The Great Philadelphia Comic Con (April 7-9, 2017)

Last year I traveled to cons all over the place: northern NJ, central NJ, NYC, Long Island, Queens, Westchester, Richmond VA, and even Providence RI. For the second con of the year, we drove down a couple hours to The Great Philadelphia Comic Con. I had been monitoring this show for a while because I was hoping to meet Taylor Gray, the voice actor for Ezra from the Star Wars cartoon Rebels. As time went by, I had more and more reason to check this comic con out which is good because just 2 days before the first day, Taylor had canceled last minute. But that’s okay because we kicked off our day with an amazing Star Wars panel with John Morton (Dak Ralter), Alan Harris (Bossk), David Ankrum (voice of Wedge Antilles), and Angus MacInnes (Dutch Vander).

In addition to these Original Trilogy actors, there were a great deal of other sci-fi & comic guests including Alan Tudyk. I had the privilege of meeting Alan last October at New York Comic Con. He’s fantastic in so many shows/movies such as Firefly, as K-2SO in Rogue One, and recently as Bruce Wayne’s obscure cousin Van Wayne in the new DC spinoff show Powerlesss on NBC. Hilarious show and a nice lighthearted alternative to the darker CW shows.

I got to meet all the guests present from the Original Trilogy, and even got to get my nerd on during the Star Wars panel when the moderator couldn’t remember the name of the general summoned on the Yavin intercom, announced by Wedge voice actor David Ankrum. One fan guessed Dodonna, but I correctly shouted out Syndulla afterwards.

I proceeded to get my Vintage Collection Wedge figure signed, along with my Vintage Collection Dak, VOTC Bossk, Black Series Dutch, and Vintage Collection Prototype Boba Fett (dual signed by both Alan Harris & John Morton). Coincidentally I ran into a Legion cosplayer, which made for a perfect photo op!

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention MarshmallowMBA from Pennsylvania. They offered us a sample of their marshmallows. I asked, “It’s just a piece of marshmallow?” but boy was I wrong! We tried their Fire Toasted Vanilla and it was amazing – had to buy something from this vendor.

So I got a square of the Fire Toasted Vanilla with edible art from the Star Wars 6-movie Saga. We demolished it during the Power Rangers panel. More on that below…

But another one of our favorites was Philly native Ruby’s Claybies. These handmade clay miniatures were amazing up close. From Pokemon to Mashimaro to Deadpool Burritos… I can’t believe how tiny yet detailed these were!

My only regret was not being able to buy any but there really wasn’t anything for me. Had there been any Star Wars Claybies, it would’ve been a no brainer. (Shut up and take my Republic credits!)

But that just left more funds for me to use on these gems… 1995 Amazing Spider-Man #3 autographed by cover artist Mark McKenna. And our first caricatures! I’ve never done anything like these before, despite always seeing them being done on the boardwalk or on the streets of New York City. But artist Chris Flick did a fantastic job (scroll down).

If you can’t tell, we’re Spider-Man & Spider-Gwen! Twip!

But you know Comic Cons are more than just vendors (though your wallet may tell you otherwise). In addition to the Star Wars panel, we sat in on the Power Rangers panel and Flash panel as well.

Here we have Zordon, the original Red, second Yellow, original Black, second Pink, third Yellow, and Ivan Ooze! What a line up!

The best story was how the actors once encountered a fan requesting autographs on his butt. Some were reluctant but joked how Austin St. John (Jason) only signed “ASJ” but Walter Jones (Zack) signed: WALTER JONES, ZACK, IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME, MASTODON!!! It was a joke, but the room burst into laughter!

Later I had my Papercutz issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers signed by ASJ, Walter Jones, and Karan Ashley (Aisha).

Our last panel of the day was with Flash himself, John Wesley Shipp from the 90’s CBS show. What a genuinely nice guy! I’m so glad we wore our Flash t-shirts for our photo op to represent. He’s a great person. We got to hear not only his stories & perspectives from his 90’s show as the scarlet speedster, but also as the father of Barry Allen in today’s CW version.

However, not all panels were packed like Star Wars, Power Rangers, or Flash…

But good for Great Philadelphia Comic Con for setting up multiple panel rooms for all sorts of gatherings!

And for always encouraging cosplay, and organizing great opportunities like this DC Comics gathering. Check out all the cosplay:

John Wesley Shipp was so kind during our photo op, and loved our t-shirts so much – he asked us to swing by his booth with our photo so that he could take a look! Here are some of the 8×10’s he had at his table:

Wolf Studios was the photographer at this event. Personally it was my first time dealing with them and I thought they did a great job. Our Flash photo wasn’t centered which isn’t a huge deal breaker but everything else was pretty flawless.

I also got to meet & take a photo with LeVar Burton. You may know him from a little show called Reading Rainbow, or as Commander La Forge from Star Trek The Next Generation.

All in all, I was expecting this Comic Con to be pretty good. But I was very surprised to be really blown away by it. It really was a Great Philadelphia Comic Con!

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