Friday, November 12, 2010

Austin Comic Con Day One

So...  Today was the start of the Austin Comic Con.  We haven't had a real Con here that I can recall in years and years.  Back in the day the cons were at the Holiday Inn on the river, and I was twelve and I had no idea what the hell was going on.  I do remember that it was at one of those conventions that I learned of Jimmy Olsen's solo series and his past as Turtle Boy.  And my little mind was blown.

Its probably not an argument worth having whether this is a "real" Con.  Or what a "Con" is supposed to be.  As this one is run by Wizard World, it takes on a certain format of heavy emphasis on celebrity autographs, no presence from major publishers, and no panels to speak of.  Its mostly a convention floor with lots of booths and lots of nerds running around.

The most important detail I want to share about my attendance at the Con today (I went for about 2.5 - 3 hours) is that I shook the hand of Erin Gray and got her autograph.

This likely means not a whole lot to you, but I just totally high-fived six-year old me.

In the 1970's, Ms. Gray played Col. Wilma Deering on TV's Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.   Like Ms. Lynda Carter, and Ms. Carrie Fischer, Ms. Gray was instrumental in my understanding of the awesomeness of ladies.

Ladies, the way to a man's heart is with a lycra spacesuit and a laser pistol
Anyway, Ms. Gray's booth was trafficked pretty well, but I eventually got over there and got a copy of the above photograph signed.  She was terribly nice and, honestly, Ms. Gray is still a looker.  Mostly I just stammered and smiled politely, because I do not do well in situations where I meet Erin Gray.

I also have to admit to feeling bad that I didn't pay out the sheckles to get Gil "But I was actually the star of Buck Rogers" Gerard's autograph .  Sorry, Gil.



I didn't see Adam West or Burt Ward today.  Perhaps on Sunday when Jamie and JackBart and I join forces and head to the Con.

I did see:  Lou Ferrigno, Lindsay Wagner, Ernie Hudson, Lee Majors, Nicholas Brendon (we almost collided on the floor, actually), Peter Mayhew and Joan Severance.  

Some notes if this if your first Con since the invention of debit cards and since you legally obtained a credit card:

1)  Bring cash.  I can only imagine how fast and loose these retailers are playing with their IRS claims of earned income, but most of them don't take credit cards.  I found this a little frustrating at first (until I found an ATM), as I don't carry more than $20 or so at a time.  But I also don't usually want to carry around the hundreds in cash that would be necessary for higher priced items.  That I can't afford, anyway, so I guess that's moot.

2)  Bring a camera.  I kind of wish I hadn't just counted on my crummy camera on my Blackberry for Day 1.

3)  Bring a friend.  There are two reasons for this.  A)  You're going to want someone to hold the camera so you can get your picture taken with that nigh-nude girl dressed as Poison Ivy, and B)  You're going to want someone along so you can discuss all you see.  Its one thing to say "oh, look, Lou Ferrigno!" to one's self.  It's something else to turn to your friend and say "Holy smokes, its Lou Ferrigno!".

There may also be an added bonus of having someone with you who helps you remember "You do not need that $200 item".

A shout out to the good folks at Austin Books and Comics.  They had the showcase booth of the event, complete with their new mascot, Sidekick Girl.  I was impressed.  And I bet they took credit cards.

The comic booths ran the gambit.  ABC was on the high end, and from there you could go all the way down to what appeared to be a collection of super-hero-ish stuff someone must have kept in their basement and tried to sell every two or three years.

There's no question there were some impressive comics on display (I briefly held a copy of Action Comics #252 in my hands, a comic I have always dreamed of owning, but was... sigh...  going to be $200).  And I got some decent deals, one of which I think I swung because the guy at the booth completely failed at basic math. 

Because I have tickets to the Oklahoma State/ UT matchup this weekend, I am not going to attend Saturday's Con. 

But we'll be back on Sunday for a little while, and I'll do a more complete report at that time.
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