Chronicles of a Comic Expo: Day 3 – a New Hope (kinda)

This is the last one people and thank Christ cos even I am getting bored of them. I think finally my brain is ready to move on, let go of the wonderful and ball-sucking memories alike, and go back to being the literary malicious god that I am.

So let’s do this one last one right, and then you’ll never hear about this (other than the next two podcast episodes which are really really awesome interviews – I promise).

Day 3 has a precursor to it. I’m used to the organizers sending texts and online bullshit about venue changes and the such during the expo. I’m sort of OK with them coming up to me and asking me to fuck off and go nest somewhere else. I get that this was the first time organizing and that it may take a while to develop the savvy for it.

But it is never, never, EVERcool to text me a change of venue when I’m in the shower. There’s no reason why – you don’t and shouldn’t care. First off, water. That and cellphones really don’t do well together and I’ve already invested 3 days and about 2KG of my bodywork into this (oh yeah, the lack of food and constant carrying actually made me loose weight – fuck, me, right?) Secondly – what kinda world do we live in where a brother can’t even enjoy a shower for ten fucking minutes without something going off? (pun not intended but hey)

Back on topic. I am having an argument over the phone whilst desperately trying to keep it out of running water, and we finally settle that the time of the panel shall remain the same (as I had told everyone I knew) but the venue would change. Not cool, but you gotta live with it.

The first thing I do is find Joe Harris. This dude seemed cool and all – but little word of warning, that shit gets old real quick. Somebody give that guy some Red Bull and maybe some crack too.

Also my second guest shows up: Mario Azzoppardi. Now, I don’t know much about this dude since he’s a local guy and from my parents’ generation. Apparently they fucked him over some censorship in this country (quelle fuckin’ suprisé) and he ended up spending 30 years in Canada when he directed Stargate SG-1. Not bad.

So I’m thinking “I got a guy who’s laid back, wrote X-Files and just can’t be bothered with much. And I got a guy who must have 30 years of pent up rage and sarcasm ready to lash out at this country. I can work with this.”

Now, because despite what I say online, I can be a professional, I prepare scripts for the panel. They are not actually scripts – they are 2 big font pages on a word document with a total of twenty points to help carry on the conversation. I’d be surprised if there are more than 200 words in total.

And none of them read them.

So whilst the panel before us selfishly took an extra 10 minutes, I racked my brain for something to do or say.

Meanwhile, whilst I am setting up and still trying to think of something, Mike Costa shows up to attend the panel. This was the dude I was supposed to interview yesterday (day 2) but it never happened. He’s a big time comic and sci-fi guy. And the same rules as yesterday still apply.

I had no conversation. I had two guests that clearly did not want to be there. I had a dead panel. So how do I revive it? Add a third person. That chaos of all three of them trying to talk together will surely fill in the time, take pressure off of me and we will for sure get a diversity of opinion. (the last one not so much – but hey – 2 out of 3 isn’t bad)

So I put him on the panel – with no mic cos sound guy is still being hatched from his incubator of not-being-there-ever – and the conversation starts. Mike and Joe share a mic, which basically means Joe could not be bothered to speak into the goddamn thing and Mario Azzoppardi kept looking at his as if it might jump out and attack him. Still, the audio quality is OK on the recording – not the best but manageable.

This was the single biggest panel to date. It had a record amount of people, it had the largest number of panelists and  even members of the staff came by to see it.

The first 10 mins were slow as a fucking snail of weed. So I resort to punishing the audience and my guests by being myself. I had nothing to loose, it was post Halloween and I had no coffee.

So I sang the opening lines of “Cry Little Sister” as the three of them looked at me like one looks at a salamander in their salad. Then I do the Lost Boys line – “I tried to make you immortal” “YOU TRIED TO MAKE ME A KILLER.”

It’s all there folks. You’ll hear it.

That seemed to revive to audience – that and my obscure Dark Angel and ESP references. Also the anime references. That impressed the others.

I had two more bullets prepared to fire at the audience should they behave in a typical Maltese way and look at me catatonically. I had the Matrix “there is no spoon” line and the Richard Attenborough line from Jurassic Park 2 – “Welcome, to Jurassic Park!”

Nothing to lose folks. Nothing to lose.

So long story short (an hour 10 mins panel) – we wrap up and I hear Mario turn to the other guys and go “I think this panel was very intelligent and smartly planned.” That is a compliment! In fact I impressed him so much he wants to have a business meeting (and we had a small talk right there at the expo).

But more on that later.

I was free, I was done. I was happy to chase people around and get contacts and pictures. Oh the pictures. Go on my Facebook page or profile and see those beauties.

I also have some good news for you podcast listeners. The Sailor Moon voice actors, namely Toby Proctor (Tuxedo Mask), Linda Ballantyne (Sailor Moon), Susan Roman (Sailor Jupiter) and Katie Griffin (Sailor Mars) have all agreed to by on the podcast for an interview.

Right? Awesome.

So let’s talk about the ending. I know I’m gonna get some slack for this but fuck it. My blog.

Originally there was going to be an after party. Just a small gathering with just us folks and the guests, we goof around a little and have a drink. This was supposed to be the final teary goodbye.

This never happened.

Hell, I meet a dozen people there, all with their own schedules. I manage to say bye to like, two, and then I’m told that there is no after party. I don’t know the reason nor do I care. I never got to say goodbye to some of the new friends I made and that sucked.

Now I can either bitch about the unprofessionalism showed at that particular moment or maybe even go on a tirade on the self-damaging mentality this country seems to have.

Or I just say thank you for the opportunity, and wave around the podcast, knowing that all of my friends are going to be on it. Three cheers for the Lurking Voice Podcast.

So what did we learn:

– Shit hits the fan. When that happens you can either be the one to duck and hide, or be the one to throw more shit and laugh maniacally.

– People suck. Don’t rely on them. Be smarter, be better. And forge your own path.

– Never be unprofessional. Never be disrespectful. As my friend once said “we can still kill them with respect.”

– I had fun and learnt a lot from this. Period.

Thank you guys for reading about this journey. I don’t know what the next step is gonna be. I just hope it will be better than this. And I think it will. I think this will be improved, not just as an expo but as a culture. But it may take a while

I just hope I don’t shoot anyone till then.

Peace out,

Ryan

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