Friday, July 21, 2017

How I DID go to ComicCon Stuttgart 2017

Well, as promised this is the second part of my travelogue from the ComicCon Stuttgart 2017 which I already started in my last post .

Initially I thought I could put it all in one post but it very quickly became apparent that if I did that it would be a very long post. That coupled with the fact that my posting rate has now come down to two posts a month ( of which the second one isn´t even finished ) prompted me to split it into two post and finish part one so I can put it on the blog. In part one I talked about my preparations for the con - which maybe was a bit too longwinded - and how I ended up not going to the con of the first day.

As I already said, one of my main reasons to go to the ComicCon Stuttgart 2017 was so I could finally see Yaya Han in person and from that point of view it probably would have been better if I had gone there on the first day - if I had to pick just one day to visit the con. Because while I don´t think it would have been as gratifying to see her host the cosplay contest than to experience her Q & A panel she did wear the Mulan costume on that day which I hadn´t seen before. And I like it better than the Medusa costume she wore on the second day. Not that there´s something wrong with it, as all of Yaya Han´s costumes are flawlessly executed and from a designer´s point of view I can see why she felt the need to redesign it ( since the original version is just a lot of spandex which is not challenging to her ) but my personal preference goes more to the Mulan costume.

So for all who couldn´t make it to the ComicCon Stuttgart or - like me - at least not on the first day here is a little video ( via imgrum ) of Yaya Han wearing the Mulan costume at the breathtaking lake Leman in Geneva.

The downside was that I missed out on everything that happened on the first day of the con ( so if you were expecting any saucy stories from that day I have to disappoint you ) but the upside was that I did get enough sleep to be relatively fit for Sunday. With almost everything I would need at the con packed ( I added a bottle of water and two packs of potato chips as emergency provisions and a clean FLASH t - shirt to change if I really got the chance to meet Yaya Han in person ) I was really stocked and I even had enough time to take a long shower before I left the house. At this point I thought I had figured out the time it takes to get to the convention center pretty exact but as it turned out I arrived at least half an hour later than anticipated. Which in hindsight validated my decision from the day before not to go to the con. I would have arrived so late.

Since it had been a year that I went to the last ComicCon Stuttgart I was not exactly sure at which station I had to get off but at a certain point I just followed the mass of people in costumes. Now I know that a lot of my comments about cosplayers might come across as sexist especially where female cosplayers are involved ( with apologies to Yaya Han and Jessica Nigri, I know I´m just an old pervert ) but let me tell you that I´m thankful for every person - man or woman but especially all of the women because they often have to face body shaming which sadly still is a thing despite the social justice warriors - that dresses up as a comic character for a con.

Or just for the fun of it. The kids of Today who grew up with cosplay as a way of comic fans or pop culture fans to express themselves that gets a lot of attention from social and other media can´t really appreciate how much more colorful life is for comic book afficionados with those people out there. So let me tell you that for people of my generation it was a big deal to have even one person dress up as Spider - Man or Catwoman at a booth in Erlangen or the Salon del Comic Barcelona ( with some costumes that were not nearly as good as what today´s cosplayers produce on a daily basis ) and I have the picture of my overweight self in a FLASH t - shirt next to an obviously very disillusioned Wonder Woman to prove it.

Which is why I say to everyone out there who considers himself to be a comic book fan and complains about too many cosplayers at conventions because they are not real comic fans to shut up. First off, they have no idea how dull conventions are without them and everybody who uses the phrase keeping it real needs to be hosed down. Second they may not be a comic fan but they are a fan of the character they dress up and while the comic books are the original source material they have to be aware that these characters are out there in other forms of multi media. And I don´t want to say these versions are more valid but more people know the Teen Titans or the various members of the Justice League from the cartoons - as horrible as some of them may be - than from the comics. I mean, how many people got into reading comics from the famous Power Records or watching the Super Friends ? You can´t tell me that´s not a legitimate gateway for new readers. And lastly how many people do you know who have actually read a James Bond novel by Bond creator Ian Fleming ?

Okay, back to ComicCon Stuttgart 2017, the way from the subway station was not as long as I remembered but that was probably because the last time I was barely able to crawl at a snail´s speed. I´m getting ahead of myself but when I was at Geier´s table he told me that he didn´t think I would make it out of the con alive last year because I looked like death warmed over. You and me both. But that´s what you do to get to a con.

The temperature outside the convention center was a bit cold but not unpleasant, especially since the last days it had been too hot and it was hotter at the con anyway. Now some people complained last year that all the comic book stuff was just in one hall but I was glad that I didn´t have to walk more. Not that it was small, you could fit a few football fields into this hall, but to have it all in one place is not a bad thing. Last year it was even worse since there were almost no places where you could sit down and take a break which cut off my stay prematurely. This year there were much more possibilities for sitting but there´s still room for improvement.

And speaking of improvement, this year all the panels were free which was one less hurdle for me since I planned to go to Yaya´s Q & A panel.

And the panels should be free if you have an entry fee of 25 Euros per day.

Which some people have also complained about. They say that the con is too expensive and that there are no a - list celebrities. Okay, first off the ticket price of 25 Euros is the organiser´s way to make sure the people who attend are really into comics or science fiction stuff or pop culture related things. Because if you make the tickets too cheap there will be lots of people who are not really into this stuff and only come to make fun of the so - called geeks. We all know this from the movies where now everybody and their dog go to comic book movies and you can´t watch the movie and enjoy it because of the constant talking and cell phoning and texting of these teenagers who apparently either didn´t have to pay for the movie ticket or have too much spending money to begin with.

I´m not sure if I would go as far as Millus and proclaim that the ComicCon Stuttgart is the best of all conventions - since I haven´t been to any in America - but I think it´s a good show to find out if you are ready to go to one of the big cons abroad. Because let´s face it, if you think 25 Euros for a day ticket is too much and you are not willing to pay between 15 and 60 Euros to have your picture taken with a celebrity you should probably not even think about the big ones because there the prices are much higher.

And for those who said that there were no a - list celebrities at the con I have to ask whom they would consider as such. I mean, okay, some of the cast from Marvel´s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did cancel but they refunded if people had payed for a photo op in advance and there were still a lot of well known actors there. I mean my top celebrity was Yaya Han but aside from that there was Kevin Sorbo who starred in Hercules : The Legendary Journeys, Andromeda and the movie adaption of Kull, the Conqueror even if that was not a good film. I guess a lot of people were not aware that he also played Mon - El´s father King Lar Gand of Daxam on Supergirl because german tv hadn´t caught up to that point at that moment. They are probably wishing right now they had payed more attention to him.

Also apparently no a - list celebrities were Herbert Jefferson Junior and Dirk Benedict. I mean Herbert just played Lieutenant Boomer on the original Battlestar Galactica series, one of the best known sci fi tv shows on the planet and Dirk Benedict is only the original non - female Starbuck from the series as well as Face on A - Team, one of the most famous tv shows of the 80s that has been on the little screen around the entire world and is constantly on reruns everywhere. So clearly no a - list actors.

But let´s talk about the least known visitor in the whole bunch. That´s right, I´m talking about that almost unknown actor John Barrowman. I mean who has ever heard of such tv shows like Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash or Arrow where he played Malcolm Merlyn ? And it´s not like anybody has seen Torchwood or heard of his character Captain Jack Harkness which first appeared in what must be the most obscure british television show ever called Doctor Who. I doubt that more than a handful of people on the planet know the series. So obviously none of the big stars were present.  

In all seriousness, there were plenty of actors everybody knows from current shows like American Gods at the con and you could just go to their panels because like I said, they were free and easily accessible. But I know what you are thinking and the celebrities were not the only reason to go to the con. As I also said there were tons of cosplayers and even if you didn´t want to get your picture taken with them it was exciting just to watch all the different costumes. There also was other stuff to see like giant Lego displays of the pod race from Star Wars, the Tower of Sauron from Lord of the Rings, one of the castles from Game of Thrones, there were people from the official Ghostbusters fanclub Germany dressed up as characters from the movies, there were a lot of original movie props on display like in hall 3 where there were life - sized Star Wars decors for those who always wanted to get their picture taken with Jabba the Hut.

And getting some additional storm troopers, rebels or Jedis was no problem because there were plenty around who were always good sports.

I´m not going to go into detail about everything that was there because it would take too long - and I will have to do a third part to talk about the comics I bought at the con as it is - but everything you could think of as a comic book or fantasy or movie or pop culture fan was there. Whatever you wanted to buy - from merchandise to clothing to cosplay materials to art supplies to mask to action figures etc. - you could find it at the con.

But what about comic books ? you might ask. There were all kind of comic books for all kind of prices. There were of course current german comic books that you can easily buy at shops and those that you can only get at conventions like Geier´s Doctor Wer. There were also plenty of american comics representing the whole price range and you could find from comics you could buy for a buck to a lot of comics from floppies to trades and hardcovers at bargain prices to comics you were still missing from your collection ( I finally managed to find issue 70 of the second volume of FLASH ) to expensive hardcovers that go for the overinflated prices they charge at amazon to back issues from the silver and bronze age of comics.

If you wanted to buy a stack of Star Wars comics for a buck each you could find it there. If you wanted to buy one of those Marvel Masterworks or omnibus hardcovers that are almost impossible to find or some Bronze Age issues of the Legion of Super - Heroes or Challengers of the Unknown you could. So anybody who tells you there was not enough comics is full of BS.

Were there stands upon stands with american comics from all companies that ever existed ? No. Was there every american comic book that was ever printed ? No. But if there was any american comic you were looking for they probably had it and even if the one you were looking for was not there there were more than enough other comics you could spend your money on. There was something for every taste and every budget and if you wanted to spend all your money just on comic books alone you could.

If you ask me, the ComicCon Stuttgart it totally worth visiting no matter if you want to meet a famous person like Yaya Han ( or just see her doing a Q & A panel like in my case ), get your picture taken with a celebrity, see a lot of guys and gals in awesome costumes, see some of the exhibitions, buy some comics, merchandise or art supplies or just meet a plethora of like minded crazy fans. There is some stuff you will find that you did not expect, there will be some panels that will be surprisingly entertaining and afterwards you will be glad you went. Plus you will be totally stocked to come back next year. So for me it´s one of the best shows in Germany and I didn´t even get to try any of the food now available at the convention.

Here is where I have to end this part of my travelogue to the ComicCon Stuttgart 2017 as I have already done three new posts after this one. But I wanted to finish at least my general impressions of the con. In part three we will come to the comics I bought and anything else I forgot in this part.

Since the links for the ComicCon Stuttgart will be in the next part we start the birthday rundown with the ones I missed but covered in previous years like always. We start with one of my favorite inkers, Tom Palmer who also got a Thorsday post , Jenny Poussin got a re - post last year of her casting for the Justice League of America movie and I didn´t make one especially for Richard Pini but I covered Elfquest on his wife´s birthday .

Continuing with Todays celebrity birthdays we first have hot filipina slash chinese sexbomb Francine Dee who turns 39 and who is a 38 as well, a 38H that is ! According to her current listing but it is difficult to get Francine´s exact breastsize since she had it augmented six times before reducing it again. Francine is most famous for her appearance in import auto tuner magazines, car shows and paraphernalia videos like Hip Hop Honeys.

Speaking about hip hop honeys, I went back and re - watched 50 Cent´s P. I. M. P, video and Francine Dee really is in it. So it´s understandable that when you ask about the hasian in the video with the big milkshakes most people will tell you that´s Francine. But I know who she is. The woman I want to know more about is the one below and she is in the uncensored version of the video. So far all I know is that her name is most likely Angel Maya and she may be a model. Can anybody deny or confirm that info ?

Apropos uncredited sexbombs with giant melons, I have looked on every internet resource there is but can anyone out there tell me the name of the incredibly stacked body double for Anna Faris in Scary Movie 3 ? She is not mentioned anywhere and I think she really deserves more credit !

And giving credit where credit is due I clearly didn´t give Anna Farris enough because I never even considered checking out The House Bunny but from what I have seen in Observe & Report she won´t be needing any body doubles in the future as she has matters and boobs well in hand.

I have to say the movie surprised me because I thought it would be a cheap knock off or at least a bad sequel to Mall Cop with Kevin James.

Which is probably why Observe & Report is not better known. Somebody online said that it is Mall Cop done right and I couldn´t agree more since I enjoyed it much more than Mall Cop. Which not only has the usual sugar coating and avoids any risky topics but in the end the main character does not even has his one big moment of glory so that at the end of the movie you ask yourself why you wasted one hour and a half with this dreck. If you watch a movie about a loser who doesn´t even get one good moment what´s the point ? Observe & Report not only does give its protagonist a few successful moments it also is much more realistic and frightening and not afraid of showing how crazy people you meet in everyday life can be.

I freely admit that Anna Farris´ cleavage was the main reason I watched the movie because I saw the ad on tv and thought that even if the movie was bad there was at least something worthwhile in it. And sometimes that´s better than the alternative because they show so much crap. We have Anna to thank for the best scenes of the movie : she decided that her character should always show a lot of cleavage since she feels that wardrobe is very important. " When I´d wander around the set with my cleavage popping out as Brandi, people treated me differently than when I would wander around in my pajamas or my baseball cap or whatever. "

And for all those who say that she got a boob job I hate to disappoint you but as you can read in this interview she was wearing a push - up bra that is just enormous. Anna has a big positive impact on the movie and she is totally fearless in portraying her character as shallow and vain. Which makes it even weirder that she had to fight for the role as she freely admits. One of the reasons why she was so willing to do a lot of nudity was she often had to shoot sex scenes which didn´t end up in the films.

She thought the same would happen with the date - rape scene and the sex scene with Ray Liotta in the backseat of a car ( which is the reason why he accepted his role ) but to her surprise it ended up in the movie.

Speaking about the date - rape scene ( I´m not going to tell you much about it because I don´t want to spoil the movie for those who have not seen it but if you are not afraid of spoilers you can read more about it here ) I had to go to the internet to watch it because It was cut on german tv. And I only knew about the scene because it was in the US trailer. Sometimes when I´m not sure if watching a movie is worth it I look for the trailer and even if most of the time trailers are not very indicative if a movie is good or bad but it can help giving you a general idea about it.

So I kept waiting for the scene ( which is in no way gratuitous and part of the story ) to find out what it was all about and how it had come to this ( in the movie Seth Rogen is kind of a loser who pines after Anna Farris who doesn´t give him the time of day ) but then they cut to the next day and I had to go to the internet to watch it. Man, they used to put it in the tv guide if a movie was censored or not but I guess that so many of them are cut in the german version that they just don´t bother anymore.

I thought about buying the movie but now that I know that this scene was cut on tv I am undecided because it might also be cut on the DVD. Not that I think movies should have more rape scenes ( and you know that you can´t get off on this scene if you have seen the movie ) but knowing that they cut this scene you have to wonder what else they cut. This movie has a really dark and edgy kind of humor turning sometimes all to real so that the laughter gets stuck in your throat and removing some of the more crucial scenes could change the whole tone of the movie. So that´s another film where I have to get the uncensored movie in Spain.

Apropos uncensored movies, adult film icon Racquel Darrian celebrates her 48th birthday. She was one of the biggest star during the1990s ( she was active from 1989 to 1999 ) first doing exclusively girl on girl scenes and later working mostly with Derrick Lane whom she married in 1994. Raquel always had the cheerleader look and the most beautiful woman who ever worked in porn has done pictures for PLAYBOY, Penthouse, Hustler and Velvet to name just a few. You can also find a longer biography at imdb .  

Jon Lovitz turns 60 and from all his movies my favorite is High School High which might have something to do with the female lead Tia Carrere.

Apropos, Tia Carrere was also the female lead in Relic Hunter, a show that flopped despite it´s brilliant pitch : do an Indiana Jones tv series but instead of Harrison Ford make the archeologist a hot exotic sexbomb. I never understood why the series was not more successful since Tia wore sexy outfits, took off her clothes a few times and showed lots of skin.

But I guess it was because the scripts were not that good. Well, that and her assistant / girlie man Nigel, the americans always have an inferiority complex when it comes to people from Britain and the writers are no exception. So they didn´t have the cojones to make an english man cool ( one of the reasons why Mike Meyers did the Austin Powers movies ).

One final comic related birthday as Romeo Tanghal celebrates his 74th birthday who has worked on many titles for Marvel and DC but who is best known for inking The New Teen Titans where he had a big influence on the look as he gradually went to doing finishes on George Perez´ layouts.

The sad thing is that most people out there think they know Teen Titans when all they know is the cartoon version and they have no idea on what they all are missing out even with something as good as Young Justice.

Thankfully it seems like DC is finally continuing to re - print the entire run of the series - not just the George Perez issues ( although they are the best ) and they are going to release a new printing of the first omnibus hardcover. I thought about buying it when it was first available but then I read in some reviews that the binding was not very good so I didn´t buy it. I got the other two volumes and while the binding on the third one is pretty good I am afraid to read the second one. I have already written about the contents of those collections so I won´t go into more detail.

Coming back to the re - print of the first omnibus hardcover I probably won´t buy it because I managed to get volumes 1, 3 and 4 of the archive edition ( for at least half price ) so that it´s probably cheaper to buy volume 2 even if I have to pay the full price. In any case, no matter for which edition you want to go - omnibus, archive edition, trades, cheap back issues - make sure to check out The New Teen Titans because it´s one of the best series ever done by three masters of their craft. Especially before you buy any of the crap out there they are selling you as diversity. 

This section always has its bad parts and its good parts. So on one side it reminds me of the passing of Robin Williams, on the other side I finally get to post another episode of Faerie Tale Theater. It´s the first episode in which he plays the role of the frog / slash prince alongside Teri Garr as the spoiled princess and Rene Auberjonois ( whom many may know as security chief Odo on Star Trek Deep Space 9 or the villain of Police Academy 5 : Assingment Miami Beach with cult sirens Leslie Easterbrook and Janet Jones Gretzky ) as King Ulbrich. As longtime readers know Robin Williams not only played the lead role in the first episode of Faerie Tale Theater, he also initially advised Shelley Winters to go along with this endeavour. 

Now usually I only post videos from YouTube but because I mention Yaya Han and cosplaying so much in this post I wanted to add a longer video about the subject. Cosplay ! Crafting A Secret Identity is a documentary I have heard a lot about since it was announced but as you can see I had to get the video from another website. As usual I´ve not had time to see it.

We continue with another Kids React video although it is College Kids React as you can see with Kennedy who has grown up in all the right places. Daimn, if she´s in college I bet all the horny boys try to convince her to come to their frat party for some blacksploitation penetration.

Man, she´s really starting to give Brooklin some competition and I really would like to see them in a wet t - shirt competition against Sidney and Becca who really has started to get some huge sweater puppies lately.

Anyway, Kennedy has some serious bouncing action going on here and she is almost putting her boobs on the table. And that knowing smile - it´s like she is saying : It´s true, Subzero, once you had black you can´t go back.

We also have an asian girl in the video with Jeannie but I guess it will take some time until she reaches the level of sexiness as Emily. Emily, you can come over any time you want to engage in some oral asian lubrication.

Speaking of superior oral skills, I very seldom get to post something about Rihanna because I never have the time to do a proper cult siren entry for her or stay up to date with all the pictures or music videos. Which makes the fact that I am even aware of DJ Khaled´s video Wild Thoughts a small miracle. For which I am grateful because sex freak Rihanna really let´s it all hang loose and she even has some airwolf bouncing action in the video.

Anyway, I don´t watch a lot of music television lately but I swear every time I DID switch to some music channel this video was on very quickly. Not that I can blame them for wanting to play the video as often as they can but you really don´t have to hit me over the head, I can take a hint. By the way, that really is the guitar from Santana´s song Maria, Maria.

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Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Read EVERY Bond book including Colonel Sun which was by master spy author John Gardner. That was in the late 1970s.

SUBZERO said...

I didn´t even know that other authors wrote James Bond books. But now that I have such an expert here, is there any book you would recommend to start reading ? And are there any James Bond comics worth reading ? The only one I know is Mike Grell´s PERMISSION TO DIE which is of course flawless.

By the way, sorry that it took me that long to answer your comment but I wanted to finish the post first.