Denver Comic Con 2014 – Three Years, Three Experiences

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

 

It’s a week since the third annual Denver Comic Con got underway. From everything that I saw and experience, it was a glorious weekend. This, like many of you, was my third time attending DCC. I have a unique perspective on the DCC experience, you see I’ve attended all three years in three separate capacities . I’ve been an exhibitor, an attendee, and now as press with Hush Comics. So far, every year has yielded different results, and completely different experience.

For the inaugural year, I had a table in Artist Alley and never had I been more excited to be part of a major event. I sold posters and a preview issue for a comic book that I wrote. By Sunday, I actually had attendees – and even fellow artists – coming to my table specifically to see my work. I’d never experienced anything like that before. I got to be on the ground floor of what is the largest growing comic book convention in the country, and that’s pretty damn cool. Now, because I was an exhibitor and wanted to be the face of my work, I spent almost the entire convention at my table. For the short amount of time I wasn’t at my table, I was nabbing some signatures from great creators and artists, and picking up a few souvenirs for myself. In the end, I didn’t get to experience much of what the convention had to offer. On the upside, I scared the crap out of Billy West and got to high-five Colin Ferguson.

John Layman

I almost did not attend DCC year two. My first son was due just a couple of weeks after the scheduled date and, believe it or not, there are things I hold more dear than Denver Comic Con. My son decided that he was going to show up a month early though and my wife and I made the decision to bring the little guy to his first ever convention being only a few weeks old. After the excellent experience I had the year prior I was very excited to be back for the second year. Sadly, it appeared that the DCC crew were not very well prepared for the growth between the first and second year. The convention floor was over-packed with extremely narrow aisles. Attendees were funneled through lines and stopping to look at anything made me feel like an inconvenience to those around me. My family and I did make it out of the exhibitor’s hall to check out some of the other goings on at DCC, most notably the William Shatner Q&A. The second year wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as the first time around but still not bad enough to keep me away for the third year.

movie-bikes

This year, thanks to the fine people here at Hush Comics, I was able to attend as a part of the media. People might not think that attending in the this fashion would be very different than being a regular attendee, but knowing that I was there to properly document the event this time made me look much closer than before at the guests, events, and the thousand of fans all there for a great time. Really paying attention to these details made me appreciate what was going on around me more than ever before.

Now, I only made it for Sunday this year, and traditionally that would mean there would be a little less to see than usual. I was pleasantly surprised to find Sunday was just as good of a day to be there as any. I was in attendance with family and friends and did spend the majority of my time in the Exhibitor’s Hall. This is, of course, where the majority of the con goers can be found, and it was packed. It was great to see that the show runners learned from last years and really expanded the floor space because walking down the aisles in a small group, and pushing strollers was easy and didn’t cause half the headache that it did last year.

Hobbit-orc

One thing that DCC has always done right is how easily accessible the comic book creators and artists are. It’s a magical feeling being able to walk up really meet the people that make us who we are. The growth of DCC has helped pull some really big names, like Fiona Staples and Tim Sale, a couple of my personal favorites. I had the pleasure this year of getting some photos with Tim Sale and John Layman. It’s the people in comics are the reason these conventions even exist, sometimes I’m worried that con goers forget that. The tv and movie celebrities are great, but for me it’s always been about the extraordinarily talented artists and writers that bring us or favorite characters in their best forms.

One of my favorite parts of any convention is the excellent cosplay done by extremely talented fans. My personal favorite was Pyramid Head, whom, it turns out is also the man inside the Humping Robot costume.  Among the other excellent costumes I saw were Jareth from Labyrinth, Kanto from Fooly Cooly, The 10th Doctor and Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. One real show stopper was the Skeksis from Dark Crystal. I hope you had a chance to take your photo with this one, I know I did.

scorpion

A fun attraction that they expanded on from last year was the all LEGO city scape. Like last year, there was an impressively elaborate entire LEGO city with a running LEGO train doing laps. And if that wasn’t enough European-based building toys for you, next to famed artists Fiona Staples was a giant recreation of the Saga #8 cover done in the tiny colorful bricks. I really enjoy these setups because they aren’t what you always expect to see at conventions like these.

lego1

I did watch a future generation of LARPers learn how to handle a themselves in a fight with an assortment of mid-evil weaponry. The Knights Academy was a great weekend long panel for children. It was entertaining to watch these fantasy fights play out before your eyes, and watching a large group of kids being legitimately interested and excited to be a part of something so different even in the realm of nerd. The kids events did really seem to take a major forefront this year, when compared to the two previous years. I mean, Adam West, among other celebrities, held reading sessions in the Kid Corral. I’m sure if you were to have asked him LaVar Burton would have been proud of the focus on literacy this time.

fighting-spectators

From year to year Denver Comic Con has gone through some serious changes. A large part of that is the unexpected speed at which the convention grew. It’s hard to keep up when one year you more than double your capacity. There were definitely growing pains. Luckily, it seems that DCC handled themselves much better and learned from past mistakes. If the convention continues to grow and those running it take the time to actually look back at the previous years and find what they need to do to improve, even just a little, this will be a great convention for years to come.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Batman 75th with Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

 

Panel Name: Batman 75th

Topic: Q&A with the main characters from the 1960’s TV Batman series

Featured Guests: Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman)

 

It’s safe to say that a lot of 80’s babies and beyond don’t have the same appreciation for Adam West and company that our parents did. Most twenty-somethings know Adam West as Mayor West of Quahog from Family Guy, and that’s great, but I think the world needs to be reminded of just how vital Adam West’s portrayal of Batman was to the legacy of Bruce Wayne. The show spanned 120 episodes over a three-year period and had it’s own spin-off movie; it was great fun for the whole family – something that Batman titles have since moved away from.

The Dark Knight, as he is today, is a brutal and melancholy figure. He’s seen multiple close friends die – including his own son. He’s terrifying to his opponents, and off-putting to his colleagues. Oh, and his rogues gallery is filled with sick, twisted freaks that murder children and blow up hospitals. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t love every stinkin’ second that I read Batman, but there’s no denying he’s become more of an adult figure than the one I’ve grown up with in the slightly-dark Batman: The Animated Series, let alone the Batman that my parents grew up with in the 60’s.

This has all been changing. Ever since the Batman 66 series launched last July, adults and children alike have been gravitating back to this light-hearted Batman, which grabs at the nostalgic crowd, and puts Batman back on a relatable plane for children to connect with a character that’s celebrating his 75th birthday this year. The idea of solving riddles and catching the bad guys is a universal concept; not every child needs to see their parents murdered in front of them to relate to the Batman.

Batman 66 Panel

Let’s get to the panel, shall we? As Burt Ward, then Julie Newmar, and finally Adam West made their ways to the stage, they were met with possibly one of the warmest welcomes that I had seen at a panel all weekend. Fans from 7-70 years old were so grateful for their chance to meet the cast of Batman. Burt Ward ran out like a contestant on The Price is Right, hands in the air and looking like the most excited person in the world to be there. After Ward comes Julie Newmar, who looked just fantastic! How Newmar manages to stay so fabulous is beyond me, she even smooched the two volunteers that helped her to her seat on the cheek; it was adorable. The real roar happened when Batman himself, Adam West, came strolling up the ramp and onto the stage.

Mee-oww
Mee-oww

Batman 66 Newmar 2

We went straight into the Q&A here, which led to some pretty thoughtful questions right off the bat. When one of the audience members asked the cast if anybody ever felt the show was too campy or silly, West broke the silence with, “No, we’re terribly serious crime fighters!” The show was designed as family entertainment and it was nailed to the history books as such. There was no need to pretend to be more dire than it had to be. When compared to modern Batman, West said that Christian Bale “may be the Dark Knight, but I was the Bright Knight.” Batman ruled the 60’s in pop culture. West said that in the 1960’s, there were 3 B’s: Bond, The Beatles… and Batman.

Julie Newmar was an absolute diva at the panel, which was very reminiscent of her days at Catwoman. She commanded attention, and often became animated when talking about how to be sexy. If you’ve never seen an 80 year old woman take control of her sexuality, all you need is five minutes with Julie Newmar. When asked how her milkshake managed to get all the boys to the yard – I’m paraphrasing here – she says that all you need to do if pour licorice all over your body (dress in all black, not actual licorice for those of you at home trying this) and walk down the street; it’s all in your mind, she says. Somewhere along the line, at this family-friendly panel, she pretended to go down on Adam West, which is shocking only if you don’t know who Julie Newmar is.

Batman 66 Adam West 3

It was Burt Ward, who was quiet for a duration of the panel, that had the funniest story to tell. There was a stunt being performed that involved the Batmobile speeding out of the BatCave, then taking a sharp, 90 degree turn at 55 miles per hour. So Burt hops into the Batmobile in costume and turns to see somebody who isn’t Adam West sitting next to him. When asking who is he and where Adam is, the stuntman explains that they are about to do a dangerous driving stunt, and that Adam is over at the break station, drinking coffee. Burt says, “If this is a dangerous stunt, where is my stuntman?”… “Oh, he’s over there drinking coffee with Adam.” When Burt asked why his stunt double isn’t performing the stunt, the response was a flabbergasting, “Well, he doesn’t look like you.” They proceeded to make Burt do the stunt, and when the turn was made, the Batmobile door flung open. The only thing keeping him in the car was one little finger, which dislocated. Burt told us how, over the span of the next week, there were multiple trips made to the ER due to various explosions and other stunts. He laughed it off though, saying that it was the producers’ attempt to make good on his hefty life insurance policy.

The panel was full of nostalgia, just as you would expect from the fan favorite Batman show. The chemistry that the three have is still apparent after nearly fifty years of being off the air. You almost have to remind yourself that these faces of American television are that old, because their faces still light up with life, their voices still bring joy to anybody still breathing. Never take yourself too seriously and always enjoy new experiences. And never be afraid to charge $80 for an autograph – right, Adam?

 

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Arrow Actors

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

Panel NameArrow Actors

Topic: Q&A with the stars of The CW’s Arrow

Featured GuestsStephen Amell (Green Arrow), Caity Lotz (Black Canary)

We arrived a few minutes late due to the overlap of the Batman 75th anniversary panel, but were pleasantly surprised to find the place filled to the brim with people. This is selfish of me but the more fans of this show there are, the longer it will be on air. I am hoping for a strong ten years like we got out of Smallville and I wish the same for the upcoming Flash show. By the time we arrived, the moderator had started a few questions of his own and I made it just in time for the audience to start asking questions. On a very basic level, I learned that these two people are totally awesome and in a different life, Stephen and I might have been best friends.

Arrow 2

There were tons of questions about the show, which is great, but I am surprised that there weren’t any questions asked about his time on Hung or any of the other popular shows he was on. There was no way that I was going to get a question answered because the line to ask questions was almost out the door on both sides of the room. We did learn that DC is very open to allowing them to use name and places from the universe and that will be a pretty big deal going further into the show. Stephen also divulged that he prefers a recurve bow to a compound, as he considers compounds to be cheating, and that he preferred the pain on his face to the mask he currently wears. The panel was filled with fan questions like these, and while I could fill up a page alone with the answers to these questions, I would tell you to check out the YouTube video that Stephen posted on his Facebook account.

Arrow 3

I didn’t get the opportunity to ask a question of either of them during the panel, after a combined wait time of an hour and a half, I was able to get the autograph of both actors and ask each a question or two. I can confirm that they are both genuinely nice people and are truly appreciative of their fans, which made talking to them all the more awesome. Caity all but confirms, quite coyly I might add, that we haven’t seen the last of Black Canary and Stephen assures us that SPOILER!! we haven’t seen the last of Oliver’s child that Moira pushed away. I can’t wait to see if they bring in Connor Hawke next season and I think this was a question that generally surprised Stephen so I don’t think he has been asked it yet. I also go the chance to ask Stephen about his charities and the video he did for BatKid. Check out the YouTube video for this and also take some time to look into the vineyards he has as well as the breast cancer charities he supports. Overall, this was an awesome experience and knowing that the actors of the show are such nice people, it will make watching next season that much better for me. I also hope that we see this version of the Arrow in the upcoming Justice League movie.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – The Oatmeal

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

 

Panel Name: The Oatmeal

Topic:  The Inception of The Oatmeal, Michael Inman’s start, Jizz Castles

Featured Guests:  Michael Inman (creator of The Oatmeal)

 

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the start of this panel, and I felt the exact same way when it was all said and done. This was one of the funniest experiences I’ve ever had at a panel in the last three years. What started out as a history lesson about Michael and his website, accompanied by awesome drawings, slowly lead into science lessons about some of the more interesting creatures in the animal kingdom.

I actually had a deep appreciation for the way Michael got his start in the business, as I had a similar experience a year or so ago myself. Waking up and realizing that he wasn’t happy with what he was doing, he decided to make a change. He got his first start founding a a website for online dating that included cat pictures, which eventually led to the creation of the book How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.

The Oatmeal I can make a website too

During his presentation, we were told all about different aspects of the website such as his dislike for making money from ads to making sure he includes bonus material in his books so people have an incentive to purchase. He also talked about how the simplicity of his drawings are what makes them funny and how the more detailed you get, the less funny something becomes.

From this point forward, the panel consisted of a science lesson about things like the Red Velvet Mite, how shitty it is to be a Male Angler Fish, Penis Fencing, Mallard Ducks and the Mantis Shrimp. The accompanying pictures were absolutely hilarious and only added to the stories he was telling. This, however, pales in comparison to watching the ladies there in charge of sign language for the hearing impaired. Certain parts of the panel actually had people paying more attention to the two ladies up front than the guest of honor – so much so that it was even mentioned during the Q&A. If you ever wondered how to say jizz-castle in sign language, than this was the panel for you. It almost left me in tears, it was so funny.

The Oatmeal Penis Fencing

The Q&A went just about how I expected but nothing meaningful was really asked. We did learn about a charity Michael took part in in town and how he would love to run a marathon for his charities here as well but Coloradoans are too cheetah-like for him. This panel was amazing and will make my future reading of the website even better after having gotten a glimpse into the mind of the man behind these tales.

Sign translators were the best here
“Jizz Castle”

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

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

 

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.

10360453_10202743084632907_5148864011670386331_n

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.”

10421116_10202743081752835_579131581864052828_n

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.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Gargoyles 20th Anniversary Reunion

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

Panel NameGargoyles 20th Anniversary Reunion

Topic: Q&A with cast, crew and the creator of Gargoyles

Featured Guests: Greg Weisman, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Jim Cummings, Salli Richardon-Whitfield, Greg Guler, and Vic Cook

There are and have been a lot of anniversary events this year and one Denver Comic Con decided to cover was the 20th anniversary of Gargoyles. It worked perfectly since another was the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which goes right with this as the entire Star Trek cast, other than Patrick Stewart, did a voice at some point during this series. This panel only had Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis as they played main villains in the series but the panel also included, Greg Guler, Vic Cook, Jim Cummings, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and the creator, Greg Weisman. Greg W was supposed to moderate the panel but if anybody knows Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and most of the Star Trek: TNG crew, you know nobody is in charge when they are in the panel.

IMG_0850

Frakes pretty much took control of the panel and there was not much from anyone else but Marina Sirtis, occasionally Greg Weisman, and little things from everyone else. This aside, It still was very entertaining and gave us all as deep of a look into Gargoyles we could get with Frakes and Sirtis going nuts the whole time. The series itself was made by Disney and although you can see things like The Lion King and Donald Duck displayed on televisions in select episodes, Disney did not have much control over the series itself (that is until Disney destroyed it for the Goliath Chronicles). You can definitely see influences from Disney, as well as how Goliath has similarities from every child’s worst nightmare from Fantasia, the demon Chernabog.

Even with Disney making it and ultimately destroying it with what can honestly be called an entirely different series with Goliath Chronicles since the staff and crew were pretty much entirely different. A lot of the themes and ideas from the great two original seasons the show had such as Shakespearean references are what made the show great and that much more wonderful for children to watch all seemed lost within this supposed “Third” season Disney made. Shakespeare had such a big impact on the show that we had characters of the Weird Sisters, and Macbeth, but many other historical and literal references such as King Arthur, which made this not only a great fantasy series but took so much stuff kids should learn and set things up so that they would actually seek out who these people were furthering their interest in learning and reading, I am looking at you Anansi, or LeVar Burton as he is known outside of Gargoyles.

IMG_0852

Now, the final thing to mention was there was talk of a live action Gargoyles film and Greg Weisman actually told us all it may happen but Disney has a different script of Scottish gargoyles coming to life in New York and working with a female cop and it is not Gargoyles (This type of copying with no credit sickens me). However, after the initial mention Marina Sirtis made sure to mention that if any fans want anything, all you have to do is bombard the studios that own the properties. In a day and age where fans have brought back Family Guy, Futurama, Arrested Development and more because of their constant badgering of the studios has proven useful and ultimately shows that there is always a chance something can come back after death, at least in the world of television. Hopefully, if this film does get made, we can have another Star Trek reunion and maybe Patrick Stewart could finally make his Gargoyles performance which he would do according to Marina Sirtis because as she said, “Patrick is a whore now and he would do just about anything.”

Denver Comic Con 2014 – From Kitten to Catwoman: How Cosplay Empowered Me

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

 

Denver Comic Con 2014 was a weekend I will always remember. I spent it with my roommate, cosplaying with her as Sherlock and John from the BBC Sherlock, attending engaging panels and meeting some of our most beloved stars. One of those stars made a huge impact on me. I was able to tell Julie Newmar (in full Catwoman attire) how she and her character had empowered me; she took my hand and inspired me all over again.

In 2009, I was a freshman in high school and had just escaped a tortuous relationship with my middle school peers. I was only starting to discover that my preconceived notions that being a nerd was something undesirable were wrong. The extreme contrast between the Catholic middle school where liking Star Trek warranted harassment and the arts magnet high school that condoned nerd expression had my head spinning. I had two friends who were exceptionally nerdy. Together we would talk for hours about everything from Harry Potter to Rocky Horror Picture Show. We were a nerd trifecta and they had made me realize that reading comic books wasn’t something to be ashamed of. However, it didn’t help me become any less timid or socially awkward.

One day, my friends approached me about a Science Fiction convention called “StarFest”and asked if I was going. I told them I had never heard of it and they promptly said, “Then you’re going.” So I bought my ticket and, a few days after, they asked if I wanted to Cosplay with them. It was as if they were speaking another language. Again, when I told them I didn’t know what they were talking about, they made the decision that I was going to join them in their costumed escapade.

They were going to Cosplay as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy so I decided I would complete their femme fatale and go as Catwoman. Their costumes were amazing. Mine was…less so. At the time, my Catwoman Cosplay consisted of a long sleeve black shirt that was fraying at the sleeves, black skinny jeans, my mother’s black leather boots and my friend’s mask. If it weren’t for the mask, I would have looked like just another person attending the convention, but it was the funnest weekend I had ever had. Those leather boots and that mask made me feel like a literal superhero, even though I was Cosplaying as a villain. Nothing could cut through the euphoria of running around the convention center and having our picture taken over and over again. Having been bullied relentlessly for liking Catwoman in middle school, the fact that that character empowered me now felt like I had finally won the battle.

gotham sirens

Over the years my Catwoman Cosplay evolved, becoming more complex. One year, I traded my shirt and jeans for an actual catsuit. The next, I got my own cat ears and began painting my mask on. I kept my mother’s boots as an homage to her, and because they still worked perfectly for the cosplay. I dawned a belt and this year bought a whip and googles to complete the transformation. To this day, the Catwoman I become every few months is still evolving, much like myself outside the convention center. I’ve gone from an emotionally scarred girl who didn’t think she’d make it to age sixteen to a strong woman on my way to college, determined to achieve my dreams. I’ve gone from kitten to Catwoman.

catwoman
“Never let any barriers hold you back, Charlotte,” Julie Newmar told me this weekend. “If something feels right, you do it! And if it doesn’t, then you don’t.” I was unable to hold back the tears as she spoke to me. “And look at you! You’ve got the suit, the ears. You even have the whip!” She then signed my cat ears and though it was supposed to cost money, she got out from behind her booth and took a photo with me. Even at age 80, she is inspiring, sassy and purrrfect as ever. I don’t believe in epiphanies, but I think that moment with Julie has set something in motion in me. I no longer have to slip that catsuit on to feel powerful. I am.