Forget the madness of THE Comic-Con in San Diego and even the Mega- and Super-Cons that pop up all over the country. If you're looking for a fun family event or merely a smaller, more traditional comic book convention, head to your local venue. This past weekend my twelve-year-old son and I did just that. PalmCon 2016, which took place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on September 24 and 25, was the perfect introduction for my son who has never attended a comic convention.
While there weren't major celebrities or box office movie premieres, the guests in attendance were approachable and accommodating. The entire experience was more intimate and less Hollywood, which also meant much more affordable. My son concentrated on the collectibles not necessarily the comic books, and enjoyed having his photo taken with the numerous Cosplay participants.
|Hollywood special effects make-up artist,|
We also took in a couple of guest panels, catching the tail end of the Michael Bell and Samantha Newark (both voice talents) discussion and watching make-up artist, Jeh Howell, re-create zombie bites on volunteers from the audience. Unfortunately, we missed the two-hour film school due to a scheduling conflict.
|Jesse Jensen (left), Alison Berrios (center), Nalini Krishan (right) at the "Walking the Path of the Jedi" panel|
|Nalini Krishan "Barriss Offee"|
The highlight for both my son and me was the "Walking the Path of the Jedi" panel with special guests Nalini Krishan (Barriss Offee) and Jesse Jensen (Saesee Tiin) both from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The panel, moderated by Cosplay For Jedi's Alison Berrios, was super fun. We loved hearing about the not-so-glamorous life on the set, the hours in the make-up chairs, and the time spent training and choreographing the fight scenes. Jensen talked about how he and his brother, Zac Jensen, who played Kit Fisto, grew up as fans of the franchise and as children (Hmm, I suspect even as adults) had lightsaber fights in their yard.
|Jesse Jensen "Saesee Tiin"|
When I asked both Krishan and Jensen who their favorite Star Wars characters are, Jensen said Han Solo (besides Kit Fisto!) and Krishan surprisingly said she was enamored with Darth Vadar. The conversation also discussed the recent Disney buyout of the franchise, both actors seeing it as a mostly positive transaction, and the death of Hans Solo in Episode 7. Overall, it was a really great panel and my son was super excited we were able to attend. After all, it doesn't get much more exciting than an afternoon with two Jedis!!!
While San Diego Comic-Con will remain on our bucket lists, for now I am thinking my son may be ready for Florida Supercon 2017 next July!