Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011: Crap I Want

Sorry today's post is so lazy picture-wise. I've got a lot to get done and just don't have time to do pics. Don't worry, though. If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter I'll more than make up for it over the weekend.
Today is going to be a very long day, so I’m going to attempt to make some of the time pass by rambling about Dragon*Con. I’m starting with the intention of covering what I’m going to be looking for in the Dealer’s Rooms and might also hit on some artists I’d like to get work from. I’m going to try and be entertaining, but this is mostly going to be so I can remember what I’m supposed to be doing after my twenty-eighth straight hour of drinking.
Okay, I can’t actually drink that much (unlike some of the others in my crew); but with everything going on during the best weekend of the year it’s easy to lose track of the fact that you can actually accomplish stuff.
For instance, I just now recalled that there are a few DVDs I am going to be wanting to purchase.

DVDs that are maybe not entirely “Official” or “Legitimate” or – strictly speaking – “Legal”. And Dragon*Con is the best place to find such things. Naturally every con features a table with some industrious gentleman selling bootlegs of anime, collections of fan films or alternate cuts of big studio productions. But Dragon*Con – oh, my beloved Dragon*Con – typically features no less than six such vendors.
A couple will offer similar wares, but some specialize. There is one table that is all anime that I always move past as quickly as possible so as not to catch what I refer to as “The Squick”. The Squick is the scummy, almost tangible miasma of despair and perverse anticipation that surrounds anime enthusiasts like Pig Pen’s signature cloud of dust. It’s inescapable at Dragon*Con, but with careful movement and a supply of Purell you can avoid contamination for the most part.
Another table always offers collections of classic cartoons. From Felix the Cat to the Shirt Tales; you can find almost anything in the “Not Perverted” animation category there. The guy even had a collection of Spiral Zone cartoons last year. I was tempted.
Titles range from $15 to as high as $75 or more depending on the content. I paid $45 for the entire Adam West Batman series a couple of years ago (still one of the best investments I’ve ever made) and got a couple of runs of classic Doctor Who last year for a bargain from a guy on Monday who was just trying to move them.
So here are a few titles that I’ll be on the lookout for over the weekend. I do try to stick to stuff that is not currently available from normal retail sources - it’s easier on my conscience. Keep in mind – by the time I’ve been through the vendor rooms a couple of times and spent a million dollars on Doctor Who stuff I’ll probably pass on most of these due to the prices.
Spiral Zone
Classic Doctor Who – Anything with the first or second Doctors. Third and up I pretty much want the retail releases with all the special features, but I’ve found the earliest stories to be too hit-or-miss to invest in. Bare bones collections for twenty or thirty bucks are definitely the way to go.
Evil Dead – The Musical
Inhumanoids – I believe there are a couple of collections available, but the entire series has not been offered.
Tiger Sharks – I remember liking this more than Thundercats, but it was hard to catch because it was on an odd channel at an odd time – Sunday mornings, I think? I have a feeling it might suck now, but I want to find out.
I got a few sketches last year. They’re neat, but hunting down artists to get them done and dealing with the price and then keeping track of the artists for the rest of the weekend is almost too much of a hassle. Sketches won’t ever be a hobby for me like they are for some folks. At last year’s show I was so close to my dream sketch from Kelley Jones – one of my favorite artists – only to have it slip through my fingers when Jones disappeared after Saturday. I had asked him to draw me with Cal MacDonald and Mo’Lock. Honestly the sort of sketch that I could be happy having as my last.
Even though I don’t have such lofty aspirations this year, I have prepared myself for the sketch process. I purchased a shit-ton of business cards to leave with artists or with anybody else who might ever require the services of Phantom Troublemaker:
I had bigger plans for this year as far as interactions with other Dragon*Con patrons, but they’re going to have to wait for 2012.
But I have (sort of) recovered from the heartbreak of the lost Troublemaker sketch and there are a couple of folks that I’d like to have pieces from.
Koi Turnbull – Chris Walker had Mr. Turnbull start on something for me after Heroes Con. I’m hoping to pick it up this weekend.
Andy Runton – I’s like to have an Owly Troublemaker
Bill Sienkewicz – I know I probably won’t end up getting a sketch (I can’t imagine what such a legend would charge), but I do have the Venture Bros. season 2 print that he did. I had Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick sign it a couple of years ago, so having the actual artist sign it would be outstanding.
Cully Hamner – Okay – here’s my idea: I’m going to give Hamner one of my cards and ask him to redesign Phantom Troublemaker with the DCnU ethos in mind. I can’t wait to see what I look like with a Nehru collar, kneepads and giant spiky shoulder armor.
Steve Dillon – Again, I’m sure cost will be an issue but I sure would love a sketch of me and Jesse Custer.
I also need to hit somebody up for a special piece. For some reason Lil’ Troublemaker uses, “No way, Jose!” as Batman’s catch phrase. Any time some villain is trying to pull something off, there’s one of his 800 Batmen shouting, “No way, Jose!” and suplexing them across the room or running over them with a Batmobile (seriously – the Troublemaker Batmen commit a lot of vehicular manslaughter). So I want to see if Tom Feister or maybe one of the cartoonists will do a sketch of Batman and a stereotypical Mexican guy – mustache, serape, sombrero – with the catchphrase.
And that brings me to actual stuff.
Normally a fair portion of my Dragon*Con budget goes towards purchasing SDCC Exclusives. But I did so well this year that the only thing I am going to be looking for is the Cold Slither Zarana; and I am unfortunately positive I’m going to end up paying out the ass for that one.
Still, there are a few other odds and ends that are either unique to the Dragon*Con environment, easier to find there or simply will be cheaper than paying for shipping that I want to keep an eye out for.
Doctor Who stuff
Doctor Who merchandise is always an important part of Dragon*Con. For the most part I can only get it through online entities and even though I do have a resource with excellent pricing – – it’s still cheaper when you don’t have to pay for shipping. So I’ll be looking for a few different things this weekend.
Season Six Wave 2 – I’m not 100% that this is the correct name of the wave, but I’ll be looking for the two different variations of the Silents, Idris, the spacesuit girl and the Ganger Doctor.
The Rainbow Daleks – I like the new designs. I’m not so sure they should totally replace the old versions, but I’m cool with them. If I can get ‘em cheap I’ll pick up the orange and white ones.
TARDISes (?) – There are a couple of different classic-era TARDIS toys I wouldn’t mind owning, but only if I can get a deal. The 7th and 4th Doctors’, specifically.
Hot Toys Iron Man Mark IV – Yeah, I know I’m not going to find it for a price I’m willing to pay. It’s just that I found one for $150 a few years ago and foolishly passed on it and have been hoping to chance across another deal ever since.
Star Trek retro figures – I’ve got Kirk and Spock but I’d like the rest of the crew. I’ve seen them cheap at a couple of cons and depending on what else I find this weekend might go ahead and pick some up.
Serenity figures – They made some. From what I’ve seen they aren’t great, but if they are even halfway decent I’ll pick them up. I believe they only produced Jayne, Mal and a Reaver. My hope (and fear) is that at some point Hot Toys will get the license to do Firefly.
Trade collections – There’s always this one vendor that had trade paperbacks from every publisher for fifty percent off and more. I need some Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Star Wars, Justice League and a few other titles. I actually have a list saved in my phone for reference this year.
Watchband – Granny Troublemaker recently gave me Papaw Troublemaker’s watch. It’s a big deal that I’ve got it, but I can’t wear it with the band he always wore (it’s one of those stretchy metal ones) and the one it’s on is not my style. I’m hoping to find something cool.
Living Dead Dolls – The new zombie series is out and I’d like to pick them up for Mrs. Troublemaker. And in a first, I actually want a couple for myself. We’ve already got the luchador from a couple of series ago, but he’s upstairs with the wife’s stuff. I’d like one for myself as well as the Blind Dead zombie from the new series. I love those movies and this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to a figure. The guy who designs the LDD is always there, so I’ll get him to sign mine. Mrs. Troublemaker doesn’t care about that kind of stuff, though. She’d probably be pissed. “Somebody wrote all over the box. What is this shit?” She once gleefully told a guy with a fresh, new Stan Lee signature on some ancient Spidey comic that he’d just ruined his comic. She’s funny like that.
Until next time, stay creepy

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