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Oscar

Oscar

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About C2E2

A little while ago I wrote about why the small cons have an advantage over the gigantic San Diego Comic Con. So it was in this spirit that went down to Chicago, IL for C2E2. The trip simply confirmed everything I said before.

The show floor itself is divided into three sections. The autograph area, where for a small fee you can get an autograph and a picture from one of your favorite supporting cast members.

The main floor, where you can buy just about anything comic book or fantasy related. Unlike the big cons there’s nothing new here, none of the big companies whose name you’d recognize have a booth. Even the independent publishers are rare and difficult to find. It’s literally a giant swap meet of nerdiness. With alcohol. Revolution Brewing, a local brewery, provided the event with a nice selection of beers on tap.

┬áThen we have artists’ alley, where you can buy art prints or commission an original piece from the artists themselves. ┬áThe advantage of not having so many giant flashy promotional booths on the show floor is that it frees up more space for the artists with bigger names like Neal Adams, Peter Tomasi, and Dan Jurgens. But get there early because there will be a line and they can only take a limited number of commissions. Plus they tend to get a little testy when they realize they’re going to have to draw Superman over and over again all day for three days (don’t ever meet your heroes).

The other half of the con is the panels. Nothing really new here. But there aren’t any mega stars promoting the next summer blockbuster or upcoming show. The panels are where you can listen to discussions about what’s going on in the industry or even provide feedback to writers and artists about where the future of the major titles should go.

As you walk around the convention floor you’ll notice that this is where the fans go. You see it in the diversity of characters being cosplayed. While you’ll still see a variety of Deadpools, the Harley Quinns are at a minimum, and none of those women trying to sell you a picture or get you to subscribe to their Patreon.

C2E2 is a con for the true fans, I hope to see more of you out there next year. Tune in to the April 26 episode Fantastic Forum to hear more about my C2E2 adventures.

People Should Go To Wonder-Con

More people should be going to any and all of the little “baby-cons” across the country. I’ve made this statement to as many people as would listen. Partially in the hope of reducing the giant crowds at the real Comic-Con in San Diego, but also because these little cons are what SDCC used to be.

Each year I make the trip down to San Diego I see more and more of the comics being swallowed up by whatever the latest upcoming blockbuster needs to advertise that year. It’s gotten to that point that more and more people are referring to it as “Pop-Con”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I completely understand the need for the big spectacle. Something to shine a spotlight onto oncoming awesomeness to as many people as possible and keep up the quality of the products we enjoy. But there comes a point where it becomes way too big to truly be enjoyed. Are you really getting the Con experience waiting in a line for a day and a half to get into a 20 minute panel?

This is where an event like Wonder-Con becomes a necessity. A throwback to the early days where you stop to take a picture of a cosplayer without worrying about the thousand people traffic jam behind you. Just being able to walk from booth to booth without people bumping into you, or worse, nearly crushing you as a mass of bodies rushes to where the Game of Thrones guy was just spotted. Even the prices on comics are better (if you’re into that sort of thing). The panels are smaller but you can show up within 10 minutes and still get in. There are far less exclusive items at these smaller cons but a lot of the cool show exclusive everyone is going crazy for during SDCC end up on Ebay the next day anyway.

Every year a billion people descend into SDCC looking for the Comic-Con experience. I say that experience has moved on to Wonder-Con, Kamikaze, C2E2, etc. Go there while you still can.

Ironfist: A Review Within A Review

There has been a lot of discussion about the latest Marvel/Netflix collaboration “Iron Fist”. I was very worried when every review I read about the show said almost the exact same horrible things. While I normally prefer to read a review of the entire series, I also believe that 6 episodes (almost half the series) is more than enough time to establish your characters and hook in the viewer. When time finally arrived for me to watch it for myself, I cracked open a bottle of whiskey to help me get through the difficult chore ahead of me. Five episodes in, I was still sober.

To be clear, this is not an award winning masterpiece of a show, but I wouldn’t call it the worst of the Marvel Netflix-a-verse. It follows the now familiar formula of the others. The hero fights the big bad alongside someone with similar talents in the first half, gets hurt by another bigger-bad, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) patches them up, then a final battle where the hero pushes his abilities farther than ever before. If this was among the complaints of other review sites I might have taken their articles more seriously.

The common thread among other reviews is a lack of action. The show does spend a lot more time in the drama aspect of the show but it by no means ignore the action. The earlier fights do suffer from what seems to be a lack of stunt work experience from the actors. The moves are slow and it’s difficult to believe there was any real power in some of the hits. But this doesn’t last long as other, better trained, actors take over the action. This show has what I consider to be one of the best fight sequences among all the Marvel shows (Describing it would be a spoiler). I truly believe that all those reviewers expected a stereotypical Kung-Fu action grindhouse movie every episode. My biggest dilemma now is, do I classify them as clickbait or fake news?

For a full rundown of the show from a group of real experts check out the March 22 episode of Fantastic Forum “The One About Ironfist”.

Warning: spoilers

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