VILLIKON CHRONICLES ON TOUR: VEGAS COMIC-CON
Las Vegas Comic-Con
Like a traveling road show, the cast and crew for Bryan Kinnaird's screen play the Villikon Chronicles have been touring the country to introduce the masses to the saga of Kort Villikon. Coming off of a successful mission to the San Diego Comic-Con convention in June, the troupes set their sights on the first annual Las Vegas Comic-Con entitled "Extrosion". It was very à-propos that the event would kick-off on October 31st, a.k.a. Halloween, and the team anxiously rose to the occasion by donning their (literally) killer costumes.
Those present-and-accounted-for included the story's creators, screenwriter Bryan Kinnaird and artist Roy Young and making her encore performance, actress/model Cheyenne Silver was on hand to represent her starring role as the character Mystere. Fans of the graphic novel were treated to a special appearance by actor Shane Stevens re-animating his role as Lt. Epimetheus Von and joining the Las Vegas cast was the alluring model Kalucha who had a striking natural resemblance to her character Sha'leste.
Young and Kinnaird, the driving force of YK Productions, had allocated nearly half of their 20' X !0' booth for the characters to roam around and be photographed by the convention attendees. The rest of the area was dedicated to displaying the myriad of art prints, books, and other propaganda promoting the Villikon story. The backdrop was a full color scene of the desert landscapes of the planet Itasca laced around the half-buried iconic sculpture of the Imperium logo. Two costumed mannequins were also part of the display. The first was a witch whose face I painted with the symbolic red and black face paint of the Wiccas. The second was encapsulated with Sentinel armor that was hand crafted by artisans Lance Dworshak, Kevin O'Connor, and Mike Kiselnik, collectively known as DOK Armor. Unfortunately, they were not on hand to see their masterpiece on display, but it was their work that captured the attention of all of the AZ501st Stormtroopers who were on hand.
As of the night before the event, it was uncertain if Cheyenne Silver would even be able to attend the convention due to the outbreak of deadly fires in California. Fate was on her side when her house came out unscathed while those around her were burned to the ground. She was also able to bring her horses to a safe refuge before the dangerous flames drew near her ranch. With her home in tact, she chose to make the trek to the convention, arriving in the wee hours of Halloween morning. Because of this, she chose to not wear the intended costume of "nothing but bodypaint" that was originally planned for the day, but instead attended day-1 in "street clothes". That night, however, Cheyenne stole the stage as she dressed up for the extravagant Halloween Masquerade Ball held in the Mandalay Bay convention center. With her face painted like the Wicca shown above and wearing little more than a few strategically placed swaths of cloth, Cheyenne worked the crowd and garnered first place in the sexiest costume contest. The prize was a very impressive $2,000. On day-2, Cheyenne showed up at the convention wearing the now famous Kramcutioner outfit that was introduced in San Diego and has since shown up on countless websites. Although the armor was the same, the body painted portion of the outfit had evolved.
Kalucha is an active model in the Las Vegas area and has appeared in numerous publications, but nothing could have prepared her for an experience like this. Her character transformation began with a two-hour bodypainting session that turned her skin bone-white and although she appeared to be wearing a black outfit, in reality the top was nothing more than paint, liquid latex to be exact. Then after a quarter-mile walk from the hotel room to the convention hall in stiletto heels, she was gracious enough to stand for hours at the booth taking pictures with fans and autographing the products. Even the grueling hour of removing the paint wasn't enough to dampen her spirits and she was back the very next day to go through it all again.
The thorn between two roses was character actor Shane Stevens whose movie credits include "Tank Girl", "Aces: Iron Eagle 2", and "Sliders", and an upcoming appearance in "Comic Book-The Movie". To attract an actor of this caliber, it sure was helpful that Kinnaird's screenplay took first place in the 1999 Fantasy Screenwriting Competition. Shane came on board during the original filming project of the Villikon Chronicles, long before the graphic novel took flight, but it had been over a year since he suited up in the black armor to portray his alter-ego, Lt. Epimetheus Von. Shane's demeanor at the convention would drift from intimidating aggressiveness to warm welcoming camaraderie. His incredible stage presence kept passers-by wondering whether they should cower in fear or share stories from their childhood with him.
Professional photographer, Don Crossland, from Los Angeles was in attendance at Extrosion and was granted full permission to do a professional photo shoot on the premises of Mandelay Bay specifically for YK Productions. Cheyenne and Kalucha were photographed in full costume in front of the scenic waterfalls at the front entrance to the casino. Visit his webpage at http://www.sexycrazycool.com/Galleries/Bodypainting/Villikon/ to see the full size versions of these photographs by Don.
For all of the bodypainting at the Las Vegas Comic-Con I used Reel Creations bodypaints for the first time. This product is alcohol based and is the product of choice for most Hollywood productions including Lord of the Rings, Blade, Spiderman, Daredevil, and most notably to me was the Darth Maul make-up for Star Wars. The paint was great to work with and it proved to be very durable throughout the convention and the models were happy to report that it came off relatively easy using the Reel Creation product removers. The glossy black portion of Kalucha's outfit was Deviant Liquid Latex which I have used extensively in other projects.
A few of my other "works of art" were on display at the Vegas convention. My two sons were dressed up as Nightcrawler and Venom. Besides sewing the Nightcrawler outfit and gloves, I also glued "Spock" ears on my 9-year-old and painted his head blue. Below he is in costume with Playboy model Devin Devasquez (lucky kid). I also painted my 4-year-old's turtleneck shirt, gloves, and mask to make him become Mini-Venom. Here are their pictures.
Another costume that I helped with was my friend, Ed Clapper's Spiderman outfit. He did the lion's share of creating the costume. Last Halloween I "bodypainted" the red and blue onto the totally white bodysuit that he had purchased. Ed pretty much did the rest although I helped here and there. I think the costume looks great and although it was a huge undertaking, it was worth the effort. Here is a pretty cool shot of the costume at the convention.
The three part graphic novel of the Villikon Chronicles is available from Amazon.com by clicking on the images below. I have read all three and highly recommend them not only for their thought provoking story line, but also for the rich colorful graphics. One trip through the saga and I became a fan!
If you are interested in ordering a print from this photoshoot or would like additional information on bodypainting, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my website at www.futureclassx.com . Thanks for visiting!
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Unless noted otherwise, Photography and Artwork by Mark Greenawalt c2003. The Villikon Chronicles and all associated characters, story, and artwork are TM and © Bryan Kinnaird and Young-Kinnaird Productions. All rights reserved.
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