Ahhh, conventions. The one place where comic fans, movie nuts, TV geeks, aspiring artists, cosplayers, actors, writers, pencilers, Warsians, Trekkies (Trekkers), Whoâ€¦vians(?), Battlestar Galactites, and the 3 guys who remember Firefly (joking, of course) can all temporarily let down their â€œfanboy filtersâ€ and collectively geek out. For the past 5 years, I have made it a goal to attend my local convention of choice, Mid-Ohio Con. I have gone so far as to plan my entire year around this one magic weekend. This year seemed destined to be the best Con thus far. And you know what? It was. And I have the pictures to prove it!
First off, Iâ€™d like to say that, while Mid-Ohio Con isnâ€™t the biggest comicsâ€™ convention, it has practically doubled in size every year Iâ€™ve attended. What was once a small Con being held in the conference room at the Columbus Hilton Hotel, it has moved through the variously sized rooms at The Greater Columbus Convention Centre, and has this year settled into the largest hall the building has. That is quite a feat, in my opinion. The guest list has grown as well, ballooning from the three or four comicsâ€™ creators and artists at a small table in the back to at least 60 famous folks from all aspects of fandom.
This yearâ€™s top media guest was Ray Park, known for portraying characters such as Darth Maul, Toad, the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow, and is currently on the NBC series Heroes. But you all already knew that. While I wasnâ€™t able to get a full interview with Mr. Park, I was able to ask a quick question, so here now I present to you a Major Spoilers Exclusive (sort-of) interview with Ray Park:
Sam Dunham: Hey Mr. Park, how are you doing?
Ray Park: Alright, alright.
SD: You enjoying the Con so far?
RP: Yeah, yeah, just got in this morning, but yeah, itâ€™s been pretty good.
SD: So, how different is it for you being on a television series compared to, yâ€™know, being in movies?
RP: Itâ€™s definitely a change of pace. Itâ€™s not as repetitive as movies. I mean, when youâ€™re filming [a movie]; you end up shooting maybe one scene during a day. It can get long. But with Heroes, because of the time between shooting and going on-air, we really move at a faster pace. Television also lets you come in, shoot the scene, and then go do whatever. Donâ€™t have to hang around all day. But when youâ€™re working that quickly on scenes, thereâ€™s less time for reshoots, so thereâ€™s more chance of mistakes going in. But yeah, Iâ€™m having a good time with it.
SD: Hey, well thanks for your time, Mr. Park.
RP: No problem.
SD: Youâ€™re the man.
After meeting another Heroes cast member, James Kyson Lee (Ando), who was also a great guy that I unfortunately didnâ€™t have much of a chance to talk with, and a few comic writers and artists, it was time to hit the various comic book stands. I wonâ€™t bore you with the details of this, but I do want to mention that whoever came up with the idea of $ .10 comics deserves a medal. The day was coming to a close, when something truly amazing happened. Truly amazing for me, that is.
This story takes a little setting up. As Iâ€™ve said, Iâ€™ve attended Mid-Ohio Con for the last five years, and for the past five years Iâ€™ve tried to meet Tony Isabella. Isabella is the creator of Black Lightning, wrote for Luke Cage, and works on Ghost Rider for a time, among other things. The first few years of attending the Con, I simply wanted him to sign a comic book of mine, a fairly normal thing to do. The thing was, however, he was never in his booth. After year 2 I stopped bringing the book, content to just meet the guy. Last year I made it a point to pass his stand at least a half dozen times, determined to catch him. No luck. Meeting Tony Isabella became a sort-of quest. Some people search for the Loch Ness Monster, others the yetiâ€¦ I searched for the elusive Tony Isabella. I am proud to say, after 5 years of searchingâ€¦ mission accomplished.
Well, this pretty much wraps up my Mid-Ohio Con â€™09 experience. I had a really great time, and I know Iâ€™m going back next year for sure. Iâ€™d suggest this convention for any comic book of pop culture fan (where have I heard that one beforeâ€¦). Now, if youâ€™ll excuse me, Iâ€™m going to go read through some back issues of Meteor Man â€“ The Comic and the original Squadron Supreme mini-series.