Denver Comic Con 2014 – Star Trek TNG Reunion

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Panel NameStar Trek: The Next Generation Reunion

Topic: Most of the cast from Star Trek TNG discuss their time on the show and their experience working with one another

Featured GuestsJonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gate McFadden with William Shatner as moderator

Have you ever had a time where you got together with family for a holiday or a reunion, and sat around a table and had one of the craziest and uncontrollable conversations you could imagine, since you are so very close but never see one another? Well then you most likely know exactly how this panel went. A lot of attendees seemed to think it was out of control, but honestly it did just seem like a bunch of family members getting together with an audience. Shatner tried to control the whole panel and ask questions but with The Next Generation cast feeling so comfortable with one another, he just melded into that and was acting like the crazy uncle to the TNG family.

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Once questions began, we sometimes got full answers and other times they moved on before the entire answer was finished, for example Michael Dorn was asked how he liked working with his fellow cast members as directors. He went into almost each one but ultimately described them using one word, sometimes followed by a story. Dorn said that Jonathan Frakes was loud, Gates McFadden was like a dancer because she had everything organized perfectly and seemed to glide from place to place, and for LeVar Burton he said “No” because of a time Dorn had done a take wrong and the way LeVar told him to change his action seemed like a person rolling up a newspaper and tapping a dog on the head saying “NO.”


The next question was about how influential Star Trek has been to the world and how it has changed the way we live from our technology to our entire culture and because of this, what are the best inspiring stories they have heard from fans. Gates McFadden told a story about a man who thanked her for helping him in his childhood because he was in foster homes that continually changed so everything in his life changed a lot but the only constant was that he got to watch Star Trek and felt like these characters were his family since they were always there for him. Definitely an awesome story which really gives a different look at how film, television and the entire entertainment industry makes people violent. Another good story that they all commented on was that of an amputee they met who had a wonderful spirit and during his recovery Star Trek and how they portrayed everyone in Starfleet even those with disabilities. The young man credited Star Trek as the reason he had the courage to continue. Now is when Marina Sirtis interrupts and says, “Man… Things just got real, how about a joke?”

If you saw the Gargoyles panel, you may have known what was probably coming and of course it was a joke about the French (hey, she is British, so of course it was about the French) This led to a more lighthearted discussion about what was the worst thing about their experiences on set. Michael Dorn wished his make-up was just for a movie and not a television show, and he mentioned another time his make up ended up with no eyebrows, which if you know Worf you will know how weird that may look. An obvious answer was that LeVar Burton hated his visor, not only could he hardly see a thing, but the actual vizor was screwed into his head to fit and the pad would press right against his temple and it gave him headaches all the time. At this point Shatner leaned over to Michael Dorn and asked if anyone had sex on the set, after a long and awkward pause, LeVar Burton raised his hand and said, “Yes, there was sex, but not between us.”

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Going back to fan questions, everyone was asked their favorite villain and all at once they respinded, “Q”, but quickly Gates McFadden added in that she thought the Borg were excellent and that she would say those were her favorite, then Jonathan Frakes also mention the Romulan leader as a favorite for him. After this we got question like “Why are you so awesome?” to William Shatner, and acting advise, where LeVar Burton had a great answer saying, “Don’t. I say this because I try to talk everyone out of being an actor, because if I do, you were never meant to be.” Definitely deep and 100% true as this exact experience (just replace LeVar Burton with Futurama) is why I stopped acting.

Possibly one of the funniest moments was when they asked the person who asked William Shatner why he was awesome to ask a real question and he asked how old they were. All of them reacted the way just about the way everyone does to that question, children aside, but Marina Sirtis got up and walked up to him and make him correct himself to ask the women how young they were. We then get an announcement Shatner has to leave early to catch a filght, which left me kind of wondering, then why did you schedule him to be here? But the panel continued and the only real interesting things that happened were an anti-bullying conversation where a lot of personal stories were told by a bunch of the cast members where Marina Sirtis said that you should let it bother you, where Michael Dorn quickly added that sometimes it is more than just words, so always make sure you can take care of yourself and try as hard as you can to be peaceful but always make sure to be able and defend yourself.


The conversation moved to Michael Dorn’s run on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Worf. Marina Sirtis lets out a huge grunt and says ,”Deep Sleep Nine, or as Jon calls it,  Deep Throat Nine.” It basically just covers the, “what is your favorite?” and “what is your least favorite questions we already have and always have at any panel. The panel ended on a sour note as we hear one question is left and some rude woman asked what all the women thought of playing such stereotypical girly girl roles for Star Trek. I don’t really want to go into much more because if you know what Star Trek even is you should know how absolutely ridiculous that claim and question is.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Look! It’s Bruce Campbell

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Panel Name: Look! It’s Bruce Campbell

Topic: Bruce Campbell being classic Bruce Campbell, Q&A

Featured GuestsBruce Campbell


The set-up of this panel was different from the beginning; the normal table on the stage was gone and only two chairs remained. There was a feeling of unrest in the air, as if the dead has risen. All that went away when Bruce Campbell came out in his classy three-piece suit and cowboy hat. Bruce came out and said this panel was going to be different because he was going to audition audience members to be the moderator for the panel. Campbell looked around and chose one guy, one girl and an odd guy cosplaying as a guy from Duck Dynasty. He had them all recite the opening monologue from Burn Notice. The first guy fails about half way in, the girl does a much better job but need to pause for laughter a couple times and ends up failing a little after the spot the first guy did, and we get to the Duck Dynasty guy and he takes forever to start, but once he does, he gets in done perfectly. This panel has been a crazy ride thus far, so of course he ends up being Jeffrey Donovan – who plays the lead, Michael Westen, in Burn Notice. After fans start calming down from the surprise, we learn this is Donovan’s first convention and that, as a native Coloradoan, he wanted DCC to be his first con experience.


This all was in the first five minutes of this panel, so once the audience learns of this, we insisted that Jeffrey Donovan walk around the crowd and ask questions instead of the normal walk to the mic fashion most of the other panels had. This added a whole new level to the con experience because instead of waiting in line for hours to meet someone they are the ones coming to you which had some people freaking out a bit. Once the questions start we get right off the bat what we can expect from Bruce Campbell at this panel. I say this because the panel started with a young boy who asked Bruce to say his famous line, “This is my Boomstick!”, Bruce’s response – as to say he is not the kids dancing monkey and moved on. Now, although a lot of people would find this rude, you should expect from Campbell as he is notorious for being very open and unapologetic with his fans. From he we got questions regarding Evil Dead’s future with Ash which was a bleak and quick, “Don’t hold your breath.” from Bruce.  This led to a question of whether Bruce would reprise the role of Ash in Evil Dead the Musical which was answered with a “No,” because Bruce said he could not sing well, which led to him singing a song from The Fantastiks and then forgetting the lyrics.

Another subject that was discussed at this year’s con more was Xena, which of course brings up Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. A couple people asked about what Bruce’s favorite moments within these series were, where he played Autolycus, the self proclaimed King of Thieves. From Xena, Bruce remembered an episode where Xena’s mind was put into Autolycus’s body and he had to go around as Xena but looking like Autolycus. Bruce said the best part was he got to kiss Renée O’Connor and grab her ass, which he quickly replied, “and not having to grab Kevin Sorbo’s tight ass was the best part of Hercules.”


A rather interesting question was that of what was Bruce’s favorite line to deliver for any film or show. This was mostly interesting for the story because Bruce said it was, “Give me some sugar, baby,” from Army of Darkness. He explained that it was his favorite because he had a fan come up to him and thank him for it, not knowing what he meant. When Bruce asked him to explain, the man said he was overseas with the military and had that saying translated, and because of this, he used it at a bar later on and it got him laid. So Bruce took credit for that and likes that line best because of it.

Then Bruce fixed his Pocket-poof and made sure that you called it a poof and not a square because pocket squares are for squares. After this Bruce got tired of answering questions so he got up and walked around the audience asking people about themselves which usually ended up with Bruce insulting them in some way until they sat back down, usually pulling a strange Colorado town out from nowhere to reference and make fun of. Not much happened with audience question but that until we were told time was up and since the Star Trek: TNG panel was on next Denise Crosby came running out to give Bruce a hug and make a quick reference to her character in Brisco County and to make a couple flirtatious remarks to Bruce to end the panel with another quick surprise.

Cosplay, Consent and Those Who Respect Neither

Cosplay is fun! You watch, read about, or play a character that you fall in love with so hard that you decide you have to be them. This involves spending an enormous amount of time and money to create your costume, tweaking it with all the creativity you can muster. It means slaving over the entire ensemble day after day until the convention arrives and you finally get to slip it on. Wearing it makes you feel like a total bad-ass, like you can take on the world the way that character does. When you walk into the convention center you get tons of compliments, people want to take your picture, and you’re proud of what you’ve created. You feel awesome… That is, until you don’t – until someone decides to take that feeling away from you and you feel creeped out, violated, and in some cases unsafe. Harassment and stalking has taken Cosplay from a fun, creative hobby to a borderline dangerous one. As we count down the days to Denver Comic Con, this topic is of particular importance.

Charlotte Renken, Catwoman
Charlotte Renken, Catwoman

“Cosplay does not equal consent.” You may have heard the phrase before, but some people don’t seem to get the message. While this topic has just recently started to be addressed in the media and by convention organizers, Cosplayers have had to deal with all kinds of harassment for years. Mostly directed towards female Cosplayers, it can range from cat calling to stalking to even physical harassment. Being a Cosplayer myself, I’ve had to deal with this on numerous occasions; being told  how I should alter my Catwoman Cosplay to show more skin or being purred at as I walk down the hall.  Luckily I have never been stalked. Some people are not so fortunate.

Mike Rosenberg, Bilbo Baggins
Mike Rosenberg, Bilbo Baggins

One such Cosplayer, who wishes to stay anonymous, was forced to face both harassment and stalking at and leading up to StarFest 2014 in Denver. At Animeland Wasabi, an anime convention in Denver,  the Cosplayer had met someone.  The two became intimate quickly, but things stopped when the other con goer revealed they were underage. The Cosplayer then turned them down as they did not want to engage inappropriately  with a minor. This was the right thing to do; however, the con goer didn’t seem to agree. In the next two weeks, the Cosplayer began receiving messages to the point of harassment and asking for their address. The Cosplayer blocked them on all their social media accounts as well as their phone number. At StarFest 2014, the con goer began following all the Cosplayer’s friends in an attempt to find the Cosplayer and once the con goer did, cornered them. At this point, the Cosplayer ran away but later that night was chased into an elevator. Feeling panicked, the Cosplayer turned to their friends to calm them down, then later became angry as their stalker had now violated their security in a place they once felt safe.

This same Cosplayer, like many others, has also faced sexual harassment. However, much of this came from larger and older people, making them afraid to say anything. Many Cosplayers feel this way. Trying to balance your need to call someone out on their inappropriate behavior and self preservation is a difficult thing to achieve and the scale is usually tipped towards the latter. Cosplayers are forced to remain silent about these matters for their own safety, which only worsens the feeling of being violated. Con goers must become aware of the harm they are causing by being inappropriate this way. They need to understand that wearing a Slave Leia costume is not an invitation for them to act like Jabba the Hutt.

Jake Lichliter and Meg Coulburn, Superboy and Poison Ivy
Jake Lichliter and Meg Coulburn, Superboy and Poison Ivy

Denver Comic Con does not tolerate harassment of any kind towards anyone regardless of their ethnicity, creed, religious background, political background, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, sexual orientation, fandom, etc. They define harassment as “physical assault, verbal harassment, sexual harassment, stalking, unwanted physical contact, unwanted advances, or inappropriate media capture”or anything else that makes someone feel uncomfortable or unsafe. They go on to define inappropriate media capture as “photography, video, audio, or some other form of recording where the subject feels they are being stalked, exploited, degraded, or disrespected through being recorded.”

Their harassment policy is detailed on their website and should be read by everyone attending the convention. The important note on this page is that harassment is defined by the victim regardless about how the perpetrator may feel about the situation. If one is determined to be harassing someone, Denver Comic Con reserves the right to ask the perpetrator to leave the convention or even ban them permanently. Con goers are encouraged to report any harassment to the nearest Denver Comic Con volunteer or security personnel or call the police at either 911 or The Denver Police Department District Six non-emergency number 720-913-2800.

Stormy Cone, Human GLaDUS

There are a few rules that should be followed when interacting with Cosplayers. While most Cosplayers are happy to have their picture taken, it is always important to ask first. They may not want their photo taken or simply do not have time. In addition, asking a Cosplayer to pose in a way they are not comfortable with is not okay and can easily be deemed as harassment. It’s fine to have fun with the photos you are taking, but when a Cosplayer says no understand that they mean no. When speaking with a Cosplayer one must be respectful and steer away from inappropriate topics. While you may think you are flirting, they may not. Unwanted attention is never a compliment.

While the change needs to come from the perpetrating group, there are things Cosplayers can do to protect themselves both during conventions and outside them. While an online presence is important to grow your audience it’s more important to keep yourself safe online. Having Cosplay accounts separate from your personal social media accounts is a good start. Never display your personal information on these pages and keep an eye on who is liking or following your page. If something seems fishy, report it. Better to overreact than under-react.

Raya Jade Lieberman, Sherlock Holmes
Raya Jade Lieberman, Sherlock Holmes

Studies suggest that if you are being stalked, to change your routine frequently, instruct friends, family, and employers not to give out your information to strangers, take note of each incident, and in extreme cases, file a restraining order. If you feel your life is in danger, always call the police. If harassment occurs at the convention, remove yourself from the situation. Walk away but stay in a crowded area. Sticking with one or two friends is also a good way to stay safe. It is perfectly fine to report the harassment to a convention volunteer or security personnel, or call the police. They are there to make sure you have a fun, safe weekend.

Never enter the hotel room of someone you don’t know especially if you are alone. If you plan to drink at the convention, keep an eye on your cup and toss out anything you haven’t been paying attention to. If you come in contact with someone who you feel has been paying an inappropriate amount of attention to you, report them immediately. Too often victims of stalking and harassment ignore what is happening and try to rationalize the situation, and by the time they report something it is often too late for officials to do anything about it.

Conventions are one of the best things about nerd culture. They are exciting, often host some of our favorite actors, artists, and writers, and only come around once a year. They are one place were we undeniably know we can be ourselves without judgement. For some people, it is the only place they feel at home. It is our duty as nerds to keep these safe havens free from harassment and fear. We’ve faced enough of it already.

In order of appearance photos courtesy of Sydney Nicollette Hall Mayhew, David Chandler and Kat Colvin, Charlotte Renken , Mike Rosenburg  Jake Lichliter  and Meg Coulburn, Stormy Cone, and Raya Jade Lieberman