Sunday, April 22, 2007

Armageddon convention; Day 2

I bowled up at 9:30am, since there was nothing much happening on Sunday until10am. I was surprised at the small number of people in the venue to start out, it didn't really fill out until midday or so, and was nowhere near as busy as yesterday. That had it's advantages though.

Jimmy Cheung was doing sketches from 10:00, though he arrived 10 minutes early. I managed to be 3rd in line to see him, and got a really awesome drawing of Moon Knight
I could watch guys of his caliber draw all day.

Then it was over to the animation signing table, again managing to be third in line, for an autograph from Susan Eisenburg (JLU Wonder Woman). I decided to spend $10 on getting a proper picture signed, rather than my dvds, so I came away from the weekend with 3 signed pictures

After this it was about 10:40, the next hour was spent walking around taking pictures and mostly looking at things I had already seen on Saturday ;) Some general pics of the venue:

Time for my first gripe of the post. There was a bunch of Australian independant comic creators attending, who were pretty much stuck on tables miles away from all the other stalls

This pretty much resulted in them being ignored by everyone, either because they were so far removed, or that it was actually a rather intimidating prospect to step out of the masses and walk across a deserted space to these 6 people that were sitting staring at said mass of people. I took pity on them and went over, had a bit of a talk with them and bought a comic off each of them. They were a bit bummed they were so far away from everything, and really it should've been planned better, but shit happens.
As an aside, their comics were very reasonably priced, costing between $2 - $5. Contrast that with the New Zealand creators, one that was charging $8 for an issue, and another that didn't have any prices up. I didn't buy any of the NZ comics. The independant style isn't really my thing, but I'm still willing to support the people that turn up to Armageddon. I'm not paying almost $10 for one comic in order to do that though, and I also have no interest in approaching a bored-looking artist and asking how much their stuff is. Just a thought :)
I picked up 16 old Moon Knight comics for $1 each, they're a bit water damaged, but I don't care in the slightest, good comics for a dirt cheap price.

I killed time until midday, when Aaron Douglas from Battlestar Galactica took to the stage for the 2nd time. His second panel was just as good as his first, the guy's a really good speaker. Plus he went back in to more bashing of CSI Miami, which is always a good thing ;) I got one pic that didn't turn out a complete blurry mess:

Billy Dee Williams (Lando!) was on after that, but I had to leave about 5 minutes in, as he was really uncomfortable to listen to. I walked through the stage area a couple of other times during his panel, and it didn't sound like it got any better. But, he's got some men's and women's fragrances coming out!!

Umm, yeah.

Although, as another small gripe, there was a medieval shop a short distance from the main stage, who during Billy's panel decided it would be good to stage a mock fight between staff, which involved lots of kids yelling and screaming and chanting. This really drowned out the panel discussion, and struck me as being quite disrespectful to both Billy, and the people that wanted to hear him. If you want to wind people up, do it between panels.

Doug Jones came onstage at 2pm, which was a panel I had been really looking foward to. I got a seat in a good central position, and actually recorded the entire hour on my camera. The picture is set pretty small, since I wasn't confident I'd have enough memory to record it all in a higher resolution (turns out I did, damn it), but the sound is fine. I even had a pretty clear field of vision for the first half hour, then some people sat in front of me, but I still managed to find a gap. My leg went to sleep about half way through, since I had it raised on the chair in front of me so I could rest the camera on my knee. The price we pay for geekdom ;)
Anyway, his panel was really cool. He was very active and animated and told some great stories. He had a few bits of info about his role as the Silver Surfer, which is what I was mostly interested in, though he wasn't really able to say too much about it. He was really entertaining, and the hour went by much too quickly. (I'd put the video online but it's 80mb and I'm on dial-up, so it's not going to happen. If anyone would like a copy, or to put it online for me, feel free to contact me)

Quick interlude: there was a bunch of people dressed in Star Wars gear, and it has to be said that pretty much every guy there was busy checking out the girl dressed as Princess Leia, which is understandable since she was smoking hot (and in a hall full of geeks)

I don't know what was more fun, looking at her, or watching everyone check her out as she walked around the venue. Funny stuff.

After Doug's panel, it was time for more of the various competitions that involved small children, and as I mentioned yesterday, that's not my thing. I spent the next 2 hours trying to find out what was happening with the Art competition, since it was never mentioned. The people at the info desk didn't know what was going on either. At 5pm I went past the info desk, and the drawings were ready to be collected, I have no idea who the winners were or what their art looked like. A really poorly run event, and frankly if that's all the effort the organisers are prepared to put in to it, it needs to be scrapped. I don't even know who judged it, I had assumed Jimmy Cheung would be doing it, but like I said, there were no announcments. It would've been nice to be present, so I could atleast know that someone that good had actually seen something I drew. I don't need (or even want, heh) feedback on my drawing, but it would've been nice to know who looked at them. Anyway, my picture:

Never going to win, but I had fun doing it.

With a couple of hours to go before the show's end time of 6pm, the event organisers made the promotional posters, used for each of the guests, available for sale. There was only one of each guest, and I think specific to this event, so it was a pretty tempting collectable, since they would be signed too. Asking price was $150 per poster, which was a little more than I was comfortable paying. I decided to stick around (well, I had to because I was trying to find out about the art contest ;)), every few minutes walking past the guest tables to see if the Doug Jones Silver Surfer poster was still there. At 4:55, 5 minutes before signing was due to finish, that poster was still there so I hit the staff up to let me have it for $100, which they went for. Score. They pulled it down, and I took it over to Doug Jones to get signed. He spelt my name wrong, but I don't care, because it is awesome, and so is he. Like I think I mentioned yesterday, he's someone that comes across as really caring about the emotional investment the fans have in the characters he portrays, and he signed it with "you are my hero", since I geeked him out yesterday with how big of a Surfer fan I am. I even got a hug from him, since I'd spent so much money for the poster.

So, summing up the weekend:
The Bad: The scale of the comic stalls, and the Art competition.

The Good: Aaron Douglas is awesome. Jimmy Cheung is awesome. I very much like Don S Davis. Doug Jones is one of my new favourite people on the planet. I didn't think it was quite as good as the last couple of Wellington events, but it was still a very cool weekend, and one that I'm sad is over. I also managed to hit my budget of $500 almost exactly. Things were hairy there for a while, as there was a $200 Cylon model that I was reeeeally close to buying at the end, but sanity prevailed ;)

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