A visit to Comicpalooza…

Well, this past weekend was kind of a first for me.

While I had been to a couple of Houston sci-fi/comic conventions before (namely, Oni-Con and Space City Con/The Houston Con), I have never been to what seems to be the biggest of the cons, Comicpalooza at the George R. Brown Convention Center. I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and attend this year, visiting this past Saturday.

After waiting in a very long line to purchase tickets, Jennifer and I decided to hang out on a balcony waiting area while watching the even-more-massive line waiting to get into the autograph and vendor area on the first floor. After checking the schedule, I realized that Paul McGann, the Eighth Doctor, was having a panel shortly after the convention’s official opening, so we went to that first, getting in line relatively early. The panel itself was pretty interesting, as McGann not only talked about the Doctor Who TV-movie he had been in, he also discussed some of the audio adventures (including “Zagreus”, my copy of which I would have brought to sign if I had thought about it) and how he got involved in the minisode “The Night of the Doctor”.

After the McGann panel, we decided to join the line already forming for the Agents of SHIELD panel; we knew it was going to be popular, as people were asking us about it while we were in line for the first panel. It was a good thing we did, as the line became incredibly long. Jennifer decided to hold down the fort while I went exploring, finding where the Game Preserve had set up, then getting a small lunch for the both of us. After eating, I wandered downstairs to the dealer area, where I took a brief look around, looking for things that I would want to buy later when Jennifer came down with me. After finding some stuff at different booths, I found one item that I knew I had to get right there and then: Ninja Burger, a card game that one of Jennifer’s coworkers had recommended and that I had had difficulty locating until then. Once I had picked that up, I went back and joined Jennifer in line for the panel.

The panel itself was pretty awesome. All of the main cast except for the actors who played Fitz and Skye attended, including Ming-Na Wen and Clark Gregg. It was obvious they were having a blast, riffing off each other pretty heavily. The one person I felt bad for was Brett Dalton, because he got more than a few boos (his character had been revealed to be a HYDRA agent). We were even treated to a special guest appearance by Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno; Lee was the man as always, and Ferrigno is even more imposing in person than he is on screen. :-)

After the Agents of SHIELD panel, we went downstairs to browse the entire vendor area. While there, I managed to pick up two t-shirts and a tumbler shaped/colored like an Eternal Dalek. We saw John Scalzi signing autographs at the Barnes & Noble booth, but decided against getting an autograph as we didn’t see any hardcover books of his there, and we had already gotten copies of Redshirts signed. By this point, both of us were getting tired, and wanted to see what celebrities were in the autograph area. We saw several Power Rangers, James Marsters, and all of the Agents of SHIELD actors who had been at the panel. However, for me, the highlight was seeing Fifth through Eighth Doctors: Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann. I hemmed and hawed, trying to muster up the courage to get a picture with one or an autograph… and finally decided on a selfie with Sylvester McCoy, as his Doctor is my favorite.

Now, when I got to his table, I was about to pay for the selfie, when I noticed that among the photographs that could be autographed was a caricature drawing of McCoy as the Doctor. I REALLY liked the drawing, so I decided to get it autographed instead of getting the selfie. When I was paying his assistant, she mentioned I should ask him about it. When I met him, I told him that I saw the pic and just had to have it, and he said that his son had drawn it. :-) He also complimented my shirt, which was my Doctor Who “villain select” t-shirt. I admit that I was quiet and Jennifer did most of the talking, as I was more than a little overwhelmed. Once I had gotten the autograph, we left.

All in all, we had a really fun time at Comicpalooza. Needless to say, I want to go back again next year. Fortunately, I won’t have to wait an entire year for another con, as there are three coming up in the next year that I want to hit: the aforementioned Houston Con, the Houston Arcade Expo I go to every year, and PAX South in San Antonio.

Here’s hoping they’ll be as fun as Comicpalooza was. :-)