You may have noticed my Comic-Con blog has been a little delayed. The reason why is because I've been wondering how best to approach it. If you follow the site and our Twitter
you know we like to keep you updated on all the latest Barrowman news as well as provide a genuine fan perspective. By now you've all seen the Videos and Pictures from Comic-Con
. You've heard all about John's antics from us as well as other sources. Seems silly to repeat all that, so I won't.
Instead, I want to talk about what the weekend was like for me as a BarrowFan and share a bit about my experience. Having the opportunity to see John (a rarity outside the UK), the panel pandemonium and of course getting to meet John again. If you wanna hear my recollect please read on. The blog got a bit lengthy so I broke it up by days of the convention.Wednesday - Barrowman Day
Wednesday is the day I usually run @BarrowmanDay
on Twitter. We post all sorts of videos and pictures and news and generally chat with the fans about all things Barrowman. My trek to Comic-Con to see John Barrowman (and work technically) caused me to miss out on all the fun but my day wasn't entirely Barrowman-less. When I made it to the convention one of my first stops was the Starz
booth to see what Torchwood
representation they had. What I found was that one side of the booth was a giant Torchwood
ad complete with a TV that looped promo videos for the show. It looked great, but don't take my word, giant Barrowman below:
Starz Booth at Comic-Con
Let me say now Starz did an incredible job all weekend championing Torchwood.
Based on the individuals I talked to it seems they are as enthusiastic about co-producing the series as we fans are watching it. As for give-a-ways they had different daily Torchwood
buttons and these really neat Web of Lies
screen wipes. Now John Barrowman's face cleans my phone...
"Web of Lies" screen wipe!
Thursday - Torchwood Screening DayThursday was the first proper day of the convention and at night they premiered the 3rd episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day "Dead of Night"
. The day was mostly uneventful on the Torchwood
front but I did run into series writer Jane Espenson
before one of her panels and we talked a bit about Web of Lies
and her upcoming web series Husbands
. Specifics I can't repeat but I'm pretty jazzed to see the webisodes to come for both series, Jane is brilliant.
Really good news came when Starz tweeted that the cast was going to be at the screening. A lot of fans were worried about getting into any and all of the Torchwood
events so it was really good of those in charge to make sure the cast popped up as often as possible. I go to Comic-Con every year so I'm no stranger to insane lines and praying to get into panels
. I ended up getting a pass to the screening which was great but I also sat in on 2 panels before with my friends to make sure they got in. Not the greatest hardship and we ended up sitting very close to the front. This is about how far we were, without zoom.
"Torchwood" cast before the screening. Left to right: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havens, Bill Pullman and Jane Espenson (series writer).
It was great fun getting to see John and company introduce the episode, if you've ever seen him in real life or on TV (as himself) you know John is a show on his own. Why take my word though, there are tons of videos of the thing. I got part of it before my camera died but the video below has the whole affair, check it out.
Aside from getting to see John showing off his charm, a highlight of the screening was watching it with everyone there. There's nothing like being in a room of rowdy fans all reacting loudly, it's a joy, it's why screenings happen. The added treat of having the cast watching with us was unexpected and highly entertaining. I was watching their antics as often as I was watching the screen.
And then there was the episode. It was really neat getting to see it early especially because it was the first of Jane's episodes. I have been a fan of Jane's for a long time and the idea of my favorite TV writer working on my favorite show...sort of blew my mind. "Dead of Night" did not disappoint even if I missed half of it enjoying the experience and the much anticipated sex scene was cut out to accommodate potentially young audience members.
When the episode ended the cast ran out before they could get ambushed and we were herded out the room to an additional give-a-way. Everyone upon exit got a soulless mask. That was without a doubt the coolest Comic-Con freebie I've ever received. Unflattering picture of me in the mask follows, does nothing for my hair situation.
Friday - Torchwood Panel and Autograph Session
Friday was the big day for Torchwood fans. The main event of the weekend, the Torchwood panel, was set for 9am and fans lined up to get a glimpse of that beautiful cast. When I say they lined up I mean to say there was an epic line of doom that all who dared stood in. Comic-Con lines can be pretty lengthy and this was definitely an in demand event. My friends and I left our hotel room at 5:00am (because that was the first trolly) to try to get seats but by the time we got there...well, watch this:
If I'm remembering right, the line started forming around 3am
. Granted compared to the Twilight
line going for days in advance it seems mild, but these fans were committed to getting in. I was pretty scared I wasn't going to get in because despite the buzz behind the show the panel was not in the largest room at the convention center. Instead it was in the second biggest room, which holds around 5,000 people. Still a big room but there was a bigger crowd and I'm certain a lot of fans didn't get in. Shortly after this video I got word that I had a pass for this panel as well so in addition to a great seat I didn't have to wait in this line, lucky me. I would have stayed with my friends again but I had a side mission to tend to. The clever or cruel (depending on who you ask)
powers that be of Comic-Con forced a tricky decision on fans. The way they had it scheduled you could either wait in line for the Torchwood
panel OR you could wait in line for a raffle for a wristband that grants you access to the Torchwood
autograph session. I can't tell you how I struggled, as I'm sure many did, as to what to do. The panel was the larger line but if you got there early enough you got it. The autograph line was shorter but it was all down to chance - waiting in line doesn't guarantee you a spot, just a shot for a spot.
Well aware of this conflict, I decided in advance that I was going to shoot for the panel since I have previously met John, Alexa and Jane and so that I could live-tweet it for all of you. Then I got the golden ticket and I had the morning off to wait for a shot at a wristband. Of course I wasn't without a back-up plan at first go, I had two friends, godsends, in line trying to get me a wristband while I was supposed to be in line for the panel. When I got to the line for the drawing it had barely formed and I was soon joined by my friends. However, the line was delayed and the raffle hadn't started by the time I had to go to the panel. I left my guys in line and hoped one of them got lucky.The panel was...everything I'd hoped it would be. I had a great seat and we got some serious insight into the series and the shenanigans behind the scenes amongst the cast. You can see the whole panel uploaded by Starz below. It's US only but there are a number of clips otherwise on YouTube.
PS if you ARE in the US Starz posted an absurd amount of Comic-Con videos on their YouTube,
go watch them...immediately. Wait, no, after you finish reading.
If you are outside the US or you just want to see the best part of the panel look no further. Below is my video of John Barrowman bursting into song and then leading the 5,000 people in the room in a sing-a-long. Oh, and it's to "Tomorrow" from Annie. I love this man.
And with that I checked "hear John Barrowman sing in real life" off my bucket list, what a treat!
The panel was great but in the back of my mind I kept wondering how my friends were doing with the autograph line. When the panel ended I got a text message saying that thanks to the best friends EVER I got to see the panel and I had a wristband waiting for me. Like I said I've met John, Alexa and Jane previously but I was so happy to get to see them again and words can not express to you the crush I have on Bill Pullman. I was excited.
After I grabbed the wristband from my guy I headed towards the next line, to wait for the autograph session. That line went super fast as they rushed everyone in and out of the signing area in groups of about 20. I was in the last group which was fine with me cause it gave me time to look myself over before going in. If I wasn't running on a Barrowman high I would have been near unconsciousness at that point; Comic-Con is brutal and I was already at Friday with about an hour and a half of sleep the night before. I felt rough and I thought I looked it too, I am only telling you this because it becomes a point of conversation later.
Before being ushered into the room with John and gang we were warned about the trouble we would get in if we even thought about taking out a camera in there. We were also told that we couldn't have any personal items signed, they would be providing us with something. All of this was fine, I was perfectly happy with what I got signed and I wasn't counting on a picture. When we got to the front of the line they handed us a promotional picture and sent us down the line to get them signed.
Promo picture they gave us to have signed by John, Eve, Jane, Bill, Alexa and Mekhi.
What happened once I was handed the picture and sent to get signatures was rather quick and sort or a blur so I'll recall what I can, it all sort of jumbled a bit in my mind even though I tried to write it down immediately after.
First person to meet was John. I cannot tell you how happy it made me to get to see John. I had met him once before but there is no such thing as enough John Barrowman in my life and there are certainly not enough chances to see him in the states. I was particularly happy to have the chance this time because I had a couple of things I really wanted to say to him.
The first thing out of my mouth, after a "hello" accompanied by a deep blush, I'm sure, was "I just have two things I really want to tell you". First I reminded him that we'd met before and of the website and I told him that for weeks leading up to the convention I had emails, calls, tweets and various discussions with countless many of you asking me to say hello and give John your love, if I got the chance. It would have been quite the trick to list all the names so I told him that everyone says hello and they love him. He was his typical self, very gracious and asked me to tweet to all of you on his behalf that he loves you back. That looked like this.
Then I talked to him about the Maddie's Corner contest we won.
For those of you who don't know, I entered our site into a contest to win $1000 for Dogs Trust
which is one of John's supported charities. A massive amount of John's fans pitched in and we won, if you want to know the details you can check my Thank You Blog
. The last time I met him I told him we entered and this time I told him we won in hopes it would make him smile. He was very grateful and prompted me for a high five. Who am I to deny John Barrowman a high five?
After the high five he thought better of it and gave me a hug. That
was a particularly funny moment because after the hug I pulled away and actually said "you smell good John Barrowman" and he responded "you
smell good, did you put something on your boobs?". That comment makes a little less sense since I forgot to mention that every other sentence from that conversation returned to John's approval of my chest, it was hilarious and to be fair I was wearing them fairly on display. I so wish I had come up with the appropriate reply then. I think I said I had sparkle lotion on them, which I did, but I neglected to mention it was called "pure seduction"...I can only imagine the response that would have come. Oh well.Next down the line was Jane, who had heard this whole exchange and also commented on my chest, something along the lines of "if you've got it flaunt it", I also got a hug from Jane because she knows me at this point. I didn't chat long with her because I had the day before and I was detracted by the chorus of "When You Got It, Flaunt It" (from The Producers) that was playing in my head. How I managed to resist busting into song, I'll never know. But it was great seeing Jane as always.Next was either Eve or Bill, I am trying hard to recall. Let's pretend it was Bill, I think it was. I went up to Bill and I remember I was so excited I grabbed his arm like he was my old friend and I said "I swear I am the biggest Newsies fan ever!". I think he was happy to hear something other than Independence Day since that's what everyone knows him from. Again, I deserve a medal of some sort for not indulging my musical urges and springing into a verse of "King of New York". It's really hard for me not singing, ask anyone...who has ever met me. Once I collected myself from my gushing fan moment we got to talking about the new stage production of Newsies that is starting in New York at the end of September. That was fun, talking musicals with Bill Pullman. AND ANOTHER THING, that's the second time I have met John Barrowman and I haven't managed a simple, "I'm a singer and you inspire me every day", but I talked Broadway with Bill, too funny.After that, or before, was Eve Myles. Before I could get a word in Eve looks at me, slams her hand on the table and shouts "YOU ARE BLOODY GORGEOUS!". Just like that. And this is why I mentioned how rough I felt and thought I looked before. It was so unexpected and I was stunned silent for a second. Again, if you know me, or if you're still reading this blog, you probably know I am not often one stuck for words. I was actually a bumbling fool for a moment and then the only response I could come up with was "YOU'RE Bloody gorgeous!" and it's a shame I said it just like that. A gal with an American accent really can't pull off the word 'bloody',
at least I can't. I embarrass myself even typing it, but that's what happened.
I was so flustered at that point I think I actually said something along the lines of "I don't really like Gwen but I think you're incredible"...WHO SAYS THAT?!!? Seriously, thank god she's the nicest person ever and didn't take that as an insult. I really do adore her, and bless her for thinking I was OK looking. Posting a picture of me from earlier that day below.
What I call my Disco Dana outfit. Looking back I am surprised John didn't comment on the sparkle.
Still slightly blushing, I talked to Mekhi next. Couldn't really think of what to say so I just gave him a quick "I really loved you in O"
. I mean, I did, really love him in O
but I feel like I didn't give him enough love, he is awesomely talented, even if Rex is an ass-hat.Last in line was Alexa. Beautiful, wonderful Alexa Havins, who I have loved longer than anyone in that line-up, with exception of Jane. Alexa used to be on All My Children
which is a soap opera I watch. She was great in it and I watched her every day on TV for as long as she was on, I am a huge fan of hers. When I saw her, before I could say anything, she said she remembered me from when I met her and John on location. Yay I'm memorable! That was really cool of her and I said something like "Awwww thanks for remembering". She is so cute, I just cannot say enough good things about her.
After I got another blush off my face I started thinking back to meeting her the first time and I started apologizing to her. I told her I was sorry I hardly payed her any attention cause I was talking to John but it wasn't a reflection of my feelings about her. She said she completely understood getting pulled in by John, bless her. By the way if you want to read the walk through of me meeting John and Alexa on location, check out my Barrowman Day Blog
. I also told her that I had a "fan-girl freak out" when her husband Justin
came out before the Torchwood
screening to take a picture of the cast. Justin was also on All My Children
and they were a power couple on the show before they got married in real life. It was really cool to see him. She assured me she would mention that to him and since I now know Alexa remembers well, I'm sure she did. After Alexa I did one final over the shoulder look and wave and bid everyone ado, I really did, I like to make an exit.
When I left the signing room I realized that I was late for the next thing I needed to do that day a panel for Aspen Comics
, my favorite comics publishers. Hang with me for a second, I'm bringing it up for a reason. I know the guys and girl that comprise the company so I knew
that there was going to be some sort of playful scolding when I showed up 10 minutes late. Sure enough I walked in the panel room, they stopped what they were doing and chastised me for my late arrival. Then they decided it was necessary that I go to the front of the room and apologize to everyone for being late. I made my walk of shame, calmly put down my stuff and as loud as I could, without any apology to it, said "I was meeting John Barrowman from Torchwood
and he's really hot!" and then quietly took my seat. And everyone was totally on my side.After that panel I went to go gab about my Torchwood morning with my friend Richard, because he's my go to Torchwood/Doctor Who guy
when I am at conventions. When I got to his booth he wasn't there. I should have known he wouldn't be there because he told me, no he taunted me, with the fact that Friday he was going to interview the Torchwood
team for MTV. To be fair, Richard is the nicest person in the universe and super charismatic so he was perfect for the job, but I was so jealous! I was mostly happy for him though and I was still smiling from my amazing morning. This is Richard with John.
Richard Starkings interviewing John Barrowman
Fun fact, Richard mentioned that John slipped into his Scottish accent for a bit during the interview but it was cut from the final video. If you want to see his interviews with John, Alexa, Bill, Mekhi, Eve, and Jane you can watch them HERE.The rest of Friday was uneventful in terms of Torchwood
except that I missed a panel with Shawna Trpcic
costume mistress extraordinaire) because I had to be somewhere else, sadness.Saturday - Super Supernaturals Panel (featuring John Barrowman)Saturday was a really good day in terms of John Barrowman, but thankfully less hectic than Friday. There was a seriously unpublicized panel in the afternoon called "Super Supernaturals" that had tons of huge actors on it, including John. The panel was in a small room so the people that knew about it (and who was going to be on it) knew they needed to get there early.
I showed up 2 or 3 hours early to get in line and sat through 2 panels before to make sure I had a seat, preferably a good one. By the panel before it everyone around me admitted to being in the room waiting for the next panel and most mentioned John specifically. The BarrowFans are dedicated!When John's panel was up, I was in the 2nd row, only because the first row was reserved. As luck would have it my seat wound up being right in front of where John was sitting. This is a picture of John from where I was.
It's worth mentioning that this panel had about 10 people on it and it quickly turned into the John Barrowman panel. The fan reaction to the introductions made it clear from the start that at least 2/3 of the room was there for John. Now, John certainly wasn't pushy, you can see from the picture above he was very respectful and listened while the others had their turn, but he did steal the spotlight by virtue of his general Barrowman charisma.
This panel is watchable in parts on YouTube but really the main clip you want to see, and the thing everyone talked about after, was John singing a fan in a Jack coat "Happy Birthday" and then going into the audience to kiss him. It was pretty spectacular. My video below.
It was a very entertaining panel and afterwards I did some pretty impressive maneuvering. You'll remember I said I was in the second row because the first row was reserved. Well, someone didn't show up for the first row, so as luck would have it the seat directly in front of my was vacant. When panel ended and everyone was trying to shuffle to the front of the room to catch the stars before they left I had the perfect opening. In a feat of unusually high dexterity, I quickly made the decision to jump over the chair in front of me and I was the first to John. I asked him for his panel name card and if he'd sign it and he did! That was incredibly cool and lovely of him to agree to, picture below.
After the panel I ran into a girl who recognized me from the site, which is always fun, and we talked a bit about John and Comic-Con. She's @sheilamx
on Twitter and she was really sweet so go be her friend! Sheila was at the convention having travelled from Mexico to see John. We gushed about how fun it is to be in an environment where everyone knows and loves John. There's always something great about getting together as fans, that's why this site and the day on twitter exist.
The rest of Saturday was Torchwood
free, well as Torchwood
free as anything I am involved with can really be. I did actually get a sketch done in the evening of Launchpad from Duck Tales
as Captain Jack, here's a picture.
Launchpad as Jack - sketch by Braden Lamb
Sunday - Final Day SketchThe last day didn't have any planned Torchwood
time, really I was recovering and just taking it easy after the insanity of the weekend. What I really wanted to accomplish is to buy some t-shirts and get at least one commisioned peice of art from one of the artists there.I accomplished the shirt task and I wound up buying the Captain America shirt John wore before the screening. The same shirt, not the very shirt off his back, to be clear. Not because John wore it, but because it's SUPER cute and it stood out all weekend in my mind. As for my commission, I ended the day with Todd Nauck an artsit I've known for a while now, who I consider a friend, and I asked him to draw me Jack. Todd doesn't watch the show so I gave him a few pictures to work with and he said he'd give the series a shot once it was on Netflix. Below is Todd's drawing of Jack.
And that's it. That was my eventful and incredible weekend at Comic-Con, from one BarrowFan to another. I hope you enjoyed it! It was so great to see John in the states hopefully he'll be back soon. xx