PAX Prime: lessons and looking ahead

September 7th, 2012 | Posted by Emmett in Games & Gaming - (0 Comments)
Besides the whole feeling a bit like death on Sunday part, each year of PAX yields new insight on what you can do better the next year. The main lesson I learned is that costumes need to be durable - like really durable - to last an entire day. I made two costumes this year, and my Link costume almost held up all of Saturday, until the grip for my shield broke off the actual shield part. I used a bunch of different epoxies this year for various costume bits, but nothing really beats welds or rivets. And mine wasn't the only thing to break; my girlfriend's mock hostler for her Han Solo costume didn't last as long as I'd hoped and both of my friend's hidden blades for his Assassin's Creed costume bought it before the day was up. Granted, these are pretty minor issues, but it's nice to know that you don't have to baby everything you're wearing, especially in a crowded convention center. Another thing I've learned is that it's hard to negotiate PAX with a large group. First off, the expo hall is packed 99% of the time, and trying to get through crowds with more than five people usually results in losing someone. Also, if you stop to look at something as a large group, half of you won't be able to see what's there. I suppose in these ways, the PAX Prime expo hall kind of breaks down that large group dynamic and relegates it to after-parties or PC free-play. I think four is a pretty good number to roll around with; it's easy to chain four people together and get through a crowd and the natural pairs help with certain game demos. Still, PAX hindsight isn't all about what was bad and could have been better, each year also provides ideas for new things that can add to an overall PAX experience. Last year, it was wearing a costume. This year, it was taking my girlfriend and wearing a better costume. Next year, I want to catalog the things you see at every PAX; like Pokemon Snap: PAX Prime Edition. PAXemon Snap? Whatever, you get the idea. To me, that would add another fun dynamic to the weekend, and you end up with a bunch of cool pictures. These little +1's aren't too hard to think of, and it's things like them that make it hard not to get excited for PAX year after year. And it's why I hope to always go to PAX, even if I have to go to Australia to do it.

Only 360-ish days until the next PAX Prime.

PAX is a unique sort of animal. On the first day, you've never been so excited to wait in lines your entire life. On the second day, everything is still awesome because most of the cosplay people are out on Saturday and you've already seen everything in the expo hall so waiting to play games you want to play doesn't seem like a waste of time. However, day three marks a kind of tipping point where you reach critical mass and become what I'm sure others also call "PAXed out". This condition makes my typical PAX Sunday a wrap-up for the whole weekend that should only take an hour but instead takes most of the day because my body isn't physically capable of moving quickly. First, I get up; it takes a long time to get up. After that I'll make my way down to the Convention Center and wait in line to get my badge signed, during which I usually pound a few bottles of Bawls so my body is able to propel itself up the stairs leading up to the riser Gabe and Tycho are on and manage a thank you. By that time, people are usually ready to eat so I'll meet up with some friends and grab a pint (assuming I don't shudder at the thought of putting more alcohol in my system) and something to eat. At this point, I maybe make one last trip around the expo hall or go straight to where they're holding the last rounds of Omegathon. Finally, it's time to make the rounds and say goodbye to friends. By Sunday at about 4pm, I'm pretty much through with PAX. I'm sore, malnourished, exhausted, and ready to sleep for the next week. Even now, five days later, my body doesn't feel quite pre-PAX but I'm already starting miss it. That's part of the magic of PAX; no matter how close to death you manage to get, you're always ready (and anxious) to do it again the next year.
Deadpool #900 Yes, I'm finally getting around to that Deadpool cover I was going to post. I was originally going to post this cover, but you may be able to tell by the post date that today is Thursday, and I was informed by a reader last night that I was late with my Wednesday comic cover post. So, in an effort to not disappoint my one reader, I've upgraded to the wraparound cover for Deadpool #900, a special 8-story, 104-page special edition celebrating the series' milestone. I realize it's not much in way of appeasement, but I haven't even gotten a chance to write about PAX stuff yet, so there will be more posts than usual this month. Anyway, this particular cover is by a Deadpool cover regular, Dave Johnson. Johnson is also one of the founders of something called the Drink and Draw Social Club. As you can probably guess, it's a get together of artists and aspiring artists at a bar for drinking and drawing. It looks like it happens just about every Thursday at a bar in LA, but they also appear to tour around a bit with various comic shows if you happen to live somewhere other than LA. They even have books with work from these outings for sale if you're interested. All in all, a pretty awesome thing that you might want to look out for the next time you go to a comic con.