The Measure Of A Fan

I know this is super inside-baseball-pants for you non-Star Trek nerds, but I just got back from a two day stint at a Star Trek convention so please cut me some slack. Please feel free to cut a bit more slack (as long as slack is already being cut) for the Lo-FijiNKS comic. I was pretty burnt after the con and didn’t feel up to coloring and shading and… drawing all that well.

Flip You Melon Farmer! The “Edited For Content” mug on up for sale NOW!
Give Me the Coffee You Fairy Godmother

There was a TNG panel at this particular con, and the guests were Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Michael Dorn. I decided to ditch my table for an hour and check out the fun times. Highlights included Frakes moving through the audience for the first 20 minutes or so asking all the standard, tired-ass questions they’ve all heard a thousand times. At one point he asked “When y’all were on the spaceship and y’all stood on the glowing floor things where also the ceiling was glowin’ and y’all got beamed to the planet… what did that feel like?” [at this point I should mention that Tia Carrere was also a guest at the con] Brent Spiner responded with some techno babble about his molecules being dispersed, yo which Michael Dorn replied “I would like to disperse my molecules all over Tia Carrere.” This would be quite an ordeal for Ms. Carrere because, as you know, Klingons have two dongs.

Great Scott!

Great Scott! A reader commission I did at the con. Click to Embiggen.

I got a quick chance to meet Frakes and Spiner and give them each a copy of the “Riker, I hardly know her” comic. It was gratifying to share space with a couple of my childhood heroes if only for a minute or two. We talked briefly about Leverage and our mutual admiration for Jon Rogers and Amy Berg. Brent Spiner said, “When is she going to get me on Eureka? Wil Wheaton’s on that show every other week!” Throughout the panel and our encounter afterwards Brent Spiner was none too shy about showing his dissatisfaction with the “lack of Brent Spiner awareness and appreciation” among the general public. To that I say, “Buck up Brent. You are my favorite robot-man and you are pretty great.”

Oh, Shatner was there too. Whatever.

COMMENTERS: Share your “meeting your heroes” experiences. Did they live up to the hype or were you disappointed?

Here’s a commission I did for a reader at the con. Click to embiggen.

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  1. I've only met people I was a fan of a few times. I try to keep it professional after realizing I can get carried away (I think I talked to Joe Dunn at a con for like, 3 hours once)

  2. FanimeCon '09: I attended a panel with the creative team behind 'Temgen Toppa Gurren Laggan', asked a smart/funny question and shook their hands at the autographing table. It. WAS. AWESOOOOOMME! (read that like 300's "This IS SPARTAAA!")

  3. Dragon*Con 2010:
    Chris Judge: Really awesome, even nicer than I imagined he would be.
    Mark Sheppard: Really cool and funny.
    Richard Hatch: Met him before at ConCarolinas, really cool guy. (He'll thumb-wrestle you for free too!)

    There are many more that I did meet, and most all of them were pretty awesome.

  4. Pinocchio is broken…its strings have been cut… Measure of a man….for the win! There's a reason that episode won awards.
    For those who are clueless watch here…
    On a related note I met quite a few of my star trek idols at Chicago Comic Con
    Shatner – who was kinda disappointing because all he did was push us to see his upcoming projects.
    Avery Brooks – Who was kinda cool in a beatnik sorta way and very philosophical. Kinda guy who would answer your question with a question.
    John de Lancie – Who told great funny stories from his career in film and stage.
    Brent Spiner – Who was quick witted on stage and hilarious to talk to even in conversation while getting an autograph. What I wouldn't give to just hang with that guy for an hour. One of those guys who just lights up the room with with sense of humor and takes the fame thing completely in stride.

    • If I had known that Avery Brooks taught theater at Rutgers, I would have gone there for college. I was considering a double major in history and theater anyway, but that would have sealed the deal I think.

  5. You have more star trek burned into your brain than I do memories of a terrible childhood. And let me tell you, that's hard to top. I envy you. I think.

    "Shatner was there too. Whatever." Indeed.

  6. In 2009 I got to perform one of my sign language interpretations on stage with Jonathan Coulton. (I discovered later that you were in the audience, Joel.) He and Paul and Storm were just a bunch of cool guys. We shot the breeze about travelling, cupcakes, and many geeky topics. In retrospect, it was just downright awe-inspiring, but at the time it I was very chill. It's cliche, I know, but famous people are people too, and it's easy to forget that sometimes. I'm just glad to have had that moment.

  7. To say that he is my hero is a stretch, but I got to meet Bill Nye the Science Guy. When I got up to his table to have him sign the autograph I asked if he would write "Holy crap, I'm Bill Nye!" and he stared at me like I had 2 heads. Instead he says, 'How about 'Science rules!'?" To which I replied, "…..that's cool to."

    FOLLOW-UP! I also met Olivia Munn who was signing autographs and while I was getting hers I was telling my buddy with me about my Bill Nye experience. So Olivia Munn, being awesome, signed her autograph "Holy crap, I'm Bill Nye!" Glorious.

  8. My best experience thus far was at C2E2 this year meeting all of my fovorite webcomic artist. Everyone was really awesome and me and my wife had a great day. The next best thing was watching my mom tell Tyler Florence (from food network) that my sister was a raptor, and my sister nearly explode with shame. (My sister is not n fact a raptor)

  9. In 2006 I gave Warren Ellis a button badge. (I think it said "I'm bigger than Jesus too", or something.) He gave me a hug. It was awesome.

    Sergio Aragonés was amazing, hilarious storyteller, and very friendly and sweet when I got his autograph. Probably the best thing that happened to me in 2009.

  10. In 2009 I attended a meet and greet with Edward James Olmos at a multiculturalism lecture. The man was glorious. I stammered alot and made a total ass of myself when I actually got to talk to him. On the upside he shook my hand and kissed me on the cheek; he is frakking gracious and by far the coolest person I have ever met. I kind of wish I hadn’t met him though, just so I wouldn’t have embarrassed myself so deeply.

    • We attended a Q&A with him just a few weeks ago and I must say I did not get the same impression. He rambled on for quite a bit about a lot of things that either did not make sense or did not sound like they were true. It was entertaining, don't get me wrong, but it was kind of the same level as getting cornered by your favorite drunk relative as he tells you random, long-winded stories.

  11. I went to the 2007 Leipzig International Book Fair (I live in Berlin, Germany) to attend a Q&A and later a reading with Neil Gaiman, who is my absolute favourite author EVER. I had brought a red balloon (sort of the ID of his fan message board) that had a skull and crossbones on it, and some whiskey and chocolate for him. When I asked for a picture with him and the balloon, he said "Oh, would you mind if we do it at my German publisher's booth, after I'm done with this signing? They need the stage for the next event, we'll have more time there." I stammered something like "sure", then followed him and some publishing folk to the booth, where he and me and another girl and his publishers chatted for almost an hour, while he signed several enormous stacks of comic books. Then we had a FIFTEEN MINUTE photo session all to ourselves. He gave me several hugs and drew pupils in the skull's eyeholes on the balloon. My face hurt for days from all the grinning.
    Oh, and in the evening, the reading was followed by another Q&A, followed by more signing in an underground bar-thingy. And we chatted some more after that, with him sitting on the edge of the stage and five or six of us hardcore fans standing around him adoringly. He was incredibly patient and nice and sweet and open and funny, even to people who asked REALLY stupid questions.

    Best. Day. Of. My. Life.

  12. One of my biggest heroes from my teenage years is Joshua Bell (that's going to be obscure for this crowd, I know… but chances are you've at least heard his music even if you didn't know it was him). I've been sort of shepherding his fandom for a decade so he's known me for that long. Every time I say hi to him after a concert I still go kind of derfy and forget to use my words. And it's been ten years! I'm kind of a dork that way.

  13. Not necessarily a hero, but I met Summer Glau at Fan Expo. I was nervous as hell. I think I may have mumbled ten words to her but she was so sweet and awesome.

  14. Brent Spiner – in my opinion – was so much more awesome on Night Court as the turtle guy than Data ever could be.

  15. This strip is a perfect example of why I stopped going to Star Trek Cons. I think the watershed moment for me was someone asking Dirk Benidict if the planet he landed on in some episode was one of the original colonies or some offshoot of humanity.

    It's a pity too, my first con back when I was 12 was a great experiance. I met James Doohan who was unbelievable friendly, and the attendees were smart and sociable. These days I go to Horror cons, I find a similar class of people there.

  16. Any time you're on a Q&A panel at a con, you should have an undercover minion in the audience; that way you can make a point of calling on him first, so he can loudly ask, "What questions do you hate getting asked, and why?". You could knock all the what-are-your-inspirations, where-do-you-get-your-ideas, what-are-your-favorite-webcomics, how-do-i-get-started-in-webcomics, what-kind-of-pencil-do-you-use type of crap out of the park right up front, save everyone some time.

  17. At the Toronto Comicon about 5 years ago, I met Levar Burton. I told him how much I loved what he did for the kids show Reading Rainbow and he seemed really happy to talk about something other than Star Trek. He talked to me for about 6 minutes before the grumbling crowds behind us got me to move on. He was so nice and just awesome to talk with.

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