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:

[youtube:http://youtu.be/ecgMvAwbpKc]

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.

Geekie Awards Black Carpet

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:

[youtube:http://youtu.be/CSH01zHy40E]

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:

[youtube:http://youtu.be/CSH01zHy40E]

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 1) – Panels and Floor

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Comic-Con!!!

Geek Mecca!

Or as the insightful and witty Dennis Calero dubbed it – Nerdi Gra!

There’s too much for one post so I’m breaking it up into a three-part wrap-up. This first one will have the Panels and the Floor. The second and third posts will have the cosplay and the outside stuff including, the Outlander premier, the Joss Whedon Nerd HQ panel, the Norman Reedus/Greg Nicotero judged cosplay contest at the Courtyard Marriott, and miscellaneous Shenanigans.

Let’s get started with the cosplaying I did. My friend and HNG Podcast cohost Darcy and I decided to coordinate so on Thursday I dressed up as Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Darcy dressed up as my Groupie. He even made a custom shirt with my face on it! Which was equal parts weird and awesome. AND we won our category in a costume contest! (more on that later)

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On Friday I slapped on my tried and true Captain Mal costume, and Darcy dressed up as Jayne “The Hero of Canton” Cobb from Firefly.

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PANELS!

I completely skipped Hall H this year. I had originally planned to camp out on Friday night for the Saturday Marvel panel, but Mama Jedi and I were scheduled to attend the Outlander premier and, what with the new wristband system, it just didn’t work out. To be honest, I’m not that bummed about it. Besides, I got to see some really great panels sans stress so I’m a happy (non) camper. Here’s a funny picture of Mama Jedi and Darcy waiting in line for the first panel of the day on Thursday morning.

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Well played, Darcy. Well played.

The Legacy and Return of Battlestar Galactica

Panelists: Richard Hatch, Jamie Bamber, Dr. Kevin Grazier, Luciana Carro, Alec Peters

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Jamie Bamber ended up missing this panel, unfortunately. Something about being late and stuck in traffic, I dunno, I can’t remember. They were hopeful he’d show up during the panel and he didn’t, so whatever. They talked about the differences between the old show and the reboot and wanted to know our ideas for a Battlestar Galactica movie – except that the writers and producers didn’t really want to know our ideas which they made pretty obvious pretty quickly. Richard Hatch obviously loves the fans and HE really wanted to know what the fans wanted. What did the fans want? To bitch. We did get to see a trailer for Hatch’s next project, Star Trek: Axanar which looked quite interesting. To be honest, what I remember most about this panel was that I chugged a giant bottle of Starbucks Refreshers and a 5 Hour Energy right before the panel started and I had to pee really bad about halfway through.

Sharknado 2: The Second One

Panelists: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Kari Wuhrer, Judah Friedlander, Anthony C. Ferrante

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I have never seen Sharknado and I didn’t watch Sharknado 2 when it debuted on SyFy this past week either. I was forced to sit through this panel in order to get a good seat for the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along immediately following. As you can see, Tara Reid and Kari Wuhrer (I don’t know who that is) were missing even though I saw them in later SDCC pictures with the rest of the cast. The best part about this panel was that Darcy and I had just partaken in a few “Thor’s Hammer(ed)” cocktails over at the Top of the Hyatt bar immediately beforehand and were pretty buzzed. The drunkenness helped make this panel pretty awesome, actually.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along

Presented by the California Browncoats

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Darcy and I were getting really into our Captain Hammer and Groupie characters, so we decided to go to the annual Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along. I’ve always wanted to go and we were celebrating Darcy’s birthday belatedly so we thought it would be a fun way to kick off the festivities. Turns out they do a costume contest beforehand and, fueled by the previously mentioned alcohol and the encouragement of my Podthingy cohost, author John Mulhall, I nutted up and joined in the fun with Darcy as my Groupie “prop.” A California Browncoat chose three cosplayers for each category (Dr. Horrible, Captain Hammer, Penny, Other) and I was one of the three chosen for Captain Hammer (there were a lot of us including two other girls). Despite the fact that my heart was beating about a million miles per minute and my knees were shaking, my old theatre training kicked in and I fell right into character. You can’t tell from the above pictures, but I spouted lines, I gestured, I rallied the crowd – all kinds of fun stuff. And I won the Captain Hammer contest! W00t! Next was the Best In Show and, despite my best efforts, my arch nemesis, Dr. Horrible won. But afterwards I choked him to the ground so, you know, it worked out. Turns out that I was so entertaining that John completely forgot to take pictures! Thankfully, fellow audience member Fred took the above pictures with his cell phone and emailed them to me. Thanks, Fred!! I then took Darcy out for birthday shenanigans. More on that in the second post.

Outlander

Panelists: Ronald D. Moore, Diana Gabaldon, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish, Lotte Verbeek

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On Friday I got there early to wait in line for Room 6A and was treated to an awesome SCA demonstration. I think that SDCC would be way more awesome if every wait in line had one of these. One of the main reasons why I waited in line was to catch the Outlander panel since I’ve read and am a big fan of the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon (I got Mama Jedi hooked on them as well) and would be attending the premier later that evening. I’ll talk more about Outlander in the second SDCC post when I do the coverage of the premier, handsome men in kilts, etc.

A&E Bates Motel

Panelists: Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell, Kenny Johnson

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Sadly, I don’t watch Bates Motel, but after seeing the panel, I definitely want to! They did a hilarious “audition video” montage that had me in stitches. We also got to see clips from the show dubbed in Spanish by Freddie Highmore (who just graduated with highest honors from Cambridge). Kenny Johnson was a surprise guest and it was revealed that his character, Caleb, would be a regular this next season. Turns out he’s a former pro-arm wrestler and we got to see him throw down with some audience members.

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What’s that? You want to see a video of the entire arm wrestling competition? Ok, here you go:

[youtube:http://youtu.be/F8BcR_DVEFg]

History: Vikings Blood Legacy

Panelists: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Hirst, Julian Hobbs

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Mama Jedi and I were particularly excited to see this panel since we’ve been trying to get to a Vikings panel for a couple of years now without success. It’s one of our favorite shows, especially since we’re Norwegian and we know the myths, legends, and history behind the people and stories used on the show. All of the actors seemed very sweet and down to earth. Travis Fimmel may or may not have been high – it’s hard to tell, maybe he’s just really, REALLY chill….? They even played with the audience beforehand, taking turns poking their heads out of the curtain before they were introduced. Alexander Ludwig ran down and joined us in the audience to see the extended trailer since he’d never seen it before and was really excited about it. Adorkable. Some crazy stuff is going to go down in season 3! The invasion of France and the true start of the Viking Age. And there will definitely be a season 4! Also, a beloved main character is going to die. Any guesses of who it will be?

FLOOR!

There are certain artists that I’ve gotten to know over the course of many, many Southern California conventions and I love visiting and hanging out with them. When Geek Outlaw and I did our 2nd ever booth at Long Beach Comic Expo a few months ago we were neighbors with Jason Beckwith who has a dark and gripping graphic novel called Taking EdenWe bonded over being shoved in a far, dark corner of the Floor we dubbed “The Batcave” and have been facebook friends ever since. When he announced that he’d gotten a last minute called from Comic Con International that they had a booth for him, he was the first person I went to visit.

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I then headed over to Lord Mesa‘s booth. He happens to be my sister-in-law’s favorite artist so I picked up some prints from her including some DC mini’s, a Supernatural print and this kick ass Twelve/Clara Doctor Who print.

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One of my personal favorites, Patrick Ballesteros, was just a few tables down from Lord Mesa so I headed over there next. He’s got some amazing new mini’s and prints that are so cute and adorkable I seriously just want the whole lot of them.

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Karen Hallion (you see her Disney/Doctor Who crossover art on Teefury shirts all the time) happened to be right across the aisle from Jason Beckwith. Waaay back in 2010 we discussed collaborating on an HNG t-shirt, then we both got slammed and she became a very well-earned and well-deserved Teefury goddess extraordinaire. It was so lovely to finally meet her in person.

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Every year I have to swing by actor/screenwriter/comic writer Todd Stashwick and artist Dennis Calero‘s booth to pick up the latest Devil Inside graphic novel and get my annual picture. One of these years I’m going to make it to their after party.

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My friend Karen (aka the “real” Luann) is the daughter and heir apparent of Greg Evans, creator of the Luann comic strip I grew up reading and loving (imagine my surprise when I learned who he was after hanging out at his house more than a few times!) Karen is not just a friend, she’s a fellow writing enthusiast and has begun working on the strip full-time.

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After escaping from a Falling Skies alien cocoon….

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I got rid of a few White Walkers

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And kept Smaug asleep…

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We then met up with buddies and Podthingy cohosts John Mulhall and Blayne Alexander for some non-sitting, non-standing fun times.

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We shared some of Sad Batman‘s pain.

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Here’s the new Affleck cowl and cape by the way…

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And for the Marvel fans, one of the mining ships from Knowhere

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There was tons of stuff going on outside as well, including a bunch of Simpson’s activities, a Gotham cityscape complete with zipline, and a Godzilla area with (count ’em) TWO photo ops.

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The Godzilla graffiti wall.

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That’s where my friend, photographer Tre’ Ridings was doing his thing. We met up with him and did the Phhhoto op first (that’s where it creates a multiple picture/gif-type thing.

Then I remembered that I was dressed like Captain Hammer and shouldn’t act scared, so I stayed in character for the second, more traditional photo op.

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I still found myself running away from this guy though.

HNG fake run

Darcy lives on a farm and didn’t get to celebrate his birthday properly, so on Thursday night I gathered a group of some of the funnest folks I know and we jumped around to a couple of bars to celebrate with some kind of alcohol/whipped cream concoction.

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By the time we got to the second bar, I was drunk enough that funny-faced selfies with all of the guys sounded like a fabulous idea. I have some of my best ideas while I’m drunk.

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Happy Birthday, Darcy!! 🙂

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That’s it for Part 1! Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 on my San Diego Comic Con wrap-up!