After a crazy day of an insane volume of fans storming Bartle Hall in Kansas City Saturday for the biggest Planet Comicon event in more than a dozen years of events, it seemed like everyone came back Sunday for Day Two with aisles jam-packed again. And for fans of all things borg like us, it was a banner day, meeting up with the original Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner, and the current writer on Dynamite’s Bionic Man series, Aaron Gillespie.
First up–Bionic Man cosplay. The idea was inspired by my own large-sized action figure as a kid. Originally planned by DW and me for SDCC 2012, it seemed a great fit for a borg.com tie-in, too. Always looking for something original for other fans to enjoy, we’d never seen anyone re-create Steve Austin, the Bionic Man, at any convention ever, or posted online anywhere. As the idea developed we decided it needed something more–and we moved from the character to the 1970s action figure itself. With bionic eye, inserted arm circuitry, a pair of classic red and white striped Adidas Dragons, the classic red track suit, and the key identifier–the patch that was used as the official fan club badge and stuck on the chest of every Bionic Man action figure, which makes sense for the toy but would never make sense on the show–we had all but one thing left. Decades ago you could find plastic hair at costume or theatrical shops but go searching and you’ll come up empty. So we searched for full face masks that could be altered and came up with a JFK mask that could be cut and repainted, which seemed to do the trick. Add some spirit gum (which may never ever come off my face) and temporarily lose the goatee, we found contact lenses from a UK retailer, made the patch from transfer paper using Web images and interfacing, and temporary tattoo material, and we have the Six Million Dollar Man large-sized action figure. We got some good reaction to it at the Elite Comics Halloween event last year, and when we saw Lindsay Wagner as a guest of this year’s Planet Comicon it was obvious I was going to wear it to the show.
This past week I concocted another thought–I wonder if anyone has ever enlisted the help of an actual actor as part of a cosplay project for the character that actor portrayed? So I tracked down (no pun intended) a blue track suit to match the later version of the Bionic Woman action figure and with DW’s speedy patch work we had an outfit for Ms. Wagner. Would she go for it, and could I ask her without being one of those pushy, annoying fans? As I’d hoped, Ms. Wagner lit up when she saw me at the opening of today’s show (she seemed to really like the bionic eye) and was more than happy to snap a few photos wearing the Bionic Woman action figure outfit–and the best thing was no plastic hair was needed for her as the original figure had “life-like” hair. Win! Thanks, Lindsay! She was a gracious participant in my plan and I am in her debt. And we got to chat with her about her role on Warehouse 13 on the Syfy Channel–she’ll be back again this next season!
I had hoped to meet up again with Bionic Man writer Phil Hester but he had to cancel his appearance this year. I mentioned that to long-time friend of Phil, Ande Parks (one of my favorite Green Arrow creators), and he mentioned that fellow Iowa native Aaron Gillespie was a surprise addition to the Con, so I tracked him down through the help of comic book writer Dennis Hopeless. I had a great chat with Aaron about his series.
We also attended a novel writers panel moderated by Ande Parks with borg.com writer Elizabeth C. Bunce as one of the panelists. A great discussion of the process behind writing novels!
And of course, more cosplayers in cool costumes crossed the floor Sunday.
Doctor Who was the biggest theme again today and we caught this excellent red borg Dalek speeding through Artists’ Alley:
Finally, my favorite costume of the show, this excellent Predator!
And continuing my self-proclaimed status as the world’s biggest Green Arrow fan, I kept up my decade-long tradition of asking artists to create their take on Green Arrow and Black Canary, whether or not they have drawn them before. Dream Thief artist Greg Smallwood created an awesome piece for me–I love his classic Green Arrow and the action from Black Canary! Here is a pic of Greg with the art. Thanks, Greg! I will post a better view of the work later this week with another piece I commissioned at the show.
Congrats to Chris Jackson for another great show. It was great seeing William, Justin, Shawn & Christina, Greg H., Damont, J.P., Freddie, Matt, Chris, Todd & Maria, David M. & Jenny, Jai, Diane, Kevin, Dayton, Ande, Todd S., Laura & Scott, Neal & Mrs. A., and Howard, and meeting Greg S., Ant L., James G., Matt, Katie, John, Charlotte N., Dennis H., Amanda, Lindsay, Adam, and Aaron G. Thanks to all the new friends we met, all the folks stopping me for photos with the Bionic Man, and everyone who visited me and Elizabeth C. Bunce at Booth 545!