Thursday, September 13, 2012

PAX Prime 2012

Here are photos and my take on PAX Prime Seattle. PAX is the Penny Arcade Expo created by Mike and Jerry of the comic Penny Arcade. I tried to find just how many people attended this year and couldn't find an answer, but 70,000 maybe 100,000? I don't know the real number but that's a lot of people brought together to just have fun. People are pretty courteous and everyone is excited to be there which makes for a good vibe.

 While waiting outside for the doors to open for the keynote and Q&A with Mike and Jerry, we got to meet our fellow nerds. I found Mario and a Shy Guy who were happy to pose (and I gave them some Shy Guy buttons I made).

At this point you may be wondering, "buttons?". Why would you give people buttons? Well this year I decided to be part of the Buttoneering group who trades buttons with other members, and just to hand out for fun. A lot of exhibiting venders also have buttons to collect and add to your PAX swag.

Here are some of the buttons I traded and acquired. One of my favorites is the white one with the blue triangle. It's my guild for the new Magic the Gathering card set coming out. 

This year the questions during the Q&A were way better. Sometimes the hugging, and weird requests, and randomness is just, um....uncomfortable for everyone involved. But Mike and Jerry always do a great job keeping it light. Jerry even "married" a cute couple (who were told a year before that they would not be married in the eyes of nerds until Jerry officially did it), so they kept him to his word and he came up with a great little ceremony on the spot.

Walking around the expo hall with the new games coming out was pretty exciting. It's always packed with people but the New Mario Bros. game with the Wii U looks interesting. Anytime there is Yoshi's involved I'm there.

These were the banners at the Pikmin booth for the new game coming out. The creatures and game play look amazing. It was fun watching people playing the new game (we didn't wait around to give it a try).

We ate again (actually twice this trip) at So-Ban Restauant which has one of my favorite dishes Bibimbap. This restaurant was called 820 Pike Asian Cuisine last time we were here, but it looks like maybe the place changed owners or something, but the food was still great.

Another of our favorite places to eat while here in Seattle is Blue C Sushi. The conveyor belt with moving sushi is amusing and I like just being able to grab what looks good. This time around we were a little concerned about Matt being able to find gluten-free dining options. But everywhere we went to eat either had clearly marked gluten-free options or the server just talked to the chef to make sure an item was wheat-free. It was a bit of a contrast to where we live which has just a couple places in town with gluten-free options.

One of my favorite panels we went to was with some of the creators of Magic the Gathering card game. They were showing peeks of the new cardset coming up this fall - Return to Ravnica. I wasn't playing MTG at the time the first Ravnica set was released, but this is an interesting card set that brings new players up-to-speed on the Ravnica world with guilds and color combinations. Isperia, the sphinx above is really awesome, AND it's an upgraded version of a card I'm already using in one of my card decks. Plus she looks fierce!

The most action packed event of them all, for me, is the Dungeons and Dragons adventure with Mike, Jerry, Scott, Will and "Celebrity DM" Chris Perkins. Here they make their grand entrance as their characters. Each time they meet for PAX Prime they continue the adventuring story.

This year they decorated the set with a giant mural. Pure awesomness. I wonder what that errie figure could mean?

It means it's the scarry set they're characters have been thrown into! This amazing little set is complete with somewhat working fire cauldern, acid pit (oh no!) removable floor and glowly ruby demon eyes on the statue. I can only wish we had this awesome setup when we played D&D (we had used lego buildings and figures which are pretty cool too).

Speaking of D&D, this year I came with a little surprise. I painted Mike, Jerry, and Scotts D&D characters to give to them. (I didn't do Will's character because I wasn't sure if I would be able to find him to give it to him. I have since learned how to get one to him so that's on my list for next year).

Here I am giving Mike and Jerry their paintings and having them sign a Lookouts comic they created. Mike gave a good chuckle at his character, Jim Darkmagic, riding a dove. Jerry's character Omin Dran who is the CEO of adventuring party Acquisions Inc, so I illustrated his character doing CEOish things in a study with all their loot from past adventures.

I found Scott Kurtz at his booth and gave him his painting of his character Binwin Bronzebottom. Scott was super awesome and really nice. Scott is the creator of the comic PVP and also announced that he will be starting a new comic series which is really exciting! Meeting Scott and giving him a painting totally made my PAX. Thanks Scott!

Everywhere you look at PAX someone is cosplaying their favorite character. I feel like more people dressed up this year, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention last time. Anywho, this fancy Link costume is super awesome. He would have gotten my vote for best costume.

We ended our PAX adventure at The Crab Pot with the lovely company of Meghan, Evan and another couple from Alaska. It was such a relaxing evening on the waterfront outside.

Half of the group went with the classic crab pot with shrimp, clams, mussels, and snow crab legs. I can't deal with antenna and various crabby parts so I went with the salmon fillet.

This PAX was definitely made by the people I met. Hanging out with friends and making new friends was really what this PAX was about. I can only look forward to seeing everyone again :)

No comments: