Comikaze 2013

HNG GO Comikaze 2013b

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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My Top 10 Campy Horror Films

In honor of Halloween, or Samhain, or however you choose to refer to it, here is my list of the most awesomely cheese-stastic and hi-larious horror flicks of all time.

10. Anything based on a Stephen King novel

Stephen King

"That's right. I'm seducing you.... with my EYES!"

From Carrie to The Mist I counted 82 (!!!) film adaptations of Mr. King’s work.  That’s no small shit.  Some of them are the best horror films of all time like Misery and The Shining.  Some are cheese-tastic wonderlands like It and Pet Cemetery.  They’re all pretty freaking scary.  Mr. King gets on the list, if for nothing else, than for the sheer volume of work based on his novels.

9. Tales of the Crypt: Bordello of Blood

A vampire brothel being run out of a funeral home.  Corey Feldman finally getting his turn at vampire glory.  Dennis Miller running a private detective business out of a porn theatre.  Angie Everhart as the mother of all vampires.  What more do you need?  Besides some sunblock that is.

8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror Picture ShowSome people will argue with me about whether or not this counts as a horror film.  It’s my list and I say it counts.  So there.  Besides, it’s got “horror” in the title.  I don’t feel that I need to explain any further.  It’s got music and dancing and sci-fi and Tim Curry in drag.  In 2005 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by non other than our own Library of freakin’ Congress and was declared “culturally and historically significant.”  How many musical horror comedy rock operas can say that, hmmm?

7. Child’s Play

Childsplay

Coincidence? I think not.

When I was a kid we had a doll that came from some family member long gone and had been passed down through the generations.  This doll was kept in a pillowcase in the far reaches of my closet because I was the girl and Lord forbid my brother have a doll in the back of his closet that no one will ever see.  I got curious one day and pulled down said doll in pillowcase.  I remember seeing the back of the head first.  That in itself was pretty creepy.  I turned the doll around and her eyeballs had fallen out of their sockets and were rolling around in the back of her head.  They suddenly stopped rolling and were staring straight at me.  Needless to say, I have never and will never look upon the face of that doll again.  Dolls are creepy.  Period

6. Gremlins

What child of the 80’s didn’t want a mogwai as a pet when they were a kid??  This movie contained enough unforeseen violence that it helped convince the Motion Picture Association of America to reform its rating system.  Drops of water, not great but manageable for a while.  Food after midnight.  Baaaad.  The main lesson gleaned from this film: never buy anything in Chinatown.

5. The Lost Boys

Oh, the horror that is teen angst.  I’m pretty sure “Santa Carla” is supposed to be Venice, CA.  Gang-ridden or not, how many coastal cities in California do you know of that would let an earthquake crumpled hotel just sit there instead of building something else on the property?  Just sayin’.  It’s a bunch of brat packers running around looking cute and causing trouble long before Stephenie Meyer ever dreamed up her saccharine covered Twilight vamps.  My favorite character is Grandpa.  I may be a vegetarian but I can appreciate some good taxidermy.  He gets the last word: “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach…all the damn vampires.”  Grandpa’s been around the block a few times.

4. From Dusk Till Dawn

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"Hey.... wanna make out?"

Personally, I love Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez (when he’s not making stupid kiddie films).  They are rather good at satisfying my desire for action, gore, and lewd comedy.  I think that sometimes people forget that George Clooney was even in this movie…what with the Cary Grant Junior image that has been built up around him…something I’m sure he finds hysterical.  Hot Mexican vampire strippers.

I’m sorry, do I need to say anything else?  Didn’t think so.

3. Drag me to Hell

Drag Me To Hell

"WHY DID YOU SCREW UP MY CAFE LATTE!!! IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO MAKE!!!"

I hear the theatrical version of this movie fell apart at the end.  Luckily I didn’t see it in the theatre and instead rented the Director’s Cut.  This is not a movie for those with weak stomachs but if you can handle your gore and an ungodly amount of disgusting fluids going into a pretty girl’s mouth, then this is the movie for you.  It stars Alison Lohman as a really sweet girl who really pisses off an old gypsy woman the first time she tries to be tough at her job.  I really hope I never piss off an old gypsy lady.  The demon, Lamia, tortures you for three days before doing exactly what the title entails.

2. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

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And we have found cleavage even I am jealous of.

This was one of my very favorite movies as a kid.  So much so that I actually dressed up as Elvira for Halloween one year.  Talk about goth done right.  It’s hard to believe that Cassandra Peterson was 37 years old when this movie came out!  The moment that will be with me until the day I die?  When Elvira chucks her stiletto high heel and it lodges in her Great Uncle Vincent’s forehead.  Brilliant.

1. Evil Dead series

Evil DeadMy explanation for this need only go as far as the name “Bruce Campbell” but for those who haven’t seen it I will explain further.  Horror and comedy together (intentionally) is Sam Raimi’s genius.  Inspired by low-budget horror films at drive-ins and HP Lovecraft, he created an epic trilogy of awesomeness centered around Ash (Bruce Campbell) and a series of deadites created by Ex-Mortis.  Watch all three (Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness) in a row and it will be the best Halloween you’ve ever had.  My favorite lines: “Honey, you got reeeeaaal ugly!” and “Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the gun.”

Groovy.