I used to have this really cool job at a comic book store that was also an internet lounge, of sorts (I was the token female on staff). On light days I would sit behind the counter reading comics or watch people play World of Warcraft on the computers. The other awesome thing was the conventions. When I wasn’t behind the booth, I was running around getting my books signed or sketches from the artists. But all that was a while ago; I haven’t been back to a convention with a vendor or as a guest in years.
But well, spring is around the corner and that means the beginning of the convention circuit, and I thought it would be nice to go back to one again. Arguably, all the best comic cons are south of the border, but Toronto’s no slouch either. This weekend was the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con 2010, and seeing as it was such a nice day today, my husband and I decided to go out for lunch and hit the convention on the way.
It wasn’t a bad show, but I was only a fan of a few artists and writers on the guest list, though that might have something to do with me not being able to afford collecting that many comics anymore. The only other comic-related event that got my attention was the Q&A panel for the upcoming film Kick Ass (which was a great graphic novel by the way, I do love Mark Millar).
Of course, there were other things that piqued my interest. It is a comic con, after all, which by its nature attracts all manner of geek life. The main focus was comics, but there was also a small video-gaming presence, as well as a few guests from the sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. I checked out a couple actors from Battlestar Galactica as well as a handful of people from the Saw movies between browsing for good prices on back issues and trade paperbacks.
And I wasn’t the only one who had fun. I was making my way down this aisle, maneuvering through the crowds of people dressed as superheroes, stormtroopers, and ghostbusters, when I got stopped in front of this one booth. The man behind it said hi and started up a friendly chat. He was really nice, but his name on the wall behind him didn’t ring a bell, nor did I recognize any of the promo pictures of him on the table in front of him. What I did know was that the pics looked like they were from a sci-fi show from before my time around the late 70’s or early 80’s, so I quickly waved my husband over to rescue me from a potentially awkward situation. My husband takes one look at the guy and his mouth drops open. He goes, “Holy crap, Gil Gerard? I can remember watching you in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century when I was a kid!” “Well,” I said, “there you go.” My husband got to take a picture with him and also walked away with an autographed print.
And then there was the merch! This really is the best part of any convention, in my opinion — the trinkets and collectibles you aren’t likely to find anywhere else. My husband and I decided to buy each other little gifts for the hell of it, something that is likely to become a tradition at any future cons we go to. So I started looking around for something nice to get him, while he set out to find something he knows I’ve always wanted: a Boba Fett bobblehead.
Finding something for him turned out to be easier than I expected. My husband is a huge fan of Star Trek: The Original Series, and lucky for me there was A LOT of Star Trek merch around, thanks to the movie that came out last year. I ended up getting him a bottle opener because I knew he needed one of those for the kitchen. The special thing about this particular bottle opener, is that it’s shaped like the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Unfortunately for me, he couldn’t find me a Boba Head, and the closest thing he saw to that was a Holiday Special Darth Vader bobblehead (or pretty much Darth Vader with a Santa hat). I told him it was okay, this was just for fun anyway, he didn’t have to get me anything. But he insisted on getting me a convention gift. Out of nowhere, he goes, “I want to buy you a Tribble.” The ensuing conversation went something like this:
Me: “A Tribble? Why?”
Him: “Because it’s fun, and it’s cute.”
Me: “But it’s useless. It won’t even look good sitting on a dashboard!”
Him: “Oh come on, admit it. I know you think it’s a little cute.”
Me: “I guess. But seriously, don’t buy it. It’ll have like, no purpose.”
Him: “So? Since when did everything in life need to have a purpose? What was it that Uhura said in the show? ‘They do give us something, they give us love! A Tribble is the only love that money can buy!'”
Oh dear, now that he’s gone and dragged love and Star Trek quotes into the picture, how could I say no? So here’s a picture of my Tribble:
It quivers and either screams agitatedly or makes a happy purring sound when I pet it. I guess it’ll be going on my stuffed animal collection shelf, beside my Pikachu and my Super Mario Goomba.