My only regret is not buying cupcakes.
I was only able to go on Saturday, because my work schedule overlapped the convention again. I mean, I could have taken the day off, I've missed one full day and half of another in the 4+ years I've been on this job, but I figure I should save that sort of thing for more serious stuff. I know, what's more serious than a comic convention? I have strange values, alright?
Since it isn't turkey season, I was able to get in the field early and be on my way to the convention before 10, so I could drive slightly more leisurely than I did during last year's pell mell race for fun. The weather was nice, traffic was light for the first 80% of the drive, and so I arrived only slightly irritated with humanity and considerably less drained of adrenaline than last year. No wandering around in a daze in 2014!
The convention itself was excellent. Ken announced that they'd set an attendance record for the convention before Saturday was even over. When I first got there and asked how things were going, he said it was 'packed, not at capacity, but packed.' so he was pretty amped about that. I saw him again before I left and he commented that it was so crazy it was almost unmanageable, but it was manageable, so it was just awesome. So that's good. I don't know what caused the jump in attendance. The shift to March, landing Shane Davis as a guest, shifting demographics in the area, luck. No clue, but it's nice to see. I don't know if it'll ever reach that 5,000 attendees level he said he'd love to hit years ago, but growth is good.
As for me, I spent practically the first hour just wandering, scouting the tables, trying to decide where to start. I didn't buy any back issues, though my friend from work who arrived shortly after I did grabbed a bunch of Season 9 Buffy comics. I did grab a couple of comics. Chris Ebert, who drew that very nice Firestar for me in 2012, had finished the comic he'd been working on for the last few years, so I grabbed a copy of Bullet Ridden. Brian Koschak had a comic of his, The Eavesdropper Cafe that I grabbed, as well as a larger print of that "Loneliest Astronaut" picture I bought a small print of 2 years ago. Unfortunately he hasn't found anyone to pick up Back Alley Hero yet. Considering it was about a Regular Joe type trying to be a hero, I figured there'd be some interest. That seems to be popular.
The other comic I bought was Douglas Paszkiewicz' Arsenic Lullaby - The Devil's Brigade. He made a good sales pitch for its dark humor, and I do love dark humor. Sometimes. I haven't read any of them yet. I've put most all other pastimes on hold to try and get through the books my dad loans me, except he won't stop sending more books. I keep thinking I can read fast enough to get done, but no, here come more books. And then I go and buy all three parts of D.L. Moore's Night of the Dragon at the convention, so even more books. What the hell am I doing?
. . .
So yeah, the cupcakes. There were these two nice girls - one dressed as Wonder Woman in basically her current outfit, the other Rogue in her '90s cartoon style - and they had a table piled high with baked goods they were selling. I kept telling myself I was going to buy a couple of cupcakes. Then I'd get distracted, or worried about how much money I'd already spent, or just put it off and it never happened. No cupcakes for Calvin. Ah well, a valuable lesson about not hesitating to strike when the oven is hot. Because that means the cupcakes are fresh.
On the artistic front, there was a fellow doing wood engravings among other things. He had one with the Decepticon symbol. Grabbed that for Alex, plus what I think of as the Rogue Squadron symbol. It's probably the Rebel Alliance, but I know it from Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, so I'll call it what I like. I spent the greatest amount of money at the Pixel Peddler's table, where he makes what are meant to look like 8 or 16-bit representations of, well, pretty much anything. My friend grabbed a Walter White head, plus complimentary pixelated bag of meth, and a Deadpool emblem. As for me, I grabbed a Krillin early on. When I came back later, the large Rocket Raccoon was missing, so after that, all bets were off. Anything I thought I wanted, I wasn't waiting. Which is how I wound up with Sonic the Hedgehog, Knives Chau (from Scott Pilgrim), and one of the ducks from Duck Hunt. You know, Krillin is far and away my favorite Dragonball character, and I still couldn't resist having Knives give him bunny ears. Sorry, Krillin. And yes, Sonic is most of the way out of the shot on purpose. Because he's fast and impatient, obviously. I'd say that fellow was doing good business even without me, since by the end of the day I think he had more display space than things to display.
I picked up a nice Zatanna print from Michelle Delecki, who was very friendly and energetic, which simultaneously makes me feel welcome, but also desperately wishing for Alex to be around. He's much better at being equally energetic around people he doesn't know, where as I shift to shy and reserved. This year's New Warriors sketch was Silhouette, as drawn by Nathan Rice. So I'm officially halfway through my "commission sketches of all the Nicieza/Bagley New Warriors" project! Only Night Thrasher, Rage, Marvel Boy, and Namorita still to go! Whoo! At this rate, I'll only need like 4 more years! On the positive side, that means I still have plenty of time to figure out what the next project would be.
I left before the costume contest, because a) I hadn't eaten that day, and b) I wanted to finish the drive back into the boonies before twilight, which is when all the idiot deer start running around. My friend informs me the winner was someone in a Man-Thing costume. I didn't get to see that guy before I left, but it was suggested they probably only wore it for as long as they had to. Understandable. I did see quite a few good costumes, including an entire family done up as the Fantastic Four, Nobody was dressed as the Thing, they just all had the classic blue with white gloves and boots outfits, but they were good. There was a Hawkman and Hawkgirl (Hawkwoman?) couple, more than a couple of the Doctor (including one boy wearing a fez and carrying a mop, which I assume is a story point).
I only took a few pictures, and then I almost wrecked them last night trying to get them to a reasonable size. I thought the whole image was being shrunk, but it was actually just cropping them to show only a portion equal to the dimensions I specified. Avoided wrecking any convention photos, but I did lose the three of the local friendly dog, and the two of that geodetic survey azimuth marker my dad found in the corner of a field. There was a excellent Indiana Jones, but I figured I'd share the Ash photo. Hail to the King and all that. I understand that it's polite and proper to ask to take photos, and it probably ensures the best view of the costume. I still kind of prefer taking more natural photos. My favorite convention picture might be the '07 Cape-Con one of the Stormtrooper just chilling, leaning against the railing. I think it's the disconnect between the normalcy of the action and the appearance of who is doing it.
That was my Saturday. A fine time had by all.