Friday, May 31, 2013

A Denver Comic Con Prequel Story, featuring Waldrop

It confounds me me that the last time I did something like this was 14 years ago. Before I begin my Denver Comic Con 2013 experience, let's flashback ...

The year was 1999. The location was Dragon Con, a three day science fiction and fantasy convention hosted in Atlanta, GA. I went with a close friend of mine who, while very relevant to the story, we will keep anonymous with the pseudonym "Waldrop". Waldrop was an impressive portrait artist that enjoyed getting his portraits signed by the celebrities they featured. At this point in time, I believe he had an Eric Idle portrait of his signed by Mr. Idle.

That, for the most part, was Waldrop's motivation to come to this convention with me. He had a great portrait drawn of Billy D. Williams as the Lando Calrissian Character, and Billy D Williams himself was to be at Dragon Con that year. So after dragging Waldrop through the trade room with me for a while, we went to meet the great Star Wars traitor himself.

Billy D. Williams from 1999's DragonCon
As we approached Billy Dick William's signing room, we were cut off by security. They informed the line that Mr. Williams would not be signing ANY Star Wars memorabilia. He would only be signing his new book, which we could purchase there for the signing. Well, a couple of underpaid security guards never stopped a pair of teenagers in my knowledge of the history of America. Confident that we could appeal to the "Artist" within Billy D., Waldrop snuck the picture under his shirt and we confidently continued forward. When we reached the book sellers they again warned us Mr. Williams would only sign the new book. We continued on, and Waldrop stood before Billy D. Williams with his portrait in hand.

"Hello Mr. Williams. I understand you are an artist, like myself, and I was just wondering if you had any comments about my piece of you here or maybe if you'd might honor it with your signature?"

Billy D. just stared blankly at Waldrop and said "No.", and pointed us towards the door.

Waldrop was devastated.

Adam West from 1999's DragonCon
I lead us on to the Celebrity Walk, in hopes of raising his spirits with a different celeberity. As luck would have it, Adam West's booth was within sight without a single attendee before him.

"Hey dude, cheer up! Let's go say 'Hi' to Batman!"

If you're not in the know, Adam West is fucking awesome.

I walk up, nerding out to Mr. West about how I grew up watching his show, when he notices the distraught Waldrop. 

"Yeah, that's great kid. What's wrong with your friend?"

Waldrop steps forward, "Billy D. Williams wouldn't sign my portrait of him."

Batgirl at 1999 DragonCon
"Really, what a jerk! Can I see it? Wow kid, this is really good. Tell you what, can I sign it?"

Waldrop begins to lighten up a bit, "Um, sure."

So Adam West signs Waldrop's Billy D Williams Portrait, writing in one corner "Great work kid, keep it up. Love, Adam West" and in the other corner "Sorry I'm such a douchebag. Love, Billy D. Williams".

He gives us the portrait back, and suggests that we get all the other celebrities at the con to sign it. Then we could bring it back to Billy D. and exclaim, "Hey all these other celebrities would sign it, why can't you?"

So that's what we did. A campaign across the DragonCon Celebrity booths to gather signatures to shove in Billy D. Williams face. Now this was 14 years ago, so my memory may be fallible but I remember us getting ...

Apollo Smile at 1999 DragonCon

Yvonne Craig (60's Batgirl)
Apollo Smile
Phillip Brown (Uncle Owen Lars)
Peter Ostrum (Charlie from the Chocolate Factory)
Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt from Chocolate Factory)

Just to name a few of the signatures I remember ...

Now fast forward to 2013 ...

The Denver Convention Center Bear just wants to come in to play!
I'm attending my second convention in almost 14 years since that epic day! I'm excited and hopeful for some new stories to share from Denver's Comic Con. There will be many photos coming to this blog, so stay tuned or subscribed or however you choose to find my blog through the internets.

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