ComicCon-ing: Wizard World New Orleans Announces New Guests!

Last week, NolaNerdCouple previewed Wizard World New  Orleans (you can read that post here). Within a couple of days, Wizard World announced a slew of new guests.

Topping the list of new guests is Carrie Fisher!  We have met Carrie Fisher numerous times and each time is an adventure. She definitely treats cons on her own terms which means she provides her source of entertainment. In fact, look for Gary her Frenchie  (yes, he has his own twitter) at the con.   If you are thinking about getting her autograph, we highly encourage you to pre-order (which you can do for all guests here).

Another addition to the roster is someone we have never met – Christopher Lloyd.  The Back to the Future, Taxi, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit star will probably have long lines  as well.  Tom Felton from the Flash and Harry Potter will be there.  We are really enjoying him on the new season of Flash. We haven’t started a Flash poster yet we might with him.  Ms. Nola Nerd Couple has met him before so we have a Draco Malfoy autograph.  Like all member of the Harry Potter cast that we have met, she reports he is extremely nice.  Michael Rooker will be there and he will entertain you even if you just watch his line.  We have met him a few times, once in which he created a mini musical of Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer, for us.

Other guests include Michael Cudlitz from The Walking Dead.  I’m pretty excited about Jewel Staite from Firefly as I will start a Firefly poster.  Ray Park  from Star Wars and X-Men will be there.  Sean Gunn, one of the nicest people we have ever met at a con, will be there signing items from Gilmore Girls and Guardians of the Galaxy. Joonas Suotamo, who along with Peter Mayhew, plays Chewbacca in The Force Awakens. He will be a great addition to our Star Wars poster.

According to Wizard World, “Fisher, Felton, Lloyd and Ramsey are scheduled to appear on Saturday and Sunday, January 7-8; Amell will appear on Sunday; the others are scheduled for all three days of the event.”

Wizard World always gets great guests for New Orleans as this year’s lineup proves.  So you see there!

ComicCon-ing: Early Wizard World New Orleans Preview

At Nola Nerd Couple, you know we love comic cons. Well, New Orleans Comic Con is just two months away!  New Orleans’s largest comic con will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention center on January 6,7, and 8 2017.  While there are still plenty of more guests to be announced, it is already shaping up to be a great con!

Wizard World runs the New Orleans Comic con.  We have attended the New Orleans Comic Con for quite a while now and have even gone to other Wizard World Cons such as the one at Philadelphia.  Their cons are always smoothly run.  They always get top notch entertainment.

For people like us that collect celebrity autographs, this is shaping up to be a great con. Stephen Amell and David Ramsey of Arrow will be there. Mr. Amell will only be there on Sunday so if you plan on meeting him, make sure you plan wisely.  Having met him before, he is always charming to his guests and works hard to make sure all people who pay for an autograph get an experience worth the money they are spending.  Two Sons of Anarchy actors will be there as well also. I haven’t met Theo Rossi before and am looking forward to add him to the collection. And since he is in Luke Cage, I might have to buy two autographs.  We have met Ryan Hurst before, but part of me wants to get a Remember the Titans picture signed. For those that only know him as Opie from SoA be warned, he is a gentle giant.  Other actors that have announced are Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek, who is still as beautiful as ever, and Peter Mayhew (Chewbaccca) who is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet at a convention.  As soon as other guests are announced, we will post them on our website!

The line up for the artists for New Orleans this year is incredible. I’m only going to list a few of them here but this is as strong as of line up of artists and writers that I have seen at a con.  Here are just a few:

  • Neal Adams:  An Eisner Award Hall of Famer he has worked on Batman, Green Lantern, X-Men, Superman, and Avengers. Favoring a realist style in his artwork, his artwork helped revive quite a few characters and created some of the greatest works in comics.  I can’t tell you the number of people that have told me how great Green Lantern/Green Arrow is, and it is on my to read list.
  • Fred Van Lente: I consider Mr. Van Lente’s Comic Book History of Comics to be required reading for nerds. I can’t wait to start Archer and Armstrong, his current work wiht Valiant Comics.
  • Bob Camp: The guy worked on Ren and Stimpy.  Do I need to say more?!
  • Sam Humphries:  The current writer for Green Lanterns!
  • Ken Kelly:  The first album I ever bought with my own money was Kiss’s Destroyer.  Best 5 cents I have spent at a garage sale.  Mr. Kelly painted the cover.
  • Phil Ortiz:  Mr. Ortiz has worked on the Simpsons, Muppet Babies, and He-Man.  We highly recommend you get a “Simpsonized” portrait of yourself!
  • Joe Quinones:  His relaunched Howard the Duck is excellent. He even got Lea Thompson to agree to “be” in the book!
  • Dan Slott:  Mr. Slott is Marvel writer working on Amazing Spider-Man since 2008.  His run on the present Silver Surfer is one of best Marvel books out right now.
  • Rachel Stott:  One of my favorite illustrators, her work on the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover is brilliant. It stays true to the masks from the film while allowing a high level of expressiveness from those characters.

Besides celebrities and artists, Wizard World New Orleans always has great panels and events such as the costume contests.  They are still working on the  approving and scheduling approving of panels and events.

When they release more celebrity guests, events, and programming, we will write about it here!

ComicCon-ing: Meeting the Cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation helped me get through college. It was on right when I got home and provided a great study break later on at night. At the time, we could catch TV stations from both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and luckily for me, a channel from each city played it in syndication. While I’m not the kind of Trekkie that can recite engineering schematics or much less dialogue, it is one of my favorite shows of all time.

A couple of years back, Wizard World New Orleans announced the cast would be attending the Comic Con. Due to an early Mardi Gras and the hosting of the SuperBowl, the con was moved to early December. It was on my birthday weekend. However, when the date approached, Wil Wheaton and Patrick Stewart, for very good reasons, had to cancel. (I didn’t vilify either one unlike Sheldon Cooper).

The rest of the cast didn’t let me down. Each one of them understood that the fans at comic cons just want a few minutes of their time to tell them what the show meant to them. Wizard World placed quite a few of them next to each other, and the chemistry that was apparent on screen was still there all these years later. They joked with each other, asked us questions, and totally made us feel great.

However, Marina Sirtis took it to the next level. Like every young man that watched the show, I had a huge crush on her. Scratch that past tense, I still have a huge crush on her. When we walked up to her booth, I think she developed a crush on….Cristina. She kept remarking how beautiful my wife was. While it wasn’t a crush on me, I can’t really complain about her gushing over Cristina! Cristina told her that the poster was my birthday present, so Sirtis gave me her autograph for free as a birthday present!

It was a great birthday. I got to spend it meeting some of my teenage heroes. I had six out of the eight actors’ signatures on my poster. I figured it would be a while before I got the last two.

To paraphrase one of my favorite attractions in Orlando…”or so I thought.”

Orlando’s MegaCon, just six months later, had the entire ST:TNG cast including Sir Patrick Stewart and Wil Wheaton. This was great for us since we have family that lives there. Both Stewart and Wheaton made the wait worth it. We told them we both missed them in New Orleans and they both explained why they couldn’t be there. They both understood that 30-second connection (which Wheaton actually talks about in his blog and on Twitter).

They all understood that this is a way to make sure their work lives on. Comic Cons allow us to meet our heroes. The ones that understand that a positive experience will make us rewatch their shows and tell others about our experience, which in turn may make others watch the show. Plus, the money they make at the cons has to be a great perk as well!STTNG

Now my poster is complete. It has the place of honor in our Nola Nerd Couple lounge. It makes me smile and think of how much fun we had at both of those Comic Cons. Writing about this, made me realize how much I love Comic Cons. Luckily for us, we have quite a few still in store for this year!

 

ComicCon-ing: Wizard World New Orleans 2016

Every year since its inception, Nola Nerd Couple have enjoyed going to the Wizard World con in New Orleans. Besides the Star Wars Celebrations, I had never been to a con before. In fact, I would credit the New Orleans Wizard World con for jumpstarting my love of cons. The thrill of meeting television and movie celebrities, comic book writers and illustrators, the plethora of trinkets, statures, comics, toys, books, jewelry, and other random assortments of all things nerdy, the cosplay, and the simple pleasure of being around other people who are as geeked out as you are makes going to cons one of my favorite hobbies. Continue reading

Reviewing: 2014 Year In Review – January through April

2014 was a great year, one filled with fun memories and many great opportunities. Now that grad school is over, I can finally start blogging again, so to start, let’s wrap up last year.

January

We started the year going to Space City Con in Galveston, Texas. We’ve never been there, but we loved it. It was freezing, so we didn’t get to experience the beach/water too much, but it was just so quaint and there were so many cool little places to check out, that we enjoyed just wandering. The con was awesome too, with the highlight being meeting so many Game of Thrones characters (Renly, Loras, Hodor, Syrio, Khal Drogo, and Ros). I’d love to go back and explore, especially the Moody Gardens Hotel, where the con was located.

Games of Thrones actors Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell) and Gethin Anthony (Renly Baratheon) at Space City Con.

Games of Thrones actors Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell) and Gethin Anthony (Renly Baratheon) at Space City Con.

February

At the NOLA Comic Con, we were able to meet Matt Smith (11th Doctor), John Ratzenburger, Linda Hamilton, and a few other cool people. Matt Smith was a giant disappointment (which will be in another blog, but the quick story is that I spent all that money for a Matt Smith autograph to have him fly through the line at lightning speed, which wasn’t long at all, and not even look at me. When I said thank you he ignored me), but besides that, we had a blast.

Simpsons illustrator Phil Ortiz Simpsonized me at New Orleans Comic Con.

Simpsons illustrator Phil Ortiz Simpsonized me at New Orleans Comic Con.

I finally got to see one of Kurt’s music obsessions, Neutral Milk Hotel. The first time I heard them, I thought it was The Decemberists, so I was very quickly put in my place that NMH came first and that the Decemberists sound like them, not the other way around. They played on every instrument imaginable, including things like milk jugs, so it was definitely an experience. They only have two full albums, so I would check them out. You can listen to their whole catalogue fairly quickly (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is my favorite of the two).

Setup for Neutral Milk Hotel.

Setup for Neutral Milk Hotel.

I also went to Pensacon and met a few cool people, like Deep Roy, Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and some others. Pensacon suffered from experiencing an incredible turnout their first year as a con. The talent they had was very good, but it was cramped and hard to walk from the exhibitors to the media guests. I couldn’t even stop to see any of the booths, because the aisles were so small that if you stopped, you literally blocked everyone behind you. I hope they fix the logistical issues this year, because it has the potential to be really great.

March

On Mardi Gras day, Kurt and I worked “security” for my friend’s dance group, the Nola Nyxettes. We walked in Zulu! It was so awesome walking in a NOLA parade on Mardi Gras day, especially one as iconic as Zulu. I would march every year if I could, because interacting with all the parade goers was fun and downright interesting. You meet a lot of cool people along the route, way more than I thought!

NBC Learn honored me by giving me the K-12 Subscriber Spotlight. All I do is use their videos in my class to enhance my lessons, and they interviewed me about my experience. Such a nice honor and such a useful tool for my classroom!

My friend Beth and I went to the 311 Day concert on 3/11. We finagled some backstage passes thanks to Beth’s husband and were able to see the boys up close and personal. They are still one of my favorite bands and they never disappoint. I highly recommend seeing them, especially on 311 Day! Five great hours of playing.

Kurt and I saw Elton John, a bucket list artist for me. He played for three hours and sounded phenomenal. I loved that once he came back for his encore, for almost five minutes, he signed autographs for all the people that were in the first rows in front of the stage. A class act!

The Bitch is Back!

The Bitch is Back!

Hogs for the Cause is one of our favorite charities/festivals. It’s a huge contest where you cook a pig every which way you can imagine, and different contestants enter under fun names such as “Piggy Stardust” and “Sweet Swine O Mine.” The different types of foods from pigs is astounding – chocolate covered bacon, ribs, pork tongue tacos, pulled pork nachos, cracklins’…you name it, them make it. And it all supports pediatric brain cancer, so how could you not be behind something like that? Plus, they have great bands. Hooray for Riff Raff and The Hold Steady were the two that we specifically wanted to see, and they did not disappoint.

Hogs for the Cause

Hogs for the Cause

April

WrestleMania XXX was such a blast. Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and The Rock opened up the show. We got to see Brock Lesnar defeat The Undertaker. I mean, who saw that coming?! Daniel Bryan beat Randy Orton and Batista, much to Triple H’s chagrin. It was so much fun being there and the best part was seeing the little kids get so into it. WrestleMania is just one of those big things people should experience, and I’m glad I did.

Daniel Bryan winning the World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XXX

Daniel Bryan winning the World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XXX.

For Spring Break, we went down to Disney World. We spent Easter at a great Cuban restaurant in Celebration, FL called Columbia with my sister and her boyfriend. Celebration is the cutest little town, right on a lake. It’s like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls or the town on The Truman Show. Plenty of cute shops, bands, a lake, good restaurants. Definitely make the trip one day if you’re looking for something to do outside of Disney. Disney itself was, of course, a blast. I’ll always be a Disney kid at heart. The new Beauty and the Beast restaurant was well worth it. We went for breakfast and dinner. It’s gorgeous and the food is wonderful.

Kurt enjoying the gargoyles in front of the Beauty and the Beast restaurant.

Kurt enjoying the gargoyles in front of the Beauty and the Beast restaurant.

The first weekend of Jazz Fest we saw Vampire Weekend on not the main stage. They were on point and it wasn’t too crowded.

Vampire Weekend at Jazz Fest

Vampire Weekend at Jazz Fest

ComicCon-ing: Nerds of the World Unite in New Orleans Comic Con 2011

All my life I have been a nerd. Sure, I tried playing it off from time to time. I’ve even denied it on occasion. However, nothing can change the fact that I’m a nerd. It’s in my blood. It’s coded in my DNA. My fiancée is built the same way. Hence, Nola Nerd Couple.

New Orleans Comic Con

Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans

Recently, I’ve been re-watching Buffy and Angel in chronological order of course. I never made it out of the fourth season the first time around and that’s where I’m currently in my viewing. One day, Cristina asked me who my favorite character was. Spike, I answered. For our Christmas, which was December 19 due to Cristina’s NYC trip, she surprised me with a James Marsters VIP pass to the New Orleans Comic Con.

With the exception of Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World, it had been over a decade and a half since my last convention. At the last one I attended, a Star Trek convention in which the featured guest was James Doonan aka Scotty, I nearly got into a fist-fight with a woman who looked like Newman from Seinfeld over the merits of the fictional writings of William Shatner. In other words, sci-fi conventions are wonderful entertainment.

Billie Dee Williams

The coolest guy in the room imagining what it would be like to be president

We woke up early Saturday morning and heading to the Earnest Morial Convention Center. We got our tickets and went to look for food. Convention food is horrible. If we had more time, I would have suggested Couchon Butcher but we were pressed for time. Dried hamburgers and chicken sandwiches would have to make due. I then got Walter Koenig’s (Chekov from Star Trek) autograph. I went to a panel for James Marsters and realized quickly that this guy gets it. He wasn’t ashamed to be there…why should he be considered how much money could be made doing this? Next up, was the coolest guy in the convention: Mr. Billie Dee Williams. He did confirm that for him, at least, Colt 45 worked each and every time. We then went to the autograph booth and got his picture. Collecting Star Wars autographs is one of Cristina’s hobbies, so this was a nice early birthday present for her. We then split ways. I went to another Buffy panel while Crisitna went meet Adam West and Burt Ward. She recommended Drago’s to Burt Ward but he doesn’t like oysters so I don’t think he took her advice. I wonder if she told him she doesn’t like oysters either. We got more autographs from the Buffy cast and went to more panels.

Kurt and Cristina on the Riverwalk

I’m photobombing my own picture

For supper, we just walked to the Riverwalk. This is when I love living in New Orleans. Other people’s malls have Sbarro’s, Taco Bell and if they are fancy they might have a Ruby Tuesday. I ordered from Mike Anderson’s Seafood. While it’s not as good as the Gonzales restaurant, ordering fried oysters and alligator in a mall is just really (for the lack of a better word) cool.

We headed back to the Con and watched the costume contest. If I were from anywhere else I would have been amazed. Living in and around New Orleans, I wasn’t that impressed. We finished the night with a James Marsters concert (who knew?) and then went visit friends at the Half Moon.

Julie Benz

Julie Benz answering questions about Buffy, Dexter, and No Ordinary Family

Day 2 started with the lovely Julie Benz of Dexter and Buffy fame. She was very chatty when we met her. We met more actors; we looked at and bought plenty of art work. I got to meet David Pirner of Soul Asylum which is when I turned into a true fan boy. I think I hid it well though and just thanked him for the music he’s made over the years.

Overall, it was a great two days and a wonderful birthday present. I loved the fact that the actors were happy to be there. Two of them, Marsters and Koenig, knew the bigger reason for those conventions. They are not for the fans to meet the actors and artists. It’s for them to meet each other. It’s for nerds to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

Walter Koenig

Walter Koenig sharing his wisdom