Archive for the ‘cosplay’ Tag

Origins 2014–Lots of banners   Leave a comment

I spent June 10 to June 16 in Columbus, Ohio for this year’s Origins convention. It was a good convention for the gamers and merchants–nothing memorable for me. There really wasn’t much in the way of hall costumes. So, this year I’m devoting the blog record to the merchants and the signs that marked their booths.

 

I’m just gonna show some of the best booth banners and maybe a few other things that justified a photo.

 

Looking at the main concourse lobby on Wednesday morning befor the crowds arrived.

Looking at the main concourse lobby on Wednesday morning before the crowds arrived.

 

A distinctive feature of the convention center is this gigantic staircase that is seven aisles wide–three escalators in the center and two wide stairways on either side. When I felt strong, I climbed the stairs, averaging about 5 flights of stairs per day.

The Exhibitor's Hall before anyone gets set up.

The Exhibitor’s Hall before anyone gets set up.

 

HackMaster was just across the aisle from Flying Buffalo. Dave Kenzer is standing by the HackMaster Banner. I just wish Tunnels & T rolls had a banner like this.

HackMaster was just across the aisle from Flying Buffalo. Dave Kenzer is standing by the HackMaster Banner. I just wish Tunnels & Trolls had a banner like this.

 

Jolly Blackburn, creator/artist/writer of the Knights of the Dinner Table comic book poses heroically.

Jolly Blackburn, creator/artist/writer of the Knights of the Dinner Table comic book poses heroically.

 

My friend, Jolly, personifies all that is best about gamers at Origins. This is the single nicest guy in gaming, even nicer than me, and I’m as easygoing and friendly as you could ever wish. Jolly is better.

Here begins the great banners of Origins.

Here begins the great banners of Origins.

 

I’m not going to comment on most of the banners.

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I told these guys I expected some tribute because I’m the Trollgod, but it didn’t happen. They even stole my acronym, T&T.

 

Heh, I'm using this cartoon as my background on Facebook right now.

Heh, I’m using this cartoon as my background on Facebook right now.

 

Fantasy cartography is getting pretty great, but not for Mac owners.

Fantasy cartography is getting pretty great, but not for Mac owners.

 

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Ya think something might be epic around here?

 

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James Ernest is still the mastermind behind Cheapass Games. I had a good talk with him at a later time.

James Ernest is still the mastermind behind Cheapass Games. I had a good talk with him at a later time.

 

I demoed this game. It was kind of fun, like a g-rated version of Las Vegas.

I demoed this game. It was kind of fun, like a g-rated version of Las Vegas.

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This is a beautiful educational game that looks like a lot of fun to play. The designer and his family will be thousands of dollars in the red, and unlikely to appear again at next year’s Origins. Sad, but true. That is still the fate of most self-published books and games.

This guy is a talented artist. A lot of artists come to Origins. I don't know why. Gamers are mostly not interested in buying or commissioning art.

This guy is a talented artist. A lot of artists come to Origins. I don’t know why. Gamers are mostly not interested in buying or commissioning art.

 

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2014-06-11 19.05.18There was some great steampunk costumery stuff. You had to be rich to afford it.  $80 vests. $500 coats.

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2014-06-11 19.09.03Technically, this is more of a toy company than a game company, but you could certainly use these toys in games.

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2014-06-11 19.09.41Henry Lopez (seated, white hair) is a man who produces quality games. His Witch Hunter 2nd edition rpg is one of the few things I brought back with me from Origins.

Cute!

Cute!

 

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2014-06-11 19.16.14I’ve played King of Tokyo. It plays fast and is good fun. Brilliant game!

There were a lot of zombies at the show. Zombie games remain popular.

There were a lot of zombies at the show. Zombie games remain popular.

 

Steve Jackson games was there, of course, doing their highly irritating "Exact Change" song and dance whenever anyone paid with cash in the exact amount asked for.

Steve Jackson games was there, of course, doing their highly irritating “Exact Change” song and dance whenever anyone paid with cash in the exact amount asked for.

 

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Will Neibling Sr. is a Hall of Fame game designer with a deep interest in World War II and military simulation. He still runs his own game company.

Will Neibling Sr. is a Hall of Fame game designer with a deep interest in World War II and military simulation. He still runs his own game company.

 

 

 

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It was a big panel and took 2 photos to show it.

It was a big panel and took 2 photos to show it.

 

Arrrrgh!

Arrrrgh!

 

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3D open dungeon on display at the Kenzer booth. The pieces are modular, and can be built into any pattern you wish. Great for miniatures, and so pretty.

3D open dungeon on display at the Kenzer booth. The pieces are modular, and can be built into any pattern you wish. Great for miniatures, and so pretty.

 

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Where do they get those marvelous toys? I'm not in the Exhibitor's Hall now. I'm off in open gaming where the mini-gamers have set up.

Where do they get those marvelous toys? I’m not in the Exhibitor’s Hall now. I’m off in open gaming where the mini-gamers have set up.

 

If I had a lady, I would buy her one of these gamer jewels.

If I had a lady, I would buy her one of these gamer jewels.

 

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I do so love fantasy art featuring warrior women. Not sure I wanna be married to one tho in the modern world.

I do so love fantasy art featuring warrior women. Not sure I wanna be married to one tho in the modern world.

 

A good thing about the dealer halls these days are the many demos going on. Tired? Sit down and learn a new game.

A good thing about the dealer halls these days are the many demos going on. Tired? Sit down and learn a new game.

 

Speaking of warrior women, there weren't very many hall costumes, but this woman had the best one of all. Awesome to look at, and a killer smile when I talked to her. I wanted her so much.

Speaking of warrior women, there weren’t very many hall costumes, but this woman had the best one of all. Awesome to look at, and a killer smile when I talked to her. I wanted her so much.

 

This is what the main concourse looked like after Origins had ended on Sunday afternoon.

This is what the main concourse looked like after Origins had ended on Sunday afternoon.

 

Finally, a selfie picture of me just to prove I was there. Crom! I look more like a gnome or a goblin than a troll these days. Maybe it will look better if I grow my beard back.

Finally, a selfie picture of me just to prove I was there. Crom! I look more like a gnome or a goblin than a troll these days. Maybe it will look better if I grow my beard back. I started working on it for the whole week of Origins travel and show.

 

And that was my look at Origins 2014.  If you were there, and have a comment, please leave one. What did you like best and least about this year’s Origins?

–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

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

  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

GenCon 2013   2 comments

I really didn’t have a plan this year.  i took my camera. I took some pictures.  Here they are.

After seeking out a CVS drugstore on the streets of Indianapolis, I spotted this awesome monument in downtown Indie that I had never seen before. More on this later.

After seeking out a CVS drugstore on the streets of Indianapolis, I spotted this awesome monument in downtown Indie that I had never seen before. More on this later.

Another shot. I went and stood in the middle of the street for this one.

Another shot. I went and stood in the middle of the street for this one.

Wednesday evening, i wind up demoing my new Dwarves and Dragon game. This guy is looking at the components.

Wednesday evening, i wind up demoing my new Dwarves and Dragon game. This guy is looking at the components.

That's me on the left, pushing the dragon around.

That’s me on the left, pushing the dragon around.

A slightly better picture. You can see the cover insert now.

A slightly better picture. You can see the cover insert now.

Thursday morning, walking around early, went to that monument I started the tour with and found this old church with its tall skinny steeple.

Thursday morning, walking around early, went to that monument I started the tour with and found this old church with its tall skinny steeple.

Doing my best to look awesome from above in front of Indianapolis's most impressive concrete.

Doing my best to look awesome from above in front of Indianapolis’s most impressive concrete.

Close-up.  Steve Crompton is acting cameraman for me.

Close-up. Steve Crompton is acting cameraman for me.

There's Steve, doing the Trollgod salute.

There’s Steve, doing the Trollgod salute.

Closeup of Steve. Doesn't he look kinda like a Guido to you?

Closeup of Steve. Doesn’t he look kinda like a Guido to you?

If there's something wrong in the neighborhood . . . who ya gonna call?

If there’s something wrong in the neighborhood . . . who ya gonna call?

I loved that monument. It had all this erotic, exotic statuary attached to it. Lady Liberty here looks like the figurehead of a ship.

I loved that monument. It had all this erotic, exotic statuary attached to it. Lady Liberty here looks like the figurehead of a ship.

Splash!

Splash!

Inside the convention center at last.  This is the entrance to the open roleplay area--dominated, of course, by That Other Game.

Inside the convention center at last. This is the entrance to the open roleplay area–dominated, of course, by That Other Game.

 -

-Out in the general hall, there were plenty of minis, including this fine castle.

I finally spent some time in the Flying Buffalo booth on the exhibition floor.  Several of my favorite comic superheroes stopped to chat with me.  Here's the Rocketeer.

I finally spent some time in the Flying Buffalo booth on the exhibition floor. Several of my favorite comic superheroes stopped to chat with me. Here’s the Rocketeer.

I met a beautiful barbarian. She told me 3 times what anime she was from, but it was Japanese to me.

I met a beautiful barbarian. She told me 3 times what anime she was from, but it was Japanese to me.

This booth babe looked so good I just had to take her picture.

This booth babe looked so good I just had to take her picture. She was guiding people into a room to try a new online game.

Men in blue robot suits--I don't get it, but these were fine examples of some of the hall costumes on display.

Men in blue robot suits–I don’t get it, but these were fine examples of some of the hall costumes on display.

--

Rick Loomis, Steve Crompton, and I participated in a gigantic Settlers of Catan game sponsored by Mayfair Games on Friday night.  It was an attempt to set a world record for greatest number of gamers playing a board game simultaneously–the same game.  We did set a new record. 922 contestants in the same game, and someone won it on turn 48.  I had fun, but didn’t come even remotely close to the prize money.  What you see here is a couple of people sitting between me and the screens where they projected the dice roll for each turn.

Saturday in the Exhibitor's Hall, Sir Lancelot stopped by to see me.  It was a truly impressive set of armor.

Saturday in the Exhibitor’s Hall, Sir Lancelot stopped by to see me. It was a truly impressive set of armor.

Last picture in my camera: Steve and Rick are sitting in the food court of the Indianapolis airport posing with the Catan map I got 3 nights earlier. While waiting for our plane back to Phoenix, the three of us played 3 Catan variants on it.  Kinda fun.  It's a pretty well-designed board for a small Catan game.

Last picture in my camera: Steve and Rick are sitting in the food court of the Indianapolis airport posing with the Catan map I got 3 nights earlier. While waiting for our plane back to Phoenix, the three of us played 3 Catan variants on it. Kinda fun. It’s a pretty well-designed board for a small Catan game.

And that’s it.  I told you I didn’t do a very good job of taking pictures this year, and I’m not saying anything about the 4 Tunnels and Trolls games that I ran, or the people that I talked to, or the delicious suppers I had at restaurants on the far edges of town. Yes, we ate once in Steak & Shake, and it was deliicous.  Other places, including a Denny’s not far from our hotel, were even better.  I brought home a few purchases, and samples that I picked up at the con–nothing very impressive.  Maybe I’ll show those off in my next blog.

Hope you enjoyed the incoherent pictures.  Please forgive me for inflicting this on you. And if you weren’t there this year, don’t you wish you had been?

If you have done a better GenCon blog than this, please leave a comment, and a link so others can see the Con from your point of view.

–end