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

Godzilla vs. Megalon A Surprising Success

Godzilla vs. Megalon DVD cover

Godzilla vs. Megalon DVD cover

Godzilla vs. Megalon DVD cover

Godzilla vs. Megalon
Director: Jun Fukuda
Writers: Jun Fukuda, Takeshi Kimura and Shin’ichi Sekizawa

1973 brings us the next movie in the Godzilla franchise: Godzilla vs. Megalon. In every way this was superior to the previous two Godzilla movies and while it is tempting to pan it as an awful movie I think that misses the intent of this movie. In the late sixties campy movies and television shows became extremely popular in the US and Ishiro Honda began experimenting with humor in Godzilla movies. I don’t know, nor do I expect there is a correlation, just that these two things are known facts. Jun Fukuda picked up where Ishiro Honda left off and continued with the Godzilla franchise, including experimenting with humor it seems.

The movie starts out ominously enough for the viewer with questionable music and an opening scene of a young boy on some kind of carnival type watercraft out in a small, narrow bay. An earthquake occurs and the young boy and his craft almost get sucked into a whirlpool. He is rescued by the two men and, in an island nation where tsunamis are commonplace; they stay to watch all of the water get drained out of the bay. Not a promising start, gentle reader.

I’m going to attempt to pull out all of the good things about this movie with the understanding that I’m making it sound far better than it is. Just understand that the cheesiness and the campiness are very over the top in this movie.

The plot of Godzilla vs. Megalon involves such Godzilla staples as aliens, peoples from a lost civilization and war against humankind. In a somewhat thoughtful and easily overlooked twist, the attack on humanity is predicated by an attack by humanity on the other civilization. Granted an unknowing attack but still a real attack.

The testing of nuclear weapons has caused great destruction and even though governments have attempted to test where humans would not be affected, the sad truth of the matter is that fallout drifts. In Godzilla vs. Megalon it is a test of a nuclear device that destroys much of a long hidden and ancient civilization living underground.

Outraged by the unprovoked attack on their civilization the people of Seatopia (yeah our first real laugh) call upon the defender of their people, Megalon to wage terrible war on the surface dwellers. Megalon is called for both vengeance and to be a final weapon, destroying those who would attack the peaceful people of Seatopia.

Since most of their population was killed, murdered, in the blast from the nuclear bomb, they also send operatives to fetch an android being developed by a brilliant scientist and his wealthy benefactor. The same three yahoos we saw in the opening scene. The addition of a young boy to this odd couple living in their mansion is an unfortunate misstep. Not because there is anything inherently wrong with two men providing guidance or fatherly figures for a young boy but because young children do not belong in monster movies (with notable exceptions). In case you haven’t noticed, gentle reader, I feel about young children in monster movies the way most Star Wars fans feel about Jar-Jar Binks—and for the same reason.
The robot is named Jet Jaguar (yet another source of humor) and the Seatopia operatives steal his control device. A car chase scene worthy of Herbi the Love Bug ensues as the wealthy benefactor, who likes cars and drives like a racer (reminding me of no one so much as Tony Stark but 70’s Japanese version—yeah it’s as funny as it sounds). There is some brief lip service given to programming for the robot that is completely thrown out the window as the movie progresses. We go from, “I programmed him that way,” to “His survival programming must have taken over,” to “He must think his job is done;” all but admitting, “I have no idea how he’s doing that.”

This movie doesn’t even give a nod to anything that even remotely resembles the laws of physics. Megalon has wings, as a giant insect type Kaiju, but flies via jet propulsion. And then Megalon bounces, huge, goofy bounces, across the countryside. Jet Jaguar grows and shrinks at will. Somehow the Seatopia (yeah I cringe every time I type that. But what can I do? They named it.) Operatives use Jet Jaguar to guide Megalon.

Our heroes and the obnoxious kid get control of Jet Jaguar back and send him to fetch Godzilla to save Tokyo. Apparently Godzilla makes house calls these days. Jet Jaguar heads back to engage Megalon while the Seatopian big Kahuna calls on alien friends to send—Gigan!

Jet Jaguar has plenty of time to be beat up while Godzilla swims all the way from Monster Island to Japan. Megalon and Gigan are miming their plans and taunts as well as victories as they maul Jet Jaguar. Godzilla finally makes an appearance and his miming says “Game ON!” It’s pretty funny. This really kicks off the main part of the exciting final battle of the movie and it is choreographed for maximum silliness. It has to be, because otherwise it’s just mind bogglingly ridiculous.

Godzilla vs. Megalon is hysterically funny. When I viewed it for this review those watching it with me were laughing out loud during the climactic final battle of the movie. It is such an unlikely venue for humor that I was tempted to write it off as unintentionally funny but knowing the above about the time and intents of Ishiro Honda and upon considering the exaggerated pantomiming motions of the monsters I suspect this was the intent. I think this is the Godzilla movie where they got humor just right.

My advice is to pop up some popcorn, have a martini or a beer and just realize that Godzilla vs. Megalon is what it is. A somewhat funny monster movie that raises some surprisingly astute questions about our actions as a species and the responsibility we hold for damaging our world and those creatures with whom we share it. K

David Giuntoli and Christopher Judge @ Rose City Comic Con

Gavid Giuntoli signed photo

Gavid Giuntoli signed photo

Gavid Giuntoli signed photo

Indeed, gentle reader, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting both David Giuntoli of Grimm fame and Christopher Judge, Oregon Duck #2 and T’lac from Stargate at the Rose City Comic Con this weekend.

David Giuntoli still has that air about him of newness to his fame. While every star I’ve met at a con has truly appreciated their fans, David still seems to be surprised that so many people are interested in him, like his show and think highly of him and his work (of course that is just my impression). He also has a charisma and spark of life about him that cannot be translated in media.

Christopher Judge was nothing less than absolutely gracious. He very kindly greeted everyone, even those who didn’t pay for an autograph. He had some Oregon Ducks paraphernalia with him also, playing to the home crowd very well. He really is a gentle, gracious and kind person. I am so very pleased that of all the choices I could have made to get autographs from that I chose his. I also got his autograph for my sister as part of her Christmas gift this year since she couldn’t make it to the RCCC and Christopher kindly signed the photo to her and wished her Merry Christmas.

It is always, always nice when people you like on television, who play characters you like, turn out to be just wonderful human beings. Granted this is just a snapshot of who they are. I only got to speak to each one for a few brief minutes but consider that it was a high stress situation. There were thousands of fans there and many people wanted to speak to them.

As I mentioned yesterday, Star Wars was well represented. I’m including some of the photos I took so you can enjoy the amazing cosplay.

RCCC Star Wars Cosplayer

RCCC Star Wars Cosplayer

Star Wars Cosplayers

Star Wars Cosplayers

And some awesome X-Men cosplayers. I’ve always been a fan of Gambit, espeically before he went back to being evil. There were some spectacular Storm costumes and we were delighted to see a Frozone cosplayer from The Incredibles. Alas I did not get a picture of Frozone but I did get this great picture of some X-Men cosplayers. IMG_2771

Sadly, due to money constraints, I was not able to speak to Avery Brooks. Tomorrow I will go over the Kaiju panel discussion so do come back to read all about that. It was delightful. K.

The Rose City Comic Con Delivers Comic Con Goodness

Make A Wish Foundation Rose City Comic Con Patch

Make A Wish Foundation Rose City Comic Con Patch

Saturday was the first day of the Rose City Comic Con and it was a good one. I have to confess that I didn’t plan a lot for this first day of the con. Sure there was the Kaiju panel to attend and I got a few autographs but mostly I just let myself soak in the experience. The cosplay was some of the best I’ve seen. I have to mention that there were a lot more families at this con than I’ve seen at previous ones and that’s fantastic.

I saw a lot of Doctor Whos also. I think I saw more different representations of The Doctor at this con than any other I’ve yet been to. Star Wars was well represented with the Make A Wish Foundaton offering photo ops with either Stormtroopers and Darth Vader or Princess Leia and a collection of Jedi. There was also a patch that the brave could earn by shooting Stormtroopers with a nerf gun and getting 4 of 5 suction darts to stick to their armor. Of course a small donation was required to get the patch but it was great fun and all monies go to such a great charity.

Nerf target Stormtrooper

Nerf target Stormtrooper

One of the best costumes I saw was Bane with his little Harley Quinn daughter on his shoulders. Check this adorable little girl and her amazing father.

Bane with little Harley Quinn

Bane with little Harley Quinn