How To Have Fun At Comic-Con

August 15, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

sexy-disney-girls-females-comic-con-2011

Disney Girls At Comic-Con

    There are people that wear costumes to Comic-Con because it is their job. They are paid to be there and their costumes are provided for them. I don’t count this as cosplay, but I do think it’s awesome that people are able to land paying gigs like this thanks to Comic-Con. As the Disney princesses above prepared for some photos, someone actually had to go ask the guy in the background to please move somewhere else. I’m sure it was a great view but, move along there, Chuck-O!

mortal-combat-comic-con-san-diego-2011

    Comic-Con is used by some women as a mid-summer’s night’s Halloween. For them it’s not about what the costume represents, it’s about dressing in a manner that is considered normal on some planet in some far flung science fiction galaxy. On this planet, tits on display get attention and at earthling Comic-Cons they are proudly displayed for photographers.

    The 2 people above came to Comic-Con together as a couple of warriors from “Mortal Combat.” When someone would ask for a photo they would strike a street fighter pose until a crowd formed and the impatient photographers began requesting shots of “just her.” I think the look on his face says it all. Above on the right Power Girl reminds the photographers where her eyes are. Someone in the crowd pointed at her chest and said, “That’s where my eyes are!”

warheads-at-san-diego-comic-con-2011

Vegeta Dragon Ball Z at Comic-con 2011

    The point of the game is to have fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re in costume or not, just have fun with it. It’s a given that Comic-Con is a place of imagination and play, so cut loose and explore the venue. The patio area outside the Sail Pavilion is a very popular place to rest, hang out and most importantly, to sit down. There is practically nowhere to sit in the exhibit hall; I would recommend heading upstairs for some fresh air and a view of San Diego Bay.

    In the end, Comic-Con is as big a deal as you allow it to be. All the things that can ruin your trip apply to everyone else and the same thing goes for the good stuff. Sore feet, missed panels, lines, oddly located hotels, and overpriced food aren’t the stuff of memories; they’re the stuff of blog posts explaining how to have a better time next year. At Comic-Con, you only make mistakes once and it brings an unbelievable amount of joy to offer guidance to a newbie that heads off a mistake you have personally made. Everyone there is trying to have a good time and everyone there wants you to have a good time so share what you know, tweet about what you see and when you get home, blog about your successes and failures.

sucker punch-comic-con-2011-san-diego

Sucker Punch At Comic-Con

    Look, we all know that in the future the lines of Hall H will be formed atop portable moving sidewalks, themselves covered in lush, green, peppermint scented turf, changes to panel locations, times and guest lists will be as live as a stock market ticker and there will be a new gold standard for what sexy cosplay is that is not Princess Leia in a gold slave girl bikini. One day SWAG will be distributed from booths in a line-free manner that my mind cannot even invent right now and there will probably be a shrine at future Comic-Con dedicated to the demise of Princess Leia in a gold slave girl bikini as the gold standard for what sexy female cosplay is. Until that time we are all in this together so spread to love, help some people out and take lots of pictures while you’re at Comic-Con. Cheers!

How To Photograph Celebrities At Comic-Con

August 14, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

fringe-cast--fox-booth-comic-con-2011

The Cast Of Fox TV’s “Fringe”

     You don’t have to stand in lines at San Diego Comic-Con to see celebrities and you don’t need to use a flash when you take their picture either. What you do need are comfortable shoes and patience. I very much prefer a spontaneous style of human photography over posed and static, smiling portraits. Leonardo Da Vinci did such a great job with the Mona Lisa that photographers have forced every woman in the world since then to stop what they are doing, look at the camera and smile in a way that says something without talking. I prefer the moments that happen before and after the party starts, like cast of the Fox TV show “Fringe working out seating assignments just before a signing.

adam-hughes-signing-fans-shirt-comic-con-2011

Adam Hughes

david-finch-comic-con-2011-san-diego

David Finch

     I don’t collect SWAG or autographs and I prefer to watch movies at home on DVD so movie screenings aren’t my thing either. I collect photographs at Comic-Con, mostly for use on my blog here. What that means is that I spend my time on the move, constantly. It’s exhausting, and on Saturday this year my body forced me to rest for about an hour, which was torture for my mind because it hates not to be in charge.

Emilia-Clarke comic-con signing

Emilia Clarke

dr-who-matt-smith at comic-con

Matt Smith - Dr. Who

     I don’t live under a rock but I don’t command a starship either so I really have to pay attention to the crowd and Twitter to find out where things are happening and who people are. Many of the photos I take, successfully or not, were taken not because I knew the subject but because of the stir around them grabbing my attention. Comic-Con is a crowded and noisy place so it’s not exactly easy to notice every single thing happening right in front of you, which is why the photo of Matt Smith of “Dr. Who” is mostly of the back of his head. I don’t watch Dr. Who so I didn’t know who he was. He had a clamor of people and a film crew following him around, but I lost a few precious seconds trying to figure out who he was or if he was famous, so I missed what would have been a great shot. Shoot first and ask questions later, especially at Comic-Con.

David-Benioff-and-rr-martin-game-of-thrones-comic-con-2011-san-diego

Kit Harington and R.R. Martin, Writer – “Game of Thrones”

     The celebs do have the ability to put themselves in a bubble, which is a big help for me. Take Kit Harington and R.R. Martin for example, pictured above during a signing for “Game Of Thrones.” There were hundreds of people clamoring in front of them but they managed to ignore all of them, and that’s when I took the shot.

danny-devito-signing-comic-con-2011

Danny Devito at San Diego Comic-Con

     I have some ideas that should bring a whole new level of excitement to my photos and posts during Comic-Con next year. Since I roam around the entire time, I think I’d like to be a roving line reporter, bringing updates for all the lines with video, photos and tweets. Since I never have an agenda during Comic-Con, I think it would be an amazing story to embed myself with people that live their lives by the panel and screening schedules. I think the world is finally ready to see the seedy underworld Comic-Con, don’t you? I think back door deals, black market SWAG vouchers and organized line cutters are just the tip of the iceberg, just wait and see. Cheers!

Children’s Hospital Cast At Comic-Con

July 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

lake-bell-and-ken-marino-signing-at-comic-con-2011

Ken Marino & Lake Bell At Comic-Con

Megan-Mullally-signing-at-comic-con-2011

Megan Mullally At Comic-Con

        The cast of Children’s Hospital was at Comic-Con for a signing at the WB booth, so I grabbed a few photos of them. Comic-Con is really growing and it seems like every year at Comic-Con there are more and more TV shows full of actors I’ve never heard of. I can’t help but wonder what it’s like to be an actor in Hollywood today, knowing that actors used to be iconic, world renown, royal demi-gods that have devolved into the performing millionaire monkeys of today. Do you know why there are so many channels on TV now, yet the golden age of TV had only three? They only needed three! What? Do you think all of a sudden the networks had too much talent to handle so they NEEDED 300 other channels? Of course not, that’s why now, 300 channels later, there’s nothing good on TV!

        Aside from their salaries, which are a slap in the face to middle class Americans, I would not want to be an actor, not in Hollywood anyway. I’d rather be an independent star, via photography on my website or videos I post on YouTube. All of the celebrities and stars doing signings at Comic-Con didn’t happen to be there all at the same time. They were there, performing and smiling for strangers, their kids and their kid’s cameras because their boss told them to do it. Sound familiar? It does to me! I’ve had to do TONS of stuff for jobs I didn’t want to do, but I did it anyway. The difference is the salary and the slap to the face.

        Why are people shown on TV paid so much money? Why do people have to pay so much money to watch other people on TV? I suppose my not understanding why our system allows us to value a day’s work based on the person doing the work, rather than the work being done has jaded my opinion but, come on! Flipping burgers for real pays $50 a day out here in California, but, flipping burgers in a MOVIE pays tens of thousands of dollars per day. Hmm, now that I think about it, that must be why I like cartoons so much, but then those voice actors are overpaid too. Bloody Hell! I guess I should just turn the TV off and get some fresh air, eh? Ok, I’ll do that but remember this: You are not any better than a celebrity, but any celebrity is better paid than you! Below are Rob Corddry and Erinn Hayes with some fans. I have many more photos and posts from this year’s Comic-Con as well as photos from Comic-Con 2010 that you may like to see, so be sure to check them out. Cheers!

rob-corddry-and-erinn-hayes-comic-con-2011

Rob Corddry And Erinn Hayes At San Diego Comic-Con

Kevin Smith At Comic-Con

July 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Kevin Smith At Comic-Con 2011

Kevin Smith At San Diego Comic-Con

        Comic-Con was a catalyst for me taking a trip down memory lane; all good memories and all good things. Besides being able to catch some candid photos of John Cusack, I was also able to see Kevin Smith, who pulled a J.D. Salinger on our asses by introducing himself to the world by writing, financing and directing the movie, “Clerks.” I was a 19 year sailor in the United States Navy the first I saw that movie and like most people I thought it was brilliantly executed and watching people my age languish in a job they hated while the world seemed to pass them by resonated with me as well.

        Back then (in 1993) I was stationed on the USS Fletcher DD-992, home ported in Pearl Harbor, HI which was a dream location and the setting of countless tales of reckless military youth that will never be told. The problem was that all those fun times, all those adventures that will one day be presented to the world as a movie took place amidst days of chipping & painting and nights of standing watch, and that was while we were in port. Out at sea I had to do those things AND do general quarters & firefighting drills at all hours. In the movie version, all those good times take place over two hours so it would seem like it was a nonstop, party time enlistment. Wrong! Those good times were spread out like a razor thin coating of jelly over a FOUR YEAR slice of toast; that’s not enough jelly for some people, like me.

        Kevin Smith, by writing “Clerks” and bringing it to the world when he did helped me see one more thing, and that was how humor can make a shitty job more fun. If you don’t work at a funny place then bring it to work with you, just like Dante & Randall did in the movie. “I’m not even supposed to be here today” can be the start of a terrible day or the beginning of a mantra where you make the best of being at work, despite the grumps all around you and your constant odor of shoe polish. Cheers!

Cosplay At Comic-Con

July 27, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

cosplay-comic-con-2011-san-diego

The Zen Of Homemade Costumes

        There is nothing that allows for a greater form expression of your own personal individuality than a homemade costume for Comic-Con. I really like to see what people can create from scratch and present to 130,000 people that all have cameras, blogs, TV shows and opinions. It takes a lot of sand to do that and in my opinion is infinitely superior to buying or renting costume in a store. The homemade costumes we all saw at Comic-Con started out long ago in a dream or from the love of a fan for a character or a creator. These cosplayers are among the elite inventors of the world that actually get to see their inventions conceived, planned & executed to realization. They get to see their creations loved, viewed and used by the public before their very eyes. It is so ridiculously fantastic to support the creative community in that way that I think Comic-Con should be awarded some sort of Nobel Prize for being such a catalyst for pulling in support of the arts. If you haven’t seen my photos and posts from Comic-Con last year, take a look at them and you’ll see that year after year the cosplayers bring just as much to the table as the movie studios.

boba-phat-at-comic-con-2011-san-diego

Boba Phat At Comic-Con

        Of course, extra credit is always given for Star Wars or any type of hot girl themed costume and you would think that would tip the scales unfairly in their favor but extra credit is also given for originality and attention to detail. Between those four things you will discover that Comic-Con is a location for some of the most advanced cosplay in the world. Cosplay is short for “costume play” and it’s nothing like what you do on Halloween or at a football game. Boba Phat handed me his business card which turned me onto his website, which will direct you to his Facebook profile: BobaPhat.com. I would suggest sending him a friend request because Boba Phat is not a person to trifle with. Besides, if people know Boba Phat is your friend, I’m sure that comes with perks.

steampunk-predator-comic-con-2011-san-diego

Steampunk Explorer Captures Predator

        A Steampunk explorer with a captured predator was a great idea as were a trio of medieval men that cosplayed as the coconut clacking crusaders from Monty Python & the Holy Grail. Tiny details in the costumes are what make them stand out. The instantly recognizable sound of the coconuts could be heard from 50 feet away, so people were actually being drawn to them. I can’t believe that in all this time I have never “heard” a costume at Comic-Con before. It was a brilliant idea and the highlight of the con for me.

monty-python-holy-grail-comic-con-2011

Monty Python Cosplayers at Comic-Con

        A Steampunk explorer with a captured predator was a great idea as were a trio of medieval men that cosplayed as the coconut clacking crusaders from Monty Python & the Holy Grail. Tiny details in the costumes are what make them stand out. The instantly recognizable sound of the coconuts could be heard from 50 feet away, so people were actually being drawn to them. I can’t believe that in all this time I have never “heard” a costume at Comic-Con before. It was a brilliant idea and the highlight of the con for me. Comic-Con is one of those events that you can’t see everything at. There are so many things going on at the same time that no matter how you plan it, things will have to be sacrificed and missed. It’s tough to deal with at first but you find out really quick that there’s plenty to go around for everyone (unless you want to get into Hall H) and the forced moderation will prevent your brain from exploding. Just take a look at my photos from last year’s Comic-Con and then look through my photos of Comic-Con this year and you’ll see there’s no repetition because the event is just that grand. What a great problem to have, eh? Cheers!

John Cusack and Alice Eve At Comic-Con

July 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

John Cusack-and-Alice-Eve-comic-con-2011

John Cusack and Alice Eve at Comic Con

Alice Eve At Comic-Con 2011

Alice Eve At Comic-Con 2011

John Cusack at Comic-Con 2011

John Cusack at Comic-Con 2011

        John Cusack and Alice Eve were at Comic-Con this year, in support of their new movie, The Raven, in which Cusack plays the brooding poet, Edgar Allen Poe. It was during the ‘80s that I entered manhood, high school and took my first photography class so the early movies of John Cusack were around during my own youthful adventures. Back then when I left the theater, I couldn’t wait to have my own crazy summer, in the spirit of those awesome flicks.

        Edgar Allen Poe was introduced to me during this period as well, thanks to high school teacher. As a person that became a teenager during the twilight of the Reagan “Just Say No” era, it was amazing and outright fucking radical to me that a man became famous, revered and wrote and accomplished amazing things while being an alcoholic that was also addicted to hard drugs. I was being shown movies in gym during first period (yes, I had first period gym) with all the president’s men telling me my brain would fry like an egg and why I’d end up in jail for doing terrible things if I was on drugs. After lunch, during language arts, we were learning the opposite. We were learning that you could pen, create and craft wonderful, poetic works of literary art with the words formed inside a brain that was train wrecked by drugs. I’m pretty sure that’s when the word “irony” really hit home with me. I was watching John Cusack in those adventurous, coming of age movies at the same time as all this so it was ironically weird to see him in person and to learn that he’s portraying a man whose drug influenced work influenced me over 20 years ago. Cusack was there with his lovely co-star Alice Eve.

Roaming Around San Diego Comic-Con

July 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

zombie-in-san-diego-gaslamp comic-con-2011

San Diego’s Gaslamp District During Comic-Con

        This Comic-Con I was a roamer, always on the move between the streets of Downtown San Diego and the convention center. I walked so much over the 5 day span that my feet, on this day rest are straight up sore. For the second year in a row I didn’t wait in any lines because I didn’t go to any panels, movie premiers or after-hours parties. I much prefer the crowded confines of the Gaslamp District streets and the mass of humanity that flows like a clogged artery on the exhibit hall floor. I have sadly accepted that you just can’t see everything at Comic-Con but I really do feel that you see more if you roam instead of wait in lines for panels and premiers. I you haven’t seen them, check out my posts and photos from last year’s Comic-Con.

power-rangers-at-san-diego-comic-con-2011

Power Rangers & Fans

        Of course, I’m not knocking panel and premier goers at all, not one bit. In fact, it’s an amazingly awesome experience to walk amongst people that are gods among fans. The people in those lines arrive in San Diego from farther away and sacrifice more to get to Comic-Con than anyone else so they can sit in the same room with people they admire, love and adore. Since I’m not the star struck type I think the best things I can do for everyone at Comic-Con are not take up precious seats and instead take their picture at what might be their only time in San Diego or at Comic-Con.

monty-python-holy-grail-comic-con-2011

Monty Python Cosplayers at Comic-Con

        I did have a favorite moment during Comic-Con and that was when I came across three dudes with a dead-on balls accurate cosplay of King Arthur and his coconut clacking men from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I followed them around the convention floor for a few minutes, which is harder than it sounds because it’s always so crowded. These guys were able to navigate well, drawing attention long before they were seen thanks to the banging together of two empty halves of coconut. Something I will say about my own preference of what makes for good cosplay is that the costume be homemade. These guys made their duds from scratch and won my vote for best in show! I’ll have many more post and photos in the coming days. This year, I decided not to do daily posts and instead do posts that are a little more off the cuff and spontaneous. That way I can spread the photos and posts over a greater period of time, prolonging the afterglow from that magnificent event that was San Diego Comic-Con 2011. So, what would you like to see next? Celebrities, more costumes, the crazy streets of San Diego during Comic-Con? Let me know in the comments. Cheers!

Comic-Con 2011 Preview Night

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

san-diego-convention-center-from-pedestrian-bridge

San Diego Convention Center During Comic-Con 2011

        Here we go again! Comic-Con 2011 has officially rolled into San Diego and I was there with my press pass in hand, to bring you all the photos and insight from preview night you could possibly desire. The view you see above was taken from the new pedestrian bridge that spans over Harbor Drive. This new bridge offers people a second option across Harbor Drive besides the Gaslamp Trolley station to get to the Convention Center. The white tents you see (on the left) provide shade for the people in line for Hall H screenings. Yes, people had already been camping under them for over a day!

comic-con-2011-crowded-exhibit-hall-entrance

The Crowds Gather

        They started handing out badges at 3 p.m. but the doors didn’t open until 6 p.m. which meant every security person in the building had the job of keeping 100,000 people out of the exhibit hall… For the next 3 hours! Here’s the thing about Comic-Con, it creates a mob mentality at every turn. Look at the scene above. If the people in front can’t talk their way in, do you think the people in the back will be able to? Of course not, yet the mob has now formed. Meanwhile, about 100 feet away…

san-diego-comic-con-2011-exhibit-hall-entrance

A Better Way To Enter The Exhibit Hall

        I joked with these two security guards about how people were already acting crazy. They agreed and then let me into the exhibit hall. The lesson here is that you will be able to see and do more things at Comic-Con if you DON’T do what everyone else is doing. If there’s a crowd, there will be a line and that means you have now been demoted to “sheep.” Wander around and look for doors that are guarded but don’t have a crowd, like the one above. I did so I got to roam around Comic-Con, practically all alone for about 30 minutes. Until the crowds finally came crashing in.

sail-pavilion-comic-con-2011-preview-night

Sail Pavilion At San Diego Convention Center

        The Sail Pavilion is the main area where autograph signings take place. I would imagine this area has more celebrities per square foot that any other part of Comic-Con. There can be upwards of 20 signings going on at a time, and they go on all day for four days! This is really the place for great, candid shots of your favorite Hollywood stars. Of course, you won’t be alone when you attempt to do this. The chaotic scene above is what the Sail Pavilion looked like last night, and the celebs were not even in the building yet!

winner-twins-comic-con-2011 blog

andrew-wk-san-diego-comic-con-2011

        Comic-Con is not just for fans, it’s for the celebrities and those who will become celebrities as well. The Winner Twins (above) are sisters that have, at the age of 16, become award winning novelists and created the Strand Series of books. They have a youthful enthusiasm about their lives and their work that is very inspiring. Most people are still trying to bang out their first novel when they’re old & grey, so I can only imagine what these two will have done by the time they reach their golden years. Andrew WK (above right) was in The Cartoon Network booth doing TV promos and generally just being cool!

slave-leias-san-diego-comic-con-2011

slave-leias-san-diego-comic-con-2011

        Slave Leias are an overplayed, overused and very welcome part of Comic-Con. I’m serious; keep ‘em comin’ ladies and encourage your friends to cosplay as slave Leia too because it’s hot and you just can’t get too much of sci-fi’s greatest fantasy. The dude in the photo above was trying to record an intro bit where the slave Leia seductively slides her chain over to him while he’s talking. I think it was the highlight of his night! Spiderman, in many different shapes, styles and sizes can always be seen hanging around Comic-Con. It was Spiderman that introduced me to comics back in 1990.

back-to-the-future-iii-delorean-car

Actual Car From The Movie “Back To The Future III”

        That wraps it up for preview night. There are two Back To The Future cars on display. The car in the photo above is the actual car used in the third film. At that booth they have a lot of other props too like Bif’s cane, Mr. Fusion and the hoverboards. Elsewhere in the exhibit hall is a replica of the car from the first movie. I hope this post gets you excited for Comic-Con because this was just the preview night… We still have four days to go! Be sure to look at my posts and photos from Comic-Con 2010 for pics of celbs and costumes. Cheers!