I finally did it! (No, not that IT! Surprisingly enough, I’ve done that… a long, long time ago… in a relationship far far away.)
I digress. What I’m actually referring to my fellow dirty-minded geeks and outlaws, is that I finally attended my first ComicCon (a.k.a: A ‘comic convention’ to those that don’t keep action figures in their original containers under the guard of the Navy Seals Team 6.)
I attended the WonderCon in Anaheim on Friday with my best nerd friend and fellow blogger, Hot Nerd Girl. Her Momma Jedi and sister-in-law, Troi “Come to the Dark-Side” Doering also joined the festivities. Hot Nerd Girl has attended a few of these gatherings before, including the WonderCon of 2002 when it was held back in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the convention center there needed some upgrades to handle the space needed for all those whom decided to wear life-size Jabba costumes. Alas, Orange Country was voted upon as the back-up holding center for this year’s event.
Before I ramble on like a school boy destined to be single his entire life and provide you with my overall thoughts on the event, I’m just going to get right into it and tell the story of my incredible day in pictures… and a limited amount of text.
I knew the day was going to be a special one when I noticed this personalized plate on my way down to Orange County.
After meeting for a quick bite to eat and shot of Vodka (self-provided) at Subway, we finally found our way into the ballroom to start our day… that is only after successfully making our way through the weapons checkpoint. I was OK with it though since you never know which wise guy is going to show up with an actual usable version of Thor’s Hammer or a working double-bladed light-saber.
Upon entering the main event hall, sensory overload ensues. The first thing you notice is the fort-like structure made entirely of nerd shirts that towers over the entire floor like the Eye of Sauron.
However, because I can spot a ‘No Ghost’ logo from over 75 miles away, literally the very first thing I noticed was this little gem at the IDW comics booth at the entrance…
One of the first interactive things we decided on as a group was to get some pictures with Captain America‘s infamous shield in front of an Avengers movie poster that might have problems fitting on the side of the Sears tower. While I’m no body builder, I do pride myself on hitting the weights at the gym. However, when I was handed the shield, I’ll admit that the weight of the thing surprised me a bit. Let it be known that when geeks build replicas, they don’t mess around.
Not much later, Hot Nerd Girl’s thirst for another photo shoot led us to the DC “We can be Heroes” booth. “We Can be Heroes” is a campaign set up by DC to take donations for those starving in the horn of Africa. While it is no doubt a great cause, it was also a nice reminder that nerds and geeks truly do care about the less fortunate… specifically the ones that live in our own universe and reality. (Go here to donate.) Somehow the printer knew I was Jewish and gave me 15 free pictures for the price of one (Free).
Of course, it wouldn’t be a convention without vendors selling almost every type of toy, costume, prop, poster, or piece of artwork imaginable under the Romulan sun – referred to by the maintenance staff as florescent lighting. It’s enough to make any geeks wallet explode in pure excitement. All that money I’ve saved on any past (or future) dating was definitely trying to burn a hole in my jeans.
The one major purchase I made for myself was a piece of artwork that caught my eye by Robert Luedke (BobTheArtist.com). To describe it, I would say it was a beautiful take on the old Uncle Sam recruitment posters of 1812 re-imagined with one of the most beloved pop culture characters and best comedies of our time. I’ll let the picture speak for itself:
It was mine the second I laid eyes on it…
Another artist that also left a great impression on me (along with Hot Nerd Girl) was Gerimi Burleigh. For starters, this quite literally the nicest – and seemingly most normal – guy in the whole convention center, his latest comic called Morningstar is a western-themed take on the devil before he was the devil. I plan on contacting him soon to do an interview/review after I finish taking a good hard look at issue #1. I’m truly hoping it’s good because not only would I love to get into a new western-themed sci-fi comic, but he signed my very first issue so I’m hoping for the sake of my finances and his, he is the second-coming of our lord and savior… Mr. Stan Lee.
Speaking of art, Hot Nerd Girl got her sketch done by the graphic guru behind ‘Artist J’, whom is actually a real life person who combines the world of comics with her music. It’s a great concept which I found intriguing, not to mention the Wonder Woman costume she was wearing didn’t hurt her cause either.
As I’ve heard and seen from pictures, comic conventions are now know for something called ‘cosplay’. Cosplay originally came from the Japanese concept of ‘how to remain a virgin’; however, it has since evolved and hit American shores, but is short for ‘costume play’. If you believe Wiki, it’s defined as performance art (HA HA!) where people dress up as famous fictional characters for the sole purpose of trying to get a discount at the concession stand. I’m partially teasing – although I think the virgin part is true – seeing as I, too, donned a costume to get into the spirit of things. Although technically I’d argue, Geek Outlaw is neither famous nor fictional so for all intents and purposes, I dressed up like an idiot no one has heard of… myself! At least the OCWeekly.com was intrigued enough to feature me on their website… for all three of their readers.
Here are some of the best costumes from the show:
Of course I had to get some face time in with the robot population:
Hot Nerd Girl brought this gentleman and Star Trek Enterprise alum to my attention, and she basically turned into a pile of transporter mush in the process. Seriously, one of the nicest guys at the convention as well. What can I say, Hot Nerd Girl and I were smitten.
On the subject of humans in red and blue suits, apparently no ComicCon is complete without attending at least one information panel. The first one we attended was a Spider-Man comic panel which offered up some intriguing concepts, including “Spider-Men” which promised to blow everyone’s minds by hinting at – get this – multiple Spider-Men in the same comic. Jokes aside, I’m actually intrigued! The biggest news to me was the announcement that this year celebrates Spidey’s 50th anniversary. (Thus the release of the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man.) Being the web crawler is literally my favorite superhero in tights, the announcement made me feel very excited and very old.
The second panel we visited was for a new YouTube channel called the Nerdist, which is the brainchild of Chris Hardwick. (Web Soup, Talking Dead). Weird Al Yankovic and Neil Patrick Harris have some shows that look to be interesting. The panel was actually very entertaining and quite crude in the language department, but that just made it genuinely enjoyable. Chris’ message about how passionate we are about the things we really love made the experience worth it… as did the hot blonde on the panel (whose name rightly escapes me) whom confessed she gets really friendly with EVERYONE, including her fans, after a few drinks.
The only really rough part of the entire experience was actually having to sit through the WB presentation of a TV show called The Secret Circle. The only thing that seems remotely secretive about this show was that apparently i’s been on TV since last September (2011), and no one in the audience seemed to have heard of it. Based on the crowd’s reaction of laughing at everything that wasn’t supposed to be laughed at… if I was a betting man – well, a REAL betting man – I would wager this series will last about as long as the six-month marathon that was Rosie O’ Donnell’s attempt at a talk show on the Oprah channel. (Seriously, what’s next, a Trump channel?)
So what do I have to say for myself after having my first ComicCon under my belt? Bring on the San Diego ComicCon! Which if you have just joined the Geekdom recently, is the grand daddy of all comic book conventions. GeekOutlaw will be in attendance for three whole days of that one along with Hot Nerd Girl and an even bigger crew.
I will also be bringing my mosey with me…