Happy July 4th from My Favorite Patriotic Marvel Comic Ever

What If? 44!

Except where noted, all art in this entry is by Sal Buscema, Dave Simons, and George Roussos.

Behold the big save-the-day rallying moment from What If? (vol. 1) #44, cover-dated April 1984, which left an indelible impression on me when I was eleven. Three decades later you can take this dramatic splash page totally out of context and pretend it’s symbolic of you as the one true arbiter of What America Is Really All About, Spider-Man and alt-universe Sam Wilson’s army are your friends who agree with you on everything as far as you know, and the other Captain America is everyone whose idea of America is the exact opposite of yours, thus making them evil impostors who must be crushed. With all those Zip-a-Tone layers giving it more lighting depth than any other page in the issue, I have no idea why no one ever turned this into a poster.

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“Inside Out”: Oceans of Commotions from Notions of Emotions

Inside Out!

Two women on the go and an unforgiving canyon. It’s just like Thelma and Louise except this time men aren’t to blame for everything and they didn’t cut off the ending.

Pixar has wowed us before, but this is the first time they’ve adapted one of my wish-list items into a major motion picture. With their new spectacle Inside Out I finally got that Parks and Rec/The Office crossover I’ve been imagining in my head for years. Amy Poehler’s Joy basically is Leslie Knope — she has the unlimited zest, the relentless positivism, the stubborn refusal to accept dissent, and the disturbing attachment to large binders. Phyllis Smith’s Sadness and Mindy Kaling’s Disgust represent for an animated Dunder Mifflin exactly as they would in live-action, but without the guys around to get in their way. It’s probably for the best that NBC didn’t force the showrunners into a crossover years ago, and instead let it happen organically when the time was right. I’m just thrilled that it came to pass in my lifetime.

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Indy Pop Con 2015 Photos, Part 3 of 3: What We Did and Who We Met

The Shirt!

My wife’s caption: “To those who know the pain of being a geek in a non-geek world…”

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This weekend the second annual Indy PopCon once again overtook our Indiana Convention Center with a festive mix of comics, gaming, voice actors, established actors, animation, podcasting, and various other manifestations of pop and geek culture in general. This year’s guest list also encroached upon a new entertainment frontier: the rapidly expanding world of YouTube stars. My wife and I had never heard of any of those who were invited, but we were outnumbered several thousand to one in that regard.

We attended Saturday only for a limited time for a number of reasons with a short itinerary and modest expectations, but we took photos as usual for You, the Viewers at Home.

Part One was some costumes. Part Two was some more costumes. Part Three is some not-costumes, unless my wife’s new favorite T-shirt counts.

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Indy Pop Con 2015 Photos, Part 2 of 3: More Costumes!

Vincent + Tifa!

Vincent and Tifa from Final Fantasy VII. Longtime MCC readers know I brake for anyone from FF.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This weekend the second annual Indy PopCon once again overtook our Indiana Convention Center with a festive mix of comics, gaming, voice actors, established actors, animation, podcasting, and various other manifestations of pop and geek culture in general. This year’s guest list also encroached upon a new entertainment frontier: the rapidly expanding world of YouTube stars. My wife and I had never heard of any of those who were invited, but we were outnumbered several thousand to one in that regard.

We attended Saturday only for a limited time for a number of reasons with a short itinerary and modest expectations, but we took photos as usual for You, the Viewers at Home.

Part One had costumes; Part Two has more costumes. Part Three doesn’t have costumes except as Easter eggs.

Right this way for all the other costumes we caught!

Indy Pop Con 2015 Photos, Part 1 of 3: Costumes from the Marvel/Disney Empire

Miles Morales, Ultimate Spider-Man!

Miles Morales, Ultimate Spider-Man, prepares to spring into action.

This weekend the second annual Indy PopCon once again overtook our Indiana Convention Center with a festive mix of comics, gaming, voice actors, established actors, animation, podcasting, and various other manifestations of pop and geek culture in general. This year’s guest list also encroached upon a new entertainment frontier: the rapidly expanding world of YouTube stars. My wife and I had never heard of any of those who were invited, but we were outnumbered several thousand to one in that regard.

We attended Saturday only for a limited time for a number of reasons with a short itinerary and modest expectations, but we took photos as usual for You, the Viewers at Home. The first two entries will be costumes, because that’s one of those things we like to see and share. In our first lineup: characters from the synergistic worlds of Marvel Comics, Walt Disney Animation, and that faraway Star Wars galaxy. Oddly, exactly half the viable cosplay pics we took comprised personalities from their corporate domain.

Right this way for heroes and villains in the Mighty Marvel Manner! And their amazing business associates, too!

“San Andreas”: Our Stars in the Fault

San Andreas!

The Rock prepares to go punch the San Andreas Fault really hard. YOU try telling him that’ll only make it worse.

I said it to myself six years ago, and I stand by my stance today: every natural disaster film ever made for the rest of my life will pale in comparison to Roland Emmerich’s 2012. The pretenders will come, they’ll try to convince us their version of Mother Nature is the angriest of all times, they’ll knock over buildings by the dozen, they’ll grind hundreds of extras and millions of CG avatars into so much disaster mulch, and they’ll end with the reassurance that all the right costars will survive. None of them can hope to match Emmerich’s ludicrous audacity, the intimidating sight of America burning and sliding into the ocean, the world’s fastest limousine, the pre-Fast/Furious car-jump out of a flying plane, Woody Harrelson’s free-spirit zealotry, the post-apocalyptic speech to end all post-apocalyptic speeches as delivered by future Academy Award Nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, or the bizarre fact that the movie costarred a screenwriter but was co-written by its composer.

It’s cute when someone invests a lot of money in giving one a try anyway. My mom needs reasons to get out of the house and she loves disaster movies (for her the gold standard is Earthquake), so one night I found myself at a showing of San Andreas with zero expectations and the satisfaction in knowing that sometimes I do try to be a good son.

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