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?

So where were we? Oh, yes, Tampa Bay Comic Con!

For the last few months, it’s been increasingly more difficult to find the words for the little blank box of blogdom.  The painful truth is that this blog has always been primarily a travel blog, and I’m not really traveling any more.   Once I finish my photo sorting from Japan and I start those posts, I’m out of steam.  I took nearly 2500 photos while I was in Japan, and I foolishly didn’t sort them as I went.  Stupid, stupid Steven.  I’m nearly through them now, but it’s been crazy.

I have about three Minnesota posts to get out, and a dozen or so Japan posts, and then I’m done.  I have no travel planned in the near or distant future.  For me, that’s almost unheard of, but I needed time to re-balance my life and fix the financial burn that traveling like a fiend for the last few years has caused.

The blog needs a retooling, and I’m still not really sure what to do with it.  The people who came here for pretty pictures of faraway places won’t much enjoy me talking about the day to day grind of work-a-day life in South Florida.  If I blogged more like an old LiveJournal and started to talk about things like my terrible sleep habits, South Florida traffic, and regular day to day fluff, would anyone still want to read it?

Other things have been happening which have kept me away from the blogosphere-  On the bad side, things are happening with Mr. Company that make me more than a little uneasy.  On the good side, I’ve been spending oodles of time with my Amelie, and there’s nothing that makes me blog less than having a lot of happy stuff to do away from power outlets and Internet connections.  On the mixed side, my family is splintering again.  After six or eight months being close to all my siblings, my sister has relocated to Orlando for a new job.   Orlando is only a few hours away, but that really makes it difficult to continue our tradition of all four siblings getting together for dinner every few weeks.  This picture from about two weeks ago was the last time that all of us were together:

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That’s enough focus on the question of bloggery for right now, because I have lots of entertaining pictures!  The weekend before last, Amelie and I were in Tampa for the Tampa Bay Comic Con.  We just did one soggy day of the three-day event, choosing to visit only on Saturday.    We suited up in the traditional questing garb of our people (translation: geeky t-shirts and jeans) and set out to enjoy the convention.

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Here’s some of the neat stuff we saw!  On our way in, we saw some great DC comics costumes, but it was a long line of people waiting to get into the building.   As a result, this is more a sneaky candid than a good prepped and posed shot.   I’m not sure whether this chap was Speedy or Red Arrow, but does it really matter? The weather was gorgeous for this part of the day, but it became an incredibly large monsoon-level storm system about an hour after this photo.

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I cannot get away from Frozen.  It’s everywhere.

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A very good Cap.  He loses points for using boot shams, though.  For sham, sir, for sham!  A real pair of boots would totally bring the whole costume together!

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I want this jacket.  I totally want this jacket.

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More DC characters-  Red Arrow, Black Canary, Green Arrow, and The Nefarious Frat Boy.  It’s almost like there’s a hit show on the CW with these characters or something.

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Miles Morales is a good father to his little princess.

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Optimus Prime’s got hairy knees.  This must be his summer look.  Not pictured:  The ridiculous Bermuda shorts visible from the back of the Autobot.  If you’re going to wear a full body costume, would it kill you to wear something that covers your knee-pits?

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Now this is what conventions are really for:  wizard-on-wizard violence.

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This was the first line-up for Carrie Fisher.  Everyone in this photo was in a very long folding single-file line.

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Carrie Fisher’s very short panel was great fun.  Not pictured:  Her little dog that goes everywhere with her now.  Including, apparently, the set of Star Wars: Episode VII.

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This girl’s Effie Trinket costume was kind of brilliantly done.

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The cast of Inside Out:  Sadness, Anger, Fear, Joy, and Homicidal Xenophobic Hatred.

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What would happen if the Venom symbiote latched onto Tony Stark?  Something like this, I guess.

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Russell from Up!  (Nice detail on the buttons, dude!)

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The Freema Agyeman panel was interesting, but not as interesting as Carrie Fisher’s panel.  On the bright side, I finally learned how to pronounce “Freema Agyeman.”  On a side note, the dude at the podium was an insufferable twit who made me want to kick him in the shins.

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I call this photo “Break room On The Watchtower.”

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We kept seeing this Avenger couple in lines for various panels.  I’m very impressed with their getup.  Bonus points: not a boot sham in sight!

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Every convention has its contingent of bizarre Deadpool costumes, but this one had a Dogpool puppet!  (Yes, Dogpool is a real thing in Marvel continuity.  Really.)

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They spook easily, but they’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

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This is one of the most interesting and innovative group costumes I’ve ever seen.  Amelie and I both especially dug these intrepid post-apocalyptic Muppet hunters.

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Agent Venom and probably-Scream.   They’re getting a lot of mileage with the original black costume these days

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Meanwhile, at Al Harrington’s Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubeman Emporium and Warehouse in Weekapaug, Rhode Island…

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Captain Spider-merica?  Spider-Cap?  American Spider?  Red White And Blue Bug?  What do you even call this mash-up?  (Cool reflective silver eyes, though.  And nice job on the shield.)

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There were surprisingly few Harley Quinns at Tampa Bay Comic Con.  Megacon in Orlando was just lousy with ’em.

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I didn’t have the good camera with me for the Jena Malone panel.

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After the day’s geekiness, Amelie and I ate dinner at Columbia House, and then walked around a bit.   We did manage to find the fabled Tampa Bay Lightning.  Shocking!

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Have you been to a convention recently?  What were your favorite costumes?