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Seems like deja vu all over again as we return lemming like to Art Basel Miami 2014. We were surprised by an initial rejection of our press credentials by the accreditation folks in Basel (perhaps we had been too snarky in last year's coverage). A quick email righted the situation and we were properly certified.
Toys are a bit of a loaded subject. For some they conjure up images of bygone youth and joy, for others they’re an embodiment of arrested development, and plenty of people find their stiff poses and rictus grins to be just creepy. At the 2013 NY Comic Con there were an abundance of talented creators presenting figurines that gleefully combine all of the above to create toys and figures unlike anything you have seen before.
All photos by Renzo Adler except the photos from Velocitron, courtesy of Ricky Wilson.
Madknits founder Kaitlin Juarez presented her hand knitted and stuffed monsters, which look like a mash-up of Where the Wild Things Are and Ultraman. Juarez’s Madknits come with a comic book chronicling the creatures, expats from space, as they adapt to life on Earth. According to Juarez’s website, she began creating Madknits after combining the knitting techniques her grandmother passed down with her love of doodling monsters in her notebook. www.madknits.com
Sculptor and illustrator Andrew Scribner presented Cry-Borg, a miniature cybernetic baby that was reminiscent of the M.U.S.C.L.E. toys from the 1980’s along with some of his expertly sculpted figurines. One of Scribner’s new projects is F-A-G-S (Fucking Awesome Gay Sculpts), a series of über-campy homoerotic themed figurines, with names like “Feeling Cocky” and “Hanging Out.” Scribner unveiled a prototype of a figure called Keep the Cape On based on a certain Caped Crusader who looks like he left his Utility Belt at home. www.aftermidnightstudios.com and www.aftermidnightstudios.com/F-A-G-SHome.html
Yakimon are ceramic monsters made by Miles Nielsen that evoke the vinyl Godzilla toys of Japan’s past with a heavy metal flare. Creatures like Mutton Chomper, Dokuro Ape, and Kappa tower over many figures at over 10 inches tall and have spectacular detailing and painting work, while also having an iconic and simplistic appeal. www.yaki-mon.com
Velocitron, run by Ricky Wilson, is a distributor specializing in some truly nightmarish figures. Featuring works by independent Japanese artists and sculptors and vinyl toy makers Maruyama Gangu, these figures are hand-painted and often times created especially for onetime events, making each bizarre creature stand out in its own way, but also making them exceptionally scarce. Velocitron's figures look like they were torn from the fever dreams of someone that has seen too many horror movies while on a flight to Tokyo. www.velocitron.org
Presented alongside Velocitron's toys where figures from Lulubell Toy Bodega of Arizona, which mold creatures with themes borrorwed from Japanese folk lore and popular culture, and blends them with a psychoitc and horrific appeal. http://www.lulubelltoys.com
Edit: Several toys feature in this article were incorrectly captioned as Velocitron products, when in actuality they are from Lulubell Toy Bodega. The corrections have since been made.
The New York Comic Con returned to the Javits Center on October 10 - 13, 2013, bringing with it a cavalcade of costumed comic aficionados. Recently the subject of cosplay has become a very contentious one. Some people argue that cosplay is about petty one-upmanship, or "attention whoring” or that the people making these costumes have no real investment in comics and cartoons and that they just want to be seen. But at this years' NYCC, none of that cynicism was apparent to me. I saw people of all ages and backgrounds who truly love the wellspring of imagination that is comics, and wanted to express that love through deft craft.
I offer to you a small sampling of these costumed fans. I also offer the reminder that fandom is not about competition and ostracizing, it's about community and acceptance. There is no "fake nerd girl" hiding in your closet to steal away the legitimacy of your identity. We must work to forge an identity based on mutual love and appreciation of all things weird and “geeky.” You have your way of expressing your fandom, and these people have their way.
All photos by Renzo Adler.
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Geekery and gadgetry reared its proud head this weekend at the First Annual Portland Wizard World Comic Con in the shuffle of one of America's most idiosyncratic cities -- Portland, Oregon.
Between cult celebrity superstars and droves of salivating fans anxiously awaiting their opportunity to just catch a glimpse of their favorite personalities and characters, Comic Con Portland was a madhouse (mind you, a palatable madhouse) of toys and panels, comics and artistry, games and autographs and lines, lines, lines.
Read more: Inaugural Portland Comic Con...
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