Thursday, May 28, 2015

Comicpalooza 2015 Review Part 1


I've had to write a lot of this down before I started typing. There was SO much to cover and billions of tangents I could have traveled down during this blog so it took some effort to collect my thoughts.



Pro- My own experience was just fine. I book a room at the Hilton from Friday to Monday, and they are good about locking the parking garage down to hotel guests only on the weekends.

Con- Things were a little hairy on Saturday and I ended up parking on the roof due to the Rocket's game, but even then we didn't have to circle the lot like vultures. It just took a few minutes extra to find a spot.


Pro- The Hilton appeared to step their game up this year. Check in and Check out were smooth and as always the Hilton books a counterbalance event for the convention. This year it was a bunch of churches doing lord knows what (literally). Listening to all of the "wizened" ladies commenting on how amazing everyone's outfits were and taking pictures of everyone was a treat. We nerds were well appreciated by the local fauna for sure!

Con- The breakfast buffet waiters and waitresses were a little rude this year from start to finish of the dining experience. I don't know whether to blame this on palooza attendees not tipping properly, or a freak happenstance, but it was extremely noticeable and it made the "wake up" process in the mornings just a touch harder. (lack of sleep + grumpy waitress = equally grumpy attendee)


Pro- I was extremely pleased with the amount of dates and places that we could pick up our badges early. (Shout out to 8th Dimension). I had friends that did not do this however, so I was dreading how their situation was going to play out. I should not have worried.

Lines for Will Call were near instant at their worst, and I stopped upstairs to check on the On Site Badge purchases and the line was moving quickly and effeciently.

I'm unsure if so many of us did early pick up that it made things much smoother, and I am also lacking in a daily attendance count so I don't know how the numbers may have changed things, but the problems that we all had in 2014 with getting IN to the con... they were non existent this year.

Serious thumbs up in those regards.

Con- First off, this was an isolated incident, so it really shouldn't be reflecting poorly on everyone. When the doors first opened, things were a little unclear for all of us. Lines were blurred. Masses of people were trying to push forward into the con.

Whoever (it was a baldish dude) was at the middle left entrance who seemed to be in charge of line management GRABBED several people physically and pushed them away from the entrance as they tried to get in to the con floor.

First off, physical contact is unacceptable.

Second... there were no ropes. There wasn't anyone shouting out to form a line. Sure, if you went and asked somebody they told you, (I did this after watching him shove a Joker cos player away without saying a word to him) but it was a madhouse for a moment there. I don't blame ANYONE who was confused about where to go and how to go about it.

I wouldn't call for this man's blood or anything, but if he were identifiable I would readily suggest he not be put anywhere in a situation involved a dense crowd, because he has boundary issues and THAT is one thing no con wants on their head is their volunteers stepping out of line physically towards customers.


Pro- The lanes were wide. Sooooo wide. I never had to worry about getting trapped anywhere, and even when people stopped cosplayers for photo op's there was plenty of space to slide by or move around them. My wife has issues with large crowds some times. The worry never arose while on the artist/dealer floor, even though the place was seeing lots of traffic. This is probably my biggest pro out of everything.

I've noticed that every year we've seemed to have almost a small "mini con" attached to the event. One year is was Galacticon, and the last two years it has been Maker Fair. It's been refreshing. I can shift modes and genres mid con by walking elsewhere and suddenly I'm dealing with an entirely different experience. It really helped kill monotony and freshen the pallet.

I was happy to see most of the musical/loud events had been moved upstairs into auditoriums where they could be contained somewhat and not ruin other events/stores/artists time. A true step away from having Arc Attack thrumming from side of the hall to the other from 2013.


1. There were two booths. Pride of Bedlam (who are awesome, as I know Kristin Coyle as the best fiddler ever), and then a group selling drums and playing them for advertising...

Pride occasionally sang, and I happened to get caught at a bad time as I was trying to haggle down some prices with a vendor and talk about his wares and found it hard to hear myself.

The drummers however... they played constantly, and you wouldn't have been able to hear an air raid siren within 6 booths of them in any direction. It was obnoxious, and I wasn't forced to try to sell anything near them. I can only imagine the amount of sales lost due to people trying to escape the cacaphony og good/bad drummers hammering away at the doumbeks and djembes.

2. Vaping. This has been covered in a lot of blogs and posts lately about whether it is acceptable at cons, so I will only touch on it briefly. I don't care about it's health issues. Thats so utterly debatable that it's a sinkhole when it comes to a resolution. I'm going to focus on product.

Moisture damages comics. Smells attach themselves to fabrics and comics. Oil (such as vegetable glycerine) can attach to paper as well as fabrics and stain. As Ecigs are not 100% effecient, some of that does escape, and it WILL land on products that people want to sell and purchase. THAT is why they shouldn't be allowed inside of a con. That's all I have to say about that,


Perhaps trying to isolate the louder groups or even providing (or requiring) some sort of sound wall or curtain for them could work. We all enjoy the music when we are seeking it out, but it can be very invasive with the other parts of the con.

There is no real resolution for the vaping beyond banning it. So many of us are walking around EVERYWHERE in the con with purchased product that giving them an area is almost unfeasible.



Tons of big names and super friendly people. They add a special experience to things and draw in a large crowd. I got to meet Summer Glau. It was very cool. She's extremely nice and actually enjoyed those of us who met her.

It made the line take longer, but was well worth it, and on top of that Palooza sent a minion to "urge" her along after it was noticed how slow things were progressing. (We appreciated that greatly)


Tons of guests and they draw in large crowds. The lines for the bigger names get ridiculous. I personally sat in line for Summer Glau for 3 and a half hours, and I got in the line at around 10:20. It was mostly due to her being very involved with all of us so I can abide the long wait, but standing or sitting on that concrete without moving for 3 hours.... that's gotta go. We were all complaining about pained knees and feet before the end of that signing.

I think it may be time for Palooza to cut the chaff a bit on guests, as it were. I'm sure folks like the Comic Book Men were relatively cheap to get down here, and probably the same way with most of the wrestlers and even some of the music names.... but their lines were consistently empty except for Rowdy Roddy Piper. They are not only taking up space, but they are taking up budget that could be used to try and get bigger names, or perhaps to pay extra to a big name so they would take part in an event, or sign longer... etc etc.


Perhaps Palooza can think about adding carpetting or padding specifically to the lines that will obviously be extremely large and move slowly? I know it costs extra, but it would go a long way to keeping attendees with healthy feet so they can move around the con and shop more after the fact.


Pro- Ettin knocked it out of the park with their lending library. The other "targetted" games were running smooth and contained lots of laughter. I was very pleased with how much room we were afforded and we weren't harassed by the convention center and kicked out early like last year. Top notch job with gaming.

League of Legends. Thank you for the inclusion of this style of gaming. It's big. It draws a cosplay crowd if given time, and honestly, the announcers were REALLY into it and it caused some of my friends who don't play to even slow down and spend a few minutes.

I'd love to see SMITE and a few other games displayed like this. Especially since HiRez and such games are more than happy to get really involved in the con scene to help promote their wares.


Finding the other console games were difficult, and it seemed a bit awkward to find the entrance. We abandoned the attempt after about 5 minutes of figuring out where a door was that didn't lead into a mass of wires and went back to the board game room.



Coping with PTSD through art panel. Yes. More like this please. I love some of the inane panels that talk about hating Twilight, or turn into a Brony Sing A Long. They are great, but Rosel Rodriguez and his friends brought a convention friendly topic, ART, and used it to HELP people at the con as well as spread awareness about a problem that we as Americans have ignored for the longest time.

This panel NEEDS to always exist and get a center stage and promoted. The good these talks have can do nothing but make the convention scene better for everyone.

If anything is taken away from this blog, let it be how important this PTSD panel was at the convention. It can save lives, which nothing else I saw at that convention can boast.


The cosplay contest. It was kinda slapped together at the last minute. It just needs more prep time so the sound guys can get everything in order and so things aren't so haphazard.

Also, while I completely felt that the anouncer was hilarious in an uncomfortable, sexist, and awkward way.... it was inappropriate and a bad choice. You want someone on stage that is not only encouraging the audience, but encouraging the cosplayers... not berating them or objectifying them. I'm just going to assume we all realized this after the fact and this won't happen again.

The lines for the major panels are huge. Sometimes people didn't get in or get to hear. Rough stough, but hard to fix.


For the overly packed panels (the major ones obviously), would it be possible to put up a video and a projector outside so folks can listen to it in the hall or another designated area? Heck, does Palooza have connections with public radio or anything so that they might be able to air the panel so attendees and others alike could tune into a station and listen to it live? It's not quite the same, but it will leave a better taste in our mouths than missing the entire thing.



The app ran smoother this year.


But not smooth enough due to availability of wifi.


Projectors on each floor at specified locations that display changed, cancellations, additions, and heck, maybe even signing times for the big names for those of us who don't use the app due to crap phones or otherwise?


Art Auction:


Spectacular as always. I enjoy it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Steve Van horn is an excellent announcer and promoter and you know he loves it every bit as much as the rest of us as he is bidding for that good cause with the rest of us.

It took up more room. I liked that.


Maybe we could widen the walking aisles a little bit? I saw a lot of artists being jostled while working by us attendees.


Also, maybe we could get some different mediums provided? I heard several artists say they would LOVE to have had larger canvases and mediums to work on. It's such a small expenditure of cash by Palooza to allow these artists to create truly spectacular pieces, and the larger and more impressive the piece, the better it looks on the web when we are all talking about why Palooza was awesome.

ADDENDUM: I've been informed that Palooza did indeed have larger canvases available, and that they will indeed make an effort to point it out a bit better next year. I love it when a con listens and responds. That's how it gets better!



Much more informed than previous years. They were on the ball and ready and willing to help if you had an issue or question. This is probably the best batch of volunteers I have dealt with at a con.


The one experience I had that I covered earlier. And then there was an issue with Summer Glaus line. It was moving so slow that a lot of us had friends come up and bring food, drinks, or to say hi because they hadn't seen us in hours. Instead of politely offering up a "hey, I know the lines are a bit rough, but we really aren' supposed to have anyone standing near the line" it was instead repeated verbalizations of "You can't stand there. Go somewhere else" or "You need to leave" without any further comment.

Some folks let that power go to their heads a bit and forget that a bit of politeness should be included with their orders.

Also got tired of volunteers telling me to stop using my phone to take pictures when in fact I had been trolling facebook for the last 2 and a half hours because the line moved slowly. Yes.. I understand no photos are allowed, but if you don't see me trying to take aim the camera at someone and take a picture, please don't make my wait in line any more frustrating by accusing me falsely.


I will probably go into a lot more personal experiences in a few days, but I wanted to get my major impressions out of the way now. As I said, there is so much to talk about that it's very hard to get it all down in one sitting.

I will leave everyone with this though....

Comicpalooza is well on it's way to becoming one of the top 5 conventions out there. The formula is correct. The numbers are growing, and they listen to the people and produce an ever improving experience for us all.

Despite any cons I have mentioned, they are easily a 9 out of 10 stars for me.

Thanks again guys!!

Colt Chenault

Friday, May 1, 2015

Batman #40 - Spoilers Ahead

Let me start off with the fact that I have enjoyed Snyder and Capullo from the get go with the Batman title. The tone to the art was captivating and the retelling of Bruce Wayne's struggle to become The Bat was done perfectly in Zero Year.

The Riddler was one of the best depictions I have ever had the joy of reading.

..And then I opened this comic.

It was a character study. Sure, there was some action, but in a matter of panels the entire reality of why Batman made the decisions he has come crashing down on you as a reader. He fated himself to die fighting the good fight. He knew this was how it would end and he did not turn from it or shield his eyes.

In the very end, HE was the insane one, and the Joker was the one with pure sanity and logic in those final moments, showing that they truly were opposites at their core AND their surface.

I'm reeaaaally looking forward to #41, but I'll be honest that I will be extremely sad to see it come.

If this were the last Batman comic to ever hit the shelves, Snyder would have gave him the perfect end where he puts to rest his demons and goes out on the terms he set for himself that night in the alley in the depths of his mind.

Rest well Dark Knight.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Dark Knight/Colt Returns!

Annnd we're back after a very long hiatus. We're going to give a bi weekly posting schedule of Monday's and Thursdays a shot. I'm still trying to get my blogger legs under me and get used to talking about things without a discernible audience as opposed to arguing about things with random pictures on face book!

There is a lot going on this summer that I have the pleasure of providing my own personal perspective on. I will actually limit the amount of posts I create that involve the movie scene however, because there is simply too much out there already.

So my first post is going to be simple and to the point.

Batman. The Dark knight Returns 3: The Master Race.

It's a thing. It's a terrifying thing.

The first volume was quite possibly a defining moment for EVERY Batman lover out there. Sure, we see Batman wreck the Justice League and Supes on a monthly basis. We KNOW that even though he is a mere mortal he can lay low the mightiest of beings... but this time. This first time it was taken to the brink. It sent chills up my spine watching an aged Batman dismantle the Son of Krypton piece by piece, and even then, only as a diversion.

This volume has stood at the top of my Batman favorite list for a looooong time.

And then the second volume came out. I... I don't really have words for the train wreck that was this volume. Carry Kelly was ruined for me. It was a mess. There might have been tears at this travesty.

And now Frank Miller is on board for Volume 3. By the cover, Superman is obviously involved. But, who else will there be? What will it be about? Supposition leads me to believe that this book will loosely follow the goings on in the new movie due out next year. Will Miller be given free reign? The title and his real world proclivities towards hate lean towards yes, but DC may have learned to keep a leash on the man who's candid quotes and other works create controversy left and right. We shall see, but I for one will be owning this book regardless of quality, but I'm so close to a Batman fan boy that it is only to be expected.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Houston Con Goers - Please Read!

Hey comic book folks. Gonna offer you some information on upcoming events.

There are two events coming up in August. One is Amazing Houston Comic Con, and the other is Space City Con: Houston, TX (which has changed its name to "Houston Con")

As you know, two conventions of a similar type probably won't last very long in the same city in the same month. People can't spend that kind of money twice.

So I've poked around and I've got a bit of information for you all.

Amazing Con
-Also has a convention in Vegas and Arizona
-Definitely has at least one top industry name, despite his issue with feet (Love ya Liefield!)
-And is brand new to the market of Houston

Houston Con
-Changed their name from Space City Con (quoted as reorganized)
-Went Bankrupt as Space City Con
-Has not managed space well in my experience

I am obviously biased at this point. I've been to SSC before, but I have not been to Amazing. I wasn't pleased with SSC when I attended, and yanno... it's not for everyone, but now I have to worry about the fact that people might go to SSC/HC and spend their time and hard earned money, and NOT attend Amazing which is later in the month, which could be a much better con and I feel really deserves a chance in the Houston market. If it fails hard because of SSC/HC I doubt they would come back.

Also, name changing after a bankruptcy just screams sneaky to me and I'm not a big fan of it. BUT, that said, I have information that the cause for having to close the doors was related to poor sales and some very serious electronics malfunctions. That definitely adds weight to the fact that it wasn't a shady deal going on.

So, please pass this around. Let your friends and possible attendees know, and I know many vendors/artists and friends of vendors/artists occasionally read what I type. I want people making an informed decision regardless of what it is.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Comicpalooza 2014 - Part 2 : Poisitve Thoughts

I'm so giddy about this part. I get to relive large moments of a great con, and let my readers in on so many things that media and news won't cover because they weren't REALLY there. However, I'm going to break this down a little, so that people can go to the sections that interested them. I don't want to waste your time.


It was FAST. It may have been a huge line, but man did it move. The individual running Will Call was excellent at making sure his volunteers were always handling a customer, and those volunteers were expedient, friendly, and genuinely happy to be there and helping.

As a VIP my shwag bag was missing a few things that I had not noticed at the time of registration. I didn't have to worry. About an hour later I walked up to one of the volunteers and told them, and they quickly drug me over to a booth, filled my bag up with the goodies I was missing and a few extra to boot. It was awesome.

(However, my VIP badge apparently belonged to another individual originally as it had her name on the back. When I went to ask someone about this, the three volunteers standing around not doing anything actually told me "Well, be glad you got a badge"... that irked me, but yanno... not every volunteer is useful, nice, etc and the excellent treatment made up for that small annoyance)


The talent this year held many of the same wonderful artists from years back, but on top of that several very large names in comics were in attendance, and everybody was glad to see me and any other individual that came to their table. (except Mike Mignola and Neal Adams... they just did not appear to be enjoying themselves nor felt like engaging their HUGE fan base. Bad day? Maybe. Rough night? Possibly. Eithere way, small bits of some peoples soul were chipped away by the reception they got from these two individuals)

Stan Lee. Seriously. Generalissimo! Regardless of where you fall in liking Stan Lee due to the Kirby Conspiracy or not... he's such an enjoyable figure. He was friendly, engaging, and must have a bionic hand (seriously... thousands of signatures I'm sure). His handlers might have been a little "move it along and don't waste our time", but I can't actually blame them for that... there were a lot of people and everybody needed their fan time.

CGC. They've never been a presence at 'Palooza before that I have seen. They were very noticeable this year, and it was a great thing. I feel like seeing several signs for folks grading comics is one of the true signs of becoming a big convention. Not only can you have a great time meeting the creators of your childhood, but you can verify that you had that great time with a memory that will last forever in it's air tight packaging!!

The Live Art Auction. This is my FAVORITE part of this entire show. The chance to watch so many amazing artists perform in front of you is not only a treat but an awe inspiring event. Not only that but all of the money raised goes to the Ronald McDonald House. It's a wonderful cause, and an amazing chance to own some of the most amazing art!!! (I continued my streak of winning a few pieces and could not be happier!)


If you read my negative thoughts, you might be shocked to hear this, but the entire set up was superbly done. Schedules were met, tons of prizes and free gifts were handed out as well as many a newcomer taught how to play games. Whoever ran this part of the convention needs a pay raise. They nailed it hard!!!

They had an extensive library of games that you could rent by simply giving the coordinator your drivers license until you were done, and he was quite knowledgeable on many of the games and a really enjoyable individual to listen to. He was passionate about his gaming, while also able to refrain from being overbearing. It was a perfect combination for a man in his position, and it allowed me to learn several new games too! (Takenoko, Smashup, Dixit, Small World, and Kittens in a Blender *no actual kittens were harmed in the playing of this game)


Far from overbearing. Willing to haggle with their prices. Eager to help you find what you wanted. Unique. Original works. They were there to make money, but they weren't draining you of every dime you owned. Some of the best vendors I've seen at conventions.

Comic book sellers. There were sooo many more than last year. It was refreshing and wonderful for us hardcore comic nerds. There is nothing quite like rooting through bins looking for that one issue you need or finding a gem inside of a box of comics. (To find this gem I suggest Floyd's comics, because he had some SERIOUSLY awesome goods in his dollar boxes of comics and even if he was shocked to see it, he'd sell it for the dollar anyways!)


I really wish I'd gotten around to more panels and I'm not sure I can truly give any type of comments on them in detail, but I can say that After Midnight was a treat as always, and the Video Game Themed Burlesque show by Dem Damn Dames was uproariously funny and one of the best memories of the convention (Not JUST because of bewbs. Their Mega Man MC had me rolling in tears of laughter). I really hope they bring them back next year. It was worth every bit of my time.


Every now and again you may end up with a few stuffy celebrities that just don't seem fun, or may not appear to enjoy their fans and the atmosphere. Not this year.

Everybody was smiles, waves and eager to give their fans memories, though one man stood out from the crowd and not only went the extra mile, but did a couple of laps while he was at it.

John Barrowman. Malcolm Merlyn. Captain Jack. If he wasn't hamming it up and feeding his fans his own enthusiasm, he could be found hugging a special service animal, witnessing a gay couples engagement at the front of his booth, or making out with a Cosplaying Pam's Dolphin puppet while sitting in her lap (Seriously... there are pictures). Even of site there was a story by my friend that he, Cary Elwes, and several others were the loudest and happiest people in Mia's for dinner and were enjoying themselves immensely!

He has the recipe down. He knows that life is about enjoyment and he seeks it out and drags his fans along with him for the ride. This man is doin it right! And I honestly wasn't much of a fan until after this convention. I've watched some of Arrow, and I hear about Torchwood occasionally, but until he showed how deep his love for his fans and these conventions were, I just didn't know how awesome he was.


So there. There is so much more to tell. I could go on for days. But this will have to do unless I get more interest. I'm afraid these long blogs may get a lot of tl;dr, but this was as short as I could make them.

In closing, Comicpalooza is the largest Southwest Comic Convention in the United States. They offer awesomeness for all walks of the nerd life, and they have proven very thoroughly throughout the years that they are not only worth my money, but they are worthy of my promotion and eagerness to see them continue to grow.

Thank you 'Palooza for giving me so many amazing memories for years to come.

Comicpalooza 2014 - Part 1 : Negative Thoughts

I'll try to go into more detail later, but for now I'll spend just a second throwing out my gut reactions of the convention. I'll start off with bad, because honestly I enjoyed the con immensely and I'd like this blog to end on an upbeat note.

The volunteers at the doors. These people had less of a clue as to what was going on than even the regular con goers. On Friday, the volunteers at hall D were adamant that ONLY Doctor Who badges were allowed in at 11:30, which had those of us who dropped 150$ to get the VIP badges all in a tizzy... a flesh rending, howling tizzy. Several of us showed them the app AND their web page where it mentioned we would be allowed early access. They said they didn't care.

Now, I'm going to break the story for a moment. People... PEOPLE... if you don't know, you do NOT tell a swarm of nerds that they aren't allowed to get what they paid for. I don't say this because I am the crazy disgruntled type... I say this because I witnessed what might have been a defining moment in nerddom, rivaled only by the Red Wedding.

So... back to my tale. They didn't care. And then suddenly they cared a lot, because every VIP badge holder, Every.Single.One., (Including me... herd mentality yo!) channeled Bruce Banner and started that slow shuffle towards the individual at the door in that calmly menacing manner (While growing green and VERY large) that causes your dog to tuck tail and make himself very small and leave a small puddle on the ground...

The short wrap up of this tale is that we got in 5 minutes earlier than we were supposed to. The longer ending is that a janitor was probably needed, and the doofus at door D was replaced by an individual with more competence and a higher instinct for self preservation.


Next is really just a continuation of the last complaint in different form.

So, the game and panel area is pretty much separate from the convention. Getting up to those areas does not require a badge, and pretty frequently individuals have to leave the first floor proper to get to a panel on time. Not a big deal. Real simple.

Until you get out of your panel and go back downstairs to get into the convention and door nazi tells you that you have to go to the back of the LAAAAAARGE (1-2hr long line) of people that just bought their wristbands to get into the convention that is outside the convention in the sweltering heat. I'm sorry... It was NEVER overly crowded inside. I cannot fathom a reason that there was a line to begin with, but I won't dwell on that. I will simply state that if I have been inside the con already and still have my "amulet of admittance", under no circumstances should I be forced into a line to wait to regain entry. The convention forced me to go upstairs for it's programming and leave it's dealer/vendor/artist room behind... it's not like I wanted to "leave the convention".

Now, I don't know the particulars of how everything works for admittance, but I can suggest a quick idea, which is simply instead of allowing people entry into the con ONLY through the C hall entrance, allow people with badges (of all types) their own entrance. It would be the least we could do, because seriously... 99% of us probably paid early, without knowing the celebrities or the panels. We gave our money to the convention based on faith.... not forcing us to wait in line every time we leave the con or go between sections of the con is the LEAST that could be done for us.


The gaming room. I was actually upset by this little tidbit which I experienced every night of the convention. The scheduled time for the game room to shut down was a complete lie. Every night, we were told to leave early (from 1 -2 hours early in fact) by either a policeman/woman or by an official saying that the nursing staff was going home so we couldn't be there.

That is unacceptable. The convention stated it's times and by not being able to fulfill them, they pretty much ruined several gamers nights, because honestly... there is a large crowd of individuals that only come to the con to be in that game room, and some of them came late with the expectation of being able to complete a 4-5hr game, but being unable to due to whatever snafu caused it to shut down early. Regardless, it should be an easy fix next year as long as the con knows to address it.


My last and final beef isn't even really a big beef. It's just a moment of reminiscence to last year and something they did right that they didn't due this year. The Battlepods. One of the best fun you can have blowing up your buddies in giant metal robots... except it takes time. You have to wait in line, wait for your name to be called, and generally invest quite a bit of time for 10 minutes of play. Not something you generally want to do in the prime time hours of the convention. It is just a video game and they ARE Houston based, so you can always play the game at some other day. So, the fact that they were located in the dealer area meant that they shut down at 7 with the rest of that area and the chance for fun was over.

Last year, they were up in the gaming area. It was open till 2am. The excitement of the would wind down and people would transfer upstairs for the last few panels and to get their gamer nerd on... and there they were. The nuclear powered awesomeness that can only be 100 tons of steel under your direct, maniacal, control... and it was good. We would all line up and play into the night.

This was ideal. They made tons of money, the after hours portion of the show had a very prominent draw to keep people enjoying themselves and, I bet that the Battlepods owners made a lot more money.

Now, this could have happened at the request of the Battlepod owners, that they were moved downstairs, so I won't blame this on the convention runners at all... but I will say that it had a better home upstairs where we con goers could make use of it for so much longer into the night.

So, that is my initial negative reactions to Comicpalooza, and while it is a very lengthy post, if you've made it this far you should really understand that I just ramble on. The show was great. These issues (minus the early gaming shut down and being pushed outside into a line 3-4 times a day) were miniscule in scope and only a nit picky attention seeking blogger like myself would ever put them into words for the world to see.

Stay tuned for my positive commentary in a second blog, because it will definitely highlight why this is such a great con.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Threat - Stratum Comics (Austin Based)

It actually threatens to be a great book! I'm not goign to spoil any of the story, but I have to say the direction of the first two issues has allowed for a solid vision of the writer's intent as well as promised an exciting (And Interesting) future.

The art work as well as the coloring is far from standard fare for an independent companies title. I was impressed by the coloring specifically, as I have always felt that was one of the hardest jobs, to keep from detracting from the art itself while also adding something because the color exists at all.

My only problem is, I don't enjoy the layout of the book. It feels incredibly cookie cutter with the layout of it's panels. There were many chances to provide dynamic layouts that excited a readers eye and kept their eyes busy with more than just the art and the text. The standard non overlapping rectangles and squares actually detracted from the readability of the comic book for me, but perhaps they will take bigger chances and trend towards something innovative in the future, and even if I continue to find it troublesome, the story is definitely enough to keep me searching for the title!

I reccomend this book. It isn't the heroes you know, nor is it the same old story rehashed. It's new and fresh and I think you will find it worth a read. I would, however, suggest borrowing it from a friend or reading it in the shop to see if you like it. It comes at a steep five dollar price tag, which is slightly understandable for a local publisher, but still a lot of money for a comic book you may be taking a chance on.

For anyone interested, this is Stratum Comics facebook page! Go like them and keep up to date with all of their projects!