San Diego Comic Con 2017: Cosplay Friday

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I’m constantly impressed by the cosplay at modern comic conventions. From the carbon copies of superheroes, to the wacky hilarity of pop culture fun, to the imaginative mashups of two (or more) genres: people’s ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. This is the second of a three-part series highlighting a few of the cosplayers at SDCC 2017. Part one is here

Pictured above: The Watchmen, minus Ozymandias and Nite Owl.

Friday

After Preview Night on Wednesday and the first official Con day on Thursday, Friday was much busier. Cosplayers were everywhere at the Super Bowl of comic conventions.

I started going to the Con in the ’80s, so it blows my mind to see how ginormous the event is these days. Not only is it the entire convention center, but the surrounding hotels and Gaslamp Quarter as well. While it’s entirely overwhelming, it’s also cool to see the entire city all geeked out.

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Who wore it better? (1 of 2)

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Who wore it better? (2 of 2)

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Family cosplayers are the best!

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Even when one of the family members is over it …

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Next up: Cosplay Saturday

 

San Diego Comic Con 2017: Cosplay Thursday

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I’m constantly impressed by the cosplay at modern comic conventions. From the carbon copies of superheroes, to the wacky hilarity of pop culture fun, to the imaginative mashups of two (or more) genres: people’s ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. This is the first of a three-part series highlighting a few of the cosplayers at SDCC 2017. 

Pictured above: the fantastic mashup duo Wonder-Woman-Xena and Supergirl-Gabrielle.

Thursday

I love how the whole city is overrun with all types of geeks during Comic Con and it was a blast running into cosplayers on the trolley to the convention center.

Pro tip: take an early trolley from The Murph (sorry, but that’s what the stadium will always be to me; shout-out to my friends and family in San Diego). There’s plenty of free parking and it’s easier to get a seat since the trains fill up in no time. 

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Once inside the convention center, a few of my favorites were there.

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Of course, you never know who you’re going to run into at the Con.

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Inside and outside the convention center, cosplayers were everywhere.

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Next up: Cosplay Friday

San Diego Comic Con 2017: Gone Viral

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So, the video I posted of the kids in the mini landspeeder yesterday went viral.

My tweets typically get a few likes and, if I’m lucky, a retweet or two so this was totally unexpected. This particular tweet has deluged my phone with nonstop notifications and as of Saturday 7/22/17 at 4pm it’s been liked over 4,000 times and retweeted over 1,200 times.

Whoa.

It’s been interesting seeing how people have reacted to the video. Obviously, cute kids in their Star Wars costumes will usually generate lots of likes. Kudos to them (unfortunately, I didn’t actually meet them) for being good sports and to the Radio Flyer company for making such as amazing vehicle.

One cool thing about the video going viral? Getting a Twitter like from the man himself, Mark Hamill (shown above).

I’ll say it again: Whoa.

This has been the Best. Comic. Con. Ever.

San Diego Comic Con 2017: Conival

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I got to spend some quality time at Conival, the big bash hosted by Legendary Entertainment’s Nerdist, Geek & Sundry, and Alpha. The lounge was outside on the Marina Terrace behind the Marriott and it was an ideal location overlooking the water.

Even though San Diego is known for its mild weather, it can still be pretty tough being in the sun all day and thankfully there were plenty of shaded areas, misters, and two huge fans to keep everybody cool.

I loved that Conival was outside: it made for a nice change after being engulfed by the sweaty masses inside the convention center. And what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than by playing board games?

My friends Marlon and Julla met me at the lounge and we played FUSE and Wits and Wagers. We shared a loss and a victory in FUSE and were awarded some terrific freebies: books and a book bag.

In Wits and Wagers I eeked out a single-point victory, thanks to the final question, which couldn’t have been more perfect for the setting: “What year did Superman first appear in comics?”

While you Google the answer to that (here, I’ll help you), I’m going back to the con for more gaming and what-not.

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San Diego Comic Con 2017: The Story So Far

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Wednesday (Preview Night) and Thursday at SDCC ’17 were fantastic. I’ve met some people on my Must Meet List and I was fortunate to connect with friends from back home and an old friend from across the country.

(Pictured above: the cutest FULLY WORKING mini land speeder outside the convention center. Seriously, just stop the con now. That was the best thing ever.)

Crowds tire me a lot more now than when I was a younger man,  but like so many of my fellow attendees I feed off the energy of the crowd. It’s fun being among so many fans of so many different geekdoms. Admittedly I’m not up to date on all of the latest trends (still haven’t seen Rick & Morty, despite hearing how great it is from everyone I know), but I dig seeing everyone’s respective obsessions.

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While the first day and a half were spent exploring all the different nooks and crannies of the main exhibit hall, I also managed to briefly check out the Conival put on by Nerdist and Geek & Sundry. I’ll be revisiting it later today and will post another report soon.

I also checked out the board games area on the mezzanine, where my buddy Oscar and I got to play the new Potion Explosion expansion, The Fifth Ingredient. CMON demo-er Kimberly explained the changes and we got into a game, which was a blast (fans of the game will get that pun, ha!).

To be continued. If you’re here and want to meet up to play a game, tweet me!

 

Back from the Philippines

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It’s been a week since I got back from a three-week trip to the Philippines and I’m finally getting over my jet lag. Last year, my wife and I went to Japan and it was a full two weeks before my body re-adjusted to California time, so I’m grateful for the quicker recovery this time.

I’m still processing my emotions and memories of this latest trip to the motherland. Long story short, our visit was nothing short of amazing and life-changing and we were fortunate to spend time in two of the top three islands in the world.

Like my last trip in 2010, it feels like going home, even though I’m far removed physically and culturally from the land of my parents and ancestors. I’ll write more about this at some point, but for now enjoy a few photos of sunset Boracay (above), the Taal Volcano in Tagaytay, pine trees in Baguio City, and our lunch stop at the Secret Beach in El Nido (Palawan).

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Humans of the Tabletop: June 12, 2017

One of the best things about playing board games is the time spent hanging out with your fellow human beings, bonding over your shared experience at the tabletop. Inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, I present Humans of the Tabletop, an ongoing series about the people I’ve played games with.


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“I try to take simple board games or card games and make them into P.E. games. The more fun the kids are having, the more engaged and more active they are. My colleagues would use a lot of the games I made up. They nominated me for P.E. teacher of the year and I won.”

Challenge Completed: Every Night Is Game Night

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I completed my Every Night Is Game Night: My Daily Play & Blog Challenge for May!

It took me a few extra days into June to finish, but it was a fun experience sharing my thoughts on the games I played during the month. Thanks again for reading and for chatting with me on Twitter.

Here’s what I played and blogged about in May:

  1. Indigo
  2. Pandemic
  3. Rolling America
  4. Loopin’ Chewie
  5. Stone Age
  6. Tiny Epic Galaxies
  7. Star Realms
  8. Red 7
  9. Dead Man’s Draw
  10. Paris Connection
  11. Friday
  12. Octo Dice
  13. Lotus
  14. Harbour
  15. Patchwork
  16. Ethnos
  17. Loony Quest
  18. Lost Cities
  19. La Isla
  20. Kanagawa
  21. Potion Explosion
  22. Formula D
  23. Tuscany Essential Edition
  24. Sagrada
  25. Tiny Epic Galaxies (again)
  26. Lords of Waterdeep
  27. Alhambra
  28. Clank! Sunken Treasures
  29. Backgammon
  30. Dragon Run
  31. Cubist

 

Every Night Is Game Night: Cubist

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Technically, my Every Night Is Game Night: My Daily Play & Blog Challenge is over, but I missed a few days so I’m writing about other games I played during May. This is post no. 31, so consider my quest completed. What are you playing these days? Tweet me and let me know!


I’d heard good things about Cubist, but didn’t really know what to expect. I knew it was some kind of dice allocation and puzzle game, but that was it. One of the guys at my Thursday night group had Kickstarted it, so I finally got a chance to play it. After a few turns, I knew my wife would like it, so I made sure to add it to my Amazon wish list.

Players are architects building art installations, using their rolled dice to complete the works featured on the community cards. The first one to complete the card collects it and earns the victory points listed. There is also a museum card that all players contribute dice to and they’ll score points there, too.

Dice placement rules are simple to learn: you may place dice adjacent to each other if they are one more or one less. You may place dice on top of each other if they are of equal value. So, place a 2 next to a 3 or stack a 1 on top of a 1, etc. You place the dice on your “work room” (your player mat), then remove the dice when you’ve completed an installation.

Turns go quickly and I loved the theme. There’s a nice way to mitigate bad rolls, in the form of artist cards that you can claim for a special action.

After I played Sagrada I was asked if it replaced Cubist. There are similar features (dice allocation, special powers, and a puzzle-like mechanism) and while I lean toward Sagrada as the better game, I enjoyed both equally. Sagrada might be easier to pick up for new gamers, but it fails in the accessibility department (colorblind players may have trouble with it).

Cubist, on the other hand, has the cool three-dimensional element to its puzzle, as you try to complete your works and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s a solid game that I hope to see on the tabletop again soon.

Every Night Is Game Night: Dragon Run

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Technically, my Every Night Is Game Night: My Daily Play & Blog Challenge is over, but I missed a few days so I’m writing about other games I played during May. This is post no. 30, so I’ll write one more and consider my quest completed. What are you playing these days? Tweet me and let me know!


Dragon Run has a special spot in my gaming heart: it was the first game I played with my current gaming group nearly two years ago. We played a five-player game and two of us still attend the game night weekly, while the others stopped showing up due to relocation and new work schedules.

Last year around my one-year anniversary of being a part of the group I asked the owner of the game to bring it in. It was fun revisiting a blast from the past, especially with one of the O.G.s (Original Gamers) that I knew.

Dragon Run is a fast, push-your-luck card game of grabbing treasure in a dungeon before a dragon wakes up to burn you to a crisp. The dungeon is a deck of 10 cards: nine of them direct you to take an action or stop, the 10th is the fire-breathing dragon. Each player has two hit points, so you hope to only see that dragon once on your turn. You’ll also have a special ability specific to your character.

In addition to collecting treasures, you’ll get potions and artifacts that help fend off the monster. Any time the dragon shows up, the dungeon deck is reshuffled and the hunt continues until only one player remains or if the dragon is done breathing its fire. In this latter case, the player with the most treasure wins.

I’ll never turn down a game of Dragon Run, if only because it reminds me of my gaming past. It was the reason why I couldn’t resist buying my own copy when I found it at Gamex 2017 a few weeks ago.