The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con and The Quest For 4 Signitures

Alexander Young

August 24th, 2017

The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con and The Quest For 4 Signitures

My goal this weekend is to obtain four signatures from three artist/writers and one renowned cosplayer from The Amazing Hawaii Comic Con 2017. I'm Standing in line on Friday the twenty-fifth of August, and my 3-day VIP pass gives me zero advantage over the line leading to the Autograph Pavilion where Spawn Creator Todd McFarlan sits behind a curtained desk. I paid $125 more than some of the geeks and geekettes I’m queued up with but I’m only mildly bothered by this. The wait is made bearable by Todd Bernardy, writer and illustrator of Mulberry Grooves’ Kukui Project and Disco Thunder Groove Bone. He’s a member of the Hawaii Comic Book Alliance who are hosting a panel on Saturday and have a table along  Artist Alley beside Chris Claremont and Chad Hardin. More importantly, Todd’s a Gen -X, nineties’ kid who, like myself, credits his literacy to comic books as well. He was around to witness first-hand McFarlan’s impact during the comic book industries’ awkward puberty with the inception of Image comics in the early Nineties. I have a 3-day VIP pass ($150). Todd has an exhibitor pass and reminds me, “Even us artist have to stand in line.”

Todd explains that this is the fourth time the Amazing Comic Con has visited Oahu. The convention, originating in Arizona, has only been making the rounds since 2015. They kicked their first year in Honolulu off with Stan Lee and Mark Bagley amongst the list of guests. In 2016 Robert Kirkman and Jim Lee were present. This year Todd McFarlan, and Kevin Eastman are on the roster. Not to mention William Shatner, along with five members of the Starship Enterprise.
When we’re near enough to see McFarlan clearly for ourselves, Todd Bernardy’s smile beams at the sight of the artist whose work impacted his life in limitless ways. Standing behind Bernardy when the two Todd’s meet is priceless and makes wading in the lengthy line well worth the wait.

1.Todd Mcfarlan’s signature acquired.


On Saturday the 25th, “The Amazing Spotlight” Q&A is shown on Ray Park (better known to Star Wars fans as Darth Maul). Jason Todd the infamous Green Ranger signs autographs generously, without the threat of getting stabbed by overzealous fanboys.
I show up late to a panel hosted by Jessica Nigri, the luscious cosplayer bursting with sweetness and elation. Nigri would turn heads no matter what she was wearing. On Saturday, she’s chosen to wear the skull of an Alolan Marowak Pokemon on her head. The skull obscures her alluring face, with her eyes already smeared with black grease paint. Her personality shines through, all the same. The conversation remains light hearted. She mentions the 2009 Sexy Pikachu costume that launched her career. Nine years later illustriousness has crowned her Queen of the Amazing Hawaii Comic Con. She explained how she landed the role of Cinder Fall on Rooster Teeth’s Anime series “RWBY.” A girl dressed as Margo Robbie’s Harley Quin asks how Nigri had turned Costume play into a career. Nigri answers, “Passion. Keep going. Always be kind. Make human connection the meaning of life.”
At the end of the night Jessica Nigri judges a cosplay competition. Harley's boyfriend, dressed as Jared Leto’s Joker, must truly love her because not only did he dress up as the most hated joker of all-time to pair with her, he also proposed to her on stage before the entire con.
I missed the Masters Of Modern Marvel Universe in the main stage where Chris Claremont and David Micheline elaborated on their iconic contributions to Marvel. Micheline co-created Venom, the villain/anti-hero/soon to be played by Tom Hardy in a major Sony production. While Claremont’s X-Men stories, "Days of Future Past" and "Dark Phoenix Saga" are still considered the greatest X-stories written. "Days of Future Past" was adapted by Fox in 2014. And Fox is attempting to adapt "The Phoenix Saga" for the second time. I’m able to find Chris Claremont later at the head of  Artist Alley where he sits nonchalantly like the seasoned professional he is.

2.Jessica Nigri And 3.Chris Claremont's signatures acquired

On Sunday, the Amazing Hawaii Comic Con opens early at 10AM and I drag my three nephews with me as children’s admission is free and Sundays programming is mainly aimed toward children and Trekkies. I don’t know any Trekkies. Too bad.
William Shatner was on hand for photographs and signatures. Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton were on hand for A Star Trek Fan Panel from The Last Outpost. But my nephews were more interested in the Free Legos, the free sketches, the drawing tutorials, and coloring contest. I wanted them to go home with a memento from their first Con. I hoped they’d pick up their first titles from the numerous booths peddling rare comics in pristine condition for far less than you’d find on any online site. Instead they chose fidget spinners, Poke balls, and action figures.
There were no Comic Conventions in Hawaii when I was coming up. At least none to my knowledge. I spent all of my time in my local library reading graphic novels, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle books especially. Those original four books that inspired the cartoons of the early 90's, exploding into popular culture, leaving shrapnel still imbedded in the collective consciousness to this day. Yet those Four books far surpassed anything animated or animatronic gracing screens in those days. So while my nephews were preoccupied with spinning fidgets, I waded in a disorganized line for about an hour, with my VIP pass hanging uselessly from my neck, to shake the hand of the man that helped make reading matter to me because the art was that captivating, transforming me from boy to Geek
4. Kevin Eastman’s signature acquired

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