ComicCon-ing: MegaCon Review

MegaCon 2018 was a memorable con for the Nola Nerd Couple. We have attended many cons over the years, but this will be one of the record books, scrapbooks, and baby books.  That’s right! It was the first con for Nola Nerd Baby, and even though she is only three months, she made the most of it.

The Nola Nerd Baby went as Wonder Woman to the con, and she was so cute that even other people with babies would remark how cute she is. I mean how couldn’t they!

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MegaCon was held in the West Concourse this year.  It’s an ample space with tons of rooms of different sizes for different panels.  The main floor was well laid out except for one area leading into the autograph section in the middle.  It seemed to bottleneck there quite often.  As far as MegaCon goes, that is the only negative we can think of for the entire weekend, and even that was easily avoidable.

The autograph area was extensive and well spaced out. Every celebrity guest we met was fantastic.  Chris Sarandon talked at length to us about the Nola Nerd Baby.  Catherine Tate did as well, and her agent was so smitten with her he bought her an autograph!

Mr. Nola Nerd had a great time meeting Gary Lockwood and Keir Duella, the stars of 2001. Mr. Duella told us how he didn’t audition for 2001; he just received the call from his agent while making Bunny Lake is Missing.  Mr. Lockwood talked to us about being parents.  Mr. Nola Nerd Couple was over the moon meeting these two legends.

Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple and Mr. Nola Nerd Solo (our Orlando correspondent but originally from the New Orleans area) met Lucy Lawless. While they were waiting she did her signature Xena yell (which Mr. Nola Nerd herd from down the hall).  Mrs. Nola Nerd shared with her how much Xena meant to her and her love of mythology.  Meanwhile, Mr. Nola Nerd Couple and Baby were meeting the lovely Amy Acker and took a photo with her.

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At this time, the Nola Nerd Baby had a major blowout.  Of course, the nearest bathroom didn’t have a changing table in the men’s room.  This, of course, is not MegaCon’s fault but this is something that is becoming tiring.

While Mr. Nola Nerd and Baby took a rest, Mrs. Nola Nerd and Nola Nerd Solo met Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel.  The afternoon we also met Christopher Daniel Barnes and Susan Egan.  Wrapping up our celebrity guest signings were Jeff Goldbloom and Jennifer Morrison.

Even though we had a full day of autographs, the lines moved reasonably well, and when they didn’t, it was because the guest was just that nice to their fans. We still found time to squeeze in a panel and Mrs. Nola Nerd took a photo with Mr. Goldbloom.

The panel we attended was John Cena’s.  He was very charming and answered the questions quickly and to the point.  He talked about the origins of his catchphrases and why he is still a face.

We spent the rest of the day roaming around the con.  We also met a few of the comic book artists.  Mr. Nola Nerd Couple was super excited to meet the artist for Black Panther, Brian Stelfreeze.

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Mr. Stelfreeze siging Black Panther!

We attended the Elijah Wood panel and came away inspired. He took about ten minutes to answer each question and spoke with such passion about his craft that it was inspiring.

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Elijah Wood panel

We also bought quite a few art pieces.  We purchased a set of postcards with positive messages about being a girl in today’s world that will go on Nola Nerd Baby’s wall of female empowerment. We bought a very cool Ariel beadwork and fantastic print of the three hitchhiking ghosts from Disney’s Haunted Mansion.

We spent most of the rest of our time just enjoying the con.

One of the things we love about MegaCon is our friends and family in Orlando.  As previously stated, Nola Nerd Solo (who attened Pensacon in our place while we were welcoming Nola Nerd Baby into the world) was there and joined us for some autograph collecting.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s sister (Geekella) and brother-in-law live there as well so we get to spend some quality time with them at the con.  They went with a friend (below as Daneyres)  all of whom did a fantastic job doing cosplay for the con.

Through it all, the Nola Nerd Baby was the star of the show.  The celebrities, artists, and volunteers couldn’t get enough of her.  She worked the crowd and even though she had to do a significant costume change, she still wowed everyone she met.

We can’t wait to come back for MegaCon 19 with her!

ComicCon-ing: MegaCon Starts Today

At 4 pm today, MegaCon Orlando will be opening its doors.  They have a star-studded lineup. Besides, their comic creator list is outstanding. Every year, we have attended, they have had some of the best, and most reasonable vendors around.

This year the con is in the West Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center.  It his a vast complex that has lots of great panel rooms and theaters for the larger guests.

MegaCon also got lucky in that in the number of guests canceling was extremely low.  Now, this is never a cons fault; actors have to pay the rent. However, it is terrible for a con when a slew of guests cancel. As of the time of this writing, MegaCon Orlando only has had two celebrity guests cancel: Renee O’Connor and Karl Urban.

MegaCon always has some great con exclusive merchandise.  There are comic books that you can get signed by comic creators. They have some great t-shirts and Funko Pop that you can only buy at MegaCon.

If after four days of con fun, you still crave more excitement, head to Hollywood Studios at Disney World for Galactic Nights on Sunday, May 27. You can attend a panel discussion about the new Star Wars land they are building.  The rides will still be operating, and you will be able to meet Star Wars Characters.

We will be at both events so if you see us say hi!

 

ComicCon-ing: Mr. Nola Nerd Couple’s Top 5 Panels at MegaCon

Panels are always a highlight of going to a con for me. Since cons have basically opened up panels to be about anything, there is basically something for everyone.  We can’t get to Orlando until Saturday, so here are the top five panels I will make every effort to attend on those two days.

Saturday Panels:

CELEBRITY Q&A WITH ACCLAIMED ACTOR AND VOICE STAR WALLACE SHAWN (11 am in W311)

Wallace Shawn has such a varied career as an actor and a playwright that this should be an entertaining and informative panel. I’m hoping for a few My Dinner with Andre questions.

CELEBRITY Q&A WITH THE LEGENDARY JEFF GOLDBLUM (11:30 in Chapin Theater)

While Jeff Goldbloom is a celebrated actor, let’s face it, his most famous role his playing himself.  He is just an entertaining individual, and this should make for great entertainment.

CELEBRITY Q&A WITH DOCTOR WHO’S CATHERINE TATE (3:30 in W311)

Donna is one of my favorite companions on Doctor Who because she forced the Doctor to understand who he was.  Plus, Catherine Tate is a comedian by trade so she can probably take any question and make it hilarious.

Sunday Panels: 

COMICS IN THE CLASSROOM (Noon in W205)

As teachers, this panel screams for us to attend.  I have used some comics in my computer science class, but am interested in seeing how others use them.

WRITING FOR COMICS (3pm in W304A)

Writers from both DC and Marvel will be presenting their process for creating comics.  This is an excellent panel for anyone wanting to break into the business or get a behind the scenes look at how comics are made.

Of course, there are some great panels when we won’t be there.  Thursday evening has the 2001 50th anniversary panel. Image Comics is having a panel about creator owned projects Friday morning. At noon, my favorite comic creator, Tom King, will be having a panel focusing on his career. Friday afternoon there will be a panel conversation with Dan Didio, co-publisher at DC comics.

Of course, MegaCon has tons of entertainment scheduled for you throughout it’s entire run.  Plan your days by visiting their schedule here.

ComicCon-ing: MegaCon Continues to Focus on Comic Creators

MegaCon has excellent celebrity guests year in and year out.  This year is no exception, and we are trying to figure out how to pay for it all.

However, MegaCon, which is under the Fan Expo umbrella of Infroma Exhibitions,  doesn’t forget the comic part of their convention. To comic book collectors, this year’s guests is as star-studded as the celebrity guests.  In fact, we might spend more time in the comic creators’ area.

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Comic Book Creator Area at MegaCon 2017

Some of the people that will be appearing:

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ComicCon-ing: 2001 at MegaCon

Few times do I get to the “spare no expense” level with a con guest for myself.  Of course, Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple seems to find her self in that situation a little more often. For me, it was meeting Sarah Michelle Gellar and John Hurt.

Now, MegaCon has Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea.

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Concert-ing: Exile on Bourbon Street

Exile on Main Street by the Rolling Stones is a mess of a record. Mick Jagger has never actually warmed up to it. Keith Richards was intoxicated most of the time. The mix isn’t muddy and could be so much better. They just run with the mistakes throughout the album.

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In other words, it’s a perfect rock’n’roll album.

Over the years, it has always gone up in stature. It continually appears on the multitudes of best rock albums of all time and usually quite high on the list.

It’s a monolith of an album that can intimidate anyone trying to cover any of the songs off of it. Someone would have to be crazy to cover all of it.

Enter Ryan Adams.

Ryan Adams is one of the Nola Nerd Couple’s favorite musical artists. He is the rare artist that we both love equally. He can rub people the wrong way, but he doesn’t say things that are genuinely insane like some other more famous artists in the news today. He has always had a prolific output, and he is consistently good and sometimes reaches the heights of his idols. He has done the cover the entire album thing before with his intriguing cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989. He found his truths in the songs.

But that was in a studio. On May 5, 2018, he will cover Exile on Main St. live at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans (tickets). He will be joined by Cyril Neville, John Medeski, Mark Mullins, Terence Higgins, and more are promised. Don Was will be the musical director.

Ryan is readying himself for the challenge.

 

We will be there, thanking California for its bitter fruit along with Mr. Adams and company.

Parenting: 5 Surprising Facts I Learned About Being A Dad

When people find out that you and your wife are expecting, they have tons of advice for you. Most of it sounds as if it comes from a Sith especially with the use of negative absolute words (“You will never sleep again,” “you won’t be able to travel again,” etc.) Of course, some advice is constructive (“Fed is best”).

However, even though parents tend to tell you everything you go will through as a parent, here are five things that still surprised me about being a parent.

5. Going to the bathroom when it’s just you and baby: Maybe this is a form of male privilege, but I have not had one person tell me how to do this when it’s just you and baby in public. Women have to be able to do this all the time, right? If I have our carrier, it’s not a problem, but with a stroller? Or while I’m holding her? This was seriously never discussed with me, and I never read about it.

4. Girls have crevices everywhere: Changing diapers was new to both of us. It really did shock me how poop could get all over the place with girls. And while we are talking about poop…

3. Babies poop really loudly: This one really amazed me. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple was actually in the back of our house in a different room and heard Miss Nola Nerd Baby. There are times it startles me if I’m not ready for it. And on more than one occasion the sound has awakened me.

2. Shake, Shake, Shake: Formula requires lots of shaking. That’s why the moment I started this actual entry I went to Amazon and purchased this.  It has already made making the bottles easier.  I give it a perfect 5 out of 7.

1. Better Sleep: My wife and I share getting up with our baby. Now don’t get me wrong, I am sleep deprived and exhausted. Yet, my rest is actually better. I fall asleep quicker and fuller. I actually fell asleep the other night watching television which is something I have never done. Before Nola Nerd Baby, I was always restless and suffered from insomnia. Since she has come along, my body knows it needs sleep and makes sure that I get when I can.

Extra surprise: I can’t wait to write more of these parenting blogs!