Archive for the ‘Costumes’ Category

Jenn Czep’s Mad Tea Party   1 comment

I don’t go to enough parties. One of the things I’d like to do is attend more of them, just to meet people, hang out, and have a good time. So when I was invited to a Mad Tea Party with a Wonderland theme, I decided to do it if I possibly could. The afternoon before the party, Facebook reminded me of it again, and I went “Ack! I don’t have a costume.” That did not seem like enough commitment to me, so I went to Bert Easley’s House of Fun and bought a hat. With that as a basis, I made the costume you see below from a couple of thrift store purchases earlier this morning Can you guess my alter-ego?

Leaving my house for the apartment. Trolls were an alternate party theme, so I posed with my mascot, but I left Bruiser at home.

Leaving my house for the apartment. Trolls were an alternate party theme, so I posed with my mascot, but I left Bruiser at home.

Entrance to the House of Rainbows.

Entrance to the House of Rainbows.

 

Dragons in the library.

Dragons in the library.

 

Talking teacups--this was mine.

Talking teacups–this was mine.

 

The Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit examine thier places.

The Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit examine thier places.

 

Jenn keepa a home for wayward pirates.

Jenn keepa a home for wayward pirates.

 

Jenn (in green) surveys the scene.

Jenn (in green) surveys the scene.

 

Partiers.

Partiers.  Things haven’t really gotten going yet.

 

Plenty of good things to eat.

Plenty of good things to eat.

 

The skies clouded up and rained on us a little. The party room got dark.

The skies clouded up and rained on us a little. The party room got dark.

 

I think this man's name is Don. I don't know him. He had a totally different conception of the Mad Hatter.

I think this man’s name is Don. I don’t know him. He had a totally different conception of the Mad Hatter.

 

Giving my hostess a hug.

Giving my hostess a hug.

 

Gypsy Jenn with the Queen of Hearts

Gypsy Jenn with the Queen of Hearts

 

Gypsy Jenn enjoys her tea.

Gypsy Jenn enjoys her tea.

 

 

Time to leave. I slip away and depart after about 2 hours of partying.

Time to leave. I slip away and depart after about 2 hours of partying.

It was a short party, more of a party lunch. By 2 p.m. people were starting to leave. I was feeling uncomfortably warm in my several layers of clothing/costume, and so took my leave.  My thanks to Jenn Czep for inviting me. I think her party was a grand success and a good time for all.

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If you’ve ever gone to a costume party, especially one with a particular theme, why not leave a comment?

–end

 

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Heroes and Villains @ Phoenix ComiCon 2014   1 comment

 

I wasn’t going to attend this Con, but at the last moment I got some motivation, and so I did make the scene on Friday and Saturday.  Estimated attendance somewhere in the range of 100,000 people. That’s a great size for a media convention like this. Guarantees that the promoters will make enough money to put on a really good show.  Attracts a lot of creative energy.

As usual, I went mostly to take photos of brilliant hall costumes, play games, and talk to my friends.  All 3 goals were satified this weekend. I think I can get more than one blog out of it.  Let’s start off with heroes and villains.

I had a hard time getting the Black Widow's attention. Finally, her boyfriend poked her in the arm and said, "Natasha, this man wants you to kill him." Killer smile, don't you think?

I had a hard time getting the Black Widow’s attention. Finally, her boyfriend poked her in the arm and said, “Natasha, this man wants you to kill him.” Killer smile, don’t you think?

 

Batman looked suitably grim, but didn't seem to have any crime to fight, despite the plethora of supervillains wandering around. I got him to pose for me, and that opened the floodgates. Poor guy got stuck posing with people for another 5 minutes before he could move on. He loved it.

Batman looked suitably grim, but didn’t seem to have any crime to fight, despite the plethora of supervillains wandering around. I got him to pose for me, and that opened the floodgates. Poor guy got stuck posing with people for another 5 minutes before he could move on. He loved it.

 

Poison Ivy came by Steve Crompton's Carnal Comics booth and told us she could make something grow. This girl has a secret identity as a stripper at Christie's Cabaret. She made me an offer I really hated to refuse.

Poison Ivy came by Steve Crompton’s Carnal Comics booth and told us she could make something grow. This girl has a secret identity as a stripper at Christie’s Cabaret. She made me an offer I really hated to refuse.

 

Poison Ivy was the most popular costume at the Con. Here she is again with a Joker wannabe.

Poison Ivy was the most popular costume at the Con. Here she is again with a Joker wannabe.

 

Harley Quinn and her friend gave me these dazzling smiles when I told her I'd love to get hammered with her.

Harley Quinn and her friend gave me these dazzling smiles when I told her I’d love to get hammered with her.

 

Thor and Loki, female variants. If it works for guys, it works for girls too.

Thor and Loki, female variants. If it works for guys, it works for girls too.

 

The Transformers were larger than life, and kept behind a fence.

The Transformers were larger than life, and kept behind a fence.

 

If I saw this guy walking down the street, I'd get out of his way, then follow him looking for photo ops.

If I saw this guy walking down the street, I’d get out of his way, then follow him looking for photo ops.

 

Catwoman, Halle Berry style.  This is no house cat--this is a black tigress. (You know that would be a pretty great name for super character.)

Catwoman, Halle Berry style. This is no house cat–this is a black tigress. (You know that would be a pretty great name for super character.)

 

Not every larger than life character needs spandex. The Penguin makes do these days with simple opulence.

Not every larger than life character needs spandex. The Penguin makes do these days with simple opulence.

 

The Joker was looking better than he has for years and his Harley Quinn seemed pretty happy about it too.

The Joker was looking better than he has for years and his Harley Quinn seemed pretty happy about it too.

 

Green Arrow came rushing by just before I headed for the Troll Cave on Saturday afternoon.

Green Arrow came rushing by just before I headed for the Troll Cave on Saturday afternoon.

 

There were countless other supers at the convention, but I didn’t go with a plan. I simply took pix of those that came my way. Spider-Man was there in every conceivable variant of the spider suit. Deadpool must have cloned himself. He was everywhere. Poison Ivy sprouted almost everywhere I looked.  I saw Batman from several different alternate earths. Superman, however, could not be found. Actually Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and  Julie Newmar (Catwoman) were big attractions at ComiCon, although I did not see them. Stan Lee is supposed to be there today (I am writing this on Sunday, June 8).  Comics, and the popular culture associated with comics have never been so popular.

Comics conventions are gigantic parties, and people really seem to have a good time at them.  I salute those dedicated cosplayers who make marvelous costumes to represent the heroes, villains, and favorite characters from comics, cartoons, anime, and video gaming.  You guys and gals are indeed super in your own right, and I applaud you all.

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If you have been to a comics convention lately, why not leave a comment?

–end

Saturday with Sailors at Samurai   Leave a comment

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Saturday, March 9, 2014 I heard there would be a Sailor convention in town at my favorite comic shop, Samurai Comics at 12th Street and Cameback.  I grabbed my camera and went down. The first thing I did was make friends with Sailor Mars and talk her into wearing my hat for a picture, and here it is: Sailor Mars wearing the Trollgod’s (newer) hat.

I have to admit that I am not a big Sailor Moon fan. I watched a few episodes 15 years ago (Time flies when you’re having fun. Sigh!), but I do enjoy cosplay, and to see all the sailors in one spot seemed like two good an opportunity to miss. I was hoping to actually get a chance to talk to several of them, but there was a much younger photographer there with a much better camera, and I really couldn’t compete.  I took the following shots from a distance, because I thought you’d still like to see all the mystic guardians of the Solar System.

The blonde in the foreground is, of course, our heroine Sailor Moon herself.  I did get to chat with her just a little bit.

The blonde in the foreground is, of course, our heroine Sailor Moon herself. I did get to chat with her just a little bit.

Like other superheroes, she has a mundane identity as a simple blonde teenager, and must change into costume before she can fight the forces of supernatural evil that theaten the world.

And here are the rest of the Sailor shots:

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It wasn’t an ideal shoot.  The girls all hung together talking to each other. The only photographer who could get them to do anything was the young guy I mentioned, and he didn’t seem to have much imagination.  A couple of other geeky photographers like me were hanging around, not doing much.  After getting these shots I went back inside the comic store to see if anything else was going on.

The usual Saturday afternoon Magic the Gathering tournament was in progress.

The usual Saturday afternoon Magic the Gathering tournament was in progress.

And there were a couple of artist types giving away 8 X 10 glossy prints of some of the girls in other costumes. They were pretty, but I passed on them since I really have no place to put a picture of Marvel's Black Cat in my bachelor pad. I'm way past that stage of fan boy.

And there were a couple of artist types giving away 8 X 10 glossy prints of some of the girls in other costumes. They were pretty, but I passed on them since I really have no place to put a picture of Marvel’s Black Cat in my bachelor pad. I’m way past that stage of fan boy.

I talked to a few people and browsed through Forever Evil #6, where it looks like Nightwing (Dick Grayson) joins the ranks of superheroes killed in action.  Dick Grayson was/is the original Robin of Batman comics. He grew up and became Nightwing–for those of you not current in D.C. Comics superhero trivia. I’m not going to have a hissy fit about him getting killed. I suspect it’s just temporary.

It is a dark time in the D.C. Comics universe right now.  They just killed the original Robin. Being Batman's sidekick is bad luck.

It is a dark time in the D.C. Comics universe right now. They just killed the original Robin. Being Batman’s sidekick is bad luck.

Then it was time to go.  On my way out I looked for the Sailors. They had relocated, but were not any more accessible. I took these two farwell shots.

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And that’s how I spent my Saturday. It wasn’t a complete waste of time. 🙂

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If you’ve ever talked to a Sailor, or loaned your hat to one, why not leave a comment?

–end

Amazing Arizona ComiCon Hall Costumes and the unimpressive Trollgod   3 comments

On Saturday, January 25, I grabbed my little camera, and took myself to the Phoenix Convention Center to take pictures of hall costumes. Arizona fans have really been getting into cosplay the last few years, and the costumes keep getting better and better. I like cosplay, and cosplayers–they are so friendly, and some of them are really creative. They enjoy showing off their costumes and are usually very happy to be photographed.  So, since I was born to have adventure, I went off to see what I could see.

The trouble with giant conventions downtown is parking.  It is very expensive to park downtown. Event parking was $20 for the Con, and I didn’t want to spend that much money. The solution–park for free at ChrisTown and ride the light rail into the heart of the city. An allday pass is just $4. This is the first time I’ve bought a light rail pass since the line started, and I didn’t know how to do it–but a passerby helped me get through it. So, I bought my ticket, got my receipt, and didn’t know enough to pick  up the actual plastic boarding pass. The transit police explained it all to me as I was riding downtown. Luckily, they did not arrest me. At least I had my receipt. The other thing that went wrong at the beginning was that when I tried to take a picture of the train at the beginning of the trip, the camera shut iself down–battery power too low.  So, the whole photo expedition was not going to work because of lack of power. Luckily, I figured that out before I got downtown and tried to take pix with a camera that wouldn’t work. (It is truly better to be lucky than good.) I jumped back off the train, quick walked 2 blocks to the nearest Walgreen’s drug store, and bought myself a package of AA batteries–an unanticipated expense, but at least I have a supply of new batteries that that should last a couple of months.  The rest of the trip was uneventful.  I came out with some 87 usable  pictures from my trip, and they’re all available on my Facebook page, but here I’m only going to share 42 of the best (in my estimation) shots.  87 might be a bit much . . . 🙂 Oh, this is funny, the pix filled up  all the  space available to me in this blog, and so I was only able to caption 2 of them. You’ll have to figure out all the rest. Bwa  ha ha ha ha!

The first costume I saw on arrival. This  young lady is Big Barda, a new god from D.C. Comics.

The first costume I saw on arrival. This young lady is Big Barda, a new god from D.C. Comics.

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Three warrior maidens from Asgard posed with me, the totally out of place Trollgod. From left to right, the Enchantress, Thor’s Lady Sif, and a valkyrie. The goon in black is me, Ken St. Andre, Trollgod.

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The Flash squares off against Deadpool.

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Wonder Woman bounced some invisible bullets for me.

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Captain Hook went outside to get a break.

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along with his scurvy crew.

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This Predator told me he was cooking slowly inside his amazing outfit. He looked really uncomfortable, but graciously gave me the shot.

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The giant robot handed out Con literature and provided lots of photo ops.

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Robin, red Robin!

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I believe this woman is Ghost.

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This might be Harley Quinn, the colors are right, or just a vampire lady, but a beauty in either case.

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A character from the end of the Bleach manga. He told me his name, but I forgot it. Maybe one of  you viewers can explain  him.

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I don’t know who this is supposed to be, but it’s professional grade body armor if I ever saw any.

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This girl was so colorful and bright that I had to take her picture, nor could I exclude her mystical black-garbed friend.

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Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, looked like he was ready to rock and roll.

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Animated from anime!

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Batgirl has gone public. No mask for this crimefighter.

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I don’t think Ms. Marvel believed me when I told her I was in love, but she gave me a 20 megawatt smile.

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Roller Derby Harley Quinn ditched her Puddin to be with Captain America. In fact, Harley was all over the place and seemed to be hanging with everyone but Mr. J.

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She’s just another pretty face, but sweet and so close.

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I think it’s some kind of superhero lineup.

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Looks like Tinkerbelle has finally gotten Peter to notice her.

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Princess Aurora was the soul of curtsy (pun intended)

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Alien Smurfette or just a very brainy blue girl???

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Rocket Raccoon was gratiied that I recognized her.

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I talked to this guy a bit. He said he’s just an ordinary dude, but is his own character. He tricks out ordinary ties with all kinds of punk and kitsch ornamentations.

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Wyatt Earp looked a little out of place in this crowd, but I think he qualifies as a 19th century superhero.

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Most awesome shoes ever for a male character.

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Who wants a Kiss?  Not me!!!

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The Adam West Batman showed up  Great costume, but remarkably restrained by today’s standards of cool and awesome. Look! He actually has a batarang.

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Jean Grey and Bucky Barnes seem like an unlikely pair.

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Marvin the Martian promised not to deliver any earth-shattering kabooms while the Con was in session.

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Batgirl as friendly supermodel. It works for me.

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Jay Garrick, the original Flash was still prepared to run circles around his later imitators.

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I did not recognize the outfit, so I asked her about it. She said she was the girl from Sucker Punch, the movie, which I have not seen. I asked for her picture, and wound up getting one taken with her by her companion. It’s the Hat–it gets me the pretty girls all the time.

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Future Foundation Spider-Man looks absolutely terrified for some reason.

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Harley and Ivy.

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To infinity and beyond?

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This is not Lady Blackhawk gone bad, but someone from Japanese anime. You can tell by the hair color. She liked the idea, though.

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On my way out, I saw this graceful ninja flowing through a sword dance.  The whole dance will probably be available on the ComicCon Facebook page.

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Pirate Harley Quinn. This mixed-up villain has more looks than the Man with 1000 faces.

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Amazingly enough, I was there for almost 2 hours and didn’t see a single person I knew, but what a lot of extremely cool people I did see.  The Trollgod tips his beat-up old begoggled hat to all of them as well as to all the great costumes that you can see on Facebook, because I didn’t want this blog to be too long. It is too long, I know, but it could easily have been twice as long.

If you’ve ever seen cool hall costumes at a convention, why not leave a comment.  If  you recognize yourself in here, why not sign-in and tell the world what you were doing at the Amazing Arizona ComiCon.

–end

  Leave a comment

2013-09-01 05.12.27The future of conventions is media cons–big ones like Phoenix ComicCon and SabotenCon.  The anime-themed party was held over the Labor Day weekend at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale Arizona.  The hotel is just across the street from the Cardinal’s football stadium, and next to a huge shopping center.

On Saturday I grabbed my camera and went to check it out.  I had a little trouble finding it and getting a parking spot, but then I just walked right in.  SabotenCon is chiefly an excuse to put on your best hall costume, and go show your stuff to both friends and strangers.  The attendees were mostly young–lots of high school kids, and I think every Asian kid in Phoenix was there.  Anime is an Asian (mostly japanese) artform, and they came out in droves to support it.

I went to take pictures.  There were plenty of great costumes that i didn’t get, but let me just show the people having fun.

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This thing came up and said "Hi, Ken!" to me.  I had no idea who recognized me.

This thing came up and said “Hi, Ken!” to me. I had no idea who recognized me.

Most of it was anime, but Nightwing showed up. This guy really looks like a superhero. The joker was also present, but I did not take his picture.  (He wouldn't hold still long enough.)

Most of it was anime, but Nightwing showed up. This guy really looks like a superhero. The joker was also present, but I did not take his picture. (He wouldn’t hold still long enough.)

Could this be Lina Inverse of the Slayers? I’m not sure.  Gorgeous costume–gotta be really hot inside all that cloth.

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This is Mia. I don't recognize the Dr. costume, but she looked half dead with all the ghastly black make-up, and she sat next to me when I played Illuminati in the Game Room.  They let me in even though I didn't have a badge for the Con.

This is Mia. I don’t recognize the Dr. costume, but she looked half dead with all the ghastly black make-up, and she sat next to me when I played Illuminati in the Game Room. They let me in even though I didn’t have a badge for the Con.

Hair colors are extreme and vivid in anime.

Hair colors are extreme and vivid in anime.

Who was that old wizard?

Who was that old wizard?

The girl in the cat costume was cute, but I was really amazed to see this old 60s version of Sorry being played at the con.

The girl in the cat costume was cute, but I was really amazed to see this old 60s version of Sorry being played at the con.

The Queen of Hearts and Alice were there. Of course, I bowed and paid my copliments to Her Majesty.

The Queen of Hearts and Alice were there. Of course, I bowed and paid my compliments to Her Majesty.

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There were a lot of horny demons at the Con. This hellish group took over a table in the gaming room.

There were a lot of horny demons at the Con. This hellish group took over a table in the gaming room.

I played Illuminati with the legendary Jesse Foster and the Men in Black.  Did not win, or even come close, but had a good time.

I played Illuminati with the legendary Jesse Foster and the Men in Black. Did not win, or even come close, but had a good time.

I would have rather played SPANC with Angie. We were all tellingher she should dress like the catgirl on the cover when she ran the game.

I would have rather played SPANC with Angie. We were all telling her she should dress like the catgirl on the cover when she ran the game.

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Cat girls! Cat girls everywhere!

And barbarians too! I wouldn't have the nerve to walk around  2/3 naked like this and carry big phallic symbols, but these guys were having fun.

And barbarians too! I wouldn’t have the nerve to walk around 2/3 naked like this and carry big phallic symbols, but these guys were having fun.

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There were a few real furries in attendance. This one was very friendly and patted my tush after I took her picture.

There were a few real furries in attendance. This one was very friendly and patted my tush after I took her picture.

This dark fairy queen stole my heart.

This dark fairy queen stole my heart.

The legendary Jesse Foster, leader of the Men in Black, also has a few Women in Black at his beck and call.

The legendary Jesse Foster, leader of the Men in Black, also has a few Women in Black at his beck and call.

I'm not sure what this uniform is for/from, but there sure were a lot of these troopers in the halls.

I’m not sure what this uniform is for/from, but there sure were a lot of these troopers in the halls.

Dangerous women lurked around every corner.

Dangerous women lurked around every corner.

my choice for Best Use of Cardboard in creating a costume.

my choice for Best Use of Cardboard in creating a costume.

A very pretty, and complicated new board game called Arena.  The playing pieces are all characters from anime.

A very pretty, and complicated new board game called Arena. The playing pieces are all super-deformed characters from anime.

I chatted with this guy for a while. He owned an Arena game and tried to explain it to me.

I chatted with this guy for a while. He owned an Arena game and tried to explain it to me.

Looks like a questing party to me.

Looks like a questing party to me.

Awww! This volunteer was working so hard at her table and too cute to pass by.

Awww! This volunteer was working so hard at her table and too cute to pass by.

Convention staff all seemed to be in costume.

Convention staff all seemed to be in costume.  Lady Thor seemed out of place in the anime world.

Friendliest furry in the hall.

Friendliest furry in the hall.

Tic Tac Toe is a very heavy game in anime circles.

Tic Tac Toe is a very heavy game in anime circles.

Many characters carried great staff weapons.  This was a fine one.

Many characters carried great staff weapons. This was a fine one.

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I don't know why she has so many tails.

I don’t know why she has so many tails.

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Actually, this was the first picture I took when I entered the hotel. You have just taken my 4 hour tour in reverse.

Actually, this was the first picture I took when I entered the hotel. You have just taken my 4 hour tour in reverse.

Everyone seemed to be having a very fine time.  The costumes were great, and I’m glad I went out to see it. I’m sure the promoters made a lot of money from it.  This is where media fandom is going today, and it’s a wild trip.

If you’ve ever indulged yourself in cosplay, whether it was anime-inspired or not, why not leave a comment?

–end

A Very Short Halloween Party   5 comments

Last Wednesday was Halloween.  The only thing I had to look forward to on Halloween was the all-day party that was supposed to be happening at Samurai Comics.  I put on my favorite (minimal) costume–that of Ken the Steampunk Adventurer and headed out to Samurai early Wednesday afternoon.

When I arrived the store was almost deserted.  I picked up my comics for the week, trick or treated them, and took these few pictures.

Kelbie was there, and looking very ferocious indeed.

Some strange horny guy was checking out the Magic.

I got my picture taken with this savage cat lady that I found in darkest Comica.

Then I looked around for a little while, paid for my addiction, and left.  I had hoped for dozens of pix of people in fabulous costumes, but you don’t always get what you want.

I did go east and play games with Rick Loomis and his sister Nancy and my son James for the rest of the afternoon.  James won 2 out of 3.  I lost.  I lost by wide margins.

I got back home after dark, and took a walk.  I hadn’t done any walking for the day.  My camera was still in my pocket, and I got this final Halloween shot for 2012.  It’s the Moon, almost full, and very bright.

It looks bigger in person.

Good night, Moon, and goodbye costumes for 2012!

If you’ve ever had a less than exciting Halloween, why not leave a comment, or just tell me what you did for fun this year.

–end

Fragments are all we have   5 comments

The life of a man is too much to ever tell. It goes by, second by second, minute by minute, year by year, and any moment can be a high one or a low one. And in the end, we die, and we leave fragments behind us–memories, monuments, book collections, and all manner of debris. And yet I will ever maintain that those fragments have their own importance, and of such fragments, reality itself is constructed.

Here are a few fragments of my life–old photographs found in the accumulation of things I carry around with me, looking for somewhere else to lay them down.

Me about 1965, standing in the driveway of my home in the Maryvale area of West Phoenix. I combed my hair in a curl over my right eye in imitation of James Bond as he was described in the novels by Ian Fleming. I liked bold colors. Look at those red slacks. Although I was no athlete, there was no fat on my body..

My first paying job was washing trucks for City Delivery, a local delivery company that preceeded the appearance of United Parcel in Phoenix. My father, Richard Eugene St. Andre, was a supervisor and dispatcher for the company. After I got my driver’s license, he got me this job washing their trucks every Saturday morning. I used a garden hose, a bucket of soapy water, and a long-handled brush. My brother, Daniel who took this picture, helped me. This is summer 1965 or 1966. I believe this is the only picture of me that survives from my City Delivery days.

When I was a boy growing up in Phoenix, I spent my summers riding around in trucks with the drivers of City Delivery. I carried packages and toted all manner of things that needed moving from one location to another. I learned the city as truck drivers know it–every loading dock, every alley, every one way street. In due time I got a driver’s license and became a truck driver for the company. On Saturday mornings I washed those trucks, learning to drive big boxy-backed trucks as well as pickups and small vans.

My first car–a 1948 Dodge. My father bought it for me as an 18th birthday present. He found it on a back lot somewhere downtown and paid $75 for it. It was gray, and I called it the Torpedo. I drove this car to death in a little over a year–driving too fast–it had 8 cylinders, plenty of power. I used to drive it from Maryvale to Tempe where I attended Arizona State University every day as a freshman. One morning, a hose broke, and I did not know it, until sparks and clouds of steam came up through the floorboards and out from the under the hood, and I burned up the engine. That was exciting.

Graceful Ken–caught in the act of diving into a swimming pool at a girlfriends house in Maryvale. Splash!

Charlette Myers, summer 1965, afternoon spent at her house going swimming. Charlotte was probably as close as i came to having a girlfriend in my senior year of high school. I never dated the homecoming queens or class beauties. But Charlotte was nice and I liked her a lot. She went back east to college, and I never saw her again after the summer was over.

Charlotte dives in.

Charlotte in the water. I remember it only vaguely, but we were happy together that afternoon. The next day I had quite a sunburn, and didnt go swimming with her any more. Even then, when I was 18, I would rather take pictures of other people than of myself. I never liked the way I looked on film.

When I was 19 I bought a .22 single shot rifle. My friends and I would go out and shoot bottles and cans in the desert outside of Phoenix. I could shoot in those days. I never actually killed anything though.

My second car. After the Dodge died, I got a 1957 Ford Thunderbird. I called it Black Beauty. God! I felt like a king when I was driving this car. I got so many traffic tickets in it. I had it for about a year, and sold it to buy something more economical. Sigh! It was a great car.

Let me jump forward a couple of years and finish this blog with some pictures from my year with the Society for Creative Anachronism. In 1968 I was at the World Science Fiction Convention in Berkeley, California where I first encountered the Society doing demos on the hotel lawn. Rick Cook was also there, and he liked it so much that he decided to form a chapter of the SCA in Phoenix. I was one of the initial members, though I never held any offices or attained any fame within the group. I attended the very earliest organizational meetings and fighter practices and completely failed to distinguish myself. I am including the following pictures simply because they represent what was mostly a good time in my life. Atenveldt wasn’t a kingdom when these pictures were taken–simply a province of the Kingdom of the Mists that was centered in Berkeley. Who knows? Perhaps some of those people will recognize themselves from 50 years ago?

Taurus, a young gentleman of the Kingdom of Atenveldt–that is, Ken St. Andre in Society for Creative Anachronism circa 1969. Costume consists of blue jeans, a green tunic with a felt bullhead sewed on, and a gorgeous double-sided cloak. It looked like snake skin on one side and was rich pumpkin orange on the other. I usually wore it with the snake skin side outwards, but it was reversible and could be worn either way. I kept that cloak for decades after I left the S.C.A.

The lady on the right was Cynthia. She was a talented seamstress. She designed and made her own clothing, and it was she who made the costume for me in the previous picture. For a month or two she was my lady. She could dance, and she could kiss, and she was much wilder, freer, and smarter than me. I lost her because I simply was not able to keep up with or satisfy such a woman.

My best friend, Terry Ballard, was also there at the beginning with me in the Society. His costumes were even more minimal than mine. In those days all we had to do was put on a cape to be acceptable in feudal society. Terry was the smart one. I was the dashing one. 🙂 Considering how dashing I was not–that says a lot about where the two of us fit in.

Early royalty. I do not know who they are, although I knew them then.

In those days, about 1970, we held some great revels. I have no idea who these people are any more, but look at all the bottles. Wine and mead were plentiful.

And what better way to end a story than with a party? Our trip through time is over now–I hope you enjoyed seeing the young Ken who still wanted to be a writer, and had no idea where his life would take him.

If you ever had an old car, a flat stomach, or a significant other that got away from you, why not leave a comment? You should really leave one if you were ever a member of the Kingdom of Atenveldt.

–end