The Glitz and Glamour of Emerald City ComiCon

Although I’m not the biggest comic book fan in the world, what I do appreciate is good art, and in just about every booth there were some amazing artwork drawn by some very talented people. I saw a piece depicting Spiderman made in the style of Japanese anime; I saw another piece showcasing Psylocke in the style of a water color painting, and so on and so forth. Many booths had long lines, as comic book nerds eagerly waited to meet their favorite artist to get their picture taken or an autograph jotted down. We meandered to the middle of the room, and found a large crowd congesting the flow of traffic. I stood on my toes to see who everyone was clamoring toward, and found out that they were Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus, of The Boondock Saints (1999) fame. I was of conflicting emotions at this particular point, as I wanted to go up to Norman Reedus and tell him how I admired his work on The Walking Dead (2010), but wasn’t sure if I could contain myself from telling him what my thoughts were on Boondock Saints (in case you were wondering what my thoughts were, you should check out my Top 5 video with Brandi: it’s titled “Top 5 Overrated Films”). I decided to act on the side of caution, took a picture with my phone, and moved on.

The major panels were located in room 4A. This dark room was filled with chairs for the audience, with a table at the very front for the guests and two large screens on display for everyone to see. The first big panel I saw was for Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner, who played the iconic characters Commander Riker and Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). My initial thought as they both came out on stage was, “wow, it’s been a long time since that show has been on.”   forgot that the show hasn’t been on the air for almost seventeen years, and it was weird to see Data (Spiner) with grey hair, human colored skin and acting…well…human. Jonathan Frakes was pretty much the way I remembered him, but plumper, a little older, the beard not as thick as it used to be. However, getting a little long in the tooth didn’t prevent these two from being absolutely hilarious. It must have been a blast being on that show, as the crowd laughed and applauded at the comedic tag team these two showcased. From the very start, with Spiner doing a pitch perfect impression of Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Frakes having a one-man fight with his own chair, these two had the crowd in the palms of their hands. When the Q&A was underway, I wanted to ask Jonathan Frakes a question about Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (1997), a show I routinely watched back in the day, but again acted on the side of caution.

Without question, the big panel of the night was William Shatner, whom you’d remember from…well, if you don’t know who The Shat is, there’s just no helping you (psst, he was on Boston Legal!). Although The Shat will be turning 80 years old this year, he was just as spry and enthusiastic as someone half his age, although seemingly not quite from this planet. He seemed to be in a constant haze throughout his entire Q&A, as if he wasn’t 100% sure where he was. When someone from his left side asked a question, he would face toward his right and looked directly up toward the balcony (note: there was no balcony). Although he was glistening from his own sweat and looked as if he was constantly squinting, The Shat was great at answering questions and telling stories. We got to hear about his love of music and his plans on making more of it, get an insight on his thoughts about the “death” of Captain Kirk and what he would have done instead if given a chance, and hear about his roast on Comedy Central a couple of years ago, and the apparent feud that he had (or has?) with George Takei.

“Who’s George Takei?” my buddy asked.

“Huh?” I responded, almost dumbfounded, “he played Sulu on Star Trek!” It took me about five seconds to realize he had no idea what I was talking about, and I suddenly came to the surprise that I was Sailor Moon at that moment. Maybe there’s a little bit of a geek in all of us, and we just don’t know it.

After The Shat finished his Q&A and got a well-deserved standing ovation, we decided to return back to the main hall and pick up some goodies for the road. After stopping at the sky bridge to take some pictures with a couple of Storm troopers and Darth Maul, we headed back to the artist’s booth where my friend got his nifty, autographed stencil of Ryu. Not to be outdone, I ended up picking up the first volume of a really cool comic called Pang: The Wandering Shaolin Monk, by Ben Costa. This is a really interesting and entertaining book, bright and colorful with tons of comedy and action, and a bit of insight on Chinese history. I even got my book autographed by Costa himself, which is always a plus. If you want to know more about Pang or even purchase the first volume, visit for information.

Overall, I’d say Emerald City Comicon 2011 was a success. I got to see some fantastic artwork, listen to celebrities chat, and take a picture or two with some hardcore fans. Can’t wait to see what next year’s con will bring. Perhaps I’ll wear my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume. When in Rome, right?

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Allen is a moviegoer based out of Seattle, Washington. His hobbies include dancing, playing the guitar, and, of course, watching movies.

You can reach Allen via email or Twitter

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