Philadelphia Comic Con 2011

This past Saturday, June 18, a couple of friends and I decided to check out Wizard World Philadelphia, or Philadelphia Comic Con as it is more commonly known. I am pretty new to the whole convention thing, only having gone to Celebration V and Steel City Con before this. Celebration, as most of you know, is a Star Wars centered con and Steel City Con is a very small convention in Pittsburgh PA. I was excited to attend Philly Comic Con because it would be the first large non Star Wars con I have been to, and I was curious to venture into this larger world.

We arrived at the convention center right as the doors were supposed to open at 10:00 A.M. Right away I realized I had underestimated the popularity of this con. There was a line all the way around the block. It took about an hour waiting in line to finally get into the convention. Judging by the t-shirts and costumes, there were many fellow Star Wars fans in line with us. We even bumped into a General Grievous. Not movie accurate by a longshot, but I applauded the costumer’s efforts.

Peter Mayhew, Daniel Logan and Jake Lloyd

After we got into the convention, we went straight to the first of two Q&A’s featuring Star Wars actors. This one had Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett) and Jake Lloyd (young Anakin). Peter Mayhew sort of acted as host, and they all took questions from the audience. Daniel Logan quickly stole the show with his humor and big personality, and Jake seemed happy to allow someone else to take the spotlight.

Daniel had funny stories about playing against Jake in the arcade podracer game, riding in golf carts on set with Ewan Macgregor, and meeting Christopher Lee for the first time.

Jake said he doesn’t regret working on Star Wars.

Both Daniel and Peter talked about how much they loved riding the new Star Tours.

Peter talked about his fond memories of Sir Alec Guinness and Irvin Kershner.

Daniel said he would work on Star Trek if ever asked.

Peter Mayhew – “What do you get if you shave a Wookiee? A Klingon.”

Peter said he was informed over a phone call about the impending death of Chewbacca in the book Vector Prime, and he also received a signed copy of the book from R.A. Salvatore that said “Sorry mate”.

Daniel said he is still working on Clone Wars.

Daniel’s favorite movie is What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Favorite Star Wars Movie:
Jake – The Return of the Jedi
Daniel – The Phantom Menace
Peter – The Empire Strikes Back

Billy Dee Williams

The other Q&A was with Billy Dee Williams. There was a lot of discussion about some of the other projects that he has worked on, and about his art, but there were plenty of Star Wars related questions as well. As a side note, his art is actually very good. If you have never seen any of it I recommend seeking it out online.

He said he may be working on an upcoming Driving Miss Daisy project.

He spoke of his memories of working with Irvin Kershner.

His middle name is December, “..and I was born in April”

Women used to fall down when they would see him. He was afraid to help them up because if he touched them he thought they might die.

When asked if he would ever do voice work again for a Star Wars project he said, “There is something else that’s being done, but I am not at liberty to talk about it.” Clone Wars maybe??

When told that Lando is now married in the Expanded Universe Billy Dee said, “I gotta get that [book], gotta check it out. What does she look like?”

When asked if he liked the Prequels, “..billions of dollars are made with these things. People seem to really enjoy the adventure.”

Who was the most fun to work with on Star Wars? “Who was that guys sitting next to me? …. Nien Nunb”

Both panels were great fun, and most of the actors seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Convention Floor

The convention floor was packed with vendors selling comics, t-shirts, toys, and almost anything else a collector could want. I was personally able to find a Darth Vader Mighty Mugg to add to my collection and some Legacy comic trades that I had been looking for at a discounted price.

There was also an unbelievable amount of comic book artists at the convention. The only Star Wars artist I recognized was Tom Hodges who is probably best known for his art on the online Clone Wars series at StarWars.com. I picked up one of his sketch books, and he even did a sketch of Luke Skywalker in the back of the book for me while I was standing there. Very nice guy and extremely talented.

I also had a chance to talk to Daniel Logan for a few minutes at his signing table. I don’t collect signatures, but I do like to meet Star Wars celebrities when I get the chance. I had met Daniel in December and was so happy to talk to him again. He really takes time to talk to his fans and is a genuinely nice guy. It is obvious that he appreciates his fans and understands how important they are.

Unfortunately, I was only able to stay at the con for about 6 hours, so I had to rush to get to everything I wanted to do. I was very pleased with the Star Wars presence at the convention with 4 major Star Wars celebrities, a well known Star Wars artist, and all the comics and toys you could want. The convention was great fun, and I definitely will be attending again when it comes back to town. Next time, I will make better plans for dealing with the crowds and who knows, maybe I’ll even put together my own General Grievous costume. Probably not though.

Aaron Goins

 

  • Anonymous

    Great post! You have some great tidbits gleaned from the Q&A’s.

    You were able to see two Actors from both the Original Trilogy and the Prequels. From past experience and reading, it seems as though Peter Mayhew has really come to embrace his part in the Star Wars Universe as well as the impact he has had on fans and the impression that he has left on their lives. There appears to be an understanding of, if not a similitude in, the fans enjoyment of what Lucas has created.

    With that said and in light of your brief time spent at the Q&A’s, let me ask you this question; Do you get the impression that other Actors who have had the opportunity to be a part of the Star Wars Epic have, not only an appreciation for the story, but also an appreciation for the fans?

    • http://twitter.com/TheRileyGuy Riley

      Yes! (Although I don’t speak for Aaron) When I was at CV Most of the celebs were really nice to the fans, especially the Clone Wars actors!

      • Anonymous

        I have heard from others that Anthony Daniels is great when interacting with fans and Mark Hamill seems to appreciate the movies as well.

        Do you think that there is a difference between the Actors of the Original Trilogy and those of the Prequels? Perhaps those from the Original have had a longer time to adjust and explore other things?

        Or… perhaps I am over thinking all of this…

        By the way… Nice post and great Site…

  • http://twitter.com/starwarsfans Marc Morrell

    I was there with my family. We all wore Star Wars shirts, but did not dress up as characters. I have a full Jedi Outfit that makes me look like Obi-Wan Kenobi from A New Hope (without the white hair), but it was a little too hot to wear. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it wasn’t specific to Star Wars, and I have been to Celebration III in Indianapolis, which was much bigger. It was really interesting to hear what questions the people ask at the Q & A panels, and for those of us too nervous to ask in front of the whole room, we were still able to visit the celebrities and ask our own questions at the autograph booths. Aaron’s report of the Con is right on. One cool thing that I appreciated is being able to take Comic Books/Graphic Novels that I owned, and having the actual artists sign them, and they did it for free. It was nice to hear what it’s like to be a part of that world that so many people love.

    • http://twitter.com/TheRileyGuy Riley

      Awesome! It’s nice to see so many SW actors & artists at there smaller cons and not just celebrations!

    • http://twitter.com/Aelinwen B

      Hi Mark, I’d like to thank you for taking some of the pictures that we used in this post and on our Facebook page! We really appreciate them! It sounds like you guys had a great time. Are you planning on attending SWCVI?

  • http://twitter.com/avgoins Aaron Goins

    As I said in the post, Daniel Logan seems to really enjoy his interaction with his fans, and both Peter Mayhew and Billy Dee Williams, although maybe just going through the motions, have embraced the fact that Star Wars is what they are famous for.
    The same can’t be said for Jake Lloyd. I don’t know if he was just having a bad day but he looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there. His answers to all questions were either no answer or very short answers will no elaboration. I saw him at Star Wars Weekends once before and had a similar impression of him then too. He seems to be a nice enough guy but I wouldn’t say he necessarily appreciates the fans. Or maybe he does and just doesn’t know how to show it.