GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 4 of 4: Columbus Is Our New Chicago

A bunch of toys glued to a car roof; downtown Columbus is hazy in the distant background.

A toy army prepared to march the streets of downtown Columbus.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

This past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

We’ve already shared all our stories from the Convention Center grounds apart from a few photo outtakes, but we’d be remiss to neglect the fun times we had in and around the neighborhood. Our third stop in town this year was at least as stimulating as the first two. Longtime MCC readers will recall when we used to find ourselves at Chicago cons a few times every year, up until the pandemic ruined everything for a while. This year Columbus has gone above and beyond in catching our straying eyes and luring us eastward instead of northward.

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GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Who Else We Met, What Else We Did

Books I bought at the show.

My latest loot pile. Thanks, GalaxyCon!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

This past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

Usually the concluding chapter of every MCC comic-con miniseries is the overlong recap of our experience in chronological order. This time the final chapter is more of an epilogue covering sights off the Convention Center grounds, while the recap novelette is this very entry. Welcome to storytime, in which we meet actors, attend panels, buy stuff, walk miles, and note how this con, more than any other we’ve ever attended, pointed time and again to the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.

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GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 2 of 4: A Cosplay Sampler

A family of nine, each cosplaying as a different Doctor from "Doctor Who".

All the Whos down in Whoville: a family cosplaying as nine different Doctors.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

This past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

It’s time for the mandatory cosplay salute!

Much as we’d love to be everyone’s one-stop shop for post-con costume galleries, attendees are getting younger while Anne and I are getting older, and we’re doing a crappy job of keeping up with today’s popular animation, which was far easier (a) when my son was young and gave me an excuse to keep up, and (b) there were just…fewer series to watch back then, I’m pretty sure? I blame the streaming entertainment explosion for helping far too many pop-culture segments escape us. The talented cosplayers out there are stumping us a lot more than they used to with their secret identities. And, unlike the average Instagram photog, I feel sheepish posting too many unlabeled cosplay pics in a row.

Nevertheless, we tried to do our part in the name of cosplay appreciation. What’s presented below is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the sum total costume experience that we witnessed throughout our two days at the show. Other corners of the internet will represent those other fractions that we missed, which is the cool part of having so many people doing this sort of thing. Enjoy!

Cosplayers: the Thirteenth Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness.

More Doctor Who representation with the Thirteenth Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness.

Cosplayers: Harley Quinn, Robin and Beast Boy.

Harley Quinn, Robin, and Beast Boy.

Cosplayer Peacemaker with an Eagly puppet on his arm.

Peacemaker and his partner Eagly, whose wings could flap.

Cosplayer: Silk Spectre from Watchmen.

The original Silk Spectre from Watchmen.

A sextet of cosplayers posing.

Ghost-Spider fronts a super-team uniting Black Widow, Wolverine, a Carnage-infected T-Rex, Iron Man and Deadpool.

Cosplayer: Squirrel Girl!

Marvel may have canceled Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, but I will never stop braking for her cosplayers.

Cosplay: Not Daredevil!

Fans of the Mark Waid/Chris Samnee Daredevil run remember that time when Matt Murdock’s shirt totally convinced everyone his blown secret identity was fake news. Bonus points for adding Christmas flair.

Cosplay: Christmas Jedi vs. Santa Sith.

Christmas Jedi vs. Santa Sith.

Cosplay: Santa Wookiee!

Santa Wookiee is a tall reminder of how this is the first time we’ve ever attended a con in December.

Cosplay: Ahsoka and Hera!

Star Wars fun continues with Ahsoka Tano and Hera from Rebels.

Cosplay: Barriss Offee and Ahsoka Tano!

Another Ahsoka teams up with Barriss Offee.

Cosplay: Quinlan Vos!

Quinlan Vos from Dark Horse’s old series, the one character Clone Wars did wrong.

Jawa costume!

Utinni!

cosplay: Star Trek women!

The women of classic Star Trek.

Cosplay: Leeloo!

Leeloo from The Fifth Element.

Cosplay: Morticia and Gomez Addams, but surrounded by atomic electron orbits.

They’re all submicroscopic / They’re sometimes isotopic / They’re horridly myopic / The Atoms Family!

Cosplay: Rosie the Robot!

Once all pieces were in place, Anne was the first on Saturday to photograph Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons.

Cosplay: Woody Woodpecker!

Woody Woodpecker! [insert iconic laugh]

Cosplay:

Donald Duck and Goofy took the weekend off from their day jobs and flew up for the occasion.

Cosplay: Tafiti from Moana!

Te Fiti from Moana, being stalked by Ghostface.

Cosplay: Carl Fredricksen!

Carl Fredricksen from Pixar’s Up.

Cosplay: yellow mushroom anime woman? We don't know.

Anne thought this one was really pretty, but we have no idea who she is. Can anyone out there help out a couple of stumped, appreciative olds?

To be continued! Other chapters in this very special miniseries:

Part 1: The Stars in Our Galaxy
Part 3: Who Else We Met, What Else We Did
Part 4: Columbus Is Our New Chicago

GalaxyCon Columbus 2022 Photos, Part 1 of 4: The Stars in Our Galaxy

Cast members from "Smallville" doing jazz hands with us.

It’s a Smallville cast reunion! Us with star Tom Welling (Clark Kent pre-Superman), Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang), the always ebullient Michael Rosenbaum (Young Lex Luthor), and John Glover (his dad Lionel Luthor).

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

The last comic-con we attended before the pandemic was GalaxyCon Louisville 2019, which was a well-run show with a fair assortment of vendors and an eclectic guest list that suited our fancies. Sadly, subsequent negotiations between the showrunners and city officials broke down, and GalaxyCon Louisville disintegrated even before public health became an issue for con-goers worldwide. As consolation they’ve turned their attention and services to other cities willing to meet them halfway in providing for everyone’s geek-out needs. As it happens, this past weekend’s inaugural GalaxyCon Columbus (the one in Ohio) set out more than enough bait within reasonable road-trip range that the two of us were lured out of the house once more after previous 2022 outings to Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Indiana Comic Con, and Fan Expo Chicago. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

And what we do wherever possible is collect jazz-hands photo ops with actors from films and shows we’ve liked. Before I get into the usual rundown of events, let’s take a moment to celebrate the new faces who happily costarred with us in our little-five second bursts of joie de vivre and shall be added to our jazz-hands Pinterest board for posterity.

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Our 2022 Road Trip #1: The Accidental Convention

Schwarzenegger and Anne!

Dey are Arnie und Anne, und dey are going to pump [*CLAP*] you up!

Since 1999 Anne and I have taken one road trip each year to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. We grew up in families that couldn’t afford annual out-of-state vacations. We’re geeks more accustomed to vicarious life through the windows of pop culture than through in-person adventures. After years of contenting ourselves with everyday life in Indianapolis and any surrounding areas that also had comics and toy shops, we chucked some of our self-imposed limitations and resolved as a team to leave the comforts of home for annual chances to see creative, exciting, breathtaking, outlandish, and/or bewildering new sights in states beyond our own, from the horizons of nature to the limits of imagination, from history’s greatest hits to humanity’s deepest regrets and the sometimes quotidian, sometimes quirky stopovers in between.

We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

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The Fantabulous 50s Weekend, Part 10: Sir, This is a Wendy’s

Wendy's Way!

Every icon has to start somewhere.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a short-term road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

I’ve just now lived to see 50, and after weeks of research and indecision, we planned an overnight journey to the next state over, to the capital city of Columbus, Ohio, which had cool stuff that this now-fiftysomething geek wanted to see. Columbus, then, would be the setting for our first outing together as quintagenarians…

We saw comics and art in museums, and we had food in a museum, so why not make our logical final stop in Columbus a food museum? Well, technically, in a way, kindasorta? There’s only one small exhibit room, but the subject is rather large.

After the record store we returned to Dublin, home of the Wendy’s flagship store, which was opened in 2013 and built with an extra side room to house numerous artifacts and souvenirs from the company’s 52-year history. So they’re only a few months older than we are.

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The Fantabulous 50s Weekend, Part 9: Arts in Columbus

ART downtown Columbus!

The Columbus College of Art & Design’s Art Sign will celebrate its 21st birthday this coming Thursday.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a short-term road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

I’ve just now lived to see 50, and after weeks of research and indecision, we planned an overnight journey to the next state over, to the capital city of Columbus, Ohio, which had cool stuff that this now-fiftysomething geek wanted to see. Columbus, then, would be the setting for our first outing together as quintagenarians…

The miniseries’ end is near! But first, the stuff we skipped and some stuff we didn’t get to yet. Mostly it’s about the birthday guy doing some self-indulgent geek sopping, chancing into a few flourishes of local art along the way, and a few loose ends that fit nowhere into the miniseries except here, the catchall chapter.

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The Fantabulous 50s Weekend, Part 8: The Columbus Cuisine Collection

Paella Barcelona!

Paella Barcelona: a party for the palate containing chicken, shrimp, chorizo, calamari, clams, mussels, and more, more, more.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a short-term road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

I’ve just now lived to see 50, and after weeks of research and indecision, we planned an overnight journey to the next state over, to the capital city of Columbus, Ohio, which had cool stuff that this now-fiftysomething geek wanted to see. Columbus, then, would be the setting for our first outing together as quintagenarians…

As with all our road trips, mention must inevitably be made of the culinary experiences. We don’t use the “foodie” label explicitly, whose baggage includes an implication of a lifestyle chic enough to afford and live on 21 fancy dishes a week. We tend to suppress our desires to try Something Different — fueled in part by our longtime Chopped viewership — until special occasions come up, such as this very two-day birthday outing. Columbus had no shortage of options waiting for us.

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The Fantabulous 50s Weekend, Part 7: All Around the CMA

Columbus Museum of Art!

Foreground: Jeff Koons, One Ball Total Equilbrium Tank (Spalding Dr. J Series), 1985. Background: Anselm Kiefer, Tutein’s Tomb, 1981-83.

[EDITORS’ NOTE: The following entry knowingly contains Art. Viewer discretion is advised.]

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a short-term road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

I’ve just now lived to see 50, and after weeks of research and indecision, we planned an overnight journey to the next state over, to the capital city of Columbus, Ohio, which had cool stuff that this now-fiftysomething geek wanted to see. Columbus, then, would be the setting for our first outing together as quintagenarians…

The Columbus Museum of Art had drawn me in with their big exhibit celebrating the pre-1960 works of hometown legend Roy Lichtenstein, but other rooms commanded our attention as well. A sampler of those works, many by Big Names, seems in order as a companion piece.

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The Fantabulous 50s Weekend, Part 6: Lichtenstein Pre-Pop

Washington Crossing the Delaware II

Washington Crossing the Delaware II, 1951.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a short-term road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

I’ve just now lived to see 50, and after weeks of research and indecision, we planned an overnight journey to the next state over, to the capital city of Columbus, Ohio, which had cool stuff that this now-fiftysomething geek wanted to see. Columbus, then, would be the setting for our first outing together as quintagenarians…

As a comics fan I think I’m supposed to loathe Roy Lichtenstein and his Pop Art appropriations of single panels from the hard labors of countless underpaid artists from years past. I generally get the anger of an artistic fandom predisposed to condemn any product that reeks of unaffectionate tracing and/or outright theft. (Hence some especially vehement online condemnations of self-styled “NFT artists”.) On the other hand, I’m also a lifelong lover of parody and satire, of deconstruction and deflating pretensions. On that level Pop Art has always fascinated me, from Warhol to Lichtenstein to Rauschenberg and beyond. Their often passively-aggressively snide answers to the question, “What is Art?” are fair game both for criticism and as criticism.

As it happens, my birthday weekend had a gift waiting for me: a special exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art called “Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making 1948-1960”. Lichtenstein was born in Manhattan but earned his degrees at Ohio State University in Columbus (with a three-year intermission for WWII homefront service) and consequently counts as a hometown hero. He moved on to teaching elsewhere while taking steps into the art world, leaving representational figures quickly behind as he entered a phase of dabbling in Cubism and Surrealism as means to interrogate, deconstruct, or merely spoof well-known images of his time, haughty American history, or random pictures that caught his eye in Life Magazine. His fame/infamy would be later claimed in the Pop Art movement; in contrast, the CMA’s exhibit collected works showing his earlier evolution…or, if you can’t stand his work, his villain origin.

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