It was the first time I've ever been to a comic convention - I didn't know quite what to expect, besides the fact that this year it was bigger than ever. My friend and I decided we'd travel down on Friday, go to the Con on a Saturday pass, and then travel home on Sunday (today.) So, that's what we did.
I knew Misha and Felicia Day were going to be there... along with Patrick Stewart and other awesome people.... but after talking about it briefly, we decided that we didn't actually want to spend time going to their panels or getting autographs. We'll see Misha at VanCon, and we actually just wanted to go for the comics. So, sadly, you won't get any report about Misha from me...well, actually, you'll get a SMALL one.
I'm a big fan of Dresden Codak (Aaron Diaz) and Joey Comeau, so I brought stuff for them to sign, because I knew they'd have booths there - but mostly I was just interested in what new things I might discover. And there was a LOT there. I could have spent a whole day just walking around the exhibitors/artist stands and giving everything my proper long attention...as it was, I tried to only approach things that particularly caught my eye. That being said, there were a few times I thought "oh, I have to come back to this booth later!" and then there never was a later! So, that was definitely a vote for coming for more than one day.
I did go to a couple of panels. We went and saw Walter Koenig's panel (actually from the waiting area so that we could lie on the floor) for a bit of a break from standing up. But there's not much to report there. He was funny in places. Oh, right before he came on, there was a movie mash-up where people who do cartoon voices read Star Wars - that was hilarious! Vader-the-Pooh was particular favourite of ours.
Then I did some academic-type panels...wherein I discovered the "Sexy Lamp Test"...
[Academic panels - Sexism and Censorship]
I went to a panel that discussed the "Victim to Hero" trope and how it's been "traditionally" done differently for female and male characters in a pretty sexist way (ie: Red Sonya, who gets raped and then starts killing people as revenge, as opposed to Conan who in a similar scenario just gets his whole family killed and thus becomes a 'Superhero'). One of the panelists was an author named Kelly Sue DeConnick, and I have to say that she was pretty damn awesome. She writes a comic called "Pretty Deadly" that's a spaghetti western that has female characters that are purposely not even under the threat of sexual assault, because Kelly Sue was sick of the amount of rape in the genre. Anyway, I loved her. Like me, she believed that not every female character needs to be a role model for the gender (ie: You should be allowed to have flawed females without being accused of misogyny) and she also gave me an awesome alternative to the Bechdel Test: "I call it the Sexy Lamp Test. If you can replace your female characters with a sexy lamp and the story doesn't change, you're a hack!"
I also went to a panel about the history of censorship of comics. It basically ran through the problems the industry has encountered since the birth of comics. It was really interesting. The speaker was from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. He focused mostly on it's censorship as a narrative artform akin to literature and fine art...and about recent cases were people have been arrested for possessing "child porn" even though they've just been fanart/drawings, rather than photographic evidence of an actual crime. It was an interesting panel, but there wasn't that much time for questions... we were really curious about what the stance was when it came to "hate speech" which is illegal in Canada, but apparently not illegal in the US. (Like...if someone wrote a comic calling for all members of a certain group of the population to be killed, would they defend that person? Or is it a moot point because maybe that person wouldn't even be arrested in the states for writing something horrible as long as they didn't draw naked kids in it?) Anyway, like I said, very interesting.
I didn't go to the Supernatural fan panel, because I didn't want spoilers. When I told my sister this, she said "wow, you're hardcore" which I thought was kind of hilarious because I thought that the people lining up for 3 hours just to talk about spoilers would probably consider themselves way more hardcore than me. :P Apparently Misha briefly crashed the panel - so I'm sure that was fun for everyone.
I also had a friend, ria_oaks, who saw the Gillian Anderson panel, and apparently there were a LOT of horrible "questions" - hugs, 'I love you', asking about off-screen romance with whatshisface, has she read fanfic - she should read fanfic.... like just cringe-worthy stuff. So yeah, when I heard that, I was kind of glad that I avoided the celebrity panels.
More general Con stuff...
We went back to the showroom and I got to talk to Ryan North about the Hamlet Choose-able Adventure book that he's in the process of getting published (I backed the kickstarter). He was such a nice guy, and oddly enough, the ONLY person that I wasn't nervous around. When I got Aaron Diaz and Joey Comeau to sign stuff, I was a shakey nervous fangirl all of a sudden.. WAY worse than when I see Jared and Jensen even. I can't explain it. Talking to Ryan was super casual though, even though he is a giant viking.
Of course, all this running around the showroom floor and then doing two panels back to back meant that I didn't eat. There was a very brief period of time in which I thought I might pass out while standing in line for a sandwich, but thankfully I was able to pull through.
We tried to got to the costume contest at the end of the night, but it was a dud - the intro was way too long, we were surrounded by "dude bros", and we realized it was much better to just wander around the convention during the day and see the costumes rather than trying to make them out on a TV screen in a huge hall.
There ARE a lot of cool costumes. There was a batman that was standing stock still in a corridor and his costume was impeccable. I later saw him taking a picture with a baby, and it was adorable. There were really well done Star Wars costumes. I saw two different Kaleys with the pretty dress...a couple of Jaynes. An amazing He-Man and Skeletor... an awesome Ironman. Some great genderswap Avengers. My friend saw some Avatar: The Last Airbender costumes, but I sadly missed them. And there was a Hawkeye-Initiative cosplayer! He was really awesome. I've seen some absolutely fantastic pictures of him on the internet where he's actually contorted into some of the poses from the hawkeye-initiative.
All in all, a great day!
My older sister who lives in Seattle was there on a weekend pass. She does not watch Supernatural, but for some reason she decided to go to Misha's panel this morning. These are her tweets and facebook statuses (there are no spoilers):
-Misha Collins panel. I don't watch Supernatural (yet), but apparently this guy built his own house and all the furniture in it. I must know more!
-Jensen is a nibbler and Jared goes for the tonsils. I'm learning so much at this panel.
-I don't think I'm going to learn anything about Guinness WR or homebuilding DIY at this
-Yay, a fan asked
Later in response to a question about whether she's going to give the show a chance, she added:
-It is on our TV show radar for one day, we're just behind on so many shows right now. The panel was really cool and he seems like a nice guy. I heard a lot from the fan girls about how cute he is in his suit, so I must watch
So, apparently my sister talked to Misha fangirls and was not scared away...good job fangirls! ;)
Anyway, I have a ton of fun. I think if I were to go back, I'd probably want to go for two days so that I could go to panels AND see the showroom AND eat, and not feel run off my feet.