Lake Effect is the first convention I ever took my children to and has been one of our favourites. In the past, this has been a free convention and that means the dealers brought all of their overflow and overstock – and you could frequently find great deals and liquidation stuff at this show. The move from there space at the theatre to the new space at the hotel has necessitated an admission charge, and I’m interested in seeing how that affects the dynamic of the show. I’m hoping the deals that I’ve come to expect from like the fact are still going to be there – it was time though, this convention had outgrown the cramped spaces of the theatre lobby a year or two ago.
I’ve done some upgrades to Mr freeze, and I’m breaking this suit out for Sunday – we’ve upgraded Maddys star Sapphire as well. She had outgrown that old leotard, so we’ve made some changes – it will also be the premiere of her new iron Sapphire armour! We are so excited. Will be rolling in after church, probably around 130 although the con begins much earlier – we’re going to miss about half of the hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy film that they are screening but should be around for shopping, costume contests, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Hope to see you there!
Once again All American Comics brings you the Mahoning Valley’s #1 comic book and art show. Now entering it’s sixth year, we’re sure this one will be bigger and better than even last year’s show! We’re heading south for this one, but with guests like Michael Golden and Renee Witterstaetter I’m definately intrigued. It was a decent show last year and I said I was interested in seeing how they grow. Head on out and check it out with me!
Seriously, I should have snagged a clue when I passed the billboard for Indiana Comicon on my way to Days of the Dead, but honestly, even with the attendance of Carrie Fisher, they really didn’t have a lot of media guests… it wasn’t going to be THAT big of a con was it? I was beginning to have misgivings, but still, I grabbed my Shadow costume and hit the road.
Indiana is possibly the biggest convention I’ve attended. easily as big as Wizard World Cleveland was. Big cons arn’t my thing. I don’t dig standing in lines all day, fighting the crowds. I want to be able to interact with the guests and hang out at the panels. The bigger the con is the less of that I get to do and this thing was HUGE.
It’s their second year and it shows. They haven’t quite gotten the hang of scheduling or crowd control. Last year people were unable to get in, refunded admission after standing in line for hours. This year those problems were solved, but they crept up again inside with the guests. There were a lot of upset attendees who stood in line for Carrie Fisher for up to 4 hours only to be turned away. It wasn’t just with her either though. Paige O’Hare (Belle from Beauty and the Beast) had her line closed three times while I was there. It would open for an hour or so (less than an hour that last time 4:30 and closed around 5:15) and shut down again for a photo op or panel. I didn’t make it up to see her and my girls were disappointed.
Still, truth be told, I wasn’t there for the media guests. I was there for the comic guests – and this is to Indiana’s GREAT credit. They are VERY focused on comics, and brought in some amazing guests.
“I had to do so much research on the guns, I had to get everything right all the lines all the look.”.
I always love the way that Whilce created speed and action, and he told me “You’ve got to do that sometimes.” he pointed to a particular punisher cover. “Look at this, it’s an old cannon. It’s boring! You got to do something to make that look cool!”
One of the other things I love about his era, is this is when we got away from the cylinders as teeth on the Punisher’s skull.
“That was Mike Baron. We started out with the Cylenders, but he wanted to take it back to the early look. It dosen’t make sense anyhow! Why Cylinders? They don’t bend!”
I also talked to Mike Grell about Green Arrow : The Longbow Hunters asking how this came about it he come do do this. Did they come to him?
“They asked me if there was any one DC character I’d like to take and revamp and relaunch who would it be? My first thought was Batman, But at that time Frank Miller had just done Batman and I had a feeling that his version with stick for the next 20 years, and I was right!” he said, referring to the changes in the new 52.
“I always loved Green Arrow and they suggested what about Green Arrow as a hunter – well this was perfect for me!”
I mentioned to Grell that I thought Jon Sable was the one of the most interesting character in comics. I really do believe this. He smiled and shook my hand, saying “I’d really like to get back to this character some day. I think there are a few more stories in him.”
I had questions for Mark Wade about Kingdom Come, curious if all that background imaging we see throughout the graphic novel was all Alex Ross
“All that background noise was all Alex.” he said. Waid is currently writing the Green Hornet and loving it. Dynamite is just a great home for these characters and he asked if I was reading the new Avenger series as well. I haven’t picked it up yet although I very much enjoy Justice Inc.
I question Mike Zeck on his covers for 10 nights the beast which I love, but why does the beast look so different on his covers and he did on the inside?
“I didn’t really study the inside of these issues” Zeck replied and it appears to have been an access issue although he did create a stunning painted cover which is more in line with the character design for the trade paperback which I love.
I got a moment with Jae Lee to gush about how much I loved his Masks covers, and we discussed the Dark Tower a bit (I’m working on the novels right now, and was listening to an audiobook on the way down to the show) and his work on the comic prequels.
Art Thibert was up next and I’m a big fan of Art’s. Particularly when he inks Dan Jergens. There is this era of superman right after Jerry Ordway leaves and we are really missing his art. Dan Jergens is adequate. He’s more than up to the task but there’s just something about the Thibert over Jurgans that’s got this kinetic look.
“A lot of what I was doing were actually finishes not just inks. All that hatching and speed lines. though it might be credited as inks, Dan was doing a lot of layouts and leaveing thefinishes for us.”
Bob McCloud is unassuming, quiet and friendly. His career spans decades he’s done just about everything he’s inked everybody. “I’ve been very lucky” he said.
Denny O’Neill has fond memories of the shadow, especially of Anthony Tollin who was his go-to guy for preparation.
We discussed both Tollin and Walter Gibson’s love of magic. I’m a magician as well, and I can see how that is part of the appeal.
“Gibson was a lazy writer. He would stop typing after his fingers started to bleed!” O’Niel joked, referring to Gibsons prolific output.
He loved my Shadow costume. So did Allen Bellman
“I though the Reaper had come for me!” he exclaimed as I came up to his table. One of the things I love about cosplaying the Shadow, is it’s a simple costume – and I can get out of it and look reasonably normal for photos with guests, but slip that scarf right back up and get into character in seconds. It’s also unique. I see dozens of Deadpools, hordes of Harley Quinns, but no one else is dressed like the Shadow, and it’s one of those characters – when people recognize who you are it makes them incredibly happy.
One last note, I’ve really got to hand it to the little girl from Frozen, she stayed at that booth all day and was energetic and happy period she reminds me so much of my children, with the exaggerated movements the excitement the little bundle of kinetic energy 22 a poster and showing it off, greeting kids with high-fives and hugs to takeing photos and talking with them and interact with them. You can see she wants to be here too, she wasn’t just dragged here by a momager, she’s loving this, and that makes me feel good about her appearance at these kind of shows. I have the utmost respect for this young woman and almost regret not taking a photo of her, but let’s face it, that would be creepy…
All in all, I’m not going back. Too far to drive for what I got. Not all of that is the cons fault, but it wasn’t one of my better days and more and more I think I need to stick with the MUCH smaller shows. I have a better time with them. Wasteland in two weeks.
And now – about a hundred photos.
This weekend happening in Cleveland is the Cleveland CONcoction!
If you’re a gamer, this is seriously the place to be. They’ll be celebrating sci-fi and steampunk this year, with the chance to win a lot of the same games you’ll be playing!
There’s panels, author guests, the Wonderland Ball, the masquerade, costume contest, gameplay, live performances (you really need to check out Too The Egress) and tons more going on. This is the only con of it’s type in Cleveland and it’s exactly the kind of con I like, packed with tons of events and programming.
Friday, March 13: 12pm – 11pm
Saturday, March 14: 9am – 11pm
Sunday, March 15: 9am – 3pm
That said, I’m already booked this weekend a little further west, and will be heading to Indiana Comicon.
I’m going mostly to meet Denny O’Neil – seriously, DENNY O’NEIL! The guiding hand of the Batman titles in the 90’s! The writer of the 70’s Shadow series! The author of countless editorial “From The Den” colums!
Stop looking at me like that. I’m excited.
I could actually care less about the media guests at this one (although I and going to get princess autographs for my girls- I admit it). The guest list here is really looking impressive – John Beatty, Art Thibert, Bob McLeod, Whilce Porticelo, Jae Lee, I have a stack of stuff a mile high I’m bringing, just as soon as I break out my Shadow costume….
So wherever you’re headed, be safe, if you see me in Indiana tap me on the shoulder and say hi. If you’re heading to Cleveland, say hello to the POP! members or the Z.E.R.O.S. (Zombie Eradication & Rescue Operations Squad) and give them my best! And we’ll be back with new Violent Blue on Monday!
I’ve been to Akron Comicon every year since it began and it only gets bigger and better every year. This year Gerry Conway is returning and with him comes Allen Bellman, Ron Frenz, Joe Rubenstien, Joe Staton, and Jose Delblo, along with Mike Barr, Tony Isabella, Mike Witherby and Tom Batuick, and a bunch more that I’m not remembering. I have a STACK of comics pulled just waiting to be signed along with costumes ready to go.
Seriously, this is a great show, and unlike so many other comic cons out there, it’s COMPLETLY COMIC FOCUSED! no media guests, just artists and writers and industry professionals.
I’ll be there both Saturday and Sunday with one of my daughters, and we’ll both be in costume. Saturday will be Groot and Wodner Woman, and Sunday will be Voltron and Star Sapphire! Come see us and say hi!
Finally! I’ve been wanting to make it out to Lawn-Con for three years, but it always fell the Saturday of Wasteland…and I’m not missing Wasteland. This year however, Chris Yambar moved it to Sunday to avoid a scheduling conflict with another show, so I did the unthinkable and crammed two cons into a single weekend.
The venue was beautiful at the old B&O Railway station. I love these kind of places and they decorated it beautifully inside. a sort of tent town popped up outside of it with vendors and wares, along with a wrestling ring. I believe the art show going on inside was separate but I’m actually not sure. Either way, they complemented each other and made for a great symbiosis.
I took the girls with me to this one, I’ve always heard it’s very kid friendly and wasn’t disappointed. They each got a book to take home and were fascinated by the art. They loved all the people in costume and for the very first time they got to see a wresteling show.
In addidtion to the wrestling, there were bands outside and inside. I weas really enjoying the acoustic duo as we wandered the station and only caught the tail end of one of the bands outside.
The real treat on stage however was Jason Delfosse doing side show antics. My daughters were fascinated and transfixed as he lifted a boat anchor with a chain attached to his tongue and walked up aladder made of machates, or ate fire and jumped bare foot into broken glass.
We all entered the costume contest and the girls were adorable. I think I like Maddie better in that Supergirl outfit, but Lydia puts her own spin on it. I actually heard one of the judges complement her choice in boots. Maddie’s Poison Ivy was a great unique choice as always.
I went up and stood next to Iron Man (who I met back at All Americon) along with my friends Riley, Stephanie and Josh. There were some stunning costumes up there . The dragon still wows me, and that Batman Beyond just looked sick. I looked down and noticed that part of my foot had broken off – I’d been shedding bits and pieces of Groot all day. That’s a rough costume to wear.
Imagine my shock when I won first place. My jaw dropped. I never get first. I’m still feeling a bit gleeful.
We ended the day with some shopping. Maddie was in the Yambar booth and I suddenly heard her scream “JEANNIE!” I couldn’t believe it. She found I dream of Jeannie comics which Chris was gracious enough to sign.
This is a really fun show and I hope to get back to it again. If it stays on Sunday we definitely will, but I suspect that was an aberration. In any event we were stoked to get out there this time and recommend anyone who can make it check this show out!
I don’t know that I would have liked it in the past. From what I’ve heard, it was a much smaller show, and really just one of those “conventions” that served as a comic related bazaar. I’ve criticized this in the past with other shows stating how easy it would be to add a couple of guests, a panel or something to make it into something more.
AllAmericon 5 is attempting to do just that. This year, they shelled out some cash to get Jim Steranko as a guest – a big name if there ever was one. They also slated Daryl Banks, the co-Creator of the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern and a Cleveland mainstay, not to mention great guy. In addition, they brought in Knightmage – a well respected member of the cosplay community to bring a greater cosplay element in with a panel and a costume contest. I brought my Voltron costume to debut here, but the day started before I even hit the venue. About 20 miles out, an orange blur barreled down on me and I recognized My friend Riley’s Batwag following my little red Superman Honda. We waved at the stop light and occasionally one of my lion heads would peek out of my sunroof and make faces at them. Mage saw me as soon as I walked in and just shook his head at my costume. “You’re my hero man.” The admission table told me “We usually stamp people’s hands, but somehow I think we’ll know you’re part of the show.”
I hung out a bit but couldn’t do any shopping because of my lion hands. That was fine I was planning on changing out of the costume after the contest. At 11:00 most of the contestants hadn’t made it in yet and there weren’t a lot of people dressed up yet. I saw the line for Steranko’s table streached across the wall. We swung by several tables including Pixel Bits which I have seen before, most recently at Lake Effect Comic con where my Lydia bought a wonder woman design from them.
The Cosplay panel was fine. There was a heavy emphasis on cosplaying for charity which is a little bit of a departure from the cosplay panels I see at Anime cons. However it’s not surprising seeing as this is a big part of what Knightmage and Riley do.
I got back on the floor and saw a really nice Iron Man costume – comic accurate, lit up, really well done. I was heading over there to get a picture but he saw me coming and was really excited to see Voltron. Apparently he’d been following my progress on Ohio Cosplayers. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see this in front of me!”. The photos of Iron Man and Voltron are some of my favorites from the day.
About forty five minuets before the costume contest my chestplate broke. The velcro held just fine – in fact it was stronger than the glue holding it to the foam! the strip ripped right off. Pulling it out, the crest in my chest began to come loose as well, however that was an easy matter. Push it back in and it would hold. The chest plate however, was another matter. Fortunately, I had a hot glue gun in my car with an AC adapter in my lighter. In about fifteen minuets I was back in the con, hoping the quick and dirty fix would hold for at least another hour and get me through the contest.
The costume contest was really nice, but in the uncomfortable costume it felt a little long. During the course of the day, a lot of really great costumes had filtered into the convention hall as I knew they would and I wasn’t so confidant of my ability to place. Indeed, a young woman in a beautifully hand crafted Mad Hatter-like getup took first place, and she definately deserved the win. I was pleased to get second, narrowly beating out a Catwoman I had seen a year or two ago over at Akron Comicon.
Finally out of the costume contest, I hastily wiped off my makeup and shuffled out of the costume then headed for Steranko’s table. There was no line this late in the day and I was a little concerned he may have packed up, but no, he was still there and now it was no waiting!
I asked for a Shadow print and pointed to the one I wanted. Jim told me “I’ve been saving this one all day just for you!”, then signed it for me, but declined to take a photo “I’d prefer not to, but we’ll always have this moment!”
He wasn’t rude or unreasonable, but he does seem to have a “convention personality”. Very much a sell sell sell feel. Nevertheless, I can forgive it. He really is a comic legend, and I’m going to treasure my personalized signed print of one of my favorite characters.
This convention has great potential, and they really are trying to become something bigger, something better. Not as big as say Wizard World or SDCC, but I think they are certainly trying to grow into the kind of show Akron is and I’m interested in seeing how they grow. I may not be back next year, but I think I certainly will be back in the future
A side note, it appears I made the news in my costume. http://wkbn.com/2014/07/06/big-day-for-comic-enthusiasts/
Glimmer is one of the few figures from the new MOTU line I really wanted, mostly for my girls who play with the She-Ra figures all the time. I won a gift certificate in the costume contest, and sunk the entire thing into getting this figure for us.
Deadshot is one of my all time favorite characters in comics. From the first mini-series which led me into Suicide Squad, I was hooked. It was so exciting to see a Deadshot cosplay here – and a good one at that, very firmly based in the Justice League cartoon.
Costume Contest. And just in case you were wondering what it looked like back stage lining up for the contest….
We did have a huge turn out for that contest, they managed to pack that little lecture hall.
Will be heading out to this on Sunday. I know NOTHING about this convention and have NO idea what it will be like. I going for two reasons only : Jim Sternoko and a chance to debut my new Voltron costume. If you see me, grab me and say hi!
But that’s Sunday. For now, I’ve got to go whip up something for Tomorrow’s Independence Day Violent Blue .
Last year took Maddie to her first comicon….this one. I wanted to see if she’d like it and perhaps she’d talk it up a bit to her sister Lydia who would have to wait until the following year. Maddie took to the convention scene and has accompanied me to Akron Comicon as well, now it was Lydia’s turn.
I wasn’t sure how Lydia would like it. Maddie enjoys superheros and monsters far more than her sister, very much Daddys girl, while Lydia is growing up more of a lady like her mother (and that’s a good thing). But she had asked me for a Wonder Woman costume a while back and I created one I really liked for her. She dove in and before we even mad it into the theatre, we’d already been stopped for pictures three times.
Transor Z was recognized even less here than at FCBD. Not that surprising I suppose. Lake Effect draws a younger crowd and really, if you don’t know the Mazinger series, you automatically associate him with one of the later series he helped inspire, like Transformers or Voltron.
We started off our day with a screening of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. The girls didn’t quite make it through though. Don Knotts was freaking Maddie out, so we hit the artist alley. A quick stop over at Marc Sumerak’s table so the girls could get some comic’s signed (He recently wrote a book for the Elyria Comic Book Initiative and they received them in school). Down the line Lydia had a lot of fun trying to capture Bob Ingersol.
The costume contest grows bigger each year. I lost to a spartan and he really deserved that win. All of the kids in teh under 13 constest won, which was nice. Lydia loved it. Ther was a great Star Wars robot in the 13-18 that won and the stunning Harley Quinn that my girls posed with won the Women’s!
The Heroclix tournament was across the street in the Mall. Separate location, though technically still part of the con, so we walked, costumes an all through JC Penny’s and over to the comic shop to say hello to Sam, Jim and Eric. The girls were fascinated by the pieces and we took a walk through the store. They immediately found the Godzilla toys then went back out to watch the game.
Back to the convention to shop. Lydia found a perler beaded Wonder Woman logo and an Iceman figure. I was curious why she wanted the Iceman, I mean, they have played him in the X-Men vs Street Fighter game, but she never showed any real interest in him as a character. I figured it out later. He squirts water. She loves it.
The girls ended the day in the theater’s arcade. Both had a lot of fun an Lydia can’t wait for her next con.
For the most part, I experienced this convention through the eyes of my girls, and that’s fine. It’s actually an advantage because If I’d gone on my own, I might have been a little disappointed.
I’ve always said Lake Effect is a great place for deals. All the vendors bring their excess inventory to dump. I can usually find a bunch of .25 cent bins. This time around there were two .50 cent boxes and that was it. (That’s not the cons fault really, and they always have some great vendors). The action figures were really good prices though. One of my friends walked away with a cratefull for about $30. I still loaded up on comics, scring 18 titles with some great silver age Avengers and a couple of All Star Squadron, not to mention some Iron Spider! The girls got to find some things too, and Lydia loves her purchases. The film selection was a little lacking this year as well. Little shop of Horrors (the original), some Faulty Towers and the aforementioned Ghost and Mr. Chicken. In the past they’ve done some interesting Anime, Big Trouble in Little China, Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein and Spirited Away. You can see why I wasn’t real thrilled with the screenings. However, with both girls in tow, I don’t think I would have made any of the movies even if they had better ones.
The Heroclix being separate was a bit of a pain, and next year, we probably won’t make the trip over. Finally, the guest list was okay, but no one I haven’t seen before. It’s disapointing, but not unexpected. It’s still a small show, but I watch it grow every year. I wouldn’t be surprised if in time it grew to the proportions of Akron Comicon. I do enjoy this convention and will be back next year.
Last year I went to Shinboku con on a whim. Some of the clix guys had mentioned it to me, probably Sean and I figured it was time I finally got around to checking out the con in my own back yard. I had such a good time that I decided to come back this year, and this time around, do it right.
I’d felt a little out of place last year because I wasn’t in costume (and a little older than most of the crowd. I’m an old school Anime aficionado) but this year I corrected that, designing my Mazingar Z / Transzor Z costume specificaly for this show (and then to be reused at Lake Effect next month)
I started off heading to one of the two Anime screening rooms for some Trigun and to get settled, plotting out my day. One of my big goals was to get Robert Axleod’s autograph fro my friend Johnny Em. Axlerod was one of the three spies in the original Robotech series, and john is the biggest Robotech fan I’ve ever met. Robert was nice, but professional. You can see he does a lot of these shows and he’s got a con persona. No complaints though. It was nice enough to meet him, he caught me on the way to his panel and I followed him in. The panal was all about his Power Rangers role, which was a little dissapointing consider his vast filmography.
I headed over to the Jedi stunt show wich was loads of fun, mostly involving lightsaber battles. A Darth Maul came out and invited members of the audience to try a lightsaber out. Watching him fight Fix-it Felix from Wreck-it Ralph (at first I thought it was Handy Manny) was hiliarious. Blade against hammer….
I volunteered and the croud roared with applause as Maul and I double teamed the Jedi, slaying him quickly.
I can’t tell you how much I hope that video shows up on youtube or facebook. I really want to see it.
Off to Kyle Herbert’s panel. Kyle was incredibly funny and insightfull last year and I really wish I had recorded it. This year it was a talk about nutrition and food This has been on Kyle’s mind you see, since he was diagnosed with Diabetes last July. He still managed to inject the talk with plenty of wit and charm, but not quite as interesting as last year. when I walked in to the room he suddenly stopped short, lost for a second. And then said in disbelief “and then Mazinger Z walked in the room!”
I got a lot of that. This costume is one of the most popular ones I’ve ever worn…even more popular than Spider-Ham. I got asked to pose for a lot of pictures and to take pictures with a lot of people. It made it worth it to wear such an uncomfortable suit. It’s really hot. I hadn’t realized how dehydrated I was until I got out of it (I lasted about five hours before changing into my TARDIS T-shirt and jeans). I’ve got to fix that helmet before Lake Effect, it’s too tight around the nose, I’m still sore under my nose and at the roots of my teeth.
I hate that the convention moved from five minuets away to half an hour away. I suppose Huron is that far, but I do miss being able to walk to the con and come and go from home. However I understand why they needed to move. Sawmill Creek was an excellent venue, and and all of those problems getting from one part of the con to the next were solved, the layout was far more logical and easy. This was great since my boots made traveling a little difficult at times.
I only caught the tail end of Alexis Tipton’s panel and never managed to catch her signing session. That was a shame but I was in time to hear her sing the theme song from one of er more memorable Animes. She was a little embarrassed so I’m not sure if I want to upload that to YouTube…
I also managed to catch a bit of Amber Lee Connors panel about breaking into voice acting. She’s bubbly and bright and a delight to listen to, and just as pleasant at her table.
The other event I had a lot of fun at was the Super Hero training. I loved the costumes and the variety of heros there. The costumes were REALLY well done and if I’d been in street clothes I would have gotten photos with every one of them!
One of the facebook reviews of Shinboku con that I read mentioned how the quality gets better every year. This is absolutely right. I can see it was more polished this year, and the new venue helped a whole lot. I don’t know if they actually added any vendors and I’d still like to see more stalls in the vendor room, but nevertheless, I was able to move around easily in my armor, the panels were well done, traffic was directed well and there’s ALWAYS something going on. This is the single convention I do that packs more programming in than Cinema Wasteland and that’s saying something! in addition to the standard dealer’s room, Shinboku con sports two rooms constantly screening Anime. Two stages with programming in both locations at the same time. Two panel rooms that almost always had something going on. A video game room with at least eight screens for competitive play and frequent tournaments, tables for people to play their Nintendo DS and 3DS, and a separate room for tabletop gaming, including Heroclix. And Twister, not to mention a well stocked Artist Alley (well placed too. You HAVE to walk through it to get to the two main stages, the video game room or the vendors room). There’s always something going on, not to mention parties and concerts that spring up around the event.
I think Shinboku Con may become one of the cons I attend every year, much like Wasteland or Lake Effect – or possibly even Monster Bash. It’s one of the good ones, and I highly recommend it. See you guys next year.
Oh thank GOD. This is the Superman Panel from Akron Comicon that I missed. Thank you so much Richard, for putting this up!
Now I can go work on Violent Blue in peace.
I was looking forward to going to Akron Comicon this year. I really enjoyed myself there last year and this time around i was bringing my daughter Maddie. She wanted a Star Sapphire costume and had been bugging me to make her one for probably six months, certainly ever since Free Comic Book Day. She noticed a statue of the character at York Comics. I had my Spider-Ham costume all ready.
They were holding it at Quaker Square this year, and I really love that venue. i used to slip over there during Star Trek Conventions at The John S Knight center next door. Akron Comicon outgrew it’s venue before the first show had even finished last year so this made sense.
I arrived a little later than I had expected, but figured we’d rush in and maybe still make the costume contest. After all, one of the vendors had mentioned to the promoter that he should really only expect about maybe 200 more people in a second year.
He was wrong. The line stretched out the door, and according to one of the workers, it stayed that long until around 3:00. I’m not sure how to feel about this. I like this con, but I don’t like big…
Room was proving a problem again as well, I was unable to make the Siegle and Schuster Society panel and that was a big bummer. I’m still hoping to get video of that panel and maybe Chris Yambar’s as well.
Still, we had a nice time, and saw a lot of friends there. We did some shopping and Maddie got a My Little Pony book straight from the artist who drew it (Thomas Zahler who was nice enough to sign it for her). I got most of my books signed myself. One of the highlights of the day was talking with Ron Frenz as he signed my Thunderstrike and Superman books. He loved the Spider-Ham costume and after he finished signing, he said “Okay, now I need to get a photo for Tom DeFalco!” yeah, that made my day.
My Spider-Ham costume was a really big hit by the way. I think I took more photos for people and with people than I ever have in any other costume. It’s not that I put an extraordinary amount of work into it…it’s just that not a lot of other people have ever decided to cosplay this character before. The costume was given to me but let’s face it; at my age and more importantly, at my girth, I can’t really pull off Spider-Man. A plump Spider-Pig on the other hand, is cute. About half of the people got it. A lot thought i was being the Spider-Pig from the Simpson’s movie. Every ten minuets I’d hear someone singing Homer’s Spider-Pig song at me and I’d start dancing….
I felt a little bad actually. I got a lot more attention than Maddie, but the people who looked at her and recognized her were the ones in the know and they loved it. Those were the people who really appreciated her costume. One of the best photos I took that day was of Maddie and one other cosplayer who had done herself up as an Indigo tribe, complete with glowing staff. She mentioned that she had heard about a Star Sapphire walking around the con and she had been looking for my Maddie. I made sure to get a picture of the two of them together.
Maddie got to participate in the comic book making workshop with the Elyria Comic Book Initive this year, but it wasn’t exactly what she had been expecting. She came up with some interesting drawings though and we still had fun there.
My single biggest disappointment this year was with Jon Bodgnov. One of the iconic Superman artists of the 90’s he was probably my most wanted autographs. However I was also on a little bit of a time table as I had to have Maddie at a birthday party at 5:00 (and keeping my promise to my daughter was important). I didn’t make it over to Jon’s tale untill after the Superman panel, a little after 3.:00. he was busy with a sketch and his line was around the corner. I waited until 2:45 and never got any closer. I was a little heartbroken. However I was in line next to one of the members from the POP comic club I attend so with great embarrassment and regret I passed him my two books and asked if he could get them signed (and I’ll pick them up in a week at the next Pop meeting). He was nice enough to say yes.
We had a lot of fun, despite the roadbumps, and to be fair, most of my problems at the con this year were of my own making (being chronically late and having my seven year old along caused most of it). It’s a growing con and one of the better ones in the area. It’s a remarkable con in that it seems to be growing very quickly yet has NO media guests, just comic book people. No TV or movie or anything like that…and I actually really like that. I hope it stays that way. It’s proven that it can be a success without them. I’ll be back next year, but I think I better get there a lot earlier and with more of a plan. I’ll also miss Quaker Square if it moves again (which I expect it will, due to size). I loved the brick look, but really wish the panel room and the EICB workshop room had been swapped.
TONS of photos follow (most were taken by seven-year-old Maddie, but I’ll admit I swiped a few from people on Facebook too).
Not exactly a convention this weekend, but still an event. We had hoped to get out to the event at the Akron library, but knew we couldn’t hit both that and Superman Day at Carol and Johns. It’s jut to much driving. So we went with the closer one.
Superman is very special to me. You may notice in Violent Blue that Taylor is always wearing a Superman shirt in the comic shop and occasionally around the house. Superman has been my hero since I was a child watching suprfriends on Saturday morning and teh old George Reeves shows with my father. When I rediscovered comics in my teens, Superman was one of the first ones I picked up and what really drew me into the genre. There’s something just special about Superman. He does teh right thing just because it’s the right thing to do. Not out of revenge, like batman, not out of guilt, like Spider-Man, not because he’s bored like Iron Man. There’s no other hero who has that kind of purity. I think that’s soemthing we genuinely need. An aspiration figure like that, and that’s prehaps why he’s always been my favorite hero.
The girls and I got ready. There’s a bit of a problem when you have two little girls and only one Supergirl outfit…we ended up making one for Lydia with what we had available. I grabbed Maddie’s cape from her She-Ra costume, and the boots from her Supergirl costume (she wore her She-Ra boots instead) and put those on Lydia. Then I printed out Superman shields (with clear contact paper over them so they didn’t get ruined in the rain) and added them to the cape and her top. Finally I printed out a yellow strip of paper with a small “S” shield for the belt which I tucked into Lydia’s belt loops on her skirt.
After the endless lines and outages on Free Comic book Day I decided we should arrive a little early. We got ther about twenty minuets early and the lines were already begining to dform, thoguh not nearly as long as FCBD. We found ourselves about one door down from the shop’s entrance. That line would form behind us as the clock ticked down to noon and by the time we entered, it was about 2/3’s down the block.
Knowing the attention span of my children, I brought us something to do while we waited. Maddie and I sat down on the sidewalk and played UNO with Superman cards. Lydia wasn’t in the mood to play, but as we sat, guys fro the shop came by and loaded us up with comics and she took one of those to read while we watched to the store’s 12:00 opening.
Carol and John’s loaded the girls up with stuff; comics, superman cookies and a special commemorative coin they had made up just for the occasion. As the gentleman came by with the box of coins and handed them each one their eyes little up and they each breathed a soft “woooow.”. the coins fascinated them, like a treasure coin just for showing up in costume.
Once inside we were treated to Superman cartoons on the TV and coloring pages for the girls. I let them each grab something out of the Superman back issue box. In the side room, there were large fats set up displaying variant covers that local artists had done for Action 18. The girls each got a bunch of raffle tickets and entered in drawing s for their favorite covers.
All in all it was a really nice event. Carol and John’s is a particuarly family friendly store so I like taking my girls there, even thoguh it’s a little far away. While I’m sure there will be some Batman anniversary relate thing going on next year, it just won’t be the same as a Superman party!
Girls coloring in the back!
The girls loved the stickers in the window
Look what we got!
Remember back in April when I attended Shinboku Con? This weekend I headed out to Herophoria. It’s put on by the same folks. This was meant to be a more comic themed convention – and a mini- con at that lasting only one day.
It’s the first year for this show and you can forgive a lot because of that.
Like Shinboku, they tried to have a lot of different stations. You entered the venue- the local college gym through an innocuous looking set of doors. I’m not familiar with the PE section of LCCC, so it took me a while to find it. Registration is right past the doors and halfway between the two sections of the con. There were video games and Anime screenings in the rooms down one hall, then, if you headed the opposite direction, you’d find the cosplay area and stage (presumably where they had hoped to have panels – but those seemed to have fallen through) and further down, the main Gym area with vendors and table top gaming, along with a room dominated by a large wrestling ring.
The vendors selection was severly lacking. I remember this being my main complaint about Shinbokucon, and here it was even more sparse. I know that they definitely had at least one, maybe more cancellations and that can’t have helped matters any. The local businesses were nicely represented though, I saw Scott from Comics are Go! (where I usually play heroclix) had a nice large space to vend.
Among the games that were demoing were the Munchkin card game along with Injustice and Marvel vs. Capcom in the video game room. I’ve seen both in action but it was really cool to see them projected on to huge screens while being played. The game room was friendly and everyone offered to let me play, but I’m really not that great at games and am really content to watch. That and the fact that I can’t actually sit in my Iron Man costume. Still, it was a great place to kill time between the cosplay contest and the Heroclix tournament.
The cosplay tournament in particular was a great deal of fun. I got to meet a few people I know online from Pop! the comic club and that was really nice. Some cosplay contests can get really competitive, but this one was remarkably friendly. My Iron Man costume is incredibly hot and I have NO dexterity in those gloves. I can’t pick something up, open my wallet or even scratch an itch (Lady Wolverine was nice enough to scratch my nose for me….with her claws….). My sunglasses kept sliding off….until the finally flew off my face and smashed on the ground, popping a lens out. Bane immediately grabbed them for me, slid the lens in and put them back on my face. Way beyond the call of duty, especially considering that I was a stranger. Everyone was supportive and really seemed to want each other to win. As the contest was starting, I saw all the guys from the Heroclix table filing in to support me and vote for me (they were measuring applause). That absolutely made my day.
In the end, I took third place, losing out to a group of Sailor Scouts and a great looking Spawn. Seriously, I’ve really got no argument with that!
After the costume contest I headed out to my car and peeled myself out of the Iron Man costume – I’m pretty sure I lost twenty pounds in that thing – then returned for the Heroclix tournament. I had play tested my team at Keiths Comics in Elyria a few days prior, but that was a normal game. This was a con tourney. I lost. Not only did I lose, I lost epic. Shakespeare could write plays about the tragedy that was my team. On the other hand, I’m really glad I didn’t have to play that Master Mold and Sentinel team. Yikes.
As I previously mentioned, a good chunk of the gym was taken up by a large wrestling ring where the guys of the MCW fought it out. Of course, this being a comic book con, they did things a little diffrently. Most of the guys came out dressed as heroes! I saw a Green lantern and Ghostbusters. Wolverine came out and the heel wouldn’t fight so they set up a bet – if the heel lost, he had to dress up in a costume too. That costume ended up being a Supergirl outfit that he had to wrestle Sailor Moon in!
Okay, I gotta admit, I have NEVER enjoyed wrestling. It’s just not my thing, but this was a great way of doing it and it’s a cool thing for a convention to try and do. It’s uncommon, and I applaud the innovation. The costumes made it a lot more fun for me to watch in between Heroclix matches. The absolute best bit was a wrestling match between Donkey Kong and Princess Peach where the ref was dressed as a giant banana. After she won the match, Princes Peach was kidnapped by Waluigi and Wario and spirited off. Later on Mario and Luigi had to wrestle Wario and Waluigi to rescue her. They played the appropriate music and kept everyone in character. That was definitely fun.
With all that said, I have to admit; this thing could have been run a lot better.
The website didn’t give me nearly enough information- it says screenings but didn’t say anything about what or when. Guests weren’t really announced and no panel discussion topics were ever presented. (I suspect the panels were scrapped because they couldn’t get enough people involved) In fact, with this little info, I probably would have given this a pass if it hadn’t been in my neighborhood (ten minuet drive). The Cosplay contest was late and kind of poorly run with no good method in place for judging winners, but rather a series of eliminations. There also didn’t seem to be enough promotion, not enough people aware that this was going on. I definitely could have used a map of where we were in the college and where things were going to be. I also noticed the Injustice tournament went WICKED quick. A few more video game competitions may have helped.
The thing is, I don’t want to badmouth this con. Like I said, it was a first time for this kind of show and I can forgive most of this. You can see how hard these guys tried to put together a good con. This show has a lot of room to grow and a good deal of potential. I really do want to see where it goes from here and I’m very comfortable saying I’ll be back next year.
We had a good time this year at Lake Effect Comic Con. I really dig this con, not just because it’s a free one, but because it’s a small con that still really pulls out all the stops. A great artist’s alley including my acquaintance from the Pop! Culture Club Marc Sumerak (Marvel writer and former editor). Chris Yambar (bongo comics), Bob Ingersol (DC editor) and Craig Boldman (Archie) not to mention a bunch of others.
Madeline and I both came in costume, me in my new Iron Man armor and her in her She-Ra costume. We both entered the costume contest, and we both got defeated! Maddie lost to a cute litle girl Jedi and I lost out to the golden age Sandman. The winner in the boys division was the coolest little David Bowie (from Labrynth) that I have ever seen. Even though we didn’t win, we were both awarded heroclix for participating and that was great. I pulled a Super Nova I didn’t have and Maddie got a Terraix.
A number of my Heroclix buddies were there as well for the tournament. Sean spotted me and drug me into the tourney room where I declared “okay, who wants to play me? I better warn you though, I may take up more than one square on the map….”
We spend some time shopping as well, Maddie came away a bit dissapointed because she couldn’t find a Supergirl or Star Sapphire figure. She did however grab two issues of Super Mom signed by the creator Scott Bachmann. I pawed through discount bins and bought about thirty comics ( a LOT of silver age Daredevil and a bunch of X-Men right around and before the X-Cecutioner’s song). We shopped so long we missed the panel on worst kid sidekicks….but that’s okay.
Finally we ended the day with a screening of A Little Snow Fairy Sugar an adorable little anime which they were showing on the big screen (If I hadn’t had Maddie I would have shown up earlier for Big Trouble in Little China).
Maddie had a nice day, and for this being her first comic con, she did very well. My Iron Man costume really diminished my dexterity – she ended up being my hands, paying people, rifling through boxes and pulling things off tables, not to mention taking photos (okay, some are blurry, but she did a good job for seven years old!) We can’t wait to go back next year! Until then though, there’s new Violent Blue up today!