Sunday, July 31, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a Good Propaganda Poster?

Featured on Laughing Squid, but I love me all kind of retro propaganda posters. Seems appropriate that social media get a propaganda make-over.

Great design by Aaron Wood.

Knights of Badassdom Trailer

Got back from Comic Con a week ago, and totally missed the panel where this trailer was shown. Luckily, Laughing Squid posted it earlier in the week. It looks like such a nerdy, good time! I've never LARPed but now I'd be interested in checking it out. How do I even find such a thing?

Coming to a theater near you (hopefully) in Spring 2012.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

w00tstock: Comic Con Edition

One of my top 3 events at Comic Con this year has to be the w00stock 3.0. The Better Half and I saw a w00tstock in Portland last year and it blew my mind -- I had no idea how much live, nerdy goodness could happen in one place in one night.

If you haven't heard about w00tstock yet, the basic idea is 3+ hours of music, stories, and video shorts focused on nerd culture. Musicians Paul & Storm organized this round in the geek capital (for 1 week a year), also starring Wil Wheaton (Eureka, Leverage, The Guild, and of course STNG) and Adam Savage (Mythbusters). Each version of w00tstock mixes up all the other players, sometimes including local/regional performers.

Version 3.0 featured ukulele & YouTube phenom Molly Lewis:

Mike Phirman (of Hard n' Phirm):

And video shorts between acts, like Axe Cop (art by a 29 year-old; story by his 5 year-old brother -- it's awesome):

Others too, but I don't have links or names to all of them.

I laughed my butt off for so long my cheeks hurt when I left.

I've already vowed to the Better Half that if there's a w00tstock to be seen on the West Coast (perhaps further if time/money permits), we're there. In the words of Paul & Storm's classic "Frogger! The Frogger Musical:"

Now that you have got my back
I see a new plan of attack
And suddenly the path is clear
The way to get to there from here

From the turtle to croc to stump
Getting closer with every jump
We reach the end somehow
Then I look in your eyes
And now I’m home…

(Lighter's/cell phones waving in the air)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Guildversary!

At some point I'll write a longer post about my admiration of Felicia Day, Queen of the Geeks, but today is a special anniversary: 4 years ago, the first episode the web series The Guild was released. I wish I could say that I was there when it started, but I'm glad I discovered it last summer. I watched the first 3 seasons before ever playing an MMORPG and thought it was fun and funny. I watched the whole thing again after playing World of Warcraft for about 4 months and loved it.

In hindsight, watching the webisodes may be what finally pushed me into trying an online multi-player game. Cool girls play too! Those look like people I'd want to be in a guild with and maybe even know in real life!

The Guild panel was the only one I made it to at Comic Con over the weekend. We stood in line with several other thousand people. It was totally worth it, technical difficulties and all.

Season 5 started yesterday, and Felicia Day is busier than ever. She's the poster child (no pressure) for illustrating that web-created shows can and do work. Personally, I think The Guild is an even better example of how fan support, crowd-sourced funding, and use of social media tools to market & get the word out can make an incredible difference.

Happy 4th Guildversary!

If you watch the show, check out this behind-the-scenes from design specialist Greg Aronowitz. Great pictures and clips!

And I leave you with this. It's true, my avatar is hotter than reality by far:

Life After Comic Con - Part 1

It's been months since I've been to the blog. I would feel bad, but honestly wasn't too motivated to share anything recently. I even saw X-men: First Class and some other relevant movie that I've already forgotten. I haven't read any comics, watched any geeky TV (well, Fringe, but I think I've espoused on that quite a bit already), gotten involved in any creative projects - crafts or otherwise, or gone to any nerdcentric events. Until now!

As some may recall -- I certainly do -- I missed the annual "Nerd Prom" otherwise known as San Diego Comic Con in 2010 due to conflicting health issues. I couldn't even follow the coverage from the interwebz as it depressed the hell out of me to know I was missing something/everything. So, I was pretty motivated to get back this year.

But here's the thing, over the ~15 years I've been attending, Comic Con has changed a lot. And I suppose so have I too. I could totally fall into the "back in my day" spiel, but that's not really what I want to say (and honestly, others have likely said it better). No, what I found was a more personal reflection on where I am at in my life, and how much I miss the creative/artistic/expressive elements that I find when at events like Comic Con. While no one can accuse me of being an artist, I certainly miss the creative outlets of my past.

When I first attended Comic Con, I thought for sure I'd be working in the industry, or at least industry-adjacent, by now. I worked for years in comic book stores, hanging out with other fans, but also meeting artists, writers, and others who work in some kind of creative industry. I worked for friends with artistic vision on their projects, playing a supporting role but proud to contribute. But as we got busy, and the demand for a more "professional" job emerged, connections to that creative element have largely disappeared. My career lead me down a much more analytic, process-oriented path. And I suppose like many who work in an intellectual field, I feel disconnected from actually producing something. I mean, beyond a PowerPoint report.

Going to Comic Con really called that out for me. Surrounded by tremendous talent, looking at the books produced & art created, hearing about projects initiated & almost complete, watching friends, acquaintances, and strangers push forward their work, their mark on the world left me feeling...meh.

So, dear readers (all 2 of you!), here I am. Promising myself to take some steps to find that creative side and finding new places I can lend my support. And doing my best to share the journey along the way.