San Diego Comic Con 2019

Thursday, July 18, 2019 marked the start of the 50th anniversary of San Diego Comic Con. Comic is really a part of San Diego’s history. It’s culture and it’s appreciation is an appreciation of comic art. Even if you did not get a badge to get inside the convention center, there is plenty of fun things to see and do outside and around the Gaslamp area.

The first thing that actually caught my eye is the set up by NBC to promote Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It is a sitcom about misfit cops staring Andy Samberg. The set up is part escape room, part comedy act. You are essentially a part of potential new recruits eager to join the show’s fictional 99th precinct. There is an actor who plays a cop that warms up the guest. Then the experience is the escape room. Other Activisions includes Dectective Pikachu and Shazam experiences. These type of Activision are fun for all guests.

I cannot talk about San Diego Comic Con without talking about The Walking Dead. Me as a fan, has been watching since the beginning back in 2008. The Walking Dead has become a regular at SDCC and this year is no different. Let’s talk about Danai Gurira, the actress that plays Michonne. She annoyed that is will be her final season on The Walking Dead. Though this is sad news for me (myself included), she does state that Okoye is making a return in Black Panther 2 (something I’m really excited for). Black Panther 2 was given a small shout out during the Phase 4 presentation by Marvel Studios. Kevin Feige revealed that it is in the early stages of the script writing and making it one of Phase 5 projects.

Speaking of Marvel’s Phase 4 movies, Kevin Feige revealed all the movies being released for Phase 4.

The Eternals staring Richard Madden as Ikaris will be released in theaters November 6th, 2020. The first show coming to Disney+ is Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier coming to Disney+ in the fall of 2020. A classic Marvel character is making its debut in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings staring Simu Liu in theaters February 12, 2021. The original series of WandaVision staring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in their original MCU roles will arrive on Disney+ in the Spring of 2021. The next two movies I’ve looked forward to, which are Loki starring Tom Hiddleston that is arrive in the Spring of 2021 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness starring Benedict Cumberbatch in theaters May 7, 2021. What if…? will be brought to theaters that will present alternate realities in the Marvel Universe. It will air on Disney+ in the summer of 2021. Three characters from the MCU will get their own small screen: Hawkeye starring Jeremy Renner airing on Disney+ the fall of 2021, Thor: Love & Thunder and it’s confirmed that Jane Foster will be the Goddess of Thunder will arrive in theaters November 5, 2021 and Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson coming to theaters May 1, 2020. Kevin Feige announce that Mahershala Ali as Blade! There is no release date yet.

Amazon Video pretty much took over SDCC with their massive off-site Activation. They promoted the new series The Boys premiers July 26th and Carnival Row premiering August 30th.

Of course there is the long awaited Rick & Morty Season 4. A finalized clip was shown at the panel. As a fan, I have been waiting a while for season 4. The release date is set for November 2019 and Adult Swim ordered 70 episodes for the series.

Tokidoki has always been a favorite. I look forward to what they have to offer. I was able to meet the artist/creator of Tokidoki Simone Legno!

How can we talk about a convention without talking about the awesome cosplayers. The cosplayers are always a awesome sight. People even enjoy my cosplay of steampunk Umbreon and Spider Gwen.

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Anime Expo 2019

Drawing more than 350,000 plus attendees literally from across the world, Anime Expo is the largest anime convention in North America and it once again welcomes the most passionate fans of Japanese pop culture to the Los Angeles Convention Center July 4-7, pre-show night being July 3rd. Anime Expo is currently in its 28th year featuring new exclusives, anime films, fashion, video games, manga, concerts, exhibition all combined to give the fans an unforgettable experience of anime and Japanese pop culture.

The line up for AX 2019 did not disappoint and will kept them engaged though out the weekend. From the exclusive screening of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution and the impressive works from world-renowned composer Yoshihiro Ike, to crowd favorites like the Fashion Show and all of the fabulous cosplay, “we encourage AX 2019 attendees to sample it all – creating many amazing and lasting memories,” said Ray Chiang, CEO of The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, AX’s organizer.

AX this year had over 400 exhibitors, 19 premieres, over 500 artists, and hundred of hours of programming. There is something for everyone. AX also featured four days and nights of awesome panel discussions, live performances, and special appearances.

On day one, the line to enter the convention center was over a block long around the Staples Center. Most waited up to 2 hours in line. There were only two major entrances.

One of the most talked about and popular events is the Anime Expo Fashion Show, which was held on July 5th in Petree Hall from 12:30-3pm. Japan is home to many of the most cutting-edge, fashion-forward trends in the world. AX takes pride in showcasing and introducing a variety of designers and their creations to the American market. This years designers include: h. NAOTO, Acryl CANDY, HYPLAND, amnesiA&paramenesiA, Metamorphose and Hot Topic. In addition, in The Annex attendees are able to meet and get an autograph or photo from the designers and models, and shop each brand’s offerings. I had the pleasure and honor of modeling for one of my favorite Japanese h.Naoto.

Anime Expo always embraced cosplay. The AX Masquerade is really the celebration of style, cosplay and performance competition with history of more than 20 years. AX Masquerade and World Cosplay Summit USA finals was held on Saturday, July 6 at 8pm at the main events hall B of LACC. Masters of Ceremonies Zach and Jim returned to bring their combined energy as hosts for AX Masquerade and the World Cosplay Summit USA Finals. The Corps Dance Crew also returned as featured performers. Congratulations to the Masquerade winners.

What is an AX without tons of music. From all the DJ’s, dances, AMV’s and love concerts, it would not be Anime Expo without music-related events to choose from. This year there were two musts: Yoshohiro Ike Anime Soundtrack World. This international debut concert by legendary composer and musician Yoshihiro Ike awed the audience with his most recognized music and being the most in Japan, having worked on more than 100 titles in the last 20 years. Aqours makes a return appearance with LOVE LIVE! SUNSHINE. Probably the most music event at AX!

What would be an anime convention without cosplay? Walking around Anime Expo inside or outside is an awesome visual because you will see the most creative and talented cosplayers and amazing cosplay.

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Overall, I still enjoy Anime Expo. You always meet new people and make new friends. I think the issues with the lines will always be a problem and the fan experience still needs improvement. However, the last couple of years I have saw improvements in Anime Expo as whole. Despite the overcrowding, I recommend still attending Anime Expo at least once to experience the massive celebration of Japanese Pop Culture. Next years Anime Expo will be July 2-5, 2020.

2019 IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo

The 2019 IDEA World Fitness and Nutrition Expo was held June 28-29 at the Anaheim Convention Center where over 14,000 passionate fitness professionals and enthusiasts took in all the aspects of the fitness industry has to offer from workout gear to workout equipment, diet, supplements, and data technology.

The biggest takeaway from the entire experience is recovery. IDEA showed me that other companies are putting forth the effort and creating more products and technology for recovery for avid exercisers, athletes, and professionals.

PSO Rite

Since CBD is becoming more popular for recover, there were a lot of companies putting forth CBD products. I’ve tried several CBD products to get the feel of their strength (preferably to my pain and how quickly you begin to feel the product working.

CBD ReThink is a high quality CBD company with document proof of purity in their product. It is also competitively priced. The feeling is smooth and non greasy but not as strong as other I’ve tried.

Plus CBD is a manufacturing company that makes a produces CBD. They are very popular and states you are getting the most trust CBD product available.

California’s Best CBD I’ve tried before and they do specialize in the mobility of athletes and extra strength for various pain issues.

Basic Jane is a newer company for me but enjoyed trying their topical relief for aches and my chronic pain. Also, all their products are made from natural ingredients: Aloe Vera, Wintergreen, Arnica, Peppermint, Lavender, Clary Sage, Sweet Orange, Ginger, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot. The combination of one or more of these ingredients plus CBD make their product.

CBDmd is the sponsor of the expo and highly popular. I have tried their cooling balm which works for the nerve pain along with recovery.

CBD ReThink

In the realm of gym tech, body composition measuring devices stole the focus, with a display of a new gym scale by InBalance that breaks it down by weight, fat, muscle mass, BMI and body-water composition, a 3-D body scanner by Styku, and Evolt 360 body scan. I did all three that gave me around the same results.

Styku is a very cool body scan and takes a few minutes but really gives you your results based on your outer scan of the body. InBody and Evolt uses the same essentially uses the same body scan technology but the only only difference is that Evolt gives you recommendations for the vitamins and supplements needed that are relevant to your goals.

Walking the expo, you get a chance to see and try a ton of different pieces of equipment or tools to use to get fit — and I was able to experience many just in the floor. I think it’s great there are so many new pieces of equipment. Bars with resistance straps on them, indoor cycling bikes that lean from side to side, tubes with unsteady weight inside, and water-filled balls. The list goes on and on. I don’t think we need all these tools but they will inspire someone to get fit whether if 1 or a dozen.

At IDEA, you are able to surround yourself with good, like-minded people. I got so much joy interacting with other attendees and making different connections especially someone like myself who is an introvert and has social anxiety. I do plan to attend next year and hopefully the entire show in 2020!