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This past July 18th and 19th my wife Nicki and I took a trip to “Rocket City” and attended Con Kasterborous- a Doctor Who convention in Huntsville, AL.

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This was our second ConK– we attended last year and had a great time. Saw a lot of familiar faces this year, but was amazed at how many first time ConK attendees we talked to, as well as con-newbies in general. If you’re first con is this one, it’s not a bad way to get introduced to the convention experience.

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I was set up in Artists Alley again for the weekend, but had a much better spot this year. I was set up directly across the hall from the main viewing room and the main panel room for the Q&As and celebrity photo ops. Great traffic and chance to people watch.

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This also made it very convenient for Nicki to attend events at the con when she wasn’t being my booth babe.

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She got to take several shots of the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as some of the Q&A panels. I watched and listened from the doorway some. I could keep an eye on my table from there.

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This is a shot Nicki took of artist Kelly Yates presenting actor¬†Paul McGann with some of his¬†8th Doctor art. Paul played the Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, and again in 2013 for “The Night of the Doctor“. He’s also provided the voice of the Doctor for several other Dr. Who animation and audio projects.

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I got to briefly talk to him when I went upstairs on Sunday to get a signed photo of him as the Doctor, but Nicki actually got to do the photo op with him Saturday. Very nice gentleman.

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Actor Eric Roberts was also presented with Doctor Who art by¬†Kelly Yates. Eric played “The Master” in the¬†1996 Doctor Who TV movie¬†opposite Paul McGann. I most remember Eric from “Star 80“, but he was also in one of my favorite movies “The Dark Knight“. He’s the only actor to play a villain in the Doctor Who and Batman franchises, and the only American actor to play The Master.¬†

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Eric’s wife¬†Eliza Roberts was a guest as well. She played Miranda, Bruce/The Master’s wife in the Doctor Who TV movie. One of her first acting gigs was the movie “Animal House“- another one of my favorites! (Check out the”Fawn Leibowitz” and “Do you mind if we dance with your dates?” scenes.)

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In addition to great guests, the cosplay at ConK2015 was excellent again this year, and was everywhere.

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Lots of great villains, creatures, and aliens from the series…

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…as well as plenty of people “playing Doctor”. ūüėČ

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There were even some Doctor mash-ups!

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Theses guys kept “photo-bombing” everyone.

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This was one of my favorite costumes of the con- Professor River Song from the episode Silence in the Library”.¬†I really dug that the helmet lit up!
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I had just started sketching this Vashta Nerada sketch when I spotted her.

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There were some non-Who characters at the con- this R2-D2 was rolling up and down the halls, and this “Game of Thrones” Hodor/Bran Stark cosplay was brilliant!

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Everyone was having a great time either getting into character or taking pics with the cosplayers or TARDISРor dressing up like a TARDIS or Dalek.

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Lady Cassandra looked to be smiling as well during her visit to ConK2015.

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Even the Daleks seemed to be having a good time at Con Kasterborous, and one was a ring bearer at a wedding!

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Okay- this little Weeping Angel¬†seemed to be crying A LOT and was¬†upset¬†ALL weekend, but I think she was the only one WHO¬†wasn’t having a good time.

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On Sunday I got to get out from behind my table and do a bit of shopping around the con in Artists Alley and the vendor room upstairs. Not sure how traffic was for the vendors, it was a bit slow when I slid by. They were a bit out of the way from the rest of the con activities, but were next to the celebrity room where I got to meet Paul McGann.
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I picked up Nicki a 4th Doctor Eaglemoss figurine

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…picked up a Bat-Brew cup and some steampunk goggles for me…
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…and some cool Doctor Who plastic crafts and some buttons for my TARDIS lanyard. Nicki got a great handmade stuffed 10th Doctor from the vendor she bought¬†her stuffed Adipose from last year.

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But we didn’t have a great time just while we were at the con, there was a lot to do after hours, too. There was a great outdoor mall that the hotel is located in- the Bridge Street Town Centre. One of the best places¬†for walking to/around at a con location I’ve experienced. We had dinner there a couple nights, and enjoyed sitting and listening to live street musicians while sitting on the patio at Lime Fresh Mexican Grill or walking around the mall.

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One of our favorite after con treats were the frozen fruit bars from Steel City Pops. It was a bit warm Saturday night and these hit the spot after dinner. There was a movie theater and a few other shops and restaurants we’d like to hit on our next trip to Huntsville. Even if the con has to cap attendance in the future, I do hope they get to stay here at the Westin and Bridge Street Town Centre a few more years. Nice hotel and it’s got great food, shopping, movie theater, train, waterways/fountains, and is just a few minutes from the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

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Since we were staying at my in-laws’ house in Scottsboro, AL that weekend (it’s about a 30-45 minute drive to Huntsville) we stopped by the Unclaimed Baggage Center on Monday after the con. They had a cool “Labyrinth” display in the front lobby area, complete with full sized Hoggle. I picked up some clothes for a War Doctor costume I’ve been wanting to work on. Will be wearing it to ConK2016 for sure! If you are looking for clothes for any of the Doctor Who Doctors (especially 10 or 11), or just about any costume this place is a great place to hit.

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Before leaving town we wanted to stop by Nerdtopia which is just a few blocks away on the court square/town center in Scottsboro, but they were closed on Mondays. Will have to try to come back on a Friday or weekend.

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On our way in on Friday we did get to stop and have lunch at the Below The Radar Brewhouse in downtown Huntsville.

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The food was delicious- Nicki got the Fish and Chips and I got a burger with kettle chips. Nicki also enjoyed¬†one of the ciders they offer. Will be back to eat/drink here again. I’m not a big fan of fish, but after trying a bite of Nicki’s lunch I’m going to have to get it next trip. The white bread bun, potato chips, and Sprite elevated my blood sugar a bit, but man was it worth it!

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We also hit The Deep Comics while we were in Hunstville. I picked up a 4th Doctor POP! Vinyl Figure for Nicki, plus a Harley Quinn magnet, couple of Mickey Mouse sketchcovers, and a “Batula” storybook. Nicki picked up a POP! Adipose. Later at the¬†Walmart in Scottboro, AL we found Nicki a Hot Wheels Black Widow car- score!
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Speaking of “scoring at a Walmart“,¬†it wouldn’t be a Friday Night Date Night for Nicki and me without¬†one of our regular trips¬†to “The¬†Walmart“. We hit the one in Scottsboro for con snacks to enjoy at our table over¬†the weekend, after catching a showing of the new “Minions” movie at the theater just up the street.

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Usually ¬†we get a dose of “birth control” (what we call screaming kids) at Walmart, but this time we got it from the kid next to us at the theater. Luckily the dad finally took the kid outside. I expected to have kids laughing and having a good time, but not the screaming we and the rest of the audience endured from that 2-3yr old kid. A 7:30pm showing was probably not a good idea by her parents, and when they arrived in the middle of the trailers and the kid didn’t see Minions on screen the hysteria began..! We had decided to pass on an opening weekend showing of¬†“Ant-Man“, but caught it the following weekend. We thought since the Minions movie had been out for a week it would be less attended. We were wrong, as the theater continued fill up even through the trailers- cue couple with upset kid. We enjoyed both movies, although the “Ant-Man” viewing was much quieter and more enjoyable.;)

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In spite of our screaming kids encounters in Alabama, we are really looking forward to getting back to Con Kasterborous¬†and Huntsville next summer. Young Amelia Pond/Caitlin Blackwood will be back as a Guest of Honor for ConK2016. We’re also hoping to hit another Doctor Who con- ConGT, in Clarksville, TN next year. We missed the first one last year due to a scheduling conflict with a local con here.

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You can read more about my Artist Alley adventures on my LinWorkman.com site here.

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Oh, and don’t forget that Doctor Who returns this fall- and in some places like Huntsville and Little Rock he will be back in 3D!

Lin