Sunday, July 22, 2012

San Fran, Comic Con & Disneyland, Oh my!


We have been traveling for the last few weeks and it's finally time to catch everyone up on all our adventures!  Our first major trip of the summer started with a drive down the coast to San Francisco!

Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge is always incredible!

Another thing that never ceases to amaze us in San Francisco are the hills!  You don't want to forget your parking break in this town!  Brian got a chance to flex his manual driving skills too.
While we were walking around, we spotted this humongous billboard made out of REAL t-shirts!  This collection may even rival what Brian has in his closet.
This building reminded us of the Emerald City!
While walking around we found a cute little street fair. The weather couldn't have been better!
We had purchased tickets to visit Alcatraz one of the mornings.  The boat ride over was eery.

Many of the original buildings on the island are still standing (although barely).
One of the best (and windiest) views of San Francisco bay is from the island.
Inside the prison the cells are extremely small and bleak.  Brian was surprisingly content to sit on his iPhone.  Prison life didn't seem to phase him much.

This is a view of the main prison from the recreation yard.  The prisoners played sports out here.
At the very end of the recreation yard was a small view-hole that the prisoners could use to stare out at the bay.  I very inique form of torture.
This is a view of "The Hole" - the worst of the worst were locked in these cells.  They remained in complete darkness for long periods of time.

In the kitchen we were shown the box where the cooks would keep the kitchen knives.  The guards needed to be able to tell at a glance if one was missing, so they outlined each knife with solid black.  If the guards saw the solid black outline they knew they were in trouble!
That afternoon we headed into the Castro.  We were greeted by two completely nude men who were lounging in the sun on the busiest corner of the street.  Nobody seemed to be giving them a second look, so it must happen on a regular basis.

We also spent some time Muir Woods which is a Redwood forest right outside of the city.  It was gorgeous!

On our last day we were looking for things to do and Brian found out that there was a Cartoon Art Museum downtown.

The museum had an incredible collection of original artwork and Brian was extremely excited to have found it!
Original Roger Rabbit sketch.
A Bugs Bunny drawing done by Chuck Jones.
Character sketches from Disney while they were working on Fantasia.

And don't forget about original comic art!  This is from Avengers #1!  Ironman looked quite a bit different back then!


After San Francisco we headed down to San Diego for the International Comic Convention (the largest in the world).  Brian had been given a free "Professional" pass - and a designer friend was nice enough to give us another...Renee just had to pretend to be "Alex" while we were there!

We met up with a group of t-shirt designers that Brian knew from Threadless.  Everyone was SUPER nice and we got invited out to a fancy rooftop after party with them!
The convention itself is mindblowing.  There are about 6,000 booths set up and it fills the entire convention center.  The picture above gives you a taste of how huge it is...but the picture only shows about 1/5 or less of the entire floor.

We quickly realized that many people at Comic Con will do anything for free stuff!  We wanted to check out these Iron Man suits...but there was a giant crowd that were rabidly hoping for free t-shirts.

It didn't help that every once in a while we would bump into a celebrity.  This is Gene Simmons, the lead singer of KISS.
This is David Hasselhoff
The original Hulk was even hanging around there!

Threadless even had a booth there and we spent part of one of the days handing out free stickers!
The other fun thing to see at Comic Con is all the cool costumes!  Here's Spock!

This is an awesome Katniss costume from Hunger Games (and a blurry Brian)
The Flintstones!
Here are Batman and Bane...waiting for a bus.
Ghostbuster!  We swear he said we could take his picture...apparently Ghostbusters are just cranky!
This was Renee's favorite costume (I wonder why?!) - he was apparently dress as an "Angrybird"

Soon after, Brian found his favorite costume, Lady Death!

Tim Burton had a whole gallery there where he showed off the little model sets that he is using from his new animated film, FrankenWeenie!  They were SO COOL!
Giant Brian!

Brian's highlight of the convention was meeting some of his favorite artists!  This is him with Chris Sanders! Chris Sanders worked as a character designer, animator and director for Disney for years!  He's worked on countless films but probably the one he did the most on was Lilo and Stitch.  He did almost all the character designs, wrote AND directed it!  He was a SUPER nice guy!  

We couldn't believe it when he agreed to draw a sketch in Brian's sketchbook!  So cool!
Here's another one of Brian's heroes, J. Scott Campbell signing a sketchbook for Brian!
Next we found a booth where they sold vintage animation artwork!  We bought this drawing from the Disney Studios that was done in the 1930's.  It was used for the film "Mickey's Nightmare"

We found this sketch interesting (although we didn't buy it!) - it was caricature of Hitler that was also from the Disney studios (circa 1940's).

This giant hulk statue was made entirely out of Legos!

We helped create this ENORMOUS Lego mural.  Each of us completed one tiny square of it!

After the two days at Comic Con, Brian had purchased quite a few items!!!


The next day we drove to Anaheim with a bunch of our new friends and went to Disneyland


One of the guys we met actually works for Disney and was nice enough to get us both in for FREE!  Here we are with our "First timer" pins!

Here are Brian and Phil attacking the castle model!

One of the new areas was built to represent the land in the Pixar movie, Cars!  It was insane how real it looked!
Here's the whole group!
Our California friends visit Disneyland quite often and new exactly which rides to go on when so we could avoid SUPER long lines.
Here's a picture of Randy and Phil on one of the rollercoasters! Renee is right behind them (Brian not pictured).

On each ride they try to take a picture of you at the scariest moment.  Apparently, the cool thing to do is to pose when that picture is taken.  Here's a good one from Tower of Terror.  The whole left side is our group (Brian sat this one out).  Check out the couple in the bottom right pretending to sleep though!  Awesome!

We caught on pretty quickly.  This is from Space Mountain (Renee is covered by Joe's arm!)

We tried to do Y-M-C-A on Splash Mountain...but Renee didn't quite make it.
Here's Brian picking his nose on Space Mountain.
Renee loved the "Bug's Life" area - dare we say that she fit right in?

Did you ever wonder how animation works?  Check out this awesome demonstration using models and a strobe light!
Brian went to a class at the Animation Academy.  He learned how to draw Goofy!
Here is the result.
We found out they don't make Mickey ears big enough to fit Brian's enormous head.

As the sun went down we wandered through the Hollywood section of the park.

The park at night was just as cool as the park during the day!

We found another oversized "pixie" area.

Again, Renee fit right in!

So that's our trip!  We're back in Portland for a few weeks and then it's off to Europe!  Oh how the summer flies by!