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Our Cartoon Crossroads Columbus 2017 Photos

CXC Comics!

So you say you like comic books? Not just like them, but LIKE-like them? Have we got a show for you!

Last Saturday my wife Anne and I had the pleasure of attending the third annual Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, an enlightening expo in the heart of Ohio for hardcore fans of comic books, graphic novels, the Graphic Storytelling Medium, and whatever other labels my fellow fans slap on their favorite hobby. You’d think Anne and I had our fill of cons after all the shows we’ve been doing this year. We can honestly say we’ve officially reached burnout, but CXC isn’t your ordinary average “comic con”. CXC has no Hollywood actors. No celebrities. No cosplay. No photo-op booths. No gaming. No eBay toy dealers. No Funco Pops. No comic shops selling Marvel Ultimate trades by the pound as horse feed. No lengthy list of famous guest cancellations due to filming or showrunner malfeasance. And no sugar gliders.

What does that leave, you may ask before you close your browser tab in disappointment? Comics. CXC puts the “comic” back in “comic con” and then runs the “con” part through an intense filtration process to produce the purest possible form of the original sense of the phrase. CXC is the perfect show for the comics fan who’s disappointed by the increasingly mixed bag that the average Artists Alley has become at many large-scale shows. CXC is a bountiful bazaar for the collector who wants to buy something besides prints or self-published novels. CXC is a happy haven for readers who know there’s more to comics than Marvel and DC. CXC is a knowledgeable nexus for the artistic literati above my station, sneering at any comics retailer who thinks stocking some Image Comics by former Marvel writers is all the “diversity” they can handle.

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Louisville’s FandomFest: Con or Con?

FandomFest 2017!

An early version of this year’s FandomFest banner, which I have fixed for them at no charge, which is just as well because I suspect they wouldn’t respond to my invoice anyway. [Updated 7/28/2017 to reflect still more guest cancellations…]

Last year around this time, my wife Anne and I had been discussing the possibility of investigating geek conventions in other states beyond our own Indiana besides just fabled Chicago. In recent times we’ve since enjoyed successful outings to Ohio and Michigan, and continue keeping an open mind on future opportunities within reasonable driving distance, or within reasonable flying distance if someone wants to pay our way.

It’s in that spirit of out-of-state geek adventure that we bought Saturday advance tickets for this coming weekend’s FandomFest, the largest recurring comic/entertainment convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Before setting any of this entry into print, I asked my wife Anne whether she would prefer I refer to us as “idiots” or “suckers”. She suggested “hopeless optimists”. Whichever sounds right to you, here we are with weekend plans for which we are presently bracing ourselves for stress and failure. But the important thing is we’ll be miserable and angried up and disgustipated together.

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Motor City Comic Con 2017 Photos, Part 2 of 2: Who We Met and What We Did

Barbara Eden!

My wife with Barbara Eden, star of TV’s I Dream of Jeannie. This con was my birthday trip, but Anne was pretty elated with her end of the deal.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This weekend Anne and I had the pleasure of attending the 28th annual Motor City Comic Con in the city of Novi, a safe suburb northwest of Detroit, some 300 miles from home. Well established and catering to fans of comics and media guests alike, MCCC is a shade smaller than our two regular Chicago shows, but proved an excellent reason to return to Michigan for our first time in fifteen years.

Whenever we attend a new con, the same set of fears nips at us every time. How crowded will it be? Do the showrunners know what they’re doing? Is the layout simple or complicated? Are their attendees nice people? Is the parking convenient and/or affordable? How horrible is the convention center food? We were relieved to confirm by the end of the day that MCCC by and large has nearly all its gears locked properly in place, and plans afoot to solve the one issue that complicated matters for a bit of the afternoon. Every show has its issues, but the best ones are already working on solutions before you can tell them about their problems.

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Motor City Comic Con 2017 Photos, Part 1 of 2: Cosplay!

Yondu and Mary Poppins!

Yondu and Mary Poppins. Um, mild spoiler for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

My wife and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. For my 45th birthday, we decided to expand those parameters.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we’ve ruminated from time to time on the possibility of attending comic book/entertainment conventions in other areas outside our hometown of Indianapolis. While researching other Hoosier sightseeing options we haven’t tried yet for our birthdays (we haven’t quite run out of historical sites, odd museums, or pretty nature), I decided to check into American comic-con schedules for the weekend, assuming I’d find nothing within a thousand miles of home. I was surprised to discover a handful of results, including a rather large one at the top of the list.

This weekend Anne and I had the pleasure of attending the 28th annual Motor City Comic Con in the city of Novi, a safe suburb northwest of Detroit, some 300 miles from home. Well established and catering to fans of comics and media guests alike, MCCC is a shade smaller than our two regular Chicago shows, but proved an excellent reason to return to Michigan for our first time in fifteen years.

But first and foremost, per our standard convention procedures: cosplay! Presenting a showcase of all the costumes we photographed during our hours walking through and around the exhibit hall on Saturday. Longtime readers know the drill; hence, costumes from MCCC here on MCC. Enjoy the gallery!

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C2E2 2017 Photos, Part 4 of 4: Who We Met and What We Did

Mike Colter!

Behold the smooth moves of Marvel’s next big thing, POWER MAN AND DOUGHY GUY.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The eighth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″) just wrapped another three-day extravaganza of comic books, actors, creators, toys, props, publishers, freebies, Funko Pops, anime we don’t recognize, and walking and walking and walking and walking…

Another year, another C2E2. Another ostensible three-hour drive from Indianapolis to Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. Another two days of nonstop excitement and occasional consternation, of fun fan interaction and occasional physical breakdown as our aging bodies struggle to keep up with our youthful enthusiasm. Another list of reasons to leave the house for the sake of celebrating the engaging interests that give us reasons never to leave the house.

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C2E2 2017 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Comics Creators Cavalcade

C2E2 2017 Comics!

This year’s new reading haul. I may have to work more overtime to pay this weekend off.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The eighth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″) just wrapped another three-day extravaganza of comic books, actors, creators, toys, props, publishers, freebies, Funko Pops, anime we don’t recognize, and walking and walking and walking and walking…

…and the densest Artists Alley we’ve ever seen. Eleven double-length rows of writers, artists, cartoonists, painters, print makers, button sellers, novelists, professionals, amateurs, up-‘n’-comers, elder statesmen, internet sensations, and quiet ones you gotta watch. It was an array so nice, I had to walk it twice, and I still missed a few people I’d wanted to meet. Some had autograph lines longer than the voice actors’. Some just weren’t at their tables when I passed by. A few called in sick, but are hopefully feeling much better now.

But before we got that far, we managed to make time for a pair of panels — one about comics, the other about Star Wars.

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