May the 4th, Revenge of the 5th, and so on be with you…

Happy Star Wars Day, even though it will over by the time you read this…

Yet, the many of us don’t stop really enjoying and appreciating those Star Wars.

Star Wars is with us forever. What a silly thing this science fiction franchise does for us! So many among love the characters, get deep into its expansive lore, praise, or groan emotionally at creative turns through the years across all mediums. And how remarkable and surprising was that Star Wars: Clone Wars finale? 10 out of 10 lightsabers up for me!

What is it about Star Wars appeals to so many beyond its initial groundbreaking movies from decades ago? There’s a huge plethora of cool creatures, spaceships, robots, action with laser swords and laser pistols. There’s weird space politics, mystical religions, various cultures, and lifestyles that keep growing with the many more movies, games, serials, books, whatever else.

My three favorite Star Wars movie are The New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi…the original trilogy!

My three favorite Star Wars comic series is the Star Wars Tales (Dark Horse anthology), Darth Vader (the first Marvel series run), and Tag and Bink are Dead.

My three Star Wars video games is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Knights of the Old Republic, and the Super Nintendo trilogy (I group all three games as a singular experience!).

My Three favorite Star Wars books are the Heir to the Empire Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. That’s all I recall enjoying in the 90s and haven’t read any more since. But, I hear there’s a lot of great ones centered around the new sequels lately.

I can go on with other favorite Star Wars, but another time because the time is too late now.

I believe it’s the binding and bonds between established characters. There are ongoing themes about friendships, family, rivalries, comradery, and the sense that we are all connected no matter how far apart in planets we are. You can be a farmer, a robot, a princess, a bounty hunter, a soldier, a wizard, a princess, a knight. Somehow, there’s a possible connection in the universe for anyone to partake. Then go on an adventure, discover something about yourself or others, check out an environment opposite of your familiar zones, get the rush of an exciting and very high stakes battle. From all, gain something new for surviving the experience. Star Wars is just a fascinating thing that happens through its pop culture that will never end as long as humanity enjoys the escapism that science fiction brings us together.

May the Force be with you, always!

The Star Wars playing cards in the picture are from the Theory11 company. Great quality and I recommend giving them a purchase at theory11.com.

A look back to the prequel past of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

I love my Star Wars, especially in the hands and hearts of creative storytellers.

That’s why I am psyched for the new Star Wars: Clone Wars episodes, with Season 7 coming through on the Disney+ streaming service soon. Also, Dave Filoni, the original show-runner, is taking lead again. Finally, a proper send-off (I hope) to the original Cartoon Network series I felt never got its full respect of the Star Wars overall community, as the best representation and mood of the prequel era. The movies only set the stage, while the Clone Wars TV show was truly the grand epic space opera that George Lucas originally set fort in 1977.

The reasons I believe are obvious after going through the entirety of the TV series, though the art style took some getting used to for the visual part of the appreciation. The stories were a beautiful mix of character development of new and established characters, new legends built, old ones resurfaced, and an overall world-building that made the best sense of the vague references spoken by Obi-Wan and Darth Vader in Episode IV. Multiple award nominations including won Daytime Emmys, top ratings for its time slots, and heavy merchandise sales were further testament to its greatness.

The Clone Wars series focused on the destined paths of unique soldiers, space wizards, mercenaries, political figures; all with a mix of humor, drama, action, and sometimes unexpected philosophy and expansive thinking not often associated with the Star Wars brand.

In my excitement, I would like to share my favorite stories (usually multi-part episode arcs), through its overall progression.

Season 1 – Episode 5

“Rookies

An all around great episode that humanizes the clone warriors, where we see some individual human qualities to Cody, Rex, Fives, and others we get to know not just as soldiers, but as brothers. There is more humanization to these clones, as we can tell them apart from here and beyond. This episode truly brings out what makes this series great and standing well beyond its story progression onto Star Wars: Rebels.

Season 2 – Episode 20-22

Death Trap, R2 Come Home, Lethal Trackdown

A great story where we really get to know the bounty hunter Boba Fett as a great standalone character, as still young but fresh with dedication for revenge against the Jedi master who killed his father, Mace Windu. There’s a great mix of great action, many rogues, and pretty much everything that is fun about Clone Wars. I grew up thinking Boba Fett, was a cool space ninja dude. But, never could figure exactly why from just looking at the movies. He was just there with just enough of a presence to feel there was more to him. Episode II gave gave a little more background, but not enough.

This arc, delivered plenty on the cult character. We learn he was a young character coming to terms with the loss of his father, seeking vengeance, then eventually a meaningful path to himself, perhaps making his father proud eventually, but still selfish to those around him. This story arc sets his path well.

Season 3 – Episode 15-17

Overlords, Altar of Mortis, Ghosts of Mortis

Now this, is a powerful story that delves deep into the mystical side of Star Wars, and the nature of the force. What balance means, and the complexity of the Dark and Light side. This story deals with the Anakin, Ashoka, Obi-Wan drawn to a mysterious place where we meet a family trio of powerful force entities. The Daughter represents the Light, The Son represents the Dark, and the Father represents balance between the two. Anakin is given a difficult choice, and an unsettling vision of the future of what he will become, leaving a dilemma for the Family of Mortis to deal with.

The progression centers to Anakin as the central character in the movies, conflicted and doomed. His relationship to his apprentice becomes more important for the Clone Wars, leading the audience to care and share in his eventual fate, foretold here.

Season 4 – Episodes 7-10

Darkness on Umbara, The General, Plan of Dissent, Carnage of Krell

Wow, this story arch really blows me away. It’s a mix of Apocalypse Now (with the original Walter Murch as the story director) in a galaxy far, far away with twist and turns leading to an epic conclusion.

Even before we get to the main story, there is an amazing CG sequence of war and grit, mixed with classic and modern science fiction organic and mechanical imagery.

Then, we meet the general for the protagonist side, General Krell. He’s a tough Jedi, but then a psychotic murderer. His soldiers eventually must deal with him, an deadly nail-biting showdown. Everything about this arc is epic and truly badass, with an ending that leaves much for the audience to think about.

Season 4 – Episodes 19-22, Season 5 – episode 1

Massacre, Bounty, Brothers. Revenge, Revival

A huge story line revolving around Jedi Padawan turned bounty hunter Asajj Ventress, whose tragedy upon her people sends her on a quest for revenge. There is great development, but the story switches focus to a new character, Savage Opress who ends up on a journey of his own as he finds the remains of his brother Darth Maul, long thought dead in Episode I. He lives, as his brother gives him new life and purpose, making the galaxy a more interesting, and deadlier place. also, the new voice for Darth Maul by Sam Witwer brings a new emotional depth and dark tragic melody to the known Sith.

Season 5 – Episodes 2-5

A War on Two Fronts, Front Runners, The Soft Wars

A great story about intervention in a planet’s dispute and involvement with the Separatists, that is given restraint by the Republic and Jedi Order. Here we meet Saw Guerra, a revolutionary rebel later taking part in the Star Wars: Rogue One movie. His background and this story arc challenges both the viewers and our protagonists that not everything is simply good and evil, as there are moral dilemmas to ponder and sides to take for the Jedi and The Republic, in a conflict that becomes personal for Ahsoka. A tragic twist at the end, builds much towards Saw Guerra’s character, that made his later appearances more meaningful and interesting.

Season 5 – Episodes 6-9

The Gathering, A Test of Strength. Bound for Rescue, A Necessary Bond

A very different perspective to the Jedi Order than the usual conflict melodrama. Here’s its more about what makes a Jedi as a new generation of younglings take center-stage, where Ahsoka takes on a more teacher role. Her maturity feels like it reached full circle here, in a mentor role we will see more of in Rebels. Lots of bonding, but also a building melancholy when thinking about the tragic fates of this next generation.

Season 5, Episodes 14-16

Eminence, Shades of Reason, Shades of Reason, The Lawless

A great continuation of the journey of Darth Maul, as a great complex character with feelings and motivations of his own, reaching beyond the Sith agenda now. This crosses over into the world of Mandalore, with gives more background on the designs of Boba Fett’s armor, and the culture it represents. We also peek more into a potential love interest for Obi-Wan, Duchess Satine. There’s also the Darksaber weapon passed around, which just looks crazy awesome whenever used. The story moves toward more tragedy for both Obi-Wan and Darth Maul, as they both suffer personal losses, leaving them more intertwined than ever.

Season 5 – Episodes 17-20

Sabotage, The Jedi Who Knew Too Much, To Catch a Jedi. The Wrong Jedi

The story arc for Clone Wars as a whole to end on, before season 6 brings us to more self-contained side stories. This arc starts off as a murder mystery, but delves deeper into conspiracy and false accusations. In the heart of this, is Ahsoka Tano, who must prove her innocence. The story progression is an awesome mix of twists, action, drama, and revelations that lead for a shocking turning point for Anakin’s apprentice. This will need the most follow-up for Season 7, which I hope connects well to her later appearance in Rebels.

Season 6 – Episodes 1-4

The Unknown, Conspiracy, Fugitive, Orders

Hands down, my favorite Star Wars: Clone Wars TV series story. It’s also very standalone, with enough basis and knowledge of what happens when soldier Fives finds out that he is programmed as a murderous tool for a vast conspiracy well-hidden from him. A concern and paranoia sends him on a revealing journey, to the heart and beginning of his clone production. He, and the audience learn more about Order 66, and to what ends is its purpose. Of course, we know the answer…but seeing it through Fives view and determination is gut-wrenching, exciting, then tragic. Clone Wars has a lot of well-written tragedy.

Season 6: Episode 11-13

Voices, Destiny, Sacrifice

A story that takes the Force to greater mystery with its complexity and mysticism…which sets at ease that it’s all more than midiclorians. The setting for all this is incredible, with a mix of beautiful and haunting visuals. Liam Neeson returns as the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn, whose character journey reaches a far more proper and dignified end. We also have a more humbled Yoda on a quest to learn more, with still much to understand about the Force, This is where the Clone Wars ends, for then but not now.

That’s overall my impressions of Clone Wars, summarized on what and where I found it best. I would like to revisit its series and impact as a while, as I look forward to its completion as the best of what makes Star Wars great.

New Star Wars Clone Wars weekly comic series set for April 2020

It’s time to go back to a Galaxy Far, Far Away for the Clone Wars, as many fans of that classic prequel time delved into the TV series and books. In return, good writing and solid art expanded the franchise, but left much room for more stories to tell.

Now, there’s a new trailer for Season 7 of the TV series coming soon for the Disney+ service. And, there’s 5-part comic book mini-series event, coming from IDW Publishing this coming April, named Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales.

The following is some great insight from IDW’s recent press release

While Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and other Jedi Knights fight against incredible odds, Commander Cody, Captain Rex, and other clone troopers are pinned down for the duration, swapping war stories that feature favorite characters from The Clone Wars animated series, such as Padmé Amidala, General Grievous, and many more!

Shipping weekly throughout April, the Clone Wars comic book event is written by Michael Moreci and feature a framing sequence in each issue by Star Wars Adventures mainstay Derek Charm. Similar to the popular Tales from Vader’s Castle and Return to Vader’s Castle five-week events, every issue of Clone Wars will spotlight a different artist on interiors: Arianna Florean (issue #1), Megan Levens (#2), Valentina Pinto (#3), Davide Tinto (#4), and Philip Murphy (#5).

“The Clone Wars era is probably my favorite in all of Star Wars. It has it all – big adventure, sweeping romance, Force mythology, Jedi powers, and, of course, the awesome clones,” says Moreci in a recent press release. “This event series is going to bring together all the best, evergreen parts of Star Wars and weave a story that longtime fans (like myself) and new, younger readers (like my own kids) will definitely love.”

“This era of Star Wars feels so expansive and open as far as storytelling possibilities, so I’m really excited to be able to spend a good amount of time in it,” says Charm. “I’m really looking forward to finally working with Michael Moreci, as well! We’ve sort of been orbiting each other in the monthly Star Wars Adventures book for a while, but this will be our first time working together. We’ve talked about some of the things he has planned for this series, and it’s going to be pretty great.”

“Ever since it was first mentioned in A New Hope, the Clone Wars have ignited the imaginations of Star Wars fans,” says Star Wars Adventures editor Denton J. Tipton. “We are honored and excited to build upon that mythos on the shoulders of giants like Genndy Tartakovsky and Dave Filoni.”

Each issue of Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales will feature covers by Derek Charm, including spot-color retailer incentive covers. An additional Retailer Incentive variant for issue #1 will be available featuring the artwork of Michael Avon Oeming (Powers, The Mice Templar).

Check your favorite comic book store and popular digital apps, this April for order and pick up.

Short Film Find: Kenobi – A Star Wars Fan film

Kenobi – A Star Wars Fan film

  • Director: Jason Satterlund (JasonSatterlund.com
  • Writer: Rob Harmon
  • Producer: James McLean & Jamie Costa
  • Published: Dec 24, 2019
  • NOTE: This is a fan film with no official affiliation to Lucasfilm/Disney.

Synopsis: Set before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV, a New Hope, an old Jedi Knight resides on the desert planet of Tatooine. His final duty, watch over, protect a special young boy, from a distance in secret. Agents of the sinister Galactic Empire arrive, to impose their presence and scout the area. What follows, is a danger for the New Hope, perhaps forcing the Knight to reveal himself.

Personal Thoughts:

Hello there!”

I’m a sucker for anything with the Star Wars label on it. All of it stems from my love of the original movies, and then the immense amount of world-building done via the expanded universe entertainments, then the Prequel trilogy movies…which I have a love/hate relationship too. I would have almost grown tired of it since the overhyped newer movies, if not for the wonderful books, games, TV series spinoffs (huge shout out to the Clone Wars, and Rebels animated series).

But the fan films, and dedication by fans to tell Star Wars stories in their own special way, has kept the spirit of the Rebellion alive. It’s the homegrown nature of it all, that I love and feel open to surprises. Kenobi – A Star Wars Fan Film fits with that tradition, making another memorable piece of many since the days of Troops and Dark Redemption.

Actor Jamie Costa as Kenobi, surprises with a performance that have Sire Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor nod in appreciation. There shows his stoic character with gained wisdom, resorting to non-violence until the tense last minute, where he carefully weighs the stakes. The Empire, as represented here continues to show the true villainy of a fascist, oppressive regime (though a little of it feels cartoonish). There also shows the relationship between Obi-Wan and the Lars…strained and conflicted on the life of Luke, and also well-acted. All resulting in action, and tension, and that when added to the relationship of characters, is what Star Wars is half about.

The other half is cool mechanical and creature/alien designs, and related details not quote shown in Kenobi. For the elements in Kenobi, and the totalness that is the Star Wars universe is shown well with the Disney+ hit, The Mandalorian (which to me comes off as another great fan film with each episode, if I didn’t know any better).

I enjoyed this Kenobi film, especially for its pacing and build. The film directors and writers of the recent films could learn by watching this film and others, where dedication and love for the franchise could inspire better overall construction. This is a pleasant reminder, that the Force of the galaxy is strongest, with its fans.

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 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.

 

SW Captain’s Log – Yay. Pop-Culture Entertainment Hype!

SW Log Entry: Earthdate 2017.7.17.6

Captain Orion reports:

All is well and quiet for this midsummer weekend, though I hear much noise over from corporately driven pop-culture franchises. Such can not be ignored, as I can feel the energy of the collective fandoms. So, here are some personal thoughts on these…

Doctor Who (TV) – Huge fan since the 2005 revival. I am anxious for the new, recently announced 13th Doctor, portrayed by Jodie Whitaker. No longer a Time Lord, but a Time Lady (but still not ginger!). Such is exciting for this bold approach in casting, with its new showrunner (Chris Chibnall takes over after Steven Moffat). I did enjoy the last season and Peter Capaldi’s portrayal but felt much else was feeling tiresome and losing its originality. I have a good feeling the new direction and Doctor will freshen the franchise up.

Game of Thrones (TV) – So, I hear from the new season starts tonight, and many are super excited. I have yet to watch the show, and perhaps I should start soon.

Baby Driver (movie) – I recently watched Edgar Wright’s latest directed movie. It’s the best movie of the year so far. If disagree, please tell me of something better released in 2017, and I will check that out.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (movie) Still looking forward to seeing, even though the reviews are not hailing it as some perfect masterpiece.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (movie) – I like the new posters. But sadly, not feeling the excitement of the movie. Is there really much more of a story to tell here? What happens after the “Last Jedi?’ More “Wars?” I guess. As much as I enjoy space battles, I sometimes question what Star Wars is really about in the end. I hope this next movie will shed some light.

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (movie) – Sure, I guess. It’s also another hype train boosted from the recent D23 convention. I’m sure there will be some awesome action scenes and campy moments, and probably some surprises. Such would be worthwhile if only the inclusion of the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer would finally come about, and lead to a proper reboot of Marvel’s first family into the pop-culture mainstream.

Star Wars: Battlefront II (game) – I must admit, I am far more interested in the Star Wars storyline of this video game. Here, is a completely fresh look at the pivotal original trilogy end, and what it means for those in the Empire serving. The introduction and details released in a recent video detailing the Inferno Squad, reveals a look from the Empire point of view seeing the Rebels as the villain. Such is a bold take that can go anywhere, with an interesting perspective on just what the Empire was looking to accomplish beyond the selfish power-hungry desires of Emporer Palpatine. The pride and personal relationships humanize the other side, towards an ideal I loved while watching the CGI Clone Wars animated series. I hope this will get released for the PC.

Kingdom Hearts 3 (game) – It’s been about ten years since Kingdom Hearts 2, and a gazillion sub-sequels between. Is the hype still here? Not too much from me, as the gameplay presents much of the same thing, but with some new gimmicks and Toy Story now thrown in. I used to love the franchise, but this Disney/Square Enix collaboration must work harder to recapture some of that old magic.

San Diego Comic Con (event) – The grand show of gathered fandoms is almost upon us, where I will be attending. I am super excited! But, I wish some much of the consumer hype could be about the comic books, because much there on shelves and in boxes are just as deserving of your attention as all the above franchises. I will be there checking out more on the sequential art and reporting back.

Looking forward!!

“You have to be respectful of pop culture, because people interpret it in the way they want.” – Jaleel White.

PICTURE: Star Wars: Battlefront II trailer video screenshot.

Awesome Cosplay Groups from the 2017 Sakura Con

The 2017 Sakura-Con in Seattle has come and gone, over a month ago. The event was fantastic, with tens of thousands of fans in attendance.

We posted about the grand gathering, about the event, and the cosplay.

But there was more yet shown from SW, with the large group gatherings of the cosplay. Sakura-Con did well with their scheduling and app in coordinating and spreading the good word for the fan gatherings. Many gathered in short times, for lasting moments in pictures and memories. I checked out a few choice gatherings in my spare times, of which I share in the pics below.

So, here are gatherings of cosplay clusters for Attack on Titan, Neon Genesis Evangelion, DC Comics, Final Fantasy, Sailor MoonStar Wars, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, and some Nintendo Power.

 

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)

SW 2017 Emerald City Comic Con Show Report

The 2017 Emerald City Comic Convention in Seattle happened last weekend, delighting many for its 15th successful year.

I attended for my 5th consecutive year.

I spent one full day through what some say is the largest comics convention in the Pacific Northwest. That which is sad, being the comic books presence was not front and center for this year. Attending for my fifth year, I felt disappointed. Its artist alley, located on an upper floor while back issues, trades, and graphic novels sellers were held further back. The larger comic publishers (Image, Dark Horse, Valiant, Boom!, Oni) stood tall and proud, yet somewhat hidden in the mass jungle of gaming, anime, pop-culture merch and pop sci-fi art dealers and small publishers. Still, much fun for the attendees who now come to these comic conventions in search for such. I, being a comic enthusiast wished better for the struggling sequential arts industry.

Yet, there was a good presence of creative talent present, both old and new.  The great Stan Lee was present, in panels and for autographs. Most of the Image Comics founders were also present for their 25th anniversary for a panel and signings; including Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, and Jim Valentino. Sadly, no core founder Jim Lee present. Meanwhile, in Artist Alley, many familiar faces to the comics industry were also present; Tim Sale, Mike Mignola, Jeff Lemire, Mark Waid, Babs Tarr, Scott Snyder, andm more.

I was also pleased to see the growing presence of webcomics among the traditional monthly comics. Cyanide and Happiness, The Oatmeal, Agents of the Realm, Namesake, The Meek, and more were present. Such brings hope, that perhaps the comics industry will change and accept the digital frontiers. Then perhaps, learn from the new pioneers in web-coming publishing.

Drawing the bigger numbers were the pop-culture celebs, which included stars from well-known entertainment shows like Daredevil, Stranger Things, Star Trek, Walking Dead. They came, and talked, and signed many things. Such are vital to the success of the show. But, I had little time and patience for the long lines.

So, I walked around a lot and purchased much from the sellers and publishers present. Below, are some pictures and notes of my ECCC 2017 experience.

The crowds were a plenty, and so were the cosplayers. Here, many lined up for a mandatory weapon check. I feel safer already!

No convention or geek-culture pop fest is complete without some attendee dress-up. Here, are two Hobbits.

The best booths here at the ECCC involve the mix of creatives and their products. Here, the cartoonists behind the hit webcomic Cyanide and Happiness, and new hit game Joking Hazard..greeted fans and signed for a bit.

Shane White, present at the Steve Jackson booth for his work as Guest Artist for the new Munchkin Pathfinder game.

Here is Barry Kitson, a professional artist from a range of well-known Marvel and DC comics titles. He was sketching the Hero Initiative booth, a non-profit charity helping comic creators in a time of desperate need. For more info, visit www.heroinitiative.org.

I did not quite get what this costume referred to or about, but I love it!

A Green Lantern group pose, with a little extra green from a possible leprechaun photobomber.

The God of Thunder vs. the Grouch of Sesame.

Pokemon never die, they just multiply. Pickacheers!!

I met Marguerite Bennett at the Aftershock Comics booth. She is the author of one of a new favorite comic series, Animosity, of which she signed the volume 1 trade paperback in her hand.

Comic cons lately have been host to many booths of glorious fan art prints and interpretations. Mike Vasquez had his display. See more at mikegoesgeek.com

I like how this booth utilized its floor space. Check out Terry Huddleston’s work at thuddleston.deviantart.com

Part of the fun of the Comic Cons are the discoveries of new reads. Sometimes, they discover you. Here, self-publisher Travis Vengroff sold me a hardcopy of his new book, Liberty Deception. It’s a sci-fi dystopian thriller, of which I will be reading soon.

Back at the Explosm booth, where the Cyanide and Happiness crew are busy in their cartooning.

A print purchased from the great Duck and McDuck Disney family comics artist, Don Rosa.

I purchased many comics from the back issue bins. This was a favorite among them.

Later into the night, the ECCC Western Championships of Cosplay show…

There was a good mix of masterful hand-made costumes. Many cheers from the audience in return.

Overall, I had a good time at the ECCC for 2017. I spent more than I expected, but with no regrets. I also took more picture of some attendees in colorful cosplay attire. Those will be shown soon, in another posting featuring my favorites in costume as see on the show floors. Look forward!

– Orion T

(photo credits – taken March 2016 by Orion Tippens for strangerworlds.com..please ask permission and credit the site if sharing elsewhere)