On Saturday, March 3, 2007, I had attended WonderCon 2007. It was my first time ever being at this event for “geeks” of scifi, horror, comics, and anime related stuff. And it was a perfect place for me to “pop my geeky cherry”, as I’ve often been accused of being a fanatic when it comes to these things, and I dorkily (a word?) enjoy boasting my knowledge of worlds that do no exist (except within the realm of the imagination). Therefore, as I recount my experience, I will probably mention names of characters, shows, actors, etc. that may not be familiar to all the lay men, normal folks out there (who have real lives). But, hey, if you know what “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” are, you’re already half-way into an existence where your innocence is preserved, and no one wants to have sex with you. So, to assimilate the souls of the uninformed, I will be linking to certain terms/names to help guide you to become the leader dork of all geeks. (All links open in new windows.)
[If you do not wish to continue reading, click here to get to the few pics below.]
So the day began as we – me, Jerry, Rosanna, and Sarah – drove through the downtown area to seek parking for 10 bucks all day (but only ended up finding a narrow lot for $15). As we cruised pass the entrance of Moscone Center, we observed a line that snaked-around the building for about half-a-block composed mostly of young, preadolescent boys – we were sooo tempted to yell “fucken geeks!”. But, we came to realize our hypocrisy and admitted in whimpering, quiet shame that “hey we’re going to this convention too.” (And we also didn’t want to be pelted with fake laser guns.) Consequently, be forewarned, I will be using that word “geek” often throughout my descriptive journey into the “world of WonderCon”. Same as if I were to use the word “raunchy” in a strip club. Except, instead of nudity and sexual innuendos, it will be in references to stuff like alien cultures, spaceships, and fantastic worlds. (The most sexless of subjects.) Are you excited? (In the most sexless way.)
As we entered the convention center, we were joined by our friends Sandy & Tim to witness an abundance of folks in Star Wars costumes. Do we not find this theme boring yet? How much more stormtroopers could we enjoy watching patroling the area to protect the Empire? Anyways, there were all types of other costumed folks… I saw a 6 feet Jawa, a 250 lb. Mace Windu, and a female Willy Wonka to name a few out of shape characters… Harry Potter was a popular theme amongst the younger crowds… too young to have attended Hogwarts. There was also a noticeably overweight, female Klingon. Yes, I am aware that Klingons are a larger-size species compared to us mere humans, but they normally possess warrior bodies, not natural vessels that are guilty of the sin of gluttony. But the most apparrent thing about the crowds gathered at this event was that the ratio of males seemed to be about 25 to 1 woman. And, about 22 of these men (or boys?) were carrying large backpacks (larger than themselves) to fill with comics and toys, while 2 were dressed in costumes, and the remaining “one” was the only pure human.
While browsing, there were the usual booths of comics, rare action figures, and t-shirts of all kinds. At one point, I witnessed a group of young children (I’d say about the ages of 8-10) mesmerized by a trailer of the Hills Have Eyes 2 showing victims being brutalized by a mutant family. Eh, despite that, I’m optimistic in the future of our youth. Remember, anyone can become president in this country! Anyone! 😉 As we move on… I came upon another booth selling DVDs of obscure and rare films, including one that had a title “Banned Racial Cartoons”. I noticed a male of European American pursuasian seemingly curious of its content, yet ashamed to pick it up for purchase. The paradoxical demons we all live with, huh? *sigh* Which leads me to say, Jerry and I fought the urge to browse through a box of old issues of “Busty” and “Voluptuous” for $5/issue.The demons, the demons! They beckon me! But I walked on… and ended in a corner of a booth where a small monitor was showing the Grayson trailer. Grayson as in Dick Grayson, as in alter ego of Robin, as in Batman & Robin. I was so engrossed into the trailer that I had to find out when the movie was coming out. Apparently, I was to discover later, it was a fake trailer made by a fan for $18,000. But, since the characters in the trailer are DC licensed, the comic book company has since placed a ban on any more fan films being shown at conventions. I had witnessed something illegal going on here. What joy!
Note, it was bound to happen… There was a stand selling a magazine titled “Geek”. Check them out at GeekMonthly.com. Maxim and Stuff, prepare for your doom!
At this point, Jimmy, his gf, and “the other” Ray, and my bro Stan, and his wifey Jenn arrived. I know a lot of you are wondering what’s the point of me naming the people within our group. No reason, other than to showcase how strong my army of geeks were that I had built for this day. “Prepare for glory!” I believe Booie & Carble was there too. But, I was so ashamed to be in the presence of all these geeks that I didn’t even take any pics of them.
Then I skimmed the section of illustrators and artists. I was not familiar with the comic artists that were present, but one. I caught a glimpse of Matt Wagner. I know he created Grendel and did stuff for Batman and Green Arrow. But, I do not follow his work. I’m not a big fan of superhero comics. Horrors! What am I even doing at this convention? I’m more into “adult”-themed comics, like Sin City, The Sandman, Preacher, etc. The last thing I remember about Matt Wagner was that he was bald. *shrug* I did come across the illustrations for a booth of the author of Softwire. I don’t know, the images of bio-mechs intrigued me… I didn’t really say anything in this paragraph, did I?
While continuing to casually survey the environment, I came across a line of people that were awaiting Zack Snyder – the director of “300” – to sign their hardcover copies of the Frank Miller graphic novel, which the movie is based on. I had owned a copy of th graphic novel a couple years ago, and since sold it on ebay, before I had even knew Frank Miller was going to turn his Sin City into a movie, let alone believing 300 was going to become a film itself. But, I figured, hell, I get to meet the “Zack” man, himself. So, I started to line up, whipped out my dollars to prepare to buy the graphic novel, again. I was only about 3 people closer to ask Mr. Snyder questions about “300” the movie and to praise him that “Dawn of the Dead” was the best of the living dead remakes, when this big husky, brute guy said,”In order to meet Zack, you need a wristband.” Wha? “How do I get a wristband?” I asked the ox-looking dude. “I don’t know, they passed ’em out on the first day,” grunted the beast. Gyped!
Warning, the following four paragraphs may get even more boring for some…
Skip to the Alien pic, if you wish.
Unless you’re a 110% Star Trek dork, you probably are unaware who the character Capt. Christopher Pike is. He’s the first captain of the USS Enterprise, and had only appeared in the first 2 episodes back in the original ST series of the ’60s. I know. *groan* Who cares, huh? But, the dude – Jeffrey Hunter – that played the character was among the “has been” celebrities at this event. Apparently, I didn’t see any fans vying for his attention or autograph at his station. *shrug* Did I just ruin my chances to ever becoming a Star Trek extra?
My brother and I had a chance to meet Ernie Hudson, famous for Ghostbusters (among a whole bunch of other movies). But, I loved him as the warden Leo Glynn in (my favorite TV series of all time) HBO’s OZ. [plot spoiler – start]We had asked Ernie why and who killed his character at the end of the last season. His only response was,”The writers were stupid… I think they just ran out of ideas and they felt it was time to end the series. Even I don’t know who killed my character. They just left the knife in my back. The beginning of the series was brilliant, but the ending…”[plot spoiler – end] Despite that, he seemed like a low key guy, easy to talk to, with his little fanny pack on his side hip. Although I don’t watch the show, his current stint, as he told us, he is now a recurring character on Desperate Housewives.
Peter Mayhew, the guy who played “Chewie” in the Star Wars series, was a popular celebrity amongst the group of former stars. For gods sake, all his life he played the “walking carpet”. Jerry and I wanted to go up to him and growl some Wookie lingo and ask him how the land of Kashyyyk has recovered after the Clone Wars. Are you Star Wars geeks impressed with my useless knowledge? This stuff is getting a bit too much, isn’t it? You still with me? Hold on, the stuff about “300” is coming up.
But Ray Park was the most popular of people lining up for autographs. He is Darth Maul! That’s all that’s need to be said. You can see his pic further down.
Sorry, the pic is kinda fuzzy, but the cute, little baby was actually giggling during this Alien invasion…
By 3pm, the next stop could not be missed – to attend the panel presentation of “300”. With my disappointment with not getting close enough to Zack Snyder earlier in the day, at least, I wanted to know the inside scoup of his next movie. After showing us a 5 minute clip from the flick, there was a Q&A session with the director, actor Gerard Butler, and actress Lena Headey. Gerard (or “Jerry” as so affectionately referred by his friends and fans alike) has those piercing, intimidating eyes, but at the same time, a quick witted sense of humour that kept me cracking up throughout the presentation. Lena is a babe (only geeks talk like this) and will be the star of the upcoming Terminator TV series on FOX entitled the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Zack, although, he doesn’t lack the words to express his thoughts, he seems nervous when speaking. There’s a lot of “uh… um… ah…” in his voice. But, he is no doubt, a more than capable director. So, the question was inevitably posed to Zack about his rumoured next project – the film adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen, which he only answered with a “maybe”.
Before we had entered the Ballroom to this event, the security guards (who oddly are gray-haired geriatrics moving at a speed of about 2 steps every 5 seconds. Do you feel safe when the terrorists hit Mascone?) warning us that video devices aren’t allowed at this event. Maybe I’m naive, but apparently, someone had posted the entire one-hour presentation on YouTube:
Although, I did not attend the Resident Evil: Extinction panel (the third in the series) – I had heard from various sources that Ali Larter (of Heroes fame) received a negative comment from an audience member. This “anti-fan” had asked her “when her character will be killed off in Heroes because she was only a half-decent actress.” I was told different variations on Ali’s reaction to the question: that either she was shaken-up to the point of almost tears, or she simply responded,”I’m not that bad of an actress,” and gracefully brushed the antagonist off. Although, I agree no one is above criticism, but there is no need for blatant insults for the sake of hurting the person in situations like this. But, regardless, the questioner was drowned out by boos from the audience, and was not written about in any WonderCon publication I’ve read so far. I guess they call it karma… some ppls, they do these things for attention… prob a disgruntled actor wannabe.
My fellow “movie connossieur” buddy, Eszter,
took this candid pic of Hillary Swank at the convention
As the day winded-down, we came across a seemingly “out-of-place” booth, or I should say table, of an import Asian model named Linda Tran. I’m tempted to make a commentary about the state of Asian/America here, but that would be too simple, and seemingly “out-of-place”. Jerry had made a comment about the “courageous” attempt by this woman to sell, in this case autographed photos and videos, and promote her semi-celebrity-ness at this convention. Although, on the most basic level, I can see Jerry’s point. But, I doubt Linda has the type of courage that we’re ready to send her off to fight in Iraq. I did take a glimpse at her site. Okay, I admit it, my libido cried a flame of curiosity. I still am a hetero male, ya know. Anyways, on her site, she has quotes by Thomas Edison, Henry David Thoreau, and Rosalynn Carter speaking upon the virtues of having confidence in your dreams, etc., blah, blah, blah. I’m sure Miss Tran has achieved a nice success with her modeling career, and should be respected for it. But Edison was an inventor, Thoreau was a naturalist philosopher, and Carter was an influential wife of President Jimmy Carter – all were historically significant well into their later years. What is Linda Tran destined to become when her modeling career is over that would stand within the same shoes as the great people she quoted? The world offers so many possibilities, eh?
After being at this event for over 7 hours, it was unusual that I did not find any promotion of the Transformers movie. And I was already getting a little bummed out that I did not find much of anything of interests (and affordable) to purchase. Although, there was a Ghost In the Shell figure for about 80 bucks that caught my eye. But, it’s still 80 bucks. I have more of a need to eat than I need to admire a 12-inch, shapely-female figure hooked up with metal wires. But, lastly, I did finally came upon the View Askew’s Secret Stash booth (Sorry, Kevin Smith wasn’t present), and saw a collection of Sin City shirts. I’ve been looking for shirts with the Frank Miller comic art images as opposed to the the movie images of Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba. And, there were a couple that I had bought, nothing worth bragging about, but I had to buy something here. A note about some of the other amusing shirts I saw, there was one with Dick Cheney tongue kissing W. Bush, and another one with Bush sucking the blood out of the Statue Of Liberty. We now know clearly where the politics of View Askew Productions stands. Snoogans!
While waiting for the rest of the crew to meet up at the entrance, I saw the kid (he’s a teenager now, tho) – forgot his name – that played the young Boba Fett from Star Wars: Episode II walk-by with his entourage (which included some midget dude). *shrug* There were a few cooler costumes in the crowd by this time, I saw one for Halo (although he seemed uncomfortable walking about), and a sleek, metallic Batman. Sorry, I do not have pics of these as I got too lazy to pull out my camera by the day’s end, but I’m sure you can find a bunch online when you Google WonderCon pics. The last costumed person I saw before I left was of a skinny, blonde kid wearing a green shirt, and attached to his back were white, feathery wings, as he walked around with bright yellow golden boots. It definitely was time for me to leave, it was just gettin’ too bizarre, ya think? When you spend an entire day discussing X-Men, the upcoming James Cameron’s Avatar, and which Anime character has the biggest boobs, there’s a point where I hunger to come back to a sense of reality. This event was the furthest thing away from clubbing, the next presidential election, or just out drinking with your buddies. I apologize for the lack of vulgar, adult content is this long-winded writing of my experience, unless you do believe an overweight Klingon is vulgar. Hey, this is WonderCon. It was fun, in a fantastic sort of way.
Seek Google News on “Wondercon 2007”
The few pics I took at the convention (yes, I’m a celeb whore):
Ray Park famous as
Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I, and as Toad in X-Men…
Cassandra Peterson as Elvira: Mistress of Darkness… and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca…
Ernie Hudson… I loved him as warden Leo Glynn in HBO’s OZ!!!
Zack Snyder is the only director of the upcoming Frank Miller’s 300 who can turn this…
Okay, you geeks, time to get back to rayhom.com