Friday, August 22, 2014

CHICAGO COMIC-CON: DAY 2

Chicago Comic-Con: Day 2

Tonight marked my second night at Chicago Comic-Con. Once again, it was a day to remember.
Today was Friday and this day was slightly cooler than Thursday, simply because more people where there tonight. More celebrities, more Cosplayers and more attendees in general. I am continually amazed by how detailed and intricate some of these costumes are, and I really have to give it up to each of the men and women who dress up at the Con. Their dedication to their craft is instantly recognizable and I am continually impressed every time I go to Rosemont each day. I mean there was a little boy who had an Optimus Prime costume and this little kid could literally crouch and curl himself into a truck. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen, and it became one of the highlights of the day for me.

I was excited today because today was my first professional photo opportunity and it was a doozy. I got to meet and get a photo with Michael Jai White. Now, you know Mr. White whether you realize it or not. He was the title character in one of the most underrated superhero movies ever, Spawn. You may also remember him as Gambol, the gangster who has a rather brutal stand-off with The Joker in “The Dark Knight.” He was hilarious in “Black Dynamite,” easily one of the best parody comedies of the last twenty years. He played Jax Briggs in the trailer for “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth” as well as the web-series “Mortal Kombat: Legacy.” Say what you will about Legacy, but it leagues ahead of the two “Mortal Kombat” films we got in the 1990’s. Finally, if you like The CW’s “Arrow” on television, White had a reoccurring role as The Bronze Tiger. He is one of those guys who you know the face, but don’t necessarily know the name, but I have been a huge fan for many years now, so you can bet I was excited for this opportunity.

The Photo Ops were taken upstairs of the convention center and we had to arrive a half-hour before the Op. My Op was at 2:40 so I promptly got up there at around 2:10, at 2:15 they let me in. I was excited to see that I was going to be the second person in line. What kind of stunk was that White’s flight into town was delayed, so I didn’t get to finally get in there with him until almost an hour later. This bothered some people, but I didn’t mind. Stuff like this happens, and I was wildly excited and I didn’t care how long I had to wait. As I waited in line, I spoke with some of the people in line with me. I was lucky enough to talk flicks with some other movie-nerds. I love that I can have conversations that revolve around “What comic book would Stanley Kubrick direct if he were still alive” or “What superhero would Paul Walker had played” with total strangers, and I totally want to ask those two questions in an upcoming blog-post.

After my Op, I went to meet up with an old college buddy who decided to come out today. As we were walking through the aisles, I noticed somebody I knew. Right in front of us, so close we could tap his shoulder, was Michael Rooker, Merle Dixon from “The Walking Dead” and Yondu from “Guardians of the Galaxy.” We decided to tail him and we wanted so bad to say something to him, but he was surrounded by his entourage and we were afraid they would shoo us away. Finally my friend, John decided to say something.

“Guardians of the Galaxy was awesome” said John.

Rooker turned around, with a Cheshire Cat grin etched on his face.

“You liked that movie, did ya” he said.

We told him we did and it was cool to make quick small talk with Rooker without having to pay for an autograph or photo op and we also got to shake hands with the guy. It was a pretty stellar moment as both John and I have liked Rooker for a while. I was singing the praises for Rooker ever since I saw in “The Sixth Day” in 2000. Once I got a little older, he scared me senseless in “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.” The guy has real talent and he’s another guy that should be better known than he is, but I think “The Walking Dead” is helping him out there.

Those were the major highlights from today and with the Con already half-over, I can say that it has been a whirlwind of awesome so far, Saturday and Sunday are sure to be big days as well and I’ll be updating you on how things go this weekend, so keep your eyes open.

On another note, my friend John found a 4-day pass laying on the parking lot outside the convention center, now that is some real good luck right there!


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