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Thursday, February 12, 2009


Having survived the first day of the convention with no unpleasantness, I girded my loins and other parts for the inevitable mad, crushing crowd that would inevitably occur on Saturday. While the crowd was every bit as dense and constricting as anticipated, this year things went much more smoothly thanks to a generally fun and friendly vibe put out by all in attendance, and as a result it seemed to me that everybody had a good time. And, what with it being the weekend proper and all that, there were scores of cute chicks rockin' superhero gear, cosplay getups and all manner of costumes that kept the shutterbugs very busy indeed.


"Batgirl, whose baby are you?" This 1960's Batgirl gets my vote as the best outfit of the show. Well done, lady!

It's that most dreaded of villains...The Spoiler!

That's obviously the Joker and Nightwing, but who's the other guy? Is he some guy from Bensonhurst who shops at the local Army surplus store?

A timewarp back to the '90's: Tank Girl lives! (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

All I have to ask is, "Where can I get one?"

The only Zatanna I saw all weekend.

An Imperial Stormtrooper goes in search of a $5.75 hot dog and a $4.00 soda.

DC Comics royalty. (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

My work-buddy Brian flees the rampaging Hulk.

Hulk got back!

The show's best Wonder Woman.

Last year's excellent Black Manta makes a triumphant return.

When I saw this guy last year I was too focused on the overall effect and impressive helmet (with voice-altering speaker) to notice Black Manta's equally impressive package. (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

Mark Texiera, longtime friend who was born to draw hot chicks. One of the sweetest human beings in comics and raised on a steady diet of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard influences by way of Frazetta, Tex's illustrations are guaranteed to put hair on your chest.

Tex drawing the Dark Phoenix for a fan.

J.G. Jones (Y: THE LAST MAN, FINAL CRISIS) attempts to hypnotize Yer Bunche.

A loose selection of THE OUTER SPACE MEN, a line of bendy space toys from the late-1960's that are beloved by those who once played with them (including Yer Bunche). Not built to withstand the rigors of steady play, these aliens often suffered lost limbs and broken wire cores (to say nothing of often becoming the favorite chew toys of the family pooch), so if found in anything resembling good condtion nowadays they command staggering collector's prices.

See that big green guy on the left? That's Colossus Rex, a warrior from Jupiter whom X-MEN artist Dave Cockrum used as the model for Ch'od of the Starjammers. I've still got him and he's in one piece, but the bendable metal core at his shoulders and hips are shot. Even as such he's still worth a decent chunk of change, but I'd never part with him for sentimental reasons.

A selection of never-released and variant OUTER SPACE MEN.

Astro-Nautilus: once my favorite plaything, now a prized collector's item worth about three times the Vault's monthly rent if found mint on the card. Maybe someday I'll have one again, but definitely not now...

It's the all-Asian Marvel explosion! (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

Yer Bunche, representing for Publishers Weekly Comics Week. This location turned out to be ideal for capturing the costumed fun on camera.

Wonder Woman stops by the PWCW booth.

A charming Beauty and the Beast visit the PWCW booth. I normally loathe couples costumes because usually one of the participants looks like they'd rather be dead and in the clutches of a necrophile before being seen in a costume, but these two were both obviously into it and I think they rock.

I had to follow that dose of wholesome romance and decency with this portrait of two of my favorite humans on the planet, Michael Kraiger and Darren Auck. Friends of mine for just under twenty years, we're brothers from our days together in the wild and wooly Marvel Bullpen of 1990-1998 and it failed to surprise me when they walked up to the PWCW booth with beers in hand and did not have one for me, even though they knew full well that I'd be there. Douchebags...

Snow White at the PWCW booth.

The Black Canary graces the PWCW booth with her presence.

Behold! The awesome power of Geekdom at the PWCW booth.

This booth was located a ways across from the PWCW booth, but I never got a chance to go over and ask just what the hell it was all about.

Snake Plissken.

I like to think of this guy as The Spirit begging for the money that his movie failed to make.

Cosplay at the food court.

One of the best statues of Namor, the Sub-Mariner I've ever seen.

General question: would you pay Rob Liefeld $150 for a drawing? I know how I'd answer...

Of the many impressive items seen here from Executive Replicas, the one I want most is the ridiculous (and accurate) green sea monster from THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH, one of the worst movies ever made and damned near the last flick I ever expected to see a toy from.

Executive Replicas' gorgeous 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY space pod.

The Go Hero retro Buck Rogers display. I can't wait until my Buck Rogers figure arrives in the mail at the office!

The WATCHMEN banana. Oooookay...

Artists Alley sees some serious traffic.

Plaid Spider-Man. What more need be said? (photo courtesy of Bill Wrigley)

Most surprising and unique outfits of the whole weekend: Where's Waldo? and Carmen San Diego.

Two Jedi, rockin' the saberage. The Jedi presence this year was drastically reduced from years previous, so is this a sign that STAR WARS is finally in its death throes?

The only Trekkers I noticed all weekend. And am I wrong, or is the guy Neal Adams' son?

Old School Marvel in da house! The Wasp and Giant-Man: best couples costume ever, and my favorites of the entire weekend (I always award extra points to those who rock it Old School.)

The Spirit.

The Empire represents.

Fun with Carbonite!

Gotta love girls with guns: a medic from the TEAM FORTRESS 2 video game.

The magic of custom-made t-shirts.

The shiniest Supergirl ever.

The 1990's Superboy. I always wanted to ask: what's up with that garter belt?


Spideys and a toothsome nursie.

For you G.I JOE fans: Snake Eyes and Scarlet. (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

Slave Leia and Han Solo: as a couples costume, this definitely passes conceptual muster.

The Scooby Gang hits the food court for some $12.50 pork fried rice.

A Ghostbuster.

The Ghostbuster's Proton Pack: once a source of awe when seen at cons in homemade versions back in the days, these can now be had from a number of manufacturers for as much as $1000, depending on the assorted bells and whistles they come with.

Just in time for the WATCHMEN movie: Rorscach and The Comedian.

Rorschach and Harley Quinn.

Two Rorschachs hit the loo, or "Showing up in the same prom dress." (Photo courtesy of Bill Wrigley.)

Rogue, Joker, and what I can only surmise is a video game character.

I have no idea what this attendee is supposed to be, but I love the antique-looking piece of gadgetry that she's sporting.

Old School Marvel in da house! Red Sonja rocks it '70's-style.

I have no clue what the fuck this dude is supposed to be, and I don't care. All I know for sure is that he's completely awesome.

Cosplay girls on the loose. (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

Nightwing and an outstanding Disco Dazzler (I stress the "disco" to distinguish her from the later, immensely uninteresting X-Men version). She's accurate right down to the roller skates and ranks among the best costumes of the show.

The Disco Dazzler and her family: shots like these just make me glad to be alive.

Ms. Marvel represents (Initiative-supporting bee-yotch...)

The Jim Lee version of Batgirl from ALL-STAR BATMAN and her cosplaying companion.

Oh, to be undead and in New York... (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

A cuddly and very leafy Poison Ivy.

Little Felix Wrigley represents as Uatu the Watcher at his very first con.

Felix and his ultra-geeky daddy, my old pal Bill, who proudly told me he planned this costume while the kid was still gestating (Felix's mom rolled her eyes heavenward as this was recounted).

More G.I. JOE: a pair of Snake Eyes. (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

Kid Flash, formerly Impulse, of the Teen Titans.


Poison Ivy and Catwoman.

A "so bad it's good" Iron Fist.

The best Iron Fist of the weekend.

Kyle Rayner: once the Green Lantern, now Ion.

Dick Tracy, cleaning up Artists Alley.

The Black Cat. (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

"Hawkaaaaaaaaa!!!" Blackhawk represents.

The Invisible Man and Poison Ivy.

Old School Marvel in da house! Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.

Solomon Grundy and Kid Flash.

Princess Giselle from Disney's ENCHANTED.

Elektra and She-Ra: the most unlikely team-up of all time?

The lovely Dr. Girlfriend.

Proof that us geeks simply do not give a fuck, this rather slender Donna Troy has moxie to spare.

Elektra and Storm. Or is that Della Reese?

The title (emphasis on "tit") character from CRY FOR DAWN and Shadowcat.

Dawn again: all I have to say to this is, "Damn!!!" (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

Captain Jack Sparrow.

A teen Dr. Horrible.

The Marvel arena, where the fans were whipped up into an Islamic Jihad-like frenzy.

Future Jedi.

Part of the legion of Slave Leias. (Photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.)

Yer Bunche represents for Themyscira.

Another Wonder Woman represents.

Tune in tomorrow for the WATCHMEN signing, a return engagement with Power Girl, more costumed lunacy and the end of the show in part 3: "THE (RELATIVE) CALM AFTER THE STORM."


Great Big Nerd said...

I happen to think that "Guy From Bensonhurst Who Shops at Army Surplus" is one of the best books on the stands right now - Morrison's run is justifiably legendary.

Ken Pierce said...

Really great photographic commentary thusfar Mr. Bunche, I look forward to the final day recap and closing comments. Makes me sad I didnt attend but at least I had something to fill in the blanks on what was missed.

William Gatevackes said...

Hey Steve,

This is the big bearded guy from the Brian Bolland signing. I hope you got a picture of the Poison Ivy from Sunday before they made her put her jacket on. Totally inappropriate yet true to character that costume was.

Stopheles said...

Wait a sec - there was an "inappropriate" version of Poison Ivy there on Sunday? And I missed her?


Sanford Again said...

Not sure if that last comment got through. I had said that old school Wasp and Ant-Man were my favorites of the weekend as well, but then reread your post and realized that, of course, it's Giant Man. I also said that I liked that female Loki and I'm standing by that.

BTW your writing and captioning are piss-your-pants funny!

Amber Love said...

Just so you guys don't miss out on the very inappropriate Poison Ivy -- here's a link to my pic with her. It was a great look but seriously, it was "Kids" Day and she had on a clear thong and pasties.