Recently in A Fellowship of Misfits: Dispatches from the Con

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

Sunday Program Highlights for WonderCon 2013

All good things must come to an end.
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Though the final day of WonderCon is the shortest, there's certainly no shortage of programming. Their entire listing is available on their website, and here are some of the highlights in another unintended Snob Seven. Much Ado About Nothing 11:00am - 12:00pm - Arena Shakespeare's classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon's film Much Ado About Nothing. Shot in just 12 days (and using the original text), the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a dark, sexy, and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love. Please join us for an exclusive panel

Saturday Program Highlights for WonderCon 2013

Comics and movies and TV shows. Oh my.
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WonderCon's second day of programming on Saturday March 30 offers an eclectic mix of panels. My highlights are below. Their entire listing is available on their website The Music That Makes You Scream 10:30am - 11:30am - Room 208 Ever question why your spine tingles when watching a scary scene? Join film and television composers as they discuss the art of composing for one of the most demanding genres-horror! Tyler Bates (Day of the Dead, Halloween II), Anton Sanko (The Possession, Nurse 3-D), Frederik Wiedmann (Mirrors 2, Hostel III), and Dino Meneghin (Teen Wolf) discuss the process of scoring for

Friday Program Highlights for WonderCon 2013

What wonders await at WonderCon?
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WonderCon 2013 gets underway on Friday March 29. The programming has been announced on their website, and in this unintended Snob Seven are the panels that look most interesting on Friday. Warner Archive Collection Presents Pulp Heroes of Film and TV: Tarzan, Doc Savage, Bomba, and More 1:00pm - 2:00pm - Room 207 Many timeless, larger-than-life heroes can be traced to the brittle pages of pulp magazines. Some swung from jungle vines, others created lonely fortresses in the polar ice, and still others performed unmatched feats of physical prowess and mental agility. Many of these heroes have leaped from the

Comic Con 2012: Archer Panel

The Archer gang doesn't disappoint when it comes to entertaining their fans.
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The one panel I was most disappointed in missing out on at Comic-Con 2012 was for FX's Archer, my favorite comedy currently on the air. In attendance this year, seated from left to right in the photo below, were creator Adam Reed (who also provides the voice for Ray Gillette), H. Jon Benjamin (Sterling Archer), Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane), Amber Nash (Pam Poovey), and Chris Parnell (Cyril Figgis). Those folks are always a riot and usually bring an episode from the upcoming season. This year was no different, but fear not because through the magic of the Internet you too

Comic-Con 2012: Firefly Panel

Want to see what happened at this popular panel?
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Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the cult TV sensation Firefly, Science Channel gathered creator Joss Whedon, executive producer Tim Minear, and cast members Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, Sean Maher, and Summer Glau at Comic-Con International 2012. The Comic-Con events guide stated they were reuniting "for the first time ever," which seems hard to believe in light of their intense popularity online and at conventions. However, considering how great the turnout was for the panel, fans began waiting in line the night before as early as 10pm when the convention hall closed, and the line ran so long that

TR!CK2TER: Bringing Options to San Diego During Comic-Con

An interview with Anita Coulter about TR!CKSTER and the art of setting up shop.
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With Comic-Con only days away from its takeover of the wonderfully accommodating city of San Diego, fans of all makes and models are talking, tweeting, and posting their excitement for the event. With the con having grown to proportions over the past several years that no one could have predicted, this now-cyclical round of excitement is also followed by the now-cyclical observations wondering what place (if any) the comics of the convention's namesake hold at the spectacle. There's no question that attendance is in overdrive more and more, every year. People stood in line last year during the wee hours

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