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Jan 30

Age of the Geek

Posted on Monday, January 30, 2012 in Comic Con, Comics, Journal, living the dream, Wisdom

I’m a child of the 90s, born in the early 80s. Growing up, I had the unfortunate opportunity to be labeled a nerd. I say unfortunate because at the time it wasn’t cool to be called that. When I was a young kid, nerd was synonymous with loser. And being smart, skinny, or uncoordinated like Steve Urkel, it was easy to be ridiculed by the older kids. I was lucky though because I had an edge growing up, I had a twin brother.

Being a twin was like being unique, in some sense, because everyone loves twins! We aren’t identical but looked as identical as fraternal twins can. I guess you could say that we had each other to shield us from being ridiculed as some of our friends experienced on a regular basis. And it was because of this relationship that enabled my nerd tendencies to grow into a tall redwood tree.

I guess you could say I had it easy, compared to others who were teased because of their looks, the fact that they were smarter than the other kids in their class, or that they played orchestral instruments. I played the clarinet. And the piano, too. Add thick spectacles to a skinny, geeky frame and you have me as a youngster for the better part of my childhood. Well, at least until I discovered contact lenses.

So why go into detail about being a nerd? Why bring up this back story? Quite simply, I needed to establish the picture of a nice guy who tended to finish last that often was viewed as a nerd. Do you have that image in your mind’s eye? Good, now let’s continue.

Fast forward to 2012. The past few years, things have begun to change on the nerd front. Shows like Fox’s Glee has made it okay and even cool to be considered a nerd. Being different is finally becoming the norm, and kids aren’t getting teased as much as when I was growing up. Bullying is still an issue, but seeing smart, nerdy characters on television is helping those oppressed stand up and make their voices heard. And no, not always in song.

So where does the skinny, nice guy fit in? Well, as being nerdy and geeky is becoming a “thing” among kids and teens alike, old pop culture references are coming to the forefront. Movies like Star Wars and television shows like Battlestar Galactica have been remade or re-imagined for the modern generation. And as a nerd who was shaped by these pop culture references throughout his childhood and into young adulthood, I feel a little cheated. Cheated in the sense that enjoying these movies and shows growing up warranted being teased and bullied. But these days, kids who aren’t fans of these movies and shows are almost ostracized. Oh, how the tables have turned!

Age and generation gap aside, it is baffling to experience such a change in public perception. The “cool” kids in school are not just the athletes; they’re musicians, math-letes, and any combination in between. It finally is “cool” to be labeled a nerd. And all I have to say is, it’s about time!

Case in point, the buzz around the past few days, in some nerd circles, is the series finale of NBC’s Chuck. If you haven’t seen this show before, the jist of it is a regular guy named Chuck is sent a government technology via email called the Intersect which enables him to quickly retrieve information that he could use in certain situations, such as when faced with a group of goons, Chuck can “flash” and retrieve fighting techniques to fight them off or when coming across a random person in the crowd, Chuck can “flash” on them, pulling up specifics on their dossier from all government databases around the world. Basically, it’s everything that makes James Bond the bad-ass that he is, except all the strength, technique, and strategy is inside a tall, lanky goofball with a heart of gold. Not your typical spy indeed.

What made this show appealing to myself, first and foremost, is the idea that a nerd can become a spy, kicking ass and taking names. But the irony of it all is that he looks like a typical A/V nerd from high school or band geek playing the bassoon. Not at all what the social norm tells us is a typical spy: tall, dark and handsome who has a way with women and who looks killer in a tuxedo.

Second, the pop culture references throughout the series gives a faithful homage to those like me who grew up with these references. It’s like the writers are giving me a second chance to enjoy being a nerd. But this time without the ridicule and bullying. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Chuck’s actors and writers have come a long way from when the pilot aired, five seasons ago. And throughout those five, glorious years, the future of the show was always in jeopardy. It never was clear that the show would be renewed for another season. But the fans of the show found ways to support Chuck, from Subway sandwich sponsorships to social media buzz. And I for one, feel empowered to have assisted in keeping something that I loved on the air.

I’m not going to go into detail what made Chuck so great or what I’ve learned about myself by supporting the show. There will be tons of reviews and retrospectives all over Twitter and the Internet to satisfy your desire to read people’s thoughts about the series. So I encourage you to search them out yourself. I personally enjoyed one particular post about how the show influenced him. Gray Jones, a Canadian Chuck fan who happens to co-host a Chuck podcast, put this thoughts on virtual paper and I thought it was encouragingly concise and powerful. If there is a retrospective you read from the slew of results that Google provides, I implore you to read his here.

Chuck has meant a lot to different people. I won’t lie, I’m one of those people. But the reality remains that the show has come to it’s end, and I, for one, am proud to have ridden the roller coaster for five years. I’ve watched the show via DVR, live television, Internet stream, etc for five, wonderful seasons and was lucky enough to partake in their Comic Con panel in 2009 and 2010. Plus, I was one of the lucky ones to meet the cast at 2011’s Comic Con signing.

As a fan who never imagined he’d encounter a co-creator and cast let alone meet them in person, it definitely stacks as one of the highlights of my life to speak with Chris Fedak and tell him “thank you” as a fan for bringing this show to us, to shake Yvonne Strahovski’s petite (and freezing) hand as she asked my name and later think I said “Jaime,” and to have Zachary Levi have my back and write a “He’s sorry” note to my fiance over a fight we had the night before. It doesn’t get any more real than that.

As I waited for my turn to meet the cast at the Warner Bros booth, I observed that the Chuck celebs asked questions and laughed and had fun with us lucky few in line. From that moment on, they will never be just people I see on television ever again because of how they treated their fans. They were generally appreciative of our support and in that moment, I felt like a representative for all those who watched the show. Like an ambassador telling the co-creator and cast how much I enjoyed the show and all their hard work week in, week out. They probably heard that from every one one of us in line, but their expressions and words of appreciation never showed they were tired of hearing it; class acts, everyone one of them.

How far this post has come from talking about nerd ridicule many, many years ago to being proud to be labeled a nerd. Don’t get me wrong, I never shied away from cultivating my nerdy side. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a lover of comic books and science fiction. And as I got older, these aspects have shaped my personality and made me the person I am today.

Looking back at the geeky kid with his nose in a Hardy Boys novel, I never thought that the things that labeled me as a nerd would be one of my most endearing traits. My openness and kid-like outlook on the world around me fuels my positive attitude and supports why I smile all the time. Unfortunately, this post has become a lot more personal than I intended. But it is comforting to know that kids these days want to be nerds and geeks. They wear superhero t-shirts and go berserk for British witches and wizards. Simply put, it’s a great time to be a nerd.

Like the character called Hardison from TNT’s show, Leverage, stated, “It’s the Age of the Geek.”

Aug 8

The Geek Holy Grail: San Diego’s Comic Con – A Nerd Epic

Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 in Comic Con, Comics, living the dream

In certain circles, the term geek or nerd is used to belittle someone that may frequent a comic book store or spend hours on end in front of an Alienware setup satisfying his trigger finger and COD fix. But though the intent is to scorn us for our extensive wardrobe of superhero tees and our apparent social anxiety when conversing with the opposite sex, what most bullies do not realize is that their intentional ridicule actually empowers us. They have given us a mantle to wear proudly: may it be on our shirts, in the form of circular pins accessorizing our backpacks, or more importantly, in how we express ourselves, in both our real and virtual lives. Yes, we are a long way from eradicating bullying, but every jab, joke, punch, and embarrassing moment at our expense, only fuels the revolution that NBC’s Chuck, Zachary Levi, calls Nerdolution.

What is Nerdolution? Simply put, it is being proud of the geek qualities that make us who we are. I may be tooting my own horn, but I enjoy representing my nerd tendencies, especially my love for comics. My coworkers can attest to the various knowledge I impart about both DC and Marvel superheroes and how giddy I get witnessing all the comic book inspired movies that Hollywood seems to be churning out left and right. As a 28-year old kid, I feel as if it is a great time to be a geek because we outnumber the bullies. There are more Trekkies, Gamers, Comic book nerd, and Tech junkies out there. And our community continues to grow thanks to all the conventions that are gaining popularity all across the United States as well as abroad.

As a convention-goer for the past 3 years, I have been lucky enough to experience unforgettable moments at every convention I visit. Granted that my unforgettable moments may not any splashes in most people’s pools, but I am hoping they will appreciate the fact that geeking out moments actually exist and that anyone can experience them, given a lot of luck and a positive attitude.

Case in point, this year’s San Diego’s Comic-Con International, one of the most coveted conventions that not only sold out its tickets in mere hours, but has piqued the appetite of other types of media including movies, television, scifi, fantasy, horror, manga, and video games. Scoring tickets to this convention mimicked a grueling battle of Marvel vs. Capcom where only the determined (and lucky) emerged with a confirmation email, ensuring they would be walking the San Diego Convention Center’s exhibit floor. And the convention floor is nothing but simple.

Covering the entire length of the floor are booths and retailers vying for a patrons’ attention with exclusives in forms of action figures, prints, freebies, and celebrity autograph sessions. And that is just the beginning. Each day of the convention, various panels are scheduled to appease every nerd and geek alike, where a patron can get the inside scoop on upcoming comic books news, take a glimpse at the newest and most exclusive trailers for Hollywood movies as well as the next anticipated season of their favorite television program, and even interact with their favorite actors or directors during the Audience Questions segment of each panel. Rubbing elbows with Hollywood and television celebrities as well as comic book royalty could not be easier. And you do not want to get me started on booth babes and cosplayers!

But San Diego’s Comic-Con International, along with other conventions, is not for the faint of heart. Not only is it synonymous with waiting in long lines, excessive crowded areas preventing you from walking a few feet in front of you, and unpleasant body odor, but the experience does not come cheap. When I visit San Diego every year, I am adding a round trip flight, hotel accommodations, food expenses, and retail purchases to my running tally whose final cost will make anyone question the reality of spending that much money in such a short amount of time. These conventions are a geek’s casino; more often than not, we are freely imparting with the hard earned money we earned (or borrowed from our parents).

Even with the credit card debt, I, personally, can not fathom not visiting Comic-Con every July. You could make the comparison that a pilgrimage to San Diego needs to be made every year to pay respects to Marvel studios in the hopes that they will stop messing with Spiderman’s life. Or a yearly trek to what Ron Burgundy calls “The Whale’s Vagina” will ensure that good karma will surround all upcoming geek-influenced films and television shows, including next year’s The Avengers, the next installment of Underworld, HBO’s Trueblood, and the Lord of the Rings-esque Game of Thrones, also on HBO.

In my case, I pay homage to Danger Girl’s, J. Scott Campbell. Like kryptonite, I am powerless to stop money leaving my wallet for Jeff’s phenomenal sketchbooks and prints. As an added bonus, I actually have the chance to speak with the talented genius himself as he autographs my recent purchases. Comic-Con promotes the opportunity to say hello to these celebrities in the comic book industry and really converse with them. This face time is rare, especially with writers and artists not from the area, like the Texas based Josh Howard, creator of Dead@17. Though I am lucky to be twitter friends with him, it is a lot more meaningful for me to chat face-to-face about his amazing books and the future of Nara Kilday.

Posing w/ Josh Howard after he signed my trade paperback copy of Dead@17: Witch Queen.

And the opportunity to speak with these comic book titans does not end there. Countless artists sell their wares or take commissions at Artist Alley, a section of the exhibit floor showcasing the most talented individuals in the industry. I was able to meet Alex Garner for the first time and pick up a limited edition print he created for this year’s convention. His gorgeous artwork entices me to find him at other conventions where I can support his talent and get his take on Wonder Woman’s costume and the like. Just by walking through this area, a comic book fan can come across new artists and amazing artwork to add to his or her collection; a great place to start for new fans as well, both young and not so young.

This year’s convention introduced something new and rather innovative, organized by Zachary Levi’s nerd apparel company, The Nerd Machine, targeting geeks alike and not just Comic Con badge holders. These “Conversations for a Cause” brought together icons in both film, television, and the video game industry for an hour chat in an intimate setting of 250 people whose ticket sale proceeds went directly to Operation Smile, a charity dedicated to healing cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. At its core, these “Conversations” gave fans a chance to have a Q&A session with their favorite geek icon, and not being limited by the generic, pre-determined questions that most Comic-Con panels begin with. And an important thing to note is that all advertising and promotion of this event was solely done utilizing social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.

I had the honor and pleasure to attend the “Friends of the Nerdolution” conversation that included NBC’s Community star, Danny Pudi, SyFy’s Caprica hottie, Alessandra Torresani, The Voice‘s social media correspondent and geek babe, Alison Haislip, NBC’s Chuck himself, Zachary Levi, Perfect Couples star and every fanboy’s dream girl, Olivia Munn, Lost actor and the extremely funny, Jorge Garcia, and Zachary Levi’s Chuck costar, nicknamed “The Bearded One,” Joshua Gomez. Color me lucky when all these extremely talented and funny individuals were introduced because as a geek fan of each, I found myself checking if this was a highly intricate and fabricated inception dream!

My Nerd HQ shirt, signed by the “Friends of the Nerdolution” panelists.

Spending an hour with these celebrities and being able to speak with them at the autograph signing afterwards while all proceeds go to charity felt too unreal. “Too good to be true” came to mind, but this was not a trick. The Nerd Machine converted San Diego Gaslamps’ Jolt’n Joe’s bar and upstairs area into Nerd HQ, a place where nerds can come support an awesome charity, play video games, get some food and beverage of choice, and purchase t-shirts, posters, hats, and even flash drives to show appreciation to all that Zachary Levi has cooked up in his ingenious mind. And rumor had it that Zach, along with his celebrity friends, made appearances several times throughout the length of the Con, including a rather humble and appreciative thank you from the stars of Chuck during the official NerdTweetUp on Saturday night that left me speechless.

Though I found myself at Nerd HQ more times than I can count hoping to grab a drink with Zachary Levi and his friends, this year’s Comic-Con held much more in store for me in terms of rubbing elbows with celebrities. Being the biggest nerd out of my circle of Google+ friends, I planned out everyday of the convention, which panels I truly wanted to attend, the exclusives I wanted to buy, and the autograph signings I would fall in line for.

This year, my main goal was to meet the cast of NBC’s Chuck, since the next season airing on October 21st at 8pm Pacific would be the series’ last. I had been trying to meet them ever since my first Comic-Con in 2009, and was positive I would this year, but Warner Bros. restructured their autograph signing policy, leaving my a bit apprehensive of my chances. Instead of waiting in line near the Warner Bros. booth Saturday morning, a lottery would be held where fans would attempt to draw a winning ticket from bags held by volunteers (to keep the line flowing, there were two volunteers each holding a bag).

Majority of us stood in line for 2+ hours before getting our chance at the hologram-like signing bracelet, but we knew it was a steep hill to climb. With only a few winners already, I was not feeling too confident, but after deciding to try my luck at the volunteer to my right, I placed my hand inside the bag, swirled the tickets around, and literally willed my Green Lantern replica movie ring into action. There must have been something that Batjeepster did when producing that ring because I drew a winning ticket, leaving me stunned beyond belief! A sly smile crept across my face as they latched the signing bracelet onto my wrist and I desperately tried not to run around Sails Pavilion mimicking the scene in Elf where Will Ferrel is frolicking around yelling “I love her and I don’t care who knows it!”

My Chuck autograph signing bracelet

Sometimes the journey is better than the reward, but in this case, my little geek heart was swelling with pride and anticipation as I filed in line at the Warner Bros. booth for the meet and greet. In retrospect, I felt like a kid at a candy store, beaming from ear to ear as I was able to fulfill my goal of meeting the cast of Chuck and finally let them know how much I appreciated them. It is a funny concept, appreciation. Co-creator, Chris Fedak, mentioned how everyone was appreciative of the fans and the support they have received, but I told him that he had instigated the entire thing. I told him that it is us who should be thanking him and Josh Schwartz for coming up with the concept of Chuck. They created something that gave us fans something to cheer about and fight for. And boy have we fought. And as a fan of the show, the actors, cast, crew, and writers, being able to express my appreciation with a simple handshake, smile, and “you are so awesome”, makes the waiting in line for hours on end that much more worth it.

Chuck himself, Zachary Levi, at the Warner Bros. booth

In terms of accomplishments, I had already fulfilled my quota tenfold, but I like to think Comic-Con is a magical place where anything can happen. And boy was I right! When Comic-Con descends on San Diego every year, the surrounding areas rise to the occasion. Hotels closest to the Convention Center advertise the newest video games and upcoming movies while the Gaslamp district showcase posters in shop windows and on light posts.

The Hilton had a large Cowboys and Aliens poster that vertically spanned several floors. Being a Jon Favreau fanboy since he directed Iron Man, I had his newest movie on my list of summer movies to catch, but I never expected to get a chance to watch the movie at the World Premiere on Saturday evening. How did I get this honor? Simple, being at the right place at the right time.

Most geeks are familiar with G4′s Attack of the Show!, a television show reeking of nerd pop culture hosted by Kevin Pereira and Candace Bailey. Prior to visiting San Diego, I relished watching G4’s Comic-Con coverage. So naturally, swinging by the G4 booth was a priority. It was here where I was lucky enough to be in line to meet X-Play‘s Adam Sessler and overhear G4 had planned a signing with Jon Favreau. And because of this random opportunity, I was a lucky fan that received a golden ticket to attend the World Premiere of Cowboys and Aliens and preview the movie with the actors, writers, and producers a full week before the actual release.

Cowboys & Aliens golden ticket winner

Jon Favreau converted an opera house for the movie and as a master stroke of appreciation, he provided appetizers, drinks, and music for the 2000 lucky fans on the red carpet where the movies’ celebrities strutted down hours before. Needless to say, this memory was the highlight of my trip. Yes, such a difficult choice between several awesome moments, but who can say they attended a Hollywood movie premiere held in San Diego and partied on the red carpet afterwards?

At this point, I have to note that this Comic-Con trip consisted of many unforgettable moments that may or may not happen to everyone. Not only did I fulfill my Comic-Con goal of meeting the cast of Chuck, but I was able to meet several geek icons as I supported a charity and attend the World Premiere of Cowboys and Aliens. A part of me realizes that this was my best Comic-Con ever and that the future ones will probably fall short. So I consider myself a lucky nerd and will continue to hope that my future visits will live up to my 2011 experience.

The most famous of the Goonies once said, “This is our time.” I would like to think that Mikey was right because it is our time. As geeks it is our time to shine, whether it be at a convention, online via social media, or in our daily lives. As nerd pop culture continues to find its way to the forefront, the stereotypes will begin to disappear. More and more people will be proud of their affinity for comic books or video games, and not just the quote-unquote nerds. So wear the mantle proudly, my fellow nerds, and I’ll see you at next year’s San Diego Comic-Con. I’ll be the geek with a huge smile on his face, sporting either a Brightest Day shirt or cosplaying as a steampunk Captain Mal Reynolds.

Viva La Nerdolution!

To see some pictures I took from this Con, click on this link or this one.

Aug 18

Comics, Hoverboards, and Candle Wax!

Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 in Comic Con, Comics, Journal, living the dream

It’s been about 3 months since I’ve updated my WordPress blog. Wow, 3 months is a long time; it’s basically equivalent to a Cal Poly quarter. So, where have I been? Well, wherever the wind took me, I was there! Ok, not exactly. But, A LOT has happened in 3 months, so I hope my title reflects the randomness and quick summary of what’s to come in my next following collection of words, paragraphs, and expletives!

My 2010 summer has been busy. As work gets slower in the summer, my side projects and the like gets leveled up. One of the events I most anticipated this summer was Comic Con 2010 in San Diego! It was my 2nd Comic Con, and I, for one, had a game plan worked out weeks in advance. I created badge sized cards with the panels I wanted to check out, as well as a nifty spreadsheet of booth and table numbers for easy reference. And to top it all off, I created a mini-fold-up map of the entire convention floor with emphasis on bathrooms, food vendors, and exits (because you never know when you need to get the F* out the door!)

The general feeling after this year’s con is hard to describe. I enjoyed it thoroughly, opting to miss several big panels in order to stand in long autograph lines and rub elbows with celebs/artists at their booths. This year, I went for 2 days instead of 1, from last year, and probably next year, I’ll opt to do all 4 days. Having more days at the Con really lets me walk the floor and take my time. Last year was crazy hectic, but this year, I checked off several things on my list as well as came back with tons of stuff!

Some highlights of this year’s Comic Con include:
1. Taking video of Grace Park at the Hawaii 5-O signing (and getting her autograph!)
2. Meeting the entire cast of The Guild and getting a virtual hug from Felicia Day
3. Taking pictures with actual cosplayers (I was overwhelmed and shy last year)
4. Three words: carne asada fries!
5. Meeting up with old college friends for a Hooter’s kind of night: Ray Ku, Brandon Wong, Anne Bacani, and Gelo Manuel!
6. Meeting Olivia Munn from G4′s Attack of the Show & getting starstruck (and having her sign my book – that Jay bought for me!
7. Learning that Chuck’s mom is Linda Hamilton from the NBC Chuck panel!
8. Being in the same room as Maggie Q for the Nikita panel
9. Sharing the world of comics with Brian Kwa and Jason Santos (1st time Con-ners)
10. Taking a picture with the cutest little Asian cosplayer dressed as Hit Girl from Kick-Ass!

Tons of memories and awesome moments! I’ve uploaded my best pics via Facebook. Check them out here!

In terms of projects, I’ve been working on Stephanie and Kevin’s wedding invitations, website, and save-the-date cards. It’s a pretty large project that I’ve never done before which is very exciting for me. Due to the fact that there are so many parts and little things that are included with this project, it’s been an up-and-down type of experience, but I’m glad they like the design and that the project is moving along.

I’ve also been doing other smaller logo projects as well as trying my hand at a freelance position at a start-up company. I’m just trying to gain more experience as well firmly plant my foot in the door someway or another. The possibility of doing is really motivating me to do my best work as well as open my mind up creatively. So far the ride has been unreal and hopefully more good will come in the following months, etc.

On the wedding planning front, I’m beginning to realize that this shin-dig is a HUGE undertaking! I’ve been charged with researching vendors for our wedding and so a lot of internet surfing, RFQ emails being sent, and Google Doc comparison spreadsheets. I feel like I’ve been sorting through tons of Wedding Photography flash websites and listening to every wedding inspired song as I peruse the sites. Almost can make a guy walk into a wall (which I didn’t technically do, just turned the corner a little too early).

But, I’m getting good research as well as whittling away at the long list of possible professionals for our special day. I already have some favorites, but the big factor, is the price point because what I know of our wedding budget, so far, there isn’t much allocated for the vendors I’m researching. With 2 years until that day, I’m sure we either can move some funds around or save more to make things work.

And for the record, those guys who think the bride can take care of all this stuff, wow, you are so frakking wrong! The tediousness of picking out napkin color, tasting cakes, etc may seem mundane for you, but would you rather be part of the planning or show up at your reception to find pink, lacy napkins underneath your salad fork? Unless you’re the type of guy who’s into that sort of thing. Hey, I’m not judging you. Ok, I may be a little.

Anywhoo, before I end this eclectic, random post, I’ve been keeping a journal every night using this new web application called OhLife!. It’s pretty easy since once you sign up, they send you an email every night at 8:15pm and all you do to write an entry is reply to the email! It then saves it on their website which is only accessible to you via login. I’ve been using it for about a couple of weeks, but I find myself integrating it into my daily routine. Plus, since I usually journal from my iPhone 4, I can copy and paste each day’s post into my journal app, Momento. Easy peasy!

Well, that’s the highlights of the past 3 months. If more interesting things happen, I’ll be sure to update more often! For now, cheers!

Apr 9

It’s a WONDERful Con, After All!

Posted on Friday, April 9, 2010 in Comic Con, Comics, WonderCon

As a huge comic book fan and nerd, one of the Holy Grail’s of Cons for Bay Area folk happened last weekend in the City by the Bay, San Francisco. WonderCon combines comics, movies, superheroes, and legends of television and film all in a neat package. Can this epic nerdiness be contained in the Moscone Center? Well, for this first-time goer, WonderCon turned out to be both an enlightening experience and also a delightful victory!

Jeremy and bracelet

Proof I pulled a red ticket!

Learning from the craziness that San Diego’s Comic Con 2009 was, I planned this Con out down to the BART ride up and back. Overall, it was a chill time filled with cosplayers everywhere, free Iron Man 2 posters, and legends of comics and art literally feet away from me! Going into this trip to San Francisco, my main purpose was to leave with the Limited Edition Graphitti Designs Blackest Night Lantern: Green Lantern & Blackest Night White Lantern: Sinestro. And the way to purchase these two figures is to pull a red ticket from a raffle bag, which visitors had to line up every hour for a chance to win.

Long story short, after waiting for a collective time of 2 hours, granted not all at one time, 3 separate trips to the line (Banner A), I pull a red ticket out of nowhere! I can’t take all the credit because my partner in crime, Binh, who I met after his 15th try, kept it interesting in line. We talked about current comic book movie lore and the like, trying to think lucky thoughts after each pull, but we came up with blue tickets for a while. Then, out of nowhere, WHAM! I pull out a red ticket and I immediately ask my new-found buddy if he’d like to split the 4 figures with me, 1 set of figures for each of us.

Granted when I pulled red ticket # 38, Binh had been in line since noon, so, of course after my offer, he obliged. After a quick chat with the bracelet girl, we headed to the Graphitti booth and came out of it WINNERS!

Black Lantern: Hall Jordan
White Lantern: Sinestro

Black Lantern: Hal Jordan figure
White Lantern: Sinestro

Yes, like a giddy schoolgirl, I held onto my box of prizes after that with a smile form ear to ear. Even G4 caught me walking past Blair Butler during her coverage of WonderCon that aired on Tuesday’s show. Check it out below (see around 0:31 to the left of Blair):

And, yes, I’m the guy with the white shirt holding the box! Sweet!

On a side note, I furthered my comic education by purchasing Michael Turner’s Witchblade Origins series and the first book of Soulfire. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Turner for some time now and I’m unfortunate to have never met him before losing his battle with bone cancer. His art is phenominal and will continue to inspire for many years to come; well, I’ll definitely sing his praises whenever I can to comic noobs and the like.

So, in a nutshell, I came away from WonderCon with 2 Limited Edition DC figures, a barrage of Michael Turner masterpieces, and an unbelievable experience being in the same room with producer extraordinaire, Jerry Bruckheimer, the pretty actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, creator of the Prince of Persia game, Jordan Mechner, director, Mike Newel, THE Nicholas Cage, director, Jon Turteltaob, and Buffy & Dollhouse actress, Amy Acker!

It was a great experience and being one of my first Cons in the Bay Area, I have to say well worth the trip. Not only did I walk the entire floor probably twice over, I got to bask in all that is nerdiness and geekiness the entire day. Though it isn’t a San Diego Comic Con with its crazy cosplayers and vast amount of visitors, WonderCon has found a return visitor for many years to come!

The question is, will you embrace your inner geek and join me next year?

Aug 11

Bring on the Night, The Blackest Night!

Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 in Comics

When I was a wee boy, I relished Saturday mornings, which most kids my age did as well. But for myself, the morning cartoons were only the beginning because the cherry on the top was frequenting my “home” comic and cards store, next to the Toys R Us on Capital.

I was always a Marvel guy, thanks to X-Men, Fantastic 4, and Captain America. My high school screen name was JohnnyStorm33 for goodness sakes! But I confess, my money was spent on cards more than comics; mainly because my friends and I would trade doubles (sometimes triples) of characters as we built our collection of binders.

Imagine me being utterly overwhelmed with this year’s Comic Con, in terms of comics! Granted, my wingman and myself had the entire Marvel Civil War in our utility belt, but the Con gave me a new look at DC which I never really read except for Batman and Superman, of course. Yep, there’s more…