November Writing Challenge Day 8: L.A. Comic Con

I’m blogging every day this month. Some will be game-related, but this challenge is different than my most recent play-a-game-and-blog-about-it challenge. I’m writing a single post every day: no topic guidelines, with some posts being a collection of random thoughts. Click here to read yesterday’s post.

Last month I was on the Play More Games: A Tabletop Discussion panel at L.A. Comic Con. Moderated by Chelsea Schwartz, I joined some of my fellow tabletop gaming industry folk as we talked games and more for an hour. It was an honor to be included and I’m excited to see board games making their way into non-gaming conventions.

I have more to say about L.A. Comic Con as well as Nerd Expo in Pasadena, but I’m saving that for my expanded articles that I’m writing for other websites.

The one thing I will share, though, is how much I love the cosplay at conventions these days. It’s come a long way from when I’d go to the con in San Diego (before it become Comic Con). From anime and manga characters to obscure pop culture references, there seems to be a cosplayer for everything.

In fact, the cosplay is so good now that I don’t recognize half of the costumes.

Years (decades!) ago I’d see the standard superheroes and villains, along with various Vulcans and Klingons. Today’s cosplayers have taken things to the next level, with serious attention to detail from head to toe. As I told my wife while we were admiring all of the amazing costumes at the con: today’s convention cosplayer is tomorrow’s Hollywood costume designer.

Pictured above is one of my favorite cosplayers last month, right outside the convention center while my wife and I snacked on all of goodies from the street vendors. The piano worked and, yes, he did play this song.

San Diego Comic Con 2017: Cosplay Friday


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.


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.






Who wore it better? (1 of 2)


Who wore it better? (2 of 2)


Family cosplayers are the best!



Even when one of the family members is over it …



Next up: Cosplay Saturday


San Diego Comic Con 2017: Cosplay Thursday


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.


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. 



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.



Inside and outside the convention center, cosplayers were everywhere.



Next up: Cosplay Friday

Long Beach Comic Expo 2016

I wrote a board-game-centric review of the Long Beach Comic Expo here and I said it was a throwback to my youth. The LBCE reminded me of my time spent at the San Diego Comic Con, back before it took over the entire convention center when it was all about the comics, with cosplay, gaming, and all other pop culture phenomena took a backseat to the printed page and those responsible for them.

Here are a few more thoughts and photos about the glorious day I spent in the LBC.

First, I’d like to give myself a pat on the back for being able to wander around the aisles and NOT dump my wallet’s contents onto each table. It was insanely difficult not emptying my bank account on so many cool things. Thankfully, you didn’t need to be well-funded to enjoy the con. One of my first stops was at the Long Beach Public Library table, where I chatted with one of the representatives about their services. I’m a huge fan of libraries, so I made a mental note to visit the one in Long Beach the next time I’m in town. The young lady working the booth told me about some of the library’s features, then showed me how to make my own button. I chose Darth Vader, of course, so my backpack was bedazzled for the rest of the day.

Free make-your-own Darth Vader button.

Free make-your-own button at the Long Beach Public Library table. Kylo Ren would’ve loved my backpack.

It was great seeing the locals representing at the con. In addition to the public library, the Columbia Memorial Space Center had a big presence in the hall. Kids and adults alike were amazed by the science demonstrations, the space suit displays, the build-your-own-rocket table, and more.

Ground Control to Major Tom.

Ground Control to Major Tom.

This was something I really appreciated: the amount of families I saw hanging out together. Not everybody was dressed up, but there was definitely a family-friendly vibe all around. I was glad I ran into these light-saber-wielding folk.

The Force runs strong in this family.

The Force runs strong in this family.

This young lady had the best ride of them all.

Perfect ride for an afternoon on Endor.

Perfect ride for an afternoon on Endor.

One thing I’ll always love about these types of conventions: you never know who you’ll run into.

Thanks for the selfie, Artoo!

Thanks for the selfie, Artoo!

This was terrific marketing: a $35 box of goodies worth $50. I’m not sure what was inside, but those boxes were definitely an excellent way to sell stuff. I saw a lot of people carrying these things around.

No, you don't grow after punching one of these.

No, you don’t grow after punching one of these.

I love the fact that a KISS tribute band had their own booth. Looking forward to seeing these guys someday.

You wanted cosplay, you got cosplay. The hottest (tribute) band in the land ... KISS!

You wanted cosplay, you got cosplay. The hottest (tribute) band in the land … KISS!

Pew! Pew! Pew!

Ran into a walking carpet and a scoundrel.

Ran into a walking carpet and a scoundrel.

Lots of Star Wars cosplayers here.

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The 501st Legion FTW.

The Force Awakened.

The Force Awakened.

I swear I’m not just a Star Wars fan. Here are a bunch of photos of various cosplayers. Enjoy!

The Mask.






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From beginning to end, I couldn’t be happier with the LBCE. Yes, it was a throwback to my younger SDCC-going days, but it also proved that today’s geekdom is in excellent hands. Kudos to all involved for making the event such a blast. I can’t wait to do it again.

Final note: I couldn’t resist one more Star Wars costume. This hip hop stormtrooper had his boombox blasting hip hop classics and got more than a few people dancing. It was the perfect way to end a day spent geeking out.



Day 284: Sunday Zombie Day

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

Sundays are always more fun with football and zombies. Although the Raiders lost again, at least season six of the Walking Dead was on tonight.

My wife and put together our zombie costumes with a little help from the 99 Cents Store and some of our old clothes. We went as slumber party zombies to the season premiere showing sponsored by our local comic book store.

As seen in the photo above, we ran into our friends Sasha, The Governor, and Michonne. Can’t wait for the mid-season party!