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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stockton Con 2013

I'd never heard of Stockton Con until earlier of this year, and as it continually dawned on me that the bay area's beloved Wonder Con is most likely staying in Southern California for good, I thought I may as well check out this comic convention.

I really wasn't expecting all that much, but it would the first time I'd be going to a convention not to hunt for comic deals but to actually cosplay. It would also be the first time I'd ever cosplay. Not cosplaying for some contest or promoting some booth, but just for the pure fun of it so I didn't know what to expect really. 

Stockton-Con 2013 image
I had a total blast cosplaying as DC Comics The Red Hood! I was glad that my buddy Gerry got to go, and all the photos are credited to him.

Stockon Con was held at the Stockton Arena with around 7,000 in attendance. I loved how it was set up! Most of the convention was held on ground zero of the arena, but you could access the 2nd floor, which had a section dedicated to more exhibitors, guests, and vendors, but you could sit in the stadium seats to eat and watch the action below. 

We arrived there around eleven and saw the great folks at my local comic shop, Heroes and Villains Comics. Owners Jim and Catherine had their usual big smiles on and were awesome as usual to talk to. I also saw the The Birds of Prey costume group nearby and chatted with them for a bit until we ended up losing them somehow.

Red Hood Cosplay with comic artist Ron Lim
It never takes me long to sniff out comic artist Ron Lim in any Artist's Alley at a comic convention. Always a class-act, Ron is more than happy to chat it up with fans. 

I introduced Ron to Gerry as the cosmic king of comic artists, as he is most notably known for his work on the Silver Surfer vol 3 series, the Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, and The Thanos Quest two issue series. He is often hailed as the best artist to draw Silver Surfer.

The comic sketches he produces are amazing. No skimpy, scribble profile sketches either. They are extremely detailed. When I stopped by his table to say hi, he was working on a Superman drawing for a fan. It always amazes me how quick he could do those things. 

Spider-Man cosplayer
Now what would be a comic convention without seeing Spidey there? Not much of one at all!

After being stopped to pose for a few pictures by fellow comic convention enthusiasts, it didn't take us very long before running into everyone's friendly neighborhood Spider-Man on our way to get food. Most definitely one of the cooler Spider-Man cosplay costumes at the event, and since Gerry's an avid Spider-Man fan (more than I am, as that's the only comic character he seriously collects), we absolutely had to stop the Webhead for a quick pic. 

Red Hood Cosplay image
First lunch: Nachos and hotdog! I had the nachos and Gerry had the hotdog. Gerry and I kicked back in the stadium seats while we ate and watched the action below for quite a bit. It was a great view.

While sitting there, though, we noticed another section on the 2nd level that a lot of people were filing through. We decided to head over and check it out after we were done eating. The section contained guest celebrities like Linda Blair. Yes, that Linda Blair who starred in the movie The Exorcist. Near the end of walking through this section, I was stopped by other fellow cosplayers for a real quick picture. 

Alien Xenomorph pic
It was great to see so many other cosplayers that showed up to the event. Seeing your favorite comic characters in the flesh is always such a blast and a thrill. From Batman, Deadpool, Iron Man (some really cool Iron Man costumes there), Catwoman, and even an Alien xenomorph that was stalking convention goers, I geeked out on all the amazing costumes as usual. 

Probably more so than usual since I didn't bring enough cash to really hunt for any comics that were on my want list. I kinda regretted not bringing enough cash later on during the show. I ended up seeing a lot of comics that I wanted, like a gorgeous Amazing Spider-Man #50 (first Kingpin).

Bizarro Cosplay
From the stadium seats where we were chowing down, Gerry spotted Bizarro walking around the convention floor, and we both immediately agreed we had to get his picture. It was actually the first Bizarro I'd ever seen at a convention.

While walking back towards the convention entrance after our little break of stuffing our faces, we finally spotted him. The poor guy was eating lunch with some other cosplayers he was with at the show. However, he was totally cool enough to take the time out for a real quick picture. 

Nevertheless, I really don't recommend asking a cosplayer for a picture when they're eating lunch, but I really couldn't help geek out and do so. Check out the backward S on his costume.

Black Panther & Storm cosplay photo
Speaking of geeking out. Me and Gerry saw the king and queen of Wakanda - The Black Panther and Storm - walk by us in the stadium seats on the 2nd level. This was around the 2nd time we got food, and not long after we went back to the convention, we saw them descending the stairs towards the arena floor. 

Like sharks zoning in on the smell of blood, we approached the amazing cosplay couple and got an awesome pic of them. The Black Panther costume was just badass, and they were, in my humble opinion, the best cosplay couple at Stockton-Con.

Red Hood & Raven cosplay image
And, of course, I finally had to get a photo with Raven from The Birds of Prey costume group, because she happens to be one of my favorite cosplayers in the bay area. Before leaving the convention, I asked if I could join the group, and they said, "Yes."

So how was Stockton Con? It was awesome! Everyone was amazingly cool and just having a great time. How was cosplaying for the first time at a convention? Awesome! I highly recommend it.

The best part? The best part was having a kid high-five me after taking a picture with him, because he was so excited to see one of his favorite comic characters brought to life! Actually seeing all the smiles and knowing you had something to do with that is priceless.

So if you're a bay area comic fan, go to the Stockton Con next year and be sure to say hi and get a pic if you see me there. I'll be dressed as The Red Hood and most likely cosplaying with The Birds of Prey group.

Hope to see ya next time!

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