Fantasy is a wonderful world. It's where dreams live. It is in this world, two of my favorite comics were created; they being Kabuki and Strangers in Paradise. I have a small discriminating list of comics that I devotedly read - they are very much like Dumas' and Dickinson's serials, each new installment eagerly sought after and read, only this time, the next chapter comes in the form of an issue, 24 pages filled with artwork and words ready for a willing imagination to bring the pages to life.
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Emerald City ComiCon 2014 (Seattle. WA)
Planet ComiCon 2014 (Bartle Hall in KCMO)
Planet ComiCon 2013 (Bartle Hall in KCMO)
Went Saturday only, had my advance pass and walked in about 20 minutes before the rest of the non-advance ticket crowd. What a difference that made. The line to buy there and get in was (from what I heard later) a good one to two hours to get through. I did not have many issues to get signed, but was delighted by the ones I did. Ben Templesmith signed my Hatter M issues, and Georges Jentry signed some recent Buffy issues. Both attend Emerald City ComicCon on a regular basis, but Jentry didn't this year, and for some reason I kept forgetting that Templesmith did the Hatter M issues. Then I was in line for Adam Baldwin. Spoke to him for a bit about Emerald City ComicCon and getting Firefly cast autographs for myself and one of my best friends. He liked my story (and he liked my Steampunk). Next, I got in the hour line for Wil Wheaton because I really wanted my issue of The Guild: Fawkes, that he wrote, signed. We chatted for a bit about Clockwork Couture, my Steampunk outfit, I said I loved the photoshoot he and his wife had done in for the Clockwork Couture website (he is good friends with the woman who owns in, and they outfitted The Guild in season 5 for a bunch of episodes), and I told him how much fun I had had at the Wil vs Paul and Storm at this years ECCC.
I bought Sam a ticket to come with me this year and he showed up while I was still waiting for Wil Wheaton, so after we caught up with each other, we walked the aisles and I started taking photos and handing him my camera if someone asked me if they could take my photo. Someone really is inside that little robot guy. Don Rosa. Sam and I watched him draw Goldie and Sam bought a print of Uncle Scrooge and the nephews finding the lost library of Alexandria. The signed print will have a place on the walls (framed) very soon Just.... so cute. I was amused by the pasties on the drawings. There's a little steampunk robot there too! ! Her name is Holly Messinger. She does costumes and she was one of the Judges for the Costume Contest. Sam and I bought one of her photos and she signed it to both of us. They had music playing from inside their suites: I'm Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO Delorian The back of The Abomination Wolverine Front of The Abomination Terminator Awesome! Captain Planet Steampunk group photo shoot on the Grand Staircase (Grand only because it's opposite the hall to the Grand Hall... yeah, NOW you all know where it is). I accosted a very lovely woman who had just taken a photo of some of us with a real camera and I asked if she would be so kind and if she felt comfortable using my Canon 7D. She rocked. (credit goes to Ginny Carlson for this photo that I found on the Planet ComiCon 2013 Facebook Event page. )
After the big shoot, some of us stayed to play around. Need a Big Nut for a Giant Wrench! 4:00 was rolling around, and we went our separate ways for a bit. A few of us went to Howard Chaykin's panel. He mistook one of my Streampunk friends for dressing as bartender. (Although, that might make a good Steampunk character actually.) A man of the 50's... and 60's. Does not mince his meanings, but does use many words. He himself, does not recommend his panels to 12 year olds, but he does like talking to them (and giving book titles to read). At the end, he sang "Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now". He has a beautiful voice. About 5:00 the Hall started to clear out. I think many people left after seeing George Takai. Going to ECCC every year has a bonus of this Con, I can just mess around. A 6th Doctor translation. I love it. Tried to take photos to share a better feel of the room. Those of us who remained went to the Costume Contest at 6. It lasted about 2 hours. I hadn't seen Bear on the field, so I did my best from the back of the room. Watching these guys play around on the escalators for a photoshoot was such a great way to end the Con . And that was the end of our day at Planet ComiCon 2013!
Emerald City ComicCon 2013 at the Seattle Convention Center (Year 11)
The theme I choose this year was Steampunk - because I am steampunk - and I wore these goggles I had just finished detailing a few days before leaving, every day at the Con; they received many compliments and I was thrilled with how easy they wore on my head.
Friday: 2pm-8pm Walked up to the Convention Hall about 3 hours early. Walked right up to get my badge and was early enough to get a good spot at the beginning of the waiting line in front of the Convention Halls. While waiting, I checked out the guide book and made some slight adjustments to my schedule and circled the tables I wanted to go to so my map was ready to go. For me, having a list with times and places, means I get to see pretty much everything I want to see and do. It works out well for me, and I generally have a pretty easy transitions from event to event and artist to artist. When I was done with that and had more then 2 hours and 30 minutes left, I finished The Hunger Games via ipad Kindle. Handle little devil - that's how I showed my ticket at the Badge Booth too! So, 2pm, the Gates Open, and I sprit walk through the first wave isles of Artists Alley and Guest Creators, threading my way though new layouts and expanded everything to Terry Moore's booth at the far end of a lot.... He isn't there, so I circle a few tables once to wait. I am now the second person in line and we both ask for a Commission because we both know from previous experience that he does so few of them. I also have him sign a stack of Echo and Rachel Rising issues. I know have every single Strangers In Paradise and Echo issues signed and all the Rachel Rising issues that are out have been signed as well - so that's all I have. Also, I couldn't resist these nifty coffee cups - last SiP one they had too! Felicia Day's panel was at 3pm and since things were all expanded and in new locations this year, I decided to go adventuring at find the location early since I thought it might take me a bit. Was faster then I thought, and I got to the Main Hall 6ABC on level 6 45 minutes early. But, I found a really good seat being so early. She talking about The Guild, creating the YouTube channel Geek and Sundry, and promoted International Gaming Day on March 30th - she was all over nice, funny, intelligent and open. After the panel, I headed back down to find Travis Hanson (The Bean) because I needed volume 3 and then he had me decide what sketch I wanted with that. I wavered between a Steampunk beetle or Steampunk giraffe and decided on the later . Passing the Steam Crow booth, I was captivated by this poster => . I chatted with a charmingly mustachioed gentleman in fantastic aproned Steampunk artisan get-up. I was also enchanted by their art. Therefore, I came home with these two prints and this tote which I used for the rest of the Con because it was more practical then the one I brought with me. David Petersen was next on my list of artist I wanted to visit, but I had to wait for him to get back from a panel - only 10 minutes or so. I had all my issues already signed, but had a Free Comic Book Day charity book he had done and I asked him to sign that, plus I bought his print as well . Out and around, and back up to level 6 for Walter Keonig and Paul McGillion! Made some line friends, which I love and is part of the reason I love conventions and especially this one.... Walter felt thin and frail to me, I told him how happy I was to see him, thanked him and told him he was a childhood hero of mine. Paul loved my outfit and took a photo of me - I walked around the table so he could see the skirt and shoes too. Tried to go down and see Felicia, but her line was capped. I looked around the Gaming area before deciding I was dehydrating and hungry. Grabbed some yummy food from The Juicy Cafe on Level 2 (a favorite vegan/vegetarian place of mine when I'm there) and hoofed it back to my hotel to call it a night.
Saturday: There at 8:30am-ish because I wasn't sure how Level 6 would work for early people. Turns out it was a bit of a mess, but I just decided to evade capture and headed out to the patio to wait - I was there to see Wil Wheaton vs Paul and Storm and I wanted a good seat! The main point is that my strategy worked and I got some lovely seating for the show/panel. Example, this song here => George R R Martin, Write Like the Wind set the mood off to a rollicking good start. (For those of you who follow Geek and Sundry this was a fun "Random Woman from the Audience" moment . Cape of Dicks moment for Wil because Wil just sings better with a Cape of Dicks on... . Oh, and I believe the Captain's Wife's Lament song lasted 20 minutes? Maybe longer. Super hysterical. Tangents I never saw coming and the audience was left gasping for breath many times over. Voice Talent panel was next. Really had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be awesome and epic. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back script as read by eight voice talents in ever new voice assignments. Darth Vader as spoken by Jim Cummings as Winnie the Poo is something I will never, ever forget. Epic. And creepy, and funny as hell - hell washed over in vanilla scented bubble bath with rubber duckies playing paddy cake and sharing sweets. I stayed for Walter Koenig's panel. He stood the entire time and talked quite a bit about the cultural differences between Star Trek and Babylon 5. I watched B5, but don't really remember it too well - I need to watch it again.
The Hunger Games costumes are making the rounds and ECCC was one of the stops. It's interesting and odd to see movie props and costumes up close - they look so much less real then they do on screen.
Wound my way around the Artist Alley/Special Guest tables several times before finding the Elephantmen booth - Richard Starkings and Moritat signed my stack of not yet signed issues and Moritat and I chatted then he drew me Diamond Joe. We talked at length about Steampunk - what it is, especially if you take away the hat, goggles and corsets. I think I gave him a lot to get creative with. I always have fun seeing him there. Terry Moore told me he was almost done with my drawing (I asked for Annie from Echo, flying and he loved the concept) but he wanted to work on it some more, so could I come back on Sunday and wear my goggles again please. OK. My next artist to find was Mike Dringenberg to get three of my Sandman TPBs signed. He liked my goggles too ^_^ David Mack was unable to attend last minutes, and I decided not to stand in line for The Oatmeal. I did wait for Mike Mignola to come back from the Dark Horse booth and while I waited, I asked Dave Stewart to sign too . Back up to see Michael Shanks and to let him know I had a huge crush on his character when he was on SG-1 . And he is still really good looking. Yeah. Then since I still had time before the Costume Contest, I headed back down to the Games Area. Talked to more awesome people (ran into a fellow Damsel in this Dress fan) and then found Paul and Storm! Spoke to them briefly as we exchanged compliments (they said I was the steamiest of the punks and the punkiest of the steams) and I told them I had so much fun at their panel and had never laughed harder.
Costume Contest is finally starting. The main MC is played by a Watcher tonight, and second MC goes to the 10th Doctor . First group of costumes is DC themed (I couldn't resist this geeky screen shot between groups) Independent themed (I really liked the fray costume) Marvel themed (perfect Captain America!) She came out screaming "I am Juggernaut!" Then "I am Juggernaut Bitches!" The crowd went nuts for her and she received an honorary mention for being so awesome. Dr Doom was incredible. He said he did 154 rivets on the hands alone for the outfit, Next was the Group theme. The 5th Doctor here hand made/hand stitched both costumes. Hunger Games Then a Steampunk theme Really enjoyed this Poison Ivy Movie theme (Toy Story) The Master's Category starts here: (Hunger Games- Katnis's Flame Dress) This Batman just blew me away. 2 years to make, each piece molded, carved and fitted. This is the outfit Bruce Wayne would have actually worn- ya know, if there really was a Bruce Wayne. Tron A Shaman character I don't remember but that was awesome. I believe he won the catagory. Hellboy's little sister Howl's Flying Castle Beetlejuice Queen Amidala A Burlesque/Steampunk Poison Ivy (loved the outfit, but she didn't convince me or the judges that she understood Burlesque or Steampunk. Or Poison Ivy for that matter) A really supper awesome Steampunk 501 Legion Storm Trooper! With full on dapper duds on underneath! 11pm - rain has mostly let up and I walk back to my room, ready to sleep.
Sunday: Arrived at 9:30am, ate my breakfast out on the patio and waited for 20 minutes then dashed up the escalator to get in line for Patrick Stewart's line. He started signing at 10:30am and I was one of the first 50 people. I told him how much I enjoyed his performace in Macbeth, and his eyes just lit up. He asked if I had seen the stage performance or the film - the film. He started telling me about the stage performance and the cast and crew - we talked for several minutes I think, but then he had to let me go - but he signed his photo of being Knighted by the Queen Sir Patrick Stewart. He has a wonderful smile, and kind eyes if you were wondering. I'm pretty damn sure I was beaming for about 10 minutes after that still. I dashed for Terry Moore and he remembered me. That's my sketch! Then we ended up talking about cameras and photography for about 10 minutes. I let him look over my Canon 7D. There she is! Heading back upstairs, I grabbed a quick shot of Girl Genius. Stunningly, I made it upstairs, into the Main Hall 6ABC and into a decent seat when I discovered I hadn't missed anything at all and Misha Collins from Supernatural came out! The man is witty, and quick with responses. He also does deadpan on the show so well, because after 3- or 40 takes, you get at least one right. Compliments poured out of fans mouths; his beauty was extolled repeatedly. He also charmed the room at every turn. I'm glad I didn't miss out. Stargate cast. Michael and Lexia bantered quite a bit about getting on each others nerves. There was also talk about the next SG game that MGM is coming out with and hopes that the franchise might start back up again. Signed scripts were auctioned off for Children's Mercy. Christopher Sarandon was lovely and shared many memories of working on Freaky Friday, Princess Bride, and Nightmare Before Christmas. He had some wonderful things to say about Andre the Giant and meeting his daughter that day at the Convention. Geek and Sundry panel with Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton. They talked about the creative process of how hard Hollywood is and how sometimes you just have to do it yourself. They also stressed that everyone should try to keep learning new things and never stop being creative. Dirk Benedict received a hero's intorduction from the Army Band - The A Team into was played and recited out for him and then he was given cigars! He loves whiskey and cigars, which is why Starbuck loved cigars so much. Ah, and then, the final guest, the cap of the Con, the Main Man.... walked out to a standing ovation on 3,000+ in chairs and 5 rows deep standing around the edges. Sir Patrick Stewart. He starting taking questions very shortly after taking the stage, and I think everyone asked good, intelligent questions. He gave warm, intelligent, thoughtful answers back. There were discussions on Shakespeare, Family Guy his father and loosing him at such a young age, and then realizing at 50 or so that he had unknowingly embodied the essence of his father, especially when he took on leadership roles in his acting (by that I mean King Claudius in Hamlet for example), and he is trying to develop a sense of humor - like working on Family Guy. He departed to another thundering, standing ovation. The audience loves him. And he loves us back.
Another exciting year at ECCC. Sure, it wasn't perfect. The exponential expansion left quite a few new wrinkles to work out, but with all our feedback, I think next year will be even better. I would like to give a shout out to the Minions for their hard work and the convention organizers for putting this together and keeping it about the fans and the creators we love - to be able to tell authors and artists and game developers and even our favorite actors and voice talent that their works inspire us, is ...special. I'm excited I get that opportunity. Giving back that enthusiasm so they know how much they are loved so they can keep at it. It means a lot - to everyone. So thanks Emerald City ComicCon, you have something really special - don't give that away for anything.
Emerald City ComicCon 2012 at the Seattle Convention Center (Year 10)
Day 1 March 30th Seattle was overcast when I arrived; not that that is ever unusual. And sure enough, soon after checking into the hotel, raindrop started to appear on the window and soon a light rain was falling. By the time I was ready to head out the block to the Convention Center, the rain was over and only a lightly wet wind was breezing through the streets. I hit the pre-order line about 3pm and the line was substantial. After about an hours wait and shuffle, I got my 3 day badge and Convention Guide . And although the line was jam packed, I can't say I didn't somewhat enjoy my time there looking at costumes and having people comment on my own steampunk getup.
My personal lineup for the first day was getting comic issues signed, taking photos of people on the convention floor, wandering, looking and taking a lazy day of being a Comic Geek. Normally I don't take such a relaxed approach as I want to see the sights and do as many events as possible and I understand that not being on top of what's where, what time it is and how much something else might take means not being able to do one thing in favor of doing something else. This being Friday, the Convention was full of fellow geeks and comic buffs; I enjoyed my day immensely and loved everyone I met with a bit of glowing enthusiasm. I believe just about everyone reciprocated. First off I found David Petersen's table and got all of the issues not signed previously, signed. He also graciously did a quick sketch for me and we chatted about names and pronunciations and joked around a bit. Ooed and awwh over Artists Alley for a bit. Found an artist I really liked and decided if I had enough at the end of the show I was going to get something from him (I did). Next I hunted down Joe Benitez and his table to have my issues (all first printings) signed and commissioned a piece of original artwork to be picked up later on. Buffy signed by Georges Jeanty More of the Bean by Travis Hanson
Buffy Panel - artwork, storyline, how cool is Joss- yeah, really awesome, we know, we just want to hear it again. ^_^
Costumes!!!!!!!!! Oh, and really fun Convention photos, because where else can you see displays of grinning monster dolls next to a Superman bathrobe for sale? heee hee!!!!
Oo! This was fun! Random people taking a Steampunk photo together for NightZero. It just happened that we descended on the booth at the same time and how could we not do this? Bugle!!!!!!! A Bugle Blast to end the day. Yup. That was such a good day.
Day 2 March 31st Wil Wheaton is a very, very funny guy. I just love going to his panels (also love watching Table Top on YouTube - everyone should subscribe and watch!) ::sigh:: Ok Ok. Lovely and adorable Ms Summer Glou This is the girl who made him the shirt he is wearing. It reads, "Damn It, Joss." On the back it lists beloved character's he has killed off. So true.
Day 3 April 1st sooooo, lots of shiny and happy here .. and here... My commissioned piece! And then a limited edition poster and a set of great Steampunk cards to frame later .
Planet ComicCon 2012 (Overland Park International Trade Center)
Saturday March 25th: Walked the Convention floor, which was bigger then I expected. Lots of merchandise and not as many artist or authors as I expected, but it was a very good turnout for Overland Park, KS which isn't even quite Kansas City, just close. This little convention has been going for many years and this is my first year here. Billy Dee Williams is sweeping through the crowd and posing with many adoring fans. I think people who are waiting at this table might be getting a little peeved, but everyone else loves it. Edward James Olmos is here and there's no line. I had planned to see him the very next week at ECCC, but I take my moment and approach. He thinks my Steampunk is awesome and I'm beautiful and is enchanted that I am going to be at ECCC. He makes me promise that I will stop by and say hello anyway. A new comic with some steamy to it.
San Diego Comic Con International 2011
Badge Pick up Day (Wednesday the 20th): My very first time in San Diego and wow what a show. 42nd Annual Show. I'm impressed. Overwhelmed even. It all started off when badges went on sale, and then proceeded to sell out within hours. I was able to score two day passes and felt disappointed I wasn't going to be able to truly experience this event. Then I applied for a Professional pass and was approved. I was now in for all four days. My Professional counterpart and best friend and I walked up to the San Diego Convention Center after dumping our suitcases in our hotel room Wednesday afternoon. I was delighted with the huge building displays on the Marriott and Hilton Hotels that flank the Convention Center. Blue skies and awesome nerd-dom in sight! Wednesday is the notorious Preview Night that everyone talks about, wants in for and almost never gets. As Professionals, we were allowed to pick up our badges on Wednesday, and as we walked the length of the Center, looking for our specific line, I wondered how this many people were going to get handled - and this crowd was nothing compared to what it was going to be! However, as it turns out, there is an art to those who wield the desk of badge pickup and these guys have it down. As soon as we walked up to the line, we were in and showing our IDs. Within a minute, I was standing outside the line with my Justice League San Diego Convention swag bag, an event program and souvenir booklet wanting to look through it all but also wanting to catch a glimpse of what lay beyond the Exhibit Hall doors .
Day 1 (Thursday the 21st): Woke up around 7:30am to get to the Comic Con at 8:30ish because my counterpart needed to get in line for an author and I decided to get in line for the Exhibit Hall. Now, the Hall doesn't open until 9am and not until the Fire marshal says so. The Fire Marshal is The Law around these parts! The end of the line for the Exhibit Hall is upstairs, while the Hall is ALL of the downstairs. It makes sense later on to me. People want to be inside, and lines are better controlled inside. There isn't room downstairs for this line. I am one of the first 500 or 600 people in the Exhibit Hall on opening day. It's amazing. Almost empty, so it's your chance to walk, twirl, and explore with no hindrances. It won't last, but while it does, it's magic. One artist is taking a white car and through all four days is transforming it into a Star Wars geekout illustrative knockout , there's Mattel with new and coming out toys , and a Conan the Barbarian with real life Barbarian Babe posing in front. I rushed around, getting freebies that were being handed out, and just generally trying to get my bearings. I was scheduled to donate blood at 11:15 and I needed to know where Terry Moore was and when Jeff Smith was signing. My Convention Buddy (also one of my best friends) stood in line to say hello to Terry Moore, and I picked up the first issues of his new series "Raising Rachel" and got that signed. I found out that Jeff Smith was signing at 1:30pm, so I went upstairs to the Sails Pavilion, left CB for her own destination, found the Blood Station Booth in the Sails Pavilion, got a map to the Blood Drive Station (across the street and over on 6th Street) and made my way over across the street. ComicCon bag True Blood Band-Aids original film cell of the TV show Heroes.
There was a sign stuck up in the recovery area that said if you gave blood, come up this guy's booth for a free 8x10 poster. So I found the booth, chatted with Scott Beaderstadt, the artist, , paged through the books of artwork and asked for one of his Iron Man renditions So nice and just amazing. He had given blood as well and thought that other people taking part was really amazing and he wanted to give them something for that generosity. His friend in the booth next to him thought he was nuts for giving away free stuff.
My next trip (lugging my Comic Con bag growing full of swag, my tote bag filled with trades and issues to get signed and my camera bag) was over to Jeff Smith's table to wait for his signing time at 1:30, but I wanted to get a spot in line and by this time it was about 1pm since I had left the Blood Center at 12:25ish. The crowds take a toll on how fast you can move. So I found Jeff's table again, asked where the end of the line was, and then took my time getting my stuff out that I wanted signed and looking at some of the other stuff that was out on the table. It was the 25th Anniversary of Bone and there were some great things up, plus his new series that is almost finished called RASL. There was a point when one of his table staff called him to remind him he was supposed to be at his table and he appeared shortly after and mistaking me for the person he was supposed to meet with, but I thought he was joking so when he said "do you want to take here or go somewhere else", I said, "sure, we can go get a coffee" and was trying to keep a poker face on when he said "sure". But then it was pointed out to him that his REAL interview was two people away from me, so he said he would take a rain check on our coffee and he did a quick photo taking session with the interviewer and then they sat down in the booth for 10-15 minutes. It was during this time that I started to feel a little tired and hazy. I started to page through on of the RASL books and decided I was going to get it, got out my money for it and then started to feel a little short of breath. Set down all my bags, put both hands on the table and leaned forward a little to see if that would help, and I thought it was, but then the shortness of breath didn't go away and my vision started getting a little dark around the edges. I was doing my deep yoga breathing to keep my lungs filled with fresh oxygen, but I still kept seeing more darkness. The interview ended and the booth started getting set up for him to sign. He likes to sign standing up and he decided that were I was would be the start of the line... heh. So, by then I couldn't hear out of my right ear and I was feeling more then a little light headed but also really exhausted and there was more of the darkness in my vision. He was ready to sign, I smiled, said I wanted to buy the first trade of RASL, gave him the money and while he was getting the change I started to feel clammy and far away. When he gave me the change, I didn't know what to do with it so I dropped it in one of my bags and he started to ask me how I was and shake my hand. My response to him while moving to shake his hand was, "I just gave blood" and everything started to get really dark and far away. I think I was about 10 seconds from completely blacking out in front of Jeff Smith, one of my favorite author/artist and for whom to meet I had lugged ten pounds of trades and issues from Kansas City and through the busiest, largest ComicCon and here I was about to go unconscious on him. But my apparent dead white face, and the big I just gave blood bandage on my arm was enough for everyone to react within a second - Jeff grabbed my stack of stuff, his staff came around as grabbed my bags, someone helped me walk around the table, into the booth, into a chair, shoved a bottle of water at me and watched me while I drank. That helped so much right there. Vision came back right away. Jeff left me in capable hands, started signing and one of the staff asked if anyone had any chocolate or sugar. Someone in line had some Smarties, opened the box and poured me out a huge handful. I dutifully drank sips of water, chomped sugar (although I really couldn't taste much of anything at this point either) and gradually stopped feeling like a boneless piece of meat. Several of the people helping me out, knew first hand what it was like to give blood and black out, so they knew very well what had happened to me. So grateful for that. Breathing became normal, hearing in my right ear came back a little, still light headed but after 20 minutes that come back to normal as well. Jeff sat down next to me and signed all my trades and the five issues I had brought, double checked and triple checked that I was ok to walk out of there, made sure I was going back to my room to unload and that I was going to take it easy for the rest of the day. Shuttled back, called to told her let my Convention partner know what had just happened and turns out she just joined Jeff's line, so I told her to tell Jeff that her best friend was the girl who had almost passed out him front of him. doh! Hotel elevator is out when I get back. I'm on the 12th floor. I decided to power climb the stairs - I've done 14 thousand footers before, I know how to handle the last bit of a tough climb. After the fourth floor, I was stopping every other floor because my heart was pounding in my ears and my breathing was labored. Yeah. Awesome so far. Get to my door. Guess what. My key doesn't work. Call my buddy. She's the next person in line from Jeff. I tell me the elevator is still out and my key doesn't work. Jeff hears my name, and rushes the guy he's signing. Record speed signs her stuff, gives a super fast sketch and says, "Go save Jenna!". I'm floored by that, and literally sitting on the floor trying to recover from the stairs. I'm not out of shape, just out of blood. Sip water, sip Chex mix from donation center until buddy arrives, lets me in and we unload our stuff. I go about 50 pounds lighter back to convention hall after we've eaten food and de-stressed.
We walked back into the Convention Center just before 5pm and raced off to our respective panels. Mine was in room 9 called "Epic Literary Adventures" featuring Jeff Smith, Anders Nilsen and Brian Ralph with moderator Tom Devlin . This panel really centered on the what's and how's of making an epic adventure with real characters grounded in that world. Do you have an end point and a few middle points and figure out how to get your characters from here to there or what? Loved hearing about how they created their worlds, where they got inspiration and how they viewed issues vs. trade paperbacks. Seems to be a consensus that issues are more like a first draft and when they go back to put the trades together, they then get to tweak, and tighten or expand as needed. Also seems like much of the time, the landscape they invented was very much influenced by the landscapes they loved as children. I loved when I found out Old Man's Cave is real, and apparently is a really mind blowing cave that Jeff Smith grew up near as a kid. I think they all had a start point and then would have an image for a splash page and would have to figure out how to work towards that image - could take five pages or thirty-five pages, but that's why it's epic. The characters really have to work to where they are going. It was a great panel, and they all worked really well together up there.
After I got out of the panel at 6, and worked by way downstairs and found R2-D2 ! in the fan table section. Walked around the Exhibit Hall for a bit and then my Convention buddy texted to to get over to the Image Booth where David Mack was signing. There wasn't anyone else there, so when I walked up we grin, I waved, we shook hands and started jumping up and down together - it's where we left off in Seattle at the ECCCC when I last saw him. ^_^ We all chatted for a little bit and my CB got caught up on what she was missing from her collection for his issues, he signed them and we started to walk way. But then she stopped and mentioned she had heard him talking about a live model drawing session going on that night. So we turned around, I spotted the TARDIS and she got directions, "It's called Trickster and it's in the building that looks like Kingpin's building in DareDevil." So in the last few minutes of the Hall being open, we raced over to the Dick Blick table to buy a pad and pencil - found one I liked and got out of there. Walked across the street to see what we could find... ... Started walking to see if we could find this place. Walked past some guys wearing name tags, but they didn't look like ComicCon goers, but I noticed one of them had a name tag with a artist's name I knew from back home so we went back to ask if he was the same guy (this is a guy I know a little from Dr Sketchy's and Facebook, but didn't know face all that well) - at first he said it was him and then he said he was just joking but would we like to come inside their private party to have free beer and free food. At first we were a little spooked, but since it was all outside and they were ALL engineers and this party was part of their bonus; they get to invite anyone they want to to join them. So we decided to go for it - one free beer and my CB grabbed herself a little bit of food (apparently some of the best beef she's ever had, but it looked like chicken livers to me). From there we stopped at a hotel to ask their concierge if they knew about Trickster. He didn't, but we got these there. Sat down to eat some of my food bars I had packed and a guy with a Professional badge like us came up and asked if he could interview us for a project he was doing. We agreed and he interviewed us about why we liked The Big Bang Theory. At the end he said it wouldn't be putting them up; that he was trying to perfect his interviewing skills. We agreed that there were some skills he needed to work on, but he let us talk, so that's a big plus for him. After that we continued walking, saying how very random our first day was going and then we found a building that looked like it fit the bill and there was a sign out front that said "Trickster". woohoo! http://trickstertrickster.com/
Wine, cocktails, artwork, and sushi inside and lots of awesomeness in general. Looked through all the artwork and art related goodies for sale before I bought several amazing wood shingle postcards as gifts and then we settled outside for sushi. My CB saw some people she new and we all sat around to wait until the Live Model Session got started at 11pm. While we waited, Tom Morello played a small concert. Didn't have a wrist band, but we were sitting right outside, so once in a while we could hear a little bit and I did snap a few photos . Finally, the space was ready for artists to come in and draw! But only 100 people are allowed in this room at any one time... Got in and sat down at a work horse, complete with pad, graphite and pastels. Started off with 5 minute poses, then 10 and 20 min poses . LOVED IT!!!! Great costumes, fun poses ... and ... got to work next to David Mack who happens to be one of my favorite author/artists. I don't think I could have imagined ComicCon any better then that . Worked until 1am and then texted my CB to find out if she was ready to leave her group of people and she was. So I left and we took the shuttle back to our hotel.
Friday the 22nd (Day 2): Up at 5:30 to get dressed (one of my Steampunk outfits) and a mile walk from hotel to Convention Center since shuttles don't start until 8am and am in line about 6:30am for Ballroom 20. First it's a line outside to get into the building and then at 9am (or when the Fire Marshal says so) the line moves in and from there, people move towards the line areas they are heading towards. I figured I was about 1500-2000 people back in line to get into BR20. The Hall opened at about 9:30 and then a steady flow into BR20. I found an aisles seat down the center a little more then halfway down. It was a good seat. The guy who ended up sitting next to me was a little oblivious about common sense stuff, but a few quick reminders worked quickly (ie. don't take a call in the middle of a panel). I was there mainly for the Torchwood Panel, but was also super excited about The Big Bang Theory, Eureka and Warehouse 13 Panels.
Torchwood Panel: Started just after 10am and was roundly and happily applauded to the stage. Panel was made up by John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Bill Pullman and Jane Espenson. One of the first things I remember John saying was that he loves conventions; he loves going to them and experiencing them. He said he only buys his t-shirts at comic conventions really It was discovered during the shoot for the first episode that Mekhi Phifer likes Wales but says that it really is too cold for him. As he says, black men just aren't made for Wales, but they are made for Hollywood. There is a lot of love in this cast and a lot of laughter. Mostly I remember Eve and John being sexy, raunchy and lovely. At one point they tried to hit on the same guy who walked up to ask a question. Eve was saying how much she loved Gwen's leathers and slipping back into them was so comfortable and sexy. When someone in the audience agreed with her, she held up her her hand like a phone to her ear and said, "call me" then mimed writing down her number and said, "seriously, call me." The audience loved it and it looked like John was laughing so hard he almost looked like he was going to fall out of his chair. Eve kept saying that she loved her leathers so much it was actually quite hard to get her out of them. I loved how much Eve, John and Mekhi were laughing together onstage. Bill Pullman was a little more reserved, but when he did speak, he was intelligent and thought about what he wanted to say. Alexa was very sweet and Jane is awesome and full of the best kind of dry wit.
Walking Dead Panel: Turns out I also should have been watching The Walking Dead on AMC cause the trailer for season 2 blew my mind. They played the trailer twice because the crowd reaction was so big the first time around. It blew my mind the second time around as well. It's based on a comic series and I ended up with a free issue while at the convention. It's issue #86, so while it's really far into the series, I can see why there's so much to work with and what a solid foundation there was to work with for a series. Apparently there is an actual zombie boot camp collage for the zombie extras in Georgia where they film. I am very excited to watch this series now.
Big Bank Theory Panel featuring Chuck Lorry, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Johnny Galecki, Melissa Rauch, Mayim Bialik Bill Prady and Steve Molaro Oh, and the lovely Moderator => . Honestly, Jim and Mayim stole the show for me. They were talkative, smart and witty. When the moderator put questions out, they were willing to share insight and stories. Mayim really did go to UCLA for a PhD program in neuroscience and when she went to audition for the role of Amy Farrah Fowler she put her PhD under the Miscellaneous section. When she was asked by Bill Prady if she really had that degree, she said yes and left and got the call the next day that she got the part. She had heard of the show, but never watched it. She heard they were casting for a female version of Jim Parsons, and she said, "Who?". So she Googled Jim the night before the audition and then did her best impersonation the next day. Apparently there are also some science-y terms that are used on the show once in a while that make her wince because it's something that wouldn't really happen or be done like that, but she said for the most part, it's all good. Simon and Melissa did their impressions of Howard's Mother, which was hilarious. Jim loves the fact that science covers just about everything, and since that's the basis of the show, anything goes as long as it can be written into the fabric of modern science. He says, "I mean, we've had a time machine on the show already." But he came back to the idea that the show is really about these people and their loves and the challenge to play them to to stay organic and stay true to who they are, while still letting them grow. It's quite apparent that the cast and crew have a deep love for the show and the characters.
The Bones Panel was cancelled because neither Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz could make ComicCon for personal reasons (Emily is pregnant so I'm guessing that was her reason, I don't know what David's was) so I took a nap in my chair and flipped through my photos for an hour. It was actually kind of nice. The room chatted and took a break from panels and the convention for an hour in their chairs and in an air conditioned Hall.
Eureka Panel featured Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Neil Grayston, Felicia Day, Jamie Paglia and Bruce Miller. Moderated by the awesome Wil Wheaton ; since he played Dr. Parrish on the show, he knows everyone very well and he was just as much a part of the panel as anyone else but since he is go good at talking and asking intelligent questions, I was happy to see him up there as moderator. It's Collin! It's Salli! Oh, the chair stand is the trend! Neil peaks out for the all clear first before making his entrance. Felicia come out videoing us. I think it's a growing trend that panelist photo and video their audience. Since we do it to them, why not have them do the same? Capture the moment! Then tweet about it? It was Colin's birthday! We all sang Happy Birthday to him. All 4,500 of us. How's that for a birthday song. Something to record and tweet about for sure.
Colin talked about when he auditioned for the show and wasn't expecting to get cast because he always brings a level of goofy to his characters that most roles aren't looking for, but Jamie said, "Yes! That's what I'm looking for!" and that opened up the door for the cast to bring out the goofy side of themselves and professionally goof it up onscreen Like Colin is really, really good at physical comedy, so you see him falling down and getting stuff knocked into him. Painful, but hysterical. Great questions from Wil. Everyone is fun, smart, witty and engaging. Everyone is also highly connected to their tech.
This sequence of events tells the story of a girl who plays a part in which two male characters are interesting in having a relationship with her. Wil first asks the question to Felicia , which male character is she going to pick? Him or the guy sitting next to her? Yeah Felicia, no pressure. Colin gets up to Moderate and there's a bit of musical chairs that happens. Wil takes Neil's chair first Wil starts making ridiculous Dr. Parrish eyes at Felicia Neil grabs Colin's chair and hops over to the other side of Felicia so that he can make his arguments and battle the of Dr. Parrish/Wil vs Fargo/Neil commences in all the hi-jinx style that a Eureka panel can bring. Who does she choose? Who is the best man?Who is she interested in?And when they were filming that one scene in the capsule in that one episode all crammed in, was that Neil's crotch Felicia was smelling? She thought so. It's hard to keep a straight face, no one in the audience was. One of the best convention moments ever. So now Felicia has two guys with fake Doe Eyes on either side. I'm not sure how she was able to concentrate on her story. Did you know the character of Dr Holly Martin was created specifically for Felicia? Yup. Wil's role was created for him too. Such a great panel, so much fun and what a fantastic group of people. Very much a cast and crew family. Jamie said there was a No Douchbag Rule for hires, and it seems everyone is really in favor of that rule and I think that really helps in building a group of people that aren't all icky to be around.
Warehouse 13 Panel featuring Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Jack Kenny and Allison Scagliotti with Neil Grayston as Moderator. Yay crossover in real life too! (If you don't know, Warehouse 13 and Eureka have crossed over onto each other's shows several times much to fans delight) Hugs from Jack to Neil! Oh, hug denied by Saul! The elegant Joanne comes onstage. The introduction of panels are usually very fun.... I like antics... and they usually get the audience hyped up.... like this move from Eddie. He comes out, recording of course, and just keeps going We have a runner! Oh, outta breath a bit. Running up and down all the aisles at top speed will do that. Eddie said "nipples" while speaking and apparently there was a $50 bet with Allison that he would. He said something about "Irish Nipples"Segue from that to Allison talking about in an upcoming episode she gets to play five versions of Claudia and she gets to sing and play guitar. But she had to stop because Jack picked up a Tesla (awesome electric stun gun used on the show- well, a prop stun gun anyway) ... besides that, Eddie was full of praise of Joanne, her acting and her ability to give so much. Jack went on to say that he felt so proud of working with such a talented group of actors and was so happy to see them tackle everything that was thrown at them so exceedingly well. Saul is full of praise of the show and the abilities of Jack as a show runner to get notes to the network, being a dad to the writers and being on set 90% of the time. That means he can see, for himself, what is working and what isn't for the cast and can immediately work on a fix to get it right. Saul goes on to talk about bringing Aaron Ashmore in as Steve Jinx and the show and cast needing someone who was deft at handling a range of emotions and situations that go from comedy to drama in the same scene. One of the fan questions was if you were going to get a tattoo, what would it be of. Eddie said that Bruce, the original Great White Shark from Jaws is somewhere in the Warehouse and that's what he would get tattooed on his "manly arm." Joanne said she's been trying to talk him out of getting this tattoo for the past four months. Saul said that since if you have a tattoo, you can't be buried in a Jewish graveyard, his would say, "no longer Jewish." Eddie leans over and says, "oh, you're Jewish?" To which Saul replies, "No, I just look Jewish. My real name is Jim Scott. I changed it cause I figured it wouldn't work unless my name way Saul Rubinek since I look like this, then I could get work." Much laughter. Jack says, "I would love to meet your great grandfather in the H.G Wells series; Shlomo Wiesefeld." To that Allison said her tattoo would then be "Shlomo Wiesefeld". Jack said his would be an expiration date to which the audience "awwed" and he "awwed back. Joanne and Allison said that whole banter thing was exactly like it is onset. All the time like this. Now ends my day of non-stop panels. It is 5:30pm when I finally exit Ballroom 20. It has been a full full day of really well done panels, but I am so ready to leave now. I've been sitting for 8 hours.
After the day, after the panels, I'm taking a quick break and photographing the crowd instead of being caught up in it. This is upstairs by the main escalator=> . Downstairs I found two guys dressed in scuba outfits remote controlling two flying sharks. Awesome. Insane costume nearby.... .
My Convention Buddy went back to Trickster for a noon panel about printer ink technology, free cocktails and free sushi. Plus, they printed out (for free) any photo that she had taken. We all loved this photo she had taken at The Huntington a few days previous to the ComicCon that had me and another friend in the background, so we got three prints of the same image made and now we all have one! Then, she turned around with her tale of pulling winning lottery tickets for all these limited signings that morning and on a whim she got in line for the Torchwood autograph line. Now I had just watched their panel and was currently enjoying The Walking Dead Panel, so I had made the choice not to try for any autographs. My CB got a winning ticket, got in line, got all their autographs and when John signed her appointed item, his pens went all wonky and put out just a little too much ink. He offered another autograph to make up for it. She said don't worry about, but he insisted and she pushed forward on of the free postcards that was on the table..... yeah, she ended up giving that one to me at the end of the day along with Jane Espenson's autograph. I love Jane, she is one of my favorite show writer. Getting John's made me speechless. I adore John Barrowman; as a human and an actor. My CB is full of awesome and win.
Saturday the 23rd (Day 3): Got in line for The Indigo Ballroom at The Hilton about 6:30am to see one of my favorite shows (Sanctuary) in panel and actresses (Amanda Tapping). Not knowing how long the lines might get, I got their early and I am glad I got their when I did, because my line buddies were great. I didn't get the best seat that I wanted for photos, but I still managed just fine. Sat through "Attack of the Show" panel and got to behold the sight of a Standing Chair Nerd Rave in action - we had all been given glow sticks and at the end of the "Show" panel, there was a sort of techno music video shown to glow stick along to.
Sanctuary Panel featuring Amanda Tapping , lots of love and Robin Dunne.. Amanda talked about shooting almost all green screen and dealing with imaginary abnormals. Like there will be tweaks to the rendering and then the director can come up and say something like, yeah, you should be more scared here. Or being able to say, ok, this is what you are fighting. Amanda had a scene in a room where she had to fight an abnormal first by hitting it with the butt of her gun and then kicking it, but there was nothing there - challenging! Then Robin chimes in with "You said butt, heh heh. Oh, hey, we just lost everyone in the room." Robin talked about his Balliwood dance moves and how terrible rehearsal was but how he somehow became flawless on camera, but doesn't remember ever dancing that day. His character also seems to get beaten up all the time. Amanda told him that he just falls down so beautifully... just gotta keep knocking him down. Both spoke about how amazing Christopher Heyerdahl is and how much he has to deal with when he is in makeup for Bigfoot. They also said that he really becomes different people when he is playing different characters (he plays Bigfoot and John Druitt) even off camera. I would have loved to see more of the cast and crew, but at least I got to see Amanda and I had a very, very good time with this panel, they have a wonderful bond.
Back to the hotel room to change into pirate gear for me and steampunk gear for my CB . Tried to go light on what I was carrying because I didn't want to have a bag with me, just a few items that I would carry like my sketchpad. I wanted it to just be me, my costume and a chance to just wander around unencumbered. Dumb. Ended up with an armload of freebies and other stuff like three issues of The Guild that I didn't have when we stopped by The Guild booth. Walked up to the Hero Initiative Booth to see if Dave Gibbons was signing there, but turns out they had only done a raffle that featured him and so that squelched my dream of him signing my Watchmen graphic novel. But I ended up with this signed issue to help spread the word about this organization that helps down and out writers and artists in the industry get back on their feet. My main goal was to stop back by Jeff Smith's table to say hello and look how much better I'm doing, thank you once again for being awesome all of you and get a sketch. He was just finishing up that hour of signing, so my CB and I said hello and left, with me planning to come back at 3:30 for his next signing time. My CB and I parted ways, I went to find Freddie Williams III for a sketch (he knows some of my friends back in KC because he used to work for Hallmark). Discovered David Lloyd's artist table and madly contacted my CB to grab my trade of V for Vendetta while she went back to the hotel room to change out of her costume. A TV documentary crew asked to interview me about my pirate garb (I was a Pirate Avatar that day) and so I gave my name, my costume name and spun around and struck a pose for the bright lights. Wandered back down to The Elephantmen Booth, got a free sketch by Axel and Richard gave me a 1000 piece puzzle of Hip walking the streets. Discovered the booth of a writer I met at ECCC several years (Frank Beddor) ago and I stopped to say hello and congratulations - got the third volume in his Alice in Wonderland trilogy . Jeff Smith did a sketch for me and said I was looking beautiful and healthy . David Lloyd did a sketch for me besides sign my V for Vendetta and by then I had to go back and unpack my arms.
Sunday the 24th (Day 4): My Convention Buddy and I got up at 4:30 to get in line for Hall H at just after 5am - I think we got there about 5:15 and we were about 2000 people back already. 2000 people back at 5:15am. Wow!!!!!!!!!!! Once again, I love line buddies. They make that 5 hour wait time just that much easier to grin and bear it. Some people tried to seriously cut in front of us in line during a phase when we were moving up in line and I chewed them out for cutting. It wasn't just a they were right behind me and walked in front of me, this was they got in line a good 15 to 20 minutes after we did and were trying to cheat the system. mmm, not happy. Also, some poor line management from several of the line attendants. Others were fantastic. These were some of the great costumes we were in line with . Sat through the Glee Panel and watched a clip of the new 3D Glee movie that is about to come out. Honestly, I'm not sure how much of the audience was really there for Glee. Mostly, I think people were there for Doctor Who and were really, super excited to see Supernatural.
Supernatural Panel featuring Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Ben Edlund and Sera Gamble. Jensen came out first to introduce us to a trailer for the animated Supernatural TV show that will be coming out soon. It's voiced by them and the first 5 minutes look good. Afterwards, the panel came out meet the audience. Misha, Mark and Jared ham it up - to our delight. Jared is pretty darn adorable ... so is Misha and there was a general fun banter between them . Jensen is more serious . However, Jensen and Jared play off each other really well in personality and that translates well to the screen. They both are able to compartmentalize their character timelines and different storylines.
Doctor Who Panel featuring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Toby Whithouse, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis! eeeeeiiiiii!!!!!! Doctor Who!!!!!!! The Doctor and Amy Pond!!!!! Fantastic. Matt came out and did a little bow to the audience as thank you. Lots of screaming, clapping and cheering from our side. Matt said hello to us and the Moderator made the "Doctor, Hall H. Hall H, The Doctor", introduction. We went a little nuts again. Matt really took control of the panel, giving props to all the costumes out in the audience and all the love and excitement from the Con. The first question from the Moderator was did Matt or Karen know that Amy was River Song's mother? Karen answered that one, saying they were actually given a dummy ending and they were as shocked as anyone to find out the real ending. After the read though on the final part, Steven took Karen, Arthur and Matt out back to give them the real ending and they jump around and ran up and down the hallway in their excitement. Alex (River) knew the real ending all along, but besides Steven Moffett, she was the only other one who knew! Matt said, how could you possibly give River Song even more power? So not fair! But Matt went on to say that they are all such huge fans of the show. Getting the script is like watching an episode; it's just so exciting and all the twists and turns that Steven and the other writers build in make reading and acting the characters so fulfilling. Neither Matt nor Karen watched the show growing up, because it wasn't on. However, everyone in the UK knows about Doctor Who - it really is just a part of the culture there, it's everywhere and it's very important. Toby said it's just like a DNA woven into society and was happy to see it so well received here in the States. So they both knew about the show all their lives, had watch reruns, and had family members who were big fans. Piers and Toby were huge Doctor Who geeks growing up, doing extensive research from a young age. Beth said it was like walking out into a toy shop every day, getting to read Steven's scripts and then walking onto the sets. Yeah, walking into the TARDIS, or anyone of those scenes... my eyes always go big as saucers when I watch episodes. And they really make as much of the set as they possibly can - there is so much detail and thought that goes into every scene and set. One of the reasons I love this show so much. Everyone is SO dedicated. Toby said he took his kids up to see the TARDIS inside and was more excited them they were. As a man of a certain age, being a writer on the show and getting the write, "interior TARDIS", still gives him chills. Beth related a short story about the script Neil Gaiman wrote. On the first draft he sent in, scene two, the first lines are, "interior TARDIS" and the next line was, "I've been waiting my whole life to write that. That felt amazing." Loved that story. We saw a trailer for the next half of the season. I am so looking forward to what is coming! And then it opened up to fan questions. Some great questions and some impressive costumes . Matt made a great observation about there being quite a lot of blood on The Doctor's hands and that's why he thinks he is so bright and bubbly and always moving, always saving people and always moving forward. If he didn't, if he ever stopped and sat down he would have to start contemplating all the people and friends he had lost along the way and the weight of that would come crashing down on him so hard, he wouldn't be able to move anymore. Matt loves this part of The Doctor, and is very interested in exploring it, he says so is Steven Moffett. We should be seeing more of the dark side when the season starts up again and Karen said to remember the number one rule about The Doctor: he lies. Expect to see some of that as well explored as well. Oh Amy/Karen and Doctor/Matt; loved getting the chance to see you guys at ComicCon. Loved hearing from Piers, Beth and Toby as well. Brilliant panel. Thank you so much.
Went to the BBC America Booth after the Doctor Who panel and bought their ComicCon exclusive comic issue about The Doctor and Amy at ComicCon then we went and tried to fulfill all of our last minute, didn't get to wish list for booths and ComicCon experiences all while fighting the crowd that doesn't ever stop. Some of my loot => After about 3pm, we decided that food was in order and we both really wanted to check out Cafe Diem aka the Hard Rock Hotel's Hard Rock Cafe redecorated and re-menued into a SyFy Channel extravaganza at twice the price Walls are decked out in Syfy show theme Even the chairs, tables, menus and kitchen doors are decked out in Cafe Diem style . Got some nifty purple pens out of it though ^_^
Convention Survival Tips:
#1 Bring meal bars with you. Not chocolate bars, but actual fruit, nut, veggie bars to give you a balanced nutrition intake when you need it. Like when sitting though a panel or standing in that 5 hour line. It'll cost $2 at Whole Foods (or wherever), but it's far, far cheaper then Convention Food and honestly, those soft pretzels are not good for you and are not going to give you a long term energy boost. There's a good selection of organic, whole food bars out there now, although it might depend on where you shop what your selection is. If nothing else, you should be able to find Cliff Bars somewhere. I ate food bars almost breakfast, lunch and snacks the whole convention with the occasional dinner supplement.
#2 A bottle of water is key. Dehydration will sneak up on you. You will be sitting, standing and walking a lot.
#3 Know where you are going and when you need to be there!!!! For ComicCon International this tip is especially relevant. It's so huge, that wandering around is not going to get you anywhere, and getting into that panel you want to be part of might just mean you have to queue up in line first. Room 9 is probably one you can just walk into, but Hall H is a different story. Legends abound that BR 20 and Hall H are the two ungetable into rooms. Not true, but you better be willing to queue up at 5 or 6am to get a decent seat first thing. Especially if you want to see that first panel of the day. Also holds true for the Exhibit Hall - what booths and artists are you wanting to see? Better make a list of who and what number. Always reacting for the Big Book of Events and Maps is cumbersome, so reaching for a piece of paper for a quick glance is much easier and faster.
#4 Pay attention to people and costumes around you! Don't trip or rip and try not to cause others to do the same. Also, strollers? Nightmare. Double wide strollers? Good way to not get anywhere in that crowd and make everyone around you start crying in frustration try to get around you!
#5 Shoes. Costumes are awesome. Wearing costumes is great! But be realistic about what your body and feet can take. Intermitted walking for 5 miles and standing for another 5 hours is a standard day at ComicCon. Costume or no, make sure your shoes are going to stay ON your feet and won't kill them or otherwise get you hurt.
Other costumes: Silk Spectre Vintage 40's Spider Woman
Emerald City ComicCon 2011 at the Seattle Convention Center
9th Annual Show! Brilliant! What a great time!
Day one of the now 3 day show!: Waited in a great big long, slow line to get my pre-paid 3 day badge (trying to ignore the bright orange vomit on the floor) , then made my way over to the waiting area outside the main exhibition hall for opening. Met a bunch of really nice people (several of whom had been vomited on) and we talked about previous years, artists and guests, hotels and San Diego Comicon. The Convention opened at 2pm and I was off to the new Media Guest area which was on a third floor level you could get to from the main room going down some escalators. I was in line for Jonathan Frakes first because I figured his line would be the most popular and I wanted to get as much done on that first day as possible to free up Saturday for panels. Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and Wil Wheaton came in about the same time and just immediately started encouraging the crowd and goading each other with loving quips and banter. Frakes was the loudest, Spiner kept up a stream of wild conversation. I remember there was quite a conversation about the benefits of coconut milk/water and potassium going on with Spiner while I was getting Frakes to sign a photo . Frakes was selling some posters and was directing some examples to be hung up while he was trying to sign. I walked up and he stopped and said, "Hello! You're all dolled up today! You're outfit is very Steven Tyler. Have you been watching him on American Idol?" I said no, but that I do enjoy Steven Tyler and then Spiner said something and Frakes got up to open the curtains up that were separating them. Then he signed my photo and told me to enjoy the convention and thanks for coming. I beamed at him and went to join Spiner's line. When I got up to Spiner, he was drinking coconut water, was again going off on the benefits of it to annoy Frakes I think and started talking to his staff helper about potassium. He looked at me and said, "when Frakes writes 'Go Boldly' he doesn't mean it, however, when I write it, I mean it." I looked down at what he wrote (To Jenna) I said, "Yes, I can see where you really mean the 'To' and he doesn't." I laughed and thanked him and joined the line for Nicholas Brendon because Clare Kramer had some airplane delays and wasn't there yet. There was one person in front of me and I paid, choose my photo, handed it to Nick, looked at him, pointed at his glasses and just said, "Dude, I love those glasses!" He laughed and said, "Thanks I like you hat! ...and your vest and your skirt..." I was laughing too and siad, "Hey kept going, anything else you like? My shoes are pretty cool and I have on spats! " I kicked up my foot to show him and he agreed that it was a great total outfit. I told him Jonathan Frakes said my outfit was very Steven Tyler 9but I of course had trouble coming up with Tyler's name for about 5 seconds) and said I was going more for Steampunk really. He and his Minion both said I needed goggles and I said I was in the process of building some, cause I real Steampunk girl should build her own and I said I wanted to break down an old bicycle for the chain and gears. They thought that was a great idea and really awesome. I think I said something about how awesome it was he came to the Comicon, he signed the photo , we shook hands, smiled and I left to find room 4A which would be for Wil Wheaton's Awesome Hour panel. Found a good seat, and waited with an energy bar until it started. heh. Wil is always a good speaker and from what he's said, he really enjoys coming and talking at ECCC. First, he read us three stories . yay!!! Story time! Love his stories ^_^ He took some fan questions for the last 10 minutes . Fan questions are a double edged knife - there's sometimes some great questions and then sometimes really bad questions. Example, someone asked him to do his evil Wil Wheaton and he did! It was great; "Bored now, next" But then Next Generation got compared to Twilight (the movie) somehow by a girl and Wil's face (and I think most of the audience) just froze in horror for a moment. His end statement, "I stand with the Unions" got big applause. After the panel with Wil, I went back down to the Media Guest room to get Clare Kramer, Felicia Day and Amy Okuda's autographs.
I walked up to Clare and mentioned that I was glad she was able to come and had heard there was plane trouble. She said yes, but she was really happy to have finally made it. I picked out one of her Buffy photos because I loved the red dress her character wore and she signed it and I think she said something about my outfit and I thanked her for that and I thanked her for coming. I'm sure there was something else we said to each other, but what I really remember is her great smile and genuine happy eyes. We shook hands and I walked over to The Guild table to see Amy and Felicia. I would like to tell everyone that they are both lovely and wonderful and Felicia is so awesome. Anyway, Felicia was giving Amy some crap about one of her photos looking like Amy was nude. It happened to be selling very well and Felicia was saying (in the most I love you and I'm teasing you way) that Amy shouldn't be so exploitative of herself. Well, that's the photo I choose, and I said that really, you could see she was wearing a dress and the dress did look cute, but it was such a beautiful photo I was going to help her keep exploiting herself. Felicia commented that Amy was so beautiful it was ridiculous and wonderful. Amy said it was too bad the dress didn't show up in the photo because it was really cute and she really liked it. They then both commented on how awesome my outfit was and Amy lamented that she always choose bland and boring clothes for herself and really envied people who could layer well. I said her blouse was very nice and compliment her, but they both said that I had a really great personal style and my layers were just perfect and bold. I had Felicia sign a photo where she is dressed up in her The Guild avatar outfit cause it's just fabulous . My next task was to try to find any back issues I was missing. I had my list (it had to be reconstructed because the list had gotten drenched along with me the day before on a trip to Pike's Place) and I found maybe one or two things I was looking for. I really never found much on my list because it too obscure or too new. At least I found a few of my items.
I walked the floor to have Ben Templesmith sign a Doctor Who issue he drew ; very sweet guy. Found Andy Owens to have him sign the last 10 issues of Buffy Season 8. We talked about the upcoming season 9 that Joss has planned and Andy said the covers are already being worked on. He seems really excited about them, so I'm looking forward to reading them! My last stop of the exhibition room was the Elephantmen booth. My feet were really starting to complain at this point (I had on some 3 inch platforms) and Starkings, Gabo and Moritat were all working on sketches for people. I waited and chatted with everyone. Gabo finished up, signed issues and asked if I wanted a sketch. I asked him for an Obadiah Horn . It's fantastic. Richard finally finished his sketch, signed my issues and I requested a sketch of Miki (one of his characters - she's a cabdriver and very cute). He struggled with the sketch and then inked it. By the time they finished the Comicon was closing for the day, but Moritat told me to come around into the booth, sit down and he would sign and do a sketch for me. Wouldn't take no for an answer. I had him do Sahara - another Elephantmen character: ..... Moritat invited me out for drinks with the cast and crew (writers and artists) after I was done with the Buffy Sing Along panel and I said I would decide how I felt after it was over if I could make it down.
Once More With Feeling!!!!! sing along with Buffy and the Gang. . Yes, a LOT of us sang along with Buffy and the Scooby Gang. It was GREAT!! There were buttons and posters given away afterwards too. I really liked the buttons .
However, once I got back to my hotel room to transfer camera data to my laptop I realized my feet hurt so badly that walking anymore that night would mess me up for the rest of the weekend. (gasp, horror and pout!) I was not happy, but I ate another energy bar, made coffee, rubbed my feet and made do. Feet were happy with me again the next day and I wore flat boots to make them even happier.
Day 2 of ECCC: Made it to the doors at 9am (ish) so that I could get a good shot at getting in William Shatner's autograph line right away and getting a good spot. People and costume watched . The art of the convention is waiting in line! The Comicon opened 15 minutes early - wow. And the rush was on to get downstairs; or at least the fans who were being savy were making a very direct beatdown to the William Shatner line up area (right, left, escalator down, hard left and enter roped off partitions!). We soon learned that though we thought we had a great spot, we didn't have tickets and there was this other line being made next to our switchback line of people who had tickets. Some people around me had the thought of getting tickets and coming back later - I corrected that thought with a few words of wisdom. So, those that didn't have tickets soon shelled out their monies, were handed a ticket and photo of their choice and walked the trek out, around and back in line. I think about a thousand people were in line for his autograph that day and he was only there that Saturday, plus he did a panel and had a separate photo op. To get though that many people, he wouldn't do any personalization, wasn't going to be chatting, no photos taken with you at the table ect. I think I was about 100 people back and he got to me about 15 minutes after he started signing at 10:30am. There was a brief pause while he stopped to talk to some people and then I realized he was talking to Frakes and Spiner . Yeah, that was a moment of nifty. I handed over my ticket to the ticket guy at the table, handed my photo to Shatner and he wasn't really looking up the whole time he was signing stuff, but I think he caught a glimpse of my dress, looked up at my outfit, smiled up at me and said "Hello. Thanks for coming." I beamed a might smile, said hi and thanks back and then had to leave because of the next person.
Found Mike and Gary, walked around with Gary a little bit on the show floor. I wanted him to see Artist Alley the most. My favorite stop that morning was two guys in colonial wigs doing free sketches of historical figures for people. I came up with Napoleon riding an Octopus and the artist came up with The Assault on England Take Two when I went back to pick up the drawing a few hours later(ftg-comic.com). Gary came up with Tesla vs Pikachu and he was going to give it to one of the 16 yr old boys who came with him but never saw. Gary and I met some Suicide Girls , we took photos of Sean Patrick Flanery (Gary took this one) and Norman Reedus and chatted our way around the room. Then I told him we had to leave for The Guild panel - so he sat through Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day and Amy Okuda talking up a storm. In the words of Wil on his blog, "
Next was John Noble and Jasika Nicole (Gary left to find the two kids he came with and came back at 2pm for the next panel). John is quite fit looking in person, has a beautiful voice with an Australian accent and a great smile. Jasika is stunning and I couldn't stop looking at her. It also turns out she's an artist as well and does ink illustrations. Fan questions were mostly about their Fringe characters and you could tell they really loved working on the show and had really dug into the parts they were playing. John was asked at one point about his role as Denathor on Lord of the Rings and especially the part where he's eating as the riders go off to battle and Pippin sings. He said in rehearsal he was eating the food and playing around with squishing things to see how it felt just for the heck of it and Peter Jackson ran up to him and said , oh wow, squish more food, that looks amazing, now can you crunch some bones too. So that was incorporated into the scene. John talked about how the writers on Fringe become more excited as the season goes on so that the last episodes are always more exuberant and this season is no different. He said he last episode they just filmed (20 of 22) was remarkable for the number of surprises written into the script. It also turns out they the do consult scientists to figure out what theories could be turned into real scenarios and John does a lot of his own research to understand the principles so he can act them out. The time went by really fast and soon they were leaving. I was able to move to a better seat and Gary came back to sit though the Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner panel with me. Spiner came out first and did a bunch of stage poses for camera. Frakes came out a minute later and tried (very unsuccessfully) to sneak up on Spiner . They them hammed it up together for cameras while the moderator watched and waited for the two to calm down. I don't think they ever really did, but the audience loved it. I think it can also be safely said that the moderator and fans just got in a word or two edgewise because the two of them together never stop talking. Quickest banter and wit I have ever heard outside a scripted line.
The Buffy panel had Nicholas Brendon, James Marsters and Clare Kramer. We said a big hello to them and we received a big hello back . James talked a little about Torchwood and how he loved being subversive and loved being a part of the show - and yes a gay man can be a super hero too and that show proves it. Clare was asked how much she loved playing Gloria on Buffy and she said it was great and the red Prada dress her character wore was a great hit on the set. Nick was asked about his twin at one point, he said, "he has shorter hair and different tattoos." James loved Friday Fight Nights on Buffy when the fight scenes were shot, but the every episode hair bleaching was not enjoyed. They also said they were lucky to get an outline of the episode being shot and usually they only knew their scripts for that day of shooting because things kept getting rewritten. Nick said he found out his character was loosing his eye by reading the script. Lots of fun.
Last on my panel watching for the day was William Shatner!!! He just did fan Q&A. The first question was, "Can I have a hug?" "No. If that's your question, you need to pass the mike. I need a subject to dance on." He was asked about his music, his involvement with the
After the show, I went back to my room, ate a little food in bar form, had some coffee and made my way down to The Hard Rock Cafe Seattle to hear James Marsters croon and sing some of his songs. He didn't have his band (Ghost in the Robot) with him, so these were really his songs and not the bands songs . Many of his songs were either because he was getting into trouble with a girlfriend or he was trying to get out of trouble....and there were some inspired by his now wife and they were all really good. I was able to video a few of the songs and also found out that holding up my camera gave me another 6 inches to see over heads and it gave my arms a really awesome workout. Also learned a fun little tidbit from James about strip clubs in Seattle being owned and operated by women and how well run they were and were thus really great. I will take his word on that.
Day 3 of ECCC: The day opened up with me realizing I had nothing pressing, so I wandered into the Convention about 20 minutes after it opened and went downstairs to stand in line for John Nobel and Jasika Nicole's autographs. John was very nice and asked how I was doing and signed his name to the photo, I thanked him for coming and said I was really enjoying Fringe. Then I moved down the table and told Jasika that I was so happy she was there, that I loved her character and and I loved her hair too . She has a great smile ^_^ and she wrote "thanks for loving me AND my hair" on the photo.
Pia Guerra was back at her booth being not in her booth for most of the convention - I think she might have only been there Sunday. Anyway, she signed my Doctor Who and Torchwood issues for me and then I found another two paperbacks of Hellboy to make three paperbacks I asked Mike Mignola to sign . After that I was free to wander and so I decided to wanted to really go down Artist Alley and look at everything in more detail. I found an interesting little self published comic called The Bean and after reading the first issue, I bought it and would have bought more, but they had sold out of just about everything. The artist/writer (Travis Hanson) was doing free sketches and was daring people to try and stump him. I asked for a Steampunk Cameleon sketch and as you can see --> , he didn't have any troubles pulling it off. It took him all of two minutes to finish. I was thrilled. I found an artist named Ray Fawkes who does lovely little watercolors and purchased a postcard sized watercolor from him . Bought some steampunk magnets and such from Diana Vick, a really, really cute postcard from Erika Moen because I can't say no to cuttlefish, a hot little sketch by Echo Chernik and then last but not least a tie from Binary Winter (Against the Grain). I started taking photos of the Comicon floor at that point and whatever else happened to catch my eye (loved this guys Batman). My friend Mike ran himself into me at that point to get my attention and so we wandered around for the last hour looking at stuff. We found the best "edward" shirt ever ->. Go Battlestar! We went over to find Bendis so he could get his Powers copy signed and since David Mack was right next to him I said hello, he totally remembered me and I asked him if he still wanted to do any more Kabuki centered around the other characters and he said at some point he will, but there's just so much he wants to do and he's having so much fun doing it. I asked him if he was going to San Diego, he said yes, I said, maybe I'll see you there! We shook hands and he kept shaking me hand and then he was shaking his arm, I started jumping up and down with his arm and then he started jumping. We laughed and he thanked me for the fun.
That was my 2011 ECCC. Around 4pm, I left to go met up with my friend Jennifer for drinks and catching up.
Emerald City ComicCon 2010 at the Seattle Convention Center
8th Annual Show! Next year will be even BIGGER!
Day 1: Opening doors at 10am and from there did a mad rush of comic shopping because I knew I would be spending most of my convention day in back to back panels and I had to get there early to get a good seat (let alone any seat at all). Back issues of Buffy Season 8, Elephantment, Issue 2 of Star Trek: Countdown, Maxx issue 28 to finish out my issue run, Echo issue 19 and several other issues that eluded my vendor to vendor convention search. Saw one or two people I knew and chatted for a while. At 11:15, I made my way down, over and up...and up and over, into a never seen grand room that seated well over a thousand people (with many more standing in a line that never got in). I choose a seat initially in an aisle thinking that would be the best place to take pictures and then realized that everyone who would be lining up to ask questions would be directly in my line of sight. So I choose a seat in the fifth row back, just off to the right of center and from there I had a pretty good view of everything. At noon, Wil Wheaton came in and greeted the throng of everyone excited to see him. He explained he had lost a bet to that toaster head Aaron Douglas that team USA would beat the Canadian Hockey team - he lost and had to wear a Canadian hockey jersey the whole day . He then read from Memories of the Future volume 1 episode Justice and then Blue Light Special from one of his previous books . His rendering of Justice was spot on snark and a rollicking good time had by all. Next was Leonard Nemoy , and I think I told a hundred people or more that I was going to be able to see Leonard Nemoy at ECCC, I was THAT excited. I think everyone else was too. He read to us briefly from his book of poetry and then opened up the Q&A. A lot of people asked about his photography career and his stage acting career - and he took each question in turn and tried to answer as fully and completely as he could. He seems to be a very quiet, introspective man who is rather serious and very warm and loving. He spoke about his days before Star Trek, just looking for work, finding the role and loving everything Spock had to offer and what he was able to offer to the role. He also spoke about how utterly surprised he was when after the show was over, it became a huge hit in syndication and how many years later, that prompted the movies. After Star Trek ended, he went back to stage and was a very successful theater actor, and now later in life, he is also does photography and has had more then a few gallery showings of his work. He talked of his love for Spock and how grateful he was to get to know such a character and to work on a show like Star Trek. Someone also asked him about working on Fringe - he said he was asked to do and was reluctant at first, but agreed to do it as a favor. He enjoyed working on the set and thinks the character of William Bell is quite intriguing. After the Convention, he was scheduled to shoot his fourth and final appearance. Awesome. Next, Stan Lee had his panel. At 87, he could run circle around most people I know, if not talk circles around them. Seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm. He talked about the early days of Marvel before it was Marvel, of the creation of Spiderman, the DC/Marvel wars and why he changed his name to Stan Lee . It was originally Stanley Martin Leber, a beautiful name he says, a real name, but a little embarrassing on the comic page. He was so much fun to listen to. He was only able to be at the convention Saturday, because he was flying too Vancouver BC to shoot a cameo for the next Marvel movie. Next panel was for The Guild. Felicia Day had been scheduled to attend the Convention, but was offered the lead in a movie, so she was in Vancouver filming. However, several other Guild members where there, and since the hall emptied out rather quickly after Stan Lee, I was able to make for front row seating. There would have been photographs, but my camera memory card was stuffed to full by that point with video clips from previous speakers. Jeff, Robin and Sandeep were there and all were charming and funny. I am really looking forward to season 4.
Day 2: Got to the convention center very early was watch vendors and exhibitors make their way in and out in a mad morning attempt to get ready before we stampeded in at 10am. Blow the horns of war! here we come. I made straight for Terry Moore's table to get my last few issues of SiP signed (I now have the entire SiP issue run signed by Terry) and the first 19 issues of Echo signed . I asked if he would please do a convention sketch for me and at first he wasn't too keen on the idea because he still had several he had to do from yesterday, and I was ok with that, and then awkwardly told him that I now had every issue of SiP now signed and he asked how in the world that happened and I told him and after that he said if I still wanted a convention sketch and was willing to pay the commission fee, he would add my name to the list. A rare chance to have Terry Moore do a sketch for me and get a Francine to go with my Katchoo sketch? mmm, yes please. From there, I rushed over to stand in line to wait for Leonard Nemoy and get an autograph. I believe he said something like hello and I simply said thank you when I got up there. I'm thrilled to have the autograph and people in line were very entertaining to listen to. The hyper-excitement and the hyperventilation that was going on was quite a sight. From there, I went to stand in Wil Wheaton's line to get Memories of the Future volume 1 signed. His lines do take a while, but no one ever seems to complain because Wil takes the time and the interest to talk to every single person that stands in his line. A rare and gracious trait that I believe everyone understands. Plus, I had fun standing in line too, so that helps pass the time. When it was my turn, I complimented him on his rendition of Justice the day before at his panel because not only had it made me laugh when I read it at work on my lunch break, but I almost split a gut laughing at him reading it...with all the pauses and voices and mannerism that make it so Wil Wheaton and a joy to experience. So we briefly discussed that and a new found friend took our picture . From there, I found G. Willow Wilson and asked her to sign issues of Air that hadn't already been signed. She is a lovely, lovely lady and she writes very interesting characters. Then I waited in line for David Mack, because I had two issues of Reflections that I wanted signed and I wanted to ask for a sketch for Jennifer Knighton. I believe I can safely say I just adore him. And Jennifer, I want you to know, you got the VERY last bit of ink from David. He was scraping the bottom of his ink well with his brush for the last crumbs to compete your sketch. Then I found Pete Abrams from Sluggy Freelance fame. Purchashed the first two volumes of collected Sluggy goodness and Pete did a Bunbun sketch for me . On a side note, when several people noticed my convention badge and asked me how it was going and if I had gotten any awesome sketches, that's one one that got that most "awesome" comments. After loading myself up, I decided to load myself down, treked the 3 blocks back to my hotel room, divested myself of the morning/early afternoon happiness, collected my issues of Promethea and Elephantmen, reminded myself to eat and went back to the convention. Went to J.H. Williams III table and waited in a short line and asked if he would sign all my issues of Promethea . It was quite a stack. He had to stand for the first half of the stack. One of the guys behind me in line complimented me on a perfect run of issues. Yeah, I like it too. After seeing JH, I went to talk to Moritat and Starking. Moritat did a sketch for me and they both signed by issues. I didn't have the latest issue, so Starkings gave me the issue in return for a scan and email of the sketch Moritat had done for me.
That pretty much ended my "what I have to do and when" list so I took the rest of the convention easy. Stopped by they Binary Winter table and purchased a really awesome t-shirt. I love their stuff. Went though some more back issues and found one or two that I had been looking for. Met up with Mike and his girlfriend and we went to get took Mike over to get one of his trades signed by Bendis. We wandered around, and then I went back over the Terry Moore's table to find out if my sketch was done. It was! Isn't she pretty? The three of us wandered some more and then I left to go see Wil Wheaton playing Rock Band. Saw the last song he did, which was singing The Who's We Won't Be Fooled Again. Awesome! But then he had to leave to catch his plane to the airport. The three of us then went to dinner, and that was the end of the 8th ECCC.
Emerald City Comic Con 2009 at the Seattle Convention Center
April 4th - Saturday (Day 1). I wanted to get just about all my issues signed today as I could and I made myself a map of where I should go first. I stopped by David Mack's table first to get all my issues signed and see if he was doing ink sketches and if he was, how much they were ($20). I decided I wanted a Butoh sketch this year and he remembered me from all the other years I'd visited him at this tables. He says this every time I see him at a Convention, and every time I think it's the coolest thing ever. Then I joined Mike Mignola's line to get my Hellboy graphic novel signed. I wanted to get there early cause I knew otherwise his line would be 2 hours long. I think I waited 30-40 minutes, but it was totally worth it and I like talking to people in line anyway. Then I walked over to Georges Jeanty's table to get my Buffy Season 8 issues signed and HE remembered me from TWO years ago. Cute face he says. Awesome guy. Then I went to find Andy Owens, but he was wandering around so I went to find my car and unload the David Mack issues and weed out the Buffy issues I didn't need anymore. At 1:30 I went to sit in line to get into Jewel Staite's panel but the room filled up fast and I didn't get in. Very bummed out. Found Richard Starkings and Moritat's table - got those issues signed and got an awesome sketch of Hip drinking coffee in the rain under the Space Needle. I love it so much . Plus I always have fun at their table. Went back to David Mack's table to get Shy Creatures and another sketch because how often am I really going to see him at conventions and my desire to have sketches of all the Noh were a little overwhelming at this point. I had Ice done for me next . This meant my collection was only one sketch short of complete! Found Andy Owens back at his table and got him to sign the Buffy issues I had that he worked on. G Willow Wilson and David Petersen were the last two artist/writers I had on my list of people to meet for Saturday and neither had much of a line when I got there. David was trying patiently to explain the premise of Mouse Guard to someone who hadn't ever heard of the series and was kind of failing but had a good friend who took over. I love this series - I love the simplicity of the storyline; mice surviving in the wilderness and what lives they might be . I asked him if he could do a quick sketch for me and he said yes, so I asked for one of the mice warriors called Lieam . Willow was two rows over; she does a series called Air. I find that it reminds me of Allen Moore's Promethea series and while chatting with her while she was signing I mentioned it and she said while she hadn't read it herself that very same parallel had been mentioned to her several times before and she was intrigued.
April 5th - Sunday (Day 2) Walked in with the knowledge that if I wanted to get into panels today, I needed to get in early and fast. I walked into the How to Make Web Comics Panel with ease and found an enlightening and entertaining hour with the guys from PvP, Penny Arcade and two other guys I can't remember. So I was already seated when they started letting in the line for the Battlestar Galactica Panel, which they not only filled the seats but had two rows of people standing on the sides of the room as well and still many people did not get in (just like me the day before with Jewel's Panel). From left to right we had Michael Hogan (Saul Tigh), Tahmoh Panikett (Helo), Aleks Paunovic (Sgt. Fischer and a stunt coordinator for the show) and then Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol). I found a link to a YouTube taping of the Panel here. It's awesome. Aaron is hysterically funny. After that panel I stayed for Mike Mignola's Panel on Hellboy which was pretty darn cool to hear. He talked about how he came up with this character and a little on how the first movie came to be and how he felt about that version of Hellboy. Wil Wheaton was on next and he's always lovely to listen to. He read us three stories and if you want to hear it all here's a YouTube link. I had a blast. Those were my panels for the day; which was quite a chunk of the day, but chalk full of awesome shiny happy goodness. Went upstairs and stood in line for Wil's table cause I had his Sunken Treasure book I wanted him to sign and a CD onto which I'd burned the Batman: Brave and the Bold episode he did a voice part on, his episode of Criminal Minds and the podcast he did of his production diary/notes/stories of that. Totally geeky of me, but I got a 'hey cool!' from him when he looked at it . Then I got in line for Jewel Staite and got her autograph , Aaron Douglas for whom I will buy a round of Guinness anytime, Michael Hogan (who didn't really talk during the panel but was super sweet in person when I went up to ask for an autograph) and Tahmoh Penikett (who is now also on Dollhouse) . Walked by David Mack's table and decided to just go ahead and get that one final last Noh sketch; here's my Snapdragon sketch!!!! . Then I walked back by Moritat's table and he offered to do another sketch for me and how could I refuse that? . Discovered Cody Vrosh and Binary Winter - really cool artwork and t-shirts and that was the end of my second day. Next year, I'm getting a hotel room so I can go out for drinks afterward.
Emerald City Comic Con 2008 at Seattle Convention Center
May 10th -Saturday (Day 1): Got in a little late the first day. Wandered around a little and then I went to see and get autographs first. Julie Benz (Darla from Buffy/Angel) then Jamie Bamber (Apollo from BattleStar), and Wil Wheaton (yay!). Afterwards I made my way over to Gigi Edgley's table and bought her comic ashcan and got her autograph as well. She was very sweet and apparently she sings as well, but I didn't get to go to her after party where she was singing. Konsequntial Studios didn't have their new issues in yet, half of the team still being on an airplane with aforesaid new issues. So I walked around and got Brian Habrlin to sign my Man Hunter issues and Trade. Bought several issues of Fables for Bill Willingham to sign for Jennifer. He's really nice and was excited to see me getting them signed for my friend and was happy to see women readership. Went back to Konsequential Studios and issues 6 & 7 had come in as well as the second half of the team. Picked up two signed prints from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund table by Frank Miller (Sin City and 300) and on by Jeff Smith (Bone) . Stood in line to meet J.Michael Straczynski and he signed my Book of Lost Souls issues as well as several Trades. His Midnight Nation story is amazing and had me in tears by the end. Went to go see Andy Owens, who is an artist on the Season 8 Buffy and Dave Stewart who is the colorist. They both do awesome work .
May 11th - Sunday (Day 2): I went to go hear Wil , Jamie , Julie , and JMS speak and answer questions posed to them. Wil had a lot of people come up and tell him that the Wesley Crusher character inspired them when they were young nerds and helped them deal with the tauntings of their peers. I really enjoyed hearing him speak; he's eloquent and funny and full of stories. Jamie was asked about Battlestar and the final episodes and what he feels he takes away from the experience. He says mostly the show is about the human experience good and bad - we are what we create and what we care about. Julie was asked about her two new movies and you could tell she was very passionate about Rambo which is about war torn Burma. Apparently Julie and Stallone are now both wanted by the Burmese government and heroes to the Burmese people.
Got my ElephantMen issues signed by the writer Mr Richard Starking and Tim Sale came over to say hello. My issue 11 was missing and Richard gave me issue 11 so I wouldn't have a missing issue not signed . I came back later to have Moritat sign the newest issues since I saw him last at Comic Book Ink signing 2007. He even did another sketch for me!! Then I walked over to The Oblongs booth and picked up some original artwork for Jennifer M cause she informed me of how much she loved The Oblongs so I wanted to surprise her.
Picked up at lot of free posters, comics and bookmarks around the room and from promotional booths. Most of it I made into a present package for Stephanie's three kids. I also bought them each 3 little prints signed by the artist from Artists Alley. They featured animals - one was birds, another was lizards and the third was cats with a silhouette of a mouse in top hat in front. The artist lady was wearing a huge demonic looking bird head costume. After that I went over to see Tim Sale (the artist who did Isaac's paintings for Heroes) and asked for a quick sketch cause I love his work. This was the end of my day and I was fairly worn out with all the walking I did.
Comic Book Ink Signing - Independents Day II Events: September 29th 2007
Went to go see Brandon Graham, Moritat and Joshua Ortega at my comic shop for a signing. Graham drew me a sketch: and signed an issue for me:, Moritat signed a bunch of my Elephantmen issues and did a sketch for me: and Ortega signed one of his graphic novels for me: (The Necromancer).
(August 2008)*so really cool aside: I e-mailed Richard Starkings (the author of Elephantmen) a scan of the two sketches Moritat has done for me after the 2008 Emerald City ComicCon because he asked me to and in the back of Elephantmen issue 13 Mr. Starkings included this sketch Moritat did for me!! In the right bottom corner it even still says "Comic Book Ink 2007". It's a little more on the colored side of life, but it's the sketch!
Emerald City Comic Con 2007 at Quest Field
March 31st - Saturday (Day 1): Through the door at 10am and wait in line for lame table of swag. Oh well. It happens to the best of conventions. I have my list of issues I need to buy for myself and several for Jennifer (since she couldn't make it, I'm trying to find her a few comics to fill in her collection and get signed) so I need to find where the booths are located for my artists and authors and then go through dealers long boxes for those hard to find back issues. Issues found. Still trying to find Maxx #28, otherwise, I'm now good. David Mack is easy to find and I chat with him while he signs my few Kabuki issues. I tell him I forgot my sketch book but will bring it tomorrow since he said he would do a Siamese Twins ink sketch for me while he was here. We talk about this latest arc of Kabuki which is his favorite so far because he has such a solid story base he can really explore what he wants to now.
I said the story flows so well right now and he says it feels jazzy to him; I agreed. I pick up #7 for Jennifer and he gives me an iron-on Tigerlily patch. I'll be back tomorrow!
Konsequential Studios didn't have anything new, but gave me their new little book of sayings.
Terry Moore's booth is hard to find at first, but find it I do. I explain when I get up to meet him that I have every issue of Strangers in Paradise and I'm going to be a pain in the ass and get every one of them signed while he is here and while I have my only chance. He loves the idea. We talk about Francine (character from SiP) and how much the series has meant to me and how glad I am that he is here. I tell him how I fell off my chair when I read he was attending (I really did). I have 1/2 the pile with me for Day 1 and am bring the rest Sunday (Day 2). I get in line twice to not hog the line. I also find out that Terry is donating 10 sketches a day to the the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. I've missed out on a chance to buy a ticket for Saturday, but there is a chance I can get one on Sunday.
I find Georges Jeanty to sign Buffy Season 8 issue #1 and get a glimpse at issue #2 coming out in a few weeks.
Walking around and looking at the main booths of publishers, I discover that Frank Beddor has a booth and I didn't realize he was going to be there. He does a series called Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars which is based on his book called The Looking Glass Wars (found in Young Adults section at Borders). I loved the series and bought the book a few weeks ago when I can across it by accident. He was delighted I knew his work and told me to bring by stuff my on Sunday to get signed. Of course I had mentally made plans to do so.
Next I made my way to a dueling sketch auction panel hosted by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. 6 artists sketched as fast as they could in one hour and the resulting sketches were auctioned off on the spot. It was quite fun to watch - the auctioneer was the CBLDF accountant. Small little guy with a Mohawk, a sharp tongue and spry wit. Most sketches went for $150 - $250. Terry Moore, David Mack, Phil Hesner, Darick Robertson, Steve Lieber and Steve Rolston were the artists.
Tried to find Justin Norman who is an artist on the series Elephantmen and found out he had apparently 'popped in' for some photo ops and would be back Sunday at 2pm.
I found Phil Hesner and asked him to sign my guide since he had done the artwork for the cover. Then I was finished for the day and went home to forage for food.
April 1 - Sunday (Day 2): Remembered to bring my sketchbook!!! Stood in line for 30 minutes waiting for the convention to open then made a beeline to the CBLDF booth for buy a ticket for a Terry Moore sketch (Terry has not done a fan sketch in maybe 10 years because so many ended up on eBay). First at the booth for the day and snagged a ticket!!! Turned around and got Terry to sign the rest of my issues. We chat more about the covers - which ones we like and why, story arcs and the series ending.
Terry does my sketch in my sketchbook and I ask for Katchoo doing something with painting. Another fan and I talk with Robyn (his wife) about the pros and cons of doing a ferry ride or the space needle. I mention EMP (Experience Music Project) and Terry votes for experiencing the history of rock and role (he's a fan of Jimmy Hendrix and guitars) . I also buy a limited edition convention only print for Jennifer signed to her from Terry.
When he is finished with the sketch, I ask for a photo. yay!!!! People tell me I am glowing afterwards.
Made my way of to David Mack again and showed off my Terry Moore sketch because I was still so bouncy.
He congratulated me and signed my Reflections issues (his sketch and ideas publication) and then did a sketch of the Twins for me in between signing for other fans.
Made my way over to Frank Beddor's booth and he signed my issues and book. He was so pleased I had all the issues and the book. Apparently my #1 is a rare variant he really likes. He came over to say hi to me later when I was sitting in the Convention Hall corner reading the book. I quite like it. It's a very exciting twist on Alice in Wonderland.
Wandered for a bit and talked to fans.
Justin Norman never showed up. grrr. He is scheduled to have an appearance at Comic Book Ink in September, so I'll just take my issues to be signed then.
Mike and Joe showed up and we stood in line for Bendis (Mike got a trade of Goldfish signed). Then Mike got Peter Mayhew's autograph as well as Flashback's (from Sci-Fi channel's Who Wants to be a Superhero show) . I got Mike to take my picture with Mack and that was pretty much the end of the convention!
Emerald City Comic Con 2006 at Quest Field
Emerald City Comic Con was awesome. Went on the 1st. It was at SeaHawk's Stadium again which is a really good venue for this event. Visited lots of artists, writers, publishers, venders and really cool fans. Well, really cool people in general. Dropped in on the Slave Labor Graphics Panel Q&A with Editor-In-Cheif Dan Vado along with Roman Dirge (who does Lenore if anyone knows that comic - Hot Topic carried it for a long time). I was going after 2 issues of Maxx that I don't have, but didn't manage to find them. Rare issues are hard to find, but that's the fun of them. Got my Grendel issues signed by Matt Wagner. That was pretty awesome. After wandering around for awhile I realized I should have asked him for a sketch, but he was gone to lunch by then. Got my DareDevil #4 HC signed by Alex Maleev who seemed to be swamped by sketch requests.
Talked to Stephen Silver and got a limited edition print from him that he signed with a little sketch of Rufus from Kim Possible which he did Character Development and Character Supervision for. Kim Possible is one of my favorite cartoons. Teen Titans is my other favorite.
Konsequential Studios was there for the third year and I had to go and show my support. They do a small little independent comic called Monk's Tale which is really well done and they just released issue #5.
Image Publishing was there, and I had a really interesting conversation with one of the guys there and a passing Kabuki fan who heard me mention my love of David Mack, who had to stop and show me his Scarab tattoo. ^_^
Emerald City Comic Con 2005
Got Alex Maleev to sign some of the DareDevil issues he had done with Bendis (that Bendis has already signed for me last year, which was cool because he has a huge line going). Also got caught up on my Monk's Tale issues by Konsequential Studios! Very cool people with a very cool little series going on. Very cool convention this year - lots of people showed up and everyone seemed to be having a great time. I know I had a ball talking to people and meeting all those wonderful artists and writers.
Comic Book Ink was there selling stuff - their first time and it looked like things were going very well for them.
My Maxx collection is now almost compete - just missing issues 28 and 29! Hopefully, I can find those two at the next convention I go to.
Comic Book Ink Comic Store Signing 2/28/04
John Munn (of Comic Book Ink) was able to get Bendis to come by for a few hours of signing . I was able to get a few things signed, what I didn't get signed that day, I got signed the next day at Emerald City ComicCon.
Emerald City Comic Con 2004 at Quest Field
Bendis signed a few more issues for me. Discovered this really cool little series called Monk - it's a 4 issue series, the 4th is upcoming. Got both creators to sign for me. There were lots of free stuff for the first 2000 people in the door (of which I was one). Many interesting finds and things to see.
Portland Comic Con 2004
Arrived about 11am, walked around looking at all the dealers and their merchandise. Made the rounds and went looking for the lines for Bendis and Mack. Found them after a small look about and joined them. Asked Bendis to sign a few issues and a couple of my DD books - totally awesome.
Went over to Mack's table next to say 'hello' - he signed many of my Kabuki issues and DD issues that had come out since the last time he came to Portland and I also bought a Scarab HB. Then he asked if I hadn't been to the 2002 Portland Comic Con, which amazed me that he remembered me from then, but then he said he remembered me from the 2001 Puget Sound Comic Con up in Seattle with my friend Jennifer (he even remembered our names). I'm slightly speechless at this point. Anyway, he signed a copy of Reflections #1 for Jennifer (so cool). I asked if he would do a quick Scarab ink sketch for me and he promised one if I came back at the end of the day, so I wandered off, ate a pretzel and decided a nap in the car was just the thing. Went back in a little after 4pm, to the table, and talked with Mack and some guys from the Mack/Bendis boards which was really cool. Not only did Mack do a sketch for me at the end, but he also signed a Scarab poster for me =D
I love my little collection of Mack ink sketches.
Portland Con 2002
Didn't stay too long. Came to see Mack and Bendis - had a few issues sighed and asked Mack for a quick sketch of Kabuki. Isn't is awesome?
Puget Sound Comic Con 2001 at Seattle Center San Juan Room
Long, long lines everywhere, but that's ok. Means people are out supporting the comic world. Embelin was there and he signed a print for me. Lishner did a very quick sketch of Dawn for me and Mack was awesome and not only did a quick sketch of Tigerlily (my favorite Noh) but also posed for a photo with Jennifer and myself. (Anh took the picture)
by David Mack
Tigerlily Kabuki Snapdragon
Ice Siamese Butoh Scarab
Moore Creation in concert with David Mack come out with a limited line of the Noh Masks.
They are amazing pieces - I now have mine arrayed all over my bedroom walls <g>
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My friend Jennifer and I both love the series ....so we decided to 'dress-up' like the characters. We never finished the series, but we did do our three favorites <g>
Kabuki Scarab Tigerlily
Ok, the first two, I did the makeup for. I don't have the hair for it, but it works alright for Tigerlily if you ignore the color. And the last one in this row is a liquid latex mask I made. Actually wore it all day Halloween to my classes last year- very hot, but very worth it.
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