#Mothra #Cosplay Actual Day 17: Completed in time for #RCCC

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

Mothra Cosplay Final Form

That’s right, gentle reader, I got it done and not a moment too soon. Today we are less than 7 days out from the Rose City Comic Con. I also helped stitch the skirt and cape for our Midna (of Zelda fame) that will be one of our cosplayers and then helped with the Godzilla cosplay (although that one may not make RCCC).

As an aside our Godzilla cosplayer has a conflict with the RCCC on Saturday so our plan to enter the team cosplay contest has been thwarted. Maybe we can do something like that when we get to the Emerald City Comic Con. Wish us luck!

I know last week I said it was day 14 but I went back and counted them up and it’s actually day 17 today. My total hours invested in the project are right at about 70. I splurged on two things this week for the costume, pushing the cost for materials up to $110.00 but several of the things I got are not absolutely necessary for the cosplay.

Yeah I got the bluetooth speaker.

Yeah I got the bluetooth speaker.

Perfect example: I picked up a bluetooth speaker (toy of the night when I brought it home) and bought the theme song for Mothra to put somewhere (possibly in the front vest pocket) and play while I’m at the Con. That was $30.00 I hadn’t planned on spending when I calculated the cost of the materials. In fact that little splurge is responsible for me going over my second budget estimate. Totally worth it though.

I finished up painting the vest, which is making up the main body of Mothra, and touching up the wings. Check it out:

Finishing the vest

Finishing the vest

Painting the feet on the vest.

Painting the feet on the vest.

It’s a good thing I tried it on and wore it a bit today. I broke one of the dowels in two places just wearing it. I’ll never get one piece of the dowel out of the sleeve I stitched for it so it’ll have to stay. Thankfully the 12 gauge wire was in place and that’s helping a lot. I have to decide if I want to use the dowels and replace one (for a grand total of $0.39) or go with softer wings. I really like the visual I get with the extra support along the leading edge the dowel gives me so I’ll probably replace it before the con.

I really did not want to go with a big elastic strap to hold the hat on. I was hoping that a few elastic loops and some bobby pins would do the trick. Once again, in the trial the hat wasn’t as secure as I had hoped it would be, and not secure enough for me to be confident of it in a large crowd. Because of that I went ahead and stitched an elastic strap on it and I’m very pleased with the result. It doesn’t go under my chin but rather around the back of my head and I like it much better. This will be secure in a large crowd.

Some bonus pictures from the construction and modeling of the cosplay:

Stitching the wings on the vest.

Stitching the wings on the vest.

Set up for painting, with the Mothra model.

Set up for painting, with the Mothra model.

Folded wings

Folded wings

Mothra will debut at the Rose City Comic Con. I am very excited and pleased. Looking at the pictures it looks even better than I imagined it would when I started it lo these many weeks ago. K.

#Mothra #Cosplay Minimalist, Adjusted Budget Holding

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

With the holiday weekend affording an extra day to work on the Mothra cosplay I was hoping to get the paining finished on the wings. Since I have to mix the colors myself from the available fabric paints I have it takes a lot longer than one might expect. They are turning out beautifully but it is taking such a long time to paint them.

I ran out of blue and orange paint so I had to pick up more. This pushed my budget ever closer to the hard limit of $100.00 for materials. True when I started I was hoping to keep it around $50.00 but that starting budget was quite unrealistic and only goes to show how little experience I have with making cosplays. I should have just started with the more reasonable budget of $100.00, and a more seasoned cosplayer probably would have.

Even with a budget of $100.00 I’m still looking for bargains and using coupons to buy my materials. Goodwill, and store coupons are great resources for getting materials and keeping to a reasonable budget. This weekend there were some particularly good coupons for some of the local craft stores due to the holiday. That’s something to keep in mind when considering starting a new cosplay. If you plan it right you can get your materials during a big sale.

Better planning in general would have helped keep the cost down. I didn’t know how much paint the fabric I chose would soak up so that is costing me in additional paint. I’m sure someone who has been doing cosplay for a long time would have chosen different fabric, treated it differently and planned things out better than I have.

We did get a cheap table cloth, a plastic picnic table cloth to put on the table while we paint. It protects the table and makes it less nerve wracking when we paint on the only good sized surface in the house for crafting.

Outside of the Left Wing

Outside of the Left Wing

All that being said, I still love what I’m doing and I love my costume. I’m learning a lot and having fun. My goal now is to get it finished up within the next two weeks. That includes touching up the paint where necessary, affixing the wings to the vest and stitching loops on the hat so that I can use bobby pins to keep it on my head in a crowded convention hall.

There are some flaws to the costume. I pretty much won’t be able to carry anything, so any tchotchkes or memorabilia I may want to pick up will have to be handled by one of my companions. The cosplay is designed to be portable though. I can roll the wings and vest up into a compact bundle to transport. The most difficult piece to transport will be the hat, due to the feathers.

Both Wings

Both Wings

We got our tickets to ECCC (Emerald City Comic Con) today and I’ll be wearing it there for certain. I’m still looking to debut it at the RCCC (Rose City Comic Con) in three weeks. We will see how well it travels then. K.

#Mothra #Cosplay Day 13, Oversights and Corrections

The pattern is really coming together as I near completion on painting.

The pattern is really coming together as I near completion on painting.

The pattern is really coming together as I near completion on painting.

Well, gentle reader, it is day 13 of the Mothra cosplay construction. I’ve logged around 49 hours of labor on the costume as of today. I really need to step it up because I’m just over a month out from the debut comic con. I was looking for one I could get to sooner than Emerald City and found Rose City. That’s where the costume will be unveiled then: The Rose City Comic Con.

While I was looking at my model and at some of the other cosplays and realized that I had overlooked the underbelly of Mothra. More specifically I had overlooked the legs. With this in mind I roughed out a vague shape for her legs on the front of the vest that is serving as the central structure for the costume. It is a very rough shape and not what the final form will look like. I did not paint in the bend of the joint because once the vest is on, the leg will wrap around my side naturally. It is tempting to be dismayed by how ugly this looks right now but I am confident the final solution will be just fine.

In the process of roughing out the legs I discovered that there are small pockets on the front of the vest (yes I missed them when I first bought the vest). The pockets may not be deep enough to safely hold an ID. I rather suspect they are not and am still searching for a better solution. Right now I’m thinking maybe a small shoulder bag could work if it hangs down far enough to be below the vest.

front of vest

front of vest as underbelly

front of vest as underbelly

All of that aside, I finished painting the inside of the main part of the right wing and painted the red/orange/yellow parts of the hind wing. Since I started on this project I have learned a lot about how to go about this and as a result the inside of the wing is visually superior to the outside. Again it is tempting to be dismayed but I knew I would have to touch up the front side and I know it’ll be just as lovely when I am finished.

If I allowed all of these little missteps and setbacks to overwhelm me, or focused on every imperfection it would be easy to lose sight of the big picture and give up. No it won’t be perfect. Yes I still have a minimum of 4 more Sundays to complete this thing, and that’s if I keep making the kind of progress I made today. But it’s fabulous and I conceived of this, designed it and constructed it myself. I may make more polished cosplays in the future. I may make more elaborate cosplays in the future. But I will never surpass this Mothra for the sheer love I have for it. For me it touches on everything cosplay is about.

Mothra has great sentimental value for me. My grandmother used to watch Godzilla movies with my father, who in turn watched them with me. In crafting this costume I’ve discovered a deeper connection to the character and to the entire genera, which I love. I was thrilled by Pacific Rim, but as much as I love technology, I don’t think those cosplays suit my style. Of course there is always Godzilla, but again for some reason the Big G doesn’t really spark my cosplaying imagination.

I must add that I am delighted one of the other cosplayers in our group is making a Godzilla cosplay. I think it’s fantastic and fabulous, just not for me. I’m still kind of surprised that I chose Mothra.

Anyway, here are this weeks photographs of the progress on (cue dramatic music) The Wings of Mothra:

At the beginning of today

At the beginning of today

Painting the purple fields first

Painting the purple fields first

Several shades of blue

Several shades of blue

Red on the hindwing

Red on the hindwing

Notice, if you will the correction I’ve been making to the blue on the hindwing where I painted over the section where white should be. It’s working and you can now clearly discern the white “stripe” continuing from the forewing to the hindwing. Also I noticed that the hindwing fields had red at the outside edges not a darker orange and have made that correction. The colors are just beautiful and it’s looking like it should to my eye. K.

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

Updates And Forward

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

As you well know, gentle reader, I took a short break from blogging. What happened is that I started a new job and it’s been tough getting used to the new schedule. It takes a surprising amount of time and energy to craft quality blog posts and I’ve been just mentally and physically exhausted for the past 6 weeks. The shorter blog posts you have noticed have been my attempt to post something that might be of interest. I thank you for your patience and I will be blogging once again.

For a brief update on my plans going forward: I intend to keep up with the Golden Age of Science Fiction Authors series as well as reviewing an assortment of movies. When it comes to movies, do keep in mind that I am a fan not a critic. Astronomy is a subject I adore and will be keeping up on.

As for my writing, I’m still working on the sequel to In The Flesh but I’m going to set that aside for a bit. What I want to do is start outlining my NaNoWriMo project for this year and it’s going to be the space opera I promised myself I could write. I’ve got a lot of ideas and I’m trying to narrow them down to the ones I really think will work best.

I have tickets to the Rose City Comic Con and next years Emerald City Comic Con so look for those updates too. It’s going to be a fun and exciting next few months. K.

Comic Reviews: B.P.R.D. Hollow Earth An Oldie but Goodie

B.P.R.D. Hollow Earth and Other Stories Graphic Novel

B.P.R.D. Hollow Earth and Other Stories Graphic Novel

B.P.R.D. Hollow Earth and Other Stories Graphic Novel

Comic Reviews: B.P.R.D. (The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense)
Hollow Earth and Other Stories

Mike Mignola is perhaps best known for his creation Hellboy published by Dark Horse Comics. One of the spin offs of Hellboy is the B.P.R.D., which features Abe Sapien and others who seek out the strange, paranormal and fantastic all over the world. Personally I like the B.P.R.D. better than Hellboy for reasons of personal taste, which is that I tend to like science fiction more than fantasy or horror so the more it leans towards science fiction the better I like it. The series kicked off in 2002 with Hollow Earth.

Mignola has a very distinctive artistic style that I find suits his stories very well. I was pleased to get to meet Mr. Mignola at the 2013 Emerald City Comic Con this last March and I got a signed book of his artwork.

B.P.R.D. Hollow Earth and Other Stories was penciled by Ryan Sook who helped ink it along with Curtis Arnold and it was colored by Dave Stewart. These men did a superlative job of creating the tone of the story. The shadowy, muted colors and odd angles with very little crispness speak to the hidden, otherworldly dimensions that exist within our own and might even be more real than what we know as reality. The artwork hints at things we cannot see clearly without being out of focus. This works well with stories that mix hints and whispers with myths and legends to create a world where nothing is quite what it seems and what we take for granted as normal is a veneer that hides what lies beneath the floors, behind the curtains, always under the surface.

The story, written by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski is one of my favorite B.P.R.D. stories because it introduces Johann. Talk about a wild back story, Johann is just out there, even for the B.P.R.D. and we get to see Elizabeth too and she is brought in. The story starts out with Elizabeth in a monk temple and we are given a backstory that would do H.P. Lovecraft proud. This is the kind of thing I love, where an author makes their own mythology, plays with what has become embedded in the stories of different cultures and makes it new.

I know it’s been out for a while but if you’re looking for a good read, or just want to revisit an oldie but goodie I really think this is one to go to. It’s also a pretty quick read. It’s good to feed your imagination but sometimes hard to find the time to do it. This graphic novel, or these comic books depending upon what you can find, are pretty excellent. K.

Recollections of the ECCC Pt. 4 Dirk Benedict

Battlestar Galactica was one of my favorite shows when I was young. It never bothered me to see that same poor Ceylon get blown up in every space battle. I loved the crew, the adventures and the ships. I also loved The A-Team when I was a teen. The common thread and the characters I loved best in each were played by Dirk Benedict. So when I heard he was going to be at the Emerald City Comic Con I was delighted.

Dirk Benedict kind of dropped off the face of the Earth after the A-Team and unlike so many other celebrities I follow there wasn’t much I knew about him. I’ll admit to feeling a bit of trepidation about meeting him in his autograph line and dragging everyone to hear him speak at his panel discussion. I wondered if he would be one of those stars who are so full of themselves they are disagreeable. Although I should have known better. I have never met a star at a con who wasn’t gracious and open and just lovely.

I waited in line for a few minutes to meet Dirk Benedict and of course said the stupidest fan girl thing, which I’m sure is just what he wanted to hear from a middle aged overweight chick but he was so kind and gracious I didn’t get embarrassed until later. Of course I said, “I had a crush on you way back in the day.” What a moronic thing to say. Bless his heart he just smiled and sad, “but you got over it, right?” And just because I never do anything half way, even being an idiot, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings I said, “not really.”
At the same time Natalia Tena of Harry Potter fame was signing autographs and my daughter really wanted one. Sadly I had to tell her that I had spent all of my money on Dirk Benedict. She got in line anyway to shake hands with Natalia Tena and when we got up there my daughter explained that we couldn’t get an autograph but she wanted to say hi and shake her hand. Well Natalia Tena grabbed a post-it note and wrote down the name of her band and website for my daughter which totally made her day. Seriously, I’ve yet to meet a celebrity who wasn’t just as gracious and kind as can be at a Con.

From there we hurried over to find seats for his panel discussion and caught the end of Felecia Day and Will Wheaton’s discussion which I wrote about yesterday. They were awesome.

Then Dirk Benedict was introduced, preceded by a local military band playing the theme and reciting the intro for The A-Team. It was very cute. They gave him a cigar. This was the moment of truth, Dirk began to speak.

He told us about how he wound up divorced and raising his sons by himself. That’s where he’d been all these years. As a child my father abandoned me so I found this very touching. Not only did Dirk Benedict leave a career in acting to move to the backwaters of Montana to raise his children, you can tell by listening to him that he loves his sons and is so proud of them.

He talked about how his one son wanted to play football (soccer) in the UK because that’s where all the best teams are. He said that some people told him not to take his boy over there because it was just setting him up to fail. And Dirk told us that he took his son (who was not only very successful but a catalyst for a more healthy lifestyle for the other players) to try out because even if he failed, the seeds of success are sown in failure. You can’t have success if you never fail, he told us.

He’s just a lovely, lovely human being.

Then he told us how he got into acting. He said back in college he was in a band and one day they were walking past the theatre, which in the country culture they were in was this mysterious place where strange perhaps sinister things happened. Kind of like a house of I’ll repute, he said of their perceptions at the time. There was a poster advertising try-outs for a musical and being college age guys it came about that he said he could go in there and one of the others dared him to go in and try-out for a part. He didn’t want to do it. But they said they’d give him $5.00 to go in and try out so he did.

He said he went in and he didn’t know what to expect and it was this dark room. He didn’t know if people would descend on him and whisk him off somewhere or what. So he went in and suddenly this voice out of the darkness asks if he has his instrument with him, and he says no. So the voice says, “that’s ok, just sing from one of the pieces here.” They hand him some sheet music. So he does and then he has to read some lines with another person. They thank him and he leaves, collects his $5.00 and forgets about the whole thing.

He continues the story saying that one day they saw the big wig amongst the theatre students walking across the campus and he never spoke to them because he was an actor and they were not. “Well he saw me,” Dirk said, “and started to detour over to them”. He walked right up to him and said, “congratulations.”

Dirk said he looked around to see who this guy might be talking to and it was him! He was wondering what was going on when the guy continued, “You go the lead.”

“What?” Dirk asked still not getting it.

“The lead for the play, you got it.”

“And that’s when I remembered that silly try-out.” Dirk told us, expressing his disbelief even to this day. “So I went over to the head of the theatre department and told him it was a big mistake and to give the part to someone else. They wouldn’t let me out of it. I had to do it. That’s how I got into acting.”

He said a lot of other things, wonderful things about the A-Team and how he liked the good hearted nature of Battlestar Galactic when he was on it. He doesn’t so much like the dark and almost nihilistic nature of the newer version and personally I have to agree with him. If I want to see the darkness in human nature I just look at things that are happening right now in our world. Things like human trafficking, the gang rapes in India and South Africa and Steubenville, Ohio. There is enough darkness in the real world. When I want entertainment I want something that has a goodness to it, something that speaks to hope.

Anyway I’ve nattered on for far too long and I hope you don’t mind, gentle reader. Tomorrow to top off my week of ECCC recollections I’m going to write about meeting Patrick Stewart and how I redeemed myself by asking him a great question. K.

Emerald City Comic Con Recollections Pt. 2: Adam West, Burt Ward and Larry Elmore

This is the second in a series of posts I intend to do about my adventures at the ECCC this past weekend.  Like the previous post this first appeared on my author page over on Facebook.  This one was published March 5th 2013.  To continue with the article:

There was so much nerdish fun that I want to savor the memories and it is really too much for one single post. I hope, gentle reader, that you do not mind the diversion while I write these posts up. I also hope you enjoy seeing a comic con through my eyes.

There were so, so many people I wanted to see and panels I wanted to attend that I had to make some hard decisions. Mike Mignola of Hellboy fame had a panel discussion across from Adam West and Burt Ward.

While I did get a book The Year In Monsters signed by Mike Mignola in the end we chose to see Adam West. Adam West who although is a bit of a sexist is just about as charming and delightful as you could want a person to be. He has this way about him, a way of viewing himself and the world that is just engaging and, I hate to overuse the word, but charming.

Adam West knows how to laugh at himself and he is very grounded. His humor isn’t cruel, it’s more self effacing but gentle, which is to say that he doesn’t put himself down to get a laugh but he makes it clear that he doesn’t take himself too seriously either and that’s a tough line to walk. He pulls it off with aplomb. There is a hint of mischief about Adam West too and that is just as delightful as everything else about him. As Burt Ward said during the discussion, Adam West knows just how far he can push things and he pushes it right up to the breaking point but never goes too far. Also, I could listen to Adam West talk all day. He’s got a great voice and his cadence is as charming as everything else about him.

Burt ward was fantastic. He had a lot of great stories to tell. It appears that he sacrificed his body for the show on more than one occasion. In fact it seems, by the stories, that he was injured in the shooting of just about every episode. Perhaps not that bad but he got hurt a lot. He was very game about the whole thing and seemed to enjoy himself. You could tell he is a great gentleman but he just didn’t have the charisma that West has.

Burt Ward was the darling of the autograph signings though. When people would go up to him to get an autograph he would ask if they had a dog. If they answered, “Yes,” he would give them the pitch for the dog food he’s promoting.

I also spoke to Larry Elmore while he signed a limited edition lithograph of Dragon Mage for me. He was very gracious and chatty. His line moved slowly but it was no issue because he was so fascinating to speak to. I was the first person to mention the trading card set he had done (dating myself quite nicely). He seemed surprised and delighted that I knew of it and he told the following story:

“When I was first approached to do the trading card set I was offered a bit of money up front and then a royalty, a small percentage, to follow if they sold. Now, this was the first time I ever made any real money with my art. They offered me $10,000 for doing the set and it was a lot of money. So I did it and thought, that was nice and maybe I’ll get a couple hundred dollars every quarter from the royalties or something like that. Then I forgot about it until they called me later on and said they were going to send me my royalty check. They said that trading card set sold out the fastest of any set they had ever printed. And I thought to myself, “Wow! That’s great, maybe I’ll get $1,000 for my check.”

Well the representative said, “I’m sending you a check for $30,000.”

I was just blown away! I couldn’t believe it.”

And that’s the story Larry Elmore told us because I mentioned something no one else had. Over the next few days I will write about Dirk Benedict, Sir Patrick Stewart and hopefully Christopher Lloyd. Oh and there was an awesome “Girl on Fire” dress from the Hunger Games cosplayer. She clearly had designed and made it herself but it was fabulous. Alright gentle reader I will leave you with that since this post had gotten longer than I intended.

For those interested in my upcoming book In The Flesh, the editing is coming along nicely despite a few technical difficulties.

Recollections of the Emerald City Comic Con 2013

   I originally posted the following article on my FB author page at: http://www.facebook.com/KZolnoski   on March 4th.  I am reposting them here for your enjoyment, gentle reader not only to let you know what I’ve been up to and why I haven’t had any updates but because you might enjoy reading them.   As far as In The Flesh goes, I just applied for an iTunes publisher account so it will be available there as well as through Amazon, B&N and I’m planning on making it available through Kobo too.
     Now, on to the article:
      just got back from the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Washington.  It was as much fun as I could cram into 4 days.  One of the things I really love about comic cons in general are all of the cosplayers.   I love to see people in their costumes all dressed up and having fun.
     At the ECCC I saw a really well done Inspector Gadget which surprised me.  There’s a fan for everything it seems.   I saw the most adorable 6 or 7 y/o Princess Leia complete with appropriately styled wig in the white dress.  I also saw a gorgeous Princess Leia  in the slave costume.  There was a delightful Charizard too.
     Probably the best cosplay incident happened on the final day of the con.  Sunday there were hundreds of people in line to get autographs from Sir Patrick Stewart (more about that in a later post).  We were all packed in together in this little space while the con workers attempted to keep us from blocking all of the other autograph aisles.  We had been waiting quite a while too since the line started queuing up long before Sir Patrick Stewart arrived to sign the autographs.
The autograph line right next to ours was for Walter Koenig, and it was a very short line because all the Trekkers were trying to get Sir Patrick Stewart’s autograph while they could.  They actually had to cap the line we were in because so many people showed up.  They had a second portion of the line wherein people could be in the line but no guarantee that they would actually get an autograph.
     So I and 500 of my now closest, literally, friends are packed into this line and have been for a while with little progress.  Imagine the setting.  Then suddenly through the line comes this adorable little 4 or 5 y/o in the cutest Robin costume and everyone just lets him through, no questions asked.  We all just take a step out of his way and try to see where he is going so purposefully.  If he’d wanted he could have gone straight to the front of the line and no one would have said a word.  All I saw following this adorable child were smiles from the other con attendees.
     When next I saw our intrepid crime fighter, just moments later, he was with his daddy getting Walter Koenig’s autograph.  He didn’t even want the line we were in.  That little guy could have gone anywhere he wanted and the crowd would have gladly let him.  He actually did and we happily made way for him.  It was one of many lovely moments at the ECCC.