SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2006
Wednesday the 19th I got up early, finished my packing for San Diego and then headed to the local UPS store to overnight my Goolies package to the editor. I also stopped by Fast Frame to take some artwork in that I was having framed. I had packed up the car the previous night, but hadn't packed my own clothes. So I had to do that as well! By the time we left for San Diego it was about 11:30. But the trip to San Diego went well and we got there by about 2:30. My friend Scott Sebring and his wife Vickie were right behind us, so we ended up arriving at exactly the same time. In fact, they pulled their SUV up behind my car at the valet! What timing! We checked into our hotel room and then went across the street to the convention center to check in and get our badges. This year they had a new barcode system that made things about 100 times faster! It was a breeze and my hat's off to the San Diego Comic Con for improving their system so much! I also got my hands on a "set up" pass, which is only for dealers so they can enter the hall and set up their booths. This allowed me a first-hand glimpse at all the cool stuff. Preview night wasn't starting until about 6:30, but here I was in the hall at 4:00 looking at all the stuff! I found some great artwork that I wanted...a drawing from Family Guy that was used in the animation of the "Sesame Street Blue" segment where I voiced Bert. It was a great shot of Bert and I just had to have it. Then I found some great Groovie Goolies cels I had to have. I also pre-ordered Master Replicas' Kermit the Frog photo puppet and their forthcoming U.S.S. Enterprise studio scale model. So before the show even opened I was already about $2,000 in the hole! It was going to be a great show! I ran into a lot of great people and I knew this was going to be a wonderful weekend. I found out that Dave Prowse (Darth Vader) would be signing there, and I needed his autograph on my "Empire Strikes Back" poster. I had already gotten it signed by Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew and others, but needed Dave. But since his appearance was unannounced I didn't know enough to bring my poster. So I called my friend Emily who stopped by my house and grabbed the poster to take with her on Thursday morning. Whew! When the Preview Night closed at 9pm, I went to my room and grabbed a shower. My friend Christine met us there at the hotel. Then a bunch of us went over to Hooters to enjoy some great food and conversation. We were off to a grand start!
Thursday the 20th we made it to the convention in time to see my buddy Dan Roebuck host the 75th anniversary of Universal Monsters panel. Scott and Vickie had donned their Green Hornet and Xena costumes and were working the convention floor, posing for pictures and having a great time. Then Dan, Andrea, Christine and I went to autograph alley and found Sam Jones and Melody Anderson from the 1980 'Flash Gordon' movie. We had them sign a bunch of stuff and then went to get Dan some food at one of the little cafes in the convention center. Then we met up with Scott and Vickie and took some pictures of them in their costumes. But they were hot and tired so they headed back to their room to change. But first I stopped by Dave Prowse's table and had him sign a new Darth Vader light saber I had just bought. I also had him sign my "Empire Strikes Back" poster. That night we met up with Joe and Zandra and we all headed to Buca De Beppo for a mountain of Italian food. Completely full and tired, we all went back to our rooms and passed out!
Friday the 21st Christine, Andrea and I got up early to go to Sea World. We all were going to do the Dolphin Interaction Program where you get to interact with dolphins in the water. It was an amazing experience and it's something that I want to do every year! I'll have pics posted on the site soon so you can see what an amazing experience it was. We spent the rest of the day at Sea World having fun and enjoying the park, but we got sunburned pretty badly. But it didn't matter, because we were all so high from doing the Dolphin Interaction Program. That night we met up with my friends Larry and James from Playboy in our annual and traditional Westin Hotel Sports Bar dinner. Every Friday night at Comic Con it's become tradition to meet up with them and compare notes about the convention. What a blast it was! On the walk back we stopped at the grocery store and got cinnamon rolls for dessert.
Saturday the 22nd was the big day. But there were so many people at the convention it was very difficult to move around or do anything. So I spent a few hours there, but for the most part I was having lower back pains from all the walking and running around. I think carrying all the stuff around that I was carrying wasn't helping at all. Plus, it was about 100 degrees. So after I got some pictures of the gang in their Justice League outfits, I went back to the room to take a quick nap. When I got up it was time to go back to the convention hall and enjoy the masquerade. It was fun watching Scott and the gang all parade around in their costumes getting pictures taken. But by the end of the night everyone was exhausted. So we went back to the room and ordered a pizza.
Sunday the 23rd was check-out day. I had loaded all my luggage in Scott and Vickie's room so I could pick it up later. They were keeping their room another day so it ended up being the place where all the people who were checking out that day would stash their luggage until it was time to go. I had a voice-over actors panel to do at 1pm with Bob Bergen, Billy West, Kimberly Brooks and April Stewart, so I headed over to the hall to get ready for that. It was an absolute blast, and if you were at the panel and took any pictures, I'd love to get some. Please e-mail me whatever you've got so I can post them here. What a great time it was getting to perform with those amazingly talented individuals. it was also great getting to meet all the people who attended the panel as they all seemed very happy to be there. Then we hightailed it over to the room, loaded up our luggage and hit the road. By the time we hit L.A. it was 6:30pm. It was hot, tiring, and I showered right away and took a nap. Later that night I got up, went out to eat with Andrea and unpacked all the spoils from another great San Diego Comic Con!
And now for the PICTURES!!
The dolphins would float upside down to get tummy rubs.
Giving Toby the Dolphin a great big hug.
A dream come true. Posing with Flash and Dale themselves! From the 1980 "Flash Gordon" movie...Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson.
Though I did the voice of Rufus in the movie "Final Fantasy 7; Advent Children," it was still great to see fans dressed up as other characters from the film. Here's a guy dressed as Cloud.
FINALLY! A picture of myself with Elvira in full make-up! (SHE'S in full make-up. Not me)
A great shot of the gang on Justice League day!
Wonder Woman might get warts if she stands any closer!
Christine and Andrea have a blast being photographed by press from all over the world!
The crowded hall of fans waiting to see the voice-over artists panel on Sunday. I took this from the stage just before the event started. What a great bunch of folks!
"South Park" voice actress April Stewart wowed the audience with her famous character voices.
Billy West, the voice of hundreds of cartoon characters, slayed the audience with his many characters and off-beat wit.
Bob Bergen, most famous for the voice of Porky Pig, talks about his workshops to train up and coming voice artists.
Moderator Mark Evanier does his last of 12 panels that he conducted that week! He truly IS Superman!
Performing in the "Flash Gordon" radio show given to the performers by Mark Evanier, Wally cracks jokes as the Announcer.
The lovely and talented Kimberly Brooks from "Mucha Lucha" discusses what it takes to become a voice actress.
Christine's sister Sabrina (purple) and her group of Ninja Turtles won a prize in the Masquerade for their terrific costumes!
This guy asked me if he could photograph me for his website, so I said sure. As long as I could photograph him for mine!
The new Master Replicas Enterprise model that they'll be releasing at the end of the year! WOW! This picture does not do it justice!
A monstrous group effort, Katie's Hawkgirl outfit was stunning!