[Starting the long walk with some Japanese artwork! Check out his manga!]
Well, another year has gone by. I’m back at Stately Beat Manor on the Hudson, watching the news feed, feeding the capuchin monkeys [ancestors of New York’s organ grinders], cleaning out the freezer, and holding fort until the Beatrix returns from her sojourn out west.
My primary job is to scan the Google News feed, searching for tidbits our intrepid crew might have overlooked while trying to innoculate themselves from the pedesis which runs rampant at Comic-Con.
Now, a word of warning… I’m on Eastern Time. San Diego is three hours behind. That means Preview Night doesn’t erupt until 9 PM my time, so there won’t be a flood of celebrity photos, announcements, or emergencies.
Think of today as a day to relax… ease into the data stream… calmly sip your Lipton green tea…
(Oh, and I’ll try to organize the feed, but a lot of it will have no rhyme or reason. Free verse blogging!)
The rules underscore the tension between authenticity and safety, which became a serious issue following the May arrest of a man who gained access to Phoenix Comicon armed with loaded handguns, a shotgun, knife, pepper spray and throwing stars. For the rest of the convention, organizers banned all weapon props, including those made from foam and cardboard. The man, who was wearing body armor, said he wanted to kill “bad police” at the event.
A spokesman for San Diego Comic-Con International said it’s the event’s policy not to discuss security specifics. As of now, it appears the country’s largest convention will kick off Wednesday with its usual costume props guidelines in place: Projectile costume props and weapons must be rendered inoperable. Functional (real) arrows must have their tips removed and be bundled and zip-tied to a quiver. And costume swords must be tied to costumes in such a way that they can’t be drawn.
A balanced article, interviewing numerous cosplayers, representing all sides of weapons and costuming.
Geek Power List
Workplace discrimination has met its match in June Rivas. She recently launched a bold legal battle against her boss, who had referred to Rivas’ head scarf and ponytail as “unprofessional,” despite an explicitly stated lack of a dress code in their employment contract. When Rivas filed a complaint for harassment, her boss issued a memo to create a new set of rules governing employee appearance, forbidding “cultural head wraps” as well as visible straps, sandals, hats, lace, and more. Rivas is complying with the regulations—but not in the way her manager had likely expected.
Championing her prerogative to express herself as she sees fit, Rivas now turns up at work everyday in impressive cosplay. Each outfit is technically allowed—after all, the guidelines say nothing about wigs, capes, or colored contacts. In the meantime, she’s waiting for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate the situation.
“I have about 50 [characters] that I’ve already developed that I haven’t shown to anybody,” he said. “And someday I will. But, there’s no need for me, really, to do anymore now.” Making one more confession, he said, “One of them [the characters] has a superpower that you’ve never seen before. They all have new superpowers, but I can’t tell you. I’m sorry!”
He then hosted his 95th birthday party that night!
At that meeting, Kirby agreed to attend their first convention, and also gave the group a crucial piece of advice. They’d been debating whether to limit the convention to comic books or to take a more expansive view to fandom. Kirby told them that they should include everything that fans like, and that “it would be a lot more fun and a richer experience if we included these other things, like film and science fiction and whatnot,” remembers Towry. This advice is one of the unique factors that has kept Comic-Con flexible and diverse over the years: instead of being focused on one thing, it’s focus is really on the idea of fandom itself.
If you’re heading out to Comic-Con tomorrow, you can stop by the BAIT booth (#5146) to check out the Hello Kitty ♥ Pac-Man merchandise that’s have on display. The items up for grabs will include t-shirts, hats, pins, tote bags, and socks. The main attraction, however, will probably be the figure set that “blends the classic arcade pixelated Pac-Man look with the supercute iconography of Hello Kitty.”
BAIT will also be on hand at New York City Comic-Con in October with largely the same line up of merchandise. It’s there that it will debut new designs in the Hello Kitty ♥ Pac-Man figure set, though at this point, neither Bandai Namco nor Hello Kitty owner Sanrio have shared any images of these figure sets.
In any case, for the rest of us, there’s also a Hello Kitty ♥ Pac-Man crossover game going live on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store today. This new title pulls Hello Kitty into the world of Pac-Man, with a number of Hello Kitty-inspired levels and power ups. You can have a look at the game in action with the trailer below.
And to take us out… Whitney Avalon stars in “Comic Con: The Musical”!
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!