Boston Comic Con 2016: Cats, Cosplay and other Cautionary Tales


I had meant for this blog to be exclusive to the review of horror movies. However, exhibiting at comic book and anime conventions tend to take up my spare time. Also, including my spokes bunnies, Dexter and Ichabod in my web comic, Project Poppet further links my creative endeavors.

Besides, the following documents a roller coaster weekend. Let’s get to it.

Convention Prep: Pre-Party like a [plush making] Rock Star

As much as I joke about being a plush mogul, I put a lot of time and energy into my cats and dolls. I have a system, and my patterns. All the same, it gets time consuming, especially if I deviate from my patterns in any way. Boston Comic Con is a high sale show for me, and sometimes, I use that to experiment with new ideas and items.

For example, last year’s BCC was the debut of my whale cat hybrid. This was based on Merrilee’s, my friend and webmaster’s cat. Toby is Happy Kitty Studio’s head of Human Resources and a big and beautiful orange tom that likes to crash out in the apartment.


Toby leading Happy Kitty Studio staff in trust building exercises.


Whale cats


This year, I created BatCat.


I am the terror that meows in the night….


Cute little guy, no? He’s a little bigger than my kitten sized plushes, and making the cape got to be a little tricky and a bit more time consuming.

Also debuting were character sharks. I had leftover fleece from other projects sitting in my fabric drawer after I had switched to a more plush fabric. I modified a pattern with a pocket mouth and knitted a small doll of a rival hero. Photographed below is Sharkpool eating a mini Cable. As I later told BCC attendees, I couldn’t bring myself to knit Ajax.


On top of my day job, which can get pretty busy on a normal day, let alone when special projects take me to other libraries, I found myself subject to solitary working evenings and weekends. Boston Comic Con 2016 was on August 12-14. I started marathon plush making the second week of July. I gave myself enough of a break after MASSive Comic con at the end of June to visit family in North Carolina, return to Connecticut, and get my apartment convention BnB ready for friends to come by for Connecticon, where I assisted for the weekend.

After Connecticon, I found myself going to work as per usual, walking home, eating a little before 4:00 while watching the Daily Show on Hulu, and afterward getting to work drawing and cutting patterns, sewing parts in batches based on the type of cat, putting it all together, and stuffing, the process broken up when I need to pick up fabric and other supplies. Again, it got pretty isolated. I saw friends sporadically and if you looked at my time with Netflix, it bordered on unhealthy. I work with background noise. Go insane? Don’t mind if I do. Top it off, there is little time for the gym. Hitting the treadmill and elliptical machine while watching Law and Order not only keeps me in shape, but keeps me on a even keel.

It hits me more and more that only some understand what I do, what I put into it and why. I could go on about dating, time constraints with the expectation some have of pulling geek cred out of my ass while looking cosplay model perfect (a little hard to do when gym time is cut short), but that’s another blog or online post.

As mentioned before, this is a high sale show, and my expenses piled up. I had to sew up a large stock of cats, 15 or more for some types to break even and profit sales wise. In a month’s time, I made close to fifty cats, knitted a few dolls, two sharks as well as two larger catpool pillows.

The expenses piled up, especially with the hotel, but thankfully, a few artist friends, Aradia, Stefanie, and her friend, Peli needed hotel space as well. We messaged back and forth to make arrangements. I contacted the hotel to let them know that my plans had changed and needed to add more people to my booking. While I was told that they would try to place us in a room with more beds, we kept our air mattresses handy.

The Long Hard Road out of Hell-or the Mass Pike.

Turned out, the hotel charges for parking. To save money among other reasons (including the amazing company), we figured that we would try to cram as much as we could into one car. Due to storage capacity in the trunk, Stefanie’s car was tasked. She and I compared it to my Honda Civic a few days prior to the show. While the engine on a Civic could possibly survive the apocalypse, it had crap for trunk depth. One thing I was worried about was my grid wall display. No way could my four pieces fit into a trunk, and it was questionable that it would fit in the backseat along with a suitcase of shelves and other display items, and not one, but two bags of a merchandise (a big duffel bag and a garment bag). I had my grid cube set on standby if it got to be cumbersome. I knew that I would be using it for Rose City Comic Con in Portland, OR the following month. To give an example of what was coming with me…..


This was only a fraction on my stock. At this point, I hadn’t even touched the Harley Quinn Cats.



I tried to compress everything down with space bags. It didn’t work out so well.

All the same, my stuff and my person somehow fit into the backseat. I had to compress the garment bag of pillows down to ensure Stefanie’s field of vision, but it worked. Plus, I planned to come home with significantly less.

Peli came up to Connecticut Thursday. I went to the day job, got home a little before 5:00, time enough for them to come over and stuff the backseat with my gear . Their gear and prints were in the trunk. Aradia, who was based out of Massachusetts, went on to Boston earlier to set up.


We managed to make decent time getting to the Mass Pike. There was some lightning, but no major storms, and there was plenty of playlist goodness from Stefanie. However, the Mass Pike can get a little backed up especially getting to Boston. We opted to go to the convention center to set up first. After a few stops for snacks, and coffee, we made it to the loading dock and were directed by con staff to a parking spot. We had a little more than a half hour on the clock. Basically, we could pick up our badges, find our tables and the swag bag from Deviant Art given to artists which included a sketchbook, set up the bare bones of display and drop our things before staff announced that we had to leave at 8:00. Rushed, we had to find the hotel, where Aradia had already settled. I needed to leave a credit card for incidentals, but there were two beds. With everyone checked in, it was high time to go to the hotel bar for a cocktail and the Olympics before we started a crazy weekend.

Boston Comic Con: Friday

First thing was to navigate ourselves from the hotel to the convention center. Usually, I book hotels outside of the con to avoid both extra expense and loud attendees. This time around, I found what turned out to be a pretty awesome hotel. Without the clutter of gear and merch, we were able to stop at a nearby Dunkin Donuts for goodies and much needed caffeine for the day ahead.

We get there early and part ways to set up.


Let me note that there is an overflowing duffel bag of cats under the table plus another garment bag cat pillow.


Friday is a shopping day, but often since it is the first day, it’s more of a window shopping type of day. Sometimes, I’ll make back the cost of my table space that day, and sometimes, I will fall short of that amount. However, I saw friends both as artists and attendees. My friend, Scott came by smiling, joked that he was with marvel and asked about my copyright credentials before checking out both the Deadpool and Loki sharks. He told me that I was coming up with really good ideas and that meant a lot coming both from him and his girlfriend, Merrilee (aforementioned webmaster and cat owned by whale cat inspiration Toby). They are two highly talented people, and know good stuff when they see it. Another friend, also a Scott, came by and after chatting told me that due to the Harley Quinn tank dress I wore I had a Harley Quinn lineup print waiting for me. When I got some time off, I picked it up afraid I would crush it under my stuff. Other friends, Pixie and her husband Shadow said hello and we talked about her cosplay and caught up-some of which involved cat pictures. It was a kitten sale day overall. At the end of the day, we were a little tired and it was time for food.

The Drink and Draw was just across the way……..

While a little convoluted in location, we make it in due time and despite crowd, we manage to get a table, meet new people, and get a little drawing done. Peli drew a wonderful cat boy and I did a few sketches in the Deviant Art sketchbook as we grabbed a little food and grog-hotel bar fare to be sure, but okay.

Boston Comic Con: Saturday

Saturday is the sales day. Due to high volume, I figured why not stand out? Now, some cosplays can get pretty elaborate, and all are a work of art in of themselves. I was keeping count of movie Harley Quinns and Jokers as opposed to the more classic version. With the release of the Suicide Squad movie, there were a ton of the movie version dotted with other members of the Justice League, Deadpool as well as Marvel and Disney characters.

I opt for Final Fantasy VII. I should pay as much attention to curling my hair on a normal day, but I get to wear slippers.


Aeris cosplay day. There are still overflowing bags under the table. Materia provided by LL at Creative Girl Studio. I made my ring at one of her classes. Photo taken by my awesome table neighbors at Kat Cuseo Art. At the time, I did not yet know the full extent of the awesome.


Profit was an understatement. I sold out of the (classic) Harley Quinn kittens (though how I could cat-i-fy the movie version is beyond me) and came very close to selling out of the twenty two Catpools I had. Not getting so much as a break due to attendee volume, I was happy about that, as well as the Loki shark eating a knitted Thor being my first sale of the day. Other than that, the knitted dolls didn’t get as much attention. On the other hand, I did get a commission from my friend Margaret in the form of a fox!

The duffel bag ended up in the suitcase by the end of the day. I was kind of amazed and was hoping that the giant pillows would sell and give more room by show’s end.

Afterward, I learned of the magic that was Chuck Tingle and his entertainingly bad titles thanks to Aradia, our friend, McKenzie, and the terrible vampire/viking/angel romance novel her job pawned off on her. She felt the need to share the love and Aradia shared in turn.

I’m in the wrong line of work.

Boston Comic Con: Sunday


Filling out the table with pillow number two by Sunday.


Down to my last few kittens, a shark and the giant pillows that filled out my display, I had a slower Sunday. I chatted with my neighbors and enjoyed wearing jeans instead of dresses and my Slytherin shirt. The show was winding down but the crazy part happened after we packed up…

Holy Aftermath, Batman……

Packing up, helping others and saying goodbye was uneventful enough. We waited for Stefanie to pull into the loading dock. It took time for everyone, and we pack and pile into the car, stopping for gas in Waltham. I was looking forward to a coffee.

Only, I learn then that my bag with cash, wallet and essentials was left at my table. I call friends nearby, friends on staff and convention security to see about retrieval. No one had seen it. I was freaking the hell out. I call my landlord to report a lockout and explain the situation. He left me spares to borrow until I can make copies or if the keys return. I knew that it was all I could do for the time being, but I was pretty upset. I’m grateful to Stefanie and Peli for helping me cart my crap up the stairs. When they leave, I cancel my cards, and stop worrying about what else could happen, and what was I going to do long enough to get some sleep.

Monday, I post about it online. Margaret shares the post asking other convention friends to let us know if they saw the bag. My friend Dave, who was on staff emailed other staff to see if anything was turned into them. Overall, there was an outpouring of support that really humbled me.

I’m losing my mind waiting for convention security to call. I have to admit, I assumed the worst knowing that there was cash in the bag. I check my Happy Kitty Studio email to see about any information for my next show later in the afternoon and I get a message from my neighbors informing me that someone gave them my bag thinking it was theirs and about to be forgotten. They take a look, find the sweater I wore all weekend (and part of the week at work….it needed washing, shall we say) as well as knitting supplies and knew it was mine. One went to college in West Haven, and I was on the way to her dorm. They stated that everything was there when I tore open the bag and thanked them profusely, but the first words out of my mouth were something to the effect of how the sweater stank to high hell, but it was home.

I really hope it wasn’t too ripe on the ride back….


Con Bag returned! Hopefully, the sweater didn’t stink up the car.


I could not put my cash in the bank fast enough.Those two are getting some free Catpools!

Again, this humbled me more than I can write. I know that stress made me careless, and I am going to be more mindful in the future…and the con season is not over yet.


B-Fest 2016: Not Just a Knitting Marathon.


And now, it is time for the main event, I thought to myself, my mind still on wrestling even as my belly filled with Ethiopian food.

Scott piled the lot of us into his caravan and we found our way to Northwestern University and a parking space. We grabbed the essentials, be it pillows, change of clothes, coolers of snacks and drinks, and in my case, knitting.

To give a little context, since B-Fest 2007, there was something I at least brought to the fest to knit. Believe it or not, I can knit and watch a movie at the same time. Come to think of it, at either the 2007 or 2008 B-Fest, I was making a sweater.

This time around, I took pastel scrap yarn for a purely garter stitch blanket. I needed the never ending project, a use for yarn that once belong to a friend of a friend’s coworker…well, yarn just ends up in my apartment and I can’t spin yarn into gold, but I can do blankets. I was also greeted by Natasha, who had both a red velvet cake loaf as well as a green notebook. While this blog is over seven months old, I swear, I took notes during the movies. I didn’t add composite drawings as I did my undergraduate Art History course notes (mind you, this was well before the days of iPads-think closer to zip disks), but I jotted enough down to jog my memory of basics and quips.

Notebook and the start of the blanket


Let me note that the following are the movies that I stayed awake for. Some were just too cheesy from the title and synopsis to be anything other than an excuse to nap. Let this be a lesson, never judge by title or synopsis. Entertainingly bad can be just bad. I say this as an owner of “The Thirst” on DVD. On to the movies!

“Adventures of Hercules” 6:00-7:35pm

I have few words beyond cue the Hulk jokes. Lou Ferrigno plays the title role and I’ll give it this-he does look like a Hercules. I had a feeling that the Twelve Labors of myth were going to be fudged if not omitted….and I was right.

In this version, Herc starts adventuring and battling. Notably, he did so with amazons, and an Amazon Queen. In the myth, he ends up marrying her, but in the movie he kills her along with Medusa at one point. I am pretty certain the warrior, Perseus did that, but what do I know? I also don’t remember so many robots, especially in a universe where science was deemed chaotic. However, the highlight was the cheese-tacular laser light effects. It was needed as the acting was awful.

It didn’t quite go into Pink Floyd-esque light show madness at this point…..

Well, that derailed quickly…..


“Caltiki: The Immortal Monster” 7:35-9:00pm

Caltiki is a blobish terry cloth monster. This particular film opus is “loosely based”on a Mexican legend. I’m wondering how loose this is, probably the caliber of a cheap towel. A group of archaeologists stumble on the monster while exploring a cave. One man is killed, and his colleague driven insane and disfigured. I’m curious if the creator of Two-Face combed this movie for inspiration. A sample of the monster is taken from the cave and that sample later regenerates into another blob monster. Hilarity ensues.

I love older sci fi movies, and I like the creativity employed in lieu of the CGI effects that came later, but all the same I don’t really want to see this movie rebooted for the modern era.

“Americathon 1998” 9:00-10:30pm

This is a contender for my fest favorite. John Ritter stars as the philandering president of the United States, more or less reprising his character on “Three’s Company” only a lot less of a lovable doofus due to power, which played a part in America going completely broke to a point where people are living in cars that no longer run. The adviser plots against him with foreign powers and there is an evil corporation run by India to contend with. How do you save the country? With a telethon hosted by a washed up actor with performances from outrageously bad rockers to plucky kids that biked to get there all the while keeping reporters, mistresses and the American public happy as the money collects. Ritter, as I mentioned before, was reprising “Three’s Company” to a slightly darker level, but all in all, it was good political satire, even if it’s a possible future given our present election.


At least it wasn’t sponsored by Trump University


“Calling Dr. Death” 10:30-11:45pm

Good grief, I needed that energy drink….

Time for some film noir starring Lon Cheney and arguably one of the most beautiful film stars of the 1930s and beyond, Patricia Morison. I was looking forward to this film and had a feeling that I was going to have to make a tough choice between this and Americathon 1998 as my fest favorite. Little did I know…..

Lon Cheney stars as a doctor who has a very pretty wife who cheats on him and a much better looking assistant, Stella, played by Morison. Now, if it were me, I’d serve the wife with divorce papers and run off with Stella. However, there wouldn’t be much of a movie if logic were present.

Logic was not at all present. When the wife’s cheating ways land her in the morgue, the worst drug fueled investigation follows.

When 11:45 rolled around, I figured that it was time to channel my disappointment into a nap. I’d seen “The Wizard of Speed and Time” as well as “Plan 9 from Outer Space” more than a few times, and I had tossed my share of paper plates. I also skipped “The Human Tornado” and the “Garbage Pail Kids Movie.” I owned Cabbage Patch Kids as a child, repudiated the Garbage Pail Kids proudly, state as such at the risk of my goth card and walk in on the tail end in time for “Blood Mania” thankful that I did not walk in on the tail end of an awful scene in “Street Trash” as I did in 2007. That still gives me the creeps every now and then.

“Blood Mania” 5:05-6:40am

I walked in on another bad noir, and this time, I didn’t have the benefit of looking at Patricia Morison. Thank you again Natasha for the red velvet cake loaf. It was a help as  I was babbling in my notebook at this point. Blood Mania is about two sisters that want their rich father’s estate and while one is sweet and innocent, the other schemes and blackmails a doctor to drug everyone using sex and drugs. The movie itself was a bad drug trip, one that shouldn’t have been filmed. The only discovery more horrifying than the many plot holes and shitty twists was the realization that I own a copy of this movie thanks to my buying a number of random European horror compilation DVDs for cheap. You get what you pay for sometimes.

“Moon Zero Two” 6:40-8:25 am.

When I think of Hammer Films, I think of melodramatic Gothic horror, decrepit castles and stories very loosely based on classic literature. At some point, Hammer decided to branch into sci-fi. Well, they certainly kept up with the risque smut featured in the horror movies, but I wasn’t 100% on board with this stowaway space odyssey. I ended up napping through part of it.

“Low Blow” 8:25-10:05am

Oh, cheesy action movies, I love you so. This movie centers around Joe Wong, a former cop that now works as a bounty hunter with a long suffering big haired secretary in the nastiest dump of an office. The only thing junkier is the car he keeps crashing in minor bumps. This loveable scrapper specializes in stopping purse snatchers and petty crooks until a rich man approaches him to discreetly rescue his daughter from a cult. A series of misadventure and fight scenes follow. I really enjoyed this, and after Calling Dr. Death, Americathon 1998 had competition for the fest favorite. It had some cheesy running gags, including the messy office, Wong’s love of circus peanuts and bad parking. The best part was a scene involving rotweiler puppies. Puppies tend to cure everything, and this movie needed it at times.

“The Fifth Musketeer” 10:30am-12:30pm

I smelled the handlebar mustache ride cracks a mile away….I might have made one at some point, but I was a little sleep deprived. Overall, it was a fun swashbuckling adventure with a little costume porn and a pretty good performance by Alan Hale. If you need fodder for your Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, the dungeon escapes and sword fighting is pretty to fun. Be mindful of too many jokes involving how you critically fumbled your attack rolls, however.

“Roar” 1:05-2:55pm

A man creates an animal sanctuary in his jungle house….his large jungle house. He needs a sizable house as many cats live there. Lions, tigers and panthers roll, frolick and act like giant adorable kitties.

I spent a good chunk of this movie squeeing over the kitties on the big screen. Now, the man’s family came to the sanctuary not knowing all of the residents. Hilarity and kitty action ensue.

Let me note that giant cats are still cats and they love to play. They also hunt and eat. Kitty will eat you.

For those of you that are reading this and didn’t hear my squealing over kitty cuteness, I am going to declare Roar the fest favorite.



I was unable to find this movie on Amazon as it sold out after the fest.




“Kansas City Bomber” 2:55-4:40pm

A roller derby movie starring Raquel Welch as a skater trying to make it on the professional roller derby circuit while trying to be a mom to a young daughter raised by her grandmother that believes she should marry a nice man instead. Welch opts to have an affair with a team owner that skeezes on her and her drunk rival skater.

I couldn’t help bur notice that there was limited padding for a roller derby team engaging in wrestling moves. I have half a mind to screen this to friends in derby to find any further errors.

“The Super Inframan” 4:40-6:00pm

Toho, you are the greatest. No kaiju this year, but we have super science, aliens and a hero that gains super powers in time to save the day from an evil alien queen in an outlandish getup that I swear that I will cosplay!


More lasers!


So many awesome monsters!


My fantasy cosplay


The fest wrapped up at 6:00 and laughing, tired and sore, we cleaned up our trash and other belongings and make our way to the cars and to Portobellos for dinner. We also stop at a grocery store and for the first time I try green river soda.


A Chicago treasure with real sugar


I should have bought more for the trip home. As it turned out, weather precluded my flight from taking off Sunday. After many delays and hours in O’Hare, I book a nearby hotel and squeeze my way into a Monday afternoon flight, which got delayed a few minutes. I get to New York to find that my airport shuttle was delayed due to bad weather, but I make it to Grand Central and a late train back to New Haven. It was almost one in the morning when I get back home.

I cannot wait until B-Fest 2017. I only hope the weather holds up and I can acquire more Green River.


B-Fest 2016: Prologue (the epic quest to the Midwest and a Squared Circle)


The following entries chronicle B-Fest 2016, January 22nd and 23rd. I had meant to blog about this no later than February, but conventions and life happen, and so it goes. I feel bad about putting it off because my friend, Natasha, brought a notepad for me to take notes during the movies for the purpose of blogging! I still have it and plan to bring it with me in 2017. Whether I blog that fest on time remains to be seen…

That said, let’s head back to the third week of January shall we?


I have forced myself to be a morning person for a good chunk of my life, be it school, work, or comic convention preparation. One might think he or she would get used to it, but rarely have I wanted to bounce out of the safety of the blanket fort to greet a new day anytime before 9:00 or so. You’d think that since I am going to Evanston, IL and B-fest, I would be out of bed and ready to go.

Not at 6 in the morning, I’m not.

Plus, I found myself greeted by potential stowaways….

Packed and ready to go, I head to Union Station. With time to spare, I make sure no one else tries to sneak into my stuff and caffeinate myself for the train to Grand Central terminal and ensuing shuttle trip to LaGuardia airport. I hoped to hell I wouldn’t find a CBGB diner, like the one proposed for Newark Airport.

LaGuardia did not co opt punk rock to sell burgers, not yet anyway.  Ever since I flew from Cancun to home with an infected corneal abrasion, my fear my flying dropped significantly. I’m one of those people who squirms at the prospect of contact lenses, false lashes, eyeliners, well you get the idea. I eschew those things still (bad goth: no Bauhaus) but I have a better ability to take long flights, plus my anxiety over heights and lifting off dwindled significantly. Bridges are still an issue, but I digress.

I arrive at O’Hare airport in record time, grab a cab and talk 80’s music with the driver and check in to my hotel room. Running into Jacob, I come to learn that other B-Festers are still en route, so I opted for a power nap and Dateline.

We all reconvene to the lobby later that evening. Jacob and Natasha are big fans of WWE and WWE Next. As it turned out, there was a wrestling themed restaurant. We purchase subway cards, marvel over the heat lamps at the stops and head on our way. We make it over, note the used bookstore en route and I revisit my childhood interest in pro wrestling. I think my last Summer Slam was viewed in the early 1990s. I had seen a few episodes of RAW in the early 2000s, but the Squared Circle and  WWE Next offered something very different. Natasha had explained that this was a good venue for the up and comers, and she added, women wrestlers. Check out the women wrestlers. Sure enough, I was impressed. One wrestler, Carmella, looked a little like a friend of mine that is a longtime hula hoop performer and fire eater and holy god, could they wrestle! I might have enjoyed watching those matches more than Myopic Books, even though I managed to pick up a Raymond Chandler novel among other things.


We met for breakfast at an area diner called Seven Brothers. One thing that I love about the midwest is that they want to feed you. After a wonderful omelette, I spied cheesecake in the display window and my mind immediately cued the chorus of REO Speedwagon’s “I can’t fight this feeling anymore.” We had to get to the conservatory and zoo before I stuffed myself to a point where I had to be rolled out into the parking lot……

A walk around the Zoo proved to be a lot of fun as well as a means to burn off breakfast.

For example…..lions. Little did I know that this would be a prelude to a squeeing shit fit later in the weekend, but as you can see, kitty isn’t taking any of your shenanigans!


Our next stop was the Mold-o-Rama stand where one can get a small vinyl toy pressed on site. Afterward, we make our way to Hollywood Mirror, a fantastic memorabilia shop where I acquire a squeeze toy tiki statue.


And, of course, you can’t help but love being greeted by this guy:


From there, we all made our way to one of my favorite spots in the Chicago area, the Hala Kahiki bar. At the risk of my subculture card, I will state for the record that I love anything tiki themed. Not so pleasing are the number of rum drinks. I like rum, but it gives me a headache. Luckily, I discovered the happiest drink on earth, namely the wine and lime juice combination called the Tahitian cooler. My tiki statue collection expanded in the gift shop. I should note that the proprietor is very chatty, so it’s dangerous to go alone, as stated in the first “Legend of Zelda” game.

It was a fantastic evening all of us just nerding out and commiserating, Tim and Bryan dressed to the nines in their 70’s loungey finest, the best and worst ties and color combos. You’ve got to give the proper credit.

I didn’t make it to the after hour movie fest in the lounge. I was beat, plus I remember getting sick as a dog one year, and didn’t want to chance anything.

Friday: Pre-Fest

First stop: The Omega Diner for power breakfast. I knew that I was planning to embark on a 24 hour movie marathon with but a few naps. I tried to be as healthy as possible, and for the most part, I succeeded.

Coffee was my friend, nevertheless.

That said, we took a trip to Berwyn for Horrobles and Reel Art. Both cater to horror, comic and sci fi fans and collectors. Maybe I came home with a few Bandai Godzilla figures….a few….

After some Ethiopian for dinner, we were B-Fest bound…..