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Mia’s Con Blog, Emerald City Comicon Day 3

I wake up early again. It’s the last day of the con and I’m already a little sad. I head over to the convention center for another early voice actor panel. This time they act out scenes from a variety of movies (Pulp Fiction and Princess Bride for the win). It is hilarious. I could listen to them read lines in funny voices all day.

After the panel I wander off through the exhibition hall. I expect it to be less busy since it is Sunday but I am wrong on that point. It’s a crush trying to get through the vendor space. I consider getting my picture taken in a full size TARDIS but the line is too long. I almost drop 50 bucks on a Ghost in the Shell action figure (they’re rare collector’s items after all!) but manage to maintain a bit of self control.

My con-buddy and I stop by the Transolar Galactica booth to say “hi.” I won’t go in to how long it takes to even find their booth first. I really need to learn how to read a map. We chat for a bit and mention how great we thought their screening was the day before.

At one point we randomly run into my tiny/tall gal pal and her con-buddy. In the two and a half days we’ve all been running around the convention center we’ve never managed to just bump into each other. It makes me laugh.

I stop at the Espionage Cosmetics booth to meet Anne Wheaton and Bonnie Burton, mothers of the VandalEyes movement. They are delightful and sign a pair of giant google eyes I’ve brought with me for just such a moment. I also discuss nail wraps with one of the Espionage Cosmetics ladies. I love them but can never get them on my nails right. She gives me tips. I doubt they will help. Worst girl ever.

It takes a while but eventually I also find the Camilla d’Ericco booth. I fell in love with her artwork the first time I saw it about eight years ago online and it has been a love that has lasted ever since. There is often a booth selling her work at Sakuracon, but I’ve never gotten to actually meet her before. She, like the lovely VandalEyes ladies, is delightful. I buy her special convention print and talk to her about a piece she painted that I want as a tattoo. She offers her email address and tells me she’ll send a high quality digital copy of the piece. It is an awesome moment.

After that my con-buddy and I decide we’re about done. We have to check out of the hotel by 3pm anyway and so it’s time to wrap things up. It has been a crazy, busy, intense, hilarious, overwhelming, amazing weekend. I’ve seen celebrities and artists and writers and cosplayers and more. I’ve wandered up and down stairs, waiting in lines for escalators, followed arrows made of tape on the floor, and pushed my way through epic crowds.

I’ve loved pretty much every moment of it. I already can’t wait for Emerald City Comicon 2015.

*In addendum – Tasty Eats from Seattle:
Panera Bread: (Issaquah) tried mac and cheese and a half sandwich; just as tasty as all previous meals with them – seriously why don’t we have a Panera in Spokane?

Mia’s Con Blog, Emerald City Comicon Day 2

I set my alarm for 9am. I’m awake by 8. I hate my brain.

I want to attend a panel at 10:30 so I do my best to get showered, dressed, and out the door by a little after 10. I expect Saturday to be much busier than Friday. I am not disappointed. The first panel of the day in the main hall contains the entire roster of attending voice actors reading scenes from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. There is already a line waiting to get in the room when I arrive.

The panel is worth the wait in the line and the seats near the back of the room. Nancy Cartwright does Princess Leia in Bart Simpson’s voice. Bill Farmer gives us Darth Vader in a Snagglepuss drawl. Bill Salyers narrates as Rigby from The Regular Show. And I’m not sure what Andrea Libman is reading in Pinkie Pie’s voice (from My Little Pony) but it is so fast and high-pitched that I’m wondering if she was inhaling helium before the show.

After the panel my con buddy and I head down to the screening room for a showing of Transolar Galactica’s Origin episodes. Friday we tried to find the screening room with no luck, but after perusing the map for over an hour the night before I think I’ve finally figured out where it is. Several escalators, two sets of stairs, four floors, and a several thousand people later we manage to find it.

Transolar is made right here in good ol’ Spokane. It’s a fun mash-up of dozens of science fiction movies and shows and stereotypes. After a successful Kickstarter campaign to make a second season they’ve been on the road showing off all the swanky new things they can do with some financial backing going for them. The screening is great, the episodes look slick and professional, and I’d give the guys behind the series some high fives if I was into that kind of thing.

The next panel features Alan Tudyk of Firefly/Serenity and Dollhouse fame (he was in more stuff of course but I work for a Fox affiliate PLUS I was a huge Firefly fan, so I’m name-checking those shows). He is absolutely delightful. For every person that gets up the nerve to ask him a question in front of thousands of other fans, he pulls a random item out of a satchel and autographs it for them. Some get receipts, others get game demos, one person gets a half eaten bag of salty nuts. The last person to get up and ask a question is an adorable kid in a Wash costume who just wants to play dinosaurs with his hero. We all melt from the cuteness and cheer like crazy when he does.

After a trip around the model exhibit and past the Lego exhibit we attend another screening, this time for Manos: Hands of Felt. I helped Kickstart this project so am eager to see the final product. Watching one of the worst films ever made redone with the addition of puppets is totally worth however much I threw in on the Kickstarter (no particular recollection of how much that was and too lazy to look it up right now).

Back up to the main hall after Manos to see the second half of John de Lancie. He tells a funny story about being naked on the bridge of the Enterprise (Star Trek The Next Generation version) and an even funnier story about his secret trick for acting lovestruck in The Thorn Birds. After he is finished talking I sneak up as many rows as possible to get good seats for the next panel guest – Karl Urban.

Karl Urban makes jokes about tequila. He strolls around the stage in his leather jacket and speaks with his New Zealand accent and is absolutely, hysterically funny. He talks about Dredd and Almost Human and Lord of the Rings, and then tells about some epic pranks both Simon Pegg and Viggo Mortenson played on him while filming projects. I kind of want to run up and steal him and take him home with me. I doubt I’m the only one in the audience with this in mind.

Day two of the con definitely ends on a high note. I find out later on that while I was running around doing panels and screenings, my tiny/tall gal pal was getting autographs from Bill Salyers (voice actor from Mass Effect among other things), meeting Michael Dorn (Worf of Star Trek The Next Generation), and running into John de Lancie in the hallway. Turns out she had a pretty epic second day at the con as well.

*In addendum – Tasty Eats from Seattle:
Elephant and Castle: lunch Saturday afternoon; another place I stop at every time I’m in Seattle, very tasty curry chicken flatbread … thing
Dragonfish Asian Cafe: dinner Saturday night; amazing sushi as well as very tasty drinks, shared the Dragonfish roll (with unagi and tempura shrimp) as well as chicken potstickers and Dragon noodles, also had a frothy daquirie and a lemon-y something or other to drink

Mia’s Con Blog, Emerald City Comicon Day 1

I wake up at 6am. No one else in my group does. I spend the next four hours sighing dramatically, trying to fall back to sleep, playing on my phone, texting my sister who is having surgery this morning, and texting my mother because my sister is having surgery this morning.

Eventually there is movement from my fellow convention goers. Yay.

The con starts at 10am. We get there by noon. There is already a ridiculous amount of people swarming around the convention center doors. A man on one corner is yelling out that he has tickets to sell to this sold out event. On another corner a man is asking everyone that passes by if they have tickets to sell. Obviously these two men need to meet.

Inside is chaos, but it seems to be controlled chaos. People are EVERYWHERE. Riding up and down escalators, sitting at tables, running across the lobby to hug people they haven’t seen since the last con a year ago.

A Master Chief (from Halo) is posing on the first set of stairs as five different people take his picture. Over by the information booth a pair of Eva pilots (from Neon Genesis Evangelion) are arguing over something in their con program guide.

It’s an epic first few moments.

I spend the rest of the first day exclaiming excitedly over artwork in the exhibition hall, traveling up and down stairs and escalators looking for a screening room that refuses to be found, taking pictures of awesome costumes, standing in line for panels, and getting angry at my phone because it refuses to work properly in the convention center.

I also am there to witness Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura!) assist a man in proposing to his girlfriend. She is absolutely stunning and totally gracious and simply wonderful. She talks about Star Trek and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Neil deGrasse Tyson and the space program and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. I clap a lot during her panel.

I attend a panel with Kenichi Sonada (creator of Gunsmith Cats) and delight in how polite and soft spoken and quietly humorous his stories are. I kind of want to put him in my pocket and run off with him; similar to how I felt after seeing the director and art director of Vampire Hunter D a couple of years ago at a different convention.

I sneak into the second half Richard Dean Anderson’s panel, just in time to witness how jovial and charismatic he is. He says “I don’t know” several times in such a perfect Colonel Jack O’Neill (Stargate) tone of voice that I can’t help but laugh. Two guys dressed as Jack and Daniel from the show are sitting a few rows ahead of me. They look awesome and laugh at everything.

By the time the day is over I am exhausted and mentally overwhelmed and ready for some quiet time to process (that doesn’t exactly happen, FYI).

Friday ends with drinks, snacks, and Cards Against Humanity back at the hotel room. I won’t sully anyone’s innocent minds with some of the epic combinations that are played, but just leave you with the assurance that they are hilarious and, in some cases, incredibly disgusting. I am impressed by the mental levels my friends can sink to.

It has been an epic first day. I’m excited to see what Day 2 has in store for me.

*In addendum – Tasty Eats from Seattle:
Westin Lobby Bar: drinks Thursday evening; pricey but good – had something called a True Blood which was strong but also tasty
Pike Brewing Company: dinner Thursday night; excellent pulled pork sandwich (as always), also a tasty margarita-like beverage can’t quite remember the name of
PF Chang’s: lunch Friday afternoon; the sauce on their broccoli beef is amazing; the rice was pretty good as well
Panera Bread: dinner Friday night; why don’t we have one of these here in Spokane? why? had half a chicken panini and bowl of cheddar broccoli soup – they were delicious