[Gallery] San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Thursday

Comic-Con is alive and well in San Diego, we have our collection of pics taken on Thursday from around the event, packing in tons of cosplay, figures and general scenery you can expect to surround yourself with while emptying your wallet in San Diego. While the show is sold out, it does give a glimpse of the juggernaut that you can expect there in the future.

Enjoy the pics and remember to check back for more on BAMFAS.

Continue reading [Gallery] San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Thursday

SDCC 2013 – Gallery Wrap-up [Raw]

Over the past week we have worked to present you with images that captured a slice of life at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) and in their 40th year of expanding and extending opportunities for the development and awareness of comics and popular culture, they did not disappoint.  From Preview Night to Kids Day, attendees, professionals, exhibitors and staff brought us rich cosplay, mingling stars, sneak peeks, how-to panels, inspired art, toys, awards and of course comics.  Below are some final images that continue to reflect the community, evolution and intensity that only SDCC generates.  Who knows, they just might  inspire you to attend and participate.  If so, you might just find yourself in our 2014 SDCC gallery.

SDCC 2013 – Friday Day 2 Gallery [RAW]

Hey everyone, day 2 just wrapped up and I wanted to clarify something, the term raw in this usage is referring to the undoctored nature of the photos, if i uploaded them in raw format it would be insane for sizes and I wouldn’t be able to fit all of those on the camera itself.

Either way enjoy the full dimensions of these shots, thank you to all the cosplayers who have allowed us to shoot them for our gallery also.

Comic-Con 2012 Cosplay and Show Picture Gallery (SDCC) Day 0 / 1

We have tons of goodies coming for you guys but I wanted to do a picture dump from the first day(s) walking around SDCC. I’ll have more images to go out as the show rolls on and impressions and even more.

Notable things to do if you want to wander down in San Diego:

  • Hit up the Dodge Dart event for free snow cones
  • Hit up the History channel for some excellent BBQ (free)
  • Stop by the cnet Game Station for free drinks, food, wi-fi, games and phone charging
  • Pass by the Grimm forest and Trailer for a limited edition bag and poster
  • Stop by the Free arcade to play new titles and others you may have missed
  • Check out Sega down the way for Aliens and Sonic Racing
There are a ton of other cool things to do including trying to track down the Adult Swim [Free Rides] car as well. Good luck and happy hunting!

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Anime Expo 2012 Impressions + Cosplay Gallery

Credit to Jackson and Jenny for helping get this covered and out to you guys.

Normally we break our coverage up into multiple days and events and other good items, given our whirlwind experience at AX 2012 we’ll concentrate our focus more on the good times and a massive enjoyable gallery to support it all.

(Also a word of warning, the gallery is over 300 images big, all images are also in 8 MP resolution so you don’t get robbed of valuable pixels to post process, if you don’t want to wait for the images to load in soft box use right-click to save the link as)

All of this tl;dr? – Skip to the gallery

Getting into AX… kind of.

Just as one does not simply walk into Mordor, one doesn’t simply just get into Anime Expo. Each year presents various hurdles of long lines, temporary system issues or other fun things, as pre-registered attendees it was much easier to bypass this general trouble and overall the system and lines were moving so fast that no one was ever locked up once the show got moving. The old days of 3-4 hour registrations are dead with how efficient the show has become.

Unfortunately this is only half the problem for those in the region driving in, this year there was a special treat of the X-Games going on just across the way. Instances like this aren’t that frequent but when they hit they leave a lasting impression, mainly because while sitting in traffic in front of South Hall, it took over 2 hours to move from there to a parking space on the backside of the convention center. Unfortunately the LAPD made getting in to park for both events a nightmare and it took a very stern sheriff in those last 20 minutes to tell the traffic merging at the last-minute to beat it. Better coordination needs to go down with internal staff and the LAPD to make sure that events like this don’t face issues that get this awful.

The Exhibit Hall

As the market fluctuates so does the general size of this feature of the show, as of the past years it felt as if the show was losing more and more space with vendors and that general variety was stagnating. For 2012 they pushed hard to reach to new avenues of independent markets and sellers and even rare import dealers that one wouldn’t usually see in the US including the official One Piece store which was selling goods as fast as customers could haggle prices with them. It’s no surprise then to see that what fell to a low at the LACC of almost 8 major aisles took a step up and has reached double that in a short span of time while preserving variety and  an entire dedicated wing for Fan Art set apart from that.

Pricing was a bit of a mixed bag, items like plushies felt like they were running on the high-end of the spectrum while figures and other collectibles felt more accessible and it seemed as if sellers were open to deal on those items more than before. It’s never a situation where everyone is going to walk out happy but hopefully with the space rental arrangements it might be easier for them to budge on pricing a bit more. It seems like a yearly staple to expect shops to push $5 manga, $15 plushies and $15 wall scrolls or 2 for $20 with shirts still looming around the 20-25 mark.

It’s not horrible that it’s so predictable but it’s also not a driving force for people to shop on the spot vs online either and I think that’s an influence people actively face still when going to events like this.

Publishing Power

In past years I had a genuine concern about the industry power being invested into AX as a whole, with so many mergers and the rise of SDCC it felt like the attention was going elsewhere with the show and it was a major blow to the fans (not everyone can get down to SDCC and not everyone can swing $175 for tickets). Seeing companies like Viz return brought a sense of reassurance in tough times for everyone right now. Bang Zoom did their classic auditions and demonstrations, AAA showed off all the major goodies coming soon, Funimation touted shows they have out and projects they’re starting on, Namco slammed fans with their biggest related releases coming soon and Crunchyroll kept the crowd energized. NIS was there to hit fans with goods for their favorite products, Aniplex helped showcase all of their recent projects and
attempted to deal with massive traffic overloading their section of the hall.

Overall the support was good given the limited players left in the field, it was good to see Viz make a comeback to the show as well given they were just in the region for Wondercon as well in a smaller capacity.

Community

There’s one thing Anime Expo has never fallen short on and that’s the community aspect of the show, between fans there’s not a lot of ice to break and it’s often comforting to know that many there will have an eye out for one another. As the show has aged so have the patrons so it’s a refreshing shift to see photo-op circles staying tight together and organized and giving the security teams nothing to stress over during the show. As the show has cemented itself it seems more and more fans are settling down to socialize and share the experience.

There are quite a few examples of this, Concourse hall played host to waiting lines for events and when inactive the cosplayers and random fans would blast music, dance, play games, hang out and relax in what was essentially a massive living room. On the patio areas there were groups of friends new and old hanging out singing random songs and having a good time while resting their feet in the shade. It’s a refreshing shift from a lot of the conventions on the circuit for collecting and gaming actually.

Features

There’s something to be said about the amount of features they run now, while the show doesn’t run videos until the early hours of the morning anymore, they are moving to use more and more of the LACC with feature rooms, industry panel areas and tutorial workshops ranging from drawing to Vocaloid tools. Many of these cater to segments of the community that never found as much of a niche in AX like AMV production, there’s an entire block that ran for a full day on just that topic to be sure they hit the fine points.

Add onto this the return of classics like the gaming tournaments, arcade and tabletop gaming and fans really were just overloaded with events to take on. In that sense the only thing that felt lacking was a steady flow of direction from the AX team to inform people on the fly of what was going on. By this I mean having information available without having to break out a guide-book or pop out their phone (when you’re a cosplayer this is a bit of a problem to say the least). Often people shot through concourse without being aware what was even going on, this isn’t a problem isolated to AX though, it happens even during events like E3.

Cosplay

One of the huge sellers at most Anime conventions is the huge response from the community to dress up as their favorite characters from their favorite timelines in a shows life. This year was huge in that respect as you’ll see on page 2 with our gallery of over 300 shots from the show this year including TONS of cosplay that goes from “huh?” to “I really need to get on top of my game for next year” because seriously, many of these fans took it to the next level and it’s scary to imagine how high they might go next year. Even if you’re not up for dressing like your favorite character though, there are many shops at AX that sell outfits (mostly for women) and wigs that would allow one to mesh in with the crowd if they desired. Bring your wallet though because on the spot service isn’t exactly cheap.

Overall

Anime Expo for us had one of the most active years we’ve seen or felt in a while and not just by sheer traffic numbers. It’s great to be a part of it and to see that even young kids can get in on the show and appreciate all the goodies, the movies, the costumes and the fun that it brings along. The only issue that still comes up is LA is still a drive so it makes hitting every single day a task when the show crosses over with normal 9-5 work days in downtown on Friday and Monday. The show banner said they’ll see everyone back in 2013 so it’s doubtful they’ll be moving even if the Farmers Field project goes forward, at least LA has this one secured unlike E3 right now. Although I wouldn’t protest if they moved the show over to the ACC temporarily, just saying.

The Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Heroes and Heralds + More

Heroes and Heralds just broke out as news at NYCC this last week, to run along with the theme we’re not only giving you the short breakdown from Capcom and a few screens. We’re giving you all the goods in full resolution from them + all the current character art in full / extremely high-resolution!

From Capcom:

Heroes and Heralds, available as free DLC post-launch, is a new single player and multiplayer, team-based mode in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 where you unlock brand-new abilities with upgrade cards, customize your favorite character with new powers and compete in groups as either Heroes defending Earth from Galactus or as one of Galactus’ Heralds.

For those out of the loop, the game launches November 15, 2011. Get on it!

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Heroes and Heralds + Character files (10/12 revealed so far): 

SDCC 2011 – The BAMFAS lowdown + Cosplay Gallery!

Hey everyone, SDCC is slowly fading into the mist at this point and honestly it has taken a while to reach a point of editorial commentary. SDCC for the past 4 years has been pretty epic, watching it just boil over from a major event into a AAA showcase for the comic, movie, tv and gaming industries was awesome. What sucks is everything that came with it, SDCC exclusives are sought after by many and were a unique staple of the show. Now vendors come to the show or buy large volume to supply their stores at the con leaving low supply or excessive lines to regular consumers.

The crowds in the prior years were a bit friendlier as well, although of course last year there was the whole stabbing thing that went down. Striking that up to crazed fandom is probably the best I can do to class that one. This year not only was the floor packed but it was a shoving match from poor mannered folks to people that were shoving around in retaliation to the aggro behavior. Not cool at all and it really made for slow travel from end to end, for past visitors any extra time to that trek is a downer.

There are upsides of course and I’ll sprinkle one in right now, the quality of the cosplay and the endurance of the people taking part was superior in 2011. I loved watching the costumes around the show and seeing the creative poses and dedication to the public at large asking for shots. Lots of respect to those who made that venture, as a cosplay fan myself it’s never an easy task with heavy fabrics and shoes from hell. Many made it seem almost easy.

The dealer area seemed to show new life in 2011, while the Golden Age comics took an unexpected growth spurt the area as a whole had much more to offer for goods. Finding classic figures, new figures or even marked up show exclusives was easier than past years just due to sheer volume. Many retailers were also determined to run fire sales on old stock seen in previous years, watching some drop as much as 60-70% off had many buried in each booth to complete their collections or start new ones.

Personally, I found a good home with a few retailers, Comic Madness got me into the latest installment of Wolverine from Marvel. Hoping those turn out good. Also started on Secret Invasion finally with a huge variant pack I got for cheap. Although having 1-2 variants of each issue seems a bit odd now. Others made their impact as well, Top Cow and 2K Games actually set me up with a Darkness II limited Darkling statue from a Twitter event. For comic collectors, gamers and TV and movie enthusiasts there was a bit for everyone.

Now we go back to probably one of the most disappointing facets of SDCC 2011, the panel lines were probably the single most absurd thing on the planet. The waiting times were huge for everything, entering Ballroom 20 wasn’t something you just did, you planned extensively and camped that line for a glimpse of that room. Hall H was much the same with huge lines for major releases and determined fans sitting it out for days in line. The problem is, many of those who waited had no interest in those other panels they sat through. Waiting instead for special tickets or panels at the end of the day. The system used to work, it took roughly 1.5-2 hours to get inside but it happened. Some were waiting as long as 5 hours to see a panel and never got in.

The team at Comic-Con International has an issue to tackle with that situation, as it stands, very few will be able to see the panels they want to catch. I was fortunate to see Being Human and Community which rocked in the Indigo Ballroom. But only because blitzing in as early as possible to line was how it happened. Maybe it’s time to make lines for individual blocks of panels instead. As it stands there are a lot of campers who stomped good experiences for regular people who wanted to see their favorite panels again this year. Step it up for the fans and do something about the squatting because it let many people down.

The question of course, was SDCC worth attending? Yes, combine the downtown events with all the screenings and premieres and the show even if you can’t get into the main event is really a fun time. If you’re attending SDCC itself on top of all that, the event is more than most can handle, attending all the panels even when things were normal was impossible just because there’s so much to do. You can see some panels on your favorite shows, get signings in the exhibition hall from your favorite actors, animators or illustrators and more. It’s mind boggling for those attending their first year and rightfully so, the convention itself is gigantic and spills over to the surrounding area with goodies for all.

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Raw cosplay gallery – Anime Expo 2010

Hey guys, just wanted to drop an update with shots from the show this year, some good cosplay out there but oh my goodness the first day is slow at AX 2010, I’m not sure if AKB48 and MAX 2010 killed the crowds but by 6pm the South Hall was pacified into submission for crowds and enthusiasm. Yikes.

Also, check out part 2 here

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