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Random Thoughts

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Cable
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Cable » 18 Oct 2019, 21:31

Disney hilariously released a three hour long trailer for Disney Plus

https://youtu.be/m0FRDaHnITI
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 18 Oct 2019, 22:00

I don’t think it would be wrong for a person who maybe identifies as Wiccan or even Druidic traditions to find it offensive when someone dresses as a generic “witch” or “warlock” (or “Druid”).

And I see it very different than say dressing as a particular person within that religious, spiritual or cultural tradition.

Why? Because I think it’s acceptable to think that someone taking and simplifying possibly sacred or even just special elements of a culture and wearing them in just is wrong. If a white guy puts on Blackface and a bunch of stereotypical pieces of clothing and an afro wig and says “I’m a Black guy”, then yeah that’s racist (even sans the Blackface, it’s very inappropriate). Similarly, if a Black woman puts on a hijab and says she’s going as a Muslim (the singer Chris Brown did something similar a few years ago and didn’t get the backlash he should’ve in my opinion), that’s also messed up. Or if a Chinese American guy puts on lederhosen and the like, a beard and speaks in a broken accent and says he’s a German.

In all those instances a person is wearing someone’s culture as a trivialized and simplified costume. And that’s wrong.

That’s different than if say a white guy puts on a basketball jersey, a headband, and sneakers and says he’s Lebron James or a Puerto Rican woman puffs her hair up, puts on a dress and says she’s Dolly Parton. In these instances a person is dressing as a particular person. It’s not breaking down an entire group of people into simplistic (and usually harmful) ideas.

Now because I don’t know enough Wiccan practices to say one way or another, I wouldnt try to make a judgement from my end but I could respect if someone was offended.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Nu-D » 18 Oct 2019, 23:21

Thanks for taking the time to explain and share.
das_boot wrote:
18 Oct 2019, 21:23

I’m not Wiccan. Wicca traces its roots to the mid 20th century where it just plucked from whatever it felt like— various ancient faiths and customs and practices, but mostly folklore from the UK. If there are people who find comfort and faith in Wicca, I do not and will not judge them for that.
Yeah, this is what I was getting at when I asked to have my ignorance pardoned. The difference between Wiccan and witchcraft (?) is about as opaque to me as between Presbyterians and Congregationalists. So, aside from identifying as a “witch,” is “witchcraft” the term you prefer for the belief/practice?
das_boot wrote:
18 Oct 2019, 21:23
I suppose realistically you could call witchcraft the anthropromorphic personificationism of nature. Each of the larger festivals symbolise life and death and the seasons. Some witches will choose to use deities that speak to them— some don’t. Some families can trace their roots back generations to the witch trials and hid their faith through “converting” to Catholicism and using various saints in their ritual work, as opposed to spirits and deities.

Pagan is basically a catch-all term for any kind of nature based faith— Wicca, witchcraft, Druidic faiths etc.

I wouldn’t say that dressing up as a witch would be cultural appropriation. After all, the witches that most people are dressing as are from folklore and myth. It’s not some white chick dressing up as a First Nation woman, or a white dude thinking he’s clever by painting his face a dark colour and saying that he’s Obama. There’s no more or less harm in that than someone dressing up as a super hero or a cartoon character 🤷‍♂️
Probably the letter writer didn’t say “cultural appropriation,” so much as “insensitive or disrespectful of other’s beliefs.” I can’t really remember. I do recall there was some discussion of how some people who identify as witches feel like an oppressed minority because of the historical violence, and therefore it’s not appropriate for Christians to dress up as witches. But again, I don’t remember the specifics and it’s not really what I was asking about.
das_boot wrote:
18 Oct 2019, 21:23
EDIT TO ACTUALLY ANSWER THE QUESTION:
I see myself as both. I’m a millennial. I have access to information and technologies that my ancestors didn’t. I have the figurative world at my finger tips. I can find references or symbols without having to learn them by heart. But I wouldn’t have the knowledge to take what I can find online and apply it to the way that I practice without what i’ve been taught by family members with more experience than me
Interesting. So you have a family tradition of (what I’m calling) witchcraft? Do you think/know if it goes back many generations?
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by EphemeristX » 19 Oct 2019, 01:12

Witch and Warlock have bigger cultural connotations than Wicca or other Pagan religions. The actual iconography of the classic witch (broomstick, cauldron, pointy hat, black cat, pointed stars) dates back to women brewers in the Middle Ages. That's really not fair for wiccans to claim ownership of something that is bigger than them. And besides, it's a god damn costume. It's fantasy play. This isn't somebody wearing war feathers or blackface. I hate the all encompassing vilification that's tied to the words "cultural appropriation". Next you're going to tell me that a vampire costume is insensitive to Central Europe and demon costumes spit in the face of the Bible (and a bunch of other religious).
Last edited by EphemeristX on 19 Oct 2019, 03:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 19 Oct 2019, 01:28

Hey, I’m like literally the last person to come down on the cultural appropriation argument. I think it’s wayyyyyyyyyy overused. Unless it’s a company making actual profit and not showing respect to where it came from, culture is shared so freely and has so many origins that the c.a. think is just overused as a course correction for centuries of colonization and oppression.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by EphemeristX » 19 Oct 2019, 03:24

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was coming at you or anyone. It's just a personal pet peeve of mine. I do understand exploitation and the stealing of culture without giving credit. I just think it's gotten way out of hand.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by RingOtaku » 19 Oct 2019, 03:25

I think people overuse the term "cultural appropriation" and overthink "stealing my culture" in some cases which makes it harder to raise sympathy for actual problem cases.

Then again I'm usually lacking in sensitivity and empathy for most folks anyway. Schadenfreude is way too often on my mind lol
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Lavettye » 19 Oct 2019, 04:28

There's a German saying that translates as "Schadenfreude is the most honest form of compassion". ;-)
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 19 Oct 2019, 05:21

EphemeristX wrote:
19 Oct 2019, 01:12
Witch and Warlock have bigger cultural connotations than Wicca or other Pagan religions. The actual iconography of the classic witch (broomstick, cauldron, pointy hat, black cat, pointed stars) dates back to women brewers in the Middle Ages. That's really not fair for wiccans to claim ownership of something that is bigger than them. And besides, it's a god damn costume. It's fantasy play. This isn't somebody wearing war feathers or blackface. I hate the all encompassing vilification that's tied to the words "cultural appropriation". Next you're going to tell me that a vampire costume is insensitive to Central Europe and demon costumes spit in the face of the Bible (and a bunch of other religious).
Indeed...!

Without wanting to appear as oo much of a cruel and heartless bastaed, I think many complaints of cultural insensitivity or in some cases outright claims of deliberate prejudice are completely misplaced.

I mean the classic "evil witch" was a traditionally villainous character in many a fairy tale or folklore dating back hundreds of years.

I identify as C of E, though not particularly practising or even a regular churchgoer (like most people who say they're C of E!) but I fail to see any offense in say a vicar and tarts party. It's a twist on the expected behaviour of a man of the cloth, and it's silly daft fun.

I totally get that dressing up to identify as subjugated peoples is different though, but there is also an element of how the fantasy play reflects the character. Dressing as a native American with fantasy play focusing on spirituality, pride, strength etc. which while focusing on potentially harmful stereotypes is far less of an issue (to me) than portraying a native American as a cultural savage intent on scalping a cowboy, which is obviously prejudice and disrespectful.

The idea of cultural appropriation in fancy dress is a weird one - the while point is being something that you are not. When I cosplayed as Randy Savage, I wasn't literally trying to promote myself as a pro-wrestler and dismissing the long recognised physical and mental demands placed on those who are a pro-wrestler...!

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by tokenBG1009 » 19 Oct 2019, 09:33

For anyone who enjoys anime and music...

Netflix has an anime called Carol & Tuesday. It's written by the same person responsible for Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. Excellent animation and music with English lyrics and performances of the songs. I've been working my way through it the last couple nights.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 19 Oct 2019, 11:19

EphemeristX wrote:
19 Oct 2019, 03:24
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was coming at you or anyone. It's just a personal pet peeve of mine. I do understand exploitation and the stealing of culture without giving credit. I just think it's gotten way out of hand.
Understandable, we’re cool...

@SK: but see that’s muddy water.

It’s easy, no offense to anyway, to be someone from a group who hasn’t been historically (at least in a US context) murdered for just literally being yourself, I think it’s easy to be like “as long as you’re Focusing on the cool stuff, then yeah it’s fine to wear an First Nation’s headdress”. When you’re detached (both personally and sociopolitically) from the things those people faced it does come off as maybe harmless. But those same seemingly non-harmful or more accurate “positive” stereotypes can be just as dangerous when applying to and flattening out an entire group of people.

Again Macho Man is a singular person or even a police officer is an occupation. And that’s cool in my mind. Lebron James, Taylor Swift, Doctor, Jackie Chan, etc are all cool costumes...Native American” is a neither of those, it’s a catch-all (wayyyyy less offensive compared to the one colonizers gave them) name for several hundred tribes of people that was came up with by people who have collectively suffered unspeakable tragedy. I’m not saying “hey I’m going as a transman because I think they’re magical”, that would sound ridiculous and super-insensitive (especially considering that Transpeople of color are being murdered at disproportionate rates right now in the US, it’s frightening).

To me that’a different than the casually thrown around cultural appropriation.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 19 Oct 2019, 12:55

Firstly BC, I totally agree, it is muddy, and I'm not saying that it's a catch all, hence my comments re: it being different if that fantasy play is of a subjugated people, but I think we should recognise both intent and relative ignorance. As I said, those positive stereotypes can be harmful too, totally get that.

I would disagree though re: going as an individual would be cool - why? Because it depends on how that person is represented - if dressing up deliberately references their racial heritage, or includes things like blacking up, it's not right at all even if they're trying to represent that individual, as least that's my take anyway.

Cultural appropriation is weird though - you can represent a "rapper" referencing clothing / accessories from the broad cultural rap scene or a more specific part of the scene without it necessarily representing specifically a person of colour. Even with my minimal knowledge of rap (I'm mostly a guitars man!) I know there's plenty of white guys who've been amongst various hip hop scenes over the last 30 years, and I don't think you can limit fantasy play of a pop cultural phenomenon by race.

I can't say I can clearly explain what is acceptable to me, but to me it comes down to a simple question of "is that alright, or is that majorly off to me?". I do recognise that there is a flaw in that in that what I view as acceptable might be seen in a contrary manner by someone else, and vice versa, and I guess these types of conversations can help in that you take on others' viewpoints based on differing experience, but this is why I feel intent and how fantasy play is acted out helps answer the question of if any given case is acceptable.

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 19 Oct 2019, 13:58

Oh Blackface is NEVER okay in the US...the history of it is wayyyyy too messed up. So let me say that lol...

But hey, if you as a white guy said “I’m going as Michael Jordan” and you shave your head bald, and out on a Jordan uniform then hey no harm no foul. No sensible (no shade) person would ever have issue with that (as long as Blackface is avoided).

Cultural appropriation does come from a real place of 1 group taking something another group has done (and being seen as foreign, wrong or even illegal) and then using it without any harm toward them and even some profit. The profit part is imo where I find the issue. If Kylie Jenner starts wearing a Cherokee headdress and peddles it as a “dangling feather-accessory”, then hell yeah that’s cultural appropriation! Lol
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by tokenBG1009 » 19 Oct 2019, 14:42

Wanna say again how much I love y'all.

This is a conversation that could get out of hand quickly and everyone is trying their hardest to be respectful to each other. I debated dipping my toe in, but I'll sit on the side and watch the respectful debate.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 19 Oct 2019, 14:58

@token: thanks bro.

And just to be clear: I hope we could exist in a world one day where these wont be issues because the power dynamics and discriminatory forces at work wont exist. But until then I think it is important to at least be aware of it...that’s why I say Blackface is always a problem. If for some reason you as an American white person are unaware of it then just gotta let and accept the pain coming from the PoC and move along. Because as much some people wanna say “it’s the past”, just know how recently people do Blackface to ostracize and demean PoC.

Fun fact: The old American commercial with the Native American shedding a single tear when someone litters is pretty well known (and was funded in part by a group who helped establish the concept of littering in modern American culture, which was intended to get people to clean up since plastic companies started pushing disposable instead of reusable things like cups and plastics) and the Native American in it is NOT Native American, he’s Italian. He used redface alot and played “Indians” in a number of TV shows and the like.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by P-90 » 19 Oct 2019, 15:14

Dressing as someone of a different race, if that is the entirety of the costume, is obviously wrong, even if there's no genuine malice/bigotry behind the costume it's a stupid idea at best.
Dressing as a character you like who happens to be a different race shouldn't inherently be wrong (as long as the character isn't one that makes fun of that race), dressing as something/someone from the cultural mythology should also be allowed, again, as long as it's not in a detrimental manner, a white person who's grown up reading/watching stories featuring Ninjas isn't racist or appropriating Japanese culture by dressing as one, no more so than an Asian person dressing in medieval European attire based on a character they like or while attending something like a ren-faire.
While of course racism and cultural appropriation is real, sadly often when those terms are used in association with 'dressing up' it's just not true and does a tremendous disservice to the victims of the real thing. For instance here in England two white girls attending a fancy dress party at a university were accused of cultural appropriation because the character they dressed as had braided hair, the character was from a TV show and was white (it may have been a character from Orange Is the New Black IIRC, I don't watch that show so I could be mistaken), now surely anyone with any common sense would have dismissed the accusation immediately after speaking to the girls but no it became a 'racism in a university' news story. The character was fictional and wasn't black so to someone a white person having braided hair is 'cultural appropriation' which is ridiculous, especially so given that hair braiding featured in many historical European cultures, including Celtic and Viking.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Crutey Anth » 19 Oct 2019, 16:47

Random Question:

What are you guys asking for for Christmas?/Know you're getting?

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Cable » 19 Oct 2019, 16:50

Marvel Champions LCG! I'm pumped for it, even if there are initially no X-Men characters.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by RingOtaku » 19 Oct 2019, 17:25

Lavettye wrote:
19 Oct 2019, 04:28
There's a German saying that translates as "Schadenfreude is the most honest form of compassion". ;-)
God Bless Germany
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by EphemeristX » 20 Oct 2019, 00:32

Im a grinch and I don't celebrate Christmas. I have a pavlovian adverse reaction to the sound of sleigh bells.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Nu-D » 20 Oct 2019, 02:27

Crutey Anth wrote:
19 Oct 2019, 16:47
Random Question:

What are you guys asking for for Christmas?/Know you're getting?
Please, can we get past Halloween first?
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 20 Oct 2019, 03:13

Blackcyclops wrote:
19 Oct 2019, 13:58
Oh Blackface is NEVER okay in the US...the history of it is wayyyyy too messed up. So let me say that lol...
Yep, totally with you on this. For me it's not just not ok in the US, it's not cool ever for me. So we do agree on some things ;)
Blackcyclops wrote:
19 Oct 2019, 13:58
But hey, if you as a white guy said “I’m going as Michael Jordan” and you shave your head bald, and out on a Jordan uniform then hey no harm no foul. No sensible (no shade) person would ever have issue with that (as long as Blackface is avoided).
Yeah, guess you're right on this, but I think you mentioned earlier wearing afro wigs as being indicative of race? So if someone was cosplaying as a specific person (or character), and donned an a afro wig (assuming that person or character was known for that specific hairdo) would that be cool or is that more of a no-go for you? Say 70s Misty Knight or a tiara and fro adorned Luke Cage? Obviously the afro hair style was immensely popular, and was adapted by white people too (Leo Sayer etc.) but is it too tied to a specific racial heritage for it to be worn, even in cosplay, without causing offense?
Blackcyclops wrote:
19 Oct 2019, 13:58
Cultural appropriation does come from a real place of 1 group taking something another group has done (and being seen as foreign, wrong or even illegal) and then using it without any harm toward them and even some profit. The profit part is imo where I find the issue. If Kylie Jenner starts wearing a Cherokee headdress and peddles it as a “dangling feather-accessory”, then hell yeah that’s cultural appropriation! Lol
And this is where it gets properly tricky for me... as both a capitalist and a fond follower of history, I know very little is original per se. Current trends are more often than not a revival of something already been and done.

Where does referencing other cultures in fashion stops being a reinvention or a twist and starts being cultural appropriation? The example you've given is a particularly tactless and clumsy use of marketing spin, but I also see how such a broad definition would also prevent homages to other culture in fashion. The rise of globalisation mean different cultures are closer to us than ever before (at least in terms of "access" via a simple Google image search if not necessarily by experience) and profiting from referencing cultural attire or products is and has always been an inevitability, even if it's referencing a wronged group.

I think (speaking only from my own perspective) the difficulty comes when homages (or in your reference simple copying!) are off are where it's spun as being something what it isn't. If it was sold as a Cherokee inspired fashion accessory, whilst still being creatively shameless, is less clumsy than the attempted rebrand with no respects paid to the original source. For me, I look at is as more as an issue of plagiarism - much like an academic work you should reference prior work, but being open and honest about your inspirations can help people understand where the original ideas came from. This is evidently most important when those references are from cultures and groups that have been subjugated though.

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 20 Oct 2019, 04:16

Yeah 100%...
I’m use an example: Pendleton. They use alot of Native inspired patterns but they employee Natives and give money back to those communities. That’s how you properly, in my mind, take something from a group that historically (and currently) was marginalized and use that very thing people now think is “cool” but was at time ridiculed and belittled.

An example of not doing it well is when some fashion houses started putting durags on models and sold it as some new fashion innovation, when in fact silk scarves used to protect the hair (not as a fashion accessory but as a necessity) have been integral to the Black community for decades. And not only that, but has been used by White people to signify otherness in Black people (while denigrating our hair texture). That’s an example of how to do it wrong.

Of course cultural exchanges happen and I think people should be allowed to immerse themselves in and experience other cultures, hell I recommend it. But when people start profiting off essentially the work (or blood and pain) of others with zero regard for where it comes from, that’s where I draw the line.

Hell, I get upset when young Black kids don’t understand their own history and where references come from too...so I don’t discriminate lol
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Around The Fur » 20 Oct 2019, 13:18

All things considered, I did well at Baltimore Comic-Con this year :D the first sketch on PoX 1 is Moria by Bob McLeod, the Wolverine on HoX 1 is Rick Leonardi. Next year I hope to get Magneto and Professor X. Went way over budget but super excited for my haul!
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Anna Raven » 20 Oct 2019, 18:04

Around The Fur wrote:
20 Oct 2019, 13:18
All things considered, I did well at Baltimore Comic-Con this year :D the first sketch on PoX 1 is Moria by Bob McLeod, the Wolverine on HoX 1 is Rick Leonardi. Next year I hope to get Magneto and Professor X. Went way over budget but super excited for my haul!
Nice! I was there too. I didn't spend much, just got a few prints and cheaper comics. But I got a lot of free autographs and hung out with a friend so it was really fun.
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