We went to a sci-fi/comics convention.
AdventureCon 3.0-something-or-other was in town today, as I mentioned a few days ago. I was excited to see Anthony Daniels and David Prowse, and a few other old TV/movie sci-fi actors, so I planned an afternoon outing - assuming that the kids were safely tucked away at Grandma's house. When that didn't work out (they had planned a day trip to the mountains--have a good time, folks?) I mustered up my midichlorians, and packed them in the car with me.
BrainyBoy was very excited. I asked him later as we were leaving if it was anything like he'd expected, and he said it was nothing like he'd expected.
GiggleGirl was another matter.
GG was basically supercargo - along for the ride. A four-year-old girl who will, on occasion, watch Star Wars with her old man and enjoys the music but would much rather be playing with her Little Ponies, was not too keen on the idea.
Buck up little trooper! It'll be fun! There'll be cool people there, with costumes!
So off we went. Pulling in the parking lot, there's the General Lee! Parked right outside the convention center!
BB: "What's the General Lee, dad?"
*Sigh* "We'll look at it again on the way out."
So in we go - BB has our video camera in hand, and GG is swinging merrily from my hand. The first thing we see is the Dark Knight - The Batman. Well, someone in a Batman costume.
GG: "DADDY! DADDY!! LOOK, IT'S BATMAN!!!!!!!"
Paying our admission, we enter the hall. Wall to wall dealer tables - more than I've ever seen, really, outside of Atlanta's DragonCon.
Now, a quick word about my history. I'm a sci-fi geek from way back. I never had any costumes, but I attended my share of cons when I was in college. It's been a l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g time since I've been to one, though, and some things never change:
1) There are all kinds of people who attend Cons. Smartly dressed, and dressed in home-made costumes. Those too young to have first-hand experienced the original Star Wars trilogy, to those who were thinking deep thoughts about Heinlein and Asimov while I was still puzzling over Encyclopedia Brown.
2) There is more stuff to
Well, there's something for consistency.
One thing I did notice - some of the "vintage" toys and games I had when I was a kid. GI Joe's and their original green wooden foot lockers. An original "Trouble" game (with box falling apart).... These weren't vintage the last time I went to one of these...I wonder why?
Anyway, the kids were absolutely entranced. BB, video in hand, shot everything he could see, and somethings noone could see - like his feet. He fluttered from item to item, oohing and aahing over action figures, models, games, videos...GG picked up (literally and figuratively) on the more feminine things: the toys, the older memorabilia like Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, and assorted stuffed animals. They marveled at the moving Creature from the Black Lagoon, gawked at the mounted AT-AT Walker models (circa 1980 Mattel), and were agog at the full-scale miniature of Jabba the Hutt's Palace, complete with all action figures, working trap-door and compatible sized Rancor beast below. The owner said that it took 16 hours to build. I believed it.
I still have a good number of my old Star Wars action figures from when I was a kid, and BB plays with them occasionally - I'm sure any collector reading this probably is having a heart attack (trust me, it's not this - it's that Atkins diet), but they're reasonably well taken care of.
So the merchandise tables were a hit. Then there were the characters...
Stormtroopers walked freely among the crowd, as did a TIE Fighter Pilot. Several Jedi Knights mixed with a Battlestar Galactica Colonial Warrior. We made our way to the "Ballroom" where the special guests were holding court, and there seemed to be a greater concentration of characters.
Inside this room was the Grand Assembly of the Imperial Legions, or something - which sounds more like a KKK rally than a collection of Star Wars Imperial Troops, but there they all were. People whose imaginations (and courage) are greater than mine, in their homemade armor and weaponry.
Well, BB's shooting everything he can see. Sandpeople, Jawas, Clonetroopers, an Imperial Commander....however, GG had had enough. She immediately jumped in my arms and dug her head in my shoulder....Apparently some of these guys were too much for her, but it wasn't until we saw a red-robed Royal Imperial Guard with her--yes, her--helmet off did GG perk up. You see, under the Guard helmet was a lovely young lady, and GG decided that "a lady" in costume was ok. So she introduced herself, shyly, and made a friend. After that, the costumed people weren't quite so bad :)
We got to see Anthony Daniels (the actor who played/plays C-3PO), who looks well for someone who's had the same part for 20+ years. Also, David Prowse, the man in the Darth Vader suit, Kate Jackson -- Yes, Kate Jackson!!! The smart angel from Charlie's Angels (she had fairly long, straight hair which I didn't think suited her, but I guess we're all used to the shorter bob she had on the show), Catherine Back from The Dukes of Hazzard -- she looked ok, but let's just say Cousin Daisy's looking more like Aunt Daisy these days, Richard Hatch (not the Survivor guy) who played Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica, and Felix Silla (Twikki from Buck Rogers. Mr. Silla looked a bit lonely, as no one seemed to be interested in speaking with him. I wonder at these events that draw a number of "C"-list celebrities, if they can sit where they can see each other (which they could today) if they compare the number of autograph-seekers and well-wishers they each get?
GG had finally had enough of the superheroes that shot sparks out of their fingertips, and the -- ahem, well-built -- Supergirl that was with him, so it was once back around the dealer floor.
We did, however, come away with a few purchases (natch).
I found an original Star Trek series set of Micro Machine ships I'd been looking for, BB got a Reek from The Phantom Menace, and a Ringwraith figure from Lord of the Rings. GG got some Snorks, and BB and I both found a model of the Back to the Future Delorean time machine we'd been looking for. In addition, each was given a paper sack full of Star Wars action figures - figures that were being sold in the dealers' room for around $5 each....if we were smart, we might've turned a quick profi---no, no, I wouldn't do that.
Clutching their treasures, BB gave GG a piggy-back ride out, and then home.
What a wonderful day...