2016 JoeCon After Action Report: Day 2
Greetings again, Joe fans–
Following Day One, my brother and I spent time back in our hotel room inspecting our figures. My box set was all in one piece and had everything, but his bagged Skydive was missing his jetpack. So, today, we started off around 10:15AM (Thursday was a long day and while I heard Adam Riches’ panel was decent, we both preferred to catch a little more sleep) and began by talking to GIJCC customer service. They were very friendly and helpful and got the missing jetpack for Skydive and everything was cool. While I was there, I snapped some photos of all the exclusives on display in the case. Surprisingly, the GIJCC staff member that was working at that point mentioned that so far, the only sell-through was the Hydra. I’m now very glad I grabbed it early, I figured that one would linger for a while.
After taking care of Skydive, we made our way to the atrium for the annual parachute figure drop. It was held up a tad since the local news crew was running a bit late, but eventually Freefalls started falling from the upper level of the hotel and it is legitimately a great way to kick off the con. While the GIJCC may have trouble running the registration and souvenir lines efficiently, the parachute drop was handled well from beginning to end. Before the parachute drop, I also ran into the JoeADay readers I met the night before and snagged a photo of them and asked if it was cool if it got used in the Day 2 After Action Report, and they were more than willing to let us post this, so I thought I should also give a little shout out to Josiah and Dan. Nice meeting you guys. I also ran into a couple of GIJCC staff members who were super helpful yesterday and snapped a picture of them. The one on the left handled my registration and she was so excited that her last name was used for one of the Air Devils in the comic that she had to show me what panel her name was in. It’s nice to see that even the GIJCC staff is super excited about all the goings on at Joe Con.
Following the parachute drop, my brother and I attended our first panel of the day, the GI Joe Film Festival and So You Think You Can Voice Act. There were only four entries this year, which in hindsight was good because the film festival was plagued by technical difficulties. I will also say, it was super cool to be sitting behind Kirk Bozigian and Adam Riches during that panel. I could tell Kirk was especially touched by the level of devotion that fans of the brand had. The highlights of the film festival were Finest House (a reality-show spoof involving a bunch of Joes and Cobras living in a house together put on the The Finest Joe cosplay group) and a retrospective from a Joe fan who has been attending Joe Con since 1999. So You Think You Can Voice act was an audition process where two lucky Joe fans will get to perform a scripted scene with Joe voice actor Gregg Berger tomorrow. It was mostly adults, but one kid (probably around seven or eight) auditioned and the GIJCC said they were going to write something in just for him for tomorrow, so he’ll be performing, too. I think that was something pretty cool to do since they clearly weren’t expecting any kids to want to do that.
Following the film festival, Joe historian/author James Kavanaugh did a retrospective of the modern Joe line, starting with the 25th Anniversary and moving up until now. It was interesting and my brother said he appreciated it since he’s been out of the collecting game for a while so it was good to get to see some of that product that Mr. Kavanaugh featured. James also passed out a very cool free item–a vintage-styled product catalog showcasing last year’s Joe product. I caught up with him after the panel and chatted for a bit. I apologize for the poor, over-flashed quality of that photo, it was oddly dim in the area we were talking when I asked if I could snag a quick pic for JoeADay.
Following the Kavanaugh panel, my brother and I took a brief lunch break since, though I heard the Action Man 50th Anniversary panel revealed some great new product coming out, Action Man isn’t really our area of interest and it was around lunch time so we figured no time like the present to get food. After our lunch, it was time for the main sales floor to open. I’ll freely admit, I didn’t get a lot of photos today because I was busy snagging Joes and vehicle parts but I’ll make sure and get a lot of floor pics tomorrow. I had some seriously crazy luck on the floor. All the figures you see in the photo of my haul (save Golobulus and the vintage Sky Patrol set) have something in common. Let’s see if anyone can figure it out. I bought these folks for a special reason. I’ll explain tomorrow, but for now, let’s see if you can figure out what Major Storm, Pathfinder, Ambush, Bullhorn, Topside, Sub Zero, Rampart and Freefall all have in common. Golobulus was a figure I’ve wanted since I was a kid and he rounded out another set of three figures since the seller was selling complete, loose vintage figures for eight dollars a piece or three for twenty.
My brother snagged himself some vintage figures, though he did spend most of his time perusing the figures helping me find my laundry list. The ones he found are ones that have special meaning to him, though: the one that started it all, the one that was never complete even when he first got it, and one that he always liked but never found as a kid. The vintage Sky Patrol was today’s YOJO moment and I’m glad I did it. I’ve been obsessed with the vintage figures since I got back into collecting in high school and they were definitely going to be in high demand this year so I figured if I didn’t get the set now, someone else was going to. I will admit, the number of dealers is quite a bit smaller than I remember it being in 2009 and that’s a bit of a bummer. All the dealers I visited had great selection but there weren’t nearly as many options so if the dealers you first saw didn’t have it, it just wasn’t on the floor.
After getting the vehicle parts I needed for my secret project, my brother and I wandered around the floor a bit. First, I ran across a dealer selling the Cobra Fury and Cycle Armor from Pursuit of Cobra that were super hard to find in my neck of the woods. After a little hemming and hawing, I decided to purchase them. I’ve been a fan of the Fury since 1990 when it was first released as the Rage and I thought the Cycle Armor was a neat concept when it was revealed at Joe Con in 2009 and was honestly a little disappointed I never found it. We ran across the JoeCustoms booth and I got to meet bucky, one of the lead mods on the board. We enjoyed putting faces to screen names. I’m sure I’ll be swinging by the JoeCustoms booth again to see who all else is there this year.
Following some floor wandering, I decided to head over and say hi to Adam Riches and briefly meet and grab a photo of Joe box art guru, Larry Selman. I didn’t have anything for Riches’ to sign, but for Christmas last year, my brother got me a print of the 2015 version of Riches’ “Every Cobra Ever” painting that he first did for an issue of America’s Elite a few years back. He was a very nice guy and seemed very excited to meet the Joe fans. I hit Riches up towards the end of his autograph session, so then I just hopped back in line with my brother for the Hama/Bozigian/Berger autograph line. Larry was as friendly and awesome as ever and I like having a signed Tunnel Rat card in my collection. Kirk Bozigian was also just as friendly as I remembered him being back in 2009 and we chatted briefly after getting my FSS 4.0 Law cardback signed.
However, for me, Gregg Berger was the most amazing autograph I got at Joe Con. I’m going to be dating myself a little here, but the 1995 Spider-Man cartoon is what really got me into comics. Gregg Berger voiced Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio on that cartoon and last year at Planet Comicon, I met and got to know Todd Aaron Smith, one of the original storyboard artists for Batman: The Animated Series and Spider-Man. Berger was announced shortly before Planet Comicon, and it gave me an incredible idea: get some Todd Aaron Smith art of Kraven (since I preferred him over Mysterio) and have Gregg Berger sign it. Todd didn’t have any in his portfolio, so I commissioned a piece from him. When I pulled the piece out of its protective slip cover, Gregg Berger’s eyes went wide and without missing a beat, he slipped right back into Kraven voice. It was amazing and he thought it was really cool to see something from Spider-Man. He also reminded me (in character voice) that he voiced Mysterio. That moment right there was worth the slight hassle of getting the commission done and Gregg seriously made my Joe Con…and I’d like to think he’ll remember me at least for a little bit as the guy that brought a Kraven the Hunter piece to Joe Con to get signed.
Following the autograph line, my brother and I both decided we’d spent enough time on the floor and packed it in for the day. I haven’t heard if other souvenirs have sold out (though I’m hoping that the Sky Sweeper will still be available tomorrow–after looking at my brother’s last night, I think it’s pretty cool and though I won’t be disappointed if I can’t get one for myself, it would be a pretty cool addition to the collection). Of course, tomorrow is thebig day with the Joe brand panel and the GIJCC panel, both of which have promised us surprises. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read about them, though.
KansasBrawler, signing off.