Showing posts with label Amber Benson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amber Benson. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

2012 Wizard World Philadelphia Recap

As I do before every convention I go to, I made a list of things I wanted to buy, people I wanted to meet, Q&As I wanted to attend and various other things I wanted to do at this past weekend's Wizard World Philadelphia.

More often than not, my wishlist is overstuffed, so that even if I can only get to a few of the items, I still feel like I had a good show. I knew Philadelphia would be a good experience no matter what, because I was meeting up with a group of "con friends", but somehow things broke so that the show -- for me -- ran smoother than just about any I'd been to in years.

(This is the point where I have to note two things. First, four guests who I'd wanted to see canceled their appearances, two of them very early on, and two of them within a week of the show. So that sucked, but didn't really negatively impact my actual time in Phladelphia. Secondly, this is very much a YMMV recap. As I understand it, there were definitely instances of things going horribly wrong for people, including the theft of hundreds of photo ops prints. But my experience, which is what I'm recapping, ran as smooth as it could have).


I took the train in from Hartford to Philadelphia on Thursday morning, so I'd arrive in plenty of time for preview night. A few people asked me why I took the train instead of flying. Well, it cost about a third as much as a flight, didn't take significantly longer (once you factor in arriving early at the airport to go through security) and was more accomodating for my luggage -- something that definitely came into play on the trip back.

My hotel was nice, and my room was ready when I arrived at noon, which was extra nice. One piece of advice I'd give to convention-goers related to hotels is if you can afford it, stay as close to the convention center as possible. Time is as much a commodity at these shows as money, and the less time you have to spend getting to and from your hotel the better.

So I settled in and got a few hours to relax before the show floor opened up, then headed over and picked up my passes. Getting into the show was easy on Thursday, since none of the "celebrity" guests were scheduled to appear.

My missions on Thursday were two-fold: get as many of the comics I'd brought from home signed and take care of as much of my comics buying as possible. Normally I recommend waiting until the last day of a show to buy anything, but in this case there was a run of comics I wanted to buy that I ALSO wanted to get signed, so I had to do that early just to ensure I could. Not only did I take care of getting about 75% of the books I brought signed, I also got two pieces of original artwork, one from Ramon F. Bachs and one from Mike Deodato Jr. Not a bad day.

I honestly spent more time on the show floor on Thursday than I'd anticipated, but it was worth it to get a sense of the layout, check out a few booths that I wanted to re-visit Sunday for shopping purposes and even take care of getting a signature from one of the few celebrities who did arrive in his booth on Thursday, Lou Ferrigno. Also, preview night is always the one time at a con where you can walk around without accidentally physically bumping into a million people, and this was no exception.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Amber Benson Q&A at 2010 New England Comic Con

I posted a playlist with all the Buffyfest Q&A videos from the 2010 New England Comic Con on Saturday, but I realize some of you might be looking for a particular person in one place. So, here's all three parts of the Amber Benson (Tara) Q&A. I already posted James Marsters, Nicholas Brendon and Charisma Carpenter and later today I'll put up an individual post for the joint Clare Kramer/Mercedes McNab panel.

If I ever get around to it, this is where'll I post a transcript too (transcripting hours of video takes a LONG time). Oh, and these were all recorded on my iPhone 4, so you can see them in HD resolution (1280x720) if you please. Hit the jump for the videos.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Buffyfest at New England Comic Con - Final Day

It's been about four hours since I left Boston and New England Comic Con 2010, and I miss it already. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I met so many amazing people, some of whom have already tracked me down on Facebook, and even with a smaller crowd on Sunday, the day was still so much fun.

Amber Benson showed her 2002 movie "Chance" -- also starring James Marsters and the late Andy Hallett -- then did a Q&A on the movie, "Buffy" and pretty much anything relating to her career.

After Amber was finished, Clare Kramer and Mercedes McNab did a joint Q&A, answering questions from fans just as all the other Buffy stars had done before them this weekend.

Both Q&A sessions were amazing, and beyond anything I could have anticipated from the weekend. Once those were done, I ended up spending even more money today -- and maybe once I'm not exhausted, I'll get around to taking pictures of some of the cool stuff I bought -- and got one last round of autographs.

Now that I'm home, I'm uploading the rest of Saturday's videos (since I only got 3 uploaded at the hotel last night/this morning). Then at some point tomorrow, I'll try to upload all the videos from the Amber Benson and Clare/Mercedes Q&A sessions (including the part during the Clare/Mercedes session where I'm standing at the mic waiting to ask a question, then walking back to my seat... it's RIVETING video).

I also took some more photos today, and added them to the same album as yesterday. Hit the jump for all the photos, now organized in this fashion: show floor photos, Q&A session photos, James Marsters concert photos, costumed character photos, random swag photos.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Alyson Hannigan vs Amber Benson - Matchup #2 of the Day

Each day (twice on Saturday and Sunday), will spotlight a first-round match-up in the 2010 Hottest Desktop Girl Tournament. Today's second match-up is Alyson Hannigan vs Amber Benson.

Alyson Hannigan Amber Benson
Date SelectedMarch 9, 2010April 13, 2010
BornMarch 24, 1974Jan. 8, 1978
Home StateWashington, D.C. (I know it's not really a stateAlabama
Hair ColorRedBlonde
Known for"Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "How I Met Your Mother""Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Drones"
Six Degrees of JossDo you have to ask?Really? C'mon now.

Analysis: Willow vs Tara? Adam, how could you be so cruel. Well, really it's only cruel to Amber, who despite being awesome doesn't really stand a chance in this vote. I mean, sure, we all came to love Tara, but Willow is Willow. Fortunately, Benson has broken free of her goose egg, and as of this writing does at least have one vote. I would have been sad if she got shut out. Still, it looks like Hannigan will move on easily to the Sweet 16.

Free Vote Caster from

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

2010 Desktop Girl Tournament - First Round (Part 1)

The first round of the 2010 Desktop Girl Tournament is here, as we go through six weeks of voting to determine the hottest desktop (or wallpaper, if you're using Windows) girl from my selections in 2010. I've set up a page where you can always access the full bracket and the latest voting results, but first, let's get to the winner of the play-in round. Earning the final spot in the field of 32, congratulations to "The Big Bang Theory"'s Kaley Cuoco!

Cuoco dominated the play-in voting, which honestly wasn't much of a surprise.

So this week we've got the first round of voting in the top half of the bracket, the Jean Grey and Emma Frost regions. The match-ups are as follows:

"Jean Grey Region"

"Emma Frost Region"
Alyson Hannigan vs. Amber Benson

Hit the jump or click here to vote.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Desktop Girl of the Week: Amber Benson

I realized upon meeting her this past weekend that somehow, in my six years of making "Desktop Girl of the Week" selections on and off, I'd never picked Amber Benson. That changes now.

Amber has been acting since 1993, but it wasn't until she was cast as Tara on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" that she became something of a household name. Fan reaction to Tara wasn't exactly positive at first, since Willow's lesbian relationship was seen as something of a ratings stunt and Tara was blamed for breaking up Willow and Oz, who everyone loved as a couple.

Still, Amber played the role admirably and became a fan favorite, eventually being promoted to regular cast member in Season Six's "Seeing Red." Unfortunately, that was also the same episode in which her character died (damn you, Joss!).

Since the end of "Buffy", Amber's had a series of smaller roles in movies and television, including a memorable appearance as the vampire Lenore in a 2006 episode of "Supernatural". She's also found her own creative voice, writing a trio of books with former Buffy comic writer Christopher Golden. In 2007, she released the first of her Calliope Reaper-Jones novels, "Death's Daughter", about... well, Death's daughter. The second book in the series, "Cat's Claw" came out about six weeks ago.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Boston Comic Con Recap

I really like comic book conventions, but I need a better system. When I got home today from Boston Comic Con, I weighed my backpack, in which I'd been carrying my books to get signed.

32 pounds.

Carrying that thing around all day was NOT fun. My legs and back are still pissed at me. The rest of the day was amazing.

As I do with every convention I go to, I made my "hit list" a couple days ago, and pulled all the books from guests attending the show. It was a pretty big pile, because former Buffy and Angel writer Christopher Golden was there, as was Amber Benson, Jim Lee, Joseph Michael Linsner and a bunch of others.

I started off with Linsner's table, because, well, it was right there in front of the door. Also, I really wanted to get him, and Eva Hopkins, to sign the Dark Ivory series. This was the first time I'd seen Linsner since Chicago in '06, when I picked up PooZ's engagement piece, so it was cool to see him again. He had some really incredible original pieces, but my budget for this show was pretty low, so I had to pass.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Project 310 - New Moon Rising

Season 4, Episode 19 - New Moon Rising
Original airdate: May 2, 2000
Project 310 re-watch date: March 5, 2009

This is the episode where Oz returns, the Willow-Oz-Tara situation gets resolved, with some very negative consequences.

Honestly, most people didn’t like Tara, and seeing Oz come back, and not be able to be back with Willow because of Tara sure didn’t help that situation. So the question has to be asked, would it have been easier on the creators of Buffy to not bring back Oz at all?

Well, sure, it would have. Willow was clearly moving on and it would have lessened fan resistance to the Willow-Tara relationship. But the Buffy creators don’t like to take the easy way out. Also, conflict makes for a more interesting drama, so the writers rely on it.

As for the big question this episode raises, who is the better Willow significant other, Oz or Tara? (I’m excluding Kennedy from this equation, because no one ever picks Kennedy).

Look, I have to be honest, as much as I like Amber Benson, I’m picking Oz. With very few exceptions, the first relationship in any dramatic series is always the best, because it’s the one the writers intended from the beginning. In the case of the Buffyverse, the only secondary relationship I think was better than the first was Xander/Anya (which was better than Xander/Cordy, mostly because Xander/Cordy was so brief and not really that natural).

Buffy/Angel was way better than Buffy/Riley or Buffy/Spike. And along the same lines, Willow/Oz was better than Willow/Tara. Oz was the character that brought out the Willow we know and love. Before him, she was a shy, lonely background character who was unsure of herself. By the time she was with Oz, she was confident, powerful and a strong character in her own right.

Also in this episode, we see some of Riley’s very strong anti-demon opinions, and how Buffy reacts to that. Obviously, she still hasn’t been 100 percent open about her past with Angel, and when Riley reacts negatively when he finds out Oz was a werewolf, it doesn’t bode well for the eventual talk they’re going to have to have. Still, Riley comes around by the end of the episode -- enough for Buffy to finally open up to him. This is the first time I really felt like they had a relationship based on something more than just sex.

Favorite Quote:
Willow: “I feel like some part of me will always be waiting for you. Like if I'm old and blue-haired, and I turn the corner in Istanbul, and there you are, I won't be surprised... because you're with me, you know?”

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fave 5 - Songs to dance to at my wedding

No, I’m not getting married anytime soon. Hell, I’m not even doing anything resembling dating right now. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about my future. I think about names for my future kids, where I’d like to live, etc. And thanks to the PooZ/Mrs. PooZ wedding, I’ve been thinking about songs I’d like to dance to at my wedding. I can’t even remember what song they danced to, but it was sweet. So what do I want to dance to? Here’s the top 5:

5. Bette Midler - “The Rose”
This is a trip in the way-back machine for me, but Midler was one of the first artists my mom introduced me to, and I liked her right away. Hell, I liked her more when I was 10 than I do know, but this song is still fantastic.

4. Dido - “Thank You”
Yes, this does have the stigma of being the song sampled in the violent Eminem song “Stan”, but it’s also a beautiful song. The lyrics are particularly poignant for two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together, especially on what would be “the best day of my life” (to quote the song).

3. Amber Benson - “Under Your Spell”
This would only be allowed if I was marrying another “Buffy” fan -- or at least a woman who was VERY forgiving about my “Buffy” obsession, but seriously, there’s probably no song that’s better for describing my future relationship than this one. Just check the lyrics.

2. Ludacris - “Area Codes”
No, just kidding. Just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention.

2. Righteous Brothers - “Unchained Melody”
Putting aside the scene from “Ghost”, this song is just an amazing song. I like to think of myself as a writer, but I’m not sure I could write anything as sweet about my lover as this song. Making it my first dance in wedded bliss would be nearly perfect.

1. Kelly Clarkson - “Before Your Love”
Yes, I’m a huge dork. Yes, most of the people who I know don’t agree with me on the awesomeness of Kelly Clarkson. But seriously, listen to this song and tell me it wasn’t written specifically for this exact scenario. The only problem I’d have dancing to this song would be that I’m not sure I could get through it without tearing up. Then again, if PooZ, a certified deathfighter, can get choked up at his wedding, then you’ll forgive me if I eventually get choked up at mine (that is, if PooZ doesn’t actually choke me first for implying that he cried).