Friday, March 27, 2015
Con-Man: Emerald City Comicon 2015 Friday
Phew, what a day! After a morning workout it was off to the Washington State Convention Center via a parkour inspiring shortcut. Emerald City already had the doors open and we waltzed right onto the show floor. It's a little confusing as the show takes up no less than 10 separate sections of the multi-story center that is actually on two sides of the street. On the floor we passed artist Thomas Overbai who we've seen at multiple shows and picked up his postcards based on movies like Predator, Blade Runner, Leon and whatnot. His new stuff wasn't up my alley this time out though. Walking around we ran into IDW Transformers comic book artist Livio Ramondelli, who attended the Sunbow Celebration. This was after chatting with Michael Bell at the airport Thursday and we'd run into several other California based convention folk which I guess had to happen after traveling to 9 shows in a year. Nice to see the guys from Cape and Cowl again as well, see you in Anaheim for WonderCon next week!
There were more than a few persons in Agent Carter cosplay which might have been the most popular of the day. A few Banes were seen, one Jack Frost and lots of Jayne's and Mal's from Firefly. Pilot Snoopy was a great one as well as TARS from Interstellar and one Dum-Dum Dugan. The one panel I really wanted to check out was John Wesley Shipp: Back In a Flash, a spotlight on the Emmy award winning Broadway actor who came to pop culture prominence as Barry Allen aka DC's The Flash for one season in 1990 then played James Van Der Beek's dad on Dawson's Creek. This might have been one of the greatest panels I've ever seen as Shipp was quick witted, intelligent, caring and sincere. Originally studying music and theatre before dropping out to pursue acting in New York, the Norfolk, Virginia native ended up on daytime television during it's heyday and won back to back Emmy's which made him a Jeopardy question. After playing a good guy for years, Shipp found notice and critical acclaim as an abusive husband and psychopath. Upon landing in Los Angeles and being approached for The Flash, Shipp was at first reluctant but was urged to read Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo's script which fused superheroics with real emotions. Shipp spoke fondly of current Flash Gustin Grant as being a terrific actor and person with their scenes always being so powerful because it's two people just being truthful.
Shipp was also complimentary of former co-stars Amanda Pays and Mark Hamill, both whom appear on the new series. He did address the fact that Pays and Hammill play their former characters while Shipp plays a new character, Henry Allen aka Barry's dad aka he's playing his own father. But there was talk of going all out with the time travel and multi universe angle of the comic books so maybe Shipp will rightfully appear as The Flash in some capacity in the future like we all want to happen. For the Q&A portion, Shipp actually came down from the stage to face his audience which was a nice touch. For the Dawson's Creek fans, Shipp talked about shooting it in a tiny, remote town with four very smart young actors and having lots of fun boating and jet-skiing on the weekends. Working with Hamill was a treat as the show was long and difficult shoot so to have someone so enthusiastic coming in to bring the energy back up was fantastic. Touching on the art-deco motif of the show, Shipp talked how the production directive was to highlight the 40's - 60's and 90's while skipping the 70's and 80's. Shooting in rough parts of Los Angeles at a 1920's building meant putting down plywood boards to cover feces and syringes. Shipp was pleased to see the current Flash show handled so well as it's reached critical and commercial success. The 90's show garnered such acclaim from its first press screening that CBS became overconfident and plopped it down against The Simpsons and The Cosby Show so it was on the cusp of commercial success but fell short. Much more was discussed but it was just a great time because of Shipps enthusiasm and attitude. Sleep fast and see you tomorrow!