Monday, May 30, 2011

Phoenix Comicon

This past weekend was the Phoenix Comicon. Steven used to go to science fiction and comic book conventions before, but nothing like this.

We started by heading down on Thursday evening when Steven got off work. This was an easy night where we got our badges and checked out the exhibition hall. We even went to a panel where one of the faculty from ASU was talking about past, present, and future research relating to Jupiter.

On Friday, Steven took the day off from work and the girls were out of school (last day of school was Thursday). We have really gotten into the steampunk genre, so we started the day by hitting a couple of steampunk related panels. This included an author that we have enjoyed reading, Cherie Preist and was able to get her to autograph our books. We also took in some of the various costumes and Steven took some pictures of the various ones that caught our eye. We ended the evening by all of us participating in Whoctionary! - a version of pictionary where everything was Doctor Who themed.

Saturday was a big day because we all wanted to see Bruce Boxleitner. Bruce was a fantastic speaker and talked about the various shows and movies he was including the westerns he had roles in that filmed here in Arizona, Tron, Tron: Legacy, and of course Babylon 5. He also paid tribute to fellow Babylon 5 castmember Jeff Conaway who had passed away the day before. We were fortunate enough to be sitting in the center of the fourth row for his talk.

Next for Dawn and Steven (the girls went off on their own with some friends of Lindsey's) was Max Brooks. We wanted to hear him speak because he kinda kicked off the modern zombie craze with his two book The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

Steven stayed in the same fourth row seat to hear Leonard Nimoy in what is one of his last conventions. Nimoy did an hour long presentation on his life and career. Of course he told stories about Star Trek, but he also talk about growing up in Boston, his first movie Zombies of the Stratosphere, and his days as a taxi driver when he was out of work and ended up driving Senator Jack Kennedy when he was in California in the mid 50'. Nimoy has also been a photographer for a number of years and has many of his pieces on display in various museums around the country. He even touched on the recent music video that he starred in:

After sitting in that seat for so long, Steven stayed to hear Stan Lee speak. Stan's talk was moderated by Jamie Paglia (co-creator of Eureka) who also presented Stan with a "Stan" for Best Cameo in a Movie and also recognized him for the came Stan had in a soon to be aired episode in Eureka.

Dawn and Steven the took in the steampunk fashion show and then joined the girls to see Clare Kramer who played Glory on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Courtney in Bring It On. She had some great stories to tell and even gave Lexi a hug when the talk was over.

If Steven sitting in the grand ballroom on all day on Saturday was enough, Steven and Dawn started Sunday there (but in the second row this time) for George Takei. He talked about his political activism (see video below) as well has his history and how he spent time in an Japanese-American Internment camp in Arkansas during World War II. He also talked about his acting career and being on Star Trek, he also explained parts of his feud with William Shatner.

After that, we saw Billy Dee Williams who played Lando Calrissian in the original Star Wars trilogy. Unfortunately, he was not as good as we expected.

Dawn then took off leaving Steven to catch Adam Baldwin (from Firefly/Serenity) and Robert Duncan McNeill (from Star Trek Voyager) who are both involved in the show Chuck, which we do not watch but will start soon. Then we both caught Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica) and Paul McGillion (Stargate Atlantis). All four of these guys were hilarious. We ended the day with Nicholas Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who was just as funny. The girls had become friends with a local artist who makes steampunk jewelry and was helping her with the teardown of her both, but was able to catch the last of Brendon's talk.

This event was fantastic and we are making plans to go again next year. But until then, we have some of Steven's pictures: