Pop Culture

Comicpalooza 2013 Day 1: Talkin' 'Bout Geek Education

This is my third year covering the Comicpalooza convention, and each year it's gotten better and bigger. 2013 seems absolutely massive with pockets of all kinds of geekdom spread out all over the entire George R. Brown Convention Center. Every time you think you've seen it all you stumble across a literally stadium-sized room full of things you didn't even know about.

You also get lost a lot if you're like me and a decade of homing beacons in video games has destroyed your ability to follow a map or find a location without a helpful pointing arrow in front of you. Damnit, BioShock, I used to be smarter than this!

If there is anything I can say I really love about Comicpalooza it's that there are so many people here that are keen on expanding not just fandom, but knowledge in general. We now live in a world where cutting edge science and discoveries can reach almost anyone in the developed world in seconds. What are we doing with that access?

Flashback Comicpalooza 2012 Day 1: Ron Paul Endorses Ghostbusters

Huston Huddleston wants to build a Star Trek museum with it, that's what. I stopped by he and his assistant Rachel's booth first thing on the way in and heard a remarkable story. Huddelston ran across a mock-up of the Star Trek: The Next Generation bridge in a warehouse in Los Angeles. It wasn't the set from the actual show. That had been destroyed in the '90s. It was from a touring exhibition, but the find got him thinking.

Now Huddleston is traveling the country selling T-shirts and lunchboxes as well as taking donations in order to build something no one else has yet done. He wants to craft a permanent museum installation that encompasses not just the famous command center of the Enterprise, but also engineering, sick bay, and other portions of the Star Trek universe. It isn't only a haven for fans, though. Huddleston's vision is a center where children can take field trips to in order to be taught science.

"How cool would that be?" asked Huddleston. "To be able to go on the bridge of the Enterprise and learn astronomy and engineering and other scientific areas, all with a 3D screen and the ability to fire phasers at oncoming ships?"

Once the initial funds are generated (Around $250,000), the San Diego Air and Space museum will hold the project for a year before it begins a three-year tour to other museums. Eventually, it's hoped that a permanent home in Hollywood can be found.

I hadn't gotten far from the Star Trek bridge when I realized that something was following me. I figured it was one of the many people I've met at the convention over the years who wanted to say hi, but instead I came face to face with a six-foot robotic creeper from Minecraft.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner