Recently in A Fellowship of Misfits: Dispatches from the Con

San Diego Comic-Con 2017: Taking a Step Back for a Look

Four days in July that celebrate everything to do with popular culture.
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What if I said that the San Diego Comic-Con International has nothing to do with comics? For anyone that has attended in the past 15 years, that's probably not a shocking statement on the surface. But what if I told you that the much heralded Comic-Con didn't exist as a cultural touchstone because of movies, television, art, anime, or even Star Wars cosplay? I've written reviews of my experiences at Comic-Con for over ten years and they all follow a similar pattern - I listen to very talented and passionate people talk about shows, books, and subjects that have evolved

Five Cool Things and San Diego Comic-Con 2017

There were cool things all over San Diego this weekend.
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Mat, the normal curator for this coulmn, and his family have gone on vacation, but with San Diego Comic-Con having happened over the weekend, there were too many cool things not to draw attention to some of them. For example: Brigsby Bear While upcoming superhero movies dominated the Con, the one that looked the most interesting was this strange film from Kyle Mooney and friends about a young man obsessed with a television show that features the titular character. Attendees were treated to the first twelve minutes or so just as Kyle's character's life is about to be forever altered

Hailing Frequencies Open with Dennis Hanon, IKV Stranglehold

A discussion about the long-running panel's history and workings.
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Stranglehold is a not-for-profit, San-Diego-based fan group that not only puts on the long running Klingon Lifestyles panel at San Diego Comic-Con (this year held 8:30 PM on Friday in Room 6A), and also cosplays as pirates, steampunk villains, and now Doctor Who. I spoke with Dennis Hanon, who portrays Fleet Admiral K'Han Den to learn more about the panel How did the fan group start? It started as a fan group dedicated to the Star Trek aliens known as Klingons. Through the years it changed from being a fan group to a performance troupe and later adding other elements

Wizard World Sacramento 2017 Review: Great Guests and Even Better Panels

This year's con proved to be a better experience for pop-culture fans than the previous year.
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Ever since making its way to Sacramento in 2014, I’ve had the pleasure of covering each Wizard World convention. That was actually the first time I had attended an event of its kind, and I was completely blown away by how much of a nerd nirvana it turned out to be. Whether you are into movies, television shows, comic books, or anything pop-culture related, there was something for everyone at the event. I’ve always looked forward to each one, but, to be honest, I was a little let down by the 2016 convention. I’m not saying it was an entirely

Actor Kevin Sorbo Talks Hercules and More at Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con

Sorbo also talks about playing an exaggerated version of himself in a movie and some of the future projects he has lined up.
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I first interviewed Kevin Sorbo back in 2013, when he was doing a promotion for a little film called Storm Rider. But, back then, I was talking to him over the phone while on my lunch break at the day job I had at the time. This year, I was able to speak to him in person for five minutes. Sure, that’s not a lot of time for an interview, but it’s enough to get in some questions while he’s on a break from signing autographs and taking pictures. Sorbo is one of the many guests lined up for the

Emerald City Comicon 2017 Review: A Smaller Convention Coming into Its Own

So after a few years of mulling it over, I decided that this would be the first year I would attend.
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Having been to several comic conventions in California, one of my friends living in the Seattle area told me I should come up and check Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) that is held in the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. So after a few years of mulling it over, I decided that this would be the year I would attend. And while it wasn’t exactly the experience I’ve had at previous conventions, I had a fun time overall. It wasn’t because they didn’t have enough of the panels and celebrities that I enjoy seeing, but it was because I

Now Hear This Podcast Festival 2016 Review

It will be interesting to see how it evolves and grows over the next few years.
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Disclaimer: I’m a podcaster and a podcast fan. I was one fourth of the amazing team of the now-retired Scorebored. I have worked with a lot of the podcasters whose podcasts I listen to regularly. I listen to podcasts daily. I attend live podcast performances. I have attended the Los Angeles Podcast Festival four out of the five years it has been going. So I am writing this article as a member of the press, but also as a member the podcast community. Last weekend marked the inaugural Now Hear This Podcast Festival (NHT). The festival was held October 28th-30th

Wizard World Tulsa 2016: A Quick Visit

Due to some personal matters, I only stayed at this year's con for a couple of hours, but still had tons of fun.
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During this, my third Wizard Con experience I came to realize there is a certain sameness to these things. You get a lot of the same vendors, see a lot of the same cosplayers, listen to a lot of the same celebrities who say a lot of the same things. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I think there are enough different experiences to be had to keep it interesting, but it is starting to make me wonder if it's worth the cost to attend every year. Or, rather, since I get comped press passes, whether its worth it

Los Angeles Podcast Festival 2016 - Saturday

What I saw and heard in the ballrooms of the Sofitel Los Angeles.
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Aside from appearing as a guest on a number of podcasts, I have no interaction with them, which made me either the ideal candidiate or the worst to attend the fifth annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival held at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, the festival's website only offered images of the podcasts in attendance, so for a novice like myself, I had to search the Internet to learn about the podcasts. I started with Cashing In With T.J. Miller, since I knew and enjoyed much of what I have seen by the actor/comedian. Hosted by Cash Levy,

Wizard World Richmond 2016: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

"I love beard!"
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Wizard World Richmond was this past weekend and I’ve got some things to say about it. You’ll remember that I have limited experience when it comes to conventions. Now that I’ve been to a nationally recognized one, I’ve learned a few things that I wasn’t quite aware of when making my plans for what I was going to see and do. Then again, I’m pretty fickle so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that most of my plans were lost to the wind. Overall, I had a fairly positive experience. I’ve got good and bad things to say. In order to make

Wizard World Richmond 2016 Preview

To quote Opie Winston, "I got this."
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The first (and only) time I’ve been to any kind of convention was in 2013 when I went to Blood at the Beach. There weren’t a lot of guests I was really interested in seeing, but there were a couple of actors from The Walking Dead I wanted to gaze upon. I really had my heart set on meeting Michael Rooker, simply because I wanted to ask him a question about some little one-liners he had in the show that went largely unnoticed. I paid my money and got in the autograph line. I remember being next and I was

Wizard World Chicago 2016: Kids Day at the Con

A little kindness goes a long way in making a good convention great.
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If you’ve been reading my Wizard World columns for the past few years (2014, 2015), you’ve probably already steeled yourself for yet another barrage of nostalgia and reminiscing about conventions of days gone by. There’s a fair chance you’re already sick and tired of reading saccharine-soaked stories of how much I enjoy taking my children to conventions instead of taking shots before and after the show (full disclosure: I totally did a shot of whiskey after the show, but after being on my feet for that long with an eight-year-old in tow, I’m pretty sure I’d earned it). But there

Panels of Interest at Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo 2015

How do they sound to you?
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Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this Halloween weekend for the 2015 edition. The three-day event is jam-packed with programming. These are the panels that look to be the most interesting/entertaining with their synopses from the Expo website. Friday, 10/30 Star Trek Stories (Room: 518, 4:00pm) - Hear from the saviors of Star Trek TOS, John and Bjo Trimble, and classic Star Trek writer David Gerrold about Trek's early days. Mr. Gerrold became a fan of a show and began submitting stories to become scripts, eventually leading to "The Trouble with Tribbles" and many novelizations

Wizard World Tulsa 2015: Too Legit (And Sick) To Quit

My second Con experience found me with wife in tow and sick as a dog.
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Last year, I attended my very first Con (Wizard World Tulsa, you can read all about it here). I had a great time then so I was quite excited when I learned they were coming back this year. The lineup wasn’t nearly as interesting as the last one, but this time did come with Bruce freakin’ Campbell, who I figured was worth the price of admission all by his own bad self. I even talked my wife into buying a ticket. I had hoped to actually dress up this year. I think I could make a pretty stellar Doctor (the

Wizard World Chicago 2015 Review: It Was a Good Show

The convention was, in a word, insane.
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So I went to Wizard World yesterday (August 22, 2015) at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, where the event has been held for… I’m not really sure how long, but it's been there as long as I can remember and probably even before that. That said, my memory is a little hazy these days, due in no small part to some of the activities I participated in whilst attending Wizard World events of days gone by with the variety of n’er-do-wells and miscreants that I call my friends. Anyway, after a fairly long stretch of attending the event and

Star Wars Celebration 2015: The Biggest Star Wars Convention in the Galaxy

The world's largest Star Wars convention offered stars, cosplay, exclusive merchandise and recreated film sets.
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Feel like getting an autograph from Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, or Anthony Daniels? Still want that autograph? The biennial Star Wars Celebration took place over the weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center, an occasionally frustrating experience in extreme fandom. This was the place for fans so hardcore that they camped out overnight for the chance to attend a panel that the rest of the world was able to instantly enjoy via livestream from the comfort of their home/office. Sure, that panel debuted the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer and featured old and new stars live on stage, but

Wonder What I Want to See at WonderCon 2015 No More

The con programs I am most intrigued by are...
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Comic-Con International's WonderCon returns to the Anaheim Convention April 3-5, 2015, which has been its home since 2012, to the delight of many in Southern California and to the disappointment of many in Northern California. Fans come to celebrate their pop-culture obsessions, honoring what has come before and learning what new things they can discover. While I am interested in taking part in a number of WonderCon events, the programs I am most intrigued by are listed below. Friday Star Trek: They're Not Really Dead As Long As We Remember Them Friday April 3, 2015 1:00pm - 2:00pmRoom 207 While

Wizard World Chicago Fan Fest, March 7-8, 2015

New fans, lapsed fans, fair-weather fans, broke fans and folks whose kids have been begging them to go to a convention - rejoice! Wizard World has heard your cries!
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Spring hasn't exactly sprung, but even though there's still a chill in the air and frost on the tree branches, it's never too early to kick off convention season. This year, pop-culture fans in Chicago were treated to something a little bit different - while Wizard World usually rolls into the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois sometime in August, a smaller Fan Fest was held in the same location on March 7-8. Fans who purchased either VIP or 4-Day tickets for the August show would receive free admission (which I guess is what makes it a fan
Press release: Long Beach Comic Expo is unveiling legendary guests and buzzworthy panels, as well as innovative programs and new partners, in preparation for the 6th annual Long Beach Comic Expo, to be held at the Long Beach Convention Center on February 28 and March 1, 2015. The Expo will play host to more than 140 guests and 50 panels and, for the first time, it will be held in the full exhibit hall. Long Beach Comic Expo is proud to announce bestselling writer Chris Claremont and bestselling artist Ethan Van Sciver as the Long Beach Comic Expo Guests of

Saturday at Wizard World Tulsa: My First Con Experience

My first ever Con found me checking out cosplayers and listening to James Marsters and William Shatner.
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When I learned I’d be going to Wizard World's Tulsa Comic Con this past weekend, I was excited and a little nervous. I’d never been to a Con before, and while I have certain dorky tendencies, I don’t consider myself a full-blown geek. I’ve read a few graphic novels and manga, but I don’t haunt the comic book store. I’ve seen almost all of the superhero movies, but rarely have they been caught in the theatre. I like science fiction movies and stories but not more so than any other genre. And while I play a lot of games, they

Wizard World Chicago 2014: You Can Go Home Again

Chad Derdowski returns to Wizard World after a long hiatus... but is there any magic left?
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Once upon a time, I couldn’t have imagined missing a Wizard World event in Chicago. Even though I lived in Michigan, and more often than not, found myself taking the affordable, but not exactly enjoyable Mega Bus in order to make the long journey to the Windy City, it was always worth it. Greeted by old friends, aged whiskey, and the promise of scads of sequential art, the idea of missing this grand event was as impossible to imagine as a blockbuster film featuring Rocket Raccoon. But “once upon a time” was a long time ago, in what often feels

Friday at Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013

I was impressed by how much things had changed.
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The last time I attended Comikaze was during its inaugural convention two years ago. It was also at the L.A. Convention Center but it felt like you were in the parking garage where all the exhibitors were crammed together and the panel rooms were black curtains hung up in a few areas of the floor pretending to be walls that gave no privacy or filtered any sound, The admission line was insanely long and it took two hours before we were bored enough to leave. So two years later, when I had the opportunity to attend once again, I wasn’t

Sunday at Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013: The Final Day

My first time at Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013.
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Up early on a Sunday morning for my first trip to Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. Though this was day three, it was my first trip up to the Los Angeles Convention Center to see Mr. Lee and all that he, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), and Regina Carpinelli (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo) had created. Luckily, I was joined by fellow member of the Cinema Sentries team Gordon Miller, who was facing his third day of the event with a modicum of enthusiasm. Arriving in Los Angeles, we immediately took advantage of Gordon’s experience

Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013: Three Days of the Octopus

The diary of my return to LA's Comikaze.
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The third Comikaze was my second time attending. I skipped last year because the inaugural event was a tad disappointing, coming off more like a swap meet of vendors gathered together on a floor that was easy to cover in two hours. There were also some panels that were held on the floor behind curtains held up by PVC tubing. This year the convention, now known as Stan Lee's Comikaze was a much more impressive affair as they took up more real estate at the L.A. Convention Center and offered more for attendees to do, My first panel was "Learn

Saturday at Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013

What I did this weekend.
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Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Stan Lee's Comikaze offers pop culture delights on a much smaller scale. I had hoped to have more success in attending some of the panels on Saturday since it has become such a difficult feat at San Diego Comic Con. Alas, no such luck. I attempted to start off with "Super-Heroines of Pop Culture," focusing on the challenges of creating female heroes in a male-dominated field but it had already started and the line was as far as I could see. "Voice-Nado" featuring voice talents in a Whose Line is it Anyways?-type improvisation

Spotlight On San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Day Three

In which I dabble in some hip hop-related panels and a few Spotlights On.
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CAC #10: JAPAN AND GLOBAL INFLUENCE: After a morning of making a last trip around the Convention floor, I was shut out of a number of panels including Futurama, Godzilla, and YA authors. This little room caught my attention from an intellectual curiousity point of view. "CAC" stands for Comic Arts Confernce. The story of Yutsoko Chusonji should be a movie. Her story was moderated by Dexter L. Thomas Jr. and included June Madeley and Jonathan Valdez to discuss more of the sociological aspects to her story. Yutsoko's story is that of a manga artist in the '80s who went

San Diego Comic-Con 2013: Day 2 Highlights and Lowlights

Want to know what's going on Friday?
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Friday, July 19 Cartoon Network: Regular Show Care to join the not so regular cast and crew for an eventful hour of over the top regular? Yeeeeeeeeuh you do! Check out exclusive content and get the inside scoop on your favorite slackers and some of their closest friends. The panel features: Regular Show creator J. G. Quintel (voice of Mordecai), William Salyers (voice of Rigby), Sam Marin (voice of Benson, Pops, and Muscle Man), Sean Szeles (supervising director), Matt Price (writer), and storyboard artists Toby Jones and Calvin Wong. Cartoon Network: Adventure Time What's algebraic and schmowzow and righteous all

San Diego Comic-Con 2013: Shout! Factory Events

What will you be attending?
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Those purveyors of pop-culture products at Shout! Factory are attending this year's San Diego Comic-Con and they are featuring a special panel event, five film screenings, a showcase of new home entertainment products, Comic-Con exclusive items, prize sweepstakes, surprise star appearances, and engaging fan interactive activities. Their schedule is as follows: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Shout! Factory invites fans to celebrate its 10th Anniversary at Shout! booth #4248. Stop by for a Free 10th Anniv. tote bag. Other Com-Con exclusives include: a My Little Pony PrinceSS Twilight Sparkle crown and a collectible SCREAM FACTORY™ Button Pack Thursday, July 18, 2013

San Diego Comic-Con 2013: Preview Night and Day 1 Highlights and Lowlights

A few suggestions and snarky comments on what sounds good and what doesn't.
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San Diego Comic-Con 2013, one of the world's largest pop-culture events, is about to commence. A few suggestions and snarky comments on what sounds good and what doesn't. Wednesday, July 17 While most folks will be on the exhibition floor trying to scoop up exclusive merchandise, Warner Bros. Television will again deliver an evening of programming that few attendees will be concerned about. The pilot episodes are for Almost Human, The Tomorrow People, The 100, and The Vampire Diaries spinoff series, The Originals. At least four Sentries will be the Adam Ant concert so don't look for us there. Ballroom

WonderCon 2013: WonderWow

I gained a new admiration and respect for everyone who likes to shut out reality for a bit and delve into the finer arts of fantasy.
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If it can be imagined, it can come to life, and what better place to hold an expo where fantasy and fiction come alive, but in the city of Walt Disney’s dreams: Anaheim, California. Across the street from the Magic Kingdom, in the convention center on Harbor Blvd., was my first comic book/sci-fi convention, and though I was told this is a small operation compared to Comic-Con down in San Diego, it eased me into a world where Super Mario’s walk the rows of collections with Captain America’s and Imperial Stromtroopers. I am happy I charged my iPhone to full

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