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Comicpalooza recap part I: May 23-24, 2014

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Besides attending a lonely comic book convention when I was 10 years old, I had never really frequented conventions until I met my girlfriend. This year's Comicpalooza was also the first comic book convention I'd attended in two decades. My girlfriend did a good job of hyping up how enjoyable Comicpalooza was in comparison to other cons. Anime conventions are also quite fun, but they tend to all be very similar with cookie cutter merchandise and regular artists that frequent the circuit. Comic book conventions like this one bring together not only comics, but anime, television, movies, and even video games. It's like a parade or a celebration that takes place over several days and unites everything that anyone considers awesome.

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Over the course of what could end up being several thousand words, I wanted to keep track of everything I possibly could during Memorial Weekend at the George R. Brown Convention Center during Comicpalooza in 2014. This will be my first article documenting a convention, but hopefully not the last.

I attended the convention with my girlfriend and her friend/co-worker while staying at the Hilton. While we do live in Houston, driving back and forth between home and the con seemed extremely exhausting since we like to dress up in costume. We had to wait for my girlfriend's friend to get off of work, so we didn't arrive until 5:30. We stumbled around the dealer's room and artist's alley. There were a massive amount of artists and tons of dealers this year. We didn't even have time to see half of everything the first day. There were old school arcade games and pinball machines on the third floor. While I didn't get to play, it was awesome just knowing games like Sinistar and Super Mario Bros were available to play at all times and only a few floors away.

The big event of the day was Stan Lee's Q & A panel, which was moved from 3pm to 7pm. While we didn't wait in line to get Lee's autograph or our pictures taken with him ($80 for either seemed a little steep), the Q & A was a lot of fun. Lee was very cheeky and humorous and had a story for absolutely everything that was asked.

We mostly wandered around the con the majority of day two. We bought a ton of prints and explored even more of the dealer's room. I attended two extremely awesome panels on Saturday which included a Mike Mignola panel looking back at 20 years of Hellboy and a Greg Capullo Introspective. I took a lot of notes for both panels, so here are the highlights from those:

Mike Mignola had two sequences cut from the first "Hellboy" film: a scene where army men find Hellboy in a crib and a scene showing Abe's mouth extending out when he ate. He also had a very different vision for "Hellboy II" that was much darker. Mignola then exclaimed, "What the @#$! is The Golden Army?" With so many ideas for a "Hellboy 3," Mignola doesn't see it happening unless it's a television miniseries. Ian Holm was the original choice to play Broom, but John Hurt looked exactly the way Mignola imagined in the role. Mignola wanted the troll market scene cut from the sequel, but admitted that the film is Guillermo del Toro's baby. The Corpse was so fun to write and draw that Mignola was convinced it wasn't any good until a friend told him it was the best thing he ever wrote. He admits to borrowing directly from folklore. Mignola hates thinking up character names and calls folklore his, "box of toys."

Over the years, Greg Capullo was offered open contracts to Marvel while working on Spawn. This happened for over a decade and became a running joke. Working on Batman and The New 52 is a dream come true for Capullo despite Capullo considering himself a "Marvel guy" the majority of his life. Capullo was extremely intimidated with working on Batman. When the first issue rolled around, he made four separate covers and was never fully satisfied with any of them. Capullo is a fan of superheroes not wearing any armor. The less armor on Batman the better since it says a lot about the psychology of the character.

Capullo brings up how he didn't get along with Scott Snyder at first, but says they're almost like brothers now. He says that gutting it out is the best way to conquer drawing ruts. He sees a movie play out in his head when he's drawing. It's like freeze framing a film and drawing what he sees. Greg Capullo rarely ever stops moving when he talks. He's extremely knowledgeable, talkative, and has dozens of stories.

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