Great Lakes Comic Con
Great Lakes Comic Con has The distinction of being one of those shows that I say confidently, I consistently have fun at. I enjoyed this one, despite the massively long drive. I was grateful to see that they survived the government lock down, however we still skipped last year because because of the lingering mask mandate. We nearly missed this year as well. My Saturday had gotten booked with a funeral, and the associated events that go with such a thing. There was no way we were going to be able to sneak off to Detroit on Saturday. We still wanted to go though, and there were people there I wanted to meet. We resolved to hit the show on Friday instead.
The problem with going on Friday is the hours are significantly shortened, and there’s little or no programming. That was the case here, but I figured I’d be spending most of my night standing in lines waiting for autographs. Maddie too, was eager to hit as many conventions as possible this year. It’s been a while since she’s been to this one. She broke out her Todoroki while I looked for something soft and flexible. Since I wasn’t competing in the costume contest Saturday, I wanted something I could move around in, that would leave my hands free and my vision unobscured. It’d been a while since I’d worn the Penguin, and this seem like an ideal fit. We bundled our outfits into the car, and began the 2 and a 1/2 hour trip West.
I always forget how long a line for this show it is. We usually show up a little bit late to try and avoid some of it, but today, time was of the essence. We arrived just as the doors opened, to find the line wrapped around the antechamber. It always bottle necks right at the door, and it’s the one drawback from what is otherwise an excellent venue over at Macomb Community College. Once we finally got inside I made a beeline for the guest aisle. Dan DiDio had no line! I walked right up, and he greeted me with a grin.
“I was just watching Batman returns a couple of days ago on the plane! The movie really holds up.”
I nodded in agreement and mentioned that I had just screened it for Maddie this Christmas. I then pulled out my copy of ambush bug issue 7 of 6. DiDio Broke out and laughter. You see, this is not a book that he wrote…. he is the editor on it. The more important thing, is how heavily hes featured in it. Ambush bug has always enjoyed making fun Of the management at DC Comics, and DE deo is all over this book.
“Have you ever heard the story of why this book is 7 of 6?”
I’d heard bits and pieces of it, and DiDio proceeded to spend the next ten minutes giving me the entire story of how some pages needed changes, got turned in, and then got lost and buried on his desk for months. By the time they found that they need to make further changes, and a ended up feeling actually the only way they could release it was with the new number in, doing a total gag with the whole thing.
It was wonderful fun to listen to him, and this is exactly the sort of thing that I hit conventions for. We moved on, stopping briefly over at Bill Morrison’s table. He’s charging way too much for a signature on a book, especially when you’ve got a legendary silver age artist like Mike Royer across The aisle, charging half that, and giving all of his proceeds to cancel research charities.
Royer’s line wasn’t long, but it was slow. Part of that is because he likes to talk with the people that are coming up and that’s fun. Part of it’s also because there were several chickenheads in line bringing him huge stacks of books and having him sign them all. Just a gentle reminder, if you roll up to an artist’s table with half a long box full of comics And you intend to get them all signed, just know, everyone in line hates you. Show some class, do a few of the time, get out of line and go back through. Royer looked up at me and gestured towards the fake cigarette in the long stemmed holder I was clutching between my teeth.
“If you were really smoking that! You would have gone through an entire pack by now!” he chuckled apologizing for the long wait. By the time I finally got up to him, he was Interested in chatting about the old Gotham TV show, and the version of the Penguin there appeared
“I didn’t really like the girl on that show… Fish. But that young man playing the Penguin, I can immediately tell who he was. Who he was trying to play… he did something with that character…”
“I think it’s the first time that somebody had really made the Penguin… cool,” I agreed. We went on to talk a little bit about the Marvel television shows, with Daredevil still being his favorite.
All of this was good stuff. I got to surprise Randy Zimmerman with a fairly full run of tails from the Aniverse, as well as chatting up Chris Scalf, the cover artist for Realm Comics long forgotten Battlestar Galactica run. Grabbed a couple of great cover autographs from from Tom Nguyen and Angel Medina, as well as grabbing Tom Orzechowski to sign the last of my X-Men collections. I had pulled a couple of Spider-Man issues for Kieth Pollard to sign, but passed when I saw he was charging $20. He wasn’t interested in me being there either an barely looked up from the sketch he was drawing. (it’s sad that I’ve been priced out of the game so much – and I certainly wasn’t going to pay forty or sixty dollars for the Disney Star Wars actors in attendance). Maddie had since taken off to do her own thing, so I figured it’s about time that I found her and we did the dealer’s room proper.
I must say, for such a vast dealer’s room, I wasn’t finding a whole lot of stuff I was interested in. A single lego figure, and only a handful of books. No quarter bins, no fifty cent bins, dollar or more. Still, it gave me a chance to fill some holes in my star trek collection. I’m already regretting passing on some of those cheap figures I was looking at as well There was a nice looking like solution in a suit, but the scale was one that I don’t usually collect. I probably should have any help. In another bed I found little John from Robin hood Prince of thieves. I’ve actually started collecting these figures loose, just for the lunacy of the reused superpowers sculpts. The problem is, you get into some of these ones like little John, and it looks More mad Max than Robin hood. They’re practically unrecognizable without the soft goods covering them. Still, I could have taken him home and made him a leather jerkin or something. Next time.
The real find of the day was the hauntingly bizarre plushy captain Kirk from star trek the motion picture. Sitting in a $5 bin, I’ve never seen one of these before and immediately had to have it. The vendor told me that they made spark as welcome but he hasn’t ever seen 1. Looks like I’ve got something to look out for on my next trip.
We actually stayed the entire time, leaving a mere 15 minutes before the door is closed. You definitely try to make the most out of the day, although I’ll admit, The shortened Friday with no panels just wasn’t worth the long drive both ways. I think in the future, it’s gonna be Saturday or nothing. Still, I’m glad we went, and I’m happy to see the show is back And good as our. Maddie did her own review, but you’ll find below, and then pass that tons of pictures!
Great Lakes Comic Con 2020
I’ll say this for Great Lakes Comic Con, I never fail to have a good time there – it’s always been a good show all the way back to that first year that Maddie and I discovered it when we were looking for an alternative to Wizard World Cleveland. I skipped this one last year mostly because there were no guests that I was interested in and as such, it fell prey to the streamlining of my schedule. This time around however, not only were they bringing in the actors from the old Shazam series, but they were also bringing in one of my bucket list writers – Jim Starlin. His run on Batman is transformative, and the combination of him, Mike DeCarlo and Jim Aparo are my definitive creative team for that book.
Nevertheless, I woke up that morning with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. It was an early departure, primarily because Starlin had capped his signing line to 25 people per hour, due to a hand injury. I know from experience that means you better get over to that table and grab a line ticket as soon as the show opens or you may not get to meet the guest – I’ve been burned on Bruce Campbell this way and almost lost my opportunity to get George Perez to sign my stuff. On the other hand, I would’ve preferred to have shown up around Noon and wasn’t sure if I’d have enough to d all day. Still, I have faith in Great Lakes and so I drug myself out of bed and made the long, arduous journey to Deee-troit!
I was pleased to discover that the line wasn’t as long as it had been on my previous trip, and I managed to make it over to Jim’s table just after 10:30. I was able to secure a place in line between 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock – that was going to make things difficult with the costume, I’d probably have to get in and out of it a couple of times but at least I was going to get my books signed! Ticket secured, I made my way over to the Shazam booth where the guys were friendly and happy to see me. Bringing in superheroes from these old 70s shows reminds me a lot of Akron Comicon’s old philosophy and I’ve always enjoyed the selection that Great Lakes brings in. Across the sprawling, massive dealers room floor I found some fun blind boxes of Ghostbuster stuff as well as one dealer unloading a ton of Walking Dead swag for a buck apiece. I grabbed Lucille pens for Amy and Lydia, as well as a pack of Pokémon cards for Maddie. At the door, the freebie station was set up and people were handing out promotional items for the Harley Quinn movie – tiny hammer and bat keychains as well as posters and enamel pins. I’m not proud. I loaded up. Lydia would be delighted with the tiny Harley hammer that I brought her home. Right near the entrance I spied a vendor selling Spider-man Essentials volumes for two dollars apiece and picked up two of the huge trades and headed back to the car. It was time for a swag dump and a change of outfit.
Fortunately for me, Michigan was having a mild winter so it wasn’t too terrible as I lugged the Skeksis costume in, wearing only the sweatpants and shirt that went underneath it. I geared up and took a look at the clock – I’d have to get back into civvies in two hours, but that would allow me plenty of time to make a couple of rounds through the floor.
In the week between Zip Con and Great Lakes, I had completely reworked the left arm so that it now held a staff. The hand, staff, and arm were all one piece, repainted and sculpted out of Great Stuff and PVC but this would be my first time walking around with it. I’d also drilled a hole in the neck connector so that I could drop a nail through the joint, securing the head to keep it from falling off again. There in the front hall, I had people coming up to me for photos before I had even completely suited up. After my experience at Zip Con and with the addition of the staff I was feeling much better about this costume and was happy to see how well received it was at the show. One young man in his twenties came up to me and told me he recognized it – not from the new Netflix series, but because his parents used to play the movie for him all the time on VHS! Another person confided in me that The Dark Crystal was one of the few films that genuinely scared him as a kid and gave him nightmares. I smiled and told him I was glad to have contributed to his psychosis.
As I made my way to the back of the convention floor, the people over at Guy Gilchrist’s table spotted me. Gilchrist is a Henson alumni, and bills himself as Jim Henson’s cartoonist. His assistant jabbed at his arm, drawing his attention up and away from the piece he was working on. His eyes widened in amazement and he exhaled deeply in wonder. He invited me over to get photos and showed me a photo of him with Jim Henson “This was taken right around the time he was creating you!”. It meant a lot to hear how impressed he was with the costume, he insisted on signing a Dark Crystal print for me and told me to come pick it up once I was out of costume.
I checked the time, Tom DeFalco‘s panel was about to start and I figured I’d be able to make it through about half of it at least before I have to shuffle out of the suit. Some of the con staff were nice enough to open the door to the panel room for me and I slipped into the back corner. DeFalco was just beginning his talk and had been handing out notes. He grabbed the moderator and handed a stack f papers to him and then pointed to the back.
“…and let’s get one of these over to the… Creature… In the back.”
I enjoyed DeFalco’s talk about his approach to creating comics. This is another one of those things that great Lakes does really well, and I remember having a similar reaction when they brought Jim Shooter in for a talk much like this. I was disappointed when I had to slip out, but time is ticking away and I wanted to be in normal clothes to meet Jim Starlin.
I carried my bundle out to the car and decided it would be too much trouble to get the lizard feet off (they are the hardest part of the costume, and it always takes me forever to wriggle out of them. I usually don’t take them off until I get home actually) and decided to just put my jeans back on over top of them. It had warmed up enough that I left my leather jacket in the car and just wore my sweater, topping it off with a hat to cover my hair, mussed from the costume.
Starlin himself was warm and congenial.
“Batman was always my hero,” he told me. “ I mean back then, it was either superman Batman or wonder woman – and then maybe a little bit later the fly or the Jaguar, but it was really mostly Superman Batman and Wonder Woman”
He looked at my copy of Death in the Family as he was signing it.
“It was a shame, after we killed off Robin, somebody in merchandising realized it was a problem, and all of a sudden I was kind of persona non grata at DC. Work just dried up. Fortunately, there were some openings over at Marvel and I ended up working on a little thing call the Infinity Gauntlet – so I can’t complain too much!”
Before I got back into the costume, where I would stay for the remainder of the show, I managed to swing through and do a bit more shopping. No quarter bins, but plenty of 50 Cent bins and I managed to score some Punisher and Green Hornet. I was shocked when I discovered a bunch of Hulk and Star Trek issues in one those 50 Cent bins, all signed by writer Peter David. David is one of my favorite writers and I actually go out of my way to meet him at Hall of Fame Comicon a couple of years ago. I can’t for the life of me understand why these are in the discount boxes, but I wasn’t complaining. I grabbed as many as I could find and came home with a stack of new stuff to read.
I spent the last two hours of the show back in the Skeksis outfit. I hadn’t realized how much muscle it would take to carry around the staff. It’s not that it was heavy, just that used muscles in my forearm that I’m not used to flexing all the time! About an hour before the costume contest, I saw a familiar costume style walk in, a cosplayer I’d seen around Michigan a few times – he’d spent most of the day in a diffrent costume, but now was in his new hydra suit which managed to place during the costume contest. Backstage and waiting for the contest to proceed, I had fun fooling around with some of the other contestants – hypnotizing one of them with my staff and joking with some of the others. This time with the other cosplayers is consistently my favorite part about doing costume contests – it’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s about who you get to know!
As the show drew to a close, I slunk out quickly and quietly- exhausted and ready to hit the nearest McDonald’s for some hydration on the way home. Still, despite my fatigue, I had fun and can’t wait to come back.
Great Lakes Comic-Con 2018
The first thing that struck me when I headed into Great Lakes Comic Con was how long the admission line was. It wound around the hallway, twice as long as I remember it being in past years. This isn’t a bad thing – I like GLCC and am pleased to see it grow….and besides. I had to get into my costume.
I learned from my experience at All-Americon that trying to get from the car into a convention center wearing a Lego suit is more trouble than it’s worth, so my buddy Rocky and I lugged it in and I struggled into the bulky outfit while we stood in line. By the time we hit the point where the line curve around on itself, I was suited up. After taking photos with half a dozen people, we rounded the corner to the registration table where bewildered bouncers tried to figure out how to get a wristband around my oversized mitt.
The idea for a Greatest American Hero in Lego came from a doodle I did around Christmastime. A whim when I learned William Katt would be joining us at GLCC. I still can’t believe I actually built this thing, but there I was making a beeline for his table. One side was partitioned off with curtains, and we made it in just before the line cut off (he had a panel coming up). As I shuffled in, the actor nearly leapt over the table to greet me, arms wide open with a huge grin on his face.
“Look at this! Just…LOOK at this!” he breathed in amazement. Suddenly were were surrounded by a dozen or more cameras snapping away. Rocky tried to find a vantage point and and failed, eventually pulling us aside to get our photo for my own collection.
As he signed a House photo for me, we chatted about his recent appearance on Supergirl. Despite my disappointment at it only being a cameo, he knew that going in – it turns out the producers were fans of The Greatest American Hero and just wanted to sneak him in there somewhere. I asked what it was like working with John Hart – the Lone ranger. The question gave him pause, as he realized I was talking about the episode of GAH called “My Heroes have always been Cowboys”.
“The thing is,” he responded thoughtfully, “My heroes have always REALLY been cowboys. My father made a living for years as a cowboy in westerns and we watched the Lone Ranger when I was growing up.” He paused, choking up a bit. “That was really special. Thank you for asking about it.”
Katt will tell you himself that he’s a chatty cathy and will talk your ear off at the table, but I knew he had a panel coming up and I cut it short. As Rocky and I wandered to the panel room, I looked over.
“Okay. I’m good. We can go now…it’s not going to get any better than that!”
He laughed. “We still have the costume contest at 4!” He was right of course. He hadn’t brought that wrestler Spider-Man all the way to Michigan for nothing.
After William Katt’s panel, I made it over to Jim Sternako’s talk by the bleacher section. Sternako is arguably one of the most important artists in comic…and he knows it. I admire the former, but don’t care for the latter. He announced that he was going to start his panel off by talking about his time as a magician and escape artist – but what he was REALLY talking about was his claim that Jack Kirby modeled Mr. Miracle after him. About thirty minuets in, the Lego suit started to weigh on me and it was time to take a break. I stashed it in the car and headed back to the vendor room to shop.
Fifty cent bins were everywhere. I never did find that $15 Superpowers Joker I passed on last year, but ended u with a nice stack of beat up silver age Flash, Spider-man and DC Comics presents. In one bin, I spied art 1 and 3 of Disney’s Dick Tracy series. I looked up at the vendor complaining goodnaturedly “Come on! No issue two???” I saw to my embarrassment that it was my friend Sean, who run NEO Comic Con. He shook his head back wit ha smile “If I could only find it!”
After watching the kids contest, it was back in costume for the rest of the day. A brief stop to harass the Ghostbusters and their undead consultant beetlejuice, then it was time for the adult costume contest. Backstage, Rocky and I joked and hung out with a security guard from 5 nights at freddy’s and a Homecoming Spider-Gwen as the Predators looked on. Nothing to see here folks. I cheered on my friend Elisa as she took third in the contest.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love this show. I only wish it were closer to home. With it’s focus on comic guests and a couple of media personalities sprinkled through it’s just the righ size and balance and it’s no wonder it continues to grow…and no wonder it continues to be one of my regular stops. See you guys next year!
Great Lakes Comic Con
You know what? Perhaps I should revisit that New Years resolution to go to fewer conventions this year…it just dosen’t seem to be working out…..
Maddie and I headed out to Warren Michigan this weekend for Great Lakes Comic Con. I broke a couple of my rules this time around actually, the first one being I don’t like to take the girls out to shows I haven’t checked out ahead of time. I’ve never been to this one, and it’s a bit of a drive. I broke the same rule last week taking Lydia to the Anime con in Akron I suppose, but that one I had a little more confidence in, where as this one I really didn’t know what I was walking into – still, Maddie is getting older and she’s able to hang out a lot longer at one of these things. In fact, she made it through entire show! Eight hours is impressive for a 10-year-old…
The second rule that I broke was a big one. In general you never want to wait until the day of the event to try out a new costume. Unfortunately, I had such an enormous time crunch with Man at Arms that I didn’t have time to really give it a try out. You see, you want to put the whole thing on at least once, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, or half an hour – you just want to see how it feels, what it’s like going on and coming off, what it does to your peripheral vision, can you sit, how big are you….stuff like that. I had in fact, tried on all the parts individually, I knew that the undershirt was stiff, and I knew that the breastplate would squeeze my head going through and that my arm would be a little tight on the shoulder pad side. I knew that I’d have to wriggle to get the belt on, but that the elastic would stretch and contract enough to keep at snug. The problem is, I hadn’t done them all together – and that would come back to bite me later.
The outfit was actually surprisingly comfortable, it seems I learn a little bit more each time and make one of these – I had full range of movement, and because of the fingerless gloves, I didn’t lose my fine motor skills. Kneeling was still a challenge but I could run! That was important considering how cold the day was – trips between the car and the convention centre need to be short, especially since Maddie didn’t want to wear her jacket for fear it would cover her She-Ra costume. The suit was warm but not too warm and the helm would make me perspired a bit, but it kept me well insulated during lunch when I had to eat outside (I was too big to fit in the car). The big problem came when I tried to take it off – the plate on the arms did just fine when I was slipping them through the openings on the side of the chestpiece, but taking it off those panels would catch and my arms didn’t seem to want to go back through the breastplate! I had already got my head inside I was trying to pull from the neck (the way I commonly get out of these pieces of armour). Suddenly, from outside of the darkness I heard voices…
“Hey dude you do you need help? “.
“Here, let me give you a hand! ”
“Come on guys let’s give him some help over here! ”
Nimble fingers pushed the plating on my arm in so that it would clear the armhole while pairs of hands grabbed the sides of the armor and pulled, helping me slide out. I looked up and found myself surrounded by every wrestler from the WWF in the 80’s. Sergeant Slaughter was there, the junkyard dog, Macho Man and Rowdy Roddy Piper. This was a group of cosplayers who I had seen in the costume contest as a WW F group – partly because Sergeant Slaughter, the real one, was one of the guests. they’re actually run out and got into a wrestling match in front of the crowd that it was hilarious!
This is really a great example of the goodwill that I saw in between all the cosplayers at great Lakes comic con – it was an incredibly friendly atmosphere, with people chatting to each other exchanging tips and talking about how they built what. When it’s this kind of an atmosphere, this kind of a friendly group – it just makes things so much better. You can see that everybody is here not so much to really compete against each other, but rather to enjoy everybody and enjoy the hobby and just have fun. It makes such a huge difference!
There was a woman dressed in little powder puffs with the sash that read “Tribble Queen” I love that outfit – it was just such a creative and fun idea. I checked out the Lady Predator as well, she had the actual countdown from the movie running on her wrist. It was an app on her phone and she had created a gauntlet on which she could mount it – just brilliant.
I chatted with an amazing Swamp thing. Seriously, look at this outfit for a moment. He created every bit of it. He covered his face with Rice Krispies, then did a life cast which he pulled a latex mold of. He cast the hands and feet. The amount of detail and work here is amazing.
There there was this one person dressed as Shak-Ti from the Star Wars expanded universe. Johnyaya over at Skeletons in Spacesuits talked with her a bit about the costume; The entire headset was shaped foam with thick paint and some sort of sealer. I didn’t believe her. She replied “No one does. Touch it.”
To my utter shock they managed to get through 50 contestants in the adult costume contest and did it in 20 minutes! Seriously, I love Akron Comicon, but they could learn a thing from the organization and way they pulled this off!
I think the kids Contest one longer actually, fewer participants and a little bit more opportunity to do stuff for the judges. There are some marvelous kids costumes as well, including a Jedi who had an Ewok friend that she puppeteered as a marionette! That was amazing! The little Hawkgirl was beautiful and so well done, her father, a golden age Flash was equally impressive.
Saturday was a little light on panels, although what they did have was marvelous. Most of the talks were held in a little unmarked room tucked away on the side of the convention center by the snack bar – not a lot of space for people, but they weren’t well attended either… It seems like this is a smaller component at this show, and I understand. I give them props on this, that there was a lot of other stuff going on as well – they had an amazing retro arcade set up in one corner courtesy of Big Toys Arcade. The booth was filled, complete with pinball and about half a dozen video game machines all set on free play. There was one Transformers pinball machine set to take quarters, with the proceeds going to charity. Very cool, and a great idea. The arcade was possibly Maddie’s favorite thing to do during the day, and we visited it several times. I had a great deal of fun on the X-Files pinball machine, I don’t get to do that as much as I’d like these days and I miss pinball – Maddie was digging some of the arcade machines, especially the multicade cabinet that was running six different games, which ever one you would choose. All cabinets were up for sale and this just seem like a clever way to show them off as well as provide an activity at the convention. While it is normal for Anime Convention is to have game rooms, it’s not quite as common at comic conventions and I love that they’re lifting this idea from the animation shows.
There were also killer photo ops around the convention center. The 501st legion was there of course, and with them were some droid builders who brought some of thier creations with them. Not just an Artoo, the one you commonly see it is shows – they had several different robots around including trade federation droids and that little weird orange Artoo knock off that we see in the background of a lot of Star War. A Kylo Ren was available for photo ops along with a bevy of storm troopers, and they dominated a corner of the show.
Taking up residence in the opposite corner, were the Great Lakes Ghostbusters. Now I’m familiar with the Ohio Ghostbusters, I see these guys a lot on the convention circuit but the Great Lakes Ghostbusters is a chapter that I have not run into before. They have their own Ecto-1, a car which we were delighted to take photos of and in front of. They also had a table full of paraphernalia, game and props, including the new proton packs from the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot. The Ghostbusters arcade game sat all lit up in the back of thier corner, unplayed. Tthat’s kind of a shame, it probably should’ve gone over in the arcade which was right next door to them…
One of the ghostbusters was wearing a slime blower that actually sprayed soap bubbles – not big ones, but suds. It was hilarious to watch him hose down the kids in the crowd, or occasionally go after one of his ghostbuster brethren. I’ve been thinking about making a Slime Blower myself, and I chatted with them a little bit about the recipe, because I really loved that it was able to shoot something like this that evaporates immediately but has such a dynamic visual impact!
I wanna know what was up with the armored ghostbuster they had with them that dressed all in black… Dude that was the scariest looking ghostbuster I have ever laid eyes on!
Further down, past the artist alley into the guest area stood huge oversize Transformers. What I didn’t realize, was that these were actually costumes – at certain times during the con, Optimus Prime would come to life as somebody climbed in him. They also removed the panel from the Grimlock to show the dazzlingly complicated interworkings that would allow it to walk – just amazing.
Sadly, Tom Cook had to cancel for health reasons and I was disappointed not to get to meet him – but Jeff Lee, the creator of the video game and character Q-Bert was amazingly friendly and a lot of fun to talk to. He loaded my daughter up with flip books and a print, then he signed my Q Bert Atari 2600 cartridge. He was really excited to talk about Q-Bert’s appearance in Wreck-It Ralph and to my great surprise he ended up being one of the judges for the adult costume contest. He does stunning paintings, and has had some really fun at pieces done with Q-Bert as the subject – you absolutely need to check him out over his website http://www.jeffreyplee.com/blog/.
I brought a stack of books for Pat Brodrick to sign, and while I was there I bought a beautiful print of the Shadow that he had done! This was really exciting, as I’d seen this image before but never owned it. I chatted with him a little bit about what it was like to work on Batman year three – he mentioned he had been really excited to be in on that book and doesn’t understand why they haven’t collected it yet, I was just talking to do you see the other day about that.” Broderick was charging three dollars a book to sign, which was a little bit disappointing but still more affordable than any celebrity autographs. I’m not liking this trend, but as long as the prices stay down I can weather it.
Larry Hama, who wrote all of the GI Joe comics for Marvel and picked the series back up just a few years ago had a sign up declaring he would autograph two items for free. I love this – completely reasonable and understandable. I had brought four books (those little G.I. Joe digest size editions that Marvel used to put out with three issues per book – I’ve always had great affection for these) but was utterly content to walk away with only two of them signed. It was great to meet the man who had created so much of what we understand in GI Joe.
Speaking of GI Joe, the main celebrity guest of course was Sergeant Slaughter! He was a nice and friendly enough guy who genuinely seems to appreciate its fans. I wish you get a different handler though, this guy was the epitome of the bad manager. He was intrusive, a little demanding and just got in the way. Good handlers are invisible, they handle the money and keep the line moving. There is no reason to really be noticeable at all when you’re in an environment like this where there wasn’t a line and nobody was trying to take advantage of the guest. Still, when you look at this picture – it’s the epitome of 80’s cartoons!
Fifty cent bins were plentiful at this show– in fact they were even a couple of booths with a ton of quarter bins! You’re pressing my deal buttons right now… But then again, this is really what I show up at these events for! Even at Broderick’s table those prints that I bought were half off. We saw wonderful toys and some beautiful artwork. Maddie found a Pokémon booth and was going nuts! There were items for more expensive tastes as well, I managed to pick up the Walking Dead compendium vol three for my wife, and there are plenty of expensive books and collectables there as well – but let’s face it, I’m there for the deals and actually, I didn’t take nearly as good advantage of it as I should have. I loaded up on a bunch of the Marvel essentials volumes though, these things are running about five dollars each nowadays and usually have about 20 issues in them – that’s a quarter bin right there in your hand! We found a cute little Wonder Woman necklace for Lydia done in the shape of the pop vynal figures. I almost pulled the trigger on a Bow from She-Ra figure, but the girls aren’t really playing with She-Ra toys as much anymore… Still I’m kind of a regretting not grabbing that guy. There is an amazing booth that was creating sock puppets and Muppets style puppets from recognizable pop culture figures like Deadpool, Spiderman and Superman – these were just incredibly cute. *edit* I searched the vendors list on GLCC’s website to find these guys. The vendor is Ruppets! Seriously, go check them out. The FB page has more pictures than their vendors site, so here’s the link. https://www.facebook.com/ruppits
I really would have loved to have gotten one, but I’m not doing puppet shows anywhere right now and I just don’t know what I would’ve done with one… Kind of the same reason I didn’t grab that Bow figure or that superpowers Clark Kent – not sure where I would display them, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be playing with them.
We missed most of the “how to create our own comic panel”. I think Maddie was hoping for more of a hands on experience the way the Elyria Comic book initiative presents it. However, we stuck around for the thunder cats panel with Larry Kenney. This was a real treat to hear him talk about the philosophy of the show and working on it. There was a fundamental idea behind the stories. They wanted to show the characters trying to talk things out and reason with their foes before or instead of physically battling them. I’m not sure that I agree with his belief that it was less violent then He-Man or G I Joe, but I certainly understand the point Larry was trying to make. It was really interesting to hear him talk about coming back to ThunderCats for the rebooted series – and that the series was actually getting decent ratings, however it wasn’t getting great toy sales and that’s what ultimately doomed the show. Kinney seems to have some real affection for these characters and is somewhat protective of them – that’s fun to see. It was also enormous fun to hear him do other familiar voices, things like Count Chocula or the Sonny the Cocoa Puffs bird or even the “taste the rainbow” voice that you here at the end of the skittles commercials!
The moderator of this panel was the show runner, who was also present for the costume contests and was very visible in the show. One of the things that attracts me about Great Lakes Comic Con is the fact that it’s run by a fan and it shows. The philosophy feels very similar to that of Akron Comicon, this show is being run for the love of it, not just as an exercise in profit or a giant cash grab like the Wizard World show that was happening at the same time this weekend in Cleveland. Of the two this is definitely the place I wanted to be. We made good time, 2 1/2 half hours out of Cleveland. It’s still a pretty long drive though. If this event were closer it would absolutely be a regular stop for me. From what I heard, the show grew significantly this year. That’s exciting to hear. I’m eager to see where it goes in the future!
Maddie asked me what he was supposed to be.
“Is he like a giant Teddy Bear?”
“Yes” was the easiest answer.
She was a little shy during the costume contest, but happy as a clam when one of the Ghostbuster judges swooped her up so she could parade in front of the crowd!
The Judges deliberate during the kids contest!
Seriously, I love these two…and I want that Leather Flash jacket!Maddie protects herself from a Slime Blower attack! I laughed so hard…..
A baby Mandalorian in teal and pink armor!
The winners of the adult costume contest! Huge thanks to Skeletons in Spacesuits for getting photos of it…Maddie took video but no pictures!
I can not begin to express how much I love this costume!
I really dig that he referred to himself as “Kidpool”
Cutest Vader EVER! I love that this is handmade.
The inside of that Grimlock. If I stare hard enough I kind of get the drive system….then it slips away and I just can’t understand what I’m looking at!
“I’m going to need that guy’s leg.”Ratchet and Clank. The gun lights up with strings of LEDs inside as well as the robot eyes lighting up as well.This was a great take on teh character! Maddie took one look at this guy and told me “He’s going to win the costume contest!”
Maddie is a big Calvin and Hobbes fan (In great part because of it’s similarities to Gail Simone’s Gus Beezer and Marc Sumerk’s Franklin Richards) and she found this little guy – The sign reads “As close to Hobbes as available!”
Maddie reading the Marvel Zombies book she got!
Can’t forget the swag from the con….
Great Lakes Comic Con this weekend!
So this weekend I’m grabbing Maddie and heading out to Great Lakes Comic Con, just as intended.
Well perhaps not JUST as intended…..
The original plan had been to go as Voltron – following the ’80’s retro theme GLCC has going on this weekend. But when we pulled out Maddie’s She-Ra outfit, a different idea occurred to me. We really like doing themed costumes and this was the perfect opportunity to pick up a project I had abandoned a while back.
Remember the Iron Man project? Well as soon as I was done with Iron Man I intended to do a Man-At-Arms costume. I got as far as half a boot and then got distracted by something shiny. Three years or so later, I’m getting back to this project. There’s a lot of influence from the 2002 reboot, but a lot of elements from the movie as well (things like the visor on the helmet and the eagle on the shoulder guard) and blending it in with my own touches.
Trying to go a little more detailed than normal, to emphasize the tech feel over the medieval look. Going with gold incited of yellow, silver instead of blue, and toning down the greens into an army olive.
I fully expect to have to repeatedly explain that no, I’m not from Bioshock or World of Warcraft….
I didn’t stop there though. I decided to upgrade Maddie’s She-Ra as well. That Dremel I got for Christmas has really been a game changer, allowing me to go to much greater extremes with the details and I decided to not only do my armor, but create new wristbands and a new belt for Maddie, as well as adding the arm cuffs this outfit has never had. Throw in a bag of jewels from the dollar store and her She-Ra has gone from looking cute, to looking fierce. I’m really excited to see this all put together on her. We’ve also attached a floating Orko – he can move around my shoulder from front to back. He probably won’t come out untill later in the day though – I don’t want to tempt fate with a tear or something worse.
Still, all in all, I can’t wait! There’s an amazing guest list out there – just see for yourself!
As for tonight, we’re finishing up that John Hughes retrospective at the Lorain Palace– Sixteen Candles should put me in just the right frame of mind for Great Lakes tomorrow! Hope to see you at the con tomorrow and the movie tonight!
Zip Con, Ferris Bueller and BEYOND!
A couple of weeks ago Lydia came to me and asked when the next comic convention is. At the time she asked I didn’t have any one the horizon. The kids don’t go with me to Horror Relm and I absolutely loath big cons like Wizard World (with a special disdain for WW in particular) so I wasn’t going to that one. The Z.E.R.O.S. however, had let me know about an anime con coming up out at Akron university. I miss those kind of shows. Shinboku Con is very dearly missed and the show I was hoping to fill it’s place in my con schedule – Toshokan? Well they cancelled last year too!
As a result, this year I’m planning on hitting Zip Con over at Akron University. So even though the kids don’t really know Anime, when Lyds asked me abut when the next comic con was I told her, that while this isn’t exactly a comic con, she was welcome to come with me to this while Maddie was busy that day with a friend’s birthday party. Lydia excitedly responded “Yes!” then immediately asked if I could make her a Pikachu costume. Maybe she understands what Anime is after all…..
So we’ll be at Zip Con between 1pm and 5pm or so. If you see Mazingar Z wandering around with a little Pokemon, that’s us! Tap me on the shoulder and say hi!
After the con, I’ll be rushing home to drop Lydia off and get the paint off my face in time to hit Ferris Bueller at the Lorain Palace. Of all the John Hughes films out there, this is my favorite, it’s an old friend from weekend UHF TV and I would really love to see it on the big screen.
But that’s not all….
I mean, it would be unfair of me to take Lydia to a con and not Maddie wouldn’t it? So next week, instead of Wizard World, I’ve found an alternative. Great Lakes Comic con comes to Warren, Michigan and we’ll be there! More on that next week!