Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Comicon, Part 1

Comicon came to Phoenix late in May. Although I pondered attending Comicon in years past, something always deterred me. But with Johnny's interest spurring me on, we picked Friday as our day of adventure. To avoid the hassle of driving downtown and the expense of parking ($20), we took the light rail. Only there was a surprise when they announced that we could not get off at the station closest to the Convention Center (ordered by the Phoenix Police Department, so they said). Fortunately, the next station is only another three blocks away.

But the crowds outside were huge, I began to think we had made a mistake as to which day to attend. It turns out that there was an "incident" on Thursday. Apparently, some guy got through security with four guns and a knife (real ones, not "prop weapons"). Further, he had posted on Facebook that he intended to kill an actor who played one of the Power Rangers in the old TV show. Fortunately, someone saw the post and alerted Phoenix Police. They found the guy and arrested him before he could harm anyone. But of course, they then required increased security for the convention.

Therefore as we arrived, the lines were HUGE! Rather than suffer the lines on an empty stomach, we ducked into a gourmet burger place and ate lunch. Good decision because after lunch, we had to stand in line for an hour and a half. Fortunately, we were able to find shade most of the time as we switchbacked wondering where the front of the line was.

Eventually, we got inside the Convention Center itself and subsequently into the room where they were landing out credentials and lanyards. Even then, it was another half hour before we were good to go.

I wish I had access to a stepladder for a vantage point from which to show you how many people were lined up in this hall. A couple thousand would be my guess.

Finally, we were inside and started toward the main exhibit hall. Everywhere we saw folks dressed up as their favorite fantasy characters. I do not know what character she is but if anyone knows, I'll be happy to update the online archives of LAHP with that information.

For those who don't know what Comicon is all about, it is for fans of comic books, comic book heroes and villains, Japanese anime, superheroes, science fiction (for instance Star Trek and Star Wars), etc. I know that some folks are really into this genre but I did not know how many and how deeply they were hooked. I was to learn today.

Almost any convention is an opportunity for vendors to make money catering to the attendees. In addition to selling souvenirs, a number of fantasy stars were here for photo and autograph opportunities. The price, of course, varied by the status of the star. I'm not sure how Dick Van Dyke fits the genre — Mary Poppins perhaps?

Getting closer to the main exhibit hall, we encountered this cute little thing. By the way, I did receive permission from every costumed person I photographed. Seems like a proper personal courtesy. Interestingly, every person in costume seemed quite happy to be photographed.

Finally, into the exhibit hall. Anyone need a shield? I recognize emblems of Captain America, Spiderman and Batman — but there are more.

Ah, here we encounter Harry Potter and Beaker, the former needs no introduction but the latter is one of the Muppets. Funny, I did not know they were best buds.

Comic books — well it isn't called Comicon for no reason. If you look closely, you can tell that many of these comic books are quite old. Growing up, I was a fan of Superman and Batman — but I know of many of the other leading characters. I do not recall Lois Lane having her own comic book. You learn something every day.

Another vendor was selling hero figurines if you prefer your heroes in 3D rather than 2D.

Now this was a surprise — license plates related to your favorite hero — in this case Batman. I did not recall the Batmobile sporting license places but in respect for the recent passing of Adam West, TV's Batman, I'll go along with it.

Hmmm — Jurassic Park license plates. I loved the book (by the late Michael Crichton) and the movie (directed by Steven Spielberg) but not sure if I want to add a license plate from the fictional park. Maybe if they had T. Rex tooth marks denting the plate — MARKETING OPPORTUNITY!!!

Last for this week is another cutie whose character I do not recognized. I guess I am way behind the times in terms of this genre.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com