LATEST SONG: GAME-CHANGER
YEAH, I just said that! And what are you going to do about it? You’ll just keep reading, THAT’S what you’ll do. I got your NUMBER, buddy.
Okay, so in case you were wondering, I DID have some complaints.
THAT SOME OF MY FILES GOT CORRUPTED DURING TRANSFER FROM MY WINDOWS 8 PHONE TO MY COMPUTER BECAUSE IT’S A *#$%?! and some of the pictures wound up blurrier than I anticipated. Therefore I don’t have footage/pics of everything I tried to capture. The little wretch is full of itself….such a vain little thing with a mind of its own, that phone. Thinking about putting a bullet in it but it’d be an insult to said bullet.
Okay, so the complaints are over now. Where were we? Oh, yeah! I met some amazing people on this trip and I didn’t die in some obscure, unceremonious way. Great, because you know, my family has far better things to do than working with the local authorities to FIND my body, then having to cremate it, and then having to shake me over a bush somewhere.
They should be swimming, eating, and making little sharks, so on and so forth. Couldn’t resist the JAWS quote. Don’t even try to sue me, you’ll never win.
Now then. THUS WE BEGIN!!!
Thursday, other volunteers and I spent the first day packaging promo posters and stuff to hand out to people would would be flocking through the doors the next day. Had a nice lil’ assembly line going, we did. We worked many hours that flew by as minutes. I’m telling you, we were a bunch of busy little worker bees, but without the whole stinging or, as I said, the horrible dying part. And God, I love bees! I do.
The only picture I had of the pile of yellow promo bags wound up blurry. You may find that I’m ironically trying to set a new (wizard?)world record, for taking the crappiest photos and accidentally pissing you off. The only camera I had on me, right after my volunteer shift was over, was my phone camera. Visually, I do believe that it DOES effectively capture the dizzying essence of our workload. And there you have it.
The rest of that night was spent eating fancy baked pasta in a grade A Italian establishment and being hailed on. You know the story.
FRIDAY: My day…..off? NO, SIR! I wasn’t volunteering at the con, but I was making rounds at the Fantasy Shop on Manchester Rd, Star Clipper in the Delmar Loop, and also a couple of other local shops, including The Book House. Awesome people. A gentleman at the Fantasy Shop had a marvelously extensive selection of comics, games, and figures and I appreciate that he took the time to give me some great advice for publishing my comic, Misterguy, which I’ll be setting up a Kickstarter page for soon. GO ME!!
Star Clipper was awesome and set up a table for me to sell some prints of my original artwork, which effectively paid for parking during the course of my trip.
In OTHER news, the Saint Louis Zoo was spectacular.
I was ALSO confronted by a mad peacock and barely escaped with my ever-loving LIFE, but hey, I lived to tell about it, didn’t I?
Saturday, before I was scheduled to return to the Wizard World Con as volunteer, I stopped back by Star Clipper and was their special guest artist once again, only this time, instead of my myriad prints, I was armed with a big, gorgeous Copic marker and pad of bristol paper(both from the Blick art store a block away) to take on-the-spot sketch commission requests. YEAH I really packed it in, man! Mr. Fleet was fun to work with on his request for a drawing of Cyclops from X-men, and was pretty happy with his piece.
Unless he secretly hated it and didn’t tell me, and took it home and burned it with blood-fire on the tile of his bathroom floor. You know, I would understand.
Okay, so after that, I had to RUN. Once I got back to the con, I signed myself in with the boss, got my yellow Volunteer t-shirt on, and made my way straight to Lou Ferrigno‘s booth to see if I could be of service, having heard from day one that he didn’t have anyone to assist with his booth/photo ops.
I’d always heard that well-respected and hard-working Mr. Ferrigno was as very kind as he is wonderfully titanic, so I was certainly not apprehensive about working with him. Now! As we all know, hearing about a person is one thing, and to actually get to meet them is what is so amazing—lemmie tell you, the gentleman is a very gracious and intelligent person, sunny in disposition and very generous. During brief lulls in the crowd, he called over to me at my ‘post’, a few feet away from his table, and invited me over to ask about how my trip had been, and if I had a family, and how they might be doing. Honestly, I don’t think the man has a self-centered bone in his body! He have me the impression that he must be very close to his own family, and they have got to be so very proud of him.
Soon, a gentleman friend of his arrived to sit with him for a bit and help out. I continued line control. After a while, the friend had to bid Mr. Lou farewell, but before he left, he and Lou relayed to me that I was trusted and would be welcome to return, if possible, for the next and last day of the convention to help him out again. WOW. Uh…..”YES! CERTAINLY!”
Then there was the After-Party, overlooking the entire convention floor from three stories up in a night club setting, complete with Aflex/Tech Nine playing music way too loud(HEY, don’t get your Superman boxers in bunch, I didn’t say it was a bad thing!)
There was a dance floor, a bar, and a DJ station. Apparently I can be made to dance, quite well, once coerced by people I hardly know who are drunk, who dared me to dance with none other than THE COOKIE MONSTER. AND, did I dance ever so; you’ll just have to take my word for it. No one photographed this…..phenomena, because I think I was the only one in the room who was NOT drunk and/or drinking. But that’s okay, I just want you to sit there and try to picture what that spectacle must’ve looked like. Maybe have a few nightmares about Cookie Monster as Don Dorcha from the Lord Of the Dance. That’s all I’m asking.
(I will upload video of the few seconds of room/music/dancing when I can finagle the footage.)
SUNDAY: My return to help Mr. Lou was, of course, fine with the Wizard World staff, who regards their celebrity guests to the highest degree, and does their best to make everyone comfortable. As for me, it was my own pleasure and such a privilege to actually get to work with Mr. Ferrigno once more, I really lucked out! Had a blast snapping pictures for his booth and being a part of so many families making such awesome memories. ‘I could adopt you!’ he said at one point when it was very busy, and I was watching over multiple adjacent booths while still running over to help take photos. Man, the time FLEW by, I was having way too much fun.
Mr Ferrigno had to deal with a difficult customer or two, that was to be expected, but he was firm and calm and still respectful to them. After the fact, I asked him how long he’d been working the Comic Con scene—–he told me that it’s been about a decade now. And after all these years, he’s still setting a fine example. You know, I really hate to sound sappy, but holy smokes, what powerful opportunities this variety of events bring together, just on the whole, and it really amazes me. As an attendee, you never know who you’ll run into….and as a volunteer, you never know what awesome things you’ll get to do and who you’ll get to work with. Disney World, bloody eat your heart out.
At the end of the day, Mr. Lou let me pick a print off of his table, signed it for free, and gave me a great big ol’ teddy bear hug. He said I did a great job and hoped I would attend more conventions in the future. Well I definitely plan to, in any capacity, because I love being made to feel like a rock star, only with less biting the heads off of chickens and bats. (Hey, we’re cool man, but just my bat friends think that’s kinda rude.)
So after all that, I began the long 4-hour journey back to my place, braving low fuel indicators and lackadaisical cookies at the gas station.
Many people say they can’t wait to get home, but I don’t know, I like getting OUT and doing my own thing and I want more of it.
The cookies, man.