It was just after 3pm last Saturday when my friend, Steve Gill, and I began plowing through a juggernaut of fans (and even fans dressed like Marvel’s Juggernaut) in an effort to get to “Table 12.” C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) is a popular annual/weekend event here in the city and this was clearly their “prime time.” It was little wonder that it took us over ten minutes to navigate a single aisle.
Of course it also didn’t help that I was stopping every few yards to take pictures of costumed fans either but I’ll cover that portion of the event in an upcoming post. Today I’m going to cut right to the chase and focus on my main objective for being there…the return of Svengoolie! And, while conventional wisdom states one should always save the best for last, I have no desire in prolonging what we fans have waited long enough for as it is.
I just returned from a screening of HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS which I thought at first were code names for an elite duo of monster hunters. You know, sort of like a co-ed version of “Supernatural?” Well, I was dead wrong as it turned out to be the actual Hansel & Gretel from the popular story; complete with an intro for those less savvy on Fairy Tales. Apparently, the excitement didn’t end there as this brother/sister team remained as close as “The Carpenters” while becoming professional bounty hunters with a penchant for murdering witches. And when I say “witches” I’m not talking about the Mother Earth loving herbalists we see today. No, these are the less PC veiny/scaly variety complete with broomsticks!
Last summer I wrote about Sarah Michelle Gellar and one of my all time favorite TV shows, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (story HERE). Despite the allure of that show’s main powerhouse, Buffy, it was the supporting characters and their interactions with one another that was tantamount to the show’s success. The character I related to the most was Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon) the nerdy, comic-book reading guy who didn’t quite fit into any clique (including the nerds) and usually, in terms of the opposite sex, found himself the “best friend” rather than the boyfriend. This frustration, along with the usual teenage fear of being insignificant, was masked with a quick sardonic wit, usually at his own expense. If there was one lesson that Xander and I both knew full well, it was that its better to make fun of yourself before someone else does it for you.
In the earlier days of this site, I attended The 2010 Chicago Wizard Con (story HERE) and was not a happy camper. Granted the intense crowds did give me a bit of satisfaction knowing that, in the 15 years since I’d quit collecting comics, us geeks had clearly inherited the earth. Unfortunately, this was tempered by my perception of us fans being treated like cattle along with having to deal with their pampered celebrities. This is the first year I attended C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) and it was a last minute decision. Still recovering from Horrorhound (and, yes, we still have much more to discuss regarding that event) I had requested my C2E2 Press Pass late in the game and was surprised when it arrived last week. The event was HUGE and took place at The McCormick Place in Chicago.
The genre crowd is abuzz regarding the news that our beloved “Slayer,” Sarah Michelle Gellar, will be returning to commercial television - both acting as well as serving as executive producer for a new Fall series titled “Ringer.” Gellar plays a woman on the run who conceals herself via the identity of her wealthy twin sister. I am a fan of Gellar and absolutely wish her all the best and will definitely check out the new show despite having mixed feelings.
The problem is simple; I, along with a large majority of my geek brothers and sisters, will forever see her as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and have little desire to do otherwise. Even as a horror fan, I’ve had some difficulty watching her in the various film roles she’s taken on since the hit series ended. The sight of her running in terror messes with my sensibilities and I keep waiting for her to stop, face her opponent, and deliver a well-placed drop-kick that sends her adversary soaring across the room! Sarah Michelle Gellar is an amazing actress and I am not trying to imply that she’s been typecast so much as suggesting the void left from her Buffy character has yet to be filled.
In my lifetime, I have loved very few series and was never much good at “appointment TV” (though it has gotten a lot better since the advent of DVR’s). Needless to say, “Buffy” wasn’t an easy sell. I remember it was the late 90′s and I was just getting used to the idea that “The X-Files” was over (even though it was still airing, if you catch my meaning). I had heard about “Buffy,” thought it sounded silly and destined for mid season cancellation. I had sat through the Kristy Swanson film and considered it 86 minutes of my life I’d never get back and had no interest in wasting any more of my time.
I started watching somewhere in the middle of its third season and, by its rip-roaring finale, was completely hooked. Later I began working at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and a strong majority of my co-workers were Buffy fanatics like me.Every Wednesday the Nyani (Baboon) lounge was dominated by conversations regarding the previous night’s episode. Tuesday nights couldn’t come fast enough and my X-Files posters were slowly replaced with images of the Slayer instead.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is simply one of the most brilliant series ever to grace the small screen. You may think that this is a bold statement or simply the mad ramblings of a super dork. You’d probably be right on both counts, however, that doesn’t make what I’ve said any less true. “Buffy” boasted some of the wittiest dialogue, clever stories, and endearing characters I’ve seen to date. Creator, Joss Whedon, brought together a group of teens who talked like thirty year olds while battling the forces of darkness amidst figuring out who their dates will be for Prom. This group was anything but the shallow eye candy seen in most teen shows, such as their 90210 neighbors to the south.