Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 5, 2011 · Page 48
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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico · Page 48

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Friday, August 5, 2011
Page 48
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16 \17 Friday, August 5, 2011 venue ET CETERA D espite his highflying, colorful career, Walter Koenig is a soft- spoken man. From playing Alfred Bester in “Babylon 5” to his famed role as Pavel Chekov in “Star Trek,” Koenig certainly has had an enviable career. “The roles just sort of fell in to my lap,” he says during a recent phone interview. “I was in the right place at the right time. It’s great to have worked and had a career that is recognized.” Koenig will be one of nearly two dozen stars to sign autographs during the first Albuquerque Sci Fi and Horror Expo. The actor, now 74, says when he auditioned for the role of Chekov in 1966, it was an easy process. “There was only one other actor auditioning for the part and I found out before I had gone home,” he says. “I was measured for the uniform on the same day. The process was a lot easier than an actor would have to go through today.” But as the TV show went on, Koenig recalls the network trying to cancel it. “We didn’t know how long the run was going to be,” he says. “We were just taking each episode as just that. We don’t know when it would be over.” With “Star Trek” being rebooted in 2009 by J.J. Abrams, Koenig says he was happy to see the franchise move on. “I enjoyed the movie very much and it would be fun to be in one of them,” he admits. “I don’t entertain many thoughts about it. If I were asked, I probably would do it.” Despite having a long-running movie career, Koenig keeps himself busy with writing his graphic novel, “Things To Come.” He says the graphic novel came from a screenplay he was writing and readying to pitch to producers. “My thinking behind this is that a lot of graphic novels have been making their way to the big screen,” he says. “So why not take a chance and write something.” The result is a four-book graphic novel. It is set 200 years after the Science fiction and horror seem to go hand in hand. “It’s amazing how the two genres complement each other,” Jim Burleson said. “Both have really big followings, and we’re showcasing them.” Burleson is the creator and promoter of Albuquerque Sci Fi and Horror Expo. He said this is an inaugural event and is a “spinoff” from the Albuquerque Comic Con, which was held in January. “We heard from a lot of fans and they wanted a genre-specific show,” he said. “So we’re giving it to them.” The event features Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase in the TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Also attending are Edward Furlong, Ray Park, Deep Roy and Dean Stockwell, among others. “We’ve created a diverse group of talent,” he said. “We’ve got actors as well as artists. Some of the best in the country will come here.” Also featured are some of the contestants from Syfy’s reality show “Face Off.” The show is a competition where special-effects- makeup artists compete. Burleson said tickets for the expo are on pace to sell more than Albuquerque Comic Con, which had 10,000 people visit over two days. He said military, police and firefighters will get into the convention for free. “This is our way for saying thanks to them for risking their lives,” he said. “It’s a fun time for all people who enjoy these genres and I hope to keep it going.” WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, and Sunday, Aug. 7 WHERE: Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 Second NW HOW MUCH: $5-$50 available at or 800-7453000. Free admission for military, police and firefighters. Visit www. for more information FOR REAL FOR REAL FANTASY Science fiction, horror fans gather at convention to meet heroes, show allegiances A t 71, Bob Wall isn’t slowing down. Wall is a former heavyweight world- champion kickboxer, a ninth-degree black belt in karate and an actor. (He’s also the godfather of former Albuquerque resident Freddie Prinze Jr.) “I still work out four days a week and can still do the splits,” he says during a recent phone interview. “My resting heart rate is 49.” Wall is a familiar face, but many don’t know his name. He’s appeared alongside Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee in 1972’s “Way of the Dragon” and appeared in 1973’s “Enter the Dragon,” where he had a fight scene with Lee. Wall now sells real estate during the day, but devotes his time to World Black Belt, an online community devoted to martial arts. “I enjoy the interaction with the kids,” he says. “That’s why I try to do at least one convention a month.” Wall will be signing autographs and meeting fans at his booth at the inaugural Albuquerque Sci Fi and Horror Expo at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Wall says he uses conventions as a platform to talk about Lee’s life. “There’s a lot people don’t know about him,” he says. “I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with him and his family.” Wall says if you look beyond Lee’s martial arts skills, many would see a genius. “He set up all of the fight scenes with such precision and it was all real,” he says. “If you saw someone get hit, they really were. He was also brilliant and well read. He was hardworking and trained all of the time.” Wall says he got into martial arts because he was a scrawny kid growing up. “I was too small to play all the popular sports,” he says. “Martial arts gave me something that I could do and at my own pace.” With his martial arts background, Wall started to wrestle. In his junior and senior years of high school, he went undefeated. “I was a determined little farm kid,” he says. “I tried to get better COURTESY BOB WALL Bob Wall, left, and Bruce Lee in a scene from “Enter the Dragon.” Wall worked with Lee on movies and trained with Chuck Norris in martial arts. WALL: Martial artist and actor Martial arts master went toe to toe with greatest See MARTIAL on PAGE 18 ISABELLA VOSMIKOVA/SYFY Gage Hubbard works on a project during the SyFy reality series “Face Off.” Makeup artist’s demons all of his own creation I mages of monsters run rampant in Gage Hubbard’s head. Each creature is a figment of his imagination. While most artists contain these ideas to the imagination, Hubbard lets each one loose. Taking the image, Hubbard slowly brings to life these creatures — just like a modern-day Victor Frankenstein. “There’s something really satisfying about taking an idea and seeing it come to life, literally,” he says during a recent phone interview. “Whether it’s for one hour or for a full photo shoot, I get to create.” Hubbard, 26, is a makeup artist who specializes in the art of illusion for film and TV — or rather a special-effects makeup artist. He will be one of the handful of artists who will give demonstrations on makeup at the Albuquerque Sci Fi and Horror Expo at the Albuquerque Convention Center. He also was a contestant on Syfy’s reality show “Face Off,” where science-fiction makeup See MAKEUP on PAGE 19 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Walter Koenig, third from left, is shown during a toast to the newest “Star Trek” film during a news conference at Paramount Studios in 1988. Online To view a preview of Walter Koenig’s graphic novel, visit www. bluewaterprod. com/comics/ things_to_come. php ‘Star Trek’ vet finds new career in graphic novels certainly has had an “The roles just sort of fell in to my lap,” he time. It’s great to have just that. We don’t know when it would be over.” rebooted in 2009 by J.J. Abrams, Koenig says he Online To view a preview of Walter Koenig’s graphic novel, visit www. bluewaterprod. com/comics/ things_to_come. php See ACTOR on PAGE 18 Stories by Adrian Gomez ■ Of the Journal Albuquerque Sci Fi and Horror Expo

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