Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Creation Convention Part II: Geeks on Parade

Back in August 2010 I wrote about a science-fiction/comic book convention that I attended with a few friends of mine twenty-five years earlier. Some new information from that trip has recently been unearthed, and at the risk of exposing the true geeky nature of my past, I'd like to present this new information here. The original blog was titled Creation Convention--25 Years Later, and should probably be read before delving into this sequel, if you haven't already done so.

When we last left our daring conventioneers, they had experienced a sci-fi/comic book nirvana of sorts. It's true that the Special Guests featured at the convention may not have been all that "special" in reality, but to a novice convention attender like myself they were just fine. Exactly who were these guests? Well they had one each from the worlds of "Star Trek", "Doctor Who" and comic books. When you hear that a special guest from "Star Trek" will be attending the first thing that pops into your head is a name like William Shatner or Leonard Nimoy. Then you think that maybe those A-listers might be too much to ask and you downgrade your expectations to someone like Walter Koenig or Nichelle Nichols--still people you'd love to meet. The Special "Star Trek" guest at this particular convention was none other than... Judson Scott! Judson Scott? Yes, Khan's right-hand-man from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan". Not exactly a household name, but at least he had some other early 80s sci-fi credentials. He also appeared in the series "V" and was the star of the short-lived TV show "The Phoenix".

The "Doctor Who" guest was even less "special" to me. I was (and still am) only familiar with the Tom Baker ere of the show. While I wouldn't expect Tom Baker to make an appearance at the convention, I would have been happy to meet one of his sidekicks (or I suppose I should say companions)--like Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Leela or Romana (especially Leela or Romana!). Turns out they did have a companion--but it was Mark Strickson, who played Turlough, the companion of the Doctor after Tom Baker. This was probably a good guest to have on the list, as he was the companion of the then-current Doctor (played by Peter Davison). Unfortunately, I had not seen any of the Peter Davison episodes of the show and therefore had no idea who Mark Strickson was.

The special guests from the comic book world were Wendy and Richard Pini--the husband and wife team responsible for the comic book series Elfquest. I wasn't really into Elfquest (or comic books in general), but it was the favorite title of one of my friends at the time, so meeting them really made his day.

All of this information was already reported in the original blog. So what's new? Well, a couple months after writing the first blog I managed to find an old photo album that had some pictures from our trip to the Creation Convention. Then, just last week, I found an old folder that contained some random things...including my autographs from the convention! I'd like to present some of these items here to conclude the story of the August 1985 Creation Convention in Boston.

Here we are at the convention. Note how they went all out in promoting the show: a nice 11x17 sign propped up on an easel. Very impressive. Oh well... Also, note that we already have all our "stuff" from the convention. This photo was obviously taken as we were leaving, but it makes a good intro if you ignore all the swag we're carrying. I'm the one in the green jacket by the way.

Here we are again, looking very awkward but happy to be immersed in all the geekiness the convention had to offer.

This is a photo taken during the convention's "famous" no-minimum-bid auction. This was right after I had the high bid on the Star Trek communicator. I was a bit frightened to think I had just handed over FIFTY-FIVE bucks, but was also VERY happy to be the proud owner of a communicator!

And here's that very same communicator, more than a quarter-of-a-century later--still in my possession. Nowadays you can get high-quality toy replicas of communicators, phasers and tricorders that actually have working lights and sound effects. Mine was a non-functioning replica, but was pretty much all you could get back then.

And, here's our illustrious guest star Judson Scott surveying the scene and preparing to make his grand entrance onto the stage!

Meeting Judson Scott for autographs and awe-inspiring awesomeness (or something like that).

All these years's my very own Judson Scott Autographed photo. Note that I had him write "Long live the Concept" too (the "band" my friends and I were in at the time). What a geek!

Here's my autographed postcard (sorry, but I wasn't about to shell out the cash for an 8x10 for someone I didn't even know) of Mark Strickson. This photo also solves a long-time mystery. A friend who couldn't make it to the convention was a big fan of Doctor Who, so we got him a Mark Strickson autograph too. The funny thing was that we could never figure out what he had written on the photo. It looked like it said "To Kurt, Love: Mark Strickson". To this very day my friends and I STILL use "Love: Mark Strickson" when signing off on a letter or e-mail. Now I can look at my photo and see that he actually wrote the more appropriate, and less creepy, "Yours: Mark Strickson". Of course, my friend doesn't have his photo anymore, so I suppose it's still possible that it was indeed "Love" and not "Yours" on his photo, but that doesn't seem too likely...

Here's my copy of Elfquest #1 autographed by authors/artists/creators Wendy and Richard Pini. Unfortunately this was back in the day when Sharpies weren't ubiquitous at shows like this and they signed it with a regular pen. I'll bet it would have looked a lot more impressive to have their autos scrawled on the cover in sharpie rather than on the first page inside in ball-point pen, but what are you gonna do?

Finally, I have to make a correction. In the original blog about this convention I mentioned that I thought it was the very first convention I had attended. I wasn't really sure of this fact, but it seemed likely enough. I now have photographic proof that I was wrong though. A funny thing about this convention is that I remember that we were particularly struck by a young lady named Holly (we never got her last name). She was a fan and fellow convention-goer dressed as a character from the miniseries and subsequent TV series "V". Even with all the "special guest stars" present at the event, Holly really was a highlight for us. I think it's at least partially because she was an attractive female dressed up as a character from one of our favorite sci-fi shows. Did I mention we were geeks?

Anyway, I remember that we actually ran into Holly at more than one convention. It was a great thrill to see her a second time (in a better costume and accompanied by a like-dressed male companion--bummer). Well, when I found the photos from this convention, there was also one from the other time we met Holly. It's obvious from the photos that the other meeting was at an earlier convention (based on many factors, including my appearance and Holly's less-elaborate costume). I guess now I have to figure out exactly when that first convention was. The mysteries continue...

Here's the photo of Holly and her fellow alien visitor from the August 1985 convention.

And, here's the photo of us with Holly from the first time we met her at an earlier convention (almost certainly my VERY first convention). Note my "Star Trek II" phaser squirt gun and my attempt to imitate the character Donovan from "V". Poor Holly! What she must have been thinking.  I may have mentioned this already, but yes, I was a geek.

Well, I guess this finally concludes this extended trip back in time to the Boston Creation Convention of August 1985. Hope it was worth the 25+ year wait!

1 comment:

  1. I was at that convention - very important event happened to me there.