Portland Comic Con 2015 A Late but Great Review

Mothra cosplay w/thanks to S. Shadow's Natural Photography

Mothra cosplay w/thanks to S. Shadow's Natural Photography

Mothra cosplay w/thanks to S. Shadow’s Natural Photography

Wizard World’s Portland Comic Con happened at the Portland Convention Center in Portland, Oregon January 23, 24 and 25. Yes I’m a week behind and I do apologize, gentle reader. So many amazing things happened at the con and I did tweet one or two of them, and now I’d like to write them up properly.

Inspector Gadget Portland Comic Con 2015

Inspector Gadget Portland Comic Con 2015

Friday was the first day of the con and due to work I didn’t make it. One must keep one’s job to continue to enjoy going to cons. Saturday I wore my Mothra cosplay and Sunday I wore my steampunk cosplay. I’m afraid I didn’t get any pictures of my steampunk cosplay, which is a shame because I finally put together something really nice. Next time for sure!

Classic Catwoman & Penguin

Classic Catwoman & Penguin

Speaking of cosplay there were some amazing ones at the con. There was a classic Catwoman with a Penguin that was fantastic. I also saw another Popeye. There was an adorable little Midna as well as a couple of Zeldas and several Links.

The booths were amazing too. I even bought some comics at this con, all of them Doctor Strange. The best booth of the con, IMHO, though was the Rock Rebel table. I was walking by, on my way to another booth I wanted to take a look at and I stopped in my tracks because there, on the table, were several different bags with classic monsters on them, and they had matching billfolds.

Rock RebelHe was thrilled to discuss Godzilla and the Munsters while I was selecting my bag. He loved the Gareth Edwards Godzilla and was surprised and excited to hear that Toho is planning on their own Godzilla reboot this year. We also discussed how Lillian Munster’s dress was so tight she couldn’t walk in it and had to be carried to where she would stand on set. Then he told me about how the Munsters drove off in the Munster Koach, went joy riding on the freeway in full make-up one day and caused quite a commotion.

It’s so much fun to meet another fan. But I digress, he had Walking Dead totes and bags as well as shirts and even Addams Family, Jaws and Edward Scissors Hands stuff so there was something for everyone but what really caught my eye were the bags. These aren’t just cheap bags thrown together either. He was very proud of them and showed me how they are lined with different fabric and patterns. I simply love my bag and I love the billfold even more. The bag holds everything I could ask for, and although it could use a couple more pockets for organizational purposes, it is plenty spacious while still being a good size.

Rock Rebel

Rock Rebel

Now generally I’m not much on impulse buying, although at a con I do make exceptions. I’ve also needed a new bag since one of my favorites wore out just before Christmas so I’ve been on the look-out for a nice one. These are spectacular and they are unique pieces. I meant to only carry it for cons but I haven’t had time to change out to one of my more normal ones all week (and you thought it was just blogging that I get too busy for).

I’m speculating here, but judging by his reaction I was one of his first customers and he cut me a great deal on the bag and matching wallet combo. I asked him what made him think of this and he said that he’d been going to cons for a while and what he noticed was that while, yes, there were a lot of younger people there were also a lot of mothers there too and, he said, he got to thinking, these are the women who are kind of neglected fans and they are the ones who have jobs and therefore discretionary income to spend on unique items that reflect their own fandom.

Munster Go Home:  Lilly Munster bag and billfold

Munster Go Home: Lilly Munster bag and billfold

I think that is just brilliant. I really found myself hoping he made bank because he’s right and there is money to be made and frankly, I’m tired of being overlooked at cons and stuff because I’m not a guy or a hot 20 year old.

Since he wasn’t all that busy and I had other booths to check out I asked if he’d mind if I stopped back later to ask a few more questions. He was quite happy to do that and said I could stop by any time. The good news is that when I swung back by, he was absolutely mobbed with customers. I was very happy for him.

The next thing I want to talk about is S. Shadow’s Natural Photography. I was fortunate enough to be noticed by their photographer at the Rose City Comic Con, which is where I debuted my Mothra Cosplay. Well he found me again at the Portland Comic Con and took another couple of pictures and they are gorgeous. If you are in the Greater Portland Metropolitan Area and you want some nice photographs taken I would recommend him.

Smaug and his hoard at the Weta Workshop

Smaug and his hoard at the Weta Workshop

The Weta Booth was huge and well worth a browse. One of the members of my party (we actually had, very loosly, a fighter, a spellcaster, a healer and a beserker) got a pouch of the coins like the ones used in the Hobbit and a replica of The Key to Erebor. A must see for any Hobbit fans.

I got my copy of How To Survive A Sharknado signed. That is a very funny and useful book. Not only does it even have some practical advice but it’s actually an episode guide for all of the Sci-Fi Sharknado-like movies. Very clever that.

Safety First!

Safety First!

Of course it wasn’t until Sunday, when I was wearing my Steampunk cosplay that I stumbled upon a plush Godzilla and a plush King Ghidorah. Why, oh why, couldn’t I have found that when I was being Mothra?

We also sat in on Sacha Rioz’s panel discussion. He was delightful. Trying to get things going the MC, who clearly doesn’t know much about the show (Grimm), asked Sacha, “So you’re here for the con, is there anyplace you’ve found that’s kind of special since you’ve been here?”

Of course the audience was tittering as this question developed and Sacha was kind of grinning. He answered, “We film here.” The audience burst out laughing.

The poor MC just looked out at us and said, “And you just let me go ahead and dig that hole.”

Sacha also said that he didn’t know that much about cosplay, the MC asked him about it, but he found that most of the time, if he guessed “Doctor Who,” he was safe. That was very funny too. During the Q & A several cosplayers asked questions and he guessed Doctor Who on them. Only one was actually Doctor Who but there was a delightful Arthur Dent from Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, which is at least British.

I would have to say that the Wizard World Portland Comic Con was a rousing success for us. We had a ton of fun, found some great items and just really enjoyed every minute there. I hope others who went also had fun and if you’re considering going to a con, I would say you should do it. It’s fun for the whole family. K.

P.S. if you’re looking for a really nice corset for your Steampunk cosplay, or just in general you might check out Ms Martha’s Corset Shoppe (I’m hoping to save up for The Warrior, myself).

Some bonus photos:

Weeping Angel

Weeping Angel

IMG_4365

The Wicked Queen from Snow White.

The Wicked Queen from Snow White.

Adorable couple as Dorothy and Glenda

Adorable couple as Dorothy and Glenda

Rebel Pilot and Unicycle riding, bagpipe playing Darth Vader

Rebel Pilot and Unicycle riding, bagpipe playing Darth Vader

Tinkerbelle

Tinkerbelle

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Thelma

Thelma

#RCCC2014 Day 2 #Mothra meets #Godzilla & #DirkBenedict

Mothra at Rose City Comic Con

Comic Cons restore my faith in humanity. A bold statement? Perhaps. It’s true though. When I see hundreds of creative cosplayers in their fantastic costumes, most of which they made themselves, it makes me happy. I love the cosplayers who buy their costumes too. Not everyone is crafty, not everyone has time to make something but everyone can cosplay. This is who people really are when they are set free from the worries and demands of everyday life. People are creative and gracious, they are happy to talk about their cosplay and the subject of their cosplay. When you see two fans of the same game, say a Link and a Midna meet at a con it’s just magical. I saw Ronin glad to see Star-Lord just because they so obviously share the same interest. When you see a group of cosplayers you are seeing people set free from the mundane to express one facet of who they really are.

Another thing I love about comic cons are the celebrity guests. I have yet to meet a celebrity guest who isn’t just as gracious, kind and charming. They share so much with their fans and they are happy to do so. I know Stan Lee was disappointed at the Portland Comic Con that he couldn’t say more than a few words to each of the fans who wanted to see him. He always wanted to share, to sit and chat but, alas, so many people wanted to see him that the con volunteers had to keep the line moving. It was the same way with William Shatner. These are people who just love people, or perhaps more accurately an audience but they are storytellers, that’s what they are.

With all that being said, I have a confession to make: I got Dirk Benedict’s autograph again. I know, I know–why? I already have his autograph from ECCC2013 and he was quite charming. But it was so reasonably priced and his line was so short I didn’t have to wait hardly at all and this time I wanted a picture that spoke more to who he is than my fandom. So I chose this picture:

Dirk Benedict

Dirk Benedict

I chose it because, after hearing his discussion panel this picture made me think of who he really is while still tying in to one of the shows I loved as a kid. Well I think I’m not going too far to say that I made his day by choosing that photograph. He immediately got excited and started talking about how this is his favorite picture. Turns out he had this picture taken in England for his mother but he liked it so well he had copies made to bring to conventions. He loves the shirt and wears it all the time, and the shoes are his favorite. In fact he wore them to the con and showed me. I think he was really touched when I told him why I chose that photo. He also liked my Mothra hat. We chatted for 5 or 10 minutes and his excitement about this photo had other people in line leaning in to listen and just smiling too. It’s something special when you can bring so much joy into someone’s life by something so small. He also said that this was only the second one of those particular photos he’d sold, which to be fair is probably because people want pictures of him in the roles they know him in. So, if you ask me, totally worth the very modest sum I shelled out to get a second autograph. Oh! And he let his aide take a photo with him and I was wearing my Mothra costume, natch.

Nice hat

Nice hat

I love coming away from cons with stories like the one above. It really adds to the specialness of each con. Look for these moments when you go to a con and don’t be afraid to note them down as soon as you are out of line.

We ran into the fantastic cosplayers who were Yzma and Kronk yesterday. Yzma had transformed into one of the best, if not the best Loki of the con.

Loki looking good

Loki looking good

Oh here was the cutest Star-Lord of the con. There were several good Star-Lords, really good ones but this guy was creative and low budget. Proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to cosplay, just get creative!

Star-Lord with Rocket Raccoon and Groot--Sort of.

Star-Lord with Rocket Raccoon and Groot–Sort of.

Having fun and making people smile is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday. So Rose City Comic Con was a rousing success both days and we had a lot of fun. Thank you to everyone involved, especially all of the cosplayers. And be sure to check out Kaijucast for photos of my Mothra cosplay with Kyle.

Also one last shameless plug, check out S. Shadow’s Natural Photography where pics from the Rose City Comic Con will be up Monday and Tuesday. His photographer got a couple of good ones of my Mothra cosplay.

Here’s one that one of us took where I’m not backlit!

Mothra at Rose City Comic Con

Mothra at Rose City Comic Con

Rose City Comic Con #Mothra #Cosplay Debut #RCCC #Godzilla

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra--Squeeing happens

Today is the first day of the Rose City Comic Con. As was my goal and plan I debuted the Mothra cosplay today. The hat is sturdy and the band nearly invisible once it was under my hair. The wings were a bit warm but very wearable.

We started off the day with the Kaijucast Godzilla VS. Everything panel. It was the best panel discussion I’ve ever been in. They showed clips from Godzilla movies for a whole hour. They also related trivia and lore about the filming of the movies and the actors. It was delightful. If you love all things Kaiju you should really wander on over to

the fine people who host Kaijucast, a monthly podcast about Godzilla and other Kaiju, were the one’s to turn me on to Daimajin which is a fantastic old trilogy about a kaiju that is based in myth. This year they were talking up the 1990’s Gamera, or as I like to call them, the good Gamera movies. Look for a picture of Mothra on their website at the end of the day today. I visited their booth (B5) at the con and had a lovely chat with them after the panel discussion. Also check out this fabulous Newt cosplay from Pacific Rim, totally squeeing over Mothra (totes in character if you ask me).

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra

The cosplay today was amazing. I saw my first Yzma and Kronk from Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. That’s a completely underrated movie if you ask me. This cosplay is fantastic too.

Yzma and Kronk

Yzma and Kronk

With Guardians of the Galaxy being so popular and the most recent Marvel offering I was expecting to see a plethora of Star-Lords and other characters. I only counted 2 Star-Lords, 2 Ronins and the cutest Groot you could want to see.

Dancing Groot

Dancing Groot

Star-Lord and Ronin set aside their differences fora photo shoot.

Star-Lord and Ronin set aside their differences fora photo shoot.

If you follow this blog you will, of course, already know that I consider the cosplayers to be easily half of the attraction of a con. I love to see how creative people are and I love to see the cosplay and the cosplayers enjoying displaying their efforts and talent. So without further adieu here are a bunch of pictures of cosplay from today at the RCCC:

The family that cosplays together stays together.

The family that cosplays together stays together.

Midna gets a glimpse of her future with cursed Midna

Midna gets a glimpse of her future with cursed Midna

Sasha of Cherno Alpha along with Newt and Gottlieb.

Sasha of Cherno Alpha along with Newt and Gottlieb.

The Joker

The Joker

Last but not least, you may be wondering how people reacted to the Mothra cosplay I wore. Well it’s a fairly obscure character so not a lot of people realized who I was. One guy even thought I was some kind of Pokemon (really?). The people who got it though were really excited about it. Their eyes would get wide and their faces would light up and then they would tell me how much they love Godzilla and Mothra. It was fantastic. I loved hearing their stories and I really am happy that my cosplay could make some other people so happy too. It was delightful. And yes I bought the soundtrack for the Godzilla movies and played the Mothra song periodically. (Totally stuck in my head right now too, thank you very much). With the theme song people seemed better able to recognize the character.

I will say that the folks of the Godzilla vs. Everything panel did have me stand up and show their audience before the discussion started and they sang the theme song for me. One gentleman stopped me as I walked across the lobby, “Mothra! Can I take your picture?” Of course and I was delighted to show the wings too. All in all, despite the relatively low number of people recognizing the character, I would say it was quite a success. I’ll be back tomorrow for the second day of the con and I’ll be Mothra again. K.

Mosura

Mosura

Cosplay Mothra: Minimalist on a budget

feathers for antenna

If you’ve been following my humble blog, gentle reader, you know that I enjoy going to comic cons. I also have a cobbled together steampunk cosplay that I wear. You also know that I am a huge Godzilla fan. As a result of these things I have decided to try my hand at a Mothra cosplay.

There were several things I considered before deciding how to go about my cosplay. I didn’t want to go with a full face mask. That would be too hot and involve way too much construction. I also didn’t want to limit my visual field with a bulky mask. Wings are also a logistical nightmare at a con where there are hundreds if not thousands of people all together enjoying the geek-fest.

I sat in on a couple of cosplay panel discussions at the last couple of cons and got some really good pointers. Like thinking about how you’re going to sit in a car with your costume on, or how you are going to use the restroom. These are good things to keep in mind.

So with those constraints, along with a rather limited budget, I began trying to puzzle out how I could make this work. It occurred to me that I could go a minimalist route and possibly make something that would adhere to the spirit of Mothra and cosplay without being a full body suit topped with a huge heavy mask. Then it came to me: I could make a hat. Now I’ve never made a hat before but I know they have fascinator forms at craft and fabric stores where they sell bridal supplies. (Also I don’t know what delineates a hat from a fascinator so forgive me if I’m using incorrect terminology. This could be an elaborate fascinator for all I know.)

I looked at my Mothra figure and got some white faux fur, a scrap or two of black felt, two ostrich feathers and since I couldn’t find blue gems in the size and shape I wanted I bought two pendants that had plastic gems that were close.

Materials for Mothra fascinator/hat

Materials for Mothra fascinator/hat

I also had some royal purple scraps but they did not fit with the theme. I’ll save those for another project. This is what I started out with. I got two fascinator forms because neither was the size or shape I wanted. I hand stitched the two together and used a couple pieces of scrap fusable interfacing that I pulled off the back of the remnants of another project to complete the size and shape I wanted.

Two fascinator forms

Two fascinator forms

Over the top of what is now the superstructure for the headpiece I pinned a strip of black felt and two pieces of the white faux fur. To cut down on weight I hand stitched all of this together.

black felt & white faux fur

black felt & white faux fur

Now I could have gotten a bunch of ostrich feathers cheap on eBay but I only needed two. I had to balance my need to watch my budget with my limited space and against the likelihood of needing white ostrich feathers in the future. I spent a bit more than I needed to but I only got two ostrich feathers. These are very light weight and the perfect size and shape to make Mothra’s antenna. I used an exact-o knife to cut through the forms as well as cutting a slit in the fabric overlay so that I could hot glue the feathers into place. I stuck them just slightly through the fascinator superstructure and used liberal amounts of hot glue to hold them in place, both underneath and on top. Then I laid the fabric back over the top and stitched it down. The hat/fascinator is remarkably lightweight and well balanced since the antenna lay at just a bare 15 to 20 degree angle off the hat.

feathers for antenna

feathers for antenna

Next time I’ll get the plastic gems off the pendants and hot glued on the headpiece.

These will do just fine for eyes.

These will do just fine for eyes.

I have some ideas for how to make workable wings too, by workable I mean the kind you can wear to a comic con without requiring a lot of airspace. I’m using the term wings loosely here. I will keep you updated, gentle reader. K.

#ECCC2014 Day 3 Emerald City Comic Con: More pictures, #Godzilla, #Dwight Schultz and #Karen Gillian

Harry Potter Cosplay ECCC2014

Harry Potter Cosplay ECCC2014

Harry Potter Cosplay ECCC2014

Day 3 of ECCC is bittersweet. We have had so much fun and this is the final day of the con. The urge to squeeze every ounce of fun out of this day is stronger than any of the other days of the con. We are weary from lack of sleep and overstimulation from all of the sights and sounds yet we wish it would never end.

I so wanted to see Karen Gillian but her line was capped by the time I got up there. I’m very happy that so many other people wanted to see her. I did get to meet Dwight Schultz and get his autograph. He was just as delightful as could be. I had a difficult time selecting the right photograph to have signed for a very reasonable price. I was very tempted by the one where he was wearing the full aviator costume he wore in the A-Team because I really loved the character of Howling Mad Murdock. Finally I settled upon a photograph of him with Dirk Benedict because I had gotten Mr. Benedict’s autograph at last years ECCC and it appealed to my sense of temporal symmetry. I hadn’t realized he’d done some voice acting for Princess Mononoke or I might have had something intelligent to say to him.

From there I went to John de Lancey’s autograph line, which was right next to Dwight Schultz’s line. He was also very gracious and we chose the photograph of Q sitting on the throne, of course we did. His autograph was also reasonably priced.

I had to laugh at myself. Not only are we getting a wonderful collection of Star Trek actor and actress autographs but I’m also picking up the A-Team while I’m at it. I wanted to get Karl Urban’s autograph but the timing just didn’t work out. Every time I tried to get up there to his signings I got distracted—usually by Godzilla. Then by the time I remembered I was trying to get an autograph the time was up. Totally my bad but I got some cool Godzilla stuff.

What I love about the con is that if you plan your day out right you can see the sights and when your feet get tried and you need to sit for a bit you just go to the panel discussion of some star you want to hear speak or a workshop. There are panels that have advice on how to create cosplay costumes and how to write or market your own comic books.

I found Heather Hudson’s table. She’s another artist whose work I really like. I’ve played Magic: The Gathering since The Dark was released so I know some of the work of a lot of artists. She was just pleasant to talk to. She had a Cthulhu poker deck that I just had to pick up. Apparently I’m collecting unusual poker decks now. What I love about them is that they contain a lot of art for the buck.

So ends another Emerald City Comic Con. We had such a good time I’m already looking forward to next year. Please enjoy some more photographs. KZ

Wonder Woman ECCC2014

Wonder Woman ECCC2014

ECCC2014 Steampunk cosplay

ECCC2014 Steampunk cosplay

ECCC2014 Dalek Cosplay

ECCC2014 Dalek Cosplay

ECCC2014 Space Battleship Yamato model under construction.

ECCC2014 Space Battleship Yamato model under construction.

ECCC2014 Guyver Model

ECCC2014 Guyver Model

ECCC2014 Loki & Black Widow

ECCC2014 Loki & Black Widow

Day 2 #ECCC2014 Emerald City Comic Con #Godzilla & Cosplay Lots of Pics

Mark from Gatchaman Action Figure

Mark from Gatchaman Action Figure

Mark from Gatchaman Action Figure

Today I gave myself permission to just wander the vender booths and see what there was to see. Oh, sure, I could have stood in lines for a variety of autographs. I did that at the Rose City Comic Con and had a blast but there is something to be said for just soaking in the experience.

Today I found the Godzilla merchandise—oh did I ever find the Godzilla merchandise. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. There were “destroy the city” play sets with Godzilla 2014 and the new Kaiju Muto. There were Godzilla piggy banks (I so want one) and Godzilla patches.

Godzilla merchandise including Hedorah and Megaguirus figures

Godzilla merchandise including Hedorah and Megaguirus figures

Then I hit the jackpot. At a booth that I’ve seen before that specializes in Japanese monster movie and anime merchandise. This time the proprietors had way more Godzilla stuff than I remember. They were very helpful and talked about their wares knowledgably. I went a little crazy but I got some fantastic stuff including an action figure of Mark from Gatchaman as well as a Megaguirus and Hedorah figure. Yes I was bad—no I’m not even remotely sorry.

Aside from the squee worthy Godzilla merch the cosplay today was just delightful. I saw so many firsts today in cosplay that it was just fun to see who all I could find that I hadn’t seen at a con before. Now granted I haven’t been to a lot of cons yet but today I saw a rocking Ms. Marvel, a Firestar, a phenomenal Spawn with henchmen carrying his cape for him and the far and away winners were an older couple dressed as Popeye and Olive Oyl. I kid you not.

Dalek Wheelchair FTW

Dalek Wheelchair FTW

There was a woman who had decked out her wheel chair so that she could be a Dalek—total win. I saw my first Doctor Strange and a simply stunning Scarlett Witch in her classic costume, which I must confess is one of my all time favorites. Some of the best Lokis were cosplayed by women and I saw a really buff cross-dressed Wonder Woman that was well done. He was rocking the bathing suit.

Black Widow was well represented and there were a couple of gorgeous Black Cats as well as Catwoman. Poison Ivy and the Joker were perennial favorites. I even saw a woman dressed up as The Eye of Sauron. It was pretty amazing.

We made our way to the Lego room to see Rivendale recreated in Legos. It was gorgeous and a bit mind-boggling. I can’t even imagine how much time it must have taken to put that thing together. There was a Lego R2D2 that had LED lights and motors in it so that it moved and made R2D2 sounds.

Space Battleship Yamato Model

Space Battleship Yamato Model

Then there were the models. Oh, the models. They were simply amazing. There were several Space Battleship Yamatos, a Guyver and an entire fleet of Starfleet Enterprises and other ships. There was even a Homer Simpson as Thor model.

Everyone was friendly and happy to talk about his or her craft, from cosplayers to venders to the people working on the models. There wasn’t a single person I couldn’t walk up to and ask a question without getting a warm greeting and lengthy explanation. One gentleman, working on turning a USS Missouri into a Space Battleship Yamato was very happy to explain all of the custom things he was doing to the ship, including how he was going to have the LED lights set up so that the engine and deck lights dimmed when the wave motion cannon was activated.

It’s so rewarding to listen to people talk about their hobbies and passions. There is a joy that is contagious and it makes me happy to witness it. I love the cosplayers; I love the artists and crafters. To me they are the heart and soul of the con. KZ

Starfleet Fleet of Models ECCC2014

Starfleet Fleet of Models ECCC2014

Loki, Black Widow and friends

Loki, Black Widow and friends

Popeye and Olive Oyl cosplay

Popeye and Olive Oyl cosplay

Lego Rivendale

Lego Rivendale

Doctor Strange & Scarlett Witch & friend

Doctor Strange & Scarlett Witch & friend

Day 1 of the Emerald City Comic Con #ECCC #NichelleNichols #PacificRim

T. Walpole's Drizzt
T. Walpole's Drizzt

T. Walpole’s Drizzt Do’Urden cover

Friday, March 28, 2014 and the #ECCC opens at 10 am.  At 9:30 the Starbucks, which had a line out the door on day 3 last year, was full but not out the door.  Some 10 minutes later, coffee in hand, we made our way to the convention center.

Last year we were directed through the convention center, out the back side, around the block and through a park to the end of the line.  This year they mailed the badges out early, which is good because all three days sold out long ago.  So we went in, up the escalators, showed our badges to the friendly and helpful volunteers and were inside to the next line.  That line was mercifully brief too.

Shortly we were ushered into the massive vender room where rows upon rows of tables awaited us offering everything from leather corsair hats to My Little Pony plushies.  The mass of humanity waiting to go in flowed like a tsunami of people looking for that perfect item to take home or that final piece to complete a costume.

I saw some spectacular Scharazade corsets side by side with Lego box sets of the 12 Doctors.  There were swords and daggers next to booths offering T-shirts with just about every anime, manga or super hero on them you could imagine.

The artist’s tables were equally varied and plentiful.  Brian Snoddy was there and very friendly.  He told me that other Magic: The Gathering artists were also around, like Phil and Kaya Foglio and Franz Vohwinkel.  We met Magic: The Gathering artist Brom and he was extremely nice.  He asked if anyone in our group was an artist and showed a real interest in them.

Let me say that I’ve always loved Phil and Kaya Foglio’s art.  I’ve met them once or twice at Magic: The Gathering conventions and they are gracious.  What really impressed me about them though was here recently when they boycotted Dragoncon because the co-owner was an accused child molester.  They actually gave up on income for the sake of real principles.  We need more people willing to make a stand like that in this world.

I really enjoy browsing the artist’s tables.  I love art and I like supporting artists.  Without exception artists I’ve stopped and chatted with have been friendly, passionate about their art and happy to talk about it and even give tips to others about how to improve their art.

At one table a series of gorgeous prints of Drizzt Do’urden holding Twinkle and Icingdeath drew me in.  I named them and said I was seriously tempted to purchase one.  Artist Tyler Walpole was sitting right there, it being his table and his art on those prints and he smiled and said, “I think you should go with that feeling.”

I laughed.  He laughed too and added, “Of course I might be a little biased.”

He was very charming and I did indeed go with that suggestion and got a beautiful print.  He kindly signed it for me and though I was tempted to chat for a while I didn’t linger because there were other paying customers right behind me.

The only thing I didn’t see a lot of, much to my dismay, was Godzilla merchandise or art.  Oh there were a couple of old action figures in one booth but with a major motion picture about to be released I had hoped to see much more representation of the king of the Kaiju.  I did find one booth that had some pretty choice Pacific Rim merchandise that made me happy.  Still, I had hoped Godzilla would have a larger presence

Nichelle Nichols at ECCC

Nichelle Nichols at ECCC

I must confess that the highlight of the day was meeting Nichelle Nichols.   There’s a funny story about that too because I expected her autograph line to not only be super long but also to be starting an hour later than when I got up to the room where stars were signing autographs.

You see, I went to get Richard Dean Anderson’s autograph as a gift for my sister.  When I got there the autographs were $85.00 each!  I’m afraid that’s a little rich for my blood.  Shoot that’s more than I paid for Sir Patrick Stewart’s autograph, and I got a great story to tell out of that brief encounter.  Plus the line for Richard Dean Anderson was huge.

So I browsed around the room to see who else might be there and almost right next door was Nichelle Nichols.  Not only was her line shockingly short but also her autographs were a very modest $40.00.

Let me just say that she is as warm and gracious and absolutely beautiful in person as she is on the big screen.  She found something to say to each person who got an autograph and even spoke briefly with fans who just wanted to say, “Hi.”  She is a generous and truly lovely person inside and out.

We went from there to sit in on her discussion panel.  Of course she was asked to tell the story about how she met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Most Star Trek fans have heard the story but not the way she tells it.  When she tells that story she really makes it come alive.

Nichelle Nichols said she was nervous to meet such an icon as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and he was nervous to meet such an icon as Lt. Uhura from Star Trek.  Apparently they were quite good friends before he told her she could not leave Star Trek.  She said one of the things she loves about having worked on Star Trek was that she could go anywhere and she could always tell who the Star Trek fans were within a few moments of meeting someone and because of that connection she always felt she had something she could talk about with people.

She went on from there to tell the story about when she met Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.  The way she spoke, her facial expressions and her candor were so engaging and she was so generous with herself that it was a joy to just listen to her speak.   She said she was told this Doctor wanted to meet her and she thought she’d set up a time to meet, give herself a chance to prepare but no; he wanted to meet her right now.  So she was nervous.  “Then,” she said, “This gorgeous man walks in, and I’m thinking–alright!”  She was so funny, just absolutely charming.

Steampunk Hat

Steampunk Hat

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but the Emerald City Comic Con is off to an excellent start if you ask me.  Oh! The Cosplay has been fantastic.  I’ll get into that more in a later article.  KZ

William Shatner & Stan Lee at the Portland Comic Con

Stan Lee Portland Comic Con 2014

Stan Lee Portland Comic Con 2014

The Portland Comic Con boasted an incredible line up of stars. Stan Lee, William Shatner, Ron Perlman, Bruce Campbell, Adam West, Burt Ward, Nicholas Brendon, Cassandra Peterson and so many others I don’t even remember. Of course with a line up like that and less than infinite funds some tough choices had to be made. For example, I could get Adam West’s autograph OR have my picture taken with Stan Lee. I could get Nicholas Brendon’s autograph OR have my picture taken with William Shatner. Sorry Batman and Xander, truly I am sorry.

I did get my photograph taken with Stan “The Man” Lee. There were so many people who wanted, and paid for, photographs that there was no time to say more than a quick, “hello,” to Stan Lee. He smiled brightly, straightening and seemed genuinely delighted to see us. He looked ready to chat, to share some story or something and I’m sure, had the people tasked with getting hundreds of people processed given him time he would have been happy to. As it was he kind of deflated just slightly when the camera person called, “Next!” It seemed to me that Stan Lee truly enjoys his fans. I should have gotten his photograph.

William Shatner Portland Comic Con 2014

William Shatner Portland Comic Con 2014

Next I had a photo op with William Shatner. He also truly enjoys his fans. He’s a warm and welcoming personality. Once again there wasn’t time to utter more than a hurried, “Thank you,” after the photo was snapped (and pray my eyes were open and I wasn’t making some stupid face since there were no retakes).

I had to get my photograph taken with William Shatner though. Even though I would have loved to have Adam West’s autograph, or Elvira’s. You see, many years ago William Shatner went to a Star Trek convention in a gorilla suit. I was at that convention. I walked right past the guy in the gorilla suit with the attendants and I clearly remember thinking to myself, “why would someone wear a gorilla suit to a Star Trek convention?” And I never knew until I read his book about it. You see there were some very particular and unique happenings at that convention and I knew some of the people involved.

I’m also one of this people for whom Star Trek made a huge difference. It was almost a life line to me as a nerdy bookish child. So you can imagine my angst when I read that chapter in his book and realized that I had walked right past him and not even realized it.

I would have shared that funny little story with him had there been any kind of time. I’m sure he would have enjoyed it. He struck me as genuine and caring.

I have yet to meet a star who wasn’t just a delight to meet. So far they have all been very thoughtful and pleased to meet their fans. I was not able to get Nicholas Brendon’s autograph but I did see him give autographs to two girls who were fans. It was very sweet. He gave them each a hug and played a guessing game with one of them. It’s really touching when a star who has a whole line of people waiting to get an autograph takes that extra two minutes to make a special memory for his fans.

Cosplay & Ron Perlman at the Portland Comic Con

Captain America cosplay Portland Comic Con

Cherno Alpha Cosplay at Portland Comic Con

Cherno Alpha Cosplay at Portland Comic Con

I’ve been busy having fun at the Portland Comic Con and as a result have not been good about blogging about it. Which is disservice to an excellent con. There were some rocking cosplays, quite a few in point of fact. I saw a fabulous I Dream Of Jeanie for the first time at a con. There were a bunch of Doctors, mainly the fourth Doctor, the tenth Doctor and the eleventh Doctor. I even saw a weeping angel get into a stare down with a mop-toting, fez-wearing, bow-tie clad eleventh Doctor. One of my top favorites was a fantastic Sasha Kaidonovsky, pilot of Cherno Alpha from Pacific Rim. There were a lot of Wonder Women and I was glad to see them. Also I saw quite a few Poison Ivys and this con I saw a lot of My Little Ponys and they were adorable. Elsa and Anna from Disney’s Frozen made their cosplay debut at this con and they were gorgeous every time I saw one. I could write a whole article about the fabulous cosplay and perhaps I should.
Xena Warrior Princess Cosplay at Portland Comic Con

Xena Warrior Princess Cosplay at Portland Comic Con

Today, though, I want to write about meeting Ron Perlman. I remember seeing him first in Beauty and the Beast when I was quite young. While he had many roles, I’m sure between that and Hellboy I was not aware of them and Hellboy is a movie I really enjoy. I never got into Sons of Anarchy so next I saw him in Pacific Rim which is far and away my favorite movie of 2013. So when I heard he was going to be at this con I was very excited.

What I really wanted to do was come up with something to say to him that would be as interesting for him as meeting him would be for me. I wanted to say something intelligent, or kind, or anything other than something a squeeing fangirl might say. Unfortunately I could not come up with something to say so, on Saturday, the first time I went through his autograph line I just smiled, shook his hand and said, “Thank you.” Ok, so not very articulate but not too embarrassing. He was charming and gracious.

Then I discovered that someone else in my party also wanted his autograph but had had to get cash. So, I agreed to stand in line with her the next time he was singing autographs to keep her company. That’s twice in one day I met him and he was very kind. THEN, because I had managed not to make a complete fool of my self by saying anything dumb, my nephew found out about the autograph opportunity and, since he doesn’t live in town and it was far too late and too expensive for his parents to ship him in for the con he begged me to get him a signed photo of Hellboy. What could I do? So Sunday I stood in line for the third time, feeling like a total dork because I had gone about this the most inefficient way possible and here I was for the THIRD time getting an autograph.

Mr. Perlman was gracious and if he recognized me (probably since I wore my steampunk cosplay each day), he didn’t make any comments about how many times I’d stood in line to see him this weekend–bless his heart for his kindness.

Ron Perlman is very good to his fans and he gets into character a little bit for each different character photo he signs. I’m glad I got to meet him, even if I could barely string two words together. Also one of his fans drew a picture of a dragon for him and he thanked her for it when she gave it to him. He said it was very nice. I would say it was totally worth standing in line three times to meet him. K.

Captain America cosplay Portland Comic Con

Captain America cosplay Portland Comic Con