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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How I Spent My Thanksgiving Holiday

Ten pies brought to Anne's family's Thanksgiving this year.

Pies nearly outnumbered people at Anne’s Thanksgiving this year.

It’s the holiday season! Yes, again! The past two weeks have been far from boring as Thanksgiving came and went, events kept sliding into our schedules, opportunities for both travel and sedentary diversions fought to take up our head space, and Christmas kept trying to assert its dominance too soon. Some of the busyness lent itself to pictures.

Some of the things I did:

* Thanksgiving at home! My side of the family has more or less forfeited turkey-time now that most of us live far from each other — states away, in some cases. In lieu of that, on Thanksgiving Day itself the last few years we’ve been inviting my mom over so she doesn’t have to spend the day alone. Anne makes a feast for the four of us that would feed a full-size gathering. I watch a movie with Mom, I spend a few seconds reminiscing in my head about how I used to spend Thanksgiving night studying the Black Friday ads in the newspaper, and then we dine on the leftovers for days. That’s baseline Thanksgiving of late. I finished the sweet potatoes Wednesday morning for breakfast, and thus were our leftover duration standards met.

Our Thanksgiving 2022 dinner with boneless Butterball turkey, sweet potatoes, rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and so on.

Not pictured: the second of two boneless Butterball turkeys Anne made, our household’s event-dinner poultry of choice.

* Thanksgiving way from home! After Anne’s grandma passed away in 2018, her side’s turkey time went on hiatus as everyone suddenly began focusing on gatherings in their other circles that they’d been missing over the years, or they indulged other non-holiday activities while Mamaw was no longer around to guilt-trip them sweetly into coming over. This year two key relatives moved up to Indiana after a decades-long stay in Kentucky and offered to host a Thanksgiving comeback special. One catch: it was Friday at noon, which meant no one could spend the entire day shopping. As most folks rely more heavily on online shopping nowadays and are okay with driving local proprietors into the poorhouse, nobody complained about schedule conflict.

As seen in our lead photo, we had too much pie, a phrase that sounds like heresy, and yet there it is. I limited myself to sliver-sized slices from three different pies and pretended that was a mature choice. Even before the Friday shindig, we’d already had pumpkin and pecan pies at home…and a chocolate pudding pie the weekend before, as a pre-Thanksgiving teaser dessert, kind of like how some families let kids open one gift on Christmas Eve. All told, the pie collection featured were pistachio, squash, pumpkin, Oreo, different Oreo, chocolate non-Oreo, Tollhouse Cookie, custard, cherry, and my favorite, pecan chocolate chip. For anyone demanding a change of pace, there was a store-bought pumpkin roll, and the last faction to arrive brought a cake I never got to see.

A few of our preferred groceries have become scarce or nonexistent during the temporary recessional inflationary supply-chain crisis-esque inconvenience meltdown trifle catastrophe that’s been status quo for like two years straight, but at long as we can find pie, or pie can find us, we believe America will stand tall and brave any other challenges ahead. Hopefully.

Our relatives were pretty happy to see each other again. Right on time, my social awkwardness kicked in as all the most interesting and ebullient talkers decided the best place for mingling in varying groupings would be in the room where I wasn’t. Three of us guys who weren’t much on initiating chitchat (all of us being plus-ones to blood kin) were left in the living room with the TV off and no one volunteering to do anything about it. Instead we agreed to find separate directions in which to stare off into space, avoid eye contact, and fall back on the hoary excuse that we were “digesting”. I kept my phone pocketed for as long as I could, but eventually caved. I got in a good forty minutes’ silent, boring doomscrolling before anyone checked on me.

In a few ways I’d missed that. Sort of.

A big black and white doggie sitting by my feet, staring politely.

Their doggie kept me company through some of that. I didn’t get her name.

* Black Friday shopping anyway! On my old blog I used to have an annual tradition of keeping a “Black Friday War Journal”, a complete rundown of times, stops, and purchasing results written throughout the hours I’d spend on Black Friday out there in the predawn pandemonium and the maddened crowds, all written in the terse, paranoiac style of Frank Castle. I walked away from all that as Black Friday metamorphosed into a very different thing over time, but I do miss keeping those War Journals.

Despite our noon engagement, I got out for a few hours in the morning beforehand to grab a couple of minor sales. I saw no customer feeding frenzies, no fistfights, and no police springing into action to quell riots. At 8 a.m. Barnes & Noble was teeming with dozens of teens. At 9 a.m. Target was already sold out of a popular Nintendo Switch game in their ad (or they hadn’t bothered to order any — I checked two different Targets, mind you). By 10 a.m. Best Buy had almost no line at the registers. I was home by 11.

* Family Game Night! That was Saturday evening. I’ve posted in the past about some of our experiences with new board games. The ones that catch our attention are too expensive for us to make this a regular habit, although after seeing how many Likes my Instagram posts get whenever I share them, it’s really tempting to reinvent myself as a Board Game Guy. Our latest acquisition is Terraforming Mars, a 2016 release in which each player is a future corporation doing its part to turn Mars into Earth Junior, ostensibly in the name of solving a humanitarian crisis and advancing humankind’s frontiers and scientific achievements, but also you’re competing to see who can take the most credit. Corporations gonna corporate.

The setup and teaching phases took us far too long, but eventually we picked up speed as we got used to the rules, slowly realized which of the zillions of scores ‘n’ stats mattered most, and figured out how to sabotage other’s plans in the grand corporate tradition. My son won this initial skirmish, but I expect different results next time. Hopefully.

Terraforming Mars board game, which comes with literally a few hundred components, including over 200 cards.

Anne and I hope to start on season 3 of Apple+’s For All Mankind in the next few weeks or so. This game feels like an apropos prologue.

* Solo Game Nights! Or, “how I spend every night after 9:00 when I’m not sleepy and not writing, which is most of them lately.” Fallout 3 has been keeping me company. I’ll write more about it in the next annual “Old Guy with a PS3” entry, but for now let me say that, considering the number of years I spent playing nothing but Skyrim, luring me into a game whose mechanics and sandbox sprawl are virtually identical to Skyrim‘s was like handing a Jack Daniels gift-box to your alcoholic dad. Thankfully there aren’t nearly as many locations, and the Capital Wasteland is far smaller than Tamriel, so maybe I’ll “finish” it sometime early in 2023. The less I write here, the more time I have for covering ground there.

"Radiation Warning" sign in Fallout 3.

The fence around Fallout 3‘s crater where the White House used to be. Lately this image could also double as Twitter’s home page.

* Xfinity Watchathon! A few times per year, our old-fashioned cable TV provider will treat their customers to several free days of premium services they refuse to subscribe to normally. That’s when I catch up on my HBO stories. My last Watchathon was devoted entirely to season 3 of Barry, which remains amazing; this time in between all the other activities I just wrote about above, I managed to fit in ten episodes of Succession (I ended with season 3’s riotous shareholders’ meeting, and hope the next episode doesn’t begin with poor Frank still trapped at the podium vamping for time), the HBO Max original film See How They Run (a frivolous whodunit with some historical facts blended in, and I cheered when I recognized Lucian Msamati from the awesome Gangs of London as Agatha Christie’s husband), and, for Mom’s Thanksgiving afternoon entertainment as a lifelong fan of disaster films, Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall, the worst 2022 film I’ve seen so far. Thanks, Comcast, mostly!

* A funeral. Anne’s great-uncle, her Mamaw’s youngest brother, passed away Thanksgiving Eve after three years of compounding illnesses and conditions. He was an Air Force veteran who went on to work for the FAA, he served on the local township school board for sixteen years, he spent over five decades in the Lions Club and assorted charity works, he used to take the family out for Christmas dinner every year at Gray Bros. Cafeteria in Mooresville, and he was always kind to me and my son whenever he saw us, same as he was to pretty much anyone who intersected with his path. His numerous accomplishments added up to the sort of obituary that makes you hope your own obit won’t end up a two-line slug that just says, “Mostly harmless.”

* Things that will get their own MCC entries in the week ahead! Stick with us as I’m on staycation all next week and should have plenty of time to write about:

  • The Menu, a wicked but sadly overlooked satire of wealthy foodies and the restaurateurs who take too much pride in serving them.
  • A field trip to see a collection of special Christmas trees in a local museum.
  • Our next convention! I spent Monday night prepping for this coming weekend’s big soiree, which will take us to a city in another state that we’ve already visited twice this year, whose convention center we walked around once but have never been inside before.

…and maybe even more, more, more, right here on MCC! If you don’t read about all these by next Wednesday, please tell Anne to go drag me out of Fallout 3 kicking and screaming.

Our 2022 Road Trip #20: Green Mountain Medley

Our view of Vermont's lush Green Mountains from our hotel parking lot.

Our view of the Green Mountains from the parking lot at our next hotel in Waterbury.

Natural panoramas! American war history! Pandemic-era disappointment! Food! This one has ’em all, in sparing amounts!

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 4 of 10: A Capital Pack of Markers

The Old State Capitol Building in Corydon, Indiana, surrounded by trees in autumn.

The Old State Capitol in the old state capital on good ol’ Capitol Avenue. Capital!

Back in 2016 Anne and I visited the Indiana State House on the occasion of our state bicentennial and enjoyed the up-close look at where our local government met and worked in easier times before work-from-home became a survival option and later became simply the latest fashion. Before our centrally situated hometown of Indianapolis became the official workplace of the governor and all the rest, Hoosiers reported to the State House’s prequel structure near our southern border.

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Our 2022 Road Trip #19: Buy Buy Burlington

Big Joe Burrell statue in Burlington, Vermont

A 2010 statue of Vermont jazz legend Big Joe Burrell, who played with the likes of B.B. King, Count Basie, and Phish.

We’re not high-end shoppers who get caught anywhere near boutiques, jewelers, perfumeries, fashion trendsetters, or home decor artisans unless they happen to be next door to the retailers we’d rather visit. And by “we” I especially mean “I”. Anne’s collecting habits are modest bordering on spartan, whereas I’m the one on the lookout for brick-and-mortar purveyors who cater to my hobbies and pop culture interests. Fortunately Burlington had just the district for us.

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Halloween Stats 2022: Free Candy? In THIS Economy?

Lowe's Halloween decor 2022, mostly tall creepy things for the lawn.

Lowe’s was all about pushing the spooky Halloween accessories this year.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and no-strings-attached strangers with candy. I began tracking our numbers partly for future candy inventory purposes and partly out of curiosity, so now it’s a tradition for me. Like many bloggers I’m a stats fiend who thrives on taking head counts, even when we’re expecting discouraging results.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 3 of 10: Halloween and the Hallowed Tree

Beetlejuice Halloween decorations in a fan's front yard.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beeeeee best if I just stop there.

Autumn motifs are inevitable in Anne’s October birthday trips. Ironically, Anne isn’t even a huge Halloween fan (she saves her holiday love for December), but on our walk to go check out one of Corydon’s proudest monuments, we noticed the number of residents who’d decorated for the occasion well outnumbered the few pitiful celebrants on our own street back home. I admittedly took my sweet time setting up our own display this year, but at least we have one. It was nice to find the spirit of the occasion hasn’t been exorcised from all neighborhoods.

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The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 2 of 10: Welcome to Corydon

glass pumpkin in sunshine!

A glass pumpkin for the autumn occasion at Zimmerman Art Glass in Corydon.

Okay, prologue aside, now we get to October 14th’s primary objective.

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.

In October 2022 Anne turned 52. Indiana offers no shortage of tourist attractions for history aficionados like her. We’ve visited quite a few of those over the years, but this year we felt it was time to check off one of the Hoosier State’s biggest trivia answers: Corydon, our original state capital before Indianapolis…

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