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April 23, 2012

Life & Style Fan Expo Vancouver – A Seattle geek odyssey (Photo Gallery)

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This Seattle geek headed north for Fan Expo Vancouver, the city’s first major comicon. Thousands of fans celebrated the days of comics, sci-fi, stars and costumes. Vancouver’s Convention Center on the waterfront with snow-capped mountain backdrop would have been a perfect location for a Thor sequel. Plenty of Thunder Gods were on site for the fun.

Adam West and Burt Ward (TV’s Batman Robin) inspired the biggest lines for autographs and photos. I met Ward at a Chevy dealership event in my hometown when I was a little kid. The original Batmobile was in the center of the showroom floor like a geek beacon – a bat signal seducing fans to come grab a photo opportunity!

Kevin (Hercules) Sorbo, Lou (The Incredible Hulk) Ferrigno, Marina Sirtus and Michael Dorn of Star Trek: The Next Generation were draws huge draws. Eager geeks waited patiently for their moment to approach their favorite, gush and come away with an autograph. Sirtis and Dorn will join the rest of cast in Fan Expo Calgary this weekend. It will be the first time the entire main cast has reunited in 25 years.

I love True Blood. I couldn’t resist a chance to chat with Kristin Bauer who plays the vampire Pam on the hit HBO series. We talked about the upcoming season, return of Russell Edgington, vampire politics and she teased that the show will reveal more of her character’s back story with Eric (Alexander Skarsgard.)

One on one contact with your favorite comic book writer or artist is my favorite element of the con experience. It’s your chance to talk about your favorite heroes, villains and hear great stories. I went right to Mike Choi to have several Uncanny X-Men and X-23 issues autographed. I was his first fan sketch of the con! I asked for Black Bolt of the Inhumans. The Marvel Comics hero is famous for his super powered voice that can shatter cities so he can never speak in general conversation so it’s appropriate that Mike wrote “Shh…” as part of his signature!

I remember Tony Daniel’s art on X-Force in the 1990′s. Today he’s writing Batman in Detective Comics. This was a rare con appearance. I interviewed Tony about his experience writing Batman’s rogues gallery and his creation of popular new villains. In the sketch duels, Tony revealed how the rock band KISS was a big inspiration and led to his first commission. An elementary school kid had him draw KISS in exchange for trading cards!

What do you say to a legend? Len Wein created Wolverine – that alone makes him a Titan among the geeks. Wein edited the original Watchmen series and now he’s writing one of the Before Watchmen prequels. The legend told me the best rule to follow as an editor is the hire good creators and stay out of their way.

Sketch duels were my favorite part of this con. Three artists had one hour to create a sketch to be raffled off to a lucky fan. The creators sketched while answering our questions and sharing great stories about their inspirations and careers. As the final sketches were revealed, the geek cheers grew louder and louder. A fangirl dressed as Mystique won Stephen Sadowski’s Aquaman sketch.
I joined the crowd cheering for Kevin Sorbo of Hercules and Andromeda. Sorbo shared lots of fun stories of filming the adventure series back in New Zealand. With a fan forum like this the comments and questions went from mild to wild. A former production assistant on the Vancouver based Andromeda thanked him for being such a great star on the series. One guy had to ask, “how many times did you get laid because you were Hercules?” The star took it all in stride with the same humor and charm that made him a great Herc.

The geek shall inherit the Earth. This weekend they owned a little part of Vancouver thanks to the stars of our favorite genre shows and the comic book writers and artists that help us relive our childhood.

 

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