As regular readers of this blog know, my schedule has been very crowded lately as we head into the final stretch before Tarantino’s Django Unchained is released (for those who don’t read regularly, I play Leonardo DiCaprio’s sister, Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly in the film). As such, I haven’t had much time to write but I did attend the Wizard World Comic Con last weekend. I was only there for part of Sunday but we managed to attend 2 Q&A events – Giorgio A. Tsoukalos of History Channel’s Ancient Aliens and Michael Madsen of Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill.
We stopped by Michael’s booth for a quick reunion as soon as we arrived and met his very kind signing agent, Scott Ray, in the bargain. Michael Madsen and I first worked together in Kill Bill and again years later in the Tarantino produced Hell Ride (on which I also served as Associate Producer). I looked forward to spending more time with him but when in Rome…
So, off we went to our first Q&A. I am actually a fairly big fan of Ancient Aliens with it’s beautiful locations, amazing artifacts and fascinating questions and theories. I also found the topic fairly irresistible, “Will the World End on December 21, 2012.” Spoiler alert: the answer is probably not. Mr. Tsoukalos is actually a fairly big fan of our fair city and, should the end come, he wants to go out with a big NOLA bang by hosting a party here that day and night along with the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. The 2012 Cosmic Convergence Festival will feature Quintron and Miss Pussycat, the Hot 8 Brass Band, Happy Talk and Alex McMurray and the Interstellar All-Stars among many others.
Though I can’t say that I learned much about the planets lining up that day and the implications for our planet, I did have fun watching Giorgio try to answer serious questions (and some silly ones) with a unicorn baby on his lap (pictured below) and interact with his fellow panelists, Ryan S. Ballard AKA Space Commander Chewbaccacabra, Brett Powers AKA MC Ghetto Fett and Kirah Haubrich AKA Overlord Dilithium Crystal Hot Sauce. The most fun for me though was taking in all the different costumes a Comic Con inspires, especially in a town as costume-happy as New Orleans.
Next up was Michael Madsen. Michael’s Q&A was actually very informative. I’ll admit I got a big kick out of seeing us on the big screen together when they showed his promotional reel and an even bigger one when he introduced me to the audience as his Kill Bill co-star, “Rocket.” But the biggest thrill was from listening to him tell stories, make confessions and confirm his place as one cool customer. I’m most surely biased, but I could sit and watch him for hours.
Afterward, we headed to the green room for a sandwich and reminisced about old times. I’m so taken with New Orleans that I don’t miss much about L.A. but I do long for the company of the people who know the me-that-I-was when I lived there. It’s good to be with people who know what you’ve been through.
Like most events in NOLA, the best part is running into neighbors and friends. I was surprised how many people I knew that were fans of the comic book world and all its offshoots. Some were there as fans of The Walking Dead, Star Trek or some other specific fascination. Some were there to sell their own artwork. Most were there for the fun of it. I even ran into a fellow Django actor, Ritchie Montgomery who kindly introduced us to Jonathan Frakes, “Commander William T. Riker” of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I might not know much about the Comic Con world but I’m pretty sure that was a fairly big deal.
I still can’t claim I’ve truly gotten into the spirit of Comic Con, but this makes 2 years in a row that I’ve been glad the event is now part of the New Orleans calendar. With the Django comic book series coming out to accompany the movie, maybe I’ll be attending the event again next year and enjoying more reunions!
Having passed on the green room food, we finished our afternoon at Butcher for an outstanding lunch including the Buckboard Bacon Melt with Collards on White ($11), the Roasted Turkey with Arugula, Tomato, Fontina and basil pesto aioli on 7 grain ($10) with Marinated Brussels Sprouts ($6) and Hot Boudin ($3). Award winning chef Donald Link really knows his way around a sandwich.