Although very different, close enough Matt I’ll give it to you. I said nice meeting you and we were off and back to wandering the vendors.

After another panel that shall remain nameless because it was badly organized and rather insulting, it was time for me to line up for the costume contest. Now let me pause here for a minute to explain a few things.

1) I hate HATE being the center of attention
2) I hate HATE being on stage
3) I’m a huge HUGE introvert
4) I could go on and on with reasons why this is out of my wheelhouse but I think you get the point.

So why I subjected myself to the costume contest I’ll never know. Maybe it was because I was super excited about my Violet Parr costume or because I felt like I was in my element. I’m not really sure, but when it came time to line up in my spot Lucky Number 2 (no not daunting at all!) I started to freak out. Especially since the people I was with filed into the theater and I was alone. Okay not really alone, I was surrounded by a couple hundred awesome cosplayers but not gonna lie I felt kind of alone. AND NERVOUS. But I quickly made friends with those around me. A girl dressed as Poison Ivy and a fantastic family dressed as Firefly. If it wasn’t for them I might have walked away in a ball of tears. Not only did they calm my nerves without even knowing it but they made the whole experience fun, no not just fun AWESOME. We had a mini dance party back stage while we waited to be announced and then I strutted my confident Incredible (pun intended) self onto the stage and struck my pose!

Me as Violet Parr in the Cosplay Contest
Then I exited stage right and joined my fellow cosplayers in the upper balcony. I sat next to the firefly clan and we had a massive dance party in the penthouse of the theater as we cheered on the rest of the cosplay contestants. It was a complete blast! I didn’t win anything but I’m so SO unbelievably glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and did this. It was 100% worth it.
The Firefly cosplayers
After the contest we jetted off for some food at Pi and ran into none other than Sean Patrick Flannery. I eyed him from across the room but gave the guy his space. He didn’t need some crazy fans interrupting his dinner. But as luck would have it, his group was exiting at the same time we were. I looked at him said I’m a huge fan and he said thank you and walked off back to the convention center. We followed and hung out with other con attendees at the after party in on of the boxes at the dome, then headed home thoroughly exhausted.

Day 3
Before we knew it we were back in line to get into the con. I met some other lovely con goers who just so happened to be big Arrow fans. So we talked about how awesome the series is and how worthless the Lance girls are (okay not worthless, but if you watch the show you can understand the dislike). And then it was time to enter the con for the final day.

We headed back to the autograph area and I jumped in line to meet Nathan Fillion. We weren’t sure if there would be time to meet him after all the VIPs but before his photo ops but we got really lucky and squeezed in at the end. The poor guy was nursing a cold but despite that he was really nice and appreciative of the fans.

Two people in front of us he stopped and said “Snot break.” Then ducked under the table with a tissue and proceeded to take care of his nose blowing. His manager/agent whoever she was stood waiting with the hand sanitizer. And then he went on to shake the next person’s hand in line and wiped a ton of the excess all over the guy shaking his hand and saying “Nice to meet you!” Definitely a really surreal moment. I know actors are people too, but this was proof that he’s just a regular guy. Then it was my turn, I shook his hand, said I was a big fan and that is was nice to meet him and we were on our way.

And it was back to the theater to wait in line again for more awesome panels! First up was another Doctor Who panel led by St. Louis’s Doctor Who fan club the CIA. No not that CIA, but the Celestial Intervention Agency. It’s a classic Who reference for those unfamiliar. I also learned that St. Louis has the longest continuous Doctor Who fan club in North America. Which is pretty cool. The answered questions from the crowd about classic and new who and what they thought about the newest doctor, Peter Capaldi.

After that Karen Gillan took the stage to talk about Doctor Who, Occulus, and Guardians of the Galaxy. She also seemed really down to Earth. She talked about working with Matt and their final filming and her appearance on Matt’s last episode. She said she really just wanted to be there for him. Cue the Awwww’s. Check out some clips from her Q&A below.

And then it was time for the panel I’d been waiting for all weekend. The Firefly panel. I knew it was going to be amazing! And it truly was! Unfortunately Summer Glau had to fly out early, so we were treated to a boys night with Adam Baldwin, Nathan Fillion, and Alan Tudyk. You can tell these three are friends and they were having a lot of fun up there. They mostly answered questions about Firefly and talked about working on set. And Alan gave away free signed “shit” including butt wipes, which apparently are good for removing the bags under your eyes. Oh and Nathan Fillion may have dropped a hint about Guardians of the Galaxy… just maybe. But I could go on and on about how awesome this panel was. And in fact you can see how awesome it was in the video below!

And after the Firefly panel, it was sadly time to go home. Well not too sad because it was an amazing AMAZING weekend. Utterly exhausting, but full of so much awesome! And after all the excitement I went home and slept for a million years. Oh and I also blew up the internet… but that’s a story for another time ;).

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