Category Archives: Books

My Highlights of New York Comic Con 2012

I’ve got to say, there weren’t that many panels this year that I felt that I had to go see, which was disappointing, as was the fact that the show was actually smaller than when I went last year.  That said, I enjoyed my time wandering the show floor and cosplay-watching.  Even though everyone is posing or taking pictures, it still feels incredibly awkward to me so unfortunately you won’t find cosplay pictures in this post.  I saw Nathan Drake, Street Fighters, wielders of the Keyblade, various Batman, Robin, Joker, Penguin, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy, Solid Snake (one of which was sneaking around in a cardboard box), Doctor Who and the Tardis, X-Men, Darth Vader, Sith and Jedi, Ezio Auditore. Transformers, and many more.

I’m a fan of the popular web series Red vs Blue and finally decided to purchase the remastered edition of the first five seasons.  I had put off purchasing this set because I already own all 9 Seasons of Red vs Blue, but I “bit the bullet” because I didn’t want a repeat of what happened last year.  At last year’s Comic Con I could have had it signed by Gus Sorola (Simmons) but, being me, I hesitated and instantly regretted it.  I wouldn’t make that mistake this time.

The enthusiasm by the fans for Rooster Teeth was readily apparent.  After waiting for what seemed like forever due to how many people were waiting to purchase, meet, get an autograph (sometimes even on X-Box controllers), or have a picture taken, which didn’t seem so bad after Matt Hullum, upon request, called a convention-goer a “dirtbag” in the voice of Sarge, I finally met Matt and got his autograph on the remastered DVDs.  It’s not wrong that it made my day when he complimented me on my Luigi: Always Angry t-shirt from TeeFury.com, right?  When I later went back by the booth Kathleen Zuelch (Tex) was there and she was nice enough to also sign my DVDs.

Throughout the weekend I managed to score several free books: “Dragon Keeper” by Robin Hobb, “The Warded Man” by Peter V. Brett, “Old Man’s War” by John Scalzi, “Blood Riders” by Michael P. Spradlin, “Oath of Fealty” by Elizabeth Moon, and “Star Wars: Allegiance” by Timothy Zahn.  Even better than free books?  How about signed books!  I got “Blood Riders,” “Oath of Fealty,” and “Star Wars: Allegiance” signed and inscribed for me.

I also had the opportunity to play a little bit of “Spartacus Legends” on Friday and Saturday.  It’s a fun, bloody fighting game that (at least the demo at the con) consisted of only one round before the spectacle became… final.  I seemed to do well on Friday.  Of the four rounds I played I won half of them.  I won’t beat around the bush.  I don’t know if it was because I was playing on the right side of the screen (versus the left side on Friday) or if it was because my opponents were button-mashing, but I sucked horribly on Saturday and didn’t win any matches.  Still, I wouldn’t mind playing more when it is released in Winter 2013.

One unfortunate experience I had was when I went to the Cyanide and Happiness booth and discovered, after waiting on line for at least a half hour, that they weren’t accepting credit cards.  It seemed like a raw deal, but the wi-fi was terrible at NYCC and no matter how many times they tried my credit card would not go through.  They must have been in a dead spot because I was lucky in other instances where my card was able to go through.  So, I tracked down an ATM to get some fast cash and when I went back to the booth they let me get back on line roughly where I left the first time around.  Once back on line I purchased two shirts:

Since I spent $40 on the shirts, I was able to get a custom picture drawn in front of me.  The catch?  It would be based off of two ideas of my own or two random ideas drawn from a jar in front of the comic’s creators.  I had thought to have something drawn relating to monkeys and books but decided instead to see what randomness was possible.  The two ideas drawn from the jar:  Hitler and umbrella.  When I drew Hitler I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but the end result was amazing.

The Venture Bros panel was fun and amazing but I won’t actually write about it since I wouldn’t be able to do it justice.  Why don’t you just watch the panel instead?  Part 1 and Part 2. The sizzle reel was hilarious.  (via kittininja on YouTube)

I also went to see the pilot screening of The Following starring Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, and Natalie Zea.  Without giving anything away, it was about former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Bacon) being asked to help track down the escaped serial killer (Purefoy) he helped put away named Joe Carroll, who was a literary professor fascinated and obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe.  What makes this show different is that Carroll is caught in the pilot but the style of his serial killings continues through the members of a cult that has formed around him.  It was incredibly dark and disturbing and I found myself wondering how it wound up being on a network channel.  Bacon even joked during the Q &A that he wasn’t sure if FOX had even read the script.  There were some jump scares but overall it felt more psychologically taxing than many horror type shows.  I’m certainly looking forward to when it begins airing in January 2013.

I’m not really comfortable dressing up as I don’t like to stand out; I prefer to be able to move about and not have eyes drawn to me so it took last year and the first two days of NYCC before I finally decided to try the cosplay thing.  Before going to the convention I had purchased a Star Wars Wicket the Ewok hat and on Saturday I bought some steampunk goggles.  Granted it’s not much, but I may (eventually) try to expand on this ewok/steampunk theme.  Considering it was just two pieces of clothing, a few people complimented me, which I found quite surprising, and one person even took a picture with me.  Even more surprising was I got the “I’m watching you” stare down from a fellow ewok (though her costume was more fully realized and actually looked like an ewok).

And now, dear readers, I leave you with this disturbing image.

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The Rains of Castamere? Yes!

“And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat, that’s all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere,
But now the rains weep o’er his hall, with no one there to hear.
Yes now the rains weep o’er his hall, and not a soul to hear.”

~The Rains of Castamere, A Storm of Swords

When I saw the track listing for the Game of Thrones Season 2 Soundtrack I was thrilled that “The Rains of Castamere,” performed by The National, was included.  I didn’t expect to hear an official version of the song so soon.  Then I listened to it.

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How do you make Dune a great movie?

For anyone who has seen David Lynch’s 1984 movie or seen SciFi’s two miniseries you know how difficult it is and would be to make new Dune movie, especially a faithful adaptation celebrated by both fans and casual viewers alike.  Who doesn’t want to see the mighty and terrifying sandworms, the “weirding way” of the Bene Gesserit witches, or Herbert’s inversion of the classic hero’s journey?

Here’s a good article on the difficulties on making Dune into the great movie it deserves.

“Race for the Iron Throne” is a great blog for those who enjoy George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, especially since it examines the politics of Westeros as well as explaining its historical relevance to our world.  Since the blog started recently, only the chapters in the first novel are being analyzed. Enjoy!

Race for the Iron Throne

“Fifteen years past, when they had ridden forth to win a throne, the Lord of Storm’s End had been clean-shaven, clear-eyed, and muscled like a maiden’s fantasy…In those days, the smell of leather and blood had clung to him like perfume. Now it was perfume that clung to him like perfume, and he had a girth to match his height…A beard as coarse and black as iron wire covered his jaw to hide his double chin and the sag of the royal jowls, but nothing could hide his stomach or the dark circles under his eyes.”

“I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one. Laws are a tedious business and counting coppers is worse…the lies they tell…and my lords and ladies are no better. I am surrounded by flatterers and fools…There are nights I wish we had lost at the Trident…Lord Eddard Stark…

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A Boardgame of Thrones: War of the Four Kings

After the death of King Robert Baratheon, Westeros remained calm for only a short while before the lords Alyn Baratheon, Garys Stark, Petyr Lannister, and Steffon Tyrell began expanding their influence throughout the Seven Kingdoms.  These lords were too busy mustering their troops to notice the Wildings testing the strength of The Wall.  In fact, despite the fact that it was only a small band of Wildlings attempting to scale The Wall and cause chaos to the Night’s Watch, these four lords nearly failed in the protection of the realm because they had been too busy exerting their influence on the Iron Throne by manipulating the lesser lords of the King’s Court and imposing their will on their fiefdoms.  Thankfully the lords Garys Stark and Petyr Lannister had some foresight and sent enough men to the Night’s Watch to repel the Wildling attack.  After the Wildlings’ first attempt on entering Westeros failed, the war began proper.

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