ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLrighty-dighty. YEAH, I just said that! And what are you going to do about it?
You'll just keep reading, THAT'S what you'll do. I got your NUMBER, buddy.
I don't have footage/pics of all that I tried to capture though. My phone, the wretch, was so full of itself....such a vain little thing with a mind of its own. Thought about putting a bullet in it but it'd be an insult to said bullet.
Where were we? Oh, yeah! I met some amazing people on this trip and I didn't die in some obscure, unceremonious way. Wonderful, because you know, my family had far better things to do than working with the local authorities to FIND my body, then having to get it cremated, and furthermore having to shake my remains over a bush somewhere.
They should be swimming, eating, and making little sharks, so on and so forth.
Now then. THUS WE BEGIN!!!
Thursday, other volunteers and I spent the first day packaging promo posters and stuff to hand out to people would would be flocking through the doors the next day. Had a nice lil' assembly line going, we did. We worked many hours that flew by as minutes. We were like unto a bunch of busy little worker bees, but without the whole stinging and/or horrible dying part.
I love bees. I do.
The only picture I had of the pile of yellow promo bags wound up blurry. You may THINK I'm attempting to set a new world record for taking the crappiest photos and accidentally pissing you off.
I will allow this.
The rest of that night was spent being hailed on and tornado'd at within an inch of my life. It was great. Sirens and the works.
NOTE: My love of severe weather makes me question my current professions.
FRIDAY: Star Clipper was awesome and set up a table for me to sell some prints of my original artwork, which effectively paid for parking during the course of my trip. I originally took and then posted this photo, saying, "Hanging out at my table in Star Clipper, St Louis," to which a friend of mine responded, "I love how this is a picture of you hanging out....and you are conveniently absent from the picture." I know, right?
SO, after hearing an awesome rebuttal like that, you OTHERS out there can joke I was 'invisible' all you want, but I will have to go and call the Unoriginality Police and have them throw you in some brig somewhere.
Try not to take it personally.
In OTHER news, the Saint Louis Zoo was spectacular.
I was ALSO confronted by a mad peacock and barely escaped with my ever-loving LIFE.
NO PEACOCKS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS FILM, BECAUSE I DIDN'T CHASE HIM OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
BUT THEN, I TOOK THE FOOTAGE, AND CUT IT INTO TINY PIECES, AND MADE IT SUFFER, AND FADE IN AND OUT ALL OVER, THEN I ADDED MY SCARY MUSIC. (WE HAVE TO GET OUR SADISTIC KICKS WHERE WE CAN, YOU SEE.)
Saturday, before I was scheduled to return to the Wizard World Con as volunteer, I stopped back by Star Clipper and was their special guest artist once again, to take on-the-spot sketch commission requests. One gentleman asked for a superhero, and he was pretty happy with his art piece.
Unless he secretly hated it and didn't tell me, and took it home and burned it with blood-fire on the tile of his bathroom floor. You know, I would understand.
Once I got back to the con, I signed myself in with the boss and made my way straight to Lou Ferrigno's booth to see if I could be of service, having heard from day one that he didn't have anyone to assist with his booth/photo ops.
I'd always heard that well-respected Mr. Ferrigno was as very kind as he is wonderfully titanic, so I was certainly not apprehensive about working with him. As we all know, hearing about a person is one thing, and to actually get to meet them is what is so amazing---lemmie tell you, the gentleman is a very gracious and intelligent person, sunny in disposition. During brief lulls in the crowd, he called over to me at my 'post', a few feet away from his table, and asked about how my trip had been, and if I had a family, and how they might be doing. Honestly, I don't think the man has a self-centered bone in his body. He gave me the impression that he must be very close to his own family, and they have got to be so very proud of him.
Soon, a gentleman friend of his arrived to sit with him for a bit and help out. I continued line control. After a while, the friend had to bid Mr. Lou farewell, but before he left, he and Lou relayed to me that I was trusted and would be welcome to return, if possible, for the next and last day of the convention to help him out again. WOW. Uh....."YES! CERTAINLY!"
THAT EVENING: Oh, just the massive VIP-studded Cosplay Contest.
Then I remembered I was human, and had to EAT something. HINT(?): I'm not in this picture, either.
Then there was the After-Party, overlooking the entire convention floor from three stories up in a night club setting, complete with Aflex/Tech Nine playing music just the way I like it-----waaaaay too loud. There was a dance floor, a bar, and a DJ station. Apparently I can be pursuaded to dance, quite well, once coerced by people I hardly know who are drunk-ish, who dared me to dance with none other than THE COOKIE MONSTER. AND, did I dance ever so; you'll just have to take my word for it. No one photographed this.....phenomena, because I think I was the only one in the room who wasn't drinking. I'm kind of a pain. But that's okay, I just want you to sit there and try to picture what that spectacle must've looked like. Maybe have a few nightmares about Cookie Monster as Don Dorcha from the Lord Of the Dance. That's all I'm asking.
SUNDAY: My return to help Mr. Lou was, of course, fine with the Wizard World staff, who greatly regards their celebrity guests. As for me, it was my own pleasure and such a privilege to actually get to work with Mr. Ferrigno once more, I really lucked out! Had a blast snapping pictures for his booth and being a part of so many families making such awesome memories. 'I could adopt you!' he said at one point when it was very busy, and I was watching over multiple adjacent booths while still running over to help take photos. Man, the time FLEW by, I was having way too much fun.
Mr Ferrigno had to deal with a difficult customer or two, that was to be expected, but he was firm and calm and still respectful to them. After the fact, I asked him how long he'd been working the Comic Con scene-----he told me that it's been about a decade now. And after all these years, he's still setting a fine example. You know, I really hate to sound sappy, but holy smokes, what powerful opportunities this variety of events bring together, just on the whole, and it really amazes me. As an attendee, you never know who you'll run into....and as a volunteer, you never know what awesome things you'll get to do and who you'll get to work with.
At the end of the day, Mr. Lou let me pick a print off of his table, signed it for free, and gave me a great big ol' teddy bear hug. He said I did a great job and hoped I would attend more conventions in the future......
But next time----I'll be the special guest.
So after all that, I began the long 4-hour journey back to my place, braving low fuel indicators and lackadaisical cookies at the gas station. Many people say they can't wait to get home, but I don't know, I like getting OUT and doing my own thing and I want more of it. The cookies, man.
ALL PHOTOS (C) STEF SCHULTZ. The people still belong to themselves, because I do not believe in slavery. It's rude.
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