Kevin Cannon Draws 20 of The Worst People of 2013

Cartoonist Kevin Cannon illustrated the 20 worst people of the year 2013 for Minneapolis City Pages. The article is written by Peter Kotz and gives an illustration and brief summary of the worst people of the year, and trust me, there’s some genuine dirtbags on this list. Peep it here. Also take note on how many of these people reside in my home state of Florida.

Mai Hiro x Redefine Gallery: The Mai Hiro Galaxy Show

On Thursday September 19, from 6PM-10PM at Redefine Gallery in Orlando, Mai Hiro will be showing off it’s premiere exhibit, simply titled “The Mai Hiro Galaxy Show.” The show will feature art from RotoboxQuanJure GavranDave “Outtamind” QuilesNicoFrank Gavran, Susan Lee and Nakanari. If you’re in the Orlando area, be sure to stop in and say “hi,” as there will be a handful of prizes the Mai Hiro crew will be giving out.

Redefine Gallery 
29 South Orange Ave 
Orlando, FL 32801

Finally Done: Springfield in Orlando

I live in Orlando and I live for the Simpsons, so imagine my delight when I found out Universal Studios Florida was constructing a full-blown Springfield. They didn’t half-ass it, either. Check all these photos out!

There’s Moe’s which sells a real Flaming Moe drink (season three, guys), Android’s Dungeon and Baseball Card Shop, which indeed sells comics, a Krusty Burger, Squishees, a huge ass Lard Lad statue, and so much more!

Peep this video tour, too:

Mai Hiro’s Susan Lee at Redefine Arts Gallery

I recently had the opportunity to attend Mai Hiro's first gallery event of 2013. The event was held at Orlando’s very fine City Arts building, inside of the Redefine Arts Gallery, and showcased a character called Mr. Smiling, created by Mai Hiro artist, Susan Lee.

The art showcased by Susan Lee featured her character Mr. Smiling and all of his imaginative adventures. Through thick ink and bright colors, the character appeared in each one of her paintings and drawings. Lee also designed pop art of France’s Eiffel Tower, which was very appealing to the eye. With free boba tea given by Chewy Boba Company, toy designer Nakanari in attendance, and Bluemotion Production filming and providing camera work, the opening reception to the event was a big success.

Mai Hiro Presents: Mr. Smiling by Susan Lee

In Orlando, Florida, Thursday, May 16, 2013, Mai Hiro will feature their first gallery event of the year, focusing on the team’s newest member, Susan Lee, and her character, Mr. Smiling. The event will take place at Redefine Art Gallery in downtown Orlando. The exhibition will feature Mr. Smiling and his expansive universe explored within fine watercolor, sketches, and digital print illustrations, as well as large wall-mounted installation piece in the gallery.

Susan Lee’s limited edition, 9x12 Eiffel Tower prints, along with an event keychain produced by Urban Forest Jewelry will be available to guests during the exhibition opening.

Opening reception is on Thursday, May 16, from 6pm-10pm.

Redefine Art Gallery
29 South Orange Ave 
Orlando, FL 32801

Adorableness at MegaCon, Part 2

That last post was not limited to just kids. Dogs can dress up, too. Especially corgis.

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Adorableness at MegaCon, Part 1

While I did snag a lot of shots of adult and teenage cosplayers this weekend at MegaCon, let’s not forget about the little ones. These parents are super awesome and their kids are even cooler for enjoying it.

I still can’t get over how cute that Link was this weekend!

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Cosplay Monday: MegaCon Edition (part 2)

Here are some more photos from MegaCon this weekend. The Cable and Dr. Doom is absolutely astonishing. Here’s part 1 to the post.

Any cosplay credit wanted, please contact cortez (at) albotas (dot) com and I’ll be happy to link it.

Check it: More Cosplay Monday posts on Albotas
Buy it: Cosplayers in America
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MegaCon 2013: Huge Success

I spent my entire weekend attending this year’s biggest/bestest Florida multi-genre convention, MegaCon, and I’m broke, exhausted, and super happy. MegaCon is the place to be for sci-fi, anime, comic book, fantasy, and gaming communities to meet up, hang out, see celebrities, spend money, and have fun. This year’s event was absolutely nothing short of spectacular.

Previous years have seen celebrities like Stan Lee and William Shatner come out and meet with con guests, but this year’s convention was the ultimate package. Folks had the opportunity to meet the entire original Star Trek: The Next Generation cast, including Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn, and Will Wheaton. Voice actors Tara Strong and Vic Mignogna, comic book illustrator/writers Frank Cho, George Perez, Neal Adams, Clay Mann, and Steve McNiven, and star of the original Incredible Hulk television series Lou Ferrigno, were also in attendance, among other handfuls of guests and stars.

The real attraction here are the fans themselves — I saw some of the greatest cosplays I’ve ever laid eyes on over the past three days (we’ll be posting those photos later). A big sense of community was felt throughout the convention, even if some of that community were a tad bit irritating to walk by in a crowded dealer’s room. I attended a few panels (in which were very well put together and executed), purchased goods I’ve had an eye on, met new artists and creative people in the Artist Alley, talked with strangers about a favorite heroes and comic titles, and locked eyes with some celebrities I’d never thought I’d see. 

Seriously, MegaCon is one of the best conventions you can attend in the south of the nation. Florida has something special here. If you missed out this year, you have truly missed out on a fantastic time.

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Things I Bought At MegaCon: Day 2

Continuing on the track of posting about shit I bought at this year’s MegaCon, here’s my day 2 purchases. Like I said before, I’m really going to spend all my money on Sunday, so I spent a lot of time today going around the artist alley and seeing what I could find. Didn’t spend as much yesterday, but I am happy with the buys.

First row, left photo: Issac from Dead Space commission photo watercolor: My girlfriend’s been on a huge Dead Space kick for the last two months and while we decided to go up and down the huge artist alley,  she thought it’d be a great idea to find someone to illustrate something for her. She got this awesome Issac Clarke watercolor done by artist Ashley Lannfor a mere $30. Bargain, really, considering most artists in the alley do work for $50+ and have limitations of what to draw. Lanni did a great job drawing Issac after Googling him and working on the picture in under two hours.

First row, right photo: Brad Goodman Simpsons Figure: I went to the convention with Simpsons merch specifically on my buying list and this was really all I could find action figure wise. Picked it up for $5, which I thought was a huge steal. Figure goes for $3.99 on Amazon, so thankfully I didn’t get ripped off and technically could’ve paid less money on the figure, but it would’ve been more for shipping.

Second row, Adventure Time #4 variant: I thought about how hard it is to come across some of the variants after picking up issue #1 of the series yesterday at Boom’s booth for $10, so I returned and picked this cover up. Scott C. drew it. Also bought this issue for $10. It’s running for about $16 on Amazon.

Third row, RAK Graphics trading cards: This guy had a neat booth of his own work to sell off in a damn cool way. The booth was for RAK Graphics and the seller sold trading cards of whatever character he had drawn up in his own style for a buck each. I spent $1 for each of these character cards, so in total I spent $8.

Forth/Fifth rows, original art prints from artist Peter Nguyen: These prints were from an artist in the Artist Alley named Peter Nguyen. I’m fucking impressed. My dollars were spent wisely here — I got these three original prints for $25. He also signed all three of them. I’m framing them this week.

Today is the final day of attending the convention. I’ll be buying a lot of comics (I hope!) and picking up a commission piece I asked for yesterday. It’s a surprise. I’ll reveal it tonight…

Anyway, total I spent today: roughly $78. Total so far: $154.

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Things I Bought At MegaCon: Day 1

MegaCon 2013 kicked off today in Orlando and I’m definitely feeling it in my pockets. Thing is, with most conventions I have a huge problem tallying and keeping track of the cash I spend, especially now with most booths offering payments from credit/debit cards via the Square app. I’ve decided to post my spendings for each day of this weekend’s convention to help keep track of my bad spending habits and link comparative prices to Amazon to see if I really saved or not. Also, I really just wanted to post and brag about all the cool shit I bought today.

Best tip I can offer to convention-goers regarding money spending situations: visit your bank’s ATM before heading to a convention. I didn’t follow that rule before heading to the con today and I’m surely feeling that worrying feeling regarding my checking account. You can avoid simple ATM fees, credit/debit card taxes/processing fees, and you can easily haggle prices with most booths with physical cash.

Anyway, if this lot of bullshit I bought doesn’t look like much today, check out for this Sunday’s upcoming post. Should definitely be the day I spend the least amount of cash for an abundance of cheap comic books during the last hour on the final day.

Top photo, Young Avengers #1/Adventure Time #1
You guys may be thinking, “Why the Hell would Kevin (you don’t know my name, now you do) spend money on those two comics when he can buy them at any comic book store?” Well, yes, I might be able to if I looked hard enough, but I really can’t beat the prices I bought them for. Both of these titles are relatively new, with Young Avengers being out since January and Adventure Time out since early last year, yet both of these variant covers are hard to find.

The Young Avengers cover was done by Scott Pilgrim author, Bryan Lee O’Malley. In order for my local comic shop to get a shipment of the variants in, they had to order a certain high amount of issues. Thing is, what the Hell is my local comic shop going to do with 200+ copies of the same comic book variant? Hence why I can’t find it in my city. I got the issue for $6. It’s retailing new on Amazon for $7.50 + shipping.

Now the issue of Adventure Time #1 I picked up has a variant cover drawn by my favorite comic book writer/illustrator, Jeffrey Brown. Boom Studios decided that for their first issue of the Adventure Time comic, they’d released a slew of variant covers to make the launch extra special and cool. Of course, Adventure Time is super fucking popular, so those five different variant covers of the first issue sold out pretty fast. Right now, the first issue printing on Amazon is retailing, at cheapest, for $11.98 + $3.99 shipping. But that’s not the variant cover I got. The cover I got apparently is much harder to find and Amazon doesn’t link it. The comic book site I frequently order from, Mile High Comics, has the issue listed at $128 in near mint condition. I’m assuming I have a mint condition in my possession that I need to immediately read and seal up. I got it for $10 today from Boom’s official booth!

Second row, Minecraft and Wonder Woman decals, various patches: There’s a much cooler feeling looking at patches and decal stickers on a giant wall in person, rather than being on the Internet and browsing Etsy for an hour straight to find what you want. There were several booths that sold various decals and patches. I grabbed the Minecraft and Wonder Woman decals for my girlfriend and I at $5. Etsy lists most decals of that size between $2-$5.

I mean, I guess I didn’t have to buy it in person and I could’ve save a buck or two, seeing on how Etsy folk wouldn’t have charged me shipping to send paper anyway, but…whatever, it’s done with and I’m not going to already say I have my first buyer’s regret. It’s just $5 (right? right?!!?). No big loss here.

The patches are an entirely different story. Most conventions have a booth or three with patches being a big portion of sales. I’m pretty sure they’re all the same people with the same company, but that may just be a huge assumption I’m making based off of the sole fact that they all had some really shitty quality patches of the same thing. Cheap patches of anything you want could be found on Etsy for $7 or less. Good quality patches are usually sold at $7 or more. The booth I grabbed these patches with had a mixture of both good and bad, all with the same price. The deal was: $8 for one patch, two for $15, three for $20, and 10 for $60. My buddy grabbed five Star Trek patches, I grabbed that Bart patch, and my girlfriend got the other Harry Potter, Dead Space, and Wonder Woman patches shown. I think the savings here were a no brainer.

Third row, Itchy and Scratchy Funko plush toys: These were an awesome find since I haven’t been able to find them at any store in the city. My girl got these for me at $10 each, so $20 was spent on the two. Really happy to get me hands on them. Amazon has them for cheaper though, with Itchy going for $6.50 and Scratchy for $7.41.

Forth row, Psycho and Mr. Sparkles t-shirts: So this was about the time where I was really feeling the hurt on my wallet. A t-shirt booth with loads of shit you can’t find at your local Hot Topic. I kind of have beef with a majority of the items this booth sold. Prices were $22 a shirt, but $40 for two. As you can see, I purchased two shirts which ultimately saved me only around $2 since they charged my ass for using a debit card. Amazon’s got around the same prices, with the Mr. Sparkles shirt going for $20 and Hitchock’s Psycho shirt being sold about the same.

Big thing to watch out for in t-shirt booths is to not get ripped off. Around 40% of the shirts I found around this particular booth could be found at Walmart, Target, or Hot Topic at significantly cheaper prices. I don’t think anyone can justify buying a Gumby shirt at $22 a pop when Walmart sells those bitches for $6.50. Granted, the 60% of clothing offered is stuff that’s difficult to find offline, so I do think those hefty tags are worth it.


All of Friday’s purchases are listed up top, clocking me around a very roughly added $76 spent. I’m making another list of food expenses to add to this list at the end of the weekend. We’ll see if I come up short on rent this month or not.

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THIS ONE TIME, AT MAGIC KINGDOM
Living in Orlando, Florida, you hear some ludicrous theme park stories from time to time. These include, but are definitely not limited to: wild sex acts on slow-boat rides in Disney, girls menstruating on roller coaster seats (it happens more than you’d think, really), tourists peeing on everything imaginable because they’re drunk and can’t find bathrooms at night – I’ve heard just about any crazy exploit you can possibly hear involving theme parks and crazies. And today, I heard a new story I’m going to share with you all, involving George Lucas riding the Jungle Cruise ride at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Before I begin, let me just state that just because I’m explaining this story that I initially heard from a friend at a local comic book store, this could be somewhat falsified information that I was given. Either way, it’s pretty fucking hilarious and involves George Lucas getting his ass owned.
For those unfamiliar with the Jungle Cruise ride at Magic Kingdom, let me explain how it works. Folks (mostly old people who can’t handle boats that go more than 5 MPH) board a shitty riverboat that takes you through the major rivers of Asia, Africa, and South America. The ride’s pretty fucking old, so its ridden in 70’s animatronic snakes, tribal people, gators, and other animals you’d see in the scariest, mainly mosquito-infested places in the other continents. Except this is Disney, so every threatening animal is smiling or not moving because its 70s technology is broken.
Anyway, the people who drive the boats are called “skippers,” and they’re the ones who talk to you the entirety of the jungle cruise. They fake-steer the boat (it’s on a track and also Disney magic) down a river and point at certain animals and get the boat pumped up for what the fuck else is in Africa/Asia/South America.
The skips have certain lines they have to speak during specific parts of the ride, but older employees of the attraction occasionally adlib to entertain themselves, as well as riders, by adding their own wit and humor into the original script. Adlibbing is an especially a useful trait when the 30-something-year-old ride doesn’t work right and stops in place with all of its passengers looking at the skip for some comic relief, or an explanation of why they’re stuck in a goddamn a river in Africa surrounded by smiling alligators and tribal men who won’t stop dancing around a fire.
So one day, George Lucas goes onto this ride. Of course, the majority of the park guests (tourists) and team members (employees) know who he is, and that George Lucas is on a vacation in Orlando. If you’re the skipper on the boat George Lucas walks on, what would you say if your boat tour of the jungle suddenly broke down?
Well, apparently the friend I heard this story from knows the skip that was on that exact ride. The ride shut down during the tour George fucking Lucas was on. And when the ride shuts down, you kind of panic and you have to pretend like the boat was supposed to stop somewhere in the jungle for some odd reason, and it’s not because the ride is over 30 years old.  So the guy starts telling jokes and the ride doesn’t start back up. He’s running out of ideas. Then he looks at George Lucas and goes, “So…who here worked on Howard the Duck?”
And George sat there, red-faced and angry and he mumbled a lot. And the ride started to move again.
Now mind you, I don’t actually know how genuine this story is, but it’s still a great one. And just imagining George Lucas sitting on a Disney ride, angry and ashamed of his past is kind of funny as well, considering the rich man is bathing in money from Star Wars, regardless of what an alien duck has to say. 
Check it: More Star Wars on AlbotasBuy it: Howard the Duck DVD (Special Edition) | Star Wars Bluray Set
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THIS ONE TIME, AT MAGIC KINGDOM

Living in Orlando, Florida, you hear some ludicrous theme park stories from time to time. These include, but are definitely not limited to: wild sex acts on slow-boat rides in Disney, girls menstruating on roller coaster seats (it happens more than you’d think, really), tourists peeing on everything imaginable because they’re drunk and can’t find bathrooms at night – I’ve heard just about any crazy exploit you can possibly hear involving theme parks and crazies. And today, I heard a new story I’m going to share with you all, involving George Lucas riding the Jungle Cruise ride at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Before I begin, let me just state that just because I’m explaining this story that I initially heard from a friend at a local comic book store, this could be somewhat falsified information that I was given. Either way, it’s pretty fucking hilarious and involves George Lucas getting his ass owned.

For those unfamiliar with the Jungle Cruise ride at Magic Kingdom, let me explain how it works. Folks (mostly old people who can’t handle boats that go more than 5 MPH) board a shitty riverboat that takes you through the major rivers of Asia, Africa, and South America. The ride’s pretty fucking old, so its ridden in 70’s animatronic snakes, tribal people, gators, and other animals you’d see in the scariest, mainly mosquito-infested places in the other continents. Except this is Disney, so every threatening animal is smiling or not moving because its 70s technology is broken.

Anyway, the people who drive the boats are called “skippers,” and they’re the ones who talk to you the entirety of the jungle cruise. They fake-steer the boat (it’s on a track and also Disney magic) down a river and point at certain animals and get the boat pumped up for what the fuck else is in Africa/Asia/South America.

The skips have certain lines they have to speak during specific parts of the ride, but older employees of the attraction occasionally adlib to entertain themselves, as well as riders, by adding their own wit and humor into the original script. Adlibbing is an especially a useful trait when the 30-something-year-old ride doesn’t work right and stops in place with all of its passengers looking at the skip for some comic relief, or an explanation of why they’re stuck in a goddamn a river in Africa surrounded by smiling alligators and tribal men who won’t stop dancing around a fire.

So one day, George Lucas goes onto this ride. Of course, the majority of the park guests (tourists) and team members (employees) know who he is, and that George Lucas is on a vacation in Orlando. If you’re the skipper on the boat George Lucas walks on, what would you say if your boat tour of the jungle suddenly broke down?

Well, apparently the friend I heard this story from knows the skip that was on that exact ride. The ride shut down during the tour George fucking Lucas was on. And when the ride shuts down, you kind of panic and you have to pretend like the boat was supposed to stop somewhere in the jungle for some odd reason, and it’s not because the ride is over 30 years old.  So the guy starts telling jokes and the ride doesn’t start back up. He’s running out of ideas. Then he looks at George Lucas and goes, “So…who here worked on Howard the Duck?”

And George sat there, red-faced and angry and he mumbled a lot. And the ride started to move again.

Now mind you, I don’t actually know how genuine this story is, but it’s still a great one. And just imagining George Lucas sitting on a Disney ride, angry and ashamed of his past is kind of funny as well, considering the rich man is bathing in money from Star Wars, regardless of what an alien duck has to say. 

Check it: More Star Wars on Albotas
Buy it: Howard the Duck DVD (Special Edition) | Star Wars Bluray Set
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We’re Going to MegaCon
I don’t know how many of our followers are from Florida, but just a heads up to those going to MegaCon 2013: We’re going too. Well, I am at least.
The con’s from March 15th through the 17th in Orlando, Florida. Media guests include Patrick Stewart, Lou Ferrigno, Billy West, Paul Blake, and a handful of other celebrities from Star Wars/Star Trek, and voice actors. Comic book guests include Neal Adams, Jason Adams, Frank Cho, Gail Simone, George Perez, and a TON of others I can’t even list without this being an obnoxiously long post.
So yeah, come out, I’ll see you. I’m taking photos (A giant gallery will come, cosplayers. I promise.) and doing a write-up of the event the week after. I might even take video. Maybe some of you will be in them.

We’re Going to MegaCon

I don’t know how many of our followers are from Florida, but just a heads up to those going to MegaCon 2013: We’re going too. Well, I am at least.

The con’s from March 15th through the 17th in Orlando, Florida. Media guests include Patrick Stewart, Lou Ferrigno, Billy West, Paul Blake, and a handful of other celebrities from Star Wars/Star Trek, and voice actors. Comic book guests include Neal Adams, Jason Adams, Frank Cho, Gail Simone, George Perez, and a TON of others I can’t even list without this being an obnoxiously long post.

So yeah, come out, I’ll see you. I’m taking photos (A giant gallery will come, cosplayers. I promise.) and doing a write-up of the event the week after. I might even take video. Maybe some of you will be in them.

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