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!

 

WonderCon 2013

Mama Jedi, HNG, Geek Outlaw

Mama Jedi, HNG, Geek Outlaw

Hope y’all had a very happy and nerderific Easter! I apologize for the lack of posts recently. Between working full-time (yes, I have a “real” job!), out of town guests, and just plain old life, I just haven’t much time to blog. But I’ll try to be better.

So, a lot of cool crap happened this past weekend. There was new Doctor Who, the season premier of Game of Thrones, and the season finale of The Walking Dead. And, of course, WonderCon.

I mentioned in my wrap-up of last year’s WonderCon that WC was the first comic book convention I ever went to (back when it was in Oakland) and it holds a very special place in my hearts. It’s a nice combination of comic books and TV/movies. San Diego Comic Con is great, but it focuses so much on the Hollywood stuff that the comic books tend to get a little lost. A comic book vendor and I were joking on Saturday about the audacity of the people who actually buy comic books at a comic book convention! Inconceivable!

After cosplaying as Thor for a day at SDCC last year, I honestly didn’t think I would cosplay in public again for a very long time. I’m quite shy, especially around large groups of strangers, and my instinct is to blend in. Cosplaying is the opposite of blending in. Because of the timing of the day, I didn’t spend much time at SDCC walking around as Thor. But in the brief times that I did, it garnered a lot of attention. Attention that I’m not used to and that made me a bit panicky. I was very uncomfortable and not just because of the corset. I’ve been putting together a Tenth Doctor costume for quite a while now. He’s my favorite of the Doctor incarnations (followed by Eleven, Four, Nine, and Five) and, if I’m being completely honest with myself, I was looking for an excuse to buy a sonic screwdriver. Because of last year’s experience, I almost didn’t wear it, but I’m glad that I did. It was comfortable and fun and was a great ice breaker (that and the flask of liquor I kept in my backpack *ahem*)

Enough rambling, on to the panels I attended. Sadly, the TV show panel I was most excited about was the Vikings one and I missed it thanks to the traffic around the convention center. I was very, very sad because, as many of you know, I’m very proud of my Viking heritage. But I sat in on a bunch of really cool ones that made up for it.

Allons-y!

Geeking Out with the League of Extraordinary Ladies

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Panelists: Autumn Massey, Dina Kampmeyer, Emily Heyer, Geek Girl Diva, Jenn Fujikawa (Just Jenn), Sarah Kuhn, Stephanie Thorpe, Theresa Wollenstein

These geektacular ladies are very much in line with my favorite motto: “nerd girls of the world unite.” They are a positive group of strong, independent, intelligent women who love to geek out together and support each other. As someone who can’t stand cattiness, these ladies are right up my alley. The first thing I did when I got home was to join their facebook group. I encourage everyone (men are also welcome) to join as well.  Unfortunately, we had to leave their panel early to make it to the next one. What I wouldn’t give for a time-turner so that I could go to multiple panels that are scheduled for the same time.

Falling Skies

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Panelists: Drew Roy (Hal), Sarah Carter (Maggie), Seychelle Gabriel (Lourdes), Remi Aubuchon (Executive Producer)

I’ve been a fan of Falling Skies from the get go. As my NerdBFF Geek Outlaw says, “if it’s got aliens in it, I’ll watch it!” And it keeps getting better. We got to see some clips from the first episode premiering June 9th on TNT, including a new baby girl, some more Karen, a badass new punk rock haircut for Matt, promotions for Tom and Lourdes, new alien technology, conflict for Maggie, and some pretty epic looking battle scenes. It definitely got me excited.

Oddball Comics Live: Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll

HNG Oddball

Panelist: Scott Shaw

I’ve never laughed harder at a panel than I did at this one. Scott Shaw has collected some of the most bizarre comic books imaginable over the course of the last 50 years. It’s filled with crotches, boobs, phallic symbols, crazy concepts, and hidden-in-plain-sight imagery (kind of like the dirty stuff found in every Disney movie made from 1989 to 1992). It’s hard to tell if they were done intentionally or unintentionally.  He’s compiled them into a power point presentation that he complements with witty commentary. It’s hysterical and I highly recommend checking it out if you ever see him on a convention schedule.

Roddenberry Presents

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Panelists: Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Tory Mell

As a life-long Trekker, I always enjoy checking out the Roddenberry Presents panel. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Rod and Trevor a few times now and even interviewed Rod at SDCC last year (I’m still perfecting my interviewing skills, mmmkay?) They are super nice and working on some seriously awesome stuff.

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Rod Roddenberry, HNG, Trevor Roth. I have no idea why I look bored in this picture, I SWEAR I wasn’t. I was probably wondering if Mama Jedi knew how to operate my camera.

Things worth checking out right now: Days Missing, Mission Log podcast, and White Room: 02B3. Things worth checking out in the near future: Worth. We were teased about exciting new things TBA at SDCC this year. One of the highlights of the panel? Winning this awesome “Cool as Kirk” t-shirt for answering one of the trivia questions correctly.

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Geeks Get Published

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Panelists: SG Browne, Katrina Hill, Alan Kistler, Alex Langley, Dr. Travis Langley. Moderated by Jenna Busch.

This panel was extremely informative. It was a panel full of geek-centric authors offering up free advice on how to get published. The main thing I took away from it was that I’d like to get a literary agent and that I’m doing the right thing by writing what I love. Afterwards, Alan Kistler found me downstairs and wanted a picture (he’s a big Doctor Who fan and is coming out with a Doctor Who book later this year.

Alan Kistler and HNG

Alan Kistler and HNG

He graciously stayed and chatted with Geek Outlaw and I for a good 10-15 minutes about writing while his friends wandered off to the bar without him. Thanks again, Alan!

Here’s some of what happened down on the Floor…

One of the first booths we noticed was that of Lion Forge Comics. It was a mighty impressive booth.

Geek Outlaw oohing and ahhing

Geek Outlaw oohing and ahhing

They had a healthy line for the slot machine which we were talked into joining. It was manned by this lovely lady armed with a sonic screwdriver.

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Mama Jedi went first and won a giant bag.

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Then it was my turn.

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The machine didn’t seem to be working properly so I fixed it when no one was paying attention and won a bracelet.

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Then Geek Outlaw went and won a bracelet. I totally took a picture of him doing it but he didn’t send it to me so blame him for the empty space here.

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Based out of St. Louis, MO, Lion Forge has a lot of projects in the works and were some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. We chatted with a number of the people involved, including the Creative Director, the YouTube channel host, one of the primary writers, and even the guy who’s in charge of Licensing who was kind enough to help me get Mama Jedi into the giant bag she’d won.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time

There was a large “celebrity row” including Boomer aka Herbert Jefferson Jr. from the Classic Battlestar Galactica.

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Star Wars staple Chewbacca aka Peter Mayhew.

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The ghost of Richard Hatch aka OG Apollo and reboot Zarek.

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The Soup Nazi aka Larry Thomas, who’s decision to sign soup ladles convinced Geek Outlaw to buy an autographed one for his parents who LOVE the Soup Nazi.

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And then there was this guy who Mama Jedi made a beeline for. I still have absolutely no idea who he is or what he does besides sitting there shirtless.

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We ran into SDCC buddy Daniel who was holding down the fort at the booth of a friend.

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We also visited a buddy from this past Long Beach Comic Con. Artist Matt Stevens creates metal fan art. Last time I bought Tenth Doctor and Wash. This time I got an Eleventh Doctor and River Song bookmark. They sit right by my desk and I LOVE them. Not only is Matt a fantastic artist but he’s a super cool dude so you should definitely check him out HERE.

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That’s a mighty fine t-shirt you got there, Matt

One of the ships from Oblivion.

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There was a parade of R2 units lead by a small child.

Where were those brakes again?

Where were those brakes again?

They got into a fight with a couple of WALL-E‘s.

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There was some spitting and at one point the Black R2 unit totally flipped off one of the WALL-E’s as you can see in this video I took:

[youtube:http://youtu.be/gfu_uFi_W6E]

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It wouldn’t be an HNG convention wrap up without the costume pictures!

One of the very first cosplayers we ran into was Toni Darling, better known to the interwebz as Lady Thor. She’s a friend of Daniel’s and the artist who’s booth he was manning (see the posters and artwork behind him?)

I have no idea why I'm making that stupid face

I have no idea why I’m making that stupid face

On our way to the Falling Skies panel I time crashed into my future self in the form of a delightful guy with a very convincing British accent named Jack.

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Something’s up with the universe because we ran into each other again at the end of the night while Geek Outlaw and I were chatting with Alan Kistler and took some more pics.

This is Alan's friend who took off for the bar while we were deep in conversation about writing and stuff

This is Alan’s friend who took off for the bar while we were deep in conversation about writing and stuff

Jack even helped us out by taking the picture of our little group in front of the WonderCon sign.

WonderCon Hot Nerd Girl

Time crash number two occurred down on the Floor. This time I ran into my Fourth incarnation.

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Four is my favorite of the Classic Doctors so he gave me a jelly baby which I totally ate, because, heck, it’s a jelly baby from the Doctor! It was delicious.

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It was a little freakier when I saw myself. I’m just going to assume that he’s the Meta-Crisis Doctor 😉

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Mini me. Seriously, this kid was adorable. He was a bit upset with his Mom because she ruined his jacket. It’s not easy being the mother of a Time Lord, mmmkay kiddo?

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There were many, many, many ladies dressed up as the TARDIS. Apparently a Time Lord dropped some TARDIS coral on Earth at some point in the past.  This one was one of my favorites because it was so unique.

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Let’s move away from Gallifrey and check out some of the other costumes, shall we?

This Lady Thor sat next to us during the Roddenberry panel.

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I ran into this walker at least three times. It freaked me out just as much each time. *shudder* He obviously ran into Haley from Woodbury because there’s no way Daryl would have missed that badly. Twice.

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There are always a few Ghostbusters wandering around conventions. This time they were everywhere. We chatted with a group from Sacramento for quite a while. I like the Ghostbusters groups, they do great things in their communities.

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The Ecto-truck (behind Ecto-1) belongs to one of the guys from the Sacramento group.

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The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was the Dad of the Mini Tenth Doctor (see him down in the right hand corner? He’s totally thinking he has the coolest Dad ever).

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Stay Puft helped me out by posing with Flat Stanley. I was put in charge of Flat Stanley by a friend who’s kid read the book. I honestly have no idea what the heck Flat Stanley is all about but I returned him to his owner yesterday. Apparently I’m getting him back when I go to Wisconsin for my family reunion next month,

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Rad.

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Steam Punk Snow White can kick your ass.

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Disney Princesses + Rainbow Brite = every little girl’s fantasy come true.

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Jon Snow admiring Daenerys’ …uh…eggs. Riiiight…..

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THIS.

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COBRA Command from GI Joe. I’m pulling this entirely from memory here but the group seems to include Serpentor, Destro, The Baroness, and I think Zarana, a BAT and a Night Creeper. Please correct me if I’m wrong, it’s been more than a few years.

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Marvel goodies vs. DC baddies.

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LEGO Darth Maul!

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This fellow HNG was mighty hot for a scruffy looking nerf herder.

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That’s a nice multipass you got there, Leeloo (and a view from the rear for anyone who’s interested).DSC00511Finally, there’s CMDR William T. Riker as portrayed by a guy who’s name really is William (no joke). He was very nice and we chatted for a few minutes about how much we love Star Trek. It was only after I got home that I realize we’d already met and taken a picture together at Long Beach Comic Con back in November. Kismet!

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And that concludes my wrap up of WonderCon 2013. It was loads of fun and I’m looking forward to next year!