Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tampa Bay Comic-Con 2019: Stranger Things, Huffle Punk, & Tad Cooper Gets His Wings!

Tampa Bay Comic-Con was a mixed bag for me this year. It's a huge convention primarily aimed at families (kids get in free), so the crowd was older and less inclined to cosplay and silliness. I mean, I didn't see a single conga line! What's that about?

John and I decided to shoot video on Saturday (coming soon!) and flash on Sunday, but there was so little cosplay on Sunday I barely took 30 photos, and we left after just 3 hours. Like I said, this is more of a low-key shopping crowd.

The good thing about lots of families? Lots of cute kids in costume!! This little Jawa had just met James Arnold Taylor - the voice of Obi-Wan - and she was still over the moon and beaming. I love that she has a baby Jawa doll!

John hard at work filming on Saturday.

Saturday was the Big Day, with massive crowds and plenty of film fodder. It was also physically exhausting, since Tampa Comic-Con is the only con we've been to that doesn't provide a food court or seating. We circled the hall twice in disbelief, searching for a place to sit down, but nope. Only a hand full of stand-up tables. (There IS seating downstairs in the center, but it's limited and far away). So while I still had a great time, this con definitely beat me up!

Where my Gravity Falls peeps at?

Still two of my favorites! I've never seen an Yzma cosplayer replicate her epic eye bags - PLUS the potion bottle label flipped down to form the skull! GENIUS.

These two are always so in character, btw, and I can't wait for you to see what they did for our video on Saturday - as two different characters! Stay tuned, it's hilarious.


 Yep, the latest season of Stranger Things was in FULL EFFECT.

I can't get over the Demogorgon in Hop's shirt. Bahaha!

 Then when "Suzy" handed me her card:

That was a fun surprise!

Someone pointed out that I missed a huge opportunity here:

HUFFLE PUNK. I should have said Huffle Punk!

One area where Comic-Con really shone this year was the art:

They not only got Morgen Davidson to guest here (this was her first con appearance ever!), they also provided FREE posters of her con-exclusive Wonder Woman to every attendee. AMAZEBALLS.

(Would you believe that art is done with COLORED PENCILS?? I'm telling you, Morgan is phenomenal. And if you like that poster, keep scrolling; I'm giving away my signed copy at the end of this post!)

  Tampa was also the first appearance of at least 3 more fantastic artists in Artist Alley, so whatever they're doing to recruit new talent, I hope they keep it up! (You'll see my favorites in my next art roundup.)

Now back to cosplay:

 Remember how the internet was going to storm Area 51?

They're cosplaying as Area 51. LOVE IT.

Then after a fangirled for a bit, she gave me a gift!


You know I can never resist a punny cosplay:
 Wonder Bread Woman... with her Miracle Whip.

::bah dum TSSS::


The most incredible She-Hulk:
 That's a full-grown man in there for scale!

 I *believe* this group is from Universal Studios, to advertise Halloween Horror Nights:
 That said, they didn't carry any signage, so maybe not? Universal usually sends a troupe to every con, though, and their scare-actors are famous for coming after you if you get close.

I really love interactive cosplay, but just after I took this photo two of the guys started advancing on a young girl - maybe 9 or 10 years old - and reduced her to shaking hysterics of terror and tears. To their credit, the men stopped after a few feet, but still...  Nothing is worth traumatizing a child.

Just be careful out there, cosplayers.

  Palate cleanser: Look at this STUNNING Snow White!

I wish I'd had our flash rig set up for this: the details in her fabrics are swoon-worthy!

Help me out, gang; I feel like I should know who this is:

 They were playing some fun 8-bit sounding music that reminded me of Undertale, but pretty sure that's not what they're from.

{Update: Aha! I was close! This is Ralsei from Deltarune, a "side-quel" to Undertale. Thx, commenters!}

Oh! And speaking of cute animals in costume:

Anyone else think this? :D
The dragon was snuggled up on her owner's shoulder, and even up close I couldn't believe she was real! Then it got even better:

 Would you believe this was just a happy coincidence?

This Ivy & Cat Woman had incredible makeup - once again, I wish we'd had the flash rig for them!

 Ivy has a light-up strand of greenery around her glittery boots. I APPROVE.

 Ok, last one for now:

 Never ever ever.

Stay tuned for our finished video from Tampa in a few more days, plus my few flash portraits!

Oops, and I nearly forgot!

 Would you like my con-exclusive Wonder Woman poster, signed by Morgen? You can't get this anywhere else! (Though I do hope she'll eventually offer prints.)
If so, then comment below and tell me about a wonder woman you look up to, and why. Could be anyone: a relative, a celebrity, a person in history or fiction. I'll choose one of you at random, and announce the winner in my very next post. 

As always I'll ship anywhere, even internationally, so feel free to get your friends to comment for you, too. Happy commenting!


Speaking of Wonder Woman, I know Funko Pops rule the market for collectible figures, but have you seen the Q-Posket figs?



I found both of these on Amazon (click the photos for the links), and considering they're about the same price as Funkos, I AM SMITTEN. This is also opening up a deep rabbit hole, because ermigosh, turns out Q-Posket has figures of lots of Disney ladies, too. (Do NOT look at their Tinkerbell figure. It's too late for me, but you can STILL SAVE YOURSELVES, lol.)

Shopping through my Amazon links gives Epbot a small percentage, btw, and I'm changing things up by recommending specific products. This is way more fun (and potentially dangerous) for me, so I hope you guys get a kick out of it, too!


  1. I look up to Marie Curie! She was breaking down gender stereotypes in the medical field long before Equal Rights for women was a thing!!

  2. That one that you said reminded you of Undertale is Ralsei from Deltarune! It's the... sequel? alternate universe? to Undertale. Made by the same person. Only the first "chapter" of it is out right now, but still. Check it out if you haven't.

    1. I've heard Deltarune referred to as a 'sidequel'.

    2. Ahh, thank you! Looks like I have a new game to play!

  3. I think I am going to be cheesy and say my mom is the wonder woman I most look up to :-D

  4. I look up to my Mima, for not only being kind and caring but also bring the most fantastic seamstress and couturier icon. <3 What a WW!

  5. Great pics! Mine would be someone we lost too soon: Rachel Held Evans. She greatly helped strengthen my faith and welcomed people who felt less than welcome in that faith.

  6. It sounds a little corny, but I really look up to my mom. Before my family left to sail the world, she was a great OB/GYN and has always been an amazing mom. They had to hire two new doctors to replace her when she left, lol.

    One if my non-family wonder woman: Ada Lovelace, the world's first computer programmer. Who knows what the world would be like know without her? A lady very high on the awesomeness scale :)

  7. Minerva McGonagall has always been a favorite of mine! In real life, I think I'd have to say my little sister. She's an amazing cook, mother, volleyball player, so classy & has great taste. All around my personal Wonder Woman.


  8. That mystery character is Prince Ralsei - and he is from the Undertale sequel Delta Rune. (If you didn't know Undertale had a sequel... it does now!! I'm only a short ways in, but enjoying it so far. You should check it out!)

  9. okay. I may let my parents twist my arm, and fly out for next year's con, based on your photos alone. ��

  10. I've got two wonder women in my life, my grandma (who just helped me get out of a bad relationship situation, and is an amazingly determined and strong woman) and Sally Ride, because she was amazing.

  11. Like for many people my wonder woman is my mom. She has dealt with so much over the years, but has never let it burden her from living her best life and caring for her family.

  12. My wonder woman is my mentor and lifelong friend, Trina Robbins. Pretty much the first female underground comix artist/writer, a costume designer and couturier (she made clothes for Jim Morrison, Mama Cass, and Donovan, and designed Vampirella's costume), comic book herstorian (Bite me, Spell Check, you patriarchal fascists, that's a perfectly cromnulent oldtime feminist word!), co-founder of the Friends of Lulu (which promotes women in comics) and was the very first woman to draw Wonder Woman for DC! (It took those dorks over 50 years, BTW)

    Close runner-up: Bjo Trimble, the Queen of Fans Everywhere, who organized the letter-writing campaign to save "Star Trek" back in the day. She knows/knew so many people that leave me awestruck every time she tells a story, she is SO beloved.

    BOTH these women are in their 80's and are still forces of fangirl nature, and I want to be like them when I grow up.

    That She-Hulk gives me LIFE, that is THE BEST I've ever seen! Love me some Shulkie! And the Gravity Falls folks are living my dream; I want to dress up as Grenda ("HERE!! LET MY CALMING VOICE SOOTHE YOU!!!") SO BAD it hurts me. I just need to figure out how to make a copy of Grunkle Stan's easy chair out of balsa wood or some junk so I can carry it around as a weapon (when she's on the quest to save Dipper and Ford and walks up to the demon, yells "NO!!" and whomps him with it is just the best!)

    And yeah, scaring kids on purpose while in costume in a fantastically shitty thing to do. Any time there was a kid at a Con that was afraid of me because I was a Klingon, I would stop, squat down (I could do that, then) and say "Hi, my name is Storm. Don't be scared, I'm just playing dress-up, like Halloween and Tricksortreats. Here, you can touch it, it's rubber. Any one else you see here that looks weird, they're just playing dress-up, too."

    Except... this one time... I couldn't help it...

    I'm outside Comic Con in my Klingon drag, having a cigarette (4 1/2 years tobacco-free, y'all!), and there's this little boy, maybe 5 or 6, and he is just being the biggest whiniest jerk to his family. He looks over and me and double-takes, looking kinda freaked out. So I growled at him and yelled "DON'T EVER SMOKE OR YOU'LL END UP LOOKING LIKE THIS!!" He gasped and buried his face in his mom's hip. And he shut up.

    Jam out with yer clam out!

    Storm the Klingon

  13. Always amazing shots! You always capture my cosplays so well!❤

    My inspiration is my mom... She has been through so much over the years, divorce, death, illness, and is one of the positive people you would meet... She is my inspiration in my daily life as well as my cosplay life... We go to cons together and cosplay together as well... I always have my friends tell me they wish there mom was into their fandoms... Our next con together is star wars celebration and were already making our new cosplays... She has made helped me and made my cosplays since I was a child... I love my mom!

  14. My wonder woman is my first professional supervisor. She was kind and caring, managed incredibly well "up" and "down", and never cracked under pressure. She's honourable, wise, and passionate. I hope to do as good a job for my staff as she did for me.

  15. I wasn’t a fan of Wonder Woman growing up but the new movie versions with a Gal Gadot have totally won me over. I love the femininity to her strength and power. She can be compassionate without being a pushover and although she doesn’t flaunt it, she makes no effort to apologize or hide her power in order to make anyone else ‘comfortable’. She just IS and I love that example. ��

  16. My wonder woman is a mother figure: my BFF's mom. This woman raised 7 children of her own and pseudo-adopted a bunch more (including me!). I appreciate her hospitality and wisdom so much. I started hanging out with their family right after I graduated college and now a decade later I'm bringing my husband and daughter over to play with their grandchildren. It's awesome. I want to make a home like that when I grow up.

  17. My mom and my aunt! They are both pioneers in male-dominated fields (computer programming and epidemiology), both kick-ass fashionistas, and both the kindest, most generous people I know. <3

  18. I NEED me a Niffler! Any chance of link to that vendor?????

  19. I look up to my mom. I'm sure a lot of people will say that their mom is amazing, etc., but.... y'all. My mom is everything. A domestic goddess. A craft witch. A former first grade teacher. She now runs a book subscription service that hand selects books for about 50 kids EVERY MONTH. She is truly the wonder woman in my life. This comment doesn't even do her justice.

  20. My Wonder Woman is all the ladies that have worked in the background of history with little recognition, but have gotten (and continue to get) things done with their intelligence, hard work and humility.

  21. Nichelle Nichols ... and my Mum for being into sci-fi and introducing me to Star Trek, Blake's Seven and others before it was popular - which is why Nichelle Nichols! Uhura rules! :)

  22. A wonder woman I look up to is Keladry of Mindelan from Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series. She sets her mind on her goal and doesn't waver from it, but she always remembers that it is more important to help others than to advance herself.

    1. For some reason it didn't show my name the first time. :) I'm Cara D.

  23. I'm going to cheat and mention two wonder women in my life - my mom and my sister. They are both so hard working and have faced a lot of challenges in their lives and I'm just so proud of them. They've really helped to shape me into a kinder, more loving person.

  24. My Wonder Woman would be Susan B. Anthony, suffragette and pro-life champion!

  25. I always love your con pics, but I came here to jump on the Wonder Mom band wagon.
    My mother is inspirational, and a treasure. She was a girl scout leader, a band parent, a sports mom, always has time for friends and family, tells the best stories, and is a light in your bad day. She is always upbeat and sassy. She is everything I'll ever hope to be.

    She is currently battling stage 4 cancer, and even though I don't know how to deal, she is still upbeat and sassy about it. She is living her life to the fullest, and will "go out laughing" as she says.

    And THAT is how I want to live my life. Laughing.

    --Piper P from Washington State

  26. My wonder woman is Karyn Purvis. She's a pioneer in the field of developmental psychology and childhood trauma. Raising kids who suffered trauma and loss is *hard,* folks, but her research in brain development and integration has given so much hope to parents, allowing then to be gentler themselves, as well as gentler with their kids.

  27. As a woman lawyer --I may have to go with Sandra Day OConner.

  28. Don't want the poster but you missed the conga line downstairs, just about 30 minutes before you guys came in and were taking pictures of the Michelle Pfeiffer inspired Catwoman and Ivy.

  29. Gonna have to go with my mom also--she's the most honorable person I know, and although she's well into retirement age, she can't seem to stop fighting to protect the vulnerable. Proud of her.

  30. I look up to Rear Admiral (retired) Grace Hopper. PhD in in mathematics, one of the first computer programmers, on the team that created the first compiler for computer languages, etc. It didn't matter that women didn't do that kind of stuff then - she did. And did it well.

  31. I look up to Carrie Fisher. Her candor about her life and choices, as well as her charisma, were atypical from Hollywood types, but much appreciated by this nerdy fangirl.

  32. My mother is my Wonder Woman. She has taken care of 2 sisters that passed from a genetic form of colon cancer (before we knew that's what it was, instead of lung cancer where it showed up) to the detriment of both her physical and mental health. She is fighting 3 autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto, Sjogrens Syndrome, & Fibromyalgia) as well as clinical depression. And while her house isn't clean (due to fighting said illnesses), she will drop everything to help her grandaughter (my niece) with her 4 children. She also taught me the value of learning about other cultures. When I was 11 she answered an ad about dance classes and began to take Middle Eastern (Belly Dance) classes. It was a huge part of my life, and still is to a smaller degree.

  33. Linda Evans is my original Wonder Woman. I'm not exactly proud to say I loved to play Wonder Woman in Kindergarten so I could beat up the boys, but... I also loved playing Leia in 1st grade so I could play with the boys. = ) ~ Jamie S.

  34. My 4th grade teacher Mrs.Grabyan is my Wonder Woman. She inspired me like no other teacher to learn All the Things, have fun, and just how to be a good person in general. Her patience was like none other. I respect educators across the board as that's a job that takes true dedication and commitment to the future.

  35. My Wonder Woman is my mom. She's a breast cancer survivor, and has shown me how to be strong in her own way. We didn't get along all the time when I was younger (we're too alike, I think), but the older I get the more I appreciate her and the more I want to grow up to be like her.

  36. I look up to Kate Sheppard, she was the New Zealand woman who enabled women to vote in New Zealand and made NZ the first country to allow women to vote and all this was in 1893. The UK and USA did not give women the right to vote until after World War 1.

  37. A Wonder Woman that I look up to is Krista Clark. She is a friend, educator, and a mother of four boys. She is the most gracious, genuinely nice person that I know. Grace under pressure, never raises her voice, sees the best in everyone-she is who I aspire to be like.

  38. Gotta say that the very first photo of the Stranger Things duo cracked me up. Their ice cream cones were peace bonded!

  39. One of the Wonder Women I look up to just happens to have been on this post, my cousin Heather. You'll know her as her alter ego: Wonder Bread. As a single mom she raised an amazing son who is an absolutely briliant young man. Put herself through school. Plus she keeps family, no matter how far away, close. She has always been someone I have looked up to and admired. She is absolutely amazing and a the most fantastic cousin anyone could ask for!

    I was rediculously excited when I was reading through the post and saw her picture. Thank you for posting the picture of her in her cosplay.

  40. That Wonder Woman art? Amaze-balls! And Colored Pencils? HOLY COW?!?!?!? In the not-real realm, Wonder Woman has been one of my favorites since before I knew she was a comic character and I saw her on TV as a kid (Lynda Carter) and thought she was just the coolest! In real life, it was my paternal grandmother who unfortunately passed when I was in 5th grade. She spoke French AND English, she was a great cook, baker, she was crafty - arts and crafts, needle work, sewing, etc... (Typing this, I realize she's probably the reason I'm the crafty geek I am <3)

    I might need to check those figures out... WW has a special spot for me. (Also that's the first costume I ever made after childhood, entered in a contest, and won second prize for!!!!)

  41. I look up to Mona, for being an amazing and innovative leader in tech as well as a mom!

  42. There are 2 women I look up to, both are my grandmothers. Both suffered from severe debilitating illness when I was a child, and both never let either my sister or I see how bad they were suffering.

    My grandma would end up in hospital almost exactly every 3 months, and she never let us see her worry, but made it a fun visit when we would go see her.

    My nan had at-home dialysis for most of my childhood, which robbed her and my pop of their overseas adventures they formerly had, but instead, she would tell me all about where they had been, and where I would go when I was older.

    Both have unfortunately passed on now, as have my grandfathers, but I always remember how they wanted us kids to not see how serious their illnesses were.

  43. That print is amazing and I have just the place to put it on my wall! I look up to my mom for instilling a love of reading and learning in me from a young age. It has served me well over the years and opened my mind to many wonderful things.

  44. A Wonder Woman I look up to is my Grammie Joan who passed away a few years ago. She raised 4 kids (two of them twin boys!), taught and/or subbed for 30+ years, was a ranch wife, was a super fun Grammie to 8 grandkids, and was just always so positive and loving! I miss her and love all my happy memories of her.

  45. Bessie Coleman learned French in her spare time, because no one in the US would teach her to fly. She instead went to France. Can you imagine?! She learned a completely new language well enough to receive technical instruction in it, while working two jobs so she could afford to travel to France. She amazes me.

  46. Oh man! I was there on sunday in cosplay and you totally missed me, which is so sad because I've wanted to meet you for so long. I'm not even in the background of any of these photos, which makes me really, really sad.

  47. I've always looked up to Corrie Ten Boom and the strength that she had.

  48. Gravity Falls Gravity Falls GRAVITY FALLS!!

    A personal Wonder Woman of mine is one of my teaching colleagues- she is a strong woman who stands up for others and what she believes in, is honest, works hard to teach students important life skills, and shows me how to have a work-life balance.

    Liz Sie

  49. My wonder woman has always been Carrie Fisher. I got to meet her at Tampa Bay Comic Con. It was my first convention ever & I got to meet you & your husband there, too :-)


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