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Episode 97 – Fan Expo Cleveland

Overview

This past weekend Alan and Stephen attended Fan Expo in Cleveland. This is the old Wizard World convention.

While we enjoy the comics, there is so much more to enjoy. Both Stephen and Alan enjoy supporting artists and other creators by purchasing their wares.

There are also tons of great speakers and talks. And plenty of timeto talk to great artists that you’ve admired for years.

Recommendations

https://fanexpohq.com/fanexpocleveland/

http://www.travislangley.info/

YouTube

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Transcript

[00:00:36] Alan: Okay. We were both at the fan expo in Cleveland this weekend. What were your highlights? What did you like?

[00:00:43] Stephen: There were a lot of things. First of all, if anybody listening doesn’t know what van expo is. It’s what used to be called Wizarding world here, but they disappeared. Whatever. Yeah. A wizard world. Yes.

It’s a convention. It’s a fan. It’s

[00:00:59] Alan: like [00:01:00] even whose rule is based on the Comicons of old until San Diego asserted its claim to the term Comicon. And so now New York and Chicago, and maybe there’s a couple others that could be grandfathered in, but they don’t. Now they’re a branding, a new with various different things.

And especially because it’s no longer just comics, it’s everything. It’s Harry Potter and it’s professional wrestling and it’s anime and it’s a lots of TV and movies and all that kind of stuff. And. But it’s right along our lines, but to run this geekery fast, they have every single type of fan base covered.

[00:01:36] Stephen: And you and I mentioned that too, cause we’re old enough to remember, uh, when a comic convention was like an old swap meet, like for car parts or electronics, you’ve been to plenty of electronic stuff where it was really cool back in the nineties with all the parts and stuff,

[00:01:53] Alan: the new and the show floor was nothing but comic books.

And this is before they didn’t have pull [00:02:00] bookstores full of graphic novels and stuff like that. This was box after box of comic books. Most of them not slapped or some graded. Plastic bags. And with the dealers grading back when the Overstreet guide is what, let you know what the difference was between mint near mint, very fine, et cetera, et cetera.

But it was nowhere near the precision that CGC and CBCs and others now have specific.

[00:02:25] Stephen: Okay. All right. So it’s totally different. So like you said, it’s a geeky nerdy fan thing, but there’s a lot of, it’s more pop culture now there’s because of the MCU, a large part of grew people in people that didn’t use to oh, comic books, superheroes, other for kids is wow.

Ironman is so freaking cool. It’s the catcher day song. Now I’m the one that’s cool. But we were just 30 years ahead of our time.

[00:02:54] Alan: Exactly. It is a celebration like that, where, and it isn’t just comic books. It’s every kind of [00:03:00] subculture star wars started to get big in 1977. But previous to that science fiction conventions were also like stereotypically pretty nerdy, pretty geeky.

It was a wild, probably 90% guy. You know what I mean? It wasn’t until you started to have various other things on a man Mancha or especially cosplay has entered into it in a big way where a lot of people don’t just want to read about it. They kind of want to become. Yeah, that’s a little bit. And so as people have gotten better and better at ed materials and the ability to do this gotten better and better, it used to be that you had had to be a seamstress or that you had to cobble something together.

And now with full materials with 3d printing, man, there were some amazing costumes there, integrated electronics, the little Cylon back and forth

[00:03:53] Stephen: to the led lights, into a hobby lobby that has a whole section for cosplay stuff. [00:04:00]

[00:04:01] Alan: Please go ahead. Sorry. No, please finish a big part of the con is also, there’s a lot of cosplay.

Now. This one was the first time I’d seen it where, because they know they have all different kinds of fandoms there. Instead of having cost players were roaming the show floor, and then a big costume parade. Usually on Saturday night, it’s like the highlight of this thing. They actually had gatherings for each of the various different constellations.

So you’d get all of the Marvel characters and then all the Harry Potter characters and then all the video games and not even spit your only video game, very specific ones that are quite popular, the final fantasy or the overstock or whatever else it might be. And that meeting that for half hour, 45 minutes and seeing that concentration, if you were the person that everybody’s snapping pictures of everybody else.

And in fact, I think that built into the ticket. At least the seminars you come in and says. You entering this thing means you pretty much give blanket permission for people to take pictures [00:05:00] of you because I don’t know before I’m, I’m still relatively polite in terms of, Hey, can I get a snapshot because I don’t want to get them at a bad shot.

I want to get them where they can pose them and present themselves as the best. And especially if they’re wearing something that is, I don’t know, I don’t want to be a dirty old man and looking at pretty cost players and hearing about it. I really want to be, wow, you look great. Can I get a picture? And it’s the appreciation for the talent of their costumer and the fact that some guys are in great achievement, stripping, some gals are in great shape and the costume is portraying that I don’t want it to be.

That’s like a loss of innocence to me about the Comicon. And I’m not sure that everybody else has ever is like that. There was all kinds of people. Loving the fact that there’s a lot of steel bikinis, Allah. Exactly.

[00:05:48] Stephen: So that’s the setting. If you’ve never been to one and I was only there Sunday, you were there all weekend.

I felt Sunday wasn’t jam packed. I’ve been to New York. Comic-Con where it was like, [00:06:00] wall-to-wall sucking your gut, trying to walk past people all the day long. This did not feel that claustrophobic on Sunday, which was nice.

[00:06:07] Alan: Yeah. I didn’t get a number for attendance for the weekend, but we had grown, I think two years ago, three years ago before COVID clamped down.

I think that the Cleveland Comicon was up 30,000 people over the course of the weekend. And that might know San Diego Comic-Con is a hundred thousand and they call Asia a stadium sized room where that’s where the really big presentations we’re going to premiere the next Jurassic park movie or the next store or whatever else it might be.

And this. Some of the rooms were big enough to handle. I don’t know, hundreds of people, but not thousands. And, um, a lot of what goes on is not only of course, the show floor with all the wares, they have presentations, they have interviews with various different TV, personalities, uh, comic like, wow. So I attended a lot of those because I’m really funny.

I don’t know what that I liked the behind the scenes, how the show [00:07:00] was made type stuff, but I like meeting the performers and finding out, Hey, what music do you listen to on your headphones before you go out and give that great performance and stuff like that? Well, I listened to Mark Sheppard from supernatural Crawley.

I listened to and many other things. He’s a doom patrol. Now I listened to Katie Sackhoff from second version of Battlestar Galactica and long Meyer, which so she actually crosses genres. If you will, let’s see Michael Rooker who is crazy.

[00:07:29] Stephen: Okay. What’d you think of Rutgers?

[00:07:33] Alan: I saw him one time before, and he really was almost assaultive to the fans.

Anybody that would ask the questions that they’ve been asked a thousand times before he’s lost his patience with, Hey, what was your favorite episode of this show or this movie? And so he really is dismissive of those, but he’s very kind to children and he really doesn’t just sit up on the stage. He wanders around the room and interacts with people and gives everybody a [00:08:00] chance to get a photo, not opposed like selfie type thing, where it seems almost greedy on the part of the fan, but he’s very playful while also having no tolerance for idiots.

And so it’s a very interesting combination, you know what I mean, people up their games about what they’re

[00:08:15] Stephen: going to ask right? In the early days of a walking dead, the TV show him and Maggie and Nikki taro. And one of the writers did a thing up at the Cleveland Playhouse. And I got tickets to call in. He was very excited.

He had his Darryl vest on. Necklace of ears that I got on and we got done and we looked at each other. We’re like, wow. Worker was an a-hole. He took over the whole thing, like interrupted people, talking and said, Hey, I want to get a picture laid down on the stage, get a picture of just him and the other actors.

And it was just antiques and stuff. And it’s in a way I was very upset, disappointed. I’m like, I paid a lot of money to hear all of you guys, not just to watch Rooker act like a Jack hole on the [00:09:00] stage. So I was a little up with him. So I was curious what you thought. So who else did you see? So let’s

[00:09:06] Alan: see. I love voice artists.

And so I saw Roger Bumpus, who does Squidward and many others. I saw Robby Paulson who does the Animaniacs and one more, I don’t want to forget the guy who does. Oh boy. Why am I not thinking if it’ll come to me? But the fascinating thing about that is that they really can come in and out of voices. So amazingly quickly, like Robin Williams level quick, and to here, they usually have a long career as a voice artist and your body doesn’t wear out.

So you can’t be the last action hero anymore. So they’ve been around for 30, 40 years. They’re in from seventies, animation and nineties and 2010s and various different people have their favorites. So to, to who’s the guy that does a bender. Futurama. So hearing them drop in and out of those characters and [00:10:00] especially like when they start doing, they do a lot of the voices on the show and they’ll start doing the whole scene where they’re all the characters and to be able to see that split personality going back and forth and almost over-talking each other, but it’s like only one guy in one mouth.

There’s amazing talent going on there. I just love that. And to hear their stories, the behind the scenes stories of these guys of course have worked with many other people. They’re the behind the scenes voice actor, but they’ll also have I worked on the Batman animated series. And so of course I met. And mark, who does Luke Skywalker and some people like Kevin Conroy, who did Batman, the animated series.

He’s not actually known outside of that, but a lot of people say that’s the best Batman animated series. He tells the best voice. You know what I mean? So

[00:10:49] Stephen: you mentioned Conroy because I sat in on a talk by a PhD psychologist who has written a whole series of books for all sorts of pop culture, [00:11:00] star Trek, star wars, supernatural.

And it was a supernatural convention or talk about the psychology of the show and the fans. And I got a few too many books, I must say, but it was really funny because when he did Batman, he did a panel and Kevin Conroy was on it. And Batman started Conroy. He started calling him doc and then Adam West actually gave up doing some other panel to sit on the panel with this guy and do a thing with them.

So they all started calling them. It’s really cool. When you walk into a room and Batman says, Hey doc, how you doing?

[00:11:38] Alan: I thought a couple from him as well, not the supernatural one, but I am finding was Travis Langley. Exactly. And so, so shout out for him. He has, I think you mentioned 13 books and he is sometimes the, um, sole author, sometimes the main author, but also he’s an, anthologizer where people working in the field are talking about.

And sometimes it’s the [00:12:00] analysis of the characters. And of course there’s a character. Batman has had an 80 year career. There’s all different kinds of versions presented by the various different writers artists. And so they talk about the innocence of the forties and fifties gateway to the more gritty sixties and seventies and things like that.

He really knows his stuff. And so it was no matter he’s one of those guys that no matter which of his books, no matter what any of the topics he’s talking about, I want to be there. I want to hear the insights. Yeah. I, I didn’t, I have two of his books already and I didn’t buy any of his or the con, but I’m pretty sure that I can find it via Amazon or by writing to him.

He’s a professor at Henderson state university, north Texas, like bordering on Oklahoma and how cool that, and in fact, funny as we were going to do a podcast, I’ve done talks to her in the past. It’s very cool to actually not have only celebrity kiss ups or those kinds of things. It’s actually very nice to hear.

What’s the history of the animation medium. What’s the [00:13:00] psychology. Uh, comic books or those kinds of things. Yes. Comic books are an art form. They’re a medium, they deserve the same kind of attention and analysis. And I don’t know, they’ve penetrated our culture

[00:13:14] Stephen: more respect than they used to get.

[00:13:16] Alan: I just love that, that they, of course, what does he talk about with Batman is how much of this is PTSD, but when they look at what kinds of, why does he have this obsession for ventures?

Why will he not use a gun? A lot of that is based on the classic characteristics, if you will, if there’s either a avoidance of certain circumstances, because that’s what he went through or it’s embrace of that because they’re trying to break through what traumatized him in the first place. Anyway, it really a level of both.

It wasn’t just, Hey, well, how tight was that costume? It really was. Interesting and foster carry away with you. We’re like, while I’m reading this, I’m enjoying it, but I’ve had those thoughts about this writer doesn’t get the character, then it doesn’t [00:14:00] ring true for all that they’ve built up of why wonder woman is as she is or why, especially the various different heroes.

They’ve very much humanized them DC versus Marvel, especially decent roles. People are God’s first. And they also have an alter ego, a secret identity. Marvel was like kind of named, I went to a cool panel about writing and how to break into the industry. And Brian, as a relo said, Marvel built their characters from the flaws.

And that’s a really good analysis that well, iron man is a perfect guy. He’s actually Bruce’s businessman. He has heart problems. He’s an alcoholic. And despite that, he’s a great hero and same with SLOs over, over weaning PRI and Peter is a messed up nerdy high school. It’s all of a sudden we’re great power comes great responsibility, and he’s never had to deal with anything like that before cobbled by his aunt and uncle Ben.

So if anything, bullied slash Thompson and that whole going through the [00:15:00] angst of high school, instead of being a kid sidekick, it was he’s the main character. And it really is what am I going to fight this criminal? Am I going to study for the exam? Because I got to keep my grades house,

[00:15:11] Stephen: where did my left slipper go for my costume?

Oh,

[00:15:15] Alan: like that he’s um, so the way with Peter, it makes money. Cause he takes pictures of himself at various different scenes, but where are you going to fit that camera and your costume? So then you have to web it up somewhere and his webbing solution drives, but then only has a certain life. And so it’s like, when is that going to fall off the wall and fall 10 stories?

And like they were Marvel, Stan. Very clever at injecting all those day-to-day problems. I, I swung all the way to the other side of Manhattan and now I got to swing back or something because I can’t just get on the subway, tired like that. Exactly. So I loved those talks. There was a little bit of analysis of the various different shows for the various different comics and stuff like that.

[00:15:59] Stephen: [00:16:00] And that is one of the things that has changed. And I think a lot of people that talk to us, listen to this podcast, whatever. Are similar and to geeky and the what their, how their brain works. There’s a lot of people that go to these because, oh my God, William Shatner’s there. I’ve got to stand in line for three and a half hours to get a one, two second picture and an autograph that he’ll never remember my face to a lot of people.

That’s what they go to these four. And there was a wallet off area. The celebrities were there. It’s $60. It’s a hundred dollars to stand in lining and get a quick picture and autograph with them. And then you’re on your way. And that’s what some people go in to do. And I don’t understand that thinking because it’s like the people that will go to a park, they’ll pay to go to Cedar point and stand in line.

And I got the right three rollercoasters. That was all you did. Why the hell would you do that?

[00:16:56] Alan: 50 rides here? Why not go in the lesser ones, but [00:17:00] kind of them 20 of them instead? That absolutely. When I’ve been to the San Diego Comic-Con, which I mentioned is just amazing. A hundred thousand people. I think I saw two things in hall H and it usually was like, where were they were lesser?

I don’t know if you’ve put anything in holiday to this lesser. I went there because I didn’t have to sit there. Not only if the line goes out of the convention and outside, and thank God whether it’s beautiful in San Diego, because it was like, wow, I can sit here for three hours, as you said, or I can go meet tons of cool people at artist’s alley.

I can go to three other programs.

[00:17:33] Stephen: And that’s the thing. They did have a smaller line, uh, of artists and writers. And then they had a whole area with artists, alley area and stuff. And they’re not a list celebrities. They’re not the, the bigger names. When we’ve discovered like growl, Colin was so excited to go meet growl.

You said the same thing that here’s a booth hardened, anyone standing there. So while they’re in line for three hours, you’re [00:18:00] talking to this amazing creator of some of the best comics you’ve and you talking to him, he remembers Colin from another con and you hear things. And Gilbert was there who helped draw some Elric in we’ve got B Craig Russell right here in Kent that we’ve seen a couple of times.

So these artists get missed and they’re the lifeblood. They’re the really amazing ones that people overlook. And that’s a shame, but that leaves it open for us.

[00:18:28] Alan: Exactly. I totally echo what you’re saying. The very first thing that I did when I got there, I go to the show floor. I’m relatively systematic.

Let’s go left and go out my eyes. And I grill Jeff. I think let’s see Messer Miller, his. Editor at master stroke, the new publishing scene, they put together, they were there at a back table. Nobody had reached them yet. And I had a wonderful half hour conversation because of course I had to gush over. I loved your John Sable, freelance.

I loved warlord. I walked the green arrow, which is what most people probably know [00:19:00] him for. Cause that’s the most extreme. I love his early work on Legion of superheroes. And as I was like throwing out, what I always try to do is not just say, Ooh, gosh, I love you. But more like enough to let him know that I really read all of them.

That I’ve always appreciated them. That I really saw what had gone before. At first it was besides John Johnsonville freelance. He also had a series called star Slayer when it was like some of the very first independent comics, first comics. And he broke away early from the Marvel and DC studio system.

If you will to go with those independence. And I hope that has been there for just reward because he really owns all of his characters and he should be getting better records. He’s always been able to work at his own pace, choose what he wants to work on. And so that’s a lot of what we talked about was not only, I love your work, but more like you’re, you are indeed a legendary creator.

You’ve been in the industry for 50 years now. It was a delight. It was. And I kept checking around with me to make sure I wasn’t stopping other [00:20:00] fans from getting their chance, stopping somebody from buying. I bought my sheriff. So I guess I turned a little bit of time with him, but it was more, and I dunno, one of those things where halfway through, he like asked me what my name was.

Cause we were having a really nice conversation. And then when I saw him speak at a panel and he was boy, a lot of the panels were pretty much a moderator and a bunch of people. And the moderator says, okay, everybody line up, um, Mike and ask questions. And he actually had a presentation to do. He walked through here’s what story is, here’s how you have to do.

Set things up, get to a resolution. You have to have your characterization. You have to have heightening of the conflict. And like he really showed off. No wonder this story’s read so well because he really gets like the three-act play structure or where it really gets the hero’s journey or various different, like stereotype is not the right word conventions that people use in the storytelling industry and recognize me when we were in the room.[00:21:00]

And so I’m nobody, but it’s very cool to just have made enough of an impression. I was Jim Steranko was Ray Bradbury with somebody, and I told this story already about Gloria and Gilbert

[00:21:14] Stephen: doesn’t

ring

[00:21:14] Alan: a bell it’s in, this is very funny. I had been, I booked a lot of comic cons when I was younger and often they.

Back then they were off the call, Coleen glamour section. It was the lady who had posed for Playboy or ladies that were scream Queens in the B movies and stuff like that. And Gloria and Gilbert is one of them. Beautiful big eyes books, just the sweetest lady. So, uh, Gary and I met her at Chicago Comicon.

It was a similar situation where we were talking for a long time. And so then we became friends as much as you can with a celebrity, if you will. So we then go to the Detroit Metro con if I remember right. And. We’re walking towards the booth and she’s [00:22:00] really beautiful. So there’s just a whole flock of fans, all wanting to be near her Curry.

Her favor is she really likes a Tigger. Oh. From Winnie the Pooh and stuff like that. So a whole bunch of people were like, they had little offerings to give to their goddess. I walk up and she goes, oh, hi, Al. And all the fan boys are like, who the hell? This guy knows his name, Gary. Just like, fuck you remember Gary too, when he was this he’s the one that’s at all.

Perkily high L. And so that’s just my silliest odd, satisfying fan story. Is that this beautiful lady and just what anybody. What would anybody remember me of the ones I’ve had really nice talks with. I talk, boy, I’ve had great opportunities by having been around a lot. I talked to Ray Bradbury. I talked to Marty noodle who created the original green lantern, gene Colan and [00:23:00] Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and all of these people over the course of time.

And I’ve never been in the industry. So they have no reason to know me. I can’t get them work, but it’s out of my, Hey, I’m a pretty big guy. And if I wear my black coat, I make a big impression. And so sometimes that has happened. And even when I didn’t wear the black coat, because it was, you know, April going on may and beautiful outside here in Cleveland.

But back when it was like January, February, I would walk around and they were like, so what cosplay are you doing? Because if I have this big black leather duster, I have a sort of shotgun ready to bring up and clear the room. I need to put some pins in my neck. Yeah. Pretty good. Ergon voice pretty well.

You could not shoot your for

[00:23:45] Stephen: my return quick aside. And then we’ll go back to fit expo out of all the franchises and pop culture stuff that I love and really enjoy. I really think Highlander is due for a good remake, a good [00:24:00] redo of the story. I love the mythology and stuff of it, but that, that first movie I always thought was a little, eh, I honestly liked the series better than I liked the movies.

[00:24:12] Alan: Let’s see. The first movie to me is really great. That’s probably my most rewatched movie. Really? The second one, was it terrible? Oh

[00:24:18] Stephen: God. Now the second doesn’t exist. Let’s not, I do have the Renegade version of it, but it doesn’t really help me. I

[00:24:26] Alan: tried to fix things up. This is no lie. A whole bunch of us in Chicago had loved the first movie.

So the second one’s coming out and half dozen, eight of us get together to go see this movie and relive the joy. And we were at a restaurant after the movie and we were like looking up at each other, going we’re traumatized. How bad was that? Was it really as bad as I thought it was? Yes, it was terrible.

I’ve never had a bigger contrast between expectations and devastatingly worse than I thought it could be

[00:24:57] Stephen: the Highlander and the CRO. [00:25:00] I love both those movies, but every time I see them, even the very first time, I’m like, it just seems like their needs. They didn’t give it enough, love that it could have been better.

I see the potential is what I think it is. Both of them I think could have been better than they were. Not that they were horrible. The Crow is getting remade. I’m hoping they give a lot of love the Highlander. I would love to see that as a more modern movie. I think it could be fantastic. But what you were saying about the fan, all the artists, I think a lot of people miss that, that if you’re going to stand in line and see some of the big names.

All you’re getting is a quick picture and autograph, and they have no idea who you are. 10 seconds later. They don’t care. You don’t hear stories. You don’t talk to them. Whereas you go outside, go in the artist alley. Now there are some artists there that nobody knows because they’re new, they’re young, they’re struggling.

They’re not even working for the big companies, but sometimes they have some really good insights. They have some really good [00:26:00] stories or they’re like, wow, this looks really cool. Like a source point, which has been around for a while, calling those of them. I’m looking at their books going, these are great.

I spent way too much money on some of their games and pick those up. Talking to some of these people and you hear some great stories. And then when they do become bigger, they remember you not saying do it for devious reasons, but it’s nice to know that you saw something in them. And for me, for my other podcast, the discovered wordsmith, I went around and there’s a lot of authors there.

Some of these authors may not be great. Some of them may not go anywhere. Some of them are just doing it part-time, but I got to connect with them. And there was an author who was the very first independent author that I ever ran across and bought his books. And he was there with new books and he’s going to be on my podcast.

So that’s six, seven years ago. Th there’s don’t dismiss that don’t bypass it. There’s a [00:27:00] lot of good out there.

[00:27:02] Alan: Thank you. That you’re exactly right. Some of what we, one of the reasons we talk about eight names that people might know, because we’re trying to do the podcast for the masses, but I ever since boy, I, one of the joys of going to Comicons in Chicago after I was working was I had money in high school.

I was so cunning with, you know, I’m going to buy the 80 cent comic book in lesser condition. Cause it’s all I can afford. And once you had a little bit of money, then I really could not only fill in my collection. And that’s when you really haunted the boxes and stuff like that. But whenever they had independence, whenever they had new people, I’ve always had, I use this term at the end of the last show.

I’ve always wanted to be like a man. Like where’s my money. I can put seeds into all of these people and let them know Dirk Manning. I really liked your stuff. I’m happy to sponsor you on Kickstarter. I’m going to buy all the books I see here. You’ve talked about it with them, Tom. You know what I mean?

With, with loving. Ted Sikora. We both discovered him independently but early. So [00:28:00] now he’s three different series in and had a nice booth right across from Mike Grell as a matter of fact. So that was fun. And, um, I’ve got some stuff from Travis horseman often they’ll have their, not only their newest stuff, but they’ll have back things.

And I w if I like how they describe their stories, sometimes they really don’t have that good elevator sales pitch. They, they can’t really describe what makes this interesting and different, unique, even compared to the rest of the industry. And I’ll go through the art and I must admit fan art, amateurish art doesn’t do anything for me.

I really like it where they’re more accomplished, but I found, I must have spent a couple hundred bucks, probably there’s those kinds of things. There’s a series called white lilies. That is about like female pilots and it had to get, he was in, it was in contention court wise for awhile. Finally, he wanted his characters back.

I’m sorry, his name was not coming to me, but the fifth issue was finally out and I had bought the first four issues at the previous Comicon three years ago. So it was like the end of the story and itch. [00:29:00] I can finally scratch. Yes. I wanted that issue. And in fact, I want your newest work as well. So it really is a delight.

And also the legends, if you will, they do get a certain amount of traffic. They’re acknowledged some of the new guys, the, it must just hurt to have everybody kind of. Glance over, not necessarily be into the comics or that brand of comics or whatever they have as their displays. It just doesn’t appeal to people.

And as any kind of artist performer or otherwise, boy, you have to live that life or rejection or whatever you put your love into. It might not be to somebody else’s taste. And that kind

[00:29:35] Stephen: of has to

[00:29:36] Alan: hurt to just have hundreds of people walk by. I try to make a point of telling you about your stuff. You know what I mean?

If it’s, if there’s anything cool about it, I usually buy it because I’m happy to support

[00:29:46] Stephen: those folks. It is difficult. You can spend the whole day going from booth to booth and spend a lot of money. There is a point where it’s like, okay, I can’t get everything, but it’s so [00:30:00] good to see so many new artists, new writers, new comics.

I usually make a point to look at the books because I do the book podcast. I’m a writer and see if they look interesting to me, I might pick them up. I look for the new comments. It’s just summer. Not I’m like looking at, yeah, this isn’t going well, but some are

[00:30:22] Alan: studios haven’t picked up on your talent yet is because you still need

[00:30:25] Stephen: work.

Yes, exactly. Yeah. But like source point, but they had good books, Ted, that I, when I discovered him, I’m like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. And there’s a few others I’ll sample, but there was another one there, Keystone comics or something like that, which looked interesting. I picked up a couple of he’s like, you could get this.

I’m like, yeah. I can only afford to get a couple right now. Let him be the sampler pack. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I’ll give you a couple bucks. Let me check it out. If it’s good, then other people will find that it’s good. You’ll be around. And the [00:31:00] next time I see you I’ll want more. I there’s gotta be a balance.

And we’ve only got so much wall space for me, pictures and stuff.

[00:31:07] Alan: This is funny as I, because there’s so many different fandoms. It really is a dangerous place for me. And money-wise because I am relatively omnivorous, but it’s really satisfying somehow to be able to just say I don’t like Funko pop stuff of almost any kind of the little figures with the big heads and just it’s so much, doesn’t do anything for me.

Like those, they just don’t work for me. So I get to be like, I’m going to walk right past this without a moment caring and it’s wow. I actually, I could, there are some things there that I can dismiss. I’m not going to be buying any swords. Anytime soon, every sword wear store. Every they have all kinds of art things.

You can get coasters with all the various different characters and logos on it. You can get a cost, play things and. And knowing that I want to do the entire [00:32:00] floor. But knowing that if I started at one, I’m thinking to like number 15 before I was like, oh, out of money. So it’s actually nice to be able to say, I just don’t care about album covers that they’ve pasted something

[00:32:13] Stephen: else onto.

Ah, yeah. Cool. And that some people don’t like it, there’s some, there’s so many things that are cooled and the swords I do like. I studied sword for awhile. And so when I see a bunch of swords, I want to look at them, but reality, what do I need to get a sword? And put it up on my wall. I could spend less money and get five books that I’m going to read and enjoy for hours.

But there are some people that I love what Maria collect weaponry, I’m buying these. Why would I get a book? That’s good. That’s it fits everybody.

[00:32:47] Alan: But I said that poorly, it’s only, it isn’t that these aren’t good it’s that they don’t matter to me. And that they’re going to be like, oh my God, I’ve never seen so many cool Reagan’s in one place.

I can have my pickup brake on. That’s [00:33:00] just perfect for them. But

[00:33:00] Stephen: that’s the beauty of it. Now, the more popular pop culture is that there’s something for everybody that everybody can find something they like. I used to go when there were like five kids going with me, older teenage kids and it’s yeah. How much money are we spending today?

Good thing. I left the credit card at home, but I joked about that with Lang Langley, Travis. I’m like, yeah. I told my son, I should have left my credit card at home here. Give me your books. And like the one though, some of these people aren’t looking for a lot there. Did you see the Deadpool? Uber guy? I got pictures with him and it was so much fun because, oh my gosh, he looks like that bull.

He’s driving a Deadpool car and he’s an Uber drivers and you get Uber Deadpool to pick you up. I might, I would say that’s

[00:33:54] Alan: perfect. Exactly. Another thing. And this funny for all the things I find [00:34:00] bargains, I found things like, Hey, I can get the entire. Uh, I dunno, they’re $15 each. What you can get all three of them for 30.

So I’ll get that set of collected additions, other things where there’s usually a huge t-shirt booth. They have 200 different t-shirt designs hanging up high and all that kind of stuff. All different kinds of sizes. And then you see t-shirt twenty-five bucks or two for 48. Oh, thanks for knocking a whole dollar off of two by

[00:34:27] Stephen: 2 25 bucks for a t-shirt.

You know what I mean? I

[00:34:32] Alan: like, we go to Mark’s nearby. I get muscles for it’s like this for four or five bucks. It’s weird. I get that. There must be for logo licensing type stuff, but they don’t have everything licensed there. They have all kinds of things and all that kind of stuff. And so to have that whole one tide raises all.

That I don’t want to apply that to things where it’s maybe logo merchandise is 25, but everything else is 10 [00:35:00] because those t-shirts don’t cost that automated self screening they do nowadays. And so I really don’t like that. There’s that kind of price inflation. I think what goes on there is just like jewelry, right?

It doesn’t matter the utility of it. It matters that something catches your eye and you really want exactly that stone in that shape and that kind of stuff. And it’s all about emotion. And so there, little Billy walking along and he sees the Deadpool t-shirt and he has to have it, and dad’s going to shell out 25 instead of 10, because he wants to make us unhappy.

But I used to go there and come out with the $6 t-shirt type thing. There’s a site called $6 t-shirts. All kinds of science fiction, quotes, comic book, quotes of characters and not spend a ton of money. So that weirdness of I get, I get how swords something like rot should be expensive, really a commodity thing like t-shirt and you’re finding a way to charge way GU beef prices for it.

That’s not

[00:35:57] Stephen: right. It’s [00:36:00] the amusement park. You go into it thinking, oh, it’s, everything’s going to be expensive. I’m going to spend money. And it lessens that and people just do it. And it’s that thing. It’s that guy’s getting 25 a t-shirt I’m going to get 25 at Deezer. Okay. I guess, but I I’m like you, I don’t go looking for the stuff I’m going to spend tons of money on books, the comics, some of the art, I might find some old collectible that I’m like, oh yeah, I haven’t seen that.

I’d love to grab it or. Colin’s at that age where I have no bills, no real responsibilities. And I have some extra spending cash.

[00:36:38] Alan: And this is out of all the year, here’s where I’m going to have my sweetest spot to finding

[00:36:42] Stephen: them. Yeah. He’s gotten into the turtles lately and he bought a, they remade some of the old toys.

They use the same molds, but they’re recasting them and putting them out now. So you got the turtles party van and I’m like, dude, that’s a plastic toy truck that looks like [00:37:00] crap. And he goes, no, it’s cool. Look at it. And I’m like, okay, you’re five again. That’s great. So

[00:37:05] Alan: I have to say. We’ve mentioned. I don’t go get any celebrity autographs or photos, because I just can’t believe that I’m going to pay 60 bucks a minute interaction, and somehow prove that I’ve met the cast of clerks or something like that.

It just doesn’t do anything for me. There’s other people that, so we’ve mentioned a couple of, I went to see John Delansky talk, you know, who was really, he’s a great actor. He’s been in all kinds of experiences. She’s got that great voice. He’s the only guy w we’re at a, we’re at the talk that he’s giving.

And there’s hundreds of people in the room and I hold my camera up to get a picture of him. And he goes, no, put that away. And really you’re that camera shy? Or are you that mercenary about, I got to go pay for your photo with the photo op on which one it was, but having read the sign about, if you agree to be here, then you agree to have your picture taken.

Oh, but celebrities have a different stratification. See, and I just, that’s the only bad interaction of that kind that I had the entire show. [00:38:00] And so sadly it was John Delancey who I was ready to like much more than I do. It was like, really I, in this world of everyone has a cell phone that you’re going to be the one that tries to monitor.

Who’s allowed to take your picture. That ship has left the dock,

[00:38:19] Stephen: took pictures anyway. So, and see, I think I could be totally wrong. I don’t know him that well. I wasn’t going to get to know him that well, but just from the way he was talking, I took it more as a, okay, look, we don’t need pictures. I want to talk to you guys.

I took it more as a don’t interrupt everything by taking pictures. Let’s talk. And that’s how I took it, but maybe not. I dunno.

[00:38:45] Alan: And actually, if it would have been that I was holding it up taping, then I could see put the phone down. You’ve been holding that up, taping me for three minutes. All I really wanted, like everybody else was take snapshot, touch, touch my little photo button.

And I guess I didn’t think he gave me even. [00:39:00] Interaction. Is it going to be a taper or is it going to be just a snapshot or, oh, you were right there. You know what I mean? I just thought that was like an apple I’m like, I’m not in the front row taking a shot up your nostrils. I’m not trying to get you in any compromising position.

I’m like back in row six next to the questions Mike. Oh, he was like, he was the only one that I had that weird.

[00:39:22] Stephen: And, and that’s the other thing, sometimes these things, you almost don’t want to go to some of these with big names like that, because come on folks, really the question you need to ask him is what was your favorite star Trek episode?

My God he’s probably said that on other interviews, go listen to the damn YouTube for five minutes and ask a better question. I,

[00:39:46] Alan: it really is weird. I agree. Maybe this is their first chance that they’ve always wanted to meet them and they’re shy and they’re nervous and that kind of stuff. And yet you really don’t ask.

You must’ve been asked a hundred times. There’s just nothing to be gained for [00:40:00] the audience. And I dunno, they used to be okay, everybody get up there, ask one question. Cause there’s a line behind you. And nowadays people always do that. Then I have two questions. The moderators should say, no, you have one question.

Give everybody else a chance. Almost always people standing in line at the mic when they had to call it for the day. And this guy being from a motor mouse, met somebody else didn’t get there. Yeah.

[00:40:21] Stephen: Or the ones like, you know that the current episode, if you analyze it with the weight you was looking at this scene here and there’s are every time people ask questions like that, the actors go.

Yeah. I have no clue because we recorded that scene 10 times and we recorded them out of order on different days. I haven’t even seen the show. I just do my job, man. You can tell me better than. But if you look at the way they filmed you from the side and your face is hinting, that it could be like, shut the hell up.

Nobody cares,

[00:40:51] Alan: man. Uh, Dave SIM who draws service long ago, I wish I could quote it exactly. But it was that kind of thing where a guy had some very specific [00:41:00] question about, is this anatomically correct? And he just kinda stared at the guy for a minute and said, man, what’s comics like the Shatner famous skit from SNL where it’s like, I don’t.

But then when, of course they find out that no, that they’ve had a 50 years worth of fandom and they’ve come around to loving those people. But there really are the ones that are going to be high. Got you with some ridiculous question and what you just said, man, that was 30 years ago. I don’t remember.

Breakfast today. How am I going to remember my exact with the cast

[00:41:32] Stephen: of my face? We’re a little spoiled though, because we’ve sat with long conversations with bill Keith who writes as Ian Douglas. And you know, now it’s nothing I’ve been to the man’s house. I’ve had food that was cooked on his stove sitting at his table.

So you get a different perspective. And he’s really big. And a lot of people like, oh my God, his new books out got to get it. Cause I remember calling at school, [00:42:00] they were talking scifi and they were talking to authors and he said, oh yeah, I know Ian Douglas. It’s bill Keith. I’ve been to his house and everybody’s and yeah.

So it, it, you get a little different perspective, but yeah. Go with the out, go to the alleyways. Sometimes the places, everybody else isn’t. That’s how we met Peter Mayhew. Shabaka we were walking around. It was basically an artist, Sally and I looked over and I’m like, that’s Peter Mayhew. I’m like, why is he not beyond the big curtain that I’m not going to wear my cameras?

And I walked over and said, do you mind if we get a picture? No, please come on. Nobody was talking to the man, probably because they didn’t have the first face on

[00:42:42] Alan: not recognizable without the Wookie. You know

[00:42:45] Stephen: what I mean? My kids still remember talking to him 20 minutes. His wife’s three foot tall or something, but it isn’t very funny.

And he was telling us stories and just talking, talking. And [00:43:00] the time, the couple of times I met Dean Haglin because there wasn’t as many people around, not as many people in line to talk to him, I got to talk to him longer and he remembered me and we had a good conversation. And he told me about this movie that this place up in Winnipeg treats it as like this big holiday take off work event.

And we had a conversation about it. Those are much more memorable. He actually mentioned me on his podcast. Come on, nobody has stood in line for Shatner. Did he even mention that night? So I think that’s such a better interaction. Again, the smaller one, Grinnell who you and Collin both got to talk to for a long time.

It’s just, I guess the I’m hoping the people that listened to us babble every week are the type that would enjoy talking to these people more in depth, not just, oh, I got a picture. Look, Shatner. Ooh.

[00:43:58] Alan: I would almost go back [00:44:00] through the podcast now and say folks, the reason that we were there, I wasn’t there to cozy up to celebrities.

It’s because I love their work. The fact that Krell has brought like memorable, indispensable things into this world, the long bow hunters, this perfect green arrow story. Like Ted Sikora, creating a whole Cleveland based world with a Palmer and tap dance killer and punchline and bloom now, and all that kind of cool stuff.

It’s really wonderful. I just have such regard for creativity. You know what it means? The world puts nowadays filling 500 channels, 24, 7. There’s so much pap out there. There’s so much for arena. And to have someone that really has a better vision or fantastic drawing skills, or just turns a phrase that forever else forever after you’re going to make you.

So I just have such admiration for that. And so my chance to meet them is more than anything else that chance to say, thank you. That I remember reading that story and just the world faded away. You [00:45:00] had me in this wonderful alternate world. When you go to score Taurus with warlord was my grill and he draws realistic, realistic looking dinosaurs.

And every prehistoric firm looks just right and stuff like. I love that. I love the fact that I will have that ability to transport me and get what I’m doing is who do I get to say, thank you for this. When you, when you hear it, the guy from Animaniacs did the continuation of the country’s song, because since that first came out, the world has transformed.

So with the fall of the Soviet union, there was a whole bunch of new stands. And to hear in that wonderful yak, I think it’s Jacobi that does it. And just it’s the coolest thing. In fact, I got a video of that. It’s one of the few videos that I took because he said he was going to do it. And it was like the grateful dead he used to do.

Okay. Bootleggers roll those tapes. It was just very cool to have these people be so vital and so much when you hear in the voice from Squidward or something [00:46:00] like that. I dunno, there’s a wonderful connection there to my youth. My mid age might now of how many contributed to the world. And

[00:46:09] Stephen: it’s just very cool to know.

I think that’s kind of the whole ramble. What it boils down to is that there’s more than just the biggest names. There’s more than the headliners. And there’s a lot of people that have made everything we love that don’t always get the recognition they deserve. And there’s some really great people, really great art and stories and things.

They’ll talk about that. Get missed. I think some people miss that, I think that’s more of the point of spending your time in line, cause you wanted to see Rooker and Shatner. Great. But really what you got out of the interaction was really not much more than you could get out of watching a YouTube interview.

And there’s better memories for me. That’s what it boils down to. That’s the point is better memories, better interaction. You can use that. Oh my God. I love that language. I got the [00:47:00] pick on Dean Haglund as Langley come on. I would never get that opportunity with Brooker or Shatner, but I got the references and stuff.

I got to make a joke and pick on haggling, any laughed about it. So that’s what I love. That’s the great part. Yeah.

[00:47:17] Alan: I’ll tell you, I save my best for last oh, besides meetings, a cool celebrities. I really like Mark Shepherd, really gentle antsy. I went to a panel that was, it was comical people and it was Howard Mackie and Brian as a relo and Michael Gilbert and Peter Tomasi and became the four of them.

They’ve done thousands of pages that I’ve loved. They did fantastic. A hundred bullets and green lantern and Mr. Mustard and ghost writer and spider at 10 years of Spider-Man as artists, as writers, as editors. They’re the guys that like you go to the Marvel retreat and they’re the ones that come up with the cool ideas.

And they’re the ones that they don’t have. Sometimes they talk about, Hey, we did a, [00:48:00] they got to start doing like a fill in, but an eight page story and one of the spotlight titles, but may show off that they can do it. And then if you have that a 10 year run, how long did a hundred bullets last like a hundred issues?

And it wasn’t just, it seemed like that he had a platform, all of that, all along that he knew the conclusion it was going to come to and he knew what characters are going to reintroduce and what their story arcs were going to be. And that’s like a Magnum Opus, a hundred issues of something is really like beyond any novel.

I’ve read that’s if it comes out monthly that’s, let’s see divided by 12, eight years worth of consistently doing great dialogue, great plot pacing, great character management and just a fantastic work. And like I said, if you start to do. What to villains, did they introduce, what changes did they make? I really liked Peter Tommasini’s artwork.

And then when you find out that he was, and then he became a writer and actually had been an editor before all that [00:49:00] unusual, a different trajectory than usual. Often you kind of like work as a journeyman and then you become an editor because now they think what makes good things for that. And so you’re going to help all the up and comers, if you will.

And there’s some people that actually had done the hitters thing and they said, I’m tired of managing. It’d be else’s stuff. I just want to create. I just want to draw. And so that the discussion and the quality of the questions asked of them and how each of them gave each other space and time to talk about.

I worked for the big studios. I worked as an independent I’ve been in and out of that. What was it like? Brian has a role of did a great sequence in wonder woman that like the next writer pretty much. Dream sequence never happened. You want to, honestly, and it really, what, how galling is

[00:49:42] Stephen: that? Oh, that sounds like the last three star wars movies.

Clone

[00:49:47] Alan: wars really is the rebellion really continuity. How is who’s in charge of making all that hang together? Is it, I don’t know, as a fan who has read all those things for 55 of my [00:50:00] years, I love the long game. I love where you can really see that people got the characters that they did their own innovations and transformations and that kind of stuff.

And that the level of quality was high. A number of people commented about if you were working seventies, eighties, and you got into the nineties. And all of a sudden, every comic book was 20, 24 pages, but it was splash pages and it was all about the artists. And like you had. Alan Moore, Brian, Michael Bendis.

It had to be like a star to break out as a writer because all the McFarland’s in lifestyles and everybody else were were like ascendant. And I thought when they were trying to do their own writer, artists thing, that their books sucked, I never read a McFarland books. It was like, oh, that’s some of the best Spider-Man stories ever told exactly.

And all the character creation wasn’t in service to the story. It was more if I create this character and I have the rice that I can make action figures and Ching, [00:51:00] and it seemed really transparent to me that they weren’t, we were working in the field to do that. Character becomes an action figure, becomes a lunchbox, maybe gets option for a movie.

There was, they had discovered they money. Multiple of them from image are millionaires because they retain the rights to their characters and good for them. Cause there’s all kinds of great writers and artists that were. In obscurity at work for higher wages. And like they might be able to sell the original, large, and otherwise they get no benefit from the fact that they did some of the best fantastic four-story.

So some of the best justice league stories ever, et cetera, et cetera. Well, so anyway, I, like I said, that was a heavyweight panel. There was more talent sitting at that table and the whole rest of the

[00:51:44] Stephen: con. Really cool. I love those. Uh, I, I, again, the best thing is there really is something for everybody, even the things that we may disparage and say, eh, that’s not the best there’s people that are like all my God, an expo.

I can go do blah. And it’s [00:52:00] exactly what they want, but that’s, that is overall the best thing is it fits so many people fits. Everybody does something for you. If you’re into that in some way, and you didn’t even have the outside stage with cause players and with the single. And I’m walking through and I’m like, wow, that’s, you’re awful, brave getting on stage.

Let me tell you, especially in our world, I’ll for all the, the things that drive me crazy about today’s life there, the kids are basically having it beat into them, to be much more accepting of other people, their interests, their styles, than what we grew up with. You’re a nerd read comic books. I have.

We’re going to make fun of you and beat on you and chase you and take your lunch money. Crap. And now it’s oh, you like to dress up as a furry Fox. Cool. Oh, you’re a guy and you want to dress up as that girl superhero. Cool. Oh, you look like a 400 pound wonder woman. That’s great. Oh, you’re really a guy even better.

[00:53:00] So that they’re much more accepting of all of that, which I think is great, but we’re just, we hit the wrong time period.

[00:53:06] Alan: It’s funny. The only criticisms I had about that kind of thing. Wasn’t Hey, that’s. I dunno, sex color height. You didn’t even put any work into your costume

[00:53:16] Stephen: on the way here. Come on.

[00:53:18] Alan: Those are the right fish nets for black Canary

[00:53:22] Stephen: textured stockings.

She was

[00:53:25] Alan: so that was,

[00:53:26] Stephen: yeah. Yeah, you’re right. And I think that’s great. I’m not a big cause player grabbed something, but there are some people, man. They put time into those things and they look good. It’s Hey, I’m really never going to get a picture next to Paul Rudd looking like the Hawk because it CG, but you look like the Hawk let’s get a picture.

I had my Chewbacca shirt and walking in, I had Mondo and a Wookie. And did you see that Willkie walking around? He was like close to seven [00:54:00] foot tall. Oh my gosh. And he’s my, he pointed to my shirt for the. It wasn’t Shabaka because it didn’t have the bandolier it had a little steam punk looking goggles, so I’m not sure who he was.

He looked good though. So I,

[00:54:17] Alan: I went to on Saturday night that the climax of the show for me was the big cosplay championship cup. And instead of being everybody, they had already had like auditions pre-screening by the various different judges. And so the quality was very high. They had a guy that looked like, hell boy, like Ron Perlman stepped out of his costume and this guy wore it.

They have moon night where he starts off in the fist of Concho, full Cape outfit, and then does the breakaway and he’s the businessman suit with the tight white mask. That was very impressive. That’s cool. And a good Elsa from frozen, all kinds of things that look very authentic. And most of the three judges that are well known in the cosplay world.

And [00:55:00] so they, they did the judging to give who was going to be a judges award. And then the final. And the only thing that I thought was sometimes the judges are so admiring of the craft of things that they don’t get, that the impression that it makes is spectacular and they need some love. There was a woman there in a Phoenix costume, like art led is not Phoenix like Jean Gray, though.

It could be, but just wingspan 10 feet wide, red, yellow, orange feathers, um, articulating wings. So they went out and she just looked fantastic up on stage. Got no love from the judges, whereas a video game character that was like really boring, gray, green, little helmet, nothing to it, except apparently it was sewn perfectly.

Then the people that are really into your, a good seamstress or seems stir if that’s the guy to her. That they were much more admiring of the craft that went into it, but not really have the impression that it made, no matter how much [00:56:00] you make a doctor who shall look perfect. It’s still just a doctor who shawl in some ways.

And so if you have a full doctor who outfit on that matters more than the perfect

[00:56:09] Stephen: shop

[00:56:10] Alan: anyway, anyway, not a little, but just that to see the level of care they oftentimes had. Well, they have the push come across the stage and they have a woman doing the voiceover as to how they had described some people that worked on this costume for three years.

There’s hundreds of individual. Little rhinestones on it, or a little application. If someone looked at a big moving shambling mound, like not quite swamping. Cause I wish I knew exactly what the character was, but wow. There’s so many things on there and it’s like, it’s the overall impression is of fecundity and growth, the power of nature and stuff like that.

But man, did that take a lot. It must be heavy to wear it got so much stuff on. It must be that you got like a

[00:56:58] Stephen: hundred pounds that you’re dragging. I went [00:57:00] to something a couple years ago. It was an outdoor festival. I don’t even remember where it was, what it was for, but I remember there’s one guy that had a Warhammer 40 K outfit.

Now it wasn’t just something he wore. He had to get on a ladder to step into the leg part of it. And people had to cause he had four underneath him. Then they had to get the lower, the shield part or the. The chest part over top of him stuck his arms through, and then he must have grabbed something they slid arms on.

So when he was done, he was 10 foot tall with every plead in proportion. And then he walked around like that and I’m like, wow, that’s, I’m not even a Warhammer guy. That looks cool as hell.

[00:57:45] Alan: Exactly. They had a couple of days where they had to actually get help on and off the stage because one lady was walking on stilts and apparently either on steps or on a ramp, neither one of those is easy.

So they had to give her a hand, make sure that [00:58:00] I don’t know, very funny and wide variety of fandoms represented. So it’s another one of those things like, wow, it’s not just competing in the comic book world. It really is the video game world and the Harry Potter world and the animation world. Really cool for those who are going to put the time into it.

I hope that they’re not only up on stage there, but everywhere. They went on the show for people say, Hey, can I get a picture? Because they were absolutely top of the.

[00:58:25] Stephen: And it is a little bit of everything for everybody. And if you’re looking for collectibles, you’re looking to get a few books and comics and it’s there.

It’s, you’ll probably find it not as big as New York or San Diego obviously, but yeah, pretty good.

[00:58:42] Alan: Exactly. So that’s like our, one of our few one topic episodes ever, but there were so much cool stuff to be seen at this con. So like I said, definitely was the last thing I did before COVID erupted around the nation.

And I was really worried. I had actually already been wearing a [00:59:00] mask and being careful about not being too close to other people and stuff like that. And it wasn’t like, and 95 mask, I think I have a bandana. But already there were all the reports and I was thinking it was a super spreader event. They didn’t even call it then.

But if you’re looking for where this thing could be transmitted, there’s people coming from all over the United States, or at least all over a 10 state region, and they’re going to be in close quarters and they’re going to be laughing and eating together. And it just was, I was very happy. I did not come home with anything because when you’re sitting at a table eating lunch with everybody else and someone costs, it’s like bastard, you shouldn’t be here for it.

All sick. You should not have come to this con what did you do this for? Luckily, nothing happened because of that. But soon thereafter, everything shut down.

[00:59:44] Stephen: Yeah. And it’s nice to have them back. I’m sure there’ll be more coming up. There’s other festivals and fairs and stuff that I always like to go to moth man and things.

[00:59:55] Alan: In fact, I was heartened, maybe even as a closer there’s Victor, a guy that [01:00:00] does there’s two main moderators or interviewees and MCs on the stage and stuff like that. And I’ve gotten to know them and he asked why wasn’t I presenting? And I said, I got things going on in California. And I couldn’t coordinate exact time-wise and he goes, we’re starting up again, send me an email.

You know what I mean? So we will be able, I think we have enough of a, in that we’ll be able to do our podcast next time. We’ll be able to do talks next time, that kind of stuff. So it’s just, they’re hungry for programs. You know what I mean? As much as they have a full schedule, lots of different tracks and stuff like that.

Thing of people actually talking about the history of comics and Hey, 60 year old, Al that really w the way that he first got me involved was I was at a panel and someone asks a question and I gave an answer from the. I think I talked to this one and he said, why don’t you come up here and sit with us?

And that was, but it really was. I knew a ton about what they were talking about and I was articulate and playful and all those other kinds of things. And after that, they all say, if you want to join the team [01:01:00] here, we’d be happy to have you. Thank you so much. I have no shame as a bunch of years ago, but

[01:01:06] Stephen: yeah.

Yeah, definitely. That sounds good. I’ve got to, I’ve mentioned it. How many times I’ve actually started looking a little more, but we got to get some, t-shirts going, man. Our line of t-shirts with some of the ideas we’ve tossed back and forth and thought

[01:01:21] Alan: exactly that we have to funny. If we go through our episodes and see, do we have any bond, MOTS, any bows that we’ve said that are memorable, we can have a whole bunch of, I have a dozen different relentless geekery things with little sayings or geek wear or whatever we want to do.

And I don’t know, I don’t want to be chained to a. But we could do something that at the podcast, we also say, Hey, I think you’re not allowed to really do that is to sell it. That we’d have to think of what we want to do. I don’t know that I, I would want to do it to build the brand and get word out that we exist.

And maybe we’ll be the people that leave the little cards on the [01:02:00] tables where people eat saying, Hey, tune into relentless, be free and get, I dunno, get our numbers up. Get people listening to us and contributing. Hey, have you talked about this yet? It would. It would be fun to, I don’t know who doesn’t want to have more people enjoying what we’re doing.

You know what I mean? So cool, man. All right. As always take care, have a great week.

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