It looks like my intention of writing an in depth review of Flanvention is going to end up in the same "good ideas gone wrong" bin that as my non-existent review of ComicCon. However, since I already dropped a teaser for Scott, and he could probably use a pick-me-up about now, I'll throw in something quick. I won't go into the panels too much, since they've already been thoroughly covered on the boards. But I did want to highlight a few things that were of particular interest to me, 'cause I was involved.
First, I have to say that the best part of the weekend for me wasn't seeing the cast or taking part in any of the official events. It was the browncoats. A while back, I wasn't even planning on attending the Flanvention, due to some drama I had been inflicted with (a long story that's really not worth telling). But after talking to Renee on the phone one night, I remembered why I had gotten so involved in this fandom in the first place: the people. Sure, I wanted to see the cast. But I needed to see my fellow browncoats again. Especially since this was the last event at which I knew for sure that some of my favorite folks would be in attendance. So I had to go. And I was not disappointed. I had a great time seeing everyone again, got to know a few people I had met at ComicCon a bit better, and even proposed marriage at one point (though, admittedly, only so I would have the ability to threaten Jen with divorce and deportation when she acts up). Good times. But on to the more report-worth bits of the weekend...
Surprise Guest Panelist: Shawna Trpcic
On Saturday, during the girls' panel, someone asked them if they had swiped anything from the set when Firefly was canceled, and Morena wistfully replied that she wished she had been able to steal some of Inara's costumes. So, of course, someone piped up and mentioned that Shawna was currently auctioning off four of Inara's dressed on eBay. Morena's eyes went wide, saying "really??" and then did a very cute "well, why didn't she tell me?" pout.
I couldn't resist a setup like this. I went to the back of the room where it was quite, called Shawna, explained what happened, and asked her if she'd like to talk to Morena. With Shawna on the line, I went back to my seat, waited for them to finish whatever question they were in the middle of, then shot up my hand to be next. Jewel called on me, so I stood up, held out the phone and said "Morena, I happen to have Shawna on the phone right now, if you'd like to talk to her." Again, she did that "What? No, really?" bit, so I ran up to the front and handed her the phone, with Shawna on speaker phone. The two of them chatted for a few minutes about the costumes, and Morena asked her how her babies were doing and such. Then Summer took the phone to ask her about one of a maroon dress of River's (which, sadly, is locked away somewhere in Fox's archives).
The off-shoot of this is that there are now several pictures on the web of both Morena and Summer holding my cell phone. Which cracks me up, since I had already been complaining that my iPod got to take a more vacations than me (when it was mailed to Jewel and back), and now it appears my cell phone is more famous than I am, or am likely to ever be. hehehe On the other hand, it didn't hit me until a few hours later, but when Jewel called on me she had called me by name. Which was a surprise to me, since I didn't think she recognized me in person. Huh. Who knew? :)
Thank You to Christina Hendricks
One of the last minute additions to Flanvention's roster was Christina Hendricks, who played Saffron on the Firefly TV series. I had met her very briefly at the premiere, but it wasn't until I talked to her Saturday that I realized just what a sweetheart she really is. I asked her to sign a caricature of Saffron one of the SF Browncoats made as one of the prizes for the WonderCon 2006 charity fundraiser, and she was just nice as could be.
Everyone who met her agreed that she's just great. But the problem was she was locked away in the tiny, hard-to-find signing room for most of the weekend, so not very many people did get to meet her. She wasn't included in the girls' panel for some reason (wouldn't that have been a hoot?), and they even had an Angel panel at one point, even though she and the twins were sitting in the signing room. Remember, this was supposed to be a Firefly/Serenity-specific con. What were the organizers smoking?
Anyway, I really wanted Christina to know that the fans appreciated her being there, and would love to see her at future cons (not to mention in the Serenity sequel), even if the Flanvention organizers didn't seem to share my opinion. So Saturday morning I snagged a framed Jason Palmer print out of my car, signed a nice little note on it, and brought it around to see if anyone else would like to sign it for her as a thank you gift.
I spent most of the day going around getting it signed by over a hundred browncoats, and had just finally sat down for the first time all day, when we heard people saying "goodbye Christina, thanks" from the other side of the lobby. Startled by the possibility of missing my chance to deliver my little creation, I instantly sprang off the couch (somehow simultaneously grabbing the painting from beneath my legs), and bolted to intercept her on the other side of the lobby.
I told her she couldn't leave yet, because we had a thank you gift for her, and gave her the painting. She looked genuinely shocked (probably because I had practically appeared out of nowhere), gave me a kiss on the cheek and said thank you while a bunch of other people in the lobby clapped for her. Then she walked back over to her boyfriend and said "wow, that was weird!" We were maybe ten feet away, so I said "you know, we can hear you" and she laughed. :)
So what does any of this have to do with Scott? I mean, really, that's the only reason any of you read this far, right? To find out what I did for Scott, and why he owes me? Well, of the 100+ signatures, all but one of them are authentic. I knew Scott would have loved to have been there for this, so I forged his signature down at the bottom, so he could put in his well-wishes by proxy. And really, this was safer than having Scott there in person, considering his habit of yelling my name at the top of his lungs whenever a cute redhead walks by (for the uninitiated: long story). That would have been just a little too unsettling for Christina, I think.
Anyway, here's a photo of the poster in its finished form. You can click on it to see the high-res version, and read all the signatures close up.