Two weekends ago was Wellington's Armageddon conference, otherwise known as The Nerd Convention. I was thoroughly in my element, but Dave seemed unnerved by the strangely-costumed girls and smelly fanboys. Since not many of you are nerds, I'll give a brief overview of fun events that transpired...
We saw Doug Jones -- better known as The Faun from "Pan's Labyrinth", Abe Sapien from Hellboy, The Silver Surfer from the new Fantastic 4 movie -- discuss what it's like to act under all those prosthetics, makeup and animatronic parts. Dave and I saw "Pan's Labyrinth" the next week, and it was cool to realize that we'd already seen the human underneath... his complete unrecognizeability is a high compliment to the costumers for that movie.
The AMV (anime music video) contest was a lot of fun, the winner being a cartoon redubbed to have the main characters bickering over being gay. Given the reputation that japanese animation has for having girly, girly men as main characters, this video was dang funny.
Next was a Fear Factor-esque contest, renamed to be "Wuss Factor", in which nerds competed in eating disgusting innards for a Nintendo Wii. I decided that in this case, shelling out the dough for the system would be a better option. :-P
The day's finale was the cosplay contest. Here, nerds (usually she-nerds) dress up as their favourite animation or video game characters, and spend months in advance putting together the perfect costume.
My own costume turned out quite well, but I missed the contest registration (and pre-judging rounds), so did not compete in the contest. No worries, though -- I used the extra time to sightsee and get autographs. ;-) Here are the final results, courtesy of a camera lent to us by Dave's lovely co-worker Yen Ping.
...(Also, to make the comparison fair between myself and a fictional character, I took the liberty of "realistically-proportionalizing" Shion to the tune of 15%...) ;-) Still, not bad, eh?
I got to meet two prominent voice actors: Susan Eigenberg and Crispin Freeman. Susan is best known as the voice of Wonder Woman from the Justice League of America cartoons, whereas Crispin's work varies across a decades' worth of animation and video games.
Unfortunately, I was already at my geeking-out threshold, and was completely thrown over the edge of weirdo fandom by Karla's brain-kryptonite... Crispin Freeman turned out to be a smiling, blue-eyed Jude Law lookalike. (Since when are voice actors cute?! I always thought they were behind the camera for a reason...)
My usual schmooze-skills utterly abandoned me as my tongue-tied, fourteen-year-old self returned, stammering, "Err... uh, could you... sign this?"
"Sure, what's your name?"
"Uhh... I don't... know...?"
So much for suave. But then again, if I was all that concerned with suave, would I have ever been at a nerd convention in the first place? ;-)
Dave and I missed the window for meeting the Bro'Town guys, but we saw them wandering around the convention, which was good enough for us. Also, for those of you wanting to check out NZ's answer to Family Guy / The Simpsons, check out Bro'Town on APTN, Saturdays at 11PM ET.
Lastly, and best of all, I met the one and only Brian K Vaughn, author of Y: The Last Man and Pride of Baghdad. We chatted awhile, and I got my Kimono Dragons book signed. He seemed like a really neat guy, and he got a good laugh out of the fact that I was introduced to his Y series by my mom. He said that he'd never heard of that happening before, and that she sounds like a cool lady. Which she is, of course.
Thus we ended our adventure in the wacky Land of Nerd. I miss it already...