This post was written by correspondent Robert Sunshine and edited by me.~missemmamm
I’m not going to lie, I procrastinate. Not on a very frequent level, mind you, but just enough to make me not type as many of these as I want to. I have a thousand and one different subjects in my head, and not nearly enough time to cover them all. So, I think I’m going to just start by covering one that my lovely Emma has wanted me to do, the Philadelphia Wizard World Comic Con art contest. As many of you who frequent the site probably know, the two of us stopped over in Philadelphia for a couple of days to enjoy the magic that is the Wizard World Comic Con. There were so many amazing things there, the food, the community, the artwork. I can go on forever.
But, speaking of art work, yours truly is a bit of an amateur artist. I mainly work on pencil sketches, but I love to draw. I’ve loved drawing since I was in kindergarten. Crayons and markers are always fun, but I will always enjoy the precision of pencils and the permanency of pens. Moving on, the two of us scavenged through some of my artwork and put together a small portfolio for me to enter into the contest along with a Marvel Standard Talent Incentive Enrollment Form. Believe it or not, not a lot of people really entered into this little showing. I didn’t win, because I can only imagine the pure skills everyone else had in front of me. But, to be honest, I didn’t mind.
I was told that I was in the top ten candidates, but that only a couple of people would have a personal interview with the talent agent who was looking through all of our paperwork. Now, on my end I don’t really know exactly how many people signed up altogether. I was told that day it was between 50 and 60. So, ending up in the top ten kinda felt pretty good, considering. What that did for me was fuel my passion even more for drawing, sketching, and just plain doodling. Now I’m going to shamelessly add the artwork onto this blog.
I’ve include some of the ones I submitted (above), along with some more recent drawings, and others I thought about putting in (below). If you think I should have added these pictures, taken some out, or quit art all together, and get a normal job like flipping burgers for minimum wage, I am open to criticism.
In the meantime, I’m going to read an incredible art book from my local book store called DragonArt Collector’s Edition (Amazon affiliate link). This book is filled with incredible how to’s for sketching out and creating these incredible works of beauty. This book is worth every penny you spend, believe me. I recommend buying it.
In the meantime, I’m going to go grab 3 cans of Red Bull and a nice piece of paper, and then crumble it up after 2 hours of work. Then, grab another piece of paper and break down into tears. Until, I grab a third piece of paper, and go fuck it, good enough. Because, that’s how I roll.
You can check out more of Robert Sunshine’s art here on Deviant Art.
Thanks to Wizard World for providing Robert Sunshine and I with a complimentary weekend press pass to the 2015 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. For info on Wizard World’s upcoming cons, please go here.
This post was written by correspondent Robert Sunshine and edited by me.~missemmamm
Matthew Miller, also known as Mathew Motherfucking Mercer, is a voice acting icon and legend, lending his voice to many television shows and video games, Oh god, so many video games. He’s worthy of gushing over as one of my personal favorite voice actors, right up there with Tara Strong, the sexy vixen of a thousand voices.
Now, personally I’m a rather big fan of animated television shows. One is a show called Attack on Titan, a post-apocalyptic anime about the life of an emotionally unstable teenager, bent on vengeance against an army of naked, man-eating giants. Sound fun? Well it should be, especially when introducing the most bad-ass, titan killing motherfucker this side of the wall.
Now, this time around, I’m not really going to talk about every show he’s been in. I’ll save you the list, believe me. Instead I’m going to tell you about my personal experience with meeting this man.
My lovely partner missemmamm and I were in Philadelphia, enjoying the delights of Wizard World Comic Con. It was day two and dear god, I was tired as hell. I had just been walking around in a jester costume, posing for pictures, and running from panel to panel-to see all of the famous actors, answering scripted questions asked by the panel’s moderator. The only reason why I’m so perturbed is mainly, because I didn’t get to ask my obviously important question involving a drinking game for Arrow.
Any who, I was a little more than tired. We were in a line to meet Cary Elwes for a picture. Now, I kinda knew who he was at the time and she was super excited to meet him. I was half in and out before she had mentioned there was going to be a meet and greet for a man who plays on Attack on Titan. So, we parted ways, and I started my little adventure of maneuvering through all of the Doctor Who posters and tattoo artists.
The room he was in was in the building, but so far from the actual convention that there was no music playing. Only a few people actually knew he was there, so the conversations were actually a lot more personal. After a small chat with everyone, a a fitness/combat training instructor walked into the room, and it turned from a meet and greet into a self defense class.
It was fucking incredible, but I was sore from the day, so I only made it about halfway through the class. I decided to call it quits and stepped out. Matt was actually just right outside of the room texting on his phone. I thought it was probably the closest thing to an interview I was going to get, except it wasn’t an interview. Plus, I had absolutely no questions whatsoever, as I was distracted by the fact that I was talking to Levi from Attack on Titan. We stood there for a good part of 10-15 minutes just bullshitting. The guy is seriously down to earth. Most voice actors are. They are a severely underrated class of actor, but what are you gonna do, right?
In the end, I got a good couple of pictures with him, none of which had my face. I gotta say, I kinda regret not getting one. However, before the picture was taken, he made the suggestion that I wear the mask, because it was both creepy and awesome. I obliged. When an actor tells you to do something, you do it. Especially, when it is followed after a compliment.
After I went back to the main part of the convention, I told my story to missemmamm, like an excited 10 year old who just saw his favorite cartoon character live!!! Except, I was a 23 year old man, who saw his favorite cartoon character live. So, all in all it was a pretty good day.
Thanks to Wizard World for providing missemmamm and I with a complimentary weekend press pass to the 2015 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. For info on Wizard World’s upcoming cons, please go here.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing extensively about my experience this past weekend at the most recent Wizard World in Philadelphia. I will be going into depth on panels, celebs, cosplayers, artists, and more. I’ve decided to do a comprehensive, yet, hopefully not too wordy, diary style overview to kick things off. Times are approximate and are in EST. New correspondent Robert Sunshine accompanied me. During this post, I will just refer to him as RS.
We got on an Amtrak near our hometown to get to Pittsburgh. The train was late, which was actually a positive as that would make our wait for our bus in Pittsburgh that much shorter. The trip was uneventful.
After walking across the street from the Amtrak station to the Greyhound and getting situated, we called our families to let the know that everything was going well. We snacked, talked, and played on our phones for under an hour. Then, it was apparent that the Greyhound line for our bus was getting long, so we headed over to wait in it until 2AM. Our bus left about 20 minutes late. As usual on the Greyhound, the ride was uncomfortable. Of course, it was faster and cheaper than the Amtrak, so I’m good.
Our bus actually made up the time that we’d lost, so we arrived on time. We quickly walked from the Greyhound station to the convention center. On the way, we stopped at that super ghetto, yet super close McDonald’s (if you go, you know the one) for breakfast.
By this time, we had changed into our costumes and picked up our wristbands. (I was very impressed by how quickly these were passed out.) We were ready, but volunteers were only allowing VIPS onto the showroom floor until 10AM. RS made sure that his artist portfolio for Marvel was to his liking. We observed some great cosplayers. A talent agent for an extras casting company took down our info and gave us his card.
We were finally allowed onto the floor. One of the first things that happened was Michael Rooker walking quickly by us. Ah, the excitement when you see celebs so quickly like that! A few years back, I had an encounter with Norman Reedus that still gives me chills.
We got photos with some cosplayers and some even requested some with us. I was just happy that people got who I was dressed as, the Suicide Squad version of Harley Quinn. RS was a jester (or harlequin, as he was fond of saying), which garnered a lot of attention. I also picked up my Stephen Amell autograph ticket. It had said that it was for Saturday when I ordered it, but I was given one for Sunday. I was actually happy about this, because Saturday was so packed full of things to do. Plus, this would mean getting to see Amell on both Saturday and Sunday. That line was pretty long, so I couldn’t stomach waiting in his photo line then as well.
This is my fourth year attending (RS’s first), in all of that time, I’ve barely bought anything aside from photos and autographs. I don’t like dragging stuff around and I’m cheap. RS is a bad influence though. In no time at all, we had bought a good number of prints from some talented artists. We played a spin the wheel game at the CW booth. RS won a The Flash hat and I won an Arrow poster.
We hit up Summer Glau‘s panel. Her Firefly costar Nathan Fillion was originally scheduled to attend this as well. However, he was injured and had to drop out. She seemed sweet, but the panel wasn’t as exciting as it could have been. I always enjoy when actors have other actors to volley with, not just a moderator.
Glau’s panel was immediately followed by Lin Shaye’s, in the same room. I do wish that I could have stayed for that and the meet and greet that followed (we had passes), but I decided to go another way.
RS is a Potterhead. James and Oliver Phelps of Harry Potter fame had been added to the con’s lineup about a week or so beforehand. So we trekked to their room. Unfortunately, it was super packed. Being that I’m not a Potterhead, needed to charge my phone and figure out directions to our hotel, and the claustrophobia of a standing room only panel getting to me, I opted to chill out in the hallway, while RS watched. He said that is was very entertaining.
1:30PM Katie Cassidy‘s panel was being held directly after the Phelps’ in the same room. RS has never attended before, so he didn’t know that he could have stayed in the room and moved up to get decent seats for us. No worries, I joined her line before the Phelps’ panel let out. Her panel was very fun and informative. RS waited in her Q&A line, but never made it to the microphone. This wasn’t surprising as many fans ask multiple questions even though they are repeatedly asked to keep it to one.
Ben McKenzie (Gotham) and Penn Badgely‘s (Gossip Girl) panels conflicted with hers, making them impossible to attend.
At this point we had about an hour and 15 minutes until Stephen Amell’s panel. It was originally set for Sunday, which I would have much preferred. However, it was moved, I believe, due to his Wine Mixer that day.
We were exhausted from lugging our backpacks all night and day. So, we booked it to our hotel (about a half a mile away). We didn’t have time to sight see on the way but I could tell that RS was really into the city. After checking in and grabbing some complimentary snacks, we headed up to check out our room and dump everything that we wouldn’t need for the rest of the day.
We got to Stephen Amell‘s panel just after it had started. So, we were way in the back. I enjoyed hearing Amell talk about the progression of Oliver Queen’s character.
4:15PM Amell‘s general photo ops for Saturday were set for 5:40PM (WAAAYYY too late IMHO). After exiting his panel, we headed to the photo booth to get our hard photo op card. We spoke to a volunteer who told us that we should come back at 5:20 to line up for Amell.
However, due to the photo op time, the time it takes to get around the convention center, etc. we were unable to attend any of the following awesome panels that were happening from 4:30-6: DANNY TREJO, MICHAEL ROOKER, ROGER CORMAN, and BURT REYNOLDS. We only had ONE professional photo op. I think that you’d miss a lot more if you had bought some more. I really wish that these panels were more spread out. I think that Reynolds and Corman were only there for Saturday, so that’s understandable. However, I don’t see why Trejo, Rooker, and some of the earlier panels in the day, couldn’t be pushed to Sunday. Then ticket holders wouldn’t have to feel like they were missing out on so much.
We took the probably half hour that we had after getting our op in order and changing, to shop and admire more cosplayers.
We joined Amell‘s already long photo line. We were behind two very fun young ladies who were cosplaying Canary and Felicity Smoak (!). They made the time fly by. It actually did go pretty quickly though. I think that we had already made it near the front of his line by 5:40. I wish I had a good story about the op, but all I can say is that Amell has a nice smile. RS said something to him to the affect of, “Don’t worry, you’re almost done”. Amell seemed happy about that. I’m super suprised at the ops of him actually doing poses with attendees as these ops are always very quick. Maybe those were VIPS, or folks with much bigger balls than I.
After the op and checking out a few things on the floor, we decided to head back to our hotel. We stopped for a brew on the way. At this point all we were missing was the Frankie Muniz panel, which was probably good, but not a must for either of us.
I chose a hotel with a pool so we could wind down. So after eating our food that we’d gotten to go, cheese steaks of course, we went for a dip. This was during the costume contest. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never attended a costume contest at the Philly con, so I wasn’t worried about it.
By this time, I was tucked into bed. I know this makes me a party pooper. After all, the official after party was taking places at the Field House from 9PM-2AM. However, I was exhausted and not feeling well. I felt a bit bad because RS has never been to a WW after party. However, I’ve only been to one and the experience was a bit of a let down, so I didn’t feel that bad personally. I think I was asleep by 11PM.
My alarm was not set until 8:30, but I had slept my fill. We had to be checked out by 11AM. So we did the logical/fun thing and got our money’s worth by taking a dip in the pool again, after packing.
We were headed to the Gallery Mall and then the con. On the way, we were very touristy and took photos. Unfortunately the main store that we wanted to shop at in the mall was closed for some reason, but oh well.
RS and I went to get his Sunday wristband. Yes, he had to buy separate Saturday and Sunday passes partway through April, because the weekend ones had already sold out. After that, RS headed over to the floor to see what Marvel thought of his art. I went to get decent seats at the Cary Elwes panel. Elwes was very entertaining and looked smashing.
We headed to the floor so I could buy some table selfies for Katie Cassidy and Cary Elwes. That didn’t take too long. I was disappointed that the day before when I’d gotten my Amell photo, a staff member had told me that these could be bought in line. So, I tried to line up in Cassidy’s line first. Luckily, a volunteer found out the truth for me, so I didn’t wait in her line without a ticket.
Cassidy‘s line was fairly long. If I’m calculating it correctly, we were probably in her line for about a half hour. It was the fastest table meet I’ve ever had. I didn’t get RS in the pic, which sucked. Although I later saw others get two attendees in their pics on Instagram, so I guess I shoulda been pushy. No candid photos were allowed in Cassidy’s line. We found this out after snapping some. This is very odd to me. In the past, if you had bought an autograph, etc. from a guest, you were allowed to snap some pics in line.
When people ask me what Cassidy was like, I say that I don’t know, because I literally said “hi”. She said nothing to me. RS randomly asked her something as we were leaving the table. She answered, but in a very uninterested way. She’s definitely as beautiful in person though.
At this point, I truly didn’t feel like entering Amell‘s line, but when you have pre-bought tickets you can’t just throw money away and not go get them. I think that’s the idea. We waited in Amell’s line for about 50 minutes. Candids were also not allowed in his line. Since I knew this, I didn’t attempt to take any. Although, you will see some on Instagram that others took anyway.
I had bought the autograph, because you typically get at least a minute to converse with a guest when you are at their table, unlike in a professional photo op. However, I had a bad feeling when I got up to the table. The person at his table didn’t help me pick a photo. They asked if I wanted the photo personalized and then wrote my name, my four letter, easy to spell name on a post it and attached it to the photo. The only time I’ve had that happen for me, because I have an easy name, was when I met Christian Kane back in ’05. He was too hungover too function correctly.
Amell, however, seemed to have checked out. IMHO, he was in a hurry to leave and go promote his wine. I had read that the mixer started somewhere from 4-5. I tried to engage him in conversation. I told him how we loved his show so much that even though we’d only started in a couple of months ago, that we were already all caught up. I complimented him on his panel. I honestly don’t think he said anything back. He may have glanced up at me while signing the photo. RS is ballsier than me, so he stopped to ask Amell a question as we left. Amell gave him a more satisfactory answer than Cassidy (more details to come on what this is regarding).
And now to the longest wait of all: the Cary Elwes line! After being in his line for about 20 minutes, I heard over the loud speaker that Matthew Mercer was having a free meet and greet in one of the rooms (It turned out to be a martial arts demonstration, very cool!) I told RS to go enjoy. RS had a theory that Elwes line was moving slowly because he was actually taking time to talk to attendees.
At about 3:15PM, I was sooo close to Elwes. His booth had fabric around all sides, absolutely negating any photos being taken by looky loos. I was the fourth person outside of it. There were maybe 9 people waiting behind me. This is when Elwes decided to take a break from signing. So I then waited a half hour for him to return. During this time, I watched Frankie Muniz, who was two tables over, interact with some young fans. He was great with them.
And…It was all worth it! He was so charming. He actually shook my hand and asked my name. I told him how I’d enjoyed his panel, and he was happy about it. Then I said, “I’ve had a crush on you since I was nine”, and he said, “Come here and give me a hug”. Aw! We hugged! Then we took a photo together. Ah, dashing!
RS and I met back up for our final hour at the con. Doors closed in an hour!!! First, I stopped at Muniz‘s table just to tell him how great he was with his fans. We had to make a mad dash to buy stuff, get a photo at the Tomorrowland booth, and check out cosplayers.
We left the convention hall, saw the Nesquik rabbit outside and got pics with him/free Nesquik from him.
We arrived at my favorite place to eat in Philly, Bar Ly! It was awesome, as always. It’s still strange that this once Asian tapas eatery had to morph into a sports bar to keep business afloat, but they still serve the same great food, so not matter. After dinner, we chilled a bit and decided on our next move.
We ended up at the Ritz East movie theater. We watched the mind blowing Ex Machina and got to chill out for a couple of hours.
While trekking back to the Greyhound station, we were stopped by some other attendees of the con. They were a lot of fun, so we joined them for a drink at a small bar.
We decided to take our leave, because it’s always recommended that you get to the Greyhound station early. We were there sometime after 11. Our bus was set to leave at 12:20. At 12:10, after already being lined up for a while, we were told that it was running 20 minutes late. It was wayyy longer than that. We didn’t leave Philly until after 1AM.
The lateness of our departure, coupled with the driver’s poor driving, and the always ominous traffic while entering Pittsburgh, means that we didn’t get there until 2 hours after we were set to. This made us an hour late for our last bus to our hometown.
So we had 3 hours to kill until another bus would be there. After chillin for a while, we went to eat at a nice little place called Gino’s Cafe. On the way there, we stopped at a cool, geeky trade in store that we vowed to return to in the future.
Our bus arrived 15 minutes late, arggh. We were so tired. We slept all of the way home. Unfortunately, as the Greyhound driver sucked, I did not get a nap in before returning to real life, and a meeting at 2PM, but what can you do?
The juice was worth the squeeze.~The Girl Next Door
Thanks to Wizard World for providing me with a complimentary weekend press pass to the 2015 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. For info on Wizard World’s upcoming cons, please go here.
I’m excited to announce that, once again, I will be attending the Philly Comic Con as press. Recently, Wizard World released their full programming list. Check out my top picks below. Unfortunately, I will not be there until Saturday, so I will miss the earlier events.
Wednesday, 5/6/2015 7-10PM Kick Off Party at the Hard Rock Cafe-Tickets are $25. Admission includes a walk on the red carpet, complimentary appetizers and buffet, and the opportunity to meet celebrities. Celebrities who will be attending include include Michael Rooker, Lou Ferrigno, Vincent Young, and Chris 51. You can buy your ticket here.
Thursday, 5/7/2015 6:30-7:45PM Wayward Pines Premiere Episode Screening, followed by a Q&A with M. Night Shyamalan (Room 108)
7:30PM Wizard World Comic Con Exclusive Advanced Screening of Mad Max: Fury Road (Visit the Daily News booth on the exhibition floor for more info.)
8:30PM-12AM Comic Con Casino Night and Mad Max After Party at the SugarHouse Casino-This event is free to those with a Wizard World wristband. The party includes complimentary appetizers, cocktails, $25 match play credit, $15 bonus play credit, and free Craps lessons.
3-3:45PM Adrian Paul Panel (Room 103A)
3PM Wizard World Gaming Presents: Mortal Kombat X Tournament-The entry fee is $5.
4-5:30PM-Marvel Portfolio Review (Room 104)-If you are an aspiring artist, bring your portfolio with you to the convention.
4:30-5:15PM-How to Write Comics with Spider-man’s Tom DeFalco, Hulk’s Peter David, Billy Dogma’s Dean Haspiel, Archie’s Barbara Slate, and Darkhawk’s Danny Fingeroth (Room 111)-for writers
5-5:45PM Voice Actor Panel with Charles Martinet and Matthew Mercer (Room 103A)
5-5:30PM Pictionary (Show Stage)-The audience (you!) can team up with artists to play. I love games. This really sounds fun.
6-6:30PM Matthew Mercer Meet & Greet (Room 104)
8:30-10:30PM Creator Pro Am: Drink and Draw at the Hard Rock-Compete for prizes. This event is included in your admission. Just show your wristband to be admitted.
11-11:45AM WETA Workshop: Character Creation Through Prosthetics, Hair and Make Up (Room 111)-Make up and effects artist, Warren Dion Smith, will do a real time make up demonstration.
11:30-12:15PM Firefly Panel with Nathan Fillion and Summer Glau (Terrace Ballroom)
12-12:45PM Marvel: Inside the House of Ideas (Room 103A)-Discuss all things Marvel with many people from the company.
12-12:45PM The Sun Devil and the Princess Screening (Room 111)-Check out this Samurai fantasy short film starring Tony Todd.
12:30-1:15PM Harry Potter Panel with James and Oliver Phelps (Room 113)
12:30-1:15PM Lin Shaye Panel (Terrace Ballroom)
1-1:15PM Kelly Frye (The Flash) Panel (Show Stage)
1:30-2:15PM Gotham Panel with Ben McKenzie (Terrace Ballroom)
1:30-2:15 Arrow Panel with Katie Cassidy (Room 113)
2-2:45PM Penn Badgley Panel (Room 103A)
2-2:45PM Charles Martinet Panel (Room 111)
2:30-3:15PM Agent Carter Panel with Hayley Atwell (Terrace Ballroom)
3:30-4:15PM Arrow Panel with Stephen Amell (Terrace Ballroom)
4:30-5:15PM Danny Trejo Panel (Terrace Ballroom)
4:30-5PM Michael Rooker Panel (Room 113)
5-6PM Roger Corman Panel (Room 108)
5:30-6PM Burt Reynolds’ Panel (Room 113)
6-6:45PM Frankie Muniz Panel (Show Stage)
6-9PM Wizard World Costume Contest (Terrace Ballroom)-takes places after the Critical Hit concert.
9PM-2Am Official Wizard World After Party at the Field House-$10 cover
11-11:45AM How to Draw Funny! Panel with Phil Oritz and Jason Yungbluth (Room 107)
12-12:45PM Cary Elwes Panel (Room 113)
3-3:45PM Kids Costume Contest (Show Stage)
5PM Stephen Amell’s Nocking Point Wine Mixer at Union Transfer Philly-This event is not affiliated with WW. However, Amell is obviously corresponding the time frame to work with it. Ticket’s are $100. Admission includes a commemorative wine glass, tasting of wines, cocktails, beers, and appetizers, a Q&A with Stephen Amell and his partner Andrew, live music, and a silent auction. In the past, Amell has posed for photos with fans at these events. It now sounds like you would be incredibly lucky to get a selfie with him. I understand that wine mixers are fancy and typically expensive. Plus you have a celeb, but without the possibility of a photo, this is a bit high for me. I still really want to go though. You can buy a ticket here.
As you may recall, I’m a huge fan of the annual Philadelphia Wizard World Comic Con. This year, I’m as excited as ever. The wonderfully fun to watch stars of the CW’s Arrow are on the guest list. Yes, both Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Laurel herself (Katie Cassidy) will be appearing!
If you haven’t checked out Arrow yet, I’d recommend doing so ASAP. This superhero show does get suspenseful, but isn’t always serious. You gotta love a show in which multiple characters know the lead’s secret identity, which is mainly covered by green eye makeup.
Amell is able to portray Oliver Queen skillfully in both the present and in flashbacks, when he was still a spoiled rich boy. Not to worry, he’s not really like that anymore, due to “5 YEARS ON THE ISLAND!” Oliver, aka the Arrow, aka the Hood is one hell of a vigilante. His parkour game is on point.
Katie Cassidy plays attorney Laurel Lance. She’s one tough cookie. Of course, Oliver and Laurel have a history. It’s awesome to be able to watch Ms. Cassidy regularly. I’ve been a fan of hers since her role in the Black Christmas remake.
Getting the chance to meet two of the fab stars of Arrow is definitely one of my top reasons for attending the Philly Wizard World show this year. It could only get better if Diggle were enlisted.
You can find out more about the upcoming Philadelphia Wizard World Comic Con here. This year, it runs May 7-10th. For info about all of Wizard World’s conventions, go here.