The night before Wizard World’s Boston Comic Con, I was as excited as a five year old on Christmas eve. This would be my first time seeing James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter and Nicholas Brendan. That night I also found out that another celebrity would be making an appearance at the Hynnes Convention Center in Boston. A writer, who’s been in comics and is best known for his work in DC. His name? Barack Obama.
So, yes, POTUS was going to wreak havoc on Boston traffic. Not that Boston was known for smooth traffic, but on this day, Boylston Street was all about security. And long lines. Very long lines. Not just for Obama but for anyone at Comic Con who happens to be a Whedon fan.
Although I arrived early, there were problems getting my press pass. People were too easily giving a press pass to see the president. I’m no Secret Service agent but I would think that in order to be in the same room with the president while carrying a backpack would require some sort of cavity search. Apparently not. After finally getting the correct press pass I had to wait in line for the James Marsters Q&A. But the room was full and press spaces were full and the Fire Marshall made sure no one else was getting in.
So I wandered about the main floor of the Comic Con. I got to see the great art by various comic book artists and writers, met the Cookie Monster and met Bo Duke himself–also known as “Pa Kent” on Smallville— John Schneider. Mr. Schneider looks even better in person; time has been good to him.
After I was able to break from the gaze of Clark Kent’s dad I was off to the Nick Brendon Q&A. Since I’m more of a photographer than a writer I’ll give you the bullet point highlights of the Q&A:
* Nick will appear in Private Practice in a three episode where he will play a rapist which is still currently be filmed
* He began acting to help get over his stutter. He actually wanted to be a pro baseball player.
* Was the 2nd choice to play Xander and had to work as a temp in a talent agency after filming the 1st season since Buffy was a mid season replacement and only made a few episodes.
* Favorite Buffy episodes: “Hush” and “Once More with Feeling”
* Learned about halfway through Season 7 that the show was ending.
* Yes, he did do the Snoopy Dance.
* Says eye patches are cool only if you’re a pirate or on Days of Our Lives.
* Appeared in the web series “Robot, Ninja and Gay Guy” http://www.robotninjagayguy.com
* Will perform his one man show Santaland Diaries again this year starting Nov. 18 in Hollywood.
* Criminal Minds wanted to make him a series regular but couldn’t fit it in the budget.
* Doesn’t keep up with the Buffy Season 8 comics and usually gets info about it at cons. He’s aware of Buffy’s “dabbling” and a little iffy about the Dawn/Xander romance.
* Least wants to be haunted by Colonel Sanders.
Nicholas has quite the sense of humor and to get an answer to a question would take some time. Which explains why so few answers in a 45 Q&A. But a good time was had by all. Even after someone accidentally put her chair on a wire that killed the speaker.
Next up was the lovely Charisma Carpenter. Close to the beginning of the Q&A we were disturbed by the attendants of the Obama rally. Charisma, in a style reminiscent or Cordelia Chase looks at the door and says, “Shhhhhhhh! Hello? Q&A!” Then in a quieter, sweeter voice she says, “Don’t they know who I am?” Here’s the rundown.
* Charisma’s favorite episode was “Birthday.”
* Favorite hair was Angel Season 1. She didn’t like the shorter hairstyles and when Kerri Russell cut her hair no one at the WB was allowed to cut their hair the way they wanted.
* Favorite lines. Telling Willow she found ‘the softer side of Sears’, ‘That’s just propaganda spread by the ugly and undeserving.’
* Currently working on “branding” herself with possible lines of items such as workout videos and a fragrance. She just doesn’t know what to name the fragrance since she was named after a perfume.
* Would like to produce and direct but feels she’s going in a different direction with her career at this point.
* She campaigned hard for the role of Wonder Woman but Joss wanted more of a Wonder Girl. David E Kelly is said to be directing WW now.
* Wants to be in The Expendables 2 if she can get a gun and kick more ass.
* She didn’t want Cordelia to die in “You’re Welcome” because she felt that Cordy dying would mean the character didn’t matter. She initially refused to come back if Cordy were to die until she learned how she would die.
* Was offered to do a reality show but turned it down because she’s ‘not a reality show person.’ And she wants to maintain a normal life for her 7 year old son. She was, however, not selected for Dancing with the Stars.
* Doesn’t find that it is difficult to raise her son in Hollywood because she’s not a big celebrity. “I’m no Kate Gosselyn,” she says.
* She would love to do sitcoms. Her pilot for ‘Like Cats and Dogs’ that never aired can be found on You Tube.
* She was told that the writers had to change the premise of season 4 when she announced that she was pregnant and that news of her pregnancy didn’t go over well.
* When asked who she thought Cordy should be with (choices being Xander, Groo, Angel and Connor) she said Angel. Definitely not Connor.
* Thought the storyline between Cordy and Connor was terrible and that season 4 was her least favorite.
* Says Joss is a perfect producer because he listens to what fans want.
A college professor in the audience says that she often refers to Joss Whedon’s work in her psychology class and asked Charisma’s opinion about it. She says that she see the academic undertones of Joss’ work.
Doesn’t like to talk about how much she gets paid but did mention that she was paid $10,000 for 5 minutes of work in her Spree commercial.
Her advice to up and comers: Don’t do other jobs in the industry that are not directly related to what you want to do in the industry. For example, don’t be a production assistant if you really want to be an actor. And don’t let what you do become who you are.
After the 45 minutes were up Charisma stayed to answer the questions of fans that were still in line. Yes, she’s that nice. She even made sure to watch her language when she saw children in the audience. Nicholas, not so much.
All in all, the Wizard World con was a good one but since this was their first time at the Hynnes convention center you could see they were not prepared to deal with the number of fans. The room where the Q&A was held was way too small. It held less than 200 hundred people and the lines of those who could not get into the Q&A’s were had even more people. Lines for autographs in the main floor of the convention center were so long that it spanned across to the wall on the opposite side of the room. Tickets that got fans first dibs at Q&A seats and autographs were sold rather close to the convention date and were pricey. This didn’t give fans the chance to save up for these special tickets. There was a young couple who didn’t get to see James Marsters (it was his gift for her birthday) so it was a little heart breaking.
I can’t say that this was completely the fault of the Wizard World folks. This wasn’t, after all, their first convention. But this was one of the biggest collection of Whedon alumni in a long time and they possibly weren’t prepared for that much Whedon love in Boston. Or it could be because the visit from the President that dramatically cut down the amount of space allotted to Wizard World activities. The latter would be my guess. If they were to hold a similar convention next year in the same place they’ll likely have more space and hopefully be able to get as many Whedon related stars. I’d be in line for that. If not to see the celebs then for the camaraderie among Whedonites.
Thanks to the folks at Wizard World, Chris from Cinequest, and Tracy Spuria.
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