It’s Memorial Day weekend, which also means it’s Comicpalooza weekend (in Houston, at least) and…well, I’m sure you can figure out the rest.
Comicpalooza is Houston’s “Big Con,” and it’s only getting bigger and bigger. It’s kind of fun to see how the city is pushing Comicpalooza- it’s been all over the news, and even those freeway signs that give you traffic updates are giving out directions on how to get to the convention center. Neat stuff!
Comicpalooza has expanded to go from Friday through Monday…but, my schedule being what it is, I was only able to make it on Sunday. Suppose that makes this a quarter-ass con report, instead of a half-assed one. Or something. Still, while I know I missed a LOT, I certainly had a good time of it, and now I get to tell you guys!
I decided to change things up a little this year, in that I actually did the cosplay thing. Oooo. Of course, me being the nerd I am, I went really deep in terms of cosplay nerd shit, to the point where I pretty much didn’t expect anyone to know who I was supposed to be. And, uh, for the most part, they didn’t. I mean, ‘humanized version of an already obscure transformers character’ is pretty out there, but I at least like to think I did it well. Shame I won’t be able to make it to BotCon this year. People would’ve got it there.
Funnily enough, while barely anyone recognized the character, people freaking loved that Decepticon bolo-tie. To the point where, while nobody wanted pictures of me, some kid specifically zoomed in and took a picture of the tie. Go figure.
Then again, when you’re surrounded by Steampunk Links and Sailor Thors, a full cast of Homestuck trolls, and some guy dressed like Deadpool dressed in a banana costume (pretty sure that last part was probably canon), I suppose there’s room for pretty much everything. I snapped a few pictures here and there, but just with my phone camera, so most of them came out pretty shitty. Next time, I’ll have to bring a real camera (and if I dress up like a Decepticon again, I’ll tell everybody it’s Reflector). There was a really good Red Skull I should’ve gotten a picture of, along with a Sprite from X-men, and probably a bunch of others, too.
In any case, snappily attired, I roamed about- I went to some writing panels, which were pretty interesting. One of the more interesting ones I made it to was by Matt Hawkins of Top Cow, giving a pretty interesting panel on writing for comics. He went into some real nuts and bolts kind of stuff on the production and promotion of comics (and when to buy editors drinks), which was really interesting. I didn’t have the opportunity to buy Matt Hawkins a beer, unfortunately, but hey, there’s always next year.
The real highlight of the con was getting to see Kevin Eastman’s panel. Kevin Eastman, of course, being one half of ‘Eastman and Laird,’ the guys who created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, back in the 80’s. His panel was pretty straightforward; Eastman went over the history of the franchise, showed some sketches and stuff from the original dawning of the TMNT, and talked about some of his favorite comics as a kid (he’s a huge Kamandi fan, which really isn’t that surprising once you think about it).
Really, one of the best things about the Eastman panel was the fact there were a bunch of kids there. I’ve heard good things about the Nickelodeon TMNT cartoon- it’s certainly better than the original run (though that’s not very hard). Seeing all those young faces was a nice reminder that comic books aren’t just for nerdy adults; that there’s a current generation of up and coming nerds who have years of fun nerdery ahead of them, and decades of material to catch up on when they’re older.
After doing the panel thing, I roamed around a bit, people-watching and soaking in the dealer’s room. Though as I get older, I find I have less and less interest in a lot of what’s on sale…I imagine this stems from the sad fact that I have limited shelf space. I’m sure I could find some more shelving somewhere in the buyer’s room, but that’s a little hard to lug around the ‘con. But after awhile, once you’ve seen one collectible booth, you’ve seen them all. The inventory varies from booth to booth, but the experience is still the same. Which, admittedly, can be a pretty good experience- I’m just not the wide-eyed youth I used to be. Proooobably didn’t help that a lot of the stuff that really caught my eye was a bit pricey. I mean, I could drop two hundred bucks on a mostly complete G1 Predaking…but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Likewise, I saw a Generations Windblade going for $25…but then I remembered she’d been going for like $10 someplace online (which would require me to get ambitious and put in an online order, which isn’t quite as fun).
I didn’t walk away empty handed, though. I happened across one random guy in a corner of the dealer’s room with some Classics Transformers I haven’t gotten yet, so that’s a bonus. Still looking to get my paws on a Generations Cosmos, though- I may just suck it up and order him online one of these days.
I could’ve done more at Comicpalooza, but I’ve had a busy weekend (went to a show on Friday, did LARP nerd stuff on Friday), and it finally began to catch up with me in the late afternoon. Probably didn’t help that I hadn’t eaten since breakfast…and yet I wasn’t quite hungry enough to drop fifteen bucks on a convention center sandwich.
Really, one of these days, I’d love to do Comicpalooza proper- get a room in the adjoining hotel for a night or two, and use that as a base of operations for naps/showers/loot storage as needed. Of course, if I’m there for two or three days, I might have to think up of some other obscure characters to dress up as.
Characters in bolo ties.