Con Crud and The Comic-Con Blues: Hannah’s SDCC 2014 Wrap and Dr. Lucy’s Slideshow

Category : Comics, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con

“Normality” reigns once again: only the corset welts remain and, thankfully, those are fading fast. (Beach parties are never far off around here; always lurking in the shadows, like Homey the Clown with a sock full of nickels in a dark alley. Ka-pow! Guess what? You’re going to a luau, girl! Damn it. Where’s my parasol?)

Major contributor to Con Crud: the apres-show cocktail. Photo: JSDevore

Major contributor to Con Crud: the apres-show cocktail(s). Photo: JSDevore

Similar to Christmas or Hallowe’en, ’tis not just the actual week of San Diego Comic-Con that excites, ’tis the weeks of preparation and anticipation which makes the event all the sweeter. Planning travel itineraries, organizing in-town logistics, scheduling Meet-and-Geeks, making costumes and booth-lists, plus purchasing all the necessary goodies which accompany any upcoming fete is truly half the fun. Once the big day arrives, it’s a nonstop party rife with too much fun, too little sleep and oft a severe deviation from one’s usually healthy lifestyle: unless you’re Don Draper, a body does not need that many G&Ts in a week. In Con-speak, the condition is known as Con Crud, as in, “I’m so sorry, sweetie. I would love to meet you in Vegas for your birthday, but I still have a serious case of Con Crud.”

Even the best of Comicchanalian carousing must end: a.k.a. Comic-Con Blues. Again, like Christmas or Hallowe’en, when it’s all over, there remains naught but feelings of sadness, satiation and, in some cases, corset welts. Happily (or, sadly for some) there also remain photos! Thanks to our Dr. Lucy and her Canon EOS, we have a plethora of Poison Ivy and a wealth of Doctor Who, yet, oddly, a dearth of Darth. After you’ve scrolled through our slideshow here, find even more of Dr. Lucy’s snaps at Twisted Pair Photography: featuring photographic variety ranging from surfing and skateboarding to The Renaissance Faire, WonderCon Anaheim and, naturally San Diego Comic-Con.

Briefly, as promised amidst this year’s coverage for GoodToBeAGeek, a quick S/O to a few vendors of SDCC 2014. As longtime readers will already know, I love to treat myself at these things (all year-round, really) and help support artists as well as the economy, local or otherwise. After all, as I say, Mom can’t buy all our art; we need others! As tradition dictates, I like to highlight those Con vendors from whom I purchase. This year’s goodies came from the following:

  • Sighco (a.k.a. ArkhamBazaar): Lovecraftian Novelties & Other Weird Oddities: Poe and Lovecraft gear aplenty, mostly tees … mostly. (In fact, a very special raven led us there. Thank you, Dante! We love and miss you dearly!)
  • JefBot: The True Sci-Fi Adventures of a Nerd in Hollywood: Led by the head-bot himself, Jeff Schuetze, Jefbot is comic strip roman à clé of sorts: “a multigenre, multidimensional and multiethnic comic strip” following the adventures of a struggling actor/working graphics designer who is addicted to film, TV and gaming. IRL, Jeff and his cohort Joe are also the purveyors/artists of International Beatsro t-shirts, like “Mouthfuls of Madness Ramen House” and “Casa del Chalupacabra Restaurante y Cantina”. If you find yourself craving a bowl of Ramen overflowing with Cthulhu, seaweed and spring onions, Jefbot’s the right place.
  • The Bonebreakers (f/the artist known as “O”): Balls Deep: When Nobody’s Weird, the Weirdo is You: Artist and publishers of “The Bonebreakers” graphic novel. My purchase? A whimsical portrait of Mr. Moon! (A character who would fit well within my own Savannah of Williamsburg circle of friends!) Mr. Moon is a portly, Holmesian kitty in tweed with a calabash pipe, mutton chops and, what I surmise is, a churlish attitude tolerated strictly due to his preternatural brilliance. I believe he also harrumphs a great deal, especially when dealing with underlings. Mr. Moon patiently awaits framing and I thank O for his creation, as well as apologize for asking him to sign Mr. Moon on the back, then on the front of my print. (Bellatrix, btw, does not apologize. She’s quite mad, you know?)
The artist "O" signs author Jennifer Susannah Devore's Mr. Moon. SDCC 2014, photo: Twisted Pair Photography

The artist “O” signs author Jennifer Susannah Devore’s very own Mr. Moon. SDCC 2014. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Finally, if you’ve kept track (of course you have) … this girl’s Hellboy article was published in this year’s official SDCC Souvenir Book! That’s #4, kids! Fun times! Past years’ books included J.S. Devore articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.

SDCC 2014 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Now, back to normal for this girl. SDCC is over; enough summer already. Where’s the damn light switch? Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Adrianne Curry Bullwhips Tigra Panty Offenders at SDCC 2014: Party’s Over, Kids.

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Category : Candid Conversations, Conventions, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

San Diego’s annual invasion of dapper Doctor Whos, mysterious Batmen, chubby Lolitas and steampunk Poison Ivys has ceased; the marauders having retreated to their workaday lives and quiet homes, wherever those might be. (In fact, roughly fifty per cent of those homes are right here in San Diego, based on attendee registration info.) No one throws a Con quite like America’s Finest City and the financial handshake between Comic-Con International (CCI) and the City of San Diego is hearty, healthy and mutually-beneficial.

According to CelebrityNetWorth, San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2013 infused the local economy with approximately $163million; hotel reservations alone, some 40K, bring in nearly $30million alone. 2014′s figures are expected to be even more impressive. The crush of con-goers, as well as curious looky-loos, is a healthy boon to not only the city, but the Golden State, not nearly as golden as it was in its namesake, 1849 heydays. Perched on the edge of western civilization, California in currently in the pains of drought, immigration woes and incompetent, unfathomably wasteful, Sacramento politicians. If anyone needs a profitable, notable party, it’s California.

Of course, out of every notable party comes an obligatory fool, the dude who drinks too much and is best left on the cool, bathroom tile for the night. SDCC 2014 was no exception: a Zombie Walk Hit-and-Run; and the Tigra Panty Raiders. Also, out of any notable party gone nuts, there comes a hero: ours was #superherobadass Catwoman, a.k.a. Miss Adrianne Curry.

Where there’s Comic-Con, there are hot chicks; where there are hot chicks, there are boys; where there are boys, there is booze and, often, trouble.  Too much booze and testosterone makes for a sketchy situation. Even San Diego CBS8 field reporter Shawn Styles was nearly shaken to pieces by a rowdy, seemingly buzzed, buff group of Outlander promo models as he covered the Con from the always bar-soaked Gaslamp District. Leaving the safe confines of the San Diego Convention Center and venturing into the Gaslamp is risky, even on the best of Saturday nights, but all the more so in a Mardi Gras atmosphere and in costume. The Con floor might be a sardine-packed muddle of geekage, but it’s navigable and friendly. If something goes down in the Con, even just a drop-kicked smartphone, there’s always a Superman nearby to help!

Superman, author Jennifer Susannah Devore, SDCC, 2014, Bellatrix Lestrange

Safety, and gentlemen, abound inside the Con; Superman saved my phone! My hero! Photo: JSDevore

CCI has very clear rules about harassment; then again, so does the San Diego Police Department. Someone -naturally it was a zombie- chose not to heed those rules and attacked one Alicia Marie Bellanger, a.k.a. Tigra, in the Gaslamp District, well outside the Con.

Partial post from Alicia Marie‘s Facebook page:

YESTERDAY, myself, dressed as Tigra, was … in the super crowded San Diego Comic-Con International Gaslamp area taking photos with #SDCC peeps and fans. Some total A$$H0LE came up behind me and tried to stick his hands in my bottoms and then yanked my tail and pants down. I just freaked out, screamed trying to keep my bottoms up — but Adrianne Curry literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his ass. Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip — he had zombie blood on his face – got on her costume.  I have to thank #superherobadass “Catwoman” Adrianne Curry Poison Ivy Katrina and Todd for being such EPIC friends.

Clearly, the offenders were unfamiliar with masked #superherobadass Catwoman, Adrianne Curry.

Adrianne Curry, Alicia Marie Bellanger, SDCC, 2014, Tigra, Catwoman, Poison Ivy

L to R: Poison Ivy (Katrina), Catwoman (Adrianne Curry) and Tigra (Alicia Marie) Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Adrianne Curry‘s Facebook reply:

I beat the shit out of his face with the butt of my whip …..which is a real bullwhip

As of this post, there is no update as to any pending arrests, or the condition, of Miss Bellanger’s attacker.

Even well-mannered zombies can fall prey to the bedlam of the Gaslamp. Amidst an otherwise well-organized Zombie Walk through the Gaslamp District, a hearing-impaired motorist, his car idling at a crossing area and waiting for the zombies to pass, eventually used his car as a zombieplow to escape the Walk, pushing through the crowd and knocking down a number of pedestrians: zombies and humans alike. Whilst some bystanders surmised he simply grew impatient, the driver later told police his small children  were frightened by the crowd and he, being hard-of-hearing, was confused. Video shows two rather big guys settling on the hood of his car and it was at this point he plowed through said-bedlam.

S.D.P.D. Officer David Stafford stated, “The car windshield was shattered by the crowd. The family was scared so the father drove forward again trying to get away from the angry crowd.’

In the end, three people suffered injuries; one of those leading to a hospital stay, the other two being of minor concern. The driver was not arrested and, thus far, no charges have been filed.

After quite a few years of covering SDCC for GoodToBeAGeek, my cohorts and I ventured into the Gaslamp a number of nights this Con. Most years have been spent either in the Convention Ctr. or the lobbies, patios and bars of the Hilton Bayfront and the Omni Hotel. The only exposure to the outside world being a short walk along Front Street to Santa Fe Depot in order to hop a train back to the calming balm of our wee beach burg. My takeaway? Unless you’re a frat boy at heart, stick to the hotels and Conv. Ctr. Traffic, booze and boys rule the Gaslamp night and for this oft socially awkward, pale and quiet geek girl, the crowds inside the Con are plenty of hustle-and-bustle for me.

SDCC 2014 was far more bonkers, it seems, than previous Cons. WonderCon, for all its discounted stigma as Comic-Con’s Little Sister, is a lovely and elegant tea party, comparatively. As I noted in my pre-Con post, Boobs Are Not Bunnies, CCI makes very clear their rules of conduct. Obviously, as Miss Bellanger noted further on her Facebook page, these rules are becoming more and more necessary:

Continuing post from Alicia Marie‘s Facebook page:

I was very VERY upset because as many times as I have attended #SDCC, I have never experienced this behavior. Just the day before, one of the Trek Bunnies, Amanda Orion) had to have a guy kicked out of the con for being lewd and disgusting and shoving his camera lens between our legs when 3 of us were walking out. This event is supposed to be a fun, light-hearted, exciting, and yes over the top time for everyone. That does not mean start disrespecting people and thinking you can act like an IDIOT just because they have a costume on.  

Then again, if you have #superherobadass Adrianne Curry by your side, have a drink, be safe and if someone does trifle with you, let Catwoman whip some butt!

Through all the absurdity of this year’s Con, it was still, as always, an absolute blast! Miss Bellanger summed it up perfectly:

%$^$-tards aside, it’s still the best time I have all year –
Right now, I am just thankful and happy I have friends that don’t even have to put a costume on to be superheroes.

SDCC, 2014, San Diego Comic-Con, Adrianne Curry, Catwoman

Adrianne Curry, a.k.a. #superherobadass, a.k.a. Catwoman. SDCC 2014 Photo: JSDevore

Well said, Tigra! Very well said! Cheers! Abyssinia next at WonderCon, kittens!

 

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Let The Gates of Geekhalla Open: SDCC 2014 Commences

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Category : Comics, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

The Simpsons, SDCC, 2014, geek girl, girls

Always cute boys at SDCC! Mr. Burns is just Miss Hannah’s type! Photo: JSDevore

Aaaaaaand … awaytheygo! San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (July 24-27, 2014, San Diego Convention Ctr.) is officially commenced! Preview Night, Wednesday night’s unofficial kickoff for industry pros, press and others, has come and gone, and whilst crowds may not have peaked to the expected numbers for Friday and Saturday, the crush inside the San Diego Convention Center was as tightly packed and palpably amped as any Con day in recent recall. From the moment one stepped out of the steep, summer humidity and into the blessed, blasting air-conditioning of the Conv. Ctr., there was an energy one could feel through one’s soul, like the floor was made of millions of excitable tribbles. It was as though everyone there, from jaded industry pros to Baby’s First Comic-Con, was just happy, and amazed, to even be there.

Perchance it’s the year-over-year, burgeoning, Herculean task of even getting into the Con, but Preview Night 2014 transmitted a sensorial vibe of sheer joy and unabashed gratitude, like getting a governor’s stay-of-execution or realizing you don’t have to go to the family cabin for Thanksgiving this year. Every minute is a gift. Many a hardcore geek thought WonderCon Anaheim might be it for the year; actually getting into Comic-Con can be a gift from the Nordic gods, a badge to Valhalla.

If folks weren’t simply soaking up the warm and safe embrace of Geekhalla, they were dashing hither and thither, in the brief 6-9p window, to do their part for the economy. Many a vendor offers pre-Con deals, sales and “Preview Night Only” collector’s items. If you think the posh, petite, Asian girls gliding daintily across the marble floors of South Coast Plaza carry impossibly-huge Louis Vuitton and Chanel shopping bags, that’s nothing compared to the sweaty, pasty, peeking-tummy army of Comic Book Guys hefting gargantuan Hasbro and LEGO bags through the carpeted halls of SDCC. Either way, pretty Asian girl or tubby comic nerd … “get out the way, fool!” If there existed any semblance of personal space, it was only due to the fact that Preview Night is not a popular costume day: behold, Friday and Saturday! Wednesday night cosplay was mild, if notable at all. The number of folks in dress could be counted on two hands, if you’re a Simpson.

Now that SDCC 2014 is in gear, keep up the energy, folks! Keep doing your bits for the local economy, too! San Diego loves geeks: local and tourists! Spend freely in our bars, restaurants and shops; and tip generously! Most of all, be kind. Of all that body-crush and shoulder-bumping last night, in the Con and on the streets of the Gaslamp District, I received one, only one, “Excuse me!” It doesn’t hurt your vocal chords, take any time or cost a dime to say something nice when you nudge a fellow geek. Give a pleasant “Hello!” or “Thank you!” to the crossing guards around the Con, too! Armed with little more than a whistle and a smile, these folks have guest control at Disneyland levels! Thanks, guys!

Remember, Yours Truly was picked up by Rotten Tomatoes’ official SDCC 2014 Twitter feed and Dr. Lucy and I will covering all our Con shenanigans for GoodToBEAGeek. Come along with us @GoodToBeAGeek @JennyPopNet @Eslilay and @RottenTomatoes!

SDCC, 2014, Hellboy, Souvenir Book, Jennifer Susannah Devore

SDCC 2014 Souvenir Book: Hellboy’s 20th anniversary. Photo: JSDevore

Finally, if you’re keeping track … Yours Truly’s Hellboy article was published in this year’s official SDCC Souvenir Book! That’s #4, kids! Fun times! Past years’ books included J.S. Devore articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

 

The Nerdicane, it is a-Comin’! SDCC 2014 Pre-Preview Night

Category : Conventions, Featured, San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic-Con Convention Center, before

The calm before the storm. Photo: JSDevore

The streets were eerily quiet last night. With the exception of oddly quiet construction setups and a formidable sense of a looming pop culture storm, San Diego’s Gaslamp District was nearly devoid of any signs of the true onslaught of geekage fast bearing down on America’s Finest City. Yours Truly used the time to enjoy the vast amount of personal space and the ability walk about the Gaslamp District with arms akimbo and even engaging in the occasional twirl. (I was wearing a tutuesque skirt, after all.) Still, amidst the serene dusk, one could feel a slight tremble in the Earth, like a TGV heading down tracks on the French countryside, or a tornado steadily rumbling toward a calm, Kansas burg.

Nearly every bartender we met said this was their first Comic-Con and, to a man, they all claimed proudly they “weren’t worried”. Suckers. One of them noted plainly and proudly she was from Portland whilst another, across the Gaslamp, stated in the same manner that she was from Seattle, as if hailing from these metropoli alone was pedigree enough to command the coming Nerdicane.

Although, I do have faith in the mirthful and ebullient Kit. Nestled behind the bar, as though in a Shakespearean farce and ready to proffer the occasional aside and commentary to the audience, Kit pours out yummy, Icelandic-tundra, gin cocktails at McCormick & Schmick’s on the ground floor of the Omni Hotel. (Ask for him by name: Kit with one “T”, not two, like Knight Rider.) Kit seemed not only prepped and perked for the pending squall, but struck me as an even greater dork than Yours Truly. (A compliment, Good Sir Kit, to be certain! The cool kids will never know how to follow our lead!) Kit shall be amongst his own kind and, I predict, do raw-ther well.

Keep that smile plastered, Kit! You'll need it for the Nerdicane. Photo: JSDevore

Keep that smile plastered, Kit! You’ll need it for the Nerdicane. Photo: JSDevore

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 kicks off, unofficially, tonight with the coveted Preview Night. Twisted Pair Photography‘s Dr. Lucy and I will be there scoping out the Con floor (to make the most of our time during regular Con days) and checking out all the earlybird geekage like D&D tourneys, sneak-peek screenings and First Come, First Served deals on geek girl gear: notably, the Princess Leia V-neck tee I passed on at WonderCon. Of course, the biggest task of the night? Procuring an official Comic-Con Souvenir Book. Did my article submission make it in again, a 20th anniversary Hellboy retrospective? Fingers and painted toesies crossed!

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the Souvenir Book.
San Diego Comic-Con, setup

Open, open, open! Miss Hannah Hart (a.k.a. Jennifer S. Devore) is ready! Pre-Preview Night at SDCC 2014, photo: JSDevore

Best of all, I was picked up by Rotten Tomatoes’ official SDCC 2014 Twitter feed! Additionally, Dr. Lucy camera and I will covering all our Con shenanigans for GoodToBEAGeek. Come along with us @GoodToBeAGeek @JennyPopNet @Eslilay and @RottenTomatoes!

 

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

 

Boobs Are Not Bunnies: Miss Hannah Hart’s Tips and Common Con Courtesy for SDCC 2014

Category : Conventions, Featured, San Diego Comic Con

Cheers, kittens! It’s Moi! One week to go! San Diego Comic-Con (July 24-27, 2014, S.D. Conv. Ctr.) is nigh and America’s Finest City is all abuzz. My own home at the Hotel del Coronado is stuffed to its ivory cornices and red turrets with not just the usual summertime crush of les touristes from all over the globe, but also with a healthy, amusing dose of geekery. Bienvenue a tous! San Diego loves geeks!

SDCC 2013 TMNT

SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Be ye a local geek (comme Moi) and didn’t get in (ni comme Moi), there’s still a faint ray of hope. Local “news” station FOX5 is giving away a pair of badges a day, in this week leading up to the Con; naturally, one must actually watch the local broadcast to learn the “Code of the Day”. Of course, considering what I went through for badges, the hoops could be more difficult than having to endure an hour a day of local news. If you are going, local or not, contest winner or no, I proffer a few helpful tips and links to help your Comic-Con 2014 be as easy-peasy lemon-squeezy as can be.

  • Toucan Blog: daily tips leading up to the Con from the very wizards themselves behind the Comic-Con Int’l (CCI) curtain
  • Programming Schedule: SDCC’s complete, online, Wed.-Sun. catalogue of panels, screenings, autograph signings et al
  • Transportation Info.: quick links to parking, hotel shuttles and local transportation like the MTS Trolleys, Coaster and Amtrak
  • Uber and Lyft: sure-fire, friendly ride-sharing to, from and around the Con; but know these private companies’ rates fluctuate depending on the time of day/night and need. Business 101, kids. Supply and demand hard at work here.
  • Taxi Magic: the beauty of free enterprise and capitalism? It forces real competition! The taxi industry is trying a friendlier, gentler, cleaner approach to service. Download the Taxi Magic app and give S.D. Yellow Cabs another chance.
  • North County Coaster: a great option if you’re coming anywhere from Oceanside south; the Coaster is a quiet, clean ride with great views of the Pacific for most of the way (Snag a seat on the west-facing side for the best views!).
  • Call a friend or beg Dad: if you have anyone in the area whom claims to love you, even tolerate you, even a little bit, capitalize on that. Beg them for a ride! Drop-off and pick-up anywhere in the Gaslamp District makes your life easy-peasy!

As one expects, SDCC is a complete jumblef#&*. Whether you end up inside the Con rubbing elbows and armour with the likes of  Salma Hayek, Daniel Radcliffe, George R.R. Martin, Weird Al and Seth Green or, enjoying the wild festivities that occur just outside the Con doors, it can, at times, feel like a claustrophobic nightmare. Remember to be kind. (As a dyed-in-the-wool geek, I can attest that a lot of us don’t groove well in large volumes of people; we’re oft a pale, quiet, nervous type.)

Princess Leia, Daphne Blake, SDCC 2013

Be nice to the geek girls! SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Comic-Con is a haven for nerdery, creativity and pop-culture camaraderie. It’s also a Tokyo metro-style, sardine-packed, hot-and-humid mess. Try to say “Pardon me” when you bump into Poison Ivy, “Thank you” when Adam West Batman holds open a door for you and a chivalric “After you, Milady!” when you and Princess Leia arrive at the same egress, at the same time. When it comes to cosplay, leave the snark and sneers at home; compliments go a long way in making someone’s day. Some of those costumes take forever to make, are probably raw-ther uncomfortable and it’s a good bet that no matter how smoking they look, the wearer feels just a tad self-conscious.

Apropos: the boobs. Yes, the boobs. As I wrote in my coverage of WonderCon Anaheim 2014, “Of course, de rigueur, there are lots and lots of boobs. There are always lots and lots of boobs. Funny thing is, after a few years of this, I’m beginning to recognize some of them.”  There is also a lot of chatter about the appropriate amount of attention one should give those boobs.

For this girl’s take, if you’re going to put them out there, waaaay out there as some of the ladies do, I think you’d better expect some feedback. Still, that does not excuse some of the vile, verbal assaults hurled their way. Keep it clean, folks. Common courtesy guides one should ask before taking a picture, glance but don’t gawk and never, ever touch! (Please, see official guidelines below.) Just be nice. Like Thumper’s mama says, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” A good time shall be had by all, especially when we’re all cheery comic chums! Come on, everyone! Let’s all play the Pollyanna Glad Game!

boobs, SDCC

They are not bunnies; you may not pet them. SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

As in years past, Dr. Lucy (Twisted Pair Photography) and I shall be covering SDCC 2014 for geek-culture website GoodToBeAGeek, even Preview Night! To boot, Yours Truly is champing at the bit to learn if this year’s submission to the official Souvenir Book -a Hellboy retrospective- made it in again: previous published articles include Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics. So, follow us on Twitter and stop by GoodToBeAGeek.com in the days following the Con for all the geeky, gooey, booby goodness coming straight from San Diego Comic-Con 2014!

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the 2014 Souvenir Book!

*CCI’s Code of Conduct and Anti Harassment Policy

Attendees must respect common sense rules for public behavior, personal interaction, common courtesy, and respect for private property. Harassing or offensive behavior will not be tolerated. Comic-Con reserves the right to revoke, without refund, the membership and badge of any attendee not in compliance with this policy.

Persons finding themselves in a situation where they feel their safety is at risk or who become aware of an attendee not in compliance with this policy should immediately locate a member of security, or a Comic-Con staff member, so that the matter can be handled in an expeditious manner. If your safety is at risk and you need immediate assistance you may also use a white house phone and dial 5911

Security may be contacted by visiting our Show Office in Lobby C. A Comic-Con staff member will be in the office during public hours.

 

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

Follow  @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek @Eslilay  for Con-floor Tweets and pix! #geek #SDCC #cosplay

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

 

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Badge Quest: Victorious!

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Category : Conventions, E-vents, Featured, Geek Rants, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

Holy moly, Hellboy!! This year was a close one! If you read my Adventures in WonderCon post, you will have noted the tint of sadness that came with realizing WonderCon Anaheim (WCA) was it for the year; the Comic-Con Badge Quest Slaughter of 2014 had left Dr. Lucy and myself emotionally exhausted and near expiration, with little hope of survival on the Con battlefield. Yet, like a Phoenix, rising from Arizona -wait, that doesn’t sound right- we mustered every cell of life that remained, gathered our courage and cerebral weaponry and … huzzah! With two weeks to spare, we parried and riposted our way into San Diego Comic-Con!

Dr. Lucy and I have had a pretty good run of not only getting into SDCC to cover it for geek-culture website GoodToBeAGeek, but also of Yours Truly getting into the accompanying Souvenir Book for a number of years. (Past years included articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.) This year’s submission is a piece on the 20th anniversary of Mike Mignola’s half-demon/half-Boy Scout, Hellboy. (Cloven-hooves crossed I get in the Book this year, too!)

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the 2014 Souvenir Book!
Frank Cho artwork, Hellboy, SDCC

Hellboy artwork by Frank Cho

Still, as anyone will tell you, SDCC is becoming more and more difficult to permeate. Getting into the Con via standard, online badge purchase is a crap shoot; obtaining a Member ID is simple enough and getting in the online queue is equally non-taxing; getting to the front of the queue before every day sells out is a seemingly random, lottery-style mind%&*#. GoodToBeAGeek’s very own editor, Jessa Lynn Phillips, who one should note is closely tied-in with SyFy Channel’s upper-echelon, stated, “I don’t think I know anyone who got passes (other than panelists) for more than one day this year.”

To wit, not only is a badge purchase a shot in the dark, this year Comic-Con International (CCI) eliminated the ability to purchase 4-day badges. (Exception being if you purchased a Preview Night badge, for an extra fee, you can add an automatic 4-day pass.) The purpose, according to CCI, was to cut down on unused, precious badge space: folks buying all four days with the intention of only using one or two days. Further, the ability to purchase for friends (up to three plus yourself) during the pre-registration phase -which one can only enter if one attended the previous year- also limited those three friends to those whom attended the previous year. (Crikey! Getting a law degree has got to be simpler. Of course, based on some attorneys I know, it very well might be!)

Naturally, WCA was a blast and, for someone whom loves to play dress up, getting to don my Louise Belcher costume was fun enough in itself and enough to hold me over until Hallowe’en. Still, there had been a faint raincloud over my head as I read CCI’s Toucan Blog daily posts counting down to SDCC 2014.

I had worked my wee fingers to the bone massaging every contact, acquaintance and stranger I could. No one can say I didn’t try. I jiggled all the door handles; like Hillary trying to get into the White House. I even answered an ad on Craigslist to wear an M&M costume; and offered my scribing services for legit pro or press passes, only to be flagged. Apparently “honest-work for honest-comps” is offensive to the CL community; had I offered boudoir photos for scalped badges, I might have made “Best of Craigslist”. Besides the Badge Quest Slaughter, we here at GTBAG applied for press passes, only to be sliced and diced by CCI’s intensely perlustrative press wizards: You shall not [press] pass! I offered to man a booth at GoComics -sadly that contact was no longer with the organization- ; and I looked into volunteering anywhere there was a need within the Con, except the lavvies. One industry-insider advised with a pitiful shake of the head, “Volunteers was filled months ago. It goes almost as fast as the badge sale these days.”

In the end, neither the M&M suit nor a volunteer’s t-shirt was necessary. Happily, Lucy and I were fortunate enough to garner not just an enviable Saturday-pass, but the much-coveted Preview Night-pass! How, you may wonder, mouths collectively agape like codfish? Simple: intricate dealings in the Black Arts, magick of the Teutonic strain and a serendipitous, random spin of Lady Fortuna’s wheel.

Keep all this in mind next year, kids. SDCC online badge sales usually hit mid-February to mid-March. If you got in this year, use that pre-registration phase next year! If you don’t get a badge for 2015, try not to utter in disgust the words of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. It’s okay. You know, th-there’s always WonderCon in Anaheim, you know? Th-that’s just as good. Excuse me. (Turns to cry)

The Big Bang Theory S7e14: "Convention Conundrum". Chuck Lorre Prod., Warner Bros. Prod.

The Big Bang Theory S7e14: “Convention Conundrum”. Chuck Lorre Prod., Warner Bros. Prod.

Take not ye Cons for granted! Each one seems to grow exponentially, year over year. Citing Events in America, a North American trade show and conference directory, SDCC 2014 augurs 130K attendees once again: a self-imposed, max. capacity. Only CES Int’l Las Vegas and New York Comic-Con (NYCC) will bring in more geekage per cubic sq. ft.: 150K and 133K, respectively. NYCC’s projected attendance is up from 117K last year.

As I wrote earlier this year of WCA, oft minimized and discounted as Comic-Con’s little sister, “Whether you get into SDCC or not, WC is fast-becoming a good time all her own and very possibly, depending on how things line up, just as high-maintenance.”

HelloKittyHellboy

Hello Kitty loves dress-up, too!

 

 

Follow  @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek @Eslilay  for Con-floor Tweets and pix! #geek #SDCC

 

 

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

E3 2014 – Sony Media Briefing Highlights

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PS3, PS4

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the Sony Briefing, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.
 

 
Sony started their Media Briefing with a trailer for Destiny before Andrew House, Sony President and Group CEO, took the stage to remind the audience why PlayStation believes they are the best pace to play – “connected, highest visual quality, choice and being a member of a community of rivals and friends.” The Destiny beta will be available July 17, 2014, first on PlayStation. PS4 owners will have the opportunity to access the alpha starting Thursday, June 12th by visiting GreatnessAwaits.com/Destiny to register.
 

 
Sony is releasing a glacier white PS4 Destiny bundle which will include: a 500GB PS4 console, white dual-shock controller, a copy of Destiny and a 30-day voucher for PS Plus. The bundle will be available for purchase upon the game’s release September 4, 2014.
 

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation


 
The Order 1886
 

 
Entwined developed by a small group of recent graduates. Entwined focuses on two souls in love that cannot be together. Maximizing use of the dual-shock controller as players attempt to control two characters at a time. As the souls fly across the gamespace, trails of color create works of art as players work to bring the characters together to form a beautiful dragon. Scott Rohde, Sr. VP of Worldwide Studios, announced Entwined is available now in the PS Store for PS4 ($9.99) with PS3 and PS Vita versions to follow.
 

 
inFAMOUS: Second Son will have a stand-alone DLC, inFAMOUS: First Light. Players do not need to own a copy of inFAMOUS: Second Son to play the DLC; however, those who do own the game will receive exclusive content. The DLC will be released in August 2014.
 

 
Little Big Planet 3 on PS4 has enhanced graphics which add new textures. The new version includes new sets of power-ups, as well as new friends – OddSock, Toggle and Swoop. Each of the friends has their own unique abilities: OddSock can wall-jump; Toggle can alter its size to become large or small; and Swoop can fly, allowing for more fun and ease of gameplay in difficult multiplayer games. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios, announced players will be able to access all of the expansive community-created Little Big Planet content on PS4 with enhanced graphics.
 

 
Bloodborne in development for 2015 release.
 

 
Alexander Hutchinson, Creative Director at Ubisoft, introduced  a gameplay demo of Far Cry 4. Adam Boyes, Sony VP of Publisher & Developer Relations, added PS3 and PS4 owners will be able to invite their friends to play, even if they don’t own Far Cry 4 through the PS Store when it is released in November 2014.
 

 
Given the popularity of zombies, players can expect more undead action with the release of Dead Island 2. there will be a 30-day exclusive beta and a full character class on PS4.
 

 
Offering more zombie action,  Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, set to launch August 19, 2014, will have a specifically themed dungeon and their own attacks.
 
Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation


 
The beta for Battlefield: Hardline is open now, exclusively on PS4.
 
In a partnership with Disney, a collector’s edition of Disney Infinity 2, exclusive to PS3 & PS4 will include Hulk as well as five other Avengers. Disney Infinity 2 is also coming to PlayStation TV and PS Vita.
 
Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation


 
Destiny will have plenty of PS4 exclusive in-game content, including: unique weapons, armor sets, ships, Exodus exclusive competitive multi-player map, an exclusive strike on Mars and more.
 
Sony is partnering with Paradox Interactive to develop exclusive PlayStation games. The first title to be released will be Magicka 2.
 

 
Returning after 15 years, Double Fine with the Sony third party development team is working to re-master Grim Fandango, exclusively for PS4 and PS Vita.
 

 
In support of indie games, Devolver Digital are developing a series of games for exclusive release on PlayStation platforms, including: Broforce, Titan Souls, Not a Hero, Hotline Miami and The Talos Principle.
 

 
Let it Die is coming exclusively to PS4 for release in 2015.
 

 
From the minds behind Journey, Giant Squid premieres their new title, ABZÛ, which will make it’s debut on PS4.
 

 
Also making its console debut on PS4, No Man’s Sky. Sean Murray, Founder of the indie studio Hello Games behind No Man’s Sky gives a closer look at the game which will start every player on a different planet to ensure a truly unique gameplay experience.
 

 
Andrew House returned to the stage to share how PlayStation is maximizing the camera, specifically with Project Morpheus.
 
Shawn Layden, President & CEO of Sony America, presents the latest tools for the PlayStation Network which enables sharing features, such as Share Factory and the photo mode in inFAMOUS: Second Sun. YouTube will also be coming to PSN and will include integration with the dual-shock share button. Sony is also working to enhance spectator interactivity, allowing observers to interact with the player during real-time play. Sony is also committing to Free-to-Play gaming with more than 25 truly Free to Play games coming to the network in the next 12 months, including: Planetside 2, Gunza, My Singing Monsters and War Thunder.
 
PlayStation Now service will be available in the US and Canada as an open beta on PS4 starting July 31, 2014. PS Now service to PS3 and PS Vita will follow. PS Now will also be available on Sony smart televisions in the future so a console is not necessary. During the beta, players have access to the vast catalog which will start with PS3 titles. The open beta is being used to obtain feedback on the service as well as test rental durations and pricing. PS Now will also be available for PS Vita to expand upon the catalog for the mobile platform.
 
Minecraft is coming to PS Vita, including co-op gameplay. Layden re-iterated Sony’s commitment to the PS Vita device.
 
PlayStation TV is coming to the US, Canada and Europe this fall. The small box will allow for remote play through PS4, provide access to streaming services and PS Now, as well as the ability to play PS Vita as well as PS One and PSP titles, bringing access to more than 1,000 games at launch when it will be released for $99. $139 bundle to include a dual-shock 3 controller, 8GB memory card, HDMI cable and a voucher for The Lego Movie game.
 

 
Mortal Kombat X is being developed for PS4.
 

 
Sony is developing original programming, the first of which is Powers, based on the comic. Brian Michael Bendis joins the powers show as Co-creator and Executive Producer. The series has already been greenlit for 2 seasons, casting is underway and the series will be available for viewing in the US in December 2014. Every PSN user will get access to the first episode for free. PlayStaion Plus will include original programming. An example is the entire Powers series will be free to PlayStation Plus subscribers.
 

 
Sony is also developing theatrical releases for PlayStation fans, as well as wider audiences. We get a look at Ratchet & Clank the Movie which will release in theaters in 2015. In addition, they are working on re-mastering Ratchet & Clank for PS4.
 

 
House shares a trailer for The Last of Us Remastered for PS4, scheduled for release July 29, 2014.
 

 
Konami and Kojima Productions present a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
 

 
Grand Theft Auto V is coming to PS4 Fall 2014, featuring enhancements for the next-gen console. The biggest news is current PS3 & Xbox 360 player communities will be able to transfer their GTA characters and progress to PS4.
 

 
Rocksteady and Warner Bros. present Batman: Arkham Knight.
 

 
Naughty Dog teases the return of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, slated for release in 2015.
 

 

E3 2014 – Nintendo Digital Event Highlights

Category : 3DS, Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, Nintendo, Product Announcements, Wii, WiiU

Nintendo opens their keynote strong with Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwata battling in the newest Super Smash Bros. game for WiiU. The game will also be released for 3DS this summer. Super Smash Bros. will include Lady Palutena stepping onto the battle ground with phenomenal skills such as Heavenly Light, Angelic Missile, Celestial Fireworks, Mega Laser and more. Perhaps the most exciting news from this announcement is the inclusion of Mii fighters. Your Mii identity can enter the arena, outfitted to do battle as Brawlers, Swordfighters or Gunners. Each Mii class is equipped with their own set of special moves.

Reggie Fils-Aime also announces Amiibo interactive figures for WiiU as their response to Skylander figures. The figures are embedded with a chip and designed to expand gameplay with compatible titles. The first compatible title will be Super Smash Bros. The figure is touched to the gamepad to sync and it’s essence will fight in game. You can customize special moves and each battle gains the amiibo figure stat boosts to ensure that each amiibo figure is unique. The data syncs back to the figure and can be played on any WiiU. Your amiibo figure can battle against the player, against other players, or with the player against the AI and others players. Plans for future compatible titles, include:  Mario Kart 8Mario Party 10, Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker & Yoshi’s Woolly World. Nintendo will also be releasing a peripheral accessory to allow use of amiibo with 3DS.

Among the upcoming titles to be released is Yoshi’s Woolly World for WiiU, in which Yoshi and the world around him is composed of yarn. The yarn aspect introduces a myriad of new abilities and interactivity. One of the highlights of Yoshi’s Woolly World is the introduction of a second player mode easing the gameplay of more difficult levels.

We also get a look at Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker for WiiU capitalizing on the puzzle platforming action Nintendo plans enjoy with more complex puzzles and bigger and brighter graphics.

 
Nintendo gave us a sneak peek at the graphic world in the latest Legend of Zelda title. The new world is gorgeously expansive and the open-world development opens the door to new gameplay opportunities, as players are no longer held to the orderly, set path gameplay of previous Zelda titles. While little gameplay footage was shown, the title is slated for release in 2015.

Zelda

The latest titles in the Pokemon franchise are Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, scheduled for release in November 2014.

The trailer for Bayonetta 2 promises bigger, badder battles with the witty repartee players enjoyed in the first Bayonetta game. The WiiU purchase will include the original Bayonetta game.

Hyrule Warriors takes the Zelda characters, such as Link, Princess Zelda and Midna, gamers enjoy and pits them against enemy forces on a large battleground which encompasses multiple battles. Players can collaborate with allies to assist in their battles as well.

Kirby returns in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, slated for a 2015 release.

The Xenoblade Chronicles X trailer offers more epic space battle and dramatic storytelling.

We are also treated to a first look at Mario Maker which allows players to create their own levels on the WiiU.

Splatoon is a 8-player, 4-on-4 team battle where players play as squids in an effort to splatter the landscape in their team’s ink color to claim territory. The WiiU gamepad lets players alter their view, adds functionality and provides a command view of the whole map, as well as a view of real-time action to provide an additional level of strategy. Spaltoon is set to be released in 2015.

E3 2014 – Ubisoft Media Briefing

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox One

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the Ubisoft Media Briefing, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.
 

 

To start the conference, we get a look at Far Cry 4. Dan Hay, Executive Producer, introduces the newest chapter in the franchise, set for release November 18, 2014 on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
 

 

Aisha Tyler returns to E3 to host the Ubisoft Media Briefing for the third year.

Just Dance 2015, is the newest game to the dance genre. Just Dance 2015 includes the latest chart topping tracks featuring Pharrell, Ellie Goulding and more. The game adds more social functionality with community remixing, as well as the ability to put players in the game and allow other players to score your performance. Just Dance 2015 is set for release October 2014. Jason Altman, Executive Producer, took the stage to show how a smartphone & internet connected display can turn any smartphone into a controller and allow any player to dance no matter where or when.
 

 

Patter Mannerfelt, Producer, introduces Tom Clancy’s The Division.
 

 

The Crew presents an expansive, US coast to coast open-world driving experience. Julian Gerighty, Creative Director, joins Aisha to explain how Ubisoft has been gaining gameplay feedback and the Route 909 campaign, which put a call out to players in 7 worldwide locations to play and compete. The Route 909 finals will be available streaming on TwitchTV June 10 & 11th. Ubisoft is also opening the closed beta on July 23, 2014; visit http://www.thecrewgame.com/beta to register. The Crew will launch November 11, 2014 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
 

 

Alex Amancio, Creative Director, presents the French Revolution in Assassin’s Creed: Unity, set to release October 28, 2014. The new title includes a 4-player shared gameplay experience.
 

 

Charles Huteau, Creative Director, announces a partnership with Xbox for Shape Up. The new title looks to bring gameplay to fitness in an attempt to make workouts fun. Players can record their performance and replay to compete against themselves or share with friends for some friendly competition.
 

 

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a puzzle adventure game which follows four friends and their canine companion through the battlegrounds of World War I. In a unique partnership with the documentary film, Apocalypse: World War I, the game provides a true historic transmedia event with the inclusion of film footage in Valiant Hearts.
 

 

Yves Guillemont, Co-found and CEO of Ubisoft, expressed his appreciation for the fans and developers. He also took the opportunity to show off Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige.
 

 

E3 2014 – Microsoft Xbox Media Briefing Highlights

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, Xbox, Xbox One

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the Microsoft Xbox Media Briefing, check out the YouTube playlist we’ve cultivated.


Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, opened the briefing, promising to devote the briefing entirely to games. To start things off, Spencer announced a partnership between Activision and Sledgehammer Games for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, While not an exclusive title, Xbox players will have first access to add-on content. Look for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to be released November 4, 2014.

Dan Greenawalt from Turn 10 Studios took the stage to reveal the Nürburgring track will be available in Forza 5, available for download starting today…and it’s FREE. Ralph Fulton from Playground Games took the stage to share Forza: Horizon 2 with a bigger and more diverse inventory of cars. will have dedicated servers for instantaneous connectivity and the ability for players to create their own clubs. Forza: Horizon 2 will be available September 30, 2014.

2K Games and Turtle Rock Games announced Evolve with Xbox exclusive Beta access and DLC. Players will have the opportunity to select from four of classes, including: Assault, Trapper, Medic, Support; or, choose to play as the monster.

Vincent Pontbriand, Senior Producer at Ubisoft introduced Assassin’s Creed: Unity. The newest title in the franchise will be set in 18th century Paris, France during the French Revolution. Assassin’s Creed: Unity will allow players to join up to 3 friends to create their own brotherhood.

Electronic Arts (EA) & BioWare announce premiere content available first on Xbox One for Dragon Age: Inquisition which is set for release October 7, 2014.

Ted Price of Insomniac Games shows off Sunset Overdrive, an open-world survival game with off the wall action and comic sensibilities. In addition to the single player campaign, chaos squad mode allows 8-player co-op on dedicated servers. October 28, 2014 exclusively on Xbox One.

Capcom announces Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper EX plus αPlayers will be able to cosplay as their favorite Capcom characters with super moves, power-ups, bonus stages and a co-op mode to allow up to 4-players. Available now on Xbox Live.

Alex Rigopulos, Founder & CEO at Harmonix gave us a look at Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved for Xbox One and Xbox 360. Available October 21, 2014. Gamers play as the sorcerer’s apprentice and remix music as the core game mechanic, combining music and magic.

Also coming as a Xbox One exclusive this fall is Dance Central: Spotlight which will be available as a download only title in September 2014.

David Eckelberry, Game Director at Lionhead Studios introduces the next title in the Fable franchise, Fable: Legends, exclusive to Xbox. Players choose to be the hero or the villain.

Project Spark is back on Xbox and PC. The tool which allows players to create their own games, as well as play games created by other players. Boasting over 1,000,000 creators, multiplayer and co-op functionality, now with tools to create galaxy landscapes.

Exclusive to Xbox One is Ori and the Blind Forest from Moon Studios, available in Fall 2014.

Bonnie Ross, Studio Head, and Dan Ayoub, Executive Producer, of 343 Industries  appeared to introduce Halo:  The Master Chief Collection. Available November 11, 2014, the entire Halo franchise unlocked will be available exclusively on Xbox One to play Master Chief’s entire history however players want, including over 100 multiplayer maps, all running on their original engines at 1080p ,60 frames per seconds on dedicated servers. Halo 2: Anniversary Edition is coming for Xbox One, including the original Halo 2 multiplayer and 6 of the Halo 2 maps optimized for the Xbox One. Halo: Nightfall, the live-action digital series, produced in collaboration with Executive Producer, Ridley Scott will be included with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, to lead up to Halo 5: Guardians. Further, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will include beta access to Halo 5: Guardians starting December 2014.

And now a look into the future…to be released 2015 and beyond:

Playdead, the developer behind LIMBO, presents INSIDE which will debut on Xbox in 2015.

Chris Charla, Director of the ID @ Xbox program takes the stage to talk about indie titles coming to the Xbox, including: Forced from BetaDwarf Entertainment, Knight Squad from Chainsawesome Games, White Night from Osome Studio, Spectra from Gateway Interactive, CUPHEAD from StudioMDHR, Dive Kick from Iron Galaxy, Below from Capy Games, Grave from Broken Window Studios, Woolfe from Grin, Source from Fenix Fire Entertainment, FRU from Through Games, Lifeless Planet from Stage 2 Studios, and many more!

We get the world premiere trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider, scheduled for release in the holiday 2015.

CD Project RED shows off gameplay of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, scheduled for release February 24, 2015.

Ken Lobb, Creative Director of Microsoft Studios announces their re-boot of Phantom Dust, exclusive on Xbox One.

Ryan Barnard, Game Director at Massive Games introduces gameplay from Tom Clancy’s The Division with new content available first on Xbox One. Look for The Division to be released in 2015.

Hideki Kamiya, Game Director at PlatinumGames, Inc. gives us a peek at Scalebound, to be available exclusively on the Xbox One.

David Jones, Co-Founder of CloudGine reveals Crackdown, exclusively for Xbox One with dedicated servers on Xbox Live.

E3 2014 – Electronic Arts (EA) Keynote Highlights

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox One

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the EA Keynote, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.


DICE Studios opens the show with a look at the behind the scenes effort put into their Star Wars: Battlefront to be released Spring 2015.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts (EA) to state the company’s commitment to players, games and innovation. Then, introduces a look at Dragon Age: Inquisition. Aaryn Flynn offers a deeper look at the game and the team of heroes who will become your companions in game.


BioWare offers a preliminary look at what they are working on – the next title in the Mass Effect franchise, as well as a new intellectual property (IP).

Sims 4 will allow players to control the personality and emotions of their characters, expanding the story possibilities. Players can bring characters and items created by other players into your game. Sims 4 will be available September 4, 2014.

Brian Hayes, the Creative Director at EA Sports announces EA Sports UFC where players will be able to fight as Bruce Lee, available June 17, 2014.

Dean Richards, Studio General Manager, announces EA Sports NHL 15. NHL 15 add physics to all players, as well as the puck and includes more detailed arenas.

Patrick Soderlund, EVP at EA Studios, introduces a sneak peek at the new intellectual property (IP) from Criterion Games. Criterion steps away from their well-established background in racing games to develop a new title. The development team was heavily influenced by first-person action videos, in the style of GoPro, being uploaded to YouTube.

Cam Weber, Studio Group General Manager for EA Sports Golf, announces EA Sports PGA Tour being developed using Frostbite 3. Play famous courses or explore extreme courses starting Spring 2015.

Madden NFL 15 includes improvements to the defensive strategy, including more defensive camera angles, more control to push opponents and re-designed tackling. Additional emotional reactions. Madden NFL 15 launches August 26, 2014.

Dawngate promises to build on the traditional Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) structure with a “flexible meta” to provide a truly unique gameplay experience in every game, highly influenced by player feedback.

DICE shares the work they are putting into Mirror’s Edge, including working with parkour artists, an open-world design which appeals to new and skilled players and realistic combat interaction.

David Rutter, Executive Producer for EA Sports FIFA. EA Sports FIFA 15 includes emotional responses for players, a new ball physics system, man-to-man battles and a more immersive arena experience. FIFA 15 will be released Fall 2014.

DICE & Visceral Games announce Battlefield: Hardline. Battlefield: Hardline offers a 32-player multiplayer match in heist for a cops versus robbers gameplay experience. The Battlefield: Hardline beta access is available now on PC and PS4. Go to Battlefield.com to register for access. Adam Boyes from Sony Computer Entertainment announces that PS4 gamers who own Battlefield 4 can download the beta directly from the Battlefield 4 tile.

WonderCon Anaheim 2014: Little Sister Growing Up Fine, Just Fine.

4

Category : Conventions, E-vents, Featured, WonderCon

Picture it … early-morning Saturday, March 15, 2014: San Diego Comic-Con Badge Quest

  • 6:00a.m.  Awakened ceremoniously with rousing rendition of John Williams’ Star Wars Theme, performed by Boston Pops
  • 6:15  Fully awake, finally, after repeats of  Star Wars Theme
  • 6:20  Espresso
  • 6:30  Text cohorts in NorCal, registration codes and Member IDs ready to go
  • 6:35  Re-read official CCI email re: SDCC badge-sale
Remember, there is no need to rush to the landing page at 7:00 AM! You can enter the waiting room two hours before the sale begins [ at 9:00 AM] or 10 minutes before the sale begins, and your chances are the same. Your wait time is up to you!
  • Ha!
  • 6:56  Forefinger poised. Nobody’s going to get in before I do!
  • 7:00  Go! Go! Go! I’m in!
  • 7:05  Text cohorts again; You guys in? Huzzah! Everybody’s in! One of us will surely get our badges!
  • 7:05-8:56  More espresso. More texting. Granola and youghurt. Comic Book Men, Arrested Development and France24 news.
  • 8:56-8:59  Check pulse. High. Mellow out, dork; it’s just a stupid convention. One more espresso.
  • 9:00  Huzzah! We’re in the official queue!
  • 9:00-9:20  This is so exciting! Already doing better than last year! We’ll have such fun! Better get hotel a.s.a.p.!
  • 9:20  Saturday badges are running low. Hmm. That’s okay. “Low” does not mean “sold out”.
  • 9:25  Saturday badges are sold out. Okay. No worries, we’ll go Thursday, Friday, take off Saturday, back on Sunday. Awesome!
  • 9:30  Friday badges are running low. Cool. Cool. No problem.
  • 9:33  Friday badges are sold out. Damn it. Okay, okay. Thursday’s awesome! First day, fresh, that New Con smell!  Anything but Sunday. Sunday sucks. Nobody dresses, no good panels. Vendors only have crap left. Thursday will be awesome!
  • 9:35  Thursday badges are running low. Tina Belcher-style groan.
  • 9:36  Thursday badges are sold out. I don’t care. Sunday rocks. I love Sunday actually! Lighter crowds, all the vendors slash their prices, loads of people will still be dressed. Sunday is going to be amazing!
  • 9:40  San Diego Comic-Con is now sold out. Thank you for your participation.
  • M*&$%#  F#*&@%!!!!
  • Instantly recall The Big Bang Theory‘s “Convention Conundrum” (S7e14)
 It’s okay. You know, th-there’s always WonderCon in Anaheim, you know? Th-that’s just as good. Excuse me. (Turns to cry)

-Dr. Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

Jennifer Susannah Devore as Louise Belcher, WCA 2014 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Jennifer Susannah Devore, a.k.a Miss Hannah Hart, a.k.a. Louise Belcher, WCA 2014 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

No. No, Sheldon, it is not just as good; but, as this girl is quickly learning, it is not something to pish-tosh, either. WonderCon Anaheim (WCA: April 18-20, 2014 Anaheim Convention Ctr.) seems to be growing exponentially. Like the Richter scale used to measure earthquake activity, what seems like a fractional uptick is, in fact, a greater output than one might presume. Noting the difference between this year’s WCA and WCA2013, it may retain slightly less cachet than San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC: July 24-27, 2014 San Diego Convention Ctr.), but like your best friend’s little sister who just started law school at Stanford, she’s starting to look pret-ty, pret-ty good.

Attendance at WCA, in its third year now, was estimated at 56K for 2014 (Red Flag: roughly SDCC’s numbers in the early-Naughties), continuing its yearly climb. 2014 numbers are an increase from, according to Publisher’s Weekly, the approx. 40K attendees for 2012, and slightly higher than that for 2013.  Further, SDCC 2014 is predicted to once again reach its self-imposed max of 130K attendees; this is to be topped only by CES Int’l Las Vegas (150K) and New York Comic-Con (133K), itself up from 117K last year, citing Events in America, a North American trade show and conference directory. Clearly, the geek con continues to trend.

The growing popularity in geek culture manifests not only via the annual mass-disappointment amidst failure to obtain SDCC badges, but also in the burgeoning desires of Hollywood. Longtime con-pros (distributors, producers, manufacturers, publishers) will tell you, quietly over a Dirty Shirley at Mix Bar in the Anaheim Hilton after the con doors close, that many of the old-timers still love the concept of the con, but philosophically loathe the H-town intrusion. “I noticed the change coming like a locomotive in 2004,” said a dead ringer for The Simpsons‘ desperate salesman ol’ Gil Gunderson. “Hollywood changed everything. Yeah, we’re makin’ more money, but it’s not the same,” he hung his head over his drink with the resolute shame of a jaded, tired mob wife. To drive the point home, I quote Mark Hamill’s character Donald Swan in Comic Book: The Movie (2004).

The movie people? I know they’re just doing their jobs; but they don’t care about us. They only care about our wallets.

Beefsquatch!! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Beefsquatch!! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Still, Hollywood is nothing if not shameless and persistent, and has now taken notice of wide-eyed, wallflower WonderCon, The Other White Geek, and is asking her to dance, too. Changes at WCA this year included, most notably, the restriction of badge sales to online only: nothing at the door this year. Wise move, considering it sold out completely. As well, whereas last year’s event used one exhibit hall, this year’s took over two, fully. “Artist’s Alley” and “Small Press” areas were expanded and, to boot, nearly every upstairs room was utilized for panels and L&D.

Of note, amongst hundreds of events were the following panels: Bob’s Burgers featuring Loren Bouchard, Kristen Schaal, John Roberts, Dan Mintz and Larry Murphy; Rotten Tomatoes moderating “Your Opinion Sucks” featuring Matt Atchity; Frozen: The Art of Story featuring Jeff Ranjo; Hanna-Barbera History featuring Jerry Eisenberg and Wally Burr; and Once Upon A Time featuring Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Never enough hours in the day or days in a Con; choose wisely when planning future cons and get in line early.

Another tell-tale sign WC is starting to hang with hip crowd? Celeb sightings are on the rise. Eric Bana, Jerry Bruckheimer, Joel McHale, Kristen Schaal, Ethan Spaulding, Olivia Munn and Kevin Smith. (Smith was more a snub than a sighting. We said, Hi! He appeared focused and on a mission. You still say Hello, big guy.) There was even a Captain Bloodstone sighting: best known as Blackbeard’s loopy first mate in Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates.

Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, BBCAmerica and Dreamworks were all present in force. Sony offered a sneak peek of Deliver Us From Evil; Warner Bros. presented the world premiere of Son of Batman; and BBCAmerica delivered the exclusive screening of Orphan Black‘s S2 premiere.

If Disney is your gig, as it is for so many of us comic geeks, you spent your evenings across Katella at Disneyland, or if you wanted to save your hard-earned Disney Dollars, went to the admission-free Downtown Disney. Back inside the Con, it was a treat to see Margaret Kerry at her booth: Walt Disney’s very own pick, the original model on whom Tinkerbell was based! Aimez-bien Les AristoChats? Gary Dubin, voice of zee chaton Toulouse from Disney’s AristoCats was also on-site, signing colour animation stills.

Other easily chattable guests on-hand included Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Kaite Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine), Jim Pascoe (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica).

Where cosplay is concerned, if you’re thinking WCA is like going to a club on a Wednesday night, thinking you can leave your A-game at home, you’d be wrong. Cosplayers are as serious and creative as ever, if not as numerous as SDCC. Fewer folks might be dressed than at SDCC, but those whom are, are in their Saturday night best. Listen up, wheats; you know if Adrianne Curry, Mistress of the Dorks and cosplay queen, is in the house, you’d best get your act together. Professional stage makeup, Colleen Atwood-quality costuming and the spirit, personality and energy behind it all to make every character pop. Cosplayers don’t just pose, they become their characters, for your pleasure. They know their characters intimately and want to interact with you. Of course, de rigueur, there are lots and lots of boobs. There are always lots and lots of boobs. Funny thing is, after a few years of this, I’m beginning to recognize some of them.

Most popular costumes this year? Doctor Who variations, by far. The best Doctor Who costume? Not a Who, but a What: the villainous, ever-moist Lady Cassandra and her attendants. Halo Kitty was a bit unsettling, as was a male version of Morticia Addams. Thankfully Mary Poppins & Bert, Zelda & Link, Harley Quinn & The Joker, all the Pirates of the Caribbean, a score of Japanese Lolitas and a very attractive Morticia & Gomez (phew!) cruised the con floor and our Hilton lobby. There were also a few Bob’s Burgers folks: Beefsquatch! The Bob’s Burgers panel must have been a wild scene! Damned Anaheim Gardenwalk Happy Hour got in my way of getting there. I blame P.F. Chang’s Asian pear mojitos.

Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Lady Cassandra and her attendants, WCA 2014. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Vendors, as always, number too many to recall. However, I do treat myself each year to a few tidbits, as I like to help the economy and support independent artists whenever I can.  This year’s fave choice? Besides a couple of Big Bang Theory, babydoll tees, I acquired a beautiful bit of steampunk art from Awkward Affections of San Francisco. Charming and shy, the pretty artist known as Kaz proffered an eccentric, quirky and whimsical selection of cards, custom invitations, matted prints, and canvas wall art featuring animals I would very much enjoy meeting, all with a  Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland and Edward Gorey style and sensibility. Other fave pieces included her “Anatomy of a Mermaid” and “Anatomy of a Unicorn”. I say! (Of course, if you read my Savannah of Williamsburg novels, you’ll understand my weakness for les animaux anthropomorphic.)

Steampunk whimsy by Awkward Affections Courtesy: Awkward Affections

Steampunk whimsy by Awkward Affections Courtesy: Awkward Affections

If, like Yours Truly, you originally failed in the March morning mayhem that was the SDCC badge-massacre, I guarantee your first thought was similar to Sheldon’s: “At least there’s WonderCon. Right?” Well, kids, if you thought WonderCon was your Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free card and waited too long to buy those badges, epic fail. Now look at you. You’ve got no Comic-Con and you missed out on WonderCon. What a mook.

To make matters more tenuous, WonderCon is rumoured to return to San Francisco’s Moscone Center next year, it’s original home for nearly thirty years. (WCA was supposed to be a temporary show, as Moscone Ctr. received a full refurbishing.) Of course, CCI did take the effort to officially name the Con next to the Mouse House, WonderCon Anaheim. Maybe it’s here to stay? Maybe we shall have a Norcal and SoCal WC? Maybe you bring a sport coat next time so we have some options for dinner? As of the date of this posting, nobody, official or otherwise, has an answer. The best I could learn was to check the San Diego Comic-Con/WCA website over the year; WonderCon 2015 updates, be they North or South, will be posted there.

In the end, I’m still not sure I’m buying the common line heard at WCA. “You know. I really prefer this, to Comic-Con. The crowds are lighter, it’s easier to get a hotel room, it’s just nicer all around.” Sure. That’s like saying, “Dude, it’s so much easier dating Debbie in accounting. Kate Upton is probably totally high-maintenance. Debbie’s way easier to deal with, and a much cheaper date.” Sure. I do have to admit the Starbucks is nicer at the Hilton Anaheim, as opposed to the Sbux carts at SDCC. Of course, the line is so outrageous, who has time to wait, what with all those amazing panels and vendors such?

It's not a Con w/o my Starbucks! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

It’s not a Con w/o my Starbucks! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

If you can’t get an SDCC badge, WC is an absolutely fun and doable alternative (like Debbie). If you did get an SDCC badge, WC is just double-fun for you (You cad!). Yet, think about next year. Whether you get into SDCC or not, WC is fast-becoming a good time all her own and very possibly, depending on how things line up, just as high-maintenance. Next year, Debbie might not be available … if she’s even in town.

As for this kitten’s last-ditch chances for SDCC? As Orange County’s own George Bluth says, “There’s always money in the banana stand.”

"Oh, thous musn't speak to Master in such a manner." Sarah Sanderson Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

“Oh, thou musn’t speak to Master in such a manner.” -Sarah Sanderson, WCA 2014 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

 Et voilà! Dr. Lucy’s Famous Slideshow!

For more WonderCon Anaheim 2014 pics, visit Twisted Pair Photography!

Special S/O: Speaking of supporting independent artists, if you like my Louise ears, and I cannot count how many folks at WCA loved them, please know the quality is superb, the cap-portion is very snuggly and comfy and the ears actually stay upright. Available via Epic Costumes on Etsy!

 

@JennyPopNet #WonderCon #SDCC

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

 

 

PAX East 2014: Going Home Again

Category : Conventions, E-vents, Featured, Game On, Indie, PAX East

Attending PAX East always feels like coming home after a year at college or a long business trip – relaxing and partying with your friends and family who understand you.  This past weekend I, and 70,000 of my closest friends, descended on Boston for PAX East 2014 to celebrate games, gamers, and gaming culture. This was my third PAX East and, with the help of my trusty Guidebook app, I had my weekend planned out fairly well.  I forgot that no plan survives contact with the Con.

Graphic courtesy of Penny Arcade Expo

Graphic courtesy of Penny Arcade Expo

I arrived early in the morning and joined the mass migration to the convention center.   The PAX tradition of beach ball bombardment while waiting in line to enter the expo floor was alive and well until the ropes were lifted and we rushed the expo. I was quickly drawn into the expanded Indie Megabooth and was once again blown away by the quality of the games displayed. Two indie games really stood out to me: Loadout, a Team Fortress 2 type shooter, which allows complete customization of your weapons; and World Zombination, a tower defense and RTS hybrid, in which you can play as either the humans defending a city or the zombies trying to eat the city.

Graphic Credit: Edge of Reality, Ltd.

Graphic Credit: Proletariat, Inc.

Graphic Credit: Proletariat, Inc.

The bigger developers were well represented this year by Microsoft, Blizzard, Square Enix, Ubisoft and 2K Games, among others, despite the absence of Nintendo and Sony. Xaviant had an impressive demo of Lichdom: Battlemage on the exhibit floor that has you take on the role of a battlemage, fighting the forces of evil with customizable spells and a time dilation dodge maneuver culminating in a powerful area attack to help break up waves of baddies.  Bethesda’s booth rarely disappoints and this year was no exception as they showed off both Elder Scrolls Online and a surprisingly fun looking Wolfenstein: The New Order, which has you help the resistance fight against the world dominating Nazis in 1960 using experimental weapons to take on the enemy monstrosities.

I planned to attend several of the great panels but like a dog that sees a squirrel, I was constantly pulled off course by the expo and tabletop games. There was a great variety of panels that spanned an immense number of topics including diversity and gender in games, developer presentations, a Pokemon trainer seminar, the Dungeons and Dragons 40th anniversary, geek parenting, the mythology of games, and gaming journalism.

The tabletop area was dominated by Magic: The Gathering, as it is every year. Sadly, there was little representation from Dungeons and Dragons. MTG was very inviting to new players with open tournaments for those who had not played before or were returning to the game after years away. Tournaments for many games, like My Little Pony CCG, Warhammer 40K, and Star Wars: X-Wing miniatures, were well attended and many more people enjoyed the free play area of tabletop.

The quality of Cosplay at PAX East has been improving year to year and some of the cosplayers who deeply impressed me this year were the “Titanfall pilot,” “The Hound from Game of Thrones,” the “cast of Zelda,” and “Earthworm Jim.” “Starbuck,” portrayed by Jessica Paulding was fantastic and my favorite of the weekend, until I found the red and blue aliens from Sesame Street because when you asked “May I take your picture?” they simply responded “YuuuupYuuupYuupYupYupYuuupYup!”


Photo Credit: Wesley Potter

 

I always enjoy PAX East – meeting new and old friends, playing great games and getting away from the world for a weekend. Having returned to the real world, I’m looking forward to seeing my 70,000 friends again in 2015!