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!

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (Part 3) – Joss Whedon Nerd HQ and Outlander Premier

Hot Nerd Girl Outlander

Welcome to Part 3 of my San Diego Comic-Con wrap-up! This section is all about the Joss Whedon Nerd HQ panel-turned-last-minute-Mystery-Guest-panel and the Outlander premier.

If you missed Part 1 go HERE. If you missed Part 2 go HERE.

NERD HQ

Hayden (Geek Outlaw), Podthingy cohost John MulhallHNG Podcast cohost Darcy Villere, and I were all really excited to nab tickets to the Joss Whedon Nerd HQ panel. Nerd HQ panels are quickly becoming the hottest ticket in town during SDCC and the tickets sell out, literally, in the blink of an eye. I’m not joking. I blinked and the tickets for The Walking Dead and Nathan Fillion panels were GONE. Joss had been our first choice though so we were happy just to walk away with tickets to his “Conversation for a Cause” benefiting Operation Smile. Then, the day before the panel, a rumor started circulating that Joss had been laid up with a sudden knee surgery and wouldn’t be able to make it. We had no idea if they would cancel the panel or Skype Joss in or try to make it up to us by bringing in someone else. It turned into the ultimate Mystery Panel (though my bet was always on Nathan Fillion). We had no idea right up until the moment we took our seats and the show started.

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It turned out that I was right and out walked Nathan Fillion, quickly followed by Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Chloe Bennet (Agents of SHIELD), Seth Green, and Alan Tudyk.

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During the very first audience question my phone buzzed with a text message from Darcy who was sitting on the other side of the theater with John. Turns out Hayden and I were on camera the entire time the girl was asking her question and Darcy snapped a picture of it.

Hot Nerd Girl Nerd HQ The Nerd Machine

One of the audience members got more than she bargained for when she tried to ask a question. First Liam showed that he was paying rapt attention.

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Then everyone else decided to join him. With the exception of Seth who decided it was more important to take pictures for posterity.

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Then, about halfway through – tada!- Joss Whedon turned up via Skype from his bed in London where they were just finishing up filming Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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And proved that he is, indeed, the Puppet Master.

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Watch the entire Nerd HQ Conversation with Joss Whedon and Mystery Panel here (keep an eye out for me and Geek Outlaw at 10:52):

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STARZ OUTLANDER PREMIER

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Yes, I’m dressed like Captain Malcolm Reynolds. We came straight from Comic-Con, mmmkay?

I’ve been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember and, as a result, I quickly got tired of books meant for my age group and was always on the lookout for books that would challenge me. This is why, when I was around the age of 14 or so, my Dad handed me a book that my Stepmom had recommended to him and said “here, read this, I think you’ll like it.” That book was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and I was smitten. It took several more years but I eventually convinced Mama Jedi to give it a try and she quickly became as enraptured by the story of Jamie and Claire as I was. Outlander is one of those books that I’ve recommended to more people than I can count. Whenever someone asked me what book I would want to make into a movie, I never hesitated to say Outlander. So it was quite fitting that two Star Trek alums (I’m a Trekkie in case you’re new here), Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Behr, made it happen in a way that honors the spirit and vision of the world Gabaldon created.

First we waited in a rather lengthy line and completely skipped Hall H in order to check out the SDCC panel. Panelists: Ronald D. Moore (Producer), Diana Gabaldon (Writer), Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall), Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser), Tobias Menzies (Frank Randall/Black Jack Randall), Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie), Lotte Verbeek (Geillis Duncan)

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Turns out, in Scotland, Gaelic is pronounced “Gall-ick” not “Gay-lick.” I learn something new every day. We also learned that they thought it would be most difficult to cast the part of Jamie but it turns out they found Heughan pretty quickly and ended up having the hardest time casting Claire. Like me, Gabaldon was not initially impressed with Heughan’s look and couldn’t picture him as Jamie (I believe she initially called him “hideous” – ha!), but then she saw him in the part and he grew on her (me too). Moore has included Gabaldon pretty much every step of the way, resulting in a TV series that Gabaldon is both excited about and proud of. Gabaldon and George RR Martin are good friends and will often commiserate with and try to one-up each other. For example, it seems that Martin is quite jealous that Outlander has 16 episodes instead of just ten. We even got a highly amusing kilt twirl from Ron Moore.

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Mama Jedi and I also visited the Outlander booth in the Exhibitor Hall a few times. Which had everything to do with checking out the period props and nothing at all to do with the handsome men in kilts *ahem*

Hot Nerd Girl Outlander SDCC

Thanks to a little help from Geek Outlaw, we managed to nab a couple of passes to the Starz World Premier at the Spreckels Theatre just a few blocks down from the Convention Center.

Outlander invite

The crowd was impressive, as was the plaid carpet.

Outlander World Premier

Once inside, we were forced, forced I tell you, to walk through the lobby between two rows of even more handsome men in kilts standing on logs and boulders looking all tall and manly. Mama Jedi was a bit twitterpated, methinks. I almost tripped and fell flat on my face at one point because I was too busy looking at all of the studliness surrounding me and not even remotely paying attention to where I was going. I have no idea if anyone saw that. I’m really hoping that nobody saw that.

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Luckily our seats were on the aisle…

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… so we had a great view of the theatre and the screen with its bevy of Scottish Highlander historical FAQ.

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The women behind and to the right of us seemed to be in a group together and they were pretty much obsessed with getting pictures of the actors. Every time I looked over my shoulder all I saw was a sea of glowing smart phone screens.

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When the actors finally did walk in, every woman (and some of the men) jumped to their feet and surged forward. I was slightly concerned for the actor’s safety, but the fans ended up behaving themselves. Can you tell how amused I was by all of this by the fact that I took pictures of the people as opposed to pictures of the actors?

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The one exception I made was Tobias Menzies who walked by right next to me and was so close that this was the picture I got and my camera wasn’t even zoomed in.

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The show started with some intro music by three lovely and talented female bagpipe players.

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The first episode did not disappoint. It is available to watch HERE for those who are interested (trust me, be interested).

We were then treated to a Q&A with the same folks we saw on the Comic-Con panel…

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… and an almost flash from Graham McTavish.

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After which we got a proverbial cherry topper to our Outlander ice cream in the form of a musical performance from none other than composer Bear McCreary himself.

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All in all, a fabulous experience well worth skipping dinner for.

And that wraps up my 2014 San Diego Comic-Con wrap-up! Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you at the next Con!

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Here’s Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them.