Boston Comic Con 2016

It’s that time again! When nerds across Massachusetts travel many miles in blistering August heat in heavy, uncomfortable cosplay to attend that Mecca of geek shopping and celebrity photo ops: Boston Comic Con.

My schedule only permitted me to attend BCC on Saturday and Sunday this year; I usually go Fridays and Sundays because Saturdays are insaaaaaane. This year was no exception. The crowds were out of control ginormous (and, truthfully, slightly rude and unpleasant) and the AC was not working quite as well as one might hope for an August day. Sunday was a bit better for the crowds, though the AC was still tentative at best.

I managed to persevere through adversity, though, and do what I do best—spend money. Celebrity photo ops aren’t really my style and I don’t generally go to panels, so for me BCC is really just a giant pop-up geek mall.

This year’s treasures:

Boston Comic Con haul
Boston Comic Con haul, 2016. Too many great things to fit in this caption, but note the Howard Chaykin sketch in the upper right!

I’m going to start in the upper left and kind of zig-zag down.

  • Monster Island print by Justin OrrI love me some Godzilla, and this is a great print that includes all of my favorite monsters! My bae King Ghidorah is front and center.
  • Star Trek movie poster for the BF, because I’m nice like that.
  • Nick and Nora Charles, by Howard Chaykin. I can’t even tell you how happy this piece makes me. It is such a great rendition of two of my favorite characters, and Mr. Chaykin was really interesting to talk to.
  • Flash action figure. Apparently if you put the Flash in the base you can actually make him whirr across the table, but I’m not sure if I want to open the box?? Thoughts???
  • Snow White poster print.
  • Catwoman and Flash LEGOs. (You can barely see these, they’re on the Flash book.)
  • The Best Flash Stories Ever. We’ll see about that.
  • Ponyo by Katie Cook. I get a Katie Cook piece at every con, I love her so much!
  • Batman and the Flash sketches by Jamie Jones
  • Dick Tracy: The ThirtiesMiss Fury, and The Heart of Juliet Jones. Books like these are my main goal at BCC, really. I love finding old compilations or compilations of old things. I’ve started the Miss Fury book and it is so good.
  • Slave I necklace. (Sitting on the Flash book, you can barely see it.) It’s really detailed and awesome and brings the number of Boba Fett-related items in my house up to 11, I think.
  • Totoro by Agnes Garbowska.
  • Jet Jaguar sticker by Justin Orr(It came with the poster.)
  • Betty and Veronica print by Erica Henderson
  • A pile of 50¢/$1 comics. 
  • Not pictured: A Jamie Jones sketch and a Jamie McKiernan sketch, both in my sketchbook, and this awesome book on Eiji Tsuburaya for the BF.

Whew! I think I did pretty well.

That said, I’m not sure I’m going to BCC next year. It sounds like it’s been sold and the new owners are already jacking up the prices for the tables in Artists Alley, which a) may affect whether or not artists want to—or are able to—attend and b) can only be an early indicator of what they’ll try to milk out of the attendees. I’ll have to see what happens, and what artists and vendors the new management is able to get, and whether or not the con is now being run by assholes. Word on the street is that they were trying to force artists to sign up for next year, at the higher rate, by the end of Sunday with no notice or time to think about it, so that’s not like a great start to a relationship.

But this year was fun! Now I need to go frame shopping, I guess.

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Autumn/Flash Gordon approaching

And then, somehow, it was September, and Autumn was in the air.

I’ve been making an effort recently to slow my life down a bit, to make sure I take some time to stop and smell the roses—to be more thoughtful about what I’m doing each day and not just bulldoze my way through work and come home too tired to do anything other than watch MST3K and fall into bed. I’ve started doing yoga every day that I run, and some days that I don’t, and I’m trying to read more and watch less TV and cook more and just generally slow down and improve my life. We’ll see how long this lasts.

One of the things I’m reading right now is this:

photo 1
Flash Gordon: Spaceman with a Sword.

I found this at Boston Comic Con last month, buried in a 50% off box behind a bunch of $1 comics. I’d seen the Flash Gordon movie and some of the old serials, but never read any of the comics. I have to say, I’m sold. This book is amazing. Flash Gordon is going on a mission to find a missing spacecraft, and along the way there’s a jailbreak at a space prison, a sexy ice queen and crazy ice monster on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, and then they get transported to a far-off planet and it gets even MORE crazy. The stories are completely ridiculous and kitschy and oh-so-earnest and fabulous.

One of the things I love most, I think, is the juxtaposition of the serious, masculine, realistic art with the complete goofiness of the story elements. Before you ask, no, I’m not really sure what I mean by “masculine,” either—the art just seems rugged and manly, somehow, in a way that isn’t inherent to some more modern art. There’s something funny and intriguing to me about this serious masculine style being used to represent pretty butterfly men and Flash Gordon fighting an ice monster/space triceratops.

photo 2
Butterfly men and Flash Gordon’s chin.

The back of the book has an essay by Dave Schreiner and some old pencils and layouts by Frank Frazetta and Harvey Kurtzman, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

I also have a collection of the Flash (DC’s Flash) that I’m working on right now, and then I guess I should find a book without pictures to follow up with. Maybe it’s time for some Dickens.

I hope everyone out there in the internet-land is doing well! Anyone in the middle of any good Autumn reads right now?

long run report: 3/2/14

Distance: ~3.25 miles

Funny story (funny/not funny), my Garmin couldn’t find me today so I wasn’t able to track my time or mileage properly. Sigh. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it because it was overcast? It worked fine in the same area earlier this week.

Anyway, I was trying to find a flat route today, since I’ve (accidentally) done hills for my last few runs and I’ve been feeling it in my feet. Went partway around the reservoir until it got icy, then retraced my steps.

photo
This part is so much nicer in summer.

So my run ended up pretty flat but not quite as long as I wanted. Then I came home and had pancakes, which meant I had to say “pamcakes” a lot, because Hellboy.

Hellboy_Pancakes1Pamcakes2If you think this post on running has simply turned into an excuse to post Hellboy comics, you would be correct.

comics TBR pile(s)

Soooo what with the moving and the traveling and the whatnot, I’ve fallen pretty far behind with the comics reading. If you don’t believe me, here’s a photo of all the loose comics lying around my apartment that I haven’t read yet, finally sorted into piles:

comics
In the time it took me to get the camera, Watson decided to sit on Hawkeye. Cats, man.

Intimidating, when they’re all laid out like that. I guess I know what I’m reading on my commute this week.

(I’d like to point out that in my last post I promised a cat picture or comics, and I have managed to deliver both!)

mini book review: The Trial of the Flash

Just finished reading my first book of the new year, Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash. It covers a bunch of issues from 1983-85, when the Flash (Barry Allen) is on trial for murder.

We all know I love me some Flash, and overall I loved this (even though it wasn’t my boy Wally), but man were the Carmine Infantino layouts hard to follow sometimes. Like, headache-inducingly difficult.

And it’s not like a few issues in you could figure out the method behind the madness. No, Infantino would use the exact same panel layouts (usually involving diagonals) and expect you to read them in different directions on different pages with no indication as to which. I’d be halfway through a page or panel and realize I was reading things out of order. It got kind of frustrating, but I’m glad I persevered because the story rollicked right along. It was fantastical at times, and I’m not sure all the law checked out, but hey. I can deal with some over-the-top 80s-era stories and some Perry-Mason-esque legal squibbles if the story is great. Which it was.

Also, there’s one panel where Barry has a really nice butt. It was pretty exciting.

Yes, here at Gracetopia we cover the most important parts of a book in our reviews.