Louisiana Comic Con and Lake Charles Film Festival

First Two Weekends In October!

I had a very busy month in October. I spent the first two weekends at two excellent events. First up was Louisiana Comic Con in Lafayette, LA. Between COVID-19 and a few hurricanes, I believe that this is the first Louisiana Comic Con since 2019. It’s been a long time for me, that’s for sure. Thankfully I was asked to present a panel and I did just that on Sunday, October 2. My panel was The First Superheroes, which focused on the first comic book superheroes to appear on the big screen in cliffhanger serials. Some of the heroes that I talked about included Captain Marvel (Fawcett/DC Comics), Spy Smasher (Fawcett/DC Comics), and Batman (DC Comics).

I also got to hang out with Orey Kimbler of Geeky Vengeance, chatted up a few friends like Patrick Bennett (POP Ninja, Filmsquatch), Jamie Ray (Fave Five From Fans), and Nick Foreman (Toad Sage Cosplay), and checked out the amazing vendor area. The layout was a little bit different than I remember from previous events and I have to say that I loved the way that the crowd flowed this time around. There were a ton of fans at the event and plenty of amazing guests as well. Highlights for me included meeting the amazing Kristy Swanson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Phantom) and Judith Hoag (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Halloween Town) and seeing the beautiful siren singer/voice actor/all around awesome lady, Bonnie Gordon (Star Trek Prodigy, Library Bards), for a second time!

Louisiana Comic Con has already announced next year’s event which will hit on March 11th and 12th. Check that date! The convention has been bumped up a bit to avoid hurricanes and (hopefully) any potential pandemics! Be sure to check their web page as they have been announcing some amazing guests already and are blowing the competition out of the water! Louisiana Comic Con is quickly becoming my favorite in-state convention. They cater to fans, give big support to their panelists (including an in-room assistant), and seem to cater to multiple fanbases from anime to horror to science fiction. I can’t wait to attend next year. I am planning on going for the full weekend.

One week later I assisted (ran the projector and whatever else was needed) Patrick with the Lake Charles Film Festival. I didn’t get many photographs because I was working, but the event was an amazing success. The special guest this year was Jean Bruce Scott of Airwolf, St. Elsewhere, Magnum PI, and tons of other shows from the 80’s. She and her amazing husband, Randy Reinholz, were at the festival all weekend. It was great to get to talk with both of them and learn about their careers. Plus, Jean is definitely one of those childhood heroes that one will not regret meeting. She was so friendly (as was Randy) and it was cool to see Caitlin O’Shanessy/Lt Cmdr Maggile Poole live and in person.

Yours truly, Ken’s Alternate Universe, was a sponsor in kind this year as was Pop Ninja and Fave Five From Fans and the awards ceremony was held at MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub (which is always amazing). We also showed 1922’s Nosferatu in celebration of its 100 year anniversary on the Friday evening of the festival. This event continues to grow each year and it was great to see a few new faces this year.

Thanks for checking out this post! I’ve got a few more things to post from last month that had to take a backseat to the Reign Of The Scream Queens, so keep an eye out for them later this month!

A Month Of Recovery

Photo by Madtown Visuals.

October was a busy month!

Between two awesome events, two The Year Of KISS posts, some excellent films (old and new), a cool new series, and a BUNCH of action figure acquisitions, a lot of things had to take a backseat to the Reign of the Scream Queens. Well, it’s November now and I’ll be going back to my regularly scheduled posts including action figure reviews, a couple of series reviews, and maybe a film review or two as well. I’m also going to make a couple of posts that will cover two amazing events that I attended in October.

The posts begin tomorrow with a look at two wonderful events that I attended in October with a few pictures thrown in for good measure. After that, I’ll go through some action figures and more. Until then, here are a few photos to tease what’s coming up in the month of November!

I hope that you’ll join me as I slow things down a bit for November. December will open with a bang as I have a special announcement coming up for a great event that I’ll be attending in that month. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Upcoming Events!!!

Summer Convention Updates

I’m happy to say that I’m in full convention mode this summer! I’m attending three conventions/festivals this summer. I’ll be at two events as an attendee and one event as a guest/volunteer. I’m so happy to be attending events again and can’t wait to blog about each of them after I get home.

The first event that I’ll be attending is the Fouke Monster Festival in Fouke, Arkansas. It’s an all day event on June 18th that will feature guest speakers like Lyle Blackburn, Chester Moore, Marvin Leeper, and Ken Gerhard and a number of actors from The Legend Of Boggy Creek. There will also be a special presentation of The Legend Of Boggy Creek in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary. I’ll be checking out the speakers, looking at the goods for sale from the numerous vendors, and I’ll hopefully get one of my Ghoultown CDs autographed by Lyle! I’ll also be taking a bus tour of Fouke and numerous sites from the film. As many of my regular readers know, cryptids are one of my biggest passions and I can’t wait to attend this event!

The second event that I’ll be attending will be the Houston Horror Film Fest in Houston, Texas! I’ve been wanting to check out this festival for a couple of years now and the stars finally aligned in order for me to attend. This event is three days long but I’ll only be attending on Saturday, July 23rd. This event is loaded with great independent horror films and a ton of actors and legends from horror.

I’ll finally get to meet Felissa Rose at the festival. She has appeared in a number of horror films over the years but she is perhaps best known for her performance as Angela in the shocking Sleepaway Camp. I also hope to meet Christine Elise (Child’s Play), Rachel True (The Craft), and Tiffany Shepis (Abominable). Also in attendance will be Danielle Harris and Scout Taylor Compton of the Rob Zombie Halloween films and other horror films. Harris also appeared in the classic Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 as Laurie Strode’s daughter. The duo will also have a live airing of their popular podcast, Talk Scary To Me, at the event.

The final event that I’ll be attending this summer is very near and dear to my heart. Calcasieu SerialFest makes its triumphant return to the Brimstone Museum Annex! A worldwide pandemic limited Chapter 7 to a small event and just a few weeks later the Brimstone Museum was destroyed by Hurricane Laura, forcing Chapter 8 to be postponed last year due to repairs still underway. Thankfully the Brimstone Annex has been fully repaired but the museum itself is still being rebuilt. I’ll be volunteering at the event this year and watching chapters from tons of classic serials.

This year’s theme is “Welcome To The Jungle” and will focus on serials that take place in the deepest, darkest corners of the world full of wild animals, ancient curses, and bloodthirsty villains! Some of the serials that we’ll get to check out include The Perils Of Nyoka and The Phantom! This has become one of my favorite events over the years and I am glad to see it return!

Let me know if you’ll be attending any of these events. It would be great to meet up with you and you’d also get the chance to nab one of my stickers! I’ll have a limited amount of stickers with me at each event to hand out in order to spread the word about Ken’s Alternate Universe! Find me at the events and let me know that you want a sticker!

Thanks for checking out my post. See you again real soon!

CyPhaCon 2022!

Their Ten Year Anniversary

2019 was the last time that CyPhaCon was able to have an event. Between COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura, the stars just would not align for the Lake Charles, LA convention. Finally, things came together for CyPhaCon to take place at the Lake Charles Civic Center over the first weekend in April. The event broke the previous attendance record (something CyPhaCon seems to be making a habit of every year) and took place in its traditional area of the the civic center and in the arena.

The convention was broken up into three primary areas: 1) The vendor/celebrity guest area in the arena, 2) The fan group area on the second floor of the civic center and 3) The gaming (video and board games) area on the first floor. I spent most of my time in the fan group area on the second floor because I was helping out at the Lake Charles Film Festival table but I was able to visit the vendor and gaming areas as well.

The gaming area, especially the video game area, was busy all weekend long. The vendor area stayed jam packed from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. Based on a few friends that I talked to who were vendors this year, everyone seemed to be doing a great job on sales. I purchased a shirt from my friend and excellent artist, Vo Nguyen. I also snagged a USB drive of the Suzaku 7’s latest album. I’ll be giving that album a listen soon and will review it in a few days.

As far as the fan groups are concerned, there were plenty of visitors to the tables. Other conventions, model building groups, Facebook clubs, and more were all well represented in the area. The Lake Charles Film Festival had a number of people visit the table and we passed out flyers for our upcoming event.

Anime dominated most of the convention. Vendors had everything from manga to statues from different animes. Tons of cosplayers dressed as their favorite anime characters and the anime panels were well attended. The celebrity panels also drew large crowds. Science fiction, comics, and fantasy did have a presence at the convention as well, but they were definitely overshadowed by anime. That’s a good thing for CyPhaCon, as they seem to have found their niche in the pop culture convention world.

CyPhaCon already announced the date for their 2023 event. I plan on being their once again. I hope to meet some of you next year on March 31st!

Thanks for checking out my post. I had a great time at CyPhaCon this year. More convention reviews are on the way!

CyPhaCon Returns Tonight!

It’s Finally Convention Time!

After missing out on a number of conventions over the last three years due to hurricanes, COVID-19, and just plain ol’ dumb luck, I’m finally heading back to conventions this year. While I managed to attend a few film festivals, I haven’t attended a comic or pop culture convention since 2019. In fact, CyPhaCon was the last convention that I attended that year. It makes perfect sense that my return to the convention scene would be at CyPhaCon and I can’t wait!

There will be plenty of amazing guests and a ton of artists, vendors, authors, and panelists on site. Check out the convention website for more information. They also have an app this year to help you keep all of excellent things in order.

I’ll be co-hosting a panel with Patrick Bennett of the Lake Charles Film Festival at 3PM in Panel Room 4 on Saturday. It’s called Cliffhangers: The Serial Heroes of Yesteryear. On Sunday, I’ll be in Panel Room 3 at 2PM to present Sci-Fi Rock Stars! Learn how science fiction and rock n’ roll have often combined to entertain the masses.

I hope to see some of you at CyPhaCon this year. Let me know if you’ll be attending in the comments section. I plan on giving a summary of the convention on Sunday evening (or possibly on Monday), so be on the lookout for that.

As always, thanks for reading my post. See you at CyPhaCon!

Finally! I’m Going To A Convention (Or Two, Or Three)

Maybe, Just Maybe!

The last couple of years have been pretty brutal to everyone. In my case and in the case of many others in southwest Louisiana, 2020 and 2021 were downright evil. From COVID-19 shutting down everything to Hurricane Laura destroying my family’s home to last year’s February freeze out that myself and my family lived through in a camper, I’m ready to have some fun.

I got to attend the Lake Charles Film Festival late last year, but the venue that normally hosts two other events that are near and dear to my heart, the Calcasieu Short Film Festival and Calcasieu Serial Fest, was literally wiped out by Hurricane Laura. That venue, the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur, LA, is still recovering from the hurricane. The Lake Charles Civic Center, which hosts CyPhaCon and a number of other events throughout the year, was also heavily damaged by the hurricane, but enough of it has been repaired that some events are going to take place.

With a few things finally getting back to normal, I plan on attending CyPhaCon in April. Most of the guests that were originally going to attend the event that was postponed two years ago are returning including Doug Jones. Also in attendance will be one of my favorite bands, The Suzaku 7! As usual the event will be heavy on anime so if that’s your thing, be sure to attend CyPhaCon in the early spring. I’ll be there with my good friend, Patrick Bennett, to help him promote the Lake Charles Film Festival, Calcasieu Serial Fest, and the Calcasieu Short Film Festival. We’ve submitted a panel and hopefully it will be approved.

CoastCon will make it’s triumphant return to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on March 4-6th. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend this year’s event but it looks like it’s going to be amazing. Not only will Jason Carter be in attendance, but my good friends, THE Rob Cerio and Rafe White will be guests as well! CoastCon always feels like a family get-together for me as many of my best friends attend that event. I have some personal things to take care of in February and early March that will prevent me from attending, but I hope to make it next year.

Louisiana Comic Con almost happened in 2020 when COVID-19 first reared its ugly head, but the event was cancelled at the last minute. Then it was abruptly cancelled again in 2021 whenever Hurricane Ida threatened the area. Plans are in motion to have the event return in 2022, but no dates nor any guests have been announced yet. I attend this convention every year and have presented panels at the last two events. There were plans for me to present panels at both of the cancelled events as well. I look forward to submitting a panel to the convention again this year and hope to attend this great event.

One event that I’ve never been able to attend but have also wanted to check out is the Houston Horror Film Fest. It has taken place during the summer for the last couple of years and I’m hoping to attend this year. Why? Because Rachel True will be in attendance. She starred in one of my favorite films of all time, the very 90’s The Craft! There will be many other awesome guests in attendance and there are going to be some great horror films to watch as well. I’ll keep all of you posted if and when I make it to this event!

I cannot wait to get back into the swing of things with conventions! I’ve missed attending these events for over two years now! Get ready for coverage of each event that I attend and be sure to look me up if you attend any of these events. Tell me hello and let’s hang out!

Thanks for reading my post. It’s FINALLY convention season again!

Louisiana Comic Con 2021!!!!

I have returned!!!!!

Next weekend I’ll be attending my first comic convention and presenting my first in-person panel since 2019. Louisiana Comic Con was the last convention that I attended in person and it’s fitting that it will be the first convention that I get to attend in a world put on hold by COVID-19. I’m vaccinated and will be masked up for the show and I hope that I’ll be able to see some of you there as well.

The convention has a ton of amazing guests that will be in attendance. I’m most excited to meet Judith Hoag and Ernie Reyes, Jr. from the original live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. I’ve been in love with Judith Hoag ever since she graced the screen as April O’Neil and Reyes was in the suit as my favorite Ninja Turtle, Donatello. I’ll definitely be getting autographs and photos with them and I’ll share them here after the convention.

It will also be exciting to see the lovely Bonnie Gordon again. I saw her the last time that she attended Louisiana Comic Con and plan to say hello again. Doug Jones, who has probably been in more films that you’ve seen that you never knew that he was in, will also be in attendance. I’ve met Doug Jones before and have to say that the convention bagged an awesome headliner with him. He’s extremely nice, hilarious, and has come a long way since I first met him.

My panel will take place in Panel Room One on Saturday, August 28th, at 12:15 PM immediately followed by Ms. Gordon’s own panel at 1:15 PM. The panel that I will be presenting is The First Heroes: Classic Serials of the 1930’s-1950’s. I’ll be taking a look at the earliest live action performances of superheroes on the big screen and talking about the men and women that brought them to life. I might even have a surprise or two to give away!

Republic Pictures photo of Spy Smasher poster.

Let me know in the comments section if you’ll be attending this year’s event. I can’t wait to get back into the convention world again to see old friends, make new ones, and maybe snag an autograph, selfie, amazing piece of art or more!

Thank you for reading my post. I can’t wait to see some of you next weekend!

All photos, except where noted, taken from the Louisiana Comic Con Facebook page. I love those guys and hopefully they are cool with me sharing their images.

A New Marvel Film, Short Film Fun, And More…..

“Okay, see you…..in September!”

Today is Simu Liu’s birthday. Fans of Kim’s Convenience (available in the United States on Netflix) already know Liu as Jung, the elder Kim sibling who has a strained relationship with his father in the series. For the rest of the world, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will most likely be their introduction to the actor.

Simu Liu (rear, left) with the stellar cast of Kim’s Convenience. L to R: Andrea Bang, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Andrew Phung, Jean Yoon, and Nicole Power.

I can’t wait for this film to hit in September. Shang-Chi offers us a chance to see Marvel spread its wings a bit and take a chance on a character that few outside of the comic book shop have ever heard about in pop culture. I know that I’m in the minority when I say this, but Marvel has pretty much been on autopilot with their films, with strategic releases of lesser known character flicks like Captain Marvel, Ant-Man, and Black Panther book-ended by bigger films or with those characters introduced in movies anchored by characters like Captain America and Iron Man. Shang-Chi is pretty much walking into theaters solo, much like the first Iron Man flick did so many years ago. Hopefully Shang-Chi will breathe new life into a stale MCU. Be sure to check out the teaser trailer here.

In other news, I spent most of my Saturday in Sulphur, LA at the Henning Cultural Center. I attended the Calcasieu Parish Short Film Festival. I watched a ton of excellent short films and even got to assist with the awards ceremony at the end of the event. Kudos go out to Patrick Bennett, director of the festival, and Thom Trahan and Kat Godsey, executive director and assistant director, respectively, of the Brimstone Museum and Henning Cultural Center. Not only did they put on an excellent event, they did so without two important buildings. The Brimstone Museum was completely destroyed by Hurricane Laura last year and the annex building (which usually houses many of the events on site, including the film festival) received extensive damage. Neither were available to be used for the festival. The Henning House came out of Hurricane Laura in relatively good shape, and was the sole building available for use. It proved to be a great setting for the event.

In other news, CONVENTIONS ARE MAKING A COMEBACK! I’m hoping to attend Day Ga Com in May this year. If I do get to go, it will be the first convention that I’ve attended in over a year! The guest list looks pretty awesome and they’re going to have wrestling going on as well, so I really want to go. Louisiana Comic Con is returning in August as well. Earlier this year I was offered the chance to put on a panel for a virtual version of CyPhaCon, but due to having to deal with the loss of my home during Hurricane Laura and a ton of other things, I did not turn in a panel for the event. I didn’t feel that I had enough time to prepare something that would be enjoyable for virtual attendees. That being said, I did turn in a panel for Louisiana Comic Con and I hope that my panel is selected for presentation.

Louisiana Comic Con has released the names of a few of this year’s guests, my favorite being Doug Jones of Hellboy and Star Trek Discovery fame. He’s been in a ton of films and television shows including Pan’s Labyrinth, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and Hocus Pocus. Plus, he’s a great guest. I met him a few years ago at a Wizard World show in New Orleans.

In other news, I’m currently reading Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Look for my review in the near future. It will be a part of my Dimestore Reads series. Dollar General has surprised me with some of their book selections lately, and there are a couple more reviews around the corner from that store coming soon!

Thanks for checking out this quick post. More toy, film, and book reviews are on the way!

Cosplay Break: The d’Arda Sisters

Remi and Noelle

I met the d’Arda Sisters at the Houston Con back in 2014. Not only were their costumes amazing, this dynamic duo was friendly as well, chatting with myself and others working booths in that section of the convention. I haven’t had a chance to see them at a convention since that time but I follow them on Facebook and Instagram. I’m especially fond of their Instagram feed as they post everything from behind-the-scenes cosplay photos to tech posts and go live every now and then. They also have a Storenvy site where you can purchase prints directly from them.

Remi d’Arda (Photo by ModelMosa)

Some of my favorite cosplays by these young ladies include Power Girl, Ms. Marvel, Supergirl, and Mockingbird. They’ve created plenty of other cosplays over the years and you should check out their work on social media.

Noelle d’Arda (Photo by ModelMosa)

These young ladies are extremely cool and I highly recommend meeting them if you ever get the chance. Hopefully our paths will cross again someday and I can get a quick interview with them for my blog.

Remi d’Arda (Photo by Maze Studio)

If you’ve ever met the d’Arda Sisters, let me know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out their work on social media and show them a little love by purchasing a print or two from their shop!

Noelle d’Arda (Photo by Maze Studio)

The d’Arda Sisters were not made aware of this post. It’s simply an appreciation post.

Thanks for checking out this second entry in my Cosplay Break series. If you are a cosplayer or know someone who cosplays and would like to be featured in this series, send me a message with your contact information.

Oh, and here’s a shot from the time that I met these wonderful ladies!

Calcasieu Serialfest!

Chapter 7!

I’ve been going to Calcasieu Serialfest for a number of years now, and Chapter 7 will definitely go down as one of the most unique chapters in the festival’s history. COVID-19 has struck a massive blow to tons of events similar to Calcasieu Serialfest, but Serialfest’s smaller size and choice of venue allowed it to go off with only a few minor changes. Those changes were noticeable and sorely missed, but the festival was still just as fun as it has always been.

As stated in my previous post, this year’s festival focused on the career of Linda Stirling. There was no shortage of Stirling performances at the festival, as eight chapters were shown from four of her most popular serials: The Tiger Woman (1944), The Purple Monster Strikes (1945), The Crimson Ghost (1946), and Zorro’s Black Whip (1944). A brief history of Stirling’s life was also discussed.

Other serials featured included Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952), The Spider’s Web (1938), and Dick Tracy (1937). Fans of Star Trek were treated to one of Leonard Nimoy’s earliest performances in Zombies of the Stratosphere and also got to see Clayton Moore, television’s Lone Ranger, in one of his earliest performances as well in The Crimson Ghost.

Calcasieu Serialfest was held at the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur, LA as it has been for the last few years. The Brimstone always does an excellent job of providing the festival with a great venue and made sure that this year’s event fell well within the regulations and guidelines for COVID-19. While I missed the free lunch and popcorn that is usually provided for the event, safety is much more important. Besides, I got to check out a new Mexican restaurant in the area for lunch during the festival’s noon break.

I also missed seeing serial cosplayer Bill Necessary at the festival. He was unable to attend due to circumstances beyond his control.

Despite not having popcorn or free pizza this year, the festival did have an extremely unique gift for all of those that attended the event. The festival had special Green Hornet face masks made for the event and they were a huge hit! Not only did they have the masks, but they also had some wonderful stickers and Green Hornet buttons for anybody that wanted them.

Next year’s event is already in the works, and unlike previous events, the July 2021 version of Calcasieu Serialfest won’t focus on an individual. Instead, 2021’s version of the festival will be called Welcome To The Jungle and will highlight jungle and adventure serials! I can’t wait to see which serials will be highlighted.

As always, thanks for reading my post. The Calcasieu Serialfest took on COVID-19 and managed to pull off an excellent event. I hope to see all of you there next year!