Monday, August 26, 2013

Sir Grumpy McCrank Goes to Fan Expo

Way back in January, I posted on our family going to Florida, and how I took the unhappiest man on Earth (aka my husband) to Disney World, and the grumbling that followed. This weekend I took him to Fan Expo. See, he rarely accompanies me to any appearance. He's never seen me give a paper or a talk, and the last time he came to a fan con with me was probably just after Bite Me (2nd edition) came out, when I was signing with James Leary and Harry Groener from Buffy at Fan Expo a bazillion years ago.

Back then, Fan Expo was tiny compared to what it is now. So you should have seen his face when he walked into the hall this past weekend and saw thousands upon thousands of cosplay fans everywhere. And I have to admit, Grumpy McCrank was actually quite happy. Maybe because there were far more boobs that he was expecting. ;)

As we were heading out, he changed his FB status update to the following: "Going with Nikki Stafford to the Fan Expo. I'm a Fan Expo virgin, but I was still unwilling to break out my stormtrooper costume. Far too warm out today for the helmet." So yeah, I was bringing the guy who thought he was above all the nerdliness. (Don't believe the hype. He can quote every. single. line. from every Star Wars movie. Seriously. And while Christopher Eccleston was my first Doctor, his was Tom Baker.)

He's the second guy from the left. If he denies it, he's lying.

Here are some of the gems from the day:

Him, while we were waiting to get my guest passes: Check out the guy with the giant key! Wait... is he handing it over?!
Me: Yeah, they probably decided it's too dangerous to carry around a con. That thing is pure metal and he could clock someone with it.
Him: Yeah, but what's the point of the costume without the giant key?! Not that I can detect a costume there, but...
Me: Trust me, I've talked to people who cosplayed with large metal objects and they really regretted their decision about an hour into it.
Him: OH MY GOD there's a whole table of confiscated things over there!
Me: That would be the swords and...
Him: There are swords?! Oh man, this is just too good... [clicking various photos on his iPhone... tweeting them...] So let me get this straight. Someone actually was just stopped at the door over there and said, "You mean I can't carry a giant weapon into a crowded room of people in the 21st century? You are kidding me." I can't believe this place.

Upon seeing a group of people dressed in eccentric clothing:
Him: How do you know that some of these people aren't just wearing their clothes? Why would you assume they're dressed up?
Me: Because that guy is wearing a bowler hat and scarf and carrying an umbrella. He's CLEARLY the seventh Doctor.
Him: I am totally tweeting what you just said.

Him: Is that a girl dressed in that tuxedo? How is that a costume?
Me: It's a manga character... or anime, can't remember which... where it's a feminine-looking butler. He's usually accompanied by this dandy guy all dressed in blue. A-ha, notice the other girl in blue beside her? That's what they're cosplaying. Nailed it!
Him: I didn't know you knew anything about manga.
Me: If a manga fan had just heard my description of that outfit, they would tell you I clearly know NOTHING about manga.

Him: What is SHE supposed to be? A mummy who ran out of tape?
Me: Oh my god, that's the girl from Fifth Element! You SAW that movie!
Him: Oh yeah. But... that movie sucked, why would anyone dress up like that person?
Me: It has a HUGE cult following.
Him: Actually, check it out, she has tattoos of Bowie and Tom Waits on her leg. She's cool.

Him: Who's the girl with the purple hair and the thing jammed up her ass?
Me [turning around so fast I nearly break my neck]: That's a thong, dear. God, you made it sound like she'd stuck a bazooka up there. I think she's supposed to be Hit Girl.

Him: Hey, check out Kick-Ass over there. Should I tell him I heard the second movie sucked?
Me: No.

Him: Why is that woman dressed like a big baby?
Me: I... I actually can't answer that one, I have no idea.
Him: I'm getting a picture of that.

Him: Check out Spider-Man over there. He should be wearing a thong, I can see his lines.
Me: Yeah, the costume should be seamless.
Him: Here's a question: do you think Spider-Man wears underwear?
Me: No, Spider-Man designed his costume to strategically contain and protect his junk.
Him: Just a second. I gotta stop here and Facebook that you just said that.

[My favourite quip of the day]:
Him, pointing to a Mystique cosplayer: Check her out. I think she just blue herself.

Him: Hey, let's go over there and see what she's supposed to be. Look at all the photographers!
Me: Wow, that's a great costume. She's super cute.
Him: Is that another manga character? [pulls out his iPhone and holds it up to take a picture]
Me: Yeah. The photographers are all there because she's got her boobs covered with postage stamps and it's the closest thing to x-rated they've seen.
Him: [slowly putting down iPhone] Oh. Yeah. I... guess I shouldn't take her picture then.
[He totally did when I turned around, I just know it.]

Him: Whoa, it's the Stay-Puft marshmallow guy!!! Holy crap, they do things from the 80s?!
Me: Wait, haven't you noticed all the original series Star Trek outfits here? You aren't seriously asking that question? I mean, Knight Rider and KITT are here.

[For the record, he got "tired" before we made it to the other hall, so he missed KITT. I brought my daughter into the show as my guest for an hour and she got to see it instead, but she wasn't very excited.]

Him: Whoa, Zachary Quinto is doing a talk!!
Me: We should go.
Him: No way, I'm not going to see him do a talk.
Me: ?!

Him: OK, can you explain to me why anyone would want to volunteer at this thing?
Me: I dunno, I guess you get to meet famous people?
Him: No you don't, you spend four days dealing with people who yell at you and hate you, and you get absolutely nothing. Meanwhile the company using you as a volunteer is making money hand over fist.
Me: Well, you get into the show for free, maybe that's enough? I'm pretty sure they get to meet cast members and get their pictures taken with them for free? I don't know, actually.
Him: I don't know why anyone would ever volunteer for something like this. Who cares about the stars?
Me: OK. Hypothetical. Your friend who is high up at Live Nation gives you a call and says, "Dude, I have a huge opportunity for you. Bowie is playing tonight and you can come and tune all of his guitars before the show for free." You'd totally do it.
Him: No I wouldn't. Live Nation is a huge organization that could pay me and I would never do it for free.
Me: YOU ARE SUCH A LIAR. You would totally tune Bowie's guitars.
Him: Nope, not if they didn't pay me.
Me: You = LIAR.

Him [as we were leaving]: That is a LOT of walking around. It was fun, but the best part was that Doctor Who panel we went to where your authors were talking. [About their new book Who's 50, which is available very soon and was for sale at the show!]
Me: But that's how you break up the day and sit for a bit. We could have gone to the Zachary Quinto talk right after it.
Him: Nah, I don't want to pay extra to see a talk. I honestly don't know what the 40 buck ticket gets you, to be honest. You pay money to be let into a hall where you PAY MONEY to buy more comic books?
Me: Dude, the talks are part of the ticket. You wouldn't pay anything extra to hear him talk. They gouge you when you want an autograph or a photo. We would just have slipped right in to the talk and sat at the back.
Him: Oh! Well in that case I would have absolutely gone to that talk.
Me: [facepalm]


ChristinaB said...

LOL! Hilarious!

For the record, the volunteers don't usually get to meet the stars.

Sometimes the volunteers on the photo op or autograph lines do, but that's completely up to the guest.
For instance, I worked the lines for Laurie Holden, the Being Human cast, Norman Reedus, Richard Dean Anderson, Colin Baker and Linda Hamilton this weekend.
I met Laurie Holden and took a photo with her, I met the Sam's from Being Human and got photos with them.
The rest didn't even really acknowledge I was there.

We do it because we love the experience, the atmosphere, the other volunteers and the fans we get to help out. :)

Yeah, being yelled at sucks, but the good far outweighs the bad.

KathyT said...

love this! you should drag him to all of your events just to record his reactions!

Seraphine Gant said...

ROFLM - well at least you got him to GO - MY hubby knows absolutely nothing - nadda - zip about anything having to do with sci fi/fantasy or anything that would have a presence at a comic-con. He falls asleep during Star Wars - I KID YOU NOT. I said to him the other day "I'm going to actually make you sit though some Doctor Who with me" and he BLANCHED. I guess opposites attract but sometimes I would love to able to say 'ALLONS-Y' and not have him look at me like I was mental LOL

yourblindspot said...

So glad you guys had a good time! I'm really bummed about missing Dragon*Con this weekend, but we were just too strapped to make it happen this year.

Did you try to get into the Walking Dead panel? I heard it was kind of insane, crowd-wise...

Dusk said...

Glad you had a good time!

Maybe McCrank would turn into McHappy if you cosplayed for him with a thong! ;)

Robert Thompson said...

I'm all for the thong idea. McCrank would be a happy man indeed.

JS said...

I LOVE Him! um, you know what I mean. Actually, he sounds a lot like my husband. Maybe that is why I ... like him very much.

Austin Gorton said...

If a manga fan had just heard my description of that outfit, they would tell you I clearly know NOTHING about manga.

I'm not even a manga fan, but I loved that comment. :)

And while the local shows I volunteer at aren't quite on the level of something like Fan Expo, in terms of the crowd size and celebrity guests, you can Mr. McCrank that there's surprisingly little being yelled at by attendees (most are just happy to be there - but maybe that's a Minnesota thing), and we volunteer because its an opportunity to hang out with like-minded people, help present the best-possible show to the public, and to interact with the creators and guests on a more personal level than you get when you're just an attendee (one year, I got to have dinner with Norm Breyfogle, John Ostrander and Howard Chaykin - and for a comic book fan, that's a pretty big deal).

Also, every year we (the volunteers) get tons of compliments from the guests and attendees about how great our show, and I won't deny feeling pride in playing some small role in making that happen.

(Also, the group that puts on our local shows is 100% non-profit, and we raise a ton of money for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Lupus every year, so there isn't even the stigma of giving free service to a giant company).