I had hoped that I could kick off my first day in the Calgary Expo by getting the autograph of the one and only Stan Lee. However it seems that I should have checked the program a lot more closely because it turns out he was doing his autographs in an entirely different building.
By the time I had already figured this out, chances of me getting an autograph from him at the time were slim to none. It wasn't a total loss though since he would be doing other signings throughout the day so I decided to head towards the main autograph area and get the John Hancock of voice actor Steve Blum.
Chances are if you've ever watched an anime or cartoon series in the last decade and a half, then you've heard Steve Blum's voice. If there's that one character in the series who has a voice that makes him sound like the coolest badass you wish you could be half as awesome as, chances are Steve Blum was the man behind that voice. Probably his best known role and my personal favourite is that of Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop.
Naturally there was a picture of Spike that he would gladly autograph for me but the man working the table as an assistant to Steve kept trying to convince me to get a picture taken when I was content not to. Through the power of either a Jedi mind trick or perhaps being a former used car salesman, he was able to convince me to shill out the money to get a picture taken as well.
Now the thing that might shock some people is that for as much as I can carry a conversation, I have a very hard time speaking to celebrities or writers when at a convention. Usually I quickly rehearse something in my head a few times that I'd like to ask them but it was something that I didn't do this time. I got before Steve and he's every bit as awesome as his voice would lead you to believe.
I spoke about my discovery of the show mainly through the music and we spent most of our conversation talking about that. He admitted to me that he likes to play it in his car while driving and I told him how I would play it as background noise while I'm cleaning or doing the dishes.
"Yeah, it's a great soundtrack," he said in that oh-so-cool voice of his.
"And the music was what got me into the show," I admitted. "When I first heard of it I thought, 'Hmm, I'm not that into Westerns.'"
That made him laugh and we chatted a bit as he signed my picture but I don't like monopolizing time. I'm one person, other people are waiting in line and there's other stuff I want to do.
When it was time for my picture, the assistant admitted that my camera probably took a blurry picture and suggested maybe using my cell-phone. I should have tipped that guy because that first picture was blurry. The one on my cell-phone turned out much better.