Cheering on my SDCC time with Comic-Con@Home

Not even a terrible pandemic can stop the San Diego Comic-Con.

Today, the 51st San Diego Comic Convention begins now, until Sunday. This could set a record for attendance, depending on one’s perspective. Because this year, the whole show is “@Home” and online, as the global-wide pandemic continues to keep large social aspects and gatherings to a minimum.

This pandemic time is difficult for the comic book and related creative industries across all entertainment landscapes. With many shows and events canceling, the news for artists, writers, creators, publishers, distributors has hit hard, especially as venues and storefronts continue to struggle. Yet, many of the same shows reactivate to a virtual, online version with guests, creatives, and a lot of fun people coming together via video conference service and streaming platforms.

The San Diego Comic-Con keeps its grand prestige, with its innovative Comic-Con@Home event. Unlike past cons, this event will be the first 100% free event for all with no registrations, no line, no IDs. Just take a look at what they got, and join in.

I am personally excited, as this will be my 26th year in attendance!

The core of this online event is the many, many discussion panels. Glancing over the many panels, I see the drive that has always made Comic-Con great, with the appeal to inspire and grows its community through discussion and promotion of what’s out there. But, there’s not a lot of A-list celebrity and big studio presence, which feels makes this whole event feel like the old Comic-Con that I came to love in the 1990s. The comic book presence feels strong again too, which I think that industry really needs that attention now.

Here’s my viewing list for the following days:

Thursday, July 23
10:00am-11:00am – P.S. NPC: Storytelling in Video Games
12:00pm-1:00pm – Comics During Clampdown: Creativity In The Time of COVID
2:00pm-3:00pm – SYFY: Untold Tales of Todd McFarlane
3:00pm-4:00pm – Soundtracks to Fandom: Z2 Comics and the Graphic Album
3:00pm-4:00pm – ThunderCats Roar
5:00pm-6:00pm- Breaking Into Comics and Staying In!
Friday, July 24
10:00am-11:00am – “Crazy” Talk: Mental Health, Pop Culture, and the Pandemic
10:00am-11:00am – Pixel Stories – Reimagining Video Game Narrative
12:00pm-1:00pm – Lucasfilm Publishing: Stories From a Galaxy Far, Far Away
4:00pm-5:00pm – VIZ: A Haunting Conversation with Junji Ito
4:00pm-5:00pm – How to Make a Comic From Start to Finish
Saturday, July 25
10:00am-11:00am – UDON Entertainment 20th Anniversary!
10:00am-11:00am – Narrative Design For Computer Games
10:00am-11:00am – Warner Archive’s Secret Origins of Saturday Morning Cartoons
11:00am-12:00pm – From Wakanda to Numbani, Writing the Next Generation of Heroes
2:00pm-3:00pm – IDW in 2020 and Beyond
3:00pm-4:00pm – Authors on the Best Advice I Ever Got
3:00pm-4:00pm – Best and Worst Manga of 2020
5:00pm-6:00pm – What’s New In Small Press Comics
5:00pm-6:00pm – Mexican Lucha Libre: History, Tradition, Legacy
Sunday, July 26
12:00pm-1:00pm – The Craft of Worldbuilding in Comics
1:00pm-2:00pm – Kevin Eastman Panel
1:00pm-2:00pm – Mega64 Panel In These Trying Times
3:00pm-4:00pm – Making A Living Being Creative
3:00pm-4:00pm – The Writer’s Journey: Developing a Producer’s Mentality

For living viewing, I will have to make some tough decisions.

There are also collectible show exclusives again, watch parties, costume contest via Tumblr, virtual art shows, portfolio reviews, the Eisner Industry Awards, the annual Blood Drive, and many more activities. All of which are on the official site.

This Comic-Con has a lot going on.

In addition to official events, we have our Comic-Con involvement with our newly built Stranger Worlds Discord Server, with a special sub-channel for Comic-Con. We will share news from more news from the show in the following days as well. Come and join us!

So dive right in and share in the joy that is the Comic-Con@Home, wherever you are!

Cosplay of the 2017 Emerald City Comic Con

No modern comic convention is complete without the participations of its attendees, especially with the cosplay.

This sub-culture of costuming at the 2017 Emerald City Comic Con brought more life to the present fandom. Comics, games, movies, television, all well represented through a mix of the familiar and unfamiliar. Though, nothing this time felt too popular in frequency. Less were the Harley Quinns, Deadpools, Links, Batmans, Marvel movie fanfare (though a slight increase in Doctor Stranges. I noticed more mashups, crossplays, obscurities, and shoutouts to the indie scene of current pop-culture media.

Below are some pictures, displayed below (click on each pic for costume identification)…

That’s all for this year at the ECCC. I look forward to next year!

– Orion T

(photo credits – taken March 2017 by Orion T for strangerworlds.com..please ask permission and credit the site if sharing elsewhere)

Adventuring Down Under at the 2015 Gammacon

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Hello Strangers!

I love a small con..

Once, I attended a huge event (The Sydney Royal Easter Show) where a woman straight up rolled over my stationary foot with her roller bag, staring at me with dead eyes, then rolled on. Crowds for me can be slightly panic inducing, so anywhere that I can enjoy my geeky passions without becoming a little dead inside by the end of the day, is a good place to be.

Enter Gammacon in Australia! Canberra’s short-lived but extra awesome pop culture convention. I volunteered during the 2nd Gammacon in 2014, and this year a humble attendee.

One of my favourite quotes from special guest Gus ‘Goose’ Ronald (from Good Game, ABC TV) was that Gammacon was “a lovely smelling convention.” Maybe that sounds a little odd, but con-smell is the worst. Been to San Diego Comic-con on a Sunday afternoon? You know what I’m talking about.

A lovely smelling convention it may have been, but also just nice. I don’t mean ‘nice’ in a disparaging way, it was a genuinely nice place to be. The special guests were incredibly approachable, as were the artists/vendors and the local game devs who had an area for their demos. Also, there was an awesome gaming zone with both current gen and retro consoles, with some seriously competitive Dance Dance Revolution going on.

Here are some pics and highlights..

A favourite moment of the day at Gammacon, I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of. I was washing my hands in the bathroom and I came across a girl painting a third eye on her forehead. I asked her if that had anything to do with Welcome to Night Vale and she said yes, and I was the first person to recognize that. We had a mutual fangirl moment!

Non-geeky people often ask me what the appeal of a convention is, and for me it is moments like these. Those little serendipitous moments where you realize that weird little podcast that you listen to at night is not just your obsession, but someone else’s too. It’s where the things that make you strange in your everyday life make you belong somewhere, even if it’s only for a weekend. And, if it smells good that is a bonus.

-Helen

Find more of Helen’s work here

Wanderings at the Emerald City Comic Con 2015..

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From the recent Emerald City Comic Con, in Seattle.

Here are some wonderful memories and favorite cosplay..

(Note: some pics and notes were taken from a recent entry from my own blog, travelingorion.com. This entry is an expanded version with much more content)

 

IMG_3905The gathering of Spider-Mansand related Marvel Comics cosplayers. Among them were many Deadpools, and some Spider-Gwens (a new character to the Marvel Universe, long story), and a classic Electro (a personal fav to my childhood cartoon viewing).

IMG_3894I noticed an abundance of loose action figure toys. Much of which I feel somewhat amused, that an appreciation of plastic detailing and articulated mobility could still be a fun novelty, in my grown-up years.

IMG_3945Paul Tobin (writer) and Colleen Cloover (artist), of the Bandette comics; a personal favorite (and highly recommended) series of a whimsical super-hero thief. Both a married couple hosting their own booth, and a joy to meet.

IMG_3940Long Vo and Joe Ng, at the Udon Booth. Both, drawing two video game favorites; Mega Man and Akuma (Street Fighter). I cam back at short times a bit later to see what they were up to. Both very friendly, and put much love into their work

IMG_3951Christopher Pike, and Harry Mudd cosplay; from the Classic Star Trek series.

Photo Mar 29, 12 19 10 PMI love seeing comic book covers of different areas on display and in boxes. There is an awesome nostalgic beauty to all this.

IMG_3910-0DC Comics “Bombshell” versions of Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Harley Quinn, and Batwoman. All brought to life, from a series of variant comic covers showing the heroines with vintage pulp cover twists. Well done.

Photo Mar 29, 1 40 54 PMAlana and Marko cosplayers, from the Saga comics series. Saga (by Fiona Staple and Brian K. Vaughan) is the best sci-fantasy comic series currently released on the shelves now.

IMG_3930A vintage Batman playset still in the box. Will Batman save Robin in time, or will the Joker have the last laugh?

IMG_3947Jim Mahfood, an admired artist over my last two decades of comic reading. He is the perfect match for the new Tank Girl series coming out. He also drew me a cool Batman sketch.

IMG_3936And here, are the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Seattle is safe for now!

IMG_3880Doctor Doom vs. Judge Dredd. Place your bets!

IMG_3899They let me go, after showing them the droids they were looking for.

IMG_3924Sailor Scouts, crossplayin

Photo Mar 28, 11 15 37 AMThe Gundam Wing 1/100 Endless Waltz model kits. Not shown is my favorite, Duo Maxwell and his Deathscythe Hell Custom.

Photo Mar 30, 7 32 42 AMA new Mega Man figure coming from Bluefin toys. Multi-articulated with LED lights, and pop-out compartments. This was originally promoted as a Kickstarter campaign for fans, now with all goals met.

Photo Mar 30, 7 29 13 AMThe Image Comics booth, once again standing tall as my favorite current comics publisher.

Photo Mar 28, 8 19 50 PMSome of the later stage cosplayers showcased that Saturday weekend night. There were many groups, with incredible detail and craftsmanship. The Troll from World of Warcraft (fifth from the left) I think won “best in show.”

Photo Mar 28, 8 27 36 PM Prohibition era Mystery Incorporated

IMG_3871On the last day and outside the convention, lucky fans got an up close performance from the D20 Brass Band. Many cheered to the Legend of Zelda theme, and other classic tunes.

IMG_3903Gotta love the some of the really geeky merch. I was seriously considering buying that Chewbacca robe in the top right corner.

Photo Mar 30, 5 13 25 PM Not sure what these two are from, but I like the craftmanship!

Photo Mar 30, 5 15 43 PM I think this is League of Legends, not sure.

Photo Mar 30, 7 28 25 AM Warhammer 40K, right?

Photo Mar 31, 7 21 04 AMThere were some free pinball games to place on one of the upper floors, to promote an upcoming Pinball arcade show. I loved this particular one.

Photo Mar 28, 2 05 49 PM Albert Nguyen, a cool artist man who drew me a sweet picture of Leonardo (see later on down in these pics).

Photo Mar 28, 2 10 31 PM M.O.D.O.K (Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing) with A.I.M. Soldiers (Advanced Idea Mechanics)

Photo Mar 28, 2 12 57 PM  Radioactive Man!

Photo Mar 28, 10 24 02 AM From Mass Effect. I have yet to play the game, yet been told I should..

Photo Mar 28, 10 30 00 AM The TARS Robot from Interstellar

Photo Mar 28, 11 29 02 AM One of the Spocks who gathered, in memory of Leonard Nimoy, who recently passed.

Photo Mar 29, 1 45 25 PM Jubilee from the X-Men, in the classic 90s style outfit

Photo Mar 29, 2 18 24 PM A Weeping Angel (from Doctor Who)

Photo Mar 30, 7 27 22 AM Viewtiful Joe cosplay action!

Photo Mar 31, 7 11 48 AM Avatar the Last Airbender

Photo Mar 31, 7 55 03 AM A live group playing of the game Artemis, a Spaceship Bridge Simulator. Here, a group of strangers band together for a bold mission in space. It was a lot of fun to watch, as some were not very experienced with the mechanics of space travel.

Photo Mar 28, 10 36 48 AMRob McDaniel at work, sculpting with clay one of this amazing creatures. For the show, his work is inside the fantasy anthology series, Monsterpedia.

21923_10153111978863159_1712772259610341081_nMy obtained sketches on small trading card sized boards, from the show. From the top and left…Leonardo by Albert Nguyen, Batman by Jim Mahfood, Miniature Man by Steven Butler, random lady sketch by Enfu (local Seattle Artist), from the upcoming Faster Than Light augmented reality comics by Brian Haberlin (Anomaly) Inspector Belgique by Colleen Cloover (from Bandette), and Gyro Gearloose by Don Rosa!

IMG_3939Well, that’s all for now, with Gender Bender taking us out.

Until the next Con (probably San Diego in the summer)..

– Orion T