On Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11, Kurt and I went down to Orlando, Florida for one of their biggest conventions: MegaCon. MegaCon, despite some lingering logistic issues, was a great time. My sister, Geekella: Art by Dina Cavicchia, had a booth in Artist’s Alley, so we also got to experience MegaCon on Thursday evening behind the scenes, because we went to help her and her friend Erin Denton, who runs Purrito Press and was in the booth right next to her, set up. Seeing the con on Thursday, with all the exhibitors, artists, and vendors coming and going with boxes, carts, giant bags, and all sorts of things in disarray, and then seeing it on Friday morning was amazing. It’s really interesting to see how much work goes into setting up shop and perfecting your booth before the con opens. Even Dina’s simpler booth setup took at least 4 hours to perfect. Watching the artists try to display their wares in a friendly and inviting way with such limited space was intriguing. And the vendors and exhibitors with the big booths simply awed me. Some of the vendors had so much stuff in their space, that it blew my mind to think how long it took them to set it up.
On Friday morning, we walked right in about half an hour after opening. We picked up our wristbands the night before, so there was no waiting at all for us. Because almost all the media guests we wanted to see weren’t there until Saturday, we did most of our looking and shopping on Friday. One of my biggest passions is The Legend of Zelda video game series for Nintendo, and I always try to pick something up at a con. I found two beautiful figurines of Link and Ganondorf from The Twilight Princess, and after much debating on whether I wanted to take such a hit on my wallet, I decided that I did. We are transforming our downstairs room into our nerd lounge, so these two will look great on the shelves I’ll have dedicated to The Legend of Zelda. I also got to meet the voice actors from my favorite cartoon show growing up, Animaniacs. Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, and Tress MacNeille were so incredibly amazing. All three spoke in their respective character voices of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot and were just hilarious to speak with. They really made my Friday experience awesome.
The one panel we made it to all weekend was the Cary Elwes panel. Cary Elwes has been one of my favorite actors since I saw Robin Hood: Men in Tights back in 1993. There’s a whole other blog I’ll write about my experience meeting him at Comicpalooza last May and how he’s the only celebrity I’ve ever gotten emotional about meeting and cried in front of him, but for now, I’ll just say that his panel was FANTASTIC. He was utterly charming. Of course, I’ve read As You Wish, his autobiography focusing on the making of The Princess Bride, and he told some of the stories from the book. It was so fabulous to hear him tell the stories, and the best part was that when he quoted what others said, like Rob Reiner or André the Giant, he did so in their voices. Who knew he was so good at voice acting?! When the audience Q&A happened, he made each person feel like their question was unique and that he was absolutely thrilled to answer it. He was so genuine and so happy and twice he came down and hugged the person asking the question. The first time it was a newlywed on her honeymoon and the second time it was a 12-year-old girl. He face and the emotional tears she got mirrored mine from Comicpalooza, and I teared up just thinking about how happy he made that girl. I could go on and on about Cary, but I’ll stop for the sake of brevity. I will say he said working on Psych was his hardest job because James Roday and Dulé Hill were so hilarious, that it was hard for him to keep a straight face.
On Saturday, we arrived about an hour after opening. I immediately got in line to get Stan Lee’s autograph on my Mallrats poster. After waiting about 20 minutes, they cut the line in half because no one bothered to stop the line earlier, because Stan had a photo-op at 12:30pm, and it was 12:18pm. After wasting that time, I decided to get into Alex Kingston’s line. It took me until about 12:35pm to make it over to her area, because the place was jammed packed with people from all walks of the universe, aka cosplayers. Some of the costumes were breathtaking, especially the sheer amount of detail in many of the costumes. Alex was at lunch, but I figured I’d wait anyway since she was one of the guests I was looking forward to the most. After 45 minutes, she came out and greeted us with, “Hello, Sweeties!” much to the delight of all us Whovians. She was so sweet and signed both my Doctor Who poster and an 8×10 of her as River Song.
I was starving as it was about 2pm now. I quickly grabbed a personal pan pizza and got back in the extremely long line for Stan Lee. I’d met Stan twice before, but I really wanted him to sign my Mallrats poster that I recently got Shannen Doherty and Jeremy London to sign. He didn’t sign by his picture, which was okay because there was more room at the top, but the girl that gave out the official Stan Lee photograph stickers just randomly stuck it on Kevin Smith aka Silent Bob. I was so pissed; I mean, couldn’t she stuck it by his name, at least?! She wasn’t even paying attention and just slapped it on my poster. I was so furious I couldn’t even say anything, but I really wanted to make a scene and tell her that our autographed items actually mean something to us, so maybe she should actually take her job a bit more seriously. Anyway, as for Stan himself, he was great. He’s willing to do and sign anything for his fans. He even signed one guy’s back so the guy could go get a tattoo over the signature! I really appreciate Stan Lee for everything he does for his fans and for realizing how much his comics mean to so many people.
In the meantime, Kurt had met Grey DeLisle to get her to sign an 11×14 of Selena Kyle aka Catwoman from Batman: Arkham City. Kevin Conroy, who voices Batman, will be at Fan Expo Dallas, so that’ll be a cool piece for Kurt to own, since Arkham City is one of his favorite games. In fact, Tara Strong (Harley Quinn) will be in Dallas too, and we’re meeting Mark Hamill (Joker) at Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim next weekend, so Kurt is on his way to meeting the majority of the voice actors. Arkham City is a game that Kurt often uses to teach the complexities of computer science to his classes. In other words, it’s more than a game to him. Kurt also met Mark Boone Junior. from Sons of Anarchy, who played Bobby. Ron Perlman and Ryan Hurst were supposed to be there too, but unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute. Bobby was my favorite character on SoA, so I was a bit sad I didn’t get to meet him too, but that was really more of Kurt’s show, since I only watched part of the last season. Kurt told him that he was his wife’s favorite character, and Bobby said he married well and better keep me. I concur.
After Stan Lee, I met Kurt in Karen Gillan’s line, who played Amy Pond on Doctor Who. Karen was so nice and we had a nice chat about Irn-Bru. We told her we were in Scotland over the summer and how Kurt liked it, even though almost no one else did, like our friend Cody. She commented, “How can someone not like Iron-Bru? It tastes like…well, Iron-Bru flavor, I don’t know what else to call it!” I love her Scottish accent and hope that we get to see her in lots more projects in the future. I decided to go meet Milo Ventimiglia, because Jess from Gilmore Girls is one of my favorite characters on any television show. Unfortunately, he was all out of Jess pictures, so we picked a Heroes picture, since Kurt watched Heroes. He was super cool, shaking our hands, asking our names, where we were from, if we were having a good weekend…just chatting it up. Kurt definitely mancrushed. He then picked up my phone and said we should take some selfies, so we have 3 awesome pictures taken by Mr. Ventimiglia himself. I’d love to meet him again just based on how awesome our interaction was with him. And to get a Jess picture signed.
We finally headed over to Dina at her booth. Brent had cosplayed as the old man from The Legend of Zelda, the original NES game. You know, the one with the sword in the first cave in the beginning of the game that says, “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.”? He was glorious and so we walked around with him for a bit so that he could bask in the all of adorations and picture-takings by fans. We even found a Link to shoot a picture with. My only complaint about people is that sometimes people don’t understand boundaries. Some people would walk right up to him and try to grab his sign from his hand, since the sign said, “Take this!” They thought it was hilarious to try to take the sign, but a few of them legit tried to pry it out his hands. One guy I was about to intervene and tell him to back off, but he finally let go. Just because someone is cosplaying doesn’t give anyone the right to touch him or her or his or her property. It can create a scary situation. A few people made the joke to Brent that he should give them the sign since it said to take this, then laughed. That’s fine, but to physically grab the sign and try to pry it from Brent’s hands is so not cool. There’s a line people, try not to cross it. It’ll make the world a better place.
I decided to go and check out the art in Artist’s Alley one last time. I bought a great 9th Doctor poster from Purrito Press. I found some awesome Star Wars themed Haunted Mansion paintings by Karen Hallion. Her art was amazing! They had 11×14’s of each one, but I settled on the card sizes (my wallet thanked me). I hope I see her again at another con, because I would love to own some more pieces. I also bought the card size of Jack Skellington looking at the tree with a TARDIS on it from her. I couldn’t resist a mashup of two of my favorite things! Kurt found an awesome picture of Rocket Raccoon with a Beatles album and baby Groot dancing on the turntable by artist Abraham Lopez. Then I decided to pick up a Princess Bride print with Buttercup and Westley made of quotes from the movie by artist Scott W. Smith. By this time, we were tired and hungry for dinner as it was about 7pm, so we said farewell to MegaCon and left. In all, MegaCon was a great experience. Some logistical things could be changed, but in our blog, we try to never review things that are negative or that we feel negatively about, so I’ll just leave it as this: Fan Expo bought out MegaCon, and they are the ones that run Dallas, which is always an amazing experience, so hopefully they can smooth out the wrinkles on an otherwise excellent convention. Thanks for the memories, MegaCon, and we hope make it back in the future!