Adventures in Oversharing - Planet Comiccon - and The Gem & Mineral Show

I haven’t overshared in awhile, so I thought I’d take a break from the dreary topics of the day to show off some fun I had with the kiddo. We went to the local Gem and Mineral show and a couple weeks later Planet ComicCon which just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Gem and Mineral Show

Well to start this, I should mention that we started learning about crystals. She had a science fair project and at first we didn’t have a guidelines, so I went through her and I’s collection, found nice crystal samples, and then had her look up the different types or families of crystals, and then ID which type each crystal was. We kinda cheated by using Wikipedia, but even I am not always sure what type I am looking at. This all got scrapped when we finally got instructions, and did a traditional crystal growing experiment using sugar. She got first place! I did help lay out the graph.

So at the show she got some cool stuff, a nice fluorite crystal. We both got one of those Selenite roses, and this recently discovered version of quartz called grape agate. I got a couple cool fossils, including 2 trilobite from Utah, 1 from Morooco which is probably a fake cast, and a fern. My other big buy was finally finding a UV lamp that does Short Wave and Long Wave and was affordable. A delightful woman sold it to me and we picked out a few of her fluorescent minerals. These do a good job of glowing, but I also have a sample of Calcite and Williamite from a couple years ago that are like BAM! with how well they glow. Of course I took it to all my rocks I could find and found some of my other stuff at home glows with varying degrees of brightness. I already had a handful of stuff i knew glowed under regular black light. Sorry these pics are meh, I need to find my charger for my older SLR, which I should be able to tweak the settings and get some good pics under black light.

Calcite - orange - Fluorite - blue - Ruby in Zoisite - pinky red.

Uranium glass slag - green/yellow - gypsum - blue green.

The glass slag was from the seller’s grandma who worked where they made it.

Fossil Fern

Real Utah Trilobites

Probably fake Moroccan - but I still like it

Oh no - Mr Bones ate the kiddo! She got better.

This I got from Amazon and is part of a 1kg sample of Bismuth. We are going to try to make a small geode with crystals in it. That might turn out well enough for like a BB guest post. Or it will be close to garbage - hope to do it this summer.

Side note - it is disheartening that many of the top results when looking up minerals and crystals have to do with new age BS sites :frowning:

Planet Comiccon

So I went all three days again, but the kiddo could just go one day. We went Friday as that is the best day crowd wise, though she got to see less costumes. She had fun meeting Tara Strong who does the voice of Twighlight Sparkle from My Little Pony. She now has the signatures of the Mane Six - which is only 4 people because 2 ladies do double duty.

The 2nd person she met was the lady who played Jenny Weasley in Harry Potter. The twin brothers were there too, but their line was way too long. Well, maybe next time! There seems to be at least one Potter actor at a con.

She got some stickers, didn’t find a print she liked this time, but did find this thing called a Tentacle Kitty which came in a grab bag. Hoping for a blue one, she got a cute yellow one. The tentacles hold onto your hands.

I cosplayed as The Shadow - Pulp version, Swagga’ Fett (Boba’s Cool Cousin), and The Shadow - Comic Version.

Here are some pics.

W/ Ms Marvel

Playing around with Pirate Shazam

And I updated my props, finally filling in the “Don’t shoot your eye out, kid.” and branding, painting with this expensive but nice gun metal grey for miniatures and clear coating them and adding real wood grips. Pics with and with out the special caps for home pics, and the optional BLAM 3D printed sign.

While getting ready, I couldn’t resist making a vignette with some of my real steel. Sorry for the sloppy ass quick photoshop removal of the background.

When W.M. Kaluta say’s “Damn fine hat”, your day is made.

While there I got some loot. This one guy was like, “I do have a Shadow item, but it’s cute.” I pat the kiddos head and say, “I like cute things.” He showed it to me and I was like, bag it up!

Sample of found back issues.

OMG - the 60s… Archie comics got the Shadow license in the mid 60s and made this zany, caped version of The Shadow. This is an abomination, but I found the missing copies I needed. They aren’t in good shape, but they were cheap, so ok then.

Who the hell is Andy Braz? I dunno, I don’t collect comics, but if you do, look out for this guy. Now I will drop 10 or 20 on a “no name” or person I never heard of if I really like the work, or the work is clever and/or cheap. I rarely will drop more than that if I don’t know you. You have to be really good. This guy, is really good. I hope the jpg is clear enough. but omg. I feel a lot of the modern comic art is letting the colorist do more and more of the artwork. Depends on the book and artists, of course, but Andy Braz stands out to me. He has depth to his inks. Dark darks, and then greys through hatch work. The face and forearm is close to you with this trick, as it should be. His level of detail is amazing. He had some other prints, but being a Predator fan, this was my shit.

Now I was there for two people, Jim Steranko and Gary Gianni.

Steranko I met once before, but he had two other Shadow prints that I wanted, and I had a couple things I got for fellow agents. Steranko is sort of a legend in comics as well, making the X-Men logo type in the 60s, doing dozens of great covers, often considered one of the best cover artists ever. He did several covers for Shadow Paperback reprints.

I already have one of these, but got one for a fellow agent.

Another agent wanted this book signed where Steranko did the art work. This reprints stories of Norgil the Magician, written by Maxwell Grant, aka Walter B Gibson - who wrote the bulk of The Shadow pulps.

Gary Gianni has done a ton of stuff. He was the artist to 2 Shadow Mini-Series for Dark Horse in the 90s. He also has done Monster Men, Classics Illustrated, and most recently, Hellboy - Into the Silent Sea. Fantastic illustrative style. Great at a Gothic horror style.

Amazing Shadow Print

Doodle in my Coils of the Leviathan TPB

Two comics I had signed for another Agent, thought i got my series signed as well. (First cover by Kaluta)

So I asked Gary if he would do a sketch, and he said he didn’t really have the materials for it, and I asked if brought pens and bristol board the next day, and he said to bring it and we will see.

Well I came the next day and he set this out and said he did it over night and would sell it to me. Hell yes. By far the best original Shadow art I now own.

Gary was a super nice guy and also had fun meeting the kiddo. And his prints were super affordable and he didn’t charge for autographs. Sort of refreshing as more and more do.

Finally I went to Thomas Zhaler, which we didn’t get to see Friday as he wasn’t at his booth when we stopped by. He is an artist for the MLP comics. So he does do con sketches and on the next day I had him do a sketch for the kiddo. I mentioned it was for her birhday, so maybe he could work that in. Wow, did he ever. I think it looked great.

Now, it was 12 x 9, and I didn’t have a sleeve that fit it. So I went to where I knew someone had much larger sleeves, but I knew it would be safe. But that means I had to carry it around, vs have it in my bag. Ugh… so… at the end of the day, tired, hungry, low blood sugar probably, I took off my cloak and scarf and packed everything in my backpack I have for walking to and from the car. ($60 for parking this weekend over the 3 days with a 4 block walk. Did I bitch about that already? Let’s revitalize down town and fuck everyone over on parking…) So I was at the back end of the con and there was a table behind a giant dragon. I sat it down, changed, and then went to go home. I was about a block and a half away when I realized - oh shit… I don’t have the sketch in my hand.

Panicked I limp as fast as I can. I can’t go up the escalators as it is closing time and they are all heading down. Staff person says I can use the elevator. I do and book it back to the table. Argh - print is gone. It had only been 15 - 20 min. I ask the people in the immediate area if they saw it, but no. I hit up a near by information booth for the lost and found. They send me to the main lost and found, but no dice. Hit up the one in the middle just for good measure. Nothing. Damn it, you freaking idiot.

Well, I figure, it is possible that someone will drop it off to lost and found in the morning, or worst case, I guess just pay to get another sketch… But first thing I did next day is bee line it to the area with the dragon and asked around. Lo and behold, the owners were for the Smallville con in Hutchinson, and they DID have it. They saw it, knew what it was, and saved it. Whew. Waves of relief. I had brought a 9 x 12 sleeve and put it in there. So now it was safe in my bag. I still managed to leave that god damn sleeve at a booth two more times that day… lol.

All in all, fun to hang out with Lydia, and she had a great time. I got my yearly exercise walking around, and it is fun to dress up. At the end of the day Sunday, I noticed my shadow and snapped a pic. I was tired and didn’t put my cloak etc away, which made for a good pic.


Thanks for sharing…

Also, obligatory for the first part…


Awesome! Love the cosplay!

I really think until we have some form of emergent AI crawling the web and doing automated and bias-less fact-checking of the web, this misinformation explosion in search results and websites that point at junk science or misinformation is going to be serious cancer to education and parenting. All the best on that front.


It is a nice hat.

In the one b/w piece by Steranko - is that Batman hanging out in the background?


Well in this case, oddly, some of the info they had WAS accurate. Like the Grape Agate is a new variety found in Indonesia, and the new agey ones were one of the few sites that referenced it. And I noted some of the basic info on other minerals was correct. At least with names like “healing crystal life” or what ever, you know to stop reading after you get to the part of what the crystals are “for”. And if you click to the next pages, you start to find “real” references.

I asked the sellers about it, and they both said it was a new variety found in only one place. It was pretty pricey, but we found a guy who sold some scrap pieces for 5 bucks. I was like, “Aw, your piece is much nicer and more purple than mine.”

Here is a pic of a NICE sample, not mine.

Yes it is. I guess I should have asked him the origins of that, as it was way before the official crossover. The Shadow DID appear in two issues of Batman in the 70s, when DC had a year of Shadow Comics, many featuring MW Kaluta’s art.

The early Batman scripts were basically rewrites of old Shadow stories, and Bob Kane has been shown to swipe some interior art from the pulps in the past. That and the characters are similar, with some Doc Savage thrown in. So Batman is derivative of The Shadow and Steranko is one of the voices who makes sure people know that.




Careful around a Quantum Flux Drive.


Bumping for the weekday people to see easier.


Great post and great costume!




This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.