Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

Here’s a song from the 1978 movie “The Wiz.” It’s called “He’s The Wizard” and this version is performed by Thelma Carpenter. I post this because she’s an awesome jazz vocalist and because this movie is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s a terrible film and I love it unconditionally.

Hey! Speaking of Wizards, I went to Chicago’s Wizard World Comic Con last weekend! It was awesome! Here’s my highlight reel:

The Buffy Part

I’m a HUGE “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” fan! This con was billed as Buffy-palozza and it lived up to its name. Spike, Xander, Cordy, Harmony, Darla and Glory (not their real names) were all there and they all did Q and A panels! I got to see everyone but Cordy (Charisma Carpenter) because, for some twisted reason, they put her in one of the smaller panel rooms (everyone else got the big room). They were all warm, funny and fantastic but for me the highlights were Nicholas Brendon and his twin brother Kelly Donovan (they closed with the Snoopy dance!), Julie Benz ( Did you know she only did 4 episodes of Buffy? Doesn’t it feel like more?), and James Marsters (The man is a SUPER fan whisperer! When he talks to you, you feel like the most precious and special person in the room.)

A friend of mine also bought autographs from Nicholas and James. I leeched onto his moment so I got to make James laugh and shake his hand and then I got a Xander hug!!!! Just the Buffy part would have been well worth the (very reasonable) price of admission. But wait, there’s more!

The Star Trek Part

Sir Patrick Stewart and Levar Burton were there!! I’ve just started watching Star Trek TNG so I was thrilled to see them both. I was really looking forward to the Levar Burton panel because I’ve been a fan of his since “Roots” (“Club Kunta” is what Levar calls us). Unfortunately they put him in the small room too so by the time I finished the Patrick Stewart Panel and got around the corner to his it was already full. Patrick Stewart, who was in the big room, was fantastic!

The Miscellaneous Awesome

I saw a great panel with the ladies from “Stargate Universe.” I just got finished watching the whole Stargate franchise and I really enjoyed it so it was nice to hear their recollections.

The kids from “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” were there! I was really looking forward to their panel and they did not disappoint! I loved watching kids and adults alike line up to ask questions and say thank you to them all. I even got to thank Denise Nickerson for her work on “Dark Shadows” and “Electric Company.” Huge thrill for this big fan!

I also saw a short one on Sunday with Peter Mayhew (Chewbaca) and his lovely wife the their son reading a children’s book they all collaborated on. The panel was so short only one person got to ask a question and guess who it was? Me! I talked to Chewbaca y’all! (Your weekend is officially invalid).

The Marriage Proposal Part

No, it wasn’t me, but two proposals happened that weekend. One I saw with my own two eyes and the other was witnessed by a good friend. The one I saw was at the Bruce Campbell panel which I attended because I couldn’t get in to the one I really wanted to see. The other, ultra cool proposal was this!! (nerdgasm!)

The Cosplay Part

I have “attention seeking issues.” It’s why I blog. When I went to my first Con down in Georgia last year and saw all the attention Cosplayers get I KNEW I had to be a part of that. I wanted something ethnically appropriate and ultra cool so I decided to go with 70s Blaxploitaion cop. I wore crushed velvet paired with red and yellow floral paisley, silver platform shoes and a GIANT afro wig. It was a hit! Some of the famous people even complimented me. I got stopped for lots of pics. My one regret is that I really never took the time to develop a bad ass attitude to go with my bad ass costume. In all my cosplay pics, I look more like my favorite aunt’s family photo album circa 1973 than a bad ass, foxy mama out to kick the man’s ass and take honky names! Ah well, there’s always next year.

The Hero Part

I got to see Pam Grier and Louis Gossett Jr. speak while I was there. Pam was funny and warm and amazing and still smokin’ hot at 62 (Black don’t crack baby!)

Attendance was embarrassingly low at Mr. Gossett’s panel (it was late Sunday afternoon.) But the up side was everyone who had a question got to ask it and those of us with multiple questions (me) got to ask them all. It was wonderful getting to spend time talking with an Oscar winner who was personable, funny and eager to talk about his craft. Seeing him was an unforgettable experience.

The Bad Part

Traffic control around the panel rooms was a nightmare! They had no game plan for lining people up safely and no clearly marked and accessible walkways for through traffic and that made moving from one room to another nearly impossible when the bigger panels let out.

I hope next year they’ll find ways to put all the more popular panel speakers in bigger rooms. I missed Levar, Charisma, and the zombie musical because they were all being held in a room too small to fit all the fans.

The vendor floor really didn’t have much variety for folks who weren’t into comic books (yes I know it’s called COMIC Con). I did find a great sword cane for my cosplay though so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much.

The Very Very Bestest Part!

At various points during the weekend, I got to spend time with 20 of the best pallies on the planet. All of us came from the MSTie fan base and but, obviously we were there pursuing other interests.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s the people who make these gatherings so consistently groovy. Even without a CT or RT in sight, my MSTies peeps are like a warm plate of cookies for the soul.

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