The Sci Fi Expo

Posted by admin - 10/10/11 at 06:10 am

I am none of these people, just for future reference.

I spent Saturday taking in a new experience for me, I went with friends to the Dallas Sci Fi Expo.

I should probably explain myself first and admit I’m not a Sci Fi fan. At all. I liked the first three Star Wars movies because I was a kid, I hated the last three because I was an adult.

I’m an admitted comic geek, of course, but that doesn’t make me a Sci Fi fan. I don’t care who played a stunt-Stormtrooper in Star Wars, or how Scotty made the gravity work on the Enterprise. I just want to see Captain America throw his mighty shield and kick evil’s ass. George Lucas took three decades to make six Star Wars movies, and three of them sucked. Spider-Man had three comic books a month, and I read every one of them. There’s a big difference there. My geekery is quite specific.

This, my friends, is commitment to the bit.

Sci Fi fans are geeks at a higher level. Costumes were everywhere, and I’m not talking about just a couple of guys wearing Halloween costumes. These were well thought out, heavily financed uniforms. And I’m not going to make fun of them. Quite the contrary, I salute these people. It takes a Hell of a committment to spend two month’s salary to make your own Boba Fett suit, and wear it all day. I have no idea how an interstellar bounty hunter goes to the bathroom, but I’d have to assume it’s fairly involved.

Slutty Supergirl? Not a Halloween costume I'd approve in my household.

I will say two things about the people who came in costume, though. Knowing that the Empire in Star Wars is a military organization, I’d suggest to some of the prospective Stormtroopers that perhaps they should do a couple of situps so they don’t fill out the middle of the costume so much. Just because the middle of the tie fighter is round doesn’t mean the pilot needs to be.

My other observation? Dads will let their daughters dress like strippers, as long as they’re Kryptonian strippers. I would not let my daughter leave the Fortress of Solitude dressed like that.

Oh MY.

There were some pretty good guests there, I suppose. Star Trek’s George Takei was the guest of honor, and was very nice. What an odd turn his career has taken. More than forty years after the show ended, he’s more famous than anyone else on the show except for Shatner. Coming out has turned him from a punchline into a star.

Actress Julie Benz was there. I knew her from her great role as Rita on Dexter, and from the brief lesbian stripper plotline on Desperate Housewives.

This is as close as you can get to Julie Benz without either paying, or getting tasered.

(No seriously, there was one of those. If you blinked, you might have missed it.)

Apparently Benz was also on Buffy, and that short-lived No Ordinary Family show. That’s good enough to get her into the Sci Fi show I suppose.

I can confirm from seeing her that she is, indeed, as fine as frog hair. Whew. She was legit gorgeous. She’s also proud enough of her autograph to charge $30 for it, which is why I have no idea what it looks like.

Billy Dee Williams was also there, but I didn’t feel like waiting in line for an hour just to get him to autograph a bottle of Colt 45.

I was there for the purposes of comic book geekery though, so I spent most of my time walking the floor and meeting writers and artists.

Me with Earl Campbell at the Super Bowl, where I didn't sound like an idiot.

I’ve worked in radio and television for more than twenty years. I’ve interviewed comedians, Super Bowl champions, Hall of Famers, and some other really famous people. I’ve never gotten flustered talking to anyone.

So why do I get starstruck by people who wrote and drew the comic books I grew up reading?

I’ve interviewed Dennis Miller, Jay Mohr, Earl Campbell, Mario Andretti, Troy Aikman, and hundreds of others. But still, there I was, stammering like a simpleton to people who work as primarily commercial artists.

Jim Steranko drew Captain America before I was born. He drew Nick Fury wayback when he was James Bond, and not yet Samuel L. Jackson. He was a very nice guy, easy to talk to, warm and friendly.

I went as blank as a clean sheet of paper. I was a heartbeat away from asking him if he liked cheese.

You don't know this guy, but I'd take a bullet for him.

Over and over again, I met people who work in an industry I’ve always wanted to break into, and every time I wound up just sitting there grinning like the foreign cousin from an 80’s sitcom.

Famous Artist: “Hey there! Would you like me to sign this? What’s your name?”
Idiot Reid: “I love A-mer-ika!”

Everyone I met there was very nice and engaging. I bought some great-looking prints from Terry Huddleston, he was a really cool, funny guy. Greg Horn seemed like a friendly dude, and Steranko spoke to me and shook my hand like we had fought in the war together.

What did I say to these people? I have no idea. I’ve hosted a talk show for decades, and yet I freeze up when speaking to guys who write and draw comic books. They are my Kryptonite.

— Reid Kerr doesn’t even know what the equivalent of Kryptonite is in the Star Wars Universe.

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