Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Review: SkullKickers Treasure Trove Volume 1

Shortly after attending the Writers Unite! panel discussion, I made my way through the comicon crowd and spent a few minutes chatting with Jim Zub.  I liked how he described SkullKickers as the type of adventures he and his buddies use to have while playing Dungeons and Dragons
That means, a good portion of any adventure is never taken seriously.
With this in mind, I decided to buy SkullKickers Treasure Trove Volume 1 and get up-to-date on the merry mayhem. 
The book is indeed, a treasure trove, containing not only the first full-length features, 1000 Opas and a Dead Body and Five Funerals and a Bucket of Blood; but also the first two original short stories that appeared in Image Comics'  Popgun Anthology.  Another set of short stories appears in the back as "Four Tavern Tales."  There's even an activity section containing puzzles, a sketch gallery, a book review, a recipie for "Skullkicker Stew," some role-playing game stats, puzzles and even a couple paper doll cut out.  (I guess in case you're short of miniatures). 
Just inside the hardcover is a map detailing the not-so-serioulsy-named locales the skullkicking team have frequented.
Which by the way, the stories themselves revolve around a pair mercenaries and their misadventures.  The human and dwarf, who never gave out their names, became known by fans as "Baldy" and "Shorty."  Their names are revealed in a clever way, but not until the end of Chapter 1 of Five Funerals and a Bucket of Blood.  How these become known as "the Skullkickers" is also unique and funny.
And this brings me to what I like most about Skullkickers.  Yes, it is funny with over-the-top violence.  But what impressed me the most were the tightly woven plots of the full-length stories.  Pay attention while reading, because everything comes into play by the end. 
I only came across 1 x 2-star review for any of the Skullkicker stories.  This reader liked the story, 1000 Opas and a Dead Body, but thought the coloring was indifferent.  His biggest beef though, was with the book's binding, which was coming unglued.
Otherwise, Skullkickers delivers a solid 5-star punch.  I certainly enjoyed the stories and will add another 5-star rating to the series. 
The only pet peeve I have is with Baldy packin' a six-gun.  I've never played in a fantasy role-playing game, where firearms were available, so I'm having trouble accepting Industrial Era's hardware into a pre-Industrial saga.  In the stories so far, the pistol is a rarity and viewed with much awe and fear among the hapless masses (often with comedic results).  I'm sure there's a very interesting, and as of yet, unpublished, backstory on how Baldy obtained his piece.  While there are scenes depicting Baldy reloading the handgun, I often ask myself where does he get the rounds to replace the all the ones he fired off? 
I guess I'm too much of a purist and shouldn't take the pistol's presence seriously.  Who knows, maybe somewhere down the line, Baldy and Shorty may find themselves confronted by someone wielding a "phased plasma rifle"?
You can check out Baldy's and Shorty's antics on-line through Keenspot.

Happy Easter!

On Good Friday, the Seattle Times announced the winners of the 2013 Peeps Contest.  Be sure to check out the photo gallery of the winners and other contest entries, under the Related section.  I concur with the judges on this year's winner.

Peeps are celebrating their 60th anniversary. 

I remember eating them after Easter when I was a kid--long after the chocolate candy was gone.  I mean, they're good, because what's not to like about marshmallow and sugar?  So I'm always amazed by these Peeps extravaganzas. 

Whatever your favorite Easter candy is, I hope you're enjoying it this Easter Sunday.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review: Seven Warriors, Volumes 1-3

 I picked up Seven Warriors #1, #2 and #3 at last year's Emerald City Comicon, but I didn't get around to reading them until now.  I was intrigued by the artwork and the guy at the Boom Studios Booth told me these three comics contained a complete story--not a never-ending series--which is often the hallmark of the superhero genre.
The story takes place in the Kingdom of N'Nas Amon, which according to the reviews I've read, lays somewhere in Libya, circa the 6th Century (some say BC, others AD; the exact time is not clear). 
The nation's army has been defeated and the capital is under siege by the combined forces of Persia and Byzantium.  What's worse, is Queen Tsin'inan doesn't trust most of the mercenaries hired to defend the captial's ramparts. 
Under these dire circumstances, she concocts a desperate plan:  She hires six Sarmation Amazons to spirit her son out of the capital and escort him to the hidden city of Jabbaren.  Once there, he is to meet his arranged bride-to-be and sire an heir to the N'Nas Amon throne--the royal bloodline must survive at all costs.
I bought this as 3 seperate comics, but apparently an 80-page graphic novel has been available via, since July 2012.  At the time of this post, there are 13 books left in stock, but so far no reviews. 
(Image from Major Spoilers)
The artwork by Francis Manapul was outstanding and in some parts very sensual, but not pornographic.  Think:  "R" rating if this were a movie.
However, the story itself, written by Michael Le Galli is often clunky and overwrought with exposition.  Of the comic reviews I've read, nearly all of them chaulk this up to differences in translating the story from French.  But there were also some "plot-holes" that didn't make sense (see some of the review links below).
As to the plot itself, picture this:  A young prince--in the company of six beautiful women--are on a dangerous journey through hostile territory.
And remember:  It is imperative that the royal bloodline survive.
Need I say more?
I give this story an overall 3.5 out of 5 stars.  I had a hunch on what Queen Tsin'inan was up to, but not exactly sure how the tale would pan out.  There were some minor surprises and the ending isn't what I'd call a "happily ever after" one. 
For those who want to check out some plot-spoiler laden reviews, here's the following: 

The only site that contains reviews of all issues is Comic Book Roundup.

The remainder only review Issue #1.

There's The Outhouse, which loved the artwork but hated the dialogue.

Stephen Schleicher of Major Spoilers, said pretty much the same thing.

But Pendragon's Post liked the individual artwork, in and of itself, but thought there were too many frames per page, thus giving it a croweded look.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book Review: Day by Day Armageddon and Origin to Exile

Normally, I don't read horror novels.  But ever since reading World War Z, I've been intrigued by the "Zombie Apocalypse."  This may stem from the fact that I'm ex-military and I currently work in emergency management, like the folks from the Zombie Squad.
What I like about "zombie lit" is the unambiguous nature of the conflict, at least on the "street level." 
It's a no-holds barred, fight for survival and often viewed as an allegory for a modern pandemic. 
A lot of my friends enjoy this horror sub-genre for pretty much the same reason as I do.  With this in mind, my friend Tim sent me a copy of the double-novel Day by Day Armageddon: Origin Exile by J.L. Bourne
It's the story, written as journal entries, by a naval aviator witnessing and surviving the outbreak of a zombie pandemic. 
The first book Day by Day Armageddon initially started as on-line fan fiction, which resulted in a blog-turned-published-book success story.  (The second book is called Day by Day Armageddon:  Beyond Exile). 
While Day by Day Armageddon earned an average rating of 4.3 out of 5.0 stars, only 63% of those reviewing the book gave it 5 stars.  Enough to give Bourne's initial work a favorable opinion to be sure, but that still meant there's a sizable minority with valid criticisms. 
The most common complaint was on the writing itself.  Specifically the spelling, punctuation and overall lack of editing.  I noticed this myself and this illustrates the lack of quality-control that can occur with self-published books, or ones printed by small/niche publishing houses.  J.L. Bourne's work is currently produced by Permuted Press, which specializes in a variety of apocalyptic literature.
Some folks didn't like the journal-style narrative and felt this didn't draw the reader into the story.
What I noticed most was the switch between present and past tense.  I thought the first-person narration was well suited for the story and I'm willing to forgive the spelling, syntax and even tense errors, because this is suppose to be a journal written-on-the-fly. 
But professionally speaking, the book is in need of better editing. 
Another complaint I noticed was that the growing band of survivors seemed to be no more than plot devices, rather than real people.  Everyone appeared one dimensional, lacking in most emotions, along with a complete lack of description. 
My opinion is split on this issue.  I didn't mind the lack of visual description, because sometimes "less-is-more."  That is, not describing every detail lets the reader's imagination fill in the gaps and maybe even imagine themselves in the story.  It also helps when a movie comes out, like World War Z--which opens tomorrow!  (25 March 2013). 
If a character's description is too detailed, then it's very hard to find an actor to fit the role and readers' preconceived notions can be shattered.  (One of the major complaints about the movie Jack Reacher, was that Tom Cruise did not fit the description of the main character in Lee Child's popular series).
There also seems to be some inconsistency with the protagonist (who never mentions his name).  Sometimes he describes the zombies as "evil," while in other moments he feels sorry the creatures that were once human. 
The most jarring issue I had was also the most fleeting:  As the zombie outbreak unfolds, the narrator relates breaking news from the President of the United States and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff--George W. Bush and Richard Myers.
Revealing these names "bumped me out of the story," as we writers say when we're editing work.  If this is suppose to be a story set sometime in the future, then mentioning the names of a past president and his leading general automatically places the narrative to the years 2001-2009.
So the "fear factor" was diminished for me, because I knew this wasn't an "oh-my-God-this-could-happen-any-day-now" kind of story.  While the book was written during Bush's tenure, the author should have thought about maintaining the currency of his tale. 
On the other hand, I didn't mind military hardware being described in detail.  Some weapons systems have been around since the mid-20th Century and are still being utilized, albeit after a lot of upgrades and modifications. And such systems will most likely remain in use, with lots of upgrades and modifications for some time in the indeterminate future. 
Writing speculative fiction is a difficult tightrope to walk and for the most part the author succeeded.  So I give this book a solid 3-stars.  I wasn't expecting great literature, but I was intrigued and entertained.  (Thanks Tim!).
One word of caution: 
If you've read Day by Day Armageddon (Book #1) and Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile (Book #2) separately--DO NOT BUY Day by Day Armageddon: Origin to Exile
As I mentioned above, this is the double-novel containing Books 1 and 2. 
The only difference between the two separate books and the double-novel is that a short story has been added to the latter.  Many reviewers were unhappy with the double novel and slammed it with a 1-star rating, because they thought they were buying an entirely new story. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

ECCC 2013: Artists and Noteworthy Cosplayers

 Not every cosplayer made it on the 100 Badass Costumes of Emerald City Comicon 2013.  In the case of the black-clad figure pictured above, I wonder if the Geek Wire crew would have recognized him.  When I spotted him approaching a stand, both the artist and I simultaneously shouted:  "The Marquis!"
From what I could tell, he actually seemed relieved and told us we were the only two at the comicon who recognized him.  Not only was I impressed with his costume, (which he said was very hot to wear), but with the Pepperbox Pistols he made himself.
I became familiar with The Marquis only due to my sister, "Rox of Spazhouse."  A couple years ago she passed on her collection of the Danse Macabre comics to me as a gift.  I didn't care for the political-religious setting of the story, but I was fascinated by the main character.  What I also admired was the writer walked a tight line that kept the reader wondering:  Is this guy really a demon hunter, or a serial killer?
Another cosplayer I recognized was Zoe, my favorite character from the show Firefly.   
 According to this young lady, (I think she said her name was Kathleen); Zoe was her favorite character too.  One of the things we liked about Zoe was her weapon of choice--a sci-fi version of a Mare's Leg.  Kathleen said she liked the weapon so much she bought a Rossi Ranch Hand in the same caliber as her revolver. 
I've been thinking about buying one myself. 
While I continue my inner-debate on what Firefly-esque weaponry to acquire, I "consoled myself" purchasing items that struck my fancy at the ECCC. 
One of the first things I bought was a print by Marcio Takara.  (It wasn't until later that I thought of getting a photo taken with the artist.  When we finally returned he stepped out for a break and missed our chance).
Since I was dressed in a Spiderman Halloween costume and this was my fiance's first experience attending a comic book convention, I thought this print would be a nice commemorative momento...
Marcio signed it for both of us.  Samples of Marcio's work, like this MJ and Spidey, can be found on Deviant Art
Other treasures I acquired, included--
--My fiance bought me a Punisher T-Shirt at the Super Hero Stuff stand (try saying that three times fast)
--And finally, there were a couple of items I bought as gifts, but I'm afraid this information will have to remain classified for a while.  (Kinda like a superhero's secret identity).
On the things I missed:
Like most conferences and conventions there was a lot going on simultaneously that it was difficult to decide what to do.  Even though I attended the full-three days, I still feel I missed out on a lot.  Forturnately, the panel discussions were taped and are available through
So I have until March 28th, 2014 to catch up. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

ECCC 2013: The Cosplayers of Spending Spree Sunday

After the last ECCC 2013 panel discussion, my fiance and I wandered around the examining the wares at all the booths--and watching the cosplayers in action.
For kids growing up in the 80s, "action" most likely meant Masters of the Universe.  I had just joined the military when the cartoon debuted, so I never watched it; although thanks to Mattel's marketing campaign, He-Man toys were everywhere.  This means I could be wrong about the above pair of cosplayers, but I'm assuming they're He-Man and his arch enemy Skeletor.
I'm going to put more of my ignorance on display here and let you folks know that I don't play very many video games.  Nearly all my table-top gaming friends do, so once again I'm only vaguely familiar with the approaching cosplayer...
...whom I belive is Desomond of Assassin's Creed
Technical note:  I took a lot more pictures than I've uploaded, but many of them didn't come out well.  One of the problems I had was adjusting my camera to the combination natural light and florescent lighting in the convention center.  But I thought this cosplayer's stealthy approach was too cool to leave out of this "rogues gallery."
Speaking of rogues, here's another poor picture I included which doesn't do the Jawa justice.
Whoever was in the suit, was a real crowd-pleaser his (her?) antics. There were at least a half-a-dozen camera-armed attendees gathered here at any given time the Jawa made an appearance.
Now a family that attends comic book convention together, stays together... this "Incredible" family can attest to.  I snapped three photos of this family and this was the best shot.  Maybe I can claim the blurry-looking girl was about to turn invisible?
Nor was this the only blurry image of the day.  I don't know who two represent...
...but they were in a hurry and loaded for bear. 
I managed to stop this young lady and ask her what her costume represented.   
She told me she was a Bad Program from Tron.  Good.  Now I know who to blame if my computer goes on the fritz.
Here's another cosplayer from a film I haven't seen... 
...but I knew enough about Labyrinth to recognize The Goblin King, but I didn't know his name was Jareth.
 I encountered a second Black Widow during my shopping spree...
 At least I knew who she was.  Of the group standing here...
...the only one I recognized the guy on the right as one of the alternate versions of Superman.  I guess the rest of the group were members of the Justice League of America (JLA)
Maybe this blogpost should be titled:  Cosplayers I'm Not Sure About?
Another thing I wasn't sure about was using my camera.  My fiance was more adept at handling her camera than I was with mine.  She only took a few photos, but was fascinated by this "Jacqueline Skellington" (wearing stilts underneath her costume), next to an alternate version of Batman.
Some of these cosplayers made the list of the 100 Badass Costumes of Emerald City Comicon 2013
Congratulations and I hope to see you folks again next year!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Breakout from Bongolaan Chapter 6 Posted

Breakout from Bongolaan's Chapter 6 (pages 147-182) is now available. The Soundtrack Interlude for this chapter and overall Theme Song for entire graphic novel is, Red Skies by The Fixx. I had this song in mind when I was developing The Redshift Chronicles. I thought the lyrics' apocalyptic feel was a near-perfect image of the "...galaxy far, far away..." sliding back into the Dark Side. (I mentally substituted "stars" for the word "skies").

Chapter 6 is a transition point from the preliminary introductions to the main storyline: An impending attack and the people caught-up in the chaos.

The initial Star Wars RPG adventure I ran a couple years ago, was based on Traveller's Night of Conquest. But instead of two warring factions on one planet, I expanded the scope to include a resurgent Galactic Empire in which the players found themselves on the new front lines.

ECCC 2013: Spending Spree Sunday--Writers Unite!

 The last seminar I attended before embarking on my ECCC 2013 shopping spree was Writers Unite:  Pitching Creator Owned Comics, moderated by Jim Zub, author of Skull Kickers
The other panel members included:
Cullen Bunn author of The Sixth Gun and
Charles Soule, author of 27
If I remember correctly, Ray Fawkes, a 2012 Eisner Award nominee for his One Soul was MIA (missing in action) from the group. 
The focus of this panel discussion was on selling your own comic.
One of the mantras often repeated at writers conferences is:  Writing is an art, but publishing is a business.  The same applies to the comic book/graphic novel industry. 
So you have to ask yourself, why should a publisher choose your comic over someone else's?
To be successful in getting your comic on the shelves you should:
Be prepared to pitch your concept.  Organize and sum up your ideas into a short and concise pitch--yeah it's the Elevator Pitch again.
However, this doesn't guarantee success, but merely advances you to the next step in getting your project approved. 
To be successful, remember to treat your work as a profession and develop the work habits of a professional writer or artist.  You need to demonstrate you can create consistent and professional content before anyone will pay you for it.
Success won't happen overnight, so you have to build on your work:
Stare small and improve your craft with short stories and simple ideas before tackling larger work.
Self publish, or post your material on line.
Try to write something every day.  (This is another mantra I often hear during writers conferences and read in writing magazines).
Create work you're proud of and that represents your interests and passions.  If you don't enjoy creating it, people won't enjoy reading it.
Writers should collaborate with artists who strengthen their work.
The panelists finished the seminar with a "Stuff We Wish We Knew Before We Got Started"
The comic book industry is more accessable than ever before.
Networking is easier than you think.
Most people don't appreciate where they're at and they compare their success with those of others.
Bigger (or even smaller) isn't always better.  Find the right niche for your work.
Passion and hard work really do pay off.
I must admit I was still somewhat overwhelmed by my experience at this year's ECCC.  (Last year I was only able to attend the first day and spent the entire time wandering around in a daze buying stuff). 
Next year, I hope to attend even more professional panels so I can continue to improve my craft.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ECCC 2013: Spending Spree Sunday--Women in Webseries

(Image:  Legend of the Shadow Clans, ECCC 2013 Special Edition Print)
Before I spent money on items I couldn't live without, my fiance and I attended two more seminars on the final day of ECCC 2013
The first was the Women in Webseries panel discussion, hosted by Trin Miller.
 (Image:  Trin Miller, drafted at the last minute to moderate, is about to open the panel discussion)
I went to a similar seminar two years ago at GeekGirlCon, which the panelists jokingly subtitled "Women in Webseries--other than The Guild" and where I initially met some of the panelists
While not producing--let alone staring--in a webseries (not to mention being a guy to boot), I do make YouTube movies of some of the games I've played.  I felt these activities were similar enough to justify attending this panel discussion in the hopes of improving my own craft.
In case you're wondering what a "webseries" is, here's a decent definition, according to Wikipedia
The panel consisted of the following producers (as near as I can remember) and their webseries:
Joanna Gaskell of Standard Action, now in it's Second Season.
Jen Page of Geek Seekers and Clockwork Infinity (currently in production by 1947 Entertainment).
I can't recall if Glynis Mitchell of Causality was part of the panel, or I merely snagged her business card afterwards.  (Later in the day, there was a panel discussion titled Causality:  How to Make a Webseries and Not Lose Your Mind," which I didn't attend). 
Also mentioned was the fantasy web comedy Journey Quest
 Amy Lillard of Washington Filmworks was on hand to discuss her agency's support for what she called local story telling.
And there were plenty of stories about the pleasures and pitfalls of being involved with a webseries...
First, what is the benefit of a webseries format?
It is accessible to anyone, not just women.  There are no "gatekeepers," as there are in the major studios.
You are in control of your content and production.
Webseries opens the story-telling world to everyone and is the perfect opportunity to become a creator.
The film crew is small and therefore, very nimble.  That is they can pick up and move, or change locations on a much shorter notice.
As a comparison, for women working in the studio-system; more often than not, play support roles in marketing and production.  Also, according to Amy Lillard, the Top-Ten grossing movies in the US have all been sci-fi flicks--none of which were produced by women.
Of course, webseries aren't in the same league as the big box office hits. 
So you have to define your own measure of success.
Any project made and completed can be considered a major achievement.
This shouldn't be a financial measure.
Having the creative freedom not found by working in the major studios and therefore providing great content for your fans.
The caveat to all this is (yes, there's always a downside):  You have to support yourself financially via other means.
Even with an abundance of creative synergy, without living as a starving artist, how do you attract fans?
Word of mouth. 
Promote with other webseries.
Connect with bloggers.
Become active on social media sites like Facebook.
Utilize YouTube.
However, you still have to know your audience.  Be clear on what genre you're working under and write/produce for the fans within this field.
Also if you're seeking funding, know how to communicate what you intend to do.  Know your Elevator Pitch
Speaking of fundraising, Washington Filmworks has, at the time of this post, a $175,000 budget to divvy out in support of local film-making.  This is a jurried award, with a minimum threshold of $25,000, based on the merit of the project.  While the deadline for this year's submissions was March 8th, .
(Joanna Gaskell, Darlene Sellers and Trin Miller at the Zombie Orpheus Entertainment booth)
Like most stories, this seminar came with a couple of plot twists:  In the form of a couple of "surprise guests" from the audience. 
The first was a young lady, (I forgot her name), introduced the webseries she was involved with:  Epic Heroes, a dramedy about disabled children with super powers.
While the next surprise guest, was none other than Steve Jackson, Professor of Film at Central Washington University (CWU).  He asked about the possibility of providing mentorship for those involved in webseries.
These revelations were followed by a flurry of business card swaps.
Later that day, when my fiance and I were touring the booths, I picked up fliers for these two webseries:
Well it looks like I have a lot of catching up to do...

Monday, March 18, 2013

ECCC 2013: The Cosplayers of Serious Saturday

I don't consider myself a "people watcher."  However, with a legion of cosplayers out in-force for this year's Emerald City Comicon (ECCC 2013), it was hard not to notice the folks all dressed up--and with someplace to go.
I only saw a couple of steampunk aficionados, but this sci-fi subgenre has gained ground, with it's own Steamcon, now celebrating it's fifth year.
One of steampunk's log-lines is:  "When past meets future." 
Looks like Spider-Man and Poison Ivy have taken the motto to a personal level...
Although he should be careful not to lower his guard while under Ivy's charms, because Venom is lurking nearby...
 Here's a "typical" Poison Ivy with gal-pal Harley Quinn...
 Uh-oh.  Looks like Batman has been two-timing on Harely...
 Meanwhile, it looks like Loki, (or should I say "Lokiette?"), is conjuring some mischief...
So if trouble does break out at a comicon, "who you gonna call?"
 Or, how about the Emerald City Caped Crusaders?
A couple ladies from the Watchmen were also on hand.  But it looks like they were ready to start trouble, not prevent any...
 There was a group posing as the Avengers for photo ops, but the only decent picture I got was this one of  Black Widow...
I'm not sure who this woman was suppose to be.  Maybe a cross between Tank Girl and the Punisher?   
The superheros at the comicon weren't limited to Planet Earth.  While there were a few Supergirls out and about, none of those photos came out well.  This one of Starfire did...
 Maybe the glow from her orange skin helped with the lighting issues I was experiencing.  (The skybridge was open to natural light, while the rest of the convention center was illuminated with over-head florescent tubes). 
But since I was dressed something like this...
...I could have said, "I'm a doctor, not a photographer" as an excuse for my lack of photographic skill.  I know I'm mixing metaphors.  And while I didn't see any Leonard McCoys, there were a few other Indiana Jones at . 
In fact, one of them parked next to me in the convention's garage.  A third passed me by on the skybridge, ruefully addressing me as  "Doctor."  There was even an "Indiana-ette."  Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera ready during these encounters.
I did, however, manage to snap photos of the following "doctors in-residence;" like Doctor Doom... incarnation of the Fourth Doctor of the Doctor Who series...
 ...and Dr Emmett Brown, no doubt looking for DeLorean. 
I even ran into Indy's dad
Some folks from "...a galaxy far, far away," also made an appearance.  A detachment of the 501st Legion even had a photo booth with a Tantive IV corridor as a backdrop.  Attendees could have their pictures taken (for an additional fee) with all a variety of Star Wars characters.
That was the droid I was looking for! 
For the past 30 years, anyone attending a sci-fi convention will usually run into a bevy of Slave Leias.  Although, somehow I didn't see a single one at last year's convention.  There was a full court this year, but only a few pictures turned out post-worthy:
 Cosplay at the comicon wasn't limited to the realms of sci-fi and superheroes either.  Gandalf was on hand...
...probably after leaving Bilbo & Co on the edges of Mirkwood
Liea, whether in various forms of (un)dress, wasn't the only princess in attendance.  There was at least one Xena ...
...who was probably going to bust-in on that "Panel Room Full" behind her.  
I must admit thought, that I'm not always well-versed on all things geeky.  I had to ask a couple of people about the costumes they were wearing.
This young-lady told me she was dressed as Zecora in My Little Pony
While there were plenty of princesses parading around, I came across only one prince: Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender...
I didn't see the panned movie, I heard the animated series was quite good. 
 Just as I was about leave the comicon collective and try to assimilate into Seattle's traffic, I encountered  Seven of Nine...
...and so "Serious Saturday" came to a close.  I attended a couple more panel-discussions the following day and saved the bulk of my shopping for "Spending Spree Sunday."
So stay tuned!