Scott & Vickie's SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2004
We arrived late Thursday afternoon at the
Hyatt across the street from the Con. We had some serious costume
setbacks with Vickie's costumes and were seriously delayed at
leaving and eventually had to pack up much of our tools and crafting
supplies to try and complete the costumes. I called our
friend, Wally Wingert, after we
finally hauled our junk up into the room and had arrived at the
convention floor (regular garb.) It was already late in the day and
the convention was closing, but we managed to meet up with Wally and
his friend, Christine. We did a little bit of walking before I saw
a replica of the Shakespeare bust. It looked VERY nice. I asked
how much and realized that the $295 price would eat up virtually ALL
of my convention shopping money. That was too scary to do on the
first day, but Wally said they had sold out of them the first time
he bought his a few years ago. No pressure!!
What to do?
We got out just before they closed up and went to the Spaghetti
Factory for food, great conversation and laughs. All the while,
Wally saying, "Y'know, you're going to have to get that bust." The
four of us talked about all kinds of things under the sun ( with
some Batman stuff thrown in.) It was a wonderful night. It got
late, and we headed back to the hotel with much work still ahead of
us on Vickie's Wonder Woman if it was going to be ready. Without
giving away the problems with the suit ( why should we make you look
for any ?) let's just say that some bonding techniques we tried,
practically EXPLODED when I put some of those pieces in my hot car
upon leaving. We had to re-think and reconstruct some things.
delayed Friday greatly, with us not getting to the con until
practically 3:30. But we were in costume and ready to
take the crowd on.
Another call to Wally, and he arrived downstairs to meet us and
thought of a great place to take some pics while we were still fresh
in our costumes ( the air in the convention center was not helpful
to the July heat.) After a pretty lengthy photos session with Wally
as photographer, we hit the convention floor.
All I can say is, I couldn't tell you how many photos of us were
taken by, with, and for people at the Convention. Every once in a
while we got somebody to take a photo for us using our camera, just
so that we would have some. The people we tended to take pictures
of were other costumed fans. Vickie and I admire the
Making new friends like Genevieve
craft and support others daring enough to do so. I did
make some pre-printed cards that had my
e-mail address and asked some folks to send me a copy of the shots
they took. Especially the ones of us with the kids.
Children looked at us as if we were magic in front of their eyes.
Hugs were often. Some simple questions, and many smiles.
I hope I will get some of those shots to share later, as those were
our favorite moments. I think that's the closest we were ever
going to feel to being the real thing. Keep in mind, we didn't
just put on the suits and walk around like regular people and wait
till there was a camera to pose for to get into character. We
I never could break from my "Adam speak" even
when talking in private to Wally or Vickie. I think that's an
effect from the cowl.
I stopped by the booth that had
the Shakespeare bust and it was GONE! But the guy at the booth,
said he had three other booths at the con and would take us to one
that should still have a bust. He loved our costumes and got a
bit spooked at the way I walked and talked like Adam. It was
only suppose to be two aisles
Posing with Jason Marsden who
played Burt Ward in "Return to the Batcave"
took us about twenty minutes from being stopped so much for photos.
Wally suddenly saw somebody that he knew and said he should get his
picture taken with us. I didn't get a chance to see the guy
approach us as I was looking around the convention to see if I
noticed any "goodies" during our marathon of two aisles. So all I
saw was the back of this guys head, but I did notice how short he
was. I quipped, "I bet you you're just the right height to make a
great boy wonder." The guy finally looked up at me with
puzzled look on his face and then I realized I was talking to Jason
Marsden who played Burt Ward in "Return to the Batcave." I then
said, "You look much better without the powder burns" (a scene
from the same film.) That let him know that I did know who he was,
and he gave a big smile. Real nice guy.
Meanwhile, Mike who was waiting to show me the Shakespeare head
was still waiting for us to keep following him. He ended up saying
to Jason, "Wow. You look a lot like Burt Ward, you should try
wearing a Robin costume sometime." Wally then said, "Um...been
there...done that." Mike got pretty embarrassed once he
realized who Jason was. We finally got to the bust. After much of the
night not sleeping because I was thinking over it, I would ask one
more time, "How much?" Let's just say that I got a juicy, "Because-you're-in-the- costume-discount." I bought
it and asked them
to hold it there for me to pick up later. I knew better than to
carry the thing around. Thanks Mike and the folks at
More photos, more photos, more photos, some filming of us
for a BRAVO program to come out in Spring 2005 and guess what? More
photos. Wally got tied up in an interview about Batman and we
forged on alone until the announcement that the hall would close in
30 minutes. We were on the other side of the hall from my purchased
bust!! It takes about 15 minutes just to walk it uninterrupted. As
we made a fast paced walk towards the other end, we got
stopped all along the way. Eventually I had visions of William
Dozier saying, "WILL THEY MAKE IT IN TIME?" But after getting
really efficient with setting up folks for their photos with us, the
pictures went quickly, and we
just made it. Now with box in tow, we were constantly getting
stopped again and again while trying to get back to our hotel.
One hour later, we finally got back.
Wally had already made it to
his room, and went out to meet some other friends for dinner and
called us to meet them there. Another wonderful evening with good
people. We all eventually went up to one their rooms to watch some
bad Japanese B-movie type television. Fun, but by the time we got
back...dead on our feet and it was only Friday.
Friday night dinner with (from L to R)
Gina Sheridan, Shawn Sheridan, Vickie Sebring, Larry
Strothe, Scott Sebring, James Gonis & Wally.
Photo courtesy of
Wally on the Web
Saturday came and once again I felt the clock ticking. I went out
to get some supplies from a local drug store. Gel foot pads.
Yeesh, our feet were killing us. After a nice breakfast at a little
cafe, we had to get back to get the final touches done for Vickie's
Catwoman suit that our friend, Ken Davis, made. Mainly sewing on claws to her gloves.
As she was getting things ready, I took that time to head over to
the con to get a few moments of browsing sans costume. It's
impossible to look around and talk to vendors when dressed as Batman.
When I got there, I made a bee-line straight to Album cover artist,
Roger Dean's booth. He did those fantastic Yes and Asia cover
paintings through the 70's and even recently. He's my favorite
cover artist, and I've followed his career for
nearly 25 years. I
tried to tell him this on Friday while in my Batman suit, but could
barely get a sentence out before, "Excuse me, can we get a
picture." I didn't mind at all, but I knew I wanted to get some
"quality time" in with him. So on this day, I showed up at his
booth and met this wonderful, quiet and talented artist. He
signed a poster of his famous ASIA cover ( a dragon coming out of
the water) for me. I told him that I had read both of his
With Album cover legend Roger Dean
and have really studied his use of line
and design in logo making and that I was never in a band where I
didn't try to do a logo like he would have. He was very
appreciative. We got a photo taken together and then I said, "You
know, it's much easier to meet with you when I'm not dressed as
Batman." He put his hand over his mouth in surprise and said, "Was
that YOU?" A good laugh was had.
Vickie and I arrived once again to the convention floor in costume.
But this time she was Catwoman (MEEOOOW). We started to see a few
costumed characters running around since there would be a
Masquerade that night. The place was more packed than Friday and it
made it a bit more difficult to pose when the photo ops came, which
they did even moreso than Friday due to the greater crowds. We
were stopped by a camera man and director from the BRAVO channel
again. Friday, they had
me do a Batusi for the camera as well as various actions towards the
camera followed with Vickie doing some "bullets and bracelets" type
moves. Today, they had us walk towards the camera and pass it a few
times with variations on the takes. Also they had Vickie and I
interact a bit more as Batman and Catwoman. She did her cat like
flirt with me and I did my more stammering, nervous and shaking in
my boots Batman over what to do about this sort of approach. Not
quite a scene recreation, but definitely that awkward
dynamic that Batman would have with Catwoman. It seemed he knew how
to handle her henchman and getting out of traps better than whenever she
would come on to him. It was silly and funny. I have no idea if it
was good enough for them to use at all.
More photos, more photos and hugs and handshakes. It was still
a blast. We tried to keep an eye out for Wally as his character
"Uncle Davver" and his gang of ghoulish gals. If you don't know
this character of his, check out this page from his site
(shameless plug for my buddy) . We did manage to catch up with
them as they were waiting in the Mark Hamill line. Quite a few
pictures started to get taken of the group of us, yet we pressed on
and left them to meet "Luke Skywalker." BTW, I happen to like
Mark's Joker voice.
Around the corner we met a professional Xena and Gabriel who
dead ringers. I had to get a picture of them. Keep in mind, when I
would take pictures of other people while I was Batman, I would make
it like I was holding a very complex bat-device and did a loud Adam
West count down, "THREE, TWO.....ONE" It usually got laughs to
have Batman be a fan taking pictures. Xena then said, 'Well,
get in here Bats!"
We came across AL ( who was an awesome Blade the day before.) A
mutual batfriend, Billy Loyd, had introduced me to Al's costuming
group so we were mildly acquainted. Anyway, Al was now dressed as
the Green Lantern from the Justice League cartoon. It was
EXCELLENT. His suit was full leather with a great set of
boots and a fantastic ring made by Billy Loyd himself ( who made my
bat buckle as well.) To top it all off, he had green contact lenses
that made his eyes seem to almost glow. Al is a great guy to meet
in general, so we tried to get some pictures taken with him for
sure. We said that we should try to meet up at the masquerade later.
Just about this time, we decided to leave the building
just before they made the closing announcements. We hoped to avoid the thick crowds
who were trying to leave all at once like the day before .
We sat down for a meal at the hotel when I received a phone call
from Billy Loyd. I gave him a short run-down of the events and told
him to let the message board know we were fine and as far away from tapping
away on a computer as possible.
We took it easy for a few hours and freshened up before
donning our suits again to go to the masquerade. Vickie decided to
go as Wonder Woman again, since she really enjoyed how our creation
turned out and it seemed to get a better response from the kids than
Catwoman. I think she made the right choice in the long run.
There was a large hall filled with what seemed over two thousand
seats for the costume competition and presentation. We sat through all
52 contestants that had entered several months in advance in order
to qualify. Not only did the costumes have to be shown to the
audience, but the entries had to give a presentation or rather “do
an act.” Some of these ranged from witty, childish, lame, funny to
“they don't get out much, do they?” The hardest part of this long
show was sitting still in my Batsuit in this room full of people. I
As it turned out, we didn’t need to sit through that.
The real action was at the party across the way at another annex
where the competition was showing on a big screen anyways and it was
in the open AIR! Glorious, night breeze, AIR!! Now I know better.
A pair of Wonder Women at the
We arrived at the party and instantly
saw Al who had
been there with his family the whole time. YEESH! We talked a bit,
and still had to pose for more pictures, more pictures, more
pictures in between conversation. He told us that his family
the other end of the party floor and that we should meet his daughter,
Tiana, because she liked Wonder Woman. Vickie barely made it
Tiana poses with Wonder Woman and
some of the JLA
corner to where Al’s daughter could make a
clear view of her, and the little girl came rushing over to Vickie
with her arms wide open for a big hug and the widest eyes and cutest smile like she found her
best friend. Vickie dropped down to one knee and gave his girl the
biggest hug. I could tell Vickie just about melted. I don’t know
who was smiling bigger. Once again, a special night with great
people and wonderful conversation. Al’s daughter even went over to
bring us two small plastic figures in her hands. One was of Wonder
Woman and the other was Batman.
The competition was over and when
the various winners were announced, people started to come out of
the hall to join the party. Lots of talented folks showed up
in their own creations. More pictures, more pictures.
Cool. I never got tired of that. Really. It made
us feel like part of the entertainment as well as getting a kick how
much people still loved the Adam West Batman. When people
would call out to me, about 60% would say, “Batman!” and the other
40% would yell out, “Adam West!” Let see if any of the rubber suited
Batmen ever get a “Clooney” or “Keaton!” About this time, we
set out to see the winners get their pictures taken at a
professionally lighted stage for press photos.
Two guys showed
up as Johnny Depp characters: Hunter S . Thompson, Capt. Jack
On the way there,
Vickie and I were stopped by some “cracked-horse.com-I- think” guys
who wanted to do a video interview with us for their web site. We
agreed. Well, the guy started out with , “Why Adam West? Why the
old school?” I was torn to remain in character or let Scott out and
praise Adam’s work. Instead I said (in character), “ The series was
my first exposure. Before I knew there was a comic book or a
cartoon. This is what speaks to me the most.” He then said
something like, ”So Christian Bale should just hang it up right now
and not bother.” I replied something like, ”yes…for me” But before
I could get the “for me” out he then turned to Vickie and tried to
imply that Vickie was dragged along into this and asked if she felt
the same about Linda Carter ( Vickie’s suit was to resemble Alex
Ross’ work, so this guy was going way off course.) The interviewer
was pretty pathetic, sad to say. It was awkward. I was glad when
it was over, but of course rethought how I said things. Don’t we
I think it sunk
in about two minutes after walking away from that interview. The Batmen of the past 14 years in
the movies all tried their best to portray a character that has been
written pretty dark and flawed. I dressed up as the
many times over the years before I finally got my Adam suit
together and I can tell you that there IS a major difference to what
you can do in that suit as the Dark Knight and how people react to
you and as the Caped Crusader. As the Keaton style ( or even
the more modern comic one that I briefly tried last year for Halloween) you don’t
have much to say to the people or kids that can have much of any
warmth, so it’s a lot of nods and “hellos” before they even think of
coming near you. Most are a bit fearful, shy and tend to just stare
at you with a “wow” but still with a bit of a distance. Some will shake
your hand, but I can’t remember a hug or a single “I love you Batman” from
the past 10 years of doing those, unless you just break character.
What’s that say about the character? I had plenty of encounters
just this past weekend where there were hugs, “I love you’s” and
plenty of smiles from young and old alike. And I could talk to them
and converse and still be in character. Guys would sometimes want to
try and get me to pose with them as if I were punching them out but
I would say, “ No, I don’t hit good citizens, but I should give you
good lecture about unnecessary violence.” And shake a finger at
them to which they would just smile and then pose as if we were a team.
Teamwork, values, good will and heart always seemed to come
across. People may giggle but they always seem to show respect for
the man in the grey tights. I noticed the difference. Putting on
the suit always makes me want to try and be a better person because
of what he represents.
Vengeful, tortured and brooding Batman just doesn’t do it for me
anymore. Maybe it may seem corny in this jaded day and age. And
maybe the darker image sells more and lends itself to more
interesting character studies, but I don’t think it inspires people
or kids to try and do the right thing simply because it is the right thing
to do. That’s what I should have said in the interview.
After the official photography for the competition
entries were through, a photographer insisted that Vickie and I
should get up on the stage and get
some pictures taken as well.
About half a dozen photographers came back over to the stage and
us pose. I kept hearing things from some of them like, “he even
talks like him" (that was actually a representative from DC!) and
another DC judge saying, “he has his mannerisms too.” That was very
cool to hear. I got down off the stage and let them get some solo
ones of Vickie and I then got Al to get up there so I could get some
good shots of him with my camera. The photographers then asked for
the both of us to be up there after I was done with my photo taking.
What a night.
We said our goodbyes to Al and the various gang of
people we encountered and made our way back to our hotel room. It
was 1:00 am. No wonder I was tired.
came. We slept in compared to the previous three days but did
need to get ourselves together and all of our stuff packed in time
for our 11:00 check out. We had so much stuff that we brought
to complete the costumes or mend them if necessary. The bellhop tried to fit everything carefully on his cart, but I carried the
cowl under my arm on a Styrofoam head with a plastic bag to cover
it. I took no chances.
Wally gave me
a ring on my cell ( it plays the Batman theme
when he calls.) He told me that he and
Christine were at the convention already to try
and tie up any loose ends and their shopping.
We hooked up and made our rounds together.
We looked at some of the newer line of stuff
from Sideshow like the 18 inch Kirk and Spock.
They looked great but the pants were too
We made our way over to the spot where I had
seen a still in the box, 12 inch, Mego Batman
just the day before. It was still there.
Wally had mentioned that he wanted to pick up
the 12 inch Spiderman that was there too.
They were priced incredibly cheap. As it
turned out, they were from France, so they were
not considered as
My First Mego in 30 years
the U.S. ones I guess. But we each got our
Megos and were delighted. Whether it was
from France or not, this was the first Mego I’ve
bought in thirty years. It was COOL!
his "Empire Strikes Back" poster signed by Billy
Dee Williams and Director Irvin Kershner
Wally then got in
line to get his “Empire Strikes Back” poster
signed by Billy Dee Williams and director Irvin
Kershner. Wally’s poster was already filled
with other cast members as well such as Mark
Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Now if he could just
get Harrison Ford to attend one of these
conventions for a change.
Vickie became the “please hold my cardboard”
girl while he went to get the signatures. The
cardboard folder contained some other
pieces that included a drawing that Jim Lee did
for Wally of Batman and Robin. How cool is
that? Very Cool!!
The four of us went
for one last lunch together across the street at
the hotel’s restaurant since Wally had to get
back to Studio City in a timely manner. We
discussed improvements that I should make on
my costume or rather “fine tuning” to get the
look even better. Wally then proceeded to take
his Mego Spiderman out of the box to check it
out. He then said, “ You GOTTA pose it!” I
agreed since I always pose my figures in my
collection, unless they look BETTER displayed in
the box they came in (pretty rare.) I’m not
into the collector value thing at all and Wally
has plenty of memorabilia and collectables worth
far more than him opening his Mego box. Some
folks probably cringe reading this. I may keep
mine in the box, because of the vibrant pink and
yellow colors that remind me so much of the
show. I think it would be a nice splash of
color on my display shelf. But you never know,
his cowl doesn’t have the black shroud on the
front of the face with eyebrows. I may have to
paint those in (heh heh heh.)
We said our goodbyes
to Wally and Christine and headed back to the
con for one last run through before our long
drive back home. We stopped by the
“Lord of the
Rings “ costumes that were on display by New
Line Cinema. What detail and artistry. The
films do not even come close to capturing the
detail and depth of these fabrics, ornamentation
and elegance of these pieces. While there, I
came across a group called "Gotham Public Works"
which consisted of a modern day Penguin, a Jim Lee style
Catwoman and an Onstar
style Batman (a Clooney fitted black suit without
nipples and Batsignal logo filled in with
yellow.) I tried to get a picture of
Catwoman for a friend but she wouldn’t wait for me
to try and get a steady footing for the shot. I
also noticed that kids weren’t flocking to meet
this Batman. His costume was totally
professional and spot on for this
style and he had the chin to pull it off really
well. I almost wished I had my suit on to get
a photo together. He did look the part but
I never saw any fans stand WITH him or shake his
hand. Too bad. I hope he got at
least one hug from a kid.
We looked at some final
stuff and felt it was time to go before
everybody else were told to go and so that we avoided
the rush again. So into the blue Saturn we
took off for home.
The San Diego Comic
Con was a blast. It was wonderful time,
especially when shared with friends like Wally
and Christine and getting to make new friends
like Al and his family. Vickie and I agreed
that this was much more fun overall than
anything else that we've done in recent years. We’ll be back next year in
our colorful tights and our arms open.
Maybe we'll meet YOU!!