Chicken Ranch Central
Monday, June 20, 2016
Comicpalooza in the rearview mirror
Comicpalooza!--no small feat, since Saturday is normally the only day of the week I get to sleep in. The drive in on I-10 was uneventful and I arrived at 11 a.m. with plenty of time to wander around before my lone panel of the day. First up, I have to say these mega-sized pop culture conventions aren't my favorite, simply because they're so overwhelming. It's not terribly easy to run into people you know and the media celebrities dominate with their cattle-call autograph and photo lines. That said, it's the nature of the beast these days, and as far as spectacle went, there was more than enough to entertain in the dealers room alone. Cosplayers were out in full force. There were more Whovians and the Scooby Gang, Adventure Timers and Power Puff Girls, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and more Star Wars Jedi, Stormtroopers and Mandalorians than I've ever seen. There was a lightsabre parade that probably totaled 300 folks once all was said and done. The fascinating thing was that there were as many, if not more, women cosplaying as men, and the age distribution was a good representation of the general population as well, with teens and 20-somethings outnumbering the greybeards by a wide margin. After seeing how anemic recent Worldcon costume contests have become in recent years, and the constant lament about the aging attendance of local genre cons, I have to wonder if they will ever start taking cues from the success of these events to boost their own appeal. Adding high-profile YA guests could be a good start, but we'll see. One thing that surprised me was the high number of Steven Universe cosplayers. Two of my favorites (below) were girls dressed up as characters from the baseball episode. That was just fun. I hadn't realized the popularity of that show, I suppose. J. Cathleen Cheney, Katherine Catmull and Heather Poinsett Dunbar tolerated my antics, fortunately, and contributed insightful and witty commentary during the discussion. Without their input, it's have been a very poor panel. As it was, we filled the allotted time and could've continued quite a bit longer. Chicken Ranch book, which prompted him to start talking about the Everleigh Club from his old Chicago stomping grounds, which in turn prompted us to share our mutual admiration for the works of Karen Abbott. Convention conversations are fun that way. John Picacio (above) and saw, in passing, Arianne "Tex" Thompson, Martha Wells and Troyce Wilson, although things were rushed and we didn't have any meaningful conversation. I also ran into Alan Porter (below), who will be returning to Texas on a permanent basis next month. Coolness! Alan was kind enough to invite me to dinner after my panel, during which we shared our collective bafflement over how the recent James Bond movies have managed to totally go off the rails and utterly bungle the re-introduction of Blofeld and SPECTRE. I opined that the series should introduce Nena Blofeld (from John Gardner's Bond books) and Alan allowed the idea had merit, and I was delighted that he agreed with me that the Moonraker novel (which is pretty much as unlike the absurd movie of the same name as possible) could be updated and adapted to a smashing Bond film ("The last, great, unfilmed Bond novel" is how Alan put it). If publishers were smart, they'd give Alan a contract to write a few novels in the Bond series--after all, he's already written an exhaustive encyclopedia on the character, which should be published pretty soon now.
After dinner, I headed out the crowded Hilton doorway and just about trampled little Tara Reid. She was there as a celebrity star of Sharknado, which isn't as dubious a distinction as being an expert on the Chicken Ranch, but it's got to be pretty close. I've known she's not a large woman, but I'd never realized she was such a waif. She was so thin as to border on emaciated. I'm glad I didn't actually trample her, because I probably outweighed her by 200 pounds and could've done some lasting damage. My close brush with celebrity behind me, I braved the stormy weather out to the satellite parking lot to my car and had and uneventful drive home. The end.
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Chicken Ranch Central
Chicken Ranch Central