The Game Lights at PAX West

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I did nothing worth writing about for this passing weekend.

But the last weekend before through Labor Day, I did heavily geek out to my side passion for a big event of digital interactive entertainment, or video games as normals will call it.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have this annual PAX West convention, a big gathering for video game entertainment and tabletop gaming enthusiasts. Fans, publishers, developers, merchants…all mingle, promote, share, discover, collect, and most importantly to play. All held at and around the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

It was all good fun, which is the least I ask for in a successful PAX West.

For me, it’s mostly the discovery and exploration of what’s fresh and exciting for my gaming desires. Here at the PAX West, the indie game scene is growing with new developers, presenting fresh spins on traditional platforming styles, shoot-em-ups, complex thinking and problem-solving.

Of the presented games, I am looking most forward to Gris, a stunningly visual platformer focused on puzzle elements and abstract storytelling. Here is a trailer on that…

Other upcoming games I anticipated above others at PAX West: My Friend Pedro, Megaman 11, The MessangerPraey for the GodsIndivisible. All of which, are not games that require much of my time, with beautiful visuals, concepts, storytelling pull…yet using gameplay mechanics from the classics (mostly platforming), and mixing them with new tech and innovation.

Here are some colorful LED backed moments from PAX West. All part of a loud, colorful jungle of new tech and consumer splendor.

And that’s all for here. But, I did write a bit more on it for another site, strangerworlds.com. Click here to read my full report.

 

Days of the San Diego Comic Con 2018 past…

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Since last reported of my arrival in San Diego, I attended the San Diego Comic Con for the 24th year in an annual row. Much happened there, mostly fun and networking among creative work appreciators and proprietors..

Some of my experience is shared through strangerworlds.com, another site I write for. You are invited to read Part 1 of my commentary with pics. Check it out here.

That’s all for now. More happened since the Comic Con, which I will eventually get around to sharing.  That’s a promise.

– Orion T

 

Recently, Back in Time…

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Over the weekend, I attended the 2018 Emerald City Comic Con. I love the comic cons and geeky pop culture convergences, as I have written often expressing such. This one was no different, though not too special either. I did a lot of the usual stuff one can do at these shows with an emphasis on shopping, attending panels, admiring cosplay, discovering new stories and creative talent, meeting friends old and new.

The best hour for this convention was attending a special Back to the Future movies Q&A panel with special guests Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown) and Tom Wilson (Biff Tannen), answering questions and telling fun stories about their experiences from playing the key roles in the classic trilogy. Both had great energy and humor, entertaining a large crowd of fans, including myself.

And if you love the Back to the Future movies, then you should listen to Tom Wilson’s little special bit he played for the ECCC panel. He is a funny guy, and this is that from his official Youtube channel:

– Orion T

PAX West 2017 Gamingbalooza…

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I spent much of the weekend with friends and strangers, at the PAX West 2017, an annual event gathering for gamers of the video and tabletop variety. The feelings shared among us involved excitement, cheer, and anticipation of gaming.

The event itself is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Now held at Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle, the event is host to hundreds of companies big and small, and its many ticket holders (at least 70,000).

For me, the event was about exploration into the ever changing industry of interactive games and its culture. I sought out a lot of new indie games, and stuff coming out for PC (not much of a console gamer anymore). Though VR and MMOs are the rising rage, I loved the new treasures of side-scrolling platformers, tactical turn-based strategy, and single-player RPGs; many with a nostalgic old-school edge to them.  For the tabletop variety, I gravitated toward fun, storyline based card games for play at parties (plenty of new stuff around here).

Now, I am exhausted and will write more of my PAX impressions soon on my other blog, strangerworlds.com. Meanwhile, here are some pics taken by me of select moments of this crazy fun show.

– Orion T

 

Catching up time!

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Lately, I have been ridiculously busy. So much, that I barely noticed a rushing illness while the sudden demands and happenings in life are constant, and overwhelm. Still, I think I worked a lot out, with much to sort out in the coming days.

Such that is my recent trip to San Diego, for a massive San Diego Comic Con gathering. Much happened there, with some reports from me on another site (strangerworlds.com). I also took some time to see some spots in San Diego and parts of the Orange County and LA coastline area. I will share many findings soon, in a series of rewinding posts.

Look forward, because I am much treasure to share.

-Orion T

My picture above is from downtown San Diego, during the time of the San Diego Comic Con nearby (July 19-23, 2017). Cartoon Network represents its current line-up with friendly faces.

Picture of Today 3/5/2017, The Heart of the Emerald City Comic Con..

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I spent much of this past weekend at the 2017 Emerald City Comic Con, here in Seattle.

Many attended, for which this was its 15th year in annual rotation showcasing the latest in geek culture through various guests, events, and merch. The good portions were the plentiful choice of awesome products, the many attendees in colorful cosplay, some cool guests, and plentiful opportunities to make new friends and discover new obsessions. The sad portions ran the lack of promotion towards the current comic book industry. Its artist alley ended up in a separate smaller space above the main floors, benefitting less for reaching out to possible new fans. The comic dealers and publishers were kept further to the back, while non-comic dealers carried a heavier presence in the main hall showroom. TV and movie celebs were promoted far more to the audience, with barely any marketing toward the new and exciting stuff happening in the comic industry. This is sadly the direction of many “comic cons” lately. I wish they would just stop pretending to emphasize that.

All that aside, I still love these events. The interaction is still there. I met a few creative people, whose work I have enjoyed past and present. I took part in some fantastic gatherings, bought a lot of cool things, and enjoyed myself with friends here and there. I will post more on the details in the near future.For now, I must rest. Excitement on a large scale can also be exhilarating.

– Orion T

In the above picture is Barry Kitson, a comic book professional artist from a wide range of well-known Marvel and DC comics titles.The character in the picture is Angela, a heavenly warrior currently residing in the Marvel Comics universe. Barry was sketching all weekend for the Hero Initiative, a non-profit charity helping comic creators in a time of desperate need. For more info, visit www.heroinitiative.org.

 

Picture of Today 9/3/2016, the Much Colorful Cosplay..

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The PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) returned to Seattle, bringing the unusual bunch special, colorful bunch of gaming enthusiasts together.

Though this year, the event is now PAX West (former PAX Prime), an annual convention for gamers of both the video interactive and the physical tabletop variety. Tomorrow, I will be attending the inside of the event and intend on doing much mingling and observing of a culture I enjoy taking part in.

But outside (where I was strolling by for a walk behind the convention center), there was an interesting sub-group of gaming enthusiasts among the PAX participants gathering around; the cosplayers, who dress up as their favorite characters of their current favorite fandom. Often, they gravitate towards other and court the local photographing paparazzi. With the nice weather peeking out, there were clusters of cosplayers about presenting their colorful attires.

Above, are a sub-group of cosplayers who are growing in presence with their costumes familiar to the League of Legends online MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). I have yet to play this fascinating game, but very much enjoy the character designs that bring a worthy challenge to its fans who cosplay. The costumes are traditionally hand-made or assembled from ordered fabrics, with some parts taking great craftsmanship and skills to bring about the wonderful details.

Here, is another shot of the League of Legends gathering, taken from my smartphone..

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That’s all for now. More pics soon!

– Orion T

Pictures of the Weekend, Outside the Sakura-Con

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Last weekend was a bit more colorful than usual..

I spent a little time outside the Sakura-Con, an annual convention for lovers of Japanese anime, manga, gaming and related pop-culture. I missed my chance for tickets inside the event, as I was a bit overly busy for much of the greater portions of the event. But outside, I had some hours to spare.

Much of the time was conversing with old friends, making new ones. We discussed emphasis on the anime and gaming pop-culture of decades past (the newer generation was more present). It was all fun, to see old characters brought to fly, thanks to the cosplaying element of the gathering.

I took some pictures, of which only some shared below. If you would like more than,please check out my expanded gallery and writings on “geek” culture at strangerworlds.com.

Here, are some chosen pics of mine for here (click on each for more into)..

That’s all for now…

Oh wait.., here’s me caught with the creepy mascots of the Five Nights at Freddys video game series!

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– Orion T

 

 

 

Outside Memories of the 2015 Sakura-Con..

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I love these fandom gatherings.

Recently, I joined among the many in colorful costumes for the celebration of an interesting sub-culture. Here, together to celebrate their love for the Japanese anime/manga; including related games, art and lit. The  grand show inside (of which I was unable to attend) was the great Sakura-Con, held annually in Seattle’s downtown convention center. The outside show in the back park area stretching some blocks, is a fan driven compliment to the event.

I spent good time outside the event in the back park area, there to meet up with old visiting friends. While around, I had great fun, cheering on the celebrated icons of Japan’s contributions to pop-culture, and learned much on the new popular trends of today’s “otaku” faire.

I took some pictures with two cameras. The sunny weather was perfect for that, adding vividness to the amazing array of colorful attires. Here below, with notes:

Photo Apr 04, 12 11 42 PMDressed as characters from an anime/manga TV show, Cardcaptor Sakura.

Photo Apr 06, 5 57 16 PMA giant handmade Pokemon creature, made by the mohawked person in the back. Many cheered on this giant creature.

Photo Apr 04, 2 17 58 PMLink and a fairy (from a later game I think, of which I have yet to play)..from the Legend of Zelda series

Photo Apr 05, 7 26 39 PMWaLuigi, brother to Wario. Not sure who the other us.

Photo Apr 05, 7 29 05 PMVegeta and Piccolo perform the fusion dance. I am not a big fan of Dragonball Z, yet have been enough of the fandom to pick up on this stuff.

Photo Apr 05, 7 27 05 PMGodzilla!!

Photo Apr 04, 5 02 52 PMFrom the worlds of the Walter Robot studios, of which I know very little. I know for sure, this make-up job is awesome.

Photo Apr 07, 7 10 25 AMJokers and Harley Quinns. They are not of the Japanese culture origins, but they fit well as the anime/manga altpop culture welcomes all fantasy, sci-fi, superhero, etc genres of creative storytelling.

Photo Apr 07, 7 14 27 AMNot sure who she is from but that makeup job and costume detail is phenomenal.

Photo Apr 07, 12 40 52 PMVash the Stampede and Wolfwood, crossplayed from the classic Trigun anime series. This brings love and peace to my heart, to see fans bring life to one of my fav series of years ago.

Photo Apr 07, 7 12 09 AMThese players are from the Yu-Gi-Oh game and anime franchise. Well done!

Photo Apr 05, 7 39 06 PMI think she is from a newer show called RWBY. Not sure, but nice detail.

Photo Apr 05, 7 30 48 PMAn odd traditional game played every year here during the show. This involves a large circle, where those inside the circle kick around a bottle. The bottle points to someone in the circle, signalling for a walk and a hug to that person. That person replaces and fronts to the middle of the circle, to repeat the circle. There are some various chants and songs that sometimes happen.

Photo Apr 04, 1 18 17 PMCharacters from the long-running One Piece anime/manga series. The fandom of this was so huge, that a separate gathering far in the back of the park happened; where fans put on their own cosplay show.

Photo Apr 04, 2 04 58 PM Photo Apr 04, 2 03 10 PMA small portion of a massive League of Legends gathering (based on a very popular video game). The fandom and dedication to this astounds me.

Photo Apr 05, 7 34 17 PMSome fun under a bridge, which I helped with for a friend (in the bunny suit). Here, many enjoyed a hop scotch game for to promote her Android dating/social meet-up app, Cuddli..

Photo Apr 04, 2 10 14 PMAnother character from League of Legends, I think. I like this shot.

Photo Apr 05, 7 40 55 PMA wild Pokemon spotted!

Photo Apr 07, 7 06 34 AMFrom the anime series, RWBY. Note: Monty Oum, the animator and creator of RWBY and many short films I admired, passed away last year at the age of 33. His work lives on with the fans.

Photo Apr 05, 7 36 01 PMNot sure on this series..but I like the craftsmanship.

Photo Apr 04, 4 59 19 PMA lady adorned with many Moogles (from the Final Fantasy video games). I hope they are clingy, and not dead..heheh.

Photo Apr 06, 5 51 20 PMLara Croft, as portrayed in a recent and very gritty retcon of the Tomb Raider game franchise.

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Well, that’s all for now. I had a huge blast for the one day of three  (I only had the time for, and why I didn’t go for a pass to the grander show inside). I give a huge thanks to all those who shared the joys of their fandoms, with the cosplay and cheers. Good times shared, are the best times.

– Orion T

Pictures of Yesterday 4/20/14

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I can never resist a gathering this colorful.

And here, was the Sakura Con; a gathering of a different sort than yesterday and day before’s NorWesCon. This event focused more towards the appreciation and partaking of Japanese anime and manga. Much of the action was inside the convention center, where the event was centered. However, the heavy rains of the last days finally stopped. Many attendees came out the open behind the convention center, to enjoy the sun and surroundings of each other.

Above, is a Sakura Con tradition continued; where many gathering in a circle whole other participants each kick a bottle and eventually have it spun to a someone connecting the circle. That person soon gets a hug from the bottle kicker, and replaces the other..to continues the cycle.

Also, there some dancing, posing for cameras, and more fun-having.

Here are a few pics..
I’ll post more up, another day..

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Picture by Orion Tippens. Note: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2014 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved

Pictures of Yesterday 4/19/14

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Stranger worlds are ever close..

And here, are some pics from my great adventure at the annual NorWesCon science fiction and fantasy convention. This was my first attendance to this event (now in its 37th year); of which I had a grand time discovering new fiction, turning strangers into friends, and cheering on the boldest among us.

There will be more pics (and more musings) for a few alt-pop websites, soon

In the meantime:

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Picture by Orion Tippens. Note: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2014 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved

The Commentary of Comic Cons – Part 1

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I love convention gatherings, especially those catering to alternative pop culture or as others may refer to these as gatherings of “geek.”

This con life is my best time to enjoy among others my odd taste in the strange realms of drama, fantasy, science fiction, a good story, etc. Such things I have no preference for in delivery whether by print or digital, motion, still, active or interactive. However, I love the comic serialized format, the constant in my life since childhood.

A good “geek” convention covers as much as possible of these realms, breaking boundaries between. From there, personal experiences are gained where I could deep involve myself in all related joys and obsessions. One could make many new friends, mine inspiration, renew nostalgia, or best of all; involve oneself by becoming a creator, a become a part of something larger in creation.

So now, I would like to share some experiences I recently (last month) had at the great San Diego Comic Con, 2013 year. The Comic Con International, as this is currently known, is special and now arguably the largest geek gathering of its kind. Over 130,000 now attend, not counting the estimated extra 50,000 without badges checking out the expanded festivities throughout the Gaslamp District and beyond. Now, the great San Diego Comic Con is more than comics, including all the relatives crossing into the wonderful, “geek” territories of film, games, books, toys, etc.

One product of my related joys and obsessions, is my growing passion for concept art and world building. Below is an inspiring example from a small press booth at Comic Con, featuring the work of the Aen Chronicles by Robert Carter (shades-of-shadow.com)

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So for me, the Con caters to my bizarre tastes from the familiar superheroes and mainstream counter cultures to the obscure oddities and curious collaborations. From vintage comics of generations past to the latest trash movies to the multi-articulate action figures to the odd video game, and so so much more in between. All of it, and more is here.  Also, this is my 19th consecutive year attending this great show. So, I am remain excited for every year as my experiences with goofy things expand.

For this San Diego Comic Con 2013, I spend much of this time in the grand Exhibit Hall. For which, I will focus on for the remainder of this segment.

The Exhibit Hall, or Showroom Floor, or “the downstairs,” of any convention is the heart of any “geek” convention. Here, a myriad of dealers, creators, artists, writers, producers, exhibitions, distributors, and companies representing product await. All from the mega-companies/publishers/studios/distributors to the little indie creative soul standing before a small table with a stack of books to sign and sell. For Comic Con, there are subjects divided from drama, humor, fantasy, Sci-fi and related including but not limited to literature, motion pictures, animation, collectibles, etc.

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(For a future segment, I will focus on the history and my changing observations of the Exhibit Hall, of which I have much).

The grand Exhibit Hall is the fantasy come true for the imaginative mind to be exposed to new things, concepts, passions. New comics, especially from lesser known publishers can be easily obtained with a personal touch by the creators. It was here some years ago, I turned on to a favorite comic series, Locke and Key (by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez), simply from browsing at the impressive cover display at the IDW company booth. I purchased the first hardcover at a discount.and a some years later, I met writer, Joe Hill  at the same booth, same room.

I love the Exhibit Hall.

This year, I obtained much on the free previews of comics and graphic novels of interest. A few looking forward to but not limited to are: the new upcoming The Star Wars (comic basing itself on the earliest film script by George Lucas), the new Sandman series by original writer/creator, Neil Gaiman / artist, J.H. Williams III (a dream combo come true), Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction (loved his Hawkeye series), Spera: Volume 3 (great ongoing fantasy story by changing artists).  Also, I have interest in some more recent award winning series including Bandette by Paul Tobin, Sabertooth Swordsman by Damon Gentry. And there, is so much more..

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Overall, the Exhibit Hall is great for exposure to the expansion of your tastes. If you close yourself to the unfamiliar around here, your not getting the most of your Exhibit Hall experience.

The Exhibit Hall is complement to gathering new experiences, meeting interesting creative souls or perhaps becoming one yourself with the right timing or inspiring motivation. Experiences also include the gaining of new collectibles, or the exchange of currency for some special treasure.

Could you spot the potential for new experiences below?

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Here pictured above, is one tiny portion of the SDCC Exhibit Hall. On average is this crowded the large room becomes in prime hours. The space is over 460,000 square feet. The estimated walk time when crowded between both far ends is around 20-30 minutes. The areas most claustrophobic-inducing are the movie or television studios booths, where often free swag is given or presenting the occasional celebrity for photo-ops and signings. Some fancy their booth with set props, or previews of related merch, sometimes a giant HD screen.

During one stroll, suddenly the entire cast of the Game of Thrones HBO TV series.

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Included with these surrounding crowds, massive lines coil around the popular booths. Many involve the sale of convention exclusives or pre-sale items (mostly toys). Popular 2013 exclusives include a glow-in-the-dark Jason figure from the vintage Nintendo game based on the Friday the 13th films, a Breaking Bad Walter White figure in Hazmat gear, a 1966 style Batman figure doing the classic Batsui dance pose. The typical line for Hasbro on the opening days could cost one 2-3 hours of precious con time, but could be worthwhile for the early release of the largest Transformers toy to date (Titan Class Metroplex about 2 feet, transforms into a city).

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Honestly, many present are for the flipping of such items to others for much larger prices elsewhere (like eBay). For example, the Power Ranger Gold Morpher (whatever that is) will cost you $100 and a likely three-hour wait at the Bandai Entertainment Booth. The eBay sold average is a sure $400.00. Now for those in line for the collecting thrill, such an insane wait can be still worthwhile, because of saved money and the experience of a more direct contact with the producing company.

For a different example of direct experiences, not related to money…

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This is the giant head of the Ice King of the popular Adventure Time cartoon. I will be honest, of my ignorance of this strange cartoon. I have never watched a full episode. Yet seeing this, and the fans in line, cheering with their Adventure Time apparel and hats (worn by the popular main character, Finn), I could only feel a sort of empathetic joy with them, to have their love given back with such a tribute in the clever form of this booth, and others like it.

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Above, is my favorite display of the Comic Con 2013; the Nickelodeon Studios booth known for kid-friendly cable programming.  It seemed no matter what angle, the crazy aesthetics of Nickelodeons whimsical appeal called to the child in us all. Such a display is refreshing as these presenters are seemingly having as much fun as the attendees.

For me, I most look forward to the DC Comics booth, a consistent to every San Diego Comic Con. Here, a familiar roster of super-heroes are official represented: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other Justice Leaguers. For them, new stories and introductions across multiple formats of digital, print, collectibles are displayed.   Here and often, cool freebies including pins and comics are given out. This year for the DC booth, featured props of Superman costumes worn from past movies and TV shows were displayed. Also, much meet and greet happened with the writers, artists, and creators of current DC reads.

A favorite was witnessing fan favorite artist Dustin Nguyen (Lil Gotham) live-drawing.

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(To be continued in Part 2 for another day, when I discuss and focus more on the creative talent of the great Comic Con)

Cosplay fun at Sakura Con – Part 3 (of 3)

photo by Orion Tippens Finally, the remainder of my pictures of my brief visit to the 2013 Sakura Con Northwest Anime Convention, in Seattle. These focus on the costumes and the fanpeople who wear them well.

For previous pics and commentary on this event, click here for Part 1, and here for Part 2.

I really enjoyed this kind of visual atmosphere. I am a bit of a “geek,” so I feel a part of the fun and in showing my appreciation by sharing their awesomeness with the world around. Many of these costumes, I know very well from games I played, books I read, TV shows and movies I viewed. For those I do not, than I am open to learn more.

From here, I hope people who have not attended a gathering like this will understand the love cosplayers bring. These cosplayers are not paid, nor do most of them seek to promote their name or service. Their costumes are handmade. The more skill and thought put into the costume, the more cheer. It’s all in good fun. This collective mindset in enriching, adding to a special atmosphere by dressing up. When next you see a cosplayer, at least smile at that person for being so bold and wonderful in sharing.

Below are the last and best of the cosplayers, noticed at this Sakura Con. Enjoy and click on each for the full details. I recognized some and labeled them in descriptions. Others, I could use some help in the comments.

Cosplay fun at Sakura Con – Part 2 (of 3)

photo by Orion Tippens

Here below, are the next set of pics from my brief visit to the 2013 Sakura Con Northwest Anime Convention, in Seattle. For the first set and opening commentary, click here.

This set is focused on the outside fun. The day was bright and wonderful, with cherry trees in bloom and the sky blue. This environment and wide open space was perfect for its for anime, gaming, alternative “geek” culture enthusiasts. Here are some observations on this gathering, based on similar musings over the many years at other alternative pop culture conventions.

  • Anime conventions bring a younger, more energetic crowd. Most come to entertain and be entertained. Being outside, often leads to random conversation and sharing of favorite things, especially if wearing a costume, apparel, or even holding a sign referring to similar interests. This can also leads to… 
  • Singing and dancing. Some bring their own instruments and voices. Conventions and sponsors sometimes liven it up with their own special paid performers. But overall, the attendees will gather around and cheer on entertainers (especially if it’s Japanese pop or Japanese rock.).
  • Impromptu games happen. Often these began after a large circle is formed. At this event, I observed some sort of bottle kicking game in the center of a circle here. Succession leads to massive hugging, and myself being a bit puzzled in this observation. Other things I have noticed in the past and a little here are sing-a-longs, dance-offs, and the occasional pretend fight.
  • Some shows are measured in popularity by their frequency in cosplay. Bleach, Naruto, Gurren Lagann still carry a strong presence. Nintendo and Disney, Capcom company characters also have a strong infiltration. Cosplayers centered around fan-favs often gravitate together, merging for amazing (sometimes surreal), group photo shots and posing.

Below is much of that fun. Click on each images for the full picture and additional text details.

Cosplay fun at Sakura Con – Part 1 (of 3)

Photo by Orion Tippens

Colorful, exuberant, awesome. This describes the atmosphere of cosplay, the culture of voluntary costume dressup, at its best. Such words are more in frequency for convention gatherings involving anime appreciation.

The following set is from my brief visit to the Sakura Con Northwest Anime Convention, in the great Seattle city. Here, is a gathering of wonderful folk who display their love for their favorite Japanese animation art styled programs, movies, manga, etc. By the best, I mean those who wear their custom-made costume and mingle with others who appreciate, smile, and participate in that displayed affection.

Keep in mind, anime conventions differ from comic and science fiction conventions. More people do dress up. Often, you will see offshoots of things that are not quite based on Japanese animation or styles. – Disney characters, Doctor Who, Marvel and DC characters, and a lot of video games. They are also welcome, as the spirit and pride of cosplay is all the same. Anime conventions also attract a more youthful demographic, so more activity and energetic interaction result.

For the Sakura Con, the weather outside was beautiful and sunny. Outside in the back area of the convention, there was an open courtyard adorned with blooming cherry trees. The atmosphere was playful, full of cheer and activity. Much of that will be highlighted in the next set, to be posted another future day.

For now, dig in. I took all the pics myself. I’m happy to share as long as I and this blog gets the credit. Click on each  to enlarge and get the full detail, and some identifications. Feel free to comment and add more information.

Comics convention fun in Seattle part II: The Rise of Cosplay

photo by Orion Tippens

In continuation of yesterday’s posting, the rest of my 2013 Emerald City Comic Con pictures are now posted on my friend’s blog, All Day Comics!

For this second half, it’s all for the love of cosplay, or the act of dressing up in some costume, usually based on a fictional property. Often at these conventions, many attendees will dress up as their favorite characters from books, comics, movies, games, etc. They usually do this for fun, and to express their current or nostalgic “geek” obsessions. Here are a few extra notes and observations on the nature of this wonderful culture:

  • Often, the costumes are hand-made. Some are sewn together, and/or made from gathered materials. The more work and details that go into a costume, the more appreciation is given. Also, using body or face paint accentuates a certain boldness in presentation of character choice.
  • Crossplay is a rising trend in cosplay convention visibility. This is the style of taking a familiar character and flipping the gender. This is usually done by females, in using their natural body shape and costume alteration to make that provacative switch. 
  • Often, a measure of popularity can be attributed to the frequency of cosplay choice. For example, Doctor Who exploded in popularity since its revival eight years ago, so expect to find many Doctors running around, wielding their Sonic Screwdrivers.(an easy costume). Star Wars is still very strong, so expect to find many Jedis, Stormtroopers at these gatherings. The recent Avengers movie (and related individual character movies) raised the presence of Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury at recent conventions. Rising the fastest are characters from the popular animated Cartoon Network series, Adventure Time.
  • The best-loved and most memorable costumes (for me, at least) are those of obscurity and lesser known. Sure, we all know our Batmans, Jokers, Spideys, Vaders, Spartans, Mario Brothers, etc. But who among us can spot the Ambush Bug, Castle Crasher, Trap Jaw, Radia, Duffman, and others not well-known? To identify, often puts a smile on the face of those making the obscure effort. And if not, ask who is that character. This could be your next obsession, or perhaps opening the mind to something new and exciting. For example, a conversation I had with a lady dressed up as a character exclusive to an obscure Tron video game. She had me far more curious about the expanded Tron world, beyond the otherwise limited movies. My later online searches also stretched my love for hardcore science fiction, just a little more.
  • Some costumes are recognizable by their style. Some are adorned in steampunk fashion, others in medieval garb, a few in heavy military gear. Often, the participants are part of a club or a scheduled gathering of similar attire. Many are also into live action role-playing or LARPing.

I could go on with these notes, but another day or perhaps the next convention to share on. For now, I leave behind a couple more enticing samples of my larger picture set for the All Day Comics blog. For the rest of my wonderful ECCC pics (and footnotes), please click here..

photo by Orion Tippens

Photo by Orion Tippens

Comics convention fun in Seattle.

photo by Orion Tippens

Love comics and alternative pop culture? Or never been to a comics convention and curious? I, being the “geek” connoisseur and attender of many gathering of this nature, snapped pictures at the 2013 Emerald City Comic Convention in Seattle. For this show, I focusing more on the people (creators, cosplayers) who make them wonderful, and their wonderful products. Part 1 of 2 (focusing more on the creative talent and exhibit floor fun) are now posted on my friend’s comics blog, All Day Comics.

Here, are a couple more samples. For the rest with footnotes, click here.

photo by Orion Tippens

photo by Orion Tippens