Las Vegas Comic Con – Vagina and Stan Lee (Day 3)

Welcome, True Believers! It’s been crazy over in Jimbo land, but here is that long awaited Part 3 of the Las Vegas Comic Con series. In it, I drop a few Stan Lee truthisms and we talk about Vagina. Is there a better way to end a Con?

I won’t beat around the bush (phrasing!) this time–the moment is at hand–let’s talk about the mythical creature known as Stan Lee. Stan Lee was the featured guest star of this Con and to see the other comic book stars (I’m looking at you McFarlane!) geek out over Stan Lee was worth price of admission. Everyone–and I mean Everyone–geeked out over Stan Lee. I saw Ninja Turtles, Spawns, killers of Gwen Stacy, and even DC fanboys all bow down to Stan Lee. I’ve observed this effect rarely, but it is rather beautiful when it happens to a man so down to earth, so humble, as Stan Lee.

Stan Lee’s presence could be felt everywhere in the Con. In fact, there was an entire quarter of the convention center dedicated to just Stan Lee. Everything from t-shirts with his inventions on them, to super rare issues with his name (and signature) on them, to a skateboard, to relics from his career, to even an offer to win lunch with the man (I didn’t win…boo!) was placed in the ‘Stan Lee museum’ area. You know you’ve made it when a convention has an entire shrine dedicated to you and Stan Lee has definitely made it.

Beyond the swag and history, Stan Lee was there to represent in live panels (plural) that were standing room only (security teams had to sweep the halls clear because the panel room was so full, it overflowed into the hallways!). I won’t separate the panels in my review, but let’s just say a lot went on (including one rather brave/lucky fan getting a selfie with the man). Here are the tidbits that I can share:
1) Spawn + Stan Lee + McFarlane = Happening. I’m not sure if McFarlane was announcing it or asking Lee in front of thousands of people, but it appears that the cameo is a go.
2) The No-Prize Prize explained. This one was Stan’s creation. He wanted to give the fans something of a recognition when they pointed out errors in the comicbooks. Marvel, being a bit cheap, said ‘no way!’, so Stan, being a genius, took a bunch of the pre-paid postage envelopes and created the ‘No-Prize’. The result is comicbook history.
3) It’s ‘comicbook’ not ‘comic book’. No matter what your spellcheck or 3rd grade English teacher says, the word to describe the books we all love and cherish is ‘comicbook’, one word. Lee explains this as a comic book (two words) is a book that is funny, but a comicbook (one word) is the genre for which we are all here to celebrate. Are you going to argue with Stan Lee on this? I’ve got a bloody Phd in this stuff and I sure won’t argue with the man, spell checker be damned!
4) DC’s name fail. When Marvel became Marvel, it was done out of marketing. According to Stan Lee, Marvel lends itself to easy and catchy slogans, so when their major rival was going to rebrand after years of thinking of a new name, Lee had high expectations. The result, ‘DC’, was a bit lackluster.
5) Spiderman was almost never released. Lee created Spiderman as a push for a new hero, but the rather narrow sites of the Powers-that-Be declared ‘People hate spiders! Who is going to buy a comicbook with a Spider-Man on it?!’. A few decades, millions of comicbook sales, 2.5 movie franchises, an entire animated series (or few), and merch rights that would make KISS blush, later and it seems a certain Power-that-Be needs to apologize to Stan. The shortsightedness of executives almost cost Marvel Stan Lee’s favorite creation.
6) Everyone is star struck around Stan Lee. Todd McFarlane was obviously star struck and in full fanboy mode as moderator for the 2nd panel, but stories about Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie all came front and center during the discussions. It just goes to show, no matter who you are, we are all kids at heart.
7) Those cameos aren’t random. You know those cameos in the Marvel movies? The ones where Stan Lee appears in seemingly random locations? A bit slipped out in one of the panels–they are not random. In fact, they are the same character and that character plays an interesting role plans to be revealed in an upcoming movie. He is, quite directly, the glue that holds all of the Marvel Universe together. That is cool in itself, and I can’t wait to see where that character ultimately leads, but I would be amiss of my duties if I didn’t drop one last tidbit. Stan Lee’s favorite role in any of the movies? A little film called Mallrats with Kevin Smith.
Bonus) P.S. According to the man himself–the Hulk wins in the Hulk v Juggernaught battle.

That’s it! That’s all the Stan Lee I can share (not all that I have but some is Hush Hush, sorry!). An amazing man and a great asset to creativity everywhere. The lives and careers this man has touched, well, I think I speak for all of by saying ‘We’re not worthy!’.

With Stan Lee in the bag, I promised Vagina, and I will bring you Vagina! Very Awesome Girls Into Nerdy Activities (V.A.G.I.N.A.) is a group of awesomely cool women who have a mission to bring gaming and fandom into the modern century. Women are, believe it or not, fans, too. This can cause a bit of a stir (oddly) because, apparently, some male fans flip their shit when they see a woman dressed up as a comicbook character or in gaming in general. It seems, for some, it is okay to harass and sexually assault the female fans, especially cosplayers, because of some miswiring in their male brains (small head and big). Take it from Uncle Jim–it aint. In fact, it is so far from okay to harass someone based on orientation, gender, color, or creed that you would be hard pressed to find it acceptable behaviour even in the wildest of comicbooks. What Vagina does is help make a positive female presence in the gaming and fandom community where females do not have to feel threatened for being females. Novel idea, I know–having a fan being able to be a fan, but one sadly and sorely needed to be reinforced in today’s age. I’m not going to focus on the male vs female part too much. If you need to be told people are people and not meat, then, besides this size 15 planted up your butt, there isn’t much I can do to help you. You may be excused.

VAG rules! It isn’t just about women–it’s about being able to be nerdy in front of people without fear. Like Star Trek? Cool! Got you covered! You think Yoda cosplay is sexy? Darn right it is! Maybe you wanted to mash-up Hunger Games with Zombieland–and Cheers–why not? They all got Woody, don’t they? I love the all-inclusiveness of Vagina. Of all the people and groups over Comic-Con weekend, they made me feel the most welcome. Heck, they even let me cheat at Bingo–how cool is that?

I can’t say enough about Vag. I love the concept, I love the vibe, and I love the people. If I were back in Vegas, I would definitely try to be a memberino. Think of all the cool guilds you were in for MMORPGs. You know, the no-judgement, come as you are types that had fun–but yet could kick major butt! That’s VAGINA. I am so glad to have met them and I can’t wait to see what their next adventure will be. If you are in the Las Vegas area, or even a distant admirer of Vag, you need to drop them a line. You won’t be sorry that you did.

That’s it! That’s all from the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con! We covered a lot and, boy, time do fly! I loved being back in Vegas, my old home, and I can’t wait to see you all again next year. I’m going to leave you with a Ringo ‘peace and love’, and a quote from Stan himself. When asked if he ever thought he’d be sitting in the middle of Comic Con with adoring fans wearing the costumes of his creations, he replied, ‘Never. I hoped the books would sell and that I would keep my job and get my salary and be able to pay the rent. I never never thought things would take off like this. Sometimes I still can’t believe it. I love it, but I still can’t believe it.’

Posted by on 7/13/2017. Filed under Cosplay. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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