I can’t believe it’s over… and I didn’t come down with ConSARS!
This year marked the 10th year of Cool Jerk at San Diego Comic-Con International, but it was my 30th year in a row. Go ahead. Let that sink in.
Let’s start with my tablescape. This photo was taken mere seconds before the doors flew open on Wednesday evening (Preview Night). Looking pretty spiffy, with that new table throw and some vertical shelving on the right. As mandated by law, our neighbor to the left was once again Jose Cabrera and his comic, Crying Macho Man (sharing the table with him was Jim Lujan). Lovely people!
The new comic this year was The Girl with the Donut Tattoo. You can get the 411 on this elsewhere and on my blog. But guess what? Late Sunday afternoon, we sold out! (You can order a copy at the Cool Jerk store, but will have to wait until August for second-wave orders.) Yay, Darlene! We did it! >proud<
And now, onto the people!
This was definitely the year of the black Lycra/Spandex/pleather catsuit. In fact, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without smacking a Batwoman, Catwoman, Black Widow or Wasp cosplayer. I imagine many gals chose their character depending on if they had the goggles and whip or belt and bracelets.
Here’s the first of several Hunger Games cosplayers. Katniss here wins because of her resemblance to Jennifer Lawrence. Darlene and I each did a double-take. So that’s a quad-take, I guess.
Another popular costume this year — to my surprise — was Iron Fist. Here are three I spotted (and bonus Luke Cage/Power Man in the third pic, for good measure. Don’t know why he’s throwing a kick, though). I asked each one “…is your fist like unto a thing of iron?” They all said, “Yes! Of course!”
I love when I can get celebrity endorsements for my books… even if the celebrities are fictional. Here are Ben Grimm (Thing) and Amora (Enchantress), each giving props to a book…
…and here’s Betsy Braddock (Psylocke) and Shia LaBeouf, also posing with some excellent comics. Waitaminnit! That’s really Shia LaBeouf. OK, I guess that’s one celebrity endorsement. But hold on…!
Knowing Anthony Bourdain was going to be at Comic-Con to promote his comic “Get Jiro,” I made sure to join Darlene in line and meet the man in person. Darlene goes into more detail on her blog, but it was great to meet Tony. We gave him a copy of our comic The Girl with the Donut Tattoo (which features him on one page) and a Cool Jerk Canvas Panel (also featuring him from a 2008 Cool Jerk). He was thrilled and said, “Nigella Lawson! Awesome! (she’s also featured on the same page). Best swag ever!” Nice guy; I think he was humbled by how many people appreciate pop culture, food and his role in both worlds.
At the Marvel booth each day, cosplayers would gather for group photoshoots. Here we have a mostly-mutant ensemble: Mystique, Polaris, Scarlet Witch, Kitty Pryde & Lockheed (on shoulder), Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, White Queen, Black Widow and Wasp (with Psylocke and Hope Summers in foreground). I recognize cosplayers Yaya Han and R1ddle (Psylocke and Wasp, respectively) but the other identities remain shrouded in mystery.
I love it when a group of friends get together and cosplay en masse. Here’s the cast to Archer.
Here’s a group doing classic Star Trek (incl. pal and fellow exhibitor Dan Bois as the captain on the far right).
And on one night after the convention, Darlene and I went to Sultan Shawarma in the Gaslamp. Who did we see chowing down in the back of the restaurant but THE (movie) AVENGERS! Holy buttnuggets! It was the best! Clockwise from left: Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk (GRRR! HULK SMASH PUNY SHAWARMA!), S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, Tony Stark (Iron Man’s arc reactor was on her tank top), Thor, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill, Captain America… and Loki was forced to eat on the floor BECAUSE LOKI IS EVIL! (If you haven’t seen “The Avengers” and/or didn’t stay all the way through the end credits, then you’ll probably miss how awesome this was to see in real life!)
Speaking of, here are two cosplayers dressed as two of my favorite Avengers: Ms. Marvel and Scarlet Witch (Darlene and I chatted a bit with Scarlet Witch while eating our shawarmas back at the convention center al fresco… Scarlet apparently was there just before us because she saw the Avengers there, too!)
Say hello to BBC’s Sherlock, the backside of Silver Surfer (also Plastic Man), and Jem, reporting live from the Knight Rider display!
Here’s a little something for the small fry — some ladies representing cel, digital and stop-motion animation. Can you name the movies?
The “Crossplay” fad was as hot as ever. Here we have some Lucasfilm (Slave Leia, Han and Leia) and Marvel (Cyclops, Captain America) cosplayers bending genders.
The great outdoors! Fresh air at last!
Outside of the convention center is a great place to mingle with scores of cosplayers. Here we have Moonstone (dressed in Ms. Marvel’s original outfit — long story, kids), Earthworm Jim and Jean Grey in her vintage Marvel Girl outfit.
Here we have world-eater Galactus (also: Silver Surfer, his herald, orbiting him) and Black Panther.
Time to give DC Comics some love. Here we have a collection of heroic young defenders — Miss Martian, Batgirl, Ravage and Robin.
And fresh in from Gotham City… aw, c’mon. You know who they are. Also: A startling version of Supergirl (Superwoman?) and Deathstroke the Terminator.
Sometimes Darlene would sneak away from the table and take some pix. Here she encountered some Asgardians: Sif (with Huntress in the background), Thor Girl and Beta Ray Bill. Thor Girl is an actual character and not a crossplayer, although we saw plenty of ladies dressed as Thor.
Also on one of her treks, Darlene spotted the cast of Fringe exiting an interview. Coming down the stairs are Lance Riddick, Anna Torv and John Noble. Cool — we love that show!
Myself, I find it difficult to leave the table for more than a few minutes at a time. I hate thinking I might miss a sale at the table, or miss seeing a friend wander up. So I was pretty lucky to get a few shots within a stone’s throw from the CJ table, like these of Deadman, Illyana Rasputin (Magik of the New Mutants) and Jan, Jace and Blip (Space Ghost). Incredible costumes, all!
Also spotted some excellent costumes of Hayata and Muramatsu from Ultraman and the Gentleman Ghost!
I always do free sketches for anyone who wants to ask. This year I was approached by several people, and one fellow had a particular theme in mind: “Jesus Christ vs a stegosaurus.” So there you go.
No recap is complete without an appearance by the Poway Posse (or, at least, a few of them)!
And I think I’ll end this year’s comic-con recap with a nice story about Angela Racoosin, who revealed herself as a HUGE Godzilla fan. Comparing notes about our collections, I discovered that she didn’t have the Godzilla obituary I did with John Layman for The San Diego Union-Tribune back in 1995. I told her to come back the next day and voila! I sold her one of my few remaining Godzilla sections I had stashed away in the archive. Another satisfied Godzilla fan! Thanks, Angela!