Hey Kids, Coimcs! #32 - Hey Kids, All-Con!

Welcome to the latest issue of Hey Kids, Comics! where we take a bit of a detour from our regular subject matter to talk up an event that is very important to us both.  That is, of course, All-Con 2013 coming up in just over a week in Addison, Texas!

This episode serves as part of the ongoing pre-show coverage for All-Con that can be found here, at our sister site, Convention Awareness Project - Texas, and over at the United States of Geekdom right up to the show weekend, March 8-10, 2013.  As for this issue, well, our gushing preview pretty much speaks for itself.

And in closing I give to you a bit of the old and a bit of the new in our updated HKC! logo, which combines the original logo with some amazing Bobby Blakey artwork that was created for our live show banner to be premiered at All-Con...

Three Pronged All-Con 2013 Pre-Show Coverage Begins...NOW

There are many things in my life that keep my Ever-Ticking Brain, well, ticking.  This website is certainly one, as is its companion site, Convention Awareness Project - Texas.  The of course there is the United States of Geekdom, my other podcasting home.  But once a year, for eight year prior, there has been a special annual event that has been a major part of my life.  That would be All-Con.

By way of a brief history of the show and my association with it I will share a few thoughts of what has come before to better illustrate what lies ahead with this incredible convention.  

Way back in 2005 a friend arrived at the weekend shop that Mrs. JediCole and I ran to tell us that he and his wife were part of a group starting up a new convention.  We were asked if we would be interested in selling in their Dealer's Room, which naturally we were.  To make a long story short, every dealer other than us (A Piece of the Action Collectibles at the time) backed out and left us the only dealer for the weekend.  As a result we brought nearly everything in the store out including some portable fixtures!

The next year we returned as dealers but decided to do more.  We offered to produce a game show, Geek Match Game, once daily for all three days of the convention.  All-Con graciously gave us access to their celebrity guests and the shows were a huge hit.  Sadly the next year another convention which we had been selling at as dealers for a decade was scheduled the same weekend as All-Con and my sole participation that weekend was two hours as part of the cast of VaderCast and their Fear Factor show.  The rest of that weekend I was at the other show.

After that we determined that we were going to make All-Con our just for fun show and not have to worry about running tables and selling.  Game shows and even the odd talk show became the order of the day and remain so to this day.  While some game shows have come and gone, others have proved ideal for the convention format and will be back for 2013.  In addition to all of that I have had the good fortune to be a judge in the Ms. Star Wars pageant during its first two years, a judge for the All-Con Costume Contest all but that one absentee year, and a co-host for charity auctions and the opening and closing ceremonies.

With over 200 events (panels, game shows, screenings, stage shows) all weekend, being able to say I am in close to ten percent of these still has me wondering how I manage to squeeze all of that into three days.  Frankly I don't know how All-Con squeezes so much into three days!  But that is what makes it my favorite convention stop every year!  From the universally approachable aspects like "how to" panels, to live readings by authors, to screenings of fan films and even "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog" to the more adults only aspects like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" shadowcast and the annual burlesque performance, All-Con truly is all-encompassing.

All-Con 2013's Theme: Fractured Time

In the coming days and weeks I will be writing extensively on the All-Con experience past (here and at the USG) and future (at Convention Awareness Project - Texas).  There is so much ground to cover and little time to do so before the show weekend itself.  I hope that these features will convince anyone who might be able to attend but has not in years past to give this incredible convention a try.  A glimpse at the 2013 schedule will reveal that there is literally so much going on at the same time in almost any given hour that you have to pick and choose what you want to do when.  And that is what a convention should be like in my opinion.

And should you make it to All-Con 2013 and happen to spot me at some of my events or just racing through the hotel, please say hello, I really do love meeting folks who have enjoyed my writing and podcasting over the years.    

Hey Kids, Comics! #31 - Creator Spotlight #1: Frank Miller Time

Welcome to a brand new issue of Hey Kids, Comics! and a brand new recurring feature.  The "Creator Spotlight" affords Andrew and Cole an opportunity to discuss a single comic creator in depth for the duration of an episode. 

Primarily the Spotlight is about our own experiences with the work of a given creator, but there are some insights among the anecdotes as well.  In this, our first such exploration, we talk about none other than Frank Miller.  From our earliest encounters with his art and writing to the impact he has had on the comic industry (as well as the film industry) with his body of work, Miller proves to be the ideal first focus for this new feature.

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 10

Friedrich Nietzsche had admonished mankind with the simple philosophy, "Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster."  Good words to live by if one seeks to go out and challenge the evils of the world.  However, if we simply wish to pose moral questions of such monsters, perhaps we might learn something important instead.  

So at the risk of becoming just a tad monstrous, The JediCole Universe yet again seeks to discover, "What Would Comic Book Villains Do?"

Scenario: It has been a long and exhausting day, but it is Friday.  The weekend is here at last and you are ready to relax.  No sooner have you settled in at home than the doorbell rings as family members from out of town have arrived unexpectedly.  What do you do?

Loki:  I guess it would really depend on which members of my family you are talking about.  My step brother is such a jerk!  I really can’t stand him and he would have some nerve showing up at my place uninvited.  My parents and I have always had a kind of strained relationship, but I suppose I could accommodate them.  The apartment is not huge but I have an inflatable bed I keep for overnight company.  So long as long as dad doesn’t have his stupid ravens with him.  What am I supposed to do with them?!  I don’t even have a pet deposit on this place.  And I am certainly not going to clean up after them.  This place has brand new carpet! 

What?  Why of course I have an apartment.  Where else would I live?  It’s not like I can just go back to my old room at Asgard after all the pranks I’ve pulled over the millennia. 

Gorilla Grodd:  Isn't that just typical!  Is there no such thing as courtesy any more?  When I was a little ape in Gorilla City the importance of courtesy was drilled into me from an early age.  We were taught to say “Yes ma’am” and “No ma’am” and “Please pass the banana salad.”  Then I get out on my own and all of that just means nothing to the rest of the family!  Every time I am in the middle of some project or another to subjugate the hairless apes of the outer world one or more of my two dozen brothers shows up without warning!  And usually with some bimbo they picked up at the zoo or a circus.  And you know that one night becomes a week before you know it!

It’s not like anyone of my kin has the least bit of interest in defeating the Flash or toppling world governments so I may as well forget about getting a thing done!  Even my own parents have shown up like this once or twice over the years!  I swear one of these days I am going to move and leave no forwarding address!  What happened to them?  They grow old and forget all that stuff they taught us in our youth. 

And don’t get me started about television!  My brothers and sisters and I had to share one television in the living room when we were kids, so you can imagine how much fighting that created.  I wish I had discovered my mind control powers back then!  It was all I could do to get to watch Lancelot Link once fortnight!  But get this!  Now when you go to my folk’s place what do you find?  A television in nearly every room!  Who needs seven TVs?!  And do they all have to be on at the same time?  Sheesh!  What has happened to them?!

Wrecker:  This is a question I have long pondered actually.  Toward that end I’ve been planning a really nice guest room for the house.  You know, on the side where the sun comes through in the morning and just makes you feel right at home.  Once it is done I would be more than happy to put up family members there.  I’ve got the walls knocked through and the yard pretty well torn up for laying a foundation.  Yep, it’s all set. 

Unfortunately while I am an expert at destruction, especially with my handy enchanted prybar, I never really have been much of one for building things.  The same is true of the guys from the Wrecking Crew!  We got together and did the preliminary  work one weekend then realized none of us knew thing one about building.  If only there was a super villain called the Contractor or the Barn Raiser or something like that I could befriend then I would say bring on the family! 

Moloch the Mystic:  Wow, that is a good one!  It is not like I have a shortage of places to accommodate guests.  The problem is that my family are all pretty much convinced I am some low rent conjurer plying my magic tricks at small theaters and children’s parties.  While I do still pull the odd rabbit out of a hat or pour milk into a cone of newspaper to have it mysteriously disappear into thin air, that is not really what puts food on the table. 

You see I have somehow managed to keep my immediate family from realizing that I am THAT Moloch the Mystic.  The one who is a nationally known crime lord and all that.  That they have not made that connection I count as the greatest magic trick of my career!  Yes, sure I have lots of spare rooms in my brothels, my underground casinos, my unlicensed boxing dens, and many a safe house, but in opening them up to my family I would also make the connection at last and be obliged to report me to the cops.  Or worse yet, the Crimebusters!  I heard that old windbag Metropolis was trying to start up a new group like the Minutemen from back in the day.  Can you believe it?

Taskmaster:  There are some advantages to living the kind of life I live and one of those is having no permanent address.  Half the time I don’t even have a temporary address!  Ha!  But okay, I’m game.  On the off chance someone from my family should happen to show up at the lair, apartment, hotel room, or tent in the desert where I happen to be hanging my cape for the night I would do that only thing that I could do.  I would yell at them asking what they are thinking!  Do they have no idea how dangerous it is to be associated with me?  When super-heroes aren't trying to capture me then other super-villains are trying to do me in to reduced the completion.  There is not a week that goes by where some goon from Hydra or AIM isn't trying to score a bounty on my head.  I’d tell them to get lost!   We are family and all, but come on!  Use your head and move on if you want to keep your head!

Two-Face:  That’s a good question you've got there.  Let me just flip my coin and…  Nope!  Sorry friend I can’t answer that question, it came up scarred side up.  But hey, at least I was just flipping for whether or not to answer your question!  This would not have been good for you if I was flipping for whether or not to just shoot you. 

Hey!  Where are you running off to?  Don’t go!  Awwwwwww…

Hey Kids, Comics! #30 - It Came From the License! Part 5: Tales From Toyland

If there is one thing that Andrew and Cole like as much as comics it is toys.  So you can only imagine how thrilled they are to wrap up "It Came From the License!" with that particular theme.

Join your giddy hosts as they explore the vast diversity of comic book titles that were toys before they graced the comic racks.  From the obvious like G.I. Joe and Micronauts to titles spawned from toy lines you may never have known existed.  Surprises abound as the relationship between manufacturers and publishers is explored in the approaches taken to breathe further life into the playthings of the past.

"You Can't Go If You Don't Know!" Check Out Our Sister Site, Convention Awareness Project - Texas

If you have not already, especially if you live in Texas, check out my new website (launched in January), Convention Awareness Project - Texas!  (Click here to see for yourself.)

The Convention Awareness Project is a passion of mine, to provide the single most comprehensive resource for listing and showcasing conventions of geeky interest all over the Lone Star State. 

Why just Texas?  Well for one, that is where I am from.   And the primary reason is that, even concentrating on one state, I have to constantly add new conventions to my listings!  A few years ago I attempted a national list and after updating just the listings for October seven or eight times I decided it was an impossible task.  Just today I had to add two more shows to my Texas listings.  One was a show I knew about but did not have a date and locale until today, the other I found out about solely because I happened to drop by Bazinga Comics in San Antonio and was given that show's postcard! 

So there you have it.  If you live in Texas or travel here for shows, if you are a vendor, an artist, a small press publisher, or anyone who frequents such shows then you need to bookmark CAP-TX to keep track of every show out there.  There is no more thoroughly researched website for Texas comic, anime, gaming, figure/diorama modeling, toy, sci-fi, collectible, and literary conventions culled from dozens of websites.

But there's more!  Whenever possible I arrange interviews with the folks behind the shows to give you even more insight as to what makes the convention unique.  I do all of this because you can't go if you don't know!

Hey Kids, Comics! #29 - It Came From the License Part 4: Books, Games, and the Public Domain...PLUS!

The latest story arc for Hey Kids, Comics! continues as your hosts Andrew and Cole delve deep into a mixed bag of comic licenses (and even some non-licensed source material).  

In addition to literature and video games, the world of biographical and autobiographical comics is examined.  Yes, even real public figures and celbrities have been given the comic book treatment.  Find out more in this issue...

Sort of based on a video game...sort of.

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