New York Comic Con 2013 aka “The Mothership Called And We Answered”

Well, another New York Comic Con has come and gone, laying siege to the local (and not so local) geek population once again. This was the first year that I made it my business to get to more than one panel and, while I greatly enjoyed the ones I made it into, it does take up a significant amount of time away from general strolling of the show floor/Artist’s Alley. Never mind that you’re lining up for popular panels AT LEAST an hour before they begin; each panel is about an hour on top of that. The more panels you catch, the less time you spend on mingling, shopping and basic things such as eating. Do I regret my decision? Eh, not really. It may have saved me a bit of cash, though panel hopping can be just as exhaustive as spending the majority of your con days on the massive show floor.

This was also the first year where I decided to cosplay each day I attended i.e. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I didn’t even do anything all that complicated and, STILL, I found it to be a hassle between getting dressed and getting to the Jacob Javits Center on time to actually BE at NYCC. For the record, I went as Art Nouveau on Friday, Lieutenant Uhura (original flavor) on Saturday, and Stormy from ‘Rainbow Brite and The Star Stealers’ on Sunday. As I said, nothing too involved, but I think I’ll stick to dressing up for only ONE day next year! And speaking of cosplay, who doesn’t die over the epic get-ups other con-goers put together! NYCC is a place where passions and creativity beautifully collide to beget stuff like this:

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The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1: Faith



After the success of their “Walking Dead” game, Telltale games was consistently asked one question – when is season two coming out? Rather than answer that right away, they decided to make a different game based in the world of Bill Willingham’s graphic novel series “Fables,” entitled “The Wolf Among Us.” Continue reading

To the Beginning Gardener

So you’re feeling all green and one with the Earth and you decide that a backyard garden is an awesome way to get food. You are right. It is. But don’t let an idyllic picture of a smiling be-aproned lady picking perfect tomatoes be your guide. Let ME do it instead, with my huge filthy boots and many sharp implements.

This is how it starts. There ain’t much to look at.

Choose Wisely – Pick food and flowers you like. Don’t randomly plant shit and then let it get overrun by weeds and/or rot because you didn’t realize you’ll have to eat all those peas or whatever. Generally, if it’s just you, one or two plants will make you all the food of that sort that you would want. So, 1 tomato, 1-2 cukes, 1 zucchini, etc. Multiply accordingly if you got other members of the household who are gonna want some. Be aware that zucchini is prolific as hell.

Equip yourself – Gloves, trowel or weeder, a small spade, a shovel, an action hoe, a rake, a hose with watering attachment, scissors and a knife, and a plastic tub with a watertight lid to keep it all safe in the garden somewhere so you don’t have to lug it all back and forth (this is specific to apartment dwellers and others who end up with community garden situations). You and I both know you’ll just forget it and use the lack of equipment as an excuse to be useless. I know the shovel won’t fit. Leave all that shit out if you gotta, but hopefully you can hide them out of the rain somewhere. At least don’t leave them lying around. It’ll eventually lead to comical happenings that you won’t find comical post-concussion. Continue reading

State of Decay: Video Game Review

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“State of Decay” is Undead Lab’s foray into the zombie horror genre.  I had started playing this game several weeks after it came out, so I was not exposed to the many bugs that plagued the game on release. But that’s not important.  What you want to know is whether or not this game is worth playing, and the short answer is yes.

The game starts with you at a campground with your friend being swarmed by zombies.  After you “break their fucking skulls” (a phrase you will hear often throughout the game), you make your way to a nearby ranger station to see if you can find some help.  Don’t expect to stay too long.  The game has you do some very simple missions that serve as a tutorial and once you’re finished, you’ll quickly find yourself escaping the campgrounds and making your way to a nearby church where other survivors holed up.  From here, the zombie-infested Trumbull County is pretty much open to exploration, scavenging, and zombie slaying.  Continue reading

Get up and glow: My experience at Living Social’s 5k Dance Party

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Lately, there’s been a visible upswing in what I like to call “theme runs”. Unlike your old, standard race for this or that, fitness based charity events are being paired with playful themes that are rapidly taking off. I think the first I ever heard about was the “Color Run”, about a year ago, which I was sadly unable to participate in. During the “Color Run”, participants begin dressed in white to run/walk/jog for 5 kilometers, each passing kilometer being marked by the baptism of a different color. Come the end of the event, everyone is experiencing something of a runner’s high, completely covered in brightly colored powdered. Then they get to party! Truly, it’s unsurprising that this sort of thing is catching on when the benefits are having fun, added health, and charity donations. Enter the “Living Social 5k Dance Party”, one of the aforementioned offshoots of this very idea.

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The Ocean at The End of the Lane: Not an Actual Review of the Book, I Don’t Think

Image As you fall asleep, images and sounds and sensations start to move in an almost rollercoaster way, you hold on to what makes sense, dream-sense, and your dream begins. Sometimes I dream about shapes. Just shapes, swirling through blackness, and I think they are small, but they are not, and I am shocked and delighted by my mistake when I realize it. Some of the most impressive things in the world are impressive because of their size. Every waterfall mesmerizes because it is impossible to comprehend just how much water is falling and from how high up.

Franz Kafka was able to put the endless paradox of dreams into words and into a narrative, and Neil Gaiman has been using this device throughout his works, which is what makes him one of my favorite authors.

With The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Gaiman succeeded in transporting the reader to that hidden part of their mind that is only accessible in dreams. He did this even more successfully than he was able to with the Sandman graphic novels, where a great deal of the story took place in dreamscape.

The novel is about a man who remembers being seven years old and what happened when his fate found him. He isn’t having a particularly good time, feeling rejected, forgotten, and hides in his books. His childhood isn’t the kind that people feel nostalgic about, and as an adult he does not miss it. But then this lonely child makes a friend. The event that leads to the friendship is tainted with tragedy, but only tainted, because the story is told through a seven-year-old’s perspective and joy can be found in the smallest things even as the world crumbles. Our nameless protagonist moves between what is hard reality and then fuzzy magic-imbued reality and the transitions are seamless and matter-of-fact. And that is all I’m willing to give away about the plot. Continue reading

Review of “The Walking Dead: 400 Days”

the-walking-dead-400-daysLast year, Telltale games made a game based off the Walking Dead comics (not to be confused with Activision’s game, based on the TV show), which was immediately praised as being one of the best games of the year. The choices were tough, the story was great and it had a huge emotional impact on people.  Since its finale, all fans have been able to ask is, “When is season 2 coming out?” Telltale has said they plan to release it later this year, but in the mean time they have released DLC for the first season entitled “400 Days.”

400 days takes place at different times during the apocalypse, showing the stories of five different people, doing what they need to survive. None of the characters from the first season of the game return, or any of the characters from the comics or TV show, though there are a few subtle references if you’re looking for them. The whole thing feels like a short film anthology, showcasing different people all at roughly the same location.

The stories are gripping. Often, players are forced to make some very tough choices in limited amounts of time. There’s no “right” answer, but you still find yourself wondering if you’ve made the correct decision. Continue reading