I’ll be perfectly honest, while this is generally average show – I really enjoy it because of all the friends that go here. I hit Akron Canton to hang out with Mike and Jason and Alli and to introduce my friend Rhonda to all of these people, as well as participate in the costume contest. Indeed, it was a beautiful day, just cool enough that I wasn’t melting in my Lego Deadpool suit – and in a smaller environment like this Lego Deadpool get a lot of love. It was a lot of fun to run around in this and delight all the kids at this show.
There were more deals last year, I actually found some 50 Cent and quarter bins then. This year there is only one three for a dollar bin, and it was full of Archies (What is it with Harper shows and Archies anyhow?). Still, we hunted through the dollar bins – I got a nice run of Fight Club 2, as well as some Camelot 3000s that I had my eye out for. At least the dollar bins are scattered all across this hall as well as other deals – my friend Rhonda found an issue Creepy magazine for a shockingly good price.
Akron Canton is just what it’s always been, a Jeff Harper flea market with a admission – but it’s also a great place to hang out with friends and score some special stuff. I’ve got a soft spot for this little show and I’m pretty sure I’ll be back next year.
You could almost hear the strains of the song “I’m the bogeyman” from the nightmare before Christmas as Oogie Boogie sauntered through the halls of the library. He spotted a giant Lego version of Deadpool, and waved to get his attention. Lego Deadpool shuffled over to him and Oogie Boogie piped up “Can I get a hug?”. Behind them, R2 D2 whistled in apprehension.
Colossalcon totally lives up to its name as a massive anime convention drawing and people from all over the country. The crowds are huge, and it’s a show unlike any other… Which is probably why I chose to go to Geekfest instead. It’s actually a triumphant return for this convention as well… last year it mysteriously vanished from the schedule and I was really bummed about that. I like this convention, and I think it’s a really great one for the community. There’s very little to buy here, being more programming focused with panels and kids activities and such a great atmosphere. It’s unfortunate that they chose to schedule this opposite not only Colossalcon, but also River City Pop Culture Fest (and OddMall collaboration) going on just one or two exits down the road. The end result; attendance was down a little bit from their last show in 2016. It’s still however every bit as good an event as I remember.
I got up in time to catch most of the History of Comics panel. In particular the speaker was focusing on women and comics with a emphasis on Wonder Woman. While it was meant to be a survey of comics from the 20th century all the way up to modern times, the presenter really finds the older stuff to be more interesting in discussion (so do I for that matter). Ultimately we kind of skimmed over the 90s and forward, remaining mostly in the golden age and of course going over the effects of the book “seduction of the innocent” on the industry.
Over the years, I’ve always seen the Ramen eating contest schedule but never got to watch it – that was another fun thing I managed to slip into before catching the gaming panel. As I slipped from room to room in the halls, R2D2 would roll by and harass me – courtesy of the R2 builders club in attendance.
While there weren’t as many costumes as I’m used to this year, the ones that did show up were brilliant. a No-Face wondered the halls, and what impressed me about this particular version was the way the roads were layered with the mask being a full helmet and not just a face mask and a hooded robe. The way the fabric was draped and fell, it all felt like there was more detail and character to it. An extremely slimed ghostbuster showed up with a home-made proton pack built from duck tape and wires and lights and whatever trash she could get her hands on (and we know I’m ALL about costumes made from trash!). She described it as being inspired by Ghostbusters 2… the bit where Lewis grabbed Egon’s leftovers to run and save the guys. It looks like that – like a beat up old pack that was in the back of the closet and that’s such a nice touch. I love the original Sith character, and a marvelous Harley Quinn who showed off her hand made varsity jacket. Myself, I barely made it up the stairs to the stage in my bulky Lego costume… The presenter gave me a hand up and twisted my leg back into place after I hobbled on stage. The emcee asked what it was about Deadpool that I liked. “I’m just in it for the chimichangas,” I replied before inquiring if the food truck outside stocked any Mexican food.
I attended Geekfest alone this year. As the girls grow older they don’t hit as many cons with me the way they did back in 2014… and I gotta admit, this particular event is just not the same without my kids. But still, I’m glad to see the show is alive and well and I really hope to see it return next year at a better calendar slot so it can get the sort of attendance it really deserves.
It’s been a few years since I hit Fantasticon. I was there for it’s first appearance in Toledo (at a slightly smaller venue that they outgrew in their first outing) but scheduling conflicts had kept me from getting back to the burgeoning show and I had always wondered what had become of it once it moved to the much larger space in the Seagate Center.
My first impression was that sadly, the parking situation hadn’t gotten any better. if anything, it had worsened a bit as I had feared. Lot parking around the center was a flat $5, with hourly rates in the basement of the Center itself . Still five as long as you’re gone in five hours. I wasn’t, but the extra two beans was worth it to be able to park a mere twenty feet from the elevator and have easy access to my car in the cumbersome Lego Deadpool suit I was waddling around in. I had no handler and knew that having to wander a block either carrying or wearing the costume would have been impossible.
Inside, signs smartly directed me to the registration counter and inside. The layout is very well done and easy to get around. I found myself thankful for the smooth polished floors that made it easy for me to move my lego feet.
While I miss the warm, homey hotel like- feel of that first venue, I have to admit the larger dealers room was nice. I lugged my two Batman volumes over to Mike DeCarlo’s table. While Jim Aparo is the definitive Batman artist for me, but when he inked his own stuff it would always feel a little muddy. Aparo was always at his best when DeCarlo was inking – crisp and solid and defined. He smiled when I told him this.
“Jim always told me that besides himself, I was his favorite inker!” he grinned as he thanked me.
I headed over to the panel stage – a corner cordoned off with curtains and chairs just in time for the trivia contest. The corner had letters pasted to the walls; A,B,C, and D. Everyone stood and listened for the multiple choice question, and would then go stand by the letter that went with thier answer.
“This is a lot more walking than I had bargained for!” I exclaimed, bouncing my way from corner “C” to corner “A”. I ended up in the top four before I missed a question and had to quit. I love the game and they way they set it up.
I ran into my friend Ed and drafted him to be my handler for a hour where he helped me shop. It’s the problem with the lego suits- no hands and if you wait until the end of the show, that stuff you were looking at might just ave vanished….. Ed was a huge help that was above and beyond and I really appreciated it.
I also managed to sneak in to watch most of Daniel Phillips panel as he made up an assistant into a sinister cat-like creature. I’m not familiar enough with this guys work – I need to fix that.
Towards the end of the day I made it back for the costume contest. It’s always interesting chatting with the other people there about what they made and how they did it. I was flanked by a couple guys in armor discussing how they built their outfits and what they’d like to try for a Hulkbuster suit (something I’d like to make myself). I leapt back in fear as a dark Jedi glided towards me applying a Force choke. Lego Deadpool danced behind Pyramid Head as I marveled at Youndu Poppins and the way she’d made the arrow into the umbrella. I got to talk sewing with Cinderella (Her second twirl dress – Her Elsa had won last year and her Cinderella would win this time around as well). We took interviews with the local news station and generally goofed around with the other attendees until it was time to head in. There’s a reason I always describe that wait right before the costume contest as my favorite part of any show.
“Magical girl curtain holding power!” I exclaimed at the anime girl holding the entrance in. She brandished her wand at me. “Just you wait! I’ll turn you into the REAL Deadpool instead of a LEGO one!” She then followed me into the adjacent convention hall, an empty one that had been converted for use as a green room. It was dark and cold, like an empty aircraft hanger. The lower temperature did me some good as Harley Quinn chatted me up. Lego suits get warm.
When my number was called I bounded out and eyed the portable stairs warily. I’d been practicing with those big feet…
I grabbed the handrails and dove in. I made it up two steps and was trying to navigate the third….and the stirs began to topple backwards….with me on it!
I was rescued by the Lone Ranger.
The Emcee, whose costume I’d been admiring an hour earlier dashed up, caught the railing to steady it as he gave me a good push up. I jumped on the stage in triumph to applause and laughter. Down the stairs was easier than up. Crisis averted.
I have to admit, I really dig this show. It’s run with heart. They bring in fun guests and JUST enough programming to make it a real event, and keep it balanced between shopping and programming. I’m hoping my schedule conflicts are behind me and I can start making this a regular stop on the con circuit. Either way, sooner or later, I’ll be back.
PS : I made the news!