Bayoucon This Weekend!

Sulphur, LA

This weekend I will be pulling double duty as a Den Leader for local Cub Scouts on Saturday and as an attendee at Bayoucon in Sulphur, LA.  I plan on attending Bayoucon on Friday evening, possibly Saturday evening, and most of the day on Sunday. The bulk of my Saturday will involve wrangling Cub Scouts, so depending on how much fun I have with the Pack, I might not be able to make it to the convention on Saturday.

This year the convention boasts an impressive voice-over media guest in the form of Taylor Gray, the voice of Ezra Bridger on Star Wars Rebels.  This is quite possibly the biggest celebrity guest that this convention has ever pulled in for their event.  While many of the convention’s previous guests have been part of some major franchises including Star Trek, The Walking Dead, and Sabrina The Teenage Witch, few have been a part of a franchise that was currently on fire like Star Wars Rebels is at the moment.  I plan on visiting with Gray and hopefully sitting in on one of his panels.


Another guest that I am interested in meeting is actor and stuntman, Bobby Clark.  While Clark has portrayed numerous characters over the years, I’m most interested in the fact that he portrayed the Gorn Captain on the TOS Star Trek episode, “Arena.”  He also played characters in the episodes “The Return of the Archons” and “Mirror, Mirror.”  The Gorn Captain has always been one of my favorite Trek aliens, and it will be cool to meet one of the men that portrayed him.  Clark was also featured in Star Trek Continues, another series that I dearly love.


Returning this year will be Scott L. Schwartz and Robert Axelrod.  Both of these gentlemen attended Bayoucon in the past, and apparently they enjoyed themselves because they are coming back!

Aaron Roberts, a popular anime voice artist, was recently added to the lineup when it was announced that Ann Mahoney of The Walking Dead would be unable to attend this year.


Cute Classy Chaos will be returning as cosplay guests and will once again handle the cosplay contest.  While I didn’t get to meet either of these young ladies last year, I did sit in on the cosplay contest and they seemed to be having a blast on stage with the competitors.

Many other guests will be in attendance.  Comic artists, authors, and fan groups will be on hand as well as vendors selling their wares.

The convention will take place June 24-26 at the West Cal Events Center located just off of I-10 in Sulphur, LA.  If you’ll be in attendance, let me know and maybe we can hang out for a bit!  Also, I’ll be bringing a few Ten Burning Questions questionnaires with me and will hopefully get some juicy answers from some of the folks at the convention!

As always, thanks for reading.  Click on the highlighted links in the post to check out Bayoucon’s website, Taylor Gray’s Facebook page, and Cute Classy Chaos’ page as well!

Ten Burning Questions!

On Fire!

Yesterday’s Ten Burning Questions went so well that I decided to post a second round this evening!  Tonight our brave question answerer is Mel Rivera of Fur De Lis!  Read on to find out a little bit about her and her wonderful organization, as well as a few other juicy bits of info!

1. What is your earliest nerdy or geeky memory?  I would have to say my first nerdy or geeky memory would have to be when my uncle took me to see Superman on the big screen. I was hooked.  From there I started finding as much out about superheroes as possible. While Superman will always be my favorite I appreciate others as well.


2. What’s Fur De Lis all about?  Fur De Lis is a furry group for people who are furries to just be themselves. We are like a big family and support and help each other in any way possible. We run an anti bully campaign and travel from con to con in the MS and LA areas paneling about furries and helping victims of bullying overcome their problems in a healthy way.

3. How many conventions do you attend each year?  Hmm, that’s a hard one but on an average I would say between 8-10.

4. What is your favorite film, book, anime, or all three? Why?  Fave book is actually the Harry Potter series as I not only taught my son how to read with them, I enjoyed every single page myself. Film, geez that’s hard too, but I’m a sucker for musicals turned movie from Grease to Rent to Mama Mia and so on. Anime is easy. There’s two that I love dearly Ouran High Host Club and Soul Eater. I could watch both over and over.

5. Do you collect anything?  I collect Coke memorabilia and wall scrolls.

6. Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne?  Tony Stark all the way! His one liners and sarcasm are the best ever!


7. Which conventions are on your bucket list?  San Francisco Comic Con, E3, Pax East because of Septiceye, and New York Comic Con.

8. On average, how long does it take you to construct a fur suit?  Well that depends on if you want partial, 2-3 weeks, full suit, plantigrade 4-6 weeks, and full suit, digigrade suit 6-8 weeks.

9. What unique skill do you have in your repertoire?  I am a seamstress as well and make the majority of our cosplays and outfits for our fursonas, OCS, and characters.

10. Ice cream or frozen yogurt?  I prefer gelato myself, tbh.


Super Mega Bonus Question 11. Do you have a website or social media page/group that you’d like to share? If so, give us any info so the masses can find you!  We do have Fur de Lis anti bully campaign page on Facebook as well as the group for it Fandoms Against Bullying, and our group page Fur De Lis.


Well, there you have it.  Be sure to check out the Fur De Lis group and Fandoms Against Bullying.  Just click on the highlighted links above to check them out.  Special thanks goes out to Mel for sharing her organization with us and having a little fun as well.

As always, thanks for reading.  Bayoucon is coming up this weekend and I plan on attending and blogging about my experience.  See you again soon with more Ten Burning Questions!


Ten Burning Questions

On Fire!

Welcome, fine readers, to the first ever Ten Burning Questions post!  This post will be the first of what I hope will be many to cover ten hardcore questions that range from the serious to the silly.  I’ll be asking questions to friends, cosplayers, authors, convention goers, convention runners, volunteers, etc.  Hopefully I will also get a celeb interview here and there as well!

So, without further ado, here are Ten Burning Questions!!!!

Our first guest is JJ Shipman of RedTop Cosplay.  Let’s pick his brain with Ten Burning Questions!!!!

1. What comic titles and/or television shows are you currently following?

Preacher and Gotham

2. Which character is your favorite to cosplay and why?

Joker.  It’s my favorite villain, specifically Suicide Squad Joker.

3. Which conventions are your favorites? Why?

New Orleans Wizard World.  Big and lots of guests!

4. Who has better hair, Thor or Chewbacca? Explain your answer.

Thor.  He uses Thoreal because Hemsworth it!

5. Where do you hope to see yourself in five years as a cosplayer?

Where I am now.  I’m 100% satisfied.

6. What is your earliest nerdy or geeky memory?

My first episode of Doctor Who.  I was sold.

7. Favorite band or solo artist?

Need To Breathe, great band!

8. If you were stranded on an island, would you rather be stranded with Natalie Portman or Felicia Day?

Natalie Portman


9. When cosplaying, do you take on all aspects of the character, or just the look?

All aspects.

10. Favorite movie monster?

Alien Queen


Super Mega Bonus Question 11: Do you have any websites, social media pages, or contact info that you’d like to share with my readers?

RedTop Cosplay on Facebook.  Click the link to be taken to JJ’s page!


I want to thank JJ Shipman for being the first guest on Ten Burning Questions.  Each time I post about this particular topic, the questions will change!  I hope you, good reader, enjoyed this as well.  I’ll still be posting my standard posts like I always have, but I’ll try to have the Ten Burning Questions segment biweekly.
Thanks for reading!

A Nerd Turns Forty

On Top Of The Hill And About To Go Over

I recently turned forty years old.  It’s something that I highly suggest all people do at least once in their lives.  For some it’s just another trip around the sun.  For others, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the life that they have lived and all of the decisions, good and bad, that they’ve made during their time as a living soul.  I fall into the latter group, and I’d like to list a few observations that I’ve made over the last few days.

1.  Geeks and nerds have it a lot easier these days.

Yep, I know that’s a standard old man saying, but it still holds true.  Fifteen or more years ago, anybody over the age of twelve that was still reading comics or playing with/collecting toys had to deal with bullies on a constant basis.  Girls didn’t talk to nerdy guys unless they wanted the answer to number seven on the test.  A person that rocked DOS back in the day might as well have a big target on their back.

Today, almost everyone under the age of thirty knows their way around a computer, smartphone, or other devices with no problems.  Gamers have their own professional leagues.  You aren’t laughed at if you wear a Superman shirt and happen to be over the age of fifteen.  Tech has advanced so far that even the cool kids use it.  The stigma of being a computer nerd, bookworm, or toy collector has gone the way of the dinosaur.  People love talking about their collection of Funko POP! figures and can do so with very little chance of being picked on or laughed at because they sold their vintage CD collection to buy them.

In short, geeks and nerds are in and I don’t see them exiting stage left any time soon.

2.  It has never been easier to get your geek on.

I attended my first pop culture/comic convention in 2009.  Prior to that, I was only vaguely aware of comic conventions that took place on a yearly basis.  Sure, San Diego Comic Con has dominated the scene for a long time now, and there are other large conventions like DragonCon that have been around for years, but on the small convention scene, people outside of a certain region probably had no clue that some conventions even existed.

For example, CoastCon will be celebrating forty years in 2017.  It is the longest running and largest fan-run convention in the state of Mississippi.  I didn’t even realize that Mississippi’s nerd population was large enough to support any type of convention, let alone one that has been around as long as myself!  CoastCon has become one of my favorite conventions, and I always try to make it to beautiful Biloxi to check it out.  I’ve made excellent friends at the convention, and get excited every time I see good ol’ Herbie Crab, the convention mascot, hailing the next edition of the event.

There have been other conventions, both large and small, popping up within the last decade, that are having varying degrees of success.  Wizard World   is a relative baby compared to other big events, having only been a part of the convention scene since 1996.  Starting out as a magazine in 1991, Wizard branched out into conventions starting in Chicago and started to rapidly expand once the 2000’s came along, putting on new shows and gobbling up established events as it spread across North America.  In the last couple of years, though, Wizard seems to be suffering a bit of a backlash from fans that have grown tired of Wizard’s comic conventions that have essentially become expensive trade shows.  Some events have been cancelled, and Wizard has made other changes as well.

Smaller conventions such as CyPhaCon, MechaCon, and ContraFlow, have established and growing fan bases.  MechaCon is the oldest of these events, having only been around since 2005.  Other conventions have popped up, fizzled out, or still haven’t quite found their niche in pop culture.  New events pop up each year, such as Southern GeekFest, which held its first event this year and is ready to come back next year even bigger and better.

All of these conventions, coupled with social media, give geeks an instantaneous fix for whatever they fancy.

I blame the web for the fast rise of the convention scene, but I do expect the con bubble to burst in the very near future.

3.  We have entered the age of the instant fan.

Just a few years ago, Deadpool was only a staple of comic reader diets and a few kids that caught his cameos on Marvel cartoons.  You’d see at least one or two Deadpool cosplayers at conventions, but he didn’t draw the same attention as your standard heroes.  Many people that saw his image mistook him for some mouthier, dirtier version of Spider-man minus the wall crawling and web-slinging.   Within the last two years, however, Deadpool has taken over.  Walk into any Hot Topic store and you’ll find DP merchandise scattered amongst tried and true heroes like Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Spidey.  He just had a highly successful film released earlier this year coupled with a highly successful DVD/Blu-ray release just a couple of months ago.  Why?  The instant fan.  That’s why.

Again, I blame the web for this phenomenon.  The same thing happened to Iron Man a few years earlier (albeit with a much better film).  Social media, brilliant advertising (especially in the case of Deadpool), and the convention scene gave lesser characters like Deadpool and Iron Man a stage to shine on.  It became cool to like these characters.

People that never picked up a Deadpool comic suddenly became his biggest fan.  I witnessed it personally.  They set Wikipedia on fire digesting as much information as they could about Wade Wilson.  They bought his t-shirts, toys, and possibly even a comic or two featuring the Merc with a mouth.  As a result, Deadpool’s film was a massive success and now DP has his face planted everywhere.


That’s a good thing, right?  Yes and no.  Why?  Because the sad truth is that today’s instant Deadpool fan will most likely be tomorrow’s instant Black Panther fan (Oops!  Too late!  BP has become extremely popular in recent months thanks to Captain America:  Civil War).  These folks will move from one latest cool thing to the next.  On the surface, it is a good thing, because these characters get some much needed exposure.  Below the surface, though, these same characters will fade back into the background in a short time. 

These types of fans have been around forever, it’s just a whole lot easier for them to instantly change from one bandwagon to the next.

4.  Older fans enjoy new characters, but keep going back to the classics they grew up with.


I really enjoyed The Force Awakens, but no matter how many times I watch it, it still doesn’t grab me like the original films did.  I was fortunate to grow up on A New Hope, ESB, and ROTJ, and I will treasure those films until I die.  The newest Star Trek films were enjoyable enough, but neither of them have managed to tug at my heartstrings like The Undiscovered Country.  I find myself revisiting all of the old Trek shows and prefer the fan-made Star Trek Continues to the current films.

Batman The Animated Series is heads and shoulders above such recent Bat-toons like Batman:  The Brave and the Bold.  Christopher Reeve will always be Superman and as much as I loved Ben Affleck’s portrayl of Batman, he’s no Adam West or Michael Keaton.

I’ve enjoyed many of the newer Disney films and television shows as well, but I’ll always prefer to watch classics like Robin Hood and Beauty and the Beast as opposed to newer fare such as Inside Out and Big Hero 6.


In short, I’m a nostalgic old fart.  New stuff is awesome, but it will never earn my heart like the classics.  Keep your new Voltron and Thundercats, I’d much rather watch the old episodes that required foiled antennas and perfect weather conditions!

5.  I’ve grown to appreciate the differences in my nerdy friends.

Even though many of them don’t know it, I love and respect all of my nerdy and geeky friends.  We often don’t see eye to eye on such important topics like “Who would win in a fight between Batman and Godzilla” (BTW, the answer is always Batman) and “Who was the better Khan?” (Just to tick off old Trekkies, I say Cumberbatch), but we always manage to get along for the most part.

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In many cases, I only get to see them at conventions or at group gatherings.  Despite the distance that separates many of us, social media has made it easier to stay in touch.

If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this:

Always be the biggest fan of your friends!  No matter how bizarre you might be, they are your friend because they enjoy you for all of your bizarreness.  They’ll be there long after the celeb has closed up shop and stopped signing autographs.  They will be around whenever your favorite character dies on Game of Thrones.  They will be the ones that see you from across the building and give you a Vulcan salute.

They are your friends.  CHERISH them!  We all eventually leave this world, so enjoy your time with good friends!

Thanks for reading.  It’s past my bedtime.  I gotta get up before 3 AM and get in line for the buffet!

Signed, An Old Guy.

Inviting “Anarchy” To The Con Scene

Houston, Texas

(Full Disclosure:  I was unable to attend the recent Space City Comic Con event.  This blogger takes no sides on the issues that occurred there, but is attempting to address what may or may not happen to this event and others like it in the future as a result of what occurred.)

Memorial Day weekend 2016 is usually reserved for Comicpalooza in Houston, Texas.  This year, however, a scheduling conflict prevented Comicpalooza from taking place on its traditional weekend and Space City Comic Con, which usually takes place later in the summer, filled the void by bumping their event at the NRG Center up a couple of months.

It looked to be an excellent event featuring comic book artists, authors, and multiple celebrities from across television, the web, and film.  Some of the headliners included Billie Piper of Doctor Who, William Shatner of Star Trek, and Ron Perlman and Doug Jones of Hellboy fame.  There were many other guests as well such as Camille and Kennerly, known by many as the Harp Twins, and members of the cast of Star Trek Continues.


The main draw, however, was apparently the Sons of Anarchy reunion that featured many of the core cast members including Perlman, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan, Mark Boone Junior, and Charlie Hunnam.  This reunion found itself at the center of a huge controversy that allegedly took place at the convention.  (Again, I take no sides on what went down, hence the word “allegedly.”  I’ll let the courts of law and public opinion decide the truth.)

You are welcome to search the web to read all sides of the story, but here’s a brief summary of what supposedly happened:  Celebrities arrived on Friday only to find that they were denied access to their hotel rooms because the credit card used to secure their rooms was denied.  To make things worse, the power was out at the hotel due to some severe storms blowing through the area.  Then the celebs were paid with checks that apparently bounced or were written on a cancelled account.  Other celebs and guests were allegedly not paid as well, some VIP passes were allegedly not honored, police were called, crowds got angry, Charlie Hunnam left, returned, left again, etc.  In short, it was a cluster.

Social media exploded with upset fans and guests, and despite not getting all of their promised money, most of the guests stayed at the event to meet their fans.  A few fans posted positive things about the convention as well.  Depending on who you ask, con runner George Comits was either arrested or forcibly removed by the Houston Police department.  Things went so far that the web rag TMZ became involved.  It was chaos.

Hunnam released a statement on his Facebook page about the whole debacle:


Camille and Kennerly, the Harp Twins, posted this photo directed at Comits and the convention with the caption “Read between the lines.”


I’m sure that there will be plenty of other posts like the ones by Hunnam and the Harp Twins.  I know for a fact that attendees are still (justifiably) upset about what went down.  Space City Comic Con’s Facebook page went dead for a couple of days, only to crank back up with this photo:


There was also a post featuring the winners of the cosplay contest at the event.  This post, as well as just about every other post on the page, is chock full with comments demanding answers, refunds, and lots of other things that shouldn’t be mentioned on a family-friendly blog post.

Sooner or later, though, things on social media will simmer down.  But social media is only the tip of the iceberg for the after effects of this event.  This miscue will not only damage Space City Comic and any of the people directly involved with it, it will also tarnish other conventions in the Houston area and the Gulf South as a whole.  Many of the guests that attended the event (media guests, cosplayers, fan groups, performance artists, etc.) will think twice about attending conventions in the Houston area.  Why?  Because they may not want to risk having to deal with an event that may or may not have former Space City organizers and/or volunteers involved.  Who would want to risk getting shafted twice by the same person or persons?

It doesn’t help that most news outlets outside of the Houston area have referred to SCCC as “a Houston convention” and didn’t mention its name specifically. This means that any time a guest is invited to an event in the Houston area, their agent will probably ask them if they are that Houston Comic Con.  I was personally involved with an event a few years ago that headed south quickly in a similar fashion (albeit on a much smaller scale and the con runner didn’t allegedly run off with a ton of money).  While working the admissions table, I was left to deal with angry guests, attendees, and artists while the con runner went MIA.  Even though this was a small con, the actions of the con runner affected another local con as well.  I’ve heard people involved with that convention repeatedly say that they aren’t involved with that convention, and witnessed them work extremely hard to distance themselves from the tarnished event despite having no connections to its failure.

The event that I was involved with (and left about eight months later) struggled over the next few years, and has remodeled itself into a much smaller local event.  To this day there are fan groups, authors, and artists that refuse to have anything to do with the event, and they most likely will never return.  The con runner had to drastically drop the rates for vendor and artist tables just to try and attract them back to the event.  The event has even had to move into an event center out of its hometown because of the sour taste left in the mouth of local venues.

Now, magnify that little convention’s errors onto the massive stage that is Houston, TX.  How long will it take for fans, artists, vendors, authors, celebs, and cosplayers to return to the event?  How far-reaching will the damage be to other conventions in the area?  Will the NRG Center allow Space City to put on events at their venue anymore?  If not, will other venues welcome SCCC?  One thing is for sure, word has spread about what happened at Space City Comic Con 2016, and it will take a lot of work to gain back the trust of everyone that was burned by the event.  No matter who is at fault, things look bad for Space City Comic Con.

With that said, I have personally attended all of the events put on by George Comits and Space City Comic Con except for this year’s event and a winter event that took place in Galveston, TX.  I remember attending the first event at the Galleria in Houston and watched the con explode over the next couple of years into what I consider a “big con with a small con feel” to it.  I never had any negative interactions at any of the Space City events, and made some lifelong friends there as well.  Heck, one of my favorite celebrity interactions was with Michele Specht of Star Trek Continues at Space City Comic Con 2015.


Myself and the lovely Michele Specht!


I truly hope that all of the drama that is boiling over about Space City gets resolved.  It has damaged the reputations of many good people who were involved with it but were not part of the alleged deception and illegal actions of certain other people involved with the event.  If it was anybody’s first convention and they had a negative experience, I hope that they don’t let this one bad event prevent them from attending others in Houston and the surrounding area.  As far as the many burned guests are concerned, I hope that they recover anything owed to them and that they will continue to attend conventions despite this negative experience.

As always, thanks for reading.  If you attended Space City Comic Con, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this event.  Feel free to share this post with anybody that you might think would be interested in it as well.

Here’s to better conventions and better convention experiences!