• Discover a Little MLP Magic at Boston Comic Con

    While a good portion of the Brony fandom is focused in on BronyCon and the tidbits of news coming out of Baltimore Maryland this weekend, there are other events going on around the country. In this case, one of the larger conventions being held this particular weekend, aside from the two in Baltimore, is in historic Boston, Massachusetts. Specifically it is Boston Comic Con, which is held at the Boston Convention & Exposition Center.

    For those of you who have gone to PAXEast, the building up above should look very familiar. For those of you who haven't, it should be known far and wide as the place where Ducktales Remastered was announced to the world!

    So, what brought two staff members of Equestria Daily to Boston Comic Con on a cloudy Saturday? Well, aside from the old but true adage of "misery loves company" there were two specific reasons. The first was to check in on our friend IDW Comic Artist Sara Richard. As for the second... there is a celebrity guest at the convention who has a knack for singing about being in heads like a catchy song.

    Be sure to check out our journey to visit Felicia Day after the break!

    When we arrived at the convention bright and early in the morning—so in my case just after the crack of dawn (yes, I am a morning person. Why do you ask?), in Equestria Daily's Forum and Discord Administrator Kaethela's case at the much more reasonable hour of 11 AM—at first glance one couldn't tell there was a comic convention going on. I mean aside from the army of Deadpools, Harley Quinns, Voltron Paladins (Pidge especially), and Jokers surrounding the main entrance. I mean there weren't any advertisements or signage outside the convention hall itself which screamed "Comic Con happening right here! Come Meet Stan Lees at his final East Coast Appearance!"

    The first inkling I was at the right place—again aside from the aforementioned cosplay army—was this sign directing con attendees to head down a set of escalators. This was also the first indication I had of a semi last minute name change to the even—from Boston Comic Con to Fan Expo: Boston. Here's hoping the new name/rebranding effort is a success.

    Anyways, while I had been to Boston Comic Con several times before, that was all prior to the convention being sold off to its new owners: Fan Expo! So in essence I experienced my first Fan Expo while attending a convention I have been going to on and off for the last five years. It was definitely interesting to see the changes a new administration brings to an old con. You know, aside from expanding to a much bigger venue. I was eagerly anticipating what surprises my first Fan Expo had in store.

    And those surprises were mostly a ton of black, white, and yellow.

    The whole show floor was decked out in Fan Expo branding. Which is actually an improvement over Boston Comic Con's hodgepodge approach to convention awareness. Did the color change immediately make the convention feel like it had a corporate identity? Yes, yes it did. However this wasn't a bad thing. It gave the impression the con organizers had been at this for a while and knew what they were doing. Considering the con organizers are now FanExpo, that is not a surprise.

    And yeah, when I said I got there at the crack of dawn, I wasn't kidding. It's eye opening to see the vendor hall be so empty in the aisles. Everything was all tarped up, very few people waking the floor, and the overall mood of everyone in the admin area of Fan Expo being "I need more coffee." I'm not sure how a dietary requirement can be defined as a mood, but then again I am a morning person. I also don't drink coffee.

    So, was there anything special which caught my eye from the shot above? Yes, yes there was. It was way in the back, and something I couldn't get a good shot of from my vantage point above the vendor hall. As such, there was only thing to do. Wait until the floor opened and march right up to it the second I am let in.

    Which is exactly what I did.

    Yes everypony! I had spotted Felicia Day from my previous vantage point! Unfortunately it was just her autograph area since Felicia herself was not yet present. She showed up with the rest of the celebrity guests a little bit later in the day.

    Don't worry, we'll be revisiting this later.

    However the delay in meeting Felicia gave both myself and Kaethela ample opportunity to check out the rest of the convention hall. Which like any other comic convention outside of SDCC was fairly light on the My Little Pony content. That didn't stop us from trying to find the magic of friendship in Boston!

    And low and behold we found her! We found IDW MLP Comic Artist Sara Richard! And her art manager/representative, Jared! Sara, who had fairly recently moved back to her home state of New Hampshire, was super psyched for the show! As she should be, since she was surrounded and buried up to her eyeballs by artistic masters in Artist Alley. Much like herself. But this convention also gave her a chance to catch up on a few commissions which her workload at IDW on the MLP comics had been keeping her away from.

    Aside from her constant flow of covers for My Little Pony—and the occasional one off showcasing either a mad scientist traveling with his teenage grandson or Coccinellidae and Felis catus swinging about Paris—she is working on a new 48 page creator owned comic titled "The Ghost, the Owl" which is scheduled to be published next year by Action Lab Comics. As of today, she is eight pages away from finishing the book. It's one of the bigger titles I'm looking forward to next year. So hopefully it will be ready for a release at C2E2 next year.

    Though while I was visiting Sara Richard, I decided it was high time to commission her for something I had been putting off for far too long now.

    At this point, Sara and I have known each other as convention friends for about 4 years. I had first met her at Double Midnight Comics on Free Comic Book Day 2013—yes this was shortly after IDW started publishing the My Little Pony Comics—where she was a guest of the shop, and I was still relatively green at the convention scene. When I say relatively, I mean it. At this point I had only been to three previous comic book conventions. Namely NYCC 2010, 2011, and 2012. Of course that convention wasn't the mega show that it is now, but going to NYCC as your first con experience, and more importantly by yourself is not the greatest of ideas.

    For one thing New York City is not cheap. For another, little details like "the artist behind the table is working their job this weekend while you are having fun" tend to escape you when dealing with the hustle and bustle of the Marvel, DC, and Archie Comics booths. It took me a while to understand most of the ins and outs of how comic shows work. Also how to properly budget for conventions.

    …I still don't regret buying that $10 Italian Ice.

    However, even when I was at my most obnoxious, Sara was always kind enough to let me talk her ear off. She showed a patience that I quite frankly wouldn't have had for myself back then. And it was something I remembered when I was first starting out on EQD with interviews. Of course I had created my own Pony OC by then, but actually asking Sara to draw him was something I had always told myself I was going to do eventually. I feel embarrassed it took me four years to ask her. However, when she asked me what pose I wanted my OC drawn in, I had realized those four years meant this commission could be something truly special.

    I said to her, "At this point you know me pretty well. Please draw him as you see me."

    Sufficient to say, the results are incredible! And yes, I will now start sending fanmail into IDW's offices asking for a Klingon Translation of the My Little Pony Comics. I wonder if they'd hire Marc Okrand to do the translation. Also, for some reason the image of ponies speaking Klingon reminds me of BABSCon. And gives the very strong impression that Klingons would make for excellent Bronies.

    Wait, how did this get in here?! This isn't My Little Pony! Or is associated with stars from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic franchise!

    Oh yeah, the New England chapter of the 501st Legion was in attendance and they had a replica of the Falcon on display for anyone to walk into and take pictures while seated at the controls. Did we jump at the chance to do so? Let me answer that with a question of my own: does a wookiee rip your arms out of its sockets when it loses?

    Kaethela and I played rock paper scissors for who would get to sit in Han Solo's chair. I think we can all guess how that turned out (hint: I'm the man with the receding hairline). Though for some reason when I tried to activate the hyperdrive the ship just wouldn't go. It's almost as if the cockpit was made of wood and there wasn't a working ship behind it. But that's just crazy!

    And speaking of crazy, to cap off a fantastic day, Kaethela and I did indeed end up meeting Felicia Day. We stood in line for about half an hour to meet her. I know a half hour doesn't seem like a long time to wait to meet a famous celebrity. Especially in comparison to the old Toon Town Fair wait of three hours to meet Mickey Mouse in the Magic Kingdom, but after walking around for roughly twelve hours on solid concrete with no cushioning whatsoever, we felt every single minute.

    However that wasn't the craziest thing about our meeting with Felicia Day. Oh no, what caught both myself and Kaethela off guard was Felicia actually knowing what Equestria Daily is and being just as excited to meet us as we were for meeting her. Her face broke into one of the widest smiles I had seen at the convention all day when she spotted the logos on our polo shirts. The one regret all three of us had was the lack of time we had to chat, since we were in her autograph line and there were other fans who wanted to see her and talk to her for a few minutes about some of her other work. Like for instance the revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000, or The Guild. So we had to cut the meeting to about ten minutes.

    But overall, this was a very good day. And Kaethela was great, great company the entire time. I couldn't have imagined having a better day at Boston Comic Con without Kaethela there to talk to for the majority of it. It was different and rather nice to be able to lob jokes at one another, make quotes and references to movies and TV Shows we've both seen, and more specifically get into a long winded analysis about why Pickle Rick is one of the best episodes of Rick and Morty ever. We were in compete agreement about every single point we discussed about the episode… which means we spent most of the time quoting/reenacting the entire episode verbatim.

    Here's hoping for another great day tomorrow.