Denver Comic-Con Day 2: “Ohh Myy! It’s George Takei! Talking Daleks with Doctor Who, and Whhil Whheaton”
Another day of Denver Comic-Con has come and passed as Day 2 of the 3 day event comes to a close. Today, there were many more cosplayers due to the costume shindig at the end of the day. My wife and I came dressed as filthy Hobbitsis and got a fair number of photos taken. This year a goofy wig (a Jackie Moon from Semi-Pro wig re-purposed as Hobbit hair) and Hobbit feet slippers were much easier to manage than my blue Nightcrawler makeup from last year (Immensely popular, but the itchiness and constant re-applying was enough to not want to reprise it this year). Hilariously enough, everyone knew to say “Hobbitsis” like Gollum does and I got not one but two compliments on my walking stick. Sidenote: the walking stick was a result of an afternoon of walking along Cherry Creek’s creek-bed and finding “the perfect stick”, so I was pleased to get validation on my stick finding skills.
Today we arrived early to try to score some wristbands to attend the George Takei panel. To our surprise a good hour ½ prior to the doors opening, there was already a massive line. The geeks have woken early today! Fortunately, we were able to score a coveted wristband on our way in. Among the sea of “Jayne Hats”, Doctor Whos, a really awesome kid dressed as a Dalek and even an awesome baby Doc Ock, we made it into the convention center for our first panel.
The first panel we attended today was for Collin Baker and Daphne Ashbrook, both of Doctor Who fame as the Sixth Doctor and Dr. Grace Hollaway respectively. The panel began with both of them singing a duet with each other. It was needless to say, a very interesting start, but little did I know at that moment that I was seeing what I consider the best panel of the weekend thus far. Collin Baker was this really hilarious old charming English gentleman with amazingly funny anecdotes about his time on Doctor Who. He mentioned how he wasn’t even reading for the part of the Doctor, but for another character “Maxwell the guard” and just kept overshadowing people and eventually was given the role of The Doctor. When asked if he kept anything from the show, he said that he kept one of his outfits and went into a story about how he wanted the Doctor to be well dressed and the costume designer kept making his outfit more and more tasteless (His outfit has no fewer than 8 colors and is very loud). He went off and asked “Why does The Doctor wear costumes?…Can’t he just wear “clothes”? Does he ever do laundry? Do Time Lords not sweat?” Other highlights from the panel included
– On his hopes for future incarnations of the Doctor: “Every female aged 1-90 were googly eyed for Tennant. I’d like to see a female version of The Doctor! He’s been around far enough to get in touch with his feminine side!”
– When asked to describe his incarnation of The Doctor: “The Best!!” and then made a comparison to Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice saying that you first hate his version of The Doctor but then eventually fall in love with him.
– On Weeping Angels Statues: “Don’t Blink; Wink! They can’t get you if you’re winking!”
– Baker made mention that his Doctor was the last true Doctor since he never regenerated on-screen (His “regeneration” was the next actor with a wig on) and said everyone after him “were imposters!”
– When asked where she’d like to have traveled with the Doctor in the show, Daphne Ashbrook said she’d like to have traveled back to the Doctor’s home to meet his family.
Overall, the panel was an absolute joy and being just 4 or so episodes into the world of Doctor Who, I had just as much fun watching the panel as the die-hard Whovians. Colin Baker was a really charming and funny man and there was plenty of playful banter between him and Daphne Ashbrook. It reminded me a lot of the Tron reunion panel last year with Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan. Two stars from a decades old show or movie just hanging out and talking like old friends and very openly engaging the people in attendance. I prefer these kinds of panels.
After the Doctor Who panel, we had to leave the room and circle back in line for George Takei. The Doctor Who panel had a large audience, but it turned out there were plenty outside the ballroom to see George Takei. Fortunately, our wristband guaranteed admission into the panel. However, we weren’t as close to the stage this time around. Mr. Takei came out to a tremendous ovation and immediately launched into a very long “Thank You” speech to the fans. He said that with Star Trek “..the biggest adversaries we faced were not Klingons, but rather NBC programming executives!” He thanked the fans for their love and support after the show was canceled which he referenced to the letter-writing campaign that resulted in the first movie. Takei admitted that the first movie wasn’t very good and “V’ger turned out to be a Voyager satellite which wasn’t that big of a deal!” but then said due to the fan support to see that movie, it led to Wrath of Khan and said the rest was history to a large applause. Takei mentioned that he’ll be back in Denver in a few months to be honored by the Matthew Shepard Foundation for his years of activism. He also spoke a bit on the advancement of technology and based on a comparison of our achievements since the Apollo moon landing to say that he feels that we’re on an inevitable path to become a multiple planet species. When it came time to questions, the first question was a request for him to say his signature “Ohh Myy” to which he answered “Oh we’re going to start with that now are we!?”, but he did oblige the questioner (who was decked out in a Hello Kitty samurai warrior costume) and went into the origin of the catchphrase from The Howard Stern Show, in which a busty female guest was persuaded to remove her top, in which Takei decided to say “Ohh Myy” for every article of clothing removed (blouse, bra) and then got a double “Ohh Myy” as a finale and said that it took off from that moment. He was also asked about the dynamics with working with William Shatner and Leonard Nemoy and described Nemoy as a news buff and he did a great William Shatner impersonation. The panel was fun and it was really awesome to see “Mr. Sulu” in person.
After George Takei’s panel, we decided skip the Star Wars costume making panel to grab some food. Once we made it to Larimer Square we found out that today was the start of the annual Denver Chalk-Art Festival! It seemed that most of the art was still in progress, so we’ll definitely have to venture over after the convention tomorrow afternoon. However, it was fun to be dressed like a Hobbit and blend in with the art fans sipping wine. We had a few hours to kill before Wil Wheaton’s panel, so we explored the Exhibit Hall a bit and I decided to try to get some of my other comics signed. Today, I was able to get my copy of Deadpool #11 signed by writer Joe Kelly. It’s definitely a favorite of mine, in which Deadpool time-travels from then-present day 1997 to a Spider-man story from the 70s with the characters, dated looks and dialogues unchanged, save for Deadpool who thanks to a holographic masking device, is seen by everyone as Peter Parker. So you can imagine where this will go. I also got to meet Jon Bogdanone and got to hear him discuss his created character of Steel ( He said that DC comics wanted an “Iron Man” equivalent to Superman) as well as his disappointment with the Steel movie (starring Shaq haha). Before leaving the Exhibit Hall, I tried to stop at Gerry Conway’s table. Conway is one of the biggest comics writers out there, but for me he’s the man who penned quite possibly my all-time favorite Spider-man story “The Night Gwen Stacey Died”. Unfortunately, his table was empty and a lack of a chair indicated he was likely to not arrive.
After some pictures on the floor, it was time to go attend Wil Wheaton’s panel, which saw us standing in the biggest line thus far for the entire convention (save for the gianormous line Friday to get in). We were a bit surprised at the line as Wesley Crusher isn’t exactly a favorite character in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I do blame The Big Bang Theory, that Family Guy joke, and umm the entire internet for the long line! While in line, we stood behind a really cool group dressed as The Powerpuff Girls with the sole male as Mojo Dojo so that was pretty fun, and surprisingly we still had a pretty good seat considering how many people were in front of us. Wheaton definitely has the lead in “Best Panel Entrance” as he came out wearing a Los Angles Kings Jersey and horse mask. After the initial cheers, he said that he makes a habit of turning off phones before panels, however, his Kings are in the playoffs and made a dig at the Denver Avalanche to some boos. His phone buzzed shortly after the boos, but rather than a score update, it was his wife telling him to fix his hair. Wheaton was really fun and had no problem flying his Geek Flag when it came to subjects like gaming, comics or internet culture. He dedicated a majority of the allotted panel time to fan questions. He covered questions and topics such as his love for board games (in which he plugged his show “TableTop”), His problem with Facebook training a new generation to be consumers by “liking” companies, and even some questions about Star Trek. Regarding Star Trek, he said “Let’s face it. Wesley was the smartest person on the bridge. If everyone listened to him, the show would be 75% shorter!” One touching moment came at the end when a child asked him if he ever was ever called a nerd, the questioner obviously had that tone that implied that they were picked on at school. Wil gave a very long and very heart-felt “it gets better”-esque answer of encouragement. It was a really awesome and fitting way to end the panel and really great judgment of character for Wil Wheaton.
After Wheaton’s panel, I kind of forgot about catching the last half of the Marvel creators panel (with the aforementioned Gerry Conway among others) and didn’t really want to walk all the way to the end of the line for Felicia Day’s panel. We also decided to nix two panels that didn’t sound as interesting as well, so we went back to the Exhibit Hall to explore and take photos of cool costumes. Among those seen were a GIANT Galactus, A BMO from Adventure Time, 2 girl versions and 1 guy version of Leeloo from The 5th Element, “President of Karate” Axe Cop, and a Monarch Henchman who kept talking in the #24 voice (he did a pretty impersonation. The character sounds Ray Romano-esque). We explored the impressive Lego section in which there was a giant recreation of Action Comics #1 (first-ever Superman comic) as well as impressive cityscapes (Including Sin City) and several build-your-own stations. I also decided to do one final trip through the artist tables and to my surprise, I found Gerry Conway! He signed my reprint of the Gwen Stacey story (original is very expensive) and pointed out the typo of the title reading “Day” instead of “Night” in the reprint. I also got to briefly tell him how I loved the arc as well as some of his other Spidey stories. It was cool to meet the man that for me really defined the character of Spider-man.
Our final event tonight was the “2nd Annual DCC Costume Shindig” (aka Costume Contest). We didn’t make it to the event last year due to the room reaching capacity, but with the bigger ballroom, it was not a problem to get in at all. First up, were a few kids with pretty cool Steampunk takes on Star Trek, The Matrix and Doctor Who. After the kids showed off their costumes on-stage, it was time for the adult costumes. Save for maybe 4 or 5 entries, most of the costume contest was lost on me as a good 90% of the entries were Anime and Video Games. There weren’t any bad costumes, but my unfamiliarity of characters only amplified when skits and recorded monologues were played while the cosplayer was on-stage some taking up to 3 minutes. I quite honestly expected costumes like Gianormous Galactus, or one of the Iron Man guys with moving faceplates and light up eyes would be involved, but instead those guys were all in the audience. So my disinterest in the anime character’s monologues (again costumes were good, I’m just clueless/uncaring to the Anime genre) was momentarily peaked with a great costume of The Thing from Fantastic 4, a steampunk Green Lantern and a really cool Tron Legacy duo. The last entry was a really well put together Captain America costume, rather than music or a skit, he came out with a microphone. I was expecting it to be a version of his USO skit in the movie, but it turned out to be a marriage proposal. So yay Capt. America!!
Tomorrow is the final day of the con. Can’t wait!