I went with Marcelo and he got there about half an hour later than when we were supposed to meet because he missed the train, but once he got there, we paid for our tickets and in we went! We were given a small little black Cartoon Network showbag upon entering the Expo. Quickly fished out the program to see what things and events we could see during the day. We got some free posters, a Civic Video "rent a DVD get another free" voucher and a Naruto card game booster pack!
There was already a line snaking across the floor where the TV & Movie Star signing area was. Marcelo found out that one of the guys on TV that Kim really liked was there, but there was no way we were going to wait in the long queue...plus it would have actually cost us money to get an autograph and/or picture! Throughout the course of the day, whenever we passed by the booth, we just took pictures through the queue of the TV stars there anyway.
We wandered around the place and the first real booth that we stopped at was the PS3 one, where they had the Eye of Judgment game demo on display. Eye of Judgment is sort of like a combination of Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! which interested both Marcelo and myself. All the game stations were occupied though, so we moved on. There was also an Xbox360 booth there and there was a pretty huge crowd gathered around the two consoles, trying out the new Naruto fighting game!
We finished our first round walking on the grounds of the Expo just in time to realise that in the main auditorium on the second floor, they were about to show the premiere screening of the "Superman Doomsday" straight-to-DVD cartoon so we hurried up there to watch it. We were just a couple of minutes late and we missed the opening, but we didn't really miss anything of note. I had originally thought they would only show the first half an hour of the movie...but they showed the ENTIRE cartoon! Pretty awesome to watch (for free, no less!) and it was well worth the time spent there!
We then went down again and walked the grounds of the Expo again. The wrestling had started and there was a pretty sizeable crowd gathered around the wrestling ring. Throughout the day, we must have easily walked past all the booths at least seven or eight times! By noon, it was starting to get really crowded though and hard to move around.
I spent most of the time at the comics booths, wading through their stuff, trying to find cheap bargains. Minotaur, Alternate Worlds, Borders and Classic Comics all had booths, but I spent the most time wading through Classic Comics stuff, knowing that they probably had the cheapest comics. I purchased the Yotsuba Vol.1 manga cheaply there for $5, as well as the Palomar HC. My only regret is that I purchased these items BEFORE we went to watch Superman Doomsday, which meant I had to lug the heavy HC with me around for the entire day!
There was a sizeable area for the card gaming tournaments and events that were supposed to be held at the Expo during the day. There were supposed to be tournaments for the following collectible card games: Yu-Gi-Oh!, VS System, Naruto, Pokemon and World of Warcraft just to name a few. Marcelo wanted to check out the Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament but it wasn't happening until later in the afternoon. Most of the time it seemed like there weren't people actually playing in tournaments at the card tournament area...there were just a lot of people seated at the tables and chairs having their lunch.
There was also a huge laser tag arena and I really wanted to have a few games of it, but the lines were so long we decided it would be better spending our time actually checking out (repeatedly) the booths at the Expo.
Card Mania from Geelong also had a sizeable booth there and we stopped by to say hi. Marcelo was talking about purchasing a box of Yu-Gi-Oh! and the thought was in his head the whole day, but he eventually left the Expo without spending a single cent there! Good Games (also known as Card Heaven for the Melbourne branch of the franchise) also had a booth there and I went to look at the merchandise, but didn't stay very long because no one I knew was working at the booth. I did want to buy the Lorwyn fat pack but decided to conserve money for the time being.
Anyway, here are the pictures I took at more stuff about the event!
The merchandise from the Tamarket booth. Look at all the cute Negima, Rurouni Kenshin, Bleach and Naruto stuff they had there! This was one of the only two booths I bought stuff from, the other one being the Classic Comics booth. What did I buy exactly? All will be revealed later in photos!
The Madman booth was one of the biggest booths there. They sold everything Madman-related: manga, anime, props, merchandise...a whole lot of good stuff!
Check out this awesome Naruto replica jacket! A shame it cost $100 though. Would have been cool to wear this around town on a cold, wet and windy day!
Lots of Madman T-shirts for sale! There's heaps of Naruto gear there, including Konoha symbol T-shirts, Sharingan symbol T-shirts and the like. And Madman also produced those Autobot and Decepticon logo T-shirts!
Statue goodness from the Mattel booth! There was also a Silver K Gallery booth that had DC art (including heaps of paintings by Alex Ross!) and I took a picture, but it was fuzzy so I didn't post that up here.
The THQ booth. The new Conan game looked pretty cool and I picked up a free poster and a Conan mini-comic.
On the other side of the THQ booth, they had the new Smackdown Vs Raw 2008 game! On PS3 AND Wii! In fact, you could use the Wii controller AND nunchuk and simulate the actions of the wrestlers! This is one game I'm SO going to get when it's released. Picked up a free wrestler poster too...but bleh, it was John Cena. Rey Mysterio was on the other side though, which is kinda cool.
Gifts for the Geek also had a booth there! I was chatting with Marcelo and the owner actually turned around and said: "I thought I recognised that voice!" It's one of my favourite shops to visit back in Geelong and I've spent a bit of time there checking out the cheap comics and marvelling at all the T-shirts and other geeky stuff that I couldn't afford to buy. Kinda miss this place.
There were heaps of celebrities and stars present at the Expo. There were TV stars, voice actors, comic book creators, WWE wrestlers...a whole bunch of them! I took pictures of the ones I was interested in taking photos of though.
No, that isn't Alan Tudyk seated on the left and Jane Badler seated on the right. It'd be funny if Jane Badler were actually a balding, chubby dude though. I took this picture from an angle which is why the names in the background appear that way. The dude seated on the left is The Flash! No, he's not Barry Allen or Wally West. That's John Wesley Shipp, who played the title character in the 90s TV series, The Flash. Gail Simone, the writer of Birds of Prey. She cut her teeth on Deadpool and I really enjoyed her writing...she's got a knack for incorporating humour into her stories!
Jimmy Palmiotti, the co-creator of Ash with Joe Quesada and Painkiller Jane. He was an awesome inker but he's recently become more of a writer, writing primarily DC titles like Countdown and Jonah Hex. I actually saw/bumped into Jimmy Palmiotti at the Crown Casino food court when having lunch, and was going to stop him and ask if I could take a picture with him and get an autograph...but he zoomed away too quickly.
Amanda Conner, who's in a long term relationship with Jimmy Palmiotti. I found that out through Wikipedia! Haha! It seems like the two of them have collaborated often, having worked together on Painkiller Jane, The Pro, and more recently, Gatecrasher. Her most famous comic book work is probably Vampirella. That little flower hair clip reminds me of Orihime Inoue from Bleach!
I didn't know Nicola Scott was from Sydney until I Wikipedia-ed her. She hasn't amassed a great deal of comic book work, but Wizard featured her as a "talent to watch" in 2005, and she was commissioned to draw issue #100 of Birds of Prey.
R-V-D! R-V-D! The guy in the middle of the picture with the sunnies and the ponytail is none other than former ECW and WWE fan-fave wrestler, Rob Van Dam (real name Robert Szatkowski...which is so hard to pronounce! No wonder he's using RVD as his in-ring name). He's also a comic creator, with his own series. Would have loved to go up and meet him in person, but the line was long, plus I think you needed to pay to get the wrestlers' autographs and pictures...I'm a fan, but not big enough of a fan to pay for photos and an autograph! Plus I had a budget to adhere to.
The dude in the foreground with the Arabian turban is none other than former ECW wrestler Sabu (real name Terry Brunk). Couldn't get a picture of his face...but he does look a bit like the Macho Man Randy Savage, if that's any help. Sabu and RVD were two of the most watched and popular superstars in ECW because of their unorthodox, high impact and high flying techniques. The lady in the middle is Jasmin St. Claire. In recent years, she's been part of the wrestling circuit by forming her own wrestling company and even getting into the ring a couple of times, but Jasmin is most famous for being a porn star. In fact, she broke the record first set by Annabel Chong by performing 300 sex acts with 51 men (go check Wikipedia!), a record that's been broken since then.
Lots of fantastic merchandise and stuff for sale, as you can no doubt see from the previous pictures already. The Global Gears booth, located directly opposite the wrestling ring (yes, there was a wrestling ring there with live wrestling! But they were wrestlers based out of Australian Federations...RVD and Sabu didn't get into the ring nor did Jasmine St. Claire) even sold replicas of famous props. You won't these in the photos I took (or maybe you will in the backgrounds...I didn't really pay attention), but they sold props and replicas of lightsabers, laser rifles (from Star Wars and other sci-fi movies/series), Japanese katanas and swords (and maybe zanpakutos)
THIS! IS! SPARTA!
"Doom...must possess the witchblade! Curses...if only I had arms so I can reach out and grab it! It's all your fault, Richards!"
"I shall use the Force to grab the lightsaber in the background. If only I had arms to actually wield it and swing it around..."
There were quite a number of cosplayers at the Armageddon Expo too. There was a cosplay costume contest at 4pm, but of course, Marcelo and I couldn't stay for that at all as we needed to get to my place BY 4pm to meet Eddy, Jane, Ella and Kim before proceeding out for dinner.
I didn't get many pictures of the cosplayers, but there were some really notable costumes I saw. There were a lot of people dressed as Naruto and various ninjas from the Naruto anime. There were a couple of people dressed as characters from the Cardcaptor Sakura series too. Various Star Wars characters (no Vader though!), mostly Imperial Stormtroopers.
And there was this guy dressed as Batman. It was a HORRIBLE costume though...the costume was made out of SHINY black fabric, making him look as if he were some S&M latex fetish Batman...and there were bright Tweety yellow pouches where his utility belt should have been! Ugh! Wish I had taken a picture.
Best costume I saw? This one Asian guy who was dressed as the 10th Division Captain from Soul Society: Toshiro Hitsugaya. He had the height for it, being short, and his costume resembled the one shown in the anime perfectly. He even went so far as to dye his hair white/silver, and put gel (or hair spray or whatever) in it to give it that spiky look! Didn't manage to get a picture though.
This chick was dressed as Gaara of the Desert, from the Naruto anime. That bottle/flask/container at the back was really well made! Her friend on the left was dressed as Naruto...a very poor costume in my opinion. At least she sort of looked like Gaara, if you discount the fact that she was a different gender. Marcelo managed to take a pic of me with the Alien statue...despite the number of people that kept walking by and obscuring the picture!
My purchases! Saw these really cute Bleach keychains sold at the Tamarket booth that sold all the soft toys (see first photo)...and I just had to get them! There were other key chains too and I really wanted to get the Setsuna and Yue key chains from the Negima manga/anime...they looked so cute! But I was conscious of my budget and so I just got these two...one for Aeris and one for me! Aeris really likes Uryu, so she's already attached that key chain to her set of keys. Look at the cute Rukia in yellow dress!
The Kon doll from Bleach! This is one of our favourite characters from the manga and anime, so I decided to purchase it. It just looks so adorable! There were four different versions (you can see two of them in the first photo) and I purchased what I thought was the cutest one.
A good time had by one at all at Armageddon Expo! I can't wait for next year's Expo! My only wish is that they had a comic-centric Expo for me to go to. Or something more specific rather than a mish-mash of pop culture and entertainment. I would have loved to go with Aeris to an anime/manga Expo where we can spend the whole day admiring and taking pictures of cosplayers, and check out all the latest anime and manga stocks.
And of course I'd be stoked to go to a comic-centric Expo and pick up all the freebies and meet all those comic creators and find out about the latest stuff happening in the comics world!