Posts tagged: Gallifrey One

Gallifrey One 2013 – Part 1 of 4

I’m back from my whirlwind trip to Los Angeles and Gallifrey One, and what an adventure it was…

THURSDAY

Traveling with my partner-in-crime Hal we arrived in L.A. the morning of the Thursday before the convention and took a shuttle to the Airport Mariott, where the convention would be held that weekend. That wasn’t where we were *staying* that night, mind you, but it was the closest location to the car rental location we wanted to reach. While Hal babysat our luggage in front of the Mariott, I walked over to fetch us a car for the next two days. Once I had the rental car I zipped over to pick up Hal who was happily soaking up the California weather (February in L.A. is much nicer than February in Minneapolis), and took us both down the road to the Travelodge, which was significantly cheaper than the Mariott when the convention rate isn’t being offered! Our room wasn’t available yet at that early hour, so we left our luggage in the car and grabbed a surprisingly good brunch at the Denny’s that adjoins the hotel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdenny-s-century-blvd


By the time we’d finished eating our room was ready, and once Hal and I were checked in we drove across town to Burbank to the studios of The Tonight Show, where we’d arranged to see the taping before meeting up with my friend Wally Wingert, who serves as the show’s announcer in addition to his other work as a voice actor. Having attended a taping of the Craig Ferguson show the year before, the contrast was striking. The Ferguson taping had a more severe approach to security, and a much more aggressive comedian doing warm-up in their frigid studio, practically brow-beating the audience into being responsive to the show and juicing everyone up with candy. At the Tonight Show taping we were simply asked to keep any cell phones off and in our pockets, and the warm up was entertaining with a minimum of coaching. Jay came out to do part of the warm up himself, and I found his spontaneous interaction with the audience to be more engaging than any of the scripted material in the show. You get a strong sense of how those skills got him to where he is. The show itself was filled with performers I wasn’t familiar with, although an animal segment included an ostrich that was pretty entertaining. I’m still a bigger fan of the Ferguson show when watching from home, but if given a chance to see a live taping again, I’d choose The Tonight Show in a heartbeat.

tonight_showGally1 - Following Wally

After the taping Wally emerged and found Hal and me in the audience. He led Hal and me across the tonight show stage and took us back to see the edit bay where his sound booth is located. It was rather surreal to walk through the very impressive facade of the Tonight Show stage and suddenly be in office space. We’d planned to grab dinner with Wally but first he had to make a pit-stop at home to feed his animals, so Hal and I walked to our rental and Wally was going to drive around and meet us. Rather than stop so we could confer on where we were going, Wally did something of a drive-by, leaving us to follow him through across the highways and byways of deepest, darkest Burbank following his vanity-plate branded convertible, Wally’s hair blowing in the wind, hoping desperately we wouldn’t miss a turn and lose him on the way there.

429579_328083860562549_711643080_nGally1 - Wally Scarecrow & Me


We managed to stay with him and soon were at Wally’s apartment (aka WallyWorld) and were treated to a tour of the latest additions to the museum of memorabilia that is Wally’s home. After being photographed with Wally in front of his Adam West Batman shrine last year, this year we opted for Wally’s Scarecrow of Romney Marsh costume as the backdrop for our annual photo-op. While there we got to meet Wally’s dog Roxy, who is a sibling of the current Lassie! We learned that even though there aren’t any currently planned Lassie productions for TV or film, in addition to the need of a Lassie for the occasional live appearance, the family that owns the Lassie franchise always keeps a fully-trained adult Lassie “on deck” so that one is available in case a project comes up, as it can take years to train new one. So yes, even Wally’s dog is part of a pop-culture collection!

Afterwards we met up at Jerry’s Famous Deli for dinner with Wally and some other of Wally’s friends including Brittney Powell, star of the long-running High Sierra Rescue television series with Robert Conrad. She was also on Safety Geeks: SVI and something called Xena: Warrior Princess. She was actually a lot of fun and planned to stop by the Gallifrey One convention on Saturday.

425px-Brittney_Powell_from_Safety_Geeks_SVI_cropHigh Sierra Search and Rescue


We’d had hopes of dropping by the Marriott to pick up our Gallifrey One badges and investigate when we could begin art-show set up the next day (the web site only said “morning”), but by the time we got back to the LAX area from Burbank it was after 10:00pm, so we just went to our room and crashed.

FRIDAY

Friday morning was going to be busy. I’d tried to arrange a time to get together with my Young Justice collaborator Greg Weisman while in Los Angeles, and the only time that seemed to be available was lunch on Friday. That means lunch had to happen in a narrow window of time between Art Show set up at Gallifrey One Friday morning, a 45-minute drive to Greg’s office where we were going to meet before walking to a nearby spot for lunch, and then leaving in time for the drive back to the Gallifrey One hotel and dealing with parking before a panel at 2:30pm that I was on!

Gally1 2013 - Art Show

 

Unfortunately we weren’t able to start setting up in the Art show until about 10:00am, and the process of fitting pegs to pegboard in a carefully-spaced pattern, fitting binder clips to all my prints, hanging them, and then entering all the prints into the computer system so we could print out the control sheets and post them took us until noon. Sadly, I had to call Greg to let him know that our plans had gone awry and we wouldn’t have time to get across town to meet him for lunch.

OH NO! LUNCH PLANS WITH GREG WEISMAN DASHED!
Could we re-schedule?

Would I miss this rare opportunity to see Greg in person?

SPOILER REQUEST! NO COMMENT!

Now with a little extra time to spare, Hal and I began exploring Gallifrey One 2013, and tried to meet up with our friends Mike and Alicia who we were sharing a room with at the convention. Soon it was time for the first of my two panels at Gallifrey One: Design and Illustration, which featured Paul Hanley, Blair Shedd, Maureen Starkey, myself, Richard Starkings and Charlie Kirchoff. None of us knew exactly what the panel was supposed to be about beyond the title, but given the backgrounds of who was on the panel, we tended to focus on the process behind creating comic book art – which certainly meant that I was right at home!

Gally1 2013 - Design and Illustration

By the time the panel got out we were finally able to get into our room at the Mariott, so I fetched the luggage from the car and we moved in. After that there was just a little more time for wandering and exploring the convention before it was time for Opening Ceremonies. The lineup of guests was especially impressive at Gallifrey One this year year, and usually despite the best of intentions to the contrary, the weekend flies by without my having made it to panels or through autograph lines to see more than a fraction of them, so I didn’t want to miss seeing them all file out onto the stage at Opening Ceremonies. There were plenty of guests I’d have loved to meet, but at the top of my list was Sylvester McCoy. Not only was I a big fan of The Seventh Doctor, but I hoped to give Sylvester a framed copy of the new print featuring his Doctor and Ace battling Daleks that I had completed just in time for the convention.

Come on Ace - Framed Print prev

After Opening Ceremonies, everyone in our group was ravenous. Having missed out on lunch with Greg, I hadn’t eaten all through a busy day. Since in anticipation of that lunch I’d held onto the rental car for a second day and didn’t need to return it until Saturday morning, so I offered to drive our party somewhere for dinner, as it would be our last chance for the weekend to go somewhere that wasn’t in the hotel or within walking distance. Alicia found a listing for a Mexican restaurant about 15 minutes away by car, so we headed there and stuffed ourselves with fine south-of-the-border style cuisine. Margaritas were had by all – except for me, as I was driving! I dropped the rest of the crew off at the hotel, then swung by a gas station, topped off the tank in the rental car, and returned it to the rental place since I wouldn’t have need of it again before it was due back the next morning. I then hoofed it back to the Mariott.

By the time I got back, I had the energy for a quick tour around the lobby, but for all the people there chatting (fans at Gallifrey One call it “LobbyCon”), I wasn’t seeing any familiar faces to engage in conversation with and didn’t have enough energy left to try to insert myself into a conversation with strangers so I decided to call it a night and be better rested for the next day.

NEXT: SATURDAY

You can find all the installments of my Gallifrey One 2013 trip by clicking the link.

My Gallifrey One Schedule

gally one 2013

I’ll be attending the Gallifrey One convention February 15-17 at the Los Angeles Airport Mariott Hotel. I’ll be spending most of the weekend attending as a fan and catching up with some Los Angeles area friends, but I will be on two panels:

Design and Illustration
Friday 2:30pm – With Paul Hanley, Blair Shedd, Marueen Starkey, and Charlie Kirchoff.

Superheroes as Pop Culture
Saturday 1:00pm – With J. Fialkov, S. Gates, Len Wein, and Marv Wolfman.

I’ll also have many of my Doctor Who art prints in the Art Show, including these new ones:

Edit: All of these prints are now available for purchase in my Etsy Store.

Totter's Lane - Framed Print prev

TARDIS on Alien World - Framed Print prev

I Am The Master - Framed prev

Come on Ace - Framed Print prev


Plus these past favorites:

Sonic Envy

Intellect and Romance

Most Heinous

Dr Who - Hartnell prev

Troughton - Cropped prev


One part of the Gallifrey One convention culture I experienced last year was the badge ribbons! Folks share and trade these ribbons, hanging them from their badges in multi-colored chains that can look like Tom Baker’s scarf at a quick glance! So this year I’m coming armed with my own!

2013-02-08_16-36-13_941

If you’re already pre-registered for Gallifrey One 2013, I hope I’ll see you there! If not, sadly they are sold out! I hope you can join us in 2014! You can watch for social media traffic from the convention by watching the facebook page or follow the #gally1 hashtag on twitter!

P.S. If you have Young Justice stuff you need signed and you’re going to Gally, feel free to ask!

Back from Gallifrey

Chris & Dalek & Hal

At Gallifrey One 2012


Last month I had the pleasure of returning to the great Los Angeles Doctor Who convention Gallifrey One. I started to draft an extensive write up on the trip, but upon my return found myself so busy I haven’t been able to finish the blog entry – until now!

I traveled to the convention with the ever-lovely and photogenic Hal (she who is awesome and built this blog), who was making her first visit to Los Angeles. After checking into the convention hotel we made our way to Hollywood Boulevard to meet my friend Josh Elder for dinner. We arrived a little before Josh, so Hal and I spent some time exploring the Hollywood Boulevard tourist attractions, primarily Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

Hal at Graumans

Hal at Grauman's Chinese Theater

The forecourt in front of Grauman’s is of course home to its famous collection of celebrity signatures, handprints and footprints in the pavement. Hal is generally not big on seeing famous landmarks or other touristy stuff, but she was still pretty delighted to find the signature and handprints of William “The Thin Man” Powell and the ENTIRE CAST OF STAR TREK! The cast members all left hand prints in addition to their signatures. It should be noted that James Doohan used his right hand with the missing finger (good for him), and Leonard Nimoy placed his hand in the position of the Vulcan salute.

Star Trek Cast in Cement

Next to Grauman’s is the Hollywood location of Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum. We didn’t buy tickets to go in, but coincidentally I noticed Morgan Freeman standing near the entrance. I went over to say hello and compliment his work on the Electric Company, but apparently he wasn’t interested in discussing that era of his career and wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. Maybe if I’d asked him to narrate a documentary of some kind…

Morgan and Me

Morgan and Me

After dinner with Josh, Hal and I headed back to our hotel where we eventually met up with Mike and Alicia with whom we were sharing a room for the weekend. The next morning the convention began, and the first tasks at hand were to pick up our badges and get my art entered into the Gallifrey One Art show.

Chris at the Gallifrey One Art Show

I feel obligated to mention that the various Doctor Who-related prints I had in the art show are available in my Etsy Store. If you don’t want to pay the shipping fees, look for me at my next convention appearance.

The rest of the weekend was largely a blur of panels, celebrity spotting and enjoying amazing cosplay (see below). I had a chance to reconnect with a few folks I don’t often see, and got to meet some great new people. One highlight was getting to witness what was unquestionably the highlight of Hal’s weekend: Meeting John DeLancie. John was at the convention because of his role in Torchwood: Miracle Day, but ever the Trekkie, Hal was excited to meet him because he was Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Note the difference between Hal’s usual, easy smile for the camera and the extra-wide grin that threatens to rip her face in twain in the picture below.

Hal with John DeLancie

Hal with John DeLancie

We met a Cyberman, but he seemed to take to Hal more than he did to me.

Hal & Cyberman

Hal & Cyberman

Chris & Cyberman

Chris & Cyberman


I got to meet K-9, which was a treat. This replica looked *perfect* and was zipping about on remote control, as there were no 1970s-era BBC-TV cameras to interfere with it or vice-versa. I also got to see the beautifully restored TARDIS console prop on display at Gallifrey One. This prop was the centerpiece of the TARDIS set that was arguably the best thing about the 1996 Doctor Who TV-movie. You can read more about the loving restoration of this prop here.

Chris & K-9

Chris & K-9

Chris and TARDIS Console

Chris and TARDIS Console


This photo doesn’t fully convey how fabulous this lady was. The wheelchair was totally tricked out with Tron detailing.
Wheelchair Tron

Wheelchair Tron


Idris made a cosplay appearance at the convention, as well as several suitors.
Idris and Suitors

Idris and Suitors


The Tiki Dalek made an appearance at the con, along with Tiki Davros. Yes, those are coconut halves serving as Dalek bumps.

Tiki Dalek

Tiki Dalek

Tiki Davros

Tiki Davros


Oh, so this happened.
Hal vs Dalek

Hal vs Dalek


Then this happened.
Dalek vs Angel w Hal

Dalek vs Angel w Hal


While Hal was pleased to use the recently-announce Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comic coming from IDW as an excuse to wear some of her standard Star Trek costumes at the convention, she did don her Novice Haim outfit, complete with fur-covered mask by Bill Hedrick.
Hal as Novice Hame

Hal as Novice Hame


Hal and I both huge fans of NBC’s Community, and are particularly enamored of their recurring references to Inspector Spacetime, a Doctor Who pastiche. So we were delighted to meet Inspector Spacetime himself, Travis Richey, at the the convention!
Hal & Chris meet Inspector Spacetime

Hal & Chris meet Inspector Spacetime


The convention was a lot of fun, and I hope to be there again for Gallifrey One in 2013!
So long Gallifrey One 2012

So long Gallifrey One 2012


The Monday after the convention Hal and I rented a car and changed hotels, as we were parting company with Mike and Alicia for the remainder of the trip, and the Mariott’s convention rate was over. I found a fun, inexpensive little hotel called the Tangerine Hotelin Burbank, centrally located for the remainder of out plans in Los Angeles.
Tangerine Hotel

Tangerine Hotel


That afternoon we attended a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. We primarily learned three things:

1) The Late Late Show studio is even smaller than you’d think from watching the show on TV. Imagine how big you think it might be. It’s half that size.

2) All the pre-show coaching and the warm-up comedian made the experience feel like a job interview to Hal.

3) When you hear that a studio is kept cold, make sure Hal brings a winter coat. Seriously.

That said, it was fun seeing Craig Ferguson in person, especially when I’d just done a print riffing on Craig’s Doctor Who fandom. No, I didn’t get to give Craig a copy. You can’t bring ANYTHING like that into the studio and there’s a policy against trying to do that sort of thing.

Tuesday was a very full day. We started out by visiting the DC Entertainment offices in Burbank, and I got to finally meet Jim Chadwick, who has been my editor on Young Justice since I started work on the title a year ago. That’s part of the fun of the comics industry – you do so much long-distance collaboration and often never meet the folks you communicate with by email and phone.

Saray Gaydos, Jim Chadwick, Batman and Me

Sarah Gaydos, Jim Chadwick, Batman and Me


The DC Entertainment offices are very cool. Like the DC Comics offices in New York they have a ton of fun memorabilia on display, but the DC Entertainment building is a little newer and has a slightly snazzier feel. Jim and his assistant Sarah Gaydos were good enough to give me a tour, and I got to see everything from the library to the bullpen where all kinds of digital production work is done in-house using tablets and other hardware that would make any computer graphics person drool.

After leaving DC, Hal and I met Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps for lunch at Warner Brothers Animation. Greg is a producer and the head writer for the Young Justice animated series and Kevin is a writer for the show, and together they write the Young Justice tie-in comic that I draw. I’ve met Greg before on a few occasions but I hadn’t met Kevin before. I got to see the offices where the Young Justice staff work, and Greg and Kevin and I got to talk about plans for the comic as well as the peculiarities of the comics and animation businesses. All in all it was a grand time.

Me with Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps

Me with Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps


I wanted to share an observation I’d made when I’d visited DC and Marvel Comics in New York and it was true at DC Entertainment and Warner Brother Animation as well. There is a cubicle farm quality to some of the office space at all of these places, similar to what you might see in offices at any large company. But think of all the clipped out newspaper cartoons, calendars, and personal effects reflecting every possible personal interest those corporate workers might have that is considered permissible to have in their workspace. Now replace all of that with comics stuff. Cover art. Cartoons. Action figures and toys. Just massive amounts of the stuff, piled on every horizontal surface and pinned to every cubicle wall. With high-end prop replicas and movie memorabilia in glass display cases and lighted alcoves. And the people working there are all creative, talented people doing something for a living that’s somebody’s dream job.

THAT’S what it’s like visiting these places. It’s fantastic.

Wally, Adam and I

Wally, Adam and I

With Rob and Bob. Bob's looking at me.

With Rob and Bob. Bob's looking at me.


Tuesday night we met up with voice actor Wally Wingert and director/producer Robert Meyer Burnett for dinner at a restaurant of Wally’s choosing. That ended up being the Bob’s Big Boy within walking distance of our hotel. Hal and I arrived first, and were just starting to chat with Rob after his arrival when Wally called and said his was three minutes away and we HAD to meet him out in front of the restaurant. It was obvious he had something to show us. We dutifully assembled at the front entrance of the restaurant in time to see Wally pull up in his newly acquired Torino that was a perfect replica of the Starsky and Hutch car. Dinner was lovely, and afterward Hal and I paid a visit to Wally’s apartment which is packed to the gills with Wally’s amazing collection of Batman, Star Trek, Any Kaufman and other pop culture memorabilia. I never got to visit Forrest J Ackerman’s Ackermansion, but getting to visit Wally World took a little bit of the sting out of it.

After that it was back to the hotel for some sleep, since we had a redonkulously early flight back to Minneapolis the next day.

It was a grand adventure, and I can’t wait to visit LA again next year!