Sunday, November 1, 2009

Victoria Comic Book Industry & Movie Festival Day 2

Okay, back from the last day of the convention, grateful for that extra hour to energize me due to the time change. Even so I was a bit fatigued and glad for some of the workshops.

I arrived for the second day just as the convention was opened. Michael Adamthwaite recognized me and immediately waved hi when I arrived, and I waved back, but I was still getting my bearings and there were organizers at his table, so I waited until a bit later to talk to him. But he was definitely one of the friendliest celebrities at the convention.

I went over to the comic section and got more comics autographed by Dave McCaig, including more issues of Deadman, since it was a series we both quite liked.

Back in the movie/tv area I got into a discussion with location scout Tim Moshansky, asking about movies set in Seattle but filmed in Vancouver. I was surprised to find out that most of Battle in Seattle was filmed in the Vancouver area; unlike 88 Minutes or The 4400, enough of that movie was filmed in Seattle that it created the illusion of more of it being filmed there.

I visited Michael Adamthwaite. He autographed some more movies, once again quite enthusiastic about the projects he's been in, and we chatted some more about Watchmen and I think other movies. The conversation went so well that he gave me a free signed photo. I hope he eventually gets a greater amount of recognition because he’s a class act and I’m going to try to keep an eye out for him in future projects.

I bought a couple of 1977 calendars at the comic side: one DC, one Marvel, both more far more elaborate than newer calendars, with text in a lot of the squares. I also got a 25% off coupon at Curious Comics, good only during the convention.

I think it was right after that I located one of the people I couldn’t find before, James Tyce, Heath Ledger’s stand-in in Brokeback Mountain. I probably should have asked him for details of that that entailed but hindsight's 20/20. I did get a photo of him and myself, with him holding my newly autographed copy of Brokeback.

I went to the Troma table; Lloyd Kaufman was there but had to head out, but he promised to autograph some more movies later. I bought all the remaining DVDs on the table that I didn’t already have (beyond package variants) and got a discount again.

I briefly spoke to William Katt again, to mention another aspect of The Greatest American Hero that I liked (its giving the characters political leanings).

It was now 11:30 and Lloyd Kaufman was due to conduct a Make Your Own Damn Movie workshop at 12:30, so I decided to head to Curious Comics to use the coupon on a trade I wanted, then grab lunch.

Back at the convention Lloyd Kaufman made good on his earlier promise to autograph one more set of DVDs (again, he was very friendly and appreciative of his fans), then I went to where his workshop was to be held.

After a while of watching bit of Terror Firmer in that room it became clear that something had gone south. I checked a few of the other rooms, catching tiny bits of a Q&A with Robert Picardo, and then asked a guy at the room the workshop was to be in (he didn’t know).

I went downstairs and told Margot Kidder I liked how she had been nice to a Santa Monica Blvd “Superman” in the documentary Confessions of a Superhero (hey, she’s Margot Kidder; couldn’t pass up a final chance to say hi to her). I also noticed that Lloyd was still there, further suggesting that things had gone south with the workshop.

I went back upstairs and met up with a friend who I chatted with (unfortunately I missed her the day before so I didn’t get to see her in her Halloween costume except in photos she showed me). She pointed me in the direction of another convention worker who also didn’t have the answers. It later turned out that she didn’t know about the vent in question despite all the colour signs. As noted in my last blog, a common theme was people working at the convention who would have liked to have help but just didn’t know what was happening. I finally asked Lloyd Kaufman himself and found out that the event was cancelled, though there was to be a Q&A later.

I attended a Q&A with Nhi Do (again, the Vietnamese girl in Watchmen) and make-up artist Ryan Nicholson. It was a lot of fun. After the first question (asked by Gareth Gaudin, who does the Perogy Cat strip and who runs Legends, the comic shop I patronize the most) I asked a Watchmen-related question. Thereafter most of the rest of the discussion involved Watchmen, but I’m pretty sure that Q&A would have gone that way eventually even if I had kept silent. The only quibble was that one enthusiastic audience member (no, not me) interrupted Nhi a couple times.

After the Q&A I wandered around some more, complementing Nhi Do on the Q&A seminar. I also saw Lloyd filming an ad for I believe the website at the booth to the left of his (the ad seemed to be a mock fight of sorts). I finally worked up the courage to ask the guy from the day before who seemed a bit sour about the other makeup artist who was supposed to attend. This time I got confirmation about the cancellation. I wanted to ask about a couple other possible cancellations but he still looked annoyed, so I decided not to push my luck.

I attended one more Q&A, this time with the interesting combo of William Katt and Lloyd Kaufman. That was also a lot of fun, and the two had a great rapport together. Katt said he would have liked to have been on Heroes longer. He also said his most rewarding acting was actually his stage work and mentioned typecasting due to The Greatest American Hero, noting that it seems to be less of a problem for superhero roles these days. Lloyd Kaufman expressed mixed feelings about been blacklisted by Hollywood, noting that even when his movies were well attended in theatres, then tended to be forced out by studios who would pull out of a theatre if they didn’t devote enough screens to their latest blockbuster; on the flip side it frees him up not just in terms of what he makes, but also when he makes and distributes the film.

After that I bought some more comics, and then located Ryan Nicholson and got one more movie autographed, knowing that things were winding down and it would probably be my last chance.

After that I decided that with everyone leaving I’d head out. The day went full circle when I passed Michael Adamthwaite on the way home and he again said hi to me as we passed. So again, very nice person.

Overall I think with the stress of the $20 autographs out of the way, and between the direct conversations and the Q&A’s, I had a lot more fun overall the second day. I wished the one guy I asked for info had smiled a bit more, and think that by getting everyone a bit more organized and on the same page, he’d probably have had more to smile about. When I look back on the convention I’ll recall a lot of very nice moments, though I’ll also recall some of the frustration from volunteers usually not knowing answers to questions; things will always go wrong with this kind of thing, so having a backup plan is wise, including communicating the changes to the volunteers either directly or by having a volunteer act as relay for news. So mixed feelings but overall worth it, especially for the second day.

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