It’s Con Season!!!!

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Lake Charles, LA

Sure, sure, plenty of folks have already turned on their geek in 2016 at Wizard World New Orleans, but for me, con season doesn’t really start until April 2nd, whenever myself and tons of other geeks meet up for the first ever Southern Geek-Fest put on by, you guessed it, Southern Geek.  This fan group (which I’m proud to say that I am a part of) has become a major force in the southern United States, attending multiple conventions and spreading the Southern Geek message for anybody that will listen (and a few held against their will).

I’m going to be volunteering at this convention and I cannot wait for it to get here!  It’s going to be a great event featuring guests such as Trina Nishimura of Attack On Titan fame, Tim Russ from Star Trek:  Voyager and Star Trek:  Renegades, Ann Mahoney (Olivia) and featured Walkers from The Walking Dead, numerous talented artists like Ken Davis, Cave Moran, and Gavin Michelli, cosplayers that include Angie Starr and Alice Infinity, and so much more!

It will take place in Hattiesburg, MS at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center.  It’s going to be a fun time and hopefully I’ll get to meet a few of my wonderful readers at the convention!

Be sure to check out the convention’s website here.  Also, visit their Facebook page and check out all of the cool stuff that’s going to go down in Mississippi!

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Literally one weekend later, I’ll be manning the USS Lafitte table at CyPhaCon 2016.  This convention has been growing each year and shows no signs of slowing down.  The event will take place at the Lake Charles Civic Center from April 8th to the 10th.  I’ve always had a good time at this event, and this year doesn’t look like it is going to prevent me from doing so again.

The Anime Guest of Honor is Monica Rial, best known for her work on Michiko & Hatchin, Dragon Ball Z Kai, and Tokyo Ghoul.  She was supposed to attend last year, but something came up and she was unable to attend.  This year, however, it looks like she is locked in and I’m sure anime fans will have a blast getting to meet her.

Fans of Battlestar Galactica and a recent episode of The Flash might recognize CyPhaCon‘s media guest, Aaron Douglas.  He is the latest big announcement and, according to the convention’s Facebook page, there’s at least one more major media guest announcement still to come!  Be sure to check out there website by clicking here.

Other guests will include authors like S. Usher Evans, T.S. Barnett, and Chris Hayes.  Comic artists, cosplayers, and other guests will also be in attendance.  The convention’s Facebook page is very active and is constantly posting new additions to their lineup, so be sure to check’em out.

Oh, and did I mention that Orion’s Envy will be there????

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Next up is Space City Comic Con!  This event will take place at the end of May, from the 27th to the 29th at the NRG Center.  At the moment, I will probably only be able to attend on one day of the event.  Hopefully that will change and I’ll get to hang out with my Texas geeks all weekend long.

The guest list is amazing…..and long!  Media guests include Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Rene Auberjonois, Alex Kingston, Adrian Paul……you get the idea!  There will also be writers, comic artists, tons of vendors, cosplayers and a whole lot more.  As the event gets closer, I’ll post more info.  Until then, check out the event here.

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Space City has always been one of my favorite events to attend.  I remember going to the first one at the Galleria a few years ago and have always been amazed at how much the event has grown over the years.

As you read above, the guest list is very extensive BUT I’m super excited to let everybody know that one of my favorite doctors, Doctor McKennah (Michele Specht) from Star Trek Continues, will be returning for her second go round at this event!  I met her for the first time last year and HAD A BLAST.  This year, Chris Doohan (yep, James Doohan’s son) will be attending the event with her.  He portrays his father’s character, Scotty, on STC.  Also in attendance will be STC guest star and Farscape great, Gigi Edgley, and Rod Roddenberry (Gene’s son).

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The final planned event that I will be attending at the moment is Bayoucon in Sulphur, LA.  The convention will take place at the WestCal Arena Events Center on June 24th through the 26th.  The event is still adding guests at this time, at their current list includes Ann Mahoney of The Walking Dead, Bobby Clark (the Gorn) from Star Trek, and Scott Schwartz, who has guest starred on multiple shows including Star Trek:  Enterprise, DS9, and Voyager, among other TV shows and films.

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Bayoucon is a fun local event that features multiple artists, authors, cosplayers, and vendors.  Last year was one of their most solid events to date, and hopefully this convention will keep growing.

There are other events that will be happening this year that I really would like to attend, but life happens, and I may not be able to make it.  If I can, I’ll be sure to let you all know.

As always, thanks for reading.  Let me know if any of you will be attending any of these events and maybe we’ll get to hang out!

 

End Of The Year Review

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Adios, 2015

This post is going to be long, so be prepared.  It won’t bother me one bit if you jump ahead to the stuff that interests you the most.  Feel free to do so.

2015 was a pretty good year for me.  I met a myriad of awesome people (celebs and plain janes like myself), lived to see another great entry into the Star Wars saga, celebrated my birthday with friends and Jurassic World, discovered some wonderful new bands, and attended some great conventions.

That Star Wars Flick

Let’s start things off with the long-awaited Star Wars:  The Force Awakens opening in December of this year.  Fans of all ages flocked to see this film, and I was right there with them (on an early Saturday morning with my kids in tow).  My family and I arrived early enough to pick out some great seats and I was instantly a kid again when “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” popped on to the screen.  My eldest child (who only saw Star Wars films on DVD or Blu-ray) finally saw a Star Wars film on the big screen.  My youngest saw The Phantom Menace during its 3D release a few years ago.  It was so great to share something with my children that had literally been a part of my entire life.

I’ll post a review of the film later (because spoilers will be included), and I want to give those who are waiting for crowds to die down a bit before going a chance to see the film.  I may or may not have purchased a few action figures and/or shirts and other cool things emblazoned with the Star Wars logo on them.

Briefly, though, this film is awesome!  If you enjoy the SW saga at all, you’ll want to check out this film.

Dinosaurs!

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Another epic film that was released this year was Jurassic World.  It was heavy on popcorn action and fun, and it was highly enjoyable.  It held a lot of box office records until Star Wars came to town, and deservedly so.  I reviewed the film earlier this year and if you’d like to check it out, hop back to my June posts and you’ll find it in there.

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Marvel, DC, and TMNT!

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Marvel and DC ramped things up this year.  Marvel fired the first shot with Avengers:  Age of Ultron, and kept things going with the excellent Ant-Man flick that, at least in my opinion, surprised a lot of people with just how wonderful it really was.  Paul Rudd convinced me that he deserved to put on Hank Pym’s suit and for this reason, Ant-Man is easily in my top five of Marvel film favorites.

Of course, shows like Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, and Jessica Jones also helped out Marvel’s power grab, but television remains the domain of DC in my opinion.  Sure, everybody is talking about Batman Vs. Superman:  Dawn of Justice, but Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, and Supergirl had everyone talking this year.  The Flash is one of my favorite shows at the moment, and I love how the writers have managed to present the Scarlett Speedster and his enemies in a way that is a lot more lighthearted than Arrow and Gotham.

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Legends of Tomorrow looks to be another hit for DC early next year, and Supergirl is continuing to pick up the pace.  Gotham keeps getting better as well!

I’m particularly interested in which direction Gotham will be going when it returns from its midseason break.  They’ve loaded up on villains this year (and promise to bring an even colder one into the fray after the break with Mr. Freeze), and I love how the writers have managed to intertwine all of the baddies together.  Here’s hoping that they will keep up the pace!

Conventions, Conventions, Conventions!

Anybody that knows me knows that I love going to conventions.  This year was particularly excellent because I got to attend more events than usual.  To start off this year, I headed to Bossier City, LA, for Louisiana Comic Con.  This was a brand new event and it was extremely crowded.  Still, I got to hang out with some great friends and made a few new ones as well.

A few weeks later I ventured to Biloxi, MS, for my grand return to CoastCon!  It’s one of the biggest little conventions that I’ve ever been to and I simply love attending it whenever funds and time allow.

After CoastCon, I headed home to Lake Charles, LA, for CyPhaCon, the best convention in southwest Louisiana.  There I got to meet Vic Mignogna and Chuck Huber from Star Trek Continues, and made a few new friends as well.

Once the summer heat turned up, I headed to Sulphur, LA, for Bayoucon.  I got to meet Todd Haberkorn, also of Star Trek Continues, at this local event, and it was the place where the Just Us League made their debut.  For those of you who don’t know, the Just Us League is a group of cosplayers that are just out to have fun with silly costumes based off of superheroes.  If any of us happen to be attending a convention near you, come say hello!

Space City Comic Con was next on my list, and there I got to meet the wonderful Michele Specht (of Star Trek Continues, do ya notice a pattern here?).  Not only is she one of the nicest celebs I’ve ever met, she was a blast to hang out with as well!  She showed the Just Us League some love and even sent a photo of myself and her giving the Vulcan “LLAP” sign to be a part of a large photo of Leonard Nimoy after his passing!  It was such an honor to be a part of this wonderful print that William Shatner helped come to fruition.

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The last convention for me this year was Louisiana Comic Con in Lafayette, LA.  There, the Just Us League made another appearance.  I also got to hang out with Orion’s Envy and made some new friends.  I met Donald Fullilove and Lew Temple as well!

Music

On the music scene, I picked up Game On from The Amorettes.  They’re my new favorite band right now, and I just helped fund their next album that’s going to be recorded and released next year.  Be sure to check them out if you haven’t done so already.

I also found Dark Sarah, a solo project by the former frontwoman for Amberian Dawn.  I also picked up the newest project from Leaves’ Eyes, which was just as rocking as every other thing they’ve put out so far.

The year in music ended up and down for me, as rumors of a Guns N Roses reunion hit the web and the death of Lemmy from Motorhead landed just a few days later.

 Downers

Including the aforementioned death of Lemmy, a lot of people passed away this year that have had some type of influence in my life.  For starters, let’s talk about a few that made me laugh.  New York Yankee great Yogi Berra was the epitome of a hard working and hard loving man.  He is, in my opinion, one of the greatest baseball players in history.  He’s known more for his “Yogiisms” now than he is for his excellent athletic ability, but I believe that it was his heart that was truly his greatest gift to mankind.

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Dick Van Patten is another person that made me smile over the years.  I watched Eight Is Enough in syndication and really enjoyed it.  Donna Douglas, of The Beverly Hillbillies, was another person that I loved to watch on television.  Watching her in syndication, Douglas quickly became an early crush for me.

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We also lost some greats in film like the master of horror, Wes Craven, and one of the most prolific actors and renaissance men of all time, Christopher Lee.  Lee made a great impact on my life, as his work in horror and fantasy was a huge part of my life.

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Wrestling greats Dusty Rhodes and Rowdy Roddy Piper left us, as did legendary bluesman, B.B. King.

We also lost Leonard Nimoy.  You all know and love him as Spock.  Of all of the celebrities that we lost this year, his death had the biggest impact on me.  I’ve wept for many celebrities over the years, especially Robin Williams, even though my only interaction with these people was through television, books, or films.  In the case of Nimoy, however, I felt as if I was losing a great friend.  Spock was and still is a huge part of my life, and Nimoy’s portrayal of the great character will be sorely missed.

 

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The End Of It All

So, that’s a quick rundown of my year.  I hope that 2016 is just as awesome, and I hope that all of you have a great year as well.  As Mr. Spock would say, “Live long and prosper.”  Happy New Year to all of you, and as always, thanks for reading.

I’m Back, Baby!

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Somewhere Deep In The Marshes Of Louisiana

It has been a rather long time since I last posted anything.  Reasons range from being very busy to just not having anything to write about.  However, a lot has gone down since I last penned anything here and I figured that I owed it to my reader(s) to at least make an effort to summarize what’s been up in recent weeks.

!!!!WARNING!!!! POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!!!  IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE LATEST SEASONS OF GOTHAM, THE FLASH, OR THE WALKING DEAD, STOP NOW!!!

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For starters, Gotham heated up big time this season!  When this show premiered last season, I suffered through the first few episodes (and Fish Mooney) but the series got much better as it progressed.  The Penguin won over viewers in the first season and, in my opinion, kept the show afloat until it finally hit its stride toward the end of season one.

Season Two started with a bang and we got to see a few new faces enter the fray.  Firefly made her debut this season (Yep, he’s a she in the television show) and outside of Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), Michelle Veintimilla’s portrayal of Bridgit Pike was one of the most interesting characters to join the show.  Gotham has a way of making the viewer feel sorry for the villains every now and then (heck, Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin gets cheers from me at times), and Firefly definitely had my sympathy.

Other characters weren’t so likeable.  For instance, everyone that is and/or was a part of the Galavan clan.  Theo Galavan (James Frain) managed to rise to power in Gotham City, and gave Jim Gordon a ton of trouble.  Tabitha traded blows with Alfred, and Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind) attempted to bluff Bruce Wayne, which made Bruce up his own game against villainy in Gotham City.

The season was brutal, bloody, and more fun than a bag of monkeys.  Cory Michael Smith let us watch as his Edward Nygma fought a losing internal battle with The Riddler and we also got to see him team up with Penguin.  Poor Barbara became even battier than she was last season, and this guy showed up in the mid-season finale…..

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Yep, that’s Mr. Freeze, and while the villains heated things up this season on Gotham, it looks like the back end of the season is going to be put on ice!

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The Flash‘s sophomore season took things up a notch.  It had a slightly darker tone than the first season, and expanded on the rifts in time that Barry opened up last season in order to right the wrongs of his past.  Zoom (Tony Todd) made his appearance in the series, bringing with him a varied lot of Barry’s villains including King Shark, Sand Demon, Doctor Light, and Tar Pit.  The Jay Garrick version of The Flash (Teddy Sears) showed up and sparked up a relationship with Caitlin Snow, the Arrow gang popped in to help battle Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) and a few other guests popped up as well.

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A few familiar faces returned, including Captain Cold, the Trickster, and Weather Wizard.  The sent off the mid-season finale with a bang, and it was great seeing them work together against Barry.

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Shantel VanSanten brought love to the show in the guise of Patty Spivot, a character that has it in for Weather Wizard and has the hots for Barry.  A surprise guest popped up at the end of the mid-season finale as well, but I won’t give his name out just yet.

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The Walking Dead managed to drag just a few days (or hours) into an entire half-season this fall, giving us character specific episodes that focused on a small group or individual.  Rick, Daryl, Glenn,  Morgan, Abraham, and Sasha were all given lengthy treatments (especially Morgan), and we got to see how each one of these characters has developed since the beginning.

Tara (Alanna Masterson) really won me over this season, as she seems to have found her place in the group and even flipped off the Rick-tatorship in one episode!

The Alexandria Safe Zone had to deal with a massive herd of walkers, remnants of The Wolves, and internal fighting.  Carl manned up to an adversary as well.

Daryl had to survive on his own, as did Sasha and Abraham when things headed south while they were leading the herd away from Alexandria.  Glenn spent the entire season in flux, with viewers not knowing if he was alive or dead.  Fan theories set the web on fire, but the resolution was both excellently played out and a happy ending as well.

After surviving so much turmoil, the mid-season finale mentioned a new enemy by name:  Negan.  Things are definitely going to get worse!

Finally, I’d like to say that I have only managed to watch thirty minutes of Supergirl.  It’s not because I don’t want to see the show, but it came on against Gotham, and the little bit that I did see did not impress me that much.

However, the introduction of Martian Manhunter has definitely grabbed my attention.  I hope to play catch up with it soon.

I’ve been very busy as of late with personal matters, and I hope that you’ll forgive me for having such a long spell between posts.  However, I am thankful for all of you that read my blog and I hope that you continue to do so in the future.

Thanks for reading.  I plan to make at least one more post before the end of the year.

The Star Trek Series You SHOULD Be Talking About!!!

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Continuing To Boldy Go

With CBS’ announcement on Monday that a new Star Trek series is in development and will be released to the viewing public in January of 2017, speculation about the show’s plot, setting, crew, and timeline have set the web on fire.  Like most fans of Star Trek, I’m excited that a new series is apparently on the way.  Some fans aren’t excited with the fact that CBS plans to premiere the show’s first episode on network television and then jettison episodes two through who knows to its small but growing subscription service, All Access.  Yes, streaming shows, specifically streaming original programming through web-based services such as Netflix and Hulu, might be growing, but for a show like Star Trek to be done properly, I fear that the budget just won’t be able to handle the demands of fans.  I also don’t believe that the state of Trek as it stands right now is strong enough to allow a small subscription service to piggyback onto it in the hopes of attracting subscribers.  CBS stands a better chance of doing something like this with some of their more current and established shows.

I refuse to go any deeper into a discussion about CBS’ handling of their new Trek series since very little is known about the show itself and pretty much everything outside of the doors of CBS is fanboy speculation and opinion.

However, I will say that CBS is late to the game when it comes to reviving Star Trek.  The recent reboot films were successful as far as profits are concerned, but most fans didn’t care for the direction that J.J. Abrams took the crew of the Enterprise.  While I enjoyed the films myself (particularly the first one), I felt that the second one was only a mild success.

The real success stories can be found on the web in independently produced fan series such as Star Trek: Renegades, Star Trek: New Voyages, and my personal favorite, Star Trek Continues.  These three programs, as well as a few other well-produced fan shows and films, are doing their best to keep Gene Roddenberry’s vision alive.  While Renegades and New Voyages are doing excellent work, Star Trek Continues has taken things to an entirely different level.

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Anime voice artist Vic Mignogna headed up production and development of the series and has had a hand in just about every aspect of the show.  The quality of the show’s writing and production is excellent.  Sets, costumes, and props all seamlessly blend with the original series’ look and feel.  The stories make you think (just like TOS did), but are also injected with enough humor and action to keep the viewer interested for the entirety of each episode.

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The show has all of the key original series characters like Kirk (Mignogna), Spock (Todd Haberkorn), Bones (Larry Nemecek, episodes 1 and 2, and Chuck Huber, episodes 3 and on), Sulu (Grant Imahara), Uhura (Kim Stinger), and Chekov (Wyatt Lenhart).  Scotty is brilliantly portrayed by Chris Doohan, the son of the original Montgomery Scott, James Doohan.

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It also features excellent original characters like Dr. McKennah (Michele Specht), the ship’s counselor, and Lt. Drake (Steven Dengler), chief of security.

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All of the cast members do an excellent job.  It’s a bit of a tearjerker to see Chris Doohan portraying his father’s character, but it’s so wonderful to see Scotty back on the original Enterprise.  The show has also featured numerous guest stars from film and television, as well as from past Star Trek productions.  Marina Sirtis, Lou Ferrigno, Daniel Logan, Michael Dorn, Michael Forest, Kipleigh Brown, Erin Gray, and  Jamie Bamber are just a few of the many guest stars that have been a part of the series.

As of this writing, five episodes have been released.  Of the five, Lolani and Divided We Stand are my favorites.  Every episode is excellent in its own right, and you can check all of them out at www.startrekcontinues.com.

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Now, I must also add that I’m a bit biased when it comes to this program.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet a few of the cast members for this show and I’ve loved each and every one of them.  If you ever get the chance to meet any of the cast, be sure to do so.  They are some of the friendlies and kindhearted people that you could ever meet.  I’ve managed to get autographs from and/or photos with all of them, and I highly recommend that you do so as well.

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So, while all of the other fanboys out there are screaming over what is right and what is wrong with CBS, Star Trek, the production company and/or writers of the new series, and anything else that rubs them the wrong way, YOU should tune your browser to Star Trek Continues.  You will not regret it!

As always, thanks for reading.  I’ll be posting in the very near future about a few things that I’ve been neglecting lately such as Gotham, The Flash, and The Walking Dead.

Keep boldly going, friends!

Louisiana Comic Con 2015 (Lafayette Edition)

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Lafayette, LA

For a city that has been growing rapidly over the past few years, Lafayette has yet to attract a solid pop culture convention.  Sure, there have been a few fan-run conventions, but they seem to be primarily focused on anime (LouisiAnime is a prime example).  While there’s nothing wrong with having an anime-centric convention, it would be nice to have an event that takes in all aspects of geekdom, from horror to science fiction and everything in between.

On the weekend of October 17th, AVC Conventions changed all of that for the Lafayette area.  Louisiana Comic Con (which took place earlier this year in Bossier City, LA, had its first event in Lafayette and, at least in my opinion, it was a major success.  The event was attended by a solid amount of fans, nerds, geeks, and collectors.  There was a long line waiting to enter the convention and there was also a long line for day-of-event ticket sales.

Foot traffic grew with each hour of the event on Saturday, and Sunday had a very nice crowd as well.  The venue was sized right for the convention and there was a decent mix of vendors, comic artists, and celebrities.  A few guest cosplayers were also on hand.

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A highlight for me was getting to meet Lew Temple (Axel from The Walking Dead) and Donald Fullilove (Mayor Goldie Wilson from Back to the Future).  The Walking Dead cast members have consistently been some of the friendliest celebrities that I’ve ever met, and Lew Temple did not disappoint.  I talked to him about his character’s death in TWD and his character’s death in The Lone Ranger.  I told him that he was becoming another Sean Bean and he quickly told me that he was actually killed in a film by Sean Bean (whose character later died in the same film)!  It was fun moment that bled over into talking about Carol from TWD with the people in line behind me.

Meeting Donald Fullilove was my primary goal at this convention.  Mayor Wilson (particularly 1950’s diner employee Goldie Wilson) has always been one of my favorite characters from the Back to the Future franchise. Fullilove was extremely cordial, and was taken aback by my “very Louisiana, very French” last name.  He was a very cool guy and I’m glad that I got to meet him.

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I also got to hang out with some of my friends from the Lafayette area as well as the lovely lady’s of Orion’s Envy.  The Just Us League showed up on Sunday (with the Discount Dark Knight trying to keep them in line).  On Saturday evening I attended the convention after party at City Bar.  There was an artist’s Draw Off with an auction of their work immediately after they finished working on it.

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For a first year event, there was a large amount of cosplayers in attendance.  Their level of skill ranged from novice to pro and everybody seemed to be having fun getting dressed up as their favorite characters.  My favorite cosplays for the weekend were Chef from South Park and Penguin from Batman Returns.  Sooner or later I’m going to create a decent costume and show it off at an event.

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AVC has already confirmed that they will be returning to Lafayette next year.  I’m happy to hear that.  Why?  For starters, there’s a quick drop off in conventions close to my home after Space City Comic Con in August.  Also, I don’t always get to go to CoastCon in Biloxi in March due to work and distance.  I’ve given up on Wizard World events for the most part because they are both expensive and not as fun as they used to be.  CyphaCon and Bayoucon are excellent local events in April and June, respectively.  With Louisiana Comic Con guaranteeing a return next year and Southern Geek Fest opening its doors for the first time next April, I now have five conventions to look forward to next year.  CyphaCon and Southern Geek Fest have already announced a few guests, and I’m sure that Space City and Bayoucon aren’t too far from making guest announcements on their respective websites and social media pages.

So, Louisiana Comic Con is my last convention for the year and that makes me both happy and sad.  I’m happy because the event was fun, but sad that there are no more conventions in my area until next year.  I do plan on attending a few nerdy events to end the year (including Halloween Comic Fest at Paper Heroes and local comic shops all over the country on Saturday, October 31st), but LCC is definitely a nice way for me to end my convention season.

I’ll be writing posts about any and every other nerdy event I attend this year and will most likely write a review of that little Disney/Lucasfilms project that’s coming up in December as well.  I’m also hoping to snag an interview with a cosplayer or two before the end of the year and plan on featuring more of them next year.

As always, thank you very much for reading my post.  Feel free to comment or share photos from any events that you’ve attended in the comments section and don’t hesitate to throw suggestions about things you’d like for me to blog about as well.

Late To The Game

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The Wonderful World Of Pop Culture

Next year will be my fortieth spin around that big ball of flaming gas at the center of our solar system.  That means that I’ve been a nerd for almost forty years.  My passion for and dedication to certain imaginary universes throughout my life have burned bright for a select few characters and tales.  Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Batman are three fandoms that I’ve been a part of for pretty much my entire life.  Sure, there are other characters, stories, books, films, and shows that I’ve loved over the years, but those three in particular have always had a special place in my heart.

I’ve become a passionate member of other fandoms over the years, some of which have been around a whole lot longer than me.  For multiple reasons, I was somehow late to the game on these shows, books, etc.  For instance, take Star Trek.  Even though Trek has become a pretty big part of my life, it wasn’t until Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan that I really took notice of the series.  I was born well after the show was taken off of the air, and even though it ran in syndication and on cable television, I was unable to watch it for the simple fact that my family lived too far out of town for cable and none of the channels that we caught with our antenna showed the program.

My brother was old enough to have seen most of the old series in syndication, and he was my sole source for all things Trek until I became an unknowing (at the time) pawn in a dating game involving one of my relatives.  I was lucky enough to have a relative that really, really loved science fiction and fantasy, and that relative also had a significant other who was deemed too much of a rebel by said relative’s parents.  In order to keep my relative from going astray, I was sent with the couple on dates to act as a buffer.  That meant that I got to see all of the really cool 1980’s science fiction and fantasy films with two people that I believed were as cool as a person could ever be (and I still believe that about BOTH of them to this day).

Wrath of Khan got the Trek ball rolling in my life and whenever it was announced that Star Trek:  The Next Generation was coming to television, I was ecstatic…..until I found out that the only channel that aired it in my area was also one of those channels that I could only watch whenever the planets aligned perfectly and there was a frost on the ground!

Eventually I made it to a college dorm and cable television, which meant that I played serious catch-up on ST: TOS and ST: TNGDS9, Voyager, and Enterprise all came later and, with varying degrees of interest, I watched them.  However, TOS is, was, and always will be my favorite Trek.

Another show that I fell in love with long after its inception (and cancellation, in this case) was Firefly.  I actually saw Serenity before seeing the television series and found it to be bland and not-at-all cool in any way.  After finally seeing the series a few years ago and then re-watching the film, though, I’ve grown to love the entire series and the film.

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I consider myself a Browncoat and have a mad crush on Jewel Staite.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet her, but I’ve never actually committed to getting in line and talking to her.  Eventually I will meet her, but she’s always made me very nervous.  It’s nothing personal against her, I just get very nervous in her presence.  She’s one of a very short list of actors and actresses that make me a bit afraid to meet.

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The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, were always at the back of my mind as a book series that I wanted to read.  I had already consumed some of Lewis’ other works such as Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, The Four Loves, and (my personal favorite) The Screwtape Letters, but I was two books into Harry Potter before I ever picked up my first Narnia tale.  The films that were released a few years ago whet my appetite, but I didn’t fully commit to the series until after the first film was released.  After seeing it, I decided to read all of the stories and I fell in love with them.

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Another series or, perhaps better stated, another character that I was late to take interest in was Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow.  I always viewed Oliver as a second-rate Batman and a Robin Hood wannabe.  It wasn’t until the New 52 and the CW television series hit that I took a greater interest in the character.  I actually got hooked on the show via The Flash crossover episodes.  I’ve read a few of the comics as well, but the show is what I really enjoy.  I’m working my way through the series and hope to be caught up by the end of the current season.

Finally, one show that I’ve never really gotten into but have always wanted to learn more about is the reimagined Battlestar Galactica.  Again, my brother was my sole source for the classic show, and I everything he taught me about it, but when the new series came out, it just didn’t hold my interest.  I felt that something great was waiting in the wings, but after missing a few episodes and lacking the drive to catch up on them, I gave up on the show.

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Oddly enough, Caprica was much more interesting to me.  Of course, it didn’t last nearly as long as its predecessor, but seeing how much I enjoyed it has made me wonder if I should give BSG another shot.  I have friends that love the series, so maybe I can look to them for even more inspiration.

As always, thanks for reading.  I hope to meet some of you this weekend at the Louisiana Comic Con in Lafayette, LA.  Look for Charlie Brown on Saturday and The Discount Dark Knight on Sunday.  I hope to see you there!

The Walking Dead Has Returned!!!

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Alexandria Safe Zone

After what seemed like ages, The Walking Dead finally made its triumphant return to the small screen with a brand new season and a few new characters.  While Fear The Walking Dead did its darnedest to satisfy our hunger, it can’t hold a candle to its daddy.  I hope that Fear The Walking Dead gets better with its next season, but I don’t have a lot of hope for it.  With no intentions of beating a dead horse, I just can’t commit to any of the characters.  They are shallow and forgettable, and the show’s future looks bleaker in my mind than The Walking Dead’s future.

Okay, enough about that.  Let’s get to last night’s premiere.

****WARNING!!!  WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE****

STOP READING NOW UNLESS YOU WANT SPOILERS!!!!!

Last night’s episode opened up with a bit of craziness.  That whole quarry full of walkers was interesting to see, and my old school Whovian vibe hit full speed.  Why?  Because anybody that watched classic Doctor Who during the runs of Tom Baker or Peter Davison know that a lot of serious stuff went down in quarries for both of those Doctors.  Whenever I saw that quarry, I didn’t think about it being the primary reason that Alexandria appeared to remain fairly safe.  Nope, I figured that it was a massive walker pit set up by the Wolves.  I’m sure that they will play a much larger part during this season of TWD, and I can’t wait to see where their story will collide with Rick and the gang.

Also, the episode played with flashbacks to the setup of the walker parade with black and white footage.  While I can appreciate the artsy attempt to differentiate between the past and present, I didn’t see it as much of a help or hindrance.  If anything, I would have gone with a darker filter (maybe brown out the flashback sequences) instead of the old B&W standby.  Still, that was just a minor bug up my backside.

For the most part, the episode was very solid.  It wasn’t my favorite season opener (Season Four and Season Two are tied for that spot), but I really appreciated how it used confusion (with the flashbacks, keeping us guessing as to what really is going on), group tension (the uneasy truce of Rick and Carter and the different reactions of characters to Glenn and Nicholas’ relationship), downright idiocy (Abraham’s seeming fall into goofiness), and humor (I’m looking at you, Eugene, and that glorious hair of yours).

We also got to meet a few new characters.  I’d like to focus on two of them specifically.  First of all, let’s take a look at Carter (Ethan Embry).  Carter pops into the group as the primary source of resistance to Rick’s master plan to get rid of the walker quarry herd.  Rick being Rick, he patiently waits for Carter to screw up and, surprise, he does.  He pulls a gun on poor ol’ Eugene (who plays off the whole interaction with a “Hello” that is hilarious in the minds of the audience).  This is when Rick lays down the law and Carter meekly agrees to help him out.

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Carter almost derails the plan when he is grabbed by a walker that has somehow twisted itself into the branches of a tree just off of the road that the herd is being paraded on to their eventual destination twenty miles away.  Carter, not used to being monster meat, screams in terror and then screams in pain as the walker takes out a chunk of his face.  This draws the herd into the woods for a bit, but leave it to Rick, Morgan, and Michonne to put an end to all of that nonsense.  It must have been very fulfilling for Rick to shut Carter up!

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The other character I’d like to talk about is Heath (Corey Hawkins).  While we don’t get to see much of Heath, his few moments on the screen are golden.  From his first encounter with Eugene, who immediately recognizes him for the follicly fashion-forward man that he is, to his nervous but much-needed assistance given to Glenn and Nicholas, I can see Heath being a key character for at least a few episodes.  Hopefully he will stick around longer than Carter.

The show held my attention for its entirety and gave myself and others brief glimpses into the development of Morgan as a character (he’s a bit miffed about his peanut butter protein bar and appears to be on to Carol’s deception of the natives of Alexandria), Michonne becoming even more sure of herself, and Deanna trying to keep things together after losing her husband and a bit of control over Alexandria.

I see this season as one where a few major characters will bite the dust (my money’s on Glenn and, possibly, Abraham) and a couple of newer characters (Deanna and Heath) will take key roles in the new chaos that awaits them just outside the walls of Alexandria.

Oh, and that HORN!!!!!!!

As always, thanks for reading.  I’ll be at Louisiana Comic Con this weekend in Lafayette, LA.  I’ll be sure to post photos and a write up about the event in the week that follows.  If you are attending the event, be sure to track me down.  I’ll be cosplaying as Charlie Brown on Saturday for most of the day and on Sunday I’ll be the Discount Dark Knight along with a few other members of the Just Us League.  I hope to see you there!