SDCC 2014 Toys, Cosplay and Words!

I can’t believe just a week ago I was taking my first strides into the belly of preview night at San Diego Comic Con 2014.  As usual, there was an almost insurmountable amount of stuff to gawk at and photograph, incredible cosplay and more things I wanted to buy than what my wallet (and wife) would allow.

Here’s a handful of words about how the show treated me.

Toy wise, I actually left this year with relatively little packed away in my suitcase. I happily picked up the coveted 1000toys Prototype.. which was my #1 choice for toy exclusive this year. (Review to come) Honestly, the only other exclusive I really wanted I completely missed out on simply by virtue of failing to pick it up as soon as I walked in the door, Play Art Kai’s Metal Gear Solid Punished Snake. After seeing the full color version at Play Art’s booth, I wasn’t so bummed out as he looks a lot better painted up than the faux bronze job on the exclusive. I know I’ll be picking him up once he’s available at retail.

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SDCC 2012 Cosplay

I’ve received more emails asking me when I was going to post my SDCC 2012 Cosplay article than any other singular topic in the past six months. I answered with the claim that it’d be posted over the weekend. This past weekend. Obviously, despite my best efforts, I was unable to get it posted in the time frame I’d planned.

Well here we are, and here it is. Thank for sticking around!

The cosplay at SDCC this year blew me away. Despite seeing pics of it from past years, I wasn’t prepared for how amazing, and occasionally, how purposefully bad you guys are at doing this stuff. I’ve always somewhat admired the talent and downright guts of the individuals who throw themselves into creating and wearing these outfits year after year. Each day at SDCC I was blindsided by the crazy amount of dedication cosplayers have to their craft. Sure, some simply wore their costumes and walked around, occasionally posing for pics. But others would actually take on their role with true purpose, adding voice, poses and actions to their arsenal. I watched a rather impressive ad lib performance by a fantastic looking Joker and Harley Quinn duo. A guy in believable Batman suit was harmlessly walking by them while they were posing for some shots. Without warning they jumped into action, swirling around him and pulling out all the cackling “Joker-ish” mannerisms you could think of. The Batman, sorta went along with it, but obviously wasn’t all about throwing himself into his character as they were. A good sport all the same, and made for a few good photos.

One person who I’d say was the MOST dedicated to wearing a inconvenient costume all day long is actually someone I wasn’t able to get a shot of due to my camera’s battery being dead. She was this thin, 5 ft 6 girl, dressed as some obscure anime character. Her outfit wasn’t all that impressive from what I remember, but she carried with her a giant mace/axe/bullet/weapon that had to be at least 20 feet tall. How much would that suck to lug around all day? Golf clap, young lady, golf clap.

On to the pictures, as I know that’s all you really care about despite my tinkering with this quick prose. Due to the exorbitant amount of photos I’ve at my disposal, I’m not going to try and post them all here. I’m posting several of my favorites (though not all of them) and the rest you can check out over on our Facebook page.

Enjoy!

A big thanks to everyone who took the trouble to dress up and stop every five seconds for photos! If you see yourself here, post a comment or drop me an email!

See you next year!

Miller talks “Thoughts on Earth’s most Mightiest Heroes: The Avengers”

© Marvel Comics

It’s best not to think too much about The Avengers and just enjoy it. However, if you do start mulling the Marvel movie melange of mighty men and woman, try to think back to the early nineties. The late eighties/ early nineties was a heyday of comic book glory. Chris Claremont was writing X-Men and X-Men spinoffs. Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, and [that bastard] Rob Liefeld were wowing us with highly stylized versions of our favorite characters. Infinity Gauntlets were being formed, Atlantis was attacking, and there were Acts of Vengeance being carried out. It was the dawning of the Age of Apocalypse. We were young, hungry, and eagerly anticipating every new issue as they sold in record numbers.

© Marvel Comics

But alas, where were our young minds to turn for such quality entertainment and stimulation outside of the comic page? On TV we could satiate our rabid desire with “X-Men: The Animated Series,” but if we wanted a super hero fix on the big screen we were stuck with DC, and let’s be honest DC just isn’t Marvel. I’m not knocking Tim Burton’s “Batman.” It is an underrated classic that changed super hero movies forever, but it just wasn’t Marvel. We needed Spiderman. We needed Wolverine. We needed Steve frickin’ Rogers on the big screen and quite honestly, the handful of Marvel movies made by that point were wretched. If you did convince your Mom to rent that one dusty VHS of the Captain America movie that starred J.D. Salinger’s son, you were kindly rewinding that sucker just feeling ashamed for ever having loved Cap to begin with. It was a sad state of affairs.
So, we gave up. We grew up. We drank our first beers, tried smoking, got laid (Well, some of us anyway. I almost forgot what website I was writing this for). We stopped worrying about Wolverine on the big screen and started worrying about college, and how to make a gravity bong. Then it happened. Out of nowhere somebody turned a third tier Marvel character into a hit action movie and even though it wasn’t Spidey or Daredevil it was still a Marvel character and it was actually a decent movie. Blade, who’d a thunk it, right?
Next, came the mind-blowing cinemagasm of Bryan Singer glory called X-Men and everything just got awesome. Sure, you were at least 20, but don’t you see? Our generation never grew up for a reason. Those dum dum baby boomers came back from Nam with one mission left, coddle the crap out of your children and trip balls until you design the coolest toys, cartoons, comics, and video games the world has ever known. They still make our toys. Transformers, Care Bears, Star Wars action figures, and 80’s style G.I. Joe are still rocking the toy shelves, because they were the apex of childhood indulgence. Our generation of men keep reading comics, watching cartoons, and playing video games on our parents’ basement couches because the generation before us perfected the art of spoiling their kids, and thank the heavens for that.
Our development was just arrested enough for us to enjoy the crap out of Sam Raimi’s Spiderman, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, Bryan Singer’s X-Men, Kenneth Brannagh’s Thor, and now Joss Whedon’s Avengers. Marvel and whatever studios they are affiliated with decided to hire REAL film makers who brought us “Evil Dead,” “Swingers,” “The Usual Suspects,” a bunch of Shakespeare movies, and “Firefly” to make real good movies using what we already knew were real good characters and real good stories.

© Marvel Comics

Sure, Ang Lee’s Hulk movie was a misfire, but he bounced back with a couple of amorous cowboys and Mark Ruffalo is a great Bruce Banner. No harm no foul. Even the steaming pile that was the Daredevil movie was just a speed-bump to what is now paying off as the investment in entertainment magic beans called comic books of the late eighties and nineties that paid off with at least five genius superhero movies in the aughts and teens.
Avengers is a really fun movie, but even if you don’t like it (and you are a sad little person if you don’t), just think back to those days of the super hero cinema depression and kick yourself for not realizing just how lucky you are.
 Miller still has his entire comic book collection from when he was an 8 year bifocal sporting youngster. That was over 70 years ago. If he’d sold them 15 years ago, he could of retired a rich man. Instead, he held onto them like a scrooge. With the comic book boom well behind us, those same comics are practically worthless. Instead of retiring rich, fat and happy.. he writes for us.
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