Last year, I went to my first ever convention: the Alamo City Comic-Con. I got to meet plenty of fellow dorks, famous faces, and spend way too much money. It was such a wonderful social experience and to say that it was life-affirming would be an understatement.
Even now, though, the con is still in it's early stages of development. Just 3 or so years running. However, in just that short time, it's grown to be amongst the most popular of comic conventions in the country, entertaining a whopping 75,000+ in 2014. This year was hoping to see nearly 100,000 attendees and I would not be surprised to see them reach that once the statistics are in order.
Just as I had planned since the end of last year's, I went again this year. While my ambitions to go two whole days didn't quite pan out, my Friday outing was more than enough. In some ways, it was even better than before!
Just like my first visit, it made me feel awesome that I was as huge a nerd as I was.
Drowning yourself in geek culture is no longer merely escapism or for the pleasure of you and some local friends, it's fuel for one of the most thrilling aspects of geek life: the modern comic convention. Nowadays, everyone goes to them. Not just the dedicated, but the casuals. Video games, superheroes, collector's items, etc. are fast becoming the norm, which means your adult conversation about your love of Transformers or Pokemon is becoming less and less likely to get you scolded for being "childish".
Now that we're all comfortable with eachother, we can admit that Deadpool is pretty rad and that Star Wars used to be cool but might be cool again come Episode VII.
Combining a love for all mediums and what is essentially a stageplay, I cannot recommend going to one of these things enough. I literally cannot. It's all I think about days before, during, and days after the fact. The people I met, the stars I shoke hands with, the awesome concessions, the conversations that I had, and not to mention I've probably spent an accumulated time of at least an hour looking through my phone at all the pictures I took.
Smoothpool signaled Spider-Griffin over for a fanfic proposition. I wonder how that is going to turn out?
That's a damn fine vehicle.
I hope Mecha-Link has a butt flap because that is hawt.
I sort of really like cosplays like this. Where it's not a 1:1 recreation of the character, it's cheap, and the cosplayer is forced to get creative.
Sort of like down on his luck Batman! He was also here last time and it was just as good now. I think he's even gained a bit of muscle, so things might be looking up!
This picture doesn't do her justice. Korra was especially impressive.
Something I didn't do last year that I made an effort to do this year was talk with more of the artists, whether in passing by or in having a conversation with them whilst browsing their wares.
One particular artist that I was looking forward to seeing was Matt Frank, the man behind much of the Godzilla comics of the last 5 years. I had never actually bought or even seen a single Godzilla comic, but I do love the Godzilla films. Or, at least I did love them when I was much younger. Destroyah was my favorite beast because he was literally like out of the mind of a very talented and slightly warped 13-year old. Naturally, it spoke to me and I still love him as a child at heart.
So, I asked if Matt had any singular pieces featuring the giant devil unicorn lizard. He had none but an entire volume featuring the likes of not only Destroyah, but Biollante, Anguirus, and, of course, MechaGodzilla. I didn't see any SpaceGodzilla, though. I told him that that sucked and he agreed. As a consolation, he drew me a chibi Destroyah next to his signature! It's kind of adorable.
The man himself was lovely. Very social and friendly. Definitely a good dudeman. He also convinced me to give Pacific Rim a watch after I confused Azure Defiant for a rebooted Jet Jaguar.
Abe Lopez was the best, though. Not just for the surprise Cagebomb or his flattering signature, but his art was spectacular! Creative, fun, and very expressive. Way more impressive than those that were just marking over established shots and selling it as their own or those that went for striking realism. Life needs a bit of personality and this guy's work had it in spades.
Yeah. He's a real big fan of Harley + Joker.
Most surprising was that a lot of the higher quality prints like his were no more than 20 dollars. Some absolutely incredible ones were even as cheap as 10!
Such as this absolutely amazing Splatfest piece that I got from some place I wish I could remember the name of. I don't know if I'm going to frame it or even hang it up, but I will at least be keeping it safe in some way. If you can find the source, go and give it a slap of your wallet if Splatoon is your digs.
Had to support ma waifu. It's getting framed alongside my Zelda X Ganon piece that I got from last year's con.
Yes. I actually did buy that Fallout: Equestria piece. Because it was cute. And because these guys were actually pretty damn awesome.
Despite their chosen passion and the fanbase's stigma, the one on the left was the most well-spoken, enthusiastic, and friendly person I met at the convention. We even had a minute or two-long conversation about the extensiveness of this actually real-as-the-stank-on-your-bum fanfiction of the same name. It's supposedly, in their own words, the size of several Harry Potter novels.
Willickers. What an... interesting group of people. I kind of wanna love them.
Marcus Fenix from GEARS OF CHUFFING WAR!
These are some skinny motherfuckers!
Catching Smoothpool again as he walks by. I also met up with him a third time at the bus stop as he was calling for his ride and completely out of character. He should be ashamed.
There was a surprising amount of female Starlords. Go figure.
I couldn't help but sing Come And Get Your Love for at least several minutes after meeting each one.
I asked him to do the nut punch and he... almost nailed it!
Another splendidly creative cosplay!
A SPITTING image of Devito's portrayal of the Penguin. All he's missing is the gut. A top 5 cosplay for sure.
I can't help but sqweal a bit on the inside whenever I see this picture. I always gravitate towards his tummy and think "I wanna poke it.". Such an adorable scamp.
Here coooomes the Crimson Chiiiiiin!
No rest for our heroes, even in the food court!
I really fucking love Freeze's googles. I want me a pair ASAP.
Me and a lady Wonka. She even gave me a chocolate!
"Step up, bitch!"
Props to her make-up. It's not perfect, but I know it can be monotonous putting that shit on. Just my eye make-up from last year was a pain.
There were plenty of awesome cosplays I captured, but posting literally every one would overload your 56K modem. So, I'll begin jumping into the final segment: the stars!
Above, we have Judith Hoag. She was the live-action April O'Neil and still is such a beaut!
Not only that, but she was surprisingly social. I'm not used to the big wigs being the ones that talk the most. She and last year's Troy Baker stick out in my memory for the same reasons. They clearly love their fans and will even indulge the most quiet of people. We even talked about career paths and what I should do should I choose to pursue one or the other.
Eventually, I wasn't so caught off-guard by her forwardness and I ended up loving getting a chance to meet her. She was an awesome surprise!
This is Franchois Chau, known to most as the live-action Shredder, Dr. Chang from LOST, and as someone with a pretty hard to pronounce name.
He was a rather straightforward experience. With that said, very nice, formal, polite, etc. Generally really liked meeting him! Made me wanna rewatch LOST like I've been meaning to for some time.
Like with Judith, I had him sign my Secret of the Ooze blu-ray.
Mathematical! It's Jeremy Shada! Otherwise known as Finn from Adventure Time. Another pleasant experience. I only wish John DiMaggio (Jake) was there as well. Oh man, that would've been perfect.
I mean, all things considered, it was wonderful. But, despite Jeremy's experience outside Adventure Time, DiMaggio has plenty more than just that which I personally appreciate. Bender from Futurama, Marcus Fenix from Gears of War, and tons of other smaller roles.
Polly was the most amazing little lady. She wasn't even listed as being there! I lost my shit just a tad when I peeped her set up next to Jeremy.
Lemme tell you guys, she is not just the voice behind Tree Trunks. No. She is literally Tree Trunks. Her voice, her speech, her mannerisms, her personality, everything. It was like talking to Tree Trunks. Incredibly surreal. Just as wholesome, happy, and sweet. The most wonderful lady. I wish I could've gone back the next day to meet her again.
She also had some words for my cosplay. "Well, you look just lovely!". For some reason, she thought I was from somewhere more akin to New York rather than deep South Texas. "I just don't believe that!", she remarked as I cleared things up. Somebody wanna fill me in? Maybe it was some vague generalization that I don't understand, heh.
I can't help but put on a big smile whenever I think about my time with her.
Poor thing wasn't looking at the camera, though. Couldn't muster up the nerve to ask her again. I didn't want to disappoint her in any way.
Because I love you guys almost as much as a bacon breakfast with a side of fresh orange juice, I gathered up some video footage as well! Enjoy it and make sure to stick around until the end for a personal request I gave to the ocarina dude from the beginning.
Alamo City Comic-Con was a stupendous time. Even if the star attraction, Ron Perlman, wasn't there on Friday. Neither was Michael Rooker, who I reeeeally wanted to have give me a hardy "MERLENDERL!" after signing my Guardians of the Galaxy blu-ray.
I can hardly wait for PAX South!