Monday, April 5, 2010

Steampunk, comics deals and Star Trek

Here's an excellent example of how I'd like to tailor this blog. There certainly will be room for spirited discussion (hinted at in the previous post about whether pop culture conventions are kid friendly). But I'm going to try to concentrate on information you can put to work for yourself -- depending on your interests, of course. Here, then, are three potentially useful tidbits from last weekend's WonderCon:

-- The convention serves diverse tastes. My best overheard moment was when a young woman approached a dealer booth and exclaimed with loud joy: "Whoa, is this steampunk wear?!'' Apparently it was (my expertise on the topic is nil). If that means something intriguing to you, the web site for that dealer is here.

-- I had the best comic-book buying experience of my life. I was interested in a nice copy (approaching Fine) of the Justice League of America No. 3 (origin/1st app. Kanjar Ro). The dealer, whose New York-based company is HighGradeComics, was a no-nonsense type who told me there was room to dicker (after I politely suggested his price and condition estimate were slightly higher than I thought correct). I named a price I liked; he said, heck, he'd go LOWER, named the amount and I said, "Sold.'' I'll be checking out his Web site and you may want to as well. The link is here.

-- I had a nice chat with Suzie Plakson, who played the half-Klingon K'Ehleyr on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Plakson has plenty of other acting credits, but I focused on STTNG -- and the sculptures she makes from Polymer clay. She had some little ornamental pieces with her, and I bought one she signed as a gift for someone. You can get a better sense of everything about her, including her sculptures, at her Web site, linked to here.

Next up: I'll return to the subject of superhero rings from ArrobaSilver.

Friday, April 2, 2010

WonderCon: crowded

I spent almost six hours today at WonderCon in San Francisco -- the event appears to be well worth attending this year (and I haven't always been a fan in recent years).

But if you're interested in going Saturday or Sunday, be advised: It was fairly crowded, despite the fact that it was a work day and that people arriving during its opening hours experienced some nasty weather. So that suggests it's going to be absolutely jammed for the rest of the weekend.

Still, the crowd had a nice vibe. Yes, that means I once again enjoyed seeing significant numbers of pink- and purple-haired women in anime and superhero costumes. Even better, though, was the deliriously-happy-to-be-an-obsessed-fan spirit that seemed to infuse everything. My favorite moment probably was when "Blackest Night" writer Geoff Johns was asked to explain the difference between love and compassion -- in the context, obviously, of the emotional spectrum of multi-colored Green Lantern-type power rings, which represent love and compassion, willpower, rage and more. Heavy, huh?

Is WonderCon kid friendly? Well, put it this way: alert parents will be able to navigate the convention without feeling irresponsible. Again, they DO need to be alert to what may be at an 8-year-old's eye level in any given aisle on the dealer floor. But -- and I've written about this in the past with a greater sense of worry -- nothing seemed egregious to me. Pop culture, including the mainstream media pop culture that's all around us daily, is increasingly mature in its content. WonderCon reflects that (in both positive and negative ways), and smart parents just have to cope with it.

I'll have more WonderCon observations over the next couple of days, but I want to get this posted at an hour when people making plans for tomorrow might see it.