The second day of Denver Comic Con was jammed pack with great celebrity guests and eager fans. It was sold out before noon and was a hit. It was was probably my favorite day of the weekend, with guests from Doctor Who and special guest George Takei. There were tons of interesting panels to view. My only dilemma was picking which ones I wanted to attend. Overall, it was a great day; much better as far as the fan experience went, with lines not being as long as Friday’s were.
Panelists: Colin Baker, Daphne Ashbrook
Colin Baker and Daphne Ashbrook were both apart of the TV show Doctor Who. Baker played the 6th incarnation of the Doctor himself, while Ashbrook played Grace Holloway on the 1996 TV movie Doctor Who. I was pleasantly surprised with this panel. While I am a huge Doctor Who fan, I must admit that I did not watch the series that Colin Baker was on. After hearing him speak, I will definitely go back and watch it, because he was simply brilliant. Baker was funny, charming, and was definitely my favorite guest on day 2 of the con. A little Q&A from the audience:
Q: Did you keep anything from the set of Doctor Who?
Baker: “I still have my costume. There were four versions of that, one with a producer, one in a museum, one that I’m not sure of its location, and one that I own. John Nathan Turner, producer, asked me to take it home with me after recordings because there were so many fans who received jobs with the BBC, that Daleks would go missing.
Q: Have you kept up with the Doctor Who series?
Baker: Yeah, I saw all of Christopher Eccleston. I saw all of David Tennant. I am half a series behind on Matt Smith. I love Matt Smith though; he has a quality about him. When I heard another young actor had been cast, I was deeply depressed. I miss the days of the grumpy old man Doctor. However… how about a female? If the Doctor has had 12 re-generations, why not a female – one at least? How about six of one and six of the other, after me of course? Mind you, to divert attention here, there are actually no Doctors after me. Should I tell you why? I never re-generated. Did you see me re-generate? Did you see that scene? It wasn’t me. It was Sylvester in a blond wig who pretended to be me to get my part. So if I didn’t re-generate, then I am still the Doctor. This is the message you must carry out to the world. The sixth Doctor is the only surviving Doctor… All the others are impostors.
Q: What is your favorite story that Doctor Who has done?
Baker: I think the best story they have done for me as a viewer is a two-parter; the Empty Child episodes. It is the best story ever written for one reason. The line, “Everybody Lives”. When Eccleston said that, I had shivers down my spine. When he said that, I realized that’s what the Doctor is about. It’s a buzzword for Doctor Who.
The Boy Who Loved Superman
Panelists: Mike Meyers, Rick Rivera
If you’ve never heard the story about Mike Meyers and his Superman comic book collection like I hadn’t, then you were in for a shock when you heard him recount what happened in 2011. Mike Meyers who is a Superman super fan, has collected every Superman comic book since 1950. His collection does not stop at comics though, as he has numerous amounts of other prized memorabilia. Mike is mentally disabled and works at McDonalds. In 2011, he was robbed of about 1,800 of his prized Superman comics. Luckily weeks after the theft, the man who robbed him was caught robbing another person. He was sent to jail and Meyers received his collection back. After his story got out, Meyers received various Superman items in the mail from people who heard about what happened. He met Henry Cavill, and got to go on the set of the new Man of Steel movie, which comes out in a few weeks. He has since been adding to his collection. His story is one that is sad and heartwarming, and it was a great experience being able to hear him speak at Denver Comic Con.
Nelsan Ellis is best known for his role as Lafayette on True Blood, and being the fan of the show that I am, I had to attend this panel. Ellis was asked about the cast and what it’s like to be on the show. He was also asked what it’s like playing a flamboyant homosexual who wears make up, and how he feels about it, being a heterosexual religious man. He simply responded by saying it’s a job. Ellis talked a lot about his son and how he wants to stick with television acting because it’s more of a steady job and a steady paycheck. Ellis was funny and great to listen to. He even gave us a “Hooker Please”, which is, of course, his True Blood trademark. The new season of True Blood starts on June 16th on HBO. He is also staring as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his new movie The Butler, which comes out later this year.
George Takei was just amazing, bottom line. He was so well spoken and had such amazing things to say, from promoting charity to talking, about environmental issues. I could tell he is extremely well versed in current events and world issues. His presentation and Q&A was one of the few that were not all about his work on Star Trek, however it was about his stance on the environment and current technology, which was refreshing to hear him speak on. Here are some of the best bits from his panel discussion and Q&A from the audience:
Beginning Monologue: I am so glad for fan support. The most dangerous adversaries were not the Klingons; they were the NBC programming executives. We were booted in only three seasons and we thought that was it. We were proud of what we did and thought we did a good series. But you didn’t give up after we were cancelled. You began a letter writing campaign and did demonstrations. So ten years after we were cancelled, we came back as a feature film. You supported it and made it a big box office success, so Paramount decided to make a sequel. That’s where Star Trek really took off. It was that kind of support that kept it going on and on, to now, 2013. It lasted generation after generation. It was a fan generated phenomenon and I want to thank you for that. There are many other wonderful things I have been able to do because of this support. One of the things will bring me back to Denver in a few months. I am being honored by the Matthew Shepard Foundation. It is an important charity. You know the story of Matthew Shepard… and because of that so many people have been moved, and have been working towards bringing understanding and equality to this society. (To learn about the Matthew Shepard story and view the charity page, click HERE)
Q: Can you say your catch phrase “Oh My”?
Takei: When I look at you and see your outfit, all I can say is “Oh My!”. He has a samurai warrior’s armor but it’s pink, “oh my!”. “Oh my” is a phrase I have been using all my life, but I didn’t know it was going to be my signature until I went on the Howard Stern Show. On that show, he had a very voluptuous young woman. He asked her to take her blouse off and I said “Oh My!”. And then he asked her to take her bra off, and that was another “Oh My!”. And when she did that was yet another “Oh My!”. He got it all on tape, and that’s how it came to be my signature. I am glad it did. In that case, it was a playful “Oh My!”, but “Oh My!” is a part of me. I was talking about the Curiosity robot on Mars, and that, too, is an “Oh My!” The attitude of “Oh My!” is being open to awe, so I’m glad that “Oh My” is my signature.
Q: Can you tell us what it was like, and compare what it was like, working with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner?
Takei: “How would I compare working with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner? Leonard is a kindred spirit. We worked on political campaigns together. On the set, we enjoyed discussing current events. Leonard is well read and a news-a-holic. He is also a fine actor, and beyond that, has a great mind analyzing scripts. That’s what makes him a great director. Bill brings his own quality. The character of Captain Kirk has energy and excitement. Bill is a very good actor. and I have a great admiration for the result of his work.
Overall, I would definitely say that Day 2 of the Denver Comic Con was my favorite day. The guests were great, the atmosphere was great, and everything about the day was amazing. Hearing Colin Baker and George Takei speak was an honor. I could just tell that people were in a better mood that day, what with there being such a negative vibe on Friday. The con workers figured out ways to get people into the event easier, and lines were not as long as the previous day. This contributed to the atmosphere being a lot better. Day 2 was tons of fun. I always love the diversity you find at any Comic Con. In the George Takei panel, I sat between a little girl dressed up as a Dalek from Doctor Who, and a guy dressed up as Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. There is every type of geek at Comic Con, and that’s amazing.
Now all that’s left is day 3. Stay tuned to see what I’ll have to say about it!
**P.S. The guest of honor, William Shatner, came on day 3, and had some interesting things to say. You definitely don’t want to miss that!**