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

A Prodigal Magic: The Gathering Player Returns To The Game

Rukh Egg

Rukh Egg

Rukh Egg

Well, that would be me. I stopped playing just after Mercadian Masques came out (has it been so long?). I had started playing Magic: The Gathering right after The Dark came out, so not a bad run but life got busy and I didn’t have the time or the money to keep up and it kind of fell by the wayside.

So fast forward to the week before Christmas and my family, after months of badgering, gets me to play MTG again. Now everyone is playing all these new cards from sets and expansions I’ve never even heard of. This leads to me having to upgrade the two old decks that I kept as mementos of my Magic playing days.

It was The Cube, which initially brought me back to Magic. That format allowed me to see what some of the newer cards do and to have fun without the investment of my own deck. That was so much fun I actually wanted to dig out my old decks and see what they could do.

Moat

Moat

Back in the day when the only angels were Serra Angels, Fallen Angels and Archangels I built an angel deck (It wasn’t as bad as you might think—I have a Moat). I also built a Fallen Angel deck that relied on Kobolds and Yawgmoth’s Will. These decks, in their primordial state, got thoroughly trounced by the newfangled decks my family is playing.

These brutal and startlingly fast defeats led to some deep soul searching and even deeper searching of The Gatherer online database of Magic cards and a couple weeks of upgrading my old decks.

I didn’t want to move too far away from the original concepts of the decks. While my family tends more towards the “Spike” style of play (fast kills at any cost) I prefer more of a “Johnny” style of play (what do the cards do and how intricate can I make the combinations). I liked the idea of Fallen Angels and using Kobolds as sacrificial critters is not only fun and gives an underrated card some love, it makes old school players of MTG smile when they hear about it.

So, a few Grave Pacts, Skullclamps and other things later and my Black-Red Rakdos (a name I’ve had to learn as I’ve gone along) deck became my only truly competitive deck. This led to an hysterically funny and ridiculous win wherein a Khabal Ghoul had 33 +1/+1 counters on it and I top decked Profane Command against a Gruul deck (another name I learned, albeit while getting my kiester handed to me during game play).

Khabal Ghoul

Khabal Ghoul

I cast the Profane Command, gave 6 of my creatures fear and took out the Gruul player who had a dozen huge and mostly flying creatures on the board that I had previously not been able to get through. Attacking every turn with the Khabal Ghoul and forcing the player to block with a saproling from their Verdant Force led to the Ghoul getting ridiculously huge. They were unconcerned since the Ghoul couldn’t fly right up until I gave it fear. I also hit a player for 6 life loss with the Profane Command which allowed me to take out both of my opponents.

My decks don’t work like a normal tournament deck. I play strictly casual Magic. I like the complex win or loss. My Rakdos deck is the closest to a tournament deck I have and I don’t feel compelled to make another like it. I like to be competitive but I feel the turn 1 or 2 kill isn’t fun at all. You don’t even get to see what the cards can do in that kind of a game. There’s no real strategy to it, you’re just hoping to get the combo before anyone else has a chance to do anything. As far as I can tell, I play Magic the way other people play Chess. It makes my opponents crazy because they don’t understand what I’m up to but they know if they can’t take me out early I’ll build up to something bad for them.

Ok so Rakdos is now the term for a Black/Red deck. Here is the current, improved deck list for what I used to call my Fallen Angel deck:

2 Rukh Egg (I like them very much)
4 Crimson Kobolds
4 Crookshank Kobolds
1 Profane Command
1 Nefarox, Overlord of Grixix
2 Crypt Ghast
1 Rix Maadi Guildmage
1 Disciple of Bolas
1 Avatar of Woe
1 Shriekmaw
2 Khabal Ghoul
1 Liliana Vess
2 Blood Artist
1 Kederekt Parasite
1 Grim Haruspex
4 Fallen Angel (the 7th edition is prettiest but I have 1 Legends Fallen Angel)
1 Tragic Slip
2 Dark Ritual
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Annihilate
3 Grave Pact
4 Lightening Bolt
1 Fires of Undeath (It’s pretty and useful, I like it)
1 Epocrasite (also cool)
1 Sol Ring
1 Jet Medallion
1 Wurmcoil Engine (It’s cool)
4 Skullclamp (we play casual)
1 Crypt of Agadeem
1 Maze of Ith
3 Dragonskull Summit
3 Badlands (I’ve been playing MTG for a looooong time)
5 Mountains
1 Hammerhelm
9 Swamp

Crimson Kobolds

Crimson Kobolds

As better players, or perhaps different style players, than I am will notice right away, there are a lot of single cards in this deck that perhaps could be replaced with others and multiples that would be more efficient at achieving a win condition. That’s not how I play. I like to see the different things that all of these cool cards can do. The fun is the complexity, the possibilities and the unexpected that the cards can produce.

This is my most competitive deck. Next time I’ll write up one of my other decks. K.