Alphabetical Movie – Jason and the Argonauts
About ten years ago, I took my first trip to the San Diego ComiCon. At the time, it was a relatively tiny 60,000 person convention.
If you’ve never been to ComiCon, it is quite the experience. These days they have 100,000+ attendees and I’ve ceased going because the crowds make it a nearly unbearable experience for me. No, I don’t really want to wait in line for 30 minutes just to go to a panel about Batman.
The first time I went, it was crowded but not “get me the fuck out of here” crowded.
The dealer’s floor is huge. They are fond of saying that it is larger than the deck of an aircraft carrier but unless you’ve been on the deck of an aircraft carrier, you have no idea what that means. The best way I can describe the dealer’s room at ComiCon is to point out that if you are standing in the middle of the dealer’s room, you can’t really see either end due to the curvature of the earth.
Actually it’s because of the mass of people. But you get my drift.
ComiCon is crawling with celebrities of every caliber from Mark Hamill and James Cameron to the dude who played Orc #16 in The Two Towers. A lot are just there because they are geeks. Others are there to promote something. Still others are there because some dealer or another has invited them to be present at their booth to act as a draw for the thousands of geeks milling about with money to spend.
I’ve never been that interested in meeting famous people as famous people. I mean what do you say? “I’m a big fan?” I like meeting people and hanging out with them and talking about the same stuff I’d talk about with my friends. That isn’t the sort of conversation you typically have with celebrities.
So when I was walking around the dealers’ floor that first time, I wasn’t all that excited by the famous people who had huge lines of fans waiting to get an autograph and/or picture. Brushes with fame aren’t my thing.
Then I looked over to a booth that was empty save for an older gentleman sitting at a table. I couldn’t tell you the name of the vendor because it immediately ceased to be important. I looked at the man and I looked at his name tag and I asked a friend “Is that really Ray fucking Harryhausen sitting over there?”
My friend had been to ComiCon several times and he had seen reactions like mine before. He just smiled knowingly and said “yeah.”
“So,” I said, “to be clear: Ray fucking Harryhausen is sitting at a table over there and nobody is talking to him?”
“I’m going to do something about that.”
So I went over and talked to Ray Harryhausen. You would think that because he was sitting all alone, I would have had a great conversation with him about his time in the movie industry and his work on films like Jason and the Argonauts.
No. I just told him I was a big fan and I got his autograph. I didn’t have anything for him to sign so I just had him sign a business card I found at the table.
No, it wasn’t even his business card.
So yes, I was a lame fangeek and no, I have no idea where that autograph is today but I still talked to Ray fucking Harryhausen.
And that was pretty cool.