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And here be my 2009 Gathering Con-Journal!! It is the first of its kind that I have ever written, and Iâm amazed at just what exactly I remembered! (Though writing entries the night of I do believe makes them easier, I would hope). The one constant in each of these entries (besides the giddyness) is the fact that I DIDNâT stay at the Hilton where all the festivities took place. Despite the obvious awesome reasons why that was preferred choice, if I even tried to consider the cost of the Registration AND the hotel AND the flight . . . then it just wasnât going to happen (and I DIDNâT want that to happen, not when itâs the last year, and when Iâve put off going for years now). So my friend, Goose, and his family graciously hosted me while I dragged him to a 4-day geekasm. Needless to say, we both had a blast, as it is described below in enough detail (I donât describe the color of the chairs used . . . oh all right, RED. Ish).
Though we arrived in Sky Harbor International at around 6:20 PM, it was soon revealed to us that our flight at 7:20 PM was delayed till 8:10 PM. *Sigh* whatever, I bought a Coke and we waited at the airport as my roommate, Goose, bought souvenirs for his family back in Los Angeles. When we arrived we were picked up by his family, where we chatted over a real late dinner at Dennyâs. By the time we were exhausted to go to bed it was past one in the morning.
Okay, sooo wake up for me was at about 9ish, where I enjoyed breakfast with Goose at his place. Soon after, we headed toward the hotel and Gathering, where we started with a Gorillaz song but ended up blasting Gargoyles music and singing the theme to Spectacular Spider-Man. Despite the traffic we hit, we got there just as the first events began. A quick little visit to the Registration table (where upon I discovered I did my badge name âunrightâ . . . it WAS my name, just not my avatar-username as most guests had done . . . oh well, no matter, that would be easily rectifiable) and we headed to one of the first events, the panel on drawing comics by Karine Charlebois. When her panel was over, me and my friend decided to stick around in that room for the next two panels . . . the Bansheeâs âMachiavelli on Gargoylesâ and the âRookery Brothersâ with Thom Adcox and Bill Faggerbake. Except for the fact that Faggerbake wasnât around (no idea why, :( ) Thom was an absolute blast to get to know and hear from. From his various stories on and off the set (one about him goofing around with Ed Asner while recording for Gargoyles still gives me laughs) to the questions he answered regarding the characters he played over the years . . . Lexington and Tinkerer of course, but a guy-fairy in the next Tinkerbell film and a turtle in a somewhat recent Taco Bell commercial . . . the entire group was having a good time and certainly in stitches d: You can really tell he enjoys coming to these conventions.
It was the same room for those three events that afternoon, so it was interesting who stuck around for which ones . . . in between the second and third event, my friend and I met â" Abby was it? â" where we enjoyed having a not-so-short discussion on the comics and Spectacular Spider-Man (gist: comics were spoiler-free, Spectacular Spidey was not!)
Now, I have never attended a Mug-A-Guest -- and having just arrived when we did, we missed our chance at signing up for Greg or Diskin â" but despite the larger group, I felt there was some ample time for most everyone that wanted to ask a question or have a comment to be able to do so. I also have to confess that one event finished and I was still too giddy to show patience with Karine . . . I just had to ask for her autograph for my Bad Guys Trade . . . hey, folks, she did a fantastic job! The giddiness would decrease to a more natural level later in the day, and I stopped myself from bugging Thom and Greg Weisman when I met them (donât take it personally, I have all weekend d: )
By the time we were done hanging out with Thom, it was something of a half-hour before the start of the Opening Ceremonies. So, after a quick look around at the Art Show (crazy good stuff there, by the way), we headed towards the Ballroom, where I noticed a discussion regarding the latest comics nearby . . . a somewhat shy walk towards the group revealed to me to be CR vets Bishansky, Matt, and Blaise, with some others that I wasnât able to catch their names. I also spotted and met VickyUK and I totally had to tell her that it was just awesome to know that she had flown 10 hours to enjoy this last Gathering.
When it comes down to it, my favorite part of the evening was getting to see this group of dedicated fans in person . . . there is no doubt in my mind that that my enthusiasm for the series has lasted this long due to my (somewhat passive) interaction with these folks online in the CR.
Anyways, after a slight delay, we all entered the Ballroom and took our seats as Opening Ceremonies began. Greg W opened up with the icebreaker of pure demographics . . . whoâs new and virgin and whoâs old and veterany. After telling all the 1st time newbies to rise (couldnât really tell from where I was, but it was a lot wasnât it??) he then dwindled the group one year at a time (there seemed to me to be a big drop after six, but whoâs counting ?) until finally all that was left was Patrick, Jennifer, Greg, Karine, and A Fan â" the kids that decided to stick it out for 13 years. Kudos for all the hard work, guys . . . and to everyone else thatâs been vital to the Gathering. Kudos.
So after introductions and general FYI, Greg started his usual spiel . . . which apparently is almost verbatim for over a decade d: Though Iâve never been to one, the story was familiar simply from reading the Ask Greg archives all these years, as well as some of the bonus features on the DVDs. Nevertheless, there was quite a bit of detail that I didnât know or remember (I donât believe I ever read about Faggerbakeâs âItâs better than Barneyâ quip after the preview of the show to the press).
Interesting note . . . its probably well known fact, but I do remember watching what was apparently cropped from the footage shown at the SciFi footage â" the mostly Johnathan Frakes vid â" on a VHS of A Goof Movie (I think thatâs the one) . . . I havenât seen it in over a decade, but the music and animation clips-cutted look familiar to me, as well as the brief interviews from Frakes, Marina Sirits, and Keith David (though I distinctly remember seeing Salli Ricardson as well in that VHS preview). Certaintly reminded me just how much time has passed since I first saw this show when I was WAAAYY little.
So after seeing the original show pitches and the spinoff pitches (including the Bad Guys leica reel . . . I guess Iâm in a special class of fan that got to see the reel AFTER the reading the Trade Paperback) I finally got to see the latest work on âThe Lastâ . . . still incomplete, but there was a ton done in those twenty-odd minutes and while âunofficialâ â" itâs really awesome to see the conglomeration of the professional Voice Acting with all the art that fans have come to put together. Having never seen it before, I really wonder which scenes were completed first and which ones were new additions. All in all, an entertaining episode that made me further appreciate my copy of âBad Guys.â d:
Total random moment when a cell phone sounding just like Kim Possibleâs Kimmunicator started beeping . . . Greg even recognized it, stopping mid-sentence to blurt out while looking at the crowd: âKim? Kim?â Too funny.
With the conclusion of the Opening Ceremonies, I imagine most guests and fans and staff grabbed something to eat somewhere . . . me and my friend made our way back across the city back to his place, where we enjoyed dinner there.
Hey, itâs day one . . . the funâs just getting started.
Glad you could make it.