Saturday, February 28, 2015

Next convention...Emerald City Comic Con

With convention season on the horizon, I figured it's a fitting time to start previewing all the conventions I will be attending and covering. Let's kick this season off with a little bit about Emerald City Comic Con, or ECCC.

ECCC is the biggest Comic Con in the Northwest, and growing into one to the premier conventions in the country. The event has gotten bigger every year since its inception in 2003. 2015's show keeps that trend going and then some...

I've covered the convention the past few years, but this will be my first time covering with media credentials. You know what that means...Celeb interviews (hopefully). I've been busy writing up my questions for the interview subjects I requested, and it's an intense process sometimes. Trying to come up with questions they haven't been asked a thousand times is a lot easier said than done.

ECCC's guest list is huge. It's an industry who's who this year. Guest like Stan Lee, Anthony "C3PO" Daniels, and Agent Coulson himself, Clark Gregg. I might be most excited to meet John Barrowman though. If you've seen interviews and panels with him, you probably understand my excitement to meet him. The man is so enthusiastic and amazing to his fans.

The artist alley is brimming with talented creators like Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kevin Eastman, Mike Grell, Matt Fraction, Mike Mignola and so many more! Of course I look forward to seeing some industry friends as well.

The cosplay at ECCC is second to none as well! As someone getting into building and fabricating costumes, I'm really hoping to pick Bill Doran, of Punished Props' brain about building cosplays and props. I have quite an appreciation for the art/hobby, and have had the pleasure of many a lot of great friends and acquaintances in the scene.

Overall this is one of my favorite events to attend, so I book my whole year around this show. I think it's an amazing show to kick off the convention season, and not to be missed. Go get more info on Emerald City Comic Con at their website, but good luck getting in because it may be sold out by the time you read this. www.emeraldcitycomicon.com

Before wrapping up this post about ECCC, I'd like to announce and welcome a new friend, Miranda Boyer, to the crew. Miranda is going to be doing some reviews on occasion for us. Whether it be books, movies, TV shows or whatever, she's super cool, super nerdy, writes great reviews, and will help us steer clear of the nonsense that we don't have time for!! Go follow her, and check out some of her stuff at www.mirandomreviews.tumblr.com/  and if your a creative type and want us to check out some of your work, get in touch!!! Thanks for all the support!!!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thestevestrout, and  He can be reached for comments at ptcomedy@yahoo.com on twitter at @thestevestrout
 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Our upcoming convention appearances...

With convention season ready to take off, I figured we should share a tentative list of conventions and events myself, www.thestevestrout.com, and our friends will be covering and attending over the coming months.  Keep in mind these are tentatively schedule. The confirmed shows will be in bold print. Come hang out or say hi at these events!

Emerald City Comic Con (www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com)- Seattle, WA  3/27- 3/29

Norwescon (www.norwescon.org) - SeaTac, WA 4/2- 4/5

Sakura Con (www.sakuracon.org)- Seattle, WA 4/3-4/5

Crypticon (www.crypticonseattle.com)- SeaTac, WA 5/22-5/24

Anglicon (www.anglicon.com)- SeaTac, WA 7/12-7/14

Galacticon (www.galacticon.org)- Seattle,WA  7/31- 8/2

Comic Book Swap Meet - Port Angeles, WA August 2015

Supernatural Con (www.creationent.com/cal/supernatural_van.htm)- Vancouver,BC, Canada 8/28-8/30

PAX Prime (www.paxsite.com) - Seattle, WA 8/28-8/31

Rose City Comic Con (www.rosecitycomiccon.com/)-Portland, OR  9/19-9/20

Bellingham Comic Con (www.bellinghamcomicon.com/)- Bellingham, WA October 2015

Jet City Comic Show (www.jetcitycomicshow.com/)- Tacoma, WA 10/31-11/1

More tba, and if you know of any good shows in the Northwest that you'd like us to cover, let us know!!

Our own convention season kicked off on January 31st with the Comic Book Swap Meet, produced by yours truly. We posted a bunch of photos from the show, and got great reviews and would like to share a couple with you all as well...

Here's one from Port Townsend, WA resident Stephanie Cooley:
"Having missed my chance to check out the Comic Book Swap Meet last year, I was determined to make it this time! I was a little saddened by the absence of the TARDIS, but was comforted by the friendly, open manner of everyone in attendance. All of the artists were really wonderful to talk to, happy to share their work and explain technique. Talking to these incredibly talented artists, it becomes clear how dedicated and hard-working they all are. Now, I must confess that I’m not much of a fan of comic books. (Gasp!) But, I am absolutely fascinated by the skill required to create them!

The Comic Book Swap Meet had a little something for everyone. Whether you’re into Superheroes, Anime, Star Wars, X-Men or Pok√©mon, you’d have found something to stop and marvel at! For me, it was a golden C3P-O, waving from a far shelf. If the swap meet had been a two day event, he’d be standing on my coffee table, fussing over something right now. Alas, he is not. So, I will definitely be attending the next Comic Book Swap Meet in search of him..."


We also got a great shout out from comic creator and veteran of the convention scene, Donna Barr, which you can check out at her website:   http://donnabarr.blogspot.com/2015/02/little-comicons-spreading-on-peninsula.html Go check her out and support indie comics!!

We will post more of these as we get them!!! Gonna do a new giveaway very soon, so keep spreading the word about www.thestevestrout.com!!!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thestevestrout, and  He can be reached for comments at ptcomedy@yahoo.com on twitter at @thestevestrout

 


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Comic Reviews: Star Wars #2 and Darth Vader #1

Review by Joe David Thompson
Call it a hunch, but if you’re reading this, you probably have strong feelings for the words “Star” and “Wars,” especially when they’re strung together. This year saw the launch of Marvel Comics’ book run on the science fiction juggernaut in the wake of Disney’s acquisition. With the first in an all new trilogy of films, the first due out at the end of 2015, we also get an extensive array of comic titles from Marvel, beginning with what must be the flagship and foundation book, Star Wars, and spinning out with two character books, one for Darth Vader and another for Princess Leia.

For this book, Marvel chose Jason Aaron and John Cassaday to helm the writing and artistic responsibilities, respectively. And what an excellent choice it was. Opening a short time following the events of the 1977 film, the comic begins with the core group, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and the droid duo attempting to destroy an Empire weapons outpost. Darth Vader is onto the ruse, and the rebel fighter also discover a cadre of imprisoned and enslaved creatures that Luke promptly frees. Aaron does a remarkable job capturing the spirit and voices of the original trilogy and what attracted audiences to these characters and continues to do so. Cassaday delivers remarkable detail in his artwork, capturing the recognizable faces of the characters and stunning action shots that evoke the films.

Now in its second issue, Aaron and Cassaday continue to maintain the quality of their debut. Indeed the fun these two artists are having on this book jumps off the page. My only quibble with this latest installment comes during a battle scene where Luke’s choices leave the slaves he wants to free falling at the hands of the merciless Empire. Throughout it all, the book’s playful tone, truly one of its many strengths, is still in full effect, creating an uncomfortable counterpoint to the weight of the action. I’d have loved to see this act or murder be given a bit more gravity.

This past week the first issue of Darth Vader’s standalone book dropped, helmed by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca. Tying directly into the events of Aaron’s book, this issue begins in the aftermath of the depot attack, with Vader on the receiving end of the Emperor’s anger in the wake of the Death Star’s destruction and the loss of the depot. Vader is tasked with visiting Tatooine to treat with Jabba the Hutt and is kept in the dark in regards to the Emperor’s bigger plans. Through it all, Vader is intrigued more after his face to face run-in with Skywalker, a thread that appears to be running throughout the two titles so far.
Darth Vader is a much more sparse book than Aaron’s Star Wars, which doesn’t exactly work to the book’s advantage. I’ve accustomed to the crackling electricity of Gillen’s writing. Vader is an iconic character, especially as a villain, and the book does nail his menace through action and dialogue. Artist Salvador Larocca has an even tougher job rendering this to the page, as Vader doesn’t have the benefit of facial expressions normal characters can rely on. Additionally, Larocca must deliver the detail Star Wars audiences have come to recognize when it comes both to Vader and Tatooine. He proves he’s more than up to the task.

I can’t shake the fact that this book didn’t capture me. I’m a huge Gillen super fan, but I can’t help feeling like he might have been a bad fit for what Marvel wants from this title. Indeed, his writing feels boxed in, almost claustrophobic at times, which leads me to the conclusion Gillen soars best when given little to no restrictions. Given the weight of the title, I can only imagine with which the scrutiny these Star Wars books must be faced. Many pages are allso devoted to rehashing story details we already know, creating lulls in the pacing. Still, this is only one issue, and I’m not one to count Gillen out yet.

Joe David Thompson has been doing media reviews for websites such as Red Carpet Crash and the 405 Music Blog. For any questions or comments for Joe David Thompson, you can email him at jovid52@me.com and follow him on twitter @jovid52


Monday, February 16, 2015

Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the EMP in Seattle

I made the trip to the EMP Museum in Seattle to check out their newest exhibit, STAR WARS AND THE POWER OF COSTUME. If you know me, I have a passion for the Star Wars series, as well as a love and respect for costuming and special effects, so this was a can't miss exhibit for me to check out. I'm sharing a handful of pictures here with you, but you should really get to the museum and see these costumes for yourself. The beauty and craftsmanship or these screen used costumes are beyond inspiring for a beginner in costume/prop making like myself. Like I said, I'm not giving away too much, because you really need to see the exhibit for yourself!! I didn't caption photos, because they speak for themselves!! Enjoy!!































The exhibit was amazing, and it was made even better because of the awesome company I had at the show in Haylee (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Haylee-Troncone-Cosplay/613484525414861) , Alex (https://www.facebook.com/Ababycosplay), and Mike!!! Thanks for geeking out with me in the city!!!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thestevestrout, and  He can be reached for comments at ptcomedy@yahoo.com on twitter at @thestevestrout




 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Comic Book Swap Meet photo recap...

Now that I'm finally getting caught up on life (after being down and out with illness), I thought I should drop a photo gallery from the Comic Book Swap Meet from January 31st. I'm hoping to get some show reviews from attendees posted, rather than me gloat about how amazing my show is. I'd like to see and share other peoples opinions. Enjoy the pictures. The photos are courtesy of H. McKenney Photography.
Guest of Honor, Jeffrey Veregge and his son... www.jefreyveregge.com

Members of the 501st Garrison Titan with fans: See what they're all about here

One of our regular CBSM vendors, Kevin!


Comic Creator and industry vet, Donna Barr. Check out her site where she gave the Comic Book Swap Meet a shout out, and if your in the Northwest, check out her yearly convention she puts together every summer in Clallam Bay, WA.

One of my favorite artists, CD Poe http://cdpoe.com/


Another featured guest, and new friend, William Hart. He is an actor best known for his appearances on the Walking Dead.


https://www.facebook.com/nerdychan.etsy
Creator of Overcast With a Chance Of Doom, Robert Tritthardt. http://www.roberttritthardt.com/about/

Scott Adams, writer/artist of Sukotto! www.sukottostudios.com
The crew from Creators Edge Press, pne of the best indie publishers around. www.creatorsedgepress.com

SOME GREAT COSPLAYERS CAME OUT TOO! 
Lauderdale, www.facebook.com/lauderdalecosplay as Harleen Quinzel. She will be a household name someday!
Katie Mae as Poison Ivy https://www.facebook.com/MsKatieMae


Here are a few of H. McKenney's finished photos.
Ms Katie Mae
https://www.facebook.com/MsKatieMae
Haylee Troncone
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Haylee-Troncone-Cosplay/613484525414861
Lauderdale
www.facebook.com/lauderdalecosplay
John Nutter
https://www.facebook.com/JNutterCosplay
And of course...
Yours truly with a couple of my favorite people, Lauderdale and Haylee (who is a great up and coming cosplayer herself)!! I bet you thought I wasn't gonna put a picture of me in here, didn't you? I'd never let you down like that.

Hope to see more of you at the next Comic Book Swap Meet!!! Convention season kicked off with this show, so stay tuned for some big announcements, contests, and tons of convention coverage!!! I will get a list of what events I will be attending asap, so you can come say hi. Keep spreading the word about the site!!!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at 
http://instagram.com/thestevestrout, and  He can be reached for comments at ptcomedy@yahoo.com on twitter at @thestevestrout