Houston, TX – This weekend marked the seventh year of the pop and geek culture extravaganza known as Comicpalooza. What started off as a small signing event in the lobby of the Alamo Draft House in Katy, Texas back in 2008 has truly grown into a massive international convention attracting tens of thousands. Comicpalooza has something for just about everyone including movie and television stars, wrestlers, cosplay, comic book writers, and artists. While most in attendance may be there to get a signature or photo-op from the likes of stars like Stan Lee, Clark Gregg, or Tricia Helfer (all in attendance this weekend), it’s the comic book writers and artists who make up the heart and soul of a comic book convention.
I spent a lot of time this weekend in artist alley and had the opportunity to meet some incredible talent. On Saturday I sat down with Roy Thomas, the former Editor-in-Chief at Marvel Comics and co-creator of such characters as Red Sonja, Vision, Iron Fist, and Man-Thing. Other well-known comic talent on hand included Batman artist Greg Capullo, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, co-creator of Ra’s-al-Ghul and the John Stewart Green Lantern Neal Adams, Mouse Guard creator David Petersen, former Spider-Man artist Sam De La Rosa, Zombie King Arthur Suydam, and Wolverine artist Joe Rubinstein. The entire gallery of photos from artist alley can be viewed on both Facebook and Google.
Saturday evening I attended the Comicpalooza Charity Auction benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston. Many of the artists in attendance displayed their amazing talents as they worked on an original piece in front of guests and donated the finished product to the cause. The event started at 7pm and attendees has until 10:30pm to bid. All together in just over three hours the artists were able to raise $8000. The entire gallery of photos from this event can be viewed on the Geek Sushi Facebook or Google page.
It wouldn’t be a comic con without the cosplay, and there was plenty of that this weekend. Between the featured cosplay guests and the fans in attendance, we had costumes that covered a wide range of genres. Popular superhero cosplay included Batman, Spider-Man, Deadpool, and Harley Quinn. Representing Sci-Fi was Doctor Who, Star Wars Stormtroopers and Darth Vader. Some other cosplay spotted over the weekend included Daft Punk, Game of Thrones, Spy vs. Spy, and Super Mario Bros. You can see all the cosplay pictures on my photo albums on either Facebook or Google.
I did not spend too much time this weekend in Hall E which was the autograph area and the place you could find the featured guests. As much as I would have loved to spend some time with the likes of Peter Davison (the fifth Doctor) from the classic Doctor Who series, or ask Tricia Helfer about her work on Battlestar Galactica, and perhaps obtain some teasers for season two from any of the cast of Agents of Shield, ultimately these special guests belong to the fans. The lines are long and the crowds are eager to get a brief moment with their favorite pop culture star. I did however manage to chat briefly with Clare Kramer, who is perhaps best known for her role as ‘Courtney’ in the hit movie “Bring it On”. Kramer has also had recurring roles on such television shows as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and has recently shifted her role in the entertainment industry over to directing. More importantly it is her involvement and work with numerous children charities including Children’s International and Kids 4 Kids that stands out and has prompted her to start her own charity. Kramer is currently in the process of launching ‘Giver’ which will focus on providing care for children from poverty-stricken nations. Clare Kramer is a compassionate and unselfish talent who was incredibly gracious and is indeed a truly genuine artist.