Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pictures from the 2012 Pittsburgh Comicon, part 3

Back again, huh?  Well, like it or not, it's time for the final installment of pictures from the 2012 Pittsburgh Comicon.  If you'd like to see more...just keep scrolling down the page.  Seriously, there are two other posts with pictures and they're right below this one.  Anyway, our first picture is of the booth.  And who's that handsome, possibly bearded gentleman behind a Venture Bros. henchman mask?  Telling would be defeating the purpose of a mask, eh?


Here's a shot from the convention floor, right in front of the FUBAR/215 corner booth.  It looks like there's going to be a showdown between the Pink Power Ranger and the guy in the Steelers jacket.  My money's on Mr. Steeler.

Here's an unexpected treat - from the Tick universe comes a Chainsaw Vigilante costume!  And a decent one at that.  I struck up a conversation with this girl and we talked about the costume, the character, and his short-lived (but surprisingly good) series from New England Comics.  The funny thing is that I could barely understand what she said because of her mask.

What's even better about this very nicely put together costume is the fact that I'll bet a lot of people just think it's a female Captain America costume this woman came up with, when in fact it's modeled after the character American Dream from the MC2 Spider-Girl universe.  Her shield was really impressive.

Here's a random picture of the Stan Lee line.  It was like this at almost any point in the day on Saturday and the first half of Sunday.

Here I am, trying to look cool alongside the already cool Antonio Crespo.  The booth next to ours was abandoned all weekend, so on Sunday, Tony laid claim to half of it and sold some prints of his work.  He drew a really cool entry into my Thing sketchbook, which I've scanned and will show off at a later date.

And after the show ended, I ran over Jeff McComsey with a hand cart.  Those are the casualties of convention warfare.

I did manage to pick up some swag at the show.  Barry Kitson made an appearance - I can't remember him being in attendance at previous shows in Pittsburgh - and I got him to sign a few books: two from his 1990s Adventures of Superman run and an issue of a Fantastic Four miniseries.

Kitson was drawing free full body, penciled, inked and watercolored sketches for anyone in attendance.  This was such a grand gesture on his part, but I didn't end up with one, unfortunately.  If you wanted a sketch badly enough, you had to wait in line literally for hours to get it.  When I inquired about it, I was told that I would have to wait roughly seven hours in line.  You paid for this art, the thinking was, with your time, and you couldn't leave the line and come back when it was your turn - you had to stay with it for the long haul.

Those who stuck it out got some beautiful artwork and, seemingly, some new friendships with the fellow line warriors they stood with for hours on end.  If I wasn't at the show with a booth, I might have decided to try my stamina, but since I was at the show to sell things, I couldn't get away for more than 20 or so minutes at a time, and thus didn't have nearly enough free time to devote to this.  Even so, I'm sure that those who made it through have a treasured piece of art and some fun stories to tell in the balance.

I also picked up Astonishing Tales #5 and thus I now have the first eight issues of the series.  These issues each featured Dr. Doom as the headliner and co-star.  Now that I've got 'em all, I can finally sit down and read them in order, so I'm looking forward to that.

I believe that with this purchase, I have every issue of every series with Doom's name in the title, or where he starred/co-starred.  So this includes recent titles like Books of Doom, '90s titles like Doom 2099 and earlier books like the above series and Super-Villain Team-Up.  Of course, I didn't even know about Astonishing Tales until a few years ago, so I could be wrong.  Even so, it's something I've been working toward for a while.

At the end of the show one day, I saw SteelMan driving home, in full costume, on his motorcycle.  I wondered where SteelDog was, but then I saw her in the car trailing the bike.  Funny stuff.

I heard some retailers openly wonder about the show's future at the end of the day on Sunday, with one saying that he hadn't heard anything about a 2013 show and was going to approach someone about it soon if no one told him anything.  When I thought about it, I realized that in years past, someone from the show would make his or her rounds and hand out flyers with next year's date on it.  This year that never happened, though at 5:00 on Sunday, when the show officially closed, Renee George (I think), one of the show's coordinators, got on the intercom and proudly pronounced "we'll see you next year!"

I'm not sure if this means that convention is in any danger of not returning next year, and I certainly can't speculate on what's happening on their end.  For me, though, it was obvious that the 2012 Pittsburgh Comicon was the slowest show I had been to in a while.  Whether this was true or not, or just my perspective, I can't say.  I hope that the show returns, because Pittsburgh should have a well-attended comic convention.  The region may not be able to support an A-level show like New York or even, well, Philadelphia, but it should be able to have a moderately sized, fan-friendly show.  If there is a show next year, I'll be there.

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