Comic-Con Survival Guide Tips & Suggestions for Attendees


First off I have to say go online to the Comic-Con Info site and get tons of useful info. The website is jam packed with information for the clever attendee who bothers to check http://www.comic-con.org/cci

Now Onto My List, Born From Hard Experience!

Convention Schedules West Coast 2013

There are dozens of conventions going on, and here are just a few. Get out there and GO!!!

  • January
  • 2013 Anime LA Con #8 Jan 4-6 (Fri-Sun) LAX Marriott http://www.animelosangeles.org
  • 2013 Her Royal Majesty's Steampunk Symposium Jan 11-13 (Fri-Sun) Queen Mary, Long Beach http://www.hrmsteam.com/
  • February
  • 2013 Gallifrey One Feb 15-17 (Dr Who Con) LAX Marriott http://www.gallifreyone.com/
  • March
  • 2013 ConDor #20 March 8-10, Town & Country http://www.condorcon.org
  • 2013 Wild Wild West Con (Steampunk) March 8-10, http://www.wildwildwestcon.com/
  • 2013 WonderCon March 29-31, 2013 Anaheim http://www.comic-con.org/wc/
  • April
  • 2013 Anime Conji #4 April 12-14 Town & Country SD, CA 92108 http://www.animeconji.org
  • 2013 LA Times Book Festival April 20-21 10-6pm http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/
  • May
  • 2013 Gaslight Gathering #3 Steampunk Con May 3-5 http://www.gaslightgathering.org/
  • 2013 Bat's Day at Disneyland May 4-5, 2013 http://www.batsday.net/home/home.html
  • 2013 Equestria LA May 10-12, Anaheim Marriott http://www.equestriala.com
  • 2013 Pride: LB, May 18-19
  • 2013 Phoenix Comicon May 23-26, Phoenix, AZ http://phoenixcomicon.com/
  • 2013 Fanime Con May 24-27, San Jose McEnery Convention Center http://www.fanime.com/
  • June
  • 2013 Pride: LA, West Hollywood, June 7-9
  • 2013 Father’s Day, Sunday June 16
  • 2013 BotCon (Transformers) June 27-30 San Diego, Town & Country http://www.botcon.com/BotCon2013/
  • July
  • 2013 Anime Expo AX, July 4-7, http://www.anime-expo.org/
  • 2013 Labyrinth of Jareth July 5 & 6 Fantasy Masquerade Ball http://www.labyrinthmasquerade.com/
  • 2013 Comic-Con Intl: San Diego, SDCC July 17/18-21 http://www.comic-con.org/cci
  • August
  • 2013 AM2 #3 anime con August 23-25, Anaheim CA http://am2con.org/
  • September
  • 2013 Folsom Street Fair September 29, 2013
  • October
  • 2013 APE, October 12 & 13, San Francisco http://www.comic-con.org/ape/
  • 2013 Conjecture October 18-20 http://2013.conjecture.org/
  • November
  • 2013 Comikaze Expo Nov 1-3, LA Conv Ctr http://comikazeexpo.com/
  • Comic-Con International: San Diego "Swag" Report 2011 from Geek Vegas

    Comic-Con International in San Diego is the ultimate place to attend and Geek Out! It was July 20 - 24. As always I was working, but I did not let it slow me down too much. I picked up as many Promotional items & Premiums as I could without killing myself or being a greedy girl. There is a partial listing of items that were available and continually growing. I did not acquire all these items. I am just reporting their existence. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. The swag is from Comics, Books, Games, Anime, Movies & Television. There are Comics, Bags, T- Shirts, CCG gaming cards, Magazines, Trading Cards, Key chains, Foam Swords, Buttons & Pins etc. I WILL WRITE A FULL REPORT LATER, for now I am working on the Swag List. I will continue to add to this list all week long. This is around 3/4 of the items available onsite at Comic-Con. I began posting pictures on the FILMS page, but many more are to come. Please feel free to ask about anything, but I do not have all items listed.

    SDCC Exclusives -

  • American McGee's Alice Single Pack Minimate * Comic Book Guy ornament from The Simpsons (Hallmark) * DC Universe Mez-Itz Wonder Woman Key Chain * DC Universe Swamp Thing * Domo Qee Series 3: Nerd Domo Comic-Con Exclusive 2" * Doctor Who Tardis USB Hub * Gremlins Gizmo SDCC Figure * Godzilla Gangsters & Goliaths comic #1 2011 SDCC version * Hot Wheels Back to the Future Vehicle * Marvel vs. Capcom Minimates Box Set 2011 SDCC Version * Masters of the Universe\'ae Classics Queen Marlena Figure * Polly Pocket MotU Mini Figures She-Ra, Frosta & Catra * Phineas & Ferb Agent P Limited Edition Figurines * Maleficent or Buzz Lightyear, Jumbo Funko figure * Monster High Ghoulia Superhero Figure * Speed Racer Mach 5 Blueprint poster * Voltron Blazing Sword *
  • SDCC Swag Promos, mostly alphabetical -

  • The Avengers Eye Patch * The Avengers Shirt

  • BAGS - Anita Blake Vampire Hunter * Bloodlines * The Blood Factory * Camelot & Spartacus Bag * Dexter & Shameless (Showtime) * Game of Thrones * Grant Morrison Sugergods * The Guardians of Childhood * Harper Voyager Books * Monster High bag * Pan Am messenger bag * Penguin Books ACE/ROC * Playstation Starhawk & Uncharted 3 * Shark Week (Discovery) * Snowy books * SUVUDU * Three Musketeers Bag * TinTin * True Blood * VIZ Anniversary red 9 character bag * WB Bags (10) - Batman: Arkham City * Fringe * Big Bang Theory * Green Lantern Animated * JLA * Lego Harry Potter * Looney Tunes * Supernatural * Thundercats * The Vampire Diaries *

  • BANDANAS, CAPS & HATS - Adventure Time white ears cap (CN) * Allen Gregory * Bastion bandana * Bob's Burgers pink ears cap (Fox) * Death Valley UTF (MTV) * Naruto headband (VIZ) * TMNT masks *

  • Batman: Arkham City: WB Bag * Lanyard * Water Bottle *

  • BUTTONS & PINS - Bob's Burgers * The Cleveland Show Button * Napoleon Dynamite (FOX) * Cartoon Network Buttons (15?) Black & White: Flynn, Jake/dog, CN, Fanboy, 10, Unicorn, Princess, Ice King, Daffy Duck, Green Lantern, Spy vs Spy, Lego Ninja, Comedy Central * Dark Horse Buttons: Angel & Faith * Buffy * Clamp * Conan * DH Logo * Domo * The Goon * The Guild * Star Wars * B.P.R.D. Hellboy * and Criminal Macabre * Falling Skies Logo * Falling Skies Alien (from panel) Green Lantern: Emerald Warrior * Join the Corp * Beware My Power * Harry Potter, WB The Making of * Peanuts (5) (Charlie Brown, Snoppy, Woodstock, Lucy, and Linus) * S.H.I.E.L.D. Pin * Captain America (4) * I Love/Daredevil Marvel * Ultimate Spider-Man * Spartacus (4?) * Star Trek Captains * Star Wars VW (4) * Torchwood * Twilight: Breaking Dawn: (4) Edward, Jacob, Bella, Mpvie Poster * WB Looney Tunes (5) *

  • CARDS / POSTCARDS - Star Trek 3D card (IDW) * Torchwood Web of Lies download postcard (BBC) * Vamplets.com Baby Vampyres postcard *
  • CARDS / TRADING CARDS - Dorothy of Oz 9 card set * Pokemon Black & White cards (2) * Twilight: Breaking Dawn cards (Edward & Bella packs) open packs to make a set *

  • Cartoon Network Puzzle cubes * Cartoon Network Buttons (15?) Black & White: Flynn, Jake/dog, CN, Fanboy, 10, Unicorn, Princess, Ice King, Daffy Duck, Green Lantern *
  • COMICS - QR codes for downloads * The New 52 * Justice League #1 * Godzilla G&G #1 *
  • Dark Horse Buttons - Conan, Domo, Buffy, Angel & Faith, The Guild, Clamp, The Goon, Star Wars, B.P.R.D. Hellboy, and Criminal Macabre *
  • Dark Horse Paper Dolls - Buffy, The Goon, and Mass Effect trifold comics complete with paper dolls *
  • DC Flashpoint, Thomas Wayne Casino Poker Chips (6) $1 Chips (White) '96 Wednesday, July 20th $5 Chips (Red) Thursday, July 21st\u8232 $10 Chips (Blue) Friday, July 22nd $25 Chips (Green) Saturday, July 23rd $50 Chips (Orange) Sunday, July 24th $100 Chips (Black) Given away at DC panels to attendees who ask the best questions!
  • DC Lt. Jim Gordon replica eyeglasses from Batman: Year One *
  • Falling Skies: Bag, Ball, Dogtag, Hat, Hoodie, Pins Sunscreen & Shirt (TNT) *
  • Fringe 3D lenticular luggage tag *
  • Game of Thrones Bag with: Book, Notebook, Mousepad, Postcard & Shirts (4) *
  • Glee guitar pick cards (4 sets of 4) * Glee postcard *
  • Green Lantern Pin, Button, light up Ring *
  • Hellboy B.P.R.D Button & Mask (DH) *
  • Hunger Games Mockingjay Pin & Poster *
  • Kre-O Optimus Prime Matrix Transformers Kreons (Hasbro) *

  • LANYARDS - 2 Broke Girls lanyard w/ mini Sharpie * Anita Blake Vampire Hunter red lanyard * Arkham City Batman + Green Lantern (DC Universe Online & SOE/Sony) * Batman/ Catwoman + Green Lantern/ Sinestro (DC & SOE) * Disney Book Group * Harry Potter: Lego & DK Publishing * Konami Frogger * Konami Galaga * Peanuts (3 colors?) * Person of Interest lanyard w/ mini Sharpie *

  • Lego: Harry Potter: Years 5-7 mini figures and T-shirt *
  • LotR: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North magnet & Onering.net *
  • Mystic Warlords of Ka'a game cards (from Big Bang Theory show)

  • NOTEBOOKS - Castle * Game of Thrones * True Blood *

  • OTHERS & MISC - 2 Broke Girls Coin Purse * Adventure Time Pizza Token * Captain America Shield iPhone 4 Phone Case * Dark Horse Paper Dolls - Buffy * The Goon * Mass Effect * DC Flashpoint, Thomas Wayne Casino Poker Chips (6) $1 (White), $5 (Red), $10 (Blue), $25 (Green), $50 (Orange), $100 (Black) * Fringe 3D lenticular luggage tag * Ghost Busters Stay Puff Marshmallow Air freshener * Glee guitar pick cards (4 sets of 4: red, yellow, light blue & green) * Once Upon A Time light up Compact * The Darkest Hour: light bulb key ring * The River: Flashlight * Sushi Girl chopsticks *

  • Phineas & Ferb: Mousepad, Bags (3) *
  • Pokemon: Shirt, square Card & Pins

  • POSTERS - Conan movie (Lionsgate) * Hunger Games (Lionsgate) * My Little Pony Universe (Hasbro) * Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Summit Pictures) * Three Musketeers (Summit Pictures) *

  • SHIRTS - The Avengers * Beavis & Butthead * Bones * Chuck * Covert Affairs * Falling Skies shirt * Falling Skies Hoodie * Game of Thrones (4) * Good Vibes * Marvel vs Capcom * Napoleon Dynamite (3) * NCIS: Los Angeles * Niconico.com * Penn & Teller * Pokedex 3D * Psych (2) * Teen Wolf * True Blood: Grow A Pair * True Blood: I Was Drained Responsibly (Blood Drive ONLY) *

  • Supernatural collectible Salt Shakers
  • Star Trek Captains: Button & Postcard * "Boldly Go" rubber wristbands *
  • Star Wars: Admiral Ackbar SW fan * C3-P0 SW fan * R2-D2 SW fan * Yoda SW fan *
  • Three Musketeers Bag (Summit Pictures) poster & foam sword *
  • Todd and the Book of Evil blow up guitar *
  • True Blood Bag with: Book, Notebook, Postcard & Shirt *
  • TV Guide Comic-Con Special (3 covers)
  • Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Trading card packs (2), Buttons (4), Shirts (4), Magnetic frame & Poster *
  • WB Bags (10) with poster slot - Batman: Arkham City * Fringe * Big Bang Theory * Green Lantern Animated * JLA * Lego Harry Potter * Looney Tunes * Supernatural * Thundercats * The Vampire Diaries *


  • WRISTBANDS Expendables wristbands (IDW) * Just Dance 3 watch w/ purchase of game * Her Universe purple wristband * Make It Mine wristbands (4) * The Killing wrist slappy * Tiki Twins black wristband *

  • Young Justice playing cards
  • Anime LA Review 2010

    I attended Anime LA, January 8-10 at the LAX Marriott Hotel. I went with a friend on Friday. The plan was that my husband would bring the whole family on Saturday. That did not happen due to money issues. Which is too bad, because it was the perfect show for them to attend. There were over 3,000 attendees during the 3-day show. 2/3 of the attendees were under 25 years old and 4/5 of them wore a costume. I highly suggest anyone with multiple costumes attend this show and get your Cosplay jones on. \

    \ I took Photography in school and I really enjoyed taking photos all weekend. I was not working the convention, but I took so many pics that it almost felt like I'd made it my job. My camera ate through 4 sets of batteries by noon Saturday. The much visited gift shop was sold out of batteries and other items (poor planning). I was fortunate to get a set of Duracell's from a friend and they lasted the rest of the time. I'm upgrading my camera batteries to Duracell next time. I took 163 viable pictures and narrowed them down to 124 (loaded on Photobucket).\

    \ This is an extremely costume friendly show! There were official group meet up signs posted and the entire pool area was swarming with groups. It is always fun to see 40 Narutos show up in one photo. Besides the Steampunk folk some of the most beautiful were from Black Butler (Manga finally available in English in January).\

    \ Funny Moment: A guy threw chocolate coins into a group of girls and they dove on it like piranha, despite their costumes getting in the way. I thought someone had thrown a bridal bouquet. It was crazy!\

    \ Cosplay Chess: Cosplayers are used as pieces in a large-scale chess match controlled by two chess masters. The game could be watched in the courtyard or directly above. It was a great game placed in the exact right spot for perfect viewing. There were other fun things to do like Cosplay Battle, which seemed to involve a fighting stance and saying something funny your character would say. I am sure someone out there knows the real rules, but it was fun to watch.\

    \ Un-Funny Moment: Several of the costumed attendees headed outside to the local fast food establishment. Their military type costumes included Airsoft rifles. This made the locals nervous since it is next to an airport, so the Police rolled up in a huff. It did all work out in the end. In this climate of crazy security everyone should have known better.\

    \ The Show had a Dealers room, Live Music room, Anime viewings, Film Festival, Gaming room, Panels and a Masquerade Saturday evening. The placement of the Autograph Area next to the Live Music room seemed a bit off to me, but everyone was constantly serenaded. Voice actors were the special guests and occasionally I would hear something I just did not expect come from a person I did not expect :)\

    \ Naturally the bulk of the exhibitors were selling Anime of some type. Fortunately their product differed or it would have been boring. There were small figures, cards, large figures, Manga, pin & charm vendors. A vendor sold Steampunk & Leather items, two had Lolita clothes and another sold Cosplay outfits. My purchases were a handsome silver pocket watch for my Man, 6 anime playing cards, 4 small anime figures, 2 Manga, a Victorian underwear pattern and 2-inch wide purple & silver ribbon.\

    \ I went to only 1 panel called Steampunk 101. For some reason this was the exact moment my husband decided to call me. I stepped out of the room to take the phone call and missed 10 minutes of a 30-minute panel. Yes, I am still annoyed. One good thing that happened is I saw, Ms. Neidengard wearing her very cool Victorian Wonder Woman costume and I got to take a picture.\

    \ For the Masquerade on Saturday night the convention organizers had the audience come in small groups to be seated. This worked pretty well for a 600+ seat room. (I would hate to see that tried in a larger venue.) They had 76 people in 29 entries work their magic. The MC was funny. He came out on stage to the song "Secret Asian Man".\

    \ Badge Ribbons: One of the fun and silly things to do at a convention is collect ribbons. I managed to pick up only 3 new ones: Shiny, Glitterati and Powered By Steam (in a cool font). Some attendees had dozens of ribbons and I am wondering where they got them from?!\

    \ I really did enjoy the show and will definitely bring my kids next time!\

    \ I posted all pictures on Photobucket under Anime LA 2010. Go take a peek\

    \ The website is http://www.animelosangeles.org/wp\

    \

    \

    LosCon 36 Review 2009

    \

    \ The 2009 LosCon 36 was held over the Thanksgiving weekend at the LAX Marriott (11/27 - 11/29). LosCon is a Science Fiction convention that has over 1,000 attendees. Chris & I met friends and I made a few new ones. It is all part of my nefarious plot to be friendlier & talk more. \

    \ Like all good conventions, it has an Art show, Dealers room, Film, Anime, Gaming room, Panels and a Masquerade Saturday evening. There were 6 exhibitors with books. The crafty vendors had jewelry or clothing. I visited all of them at least once, some a lot more. We chatted for a lonnng time, because that is what you do at this type of convention. I bought older out of print books from http://www.massogliabooks.com/ and http://www.williamwubooks.com/\

    \ I tried on two Gorgeous black coats. They were around $300 with really high quality workmanship. Sadly I would need the coat altered since a certain part of my anatomy would not let the coat fall smoothly. No reason to pay that kind of money for a lumpy backside. \

    \ Badge Ribbons. One of the fun and silly things to do at a convention is collect ribbons. When a convention is smaller it is possible to make unique badges, but a much more convenient way is to distribute ribbons. Some attendees had dozens of ribbons that reached all the way to the floor! I ended up with five: \ Do You Know Dawno?, Lab Rat, Shot by a Bear, William Wu Books.com and Bad Influence. I really enjoyed the ribbon collecting, probably because I was not working the convention and had the time to absorb the fun of doing the little thing that won the ribbon.\

    \ I went to 3 Panels. The first was, Steampunk, Clockpunk & Noirpunk. This was Chris' idea and I was fine with it. Several people discussed the genre and subgenres. A panelist, Ms. Neidengard, was wearing a cool Victorian Wonder Woman costume. I sadly had no camera. \
    \ The second was, There Is A Small House In My Library. Jefferson Swycaffer and Marty Massoglia were a few of the people on this panel. One women in the audience asked if there was a 12 step program to stop collecting? Nope we are all doomed! Bookworms went crazy. Everyone in the room generally disliked electronic books. They all realized the benefit of the machine for travel, but not in their everyday lives. Discussions broke out about what was the maximum amount of books a person could read at a time, special bookcases and how to sort. Most people were using Authors, but some sorted by Publisher or Subject groupings. Mr Swycaffer says he has a few Shrines. All books, movies, comics & toys related to a character are sorted together. Ambitious! \
    \ The third was, Creating Props, Accessories & SFX For Your Costume. She discussed boning inside corsets. Wonderflex for inside and outside a costume, and ELW lights. Electro Luminescent Wire works great in costumes because it uses a small battery pack and the colors can be changed. Ms. Neidengard was moderating this panel also. This time she was wearing a Girl Genius costume, that I did get a photo of. \

    \ Room Parties\ After the Masquerade we went up to the 17th floor for the Room Parties. Every year at Comic-Con I try to block off a group of rooms as a buffer for my party. The LAX Marriot seems to understand the concept, where the stupid Hyatt does not. The ENTIRE 17th floor had rooms open. About half the floor was open on Friday night and the bulk of the rooms had full blown parties going on Saturday. A little music, some talking and a lot of food. Most rooms had a theme and a sticker proclaiming your attendance. Hundreds of people were wandering the halls for hours. It was very fun. SO FUN, that I refused to post photos and to put into print some of the stuff that I saw. What happens at Con should stay at Con. It is all about chatting and fun at this Con. It was kind of refreshing.\

    \ I will post all pictures that I can on Photobucket. Go take a peek under marysgarage.\

    \ Swag\ LosCon Swag consisted mostly of the paper variety: A nice heavy paper Brisingr the Dragon bag to carry my stuff in. The Souvenir book, Costume Designer magazine, various Bookmarks from vendors, novels and for other conventions. \

    \ My only two complaints are: There was not an Exhibitor listing in the souvenir book. I have no way of knowing the name of the coat vendor since I did not get her business card on site. Which leads to the second complaint. The website had a major issue and then total crash right before the show. This made it very hard to get basic information about the show. Weeks later the new site is up for #37 but the old #36 site is still not fixed. \
    \ The website is http://www.loscon37.org\

    \ I really did enjoy the show and will probably attend again, but this depends on my 2010 Thanksgiving plans.\

    \

    Scream Awards Review #4, Spike TV 2009

    \ Spike Scream Awards Oct 17, 2009. My husband, friend & I drove up to the 4th Annual Scream Awards Saturday, Oct 17 (Aired 10-24-09). The Spike TV Scream Awards is for Comics, SciFi & Horror. We left at 10:00am to get there, but had to turn back because half of my outfit was still hanging up in my room. DRAT! We lost 30 minutes both ways, but still did very well. My friends iPhone real-time traffic updates helped us go around some major accidents in LA. The event was held at the Greek Theater in Griffith Park again. It was outside at night, and the weather was great.\

    \ We rented a room so that we did not have to drive back on the same night at 2:00am. We stayed at the same Days Inn on Sunset Blvd that we did for the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade. It was just what was needed. A place to park the car, change outfits and pass out later. Yea!\

    \ The Scream Awards sent out a huge email casting call to invite real fans to dress up and attend the show. They do still hire a few gorgeous paid actors but not like they did in the beginning. Scream gave out a 200 person open invitation to come in costume for the night to Comic-Con Intl members. I would say 80% of the entire audience came as something from Comics, Sci-Fi or Horror. 60% of the outfits were Goth inspired, 10% was Comic and the other 10% was Horror. Sadly the rules stated no cameras or cell phones were allowed in the place. Some people cheated, but we took pictures of us before we entered. Strangely some of the people in line did not want their picture taken. Why bother to dress up and then be camera shy? There were hundreds of people worth taking a picture of! The fan filled audience out did themselves! \

    \ The one bad thing about taping a TV show is the time involved. We all needed to show up very early and not leave for hours on end. Once inside time moved a lot faster, but much of the time was spent outside waiting in line. At least the Staff knew which of the 4 separate lines to send people to this year. \

    \ One fantastic thing about getting a "special" seat is that we get to sit down way before anyone else. We also get hors devours. My favorite was a yummy finger sandwich with Pesto sauce in it instead of mayonnaise. \

    \ Like last year they edited out parts of the show on TV due to questionable content. You know, %&$#@. This year they left most of it in expect for technical difficulties, like long windedness and the few Man size Men who presented or accepted awards. I knew Hollywood was full of midgets but dang those Boys look short next to Men.\

    \ After last years insanity I did not think they would try again, but they made Stan Lee's entrance via sky balloons! He admitted to the crowd that he was terrified and wanted out of the evil contraption, but still went on like a trouper. He did not miss a beat with his acceptance speech. Excelsior!\

    \ I almost cannot believe I was in the same place as Harrison Ford & Johnny Depp. That was almost a brain overload of Iconic people! I have seen Stan Lee at Comic-Con Intl: San Diego. Johnny Depp only said 4 words at CCI, but had two whole speeches at Scream.\

    \ We ran into lots of friends and acquaintances. Some friends in the Geek Roundtable got to be in the "Standing section". They got to high-five and shake hands with every presenter who came up to the microphone. Awwwesome! While watching the show on TV we played the "Spot Matt" Drinking Game. He had the white hockey mask on next to the stage.\

    \ Scream Afterlife Post Party. \ We went to the After Party at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I had not realized how lovely graveyards can be. I had been curious about the place once I found out that they show outdoor movies there. This was the perfect opportunity to look around. Chris was impressed by Joe Ramones statuary. We walked in to the After Party and was less than 2 feet from the cast of Big Bang Theory. Yea! NO, I did not embarrass myself or anyone else, but I was squealing on the inside. \

    \ The food this year was yummy. It was all finger food but real food at the same time. For example, Asparagus tips wrapped in beef strips. They had lots of things to dip in chocolate or caramel etc. The funny thing is they missed their calling. They had Ding Dongs, Snowballs & Rice Krispies but no one had a Twinkie! Woody Harrelson was a presenter on stage and everyone was buzzing about the awesome Zombieland, but no one ordered a damn Twinkie! He hates Snowballs! Hahaha\

    \ I hated the DJ's choice of music. It was all pretty fast paced, but it was not dancing music it was singing music. Songs we all love to sing to in the car or the shower. Some were favorites of mine, but that does not change the facts. Putting a dance beat over a singing song does not automatically make it a dance song. No Mr DJ, it does not! Hopefully some of you out there know what I am trying to get at. \

    \ I will post all pictures that I can on Photobucket under marysgarage. Go take a peek.\

    \ All in all a very good night, without the scary 2:00am drive back to San Diego.\

    \ \

    Anime Expo Review July 2-5, 2009

    \

    \ I went to Anime Expo with my entire family for the first time. I have been many many times, but they had not. The four of us met friends on Friday, July 3, 2009. We decided to eat breakfast first to let the registration line clear out a bit. Yeah Denny's. The Los Angeles Convention Center is very nice. It is laid out differently than the Anaheim and Long Beach centers. LA is very long and spread out. It is longer than San Diego. It is nice that the parking prices are reasonable. It helps that ACE Parking does not own every lot in LA, like they seem to in SD. If you get the chance to attend AX please do. Anime Games, TV & Movies come together all tilted toward Anime overload. The Anime panels and related programming are great. My son happily disappeared to watch Anime then came back to Game on the exhibit floor. The majority of Programming ran from 8:00am - 12:00 Midnight, but some did not stop until 5:30am the next morning! http://www.anime-expo.org\

    \ There were zillions of great costumes. I took 105 photographs! Scout around on the net for more of them because they are worth the search. I have reduced my pics down to 67. Anime Expo 2009 Hall Costumes and Cosplay Pictures posted on Photo bucket under "marysgarage" so I do not eat up all my bandwidth. Enjoy!\

    \ Favorite Booths: Dragon Pets & Anime Jungle. Dragon Pets because it had the most unique item I saw during the show. Anime Jungle.net because it had bargain bins full of genuine bargains! I may have to take a trip up to Los Angeles just to go to that store.\

    \
    (photos removed after 6 months)\

    \ Noisiest Booths: Crunchyroll & Shinhan International, Inc. No matter how loud the Gaming & Media booths were, nothing beat out these two booths for shear volume!! Microphones and speakers can sometimes be a scary thing.\

    \ Scariest Booth: Crunchyroll is in the running again for throwing posters and t-shirts into large crowds of people. I always steered clear when the mad rush started to stampede towards their booth. Yikes!\

    \ Most Attractive Booths: 3 companies accomplished this and all 3 were Cosplay related.\

    \ The Exhibit Hall was laid out with plenty of room around the outer edges to sit down against a wall. It also allowed Vendors to run lines easier. This year there were more Steampunk and Cosplay related booths & vendors. I always try to keep an eye open for items my friends who could not make it would want. I saw less large companies this year, probably due to the economy. I love the big companies, but I find myself steering towards the smaller specialized vendors first for: Steampunk gear, Figures, Charms, Manga and CD's. I can get certain items from the big stores & companies anytime. It is the small booth I only see once or twice a year that I have to give my time and attention to. As long as it is not an exclusive AX Con only item I'll worry about the big boys later. Most of the vendors had items that were visible or had been opened. This costs me more, but Ziplock bags are my friend. Japanese toys are often blind-boxed, so it was wonderful to clearly see what I wanted. I bought several things and spent close to $350, even though I was trying to save up for Comic-Con at the end of July. It seems bad, but this is the first year I ever went for three straight days in a row. \

    \ Once again Anime Expo was a very enjoyable show that I will attend year after year. \

    \ I Bought: \

    \

    \ Free Swag: \

    \ I admit that the Swag always attracts me. A convention without swag seems wrong. Anime Expo is however a convention that heavily supports Cosplayers not freebies! Several companies had electronic and card games set up so any player could win a prize / promo. There were also "gift with purchase" items. I know I have missed a few free items, but here is what I know about. \

    \

    \

    \ Here are 2 big pics of the Freebie items: \

    \
    (photos removed after 6 months)\ \

    \ Partial list of Vendors & Exhibitors for Anime Expo 2009:\ * 9 * ABCTOY4ME / Cardzilla Collectible * Akino Atelier (hats) * Aksys Games * Alain Viesca Art * Asylum Anime * Atlus * Chokolatte * Contact Lens Company * COPIC Marker * Cospa, Inc * Crunchyroll * Cute Oddity * Echo Chernik Art* Fetish Falls (steampunk) * FUNimation * Game Replica * Imagi Studios * J-List / Jast USA * Jones Bones * Jungletoy * Kawaii Anime (cosplay) * Kinokuniya Book Stores * Kyoto Kimono * Lolita Kisama * Loner Life Productions * Mad-Gear * MangaGamer.com * Manic Gear * Marble Pop * Maru Music * Morinaga America, Inc * Morning Musume * Mr. Toast * Neotype Station * NIS America, Inc. / RosenQueen * Offworld Designs, Inc. * Phil Davis Books and Treasures (hats) * Ravenwing Wearable Art * Reflex Gamer * Shinhan International, Inc * StylingOnline.com * Thou Shalt Game * The Hornsmythe (bone & fur) * Tokyo Star Apparel * Tomy Corporation * Vintage Kimono * Wizard Armor.net * Wizzywig, Inc. * Yaoi Press LLC\

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    WonderCon Review 2009

    \ WonderCon was a fantastic show this year. The weather was wonderful in San Francisco. It did not start raining until Sunday. As a happy byproduct the plane flight Thursday night was smooth, instead of the usual aerobatic roller coaster ride we are treated to.\

    \ Things were good on Friday considering it was a workday. Saturday & Sunday were so packed that they ran out of badges again! Friday & Sunday were pleasant, but Saturday was insane. The place was packed! As a friend pointed out to me, Saturday felt like someone had opened a can of Comic-Con and poured it over WonderCon. Supposedly WonderCon is a mid-sized convention, but it felt like a giant!\

    \ Moscone Center is a very nice place, but like every convention center, it has a few flaws. The inability to get from point A to point B, due to lack of signage is one thing, but poor design and layout from the building cannot be fixed with a sign. Sometimes Architects are too busy being fancy and should stick with functional. That being said, some people are just a victim of overexcitement and a Tunnel Vision attack. Where is the DC Booth? You past it as you came in the front door. Oh. Where is the food? You past it as you came in the front door. Oh. The reason I heard this so much is because I was standing still in the Games area at the corner of the Hall. Many confused people wandered over to ask the same questions over & over again. \

    \ Many comic-related writers & artists had wonderful panels. They also had tables in the Exhibit hall that I could get to pretty easily. There were very good panels to see upstairs on each of the days. The stars of Chuck and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles appeared. There was a great movie premiere at the Metreon for the Watchmen in its IMAX glory. The premiere of theWonder Woman animated DVD was held on site in the big Esplande room.\

    \ WonderCon held it's fifth Masquerade which I did not manage to see at all this time. Saturday was Hall costume day and Masquerade night. I have posted a picture link for the many Hall costumes (23), but I have none from the Masquerade. IF you see a picture of you or your group feel free to contact me for the original raw un-cropped jpeg(s) \

    \ \
    (photos removed after 6 months)\ \

    \ The food at WonderCon is still superior to other conventions, inside the center and across the street at the Westfield & Metreon Malls. We had many a good meal that was not too pricey. I had Buckhorn for lunch each day because it is so Yummy! We found various places to eat featuring Japanese, Indian & Chinese food. \

    \ The Games section doubled in size this year and it is a good thing, because the players came out in droves. There were Tournaments going, demos being taught or attendees could bring their own games to play. The area in front of Games was often used by Costumed fans to take photos, which was only slightly annoying. The main problem were actually attendees trying to rest in the assigned seats area at Games. The Attendees had no way of knowing the table were all assigned times & dates. However if the Attendees would stop doing the Tunnel Vision thing and focus their eyes on the 5 signs stating "Games" they might not have had such a shock.\

    \ The Exhibits floor had lots of Artists, Small Press, a few big Companies and Vendors. The Artists & small companies were diverse. I bought a few things from several of them. The nice thing about WC is that a person has time to look at an item and talk to the person selling it without being crushed...most of the time. \

    \ \ Exhibits Floor Finds  \

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    SWAG REPORT for WonderCon 2009

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    \ WC Group A  Exhibits Floor Freebies   There were three Freebie tables at WonderCon for posters, stickers and buttons. Each company or artist seemed to have their own swag and several items were at the individual Booths or the Panels upstairs. The following is a list of all the free swag I know about. \

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    \ The WonderCon website is jam packed with information. Go there directly or through the Comic-Con website at http://www.wondercon.com\
    \ Mary, marysgarage@hotmail.com\

    \

    Spike Scream Awards Report 2008

    \ Four of us drove up to the 3rd Annual Spike Scream Awards Saturday, Oct 18 (Aired 10-21-08). The Spike TV Scream Awards is for Comics, SciFi & Horror. We left at 10:45am to get there. We did very well, only hitting two traffic snarls in LA. The event was held at the Greek Theater in Griffith Park. It was outside at night, and the weather was great.\

    \ This year the Scream Awards went out of its way to invite real fans. I say this because some shows hire "fakes". Paid actors who pretend to be whatever is required. Scream gave out a 200 person open invitation to come in costume for the night to Comic-Con Intl members. I would say 80% of the entire audience came as something from Comics, Sci-Fi or Horror. 60% of the outfits were Goth inspired, 10% was Comic and the other 10% was Horror. Sadly no cameras or cell phones were allowed in the place. We took pictures of us before we entered, but there were so many people worth taking a picture of that we missed!!! The pictures I found online tended to be of actors on the Red Carpet, not the fans.\

    \ Like last year they edited out parts of the show on TV due to "questionable content". You know, %&$#@ and go boink your Mom stuff. This year they left most of it in expect for technical difficulties like:\ Most Memorable Screen Mutilation went to a movie called Teeth. The scene is called "Penis bitten off by vagina with teeth". This had to be the single most horrifying & funniest thing I have ever seen all rolled into one. Every man in the theater was having sympathy pains and the women all laughed their backsides off. What the TV audience did not see was that 3 separate viewings of "Teeth" took place. The video played once, got stuck and then played all the way through again. This caused the fans to almost hyperventilate with groans & giggles. \
    \ Tim Burton's entrance via sky balloons was edited to within an inch of its life! The people trying to guide the balloons were having trouble. The ropes attached to the balloons were not cooperating and Tim Burton was starting to feel nauseated. Plus the harness holding him in would not un-hook once he landed. None of that mess is aired, just a smooth touch down.\

    \ I almost cannot believe I was in the same place as Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, George Lucas & Samuel L Jackson. That was almost a brain overload of Iconic people! I have seen Samuel L Jackson at Comic-Con Intl: San Diego, but never anyone else. I love Gary Oldman's & Anthony Hopkins body of work. Gary Oldman is like a chameleon in each role. The 501st Storm Trooper group marched on stage to flank George Lucas. It was spectacular to watch in person! \

    \ Some friends in the Geek Roundtable got to be the Angry Mob holding the "Who Watches The Watchmen" signs during the introduction to World premiere new video footage. Awwwesome!\ The one bad thing about taping a TV show is the time involved. We all needed to show up very early and not leave for hours on end. Once inside time moved a lot faster, but much of the time was spent outside waiting in line. There were at least 4 separate lines and some of the Staff did not know which line to send people to. I hope they work that out better next year. \

    \ We went to the After Party at the Roosevelt Hotel for about 30 minutes. We had carpooled and did not want to leave our friends hanging around outside. I walked in to the After Party and was less than 12 inches from Tim Burton. Squeal! NO, I did not embarrass myself or anyone else, but I was squealing on the inside. He had paused to take a picture of "Bunnicula" at the door. There was a Fairytale Forest theme this year and the cute little woodland creatures by the door had Fangs! In the big room there were 2 Angels (Good & Bad) on opposite sides of the room performing. There were 4 Fairies on the main stage. They were mostly naked and masterfully body painted. Their skin was painted to look like Wood, Leaves, Fire & I cannot remember, but I sure wish I had a picture (dang it!) \ The food this year was better than 2007 and the dessert was fun. 2 Angels handed out Candy Apples or Rice Krispy Balls. The Rice Krispies were shaped into a ball with a stick and the bottom was dipped in chocolate or caramel. They looked just like candy apples and they were delicious!\

    \ If we get to go in 2009 we MUST rent a room so that we don't have to drive back on the same night at 2:00am. The 3rd time is the charm.\

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    WonderCon Reports

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    \ To see past WonderCon reviews click on the appropriate date.\

    \ WonderCon Review from 2009 \

    \ WonderCon Review from 2008 \

    \ WonderCon Review from 2007 \

    \ WonderCon Review from 2006 \

    \ WonderCon Review from 2005 \

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    \ Mary, marysgarage@hotmail.com\

    \ \ \

    \ Convention Descriptions\

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    APE- Alternative Press Expo \ Small Press and Independant writers & artists gather at this convention. See what the next creative wave might be. Look around, Buy stuff and enjoy yourself. It is held in San Francisco. The website is linked with Comic-Con http://www.comic-con.org/Pages/APEWhatsNew.html\

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    Con-Dor \ San Diego's longest runnning Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention. This is a great convention for people who like to read. Guests are usually great authors. It is usually on Easter weekend in the Mission Valley area. The website is http://www.ConDorCon.org\

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    WonderCon \ A big convention, but it still feels mid-sized. A nice mix of Companies and Small Press/Independants gather. Plenty to see, but no need to rush. Look around and enjoy yourself. It is held in San Francisco in the spring (February, March or April). The website is linked with Comic-Con   http://www.comic-con.org/Pages/WCWhatsNew.html\

    \ Anime Expo \ A fantastic Anime convention held in Anaheim or Los Angeles. This convention is for four days over the July Fourth weekend. Watch the latest videos, watch the dealers floor, watch the FABULOUS fan created Cosplay costumes! Dont believe me, check out the Hall Cosplay gathering picture on the home page. This large convention is well worth the trip, so go get your Anime fix! http://www.anime-expo.org\

    \ Comic-Con International: San Diego \ Comic-Con is the premiere comic convention in the United States. Bask in the four day glow with 125,000 of your closest friends all having a common interest. Go and be lost in a sea of Comic & Media events. Buy stuff, get Free stuff, but make sure you go! It is usually held in July. The website is jam packed with information. It even gives valuable parking information to the clever attendee, who bothers to check http://www.comic-con.org\

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    Comic-Con International: San Diego will be July 20 / 21 - 24, 2011

    \ To see past Comic-Con reviews click on the appropriate date.\ \

    \ Comic-Con Review from 2009 \

    \ Comic-Con Review from 2008 \

    \ Comic-Con Review from 2007 \

    \ Comic-Con Review from 2006 \

    \ Comic-Con Review from 2005 \

    \ Comic-Con Review from 2004\

    \ Comic-Con Review from 2003\

    \ Dragon Con\ A Science Fiction & Popular Arts convention in Atlanta Georgia. It will be held Friday through Monday in September. This is a very relaxed large convention. Lots to do & see. This convention is great fun at night, especially if you are an adult. Kids disappear at night (like they should) and the adults run wild! The parties are great! Take a look at their website for much more information - http://www.dragoncon.org\

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    DragonCon Review from 2002\

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    \

    \ Other Stuff\

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    \ Icon Factory Icons Are Free. I have collected thousands of cool icons. Many are anime & toy related ones. I do not own them and I did not make them. I downloaded them for free. The Icon Factory site provides some of the BEST free icons on the web. Supe up your desktop with Gundam, Astroboy, Evangelion & more! http://www.iconfactory.com\

    \ }