Tag Archive | 2010

San Diego Comic Con 2012: A Nerd’s Perspective

I’ve only been to San Diego Comic Con once. In 2010. At the time I remember how insane it seemed to purchase tickets in September 2009 for an event taking place in July 2010. But it was an exciting life goal to cross off my list. My spouse and two closest friends were in attendance. We booked hotel rooms together and spent the weeks before planning out itineraries and scouting out the convention center. Or maybe just I did. Yeah, I think it was just me.

San Diego Comic Con LogoIt’s a great experience. Not only is there a chance of spotting or chatting with your favorite writer, artist or celebrity, but you end up meeting all kinds of cool people in epic hours-long lines with the same kinds of passions and enthusiasms as you. Magic happens when people with like interests meet. I’m still Facebook friends with a couple we met in line for The Avengers panel, wherein we hugged random strangers afterwards because there was so much joy and love in the room.

Once in a lifetime was enough for me. Especially since topping The Avengers panel is pretty much impossible.

There was a moment in 2010 when we were standing in line to register and looking at the booth set-up for purchasing 2011 tickets. I almost dashed over and bought a ticket a year in advance. I thought better of it.

I don’t regret the decision. As much as I loved my San Diego Comic Con experience, there were parts of it that never jived well for me. The near-crushing at the WB booth, standing in line for hours to get some crappy trinket I wouldn’t buy with my own money (SWAG!), and the cattle like approach to meeting people you’d admire where the seconds-long interaction is a blur.

ALSO: The relentless product whoring and Hollywood inundation was stifling and frustrating. Everywhere you turned some movie or television show was jammed in your face. You essentially pay money and wait in long lines to be advertised to, all for the promise of exclusive content with leaks to the internet within days or hours anyway. You pay for the privilege of being a test market audience, radiating the promise of future box office profits to pleased investors. There is a seedy element to the manufactured fun at SDCC I never enjoyed.

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Halloween 2010: Preparation

Halloween, while my favorite holiday of the year, is also kind of emotionally turbulent. Firstly, there is deciding on the costume. That’s half the battle. It becomes incredibly difficult to center on one when I have a strong desire to dress up in costume every day. In another life I was probably an actor of some sort…or a drag queen.

Which is why I have three tubs full of costume gear. Some years, it’s about accumulation. Building towards a better future costume. I’ve done a bit of that – collecting items for next year’s theme of a famous historical figure. I bought goggles, so figure that one out.

At the Star Wars vs Star Trek ride in June 2010, it became apparent that Dan and I are way over-stocked on Star Wars costuming and are severely lacking in the Star Trek department. Feeling equally, nerdily attached to both – my mission for this Halloween season has been to procure the needed items to deck us out as if we were on board the Star Ship Enterprise.

The tough choice is always between going for authenticity orĀ  buying cheap materials and then being able to accessorize. Since I don’t have the needed sewing skills – this year it’s going to be about pulling out the right accessories, cause the bulk of the costume itself is a plain red dress. Which will most likely need to be tailored.

It looks something like this:

Needed the arm length to cover up the tattoo. Cause nothing says "Star Trek" like a half sleeve. šŸ˜›

I’ve already got some fantastic Star Trek shaped boots which I inherited from my Grandma (I love that we’re the same shoe size) and was able to purchase tights and booty shorts off the internets. I’m not exceptionally tall, but as I don’t often dress in short skirts, I get paranoid about dress length and drinking. The chances for accidentally flashing friends and family increases exponentially.

The perfect boots - pegged these for Star Trek costuming the moment I set eyes on them

Also purchased a phaser from the same website listed above for about $5.

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San Diego Comic Con 2010: Preview Night (sort of)


Yesterday and last night were nuts. Spent most of the day in transit, and then three hours in line.

Also, the internet wasn’t working in our hotel, but it was this morning. Currently typing this up on my Droid as we wait in the drizzly San Diego weather for Hall H. Expect a recap of Preview Night and Day One tomorrow morning!

In the interim, check the TinyHeroes twitter feed for pics, quotes and other info throughout the day.

Comic Book Tattoos at San Diego Comic Con International 2010

It’s two weeks until SDCCI 2010 and I have a favor to ask all of you.

One of my missions at Comic Con is to connect with as many people as possible with comic book tattoos. I would love to get your tattoo story, where you got it, how many sessions, what it means to you and would love to snap a picture.

The ultimate goal is to create and host a website that is a depository for all the awesome comic book tattoos out there. A safe haven where nerds with ink can come to share their tattoos and meet like minded folks.

As a comic book tattooed person, it’s fun to connect with others and learn about their experiences and share some awesome art inspired by something we’re passionate about. Comic book conventions have been that space for me – where I know most people will recognize and appreciate my tattoo in all it’s nerdy glory.

So – I’d like to give back some of that love and recognize and appreciate all of YOUR nerdy tattoos in their splendiferous loveliness.



Name: Mindy Crouchley, 27

Tattoo: Jean Grey as Phoenix 3/4 Sleeve

Inked At: Imperial Tattoo AND Atomic Arts Studio in Portland, Oregon

Hours: 17 (so far)

Inspiration/Story: Reading the Phoenix: End Song comic book, struggling to complete my undergraduate education, Jean Grey as a strong female character, the mythology of the phoenix bird

Other Tattoos: Goldfish and Crossbones, Ohm Symbol


AN EXAMPLE: Expanded

Mindy Crouchley is 27 year old woman in the middle of getting her Jean Grey as Phoenix Tattoo 3/4 sleeve completed at the Atomic Art Tattoo Studio in Portland, Oregon.

The inspiration behind the sleeve was reading the Phoenix: End Song graphic novel and falling in love with the Jean Grey character for the first time, after having read X-Men Comic books for almost 15 years.

The beauty of the female form, the strength of Jean Grey and the mythology of the phoenix tattoo were all the elements she wanted to put together in one powerful image.

The first two sessions took place almost three years ago at Imperial Tattoo in NW Portland and the result was awesome…but Mindy felt it needed more.

She undertook a medical study at OHSU to get the needed funds to add a space background including the Earth, a spiral galaxy and Saturn. She estimates that there are two more three hour sessions left until the final product emerges. She has already been to three three-hour sessions at Atomic, adding to that the 8 hours the original image took. Over 17 hours of inking so far!

She has two other tattoos – a goldfish and crossbones and an ohm symbol. But like every addict, she has plans for more.


You can send in pictures and info or arrange to meet at Comic Con.Ā I’ll be available here (leave a comment), on Twitter at TinyHeroes, or you can contact me by email at

Videos are also welcome!

My goal is to have the site up and running within two weeks after SDCC. Thanks for putting the word out there.

Star Wars vs Star Trek Portland Bike Ride 2010

Oh joy – oh rapture! When one of my exercise-y hobbies can intersect with my love of all things nerdy, it is impossible for me and Dan (the DH) to resist.

Here is how we spent yesterday evening.

Since we’d spent most of the day moving a friend – Smalls – we didn’t end up following the entire route. Plus, Dan was pouring sweat, the mask coupled with the heat. The lekku headpiece and this only being the second bike ride of the season (plus the hottest day of the year thus far) also did me in.

It was great to see so many nerdy folks come out for two great tastes – well, three really: bike riding, star wars/trek and cosplay.

Here are some great pics that didn’t make the video:

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Mercury Picture of Dan as Darth Vader!

–Ā Flickr stream for more pics

Another blog of the experience

Comic Con Documentary Audition Video

Is live online now – come get some! šŸ˜‰

Stumptown Comics Fest 2010: Day Two

Hang over this morning caused us to get a slower start to the day. We arrived around 11:30am, and immediately hit up Matthew Southworth‘s booth to get two copies of Stumptown #1 signed. He DID remember us from last night (he asked what time we finally left). Uh-oh. I need to seriously curtail the drinking next year. We hung out for about an hour or so while he inked and colored a couple prints. Here’s a short video of the one he made of Dex.

Next up was a Q&A Panel with Craig Thompson. It was very informal – he had a friend hosting and asking him questions. The audience members could also chime in at any point with questions of their own. I was consistently surprised and pleased with the depth, intelligence and respect that went into each question (as with the Saturday panel). Not that I don’t think Comic Book fans can be intellectuals, it’s just that I’ve never experienced such a large group of folks taking the art of comic books so seriously.

A short video in which he talks about his current project Habibi, and what led to the creation and publication of his travel journal Carnet De Voyage.

After that – Craig Thompson was signing books. We picked up a ticket earlier, and were among the first five or so people in line to chat with him and HE DID A SKETCH. Ah! Wonderful, lovely sketch. Having the signing immediately following the Q&A was awesome, because it didn’t feel awkward at all to engage in conversation with him. Something that frustrates me about cons or interacting with celebrities/famous folks is how artificial the space can feel. This wasn’t my experience at this fest – ever. Everyone was very approachable, friendly and willing to talk about their work, themselves, and other randomness.

Craig Thompson was incredibly gracious about the picture. šŸ™‚

The sketch - so beautiful!

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Stumptown Comics Fest 2010: Day One

We arrived at the Stumptown Comics Fest 2010 around 11am yesterday, checked in and got our volunteer badges. Our first stop was the Dark Horse Comics booth to pick up some freebies (buttons, poster, etc) AND Dan showed off his tattoo to the guys, who took a pic and posted it on Twitter.

Dan's BPRD tattoo gets some love.

We promptly ran into Joe M. – a friend and former co-worker who also has a strong obsession with comic books. It was a pleasant surprise. Joe is big into the Yelp community, and was attending a Food Cart event later that day, but he hung out with us long enough to attend the first panel.

We made a beeline for Natalie Sept and Matt Howard’s table – they were selling some awesome buttons and prints. You can find their products on this website here:

Matt, Me and Natalie

Awesome buttons from Nat and Matt - check 'em out!

We browsed for a little while longer, and ended up at the Things From Another World booth – where they were selling a ton of Trade Paperbacks for 50% off. It was pure torture! Dan scored a BPRD paperback and I bought the Marvels paperback – each for about $10. You can’t got wrong, right?

Then it was time for the Teaching Comics panel. I’ve put together some video from the event.

The video is not comprehensive by any means – the panel itself was nearly two hours, and the real meat of it happened towards the end, but it might give you a better idea of what it was like to spend two hours witnessing the intriguing conversations brought up by these folks. It felt like the beginning of something wonderful. The initial moments of a movement to make comic books a more respected literary tradition. The professors were just as compelling as the industry folks – sometimes more so. Featured in the video – James Sturm (Center for Cartoon Studies), Diana Schutz (Portland Community College), Brian Michael Bendis (Portland State University), Benjamin Saunders (University of Oregon), Trevor Dodge (Clackamas Community College, Pacific Northwest College of Art), Katya Amato (Portland State University).

Another exciting factoid – Portland State University has the ENTIRE DARK HORSE COLLECTION available for viewing. No really, everything. How wonderful is that?

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Stumptown Comics Fest 2010: Kick-Off at Guapo Comics

Attended the Stumptown Comics Fest 2010 Kick-Off Party at Guapo Comics last night. There was free beer and food to munch on, and the registers were open until the party closed down. I picked up the second installment of N – the comic book based off of Stephen King’s short story featuring the art-work of Alex Maleev. Apparently it’s already a motion comic (no wonder thisĀ  Maleev cat is so tired of doing books right now!).

There was a comic book reading, and for anybody wondering how you possibly read comic books to a large audience – it involves a screen, projector and amusing narration. Some folks had come down from Seattle to pimp their material. I was well into my second beer and it was impossible to take names in the darkened room…but by and large their sketches were short and fairly amusing. Some of them drug on way too long. Also, as a Portland based event (Stumptown) I was kinda wondering why we were being treated to Seattle readers. Come on, where’s the local talent pimpage?

Following that, an award was handed out to Sarah Oleksyk for her work on a mini-comic. It wasn’t stated exactly what the mini-comic was – apparently they had a copy in the building and it would have been a good opportunity to advertise it. The chick does some pretty good art though, and I might be picking up some of her work or following it now that I’ve seen it. See – it helps to win awards! And I’m sure the $350 check she was presented with didn’t hurt either.

Here’s a few other pics from the event:

Dan and Hisham Enjoying Beers at Guapo

Me and Dan soaking up the atmosphere and the drinks.

More pics, videos and info to come – we’re heading out to the Fest right now!

Caprica: Season 1.5 Pulled from SyFy

Caprica. Round 2. Fight!

ACCORDING TO VARIOUS SOURCES ONLINE: Season 1.5 has been pulled from the airwaves after only airing three episodes Ā – to conclude the series in the final five episodes airing sometime in 2011, according to Boo. Another BSG spin-off – Blood and Chrome – will take it’s place.

This proves the theory that SyFy fans are not interested in religion, drama and ethical questions so much as space battles and war. Blood and Chrome promise both, so it’ll be back to business as usual. I’m heartily disappointed in the decision and after watching the somewhat train wreck of closing out the Dollhouse series in five episodes, I’m really hesitant about tuning in. Ugh. UGH!

Here’s another article about the end of Caprica which echoes some of my sentiments – but there are also elements I disagree with as well.

ACCORDING TO WHEDONAGE.COM: The second half of Caprica Season One will resume in September 2010. The Syfy website is reporting that five NEW episodes of Season One will air on October 5, 2010. That’s a looooong wait time. šŸ˜¦

There should be official word from the Caprica camp about Season 2 around August 15, 2010 according to this interview of Executive Producer, David Eick at the San Diego International Comic Con 2010.

Here’s a video interview of David Eick and what to expect of the second half of Caprica Season 1.

Fresh from watching episodes 5 and 6 of Caprica last night, I greet a gloomy Monday morning with news that Caprica will most likely receive a second season.

And according to the comments from the article, people are now willing to really give the show a shot because they know it will be sticking around for longer than 24 episodes.

Which says something about the state of television. TV studios have been yanking great shows off the air before a following can even start to coalesce, and now viewers are being much more selective about what shows they fall in love with. It’s interesting then that cable networks are the ones allowing audiences the breathing room, while major television networks snatch a show off the air after three or four episodes have run. As this kind of crap continues, I see more people fleeing to cable shows (even paid cable fare, like True Blood).

Actually, I’m hooked to the point where I would have finished watching Season One, even if I knew there was no hope for Season Two. Please do yourself a favor and watch episodes five and six. The creative team behind BSG and Caprica have a way of changing the pace of a show (decreasing or increasing plot tempo) from episode to episode. Speaking of which…


Episodes Four and Five

I really was hoping for a little more fall with the Graystones in public opinion during these episode – it was all building nicely. Besides the physical damage they’ve sustained, it was great to watch them squirm uncomfortably on the Caprica talk show, but I felt like they needed a bit more of a dramatic tumble. Their world is still a tad too safe for me, and I’m also not entirely convinced the Graystones should be redeemed without a bit more tumbling in the dirt. It’s tough not to love Paula Malcomson as Amanda Graystone – she is so damned captivating on screen.

Captivating enough that even if her character is irritating me, I’m still making excuses for her. Kinda sounds like an abusive relationship.

Take for example – the police searching her house. She’s understandably pissed, but it’s still quite irritating how haughty she is about the process. Woman – your daughter may have been responsible for blowing up a train-load of people. Who cares if the police are searching through her stuff? They should have been allowed access a long time ago, and Amanda should have been the one to let them in.

Of course the other plot elements which have been sitting on the back burner were pushed forward – specifically that of Tamara Adama (intentional rhyming?). She isĀ another sentient Avatar trapped in the V-World, and she almost immediately falls in with a rough crowd. The V-World is intriguing with it’s anything-goes-Matrix-style trappings, and it was quite fun to learn more aboutĀ Ā how it operates. Watching Tamara grow from a frightened and confused girl within the world, to a woman who understands her power was pretty extreme. Caprica, please do not blow your wad this season. Give these stories some time to breathe. There’s no imminent danger of cancellation now guys, so you can relax with the rapid fire switches. Maybe even let the characters crack a smile now and again.

There was also the question about whether or not Sam Adama would go through with murdering Amanda, as requested by Joseph. It was a pretty intense build-up, and so the conclusion of this two episode plot-line was kind of a letdown. The interaction between Amanda and Sam was engrossing, and worthy of watching. Perhaps that’s ghoulish, given the overtones of hisĀ potentially murderingĀ her – but there is a visible sizzle on the screen any time the Adamas and Graystones collide with one another.

Unfortunately, what was pushed forward a bit but fell completely under my radar due to lack of interest was the Soldiers of the One and their meanderings. The whole interaction between Lacy Rand and her STO boyfriend never captured my attention fully. The scenes with Polly Walker and her group lovers also blurred by. Probably will have to go back and rewatch those sections so I don’t completely lose that plot thread.

Battlestar worked because pretty much every episode it kept the multiple storylines churning forth. Where Caprica falters a bit (as is evident in these two episodes) is in it’s inability to keep all the storylines together at once. Lost also periodically suffers from this problem, and it’s more the result of managing multiple storylines and characters than anything else. The juggling of all these elements is not enough of a distraction yet to turn me off, but it’s certainly a sticking point.

What’s Next

The teaser for next week flashed by rather quickly, but did I spot Spike lurking somewhere in V-World? YES I surely did. James Marsters appears exceptionally bad-ass in hisĀ single clip, andĀ looksĀ moreĀ intimidatingĀ without the Billy Idol fashion stylings.

I love how my favorite shows swap these amazing actors back and forth. According to the article he is Barnabus Greely, a dangerous and engimatic leader. Which could mean he’s STO or some kind of ruler in V-World. While I would love to see him in the Matrix, I think he could really boost the STO plot-line.

Either way – it’s great to see him back on quality television programming.