Was it worth the wait? The 2012 Stan Lee Comicon – Dallas version
It all started so innocently. Russ and I were in bed, watching television, and he was surfing on his laptop.
Then I hear, “Honey, you need to see this.”
He showed me a website of the Stan Lee Comicon that was coming to Dallas that weekend. I was just about ready to blow him off with a “yeah, hon, that’s great, now let me get back to Food Network Star because Alton is on it!”
Then I saw what he was trying to get me to see. Patrick Stewart. No, make that Sir Patrick Stewart. He was coming to Dallas. To DALLAS. We live near Dallas. We could go, and we could meet him, and we could shake his hand and say thanks, and tell him all about how he was about to be an integral part of our children’s education (he’s a brilliant Shaksperian actor, and we’re about to delve into some of those), and how he’s just so awesome..and.and…
PATRICK STEWART! Even Russ was excited – I could tell.
We kept pausing and giggling and saying, “PATRICK STEWART” – well, I was. He was just nodding and grinning at me. He was just as excited about the prospects of John DeLancie (played Q), David Prowse (Darth Vader’s body), and other people I’ve already forgotten.
Some back story – I disliked Star Trek. I thought it was hokie, but when Star Trek The Next Generation came along and I was hooked (still not a fan of the original). Then I moved to Austin, on my own, to begin my adult life and when I would have problems getting to sleep, I would pop in Patrick’s A Christmas Carol audio to let his voice lull me to sleep. The voice rates right up there with Sean Connery as someone who can read me the phone book and make me happy. While in Austin, I became a part of a Star Trek club (yeah, I am that nerdy, too), and got to go to a couple of conventions where I met most of the cast from Next Gen as well as some of the original series people. But the one person whom I had never gotten to meet or hear speak was Sir Patrick.
So…the excitement of meeting him was just about too much to bear!
Then we saw the price. HOLY SMOKES! But we hoped that it would be a lot like the time we got to meet Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes and that guy who shall not be named who played Worf a couple of years go (go here to see) – where we were able to at least walk up to them and say hi, even if we didn’t get a photo with them or get their autograph. So..the adventure began – and we made the trek.
We donned our geekiest matching outfit (just be thankful that there were no Star Trek Uniforms involved)
and took off. When we arrived at the venue, there was this REALLY long line. We kept thinking – surely it’s not a line WE will have to wait in. Maybe it’s the line for Patrick – for his autograph. yeah..that’s got to be it. We stepped off the bus, went to the first people in line who informed us that, indeed, it was for us losers who hadn’t bought the VIP tickets or come earlier in the morning. It was a VERY big line. They wanted to let us join their group since we were Whovians, but we didn’t want the wrath of the billion people behind them to come down on us for cutting. So..we made our way to the back of the line, and waited…and waited…and crept forward…and waited some more. We did see some interesting sites along the way:
We waited for about 90 min to finally get in the door, get our tickets purchased, and then I went immediately into another line (for an hour) to wait to get drinks. The venue was so poorly planned at the convention center – I just don’t think they knew how many people would show up to see Stan Lee and Patrick Stewart. The boy went into the exhibition hall. In that line I found out that there was just no way we were going to get to meet Patrick. No way. We wouldn’t even be able to get a glimpse. I was ready to go home.
Once we finally got something to drink, I decided I was going to brave it and head upstairs just to see what I could see. The boys continued back browsing the booths for cool stuff, and I headed upstairs. When I finally found the area where Patrick was signing, I nonchalantly walked around the area as if I was meant to be there, and walked around a door post to see….HIM! There he was – right there, signing someone’s autograph. Immediately a security guy tried to move me along, so I took a couple of steps away and got to watch a minute through a frosted window. I grabbed my camera, took a shot, then ran downstairs to show Russ and the boys only to find out I did not check the camera settings and the photo wasn’t saved properly, so there was nothing. I headed back later to see if I could at least try again, and Patrick was already at his Q&A session (and I was dutifully told that my badge was not good enough to get me in), so took another shot of the window to have the keepsake:
Would I do it again? Nope. The wait was too long, the venue was definitely not set up for these kinds of crowds, there was no real access to anything that would make us want to go without paying HUGE sums of money (and we aren’t about to do that for any one), and it was just too much trouble. While there were moments of fun talking to other people in the crowds and seeing a few characters here and there, it was definitely a letdown.
Oh..wait..I did get to see the back of Stan Lee’s head. There – that made it all better