C4: Central Coast Comic Con 2014

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C4: Central Coast Comic Con in Ventura is still in it’s infancy but it’s growing fast. This past weekend was only it’s 2nd year but it’s already twice as big as last year. Unfortunately, that made for several organizational issues and a lot of confusion in regards to panels, most of which were delayed, cancelled, or moved to another location with no warning, announcement, or signage.

While frustrating at times, I’m eager to see C4 become the Con I know it can be. I love little local Cons, they are usually the best place to talk to all of the local comic vendors in one place. Which is why I was kind of bummed that I really didn’t see any comic book stands. If there were any, they were tucked away where I missed them. It didn’t seem like a particularly good Con for most of the vendors, with the exception of the guy making balloon characters for tips (more on that talented gentleman later).

The highlight for me was definitely hanging out with my “ConFam” aka the artists and cosplayers and SoCal Con regulars that I see at every convention and love catching up with. So this wrap up will mostly be pictures of the cosplay and a few of the artists. I was planning to attend the Authors Panel but, alas, it was delayed, then moved, then cancelled altogether.

But I like to focus on the positive so….PICTURES! :)

Since it’s a Comic Con, let’s start off with Comic Book Cosplay, shall we?

Last year Lonstermash cosplayed as Rocky Balboa, complete with bloody boxing wounds and an American flag. This year he went with his classic movie Wolverine while representing at the Agents of COSPLAY table. He has several creative variations of the Wolverine costume and is probably the most famous Logan cosplayer out there.

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This female Deadpool really broke the fourth wall.

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Mini Silver Surfer!

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Cap, with and without background creeper.

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Author John Mulhall got in on the photobombing. Cyclops’ handler was not amused.

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You look like you could use some DC, how about we switch over to the other major comic universe.

This is Smile-X Villain Co. They did the world’s best Batman/Rogue’s Gallery photo shoot ever a few months back. A photo shoot that I will post about at some point but the pictures keep slowly filtering in and I want to make sure I get them all before I post about it. Smile-X has several versions of their costumes, including Classic, PJ’s, and Punk Rock (pictured here).

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Most of the members of Smile-X Villain Co. met at C4 last year so this past weekend marked their one year anniversary as a cosplay troupe. Happy Anniversary, Smile-X!

Dylan, the ringleader of Smile-X Villain Co. and a delightfully creepy Joker.

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My favorite Riddler is Ian aka Pieced Together Cosplay. I couldn’t choose between all of the awesome pictures I took of him this weekend, so here they all are:

Spikes!

Pieced Together Cosplay C4 2014

Classic!

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With MEEEEEE!

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The Bat (The Bat Cosplay) debuting his new blue accessories and The Cat (Gotham Sirens Cosplay) in her classic Burton garb.

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Speaking of enemies….this Clark Kent seemed really surprised that I wanted to take his picture. You’re disguise doesn’t fool me, Superman!

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WONDAAAAH WOOOOMAAAAN!!! And a pirate thrown in just for kicks.

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I complemented this Two-Face on his makeup job and he pointed at his mother and proudly proclaimed that she’d done it. Well done, Mom, well done.

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The family that cosplays together, stays together. We’ll transition from Comics to Sci-Fi with this lovely Loki/Firefly loving family.

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Multi-pass!

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I am the law!

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I didn’t notice that the trooper on the right was a mannequin until after I got home and started going through my pictures. I thought he seemed a little tall for a Stormtrooper.

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This guy makes custom action figures, wears awesome t-shirts, and has some badass figure tats.

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The Star Trek Enterprise D Bridge Restoration project was there and took tons of pictures of various cosplayers (including these classic Treksters) in the Transporter Room. Check them out on their facebook page!

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These guys from the Umbrella Corporation couldn’t figure out how to get it to work.

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I found this Dalek wandering around and tricked it into getting on the Transporter pad so that I could beam it to another dimension and thus EXTERMINATE it!

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But it caught up with me just as I was exiting the TARDIS (btw, this picture was taken by Bulk of the Mighty Morphine Power Rangers while we were perusing the floor, more on that later).

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Luckily the War Doctor was there to help me out.

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After which we headed back to the TARDIS (Hello, Sexy!)

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And hung out with K-9 for awhile.

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I can’t decide what my next car should be. Put your vote in the comments!

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How about this one? It comes complete with Heroes in a half shell!

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Or, if you’d prefer, half-clothed.

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I asked this mini-Popeye if he was eating all of his spinach. His reaction? *shrug*

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This little lady was totes adorbs.

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These guys are so critical of EVERYTHING.

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What a nightmare these two were.

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Speaking of nightmares…I practically jumped behind John Mulhall’s Geddy’s Moon backdrop when this chick turned to stare at me.

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Luckily there was a Goblin King nearby.

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Did someone say Goblins?

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Don’t know. Don’t care. They’re perty.

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Alpha 6 and Zordon from Mighty Morphine Power Rangers.

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Speaking of Power Rangers, there were a TON of them there. I even ended up hanging out with a bunch of them at a bar one night. Turns out that my friend and Podthingy cohost, John Mulhall, is a friend of Jason Narvy who played “Skull” on the show. So I got to hang out with Bulk (Paul Schrier) and Skull for the weekend. I even helped Bulk pick out a souvenir for his girlfriend, hence why he took my picture in front of the TARDIS – which was hilarious because I could see people recognize him but they didn’t want to interrupt him while he was taking my picture. When they did finally get a chance to approach him, he was very gracious and welcoming. Both Jason and Paul are pretty much the complete opposite of their characters on the show. Nice guys through and through.

Skull Bulk Power Rangers C4 2014Speaking of John Mulhall, he had a Geddy’s Moon booth there. If you haven’t read his book yet, you really should. It’s a fantastic supernatural thriller.

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Jason Beckwith’s graphic novel Taking Eden is a recent new fave of mine and I desperately need to write a review of it and his other books so that you’ll all realize just how awesome they are and buy them from him.

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B. Alex Thompson, writer of Hass. Love him!

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I mentioned before that the balloon guy probably had the best Con experience of all of the Vendors. Geek Outlaw and I first met Donald Tran and his girlfriend when they were walking thorugh the halls of San Diego Comic Con with these amazing balloon creations on their heads. We had to stop and check them out. Turns out that SDCC was his first Con and C4 was only his second! He got such a great response to his head gear that he decided to have a booth. He worked for tips and was crazy busy the entire weekend popping out all manner of comic book, fantasy, and sci-fi creations for kids and adults alike. Naturally, I had to get a Mjolnir, which I later gave to my 5-year-old neighbor :)

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Seriously, I’m a big fan of Donald Tran. Here’s a video of him finishing up my Mjolnir.

The most unexpected and wonderful person I met this past weekend, was legendary MAD Magazine (amongst other things) cartoonist Sergio Aragones. And it was his birthday! He’s 77 years young and the sweetest man you could ever hope to meet. I adore him.

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That wraps up my coverage of C4! Thanks for checking it out! Here’s hoping that 2015 C4 is bigger and better and a bit more organized :) I truly appreciate the tremendous effort of everyone who tried to make the event as smooth as possible, it was obviously a labor of love for them.

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!