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.
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.
Marvel, DC, and TMNT!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.