Lines into the convention are short to nothing. Unless you're in the morning throng baying at the doors before they open. Then you're in the crowded snake that worms its way around the food court and chokes the tables with the stench of ATMs sweating at the capacity, hoping to not fail or squander the bank too quick. They hold up. None showing signs saying they were tapped or broken. At least, not for long if they were.
In that quiet of the VIP hour of the Lexington Comic & Toy Convention, where the attendees are only a thousand, it's a nice breeze. The walk is quiet and allows you to chase the halls all the way and back again. Plenty of celebrities yet to show though. Tables empty aplenty with the minders standing or sitting with a bottle of water.
The costings of autographs, photos, or whatever, sit on the table, right next to the media guests. They could have had them on the front, but that's not as good for guilt tripping both sides. At the back of the convention hall with the corrals, the price lists are also on the table, not at the gates, so you have to walk all the way up to the actor to see the menu.
Two floors over three floors. It's a bit of a time sink between the main ground floor and the upper. But the space allows a lot more breathing room and the sitting tables feel welcoming, even if they're on the upper floor, which is generally quieter across the weekend. You can actually breathe and walk about the convention floor without bumping into armpits.
If you were wary of all the Power Rangers love before, the addition of more Power Rangers, and even guests from Zyuranger would have you swallowing your gum at the healthy draw.
Jason David Frank out this year, in with Austin St. John. Like a nod of sorts to reversing that "White Light" storyline. There is this one person at St. John's panel who asks a question, but instead of looking at the actor/paramedic, the asker stares into their phone, making sure they capture the soul and gaze of St. John answering.
You still had the rest of the floor with Star Trek alumni such as Marina Sirtis and Walter Koenig, wrestlers, character actors, voice artists, and a spattering of comic creators.
Drew Curtis holds the spacious Thoroughbred Room with an attentive dozen, scratching to them about the process of running for governor of Kentucky. Or at least the process to being in the process. With all the lock-outs and hurdles to make sure the only people on the ballot are from the big two political parties. Democrats or Republicans, pick your poison. Curtis has solid ideas and talks on issues based around tweaking algorithms and making full use of data analysis against the old political guard who still fear use of the Internet. Prosperity is something you can track and hedge, if you know how to read the numbers.
Tara Reid appears at her table for maybe an hour, possibly a few more during the weekend. Suddenly her panel starts an hour earlier than posted and the moderator is milking out the questions fast before it's all over and done in 30 minutes. Into the wind. Sharknado questions? Plenty of them. At least Reid feels the dripping hackery that comes from reading badly scripted product placements.
James O'Barr is humble, appreciative and drops some news on the upcoming retake of The Crow while waxing a hearty core about the soundtrack and music to the Brandon Lee led adaptation. O'Barr doesn't care at all about wrestler Sting's face paint, other homages/rip-offs or any other facets really. The purity of the concept as it lives in the comic books is key. A warm, thoughtful session.
Kids line up to ask Jeremy Shada aka Finn the Human (Adventure Time) and stretch the queue all along the aisle. Kids mostly who run back and forth from the mic to the back of the line ready to ask another. Here and there a few teens. Shada plays "Twixter" from Make Out Monday. One man asks three questions in a row, blocking out the rest of the line and kicking up "he's a damn troll" and "stop your trolling questions" from three women at the back row. Three women who came in late, and made sure their conversation was audibly overcasting the children who were trying to ask questions.
The costume contest features... who knows. There is a staff member standing in the area between the Patterson Ballroom doors and the outer doors facing the food court. This looks like the foyer into the foyer and "Standing room only" is the only utterance from the yellow STAFF shirt. Buffeted audience members mutter "Standing room only" to themselves and those in earshot.
Panels have no checks. Stand in line and then follow the crowd as they fill up the seats. If you're interested in listening to the convention speaker panels, this seems like a good way to spend nothing but for parking and get an earful. You only have to pay admission if you want to walk the convention floors to buy something.
Once more the last panels of the day also mean the day is at a close. No hour long buffer exists. If you wanted to shop a little more after the closing panels, then why are you sitting in panels?
- The Crow 11 x 17 inch print from and signed by James O'Barr
- Bookmarks featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Tressina Bowling
Across the weekend and floors of the Lexington Convention Center on 13-15 March 2015.
Reviewed on Sunday, 22 March 2015