APF wasn't all Whedon, all the time, though. There was an enormous amount of stuff going on at any given time. I'm not going to list all the folks and fandoms who were there, but I'll tell you about those with whom I was privileged to meet and greet. First up was Mr. Allen Bellman, who worked at Timely/Marvel Comics from 1942 ~ 1951. During World War II, he worked on Captain America Comics, The Sub-Mariner, The Human Torch, Young Allies, and All Winners, to name just a few of the classic Golden Age comics Mr. Bellman had a hand in. I'll put it to you this way: Al Bellman remembers when Stan Lee came to work at Timely - as an office boy. If you have ever enjoyed a comic book, you have folks like Al Bellman to thank for the medium as we know it today. The Golden Age artists and writers literally invented the medium, and there are damn few of them left today. Mr. Bellman is also one of the kindest, humblest, and funniest men it has ever been my pleasure to meet, making it not only an honor, but a true pleasure to have met him - and to get some originals signed!!!!
|Bombs Away! by Allen Bellman, limited edition print numbered and signed by the artist.|
In an entirely different fandom, we got to meet Oliver and Terry Holler, who have bought an old DeLorean and modified it into an exact replica of the time-travelling vehicle made famous by the Back to the Future films. The car really is just incredible, and has to be seen to be believed, which you can do pretty easily as the Hollers (and their time-machine) tour the country raising money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. The Hollers are wonderful down to earth, and very funny people, and were one of the highlights of our weekend.
We also ran into an old friend from the academic world, Jennifer C. Garlen, author of Beyond Casablanca: 100 Classic Movies Worth Watching, which, if you love great films, you really should have on your shelf. Jennifer was at APF indulging in her LEGO fandom, including a LEGO Dr. Who-ville complete with custom built Daleks. We also ran into Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers!) and Ernie Hudson (Winston from Ghostbusters!), and I got to sit next to Jeremy Roberts (Kakistos from BtVS!!!) on the Buffy panel!
Finally, there was the exhibition hall, where I spent way to much money on comic books (including some great Bronze Age Our Army at War and Sgt. Rock books), buttons, books, and MST3K episodes, and Mockingbird got herself a very cunning hat! It was a weekend of early mornings, huge breakfasts, late lunch/dinners with friends, and wonderful fun. This was my first con, and I loved it. The organizers brought their A-game, and took extraordinarily good care of us even when they were rapidly spinning 50 other plates at the same time. If you didn't make it this year, plan on going next.
We sure are!