Thursday, July 2, 2015

Florida SuperCon 2015: An Hour With Handsome Jack

Last weekend John and I drove down to Miami for the first few days of Florida Supercon. Like a lot of the bigger cons, Supercon has expanded to four days, though sadly we could only stay from Thursday through Saturday morning.

Since Supercon moved to the Miami Convention Center last year, it's been a whole new con. Parking can be tricky with the big Saturday and Sunday crowds, but on Thursday and Friday, at least, there was plenty of room in the big lot across the street. The badge line, too, was slow on Saturday, but the 2 days prior had virtually no waiting. (The moral: don't like crowds? Go on Thursday & Friday!)

I was sad to see very little cosplay those first two days, but the massive vendor room and panel programming more than made up for it. I'm usually only interested in Artist's Alley at cons, but Supercon brings in some stellar vendors - so much more than the typical mass-market stuff I'm used to seeing.

On Thursday John and I grabbed our Press badges (like OFFICIALS, baby!) and headed straight for a panel with Dameon Clarke, the voice of Handsome Jack from the Borderlands game series:

(For you non-gamers, this is the game with Claptrap and Tiny Tina. And for you new-to-Epbot-ers, we built a Claptrap & John cosplays as Tiny Tina. :D)

Neither of us even knew Dameon's name before this panel, so we had no idea what to expect. That's one of the fun things about conventions: sometimes you come away a new fan of someone you weren't really even aware of before. I'm happy to say that's what happened here: John and I had a blast over the next hour, and came away hugely entertained and impressed.

That's Dameon on the left, with the panel moderator. He even kind of looks like Jack, right?

Dameon used his normal speaking voice for Handsome Jack, so the whole panel was basically Jack joking around and answering questions. He was what I'd call a "happy swearer," dropping casual f-bombs galore, but somehow managing to be quite sweet about it.

You sometimes find celebs at cons who take the fans' adoration for granted, or who seem kind of put-upon to be there, but not Dameon. He took pains to answer every question, no matter how ridiculous, call each fan by name, and be generally hilarious in the process.

A few highlights:

On the "audition process" for Handsome Jack:

"So they said to me, 'Hey, we're up shit creek without a Handsome Jack, and YOU'RE an asshole...'"

"I used my own voice for Jack, because LAZY!"

"It's like being in someone's mouth. We're in a giant's MOUTH." (On Miami's weather.)

He also gamely yelled at someone as Jack (so they could record it on their phone), and after a guy demanded he remember the guy's name, Dameon spent the rest of the panel referring to him as Susan. "Susan, where's my coffee?"

When asked about memorable lines in the game, Dameon launched into the Spoon speech, which is both horrifying and hilarious, and I think that was John's favorite part of the panel.

Here, I found a fancy vid of the Spoon Speech from the game: [warning: language]

Did I mention that Handsome Jack is the villain? No? Well, I guess you figured that out NOW...

Dameon told us he did a ton of improvising with Jack; so much so, it's hard for him to remember what was scripted and what he made up on the spot. 

When asked about Butt Stallion's fate Dameon insinuated she was no more, saying something about taxidermy. :(  But - BUT! - then he dropped a potential teaser/spoiler: mini Butt Stallions. "Maybe something with cloning?" AW YEAH.

Hope you guys liked your virtual visit with Handsome Jack! Stay tuned for plenty of cosplay photos next, plus one or two more fun celeb encounters.

(I've got a delayed case of con crud, so I'm dragging a bit on posts. Sorry!)


UPDATE: For those who missed it, here's a screenshot of a Facebook post of a screenshot of a tweet. Because TECHNOLOGY. [Quick! Someone screencap this and Pin it! :D]



  1. I had the opportunity last January to work with Dameon as his handler for SacAnime and I loved every minute I spent with him. What you saw in the panel is how he is 24/7. He's truly a delight to be around and he genuinely enjoys the time he spends meeting and talking with his fans. The whole weekend, the wasn't a single complaint from him or about him and, believe me, with my particular position on the con staff, I hear *everything.* I would love to work with him again if he ever decides to attend another show in the future. He is seriously one of the best people I've ever met doing this work. He's truly amazing.

  2. I dunno if you guys have seen these yet but I just stumbled across them a few days ago and when I read the end of this post I just had to share. They're so amazing:

  3. Great update! Sorry you got the accursed "con crud", that is NOT fun. Can't wait to see the cosplay pictures. Hope you feel better soon <3

  4. Thank you for letting us live vicariously through you!!! I love all your coverage of Con stuff.

  5. Thank you Alice! I feel the same. I had a wonderful time working/hanging out with you!


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