And considering that we never really do anything overly ostentatious, we figured we'd splurge and get the VIP tickets. Not that our $150 a pop really got us much - just fast tracked queuing for tokens, a couple of VIP only panels and a DVD of the event sent out afterwards. For the really awesome perks, one had to part with several hundred dollars and we couldn't justify it that much.
We organised a dog sitter and got really lucky when we learned that Christian's aunty had a time share hotel unit just down the road from the Convention Centre and as she never used the free nights she's entitled to, she was happy for us to stay there.
We took the Friday off as an annual leave day so we could make the most of the weekend and set out to really enjoy ourselves. We checked in about 4pm Friday arvo and spent the evening wandering about the city. Just next to the hotel was this cool little shop that was absolutely jam packed with pianos. Seriously, if someone's Grandma was obsessed with pianos, this is what her attic would look like. There was hardly any room to move and it was fucking awesome!
We had to walk under the freeway overpass to get anywhere and this little guy was pinned to a 'Graffiti Hotline' sign. I'd forgotten to take my meds a couple of times in the last week and had been a right grumpy bitch and this made me cheer up considerably.
It was rather overcast on Friday and I thought the city skyline looked really cool.
So we got up early on Saturday and headed down to the Convention Centre, not really knowing what to expect. Obviously the lines were out the door, but it wasn't as busy as we had expected. Our queue time took longer than general admission as we had to be ID'd and get a few bits and bobs from the front desk.
While in line we saw Bane...
Inside we spent a couple of hours wandering about, finding out where everything was and taking in the sights and sounds. We got some tokens for some autographs and our VIP tickets paid off almost straight away as we were in line for tokens for all of about two minutes. Although we loved the idea of getting photos and autographs of almost everyone there it just wasn't really viable for us to do so - financially but also practically. I mean, we only have a little house and are almost out of wall space already. What would we do with them? No point forking out such a considerable amount of money (autos were $30 up to $50 depending on the star and photos started from about $50 I think to $90 with someone like Shatner or RDA) just to have them put in a folder somewhere never to see the light of day.
In the end we got two tokens - one to get an autograph from Colin Ferguson for Tash and one to get RDA to sign a Cyanide and Happiness comic for us.
The queue for Colin was rather short so we jumped in straight away. I told Christian that now we were mere moments away from talking to such an awesome actor as Mr Ferguson, I couldn't think of anything intelligent to say at all and would most likely make a blubbering idiot of myself. Which I probably did.
Colin - shakes hands we me and then with Christian. Hi, how are you? I'm Colin.
Me - Crap, really? We thought we were in William Shatner's line! Well damn!
Colin - Yeah, I get that all the time! (Laughs...thankfully) So, where are you guys from?
Me - From Perth, we're locals.
Colin - Wow, seems like most people are from around here. At most conventions heaps of people seem to have traveled a long way to get there.
Christian - Well, it's because we're so far away from everyone else in the country.
Me - Yeah, we're the most isolated capital city in the world. No one comes here if they can help it.
Colin - Yeah, it took me like five hours to fly here from Sydney.
Christian - And they charge you a heap to get here.
Colin - What, they don't give you a discount?
Christian - Nah, it's cheap to fly here from everywhere but not cheap to fly out from here.
Me - I get the feeling they want to keep us here...
We chatted for a minute more and Colin signed a photo for us and we walked off, me a little star struck. It was only then that I looked down and realised he'd signed the photo 'For Tasha, great to meet you - Colin Ferguson'. Oops...Tash is going to have to pretend she's met him...
After that we looked around a bit more and then started to line up for our autograph with RDA. We were then shooed off because you weren't allowed to line up prior to 15 mins before the session time started. So we went and sat down for a bit and then when the allowed time had come, we went to line up, only to find a hundred people already in line. Grrrrrr! So we queued anyway and got shuffled further and further down the line as Platinum passes and the RDA Experience passes got put in front of us. After we'd been queuing for almost an hour a woman came down the line announcing that everyone should chech their tokens as the RDA tokens had a time on them and if your time was for 3:30 to come back later.
Well guess what? Fucking 3:30!!!
So we went and found a quite place against stage 2 to sit and I went off to find some food. By this time the crowd had almost doubled and it took me twenty minutes to navigate my way across the convention floor to the cafe and even longer to get back. When I did get back I discovered the invasion had begun!!! But for some reason Mario had joined forces with the Daleks!
We ate lunch and people watched (though I must admit I was crap at taking pics of the awesome costumes. I just hated interrupting people to get a photo as they must have been getting sick of it happening every five minutes.)
We waited where we were as there was a VIP panel on with Jason Momoa, Teryl Rothery and David Nykl from Stargate. At this point Christian looked as tired as I felt.
The panel started and the three actors were very friendly, very funny and just a lovely bunch of people. Plus, Jason Momoa is hot. Nuff said.
After the panel we decided to head back to the hotel for an hour or two to rest until heading back to get RDA's autograph. Before we left we stopped by a few of the artists booths to pick up some prints we wanted. I bought a heap of these Doctor Who prints from an extremely talented man called Stewart McKenny. He was lovely and signed them all for me and we had an awesome discussion about Doctor Who, what my fave Angels episode was, how scary they were and if he drew The Empty Child. He said that this is something he wants to do in future. A truly remarkable artist and I encourage everyone to check out his site :)
After a short rest at the hotel (I didn't technically rest, I just messaged backwards and forwards with Flora but considering I was sitting on a comfy couch is was resting enough) we headed back to the convention.
And the line for RDA was so long, it snaked all the way through the convention, almost to the front door! Christian spoke to one of the helpers there and she said that RDA was there till 6pm but he would stay until everyone who had bought a token had gotten his signature (tokens are only valid on the day of purchase). So we went off wandering again and took a more detailed browse of the stalls. This was when we stumbled across this shirt. It's the characters from Firefly in Snoopy form.
Christian couldn't decide if it was awesome or not. I say yes.
We got back in line at about half five as we were tired of walking about and just watched people coming and going. If I was tried with sore feet, I couldn't imagine how Iron Man felt...
The line slowly snaked around until we could see the signing booths. Shatner had returned to sign extra autographs and Christian and I remarked again how fast he pumped them through. The couple behind us said that they had gotten his autograph and he didn't engage in small talk or pleasantries, just signed and you were ushered off. I guess when you're a veteran of these conventions, you do what you have to do to get through the day. To be honest, he's not looking all the best :( He walks with a cane and all his photos were taken with him sitting down.I can imagine just how tiring these days can be for him. When he left, someone in the line called out 'Goodnight Mr Shatner' and he turned and waved which was nice.
6pm came and went and Richard Dean 'I'm a fucking trooper' Anderson just went on and on. I have no idea how his hand had not fallen off as yet but he was determined that no one would go home without what they paid for. It was half past six by the time we reached him and he was still cheerful and chirpy and he happily signed our comic for us. He hadn't seen it before and he had a good laugh over it and I'm glad that we could make him laugh after such a long day.
That evening we stumbled back to the hotel and just ordered room service and mindlessly watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. We were just absolutely shattered after such a long day and we still had a day to go!
Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel and headed up to the CC and discovered that the few people in Perth who didn't know it was on, found out and were there! Saturday it had gotten progressively busier as the day went on but the opening crowd on Sunday was as big as the biggest crowd on Saturday. We met up with Steven and it helped to have two tall people who could see where they were going. It's difficult when one's head only reached armpit level on most other people.
We went to a Voice Acting Masterclass with Paul Eiding and Chris Sabat and then went to a screening of a few episodes of Adventure Time since we had no idea what all the hype was about. We said goodbye to Steven and headed for lunch and as we left the CC we found that they had shut the doors as they had reached capacity but there were still at least a thousand people still waiting to get it.
After lunch we had planned to sit in on the Colin Ferguson panel followed by the Jason Momoa one and culminating in the RDA panel. Unfortunately the lines were so very long that the chances of getting in were slim to none and we decided that we may as well call it quits and head home.
Turned out rather well actually as I've had time to do this post, and to scan our autograph and email it to Rob at Cyanide and Happiness.
Now I'm exhausted so I'll wrap this up :)