Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Emerald City Comicon

Saturday, my husband and I went to the Emerald City Comicon. It is Seattle's comic book convention. We went last year and we got there about an hour after it opened and wandered around for awhile. There were a lot of people last year but we didn't have to wait in line to get in or anything.

This year was a whole new ball of wax. We got to the convention center shortly before the ECCC was due to open and headed for the area of the convention center where it had been held the previous year. At the top of the escalator, we were directed to get in a line for the Comicon. We had already purchased tickets like last year so we figured we would get in pretty quickly. WRONG! The line snaked all over the convention center it turned out! It took us nearly an hour to reach the front of the line.

Evidently the convention center had and hadn't prepared for the crowds that showed up. There were people in line by 6 A.M. and when we got in line there were 1,000 people in front of us at least and about that many were behind us in a matter of minutes. We shuffled up, down and around and back and forth before we could even SEE the entrance. Fortunately, the convention center put the Comicon in their largest venue this year. Good thing too because it was PACKED.

The ONLY reason I agree to go to the Comicon at all is because Dave Kellett and the guys from Halfpixel are there every year. Dave draws Sheldon (see: and he is always at the convention. Part of the fun of going to see him is that when you buy his newest book he puts an original sketch in it for you. So, this year, I added Nerds on Parade to my collection and he very kindly drew General Zod for me inside the cover. Since I was asking for an unusal character sketch I brought him a pug magnet and a roll of HobNobs as a bribe and because I think he is a super person. He is always so delighted to see his fans and always cheerful and chatty.

My husband went into full on DORK MODE and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He bought some little Star Trek ships. He contemplated a large Hell Boy statue which I am VERY thankful he decided against. He pointed out various people in costume and told me who they were supposed to represent and which comic book or T.V. show the character was from which was wasted on me but very nice of him nonetheless. We looked at all kinds of merchandise but probably our very favorite thing was a t-shirt that said: UNATTENDED CHILDREN WILL BE GIVEN AN ESPRESSO AND A FREE KITTEN. It was a tan t-shirt with brown lettering otherwise I think we both would've bought one.

After a bit, the crowds started to get to John and we headed for the door. We are debating about whether we will bother going next year. I imagine, like the pain of childbirth, we will forget about the horrible crowds by the time next year rolls around and go again.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Illustrated Man

So, I got into a little argy bargy with my cousin last week. She had posted some pictures of her tummy on FaceBook because she is tracking her 3 month old pregnancy in pictures month by month. She is 18 and has only been married a few months but they are already expecting their first child. I was appalled to discover that she has gotten two tattoos just below her stomach of two birds. I was a little shocked and I said so which she did not appreciate. I was told that I was being "judgmental" and it was a trivial matter, etc. I shot back that I was just being honest with her when I told her I didn't really approve and that I was shocked that she would get a tattoo.

Now, this may sound old fashioned and I imagine I will take flak from others because of how I feel about tattooing but I am okay with that. I am still entitled to my opinion as she is to hers. I have had a long fascination with tattoos and tattooing. I personally know a man that has gecko tattoo that he is ashamed to have now. I also knew an older man that had been tattooed when he was younger and when he got to be older, the tattoo was just a blurred outline on his skin and you could barely tell what it was supposed to be. Add to it that he had grown a thick coat of white hair on his arms and it was downright hideous to see that old tattoo standing out blue and livid but covered with white hair.

Now I come to my point about tattooing. On men, I don't mind tattoos so much but I am still not a big fan of them. No matter what it is and no matter where it is, tatoos look trashy on women. I have several friends that have them: a rose, a tiger, a Tweedy bird. None of their tatoos are that attractive to me but they at least had the sense to have them on their shoulder or their bicep where they won't migrate that much with age. My cousin with bird tattoos on her cute little flat tummy now, will soon have them stretched out of shape by pregnancy and then sag as she ages. I imagine they will be down to her knees by the time she is 80. The girls with the pin striping tattoos on their lower back? Well, in 30 years those tattoos are going to be on the backs of their upper thighs! Every young person that gets a tattoo today should ask themselves seriously: Am I really going to still want this when I am 80?

The picture I used today is the 1952 cover from The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury which is a collection of short stories that all thread together around two men, one of whom is tattooed all over. As they sleep next to each other, the tattoos on the illustrated man move and tell stories to the other man. The final story the man sees is of the illustrated man strangling him to death. It is a fascinating set of stories and another argument for not getting tattooed.