After battling traffic for hours and a hotel mix-up, we ventured forth trudging through the intense humidity toward the welcoming AC of the convention center. It’s true that attendance was smaller than last year, due in part to the convention being rescheduled on a holiday weekend, but as Yoda said, “Size matters not….” If anything, it made it more enjoyable with shorter lines and more loot for me. Cool swag was still selling like hot cakes; a shirt by Ramos sold out of my size on day 1. If you don’t know, his shirts are all limited runs, so if you like it you better pull the trigger because you probably won’t get another chance. From my many talks with him, I can tell he is passionate about family, 80’s pop culture and is an all round nice guy since he listened to me cry about not getting a shirt all three days, lol. Look him up at a convention near you.
I also have to give a shout-out to Tim aka Ninjaink and Lady Ninjaink. Both were super cool and had awesome stories to tell, but not all were said in front of the camera. That’s why you need to go to events. The interactions and experiences when the camera is off are priceless. My last featured artist is Guy Gilchrist. He not only knows how to rock, but he draws and freaking helped create many 80’s and 90’s characters we grew up with. This legendary man is literally an architect of my childhood and I’m willing to bet he helped shape yours too. The Muppet Babies, and the cartoon versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are just a couple of the many works he had a hand in. He’s very humble and loves his fans. I saw him interacting with some kids and it was heart-warming. I can go on and on about him and a little joke we shared but just look him up, and stop by and say hi if you get the chance.
The panels were great and considering I hadn’t seen most of the celebrities at any convention I was excited about the line up. My only regret is that I couldn’t physically attend every single panel they had. Ian McDiarmid didn’t disappoint while doing his Emperor voice as fan service to work the crowd and Peter Mayhew’s bigfoot story had me rolling. Learning about how Sean and Corey pitched a Goonies sequel was one of those “only at comic con” moments, and as Ke Huy Quan said, they had really given it a lot of thought. I really wanted to meet Dolph Lundgren but didn’t get the chance. His panel with Carl Weathers was great though. Carl sure has buffed up since Happy Gilmore. Oh the big surprise for me was Nestor Carbonell. My wife and daughter love him in Bates Motel and Lost. Honestly I just thought, “oh they just want to meet some hunky guy.” Then my wife pointed out that he was Batmanuel on The Tick and I went from zero to geeking out in .0001 seconds. I was so loud, I distracted him slightly from talking with the people ahead of us but Nestor found it amusing; I saw him chuckling as I was freaking out. He talked with me a bit and I invited myself into my wife’s photo with him, lol.
All in all, I had a great time. The stars and exhibitors were nice and the staff were friendly and outgoing. I can’t wait until the next one.