I arrived at the convention center on Saturday close to noon and walked around the Exhibition Hall, where I found out vendors were selling beer! Beer at a comic con? How is this possible? This is allowed? I love Wizard World Tulsa!!! I spotted the most adorable mother-daughter cosplay team walking past me, I love – LOVE that the mom was Peggy Carter and her daughter vintage Captain America, because, really, any mom will tell you their baby is the absolute love of their life.
(All photos are my own. Please let me know if you'd like to be credited as one of the below cosplayers. Thanks)
My first panel experience of the day was “Women in Genre Fiction: Gender Stereotypes and Breaking Past Labels” which featured a panel of female writers. This panel was fricking amazing and even touched on the intersectionality of social issues that get crossed with feminism, for example, author Meg Perdue brought up the fact that the Ian Fleming Bond novels do not specify the race or heritage of James Bond at any time, he does not have to be intrinsically white in every iteration. The panelists discussed examples such as Sense8, Inside Amy Schumer, Orphan Black, Orange is the New Black, and Mad Max: Fury Road as stereotype-breaking new works of entertainment. I also loved panelist Madalyn Singer’s, who is a transgender genre author, comments about writing in general, how writers have to appropriate; “We need to be observant.” The saying “write what you know” doesn’t lead to better gender and ethnic representation in books and shows.
Next, I went to the giant assembly hall to see the “Out of the Shire with Sean Astin” Q&A panel. Taking questions from the audiences I learned about Sean early acting days with his famous mother Patty Duke, and also got to hear how key scenes from the film Rudy were accomplished. It’s so great to hear when a celebrity is just as geeky and enthusiastic as the fans. Sean also mentioned getting offered his personal dream role of Twoflower from the Discworld series and how his favorite scene to shoot from The Goonies was when he got to kiss the female lead. Sean was also presented with a commendation from the state of Oklahoma for depicting acts of friendship, bravery and courage, which I thought was incredibly thoughtful and cool.
I also went to the “Voices In Your Head: Justice League Edition With Kevin Conroy and Phil LaMarr” Q&A panel. Now, the Batman the Animated Series was my Star Wars growing up. That stuff was my jam, and remains so to this day. Kevin Conroy is my Batman, Mark Hamill is my Joker, Bruce Timm is my God and those versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkgirl, my heroes, then, now and until the day I die. So yeah…..I was pretty excited!
Phil represented both fandoms with a Green Lantern t-shirt underneath a Planet Express work shirt and answered questions about Samurai Jack, Justice League, In Living Color and Static Shock. Dude has superb comedic timing and when prompted to recite Green Lantern’s oath did a version as Hermes from Futurama, “In brightest day, in blackest night, no villain shall escape my sight…until you file the correct the forms and paperwork”.
Kevin did not disappoint either, he re-told his beautifully humble 9/11 story which you can find on the Gotham Knight DVD Commentary and also gave some solid advice to an audience member that asked about how he struggle with alcoholism which runs in his family and how he overcame it. Kevin said, “we are all human, there are no superheroes, which is why they appeal to us so much” you’ve got to stop blaming other factors for your behavior and change for yourself and no one else. I was also very happy to hear Kevin drop a couple of f-bombs here and there, to add emphasis to his story, not to insult anyone, because it’s one of my own personal flaws, I tend to curse a lot, especially when I get excited telling a story. So hey, Batman and I have something in common!
After the panels, I grabbed myself a cheeseburger from the concessions stand and a beer and settled in for the Wizard World Costume Contest. Like, no lie, I’m sitting in the second row sipping from a tall-boy. My favorite were the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus but the female Droogs from A Clockwork Orange were so bad-ass. One lady had a (fake) chain belt that she was whipping around, I was like “DANG!” There were multiple Harley Quinns as per usual but the little girl sitting next to me during the show screamed out “AHH! I love Harley! Dump the Joker! He’s no good for you.” Kids, they get it, man. They really do.
Unfortunately I did not stay to the end, not because I didn’t want to, but because as it turns out, the carrying capacity of my bladder is just slightly less than a tallboy can of beer.