April 8th and 9th
The So Wizard Podcast crew had the opportunity to check out the New England Super Mega Fest located in lovely Marlborough Massachusetts. This was my very first visit to the Super Mega Fest and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The show was being held at the Best Western Royal Plaza which is a decent sized space. Wide open areas with plenty of vendors and displays. The accompanying hotel was just a large parking lot away.
One of the things that I really enjoy about going to conventions is the variety of different attractions. The weekend was filled walking around and checking out the different vendors. I saw lots of amazing craftsmanship on display, and I had to be really careful because I would have spent all my money right off the bat on that first day. There was a pretty decent amount of toys for sale, including a few large tables of Tom’s personal Kryptonite, Lego mini figures. Seeing so many of them on display, I thought maybe I could use a cool little figure for my desk at work, but I didn’t act quick enough on Saturday to get the specific Star Wars figure I was looking for….so of course it was sold out by Sunday.
I also saw that there was a ton of movie posters, old comic books, newer collector edition books, vinyl albums, steam punk gear, and it was partly brought to you by Nesquik. Plus there was a ton of fantastic looking cosplayers from every genre, most were featured in a very competitive costume contest. There was even a full size Millennium Falcon cockpit that the So Wizard crew got to be photographed in.
Although I missed out on my Star Wars figure, I was able to pick up some great merchandise, including a great looking 20 month calendar featuring some incredible cosplayers, put together by “Team Zombie Leader”! He has created this glossy beauty for charity and 100% of the profits are going to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) (www.teamzombieleader.org). I also grabbed a cool print of “The Warriors” movie poster, an anime called “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” that I’ve loved for years, an independently produced comic called “CELESTIALS” from a genuinely cool writer named Craig Alarie (www.antiquityfilms.com), got to catch up with some old friends, Mattman from Secret Identity Podcast, Ace Fett from the upcoming LOCK CITY COMIC CON, and Keith Gleason from Hero Envy, who was there promoting his newest creation,“The Mighty Mascots” which is a story featuring characters from those breakfast cereals we all enjoyed as kids (fantastic concept).
One of the other things that I love about conventions is the the panels, and Saturday had a top notch one lined up. The one and only Mr. Burt Reynolds. I kind of forgotten how much of an film icon this man is until he started talking about Hollywood and all the movies that he’s been a part of, and the ones he passed up on. Some of his more fascinating tidbits (at least to a movie fan like me)
The director of “Shark” wouldn’t say ACTION on set, he would just fire a gun. Even during the quiet scenes.
The best director he’s ever worked with was John Boorman from “Deliverance”.
Favorite female co-star: Goldie Hawn, although he was really excited to work with Farrah Fawcett.
He somewhat got into acting because he was following a woman. She wasn’t interested in him, but she did introduce her fiancee, some blue-eyed guy named Paul Newman.
He was offered the role of James Bond, kind of regrets turning that one down.
Turned down Han Solo because he doesn’t like Sci-Fi.
Turned down Batman 66, but did suggest his buddy Adam West.
He got to see up close Marilyn Monroe go from girl next door to movie star just by changing a few things about her appearance while they were walking across a college campus.
He had a lot more to talk about and is currently working on his second memoir. The guy is a class act.
On Sunday, I got to sit in on another (albeit smaller) panel all about podcasting, featuring The Angry Geeks Show, Geek Culture Podcast, The Evil Geeks, and (for a hot second) The So Wizard Podcast.
The other guests at the convention were of also very personable and friendly. Some of the highlights were seeing wrestler Rick Flair cut a promo for a fan, “Buffy” and “Smallville’s” James Marsters interacting with fans, “The Karate Kid’s” Billy Zabka getting down with some dancing at the after party. The biggest thrill was meeting Michael Beck, star of “The Warriors” and a real personal favorite movie of mine, “Xanadu”. He couldn’t be nicer and was very gracious. Having him sign my Xanadu soundtrack album cover was a complete highlight for me.
All in all The New England Super Mega Fest was an incredibly enjoyable convention, much more ‘all encompassing’ than I was expecting. With this being the Spring Edition, the Fall Edition will be coming up next. Between the celebrities, the merchandise, the comic artists, professional and independent, the cosplayers, the vehicles, and the panels, this is definitely a show that I don’t plan on missing as long as they continue to have it around. Great fun for fans of all ages.