Tag Archives: Comic Con

More genre conventions in the old home town

So apparently my home town of Billings Montana is not having just ONE!, but TWO! Sci Fi/Fantasy/Comic convention this summer. Alternacon was July 10th to the 12th, now apparently we also have FantasyCon taking place August 21st to the 23rd. I am a bit surprised by this, I mean 30 years and NOTHING, now suddenly two in a single summer. Seems like there was pent up need for this sort of thing.



As a side note, GenCon was this weekend and as every year, my Twitter feed fills up with people having way more fun than I am. Sadly, I think I will have to wait until retirement to go, not only does this suck a week of your life away, there is no way to do GenCon on the cheap, it is going to be expensive no matter what you do.

Hometown SciFi Conventions

It looks like after 30 years my hometown Billings Montana is about to have another Science Fiction Convention. Tragic City Alternacon is taking place July 10th through the 12th. Looking at the schedule, I do not see much gaming going on, even under Tournaments and Contests, there does not seem to be anything specific. The Panel list also does not look terribly interesting either, although admittedly, the 8PM Friday Boobzilla Slideshow sounds like it has some potential, but I suspect it is not what I think it is and would disappoint me. Those of you who live in Billings, I do hope some of you go, because I really hope this is more fun than it looks. TreasureCon I, II and III were all a lot of fun and Billings is big enough that there really is no reason they should not have a small genre convention each year.

Gargoyle Two

Since I built my own motion activated surveillance system I have come back to re-visit the Gargoyle project. Gargoyle One can be seen here;


It was built using a Dell Mini 9 stuffed into a backpack and a webcam. I have made many modifications since then. I replaced the backpack with a fishing vest (Lots of accessible pockets) and the Mini 9 was replaced with a Raspberry Pi. The mistake I made with the first one, was I wanted it all and it was just not going to happen with the hardware I had access to and the limitation of size. So I narrowed down scope of the project, all this rig is suppose to do is record and save input and then provide a way to display the data. I have no need to access a desktop or use it surf the web, I have a smartphone for that. the first thing I gave up on was trying to capture video and went for a continuous stream of pictures, about 2 per second. this lowered the CPU and disk space requirements. A 320×240 jpeg takes up less than 10kb, a 640×480 jpeg takes less than 30kb so I can easily store thousands of these pictures on the 32GB SD card in the RPi. Any decent resolution of video is going take up far mare drive space then the equivalent time span of pictures. The ultimate test of this is going to be Comic Con in October. Rather than walk around carrying my cell phone asking for pictures, I can just walk around and absorb information automatically. I will need to test it in crowds of people beforehand however, to make sure my idea works in reality or if I just end up with thousands of blurry pictures.

Comic Con 2013 IV

Here is the original art pages from Incredible Hulk # 278 with Stan Lee’s autograph on it. PezWitch had to stand in line for two hours to get this signature and I appreciate her very much for her sacrifice. Before re-framing it, I put a copy of the receipt for the autograph between the pieces of cardboard for proof of providence. I have no idea how much this piece might be worth, but I hope someday someone else will look at this and say the same thing I did when I first saw this and bought it. As a side note, PezWitch got an offer to buy it before she even got 10 feet from Stan Lee.

Comic Con 2013 III

So somewhere in the middle of all this, I managed to get in a visit to Neal Adams table. Neal Adams is in my top 5 list of favorite artists. The darker, grittier Batman we see today was started by Neal Adams and of course he and Denis O’Neil were responsible for the ground breaking  Green Lantern/Green Arrow number 85.

I would love to be able to tell you that I had a wonderfully intelligent conversation with Neal Adams and that I wowed him with my natural charm and witty repartee. The reality though is my brain seized up in a fashion that has never happened before. I mean seriously, I have shaken hands with celebrities before and maintained my normal IQ level. However, with Neal Adams, my mind went blank, he literally stared at me and said, “Sir, you have to hand me the prints so I can sign them.” and I think it went down hill from there as I gapped like a moron. I did try to tell him my IQ was something above a 100, but I don’t think he believed me. I do have to say that in spite of this he was very nice and gracious to me. This is what I get for going out in public without PezWitch.

So the upside here, is I did get this print. This really shows off his talent and why he is considered one of the greatest living comic artists. Someday, I hope to meet him again and not be a dithering idiot.

Comic Con 2013 II

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Stan Lee panel. These panels are generally fun, but someone always does something stupid and this on was no exception. Some guy decided this was a great time to ask his girlfriend to marry him. Folks, this is stupid okay. I realize I am being selfish here and I realize this is probably a big deal to you, but guess what, to me you are pulling focus away from the person I came to see and making this event about you. Sorry, but I don’t care and yes, I would rather hear Stan Lee answer an actual question than listen to you beg your girlfriend to marry you.

This first picture was taken from a long distance, I cropped out most of the useless blurry stuff, leaving only the useful blurry stuff.

This one was much closer and considerably clearer.

Comic Con 2013

My back is killing me, my knee is fucked up and I am feeling every god damned minute of my nearly 50 years of existence. Normally when we do Comic Con we go all three days. Friday night gives us chance to make cursory run and make a list of the things we want to do and the people we want to talk to. The second day is spent waiting in lines getting autographs and going to panels. Day three is spent walking around the  booths and buying comic books and comic book related paraphernalia. This year we decided to do just one day, the downside is we spent most of the day in lines waiting for autographs and photo ops. The upside is I got autographs and photos taken with Stan Lee and William Shatner, neither of whom are young chickens.

When they take these photos, these are not meet and greets. No chit chat, no hand shakes, you walk in, they yell NEXT, you step up, they snap the pic and yell NEXT. Do not under any circumstance try to hold the line up. This annoys the celebrity, the photographer and those people who are behind you.

This one is for Chad


Comic Con 2011: Final Wrap

This year was a far different experience from last year. Last year we attended several panels with actors, artists and writers, this year I attended only one. Last year, only Mike Grell felt really approachable, this year Adam Baldwin, Kevin Sorbo, James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter were all very friendly and willing to spend several minutes with each fan and allowed you to take candid shots if you wanted. Over all it was a fun time and I am glad I got to share it with my nephews and sister.

Comic Con 2011: Day Three

We are home, tomorrow I will write a wind-up and maybe add a couple of pictures. In the mean time.

A much prettier looking Blue Lantern than last years.

PezWitch says she is going to burn down “Lifes” house with a Fucking Lemon Grenade.

James Marsters does not know what to think about Thuhlu.


Peter Mayhew having a smoke break with fans.

No idea, but PezWitch says this is very funny.

Comic Con 2011: Day Two

PezWitch and I. She is dressed as Claire from the Guild, I am a Munchkin Player, we estimated I have +130 to hit, but it is okay because I have the “CHEAT” card, so its all good.

Jade and Black Canary

Marv Wolfman, writer of the New Teen Titans and the mind behind Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Death as a hot goth chic.

Adam Baldwin, the man they called Jayne.

Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), SuperGirl and Starman (Legion of Superheroes).

The Silk Spectre.

Comic Con 2011: Day One

We got to the Con late and we only stayed for about an hour and a half.

This is my sister Mary with Kevin Sorbo and Thulhu.

A fair impression of Silent Bob.

A gangly bunch steampunk renegades.

This is a good example of a weight appropriate costume, everyone’s 2nd favourite Green Lantern, Killiwog.

This quest giver hated bugs and requested up and coming heroes to stomp 10 bugs for a reward.

The Black Power Ranger

Are they suppose to wear the corset on the outside?

Comic Con and other misc

Comic Con is one week away, things are looking up. I am purposely posting very lightly this week and next. However, I should have a couple of posts a day on the 11th through the 14th along with a pile of pictures.

I went to see my doctor this morning. I got my flu shot, my arm hurts but otherwise I am fine. I have no idea why all these weenies get sick from getting these shots, I have gotten one every year for the last 20 and never gotten so much as fever. The doctor said I was old and fat, I told him he was gangly and needed to eat a sandwich. Otherwise nothing new to report.

Cheap Ass Comic Con Costumes

Halloween has been a boon to me. I went to the “Spirits” the Halloween store in Killeen and picked up a plastic battle axe (probably a bad idea to take my real battle axe to Comic Con) and a horned Viking helmet. I was expecting to get an el cheapo plastic helmet, but I was surprised to find a rather decent looking one for $30. The horns are plastic, but the helmet is made of metal. I am now raiding my Munchkin cards to build my armor with. I am taking my queue from Vince Caso (Bladezz from the Guild) in this picture.


Picture no longer available

Count down to Austin Comic Con 2011

The count down begins, Austin Comic Con is about a month away. Here is a a picture from last year I didn’t post. I suspect no one is surprised that she was a pretty popular subject for picture taking.

GenCon started yesterday

So every year, in August the hardcore RPG players of the world make the trek to Indianapolis Indiana for GenCon. Next to Comic Con San Diego, this is the convention I most want to attend. While I enjoy Comic Books, I do not breathlessly a wait the arrival of each new comic each and every month as I once did. RPG’s on the other hand, I really can not get enough of. If I had the time and energy, I would play 2, 3, or even 4 times week. I attended GenCon in 1988 and I would really love to go again before I die, but I suspect it will have to wait until I retire, hopefully WalMart will let me have the weekend off.

I found this interesting graphic showing how attendance of the Convention has went up over the years. When I went in 88, GenCon and Origins were held together and attendance was at record levels, since then that record has been broken year after year. Of course what this really says to me is, I am not alone.


Please not, this is not the original image I used in this post.

San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic Con is next weekend. I am looking forward to the annual Booth Babe Parade.

Comic Con: Post Mortem

Whew, I got some sleep and a hot shower, unfortunately I am also back at work. Going to Comic Con was the most fun I have had in long time. We met a lot of people, the Blue Moose booth and the Browncoats band, jump to mind. We took a lot of pictures, I think close to 200 between us, I have already posted 26 of them, if you want to see more, visit PezWitch’s Facebook page. We also spent a lot of money, most of it was spent at Mike Grell’s booth, I think I dropped $300 there easy. We attended four panels during the show, one was a disappointment, while the other three were well worth the time spent.

Walter Koenig – Mr Koenig was neither the best of the show nor the worst. His stories were interesting and sometimes funny, although he tended to wander off track occasionally. One issue was the lame ass questions some of the audience asked. Even after he mocked fandom about asking him to say “Nuclear Wessel”, some stoned chic still asked him to say it anyway. I kind of got the feeling that he was maybe a bit tired of the fan circuit and frankly, who can blame him.

Nicholas Brendon – This was probably the least entertaining of the panels, he had very little chemistry the other two panelists. In spite of this he and his fellow panelists plowed through till the end. The worst part of this panel was the audience questions. To the women who asked him if he preferred real high school or TV high school, “Fucking REALLY !”. I am glad I got up early to get a spot in line for Adam West and Burt Ward.

Adam West/Burt Ward -This was by far the best panel I attended. Adam West and Burt Ward obviously like each other, they play well off each other and enjoy interacting with their fans. They were funny and entertaining, did not waste a lot of time going off on weird tangents. The audience questions were pretty good over all, and tended to be of the “Wow, you were such an important part of my childhood !” variety. After attending this panel, I wish I had stopped by their booth and got autographs.

Mike Grell – To be frank, Mr Grell could have sat up on stage and clipped his finger nails for 45 minutes and I would have enjoyed it. Mike Grell has been my favorite artist since I started reading comics. I have vivid memories of reading the Legion of Superheroes, Green Lantern/Green Arrow and the Warlord as a young teenager. Saturn Girl, Black Canary and Tara got me through puberty.  This was the only panel were I got up and asked a question, I asked him why he hated Vince Colletta so much he wrote him into a story were the Warlord cut off his hands. The short answer of course was, because Colletta was a horrible inker and was destroying his work.

We are definitely attending next year, regardless of who the guests are. I hope Mike Grell decides to attend again, I’d love to expand my collection some more and besides, of all the people I talked to, he was by far the nicest and most fan friendly.

Edit: To be fair, Mike Grell did not come right out and say Vince Colletta was a horrible inker who was destroying his work, that was me summing up a 10 minute statement.

Comic Con: More Pictures

First I want to start off with giving a shout out to Scare for a Cure, a non profit organisation helping raise money for Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas. The zombie posed with Thulhu at Comic Con and gave her a nice card game called Haunt.

Here is a nice picture of me standing next to the Batmobile. I thought about paying the $20 to actually sit in it and get a picture taken, but I thought, this was almost as good and free.

The next two pictures are the same guy, he was Lex Luthor on Saturday and the Vulture on Sunday. This guy knows how to play to his strengths.

A pretty convincing Hit Girl, except Hit Girl does not smile unless she is actually killing someone.


I like this Captain Marvel, like the Blue Lantern, he knows he can not pull off spandex and instead went for a weight appropriate style for his costume.


Here is a picture of the piece I commissioned Mike Grell to do for me. While it is not as big as the Warlord, I love it just the same.

Comic Con: Day 3

We are home now. I am tired as hell, later this week I will write a much lengthier post about all the things we did and the people we saw. But for now, I have six more pictures to share. I will start with a pic of PezWitch and me.


Here is BatWoman, Wonder Woman, NightWing and the Vulture, posed with Thulhu.

Here is Mike Grell at his panel.

Mike Grell goofing off with Element Lad and Cosmic Boy after his panel.

I bought this in the huckster room, the bridge came with the Kirk and Spock figures, McCoy I had. PezWitch tried to get the price on this all weekend, but for some reason no one knew for sure until the last day.

Finally, it always amazes me how cheap con goers can be. This woman slept in the ladies room rather than paying for a motel room. The picture was taken by PezWitch, not me.

Comic Con: Day 2

Wow, I am fricking exhausted. We arrived at 9AM so we could get decent parking, but it made for a long ass day. Here is PezWitch and I just after breakfast, still feeling fresh. I am doing Dr Horrible, she is an evil Cthulhu Cultist.


I started out with more Mike Grell, giving him $100 yesterday  apparently was not enough, so I gave him more today.


Then we wandered around the hucksters room for another couple of hours until the panels started and took pictures of various CosPlayers.

These two were a really cute couple.


A Night Elf and a Blood Elf from World of Warcraft.


We saw Walter Koenig, Nicholas Brendan and Adam West/Burt Ward.The only pictures to turn out vaguely well was of Walter Koenig.


Finally, we limped home, here is a picture of Day 2 swag.

Comic Con: Day 1a

We survived day one. We did not make any of the panel discussions, but hopefully tomorrow we will make all of the more interesting ones. We pretty much spent the afternoon in the hucksters room (do they still call it that ?). PezWitch took a lot of pictures.


This is Poison Ivy with Thulhu.


This one is for my SteamPunk friends. I bought the goggles and the crossbow from these two.


The Blue Lantern looked like he was having fun and I can appreciate the weight appropriate custom.


The thing I wondered about with this guy was, is that a sword or snowboard ?


I spent nearly $100 at Mike Grell’s booth. I commissioned a head shot of Green Arrow not shown, because its not done yet. Here is a picture of all my swag so far.


Finally, anything worth doing is worth doing twice. As you can imagine, she is a pretty popular girl.

Comic Con: Day 1

Carnifex is going to post a picture of his loot, just to prove he isn’t the only one buying art, here is something I picked up, from “A Guy Who Can’t Draw” (I think he is going to be famous someday).


One week to Comic Con Austin

The Comic Con count down continues. Finally, they have posted a program listing, I am seeing at least one or two things I want to do each day, and nothing seems to overlap, so at least for now, I am good to go. I suspect things will change when we get here, I think there will be far more panels than are listed and who knows what they will come up with for movies. I am planning on getting a few autographs, the list of people attending who will be available is quit long, if you see anyone on the list you want me to get an autograph from for you, let me know, I will see what I can do. Keep in mind most of these people charge money for autographs, so I will need to be reimbursed. The people I am interested in are ; Nicholas Brendon, Mike Grell, Walter Koenig, Lee Majors, Lindsay Wagner, Burt Ward and Adam West. There is one other person on the list I am going to acquire, but that is going to be a Christmas present for someone else.

November, Sweet November

This month is going to be great, I feel it in my bones. We have Thanksgiving, where I get to engorge myself on pumpkin pie and no one will point at me in horror. We have my birthday, where I get presents and well wishes, regardless of how cranky I was for the rest of the year. Then there is Comic Con, were I will shamelessly walk among my people and revel in all things nerd. Finally it is National Novel Writing month, so PezWitch will be locked away in Dimension X writing her novel and I will again have unfettered control of the remote. Yes, November is going to be a great month.