Welcome back! For those of you just joining us, we are currently hip-deep in the highlights of the 2002 GrandéCon pop-culture convention; as attended by myself (Tony Corvell) and my able-bodied employee, Artie Deacon! His friends Gene, Ax and Macy – emboldened by the free passes I gifted them in the previous installment – have waded into the fray, encountering everything from power-hungry ticket queue minders to the wonders of ‘Fanboy Trivial Pursuit’! That was GrandéCon part one; now it’s time to meet part two!
Top: boy oh boy oh boy, was The Red Iceberg one atrocious TV show – just be thankful you didn’t get it on Earth TV. Saddled with formulaic plots and typically 1970’s SFX budgets, I am frankly amazed it even made it through one-and-a-half seasons! Seeing it utterly jump the shark in the pilot episode should have been all the evidence the TV company needed to can it, but no! Sci-fi / police procedural mash-ups were in that year, so it was all hands to the pumps. Didn’t stop it from sinking, though…. (It also didn’t help that Zip Finklemore was a pay-rise grubbing glory hog from day one, but that’s a story for another day!)
Bottom: Gah! Speculators! The pop-cultural equivalent of that humourless, OCD buzz-kill at the office Christmas party – on both Cosmos and Earth, they were the bane of the comics and collectables market. I mean, geez, why actually enjoy your hobby when you can instead obsessively collect every single variant cover, limited edition set, collector’s club exclusive and ‘hot’ action figure simply for their investment value; and act as if everyone else is just something to be trampled all over on your quest for greatness? Read your comics! Play with your toys! Have some FUN for a change!
Top: I have to say, I’ve sold more copies of that dictionary to ‘Con newbies than the cast of Jurassic Park had fingers and toes – if you need to understand all the high-falutin’ language being spouted by the alpha-nerds in your troupe (rather than, say, becoming hopelessly lost), then this book is a must….
Bottom: Macy was on a steep learning curve here, this being her first GrandéCon…. and, in fact, her first convention of any sort. She had some small grounding in geekery (not willingly, mind you) from Artie, Gene and Ax; but I’m guessing nothing prepared her for the wonderful world of Cosplay: where you not only dress up like your favourite characters, but have catre-blanche to act like them, too! Two to beam up, Mr. Scott….
Top: want to know who played Captain lee Crane on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea? Need ideas for a Star Wars-themed birthday party? Looking for the best source of machine parts to finish your home-made robot butler? Then perhaps you should get in touch with this guy – just be sure to butter him up with some TARDIS-shaped
gingerbread cookies first, though.
Bottom: remember what I was saying about speculators earlier? This yahoo is a perfect example of why they are so utterly, utterly insufferable. I congratulate Artie on his decisive handling of this situation – nobody likes Mr. holier-than-thou-know-it-all, especially not when he’s throwing his weight around like that….
Top: back-issue bins – the goldmines of the comic convention world. Since you don’t know what you’re going to find in there, there’s every chance you’re going to stumble across some absolute gems. Classic comics, trade paperbacks, weird comics, Indie comics; a series you’ve never heard of, a new favourite artist / writer, that missing issue you couldn’t find anywhere else – who knows what might turn up? Plus, for $1 a pop, you can do a bit of smorgasbord binge-reading!
Bottom: wow, those are some committed animation fans, right there…. The ‘Video room’ is a good place to go if you want a more laid-back GrandéCon experience. Just bring along some snacks, sit yourself down, and watch as many cartoons, movies and fan-made music videos as you want! Don’t O.D on the couch potato thing though – as these two prove, it’s not a pretty sight.
There you have it: an entire long weekend of fun, frivolity and guys dressed up in Stormtrooper costumes! The next time you’re in Pago Grandé, in the month of Octember, why not swing by the Tony’s Comic Utopia booth at GrandéCon?
We’ll be happy to see you….
TO BE CONTINUED….