Long Beach Comic Con wrap-up 2012

I love Long Beach Comic Con because it’s still small enough that comic books are the main focus. San Diego Comic Con is great, with it’s giant movie and TV show panels but it’s nice to be able to get back to the roots of what comic cons started as…a place to nerd out over your favorite artists and find out what’s next in the genre of, uh, comic books. Plus I got press passes again this year which totally rocks my socks.

My brother was just as in to X-Men as I was when we were kids. He even stole my Series II trading cards (I still haven’t gotten them back…ahem) but he’s never been to a Comic Book Convention. Neither has my nephew, Zeke (yes, that’s a boy, don’t let his voluptuous locks fool you). So I thought LBCC would be a nice starter convention for them.

It was a huge learning experience for me as well. For example, I now know that if I want to sit in on some panels, bringing a 4-year-old is probably not the best idea.

Case in point.

But that’s okay. I loved taking him around and he was totally blown away by all the “supers” (or “shoopers” in 4-year-old speech). He even convinced his dad to whip out his credit card and buy him a Green Lantern action figure. Of course, then we ran into Superman AND Green Lantern so Zeke needed a picture with them.

I’m pretty sure he had a nerdgasm over the sheer volume of action figures surrounding him in every direction.

We tested Zeke’s superhero knowledge often. It’s become apparent that our entire family is on a mission to make sure this child is a geeky as humanly possible.

If you follow the facebook page, you probably saw my announcement that I managed to convince my brother and sister-in-law to give Doctor Who a try. I’m proud to say that they are officially obsessed.

There was an artist there named Matt Stevens who creates and makes metal fan art. It’s basically a crapload of little dots engraved in metal. The pictures don’t do them justice, they are really quite stunning.

If I was a wealthy woman I would have bought the whole lot because they all went together in big montages and he had them for most of my favorite TV shows. Since I am not a wealthy woman, I settled on a small one of the 10th Doctor in all of his sheepishly adorkable glory and a small one of Wash in the midst of a sudden but inevitable betrayal.

We just happened to walk by Jesse Blaze Snider‘s booth while Zeke was being fussy and he was sweet enough to give The Zekester a free Toy Story comic that he’d written. We ended up chatting with him for a few minutes. He’s got a couple of projects coming up, including one about heavy metal bands featuring some of our favorite Asgardians that I’ll be keeping an eye out for.

Yes, we started pinning Zeke’s bangs back with a bobby pin. His mother refuses to cut his hair.

We saw a couple of celebs including Jason Faunt aka Wes Collins aka Red Time Force Power Ranger.

And a personal favorite of mine, Lance Henriksen. Lance has many, many, many amazing credits to his name but he is best know to the masses as Bishop from the Alien franchise. Lance was extremely nice. He kept calling Zeke “she” and was mortified when I gently informed him that I was holding my nephew, not my niece. Zeke seemed to get a kick out of that 😉

They had a whole Star Wars section.

Including a game where you could shoot various Troopers of the Clone and Storm variety using a vast array of Nerf weaponry.

They had a Jawa hanging out with them but he got the hell out of Tosche just before the shooting started.

Around the corner was a laser tag obstacle course. I can only imagine how ridiculous this looked to my brother (he’s a Marine). I should ask him.

Then this happened.

Oh, Leatherface…

On to costumes!

I don’t know if it’s because I went on Sunday or if there were just fewer cosplayers this year, but the costumed character selection was a bit limited. But here’s the best of the best of what I saw.

Bane from The Dark Knight Rises.

The Joker from The Dark Knight.

Rick and Daryl from The Walking Dead.

A pair of sexy lady Punisher‘s. I really wanted a picture of Zeke standing between them but he didn’t want to get his picture taken unless me or my brother was holding him. Of course, once I picked him up he was totally stoked to be next to such hotties.

I felt a happy disturbance in the Schwartz when I saw this guy with his singing and dancing Chestburster from Spaceballs.

The 11th Doctor. He was facing away from me and I quietly said “Doctor?” and he immediately turned around like he responds to that name all the time. We also crossed paths with a pretty excellent 4th Doctor as we were walking in. Wish I’d gotten a picture of him but alas.

Keeping with the sci-fi, we ran into this guy pulling a CMDR William Riker.

Zeke was a little confused by this Jedi. Either that or he was super jealous of his epic lightsaber.

This is not the child you’re looking for. Move along.

Barbie Fett?

But the winner of the “Best Comic Con Costume Ever Award” goes to this chick. Yes, that’s a chick.

That’s it for costumes. Here’s a look at the fun stuff I accumulated. Iron Man fingerless gloves hand-crocheted by Bobbie Bomber and sold by Geeky Mamas.  A pink-skeleton-Sailer Jack-with bomb t-shirt that was on sale. My previously mentioned metal art. And a stuffed Thor (not included in the picture is the pretty awesome Thor print that came with the stuffed godlet).

Every convention I go to I seek out my favorite nerdy t-shirt. This time it was won by this one. Hands down.

And on that note, I hope y’all have a Happy Thor’s Day!

I saw The Green Lantern on the brightest screen, in the blackest theatre

After a weekend hiatus from writing movie reviews to visit Kirk’s birthplace (oh and go to my cousins wedding), I’m back on the horse with one of the summers most anticipated comic book movies The Green Lantern.

(Side note: if you were hoping I’d review Super 8 this past Monday, have no fear.  I’m planning to see it at some crazy new theatre with D-Box seats on Wednesday night so, if I do, I’ll put something together for Thursday or Friday.)

I was stoked to see DC bring Ryan Reynolds’ abs to their comic universe. Wait….. no, I’ll stick with abs 🙂

ryan-reynolds-shirtless

Wrong movie, you say? Ask me how much I care.

As you know, I spend a good amount of my time grading comic book movies on how successful they are with staying true to the content of their origins. The problem this time is that I don’t really know a whole lot about Green Lantern aside from the fact that I live in Sector 2814 (*cue me hanging my head in nerdy shame*).  So this review is going to get filled in with some good ol’ fashioned fun movie judging. Sit back, relax, and see why I thought The Green Lantern was kind of a middling movie.

SPOILERS AHEAD

I want to kick this off by saying that I love Ryan Reynolds’ abs… I mean acting. Damn. I’ll fix that I swear. He has boyish good looks, a wry smile and a charming charisma that even you boys can say you like without sounding too gay. IMHO he’s got a kind of Nathan Fillion-esque quality to him. Maybe it’s the water that they give those boys in Canada? Who knows. He pulls off the action sequences quite well, and even the more touching scenes between him and Blake Lively are pretty decent.

blake-lively-in-green-lantern

"See what they did with my hair in this scene? It means that while I'm sexy and girly, I can still fly a plane."

The main problem for me is that Ryan seems to lack a real dark side. Perhaps it’s just his innocence-exuding face but when he uttered the line “Because I’m afraid” I just didn’t buy it. No one else in the theater did either. That might just be him or the fact that I had no idea what he was afraid of. I might have missed it, but he’s a fighter pilot that has no problem launching his jet into the outer reaches of the atmosphere before tumbling back to earth but he’s afraid of… dying? That just seemed odd. And once he overcame his fear it felt very much like “Ok, well, that was nice, now I’m going to kick your ass.” It never had quite the gusto that Christian Bale had in Batman Begins. Uhh, sorry every comic book movie made after 2005, but you sort of have to live up to Christopher Nolan’s genius. Suck it, k? Cause you do.

Which, let’s be honest, is incredibly difficult to do with this content. These are characters that have a ton of back story that needs to be filled in, from the Lantern Corps, their home planet Oa, and the Guardians that created it, you’ve got a lot that you’re asking the average movie goer to swallow.  Trying to include a giant backstory in a very short period of time can be done very successfully if you dumb it down enough (see: Star Trek 2009) or less successfully if it is hurried through at the beginning (see: Serenity). This one took the later approach and honestly, nerd to nerd, I was just mildly lost. I don’t really know any major Green Lantern fans so there was no one around to help smooth out the rough edges for me. It seemed to just cruise through certain relationships without developing them when I really wish it had.

Moving on to the special effects…I was fairly impressed with them. Oa was awesome, the Green Lantern suit was amazing (despite what anyone might say). I even enjoyed Blake Lively. I guess what I’m saying is that I wish a bit more time had been spent mainstreaming this movie for audiences. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I felt like a lot of stuff went over people’s heads. Everyone I went with walked out kind of saying “meh.”  It did make me want to spend some time reading more of the Green Lantern comic books though, so it had that going for it.  I have my hopes pinned on the next movie, if they do one. At the very least, I look forward to Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool if that one comes together.

It’ll have abs in it…right?

Sci Five 2.5