The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Posts tagged “costumes

Monster Junkie photo shoot

We’ll talk a bit about the convention Monday, but for now, check out these pics from the photo shoot I did for Monster Junkie Magazine! (credit to Ginger Rose,Chelsea Darling and Jeff Stover in addition to my own pics!)


The Iron Man project part thirteen

Iron Man

And here we  thought we were finished.

The first problem is I found my upper arms weren’t really working well and wanted to redesign them so they wouldn’t rub against the chestplate as much but would give me greater range of movement. I came up with these.


A little scoring on the back to help it bend better


Added a hole and some layering to give more of a circular hinge look to it. Once velcroed to my shoulder it fits nicely under my shoulder pad and actually fits far better. Looks better than the prior pieces as well!


The thing is I really Really wanted a helmet for this costume.The probelm with the helmet is the mask could make or break this costume…it’s already straddling the fence a little hard and I really would have preferred a straight movie helm…and that’s something I couldn’t adequately create. I had an idea though. Let’s try it with the visor up…that way, it’s still my face, I have full visibility and no one is really looking too hard at the faceplate to see if it’s movie accurate or not.

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I started with an old helmet from the dollar store. it’s too small for me, but I always had it in mind to build it up a bit. The first thing I buit was the chin area.


From the front it actually looks a little like the helmet’s In the movie before the CG is added. Going to put on some round “Ears” to attach the chin to.


Some foam around the back.


I like the ridged look, it gives texture. Some bling too and a faceplate on the top made out of some of the kid’s construction paper. I tried this out for the first time at last years Zombie Walk in Amherst.

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This worked fairly well, but I still wanted something I could wear this with complete anonymity. I found this mask at the halloween store for five dollars and it fit better and more snug than any of the movie accurate halloween masks I saw, I mounted this on to the existing helm becoming the final result. It doesn’t open or close. That’s a drag, but one I can live with!


The Iron Man project part twelve

Iron Man

I’ve got it.

Remember last month how the mid section didn’t work out on my suit? The solution isn’t a long solid piece…no, what we’ll make is a sort of metal cage, using the existing bikini bottoms and abs.

100_4027100_4023The first thing we do is build up the back side, create something to anchor those new pieces we are creating.


Next we create a set of “ribs”. The cage to go around me. Enough space that it’ll, give a little but never really hit the top piece. Done over a red shirt it’ll all blend in and you won’t see the gaps so much.

100_4024 100_4025

Attached to the torso from the back and the briefs, we have our cage. The strips attach under the abs with velcro and are adjustable. Time for a test run.


Perfect. The last piece of the costume is in place! I spent the first few appearances just like this, no mask, just sunglasses and a goatee.



You’ll still see me pull it out for special occasions. I’m proud of it, but it’s horribly awkward to wear, and I have to have a handler when I do because it renders my hands useless!

I wonder what we’ll try next year?

The Iron Man project part eleven

Iron ManTime to give this chest piece a coat of paint! Things are finally starting to look right….
100_4014I added the center piece into the breastplate. I’d love for it to light up, but that may be an addition for a later time. Right now, I just want to get this done. When I tried it on I found the shoulderpads were actually bigger than i had anticipated. They fit, but not underneath the chestpiece. In fact, it ended up being easier to just mount them to the chestplate itself.100_4015Speaking of things that don’t fit….crap.Remember that midsection I created?100_3997It does not slide under the chest plate. It butts up against it. To make matters worse, it’s too tall – after all, I expected the top to over lap it, hide a portion of the top.It’s not going to work. Well, perhaps not all of it. I ripped the ab section out and glued it onto the metal underwear. It will slide under and perhaps I can attach some velcro to the underside to the breastplate.costumeIt’s not the look I wanted, but there is some precedent for the whole “T” shape in Iron Man costuming, but it pushes me a lot further into comic look and further way from the movie look than I wanted to be.tMaybe I can fix it.

Carlysle Halloween festival

We’re not done with Halloween yet.  I’m being a little self indulgent here, so feel free to skip this post.

One of our traditions is to go the the Metroparks Halloween festival. There’s usually shows and a DJ, along with wagon rides and a haunted walk. Last year, the haunted walk was a little lackluster compared to earlier incarnations. This year however, they outdid themselves!

Easily comparable to any full size haunt, the Carlysle had attractions every foot of the way, with creatures in the woods outside of the haunted houses every step of the way, including a fire-breathing dragon!



My wife’s favorite part is the pumpkin lagoon, a small lake, covered in floating jack o lanterns.

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Mine has always been the floating skeletons. Really, simple just flat plastic skeletons you can get at any dollar store, but painted with glow in the dark colors and lit by huge black lights. It’s amazing to walk through and under.

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The girls favorite part is the vortex. You enter a spinning room full of florescent polka dots, disorienting you and making you feel like you are spinning yourself. They hit it four times.

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They dressed up of course, not in their princess costumes (we were afraid of sticks and mud and rips and tears) but Maddie in her Skeleton Princess costume and Lydia in a Ballet outfit. It’s unseasonably warm and they were able to get away without coats for parts of the night.

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The decorations, and DJ and everything made for a great night. This is far out from Cleveland, in La Grange, but worth the experience at two dollars a person!

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More Halloween next week I think. For now, there will be classic Violent Blue here tomorrow and new strips up at !

Comicfest 2014


I’ll admit I’ll do anything to get my kids into the comic shop, but I’ve really been loving the Halloween Comicfest the last few year. We headed out to Carol and John’s shop – primarily because they are an extremely kid-friendly environment. My wife and I went as Olaf and Kristoff  (to complement the girls costumes) and Maddie and Lydia donned their Anna and Elsa dresses and headed out!

I’m slowly going through the titles this year, and really loving the Boom! set. I can’t begin to express how happy the Scooby Doo Teamup with Batman made me. We’ll probably do some reviews later this week.

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After the comic shop, we hit the local flea market, which always does a great trick or treat program. Halloween is our favorite time of year so expect more pictures to come!

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Also don’t forget, new Halloween themed Violent Blue up today!

The Iron Man project part ten

Iron ManDespite being the largest piece of the costume, the breastplate is still really only going to be two pieces – three if you include the collar.
100_3998We start off with eh big breastplate, a couple of strips jutting out to go under the arms.100_3999We score it inside diagonally and bend it into shape. This is going to have kind of a puffy angular look, similar to the armor in “The Ultimates”100_4001 100_4000I’m also cutting out a smaller strip for a collar. This will hide my neck and cover the seams where a mask will eventually rest. I’m leaving the collar open at the front though, suspecting my chin will need the clearance to come in and I doubt you’ll really notice the extra space anyhow…if it’s too obvious, I’ll wear a turtleneck underneath and solve the problem that way.100_4011Teh back is actually designed to fold over and overlap the top of the front. It starts out with a “v” cut, but we’ll round that out once it’s attached. 100_4002After the parts are created it’s a simple task to put them together, and add a hole in the middle along with some Hard Drive bling in the corners. I may wait until after I paint this red to add the back for the arc reactor. We’ll see next month!100_4012

The Iron Man project part seven

Iron Man

We have a special edition of the Iron Man project today.

Sometimes people will see me in the armor and ask if it’s hard to get into.

Yes. It is.

The real issue is you have to get into the outfit in a specific order, otherwise you can’t move, or you can’t reach the next part. If I have my gloves on, I can get my arm bands on (besides, the foreams wouldn’t fit over them anyhow). If I have my breastplate on, I can’t bend enough to get my shoes or lower legs on…ect.

So here’s the process. It starts with yellow sweatpants and a red Tshirt. It’s a T because the costume gets hot. I want light cloths under it. The fact that it’s a flash T is just ironic.



The yellow top is just so I have sleeves. It’s made from a pair of yoga pants so I have loops around my hands. This helps kept the sleeves from creeping up under the armor. I want yellow arms to go with the yellow gloves. Now we need to pull up  the torso and attach the sides.



Legs are next, while I can still bend to take care of things. Upper leg, lower leg, then shoes. It HAS to be done in that order.




Breastplate next. It’s hard enough to squeeze my normal arms through those arm holes, with the armored limbs it would be impossible nad the paint would all scrape off.



100_4058Arms are slid on before the gloves. Upper then lower. Then the gloves. I usually end up having to pull at least one of those gloves on by my teeth.





And that’s the process. It takes about ten minuets on a good day (when I have help). I can manage to get a helmet on while wearing the gloves, but that’s about it. Next month we’ll go back to the process of making the suit.


The Iron Man project part nine

Iron ManThe task of creating shoulderpads isn’t an easy one. I have to create something round out of flat surfaces.
100_3959It’s all going to be in the layering. I start by cutting a notch in the pieces so they can fit together better and bend after they are glued.100_3962 100_3961I spent a little more time than intended on these, adding that strip across the pad and cutting more of a pattern in the inner part of the shoulder pad. These are embellishments I hadn’t really intended to do, but I’m glad I executed them as they occurred to me. The pieces look much better for them.100_3964 100_3963I also added a little elastic to the bottom to keep them together. I plan on sliding these on and tucking them into my breastplate.100_3965A little paint and we’re done. I considered doing the whole thing red, but I’m glad I changed my mind and kept the white patches on the sunken parts. It’s one of those extra details like the yellow gloves that give the suite more character.100_3967I think it’s high time we did the chest piece, don’t you? Joins us back here next month as we create the largest part of the costume!

Superheroes vs the Cleveland Pops



Summer is almost over and this weekend here in my hometown of Elyria there was a free concert by Cleveland Pops.

And a bunch of Superheroes.

The city coordinated the Orchestra’s visit with a local volunteer group called Superheroes to Kids in Ohio who work with kids in hospitals and terminally ill patients. They introduced sets and worked the crowd as the orchestra played selections from superhero films such as Avengers, The Dark Knight and Spider-Man. There was even a Frozen set.

This was a good time, in the middle of the city, surrounded by superheros, with the orchestral score playing in the background and fireworks in the sky. It’s also EXACTLY the sort of thing Elyria needs more of.

Happy Labor Day.

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By the way, even though it’s Labor Day there IS still a new Violent Blue up today!

The Iron Man project part eight

Iron Man

So now we need to make a torso, something that will slip under the chestplate . We start off with abs.

100_3988We take this beveled ab piece and attach it to a long piece of foam that will wrap around me, connecting to the other side of the beveled ab plate with velcro.

100_3989Time to add some ribbing. We start by scoring the abs with a razor in a tech pattern. Then we go over it in ink. Paint will sink into it but just a little of that ink will show through, creating an artificial shadow.

100_3990I’m digging in some canals and inserting real wires from a burnt out power supply here. Something to give patches of technical imagery and a kind of c-3po look.

100_3992A few more details on the back, some bling from a dead hard drive. I’ll paint more details on after we have a coat of red paint on here.

100_3994Wrapped around. It’ll be a littel snug ,but it’ll also push in some of my girth.

100_3995Almost ready for the breastplate! But first, I think we’ll tackle the shoulderpads next month.




AllAmeriCON 5

Conman AllAmericon seems very much to be a show in transition.

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.

It’s not a comicon without picking up a stack of books from the quarter bins. I was particuarly pleased to find the Ambush Bug issue!

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.

We did have a huge turn out for that contest, they managed to pack that little lecture hall. All in all a great day, and a show I’d go to again.






The Iron Man project part seven


Iron Man

Before we get into the metal bikini bottoms lets take a quick moment to to the upper arms. This is another soda bottle and some foam.

100_3955We wrap the foam around the bottle and voila! arms done.

100_3954Next metal underwear. This is two pieces, the back with the foam g-string, and the front brace that glues to the back in two places, a seam at each hip, and some metal bling scavenged from an old hard drive.

100_3976 100_3977This would really look better wit ha coat of red paint, don’t you think?

100_3978In fact, while we’re at it, let’s just paint up everything that we’ve made so far…..

100_3958 100_3956I’m actually quite happy with it so far.



With the briefs done, it’s time for the mid section. I’m envisioning it kind of like the middle of a storm troopers outift.  We’ll see  how that works out next month!

Horses and the costume contest


So the girls participated in a horse show this weekend – specifically they were in the costume contest.

Wednesday they came home and told me they had been invited to participate in the northern Ohio Miniture Horse club’s spring show. It’s an open show, and the farm they’ve been goign to work with the horses at is involved.

wwx“Does Poison Ivy ever ride a horse?” my wife asked me.

“She-Ra does.”

“What about Wonder Woman?”

“Sure. There’s even a Heroclix like that.”

Then she told me it was on Sunday.

“Um, I need to measure the horses if you want me to make costumes…”

“You can come out to the farm on Friday!”10455573_775701159140976_2277722446676490450_n


For a one day build, I’m actually pleased with how they came out. Maddie’s horse Polly bears a passing resemblance to She-Ra’s horse Swift Wind, though she didn’t like wearing the horn.


DiDi on the other hand, I was just tryign to create a costume that fit with Lydia’s costume and looked a little DC comics Amazon. I’m really pleased with the headpiece and I think it really works with Lyd’s.


Creating horse costumes is one of the stranger cosplays I’ve ever been involved in, but it was great fun to see the girls with their horses and their costumes.

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The Iron Man project part six


Iron Man

More hand work today.

Copy of 100_3950Once all the joints are created they must be painted BEFORE they are attached and glued on. We also wanted to create the palm with a circular port for the repulsors.

100_3949100_3921Finally we add a few red strips to the top (as opposed to the blast shield we see in the movies – it leans more towards the comics, but in the end is more practical)


Next month we’ll work on something really exciting! Metal underwear! but for now, remember, there’s new Violent Blue tomorrow!

Lake Effect Comicon 2014!


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.

Lake Effect is a great con to start out a kid on. It’s small, friendly and free, but has a full con experience with screenings, panels, comic professionals, New_100_5771game tournaments and a good dealers room.

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 and984093_10152103817681478_6271077514251689320_n 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.

New_IMG_0506The 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!


New_IMG_0525The 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.

New_IMG_0533The 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.

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The Iron Man project part five

Iron ManToday we tackle the gloves. I wanted robot looking hands with joints so I cut pieces out of thin foam for this.

100_3950Each joint had to be created seperately. most had four pieces. Some of the ones towards the base of the hands had three. The tips of the fingers had five pieces.

100_3953I bought a pair of yellow gloves to glue the fingertips on to. I had decided on yellow insted of red because I’m not really tryign to replicate teh movei costume, but rather an amalagam of movei and comic armor. The yellow actually serves to give more detail where as the red would just blur the look of the joints.

100_3951I can tell right now I won’t have any dexterity in these things. I might be able to do basic things like pick up a glass or open a door, but anything with fine motor control, turning the page in a book or putting on my sunglasses..that’s going to be next to impossible.

100_3952We’re not done yet. We still have another month of glove creation. Of all the parts of this costume, the gloves were the single most difficult part – the most pieces and longes make time. but for now, remember, there’s new Violent Blue tomorrow!

My Girls

Remember that video we did for the Christmas party at Church a while back? (

Well afterwards, I shuffled out of my costume and the girls immediately picked it up and wanted to play in it.

Yeah, these are my girls….

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These girls are going to find themselves in Violent Blue if they keep this up!

Shinboku Con 8


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 New_104_5546year 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. New_104_5493You 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 Maul10173514_657373694310912_38975565317754330_n 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.

vlcsnap-2014-04-12-20h18m47s55Off 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!”

New_104_5517I 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 New_104_5506nose 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.

vlcsnap-2014-04-12-20h34m28s244I 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.

New_10177225_656376771077271_1993057320883005027_nThe 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 New_10171868_656376774410604_8812326548075078526_nstill 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 New_104_5509frequent 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.

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The Iron Man project part four

Iron ManA quick job today. Forearms. We start with some foam shapes and an old two liter bottle that used to hold soda.

100_3940Cut the top and bottom off the bottle and glue them together. This part is easy. It’s the next part that’s going to take some time.

100_3923In the meantime, lets throw a coat of red paint and some bling scavaged from an old broken hard drive to make this look nicer.


Next month we’ll begin the arduous task of creating the gloves. but for now, remember, there’s new Violent Blue tomorrow!

HorrorHound Cinicy 2014


The thing is, this trip had a dark cloud hanging over it from the word go. Ted Raimi cancelled at the last minuet and I personally think the Walking Dead people are charging WAY  too much…especially for autographs without photo ops. HorrorHound is one of the biggest cons I’ve ever done and we’ve covered before how I don’t like big cons, but it was still an opportunity to complete my Evil Dead poster, and also a nice opportunity to do a ED2 poster….so off I go.

Except…I can’t find my keys.

First thing in the morning, I’m pulling stuff together, but my keys are missing. It takes forty five minuets of searching before my wife wakes up and sheepishly remembers she grabbed my keys last night by mistake and forgot to take them out of her coat pocket.

I’m now an hour late and instead of arriving early and getting a spot near the front of the line, I find myself waiting for over an hour to get in. Tickets for autographs with Bruce Campbell are sold out.


New_IMG_0418Seriously, my mood is gone and that’s a shame, because there was still a lot here that can be fun, but it’s a lousy way to start convention season.

It was my first time at Horrorhound Cincinatti. Even though the Horrorhound Indy con was mediocre, I really wanted to hit this one because of the Horror Host Hall of Fame induction.  This was goign to be my one big trip this year.

Another great bit here was the heavy Ghostbuster influence. The Ohio Ghostbusters were there in full force and I got to do the unthinkable…I got to sit in the Ecto-1!!! One of the great costumes floating around as well was a guy dressed as Slimer. New_IMG_0405It’s a costume I now want to make myself….there was also a Stay Puft Marshmellow man and a bunch of Ghostbusters – men and women.  A great display was set up as well, showing off props and memorabilia. So much fun for a Ghostbuster fan like myself.

I was a littel shocked that the line to meet Clint Howard wasn’t longer. This guy is a legend, and easily one of the most recognizable character actors on the con circuit and it was a lot of fun to meet him. He had the head prop from Ice Cream Man there as well, and the detail on that thing was shocking. I was a little put off by his handler who good naturedly insisted on referring to me as a  New_IMG_0417“Geek” because I wanted a Star Trek photo signed, but otherwise really cool to meet Clint.

Another high point was finally getting to meet Charlse Band. I’ve been a Full Moon fan since college (and really before that – if  I were to really examine my UHF viewing as a child). I’ve meet Lloyd Kauffman before, and I appreciate how important Troma is to the genre, but Full Moon is really the other side of that coin, and the full moon astetic appeals to me far more than Troma’s gross out humor ever did. I got him to sign a Terrorvision poster (also signed by Richard Band – the composer for the film.) and was delighted to get a photo with him. That IMG_0422Terrorvision poster is goign to Cinema Wasteland with me in a couple of weeks  for Garret Grahame and Maybe I’ll find something else for Band to sign there!

There were a bunch of composers at this show – a really great idea, thoguh I’m not sure how well it worked out…their tables seemed to be perpetually empty. Still, I was able to get my Evil Dead poster signed as well as my Terrorvision – I wish I had remembered to bring my Conjuring and Wishmaster posters with me, and I could have gotten thier composers as well. One of the coolest however was Christopher Young. My Hellraiser poster has been a little bit of an issue. I originally bought it for a Gettysburg con  where New_IMG_0403Dough Bradley, Ashly Lawrence and Clive Barker were supposed to appear. Ashley and Clive both cancelled and it only got signed by Dough. His dedication was “See you in Hell!” Which always bothered my wife. I suppose I can see why.  At HorrorHound I got to meet Christopher Yong who created the music for Hellraiser.  His inscription was “See you in Heaven” instead and was one of the coolest encounters at the con.

Another appallingly short line was for the Crypt Keeper! He was inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame earlier and truely deserves it. I wasn’t aware that he had also done the voice for Buster Bunny on Tiny Toons – very cool. Another for my voice actor collection. he wasn’t just signing, he was doing answering machineNew_IMG_0439 messages…how cool is that?

All in all, not a BAD con, but poorly orginized and it’s gotten far too big. It’s also gotten a little greed with it’s VIP passes, higher than average prices on admission and autographs and the way they handle their “Professional Photo Ops”. More and more the big cons are leaving a bad taste in my mouth and I wonder if I’m done with the big ones…

We’ll see. Wasteland in Two weeks!

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The Iron Man project part three

Iron ManToday we need to finish that leg. The leg is actually only three pieces. one trifold, similar to the lower leg, a round piece going around the back adn one long piece for the side.

100_3968I really wanted some round whorls on the side, something to give the suite some texture and look a little more like the comic legs.

100_3969These strips have varying thickness and are glued onto the side panel of the leg. That side panel is attached to the front.

100_3973Finally we wrap a long flat piece of foam from one end to the other creating a leg piece. These cover the thighs and sit above the calf boots we created back i npart one.


Next month we start work on the arm! but for now, remember, there’s new Violent Blue tomorrow!

The Iron Man project part two

Iron ManThe shoes for irom man actually fit over my real shoes. They have no bottom, just a littel elastic, so we had to first create a kind of outer shell to know how big they needed to be.

100_3943 100_3941Detail work comes next. A strip along the bottom, some ridges on the back.

100_3942Finally a few finishing touches, in particular a triangular shape on the top that fits in places with the blast shield on the lower leg.


100_3927Next month we’ll work a little more on the leg and build the upper part. but for now, remember, there’s new Violent Blue tomorrow!

The Iron Man project

Iron Man

Last year we spent about eleven months walking step by step through the creation of my Pinhead makeup. I may still return to that subject and create other cenobites as well as armor, but for now, I have other fish to fry.

You probably saw pictures of me in my Iron Man armor last year, but did you ever wonder how I created it?  This year’s oddessy will be the step by step creation of the suit, mistakes and all.

It started with the legs. The calves actually. I knew I couldn’t create  rounded edges with the material I had and the subpar sculpting skill of mine. So insted we went with sharp edges and curved angles. These are the sides.

100_3932I then created the front of the leg, one piece of foam scored in two places on the back and then bent into a shape with three sides. I attached the previous two pieces to this.

100_3935 100_3933 100_3934Finally we need to create a blast shield at the bottom, a way for the leg to move at the ankle without there being a huge gap over the shoes.

100_3937 100_3938Finally, I need a little helper to test it out! Obviously Lydia wants to be Iron man some day. Next month we’ll show you how we created that shoe! but for now, remember, there’s new Violent Blue tomorrow!