Amusements of the Crypticon 2019

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It’s been a month, but the local Crypticon still feels fresh and spooky to me.

The Seattle Crypticon 2019 happened in early May, as a large horror fandom convention of the Pacific Northwest. This Crypticon has remained annual for over 10 years. but feels local and small in comparison to those big celebrity-driven Comic Cons. There are two other Crypticons held in the U.S further out in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Kansas City, Missouri. All dedicated to those who love horror and supernatural themes in books, movies, TV, games, and whatever else entertains the soul with elevated suspense and tingles.

I enjoyed every minute. therefore I must share a bit more with my casual go to this year, with not much in mind other than sharing time with friends old and new, some shopping, and panel-hopping. Crypticon provided and gave a bit more.

Here are some pictures I took with notes attached:

From the moment you enter, you will find many attendants getting deep in the spirit of the show, with detailed makeup and costumes. Doing such makes the character inside reach out!

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Some of that work will have spectators doing a double-take.

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And of course, some familiar friends walked around like Chucky here!

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And not everything is horror, but a touch of horror and supernatural elements inspire others to focus on those interesting elements of fandoms. Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series exemplifies that.

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Not sure what story this creepy girl is a portrayal of, or perhaps there is no need. Great makeup, costuming and accessory is all one could need to really put a story through.

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No convention is worthwhile without an exhibit floor filled with creative souls selling their custom handmade work with a variety of writings, paintings, indie movies, figurines, pins, and so much more.

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Paintdead Artworks by Jacqueline Gallagher (www.paintdead.com, @jackiepaintdead on Instagram). I purchased an awesome Alien print from her.

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Love the magnificent crochet work from Sheri Jordan of SanjiCraft (@sanjicat on Instagram, Sanjicraft on Facebook).

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A big of fan of Sanjicraft’s work here…

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Owlex (@Owlex Never sleeps on Instagram, Facebook), crafter of resin cast half-masks inspired by samurai menpo. 

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I also attended some great panels, including this X-Files TV show panel with supporting cast William B Davis, Brian Thompson, Nicholas Lea, Mitch Pileggi. Lots of fun with some revealing set stories told!

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The Twin Peaks panel with Ray Wise and Sheyl Lee, a treat for fans with more fun behind the scenes stories and thoughts on this classic cult show.

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Also scoped out many short films among two feature viewings…a great mix indeed!

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Then on my way to the fun nighttime party on the 13th floor. No formal attire needed..just be yourself!

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That’s all for now, with a huge thank you to the show organizers, cosplayers, creatives, and others who made this show a worthwhile crash. I look forward with my plan to attend again in the future, for sure!

2019’s Con Season Begins at Wondercon

Last weekend, comic book fans and cosplayers took over Anaheim, California to celebrate Wondercon, now in its 32nd year.  The sold-out show brought an estimated 66,000 attendees, making it now half the size of San Diego Comic Con.  Con season has officially begun, and here are some of our favorite moments….

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Wondercon made a return to Anaheim this year. A giant Bumblebee guarded the entrance by Harbor.

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The vendor hall was bustling on Saturday, but fairly empty Friday. DC’s booth featured Shazam costumes and Batman cowls throughout the year.

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Greg Capullo greets fans at the DC booth.

Exploding Kittens was a popular booth this year, with a puppet-based interactive game where you could buy random objects for a dollar. I watched someone walk away with an eggplant.

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Wondercon always attracts fun cosplayers and pushes the envelope for creativity.

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Just your local robots out for an evening stroll after spa day at the hotel.

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Hey look, we found her!

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Venom gets a classy tux treatment in this handcrafted creation.

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We wrapped our day at the Unnecessary Debates panel, moderated by Grand Geek Gathering’s Tyler McPhail. Our favorite part was Olivia singing as Groot.

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Jenny Jaffe (writer, Big Hero Six TV series), Tyler McPhail (host of The Grand Geek Gathering), Genevieve Cosplay, Abed Gheith (writer, Rick and Morty), and Olivia Olson (Marceline from Adventure Time)

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Wondercon is always a favorite because it has that oldschool SDCC feel to us. There’s a good balance of comics, games, sci-fi, and cosplay, and many of our favorite guests and creators. The panels are creative and thoughtful, but also full of exciting announcements. We can’t wait to go back – Wondercon 2020 will be held Easter weekend, April 10-12 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Cosplay excellence at the 2019 Emerald City Comic Con

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No modern-day pop-culture convention feels complete without the efficient cosplay dedication from many of its attendees. The 2019 Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle carried on that, with excellence!

However, those familiar with these events can expect no surprises in trends here. There were the usual Marvel and DC fanfare, with more influence from the movies and TV shows. Star Wars is usual, but didn’t catch my eye as much. Gamer cosplay attire continues to impress, as games like Overwatch and Fortnite have elaborate, challenging costume designs, putting their expert crafters to heavy work to achieve authenticity. I think the game designers in creating these characters, look forward to making its cosplay crafter fans really work for that authentic look.

Meanwhile, the main event for ECCC 2019, showcased as the Western Championships of Cosplay, featured many talent cosplayers on stage. Throughout the show, there was a focus on three categories – Needlework, Armor, and FX. Here is a complete video of that grand display…

So overall, an awesome impression everywhere at ECCC. I took some pictures of many costumes done from casual to expert level from fans walking around on and around the convention floor…

MissBoof  as Thor, using luminescent UV-coated eye contacts and LED lights.

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Zamesta as Mercy from the Doctor Who “The Next Doctor” Christmas episode with a fairy friend.

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Ollei Cosplay as Sugarplum Sylvana from Heroes of the Storm and World of Warcraft

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Alternate dark multiverse “The Man Who Laughs” Batman from the DC Comics..

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Samurai Mario!

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Feel the power of Hulkamania!, BROTHER!!

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Hellboy!

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Not sure, but fits well with the St. Patricks Day spirit, which crossed over this weekend.

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Disney ladies!

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Brilliant design work here!

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Skeletor!

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Monterrey Jack and Gadget of the Rescue Rangers!

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Mera!

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Milly Craft as Princess Celesta from My Little Pony.

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Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, I think. Costume had a cool glitter effect, which I could not quite capture here.

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That’s all for this ECCC show, with added applause to all cosplayers who attended, and added that extra touch that in the overall enjoyable Con experience!

Casual adventuring through the 2019 Emerald City Comic Con

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Last weekend, was another wonderful time at the annual Emerald City Comic Con for 2019, here in Seattle.

For me, it was my sixth year in attendance, still being easily accessible to my local home area. But, I wasn’t able to attend the full show, with just the weekend available for me. I kept my time simple to casual shopping, small panels, chatting with old and new friends. My con time was chill, and that was enough for now.

Here are some pictures, with notes:

ECCC was as usual, very family friendly. Getting in the spirit sometimes could just be putting on a mask while still being yourself.

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I spent the most time on the main Exhibit Floor. While there was a presence of comic indie publishers, I noticed a larger rise in art sold as prints of all sizes, ranging from postcards to large posters. A wide range of styles, through traditional paints to sophisticated digital art. There was something for everyone to purchase or just admire.

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Artist alley was full of awesome artists; many ready to meet, greet, buy prints for sale, and set up commissions (the best you can really get from an admired artist).  My first purchase from ECCC was a few stickers from Ian Flynn, Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog comics artist.

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Tim Sale, legendary artist best known in my opinion for Batman: The Long Halloween.

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Terry Huddleston, a proud and awesome artist presenting his work on the Exhibit Floor.  You can see more at thuddleston.deviantart.com.

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Artist Brianna Garcia poses with an awesome commission original piece of Captain Marvel and Goose… beautiful work! check out more of her work at www.deviantart.com/briannacherrygarcia.

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A new favorite painter, whose stunning work I admired and purchased. She is super awesome to talk to as well. Check out the work of Mia Araujo at http://www.art-by-mia.com. She is also working on an interesting take on Alice in Wonderland illustrative book, that you can follow and support through Patreon at patreon.com/miaaraujo

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I just really like this attendees Star Wars shirt, with art by Shag.

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A convention is nothing without its silly stuff to purchase, and maybe add unusual character in your life.

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Really awesome classic Planet of the Apes pro-makeup work and prosthetic, as the mouth moves. I was told this work took many hours, and I like the result.

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The ECCC has a huge amount of space for tabletop gaming, with something for everyone whether into quick card battles or large elaborate scenarios. Here is just a small portion of a display set up for Forgotten Fortress, miniatures RPG game.

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Later on, Saturday after the lines died down for exclusives, the Funko booth had some of their artists do some Pop sketches for fans of their work.

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Funko Pops as still popular, and plentiful on the showroom floor. Some still command some crazy prices.

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But the best collectibles I feel are those that hold or will hold some sentimental value. Getting something signed, with something more like a picture or a sketch makes the whole show worthwhile.

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ECCC is still a great place for geek attire. I was really tempted to buy one of these awesomely silly Pokemon shirts…

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The Dark Horse Comics booth had a cool wall for attendees to color…

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And the main event of ECCC, the Western Championships of cosplay on Saturday showed off the best craftsmanship in several categories.

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Regarding cosplay, there was plenty of dress-up fandom representation everywhere. I will share more in another post soon.

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And, that’s enough for this year. Overall, a great time but not entirely epic because I didn’t go out of my way for big experiences or crazy goals in mind. Sometimes, you just have to take that con time easy, and naturally mix in.

 

Wandering through PAX West 2018

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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…

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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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

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Some cosplayers together,  geared and badass.

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

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

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

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Some sweet Splatoon cosplay.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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

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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.

Final Fantasy Cosplay outside the 2018 Sakura-Con

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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…

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Cosplay outside the 2018 Sakura-Con

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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:

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

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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.

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

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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.

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A group shot of the Berserk gathering here.

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

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Batman!!

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Pokemon strike a pose.

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

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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.”

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Overwatch character Zenyatta, levitating before your very eyes.

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

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

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hell yeah to the Dragonball Z cosplay

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From Voltron, Haggar the Witch

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Kairi from Kingdom Hearts.

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Deadpool seeks to blend in.

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

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

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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.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018, Exhibit Floor Adventures

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I love a good comic convention, especially in exploring its exhibit floor.

I recently attended the 2018 Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. I had a good time, as I often do with big gatherings likes this, mostly attending panels and shopping this time.

Here are some pictures of my time on and around the Exhibit Floor, with notes:

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The Image Comics booth, the place for ECCC for my current favorite publisher of comics. It’s pleasing to see Invincible finally getting as much space respect as The Walking Dead, both written and created by Robert Kirkman

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Oni Press set up next door, had a nice bog booth an an ever-present smile to greet attendees.

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The Weta Workshop booth set up a little distance away. On Thursday, was the start of this wonderful art piece (didn’t get the name of the artist). It was finished on Sunday, as you can see much later in the pics.

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Of course, there is some cosplay. I believe these two are from the hit indie game, Undertale.

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Jelly Belly promoted its crazy assortment of candied beans in one are. Here,  was dinosaur mosaic of their sugary bits.

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Ensign Ro and Janice Rand. Both very impressed that I knew their names. Such is a benefit to watching repeats of the classic series and Next Gen run.

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Patches. I wish for a good jacket to put some of these patches on, especially the Star Wars ones.

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One fan, showing me the most sought after exclusive of the show, being the Emerald Chrome Batman Funko Pop figure. Price was original $15.00 to those who planned ahead (and got chosen via a lottery to stand in a special line). The eBay value is around $500. Not kidding.

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Meanwhile at the Dodles booth where some guests may doodle art on small papers. Others are given hearts to place upon their favorites. I like this.

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Really awesome Thor: Ragnorak cosplay happened.

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Usagi YoJimbo traveling through!

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Artist at work ay one booth I forgot to get the name too. I like his scratchy etching style, but not sure what he was using there.

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Work samples from that booth.

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Disney Princesses being Goofy.

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S2 Heart Designs here. One of the many booths showing off some great design style. While some were on the exhibit floor, there is much more on the upper floor in the Artist Alley. I will feature that area in a separate post soon.

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Artist Erik Arreaga, showing some of his great work.

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A stupid spinny wheel thing from a movie studio booth. I spun and landed on “Try Again, Next Time.” Seriously, what terrible person puts that on a prize wheel?

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Ah, Bullet-Proof. Police Chief fighting crime in a future time, from the forgotten and very underrated 80’s cartoon COPS.

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Back at the Weta Workshop booth on the early Sunday.

And here is some sweet classic Marvel comics I purchased. Added to some of the Funko Pops, discounted graphic novels, buttons, and cheap stuff gained from the Exhibit Floor. Overall, a fun time for myself and those who love random browsing and treasure hunting. I will share more on this great 2018 ECCC show, soon.

 

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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