Another year, another trip to Alamo City Comic Con

For the fifth year, my family has attended the Alamo City Comic Con.

As always, this comic con attracts some big stars. There are really too many to list but here are a few of this year’s stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator), Rick Moranis, Jeff Goldblum, Neve Campbell (Scream), William Shatner (Star Trek), John Cusack, Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy).

And as we did the last four years, we went ahead and got into the spirit by wearing costumes.

This year’s cast of characters….

Imperial Tie Fighter Pilot – Jase loves Star Wars. Last year he went to Comic Con as K2SO from Rogue One. He was a Rebel pilot for Halloween. So this year, he decided to change to the dark side and be a Imperial Tie Fighter pilot. My husband actually made his helmet and added “extra” to the black Tie Fighter costume we bought off of Ebay. By the time he got done with his modifications, Jase’s costume looked awesome.

A Dragon Slayer – Lexie wanted my husband to make her a costume too. She picked a dragon slayer. I don’t know why. I think she was just grasping for something to be. My husband made her bow, sword and costume. She was a “battle” tested slayer with dirt and a few cuts on her face, neck and hands.

Arrow – Last year my husband and I went with a “couple” them – sort of. He went as Indiana Jones and I went as Lara Croft (from the Tomb Raider video games). OK so they weren’t a couple but both are archaeologists. This year we decided to do characters from the CW TV show, Arrow. Because finding green leather wasn’t easy, my husband went ahead and bought his costume and bow. He then custom made the quiver and add some lights to the costume (of course.) And we made the masks for both his and my characters.

The Canary–  I went as The Canary/Sara Lance from CW’s Arrow TV show. If you follow the show there are several people who play canary/black canary but Sara Lance’s character is the first. I pieced my costume together – black leather pants, black corset and wig from the internet and the black leather jacket from Ross Dress for Less. My husband made the eskrima (the staff like weapon in my hand – it breaks into two pieces.)

It was a great event, and we look forward to doing it again next year.

An Early Start on our Alamo City Comic Con Costumes

Any of you who follow my blog know that my family dresses up for the Alamo City Comic Con. Often there is not rhyme or reason to the characters we go as. Everyone just chooses something that they like.

The first year – I wore a huntress costume. A generic costume – not the DC character. My husband went as Jedi, and the kids went as Star Wars ARF Trooper for my son and Elsa for my daughter.

The second year – I wanted something more recognizable, so I went as Poison Ivy. My husband went as Han Solo, and the kids went as Star Wars ARF Trooper (again) for my son and the pink Power Ranger for my daughter.

The third year – As soon as I saw the trailer Suicide Squad, I knew I wanted to go as Harley Quinn. (There were many other people who had the same idea.) My husband went as Batman, my son as Deadshot and my daughter as Wonder Woman. This is as close to a family theme as we have done (all DC comic characters).

Lara Croft

Last year – My husband and I started thinking about “couple” costumes. We decided to go as Lara Croft and Indiana Jones. No, they aren’t a couple but again it is the theme – archeologists/adventurers. We got a lot of attention. My son went as K2SO from Rogue One, and my daughter was a very cute Pikachu.

Now Alamo City Comic Con typically is in the fall so we have eight or nine months before we need to have our costumes picked out. But since we often are putting together some of our costumes (rather than buying them) we like to plan early. For awhile now, my husband and I have been kicking around ideas of couples costumes for the 2018 Comic Con.

Rogue & Gambit from the X-men, Scott and Jean Gray from the X-men, Harley Quinn & the Joker from DC Comics, Aladdin & Jasmine from Disney, Captain Hook and Emma Swan from TV’s Once Upon a Time, and some more obscure suggestions found on the internet were all considered.

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The Canary and Green Arrow from Season 2 of the TV show Arrow.

We decided this year we will go as The Canary/Sara Lance and Green Arrow/Oliver Queen from the TV show Arrow. Originally, we picked the Season 2 costumes but since my husband decided to order his costume this year (rather than make it), our costumes are from different seasons. Sara Lance appeared in Season 2 but was killed off in Season 3. Of course, this being a TV show based on a comic book series – no one stays dead. Sara Lance is brought back to life in Season 4 before going off to her own series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

As I said, my husband ended up buying his costume. Making a costume with green leather just turned out to be too hard to do so he ordered it off Ebay. He also bought a bow but plans to make the quiver and some arrows without points (since you can’t take real weapons into comic con.)

I had considered buying my costume. But then after looking at what I would need, I decided to piece it together. I ordered a leather jacket that looked similar to her cropped jacket and ordered some black leather pants (because really where am I going to find leather pants but on the internet?). Finding a black corset that fit me correctly proved to be harder than I thought. After going through about 5 different ones, I found the perfect one. (Again, thankful for the internet and Amazon’s free return policy.) I already had the boots so after ordering a blonde wig, I think most of my costume is complete. We will still have to work on a mask, bo (staff) and a belt. But the costume is definitely coming together, and we still have nine months to go.

Dressing up again for the Alamo City Comic Con

For the third year in a row, we attended the Alamo City Comic Con yesterday.

This event gets bigger and bigger each year and brings in more and more stars. This year’s cast of special guest included Charlie Cox (from Netflix’s Daredevil), Ralph Macchio (Karate Kid), Summer Glau (Firefly, Terminator, Arrow), a host of actors from Doctor Who and Gotham, Jeremy Bulloch (Star Wars) and Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars) and a lot of others….really too many to list.

And as we did the last two years, we went ahead and got into the spirit by wearing costumes.

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This year’s cast of characters….

Batman – My husband has been working on this costume for quite a long time. He actually wore an early version of it last year for Halloween (after going to Comic Con as Han Solo). He wasn’t happy with the armor from last year’s costume and has spent many nights and weekends perfecting the costume and even added a light-up Bat symbol.

Deadshot – Jase decided to be the DC comic book character Deadshot. Last year, Jase went as a Star Wars Clone Trooper at Comic Con but was Nightwing for Halloween – wearing an awesome costume my husband made. They don’t make Deadshot costumes for kids so once again my husband made Jase’s costume. It was based on character in the Suicide Squad movie that came out in August.

Wonder Woman – Continuing our theme of DC characters, Lexie decided to be Wonder Woman. We bought her costume online, but my husband did change out the lasso – opting to make her one that lights up. (Lexie was a Pink Power Ranger last year.)

Harley Quinn – Look, it is another DC comic book character! Harley is the Joker’s girlfriend, so definitely not a good guy. I actually had been considering being Harley, and then I saw the Suicide Squad trailer in April. From that moment on I decided I would go as Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn. After researching her costume online, I decided to do something I have never done before. I decide to make my costume. My husband and I did all of it (gun, holster, shirt, wig, bat, belt, bracelets and necklace) except the shorts and boots which I purchased. (I will post next week more on making the costume.) Everyone knew who I was, and I got stopped quite often to have my picture taken.

It was a great event, and I know we will be going back next year. I may go back to my Poison Ivy costume from last year, or maybe I’ll stick with Suicide Squad Harley Quinn. She was just too much fun!

The fun of owning a 3D Printer

I was looking for topics to write about for October. I asked Jase to give me a topic. His suggestion was 3D printers. Of course, he probably came up with that one as we were sitting in the computer room watching the 3D printer at work.

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Our 3D printer

Yes, we have a 3D printer. My husband bought it in July 2014 off of Amazon for about $600. He always likes to stay up on the latest technology so it came as no surprise that he wanted one. I of course didn’t see the need for one, but that is another story.

In the beginning, he printed tons of things what we had no use for – spheres, little figures, and other things to just test out the coolness of the printer. But over time, he has printed more useful things. Here are some photos of items he has printed. You can decide for yourself which is useful and which isn’t.

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3D printed sign painted with nail polish

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A 3D -printed cosplay gun for my Harley Quinn outfit

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A hook he printed to hang a towel on the back of the closet door

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A 3D printed stand for his Apple Watch. The circle is the charger.

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A dragon symbol for the closet door.

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Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy – one of his first tests prints

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A skull head to go on a staff for a cosplay outfit for a friend.

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A 3D printed Minecraft pickax for a craft at my daughters birthday party. The kids colored them with markers and then we added a string to make it a necklace.

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Decorations for Lexies Minecraft party – 3D printed Minecraft Diamond Ore blocks – that actually lit up.

He has printed items for other people (such as the skull above) as well as creating an Eagle for the silent auction at the kids’ school. It sold for $30.

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Eagle printed for Silent Auction

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Filament cartridge

A 3D printer uses filament, a type of thin plastic, that it melts to produce the 3D object. Ours can only use one color at a time. He typically uses an off white but sometimes also prints in black. So as you look through some of these photos, you will notice that even though it prints in only one color, almost nothing I have shown is one color. We typically paint the items. On the sign above I used nail polish, but acrylic paint, modeling paint or spray paint has been used on the others.

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3D printer in action

Most of these designs are printed from files found on the Internet. Someone else has created the costume pieces, tools or storage containers. But you can use the software to create your own designs. Jase has designed a rough castle for his sister. We have also used the software to create our own designs including a Happy Birthday sign using Minecraft lettering for Lexie’s birthday cake or to add something to an existing file such as a connector for the skull to the staff in the photo above.

When Jase was in third grade, we actually printed penguins for a project he was working on. We even made a video of how the machine works to show his class. A few months later, the school got their own 3D printer that students and kids can use.

I will say there is the cool factor of being able to print a 3D object. And even I will admit that it has come in handy at times.

Dressing up again for the Alamo City Comic Con

Once again, we were surrounded by Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Jedi Knights and other characters surrounded us as we attended the Alamo City Comic Con again this year.

We went yesterday. We always opt for Sunday as it is just a tad less crowded and cheaper by about $30 for our family of four.

This year’s cast of special guest included Stan Lee, Ming Na Wen (from Marvel’s Agents for S.H.I.E.L.D.), Ron Perlman and others from the Sons of Anarchy, Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy, Matthew Wood and Ray Park from Star Wars, John Noble and Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings, and a lot of others….really too many to list.

And as we did last year, we went ahead and got into the spirit by wearing costumes.

IMG_0534This year’s cast of characters….

The Clone Trooper – Jase decided to wear his Star Wars ARF Trooper costume from last year. He has grown over the past year and is almost too big for the costume now. So next year, he will definitely have to be something else. Since he got tired carrying his toy gun, he decided against a prop this year.

Han Solo – Last year, my husband made his own Jedi costume. This year, he chose to be Han Solo. He already had the vest as years ago I purchased him an official Han Solo vest. He added some navy pants and an off-white shirt. He made his own belt, holster and gun. Let’s just say the 3D printer came in handy.

Power Ranger – Lexi last year was Elsa, but she had originally wanted to be a Power Ranger. However, we couldn’t find a pink costume in her size. This year, she again said she wanted to be a Power Ranger which is odd since she no longer watches the show. I found a costume online in her size and snatched up before it was gone again.

Poison Ivy – Last year, I wore a medieval huntress type costume, but it didn’t really fit in with Comic Con. I decided i we dressed up this year, I would pick a different costume – one that was easily recognizable. So this year, I went as Poison Ivy. I took a costume I found online and modified it. I changed the stockings and added a wig. Everyone knew who I was, and I got stopped quite often to have my picture taken. What a changed from last year when I was the least asked!

Overall we had fun. I guess we will have to start thinking of costumes for next year, though I may just be Poison Ivy again.