ComicCon-ing: Mechacon 2016 Preview

Mr. and Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple will be venturing into a new world soon. We will be attending Mechacon the “largest, longest-running and most successful anime convention in Louisiana.”  Anime is not our area of expertise, but we probably have heard about Mechacon more than any other con in the area over the years.  Students, past and present, alway talk glowingly about Mechacon. Friends, who have brought their children to the con, have marveled at the sheer range and quality of the cosplay at the con. Obviously, we are excited to go!

Media guests include Power Ranger veterans, Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier, as well as voice actors Khary Payton and Wendy Powell. They will also have cosplay guests, music guests, and industry based guests. Two of the artists are local people. Amelie Belcher was born in Baton Rouge (you can see her work here) and Metairie-born and raised Robby Musso who is a long time Transformer artist.

Plenty of anime can be viewed at Mechacon.  In fact, the schedule looks like it going from the opening of the con to the end of the con! Gamers, both console and table top, will have a chance to be able to show off their skill.

For us, because we are new to the Anime world, we are interested in learning more about the culture so we will be attending plenty of panels. One I’m interested in attended if we can get there in time is the Beyond the Costume: A Cosplay Sociology Panel. Cosplay is serious business.  With it comes many opinions about how it is perceived and the future of the artform. At the same time is the MechaCon Anti-Bullying Panel to help people understand how to have a safe con.  The Japan Society of New Orleans will be giving a panel; later in the day, a panel will discuss how to make travel to Japan a possibility. There will be panels on specific shows including non-anime fare like Game of Thrones and Buffy. Of course, there will be plenty of panels featuring anime discussions.

Other panel topics include how to start cosplaying, role playing game devlopment, armor making, and creating webcomics.  These are my favorite panels because they encourage creativity.  Comic-con attendees are not just passive consumers of geeky products. We love to get involved.  We love to share our knowledge. To outsiders, I often describe such shows as jewelry shows for geeks. But us insiders, we know better.  We know these cons are so much more.

If you don’t believe me, take a trip downtown this weekend.  Just come near the Riverside Hilton.  You will be amazed by the cosplay. You should be further amazed by how many are handmade.  Those that did purchase have altered them to create something new.

Mechacon will be July 29-July 31, 2016 at the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans.

 

Mr. Nola Nerd Couple’s Music Podcast: Anderson Paak and OutKast

 

Mr. Nola Nerd Couple’s Music Podcast is a bi-weekly podcast where we focus squarely on music. We will release a podcast on every other Friday where we talk about a new(ish) album and an older album. This week we focus on Anderson Paak’s new album, Malibu,  which combines new and old R&B, Soul, and Hip-Hop sounds to make something exciting and fresh. For our older album,  OutKast Stankonia is discussed as a gateway to modern and old-school hip-hop for those that never gave either a chance.

 

Warning, both albums do use explicit language.

Anderson Paak’s Malibu:

Outkast’s Stankonia:

Star Wars-ing: The Clone Wars Season 1 Episodes 1-16

Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has been encouraging me to watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  I saw the movie that kicked off the TV show and, frankly, hated it. Yet, season after season, she has talked endlessly about how good the show is.  My resistance held firm. Then she started watching Rebels.  I would try not to pay attention to that show and it didn’t work. I became hooked.

Now that I’m hooked on Rebels, I really do want to watch the show.  So here is the start of my reviews for the show. I will try to group them by story arc instead of reviewing each show individually.  Of course, spoilers will be all over the place!

Season 1

Ambush (S1E1)

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This is a one off and a weird start to the show. Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan do not appear in the show.  It doesn’t really set up the show or provide a true bridge from the movie to the show. This isn’t a problem.  This is a great episode. Yoda is the focus of the episode and anytime I get to see Yoda be a total warrior is a good episode.  It does also set up Dooku and Grievous’s relationship.

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Unboxing: Comic Con Boxes!

Nola Nerd Couple has been subsribing to Comic Con Boxes from Wizard World since they began issuing them.  We tried other boxes but we always enjoy these more.  You can see all of Nola Nerd Couple’s videos on our channel here.  If you like them, please subscribe!

Here are our our last three unboxings!

 

Star Wars-ing: Princess Leia

When I first read Princess Leia, I thought it was a light story that was ok. In fact, I wasn’t even going to review it. Then for some reason, I couldn’t shake the story. I kept thinking about it. So I gave it a reread. It’s not light at all. In fact, I think its one of the best comics I’ve read in some time.

Mark Waid wrote the story with Terry Dodson doing the pencils and Rachel Dodson inking the series. Jordie Bellaire colored the run.

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The story picks up where Episode IV ends. We are at the medal ceremony and our heroes are parting ways. However, every one treats Leia as she should be grieving. She should; her planet was blown to bits in front of her. Because of interplanetary travel, there are surviving Alderaanians. This becomes the mission of Leia in this 5 issue run.

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NOLA-ing: Naturalization Ceremony at the National World War II

Nola Nerd Couple did the traditional Fourth of July cookout with family on July 2nd or the day that John Adams thought all Americans would celebrate American Independence.  This left us with the Fourth being open and trying to think of something we could do besides having another cookout.  Last year was hard to top since we visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.  That is a bucket-list museum that all Americans should try to visit if able. How do you top something that is bucket-list worth?  It would take another bucket-list occasion to do this.

 

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The National World War II Museum Boeing Center

 

Then we saw that the National World War II Museum would be hosting a Naturalization Ceremony on the Fourth of July.

We both taught Civics in the past, so going to this ceremony didn’t come with much discussion. We both knew this was the thing to do to celebrate America’s Independence.

 

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What the new citizens needed for the ceremony!

 

We arrived early and had breakfast at Jeri Nims Soda Shop which is part of the World War II museum. We then headed over to the US Freedom Pavilion: the Boeing Center. Crowds were starting to gather. There were only looks of happiness on everyone’s face.

 

The ceremony took about an hour.  There were over 50 people who have worked hard to become citizens of the United States of America.  The colors were presented by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Honor Guard.  Eureka Arties, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, sang the Star Spangled Banner in a beautiful a Cappella rendition. She then called out each country that our new to be citizens were from. They covered five countries and, if memory serves, 27 countries ranging from Mexico to the Netherlands to Jordon to China.

 

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The Call of the Countries and Presentation of Candidates for Citizenship

 

Then the moment every one of those deserving Americans were waiting for happened: they took the Oath of Allegiance.  They became citizens of the United States of America.

 

The Honorable Daniel E. Knowles provided the keynote remarks. He quoted Patton in saying that America loves a winner and all of our new citizens were winners. Whatever reason they came to America, the chose to contribute to our great nation by becoming citizens. He related the story of a Canadian who served in our Armed Forces and then became a citizen. In the story, the young man fully realized how great of an honor this was when the stoic old man sitting next to him jumped to his feet at after the Oath and hugged him with a face full of tears. This man also had the honor of watching his mother become a citizen. Judge Knowles reminded everyone that America always has a place for people who want to become Americans.

 

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The Honorable Daniel E. Knowles giving the Keynote Remarks

 

Each year about 8000 non-citizens joins the U.S. military. To do so, they must have a Green Card or be a permanent resident. Two of our brave service men became citizens during this ceremony.  Both were asked to lead the hall, which by this point was standing room only, in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  We both became teary-eyed at this moment.

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A video message from President Obama welcomed our new citizens. Then another joyous moment occurred when they were presented with their certificates.  Unlike me, these people were not blessed with being a citizen because of the geographical location of my parents.  These people may or may not have chosen to come here for some were from war-torn places.  However, they all chose to become citizens. They filled out the forms, underwent the interview, and took the test. They worked hard to become American citizens and as Judge Knowles remarked, America is better for it.

To make the moment even more special, it took place in a museum that honors men and women who fought to keep America a country that people want to come to and spend the rest of their days in. The National World War II Museum keeps alive the memory of our brave soldiers. We are a country of immigrants who hold freedoms and rights dear because of the men and women who put their lives on the line during World War II and all other wars we have fought in. Our new citizens will remember the day they became Americans because it was the day that America herself became free. They will cherish that day because they were sworn in a place that ensured that freedom.

 

Traveling: Historic Philadelphia

Happy Fourth of July! As we are celebrating America’s independence today, we thought it would be appropriate to showcase where the birth our independence started: Philadelphia. We took a fantastic vacation to Philly last month and being the history buffs that we are, fully immersed ourselves in early America’s history while there.

Ben Franklin was everywhere we went in Philadelphia.

Ben Franklin was everywhere we went in Philadelphia.

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