When not head-deep in reading research and sponging-up as much technology news media that I can fit into my neural data stream, I take time to enjoy geekery. What better place than the comic show. Enter the San Jose Super Toy, Comic & Collectibles Show. The folks who put this on at TIme Tunnel are awesome.
While perusing the booths filled with run-of-the-mill Star Wars action figures, LOTR glass sets, boxes of old comics, weird wrestling dolls, and pop-culture paraphernalia, I began to notice trends in booth vendor demographics. With a fair dose of embellishment, you might find these creatures in their natural habitats - the comic-toy show.
Old Nasa Guy: Hands down, my favorite. He is 75, has an emblemed NASA jacket with patches for scientific missions from before I was born. He wears a wizened look on his face. I want to chat him up, but the look on his faces reads, "No kid, I will not regale you with stories from the Gemini 3 Mission." He didn't get off that easy. By hook or by crook sir, I will get my first-hand science history accounts. He nicely accommodates my amateur elucidations on the Mars Rover Mission.
Comic Book Guy: He is straight out of the Simpsons. He sarcastically laughs at your earnest, but amateurish, knowledge of animae graphic novels, and while taking your money, holds a conversation with another comic curmudgeon on the merits of DC Comics expanding further into Hollywood film markets. Obesity - check. Fast Food - check. Obscure comic book t-shirt - check. No girlfriend in site - check. He spends his spare time trolling comic book subs on Reddit.
Melpy* Old Flea Market Lady: She re-sells oddities, brick-a-brack, and half rate pop culture items. Witness her assortment of creepy dolls from the 1950s and vintage Iron Maiden t-shirts. She smokes Virginia Slims and is eating some mayonnaise-based lunch product. Has a small dog named Charlie with a skin condition. This is her 100th booth set-up since January.
* melpy - adverb - to be in state of melp. Melp - noun or verb - odd, strange, off, off-putting, tired, high on drugs, uneven emotional state, and/or droopy.
The Professional: This one-man comic show force is highly organized. Pristine top shelf action figures adorn his booth along with more official Hollywood gear than even the most avid fan-girl could consume. Need an over-sized Twilight bag to hold that signed copy of Legally Blonde 7: The Dummining? Check.
Gothic Video Guy: With rows of DVD videos of bands you are not cool enough to know about, he specializes in live music shows, obscure documentaries, and band retrospectives. Who doesn't want to see Thrill Kill Cult from 1988 at the Roxy or Ministry in 1984 in some shite pub hall in Manchester. Amateur designed photoshop DVD covers as far as the eye can see. Bless.
The Film Nut: His shop in Hollywood is the last of its kind. An endangered species, he offers all manner of movie stills, original movie posters, and film paraphernalia. Give him your money. Yes, I do need a double-sided Blade Runner poster.
The Family Toy: This booth is a family affair complete with pre-teen indie kid who doesn't seem to know anything or care about what they are selling. What does he care anyway, there are shit for jobs out there. He likes Operation Ivy and Gilman Street square.
Record Nazi: Boxes of albums carefully lifted from Goodwills and Salvation Army stores far and wide. He fires me a quizzical look when I ask for 1960s Yé-yé albums. Points me toward 1960s pop. Seriously, $25 dollars for the Monkees? Incidentally, want to learn more about 1960s French pop? Sure, who doesn't...Le Site Teppaz & Co.
For the record, I will be going again in August.
The Show in Pictures
It is exactly what is looks like. A Ricky Menudo doll. Menudo, one of the most important bands of the late 20th century.
Menudo Doll. Price: $5. (For the record, I excitedly bought this.)
Video Source: ChunkyBoots Youtube User. Used in accordance with Fair Use Section 17 following DMCA guidelines. Not used for sale or profit.
G.I. Joe Lunch Box (1998). Price:$50
Captain Ed McCauley Lunch Box. Price:$60.
Mr. T Poster with Mr. T Junk n' Stuff. Price: $Varied.
It wouldn't be a comic-toy show without Star Wars crap, so much Star Wars crap. At least it is R2D2 and Remote Control at that. Price:$150. And for the record, the Dune Series far outpaces Star Wars, the McDonalds of sci-fi. Let the angry Star Wars comments rain down upon me, I will soak it up with my stillsuit and wait it out in the cave.
Old MJ Buttons. $Vary. Remember this. Off the Wall still stands up. That album has legs.
Video Source: Michael JacksonVevo Youtube. Used in accordance with Fair Use Section 17 following DMCA guidelines. Not used for sale or profit.
Peace Corp Man. Price: $300! This thing was a very cool piece of 1950s history. Mechanical, wind-up robot. As a kid in civics class, the Peace Corp held significant fascination.
The San Jose Super Toy, Comic & Collectibles Show