Bay Con 2022
Look, there’s worse things to do on a Sunday afternoon, and much like Cleveland Comic Book & Nostalgia Festival, it’s just a quick two exit hop down the highway after Church. I recall it being really small, but nice enough from the last time I went, so I packed up the kiddo and off we went. We wanted simple costumes so I brought Venom (With a Star Lord jacket because it’s starting to turn cold. Venom has spent time with the guardians. It works) and Maddie brought Todroki. My buddy Josh met us up there in his Cobra Commander costume and in we went.
I have to wonder if Bay-Con is a another casualty of the lockdowns. Last time I went it was WAY bigger (despite being a tiny library style show). The Ghostbusters were parked out front. Stuff was going out in the back, events and vendors. This time around it was limited to a single room, and music playing by the picnic benches out back.
Still we were determined to have some fun. We took photos all over, doing pics and videos of Maddie with the gauntlet, and Josh with his RC Optimus Prime. I thumbed through the comics from Carol and John’s and Maddie found a new book she wanted. I drew some artwork in their artist alley and we grabbed cookies for Maddie’s sister and Mom back home. Maddie ran into friends from school which was especially cool, an the promoters kept trying to get us to sign up fro the costume contest. Sadly it was scheduled for three thirty, and even squeezing a full hour out of this show, we were still ready to go by two.
All in all, not a big day, but not a bad one either. I’m sad though, to see this show shrink rather than grow. Maybe a few years will help. I’m not sure I’ll be back any time soon though.
Did I really miss a whole month of comics? Because it sure seems like it… I had a lot of two issue runs waiting for me when I finally headed to the comic shop to catch up. That’s gonna happen again in the near future I suspect, I tend to get really busy around Halloween and just forget about everything else. Still, I had a pretty free weekend and it seemed like the right time to catch up on television and comic books.
Along with some of my other usual suspects, I actually decided to take a chance on Ms. Marvel and venom. It’s such a weird team up that I kind of had to take a peek. I think about Miss Marvel is it really all depends on who’s writing her. Some people write her as a wide eyed teenager, some people write her as a full grown adult, some people only want to write her as a crusading social justice warrior. You gotta get the right balance with her or else she becomes insufferable. Venom too, he’s not an easy character to write… But he learned some self well to one shot like this, and the book ends up being very solid and entertaining.
Also solid and entertaining our old standards like Iron Man and Elvira. These are good books that are pretty much delivering exactly what I want. Nothing earth shaking, nothing it’s gonna change the world, but engaging and entertaining stories that keep me coming back every month. I do still feel Like I missed something in Iron Man, the way they’re kind of shifting backwards to tell the story from the past to the present is a little confusing, but it’s been good reliable fun with Tony and Roady. Elvira too, a lot of fun as this month she is in nightmare in street, although we get a really strange cameo from the time displacement authority from Loki…. They are just pushing the boundaries of copyright as far as they can aren’t they?
So remember when I was talking about worlds finest last time and mentioning that it felt like they had wrapped their story up in five issues, and suddenly had to put together a filler issue…like a weird epilogue? But that was perhaps why Robin got lost in time? Well, I still stand by that opinion. This story feels very much like a standalone filling issue. It’s Robin trying to make do stuck in the time period that he’s in, but it’s not like we’ve got any real epic quest for survival on his end or a long arduous search for him on the part of our heroes. Robin basically leave them a note etched in stone, and they were able to travel back in time to the correct moment and bring him back.
It’s so anticlimactic that I almost wish they hadn’t bothered at all. Then again, as part of a greater hole, it’s still retains the fun familiar feel that I’ve been getting from worlds finest, and it Times up all the loose ends so that I can now move on to the next story arc.
It’s a Multiverse story, we’ve got basically a Superman like figure on a dying planet sent to our dimension. Superman‘s trying to take care of him, and Batman suspicious. All of this is pretty standard operating procedure.
The thing that I really enjoy about this one though, is it gives us another one of those rare glimpses of just how much fun Robin can be when he’s in the right hands. Indeed Robbins always been fun when paired up with Superman. The fact that he’s kind of Batman‘s light side… Designed a balancing out means that he matches really well with Superman, and I remember very fondly some early Tim Drake adventures with him, as well as really enjoying seeing him team up with Nightwing. These guys aren’t quite as cynical as Bruce and are able to enjoy Superman‘s company in a way that Bruce never could.
Daredevils doing some interesting stuff too. I feel like this title is very slowly ramping up to its story arc, and that’s nice. Issue two still gives us some good daredevil action in New York, and has been butting heads a little bit with the newly elected mayor Luke Cage. It’s good stuff, and really my only complaint is I do still miss the secret identity. I always liked the juxtaposition of Matt Murdock; lawyer, versus daredevil; vigilante. Still, they’re keeping up the intrigue and the almost detective bit, and it works. And then….there’s that moment, when it REALLY works.
I’ve talked a little about what’s going on over in the Punisher. It’s actually right up there with Iron man and Elvira….solid storytelling (Though it still feels more like a gimmicky mini-series rather than a return to any kind of status quo). DD and Frank have always had a complicated relationship with each other. Some writers like to portray them as two sides of the same coin…I’m not sure that I entirely agree with that though. They really have diffrent aims. Daredevil is out for justice, while The Punisher is out for revenge. THAT’S what really disturbs Matt about him. Not the killing in of itself, but the darker motives.
And that’s why you can see sheer terror on his face when he’s informed that Frank is now in charge of the Hand. I should have seen this coming, but I didn’t and I love that they can still get me once in a while. It’s just a great moment.
Much to my surprise, I’m still sticking with Nightwing.
This has been a really pleasant run, reminding me a lot about all the things I really enjoy with this character. The main thing that has reall appealed to me in this particular run has been the way they are reestablishing the relationship between Dick and Babs. I mentioned noting this in both previous issues of nightwing as well as it also showing up in Batgirls.
We get a potentially heavy moment regarding that relationship kind of subverted in this issue, but it provides me a lot of anticipation for what may be coming up in both titles.
It’s all so charming and exactly what I want from a Nightwing and Batgirl series. I really hope it grows from there. Good stuff ahead.
Or is it? Because I saw this ad in the back of the book and it really REALLY bothers me….
Maybe we’ll talk about why next week.
Free Comic Book Day 2022
Free comic book Day was this weekend. It’s a little different these days since the pandemic, and those of us in Cleveland very much miss the midnight release party that Carol and John’s used to throw. It looks like that may be gone for good, it’s a hard event for the staff to do, and John’s literally said flat out he doesn’t know if he’s bringing it back. On the other hand, he’s shifted more towards trying to bring in a high profile guest every year. Last year was Chris Claremont, and this year of course was Jim Shooter. I have a great and abiding respect her Jim Shooter, despite what many, professionals say behind his back. He created the valiant universe which brought me Shadow Man… One of my all-time top favorite characters ever. The man was a prodigy, writing Legion of superheroes as a teenager, and shepherded marvel into the 80s, finally establishing royalties for creators, and trying to make comics more familiar. He also created one of the first high profile company wide crossover events in Secret Wars… Which is what Carol and Johns were celebrating this year, complete with mock ups of the cover that you could pose in front of.
But before we hit them, we stopped by Comics Are Go… a shop closer to my home, and the other one of my regular comic shops. These are the same guys who throw NEO comic con every year, and hitting both shops would assure that Maddie and I both got the books that we were looking for, as well as a couple of duplicates to give away to kids we know. Maddie was eager to break out her new female Iron Man cosplay – one we’ve dubbed “Toni Stark” It’s a simple, casual one, with just one gauntlet and the arc reactor, as well as a wig and E.D.I.T.H. glasses.
Comics Are Go is a little bit more subdued of a environment, focusing on local artists and not so much on cosplay. Still, they’re friendly and this is a great way to get people into that shop. It’s a hole in the wall, and the more people who know about it the better.
Over at Carol and John’s, this year‘s mural was being painted upfront, while we headed into the side room to grab comics and look over the various artists wares. I pulled out my venom costume again. This was a nice little find right around the end of Halloween last year… Four dollars and it came with a mask. It’s about a half size too small,… A little tight and doesn’t want to close correctly in the back, but otherwise looks fairly good. I ended up doing a new mask for it using the plastic shell the costumes mask had come packaged in. A little bit of spray paint and some marker letting the paint just drip over the clear plastic. It gives an altogether uncomfortable look and makes it a bit more terrifying of a venom. I only scared one child… That’s a good thing. But one little boy did see me coming and just started backing up behind his father going “nope, nope, nope!“
All in all, it was a fun day. Maddie found buttons and stickers she wanted for her school bag and folders. We hit the ice cream store around the corner from Carol and John’s – they were offering an “Infinity Gauntlet” flavor with multi colors and rock candy on top. I found some interesting comics, including a deadpooh issue from one of the artists over at Comics Are Go. It’s amazing. We were in and out in just a few hours, but a nice chance to catch up with friends and get back into the scene a little.
Man-at-Arms (part three)
The search for Eternian allies continues. First to the north…
Then into the truly bizarre…..
Man-at-Arms (part two)
When last we left Man-at-Arms, he had boarded the mysterious blue box and gone off in search of allies.
It begins in the northern wastes….
and then into the fiery depths.
Even on Earth (in the most 80’s photo ever)
and in the deepest reaches of space!
Still more to come!