Showing posts with label show. Show all posts
Showing posts with label show. Show all posts

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Free Comic Book Day 2014

It's Free Comic Book Day again! At least it was yesterday. So, once again I travelled up to Sydney with my wife and daughter to see what loot we could acquire and to generally have a nerdy day out. Unlike last year I went in my default bloke-mode. Once again my son stayed behind - he had a date, in the cold and wind, to watch his girlfriend play hockey.

Anyway, here's my two lovely ladies in the queue at Kings Comics in Sydney.

Oh yes - there was a queue. Unfortunately it has just started to turn cold (we're coming into winter here, don't forget) and despite the forecasted temperature of over 15C it felt much colder - shading from buildings and a bit of a wind. We queued for an hour and a half or more. We should have wrapped up warmer.

There was plenty of cosplay. There always is.

The shop staff had all dressed as Spiderman villains.

This was our favourite costume of the day - Dark Phoenix.

Did I say there was a queue? There was. Marvel and DC always do a comic each for this event that everyone gets (you get to choose two others as well). The staff dish those out to the queue, so that you have something to read. An energy drink company was doling out freebies as well, so we were all nicely hyped up on caffeine.

As we neared the shop, some of the cast of a Star Wars themed burlesque show turned up to promote it.

Star Wars burlesque is, as my daughter would put it, A Thing.

We finally hit the shop and spent about an hour inside. For my freebies I picked up a Rocket Raccoon comic, and this year's free Heroclix (see below). I also bought some more Heroclix figures (because you can never have too many) and something for my birthday next week (you'll have to wait until next week to see that). Catherine and Maya picked up some things I haven't looked at yet, mostly so that Maya could drool over the artwork. A couple of the free comics this year were hard-back books, so some publishers seem to be upping their game.

After lunch at Max Brenner (don't do lunch at Max Brenner - a small amount of chocolate is nice; a full, chocolate-based lunch is hard work) we went to another participating store, the bookshop Kinokuniya. Our friend Marcelo was one of the artists in the artist's alley.

Maya chatted to another artist, and scored herself a free sketch for being patient and friendly. Catherine and I bought another thing for our Sherlock Holmes collection.

A final bit of shopping rounded off the day, before we had to head home so that Catherine could put the chickens to bed before it got too dark.

And here's the free Heroclix figures, which you could pick up in lieu of one of your comic choices. They're very nice - I especially like the Joker, and can see myself using him in games in preference to the other figure I have. The pair came with data cards, a map and some cut-down Heroclix rules. This was a nice piece of marketing really, as in previous years the freebie has just been a single figure, which is great if you play the game, or have another use for it, but otherwise just a pretty statuette. Doing the freebie as a self-contained game is much better for business.

I think GW were involved in FCBD this year as well, giving away sprues of Space Marines, but I didn't see any sign of those here; I don't know if any shops in this part of Australia were participating in that giveaway.

In a couple of weeks we have ComicGong, a local comics event, so I should be picking up more goodies (and great pictures) then.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Free Comic Book Day 2013

Today, May 4th 2013, is Free Comic Book Day. It's a day when comic retailers dish out exactly what's written on the tin - free comic books. I decided that I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that, so planned to travel up to Sydney (a mere two hours away by train and home of my 'local' comic shop) to pick up some of the goodies on offer. Apparently there was a Superman comic and a Marvel preview for everyone, plus two other comics from a selection of fifty tiles, all specially produced for the event by various publishers.

In fact I was seduced by something else as well, more of which later.

As is often the case with things like this, I switched to 'girl-mode' for the day. One thing led to another, and my wife Catherine and daughter Maya decided to accompany me, so leaving my son at home to mind the chickens we made it a girls' day out.

So, up at 6am, and on a train by 7:30am. Two hours later we approached King's Comics on Pitt Street to see a gigantic queue of nerds. Heaven. It was like the queue for Salute, but without the personal hygiene issues.

There were people in costumes, of course.

We waited patiently for 40 minutes or so in a queue that moved steadily. Would all of the goodies be gone before we got there?

Maya and I whiled away time posting duck-faces to Facebook, because we have no shame.

Catherine got us some coffee ( a local retailer was doing a 2 for the price of 1 offer to cash in on the huge captive market outside).

Note the genuine monorail reflected in the window behind her (although I believe it's scheduled for closure now).

And here's my two lovely ladies ...

Maya has a thing for dressing up as a cat. But who am I to criticise?

We made it into the shop, where I didn't take any pictures, because we were too busy acquiring stuff. We got our Superman and our Marvel Infinity. I picked up 'Steam-Engines of Oz' as my free choice, which is a sort of steampunk Oz comic. Interesting, but not outstanding. Catherine picked up 'Scratch 9', which concerns a cat that can summon its previous lives, and 'The Red Ten' which is the start of a mini-series adapting Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians' as a superhero story. I can't remember what Maya picked up, but I know at least one of them was specifically for the art-work as she's an aspiring artist/designer/animator and likes the inspiration.

I also got the goodie I went for - a free Heroclix figure. As part of the promotion for Iron Man 3 you could drop one of your two comic picks and have an Iron Man figure instead. How did they know I wanted an Iron Man figure? I have no idea. But I did. And I got one.

Here I am looking reasonably pleased with my acquisition.

And here's the figure. I think it's a standard Heroclix figure, although it has a different dial to the commercial one.That  makes no difference to me. Being free? Now that I like.

In the background Catherine can be seen reading her Superman comic. She doesn't like Superman. She thinks someone should punch his smug face repeatedly.

The new Heroclix dials are very practical, which is great if you play Heroclix. They're a lot chunkier than the old ones though, so more obtrusive if you just want the figure for non-Heroclix purposes. One day I shall start rebasing my Heroclix.

Having got my Iron Man I bought a couple of Heroclix boosters form the Iron Man 3 range. I got duplicates. How my daughter laughed. But it's the rather dull Iron Man stealth armour, so at least one is ripe for a repaint of some kind. I may do it in something like the Iron Man colour scheme of my youth, which I recall had less gold than the current one, and more red. I need to work out how to mix a slightly metallic red though.

We also popped into a big bookshop, Kinokuniya, that was participating. There were more costumes, of course, enough manga to keep my daughter in a state of bliss for months and a number of Australian artists and illustrators for her to talk to. These included Marcelo Baez, who lives locally and who we have coffee with some mornings. Here's Catherine and Maya with Marcelo.

And here's a link to his blog.

After lunch we were comic'd out, so we hit the markets - Catherine wanted a hat and I'm after some boots - attempted to find another geocache (we failed) and then headed home, tired, footsore but loaded with loot.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Cancon 2013

This weekend was the annual Cancon convention in Canberra - one of Australia's biggest wargames shows, if not the biggest.

I popped in on Saturday morning, and stayed for an hour.

That's not to say that there wasn't plenty to see or do - I just had things I wanted to do in Canberra that didn't involve spending the day in a huge convention hall with a thousand other wargamers.

First, the loot. There wasn't much I bought some paints. Our local games shop has been a bit slack on paints recently, but I got the colours I wanted at Cancon. At a bargain price in some cases. I also bought some RSPCA raffle tickets, because any group that brings kittens to a wargames show deserves my money.

There was a stall selling chilli sauce.

I looked around the participation games as well; there were some interesting things on show. One group was doing a beautiful looking Zulu War game, whilst another were running a micro-scale Stalingrad using piles of scratchbuilt buildings. I was pleased to recognise the Battle of Lissa being played by a group running 'Wooden Ships and Iron Men' (the Venetian flags were the clue).

I took pictures of a Boxer Rebellion game which bore a startling resemblance to the one put on by the Staines Wargamers some 20-30 years ago. Here they are:

There were lots of competition and tournament games going on. As none of them were HOTT I didn't pay them much attention, aside from a brief look at the DBMM tourney on the grounds that my dad had come over from the UK to play in it.

My abiding memory of Cancon is the smell of male sweat that assails your nostrils as you walk through the door. I have a lot of respect for those people who stuck three days of it.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Salute 2012

Not a title I thought I'd post, living as I do some 10,000 miles from the UK's largest wargames event. Needless to say, I didn't attend this year. Indeed I haven't attended for several years, although I did from time to time when I lived in sunny Staines.

So why am I posting about Salute?

Well, lots of people have blogged about their personal Salute experience and favourite games, but they haven't shown everything. You can find those posts by clicking on my profile and trawling through the various blogs I follow. Or use Google. The first way's more fun, though.

However I knew that there was a South American Liberation game running this year (Ayacucho, 1824) and really wanted to see pictures. But none of my regular blogs mentioned it. So I resorted to Google, and found what I was looking for.

Here's a specific post on the game from History in 1/72.

But, even better, here's photos showing just about every game and trade stand at Salute 2012:

Page One
Page Two
Page Three

There's some real gems in there. Aside from more pictures of the Ayacucho game I was pleased to see a battle from the delightfully obscure Sonderbund War of 1847, as well as what seems to be a fusion of the classic board game 'Thunder Road' with Captain Scarlet. The giant monster game looked fun (and the photos seem to include a shot of the rules used) and I was thrilled to see my old club, The Staines Wargamers, featured as well; theirs is the Pear Harbour game.

So, for those of you who, like me, couldn't make Salute, trawl through the pictures and see what you were missing.

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