In our last exciting adventure, my wife and I attended Friday and Saturday of this year’s four-day Wizard World Chicago entertainment and comics convention up in Rosemont, IL. Much fun was had, many photos were taken, and extensive walking was required. These, then, are more of those photos, centering on those actors we met and approached (as opposed to actors we glimpsed from afar, which have been segregated for one of the future entries).
In the category of “Actors Whom One or Both of Us Met in Person”, my wife’s hands-down favorite of the lot was Dean Cain from Lois and Clark, who’s barely aged a day. Chalk it up to the effect of yellow-sun radiation on his Kryptonian physiology.
Also ranking highly with her: Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap, one of three Star Trek captains on hand this weekend. My wife had already met Avery Brooks and William Shatner at previous conventions, but Captain Archer was new to our neck of the woods.
Also attending from Quantum Leap was Dean Stockwell, whom my wife remembered from an old Twilight Zone episode called “A Quality of Mercy”. If you’re an autographing actor who has a classic Twilight Zone episode on your resumé, count on my wife appearing in your line. (Post-1980 TZ guest stars need not apply.)
Also with a long and storied career: James Hong, known best for memorable roles in Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, several movies before my time, the funniest scene in Wayne’s World 2, and for budding underage film lovers, both Kung Fu Panda films. His line moved more slowly than average because he made every moment worthwhile entertainment.
Even more appealing to young fans: Tom Felton, charter member of the iconic Harry Potter cast.
From the same category of bad-guys-gone-slightly-less-bad, Colin Cunningham represented all by himself on behalf of TNT’s Falling Skies. Always the loner contrarian, that Pope is.
Equally one of a kind: the indefatigable Joey Lawrence, possessed of a longer and far more enduring career than many of the other guests, some of whom were too young to catch him and his brother on Gimme a Break. Not us old folks. We remember the famous child actors of our youth. Compared to so many of his contemporaries, I’d say he’s turned out pretty darn well.
Speaking of those who probably missed out on Gimme a Break: Laura Vandervoort would’ve been three years old when it was canceled. Many fans who attended her Q&A shared her disappointment at the early cancellation of V, but my wife and I were bigger fans of her previous starring role on Smallville, which chronicled the adventures of a genuine flying super-hero whose quest for truth, justice, and the American way was occasionally hampered by the angst of her mopey cousin Clark (longtime supporting player Tom Welling). When the producers made the brash decision to eliminate Kara as the main character and move poor acrophobic Clark to the forefront, the show never quite recovered, kind of like when Potsie had to take over for Richie Cunningham on Happy Days.
(It goes without saying that in this analogy, Green Arrow is the Fonz, because Green Arrow was cool.)
While we’re on the subject of characters who stole a show: my wife finally got around to meeting Jeremy Bulloch, the original Boba Fett, after near-misses at previous gatherings of Star Wars veterans. Even though we attended Star Wars Celebrations II and III, somehow he eluded us till now.
As my wife checked off another name on her Star Wars list, I had the chance to meet three fine people from my own Buffy/Angel list. This was indeed a weekend of accomplishments for the two of us.
Amy Acker didn’t arrive till Saturday, but was a pleasure to meet. Unfortunately, the WWC volunteers struggled to keep her line configuration consistent, satisfying, and run with forethought. The immediate serpentine leading to her table only held 10-15 people; the back of the line was kept to one side of the BuffyFest section, with attendees being ushered from the back section to the main section as space permitted. After we joined the back of the line, five minutes later it was capped a few people in front of us because of her photo-op schedule. We were dismissed and asked to come back later. At mid-afternoon we returned to find the line capped again with only a dozen people in it, the back section apparently having been abolished by some Powers That Be. We were basically told to go away and try our luck again later when there might be under a dozen people in line. By late afternoon, thanks to my wife refusing to let me give up, we checked the area One Last Time, found only ten people in line and wormed our way in.
So anyway. Yay Amy Acker! To recap: a pleasure to meet.
Juliet Landau arrived late Friday, but also spent plenty of time with fans. Even her handler was fun to chat with.
I hate to rank these three classy Buffy guests and conclude with any crass, competitive phrases such as “saving the best for last”, “grand finale”, or “coolest of them all”. Merely let it be noted that Amber Benson, known once as Tara, shall be the final photo offered in this particular entry. (Let it also be known that I wish I knew for sure if this article about abandoned Manhattan subway stations is the same one she was telling me about. If there’s a niftier online article on the subject, I’d love to see it.)