Sam Maronies Entertainment Funhouse (Maronie Creative Services, LLC)
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COMICS

July 9, 2014

FLORIDA SUPERCON #supercon2014

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Florida Supercon just convened in glamorous South Beach Miami July 3-7, 2014.  Like most  big conventions anymore, it was a complex event. Trying to juggle Cosplay, comics, media and other interests is never easy.

There were many good points to it, and some not-so-good. I’m happy to report the positives far outweighed the bad.

The event is promoted as a comics-celebrity-cosplay show. To this intrepid blogmeister, the emphasis seemed to be focused more on costumed youths patrolling the halls than anything else. But more on that later.

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The convention hall was top-notch and provided a great venue. It was close to many hotels, and an excellent shuttle service that made transportation a breeze.

Supercon had the usual dealer’s room. But if you were a comics fan looking for back-issues, you’d have been disappointed. There were only about a baker’s dozen of actual comic-book dealers. Most of the vendors featured cosplay outfits, accessories and other nicknacks.

Now I am not particularly enamored of folks dressing up in fantasy drag, but I think this weekend converted me. The level and complexity of the costumes were jaw-dropping. It is amazing to consider how much time, creativity, and money these fans invest in their wardrobe, with no financial reward involved.

I won’t even try to describe the fantastic cosplay gear featured this weekend. Rather, I’ll let these photos speak for themselves.

 

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Get us out from under, Wonder Woman!

Get us out from under, Wonder Woman!

 

 

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Please don't ask. I have no idea.

Please don’t ask. I have no idea.

 

 

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There was a fine representation of talented  fantasy artists. If you were a fan of comic book art, it was a good place to be. Most of the attendees were not interested in funny books, so it was easy to spend time with your favorite artist without a throng of people around them.

Unfortunately, many of the announced guests cancelled as the show date neared. Some just didn’t show up. I understand no con has control over this. But it is frustrating for fans who travel far to see certain celebrities who do not attend. It’s just a hazard of convention going any more.

Who's the man behind those Foster Grants? Why, it's none other than artist Gonzalo Mayo, making a rare convention appearance. Mayo became famous for his luscious work for Warren Publishing during the 1970s.

Who’s the man behind those Foster Grants? Why, it’s none other than artist Gonzalo Mayo, making a rare convention appearance. Mayo became famous for his luscious work for Warren Publishing during the 1970s.

 

 

Artist Jose Delbo makes a point while chatting with a fan.

Artist Jose Delbo makes a point while chatting with a fan.

 

 

One of the greatest comic-book illustrators of the 70s and 80s, Jose Garcia-Lopez. Mr. Lopez' design of the Man of Steel became the template for DC merchandising during this period. He and his work are revered by his many fans and peers, alike.

One of the greatest comic-book illustrators of the 70s and 80s, Jose Garcia-Lopez. Mr. Lopez’ design of the Man of Steel became the template for DC merchandising during this period. He and his work are revered by his many fans and peers, alike.

 

Spider-Man artist Kaare Andrews sketches for fans. Andrews has pencilled adventures of The Hulk and Wolverine and is now branching out into film-making.

Spider-Man artist Kaare Andrews sketches for fans. Andrews has pencilled adventures of The Hulk and Wolverine and is now branching out into film-making.

 

The artists who were there were a fine lot. Many of them do not regularly attend conventions, which made their presence all the more special. Jose Delbo, Jose Garcia-Lopez, Gonalo Mayo, Al Milgrom and others were there, and had lots of free time to interact with their fans. That’s something that rarely happens at events like these any more!

 

Prolific author Peter David greeted his many fans. David has penned adventures of The Incredible Hulk, Supergirl, and a host of series for both Marvel and DC. In his spare time he also writes novels and magazine articles.

Prolific author Peter David greeted his many fans. David has penned adventures of The Incredible Hulk, Supergirl, and a host of series for both Marvel and DC. In his spare time he also writes novels and magazine articles.

 

Artist CJ Draden demonstrates his skill by painting on an illuminated glass. He explained that being a sculptor, he is used to having something tanglible to hold on to, and this form of 'canvas' works better for him.

Artist CJ Draden demonstrates his skill by painting on an illuminated glass. He explained that being a sculptor, he is used to having something tanglible to hold on to, and this form of ‘canvas’ works better for him.

 

Author and entrepreneur Jeff Carroll displays a copy of 'Thug Angel.' Part of a series of visceral, definitely-unromantic vampire novels.

Author and entrepreneur Jeff Carroll displays a copy of ‘Thug Angel.’ Part of a series of visceral, definitely-unromantic vampire novels.

 

Besides cosplay, most of the young ‘uns were there to get celebrity autographs. There were large represtations from popular TV shows like Game of Thrones and Spartacus, which delighted their avid fans.

Star of the show was actor Jason Momoa. Not only is he famous for portraying Conan and Spartacus, but he is slated to portray super-hero Aquaman in an upcoming feature film. Lines to purchase his autograph for $40 a shot lined around the convention hall.

With Nichelle Nichols of classic 'Star Trek' fame. Ms. Nichols was a woman of many firsts.....the first Black female character in a regular dramatic series, and gave the first interracial screen kiss on television. She is truly a ground-breaker and a real icon!

With Nichelle Nichols of classic ‘Star Trek’ fame. Ms. Nichols was a woman of many firsts…..the first Black female character in a regular dramatic series, and gave the first interracial screen kiss on television. She is truly a ground-breaker and a real icon!

While these celebs were the center of attention, I was dismayed to see that many fans overlooked a real legend in their midst, Nichelle Nichols. The ground-breaking  original Star Trek actress was largely overlooked. Stop to consider that probably most of the younger fans’ parents were not even around when Trek originally appeared.

 

'The Greatest American Hero,' William Katt, poses with Blogmeister Sam during Supercon 2014. Katt is the son of actor Bill Williams and Barbara Hale--'Della Street' from the classic Perry Mason series.

‘The Greatest American Hero,’ William Katt, poses with Blogmeister Sam during Supercon 2014. Katt is the son of actor Bill Williams and Barbara Hale–‘Della Street’ from the classic Perry Mason series.

Another personality from the past was William Katt of The Greatest American Hero. He was without a doubt the nicest celebrity there. I had given him a gift of an old photo, a family picture from he 50s that showed Katt as a youngster with his famous parents, actor Bill Williams and Barbara Hale. Ms. Hale was ‘Della Street’ to Raymond Burr’s ‘Perry Mason’ from the hit TV show.

 

Young whippersnapper William Katt hugs his famous father, Bill Williams, while mom Barbar Hale and the rest of the family look on.

Young whippersnapper William Katt hugs his famous father, Bill Williams, while mom Barbara Hale and the rest of the family look on.

He was so excited to receive this photo that he immediately shared it with his siblings and famous mother back in Los Angeles.

All said, it was definitely a fun show, with great programming. There was something going on all the time.  Special kudos go to Adult Swim comedy voiceover artists Dana Snyder and Lear Bunda. They hosted several improv panels and each one was more hysterical than the one before!

 

'Squidbilly' voical artists Dana Snyder (l) and Lear Bunda (r) convulse the audience as they attempt to embarrass a cosplay participant. I'd say their work was already halfway done.

‘Squidbilly’ voical artists Dana Snyder (l) and Lear Bunda (r) convulse the audience as they attempt to embarrass a cosplay participant. I’d say their work was already halfway done.

And at the very least, it was a blast to sit in the hallways and watch the parade of colorful characters file by. That was primo entertainment in and of itself.

I give the convention staff a ‘B’ for execution. Volunteers worked tirelessly taking care of guests,  organizing lines and generally keeping order. While they worked hard and were for the most part very polite, most could have done with a little pre-convention training on the best way to handle crowds.

Would I go again? Of course! It was a fun time, with something literally for everyone. You can’t say that for every convention.

 

A true legend. Silver-age comics artist Ramona Fradon worked on such classic DC features as Aquaman, Metamorpho and the ubiquitous Super Friends.

A true legend. Silver-age comics artist Ramona Fradon worked on such classic DC features as Aquaman, Metamorpho and the ubiquitous Super Friends.

Best line of the show came from silver-age artist Ramona Fradon. An overenthusiastic fan approached her with about 50 issues of her comics to sign. Her admirer kept pulling them out of his bag, a handful at a time. She signed patiently for a while, stopped suddenly, looked up at him and asked, “Is there going to be any end to this?”

#smefunhouse #supercon2014

 

 

 






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