Saturday, 27 March 2010

Guess Who Went to Toronto Comic Con?

I went to my first Comic Con on Friday, March 26th and had a blast. Sure, it's the first time Wizard World's Comic Con has come to Toronto, but I've never been to one of these comic book/sci-fi/cult conventions before and didn't know what to expect beyond people dressed in costumes of their favourite characters. I thought I would feel out of place because I don't read comic books on a regular basis, but you know what, I fit right in because I do like sci-fi movies, and yes, I've seen the new Star Trek movie four times, but I didn't think that I was "far out" enough to be a part of the regulars who flock to these big events. (in photo: Brian and Stephanie)

Gareb Shamus, Storm Troopers (from the Fighting 501st Legion) and the welcome sign when I got off the streetcar at Exhibition Place.

Starting my day with an interview with CEO, Gareb Shamus (doesn't this sound like the name of a character?) allowed me to get into the spirit of things and also to learn about Wizard World, its off-spring, Comic Con (there are 12 of these worldwide) and its other international on line endeavours. From there I proceeded inside to the exhibit floor where I met a couple dressed in character, had a friendly chat with some Storm Troopers (saw but didn't take a pic of Darth Vader), and did my second interview for the day with Mike and Doug from Rebel Legion.

A couple of great guys: Mike (left) and Doug. They let me pose with a real light sabre. I was surprised at how thrilled I was to hold it.

Come on, I had to pose with Peter Brady; his wife Adrianne Curry

Walking along, who did I see but Peter Brady (my favourite of the bunch) and his wife, Adrianne Curry (America's Next Top Model). I rarely become giddy, but seeing Christopher Knight in person, and so unexpectedly, sent me right back to my childhood and my love of Peter. He was nice enough to do a quickie interview with me and to pose for a photo. Like many others there, Christopher is selling autographed copies of his photos and will pose for a photo if you buy a picture or two. Wife Adrianne was prettier in person than she was on television, but she was not in a great mood and apologized and was gracious enough to pose for a picture for me in her Clockwork Orange costume.

Gil Gerard and Erin Grey from Buck Rogers

A friend teased me about going to Comic Con to see Buck Rogers, well, as it turned out, he was right. Gil Gerard is a lot older than my memories of seeing him on television, but as he reminded me, that was 30 years ago! Another quick interview with him, face to face, and all I could think about at one point was how blue his eyes are. I forgot about the people listening in behind me and just lost my mind looking at him. I didn't attempt to interview Erin Grey after that. Like her and took some snaps, but didn't want to put Gil out of my mind just yet.

A collage of some of Luna's roles. She was gracious enough to pose with me. What a fantastic lady. You won't get a free photo though. She has lots for sale and will sign them for you--maybe then you'll get a picture with her--so worth it!

Barbara Luna, or Luna as she prefers to be called. What can I say? I know her as Lt. Marlena Moreau on Star Trek's "Mirror, Mirror" but she has been involved on stage and screen for many years. She showed me a shot of her as a little girl in South Pacific in 1949. What you get with people who have been in the business for a long time, if professionalism and the ability to tell a good story and she told some great ones about working with Frank Sinatra, holding up production on that Star Trek episode because she had strep, and how much she enjoyed working on Hawaii Five-O with James McArthur. While we were talking a few fans came by and were shocked to realize that she was Maria, "the bitch" in One Live to Live, and was Hawke's wife in Buck Rogers). Luna has lots of stills for sale at Comic Con and has a gallery on her site:

Bob poses with the character that has made him famous worldwide. You can even watch his fight with Captain Kirk on YouTube.
Next to Luna was Bob Clark, ex-stuntman, stunt coordinator,and actor who is best known for his role as the Gorn on Star Trek. We had a good chat about his being on Gunsmoke, and working on stunts for such pictures as The Ten Commandments (he drove a chariot for Yul Brenner) and being set on fire as a double for various actors.

More surprises were in store when I ran into Vincent and Tara Jean, runner up and winner on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. See what I mean, you never know who will make an appearance at Comic Con!

Yes, Black people at Comic Con. Founders Joe Bonsu (left) and Mark Williams (in costume) with their assistant. Joe and Mark are Canadian artists who have just put out their first issue of a comic book which will feature heroes from around the world. Check out their website (and be sure to check out their booth when you get to Comic Con. They have postcards showing various superheroes from places like Guatamala, Lithuania, Fiji, Jamaica Also listen out for them to be on The More the Merrier next month.

"V", the sci-fi series is on its way back to television and I can't wait for the continuation. By the way, David Richmond-Peck has one of the most masculine and sexiest handshakes ever.

Direct Energy Centre
Exhibition Place
100 Princes’ Blvd

Saturday - 10am - 7pm
Sunday - 10am - 5pm


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