This post won't contain any boasting about how fantastic a time I had at the Phoenix Comicon. I had a good time this year, but not a great time. There were scads of pop culture pushers, famous faces (Nichelle Nichols, Bruce Boxleitner, Garret Wang), artists, writers, and geek culture freaks of all ages. But something was off, something was missing for me this time around.
I didn't get enough
Last year and the year before, I got spoiled. Dealer Ed Robertson brought boxes jammed with old and newish comics priced at $1 buck each that would leave you breathless, and nearly penniless too. But not this year. Well, he did have dollar boxes. But they were filled with none of the books that I was interested in getting, which was something of a serious letdown.
Still, I was glad to get another chance to chat with Ed and his wife and grabbed a half-dozen of his dollar comics offerings for old time's sake. He also had a nicely priced copy of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #2 that I purchased ($10) from amongst his higher priced selections. It was also the first book I bought at the convention that was on my list.
I only spent two days at the con this year. Thursday had to be scratched for the Kings of the Mic concert in Tucson. In the time I had there, though, I managed to get my hands on all but two of the books on my list. The only ones I didn't buy were Hero for Hire #8 and Iron Fist #5. One dealer had a copy of the latter, but it was laughably overpriced at $50 dollars.
Thanks to more reasonably priced retailers (All About Comics, Graham Crackers, Harley Yee), I got copies of Iron Fist 3, 4 & 7, Hero for Hire #10 and Marvel Premiere 16 & 19. Finding those last two books enabled me to complete my Marvel Premiere run: Issues 15 through 25 feature the very the first Iron Fist stories.
At some point on Saturday, I also grabbed nice copies of issues 7, 8, 11 & 12 of the original Black Panther series. These were actually dollar offerings, too, but I scarcely remember who I bought 'em from. It could have been Ed. I recall taking another casual pass through his dollar boxes on Saturday. Oh, but there was one other guy who had about a dozen boxes--all of which contained books he priced at $1 dollar. So I'm gonna say that he was actually the source of these four books.
All in all, I left the con with a handful of nice books at very decent prices. But I also got to see some old acquaintances: Mike (the former owner of the gone-but-not-forgotten Atomic Comics, now immortalized in the movie Kick Butt) was there, as was Tom of Caveman Comics. Ol' Tom and I used to get into some of the best debates over social and political issues--and were right back at it again.
Yes, a good time was indeed had at Phoenix Comicon 13. But with next year's con already in mind, I'm looking for something more in the way of greatness.
On May 23rd, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul kicked off the Kings of the Mic Tour in Tucson, Arizona. It was one helluva concert--one of the best I've seen, in fact. If you haven't already missed your chance, do yourself a favor and get "down with the kings." You will not be sorry.
As I'm trying to shake off the dust of simply not having blogged in some months (!), I'm gonna take it real easy on myself with this post; I don't have the energy for full-on review and I ain't even gonna try. What I will do, though, is quickly detail my top 3 favorite Kings of the Mic Tour concert moments:
#3. My third favorite moment came when I saw Ice Cube boogie--albeit briefly. Cube has had a really good sense of movement, in terms of his stage presence. But he has never tried to present himself as a dancer. He's too "G" for that. But he was obviously feeling good about his performance. Near the close of his monster set, he tossed his gold mic across the stage to Dub C and "repped that west" with a few smooth steps of the O.G. Crip Walk--done with the biggest smile on his usually snarling face.
#2. Flavor Flav taking the stage. Like many others in attendance that night, I somehow found myself not expecting Flavor Flav to be performing with Public Enemy. That carried with it no small measure of disappointment; Flav has always been the wild and crazy Yin to Chuck D's disciplined Yang. But a few minutes after Chuck, Professor Griff, DJ Lord, Davy D (yes, that Davy D) and the S1Ws were introduced, Flav ran out and sent the audience into an elated tizzy. Yeahhhhhhh boyyyyyyyy!
#1. My top Kings of the Mic Tour moment came when LL Cool J and Chuck D performed together. That's right, kiddies! In addition rocking classics like "Jack the Ripper," "Radio," and "Going Back to Cali," LL performed a handful of tracks from his newly released Authentic. When the song "Whaddup" began to play, which features a Public Enemy sample, Chuck D dashed out and rocked the hook live. I can't even describe how good it felt to see those two legends of Def Jam rocking the stage together. (But you can get a hint of what it felt like from this clip that someone who was much further back posted to YouTube.)
• Arizona's own DJ Z-Trip backing LL Cool J on the wheels of steel.
• Having a seat so close to the stage (7th row) that my hearing was almost damaged––seriously.
• Hearing LL rock a medley of tracks including songs by other artists, like Eric B. & Rakim!
• Hearing the homeboy Darrell D complaining about the $35 dollar price on tour t-shirts...and then watching him leave to get one near the end of the show because it was such a great concert! Haha.