Indiana Comic Con 2018 Photos, Part 3 of 3: Who We Met and What We Did

David Harbour!

David Harbour, a.k.a. Chief Hopper from Netflix’s Stranger Things, getting more than he bargained for in his big weekend.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife Anne and I attended the fifth annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. It was another opportunity to dive into comic boxes, meet people who make comics, boggle at toy displays, make way for the youngsters who can’t get enough of anime merchandise, and find space to breathe in those cheerfully ever-growing crowds. To be honest, we were surprised how many of the actors on hand were folks we’d met at previous cons, but Anne and I found a few new intriguing names on the guest list and decided to drop by once more.

The biggest name we hadn’t met was, of course, our man Chief Hopper, the hero of Hawkins, the guardian of Eleven, and one of the great cast members from Stranger Things. He was a later addition to the con’s guest list, but his recruitment sealed the deal for our participation. We were far from alone on this, accompanied as we were by thousands of other fans excited for the opportunity.

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Indiana Comic Con 2018 Photos, Part 2 of 3: More Cosplay!

Bunny Fett!

Happy Easter from MCC and the Easter Boba!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife Anne and I attended the fifth annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. It was another opportunity to dive into comic boxes, meet people who make comics, boggle at toy displays, make way for the youngsters who can’t get enough of anime merchandise, and find space to breathe in those cheerfully ever-growing crowds. To be honest, we were surprised how many of the actors on hand were folks we’d met at previous cons, but Anne and I found a few new intriguing names on the guest list and decided to drop by once more.

While we recuperate and wait for our feet to forgive us for their punishment, please enjoy this collection of cosplayers who brightened the day around the show floor. The actors and comics creators will be shared at the end of this special miniseries because everyone loves costumes. In all we took over three dozen pics of varying degrees of tailoring talent and photo quality. We regret we can only represent a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the total cosplay wonderment that was on display this weekend. We’re just an aging couple doing what we can for happy sharing fun…

…and in Part Two, it’s time for all the remaining cosplay that’s fit to print from the worlds of TV, animation, gaming, Netflix, and more. Enjoy! Again!

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Indiana Comic Con 2018 Photos, Part 1 of 3: Cosplay!

Jedi v. Sith!

Kylo Ren and friends were the last cosplayers we met at the end of the day, but they’re first in line for our two cosplay galleries.

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife Anne and I attended the fifth annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. It was another opportunity to dive into comic boxes, meet people who make comics, boggle at toy displays, make way for the youngsters who can’t get enough of anime merchandise, and find space to breathe in those cheerfully ever-growing crowds. To be honest, we were surprised how many of the actors on hand were folks we’d met at previous cons, but Anne and I found a few new intriguing names on the guest list and decided to drop by once more.

While we recuperate and wait for our feet to forgive us for their punishment, please enjoy this collection of cosplayers who brightened the day around the show floor. The actors and comics creators will be shared at the end of this special miniseries because everyone loves costumes. In all we took over three dozen pics of varying degrees of tailoring talent and photo quality. We’re dividing the stack into arbitrary halves and letting Part 1 focus on the superstars of the Marvel, DC, and Star Wars universes. We regret we can only represent a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the total cosplay wonderment that was on display this weekend. We’re just an aging couple doing what we can for happy sharing fun. Enjoy!

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Our 2017 in Jazz Hands: Another MCC Convention Photo-Op Gallery

Alex Kingston!

My personal fave from this year: at WIzard World Chicago, Alex Kingston, whom I first saw on NBC’s ER. Much later she returned as Doctor Who‘s Professor River Song. She was one among three of the Doctor’s companions we met in 2017.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover, one year ago:

Here in the doldrums of January, when not much is going on outside our humble abode, my wife Anne and I have already tentatively mapped out our 2017 convention plans, with room for additions if any wild opportunities come up in the months ahead. As an antidote to the soggy winter blues and the current political climate that has all but murdered my enjoyment of most of the internet lately, we’d like to take a look back at the actors we’ve met over the past three years with this very special photo compilation of one of our favorite convention activities: asking actors if they’ll join us in a bit of jazz hands.

That previous gallery collected our jazz-hands experiences from 2014 to 2016. Our 2017 has come and gone and, as previously reported, we broke our personal record for most events attended in a single year, which added up to a veritable chorus line full of what Broadway pros call “Fosse fingers”. We won’t come anywhere close to topping ourselves in 2018 or for the foreseeable future, so please enjoy the following clipfest starring a plethora of talented folks who have impressed us in movies or on TV who were willing to play along, including one accredited pro who was actually there on the front lines at the dawn of the jazz-hands era.

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Indiana Comic Con 2017 Photos, Part 4 of 4: Who We Met and What We Did

Cary Elwes!

Dearest farm boy Wesley himself humors a couple of weirdos. As we wish.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I attended the fourth annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. Once again Anne and I found a few intriguing names on the guest list and decided to drop by…

In our first three chapters you saw all our costume photos that were remotely fit to print, but wandering the halls and capturing people’s handiwork and souls isn’t all we do at cons.

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Indiana Comic Con 2017 Photos, Part 3 of 4: More Saturday Cosplay

Sam Wilsons!

Sam Wilson, Captain America; Sam Wilson, the Falcon; and Jedi Knight Phoa Toe-Bhomm.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I attended the fourth annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. Once again Anne and I found a few intriguing names on the guest list and decided to drop by…

And now, the part everyone’s always waiting for: all the rest of our cosplay pics from our Saturday walkabout. As with every such con, the following represents a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the total number of attendees, cosplayers, and characters on hand. One of the innumerable beauties of the internet is that no two convention cosplay photo galleries will ever be alike. This one is ours.

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Indiana Comic Con 2017 Photos, Part 2 of 4: Costume Contest Highlights

Stranger Things family!

One of several families that cosplayed together: Eleven, Sheriff Hopper, Nancy, Joyce with Christmas lights, and Barbara from Stranger Things.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I attended the fourth annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. Once again Anne and I found a few intriguing names on the guest list and decided to drop by…

We spent 11½ hours at the Convention Center on Saturday because we wanted to be there early to head up one particular actor’s line, and had to stay late for one particular actress’ near-sundown photo op. In between we had a lot of hours on our hands — some of it scheduled, some of it free time. By mid-afternoon we were beat, had exhausted nearly all our entertainment options, and weren’t finding much else to do on the panel list. On a whim and in need of seating, we decided to check out our first convention costume contest in two years.

Longtime MCC readers may recall the overlong essay explaining why I decided to stop attending costume contests. I stand by that essay and the problems I developed, but in this case: (a) I had planned to sit back during the contest and watch from afar rather than trying to go full-bore full-coverage amateur photojournalist again; and (b) instead of frustrating herself with fuzzy zoom-lens results, Anne decided to get up, head over toward the contestants’ milling space, and start capturing faces and souls up closer because she’s awesome like that. All but two photos in this entry are her handiwork, and represent the folks who caught our eyes most sharply and who held still. Enjoy!

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Indiana Comic Con 2017 Photos, Part 1 of 4: Friday Cosplay

Queen of Hearts + Robin Hood!

The Queen of Hearts and Robin Hood welcome you to Indiana Comic Con!

It’s that time again! This weekend my wife and I attended the fourth annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. Once again Anne and I found a few intriguing names on the guest list and decided to drop by. Unfortunately Anne had to work Friday, leaving me to my own devices at a con for the first time in…possibly ever?

For all of Saturday she was once again at my side as we went about our various lines and shopping and panels and whatnot. While we recuperate and wait for our feet to forgive us for their punishment (to say nothing of my bum knee), please enjoy this collection of cosplayers who brightened my day and gave me purpose and inspiration around the show floor on Friday before the Saturday crowds overran everything. The actors, comics artists, and objects of note will be shared at the end of this special miniseries. Enjoy!

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The Complete MCC Convention Photo-Op Jazz Hands Collection (so far)

John Barrowman!

One of many faves from Wizard World Chicago 2016: John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow), who’s game for just about any pose you suggest, several more that never would’ve occurred to you, and a few you’ll never live down.

Here in the doldrums of January, when not much is going on outside our humble abode, my wife Anne and I have already tentatively mapped out our 2017 convention plans, with room for additions if any wild opportunities come up in the months ahead. As an antidote to the soggy winter blues and the current political climate that has all but murdered my enjoyment of most of the internet lately, we’d like to take a look back at the actors we’ve met over the past three years with this very special photo compilation of one of our favorite convention activities: asking actors if they’ll join us in a bit of jazz hands.

Right this way for an easy-to-browse all-star gallery!

Carrie Fisher 1956-2016

Carrie Fisher!

Star Wars fans worldwide are reeling from the sorrowful news that Carrie Fisher, the valiant Princess Leia who could take any of us in a fight, passed away today at age 60, four days after a massive December 23rd heart attack had her in headlines and in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. The post-surgical prognosis from her family was positive at first, but…alas.

I trust I don’t need to summarize her vast and varied accomplishments at length here beyond the Star Wars universe. My wife Anne and I thought well of her comedic turn in Soapdish. When we were best friends but determinedly not-dating, When Harry Met Sally… was our New Year’s viewing tradition, with highlights including Fisher’s turn as Sally’s best friend whose bad decisions made dating look all the more resistible. It’s been a good decade or more since I read and enjoyed Postcards from the Edge, though I never saw the movie version and can’t speak to whether or not Meryl Streep did justice by her words. But every page, fictional or otherwise, reveled in the barbed candor that was a trademark of her post-Star Wars life.

Pictured above is a scene from one of our all-time favorite convention days, when Anne and I had the pleasure of basking in Fisher’s inimitable, unstoppable presence at the second annual Indiana Comic Con back in 2015. If you read only one entry on Midlife Crisis Crossover today, I recommend you skip this one and jump over to “The Alderaanian Glitter Bomber Strikes!”, our flabbergasted, in-the-moment recount of our unforgettable hours in the Carrie Fisher autograph line, featuring photos of the very special flourishes she yearned to share with every adoring fan she could, whether we were ready for it or not.

If we learned one thing from that occasion, it was the same lesson she taught Hollywood, interviewers, hucksters, and any other thoughtless interlopers who obstructed her path throughout her career: whenever that unflappable leader of the Rebel Alliance wanted things a certain way, only fools tried to tell her “no”.

* * * * *

UPDATED 12/28/2016, 12:15 a.m.: Late Monday afternoon, our local ABC affiliate, WRTV Channel 6, interviewed me about our Carrie Fisher experience. Click here for their write-up and video, which originally aired on their 11 p.m. edition. It was a quick get-together, as you may be able to tell from my post-holiday-weekend no-care hair.

The Waning Power of Convention Nostalgia Prompts

Full House Cookie!

Baked goodie courtesy of the upstanding citizens at Max & Benny’s in Northbrook, IL.

If you were of a certain age in the ’90s, you watched Full House the sitcom on ABC’s TGIF. You dreamed of Full House: the Reunion Special. You binged on Netflix’s Fuller House, the sequel. And if you attended Wizard World Chicago 2016, you could eat Full House: the cookie! If the studio has their way, you’ll just never quit Full House for the rest of your life!

At every convention my wife and I attend, we’re bombarded on all sides by dealers and collectors trying to convince us to buy their new or used merchandise because it contains familiar faces and images, trying to jack into our childhood memories via colorful collectible Pavlovian tokens not unlike the above cookie, which would make a fine Golden Gate Bridge road-trip treat if you deleted that obtrusive corporate logo.

Merchandise is the bait, and our own nostalgia is meant to be the fishing line, reeling ourselves in to be netted and financially filleted.

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Indiana Comic Con 2016 Photos #4 of 4: Who We Met and What We Did

John Rhys-Davies!

Gimli. Sallah. Treebeard. Professor Arturo. da Vinci. Kingpin. All those names and personalities don’t prepare you for the fact that John Rhys-Davies will tickle you in the middle of your photo op.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: Friday and Saturday, my wife and I attended the third annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. Previous chapters in this special MCC miniseries:

* Part One: Costumes!
* Part Two: Cosplay!
* Part Three: Cosplayers!

The TL;DR rundown of our weekend experience: this was the best-run Indiana Comic Con to date. The showrunners evidently took notes last time, focused on their weaknesses, streamlined their processes, and exceeded our apprehensive expectations. We came away with a new set of happy memories, several cool books, another gallery of photos, a few minor suggestions for future years, and no sour complaints this time. A fine convention at last, would run through again, 10/10.

Right this way for pics of actors and comic creators we met! And more!

Indiana Comic Con 2016 Photos #3 of 4: Saturday Cosplay

Medusa!

Best headgear of the year: Medusa from Clash of the Titans, giving me flashbacks to when I got scared watching the original at the drive-in.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: Friday and Saturday, my wife and I attended the third annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. In Part One you saw every viable costume photo we took on Friday, with the emphasis once again leaning toward Deadpool because that’s what we’re running into, other than hordes of intricate anime characters we oldsters don’t recognize. Part Two was a Saturday selection featuring Bat-related characters and, one last time, all the Deadpools fit to print.

In today’s gallery: cosplay, cosplay, cosplay! All the other costumes we saw on Saturday that looked great and didn’t evade or outrun us. Obviously this is far from comprehensive and I’m still kicking myself with all my mental strength for missing one lady dressed as someone I recognized from the Authority. At one point I dwelt on this weird idea of renting booth space next year and offering to take free pics of any cosplayers who feel they weren’t photographed often enough, just for free posting here as a fun public service — no judging, no body-shaming, no rejecting just because Anne and I have no idea who they are. But I’m not sure how many cosplayers experience that kind of letdown at such shows anymore. Social media operating as it does today, every con probably now has ten “photographers” in attendance for every cosplayer. My idea was a fun pipe dream for the few minutes it lasted. Ah, well.

Anyway: enjoy!
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Indiana Comic Con 2016 Photos #2: Batman v. Deadpool: Dawn of Cosplay

Batwoman!

Maybe Batwoman could take Deadpool alone, but if Wonder Woman wants to cameo, no one’s gonna tell her no.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: Friday and Saturday, my wife and I attended the third annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. In Part One you saw every viable costume photo we took on Friday. We caught so many cosplayers in action today that the Saturday results will be split into two (maybe three) entries.

In tonight’s gallery: another batch of Deadpool variants, which we suspect will be a thing for years to come, and heroes and villains from the Batman family, which kept catching our eye more than usual this time around. Enjoy!

Right this way for more fun with Gotham’s most wanted and the Merc with a Mouth!

Indiana Comic Con 2016 Photos #1: Friday Cosplay

Assassin's Creedpool!

The wrong cosplayers to mess with: Assassin’s Creedpool hanging out with Harley Quinn and the Red Hood.

This weekend my wife and I are attending the third annual Indiana Comic Con at the Indiana Convention Center in scenic downtown Indianapolis. Though the first two ICCs had more than their share of growing pains, he wrote with diplomacy wrapped in understatement topped with a Jim Halpert pretend-blank expression, Anne and I found a few names on the guest list irresistible and prayed the showrunners had been taking notes, accepting constructive criticism, and borrowing standard crowd-control procedures from other cons. So far, so good — Friday for us was a rousing success in a number of ways, except for the part where we had too much fun and I’m now typing under considerable fatigue.

While we rest and prepare for a ridiculously early Saturday wake-up, please enjoy this collection of cosplayers who brightened our day and improved quality-of-life around the show floor on Friday, the trial run before the rest of the crowds arrive Saturday and the real test of the showrunners’ mettle begins. The actors, comics artists, and nifty object collections will be shared in a forthcoming entry in this special series. Enjoy!

Right this way for cosplay. Cosplay! COSPLAY!

Whatever Happened to the Indianapolis Geek Convention Boom?

Deadpools!

An outtake from our Indiana Comic Con 2015 cosplay photos, starring three Deadpools and a pair of kids who are each probably a foot taller by now.

Large-scale geek conventions weren’t a thing in Indianapolis when I was a kid. We had tiny comic shows in hotel ballrooms, but nothing requiring the spacious accommodations of the Indiana Convention Center. My young-adult years saw the advent of an annual Star Trek convention that brought great joy on several occasions and would become beloved by many, though their fortunes have ebbed and flowed over the past two decades. In 2003 Gen Con became the first super-sized company to believe in the considerable forces of local geek dollars, and they’ve been rewarded handsomely ever since for their benevolence by tens of thousands of Midwest gamers as well as folks like me who weren’t strictly gamers but were content to enjoy any sort of hobbyist gathering validation. We took what we could get, and we liked it.

Another full decade passed before other convention companies and wannabe startups noticed we’re here and began bringing their medicine wagons to town in hopes of finagling our approval and our wads of cash, and not necessarily in that order. Over the past four years we here at Midlife Crisis Crossover have shared our photos and our experiences — the good, the bad, the distressingly inept — as we’ve explored these new contenders in hopes that sooner or later, someone would establish the Greatest Indianapolis Comic Convention of All Time. My wife and I still find ourselves driving to Chicago twice per year for geek satisfaction, but it’s nice to know folks are trying to save us some gas money. And they’re welcome to keep trying.

Anne and I are now preparing for our next con this coming weekend, for which we’re mostly excited but reserving the right to retain our qualms after the rockiness of the showrunners’ last two events, each of which ran more like dry-run learning experiences than like professional expositions. While we’re selecting our personal artifacts for autographing and deciding what camping gear is most suitable for an unsupervised photo-op line, let’s take stock of the cons that have been courting us Hoosiers, praise those who did right by us, bury those who aren’t coming back, and look ahead to what’s on the Circle City calendar so far for 2016.

Right this way for what’s coming and what’s gone away…

Post-Convention Sick-Day Blues

Troy + Abed in the Morning!

Today’s lunch: hot tea and meds.

The day after we finished up with Indiana Comic Con 2015, I could already feel “con crud” creeping into my system. I’m no stranger to the notorious cold/flu that strikes at convention attendees after they’ve hung around a few thousand fans too many, but I’d hoped to dodge a bullet this time. Between the cool temps and Friday’s nonstop rains, my good health wasn’t meant to last.

I held out for as long as I could. I lasted three business days before I surrendered and took a sick day so I retreat into defensive hibernation. After last night proved disastrously unhelpful, today I slept till noon, took more countermeasures, and tried to keep distracted with news and hobbies and such.

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Indiana Comic Con 2015 Photos, Part 4 of 4: Braving the Battle Lines

Jenna Coleman!

My wife and I in the presence of Jenna Coleman, a.k.a. Clara Oswald the Impossible Girl from TV’s Doctor Who. A friend of ours asked, “Can she BE any more adorable?” Well, no. No, she can’t.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended the second annual Indiana Comic Con! Part One covered our Friday experience, a smooth and engaging experience. Part Two was our bewildering Carrie Fisher encounter. Part Three collected every usable costume photo we took on Saturday.

We knew Saturday would be a busier, more hectic, potentially more disappointing day than Friday. Some cons’ Saturdays are more challenging than others. When things go wrong, blame isn’t always easy or comfortable to assign, and it’s not always the con’s fault. But when it is, the flaring tempers can light up the evening sky.

We had four primary Saturday objectives and one secondary objective left over from Friday. We tried to adjust expectations based on the con’s disastrous Saturday 2014 performance and its vastly improved Friday 2015. Ultimately we nailed three out of four, though it required strategy and persistence on our part to navigate the obstacles. If ICC’s showrunners had ever attended other cons — I mean really attended them, immersed themselves in the full experience, not just skipped through exhibit halls and glanced at activities from a distance — I wouldn’t have had to abandon the fourth objective.

Right this way for the Indiana Comic Con 2015 miniseries finale!

Indiana Comic Con 2015 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Random Saturday Costumes

Doomsday!

Superman’s murderer, Doomsday, still wearing his original “Death of Superman” spacesuit.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended the second annual Indiana Comic Con despite our calamitous experience last year. Part One covered our Friday experience, a smooth and engaging experience. Part Two was our bewildering Carrie Fisher encounter.

This time around: our Saturday costume photo collection. The following subjects are a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the characters on who were in the house. Many, many thousands of attendees packed into the Indiana Convention Center, this time without inviting a fire marshal’s wrath, and an impressive number showed up dressed as their favorite heroes, villains, supporting characters, animals, antiheroes, murderers, and licensed merchandise. I’d hoped to bring back three or four times as many pics, but we’ll discuss why that didn’t happen in Part Four.

Right this way for costumes, costumes, costumes!

The Alderaanian Glitter Bomber Strikes!

Carrie Fisher Glitter!

This is what Carrie Fisher did to me today.

Yes, that Carrie Fisher.

Right this way for Star Wars storytime!

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