A Balloony Surprise!

San Fransokyo

Last weekend I took one of my children to see the film Big Hero 6.  In all honesty, I had no clue as to exactly what this film was about.  I wasn’t familiar with it at all.  Basically I went in blind.

I also went in with very low expectations and prayed that I could make it through the length of the film.

I was wrong!

I LOVED this film!

It had action sequences on the same level as The Incredibles and an excellent story that was funny, heartwarming, and family friendly.  I laughed throughout the film and loved watching the action sequences.  It was a perfect blend of ‘splosions and laughs.

My child loved it as well.  He laughed just as much as I did and was just as wowed by the action.

The film centered around kid genius Hiro, whose older brother is trying to convince to attend the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.  Once he’s convinced, Hiro attends a science fair at the institute where new students will be chosen.  His experiment wows the crowd, but a terrible accident leaves him without a brother and intent on finding the person responsible for his brother’s death.

The story could have gone into full “good guy with vengeance in mind” mode but instead took a higher road through Baymax, Hiro’s brother’s creation.  Baymax is a health diagnosis android that Hiro turns into a fighting machine in order to find the film’s villain.  As the duo work together, they begin to learn from each other.  Baymax becomes a fighter, and Hiro grows as a person.

Tagging along for the ride are a few friends of Hiro and his brother.  They take on their own superhero roles and help Hiro find the man responsible for his brother’s death.

The film moves at a very quick pace and was very, very enjoyable.  After watching the film, I did a little research about it on the webz.  Suprisingly, the film is based on a comic series of the same name.  There are some major differences in the characters including their abilities as heroes (especially Baymax), twists in the “origin” of Hiro and Big Hiro 6, and a few more changes as well.  This didn’t bother me in the least (as I stated, I wasn’t even aware that the film was based on a comic).

I highly recommend Big Hero 6.  It’s a great family film that’s fun for everyone.

Highly recommended!

Wizard Wipeout????

In Dark Corners Of The ‘Verse

For over thirty-eight years now I have been a geek, a nerd, the odd man out, and that shy kid that never drew much attention to himself.  While many kids were playing baseball or jumping rope, I was watching 3-2-1 Contact, Doctor Who, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Super Friends, and anything else that the four local channels (sometimes five if the weather was right)  had to offer.  I read books about the Universal Monsters and the making of films like Star Wars.  I also loved to draw superheroes, write my own stories involving said superheroes (and at one point a lengthy set of Indiana Jones adventures) and use my imagination a lot when playing with my toys.

Over the years I acquired a very small group of friends.  Some of those friends are gone now.  Many of them moved away with their families or their futures.  One good friend died in a car accident.  Others simply lost interest in me or I lost interest in them and we faded out of each others lives.  Throughout all of those friendships, though, the one thing that bonded us together, nerdiness, has remained.

I started hearing about San Diego Comic Con earlier in this century.  I became very interested in this seemingly wonderful event.  A home for all things nerdy from comics to science fiction novels to films and beyond.  It sounded wonderful.  I wanted to go to this event or something similar to it, but never did I expect that any type of comic or pop culture convention would make its way to southwest Louisiana.

That very thing happened in 2009 when a local Star Trek fan group put on ConDuLac.  It was a very small event, but it was the first of its kind (as far as I can tell) in the Lake Charles area.  The media guest was Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica fame, and other regional conventions came in to assist with the event.  It was pretty cool, especially for it being so new to the area.

Fast forward to 2011.

With only one other event under my belt (ConDuLac 2010), I attended my first major event, Wizard World New Orleans.  There were tons of vendors, comic artists, and cosplayers in attendance.  There were also plenty of media guests including the likes of Ray Park, Billy Dee Williams, Adam West, and Burt Ward.  A few castmembers of the a little show that had just started up on AMC, The Walking Dead, were there too.

It was a really cool event.  It was loud, crowded, and I met a lot of people (many of which I consider friends now).  It was Mecca as far as I was concerned and I was in love.

Wizard World New Orleans gave me the convention bug, and soon enough I was attending events like CoastCon, CyPhaCon, Space City Con, and Comicpalooza.  I even ventured into the world of convention running in 2011 when I became the vice president of BayouCon, created when a member of the crew that started the now defunct ConDuLac started his own event.  My marriage with that event was short, however, and I left a much wiser man.

Jump to the present.

The fourth edition of Wizard World New Orleans is just a little over a month away.  Sadly I will not be attending this event.  It will feature a few media guests that I want to meet and some comic artists that I’d like to buy from, but at $75 (pre-ordered online, $85 at the door) for a three-day general admission pass and anywhere from $30 to over $100 for autographs and goodness knows how much for photo-ops, I just cannot afford to go to this event.  While I understand that Wizard World sets prices to maintain some sort of control over the size of the crowd, it makes me wonder just how greedy they are when there are smaller events with similar guests and attractions that are offering weekend passes for fifty dollars and autographs that are ten to thirty dollars cheaper than the same autograph at Wizard World.

On top of this, Wizard World is now demanding fan groups to shell out around $650 to have a table at the event despite the fact that most, if not all, of them are non-profit and sell nothing at the convention to recover any costs.

Greed is an ugly thing, people, and Wizard World looks mighty greedy to me.

I plan to attend more smaller conventions in 2015, and will most likely return to Comicpalooza for the first time in a couple of years.  They will get the dollars I would have spent at Wizard World, but I just cannot justify shelling out so much money to an event that seems to care more about the bottom line than the fans that made it the massive creature it is today.

While I won’t tell my readers that they should boycott Wizard World or any other event, I will suggest that they take a look at what these events stand for before deciding to attend one of them.

Thanks for reading!

Mid-Season Mayhem!

Atlanta, GA

Last week I made a bold prediction as to which character would bite the dust for the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead.  I gave reasons as to why I believed that Carol, Beth, Rosita, or Tara would be saying their farewell to the show.

After seeing last night’s episode, the inevitable happened.  I wasn’t surprised at all when the person that did meet their end was offed.  Heck, I wasn’t even as shocked as a lot of other people apparently seemed to be.  Just peruse any social media site and you’ll see that the death in the episode was shocking, touching, and very sad for anybody that witnessed it.

BEWARE:  SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!  STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE MID-SEASON FINALE!!!

Okay, now that the warning is out of the way, I’ll say that the way that poor sweet Beth met her end was very heroic.  She knew that Dawn was fighting a losing battle for control of the hospital, and when the “swap” was made and Dawn then demanded the return of her “ward,” Noah, I knew that Beth was about to make her move.

It was a very sad moment for many people, but I guess that I had just prepared myself for the end of Beth and I felt almost nothing when Dawn shot her (and I do believe that it was a reactionary shot that Dawn took but she still deserved to die).  I had friends in Southern Geek go ballistic about the death and others pointing fingers at Beth for her own demise.

What was really emotional for me, though, was the Talking Dead episode that followed.  When Emily Kinney broke down multiple times throughout the episode, I could tell that she genuinely loved not only the character of Beth, but the series and her fellow actors as well.  I hope that I get to meet her one day, as Beth slowly grew to be one of my favorite characters.  I’d love to personally thank her for bringing Beth to life.

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Even though Beth was my second choice to die in the show (I figured Carol would go out first), I think I did a pretty good job of predicting that she would die

So, with the major death out of the way, what’s next?  It looks like a lot of zombie killing awaits Rick and company after the mid-season break.  I believe another major character is going to die as well, and maybe Morgan will finally catch up with Rick.

Until next time, thanks for reading.  Comment below if you are so inclined!