Our Star Trek Renaissance Year

John de Lancie on a stage accompanied by hundreds of Star Trek fans.

John de Lancie and his Friday panel audience at GalaxyCon Columbus 2022, in a photo the showrunners posted on their Flickr account two weeks later. If you know us, we aren’t hard to spot.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: in 2022 our usage of the words “Star Trek” in sentences increased 10,000% over the previous nine years combined. We were happy to find excuses for that.

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GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Who Else We Met, What Else We Did

Books I bought at the show.

My latest loot pile. Thanks, GalaxyCon!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

This past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

Usually the concluding chapter of every MCC comic-con miniseries is the overlong recap of our experience in chronological order. This time the final chapter is more of an epilogue covering sights off the Convention Center grounds, while the recap novelette is this very entry. Welcome to storytime, in which we meet actors, attend panels, buy stuff, walk miles, and note how this con, more than any other we’ve ever attended, pointed time and again to the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.

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GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 2 of 4: A Cosplay Sampler

A family of nine, each cosplaying as a different Doctor from "Doctor Who".

All the Whos down in Whoville: a family cosplaying as nine different Doctors.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

This past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

It’s time for the mandatory cosplay salute!

Much as we’d love to be everyone’s one-stop shop for post-con costume galleries, attendees are getting younger while Anne and I are getting older, and we’re doing a crappy job of keeping up with today’s popular animation, which was far easier (a) when my son was young and gave me an excuse to keep up, and (b) there were just…fewer series to watch back then, I’m pretty sure? I blame the streaming entertainment explosion for helping far too many pop-culture segments escape us. The talented cosplayers out there are stumping us a lot more than they used to with their secret identities. And, unlike the average Instagram photog, I feel sheepish posting too many unlabeled cosplay pics in a row.

Nevertheless, we tried to do our part in the name of cosplay appreciation. What’s presented below is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the sum total costume experience that we witnessed throughout our two days at the show. Other corners of the internet will represent those other fractions that we missed, which is the cool part of having so many people doing this sort of thing. Enjoy!

Cosplayers: the Thirteenth Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness.

More Doctor Who representation with the Thirteenth Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness.

Cosplayers: Harley Quinn, Robin and Beast Boy.

Harley Quinn, Robin, and Beast Boy.

Cosplayer Peacemaker with an Eagly puppet on his arm.

Peacemaker and his partner Eagly, whose wings could flap.

Cosplayer: Silk Spectre from Watchmen.

The original Silk Spectre from Watchmen.

A sextet of cosplayers posing.

Ghost-Spider fronts a super-team uniting Black Widow, Wolverine, a Carnage-infected T-Rex, Iron Man and Deadpool.

Cosplayer: Squirrel Girl!

Marvel may have canceled Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, but I will never stop braking for her cosplayers.

Cosplay: Not Daredevil!

Fans of the Mark Waid/Chris Samnee Daredevil run remember that time when Matt Murdock’s shirt totally convinced everyone his blown secret identity was fake news. Bonus points for adding Christmas flair.

Cosplay: Christmas Jedi vs. Santa Sith.

Christmas Jedi vs. Santa Sith.

Cosplay: Santa Wookiee!

Santa Wookiee is a tall reminder of how this is the first time we’ve ever attended a con in December.

Cosplay: Ahsoka and Hera!

Star Wars fun continues with Ahsoka Tano and Hera from Rebels.

Cosplay: Barriss Offee and Ahsoka Tano!

Another Ahsoka teams up with Barriss Offee.

Cosplay: Quinlan Vos!

Quinlan Vos from Dark Horse’s old series, the one character Clone Wars did wrong.

Jawa costume!

Utinni!

cosplay: Star Trek women!

The women of classic Star Trek.

Cosplay: Leeloo!

Leeloo from The Fifth Element.

Cosplay: Morticia and Gomez Addams, but surrounded by atomic electron orbits.

They’re all submicroscopic / They’re sometimes isotopic / They’re horridly myopic / The Atoms Family!

Cosplay: Rosie the Robot!

Once all pieces were in place, Anne was the first on Saturday to photograph Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons.

Cosplay: Woody Woodpecker!

Woody Woodpecker! [insert iconic laugh]

Cosplay:

Donald Duck and Goofy took the weekend off from their day jobs and flew up for the occasion.

Cosplay: Tafiti from Moana!

Te Fiti from Moana, being stalked by Ghostface.

Cosplay: Carl Fredricksen!

Carl Fredricksen from Pixar’s Up.

Cosplay: yellow mushroom anime woman? We don't know.

Anne thought this one was really pretty, but we have no idea who she is. Can anyone out there help out a couple of stumped, appreciative olds?

To be continued! Other chapters in this very special miniseries:

Part 1: The Stars in Our Galaxy
Part 3: Who Else We Met, What Else We Did
Part 4: Columbus Is Our New Chicago

GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 1 of 4: The Stars in Our Galaxy

Cast members from "Smallville" doing jazz hands with us.

It’s a Smallville cast reunion! Us with star Tom Welling (Clark Kent pre-Superman), Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang), the always ebullient Michael Rosenbaum (Young Lex Luthor), and John Glover (his dad Lionel Luthor).

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

The last comic-con we attended before the pandemic was GalaxyCon Louisville 2019, which was a well-run show with a fair assortment of vendors and an eclectic guest list that suited our fancies. Sadly, subsequent negotiations between the showrunners and city officials broke down, and GalaxyCon Louisville disintegrated even before public health became an issue for con-goers worldwide. As consolation they’ve turned their attention and services to other cities willing to meet them halfway in providing for everyone’s geek-out needs. As it happens, this past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

And what we do wherever possible is collect jazz-hands photo ops with actors from films and shows we’ve liked. Before I get into the usual rundown of events, let’s take a moment to celebrate the new faces who happily costarred with us in our little-five second bursts of joie de vivre and shall be added to our jazz-hands Pinterest board for posterity.

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Captain Janeway’s Homecoming: Star Trek Fans Welcome Kate Mulgrew to Bloomington

Mulgrew and Janeway statue!

Live from Indiana, it’s TV’s Kate Mulgrew!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: last May my wife Anne and I stopped in Bloomington, home of Indiana University, to check out the bronze statue of STEM icon Captain Kathryn Janeway that was unveiled in October 2020 as a tribute to Kate Mulgrew, the celebrated star of Star Trek: Voyager. As it happens, Voyager writer/producer Jeri Taylor, a Bloomington native herself, inserted her hometown into Janeway’s canonical backstory. The city’s fans took that nod to heart and commissioned the artistic tribute accordingly in her future birthplace. It was a kick for us to admire the results in person.

As if that weren’t enough Mulgrew awesomeness for us this year, we also met her in person at Star Trek: Mission Chicago back in April, attended her rather lively Q&A at same, and read her two candid, riveting memoirs. I could go on with links to our other Trek-related experiences of late, but suffice it to say we can’t seem to stop tripping over Trek lately.

But wait! There’s more!

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Nichelle Nichols, 1932-2022

Nichelle Nichols!

The last time we met Nichelle Nichols, at Indiana Comic Con 2017.

Today we were saddened to hear of the passing of Nichelle Nichols, a.k.a. Lieutenant Nyota Uhura from Star Trek, life-changing inspiration and role model of millions. Millions of actors, creators, celebrities, fans, and news sites are online to explain who she is or what she meant to so, so many. For me as a youngster who caught the OG Enterprise crew in reruns, she was an integral part of a stellar interstellar ensemble who showed us, despite innumerable obstacles in their path, that theirs was a potential future for humankind, in which everyone works, lives, and succeeds side-by-side in forging new paths together.

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Fan Expo Chicago 2022 Photos, Part 4 of 4: Stargirl and the Hobbits

Hobbits jazz hands!

Frodo! Pippin! Merry! Sam! And two humans searching the Shire for pizzazz!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This past weekend Anne and I attended the inaugural Fan Expo Chicago, the comics/entertainment convention formerly known as Wizard World Chicago, and before that the unbranded Chicago Comic Con. As a proud continuation of that chain of comic-con provenance, a 50th-anniversary logo featured in their decor and con souvenirs. Their initial guest-list game was strong enough to lure us back to the suburb of Rosemont for our first time in four years to see what we could make of this latest iteration. Would it be an all-new all-different Chicago Comic Con, or Wizard World under a bed sheet with two eye-holes poked in it?

It all comes down to this: Saturday, July 9th, our final day at the all-star four-day show. At least, we hoped it would be our final day. We had to work Monday. We didn’t want to come back Sunday. We’re getting old and we need more recuperation time after these super fun pop-culture endurance tests. Conventions are the one place where we can hang out with fellow geeks who get our interests. Back home, people like us seem like an extinct species. But after a while hanging around with the hobbyist crowds, and walking for miles up and down the geek habitat of exhibit hall aisles, is wearying. Also, there’s that pandemic thingamabob people worry about sometimes.

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Fan Expo Chicago 2022 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Apollo and the Clone Wars

Ashley Eckstein and Matt Lanter!

“Snips and Skyguy”, as the delightful Star Wars panel was billed.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This past weekend Anne and I attended the inaugural Fan Expo Chicago, the comics/entertainment convention formerly known as Wizard World Chicago, and before that the unbranded Chicago Comic Con. As a proud continuation of that chain of comic-con provenance, a 50th-anniversary logo featured in their decor and con souvenirs. Their initial guest-list game was strong enough to lure us back to the suburb of Rosemont for our first time in four years to see what we could make of this latest iteration. Would it be an all-new all-different Chicago Comic Con, or Wizard World under a bed sheet with two eye-holes poked in it?

If we reused headline formats from our past comic-con write-ups, this one would be the Friday edition of “What We Did and Who We Met”. Once we emerged impatient and unscathed from Chicago construction traffic, Friday was a laid-back stroll around the exhibit hall because most of the action was scheduled for Saturday, when nearly all the scheduled guests would be around. Friday, they weren’t so much, but we had the pleasure of attending a pair of Q&As with actors who graciously dropped in a day early.

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Fan Expo Chicago 2022 Photos, Part 2 of 4: Fandom Artifacts

Black Label me!

Now I come in a deluxe version with slightly more points of articulation! Soon to be on clearance at Target!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: this past weekend Anne and I attended the inaugural Fan Expo Chicago, the comics/entertainment convention formerly known as Wizard World Chicago, and before that the unbranded Chicago Comic Con. As a proud continuation of that chain of comic-con provenance, a 50th-anniversary logo featured in their decor and con souvenirs. Their initial guest-list game was strong enough to lure us back to the suburb of Rosemont for our first time in four years to see what we could make of this latest iteration. Would it be an all-new all-different Chicago Comic Con, or Wizard World under a bed sheet with two eye-holes poked in it?

Before we attempt any real storytime and show off our latest round of jazz-hands photos, why not run through a gallery of Stuff We Saw Around the Show Floor. In hindsight we took far fewer exhibit hall pics than expected because we’re well acquainted with what comic-con booths look like and weren’t in a constant state of mind-blown-ness. We did dawdle a bit more than usual at the handcrafted displays of two charitable fan clubs, who brought their homemade replicas of props and vehicles and whatnot, which as usual made us regret letting our own artistic skills atrophy since high school.

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Fan Expo Chicago 2022 Photos, Part 1 of 4: A Dash of Cosplay

Moon Knight!

TV’s Moon Knight welcomes you to a comic-con resurrection!

Once upon a time in 1972 humanity invented a major entertainment show commonly called the Chicago Comic Con, and comics collectors saw that it was good. In the late ’90s it was taken over by Wizard Entertainment, previously a specialist in geek magazine publishing. Wizard World Chicago continued the comic-con tradition for the next two decades, though with a decreasing emphasis on the “comic” aspect as nearly all the publishers withdrew their participation one by one and the show became all about meeting actors, with a nominal Artists Alley still attached in mild deference to its distant origins. Anne and I first attended WWC in 1999 (a Major Life Event for us), then made it an appointment getaway every year between 2010 and 2018. The company had been hemorrhaging cash and fan loyalty for years even before we decided to skip the 2019 edition in favor of our very first Dragon Con, which we consider yet another Major Life Event. The subsequent pandemic did Wizard World no favors, as you can imagine.

After one last gasp of a WWC in late 2021 that we understand was a pale shadow, Wizard World handed off their entire nationwide comic-con portfolio to Fan Expo HQ, a British-owned company whose Canadian comic-con wing has roots dating back to 1995 and who began acquiring inroads into the U.S. market in 2016. This past weekend, that corporate consumption process culminated in the very first Fan Expo Chicago, which is technically the inaugural edition and yet self-branded as a proud continuation of that chain of comic-con provenance, with a 50th-anniversary logo featured in their decor and con souvenirs. Their initial guest-list game was strong enough to lure us back to the suburb of Rosemont to see what we could make of this latest iteration. Would it be an all-new all-different Chicago Comic Con, or Wizard World under a bed sheet with two eye-holes poked in it?

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