I woke up around 6:50 this morning, but was having none of that, so I dozed off again until about 9:15. I roused the Spawn around ten, and we walked to the IHOP next door. Alas, the guy at the table behind us threw a tantrum of biblical proportions for the waitress and the manager. The profanities and obscenities (including everyone’s favorite 12-letter special) came at a rate that even I found impressive. While he was making an ass of himself, I texted the Spawn, who was across the table from me: “Stay classy, bro.”
She replied, “In front of his little girl, too. Nice.” Once he departed, however, we had a nice, solid breakfast.
Traffic seemed kind of light today compared to past years.
JL8 author Yale Stewart (who recognized us! I guess we’re regulars now.) also noted the smaller crowd. I’m not sure, but I wonder if the recent flap over the North Carolina “bathroom bill” may have been a factor. I do know the con’s program specifically declared the legislature’s action lamentable, and they were selling T-shirts saying that their NC stood for “Non-Compliant.” Likewise, the Convention Center’s signage sported the slogan “Open for All.”
Even with the lighter traffic, however, there were plenty of cosplayers. I was delighted by one of the first ones I noticed — Irving Forbush, Marvel’s 1960s answer to Alfred E. Neuman. Of course, this called for a picture.
The Spawn also encountered a favorite:
Jason is a big dude, probably about 6’6″. The Spawn was duly impressed. Speaking of folks who are taller than I am…
The Spawn informed me that quite a few of the cosplayers were doing characters from Gravity Falls, and a few others from Steven Universe. She ID’d those folks for me, but hey! I knew who Irving Forbush was, thank you!
On a more human scale, I was delighted to meet Ren & Stimpy writer and artist Bob Camp. I picked up a Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen trading card, which Mr. Camp was gracious enough to sign. He also came around the table for a picture.
Mr. Camp told me that he knew that the Spumco crew were on to something big when they screened the “Stimpy’s Invention” episode for “a bunch of Hollywood types” who laughed so hard that they were gasping for breath — the only time, he says, that he has ever seen that happen. He was very gracious, as was his lovely wife.
Later in the day, the Spawn was wandering around the exhibit hall when she was approached by a woman she didn’t know. The woman had noticed that the Spawn was wearing her sorority letters (decorated with dancing Calvins for the occasion). It turns out that the lady was an alumna from a different college, but was delighted to meet a fellow Tri-Sigma, despite the differences in age and location. They even showed a bit of sorority pride:
Later, the lady brought her 7-year-old daughter to meet us — “She’ll be a member one day,” she said. Afterward, the Spawn and I talked about how these connections work, with the Spawn adding that she thought scenes like that only occurred in the movies. Guess not!
I did yield to temptation and bought a hardback copy of an Astro City collection — it’s just my favorite comic these days. The Spawn, meanwhile, picked up a Steven Universe T-shirt, which I’m sure she’ll sport around campus this fall. We picked up a few other small items as well.
After that, we walked a few blocks to one of those movie theater/restaurant combos, where we ate popcorn and watched X-Men: Apocalypse. It’s a very good time, but the violence is both more intense and more graphic in this one than in the previous installments. However, several of the characters displayed more personality than we’ve seen in prior installments of the franchise, and again, there’s a set piece with Quicksilver that is a delight. The film is set somewhere around my freshman year of college, and the Spawn was thrilled with the costuming throughout — while I found the idea of Nightcrawler in Michael Jackson Thriller jacket pretty hilarious, I have to admit I liked Quicksilver’s Rush T-shirt. A good time was had by us both (in fact, we had more fun than we have had with the Avengers flicks), and yeah, we’ll go see the next one as well.
After that, we walked back to the car. The Spawn had consumed the lion’s share of the popcorn, and so wasn’t interested in dinner. So I grabbed a burger and fries and we made our way back to the hotel — only to spend 15 minutes trying to fins a place to park. I don’t know if there’s a wedding, class reunion, or whatever going on, but there were cars parked in every legal space, and several illegal ones as well. Finally I found a spot in a part of the lot that I hadn’t even known existed, and we made it back to our room and called Mrs. M before I began this post. It’s been a very good day.
Since this is a potpourri post, I’ll do my usual music link to finish up. Quite a few people know that Blue Oyster Cult (a favorite band of mine) went through several names before arriving at the name they had when they made it big. Apparently they would use a name until they couldn’t get gigs anymore, change their handle, and make the circuit again. Some of the names the guys went under included the Soft White Underbelly, Oaxaca, and today’s alias, The Stalk-Forrest Group, which they were using in 1970. Here’s a promo track they cut, and because we’re at Heroes Con, here’s “Arthur Comics.”
See you soon!