So, it was our first family outing to a sci-fi/ fantasy & comics type event, at Heroes & Legends today and – first things first – I am KNACKERED!!! We got there at 10am and are literally just home now at 8:30pm … when you consider that includes two young children, who were GREAT all day long, you should realise just how big a day that is.
We all had amazing fun which was a lot to do with what was there and how it was run – for example the roaming characters was a GENIUS idea as it kept everyone interested all day as you never knew who you’d bump into next. One poor little kid came out of the lift and bumped right into an Orc (from Lord of the Rings) and burst into non-stop screams and shock; yes, I laughed. My boys, of course, were cool with most of the characters (high fiving Orcs and putting a really scary Joker in his place, for example) though the sudden appearance of an alien from Alien, in the dark, did shake them both a little … my guys recovered pretty well and Mackenzie ended up hugging the critter! :) Another cool reason that the event (it wasn’t a convention, though I heard people grumbling about that fact, but I don’t think it ever purported to be) worked was the venue – W5 is a cool place at the best of times and when some of the floor space is taken up with the sort of greatness that Heroes and Legends brough to play it only made it better … being honest here, without the W5 stuff it would have been difficult to spend more then a couple of hours there just on the H&L event. I like to think it was genius planning on their part
Amazing what a VIP pass around your neck achieves – people thought that I was special (of course those of you that know me KNOW that I’m special). I was actually mobbed by a bunch of kids who kept telling each other that I was cool, and look at the hair; Colin Baker (former Doctor Who) thought that I was part of the event, and asked why my badge was VIP and his ‘just’ had his name; I even got asked by Captain Jack Sparrow to join him as I was already mostly pirate anyway!
I have to admit that I am not really one to spend money, normally, to get someone’s photo and autograph – no matter who they are – and today wasn’t really any different. If I had done that for the people that I wanted to, today, I would have been a whole lot lighter coming out than going in. However I did get to simply spend some time chatting to some very cool people:
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5) is extremely striking, moreso than I was honestly expecting, but is also very interesting too. She didn’t just talk about her old roles but about her current interests and potential books (Egyptology and Black Holes – pretty left field ) … she also loved Mackenzie’s politeness and his hair
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and her husband, Michael (yes – he of Terminator, Abyss, Aliens, etc) were also not what I was expecting – they were laid back and simply nice. Found out a little about their new movie, which sounds cool, and chatted about the Abyss – a joke may have been made that it isn’t often that guys spend more time talking to Michael than Jennifer but, hey, I’m comfortable in my own sexuality not to worry (… he is cute though LOL!).
Colin Baker was simply a gentleman, through and through. He spent time talking to – not at, or down to – my four year old about many things, some of which actually happened to be Doctor Who … wasn’t much because I don’t actually let my kids watch Doctor Who, just yet, as I think that it is too scary for them and Colin’s Doctor was one of the darkest incarnations so not for another few years. He had a book of short stories with him, which I picked up and got autographed … you see I don’t mind paying for something tangible that ends up getting autographed – plus it was Doctor frikkin’ Who!
Declan Shalvey – a comic artist for Marvel and DC – was probably the highlight for me. As an admitted comic book nerd (or geek, never sure which) I was there for the comic book stuff, and Declan just happens to be someone whose work I love but also an Irishman who I’ve chatted to, a little, on Twitter. It was nice to finally meet him and chat for real – he is as nice a guy as he is talented. He definitely isn’t cheap with his time and talked for ages with me, but also with Mackenzie who isn’t your typical four year old as he has quite a good knowledge of comics (I think it surprised Declan a little) and loves to know how things work – so asked Declan how he did things. When Declan asked him who is favourite superhero was – expecting, I think, a Spiderman or Batman response – he was a little shocked to hear Black Knight in reply. Mackenzie did get a lovely piece of art from Declan though – not many four year olds have a private commission from a Marvel/DC artist.
I think that the highlight, for the boys, has to be the characters and costumes … both of them were almost giddy with delight when Indiana Jones spent time with them but when Spiderman stopped to chat their little brains melted.
They are now exhausted and asleep – but still buzzing about the day and oh so happy.
That, you see, is a great, great day.