Comicpalooza 2014: The recap!

COMICPALOOZA! This was my second time going to Comicpalooza and I still stand by my belief that it’s easily one of the most fun geek-cons out there. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about geek-cons, it’s that bigger does NOT mean better (see my recap of New York Comic Con for evidence). Right now Comicpalooza is at that perfect size where it’s big enough to bring in some big names, but still small enough that it’s not overwhelming. Late for a panel? No problem, it just means you’ll have to sit a little farther in the back. If it were San Diego Comic-Con it’d be like “LOL you mean you didn’t get in line 6 hours ahead of time?? N00B.” Comicpalooza has only been around for a handful of years so far and I’m already excited that it’s only going to get better from here on out.

But first, the critter roundups! I had three critters to drop at Comicpalooza. Let’s see how they fared:

Spider-Man:

Spider-Man

Status: FOUND!

Spidey’s sticking around right here in Houston! Woohoo!

Iron Man:

Iron man post adoption

Status: FOUND!

Iron Man had a successful adoption too! He’ll be hanging around in the suburbs of Houston.

Wolverine:

BogBpsmCAAEHTLW (1)

Status: Unconfirmed 😦

Unfortunately I haven’t heard back on Wolverine. If you or someone you know has Wolverine, please check in with me! Keep in mind that if you have a protected twitter account I won’t see your tweets, so please e-mail me at geekyhooker [at] gmail [dot] com if you’ve got a protected account!

Otherwise, ON TO THE CONVENTION!

SPECIAL GUESTS:

stan

STAN THE MAN. OMFGWEIOFJALSDKFAKLSD.

Oh, is that Stan “the man” Lee, holding a little Spider-Man that I made for him? Yes. YES IT IS. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see his panel on Friday, but I showed up Saturday morning to get a picture with him. I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted to get a photo with Stan Lee because I’ve never been willing to pay for a photo op. Once I realized that this man’s appeal would probably never die, and that I wouldn’t have many other opportunities where I could easily get a photo with him (compared to bigger geek-cons where I’d have to be in line for HOURS), I decided to go for it. And dammit, if I’m going to get a photo with Stan Lee, it’d be wrong of me not to gift him a critter. So in a last minute decision, I stayed up late and crocheted another Spider-Man to give to Stan Lee, and the next morning I sleepily waited in line for the photo op. Once the line started moving, the photo op went BLAZINGLY fast. Stand in, smile, and you’re gone. Not even a chance to say anything more than a quick hello. So when my turn came around, I kind of became that asshole who held up the photo op line, even if it was just for a few seconds. I told Stan I had something for him and handed him little Spidey, and after exchanging thank yous (no, thank YOU, sir, for influencing so many generations!) it was all shouts of “ma’am, look at the camera” before I had to scurry off. My tiny little victory was when I saw his handler try to take the little Spider-Man away from him and he snatched it away and put it in his pocket as if to say “NO, MINE.” Stan Lee now has one of my critters in his possession. VICTORY!

THE PANELS:

Sure, Comicpalooza doesn’t have nearly as much pull as San Diego Comic-Con and it’s not going to have the likes of Tom Hiddleston or Hugh Jackman there. But they still had some heavy hitters show up and it was AWESOME. The quality of the panel guests is pretty much what will determine what the experience is like, so you know you’re in a good panel if you can still enjoy it without knowing anything about whatever show/movie that person might be famous for. I’ve sat through some star-studded panels at San Diego Comic-Con that were AWFUL because the guests were terrible speakers. Thankfully Comicpalooza’s guests were all fun people and it was a great time for everyone.

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  • Gravity Panel: Nope, not a panel with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney! Since this is Houston, OF COURSE we’d bring our nerd on with some folks from NASA. This was a panel with astronaut Stan Love and space debris scientist (how cool is that?) Sue Lederer. They explored the movie Gravity, picked apart various scenes, and explained how things REALLY would have happened in real life. It was like a giant geeky show-and-tell for adults, complete with pieces of space debris up for display. Super fun and absolutely fascinating. And if you thought the movie was pretty terrifying, the reality behind the events are much, MUCH worse. Like “heads exploding in helmets”-worse.

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  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel: I actually don’t watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I watched the first few episodes and quickly lost interest. But it was still a fun time at this panel just seeing the cast joke around with each other, and the best part….
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    Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno crashed the panel! I love that Ming-Na Wen was geeking out and trying to get a selfie with him. 🙂

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  • Billy Dee Williams panel: I walked in late and walked out early. Sound quality in the room was awful and I couldn’t hear anything but muffled babbling from where I was sitting. I eventually walked out because I had no clue what was being said. On the other hand I SO wish I was there to see the guy who mistook him for Carl Weathers because that sounded GLORIOUSLY hilarious. Anyone got a video to share?

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  • Power Rangers panel: IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME! I showed up to this panel on a “why the hell not?” impulse, and it ended up being a lot of fun. Walter Jones (the original black ranger) hasn’t aged a SINGLE FREAKING DAY since my days of watching him on TV. What the hell are you eating, dude?? The first question asked was “Can you morph for us?” They all groaned, but they were good sports and did it at the end of the panel anyway…but not without calling the guy out for asking the worst question of the panel, haha.

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 They’re so unamused. I love it.

  • 1-DSC05030John and Carole Barrowman panel: Admittedly I’m more of a fair-weather Doctor Who fan. I like it enough to appreciate the fun of the show (it’s been on for 50 years for a reason!), but not enough to go nuts over seeing Captain Jack Harkness in person. I also haven’t watched Torchwood or Arrow, so any questions about those shows were lost on me. That being said, remember how I said a good speaker will still make for a fun time even if you don’t know anything about the shows/movies that made the person famous? John and Carole were HILARIOUS. Some of the questions were lost on me, but that didn’t matter because these two would go off on insane tangents to the point where the question didn’t even matter anymore. They were good about bringing it back to the question at hand, but not before going off on something absolutely ridiculous. Unfortunately I walked into the panel late, but I heard there was a same-sex proposal that happened during the panel too! Wow. Such geek. Much love.

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  • Cary Elwes panel: AS YOU WISH. Of COURSE he had to utter that line at least once during his panel. Cary is by far the nicest celeb I’ve seen in a panel, for three big reasons:
    1) He went out of his way to ask each person their name first and would greet them before they asked their questions. He probably won’t remember any of these people, but I’ve NEVER seen anyone go out of their way to greet each fan by name before.
    2) When a few nervous fans started rambling on about how much The Princess Bride meant to them or how much his other movies influenced them he would hop off the stage and go give them a hug out of appreciation. I mean, this guy VOLUNTARILY gave his fans hugs! How awesome is that??
    3) The panel actually ran 15-20 minutes OVER the allotted time. Sure, he had the last panel of the day in the room so there was no rush to get out, but at almost every panel I’ve been to the guests are usually itching to get the hell out of there, even if they’re having a good time.Super sweet guy, indulged us in LOTS of stories involving everything from his days filming The Princess Bride to Robin Hood: Men in Tights, down to humoring us all by doing his awkward “claw” from Liar Liar when he was asked to do so. And he’s got a book coming soon about his time filming The Princess Bride! MOAR STORIES!

THE LITTLE THINGS:

It’s the little things that REALLY set Comicpalooza apart from other geek cons. And it’s the little things that make me want to see Comicpalooza grow, but not grow TOO much. Arcade consoles were set up for anyone to stroll by and play a game, you could sign up for sword fighting lessons from Miltos Yeromelou aka SYRIO FREAKING FOREL from Game of Thrones, there were workshops on how to build your own dalek, and my favorite: a figure painting table where the first figure is free, and any additional figures you paint are $1 each. That would NEVER happen at a bigger convention. There’d be utter chaos with people waiting for a painting spot, or people losing/spilling paints and damaging painting supplies, etc. I was able to walk away with a fun little souvenir because of awesome little events like this going on at Comicpalooza.

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My blank slate!

painted figure

And the finished product! Couldn’t resist taking the badass with a chainsaw amongst the elves, orcs, zombies, and other fun little figures.

Thanks for another awesome weekend, Comicpalooza. I can’t wait to see what will come in the future, and I’m proud to have one of the best geek conventions in Texas right here in my own backyard. 🙂

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