C4: Central Coast Comic Con 2014

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C4: Central Coast Comic Con in Ventura is still in it’s infancy but it’s growing fast. This past weekend was only it’s 2nd year but it’s already twice as big as last year. Unfortunately, that made for several organizational issues and a lot of confusion in regards to panels, most of which were delayed, cancelled, or moved to another location with no warning, announcement, or signage.

While frustrating at times, I’m eager to see C4 become the Con I know it can be. I love little local Cons, they are usually the best place to talk to all of the local comic vendors in one place. Which is why I was kind of bummed that I really didn’t see any comic book stands. If there were any, they were tucked away where I missed them. It didn’t seem like a particularly good Con for most of the vendors, with the exception of the guy making balloon characters for tips (more on that talented gentleman later).

The highlight for me was definitely hanging out with my “ConFam” aka the artists and cosplayers and SoCal Con regulars that I see at every convention and love catching up with. So this wrap up will mostly be pictures of the cosplay and a few of the artists. I was planning to attend the Authors Panel but, alas, it was delayed, then moved, then cancelled altogether.

But I like to focus on the positive so….PICTURES! :)

Since it’s a Comic Con, let’s start off with Comic Book Cosplay, shall we?

Last year Lonstermash cosplayed as Rocky Balboa, complete with bloody boxing wounds and an American flag. This year he went with his classic movie Wolverine while representing at the Agents of COSPLAY table. He has several creative variations of the Wolverine costume and is probably the most famous Logan cosplayer out there.

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This female Deadpool really broke the fourth wall.

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Mini Silver Surfer!

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Cap, with and without background creeper.

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Author John Mulhall got in on the photobombing. Cyclops’ handler was not amused.

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You look like you could use some DC, how about we switch over to the other major comic universe.

This is Smile-X Villain Co. They did the world’s best Batman/Rogue’s Gallery photo shoot ever a few months back. A photo shoot that I will post about at some point but the pictures keep slowly filtering in and I want to make sure I get them all before I post about it. Smile-X has several versions of their costumes, including Classic, PJ’s, and Punk Rock (pictured here).

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Most of the members of Smile-X Villain Co. met at C4 last year so this past weekend marked their one year anniversary as a cosplay troupe. Happy Anniversary, Smile-X!

Dylan, the ringleader of Smile-X Villain Co. and a delightfully creepy Joker.

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My favorite Riddler is Ian aka Pieced Together Cosplay. I couldn’t choose between all of the awesome pictures I took of him this weekend, so here they all are:

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Classic!

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With MEEEEEE!

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The Bat (The Bat Cosplay) debuting his new blue accessories and The Cat (Gotham Sirens Cosplay) in her classic Burton garb.

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Speaking of enemies….this Clark Kent seemed really surprised that I wanted to take his picture. You’re disguise doesn’t fool me, Superman!

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WONDAAAAH WOOOOMAAAAN!!! And a pirate thrown in just for kicks.

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I complemented this Two-Face on his makeup job and he pointed at his mother and proudly proclaimed that she’d done it. Well done, Mom, well done.

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The family that cosplays together, stays together. We’ll transition from Comics to Sci-Fi with this lovely Loki/Firefly loving family.

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Multi-pass!

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I am the law!

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I didn’t notice that the trooper on the right was a mannequin until after I got home and started going through my pictures. I thought he seemed a little tall for a Stormtrooper.

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This guy makes custom action figures, wears awesome t-shirts, and has some badass figure tats.

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The Star Trek Enterprise D Bridge Restoration project was there and took tons of pictures of various cosplayers (including these classic Treksters) in the Transporter Room. Check them out on their facebook page!

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These guys from the Umbrella Corporation couldn’t figure out how to get it to work.

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I found this Dalek wandering around and tricked it into getting on the Transporter pad so that I could beam it to another dimension and thus EXTERMINATE it!

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But it caught up with me just as I was exiting the TARDIS (btw, this picture was taken by Bulk of the Mighty Morphine Power Rangers while we were perusing the floor, more on that later).

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Luckily the War Doctor was there to help me out.

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After which we headed back to the TARDIS (Hello, Sexy!)

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And hung out with K-9 for awhile.

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I can’t decide what my next car should be. Put your vote in the comments!

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How about this one? It comes complete with Heroes in a half shell!

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Or, if you’d prefer, half-clothed.

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I asked this mini-Popeye if he was eating all of his spinach. His reaction? *shrug*

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This little lady was totes adorbs.

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These guys are so critical of EVERYTHING.

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What a nightmare these two were.

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Speaking of nightmares…I practically jumped behind John Mulhall’s Geddy’s Moon backdrop when this chick turned to stare at me.

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Luckily there was a Goblin King nearby.

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Did someone say Goblins?

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Don’t know. Don’t care. They’re perty.

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Alpha 6 and Zordon from Mighty Morphine Power Rangers.

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Speaking of Power Rangers, there were a TON of them there. I even ended up hanging out with a bunch of them at a bar one night. Turns out that my friend and Podthingy cohost, John Mulhall, is a friend of Jason Narvy who played “Skull” on the show. So I got to hang out with Bulk (Paul Schrier) and Skull for the weekend. I even helped Bulk pick out a souvenir for his girlfriend, hence why he took my picture in front of the TARDIS – which was hilarious because I could see people recognize him but they didn’t want to interrupt him while he was taking my picture. When they did finally get a chance to approach him, he was very gracious and welcoming. Both Jason and Paul are pretty much the complete opposite of their characters on the show. Nice guys through and through.

Skull Bulk Power Rangers C4 2014Speaking of John Mulhall, he had a Geddy’s Moon booth there. If you haven’t read his book yet, you really should. It’s a fantastic supernatural thriller.

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Jason Beckwith’s graphic novel Taking Eden is a recent new fave of mine and I desperately need to write a review of it and his other books so that you’ll all realize just how awesome they are and buy them from him.

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B. Alex Thompson, writer of Hass. Love him!

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I mentioned before that the balloon guy probably had the best Con experience of all of the Vendors. Geek Outlaw and I first met Donald Tran and his girlfriend when they were walking thorugh the halls of San Diego Comic Con with these amazing balloon creations on their heads. We had to stop and check them out. Turns out that SDCC was his first Con and C4 was only his second! He got such a great response to his head gear that he decided to have a booth. He worked for tips and was crazy busy the entire weekend popping out all manner of comic book, fantasy, and sci-fi creations for kids and adults alike. Naturally, I had to get a Mjolnir, which I later gave to my 5-year-old neighbor :)

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Seriously, I’m a big fan of Donald Tran. Here’s a video of him finishing up my Mjolnir.

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The most unexpected and wonderful person I met this past weekend, was legendary MAD Magazine (amongst other things) cartoonist Sergio Aragones. And it was his birthday! He’s 77 years young and the sweetest man you could ever hope to meet. I adore him.

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That wraps up my coverage of C4! Thanks for checking it out! Here’s hoping that 2015 C4 is bigger and better and a bit more organized :) I truly appreciate the tremendous effort of everyone who tried to make the event as smooth as possible, it was obviously a labor of love for them.

2014 Geekie Awards

Author John Mulhall + Rock Star Blayne Alexander + Hot Nerd Girl + Geek Outlaw = Podthingy

Author John Mulhall + Rock Star Blayne Alexander + Hot Nerd Girl + Geek Outlaw = Podthingy!

I just had the pleasure of attending the 2nd annual Geekie Awards, an awards show for geeks by geeks founded by Kristen Nedopak and hosted by Khail Anonymous. The purpose of The Geekie Awards is to honor the nerdier parts of pop culture that are often ignored by other larger and more mainstream award shows. The categories include: Lifetime Achievement, Geek of the Year, Geek Cred, Indie Video Game, Art & Craft, Comics & Graphic Novels, Cosplay, Podcasts & Vlogs, Short Films, Websites & Blogs, Trailers & Videos, Fashion & Armor, Tabletop Games, Personality, and the big award of the night, Web Series.

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Aside from an uncomfortably hot two hours on the black carpet (seriously, despite drinking water I started seeing stars at one point and had to sit down for a few minutes before I passed out in Manu Bennett’s arms – which, in hind sight, I probably should have just rolled with) and a few technical issues with the mics, the entire experience was a joyous voyage to my happy place. I love nothing more than to talk nerd with fellow geeks and it was an entire evening of doing just that. Nerdvana indeed. I also spotted and chatted with many of the same people I see at all of the local Cons so it was a blast seeing them in a different venue. Many of them were cosplayers there to bring out the statues during the show so they were in full costume making it easy for me to identify them. They, on the other hand, often took a second before they recognized me thanks to the fact that I was decked out in a dress and high heels. VERY different from my usual attire of jeans, t-shirt, and Chucks.

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Let’s start with the aforementioned black carpet, shall we? For this I teamed up with my NerdBFF, Geek Outlaw, to tackle and talk to the various celebrities, presenters, and nominees. To watch all of the black carpet interviews and shenanigans (gods, I love that word), check out the video here:

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Some photo highlights from the black carpet!

Eric Won (Writer, Director, Producer) and Trip Hope (Executive Producer) of The Division, nominated for Best Web Series.

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Kaj-Erik Eriksen (See No Evil 2; The 4400) Presenter, Best Art or Craft

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Vic Mignogna (Executive Producer and star) of Star Trek Continuesnominated for Best Web Series. I had a BLAST geeking out about Star Trek with him!

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Vic Holtreman (Owner) of Screen Rant, nominated for Best Website or Blog. We had a more in-depth conversation with him at the after party about how he started the site.

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Jason Ritter (Parenthood; Gravity Falls) Presenter to LeVar Burton

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Robert Carradine (Revenge of the Nerds; King of the Nerds) Presenter, Best Website or Blog

P1050388cropRandy Couture (The Expendables 2 & 3) and Mindy Robinson (King of the Nerds) Presenters, Best Trailer or Video

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Greg Grunberg (Alias, Heroes, Masters of Sex, SocialTronLive) Presenter, Best Tabletop Game

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Amy Dallen (Host) and Jenni Powell (Producer) of Talkin’ Comics Weekly, nominated for Best Podcast or Vlog

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Lauren Bregman of Castle Corsetry, nominated for Best Fashion or Armor

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Jenny Lorenzo (Host) Aggressive Comix Presents: Geekgasm, nominated for Best Personality

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Tony Swatton (Star, Master Blacksmith) for Man at Arms, nominated for Best Web Series

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Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds; King of the Nerds) Presenter, Best Website or Blog

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Manu Bennett (Arrow, The Hobbit trilogy, Spartacus) Presenter, Best Personality

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Bonnie Gordon and Lina Carollo (The Quest)

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Brian Bielawski, Co-Founder and Chairman of Gam3rCon

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Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy trilogy, Falling Skies) Presenter, Best Cosplay

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LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Reading Rainbow) Geek of the Year Honoree. His super cute daughter and I bonded over our mutual love of Thor and my Mjolnir earrings while her Dad was being interviewed further down the line.

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And, of course, the real star of the black carpet: The Batmobile

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Once the black carpet portion was over we were whisked inside to the press area in the mezzanine. Luckily, John and Blayne had already secured seats for us so we were right up next to the railing with a great view of the stage.

Lifetime Achievement

Presenter: Stan Lee

Recipient: Gale Anne Hurd

First up was a pre-recorded video of Stan Lee (his health seems to be a bit precarious lately but he looked great in the clip!) presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award (last year he was the first recipient) to Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead, Terminator).

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Gale gave a rather lengthy but charming acceptance speak that included walking us through the definition and the history of the word “geek” and describing her childhood as a nerd before being a nerd was cool.

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Geek of the Year

Presenter: Jason Ritter

Recipient: LeVar Burton

Next was the Geek of the Year presented by Jason Ritter to LeVar Burton. As a bonus, Greg Grunberg and someone from Gibson guitars, came out to present Burton with a guitar of his very own. A major highlight? When he busted out the theme song to Reading Rainbow.

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Geek Cred

Presenter: Malik Forte

Recipient: Oculus VR (accepted via a pre-taped video message)

In between the categories and during what was technically the commercial breaks of the show, we were treated to some trailers and funny filmed comedy bits. One of the most entertaining of which was Barry Dragonman. A dragon who found early success on The Munsters, then got sucked into the world of partying, alcohol, and drugs, eventually going broke. He later found success again appearing in “Lizardnado” and Game of Thrones. It was a feel good story. Turns out the guy who played Barry was sitting right next to us.

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Best Video Game

Presenters: Alison Haislip & Maude Garrett

Nominees:
Axle
Outlast
Octodad: The Dadliest Catch
Don’t Starve
The Banner Saga

Winner: The Banner Saga

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Best Art or Craft

Presenter: Kaj-Erik Eriksen & Anthony C. Ferrante

Nominees:
House of Darkly
Sienna Morris
Art of Kudaman
Kindra Nikole Photography
The Work of J.W. Kinsey’s Artifice

Winner: The Work of J.W. Kinsey’s Artifice

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Best Comic or Graphic Novel

Presenters: Jason Charles Miller & Wendy Pini

Nominees:
Oh, Hell
Boston Metaphysical Society 
The Man of Many Shades
Wicker
Ruin

Winner: Oh, Hell

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Best Cosplay

Presenter: Doug Jones

Nominees:
Trolloc Fist (The Wheel of Time)
Big Daddy Bouncer(Bioshock)
Totoro Ball Gown 
Steampunk Rowena Ravenclaw  (Harry Potter)  
Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)

Winner: Big Daddy Bouncer (Bioshock)

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This is the part where a baby T-Rex came out and Doug Jones had to awkwardly inform him that he’d already gotten the part in Jurassic World. Check out the clip and hilarious baby T-Rex impression HERE:

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Some stills:

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Best Podcast or Vlog

Presenter: Lucky Yates & Rob Paulsen

Nominees:
Gecken
Talkin’ Comics Weekly
We’re Alive – A Story of Survival
AMC Movie Talk
Sword and Laser

Winner: Talkin’ Comics Weekly

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Best Short Film

Presenters: Mark Ordesky & Jane Fleming

Nominees:
The Hitchhiker
Future Hero
Splinter Cell Extraction
Kepler X-47
The Field of Vision

Winner: The Hitchhiker

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At this point the Founder of The Geekie Awards, Kristen Nedopak, came out to give her spiel.

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Best Website or Blog

Presenters: Curtis Armstrong & Robert “Bobby” Carradine

Nominees:
The Escapist
International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club
Set to Stunning
Screen Rant
Geek Girl Authority

Winner: Screen Rant

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To watch Curtis and Bobby talk about being the oldest nerds there and other funniness, check out a snippet of their interaction (including a hilarious in-character laugh from Bobby) HERE:

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Best Trailer or Video

Presenter: Randy Couture & Mindy Robinson

Nominees:
Nothing to Prove – Geek Girls & The Doubleclicks
Wonder Woman
Brielle and the Horror: The Graphic Novel Trailer
The Doctor Games (Parody Trailer)                
Legends of the Knight

Winner: Legends of the Knight

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For some reason this segued into a rather awkward bit in which the host brought Catwoman onto the stage and asked for a volunteer from the audience who would like to be whipped. I have a feeling that this looked a lot better on paper. But, hey, we’re geeks and we’re awkward, so I guess it was kind of perfect in a way.

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Best Fashion or Armor

Presenter: Jessica Merizan & HipHop Stormtrooper

Nominees:
Kayla Stojek / Zombie Peepshow
Lauren Bregman / Castle Corsetry
John McGovern / Sharp Mountain Weather
Catherine Kim / IAMKNIGHT
Donna Ricci / Clockwork Couture

Winner: Lauren Bregman / Castle Corsetry

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Best Tabletop Game

Presenters: Greg Grunberg & Brea Grant

Nominees:
Little Wizards
Forbidden Desert
Dread Curse
Council of Verona
Belfort

Winner: Belfort
(They were a no-show so the award was accepted by Greg Grunberg, who also helpfully reminded us that this year marks the 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons)

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Best Personality

Presenters: Manu Bennett (who took it upon himself to moon us…not that I’m complaining) & Olga Kay

Nominees:
Kim Horcher
Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox
Jenny Lorenzo
Jenna Busch
Danni Danger

Winner: Jenny Lorenzo

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Best Web Series

Presenters: Mychal Thompson & Meghan Camarena

Nominees:
Caper
Star Trek Continues
The Record Keeper
The Division
AWEme “Man at Arms”

Winner: Star Trek Continues

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We were then treated to a performance by Songhammer before spending a few minutes hanging out at the after party where we chatted some more with Doug Jones and a few of the winners.

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All in all, a delightful experience that I very much hope to repeat next year!

For more information about The Geekie Awards go HERE!