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Starfury Conventions presents: The Ultimates June 11-13 2016
Banden
midnightmurdina

Taking place in Blackpool Ultimates was an usual con from the outset.
in the not so distant (but before my time) past Starfury had held conventions in Blackpool before the move to bigger venues in London and Birmingham, but this was the first in my time.

for the sake of Money and aeron_lanarts dog it was decided myself and Heather would crash in Liverpool at hers and travel in, meant some things wouldn't be possible that are part of our usual routine but it was as i have said better for the cashflow.

so we got going late on friday... well, late for everyone else, Aeron is a nurse and had just finished a string of nights,
We got a little diverted (not lost) but managed to find the hotel in the end, and end is the key word it was like follow the tram tracks to the end of the world and keep going, some remenant from the 60s

Inside was nothing like what I expected, it was like something out of an 80s sitcom, the dj was talking about light shows and bingo over some music i'd not heard since my childhood 'top club bank holiday disco' days age 5yrs+, there were mundane oldies dotted around, the only sign of the convention were the signs, till you got close then I saw familliar faces and things, Ally and I were more or last the last to register that night, and we headed into the main hall, a ball room i'm guessing based on the grand ball room in the tower, only it had long since seen its better days, however it was fit for purpose, if a little empty (first night and all) ally found some of her friends, and i poked Bernard to take some pictures after my own camera razzed me, we didn't stay long after the opening, I found Adam and his tails before we headed back via starbucks.
Heather had arrived at Allys while we were diverted by traffic and after a rest we went provisions shopping,


the next day we started later than planned again but again we got there which was key, Heather registered, we both bought photoshoots with Manu Bennet and Aeron went to her stewarding.
Heather wanted to ask Manu for the Hongi a Maori greeting, but he got sidetracked by her t-shirt before she could squeak up and dropped into a Haka pose,
I was in a quick elf esque outfit i'd thrown together complete with Ears but had no real idea what I wanted to do, automatically my hands went to my front because i was telling myself I didn't want to be mistaken for a Vulcan and the vulcan hands at the back is my go to position. Apparently I look either angry or like i'm trying not to laugh, Manu just looks like Manu, do wish i'd thought it through more.


After photoshoots we went to find Aeron and grabbed a drink along the way, one good thing about the Norbreck is that the drinks and food are cheap. Ally met us and we went into the Agents of Sheild talk, I'm not a fan but liked Ward in season 1 and was begining to like Brett Dalton too. everyone kept hissing at him when he mentioned the end of the season so despite not seeing anything but the end scene I stepped up to tell him that the Uk had seen the final ep and despite the calls he was not spoilering.
I hid it with asking him if he'd jump ship to DC now he had the option and he said there was a rumour he was going to be Superman who was now billed to appear in Supergirl in the new season.

also theres a thing where people seem to believe (and Brett doesn't disuade this) that he can grate cheese on his abs


The next talk was one I'd been looking forward to and one of the two reasons I'd attended the convention:
Manu Bennet took the stage with Constantine's Matt Ryan and Arrows Paul Blackthorn, Heather and I got up to ask our questions but I didn't want to go first and I know Heather needs time to get her courage together, so i tried to delay us listening to their hellos, but when Heather and I did reach the Mic we were not too far away from first, so I decided to nudge Heather forwards that way when she asked i'd be beside her, and it helped, she asked Manu what was the hardest language to learn in black speak (orcish) and druidy, she looked at me (ironically still dressed as an elf here) and i put her right. Manu was patcient i give him credit for it with Paul fidgiting at his side, and he let her say it again before begining

the two languages are different because he was given the orcish at short notice before filming because Peter Jackson refused to post or email any part of the script (and I don't blame him) so much so that he had cue cards all over the set, he faced away from the screen on his first scene, he didn't want to turn until the last second for effect so he had them close on the left and right to his eyes, then when he turned his words were infront of him, (since I've seen all 3 movies i can honestly say the effect worked)

where as with Druidic he had a little time to practise, it was designed by the guy who designed the Dothraki so it had form, but he still had to use cue cards, (see the battle of wills between the Dagda mor and Allanon) Heather was smiling so i think she got her answer, either that or having Manu focus on her was getting her close to melting again (circa Ian Somerhalder or Daniel Sharman questions at previous conventions

I stepped up and asked if he could tell us anything about Shannara and if there was anything known yet about season 2 since he'd hinted at it on his facebook, He smiled and said that season 2 was going to be 'based' on wishsong book 3 of the Original Shannara trilogy, he said that Shannara hadn't done as well as expected for the money spent on it (more than MTV's big shows like Teen Wolf) that MTV had taken a risk, but however it had done well enough to bring about season 2.
He said that for Shannara he got to go back to New Zealand and work with some of the people from Spartacus, which got me wanting to rewatch to see who I could recognise (i figured in the end he meant behind the scenes people) he said he didn't think it was fair on the other two to keep going on about Shannara and that people had come here to talk arrow and stuff, i nodded and was about to walk away when he moved,

"one more thing about Shannara language." he said, then asked if i could remember the scene where he thrusts his druid staff into the ground and saves Ander, he said that there were no words for that scene, and that he'd spoken to the director and said that Allanon would say something, he's just run up the hill expecting to be able to save princes Ander and Arion from the trap they've walked into, but arrives too late, the director apparently told him to improve and after thinking about how Allanon would feel he went to set and shouted what we hear on the show reckuf rethom, the crew loved it and later the director asked him how he'd come up with it, he smiled and said "its mother fucker backwards." by this time Manu is grinning and i think he can see i'm trying to remember the words, i headed back to my seat and the usual string of questions began about motivation and accents and stuff, i'm still trying to work out Reckuf Rethom in my head,

Matt Ryan is awesome he was shy and a little introverted but happy to talk to the fans, about how the spells were real and how they had a real exorcist on the show as a consultant. .

I asked Paul what it felt like to be the only Lance main cast to so far have not died and when was he due to. he's never been very friendly with me so was short and did not take the humour.

following the boys was the Agent Carter talk, Hayley Atwell was one of the big billed guests of the convention, and was only there Saturday like Matt Ryan. but sat next to her was the Mother Confessor: Bridget Regan, my 2nd reason for attending the convention. the two women along with Enver Gjokaj were possibly the most entertaining talk of the day, though as I gave up on agent carter as whole and only watched the season 2 for Bridget's charectar Dottie, I didn't understand a lot of the questions but it was good to sit and listen to her talk.


the day events ended and people wandered away to get ready for the masquerade and the party - Heather and I participated as Arsenal and Arrow and though our skit fell flat as Paul and Manu were not sat at the judge/guest table and we had costume issues we had fun, getting changed was fun too since we weren't staying at the hotel, putting things on we hid in a toilet like moaning Myrtle but changing I'd had enough and changed my tshirt in the centre of the carpark, if anyone wanted a sickening look at my back scars they were welcome.

at the party we presented Aeron with a birthday cake baked by Heathers mother which went down well, I almost got a shot of Sean the Allfather of Starfury sharing a peice but he has some glamour on him that blurred the picture,


we didn't dance and left shortly after but we were definatly in the con mood (i may have been a little drunk as the Mirakuru I'd brought was 14% and i drank most of it myself) we detoured through Bispham and some other towns before finding the right road back discussing childhood tv shows and bad old songs, the girls helped me remember the folk song that had been bugging me for a while was "O soldier soldier"

Sunday didn't have any real 'arrive by' time on like saturday but we made good time.

Brett was doing his Q and A with Iain and i asked him what he thought the obsession with bad guys and cephalopods was (Hydras image is a squid with a human skull for a head) he has no idea but if he had designed it it would have been a bird beak.

I decided Brett is my favorite out of the Sheild cast and I am actually considering going back and watching the season I missed with him in.

Enver and Bridget were next. and I finally asked Bridget a question, it was random and didn't really mean anything but I wanted to asked her something so I thought and asked  if she thinks Kahlan would confess Dottie (she thought Dottie would be her first stop) then i asked "f Dottie had Kahlans powers who would she confess first (Peggy)

Enver I forgot was in Dollshouse, which has added it to my list of rewatches.

about this time mine and Heathers numbers got called for Auto's (Sunday is always about autographs if your a Regular number) so we had to leave to get the Gotham Casts autos; yes I know I haven't mentioned them in this, its because i wasn't there for them and the only reason i got autographs was part of a deal with my friend and lifesaver Rosie. Robin  (penguin) is really nice and Drew (butch) seemed to notice that my accent was northern so assumed i was local, when i said i'm from a different part he was shocked and asked how much north england had, i've no head for miles and stuff so i just said "think of Game of thrones. i live closer to the wall."

I thought Bridget and Enver would still be talking when I returned but as with all things at a convention, time escapes you and Manu and Paul were on stage, i went to sit down but saw my number had been called for Agent Carter autos, so i lined up, it took a while and Aeron appeared and had taken a few pictures by the time we were back inside the auto room, I heard someone ask about Andrew Whitfield (the original Spartacus) and wanted so bad to listen but you don't get a second shot at autos on a sunday so i'm gonna go question hunting from other conventions at some point and hear what he said then.

Heather rejoined us after having a few difficulties with the crowds in autos and we waited patiently if a little jittery on my behalf, to be face to face with Bridget, I told her she was my reason for watching Carter and i was trying to get my friend into Legend and she said the show has a special place in her heart, Heather said craig said the same thing and for a second i forgot we'd met Craig Parker only earlier that year. Bridget said she'd loved the convention, and would be back in a flash, i just hope she also told Sean that.

Enver says next time he's at a con he's going to test my Dollhouse knowledge because i told him i'd forgotten he was in it, he also said he wanted a Cristopher Walken impression and looked shocked i'd never heard of the guy. I later learned the impression thing was a link to something he'd said in the talks when i'd left (and yes after getting movies barked at me i did realise who Walken was)


being one of the 'few' to miss out on the previous auto sessions with Manu and Paul we all had to go into a special line up, it was meant to be a short signing but it seemed as always Sean and the team underestimated how bad a Saturday hang over can be and it seemed a few people had missed the previous signing.

now. I don't like Paul Blackthorn, I will make no bones about it, but he's important to Arrowverse so I wanted him to sign my book,  I reminded him of the Mirakuru twitter pic the year before and how i'd apparently hit him with my bow but he didn't recall, and when he asked his reaction I just shrugged.

Manu liked my picture, it was of himself and Jason Momoa in a photoshoot from i don't know when doing the Haka, he wrote the first two words and i had to silence Aeron before she started reciting it.

the cue for Brett Dalton was imense, the longest of the weekend, I told him that he was my only reason for watching AOS that when it came to it I was a DC girl, but i loved the dark and broken charectars, to which he wrote "Hydra Loves you." on my autograph lol.

by the time we came out the main hall was empty and everyone was changing or milling around waiting for the closing ceremony. so we had a seaside hotel lunch and sat down properly for the first time in a long day.

The Closing ceremony is always a mixed bag, its a low point because its the 'closing of ceremonies' end of the con minus the party, but its also brilliant because the guests tell us how they found the weekend and Sean gives us his "no matter what age colour sex you are." speech which i think he needs on a t-shirt. sometimes he hints a guests for the next con in the line but this time he just confirmed there was one which is just as good. everyone really enjoyed themselves (the guests) there was some bizzare posing and the convention was more or less over but the crying/drinking/sleeping take your pick.

 I went off to change my bag, my convention bag is an old friend but not very good for dancing, too dangerous. when i came back Heather, Aeron and some of Aerons friends were sat outside so they could talk easier, but were keeping an ear out for the con dances, we chatted, and the attendees hardy enough to come to the party filtered in, Dean joined us, and Bernard wandered past, then two people in odd medieval costume showed up (theme for the night was blockbusters) and my friends went loony, now; I'm the youngest by what varys between a few (between me and Heather) and a lot of (between me and Bernard) years so I am used to not having a clue, but when that fact is then used to take the mic out of me I don't handle well, so I went into the dance, Aerons friends didn't like where i'd pick so when she went to dance they moved, i'd have prefered to stew but I refused to let myself, no one gets to me at a Starfury convention if I can help it.  and so we followed if only to let Heather get better pics,

the night was slow with Marwin playing the consong then a tone of stuff i don't dance to (not complaining just explaining) but there was some danceable stuff and when there wasn't i wandered about taking pictures, then about 2am Jenni "THE" dj took over and the real music started, I went up to sit on the stage for a while, my pictures didn't come out right but I enjoyed watching people dance till I was told to go back down.

I found myself with Monica and Ashley, Heather joined us and with panic at the disco's 9 in the afternoon several dances sparked sparatic circles and Ashley to waltz with people, something that would only happen at Starfury, which only reitterated how much of a family enviroment that organisers conventions are. for some reason i'm still not sure of Ash and me walked one of the circles taking video.

the last man standing pose stretched a little wide and was a bit too big for the many cameras Grant found himself with but everyone has a version if they wanted one. and with that, and Jenni's last word. Ultimates 2016 was over
I remember getting on a chair and yelling "Starfury, we Rule, see ya next year." when i should probably have said see you in Winterish because as well as considering Ultimates 2 we are 'hoping' to do at least one of the remaining  2 Starfury cons this year that suit fandoms the three of us share.
I think i went over to Sean and told him I didn't think I'd be around without Starfury conventions, which is pretty much not a lie any way you take it. love other cons but Starfury is the benchmark.
leaving the hotel I looked back and though it still looked run down and worn I have a better opinion of its suitability as a convention vassel. even Jenni had called it chavtastic but spoke fondly of it.
didn't get too off the path the final drive back and we stopped at Starbucks again as a closer, Heather and Aeron were more or less dead to the world when we got in, but i've never been so blessed as to sleep on demand so i stayed up on facebook.
this is usually where a review ends but i got a bit of a final scene on the way home on monday.
so the coach home goes liverpool-manchester-leeds right? well there were issues in manchester and i had to swap coaches, as i was getting pushed about by a mundane chav i noticed someone in the other bus looked familliar, i sat down and watched and saw my fellow Ranger-fan Mark Ivey organising himself for the trip home, didn't see me, so i took a picture and posted it on facebook (as you do)


and that. was Ultimates.

I always love it when I can say this, but Ultimates was no what I expected - in more good ways than bad. and the Starfury Family is as strong as ever. roll on the next one :D




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