I heard that there was a new convention starting in the area quite by accident. When I checked the guest list for O Comic Con I, that is when I knew that I was going to attend. Among the guests were listed, Mick Foley of Professional Wrestling fame, Jamie Bamber of Battlestar Galactica, and Walter Koenig of Star Trek and Babylon 5 fame. I said to myself, "holy crap! Walter Koenig! I'm going!"
How often does one living in the middle of Nebraska get to meet someone like that? Someone that I have been watching on television and in films for nearly 50 years? Not very often. So do I sound a bit fanboyish? I admit that I am guilty as charged. I went to O Comic Con for one purpose, and one purpose only; to shake hands with someone I consider a living legend and an icon of something I love.
When I announced to my family that I intended to head to Council Bluffs, Iowa to attend this convention, Diane suggested that we make a family outing of it and all go. Cool. We got up at 4:00 AM and headed out to O Comic Con. The plan was that Chrissy and I would do the con thing and Diane would go shopping and visit the casinos in the area. Little did I know what I was in for as I we arrived.
First, I was pleasantly surprised as I walked in and found that a good friend, Mr. Troy Rutter actually made it after he didn't think he would. Troy worked at in Hollywood on Babylon 5 as their web administrator back in the days before Facebook and Twitter. He knows his way around a con and it was a pleasure to see him again.
Following that initial surprise, it was time to go and get in line to meet Walter Koenig. Chrissy and I were quite lucky; we were fourth in line. Unfortunately, Mr. Koenig was late in arriving, but it was nice that the staff were on hand to keep us informed when he would arrive. By the time Mr. Koenig arrived, the line had gotten quite long, so we had to keep moving. I got an autographed photo for $40, which I consider to be a reasonable price and moved on. It would have been nice if there would have been more time to visit.
Next, we cued up for Jamie Bamber. His line was not as big and Chrissy and I were able to visit with Mr. Bamber for a few minutes. I was impressed with how warm and friendly a man he is. I had a question I wanted to ask, and got an answer. There are episodes of Battlestar Galactica where his character, Apollo looks about 50 pounds heavier than before or after. I read, and have heard that he actually put on all of that weight for the show. He assured me that he did not, although he said it "would have been more fun" that way as opposed to sitting in makeup for four hours everyday before shooting started. He asked if I had let Chrissy watch the show, and I apologized explaining that I thought she might be a bit too young yet. He agreed, explaining that his own children had not seen the show yet and that I should wait a few more years before Chrissy enters that world.
Later, Chrissy and I attended a Q&A session with Mick Foley. For those of you that are not up on professional wrestling personalities, Mr. Foley is known as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and his most famous character Mankind. It was fun to listen to him talk about his days wrestling, what his favorite matches were, and other work. But what was more impressive was to listen to him talk about his philanthropic work. He told how he had been sponsoring a your lady from the Philippines from the age of three, and that just a few days before, he had made the final payment for her to finish her nursing degree. He also talked about how much he enjoyed being Santa Claus. Even though Chrissy knew nothing about him, she enjoyed Mr. Foley's talk.
The rest of our day was spent wandering around and visiting and getting photos with numerous people we encountered. I made sure to be polite and ask before I took photos, and was not turned down once. Some of the costumes are just outstanding, while others are in various stages of being built. I cannot imagine the amount of time and money some of these people invest in their attire, but it is all in fun and one of the best parts of O Comic Con was just people watching.
I asked Chrissy to write down a few words of her experience at this event, here is what she said...
"The cool part was spending time with Dad, and we met Darth Vader, Thor, Chewbacca, and other people from the movies. We also went to a Q&A show with Mick Foley. We also spent part of the day with a friend, Troy. The day was pretty fun."
The best part of the day for me, meeting Mr. Koenig and Mr. Bamber, was only topped by being able to share the experience with my daughter. We had a blast!
One of the best things about going to this event was being able to visit with friends I have made at OSFest. So I want to shout out to Tom Ulrick, Matt McKeever, Mitch Obrecht, Christopher Crane, Jason Burns, and of course Troy Rutter. I look forward to seeing you all again later this summer at OSFest 8.
As far as the running of the con itself, I didn't experience any problems as an attendee. But if anyone that is in charge of organization is reading this, I might offer a suggestion that would have made things a bit better.
A printed program would have been nice, or even just a schedule on poster board would have been helpful. The schedule was online, but the WiFi in the convention center was secure, which meant that I had to use data to check it.
In any case, as I said, Chrissy and I had a great time and both of us are ready to go to O Comic Con II!
Following are some of the other photos I took at O Comic Con.
Well, there it is...
|What an honor it was to shake Mr. Koenig's hand.|
|It was also awesome to introduce him to Chrissy.|
|I felt we would be safe with the 501st on the job.|
|We just happened to see LaForge walking by.|
|Chrissy is a Star Wars fanatic, so we had to get pictures with anyone that was in costume.|
|Chrissy said that this Batmobile replica was very cool. It was very detailed.|
|I really liked this display.|
|Chrissy wasn't too sure about this.|
|The 501st had a great presence at the con.|
|Malificent! Awesome costume, and an awesome lady wearing it.|
|Elsa and Anna took a few seconds off from lunch for a picture! Thanks Girls!|
|We tried to free Han from the carbonite, but pressed the wrong buttons.|
|I'll bet it was warm in this outfit!|
|We found the mighty Chewbacca!|
|Awseome Predator outfit.|
|Marvel had a presence. Iron Patriot and Black Widow. Can't imagine the work that goes into these costmes.|
|When I saw this guy, I thought it was Chris Hemsworth himself. Must have been his twin!|
|Kiss arrived to Rock and Roll All Night!|
|These ARE the droids we were looking for.|
|Glad he left Jabba behind.|
|One of my most treasured possessions.|