Recent Seasonal Memories..

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There was a little snow in Seattle, last Friday morning.

Fun, how some moments can make each seasonal year unique. The light shed of snow blanketing the central areas of the Emerald City, leaving untouched areas covered until the later rains. Here, the snow was a rare thing. The last time was early 2011, in much grander amounts.

I snapped a few pictures, before heading north to the Ballard area. I wish I wasn’t so busy with important matters as I would have loved to explore the temporary changes. Still, are some moments I captured that morning.

The Space Needle area, of where I first noticed after my wake. Then, hurried to the Downtown area on other business, hoping for more. Much of the snow was washed away by the time I reached the Westlake Station area, but I managed to capture some evidence (as featured picture above).

Space Needle Snow

Then, to an industrialized sector further north by the Ballard Bridge. Here, the snow still continued for another hour. I haven’t seen much snow in my lifetime. For me, the weather was wonderful for its difference, visual beauty and sudden peace brought to the surroundings.

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Pictures 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 2013 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)

The Great Seattle Water Balloon Fight of 2013

I went for a walk yesterday through the wonderful Seattle Center. To no surprise on a sunny Summer Saturday, another exciting event of interest happened.

This time, a grab at the Guinness World Record for the largest water balloon fight. It was a grand attempt. Sadly, not enough registered to beat the 8,957 record by a University in Kentucky. However, over $55,000 was raised to benefit Camp Korey, a non-profit group dedicated to providing outdoor camping experiences for children with serious illnesses.

And, a lot of people had fun.

More San Diego Comic Con snaps…

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This week, I have more pics taken by me with a point and shoot camera,  of my 19th annual visit to the San Diego Comic Con posted on the site I contribute to, All Day Comics. For part 2 click here and for part 3 click here. Part 1 is here.

So, all that and more there. I’ll soon share further details, fun of my observations and involvement with the greatest comics, alternative pop-culture, geek gathering in the world. Much will be in my next post, right here. I also have a planned write-up on the place of comics in a convention growing with influence from the big Hollywood, big gaming, and big collectibles industries.

I have much to share soon.

From the great San Diego Comic Con

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I have some cool pics posted on the comics journal site, alldaycomics.com. These are first of many chosen by my friend, site host, and comics writer/industry insider: Mike Hansen. For that first set, click here.

I have much to say about this year’s Comic Con, the modern geek fandom, fellow creative spirits, sequential art and convention gathers in general. I also will share some personal pics (though not as good a camera as my earlier conventions this year), here with my own added commentary, and more will be shared on the All Day Comics site.

I am trying for soon..

Meanwhile, in Seattle (early summer photo fun)

Here, some pictures I took over the first two weekends of summer. Sadly, I wish I was out a bit more.

First, are some moments at Gasworks Park after the Seattle Solstice Parade and Fair, 2013 (Click on each pic for more info):

 - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)  - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)  - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)  - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)  - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com) - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)

Earlier that day, the World Naked Bike Ride in Seattle.

(WARNING: SOME BUTS ARE SHOWING….PAINTED BUTS!!)

 - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)  - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)  - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)

A couple pics from the Seattle PrideFest 2013 event. I briefly checked it out. A lot of happy people were present, celebrating more than gay and lesbian pride; the very spirit of unity itself.

 - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)  - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)

And, here are more pics at Gasworks Park from various days of visit. It’s a lovely place, especially in the summer.

 - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com) - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com) - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com) - photo by Orion Tippens (travelingorion.wordpresss.com)Travelingorion.wordpress,.com

Seattle Summer Solstice!

Fremont Summer Solstice Parade 2013

Look, there was a parade here!

That, and so much more within the highly overlooked Fremont district; home to a bridge troll, giant stone Lenin, long walks, desserts and happy people.Also, the place for the great Fremont Summer Solstice Fair of 2013.

Among thousands of happy people in attendance was big live music, an auto show, a nude bike ride, food carts, art galleries, random dancing, tents full of stuff for sale. Between all, was a sunny, glorious day with an epic supermoon on the way.

I missed a lot of this, but not the nude bike ride. That will get its own entry soon. I was here for the parade. I love a parade, especially one like this..

This happening was amazing for its content and local feel. Sights and sounds turned special from all by the present area folk; nothing corporate or crying out for name recognition. Much was homegrown and very creative, with silliness attached (also, some environmental awareness mixed in).  From that, we had monsters and knights, sea beasts and jellywomen, pharaohs and hippies, puppets and propellers, disco and drums, jungle and jazz. 

I’m out of words, let the pictures say the rest..

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