PAX West 2017 Part 2, Outside the Expo Hall

Last week, I attended the PAX West 2017, an awesome event of video and tabletop games. I wrote some words about it in a recent Part 1 post, where I shared my pics and observations on the main Expo Hall.

Now, I share the rest, which I found much more exciting and expansive. Below are more pictures and notes of select moments of this fun show. Take a look!

I spent much time on the sixth floor checking out the PAX 10, a select group of indie games hosted by their creators. Among them, West of Loathing caught my eye for its interesting, fun choice of style.

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Also among the PAX 10, I enjoyed Tiny Bubbles, a puzzle game that feels therapeutic and comforting. I like to see bubbles pop.

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An interesting side thing happening among the indie games out there – cartridge games developed by gaming fans for old console systems. Retrotainment Games showed some interesting new game cartridges, playable for the NES.

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This PAX West, I also attended many panels. This panel, was about the Youtube gameplay streaming scene, hosted by the Gaming Grandma, Shirley Curry.

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Another panel, this on overlooked job opportunities among game company developers. This chart gives a good look at what’s out there for those interested…

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The Nintendo Metroid Panel focused on Samu’s return to the 2-D platform for the 3DS. Much was shown, but the highlight for me is this fan-art by James Franzen (@goshadale)…

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In light of Metroid, here is some amazing Samus cosplay…

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Another panel on game writing. Lots so helpful advice on creating fiction in the world of gaming.

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A personal favorite of PAX in the past years; the Late Night Dub Fight..where a group of comedics improv and dub various (and some very familiar) cartoons and live-action video clips.

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Also around PAX West, many board games. Sometimes, just seeing one with a lot of setup is a beautiful thing to photograph. I didn’t get the name of this, but I really want to play it

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In the basement area kind of hidden, was the Indie Megabooth for tabletop gaming. Some very fresh, and just getting the word out on their games. Here is Sarah’s Singularity, a game of time travel and alternate timelines.

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Also much enjoyed in the same room, Cult Following. A game involving cults, with a lot of goofy aspects to it.

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Someone Had Died, a game that caught my interest most so. It’s a game of winning an inheritance, by building upon a story following someone’s sudden demise.

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Another new game of interest: Now Everyone get the F%$# Out,  a game of drunken party antics. The game creator (I didn’t get his name, argh) gave me a spirited introduction.

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Back to the main floor, and more cosplay. Here is some lovely Final Fantasy XIV presentation.

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League of Legends cosplay!

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Squids from Space Cosplay

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Not sure on this group. I like the costumes.

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Fire Emblem cosplay.

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The final morning of the grand PAX West adventure, greeted by some of the ever-awesome PAX Enforcers (paid volunteers of the show).

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One thing I loved about this convention vs. other shows, is the line entertainment brought on by some of the PAX Enforcers. Some had goofy games to share, others played music. Overall, a great dedication from the managment to try and make more minutes of the show count.

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One of the big PAX West live events, a role-playing session with Jim Darkmagic (Mike Krahulik), Omin Dran (Jerry Holkins), Viari (Patrick Rothfuss), and special guest star, Strix (Holly Conrad)

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One of the many music concerts, tributing game music and culture. Here jamed the Bit Brigade, remixing the old NES Batman while it played on in the background.

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The last event attended for me, was the Omegathon: Final Round. This being a competition of a surprise game chosen (Nidhogg 2) for the 2 final players. The match was quite exciting (but was interupted with some technical difficulties).

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That’s all for now. I very much enjoyed this PAX West, with so much done and new friends made, games discovered, and many cheers put out. I look forward to the next year!

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PAX West 2017 Part 1, Within the Expo Hall

PAX West for this 2017, was a joy to many. Though which kind of joy was left to the time spent in attending.

PAX West (formally known as the original Penny Arcade Expo, then PAX Prime) remains the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, catering to the video game and tabletop participant mindset. Still in downtown Seattle after many years, the event is host to hundreds of companies big and small, and its many ticket holders (at least 70,000). The feelings shared among us involved excitement, cheer, and anticipation of gaming.

For me, the event was about exploration into the ever-changing industry of interactive games and its culture. More competitive co-op games are the rage, showing off on the main Expo floor. All and everywhere are the clear money-making trends in the industry; and not just with the games, but the streaming and e-sports culture as well.

Below, are pictures with notes of the main PAX West Expo floor, a dark place lit by many screens and LEDs.

The entrance into the realm of digital wonders, guarded by a large dragon promoting Clash of Kings. It could have done without annoying social media marketing sign.

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One of many booths boosting the e-sports aspect of the current game culture. Live competitive gameplay isn’t my jam, but I like the vibrant lights.

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The Ultron Sigma statue at the Capcom booth didn’t get much love promoting the fourth installment of the Capcom vs. Marvel fighting game. I wanted to leave a big bowl of nachos on its lap.

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The statue is not as big as it looks. Yet, it stands mighty for Adris PC gaming equipment…yay!

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Service animals are welcome on the PAX floor. This one was comfortable with Nintendo’s famous plumber.

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At a booth promoting some new Warframe game. Pose with the cool looking flying mech-thing above, and get a bandana. Then save it, maybe wear it, then pass it on to someone’s grandchildren.

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The Dauntless game booth, to promote its game where monsters are hunted. Here you get a rare pin, by standing in line for over an hour, then grouped in a battle where all must defeat some “behemoth” that take forever to kill. A lot of sad faces walked away pinless.

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The Monster Hunter World booth, where a mighty dragon scoffs at PAXers brave (or not)  a three-hour line to play its demo and get another rare pin.

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Just the Nintendo booth, promoting stuff I didn’t get a big chance to see because it was too small and crowded. Sigh..

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Some cosplay pushed to promote products, I believe. This one promoted the Shadowverse game at the Twitch booth.

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Speaking of Shadowverse, here is a scary carrot monster promoting the game. Someone nearby handed me an awesome Shadowverse carrot card when I asked about it.

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Some cosplay, of something not sure. League of Legends?

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More cosplay, of something not sure. League of Legends?

More cosplay between the booths. Go team Halo!!!

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Those are some of the highlights of the Expo floor. I was drawn to far much more around here, and also outside, around the PAX West. I will share some of those highlighted moments with more pics and noted, in my next show write-up.

SDCC 2017 Recap, Part 5 – More Cosplay

The 2017 San Diego Comic Con held much action involving the interaction of fandoms.

A large part of fan participation includes the cosplay, shown in Part 2 of our SDCC Recaps. In that posting, we showed many pics but not all. The rest are below, check them out!

But, our restricted and could not capture more. Much was observed in this trip, including trends. Stronger in the fan costuming for this year were the representations of Wonder Woman (movie and comics), Doctor Strange, Thor, Spider-man, Deadpool, Harley Quinn…much on the superheroes gaining popular movie attention. Not so much, I think are the Star Wars variety. Doctor Who and Game of Thrones are still out there, along with the various anime and video games (Overwatch a growing presence). Next year, I hope to see some great Black Panthers, Thanos, and Star Wars: Last Jedi representations.

Overall, there was not as much cosplay as the more focused conventions of genres and particular fandoms I have attended such as Anime Expo, Blizzcon, Sakura Con, Emerald City Con. I think the frequency was down this year, compared to earlier years. I didn’t see as much. Reasons for this, I think included the increased amount of activity in events and purchases on the lists of attendees, and the further apart of walking and traveling to be done for attendees. The con feels busier, with less time for casual socialization and constant photo-snapping. I heard the Masquerade event was great, of which I sadly missed.

So, here are the rest of the cosplayers in our views at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Click on each pic for more detail and character info…

 

That’s all for now. I have one more Recap to share soon, concluding this year’s coverage. For that, will contain personal insight and opinions of the show and happenings within, with thoughts on the SDCC’s future. Look forward!

SDCC 2017 Recap, Part 4 – More Exhibit Hall Fun

Here are more sights from the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, showing some interesting finds at the Exhibit Hall.

The Exhibit Hall is my favorite area in all of this Comic Con. Most of my time at this SDCC was well spent among the many here. The gigantic area holds over 460,000 square feet of open space for the attendees and booth merchants and exhibitors. Some recent observations are covered in Part 1 and Part 3 of our SDCC recaps. Here and below, I have more pics and notes focusing on the items observed during this wonderful show. Enjoy!

A glimpse of the Exhibition Floor. Up close is the small press area, and further away are the big Exhibit booths (Sideshow, DC Comics in view).

Original page art for sale. At the SDCC, I find more original page art (and very high end) pieces for sale than any other convention.

One of my favorite booths of recent SDCCs, DKE Toys. Strange, wonderful designer toys made in extremely limited quantities.

A life-sized model of a Gremlin, at the Elite Creatures booth.

Comic Con remains a great source for fan art.,,

The Gentle Giant Booth, showing off its collection of large scale replicas of vintage Star Wars figures.

The NECA Toys Booth, showing yet released baby Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures.

More upcoming TMNT turtles figures at the NECA Booth.

The NECA booth again, with previews of new Aliens figures based on the classic Aliens vs. Predator arcade game.

NECA Booth again, checking out the upcoming Blade Runner figures.

Back in the merchant area, some very rare and pricy vintage Star Wars figures mint on card.

I think this is from the Bluefin booth, exhibiting an awesome Wonder Woman movie statue.

Another merchant table, with many purchase choices.

The Square Enix booth hasn’t changed its appearance in years. Here, are prototypes for figures based on the game, Nier: Automata.

Strange Nicolas Cage art, because there is something for everyone here…

A close up of a prop of the recent Ghost in the Shell movie, at the Weta booth.

A center display at the Debbie Reynolds, Carry Fisher Personal Collection booth

Some interesting items on display and up for auction in December, at the Debbie Reynolds, Carry Fisher Personal Collection booth

At the DC booth, a preview of future items for sale via DC Direct. These being Artist Alley PVC figures.

More Artist Alley PVC figures..

And more DC Artist Alley PVC figures.

New Lord of the Rings designer figures, or “Mini-Epics.” At the Weta Booth

Another merchant showing off some custom made figures…

The DC booth, with a large wall of some coming comic happenings.

Cyborg original costume prop for the upcoming Justice League movie, at the DC booth

Batman, Flash original costume props for the upcoming Justice League movie

Wonder Woman, Aquaman original costume props for the upcoming Justice League movie

original costume prop for the upcoming Star Trek Discovery series

Skottie young art based Groot and Rocket Raccoon statues, at the Gentle Giant booth.

the Mega Bloks booth, showing some block-built Pokemons…

A life-sized K-2SO statue greets visitors at the Sideshow Collectibles booth.

Some older vintage comics with covers I found amusing…

And that’s all for this portion. stay tuned for the next portion focusing back on the cosplay element…

Look forward!!

 

SDCC 2017 Recap, Part 3 – Creative Persons at Comic Con

 

Every year, I look far more forward to seeing and meeting the people who most matter at these comic conventions, the creators. These creators matter, who bring characters and their world to life; they who write, script, draw, ink, color, plan and build the works many have come to immerse themselves.

The San Diego Comic Con delivers their presence well and throughout the Exhibit Floor and various panels. Here, they are a cornerstone of the show’s current success, present since the start.

Below, are some select pics of many creators, who range from well-known to just starting out. Some are personal favorites, while some are here to make themselves and their work known. Seeing and meeting such people are a favorite part of the show, especially on the Exhibit Floor.

Colorist and inker Peter Steigerwald, at the Aspen Comics booth

At the Heavy Metal booth, Erika Lewis (writer, artist, creator) pitched me her magical graphic novel series, The 49th Key.  You can preview it here.

Writer David M. Booher and artist Nathan C. Gooden after pitching their proud work Powerless at the Vault Comics booth. Inside the series is a world where everyone has superpowers until a virus eats them away. You check out more on the series and Vault Comics here.

The creator of Sam and Max: Freelance Detectives, Steve Purcell at his own booth in Artist Alley.  He talked a bit, and he signed my season one DVD of the Sam and Max TV show.

My favorite Transformers comics artist Livio Ramondelli, at work.

In the Small Press area at the Warhead K. E. K. booth. On the right is Katrina E. Kunstmann, artist. Check out her work here and her Warhead webcomic here.

Artist Sean Forney, at his own booth in Artist Alley

Legendary artist and storyteller Mike Grell, best known for his run on Green Arrow. We talked much about life in Seattle and that influence on the Green Arrow comics lore.

Longtime writer Marv Wolfman, hosting a classroom style panel at Comic Con. Didn’t have a better camera, but a real joy to hear him talk about his craft and give great advice to the crowd.

Artist, writer Scottie Young greeting and signing for fans, as Gert, star of his acclaimed Image comics series I Hate Fairyland looks on.

Artist Ken Mayer Jr, at work in Artist Alley.

Bill Maus, long time comic artist in the comics alley, living his craft.

Liam Sharp, live sketching a headshot of Ares, the God of War (of recent Wonder Woman comics).

Andrew Anderson and Osvaldo Montpeller present Gears and Bones, from Guardian Knight Comics. They tell me of this fantasy comic series of pirates, dragons, and other awesome things that interest me. I look forward towards checking my purchase from them soon.

Artist Paolo Pantalena, at the Aspen Comics booth.

Isaac Goodhart, artist on Postal (from Image Comics). He promotes his work well at the Top Cow booth.

Awesome and very funny cartoonist Shannon Wheeler, best known for his Too Much Coffee Man work. Now, he proudly presents his latest work, Sh*t My President Says, The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump.

Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, drawing his Heroes in a Half Shell for a fan.

Kevin Eastman and Ben Bishop. together for signings and people greet. Also, promoting a new Kickstarter project both are working on together Drawing Blood, coming soon.

And, that’s all for now for Part 3. Come back to strangerworlds.com, for Comic Con recaps.

SDCC 2017 Recap, Part 2 – Cosplay at the Con

 

Cosplay remains a constant element of dedicated fandom, here at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con.

When attending the show, the people dressing up as a favorite character present the best dedication a fan can offer in appearance. Many put heavy work and thought into the craft of their outfits. Some brilliant people have variations on familiar icons. such as gender swaps, time period variations, mash-ups, or just some creative weirdness. I felt cheered in seeing more of these daring approaches.

Below are some hand-picked cosplay pics, shot during this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Click on each pic for identification info and slideshow mode.

 

San Diego Comic Con 2017 – Aspen Comics reveals show exclusives

Aspen Comics recently unveiled its booth comics exclusives for this year’s 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, on Wednesday, July 19th through Sunday, July 23rd.

These convention exclusives are directly available for purchase at the Aspen Comics booth #2320. See below for all the basic info and available pics for the current announced items…

Lola XOXO (Volume 2) #1
Siya Oum SDCC 2017 foil variant edition.

Lola XOXO (Volume 2) #1
Siya Oum SDCC 2017 A.C.E. edition.


BubbleGun (Volume 2) #3 
Fan Yang SDCC 2017 foil variant edition.

No World #4
Jordan Gunderson SDCC 2017 foil variant edition.

All-New Michael Turner’s Soulfire #5 & Fathom #6
Paolo Pantalena SDCC 2017 foil variant connecting covers.

 

The Art of Aspen Comics Volume 3
exclusive edition debuting at SDCC 2017.

The Aspen YOU-Niverse Bundle #3: Comic Con 2017 edition.

(see booth for details)

MARVEL COMICS Aspen booth variants.

 

Aspen Comics will be offering an exclusive Spider-Men II #1 Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald variant cover, including three new covers by the late superstar artist and limited to 3,000 copies for the color variant, 1,500 editions for the limited edition “Mary Jane” variant, and 1,000 copies for the “Miles Morales” editions, also in time for the worldwide release of the new Spider-Man Homecoming film.

DC COMICS Aspen booth variants.

 

“Aspen Comics will feature an exclusive Supergirl #1 Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald variant edition, including three new covers by the late superstar artist and strictly limited to 1000 copies (available only as a set of all three) beginning Wednesday, July 19, at Comic-Con and on www.AspenStore.com while supplies last. Limit 1 per household on the website.

The publisher will also be offering an all-new set of three Superman/Batman #8 Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald never-before-published variant covers strictly limited to 1,000 editions (only available as a set of all three).”

San Diego Comic Con 2017 – Skybound unveils show exclusives

Robert Kirkman’s company, Skybound (publisher of the The Walking Dead and other comic titles, has revealed its line-up of exclusives for 2017 for year’s 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, on Wednesday, July 19th through Sunday, July 23rd.

These convention exclusives are directly available for purchase at the Image Comics booth #2729. Quantities are limited per day.

See below for all the basic info, prices, and available pics.

SAGA Ghus Plush Doll

 

The convention exclusive has three costumes! Only 500 pieces will be at the con. $40 each.

The Walking Dead “All Out War” SDCC Variant Set

 

Story: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard, Stefano Guadiano & Cliff Rathburn
Covers: Jason Edmiston
This special SDCC Exclusive Set comes collected in a “TOP SECRET” package and features 6 double sizes issues, reprinting the entire “All Out War” story arc (issues 115-126). Each double sized issue features the members of “Shiva Force” (Rick, Michonne, Jesus, Ezekiel and Shiva) as painted by Jason Edmiston. The 6th issues of the set features “Lucille Patrol” leader, Negan. Each set is $50. Limited to 1000 sets.

Kill the Minotaur #2: SDCC Variant


Story: Chris Pasetto & Christian Cantamessa
Art: Lukas Ketner & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Cover: Lukas Ketner

Redneck #4 SDCC Variant

Story: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren & Dee Cuniffe
Cover: Nick Pitarra

SAGA – The Will and Lying Cat action figure 2-pack

From the pages of the hit comic Saga, comes the latest action figure set from Skybound and McFarlane Toys, The Will and Lying Cat. $50 each

OUTCAST (TV series) – Sidney Action Figure 

The evil Sidney makes his action figure debut from the Cinemax TV show, Outcast ($25).

The Shiva Force Four-Pack

 

How do you top last year’s The Walking Dead Negan and Glenn two-packSan Diego Comic-Con exclusive? Skybound has done just that with The Shiva Force Four-Pack, which features 5″ figures of The Walking Dead‘s Rick Grimes, Michonne, King Ezekiel, and Shiva dressed in a unique Shiva design (and each figure in the set is also individually packaged on a vintage card back with new painted artwork by Jason Edmiston). The four-figure set, which was designed by McFarlane Toys, also includes weapons of choice for Rick, Michonne, and Ezekiel, and will retail for $100. There will be two gift-box variants: a regular color version and a bloody variant, which are limited to 1,000 copies each.

There will also be a fifth Shiva Force member: Jesus. He will only be available in the summer MegaBox from Skybound, which you can sign up for today. The Shiva Force characters will also be featured in Scopely’s The Walking Dead: Road to Survival starting Thursday, July 20 (and you can see a look at Ezekiel, who will be free for a limited time in the game, below).

Also recently announced, some other items Skybound will also be rolling at the San Diego Comic-Con, with prices ready…

Pins:

  • Faction pins (4) – $10
  • Invincible Logo pin – $10
  • Atom Eve Logo Pin – $10
  • Battle Beast Pin – $10
  • Saga Sweet Boy Pin – $10
  • Redneck Logo Pin (red) – $10
  • Redneck Logo Pin (GID) – $10
  • Extremity Logo pin – $10
  • Extremity Thea’s Bike Pin – $10
  • Science Dog Logo pin – $10
  • Monstress animal pins (4) – $10
  • Monstress Quote Pin –$ 10

Shirts:

  • TWD All Out War – $25
  • TWD Banner – $25
  • Redneck Immortal – $25
  • Redneck Texas Forever – $25
  • Extremity Bike – $25
  • Saga Foil (unisex and tank) – $25
  • Saga Ghus – $25
  • Saga Lying Cat – $25
  • Monstress Eye (unisex and tank) – $25
  • Invincible Logo – $25

Misc:

  • Lucille Necklace – $40
  • Lucille Earrings – $40
  • Ezekiel Socks – $15
  • Redneck Hat – $20
  • Monstress Tote – $15

San Diego Comic Con 2017 – Image Comics reveals show exclusives

We have a list of the limited exclusive comics, hardcovers, and merch from Image Comics at this year’s 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, on Wednesday, July 19th through Sunday, July 23rd.

These convention exclusives are directly available for purchase at the Image Comics booth #2729. Quantities will be limited per day on a first come, first served basis.

See below for all the basic info and available pics.

CROSSWIND #1 

 

by Gail Simone & Cat Staggs, cover by Staggs, $10 (+tax)

MOONSTRUCK #1

by Grace Ellis & Shae Beagle, cover by Kate Leth, $10 (+tax)

AD: AFTER DEATH hardcover edition

by Scott Snyder & Jeff Lemire, cover by Lemire, $40 (+tax)

GOD COUNTRY hardcover
Convention Exclusive

by Donny Cates & Geoff Shaw, cover by Shaw, $35 (+tax)

KILL OR BE KILLED, VOL. 1 hardcover 
Convention Exclusive

by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips & Elizabeth Breitweiser, cover by Phillips, $35 (+tax)

MONSTRESS, VOL. 2 hardcover
Convention Exclusive

by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda, cover by Takeda, $35 (+tax)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY, VOL. 1 hardcover
Convention Exclusive

by Rick Remender & Jerome Opeña, cover by Opeña, $35 (+tax)

BLACK SCIENCE statue

$150 (+tax)

IMAGE ICON t-shirt

$25 (+tax)

and

IMAGE 25TH ANNIVERSARY tote, $12 (+tax)
IMAGE 25TH ANNIVERSARY t-shirt, $25 (+tax)
IMAGE 25TH ANNIVERSARY lapel pin, $10 (+tax)

San Diego Comic Con 2017 – Oni Press reveals show exclusives

We have a list of the limited exclusive items from Oni Press at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con.

These convention exclusives are directly available for purchase at the Oni Press’s booth #1833,

See below for all the basic info (and available pics). Prices do not include sales tax

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game
Oni Press/Renegade Games Exclusive Variant

Features limited edition box art available only from Oni Press!
Price: $50
Limitations: 50 units available per day, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only.
Limited to 2 per customer.
Purchase of game includes one same-day line ticket for a signing with series creator Bryan Lee O’Malley!

Invader ZIM Deluxe Hardcover, Book One
Oni Press Exclusive Variant

Price: $65
Limitations: 50 units available per day.
Features a foil deboss and tip-in.
Contains the first 10 issues of Invader ZIM—as well as a cover gallery and the exclusive #0 issue not available in stores!

Rick and Morty #28 SDCC Exclusive Variant

Variant cover, Illustrated by Zander Cannon
Price: $10!

Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It #1
SDCC Exclusive Variant

Variant cover, illustrated by
Sara Richard
Price: $10!

Invader ZIM, Volumes 1-3
Oni Press Exclusive Variant Editions

Variant covers, illustrated by series creator Jhonen Vasquez!
Price: $19.99 each

WE LOVE FINEKAIJUMAXELECTROGOR PLUSH

Price: $25
Snuggle up with Kaijumax’s MOST WANTED!
From the Eisner Award-nominated comic series by Zander Cannon, this official plush toy is the perfect cellmate to cuddle up with while reading Kaijumax!

Rick and Morty™ Volumes 1-5 and
Rick and Morty™: Lil’ Poopy Superstar
Oni Press Exclusive Variant Editions

Variant covers, illustrated by Julieta Colás
Price: $19.99 each

Scott Pilgrim, Volumes 1-6
Evil Ex Variant Editions


Variant covers illustrated by series creator Bryan Lee O’Malley
Features the heroes on the back cover!
Price: $40 each