Welcome back convention fans!
We had a late start to our trip to Space City Comic Con (SCCC).
You know Texas… and Spring Rain!
Apparently they are a couple now!
After MANY navigation reroutes we arrived safely in Houston at the great NRG Center with less than two hours left to enjoy our first day of SCCC.
You would think there would have been a low turnout rate, what with the ark building level down pouring of rain. But the fans were packing in despite the weather.
This was not our first Comic Con. But I can assure you the nervous feels haven’t gone away for me yet and I’m not sure they ever will. As much as you are there for press, you are also a fan.
My goal is to always be a professional as well as fully enjoying the comic con and meeting the guests and fans.
I feel if you do not do this, you are not able to write from a true perspective. Ha ha, I feel I should also warn that I write like a speak. Things just fly out, so apologies in advance!
That said; we would like to state before diving in to the details, that WormholeRiders News Agency is not, and has never been affiliated with Space City Comic Con. We are independent media and always strive to be fair and honest in all reporting. So we will only be stating facts from our perspective and our experience.
There will be links posted below this article to any statements made by SCCC‘s guests and fans. We will include The Good, The Bad, The Anger, and The Major Love! Because let’s face it, no matter what transpired, the special guests were nothing short of UNBELIEVABLE love!!
The Good and The Major Love:
With so many amazing guests, vendors and cosplayers, where do you start? I knew without a doubt that the Nexus short world premier staring Gigi Edgley and Alison Balnar was a ‘to do’. As was the premier for Star Trek Continues: Come Not Between the Dragons. And, of course, the Sons of Anarchy crew and panel was also on the must see list.
Trying to map out your plan seems to be a helpful tool. Friday being a late start, we sort of winged it. And Friday’s tend to be the calmest days, or so we thought. That wasn’t the case this year. With guests from SOA, Doctor Who, many levels of Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Bitten, True Blood, X-Men, Assassin’s Creed, Z Nation, Smallville, and Hellboy, there was no way Mother Nature was slowing down the fans.
First stop was a visit to a few Sons of Anarchy guests. I can’t tell you how great it was to have the opportunity to meet such a HUGE, amazing cast!
And guess what!? I met the majority, and not ONCE did I get my a** kicked!! Thankful for that, but was hoping for at least a scuffle.. Joking!
Our first hello was Timothy V. Murphy. Do his eyes always smile? Yes. Yes they do. He’s a surprisingly quiet gent.
I love Murphy’s work. He’s starred in SOA, The Bastard Executioner, Hell on Wheels, but one of my all-time favorites is still the auto commercial he did.
So funny, so serious, and it’s all about the sharp stick!
I am also a huge fan of his twitter feed. He has the most adorable little sidekick!
The next guest left me a little speechless. This doesn’t happen often, and came courtesy of Kenny Johnson. First you should be warned that his smile is major infectious. I love it!
Of the guests I’ve met in the past, I’ve never met one this open, honest, and beautiful inside and out. He’s got some interesting stories. I’d love to go into more detail, but I’ve NO idea where I’d start. Some of my favorite work of Kenny’s comes from Saving Grace and Sons of Anarchy. If he would’ve fit in my jacket pocket, I’d have taken him home. Note to self: Bring bigger pockets next time. He was a dream! If you ever get the opportunity to meet him, do it. You’ll fall in love. (Sorry mi esposa!)
With the late start, we only managed to see a few guests and speak to a couple of artists. There was no luck on the meeting of Charlie Hunnam (Jax Teller-SOA).
His line was unlike any we ourselves have seen at SCCC. We were later told that he’d stayed past closing time for the day to sign autographs and meet his fans.
We were even more surprised to later learn that he had done this while sporting a back injury. Major Fan love!
Day one down, it was short but sweet and ended with one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever witnessed. Shireen, our photographer, pointed out a rainbow on the way out.
While she caught photos of the rainbow and storm clouds to our left, I glanced to the right. This was our view from both sides. It was amazing! You’d never know that inside SCCC it had its own storm brewing.
On day two we had to meet Tommy Flanagan. There was a ‘hello’ to pass on to him from someone who just may be his biggest fan, Sarah. He was a favorite on Sons of Anarchy and he was a ball of spinning energy. Flanagan was great with fans and let me tell ya, his selfies will leave you dizzy!
From there we met Ryan Hurst. He was not at all what was expected! We only saw him sitting. So when you approach Hurst and he stands up you may feel a ‘lil intimidated and I may have said as much. At 5’9” in sneakers, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so tiny. But he was all smiles. Our photographer preferred for him to remain seated. After meeting these two we had some time to spare before the 12:00p.m. start of the SOA panel so we decided to see some of the cosplayers and visit a few of the vendor’s booths.
There were so many great costumes this year at SCCC and some familiar faces! I know it sounds cheesy, but it was like running into family. Seeing the creativity people put into their cosplay never gets old. We saw more of a variety of costumes.
This year brought Minions, Winter Soldier, a LOT of Deadpool, Star Wars, Captain Jack Sparrow, and a first for me to see, Blade. This guy was awesome!
PS: Captain Jack Sparrow is still my favorite! Dirtee Jack wins at Johnny Depp cosplay!
We visited some artist booths and vendors along the way. A favorite was Michael Ornstein who also played Chucky on Sons of Anarchy. Prior to this photo, this was a regular printed banner. It underwent a major transformation!
I tried to talk him out of it when I got home via his monkeylanguage.com site. He’s crazy talented. Happily, I was able to order a print of this banner. Go check out his art on his site listed above!
One thing we noticed while visiting the vendors was that the layout was a little difficult to navigate. But it did manage to lead us to an area where we were not aware that any of the guests were set up. (They were a little out of the way from the other guests.)
So by happy accident, we found the Doctor Who crew, Shawn Ashmore, Laura Vandervoort, and Alan Ritchson.
It was pretty cool to meet fellow twin Ashmore, especially since we both have evil twins. OMG, and have you seen the graphics from the video game, Quantum Break?
I forgot to ask Shawn what it was like to see his finished character! And meeting Vandervoort was great. The whole family loves her. She’s adorable and her characters are fierce!
The only disappointment was that we didn’t find any light sabers on our walks. My disappointment didn’t last long. Remember last year at SCCC how it was mentioned about missing the best smile at the comic con?
Friday night there were two HUGE misses and a sad Team WHR member missed both the best smile, and a favorite blond. (There is picture proof of said despair.)
But come Saturday the meeting of Michele Specht finally happened! She is SO much more sparkly than I could’ve hoped for! I don’t mean in a glitter way guys! She was amazing!
It is easy to see why she and Gigi Edgley connect so well! Both are gorgeous, funny as he||, and give out so much positive energy! Michele’s smile IS one of the best by the way. I also had the chance to see Gigi again. There are pics that prove you NEVER turn down a fan girl pic with Gigi. Not even if you look like a crazy laughing loon, which I did. But so worth it! Added bonus was meeting Chris Doohan. He did a mini cajón solo at Gigi‘s table and he’s got some skills!
In the Star Trek zone, there was one other I HAD to stop in and meet, René Auberjonois. I’m old enough to remember watching him on Benson. (Don’t do the age math, it doesn’t lead anywhere good.) I loved him then and that love carried over to his character Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Yes, he is just as kind as he looks and does great things for charity. At SCCC he was supporting Doctors Without Borders. To see more on René or to learn more about his charity work, go give him a visit at renefiles.com!
After meeting Auberjonois, we made it in time to take in the Sons of Anarchy panel. The panel was supposed to start at noon. However, it did not start until after 12:30.
While we waited for the panel to start we started getting some chatter among the VIP pass holders that something was going on behind the scenes at Space City Comic Con. Also adding to the chatter were some curious tweets. (We’ll elaborate more on this experience in closing.)
When the panel started, it initially looked as if Ron Perlman would be the only guest to appear. Perlman had a little fun with it and announced ‘Welcome to Son of Anarchy.’ With BlueSun Interpreting on hand, we learned how to sign some words. Not sure we can post those on WormholeRiders. But I’ve expanded my sign language vocabulary so that’s a bonus! Perlman was joined shortly after by Murphy, Johnson, and Reed.
We’ve taken in a lot of panels, but none as deep and meaningful as this SOA one. Almost willing to bet the guests; Christopher Reed, Timothy V. Murphy, Ron Perlman, Kenny Johnson, and the fans who attended this panel will agree. Seems SOA helped some people through tough, dark times.
Amazing how film, television, music, and art can heal. It was beautiful to hear the fans open up and to see the guest panel respond and receive them in the manner they did. There were many tears and lots of laughter. When Ron Perlman received a Navy Seal Challenge Coin from a mother, Cindy Dietz, not sure there was a dry eye in the room.
During the SOA panel we learned some things (aside from this being the first time Christopher Reed ever had his own microphone). Reed never ended up in the ER riding motorcycles. Great news there! This led to talks about Perlman. Kenny Johnson told us about how when Perlman would get about twenty feet past the camera on his bike, they would grab and stop him.
On what was the hardest death to see: Perlman claimed his own character, Clay. When asked what episode was their favorite: Timothy V. Murphy grinned and said ‘Beating up Jax, shooting their bikes, and blowing up their club house.’ He seemed to enjoy answering that one. This was definitely a panel we’re glad we didn’t miss. There was an obvious amount of love and respect between these guys.
After the panel, we headed back downstairs to meet more guests and see more cosplayers. Kim Coates had arrived so we stopped in on his signing table.
We were still not completely sure what was happening behind the SCCC scenes, but whatever it was, Coates was a gem!
He was cheerful and nothing short of kind and funny. He gives the most excellent selfie! A hello was passed on to him from a fan and he was so sincere in his response. Guys, he’s not at all scary and creepy like the characters he’s played. We hope to see him come to Houston again someday. We hope to see them ALL again!
Then there was the meeting Rusty Coones. He’s a hulk of a fella and such a great guy! He joked about one of his photos on his signing table. We can’t repeat but it caught me off guard and he just laughed and told me he was kidding.
Again, he was another SOA guest along with the gorgeous Kristen Renton and all the others who were beyond great to the fans despite what they were facing with some of the comic con issues!
Getting to meet Ron Perlman was an even bigger treat. Geez, what fan wouldn’t be nervous meeting him? Love him in all things he’s done, even when he’s misbehaving. Just to name a few of the favorites: Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy, Beauty and the Beast, and Perlman’s current work on S2 of ‘Hand of God‘.
He’s got a spark of Clay, Hellboy, and so many others characters he’s played in him. Not sure if he chooses the roles, or the roles choose him. He’s brilliant in every d*** one of them. We can honestly say that when we finally met him, he was all love. I wanna squeeze him!
That’s normal right? Even when it appeared things were not as they seemed behind the scenes at SCCC and some storms had developed, da** this man was love! He was there for the fans, and he stayed for the fans and left no room for doubt about it.
FYI, you don’t go see Hellboy and NOT go see Abe Sapien aka Doug Jones. You don’t. Most know my love for Jones and how fascinated I am by his work. And unless you’re a true fan, you may not recognize him by name alone.
But it is guaranteed you’ve seen his face many time but in various forms: Silver Surfer, Cochise on Falling Skies, and Candyman in The Candy Shop. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to meet him. To talk to him about his work, to share his work with people and have them go ‘Wow! I know this character!’
There has been a lot of buzz about Mr. Jones playing the role of Nosferatu. He gave us some details about how they’re using the original film background but removing the original cast. This is one I must see! We also took in his panel and got an interesting tidbit on how the fairies tasted in Pan’s Labyrinth. I’m not sure I can share this. I’ll have to get back with you guys on this one.
After we sat in on Doug Jones’ panel, we made it to the Star Trek Continues premier of Come Not Between the Dragons. From what we understand, this show is non-profit. It’s a show made for fans by what I’d call mega fans.
I also did not expect it to be so meaningful. And that it was. It touched on the subject of child abuse.
In the initial meeting of the creature encountered on the Enterprise, Udsi, it wasn’t known that he was a child who had run from his abusive father. The father’s rage battered the Enterprise, which in turn affected the crew making them angry and aggressive.
Gigi Edgley gave a beautiful performance as the voice of love and reason to calm Udsi and give his father some healthy advice. Another thing I took from this, other than ‘Michele Specht throws one he** of a mean punch!’ is that anger fed anger. What you do affects others around you; hate, love, joy.
To the STC crew, you did an amazing job. Between the filming style, characters, set, and the acting, the reviews I’ve read held true in that you guys stayed in line with Star Trek’s original series. And if all of the Star Trek Continues episodes are this level, I’m in and going back to watch them all.. Just try not to make me too weepy! So much love for what you do. You all have such an undeniable kinship! And the blooper reel? I laughed so hard I cried, except for that one scene. You know the one? Where Vic Mignogna‘s noggin meets the wall? I cringed. I cringed a lot. If you’re a Star Trek fan you should check out some of their episodes on Star Trek Continues site!
Saturday evening after unsuccessfully hunting down another Star Trek: The Next Generation guest Carlos Ferro for most of the day and Friday evening, we finally caught up with each other. Carlos also has a lot of success as a voice actor in games like Assassin’s Creed (Leonardo da Vinci), Gears of War (Dominic Santiago), and The Godfather II (Michael Corleone). We met via the North American Assassin’s Creed Guild. (That’s Peter Dante there crashing the shoot. He was pretty amazing too.) They’re a great group of fans and I love seeing them all in costume! I can’t tell you how fun it was to get to know Ferro. All I can say is that I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a very long time. He’s hilarious!
The following day we had the pleasure of taking in a second world premiere. This time it was Carlos Aldana’s NEXUS sci-fi short with Gigi Edgley and Alison Balnar. This was a successful Indiegogo crowdfunded campaign. They had me at ‘In a post-apocalyptic world where humans are on the verge of extinction, a desperate physicist tries to find refuge for her family in a parallel universe… ours.’ Gigi plays a physicist who discovers technology that can open a gateway between alternate universes, the Nexus.
The story swap between parallel universes was much easier to follow than anything I’ve seen. There was no confusion like you sometimes encounter in alternate timeline films. Aldana did a great job separating the universes and Gigi did such an amazing job in portraying her character Lucy’s parallels as individuals: one as a mother who lost her child (I got choked up on this one), the other trying to keep her child safe.
The bond between mother and child was beautifully played between Edgley and Balnar. You got the impression that they’d spent a lot of time together prior to shooting, but when asked, that wasn’t the case. Aldana did a spectacular job on the CGI! Also noted was the sheer pride that shined through on Gigi‘s face. This is one we would love to see in a full feature film!
Team WormholeRiders, guess who else we met at Space City Comic Con? We are excited to say that we met Michael Welch and he’s adorable!
I’m such a huge fan of the Stargate Series and it happens that Welch was on one of my favorite Stargate SG-1 episodes. He played a young Jack O’Neill.
I asked if he had met or worked with Richard Dean Anderson prior to taking on this role. Surprisingly he had not. He’d only gone up shortly before filming the episode and was given episodes to watch. In that short span, he completely nailed Jack O’Neill and his infinite sarcasm! I believe he told us he was about fourteen years old when he did that episode. I have a sixteen year old.. He doesn’t have that kind of focus so I was very impressed! Also, knowing he worked on Z Nation (I’ve only watched partially into Season 1) I asked if he was still working on any episodes. I can’t give you his reply because spoilers and all. Let’s just say I’ll still go back and finish watching anyway.
Another favorite series guest was Adrian Paul of Highlander. ‘There can be only one’ is still top ranked television/movie quote for me. He was hosting his event The Sword Experience at SCCC. Guests I spoke to afterwards said it was great experience learning the choreography and then performing what they’d learned. If it comes around again, I think I’ll sign up!
There was an added bonus to meeting Adrian Paul. My evil twin, Sonja, is a HUGE Paul fan. I ain’t gonna lie, MY horns came out a little and I sent her a pic. She may have disowned me for a short time over it. Lol, she’s over it now since I smoothed it over with a signed Sword Experience tee. And there was less bloodshed than I told him there might be. I survived the evil twin’s wrath and all is right again.
We did so much more but if we include every tiny detail we may bore you to tears if not already!
Overall, our experience was a good one at SCCC. The variety of vendors could’ve been a little more extensive.
They did have a great guest line-up and many great artists in Artist’s Alley. It was quite a walk to get to Wild Bills Soda for drinks. There’s a Starbucks at NRG Center so that was great! We wish we could say the same for all the fans.
Come Saturday afternoon, we were getting quite a bit of negative feedback from VIP pass holders. From what we were told by some of the VIP ticket holders, the panel guests were greatly reduced from what was expected.
We were told there were problems with using ticket vouchers. This was confirmed with an announcement at the Sons of Anarchy panel. Ticket holders were told they could switch the vouchers out for cash to use at guest booths. VIP pass holders were also asked to stay behind after the panel was over.
We were told by many of these people later that the general admission ticket holders received better treatment than the VIP holders. Some of the fans also reported that they did not get their funds, nor did they get the experience they paid for.
There were some who came from Scotland, England, Mexico, and other places as well. These same guests also reported that they had saved and spent all funds for these VIP experiences and had no cash left to even pay the additional out of their pockets to meet the guests they had already paid to see via the VIP pass and ticket vouchers. WormholeRiders did speak to a VIP holder who reported that he received a partial refund, but that it was only one quarter of what he’d paid for his pass.
We also observed there was a lower amount of volunteers Saturday. We were told by one volunteer that we talked to that she had been working 18 hours straight! She told us that a lot of the volunteers didn’t show back up for day two.
Then things got a little deeper. We were told by a source who would like to remain anonymous that the guests had stayed after for two hours on Friday evening to get paid. And we were told that not all were paid or a least not paid in full.
We were told there were issues with the lodging when guests arrived, but Official Ava Jade clarified the issue stating in her article: ‘There was a mishap regarding the hotel check in. The credit card for the room was for the reservations and not for incidentals. Upon checking in, some cast members had to pay cash for the incidentals, instead of putting their own credit card up, and risking being charged upon checking out.’
There is also confirmation that law enforcement was called in as one of the guests tried to collect. We can confirm in an unrelated incident that on Saturday evening after Hunnam did not return to his table that someone had called in multiple law enforcement officials. Fans had been standing in line for hours waiting to meet Hunnam.
At seven that evening when he did not return to his table, law enforcement was put into place behind the crowd where we were standing and towards the front of the meet and greet area. The announcement was then made that Charlie Hunnam would not be returning due to a family emergency. We can’t speculate on why officers were called in, but the couple behind us voiced that it was to stop any uprising that might have risen from the abrupt announcement.
Below we have posted quotes and links to statements made by others. Articles and interviews will be included as well. These will include links from both sides of the table as it is only right and fair that we include all. We did get confirmation from one source that reports they were being taken care of. (As of closing date of this article, Space City Comic Con’s twitter account has been deleted. However, their webpage is still up.)
Statement by Johnny Steverson on Space City Comic Con:
‘Johnny Steverson Resigns From Space City Comic Con and Mythic Events LLC.’
Sighting: ‘Promotor George Comits Breaches Contracts’
Via Kim Coates Twitter: ‘Houston we have a problem. So so so sorry.. Coatesy’
‘Ok some things got settled .. No panel at 12. Sorry kids. A complete breakdown by upper management. Wow. But I’m staying here for the day. x’
The Harp Twins: ‘Read between the lines George Comits of Mythik Events & Promotions and Space City Comic Con for breaking their contract with us and knowingly writing us a bad check for our performance fee, travel expenses, and per diem.’
Official Ava Jade: ‘When Mr. Hunnam took his check to the bank to cash it, he found out that the check that was given to him was written from an account that had been CLOSED. This happened to the entire cast.’
TMZ interview ‘Sons of Anarchy’ stars: ‘Reunion Promoter Stiffed Us But We Stayed for Fans’
One thing we can say for certain is that the guests were nothing short of phenomenal under difficult circumstances! Whatever they experienced did not change the way they treated their devoted fans. We have nothing but respect for those who were kind and generous enough to stay. And to those that greeted the fans with so much love and respect in return: We love ya!!
Thanks to Kenn for final audio, video embedding , and additional image staging, and many thanks to you for reading and visiting WormholeRiders News Agency.
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2 thoughts on “Space City Comic Con: The Good, The Bad, and The Major Love!”
Good evening Tonja,
My deepest thanks for your story about “The Good, The Bad and The Major Love” that occurred at SCCC 2016. You have faithfully related the miracle made possible by the special celebrity guests who, under difficult circumstances, brought joy to the hearts of thousands of fans who attended. Thanks also to the fans and volunteers who made “Lemonade out of lemons” that recent weekend in Houston Texas.
Kenn of #TeamWHR
I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!
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