Star Wars-ing: Star Wars Celebration 2019 in Chicago!

Yes, we are starting back up our weekly Star Wars features.  We had to take a break due to Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s complicated pregnancy (which you can read about here and here). She and baby are fine, and we plan on bringing you as much information about Celebration and Star Wars in general as we can!

Star Wars Celebration 2019 has been announced, and its location is a new one: Chicago, Illinois. It will be held in the West Building at McCormick Place. Not only is it in a new city, but it will also be five days this year! For those of you who are not sure what Celebration is, it’s just that – a celebration of Star Wars.  It’s a comic con but only for Star Wars.  ReedPOP, along with LucasFilm, put on this event as a thank you to fans.  It serves as an excellent way for Star Wars fans to meet people who were in the movies and that write the books and comics.  It’s also a great way for Star Wars fans to get together. (You can read about past Star Wars Celebration coverage here and all of our Star Wars related posts here).

Tickets went on sale yesterday. You can buy five-day passes or individual day passes at the Celebration website.  If you order by February 27 at midnight central standard time, you will receive your passes by mail avoiding the will call lines.

What is no longer available is the Jedi Master VIP.  This pass is a very exclusive ticket that sold out in less than a minute. It includes:

One (1) Jedi Master VIP Badge Featuring Exclusive Art
One (1) Official Show Poster (Rolled, complete with poster tube)
One (1) Commemorative Program Guide
VIP Lounge with coat check and concierge
Half Hour Early Access to Exhibit Hall
Half Hour Early Access to the Official Celebration Store each day
Exclusive Celebration Store private shopping experience on Thursday, April 11 at 11:00 AM
VIP Express Checkout Lane at the Official Celebration Store
Unlimited use of the Lightspeed Lane to enter the Official Celebration Store
Express Autograph Hall Autograph line pass and checkout for up to six (6) Autograph Sessions. Price of Autographs not included.
First Access to Panels at the Celebration Stage
One(1) Private Meet & Greet with select Star Wars Celebration guest or guests
One (1) Original signed art print, created exclusively for Celebration Chicago Jedi Master VIPs
One (1) Extremely Limited Jedi Master VIP character pin shared only, in very limited amounts, with staff as a giveaway pin that will not otherwise be made available for sale to Star Wars Celebration Chicago Attendees.
One (1) Exclusive Jedi Master VIP Lanyard
One (1) Exclusive Jedi Master VIP Embroidered Patch
One time 10% off discount at the Official Celebration Store

We have tried every year to get this elusive item, but have come up short every year.

BUT NOT THIS YEAR!

Mrs. Nola Nerd was able to get one! She’s going as a VIP! Of course, she is beyond excited. Plans are already being made.  Plus it is our first time in Chicago, so we plan on staying a few extra days!

May the force be with you, my friends and see you in Chicago!

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 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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Reading: Free Comic Book Day!

Every year, your local participating comic shop hosts Free Comic Book Day!  That’s right, you can go to your local comic book shop and get free comics.

The New Orleans area has some great comic book stores three which we frequent often.  Our comic shop is BSI Comics in Metairie.  However, we highly recommend More Fun Comics and Crescent City Comics as we often shop there when we are in that area.  Heroes Corner in Metairie is also fantastic.  Kenner also has a great shop across from Wal-Mart whose name escapes me at the moment.

Each comic book store has their own little party.  BSI will have author Blake Petit and actor Jason Carter from Babylon 5.  Crescent City will be having a sidewalk party including a lemonade stand since it’s also lemonade stand day.  The 501st usually appears at more than one shop. A quick facebook or google search will let you know what your local store is planning.

Remember, though, that the old adage of nothing is actually for free.  Your comic book shop  has to pay for those comics.  The point of Free Comic Book Day is to get bodies in the stores.  If people enter the store, then they might be inspired to buy something. So PLEASE buy something if you go.  Comic book stores often have great trade paperbacks (I highly recommend Vision or Darth Vader), toys, and other collectibles.  Pick a comic and start a pull folder in which the shop pulls comics for you and stores them for when you can make it.  The only thing about a pull folder is that the store is placing their trust in you that you will pick up your comics on a very regular basis. If not, they are losing money.

Free Comic Book Day is for readers.  Not for just comic readers.  There is some great literature being produced in the medium, so don’t let the medium stop you.  As a teacher, I can not recommend comics enough for young kids and for children who don’t like reading.  Also, don’t be discouraged by the Simpsons comic book shop persona.  We visit comic book stores in every town we visit, and we are always welcomed and given recommendations.  The stores I’ve listed above all are run by wonderful people who love talking to comics with expert collectors and novices alike.  In most cases, I think they like the novices more because (a) they are potential new customers and (b) they are possible new people to talk comics with!

So go get some free comics and pay for some as well!

See you at the comic shop!

 

 

 

Star Wars-ing: Quick Thursday Recap

  • The 40th-anniversary panel was amazing according to friends who camped out. The fact that Harrison Ford and John Williams were there put it over the top.  We can’t wait to stream it.
  • The STEM/STEAM Star Wars panel was one of the best panels I went to about education at a con. They discussed how sci-fi led them to science.  Holly Griffith, an engineer at NASA, stated she owed her career to Princess Leia.
  • Denis Lawson is not someone that does a lot of cons.  However, he was one of the nicest and most personable people we have seen at a con and his line was always long.
  • Temuera Morrison was ecstatic to sign our picture of the character he voiced in Moana, Chief Tui.
  • Billy Dee Williams is still the coolest person on the planet.
  • We got everything we wanted at the Celebration store!!!
  • We bought Thrawn with the exclusive convention cover and got the exclusive pin. Can’t wait to read it.
  • The line to get in was ridicuslous.  They knew the number of tickets that were sold and that still planned poorly.  However, they did realize that it was not very smooth, and they announced tonight at close that there are expanding their entrance points.
  • The photo-op location is in a weird spot in the corner.  Not sure why, but that was a bad decision. Even if it is smoothly run, it’s still not a good location.

Even though the last two were “even better ifs,” the first day was a pure success for us. We had goals and we did most of them.  We did have to split up become some lines took more time, but we had great expereinces with each person we met.

Of course, we will do a full written recap and review next week as well as podcast covering everything.

Collecting: Record Raid in New Orleans

Record Raid New Orleans is New Orleans biggest and best record show!  If you are an experienced record collector or you just bought your first turntable, this event is for you.

Record Raid will be held on January 21 from 11-5 at People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market (1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd). There will be 40 tables of records being sold by 26 vendors. If you want to ensure you get the good stuff, you can pay $5 for early entry at 10 am.  At 11am, entry is free!

While the main reason for going is records, there will be a DJ spinning the entire time. You can come just check out some records, listen to some great music, and make new friends.

If you are planning on buying make sure you bring cash.  Some vendors use square, but not all. Also, you might want to bring your own bag as records can get quite heavy.  We always say we aren’t going to spend much money, and we always end up bring home a much larger haul than planned.