Indiana Comic Convention 2023 Photos, Part 2 of 2: Actors and Activities!

Me doing jazz hands with Grant Gustin.

It’s Grant Gustin! With The Flash soon coming to a close on The CW, TV’s Barry Allen is finally hitting the Midwest convention circuit.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife Anne and I attended the ninth edition of the Indiana Comic Convention at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. They refrain from calling themselves “Indiana Comic Con” on paper for tiresome legal reasons that aren’t their fault, but to us they’ll always be Indiana Comic Con.

ICC 2023 was another opportunity to look at walls covered with old comics, meet people who create reading matter, boggle at toy displays, respect the anime fandom whose population dwarfs us older generations, and find space to breathe among or away from those cheerfully ever-growing crowds. Although the showrunners reserved less space than they did for last year’s edition — in fact, they moved the show back to the halls where the inaugural edition was held back in 2014 — geek life nevertheless thrived in abundance…

…relatively speaking. The smaller square footage meant noticeably fewer vendors than last year. In hindsight we probably didn’t need weekend passes, but we’d taken advantage of an early February sale that got us in Friday and Saturday (we almost never go on Sundays) for a mere five bucks less than what folks were paying for Saturday-only passes day-of at the door. So we did some stuff, but not as much as usual.

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C2E2 2023 Photos, Part 2 of 4: Actors!

us with Chris Evans, all doing jazz hands, and he is smiling SO brilliantly.

Chris Evans! Yes, Chris Evans! Yes, THAT Chris Evans! Yes, really!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

My wife Anne and I just got home from the latest edition of the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″), a three-day extravaganza of comic books, actors, creators, toys, props, publishers, freebies, Funko Pops, anime we don’t recognize, and walking and walking and walking and walking. After its 2010 inception, we attended every year from 2011 to 2019, then took a break due partly to the pandemic and partly due to guest lists outside our circles of interest. This year’s strong lineup lured us back in, much to our delight…

…though we took our sweet time deliberating whether or not to take the plunge again. We committed a mere three weeks before showtime, and we’re glad we did. We needed some time away from home and cheerfully added three more guests to our jazz-hands photo gallery, including the esteemed gentleman pictured above.

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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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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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Star Trek: Mission Chicago 2022 Photos, Part 1 of 4: The Stars in Our Galaxy

Picard Cast!

Anne and me with the Picard team of Michelle Hurd (Ash vs. Evil Dead), Annie Wersching (Timeless, Marvel’s Runaways), Isa Briones (the touring version of Hamilton), and Evan Evagora (Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island).

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife Anne and I are big fans of geek/comic/entertainment conventions. Sometimes we shell out for photo ops with actors from our favorite movies and TV shows. If they’re amenable and don’t mind taking posing suggestions from a pair of eccentric middle-agers shaped like two lumpy bags of potatoes, our favorite theme is jazz hands. We’re not dancers and we’ve only attended two Broadway shows so far, but we love the idea of sharing a moment of unbridled joie de vivre with anyone who’s game. We can’t remember which of us had the idea first, though the inspiration surely came from a few different possible sources we share. It’s silly, but it’s our thing.

The weekend of April 8-10, 2022, marked the inaugural Star Trek Mission, the first in a planned convention series from ReedPOP, the showrunners behind the much-vaunted C2E2 and other comic cons. In this geek endeavor ReedPOP in conjunction with Paramount Pictures hopes to do for Gene Roddenberry’s creation what the Star Wars Celebrations do for that rival galaxy. As it happens, the premier shindig was held in Chicago, a mere three hours away from our humble dwelling. Anne and I watched the old Trek shows back in the day (though she was the far, far more intensely studied fan) and recently subscribed to Paramount+ for catch-up on some of the new generation. ST:MC offered excitement for every level of Trek fandom, from the elderly who watched the classics on CBS in the ’60s to today’s tykes who count Star Trek: Prodigy in their animated streaming diet. The two of us decided it was the perfect place to kick off our 2022 convention season and a good choice for our first major event since Dragon Con 2021. Naturally we had to see how many new pics we could add to our jazz-hands photo-op collection.

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #1: Return of the Jazz Hands

Battlestar Galactica Jazz Hands!

Classrooms are small and cramped aboard the Galactica, but I will totally make jazz-hands lessons work for these promising students.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: in 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. As one of the longest-running science fiction conventions in America, Dragon Con had received rave reviews from our internet friends over the past two decades, some of whom recommended it to us more than once and, according to my notes, would never shut up about it. In 2019 we caved in, took the plunge, and had a blast. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday.

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Forfending a Fearful Phase with a Fleeting Flashback to a Forgotten Fair Photo

Indiana State Fair 2017 Jazz Hands!

Photo by one of Anne’s old schoolmates.

Whenever you’re having the sort of week that might be more endurable if you could spend the rest of it under your bed and away from keyboards, it’s cool just to post a single photo and declare you’ve fulfilled your blogging responsibilities for the week, right? That’s a remarkably wide divergence from my modus operandi, but I’m trying it just to see what happens. It’s my site and I’ll shirk if I want to.

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Dragon Con 2019 Photos #1: The Stars Our Destination

Freema Agyeman!

Us with Freema Agyeman, a.k.a. Martha Jones from Doctor Who, one of the Doctor’s few companions we hadn’t met. Thanks, Dragon Con!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

For years we’ve been telling friends in other states that we’d one day do Atlanta’s Dragon Con, one of the largest conventions in America that isn’t in California or New York. We’ve been in Atlanta, but we hadn’t really done Atlanta. Hence this year’s vacation, in which we’re aiming for a double proficiency in Atlanta tourism and over-the-top Dragon Con goodness…

Longtime MCC readers know our frequent ventures to entertainment and comic-book conventions around the Midwest have their staples: the cosplay photos, the sojourns through Artists Alley, the pile of newly acquired graphic novels at the end, and, of course, photos with actors and other celebrities in attendance, often featuring our favorite jazz-hands motif. We don’t perform for every con photo-op, but those that meet the standard are kept on a dedicated Pinterest board so future generations can look upon our assembled montage and think to themselves, “…oookay.”

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Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 Photos #5: The Stars in Our Galaxy

Katee Sackhoff!

She played a recurring Mandalorian on Clone Wars and Rebels, but you might also know Katee Sackhoff from such series as Battlestar Galactica, The Flash, and that not-bad Bionic Woman update that lasted about three minutes.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

April 11-15, 2019, was the ninth American edition of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Celebration, recurring major convention celebrating their works, creations, actors, fans, and merchandise, not always in that order. After jaunts around the U.S. coast and overseas, this year’s was in Chicago, gracing the Midwest with its products for the first time since 2005. My wife Anne and I attended Thursday through Saturday and fled Sunday morning…

It’s not a Celebration without a bevy of actors who’ve appeared on various planets throughout the Star Wars universe. We had our choice among a mixture of old pros from the original trilogy, a few big names from the prequels and from Rogue One, exactly one (1) actor from Episodes VII and VIII, and a wide array of all-star voice actors from various animated projects and video games. Though we’d met quite a few already, we zeroed in on a few key names and once again added to our jazz-hands photo-op collection.

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C2E2 2019 Photos #2: David Tennant!

David Tennant!

The Tenth Doctor is very, very in.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! My wife Anne and I just got home from the tenth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″), another three-day extravaganza of comic books, actors, creators, toys, props, publishers, freebies, Funko Pops, anime we don’t recognize, and walking and walking and walking and walking. Each year C2E2 keeps inching ever closer to its goal of becoming the Midwest’s answer to the legendary San Diego Comic Con and other famous conventions in larger, more popular states. We missed the first year, but have attended every year since 2011 as a team…

…and often pose for jazz-hands photos as a team. To wit: our special moment with David Tennant. You might remember him from such shows as Doctor Who, Jessica Jones, Broadchurch, and more. Technically this moment should’ve happened sooner — Tennant was originally scheduled as a guest at Wizard World Chicago 2017 but had to cancel on the day-of for understandable, serious reasons. Frankly, I was worried he’d have to cancel again, but he thankfully didn’t encounter the same work-visa issues that have hindered the plans of other would-be convention guests from overseas over the past few weeks. For us, this photo therefore represents relief, fandom fulfilled, and extremely delayed gratification.

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