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Posts related to major geeky/nerdy conventions.

Elbow Five

Elbow Five

DON’T DIE: With the rising threat of the coronavirus and its impact on nerd conventions––especially Emerald City Comic Con and the Game Developer’s Conference––Andrew and D. Bethel investigate all the ways this pandemic can impact not only fans of nerdy things but makers of nerdy things.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

RELEVANT LINKS:

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Start With Doom

Start With Doom

CAN YOU SDCC ME NOW?: Though San Diego Comic Con is ostensibly about comic books, the biggest announcements that seem to come out of the show revolve around cinematic and televised properties. Andrew and D. Bethel focus on the announcements that not only ignited their excitement but also triggered their critical processes, from the Cats trailer to the next big DC/CW “Arrowverse” crossover event to the new Star Trek show to Marvel’s Phase 4 lineup.

RELEVANT LINKS:

Image Credit: Pocket Books/Marvel/CBS

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INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Con Artists #04 – StocktonCon Winter 2019

Con Artists #04 – StocktonCon Winter 2019

The lauded limited podcast series returns with a new episode as well as a fan-favorite co-host, Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics as he and D. Bethel (check out his webcomic, Long John, and his podcast, A Podcast [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes) pair up to take on the first StocktonCon Winter show. This episode focuses on the strange space that indie creators inhabit, that realm between fan and professional and how those waters can get muddied, especially when it comes to reading and respecting creators from your childhood (there is a lot of Rob Liefeld talk in these conversations) to meeting your heroes as a creator in your own right.

CORRECTION: D. Bethel said that one of the Uncanny X-Men issues he had Jim Lee sign was #249; he meant to say it was #248. All apologies.

OTHER EPISODES:

  • Con Artists #01 – StocktonCon, pt. 1 : The drive home from the first day of the show. Kyrun and D. discuss making sales, confidence, and the comics they grew up reading and enjoying.
  • Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2 : The drive to StocktonCon to start Day 2 of the show. They discuss the importance of continuity, the level of fan engagement and ownership over continuity, and Dan’s strange reading habits growing up.
  • Con Artists #03 – StocktonCon, pt. 3 : Where Kyrun and D. talk about the breadth of indie comics, writing comics, and dive headfirst into personal nostalgia.

REFERENCES:

Art by Kyrun Silva.

  • The panel from Frank Miller’s Rōnin that Rob Liefeld homaged in New Mutants #100:

Top: Frank Miller’s Ronin (source: DC Comics)/ Bottom: Rob Liefeld’s New Mutants #100 (source: Marvel Comics)

  • And, for what it’s worth, here is a photograph of a 13 year-old D. Bethel at 1994’s San Diego Comic Con showing Jim Lee the mysterious foil card in its snug plastic case:

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Special thanks to Kyrun Silva for agreeing to being recorded and for driving us to and from the convention.

FEATURED GUEST:

-Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics

FEATURED RECORDING EQUIPMENT:

-Tascam DR-40

FEATURED EXISTENTIAL WESTERN WEBCOMIC:

Long John

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Road Music” by D. Bethel
-“Bounce” by D. Bethel

Shortcast 73 – English Major Math

Shortcast 73 – English Major Math

Image Source: Blizzard

OPPORTUNITY DIABLOWN: At the end of the keynote presentation for this year’s BlizzCon––a convention devoted to game developer, Blizzard, created by game developer, Blizzard––the wildly successful PC developer announced a new entry into its long-running and beloved Diablo franchise: Diablo: Immortal. While ostensibly a new Diablo game, Diablo: Immortal is a phone game made not by Blizzard but by Chinese mobile developer, NetEase, and it was decidedly not the game fans wanted news about: Diablo IV. In a backlash of epic proportions, Blizzard has tried to course-correct which only dug them in deeper, D. Bethel and Andrew investigate the aloofness of Blizzard, the entitlement of fandom, and the hazy trouble in-between.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • Bethel, D. “The Week – 26 October 2018.Long John. ––Where D. Bethel wrote about people judging texts based on news, images, previews without actually seeing the final content.

Image: BBC. Text: D. Bethel

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2

Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2

With the first day of StocktonCon completed, Kyrun and D. Bethel begin the second day by getting in the car and driving down the 99 to Stockton. It’s early, they’re tired, they’re going wherever the conversation takes them.

While this morning conversation doesn’t touch on conventions or marketing strategies, they dive deep into a major aspect of comics culture: continuity. It’s at the heart of a lot of stories and in the hearts of a lot of fans, often to the point of taking despicable actions when a creative team makes changes that they don’t like.

They examine their own thoughts about the importance of continuity as well as why, it seems, so many people hold continuity with the highest possible value. Also, for some reason, the conversation dives deep into D. Bethel’s own biases when it comes to mainstream comics and how––and if––he overcame those biases.

OTHER EPISODES:

LINKS:

  • “Shortcast 45 – The Cure for Canon Shift”: An episode of A Podcast [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes where D. Bethel and Andrew Asplund have a long conversation about the necessity of (or problems caused by) continuity in fiction.
  • “Shortcast 68 – Swinging Gates”: An episode where D. Bethel and Andrew Asplund discuss “ComicsGate”, the vitriolic (and dangerous) reaction of some fans at attempts by the industry to include more diversity and modern sensibilities in mainstream comic books.

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Special thanks to Kyrun Silva for agreeing to this experiment (and for driving us to and from the convention). Thanks to Ben Schwartz of Empire’s Comics Vault for hosting the table.

FEATURED GUEST:

-Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics

FEATURED RECORDING EQUIPMENT:

-Tascam DR-40

FEATURED LOCAL COMIC SHOP:

Empire’s Comics Vault

FEATURED MORNING BEVERAGE:

-Hot Tea, Brand: Yorkshire Gold

FEATURED BAD X-COMIC ANNUALS CROSSOVER EVENT:

Shattershot

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Road Music” by D. Bethel

Shortcast 59 – Lizard Man Fantasies

Shortcast 59 – Lizard Man Fantasies

E3 2018: This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo has wrapped up and has brought a lot of conversation around the games announced and/or shown at the show. Andrew and D. talk about E3 as an expo/convention and the target it seems to be aiming at for the future as well as games they saw and were intrigued or excited by (including Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding, Cyberpunk 2077, and, yes, Fallout 76). Let us know your thoughts about the games from this E3, if you’d like––we’d love to hear what you thought of this year’s show.

RELATED EPISODES:

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • D.’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim comic about the Whiterun werewolves trying to persuade his character to join them…despite being a Khajit.

Click image for a larger version.

  • CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 trailer:

  • Noclip’s “Making of Fallout 76” documentary:

  • Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima trailer:

  • Kojima Production’s Death Stranding…trailer? Proof of concept? Fever dream?

  • Friend of the Show, Taylor Katcher, plays Fallout 4 while Andrew heckles:

Watch #Fallout4 Lessons With Andrew from TK4TCH on www.twitch.tv

Shortcast 31 – The Secret Was the Clap

Shortcast 31 – The Secret Was the Clap

WEEK IN GEEK: D. Bethel doubles up this time to talk about a personally exciting moment he experienced while at this year’s Alternative Press Expo in San Jose, CA, as well as seeing the new cinematic version of (half of) the Stephen King classic, It, while Andrew discusses playing SteamWorld Heist.

D. Bethel’s comprehensive recap of his time at APE 2017:

RELATED EPISODES:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Thunder Busters” by Wax Audio

Episode 146 – Bad Games Make Precedent

Episode 146 – Bad Games Make Precedent

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew pauses his walk down the Star Trek Nostalgia Trail and attended a day of PAX West (starts at 2:14) while Dan dips into the history of his favorite comic book franchise by reading Marvel Epic Collection Vol. 5: X-Men – Second Genesis which collects the early issues of the great X-Men reboot from 1975 when the “All-New, All-Different” X-men were added to the team (Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler) and started the 16-year run of writer Chris Claremont (18:17).

FINAL FANTASY VII AGAIN: (28:23) September 7th marked the 20th anniversary of Squaresoft’s (at the time, now Square Enix) breakthrough hit, Final Fantasy VII. Dan and Andrew talk less about the game itself and instead talk about the impact the game had on gaming and nerd culture.

NOTE: Sacramento’s Crocker Con | Art Mix is happening September 14th at the Crocker Art Museum at which D. Bethel will be exhibiting with his wares. Come by and say hi!

RELATED EPISODES:

WORKS CITED:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio

News Blast: Star Wars Celebration 2017!

News Blast: Star Wars Celebration 2017!

This weekend was Star Wars Celebration Orlando, the twelfth instance of the Star Wars Celebration experience. Star Wars Celebration is usually an opportunity for fans to get together and talk about their love of Star Wars. Of course, it’s also a great opportunity for the people that make Star Wars to unleash new content onto the world. This year was no different.

Perhaps the biggest news is the revelation of a trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

The Internet is already abuzz over the release of the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi. Mark Hamill drives the trailer as Luke Skywalker, providing the overall narration and a lot of heavy context to the “Last Jedi” aspect of the title. It sounds like the film will address the “balance of the Force” theme that first appeared in The Phantom Menace and has been further explored in Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels. I’ve already spent an undue amount of time trying to determine if Tom Baker found his way on to the cast list, given his role as the Bendu in Star Wars: Rebels. With a release expected this December, there’s already a lot of fan excitement developing for this title.

“Jedi and Sith wield the Ashla and Bogan. The light and the dark. I’m the one in the middle. The Bendu.”

In addition to the Episode VIII trailer, a preview for the upcoming fourth (and final!) season of Star Wars: Rebels was also released:

For those not following Star Wars: Rebels, it is the story of a cell of rebels fighting the Empire that become an essential part of the Rebel Alliance. The show has continued to provide a background for the formative years of the Rebel Alliance, and this final year appears to be no different. Season 3 villain Admiral Thrawn makes an appearance in the trailer (with what appears to be a silly General Veers style helmet) as does Katee Sackhoff’s character Bo-Katan, who was previously seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Forest Whitaker’s character Saw Gerrera also appeared briefly. With regard to thematic content, it appears that they will be addressing both the “balance of the Force” theme and the battle for Mandalore (which was an element of Sabine’s storyline from Season 3).

Probably the only character not featured (despite claims that her fate would be addressed) was Ahsoka Tano. As /Film’s Peter Sciretta points out, showrunner Dave Filoni seemed to tease the audience with a clever t-shirt swap during the Rebels event last weekend.

For not saying anything about Ahsoka during the event, he certainly seems to have said a bunch.

Given everything Star Wars that was unleashed in Orlando, it looks like 2017-18 will be a relatively big year for the franchise.

 

Episode 130 – Form a Constant Voltron

Episode 130 – Form a Constant Voltron

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew watched the live action remake of the Disney animated feature, Beauty and the Beast and D. Bethel discusses his experience at this year’s Sacramento Indie Arcade Expo.

REGRESSIVE RESURRXION: First, the comic book news cycle went nuts because the first post-Inhumans vs. X-Men book was released, X-Men Gold, which was then subsumed by the fact that people seemed to like it, which was then subsumed by the likelihood that X-Men Gold artist, Ardian Syaf, may have placed possibly intolerant symbology in not-so-hidden places throughout the book. Then it turned out that he definitely did that. It has been a roller coaster of news and insight into Indonesian politics (where Syaf resides) that has been mostly very sad and upsetting for X-Men fans.
*Extra Bit: Marius Thienenkamp of Comicsverse wrote a thoughtful analysis and retrospective of this entire affair.

THE TWO MASTERS: On the threshold of the debut of Doctor Who‘s Series 10, it was revealed that actor John Simm would be returning to the show in his former role as The Master, the longtime foe of the show’s titular hero. Last seen at David Tennant’s departure from the lead role, he returns during the tenure of his successor, Michelle Gomez as Missy. What this means for the episode(s) in which they appear together (the last one or two of the season), we can’t yet say, but both Dan and Andrew are pretty excited about it.

WORKS CITED:

LINKS:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio