Tag Archives: comic con

Immortan Mama

It all started when Myla asked me why I loved Furiosa.

I told her how I was a big fan of the older Mad Max movies…but that Mad Max: Fury Road was the first time I’d ever seen a character like Imperator Furiosa:  she was a strong woman, but she had weaknesses.  She was fierce, but she also had emotions.  She was powerful, but also terrified.  There aren’t many characters like her in movies, and it didn’t end with a boring old love story.  I love her because despite her robotic arm, her character was HUMAN.

Myla asked if some day she could be Furiosa at a convention.  (I’ve had artist booths at ComiCons in the past, so she’s familiar with that world.)  I thought, “MAN that arm would be difficult, but I bet I could do it.”  And you know I love a good challenge. 

But when she asked ME to dress up too, I decided if we were going to do this as a team, we were gonna need to go all out….So there was only one character I could be that would go with hers…. the villain, and her nemesis, Immortan Joe.1

I won’t go into character and plot descriptions too much, but I’ll just say I. LOVE. THIS. MOVIE.  I love a good character, and no one (in my opinion) has done a better, more well-rounded female character than George Miller did with Furiosa.

Myla knows the basic idea of the story, but hasn’t seen the violent parts of the movie.  She knows about the Green Place, and who Furiosa and Immortan are.  I even told her the story of Thunderdome, and she’s fascinated by it all.

So I decided to jump in and give a go.  There was a convention in Austin that I had a few months to prepare for.  For those who don’t know, one of the best things about ComiCons is all the people doing cosplay, or dressing as their favorite characters.  I’m always so impressed–people get quite creative with their costumes, and put so much work into them–most of them built completely by hand.  I had seen it done many times, but I had never done it before.  This would definitely be an adventure!

For Furiosa (above, left): the big build is the arm.  And the belt buckle.  And all the leather belts.  For the Immortan (above, right):  good GOLLY.  The clear plastic chest piece.  The medals.  The mouth piece.  The codpiece.  The hair.  It all seemed SO overwhelming.  But as my husband always says:  how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  (NOTE:  no elephants were harmed in the making of this cosplay).  

It was a long, tedious process, but lots of fun….So come with me, and I’ll walk you through the Wasteland…

First off, I am SO grateful to my friend Aletta (from TheFoxyToyBox).  When I told her what I was doing, she said “Hey I’m spending the next couple of weeks thrift store shopping.  Want me to find you things??”  Umm..YES PLEASE!!!  So lovely Aletta sent me a few boxes just FULL of things I could use:  several leather belts, tools, buckles, hoses, wire, canteens, shirts, pants, you name it.  To quote My Little Pony, friendship IS magic–she was a lifesaver.

So I started with the breathing apparatus.  Immortan Joe has this giant breathing thing on his back.  I  browsed a lot of forums before I started that had tons of ideas of how to do this, (carved in foam, using a baby buggy topper, etc) and their main concern was for movie accuracy, but I didn’t take it THAT seriously.  I wanted it pseudo-realistic, so it was fairly representative of the movie, without stressing too much about specifics.  I went for the basic look, and build a sort of neck-pillow from a thick brown faux suede fabric I had, stuffed it with poly-fil stuffing, glued breathing filters from the hardware store to the end pieces and velcro’d it to my shirt, so it was detachable.

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I took the easy way out on the mouthpiece, and purchased a blank used one on Amazon (don’t judge me).  I have seen people build amazing ones from scratch, but I lack the patience and stamina for that.  I painted it myself, though, and tried it on with the breathing bag.  MWAHAHAHAHAHAH.  I already felt awesomely evil.

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Next, I turned my attention to Furiosa.  Aletta had found these wonderful little brown leggings for us, and I drew on them with marker, to simulate the pattern of Furiosa’s pants.  She sent TONS of leather belts, so I cut a few up to size Myla’s little body.  The best find was a sort of foldup jewelry bag belt (or something?), which you can see at the top right below.  I used that as the basis of Myla’s “corset” and laid the other belts below it.

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I started working on the arm by using a kid’s long black dressy glove slipped over a paper towel roll as the base, and glued things to it from there.  I took a trip to the hardware store, and just grabbed anything I thought would help:  bits of siding, wire, little sockets and bolts, and a tiny wrench (which is one of the most identifiable things on her arm).  When I got the basic structure (shown above) I put it aside and started working on the shoulder.

This black piece needed to be solid, and after reading a few forums, I went with Kydex plastic sheets.  It was only about $10 for a 2-pack of 12″x 12″ sheets, and I only really used one sheet for everything.  I took a heat gun and shaped it carefully, burning my fingers all the while, because I am clumsy.  I used E600 glue to attach it to a little padded oval of muslin I sewed to fit under the main black part, and attached the little mower-pull (which I found in the weedeater section at the hardware store.  A little bigger than what I wanted, but it worked just fine).  I build a little velcro’d cuff under the main padded shoulderpiece, which you can see in the bottom right picture below.

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Furiosa wears a belt with the flaming skull emblem of Immortan Joe, which I cut out of cardboard, painted with acrylic, and glued to a fabric backing, also gluing various sizes of jewelry chains hanging down the back of it (in the above photo, bottom left).

Next up:  The arm.  Since the Furiosa character is missing an arm and Myla is not, I did what most people do when they cosplay Furiosa:  I just built a mechanical arm.  I started with the base of a long little dressup black glove, and just added all kinds of nonsense to it.  I used the black Kydex to mold the little black finger pieces by heating it up and forming it around my own fingers, while wearing a gardening glove and burned myself again, because I am a professional crafter.  Haha!  Once they cooled and I glued them to the black glove (being careful not to glue the fingers shut), I glued corrugated metal the outside of a few of them.

The lifesaver, though, was a trick I learned from one of my favorite craft/geek blogs, EpbotMETAL TAPE.  After I got the basic shape down, I covered nearly everything in metal tape.  It’s a bit thinner than aluminum foil, but softer, and with an adhesive side.  And when you paint it, it has this great old metal look!  I put it over the black Kydex, and scraped little “holes” in the index and pinkie fingers, to give that holey metal look (I’m pretty sure that’s a professional term).  I cut the pin parts of off metal push tacks and glued them down to look like rivets.  I wrapped things in wire and leather string.  And I think it came out pretty cool….especially considering this is teensy enough to fit on my 7-year old…

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Now I turned back to the Immortan again, which I had been putting off because I wasn’t sure exactly how to go about that clear plastic chestpiece.  Instead of dealing with it right away, I started on some of his “badges,” most of which are smashed bottlecaps.  I had purchased a mixed bag of decorative bottlecaps from Amazon, with coincidentally cool names like Pop’s Soda, Green Seltzer, Dad’s Ale, and Sunshine Soda, none of which are movie-accurate, but are sort of a funny nod to the character, if you know the movie.  Now THAT was fun!  If you want to get some aggression out and feel super awesome, get a hammer, and smash some bottlecaps flat.  Woohoo!  I also got a nail and hammered holes into four sides of each bottlecap so I could make them into this sort of chainmail.

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The armpieces were a little easier to mold by laying a flat sheet of PETG plastic (around $8 for a 24″ square sheet on Amazon) over a curved rolling chair and heating it up, and I sealed the edges in moleskin tape.  I wasn’t so serious about the emblems.  I glued down the bottlecap  “chainmail,” put a “Mr. Yuk” symbol on his arm (above) because of the poisoned air & water in the movie, and the bear with a star is my husband’s old unit patch from Alaska (just because).  My leg chaps (not pictured here) had emblems from random cars (thanks to a trip to the junkyard and scoring several for free) instead of high-end v8 engines, which was funny.  Because it’s supposed to be fun, guys.

So the most intimidating part, the clear chestpiece, would’ve been a cinch if I’d have had one of those industrial vacuuforms.   But since I did not, I gathered my courage, went in my garage armed with my heat gun, and shaped some of the PETG clear plastic sheets over a mannequin form.  I got a couple of pieces of the PETG in case I made mistakes, which was a good thing–since the first couple of times I tried it, it turned out all wobbly and wonky, and looked like I strapped a plastic takeout box to my chest.

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The codpiece belt was that same fake suede painted black with a few nuts and bolts glued to it, and the “929, 240, and 49” emblems were cut out of cardboard, sealed in that metal tape, and aged with black acrylic paint.

Finally, after a couple of bad attempts at the chestpiece, I came up with something fairly usable.  It was a little wonky, but sturdy.  I made a lower back piece to go with it, and attached them to eachother with snap-tape on the sides so I could snap myself into it.  Luckily, some of the wonky wrinkles looked like the fake-molded abs he has, so that was a happy coincidence, and I accentuated them with some thinned-down brown acrylic paint.

Aletta came through again with an old cellphone, which my husband broke apart for me, so I could use the keypad and inner panel.  I used old necklace chains I had, and a spark plug and other things from the hardware store for his chest decorations.  My favorite part was the medals, which I ordered inexpensively from random sellers on Etsy: there were medals of old Russian leaders, and awards for marching band and saxaphone, which made me laugh BECAUSE IT’S FUNNY.  I cut up one of my husband’s old army shirts to go under it all (since, um, I’m a FEMALE), and it sort of looked like this now:

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And for the last bit, I didn’t want to put all that work into this and use a cheap little thin halloween wig, so I found a $30 lacefront wig on Amazon that looked so much like the real deal, it was scary.  I was going to ratt it up a bit, but when I got it out to give it a try, it didn’t really need much of anything done to it…

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Whew!  Are you tired yet?    Well good, because that was pretty much it for the build.

So the best thing about this is that despite a few simple dress rehearsals, you really have NO idea what it’s all going to look like altogether til the day of.  We got to the convention center and put ourselves together in the parking lot.  I painted us both up, and wiped my painty-fingers on Myla’s shirt and arms and my pants, because we’re supposed to be all dirty from the Wasteland.  I needed my husband to help me put everything on and snap me in, but once we did, it was pretty spectacular, you guys…

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Myla’s Furiosa was pretty awesome once it was all together.  We opted for NOT shaving her head (hahaha), and pulled her hair back instead (darn, those curls always escape, though!).

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(And despite it being velcro’d to her shirt and supported by straps, her little shoulder piece kept sliding off the whole time.  Kid-shoulders aren’t as supportive as grownup ones, I guess.)

My “Immortan Mama” (as Myla called me) was a sight–people cleared out of our way when we walked through the aisles, and we were asked to stop for photos a LOT (which is all part of the fun of it).

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People go to conventions for different reasons.  There’s usually an Artist Alley (where comic and other fine artists and crafters go) and a vendor section (full of t-shirts, comics, toys, and dolls).  There are celebrities (actors from Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, and Dr. Who, for example) to sign autographs and take photos.  There are also panels and classes you can visit outside of the main convention area.

Any and all of that would have been very difficult to do in my Immortan costume, so we just walked the main convention floor, looking at tables and stopping for people to take our picture.  We had a pose down, and people seemed pretty excited by it all.  On the down side, no one could hear me or understand me, so it was a little awkward meeting Bob Camp (the co-creator of Ren & Stimpy), and trying to tell him my name so he could personalize a doodle.  But really, that’s fine, because I got THIS cool pic:

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He was a pretty energetic dude.  I even sang along with him to the theme song of Log and the Muddy Mudskipper Show, but in my mask, it was pretty much a mumbled mess.  I sounded like a Peanuts parent.   Hahah!

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We had fun walking around the convention, looking at cosplay, vendors, and displays, and talking to artists.  One challenge was that I wear glasses and don’t have a contacts prescription, so I had to squint my way through.   I kept my glasses in my pocket, and since I’m nearsighted, I could see general things, but they were mostly blurry unless I squinched up close.  By the time we were done, my face was super sweaty and Myla was tired and hungry.

Since my peripheral vision and speech were limited, I didn’t get to get a good look at much, so the next day we decided to meet up with my friend (and awesome tattooer) Annie, and just enjoy the sights.  We posed in front of Myla’s favorite Ninja Turtle, saw some excellent cosplay, and splurged on ALLLL sorts of goodies (Labyrinth Funko Pops, anyone!??!).

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So if you’ve ever considered going to a ComicCon but thought it was maybe too weird, go ahead and give it a try!  And if you’re not up for going through all the construction and costume building that I did, just wear a superhero t-shirt and call it a day, because that’s fun too.  Just have a good time, and let your geek flag fly!

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PS:  Did you see my super cool luna moth necklace up there?  It was from a vendor at the convention–Monica L. Knighton–she turned out to be one of my favorite booths there(once I could actually SEE)….  I got a few things the first day and had to go find her again the second day and get some more.  🙂  Go check her out!

Boo!

This Halloween is a busy one–my family is visiting because my niece is graduating from a nearby tech academy, my husband is getting ready to deploy for the third time, and I am preparing to spend the weekend at Austin Wizard World.

Thankfully, in the midst of everything, I was able to put Myla’s James costume from Pokemon’s Team Rocket together.  Since I’ll be at the convention on Halloween, I tried to take Myla to our small town’s  safe community trick-or-treat event, and had one of the WORST nights ever. Thanks to rain and overcrowding and traffic and LONG LINES OUTSIDE in the cold rain, we had an terribly, horrible, no-good very bad time.  And we didn’t even get to go in!  After waiting FAR too long, Myla finally made the call, shivering and miserable:  “Mom, I just want to go HOME.”  I was happy to oblige, poor kid.

12063754_928945067180517_3998032411603299575_nWe’re supposed to have bad rains here in Central Texas again this weekend, so who knows if she’ll be able to even trick or treat with her Dad on Halloween night?!?  This week, there’s supposed to be a school Halloween party, so I’m hoping that’ll be better…

In any case, I’m pretty darn sure she’ll be able to get some costume time and trick-or-treating in at Austin Wizard World this weekend!!

ComeSeeUS_AUSTIN_250x250Friday, I’ll most likely be solo at my corner booth in Artist’s Alley near the celebrity signing area, but Saturday, I’m pretty sure they have a fun Halloween day set up for the kids.  Apparently, they’ll have a list of booths to “trick or treat” at for free things, stickers, art, and candy.  Along with regular comic con awesomeness!

I’ll be selling our Dream Creepers…

introOur Creeper Guardians necklaces & pins…

happy necklacessAlong with some cool little pins…

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FullSizeRender-1Some weird little Creeper-bats…

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FullSizeRender-4And these odd little resin figures (if I get them finished in time)…

FullSizeRenderAnd I’m crossing my fingers, wishing and hoping, crossing my T’s and dotting my I’s in the hopes that all goes well and Myla and I can meet Carroll Spinney on Saturday.  They don’t always let you, but I’d love to be able to give him a copy of the book we made.  Myla even signed one especially for him…

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Anyway, that’s our Halloween weekend, in a nutshell.   If you’re near us, come give us a hello on Friday or Saturday!!!  I’d love to see you & say hello!

Alamo City Comicon ROUNDUP

So a couple of weekends ago, I had a booth at Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio.  My friend Annie helped me setup and run the booth, and despite the ENORMOUS amounts of people there (I get VERY wonky in crowds), I had a great time.  I thought I’d share a little of it for you, as a vendor, to show you what it’s like!

So I sort of planned out the look of my booth around the idea of a Craft Laboratory (since I have SO many different crafty interests).  So that would make me….what?  The Craftician?  Dr. Mockingbird?  The Art Mechanic?  I took my old painting smock (which, despite its look, has seen very little action) and sort of designed it with the Organic Mechanic from Mad Max: Fury Road in mind.   But less….grungy.  Less…organic.  More CRAFTY.  I attached chains to my scissors, paintbrushes, pliers, anything I’d need to do my craft thing.  Here’s my craft smock on the left, and Organic on the right:

mechanic : boothAnd there’s my booth (which accidentally turned out way cuter than I intended.  Hm.). If I had planned it better (or knew how, exactly), I’d  REALLY want it to look like one of those things that wheels into town playing calliope music and sells you snake oil and moves on to the next down?  THAT sort of feel!  I wish I knew how to make that happen…  introI had copies of our Share With Me book there, sticker and postcard packs of our collaborations, but mostly I focused on the Dream Creepers, and told people the story about how they came to be.  I was playing with resin faces and made Myla a doll.  She loved it and brought it places.  Some little girl said disgustedly, “Ew, that’s creepy!”  and Myla smiled politely and said, “well they have to be a LITTLE creepy to chase the bad dreams away.”  And that’s how they came to be.  I also had necklaces and pins of the little monsters, and my handpainted teeny weeny things.

happy necklacesSo as a vendor, I’ll tell you a few things I learned while running my booth at a very busy Comic Con:

People say things and forget you’re there.  For three days, the number one thing I heard the most was, “Those are soooo creepy…but now I really  kinda want one!”  That was always sweet, and I loved to hear it.  I love that little conflicted space between creepy and cute, so I totally understand that comment.  I also heard a lot of “That looks just like my DOG!”  Also cute.  But what I also heard  was a bit of very open rudeness.  “That’s stupid, who would pay for THAT?”  “Oh, they’re probably made in China” (despite my having written “HANDMADE” as frequently as possible).  “Those are gross, put those down.”  “People BUY these?!?!?!?”  I mean, really–I’m standing right here.  In ARTIST’S ALLEY.  Which means I MADE these things.  Listen, I totally get that my little creatures aren’t for everyone, but remember that thing your mom always said about not having anything nice to say….?

Handmade artisan things are not quite as appreciated at a con.  I discovered that when people saw the price tag on my Dream Creeper dolls (I priced them at $60), they didn’t always see all the time and effort and handmade work that went into them.  They saw a doll.  And I get it–these people just paid nearly $40 a DAY to get in (not to mention if they splurged for the $200-$300 VIP packages), and they probably have specific things they already want (including meeting celebrities, which ALSO costs quite a bit), they see a doll and they only see price.  I’ve seen many vendors sitting there with AMAZINGLY beautiful handmade artwork and sculptures, and hardly sell a thing.  I’ve learned from my mom’s craft show days in my childhood that it’s best to have a variety of prices, so that if someone couldn’t afford something big, they’d be able to buy something small.  But the crowd, often young teens and tweens, don’t have the money to spend on handmade crafts, even if they DID find them “adorably creepy.”

People LOVE to see characters they recognize.  The booth next to me sold all sorts of little handmade ceramic creatures, and then had one of a cute little No-Face, from the movie Spirited Away.  And all day, despite her other unique characters, all day, I heard “OH LOOK!  It’s No-Face!!!”  (I know, because I said it, too!)  When people saw my creatures, they’d ask, “Are these the goblins from the Labyrinth?”  But when they saw my little handpainted necklaces, they’d get excited, because they actually KNEW those characters.  “Oh look!  Dumbledore!”  “Hey, it’s Davy Jones!”  “Oh, is that Kahleesi?”

GUYS seem to really like my Dream Creepers.  I dunno why, but often the first person to be caught by my Creepers as they walk buy is often male.  Plenty of girls and women enjoyed them too, but I thought that was a funny little tidbit.

Its great to be friendly to your fellow boothmates.   Not only is it great to be able to walk around and see all the booths as they set up and talk to other artists and vendors before anyone gets there, it’s super awesome to be friendly with the people in the booths around you.  Listen, you have to spend three days with these people–do yourself (and them) a favor, and make friends.  That way, if they need a bathroom break and don’t have someone to watch, they can ask you to keep an eye on their booth.  If you’re going out, ask if they need anything.  If they see something fall off of your signage, they can let you know & help you put it back up.  If they break down their booth for the night and forget something, you can let them know.  Good times all around!

One of the ladies from another booth bought one of my little monster puppy brooches, which went SMASHINGLY well with her steampunk outfit!

belt monsterSmile and say hello.  As a vendor it’s always such an awkward thing to try to guess what people want.  Some people don’t want you to talk to them at all.  Some people want to hear more.  Most people seemed to really enjoy and appreciate everything once I told them the story of Myla and her Creeper, and how she names them all herself.  I try my hardest NOT to be on my phone (unless necessary), because I always think that’s awkward when you walk up to a booth and someone’s too busy on their phone to even notice you.  And since I’m not a snazzy salesman (I’ve seen some really good ones that make you WANT to buy things actually in an awesome and not creepy way) and I’m not super chatty, so I just try to look at everyone and smile and say hello.  “Hey, how’s it going?”  “Hey there!”  “How’re you?”  This is my “friendly arsenal.”  It doesn’t hurt much.

When I’m not using my super-magical friendly booth-powers, I sketch.  Annie had a small sketchbook, and was asking other artists to sketch in it.  And since she & I were sitting there quite often, I sketched quite a lot in her sketchbook.  I try to lay my book flat on the table, in case people want to see what I’m drawing, because I don’t mind it at all, and sometimes it sparks a bit of conversation.  I try to look up quite often, so people can see I’m still engaged in my booth.  I even got a blank Mad Max comic cover  (it has an actual comic inside, but they put a blank cover on it specifically for artists to create their own custom covers, and then some artists sell them…But not me, because: MINE).

sketchesSo even as a vendor running a booth, I still got to enjoy one of my favorite parts of a Comic Con:  the COSPLAY!  I absolutely LOVE that people get crafty and make their own costumes, and love it even MORE when they mix it up.

I chased this little punk Ariel all over to get a picture, and finally nabbed her.  She has Flounder in a net on her trident, and her crown was spectacular.  This version of Flash (with Wonder Woman) had some whole routine that drew a crowd, because he had a yellow thong-thing around the back that made people laugh as he posed for photos.

cosplay2Then there’s Lydia and Beetlejuice, and a whole little Guardians of the Galaxy family. (Look!  A kid Rocket Raccoon!)

This lady did a spot-on Goblin King with the stolen baby from the Labyrinth (even recreating Jareth’s awkward…um…”bulge.”)  And Frodo posed with his Ring.  His little feet were flip-flops with plastic hairy feet on top!

cosplay3And a Steampunk Mario Brothers!!! With Princess Peach…and….Rapunzel’s frying pan from Tangled?    (Hm.  I have trouble sometimes with some of these mashups, sorry…)

This Hawkgirl had a very impressive wingspan.  And look, a lady Totoro!!  She has the ears and little leaf on her head, and under her dress were attached several little soot sprites.  So cute!

cosplay1Jerry’s Artarama had a booth that demo’d bodypainting, hence the lady Predator.  And here’s a VERY fancy lady in a beautiful and extremely ornate costume (who I thought was queen of hearts, but maybe now I’m thinking Joker?).

This cute couple dressed as Ghostbusters, and had their kid cleverly strapped on the back as one of the proton packs.

ghostbustersThe dad’s proton pack even lit up and blinked and looked all sorts of cool.   But the mom’s proton pack was ALIVE, so there!

ghostbusters-packWhile walking around one of the days, I heard a very familiar “EXTERMINATE!!!” and turned around barely JUST in time to take a quick pic from behind of a CARDBOARD dalek from Dr. Who!  People are so creative.  (There’s the one from the show on the right)

cosplay4 dalekAnd I practically YELLED at these two to stop and take a picture because OMG GENDER-SWAPPED MAD MAX AND NUX!!!

maxShe had pretty amazing detail going on her costume, even down to the leg brace (which people often overlook) and her face muzzle was pretty realistic.  And Nux had some great fake scars on his chest (the V8 “scar tattoo” from the movie).  The chain with the bloodline attached was the icing.  So shiny!  So chrome!

And look!  SPACEBALLS!!!  Is that not a pretty hilariously awesome Barf?

spaceballsThere were SO many great costumes, but THIS girl blew me away.  She came ALL three days in THREE different costumes she built herself.  The first day, she was Lady Loki.  The second, day, standing in line for Ron Perlman, I saw a Hellgirl and thought “she looks familiar…”  Until we realized it was Lady Loki from the day before!!! She got a photo with Perlman in her Hellgirl costume, how cool is THAT?!?!  And the last day (although my photo doesn’t do it justice), she threw on a last-minute Bellatrix costume from Harry Potter.  She told us she was part of a cosplay group that dresses up and visits kids in schools & hospitals, and I wish I knew how to reach her so I could give her a long-distance hug for all-out awesomeness.

loki hellgirl bellatrixAnyway (because this post isn’t QUITE long enough yet), Annie had signed us up to get a photo with Ron Perlman (of all the great things he’s been in, one of my very favorite movies of all time has him in it: City of Lost Children).  So I doodled him in her sketchbook while we sat at my booth.  He has SUCH great lines in his face!!! Some people have bad feelings about their own lines, but they sure do tell a person’s story in a sketch…

ron perlmanBut some of these photo meetings are a big rush job.  Celebrities are part of the fun of ComicCons, and they charge different prices for photos or autographs (often in separate lines for separate fees).  After waiting nearly an hour in our Perlman line, we were rushed in, and in the span of about 15 seconds, we were sort of shoved up against Ron, and ushered directly out.  I had barely enough time to shake his hand and say “thank you so much,” which is why look completely unprepared and derpy in this photo.  I mean, what is this face?  Where is my neck?  I didn’t even get a chance to show him my drawing of him as One with Miette, or the drawing of Hellboy at the petshop that Myla and I did.  Poop.

derpIn my experience, the better opportunity is to get something signed, because at least then you get to talk to the person for a bit.  And if you’re going to meet anyone, a good bang for your buck (in my very limited experience) is Michael Rooker (Merle from Walking Dead, and Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy).  I met him last year at Wizard World in Austin.  He’s so super friendly to everyone, talks to you like you’re old friends, and makes you all around laugh.  He’s got that Southern gentlemen swagger with a whole mess of cocky, but it sure does crack you up.  Annie met him, got this drawing signed that I had given her of him as Merle from The Walking Dead.  According to Annie, he said, “Did a girl or a guy draw this?”  and when Annie answered a girl, he said, “Ah!  Girls always seem to draw me much more better lookin’ than I am.  Hahah!”  He got a kick out of it.

merle-rookerAnd of course, EVERRRRRYONE wanted to meet Stan Lee, aka Stan the Man.  Stan Lee CREATED all the superheroes everyone loves.  He practically INVENTED the whole superhero genre, and he’s in his 90s, and he’s still coming to these things and meeting people!  Thankfully (for him), they seemed to make it pretty painless for him, keeping him seated most of the time, and blocked off so that he wasn’t bombarded or overwhelmed.  Neither Annie or I went to go see him (he was by far one of the most expensive guests to see, understandably), but she snapped this photo from quite a ways away.  Still, good for him.

stanSo there you go.  That’s pretty much the whole experience of the convention, from my point of view at my artist’s booth!  Myla and my mom came to visit the third day, but the experience was a bit overwhelming for Myla, I think, and after a little shopping and bouncehouse shenanigans, it wasn’t long before my poor mom had to drive her the two and a half hours back home.  Poor girl was worn out.

And so was I!!  I haven’t been to many cons, and the couple I’ve been to, I’ve been to as a vendor.  I like walking around and meeting other artists and vendors before it’s open so there’s not a huge crowd.  I like sitting at my little table and meeting people.  I like talking about my work, and hearing stories from other people about their work, and I love seeing all the cosplay creativity.  But it sure does wipe you out!

(this is me early during and at the END of the 3-day con)…

meIn any case, I’m going to do one more this year:  I signed up last minute for Wizard World in Austin Oct 30 – 31.  It’s a short one, but I’m sure it’ll be fun.

AND OMG you guys, if all goes well and the stars align, I’m going to be meeting CARROLL SPINNEY (who puppetted Big Bird and Oscar from the Muppets)!!!  (“I Am Big Bird” was such a GREAT documentary…) I am such a huge fan, and Henson and the Muppets have been such a HUGE inspiration that I might possibly babble incoherently and cry.  I am hoping to talk to him and thank him and chat a minute.  I am hoping he doesn’t cancel.  (Hey, other people have their superheroes, I have mine…hahah!)

Myla’s going to be there the second day, dressed as James from Team Rocket (she’s WAYYYY into Pokemon right now).  So if you’re anywhere near there, and you’d like to celebrate Halloween surrounded by cool costumes and great gear, COME SEE MEEEEEE!!!!

PS:  Mike Tyson will be one of the celebrities there.  Weird, huh?  I’m afraid if he ever saw this (very very old) caricature I did, he may rip off my ears with his teeth, so SHHHHHH let’s just keep that between us…AUUUUUGHGGHGHGHHHH!!!!!tyson

Wizard Con!

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I can’t tell you all how excited I am that we were able to fund the Kickstarter to create our book–a compilation of the collaborative doodles that never could have happened the way I envisioned without the help of so many people.  Now that the campaign is over, and I’ve got all these wonderful books to show for it…what the heck do I DO with them all?

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Welllll….you can buy copies of the books online at the “Book” link above…

But my younger sister (who has two teenage daughters, and is a VERY cool mom), suggested a comic convention!  Her daughter dabbles in cosplay, and conventions are one of her favorite things to do.  But a comic con??  For US?!?

…Well, why the heck NOT?

So I’ve decided to take our doodles to the Artist’s Alley at Wizard Con in Austin from Oct. 2-4!!!

This will be my first convention EVER, and I’m a little nervous.  Not so much about breaking even, or making more than we put into it (that would be great, but not at ALL why I’m going), but because (of all things) of the CROWDS.  The thought of swarms of people everywhere makes my heart thump and my lungs wither.  I don’t like crowds.  AT ALL.  But I’m hoping that sitting at a booth all day for three days, it won’t be SO bad.  It’s not like I’ll be fighting my way, shoulder to shoulder, through people if I’m mostly at my booth, right?  At least, that’s what I”m telling myself.

When I was younger, my mom used to do craft shows.  Not rinky-dink little garage sale shows, but HUGE art-focused craft conventions all near our various army duty stations throughout Europe.  As kids, my sister and I used to help her set up and tear down, take money, bag crafts, and personalize them.  We used to trade or barter with the other vendors, and got to see all their booths during setup, before the public came in.  I realize a crazy huge comic convention is WAYYY different, but I’m wondering if there are actually any similarities behind the scenes.  We’ll see!

My sister suggested something fun, too:  “You could even dress up/cosplay as one of your collaborations!”  I love watching costume shows like Heroes of Cosplay, and I love the work and care that goes into those costumes.  I designed Myla’s C-3PO Halloween costume using cosplay techniques  And while I don’t want to sit all day at my booth in a full-blown costume, I MIGHT be able to pull off some little harness wings (like a grownup version of what I made for Myla) and wear them as an elaborate version of my favorite of our collaborations:  the moth woman at the end of our book….

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Wouldn’t that be fun?

My husband & I agreed, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have Myla there all day, so the husband will watch her at home.  But they’ll  visit me there from time to time.  She’s even asking me if I can make her a Nightcrawler costume..

I’m planning on selling copies of our “Share With Me” book (maybe even have a few pre-signed options, if I can get the munchkin to cooperate), copies of our little book of short stories “Tail Tales,” doodle pages, postcard sets, and stickers.  I’m also going to sell some prints of some of our more geeky doodles.  And who knows what else!

Maybe I’ll put some markers out for people to doodle on a page or two of our own book copies, since the book was really designed to be doodled in, interacted with, and shared.  We’ll see!

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Maybe I’ll have pie.  More people will come if you tell them you have pie.

(Ha!  Sorry, old South Park reference).

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So if you’re anywhere near Austin, Texas in early October and want to check out what we’ve got, I’d love love LOVE to see you!   I’ll be there hiding behind my booth with my moth wings and a smile!

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