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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

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Taiyo Con   3 comments

Ken St. Andre, steampunk tai chi master, passes through the Gates of Steel to enter the World of the Weird.

Ken St. Andre, steampunk tai chi master, passes through the Gates of Steel to enter the World of the Weird.

I love hall costumes. Not enough to really get into that scene myself, although I would be totally willing to wear great costumes that others made for me, but enough to appreciate and enjoy it when the costumed folk surround me. Last week there was an anime con in Mesa, Arizona. I thought about attending but decided to only go on Sunday, and to only go to see the cosplay. I am not much of a fanboy for any particular anime, but at least the costume I wore made me part of the cosplay crowd, and made it really easy to talk to them. I took my camera along and this is what I found.

Pikachu and Ash were there.

Pikachu and Ash were there.

Far future assassin. Awesome weapons and armor. Glad I was not his target.

Far future assassin. Awesome weapons and armor. Glad I was not his target.

Avoiding the old joke about horny ladies, I will say these pretty devil girls seemed very happy not to be in Hell.

Avoiding the old joke about horny ladies, I will say these pretty devil girls seemed very happy not to be in Hell.

A cat may look at a queen, and I looked at this one. I believe Wonderland is getting more psychedelic than Carroll's Wildest Imagination.

A cat may look at a queen, and I looked at this one. I believe Wonderland is getting more psychedelic than Carroll’s Wildest Imagination.

And speaking of queens, here's Marceline, the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time.

And speaking of queens, here’s Marceline, the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time.

I really like the vampiriness of her costume, so I got this closeup to show her teeth. She doesn't have to drink blood--she just eats the color red. Getting her teeth whitened wouldn't hurt, though.

I really like the vampiriness of her costume, so I got this closeup to show her teeth. She doesn’t have to drink blood–she just eats the color red. Getting her teeth whitened wouldn’t hurt, though.

Kill La Kill--a high school frull of killer girls. Our heroine is Ryuko Matoi who wields one half of a giant pair of scissors.

Kill La Kill–a high school frull of killer girls. Our heroine is Ryuko Matoi who wields one half of a giant pair of scissors.

Although cosplayers live to be photographed and complimented, any of them have no idea how to pose. This is the Before I got them to actually do some cosplay.

Although cosplayers live to be photographed and complimented, many of them have no idea how to pose. This is the Before I got them to actually do some cosplay.

and this is after. Don't you agree that they look much better while threatening me with unspeakable evils?

and this is after. All I had to do was suggest they come back to my place with me, and they got much more animated. Don’t you agree that they look much better while threatening me with unspeakable evils?  (Just kidding. What would I do with two beautiful and dangerous young females? The world will never know. grin.)

Sometimes you just want to chill with your friends. Hanging out at Taiyo Con.

Sometimes you just want to chill with your friends. Hanging out at Taiyo Con.

Are these girls wearing the scariest pajamas ever? The humanoid figure you see on their clothing is a titan from Attack on Titan.

Are these girls wearing the scariest pajamas ever? The humanoid figure you see on their clothing is a titan from Attack on Titan.

From the huge to the tiny. When I left the Titanic twins behind, I met this radiantly beautiful fairy.

From the huge to the tiny. When I left the Titanic twins behind, I met this radiantly beautiful fairy.

I asked about the mask. She just likes to wear it. I tried the line from the Princess Bride on her where the Dread Pirate Roberts defends his mask by saying he thinks it is very fashionable, but it went right by her.

I asked about the mask. She just likes to wear it. I tried the line from the Princess Bride on her where the Dread Pirate Roberts defends his mask by saying he thinks it is very fashionable, but it went right by her.

The girl in pink was standing with the girl in black when I took her picture, and wanted to be photographed too. I mentioned (lol) how dangerous they looked, and whispered to Pinky that she was the one who really terrified me. That really made her smile and she said she liked me.

The girl in pink was standing with the girl in black when I took her picture, and wanted to be photographed too. I mentioned (lol) how dangerous they looked, and whispered to Pinky that she was the one who really terrified me. That really made her smile and she said she liked me.

Not all of the dangerous characters and great costumes were worn by women. This guy with his twin swords was posing almost nonstop, often with ladies who liked his killer looks.

Not all of the dangerous characters and great costumes were worn by women. This guy with his twin swords was posing almost nonstop, often with ladies who liked his killer looks.

Deadpool was there. He seemed to be mostly a beast of burden for the girl he was with, but he had the better outfit.  Heh, it would have been great to get him into a faceoff with that furure assassin character or maybe the ninja up above.

Deadpool was there. He seemed to be mostly a beast of burden for the girl he was with, but he had the better outfit. Heh, it would have been great to get him into a faceoff with that furure assassin character or maybe the ninja up above.

Here's another guy with a suit of armor I'd really love to own. Maybe he's supposed to be Riddick, or maybe he just likes the bald look. I kind of like it myself.

Here’s another guy with a suit of armor I’d really love to own. Maybe he’s supposed to be Riddick, or maybe he just likes the bald look. I kind of like it myself.

A lot of the costumes were amazing with great props like the swords, guns, guitars, horns, and such, but I talked to this guy in the LAPD armor from the computer game Fallout with the Pip-Boy. The Pip-Boy 3000 appears in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It's an electronic Personal Information Processor (PIP) manufactured by RobCo Industries in the mid-21st century, and acts as the player's HUD in the game. (info courtesy of the Fallout wiki)

A lot of the costumes were amazing with great props like the swords, guns, guitars, horns, and such, but I talked to this guy in the LAPD armor from the computer game Fallout with the Pip-Boy. The Pip-Boy 3000 appears in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It’s an electronic Personal Information Processor (PIP) manufactured by RobCo Industries in the mid-21st century, and acts as the player’s HUD in the game. (info courtesy of the Fallout wiki)

The Lady in Red was a vendor selling elf hats from the Legend of Zelda. I came within an inch of buying one, even though I can't think of any reason for ever wearing it.  Simple but cool.

The Lady in Red was a vendor selling elf hats from the Legend of Zelda. I came within an inch of buying one, even though I can’t think of any reason for ever wearing it. Simple but cool.

The newly-dead don't all lie down and molder. This one was ready to defend herself and had the cutest freckles and engaging smile when caught off-guard.

The newly-dead don’t all lie down and molder. This one was ready to defend herself and had the cutest freckles and engaging smile when caught off-guard.

Short, blonde, female Naruto, but dangerous all the same. I truly love the dangerous ones.

Short, blonde, female Naruto, but dangerous all the same. I truly love the dangerous ones. I showed her this tai chi guard and push posture to get her into action instead of just portrait mode.  Knowing some tai chi has its benefits.

Is that an owlbear I see lurking in the background?

Is that an owlbear I see lurking in the background?

Very handsome wolfman--I didn't ask him to pose, just caught him going about his business.

Very handsome wolfman–I didn’t ask him to pose, just caught him going about his business.

Rushing into the Dealers Room, she stopped to let me take a photo, but she forget to smile. This is what happens to beautiful young anime characters once they get middle-aged and world-weary.

Rushing into the Dealers Room, she stopped to let me take a photo, but she forget to smile. This is what happens to beautiful young anime characters once they get middle-aged and world-weary.

Volunteers make any convention run. These kids were in costume and doing their duty, even tho the need for volunteers was mostly gone by Sunday afternoon. I salute Con volunteers everywhere and thank you for  your time and effort.

Volunteers make any convention run. These kids were in costume and doing their duty, even tho the need for volunteers was mostly gone by Sunday afternoon. I salute Con volunteers everywhere and thank you for your time and effort.

Colorful. Great hair.

Colorful. Great hair. Has a boyfriend.

Storm of the X-Men was blowing in as I was blowing out.

Storm of the X-Men was blowing in as I was blowing out.

Maybe she's hear to apprehend Deadpool. She certainly looks ready for action.

Maybe she’s here.  to apprehend Deadpool. She certainly looks ready for action.

And that’s all, folks.  I am sure I missed some great costumes, and didn’t go to any panels or see any of the anime stars on hand, but I had a fun hour taking pix and talking to the people in the lobby.  I don’t know if Con promoters and producers would want me to say this or not, but people, hotel lobbies are free. If you can’t afford to pay the high prices of attending today’s many sci-fi, fantasy, media, anime, comics cons, you can still go and hang out in the lobby where you may get a chance to talk to the participants, see great costumes, take some photos, and otherwise enjoy yourself. It is a lot better than staying home and playing computer games all afternoon–though there is nothing wrong with playing computer games, and I play a lot.

Next weekend I will be a gaming guest at DarkCon 2014, and I think I’ll wear my steampunk tai-chi master costume again–at least for one day. I will be doing a panel on Saturday morning with three other more notable game designers than myself (Tom Dowd, John Wick, Todd VanHooser), and I should be running some Tunnels and Trolls for anyone who would really like to play. Bring your characters and your dice and come game with me!  You can learn all about DarkCon here: https://www.facebook.com/events/162229360629080/.  I will be taking pix, and should have another Con report here in a week or ten days.

If you ever indulge in cosplay, or take pix of those who do, why not leave a comment? If you were at Taiyo Con,  you should certainly leave a comment and tell what was best about the Con for you.

–end