Comic legends, actors, and rising artists came together at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in the Great Philadelphia Comic Con. The Great Philadelphia Comic con was held from April 12th to the 14th, with lots of vendors, panels, and activities to check out over the three days. The convention invited an assorted mix of special guests year. From actors from popular movies, tv shows, and video games. Comic writers and artists from all levels of the industry. And even a shock rocker that let everyone know school was out for summer. I got badged up for all three days, taking pictures and talking to lots of interesting people.
The Show floor
With two big halls, there were tons of vendors laid all around to explore. There were vendors that sold cosplay accessories, movie posters, anime collectibles, retro toys, and of course comics. A large number of indie creators were eager to talk about their projects. I actually spent most of the time at Great Philadelphia Comic con wandering around the show floor since every booth was an opportunity to discover something intriguing.
Red Duke Games
Mixing H.P. Lovecraft and delicious recipes, Red Duke Games was selling copies of The NecroNomNomNom. The book is an actual cookbook that was inspired by the H.P. Lovecraft lore, which gives recipes for appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The book is written like a spellbook, with illustrations and macabre descriptions.
The book is pretty looking, with a cover design like no other cookbook on shelves. It was created by artist and a chief that wanted to bring offer something for sci-fi fans to make in their kitchen. People can check out the book here.
Rob Feldman, creator of the pinball loving, motorcycle hero Cyko-KO was there offering deals at this table. There was the first set of comics and the coloring book, both published by Alterna Comics. A few t-shirts with Cyko’s face. And a beach ball that regularly priced at $5,085.00. But was marked down to be a bit more budget friendly. I got to chat with Rob for a bit, learning more about the production of the Cyko-KO prototype toys he’s been working on, and the new set of Cyko-KO comics that will be released later this year. More about Rob Feldman and Cyko-KO can be found here.
Recycling old VHS, SpiralRewind turned outdated videocassette covers into novel notebooks. The creator originally made these notebooks for friends and family, after collecting a large amount of VHS tapes. Soon the demand was high and he kept collecting more bargain bin VHS’, leading to a fun product that gets any 90s movie fans excited.
Catching our eye with his stunning artwork, Stephen Jones had on display of portraits and prints at this booth. As a fan of all types of cartoons and video games, his artwork has an amazing blend of lights and colors, adding a photorealistic shine to each piece. A few of the canvas artwork has extra effects that activate when lit up by a black light. Certain areas of the paint have special effects that make the details pop out more. More of his work can be found at this Instagram.
The world of competitive bodybuilding takes dedication, drive, and some genetics. But what happens when a mad scientist uses his unconventional methods to skip all the wait and gain an edge over all living competitor? Fred Schwartz and Savy Lim present Hardbody, a comic series that is part Frankenstein tale and grime look at the bodybuilding culture. Hardbody is a dark comedy that uses horror to deliver a twisted story. This was a passion project of Fred’s that brought together a team to tell an over the top gross story that resembles something like a mix of Reanimator and Dead Alive. The artwork is vibrant, with great cartoonish designs. The first issue can be found online here.
As TMNT fanboys here at Everything Action, I thought I knew all of heroes and villains from 80s and 90s. I stumbled onto a table that was selling copies of a TMNT comic that had a cover I had never seen before. In an Archie TMNT comic, there was a crossover event that had the turtles go against a super-powered group called the Conservation Corps. This comic was hot on the Captain Planet hype, and everything in the 90s had an eco-friendly tie in. Conservation Corps was by Dan Nakrosis and Paul Castiglia, and is part of the Archie TMNT lore.
The Conservation Corps would go on to have a three issue mini-series in 1993, explaining their origins and fighting an enemy that loves to pollute. Dan Nakrosis has been working in the comic industry since for nearly forty years, with credited roles as a writer, inker, colorist, letterer and editor for various series and publishers. I quickly chat with him and learn much about the Conservation Corps, getting a free issue of the first comic.
A Philadephia based apparel company, Arway Apparel is a screen-printed and embroidery that tailors every brand’s need. They were offering a neat Infinite Gauntlet Gritty shirt that definitely speaks to the nerdy South Jersey/Philadelphian in one of us, and had to have it. The design was made by Truely_Blue, and that spontaneous design a hardcore Marvel and Flyers fan would have as a tattoo somewhere.
When it came to excellent booth design, it’s hard to top Piya Wannachaiwong’s mini art gallery set up. Walls mounting framed canvas, depicting fun fantasy settings, it was easy to stop in and take your time to check out the art. Piya has talents in sketching, painting, and teaching. At this show, he was showcasing many portraits of Dragons, flying through puffy clouds and spacious terrains. His illustrations and more can be found on his website.
Raw Blink Productions
When the USA is under attack, a ragtag team of soldiers and their battle tank the Helcat, fight off the invaders while looking super cute in Column. I stopped by Raw Blink Productions and met with Tim Morris, Mike Moore, and Ben Harvey, the creative learn behind Column. This was a passion projected started by Tim Morris and Mike Moore. They had spent countless hours writing and rewriting scripts and figuring out the best way to tell their story. Working with Ben Harvey, who had taken inspirations from anime and the video game franchise Metal Slugs, everything about Column came into place. After a successful IndieGoGo campaign, Raw Blink Production not only offers gives an entertaining comic, but have also produced an audio companion. Using voice actors and original music, the world of Column is brought life with characters recording their origin stories. More information on Column can be found on their website. The audio recordings can be found on their Youtube page.
There were hourly panels being held in four areas around the convention, each holding interviews, QAs, and workshops. There were panels that talked about the experience of being part of a movie or tv show, video game, and even a puppet show. The audience gets a chance to learn a few surprising details about their favorite celebs and get informed about certain topics. The crowds weren’t overbearing, and there was plenty of seating.
Hosted by cosplayers, the Advance Techniques in Armor & Prop Making panel went over the process turning foam into armor. The panel began by going over the types of foam mats that are ideal for crafting and the tools needed to start shaping them into armor. It’s really cool to see how cosplayers able to use everyday materials and turn them into great cosplay accessories.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The Dutch van der Linde gang came together for an amazing QA session. Actors Roger Clark, Steve Palmer, Gabriel Sloyer, Rob Wiethoff, Peter Blomquist, Cali Elizabeth Moore, and Benjamin Byron Davis talked about their experience working on the Red Dead Redemption games. They answered questions about getting into the voice acting scene, the patience it takes to land a role, and the rewarding feedback for the gaming community.
Since 1969, Keone Young over 240 roles under his acting belt. From appearing in various tv shows and movies, voicing cartoon and video games characters, Young has given life to many roles over his long career. I was familiar with Young’s work as the original voice actor of Storm Shadow in the 1985 G.I Joe cartoons. He has been the go-to actor for Asian characters and has a strong passion for the next generation of actors. He is a stand out character in the TV show Deadwood as Mr. Wu, who is a no non-sense badass when it comes to sending a message.
He’s has been the lovable and clumsy Ed in Shaun of the Dead. The navie Danny Butterman in Hot Fuzz. And the honorable protector Andy Knightley in The World’s End. Nick Frost is a comedic actor that has slain zombies, jumped in the air while firing guns and stopped an alien invasion in Three Cornettos by Edgar Write. His panel had fans asking away questions about working in the cult comedy movies and his oddball stories traveling around the world.
I got a picture with Nick Frost, after fanboying out a bit. His work Into the Badlands is amazing. He has fun stunt work that shows him deliver incredible smackdowns. It’s awesome to find Frost as charming as the characters he portrays. But after having this picture taken, I know I need to get a picture with Simon Pegg to complete the set. (So start getting on that Great Philadelphia Comic Con)
Jack Gleeson was the villain everyone loved to hate in the Game of Thrones TV show, but his actual off-screen persona is completely different. Gleeson has retired from acting in 2014 and has been working in theatre and charity events. His cofounded an acting company, Collapsing Horse Theatre. One of their projects used puppets to tell comedy sci-fi story called Bears in Space. It’s been a long time since King Joffrey was in the Game of Thrones TV shows, but fans still enjoy his appearance and gave him a ton of appreciation.
Alice Cooper held a panel called “Welcome to my Nerdmare”, where he reflected on his long career and gave any fan the chance to ask him a few questions. I enjoyed his music. I like his appearances in movies. Who hasn’t seen his famous cameo in Wayne’s World? This was my first time seeing the legendary rocker live, but I was prepared to ask him one question that was burning inside me. How did the movie Monster Dog fall into his lap?
Forgotten by time, Monster Dog is a horror movie that even the most dedicated horror fan would have issues to enjoy. The movie appears to look like an extended Alice Cooper music video, but there is way more crazy stuff going on.
I got in line to ask him questions about Monster Dog while hoping no one else has the same question.
To my luck, no one asked about Monster Dog. But also, I think maybe like 10 people in the room know about the movie. Cooper laughed a bit when I asked him if the world was ready for a remake of Monster Dog. His answer went into detail about how he just overcame his alcoholism and wanted to see he is can handle sobriety. However, behind the scenes of Monster Dog was not great for many of the cast members. There were lots of last-minute script changes and rushed development. Many of the actors had their dialogue secretly was redubbed by bad voice actors.
Alice Cooper is a great storyteller. He is very humble with his fans, listening carefully to every question asked of him and answering with amazing insight. Hearing him speak kind of makes you forget his a famous rocker, and like the fun uncle you never had. The kind of uncle that occasional puts on black makeup and sings out to sold-out shows.
Hosted by Anjali Bhimani, the Expanse panel had Cara Gee, Dominique Tipper, Franki Adams and Cas Anvar on stage to talk about their experience on the diverse sci-fi show the Expanse. The show has been critically praised for having a unique blend of strong characters, tells a smart and innovated sci-fi drama. Each actor talked about what they brought to the table as their character, and what they wanted to represent on television.
Daniel Bonjour, Malcolm Goodwin, and Rose Mciver talked about their experience working the zombie police drama, iZombie. The TV show has been on since 2015 and is now entering its last season, so fans were eager to get some clues about where the show is going.
The Great Philadelphia Comic con offered two categories of cosplay contests geared towards kids and adults. These contest were hosted by a group of famous cosplayers, known for their dedication to bringing to life their favorite characters. I got to sit in on the Adult Cosplay Contest on Saturday and snapped a few pictures.
On Saturday night, my team and I headed to Gamers Heaven, a video game lounge that offers all sorts of gaming entertainment and a ramen bar. They were hosting a small party that let gamers hang out and listen to a DJ spin tunes into the late hours.
We got to mix it up with some Smash brothers, Injustice 2 and Mario Kart while resting our tired feet. We couldn’t stay too long since we had to prepare for the final day, but it was a much-needed gaming time as a break from the convention work.
There is a lot of passion at the Great Philadelphia Comic con that draws in the fans. The event offered an intimate experience to meet celebrities and artists, without any marketing gimmicks. People were friendly and open to chat, and the crowd was really manageable. I’ve met a lot of great people over while I walked through the vendor tables. I enjoyed the honest discussions in panels, learned a few things about dealing with setbacks and fame. I saw tons of great cosplayers, showing off their costumes they had sunk hours into making. I got to see all the people I wanted to meet without any trouble and found enough time to take breaks without missing a beat. If you haven’t been to a comic convention, it’s hard to beat how the casual experience Great Philadelphia Comic con offers without standing in lines for hours. Its a great event for first-timers and veterans alike. I can’t wait to see which new guest they will be invited next year and what other amazing sights I could see on the show floor.