Took an early run around the Steel City Con this afternoon, where folks were lined up for well in advance for the anticipated 2 p.m. arrival of celebrity guests such as "Star Trek's" Michael Dorn (Worf) and Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax), Henry "The Fonz" Winkler, Power Ranger Austin St. John, John Wesley Shipp of TV's "The Flash" then and now, stars of "A Christmas Story" ...
This was the first day, a rainy Friday, and lines were very manageable, but I imagine when the kids are out of school tomorrow, things might get a little crowded around toy collectible tables. Among the fun sights were an R2-D2 roaming the floor (powered by remote) and later a C-3P0 joined him, and I fell in love with the look on the little girl's face (above) when pictures were being taken.
John Wesley Shipp arrived wearing a "Teen Wolf" TV series hoodie (he played the nasty Mr. Lahey on the series). I asked TV's original Flash -- now the father of Grant Gustin's Flash on the hit CW series -- about the call to rejoin the DC team. He said he heard from DC's Geoff Johns and when asked about making an appearance, the only character he was interested in was Henry Allen, Barry Allen's father.
"They asked to see some current work and I had just done two independent films," he said of as yet unreleased "The Sector" and "Sensory Perception." "They fired the out to them and they made the offer the next day. I'm having a blast. Andrew Kriesberg [exec producer of The CW's 'The Flash' and 'Arrow'] and those guys were all fans of the first effort and he was an assistant on the backlot of Warner Bros. when I was doing 'The Flash' so we'd already met. He said, 'When we were doing 'Flash' I totally fan-boyed out on you.' This is my boss! 'I said, 'Was I nice?' I must have been."
When I asked him if I could take a picture of him with the Steel City Con sign, he asked if I had flash on may cell phone because of the bad lighting -- to which my son said, "He asked if you had flash?" And I hadn't realized it until that moment. I didn't think The Flash, Sr., did either.
The CW, by the way, was at Steel City Con with a separate booth that you had a "spin the wheel" component to win a prize. I won a Flash T-shirt.
I said, "Hi," to Henry Winkler, very gracious, but he had a long line waiting for him when he arrived so my son Josh told him how much he enjoyed him on "Parks & Rec" and "Arrested Development" and we took off.
At an signing table beside Winkler sat Michael Dorn and Terry Farrell. A fan gave him a picture taken 25 years ago that he is showing his former co-star in the picture at right.
Oh, and we did some shopping, of course. Steel City Con is a toys and collectibles show after all. If there's a geek on your Christmas gift who loves "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" or comic books or vintage toys, you'll find plenty to look at here, plus work by current illustrators such as Chris Yamber.
While I was perusing a booth that sold replica weapons and accessories of sci-fi shows (a "Farscape" pulse pistol, for example), I ran into Tom Savini, our own local special effects make-up expert.
"Are you checking out how well this stuff is made?" I asked.
"No," he said. "I'm shopping."
The Steel City Con runs through Sunday at the Monroeville Convention Center.
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