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Gathering 2005 Journal - Day 1
July 29, 2005
I woke up around 8 or 9 a.m. (Vegas time), but was too drained by either the annoyances of yesterday or jetlag to will myself out of bed until about 10. At around 3 a.m., the power had gone out- I wonder if anyone's schedule was thrown off? Fortunately, it was very easy for me to request a move to a non-smoking room- they told me to come back around 1 p.m. when my new room would be ready. In the meantime, I had a cinnamon scone from Starbucks for brunch. (I don't normally favor scones, but this was particularly tasty!)
My first goal was to find the registration table, which I did after some difficulty. Soon, in rapid succession, I met with three of my best fandom friends- Garrett "Dracandros" Baumgartner, A Fan and Greg Bishansky. I also encountered Kaelynn and Hudson. Garrett invited me to hit the Star Trek Experience with a group of his friends- while they gathered up to go, I sat in on the Con Virgin panel. They did a great overview, as well as explaining some unique circumstances of this Gathering- for example, wearing masks on the casino floor was forbidden, so they would have to request a security escort to take costumed people to the Masquerade! However, I had to leave the panel early to meet up with Garrett and company. While we waited for one last guy to join us, I paid Garrett my long-overdue share of the costs of my Web site (which includes JEB's Gargoyles Page and the Multiversal Omnipedia-Atlas).
The Star Trek Experience (my second visit- I'd last been there during my 2004 Vegas vacation) was fun- I think I liked Klingon Encounter better than Borg Invasion, and the museum was just as awesome as last time! (To an ex-Trek geek like me, anyway.) Garrett and his friends were fun to hang with, and we had a nice discussion about some of the more annoying aspects of Trek and its rival Star Wars outside of Quark's Bar. At the shop, I also snagged some pins (Voyager-era combadge, movie badge, and movie captain's insignia), as well as a VHS tape of "The Doomsday Machine"- one of my dad's favorite episodes.
After returning to Palace Station, we split up. I returned to my nice, clean-smelling non-smoking room, then got myself a nice, huge, disgustingly unhealthy Burger King dinner. Then, I headed up to the Dealer's Room. As in pretty much every Gathering of the last few years, the sale of actual, official Gargoyles merchandise has basically stopped- unsurprising, since the newest items (aside from the DVD) are eight years old at this point! Maybe with the new comic out, we'll see some new stuff, but I dunno. However, there were still some neat dealers, and I picked up the Eye of Odin fanfic anthology (fanthology?). I also walked over to admire the fine art in the nearby gallery, including great production art and storyboards from the series- the episodes "Eye of the Beholder," "Vows," "The Edge" and "Avalon" were all represented. All the fan art was great, including Lynati's terrific gargoyle wing anatomy drawings and Kythera's varied and detailed art (some of which was from the Monster Encyclopedia 1, a RPG monster book I'll have to seek out now!). Greg Weisman's kids were also good- certainly much better than I was at their age (or now, for that matter). I also chatted with Mandolin and Greg B., until the Opening Ceremonies were announced.
Following the summons, I was greeted by the people running the Gargoyles Fan Web Comic (I believe Lexy and one other), who ran a dice game that presented me with my only gaming success all weekend- I scored candy and two cool T-shirts promoting the comic. They also plugged their contest (write a brief story based around an image of Bronx), but although I thought about trying, I judged that I wouldn't be able to write anything catchy enough.
As we waited for the opening ceremonies, I was greeted by Jade Griffin (who initially thought I was Robert, due to my bushy dark hair and black T-shirt), and I looked over some of A Fan's original fiction on his palm-pilot-type thing. (I've got to get me one of those- they look so neat.)
Chris Rogers opened the con with some basic administrative stuff, then a great big thanks to Marty "Kaioto" Lund, who was designated the Fan Guest of Honor due to his efforts to get the Gargoyles comic made. Marty believed the fandom deserved credit for his accomplishment, and seemed a bit embarassed when we gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. We also got a brief pitch from the Gathering 2006 staff- I look forward to L.A.!
After Chris was finished, it was time for Greg Weisman! First, he played audio greetings from the unable-to-attend Kath Soucie and Keith David ("I've been denied everything... even my convention!"), as well as video greetings from Greg Weisman, Frank Paur, Michael Reaves, Jeff Bennett, Bill Fagerbakke, Thom Adcox (who acknowledged his present self being at the con), Brigitte Bako, and most surprisingly of all, Ed Asner! A real treat!
Regarding the Season 1 DVD, Greg informed us that the sales were good, but not great (although Disney wouldn't give him hard numbers), so it's important to spread the word about Season 2 Volume 1. As the reader has probably heard, the first Season 2 set will feature all of Season 2 up through "Kingdom" in a three-disc set, and will probably be released in December. Greg wasn't allowed to say much about special features, unfortunately.
Next, the traditional video session- with a twist. Instead of the pitch to syndicated stations made by Greg (included on the Season 1 DVD), we saw an earlier version of the same, narrated by veteran voice actor Jim Cummings, with earlier, more toony versions of the clan. A neat touch was how Cummings used a rough Scottish voice for the Dark Ages stuff, and switched to a contemporary American one for the present day.
Then, back to tradition, with the media promo ("It's better than Barney!") and sci-fi con promo ("the next generation of Disney animation"), then the reconstructed pitches for The New Olympians and Gargoyles: The Dark Ages. The Bad Guys leica reel was as entertaining as ever- I hope the comic will pick up that thread. Then, an unexpected bonus- Seth "IRC Goliath" Jackson introduced another "leica reel," made by Vashkoda, featuring the audio of "The Last" (the unfinished Gargoyles-related episode of Team Atlantis) meshed with the first act's storyboard, a bit of new art, Gargoyles music and sound clips- a most impressive result. Kudos to Vashkoda! (I wish Team Atlantis had been produced- Gargoyles aside, it looked right up my alley.)
With that ended, the crowd drifted apart. I chatted with Greg B. and Kaelynn again, then headed to my room for a bit. I headed back in time to catch the end of the MSTing of "Enter Macbeth." Afterwards, I accompanied A Fan to his room, where we watched Star Trek IV with the Okudas' text commentary. After that session of amiable watching and talking, I headed back to my room for sleep.