Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My World Tuesday and Philadelphia Comic-Con 2010

The cycle of life does come around eventually. Twenty years ago we had just moved from California to Virginia. I will always remember our ride from the airport to the house we had rented, with our son in the back seat of the car looking out of the window. He had that kind of wide-eyed, worried looking expression on his face. I remember asking him what he thought of the scenery. With his chin cupped in his hand he said, with emphasis, "I don't like it, it's too green!" That took us by surprise. We were driving through the most beautiful, lush countryside, pine trees were everywhere and it was very different from what he had been used to. It had rained like a monsoon, a good summer Virginia downpour, something he had never experienced before. Even the smell was different and it was nothing like the barren, semi-desert community that he had lived in for the previous seven years of his life. He was also missing his dog. We had had to leave her at a kennel for a couple of weeks, while we looked around for a place to stay. Separating our boy from his dog was also traumatic and we all were all missing her and looking forward to getting her back again.

When we were more settled we asked our son what would he like to do for fun. He was still very sad at leaving all his friends behind in California. He hadn't been able to make any friends yet as school hadn't started and there were no neighborhood kids his age. On their rides out together he and his Dad had found a comic book store. He had never read any before and I had a few trepidations but his Dad said he enjoyed them and they would encourage his reading. I couldn't argue with that. Gone now were the days of the Berenstein Bears and Curious George. I don't know who missed them more, him or me. I think it was me.

Truth be told that cycle was coming around again. When I was about his age, something I had never mentioned to him before, the little boy who lived next door used to bring his comics over and he would leave them for me to read. It wasn't long before I was using my pocket money to buy my own. I was an avid reader and it was a stepping stone to me riding my bike up to the library and loading my basket up with lots of books.

Our son and his Dad would drive over to the comic book store in the next town over and bring a few home to read. Somehow he had heard about Comic-Con taking place in Philadelphia, probably from the comic book store, and always loving a road trip he asked if we could go. It wasn't long before we were heading to Philadelphia and what a fun trip it was.

I had no idea what to expect, none of us did. When we got there and paid our entrance fee, as we walked inside we realized we weren't just there to buy comics. There were movie stars I remember from childhood, and comic book hero's that I was also very familiar with. I remember getting a photo with Mr. 'T' and phoning my mum the next day because she and my dad loved the show he was in, "The A Team". There's a remake of the movie out right now isn't there? That cycle thing going on again! Mum was also a fan of George Peppard, in the same show. I sat in the Bat Mobile with pride! Brad today reminded me that he was upset with me because I made him pose with RoboCop. He laughs about it now but he wasn't too pleased with me at the time. Hey, I couldn't get this kid of mine to sit on Santa Claus' lap! I think I have maybe one photo somewhere, probably before he had a voice to tell his mother, "No way am I doing that ever again!"

The cycle comes round, I didn't like sitting on Santa's lap either, or Father Christmas as I knew him back in England. Every year the police used to put on a children's party for their kids in the town hall and I remember being told to join the line so that I could tell Father Christmas what I wanted that year. I didn't want to and pulled a face but I did as I was told. Eventually it's my turn to sit on his lap and I look up and I am startled by a pair of familiar eyes. It's my Dad's friend Mr. Bissell and I say to him in total shock, "You're not Father Christmas, you're Mr. Bissell." He said to me, "Ho, ho, ho Little Girl, I'm Father Christmas." I wouldn't be dissuaded, "No you're not" I repeated, "You're Mr. Bissell. Why are you dressing up as Father Christmas?" "Shhhhh," he said in an urgent whisper. "Not so loud, we don't want the other little children to know do we?" and he winked at me. So, yes son is his mother's child. At Christmas I didn't like to sit on anyone's lap after that, didn't care if he was wearing a red suit. You never knew who it would be. I liked Mr. Bissell though but I did not like him as Father Christmas. He and his wife were old friends and they would often come over to our house for a cup of tea. I used to like listening to all their old stories and I think he told the one of me figuring out who he was for a long time.

So, getting back to Brad and his dislike of Santa Claus, I did get him to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap one year, but only after we told him that inside the costume was his Aunt Gigi. He still wouldn't do it until she spoke and he recognized her voice. Gregg's sister who was still in high school, had a job at the local mall as the Easter Bunny that year.

I'm all over the place in this post but getting back to our first trip to Comic-Con, I was amazed that son eventually walked over to RoboCop to pose for the camera. Secretly I think he wanted to but needed a bit of a nudge. I have to find that photo. To coin a phrase we use frequently around here, "it's in a box somewhere" and I would dearly love to get my hands on it.

This is a My World Post one step removed as this week I am sharing photos taken by my son, daughter-in-law and their friend at Comic-Con Philadelphia 2010. I have added a link to a short biography on every actor mentioned here. Just click on their name.

In this photo Brad and Lisa are chatting with Walter Koenig, one of my all-time favorite characters on the original Star Trek series, Pavel Chekov.

Apparently he was a lovely man. So nice to hear how very kind he was to his fans. A lot of the actors won't allow photographs taken with them, but not Mr. Koenig.

Behind this table is Bobby Clark. You have to be a fan of the old show to know who he is but his bio is very interesting and I learned a few things when I read it.

I think I see a familiar face.

Here is Brent Spiner. I shared a picture in my previous post.

The way these actors make their money is by charging for their autographs. It can be a lucrative business for them. You can see what he charges, some ask for twice as much.

They were happy to fork over their cash for as long as it lasted. They knew it was going to be a bit expensive and had saved up for some time.

Another memory came back when I saw these photos. Mr. Spiner came to our area in Fairfax, Virginia several years ago, at a hotel 20 miles away from our home, and of course we took son to see him. He was 14 years old by then. I was given the task of taking photos, just like this, but it was the old film and I didn't realize that the film had stuck in the camera and wasn't forwarding onto the next frame. I got a lot of ghostly negatives that were useless, with one saving grace, a single photo that turned out perfectly.

John De Lancie. This is "Q", also from the Star Trek Enterprise series.

Next is Avery Brooks who played Captain Benjamin Cisko on Deep Space Nine.

Mr. Brooks with the actor who played his son Jake on Deep Space 9, Cirroc Lofton.

James Marsters. He played Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and later, Angel. Years ago our daughter-in-law had a big crush on him along with all her friends. She didn't watch this type of show normally but she did watch Buffy. She was delighted when she found out he was there. He was real nice also, very friendly and down-to-earth.

This is Adam West. Brad was being told here, "No photographs!" You know, I seem to remember going into a certain store recently and being the told the same thing. Oh well!

Here is the same Bat Mobile I sat in all those years ago.

Little did I know that my daughter-in-law would be sitting behind the wheel all these years later.

Julie Newmar. What a beautiful lady. Brad and Lisa were really taken with her and said she was super nice to them.

Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters. Another great guy who really took care of his fans. Now for $150 you could go and have breakfast with him. If I was there I think I would have been tempted but the kids were running out of their money by this time. This is an expensive proposition to stay there for two days.

But by this photo alone I would have said, "Here's my $150 Mr Hudson, let's go to IHOP!"

This is Bruce Campbell. Years ago when Brad was involved with an author's group with a few connections, when Mr. Campbell came to Baltimore Brad had a chance to be his bodyguard. He didn't take them up on the offer. My son has no self-defense training. I am so glad he said no. We mums worry about that kind of thing don't we? You just never know. Right now he is in a show I enjoy watching that is very popular over here called Burn Notice.

Brad and Lisa taking a break for lunch.

They went to the Hard Rock Cafe where he took the following two shots of Elvis Presley immortalized in stained glass.

This is Jake Busey. You can click on his name for his bio. Another nice guy!

Gil Gerard. Does anyone remember Buck Rogers in the 25th Century? I do! I loved that show. And yes, yet another nice guy. I would recognize that smile anywhere.

Vernon Wells, who plays great villians in Commando and Mad Max 2.

Stephen Baldwin. They didn't get to meet him as they had by this time run out of autograph money.

Lots of characters roaming around. Hey Bobba Fett, did you know I have a cake pan in the shape of your head 'in a box somewhere'? I made son a birthday cake when he was eight years' old. It took me forever to decorate it but it was worth the smile on my son's face when I brought it out. I also made a huge Darth Vader Head out of black cardboard and had the kids throw bean bags through the mouth for one of the party games. We were very much into our Star Wars stage back then.

Speak of the angel....

Now, when I was telling Gregg about the phone conversation I had with Brad he said, "You know all these characters don't you?" And when I said yes he told me I ought to go next year. I told him the kids didn't want the mother trailing them around Comic-Con, but maybe if I dressed up like this they would never recognize me would they? And yes I am JOKING!!!!!!
But I did tell Brad about our conversation and bless his cotton socks he said, "Mom, that's a great idea. Why don't you come with us next time? That would be cool!" Who knows, I may be heading for Comic-Con 2011. I wonder which state it will be in? I feel another road trip coming on.

This is the Question Man. I think he is questioning whether I ought to be the third wheel next year. Maybe I can persuade Gregg to come along. He seemed interested when I mentioned it earlier.

Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia for hosting My World.

You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here.


  1. Wow how fun and such a wonderful life. Great world and post Denise.

  2. what a fun read. your son and daughty in law must have the best time.

    i remember a couple or so years ago, i was quite interested in going to sci fi convention since we heard cast from our favorite show, STARGATE would be there.

    i only know a couple of guys from the list of list of celebs they saw.

  3. Your son and his wife resemble each other so much they look like siblings. Beautiful couple and seemingly so compatible.

    I am sorry, but when I was a kid, I preferred Love comics. LOL.

  4. I like the stained windows and especially when it is for the king.

  5. oh wow, i was excited while scrolling down on each photo. what a great time your son and daughter in law must have meeting all these stars. i would go into that bat mobile, too, for a photo-op! gosh, i suddenly miss Universal Studios!:p

  6. Denise: That is certainly a fun trip through the show. There were a lot of people I recognized because I'm a big Si-Fi fan.

  7. It is so cool that your son and daughter-in-law met so many actors. I bet they had one of the best times of their lives.

    Early in your post you mentioned barren, semi-desert community of California vs. the lush countryside of Virginia. That portion of your post brought to mind a comment my sister-in-law made while we were in Hawaii. She misses the lush green of Virginia. Where they live in Hawaii the land is black from lava rock. It is a dry climate, and the only green areas are that way because of irrigation. My sister-in-law has to either go up into the mountain above Kona or to Hilo for a "green fix". She does this at least once a month.

    You also mentioned that comic books encouraged your son to read. We gave one of our exchange students comic books when he first came to live with us. The comic books actually helped improve his reading of English.

  8. You should definitely go! This looks like too much fun to pass up.
    I really appreciate the photos of Philadelphia. I lived there for a few years when I went to college.

  9. I have to say I was never a comic book fan or a Star Trek fan and I have no idea who most of these characters are. I do know Star Wars! But it is interesting to see what a convention of this sort is like.

  10. how adorable is your story here, just beautiful!
    And I can imagine my pain IF anything could get wrong about little Luna, she is part of our family, I could not leave her in Brazil!
    Thanks your son for sharing these pictures, a beautiful event for all fans there!

  11. I was hooked on Star Trek TNG and have never been as devoted to a show as I was to that one. The original series brings back fond memories, because I used to watch that with my dad. Koenig's rug is pretty obvious, isn't it? He's pretty cool to pose for you. I wouldn't be too surprised if one of these big actors climbs inside a full body costume like Darth Vader or Boba Fett just to be able to wander around freely.

    Avery Brooks looked hip until he stood up. What are those trousers he's wearing?! They look like they're hiked up to his chest. (lol)

    That looks like a really fun time.

  12. There's a few stars in this line up.

  13. Such an interesting account indeed Denise. Just sneaking as I'll be away for a day. (family matters). I do consider being a Guest Friend. I need to read the rules all over again and find something suitable to post. Thanks for the invite Denise though it was me who invited myself. lol. Good morning from down under.

  14. This is such an interesting post, I enjoyed "following" your son and daughter-in-law around the convention. How great they must feel after being able to meet their heroes! Perhaps if you go with them next year you can be the "official photographer" for them.

  15. Oh my gracious! This was so much fun, Denise. Since I can't be there or afford to be there, this was really fabulous!

  16. what an interesting post. Is $30 per autograph a normal price?

    Gill in Canada

  17. I know these people too! If Gregg won't go can I throw my name into the hat? :)
    What a fun time they must have had and I love that it's something they both enjoy.

  18. Yep, you are right, you were all over the place. LOL. It's your world, it's your home, you can do whatever you want my dear! It's very nice to read about your times with your son when he's little. For some reason, today it finally dawned on me you're from CA. Well, I can't imagine leaving CA, but you never know. Now for your main subject, what a fun fun event, man, I would get a blast from just trying to put the real person with the famous face, you know what I mean? I don't know them all. :-)