This weekend, I went to WonderCon, at Moscone Center. The first thing I noticed as I entered the con was that they had some serious con security. I had barely found the Firefly fan table when the rest of the Browncoats started showing up. Miyu, of course, was already there and hard at work. Much to my delight, Rosie and Tamara, who we met in Chicago at the Browncoat Ball, were there. And I got to meet Saxon, and several others who I had seen on the boards.
The first thing most of us did was to head over to the autograph line. They had a gigantic line that you had to wait in just to pick tickets out of a series of buckets, one for each autograph session. If you got a winning ticket, you got the arm band to attend the autograph session. There were five buckets, I think. One was for the Firefly cast (Nathan, Adam and Summer), one was for Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, and the others... ah, who cares. I was hoping to get the Firefly cast, but I got Joss & Cassaday, so that was still pretty cool.
While we were waiting in line, I got to hang out with a bunch of the Browncoats, and had a great time chatting with them. And I kept noticing people pointing at me, since I was wearing a Mal outfit. Saxon's daughter said she was surprised I wasn't being mauled by women in that outfit, and I agreed that it was a frikkin' tragedy that I wasn't. :) Donna was in line with me, and kept catching me out of the corner of her eye and thinking that it was Nathan - even though she knew it was me (I later signed a postcard for her "Donna, I'm not Nathan. Love, Ray"). Oh, and I got an email from Tzegha while we were in line, which was primo timing.
The highlight of the day, of course, was the panel at which Joss, Nathan, Adam, and Summer spoke. Joss, Nathan and Adam are just as funny in person as people say, and they played off each other seamlessly. Summer was absolutely gorgeous. She seemed kind of nervous and shy, and didn't say much (with Nathan and Joss to compete with, it's no surprise she couldn't get a word in), but she was constantly striking these demure poses that were just downright adorable. Being a clever little monkey, I picked up one of those Griffin iTalk Voice Recorders for my iPod, and brought it with me so I could get an audio recording of the panel. Those who missed the con can check out the audio download and a cheat sheet for the visual cues.
Most of the rest of my day I spent manning the Firefly fan table. We were raffling off all sorts of Firefly schwag to benefit the Red Cross' Tsunami Relief. We had books, DVDs, t-shirts, signed photos, and the like. The t-shirts Alan asked about when he interrupted the panel on Nathan's cell phone were part of the raffle, too. And half way through the day, Nathan even sent over his own Serenity sweatshirt (complete with stain under the collar) and signed on the arm, for the drawing. Hawking the tickets was a blast. I haven't had that much fun hawking since I worked Inn Yard at the Blackpoint faire. It helped that the people I was hawking to were fellow browncoats, and that all the money was going to a good cause. I even bought $30 worth of tickets myself, in hopes of winning a deck of the custom Firefly cards (which Miyu made, and could have made a fortune if she were selling - everyone was asking if they were for sale).
Later in the day, Joss stopped by the booth. He was incredibly gracious, and stuck around chatting with us for a while. Before exiting the booth to be flooded by a hoard of fans, he shook all of our hands and very sincerely thanked us for all we (meaning all the fans, not just those at the table) have done to support him, and keep his show flying. We thanked him right back just as sincerely, and off he went to meet (more of) his adoring fans. Having already met Joss and not caring too much about autographs, I ended up taking the armband I won to see Joss and Cassaday, and told the crowd around the booth that the next person who bought $20 worth of raffle tickets would get the armband too. It took about ten seconds for someone to swipe that up, and it got more money for the cause, so I was happy.
Shortly before the raffle, I finally got away from the table and got a chance to see the Firefly fan room. Miyu arranged to have an entire room set aside for fans to gather in and watch Firefly episodes. It was amazing to see how packed the room was. Even with the quite a few Browncoats still on the convention floor and at the booth. there was standing room only in the room, which spilled out into the hall. It was great to see how many fans showed up for this!
Shortly before it was time for the raffle, Lil' Ewok ran out to the con floor to track down Joss (in the way only a teenling geek girl can), and brought him back to the room. Seeing him coming down the hall, we had them kill the projector, and told everyone who was coming. Joss comes in, sees Jubal Early's face frozen on the screen, and asks "what'ca watchin?" Joss then agreed to pull names for the raffle prizes, and then gave another very heartfelt thank you to the fans for sticking with the show through thick and thin. I also got an audio clip of Joss doing the raffle (5MB). The "hot" comment is when he's looking at a signed photo of Jewel Staite. When he says "this is very, very useful" he's referring to the giant bucket-o-cash that was the Red Cross raffle proceeds.
After the con, I gave Miyu a ride to the cafe where the after-hours shindig was going to be taking place, and then headed back to try and make it to the masquerade that was being held (and possibly to try and run into that cute girl dressed as Death ;) ). The masquerade was too packed, though, and they weren't letting anyone else in. So I just grabbed something to eat and headed back to the cafe.
Possibly one of my favorite parts of the weekend was getting to know some of the Oregon Browncoats. Erin was an absolute charmer, Kira was seriously cool, and Kira's boyfriend Steve handed my ass to me at the Ms. Pac-Man table, so he certainly earned my respect. I spent most of Sunday hanging out with Erin and her friend Bernadette. The three of us were there for the Starship Smackdown, which really deserves its own post. Suffice to say, though, it was quite an upset. In the history of Starship Smackdown, the only ship to ever win has been the original NCC-1701 Enterprise. But this year, Serenity and the Enterprise tied. Woohoo!!