Holy Ginormous Gathering of Geekery, Batman!

…or, Jarret’s ComicCon 2009 report.

ComicCon (formally known as the Central Canada Comic Con, or C4, clicky) has grown leaps and bounds the last few years, exploding out of the confines of the tiny Victoria Inn and onto the vast expanses of the Convention Center’s entire second floor.

Much like last year’s ComicCon (clicky) the place was chock-a-block full of games, toys, demonstrations, artists, cars, and being that it was also Halloween, that meant scores of superheroes, video game characters, and villains – or at least everyday Joe’s dressed up as those types of individuals – walking through the Convention Centre in all their geeky glory.

And here I am… having totally forgotten to wear my Christopher Reeve Foundation Superman dog tag. I’m such a superstar.

ComicCon is FULL of everything a geek could want. There’s action figures, sports memorabilia, books, comics, swords, clothes, the industry’s artists manning the floor signing autographs and doing sketches, television and movie stars doing the same thing (well, none of them did any sketches that I know of), famous movie props, live demonstrations, board and video game tournaments and demos, and more.

Basically, being there is like having died and gone to Geek Heaven.

So let’s start off with the costumes.

Note: All pics link to bigger versions.

First up, we had a great Doctor Octopus from Spiderman lore, and a second picture of Doc with a young lady dressed up as Storm:

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There was also a tremendous Scarecrow, from the Batman series:

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And keeping with the Batman theme, there were plenty of The Dark Knight, and various other characters from the show (with Spiderman thrown in a fight sequence for good measure):

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The best costume of the show was this young man carrying his own head around (sorry for the blurriness), and an honorable mention goes to Pac-Man:

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Two of the major attractions of ComicCon this year were for the vehicles. We had the pleasure of seeing the Batmobile from the original television series, and a restored Echto-1 from the Ghostbusters film series.

Echto-1:

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The Batmobile:

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Also, there was a gentlemen there with custom art on this motorcycle… oh my… this was some of the absolute best stuff I’ve ever seen.

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And what would ComicCon be without the celebrities? Every year, C4 brings in many stars from the world of television, movies, pro-wrestling, as well artists from the Geekdom.

This year, we had the pleasure of meeting Alex Milne, who, if you’re a Transformers nerd like I am, this guy worked on several Transformers comic lines, and did the movie adaptation of the 2007 movie.

I bought a couple of his prints, and he also did a custom colored headshot sketch of G1 Optimus Prime. My very own! It’s AMAZING!

Here’s a shot of Alex signing my prints:

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And here’s a shot of the Optimus Prime he did for me!

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This year, celebrities included Peter Mayhew, the man in the Chewbacca costume in the Star Wars movies:

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We also got a shot of Julie Newmar, who was Catwoman on the original Batman:

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And here’s a shot of Steph and I with the Mayor of Quahog, the original Batman HISSELF: ADAM WEST!

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An additional to all the glitz and glamour, C4 is also a gigantic retail space for vendors of all kinds, selling their geeky wares. I try to score a special Transformer this year, and boy did I ever score this year: A Takara Masterpiece Megatron!

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Another huge success this year, and I can’t wait to see what they do next year!

Dancing With The Stars

Well, ok… that post title may be a *little* bit misleading.

You see, I don’t dance a damned lick.

BUT, this post is all about the stars.

Today was Day 1 of the Manitoba ComicCon (clicky), and I gotta tell ya, it was a star-studded afair to be sure. There were tons of tv and movie stars known all over geekdom, and the people came out in droves to see them.

So, donning my Christopher Reeve Foundation dogtag, Stephanie and I braved the crowds to meet our favorites and peruse the merchandise.

The list of guests is on the site, but just to name a few: Smallville’s Justin Hartley and Erica Durance (Green Arrow and Lois Lane, respectively), Lou Ferrigno (the Original Incredible Hulk), John DeLancie (Q on Star Trek: TNG), Helen Slater (Supergirl), among many others. The ComicCon crew did a fantastic job of assembling a fine cast to grace us this year.

But before we get on with the stars (okay, I lied… this post isn’t ALL about the stars), the GeekDom was out in full force. With any kind of GeekCon, you have to expect that there’ll be people dressed up as their favorite actor/actress/tv show rep/alien/furry creature, and today surely didn’t disappoint. There were Jedi’s, superheroes of all sorts, video game characters, and fuzzy beings of all shapes and sizes. Take a look at some of these pictures that we took, and click on them for a bigger image:

Random Fuzzy Creature:

Indiana Jones

Halo’s Master Chief

We also saw a really hot girl (well, her body, anyways) in a black Spiderman suit, a girl dressed up as Wonder Woman, many Batman outfits, Jedi’s, Bobba Fett, and all kinds.

Did I say there were celebrites? Of course I did.

Our friends Angie and Karen joined us at ComicCon, and Angie is a gigantic Hulk fan, so she was there to see big Lou Ferrigno. The guy is still massive and looks like he hasn’t changed in 20 years. He has arms the size of my legs (well, almost). Did I say he was huge?

Here’s a pic of Lou at the autograph table:

Stephanie and I got to meet John DeLancie, who was AWESOME in his recurring role as “Q” on Star Trek: TNG. He was often the best part of the show, and he played his character very well. In person, he seemed a little eccentric – he made everyone wait while he gobbled down some yogurt, lol.

Our friend Karen, besides being a Star Trek geek, is also a monster Stargate fan, so we got a shot of her with Stargate star (that’s a lot of star in this sentence) David Palffy:

Now, on to the two big reasons we were starstruck today. Steph and I are big time Smallville fans (I’m a glutton for anything Superman, and it’s a great show), and ComicCon featured two of the show’s stars – Green Arrow and Lois Lane.

One thing I have to say… even though there was a huge line up, Justin Hartley (Green Arrow) is very personable guy. Seems very down to earth and guy-next-door. He had a big shiner under his left eye, and he took time to tell us the story of how he got the shiner working on a stunt on the show. Top-notch guy, and I’m glad we got to meet him. We were going to leave, and then Steph said we should go see him. Good call, hon. Here’s a pic of us with him:

Steph thinks he’s dreamy – black eye and all. ;)

The main reason I wanted to go today was to see Erica Durance. If Steph can think that Justin Hartley is dreamy, then I can think that Erica is smoking hot. And, I gotta say, she’s much better looking in person as compared to the show – and she’s AMAZING on the show. We got to talk for a couple moments, and one thing that struck me is that she’s a lot smaller in person than she seems on the show. She’s actually tiny. Did I say she was smoking hot? Here’s a pic of us with her:

We’ve got others, but then this post would be incredibly long, if it wasn’t already.

Did I mention Erica is hot?

And finally, we go to ComicCon for the merchandise. Steph dabbles in Star Wars, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, but she usually doesn’t buy anything unless she finds something really cool. This year, she didn’t buy anything, but came away with a really cool shot of her and a Yoda statue:

And for me, I always try to make one special Transformers purchase every year. This year, I made a HUGE score, with a boxed Japanese Masterpiece Skywarp! He was always my favorite of the Decepticon jets. Here’s a couple pics of the box:

So there you have it, ComicCon 2008. I’d say it was a huge success, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year. If you’re into any kind of video game, comic, movie, toy… I suggest you take this in if you can.

Good times.

And no dancing involved.

And That’s Why It’s Good To Be…

*raises an eyebrow*

…Me.

No, this post isn’t about how fabulous and awesome I am – I’ll save that for a later date.

This post is a quick note about celebrated author, marketing tycoon, and businessman extraordinaire. Did I also mention he’s the front man for rock icons KISS?

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That’s right. Good ol’ Gene Simmons.

I was never really much of a KISS fan. Aside from my days as a youngster, where I really liked the song Crazy Nights, and sang with it repeatedly at high volumes during bath times. Too much information, I know. But it’s true. It’s damn true.

So, any time I heard the name Gene Simmons, I just put two and two together, and arriving at six, all I did was think “Oh, Gene Simmons. He’s in KISS. They suck. Therefore, he sucks.”

Brilliant, I know.

However, recently, my wife and I have been watching Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels on television, and while at first, I was like “Oh, Gene Simmons,” I’ve really come to enjoy the show, and perhaps more importantly, change my opinion of Gene Simmons.

The man has an ungodly work ethic. He’ll stop at nothing to get the next business deal done or to make the next million dollars. He writes books. He’s helping his kids. And he puts up with Shannon Tweed. My word, the man’s a freaking machine.

He can still sing, too. I never thought he was horrible, but just not great, but at close to 60, the guy still sounds really good.

And the big thing is, behind that whole macho, rock star exterior, Gene Simmons is really just a guy that loves his family, wants them to have the best, and works hard to make sure they do well in school and be prepared for life. He’s a good dad.

He’s really a cool guy.

The whole family’s funny. Slightly dysfunctional, but hilarious. I really get a kick out of this show, and I’m happy that I’ve had the chance to have my opinion of Gene Simmons changed. I’ve gained a new respect for the man.

Good on ya, Gene. Well done.

See? A leopard CAN change his spots.

Until next time.

More Than Meets The Eye

Held on the past weekend in Winnipeg, it’s the 2006 Manitoba ComicCon. I won GOLD passes from the radio, so it’s free admission, plus I got to go in 30 minutes before anyone else did. There’s tons of shit there – thousands of comics, all kinds of Star Wars, Star Trek, multitudes of other action and sports figures, and comic artists showing off their stuff. I of course went for the Transformers, and I picked up some good stuff…

Slugfest Cassette: (my wife actually bought this for herself):

Titanium Jetfire:

Titanium Optimus Prime:

Classics Optimus Prime:

And the score of the day: a 100% complete Metroplex

I ALMOST bought a boxed, complete Fortress Maximus, but I couldn’t part with the $500. I will be back next year though, and that sucker’s going to be mine. MINE!! I just wish I had a money tree growing in my backyard, cause there was all kinds of great stuff there.

Ah, there’s always next year.