StarWars-ing: Episode VIII Breaks A Weird Streak For Me

We have our tickets for Thursday all lined up.  We are doing the special six o’clock thing at one of the local movie chains.  We have been doing our best to steer clear of spoilers.

sw-the-last-jedi-tall-B

And seeing the second installment of a Star Wars group of three is a first for me.

I saw A New Hope and Return of the Jedi in their original runs. I saw The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith in their initial runs. I missed Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones in the theaters on their original runs.  I did see Empire in the 90s.

I remember learning about the plot of Empire from one of those read along 45 rpm record storybooks.  I also remember grilling my friend on it on the drive from our small town to the theater.  He handled my twenty-minute interrogation well. Attack was a little different, in that I did get to see it before Sith thanks to the DVD.

The reasons for missing those installments was basically me putting other people ahead of myself even if it was begrudgingly.  The one time we did go to the movies during the Empire run we saw Airplane instead.  Now, Airplane is a classic, and it’s what a sick relative wanted to see.  I don’t regret going see it.  I just wish my mom would have trusted me to go see Empire alone (I was 6 going on 7). I could actually hear the sounds of the Empire attacking Hoth through the small twin cinema walls. And there is only one scene I actually remembered from Airplane because it was very impressionable on a young lad.

MV5BMjg1MTY4MjgwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODkzNTA2OQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,672,1000_AL_

In 2014, we attended the London Comic Con during a break in a study hall in Edinburgh.  I got to meet Robert Hayes, the star of Airplane.  I told him the above story.  He responded with, “I bet the only scene you remembered was the boobs jiggling across the screen.”  We both then just laughed, and he signed my photo and took a picture with me.

I really wish I had a cool story for Attack, but I don’t.  In fact, like the film, the story is best left untold.

 

 

Comic Con-ing: Mrs. Nola Nerd’s Wizard World New Orleans 2018

As con season approaches, our first con of 2018 will be Wizard World New Orleans. We’ve been to WWNOLA since its inception and have enjoyed ourselves every year. This year will surely follow suit! Here’s a look at some people I am looking forward to seeing.

Mr. Nola Nerd and I decided to do a photo op with Mr. Stan Lee. We have met him three times and have his autograph on a comic, on a photo, and on my Mallrats poster; however, we do not have any photos with him and us. Since he is in such high demand, his people have to move the line quickly and they do not allow photographs at the table. We know he is winding down on the con circuit (we were at the London Film and Comic Con in 2014, which was he final European appearance, and it was INSANE; they had to put him in his own building) and we figured this might be our last chance to have a photo with Stan “The Man” Lee. Like Mr. Nola Nerd said in his last blog, we might bring our baby countdown sign to have in the photo with us. I am sure Miss Nola Nerd Baby will love that photo growing up!

Jason Momoa is attending and although we met him at Space City Con in 2014, that was before I had my Game of Thrones poster. I now have about twenty people on the poster (the latest being Jerome Flynn aka Bronn thanks to my dear friend David getting him for me at Rhode Island Comic Con). He was awesome to meet in person and I cannot wait to meet him again. I would love to have an Aquaman picture signed as well, but thanks to baby, I will be limiting it to just my poster.

The announcement that made me scream with happiness was David Tennant! I never thought I would be lucky enough to meet him in person. I have a Doctor Who poster that I would love to have him sign, but I also want a photo of him as Ten, as Kilgrave from Jessica Jones (WOW that performance!), and as Scrooge McDuck from the new Duck Tales! Of course, that’s simply not possible right now, so I have to narrow my choice down to one. I am fairly certain it will be a photo of Ten. I have to see his wonderful face!

One of my absolute favorite shows growing up was Boy Meets World. In fact, I just finished rewatching the entire series on Hulu. I was the same age as most of the cast, so I completely related to them and their teen struggles. I am super excited to meet Rider Strong, who portrayed Shawn Hunter, and Will Friedle, who portrayed Eric Matthews. I am hoping to get a cast picture with Ben Savage (Cory Matthews) and Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence). Hopefully one day I can meet them as well!

Those are my top celebrity guests. If I were rich, I would meet Jenna Coleman again. I have a picture of her as Clara signed and she is on my poster for Doctor Who; however, Kurt and I are really into the PBS drama Victoria. We would love to get her as that character, but like I said previously, baby comes first.

I would also love to meet Ian Somerhalder. Now, I have never seen a single episode of The Vampire Diaries in my life. So why do I want to meet him. One word: LOST! I was obsessed with LOST and I have several autographs from different cast members. I was crushed when Boone “left the show,” so I would love to add him to my collection. Alas, he will have to wait for another con.

A few other cool guests that we have already met are Nichelle Nichols, who plays Uhura in Star Trek, Jon Heder, who is Napoleon Dynamite, and the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler. All extremely lovely people and if you are a fan, I definitely recommend meeting them.

So that’s it so far for Wizard World. Of course, there are other guests that will be there, but unfortunately I have not seen the shows that they have been in. Besides, I can’t meet everybody, right?! The addiction has to stop somewhere. *wink* Besides, I haven’t even gotten into the comic book artists and creators I want to meet! That will have to be saved for another post.

ComicCon-ing: My Top Two Guests at Wizard World New Orleans

Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple will create a blog for her top guests soon at Wizard World New Orleans, so I figured I would strike first with mine.

Far and away, the top guest for me is Charisma Carpenter. When I started collecting autographs, it was because of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The first New Orleans Wizard World had quite a few Buffy guests, and yes I met almost all of them. The one I did not meet I met later in Houston.  In fact, in cleaning out the nursery, we realized we have to relocate my photo-op with James Marsters. Every single Buffy guest we have met has been fantastic.  At Star Wars Celebration, we even got to meet Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was someone we never thought I would get to meet.  Charisma Carpenter has attended a lot of cons, just not ones near me. Cordelia is by far one of my favorite characters, and no, not only because she is gorgeous. Over the course of both Buffy and Angel, her role had one of the best and most satisfying arcs of growth on the show(s).  So far so, the writers did not know where to take her character anymore.  That is not a bad thing; in fact, I would argue that she went from a one-note role to a complete character.

Howard Chaykin is next on my list. Yes, meeting a comic book creator is at the top of my list. Why not? We met him at Wizard World Philly, and he put himself at the top of the list for the most entertaining guest of any category at any con. This time I just want to purchase some sketches from him so I can hang up at the Nola Nerd Lounge or, if appropriate, Nursery.

Now, there are plenty of other people I want to meet at the con.  We already have a photo op with Stan Lee (and I am seriously thinking about bringing the weeks until baby sign).  The other people on my list are also on the Mrs.’s list. I let her fangirl about those, but don’t think for a second I am not fanboying about them as well.

Wizard World New Orleans will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Center at 900 Convention Center Boulevard.  There is plenty of parking nearby, but we always opt to park at the far end of the convention center, under the bridge, because it is usually the best deal. The con will be Jan 5 from 4-9pm, Jan 6 from 10-7, and Jan 7 from 10-4. You can buy VIP packages, photo ops, and autograph tickets now!

ComicCon-ing: Con Season Approaches

Well, actually, con season is actually year round, but for us, it is usually busiest during the first four months.

First, there is Wizard World New Orleans. It is also one of the first cons of the year in the US taking place during the first full weekend in January.  While we do more in-depth previews of the con in upcoming blogs, generally speaking, it is always a great con. For me, Wizard World New Orleans usually has some fantastic panels, including some on New Orleans itself. Also, it’s right in the center of everything.  It’s at the foot of the CBD and a short walk to the French Quarter. Unlike a lot of other cons, you aren’t stuck eating con food since you have world class restaurants just a few blocks away.

The next con we usually attend is Pensacon. Pensacola is a quick drive from NOLA if you want to make to make just a one day trip.  However, we totally recommend going all three days. Pensacola hosts Pensacon with events occurring all over the downtown area. Plus, their guest lists always has something for almost every fandom there is. This con is a couple of weeks before Miss Nola Nerd Baby is due, so who knows…she might make her world premiere in Florida!

Usually, the next con for us is Star Wars Celebration, but there will not be one this year. This is great for us because Miss Nola Nerd Baby will be here and we will be too busy spoiling her to have attended this year.  But we do have some cosplay ideas for 2019 that involve her!

She might make her first appearance at Comicpalooza. We had such a great time last year at the con that we would love to go again.  We were part of their podcast series and did one live on the floor and had a great time doing it.

But it’s too soon to plan that trip. If she’s like me, she will be a fussy baby. If she’s like her mom, she will be perfect. 🙂

Basically, the point of this blog is that going to cons is part of who we are. We want that to be part of who is as well. We want her to get hooked on comics and nerdy stuff.  We will spend less money on these cons because of her, but we still will go. We have to be the people we are to be the parents we want to be. A lot of the things I love and a lot of the things Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple loves are things that our parents enjoyed.

So see you at a con!

 

 

Reviewing: Justice League Kicks

We haven’t been the biggest fan of the DCEU.  Man of Steel and Batman v Superman were overwrought and contradictory.  Beautiful to look at but frustrating to watch and listen to the words coming out of the actors’ mouths. So they were a lot like the Star Wars prequels to us.

However, we both enjoyed Justice League. It had some flaws, particularly the poor CGI with the main villain.  However, the story was good if not very deep.  Plus, it made the superheroes more human.  I know this will upset a lot of people, but I honestly think the reason people seem to like Marvel more is not because of the superheroes but because Marvel makes them human.  Watching gods can be boring unless they explore their human side.  This is especially true for Superman.  If he isn’t as human AND a son of Krypton, he has nothing stopping him from being a real god on earth.  And if you have read the excellent Injustice comics, this might not be necessarily a good thing.  As well as that comic and game series has done, I don’t think that would play well in the theaters.  And let’s face it comic book fans, these movies are not made for us.  They are not boutique films; they are made for people who only know about comics from going to the movies.

This might lead the works far from their source material, but it’s the reality of comic book movies. For the second time, DC has humanized them.  They expertly did this will Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman.  Zach Snyder (until I read something by him that says Justice League is not his vision, I’m giving him credit) doesn’t reach those heights but attempts to.  They introduce three new characters successfully. The action is fantastic. I walked out with a smile on my face and want to see the movie again.  Again, it does have flaws, but they did not spoil my enjoyment of the film.

However, the best moment of the film came when Wonder Woman was fighting.  This was when Miss Nola Nerd Baby decided to kick hard enough for me to feel it for the first time.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple just grabbed my hand, and there she was acting like the Wonder Woman she will be.

For that, Justice League will always be one of my favorite movie experiences ever!

Star Wars-ing: Reactions to this Week in Star Wars

5 ‘Star Wars’ Costumes For Pregnant Women That Are Perfect For A Galaxy Far, Far Away: These are DIY costume ideas based on Star Wars.  Nothing too intricate.  Great for Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple.

‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Released The First Minutes Of Its Campaign Story, And It Features A Post-Mortem Emperor:  The trailer looks amazing for soon to be released game. Now to just find time to be able to read the book leading into the game and time to play it. I wasn’t as impressed with the post-mortem emperor as the article stated.  It didn’t seem anything more than a recorded message.

 

That’s it for this week. Most of the “news” was of the spoiler/conjecture type. 

Editorializing: Criticism from Fans

Too many fans in too many fandoms do not really understand what criticism is. Far too many fans think that criticism is not liking something.  Not liking Captain America being a Hydra agent is not criticism.  Not liking a gay character in a Star Wars novel is not criticism. Not liking Thor because it is a woman is not criticism.

Now, don’t get me wrong, not liking something is completely fine. I don’t like lots of things. But the teacher in me knows that is not criticism. Not liking a plot is just a matter of taste.  Realizing a plot is not fully developed and being able to state concrete reasons why is.  Not liking a character’s choices is not criticism.  Being able to demonstrate why a character’s choices are not in that character’s character is criticism.

As a football coach, I would never tell a player they played poorly and leave it at that. I would explain why and how to get better.  Now, I’ll never ever tell a writer that I think they did a poor job until I get published.  And since I’m not writing for publication anytime soon, that won’t happen.  Too many people send tweets to authors telling them they hate their work.  This boggles my mind. What is this person’s endgame? Do they think the writer will change? Do they believe that the author will write the story that is in their head? No.  All they will end up doing is taking away access to these writers from their more level-headed fans.

Am I saying not to write negative criticism? No, that would make anyone with a blog, like me, a hypocrite.  But I won’t tweet an author or artist a negative review. They don’t need that negativity in their lives. Nothing gets published without going through many different reads, so they have heard many of the criticisms. Plus, some people do this for a living and do it well and properly, that the authors can turn to if they want to read valid criticism of their work.

So why should someone like you and I write criticism?  First, it will make us better readers and writers. Reading a story for point of view, symbolism, plot and character development allows us to grow as readers. Learning how to articulate how well a story does these things allows us to grow as writers.  We should have spent many years of our K-12 and, in some cases, college education learning how to do this. Put it to good use.

Now, some people in fandom hide behind the word “criticism” when they really just mean bigotry.  People that oppose diversity and social justice too often just make hateful comments to authors, and when the author responds, they reply that the author cannot take criticism. Almost every time, however, they never truly offered criticism. It’s a free country, and you can be against diversity and social justice.  You can also not read the book or the comic or watch the movie. That’s part of being in a free country too.

The next argument will be that I’m trying to limit someone’s freedom of speech.  I’m not.  If you want to tell an author you think they suck, you have that right.  What I’m arguing is don’t hide behind the word critic, when, in fact, you are just a jerk.

(Or you can be a “professional” critic and still a jerk.  And still not not understand criticism….i.e., Harry Knowles reviews).