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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


As Day Two of the con dawned, my old friend Amber (of Amber Unmasked fame and cosplayer extraordinaire) and her pal Ashley (also a cosplay goddess) arrived, ready to rock the con floor in two changes of costume each. Amber suited-up as the Ace from the Royal Flush Gang (you'll see her shortly), while Ashley went as the former Wonder Girl/Troia, Donna Troy. My main agenda for the day was to meet Pam Grier and get her autograph, so with that in mind, I left for the convention center.

I arrived at around 10:30AM and the show was already hopping, but I immediately made a beeline toward Pam Grier's signing table and was pleased to see the lady herself was there, looking resplendent and cool as ever. I got on the signing line, armed with an 8x10 of Pam in FOXY BROWN (1974) and a nude of her from sometime in the mid-'70's that I intended to get signed only if Ms. Grier seemed amenable to signing it, as well as a copy of her compelling and frank 2010 autobiography, FOXY: MY LIFE IN THREE ACTS, and in no time I was face to face with one of my idols. (NOTE: In recent years I've noticed that some of my favorite stars who come to con signings don't always have shots from their classic films for sale that the fans really want, so I have taken to hitting one of the movie memorabilia stores here in NYC that will have something that I want. In the case of Pam Grier, that precaution proved smart because all she had were fairly recent head shots that in no way portrayed her iconic blaxploitation-era awesomeness.)

Pam looked terrific and was very sweet, and we discussed some of the more dire aspects of her autobiography, to which she said that the events in question (which I will not reveal here; read the book!) obviously did not kill her and that as a survivor it was her duty to the public to educate them on how to stay strong and get on with one's life. Following that exchange, I gathered up my courage and asked her if she would be willing to sign a nude photo, at which she laughed and exclaimed, "Aw, hell yeah!" followed by turning to the rest of the line and announcing, "Folks, yes, we are signing the nudes!" As she autographed the elegant nude of her fine self tastefully reclining in a leather chair, she related an amusing story about how her nude shots were allegedly taken of some other woman and they just glued her head to the body while she told her friends and family, "I swear that's not my bush! It's a wig!" I laughed my ass off at that, secure in the knowledge that she was obviously joking, since, thanks to having seen pretty much her whole catalog of films, I have her moving and clearly-not-a-body-double nude image permanently burned into my memory. And with that I bade her a fond farewell, until I went to get an 8x10 shot with her at the 1:15 photo-op. They were charging $30 bucks for the photo-op and where they used to send you a complementary high-res jpeg of the photo to your email address, the promoters now provided the jpeg for an extra fifteen bucks. I called bullshit on that and resolved to scan my 8x10 as soon as possible.)

Me and Pam Grier. (NOTE: This is just a photo of the 8x10 I got with her and I'll scan and post the real thing as soon as possible.)

A word of advice to convention-going autograph hounds: nine times out of ten, the pics available at the con will suck, so always bring stuff from your own collection to be signed. I think you see my point.

Anyway, here are some points of interest from the rest of the day. (NOTE: double-click on the photos to embiggen.)

Saturday morning: Ashley suits up as Donna Troy, the former Wonder Girl. According to Ashley, those boots were brutal.

10:30Am-The floor, already hopping.

An outstanding modern Scorpion.

My roomies, representing for the DCU.

Legendary inker, fellow movie-goon and old friend, Bob Wiacek.

A gender-bending Ash from ARMY OF DARKNESS, with the (bowless) Green Arrow.

Superb illustrator J.G. Jones, sketching for a fan. To any editors who may be reading this, I worked with the guy and he's a dream freelancer.

J.G. chats with a fan.

Writer Tony Bedard, a friend since my DC Comics days and on of the least-douchebaggish people in the comics biz.

Tony engages his fans.

The Who Crew.

It may not be a costume, but it sure brought a smile to my face.

The Hobgoblin and Kraven the Hunter. Now, this is how to represent.

Three outstanding Marvel cosplayers: (L-R) Ares, the Black Widow and the modern version of the Scorpion.

Iron Fist deploys his chi.

An adorable Cheetara. (Please refrain from the obvious "Thundercats, ho" gags.)

The excellence of "Zumby."

An outstanding Baroness. She told me she built the costume, so extra points.

SOUTH PARK's Terrence and Phillip. They did the voices and mannerisms perfectly. (More on them later.)

An audience with Mike Grell, the mind behind THE WARLORD and JON SABLE: FREELANCE and one of my favorite artists and story-tellers since I was eight. His un-moderated panel was a hell of a lot of fun and he outlined the saga of his career in very amusing and candid detail. A delight and a total sweetheart.

Yer Bunche, with Mike Grell.

The girls and Mike.

An excellent Harvey Dent.

Artemis and Robin.

Darkseid bestrides the floor.

An excellent homemade steampunk helmet.

Formal Vader.

Gambit represents.

Not even death could stop the King of Pop from attending.

The family that geeks together...

This made my week: kid Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The outstanding Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. (More on him later.)

I love it when comics-lovin' sistahs represent as someone other than Storm.

Starman and his cosmic rod.

Terrence and Phillip stop to let one rip.


Another family represents in the name of geekiness. I loove seeing the next generation of my people being broken in.

Harley and Ivy.

Static and Superboy.

A character I never expected to see: Bombshell.


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