We spent Saturday at Planet Comicon, a first for my little family. Karen Gillan (Amy Pond on Doctor Who) was attending, and my Whovian people thought they just HAD to meet her. I couldn’t blame them; I would feel the same with a star from one of my favorite shows. We arrived a little after it opened, stood in a very long line to get in, and then followed the masses into the convention hall. It was…hmm, what word to choose? Awesome. Terrifying. Overwhelming. Amazing. Crowded. It was all those things and more. I’m not great in crowds, so the first hour or so was not a lot of fun, to be honest. There was just so much to see, so many people moving around you and bumping into you and there were costumes and props and vehicles and I didn’t know where to go or what to do and it was all very very scary.I let my husband and son take the lead and followed them as we slowly wandered through with no real goal or destination. It really was amazing, once you got past the initial shock. I loved seeing the TARDIS, the R2D2s, Kitt from Knight Rider, the DeLorean, and the Batmobile. I loved seeing Chewbacca (so TALL), Storm Troopers, the Fetts, Leia in the gold bikini (brave girl) and lots of Doctors. There was a screen set up for photo ops with Han Solo, Obi Wan, Luke and Leia. There were people in costume EVERYWHERE. I didn’t recognize half of them. I was constantly poking my kids and asking, “Who’s that?” or sometimes “What the heck are they supposed to be?” I saw a girl dressed up in a blue skirt suit with a red fedora and I was sure she was Carmen Sandiego. Nope. I was informed she was Agent Carter. Oops. There were a lot of Agent Carters once we got inside, with all different color hats. And of course every superhero you can imagine, along with several Captain Jack Sparrows, some Poison Ivys, and a few Frozen princesses. I only saw one good Wonder Woman though, wearing a nifty chain mail suit.Pretty soon the kids were ready for the main event: Karen Gillan. The line was long, and that’s an understatement. We left the kids in line and the hubby and I moved on to look around. As we walked through Celebrity Row, I saw Mitch Pileggi and thought about going up to say hi, that I loved him on Grey’s Anatomy, then thought better of it. I saw lots of celebrities I didn’t recognize, and then I saw the sign for Ming-Na Wen. She hadn’t arrived yet so the line had just started to form. I didn’t want to pay for an autograph, but I did want to meet her, so I decided to stand in line for the 20 minutes until she arrived. There were around 6 people in front of me, at least until the VIP line formed. Then there were probably 15 people who’d get to go first. Fine, I thought. I had ten minutes left when my daughter texted me that they were getting close to the front of the line for Karen, and I did want to meet her. I also wanted to watch the kids meet her. Sadly I left the line for Ming-na and joined the kids. I was glad I did, too. They were so fun to watch, all giddy and excited and spilling over. Then we got in front of her and they were speechless, just standing there grinning at her. Karen said hi, and I think my daughter said hi. She signed the photo, and I think she complimented my son on his Doctor costume. As we left, I told her how much I enjoyed her on Selfie, and she gave me a big grin and a thank-you. It was pretty neat.
Once the kids calmed down from that, we went up to meet Caitlin Blackwood, who played the young Amy Pond. She was sweet and tried to get my poor starstruck kids to chat. I broke the ice by asking her a question, and after that the kids loosened up and got to talk with her for a few minutes.
That was enough celebrity craziness for me. I’d brought my copy of The Princess Bride to get signed by Cary Elwes, but his line was even longer and I just didn’t have it in me to deal with it. So we lunched and split up, boys and girls. Katie and I had a great time exploring all the shopportunities. We restrained ourselves pretty well until I found a few booths with local crafters. I bought the cutest little robot watch pendant, and an amazing new bag from an artist called The Costume Wrangler’s Closet. She sews bags, keychains, skirts and so much more from pop-culture inspired fabrics. You know it’s a good artist when they can inspire a minor-league Whovian like me to buy a bag like this. I love the style, the colors, and the extremely high quality of the workmanship. It’s fantastic.There was so much more. We went to a Q&A with Karen Gillan, the boys went to a Q&A with Bill Amend (artist of Fox Trot comic strip). We shopped A LOT. We people-watched a lot. By 5:30 we were almost pooped and ready for the last part of the day. The girl had signed up for a photo with Karen at 6 p.m. One more line, a quick snap, and our Planet Comic-Con experience was over for the year.My kids were exhausted but over the moon. David especially was so happy, wishing he could go back again the next day. He asked me if I’d go back again next year. I had to think about it. Soon after we’d arrived, I’d told my husband I would never go again. But after a whole day of watching my kids enjoy the unabashed geekery, after watching all these people embrace their weirdness and put it all on display, after seeing so much artistry and craftmanship…yeah. I’ll do it again.
p.s. I was going to include the bit of knitting that got done that last few days but this post ended up so much longer than I expected that I think it’s best to save it for another day!