AC Boardwalk Con Adventure Part 1

You couldn’t move in AC last weekend. Everywhere you turned there was a bachelorette party going on. It was like an old B-movie, but, instead of the Jersey Shore getting infested with 50-foot mutated soon-to-be brides, it was overrun with literal hordes of drunken twenty-something girls wearing dresses that could barely fit my arm. They were stumbling all over the boardwalk, making a scene at the casinos, and even loud talking (slurring) on line at Starbucks. Believe me, I’m all for partying, but the combination of drunkenness only amplified the fact that they all seemed to think they were hot shit. Something about getting dressed up and downing weak shots of fruity liqueur makes even the biggest disasters feel like they could nail David Beckham. They couldn’t even pronounce Macchioto at that point, but, then again, they could barely walk – even with those giant heels in hand. Don’t think for a second that their male counterparts weren’t up to the same shenanigans in other casinos, they just disguised it better. Clusters of dudes on their bachelor parties were equally as obnoxious, but they weren’t wearing tiaras and sashes, so they didn’t stand out as much. Why am I telling you this? To set the scene of course!

While much of this turned out to be entertaining in itself, like witnessing multiple girls trip over their giant heels in their micro mini skirts right before my eyes, it got in the way of my real mission: getting to the FIRST EVER Atlantic City Boardwalk Con. Last weekend, Dinosaur Dracula and I escaped immediately into a parking garage and sought refuge in the most perfect place imaginable – The Atlantic City Convention Center. This place was bustling with an entirely different breed of revelers: Geeks. The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con was like being in the Merry Land of Oz, if Oz was a comic convention and Kevin Smith was the Wizard.

AC took on a double meaning for me. The Atlantic City Convention Center was supplied with Air Conditioning, which made it a haven in more ways than one; it was an awesome way to get out of the humidity (I’m currently AC-less at home), but it was also an immense emporium for all of my favorite geek things. From comics books to Zatanna cosplay, it was all there spread throughout the cavernous facility. The craziest part about it was that they didn’t even utilize half the floor space and ACBC was still a huge con.

Cosplay was in full force. Personally, I never get sick of seeing cosplayers and the insane amount of time and effort they put into their bringing their characters to life. Some cosplayers have such elaborate homemade costumes and they never break from their roles. They’re usually happy to chat and take pictures and those I spoke to at ACBC were friendly and seemed pretty psyched to be there. Cosplay was a key part of the AC Boardwalk Con (i.e Dark Helmet) and it’s welcome to see it get the spotlight that it deserves here in New Jersey. I saw Callie Cosplay as Sue Storm and she looked fantastic. Much like some of the other cosplayers at ACBC, she changed costumes over the course of the weekend, but in the video you can catch a quick glimpse of her as Sue.
Since ACBC is new, it was a fresh experience. There was an aspect of discovery that I don’t get from other cons. With New York Comic Con, it always feels like an organized mess, overshadowed by the mega conglomerates who sink the most ad money into the event. On the other hand, ACBC provided me with a happy feeling every time I turned a corner and noticed something that I hadn’t before. It was a mix of independent vendors and the random official Marvel Universe kiosk. An excellent balance of both. Plus. the easy to follow floor layout and the imaginative vendor set-ups infused the stagnant con prototype with a new style. Mostly, it was just different than the norm, and less stressful and aggravating to navigate than the other big cons.

Enticing my eyeballs for a few hours were random toys, odd collectibles, and beautiful artwork. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I actually didn’t come home with any. I resisted. I so desperately wanted the Batman/Harley Quinn painting you’ll see in the video above, but it was about $900 bucks! I got bills, yo! I’ll stick with the shots in the video footage I took. Further guilt was brought on by the fact that I’ve bought so many figures recently that I wanted to stick with a few original items to take home with me, so let me show you what came home with.

The NJ Ghostbusters were on site investigating a free floating full torso apparition of an old famed casino owner who is known to haunt the Atlantic City area. When I ran into the boys in gray, they didn’t have much time to B.S with me about the latest issue of Space Catalog because they just got an urgent call from Janine Melnitz, so I quickly threw them some cash so I could own one of their beautiful NJGB t-shirts! Could this shirt be any more apropos for me? NJ and Ghostbusters, perfect. I also picked up some stickers.

All the way from the far off land of Los Angeles, CA, I stopped at the table of JSalvador’s Super Emo Friends. These cute paintings of sad super heroes, rock stars, and pop culture icons grabbed me as if I saw a sad puppy in a pet shop window. How could I resist Emo Jason Voorhees moping on his mother’s severed head? I also picked up the Emo Arrow for Mike

ACBC didn’t give me much to bitch about at all. I only had one minor gripe. I didn’t wind up meeting any of the guests, but the celebrity signing lines could’ve used more ingenuity. Once you reached the autograph and picture area in the back of the con, it was clogged up with people milling around trying to figure out whose line they wanted to go wait on first. Even getting remotely close to that wing would’ve gotten you caught up in a bit of a traffic jam. It’s possible they weren’t expecting such a huge turnout, but they’ll definitely have to expand this area next year.

ACBC was a success and I will venture to say that it was one of the most enjoyable conventions I’d ever been to. There was a positive vibe throughout and people weren’t acting like jerks. Seeing kids and families there also brought me back to when I was young and geeky things like comics weren’t ruled by 40-something dudes. It’s a family affair and that’s cool. ACBC did a bang up job right out of the gate. Looking forward to next year already!

You didn’t think our adventure ended at The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, did you? Of course, there’s more to come from our exploits AFTER the con! Things got pretty interesting so come back soon to check it out. Thanks for reading!

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AC Boardwalk Con Is Coming May 14th – 17th!

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Get Your Tickets at DOACBC.COM and USE DISCOUNT CODE “BLOG10” to receive 10% off your ticket purchase, courtesy of AC Boardwalk Con and The Sexy Armpit!

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Geek conventions and casinos have something in common. Think about it, aside from a few exceptions, for many years there were two main spots in the country to gamble in a casino, Atlantic City and Las Vegas. It was much the same with comic conventions. The official Comic Cons always happened in San Diego and New York City. No longer do we have to deal with only two major cons. Nowadays, comic and pop culture conventions are happening constantly all over the country.

Promoters have been capitalizing on the demand for cons and we have more events to choose from than ever before, especially here in New Jersey. One that I have been waiting patiently for the last couple of years for is the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, a.k.a ACBC. The announcement for this huge event came quite a while ago and it’s finally upon us. In merely a couple of weeks (May 14th – 17th 2015) you can be a part of their inaugural event in Atlantic City, NJ.

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New Jersey has a few comic conventions throughout the year, but none seem to be on the same level as this one. ACBC’s organizers have spared no expense to hit the ground running. Although it’s the first ACBC, it has the epic feel of a con that’s been around for a decade. Celebrity guests, collectibles, concerts, events, contests, film fests, and an after hours party will comprise this jam-packed geekgasm of a weekend.

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This is a chance to hobnob with comic book artists and creators as well as check out some Q&As, workshops, take part in masquerades, and snap your cosplay photos at some awesome backdrops. There will also be the cosplay competition and crowning of Mr. and Miss Cosplay Atlantic City, a Warriors Reunion, and a Film and TV auto exhibit.
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I’ve always been a huge fan of events that take place in Atlantic City because there’s always stuff to do when the con ends for the night. Plus, it’s so much easier to make a weekend of it all and give it that “mini-vacation” vibe. The weather is warm, the beach is next door, the boardwalk is always filled with stuff to do, and you’ll no doubt want to try your luck at a table game or a slot machine while you’re in AC, because what’s the sense of being in AC if you don’t gamble away your life savings and fall deeper in hate with yourself in the process? But do that AFTER you head to ACBC because you may want an autograph from Thea Queen from Arrow first. Just looking out for ya!

From the looks of the website, this con is shaping up to be the real deal. It would truly be a feat to see ACBC succeed in such a big way that it cements it’s place amongst the major players of the convention scene. It’s looking promising, and New Jersey may finally have it’s official comic-con.

Celebrities Appearing for Autographs and Photo Ops Include:
Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanaugh, Willa Holland, William Shatner, Brian Tee, Bryan Johnson, Drew Powell, Charles Fleischer, Elizabeth Lail, Garett Wang, Georgina Haig, Jason Mewes, Jeremy Shada, Jess Harnell, Michael Rooker, Manu Bennett, Rob Paulsen, The cast of The Warriors, Tress Macneille and a host of others!

Bands Performing: September Mourning, New Politics, and Make Out Monday

Atlantic City Convention Center
1 Convention Boulevard
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Our Monster’s Ball Halloween Costumes 2014

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View our Flickr Album from this event for larger photos here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sexyarmpit/sets/72157648613469690/

Last Saturday I worked on my costume right up until the moment I walked out the door. Where was I off to? The Trenton Artworks Monster’s Ball which was a masquerade-art show-concert-party. Have you ever been to one of them? Well, neither have I, until now! We had a blast and it wouldn’t be a Halloween celebration here at the blog unless I documented the festivities for you, so here we go!

As I mention here every year, choosing who I want to dress up as for Halloween is never easy. I need some sort of divine inspiration, which sometimes doesn’t come until the very last minute. This year, I went with a character that I wanted to tackle for about 6 or 7 years now, but didn’t think I’d be able to pull it off properly.

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The Diabolical Disc Demon a.k.a The Phantom was a Scooby Doo Villain in ONE EPISODE, but that was all it took to leave a lifelong impression on me. I’ve wanted to be him for Halloween for so long and I’ve had his mask at the top of my closet for 4 years now. He scared me the same way as Gene Simmons did when I was a kid, but as I grew up I realized he was just a knockoff of Gene, or more accurately a mixture of Gene’s makeup style and hints of Ace Frehley’s costume (hell, they even lifted his nickname ACE Decade.) I made up my mind and I knew it was high time that I finally embodied the Disc Demon for a night.

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Miss Sexy Armpit decided she wanted to be Frankie Stein, my favorite Monster High doll this year. A couple of years back she was Draculaura which came out awesome, but I’m biased toward Frankie though. She did a great job with her costume and makeup as always. So, we were locked in with our costume decisions. It was just a matter of completing our costumes and then figuring out where we would actually go. It’s one thing to have kickass costumes, but if no plans are made, then we’d just be taking selfies in the bathroom at home all night and eating guacamole and passing out on the couch.

I made the executive decision to head off to Trenton, NJ for the Monster’s Ball.

The early evening on Saturday began pretty typically for me. And by that, I mean disastrous. With me, you know nothing’s ever easy, so realizing that I bought the “standard size” blue spandex suit was quite a debacle. Seemed like the right choice, but NOPE. What a dumbass! This thing couldn’t have been more constricting if I had Damien the snake wrapped around my entire body. It’s only for guys from 5’4″ – 5’10” and 120-165 lbs. I’m 6 ft and about 190 some odd lbs. I was a bit uncomfortable, but I toughed it out in the name of Halloween.

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Once I got myself situated, we took some pictures. After all, the photos are the only way to commemorate these occasions. Apologies to Mike and Lauren who were waiting for us outside for like half an hour unbeknownst to me as I took creepy bathroom selfies at my friends house. Mike was the Red Hood and his wife Lauren was Jean Grey/Phoenix. Finally, we piled into Mike’s (@IdiotatPlay) car and headed to Trenton. Lots of cars whizzed by and stared at me as if I looked out of the ordinary or something.

Literally as soon as I walked in the door to check in, one guy was like “Whoa the Disc Demon, right?!! So cool man!” I couldn’t believe I was recognized so quickly as such an obscure character, but it started the party with a positive vibe.

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Once inside, Miss Sexy Armpit immediately grabbed me to point out the costumes of a couple in front of us. Our first choice this year was going to be Dick Tracy and Breathless Mahoney, and boy am I glad we opted against it because this couple looked fantastic as them. They knocked it out of the park.

The entire Artworks building was decked out for Halloween with all kinds of homemade creepy decorations enhancing the atmosphere as well as pieces of art based off horror movies and Halloween. We met up with our good friend Bob Burke who created that kickass glowing Halloween 3 print I got at the Punk Rock Flea market not too long ago. One of his pieces of art was on display here as well and it’s one of my favorites of his, here I am in the pic below posing with it.

Take a look at some of the other cool art on display at this party:

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Not to sound purposely vague, but there were several rooms with different things going on. One room had activities like a photo booth and some kind of other situation that I have absolutely no recollection of. I’m hoping to continue being less descriptive about the random activities going on. All I remember is Bob and I bringing up Step Brothers and how much space there was for activities. Always. Any time someone merely says the word activities that’s what comes up, it’s a prerequisite. Another activity was EATING. Here’s the room with the hors d’oe uvres, NOTE the cheese balls! My kind of f’n party!

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One thing I remember for sure was the room with all the drinks had horror films and spooky animated shorts showing being projected on a screen. There were also some cool blacklit glowing trees. I tried putting one in Mike’s trunk but it was way too big. I tried to avoid the blatant sexual innuendo in that sentence, but there was just no other way to describe that. Ultimately I wanted to tie it to the top of his car like Aunt Edna, but they all talked me out of it considering how I was dressed. The cops would’ve loved that. “License and registration sir, wait, is that a glowing tree tied to your roof? And a Disc Demon in the back seat? I’m calling in some backup…” In New Jersey that’s ground for incarceration. Ok, so I didn’t try stealing the glow tree, but I did have to drink my beer through a straw. I stuck it in the mouth hole. Boom, there’s another one for ya.

Once the party was in full swing, I got that feeling. That type of feeling that I used to get at the high school Halloween masquerade party. Those were the best. I looked forward to them each year. Sophomore year I won runner up, while junior and senior year I won scariest costume. All 3 years I dressed up as Gene Simmmons from KISS. What really put it over though was that I was completely in character. I’d go up to a circle of people whether I was friends with them or not and I’d stare at them and very slowly and subtly started drooling blood out of my mouth. I would go to these parties with literally 200 blood capsules. The best part was that even though everyone knew I was the resident KISS fan, one of the only ones in the school mind you, people were scared and they weren’t sure if it was me or someone that was planted at the party as some sort of creepy entertainment.

Back to the Artworks party. The DJ was pumping Halloween tunes like “Nightmare on My Street,” and it was my kind of crowd and vibe. Everyone was having a good time and they weren’t getting out of hand, which was good because I didn’t feel like kicking some ass in a spandex body suit and 35 lbs of felt. Then, without any warning, a troupe of belly dancers joined together in the middle of the dance floor and began their exotic gyrations. That’s when everyone knew the shit was on. It was like a mango sorbet aged about 60 years to cleanse the palate of all those cheese balls.

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It was about 10:30 which signalled the costume contest. There were some cool costumes I scoped out throughout the night including a dude Maleficent who I referred to as MALEficent. Each entrant to the contest went up on a little stage and showed off for the judges. For some reason I was at the front of the line with Miss Sexy Armpit, but I was asked to go to the back of the line for some reason. I thought I was in trouble, or I was just too damn tall in these 6 inch boots.

When they were ready to announce the winners I had absolutely no clue who would win, but my theory was that it would be the girl who dressed as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. She seemed like a safe bet. They gave out prizes to one or two runners up, and I wasn’t even paying attention then I heard the woman announcer yell “there’s only ONE Diabolical Disc Demon…” I couldn’t believe it. I never go with what will be popular in terms of costume choice, I go with what inspires me, and this time it really impressed the judges! The last time I’d won a costume contest was when we got 3rd runner up for our Macho Man and Elizabeth costumes at a masquerade about 5 years ago. This time I won First place and took home $100 bucks. Not too shabby. I probably spent nearly double that on putting together te costume though, but I’m not complaining!

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After the contest was over, the energetic band with the tiny frontwoman wearing the aerobics costume, Molly Rhythm, started their set. After checking them out for a bit, we capped things off appropriately, the way most late nights in New Jersey end…at the diner.

Now…to do it all again on Halloween!

HALLOWEEN 2013: Prime Evil and Jem!

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After a couple of Halloweens in Jersey full of shitty weather, including a hurricane, I set out to make this year’s Halloween more of a success. It doesn’t even matter what Miss Sexy Armpit and I wind up doing for Halloween, it’s more about the costumes for us. This year Halloween falls on a Thursday so most Halloween themed parties and masquerades happened last weekend. Adult Halloween activities usually involve alcohol in large quantities rather than tons of candy, but I kept my consumption to a minimum this time around, mainly because I was wearing a mask.

Whether you know me personally or you just enjoy reading the site, you know that I’m pretty serious about Halloween. Even before October arrives, I start looking at all the events and masqerades in our area and the costume making commences! Not since I was a kid have I actually purchased a costume at a store. I prefer to put together my costumes using my creativity. Miss Sexy Armpit and I tend to put a lot of time and effort into making our Halloween costumes. How do I decide on what I am going to be? Well, it’s 90% inspiration and 10% feasibility. If I’m overcome by a feeling about a character a couple of months prior to Halloween and pulling it off is within the realm of possibility, that’s how I arrive at my choice.

As a kid growing up in the ’80s, I loved villains. I still do. The 80’s had some of the best villains especially from cartoons. I was a fan of Real Ghostbusters, but I was also a huge fan of Filmation’s Ghostbusters. It confused a lot of my friends back then when we discussed Ghostbusters because you’d have to specify which one you were referring to. The thing with Filmation Ghostbusters is that it didn’t seem to have the same widespread appeal that Real Ghostbusters did, probably because it wasn’t connected to a blockbuster summer movie. It was popular for a short time, but I remember having the hardest time finding a Prime Evil figure (I still can’t find one unless I pay a fortune on eBay!).

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Prime Evil, the main villain, was so cool looking and he was my favorite part of the show. The fact that I have such great memories of the show and the character reminded me of something out of horror movie, Prime Evil was my choice for Halloween this year. He’s been on my mind for the past few years, but I didn’t think I could pull it off without looking too cheap. Intensifying my inspiration was the fact that Prime Evil was the most elusive figure to me as a kid. I rarely went crazy looking for a specific figure unless it was from LJN’s WWF line or later in the Kenner Batman Dark Knight Collection line. He’s the one that got away! My goal this year was to base the costume off of the action figure that I never owned.

Usually, Miss Sexy Armpit and I begin working on our costumes in early September, sometimes even late August. This gives us ample time in case we run into any unforeseen difficulties while creating the costumes. This year was no different.

One of the biggest challenges I faced was finding the right mask to use. Creating one myself wouldn’t have been the best idea because it would’ve looked like shit. Early in the summer I started scouring the Internet for online stores that had a proper mask that could work as Prime Evil mask. I finally found a couple on Amazon and ordered both.

Neither mask instilled me with any confidence that I’d be able to pull this off. One was latex that flapped around and got all bent up in transit and the other felt like it weighed about 40 lbs and hurt like hell when I put it on my face. The heavy one, which was basically a Terminator Series 800 mask, didn’t cover my entire head, but it did have a cool feature: red LED eyes! Actually the eye lights were pretty lame because they blinked incessantly which isn’t an attribute of Prime Evil’s. There was no mouth or nose holes either, so I was able to eliminate that one rather easily.

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Now, with the decision made on the mask, I began working on other aspects of the costume. At that point I didn’t worry about how I would doctor up the mask, I had a feeling I’d be able to bring it up to Prime Evil standards without too much difficulty and if I couldn’t it would just have to suffice.

In between working on her own JEM! costume, Miss Sexy Armpit lent her ingenuity to the creation of my costume. We picked up some red and orange material and cut it in a similar pattern as Prime Evil’s flowing red cape and gown. We used a picture of him I had on my iPad as a guide while cutting.

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Miss Sexy Armpit did such an awesome job with her JEM! costume. It was mostly homemade except for a few parts that were purchased. I picked up the wig for her and she worked her hair styling magic on it. With her dead-on balls accurate makeup job she looked truly outrageous!

One of the most important aspects of the Prime Evil costume is his pale yellow and sometimes neon skin. Fortunately, Green Man from Always Sunny made those second skin costumes super popular and it was easy to find a similar color to the one I needed. The only issue with that costume is that there’s obviously no eye, nose, or mouth holes, so I had Miss Sexy Armpit cut the face open. The “skin” is a main component to the costume because it pulls it all together. It really did give the impression that I had neon yellow skin.

As for the other details of the costume, I improvised. I found a reasonable long red cape with a big collar on a costume website. I don’t think it cost more than $20 bucks, which was great. As for the gloves, I found silver stretchy gloves that were probably meant for a woman to wear to some ritzy gala in the ’20s, but I got them because they were super cheap. When they arrived, I immediately cut the fingers off. I said “f*ck those fingers,” and bam, I had Prime Evil gloves. The mask took a few coats of acrylic paint. The yellow parts glowed in the dark too! Next I needed to create a fake oscilloscope for his mouth. I found a picture of Prime Evil online and opened it in Photoshop. I cropped and enlarged the sound wave in his mouth and printed it. I cut out a piece of cardboard that I bent on both sides. Then I taped the sound wave picture to the cardboard with black electrical tape. I finished it off by covering all the exposed cardboard with the black tape and pinning it to the mask. The red boots were actually repurposed yellow boots from my Kick Buttowski costume in 2011 that I spray painted red. Last but not least, a little black makeup around my eyes and my costume was complete!

Ultimately, our costumes were hits. Wearing the mask throughout the night proved to be quite a challenge, but provided much comic relief. I had to drink from a straw the whole night. This year’s outing was medicore at best and it definitely wasn’t the fault of our company though. We might as well throw a party at our place because we usually wind up having a better time just taking pictures, having a few drinks, and bullshitting before going out. I wasn’t able to eat with the mask on so I was starving by the end of the night. The best part of the outing was heading over to Hooters for a late night snack. By that time I had to take all my Prime Evil gear off because I wanted to eat without sucking my buffalo chicken sandwich through a straw. How the hell did Prime Evil eat? I wondered that while wolfing down my food. I didn’t really think that part through!

New York Comic Con 2013 Recap by Jay

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We’re taking a brief break from the Halloween Countdown, and boy do I mean brief. I’m only 2 sentences in and I already want to get back to celebrating Halloween. New York Comic Con needs to happen in November. October is exclusively for packing in the most Halloween fun as humanly possible, not getting caught up in geekery and action figure exclusives…well there’s always a little room for that. New York Comic Con 2013 is now history, and I must say, if it weren’t for an insane headache and stomach ache, I had a good time. Of course, as usual, I have reservations about it though. Join me and I’ll tell you all about my experience this year at the Javitz Center.

This is only my 3rd official Comic Con which means in comic geek circles I’m an amateur. Not really though, because you only need to go to one of these boundless events to grasp how they work. I was always under the impression that Monster Mania and Chiller cons were chaotic, but they’re super tame in comparison. Comic Con literally brings in people from all over the world and packs them into the Javitz Center to the point where you can walk without getting jabbed by people’s costumes. You can’t walk through anywhere without asking people to let you get by because everyone is staring in awe at everything they pass. The amazing part is, only a fraction of these people read comics.

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I wouldn’t go a full post about comic con without posting the most bubbly and friendly Supergirl I’ve ever met. And what kind of cosplay does a New Jersey Pop Culture Blog post? 
Jay and Silent Bob cosplay of course! Snootchie Bootchies!

One of the main reservations I have about this event is that comic books and their artists haven’t been the main attraction in many years, and they obviously should be. The only reason I go to these is to meet the artists whose work I admire, and to possibly pick up some of their prints. Comic Con has become more about big time companies promoting their wares and cosplayers promoting themselves as a brand (nothing wrong with that, but some cosplayers are truly into the comics and the scene, while others just go as a chance to get pictures taken of themselves). Plus, don’t go thinking you’re going to get great deals on ANYTHING…cause you aren’t.

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Padme by artist Dennis Budd and Red Sonja by NJ artist Dave Bullock

Smaller scale comic book conventions are great for fetching you a ton of dirt cheap comics. Comic Con has tables with comic book sellers, but those prices aren’t that much more reasonable than what you’ll see on eBay. So, going for comics isn’t the best idea. Besides, I get my comics through Comixology anyway, so that solves that.

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The big comic book companies were there in full force, well, at least some of them were. Marvel was mobbed and they were doing gangbusters business. As expected, their booth was one of the most visited on the floor. Conspicuous by its absence was a DC booth. I looked all over for it, but little did I know that there was no DC booth on the con floor! I didn’t consult with the 380 page program that they handed me when I walked in, nor did I download the app in fears that I’d use up more battery power on my phone. If I did look at any of those things I’d probably know that the DC booth was tucked in a hallway far, far away. Once I finally found the limp DC booth about an hour after I arrived, I was so disappointed at what little they had to offer.

The DC booth had all the Superman movie costumes through the years displayed in glass cases. There was a DC video game station and a few other minor details, but nothing that enticed me to stay there longer than a minute or two. I didn’t see much in the way of free crap either.

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I haven’t watched our little friend Sam yet this Halloween season. Trick r Treat is on my watch list for this week and Afterlife with Archie is on my reading list.

Free crap is another big reason why people go to Comic Con. People love free crap. I learned my lesson from past Cons though. I used to take one of whatever was handed to me or available to grab. In the past I wound up with a giant bag of random comic con freebies that I didn’t know what to do with. I wound up trashing most of it and whatever was good enough to keep I gave away to whoever wanted it. I didn’t take one thing this time. OK, blatant lie. I DID take a Real Ghostbusters poster that FearNet was giving away. But that was it, I swear.

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Some NJ ink in the style of the NY Yankees logo and 
a poster for the new Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back MiniMates!

One obstacle with Comic Con is that you literally have to search for a way to keep your shit all together. Unless you come prepared with a giant bag or Uhaul, you might find yourself with a handful of stuff and you may find yourself in another part of the Javitz Center and you may ask yourself “where does that hallway go to?” IT GOES NOWHERE. IT GOES TO THE BATHROOMS. IT GOES NOWHERE YOU WANT IT TO GO. I REPEAT IT DOES NOT GO TO ARTIST ALLEY IF THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. And I ended up stealing a new garbage bag off the janitor’s garbage bin in order to hold all my stuff. Couldn’t find a damn bag anywhere. If they want me to come back they need to offer me a huge bag as soon as I walk in.

Anyway, good luck finding Artist Alley. You’ll have a better chance finding it if you wore ruby slippers, clicking your heels together, and letting a twister bring you there. For me, that’s the stuff I want and they bury it all the way on the other side of the building. Even on an extremely high speed people mover it would take you 39 minutes to get there from the main entrance. Screw that!

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Went to say hello to Dan Parent who I’ve met a few times and he was very cool as always. I bought a couple of pieces of art from him since I’m a fan of his and of Archie Comics in general. Here’s an original piece of Cherry Blossom and a print of Betty The Vampire Slayer vs. Vampironica. An excellent choice for Halloween!

A few of the toy booths I visited had some cool items that I was enticed by, but it turned out that the sellers weren’t at the table at the moment and they put random dudes in charge of their table. Said dudes knew nothing about pricing on anything and they weren’t authorized to make any sales themselves, so basically they were there to make sure people didn’t steal shit. That’s great for the person who was running the table because if they were in the mood for a sausage sandwich they could go grab one, but sucked for me since I stopped by the tables 6 times. I SAID I STOPPED BY THE TABLE 6 TIMES. 6 TIMES! Man I hope you get that reference. These guys were missing out on a possibly lucrative sale. Wait, what am I saying? What am I going to do with a repainted Skeletor figure that is supposedly rebranded as “art,” for $145 dollars. That’s just utterly f*cking ridiculous.

Go to take in the sights! Stay and absorb all the cosplayers hard work! But, most importantly, support the artists! The big major companies who are strategically situated on the con floor can afford it if you bypass their kiosk that’s merely serving as a sign up center for their silly e-mail list, so next time you go to Comic Con, head straight for Artist Alley and spend a good chunk of your time there. That’s where the magic happens. Literally. The con wouldn’t exist if artists and writers didn’t create the comics in the first place. Otherwise it would just be called New York Con and that’s just a dumb f*cking name.

BatDave and Buster: A NJ-Made Batman Fan Film

As we enter the summer, I’m taking it easy over here at The Sexy Armpit. Meanwhile, over at the Bat-Blog, Tommy the bat-bloggin’ maniac, broke the story about a made in NJ bat-film hitting YouTube. Unlike The Sexy Armpit show, which was produced for basically nothing aside from personal time, this fan film had a budget of $400 bucks. Similar to many other fan-films floating around the Internet, this one was also a labor of love.

Here’s their plot synopsis: A regular guy from New Jersey and his loyal dog who both constantly try to emulate the crime-fighting ways of their childhood hero ‘The Batman’ find themselves drawn into a wacky manhunt for The Joker and a brutal fight to the death with the murderous Bane.

BatDave and Buster was written and filmed by a local bat-fan nicknamed Bat-Dave who appears on the Bat-Blog frequently and heads to many of the local NJ pop culture conventions. The film was directed and edited by BatDave’s friend Dennis Pellicano. As mentioned on their YouTube page, the cast is comprised entirely of “…friends, family members, fellow Batman fans, and talented regional cosplayers.” Clocking in at nearly a full hour, you can make some popcorn and add this to your next Bat-viewing marathon!

Halloween In A Hurricane

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Halloween actually took place today in many parts of New Jersey. Not to jump the gun, but I have to make a Christmas reference. After all, this is truly a belated Halloween post. You know when Springsteen talks at the beginning of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town?” The line “the wind’s whipping down the boardwalk…” reminds me of Saturday October 27th, the night we celebrated Halloween. On the Atlantic City Boardwalk though, it wasn’t calm before the storm.

Down on the A.C boardwalk Miss Sexy Armpit and I were all dressed up for some Halloween fun. The night was chilly, the sand was blowing wildly off the beach right into our eyes, and the wind literally swept us into A.C’s newest resort, Revel, to hang out at their Royal Jelly club. We knew that the impending Hurricane Sandy was on it’s way, but this was just amateur night, the real thing wouldn’t hit until Monday night. Meanwhile, speaking of amateur night, at Royal Jelly, the costumes were optional, but most of the attendees did actually come in costume. I think that if you go out on Halloween weekend it should be required that you walk around with a costume. I was pleased with everyone’s participation.

Not many of the people in the club that night displayed the same kind of dedication we do to Halloween. We carefully pieced together our costumes, and took a lot of time and effort as always to make sure we looked excellent. This year I had an inkling of what I wanted to be for several months, but I wasn’t 100% sure. I’m usually all geared up to create a costume and wear it out somewhere to celebrate my favorite time of the year. This year I was apprehensive because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull off the costume. With the help of Miss Sexy Armpit, all of that was squashed because as usual she did my makeup and worked her magic on my wig. And in return, I helped her decide what she should dress up as.

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This year I dressed up as the Johnny Depp version of Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows while Miss Sexy Armpit dressed up as Draculaura, the Monster High Doll. Being one of the only people I know who enjoyed the new Dark Shadows movie, I knew while I was watching it in the theater that I wanted to be Depp’s Barnabas for Halloween. I also thought it would be neat for Miss Sexy Armpit to be a Monster High Doll, not only because I dig them, but also because there wouldn’t be many adults dressing as one of them. She picked her favorite character and went with it full steam ahead.

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We left Atlantic City on Sunday. The very next day the tri-state area was obliterated by possibly the most destructive hurricane to hit our area in history. You’ve seen the photos and news reports. People were killed and people’s homes have been destroyed. On a personal note, the majority of our favorite places to go all along the Jersey shore have simply been annihilated. Even before we knew about Sandy coming to town, Halloween this year didn’t have that same feeling for us. It sort of felt like things were slightly off kilter. If that night happened to be the end of the world, it was exactly the way we would’ve wanted it to go down: all dressed up in our Halloween costumes and ready for anything.

*Donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Hurricane Sandy Relief fund  or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 dollar donation.