This is my first time drawing Captain America. I copied it off a leaflet for the Marvel Avengers Station that I kept from Las Vegas. I also did a quick sepia toned ole timey wimey version as well. Initial drawing done using sharpies, white gel pen and Promarkers. The background and sepia filters added via Photoplus.
File under: Captain America, Marvel, Avengers, Chris Evans, Steve Rogers
This is the second time that Huddersfield Comic Con has run and it offered pretty much the exact same experience as last year. Inside they had photo shoots using Star Wars props and outside, the 'cars from the movies' alongside the Stay Puft marshmallow man from Ghostbusters.
If you were a Doctor Who fan, you probably would've had a better time than most due to the majority of the guests being from that show. I was upset that Sylvester McCoy had to cancel but I'd already met Colin Baker at London Film & Comic Con and he's very nice.
HCC is great fun for families and those who haven't yet worked their way up to the bigger conventions. Or if you're not able to travel very far, conventions like these are a godsend. It's so lovely to see not only the kids dressed up, but the parents got involved too.
My main complaint is that I don't think the venue (Kirklees college) is suitable. Maybe I thought it was ok for the very first HCC last year but in hindsight, it's quite cramped in the vendors, guests and photoshoots section. There's also quite a lot of stairs leading to the outside area and I'm not sure how the disabled would fare. I think it would be a lot better if they used the sports centre or even the main gym down at the university but I'm not sure how they'd fare for parking.
I'll still keep popping along though because if we don't support the event it can't grow or improve. But I'd like them to switch things up for 2019.
File under: Huddersfield, Comic Con, Doctor Who
I decided to treat my friend Puck to a cinematic adventure because I hadn't seen her in a while. I'd never used Backyard Cinema before but I've had various independent cinema viewing experiences before and they're so much fun. It's based in Mercato Metropolitano near the Elephant & Castle tube stop and it's full of great stalls to grab food and drink at either before or after the show.
When you get there they give you your entry ticket and treat it as though you're a space explorer jetting off on a mission, with an intro video as your shuttle 'lands'.
The cinema room itself is AWESOME. The seats are special super comfy (but also super supportive) beanbag chairs and you're almost horizontal for the film. The man next to me was so chilled out he fell asleep!
At the front where the screen is, it's designed to look like a space control room and you can take as many selfies as you want before the film starts. At the back you have a bar selling space themed drinks and snacks but they're quite expensive. Could also probably do with some ordinary bags of sweets or cans of pop.
We were sat right at the front but the screen wasn't blurry or too bright for us. We had a great time and I definitely be doing this again but at twice the price of a standard cinema ticket, it's just for special occasions.
File under: Backyard Cinema, Mercato Metropolitano, Guardians Of The Galaxy, independent, science fiction
I've been really unfortunate this year, in that my holiday to Las Vegas meant I had to miss the majority of Huddersfield Literature Festival, which I have been trying to support for around 3 years now. Although Huddersfield isn't a city, size wise it has a lot to offer in terms of events and I don't really see why we should be travelling to Leeds or Manchester all the time. We need to get people to come to us!
However, I did arrive back on British shores in time to see Sir Patrick Stewart, also a supporter of the festival, do a question and answer session at Huddersfield Town Hall.
He's a wonderful storyteller and it is such a shame that it wasn't longer because there were so many interesting tales about his life, both personally and professionally. It was a good mixture of the two and it allowed him to shine light on his father's (and subsequently the entire family's) struggle with Post-Tramatic-Stress-Disorder, gained through the war. This was something Patrick had not been aware of until he did the popular TV series Who Do You Think You Are. As a consequence, he now supports two charities: Refuge (domestic violence) 'for his mother' and Combat Stress (armed forces) 'for his father'.
He also talked at length about his rise through theatre and how he managed to bag the role of Jean-Luc Picard onboard the USS Enterprise.
I'm really hoping he will make another longer appearance at next year's festival because I'm sure he has many more incredible stories.
File under: Sir Patrick Stewart, Huddersfield Literature Festival, Huddersfield Town Hall, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Professor Xavier, Star Trek The Next Generation, X-Men
File under: Las Vegas, casinos, neon lights, strip, gambling, sightseeing
On Saturday I decided to walk on down to the Pinball Hall Of Fame, which is a small warehouse building that is open to the public, with no entry fee. In it you can find all manner of pinball machines, all lovingly restored to working order for you to go and play.
There's a machine for every person, celebrating the finest films, TV shows and bands. The collection also features some older arcade games, that aren't necessarily pinball, but will still bring back some really fond memories for those of you belonging to the very first arcade generation. Well worth checking out.
File under: Pinball Hall Of Fame, Las Vegas, arcade, games
Oh this is a cute little museum. This is one of the things in Vegas that is family safe. There's a lot of different exhibits and most of it is on the one level, so it's good if you have a family member or friends that's disabled. While it does have a good Egyptian section and one on rocks/gemstones, it is mainly centred around wildlife. There are a LOT of animal models in here although I'm not sure how many of them are artificial models and how many of them are preserved beasts. The one thing I took away from this is the sheer scale of some of them. Watching TV and hearing statistics read out by Sir David Attenborough is no match for standing next to a polar bear rearing on its back legs.
File under: Natural History Museum, Las Vegas
The first thing you notice when you step into the Mob Museum is the building it's within. One of the old original court buildings used in the trials of various mobsters, facing charges for all manner of crimes. There's a certain irony there.
The museum itself is packed full of interesting artifacts and stories about the original gangs and how organised crime spread its net across the US. It goes from the prohibition of alcohol to modern day warfare against gangs that have since turned their hand to drugs.
Warning - it can get quite gruesome at times. I think the thing to remember is that quite often mobsters have been glamorised in the media (Al Capone was on the cover of TIME magazine) and that the reality is, a lot of them were willing to do anything to protect themselves and their livelihood.
Interesting fact: the Valentine's Day massacre wall is seated within this museum, complete with bullet holes. See below.
File under: Mob Museum, Las Vegas, mafia, gangster, crime
If you come to Vegas you NEED to check out the Neon Museum. It's up the top end of the trail, a short walk away from Freemont Street.
This is where all the old signs from the good old days come to be lovingly restored and either put back into work or to be archived.
You can tour the 'boneyard' as it's called, either by day or by night, but in order to see the signs properly in their full glory, it needs to be night if you can manage that. The tour lasts about an hour long but I think it should really be an hour and a half. It rushes by and my tour guide was brilliant and really knowledgeable about the neon signs and Vegas in general but it felt like she couldn't get her information out quick enough. It's also very easy to miss this information if you're stopping to take photos. And you don't get a lot of time to take photos either. That extra 30 minutes for me, or even 15, would slow things down a bit and give those poor guides a chance to breathe!
File under: Neon Museum, Las Vegas, signs, restoration, Boneyard, tour
A lot of the attention on Vegas is centred on the main strip and that's understandable. But if you catch a bus on the strip, be sure to ride it all the way down to Freemont Street (take the express bus). This is original Vegas and for a fraction of the price. Food is a lot cheaper down there if you're looking for a place to eat.
The buses are regular and you can get 24 hour tickets that only cost $8. And when they say 24 hours, they mean 24 hours. Those tickets don't expire at midnight, they expire a full day on from when you bought them. I'm pretty sure you can also get 3 day and weekly tickets as well. When you're done on the strip you can head on down to Freemont Street for a party.
There's plenty of street entertainment, but after a certain hour I'd leave the kids at home because some of those girls and guys aren't shy with their clothing choices.
File under: Freemont Street, Las Vegas
Kel. 30. Blue haired Huddersfield lass born 'n' bred. Half mad cat lady. Half ninja turtle.
I love to draw cartoons & listen to film soundtracks & TV themes.
For unknown reason, my favourite number is 44.
Things I Like
Author: Jasper Fforde
Band: The Struts
Book: The Lost Art Of Keeping Secrets
Game: The Sims 3
TV Show: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Kel McGowan is Kelligrafie