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Archive for February, 2016

Great Lakes Comic Con

ConmanYou know what? Perhaps I should revisit that New Years resolution to go to fewer conventions this year…it just dosen’t seem to be working out…..

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Maddie and I headed out to Warren Michigan this weekend for Great Lakes Comic Con. I broke a couple of my rules this time around actually, the first one being I don’t like to take the girls out to shows I haven’t checked out ahead of time. I’ve  never been to this one, and it’s a bit of a drive. I broke the same rule last week taking Lydia to the Anime con in Akron I suppose, but that one I had a little more confidence in, where as this one I really didn’t know what I was walking into – still, Maddie is getting older and she’s able to hang out a lot longer at one of these things.  In fact, 12509218_956655251081861_8541598369800817271_nshe made it through entire show! Eight hours is impressive for a 10-year-old…

The second rule that I broke was a big one. In general you never want to wait until the day of the event to try out a new costume. Unfortunately, I had such an enormous  time crunch with Man at Arms that I didn’t have time to really give it a try out.  You see, you want to put the whole thing on at least once, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, or half an hour – you just want to see how it feels, what it’s like going on and coming off, what it does to your peripheral vision, can you sit, how big are you….stuff like that.  I had in fact, tried on all the parts individually, I knew that the undershirt was stiff, and I knew that the breastplate would squeeze my head going through and that my arm would be a little tight on the shoulder pad side. I knew that I’d have to wriggle to get the belt on, but that the elastic would stretch and contract enough to keep at snug. The problem is, I hadn’t done them all together – and that would come back to bite me later.

The outfit was actually surprisingly comfortable, it seems I learn a little bit more each time and make one of these – I had full range of movement, and because of the fingerless gloves, I didn’t lose my fine motor skills. Kneeling was still a challenge but I could run! That was important considering how cold the day was – trips between the car and the convention centre need to be short, especially since Maddie didn’t want to wear her jacket for fear it would cover her She-Ra costume. The suit was warm but not too warm and the helm would make me perspired a bit, but it kept me well insulated during lunch when I had to eat outside (I was too big to fit in the car). The big problem came when I tried to take it off – maathe plate on the arms did just fine when I was slipping them through the openings on the side of the chestpiece, but taking it off those panels would catch and my arms didn’t seem to want to go back through the breastplate! I had already got my head inside I was trying to pull from the neck (the way I commonly get out of these pieces of armour). Suddenly, from outside of the darkness I heard voices…

“Hey dude you do you need help? “.

“Here, let me give you a hand! ”

“Come on guys let’s give him some help over here! ”

Nimble fingers pushed the plating on my arm in so that it would clear the armhole while pairs of hands grabbed the sides of the armor and pulled, helping me slide out. I looked up and found myself surrounded by every wrestler from the WWF in the 80’s. Sergeant Slaughter was there, the junkyard dog, Macho Man and Rowdy Roddy Piper. This was a group of cosplayers who I had seen in the costume contest as a WW F group – partly because Sergeant Slaughter, the real one, was one of the guests. they’re actually run out and got into a wrestling match in front of the crowd that it was hilarious!

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12799367_1059434134119735_7263317978017483882_nThis is really a great example of the goodwill that I saw in between all the cosplayers at great Lakes comic con – it was an incredibly friendly atmosphere, with people chatting to each other exchanging tips and talking about how they built what. When it’s this kind of an atmosphere, this kind of a friendly group – it just makes things so much better. You can see that everybody is here not so much to really compete against each other, but rather to enjoy everybody and enjoy the hobby and just have fun. It makes such a huge difference!

There was a woman dressed in little powder puffs with the sash that read “Tribble Queen” I love that 12790916_1059433870786428_5644422788226367399_noutfit – it was just such a creative and fun idea. I checked out the Lady Predator as well, she had the actual countdown from the movie running on her wrist. It was an app on her phone and she had created a gauntlet on which she could mount it – just brilliant.

I chatted with an amazing Swamp thing. Seriously, look at this outfit for a moment. He created every bit of it. He covered his face with Rice Krispies, then did a life cast which he pulled a latex mold of. He cast the hands and feet. The amount of detail and work here is amazing.

There there was this one person dressed as Shak-Ti from the Star Wars expanded universe. Johnyaya over at Skeletons in Spacesuits talked with her a bit about the costume; The entire headset was shaped foam with thick paint and some sort of 12804769_956656527748400_1717439489798949024_nsealer. I didn’t believe her. She replied “No one does. Touch it.”

Yep. Foam.

To my utter shock they managed to get through 50 contestants in the adult costume contest and did it in 20 minutes! Seriously, I love Akron Comicon, but they could learn a thing from the organization and way they pulled this off!

I think the kids Contest one longer actually, fewer participants and a little bit more opportunity to do stuff for the judges. There are some marvelous kids costumes as well, including a Jedi who had an Ewok friend that she puppeteered as a marionette! That was amazing! The little Hawkgirl  was beautiful and so well done, her father, a golden age Flash was equally impressive.

1936228_1125445324166556_6437906385634554793_nSaturday was a little light on panels, although what they did have was marvelous. Most of the talks were held in a little unmarked room tucked away on the side of the convention center by the snack bar – not a lot of space for people, but they weren’t well attended either… It seems like this is a smaller component at this show, and I understand. I give them props on this, that there was a lot of other stuff going on as well – they had an amazing retro arcade set up in one corner courtesy of Big Toys Arcade. The booth was filled, complete with pinball and about half a dozen video game machines all set on free play. There was one Transformers pinball 12472550_1125445387499883_8366688472007875080_nmachine set to take quarters, with the proceeds going to charity. Very cool, and a great idea. The arcade was possibly Maddie’s favorite thing to do during the day, and we visited it several times. I had a great deal of fun on the X-Files pinball machine, I don’t get to do that as much as I’d like these days and I miss pinball – Maddie was digging some of the arcade machines, especially the multicade cabinet that was running six different games, which ever one you would choose. All cabinets were up for sale and this just seem like a clever way to show them off as well as provide an activity at the convention. While it is normal for Anime Convention is to have game rooms, it’s not quite as common at comic conventions and I love that they’re lifting this idea from 1918202_1125444920833263_8612054924424357029_nthe animation shows.

There were also killer photo ops around the convention center. The 501st legion was there of course, and with them were some droid builders who brought some of thier creations with them. Not just an Artoo, the one you commonly see it is shows – they had several different robots around including trade federation droids and that little weird orange Artoo knock off that we see in the background of a lot of Star War. A Kylo Ren was available for photo ops along with a bevy of storm troopers, and they dominated a corner of the show.

12670917_1125445634166525_9114804807655701011_nTaking up residence in the opposite corner, were the Great Lakes Ghostbusters. Now I’m familiar with the Ohio Ghostbusters, I see these guys a lot on the convention circuit but the Great Lakes Ghostbusters is a chapter that I have not run into before. They have their own Ecto-1, a car which we were delighted to take photos of and in front of. They also had a table full of paraphernalia, game and props, including the new proton packs from the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot. The Ghostbusters arcade game sat all lit up in the back of thier corner, unplayed. Tthat’s kind of a shame, it 12049504_1125448090832946_2670627690277988624_nprobably should’ve gone over in the arcade which was right next door to them…

One of the ghostbusters was wearing a slime blower that actually sprayed soap bubbles – not big ones, but suds. It was hilarious to watch him hose down the kids in the crowd, or occasionally go after one of his ghostbuster brethren. I’ve been thinking about making a Slime Blower myself, and I chatted with them a little bit about the recipe, because I  really loved that it was able to shoot something like this that evaporates immediately but has such a dynamic visual impact!

I wanna know what was up with the armored ghostbuster they had with them that dressed all in black… Dude that was the scariest looking ghostbuster I have ever laid eyes on!

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Further down, past the artist alley into the guest area stood huge oversize Transformers. What I didn’t realize, was that these were actually costumes – at certain times during the con, Optimus Prime would come to life as somebody climbed in him. They also removed the panel from the Grimlock to show the dazzlingly complicated interworkings that would allow it to walk – just amazing.

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12805758_1125445514166537_5394855372985386927_nSadly, Tom Cook had to cancel for health reasons and I was disappointed not to get to meet him – but Jeff Lee, the creator of the video game and character Q-Bert was amazingly friendly and a lot of fun to talk to. He loaded my daughter up with flip books and a print, then he signed my Q Bert Atari 2600 cartridge. He was really excited to talk about Q-Bert’s appearance in Wreck-It Ralph and to my great surprise he ended up being one of the judges for the adult costume contest. He does stunning  paintings, and has had some really fun at pieces done with Q-Bert as the subject – you absolutely need to check him out over his website http://www.jeffreyplee.com/blog/.patb

I brought a stack of books for Pat Brodrick to sign, and while I was there I bought a beautiful print of the Shadow that he had done! This was really exciting, as I’d seen this image before but never owned it. I chatted with him a little bit about what it was like to work on Batman year three – he mentioned he had been really excited to be in on that book and doesn’t understand why they haven’t collected it yet,  I was just talking to do you see the other day about that.” Broderick was charging three dollars a book to sign, which was a little bit disappointing but still more affordable than any celebrity autographs. I’m not liking this trend, but as long as the prices stay down I can weather it.

Larry Hama, who wrote all of the GI Joe 10988509_1125445844166504_2881016920734737081_ncomics for Marvel and picked the series back up just a few years ago had a sign up declaring he would autograph two items for free. I love this – completely reasonable and understandable. I had brought four books (those little G.I. Joe digest size editions that Marvel used to put out with three issues per book – I’ve always had great affection for these) but was utterly content to walk away with only two of them signed. It was great to meet the man who had created so much of what we understand in GI Joe.

Speaking of GI Joe, the main celebrity guest of course was Sergeant Slaughter! 12799074_1125444837499938_1013127326338940623_nHe was a nice and friendly enough guy who genuinely seems to appreciate its fans. I wish you get a different handler though, this guy was the epitome of the bad manager. He was intrusive, a little demanding and just got in the way. Good handlers are invisible, they handle the money and keep the line moving. There is no reason to really be noticeable at all when you’re in an environment like this where there wasn’t a line and nobody was trying to take advantage of the guest. Still, when you look at this picture – it’s the epitome of 80’s cartoons!

Fifty cent bins were plentiful at this show– in fact they were even a couple of 12801492_1125445077499914_8355335032414062425_nbooths with a ton of quarter bins! You’re pressing my deal buttons right now… But then again, this is really what I show up at these events for! Even at Broderick’s table those prints that I bought were half off. We saw wonderful  toys and some beautiful artwork. Maddie found a Pokémon booth and was going nuts! There were items for more expensive tastes as well, I managed to pick up the Walking Dead compendium vol three for my wife, and there are plenty of expensive books and collectables there as well – but let’s face it, I’m there for the deals and actually, I didn’t take nearly as good advantage of it as I should have. I loaded up on a bunch of the Marvel essentials volumes though, these things are running about five dollars each nowadays and 11340_1125446257499796_398901190729059122_nusually have about 20 issues in them – that’s a quarter bin right there in your hand! We found a cute little Wonder Woman necklace for Lydia done in the shape of the pop vynal figures. I almost pulled the trigger on a Bow from She-Ra figure, but the girls aren’t really playing with She-Ra toys as much anymore… Still I’m kind of a regretting not grabbing that guy. There is an amazing booth that was creating sock puppets and Muppets style puppets from recognizable pop culture figures like Deadpool, Spiderman and Superman – these were just incredibly cute. *edit* I searched the vendors list on GLCC’s website to find these guys. The vendor is Ruppets! Seriously, go check them out. The FB page has more pictures than their vendors site, so here’s the link. https://www.facebook.com/ruppits

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I really would have loved to have gotten one, but I’m not doing puppet shows anywhere right now and I just don’t know what I would’ve done with one… Kind of the same reason I didn’t grab that Bow figure or that superpowers Clark Kent – not sure where I would display them, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be playing with them.

10660103_10153275444867391_7580159596375366245_nWe missed most of the “how to create our own comic panel”. I think Maddie was hoping for more of a hands on experience the way the Elyria Comic book initiative presents it. However, we stuck around for the thunder cats panel with Larry  Kenney. This was a real treat to hear him talk about the philosophy of the show and working 12806148_1125445847499837_4460187616574408450_non it. There was a fundamental idea behind the stories. They wanted to show the characters trying to talk things out and reason with their foes before or instead of physically battling them. I’m not sure that I agree with his belief that it was less violent then He-Man or G I Joe, but I certainly understand the point Larry was trying to make. It was really interesting to hear him talk about coming back to ThunderCats for the rebooted series – and that the series was actually getting decent ratings, however it wasn’t getting great toy sales and that’s what ultimately doomed the show. Kinney seems to have some real affection for these characters and is somewhat protective of them – that’s fun to see. It was also enormous fun to hear him do other familiar voices, things like Count Chocula or the Sonny the Cocoa Puffs bird or even the “taste the rainbow” voice that you here at the end of the skittles commercials! 12804798_1125445767499845_2779667666021055949_n

The moderator of this panel was the show runner, who was also present for the costume contests and was very visible in the show. One of the things that attracts me about Great Lakes Comic Con is the fact that it’s run by a fan and it shows. The philosophy feels very similar to that of Akron Comicon, this show is being run for the love of it, not just as an exercise in profit or a giant cash grab like the Wizard World show that was happening at the same time this weekend in Cleveland. Of the two this is definitely the place I wanted to be. We made good time, 2 1/2 half hours out of Cleveland.  It’s still a pretty long drive though. If this event were closer it would absolutely be a regular stop for me. From what I heard, the show grew significantly this year. That’s exciting to hear. I’m eager to see where it goes in the future!

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Maddie asked me what he was supposed to be.

“Is he like a giant Teddy Bear?”

“Yes” was the easiest answer.

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She was a little shy during the costume contest, but happy as a clam when one of the Ghostbuster judges swooped her up so she could parade in front of the crowd!10400287_1125446347499787_3714620540071316386_n10411313_956658534414866_7370638968549350333_n10420328_1125446097499812_2899082767447038868_n10644991_1125445010833254_2722236821253586402_n10612836_1125444907499931_5753672214806792897_n10513312_849521578489892_6216726546550035491_n11694902_10153572943042515_2959572169918089714_n11205062_1125446244166464_6085345060985166235_n12063320_1125447574166331_2100015677492900206_n

The Judges deliberate during the kids contest!12122713_1125445487499873_8290516855479396283_n

“Holy crap…it moves!”12246664_1125444830833272_75028458830170880_n

Iron Van????12472542_1125445124166576_5036809569731145039_n12321669_849521791823204_3316760818611630170_n

Seriously, I love these two…and I want that Leather Flash jacket!12321602_956659187748134_1992690775401266331_n12274666_1125448114166277_8083555185255917190_n12800371_1125448144166274_1731682513047525574_nMaddie protects herself from a Slime Blower attack! I laughed so hard…..

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A baby Mandalorian in teal and pink armor!

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The winners of the adult costume contest! Huge thanks to Skeletons in Spacesuits for getting photos of it…Maddie took video but no pictures!12705646_10208725670287899_5686536943429270498_n12717937_1125446584166430_4974134822818849536_n12718050_849521705156546_5809672716347729283_n12718232_1125447710832984_5139194314190690786_n

I can not begin to express how much I love this costume!12743822_10209492587498217_5409407566451857173_n12729146_1059433740786441_4747849328687298122_n12718244_1125445544166534_5550829543717448249_n12718232_1125447714166317_6950613224122623041_n12778738_228731117475335_9080610882366932561_o12790878_1125446724166416_6588689130933632760_n

I really dig that he referred to himself as “Kidpool”12790910_1125444804166608_8023202754114231875_n12790910_1125445044166584_1614407990023794904_n12794386_1125447454166343_9208648348610974972_n

Cutest Vader EVER! I love that this is handmade.12790989_956655681081818_4941890390331517647_n

The inside of that Grimlock. If I stare hard enough I kind of get the drive system….then it slips away and I just can’t understand what I’m looking at! 12794404_1125447110833044_645528339488125356_n12794522_1125446137499808_1935844097948353111_n

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“I’m going to need that guy’s leg.”12802718_10153277390772391_7416861168368868874_n12802775_956658204414899_3794853567856116485_n12803125_1125445064166582_553793921501351706_n12803157_1125444877499934_5194590635244753846_n12804725_1155413111137987_5451404450090262725_n12804680_1125444997499922_1600392217365687249_n12804617_1059433724119776_9138993419480652819_nRatchet and Clank. The gun lights up with strings of LEDs inside as well as the robot eyes lighting up as well.This was a great take on teh character! Maddie took one look at this guy and told me “He’s going to win the costume contest!”

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Maddie is a big Calvin and Hobbes fan (In great part because of it’s similarities to Gail Simone’s Gus Beezer and Marc Sumerk’s Franklin Richards) and she found this little guy – The sign reads “As close to Hobbes as available!”12804833_1125446857499736_2751253325785658513_n12804832_1125446114166477_8558126486824444150_n12804827_1125446500833105_349176021774683907_n12804827_1125445560833199_3924410212234596275_n12805739_1125447357499686_3174737181693263264_n12805740_849521811823202_3531284435248612773_n12805824_1125445420833213_5452380781439196630_n12806004_1125447504166338_8553673771957869770_n12805987_1125446494166439_9170536187853243156_n

Maddie reading the Marvel Zombies book she got!

12805846_1125446940833061_7794211586003306490_n12805824_1125447627499659_993121058170309479_n12806058_1059434177453064_1348629603394315904_n12806064_1125447000833055_1794881839779652567_n12806113_1125447544166334_6494298363358973400_n12806119_956657714414948_9098797676414388338_n12806252_1059433950786420_1840401943978485224_n12804705_1125444724166616_8688532534413714581_n12717930_1125444600833295_5298634150013276494_n10420341_1125444604166628_2331255460269128153_n12791001_1125444607499961_5263723774754640807_n12799094_10156592228435331_9151864265419887339_n12805678_10156592228825331_865052961888289551_n12794397_1236354386380097_8272462621758966034_n6795_1125449120832843_4854703332162259259_nCan’t forget the swag from the con….

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Great Lakes Comic Con this weekend!

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So this weekend I’m grabbing Maddie and heading out to Great Lakes Comic Con, just as intended.

Well perhaps not JUST as intended…..

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The original plan had been to go as Voltron – following the ’80’s retro theme GLCC has going on this weekend. But when we pulled out Maddie’s She-Ra outfit, a different idea occurred to me. We 12744520_1123110181066737_8076692688754190174_nreally like doing themed costumes and this was the perfect opportunity to pick up a project I had abandoned a while back.

Remember the Iron Man project? Well as soon as I was done with Iron Man I intended to do a Man-At-Arms costume. I got as far as half a boot and then got distracted by something shiny. Three years or so later, I’m getting back to this project. There’s a lot of influence from the 2002 reboot, but a lot of elements from the movie as well (things like the visor on the helmet and the eagle on the shoulder guard) and blending it in with my own touches.
Trying to go a little more detailed than normal, to emphasize the tech feel over the medieval look. Going with gold incited of yellow, silver instead of blue, and toning down the greens into an army olive.

I fully expect to have to repeatedly explain that no, I’m not from Bioshock or World of Warcraft….

I didn’t stop there though. I decided to upgrade Maddie’s She-Ra as well. That Dremel I got for Christmas has really been a game changer, allowing me to go to much greater extremes with the details and I decided to not only do my armor, but create new wristbands and a new belt for Maddie, as well as adding the arm cuffs this outfit has never had. Throw in a bag of jewels from the dollar store and her She-Ra has gone from looking cute, to looking fierce. I’m really excited to see this all put together on her. We’ve also attached a floating Orko – he can move around my shoulder from front to back. He probably won’t come out untill later in the day though – I don’t want to tempt fate with a tear or something worse.

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Still, all in all, I can’t wait! There’s an amazing guest list out there – just see for yourself!

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As for tonight, we’re finishing up that John Hughes retrospective at the Lorain Palace– Sixteen Candles should put me in just the right frame of mind for Great Lakes tomorrow! Hope to see you at the con tomorrow and the movie tonight!

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essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

313


Robin

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My personal definitive way of drawing iconic characters

We did batman last time, so let’s get into the logical next character – Robin!

While Aparo defines my Batman, to me he never seemed to understand the Tim Drake Robin (my favorite). Breyfogal (who is a heavy influence on Batman’s utility belt for me) really gets Tim’s face and hair, but Tom Lyle defines the suit for me.

The muscles are smaller and less defined, but still fit. Again, he’s Lean, just like Batman.

I was sad to see this suit go and never understood why we moved away from spiky hair, for me this is the way I think Robin should look.

Robin pencils robin inked robin color


312

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

312


Ferris Bueller at the palace

Movie bannerMV5BMTg2MTUxODY4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzQ5NzU2OQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_I’m a big proponent of seeing films in the theatre – especially ones that you’ve only ever seen on television. There is a huge difference between seeing something on a 28 inch television screen and watching it on a huge film screen. Even with our higher resolution TVs these days, there is still something different about watching it on a giant theatre projected screen – and the communal experience of consuming the film with a theatre full of people. It’s discovering that people laugh in different places the new, and the feeling of sharing this movie with everyone else there . The Palace was fuller than usual, I think everybody had the same idea that I did – that is, to bring your kids to see this movie. With the PG.13 rating, it’s more accessible than a lot of Hughes’ work and a great primer for his style of film. It’s interesting the things that I can see on the screen that I’ve never noticed before, it’s little things like the print underneath the Simple Minds poster reading “Don’t you forget about me “, a throwback to the Breakfast Club. I’m also beginning to notice that apparently dress code for evil teachers in Illinois high school =is to wear plaid jackets. I’ve never realized that horrible blue suit that Mr. Rooney sports during this film has a plaid pattern on it – I always just thought it was an ugly powder blue.

It’s interesting, I’ve only ever seen this film on TV – I was unaware of how much was cut out of it . It’s not just a bad word here or there, they frequently trim the beginning and end of scenes by 5 to 10 seconds – sometimes more, on my VHS recording of this film (taped off of channel 43 around 1992) it is completely missing the drive into Chicago and a bunch of comments from characters back and forth. Very little of it makes any difference, though it may mess up the pacing a bit – but it’s still interesting to see, it’s kind of that same feeling you get from watching a director cut FerrisBueller_078Pyxurzof a film that you’re really used to,

There is a theory running around the Internet, that Ferris doesn’t exist in this movie – but rather that the film is centered around Cameron and Ferris is a figment of his imagination, his ID if you will, everything that he wishes to be. It’s one of those ideas that sounds dynamite on paper, and I thought I’d walk into the film with this in mind, but it really falls apart if you actually watch the film. It doesn’t explain Sloan at all, unless she too is a figment of his imagination, she certainly isn’t acting as if she is Cameron’s buddy or his girlfriend. To this day, I still think this is Alan Rick’s finest hour – I’ve seen him in a number of other movies but never anything where he really gets to play comedy and chew the scenery like he does in this. In a lot of ways it really is Cameron’s movie.

 

image1sThe older I get, the more I notice that Ferris himself really is a terrible, terrible person. I genuinely wonder what happens to him after this film. You see, watching this I really believe Ferris has never ever faced failure. Oh sure, he complains about the fact that he is younger sister got a car before him (she is definitely younger because he is a senior and she’s not) but that’s not really his failure, and the fact that he feels so entitled to it is a very ugly aspect to his personality .He is brilliant, The enormous amount of planning that went into this day off along with the charisma that he shows in everything he does… he’s brilliant and charismatic – possibly a sociopath – but he’s never failed at anything, and I genuinely wonder what happens to him when he enters the real world where things don’t always go so smoothly. Perhaps I’m overanalysing, but that’s the thing about Hughes movies, they invite this sort of inspection, and I genuinely believe Ferris is not prepared for failure and when it inevitably comes he may find it crippling . Either that, or go all American Psycho on us. Jeannie is no better, she has the same degree of entitlement but is wallowing in bitterness because she lacks Ferris’s social graces and ability to just kind of slide through – her entitlement attitude is all over the place, not just in regards to her brother but in the way she will respond to other people in this film as well – the fact that she is a regular in the principal’s office and the secretary already knows she’s here to complain about somebody today… Yeah this is been going on for awhile. Really the blame could be placed on Ferris’s parents, obviously absentee parents (not getting home until six so Ferris and Jeannie were very likely latchkey kids who is affections are bought but not earned). This is a well off family, and to see that computer and that keyboard back in the 80s? These things are not cheap – I get the impression these kids have been given just about anything they ever asked for, and the end result is not necessarily going to be great. Again, I’m taking things too seriously – it’s a comedy, and comedy is exaggeration – that and tragedy plus time, and man, this film is full of both.

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I don’t want to make it sound like I dislike this film – I don’t even want to make this sound like I dislike Ferris. I find the movie uproariously funny, and I have great affection for it, indeed I think a lot of my love of this film is rooted in the archetype. There’s a lot of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in this movie, just transplanted into 80s suburban Chicago. Ferris is absolutely the charismatic scamp that Tom Sawyer was with the kind of ingenuity and clever shenanigans that makes the adventures of Tom Sawyer my favourite book. It’s at the core of this character. In 2016, very little of what Ferris pulled would be workable. All of that business with the phones and the answering machines would be out of the question today with unless he was able to hack everybody’s cell phone from a distance – not feasible even within the context of the story. Then there is things like showing up on television during the baseball game or standing in the middle of the float – even if Mr. Rooney missed him on the TV, that stuff is forever now – it’s recorded – and you can’t tell me that he wouldn’t have shown up immediately on YouTube after doing those dances on the Float. Some people will look at these kind of problems and say this is why you couldn’t make Ferris Bueller in 2016, but I think you’re wrong because it’s not the specific gags he plays, it’s the fact that he’s a plan so far ahead and managed to implement them.

It’s that kind of fun that really makes me love this film. This is still a high recommend to anyone, and like I said the PG-13 rating makes it a lot easier to show your kids than say, The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink .

The John Hughes retrospective by the way ends this weekend, and I’ll be heading out to the Palace Friday night to catch Sixteen candles – I’ve got a few friends coming this time and I’d love it if you could join me as well!

palace-map


ZipCon

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Kicked con season off with a new show this year- new to me anyhow. ZipCon is an Anime Convention put on by the University of Akron’s Animation Association . usually, I like to check out a show before I take the kids, make sure it’s appropriate and that there is enough action. However an Anime convention is something entirely new to them anyhow. Lydia had asked me recently when the next comic book convention was, and at the time I didn’t have any scheduled. It also just turns out that Maddie had a sleepover and birthday party schedule this weekend so she wouldn’t be home. This was a perfect opportunity for Olivia and me to do a quick daddy daughter day.
I like the fact that this convention was being put on by a college Anime club. This sort of thing tells me that their 1918202_1121157057928716_9065126122852728255_nheart is in the right place, and that they’re not just out to make a quick buck like so many other conventions around. Passion driven conventions always end up being more fun than profit driven ones (not that there’s anything inherantly wrong with proifit driven ones but they have a greater tendancy to devolve into pop culture cash grabs. I’m looking directly at you Wizard World). Still, I should’ve checked it out. I thoroughly underestimated how big a show this was . I could see a respectable amount of programming, and Anime conventions always bring out the cosplayers. Nevertheless, I didn’t expect the kind of crowds we saw. Lydia and I arrived about three hours after the show had begun, Lydia has dancing she’s not going to mess that just for an Anime con. Upon arrival, we found a line that stretched out the doors and took at least 15 minutes for us to make it inside the building to attend registration. It was a fairly rigorous one at that, complete with rules about masks and greasepaint and a release form stating our permission for people to take photos of us (And man, I’m glad we had our forms filled out and in hand already, we skipped ahead in the line a bit because of it). I suppose I understand heightened security, the college has a greater deal more liability then I Convention Centre. I noticed they did a remarkably smart thing with little Lydias admission wristband, they wrote my phone number on it. I like this kind of detail, it’s a really clever way of keeping kids safe. Despite the long wait, I had a good feeling about this place and I wasn’t wrong .

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The University of Akron student union is also where the very first Akron Comecon was held, but that show actually seemed to have a lower attendance than what we encountered at ZipCon. This place was packed wall-to-wall, with everybody wearing costumes and excitement and hustle and bustle were all around. We hit the dealers room first- it’s a good way to get Lydia into the con spirit. there were a few photos along the way, including a great photo up with a quite friendly mega man . Why do I always get into battles with video game characters at these things?

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The dealers room for this particular show was quite small, understandable for a second year and a small school run convention. Still, I think they need to get the word out. There is plenty of foot traffic to support easily twice the number of vendors they had.

The vendors and artisans they had were quality, I found a marvelous minions and Doctor Who mash-up shirt in one booth, and all sorts of handmade crafts and art . Over at the booth for vendor Kopes Kreations, they had a plushie Pinkie Pie that was dressed like Deadpool . Pinky Pool may be my new favorite thing, although it’s a close tie with the plushy bacon that squeaks and smells just like real bacon!

Retrocade Erie had a marvelous video game booth full of vintage systems and cartridges was fascinating to look through . I saw people leaving with a bunch of Super NES cartridges as we were coming into the con, so I hope he was doing good business . I found a Starfleet 12734234_1121159037928518_6076767838669560695_nAcademy game that I never even knew was ported for the Genesis, granted with the 32X attachment but still… I was certain that had only ever come out for super nes!
Lydia found a knit panda plushie and dropped her entire con allowance on that along with some help from me. She named it Pandora. I’m such a proud father.

We hit the make up a panel where the resident artist worked on transforming his willing victim into the Dark Knight Heath Ledger Joker. Lydia sat down in the middle of the aisle in the middle of the room, and he was so nice paying attention to her. He’d come up and show her the materials he was using, scar wax, liquid latex… and 10367179_1121158441261911_11595750150721274_ntrust me, Lydia knows liquid latex already!

I think Lydia’s favourite part of the show may have been the video game room. As soon as we arrived in it, she sat down in front of a classic NES and dove into a game of Metroid. there were turning into going on, but plenty of free play all around. They had made maximum use of this room with probably 20 systems up and running, set up and supplied by Retrocade Erie . In the back of the room, people played Super Smash Bros on a gigantic projected screen . This game in particular fascinated my little Pikachu Lydia and she sat, captivated by the spectacle for ages . I managed to get in a little bit of Shadow the Hedgehog, but the real fun ways playing Batman and Robin with Lydia on a Sega SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESGenesis. The other real treat about checking out the video game room, was the chance to see a PC engine up close and personal. Lydia pick up the controller and started playing a Castlevania clone, and I realized what system it was playing on as she went through the levels . I had a TurboGrafx when I was a teenager, and I loved it . it’s a criminally under rated system that didn’t get the kind of support in the US that it did back in Japan . In Japan it was this tan brown monstrosity we call the PC engine. I read about them but never seen one of close . the controller is pretty much the same as the German graphics other then the colour in the gameplay is real similar.
As we wandered around the convention, we happened upon the tabletop gaming room . Now usually I will pass right by this, because it’s kind of creepy for me to watch over somebody’s shoulder is the play . I’m frequently alone at cons and 12745729_1121159247928497_7154144692197350417_nboard games are just not what I’m there for. But Lydia was interested and immediately found a Pokémon version of Sorry! We sat down and played through the board game . It must’ve been quite the sight, to see the little Pikachu playing a Pokémon game with the giant robot . It’s such a Lydia thing to do though, I think it may have been my favourite part of the day .

I insisted on us getting downstairs to catch at last part of the bands set.  music at the conventions generally tend to be fun. I find it especially fun at shows like this where J-pop and techno and music in general are part of the genre that is being celebrated . 12742708_1121159617928460_495056864903512720_nafter a great performance from Pete Mako and The Boogiemen we were getting a bit wiped and ready to go. The convention goes on for quite a while after our departure time, but I had a film to get to and Lydia had managed to squeeze in a birthday party at the end of the day. Still, I’m really glad we made it out to Zipcon. It’s on my radar now and may well become one of my regular stops on the convention circuit . We took lots of pictures (and also stole a ton from facebook), more than usual in fact. cosplay is a big deal at Anime conventions and even all these photos barely scratched the surface. Take a look below to see for yourself how much fun this show is!

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Zip Con, Ferris Bueller and BEYOND!

A couple of weeks ago Lydia came to me and asked when the next comic convention is. At the time she asked I didn’t have any one the horizon. The kids don’t go with me to Horror Relm and I absolutely loath big cons like Wizard World (with a special 12734063_1119371778107244_5773628232649282471_ndisdain for WW in particular) so I wasn’t going to that one. The Z.E.R.O.S. however, had let me know about an anime con coming up out at Akron university. I miss those kind of shows. Shinboku Con is very dearly missed and the show I was hoping to fill it’s place in my con schedule – Toshokan? Well they cancelled last year too!

As a result, this year I’m planning on hitting Zip Con over at Akron University. So even though the kids don’t really know Anime, when Lyds asked me abut when the next comic con was I told her, that while this isn’t exactly a comic con, she was welcome to come with me to this while Maddie was busy that day with a friend’s birthday party. Lydia excitedly responded “Yes!” then immediately asked if I could make her a Pikachu costume. Maybe she understands what Anime is after all…..

So we’ll be at Zip Con between 1pm and 5pm or so. If you see Mazingar Z wandering around with a little Pokemon, that’s us! Tap me on the shoulder and say hi!

zipcon

After the con, I’ll be rushing home to drop Lydia off and get the paint off my face in time to hit Ferris Bueller at the Lorain Palace. Of all the John Hughes films out there, this is my favorite, it’s an old friend from weekend UHF TV and I would really love to see it on the big screen.

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But that’s not all….

I mean, it would be unfair of me to take Lydia to a con and not Maddie wouldn’t it? So next week, instead of Wizard World, I’ve found an alternative. Great Lakes Comic con comes to Warren, Michigan and we’ll be there! More on that next week!

Greatlakes Comicon


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essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

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The Breakfast Club

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12717507_1116653958379026_7999047181162188251_nI know, how does somebody get to be my age without ever seeing the breakfast club?

The real problem is I’m about six years too young actually – in 1984 I would’ve been about nine, the wrong demographic. Still, it must have been on television when I was growing up, I just don’t know why I’ve never gotten around to it. Fortunately, the guys up at the Lorain Palace managed to fix that for me this weekend. The Palace is doing a John Hughes retrospective this month. I’ve seen Ferris Bueller – it’s an old friend and has always been in my film collection, but much of Hughes is other work has never made it onto my screens.

They began the screening with some trivia – I was unaware that the original plan for this movie was to make it a three film deal – each movie 10 years apart over the span of 20 years. Having seen this one, it really gets me wondering what did happen to these people? There is an ark within the film, but I can see how they would be a far greater arc as these kids age into their 20s and 30s. 12715807_10153396771547218_3864941434920123778_n

Look, I really don’t need to rehash the plot here do I? I’m pretty sure until Saturday, I was the only person in the western hemisphere that hadn’t seen it.

While there are some timeless themes, the movie dates itself. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, the Maltese Falcon dates itself very firmly in the 30s – Happy Days dates itself very firmly in the 50s(well the first few seasons anyhow). The Breakfast Club is a Time Capsule to that era– and even with the problems that we see these kids having, there is an optimism to the film that is extremely 80s. You can see we haven’t hit the post-modern deconstructionist era yet. In fact you can see how this film is one of those kind of stories that very style rebels against. At the end of the film, Ali Sheedy gets prettied up and falls in love with the jock– I personally liked her look far better before Molly Ringwald got ahold of her – am I alone here? In fact Sheedy is my favorite of all the characters in this film. She is fascinating, And turns out a marvelous performance. Hughes

I’m not used to Emilio Estavez in this context – a teenager, a jock. Molly Ringwald on the other hand, is playing exactly who she always plays – Molly Ringwald. It’s fine, and it works. I really want to know more about Judd Nelson’s character though. What is this really the way thugs dressed in the 80s? I seem to remember a lot more leather and longer hair. He sure does convey the appropriate arrogance mixed with a touch of menace.

See, I’m still the wrong demographic for this film – I’m closer in age to the teacher that I am to any other students, and I’m from an era that was far more cynical and used to the antihero rather than the heroic archetype.

The Palace isn’t done yet though, it’s Ferris Bueller this Saturday and next week Sixteen Candles screens on Friday night. Sixteen Candles is another one I’ll be seeing for the very first time and I’ll be seeing it on the big screen. Seriously, come out and join me both nights for these films!

See you there.

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