Friday, August 30, 2013

13 Questions With Shaun Rosado

I got to be on my first Dragon Con panels ever last year and it was tremendously exciting for me. As you might have guessed over the past couple of weeks I fucking love Dragon Con, and getting to participate in such a way was an absolute thrill. I love getting in front of people and talking. I love sharing my insights in nerd stuff.
But it wasn’t just the public speaking that was great; it was also interacting with the broad and fascinating range of talents that were on those panels with me. Everybody was fun and smart and entertaining, but one fella absolutely blew me away not only with the way he presented himself but also with how graciously he interacted with the rest of us.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dragon Con 2013: Shauncastic Survival Tips!

I had this urge to write something with all of the little odds and ends that just weren’t quite enough to make up their own posts. I didn’t think I could crank out 1,000-plus words (my self-imposed minimum for a regular article) about original tips and I don’t need to do a playlist this year because DJ Spider is awesome and I’m just going to link to some stuff she did that you can download.
This is an awesome mix of nerd-oriented stuff that she put together prior to Dragon*Con 2012 (yes, I will still use the asterisk when I can). Listen while you pack or finish your costumes or count your funds or whatever. It will put you in the right frame of mind.
This is more of the same, because all of that stuff above is going to take longer than two hours.
This is recorded live from Dragon Dance 2012. What she played as she played it and it is badass. This will get you pumped up for Dragon Con. It is perfect for the drive into Atlanta.

Dragon Con 2013: My Extremely Tentative Schedule

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!
Dragon*Con starts TONIGHT, motherscratchers!
That’s exactly how I began this post last year. The major difference is that I am not going to be staying down there this year. Staying on Thursday night threw off my whole weekend last year and I do not care to repeat that. I had an absolutely great time on Thursday night, and that was the whole problem.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dragon Con 2013: 13 Questions with CB Suavé

In my ongoing quest to provide you, the Phantomaniacs, with the most in-depth and exciting coverage of Dragon Con and Dragon Con Wrestling, I have come across more than a few larger-than-life personalities. Some are well known to me and some have come from that mystical federation of legend called Anarchy Wrestling.

Dragon Con 2013: 13 Questions With Sean Patton

Sean Patton was the third piece of the puzzle at Heroes Con that made me want to cover costuming for my Dragon Con posts this year.
Whilst wandering around the bar in the Westin hotel I saw Sara from across the room, engaged in conversation with some dude. I am not normally one to horn in on a pre-existing talk, but I was in North Carolina at a comic convention and I needed some nerd time. I sat down and interjected myself and fortunately that dude was a very nice guy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dragon Con 2013: 13 Questions with Slim J

I searched far and wide and tapped every resource I had trying to figure out who was behind the entertainment leviathan that is Dragon Con Wrestling. Partially to try and ingratiate myself into the organization and gain a deeper access to the people that make it is what it is – to divine the secrets of the most entertaining and impactful event of the entire year; partially to try and ensure the DCW Hooligans get good seats every year.

Dragon Con 2013: 13 Questions with Jessica Nova

Obviously Sara has really come through for me with cosplayers this year. Today’s Q&A is with the Little Model That Could. Fetish Queen, Cosplay Model, and Goth Paradise, Jessica Nova. You’ve probably seen her around Dragon Con and you’ve definitely seen photos of this lady. Trust me – you’ll remember.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dragon Con 2013: Needless Things Podcast Episode 9: Calabrese

HOLY SHIT IT IS DRAGON CON WEEK.
HOLY SHIT I HAVE ANOTHER PODCAST.
HOLY SHIT IT IS WITH THE KINGS OF HORROR ROCK - CALABRESE!

Friday, August 23, 2013

DragonCon 2013: Fandom

No, unfortunately we’re really not. Think about the people who say you’re not a Whovian unless you’ve watched every episode of every season involving every Doctor. Think about the people who say you don’t like a particular comic unless you’ve read every issue. Then there are the wrestling otaku who claim you can’t like Daniel Bryan unless you’re familiar with every match he ever had in ROH or every other indy organization he’s ever worked for. Fandoms can be the most exclusionary groups I’ve ever encountered. My take on it, like what you like and the rest be damned.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dragon Con 2013: 13 Questions with Jacob Ashworth

It’s time to talk to another Dragon Con Wrestling veteran – a technical brute who has dominated his opponents year after year. This guy radiates arrogance and confidence when he is in the ring; and with good reason – he is a monster.

Dragon Con 2013: 13 Questions with Danny Ashby

As often happens when I want to cover subjects that I don’t know anything about or have any experience with, I asked for help with my Dragon Con costuming/cosplay interviews. Luckily for me I am friends with Sara, who was happy to not only set up Q&As with a number of people in the costuming community, but also wrote some dandy intros.

I very much want to feature these folks, but I just don’t know a whole heck of a lot about them. And as much as I’d love to have one-on-one interviews, it just isn’t practical at this time of year. So I needed an intermediary. Okay, fine – I needed somebody to do all the work for me. The questions are mine, though. That’s got to count for something, right?

This first one is of particular interest to me. As some of my long-time readers may know, it took me a while to get on board with Steampunk. Ever since I was young I have had a certain resistance to things that I perceived to be overnight fads – the whole grunge thing, vampires, Avatar. But over time I have really come to appreciate the ingenuity and creativity that goes into costumes from this genre. Not only standard fare, but the numerous mash-ups as well.

Please sit back and enjoy one of a series of Q&As brought to you by Sara. Think of them as Guest Posts that I specifically asked for. And thanks to all of the talented people who responded. You guys truly are the heart and soul of Dragon Con or any other con.
Danny is a sculpture artist and an incredible costumer.  He and his group, Outland Armour, are pretty much responsible for any high quality steampunk costume you've ever seen at Dragon Con.  They were the pioneers and continue to make incredible work and travel around the world as convention guests.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Guest Post: Lessons from My First Dragon Con by Tara Lynne

I learn something new at every convention that I attend, but to be honest none of those conventions - and really, nothing at all - could have prepared me for Dragon Con. I tried to ask a close friend about it before I went for the first time last year, but he kept telling me that I "just had to see for myself". And I kept saying, "Not cool, man. You must have some suggestions or information!"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dragon Con 2013: 13 Questions with Dagon of the Dead

I thought it best to start my DCW Q&As with one of the most constant and terrifying faces at Dragon Con Wrestling.
If you’ve read my recaps, you might know him as Bob Zombie, but this creature of the night‘s true name is Dagon of the Dead. When he’s not busy organizing ritual sacrifices in Innsmouth or eating people’s faces, Dagon likes to creep into the squared circle and perform sinister chiropractic rites on his unwitting opponents.

13 Questions with Sara Nicole Pope

I decided after Heroes Con that I wanted to focus on costuming in my Dragon Con coverage this year. I knew I had one of the best costuming resources I could ask for amongst my friends, the DCW Hooligans. Up until now you have known her as Little Pond, but Sara Pope is actually a master costumer on both a hobby and professional level.

This lady is such serious business that one of her projects is going to be featured in the Dragon Con Costume Exhibit. One of the most impressive pieces Sara has made is a recreation of Pamdé Amidala’s funeral gown from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which you can read about below. The Dragon Con Costuming Track will be displaying the cloak from this piece as part of their Costuming Exhibit.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dragon Con 2013: The Costume Post- aka - Irisa, Tons of Irisa

Hot diggity damn! It’s time once again to start my coverage of the greatest and best nerd event in all the land – Dragon Con!

Note the lack of asterisk. That’s an official decision that was made after Dragon*Con merged with whoever the heck Dragon*Con merged with to divest itself of that alleged repulsive bag of shit, Ed Kramer. I’m not going to get into a whole thing about the allegedly reprehensible Kramer or the disingenuous boycotters who were looking to gain media attention by making a big deal out of not going to Dragon*Con; I’ll just say it’s nice that that’s all over.

Dragon Con 2013: Needless Things Podcast Episode 8: DJ Spider

Happy almost Dragon Con everybody!
I am excited about every Needless Things Podcast that happens (until I start editing, anyway), but I am extra excited about this one. There are a lot of very talented cosplayers and costumers in the world, and I know a few of them, but there was one conversation that sparked my desire to focus on costumes for this year’s Dragon Con coverage and it was with this lady.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Toy Review – DC Signature Collection SDCC 2013 Exclusive Shazam from Mattel

First – something about Shazam, who was once known as Captain Marvel.
I spent most of my life thinking his name was “Shazam” anyway. I don’t know exactly why and I can’t remember any specific media from my youth. But I would say I spent a good twenty years or so thinking of this guy as Shazam.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Movie Review – Frankenstein’s Army

****SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!****
It usually isn’t a good idea to watch movies that Mrs. Troublemaker is excited about. It’s okay if it’s just something that she would like to see, but if she has actually talked about a movie multiple times and is visibly excited to be watching it the thing is almost guaranteed to be a turd.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Toy Review – Batman: Arkham City Solomon Grundy By DC Collectibles

I feel like I’ve been extremely neglectful of this toy line, and it’s one of my favorites.
The only other reviews I’ve done of DCC’s line of figures based on the Arkham games were of Mr.Freeze and Killer Croc. I think part of the reason I skipped reviewing the initial releases was that DC Direct used to be known for making fragile toys with odd articulation. I bought a few here and there – usually characters that I didn’t expect to show up in other lines like Stephanie Brown – but kept it on the down low because I was a little embarrassed that I was still giving the company money.
Like everybody else on the planet I loved Batman: Arkham Asylum. So when DC Direct announced figures I ordered them. I figured I’d take a chance again because the character designs were so cool. And besides, they’d probably only end up doing a couple of series anyway.
Ha.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Toy Review: Star Wars Black Series 6” Scale - #4 R2-D2 from Hasbro by Evil

Back In Black- R2D2

Welcome back to our second look at the first wave of the Star Wars Black 6 inch line, R2D2. Not much need to go into who this little guy is. He’s pretty much the star that ties the Star Wars together. It will be interesting to see how they handle him in episode 7. At that point he’ll probably be 60 years old. Maybe the lead of the new movie will be a space hipster so having an old school droid will be like having a record player. Some new Jedi will keep talking about his boops and beeps just sound better.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Toy Review: Star Wars Black Series 6” Scale - #1 Luke Skywalker from Hasbro by Evil


Back in Black- Luke Skywalker

I bet if a poll was taken, 90% of toy collectors started with Star Wars. They aren’t hard to find, are relatively inexpensive, you learn about chase figures (damn you long lightsabers!), and there are thousands of them. My serious toy collecting started with the 1995 orange card, power of the force toys-- you know, the ones with the buff Luke. I collected the 3.75 scale pretty seriously for the next 6 years. I had hundreds of the figures and most of the vehicles. I left Stars Wars figure collecting for a few reasons. After a while, I had most of the characters and wasn’t interested in redo’s or expanded universe for the most part. I think what really killed it though was Spiderman Classics. Once I started buying figures in the six inch scale, I didn’t want to go back. Six inch Star Wars toys were always a dream, and things like The Force Unleashed toys were ok, but they were more statues. Then, last year, Star Wars Black was announced. I went back and forth on getting them. They are expensive ($20 retail), and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get into another line. Alas, reviews started being put out, and I knew I had to have them. So I put in an order at Big Bad and got the whole first wave. Let’s see if this was a good decision….


Friday, August 9, 2013

The Best Cartoon Ever (of the Month) – Robocop: The Animated Series by Kalan

Detroit, the near future, well, probably not too far in the future considering Detroit's reputation as being a crime-ridden cesspool for generations. Gangs are running rampant, stealing blood plasma, hiding out in their lairs playing arcade games, OCP is evil and ED-260 - even though it's a new model that “is not programmed for failure” - is still a piece of crap. I'm speaking of course of the Robocop animated series – and no, I don't mean Robocop: Alpha Commando because the Best Cartoon Ever (of the Month) is a series about GOOD CARTOONS.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Fighting Foe Men from Mattel

It took me a little while to get around to reviewing these figures. Partly because I knew it would be a pain in the ass to review three Masters of the Universe Classics figures in one post, but mostly because I wasn’t sure I was even going to keep them.

I just sold Icarius and Netossa on eBay because I just didn’t feel like I needed them. Icarius is actually a very well done figure, he’s just sort of boring and generic. Same thing with Netossa, except the non-functionality of her net pissed me off every time I looked at her. So considering those things, I thought it might be dumb to open a group of characters that weren’t even actual characters. If I can’t tolerate the presence of dull canonical characters, how the heck long would the Foe Men last on my shelf?


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Toy Review – RAMBO John J. Rambo By NECA

I saw Rambo long before I saw First Blood. If you know these movies, then you know that means that First Blood was a total surprise to me. I was not expecting the grim, desperate drama of the movie. 

I love the movies that followed First Blood for their blown-up action and over-the-top violence, but the original is so much more than that. It’s actually a for-real movie with character development and story and all that stuff. I can’t say that I like it less than the others, but it doesn’t have the same replay value for me. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

13 Questions With Jamie Cosley

The Troublemaker family first met cartoonist Jamie Cosley at HeroesCon a few years ago. I had decided that if we were going to be at an actual comic book convention we were going to get some sketches. I had a couple of names I wanted to approach, but I also wanted to be sure and talk to some folks I was unfamiliar with. Why waste such a perfect opportunity to expose myself to new people?
Wait – let me rephrase that.
With so many talented people on hand I felt like I really needed to explore the guest list. There could be plenty of people with styles that appealed to me that I might otherwise miss.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Galactic Protector He-Man from Mattel

You have no idea how relieved I was when I saw the invoice for Galactic Protector He-Man.


Side Note: I just reopened this to do a proofread and read “Galactic Protector He-Man” as “Galactic Proctologist He-Man”. I’d buy that variant. Heck, we’ve got a dentist. Boonga Boonga.


You see, since Toy Fair I had been under the impression that the Masters of the Universe Classics update of He-Man as he appeared in the New Adventures cartoon and toy line was going to be two separate figures. It seemed completely insane to me, but from the information I read and from the pictures that looked to be the case. I never saw pics of just the armors or just the heads. It seemed like this one character was going to be taking up a 2-pack slot.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Granamyr from Mattel by Beau Brown

Greetings Phantomaniacs!

I am thrilled to be back to review Granamyr, the biggest figure released in MOTUC.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Concert Review: Weird Al Yankovic 7/28/2013 – Atlanta Symphony Hall

I’ve never seen Weird Al Yankovic live before.
Much like NOFX, every time Weird Al came to Atlanta (that I was aware of) I had some other business going on. Even when I was somewhat of a lapsed Al fan I kept an eye out for shows. He comes here about every two years or so and it just didn’t ever work out.