Monday, January 11, 2016

Pictures from the 2015 Comic-Con International, part 7: the Aftermath (convention sketches, comic shops, EMP and more!)

Well, Comic-Con 2015 has ended. But no reason to look wistfully off into the sunset, because I'll be returning in 2016 with more comics and, for the first time in a while, some table space in the small press section. More on that later. Let's finally finish up the pictures form the '15 version (next up, NYCC, I guess).

After the show ended and after-hours cleanup took place, I slept the sleep of a thousand warriors. Many people pack up and leave San Diego right after the show is over, which is just unfathomable to me. I mean, I guess some people go right back to work on Monday morning, but I need at least 24 hours to enter the real world again, so I enjoy spending a few extra days in San Diego after the show.

This time, I stopped at the Cat Cafe in downtown, which is ADORABLE and a good cause.

It seems like a nice place for both people and cats. I guess that cat cafes have been working their way over to the US from Japan. It's a great idea and I hope to see more in different places.

On Monday and Tuesday, the big items came down, such as this Conan O'Brien banner. Who knows what happens to stuff this giant after the show. Maybe they just throw it into the ocean or something.

LEGO Wonder Woman (I think this was from the Hard Rock Cafe) got packed up on Tuesday. I bet it would be pretty easy to take some of this stuff. All you'd need is a truck and some confidence. If I was in charge of cleaning up, I'd encourage it. But then again that's probably illegal, so I guess that's also a factor to consider.

I walked away from the convention with quite a few cool things. I was given - GIVEN - this incredible Tick drawing from Michel Mulipola, artist of the wrestling comic "Headlocked". How awesome is this??

I also picked up this blank Archie #1 sketch cover, and since Archie had artists sketching on said covers...I got me a new Thing cover, complete with a Jughead crown. It's an odd mashup, but I like it!

After San Diego, we took a few days and headed to the Pacific Northwest. Our first stop was in the San Juan Islands.

Listen, I wouldn't complain if I woke up and was six feet tall, is all I'm saying.

A number of years ago, I spent a summer in the Olympia, Washington area and I have a lot of fond memories from there. It was nice to get to spend a little time there and see some old haunts. At the time, Olympic Cards and Comics was in the process of moving down the road to a new building. The results (eight years later) are pretty impressive. Of course, my idea of a vacation is seeing other comic shops across the country.

Olympic Cards and Comics is owned by Gabi Shephard and Eric Trautmann, who has written books for DC, Dynamite and a number of other companies. This is one of the most impressive shops that I've ever been in, if for nothing else than the sheer size and selection. Hung from the rafters were comic book movie banners, including these from the first X-Men movie, which is actually over 15 years old by now! Time flies.

Danger Room Comics is located in downtown Olympia, and it has a more independent feel to it. At one point, they stocked my Mr. Massive and Teddy and the Yeti comics (...).

The shop is small but it has a great feel to it. I bought some back issues here, including a 3D Three Stooges comic from the '80s. It's still in my 'to read' pile, but it looks so dang cool.

After leaving Olympia, we traveled north into the Olympic National Forest...

...and finally to Seattle.

We didn't have much time in Seattle, but I made sure to visit the EMP Museum, which is located right next to the famous Space Needle.

I had never heard of the museum before, and didn't know what I was getting into when I bought tickets. But man, this is a place that every pop culture fan should visit if given the opportunity.

The museum is owned by Paul Allen, co-founded of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks (loser of Super Bowl XL, never forget). Most of the items on display are simply from Allen's personal collection. This is what rich people who are fans of pop culture do with their money. It was incredible to see. If I had a billion dollars, I'd probably do the same thing (but, you know, have Steeler imagery around the building instead).

If you can think of a sci-fi property, there was probably something on display from it at this museum. There was a Star Wars exhibit going on at the time in another wing, but there were still floors just filled with incredible items from different shows, movies, books, etc. Check out this Michael Dorn-worn outfit from Deep Space Nine!

And it's all impeccably displayed as well. Unreal.

There were plenty of props in addition to costumes, including quite a few sci-fi weapons.

Mars Attacks even had a small display. I imagine that Allen contacts the producers of these movies (if he's not a producer himself) and makes arrangements to buy props and outfits after production ends.

Check out that futuristic can of Slice in the corner! Straight from the '80s Cafe.

A Klingon ship. One of the production models! So awesome!

An actual proton pack! I hope you can see how I nearly lost my mind at this place.

There was even some Futurama items on display. I think that someone at the museum bought a 3D printer and said "what can we make?"

One Fett costume wasn't enough!

The building itself has a sci-fi design to it. What a place. If you're anywhere near Seattle at ANY point in the future, GO THERE. The end.

The 2015 Comic-Con trip was successful on a lot of fronts. I had a lot of fun. Now to start planning for 2016!

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