Before I launch into my recap of Friday’s festivities, let’s talk about the here and now. It’s Saturday, the most insane day of the convention. Truthfully, I’m a little afraid to leave my hotel room; it’s going to be a madhouse. Luckily, I’ll be safely tucked away inside the Prism Comics booth for much of the afternoon, so I won’t be knocked about too much (unless So Super Duper‘s Brian Andersen roughs me up a little, which he is prone to do). The best advice I can offer for today is to set your expectations on medium and have a a backup plan. Rooms fill up fast and lines for popular panels start hours before. Don’t despair. Have a Plan B in mind and seek out some alternatives. On the convention floor, rely on your Jedi training, relax and be patient. You’ll get where you need to go, even if you have to take a couple of unplanned detours to do it. Good luck! You can always come visit me at Prism and rest for a bit.
Don’t forget! March Fanboy of the Month Rafael will be making an appearance at the Prism booth at 3:00PM today! So, stop by, say hi and take some pics. It’ll be fun! Here’s our booth schedule, etc. for today:
2:00 – 5:30 FBOTU @ Prism Comics
3:00 – 5:00 Meet March Fanboy of the Month Rafael!
5:45 – 7:15 Gays in Comics Panel
7:15 – 8:15 Gays in Comics Mixer
Now, let’s talk about Friday. I was at the booth for much of the morning and met and chatted with some great people. I’m beginning to recognize when people are a little timid about approaching the “gay booth.” I found that if you just smile, wave them over and ask them about their day, they loosen up a little and dive right in. It’s really rewarding to see so many LGBT teenagers around, too. I really could have stood around and chatted all day, but there were a couple of panels I just had to attend.
First up was the Mattel panel. I went into the room a bit early and caught the end of an Archie panel. They introduced the creator of Kevin Keller, and I expected some sort of reaction from the audience, but…nothing. So, either Archie readers are just naturally really polite, or it’s a total non-issue. Either way, I’m glad no one booed. People seem more concerned about Archie doing a parody of Jersey Shore than the whole gay thing. I couldn’t agree more. Once the Archies cleared out, it was time for Mattel. I think, perhaps, I’m just getting old and cranky. I was fully expecting the audience to stand up and take Mattel to task for the problems with online ordering, the insanity of having only one sale day (or sale minute, really) a month and the lousy costumer service. But no, everyone sang Mattel’s praises and said, “Don’t ever change.” It’s really a bizarre and abusive relationship they’ve got going there. Anyway, they introduced the upcoming toys and took a few tame questions, then it was all over. They are a really strange company. But the new Bow is way cool.
I then decided I’d better check in with DC and see what nuttiness they have in store. And for the second time that day, I felt old and cranky. Dan DiDio (doing his best PT Barnum impersonation) asked the crowd how they liked the new Wonder Woman costume. The crowd went nuts! I felt like I was in Bizarro World or something. So, clearly, those of us who aren’t so much against a costume change as we are against a bad costume change are in the minority. One brave gay took the mic and demanded better treatment of Donna Troy and Cassie and expressed distaste for this new Wonder Woman storyline. Dan and the panel basically said to give it time; making Wonder Woman popular was more important than Donna and Cassie; and sit down. This, of course, came after Grant Morrison called the Joel Schumacher Batman costumes “fruity.” So I wasn’t feeling a lot of love for the gays in the DC Nation. If the crowd cheers the new costume in the “Gays in Comics” panel today, I think I’ll just go home. Geoff Johns did make a big announcement about a new Flash title coming in 2011, featuring Wally and Bart. So, that’s something to look forward to.
From the DC panel, I headed straight to the Being Human panel, which I feared I might be too late for. Luckily, I got there just in time to get in and get a seat. This was the perfect way to end the day. The moderator was dreadful, though. I don’t know why they keep dragging out these incoherent entertainment journalists to moderate panels. They really need to get some fans to do it. Toby Whithouse (creator/writer), Lenora Crichlow (Annie), Sinead Keenan (Nina), Aidan Turner (Mitchell) and, of course, Russell Tovey (George) were all present, charming and well-spoken. They all seemed to really like each other, and had great respect for the fans (up to a point). I think they were a bit short with some of the fans who weren’t very good at expressing themselves, but I can imagine it gets tiring dealing with fans, especially when they can’t seem to get to a point. There was no mention of Russell’s sexuality at all, though I really can’t think of a good time they could have brought it up. He did address rumors of being in a new season of Torchwood, though. He said he knows nothing and has never even watched Torchwood, but would be open to the idea. Most of the discussion centered on the second season. Apparently, Sinead didn’t believe the majority of the audience would illegally download the season. Russell told her that not only would they download it, but they’d be proud of it. The audience cheered this, of course, then a fan pointed out that they’d be less likely to download the show if it didn’t take seven months to get it here. This all left me feeling like a bit of a nerd, since I haven’t downloaded the second series and will be watching it as it airs on BBC America starting this week. Then, I snapped a picture of Russell and he looked at me with an expression that can only be described as “love at first sight.” Check it out.
I expect I’ll be going back to London with him now and maybe changing the site name to Fanblokes of the Universe. The cast will come to our wedding, I would assume. If you want to get us a gift, we’re registered at the Mattel booth.