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!

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.

San Diego Comic Con in Pictures and Notes – Part 1

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Back at the San Diego Comic Convention!

Now in its 46th year, and for me the 22nd; also known as Comic Con International or just simply, Comic Con. The event now holds about 167,000 people, ever-growing but not as fast where the convention center has reached its limits, with hope for expansion in the far future. Meanwhile,  there are many more events and happenings outside the con, unaffiliated with CCI; where most are run by big media companies and promoters of new movies, television shows, and games. Comic books sadly, are not as visible.

Inside the show, is my favorite area; especially the Exhibit Hall, with a football floor sized area filled with the best creative talent, booth displays and merchandise a Comic convention attendee could ask for. Every year, show goers have goals. For me, they change; now looking to meet new creative talent discovered in the last cycle of comics reading. Then, shopping for exclusives and odd finds. Swag, interesting visuals, along with meetings and interesting conversations with fellow attendees all fill the great in-between moments. Comics here are quite visible, if you are looking for them.

Here below, are some pics I took of the general area (mostly Exhibit Hall), with notes. This is the first in a series showcasing interesting aspects of the great show, and all involved…

The overall atmosphere itself, with the situation below depicting a somewhat calmer moment free of exclusive hoarding and celebrity snappers. To simply walk around and see what’s new and interesting is a prime cornerstone of attending.

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Perhaps the most enthusiastic and visually striking of the Con, are the cosplayers. Here, they are many, with hints in their attire on what’s current. Here, we have the upcoming Suicide Squad movie done by cosplayers

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Notable writers, pencils, inkers, colorists are important to the overall Con structure; as many fans arrive from afar to meet and greet, gaining signatures and perhaps a sketch if lucky. Below (fourth from the right is Jim Lee).

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Comic Con remains a hub for those who collect comics in their original form, with heavy emphasis on back issues. Notable rises in back issues for prices are titles and featured issues including Black Panther, Luke Cage, Flash, Venom, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man.

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While comics are better preserved in their plastic bags and boards, there is a wonderfulness on seeing aged books out of bag and board. One fav booth does just that, selling them at a reduced flat rate. I took much joy in making a bundle of my own.

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People love their autographs, some more than others in their hunting. One attendee showed me his Batman hardcover book, filled with many pages of creative talent and notable persons who made Batman what he is today.

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Another page, of many more.

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The most noted among the new cosplay crowd, is Harley Quinn as depicted from the new Suicide Squad movie. Such was likely the plan by its marketers, for the fans to have fun with the outfit and add to the movie hype. I approve, and hope the movie lives up to the hype.

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My favorite among the cosplay crowd, are those who represent the more obscure and lesser known of the sub-genres. This looks familiar, and can’t put my finger on it..

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I remain astounded by the popular of The Walking Dead. Here, live participants in zombie makeup await attendees at the AMC, Walking Dead Booth. Such is a fine example of what makes Comic Con fun, to promote with more than signs and flyers; by providing fans with over-the top visuals and experiences.

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New shows are also a thing here, though their interest remains in question. Here, a new show has a walk-in booth created to look like The White House. Usually such booths promise some interesting swag or celebrity greets; which helps generate excitement, I guess. Such is less and less for me as the Con years go.

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The Entertainment Earth booth, one of many here who showcase and sell collectibles. Some items are previews to new products coming out. Other items are show exclusives one must wait in long lines and/or be very lucky to buy.

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A favorite among the displays every year, the Cartoon Network booth. This year, the glorious return of the Powerpuff Girls.

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A favorite feature of the DC Comics booth for me are the live sketches.

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Here is a cornerstone heart and soul of Comic Con, the creative talent who self promote in the small presses and artist alleys. They each, who by their own funding and hard work promote themselves and their work. Interaction is valuable to growth, and helps sustain their daring lifestyles of doing what they love, while they love what they do.

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A more crowded moment at Comic Con, at its worse on Sunday when the panels and outside events are fewer. Shopping and swag hunting goes up.

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Looking a bit closer, are the treasure some will take home for a lifetime. One fan proudly displays a fresh autograph fro Samantha Newark, best known for her work on the classic 1980s cartoon, Jem and the Holograms.

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Another notable theme of the 2016 year, was Wonder Woman; now reaching her 75th Anniversary. The DC booth and many more gave presence to her cultural impact, across all mediums.

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And that’s all for now, as I will go more in-depth on the many aspects and interesting observations of this 2016 San Diego Comic Con. Next post will focus more on the booths, with the products and people who make them awesome..

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To be continued, in San Diego Comic Con in Pictures and Notes – Part 2…

– Orion T , Captain writer and editor ic, has been attending geek gatherings since childhood, and will continue on until the breathing stops.