San Diego Comic-Con (http://www.comic-con.org/cci) will not be a destination for Ashlee and I again this year. We missed last year and, sadly, will miss again this year. It’s almost a full-time job to swing tickets with the near “Power Ball” chances of being chosen, and between airfare, hotel, and car rental, it costs more than some full-time jobs pay. Considering that we do not go ‘small’ for our trips to California, we felt it would be best to avoid pretending to be Mitt Romney with our monetary capabilities, if you catch my drift.
We are heading to a couple of familiar geek-friendly spots, though.
Mega-Con (http://www.megaconvention.com) is an Orlando, Florida convention, held on February 17th-19th, with a variety of fan entertainment. There is a major focus on anime, which is highlighted by a slew of slothful sycophants wearing garb from their favorite Pokemon. I become annoyed by their constant hugging and interaction with random strangers who share their interests in squealing upon meeting – and hugging.
Apart from the deluge of woven hat wearing, pubescent squealers, Mega-Con offers fan interaction with panels of comic book artists and writers, Star Wars, and various other topics, as well as autograph lines for celebrities like Stan Lee, cast members from Start Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and other favorites.
Lego fans are always abuzz over the diorama displays of dynamic dimensions. Lots of vendors are available for screen printed shirts to display your love of Dr. Who or the Green Lantern, the Green Hornet, the Green Arrow, or possibly even the Green Giant.
Further north, Steel-City Con (http://www.steelcitycon.com) is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania convention, held on March 2nd-4th. It’s a smaller scale version of Mega-Con by far, but still has great media guests.
The focus for Steel-City Con is different. It has a majority of its space taken up by vendors of classic toys and collectables. There are no panels.
Media guests in the past have included Adam West and Henry Winkler. This time, there is an incredible lineup of 70s stars and Star Wars actors. Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and his son, Corey Dee Williams (Klaatu – a minor character from Star Wars) will join Anthony Daniels (C3PO) for autograph signings and photo opportunities.
Stars of the classic television series, The Brady Bunch, will be in attendance as well. Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) and Christopher Knight (Peter Brady) will be there. Wesley Eure and Kathleen Coleman (Will and Holly – Land of the Lost), Butch Patrick (The Munsters and Lidsville) and Johnny Whitaker (Sigmund and the Sea Monster and Family Affair) will all be representing a mini-reunion of Sid and Marty Krofft Superstars. That will bring back Saturday Morning memories for me!
Lidsville <–Theme Song/Intro
Stepping forward two decades, Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills 90210) will be appearing and Ian Petrella, who played Randy on ‘A Christmas Story’. That should cover most famous people named Ian. There are plenty of other media guests and artists attending to fill up a full weekend, so this should be a fun excursion without the high cost of airline travel cross-country…although, there is not a more pleasant city on earth than San Diego, California.