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My Con Journal for the Gathering 2009
My friend Kathie and I arrived late Thurs night (8/20) at the hotel. We both met up at LAX airport, she having flown in from Philadelphia, PA and I from Newark, NJ.
Highly recommend Prime Time Shuttle service to and from LAX. We used it and it was very reliable.
The Hilton hotel at Universal Studios: Really nice!!! As was our room.
First day of the Gathering - Friday (8/21):
Waiting for the Registration table to open (which it did @ 10am), Kathie and I met some of our fellow Con goers, including Carol (Guardian) and Gorbash. They were all so nice and welcoming (as I figured my fellow Gargoyles fans would be).
Kathie and I picked up our Gathering t-shirts, badges, and programs at the Registration table, and then I had to go and set up my 3 artwork pieces for the Art Show. As Kathie was helping me out with this, and as we took a peek at everyone else's artwork being set up, Greg Weisman showed up to observe the Art Show set-up (it was mine and Kathie's first time seeing Greg in person, and it was exciting to see him taking a look at my artwork).
Around noon, Kathie and I were lucky enough to attend Greg's "Mug-a-Guest" session, and it was really great! Greg's answers to all the questions asked were very interesting, insightful, and sometimes funny. We learned A LOT!
1:30pm – Kathie and I sat in on the panel "Fanfiction in the Post-Canon Market", where many great and new ideas for Gargoyles fanfic were tossed around and discussed. Tigris did a really good job as panel moderator, and she had some very interesting ideas and suggestions for all the fanfic writers in the room.
3pm – Kathie and I attended Thom Adcox's Q&A panel, which was a lot of fun. Thom is such an entertaining and funny guy! Like Greg, Thom has a great sense of humor, and he's so down-to-earth and easy-going. He told some great stories and shared memories of his career and working on Gargoyles.
A little after 5pm were the Opening Ceremonies (led by Greg Weisman, Patrick and Jennifer), and Kathie and I were there of course. Wow – it was awesome! Being first-timers, we really enjoyed all that took place, especially getting to watch the videos of the Pitches for Gargoyles and its spin-offs (New Olympians, Bad Guys), and the fan-made "Team Atlantis" episode that tied in to the Gargoyles universe. Terrific job to all who worked on it, and it's still a work-in-progress! Here's hoping we get to see it completed one day.
Second day of the Gathering - Saturday (8/22):
11am – Kathie and I were really lucky enough to attend Keith David's "Mug-a-Guest" session (having been among the last two people to sign up for it), and it was without a doubt one of the highlights of the Gathering for me. Pardon me for gushing just a bit, but Keith is awesome!!! I'm such a great admirer of his film and stage acting and his voiceover work, and of course Goliath is my favorite Keith David character. To be able to sit in the same room with him (among my fellow fans) and listen to him talk about his career and the work he did on Gargoyles was so wonderful! And man do I LOVE his voice!!! I could listen to him read the phone book. Anyway, it was such an honor to meet him in person, and Kathie felt the same way. I do hope we get to see him again at a future gathering/convention of some kind. And have I mentioned how much I REALLY like those "Mug-a-Guest" sessions!
Right after the session, I got the chance to meet Marina Sirtis and she autographed a Demona poster for me. She has a warm smile and was so nice! I'm a great admirer of her work on both Star Trek TNG and Gargoyles.
Kathie and I managed to catch the last half hour of Crispin Freeman's panel on Anime Mythology, and it made us wish we had seen the entire panel because what we did see was fantastic. Crispin is a very engaging and dynamic speaker, and what he spoke about was fascinating! I learned a lot about dragon lore and its influences on certain anime series. Great job, Crispin!
Then around 1pm we attended the panel for "Gargoyles: The Voice Acting Process"
which featured Greg W., Thom, Keith, Marina, Elisa Gabrielli, and Jamie Thomason. This panel was another highlight of the Gathering for me…it was so awesome to see all these Gargoyles voice actors together and the interactions btw them were great! As Greg said in his Con journal, some great stories were told, and a lot of laughs were shared.
Next, Kathie and I sat in on the "Anatomy of Fantasy Creatures" art panel, which was really interesting. And then came the final big event of the day – the Radio Play. Two words: TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!!! A Gargoyles and Spider-Man crossover was a wonderful idea for the Radio Play at this Gathering, and I can say for sure that Kathie and I really enjoyed it! All the Players, both pro and non-pro, were terrific! They all totally made it work so well, so congrats to them, and congrats to Greg W. on a very successful Radio Play!!! Afterward, Kathie and I stuck around and got autographs from some of the Radio Play actors.
Third day of the Gathering - Sunday (8/23):
10am – Kathie and I attended the panel for "Gargoyles: The Production Process", and it was awesome to see all the Production crew members there and listen to them as they shared their experiences working on Gargoyles. Another wonderful panel at this year's Gathering! Afterward we stuck around and got autographs from some of the Production members.
4pm – The other panel Kathie and I attended that day was Wendy Pini's "Adapting Stories from Novels to Film". We learned quite a bit about the history of ElfQuest and its journey to becoming a film. Wendy gave a great talk, and I know I'm definitely going to be seeing the ElfQuest movie whenever it's released.
6pm till rest of the night:
Good food was had at the Banquet, great conversations with those who sat at our table, and the Guest Q&A afterwards was very entertaining! Then came the Masquerade Costume Contest and Dance. I wore a costume but did not enter the contest, instead choosing to observe it all. It was awesome – some really terrific costumes! And while the judges took a break to choose the winners, we watched some fabulous music videos paying homage to both Gargoyles and Spider-Man.
Congrats to all the winners of the Costume Contest!
Fourth (and final) day of the Gathering - Monday (8/24):
10am – Kathie and I attended the panel for "The Future of the Gargoyles Fandom", and some very good ideas were discussed and debated. So hopefully with all the interest there appeared to be in keeping the fandom going, we'll all be able to attend Gargoyles-related events and gatherings of some kind in the future.
11:30am – Next was the very interesting "Gargoyles Biology and Culture" panel led by Greg W., Jade and Matt. Now I know why it's one of Greg's favorite panels at the Gathering…it was fascinating with some really great questions being asked.
And finally, after I collected my artwork from the Art Show closing, it was time to attend the Closing Ceremonies of the Gathering. And what emotional and moving Ceremonies they were!!! I think there wasn't a dry eye in the room! I cried along with everyone else, even though this Gathering had been my one and only, but maybe because of that too, I just didn't want it to end. Which really made me wish I had attended all the past 12 Gatherings (believe me, I'm kicking myself now). Kathie and I were really touched by all the love in that room; we could see how it was like one big family, and no one wanted to say goodbye. But like Greg said, this final Gathering definitely went out with a BANG!
Kathie's flight back home to Philly left that night, and my flight back to NJ left early Tuesday morning.
To conclude my Con journal, I want to say that for those who couldn't attend, you all missed a fantastic Gathering; a really great weekend was had by all!!! It was both fun and bittersweet…we laughed and cried, and enjoyed every moment. It was an unforgettable Gathering! BIG thank-you's go to the entire staff for all their hard work and dedication in organizing such a wonderful Con. And of course, special thanks go to Greg W. and all the terrific guests from both Gargoyles and the Spectacular Spider-Man, including fellow Gargoyles fan and ElfQuest creator Wendy Pini. It was an honor and pleasure to meet you all, and here's hoping we can all meet up again at a future Gargoyles-related event. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!