Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Photo-Journal of Salt Lake Comic Con 2014: At Comic Con No One Can Hear You Fart

I recently attended the second annual Salt Lake Comic Con. It was a hoot!

Here are a few of the things I learned while mingling with the masses at Utah's greatest nerd event:

1. At Comic Con, no one can hear you fart. And if you think someone might smell it, just blame it on the nearest passing person dressed as Deadpool. (Don't worry, one will be coming along any second.)

2. At Comic Con, you never know who you are going to meet.
I met this strange, creepy-looking creature.
(Oh, and Gollum was there, too.)

3. Do you like standing in line? Then you definitely need to check out Comic Con!
This was either:
A. The line to get in to Comic Con.
B. The line for a photo-op with Barbara Eden.
3. The line for the water fountain.
Or, D. The line to figure out which line you should be in.

4. At Comic Con, no one is afraid of a giant marshmallow man.
Who you gonna call?

5. It's not just anywhere that you can pose for a picture with KITT from Knight Rider. (Unless you like to wander random parking lots looking for old black sports cars.)
I'm trying my best to look Hasselhoffian. (But not succeeding.)

6. My nerd credentials are impeccable. I've been to multiple Comic Cons. I've been to multiple Star Trek conventions. I had (until recently) a collection of around 5,000 comic books. I wear a calculator watch. And yet, I didn't know who half of the people were dressed up as, and I felt a bit out of place because I've never seen a single episode of Dr. Who. (And I don't like Deadpool.)
Doubling up on my nerdism: Comic Con wristband and calculator watch!

7. Did I mention you get to see some of your favorite celebrities?
Sometimes they're taller in real life than you expected.

8. Erin Gray (from Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons) was beautiful and charming at her celebrity panel. My friend Daren made her laugh when he asked a question about her participation on The Battle of the Network Stars. His question: "What were you thinking?" Her answer: "What was I thinking? I wanted to win!!!"
Erin Gray: Beautiful woman and fierce competitor.

9. It's not every day you get to spend money featuring characters from The Princess Bride.
Wait, that's not Abraham Lincoln!!!

10. Spandex is a good thing.

Artist Sal Velutto talking with "The Ghost Who Walks."

11. There was even some fun stuff for the kids!
Elsa on stage with Lady Skull and Iron Man.

12. It's not every day the kids can pose next to a robot they've never heard of from a show that went off the air 40 years before they were born. ("Biddi-biddi-biddi.")
"Win This Twiki!" (We did not actually win this Twiki. Or any other Twiki, for that matter.)

13. There were a lot of cool celebrities there. I was a cheapskate and didn't pay any extra money to get a photo-op or autograph. We did occasionally lurk to see which celebrities were manning their booths. Kevin Sorbo is a legend. Not only did he play the legendary Hercules, but he was legendarily manning his booth every time we walked by!
Getting a picture of Bruce Campbell's booth while Bruce Campbell wasn't there. (Does that make me frugal, stupid, cheap, or all of the above?)

14. This statue of an Orc was anatomically correct! (Actually, I don't know whether that's true or not. But when I made that joke my friend felt the need to look under this Orc's loin cloth.)
The security guards at Comic Con this year were pretty intense.

15. There were lots and lots of people dressed as superheroes and super villains. The most common costumes for females? Black Widow, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy. (Poison Ivy: a few strategically placed fig leaves and some green spandex and you're ready to go!) Male costumes? Batman, Spider-Man, and several Thors. Also, and I never understand this, but there were several people, male and female, dressed as Robin. Robin? Really? (And, of course, all those clowns dressed as Deadpool.)
The best way to give Iron Man a headache and stop him in his tracks? Make him stare at the Salt Palace Convention Center carpet.

16. Barbara Eden (here with I Dream of Jeannie co-star Bill Dailey) was quite entertaining and still very lovely. She told wonderful stories of meeting Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.
News flash from Barbara Eden: The late Tony Randall cheated at gin rummy!

17. You want giant statues of trolls? Or possibly Orcs? Golems? Large ugly creatures? Well then, Comic Con is the place for you! (Not that I should be judging these creatures based solely on their physical appearance. They might be quite friendly and fun-loving for all I know.)
"You put your left foot in and you shake it all about."

18. Oh, come on, who hasn't built a life-size Superman or Wonder Woman out of Legos?
"That Superman sure is a blockhead," thought Wonder Woman.

19. Do you like crowds of people? How about crowds of people with at least one person dressed as "My Little Pony?" Come on down to Comic Con! (Hint: the pony is just to the right of the guy in the fez.)
Lots o' peoples!

20. Stan Lee, icon of Marvel Comics and co-creator (with his various artists) of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, the Avengers, Daredevil, Dr. Doom, Paste Pot Pete, and many others, answered questions at Comic Con. He's pretty spry for 91 years old! (It would have been nice if they had moderated the questions asked to him a bit better. It ended up being a long line of people who wanted to get hugs from him.)

After Salt Lake Comic Con was over, the organizers made a big deal out of quoting Stan Lee as saying it was "the greatest comic con in the world!" Sounds great, doesn't it? The problem is, Stan Lee speaks in fluent hyperbole, and has done so for well over 50 years. (It only took him three issues of Fantastic Four to declare it as the "World's Greatest Comic Magazine" in a blurb on the cover!) He has been to hundreds of comic cons, and he's probably called at least 75% of them the "greatest comic con in the world!" It's just how he talks. (That's not to say it wasn't a great comic con, just that Stan Lee probably called his lunch the "greatest macaroni and cheese in the world!")
Sorry it's blurry, but for a 91 year old man Stan Lee doesn't sit still very much.

21. Only at Comic Con can you have the Greatest Comicbook Artist Ever drop an f-bomb on you while trying to sell you an autographed copy of his latest Batman book! (Neal Adams told us the story would "f*%# with our minds.") (I didn't buy it. I didn't want my mind to be "f*#@& with.")
That's Neal Adams sitting at the table.

22. At Comic Con, you never know what kind of new friends you might make!

(I didn't dress up much. The closest I got to a costume was this Star Trek shirt that I wore on the first day. Interestingly enough, I wore a Minnesota Vikings shirt on the second day, and got three times more positive comments about it than I did the Star Trek shirt.) (I blame J.J. Abrams.)
Here's me and my bud Gollum having some fun together.  May he live long and prosper.

23. Only the best and the brightest attend Comic Con!
I met this brilliant, wise man at Comic Con.
(His name is Gandalf. I don't know why he was standing next to that strange, creepy-looking creature.)

24. And finally, at Comic Con you'll find some things that just can't be explained:
It's a stormtrooper helmet made up to look like the General Lee from the show Dukes of Hazzard.
A stormtrooper helmet made to look like the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard???
Yes, that's right, it's a stormtrooper helmet made to look like the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard!!!
(To quote the great philosopher Charlie Daniels, "There's some things in this world you just can't explain.")