Monday, March 28, 2016

Our 2016 Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience

Thursday afternoon saw my daughter and me heading out for yet another Comic Con experience! We had great expectations having forked out the money for a VIP pass this time. Which also meant we'd bought our very first photo ops, something I both looked forward to and felt extremely anxious about! We were branching out! It was #epic!

Anyway, here's what we did and who we saw, in case you are interested in this kind of thing.

Peter Davison
aka. the 5th Doctor

The big event of this day was a special panel by Buzz Aldrin. We got there quite a bit early and decided we had time to go see Peter Davison first... who played the 5th Doctor Who back in the 80s. I've only watched the recent "modern" remake Dr. Who's so am not familiar with these older doctors (the ones they are calling the "classic" Dr. Who's!) but every time we see one of their panels, we love them. This guy was awesome and funny and personable and I didn't know that his daughter played the daughter of David Tennant in one of his episodes, who then ended up marrying David Tennant in real life! What a crazy story!! Loved it!

Buzz Aldrin
aka. the 2nd man on the moon

After that we ran and got in line for Buzz ending up with an okay seat and had a lovely time listening to him tell his stories and promote more space exploration especially to Mars. He was a hoot and lots of fun. "Nothing is impossible!" Oh, he's the second man on the moon, in case you might not have known. He took this picture:

and this picture:

which is just beyond cool. His comment about why those pictures are so iconic, "Location, location, location!"

After that we ran to get a closer seat where we camped out for a couple Q and A panels. First up was
Sylvester McCoy who was the 7th Dr. Who. Also, some of you may know him as Radagast the Brown from The Hobbit movies. He was awesome because he circulated through the audience, taking questions personally. At one point he was standing in our aisle and I was busy trying to get his picture, when suddenly he was crawling over us to get to the kid next to us to answer his question. We were trying to scoot our bags out of the way so he wouldn't trip over them and he made fun of us. Ah! It was so funny! My impression of him, a short little man with a TON of energy! He was great fun!

Sylvester McCoy
aka. the 7th Doctor

After him we had the great opportunity to listen to LaVar Burton interact with the audience and answer questions. He was amazing. Probably the best panel of the whole time for me. (Here's a link to the whole thing if you're interested. See if you can see what I mean.) And he had us laughing so hard that my face literally started to ache. I'd forgotten he was Kunta Kinte back in the day of that famous Roots show, which yes, I'm old enough to remember in a very very vivid way! Anyway, I just love him!
LaVar Burton
then as Kunta Kinte

LaVar Burton now
aka. the Reading Rainbow guy
and Geordie

We left the room for a bit to wander around the vendor floor and check out celebrity row and figure out where photo ops were happening. I was too nervous and scared to talk to anyone though. This is an aspect of Comic Con that I need to get over. But I feel too stupid to stand in line just to say hi and not actually buy an autograph from them, or pay to have a selfie taken. You know? (Each one of those is around $50 by the way.)

Anyway, then we went back to the big room to see two guys from The Backstreet Boys and one from Nsync. And yes, I am too old to have been gaga about these groups, though I've enjoyed their music. I thought it would be fun to see them still. Joey was late and got there just in time to say hi and answer like two questions. Nick and A.J. were... okay, but I was not overly impressed with them. There was a girl with them too who I have no idea who she was. They were all promoting a zombie shoe they are doing for the SyFy channel called Dead 7. We saw a couple of trailers and it looks awful! Very B movie-ish! Which, you know, can be fun sometimes! Oh, and yes, they sang the chorus of their famous-est song... but I forgot what it was. And that's good because if I remember it will be stuck in my head the rest of the day.

Then we popped into a ghost story panel, because it said "MORE stories of the paranormal" but after listening for a bit we realized it was the same stories he told last comic con. Nothing new for us. So we left early and went and got a hamburger from Crown Burger instead.


We got there bright an early to be among the first people into the big ballroom. First up was a couple of guys from The X Files... a show I never quite got into, but we wanted good spots for later, so we were there. They were Mitch Pileggi and William B. Davis, the second being known as the cigarette smoking man, if you are familiar with that show. Anyway, they had fun stories and were entertaining even though we weren't fans of their show.

The X Files guys

Up next was Gillian Anderson, who the crowd was going wild over. (I guess guys especially find her attractive. Okay. I don't see it, but then again, they probably don't see it when I'm gushy for a certain guy actor, amirite?) She was another though, that I did not know and wasn't excited about. I was willing to give her a chance however. One of the things we've learned is that even if you aren't familiar with the celebrity, their panels are fun and you end up a fan afterwards. This has happened so many times. Well, let me just say that this chick did not win me over. Sorry if you are a fan of hers, but she was crass and weird, and stand-off-ish with the audience and just... I don't know...icky. She gave me a very slimy feeling. She did auction off her shirt to go toward her charity and someone bought it for $1000.  Yay!?! Anyway. She was weird.

Gillian Anderson
aka. Skully from The X Files

But up next was our favorite dude, Alan Tudyk! And he delivered! His thing is to bring a bunch of his personal garbage and for anyone who asks a question, he will sign some piece of junk and give it away! It's a riot. Plus, he is as far to the side of animated and enthusiastic as the above mentioned Gillian was not. We love him!

Alan Tudyk

and more Alan Tudyk

After that was one of his fellow Firefly costars, Summer Glau. She played River on that show and did an amazing job! She is so tiny and  cute and quiet and lovely! We had to sneak out of her panel early in order to experience our first photo op.

Summer Glau
aka. River from Firefly

It was a madhouse at the photo op area, but they let us bypass all the outside lines and took us right into lines inside where pictures were happening. There were a ton of people in line ahead of us at the inside lines, but it moved fairly quickly, once they got started and BAM BAM BAM, they have you in and out of there like cattle through a shoot! Literally five seconds to pose with the celebrity, like enough to BARELY time to say hi, pose, flash, and thanks. BAM BAM BAM!

That's us with the Alan Tudyk!

Once that was over,  we had a bit of time to stop and buy the new Dan Wells book and have him sign it. I should have taken his picture dang it. What was I thinking? This is Comic Con after all! PICTURES!

Then we managed to get back to the big room to see Peter Facinelli. Dang that boy is nice looking! He was full of fun Twilight stories and I guess he's pretty famous for a strange character on Nurse Jackie? Yeah? Anyway. He was great too. I didn't get a very good picture of him though.
Peter Facinelli
aka. Carlisle from Twilight

Then we went to see Dean Cain, who said he will run for president against Kanye if it ever comes to that. I will vote for him. He seemed totally capable. It was fun to remember watching his show Lois and Clark from back in the day. Good times! My picture of him is too terrible to share. But he looks just the same.

And then, we looked at the schedule and suddenly realized that Chandler Riggs aka. Carl from The Walking Dead was listed as doing a panel! What? Where did that come from? So we used the ZipQ VIP perk to get into that one and he was awesome.  We learned that he is very much looking forward to us all seeing next week's season finale and every time someone asked.. "what was your favorite thing to shoot, your hardest? your best? your..... whatever?" he would answer Episode 16! Also we learned he goes to public school, likes John Green books, the band 21 Pilots, truly likes chocolate pudding, his favorite character is Michonne, and he enjoys having long long hair. Oh, and he has worked with seven different sets of twins who play Judith!
Chandler Riggs
aka. Carl from The Walking Dead

Then it was time to line up for our special Dr. Who panel. They got us in there ten times faster than last year and we did most of the waiting inside on the chairs. Instead of sitting on a cold concrete floor. Nice. Anyway it was a panel of the two older Dr. Who's, which we'd already seen on panels, and also Alex Kingston who plays River Song, and Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor. They had a great time interacting with each other and making us laugh. It was a great time. Though I find it fascinating that kids are still the only ones brave enough to stand in the Q and A line and ask questions.

The two classic Doctors with the moderator

Alex and Matt

And that ended our second day.


We got there even earlier for this day! We wanted to be close! We were among the first inside thanks to Catie who beat us there and let us jump in line with her!  First up was Alex Kingston, who I just mentioned above, but it was fun to see her on her own. PS. I totally forgot she was on ER. I loved that show! She is a hoot and a blast to listen to. And so cute!

Alex Kingston
aka. River Song on Dr. Who

Then we saw  Jason Isaacs known for his role as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter. He was a riot and decided to not really do a Q and A but just answered all the normal questions he knew everyone would ask! Sort of in stand up comedian style. He told great stories from the set of Harry Potter and how he was the one who had the idea of what Lucius should look, including the long white hair. He's also known for Captain Hook from a Peter Pan remake that I remember quite enjoying. I need to rewatch that. He's in a ton of other things too. He was funny and extremely energetic and we could have listened to him for much longer than the allotted hour.

Jason Isaacs
aka. Lucius Malfoy

Up next was the man of the day, Jeremy Renner! He's here in Park City shooting another movie, so he just decided he could handle zipping down for the day to hang out with fans. He was quite laid back and quiet after Jason, but still very nice, very cute...VERY... and had the most fun laugh and deep voice. Sigh. He could only stay for a bit, so it was a quick little glimpse of him, but worth it.

Jeremy Renner
aka. Hawkeye the coolest Avenger

After that we popped back over to get in line for our photo op with Jason. Sheesh. Did I say it was a madhouse over there?! We waited a bit for them to call us and while we did that we walked around and saw that Nsync Joey was having a dance party at his autograph table, and that Matt Smith was "out" so we got a closer up glimpse of him and... DANG! Did I say how smashing he is?! Anyway, we ended up nearly first in line for the photo op and didn't have to wait for very long really. A VIP perk at work then for sure! BAM BAM BAM! Photo with Jason! He did shake our hands though, which was nice. He seems like a good guy. Yeah, I need to watch more of his movies.

That's us with Jason Isaacs!

Then, we ran back to the panels and saw Danai Gurira aka. as Michonne from The Walking Dead. wow, she is stunning and wow she does SO MUCH STUFF! I'm blown away by the lives these people lead! It kills me!
Danai Gurira
aka. Michonne from The Walking Dead

Then we stayed for the voice actors and their famous and extremely popular panel called Twisted Toons. In past I've just been so-so about them but my daughter was over the moon to see (hear?) the guy who voices Sponge Bob. Also, there was the guy who does Disney voices, which I actually know! And so it ended up to be more fun than I expected. they read the script of The Force Awakens in all their funny voices and people were rolling in the aisles. We stayed the whole time and didn't end up sneaking out early like we thought we might.

We had a bit of time to do some shopping. I added to the Funko Pop Star Wars collection. Something one must do while at Comic Con you know...

And the collection grows

After that we went and saw some familiar faces talking about writing and doing their Writing Excuses podcast.
Howard Taylor, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells
aka. The Writing Excuses guys

And then we stayed in that smaller room to hear what people had to say about the new Star Wars land in Disneyland. It sounds fun and I look forward to experiencing it someday!

Then we stumbled out of there, blurry eyed and happy, re-energized from yet another comic Con and ready to face the next six months until the next one rolls around!

It's bigger on the inside.
Here's a little feeling for what it's like there. We are in the crowd at .05 seconds in! LOL!


  1. Wait! You don't like the 21 Pilots?! Gah! I love them. Well, I love one of their songs a lot anyway and I listen to the others because Corey loves them and those are growing on me.

    I'm having Internet problems (still) so I could watch the video. When my Internet is fixed/better, I'll take a look so I can see what I'm missing. I'm glad you had fun and that even though your photo ops were short, you enjoyed getting them done. I'm jealous of both Alan Tudyk and Jason Isaacs, but I know what to do if I'm too jealous. ;) I wonder if the autograph line is better? I think I'd opt for an autograph and a selfie.

    1. Jenni: LOL! I LIKE 21 Pilots! That was a typo! It's fixed now! Ha!!! What will you do if you get too jealous????

    2. Jenni: Oh and also, the autograph lines were actually pretty bad I heard too... at least for the popular dudes. Some others aren't bad at all...

    3. Swallow my anxiety and go to Comic Con, lol.

  2. I'm a huge Doctor Who fan and I'm going through the Classic episodes right now, so it's nice to hear that the actors were fun and entertaining. I'm glad you and your daughter had a good time.

  3. Oh my that sounds exhausting and fun all at once!!!

  4. I totally saw you and Tori in that video! 😀 It looks like you had a great time. I always like reading your recaps of these things. And the pictures. I would be so nervous taking pictures with celebrities but you both look so calm and cool about it!

    1. Kathy: YES! Way to have sharp eyes! And about the pictures...I was so very nervous!

  5. I was loving your pictures on Instagram. I can't believe you got so up close and personal with so many cool actors! There were lots of fun ones this time.

    1. Jenny: It's fun even when you don't really know them that well. I love it.

  6. Wow!!!!!! Sounds wonderful, Buzz Aldrin, Wow, we just got back from the Kennedy Space Center and my head is full of rockets and astronauts.
    Love Brandon Sanderson, one of my favorite authors.

    1. Mac n Janet: I know, right??? BUZZ ALDRIN!

  7. I love that you bought Funkos!!!

    RENNER!!!!! GAH!!!! I'm SO SO SO JEALOUS you were in the same room with him and got to hear him talk. I was crying inside all day Saturday and stalking the FANX twitter and instagram accounts. *sigh*

    1. Kami: RENNER! I wish you were there! we loved is laugh! oh my word... he giggles. No joke!

  8. Looks like a blast! I love X-FILES. I used to watch it in high school and I've been re-watching it on Netflix over the last couple of years. It's a great show!

  9. How fun! I'm not going to lie, I went into this post thinking I wouldn't know who anyone is but I actually recognized a lot of people! Buzz Aldrin, of course, but I also liked Summer Glau in the Terminator show (although I've never watched the X-Files so I have no idea who they are other than Gillian Andersen). Great pictures!

  10. Sounds pretty epic! And I am SO beyond jealous that you got to hear Jeremy Renner!!!!! *sigh* Y'all get the coolest adventures in Utah. :)



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