San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (Part 1) – Panels and Floor

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Comic-Con!!!

Geek Mecca!

Or as the insightful and witty Dennis Calero dubbed it – Nerdi Gra!

There’s too much for one post so I’m breaking it up into a three-part wrap-up. This first one will have the Panels and the Floor. The second and third posts will have the cosplay and the outside stuff including, the Outlander premier, the Joss Whedon Nerd HQ panel, the Norman Reedus/Greg Nicotero judged cosplay contest at the Courtyard Marriott, and miscellaneous Shenanigans.

Let’s get started with the cosplaying I did. My friend and HNG Podcast cohost Darcy and I decided to coordinate so on Thursday I dressed up as Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Darcy dressed up as my Groupie. He even made a custom shirt with my face on it! Which was equal parts weird and awesome. AND we won our category in a costume contest! (more on that later)

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On Friday I slapped on my tried and true Captain Mal costume, and Darcy dressed up as Jayne “The Hero of Canton” Cobb from Firefly.

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PANELS!

I completely skipped Hall H this year. I had originally planned to camp out on Friday night for the Saturday Marvel panel, but Mama Jedi and I were scheduled to attend the Outlander premier and, what with the new wristband system, it just didn’t work out. To be honest, I’m not that bummed about it. Besides, I got to see some really great panels sans stress so I’m a happy (non) camper. Here’s a funny picture of Mama Jedi and Darcy waiting in line for the first panel of the day on Thursday morning.

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Well played, Darcy. Well played.

The Legacy and Return of Battlestar Galactica

Panelists: Richard Hatch, Jamie Bamber, Dr. Kevin Grazier, Luciana Carro, Alec Peters

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Jamie Bamber ended up missing this panel, unfortunately. Something about being late and stuck in traffic, I dunno, I can’t remember. They were hopeful he’d show up during the panel and he didn’t, so whatever. They talked about the differences between the old show and the reboot and wanted to know our ideas for a Battlestar Galactica movie – except that the writers and producers didn’t really want to know our ideas which they made pretty obvious pretty quickly. Richard Hatch obviously loves the fans and HE really wanted to know what the fans wanted. What did the fans want? To bitch. We did get to see a trailer for Hatch’s next project, Star Trek: Axanar which looked quite interesting. To be honest, what I remember most about this panel was that I chugged a giant bottle of Starbucks Refreshers and a 5 Hour Energy right before the panel started and I had to pee really bad about halfway through.

Sharknado 2: The Second One

Panelists: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Kari Wuhrer, Judah Friedlander, Anthony C. Ferrante

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I have never seen Sharknado and I didn’t watch Sharknado 2 when it debuted on SyFy this past week either. I was forced to sit through this panel in order to get a good seat for the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along immediately following. As you can see, Tara Reid and Kari Wuhrer (I don’t know who that is) were missing even though I saw them in later SDCC pictures with the rest of the cast. The best part about this panel was that Darcy and I had just partaken in a few “Thor’s Hammer(ed)” cocktails over at the Top of the Hyatt bar immediately beforehand and were pretty buzzed. The drunkenness helped make this panel pretty awesome, actually.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along

Presented by the California Browncoats

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Darcy and I were getting really into our Captain Hammer and Groupie characters, so we decided to go to the annual Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along. I’ve always wanted to go and we were celebrating Darcy’s birthday belatedly so we thought it would be a fun way to kick off the festivities. Turns out they do a costume contest beforehand and, fueled by the previously mentioned alcohol and the encouragement of my Podthingy cohost, author John Mulhall, I nutted up and joined in the fun with Darcy as my Groupie “prop.” A California Browncoat chose three cosplayers for each category (Dr. Horrible, Captain Hammer, Penny, Other) and I was one of the three chosen for Captain Hammer (there were a lot of us including two other girls). Despite the fact that my heart was beating about a million miles per minute and my knees were shaking, my old theatre training kicked in and I fell right into character. You can’t tell from the above pictures, but I spouted lines, I gestured, I rallied the crowd – all kinds of fun stuff. And I won the Captain Hammer contest! W00t! Next was the Best In Show and, despite my best efforts, my arch nemesis, Dr. Horrible won. But afterwards I choked him to the ground so, you know, it worked out. Turns out that I was so entertaining that John completely forgot to take pictures! Thankfully, fellow audience member Fred took the above pictures with his cell phone and emailed them to me. Thanks, Fred!! I then took Darcy out for birthday shenanigans. More on that in the second post.

Outlander

Panelists: Ronald D. Moore, Diana Gabaldon, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish, Lotte Verbeek

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On Friday I got there early to wait in line for Room 6A and was treated to an awesome SCA demonstration. I think that SDCC would be way more awesome if every wait in line had one of these. One of the main reasons why I waited in line was to catch the Outlander panel since I’ve read and am a big fan of the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon (I got Mama Jedi hooked on them as well) and would be attending the premier later that evening. I’ll talk more about Outlander in the second SDCC post when I do the coverage of the premier, handsome men in kilts, etc.

A&E Bates Motel

Panelists: Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell, Kenny Johnson

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Sadly, I don’t watch Bates Motel, but after seeing the panel, I definitely want to! They did a hilarious “audition video” montage that had me in stitches. We also got to see clips from the show dubbed in Spanish by Freddie Highmore (who just graduated with highest honors from Cambridge). Kenny Johnson was a surprise guest and it was revealed that his character, Caleb, would be a regular this next season. Turns out he’s a former pro-arm wrestler and we got to see him throw down with some audience members.

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What’s that? You want to see a video of the entire arm wrestling competition? Ok, here you go:

[youtube:http://youtu.be/F8BcR_DVEFg]

History: Vikings Blood Legacy

Panelists: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Hirst, Julian Hobbs

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Mama Jedi and I were particularly excited to see this panel since we’ve been trying to get to a Vikings panel for a couple of years now without success. It’s one of our favorite shows, especially since we’re Norwegian and we know the myths, legends, and history behind the people and stories used on the show. All of the actors seemed very sweet and down to earth. Travis Fimmel may or may not have been high – it’s hard to tell, maybe he’s just really, REALLY chill….? They even played with the audience beforehand, taking turns poking their heads out of the curtain before they were introduced. Alexander Ludwig ran down and joined us in the audience to see the extended trailer since he’d never seen it before and was really excited about it. Adorkable. Some crazy stuff is going to go down in season 3! The invasion of France and the true start of the Viking Age. And there will definitely be a season 4! Also, a beloved main character is going to die. Any guesses of who it will be?

FLOOR!

There are certain artists that I’ve gotten to know over the course of many, many Southern California conventions and I love visiting and hanging out with them. When Geek Outlaw and I did our 2nd ever booth at Long Beach Comic Expo a few months ago we were neighbors with Jason Beckwith who has a dark and gripping graphic novel called Taking EdenWe bonded over being shoved in a far, dark corner of the Floor we dubbed “The Batcave” and have been facebook friends ever since. When he announced that he’d gotten a last minute called from Comic Con International that they had a booth for him, he was the first person I went to visit.

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I then headed over to Lord Mesa‘s booth. He happens to be my sister-in-law’s favorite artist so I picked up some prints from her including some DC mini’s, a Supernatural print and this kick ass Twelve/Clara Doctor Who print.

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One of my personal favorites, Patrick Ballesteros, was just a few tables down from Lord Mesa so I headed over there next. He’s got some amazing new mini’s and prints that are so cute and adorkable I seriously just want the whole lot of them.

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Karen Hallion (you see her Disney/Doctor Who crossover art on Teefury shirts all the time) happened to be right across the aisle from Jason Beckwith. Waaay back in 2010 we discussed collaborating on an HNG t-shirt, then we both got slammed and she became a very well-earned and well-deserved Teefury goddess extraordinaire. It was so lovely to finally meet her in person.

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Every year I have to swing by actor/screenwriter/comic writer Todd Stashwick and artist Dennis Calero‘s booth to pick up the latest Devil Inside graphic novel and get my annual picture. One of these years I’m going to make it to their after party.

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My friend Karen (aka the “real” Luann) is the daughter and heir apparent of Greg Evans, creator of the Luann comic strip I grew up reading and loving (imagine my surprise when I learned who he was after hanging out at his house more than a few times!) Karen is not just a friend, she’s a fellow writing enthusiast and has begun working on the strip full-time.

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After escaping from a Falling Skies alien cocoon….

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I got rid of a few White Walkers

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And kept Smaug asleep…

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We then met up with buddies and Podthingy cohosts John Mulhall and Blayne Alexander for some non-sitting, non-standing fun times.

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We shared some of Sad Batman‘s pain.

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Here’s the new Affleck cowl and cape by the way…

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And for the Marvel fans, one of the mining ships from Knowhere

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There was tons of stuff going on outside as well, including a bunch of Simpson’s activities, a Gotham cityscape complete with zipline, and a Godzilla area with (count ’em) TWO photo ops.

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The Godzilla graffiti wall.

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That’s where my friend, photographer Tre’ Ridings was doing his thing. We met up with him and did the Phhhoto op first (that’s where it creates a multiple picture/gif-type thing.

Then I remembered that I was dressed like Captain Hammer and shouldn’t act scared, so I stayed in character for the second, more traditional photo op.

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I still found myself running away from this guy though.

HNG fake run

Darcy lives on a farm and didn’t get to celebrate his birthday properly, so on Thursday night I gathered a group of some of the funnest folks I know and we jumped around to a couple of bars to celebrate with some kind of alcohol/whipped cream concoction.

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By the time we got to the second bar, I was drunk enough that funny-faced selfies with all of the guys sounded like a fabulous idea. I have some of my best ideas while I’m drunk.

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Happy Birthday, Darcy!! 🙂

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That’s it for Part 1! Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 on my San Diego Comic Con wrap-up!

 

Comikaze 2013

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This past weekend I braved the Southern California freeways and made the treacherous trek from San Diego to Los Angeles for Stan Lee’s Comikaze Comic Book Convention. Having moved from LA to San Diego a couple of years ago, the trip always reminds me of how much I don’t miss the traffic. It was worth it to attend Comikaze though. It’s a young convention so the booths on the floor are still nice and spread out, as opposed to the congested packed-in-like-sardines situation that is San Diego Comic Con. It’s grown into a mid-sized convention and, though it didn’t have as many actual comic book vendors as I had hoped, it did provide an excellent space for artists and crafters.

I went with my NerdBFF and regular Con comrade, Hayden aka Geek Outlaw and we had a great time chatting it up with artists, writers, and vendors, some of whom we see at Cons on a regular basis and some whom we met for the first time. We only had time to sit in on one panel, but we did catch some of the action on the Main Stage including Stan the Man himself, Weird Al Yankovic, and the guys from Comic Book Men. A childhood favorite of mine, Cassandra Peterson (aka Elvira: Mistress of the Dark) was there, which I was really excited about until I found out how much it would cost to meet her. I did see her from a few feet away though and, damn, she still looks really good! The highlight may have been meeting Edward James Olmos and Michael Hogan (Admiral Adama and Colonel Tigh from Battlestar Galactica). And, of course, the cosplay!

So, without further ado, here’s a wrap-up of Comikaze in pictures. Enjoy!

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Stan the Man himself! I feel very fortunate to have met and gotten my picture taken with Stan while I was at Amazing! Las Vegas Comic Con.

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The one panel we went to. It was a panel about writing and publishing novels and we didn’t read the description first. Turns out it was the Winner Twins, 18-year-old twin sisters who have written 4 novels. Power to them. The panel would have been better if they had talked less (they gave the same PowerPoint presentation they give to First Graders) and the two guys on the left had talked more. They had far more practical and applicable advice. But hey, who am I to argue with two published teenagers?

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By the power of Grayskull! I have the power!

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I got recognized a few times (including by this lovely TARDIS-clad fellow HNG) which was really trippy.

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I had to pick up a few of Lord Mesa‘s latest artwork. Most of it was for my sister-in-law, Troi, who just had a baby and couldn’t make it to the Con. She’s a HUGE fan of Lord Mesa and even had him do some custom artwork of my nephew, Zeke.

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My friends Gabriel Diani & Etta Devine were there to promote the Kickstarter campaign for their new movie Diani & Devin Meet the Apocalypse. They’ll be joining us for the next HNG podcast! Check them out at www.ddmta.com (trust me, it’s worth it).

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Alex Wer aka The Pumpkin Geek, carves custom pumpkins and they are AMAZING. I’m saving up to have him carve one with the HNG logo. They are hand carved into plastic pumpkins so they last forever.

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Geremi Burleigh is a favorite of ours. He’s the nicest guy and his comics Eye of the Gods and Morningstar are fantastic.

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Robert Acosta of Graphic Lab designs geeky crossover tees like the popular “Ewoking Dead” and “Optimus TARDIS” ones you see us holding. I wore my t-shirt the next day and got at least one compliment on it everywhere I went.

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I’ve been told that These Are the Voyages is the best Star Trek: The Original Series book ever written. I can’t wait to read it and let y’all know if that’s true!

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The USS Navras booth was helmed by this Commander Riker look-alike. I got a text message on Sunday that I had won a raffle prize but since I couldn’t make it to the Con on Sunday I couldn’t claim it. Sad robot 🙁 Ah well, the USS Navras crew does great charity work and the raffle money went to some great causes.

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The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D bridge restoration project is coming along nicely! Every time I see the bridge at a Con, more of it has been restored to is previous and rightful glory.

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All hands brace for impact!!

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Cthulhu paid a visit.

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Geek Outlaw got really excited when he found out that Ecto-1 was in the house.

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There are only a few franchises in which Geek Outlaw nerds out more than I do and Ghostbusters is one of them.

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Which leads us to Cosplay! That poor Ghostbuster in the party hat totally got slimed.

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There was some great The Walking Dead cosplay, including this Rick Grimes and Walker Shane duo.

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The family that Walks together, stays together. This is the first time I’ve seen Negan/Lucille cosplay so that was exciting.

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As always, there was a ton of Star Wars cosplay.

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This protocol droid had a creative way of dealing with a busted leg.

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These Stormtroopers were very serious about guarding Carbonite Han.

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One the other hand, this Trooper was only interested in the rights of the vertically challenged Stormtroopers.

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Every convention brings more and more Doctor Who cosplay. It’s refreshing that folks in the States are finally catching on to its greatness.

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The adorkable Whovians were way more excited about Geek Outlaw’s getup than they were about taking a picture with me, even though I busted out my Fourth Doctor scarf just for the occasion.

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Hello, Sexy! (that’s me showing off my TARDIS ring; not me threatening to punch to photographer)

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EXTERMINATE!!

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Can’t we all just get along? LOL, just kidding. Get him, Doctor.

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Crossplayers after my own gorram heart.

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These TMNT costumes were made by scratch and were incredible. We saw Rafael and Donatello. Not sure where Michelangelo and Leonardo were. Presumably holding down the sewer.

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Tiny Lone Ranger and Tonto.

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Decepticon love.

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Awesome homemade Tetris costumes.

DSC00611 (Large)Well, Disney does own it now…

DSC00666 (Large)MST3K!!

DSC00675 (Large)Rufio! RUFIO! RU-FEE-OHHHHHH!!!!!! (there was TWO Rufios there, but this guy was the best by far).

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And finally (since this is a Comic Book Convention) the comicosplay!

We’ll start out with the DC ‘verse. Holy shit, it’s the Batman!

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And Robin the Boy Wonder!

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Riddler does what he wants!

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Some of the Marvel villains were there, including Thanos.

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And Mystique.

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And the Destroyer.

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And Loki.

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But the Avengers were also there so it was cool. This Captain America cosplayer is in the Army in real life. Double awesome.

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Iron Maiden.

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It totally looks like I’m grabbing Black Widow’s bum so I’m just going to go with it and let you assume that I was 😉

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And, of course, my favorite (good little Norwegian girl that I am), Thor Odinson!

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And another!

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And another!

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AND ANOTHER!!!

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The highlight of the day was definitely meeting Edward James Olmos and Michael Hogan from Battlestar Galactica. Both of them were so nice. Michael even helped me get some hair out of my face since I was squeezed in between them.

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All in all, it was a great Con. Especially if you weren’t a lost child.

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Until next year, Comikaze!

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