This Week: Trese (THAT Pilipino Anime)

This Week: Trese (THAT Pilipino Anime)

Jade’s Escape covers Trese, THAT Pilipino anime! Image credit: https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BM2JmMzBhYWUtOGRlZi00NWE3LWJjNDgtMzc4ZWY2ZGJlMGU3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzY0MTE3NzU@.V1.jpg

This Week: Trese (THAT Pilipino Anime)

Ever wondered what Pilipino anime exists on Netflix? Unless you’re a Pilipino looking, probably not. But for those who are looking for an anime or anime-esque type of series similar to Netflix’s Castlevania, Yasuke, and Blood+, Trese has everything that these have: gore, magic, whodunit, fights, and demons.

Trese focuses on Alexandra Trese, a woman investigates supernatural crimes that the police don’t understand, each crime leading to a piece of a bigger plot against humanity. When souls aren’t delivered to the underworld, Alexandra is called on to find the souls and discover who or what is keeping the souls from going to the underworld. Though Alexandra is a human with magical abilities, she has two demigods and several demon clans at her beck and call. As Alexandra solves more crimes and a sinister plot becomes unraveled, the other humans in Alexandra’s life try to improve their own lives while protecting others.

Alexandra’s father. Image Credit: https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BYzMyMTdmYWItYTM4ZC00NTY1LWIyNWUtZjk2MDcwMTY2ZDQwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTEzMTI1Mjk3.V1.jpg

While Trese feels similar to the DC animated movies, Trese leans heavily into its theme of family. Alexandra lost her mother at a young age and was raised with two demigod children. Her father, the appointed lakkan and head of The Council, established the Accords to keep humanity and the supernatural world in balance. Throughout the series, the senior Trese appears in flashbacks, constantly reminding Alexandra about their family. The flashbacks also serve for the viewers to see all of the present characters evolve and place a thumb on what split the supernatural clans between the Accords and their own demonic vices.

Shay Mitchell as Alexandra Trese. Image credit: https://static3.cbrimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/shay-mitchell-trese-netflix-header.jpg

Watching Trese has made me realize how much Pilipino folklore and mythology I actually know. Oh, I’m Pilipina and Black, though, looking at me, you wouldn’t guess that. I didn’t grow up speaking Tagalog and when I took Tagalog in college, I mixed up my mother’s dialect with Tagalog (how embarrassing for me and confusing for my ginoong). I took three Tagalog classes and learned more about my mother and her culture by translating Pilipino stories about aswang, sigbin, and mungkukulam. That’s why Trese has a special place in my heart. Aswang, sigbin, and other Pilipino mythical creatures are cornerstones of this anime, and even the English dub of this anime uses Tagalog. I’m really happy to find that Pilipina-American Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars), the English voice behind Alexandra, has a good grasp of Tagalog to pull off those scenes.

If you’re like me and like the so-called good-versus-evil scenarios, Americanized animations, and a good, twisted story, Trese is the Pilipino anime series for you.

Kinda Obscure Casual Anime

Kinda Obscure Anime

While I watch the newer anime with all the hits like Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, Burn the Witch, Black Clover, Yashahime, Noblesse, and Haikyuu!, I’ve had a lot of time during the pandemic to watch shorter, kinda obscure casual anime in between the new episodes. Some of these anime are hidden gems on Netflix, Prime, FUNimation, and Crunchyroll, but they’re definitely worth watching while running off the last holiday ham.

Slice of Life
Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (Genre: Comedy, School Life, Slice of Life) Crunchyroll
Teasing Master Takagi (Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy) Netflix/Crunchyroll/FUNimation
The Way of the Househusband (Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy)

Romance Slice of Life
Toradora (Genre: Romance, Drama, School Life, Slice of Life) Netflix/Crunchyroll/FUNimation
Monthly Girls Nozaki-Kun (Genre: Comedy, Romance, School Life, Slice of Life) Netflix/Crunchyroll
ReLife (Genre: Drama, School Life, Work Life) Crunchyroll/FUNimation
Wotakoi (Genre: Drama, Slice of Life, Work Life, Comedy, Romance) Amazon Prime

Slightly Salty Slice of Life
Sweetness and Lighting (Genre: Food, Slice of Life, Drama) Crunchyroll
Gakuen Babysisters (Genre: Drama, Slice of Life) Crunchyroll
My Roommate is a Cat (Genre: Drama, Slice of Life) Crunchyroll/FUNimation

Boys’ Love-ish Slice of Life
The High School Life of a Fudanshi (Genre: Comedy, School Life, Boys Love) Crunchyroll
Don’t Kiss Me! Kiss Him! (Genre: Comedy, School Life, Boys Love) Crunchyroll/FUNimation

Suspenseful Slice of Life
The Case Files of Jeweler Richard (Genre: Drama, Romance, Work Life, Suspense) Crunchyroll
Holmes of Kyoto (Genre: Drama, Romance, Suspense, Slice of Life) Crunchyroll

Supernatural or Fantasy Slice of Life
Orenchi no Furo Jijo: Merman in My Tub (Genre: Comedy, Fantasy) Crunchyroll
Jingai-san no Yome: Non-Human Creature’s Wife (Genre: Comedy, Romance?, Fantasy) Crunchyroll
Poco’s Udon Shop (Genre: Slice of Life, Drama, Supernatural) Crunchyroll/FUNimation
How to Raise a Mummy (Genre: Slice of Life, Supernatural, Drama) Crunchyroll
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (Genre: Comedy, School Life, Supernatural) Netflix/FUNimation

Have you watched any of these anime? If so, who are your favorite characters and what kept you watching the show(s) until the end?

#HappyAnimeDay

Demon Slayer Quiz & Mini Review

So I took Crunchyroll’s Demon Slayer character quiz and got Shinobu Kocho!

I know that everyone’s hearing Demon Slayer this and Demon Slayer that, but I’m a big fan of the series! My favorite character is Tanjiro because I could never be as forgiving as him…I mean, I hate on a fly buzzing too loudly on the window screen.

Because of the pandemic, I started watching Demon Slayer and then collecting the manga series. What makes it so awesome? One, the characters are cool and sad and oh-so-sad. Each character has a background story and present story that’ll tug at heartstrings even though it’s set in the Taisho Era. Once again, I love me some Tanjiro. Second, the plot moves forward pretty fast yet clearly enough so that folks aren’t like, “What’s going on again?” I hate when anime and manga have to keep explaining something that just happened two seconds before as if we missed it. If fans missed anything, it’s not the fans’ fault (in the background, “Yeah, Jujutsu Kaisen!”). Lastly, yes, the animation is good and the manga is drawn well enough–not quite as clunky as Attack on Titan or Jujutsu Kaisen, but it’s not as clean as My Hero Academia. If anything, the animation is very beautiful and takes notes from Japanese art history in colors and motifs.

I’ll read all the manga volumes and the doujinshi (fan-made comics) and get the earrings and the multitudes of stickers and… you get my point. I’m that obsessed fan girl that I thought I would be eventually.

Keeping Weight Off the Japanese Way

Keeping weight off is the same as praying. I pray that the cheesecake I ate yesterday doesn’t go straight to my thighs. I pray that this 10-minute workout will burn off 300 calories. I pray that my metabolism is fast enough to eat a day’s worth of food in my sleep.

All of it is prayer–then I take my prayers seriously and put actions behind each (silent) statement.

At the beginning of the year in “How I Lost over 40 Pounds in Japan“, I outlined how I actively went from size 14 to size 6 by using or ditching some Japanese techniques. However direct losing the weight in Japan was in 2014 through 2015, keeping it off in the States since 2016 is a whole other beast.

After I moved back to the States, reality gave me a punch to the face: I needed a job, my cat had bald patches from stress, and in a household of meat-eaters, I was the lone pescatarian, or fish eater. In the beginning, it was fun. The first thing I ate was a burrito from Del Taco. (Japan has some Mexican food restaurants, but they’re all pricey for only decent food.) I continued to eat anything that didn’t have meat, and in 2 weeks, I gained 10 pounds. That added to the stress. I had to lose weight again while looking for a job, protecting my cat from 3 big dogs, and learning to live with my in-laws (I love them, but it’s always stressful living in a new habitat).

To deal with the stress, I set up a routine again. In the mornings, I exercised, monitored my portions with vegetarian meals, and drank more water. The most important part of the routine was eating around the same time every day, something that the Japanese have on point.

Gym Memberships (pre-COVID)

I did get a gym membership, something I by-passed when I lived in Japan, and stuck to it for about a month before I landed a job at the Japanese Consulate in LA. I ended up canceling this when I realized I stayed in the stretching room for 45 minutes before half-assedly doing machine work. I ditched the gym membership and returned to what I knew: personalizing my home workouts. I woke up before everyone else and did a 10- to 20-minute routine in the garage, switching between cardio and weight training. After work and dinner, I’d do another 10- to 20-minute workout. Interval training has helped a bit with keeping the belly fat at bay–and there’s a recent study to support that shorter yet intense workouts can reduce belly fat better than longer workouts (“The Secret to Losing Belly Fat“). On the weekends, I divided my time between walks and yoga routines.

If you’re wondering about taking up a gym membership versus working out at home, think about what you want to do in your workout. For me, I’m there to get fit but not build bulk, so rows of weights and machines aren’t important to me. If it’s hard to get to the gym, consider starting at home and building a foundation (i.e. pilates, yoga, beginner workouts) before putting your hard-earned money into a membership. Remember: $10 a month equals $120 a year.

Diets?

The one thing I remember Japanese people loved more than alcohol was a successful diet. It didn’t matter if the diet didn’t turn into a lifestyle–a good diet was a good diet. I had learned the hard way to ditch the yo-yo diets, dig deep psychologically, and find the mental and emotional triggers for my poor lifestyle.

I returned to plastic boxes and Tupperware of homemade food. The cafeteria at my new job helped keep me in line–I couldn’t see myself paying $2.95 for a slice of extremely ordinary pizza. To keep my waistline and wallet happy, I packed food ahead of time and prepped meals when I needed to, most consisting of rolled eggs, rice, and veggies.

At work, it was an uphill battle towards the scale line to maintain my weight. With all the office celebrations and cheap sweets in bulk, saying, “One slice won’t hurt” didn’t hurt so much. But if that same delicious cake kept calling my name for 3 days (cake is good for 3 days, right?), it became increasingly obvious that I had to control myself even if others floated by with beautiful plates of cakes in their hands.

Being that my job is extremely busy, I could control myself after 9AM. Afterwards, I was swamped with so much work, my coffee would go cold.

Stress Levels – Update 2016

I admit my stress is a little higher than when I lived in Japan. Even without language barriers to hurdle over or a sick husband to take care of, I still face daily stresses that didn’t plaque me when I was an expat.

Unlike my employment as a language assistant, I’m a secretary again with no real purpose than to make others’ lives easier. As a language assistant, I always felt I was doing something worthy–and I do feel that the place I work I am helping others accomplish worthy goals for students–but I don’t feel as accomplished as I did in Japan. Also, everyone around me seems to have clearer ideas of what they want to do with their lives. I’m still deciding, but I get the feeling that whatever I choose, it won’t make me any money.

There’s also that lovely bonus of racism in the U.S. It’s not to say that Japan–or any other country–doesn’t share in racism and colorism, but it’s never a good thing when the survivors of racism have poorer health conditions mostly due to higher stress levels. If you’ve never had to worry about walking around without thinking about your skin color being a factor in being attacked or harassed, you won’t understand this daily fear and anxiety. Even though a new president may seem like a cure-all, it’ll take years before racism disappears. At the end of the day, I can’t stop being Black, so I’ll be facing racism and racist acts until I die.

These stresses, now that I’ve had the chance to stand back and see what my American life looks like, contribute to my waistline and overall well being. Since coming back to the States, I’ve gone from 119 pounds to 136 pounds, a 17-pound gain that seems to cling to my body. In spite of my weight gain, I’m fitter now than when I lived in Japan. I have to be fitter to balance the stress I face on a daily basis.

Changing Mindset – Update June 2021

Keeping the weight off is not easy, but I’m been changing how I look at my weight, especially when it comes to my overall health. A lot of diets are based on “bro science”–hey, bro, if you cut this, you won’t get fat, and if you eat this, you can lose weight. Um, yeah, I need actual science like how the antioxidants in acai berries helps remove free radicals that can build up in the brain. Like, seriously, fat doesn’t turn into muscle and carbs are one of human’s main fuel sources, not something to remove. I look back at some of the diet stuff I believed and some of the things I’ve studied from my nutrition courses, and I feel very…betrayed. I’ve recently gone vegan because I don’t support industries trying to mind-control my life just to make a profit off my poor health. I’m also not OK with animals suffering, causing pollution, and using tons of water just to feed humans.

And I’m fine with being different from the norm. I get to experience freedom from the shackles of society’s “rules”. Going vegan has helped me reduce my body fat percentage, bloating, hormonal mood swings, low energy, and constipation. I know that becoming vegan seems extreme, but it’s really changed how I feel in my body, and the weight loss that comes with it is an added bonus.  

Chadwick Boseman Tribute

Rest in power, Chadwick. You’ll always be our Black Panther.

The dress that the woman is wearing is a real dress from officially licensed DC brand, Hero Within. Get it at https://herowithinstore.com/collections/marvel/products/black-panther-dress.

Adorned by Chi Manga Review – Finally, a Nigerian Manga!

Adorned by Chi Manga Review – Finally, a Nigerian Manga!

Yes, this is my first video review, and it’s for a Nigerian manga called Adorned by Chi.

I love coming across cool manga with black main characters, and this one, Adorned by Chi, is set in Nigeria. When shy Adaeze and her friends are attacked by apocalyptic monsters called Mmanwu at their college, they soon learn that they have god-like powers. They must use their new powers to keep the Mmanwu at bay while living their regular school lives.

Yes, it’s cutesy and Japanese-ish, but what it has is a lot of Nigerian spunk. The art style and story-telling are like manga. The characters are toned by computer, the panels are different on each page, and the personalities are definitely part of manga tropes. If there was a black version of Sailor Moon, this would be it–minus the age gap with Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon.

Adorned by Chi discount

If you’d like to get a copy of Adorned by Chi, use the discount code, JADESCHI, for 10% off your order!

 

Get Your Art/Writing Portfolio Reviewed by VIZ Originals at 2019 Pop Culture Conventions

VIZ Media reaches the next stage in the development of its VIZ Originals imprint. Aspiring artists and writers are invited to apply for portfolio reviews taking place at some of North America’s biggest pop culture shows. The VIZ Originals imprint will develop innovative, English-language creator-owned graphic novel content for a global market, and is committed […]

via VIZ Originals to Host Portfolio Reviews at Leading 2019 Pop Culture Conventions — Lesley’s Anime and Manga Corner

Black Nerds Expo 2019

Black Nerds Expo 2019

 

black-nerds-expo-logo-1

The Black Nerds Expo on Thursday, February 28 from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at MiraCosta College (1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056) is a space for attendees to explore and celebrate black comics, books, art, video games, and pop culture. This event is open to everyone! Register at http://blacknerdsexpo.eventbrite.com for free!

Here is what the expo will offer:

-Play games

-Meet people in the art, video game, and comic book industries

-Make new, local friends who like black pop culture

-Participate in opportunity drawings for active attendees

-Take Instagram-worthy photos at the photo booth

-Day-of point card to collect comics-related stickers and prizes

-Learn about upcoming projects and releases information in anime, manga, video games, media, and pop culture

FAQs

How much is it to attend the Black Nerds Expo?

It’s free! Just make sure to either pre-register or register on-site for entry.

Why is there a need for a black nerds event?

Could you name at least three black superheroes outside of Black Panther, Storm from the X-men, or Luke Cage? Could you name at least three black authors without searching on Google? Could you name at least one black artist outside of comics? Events such as the Black Nerds Expo is to make aware the existence of black pop culture that isn’t usually shown or celebrated in mainstream media.

 

If I’m a vendor, artist, or would like to table for the Black Nerds Expo, how can I make that happen?

Please email jbanks@miracosta.edu or complete an exhibitor application at https://goo.gl/forms/75SkViyzNwPSFptU2 to register a representative to participate in the Black Nerds Expo. There is limited space, so please contact Jd Banks as soon as possible.

 

How much is it to reserve a table?

It’s free! We don’t want tabling or exhibiting fees to be a barrier for exhibiting. Please contact Jd Banks at jbanks@miracosta.edu as soon as possible since space is limited.

 

If I can’t be there personally but I or my business would like to contribute, how do I do that?

Send any promotional materials (i.e. flyers, postcards, business cards, posters) to the following address by Thursday, February 14, 2019 to give them time to arrive:

ATTN: Jd Banks, Student Equity (MC: #10C)

MiraCosta College

1 Barnard Drive

Oceanside, CA 92056

 

Is it possible to sponsor something for this event?

Sure! We would like to do an opportunity drawing for attendees, so any swag items such as T-shirts, hats, buttons, wrist bands, DVDs, posters, cups, or figurines relating to black pop culture would be appreciated. In return, the Black Nerds Expo will cross-promote your brand on social media and other marketing materials. Please email Jd Banks at jbanks@miracosta.edu for information.

 

Are you providing any stipends or paying any fees for vendors, artists, or representatives to participate in the Black Nerds Expo?

No. Participants will only be provided a table, refreshments, and day-of logistical support.

 

What sort of things would be great to bring as a vendor, artist, or representative to the Black Nerds Expo?

If you are a comics vendor, comics and graphic novels concentrating on black superheroes such as Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Black Lightning, Green Lantern, March, Miles Morales Spider-Man, Ironheart, Batwing, Cyborg, Mister Terrific, Vixen, Nubia, Rocket, XS, Tattooed Man, Afro Samurai, and more would be great.  Find a list of black superheroes at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_black_superheroes. Books from Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, Karyn Parsons, John Lewis, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Obama and other black authors would also be great. Artwork can be fan-created artwork of current black superheroes and/or original artwork with black and African-American attendees in mind.

Black Nerds Expo Supporters

IDW Publishing

Right Stuf

Evoluzione Publishing

Black Sci-Fi

MiraCosta College

Chibi Maruko-Chan Helped Me Learn Japanese (RIP Momoko Sakura)

chibi-maruko-chan2

Chibi Maruko-Chan Helped Me Learn Japanese (RIP Momoko Sakura)

Chibi Maruko-chan helped me learn Japanese. Even at 25 years old, I woke up in my small apartment at 7:00AM and turned on my inherited, boxy analog TV just to catch a few lines of Chibi Maruko-chan. My coordinator at the time laughed–“What a childish show!”–yet he understood how hard my journey would be to Japanese fluency. I suppose the “any way that floats your boat” was his approach to comprehending my methods.

Chibi Maruko-chan helped me feel accomplished despite the language barrier I felt in my daily life. I could understand easy phrases and playful situations when I hardly knew what my co-workers were saying. Instead of feeling discouraged in learning this difficult language, Chibi Maruko-chan lifted me, gave me room to say aloud, “Kore wa oishii,” and “Nandemo ii!

I’ll always remember your lessons.

Manga Creator/Artist Jobs

jades-escape-jobs

Manga Creator Jobs

This section is for manga creators looking for freelance work. Updated: 8/6/2019

Freelance Manga Artist Jobs on UpWork

Deadline: Until Filled

If you’re a freelance manga artist or looking to get your feet wet by taking on a client, try this listing on UpWork, a website dedicated to providing freelance work.

Manga Artists and Writers Network on MangaRaiders

Some forums and online communities put out calls for freelance manga artists, including MangaRaiders.

 

 

The Correct Way to Write Anime/Manga Reviews? — Fujinsei

I’m not exactly sure why, but I often receive e-mails asking for advice on how to write anime/manga reviews “correctly”. Not that I’m complaining on being asked. It’s just that I don’t consider myself a reviewer unlike many anibloggers. I’m more of an entertainer, unintentional commedienne, occasional translator, and—my favourite—fandom promoter. A mouthful, I know, so […]

via The Correct Way to Write Anime/Manga Reviews? — Fujinsei

#BannedBooksWeek

diversity-banner-website-780x300-v1

#BannedBooksWeek: I Celebrate Diversity!

From September 25th to October 1st, authors, readers, publishers, and constitutional right advocates will celebrate books that have been banned for whatever reasons. This year, Banned Books Week is looking at diversity. Although diversity isn’t a new word, some may imagine diversity as a person of color. Diversity, however, includes people who are of different appearance, ethnicity, religion, gender and gender identity, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, military status, and economic status.

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has shown that 52% of the books challenged or banned in the past 10 years were from diverse content (Association of American Publishers).

Without diversity, there wouldn’t be an anime industry since anime and manga come from Japan.

dragon-ball

Did you know that Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama is a banned book in the United States?

hadashi_no_gen_1969

Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa has been challenged–not quite banned but noticed–for its discrimination and violence.

There are other manga and graphic novels by Japanese creators who have faced or are currently facing censorship around the world. Can you think of any others?

Beloved manga Bleach comes to an end and fans are grieving — RocketNews24

Awww, but it was just starting to get good! In 2001, Weekly Shounen Jump debuted a new manga that rocketed to the top of everyone’s must-read lists: Bleach. I can still recall the almost nervous excitement I felt upon hearing the news that the author of Zombie Powder, Kubo Noriaki AKA Kubo Tite, was set…

via Beloved manga Bleach comes to an end and fans are grieving — RocketNews24

10 Recommended Romantic Manga With Strong Female Protagonists (Part 1) — Fujinsei

*This is Part 1 of a 3-Part Post Series. Enjoy! I love reading romance manga. It doesn’t have to be in the shoujo genre. As long as there is good romance in the story, I’m in. For many shoujo manga fans, sizzling romance and hot characters are big turn-ons but that doesn’t mean that we […]

via 10 Recommended Romantic Manga With Strong Female Protagonists (Part 1) — Fujinsei

Post San Diego Comic Con 2016 Report

CCILogo-R_Large

I went to San Diego Comic Con this year after a 5-year hiatus (thanks, Japan) to find that the Comic Con I one loved has been hijacked by security–RFID security tags! You swipe them at the entrance and you swipe them when you exit.

At least the energy of good ol’ geeks and nerds and everyone in between was still there. It just came with a lot of people. I couldn’t create a mental escape path without running into a billion folks and encountering some B.O. I thought I had gotten used to from years of convention hopping.

sdcc2016-1

My Haul

 

As much as Comic Con has a great freebie table, the star freebies were for attendees who made it to the registration entrance. After swiping past the security panels, attendees were given large plastic backpacks with choices between Pokemon, Gotham, Supergirl, and Comic Con themes. I chose Gotham, not because I was wearing my Batman shirt from Japan and not because I liked-loathed the first episode of Gotham, but because it was black and went with anything. Judge me if you like. I’m a black lover.

While I was in the Sails Pavilion, I roamed the autographs section where actors from different TV shows, movies, and animated series met and greeted fans. I saw an Aliens poster and stopped to find Ricco Ross, or Private Ricco Frost, hanging out at his table with cool scenes from Aliens. I talked to him some time, got his autograph, and went back down to the main floor to finish looking for David Mack, the artist and writer behind Kabuki and several Daredevil comics. I found Mr. Mack after a beautiful woman in white took me to a table with 2 handsome brothers promoting their comic, Okemus, and their company, RAE Comics. From the past 7 Comic Cons I’ve attended, this was the first one where I saw many black comic creators as well as black companies with good promotion.

raecomics

On Sunday and the last day of Comic Con, I bought a few shirts and immediately donned a pink JigglyPuff shirt from the Mighty Fine brand since all the Pikachu shirts were gone (darn you, Pokemon Go!). It wasn’t as crowded as Saturday, mainly because most celebrities attended Friday’s and Saturday’s panels and promotional events. Sunday has always been the best day for Comic Con goers to buy their most-wanted merchandise at low prices. “Help us get rid of this extra inventory!” is the call of the last convention day. And if you’re a good haggler, this was the best time to haggle. I found manga priced down from $12 to $8 and Superman and Batman shirts discounted to $5. David Mack gave me a deal on two of his Kabuki volumes ($25 for two hardcovers signed), and I bought a hardback volume of The Goon. Promoters and creators were more visible between the aisles as they handed out the last of their free comics, wristbands, book samples, and stickers.

I returned to the Sails Pavilion to find Ricco Ross again. We ended up chatting for about an hour about random stuff, some fans stopping in between our conversation, and he gave me some advice on life. I’m not into celebrities and movie stars, but I think Ricco Ross is one stand-up, down-to-earth guy. I’ll be looking for more of his roles on the silver screen.

sdcc2016-MeAndRiccoRoss

By 2:00 and after some impulsive buys, I left Comic Con to find some Pokemon outside the convention center. In the past Comic Cons, I had always felt like I had accomplished a big feat even when I had little money and couldn’t buy and go wherever I wanted. I survived the San Diego Comic Con! I would think as I rode the trolley to my car. Now that I have the time and money, I just don’t have the energy to be excited for hours on end. Thankfully, meeting fans and creators, exchanging cards with small press and independent publishers, and conversing with a talented actor made up for my low energy. Next year, I’ll be sure to prepare my heart–and maybe find a sturdier bag–so I can keep up with all that is the San Diego Comic Con.

Other great companies and businesses at Comic Con I visited (and usually bought buttons):

Fanbase Press

I-Mockery

Tony Fleecs

Wannabe Press

Nanamation

Joe Weatherly

UCLA Extension

Steam

LootCrate

BlindersOff

Geek Chic

Bill Walko

Scott Hattox Art