One of the best parts of a new year, besides failing miserably at your resolutions by the second week of January, is the start of a whole new convention season. Whether you are rabidly anticipating the “Geek Mecca” that is San Diego Comic-Con or like to keep it low-key and hit up your local favorites, we here at the Podcast love conventions, large and small. From awesome (to awesomely bad) cosplay to getting mad-dogged by The Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, hitting the convention circuit and reporting back to our listeners is definitely a top priority for the podcast monkeys this year.
Join us this week as we welcome our most seasoned Con-goer and close personal friend, The David from the Greenlandic Powerpop band The Maxies, as we recollect some highlights from convention trips past. Grab your daily passes and stack up your swag while we dive into this week’s look at the convention experience. It’s both chaotic and fun, just like the convention floor!
(01:44) – We throw the opening out to our “special” guest, The David, as he talks about playing the recently released Metal Gear Solid HD Collection in chronological order. He’s also caught up in the depressing behind-the-scenes lives of WWE wrestlers. Suicide-induced boss battles, fighting bees underwater, and racism in Mexico?? When David tells it, it’s funny no matter what!
(06:21) – Ramses has finally finished the visually stunning Uncharted 3 and is ready to race Matt to the end of Batman: Arkham City. He’s also fighting illiteracy by starting The Hunger Games while Karen has finished the second book, Catching Fire. Also, the group brings David up to speed on the premise of the novels. Kids killing kids?? David’s in..
(10:04) – Karen has also been keeping up with graphic novels, having finished Joe Hill‘s Locke and Key: Volume 1. Magic doors, ladies in wells, and creepy gore can only mean one thing, Karen found new bedtime stories for her son! The more therapy your child needs, the more successful a parent you are, right??
(12:47) – New year, new game! Since everyone can’t fully believe Matt about his game, Robert has been warming up in the wings with the Shadowrun RPG. However, Cyberpunk ATM hacking in Neo-Tokyo or Seattle is going to have to wait if Matt has anything to do with it… We’re still waiting, Mr. Fuller….
(14:54) – When he isn’t preparing to (potentially?) pick up Matt’s slack, Robert has also been catching up on HBO‘s Game of Thrones series, and is particularly enjoying the gratuitous boobage that is involved. HBO and boobies in the same sentence naturally leads to a discussion of Boardwalk Empire, Steve Buscemi‘s lack of sexiness, and the massive dong-fest that is Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Maybe the porn Karen bought Matt for Christmas shouldn’t have come as such a surprise…
(16:55) – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II has also spent some time spinning in Robert’s PS3, but has proven to be a little less than fulfilling as the original. Maybe some Han Solo killing DLC or some more costume changes can satisfy him. Dongocles “The Bro” Starkiller in the house!
(18:33) – Matt’s been making the final sprint in home-improvement projects before his knee surgery, which will force him to attend to his geek duties. Weeks away from a custom gaming station / writing desk have him thinking in shades of the über-awesome (and SUPER expensive) furniture available at Geek Chic. Also, being gimpy will leave him stuck on the couch, so it’ll be the perfect opportunity to catch up on The Walking Dead trades, Batman: Arkham City, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and, oh, maybe WRITE HIS DAMN GAME! Good luck with the Post-Op lifestyle, she-bro!
(23:00) – You know what’s awesome? We are. You know what’s 1,000 times more awesome? Our listeners! We’re giving a big shout out this week to listener and friend of the podcast, artist Dennis Salvatier – the creative and industrious mind behind Salvatier Studios. Dennis hooked up the podcast monkeys with some sweet geek shirts he designed and we felt it was only right we send some love back his way. Help us spread the love by checking out and sharing his official site linked above as well as his awesome art blog here.
(24:30) – We’re diving right in a swimming up-stream through the awesomeness that is a Convention experience. Got money to burn on your geek passions of all kinds? We recommend saving money for the Artist’s Alley at SDCC as well as the other independent art vendors to decorate the walls of your pad, fill your sketchbooks, and stock your comic shelves. Eric Powell, creator of The Goon, and Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy have made their impressions on David and Matt, while Karen, Ramses, and Robert kept it urban with the Blokhedz.
(28:26) – While David is the most experienced Con-goer, Robert was the first. We talk the pre-Hollywood days of San Diego Comic-Con, the impact of major movie studios on the “Con” dynamic, and the madness that is Hall H. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…
(31:48) – One of the best aspects of Conventions is the also the worst. We talk our experiences – good, bad, and otherwise – of discussion panels and how much harder they are to get into at San Diego Comic-Con. Robert got lucky with a Drew Struzan discussion and documentary while waiting for the Archer panel, while Matt had to suffer through a WildStorm fanboy-fest waiting for Mike Mignola. Damn you Jim Lee…. DAMN YOU!!!
(33:38) – Can’t handle the crowds? Need some fresh air? Couldn’t actually get a badge for SDCC? No worries! Step outside into San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and enjoy the off-site experience. Robert had a dancing Hasselhoff sighting, he and David went to a free admission / free liquor Gwar concert promoting Brütal Legend, and Zachary Levi of Chuck shows the fans some love with Nerd HQ. Oh, and beware of The Dwarves, their fans like to spit…
(36:40) – Not everyone can make it to San Diego every year, but don’t be hatin’ on smaller cons because they lack the size and spectacle. Karen and Ramses got their money’s worth at the Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con – Gris Grimly, Max Brooks, and the infamous Gene Simmons all for a fraction of the cost. Plus, smaller cons cut down on chance encounters with Furries, always a good thing!
(39:10) – Need a palate cleanser after those close encounters of the Furry kind? Hang out with the anime fans, kick back with the LARPers, or engage in our favorite game, Comic-Con Snap! It’s like Pokemon Snap, where only the worst costumes are the best. Ramses loves Samurai Stormtroopers and hates fat Klingons; paperplate costumes will put you in our camera crosshairs; David’s over the army of Slave Leias and Matt has a great work ahead for getting those six-pack abs. Seriously, though, our geek love goes out to all the committed cosplayers out there, but the biggest shout out goes to Boba Phat Pimp Boba. David briefly recalls his run-ins with the leisure suit wearing Mandalorian player.
(43:00) – We’ve touched on it until now, but it’s time to discuss some memorable celebrity encounters at conventions. Our hearts (but not our hard-earned cash) go out to the ignored WWE wrestlers Virgil and The Honky-Tonk Man; Robert’s got the hots for Elvira; Karen and Ramses had some great run-ins with secondary cast members from the Whedonverse (Mark Lutz not included) and Matt’s wife got some Buffy swag from Felicia Day herself! Matt also get’s nostalgic about his days as a busboy and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, like a boss!
(47:19) – What would conventions be without incorporating gaming!?! From Gen Con and Wizard Con specifically for gamers to the gaming spots set aside at San Diego, every geek need gets the appropriate amount of love on the convention circuit. Robert and his 4E DM scored some serious swag; David and his daughter have a run-in with the hardcore miniature gamers; and Matt first got exposed to Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City at SDCC.
(49:17) – Location, location, location! The podcast crew finds itself in the right place at the right time with the WonderCon relocation for 2012 only and we all have high hopes (and tickets) for the experience. We also talk small con experiences, from the afternoon spent at the Japan Expo, to David’s less-than-appealing (yet extremely memorable) trip to a Necro-ComicCon. Free t-shirts and Snuff??? Yowsers!!!
(52:25) – If there is one thing we’ve learned, the bigger the convention, the more energy you need to have. A trip to Fangoria may leave you rested, but commuting to SDCC daily is downright brutal! David reveals some of his secrets to make the 4-day trip easier on your mind, body, and car in order to stay energized for the annual Nerd Dance Rave aka – The Masquerade Ball.
(53:59) – What’s a con without swag?? We talk the double-edged sword that is the massive amounts of freebies a convention goer can score when walking the sales floor. From Incredible Hulk glow sticks and Spartan shields to Hellboy masks and Galactus helmets, many trees give their loves for items both awesome and not. Protip – The streets are where you can score free shirts and ice cream.
(55:54) – We talk prop photo-ops and reveal that David really lives to screw with The Walking Dead promo mannequins, Robert loves the life-size Star Wars Action Figure blister pack, and Matt get’s hated on for seeing Suckerpunch in IMAX. He likes Emily Browning, but Sleeping Beauty is just TOO creepy a trade for boobs.
(58:00) – David and the family are already planning for the SDCC 2012 experience, but the rest of the crew are worried it may not happen. We talk Plan B if we can’t get tickets (go here to get the pre-purchase process started), hitting the streets, and David tells us about his plan to help get us in.
Intro Song – Monkey Wrench – written by Dave Grohl, performed by BP Studio Musicians
Closing Song – I Hope They Like This One – written by David Alarcon, performed by The Retcons