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Friday, June 17, 2011

ON THE LOOSE AT WIZARD WORLD PHILLY CON 2011-Day 1

(NOTE: double-click on the photos to embiggen.)

So I'm in Philadelphia at the Wizard World Philly Con and, as per usual with this kind of thing, here's a photo safari through the assembled massive of proud and savage Geekdom!

I was not initially intending to hit the show, but I found out that the might and majesty that is Pam Grier — the very personification of the Blaxploitation-era tough-and-hot black heroine, in case you somehow don't know who she is (and you shame your ancestors if you don't) — was going to be in attendance, so you just know there was no fucking way I would pass up getting a chance to meet her and add her autographed photo to my collection. With that goal in mind, I requested a press pass from the good people at PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (I will report on the show on their website, so stay tuned), geared-up and made my way to the ultra-cheap Bolt Bus at 6th Avenue between Grand and Watts and waited to be whisked away from my beloved Big Apple to the City of Brotherly Love. (I cannot recommend the Bolt Bus enough; comfy seats, free wireless and a smooth two-hour trip to Philly, all for the round-trip price of a mere $22.00!)

While I was waiting for the bus to arrive, I noticed a guy with what looked like a tattoo of HAL 9000 from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, something I took as a good omen for my trip, so I asked the illustrated man if I could photograph it and he happily gave me the green light.

The HAL 9000 tat.

After a very relaxing ride, I arrived in Philly late on Thursday afternoon and made my way to the Downtown Marriott, there to get centered before the next couple of days' con adventuring. The hotel is lovely and very affordable with the convention rate, and I spent the evening reading and relaxing in the most comfortable bed I've slept in in ages. (I have been inspired to get a new bed for my apartment as soon as possible.)

The view from the fifteenth floor of the Downtown Marriott.

When I awoke on Friday morning — after the first genuinely good and full night of sleep that I've had in ages — I fueled myself up with an over-priced and rather mediocre meal from the hotel's breakfast buffet a mostly-overcooked and definitely over-priced affair that ended up costing me just over twenty bucks and a tip. I'll forage outside the hotel tomorrow, thank you very much.

The over-twenty-dollar disappointment: turkey sausages that amounted to a salt lick (I gave up on those after one bite) and scrambled eggs that had sat in a chafing dish over a low flame until they achieved the texture of vulcanized rubber. The toast, bacon, milk and juice were good, though, but in no way worth what I paid.

Right around 11AM, my friends and hotel roommates, Amber and Ashley, arrived and immediately commenced to getting dressed up for the show. Both are very attractive cosplayers and they each brought a number of costumes to rock in for the next two days.

Amber in her first costume: Modesty Blaise. Needless to say, I heartily approve.

I left the ladies to hit the con and sign in at press registration and when I saw the massive line of fellow geeks who were waiting to pick up their tickets, I thanked the gods for getting to hit the virtually non-existant press line.

The convention center...

...and the massive line for ticket pickup.

Waiting for tickets.


A harbinger of things to come.

Upon picking up my pass, I made my way toward the main convention hall, and on my way in I bumped into fellow giant-monster fanatic and renowned comics artist Kevin Maguire (whom I'd run into a few nights earlier in Manhattan). We exchanged hellos before heading in different directions, and then I made my way through the doorway into Geek Heaven. It was a Friday, so the attendance on the first day would be quite sparse when compared to what would ensue on the subsequent days.

With Kevin Maguire. He draws purty pitchers!

Inside the main hall: the calm before the storm.

The '60's Batmobile, the first of several geek-favorite TV and movie vehicles on hand.

YEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAW!!! It's the General Lee, and not some bastardized politically correct version!

Look no further than The Blonde Swan for all your steampunk fashion needs.

The legendary STARSKY & HUTCH Torino. I swear I wanted to steal this thing and drive it out of the second-story window at a hundred miles per hour.

Mr. Tim, the mind behind OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS, one of the most truthful strips ever about the lunacy of the comics biz, specifically the retail end of things. It's on the web and I strongly urge you to read it. It's fucking hilarious.


As previously stated, my top priority at this show was to meet Pam Grier but, apparently unbeknownst to the con's entire staff, she was not showing up until Saturday. I was disappointed but I can come back tomorrow, unlike some fans who came in from other states just to see her but only had tickets for today.

A no-show for Friday and apparently the con staff had no clue about it.

One of my strategies when arriving on any given con's first day is to give the floor a once-over to see what's what and who's around, so that's what I did this time and found a cornucopia of fun stuff for bth serious collectors and casual browsers alike.

Ashley and Amber: my two favorite geek goddesses (after A.C., of course).

I hate to see them go, but I love to watch them leave.

Ah, the rummaging through longboxes...

Video-gaming fans representin'!


The first of what I'm sure will be several Zatanna cosplayers.

Let's hope Cap's movie doesn't eat the hose like the Green Lantern's reportedly does.

Old-schoolin' it: the fourth Doctor.

How I ever made it through my awkward adolescence without one of these I will never know, and now it's too late...

When anime fandom collides with Lego enthusiasm.

A terrific Dark Phoenix.


Old-schoolin' it: two Original Series crewmen.

That Chewie gets all the chicks!

The first of what I'm certain will be many Deadpools.


Hogwarts in da house!

A totally genius move: a vendor of Japanese snacks at a con soon to be packed with anime nerds.

I like what these guys are putting out there, but this proves that the movie has now officially made it acceptable to represent as Thor without the helmet. I love the helmet...

Amber represents.

A beautiful in-scale Heroclix Fin Fang Foom. I would love one of these for my shelf.

The Black Hand strikes!

Perhaps the most original cosplay idea I have yet to encounter: twin brothers rock both sides of the Man of Steel.


It just warms my heart when families represent. And just ask that kid: web-slinging can wear you out.

Holy shit! It's Deadshot!

Talk about a character I love and that gets no appreciation!



Best Nightcrawler I've ever seen. Well done, dude!


A fantastic homemade Audrey II. The pink bits light up.

The excellent t-shirts of WesternEvil.com. The dude is the designer and we totally clicked on our trashy interests. And I totally bought one of his shirts (more on that shortly)!

Old-schoolin' it: an awesome cardboard Cylon. It's hard to see, but the guy has a cutout of the signature red facial L.E.D. that swung back and forth when he moved.

The Cylon meets two Colonial warriors from the recent version.

Another family represents and kicks ass doing so. Outstanding. And to those of you who don't get this, rent the animated JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS immediately.

A study in scale.

The end of the day's haul.

"Belt buckle" my beige ass! I have wanted a pair of these that was not an over-sized novelty toy since I was a kid, and now I have one. YAAAAAAY!!!

Aw, HELL yeah.

The latest addition to my Green Lantern bling assortment.

I don't care if the movie sucks, this is a bitchin' power ring! If only it lit up...

From the second I saw this shirt, I knew I had to have one.

TO BE CONTINUED.

3 comments:

Mindlesskirby said...

Looks like you're having a lot of fun in Philly. Your pictures got me jonesing for NYCC now. I hope you meet Pam tomorrow and get some choice profile pics.

PiercingMetal Ken said...

Hmmm. Just from the first segment of your journey it seems as though the Philly Con was a lot more fun than the NYC one that I went to a few weeks ago. I was looking for some Cosplay photo ops but only managed a handful. Keep rocking Lord Buncheness and check out my report here: http://piercingmetal.com/event_bigapplecomiccon_052111.htm

Amber Love said...

Love rooming with you! I still feel like I'm not recovered. Thanks for the introductions to JG and Kevin. I love finally putting faces to the twitter names.