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Wednesday, June 7, 2023



Sorry CRAZIES, just channeling my inner Road Dawg there!  Huge, HUGE news today!  The San Diego County Fair is back!  Wait, no, that's not it!  I mean, it does in fact start today and with any luck I'll be there, but that's not the big news!  The big news is that after a ten month wait, the CRAZY COMIC COUNT COUNTDOWN is back!  And just two months after we counted down WonderCon no less!  But we'll get to that very soon!  There's something else on the horizon that also needs discussing...

For many years now, I've been taking part in the Team Cul De Sac art auction that takes place every year at HeroesCon in Charlotte.  Its goal is to raise money for research in the fight against Parkinson's Disease.  Although much progress has been made in recent years, there's still a lot of fight to go, and I'm strapping on my gloves for a few rounds myself!  This year, I'm donating not one but TWO pieces of original CRAZY art to the auction, hand-colored and ready for framing!  First up:

"Behold, Mighty Alice!"  It wouldn't be a Cul De Sac art auction without art honoring the star of the Cul De Sac strip, ALICE!!!  Done on vellum paper with Alice herself and the blacks colored in PrismaColor markers and the background colors and highlights rendered in oil pastels, this piece features the adorable and zany Alice Otterloop dressed in her best homemade superhero duds and brandishing her treasured plastic knife!  A must for any Otterloop Family enthusiast!

Next up:

"BUBBLLE FOX!!!  FOOOOOOSH!!!"  You've heard of "ULTRAMAN!!!  SHWAAAAA!!!"  Well,  Bubble Fox makes a noise too when he transforms.  Those heliums tanks can be quite loud when releasing gas!  A true tour de force of mixed media, this piece featuring Bubble Fox in buoyant frame was also done on vellum paper with his fur rendered in colored pencils, the blacks, gray tones, eyes and helium tank colored in with PrismaColor markers and the backrounds rendered in oil pastels.  A must have for any fan of insanely obscure webcomic characters!

And there you have it!  For those not in the know, Cul De Sac was a brilliant and hilarious comic strip created by Richard Thompson, without question one of the greatest of all time.  At the height of the strip's popularity, Thompson was struck by Parkinson's Disease.  Though he tried to fight on, he eventually couldn't and had to end the strip in 2012, passing away himself in 2016.  Every year the auction raises money for research against this awful disease and artists from all over the world do their part by donating original art!  If you're a fan heading out to Charlotte in a couple of weeks, won't you please stop by and bid on some pieces?  And if you're an artist who can't attend but would love to donate, checkout the above pic or this link to find out more!  Let's kick Parkinson's ass once and for all!

And now, on to that OTHER big piece of news for this week: COMIC CON is coming!  As is tradition here at the CRAZYVERSE, we'll be spending the next couple of months looking back at the fun of SDCC's past as we countdown to the BIG day itself, with a few extra for good measure.  So let's quit stalling and set the Wayback Machine to July 2013, as we wander the halls of the San Diego Convention Center and the streets of Downtown San Diego to take in the sights and sounds (Even some smells!) of what is the biggest show in pop culture!  Hold on to your Batman underoos kids! The  CRAZY COMIC CON COUNTDOWN 2023 is officially a go!  Enjoy...

Starting things off with a rare look at some behind the scenes work in the exhibit hall.  Taken from Hall C and looking south towards the Hall H end of the building, you can even see the air wall that separates Halls G and H.  Also visible are the signs for the Hasbro and Mattel booths.  Spent many years working for Hasbro, who oddly cut back last year, despite having a loaded slate.  Hasbro's loss was Mattel's gain and now I have set up both toy giants' booths!

A more intimate look at the Hasbro booth and the doomed Kre-O line.  If folks want knockoff Legos, they just buy Mega Bloks!

My nephew Dante hamming it up while on poster tube duty.  He was just a few months shy of his 11th birthday in this pic.  Now he's a few months shy of his 21st!  Where the hell does time go?  And yes, he still mans that poster tube with all his might!

Watch out!  Catwoman's not as enthusiastic about Batman's mixtape as he is! 

El Chapulin Colorado.  He isn't the hero we need, but he's the hero we deserve!

The Ryse: Son Of Rome display at the much missed Xbox Lounge.  After two up-and-down years at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp, Microsoft chose to move their gaming lounge to a larger, and better guarded, hotel in the Manchester Grand Hyatt on the same street as the Convention Center.  So much awesome swag was given out at the Xbox Lounge.  Great atmosphere too.  Also one of the few offsites that stayed open past 7pm.

Ariel's found gadgets and gizmos aplenty in the exhibit hall!

Another missed offsite that used to beckon the badge-less: The Shifty Look Freeplay Arcade.  Put on by video game pioneers Namco, it was held in the courtyard of the Hilton Gaslamp and featured nothing but retro arcade games!  Sadly, Namco shut down Shifty Look, and many of the awesome and hilarious comics that came with it, and the World's been sadder since.  But for two glorious years, we had a pretty bitcoin offsite arcade!

When you just can't decide who to cosplay as...

The legendary Tara Strong!  Might be quicker to name characters she HASN'T voiced!

It's a Tim Burton double feature!  And with Disney's purchase of Fox, there's nothing stopping Edward Scissorhands from showing up in Disney canon now!

A Gaslamp Peddle Bar!  Not an uncommon sight around Downtown San Diego, but for some reason, they're much more fun around Comic Con!  Quick story here: My brother and I had just dropped his kids off with his wife and we were walking back to the con.  As we're waiting to cross the street, I start bopping head around because for some reason, I could hear The Humpty Dance.  My brother noticed as I rarely dancing along with stuff, but he too said he could hear it.  We turn around and there's a peddle bar rolling through the street loaded with cosplayers and the Joker is driving it!  And they're bumping Digital Underground as the ride!  It was just an awesome moment, and it wouldn't happen at any other time of year, save for maybe Halloween! 

The fabled Adult Swim Booth!  Cartoon Network has long had a presence at the con and for awhile, Adult Swim did too, before focussing all their energies on their offsite.  And while I will admit, it was a better direction to go in, I do miss their booth.  Last year, they downsized their offsite too.  Hopefully that was just a little hiccup and they'll be back strong this year.  Unfortunately, the Spike TV booth barely visible in the background won't be rising from the dead anytime soon!

We'll wrap things up today with a visit from the Power Rangers!  Though not the force in pop culture they used to be, the teens with attitude still battle giant monsters to this day, thanks in large part to the vast library of Japanese footage that still hasn't been localized!

And that was Comic Con 2013!  One of my all-time favorite shows, I almost didn't make it after falling off a ladder while setting it up the day before!  Though I limped through preview night, I was able to get better by Friday and made it out on both legs!  It was a great year for offsites and a great year for swag!  Lot's of fond memories of the 2013 edition!

Week 1 of 9 is in the books for the CRAZY COMIC CON COUNTDOWN!!!  Never fear though folks, because there is a LOT more to go over the next two months!  So be sure to come back next week and see what 2014 has to offer.  Until then, take care, stay safe and I'll catch y'all later!

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