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Posts tagged “Argo City Cosplay

Geekfest 2022

Look, I’m as surprised as anyone. I was certain that geek fast was dead. I mean, the plague killed bigger and more powerful conventions than them… And they already missed a year here and there even without those complications. It’s a difficult event for the library to mount, a lot of variables a lot of planning. I really wouldn’t have blamed them for just deciding to sit this one out.

I’ve actually only heard that they were coming back about three weeks ago. Definitely not much more than two weeks before the event itself, and it was so close to Neo Comicon  that I wasn’t sure if we really had it in us to do two back to back shows. Still, it’s a show I like, being one of those more programming driven events. Maddie hadn’t been out to this thing since all the way back in 2016, and she found herself really looking forward to it, another chance to bring out her my hero academia costume and connect with other people. So, Saturday morning, we loaded up the car and headed out.

I was taking a chance bringing out my Borg costume for this one… Star Trek is passé these days, and Star Wars is real the real attention is at. Still, I was pleased to discover I wasn’t the only person and track garb there. This event draws a lot of boomers and Xers, with children that they’ve raised on Star Trek. I was surprised at how often I was recognized, not only by adults, but by teenagers! Around the corner at one point and one of the vendors piped up “now there is the scariest summer of my life!“. He was of course referring to the Star Trek next generation cliffhanger “the best of both worlds“. I nodded. “It’s funny, but of all the two-parter is they did after that, they never quite managed to get you to those same stakes.“ The vendor agreed. “During that third season,“ he told me. “They’ve gotten into the habit of always resolving everything within the last five minutes… But we got closer and closer to the end of this episode, 10 minutes, five minutes, three minutes, and I found myself wondering how tehy were going to wrap this up. I spent all summer nervous and wondering what was going to happen when the show came back.“. I remember that summer too. I mentioned to him that I was certain that Captain Picard wasn’t coming back to the show, that he’d be taken off with these bad guys, and that Patrick Stewart would basically go off and go back to Shakespeare while Commander Riker would take command of the enterprise for the remainder of the series pack. It was fun chatting with somebody about this and reminiscing about the days when Star Trek was genuinely good and had such cultural relevance.  As I wandered around, I made sure to menace the other people in Star Trek costumes, and was surprised to how many there were… In fact, I wasn’t even the only one carrying around a triple! There was a great looking doctor crusher with a triple in her jacket pocket. It seem to be behaving better than mine, considering I couldn’t get mine to sit on my shoulder the way it’s supposed to. I managed to get it attached just before pre-judging for the costume contest and about 20 minutes before I had to walk on stage for the main competition. That’s really my main goal, to have him ride out on my shoulder so that I can remove him and display him to the audience. I’ve gotta remember to use a better magnet the next time though.

That pre-judging was a problem. One of the main events that Maddie and I were looking forward to was a screening of Howls moving castle. The Akron Summit public library has a massive auditorium with a large screen… Just about movie size, so they get to see this on the big screen is a real treat. However, the movie was screening from Eleven to One, and pre-judging was at noon! It didn’t help that Maddie and I were a little late getting in as well, so we probably missed about 20% of the movie, but we did get to watch was every bit as good as we remember, and incredibly fun to watch on a proper screen with a good sound system.

Costumes were in abundance, despite the fact that the costume contests itself was a little lightly populated. Queen Anna Boleyn shuffled through the doors as I was making my way out for a swag dump, she waved a wand at me to vanish the evil machinery! She would occasionally come up to me throughout the convention with a screwdriver adjusting my mechanics. Another running joke was the way that R2 D2 seem to keep running into me. The R2-D2 builders club had a table downstairs with the 501st Legion, creating of nice Star Wars presence there. But occasionally the droid would roll his way upstairs and mingle with the rest of the people. It would see me and Emmett allowed high pitch scream, as I’d come over and scan it and examine it for the edification of the crowd. At times I almost felt like a little droid was following me!

I’ll say this, not only did Geekfest return, they veritably exploded. It’s bigger than I’ve ever seen it before, with them really pulling out all the stops. I remember the days when this show was basically maybe a half dozen tables up by the auditorium, mostly library personnel making buttons and playing games with the kids, one panel room and maybe some improv going on in the main auditorium. This time around they utilized all four floors. Star Wars characters on the ground floor along with a cosplay repair station… I can’t even tell you how amazing that was! When fingers started popping off my glove, I was grateful to be able to use their hot glue gun to put myself back together. Also video game rooms downstairs with retro video games and custom ones made by one of the guests. Another floor had board games… Some of them giant size. A couple tables in the middle were reserved for first timers playing dungeons and dragons. Another floor gave you a chance to explore strange history, along with a table of comics to give away. The vendors and artists were spread out as well. Instead of a handful of tables… A group of vendors that are slowly growing more and more numerous over the years, you could now find artists and vendors scattered throughout the library. There are tables around the length of the entrance, and then spread down below the atrium, and then even more nestled in between the bookshelves and rose and valleys of the library. It’s a fascinating set up, and the library actually went out of its way to draw attention to them by issuing kids a “passport“ where they can get stickers from each booth… Trying to collect them all, and thereby visit all of the guests. This is all in addition to the art show that was going on on the ground floor, one that you could vote  in for People’s choice award… And constant panels and games going on in the two conference rooms in the atrium. Indeed, the overlap was so great, that we always seem to be running from event to event, particularly towards the end when we were coming out for the costume contest lineup. Maddie was none too pleased to have to leave her panel to get in line. “They were going to give away BOOKS at the end!” She lamented.

Still, despite all the challenges, as we drove home, Maddie and I agreed this may just have been the best convention we went to this year. Being so program driven just makes for a far more entertaining experience, and is exactly the sort of thing that will keep Maddie (who’s convention attention span is usually about 2 to 3 hours) completely occupied for over five hours. It’s also a great place to make new friends, something that kiddo is discovering and taking full advantage of.

Here’s the thing, the festival bills itself as a mini comicon? I don’t think so. There’s things I’m much fuller convention experience than a lot of the ones that we pay much more money to get into. It’s also become one of our favorites, and will be back next year.

 


NEO Comicon 2022

It’s summertime, and con season is in full swing. The end of July is always reserved for NEO ComiCon… Also known as “the closest comic convention to my house”. We usually go to the early service at church on these weeks and then hit this show afterwards, they’ll open the doors at 10, and we’ll be able to get there before 11 that way… Literally 10 minutes down the street.

NEO ComiCon was of course one of those that had to close due to the plague, but they came back last year… Sort of. Well we’re happy to see the show back, last year and this year included no programming. No panels, no costume contest, no talks at all really. And the comic creators that were present, they’re all local guys. No that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the Cleveland area has a lots of great local artists, some true elder statesman from DC like Tony Wsabella and Mike W Barr… but I’m missing the days where NEO was bringing in people like Phil Hester from the Green Hornet, or Tom Mandrake, the artist from Ostrander Spectre run… people that I’ve never gotten to meet before, and who would do a panel or two to describe their time in the industry. I missed the fight demonstrations that the stunt people would do… I miss all of this kind of stuff, because that’s what really makes a comic con for me. Right now, NEO ComiCon feels a lot like a gigantic Harper show… A huge flea market… But what a flea market!

Spanning the course of two soccer fields, NEO ComiCon is still a massive marketplace, and one that welcomes in cosplayers and fanboys of all types. My McMandalorian is not a competition level suits, so it seemed a perfect event to bring out… Especially since it hasn’t gotten that much floor time since I created it last year. Maddie on the other hand was bringing out her my hero character Todoroki again… Basically we were a carbon copy of the pair that we were for Mahoning Comic Con a few weeks ago.

There’s a much bigger and diverse crowd here. Maddie ran into a ton more people from my hero academia, and a lot more recognized her costume as well. For my part, I was content to just be looking silly, and hanging out with friends. My buddy Josh had brought out his Mandopool costume… There’s actually a full Deadpool mask on underneath that helmet. We compared our Baby Yodas and just had fun freaking out the people around us.

Speaking of freaking out, I’m always pleased to see how much horror these things draw… A girl in a Chucky outfit, a Pennywise floating down the aisle, Jason stocking the corners… All of this stuff is fun. It also speaks to just how varied a crowd NEO ComiCon draws.

It’s not to say that the day went off without a hitch. The shuttle bus from the convention center to the parking lot went MIA for a good half hour… It was bizarre. They were some hot tempers in the crowd as well, be reading the Neo representative who is coming out to keep us updated. To his credit, Ed handled it very well, and definitely didn’t deserve the abuse he was getting.

There is also a very strange moment… I was chatting up a young woman and talking about foamsmithing, admiring her armor and shield, while she asked questions about my clown shoes. Then, a sketchy gentleman dressed in black came up to us to pitch Akron comicon…

“I know you’re coming!“ He said to me “I’m sure I’ve seen you there before!“

I was polite and didn’t question it. But it was a strange pitch… And afterwords, Lady Red asked me “what do you make that guy?“ Unseen behind my helmet, ice smiled sadly with a small sigh. “Huckster.“. And proceeded to explain to her why I don’t go to Akron comicon anymore (A combination of them moving it out of Akron and into a strange converted grocery store that they have an interest in… To the way they stiffed the old owner on the payment when he sold them the convention, to the way they named checked a customer that they were having an argument with and name the new rule after him on a live stream… It was all in poor taste, and Akron just isn’t the same show anymore.)

Still, all in all good day, a little exhausting, but great fun. I hit Comic’s Are Go’s dollar bins pretty hard, and found a custom Lego booth selling minifigs for $3 (as opposed to the $5 booth on the other side of the con) which I plundered. (I still regret not grabbing more marvel zombies). We played plinko at the TV station’s table and Maddie won a backpack and I got a great poster with HandI’s comic heroes on it. I even found tons of cheap horror movies (again – I regret not going back to that quarter bin after I broke that $20 bill) and Maddie found stickers and some Hunger Games trading cards that just fascinated her! We took tons of fun pictures -not quite as many setups as I’ve been seeing at other shows, but  I got to say, that 501’s wanted booth – good stuff there.

I spoke to Sean, the founder of the show, and he assures me the costume contest will be back next year, I’m hoping that the panels and more programming will be back with it. The show needs that… It’s the sort of thing that made it the best successor to Akron comicon I could possibly have asked for. 

Scroll down for the link to Maddie‘s review, and dozens of photos past that.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usblATXW4Vs



 

 

 

 

 


Hazard Con 2022

Maddie and I were so excited to get back to Hazard Con. We only just discovered it before the plague, and that totally shut down our return visit. In our one trip out though, the show it made a big impression with good panels, interesting guests, a beautiful arcade, and a tiny but surprisingly diverse and effective dealers room. We liked Hazard Con. Maddie and I were already to go with our Promised Neverland costumes, breaking both of these out for the very first time. Maddie was dressed as Isabella, the mother figure from the series, and I had crafted a demon that only appears in the Mangas, Arch Duke Leuvis. 

As we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed things seemed a bit empty. It was enough for us to almost wonder if it was the right day. I double checked the website and we were definitely in the right place at the right time. Our fears were abated when I saw a couple of other anime kids pull in, jump out of the cars and start to prep their costumes. I handed Maddie the admission money because I have Tentacles rather than hands in that costume, and in we went.

Then they stopped Maddie at the registration table and informed her she would be required wear a mask.

I’ve got a bone to pick here. Because I’ve been watching to see what the rules were. No where on Hazard Con’s website is there any mention of a mask requirement. Nor is there one anywhere on the hotels site. I double checked Pennsylvania’s website. As far as I could see, there was no mandate for masks in all enclosed spaces, though there’s some government offices were still requiring them themselves. I never found an announcement until well after the convention,  after searching for a Facebook account that I didn’t know existed, and digging through past posts. This isn’t really an argument or discussion about whether or not it’s necessary or helpful to mask somebody who has been fully vaccinated and has already had Covid (in that order btw). My beef is that we didn’t know going in and that it wasn’t made clear enough in enough ways. Being on the border, Hazard Con must surely know they’re getting attendees from out of state. Every anime convention I know of does. Ohio’s laws and rules aren’t always the same as PA and that gives them a responsibility to do better.

Then something happened. Maddie impressed me. She decided that she was going to try and have a good day anyhow. Her wig kept slipping, and giving her problems. So she decided to ditch it and just be an original character… (The photo with K-9 in fact, gives me serious Romana vibes.)… perhaps some kind of character that would justify the mask… In fact, we went back to the car, ditched the one that the con had given us in favor of a sleaker black one. We found the arcade and got her on the drum game and her spirits began to lift. We stumbled upon the Guilty Pleasure panel and blew her mind with some new finds. She snatched the volume of Assassination Classroom I had just purchased and started to flip through it, and by the time we hit the Japanese art panel she was having the time of her life again.

I discovered that the mask I was wearing needs some work. I need to create some extra space for my nose, because it was getting smashed down and by the time we were about 2/3 and I couldn’t stand it any longer. Now the fun thing is, Archduke Leuvis is really just a repurpose of my Shadow costume… It’s got extra belts and accessories, but the red neck gaiter was still in the pocket along with my ring. So I detached the mask from the hat, pulled up the red scarf and removed the belts, heading back into the convention.

“A mysterious stranger has entered the room!“ One of the anime girls said in a video game voice as she spied me. This was fun. But I was astonished when I headed over to the game room to find Maddie. No sooner had I entered the arcade then I saw the Riddler walking towards me with a quizzical look on his face.

“The Shadow?“

Because the lower half of my face was covered, he probably couldn’t see my jaw drop. I don’t know what was more surprising, getting recognized in this costume or getting recognized as the demon from the Promised Neverland.

I ducked out of the art panel a little bit early. Despite being fascinating (I got Maddie to catch me up later) It was also scheduled in the middle of signing hours for Barry Yandell. Barry is a personal guy, and happy to chat a bit. Of course, I don’t know most of what he’s done. I probably should watch Black Butler at some point, but I’ve definitely never gotten there. Still, he was participating in Sunday sales with a lot of the other vendors, so even autographs were marked down! I got a nice 5 x 8 with a bunch of his characters displayed signed for $10. Those of you who know me, no I’ve been complaining about autograph prices going crazy for the last two years. I love something like this.

Maddie grabbed a blind box and some pins, I found a few buttons I wanted myself as well, along with a nice glittery skull pen. But the real thing I was there for was Japanese candy and chips and all the curious kind of things you just can’t buy in the US. I love seeing these kind of vendors, and I loaded up. It almost makes me wish I’ve been in a Koro Sensei costume instead. We played more games, as including a claw game that was set up by one of the booths and went over some of the more fascinating wears. Vintage video games, anime music, dolls and keychains and plushies. We went through all the dig bins, and grabbed stuff out of the secondary dealers room… This year’s anime flea market. With the flea market you’ve got to be ready to buy immediately. Seriously, stuff flies out of there quick, and tables increasingly vanish as the day goes on. They’re scheduled all the way until 3:30 or so, but honestly, if you get there around 1:30 or 2, pretty much everything is gone. I was still able to score some cheap mangas, but am still kicking myself for missing that Supergirl trade that just slipped through my fingers while I was checking out another booth!

Hazard Con was not the day we expected. The price, even for just Sunday has increased by 25%. The content however, seems to have decreased. Fewer panels and no anime screenings which I find REALLY weird. One of the entire reasons you go to a con is for screenings – a good way to test out anime you’ve never seen before and share the experience with others. But we had a good day nevertheless. It’s another one of those where it’s just the right size that I wish it was closer to home, although to be fair, two hours is not a terribly arduous journey. We’ll keep our eye on them next year, and perhaps ask more questions going in. There’s still a distinct possibility that we’ll be back.

 

 

 

 


Free Comic Book Day 2022

Free comic book Day was this weekend. It’s a little different these days since the pandemic, and those of us in Cleveland very much miss the midnight release party that Carol and John’s used to throw. It looks like that may be gone for good, it’s a hard event for the staff to do, and John’s literally said flat out he doesn’t know if he’s bringing it back. On the other hand, he’s shifted more towards trying to bring in a high profile guest every year. Last year was Chris Claremont, and this year of course was Jim Shooter. I have a great and abiding respect her Jim Shooter, despite what many, professionals say behind his back. He created the valiant universe which brought me Shadow Man… One of my all-time top favorite characters ever. The man was a prodigy, writing  Legion of superheroes as a teenager, and shepherded marvel into the 80s, finally establishing royalties for creators, and trying to make comics more familiar. He also created one of the first high profile company wide crossover events in Secret Wars… Which is what Carol and Johns were celebrating this year, complete with mock ups of the cover that you could pose in front of.

But before we hit them, we stopped by Comics Are Go… a shop closer to my home, and the other one of my regular comic shops. These are the same guys who throw NEO comic con every year, and hitting both shops would assure that Maddie and I both got the books that we were looking for, as well as a couple of duplicates to give away to kids we know. Maddie was eager to break out her new female Iron Man cosplay – one we’ve dubbed “Toni Stark” It’s a simple, casual one, with just one gauntlet and the arc reactor, as well as a wig and E.D.I.T.H. glasses.

Comics Are Go is a little bit more subdued of a environment, focusing on local artists and not so much on cosplay. Still, they’re friendly and this is a great way to get people into that shop. It’s a hole in the wall, and the more people who know about it the better.

Over at Carol and John’s, this year‘s mural was being painted upfront, while we headed into the side room to grab comics and look over the various artists wares. I pulled out my venom costume again. This was a nice little find right around the end of Halloween last year… Four dollars and it came with a mask. It’s about a half size too small,… A little tight and doesn’t want to close correctly in the back, but otherwise looks fairly good. I ended up doing a new mask for it using the plastic shell the costumes mask had come packaged in. A little bit of spray paint and some marker letting the paint just drip over the clear plastic. It gives an altogether uncomfortable look and makes it a bit more terrifying of a venom. I only scared one child… That’s a good thing. But one little boy did see me coming and just started backing up behind his father going “nope, nope, nope!“

All in all, it was a fun day. Maddie found buttons and stickers she wanted for her school bag and folders. We hit the ice cream store around the corner from Carol and John’s – they were offering an “Infinity Gauntlet” flavor with multi colors and rock candy on top. I found some interesting comics, including a deadpooh issue from one of the artists over at Comics Are Go. It’s amazing. We were in and out in just a few hours, but a nice chance to catch up with friends and get back into the scene a little.

 

 


Mr Freeze and the Suicide Squad

Costume

Mr. Freeze wasn’t actually in the Squad, but he could be – Captain Cold did at least one mission and it’s the only way I could justify this really strange line-up!
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Mr Freeze and the Gotham gang

Costume

I pulled out my Mr. Freeze outfit and did some minor repairs, then realized I couldn’t find my freeze gun. A whole new freeze gun became a part of these upgrades!
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Iron Sapphire redux

Costume

Out of nowhere, Maddie asked me to redo her Iron Sapphire armor! I’ve always been leased with it, but we had to completely remake the midplate expand the legs because she’s grown so much since the last time she wore it!

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Mr. Freeze vs Wonder Woman

Costume

I actually ended up doing two versions of this – the first one among the ruins didn’t really thrill me. WW kept blending into the rocks. The blue and red background may be simpler, but it really pops a lot more.

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Fall Zombie Walk 2021

Let me just say, Carol Baskin and the Tiger King were definitely the peak of our day.

I’ve been going to the zombie walk in Lakewood for ages now. Ryan got up and announced that it was the 14th one, seven years… But I’ve got photos that prove it’s been going on longer, just under a different name and management. Nevertheless, the thing I noticed this year, was a lot more children. October is always a little bit light, because the hunters already have gigs that they are committed to. We usually see more in April, but both Madeline and I commented to each other on just how many kids were running around, playing, bonking people in the head with plushy bats, and playing catch with the odd grenade. It’s a glorious time, and nice to catch up with friends like Ryan and Rhonda.

Madeline got to break out her Clementine for the third time this year, and she was thrilled. There weren’t a lot of survivors this year, so she was delighted to be one of the few humans participating in the walk. I decided to go half-hearted, and bust out my Starro mask on top of a Gotham city police detective outfit – I got the badge for my birthday! Nice subtle way to celebrate Batman day at the same time.

I do still enjoy these events, and I’m far more curious to see what April brings. Attendance has been dwindling over the years, but with a good 70 people are still in attendance this time around it’s still gives me hope. We love being able to serve the community this way, and all donations go to the greater Cleveland Food Bank. Will be back at the bar in April, and you should totally come out and join us!


Lorain Comic and toy expo – part two!

 

We hit this show back in April, and even then, they mentioned they hoped they’d be back soon.  Well, the show returned this weekend! Still a small con, so instead of me telling you about it, I’m going to let Maddie tell you all about it!


https://youtu.be/J8XQvd0IYzU 

 


Freddy Kruger

Costume

I redo my Freddy from time to time – Latex doesn’t last that long. one of my favorite elements to this version was the chest of souls exposed!

 

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Steel City August 2021

I wasn’t really feeling it this weekend. I honestly wasn’t in the mood for a long drive to Pennsylvania, and my map completely turned me around and added both time and mileage. Still, I was really just coming in to grab a few Elm Street victims, almost everybody I needed to complete my scrapbook.

Brooke Theiss and Toy Newkirk were both supposed to have come to steel city con last year, but the plague shut everything down. Even now, there’s still a certain degree of trepidation and both arrived this time, but masked. It certainly put a damper on things, and I declined photos with them. Still, Toy had some interesting photos with her. Her mother had been on set when she was doing make up tests and getting her lifecast and and taking dozens of photos that she never knew about. She only discovered them a couple of years ago, and had a really interesting collection that gave her a good excuse to talk about the whole process there.

I was particular excited for Breckin Meyer though. I enjoy him in a variety of things, not the least of which are the Garfield movies. I have an unreasonable lot for these. But he’s also fun and stuff with the robot chicken crew and things like rat race. One of his early performances was in Freddys dead… He looks completely different and his voice and dropped yet. It was always strange to see him, and I assumed you with one of the guys I was never going to get in person. It was a great deal of fun to head up and chat with him and get my photo signed. I pulled down my mask and headed in.

“Gahhhhh!” Meyer exclaimed as he jumped back startled. I pulled up the Freddy hockey mask I was wearing, as we laughed over it.
“That is so %$#@&* cool!“ breathed Meyer. “So thanks for coming out and terrifying me today! “

I noticed Tom Arnold didn’t have any line so I decided to run over and see him too. He’s one I’ve been debating on, he doesn’t really get killed by Friday, but he does have a look at cameo in the film and some genuine achievements in his filmography.

Costumes were out in full force as Sunday is the costume contest for the show… The place had violently erupted in anime characters. But there is also a stunning Mothra floating through the place, as well as some interesting bits and pieces… A brilliant J Jonah Jamison and a dead on Hulk Hogan. For my part, I was phoning it in – my freddy/jason top, along with a Hockey mask I had done up in a Freddy theme. It was actually king of fun – people (especially the crafters in the artist alley) kept asking where I had gotten the mask, and I got to walk them through the process of making them!

I ended up sticking around a little bit longer than I had expected because I kept running into friends who wanted to hang out… Some of which I haven’t seen since before the plague started. It made for a longer day, and by the time I left I was wiped. I still insist that steel city is not going to be a regular stop on my route. For the most part I’m trying to avoid the big meat market autograph shows, but it’s nice to know its there, just within reach to sneak out to. Maybe next time I’ll slip over to Evans cemetery on the way home.

 

 


Star Lord

Costume

Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy has become one of my go-to costumes for comfortable cosplay. Simple stuff, muscle pants, t-shirt and the jacket with baby Groot on my shoulder. (Rocket Racoon puppet optional)

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NEO Comiccon 2021

So, it would be accurate to say that there were no quarter bins of comics this year at Neo comicon. It would be accurate to say that. It would NOT however, be accurate to say if there were no quarter bins at all…

We hit Neo comicon lite just as soon as the doors opened this weekend. We had another appointment on the east side of Cleveland so we were going to be very limited in our time here and knew we’d have to be judicious in our browsing. Still, in the two hours we were there, I can’t see me or Maddie having lasted much longer than that.  It’s a small show this year. No programming, no costume contest, no out of town guests. We’re easing back into conventions. Still, it was nice to see old faces and the new acquaintances. One of my buddies from Heroes United ran up to me shook my hand while another just flat out embraced me. He mentioned that he forgot to bring my Flash box set that Chris has… I was confused.

“Wait, I loaned that to Rocky!”
“Yes,” he replied and “Rocky loaded to Chris. And then Chris passed it on to me since I do more Heroes United events than he does these days! But I totally forgot today…”

I love this stuff, it’s nice to be back on the convention circuit.

I caught up with Josh and Steph and Jennifer as well, who I just seen the previous night at our birthday parties… (We did all the July birthdays together at a new restaurant in Cleveland). I haven’t seen Jen in costume in a long time, and that’s kind of cool. Josh on the other hand has pushed Deadpool to a new ridiculous level. He’s got a Deadpool version of the Mandalorian, complete with a baby carrier for the child… Except the child is Detective Pikachu. Also for no reason, there’s an alligator Loki involved in this costume. It’s glorious.
Despite the lack of a costume contest, Cosplays were in full force here. Maddie decided to pull out her Clementine outfit from The Walking Dead again. Both of us were looking for quick and easy costumes that we could get around with no problems in, stuff that wouldn’t get us stopped for photos frequently, although to be fair, Maddie got recognized repeatedly as her character. In fact she was recognized just as often as my Shadow was. Always gratifying. It makes her day, especially considering we’re both showing Up in outfits that (as one of her favorite tik-toker‘s says )
“there is absolutely no demand for this character!”

Maddie bought a sketch from one artist booth that she instantly fell in love with, and immediately dropped her entire convention allowance (and then some of her own money) on it. I love that my kids buy art. I know I’ve said that before, but they still do it and it’s consistent. The fact that they support local artists is one of the things that just makes me proud as a dad. She also grabbed some hero clix with me and then stared longingly at a lot of the Pokémon stuff!

Remember when I said there were no Quarter comic bins? I’m not lying. There were only dollar bins.  Sure, I dug through some of the dollar bins and found a few interesting bits and pieces, but what I really hit hard, were the toys. We found about half a dozen long boxes filled with hero clix, a quarter each or five for a dollar. I dropped five dollars. That doesn’t sound like much, but it sure does look like a whole ton when you have an arm load. Some were OP prizes or FCBD specials that nobody actually carries, as well as dozens of characters that we really like and wanted to play with. I got a new penguin and I got a rocket raccoon, I even got a gladiator hulk! Superman and wonder woman and Batman, or the one I thought was a USAgent that was actually the captain… Steve Rogers while he was in exile. Great figures, and it almost makes me wanna play again!

But the single purchase that I was the most excited for…..

I actually just bought a couple of comics from this vendor, then went around the corner and spied a small box of twenty five cent toys. When I looked in, there were tons of old Star Trek micromachines. I love the Star Trek micromachine series. I grew up reading ads for the FASA wargame miniatures, and these things one for $10 for each ship in the 80s. When this series of Micro Machine starships came out, these were five dollars for three of them. I bought most of them when they ere first on sale about twenty five years ago. In the bin I saw a deep space nine that I immediately grabbed, because The one that I bought years ago, had actually lost a pylon. Snapped right off. Replacing it for a quarter was a treat. a new borg ship, a Klingon D7, and then I looked down and I saw it. It was a saucer. I almost thought it was Miranda class… Maybe the reliant itself but it was completely round, and the lines were sharper… And I saw the registry. NCC-1701-A. My jaw dropped and I frantically dug through the rest of the bin. The saucer section, the primary hull, had broken off of this figure… I dug desprately. Finally, in the corner of the box I found the secondary hall, the body of the ship with the engines…

I see the look on your face. I realize you don’t understand.

I came into Star Trek during the movie era. Not necessarily the wilderness period, but definitely before Star Trek the next generation. For me, Star Trek is the DC comics written by Peter David and Mike W Barr. It’s the maroon wrap around tunics, and the white starship with the blue dish on the front. It’s my single favorite ship in all of Star Trek. But micro machines, in their infinite wisdom, only ever released this ship as part of a large set that I could not afford at the time. Besides, that set had every ship that I’ve already bought in it…

I have always wanted this starship and I don’t care if this one’s broken, I have superglue at home. And at $.25 been this was the single most exciting discovery I had all day. Serious biz, I can’t even tell you how happy this find made me.

So amused that I still hit 25 cent  bins as hard as ever, but today it was all about toys, rather than comics. Nevertheless. I came home with some new reading material, a lot of toys to play hero clicks with my kids, and some really fun memories of what is generally the best comic convention in the area. I’m hoping they’re back to full speed next year.
 
 
 
 

 


Akron Canton Comic Con 2021

The plague doctor lowered her mask and began the arduous track through the crowded isles, teaming with people. She stopped short at the large, dark monster. It’s normal to flash was covered mostly in Scarlett ropes, and she evaluating the spectrum. Then, she selected a small white bag from the top of her staff, and on the sachet of lavender on one of the hooks that made up the spiraling talisman that adorned the top of the Skeksis walking stick. Next to him, a young Gelfling, chained to the monster, just looked on, puzzled and petting her Fizzgig.

That’s right, Maddie was coming with me this year – kind of a necessity since I had no hands and needed someone capapble of handing over money for admission and spaying vendors and stuff.

Akron Canton Comic con has been a regular stop now for a few years. It is one of the best of the Harper shows in the area, not just because of the costume contest that draws cosplayers from all around the area, but also the smart and interesting layout in the larger venue. The artist alley lines the upper level, and continues just by the stairs of the lower area. It means you’re going to have to pass through the artists before you hit the dealers. It’s a nice way of getting them better exposure. The venue also most cinnamon press the snack bar, selling two dollar sloppy Joe’s and hotdogs pop and ice and whatever you need. There’s tables and chairs and open spaces in the upper level for people to eat and hang out out, making this one of the more surprisingly social show.

Social can sometimes be the point. There are certain people in that area like Allie or Jason, that I’m only going to run into at these particular events. And for a lot of people, this was their first time back into the convention world in over a year. I was delighted and relieved to run into Mike, the  founder of Akron Comicon, working a booth. He had his own bout with the plague, and this afternoon he actually looked in better health and more positive and spry than I’d seen him, even before the calamity. My teenage daughter was accompanying me, and he actually recognized her first. Not a big surprise, considering my features were completely buried under the full body costume.

In other corners of the show, we ran into a couple that was walking around in Robotech costumes. Never my thing when I was a kid, but my friend Johnny Em turned me onto it by slipping me the novels when I was in my 20s. It’s an amazing series, and fun to see people dressing up with it. I don’t get a chance to talk about it that often. The fellow then reached behind him, into his backpack and pulled out his problem. It was a plate, with what appeared to be a steak and potatoes on it… And I knew immediately which character he was cosplaying. There’s a scene in the middle of the Macross saga, where pilot Ben is just sitting down to dinner. Suddenly the alarm klaxon goes off and he hast to rush off to his veritech plane. He turns back to his dinner, and points at it saying, “Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be back.”
The heartbreaking irony here, is he never does make it back. Something you don’t realize at the moment… It’s just a funny line that becomes heartbreaking a few chapters later. A little touch like this on the prop, it just takes the costume to a whole new meta level. 

Maddie found an Avatar poster from one of the artists in Artist Alley, and absolutely fell in love with it. Was one of the first things that she bought, and it’s one of those things that I always enjoy seeing my kids buying art from the vendors, not just toys or books. For my part I hit the 50 Cent bins at Hazel’s Heroes pretty hard, flipping through them, even while in the Skeksis costume. Of course, that meant that when it was time for the costume contest, I had to find a way to hide the bag in my robes. I pushed it up as far as I could into the crook of my elbow and tried to keep that elbow almost past my back, with the bag then melting into the folds of the cloak. Perhaps I should’ve been focusing less on that, because once we got on stage, the sachet from the plague doctor fell off my staff. I reach down to grab it with my Skeksis hand, and a finger fell off. It was a disaster, the costume was falling apart before our very eyes! Everybody smiled and laughed and whore, and Maddie shuffled me quickly off the stage.

After I’d gotten out of the costume, it was back to the floor, where I could better see into the long boxes. I grabbed another stack of trade paperbacks and chatted with some of the people who could now recognize me. There was a Deadpool in a sailor moon costume who you may have recall seeing him at ZipCon back in 2020. (We leared he went by Dead Moon, rather than the SailorPool moniker I’d hung on him last year) He looked at me, aghast.

“THAT’S what you really look like?”
“Look who’s talking!” I laughed. And it was nice being able to chat with people, friends old and new face-to-face.

It had been a long day, and a crowded one. From a purely spectator standpoint, the show seemed like it was more crowded than usual, a phenomenon I’m in countering at every convention I go to this year. We ended up having to park two lots away and walked down to before we got into the show. That’s OK, I’m happy to see that the scene is making some sort of a comeback. We ended the day tired, but happy. And can’t wait to go out and do it again.

If you’re interested in seeing Maddie’s video diary of the event, you can check that out below. Otherwise jump to the pictures!

 

 

 

 


Tracy vs Jason!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

Sadly, there’s no way this ends well…

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Slimer vs Captain Marvel!

Costume

A large full body suit made mostly of expanding foam, Slimer is an old favorite. You can almost see how Captain Marvel might mistake him for a Skrull….

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Tracy vs Slimer!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

Tracy is one of two Ghostbuster suits I own, the other is my full body Slimer, and I love pairing the two up in pics!

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Tracy as Iron Man!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

Tracy learned his lesson from his tussle with Iron Man on Asguard, and went to build his own armor!

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Tracy Vs Aliens!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

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Tracy Vs Star Trek!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

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Tracy the Ghostbuster

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

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Voltron Redux part two

Costume

I went and upgraded my Voltron costume a while back adding lights and details and even the sword to it, and it was enough to make fall back in love with the suit!