Right, the June Foray panel. Like I said, we weren't entirely committed to going. In fact, we kind of didn't want to. I'm not entirely sure why--I think it was just because we'd been in panels all morning and we were tired of it. But we found ourselves in line for it anyway, and into the panel we went.
For those of you who don't know, June Foray is a voice acting legend whose been in just about everything. Her first Disney role was Lucifer the cat in Cinderella (1950). And since her autobiography was just finished, they had a spotlight panel on her. The MC was Mark Evanier again, and he introduced her, asking her how on earth it is that she still doesn't need glasses. She said in a fancy accent, "Because I am young, darling." It was also asked later how she's still able to sound exactly like she did as Rocky the Squirrel, and Mr. Evanier said there must be a picture of her somewhere that getting older and older.
A lot of the stories that were told can be found in the autobiography (like how her mother made her learn to play piano and she really didn't want to, so she was really happy when her brother (or was it her cousin?) and friend were playing baseball inside and broke her hand), so I'll skip to the never-before-seen episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, revealed for the first time right there at San Diego Comic Con 2009! Of course Ms. Foray is very very talented, but she can't play all the roles, so they enlisted the help of Greg Berger (also Jecht in FFX) and Bill Farmer to play Boris and Bullwinkle, respectively. Ms. Foray was cast as Rocky, and, "Since you're here," Mr. Evanier said, "You might as well play Natasha, too."
In this episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Bullwinkle asked Rocky to go to Comic Con with him so they could find out how much his very special, one-of-a-kind Superman #1 with an upside-down cover was worth. Meanwhile, Boris and Natasha were busy making counterfeit copies of Superman #1 to drive up the value of Fearless Leader's own one-of-a-kind copy with upside-down cover. At the convention, Rocky was kind of impatient, so asked the first person they saw how much Bullwinkle's comic was. That person was a character named Grimlock (voiced by Mr. Berger), with whom we are not familiar, but when they asked him about the comic, he said, "Grimlock no like comics! Grimlock like... anime!" And we cheered and some other jerks booed, but it was still funny. They looked at his foot and discovered Grimlock was made in Japan. "Well that figures," Rocky said. They found another person to ask, and since he was also played by Bill Farmer, Mr. Evanier made sure to let the audience know that he was a different character now. A familiar voice said he didn't know much about the value of comics--he was just there trying to sell his own. We were too busy cheering to catch the pen name, but we think it was Dippy Dawg. "You meet the goofiest people at these conventions," was what Rocky had to say.
Finally, they met up with Boris and Natasha (in disguise of course), and Boris said something about how he could help Bullwinkle if Bullwinkle would just hand over his comic. Of course, if there were two of them, Fearless Leader's copy wouldn't be as special, and they couldn't have that. Bullwinkle didn't want to let his comic out of his hands, so there was a fight over it, and finally Boris ripped up the comic! ...that belonged to Fearless Leader. And then Rocky realized that Bullwinkle's comic didn't have an upside-down cover--he was just holding it upside-down. Ba-dump ching!
We don't remember much else from the panel--just talking about how awesome Ms. Foray is. We learned that she was the voice of Chatty Cathy, and then the Twilight Zone people got her to use that same voice to be Talking Tina. That must have been creepy.
At the end, because Ms. Foray is indeed very awesome, we gave her a standing ovation. While we were up, I noticed on the other side of the room, a few rows ahead of us, the back of a certain man's head. He looked familiar, so I turned to Athena, pointed him out and said, "Is that Eric Goldberg?" She thought it probably was, so we kept our eyes on him as the panel ended and we left the room. I still had our handy-dandy Disneyland autograph book, so we thought we should ask for an autograph, but our shyness was at max power. I think this may have been due in part to AX's handling of guests, where sometimes they have an army of staff bodyguards and stuff. At any rate, we were too terrified to catch up to him and address him, but he wasn't going in any direction we weren't planning to go (we had vague plans of going to the dealers' hall, but at the time we had completely forgotten why), so we ended up following him.
That's right, I'm not proud (but highly amused) to admit that we stalked Eric Goldberg. We were trying to get up the courage to address him. At one point Athena even asked if she should shove me into him, but it wasn't as crowded as it had been in the room with John Lasseter, so it wasn't really as viable an excuse. And then! a miracle happened! I don't know where they came from--I feel like I blinked and they were suddenly there--but two people had stopped Mr. Goldberg to shake his hand. So we kind of jumped in and rode on their coattails. They left almost immediately after we noticed them, but now we were there talking to Mr. Goldberg, and I asked for an autograph!
He agreed, so I handed him our book and our pen. I apologized that our pen doesn't work very well, and he said that's okay, he has a pen that does work and he'll just use that. So he pulled a pen out of his pocket, then asked our names so he could personalize it, and after he wrote "To Alethea & Athena!" he asked, "Which character would you like?" We were stunned! We couldn't believe it! And I had a very fast internal monologue where I tried to decide which character would be best to ask for. It was something like, "Well, he animated the Genie, and the Genie's awesome, so that would be cool, but I bet everybody asks for the Genie, we should ask for somebody else, and..."
Fortunately, Athena had just been thinking about Hercules, so she asked if he could draw Phil. "I can draw Phil," he said, and proceeded to do so. When we said we really liked Disney's Hercules, he said, "I figured, with names like those." We told him we were going to see The Princess and the Frog five times, and he said, "Bless you," and now we're committed. And at the end, he signed his name, and he has a very pretty signature.
And we're so excited about it that we already have that picture uploaded and ready to show everyone!
Since we just had our own identities stolen (Who am I? Aaaaahhh!), we're a little sensitive to that kind of thing, so we thought posting Mr. Goldberg's signature on an unlocked post might cause very bad things, and we blurred it out. You'll have to take our word for it that it's gorgeous.
After that we were freaking out a little bit, and we wanted to show our new sketch to everybody we knew, but our roommate was out and about the con, and we had no idea where we would find her. So instead, we headed to the dealers' hall to see if we could show it off to some of the people we work for. Unfortunately, the only one of the people we work with directly who was on duty was our boss at CMX, and he was standing next to the artist they had brought over to sign autographs (he drew the Batman manga), and we weren't sure it would be good form to squee about the sketch we got when another artist (whose work we were completely unfamiliar with and therefore couldn't compliment) was right there.
In the course of our wanderings, though, we did see the promotional art for the Twilight manga, and the characters look so much prettier in manga form than in movie form. We also walked by a booth where they were selling a lot of L. Ron Hubbard books, which had nothing to do with Scientology. We got to talking to the guy there because he was handing out free stuff, and people were ignoring him, and whenever I see that I go to take something. Apparently we look like teachers. He said, "You know, a lot of people don't know it, but L. Ron Hubbard wrote a lot of pulp fiction before he started Scientology." That was weird to me, because I heard about him as an author before I knew about his religion. Anyway, I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but the guy ended up giving me one of the books he was selling, on the condition that we read it and let him know what we thought about it. I like having books recommended, but when people start creepy religions we get a little apprehensive (from past experience with people we know), so we're a little scared of the book, like it's possessed or something. Still, we promised, so we have to at least try it out. Eek!
Eventually we remembered the reason we needed to go to the dealers' hall. We had determined the day before that once we'd gone to the How to Get a Job in Video Games panel, we would no longer have any excuse to avoid talking to Square-Enix people about our dream to work on Kingdom Hearts. We found the D23 booth first, though, and the guy there was calling out to people to get them to join (D23 is the official Disney fan club), so we thought we might as well talk to him. This was important because we wanted to know what to do if we had two people who wanted to join but didn't want to pay for two subscriptions to their magazine. Apparently each person who joins gets to take a guest to all their events, so we're good. But anyway, we asked who we need to sell our souls to for Disney to let us work with their characters, and they said they didn't know but it wasn't them. Ah well. They also told us to throw out our Princess and the Frog fortune-telling cards (the same set they were giving out with club memberships, but we got ours at the Disney animator panel) because they told us we wouldn't be able to afford to go to their D23 Expo.
We finally found the Square-Enix booth again (seriously, the place is a maze!) and worked up all our courage to ask about localization jobs. It took a few tries before we found the right person to talk to, but he was very friendly and encouraging, and even apologized when he had to interrupt himself to do his real job and talk to customers. He also didn't tell us anything we didn't already know (except that Square-Enix is based in Los Angeles, not Irvine; I'm sure I had some reason to think they were based in Irvine, maybe they moved a few years ago), but now we're planting seeds so that they'll know about us and all that stuff. Still, we didn't make nearly enough progress to convince us that we don't need to move to Burbank and take a menial job at Disney Animation Studios.
Eventually it came time for the Del Rey panel, which was fun. They announced their new line of comics, which I already mentioned, and they're very excited about their comic book adaptation of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. They had the adaptation writer there, and he had a sexy British accent and told everyone to buy it so they'll let him also do Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters. Also, one of the Del Rey employees who wasn't on the panel was walking around looking very cute in a Wonder Woman costume.
Then we watched some anime, including Higurashi. That was when I remembered why our boss at Yen Press would be so worried about me scratching my sunburn. (My arms looked very strange that day, sunburned and extra pink from scratching and extra red from that weird bag with the rubbing-off ink.) And then we went to bed.
There wasn't a whole lot to report about Sunday. First we went to the CMX panel, which made us happy, because we got to see them talk about Bancho-sama and Oh! My Brother, which are both fantastic titles. Then we went to the Business of Cartoon Voices panel, but we got into the room early and they were talking about the Fables comic book series. That was neat, because there was a DC Comics Talent Search success story there. She had gone through the talent search at Comic Con the year before, and now she's drawing comics for Fables, which is her favorite DC series! Yay!
The panel itself was again a bunch of stuff we already knew, but there was an amusing anecdote from Billy West about how when he was little, he heard a guy with an artificial larynx and determined that he must get one for himself! Years and years later, he found one in a pawn shop (which also had a prosthetic leg; you really have to wonder what's going on with the people doing the pawning), and learned that you can't use an artificial larynx if you still have a real one. He was very disappointed.
Then we went back to the hotel and relaxed and wrote up most of the report and listened to pretty music. We got to share our Tokyo Disneyland parade CD with kabochan, and it was fun. The next day, we made the loooooooooong trek back to Fresno via train. On the first leg of the journey, we actually road very close to the Japanese guest artist who was signing at the CMX booth! But we were not bold enough to introduce ourselves. He had a bunch of friends with him, too, which made it even more intimidating. We eventually made it home, and now, after adventures in identity theft and veterinary appointments, here we are.
And now maybe we can play some video games. After getting something to munch on.
Today I'm thankful for oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh we got a sketch from Eric Goldberg (we really hope Phil's expression is not a reflection of how Mr. Goldberg was really feeling about the encounter; if it is, we apologize for our social ineptitude), never-before-seen episodes of Rocky & Bullwinkle, the forecast predicting highs as low as 98 next week, encouraging advice from Square-Enix reps, and having practiced the hymns for Relief Society (they're hard ones this week!).