mad_brilliant_ (mad_brilliant_) wrote,

That's why they're the Kewpie Dolls in the afterlife, Beck.

My DragonCon report! In which James answers my questions, and I give him something that everyone should get when they turn 50. And John Barrowman became someone I used to adore. Other stuff happens too!

At the Friday panel.


First thing up on Friday was the Torchwood panel with John Barrowman and Kai Owen. You can watch it here on YouTube.

I enjoyed it. There's a brief mention of James as a Torchwood guest star who stands out to John. John says that he thinks James wasn't expecting what he got, being on the show. ;-D

John saying hello.

Next up was a Buffy/Angel panel with James, Juliet Landau and J. August Richards, yay! Didn't find it on YouTube, bummer. So I uploaded what clips I took. Unfortunately, I didn't take a whole lot because I ran out of space on my point and shoot camera. And then I switched to my Canon 7D which has no image stabilization, so the clips suck. And I figured that others would post their awesome vids anyway, so I didn't keep recording much. But what I got was better than nothing, yes? Part One includes the clips from the first camera. Part Two, from the second.

Buffy & Angel panel, part 1

Buffy & Angel panel, part 2

ETA: Someone put the whole Friday panel up!

Part 1 of the Whole Freaking Panel Yay!

And the most fun part of the day, getting to talk with James at the autograph table. First of all, I should explain that James is now selling one of my photos at his table. So I thought it would be appropriate to have him sign a copy for me. (Brought my own copy, didn't buy it from James haha.)

Steve hands the photo to James and tells him that I'm the one who took the photo. James was all "Right on!" and all. Steve asked whether I wanted it personalized, or if James should just sign his name. Well that was nice of him to offer, as it was an unspoken invitation to get an autographed photo that would be sellable on Ebay. But I said a personalization would be fine.

James: [Starts to sign photo.]
Me: I was going to ask you a question, and then you could write the answer on there?
James: OK, what's the question? [Writes "Rock on!" quickly.]
Me: If you could only say one thing to me, what would it be?
James: [Without hesitation he writes, "You are not alone."] That one's easy. I've been saying it all my life. [Hands me the photo.]
Me: Ah. Thank you, I appreciate that.
James: [Nods.] That's what art's all about.
Me: I love you, James.
James: I love you too, baby.
Me: I've brought you a gift, because I think all 50 year olds should have one of these.
James: Moisturizer? [Steve starts laughing.]
Me: [Bwhahaha.] Uh, no. Even better! [I hand him a back scratcher.]
James: [Laughing.] It's telescoping. Oh my god, that's great. Bless you, I will use that as soon as possible. Thank you!
Me: Take care!

No one can say that I don't give excellent gifts. *nods*

Here's the photo he's selling now. Get yours at an autograph table near you! ;-D

ETA: I got a shout-out on James' Facebook page. :)

Ready to begin his signing duties.

Blowing a kiss.


On Saturday I got a couple of autographs from James. The first, a photo I'd taken at the She Stoops to Conquer party a couple of years ago.

Me: Hi. [We shake hands.]
James: Hey Becky, how you doing, darling?
Me: I'm doing good, thank you.
James: [Looks at the photo I'm having him sign.] Another amazing...where do you find these?
Me: Um...
James: This is in David's bedroom.
Me: What?
James: I think.
Me: What? [LOL What a conversation. I have no idea what he's talking about.]
James: Where was this? Did you take this?
Me: Yes.
James: You took this?
Me: Yes.
James: [Mouth gapes open.] Becky, you are fabulous.
Me: Thank you.
James: Amazing. [About to start signing...]
Me: I have another question for you.
James: Yeah. [Looks up.]
Me: Do you have a favorite mantra?
James: [Thinks about it for a few seconds.] Yes. [Smiles.] Here we go. [Writes "Never give up..."]
Me: [As I read what he's writing.] Oh...
James: That's Winston Churchill. He kept repeating it over and over and over again, but I'll smudge it if I do. "Never give up. Never, never give up. Never, never, never, never give up."
Me: That, along with what you wrote on my autograph yesterday, is just what I needed to hear.
James: [Smiles real big.] Right on. I think we need to hear that about once every five minutes. [Laughs.]
Me: Yes, exactly.
James: I know I do. [Hands the photo back to me.] Where was that? Where did you take that?
Becky: Um, at the She Stoops party.
James: [Trying to remember, but doesn't.] Wow.
Becky: You were kind of having a hard time then.
James: Yeah, yeah. That is amazing.
Becky: I love the image.
James: I love that photograph, man. If you ever want to print up one of those for me, I'd...
Me: I brought an extra copy if you want one. I've got it here. [I start to get it out.]
James: Really? Yeah, I'd love one.
Me: OK.
James: God, yeah. That was just a couple years ago, yeah?
Me: Yeah.
James: It's beautiful. [The penny drops, and he remembers the She Stoops party.] Oh my god. Oh that one.
Me: That one.
James: sorry.
Me: That's why it took me a while to have you sign it.
James: [Laughs.]
Me: Well, I didn't want to make you feel bad...
James: Yeah. No, no, we're far enough away that I can laugh, but my god, I'm sorry for that evening.
Me: You know, there was a lot of it that was good. It wasn't all bad. You know?
James: [Smiles, and softly says:] I know. Thank you. You make me feel better about a nadir in my life, yeah. And at least you got a great photograph from it. And at least I got a great song out of it. So did you study photography, Becky?
Becky: [Couldn't hear.] I'm sorry?
James: Did you go to school for photography?
Becky: I had one class. But I'm self-taught, and just love it. [I hand over the second item to be signed, a SDCC t-shirt.] Could you sign right here?
James: You got it. [He starts to sign.]
Me: Did you say you got a song out of that evening?
James: Oh, that's what I say about every bad relationship. At least I got a good song out of it.
Me: Ah, OK.
James: [Signs the t-shirt "Thanks for the photo!!!"] You remind me, even though I felt like crap, I looked fabulous that evening. [Smiles real big.]
Me: [Laughs.] You did.
James: [Shakes his head and laughs.] No, just kidding. [Folds up t-shirt and gives it to me.]
Me: Thank you very much.
James: You're welcome, Becky. [We shake hands.] I'm so glad to see you here.
Me: I'm glad to see you too.
James: Yeah, really good to see you.
Me: Love you, James.
James: I love you too, Becky. [Smiles softly.] You''re really good to me. Yeah. [And we part.]

Here's the photo taken at the She Stoops to Conquer party. It's kind of a bad scan, but you get the idea.

And the SDCC t-shirt he signed. The autograph at the bottom is John Barrowman's. More on that coming up.

Notice the next person in line has excellent taste in photos. ;-D

Alrighty. Let's back up a bit here, because as I was waiting for James to sign my stuff, I was talking to people, and was shocked to find out that James and Kai were no longer going to be in the Torchwood panel that was to happen that day. WTH? I was told it was a scheduling issue apparently. Wut? James and Kai where available. So what scheduling issue was there? I was pretty pissed off. But lookie who's sitting not 7 feet away from me. John Barrowman himself.

If John looks bored here, that's because he had no line. By the way, I took this pic while waiting in James' line. A line of fans, which James had. And John didn't. Just sayin'.

After I got James' auto, I decided I'd talk to John. You know, maybe I'd get some answers, yes? That's worth $50 to talk to him about this. Which is what I did. I told him that I was unhappy that James was no longer on the panel, and asked him if he could get him back on. He replied that it was true, but he couldn't get him back. I said, "You have the power to do so." But he said he didn't. (Don't worry, I wasn't rude to the poor, powerless man. I then told him that I had enjoyed his panel the previous day and that it was a pleasure meeting him. There was smiles and a handshake, and I left with a signed t-shirt.)

Still pissed off though, I asked around, and found out which DragonCon head honcho to talk to, and went on a mission. When I got to where he was, he told me that he wasn't at liberty to go into detail, but if changes weren't made, then other things wouldn't happen, and there was no way that James was going to be on that panel. Then he said it was due to scheduling issues. At one point, I was just looking at him and willing him to tell me the whole story. Or tell me something that made sense.

That panel turned into the John Barrowman Hour, complete with him and his hubby dropping trou and showing their superhero undies. And I couldn't help but think as I watched it, that it had turned out exactly as John wanted.

I may have angry tweeted during the panel.

So. Afterward, I went directly to the autograph area. I had heard that James had gone to watch part of John's panel, and he may very well have done that, but when I got to the Hall of Fame, James was signing autographs. I went up to James and told him that the panel sucked without him. He smiled and said, apparently there was a scheduling snafu. I said I knew better than that (as in, I knew both James and Kai were available for that panel.) It's kinda weird saying all this with John sitting a few feet away. He had arrived for autos not too long after I had gotten there. One would think that at this point it would have been a really good move for John to step over to where James was (only Kai separated them) and make friendly noises, pose for a photo together, show everyone how disappointed he was that James couldn't be on the panel because of that darned scheduling thing. But that didn't happen. What it was, was AWK. WARD. But bless James for handling the whole thing so well.

I wanted to change the subject, so I told James about Aquarium Night that was going to happen later on. Told him that costumes are encouraged, so he could wear his secret costume like he did at San Diego Comic-Con so people wouldn't recognize him. He smiled at me and said, "Look for me in a ______." And he told me what his secret costume is. (Just in case he wants to use that costume again at a con, I'm not going to spoil his secret. But it's cool.) We shook hands and parted. No, I don't think he actually went to the aquarium that night. I imagine he was pretty tired, but I just thought I'd give him that option in case he wanted to get out have some fun.

OK. After thinking about this whole JB thing for awhile, I have a theory. A theory that actually seems to fit with what the DragonCon guy told me. Perhaps John was initially promised a solo panel at DragonCon, and his other two panels would be Torchwood with others on them. But ooops, DragonCon staff scheduled him for three Torchwood panels, and not one of them a solo. Upon realizing that, John insisted that he have the promised solo panel. So that was arranged by dumping James and Kai. If they hadn't done that, then John wouldn't do the Sunday Torchwood panel (Miracle Day, with Jane Espenson and Kai). If my theory is correct, it was indeed a scheduling snafu, but having nothing to do with James' schedule as I had initially thought they were saying, which frankly made no sense. That doesn't take John off the hook for me, however. He did have the power here, and forced the issue with DragonCon to the point they had no choice but to cut James and Kai. John could have done that Torchwood panel with James and Kai if he had wanted to. It was clearly what so many fans wanted. But John wanted that solo panel, so that's what he got. And man, did he use that hour well. He wore Superman underwear. His husband wore Batman underwear.

Sucky pic taken from way in the back of the room, because I no longer cared.

There are those who have said that John expressed regret that James and Kai couldn't be on the panel (he didn't say that to me during our talk, and he never mentioned it at the panel, either.) I think it's very possible he did feel bad about that. The DragonCon guy did tell me that this change was nothing personal against James in any way (I asked.) I have no doubt that John would have liked to do a Torchwood panel with James. But. He wanted that solo panel more.

Who knows, maybe I'll get over my disappointment. Some year.

I went to the Vampire Diaries panel. IAN was on this panel. Ian Smolderhawter was ON. THIS. PANEL. See for yourself:

IAN (and the other guys on Vampire Diaries) on YouTube.

Later on Saturday, I went to the Aquarium!


First up was a Vampire Diaries panel. It's up on YouTube! Fun time, and naughty. And you know, IAN.

Then I went to the Spike and Dru panel. Favorite parts: James saying that he and Juliet should be on Bones. Bwahahaha! And James/Juliet doing a little Spike/Dru improv. :-D

Tis on YouTube.

After the panel, I swiped James' name placard. And decided I'd better get it autographed. So off I went.

James: Hello, darling. [We shake hands.]
Me: Hi! [Looks like he's going to start signing, so I say:] Oh, I have a question.
James: Yes?
Me: I would like to receive one of my Kewpie Dolls before the afterlife. Could you draw one for me?
James: [Laughs.] That's why they're the Kewpie Dolls in the afterlife, Beck. I can't...I don't know...Let's see...I'm a horrible...[Starts to draw his version of a Kewpie Doll.]
Me: [Hahaha.]
James: There. For you. That's my best...
Me: [Still laughing.] That's great. Thank you.
James: You're welcome. [Hands the placard to me.]
Me: I won't be seeing you for a while. I wanted to thank you for nine've been so kind to me. [We shake hands.]
James:[Smiles.] Yeah, well you've been very kind to me.
Me: Take care of yourself, hmm?
James: I will. I'm trying. We'll see you, Becky.

My Kewpie Doll pre-afterlife! Hahaha James seems to think he can't draw. Clearly, he is wrong. :-D

If you're confuzled by all the Kewpie Doll in the afterlife stuff, you need to check out James' Tumblr!! It's for his band, and he's got an ongoing game called "What the Hell?" where he posts pics and you have to guess what they are. If you get the right answer, you are awarded a Kewpie Doll in the afterlife. :-D

Looks like John finally got someone in his line. :-P Alright, I'll be fair. He did have lines for his autograph at some points. He's a very popular guy. And I wish him well.

You know what's really cool? James is using gold pens now, along with the black and silver. I approve!


Last day of the con, and I went to the Geek and Sundry panel, which was basically The Guild cast. It's been YouTubed.

Felicia Day.

And so, that was it! DragonCon done and finished and over with. Honorable mention goes to:

My favorite hotel evah. The Marriott Marquis.

And how great is this? On the flight home, the view out my window.

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Well! Thanks for reading (or not, as the case may be)! Any comments or thoughts are welcome. :-D I'd like to thank my awesome roomies, Shirley, Charity and Eric for you know, being awesome. And Kate, thanks so much for letting me share your Birthday dinner, and hang out with you for awhile! Karo, thanks for being you. I enjoyed all the time we had together. *hugs you all*

I'll be uploading pics to my site soon. :)

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