Reading my latest issue of SFX Magazine when I noticed something familiar. I had forgotten about sending this in.
Hospital rebrands chemotherapy as DC-themed “superformula” for kids
Chemotherapy is never fun, but A.C.Camargo Cancer Center in São Paulo is trying to make it easier for children to accept the treatment. They’re rebranding the treatment as “superformula” and using comics to help kids understand chemo.
Buzzfeed’s Copyranter blog explains that the cancer center is working with ad agency JWT, which also works with Warner Bros. The idea was to help children believe in the power of chemotherapy to make them ultimately better. They’re not just covering the chemo cases with superhero logos; they’re also giving pediatric cancer patients comic books in which the heroes experience something similar to cancer and must receive a similar treatment formulated by doctors. And in the comics, the cases for the treatment bags look just like the cases the kids get over their own chemo bags.
Very cool, DC.
Bane seems way less threatening in this novelization.
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
- One experience I love at DragonCon is the Fans For Christ church service. I attended this last year, and it was on my “must do” list for this year as well. This is a worship service like no other you will ever attend. This year’s sermon used Harry Potter as an illustration. The pastor was cosplaying as Remus Lupin. His wife and another lady led the singing and they were both dressed as Tonks. One of them had half her face all bloody. They said they were “before and after” Tonks. There were others dressed as Hagrid and Hogwarts students. I love seeing all these people at a Con celebrating the geeky stuff that many in the church look down on coming together (many in costume) to worship. During the singing, I looked over and saw a large robotic dinosaur (made of cardboard and tinfoil with blinking eyes) standing to the side, arms lifted as the hymns were sung. Only at DragonCon, folks.
- After the service, my friend Justin and I went to Dean Cain’s panel. I love Superman, and I really enjoyed Lois and Clark as a kid. I’ve been watching it every Sunday night since The Hub started airing it. Dean Cain was a really nice genuine guy. There were no other panelists, not even a moderator, but he kept it engaging. He seemed genuinely gracious to the fans and gave well-thought out answers to all the questions asked of him. He was drinking his morning coffee throughout this and commented on his need for it. I was drinking coffee as well during this panel. I like to think that I shared coffee with Superman.
- Next, I went to the Invader Zim panel with voice actors Richard Horvitz (ZIm) and Rikki Simons (Gir). These guys were a blast! Everything they said was hilarious and they kept running gags going throughout the panel. At one point, they somehow got onto this long tangent about “fecal sculpting” and the need to do it fast before the medium hardens. At the very end of the panel, this kid asked them what advice they might have for someone who wanted to follow in their footsteps. Richard Horvitz responded by saying if the kid wanted to go into fecal sculpting, he “really had to push for [his] dreams.”
- After briefly standing in line for the Reading Rainbow panel, I decided I probably wouldn’t get in. I had some things I wanted to do and this would be my only chance so I got out of line. Then, I stopped by the Walk of Fame for some celebrity zoo time. I missed all the Firefly panels, but I just needed to lay eyes on Jewel Staite. There were a few actors without lines at the time I was able to speak with. I talked to Aaron Ashmore and told him he was my favorite TV Jimmy Olsen. I also got to shake hands with Michael Dorn. Then, I fought my way through the dealer rooms. I purchased a tribble that I used in a science lesson last Friday and a wand that I am now using as my pointer at school (I can never turn off the teacher part of me). I also purchased a little something for Elizabeth.
- I managed to do all that in just enough time to make the Lord of the Rings panel with John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, and Craig Parker. This was a great panel! John Rhys-Davies really laughs like that! You know, the deep, guttural Gimli/Sallah laugh. This man can tell a story too. My favorite parts: Someone asked what role the actors would most want to play. John told this long story about Solon: who he was, what he did, why he was fascinated with him, and his idea for a movie about him. This went on for a while with Craig and Billy just watching. The moderator turned to Billy for his answer and he simply said “Batman.” Later, they were telling funny stories from the set. John was talking about how he had trouble saying this one Dwarvish line. They had to do take after take. Billy started laughing and said he seemed to remember John being on his knees during all this. John then said “I was on my knees a lot for that production…and that was after I got the job,” followed by a big hearty laugh.
- I left the Atrium ballroom and got right back in line for the Battlestar Galactica panel with Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Michael Trucco, and Richard Hatch. This panel had some of the best fan questions I heard all weekend. Richard Hatch gave a really good, heartfelt response to a question about how he manages to stay excited for cons after so many years of doing this. I think all of them did an Edward James Olmos impression at some point as well.
- During this time, I was going to hit a Being Human panel. While waiting in the Brit Track room for this to start, a great Silence cosplayer stopped by. I’ll have to post the picture later. Anyway, I didn’t stick around for the panel in the end, because I haven’t seen the last two seasons yet and didn’t want to be spoiled.
- My last panel of the evening was really cool. It was Muppeteer Peter Linz! Peter has puppeteered on Sesame Street, Bear in the Big Blue House, Puzzle Place, Between the Lions, and more. His most recent major project was creating and performing Walter for The Muppets last year. Peter grew up in Atlanta. His sister was sitting on the same row as me. He showed us a home video of him doing a puppet show at age 7 or so. We were the first outside his family to ever see it. He showed a ton of pictures from his work and childhood as he told us the story of his career.
John Barrowman and his partner Scott showing off their Superman and Batman briefs at DragonCon 2012.
I know I have a few followers who will appreciate this.
Exhibit B: The top of my desk.
You can see my notebook that has all of my lesson plans, progress monitoring, attendance, etc., etc. in itanda Tardis cover. My Superman USB Elizabeth gave me.
A mug like Conan O’Brien’s filled mostly with Avengers, Batman, Peanuts, and Muppets pencils.
The Lego Stormtrooper key chain with my work keys on it (this was a birthday gift from Elizabeth). Actually, turns out he’s not in the picture. He was just out of frame though.
And one of my DragonCon purchases that I am having a lot of fun with. That wand is my new pointer.
GPOYW: Today was a pretty lousy day. Seriously. But I did buy a Batman mask to wear to work Friday as part of Spirit Week.
Adam West and Burt Ward at DragonCon 2012.
We woke up Friday morning, strapped on our backpacks, and headed downstairs to catch the hotel shuttle. Unfortunately, the hotel only had one van running and there were at least 20 people waiting ahead of us. So, we decided to walk the 1.5 miles to the convention. Too bad, I didn’t know exactly how to get there. I could see the host hotels from ours, but once I got into the midst of other tall buildings, I couldn’t see them anymore and we ended up going a bit out of our way.
At this point, I had about 40 minutes until my first panel (Torchwood with John Barrowman) started. After our long walk, I got there just as they had filled the room. It was the only panel I didn’t get into all weekend so that was good. Fortunately, there were other Barrowman panels throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, it meant I had to bump something else off my list.
So, onto the panels I did get to see on Friday:
- Adam West and Burt Ward: These guys still have great chemistry with one another. They were clearly having fun, which they stressed was the key to their version of Batman. I liked hearing them discuss the various levels the show was created to work on and how they would often slip in even more double entendres for the older viewers. They told a story (mostly in character) of one that got cut where Batman and Robin are riding in the Batmobile with Batgirl passed out in the car with them. Robin comments that Batgirl is pretty and Batman responded that he it was good for Robin to notice that because it signaled the “oncoming thrust of manhood.”
- The next thing I had built into my schedule was giving blood at the Robert Heinlein Blood Drive. I skipped my most recent community blood drive so I would be eligible to give at DragonCon this year. I got a silly Avengers-themed blood drive t-shirt, the Heinlein pin, and a button that said “I fed a baby vampire.” I put it on my backpack but it fell off somewhere.
- Nichelle Nichols: Wow! What a lady. She stood in front of the table and told stories the entire time. I’ve heard the story of her meeting Dr. King many times before, but it was still so cool to hear her tell it in person. I also enjoyed hearing her talk about her work with NASA. A living legend who I’m glad I got to see (and I had a good seat for this one too, just a few rows back).
- The Guild: The entire cast on one panel! This was a lot of fun. It began with Sandeep serving water to everyone and involved a prolonged discussion of Amy not knowing what a taint is.
- Stan Lee: I was worried we weren’t going to make this. He was only doing two panels and the other one was at the same time as a must do event on Sunday. As we were racing from the Sheraton and through the crowded Marriott lobby, Robbie told me to relax, Stan Lee’s been coming every year lately. If we missed him, there was always next year. My response was “he’s 89! He might die soon.” Fortunately, it was in a huge ballroom and we got in near the back. Stan Lee may be old, but he still knows how to work a crowd.
- Mike Reiss: At this point, I had planned to visit the Artists’ Alley and get a book signed, but it had already closed. As I was being redirected into the underlayings of the Hyatt, I passed the Animation track room and noticed a Mike Reiss panel was about to start. I went back there and made it just as it was starting. I had planned to see Mike Reiss on Sunday so seeing him on Friday cleared up a slot and I was able to see another guest I really wanted to see on Sunday evening instead. Reiss has been a writer on The Simpsons for over 20 years. He also created The Critic and Queer Duck. His panel was like watching stand up. It was hilarious. He said if he couldn’t write comedy, he’d write for Jay Leno.
- After the Mike Reiss panel, I decided to drop into Klingon Karaoke. Now, in my mind, this was going to be awesome. People dressed as Klingons singing popular songs in Klingon. How disappointed I was to learn that it was normal looking people singing normal songs in English hosted by a woman in Klingon cosplay (who still spoke English). I didn’t stay here long.
- I ended Friday by spending a long time waiting in line for the Buffy Horror Picture Show. While waiting, I watched people getting made up for the zombie walk and spied a woman wearing a cool “Free Mr. Bates” t-shirt. I had thought the Buffy show would be the typical “Once More With Feeling” singalong. These are great fun, but I’ve been before and had thought about skipping this. However, when I was waiting in line for Nichelle Nichols, I was talking to a guy named Corey who told me it had live actors on stage acting and lip synching along. He also told me he was playing Spike. It was worth sticking around for as this was a lot of fun. The cast was great. Stuffed bunnies were thrown into the audience (and I came so close to catching one) during Anya’s part of “I’ve Got a Theory.” My favorite part was during the Buffy workout scene when she’s flipping around and such while Giles sings “Standing,” the actress playing Buffy was holding a cardboard Buffy standee and spinning it in front of her. Also, after Sweet leaves and Dawn starts singing, someone yelled out “She doesn’t even go here.” Everything is always improved with Mean Girls quotes.
Friday was a fantastic first day of Dragon*Con. I was exhausted by the end of it and desperately desiring food (I had not eaten much other than snacks throughout the day and when I stood up after Buffy I felt dizzy and was reminded that I had given blood just a few hours earlier) and a shower. Saturday was coming and Saturday is parade day!