Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More photos from San Diego

Now that Comic-Con has come and gone, it's finally time to get back into the daily grind that doesn't involve immovable lines of people and sweaty homemade spandex costumes. While I'm glad to be home, sleeping in my own bed, a part of me bemoans the fact that it'll be at least another year before I am able to walk into a men's room and witness the scene to the left. Only at Comic-Con!

I'll also miss seeing all the random celebrities that I encountered while hanging out in San Diego. Aside from meeting Kelly Hu (X2) and grabbing drinks with the likes of Keiko Agena (Gilmore Girls) and the illustrious Larry Shen, I also caught glimpses of Brian Cox (X2) Zachary Levi (Chuck), Tyrese (four times!), Emily Deschanel (Bones), Scott Wolf (Party of Five), Morris Chestnut (Boyz N the Hood) and Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost). The last three were spotted having dinner together at Nobu (where Epic Props/Secret Identities had our own epic dinner!)

So I leave you guys with some of my favorite photos from Nerd Prom. Till next year, stay classy San Diego!
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention Hugh Jackman in my celeb rundown?

Bumblebee was also in attendance.

You cannot understand how badly I wanted to get the black/gold vinyl Voltron!

It would have been nice to bring home Giant Voltron too, I guess.

Secret Identities in the hizzy!

Kelly Hu signing Natsuko's copy of Secret Identities...

...and modeling my favorite Epic Props shirt...

...and getting interviewed byVictor of G4 Canada's "Electric Playground."

Monday, July 27, 2009

What I Did This Weekend

Just got back from a whirlwind five days in San Diego. Was in town for a little trade show you may or may not have heard about. I was helping to hold down the fort at the Epic Proportions booth with my boys Jerry, Parry and Jeff as we hawked Secret Identities to the sweaty, costumed sea of humanity before us. Being that this was my first San Diego experience--and I had heard all the stories of how insane it is--I was braced for the madness, and to be honest, I didn't find it that different than others that I've been to, except that maybe this was a lot more fun.

I think it helped to have a home base like the Epic Props booth to come back to. For one, this experience was different because I had a book to promote and sell (and sell we did!), but also because I got to hang out with some really cool people. So not only was it cool to see Parry, Jerry, and Jeff again, but it was doubly cool to get to know everyone holding down the Epic side! So big ups to everyone at Epic, and especially Ken, Will, and Sandy!

When I did manage to navigate through hordes trying to get free swag and gawking at various booth babes and celebs, it was pretty maddening. (Quick tip: when trying to blow some steam off after being stressed out, walking the exhibit halls is not the way to go.) They're not exaggerating about this place being packed to the gills. Making your way to, say, Artists' Alley requires planning, preparation and patience. And blisters on your feet. Fortunately, being an exhibitor allowed me to gain access to the halls before the doors were open, and this was the best time to check out all the studios' elaborate booths, though they were not open to offering their free (or even not free) swag until doors opened. Boo!

Anyway, Comic-Con was an awesome experience. Met a lot of cool people, hopefully gained some new fans, and reconnected with a lot of old friends! Just some of the cool people I got to hang out with (however briefly) included: Derek Kirk Kim, Gene Yang, Kazu Kibuishi, James Jean, Heidi MacDonald, Clay Moore, Shelley Myers, Cliff Chiang, Danny Lee, Keiko Agena, Shin Kawasaki, Phil Yu, Larry Hama, Janice Chiang, Bernard Chang, Sean Chen, Fletcher Chu-Fong, and a bunch more. Can't wait to do it again.

And now comes the only part that anyone cares about in a San Diego Comic-Con wrap-up: the photos! At the time, I thought I was taking a ton of pics, but it turns out that there was a lot of stuff I just forgot to take pictures of, otherwise I'd be standing around pointing my camera everywhere and snapping photos of everything. Here's what I did manage to capture in pixels. Check out even more photos on Facebook!

The Bat-Pod!

Lounging at the Hard Rock with Jerry Ma, Cliff Chiang & Parry Shen.

Gene Yang and Larry Hama are some of the guys who stopped by the booth.

Larry with Snake Eyes himself, Ray Park.

This one's for Raymond: Me and Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai!

The guys with Keiko Agena and Ming Doyle.

You don't want to see Phil when he's Angry!

With Kelly Hu and Cliff.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Poem for Bruce: 11/27/40 - 7/20/73

Like Water: 
Excerpts from Bruce Lee’s Last Interview
Hong Kong, July, 1973

I guess it all adds up to bad karma, man.
My father used to talk about these demons
that shadowed my life like rain clouds
crawling over an April afternoon.
Always there. But there’s more
to me than demons.
I’m serious.
Dismiss what I do. Chop-socky Kung-fu,
you might say. But that’s my art. Not just ass-kicking and
a wa-taa here and there. That jazz isn’t about
self-defense, man, it’s about saving
my self. And baby, every day I leave my soul out there,
bloody and tired. Honestly. Expressing. Myself. That
can’t be taken away,
no matter what.
See, I’m not a superstar.
That’s an illusion, man. I mean, a star
just burns up and fades into the seconds that
disappear on the horizon. But I got nowhere
else to be, but here. Tell me, you think Jimi
could tell the difference between the music
bleeding out of those strings and his own damned soul?
It’s the seventies now, and baby,
there isn’t any room left for anymore accusing.
I don’t have time to worry about who’s white
and who’s wrong. As far as I am concerned,
in the eyes of Heaven, we are all racing to
the same end. But outside,
the weather isn’t good
for Orientals right now. America is just
waking up from Korea, and
with Vietnam untying our boots, you tell me
who looks like the enemy?
It’s like time’s watching me, man, and
I got no reason to believe all the shit
isn’t going to drop on me – as if the scabs
on my soul weren’t warning enough.
But I have to live my life trying
to find a calmness through the chaos, ya know?
Take Linda, my wife, the way her hair
spills like sunset down her back.
That’s how I explain this thing
we’re all swimming around in. Those demons?
They can’t catch me. I know the deal.
I know.

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