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Author Topic: Review: Great Lakes Comic Con  (Read 559 times)
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Michaelangelo
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« on: February 25, 2018, 07:11:52 PM »

I got to go to Great Lakes Comic Con this weekend, it was a local event.  With my health as of recently, I don't see myself traveling again till warmer weather comes in.  So I was happy to have an event here that had some TMNT guests.  One of which I know very well, Jim Lawson.  I first met Jim at Turtle Con 1992, but the first time where I really remember meeting him outside of that was when I was at Mirage and asked Molly if Michael Dooney could come down and sign some TMNT magazines I had.  I didn't realize that Jim worked on them as well, at the time I did not really "Know" the Mirage artist, I went to the studio to visit Molly and Dan, since they worked the website and were the ones I talked too the most.  Jim came down with Michael and I was sad thinking I didn't have anything he could autograph...  and was like "aww I didn't bring anything for you to sign" and Jim did like a fake exit looking sad... but we made friends.  And Jim became one of the ones that I wanted to see at each visit at Mirage as I love talking with him, truly a great guy always fun to be around.  But since Mirage is done with Turtles for now, I don't get to see or talk to him as much and it's been a few years.  To find out he was going to be here in Michigan, truly made me excited.

I thought the first thing I would do when I got into the convention was find Jim Lawson to say hi.  I was wrong, as I started looking for Jim, I found so many of my other friends set up there!  The first friend is the creator of Ruppets, these wonderfully done puppets that she makes and sells.  I got a Raphael one from her at Midwest Media Expo 2014.  While talking with her our friend Jason found out, then I saw Casey Jones (from here)... we all talked for a bit at the Ruppets booth.  Then I went looking for Jim, when I went around into the area he was, his wife noticed me before I could get to the booth I could hear her say "Hey Michele Ivey is here!" and Jim looked up and smiled to me.  I was so happy catching up with my friends.  We got to talk to him for awhile, he was swamped with commissions to work out while we caught up.  Once others came over to talk to him, I headed over to meet Guy Christ.

Guy did work on the TMNT books for Random house, like was the artist for the ABC TMNT Book that came out all those years ago.  Guy also did a lot of work with the Muppets.  Honestly I did not know much of his work before this convention came up, as I own the books I didn't know who the artist was.  So I was excited to meet him and learn.  Once we got to his table he was not there, though the convention staffer watching the table was happy to talk with her.  And I really did enjoy talking with her, she works big time for Fanboy Expo, which I went to a few years back.  We had a fun talk with her, though when Guy got there, it kind of felt like our hello was rushed... I didn't know much to say to him as I didn't know much about his work and what he's done other than the ABC book for TMNT.  I got him to sign my autograph shirt.  Then we went off to walk the con and look for friends. 

I couldn't believe how much we were stopped as people remembered me from one area or another.  One of the people who stopped me that stood out was an artist in their artist alley.  He has a Ruppet on his hand and waved us over.  He talked about a comic he created with his friend, and told me that his friend and him first met me at Motor City Comic Con 2005 and how much they enjoyed meeting me.  He follows me on Facebook and was really happy to get a chance to talk to me again.  Sadly his friend recently passed away.  We got to stand and talk for a bit, there was a lot of talk about the current Nickelodeon show that is coming up and what we think of the designs.  He liked the designs.  I found out he never saw the Out of the Shadows movie, so I encouraged him to give it a chance.  I hope he likes it.  After we talked I went on, but now I was getting to the point that my pain levels we were shooting up, so when we found our friend Tiffany, she let me sit at her booth.  We talked for a bit, and I shared my thoughts on the new Nickelodeon designs.  I think talking at this con has helped me decide how I'm going to write my thoughts for Cowabunga Corner.  As so many great points were talked about.

During this time a young girl dressed as Leonardo, in the female Halloween costume, came by and we started talking to her.  She's a big TMNT fan, and got excited to learn that I worked on the 2007 film as it's what got her to become a TMNT fan.  We talked till closing of the convention as her parents had to come over and tell her it was time to go.  She wanted to talk about the 4Kids series, Nickelodeon series and shared a bit about her fan fiction ideas based on the Nickelodeon series.  It was fun and helped distract me from how bad I was truly hurting while sitting there.

After the con closed, we got up to go and bumped into Casey again.  We talked with him, and he agreed to meet up at his booth for Saturday. 

We got to his booth, and he let us leave our coats and bags there.  Again I thought I would get over to say good morning to Jim, as we got there really early on Saturday.  Though once again we stopped at everyone's booths.  To the point that I had to go back to Casey's booth to sit down from pain levels, before getting to go see Jim.  Though during our first run out I said hi at the Ruppet booth, then found out about Hellboy Whiskey, to my surprise while there we bumped into our neighbors from our new house area.  I got to talk with them for a little bit.

Then turned around to meet a young kid who loved Ninja Turtles he was dressed up as Michelangelo though he had one sai and a nunchuck.  I had my Raphael Ruppet on my hand, so he talked to me for a bit.  Only 3 years old, his father was very nice as he let his son talk with my Raph Ruppet.  Then we saw our friend Joker in the line to meet the Great American Hero, we went over there and said hi to Joker, but after talking for a bit my pain hit hard and I had to sit down.  Miki made friends with a voice actor right near there, David Kaye.  Very nice guy as I got to talk to him a bit too.

After taking a break, I finally got back up to try again to say hi to Jim.  We went over and said Hello to Jim for a little bit, he was still working on commissions.  It was cool to see how busy he was keeping.  Though this time, I started to get busy too as people were coming up knowing who I was and wanting to talk with me.  So I found myself in some great conversations with fellow fans.  I wandered back towards the booth as I felt the pain coming on again, trying not to show it or make a fuss.  Though I saw my friends at the Ruppet booth and had to say hi there again.  Once I got back to Casey's booth, my parents were there.  I was thinking I could sit and rest a little, but right away they all got up to go see Jim.  I wanted to be there for that, so a break was not an option. 

We headed back towards Jim, where I got to introduce my mother to Jim's wife.  Where we got to talk and hang out for a bit.  Though I knew I wanted to go to the "Muppets and Me" Panel with Guy.  I even had my Kermit puppet with me.  So I parted ways from them and showed my family to the panel room.  We got front row, and I had my Kermit out and ready to watch the show.  Right away Guy noticed the Kermit puppet and asked to try him out.  He opened the panel with Kermit, then handed him back and started to tell us about his days with the Muppets and what he did.  He's the Muppets original cartoonist.   There was a big pad of paper up there and he did a drawing of Kermit upside down, then gave that to me... he made jokes about his brain being upside down and fixed it and did a drawing of Animal right side up.

He showed different drawing styles and how he learned to draw Kermit.  It was fun to hear his story of his first time meeting Jim, you could tell he was a fan.  I really enjoyed getting to hear his panel.  And the stories he had to share.  One person asked a question about Jim's Funeral, which really set some emotions in the room.  I am so happy that we were there for this panel.  Afterwards he let everyone else come up and get the other drawings he made.  We went and dropped off some things at Casey's booth and headed to get our big drawings autographed by Guy.  Though we seemed rushed through again, I really wanted my picture with him.  I realized it was going to be a wait to even do that, so I went and got a comic autographed by Jim Lawson.  Then came back to Guy.  We finally get up for the photo, and it's an hour before the con closed but the staffers came and started to take down the signs at his booth and rushed him.  I got my picture real quick and he said he had to talk business with these people... and our time with Guy was done.

With how important the Muppets have been towards our family, I know both Miki and I were hoping to talk to him.  I didn't feel like I even got the chance after the panel was over and I finally knew more about him.  So I was a little disappointed by how the end of our time with Guy went.  But I did have fun during the panel.  And I saw how great he was with the kids at his booth.  He's a good guy, it was just bad timing for us.  I am so happy to have my picture with him, and that he got to play around with my Kermit.  He's the second person who's worked for Jim Henson to play with my Kermit, the other was Carol Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch) in 2009.

After that I went back to Casey's booth and set some things down.  We took my mom and dad over to see William Katt.  We got one autograph that came with a free photo with him.  Mom, dad, Miki and I all took part in the photo.  After that it was time to say good bye to mom and dad as they knew the convention was ending soon.  I took this time to say good bye to friends at the con, like the awesome people at Ruppets, Tim the Balloon man (been friends with him since Dlux Expo 2014) and of course Jim Lawson and his wife.  We got some big hugs there.

Back at Casey's booth as he's breaking it down we made new friends who like to make horror movies.  We hung out with them as the booth was broken down and watched over the booth as Casey got stuff to his car.  I could feel how much I was hurting, but knew there was not much I could do about it.  We decided to go across the street for dinner.  That way we could try the Hellboy Whiskey as there was free samples there.  To our surprise that's where the convention took the guests for dinner, so we got to laugh and say good bye to Jim one more time.

Dinner was good, though I did have an RSD/CRPS attack after eating which had me trapped there for a little bit.  I'm glad the attack waited till after the convention, but wish it didn't happen at all.  I was so wiped and could not wait to get home.  Once home I passed out, forgetting to take my meds, plug in my ipad and even change into normal sleep clothes...... the pain had just drained me that bad during the attack. 

Overall I enjoyed the weekend.  It was a small and nice set up.  I'm not use to a two day con, but I don't think I could've handled a third day with my health this time.  So two days was good enough for me. 

Pros: Registration was easy; lay out worked for the most part ; great guests ; good artist ; nice staff

Cons; One corner didn't get enough traffic as there was no attraction to pull people to that corner so booths felt over looked ; Loud speaker that went on near the end of the con listing a long list of names with an announcement right afterwards  about the event ending, couldn't hear the people around us for sales or business talks at all.  There was a group annoyed by this, I think the names were raffle winners.  But there has to be a better way.  ; Panel rooms attached two the convention hall like where the costume contest is it's distracting on both sides when panel rooms are set up that way - so happy that Guy was in a real room for his panel. 

Nothing serious that would hurt the con.  Though a few things that I noticed since I stayed the full weekend and heard other people talking.  Really there's more pros than cons about this convention.  Which is why I do hope to come back in the future.  Will depend on the amount of times they have TMNT guests Wink

Family with the Great American Hero

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Michaelangelo
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Never pay full price for a late pizza


iveyangelo IveyAngelo IveyAngelo
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 09:28:44 PM »

Another photo from Saturday

This is Guy Gilchrist and I
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