Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In November, I'm Going to Pay Money for the Chance to see Billy Dee Williams

This November, Austin is hosting a fairly sizable convention, ostensibly a comic book convention, at our Convention Center. Longtime comic nuts (both of you out there, I can hear you breathing) will perhaps tremble when I state that this convention is a Wizard World convention, and all that that implies.

Wizard World Cons sort of play off the goodwill garnered by San Diego Comic Con International (or whatever its calling itself these days) and as misinterpreted by the befuddled mainstream press (ie: non-comics press). But whereas CCI-San Diego is a geek Mecca, the Wizard World cons are sort of the cheap, imitation knock-offs, the Big Lots! discount bin of comic conventions.  It is true that there will be comics-related talent at the convention, but it is also true that this particular con will feature:

  • Billy Dee Williams
  • Jake Lloyd (this appears factual)
  • The cast of "The Human Centipede"
  • Buck Rogers and Wilma Dearing from the 70's-era Buck Rogers TV show
  • Ernie Hudson
  • a Brady
  • "Suicide Girls"
  • One of the suitcase girls from "Deal or No Deal" (I've never seen the show, so this is blowing my mind)
  • numerous people I've never heard of before who seem to be responsible for comics nobody has ever actually read
  • a few people of note from the comic industry such as Paul Levitz (seriously. Levitz.)
  • a whole mess of washed up wrestling stars and a whole bunch of women with enormous... talent who are part of the pro-wrestling circuit
  • Lou Ferrigno, a man who needs no introduction
  • The dad from Teen Wolf
  • Mimi Rogers*
  • ...and many, many more.
I have absolutely no idea what to expect, but from looking at the floor map, it looks roughly like the equivalent of a people zoo.  You walk past tables and stare at people you saw on TV once or twice, and for a few clams, you can get an autograph.

So I've talked Jamie into going for the day one of the three days of the convention.  I will probably not ask her to join me whatever day I actually do stand in line to see if I can get Paul Levitz's autograph.

Yes, that's me... in a room full of models and actors, I'll be lining up to see if I can meet a 60'ish guy in a tie because I like his Legion comics.

There is something sad and wrong with me.

I sort of thought that by now the show runners would have put out more of a schedule.  Oh, well.

If anyone is interested in joining us from The Signal Watch at the Austin Wizard World Texas Comic Convention and Human Zoo, please drop me a line.

*90's me is very excited about seeing Ms. Rogers.  She really makes a spacesuit work.


Anonymous said...

There's nothing sad about wanting to meet Levitz!! Levitz is a legend; he trumps all the Bendises and McFarlanes out there. He took one of the cheesiest concepts from the Silver Age and turned it into THE best-selling direct market comic in DC back in the 80's with some of the best story-telling ever. Back in the day, the Legion was just as popular as the X-men.

The thing about it is, at least Levitz will be happy and appreciative to see you. All those actors and models, they would rather be anywhere else than a comic convention. They want your dollar not you appreciation. There's nothing sad about ignoring sad sack ex WWE Divas who couldn't make the cut to Dancing With the Stars so they need to pad their checks by appearing at cons.

The issue with Wizard Cons is that they don't really want to run a comic convention; they want to run a "kick-ass" Maxim magazine convention with comics and genre affiliations. But they can't, so you get what you see.


The League said...

yeah, man. Secretly, I am really jazzed to meet Paul Levitz. He's a legend in my mind, and I'm really liking his new run on Legion, too. Just fun comics, and he seems like a really decent guy in the interviews I've read.

J.S. said...

Sounds like NTT might need a road trip!
And complaints about the "mainstream media" getting it all wrong? Sounds awfully Alex Jones/Rush Limbaugh-ish...

The League said...

well... I tried to clarify that with the "non-comics media" bit there. But, yeah, I don't count on my local paper to be my source for accurate reporting on what's going on with comic book conventions.

Simon MacDonald said...

Hey, I'd wait in line to meet Paul Levitz and I haven't even read his Legion run. I hope with the new Legion book being launched with Paul writing that some of his original run gets traded. I hear "The Great Darkness Saga" is pretty amazing.

Anonymous said...

Who's Paul Levitz?

The League said...

Paul Levitz wrote "Legion of Super-Heroes" and a whole lot more for DC Comics. Then he was promoted in the ranks at DC until he became publisher a few years ago. Recently the company was reshuffled and Levitz went back to writing. And I actually like his new stuff, too. (sometimes when people come back... they're a little rusty.)

Anyway, he's probably a few years younger than my dad but he's "dad aged", and every picture of him, he's in a tie.