Treasures found at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo

img_2387

Back in mid-October, I attended the Portland Retro Gaming Festival, for some looks back of video games past among its dedicated fandom.

The Portland Retro Gaming Expo is a non-profit gathering since 2006, sharing the appreciation for the classic era arcade and old school physical media-based games inside a large convention center. A good amount of panels, special guests, dealers, and creative people show-up. Also, lots of restored games with a chance to relive classics and join with other fans.

My attendance was encouraged by local friends, coming back from the show in recent years. I didn’t expect much than the usual small convention. The show exceeded expectations, with a lot of surprises, and much more shopping than I intended.

The biggest highlights are some amazing treasures on display, and for sale. Some of which are featured below in pics I sporadically took.

….

I have never seen a R.O.B (Robotic Operating Buddy) accessory for the original Nintendo Entertainment System until now. What a strange little relic, perfectly representing the odd mid-80s robotics craze.

img_2361

I sadly never experienced the cult hit of the early 90s that is Sega CD’s Night Trap, starring Dana Plato. But, it’s fascinating weird part of history and a turning point in gaming. Here is an original import edition, for the truly hardcore fan.

img_2355

The Nintendo Knitting Machine, perhaps the most obscure and rarest of Nintendo peripherals, allowing its user to use its gaming console to sew! This never entered the market, but some tech demos like this one does exist,

ea7cb4a0-7035-4d29-8fb5-ee53be431ada-1

An original copy of the classic PC game, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? here and complete with its own handy encyclopedia!

350dcfd3-70fd-4ca5-8c84-3c226dbf760c

Lots of weird handheld odds and ends, kind of cheap.

img_2366

One table full of Sega games, showing off the beautiful box art on those hard cases.

img_2356

One of many tables in the showroom. Check out Sega’s Activator, a peripheral for the short-lived Sega Mega Drive and Sega System 32, allowing very limited body- motion control for some games. Not nearly successful from its launch in August 1993, and would take another 2 decades for such an idea to truly catch on.

img_2360

My favorite waste of time, one of the tables where you take a bag and fill it with whatever for $5.00. See anything interesting?

img_2362

Lot so oddball import games of old, well-preserved.

img_2365

Another rarity, the Panasonic Q, a hybrid DVD player, and Nintendo Gamecube, sold only in Japan for a brief time.

img_2359

Some earlier treasures from the Radio Shack era of PC gaming.

img_2353

Some earlier rare consoles. Not sure on these, but I like that the old monitor had plugs in the front for connection.

img_2354

The very rare NES TMHT (!) edition for European release.

img_2388

And here is just one table part of the separate Nintendo mini-museum. Chock full of pieces of Nintendo’s golden era of game-related merchandising.

img_2387

Pre-NES era Nintendo import toys..

img_2378

More Nintendo electronic rareness, pre-NES times..

img_2380

More earlier Nintendo oddities…

img_2381

From the Nintendo World Championship 1990, including the rare and most expensive game cart. Only 90 copies exist, at a price that has gone for over $100,000 on eBay in 2014.

7058e973-c9d5-4458-ba9f-bd28111722f1

A rare poster signaling the coming of Tetris…

img_2373

And that’s the last Nintendo relic goodness.

img_2375

That’s all from the show for this year in pics. Next year’s Portland Retro Gaming Fest, I plan to attend, look deeper into the aisles and presentations, searching more for cool treasures of gaming past.

Wandering through PAX West 2018

ad0db108-0ce2-4aca-8fff-24d1a44bca62-1

A week passed since attending PAX West 2018 in Seattle, a grand annual event for video and tabletop gamers. The memories of this annual event remains fresh.

The show was an overall blast, yet not the best attended over the recent years. The favored part was the significant rise in indie games pushed by smaller developers, looking to gain fame through playable demos and cheap giveaways. Also, plenty of merch sold at booths, especially pins. The gaming tech seemed plentiful, with plenty to demo and purchase.

The downside was the reduction in tabletop games. No large booths or big promotional events for any card or board games. Magic: The Gathering was hardly noticeable, compared to last year where Wizards of the Coast reserved an entire theater. I didn’t see any Cards Against Humanity promotion either, which felt like a bigger part of PAX from past years. I spent nearly all of my time with the video games for this round.

Meanwhile, much of gaming space on the exhibit floor was dedicated to the new trends in the video gaming industry – e-sports, streaming, influencer personalities, and the overall attention given to spectator aspects. Little of that appealed to me and felt like space that could have been utilized better. Whatever, as I do enjoy a Let’s Play or YouTube personality at times, just not here.

The company displays were a bit disappointing. No huge and ridiculous dioramas, or overly large statues or looming creatures. Just a lot of boring logos and posters in lights. I expect more from PAX, based on past years.

But overall, I still had a lot of fun and got all these pins (some purchased, some free)…

I did wander around for much of the time and took pictures. I share below some shots with more notes on the show…

..

A typical view of a PAX West game booth, between the Ubisoft and Discord booths.

c1865207-c00c-4c0a-972d-0d05de193eb0

The usual sea of computers for players to game together using the most updated gear. Here, Rocket League is still a thing among the big crowds, or not. It’s hard to tell.

5fcebe4e-5808-445f-aff7-2ed83ffa30d5

I didn’t see as much cosplay for this round of PAX. But, the Darksiders booth did step things up a bit with their own.

2d3c8bd1-ae5b-4b68-a44b-b6d4b5bea90e

Mega Man aims for anyone looking to cut in line to play the Mega Man 11 demo, which was about a two-hour wait. I went through it, and have to admit…it was worth it (and not just for the free pin).

7ee45493-8108-40ba-b421-7a9bf71ecb0d

At the EV3A booth, and here…not sure what this is.

49217994-489a-4019-9941-a43ea29bd709

Some cosplayers together,  geared and badass.

42becc4b-a3a3-41a5-a9e2-c68ba0b84f80

Some Pyre cosplay. Pyre is a very underrated game. You should play it.

3e6d369c-278c-4020-8c9a-a5a2318eae55

One large booth premiering the upcoming Gris game in playable demo form, a fresh storyline based platformer with beautiful hand-drawn graphical elements.

6da6a884-9b1c-40a2-b915-34c0aa5581d4-1

A stage tournament between two pros, locked in Dragonball FighterZ combat.

2ba093f2-3c84-48df-bd28-7ca5c44fbab6-1

Some sweet Splatoon cosplay.

d8d25d7d-cb3c-45c4-8c3f-bcda62187c2b

And a truly awesome Robotic Operating Buddy (or B.O.B), is the best (and only personally seen cosplay of its kind). Well done!

4a397c33-87ee-48ae-ba5f-7d2f3519e6d3

An oddity I played at the Square Enix booth, The Quiet Man….a game where you play a deaf man in some urban drama. Interesting idea, but some very corner fighting reminiscent of the PS2 era.

9bf2433b-314d-4c59-98de-c57c71982eff

The Jackbox stage, where the play is both the audience and the entertainment, as one logs into the Jackbox website to participate, and engage in silly games.

8db2941b-bef1-4b85-a2d2-b64c1698008c

The developer crew of another indie title with its booth, The Messenger…a cool old school ninja-gaidenesque slashy platformer indie title. The crew was very excited to personally promote and share.

1ae606b0-356f-4525-a335-f4f3bec55cb9

Boyfriend Dungeon, a fresh oddity that combines dating with dungeon crawling. Weird dating games with an anime appeal are a rising trend now.

dbd9c15d-6115-4aa8-b51f-cb4161e94d2f

One of the many panels attended, “We’re all Frauds! PAX West Edition,” with Doctor B [Clinical Director, Take This], Callie Holmes [Web Development Engineer II, Amazon], Tanya DePass [Founder, I Need Diverse Games], Matt Dolbill [Associate Attorney, Morrison & Lee LLP], Katrina Keller [Operations Director, Take This], Katie Golden [Producer, Bungie]. All here to discuss and advise on the problems of self-doubt in creative development ventures.

89739681-985a-4661-9cd8-b4360166d0cd

Another panel, “(Re) Introducing Escapist Magazine: We Had Issues,” with Russ Pitts [Editor-in-Chief, Escapist Magazine], Graham Stark [President, Bionic Trousers], MovieBob [Creator, Freelance], Yahtzee [Critic, Escapist Magazine]. All here to promote the relaunch of the longtime game news site. I was especially excited to see Yahtzee, one of my favorite game reviewers (Zero Punctuation) present.

d3128ade-83c5-4798-897f-78e6b19503d9

The Guild Wars 2 booth, hosted by a large Griffon mount. I think this was the only mountable creature for this event. Last year, I recall at least five mountable statues.

4f703589-b0bb-4d41-b256-0bba2f0dee24

My Friend Pedro, another exciting upcoming game of interest at PAX West. This one a physics-based action based platformer that feels a little like a mix of Mirror’s Edge and Hotline Miami.

Maple Story had a huge booth promoting its sequel, Maple Story 2. The original was a cult hit a decade ago, and cool to see it still going and have a huge following here.

A neato life-sized diorama at the Facebook Games booth, promoting Stormland. Take a picture with you in it, then play another game there to receive a special enamel pin of a Facebook emote…yay.

Fortnite: Battle Royale is huge, and so was there silly miniature gold course which seemed as both a promo and reward for its growing fandom. I never played the game but had a blast here (and got a set of four free pins).

a6f92054-d580-417e-b2e2-662b3efa9951

And that was all PAX, in a nutshell, just a metaphorical golf course of one thing to another, amused by visuals and play.

b102ca42-833d-467e-8cd0-31284d408ac8

And that’s all for this year. I had some fun, but hoping next year is much better.

 

San Diego Comic Con 2018 Notes and Commentary, Part 3/5 – Cosplay Everywhere

(Continued from my last entry, San Diego Comic Con 2018 Notes and Commentary, Part 1)

At times, the cosplay at the San Diego Comic Con is the best part of the whole show.

The display of costumed participation has been a cornerstone of con participation among attendees. The prominent among them craft their costumes from scratch, with hard work and dedication. The results bring to life, something awesomely different and familiar. Over the years, I see more body/face paint used, practically effects, LED light use, and clever additions.

Often the choice of cosplay defines the popularity by its growing fandom. This year we got more Steven Universe, Teen Titans, and recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films take the lead. And, more Deadpools, Batmans, Harley Quinns, and Boba Fetts can be spotted from every corner.

So here below, are choice costumes catching my eye. All awesome, and well represented here at the SDCC 2018. Take a look:

That’s enough for now for the cosplay. There’s more from the San Diego Comic Con 2018, coming soon.

San Diego Comic Con 2018 Notes and Commentary, Part 2/5 – Interesting Persons

img_6530

(Continued from my last entry, San Diego Comic Con 2018 Notes and Commentary, Part 1)

And now, my continued chronicles of the greatest comics show on Earth, the 49th Annual San Diego Comic Con, 2018.

My next set of pics and notes are dedicated to a very important part of any con; the guests, promoters, and creative people who are the prime reasons are fandom passions develop. At the show, attendees can meet, observe, sample work from, and learn of the talented people who put a lot of passion into their work. Such interaction is on the grandest scale for concentrated fandom at the San Diego Comic Con. And 2018, was especially specially and further wondrous.

So, here are my pictures and notes within, featuring my notable people seen for this 2018 run…

Tom King, award-winning author, comic book writer, and ex-CIA officer. Recent notable work includes the ongoing Batman run, and the Mister Miracle series. My favorite work of his, and a must read is the Vision 2016 mini-series from Marvel Comics.

Longtime artist Randy Martinez, working on new work in the Artist Alley area of the Exhibit floor. We had an awesome chat about artistic drives, following through on work, and having fun along the way. Much of this I have recorded, and plan to share in the near future.

Classic Disney duck artist Patrick Block, chilled out in the artist alley.  We had a fun talk, and an interesting surprise among his original art pages for sale (best to visit him at a show and see for yourself).

Harry Potter book Illustrators Kazu Kibuishi (15th anniversary edition cover artist), Jim Kay, and David Saylor.

Elliot S. Maggin, an American writer of comic books, film, television, and novels. He was a main writer for DC Comics during the Bronze and early Modern ages of comics in the 1970s and 1980s. Kingdom Come (with artist Alex Ross) is his best work, in my opinion.

Yoshitaka Amano, famed Japanese artist, character designer, illustrator and a theatre and film scenic designer and costume designer. His work includes the original concept art for the most iconic Final Fantasy characters and games, the Vampire Hunter D book series, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Dream Hunters series, and so much more. Here, Amano does live work at his SDCC panel.

Yoshitaka Amano, later signing and greeting fans with his finished work from earlier. I got a big Final Fantasy retrospect book signed with a little sketch by him on the inside.

David W. Miller, longtime comics ant fantasy artist. Very passionate about this work, and doesn’t mind chatting about it.

Away from SDCC floor, at the Nerdeis House special event. Here, with voice actors Gary Paulsen and Maurice LaMarshe (Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, many more) as they meet and greet fans.

img_6440

Adam Savage, from Mythbusters greeted lucky lottery ticket winners to meet and sign pictures. He said I had a kickass name!

img_6572

Three actors from the Amazon Prime show, Man in the High Castle. I honestly have not watched yet. I was here with a friend, a big fan of the show. There were other cast members out of frame here.

img_6666

Fabian Rangel Jr. proudly presents his trade paperback volume of ‘Namwolf, a highly recommended comics story about a werewolf stuck in the Vietnam War.

img_6713

Famed cover artist Artgerm Lau. He hosted a great a panel earlier, sharing much about himself, and the lifestyle of doing art for a living.

img_6389

Afro-Futurism panel with Reggie Hudlin (Milestone Media, Black Panther), Denys Cowan (Milestone Media, The Boondocks), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek, Heroes), Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager, Spaceballs), Kevin Grevioux (Underworld, I, Frankenstein), Professor Adilifu Nama (San Diego State University, Superheroes Decoded), Professor Ajani Brown (San Diego State University), and La Quia Howard (Kemet, I Choose 2 Be Me). Moderated by Jimmy Diggs (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space 9).

Nichelle Nichols gives a quick Vulcan salute to room attendees (just missed with my camera).

img_6429

The Writer’s Journey: Maximizing Your Potential in the New Marketplace: an awesome panel for writers hosted by Brandon Easton (Vampire Hunter D: The Series, Marvel’s Agent Carter), and others sharing advice and answering questions.

Marv Wolfman, long-time comics and TV writer, creator of the Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, Nightwing, Tim Drake, Blade, and many more comic heroes and villians. At times, he could be found in the Artist Alley area, or at one his multiple panels giving great advice on writing.

Doctor Who panel in Hall H, featuring the latest person to portray the time-traveler from Gallifrey; Jodie Whitaker, in her first convention appearance with

The Predator panel in Hall H, promoting the new movie, with Shane Black, Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn, Keegan Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, Thomas Jane, Augusta Aguilera, and Jake Busey.

Predator panel – Olivia Munn on the left, and Thomas Jane on the right. Both whom I have seen at many con panels over the years.

Suddenly another aisle jammed and blocked by the WB booth, as the cast of Supernatural greets lucky fans (obtained through an online lottery system).

img_6728-1

That’s enough for now. More SDCC show coverage is coming in part 3. Stay tuned to the SW, and look forward!

San Diego Comic Con 2018 Notes and Commentary, Part 1/5 – Exhibit Hall Madness

This 49th Annual San Diego Comic Con for the 2018 year ended a week ago, but the memories will last.

Those among us, being the 135,000 in attendance and at least double that for the outside events, would find plenty to muse over the endless ridiculousness of corporate promotions, self-promoting indie projects, gatherings of fandoms and geekery of all mediums and platforms. The San Diego city location remains a perfect place for such things, with its spacious convention center, Gaslamp district, surrounding hotels, and gorgeous waterfronts for its annual mecca of devoted attendees.

My time spent of my 24th year in attendance was the best I had for delving into the overall creative, fandom drenched, collectible hunting, and so much more. But it was also the busiest for me, with more networking, panel attending, interviews, and greeting of friends old and new. Little time was left for resting, organizing, ruminations.

Meanwhile, I did take many pictures and notes within, for which I will share now. The following is my series of results, starting with the grand Exhibit Hall of the SDCC…

The Exhibit Hall area is 460,000 square feet, and your feet will hate you if you explore every inch of it.

The Image Booth gives a beastly view this year, casting aside the usual Walking Dead/Saga and presenting something fresh and new…something always welcome for this comic book reader.

The DC Comics booth this year has given Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman a break this year for its center of attention. Now, it’s the 2nd tier heroes time to shine with promotions of the upcoming Shazam and Aquaman movies, with the Teen Titan cartoon movie and live action TV series to come.

The best way to booth market, is to become the product..as best presented by this talking frog ambassador to the CFX booth for Silicone masks.

The Funko Toys booth is still the biggest catch for dedicated collectors of weird vinyl Funko Pop figures…still a thing with at least 50 exclusives again this year. But this time, an online lottery system has brought the line-waiting to sane levels for the lucky ones who obtained an early ticket for each day.

Do you like spending a lot of money on expensive dolls/statues? The SDCC has you covered. I’m not sure what stand this is. That Khan figure is a sexy thing.

Favorite things I enjoy looking at for the Exhibit Hall, are the many original art pages.

Among them, I enjoy the more underappreciated pieces of forgotten comics history.

meanwhile, a plush Purrmaid demands your attention!

Because Deadpool doesn’t get enough fan attention, here’s a animated puppet show to promote the second movie for home release!

It’s Bumblebee’s time to shine at the Hasbro booth, coming to a theater near you (I hope it’s good).

Line up and spin the wheel for maybe something you might want from the USApoly booth.

What’s that? Comic books at a Comic Con? There’s plenty of those here too. Though cheap thrills are hard to find, but look well, and you will find some great printed treasure…

My guilty pleasure is visible in the dealer table areas..action figures!!

Sure, let’s take our nostalgia of childish joys and so weird things to them. This I think is from one of the Mattel booth displays.

It’s a Puglie Pug, ready for pick up!

The Cinema Makeup School continues to impress and freakout with it’s astounding practical effects, carefully applied to the human body.

And, there are plenty of artists here to sketch on whatever paper you may have for them. A purchase is encouraged.

The DKE Booth, a favorite for the strangest artist renditions of figurine pop culture..

The Lego Booth, has never disappointing me with its awesome life-sized blocky renditions of relevant pop-culture licensed icons.

The Cartoon Network booth reminds me I should eventually watch Steven Universe.

That’s enough for now, covering a tiny fraction of the overall finest smorgasbord of creative arts that is the San Diego Comic Con. See Part 2, coming up for more coverage!

The 2018 Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners are..

Comic-Con International recently announced the winners of for this year’s the prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

Winners were recently announced at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con convention. The nominees were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, reflecting a wide range of material currently published in comics and graphic novel form, from around the world. For more information on the awards, visit comic-con.org.

Here below, are the Eisner Comic Awards winners for 2018…

Best Short Story

”A Life in Comics: The Graphic Adventures of Karen Green,” by Nick Sousanis, in Columbia Magazine(Summer 201

Best Single Issue/One-Shot

Hellboy: Krampusnacht, by Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes (Dark Horse)

Best Continuing Series

Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)

Best Limited Series

Black Panther: World of Wakanda, by Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Alitha E. Martinez (Marvel)

Best New Series

Black Bolt, by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward (Marvel)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

Good Night, Planet, by Liniers (Toon Books)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

The Tea Dragon Society, by Katie O’Neill (Oni)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)

Best Humor Publication

Baking With Kafka, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Anthology

Elements: Fire, A Comic Anthology by Creators of Color, edited by Taneka Stotts (Beyond Press)

Best Reality-Based Work

Spinning, by Tillie Walden (First Second)

Best Graphic Album—New

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

Boundless, by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Adaptation From Another Medium

Kindred, by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy and John Jennings (Abrams ComicArts)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Run for It: Stories of Slaves Who Fought for the Freedom, by Marcelo D’Salete, translated by Andrea Rosenberg (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 1, by Gengoroh Tagame, translated by Anne Ishii (Pantheon)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips

Celebrating Snoopy, by Charles M. Schulz, edited by Alexis E. Fajardo and Dorothy O’Brien (Andrews McMeel)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books

Akira 35th Anniversary Edition, by Katsuhiro Otomo, edited by Haruko Hashimoto, Ajani Oloye and Lauren Scanlan (Kodansha)

Best Writer

Tom King, Batman, Batman Annual No. 2, Batman/Elmer Fudd Special No. 1, Mister Miracle (DC)
Marjorie Liu, Monstress (Image)

Best Writer/Artist

Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

Mitch Gerads, Mister Miracle (DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

Sana Takeda, Monstress (Image)

Best Cover Artist

Sana Takeda, Monstress (Image)

Best Coloring

Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Best Lettering

Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo, Groo: Slay of the Gods (Dark Horse)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

The Comics Journal, edited by Dan Nadel, Timothy Hodler and Tucker Stone, tcj.com (Fantagraphics)

Best Comics-Related Book

How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels, by Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden (Fantagraphics)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work

Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics, by Frederick Luis Aldama (University of Arizona Press)

Best Publication Design

Akira 35th Anniversary Edition, designed by Phil Balsman, Akira Saito (Veia), NORMA Editorial, and MASH•ROOM (Kodansha)

Best Digital Comic

Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost, by Harvey Kurtzman, Josh O’Neill, Shannon Wheeler and Gideon Kendall (comiXology Originals/Kitchen, Lind & Associates)

Best Webcomic

The Tea Dragon Society, by Katie O’Neill, teadragonsociety.com (Oni Press)

The Bill Finger Excellence in Comics Writing Award

Joye Murchison Kelly, Dorothy Woolfolk

The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award

Frederick Joseph, Comics4Kids

The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award

Norma Comics, Barcelona, Spain

The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award

Hamish Steele, Pantheon (Nobrow)

Pablo Tunica, TMNT Universe (IDW)

Hall of Fame

Carol Kalish, Jackie Ormes, Charles Addams, Karen Berger, Dave Gibbons, Rumiko Takahashi

Feature cover art by Sada Kaneda, from this year’s multiple Eisner award-winning hit, Monstess (published by Image Comics)

The Strangest, Best SDCC 2018 Exclusives

2018-07-09-e1531713792776

Ah, the show exclusives, the finest badges of geeky nonsense for the spendy collector connoisseur.

For the great annual San Diego Comic Con, these are among my favorite things on the Exhibit Floor. These special items, for which attendees can buy direct at various booths, sometimes from an artist or creator involved. Since the early 2000s, these sought attention-getters remain a central goal of consumer gratification at the show, and online usually at greater prices to the private re-seller market. The traditional hunt grows a little more each year, with more weird and unusual aspects thrown in. If you can afford and have room for such things, than resistance is futile.

I took a good look at many though the various press releases and some new sites, then handpicked some favorites. Take a look:

Hot Wheels Thanos Copter

The die-cast helicopter, featuring the evil Thanos at the controls, comes packaged in its own Cosmic Cube. Modeled after the hilarious 1979 opening pages of Super Spidey Stories #39 comics story.

Booth: Mattel, Price: $15
Thoughts: I love everything about this, especially the packaging. It’s also a reminder that many within the toy industry has a sense of humor, and big fans of comics obscurity,

No Toys 4 Us by Mr Blank Toys

We’ve all be grieving the loss of Toys R Us, but no one as much as poor, sad, out of work Geoffrey the Giraffe. Mr Blank Toys in his SDCC debut brings No Toys 4 Us. Hand cast and painted 3.75” scale carded figure. Numbered edition of 40 pieces.

Booth: DKE Toys
Price: $65
Thoughts: Yes, that’s a sculpt of the head of Watto from Star Wars: Episode 1. The paint job is awesome. DKE Toys has many other wonderfully weird artist-created pieces as good as this one (with another on this list down further). Definitely worth a look!

Laughing Prince Adam figure

 

An exclusive figure based on the Youtube viral video.

Booth: Super7
Price: #35
Thoughts: Wow!! That’s amazing

Star Trek Cats LE Patches

 

 

One of two limited edition patches base don artwork from the officially licensed Star Trek The Next Generation Cats book.

Booth: Chronicle Books
Price: $5 each
Thoughts: Adorable, and cheap!!

Ian Malcolm giclée print

11″x17″ giclée print on by artist Justin Harder. He has other prints exclusive prints for the show

Booth: CLAUS Studio (Table #O-08 in Small Press)
Price: $30
Thoughts: Seems like the perfect work of art to frame and center in the living room.

Adventure Time 7″ Vinyl

Adventure Time 7″ Vinyl, which will feature tracks “Friends Don’t Fight” (both with vocals and instrumental) and “Manlorette Party.” The vinyl cover art work is custom created by artist JJ Harrison. Supply is limited, so make sure to get them before they’re gone!

Booth: Mondo
Price: $12 plus tax
Thoughts: I love the art, but have never watched a full episode of the show. With that in mind, how many Adventure Time vinyl fans are out there? It’s cool, though.

Poop & Throne and Zombies Plush Set

The King of the Throne has come! Removable Magnetic poop king plush with a toilet that makes a flushing sound with a press of a button. Includes the 2 variant of the poopie zombies

Booth: Furry Feline Creatives
Price: $50
Thoughts: All right!!!

Funko Pop: Masters of the Universe: Stinkor

Shared exclusive from Funko. The only true to the show part aside is that it debuts here with a special SDCC sticker. But still, really something because it stinks..literally. It emits an oder, just like the original action figure of the 80s MOTU line..

Booth: DKE Funko
Price: $10-12 (not sure, that’s a guess based on the last time I went to a Funko booth to buy Pops).
Thoughts: Wow, big ups to Funko to what I think is the only smell-bad figure of its kind.

Marvel Exclusive 2018 Pin Backs

Metal backed pins of Marvel Comics characters with artwork by Skottie Young, 4 packs (different themes, but I like the above Fantastic Four one the best). To see the rest, click here.

Booth: Marvel
Price: $15 plus tax for blind packs of 2, $25 for themed sets of 4.
Thoughts: I love Skottie Young’s art, and The Fantastic Four set is a must have for me.

Two-Bad: Crust-Man Bart-Off

Very limited custom figure that’s definitely not licenses, and part of the other weird and wonderful artworks at the DKE booth. Only 20 produced!

Booth: DKE Toys
Price: $85
Thoughts: Wow and wtf!! It’s awesome, but a wondrous piece for collectors of two universes.

Patrick Ballesteros “Wakanda King Are You” Black Panther Prints

WonderCon/San Diego Comic-Con exclusive “25-Cent Wonders” Black Panther collection called, “WAKANDA KING ARE YOU”
The collection features 6″x8″ four prints, which combine to create a continuous image featuring his rendition of the movie cast.

Booth: Patrick Ballesteros
Price: $10 each of $30 for the set of 4
Thoughts: That’s the best, most adorable work ever for my favorite big of this year. The Killmonger one is my favorite.

BAIT x Wu-Tang Clan x Transformers

Transformers aint nothing to fuck with, for these 4.5 Inch special edition figures,  Megatron, Soundwave, Bumblee, and Optimus Prime.

Booth: Bait
Price: $30 Each, or $100 for the set
Thoughts: Why?!!! But love the paint jobs on these, but would have made more sense to have all Autobots or all Decepticons.

FARMHAND #1 by Rob Guillory

Variant cover comic book by Rob Guillory to the awesome new series by the artist of Chew.

Booth: Image Comics
Price: $10 +tax
Thoughts: Just finished the finished the first issue, and got a feeling the fist issue is going to be much more highly appreciated with the series progression. I love this spooky cover, and will be picking this up.

Kidrobot x Jeremyville Let Love Grow Dunny

“This one-of-a-kind SDCC exclusive Dunny collectible let’s you and grow some foliage into your urban jungle. Renowned artist Jeremyville’s take on the Chia Dunny features flower eyes straight from the 60s, a colorful, warm glaze and a message of positivity: Grow Love Daily. Like any Chia pet, it’s up to you to care for this collectible and help him grow his ‘do. Cha-cha-cha- CHIA!”

Booth: Kidrobot
Price: $40
Thoughts: Finally, a vinyl figurine made for my kitchen window!

Sailor Moon SuperS T-Shirt

Exclusive teal t-shirt featuring Helios from Sailor Moon SuperS. Shirts are available in Ladies’ and Unisex styles.

Booth: Viz
Price: $15
Thoughts: This shirt sends a powerful message for these difficult times.

25th Anniversary Hellboy Print

25th Anniversary Hellboy Print, signed by both Dave Stewart and Mike Mignola. Limited edition of 200

Booth: Mike Mignola SDCC 4901
Price: Unknown right now, but probably reasonable
Thoughts: That’s some of the best work I have seen from the legendary artist. Everything about it…colors, shading, composition, details is perfect. I want it!

Well, that’s all for now. There are many more SDCC exclusives out there, which I probably overlooked. If hunting these down at the show, by safe and plan ahead!

San Diego Comic Con 2018: Looking forward

SDCC 2017 (203)

In just a few weeks, the annual San Diego Comic Con will happen again for the 51st time, since 1970.

The large event for geekish fandom is not the largest of its kind for population attendance, but I think the most well-known gathering of pop-culture fandoms, studio and publisher promotions, celebrities, creatives, and show exclusives. I think this, from the worldwide reactions people give and get from it, the frenzy for tickets and overall planning that goes into it. The spot where the big announcements are made, and smaller companies have a chance to grow. And the lines, bring them on.

I will be ready.

For me, it’s still an important mecca for my creative soul. I have spent over two decades, never missing a show as I filled in for press, volunteer work, exhibitor help, and as an attendant. No two years are the same, as I have crazy plans that may or may not work.

Of this year, I am a little extra excited..as a collector, a press person, a writer, observer, and more. I have some goals and plans, of which I would like to share here in my list of ten.

  1. Attend the Comic Creator Connection, a sub-event where writers and artist briefly talk to each in short sessions. I will pitch some scripts I have in mind.
  2. Avoid Hall H over-hype, and attend many small panels involving creator driven content across printed and digital platforms. Get inspired!
  3. Ask for critique from some writers on short scripts, and learn to pitch my work.
  4. Get some collectible show exclusives on my list. Dark Horse, Funko, DKE Toys, NECA, Super7 are tops on my list so far.
  5. Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D, Sandman: Dream Hunters artist) will be a guest of honor for this year. I hope to meet him again (last time was in 2008) and hopefully get something signed, sketched if possible.
  6. Break into a couple good parties with friends attending the SDCC. Talk, drink and geek out. Maybe, make new friends too.
  7. Treasure hunt for deals on some out print trade paperbacks/graphic novels, and strange oddities for cheap. I am a sucker for loose, weird toys too.
  8. Give blood for the  Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive, of which I get some cool stuff for doing, and meet some people every time.
  9. Purchase some original comic page art. Something cool and frameable, yet not too pricy. Or, pay for a really good commission sketch.
  10. Seek out new reads, and converse with creative talent.

That’s all my planning for now with more goals to add soon, including interviews and ideas on growing this Stranger Worlds site.  With that, the possibilities are endless for the San Diego Comic Con.

So, forward on!

Final Fantasy Cosplay outside the 2018 Sakura-Con

img_5350

continued from the recent Outside 2018 Sakura-Con post.

This time, focusing attention on two huge Final Fantasy games franchise meetup for its fandom and cosplayers. All happening outside the recent 2018 Sakura-Con in the afternoon among the freshly bloomed cherry trees and other fandoms. I thoroughly enjoyed the Final Fantasy games since the early 90s, playing them and collected choice merch. Many characters and styles have held a special place in my heart, ever memorable to their place in grand, interactive stories. Seeing them brought to life in cosplay with the amazing fan representation fills me with much joy.

That being said, here is a collection of pics from the Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy all-games cosplay meetups…

IMG_5282

img_5170

img_5203

img_5304

img_5267

img_5323

IMG_5329

IMG_5310

IMG_5218

IMG_E5250

img_5254

img_5194

IMG_5345

IMG_E5209

img_5177

img_5223-1

IMG_5227

IMG_5363

IMG_5367

Cosplay outside the 2018 Sakura-Con

Sakura Con 2018, Overwatch

This weekend, I spent some time around but not inside the 2018 Sakura-Con, an annual event for the fandom of Japanese style of anime, manga, gaming and its cultural influences on related modern pop-culture, held in downtown Seattle.

I sadly did not attend this year, not having enough time for the membership purchase this time. But, I did have some hours to spend outside the show, among the beautifully fresh bloomed sakura trees and colorfully dressed people.

Out of the many conventions and fandoms, the cosplay representation at the Sakura-Con (among other big anime cons) remains among the best. I took some pics of the many displaying their well-crafted attire present, with some notes below:

IMG_5389

The main area throughout the day held impromptu dancing set to J-Pop, along with glomp circles, meet-ups, games, and other fun.

IMG_E5084

Cosplaying is still the big thing here as usual, always fun for geek fans of the related pop-culture varieties to express their love and appreciation by dressing in elaborate costumes.

IMG_E5391

Group meetups among the cosplayers are often planned. Not sure, which property this is above.

IMG_E5058

One of my favorite anime/manga series that I have been following for over 20 years now is Berserk. Not a big gathering, but wonderful to share in-jokes and discuss developments among each other.

IMG_E5053

A group shot of the Berserk gathering here.

IMG_8152

Usagi Yojimbo, the samurai rabbit is ready for this Easter Weekend.

IMG_5397

Batman!!

IMG_8157

Pokemon strike a pose.

img_8153

A group of Marvelous people, ready for the Infinity War.

img_5145

Not the Pikachu, but Mimikyu, who according to Wikipedia is “dreadfully lonely and in an effort to emulate the popularity of Pikachu, wears the Pikachu-like costume in order to make friends.”

img_5107

Overwatch character Zenyatta, levitating before your very eyes.

IMG_8159

More Overwatch cosplay as some Junkrats and a Roadhog get together.

IMG_5098

Lots more Overwatch cosplay, with more than my camera can handle.

IMG_8156

hell yeah to the Dragonball Z cosplay

IMG_8160

From Voltron, Haggar the Witch

IMG_5358

Kairi from Kingdom Hearts.

IMG_5230

Deadpool seeks to blend in.

IMG_5393

I was told this costume is from Bendy and the Ink Machine, a cult indie game that I should check out.

IMG_8155

Not sure on this anime property, but her staff and pose style is awesome.

img_5231

And there was a lot of Final Fantasy game cosplay around, with a heavy focus on XV. There were two gatherings, of which I took many pictures. I personally love the Final Fantasy games, as I will dedicate the next cosplay installment to the local meetups here, soon.