It’s lonely being a gay comic geek.
Paul Charles says his tribe lacks the numbers he sees from others at conventions. On Saturday, inside the Miami Beach Convention Center, Charles dressed in tight fitting, red and yellow colored spandex to re-create the appearance of the Reverse Flash. The young man walked through a sea of people in a convention center filled with well-known entertainers and science fiction fans.
“He doesn’t belong to any one specific league or group,” said Charles when describing the Reverse Flash. “Some people consider him to be a rogue villain.”
Villains were in charge Saturday as thousands of people participated in what is billed as the 11th Annual Florida SuperCon. The program featured appearances by television and movie stars such as Henry Winkler, William Shatner and Mickie James.
James is a wrestler who has worked in the past for Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment. She had a booth just a few blocks down from Headlocked, a wrestling comic backed by the self-professed “King” of wrestling, Jerry Lawler.
“I enjoy wrestling,” said James, an athletic female.
Charles, however, could care less. He’s gay and he let the officials at Florida SuperCon know it.
“I don’t like how they did the cover of this program,” Charles said having unmasked for the day.
In the copy they handed out for Saturday’s session only feminine characters were highlighted on the program’s cover. This irked the Gay Comic Geek.
“I told them on Facebook there should be more men,” he said. “And then they deleted my comment.”
Charles has created a loyal fan base through his website and many social media platforms. His appearance as the Reverse Flash had folks asking to take pictures. Some parents even had the villain pose with their kids.
Charles gladly agreed. He’s attended many “cons” before and placed Miami’s near the top – just below San Diego.
“It’s big,” he said.
For screen legends like Winkler and Shatner, stage time was given inside the Fillmore Miami Beach Jackie Gleason Theater. Winkler, who gained television notoriety playing “The Fonz” on Happy Days addressed the famed “Jumping the Shark” episode. Winkler’s leather jacketed cool guy jumped on a jet ski for the shoot.
“Newspapers… back when we had those,” he said to laughter. “Newspapers showed my legs. And I had great legs.”
Shatner, of Star Trek legend, took the stage next. People were lined for questions before his routine and they stayed that way after he was finished.
Shatner recounted tender moments with his friend DeForest Kelley, joked about working with Winkler and boxer George Foreman and assumed the role of a Southern Baptist minister to “heal” an audience member.
“Science Fiction is really mythology,” Shatner said. “It seeks to explain dark matter and time travel.”
For Charles, it was all about “reversing” the situation.
“Reverse Flash is from the future,” he said. “He can break thermal time barriers and assume identities.”