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Archive for March 14, 2023

Fantasticon 2023

The Joker walked up to Skeletor with an outstretched hand. Skeletor shook hands.
“What’s your name?” The Joker asked.
“So,” The Joker paused.” What’s your deal?”
“I’m here to take over the world!” Skeletor cackled.
The Joker shook his head.
“No, that’s my deal. You’re going to have to get a new deal.”
“What if I take over a DIFFRENT word?” Skeletor asked.

A few steps away, the the UA high teacher just laughed at them both.

I’ve got to say, it’s probably not a great idea for me to do Masters of the Universe characters two years in a row for this convention, but Skeletor had been itching to get back out since October and this is one of those sort of shows that really appreciates those kind of characters. The 40 times that I got stopped (across three hours) for photos is a good testament to that.

Fantasticon  is a frequent if not regular stop for us. But I couldn’t help but notice that the place was packed this year. Last year it was manageable. In prior years, there’s been more than enough room for me to move around… to the point where I’ve actually brought out Lego costumes for the show. Not this year! Skeletor is bulky enough that he still presents a problem though… and like Pinhead last week, wardrobe malfunction seems to be the word of the day. Those huge shoulder pads are always difficult to manage. You have to get the elastic all the way under your armpit for them to set correctly, and even then… there’s a certain sweet spot that you have to get where they’re resting on top of the vest, and where the fringe parts in just the right place To really balance on your forearm. If that’s not difficult enough, as soon as I put on the harness, the lower right hand strap broke. There we are, on the sidewalk by our parked car in downtown Toledo. The temperature has plummeted and the wind is blowing, and this thing has completely broken apart. I ran to the car, grab duct tape and patched it up as best I could. It was just too cold for Maddie and me to really gear up outside, so we stacked up my armor and ran to the convention center. The harness held until we got inside, where it promptly came apart again. now separated from my emergency repair kit, I snatched a safety pin from my mask, and pinned the foam together. I also noticed that my belt felt loose for most of the day. It wasn’t until I did my final check before the costume contest that I discovered the back of the belt where the clips connect had torn. Not all the way through, it was still connected, but it created a gap that left everything terribly loose. At least Skeletor can swagger around with one hand on his belt buckle and still look natural… and it will hold long enough for me to shake a fist in the air…  but still. One problem after another. I’m glad I left the stiff monster feet at home (I’d tangled with those stage stairs before!).

We headed down the comic creators isle. The few actors that they had brought in didn’t really interest me, and are charging too much to meet anyhow. Then again, it seems like the comic creators are also trying to price me out of this game now. Sam De La Rosa is all business, and as I handed over a single issue of Venom he proudly warned me “I charge you know!” I nodded. “That’s why I don’t have any money left over to buy stuff from your table!”

At least Ron Marz was interested in talking a little bit about his time on Green Lantern and how the run came about. The real treat of the day was Geof Isherwood. Not only was he signing for free, he was really happy to talk about his time on Suicide Squad. It’s one of my favorite books, and he was generally engaged.

“It was such an interesting time,” he told me. “The book has shifted into this espionage, spy sort of thing. It was really different.”
He flipped over the next book in the stack which is the cover of Superman Batman and Aquaman searching for the Atom.
“A lot of people actually tell me this is their favorite cover,” he said.
“Really?” I replied, intrigued. It’s a good one, and I definitely wanted a signature on because of the mainstream characters, but he produced so much more interesting work, that I was surprised.
“For me it was one of those moments… I finally get to draw Superman!”

I tried my best to get into a couple of the panels, but it was standing room only, with the crowd spilling out past the panel area and into the aisle. Like I said, it was a crowded day. No less crowded when it came time for the costume contest. Fantasticon brings out really great cosplayers. I saw an amazing Venom that I just had to chat with about his foam method. It had been his first contest, and he ended up placing. I love it when first timers win!

Despite being a reasonably short day – we were probably there for only about 3 hours, it was a pretty exhausting one and Maddie and I were pretty quick to head out after the contest. I made a quick sideline to grab a beautiful Hellraiser print, and check out the lego figures now that I had my mask off! But before too long we were back in the car, And headed to Burger King for ice cream.

Fantastic con remains a good solid show and I almost wonder if they’ve outgrown this venue. Time will tell. We’ll see you next year. I’m almost certain we’ll be back.

Maddie’s review is below, and the scroll further for photos!