Monday, May 30, 2016

Deadpool's World-Ending Review Of X-Men: Apocalypse!!! (2016) (Spoiler Free!!! Yay!!!)

We've been doing this a long time, you and I. I'm amazed you keep coming back. Honestly, who'd have thought? I mean, here I am, just sitting here on my computer, typing whatever the hell I want to type about these ridiculous super hero movies that the big companies continue to churn out. And you read it. You actually freaking read it!!! You are the best kind of lemmings this merc could have ever asked for. I'd cry if I were capable of any human emotion behind a keyboard. Or am I? I mean, I guess I could say I'm crying right now. Would that work? Because yeah, I'm TOTALLY doing that right now... Yeah. >_>

So Apocalypse is really here. Of all the big bad X-Men villains we've seen, we finally get one of the actual biggest and baddest EVAR. The Age of Apocalypse comic event was one of Marvel's biggest. By biggest I don't mean in sales, but in sheer size! Seriously, you try being a young pre-teen, and grasping the idea that part 2 of a story is in a completely different X-Men book than the last! "To read part 1, get X-Men: Alpha #1, for part 2, read Age of Apocalypse: The Chosen, and for part 3, read X-Men Super Power Omega Ramalamadingdong, etc." You people are all lucky you have graphic novels and the internet to make heads or tails of that one!

So I'll get the obvious glaring issue out of the way first, before we get into the details of the movie itself. I know you all saw the same pictures I did, and began judging and casting those first stones. The Apocalypse in this movie obviously doesn't look much like the Apocalypse of the comics. In fact, it looks downright bad! It's like Ivan Ooze had sex with the alien from Prometheus or something! (What? If people can talk about how ugly I looked in MY movie, then I can do the same for this Papa Smurf reject!) Seriously, when freaking cosplayers can get the look down better, you might be doing something wrong. But that's exactly what I find so odd. Just about everything else was done SO RIGHT! Psylocke looks like Psylocke! Storm looks like Storm! The snozberries taste like snozberries!!! Everything looked dead on except for him, and it's troublesome...

WITH that glaring flaw out of the way, let's go into the actual movie. There is a lot going on here. Like, so much so, that I can honestly say there is no filler to be found. There wouldn't have been any time for it, there was THAT much really happening. Apocalypse as a character, dates back to before 3600 BC, going back to a time of pyramids and really awkward loincloth-wearing. Even more frustrating is the fact that he is knocked out and goes to sleep for thousands of years, preventing me from asking him if any of the things that frizzy-haired guy in Ancient Aliens said were true (I mean, it's not like I REALLY think anything he said is accurate, but.. I'd just... like... to know, you know!?...). So lucky us, he awakens, in 1983, just in time to set the premise of this new movie, featuring all of the younger actors we've seen these past few films. I think it's safe to say at this point, that the movies have basically undergone a reboot, featuring all of the newer actors, save for one special cameo, near and dear to my cruel and irredeemable heart.

We get to see the origins of other popular mutants, like Jean Grey, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Jubilee, and many many others. I think one of the main reasons it was so hard to breathe with the pacing of this film, was that there were simply SO many characters to cover, you could fill and entire clown car and beyond with them! This was already on top of the established characters from the previous movies (Mystique, Professor Xavier, Beast, and others). This movie is the anti-Dragon Ball Z. It wasted absolutely no time in getting us going. Stick that up your pipe and smoke it, Vegeta! (Please don't hurt me, I'm allergic to attacks with the name "Big Bang" in them...)

Despite all of these great new origins, and a really excellent cast, we don't get a lot of time to see them develop because of it. Now, this is fine for all of the established characters we already know and love, but for the newcomers, it's a bit more difficult. That's not to say they didn't have ANY development at all (with Scott and Jean being the main exceptions); just that they all had a lot to compete with for screen time. I'm just saying, not having many X-Men in my first movie is turning into a blessing the more I continue to watch this.

The movie has structure, don't get me wrong. In fact, the plot was very detailed and layered, hence having to move at suck a brisk pace. It almost felt like some moments lost their meaning due to quickness. It's like "This happens. Then this happens. And then we move on to the section where this happens!" You'd think Quicksilver wrote this movie, it went along so fast! Isaac Asimov kind of wrote that way too, and it seemed to work for the Foundation books, but you don't even know what that is, so why I am I bothering... So anyway, the movie felt like every scene had to rush in order to meet some super duper quota! But I don't want to make this all sound like a bad thing. I still came out pretty satisfied in the end. Why? Proceed to next paragraph.

Thank you for proceeding to the next paragraph. But seriously, proceed to the NEXT paragraph for an actual answer to the question.

Trust me when I say that this movie had multiple shining moments. There are two really obvious ones that come to mind: Quicksilver (who pretty much steals the movie AGAIN, whether you like it or not!), and that super awesomazing cameo that I'm supposed to keep a secret (even though I'm pretty sure most of you already know who it is... TEE HEE!). If these two moments alone don't make you feel like this was worth seeing, then I don't even know why you come to these movies in the first place! I feel we need to create a new Oscar for "Best use of slo-mo in a musical montage," just so we can give it to Evan Peters and call it a day. All of his major scenes, both from the last film and this one, have had the audience absolutely howling with laughter, and that's no small feat, as there were no wolves present in the audience (that I'm aware of). I also got a chuckle out of the movie's use of Metallica's "The Four Horseman" track here. When you pay attention to the plot of the movie, you'll know why that song's inclusion is actually funny as hell.

Apocalypse is supposed to be a big deal in the X-Men universe, and thankfully, the movie does him justice in that regard, Ivan Ooze similarities be damned! He is completely menacing, and has shown that he is easily one of the most powerful mutants in existence. Once again, I am glad he is not in my movie! The final fight scene at the end really brought things to a peak. You were left almost speechless by the time the dust settled, and I mean that in a great way.

So despite all of my issues with the pacing of the movie, I still ended up enjoying myself a hell of a lot, as did most of my other peeps who were already fans of this series to begin with. Some may criticize Bryan Singer's direction with these movies, but he's A-OKAY in my book! This may not grip you the same way that First Class or Days of Future Passed did, but the fact that a third entry by the same director can still turn out this well is quite surprising in itself. And rest assured, these X-Men movies by Fox are far from over... TL;DR - Stop looking for things to hate on and just enjoy them for what they are!!!... Unless they're sexist, racist, bigoted, or homophobic. F@#K that s@#t.

7.5 Dangling Plot Threads Out Of 10

Hey Fox, now that you're going to make a hell of a lot of money off of an X-Men movie once again, how about putting a little more money back into the Deadpool sequel's direction? I've proven I can make you more money than you give me to work with, so what's the problem!? Look, if this is about that time I accidentally started that fire after purposely killing that guy, I can explain!!!...

Friday, May 20, 2016

My Top 10 Picks For Free Comic Book Day 2016!

Better late than never, right!? Thanks to the help of others, I was able to obtain and read a majority of the comics that were released for FCBD 2016, and have finally been able to compile a list of my top picks, along with descriptions under each entry. Enjoy!

10. 2000 AD Special FCBD 2016 Edition

One of the best things about reading 2000 AD comics each year for FCBD, is that you get a host of great short stories from all kinds of writers, and this year's edition is no different. If you can't decide what you want to go for this Free Comic Book Day, this could actually be a great place to start, due to the sheer variety of sci-fi and dystopian stories you get.

9. The Phantom: 80th Anniversary Special FCBD Edition

For those who may not already know, The Phantom was one of comic book's first superheroes, and the first ever to wear a skintight costume (which you all know became a staple of superheroes going forward!). Original Phantom comics and graphic novels are not so easy to collect, especially if you're not made of money. For that purpose alone, I welcome this release, as well as the others we've seen over the years. The stories in this issue are taken from "The Charlton Years" of the comic's run. Well worth the time. It even includes some insider information, perfect for those wanting to learn more about this classic hero.

8. Lady Mechanika #0 FCBD Edition

I make it no secret that I have become a big fan of Joe Benitez's Lady Mechanika series. Although this is a reprint of the original issue #0, I still consider this a great read. If you enjoy steampunk, with a well-thought out action plot, then look no further.

7. Dark Horse: Serenity/Hellboy/Aliens FCBD 2016 Edition

While it is of course true that you would have to be a fan of these three properties in order to properly appreciate the stories within, I do believe the interior stories are quite well done. Of particular note is the Firefly/Serenity story, which recaps the series in more of a child-friendly way. It's a charming perspective for what's now become such an iconic sci-fi series. The Hellboy story is extremely short, but Mike Mignola still continues to impress, even now. While I don't know if I'll be coming back for more comics involving Aliens, this story shows me that I'd likely be missing some interesting material in the process.

6. Mooncop: A Tom Gauld Sampler FCBD 2016 Edition

Drawn & Quarterly has put out many wonderful family-friendly books over the years, and the work of Tom Gauld is clearly no exception. It includes a simple, yet intriguing story about (you guessed it) a cop on the moon, before we get some wonderful short stips, full of satire and humor up the wazoo. This has something that just about everyone can appreciate.

5. Captain America #1 FCBD 2016 Edition

We all knew it was only a matter of time, but Steve Rogers is returning to take his place as Captain America in Marvel's latest entry. The story in this is more of an introduction piece (or another issue #0, if you will), but provides a pretty good set of material to catch you up on the basics of what's been going on while Steve was away. Also included is a teaser for another big event from Marvel, Dead No More. Saying anything more would be a spoiler (including the writing team!), but know that this is looking to be something quite huge, based on the reveal within the last few pages. Between this and Marvel's Civil War II prologue, I consider this to be the better of the two releases.

4. March Trilogy Sampler FCBD 2016 Edition

Following the events of civil rights leader John Lewis himself, this comic compiles bits of all three graphic novels in the March Trilogy. I would have never imagined the comic medium bringing a story like John Lewis's to life, and yet here we are. This is one of those cases where I found myself quite pleasantly surprised. A little history among the sci-fi and fantasy never hurt anyone.

3. Rom #0 FCBD 2016 Edition

While no longer under Marvel, it is quite refreshing to see Rom getting a reboot after all this time. This preview issue from IDW pulls all the stops, with plenty of action, and surprisingly good humor throughout. Even if you've never heard of Rom before now, and never read a Rom comic in your life, I would still recommend this title. If anything, it serves as a way of learning about all the fun you've been missing out on.

2. Archie #1 FCBD 2016 Edition

For those who haven't already heard about the Archie reboot, you may be happy to know this is not your grandparent's Archie! Mark Waid and Fiona Staples hit gold with their wonderful art and storytelling here. The sheer realism and tone of this comic make it a gem worth reading if you haven't picked it up previously. It would have been a shoo in for number one, if not for...

1. Love and Rockets Sampler FCBD 2016 Edition

Fantagraphics has put out many wonderful comics over the years, but Love and Rockets is the cream of the crop. As a celebration for the upcoming reboot in July, this comic includes short stories representing some of the series' best material. With the ability to simply take you out of your own life, and stick you into the perspective of others, it's hard to argue about the top choice. This is just the dose of realism you need to keep the medium alive, and show that comics can be about so much more than you once realized. This will never not be number one.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Deadpool's Extraordinary Spoiler-Free Review Of Captain America: Civil War (2016)

HEY! YOU! GUUUUUUUUUUUYS!!! It's here! It's really finally actually here!!! A deep Captain America film? A film with the new Spider-Man's first appearance? A film with the first Black Panther appearance? And on the same weekend as Free Comic Book Day!!??? I can't breathe. It's too. Freaking. Awesome. O_O

*wheeze* I'm okay... Just... need more... Cheetos...

Yes, my fine folks. You can stop pinching yourselves now, as this dream is in fact a reality (no seriously, stop doing that, it's freaking weird and it hurts!). The film is so jam-packed with content, you could basically call it Avengers III and no one would even bat an eye. But you know what? After the slight disappointment we all felt after Age of Ultron, that's OKAY!!! This is the REAL Avengers movie we all crave, and I'm so giddy, I keep dancing in my wheely office chair as I type this. What, doesn't everybody have one of those? You should... Wheeeeeely...

So what IS the plot of this alleged epic tome of a movie, you ask? Well, without going into the spoiler-iffic details, I will say this: Cap and the gang accidently cause a great level of destruction while trying to stop some criminals. This causes the governments of multiple countries to create a proposed deal to put the heroes in check, and try to call the shots, instead of letting the heroes do whatever the hell they want. Hey, I get it. You want to protect people, but you want to do it "right," so you go along with authoritative methods. But then again, as an established anti-hero mercenary, I never really cared much for the law. FIGHT THE MACHINE!!! Oh wait, they did that in the last Avengers movie, right? Right... Ah, anyway... So Cap is all "Hell to the no! This isn't the way we do things." and Tony just be sittin' like "BRUUUUUH, this is the way it HAS to be, due to all the guilt I feel from the last three movies!" Cue the disagreements, character buildup, and "WTF, that's not even possible!" fight scenes, and we've got ourselves another Marvel movie!!! I kid, but then again, I don't.

So what makes this stand out from any of the previous movies; particularly the previous Cap and Avengers movies? Surprisingly quite a bit. The Avengers films have always tried to give a proper balance of fun/ny and serious, while the Cap movies would tend to stay on the darker side of things. While this still technically does the latter, you could really feel more of the light-hearted nature sprinkled throughout Civil War, and that's owed in part to all of the Amazing (pun 100000% intended) cameos. Again, without giving away too many details... Spider-Man is wonderful in this. Like, OH MY GOD! He actually behaves like a REAL LIFE HIGH SCHOOL KID. LIKE THE REAL PETER PAKER FROM THE COMICS DID! AND HE LOOKS LIKE HE DID IN THE 60'S COMICS!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! I can't wait to do a spinoff/crossover movie with him in a few years (oh what, that wasn't revealed to the public yet? Uh... nothing to see here folks! Move along, move along... >_>). Tom Holland is the most accurate portrayal of the character yet, and I don't even feel nervous saying that like I thought I would. His story is only just beginning and I can't wait to see more of him and his unusually attractive aunt. Kudos on the NOT showing his Uncle Ben dying again. I swear he and Bruce Wayne's parents are in cahoots with all of these parent death origin stories coming back.

And we can't leave out the Black Panther in all of this. Holy CRAP, was he good! His costume and personality are the very definition of bad-ass... Well, second definition. Mine's the first one in the dictionary. You know how dictionaries list words and they sometimes have more than one mean-never mind. Chadwick Boseman did a very convincing job being king of a place in Africa that doesn't actually exist in the real world. That's pretty damn awesome right there! He's also honorable, which I am not, so kudos for that, since I'm basically admitting he's a better person than me... I don't have to impress you, I have a movie!!!

All of the other people we love and hate are back as well. Tony, Rhodey, Bucky, Sam, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Tom, Dick, and Harry... Okay, those last three are fake, but I'm getting lazy, and you get the idea. I have to say that for a movie with ALL of these characters, it's a miracle they were able to fit ANY story into this at all! Though two-and-a-half hours isn't exactly something to scoff at. Hell, it's usually not even something to stay AWAKE at, but this one ended up being an exception. This movie was paced so well, you actually knew when it was okay to breathe and take a minute to laugh at someone else's expense, before returning to grip-the-side-of-your-movie-seat battle stance once again. (Don't play around, you KNOW the stance I'm talking about!)

Now is the part where I speak to the "hard-cores" of the group. You know, the comic book readers that are apparently here for no other reason than to nitpick things and complain if anything happens differently than it did in the comic. If this is your thought process, you may as well just stay the hell away from this movie, as it is almost completely different in both plot and execution. It's also going to make more money than you ever will in your lifetime, which is something to consider when you're angrily staring at your computer and wondering why you're still not famous after sitting there all day. (I'm talking to YOU millenials... Yes, even the guy writing this blog. In fact, especially the guy writing this blog! My entire existence in this blog is your fault! Why do you continue to let me do this!? Do you hate yourself? See me after the blog, young man!)

This movie is gripping from beginning to end, and it all but finally removed the sour taste that Batman Vs. Superman left in my mouth. Am I judging the people who liked that movie? Nah, I don't care enough about people in general to do something like that, but I will say that if you didn't really enjoy that dark and broody romp-around, then you will very likely come out of this with extreme levels of ultra-giddy like I did, and that's at least twelve levels above mega-giddy. Every major character made some type of progress, and will also never be the same after this. I didn't feel like anyone did a bad job with their character performances either. Everyone was completely believable, even if the fight scenes were not. When a certain character activated a certain special ability during a certain airport fight, I pretty much lost my mind and began to flail. It was THAT exciting! Cap-focused movies have been major standouts ever since Winter Soldier, and this one is no exception to that unwritten rule. Please give us more, Marvel. I need my fix...

9 Brooklyn/Queens Jokes Out Of 10

Honestly, if this is the direction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I may have to start secretly hoping that Fox sells my film rights over to them in the most whore-ish way possible. They've got a good thing going, and it doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon. I mean, who could have imagined a world where I actually star in a movie? No, I'm still not over that. YOU get over yourself! I'm out to go read all of the Free Comic Book Day comics. I heard that Justin used his family to help get most of them. What a loser! Later, peoples!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Thoughts On The Great Philadelphia Comic Con (2016)

Another week, another convention, it would seem! Yes, following right off the heels of East Coast Comic Con, I headed over to Oaks PA, for The Great Philadelphia Comic Con 2016! Readers will remember that I attended this convention last year, and enjoyed it quite a bit. One major difference between this year and last year for me, is that this is the first time I've ever attended a convention on my own. I've always gone with at least one person in the past, so I admit it was a little strange for me at first. I remembered someone once saying to me that you should go see a movie by yourself at one point in your life, and I almost feel like I can compare the statement to this particular moment as well. But enough about my stories of loser-status; let's talk about COMIC CON!

One awesome thing about attending a convention by yourself, is that you never really have to make plans with anyone. You can wander around and do whatever you want, and that's kind of neat. The first thing I did when entering the convention (besides using the restroom after that iced coffee I got from Dunkin!), was see D. Silverman from the Sci-Fi Photo Guys group. It is quite funny seeing the same people you met at a convention the previous week like that. I wanted to see if he'd recognize me, and of course he did. We both laughed and said "Whoa, a whole week!? Buddy, it's been so long!"

I immediately noticed walking in, that there were a great deal more people attending the convention this time around, despite the floor size being the same. I'm not sure if it was due to them getting better exposure, or the awesome guests this year (or even some fusion of the two), but it's safe to say this con is only going to get bigger as time goes on, and I'm a-okay with that! At first, I was a little nervous about doing everything on my own, but I quickly remembered something that my family, friends, and girlfriend all said to me at different points in time: I make friends with almost everyone I meet! Remembering this helped me a lot and made the day go by a lot smoother inside my head.

I thought if I could get over to meeting with some of the guests I wanted to see right away, that would save me some time later, when I'd prefer to just relax and look around. The first person I went up to see was none other than Johnny Yong Bosch, former black/green ranger from Power Rangers, and voice actor to many characters in Japanese anime (including Ichigo from Bleach, Vash The Stampede from Trigun, and Lelouche from Code Geass). We had a brief conversation before I got him to sign a funny print for me, and we took a great picture together too. Class act!

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Speaking of class acts, the next person I met was even more classy if that's possible. Julian Glover has starred as villain characters in just about every geeky movie series you've ever loved. Indiana Jones? Star Wars? Harry Potter? Game of Thrones? Yup, he's been in all of those. Really sweet man. I felt like I could have listened to him tell random stories for hours and not gotten bored. I got a kick out of the fact that all of his Indiana Jones prints were selling out faster than even the Empire Strikes Back ones.

I knew there wasn't too much time before my first photo op of the day, so I checked out some dealer booths around the area, picked up "Marvel Masterworks: The Sub-Mariner Volume 1," and headed into line to wait. Since this line was for Amy Jo Johnson, also known of course as the pink Power Ranger (on top of her other various roles in shows like Felicity and Flashpoint), I knew it was going to be long and hectic, and hopped in as early as I was allowed to. I was absolutely right too, as the line soon stretched across the entire hallway, likely the longest of any line in the entire convention! I got along very well with all the people around me in line, and we helped each other pass the time by talking about various geeky topics. Once it was finally time, I was relieved to see that I finally met a celebrity who wasn't 3 feet taller than me! She was very polite, and our picture came out great, minus the fact that I look like my eyes were about to close.

Without much time to even think, it was already time to line up for the second photo op I had planned, Erin Cahill and Jason Faunt, the former pink and red rangers from Power Rangers: Time Force (my personal favorite PR series, outside of the original Japanese shows). The line setup for this one was incredibly confusing, because all of the group photo ops seemed to be scheduled within five minutes of each other, and no one really seemed to know what they were doing. That was okay though, since I was able to stay near the front and get it all figured out. Before I knew it, I was already up at the front for the next picture. I have to say, meeting these two was absolutely shocking (and I'm not just talking about me getting starstruck). To explain, the photo op process is usually pretty simple: You walk up, shake hands and say "hi" for maybe a second or two, snap the picture, and you walk out as fast as you came in. This couldn't have been more different! The two of them greeted me like I was the famous person, and they were the fans coming to see me. They asked me my name as they introduced themselves, and even asked what kind of picture I would like to take, serious or goofy, etc. I opted for something funny, and we all agreed on this memorable shot.

For those who don't know, the red and pink ranger in Time Force are love interests, so I thought that was a pretty hilarious idea. Even the guy printing out the photo couldn't stop laughing about it. After we took the picture, both of them kept saying "PLEASE come by our booth later and show us how that came out!" Honestly, just amazing at the enthusiasm. I am officially spoiled when it comes to photo ops forever, thanks to them. I also have to add this to my collection of "I am extremely lucky my girlfriend is not leaving me over this" photos. Between Natalie Dormer and this new shot, I am very lucky to be with someone who understands this was all just innocent fun and that I would never even consider being unfaithful to her. Once again, I consider myself to be really lucky.

After all of the photo op fun, I finally had some time to get lunch! The cheesesteak I ate wasn't the greatest ever, but it was certainly good enough. I made conversation with the people sitting around me and we had some laughs together (Okay, so maybe I AM good at making friends at these events; what of it!?). Sometimes you can catch some of the best cosplays just by sitting around and letting them all walk by you.

Once I got up, it was finally time to start exploring the show floor and artist alley for a bit! I met Ethan Van Sciver, one of my favorite current artists for Green Lantern. He signed my copies of Green Lantern #1 (Vol. 4), Green Lantern: Rebirth, and Sinestro Corps War Special #1, all personal favorites of mine. I noticed that his table was a bit farther away than everyone else, and that he did seem a little distant mentally, so I hope everything was alright. He's an excellent artist, and I was very glad to see him.

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Walking down the same aisle, I met Robert Bruce. If you've ever seen the show Comic Book Men on AMC, Robert was the guy that the cast would always call up when they needed something looked at, in order to determine if they were being sold a legitimate product or not. That is more or less his job in real life as well, and his table had all kinds of interesting vintage figures, much older than me or him. He was also really funny and nice to everybody coming by.

Farther down the same aisle (seriously, was the greatest aisle ever, or what!?), I met up with Scott Hanna, who I had the pleasure of meeting last year as well. This time, after remembering he was the inker for some of my favorite Spider-Man stories, I brought my copy of Amazing Spider-Man #34 (Vol. 2) for him to sign. I already had the pleasure of getting John Michael Straczynski to sign the same issue at NYCC a few years back, so getting Scott to sign it was just icing on the cake. I told him how I had to basically choose between meeting JMS, John Romita Sr., and John Romita Jr. all at the same time, and how tough of a choice that was for me. Scott's another fun person to talk to, who has all kinds of great stories about comics he's worked on in the past. He's also excellent at pencils to boot!

If you read my previous blog about East Coast Comic Con, you remember the part where I mentioned seeing legendary Batman artist, Neal Adams. Well, as I said before, he did come to this event too. I was bummed by his pricing last time, and was waiting to see if he would do anything different for this convention. It turned out that he kept his pricing all the same, but actually added an exclusive connecting cover variant of Batman fighting Superman... for $100. Yikes. I thought I'd walk around a little more...

During the rest of the afternoon, I spent a lot of time checking out the various vendors and walking into panels. The panels I checked in on were for both Amy Jo Johnson and Johnny Yong Bosch. Both panels actually had a very different atmosphere. While we got to hear Amy say a lot of funny things involving depressing music and affairs with Jason David Frank (that obviously never happened, but made for a lot of hilarity), while Johnny Yong Bosch had to balance out time between talking about his career as a Power Ranger, and his career as a voice actor, while still making it entertaining for everyone. Both panels actually had a lot to contribute, and I was glad that I checked them both out.

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After the panels, I went back by the celebrity side to show Erin Cahill and Jason Faunt how the picture came out. They were both really happy, and thanked me again for coming out to see them. As I began to walk away from them, I noticed a guy just standing there, looking out at them. I motioned to him that he could walk up now that I was done talking with them, and kept looking down a lot. "I'm... a little shy" he said. A little surprised, I built up some confidence of my own and said to him "Look, those two over there? They will be THRILLED to see you. They are like kids on Christmas morning over there, and I guarantee you will not regret talking with them. Give it a shot!" He finally nodded and walked over to them, and I saw Jason give him a big handshake. It made me feel really happy to see that for some reason.

I couldn't possibly leave without saying hello to Austin St. John, the original red Power Ranger. I made a joke with him about how it confused me as a six-year-old, to see him named Jason in the show, while the character of Tommy was played by someone actually named Jason. He started telling me about some of the original ideas they had for character names to give him. While I can't remember any of the names he told me off the top of my head, I definitely remember my reaction to them: "... Yeah, Jason was definitely the better name!" Another great guy that I had a lot of fun talking to.

So the moment of truth finally came, and I walked back to Neal Adam's table one more time, and I carefully looked over all of the prices. For $30, he would sign any comic or print you brought him. He had comics already signed for $50, he was selling prints for $20 (though I don't know if that included signature), the graphic novel Batman: Odyssey for $80, an omnibus collection of ALL his Batman material for $100 signed (or $300 to get it with a sketch!), and that exclusive connecting cover variant for... $100. I finally decided that the most sensible option was to get the omnibus collection. Why? Well, for starters, it was the only thing there where you paid the retail price and got Neal to sign it, without paying anything extra, and it only made more sense when you compared it to books like Odyssey that were going for $80, yet were actually INCLUDED in the very omnibus I just mentioned. So after thinking way too hard on that little matter, I felt satisfied with the result, and happily got the signature of one of the greatest Batman artists of all time!

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With that little victory (and due to the fact that the omnibus was heavy as all sin), I finally made it back to my car to head home after a long, fun-filled day. Once again, this was another great local convention. The venue never felt too crowded or cramped, the people I met (both famous and not) were all wonderful to meet, and the atmosphere was simply priceless. Here's hoping I can come back next year, and preferably with another person this time! Thanks for reading! Realistic Dr. Zoidberg says goodbye!