Thursday, July 31, 2008

B's Secret Invasion Part III

Friday. The thrill is gone. The novelty replaced with cold familiarity. The wonder has evaporated like so much evaporating juice. Still fun, but the sense of awe has made way for a sense of dutiful perseverance. The ever-gazing eye of Comic-Con cares not if you're tired. It cares not for the weight of your backpack. It cares not for ... well whatever.

So on the first day I posted that picture of me and David Mack. That got me a mention on, his unofficial-official website. Now I'm worried that David Mack will read my blog and see that I called him the sexiest man alive and then things will be all awkward.

I forgot to post the sketch he did for me. This is a character he created, and one of my favorites, Echo.

Friday morning I walked in and saw Tim Sale at his booth. He can be a hard guy to catch. He's always been a popular artist, but even moreso now because he does all the artwork seen on the show Heroes.

His hard-back art book was a pain to carry around for two days, but I did get this which makes it worth it and then some.

I love the simplicity.

Tara McPherson. I've been a fan of hers ever since I saw her book in a store and thumbed through it.

She handed me my sketchbook and looked up and smiled. I smiled back. Our eyes locked. I leaned in closer. Then she pointed at her shirt and then gestured for me to walk away. And walk away I did.

Skull flower!


Comic-Con is more than just comics. All the major movie studios were there getting the hype started early. There was a near riot at the Paramount booth when they gave away posters for next year's GI Joe movie (I got all five).

The crowd surged even more when they started giving away Blu-Ray DVDs. I pointed out that it was just the Nicolas Cage movie Next, and they dispersed in an orderly fashion.

Here's an inside joke (sort of) between me and Emily.

"Hey, great costume man!"

"What costume?"

Speaking of costumes, the number one theme was probably the Joker. I saw about three nurse Jokers.

Meanwhile, this fella CREATED the Joker. And nobody cared. You know, the Joker? Heath Ledger? Jack Nicholson? Caesar Romero? Hehehehehehe? One of the most iconic fictional characters around? You're all dressed like him? This guy created him? No? Not interested?

My friend Sean told me about a quote where someone said "Comic fans treat the characters like they're real and the creators like they're made of paper."

Is this Scott being interviewed by HBO? Yes, I believe it is.

It's tied into the promotional campaign for the new show True Blood. They said Scott was the best interview they've had all day. If I remember correctly it may eventually end up here, Blood Copy.

New game! Spot the Baldwin.

New game! Spot the teenage doctor.

This guy had a bug hat for no damn reason at all.

Scott is a man of the soil, so I guess he didn't mind. I didn't want that thing anywhere near me. And the bug creeped me out too.

This booth-

I guess every picture tells a story, but sometimes pictures try to tell too much story.

Ended up that night at one of the many faux Irish pubs that dot the Gaslamp. I think it was called Dublin Square? I'd look it up but I don't care that much.

Dear Cover Band at the Pub,

There are other Irishy rock drinkin' bands besides the Dropkick Murphy's. It's okay to play a Pogues song now and then. Furthermore, I question the wisdom of spinning a Dropkick Murphy's CD between sets.

Will I survive til the end?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

B's Secret Invasion Part II

Thursday. Utah's Pioneer Day, and I was two states away. I had Utah on my mind though. I was thinking of the delicious buttery apples we have in Utah, as opposed to this flavorless foodstuff the California health nuts call apples.

You know me. Do you really think I could go to San Diego and pass up the zoo? After all the time I've spent watching the live ape cam on their website?

The zoo was kind of disappointing, but at least they kept the orangutans and koalas in the same place.

On the way into the convention center I spotted some Punk Ass Teens sitting in a tree. Typical.

I saw a lot of impressive costumes, but none moreso than this band of Cobra. The accuracy on these was stunning.

Ran into this group calling themselves Gotham Public Works. If you ever need people in Batman themed costumes, these are the people to go to.

I like seeing costumed people break character to attend to personal matters. I just wish I would have gotten a picture of the Incredible Texting Hulk or Darth Vader, Master of the Dark Side of the Cafeteria.

I'm a fan of the Harley Quinn character so I had to get a picture. I was hesitant at first because then I'd be the Guy-that-gets-his-picture-taken-with-the-costume-babes, but what the heck. My fate was sealed the minute I walked through those doors anyway.

On the Harley Quinn subject, this was my favorite costume of the whole deal. It's a re-imagining of what Harley might have looked like had she been included in The Dark Knight movie. Very clever.

Well look who it is, Bruce Timm, creator of Harley Quinn and the artist behind Batman: the Animated Series. (you know, from when you were a kid).

In fact, here he is drawing Harley for me.

There was some heavy promotion going on for the upcoming movie The Spirit. I got enough free Spirit stuff to open my own Spirit store and serve the needs of Spirit fans throughout the Wasatch Spirit Front. I'm not sure about this movie. It could be really awesome or really terrible. Or it could be just "ok." Or mediocre.

They had a snow machine though. That was cool.

One of the promotional gimmicks was fake tattoo kisses, applied by babes. Scott had a problem finding free space because of his beardiness.

This girl did mine.

I said "This is nice. It's been soooooo long since I've had a ... fake tattoo." and she said "Oh good, I thought you were going to say 'kiss.'" and I said "That's what I wanted you to think I was going to say!" then we made out and it was awesome.

In a nice change of pace, these girls asked to have their picture taken with me.

I was pretty flattered until the girl in the hat said "I loved you in Labyrinth!" They had mistaken me for David Bowie. I don't understand how that keeps happening.

After hours on my feet it was time to rest. I set down this sack of Dudes I'd been carrying all day and fell into a dreamlike state.

I've been off the junk for over three weeks now, so when I finally took of this it was the best Coke I've ever had.

The nice thing about security at the convention is that they had just the right balance of friendliness and intimidation.

Time to explore the Gaslamp Quarter. Home of over two thousand bars and restaurants but not a single place to get a taco.

"Hey Ricky, let's open a strip-club."

"I don't really want to be in the strip club business."

"Don't worry, all we'll do is sell steaks."

"Oh okay. But is there any way we can make it even more disappointing?"

"Yeah, we'll make customer cook the food themselves!"


Ah, what have we here?

There was a big line outside of this place. I thought that was pretty funny. (get it?)

Plenty o' bars, but the only one I found acceptable was this.

I liked the basement part but as soon as I went down there they closed it. I have such bad luck, everytime I go to a cool bar they close it right up.

The San Diego skyline, in Micro-vision!

I don't even really like that picture.

Can you believe we have three more days of this crap to get to?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

B's Secret Invasion: San Diego Comic-Con Adventure Part I

Hey! I'm back! You're all free to resume your lives. I know that when I leave town time stops, and for that I apologize. So where have I been? Well as I'm sure you've realized by now, I have some interests that some might deem "nerdy." Though I resent being called a nerd because I'm not good at math and despite what everyone at work thinks, I don't know anything about computers other than how to use them. Anyway, this weekend I went to San Diego for the annual Comic-Con. Five days, 125,000 people. It's like Woodstock, but for comics (and video games and tv shows and movies and toys and porno).

A lot of people wear costumes. More power to them, I say. In fact I spent most of the convention as my favorite character, Dr. Blueface.

Scott and I flew into San Diego Wednesday morning. I've never been there before. Except for those other two times, but that doesn't count, it was over twenty years ago.

First stop after landing was of course to pick up an Icey Coffee (my first and only in a two week period). California McDonalds are cuh-razy!

Thanks to my connections as Bob Marriott's personal assistant, I was able to get us a last minute room at the Marriott on Coronado Island. Pretty good view from the balcony.

Had plenty of time to kill so we made our way down to the Hotel Del Coronado. This historic old bird is one of the few surviving examples of the Wooden Victorian Beach Resort architectural genre.

It's also one of the last examples of the Poison Hotel design movement.

"Oooh, look at me, I'm California. I know so much more about hazards that all the other states."

The hotel is haunted by the ghost of Kate Morgan. I'm pretty sure I got a picture of her.

Did some beach walkin'. Sand. Sand is great. At this point I was thinking of blowing off the convention, buying a swimsuit (I'd forgotten mine) and just playing in the sand all day.

There she is. The Big Soggy.

This guy thought he was soooo great, diggin' that hole.

But then I showed him how a real man does it.

I hit the Marriott's poolside bar around 2pm and really went to town. There was a cute bikini girl there with my same haircut. I said "Looks like we go to the same barber!" and she laughed so hard that she accidentally made out with me. It was awesome.

Finally, the convention center. The line was a nightmare. Also this guy was wearing the same shirt as me.

We met up with our friends Sean and Jason who had some passes we could use. Thank goodness we didn't need to wait in that line. Wednesday night was preview night, which is a little more exclusive. Instead of the full 125,000 there was maybe only 70,000.

Walking in for the first time was truly awesome. I was filled with awe and wonderment and the vastness of the convention hall and the sensory overload of the delights before me.

Also Stormtroopers.

The thing I love about regiments of Stormtroopers is that there is always at least one or two really fat ones. I guess the Empire has let it's fitness standards lapse since they've been mired in a seemingly endless war with an insurgency.

Here's that big Iron Man thing.

And the regular Iron Man, which was pretty nifty in person.

Preview Night was fun. I managed to meet a few of my favorite artists and even got sketches from some of them.

Here's David Mack, the sexiest man alive. He was so nice.

After it ended we ventured out into the real world to meet up with a couple other friends, James and Brandon. Brandon was exhibiting at the convention.

Here's what San Diego looks like, through my eyes.

I wonder if John ever gets jealous of his more successful brother Sak.

We went to a Thai place that had traditional Thai decor, save for a Beatles Abbey Road poster. I ordered the fish, not realizing it was going to be a fish.

The Thai Iced Tea was good though.

And that's Wednesday.