Star Trek: The Next Generation at Denver Comic Con

June 20, 2014 by ·  

Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes Denver Comic Con 2014

Marina Sirtis And Jonathan Frakes At Denver Comic Con

    Denver Comic Con was the site of a Star Trek: The Next Generation cast reunion that I managed to wheedle my way into. William Shatner was moderating so it was the hottest ticket in town; so hot that even with my media pass I was, until 20 minutes before the panel started, on the outside looking in. All the media seats were filled and the line for normal people was very obviously representing a capacity crowd. Shit. That’s what I was thinking about the situation and then all of a sudden I was directed to an area that held a half dozen other media personnel that were patiently waiting to be let in. Once I joined them it was a very motley crew of writers, bloggers, photographers, podcasters and me. We were let into the hall a few minutes before everyone else so even though we didn’t get media seats, we were able to get some awesome aisle seats just to the right of the stage. Photographers love aisle seats because it enables us to get up and move around whilst disturbing a minimum amount of people. It turned out to be a nonissue because once the panel started and the TNG gang started talking I realized that I didn’t want to leave my seat. For about the 4th or 5th time in my life, I just wanted to listen. I’m glad that I did because this panel was full of shenanigans, serious moments and some very worthwhile advice about being a better person. That being said, this will be a very introspective post; much more so than I would assume I’m known for.

Denise Crosby and TNG Cast Denver Comic Con 2014

Denise Crosby And The TNG Cast

    This was a very different panel because it featured actors from a show that ended 20 years ago that was based on a show that ended 40 years ago. That made this panel especially unique because it wasn’t about trying to get spoilers or to get a hashtag to trend on Twitter; it was people involved in a project speaking to other people that love the project. This was not a TNG panel, it was a gathering of TNG actors and TNG fans talking about and asking about things that didn’t have a lot to do with TNG. No one had to ask the stupid and obvious questions about where the show was going or what the actors thought about miniscule details about their characters because the series has already come and gone. All parties involved have moved on since then and become infinitely smarter in that interim. “What have you done and how can you relate to me lately?” would have been a very apt title for this gathering of people. That question was aimed at the audience as often as was aimed at the actors so it was a very Even Steven event. I had the impression that the answers to some of the questions were news to everyone in the room. I don’t think these actors hang out with each other on a day to day basis so this reunion may have been as much a treat for them as it was for us. I also think they have not shared everything with each other so at times I saw the actors entranced by what their colleagues had to say, as evidenced by the photo above.

Blue Alien At Star Trek TNG Panel Denver Comic Con 2014

Blue Alien Asking A Question At TNG Panel

    This turned out to be a very emotional event on both sides of the happy/sad spectrum. The dude above used his time on the microphone to tell everyone how his dad hit a rough spot in life, became an alcoholic and, unable to provide for his family, not-so-secretly contemplated suicide. Then, in 1966 his dad watched Star Trek and everything changed. His father saw something that gave him hope so his family grabbed onto that hope and together, as a family, they fought through his father’s troubles. Star Trek helped this man keep his father and enabled him to help all of us almost 50 years later.

Jonathan Frakes Star Trek Panel Denver Comic Con 2014

Jonathan Frakes

Levar Burton TNG Panel Denver Comic Con 2014

Levar Burton

    At one point an audience member asked the panel if they had any advice for aspiring actors. Two of them spoke up; Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton. I’ll start with what Jonathan Frakes said. He said that if there is anything else you can do, you should do that instead. He used the words corrupt, unjust and unfair to describe the acting profession. He didn’t say a whole lot during the panel, but when it came to the world of acting, he sat straight up in his chair and told us that the real world of Hollywood is nothing like the cinematic world of Hollywood. He strongly advised the audience to find another way to project any creativity they may have. LeVar Burton said he always tries to talk people out of becoming an actor because if he is able to do so, they shouldn’t have tried to be an actor in the first place.

Gates McFadden Michael Dorn and William Shatner at Denver Comic Con 2014

William Shatner, Michael Dorn And Gates McFadden

    There was a lot of laughter and ribbing that went on as well. Over the course of the panel, I developed an opinion of each panelist that I’ll share at the end of the post. For the most part, they all seemed to be friends that don’t see each other that often so I think a lot of liberties were taken and given to one another. This was no Hall H at San Diego Comic Con, this was a very intimate setting with no more than two or three thousand people watching a panel of people that had no projects to plug so I think that intimacy helped the audience and the panelists loosen up.

William Shatner Denver Comic Con 2014

William Shatner Flipping An English Bird

    A case in point would be William Shatner making the gesture above. Marina Sirtis had mentioned that the middle finger gesture in America was displayed as a two finger gesture in England. Shatner wasted no time by displaying it and indicating a WTF look to all of us.

William Shatner and Star Trek TNG Cast Denver Comic Con 2014

Star Trek TNG Cast And William Shatner

    I had never seen any of these actors in person before so I was in the unique position to do two of my favorite things; rush to and pass judgment. As promised, here is my takeaway from each person:

    William Shatner: He is a cult status celebrity and he knows it. He loves to be in the public eye and doing the Comic Con circuit keeps him there and he knows it. There is a unified theory of quantum mechanics and he knows it.

    Michael Dorn: Uses his awesome voice to make great points but remains silent other than that.

    Gates McFadden: Does not have much to say.

    LeVar Burton: Has talent and is able to emote in a way the rest of us can barely dream of doing. I think he loves being able to use what TNG gave him to spread intelligence and learning to the world. If there is anyone that can tear the current Hollywood system down and rebuild it into something great, he’s the guy that will do it.

    Denise Crosby: An angel that embodies all the good in Star Trek and its fans. She is the only member of any of the Starship Enterprises that I would like to have a drink with.

    Jonathan Frakes: A stoic figure, a great man that has done well in an industry that he despises. I hope he helps LeVar Burton tear the Hollywood system apart.

    Marina Sirtis: An enigma that cloaks herself in many layers of nothingness so no one will ever know who she really is. I think she is in love with William Shatner and insisted that we, as the audience refer to him as, “The Shat.” During the panel she claimed that she doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her yet she was very vocal about OTHER things that bothered her. I think she’s hiding something terrible from her past.

    Introspective; I told you that’s what this post would be. Cheers.

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What I Want Most From Denver Comic Con

June 17, 2014 by ·  

Star Wars Wall Of Blasters Denver Comic Con

Star Wars Blasters

    Here’s the thing about every Comic Con I’ve ever attended; I want most of the stuff there. That’s everything from the merchandise to the people to the random music that plays everywhere; I want to take them all home! A weekend hiking out in the Colorado Mountains with a “take only photographs and leave only footprints” mantra won’t exactly work during a weekend of walking through the Colorado Convention Center. When you’re done with a mountain hike, you want yourself to be a little changed but the mountains to be the same. When you’re done with a weekend at Comic Con, you want to be wrecked, broke and your jaw should be sore from so much smiling. What was my point here? I forget exactly but I think it had something to do with my attending Denver Comic Con for the first time being so amazing that I’ll take it as a sign that I made the right choice by moving back here.

    Wait, no that wasn’t my original point, I just remembered now. I didn’t go broke buying a bunch of stuff, but I saw two things in particular that I wanted to buy, or have someone give to me. I’m posting photos of them in that hope that one or both of my loyal readers will do the right thing; and make me happy.

    The first thing is pictured above. It is a wall of Star Wars blasters. Just take a look at them and then think about how good it would make you feel to remove them from that wall, put them in a burlap sack and give them to me. It doesn’t have to be a burlap sack either; you can use a hefty bag or a wheel barrow or just pile them on the ground somewhere and tell where they are.

KITT Knight Rider Car Denver Comic Con

KITT – Knight Rider

    The second thing I want is the interior from KITT, the car from the TV show, Knight Rider. Everything you see in the photo above is what I’d like and I’ll tell what I’d do with it. I’d make so it would be my home computer terminal. The windshield will be my monitor and all the buttons and steering controls would serve the functions of the keyboard, mouse and other peripherals. That way, when I had to edit photos I could say, “I’m going to get into my Knight Rider car and edit some photos.”
It takes a little while for Comic Con to wind its way through the brain so you may see more lists like this in the comings days, but don’t let that deter you from working on getting these first two right away. Thank you. Cheers!

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Cosplay at Denver Comic Con

June 15, 2014 by ·  

Superman Big Blue Bear Denver Comic Con

Superman And Big Blue Bear At Denver Comic Con

    I had a super time at Denver Comic Con today with the main focus for me being on the cosplay. I did go to two panels; Cosplay Photography In Colorado and The star Trek TNG cast reunion, hosted by William Shatner. Don’t you hate when people name drop to make it seem like they’re all important or something? I hate that. Today I also saw Lou Ferrigno, Bruce Campbell, Adam West and of course, Superman. I also got to meet and chat with photographer Heather Kant and writer Colleen Bement while we were penned into a corner with a few other members of the media waiting to be let in to the TNG panel. That’s another thing that’s so great about going to these cons; you get to meet people that you only know by reputation or online handle. Cons are gifts that keep on giving which is why people always come back and why the cons always get bigger; it’s good people that understand what peace, love understanding and respect are and more importantly, how to dole them out in droves.

Grand Inquisitor Denver Comic Con

The Grand Inquisitor

    You don’t have to wear a costume or know anything about comics to go to a con. People go for many different reasons and there are many different levels of passion. Prior to going to cons I never had a desire to cosplay, but now I’d kind of like to, even on a day to day basis, not just at a con. Until that time I’ll just be like the Grand Inquisitor up there, watching, waiting, “IGNORE ME!”

Marge Simpson Denver Comic Con

Marge Simpson

    I have a good 15 seasons of The Simpsons under my belt so I know Marge Simpson when I see her. Thor, Jane and a puzzle piece from Tetris are on the left.

Doorknob-Denver-Comic-Con

A Doorknob?

    I’m not sure what the thing above is supposed to be. It looks like a doorknob to me. Can anyone help me out?

Emperors Royal Guard

Emperors Royal Guard

    Check this guy out! That beard is awesome, two thumbs up for the Star Wars reference and how cool to still be in costume even when you are on a break. Massive props for the originality Denver cosplayers are bringing to the table. We seem to have been given respite from slave Leia and that should last until episode seven is released.

Rorschach The Watchmen Denver Comic Con

Rorschach

    If his sign is a reference to this post, I think he may be right. I have some photos to go along with a very introspective post about the Star Trek panel going on in my head so stay tuned for more from Denver Comic Con. Cheers!

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First Day at Denver Comic Con

June 14, 2014 by ·  

Spiderman At Denver Comic Con 2014

Spiderman Hanging Out

    Denver is my hometown and I am very glad to have moved back after spending eight years in San Diego. During my time out west I became a veteran of San Diego Comic Con and looked forward to it every year. As my first summer back in Denver began to unfold, I was feeling a little sad because I knew I would not be traveling to San Diego for the con but then something amazing happened; I found out that Denver had been hosting a Comic Con for the last two years! I applied for and was very grateful to receive a media pass from DStreetPR.com to cover the event. That previous sentence is my professional and stoic way of saying, “Hell yeah! I’m going to Denver Comic Con!”

Hot Girls And Jason At Denver Comic Con

Jason And His Pretty Ladies

    I had a very busy first day. I walked every square inch of the convention center, attended five panels and of course, took lots of photos. After covering four consecutive years of the nuclear explosion that is San Diego Comic Con, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Denver Comic Con is better. I hadn’t planned on comparing the two but they are such different versions of the same thing that I feel I owe to you all to make a few comparisons and highlight the differences that stood out to me.

Big Lebowski Denver Comic Con 2014

The Big Lebowski

    The intimacy of Denver Comic Con makes all the difference in the world. It’s a simple matter of logistics and a much more boring matter of math. Both convention centers are huge with over a half million square feet of space but that’s where the similarities end. DCC is huge so the convention center is an appropriate sized space. SDCC is GIGANTIC so the convention center is in no way big enough to host the event; that’s why there are satellite locations and events all over downtown San Diego. This cripples the city, brings public transportation to a virtual standstill and is a big pain in the ass because you have to deal with traffic in and out of the convention center for five days. DCC is mellow, with lots of elbow room and plenty of space to take pictures. As you look through the photos in this post, look at the background and compare those to my photos from SDCC. In Denver, everything is under one roof and traffic flows at a regular pace. Just take a look at Walter and The Dude in the photo above; calm, cool and collected. This shot would be impossible to take at SDCC.

Deadpool At Denver Comic Con 2014

Deadpool Looking Fabulous

    Taking a break from comparisons for a moment, I’d like to lay down some of my nerd street cred by letting you all know that I own two copies of New Mutants number 98. I bought them back in 1993 for $5 a piece in Hawaii whilst serving in the Navy. I didn’t buy them as an investment; I bought them because Deadpool is my favorite comic book bad guy in the world. I collected comics for years before and since then, but they don’t accrue value in a plastic bag, they get read and handled. That’s why I bought two copies of Deadpool’s debut, because I knew I’d wear them out.

Deadpool and Wolverine Denver Comic Con 2014

Deadpool And Wolverine

    Deadpool actually managed to offend me twice in the photo above. First, by hanging out with a dude that has bigger biceps than me and second by admitting to the existence of god. Nuff said.

Star Wars Denver Comic Con 2014

Star Wars Replica Props

    Star Wars was the first movie I ever saw in a theater. In 1979 it was rereleased to the big screen and my dad took me to see it. How many people can say that the greatest dad in the world took them to see the greatest movie in the world? Just me.

Evil Star Wars Denver Comic Con 2014

Star Wars Cosplay

    The coolest thing I discovered at DCC today was a group of people collectively known as Rocky Mountain Fanforce. They are Star Wars nuts that get together and discuss Star Wars. They had a trivia contest/panel that I attended and participated in. I didn’t win but it felt good to flex my Star Wars muscle. Just to be clear “Star Wars muscle” is not a euphemism for my manhood, it IS my manhood!

Jeremy Bulloch At Denver Comic Con-2014

Jeremy Bulloch

    One of the panels I attended was a discussion hosted by Jeremy Bulloch, pictured above. He is the actor that played Boba Fett in Empire Strikes Back. His parting words of wisdom were to be nice to one another. You got it, man.

Walter Koenig At Denver Comic Con 2014

Walter Koenig

    At another panel I got to see Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in the original Star Trek series and films. I’m not a Trekkie but I am a fan of the series. He told a great story about how having a heart attack lead to him landing a recurring role in a TV series.

Swordplay At Denver Comic Con

Swordplayers

    There was a swordplay demonstration that featured men and women battling it out with metal weapons of all sorts. The people to space ratio at DCC made it possible for me to see many more things in a day than are possible at SDCC. The extra maneuverability made it very easy to get from place to place and added to the overall joy of the experience for me. In San Diego, waiting in lines for panels will eat up days of your time and there is always the chance that you won’t be able to get in since people camp out in the seats for future panels. In Denver, the rooms are cleared at the end of each panel and there is PLENTY of seating so no one gets left out. All of you that have ever wanted to see a screening in Hall H in San Diego know what I’m talking about.

Worped Studios Art Denver Comic Con 2014

Art From Worped Studios

    Another big difference between the cons is the food and water situation. At SDCC you have the choice of expensive hot dogs or expensive pizza and there is nowhere to sit down. Colorado Convention Center has a massive food court, many other food and alcohol vendors scattered around and there are tables and chairs. Tables and chairs! As you can see by the expression of my friend Joe the Zombie above, that is a very surprising fact indeed.

Colorado Convention Center During Comic Con-2014

Outside Colorado Convention Center

    So there is my assessment of my first day at Denver Comic Con. It was long day that has now kept me up all night, writing this post. It is four in the morning right now which means I have 6 hours to get this posted, shower and get back to the con for day two. Who needs sleep? Cheers!

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