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Wednesday, August 1, 2018


Comic Con 2018 has come and gone.  Actually, it ended two weeks ago, but I already had things queued up, so we're only just now getting to it!  Even now, as I type this, my feet are still killing me!  In all, Comic Con was an 11 day adventure for me as I went from setting up Hall H to building the Hasbro booth to going to the con and then taking it all down!  Yeah, I guess sore feet was kind of the best case scenario in this situation.

There were many highs and lows this year, but we'll get to that later.  For now, let's get to the pics, shall we?  Comic Con 2018 WAS a go!  Enjoy...

After a 25 year absence, the Rockafire Explosion made a triumphant return to San Diego, with Deadpool as their new frontman!  A brief history here for those born past 1990: Chuck E Cheese's wasn't the only restaurant that had an animatronic band.  There was also Showbiz Pizza which had a larger ensemble called the Rockafire Explosion.  Through various trials and tribulations, Showbiz and Chuck E Cheese's merged and the Rockafire was eventually phased out.  Some independent restaurants around the country bought their own Rockafire bands, Pistol Pete's in San Diego being among them.  Pistol Pete's closed up sometime around 1993 and reopened not long after as Peter Piper Pizza, minus the band (Ironically, if you go there today, you can actually see where the stage had once been!).  After many years and a membership shake-up, the Explosion was back and totally killed it!  I actually got to see them set it all up, so most of us 80's kids kept wandering over to Fox's booth to check it out!

 The Dragonball World Tour offsite behind the Marriott!  This was one of the few offsites I was able to do this year and one of the few that opened up before the Con, hence the reason I was able to beat the crowds and check it out.  It was pretty cool.  Lot's of life-sized statues of  Dragonball characters and some cool toy displays.  Also got a really cool swag bag!

 Beware the Killer Tomatoes!  They are always lurking!  Fun fact: The guy that did Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was a Southwestern College alumnus, which is where I started at!

 Pennywise's sister was out and about, looking to feast!

 My niece, Kristen, made her cosplay debut this year as Sandia, The Watermelon Warrior!  It was the last year I could get her a child's badge, so she asked me if I could make her warrior armor.  I said "How about a pumpkin warrior, since you like Halloween?"  She said, "Uncle, I can't be a pumpkin warrior in the middle of summer.  How about a watermelon Warrior?"  And thus began a looooooong journey that in all took six weeks of work to build!  But to see how much she loved it, and how well received it was from the SDCC crowd, it was well worth it!  She even made a brief appearance on The Jim Jefferies Show!  I don't have too many production pics of the build, unfortunately.  I didn't want to jinx myself since it was my first time making cosplay armor, but over all, I was very happy with the results!  And for those not in the know, Sandia is Spanish for Watermelon.  Kristen picked the name!

 Kristen got the real cosplayer treatment!  Lots of folks wanted pics with her, including just about EVERY Deadpool in attendance!

 YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!  IT'S DR. ROXXO!!!  THE ROCK 'N' ROLL CLOWN!!!  Thankfully, he didn't have any cocaine!

 Wa-Wild and crazy!
Wa-Wild and crazy!
Loved this show as a kid.  They likely had different music directors, but I'm convinced Jim Johnston worked for Nickelodeon under a pseudonym in the early 90's.  The themes of those Nick shows back then were WAAAAAY to similar to early-90's WWF intros!

 The Comic Con sensation before SDCC even started!  When vids of this cosplayer surfaced online roughly two weeks before the opening, people went nuts!  Everyone was on the lookout for Iron Spider and sure enough, we found him!  And yes, the legs were fully mechanical and the eyes lit up and moved!

 Even at Comic Con, the Dude abides, taking it easy for us sinners.

 The former Petco Park Interactive Zone stepped it up a notch and became The Experience At Petco Park!  And they delivered big!  A giant stage with a video wall showing movies and gaming competitions all throughout the con was just one of the new additions.  There was also an expanded food truck zone, a VIP Beer Garden for badge holders, numerous installations for such brands as Marvel, Sony and Norton and a giant inflatable shark that had working jaws that chomped stuff every hour on the hour!  It was a good option for those who couldn't get passes.

 This was easily the best cosplay of the con.  Not knocking my own armor build, but this was just so badass!  Most Labyrinth Cosplayers just go as Jareth or Sarah.  This Junk Lady Cosplay was simply amazing.  And the puppet head worked!  I'd love to build something like this someday.

 I've longed to see Willow Cosplay at ANY con I go to, and this year I finally got my wish as Queen Bavmorda walked through the lobby!  The good Queen said she was part of a group even, but alas, I was never able to find the others.  Next year perhaps...

 Easily the most popular cosplay of the con!  Most people thought this guy was a real In 'N' Out employee taking orders!  I told him that if he had found a legit way to get deliveries there, he probably could've retired after that weekend alone!

 The Undertaker, circa 1994-1996!  After taking this picture, he Tombstoned a security guard who was trying to check his urn!

 The Mattel booth had a life-size statue of Andre the Giant on display that also included his hand prints.  In my family, I am the giant one.  But I felt like a kid seeing how my hand sized up to Andre's!

 Will Ferrell group cosplay!  They just needed a Roxbury Guy!

 The formerly great Nintendo Lounge.  Last year, Nintendo implemented rules that anyone could still walk in, but to play games, you had to wait in a long line.  This year, they just plain said "Screw everyone!  No one gets in until we say so!"  Needless to, I wasn't gonna wait three hours just to walk around inside and take pics.  Was fun while it lasted.

Rick & Pokemon!  Holy crap Morty!  What an awesome crossover!!!

And we end things today on a video from the Cartoon Network booth that I hope will play!  I'm a big fan of Steven Universe and my niece later admitted that the Watermelon Stevens were somewhat of an inspiration for her choice of fruit armor!

And that was Comic Con 2018!  On the whole, I had a good time.  With my nephew and niece being old enough now, I was able to let them roam the halls on their own for a bit while I got to do the things I wanted to do and even went to a few panels, first time in four years!  Still had to deal with a few security guards thinking they were cops, but that's pretty much every year.  A down year for cosplay.  Not that there wasn't any good costumes.  There were plenty!  Problem was the weather was just not good for costuming.  Typically, San Diego's muggy season doesn't start until August.  These last few years though, it has started earlier and earlier, and if you're in a big, heavy costume, it's not the most pleasant experience I'd imagine.  Hopefully next year, things will cool down a bit.  And then of course, there were the lines.  Given all there is to see and do during the week, and the amount of people who come, I long ago accepted that some offsites just can't be done.  But these last few years, the lines have just been unacceptable.  Some people waited as long as seven hours to walk around a futuristic Taco Bell while others waited for four hours to walk into a store based on The Purge.  That just ain't right.  The worst part is, it's the people running the offsites that make it that way.  The offsites used to be very well-run and efficient.  If Disneyland can figure out line management on a daily basis, so can these guys, who have a whole year to figure it out no less!  Guess there's always next year. 

At last, we close the book on the CRAZY Comic Con Countdown 2018.  I hope y'all enjoyed the pics and stories.  I sure enjoyed sharing them with y'all!  We'll be back next June with another two months of Comic Con fun so be sure to mark your calendars now!  And if you're really missing the pics already, I'm sure I'll have some Long Beach Comic Con pics up in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!  The art returns next week and all month long, we're saluting some Web Comic greats, so come back and see!  Until then, take care and I'll catch y'all later!

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