Anime Kon 2010: Enter The Arena – Star Trek Next Generation’s LeVar Burton more feisty than a Klingon (PG 13: Language, 1/2)

If you’re at work and you decide to listen to the audio clips, be sure to keep the volume low or get some headphones as the vernacular may disturb some and that don’t take much here in Barbados, even if privately we say worse… One other point – the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Cultural Centre must donate that room for Anime Kon at NO COST to the organisers, since there was no air-conditioning the for all the time I spent there and that was from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm! If this was B,S&T or Sagicor would they have embarrassed them so? Hell no, even if they had to ship in fans to all through the area, it is a disgrace on the conference service. {“Captain, set phasers on KILL?” the Klingon eagerly poses. ‘No, Mr Worf, belay that…’ “Very well…” he grumbles.}

Hellboy about to sneak up on an unsuspecting audience member

Hellboy about to sneak up on an unsuspecting audience member

Years ago in the mid-90’s, Barbadians tried hosting some Star Trek conventions and this evolved into a Science Fiction society, but neither sustained momentum. Then not long ago on Facebook a group called Anime Kon started comparing things like if Marvel’s Wolverine fought DC’s Lobo or Dragonball Z’s Goku took on the Last Son of Krypton, Kal El.

Why children should never be allowed to run around with scissors, especially after watching "Zatoichi"

Why children should never be allowed to run around with scissors, especially after watching "Zatoichi"

The convention which emerged was a dream larger than anyone expected. The attendance transcended races and gender, since all communities of Barbados were in full force and and the dudes were not swamping the lasses – it was a fairly close ratio of men and women.

Luke Skywalker (if Mace Windu was his daddy) looks back at Selina Kyle and the Psychotic Clown of Crime

Luke Skywalker (if Mace Windu was his daddy) looks back at Selina "Naolat" Kyle and the Psychotic Clown of Crime

With more on the evolution of Anime Kon, here’s the founder of The Trident discussion forum, who’s also Portfolio Investment Manager at Sagicor, and Co-Executive Producer of “Enter The Arena,” Omar Kennedy (his escort looks familiar, eh?);-

This convention is significant in many ways, it allowed young Barbadians to gather and discuss without being a typical senior adult’s afterthought of youth on the corner inhaling or selling weed. It also enfranchised and empowered a new generation of Barbadians into seeing their dreams of becoming their own boss that much closer.

Zack Snyder's version of "The Watchmen" wasn't just disturbing to Alan Moore, it also sent some cast for therapy

Zack Snyder's version of "The Watchmen" wasn't just disturbing to Alan Moore, it also sent some cast for therapy

It also shows the need for corporate Barbados to pull out their thumbs and stop looking to sponsor the latest wuk-up or rag-wave in Crop Over and pursue more intellectual and cultural ideas which can establish Barbados at multiple levels, not just for tourism or IT but in terms of Art and Cinema.

A portion of the sea of fans thronging the just one room of the Sandiford Cultural Centre. Next year, more rooms and more days, Wah-Hoo! as the Howling Commandos would say...

A portion of the sea of fans thronging the just one room of the Sandiford Cultural Centre. Next year, more rooms and more days, Wah-Hoo! as the Howling Commandos would say...

If India can draw itself from such doldrums, according to Toon Boom’s Joan Vogelsang, then why not here? For too long Barbados judges young people who wish to be commercial illustrators or write fantasy and tell them how nice in some patronising and condescending manner, then ask the would-be entrepreneur what do they plan as a real career? WHAT’s WRONG WITH WHAT THEY JUST TOLD YOU?

If the new President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr Andy Armstrong, can attend Anime Kon and be buying comics for himself and appreciates science fiction and fantasy novels too, then this if nothing else can show that everyone can be a part of this growing phenomena! Okaaay – soapbox off… LOL!

L to R: LeVar Burton extending hand to make point as Andre Harewood of CBC observes from LeVar's left

L to R: LeVar Burton extending hand to make point as Andre Harewood of CBC observes from LeVar's left

Their draw this year was LeVar Burton, formerly of Star Trek: Next Generation as Engineer Commander La Forge was appearing, autographing photos and contributing to Panel discussions. LeVar was also “Kunta Kinte” in Alex Haley’s Roots from 1979; apart from hosting a reading programme for American kids and the initiative was traced by PBS.

Toon-Boom's Joan Vogelsang in an extensive and detailed opening address to the launch of Anime Kon 2010

Toon-Boom's Joan Vogelsang in an extensive and detailed opening address to the launch of Anime Kon 2010

I asked if he he was aware of any plans to reboot Next Generation in the same way Kirk, Spock, Uhura et al, but LeVar told us he knew of no such plans {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO CLIP};-

Geordi” was quick to let us know he has no influence in the decision making process, but he has heard no plans to revive Next Generation like what they did to the Original series.

The man may be human but definitely behaves Klingon-esque, some young folk were debating a point while the Panel Discussion was going on and he stopped the others (including representatives from Wizard magazine who assisted in getting him here) in mid-stride while he chastised them for having voir dire so to speak… A panel within a Panel, and he let them understand the only Panel was the one at the head table, damn!

L to R: Peter Katz & Mark Cotton from Wizard Entertainment (Yes, the Wizard magazine you see with hot comic babes like She Hulk every month - I buy it for the interviews)

L to R: Peter Katz & Mark Cotton from Wizard Entertainment (Yes, the Wizard magazine you see with hot comic babes like She Hulk every month - I buy it for the interviews)

That was like Klingons who will stop a meeting to have a duel to establish who’s leader immediately rather than wait for talk to be through, LOL! LeVar is very careful with his intellectual property as well, he’s scripting a comic prototype for Dark Horse’s website to demo. When he whipped out his iPad to show panels from the new series there was an immediate whir of digital cameras (but I had angled mine so his head would block the content of the page – I just wanted a shot of him showing the strip not the strip itself, for someone to really steal that, they’d need a 24 or 32 MP cam with a tele-photo zoom which could zero in on the hairs inside a flea’s ears)…

His reaction was quite, um, bracing for the convention {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO CLIP};-

LeVar flies off the handle and states he is only personally sharing with the audience and do not encroach on his personal intellectual property, all of this well soused with the eff-bomb a few times and Moderator Omar Kennedy seeks peace for all sides.

The bluntness may be quite startling for some – one young fan dared to ask who’d win in in a space battle, Star Destroyer or Galaxy class? I personally feel The Empire’s behemoths would tear holes in the Federation’s pride & joy’s unless it was the Mirror-Mirror/Dark Universe version… However, Mr Burton was very straightforward in his bias {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO CLIP};-

The audience query came from a guy who was waiting all week to ask, when he dared pose it… LeVar lets fly with a huge “WTF?” which floors everyone – but he naturally favours Paramount over Fox, I simply see it as muscle versus muscle… Then this means the Enterprise meets the dark side of the force, simple.

In the next segment of Anime Kon 2010, we look at four of the artists as they seek to make their mark in the history of animation, Bajan, Caribbean and global…

One Response

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  1. For awhile,I thought i was worried Star Trek was a perishing franchise. Then JJ Abrams came along. Great touch. The scene with kid Kirk was a little too quirky in the movie, however it was very popular in the trailer. Star Trek XI breathed new life into this beloved Roddenberry world. I’d like to see all of this Enterprise cast come back for more outings. I spent my youth with the classic series. Heck, my father got us a color TV just so we could look at Star Trek every single Friday afternoon. At this moment, I’m stuck on these new famous actors. In MHO, they have absolutely breathed life to their characters and made them their own. I, for example, am longing for more.

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