Date of meeting: October 25th and 26th
Place: Plano, Tx
Event: Dallas Sci-Fi and Comic*Con
I’m actually very proud to have been at this Con. Long story
short, my boyfriend and I had been planning (for months) to attend
Dragon*Con in Atlanta, driving from Dallas all Friday night/Saturday
morning. I’d made reservations at a Days Inn not even a mile
down the road from the convention, and Alex (boyfriend) was preparing
to “revamp” his car with AC and new windshield wipers.
Well, the parental units got wind of this about a week before the
convention. The ultimatum was that I could go, but if I did, they
wouldn’t pay for my current housing and tuition. (Is that blackmail,
or am I just bitter?) Needless to say, we didn’t go.
I was actually so disappointed that I emailed K-Dawg ( Katherine ;}
) and wept about the whole loss. Her reply was that of sympathy and
understanding; we emailed back and forth with info, comments, and
ideas every now and then.
Not much later, Katherine emailed me with info about the Dallas Comic
Con, and said she was glad to do so because of the “personal
injury” I’d suffered earlier in August. And thus, the
wait began. Two long weeks later, I managed to squirm my way out of
working on Sunday (nabbing the later shift on Saturday so I could
at least browse around until 2:00).
The whole experience was fun – then again, experience is what
I live for. Alex and I met at the Nearby IHOP (a local hangout of
ours/our friends and a good locale between our homes) and left one
car in the parking lot, taking the other down President George Bush
Turnpike (the highway from hell... slightly less evil than I-635)
to Plano. We actually missed the street (Spring Creek Parkway) because
the directions that MapQuest gave us told us to pass it for some dumb*ss
reason. So, a few u-turns later, we arrived at the Plano Convention
It wasn’t as grand an event as I’d expected. In fact,
the whole center was really, really small. It’s amazing that
they fit everyone inside the way they did.
In one gymnasium-sized room with a stage, they had a maze-like venue
featuring hundreds of people selling table after table of stuff. (Comics.
I’ve never seen so many comics. I didn’t even know there
were that many in print, not to mention for sale!) There were a few
artists selling their works right as they created them. There was
a large collection of tables selling posters of random stuff –
supposedly the vendors had banded together to attract more customers
– at which I bought Alex a movie poster of Agent Smith, where
he’s doing that cool side-look pose with what I think is a .40-cal.
There were a couple of tables selling swords and knives and axes,
but I’ve got my share of... “medieval weaponry.”
About an hour into our adventure, we decided to attend the screening
of the new Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon on Cartoon Network (of which
I’ve skillfully managed to miss the first/past five episodes).
Storm troopers surrounded the room; it was intimidating until they
took off their helmets to let the sweat dry out. The film was just
a brief showing of the first episode – a three minute montage
of a prologue to the series – but, of course, the animation
was very well done. All hail Genndy Tartakovsky. They had a few ticket
drawings for a limited number of booklets that had some sketches in
them. Alex and I were disappointed when the two f*cks on either side
of us both won a copy, and we didn’t get sh*t.
(If you’re wondering why I bother to censor myself, it’s
so others don’t. Besides, if you’ve ever heard me talk,
you’d understand that censorship can be necessary while on the
job or at home. After all, the word f*ck used six times in a sentence
isn’t quite PG13.)
After the show, our stomachs took over; the primal urge to feed overwhelmed
us. So we quested for the nearest food product. After a while of searching,
all we could come up with was a hot dog. It wasn’t very good,
but our stomachs didn’t give a sh*t. (Literally – quite
some indigestion after that.)
Fed and motivated once again, we re-entered the maze of comics and
swords and T-shirts and action figures. Stumbling around to the far
(far, far, far) corner of the room, we discovered the autographing
area, stars-aplenty. We looked for Brad, Jay, and Katherine at a table
somewhere, but all we could find was a Delorean and a Leprechaun.
So I dragged Alex to Warwick Davis’ table. We waited in a line
to get to the table, and once we got there, his agent (I assume) –
who looked a helluvalot like Moby, minus the glasses – was almost
sympathetic that we couldn’t afford an autograph. Alex didn’t
do much except hold my orange Halloween sucker that was free at one
of the other tables while I chatted with Warwick. His accent is very
modern British, (one of those that sounds so cool and eclectic that
you keep talking just to hear them talk back). Apparently there’s
a Leprechaun 6 ahead; (I didn’t notice # 5...) As Alex and I
were leaving, Warwick and I shook hands... I shook the Leprechaun’s
hand! (Still my claim to fame to this day.)
By this time, we had to leave; I had work in an hour or so. Being
the human compass that I am, going back the way we had come was no
big deal. But the traffic was a real b*tch. Whoever the *sshole is
that decided that I-35 could use a little facelift is the top name
on my death list.
Sunday went a lot smoother. We took the other car, and traffic wasn’t
nearly as homicidal on the Turnpike. The parking lot at the convention
center was pretty dead, too; we actually managed to seize a spot two
rows away from the entrance. When we first walked in, the only people
we saw were a handful of black people dressed in Sunday best. For
a moment we had this horrifying thought that they’d cancelled
the second day of the convention, and all we were left with was a
group of Baptists fresh from sermon. (“God help us,” as
Alex so aptly put.)
But our fears were calmed when we got our tickets for the day, (another
$20 bucks up in smoke), and swam through the maze of tables again.
We were actually surprised to have found Brad’s table so soon.
In fact, at one point, I was so jittery that Alex had to literally
drag me over to the autograph area:
“We don’t really have to see him now -“
“Yes we do! You haven’t shut up about this for the past
two weeks, so we’re going... over... there...”
“No, no – not yet – look! It’s an Agent Smith
action figure! Don’t you... oh, goddamnit -”
I took the opportunity to remind myself to breathe while I introduced
myself to Katherine. It was good to finally meet her. I nodded to
Jay, seated to her right. And by the time my eyes had made it to Brad,
I’d flushed redder than a cherry. (Always good of Alex to point
it out, too.) So I timidly discussed with Alex which picture I should
have autographed, trying to avoid any actual conversation with anyone
for a while.
I don’t remember who broke the ice first – Katherine,
Brad, Jay, or possibly myself – but the moment Brad spoke up,
it reminded me that he was just another person. It also reminded me
that I was interested in the kind of person he was.
And so the fun began.
Alex and I stayed around the table for about two hours (...I think...).
Always ready to make a sailor blush, I’d been watching my tongue
for a while. That is, until Brad got into his role as Chuky, quoting,
“Just gimme a f*ckin’ knife! I’m in the mood...”
Then the kid gloves were off. The seven of us – including Maresa
and Roz, on occasion – discussed everything from Brad’s
movies to religion to the guy who played Sauron (sp?) in the Lord
of the Rings, who happened to be sitting at the table across the Delorean
from us. It was great fun to have such open conversation with Brad
– and Jay, also. I plagued Brad with autographs, asking him
to sign a poster I’d made of his mugshot as Luther Lee Boggs
and a picture of James Venamun (the Gemini Killer) that I purchased.
I also asked him to sign a copy of a short story I’d written
involving the Gemini Killer and gave him a separate copy of his own.
All this he did with a smile and a joke on the side. Katherine is
very correct in saying Brad’s a complete gentleman. Even under
the weather and attempting to recuperate, Brad gladly posed for two
pictures, one with just him and myself, and one for which Katherine
joined us. I didn’t want to press my luck and ask him to pose
for another one with Alex. (And I think Alex was thinking the same
In response to all those rumors that Brad is 5', 4" tall: While
I was standing next to Brad for a picture, Alex happened to exclaim,
“Wow, babe – you’re short!” Everyone laughed.
Brad added, “Yeah, she’s too short, man -” and proceeded
to step away from me. “I can’t do this; she’s too
short.” (That helped calm my nerves a bit more – to see
that Brad had a sense of humor I could easily appreciate – and
it was easier to put my arm around him for a photo.) Brad must be
at least 5', 9" tall because I, myself, am 5', 3", and he
easily towered over me.
Well we hung around the table for a while longer, all the while feeling
kind of “in the way.” For the entire two weeks before
the convention, I’d had one goal in-mind: I was determined to
ask Brad Dourif – and his entourage – to dinner. And when
the time came to ask, Brad’s famous words were, “Yeah,
that’d be fine.” (As Katherine likes to say... *dies*)
But their flight was at 7:00 pm. By the time we were all leaving the
convention center, it was 4:00 pm; there was no way they’d make
it through DFW Airport in time if we went to dinner. Sadly, we were
obliged to drop the idea. (Though Brad did say, “Maybe next
time.” One can always hope.)
So as we were making our way to the parking lot, I took the opportunity
then (instead of at dinner) to read Brad’s palm. I’m not
going to divulge any personal info – that’s between the
reader and the participant – but I will say that everything
I observed was correct, except for something I had forgotten how to
guage and guessed at anyway. In one of the steps, you ask the participant
to flip you the bird (which determines how they interact with the
rest of the world). Katherine, being the observant photographer that
she is, managed to capture this lovely moment – right when Brad’s
flipping me off – in a photograph. Thankfully, it’s not
on the website; instead, I think there’s a picture that was
taken immediately afterward (if that wasn’t the aforementioned
photo, itself) of Brad with a closed fist, and me with a grin on my
By then they only had a small window of time to haul serious *ss to
DFW, so we parted ways. Alex and I said goodbye to Maresa on our way
in the other direction to the car. (Everyone likes something in particular
about Brad; Maresa said she likes him in a bowtie – from “Ragtime,”
And thus, the adventure came to a close. Alex and I ate dinner together
at the Olive Garden down the highway, sans Brad Dourif, Jay, and Katherine,
all the while wishing they could have joined us.
It was good to experience Brad as a person, not a star. Sometimes
I think people get a little overzealous about the actor/actress, musician,
or artist that becomes the apple of their eye. And it doesn’t
help that most celebrities encourage their reputation/image. Brad’s
modesty and his honest, irreverent personality are something to be
greatly appreciated, even admired. It is my belief that it’s
who a person is that determines whether or not they are beautiful.
In my eyes, Brad is quite a gem.