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Wednesday, January 5, 2022



Welcome to 2022 CRAZIES!!!  Well, 2021 certainly ended much the same way it started, but there's no need to dive into that.  I have reason to have hope and I'm gonna continue to pump the good vibes in.  One reason I have hope?  Comic Con FINALLY returned after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.  And even better?  It was held safely with no cases or outbreaks traced back to it!  If that ain't a good sign, I don't know what is?!?  Granted, it was nowhere near the size it usually is, but there were still easily between 25,00 and 30,000 people that entered the Convention Center that weekend, and we pulled it off!  Everybody followed the rules.  Everybody stayed masked.  Everybody provided proof.  But most important, everybody was polite!  Overall, it was a really nice weekend!  So let's dive right in and see what this smaller version of the pop culture juggernaut had to offer!  Enjoy...

Right off the bat, crowds were far more manageable at this show.  They still shut down most of 5th Avenue, but everything really was at a nice leisurely pace!

There are some who call him... Tim?!?

One of the coolest parts of the weekend was my old pal Riki came out to spend a day at the show with me!  We have been to VERY many cons together, but this was the first time since 2017 he was able to make it out to a show.  It was great to have one of my tag team partners back!

Speaking of pals, one of my longtime cartooning buddies, Austin Verburg, was there in his "Master Chef" costume!  He was easy to spot as he's usually a whole head taller than everybody else! 

Granny was there with Sylvester and Tweety, who, oddly enough, caused no mayhem!

Usually another piece of the puzzle is needed to summon Gozer!

Casey Jones knows how to promote safety.  He's double masked!

One of the cooler booths was the Pacman Museum!  Lot's of items and memorabilia on display, including all the games!  An even better Pacman exhibit is currently on display at the Comic Con Museum in Balboa Park!

Squid Game was very well represented at the show.  In addition to this booth which had an insanely long line, it was easily the most popular costume at the con.

For those that didn't have tickets, which is weird as the show didn't even come close to selling out, Comic Con had a really cool pinball lounge set up at the Marriott Hotel next-door.

Even some of the Akatsuki got in on the pinball wizardry being offered!

Offsites weren't as big a part of the show this time around, but some were still there, which came a welcome surprise!  NBC returned to Tin Fish Square with a small but fun La Brea activation that included photo ops, swag and even a media display!

The Hilton also got in on the act with their own small offsite, a bus celebrating the TV debut of legendary underground comix series The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers!  It really wasn't much.  I remember working at the Hilton back in September and was excitedly told by some of the house workers there that they were getting something for Comic Con!  I'm sure that excitement died quick when a tour bus was all that pulled onto the lawn.  Still, it's the thought that counts in the end.

That isn't to say that everything out side of the con was small in scale.  DC and Warner Bros blew things up with their Peacemaker activation!  It was quite popular and had long lines the whole weekend!  They even stayed open well into the night on Saturday where those taking part were shocked to see John Cena himself being among the "volunteers!"

Would ya look at that!  It's our old pal Ed from Good Burger!  This guy was the smash sensation of WonderCon 2019, and I was happy to see him make the trek south!

Much like the last actual Comic Con in 2019, Gundam played a huge role at this special edition!  They had Gundam robots on display all over, a really cool shop where I bought a few figures and even up until recently had a hidden popup shop in San Diego!

The Empire doesn't take kindly to Starfleet entering their domain!  Into the Stargate portal Picard goes! 

Always nice to be served lunch by Lt. Dangle!

Rosie The Riveter was their and showing us all what a true badass she really is!

Not a very common sight at San Diego Comic Con: Breathable Halls!

Disney owns roughly two-thirds of the globe.  Yes, they had a cosplay presence here!

Happy to say that Artist's Alley was MUCH bigger than it has been at recent cons.  It was virtually nonexistent at the 2019 show.

Two icons of my youth: Kamen Rider and Ultraman!  Kamen Rider is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary while Ultraman kicked off the global phenomenon that is Tokusatsu!  Power Rangers, Beetleborgs, VR Troopers, hell, even Japanese Spiderman would not exist had it not been for Ultraman.  Kamen Rider has landed in America on two separate occasions, neither very successful.  The first attempt, 1995's Masked Rider, was a mess that just plain didn't work.  In 2009, a second attempt was made to bring it stateside, and although it was critically popular, the newer Kamen Rider suffered from the sad fate that Saturday morning cartoon blocks just aren't a thing anymore.  With news of a reboot coming in its home base in Japan, there's a decent chance it may try for a third time in the US.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Last up for this post: Freddy Mercury Hulk because... Why not?

And that's all she wrote for Comic Con Special Edition!  A much smaller and quieter show than its spring and summer offerings, it was nice to be able to just stroll and browse without fear of getting trampled.  I will say the panel lineup was kinda weak and it would've been nicer if some bigger name companies could've taken part.  I was stunned that IDW wasn't there as they are based in San Diego.  Their studios are literally less than 15 minutes away from Downtown.  Also would've liked some smaller comic sellers there, the ones that have nothing but trashed dollar boxes.  Every comic being sold there was either mint or modern.  Needless to say, I didn't unearth any hidden gems at this show.  Still, the people who were there were great and I discovered several new titles while walking around.  Will this lead to a fall show?  Hard to say.  I don't think attendance was a big as they were hoping, but I also think the overall endgame here was to see if they could safely put on a large-scale comic con, which they did.  In addition to the pandemic, Thanksgiving weekend is also a hard sell for a convention of any kind really because there's just so much going on.  There's many questions going into this year and the future about a fall show, but for now, I think we should all take this as a victory and a good sign that WonderCon and regular Comic Con can safely happen and will happen again this year!  Fingers crossed...

And that's a wrap on week one of January 2022!  Next week, the art returns in a VERY big way!  Don't pop with excitement!  We need y'all to come back and see what I'm floating your way!  Until then, take care, stay safe and I'll catch y'all later!

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