Half-Ass Roundtable IV - This One's For You, 2012!

By tomorrow the year will have passed so Cole, Andrew, and Stu just had to get half-assed!

Ten months later a second Half-Ass Roundtable for 2012 has been convened!  In fact it is only the fourth HAR to have been produced since the show was founded in June of last year.  In 2013 it is our hope to rectify the twice-a-year trend and bring you a minimum of four Roundtables annually. 

This show is essentially listener driven and as such we need your help.  Half-Ass Roundtable is a challenge for seasoned podcasters who are faced with putting forth a full half-hour show without any foreknowledge of the topic at hand.  The topics are provided by you, our listeners (send yours to mrsjedicole@yahoo.com).  All questions are screened by Mrs. JediCole then color-coded and sent to Cole for selection on the show.  All that the co-hosts know in advance is that there are a specific number of emailed questions to choose from that have unrelated code names.  

Once one is selected and read they have 30 minutes to provide a viable show on the topic, sink or swim.  Going into this episode they were three for three.  Will they make it this time?  Of course you may wish to enjoy our previous episodes before taking this one on, or you can jump right in and come back for what came before.  Here are links to those episodes should you wish to enjoy them and perhaps find inspiration to send in your own topics.  

(NOTE: Bear in mind I don't censor or reign in the hosts or guests.  There is some language that is not appropriate for the little ones and some of the concepts may be a bit shocking to some.  This is a damn good show and the most organic and off the cuff of any show I've been involved with.  If you pass this up for content you are missing something pretty spectacular, but that is your choice and we respect it.) 

I: Where to Begin?  
II: What the Hell Happened to My Villains?!
III: Reports of Its Demise Were Exaggerated

And now, episode four:

Coming Soon - The CAP-TX Committed Website!

I have some exciting news for the ever-expanding JediCole Universe!  For a few months now the Convention Awareness Project - Texas has brought information on upcoming conventions of fan interest in the Lone Star State, complete with interviews.  While the project itself has had various incarnations over the years it has never been utilized to its full potential.  Until now! 

On January 1, 2012 I will be launching a committed web page for CAP-TX as your one-stop website for comic, anime, toy, sci-fi, gaming, steampun, literary, and other related conventions within the great state of Texas.  There are a myriad of sites out there that offer lists of upcoming conventions but no single site I've visited in preparation for 2013 had absolutely every convention in Texas on their list.  In fact it took a lot of searching to compile a list of upcoming conventions in the new year.  And each time I thought I had found them all, another website would have one or two more conventions listed!

The biggest difference between CAP-TX and other sites, however, will be the in-depth coverage of conventions before they happen!  As with the preview segments that have appeared on the JCU site, the Convention Awareness Project site will feature interviews with the promoters and creators of the conventions showcased throughout 2013.  I love that Texas is one of the most convention-rich states in the U.S. and the purpose of the new site is to celebrate that fact.  And to help other fans discover exactly what's out there.  Remember, "You Can't Go If You Don't Know!"

And now, by way of a preview of what to expect from the Convention Awareness Project website, I give you the most comprehensive list of conventions in Texas in 2013 to be found anywhere!  Click on the name of the convention to be taken to their website.  

28-30 IKKiCon VII (Austin, TX)

5-6 North Texas Comic Book Show (Dallas, TX)
18-19 The Gray Ball (San Antonio, TX)
19 Eckman’s Toy Show (Live Oak, TX)

8-10 Ushicon 2013 (Round Rock, TX)
9 Texas Collectibles Expo (San Antonio, TX) 
9-10 Sci-Fi Expo (Irving, TX)
15-17 Con DFW XII (Addison, TX)
15-17 OwlCon XXXII (Houston, TX)

8-10 All-Con 2013 (Addison, TX)
15-17 RevelCon 24 (Houston, TX)
22-24 AggieCon 44 (College Station, TX)
23-24 South Texas Collectors Expo (Laredo, TX)
29-31 Anime Matsuri (The Woodlands, TX)
5-7 ChimeraCon 2013 (San Antonio, TX)
13 LeoCon 2013 (College Station, TX)
13-14 MAG Con 5 (New Caney, TX)
25-28 HAuNTcon 2013(Irving, TX)
26-28 Sun City Sci-Fi (El Paso, TX)
3-5 Dwarf-Con 2013 (Austin, TX)
3-5 Texas Frightmare Weekend (Dallas, TX)
17-19 Dallas Comic Con (Irving, TX)
17-19 Texicon (Fort Worth, TX)
23-26 GALACTICON III (Houston, TX)
24-26 Anime Odyssey 2013 (San Antonio, TX)
24-26 Comicpalooza (Houston, TX)
31-June 2 A-Kon 24 (Dallas, TX)
6-9 North Texas RPG Convention (Fort Worth, TX)
21-23 ApolloCon 2013 (Houston, TX)
28-30 Texas Comicon 2013 (San Antonio, TX)
5-7 Anime Overload (Austin, TX)
12-14 Delta H Con (Houston, TX)
26-27 Omnicon (McAllen, TX)
26-28 ArmadilloCon 35 (Austin, TX)
2-4 Space City Con (Houston, TX)
16-18 San Japan Sinister 6 (San Antonio, TX)
30-September 2 AnimeFest
29-September 2 Lone Star Con 3 (71st Worldcon) (San Antonio, TX)
21-22 South Texas Collectors Expo (Laredo, TX)

4-6 Fan Days (Irving, TX)
4-6 FenCon X (Addison, TX)
Realms Con (Corpus Christi, TX)
MonsterCon (San Antonio, TX)
Zombie Con 2013 (San Antonio, TX)
1-3 Oni-Con 2013 (Galveston, TX)
8-10 MillenniumCon 16 (Round Rock, TX)
22-24 WhoFest (Dallas, TX)
22-24 Wizard World Austin Comic Con (Austin, TX)
YuleCon (Fort Worth, TX)

The Convention Awareness Project - Texas listing is a free service provided for the benefit of conventions and convention goers.  All dates are as provided by the respective conventions' websites and are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice.  Conventions with no set date as of the publication of this article are featured in their typical month of production.  This list is for information purposes only.  I strongly recommend keeping track of the website of any conventions you may be interested in attending to watch for changes.  The JediCole Universe is not responsible for any cancellations or changes and has no direct association with or ownership of any of the events listed above.

Hey Kids, Comics! #23 - A Christmas Stocking Stuffer

Welcome to the official Hey Kids, Comics!Boxing Day Special (for our friends in England, Australia, and any other countries where this day is tradition (it is not here so we are all back to work today)!  Every show has its Christmas or holiday special around this time of year so Andrew and Cole decided that their podcast should be no different.  And to that end they present a holiday-themed issue that has nothing to do with A Christmas Carol!  

On this very special episode your festive hosts open the HKC home and hearth to the world of comics in every regard. We invite various heroes and villains to a HKC! Christmas party, explore Marvel Comics' blast from the past, Godzilla, jump back and forth between themes, and have a good time generally in a holiday free-for-all.  What was intended to be an exploration of Christmas in comics turns into our impromptu office Christmas party and we just (virtually) drunkenly stagger all around various topics.  
A belated Merry Christmas to all and to all a Hey Kids, Comics! night!

The Comics Alliance article referenced in this issue can be found here.

Play With Your Toys on Christmas Day!

While not a Christmas present from this or years past, this AT-AT got to go on a bit of a field trip outside of my studio today when north Texas got an unexpected (and rare) Christmas snow!  One of the photos taken seemed ideal for sharing as a kind of holiday greeting card from The JediCole Universe to our fans, old and new.

Here are a few more photos taken with the AT-AT in the snow.

And this is why it is important to stamp your AT-AT's feet on the porch before bringing it back inside after a snow photo shoot...

Merry Christmas from all of us at The JediCole Universe!  We look forward to bringing you more fun in the coming year.

The Collector's Piece #1: What Do You Get the Star Wars Collector Who Has Everything?

How about the Star Wars collecting books that HAVE everything!

With Christmas fast approaching many a friend or family member of a collector finds themselves wondering about the perfect gift.  Nobody wants to accidentally give a collectible the recipient already has in their collection and gift cards are not always available to the places collectors shop.  While I cannot help you with every kind of collector out there, I do have a pair of great recommendations for the Star Wars collector in  your life...the Star Wars Super Collector's Wishbooks!

For ten years this series of books has become a staple for collectors worldwide.  Each volume is packed with thousands of photos and tens of thousands of listings and prices.  In 2011 the Star Wars Super Collector’s Wishbook underwent two major changes.  The first was a change in publishers (from Collector Books to its new home at Schiffer Publications) and the other a change of format.  While the overall structure of the book remained the same, the presentation changed in one important way.  For the first time the content was split into two volumes, one for collectibles of every type except toys and the other, titled simply Star Wars Toys, encompassing perhaps the single largest category of collectibles within this license.

This change allowed for a greater number of reference photos to be included and eliminated an element of prior editions, the statement, “See prior editions for photo” on many listings.  Over the years the size of these books remained the same, but the volume of collectibles being showcased grew and grew.  A larger format with more pages was considered, but the price point for a single massive tome proved higher than for two separate books.  And the decision to split the work into two volumes also meant that collectors were not faced with an unwieldy and oversized book on their shelves.

“Impressive.  Most impressive.” – Darth Vader (The Empire Strikes Back)

The Star Wars Super Collector’s Wishbook (2011)

This volume represents the sixth edition of this long running series.  I had the incredible good fortune of meeting the author just prior to the publication of the first edition and was able to see a black and white proof of the edition before it went to press.  That sample was impressive in its own right, but did not do justice to the finished product to come.  Over the years this series has only become more incredible in the sheer scope of its coverage of Star Wars licensed products. 

In this latest incarnation, Mr. Carlton brings back the format of the earliest editions with larger photos of featured items in every conceivable category but toys.  By eliminating toys from the mix there is more room for all of the apparel, school supplies, trading cards, keychains, patches, dishware, and comic books (to name just a few categories) featured.  As many collectors focus on a specific category or character, having a resource that not only lists products and prices, but shows you what you might be missing is a positive boon.  Especially when the illustrations do not require a magnifying glass to be seen!

With 464 pages containing 12,000 color photos and featuring over 24,000 collectibles, The Star Wars Super Collector’s Wishbook is not only an ideal resource for collectors, it is a fascinating book to peruse for collector and non-collector alike.  Hours can be spent turning the pages and drinking in the sheer volume of collectibles produced worldwide over the last 35 years.  The phenomenon that is Star Wars was never portrayed as well as it is in the pages upon pages of consumer goods that grace this gorgeous book.  And when one considers the thousands of hours it took to photograph the featured items (a staggering percentage of which were photographed by the author himself) this book, like its companion volume, becomes only the more amazing.

Star Wars Toys: A Super Collector's Wishbook (2012)

The long-awaited sister book of The Star Wars Super Collector’s Wishbook has been available only a scant few months and is equally impressive.  I got my start as a Star Wars collector with the Kenner Early Bird Set under the Christmas tree in 1977, so this book has already become a personal favorite.  My own personal knowledge of toys based on George Lucas’ epic pales against the coverage of this category offered by this book.  At press time the book contained images and listings of every toy known to the author from the 1978 release of the first Kenner action figures (Luke, Leia, R2-D2, and Chewbacca of the aforementioned set) to toys that were released early in 2012!

Like its companion title, this volume offers not only prices and reference photos, it presents a compelling journey through the history and scope of just one category of Star Wars collecting.  Toys and playthings from all over the world, some so obscure that most collectors had no idea of their existence, are brought front and center with colorful pages full of surprises.  From the life-long collector to those just starting out, this book is an invaluable resource for every Star Wars toy hunter. 

With over 8,600 color photos the expansive coverage of toys offered by this edition is nothing short of incredible.  Tens of thousands of toys are listed in this prolific chronicle that is further sub-categorized for ease of use.  As both a collecting reference book and a history lesson in the success of LucasFilm when it came to marketing the Star Wars saga.  It truly is a must-have volume for the serious Star Wars toy collector in your life.

Even collectors who have previous editions of this series will appreciate both of these new books awaiting them under the tree.  Personally I own all seven books in the series which are proudly displayed on a bookshelf in the living room below several Star Wars statues.  Many are the collector who have maintained a library of all of the past books in the series and anxiously await the arrival of the next (which have been released every two to three years in the past).  

Geoffrey Carlton's dedication to and love of Star Wars collecting is evident in all of the books in the series which are further enhanced by feature articles written by fellow fans and collectors as well as the author himself.  I have personally had articles I penned appear in three volumes of the series, including the newly released Star Wars Toys.  Apart from the additional collectibles that are added to each new release, brand new articles are an added plus to every book in the series.  

464 pages

448 pages

Hey Kids, Comics! #22 - Tales To Admonish!

Welcome to the latest issue of Hey Kids, Comics!, a unique episode that was headed in one direction and found itself instead on a refreshing new path.  As a follow up to the two-part “Fails to Astonish” issue, this was originally to be “Return 2 the Aisle of Toys: The Comic Book Toy Hall of Fame”.  And in a great many ways it remains so, but with an unexpected twist.  None of the toys discussed exist.  Yet.

Thusly the title changed as this issue became not an exploration of how the various toy companies got it right over the years but instead a love letter to super-hero and comic related toys in which Andrew and Cole wax poetic about the toys they want to see and would buy, if anyone at DC Direct, Hasbro, or Mattel is listening!  In the course of discussions your faithful hosts not only explore the width and breadth of their  own collecting desires, but also explore why such choices are ideal for fans and collectors.  And naturally we admonish the toy manufacturers to give us these toys!
Cole has long called this the “Golden Age of Collecting”, in which nearly any movie, television show, or comic book you have ever loved will eventually be optioned as some form of collectible.  This statement has, over the last ten years, been borne out beyond expectations so it is with sincere hope that Andrew joins his co-host in presenting a wish list of the collectibles that have not occurred in reality, but certainly could. 

Hey Kids, Comics #21 - Secret Origins: The Andrew Farmer Story

Welcome to the latest issue of HKC! in which we explore the man, the mystery, the incredible host and creator of this very podcast…none other than Andrew Farmer! 

Cole puts Andy on the spot with an unexpected show that is all about him and the long and winding path from fan to collector to podcaster to show host.  What leads a Green Lantern fan and comic aficionado to get into podcasting?  What makes him want to subject himself to a brutal weekly schedule of informing and entertaining fellow comic readers and fans?  What does it take to make such a leap and start your own show? 
Enjoy this lively exploration of all things Hey Kids, Comics!  full of great insights into the man who made it all possible!  (And who put JediCole on the spot a mere 13 issues ago with a  similar show!)

Hey Kids, Comics! #20 - Sensing Comics: Something Tells Me I'm Smelling Something Good

Four out of five...that ain't too shabby!  

Yes indeed, over the course of five weeks Andrew and Cole have managed to tackle almost all of the five senses as portrayed in comics and the "super" enhancements thereof that exist in the real world today.  In this, the concluding issue of the "Sensing Comics" story arc, the sense of smell gets its due. 

Join your intrepid co-hosts as they get on the scent of our sense of smell and how it has benefited comic book characters in a variety of ways.  And as has been the case throughout this arc, speculation runs rampant on the nature of this sense as suggested by the characters, even if it has not played a role on the printed page.  

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