Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jet City Comic Show 2016 Initial Walkabout and Purchase Report

(The JCCS Ground Floor Banner)
The Punisher and Deadpool walk into the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center (GTCTC)...

Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about my first time at the Jet City Comic Show (JCCS) this past Saturday.

My apologies for the opening hook, but Deadpool and The Punisher, along with a host of other cosplayers did indeed walk into the convention center.

As I got out of my Jeep in my lazy man's minimalist version of a Punisher costume, I ended up walking-in with a fellow cosplayer dressed as Deadpool.  As we chatted about comics, I thought these characters would make quite a pair.

Apparently, my geek-cred is out of date, because several fans, writers and artist have already thought of it, envisioning likely outcomes such as this...
(Image found on:  Talking Wade)

...or this:
(Image posted by Trevor Brown on Pintrest)

Anyway, JCCS was easy to get to with a parking garage conveniently located next to the GTCTC.  A couple banners, featuring JCCS's icon, Bomber Girl, guided attendees to the 4th and 5th floors.

(The JCCS 4th Floor Banner)
Five panel discussions were scheduled for Saturday, and six on Sunday.  I was interested in attending the first one, Craft of the Short Story, set for 11 AM.  However, I arrived late, because I wanted to sleep-in and squeeze in a quick workout.

(A JCCS banner displayed over the swag table)
It was a perfect Pacific Northwest day to stay indoors.

(A view of the Tacoma Dome on a dreary November day)
The GTCTC is a nice facility, and easily accommodated the crowd.

The lines to turn in your pre-purchased ticket for an admittance bracelet were short, and so were the on-site purchase lines.

The show was busy, but the crowds were not overwhelming like they typically are during the Emerald City Comicon (ECCC).  Since the show was set on a single floor it took me only an hour to do my initial recon/walkabout.

(A view from the far corner, with the food court in the foreground)
Despite my initial walk-through, I ended up staying all day, talking with cosplayers, artists and exhibitors.  During this time, I blew past my $160 budget on books, graphic novels and prints; along with staying for day's finale--the Costume Contest.  I didn't enter because one of the rules stated the costumes had to be at least 60% handmade. 

My lazy man minimalist Punisher get-up consisted of a black t-shirt with the Punisher skull logo, black cargo pants, black boots, a black hip holster carrying a soft-pellet replica of a Desert Eagle 44 magnum.  Despite the little effort I put into this, I received several compliments, and had two artists and an attendee take my picture.

(Another view from the far corner with the gaming area in the distance)
Overall, I was impressed with JCCS. As I mentioned earlier, the show was busy, but I wasn't jostled by the crowd, nor did I stand in long lines.

However, because of the smaller nature of JCCS, the introverted, awkward teenager part of me often manifested itself.  That is, while I felt comfortable chatting with fellow cosplayers and non-cosplayer attendees, I'd grow uneasy talking with exhibitors and artists.

Every artist, writer and exhibitor I talked to were friendly and pleasant.  Some called out to me, referring to me by The Punisher's actual name: "Frank," or "Castle."  Then they'd show me their Punisher-based artwork.

What made me uneasy was knowing these talented folks were here to do business, and make their attendance worth their while.  While I admired many books, graphic novels and art work, many of it wasn't my cup of tea.  Also, shelf and wall space in my home is limited.  So I didn't know an easy way to disengage without possibly disappointing them.

It wasn't just the artist or exhibitors I felt awkward around.  I didn't talk to any of the actor and actress guests, even though there were no lines whatsoever to meet them.  Roger Cross even nodded and said "hi," to which I responded in kind--and then scurried away from his booth.

I know.  My behavior wasn't very Punisher-like, but I didn't know any of the actors or actresses, nor have I watched the shows, or movies they're known for.  So I felt embarrassed at the idea of starting a conversation with any of them.

Anyway, despite my hesitancy of hobnobbing with the stars, I had a great time.  Everyone I did manage to talk to were regulars and enjoyed attending each year.

Now that I've got my initial exposure to JCCS under my belt, I think I'll be more comfortable attending future shows.

JCCS is a nice "starter venue."  That is, it's a good way to introduce someone to the convention scene without overwhelming them by bringing them to an Uber-Mega Con.  My wife was overwhelmed by her one-day visit with me to the ECCC.  I wish I brought her to JCCS first, in order to ease her into my zany world.

Another good thing about JCCS is that it's affordable for a whole family of geeks.  Tickets ran only $10, ($11.50 with tax), while parking ranged from $5 (for 4 hours or less)--$10 (all day). 
(A view of the Costume Contest stage)
Despite my self-induce awkwardness, I ended up buying more than I originally intended to buy.

Here's a glimpse of my newfound treasures:

1. Prints

A Bomber Girl Print by Kevin McCoy.

(I bought an official JCCS Bomber Girl print, but I'll mention that in my next post)

2. Books

The Thousand Names, by Django Wexler.

Queen of the World, part of the Meridian Wanderings series, by Kira Cul'tofay.

The Spiral War series by S.F. Edwards.

3.  Comics and Graphic Novels

B Sqaud Volumes 1 & 2 by Eben Burgoon, along with chipping-in on a Patreon fund-raiser for the webcomic Cybersymbiosis by Woody Arnold.

4. Miscellaneous

While I didn't buy any Punisher sketches, or prints, I did get a set of boring but practical drink coasters from Holli Ann Wellner's Fabulous You (Yakima).

5.  Gifts

While 90% half of what I buy at conventions is for myself, I also go gift shopping for others.  Since my wife LOVES the Minions I also grabbed a bag, ID lanyard and key chain for her.

My cunning plan was to give them to her on Thanksgiving, but she spotted the Minion bag in my backpack.  Despite being "busted" I was happy to give them to her early, because she was excited about bringing them to work.

Sometimes even when plans fail, you succeed.

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