A Photo An Hour – March 23, 2019

Photo An Hour is a link-up that I’ve seen Bev do a bunch of times, and she always mentions linking up with Louise and Jane, who I don’t know.  The premise is simple-  you take a photo each hour and post it in real time.

I haven’t ever done a Photo An Hour before, but the March Photo An Hour happened to fall on the Saturday of Spooky Empire, which is a great little convention-  not as big as a ComicCon or MegaCon, but still with enough interesting stuff going on to warrant a day out of the apartment.  Spooky happens twice a year in Orlando, and while the predominant focus is horror, there’s plenty of sci-fi and other genre representation.  For example, last year they had an Animal House panel- screwball college comedy is hardly horror.  In accordance with tradition, I went to Spooky with my friend Lorrie.

I’m not aware of any particular rules for the Photo An Hour, but I set one guideline for myself:  I would start at 9am and end at 9pm- twelve hours is enough of my noise.

9:00 AM – I started off the first hour with a quick nosh to get the day started.  I don’t usually get super hungry first thing in the morning, so I tend to go light until I’ve been up for a while.  Some cold sweet tea and a Zone Bar was enough to get me out the door.  Side note:  Sweet Leaf is my preferred caffeine infusion.  They recently changed their formula to reduce the sugar, and I was super relieved to not hate the new version.

10:00 AM – We arrived at Spooky Empire, and sifted our way through the lines of waiting people to find the table where we could pick up our wristbands for the day.  On our way back out, we spotted some really great cos-players.  I kinda want the Joker’s suit.

11:00 AM – Just before entering the merch room, we took advantage of a super silly photo cut-out.

12:00 Noon – We started off the noon hour in the autograph room with Carel Struycken, my favorite 80s/90s tall guy. He was in just about everything for a while, from Star Trek to Ewok adventures to Lurch from the Addams family.

1:00 PM – Frankenberry has obviously been hitting the gym.  Seriously, though, I applaud the creativity here.

2:00 PM – One of my favorite things at any convention is cosplayers who have done something out of the ordinary, something clever and creative.  This evil Wonder Woman, for example- her consort (not pictured) was a Marvel Zombies version of Captain America.

2:00 PM Alternate – I also snapped this picture in the 2:00 hour, but I posted the other one on March 23rd.  I wanted to include this one here though, because what other use could I possibly have for a Hellraiser-Deadmau5 crossover?  This costume was really amazing.  And kind of funny.  I wonder what you’d call him… Maybe Pinmau5?

3:00 PM – At 3, we attended the E.T. Panel featuring Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Robert MacNaughton, and Matthew DeMeritt who was in the E.T. costume.  See, I told you it wasn’t all horror at Spooky Empire.  Dee, Henry, and Robert are in the photo.  Matthew DeMeritt was a little too far off to the left, and I’m afraid my pictures of him aren’t nearly this clear.

Side note:  I love hearing stories of behind the scenes stuff from the filming of things I love.  I find it to be super entertaining and super interesting at the same time.  That’s why the panels are my favorite things at any convention. (Followed closely by the costumes and the merch rooms, naturally.)

4:00 PM – Back in the merchandise room, we accidentally stumbled into the Upside Down.  She’s got the Eleven glare down.

5:00 PM – Time for the Christina Ricci Q&A panel.  We had managed to see an Addam’s Family panel earlier in the day, which included Carel Struycken and Jimmy Workman (Pugsley,) but which did not include Christina Ricci or Christopher Lloyd, who were both in attendance that day.  I suspect they didn’t join for scheduling reasons, but maybe it was to prevent the panel from overcrowding, since both Christina and Christopher Lloyd had their own separate panels later.

6:00 PM – After Christina Ricci’s panel, we left the convention and schlepped over to Red Robin for dinner and some refreshments.

7:00 PM – I had to cheat for the 7:00 hour because I was mostly driving for the entire hour.  Instead of dangerous highway photos, here’s my dinner from the previous hour.  The burger was delicious and amazing.  The french fries were… lackluster.  The nicest thing I can say about the fries is that they were really large.

8:00 PM – After we got back to the apartment, I did a quick scan of the paper photos from the day’s photo ops so that we have a digital copy. This is the photo with both Christina Ricci and Christopher Lloyd, opened in Photoshop after scanning.

9:00 PM – I closed out my Photo An Hour day with dessert.  It was a long day, and my sweet tooth would brook no further delays.

The next Photo An Hour is on Saturday, April 27th, 2019.  If you want to play along, simply take one photo every hour and post to Twitter or Instagram using the #photoanhour hash tag.  Alternately, save your photos and write a blog post afterwards.  I may very well do the blog-later option, because I’ll be in Chicago that weekend!

Have you ever been to Spooky Empire? What was your favorite panel or cosplay?

Magic City Comic Con, Ten Months Later

It’s good to take a break from the Japan posts every so often. With only five posts left from that trip, this seems like a good time to detour.

In January of this year, when I’d been back to the US for just over three months, Amelie and I went to the Magic City Comic Con in Miami. I took a bunch of photos while we were there, and I prepped them for posting in the blog. What happened next was that I got caught up in moving into my first new apartment in the U.S. since 2003, and I completely and utterly forgot to post the Magic City photos.

With that said, here they are, and only ten months late.  For the Flash, ten months is an eternity.

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Miami Beach party people.  Klingons.  Same difference.

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I feel like Rocky Horror is too easy for a Con, but kudos to this chick for finding that jacket.

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As with any costume from video games, there’s always a good chance I just won’t get the reference.  And if I never see another Harley Quinn at a con, it’ll be too soon.  Seriously, Harley Quinn and Deadpool are the new Crow – there are far, far, far too many of them at any given event.

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This was one of the highlights of the day-  a “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” dance party with Waldo, Ash, Spidey, and the dancing banana.

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Adventure Time’s Ice King needed a break from the South Florida heat.

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What did I say earlier about all the Harley Quinns? It’s a little more palatable when she’s with a Joker, Black Mask, and Doctor Freeze.

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Amelie, a TARDIS, and a Doctor.  I think that’s a Tenth Doctor, but it’s possible she wasn’t going for a specific incarnation.  The vaguely steam-punky TARDIS outfit was pretty nifty also.

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There were lots of video-game inspired costumes at this con.

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…and a larger than average contingent of DC Comics characters, like this excellent Huntress cosplay.  The Batman Begins Batsuit utility belt painted purple is a nice touch.

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A pretty decent Thor, with YAH.  (Yet Another Harley.)

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I caught this Airbender on the escalator.

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More DC Comics folks-  a Poison Ivy, a Robin, YAH, and a Riddler.

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Here’s the reason for all the DC Comics Batman characters-  Kevin Conroy, the voice of the animated Batman since 1992’s “The Animated Series,” was doing a panel.

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Also attending this con was Jim Cumming, the voice of Darkwing Duck, Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, and many more.

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…and back to the costumes.  I’m not sure what’s going on with Kitty-Thor, but it’s a very fun outfit. mccc-16

As we were headed out at the end of the day, we walked right past a very well done Spawn.

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Which do you prefer, Coke, Pepsi, or some other third brand?

Megacon 2015, in Orlando, FL

In the second weekend of April, Amelie and I headed to Orlando to attend Megacon, the third largest sci-fi/television/gaming/anime convention in the United States.   I’ve been to many Megacons over the years, and my favorite things about them are primarily the panels and the costumes.  They’re pretty crowded.

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I love the panels because you often get to hear backstory about the filming of things, as well as bits of interesting life stories from the people on the panel.  Plus the jokes… oh, such jokes!

This year, we attended four panels that were interesting.  The first is Cary Elwes, best known for playing Westley in The Princess Bride.

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The second was a special “Companions” panel which featured three Doctor Who names- Tony Curran, Karen Gillan, and Alex Kingston.

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Next, we had an Arrow/The Flash shared panel, featuring Robbie Amell, Danielle Panabaker, and David Ramsay.   In this photo, you can see that Robbie is wearing Batman underwear… and David is taking a picture of it.

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Next was a Firefly panel, with Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, and the cardboard head of Nathan Fillion.

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Lastly, we got to hear a nice chat with Stan Lee.  About ten minutes in, Lou Ferrigno crashed the panel, followed by Michael Rooker (not pictured.)  I’d like to point out that Lou Ferrigno is in his sixties, and he looks like he’s in his forties.

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The rest of the photos in this post are all costumes.  I took hundreds of pictures at this convention, but these were some of my favorites.

This is most of the Belcher family from Bob’s Burgers.  They were only missing a Gene.

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Oswald Cobblepot, at your service.

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This gold Lamborghini was parked at the convention hotel, covered in Walking Dead stickers.  I’m pretty sure it belonged to one of the Walking Dead cast members who was attending the convention.

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Beetlejuice!

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Griff Tannen.

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A pair of scientists from Veridian Dynamics. (Science.  Better.)

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He was just killing time!

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Run, Geordi, run!

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Eddie Valiant and Roger.

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Tetris!

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A quiet moment between Joker and Harley…

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This was one of my favorite cosplays-  The Flight of the Navigator.  He even had Max’s interface and the Puckmaren.

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Jay and Silent Bob.

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Bender Bending Rodriguez.

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Doctor Strange, pre-Cumberbatching.

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A rather astonishingly well done Silence and Madame Vastra.

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Lando Calrissian.

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Green plastic army men, complete with little foot-bases.

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Number 9 from Futurama’s “Into The Wild Green Yonder.”

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Anna of Arendelle.

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The Arrow, Black Canary, and Arsenal, CW TV version.

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I must confess that I’m not sure who this character is.  I thought I knew, but when I checked the Internet to confirm, I discovered I was wrong.

Edit: A sharp-eyed friend spotted that this is Bishop, from the X-Men.  I was so close!

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A nearly full Serenity crew.

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A tiny Eleventh Doctor, Rory, and Amy, along with a pint-sized Tardis.

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A spot-on (and adorable) Jinx.

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Static!  I love this character.

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Skeletor.

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Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham.  Yes, this is a real character- he first appeared in 1983.

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Gru! (with a tiny Minion)

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Chip and Dale, Rescue Rangers.

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Jeoffrey and Khaleesi?  I don’t know for sure, because I’ve never watched (or read) Game of Thrones.

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Hawk-Girl.

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The guy in the middle is Kuzco, and he’s carrying a tiny model of his summer home, Kuzco-topia.  The lobster’s just a lobster.  (Actually, I think he’s Sebastian from the Little Mermaid, but I’m not positive.)

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This is a little dragon that I bought for Amelie.  He’s super-cute, isn’t he?

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Have you ever been to a Con?  What was your favorite costume?

August Break: Star Wars Celebration Europe

I’m on an August Break from my regular blogging schedule. Here’s today’s pictures.  There are 43 of ’em today, but I promise, this is still August Break.  Most of these won’t have commentary.

I went to Star Wars Celebration Europe in Essen, Germany during the last weekend of July.  There were cool panels with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Anthony Daniels (C3P0), Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor), Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok), and many many others.

When it comes to conventions, everyone goes for different reasons.  My friend Lorrie goes partly for the panels, but mostly for the vendor tables.  Some people go to show off their costumes.  Some go because they want to hear the panels.

I like the panels, and sometimes I come back with a fun geeky t-shirt or two, but the one thing I always do at a con is to walk around with my camera.  I love seeing other people’s costumes, especially if they’re really creative or accurate or just funny.  I took hundreds of photos in Essen.  Here’s 43 of my favorite shots from the weekend.

This was before the event.  I call this “Off-duty Bike Scouts.”

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There were a lot of Leias around.  And more than a few Padmes.

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The Hasbro area had recreated several scenes from the movies in incredible detail using their action figures.

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This half-scale model of Vader’s TIE-fighter was on display.

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You could also get a picture of yourself in the cockpit of this snow speeder.

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Bavarian clone trooper.  This man had the most amazing mutton-chops under that helmet.

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Wutini!

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I thought about posing in this scene recreation, but I forgot my giant diaper.

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The wampa was at least eight feet tall.  And very fast.

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This girl did an amazing Barriss Offee costume.

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Even a princess has to eat sometime.

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There were so many Mandalorians.

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…not to mention Angry Birds.

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I didn’t understand this gag at first-  Lorrie reminded me of all the people fleeing Bespin toward the end of The Empire Strikes Back

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Lorrie shot first.

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This was on the leg of the AT-AT in the main hall.  I didn’t even notice the sign until the third day.

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I only saw four or five slave Leia costumes.  It was refreshing to see so many more Leia variants that didn’t involve the bikini.  Don’t get me wrong; I love this look (as all heterosexual geek males do,) but it’s getting a bit overplayed.

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One of these Imperials is just a mannequin.   See if you can guess which one!

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These two did a hyper-accurate cartoon Clone Wars version of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano  Very impressive.

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Lots of droids.

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An AT-AT driver!  I was amazed at the variety of costumes people chose- it wasn’t all main characters.

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“I’m a Mog!”

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I snapped this picture because of the Dengar costume.  I didn’t realize until I saw it on a larger screen that Kenny Baker (R2-D2) is in the corner!

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Surprisingly few Vaders- only two or three all weekend.

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All four of these men have played Boba Fett at some point or other.  The youngest, Daniel Logan, was “Young Boba” in the prequel trilogy.  The other three were from the original movies.  The one wearing the costume is Jeremy Bulloch, the original Boba Fett, and the one who spent the most time in the role.

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It’s a trap!

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Ikea’s computer expert revealed:

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Last Weekend, In A Photo Gallery Nutshell

While my inbox was exploding with new friends from being Freshly Pressed and listed in Friday Faves, I was out of the country, and mildly out of my mind. I’m planning on going back through all the comments and likes and follows from the Sci-Fi Expatriates post, but I just haven’t had the time yet. I got stuck for an extra night in Frankfurt last week because of flight delays, but that’s another post. That’s probably Monday’s post, actually.

The reason that I was in Frankfurt in the first place is that I was on my way to Orlando to hang out with some friends at Megacon, a pretty nifty convention for sci-fi, anime, gaming, and so forth. The big highlight of this year’s Megacon was a panel with the entire original cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation- Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Levar Burton, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Wil Wheaton, Denise Crosby, and even John DeLancie. Much fun was had by all.

Panels and friends are only part of the fun at conventions though- one of my favorite things about cons is all the people in costumes! People in fandom can be so creative, and I love to see what people get into. Generally speaking, I don’t get the anime and video game based costumes, but the stuff from comics, movies, and television I usually get right away because that’s my particular geekiness.

Since I only have two days between getting back from Florida and heading off to Frankfurt again (but planned, this time!) I’m going to cheat a bit and just show you guys a gallery of my some of my favorite costumes from the weekend. Make with the clicky to see captions!