ComicCon-ing: Can’t Wait for Wizard World New Orleans!

We love going to Wizard World New Orleans. Its a great con and great for the city.  Even last year, when Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple was in the throes of extreme nausea due to the baby, we had a great time.

In fact, baby even got to take a picture with the late great Stan Lee!
IMG_0012

This year, we will be back at full strength. We will also have baby in tow for her first Wizard World.

Of the celebrity guests, we are most looking forward to meeting Mads Mikkelsen.  I’m a huge Bond fan and he is one of the best and most memorable villains. He also is a major part of our favorite fandom – Star Wars. We have a Rogue One poster with Felicity Jones and having her cinematic father on there will be an amazing addition.  (You can see our previous celebrity guests spotlights here and here).

We are really looking forward to meeting Michelle Hirstus and picking up some of her books in the JuJu The Good VooDoo for the baby. If artist Neal Adams is doing a panel, we will be there. We have met him at a previous Wizard World and he is full of great stories. I also am looking forward to meeting Arvell Jones (“Black Panther”) and Michael Golden (“Spider-Man”).

We would love to attend the Cosplay contest and just marvel at the creativity of our local cosplayers (and those that travel to the con as well!)

And, of course, we can’t wait to have some of Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop!

New Orleans show hours are Friday, January 4, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, January 5, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, January 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult. You can purchase tickets here.

 

StarWars-ing: Links

Do you need a huge Star Wars book that goes deep into how Star Wars was created? Well, we do. The Star Wars Archives produced by Taschen comes out on December 15. It will have art from Ralph McQuarrie and tons of photographs from the original trilogy. It does come with a hefty price tag!

Disney has posted the first images of Millennium Falcon in their upcoming park “Star Wars: Galaxy Edge.” The new park opens up in Disneyland in 2019 and Disney World in 2019.

If you look at the IMDB page for The Mandalorian, not only does it list Pedro Pascal as the title character, but it also has Gina Carano and Nick Nolte in the cast.  StarWars.com announced today that Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, and Omid Abtahi have also joined the class.

Star Wars-ing: Luke Had Every Reason To Quit

Walking out of the theaters for The Last Jedi, I was disappointed.  I thought the film was overlong. Canto Bright didn’t feel right to me for numerous reasons. Poe’s character became too cocky and didn’t really have the moment of reckoning for his actions.

I did enjoy the way the story treated Kylo and Rey.

And, I needed Luke to have the story he did.

Too many people think Luke is a hero that is a perfect knight. I don’t. He can’t be. Too much happened to him:

  • the only parents he has ever known are burned alive because he decided to buy that droid.
  • on his way to see a princess, he finds the planet destroyed
  • he rescues the princess, but only to find the mentor he had been searching for his entire life dead right in front of his eyes
  • he blows up the Death Star. Now, this is a heroic action, but it also brings about a significant loss of life and he probably knows not everyone on the ship is not evil.
  • his second mentor tells him saving his friends lives is the worse thing he can do giving him an impossible choice.
  • finds out the guy that killed his first mentor is his father.  Not only that, but he now knows that his parents and mentors have lied to him.
  • he finds out a girl he kissed his sister
  • watches his second mentor die
  • can only save his father by offering himself up for sacrifice which in turn ends up saving, and killing his father.
  • failing Ben Solo

It is incredible that he doesn’t go to the dark side.  His PTSD has PTSD. He has every reason to give up. He is a good man, but good men can only take so much.

This is not unfamiliar in hero stories. All heroes have moments of doubt and failure.  Jesus has the garden. Luke has Ahch-To.

What makes Luke a hero is that he doesn’t stay on Ahch-To (ok, well he does, but…). He chooses to act.  Answering the call to action, even when you have lost faith, is a hero’s action.  However, while I do think Luke has had a crisis of faith, he hasn’t lost hope. Rey, who has nothing but faith, has inspired Luke. Rey is not a Mary-Sue; she is a true believer. Luke has always struggled with faith (again see above as to why), but he finally sees the why he should have faith in the force.

Hope exists. He saw a new hope in Rey. He can continue and complete, as much as any character in Star Wars can, the hero’s journey.

 

Fandom-ing: Thirteen and History

Note: We have only watched up to episode 7 of season 11. 

Two of the episodes of the eleventh season of Doctor Who have focused on historical events.  One was quite a big event that involved the person at the epicenter of it.  The other was a big event but looked at how it affected the people history often forgets.

Rosa, about Rosa Parks, did a good job but I wish it could have been better. Having time travelers, especially ones that are not US citizens, look at how segregation was enforced could have given the writers a lot chances to look at the absurdities and horrors of racism.  It came close especially in the scenes with Ryan, but it never truly reached the realm of terrifying. Having Graham being the cause of the protest also was problematic, but luckily they didn’t focus on it as much.

The Demons of the Punjab fared a lot better in that it decided to get really small. The event was about the partition of India, but it was really about four people living in the area. For an hour show, it handled the radicalization of one of the characters really well.  Also, making the characters part of Yasmin’s family gave us a personal window into the world. The aliens were indeed scary until we found out more about them. This hour is everything Doctor Who can and should be.

Parenting: I Want to Be Well For Her

To say this year has exciting would be an understatement. It has been the best year ever, but it nearly was the worse year as well. The struggles my wife had in pregnancy didn’t end with delivery. She had to be rushed to the ER three times during the baby’s first week of life, had her gallbladder removed in October, and now has more issues in the abdomen region (none are life-threatening but they are life changing).

Well, with the exception of a case of food poisoning (or a bad drug interaction), this year has been pretty good for me physically.  My palindromic rheumatism has reared its head a few times, but while extremely painful, not debilitating. Except…

My mental health ran into a roadblock. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for a long time.  I used to see a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with mild (later severe) depression and social anxiety disorder. Funny how the things I love require me to be social, yet they are so exhausting. The medicine I was prescribed, sertraline, agreed with me. I changed jobs (this was 2003) and the co-pay for the medicine didn’t fit into my budget.  Since this is America, I quit taking it.

I really didn’t need it for a long time. I had read the anxiety and phobia workbook and learned how to cope with it. The mental exercises I learned from that book and my doctor served me well for about a decade (which included Katrina).

Yet, this year proved to be too much. I became overwhelmed. Not with the baby, but with everything. Luckily, the Mrs. understood because I have always been upfront with her about my condition. She has mentally and emotionally been my rock, as I have been there for her physically. And the baby is both of our grace.

I don’t want to put all my fear, complexes, and doubts onto my daughter.  She is very social. She loves to be carried facing forward so she can see people. She loves looking at people at the park and will interact with anyone we introduce to her. She’s damn near perfect.

img_07551

Our grace!

I’m not weak.  I’m not crazy.  I’m just not well. The important thing is I want to be well.  That’s why I returned to seeing a psychiatrist. I’m sure I could have told my GP I had anxiety and depression (mine does ask every time).  However, that’s not what he specializes in.  I needed to make sure I wasn’t wrong in my self-assessment that I needed help. My new doctor immediately realized how overwhelmed I was.

Even at my worse, when it was impossible for me to smile, I made sure I didn’t lose the ability to make her smile. If that meant tickling her, pretending to eat her toes, or giving her raspberries, I worked to make sure she knew she was loved and that I was fighting for her.

I wrote a post similar to this on Facebook a few days ago. I’ve already received a few messages about brave I was for posting.  I received lots of thoughts and prayers (don’t read sarcasm into that…I’m thankful). A couple of people privately messaged me saying that for the first time in a while, they didn’t feel alone. A few thanked me for fighting the stigma.

I’m beyond caring about the stigma.  So people know that I suffer from depression and anxiety now.

Now, they also know I’m doing something about it.

StarWars-ing: Star Wars Celebration Announces More Authors

Star Wars Celebration Chicago added to their lineup of Star Wars authors that will be appearing at the convention! This was already a super strong author lineup, and Celebration just beefed it up some more.

EK Johnston: Ms. Johnston is primarily a young author writer, and has previously published the novel, Ahsoka, for Star Wars.  Her upcoming novel is the Queen’s Shadow, which comes out on March 9, 2019. The story follows Padme as she steps down from being queen and joins the senate.

Justina Ireland: Ms. Ireland has written Lando’s Luck, a story geared toward younger readers.

Zoraida Cordova: Ms. Cordova is a novelist and short story writer.  Her foray in the Star Wars galaxy was a contribution on the short story collection entitled From a Certain Point of View.

StarWars-ing: The Podcast Stage

Well, we applied for the Star Wars Celebration Podcast stage, but we weren’t selected. It wasn’t a surprise.  We haven’t recorded in a while due to some health issues. Well, that and the fact that there are so many great podcasts that cover all the facets of Star Wars.  I try to listen to as many as I can and quite a few of those made the podcast stage in Chicago.

The Skytalkers Podcast is quickly becoming one of my favorite podcasts in general, not just a Star Wars podcast. The hosts are smart and literate.  They bring a fresh look at the franchise and often discuss things that other people overlook.  For instance, they have an entire episode on the crawls and I learned quite a bit from it.

Coffee with Kenobi is another podcast that I listen to frequently. One of the reasons why I like this show is that a few of the hosts are educators. They also look at the saga in an in-depth manner. They have recently done a set of shows about “5 Things We Love About…” the different installments of the saga.  It was surprising and a refreshing look.  The Coffee with Kenobi is an entire network of podcasts and you should really check them out.

Between now and Star Wars Celebration I will be listening to a lot of the podcasts that made the stage and highlighting them here.  So stay tuned!

Oh, and may the force be with you!