posted October 23, 1999 05:43 AM   

Ahhh, we're in the stretch! Before I continue with Sunday's events, I'd like to relate to you all that, on the day before (Saturday), I made a brief stop at the Holiday Inn on Van Ness to visit the now-notorious Amazon breakfast gathering, where yours truly was able to meet everyone and present each of the warrioresses with a copied design for dinar coins (one from King Iphicles of "New" Corinth and one from Queen Gabrielle of the Amazons of Melosa). Lil is quite a spirited and lovely lady, and I had a great time chatting with her! The Golden Gate Holiday Inn will never be the same after that raid by the Amazons, I'm sure! Many thanks to Areswriter, who was also at the Sunday show, and who very graciously bestowed on me one of the sacred ambrosial TimTams to nibble on with delight. On to the Con...

Between scheduled events, this poster wandered about the venue, looking over the various merchandise offered for sale. I estimated that there were over 700 different photos for sale; only two or three of them focused on the character of Ephiny, which struck me as odd since she was a featured guest. Also noticed were some photos evidently taken from the upcoming X:WP ep Them Bones, Them Bones, and a strangely charming and (at least to me) affecting portrait of Renee as "the healer" in Locked Up and Tied Down. I was also impressed by a display of swords and daggers ready for sale, some of them looked quite authentic for classical times and very well executed. I had the opportunity to listen to Phil D. Hernandez of the Gabrielle & Joxer Romantics Society favor Con visitors with an impromtu rendition of "Fanfiction Writer", sung to the tune of "Paperback Writer". I can confirm the advice given elsewhere, that people interested in purchasing pictures and other goodies should do so at the earliest opportunity, before the gathering crowd turns the area into a Day-before-Christmas-shopping experience. After Danielle Cormack's appearance there was a showing of the apparently classic video tribute to Gabrielle, sung to "Wind Beneath My Wings", edited entirely from season 1 & 2 clips, thereby causing a twinge of poignant feeling to develop in me. The MC thanked all of us for coming, making the controversial remarks about there being changes in X:WP that would please some of us and not others, and that some characters would be returning and some would die (A few gasps from the audience). The "Grand Finale" costume competition was the penultimate item on the schedule. The junior category was won by a little girl dressed as Solan, who just edged another girl superbly costumed as Xena. "Solan" pranced with delight around the stage, echoing in miniature Danielle's appearance. I would eventually discover, to my great disappointment, that virtually none of my photos taken from the cheap seats turned out. The competition was very tough in the adult category, with the grand prizes being awarded jointly to a man dressed (or more accurately, partially undressed!) as Cupid, and to two ladies portraying Xena and Amazon Queen Gabrielle with uncanny accuracy. The choice of Cupid was helped by the very noticeable vocal encouragement by a group of young ladies seated not far from me in the back of the room. Most of the costumes were very well done indeed; and I overheard a fellow audience member remark to her companion that "they (the competition finalists) should quit their day jobs and become costume designers". The official program being completed, there remained only the autograph signing. Since I was in the general admission area, I did not have a great expectation in obtaining the stars' signatures, but I remained in hope, for the program list mentioned that the guests would remain for up to two hours for signings. Each row was called up in sequence, beginning with the most expensive seats in row A. (General seating began with row S.) While waiting, I had a conversation with a fellow audience member about the merits of X:WP; as she departed, she handed me her card, and this poster was pleasantly surprised to find out that he had been chatting with the famous Kym Masera Taborn, editor of Whoosh! (I then made a fool of myself pursuing Ms. Taborn for her autograph!) The signing proceeded very slowly at first, with some confusion after rows A through C had been processed, until a lady who soon earned the sobriquet of "The General" took matters in hand, directing the line-up by rows with gruff good-humor and efficiency that merited the approbation of all. I was to eventually learn, that Creation had rented the auditorium only until 8:30 p.m., so it was important that the signings be completed before that time...and the official program had ended 15 minutes late! At last, all the reserved seatholders were taken care of, and we of the hoi polloi were allowed to take our places at the back of the queue. Everyone who had the patience to remain in the auditorium for the hour-and-a-half-plus wait were rewarded with autographs. Each of the stars were seated onstage at a long table, and between each guest and at the end of the table there was stationed a Creation handler to keep things moving along. Perhaps it was the laid-back San Francisco attitude, but it seemed that everyone behaved with exemplary decorum, and I am pleased to report that there was no unpleasantness observed among the stars, Creation people, or autograph seekers. In lieu of a photo, I had brought my copy of Topps' Xena Magazine #4 for the guests to sign, and I had the signal pleasure of catching Danielle's attention, for as she started to sign it (at the article profiling her), she stopped and remarked: "Oh, I don't remember *that* interview", and she took a few extra seconds to look over the issue! Even after signing close to a thousand autographs each, Joel, Danielle, and Kevin remained in good spirits to the end, thanking each of us with seeming interest and undiminished politeness, a marked contrast to the reported behavior of many Hollywood-type "stars" (actual or self-delusional!). I remarked to Kevin that I'd admired his work, and he looked up and said, "Thanks, mate!" I left the signing area, making a little joke of encouragement to "Ares" about helping out the Amazons by doing some "resurrection". Five minutes later, just after 8:30 p.m., the end of the signature line was reached; there was a final round of picture taking, and then the stars withdrew backstage and "The General" shooed the last of us away. We all departed the Masonic Auditorium into a refreshingly misty San Francisco evening, the capper to a very memorable day.

I thank everyone for their patience with my deliberative pace in posting, and, of course, I appreciate any additions or corrections.

[This message has been edited by batrochides (edited October 23, 1999).]

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last updated: February 06, 2009
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