Us middle-aged dorks sure have it made these days. Just about everything we loved as kids is back, and stronger than ever. Let’s take STAR WARS for example. This weekend sees the release of a new film and just after I got to see Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from The Empire Strikes Back) at Chicago’s Days of the Dead . Despite the twenty-seven-year difference, the two films have been mentioned together a lot these days, with critics calling this latest installment “the best since Empire.” I can’t say if I agree with that yet as I won’t get to see it till Sunday, but totally understand why The Empire Strikes Back is used as a benchmark for STAR WARS greatness. It’s got a great story, the first appearance of Yoda, that amazing battle on Hoth, a twist ending concerning the relationship between Luke and Vader, defied movie standards by not having the good guys win, and featured one of the coolest bounty hunters in ANY galaxy, let alone one far, far away. It’s no wonder its a critical and fan favorite. It’s also no mystery why so many of us flocked Days of the Dead to celebrate the great Boba Fett and the man behind his mask.
I had plenty of anticipation going into the 2017 Chicago Days of the Dead with goals to match. Although I’m no vlogger at this stage of the Terror Dave game, I wanted to capture as much video as I could while meeting celebrity guests, doing some shopping, and stepping out of my comfort zone for a bit of cosplaying (more on that later). This year’s headliners included Linda Blair, Sean Astin, Dee Snider, and Jeremy Bulloch. As a lifelong STAR WARS fan, seeing Bulloch, a.k.a. Boba Fett, was priority #1 while my kids had autograph ambitions of their own. On this Friday night, however, it was “adult swim” as my horror compadre, Chris, and I attempted to tackle as much of the event as we could before the Saturday crowds made it a challenge.
This year the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) arrived a month early but, so far as we fans were concerned, not a moment too soon! In my humble opinion, this is the best comic fan expo the Windy City has to offer and one that my entire family pines for. That’s not surprising as it caters to all facets of fandom; comics, horror, science fiction, and so much more! It also attracts some amazing cosplay and I was so happy that my daughter, Jade, was there all weekend to assist with picture taking. Despite thousands of people showing up, it’s organized so well that it runs like a well-oiled machine which means less griping and more shopping. In previous years I’ve always attended Saturdays only but 2016 would have me showing up on it’s opening Friday evening. Ideally, you should devote multiple days to C2E2 as each day has its pros and cons (which I’ll delve more into later). I wasn’t sure what to expect when we arrived at the McCormick Place at 3:30pm and eagerly made our way inside.
I’ve attended the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for the last four years and each time it rolls around I get more and more excited about it. The success of the Marvel films reignited my love of comic books and inspired me to dig out that old collection of mine; thirteen long boxes featuring the ‘70s and ‘80s exploits of Spider-Man, The Uncanny X-Men, The Mighty Avengers, and so on. This year I attended the event with my friend, Elizabeth Ocon, along with my thirteen year old daughter, Jade. I think it was Jade’s excitement that caused me to anticipate this event as I did back when I was in my teens and attending Chicago’s Comic Con (as that event was called back in the day).
I am a huge fan of toys; always have been, always will be. Growing up, I always leaned towards toys with a science fiction theme for my hours of playtime fun and some of my favorites were Mego’s Micronauts and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes 8″ action figure line as well as the original Kenner Star Wars toys. While researching this article, and the toy company REMCO, I found that I also had a lot of what they had to offer back in the day. They may not have been the largest toy-making company but they did offer a wide variety of toys that made us boys drool when we saw the commercials or saw them offered in the annual Sears Catalog Christmas Wishbook.
With the recent announcement that a new series of STAR WARS films are on the horizon, many of us adult fanboys have begun feeling The Force once more! Or at least that familiar tug of devotion that had been frozen in carbonite these past few years. Despite the Hoth-like chill, there were a number of die-hard fans who’d been keeping the spirit alive; most notably The 501st Legion – an International group of fans who create their own movie-accurate STAR WARS costumes.