Convention Season Catch-Up-Part Two (MoCCaFest 2013)

At this year’s MoCCaFest I did something completely different than any year prior and chose to volunteer. After years of being an attendee and coming as Press, I felt under the new leadership of the Society of Illustrators and with my dedication to the Festival continuing it only right to finally give back. I should’ve done so much sooner than this while the festival was still under the watch of Ellen Abromowitz who by circumstance is now a member of my family for shortening a much more complicated explanation, but it was not to be.

Getting the festival up and ready to go on the day before was quite the adventure. In record time we set up tables, chairs, and the new additions to the Festival which I believe went over very well in signage, table clothes, a dedicated Audio/Visual system and a cafeteria with sandwiches and drinks. Meeting my fellow volunteers was actually really cool and it made the weekend much more fun to have fellow comics fans and appreciators there to discuss stuff with and to make sure the convention flowed well.

I stayed pretty late on that setup day not because I didn’t want to go home, but mostly because I didn’t want to go home. There were other places and things I could do, but I was so invested in seeing the show come together and impressed by how amazing it all did that I stuck around a lot longer than I planned but with no regrets. I ended up going home, taking a nap and then heading out again to make it to Bunnycutlet Gallery where they had an amazing new group show. It was really great seeing these pieces and then afterwards talking to Chris McCulloch and others outside, especially talking to Chris about Brock Samson’s appearance in Poker Night 2 from Telltale Games.

On the first day of MoCCaFest I made sure to get there early, but not too early. I knew that I wanted enough time to explore booths, greet friends, get acquainted and procure sketches and books. I did all that and more. I had figured a great theme for my sketch books and actually brought along three books for it. I requested your favorite cartoon character growing up and all together over the next two days I procured about 20 awesome sketches that are mindblowing. I also bought a lot of comics. Way more than I ever expected. Square is both your friend AND your enemy. “Oh you take credit card? Okay” is just the most evil happy thing ever. Suffice it to say I ended up getting a lot of great stuff. In prior years I used to do a haul list, and I may just do that again this year. I probably will. Oh, you know I will even all these weeks after.

Volunteering for the show was really a great experience. I was on aisle duty so if someone needed anything it was my job to do it and I was definitely used and appreciated. I covered booths, kept the area clean and at the end of the day made sure garbage was collected and everyone felt their wares were safe for the next day. My payment on day one was an excellent dinner. While I expected the party to be more of a situation for people to really meet and enjoy each other’s company it was basically eat and then catch up with a few folks here or there, which I definitely did do.

The next day was pretty much the same thing. The only difference being I hurt myself, so while I planned on helping with breakdown, I had to bail out. Instead I made sure to double my efforts in making sure everyone was happy, comfortable and more and did it all day instead of just during my shift, almost as if I automatically went into retail mode even though I wasn’t working, but only volunteering. On the second day I got to explore a lot more too and enjoy the museum aspect brought in by SOI and really feel what they brought to the whole of MoCCaFest. At the end of the festival as everyone packed up, broke down, said their goodbyes, the volunteers got an amazing assortment of books to choose from to take home as “payment” from a variety of publishers and individual creators who appreciated everyone’s hard work.

I expect the future of the show, however it goes down to be quite amazing.

As a side note, after MoCCaFest was all done I went all the way out to Barclay’s Center to catch Green Day as a last minute addition free surprise to an already amazing evening.

THE HAUL (All items free & paid for)

RELISH Tanzania Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
The Chapel Chronicles by Emma T. Caps
B + F Book One by Gregory Benton
The Face Skull #2 and Savage Brute by Pat Dorian
Welcome to Oddville by Jay Stephens
Fantastic Life by Kevin Mutch
Anima by Tatiana Goldberg
Beyond the Canopy by Jonathan Griffiths
The Raw Edge by Devin Clark
Liberator #0
Frankie’s Busy Day and Frankie Comics by Rachel Dukes
KSW by Peter Schmidt
Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger
52 Weeks Project by Greg Ruth
Centifolia Vol I & II by Stuart Immonen
HellaDead Rude Dog Iron-On Patch by KC Green
Sam & Lilah by Jim Dougan and Hyeondo Park
The Misfortune Cookie by Mindy Indy
Good Riddance (galley) by Cynthia Copeland
‘The Wolfmen & Fall of the Wolfmen by Dave West and Andy Bloor
GLOMPX Anthology
Online Anthology
Whatever Happened to The World of Tomorrow? By Brian Fies
The Downsized by Matt Howarth
Cross Country by MK Reed
FOXING Anthology #1
Remake, Remake Special, Remake 3Xtra by Lamar Abrams
H.C. Andersen Junior: The Magical Hat by J. Rybka and Thierry Capezzone
A collection of comics by Neil Brideau
Who Wants Meat? And Bear Brains Vol.2 by Nate Bear
You Are Always On My Mind by Kat Roberts
Borb by Jason Little
Runner Runner Anthology
The Black Well by Jamie Tanner
COPRA Compendium, #4 & #5 by Michel Fiffe

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Faking BrayFabe #1: The Concept

Throughout the history of professional wrestling there have been monumental events, angles, stories, character and gimmicks that could’ve easily gone another direction and either drastically the change the course of the future or having very little change but that one change still being constant.

Within the confines of DC Comics and Marvel this idea has been constantly explored.  In DC they call it Elseworlds.  In Marvel it was known as “What If?’.  Some of my favorite comics stories of all time have come from these particular annuals, graphic novels and series.  It is something could easily be applied to wrestling in many major ways.

Here’s a small list of some of the ideas I’m playing with:

What if the Issac Yankem gimmick was successful and got expanded to a stable with a X-ray tech and an anesthesiologist?

“What if James Storm joined Chris Harris in ECWWE?”

“Fallen Angel doesn’t get injured in Nitro debut”

“CM Punk never went straight edge”

“Kevin Nash and Scott Hall never left WCW/never left the WWF to go back to WCW”

I have a short dream list of artists based purely on their previous wrestling illustrations, none that have agreed to be part of the project as of yet, but it is a dream.

(special thanks to Sam “Eddie Phoenix” Fines for helping come up with the concept and cementing it in stone with a name.)

(My first follow up will be me fleshing out one of the actual what if’s further and drawing one of my own to get the ball rolling… also research into other artists who not only draw wrestlers but understand and LOVE wrestling…I don’t want just cool illustrations, I want the passion of folks who get what they’re doing, not just photo referencing stuff)

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Convention Season Catch-Up-Part One (Asbury Comic Con)

As you saw on this website prior to both the Asbury Comic Con and MoCCaFest I wrote preview articles, but I have yet to go back and actually do follow ups and I it’s high time I do that as best as I can.

On the train to Asbury I got lucky enough to end up sitting next to two guys who would actually be tabling with their comic FIRST LAW OF MAD SCIENCE. Co-writer Mike Isenberg gain me issue 1 gratis and like a good drug dealer who knows his product is quality I ended up buying issues 2 & 3 later on at the show and am on board for anymore they release.

When I arrived in Asbury I had no clue where to go so I followed a bunch of folks who were heading in the direction of the con. I knew they were headed to the con because I was following a bunch of cartoonists I knew from conventions. Once I had my bearings I decided to walk around Asbury itself and discover the place.

I saw a bunch of restaurants I wanted to try out if I ever come back. I also found the graffiti and a few stores, although most were closed. There’s also a pinball museum/arcade and a few abandoned spots. Asbury is just an amazing spot. It also has The Stone Pony, which I had totally forgotten.

After I had looked around for a reasonable time I headed over to the show. The Asbury Convention center is a nice sized place. I could see wrestling events, basketball games, concerts, etc, doing really well there. I never made it across the street to the bar where the panels were because the convention was way larger than I expected. It wasn’t just the main floor with vendors, indie folks and the legends together, but in what would be considered the hallways to reach the other levels, tables lined the walls of various indie artists and creators. There was a lot to experience in it all and it was quite exciting actually. I actually ended up buying way more books than I planned on and I got a lot of nice sketches and saw people I totally didn’t expect to.

Puck & Wendigo from behind by Mike Dawson, inspired by his Ink Panthers broadcast

Eventually I felt con exhaustion hit me and I wanted to explore Asbury a bit more as well and since I was going to get a ride back into Manhattan, I had to grab the 2 hour trip back on the train.

Next year they’re planning on making Asbury 2 days. I hope they see about it maybe being during the summer months as well maybe. I could totally see myself coming in on a Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday with a fully full Asbury experience. Hopefully shared with a special someone.

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Spelling Words, Making Magic. A Game Not To Miss!

I have never been good at word finders, and I actually not even really good at Scrabble. I miss those large scoring words, because even though I know them, the scrabble part of it always confuses me. Yet I play Scrabble, but not online. I never got into Words with Friends or anything like that, but I get the appeal. I like developer Ryan Creighton have always wondered what a game like that if brought to something even bigger. Ryan was inspired by a game that he thought was going to be that and wasn’t. I see Ryan’s game as pretty close to what I’ve always envisioned a word finder game at a larger scale where the word building wasn’t just a game but a function of the story telling.

That in a nutshell explains what SPELLIRIUM is. A word finder/builder with a story that is enjoyable and intriguing. One of the best things the game has going for it is the art design, from the characters, the backgrounds and the cut scenes. In simply still an alpha state this is blowing my mind. Being able to actually play something in Alpha is always fun. You’re not actually a playtester but you get to really see where a game is at before completion. I’m getting ahead of myself here, so let me rewind a tad.

Untold Entertainment is doing a special way of pre-order for their game in which isn’t a Kickstarter, but a kickender. This game is happening, it’s coming out. The question is how good will the final product be? Production costs money and while kickstarter is meant to do just that for projects, SPELLIRIUM has funded itself along the way with grants, funding and out of pocket and has a long way in its development. Despite being a point n click game and 2013 being definitely The Year of Adventure Games Return To The Mainstream it is also a niche game. It is not your traditional puzzler with fetch quests, inventory options and more, no it really combines two genres that you wouldn’t expect to work but in your mind want them too.

This isn’t to say that the Alpha isn’t full of flaws, but the promise it shows makes the Pre-Order completely worth it. Certain bugs are causing at least for me an impossibility to beat a certain puzzle, or maybe I just am not good at this stuff. It’s also about predicting vowels and consonants and understanding a structure of charges and combos and all that jazz. If you love things like Bejeweled, etc. or supposedly some game called Bookworm, then you’ll love this and you’ll enjoy the fact that it’s not just a word connecting. There is definitely still that point n click aspect and there’s the entire figuring out what to do next/where to go next thing going on as well.

In terms of seeing games always changing, evolving, taking the next step while staying in their roots of fun, good graphics, fun, good stories, interesting gameplay, fun then you can’t go wrong with SPELLIRIUM (even if admittedly my difficulty with a puzzle I can’t beat because of my skill level/bugs within the game).

So if you’re still staring at the screen shots, or reading this, stop. Just go and pre-order the damn thing already. You know you want to. Flaws and all!

Also… how can you resist a campaign that gives you something like this?

Come mothers and fathers, come sons and come daughters,
come graduates sprung from your old alma maters
come lovers of words, come adorers of books,
come peer at these pages, come take a good look
For today at long last, you will finally play
the game we’ve been building for many a day
(i’m so proud to say it, it’s making me teary some)
this is the day that you’ll all play Spellirium!
While it’s not fully finished, it’s come well along
we’re ready to let you all play, you big throng
and with your support, it will end perfectly
and we’ll make it the game that we meant it to be.
So open your wallets! Un-mattress your cash!
Donate all your savings, and empty your stash!
Dig deep, and find money, and give it all here
And then yell to your friends so that they overhear
And THEY give us their money! And THEIR friends do, too!
and then when it’s all over … just what did we do?
We shut down the banks, and we took all the bucks
and every last dime in the world went to us
The people of Earth will all turn out their pockets
And hope, beyond hopes, that we’re gonna rock it
And rock it we will, for the price you did pay
Oh, the game that we’ll make. OH, THE GAME THAT YOU’ll PLAY!!

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Wrestlemania 29 Non-Live Commentary

I missed Wrestlemania 29 completely as I went to a Green Day concert after my long day at MoCCaFest which will be covered on this website in full very soon.

On my way to Green Day and while there I wrote a few fake Facebook statuses and Twitter tweets. They were as follows
Omg I can’t believe @HulkHogan joined @TheShieldWWE #WrestleMania utterly insane!
Oh no word from the back @WWEFandango and @BradMaddoxIsWWE were with the Bella twins so there’s a new main. Them vs Cena & Bryan
George Steel head butted The Undertaker and then Ultimate Warrior ran in and pedigreed HHH! Wrestlemania is insane!
Holy shit! Ken Shamrock stole money in the bank from Dolph Ziggler and cashed in on the rock!

I decided to watch Wrestlemania and instead of actually live tweeting or facebooking to just write all my thoughts down on paper. I also threw some other thoughts towards friends and recorded some commentary starting after The Shield match which I’ve edited down to a short random podcast live reaction type thing, but without time codes or Rifftrax so it’ll only make sense to those who watch WM, but that’s who this is for.

Here we go with the literally commentary:

The Wrestlemania set is both beautiful and stupid. Vince McMahon sounding like his old school commentator bit was just weird… “How about them apples?” I don’t know sir, I don’t know.. are they Mackintosh? Are they Granny Smith?

Matt Striker and Josh Matthews would be the guys who would do the entire Wrestlemania broadcast in a perfect world. Even on a Swansung! I want a swansung!

I’m okay with tweet and Tout stuff on Active, but if that stuff is on the PPV, well, If I spent $60 I’d demand a refund just because I don’t purchase commercials.

Kofi Kingston doesn’t win matches but he gets to share commentary with Jim Ross and Dusty Rhoades? I have no idea what they want with this guy anymore.

Wait, We The People used a clip of young George Bush and Barbara? That’s actually really awesome and hilarious… he should be the champion damn it… because, well, Alberto Del Rio sucks. He’s talking about the Statue of Liberty? He’s from Mexico, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, a man who thinks he was born to be the world champion. It’s still one of the most unrealistic face turns ever, it’s just insincere and makes no sense.

The “Coming Home” fan collection video made for Wrestlemania featured my friend Sam Fines and his son doing the “Millions and Millions of Dollars” dance and that is awesome.

When Matt Striker said the crowd was electric they looked like they were dead and then they piped in fake yelling. That’s kind of a bad sign.

I need to skip these packages, I’ve been watching WWE for weeks and they’ve been showing these things non stop. This isn’t really a one hour pre-show if it’s all filler like this.

Pretty damn loud “We Want Ryder” Chant! Well loud enough that it came through loud and clear. I mean sure they’re in his hometown, but the fact that existed should count for something.

Heymanstein??!?!? That was horrible.

WWE fans are scary or at least that’s what WWE wants us to think.

Snooki wants to be fucked by The Miz. I wonder if she ACTUALLY Really, REALLY sent that Tweet.
The Miz’ jacket is freaking awesome, I want that jacket. I want that jacket NOW! Buy me that Jacket!

I actually really liked that segment. Barrett and Miz at least in a backstage segment didn’t seem bothered by the fact that they’re on Active.

I always forget that new blonde’s name they have for event centers and backstage interviews, but she seriously is adorable. I like how Un-Diva she is. She’s just an attractive woman who can add class to the show.

Really, Kofi thinks Henry vs. Ryback matters? It doesn’t… does it? I don’t think it does…does it?

And even ACTIVE, a APP only show has commercials.

JUDAH!!!!!! I like Judah actually. He’s good people.

This show still has no reason to be an hour. Just so we can hear Dusty, Kofi and JR ramble about a show that people had at that point decided they would shell $60/70 for the PPV?

FINALLY! Miz vs. Barrett for the INTERCONTINENTAL championship.

Why did Justin Roberts say The Miz like he was George Wednt on SNL? Ya know… The Bears.

I still want Miz’ coat.

I’m very happy they didn’t have Barrett tap out to the figure four without Miz even working the legs first. Barrett then did a really weak slam. Then the drop toe hold into a second figure four in the middle of the ring… that was a well constructed match.

I hope with The MIZ as IC champ he’ll maybe get proper TV time and bring some fun to RAW, since it doesn’t have enough fun. In just seven minutes (backstage, ring entrance, match, exit) he and Barrett showed what you can do with just a short amount of time and still prove you deserve a spot and TV time on a regular basis.

Oh jeez… really? We open with a speech from Chris Christie on Sandy? Really? This is not what I want from Wrestlemania. WWE is escape from reality. Not a reflection of it. This is not a good way to open a show. This is actually the worst opening I’ve ever seen. Then the freaking National Guard??! I WANT ESCAPE! ESCAPE!

The show isn’t starting? We need a freaking video package about Wrestlemania itself on top of that NJ opening? This was so uneeded… why is this on my show? GIVE ME WRESTLING! I guess Fast Forward is my friend!

Last year Sheamus won the world title in 18 seconds, this year he’s the third person to come out to the stage with two former champions.
The Big Show shouldn’t fist bump, what if the WOMD breaks their hands??!

Seth Rollins rolling flip over the guardrail was freaking awesome. Seriously the awesome reeking off The Shield is just well… a lot. They stink of awesome. Sure it helps that thy’re being booked as seriously tough as well, able to come back from beatdowns from the three biggest forces in WWE and then do a beatdown, but they’re “realistic” in it. I believe in The Shield.

Show’s face of sadness when Orton decided to be selfish Orton and then not helping when Reigns does the spear was good booking actually. Probably I bet the only good booking on this entire show! We’ll see… we shall see.

I would still have sex with Snooki. Well if I was the kind of guy who just had sex with women or ever had sex with anyone ever that I wasn’t in love with. I am not in love with her and never will be.

Two big men are hitting each other. Something is just missing here. It just doesn’t feel like Wrestlemania. Even the opening match while fun didn’t feel like Wrestlemania.

This is some seriously weird ass booking. Big Show goes heel again out of jealousy and anger over Randy Orton. Rybak loses and still destroys Mark Henry. It just doesn’t do anything. What does It establish? I assume Ryback wants another match because he’ll want the official win? I don’t know man… I don’t know.

Dolph Ziggler needs to stop doing that perfect dropkick as a favor to Michael McGillicutty. He’ll never become the new Curt Hennig as long as Nic is playing the role.

This is poor poor poor booking. It’s just not being well done. It’s doesn’t feel big.

Then We get FANDANGO and it feels like Wrestlemania. The grandeur, the display, the excitement. Johnny Curtis is ready to shut everyone up. The flamenco music sucks though.

That match was exciting, energetic and showed how good both men, but the way it was booked and choereographed was horrendous. The ending was a joke and not a good way for something on Wrestlemania to end. This is Wrestlemania right?

I’m skipping Diddy,

Why did they torture the fans with Swagger/Del Rio going as long as it did? I had to skip ahead… It was just boring. I can’t accept this Super Del Rio. The lock to arm breaker to lock was cool, but that Del Rio survived it is ridiculous.

It is Wrestlemania again finally after a match that must’ve completely drained the audience. It drained me and I watched it in fastforward.

The entrances by Punk and UT were awesome. Although UT’s was a little too long. Just my feeling.

UT and Punk definitely knew they were at WM in delivering a match.

That elbow drop spot on the announcer table was absolutely insane.

I must admit… that match was awesome. Punk and UT delivered.

Slim Jim advertisement??!?!?!

What happened to Brock Lesnar before Wrestlemania? His eye was jacked (looked like a broken orbital bone) and his back was red and welted. Michael Cole brings up the welts and mouse, but they were there BEFORE the match started!

Before Wrestlemania I thought only Fandango, Jericho, Undertaker and CM Punk would do anything Wrestlemania worthy. I was completely right.

I don’t have the patience to watch this horrible match all the way through.

Wrestlemania = Slim Jims, National Guard and Movie Trailers.

I honestly think I’m not even bothering watching The Rock vs. John Cena. I just don’t care… I just don’t. So thus ends my Wrestlemania commentary!

Hope you enjoy. Think of it as if I was tweeting the whole time!

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You’re Nicked (A review of The Sweeney)

When I first heard about THE SWEENEY the only thing I knew was that it starred Ray Winstone and he’d be a tough as nails, grizzled, rough & tumble cop. That sold me on wanting to see it. I knew nothing about the fact that it was an extremely popular television series in the 1970s. Nor that it was based upon an actual elite police squad that was taken down for truly working on the gray side of the law, using corruption and illegal tactics to take down bigger bad guys, but in the end being thrown in jail themselves.

In 2012’s THE SWEENEY, the elite police squad is just as gray. They’re the law, but they work outside the law and this isn’t sitting pretty with IID or Internal Affairs as we know them here. In many ways because of the fact that the story itself in over 30 years old and is just adapted for modern audiences with current technology, film style and such it can at times come off as cliché. I personally have NO issues with this, the best crime stories are not about the plot points, but the way they are delivered. THE SWEENEY delivers with bombastic, exhilarating action and intense, very natural acting.

The film as a whole had only one flaw. For the American audience or at least my own ears, I had to actually put the subtitles on. These are some of the thickest, most roughest United Kingdom accents I have ever heard in my life. Ray being the harshest of all, pulling in all his cockney to be a right bastard. That’s isn’t a detriment though, since I’m reviewing a Blu-Ray so subtitles? Just put them up there. Sure for someone who’s blind or can’t read this will be a problem, but do blind people watch action films? And do people without enough education to know how to read bother with films that have complicated plots with twists and turns and tons of character development? Maybe they do… but they can still enjoy this film, because well, if they can do that, then this film will have something for them.

The gun fights are crazy, the car chases are awesome, the cinematography is brilliant. Hell, just for the robbery, shooting and foot chase through Trafalgar Square which is covered extensively on the extras makes this film a must see.

Yet that isn’t the only greatness. There are two co-stars that bring a lot of notable excitement to the film on top of Winstone’s insanity. Hayley Battle, whom American audiences learned to love in Captain America is almost more dangerous and obviously way sexier than Ray (unless you’re thing is old, grizzled, beat up men) and turned in amazing performance. Between Falcon and this she’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine. This was also the first true star turn for musician Plan B also known as Ben Drew. His George Carter is just as important if not more important than Winstone’s Regan and he delivers a fantastic performance that really carries the film for at least 1/3rd.

THE SWEENEY is available on DVD ($20) and Blu-Ray/DVD Combo ($25) and dropped on April 2nd, 2013 (so you can go buy it now!)

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The Convention Season Looms in Spring

As March roles around in 2013 it’s a time of lots and lots of action and adventure on all my favorite pop-culture fronts.

I don’t get to enjoy all of them, being conflicts, financial issues, whatever, but they’re there for the taking.

For the video game lover you have PAXEast which is quickly followed by the Game Developer’s Conference/Independent Games Festival and there’s also E3 (yet that is an industry only event).

For the wrestling fan, the weekend of April 5-7 is big for anyone willing to travel to NYC/NJ for some super craziness. It’s not just Wrestlemania weekend. That show brings with it a sold out Ring of Honor PPV and TV taping the next day, the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden, after parties to the Hall of Fame such as Shenanigans and MVP at Caroline’s and then there’s Wrestlecon at Meadowlands Colliseum where Chikara, Shimmer, Dragongate, Evolve, etc. are all together along with tons of legends and even Hulk Hogan to throw the best alternative to WWE ever. Although crazy rich people find a way to do everything!

I didn’t make it to PAX or GDC, I will not be at any of the wrestling stuff. I’ll be focusing on another major love of mine, comics. A lot of comics shows are going on as well.

This Saturday is the Asbury Comic Con, equally is Wondercon. The weekend after is both FLUKE and MoCCAFest. I’ll be at Asbury and volunteering at MoCCA so the bulk of this article will be focusing on those, BUT before we get to them, some quick things.

The big deal at PAX and GDC for me were DoubleFine’s first official reveal of BROKEN AGE, the game that has been in development as DFA/REDS from their big Kickstarter project which I am a major backer. I’ll probably write a ton about it eventually, but for now? Here’s the official trailer revealed to the “world” at GDC Awards and uploaded to Youtube directly after.

If I could go to Wrestlecon I’d be all over that Chikara part of it. I really want to see who Mike Quackenbush brings as his mystery partner against Shard & Jigsaw. The ROH show when SCUM should basically decimate a bunch of ROH guys should be fun too, but I can’t go… I made commitments and I’m excited for them.

If you make it out to FLUKE make a point of checking out whatever Kyle Starks has going on at his table, I’m sure whatever it is will be freaking awesome.

So coming this Saturday is the Asbury ComicCon. I have missed it when it started as just a small gathering at a bowling alley. That always sounded quite awesome, but I just never made it out there. Now it’s moved to the convention center, but is still trying to keep the just a comics con feel in a place like the boardwalk of Asbury. There’s a couple of highlights at the show and some of them share an appearance at next weekend’s MoCCaFest as well.

At Asbury there’s the official book release party/debut of the collected DEADHORSE.

As well the only east coast appearance of Box Brown for now that I know of, as he’ll be at SPOKE next weekend. Oh wait, Toronto is the East Coast.

Bryan G. Brown and Dre Grigoropol will be debuting their comic Blueberry Boy of Asbury Park, approriately relaying some experiences from last years Asbury ComicCon!

Asbury also has some amazing panels. In particular Brian O’Halloran (best known to most as Dante Hicks from the Clerks films will be sitting with Mike and Ming of Comic Book Men. Also, John Holmstrom will have a discussion with Asbury Comiccon co-promoter Cliff Galbraith. Both these panels make the entire show worth it. Yet the fact that Danny Fingeroth also has sit down sessions with Al Jaffe and Bob Camp in talk with Craig Yoe just add to it as well. Throw in a ton of creators who actually will not be appearing at any other convention anytime soon and you have what is an awesome pre-Easter (if you do Easter) event.

Head over to the Asbury Comic Con website (the link is in the words or click on that banner to your right) and get your tickets now and enjoy your Saturday, March 30, 2013, in New Jersey… of all places).

As said prior the weekend of April 6-7th, 2013 I’ll be at MoCCaFest 2013. I attempted to find out all the major debuts and such by hunting through Twitter and Google Blog search and didn’t find tons of info, but what I did shall be below. MoCCa is amazing show. This will be my 11th year attending including the one year I almost didn’t go, but went anyways. Crazy to even think that. Here’s some highlights I could find.

Peter Kuper will debuting and signing a limited edition version of his new book.

Matt Miner who recently had the successful Kickstarter campaign for his comic LIBERATOR will be around with exclusives.

Angela Rizza will be tabled with Chase Stone right where there will also be a MoCCa Art Exhibit. They made a pretty cool banner.

Rachel Dukes will have a brand new Cat mini comic

Will Laren will be premiering Slurricane #5

Jenna Trost will have a super super limited (I bet I don’t get one) handmade book of Unraveling Traveling “Never Books”.

Nate Bear and Laura G are working on some new stuff for the show.

Kat Fajardo along with the rest of Cartoon Allies of SVA will be at MoCCA with new stuff. They’re also going to be at Asbury Comic Con so, you have less of an excuse to miss them.

The same goes for Mike Dawson. Not that he’ll have anything new, but he’ll have great stuff that if you missed, get it, and also you know, tell him how great Ink Panthers is.

Oh and Claire Connelly will be at Asbury and MoCCa as well with some awesome comics.

Now I have to get myself together for the volunteer Meet & Greet for MoCCaFest at the Society of Illustrators. I’m probably more excited than I should be.

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Tribute to the Fallen of 2012: Visual Artists in all fields

Adam Adamowicz (43, cancer): Concept artist at Bethesda Software.  They have provided an excellent and amazing obituary showing his work for Skyrim and Fallout.

Louis Boekhout (92, natural causes): Realist painter

Theophilus Brown (92, natural causes): Figurative painter

Also watch this tour of an exhibit from 2011 conducted by the artist himself

Ralph McQuarrie (82, complications of Parkinson’s): Best known as the concept artist for Star Wars, McQuarrie was an accomplished painter as well and designed for E.T., Indiana Jones, Close Encounters.

James Metcalf (86, natural causes): Metal & Copper sculptor

Rusty Mills (49, colon cancer): Animation Veteran.   As of now his official website still is up.

NEKST (all info undisclosed): All city Graffiti artist
The Houston Press has an amazing obituary on this talented artist.   This is also the one time I can actually use my own images as tribute.

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A Look at BUILDING HOPE

Recently I had the pleasure to view Turk Pipkin’s latest documentary  “Building Hope” at a special screening at Tribeca Theater. I had responded to the invitation as it had come at a very opportune and double sided time. I had recently met the ladies behind a wonderful non-profit called BeSomeoneNYC whose sole purpose is fundrasing and knowledge awareness of assisting a community in Tanzania. Additionally I’d been studying card tricks and magic which meant lots of Harry Anderson whom for years Turk worked alongside with. Combine those two fascinations and I couldn’t turn this opportunity down and I am very glad I did not.

The film as it stands strong without any of the background of Turk’s celebrity or the enormous success his non-profit The Nobelity Project. Although it is that celebrity that of course brings a major element of excitement to the film. Many will enjoy the snippets of a charity dinner & performance that feature Lyle Lovett and Kenny Rogers, it’s amazing footage that would work wonderfully out of context. Although that is not what I enjoyed the most. The actual story of the community featured in the film, the trials and tribulations of these young people’s every day lives, the saga and drama of constructing a building in a small African town from scratch, all of this combined. I was glued to the screen as this very true story unfolded in front of me over months and years of planning, development, failure and eventually success.

After the screening, Turk was joined by representatives of organizations heavily involved in developing education in these communities of Africa. It was a frank and very educational Q & A with more Answers than questions as each question asked would open up to MANY answers. I have uploaded what I was able to capture of that onto youtube for all to hear and watch:

The mini afterparty was a nice affair in which I got to speak to Turk further getting a bit of insight more into Nobelity and such. Unfortunately he told he’d forgot more about card tricks then he ever actually knew. That didn’t damage the event or the amazing documentary at all, but it was heartbreaking. I admire Turk for his amazing efforts in buidling schools and sustainable water in Africa, it’s really amazing.

The week after was BeSomeoneNYC’s amazing Mardi Gras event which featured amazing music and just a lot of fun and I felt priviliged that I was doing my small part with an organization dedicated to helping out those way less fortunate than I.

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