This past weekend was Wizard World Columbus. It is, I think, the biggest convention in Ohio. Wizard might some other shows around the state, but let’s not get weighed down with specifics. I’ve been going to this comic con since I was 16 or 17, I think, back when it was still just Mid Ohio Comic Con, before Wizard hosted it. So, this year was no different, I had to go. Except, instead of dressing up, as I usually do, I just went as normal old me. BUT since I wore my Hot Cakes shirt, I set out to see who all was there as my own brand of comics. I didn’t really meet very many people, but I did get some cool pictures. So, I’ll take you on a guided tour.
Let me get this one out of the way right now. I’m a huge wrestling nerd. And that guy beside me is AJ Styles, one of, if not THE, best wrestler today. So when I found out he’d be coming to Columbus, I knew I had to get the photo op. Though this is not comic related, I’m a little bit (lot a bit) too excited not to share this. If you’re a wrestling fan, you’ll get it. If not, just look at his hair. I didn’t touch it, but I bet it’s really soft. Photo ops aren’t a long meet and greet, but still, here I am with a legend!
So, there I am, minding my own business when guess who I see? Donatello! As you can tell, that’s a pretty legit suit. The mouth even moved. I have always been a fan of the Ninja Turtles, and when this guy popped out, I basically turned into a kid again. The 90s movie style suit amplified the effect. What followed next was pretty bizarre. Leonardo, and a guy dressed as the Hulk, joined Donnie, and they began to dance the Cupid Shuffle. I have video of this, but it didn’t turn out too well. Plus, you really had to see it in person.
Like any proper nerd, I love Back to the Future. Here we have the DeLorean, because if you’re going to time travel, you might as well do it in style. Now, this is not the first time that I have seen a DeLorean in person. In fact, a few years ago, I sat in one at this very comic con. Of course, I can’t find that picture. It’s lost somewhere to the ethos. And I didn’t feel like paying $20 to do it again, because, well, that above photo op was a good chunk of my spending money. But nevertheless, I saw this beauty again.
This year there were a lot of surprises for me. Once again, I find myself walking, minding my own business and then BAM! Jeff Smith is on stage. Jeff Smith is the creator of Bone, which, for my money, is one of the greatest comics ever made. Now, I shouldn’t be too surprised by this, Jeff Smith does live in Ohio. But I hadn’t really looked at the guest list this year. Plus, when you make comics and you see Jeff Smith, I think you’re always destined to freak out a little. I’m not sure what he was talking about. I was star struck, and only able to get this picture. But I mean, look how close I was to Jeff Smith!
I didn’t take many pictures of costumes this year. But I couldn’t pass this one up. A Jurassic Park cosplay. Are you kidding me?! I saw them walking around and chickened out on asking them for a picture. When I saw them again, I knew it was fate, as life finds a way. I’m a big fan of Jurassic Park, and the best costumes are the ones that people will maybe not everyone gets, but when some does, they get PUMPED. As you can see I was clenching my fists. This was a genuine reaction, because I was way, way excited for this. I didn’t even know til later that the dinosaur had got into the picture. Nice touch, Dr. Grant.
Here’s another guy I had no idea was at the convention. You might not know Tom Cook by name (I didn’t before a friend of mine told me about his meeting him). He’s in the animation industry. I had known him, through my friend, for his work on He-Man. I had to take a couple separate looks at his booth to see how much stuff he had worked on. And then, when I finally got up the nerve to really talk to this guy, I noticed that he worked on King of the Hill. Now, like most nerds, I have an appreciation for He-Man. But I will tell you honestly that King of the Hill had a huge impact on me. So it was really cool to meet someone who worked on the show.
I decided to buy one of Tom Cook’s prints. I’m a believer in signs, fate, and what else have you. His print book was opened to this particular drawing. The night before I was reading about Jack Cole (the creator of Plastic Man). Plus, this was THE last one. So all of those things added up to me having to buy this piece. Tom was nice enough to personalize this for me. I never watched the Plastic Man cartoon (that I can remember) but Plas is a highly underrated character. And if you disagree, you’re also going against people like Grant Morrison. I wouldn’t do that.
This last image was really cool for me. Just as I was about to leave the convention, I noticed that Darryl Banks was there. Darryl Banks is (like Jeff Bone) a comic creator from Ohio. So I shouldn’t be too surprised to see him, really. And, honestly, I had met him years ago as an awkward teenager. But now I also made comics, and I had an appreciation for the history of comics I didn’t have years ago. Darryl Banks worked for DC, and created the Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. He had these prints for sale and to me, this cover is iconic in the world of the Lantern, so I had to buy it. He signed it for me too, which was nice. It was a very cool moment for me to be face to face with someone who worked for DC, and who’s character is still around.
Comic Cons are always a good time. You don’t know exactly what you’ll see there. And, this one has really got me ready for my next convention. Which is actually MY convention. I’ll be throwing my second comic con this weekend, so I’ll be putting up a special blog with pictures. See you then.