I started off Friday morning by checking out the 22,000 Mars Orion mock-up that NASA brought to their exhibit. I was also able to speak with Darrel Raines about the Orion.
Although some of the guests were not scheduled to be at the convention until Saturday and Sunday, there were still plenty of people to get autographs and photos with, and the shorter lines were definitely a big plus. As I was standing at the booth of Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali with my friend Josh Barry, also a drummer in a band called Jealous Creatures, before the convention, I mentioned to him that Josh was a huge fan and asked if he wouldn't mind speaking to us on camera. He agreed and I let Josh do most of the talking as meeting Mr. Banali was on his bucket list.
In addition to the celebrities, there are numerous artists and vendors in the main exhibit hall. As tempting as it was to spend an entire paycheck on all the cool art and merchandise, I managed to restrain myself and only buy a few prints and an autographed X-files picture for my husband for Father's Day. My son was excited to be able to get autographs from Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and David Prowse (Darth Vader).
Saturday I decided to spend some time talking to various celebrity guests about what is on their bucket lists and how they were enjoying Houston. I got some really great answers from Greyston Holt and Steve Lund from Bitten, the metal band Fear Factory, Chris Kirkpatrick of N*Sync, AJ McClean of Backstreet Boys, and Kel Mitchell of Game Shakers and Good Burger, which I will discuss in my next blog post. The big highlight of the day for me was getting my photo taken with Bill Paxton, who was there for the big Aliens 30 year reunion, along with many other members of the movie's cast. I've seen Titanic and Twister probably hundreds of times, no lie, so I was giddy with glee over meeting him. He was incredibly nice and let me know that he didn't think it was crazy at all that I'd seen his films so many times (imagine that!). He started to tell me about a new series he has coming out, but the little girls in line behind me jumped in and he couldn't finish. I know I'm looking forward to it though.
I can't talk Julia, we've got cows!
Sunday I got my photo op with Norman Reedus, aka Darryl Dixon of The Walking Dead, and I attended two panels. One was for Michael Rooker of Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy and Mallrats. I arrived late due to having waited in line for Norman, but still managed to catch lots of fun stuff. The second panel I attended was the Boondock Saints Q&A. I've loved this movie for years so I was quite excited to be able to cover it. About 26 minutes in to the panel, Norman Reedus came out and sang Happy Birthday to Clifton Collins Jr and gave him a cake. Amazing moment!
If you have not yet attended Comicpalooza because you don't think there's anything for you, let me just put that notion to rest immediately. Yes, there are comic book illustrators, and there's also celebrity guests from various genres such as film and tv, wrestling, and music, there are panels on topics such as writing, paranormal investigating, obtaining scholarships, origami, drawing, film making, as well as celebrity panels. There's NASA, laser tag, costume contests, roller derby, Doomsday wrestling, BMX biking, and this year there was even a Japanese fashion show. The lineup changes from year to year, but one that that never changes is that Comicpalooza has something for everyone. And I am already excited for next time!
Charlie Hunnam AKA Jax Teller walked right past me!