Music Podcasting: Sun Kil Moon

We are going to try to do a podcast every Sunday, following the themes that we have set on our blog.  This week is Listening: Sun Kil Moon. In this podcast, I talk about Sun Kil Moon’s 2014 release Benji, and his 2o16 release, Jesu/Sun Kil Moon.  At the end of the podcast, we talk about some events that are happening around New Orleans and the surrounding area that Nola Nerd Couple recommends.

 

Intro and Exit Music:

Lady of the Punks by Martijn de Boer (NiGiD) (c) 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: Doxent Zsigmond

ComicCon-ing: Panels at Pensacon

In yesterday’s post, we talked about how great Pensacon was.  Making this con so good was two of the panels that we attended.  One helped us realize how much our website has grown and will grow.  The other combined two of our favorite things:  comics and social studies.

chimtalkspensacon

Chimichanga Talk panel was so good it was invaded by a T. Rex!  It heard we were #flickingnickels and started to twerk for us!

The first panel, entitled Make it Sprinkle, discussed how to monetize your blog /podcast/YouTube channel.  Before you can make money, you have to have followers.  For us, that was more important.  We are dedicated to doing this website again now that grad school is finished, and, of course, we want to grow.  We have recently bought podcasting equipment and upgraded our camera.  Our twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts are now being utilized regularly.   The moderators of this panel, the guys from Chimichanga Talk, spoke mainly about to grow your audience and then explained how you can make some money, which mainly offsets the cost of your blog.  The hosts were quick to point out you probably won’t get rich, but you might make enough to be #flickingnickels.  Their advice was good common sense advice about marketing yourself.  Doing NolaNerdCouple.com is doing our hobby as a second full-time job, and if you are going to make it your job, make it rewarding by watching it grow.  Cristina was wearing our NolaNerdCouple.com shirt and was asked to go up front to show it off.  Thankfully, she wore it instead of me because she makes a better model.   At the end of the panel, it reminded me why we enjoy comic cons so much.  The people leading and attending this panel have similar interests,and comic cons allow for us to have a place to actually meet in person.

 

horriblestereopensacon

Starting slide to the “Horrible Horrible Horrible Horrible Stereotypes in Comics” panel.

 

The second panel was presented by three Comic historians.  The panel focused on “Horrible Horrible Horrible Horrible Stereotypes in Comic Book History” which unfortunately has plenty of source data.  The hosts were extremely knowledgeable.  Comic books, like movies, often tell you more about the time they were written then the time they take place.  The panelists shared how in the 40s and shortly after Japanese characters in comic books were brutally subjugated to racial slurs both in their appearance and in their speech.  Next, the panel focused on the treatment of African Americans.  Joining the panel for this segment was comic writer Tony Isabella.  Isabella has numerous credits including, Captain America, Luke Cage, and Hawkman.  He also created Black Lightning, one of DCs first major black superheroes. Isabella relayed the story of how the original story line involved a character call the Black Bomber who actually was a white racist that became a black superhero if he became stressed.  Thankfully, Isabella rejected this idea and created Black Lightning.  All of the panel moderators were great storytellers who obviously have a vast knowledge of comic book history (and you should really check out their podcast).  In the question and answer section, they expanded to other horrible stereotypes and tropes especially focusing on how women were and, sadly, still treated in comic books.  Mr. Isabella also pointed out the dangers of going too far in making minority characters too perfect. Perfect often has a lack of drama which is boring.  The panel pointed out how the new Ms. Marvel is an excellent example of taking a minority character (a teenage Muslim American girl) and making her believable.  They are right; it’s one of the best series in the current Marvel universe because Kamala Khan is so real.

 

comichistorianspanel

Comic writer Tony Isabella and the guys from the Longbox discussing how Asian Americans have been portrayed in comics over the years.

 

Attending panels at comic cons (or any convention for that matter), should have the audience leaving with a call to action.  If it is an actor panel, you should want to go watch their movies.  We left both of these panels inspired.  The first panel made us want to keep up NolaNerdCouple.com.  We hope we are lucky enough to find people who find our nerd adventures interesting enough to keep coming back.  The second panel made us want to do two things.  First, we want to read more comics.  Second, we want to see how to incorporate comics in our teaching.  I teach AP Computer Science and just last year a graphic novel was published discussing the work of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace.  This sounds like perfect summer reading instead of a boring book on alogrithms.  For Nola Nerd Gal, she teaches civics and on the car ride home we discussed how comics, especially post 9/11 comics, bring up many of the topics she covers in class.

Who knows, maybe we can develop a panel that could be presented at both a comic con and a teachers convention?

ComicCon-ing: Pensacon – Overview and Review

Pensacon 2016 was simply one of the best cons I’ve ever attended. Usually, when I write a review of a con, I have two or three better ifs. I can’t really think of any for this year’s con. Now part of that reason is that we planned well. We knew what we wanted to do and what we would have to give up. However, Pensacon, and by extension Pensacola, deserves most of the credit. They made the most of their limited space and held a great con.

Pensacon Vendor Area

Pensacon Vendor Area

Continue reading

ComicCon-ing: A Preview of Pensacon

This weekend Nola Nerd Couple will be attending Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida.  We believe this is one of the best Comic-Cons on the Gulf Coast and in the South.  Perfectly located near the beach and I-10, Pensacon allows for a perfect getaway weekend.

Pensacon is a growing con that always gets great guests.  A few of the guests that we are excited to meet this year are:

Of course, there are plenty of more guests to check out from such series as Star WarsDoctor Who (Strax!), Agents of Shield, and Game of Thrones.

Pensacon also has a great lineup of artists as well. Probably the biggest name in for the artists is Neal Adams whose credits include Batman and X-Men. Doug Sneyd’s cartoons have been featured in Playboy since 1964.  Artists may do commissions so check the Pensacon website, um now, to find out if you need to book in advance.  The artist alley is usually my favorite part of the con.  Not only do we find great things to decorate Nola Nerd Couple Headquarters with, but also the artists are always so nice.  I, personally, love that they found a way to become successful by working hard in a field in which they had some natural talent.  It is always great to hear their origin stories. In fact, the best conversations I have had at any con have always been with the artists.

Besides media and artists guests, Pensacon has a full schedule of events.  There will be tons of panels by the actors, artists, and experts on issues related to comics and comic cons. I personally recommend “Horrible Horrible Horrible Horrible Stereotypes in Comic Book History” on Saturday at 4:45 as my colleague and friend, Bill Plasse, will be one of the presenters (Looks like Bill can’t make it, but the panel will still go on!).  Of course, I always explain Comic-Cons as “jewelry shows for geeks” and, accordingly, there will be ton of vendors there. In addition, there will also be a cosplay contest a short film festivalsci-fi speed dating, and Southeastern Teen Shakespeare Company Performance.

We will be taking plenty of pictures and may interview a few artists and convention attendees for our blog next week.  Until then, have a happy con!

 

Cooking: Relaxing with my MiniMax Big Green Egg

For Mardi Gras week, we skipped most parades except for my hometown parade.  We took it easy and just relaxed at home.  This meant I cooked almost exclusively on the Big Green Egg.  For all my cooks I used Big Green Egg Lump charcoal. Here is a run down:

Chicken Wings for the Big Green Egg Mini Max

Chicken Wings for the Big Green Egg Mini Max

Continue reading

Music Podcasting: All Shook Down by The Replacements

I’m trying something new: podcasting.  A podcast is basically an audio blog for our readers who don’t ever listen to them.  This one is about an album and a band that changed my life.  Also, you can definitely​ hear my cajun accent on this especially on the word “connection.”  Hopefully, I can find enough time to do these more often and then have them on iTunes.

Intro and exit music:

Lady of the Punks by Martijn de Boer (NiGiD) (c) 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: Doxent Zsigmond

ComicCon-ing: How to have a successful con

We have attended Comic Cons all over the place. We have been to Star Wars Celebration in both California and Florida. We have even attended the London Film and Comic Con. We love New Orleans Comic Con by Wizard World and look forward to Pensacon every year. Dallas and Houston have great cons. One of the best cons we ever attended was in Galveston. We haven’t been to San Diego…yet.   However, we have learned from each con on how to make the most of them.

Comic Cons can be stressful for an introvert. I have social anxiety. Large crowds in a small space stress me out. I don’t like it when people bump into me. Most people that attend Comic Cons, though, are introverts themselves. Remembering this reduces stress of a con. This is a safe place for nerds and geeks and it allows us to assert our extroverted side. We often run into former students at Comic Cons. Often, they were the quietest students in our class, but when they are cosplaying at con, they are stopping every five seconds to take pictures with strangers. Cosplaying allows people to step out of themselves and be someone else for a day.

Another source of stress of attending a Comic Con is trying to do everything. You can’t. There are too many things limiting you, mainly time and money. To have a successful con, figure out what is a priority. If you love collecting autographs, you may have to miss a panel. To help with this, study the website of the con. Figure out what people are going to be there on specific days. For example, at the upcoming Pensacon, Natalia Tena (Tonks from Harry Potter) is appearing Sunday only. If we didn’t read the website, or follow on twitter, and we only planned on going on Saturday, we would have been disappointed.

Making a schedule can also lead to successful con. You can’t be in two places at once. You have to figure out what your priority is, and schedule everything else around that. For last year’s Star Wars Celebration, our priority was getting autographs. Our schedule was based around that. By not scheduling a panel in front of an autograph, we met everyone we wanted to meet. Remember you have limited time at a panel, so planning helps.

Finally, budgeting is important. Besides paying for autographs and photo-ops, there is many other things on which to spend your money. I always describe Comic-Cons as “jewelry shows for nerds.” Planning helps. If you really want to get autographs, budget the amount of money you want to spend. Most cons list the prices of autographs and photo-ops on their website. Of course, you are going to make impulse purchases, just make sure you spend your cash on what you planned on spending it on as well. In fact, bring cash. While Square is appearing more often at Cons, cash is often the quickest way to do some transactions, and in some cases, the only way.

The most important advice we can give for a successful con is to have fun. Make small talk with the celebrities, ask the artists questions, attend panels. Most of us attend cons to remind ourselves of that little person inside of ourselves. Let that person out.