Mike Tyson Mysteries at NYCC

Mike Tyson Mysteries

I had the excellent opportunity to interview Mike Tyson, as well as producer/writer Hugh Davidson and writer/actress Rachel Ramras of [adult swim]’s MIKE TYSON MYSTERIES which premieres OCTOBER 27th, 2014 at 10:30 PM EST (or your equivalent to that).

Do not miss this one.  It is hilarious.  I have seen the first two episodes and they are great.

Pop-Culture Spectrum’s Pre-NYCC: Get this party started!

nycc-logo-low-res

This Thursday the Jacob Javits gets crazy again. It’s really hard to ever truly prepare for New York Comic Con and in 2014 it gets even crazier. More people, bigger guests, some seriously big panels and with construction on the main parts of Javits mostly finished, more floor to navigate and lose your mind at.

I am not really here to help you not lose your mind. Actually with some of the links I shall be providing you it’ll only make you lose your mind more in trying to determine where to go and what to be at while also being at this other awesome thing you want to go to or be at.

There are some truly important things that everyone seems to forget.

HYGIENE! Hygiene should be a common sense rule. You are going to be in a room with over 20,000 people. Probably more. They are excited, they are nervous, just like you. We will all be tired, sweaty, smelly, but general upkeep will allow us all to have a good time.

COMFORTABLE SHOES. The Jacob Javits center is unpaved bumpy concrete and manholes. They did a ton of construction but I don’t think ANY of that construction was paving the floor. You will be on your feet a lot. The convention center runs around 34th-37th street. It’s a big place and you’ll be running from booth to booth, panel to panel up and down stairs over and over again. Protect those feet.

And to borrow from  the new harassment policy.

BE NICE, BE COOL, RESPECT EACH OTHER.

Do yourself a favor though, new or old to comic con, read the newly built policy and really keep it in mind. We are all people and should respect that and some of us don’t identify that way and also deserve respect.

Now here comes a bunch of links of schedules and cool things happening at Comic Con that Pop-Culture Spectrum feels a little extra attention. I’ll be mentioning some not miss panels too, but firs this stuff.

Here’s what video game company BANDAI NAMCO is bringing to the show floor

First Second Books Panel and Signing Schedule

Andrews-McMell GO Comics Division schedule

Penguin Books schedule:

TOR‘s schedule:

One of PCS’s FAVORITE publishers in the world, QUIRK Books schedule.

Insight Editions Schedule

Here’s what awesome artist Christopher Jones has going on at the show.

Mimoco has some really limited power tube/battery extenders available:

But those are just scratching the surface.

Cartoon Network with Adventure Time, Steven Universe and more, Adult Swim with Rick & Morty, Robot Chicken, and the highly anticipated untitled Jack McBrayer/Triump the Comic Insult Dog show and Mike Tyson Mysteries, the new Star Wars cartoon Rebels, the entire cast of The Walking Dead, the first look at Netflix presents Marvel’s Daredevil, video game booths from Ubisoft, Activision, Bandai Namco and more, an occolus rift style ride based on How to Train Your Dragon 2, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the upcoming film Birdman, and just much more.

Then of course there’s still actually comics. Marvel and DC both going hard in presentations with panels, signings, and a presence around the entire show just through its properties in movies, television, video games and toys. One of the best mainstream companies Valiant has already announced their future lineup but will be going into detail and pushing hard. Then of course there’s Artist’s Alley with all the great indy artists, self publishers and more.

On top of that you still have The Block with all the vinyl toy artists, street artists and graffiti artists. Then the fringe. You never know what you’ll find at NYCC. It’s a great place for a product to debut designed for the new fan.

Last year, Einhorn’s Epic Cookies made their debut at the show. While they have a truly saavy connection to comics through their branding as well as having original comics developed by Kyle Starks and Jacob Chabot it’s their awesome cookies that make them awesome and I am glad they are back as should you be!

NYCC starts tomorrow. You can think you’re ready, you’re never ready, but you’ll have fun thinking so!

 

Special Edition NYCC photo essay

Cos-Play was definitely a thing at the scaled down, Special Edition: NYC. The new venture for Reed Pop!. the organizers of such events as UFC Fan Expo, New York Comic Con and the recently launched BookCon that took place on June 14 & 14th of 2014 was definitely a mini success with as I was there a quite more than I expected crowd and lots of quality comics creators promoting, selling, doing sketches and greeting fans. It was assortment of everyone as Marvel and DC both represented well, as did Dark Horse, Valiant, Image and a slew of self publishers, independent press and people just starting out through deviant and webcomics.

Among people there were Danny Fingeroth, former Marvel editor and writer, editor of WRITE NOW! and an educator in comics writing. Also, Laura Lee Gulledge, Harvey and Eisner award nominated writer/artist of the graphic novels Paige by Page and Will & Whit, who was also promoting the currently workshopping musical version of her second book. Valiant Comics has also been on a role since they returned to the world of publshing, hiring some amazing talents and doing top notch series… but they also got marketing and merchandising down with plushies.

NYCC is a huge show with major celebrities and a big part of this year looks to be pop-culture nostalgia. Already announced so far has been a Karate Kid reunion, a panel focusing on LOST and a U.S. appearance by the creator of Death Note and Bakkuman. Special Edition allowed for a focus on comics which can at times get ignored at the big show even if the big guns do come out firing. I hope the show did well enough so it can become something even larger yet kept as a comics focused and only comics focused event. Marvel and DC bring some mega booths to SDCC & NYCC each year and I think there are fans who would love to see that without having to experience the insanity of a everything in pop-culture event.

Photos from BEA/Book Con

A few weeks ago the 2014 Book Expo America happened and as every year I had an amazing time and scored many books and took not enough photographs.  Being a pop-culture blog I will READ most anything but when it comes to photos I mostly stick to the pop-culture end of things and that means movies, music, television, comics and in cases culinary (as I am a trained chef).

Top Row: Actor Neil Patrick Harris signs previews of his upcoming memoir “Choose Your Own Autobiography”.  Author Daniel Handler AKA Lemony Snicket promoting his newest “FILE UNDER: 13 Suspicious Incidents” and upcoming “All The Wrong Questions Book 3”. Christian Rudder of the band Bishop Allen and co-founder of OK Cupid with copies of his upcoming “Dataclysm”.

Bottom Row: Gabrielle Corcos & actress Debi Mazar of Food Channel’s EXTRA VIRGIN, cook book out now.  Signmaker and artist Stephen “ESPO” Powers signs his Love Letter.  Winner of MASTERCHEF season 4 Luca Manfé with copies of his cookbook My Italian Kitchen.

 

A Very Belated Post MOCCAFest 2014

Life has caught the old Pop-Culture Spectrum by the whirlwind lately. Work, acting jobs, and more. Here are a few more portrait photos from MoCCAFest showing some of the amazing and wonderful talent the event brings forth.

Dean Haspiel
Artist extraordinaire Dean Haspiel

Seth Kushner
Writer/Photographer and all around ass kicker as he fights leukamia, Seth Kushner

Selina Briggs - The Jelly Empire
Artist & Toy maker Selina Briggs aka The Jelly Empire

MoCCA Fest Quick Day 1 Round Up with Photos

Long and crazy day with some wild crowds.   Moccafest 2014 so far seems like a great success.

I got to see a lot of old friends, help out, see some incredible comics, have great conversations and all that jazz.

There’s so much new amazing stuff at MoCCAFest this year but I like to acknowledge things that are directly offered to me and turn out to absolutely awesome.

HENCHGIRL by Kristen Gudsnuk has a kinetic energy and is mega funny. If you’re at the show today, seek the book out.

Here’s some photos from day 1:
art spiegelman talks with Peter Kuper
living legends Peter Kuper and art spiegleman talk who knows what… this is what MoCCAFest is all about!

Jess Ruliffson
This is Jess Ruliffson… an awesome artist and a winner of one this years MoccaFest Awards of Excellence winners.

and finally here’s me and James Kochalka (Superstar) with a bunch of his new book Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza:
James Kochalka and I

Be at MoCCAFest 2014 this weekend!

If you come on the internet and live in or near NYC and hit PCS and are reading it. Stop! Just go to MoCCA Fest on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th street on the Island of Manhattan inside the 69th Armory… a military training ground and host to amazing events like Fountain Art Fair. It’d be an awesome place for a wrestling show too.

This year James Kochalka Superstar, R. Williams, Alison Bechdel and many others are guests. The MOCCA EATS restaurant has amazing menu. WACOM is going to be a presentation. The Charlie Brown Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float will be flying over head.

This is one of the busiest weekends of the year for someone like me. It’s Wrestlemania weekend. There are tons of art events. Last year Green Day was in town. Yet, since 2002 I have not missed MOCCA ever and this year will be no different and you shouldn’t miss it either.

NYCC 2013: A Before the Event Primer on What You Might Not Know

Navigating through NYCC each year can be quite an adventure.  I’ve been going since year one and while I always have an amazing time, know my way around and have contacts in places, even I get lost in the shuffle of it all.  Panels pop at last minute, schedules change.   All that, and more.  This presentation of collected links is something a little different though.

This is for those NYCCer attendees who are either attending all four days or just have that ONE big panel they wanted to go to and don’t intend to explore New York City itself.  Because?  You don’t have to.  By all means, if you are on Vacation and using NYCC as an excuse to come to New York then take full advantage.  Yet I know there are plenty folks like me who live here or maybe just want to experience comic con.  If that’s the case even with a full schedule there will be hours of time where you’ll be “What now?” and instead of just standing there trying to be “I’ll just play more Zelda or stand around the Marvel booth” I went and looked up some interesting stuff for you to check out.

First up are some booths that could if anything provide moments of enjoyment and add to that getting the bang for your buck experience:

8-Bit Bakery: Video game inspired cookies, cakes and brownies
Electro-Flash Media : Activated Light-Up Apparel
Animated Closet: Beautiful clothing
GameChanger World: Mobile gaming company
STL Ocarina: Instruemnt making compay focusing on Ocarinas, and specially made Zelda ones at this time too.
Roadhouse Sons: A graphic novel, a prose novel series, a band and I think a cartoon… defintely one to check out.
Chop-Chop Store: Graphic Design Tees

and here’s a cadre of links of just info that you might want handy at NYCC, just things that caught my eye that could be on interest to someone.

A Listing of Parties before and after NYCC
A listing of Dark Horse’s panels and Booth Signings schedule
Info on some of the Paid Autographs and Photo Ops arranged by Froggy’s Photos
Info on Frank Bello of Anthrax at NYCC
Info on Image Comics Signing and their Party
Info on special Return to Nuke’Em High signing at TROMA booth
Cosplay as an Archie Character as a Zombie and win special prizes from Archie
The Soska Sisters and Glen Jacobs will be presenting See No Evil 2
Info on BOOM Studios panels and signings
More cool Archie Comics info for NYCC
Info on what NINTENDO is bringing
Here’s info on panels from TBS and TNT
Like Muppets? This link is for you!
Would you enjoy scavanger hunting for one of a kind crochet pieces that would be yours free? Check out this!
Info on John Dixon’s giveaway/signing for his upcoming PHOENIX ISLAND

all this is also just TIP of the Iceberg…
BIG ASS SPIDER! is something you definitely want to be aware of (if you’re like me)
and new news on THE FIFTH BEATLE
and really hitting up Artist’s Alley…

and just being ready for the unknown!

BEA 13 Haul & Photos: Adult Fiction

It’s been a crazy time here in the home of Pop-Culture Spectrum.  My life just sucked up by things like THE LAST OF US, but also by just Life in general.  I’ve had a lot of personal things to deal with and trying to secure things in my full-time career as a professional actor.  The whole time the stacks of books sat there from BEA unattended.  Although I have been reading The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward.  When I could I saw down with these long lists gathering research and trying to concisely or in some cases not so concisely sum of the books.  I have just finally gotten through all the adult books and here they are in alphabetical of the first author listed on the covers along with photos of authors taken at Book Expo America 2013 where apropos.

A Blind Goddess by James R. Benn: The latest in the Billy Boyle series, a series of world war II mysteries starring a Army Detective who as once a cop. In the latest two cases come to him at the same time, one involving a possible serial killer and the other a definitely innocent man.

Outlaw by Ted Dekker: The scifi/mystery/fantasy writer tackles a bit of period adventure with a tale in 60’s and 80’s filled with survival. Ted’s Christian faith comes into play as usual, but one ignores that if not part of the proclivity to enjoy. It is a little hard to do so, but I try.

The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg: The bestselling mystery writers team up to create a new series of teams up as FBI agent teams with Criminal. Has it been done before sure, but not by these two writers, including one who helped create MONK.

The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna: Unable to describe this one myself I borrow from the Amazon description. A taut, powerful novel of a small town and its dark wartime secrets, unwittingly brought into the light by a family of outsiders.

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton: The 22nd Kinsey Millhone mystery arrives in September embroiled in pharmaceuticals and conspiracy. I grabbed this for my mother knowing she’d love it as she’s loved previous Grafton.

Death of a Nightingale by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnette Friis: A part of the Nina Borg series of noir mysteries from the Dutch duo. In this the nurse looks into a case of a woman and young mother from the Ukraine who is a suspect in two murders. The investigation leads into a history all the way back to 30’s Ukraine.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent: Based on the actual facts behind the execution of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman executed in Iceland in the 1800s. This is the debut novel for the Australian writer where the book is already a best seller.

Death in Breslaw by Marek Krajewski: 1950’s Noir crime located in Poland, written by a Polish author. Availble now in the US from Mellville House.

The Facades by Eric Lundgren: One of the Buzz Books of the show, I’m not sure how to describe it. Its a novel with weirdness, mystery, love and interestingness. This is Eric’s debut novel and I hope we’ll be hearing more from him in the future.

A Couple of Blaguards by Malachy & Frank McCourt (plus DVD of performance from 90s): This new edition of the two man play that can be performed by any two men was before and yet is also an extension of Frank’s work in Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis and Malachy’s A Monk Swimming. Along with the not professionally filmed or distributed DVD (truly this is in front of a small audience, filmed with a low end camera, and yet saved from video tape to computer for years and then hand burned by someone recently to give to fans at BEA possibly even Malachy himself) it’s a great addition to ny library and the play would be great to add to yours too. The edition has a new 2013 introduction from Malachy McCourt making it more a book than a play publication like the Samuel French edition.

Author Jason Mott

The Returned by Jason Mott: Harlequins big branch out from publishing romance to carry a story involving mystery and the supernatural as people long thought dead return to Earth, not as Zombies, but in the same bodies they died in at the same age. So people who had a kid 50 years ago or so are now suddenly parents again or an old man now finds himself with a young hot girlfriend. The rights to this were sold really early and an event series will be airing on ABC this FALL called Resurrection starring Omar Epps. Much of this book and the series seems to be an American adaption of a Japanese flick from the 90’s, but no one cares about that really.

Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk: The Not Long Awaited Sequel to his last original novel DAMNED continues the adventures of Madison as she leaves Hell and now finds herself in Limbo. She is now writing letters to her fans or supposed fans through a blog connected to her twitter in some weird magic heaven space. It’s not supposed to make sense. It’s just supposed to be more crazy allegory, proof that Chuck can do myth and faith research and put it down on the page in a readable form.

Choke Point by Ridley Pearson: The second in The Risk Agent series. This time Knox and Chu travel to Amsterdam to take down a sweatshop using young women as labor.

Author Ridley Pearson

White Fire by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: The latest of the Agent Pendergast tales, this time involving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle AND his creation Sherlock Holmes with murder and cannibalism in the Appalachians.

[LIMIT] by Frank Schätzing: At over 1200 pages, this immense Sci-Fi book from the German author first published in 2009 is also a hard boiled mystery novel, using Sci-Fi the way it was intended, as a backdrop to explore social and political issues, in this case real estate, hotel management, construction deals and more. The book opens with a quote from David Bowie which always a good selling point.

The Good Sister by Wendy Corsi Staub: The description for this horror/thriller sounds like a killer (pun intended). The latest takes place in Catholic girl’s school where it all seems simple, bullying, online chatting dangers…. murder.

The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig: Mookie Pearl is a supernatural criminal hitman and his life gets flipped upside down when his daughter decides to not just defy him, but go against him. This book has one of the best cover images I’ve seen in awhile as well from Joey Hi-Fi.

Super Pop! Summer Blog Tour: Dan Harmon Interview Highlights & How Not To Be Married

(The following is part of the Super Pop! Super Summer Blog Tour and a review copy was provided by the publisher)

One of the best times I had at Book Expo America was sitting with artistic editor at Zest books, Daniel Harmon to discuss his upcoming SUPER POP!

It was a lively conversation where I got the inside scoop on the development of his funny, snarky, educational guide to movies and books.

The book came to him while listening to podcasts and hearing them do recommendations for various things. He realized there was a lack of the style of blogs and websites (such as mine) who took the time to find a way to speak in a commercial tone that curated the power of pop-culture through film, music, television and more. He wanted to create something that could actually teach teenagers what to be looking for without being lost in that big world of it all. An in print version of a Television Without Pity but with a Teen advisory board feel. So he set off on trying to figure out what type of book that would be and he landed on lists that would guide young people through the difficulties of life.

The first list he came up with was Surviving the Wild, with the 1997 film The Edge starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin in a tip topsy film which is exactly about surviving in the wild, amongst bears and much more that would spoil the film (although Harmon comes close to it in his overview, it is more about delivering information about a movie one should see to learn, not about the twists).

Designing the lists and writing the info took months and late late hours of research and writing. When he didn’t know as much about a book or film, he went back and watched it again to write about in a concise paragraph that equally tied into the subject of the list. Many things he felt deserved to be recognized or recommended ended up not making the book because of the list concentrations.

One of those biggest regrets that he couldn’t use because he decided to not do a “How to survive a Break-Up” list was CONTEMPT. Either the book by Alberto Moravia or the Jean-Luc Goodard film based on it.

Despite this lacking of certain entries and a few entries where I personally disagree with Harmon’s own assessment of the production (be it book, film, tv show, or song) he has found an excellent way to concisely put together pop-culture recommendations in an easy pick up, get a taste, put down, come back later style perfect for its demographic and a definite thing for folks of all areas of pop-culture expertise to pick up.

I want to mention that there shall also soon be an e-book edition which will provide youtube, imdb, and amazon links making it much easier to follow up on the recommendations.

One of the biggest things missing of any pop-culture references in the book is professional wrestling, which came from a lack of knowledge on Harmon’s end and figuring out what the list would be. During our conversation I figured out the BEST thing for this though. A way to educate all on the fun and foibles on the soap opera of wrestling as well as being a guide to surviving something they will maybe one day approach.

HOW NOT TO HAVE A WEDDING OR BE MARRIED

In no particular order here are some of the most exciting happenings in wrestling through the much exciting weddings that traditionally just go really weird, wonky or whatever.

Stephanie McMahon and Hunter Hearst Helmsley : During the ceremonies Triple H appeared on the large TV and proceeded to show a tape in which Stephanie was drugged, kidnapped by HHH and married to him in a drive-by chapel in Vegas. Stephanie’s father would challenge HHH to a fight to get the marriage annulled, during this fight, Stephanie attacked her father revealing that she had fallen in love with Hunter despite how they got married. A few years later, while the couple were having problems, Stephanie had a doctor lie to HHH and say she was pregnant causing them to renew their vows. Before the ceremony HHH found out but said nothing, going through with the whole event, then proceeding to beat up his father-in-law (AGAIN) and then telling his wife they were through! (in real life this couple are actually together, have two children and are very happy).

“Macho Man” Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth: In real life, these two had been married for 7 years before finally being married on PPV in a ceremony which actually went off without a hitch. Although the road to that wedding despite being a real couple was quite bumpy. In the then WWF she was not introduced as his wife or even girlfriend, but just as a pretty woman who wanted to manage him. That happened and then later they became “a couple”. The first problems came when Savage thought she was cheating on him with Hulk Hogan. They “broke up” and Savage became a bad guy and started hanging out with Sherri Martel. Eventually though the two got back together, Savage asked for marriage and the wedding happened. At their reception things went crazy though, as Jake Roberts gave them a Snake as a gift and then the Undertaker knocked out Savage. This itself went awry as Jake then abused Elizabeth and then later on almost killed her only to be stopped by Undertaker. Before eventually divorcing in the real world quietly and without fanfare, the strains of their real and fake marriage got strained in a feud with Ric Flair. Years after the divorce, the couple reunited as exes still in love in WCW, but this was short lived and eventually Savage got married two more times, once to a porn star and then to a wonderful woman who was in the car with him when he died. Elizabeth ended up both in wrestling and in real life with Lex Luger and eventually also died (years before Savage) in an apparent suicide pact gone wrong from a pill/alcohol combination.

Kurt and Karen Angle: Just like Savage and Elizabeth, these two were married for many years before finally being a public couple on TV. Their marriage as it existed on TV and PPVs in Total Non-Stop Wrestling is a prime example of how not to have a wedding or be married. They started their on air marriage as a couple with problems, with this ending up only to be a ruse to trick an opponent into a flase sense of security thinking the wife at ringside was good for them and not the husband. From there it was a mess. When they did their marriage renewal vows through chaos and insanity, Karen ended up married to AJ Styles instead of Kurt. This turned into a war between Kurt and AJ that Karen eventually in storylines chose AJ over Kurt. In reality though, all this stress and insanity pushed Karen into the arms and an affair with Jeff Jarrett who had lost his long time wife to cancer only two years earlier. This controversy of Jarrett still being a recent widow and being with a married woman led to Jarrett being temporarily suspended. Eventually Kurt and Karen did divorce and Jeff and Karen got married. . In a wrestling vow renewal of Jeff and Karen while Jeff was feuding with Kurt over it all, Kurt destroyed the wedding set and laid out a guest. He then proceeded to beat Jeff in a loser leaves company match (so that Jarrett could actually do a tour of Mexico and later India representing the company) and that was the last we ever heard of Karen in TNA. Although she now accompanies Jeff in his Mexico storylines.