Rhode Island Comic Con 2018 Review/Haul

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This is the fourth year in a row I have gone to an event that pretty much defines who I am at this point, Rhode Island Comic Con! Over the years I have met some fantastic guests there including Charles Martinet (Super Mario Bros., The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman, Keeping Up with the Joneses), Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool, The Exorcist), Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds, Supernatural), and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit). This year, the guest lineup continued to not disappoint. The lineup featured guests from all walks of nerd life, from “Star Wars” to “Deadpool” to “It” to “The Walking Dead” to even “Impractical Jokers.” Not only that, but this year, while I will say guest-wise is probably not #1 for RICC (which says something based on how fantastic this year’s lineup is), is the best in terms of one thing many customers have talked about as their pet peeve with the con. Organization.

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Let’s take this from the top. In 2014, RICC has its third convention ever. They get shut down by the fire marshal on their first day, Saturday, due to poor attendance flow. Capacity exceeded by over three thousand people. As for those who left the convention, they couldn’t reenter, and there were also people who simply couldn’t enter no matter what. Rhode Island Comic Con f*cked up. In 2015, the first year I went, it started out well, then my father and I decide to go from the Dunkin Donuts Center to the Rhode Island Convention Center. I wanted to catch a panel. Turns out the time spent getting from one place to another took forever and a half. This year, I had a slightly similar, but MUCH LESS worrisome issue. In 2016, the convention decided to try out their eventual continued method of having some headlining or popular guests on the Dunkin Donuts Center floor. A few of these guests included Millie Bobby Brown, Stan Lee, and the one I wanted to see the most, Gal Gadot. One of the advantages of Stan Lee and Millie Bobby Brown in regards to the customers is that they had multiple opportunities to see them. However, Gal Gadot was only at the convention for one day. Despite getting in somewhat early, I had to end up waiting in line for five hours, with an unusual twist and turn brought into the mix. This caused me to miss Gal Gadot’s panel too. How unfortunate. In 2017, I had trouble getting into a panel for Channel Awesome, there was no real line for Channel Awesome’s room. Even employees didn’t know all of what to do in this sort of situation. Also, one of the biggest downfalls of 2017’s Rhode Island Comic Con is after walking in, chances are some people are going to want to go into the Rhode Island Convention Center portion of the event. That’s where many of the guests, vendors, and panels happen to be located. To do that, you basically have to go around the entire Dunkin Donuts center in a circle. Should I say donut? Speaking of limited options regarding travel, the skybridge between the Rhode Island Convention Center for 2016 and 2017 was a one way. Want to switch back to the Dunkin Donuts Center from the Rhode Island Convention Center? Well, go down an escalator, leave the building, go find a small entry, get scanned by someone, and you can party all you want from there. This year however, NONE OF THAT WAS THERE! YAY!

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I love Rhode Island Comic Con, but when it comes to placing all of their event’s vendors, celebrities, and crowds, this is where they fail. This year, I cannot even believe that I was on a two-way skybridge at Rhode Island Comic Con. Guys, it’s not that hard! It all worked out! One interesting thing about this year though is that most of the celebrities who resided in the Rhode Island Convention Center were not on the usual floor that a majority of the celebrities of previous shows happened to be on. Instead, they were on the fifth floor. Many of them were in a ballroom which has also been used for several of the event’s panels in the past. This pretty much meant the main floor was completely dedicated to shopping, charity, sponsors, contests, and artists. The Dunkin Donuts Center is about the same as it has been since 2016. You’ve got your vendors, you have some places to grab food court-style grub, including of course, Dunkin Donuts. Downstairs contains some celebrities on the show floor, and more vendors. The one big difference this year however is that the photo ops are not organized down in the Dunkin Donuts Center. Instead, it’s inside the main area of the Rhode Island Convention Center. It’s located in a region where for the past couple of years, celebrity guests would have been sitting down signing autographs as customers wait in line. There’s a different organizer this year as well. Last year was Celeb Photo Ops whereas this year is Epic Photo Ops. I can’t compare the service between the two, mainly because I didn’t get a professional photo op this year. I took photos alongside celebrities at their table, which I actually think has more value attached to it because pro photo ops usually consist of fast-paced lines and limited interaction. In some cases with photos at the table, the lines to get to the celebrity may be on the slower side, but it’s worth it because you get to have a higher chance at an actual face-to-face conversation.

Speaking of face-to-face conversations, I’ve gotten to have one at a panel this year. No, I wasn’t onstage talking to someone, but the whole panel was essentially a Q&A. With that in mind, one of the questions that was taken happened to be mine. This panel I’m referring to is “Impractical Jokes from Murr with Special Guest Joey Fatone!” In other words, the panel was for guests James Murray (Impractical Jokers) and Joey Fatone (Impractical Jokers: After Party). My question for the panel regarded the “Impractical Jokers” show asking what might be the best fake names the guys have ever came up with. James and I seem to agree that “Disfatt Bidge” is brilliant.

On the topic of James Murray: Pet Cremator and Grandparent Divorce Attorney, I happened to meet and talk to him when he was at the con on Sunday. He was there for Saturday and Sunday, and to my surprise, his line was actually capped for much of the time I was there. I know that having someone from “Impractical Jokers” show up to the con can make that particular guest stand out because at least in my book, “Impractical Jokers” isn’t all that nerdy. It has individuals who have done nerdy things and are interested in said things as well, but still. That status, believe it or not, actually may have helped Murr. Many guests have showed up to Rhode Island Comic Con this year. Most of the guests are from movies and TV. For the most part, the movie or TV show would have a nerdy connotation to it. For TV shows, these include “Star Trek,” “The Walking Dead,” “Smallville,” “Power Rangers,” and “Batman: The Animated Series.” For movies, these include “Star Wars,” “It,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Shazam,” and “Deadpool.” Having a less than nerdy individual from a less than nerdy show might add some diversity to Rhode Island Comic Con and maybe bring in a different audience or for the nerds, show to others that they enjoy things that don’t have superheroes, lightsabers, blasters, or explosions. When it comes to meeting James Murray, I got him to sign my copy of “Awakened.” This is a book he wrote alongside Darren Wearmouth, which will soon be getting a sequel called “The Brink.” I also got a selfie alongside him, which is a bit different from what people usually do at these cons, which is allow somebody around the table to snap a pic of the celebrity simply standing next to you. Interesting approach, but I feel bad for those customers who don’t have a front-facing camera or a cell phone because then it slightly alters the tradition. Also, out of the celebrities I’ve met at a con, I found Murr to be perhaps the most outgoing of all of them. When I was in line for him on Sunday, he’s coming out of this private area and without me even looking at him, he pats me on the shoulder like a champ. Not only that, but he just starts hi-fiving and greeting everyone, it’s like the most charismatic game show host ever. Although then again, I guess Murr is the most charismatic game show host ever because he will be hosting a game show with the other Jokers called “Misery Index” which is set to air on TBS.

Also, I couldn’t get a picture, but Murr’s banner at one point had a sticky note with the words “FERRETS RULE!” and his eyebrows and facial hair was censored out by more sticky doohickeys. Some of you reading might be aware that James has a ferret tattoo on his leg, which by the way he did show. However when it was revealed, it was not in the best of situations. Murray explained that he was in the process of flipping over his mattress, as one does. Long story short, he hit his bedside and now there’s a bruise on his tattoo. Things happen I guess. By the way, that driver’s license photo where Murray has no eyebrows. IT’S REAL AND HE BROUGHT IT WITH HIM.

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Another guest I met was Tara Strong (The Fairly Oddparents, Teen Titans Go!). If you have ever been a modern day kid, chances are you have been exposed to her work somewhere. I’ve seen her as Timmy Turner on Nickelodeon’s “The Fairly Oddparents,” she’s been some numerous voices on “Family Guy,” she can be found as a voice on “My Little Pony,” she even had an uncredited role as “Bellybutton” in “Ted.” I got her autograph, not for me, but a friend. And I assure you all right now reading this that what I’m about to tell you is a true story. I met Tara Strong on Friday, November 2nd. Nice gal, she managed to ask me if I was voting the midterm elections. I didn’t. Part of me wanted to, but when you have to take an hour and a half train commute from one town to the other and back, it affects such a thing really. However, she handed me a sticker promoting “Nerds Who Vote” as a sign of encouragement. That night however, I was going through my stuff and realized that I left my autograph in the building! I went back the next day, cutting the line to get into the convention without even knowing. But it was my birthday weekend so in my book it’s OK. I go inside and rush to Tara Strong’s table. She’s not there yet, and I’m not the first in line. Once everything’s all situated there, one person asks me what I’m there for. I was expecting them to disregard my comment saying I left an autograph behind. Turns out it was in front of Tara waiting for me!

There’s good people in this world! Thank gosh! If I was told I had to cough up money for another autograph, I would have. I promised my friend I’d bring this to her. However, I have such massive respect for those working at Rhode Island Comic Con and Tara Strong herself for saving this autograph for me as opposed to leaving it hanging somewhere mysterious.

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Another item I got autographed was my “Deadpool 2” steelbook. This bad boy is a Best Buy exclusive which came with a 4K, Blu-ray, and digital copy code. It also has an extended director’s cut marketed as the “Super Duper $@%!#& Cut.” Interestingly, it also came with a slipcover featuring a bubble quote from “Deadpool” saying “I like to be on top. Obviously.” There were a number of “Deadpool” related guests announced including Stefan Kapicic, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, and creator Rob Liefeld. Believe it or not, Liefeld’s appearance kind of flew over my head. Plus, I was more interested the people from the movie side of things. Also, Brianna Hildebrand unfortunately cancelled her appearance, which ultimately wasn’t too big of a deal to me, because I already met her back at the same con in 2016. Nice lady if you ask me. But I gotta be honest, meeting Stefan Kapicic was very interesting. It’s almost like he was more excited to meet me than I was to meet him. I presented my steelbook to him and just calmly loses his mind. It’s easy to tell Kapicic has a passion for what he’s doing. I think he almost gave me a free autograph because I asked how much it was and the timing between signing and all of the words and phrases mentioned in our talk made Kapicic or his assistant either forget this is a job or become so infatuated with my product that signing it was a privilege. Speaking of infatuation, when it comes to Morena Baccarin, I spent a tad less time with her, but to be fair, she had a longer line. She didn’t have too much to say, but she was very nice.

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Oh yeah, I also got a pic with her. We make a great 20 year age difference couple. Sorry if her husband has to see this.

Another celebrity I met happened to be Meat Loaf. To be honest, I never really listened to his music, so there’s not much I can say about that. The only thing I’ve really seen him in was “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which coincidentally, had another celebrity who appeared at the con the same weekend, Tim Curry, AKA Dr. Frank-N-Furter. The biggest highlight of the interactions has to be the introduction. I introduce myself, and he just mocks me for acting like I forgot my own name.

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That’s all the celebrities I met, but I also managed to encounter some awesome items for purchase as well! Well, mostly for purchase.

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This first item was actually free. I played a game where I happened to have a chance at winning an inexpensive item. The one I ended up winning was a wristband. Judging by the band, you might be able to guess that Dave & Busters was a sponsor this year of Rhode Island Comic Con. The items on the table basically consisted of whatever cheap merchandise could be produced and have a slapping of Dave & Busters’s own name on it.

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Moving onto more expensive items, I stopped at this one shop I’ve actually already visited this year at New York Comic Con and Terrificon. The shop goes by the name 3D Printing by Muckychris. They’ve had some nice 3D printed materials, with some standouts inluding the “Fight Club” soap bar and Darth Vader’s damaged mask as it was seen in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” However my item of choice at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con happened to be a t-shirt. When I saw this shirt at Terrificon, I wanted to desperately get said shirt. I didn’t. When I went to New York Comic Con, I noticed the store, but they apparently weren’t advertising the shirt I wanted. To be fair, they had another cool shirt that stood out to me, but I ended up passing on it. However, when they arrived at Rhode Island Comic Con and I saw my shirt of choice, I felt like I scored. Well, almost scored, in all technicality. Turns out they didn’t have a large! I ended up settling for an extra large however, which isn’t a bad thing. The shirt, as suggested in the picture, is a parody of the “Solo: A Star Wars Story” logo, and instead says “Sulu: A Star Trek Story.” Many people know Han Solo as a “Star Wars” character. For this shirt, the logo was switched up to cater to a “Star Trek” character. And you know what? I don’t know how big these fights are nowadays, but if they are still around, I should literally be going around wearing this shirt to whatever “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” convention I come across. I say that because this shirt can almost resemble a demonstration for sci-fi franchise peace. While people continuously fight over which franchise is superior, I’ll just be walking around in this $20 t-shirt saying, let’s come together! May the force live long and prosper! Also, 3D Printing by Muckychris handmakes products in New Jersey and can be found on this website below.

https://muckychris.patternbyetsy.com/

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Speaking of t-shirts, I went by one shop I’ve gone to at Terrificon and actually purchased something from, MTC Toys. However, this time, instead of getting two t-shirts, I ended up getting one. The variety in the store is certainly something to get excited about, but the prices are a little less exciting at times. However, with as much variety as this store has, you can basically argue that the price doesn’t really matter. The shirt that really stood out to me, as you see in the picture above, is one that resembles the guys from “The Big Bang Theory” as DC superheroes. For the record, I have a strong feeling this t-shirt is completely based on the “Justice League” cosplay the show’s characters had to do for a contest at the comic book store on New Years Eve. Sheldon was The Flash, Leonard was Green Lantern, Howard was Batman, Raj, to his everlasting shame, was Aquaman. Even Penny and a guy she knew, Zack, joined the party as Wonder Woman and Superman. Based on their names, you can probably guess who is who. As you can also see, the shirt also has the saying “The Big Bang Theory” has popularized over the years, “BAZINGA!” MTC Toys is from North Tonawanda, NY. They have been to many comic cons for over two decades, selling lots of t-shirts and fan merch.

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Lastly for clothing is a sweatshirt I’ve actually worn not long after I got it. As you can see, it is for Marvel’s “Iron Man.” I consider Iron Man to be one of my favorite superheroes, and his interpretation by Robert Downey Jr. is unbelievable. But I gotta say, while this sweatshirt is certainly nice-looking, I don’t think it was worth the “on-sale” price of $39.99. It didn’t take long for the front zipper of this thing to stop working (yes, there’s a front and back zipper). To be honest, while I might end up wearing this sweatshirt again, it REALLY could be better. However, what is better than this sweatshirt is the store where I got it from, FYE. FYE has actually been a part of Rhode Island Comic Con every year since I went, and each year they seem to switch up the merchandise to spice things up in one way or another. Some standouts included an FYE exclusive “Hocus Pocus” Blu-ray which came with four glow in the dark postcards. There were a lot of Funko Pops, including exclusives from FYE itself and seasonal conventions. The store even had some of the items you’d find at the FYE booth in New York Comic Con. Some of these items included eight “Friday the 13th” movies inside a steel lunchbox, a Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years blanket, and I believe they had cereal as well, because FYE is somewhat known for selling food. If I had to go back in time and give up this sweatshirt though, I probably wouldn’t mind doing such a thing. After all, FYE also had a jacket resembling the one Finn wore in the “Star Wars” franchise. Although at the same time, part of me might be safer not getting it so I don’t get any criticism for dressing up like a black guy. Still, cool jacket.

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As you guys know, I am a movie nerd, so therefore, this next purchase satisfied my hunger. There’s one store I went to whose name I actually don’t know which had a bunch of wine glasses. I don’t drink so that’s none of my concern. However, I did manage to pick up something else they had, ceramic coasters. These things were $7 each, but I managed to get four coasters for $25. As you can see, these coasters are for “Blade Runner 2049,” “John Wick,” “Justice League,” (2017 film) and “The Thing.” (John Carpenter) I enjoyed all of these movies so these purchases were certainly done without regret.

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One of my cheapest purchases at the con comes from Mad Mike’s Emporium. Mad Mike’s is a shop from East Greenwich, RI, selling new and used toys, video games, collectibles, and rare findings. I ignored the toys here, however there was one video game that absolutely caught my eye. One of my childhood games is “Need For Speed: Underground 2.” I have played its predecessor, “Need For Speed: Underground.” However, the most complex platform I’ve ever played it on is the Game Boy Advance. Therefore, some might argue I’ve never played the game for real. I believe I first saw the game at the shop on Sunday. If that’s the case, I didn’t buy it because I had overpriced food in my hand and I was looking for a place to sit down. Once I heard the price, $5, I was dead-on intrigued. I just started playing the game, and I see some of the differences between this game and its sequel, but I’m enjoying it so far.

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The last purchases I’ll go over come from a shop called Horror Decor. Their catchphrase is “Make every day a living nightmare.” One of my everlasting nightmares is the fact that Blockbuster Video is on its last legs. Speaking of which, the store managed to have two items that truly stood out to me. The first one is a Blockbuster tote bag and the other is a pillow that resembles a Blockbuster Membership Card. Before I found these gems of badassery, I always wanted some sort of merchandise related to Blockbuster. I go to stores like Newbury Comics and Thinkgeek and find a shirt that says “Blockbuster and Chill” from time to time. However I never officially got my hands on it either due to a lack of intrigue or the sleeves not really being the ones a man should have. These two items however, are just plain awesome. There’s a good chance that around Christmas time I’ll be using that tote bag to carry in gifts that hopefully are delivered by December 24th or 25th, that way I don’t have to give late fees to my recipients. And the pillow, while it may not be the all time most comfortable thing I’ve laid on, will certainly be a fantastic addition to my mancave. Also, just so you know, Blockbuster is not completely dead. There is still a location in Bend, Oregon. So if I were to make a trek there sometime, I’d probably ask if I could use my pillow as a valid membership card. I’d probably get a no, but I’d rather get that “no” than lose physical media altogether.

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If you read my post for last year’s Rhode Island Comic Con and what I did there, chances are you may know that one of my purchases was for the original “Star Wars” trilogy. For the record, when I say original “Star Wars” trilogy, that means the original trilogy before all of the special editions. One reason why I value that purchase so much is because it takes away some of what made the special editions somewhat cringeworthy. It removes some of the added CGI, Darth Vader’s “No” at the end of “Return of the Jedi,” and the infamous moment where Han Solo doesn’t shoot Greedo first. However, on Friday, November 2nd, I think I made the 2018 special edition of “Star Wars,” and that is partially in thanks to the 501st Legion, who has partnered with charities such as The Jimmy Fund and Make-A-Wish. In this special edition, not only does Han not shoot first, Han is not even involved in the duel whatsoever. Instead, the dorky Earthling who lacks some people skills named Jack Drees is doing all of the work. “Star Wars” fans will never get to see the final cut, but they get to savor over this image.

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When it comes to Rhode Island Comic Con, this has been another great year. And it is probably likely the year where I’ve had the least complaints about how things are run. The vendors are lively and know their audience. There is so much to do and see. The celebrity lineup this year, again, is full to the brim and brings tons of variety. The skybridge IS ACTUALLY TWO WAY! THANK GOSH! I’ll probably be coming back to Rhode Island Comic Con next year mainly because it is a tradition at this point. I’ve been four years in a row, might as well make it five! I will also say that Altered Reality, the company that organizes Rhode Island Comic Con does have some other conventions I want to check out. There’s one convention that goes on during the summer called ComiCONN that goes down every year. It takes place at the Foxwoods casino in Ledyard, CT. It’s smaller than Rhode Island Comic Con, but it would be fun to go at least for a day. Altered Reality is also expanding their lineup, because they have a new con on the weekend of May 3rd through May 5th. It is called Epic Comic Con. It’s set to take place at the Showboat Atlantic City. The Showboat is a casino which opened in 1987, closed in 2014, and reopened in 2016. I don’t know if I’ll be going there, because school might be serious at that time. Plus, if plans don’t change, May 3rd is also the release date for “Avengers 4,” so my priority that weekend would be to shove my review for that on the Internet as soon as possible. Although I will say, I visited the website for Epic Comic Con and it says that the con is supposed to be set for June 21st through the 23rd. So at this point, planning for the con is a mystery to me. As far as my next con goes, I don’t know what it will be. There’s PAX East coming up in March. That’s also the same month as CTGamerCon, which is set at the Mohegan Sun casino. Maybe I’ll go to that. Winter however is not the busiest time for cons, so I don’t think I’ll be going to any cons during the winter. We’ll see if anything comes up though. Thanks to Rhode Island Comic Con for another spectacular year and I hope to see the con again in 2019!

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Thanks for reading this post! Pretty soon I’m going to have my review for “The Grinch” which is in theaters now. It’s definitely making lots of money. My friend and I planned on seeing it at an IMAX, so we’re going to see what this is all about. Also, on Monday, I’m going to see “Second Act” starring Jennifer Lopez. For the record, the movie does not release until December 21st, which means it will ultimately be crushed by “Aquaman,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” and “Bumblebee.” However, I have reserved passes for an early screening so I’ll be getting to see the movie early. I don’t know when the review embargo lifts, but there’s a good chance you’ll probably have to wait about a month to see my review on the film. I don’t know. Be sure to stay tuned for that review, and a review you’ll see perhaps much earlier. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or an email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you go to Rhode Island Comic Con this year? What are your thoughts? Did you go before? What did you think then? Or, if you have any suggestions of future cons, near or far, that I should visit, what are they? Please list your suggestions in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

New York Comic Con 2018 Review/Haul

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! It’s time to go over perhaps not just one of the biggest events I’ve attended all year, not just one of the biggest events I attended ever, but one of the biggest THINGS I’ve ever attended. A couple weeks ago I’ve been given the absolute privilege to go to New York Comic Con. A friend of mine who I have known for a few years decided to go all out for a graduation gift and give me the most badass thing ever. Given this post, you might be able to guess I got Comic-Con tickets. This is my first time at New York Comic Con, and my second time in New York throughout my life. My tickets were for Friday and Sunday, two out of four days the convention goes on for. As far as my Saturday went, I happened to go around New York City with my mother, but that’s irrelevant here. If you want my thoughts on that, it was fun, end of story. Now let’s focus on New York Comic Con.

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New York Comic Con is a yearly event held in New York, NY’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. As far as attendees go, these conventions usually get somewhere in the six digit range. According to Wikipedia, over 180,000 people attended this very convention in 2016. This year, many celebrities were present from ranges in entertainment, literature, gaming, and comics. The show’s basement has an ENORMOUS Artist Alley, but let me make it clear, I didn’t investigate any further into it. I also didn’t go to any panels, but there were some I would have gone to if I had the time or greater motivation. One was the “Mortal Engines” panel, but I couldn’t get in because once it started, I actually wasn’t in the convention center yet. However throughout my visit I did a bunch of other things that were definitely enjoyable. There is so much to go over when it comes to what New York Comic Con has that it is so easy to say that I am not gonna be able to hit all of it. But all of the highlights I did hit, I’ll document them here. Let’s start this off by going over some purchases.

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This first section relates heavily to what I do here at Scene Before. These con posts, I just do them as a hobby. I don’t get invited to cons. It would be nice if I had a chance to promote this site there at some booth or something though. As most of my followers probably already know, my main dedication goes toward movie reviewing. This is probably the con that I’ve gone to that relates closest to movies than any other. I say that because while some cons I go to I am well aware that they have those movies and TV shows that you can’t really buy in other stores (this con has that too), there is one space in this con that is actually a movie store, and that is FYE. I will say though, this is not my first time seeing an FYE at a con. At Rhode Island Comic Con, FYE actually happened to be present every year I went.

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In fact in 2016, I actually managed to buy a piece of wall art from there which had Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman on it. I got it signed the next day for very low price of $125. That is $15 cheaper than a professional photo op alongside her.

Although when I went to that FYE, movies were not a priority. Sure, last year I remember seeing a bunch of Japanese anime-related film material. Although I usually don’t seek out anime. This year at New York Comic Con, they decided to show off some Funko Pop Vinyls, including exclusives from FYE and believe it or not, San Diego Comic Con. They also had their exclusive food such as 10th Anniversary MCU cereal, Breaking Bad blue meth, and because the game apparently is still relevant enough to be a thing, Five Nights At Freddy’s cereal. I didn’t buy any food however. Instead, I did buy a few movies. One of the exclusive steelbooks they had happened to be an early purchase of mine on Friday, which was the “Iron Giant” steelbook. I have seen “The Iron Giant” before on TV, however I have never owned it. It’s a really good movie and definitely showcases the absolute talent of director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol). Speaking of exclusive steelbooks, I went back on Sunday and they still had plenty of steelbooks to choose from. They had a bunch of horror related ones, after all it is October, so I went in and got a couple. I picked up the FYE exclusive of John Carpenter’s “Halloween,” which I already watched, and it is pretty much like the 35th anniversary edition. They do have a 4K edition of the movie which came out recently around the same time as this copy did. I never got that, but I went to Best Buy the day after getting home from New York and they had it for a cheaper price. Wah. I also picked up “Halloween II,” more specifically, the Scream Factory steelbook for it. This is also my second possession from Scream Factory. My other Scream Factory product by the way is a steelbook copy of “They Live,” which I purchased a matter of months before I attended this event. Much like “They Live,” this steelbook has only 10,000 copies. It includes the theatrical cut and the TV cut. The TV cut has additional footage which has not been seen in the theatrical cut.

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Another purchase at FYE was an exclusive Funko, specifically one of Iron Man in “Avengers: Infinity War.” They had a decent selection of Funkos lined up, but Iron Man was the way to go for me. After all, when it comes to superheroes, “Iron Man” is easily up there as one of my all time favorites, Robert Downey Jr does a great job as the character and his screen presence is nothing short of a crowd pleaser. Although I’m surprised they didn’t make the label “Iron Man (Unmasked)” or “Iron Man/Tony Stark” because you can see his face. And like most of my other Pops, it’s still in the box. Speaking of which, I also happened to buy a Pop protector case. No, I am not using it for this Pop, because when I came home from the con, I went to the mall and stopped inside Thinkgeek. They had an E3 exclusive (also available in GameStop stores) of King Dice from the video game “Cuphead.” As of now, that is inside the protection case. For those of you who want to know more information about this FYE, I will have you know that the receipt actually lists the information for an actual FYE store out there. Similar to how at Rhode Island Comic Con I bought an item there and it tells me that the store happened to be from the Auburn Mall in Auburn, MA. This item is actually from the FYE at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, NY. This mall is located on Long Island and is owned by Simon.

Speaking of places you can get movies, I actually happened to come upon a stand which I happened to recognize. It’s not a store, and it’s not for a particular person either. Instead, it was for a motion picture studio by the name of Magnet. For those of you who don’t know, Magnet Releasing is actually associated Magnolia Pictures, a studio founded in 2001. Magnet believe it or not is a name that is often associated with Magnolia’s genre and foreign films. I bought two movies at the stand, specifically “Marrowbone” and “RBG.” “Marrowbone,” or as it is referred to on IMDb, “The Secret of Marrowbone,” is about a man and three younger siblings who are cursed in a manor which they live. “RBG” is a documentary on the life of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. So one movie is about something that is haunting a house and the other is basically about a woman you can basically picture as a spirit in said haunted house.

I mean, just look at her! That open mouth will contribute to haunting your nightmares!

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Also, because I picked up two films, I got a free t-shirt that came with them. Yippee! As you can see, it has the Magnolia Pictures logo on a field of black. That was also the only t-shirt I picked up at the con. However I almost went ahead and picked up a New York Comic Con shirt because I feel like out of all the cons I’ve gone to in my life, this is the one that I would most likely buy a self-promoting t-shirt from. Not everybody wants to promote the fact that they went to Terrificon. Not many people have even heard of Terrificon! I’m not bashing against Terrificon, I went this year and I had more fun than I once expected to. By the way, if you haven’t thought about it already, go to Terrificon next year.

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My next purchase to go over is a Funko Pop Vinyl which happens to be retired. About a month I went into the New England-based nerd culture store Newbury Comics, they had a 25% off sale going around the store. I took heavy advantage of that. One of the purchases I made there was a Pac-Man Pop. Appropriately, when I saw that a place had a Pop for Ms. Pac-Man, I was intrigued. That place by the way was called Shorething Collectibles, which is based in Pennsylvania. They are a family owned business that sells Funko Pops, plush toys, and home goods.

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Moving onto another purchase I made, there was this one place that went by the name of Omakase Images. They can be found online at http://omakase-ltd.squarespace.com/, and they specialize in nerdy art with a slightly religious touch. My purchase happened to be a magnet that says “SAINT NEIL: THE INQUIRING.” As you can see in the picture above, it shows Neil DeGrasse Tyson, which I think is just plain cool because it kind of suggests that science and religion have come together. Two ideas that never seem to mesh together, happen to be completing a double-piece puzzle.

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That’s not all the purchases I’ve made. After all, I have gotten a couple autographs, which I will get to. Although one of the biggest praises I can give to New York Comic Con is how they handled crowd control. Given the size and popularity of the convention. The crowd control here is executed BRILLIANTLY. I don’t know exactly what went into everyone’s mind. But I arrived at the convention at sometime around 9:45 AM on Sunday. According to my badge, the doors didn’t open until 10 AM. I still was able to avoid a huge line through the security check. Keep in mind, the security gates are located outside, not too far from where you can enter the convention center. Part of me is willing to bet that maybe there’s something I am unaware of when it comes to this convention that I am truly missing. Although this convention actually manages to have some of it’s cool stuff outside. There’s an “American Gods” diner, some promotional stuff for shows like “Outlander” and “The Good Place.” There was some fun to be had outside. Maybe everyone lined up very early and were let in at 9 AM. Perhaps they all got to stay outside, because that is totally something nerds very often do. Either that or people with VIP tickets were scheduled to go in early and the staff didn’t care if anybody else walked in. It’s New York Comic Con! It’s a party! Some of you might not afford to go next year so let’s make this one count! Overall, it’s a pretty effective use of space and it gives you something to do when you want some breaths of fresh air.

Speaking of promotions, I also took a picture in front of a car promoting “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I will say something though regarding my picture. It was not taken on any personal camera of mine. It was taken on a camera already set up at the event. Unfortunately, I cannot find the picture of me alongside the vehicle. I will admit I got badges from a friend, and with that in mind, I was willing to imagine that they were linked to one of our emails. As far as I know, it has no link to mine (I checked, even in spam), I asked my friend if they had it just in case, but there was no sign of it. Aw, well. It’s just a picture. Experiencing is what counts.

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And this is the one thing that I can imagine is a negative to New York Comic Con. I didn’t really mind this, but I can imagine someone coming here, ready to have a good time, and all of a sudden, they are overwhelmed with one bit of promotional material after the other. All of the convention you can see stuff for Capcom, Marvel, Disney, Funko, and Starz. The badges that I had on me were actually advertising AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” There’s even a Syfy Wire Fan Lounge and a Syfy Wire Live show! It kind of makes sense when you think about it because this convention is organized by ReedPop, which organizes PAX, which I’ve been to. There’s video game advertising up the wazoo. Everybody there is just trying to show off their latest and greatest video game whether your name is Nintendo, Bethesda, Square Enix, or Blizzard. This all kind of reminded me of one convention my friend went to in Las Vegas, specifically the one that celebrated “Star Trek’s” 50th anniversary. My friend explained that she went and was just comparing it to Dragon Con and how she feels that Dragon Con caters more to fans whereas the “Star Trek” convention she went to was more of an advertising effort. New York Comic Con in my personal opinion takes every chance it gets to advertise something, but it also simultaneously keeps everything in balance by providing a good show for the fans. In fact, I’d say it was a wise choice for Syfy to advertise at this event given how they often use the slogan “It’s a fan thing.”

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Although, one of my favorite promotions in the entire con has to be for Amazon’s upcoming show “The Boys.” This was one of the first things I saw once I walked inside the convention center. F*cking brilliant.

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One of my favorite video game franchises is “Super Smash Brothers.” Apparently the con had an area full of flat screen TVs and Nintendo GameCubes which all had the game “Super Smash Bros.: Melee.” This is one of my most nostalgic games, not to mention one of my all-time faves. On Sunday, I had time to play a round of Smash with three other people. I don’t know who they are, I don’t know their names, chances are I might never see them again. But they are fine people. I played as Donkey Kong, who is one of my mains. I wouldn’t say I have a “main” in Smash, but Donkey Kong is one of my preferred characters. Although I will say I have been playing the 3DS version a lot recently and Lucina is kind of my main there. Also, if you want my goto main on Melee, I gotta say, it’s Roy. However, he wasn’t unlocked yet. Marth was, but Roy wasn’t. Whatever, I like Donkey Kong. I didn’t win, however I got pretty close in a position of second place. A worthy competitor playing as Falco ended up taking the top position.

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Moving onto autographs, I actually managed to get two of them. One of them was from Friday and the other was given to me on Sunday. On Friday, Zachary Levi (Shazam, Chuck) happened to be present in the building. I came to his line at a time when it happened to be rather short. Levi was just finishing up with photo ops, and now he was ready for his next adventure in autographing. So I chucked up $80, no pun intended, and got Levi’s signature on a photo of him as Shazam chewing bubble gum. It’s a true feast for the eyes. It is truly kick-ass until you run out of bubble gum. We happened to chit chat for a moment. Levi said he is enjoying the con so far, and he comes off as a genuine nice guy who at that moment, just became $80 richer by writing his name.

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The other celebrity I met is not as well known. The celebrities who were well known had lines in the basement. This one is not really known for a specific TV show or movie, she is actually known for cosplaying. She goes by the name Yaya Han. Now I don’t follow cosplay. I don’t partake in cosplay. I have massive respect for those who do happen to be involved, although I never took part in it. Keep in mind, I said some of those words to her face. So she must be thinking, “What is this schmuck doing talking to me?” Then I got to the point. For those of you who have known me for awhile, one of my all-time biggest obsessions is the TBS reality competition “King of the Nerds.” Yaya Han was not heavily involved with the show, but she was the only guest I met who had some sort of association with it. Sure, there was another guest, Curtis Armstrong, who was at the con for a panel, but that happened on a day which I didn’t have a ticket. Yaya Han however was there when I was. Therefore, I told her I remember her as a guest judge for all three seasons of the show. When I did, I also thanked her for being a part of something that heavily makes me an individual. She commented saying “King of the Nerds” is an excellent production and she has enjoyed it. Shortly afterwards, I got an autograph from Han on a photo displaying her as Batgirl. Besides her name, she also wrote, “Gotham needs you!” The autograph was only $15 and to me it was well worth the money. Afterwards, I took a picture alongside her.

One person I ended up meeting also happened to be someone I was subscribed to on YouTube. If you know me in person, chances are you’d be aware that I watch “Family Guy.” The thing is… I met Peter Griffin.

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No, not Seth MacFarlane! I met Robert Franzese. If you don’t know who this guy is, I don’t blame you. On YouTube, his channel name is known as Real Life Peter Griffin. He is known for talking, dressing, and sounding like Peter Griffin. On YouTube, you can find videos of him doing his own version of some of “Family Guy’s” popular bits (Grinds My Gears is a common example), and whatever other funny material he can come up with. I told him I was subscribed to his channel and he said that’s “Freakin’ sweet.” As you can tell, I didn’t get a picture with him.

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New York Comic Con is basically a giant compared to other cons that I went to that when you consider how much I DIDN’T get to do. It all makes sense. I never got a pro photo op. I never went into a panel. There was a bunch of interactive stuff I never really took part in. I never tried out any of the upcoming video games like “Megaman 11” or “Kingdom Hearts III.” There was even one thing that I was kind of curious to do, which was take part in a VR game based on the recent film “Skyscraper.” This had you attempt to make what is referred to as “the impossible jump” and if you make it from the crane to the skyscraper, you will be entered to win $10,000. But the area was cluttered, so I avoided pressing my luck. And I have to say that I have the same excuse for the panels. I’d try going down and checking on them, but the case is either that I am not interested in something, or I just don’t want to wait in line with tons of people and risk getting a bad seat. Only thing is there is only one seat I’d get on the “Skyscraper” game. Regardless of the endless list of things I DIDN’T get to do, it did not make me think I did nothing, because all of the stuff I ended up doing, I really enjoyed.

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Guys, New York Comic Con is literally not just one of the best cons out there, but quite possibly one of the best THINGS ever created! The staff is really nice, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, the organizers know their audience, and it’s as big as Kanye West’s ridiculous ego! If I have any cons regarding this convention, I do want it to have slightly cheaper tickets (tickets are $50 for just a single-day admission), but there’s also probably an argument to be made that maybe all that is in store is totally worth the $50 ticket price. I must say though, as a nerd, it has kind of been an objective to hit one of the big two comic-cons before I die. Aside from this one, a con in particular I wanted to hit was San Diego Comic-Con. And now I am super glad to have one of the big two off my bucket list. Will I be back next year? Tough to say. Tickets may be easier to get than San Diego, but I don’t live in New York, I live in Massachusetts, traveling ain’t cheap. Plus, again, just one day at the convention is worth $50. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? Thanks for reading my thoughts on New York Comic Con! If you want to find out more about my con adventures, I should have you know that Rhode Island Comic Con is upon us and I’ll be attending all three days. This is my fourth time going to Rhode Island Comic Con in a row, and as much as I’m excited for it, let’s just get serious and hope that when it comes to organization, they succeed and don’t piss people off. Look that s*it up, that’s usually their biggest flaw. Be sure to follow Scene Before with your WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you go to New York Comic Con? What did you think about it? Or, what is an expensive con that is worth the money? Also, in the comments section, feel free to suggest future cons for me to visit in the future, I’d LOVE to hear them. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

San Diego Comic-Con Can Only Be the One True Comic Con: WHY I’M MAD!

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This post could have been done earlier, and by that I mean last month, but due to a lack of motivation and feeling the need to do such a post at one time, I ignored any thought of taking this on. But having talked about this with some pals recently, I feel that this is a situation that has REALLY gone out of hand and I feel that this gonna ruin a number of events. Months back, I did a post on my response to the case between San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Lake Comic Con. I was rather angry at the fact that San Diego Comic-Con had the idea that their stance as “comic con” is superior to everyone else. Sure, they are one of the most popular comic conventions out there. And building off of that, as a convention in general, they happen to be one of the first that enters people’s minds. But several news articles came out recently that sounded like something I’ve heard months ago, but once I saw them, they made me just as angry as I was during that period of time.

Apparently, I’m seeing articles pop up everywhere saying “San Diego Comic-Con” wins trademark rights for comic-con, here are just a few examples down below:

San Diego Union Tribune
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NBC Washington

Now about all of this, I think it’s just plain f*cking stupid! I know that SDCC is the original comic-con, I know that they’ve been in this type of business for a long time, but the fact is, I don’t recall ever seeing a case like this before in the realm of conventions, or comic-conventions at the very least.

For those who need some background information, allow me to introduce the cons.

*Cue “The People’s Court” theme*

San Diego Comic-Con, formerly known as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, was once a convention where comic-books were king. Multiple decades later, chances are they are the first thing someone would think of when they hear the name Comic-Con. They sell out their tickets very quickly for their yearly events, have many celebrity guests, are known for long lines, and most recently, the surrounding of eScooters. SDCC is where many new pieces of promotional material for upcoming nerdy content gets released. This year some highlights include a trailer for an all new season “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” with the hashtag #CloneWarsSaved, the first trailer for “Aquaman,” the first trailer for “Shazam,” a trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass,” a trailer for Matt Groenig’s new Netflix series “Disenchantment,” and a trailer for “The Walking Dead” season 9.

Salt Lake Comic Con, otherwise now known as FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, coincidentally has one of its shows around the time this post is released believe it or not. Past shows have been popular by Utah standards. For example, in September 2015, a couple years after this convention first started, there was an attendance of 127,000 according to FanX’s Wikipedia page. If you aren’t familiar with how Salt Lake Comic Con does things, they have two kinds of shows. There’s your standard Salt Lake Comic Con, and then there’s the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience. Salt Lake Comic Con focuses on guests and other things that maybe you’d expect to find at a convention that has “comic con” in its name, whereas FanX is more focused on thinking outside the box.

As I write this, I reread my older post on the trademark battle, and for those who don’t know, San Diego Comic-Con apparently has claimed that they’ve trademarked the term Comic-Con, as stated during a court case between both parties. This court case by the way, was won by San Diego, and it just so turns out that neither party was satisfied with the outcome. Salt Lake was unsatisfied because they lost, and San Diego was unsatisfied because they didn’t even get as much money as they would have hoped out of the case. They were awarded $20,000, the top prize one can win after a game of “Family Feud,” as opposed to $12,000,000, which is the top prize of the game show that has yet to be pitched to ABC, “Who Wants to Be a Rich Egomaniac Who Doesn’t Give Anything to Anyone but Themselves?” By the way, that game show is also an accurate title describing what Jeff Bezos’ life is like as the CEO of Amazon. According to an article published by Hollywood Reporter on January 17th of this year, Daniel Farr and Bryan Bradenberg of Dan Farr Productions, the organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con, wanted a new trial because they felt that certain points were left out and the jury didn’t receive proper instructions. When it comes to San Diego, they wanted an injunction, they wanted Salt Lake to disgorge a profit on future events, and they wanted $4.5 million in attorneys’ fees and costs because they feel their argument is strong whereas Salt Lake is a bit exaggerative. SDCC also goes on to claim that this is an “all-out war” that was started against them.

I may sound like a nazi threatening San Diego Comic-Con at every turn, but in all seriousness, there are some valid points to their win. Aside from their claim that “comic-con” is their trademark, they are organized by a company referred to as Comic-Con International. And yes, they certainly got the “comic-con” of their name right. “International” though, not so much. Comic-Con International organizes two other events, specifically Wondercon and Alternative Press Expo, both of which, like SDCC, are in the United States, and not only that, but ALL THREE CONVENTIONS ARE IN CALIFORNIA!

I gotta say though, going back to the main topic, August comes around. US District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia, who coincidentally shares his name with a former pro hockey player who also happens to be a former contestant on “The Amazing Race,” has something to say. Keep in mind, he was the judge who has been fed all of these recently mentioned demands on both sides. What does he do? He lets Darth Vader chop Luke’s hand off! San Diego Comic-Con received $3.9 million in legal fees, Salt Lake Comic Con has 30 days to stop using “comic-con,” WITH OR WITH OUT A HYPHEN, OR ANY OTHER SIMILAR SOUNDING TITLES, according to SDCC attorney Peter Hahn. Just the other day, I was talking about this with friends, I referred to SDCC as “Stupid Dumb Crazy Crapfaces,” because that matches the initials of the acronym for San Diego Comic-Con. I take that back, because now they’re “S*itty Dumbasses Called Clusterf*cks!” I almost happen to have trouble processing this because having learned about this apparent “trademark,” it just makes me wonder how many other conventions have some variation of “comic-con” in their name and they could potentially be harmed by San Diego. I didn’t even know about this “trademark” until last year when I went over the trial in December, but as much as a trademark is a trademark, I can’t help but wonder, can a trademark like comic-con be defeated?

The short answer would probably be a no. But I gotta say, I’m kinda fed up. I’m not happy. Months ago, when I talked about San Diego winning the case, I referred to SDCC as what was once the ultimate place for nerds to unite, but then they changed into the jocks that put someone down. Now, to quote the marketing for “Revenge of the Nerds,” it’s time for the odd to get even!

Daniel Farr, Bryan Bradenberg, if either of you are reading this, awesome, hope you’re enjoying the free content slapped together by a moron. And I’ll just say, you might want to stick around for this. At the beginning of this post, I have mentioned that San Diego Comic-Con is famous for its lines. In fact, while it has been proven that SDCC is a fun time for many people, there are downsides. And while spoilers for “Game of Thrones” or “The Walking Dead” or “Avengers: Infinity War” may be a dealbreaker for some individuals, chances are that someone is guaranteed to most likely complain about the lines. But I want to take the worst part of comic-con and use it to send a message.

Now, I may sound like some progressive individual who is trying to organize some event in a major city. Trust me, I’m not. I don’t lean towards any political party, I haven’t attended any of the “marches” that have been going on, and most importantly, I’m busy. I just started college, what can I say? But if I were a little less busy, I’d want to organize an event somewhere, maybe either in Salt Lake City or San Diego. The event is not a march, but it does involve being on the streets. It also could potentially involve moving around. In celebration of the worst that a number of cons, not just San Diego Comic-Con, has to offer, I want to form an enormous line full of people. This line shall send a message to San Diego Comic-Con and Comic-Con International. I understand what a trademark is, but I also understand what generic means. And given the vast number of comic-cons around the world, it would only be fair if you’d let others have a name that may have once been a one-of-a-kind, but is now as ubiquitous as McDonald’s. So if you want the name comic-con to be applied to conventions aside from San Diego without other conventions apparently having to have a talk with them, I recommend that this event shall take place. If this idea generates enough interest among the public, then this might as well happen. Until then, I hope you enjoyed my free content that I just make for entertainment purposes. In fact, that busy thing? I’ll say that I have Fridays and weekends off so if this event were to happen and I were the key organizer, I’d be in a city on those days in a HEARTBEAT! So if you’re with me, let’s not stand together, let’s stand SINGLE-FILE, WHAT MAY SEEM LIKE FOREVER, AND FOR A PURPOSE!

Thanks for reading this post! Not much is coming out this weekend that I’m interested in. “The Nun” is in “The Conjuring” universe and I haven’t seen one of those films, so I’m skipping that. “Peppermint” kind of strikes my interest, so we’ll see where that goes. Maybe I’ll go see “The Meg,” “Operation Finale,” “Searching,” “The Happytime Murders,” one of those films, maybe something else, I’m not sure, we’ll just have to see what happens. Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on this whole comic-con fiasco? Do you think my line idea is something that must be executed? Or is it just plain crap? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Terrificon 2018 Review/Haul

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I just got back from Terrificon! Life feels good! The world is spinning (because it’s round, not flat)! And now I’m going to be going over my time at a convention which believe it or not exceeded my expectations entirely! I have been to Terrificon once and I will say I had a good time. I wouldn’t call it the holy grail of conventions or anything, it’s just a fun time. It’s not like I’m going to SDCC whatsoever (although the short lines at Terrificon make a positive difference). This year, just like last year, the lines certainly did not disappoint. I’ll get a little more into that down the road when I get into my celebrity encounters but nevertheless, I’ll get into it. Let me just continue saying that I thought this con was significantly better than last year’s! The guest lineup isn’t really that big, so that’s a similarity to last year, but what I love about this year is that the con took place in a new venue. It’s still on the same property, but for this year’s con, the people behind it have decided to place it in a recently built expo center.

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If you have been to Terrificon last year like I have, you may be aware that the last event took place in Mohegan Sun’s Sky Convention Center, but with the recent completion of the Earth tower and its expo center, events like this can now take place in that convention center. I like this convention center a little bit more as opposed to the other one mainly because this new one is bigger. Although, this may disappoint you, you may not care, I don’t know, decide for yourself, the floor is a bit more on the typical side for a convention center. Also, before we move on, look at this Thanos statue! Isn’t that epic?! I should also point out that next to it is a TV where you can hit a button and it’ll tell you if you survived Thanos’s snap!

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The last convention center is kind of elegant, but it almost feels like a large facility where you might as well hold an ambitious interview with the Queen of England. In fact, if you look at the floor, it almost screams “fancy bloated dinner party.” The new convention center feels somewhat normal. I don’t have a preference on design, although when it comes to which center itself I prefer, I gotta go with the new one because let’s face it, size matters.

One thing I went over in my promotion post is that there’s an attempt to make history at this convention. In honor of Superman’s 80th birthday, right near the entrance to the center, is a giant list of names written in Sharpie. All of those names are on what is being referred to as Superman’s birthday card. All of the names written down have been part of an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most signatures on a birthday card. And yes, I wrote my name.

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This birthday card was located in the very nice entry way section of the center, right near where Terrificon exclusive merchandise was being sold. This is where all of the cosplay guests were tabling, it had a nice looking stand for fast-food products, which included Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. They also have an area which they can let you go outside, which is definitely nice if you want fresh air, but I avoided it because I’m not a smoker and I imagine some people could be out there just to smoke.

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One of the entry-ways from the recently mentioned wing leads into a gaming area. When I was here on Friday, I decided to go inside because I wanted to take part in the Jackbox Games session. While I was here, we played “Drawful 2,” “Trivia Murder Party,” “Survive the Internet,” “Quiplash 2,” and “Fakin’ It.” Jackbox Games has a fantastic sense a humor and I always play these games with my friends. And fun fact, the friends I play with are in the Nerd Army and the Knights of Nerdvana. If some of you don’t look at my header, you may not know that this blog is the “Official Blog of the #NerdArmy’s Film Critic.” And speaking of the Nerd Army, one of its members aside from myself actually happened to be in the same room as I. By the way, Adrian, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry we never got to say hello, I might be back next year though!

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Speaking of entry-ways that are close to the main lobby of the center, one of them leads to a ballroom where I attended three panels. There was only one of these that I had my eyes set on, but I ended up attending three. While I didn’t attend any panels on Friday, there was one on Saturday I attended. I never usually watch anything on AMC, which is kind of shocking considering how many people rave about “The Walking Dead,” but I attended a panel featuring AMC’s “Comic Book Men.” More specifically, two of them. They had three appear, but two were in the panel. Those two were Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen. I have never seen one episode of “Comic Book Men,” I was going to ask a question with that disclaimer, however there wasn’t enough time to get to it. Having seen this panel, it honestly just made me intrigued to watch the series. Unfortunately, one of the big things the panel had to go over is that the show was canceled. But I’ve heard that there are episodes on Amazon, so I can easily watch it on there. Although it’s not free so that’s the one downside. If they ever decide to come out with a DVD of the seasons with commentary, maybe I’ll pick it up. Plus, it has Kevin Smith. Why wouldn’t I check this thing out?

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Another panel I originally didn’t plan on attending but ended up going to anyway was for Michael Jai White. You may know this fellow from movies like “The Dark Knight,” “Spawn,” “Black Dynamite,” and “Arrow.” I happened to be sitting in the back of the room. There were plenty of seats available, but in the back they had these high top tables with white chairs. I figured I’d check em out. I almost asked a question about what it was like to work with Christopher Nolan, another person who was there asked a similar sounding question and White pretty much went over how Christopher Nolan did things. And hearing what he had to say about Nolan, my favorite director of all time, it only made me appreciate Nolan more. When I think of certain directors that are critically acclaimed, maybe they are somewhat obnoxious. Nolan, based on White’s words, seemed to be the exact opposite of that. Shortly after his panel, I stayed in the room, because another panel was about to start and it was for someone I was ready to see. I even move up to one of the seats in the third row near a mic because I did intend on asking questions.

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In case you can’t tell, this panel is for Pom Klementieff. You may know her best as Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” and most recently, “Avengers: Infinity War.” I still need to check out another movie she did, “Ingrid Goes West.” During the panel we talked about “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which partially included a little brush-over on the whole James Gunn fiasco, Klementieff’s journey as she became an actress, her fascination for “Oldboy,” which interestingly she just so happened to have a role in the 2013 adaptation made in America as opposed to South Korea. I was in line to ask a question. So I go on, introducing myself to Pom, saying that I might arguably have the most important question of the entire panel. The question, “Why is Gamora?” I repeated it so everyone could understand. Unfortunately, nobody laughed. Except Pom. At least that’s what I remember, if anyone else laughed I wouldn’t have been able to pick theirs up. So all of you guys who think I would amount to nothing in life, screw y’all! I made a celebrity laugh! What have you done? Jeff Bezos, you’re history! I made Pom Klementieff laugh! Mark Zuckerberg? You found a very popular social network? F*ck you, I got a celebrity to appreciate my joke! Elon Musk? Who the hell are you?! I made history! I got Pom Klementieff to burst in laughter! In all seriousness, my real question had to do with Klementieff’s personal favorite line she said in one of her films. Although, I don’t think she understood me, because she responded saying “I am Groot” is one of the best inventions ever. I thought it her answer close enough.

Now let’s move onto purchases. For this section we’re going to state the item(s) I purchased, where I got said item(s) from, and if I have anything to say about it/them, I’ll dive deeper.

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A few months before I went to this convention, I was not into the whole Pop vinyl figure thing. However, after an unexpected encounter with “Blade Runner” figures at Thinkgeek I had in May, my interest levels have increased. I’ve mainly looked for exclusives, as I’ve done in this convention, and once I set my eyes upon this Pop, I figured it was the perfect purchase. Granted, it was $25, and most of the Pops I get are on the cheaper side. The main reason why I got it, aside from liking the Hulk and “Thor: Ragnarok” despite having numerous complaints about it, is that it’s an exclusive from Toys R Us. As you may know, Toys R Us officially closed its doors for good here in the US at the end of June. When is the next time I am gonna buy something sold at Toys R Us? I don’t know, but I can guarantee it won’t be soon. I purchased this Bruce Banner Pop at Undiscovered Realm, which has a store located in White Plains, NY. Unfortunately, I will say that there was another one of these in a different store in the center that was available for $20, but hey, a Toys R Us exclusive is a Toys R Us exclusive.

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Speaking of exclusive Pops I could have gotten for a cheaper price, I also picked up a figure of Parzival from “Ready Player One.” I paid $15 for it at Wize Guys Collectibles and only bad luck occurred from this one. The day after I bought this Hot Topic Exclusive, I found another place selling it for $10! And as I went home, I don’t know how this happened, but the bottom must have opened itself! The figure was inside the whole time, so hopefully not much value will be lost. Ah well, I bought this with a couple of intentions however. I have an Art3mis figure on my shelf (GameStop exclusive), so I figured maybe I should put this next to my Art3mis since both are characters from “Ready Player One” and they lust after each other. Plus “Ready Player One” is one of my favorite movies of the year so you bet I had to get this.

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Sticking with Funko’s creations, we have a few more Pops to gloss over! These three I can’t recall exactly where I got them, and no, don’t say Target, because that’s false even though one of these is a Target exclusive! If I had to guess based on the map, it’s probably G and T Toys and More. I am happy with my picks. Captain Cassian Andor on the right is the second “Star Wars” Pop I purchased (first was Director Orson Krennic). I also have a Kylo Ren, but I got it from my sister. I also got Cable, because “Deadpool 2” is awesome, one of the best movies of 2018. Also, this was partially because there was a deal going on where if I bought three $10 Pops, the total would come out to $25. I’ll remind you, every Pop was $10, and there were three Doctor Strange Target exclusives. I had to pick up one of them. I later discovered some minor wear and tear on the Doctor Strange box, but whatever, I was glad to have it. Plus, it’s gold!

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The last of the Pops I got actually turned out to be the first Pop I ever owned to originate from a video game. One of my all time favorite companies in the video game industry is Valve, and every once in a while I might go on Steam and play a bit of “Team Fortress 2.” One class I occasionally play is the Heavy. It’s just fun to take his Russian mother load of a machine gun and go to town on people. Plus, the best part is that it was only $6! Not a bad deal if you ask me! This was actually purchased at Toytastik which sells toys online and seems to focus very much on comic book-based toys, so when it comes to comic-con, they know their customer base quite well. They were also selling a “Team Fortress 2” Medic, but since I MAY have damaged the box (not significantly, but still), I ended up getting the Heavy which I found shortly after finding the Medic. In fact, I’m actually satisfied with the Heavy. Aside for not damaging the item’s value, the big thing that makes me prefer the Heavy is that I don’t play as the Medic. When I play “TF2,” I do play a number of classes, but the Medic is not one of them. I just never found myself interested in playing a healer. But that’s just me.

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If you read last year’s review of Terrificon, you’d know that last year I picked up a couple license plates. The place where I did that was what I assumed to be “Fuzzy Fish Inc.” Based on what happened this year, I can probably say that’s where I got those other license plates. Because as you see above, I picked up a couple more plates and those were from Fuzzy Fish. The one above is from the movie “Blade Runner 2049.”

If you look closely in the image above which is a BEAUTIFUL shot from “Blade Runner 2049,” you may notice this license plate is located on K’s spinner. Once I saw this, I felt like Betty White thinking about the idea of never dying, I HAD TO HAVE IT. The shop happened to have a deal where you can get another plate which would make your total come out to $25.

The other license plate I’ve purchased comes from the movie “Spaceballs.” It’s not as cool as an “I ❤ Uranus” bumper sticker, but it’s not a bad purchase nonetheless. I do consider “Spaceballs” to be a fantastic parody so I am proud to own this.

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Moving onto t-shirts, one of my purchases took place at a stand operated by Robber Barons. I managed to purchase a shirt that contains the text “Ray & Egon & Peter & Winston,” otherwise known as the Ghostbusters. The stand had a great selection of shirts, in fact, I still remember seeing this stand last year with this same shirt. The operator was wearing one of the shirts on the stand, which said “POWERED BY PIZZA.” Personally, that sounds relatable. I got this shirt on Sunday and I had trouble deciding between this one and another shirt from a different shop. That other shirt by the way was a crossover between “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” and was mocking the “Solo” logo. Instead of “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” it said “Sulu: A Star Trek Story.” The other shirt is from 3D Printing by Muckychris. Both shirts were around the same price but the main reasons behind getting the “Ghostbusters” shirt was that some people think religiously that “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” are competitors that aren’t intended to be together and I’m more into “Ghostbusters” than I am into “Star Trek.” Heck, I have an Ecto-1 license plate in my room. What can I say? Although I did find out that Muckychris has an Etsy page so I can go ahead and buy the shirt anytime. I should buy it at some point, it could be like a peace demonstration for nerds. For those who are interested in Robber Barons, they design and print shirts in Simsbury, CT, which is located near the state capital of Hartford. They sell t-shirts, bandanas, and other sorts of stuff.

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I happened to get these next two shirts from the same place, specifically a shop called MTC Toys. Believe it or not, on the program I was handed at the con, it actually refers to the shop as MC Toys, so I apologize to all who get fooled by this error. They’ve been going to comic-cons for a long time, and they’ve got a crapton of apparel to pick from. They operate in North Tonawanda, NY, which is right near Canada. As you can see, I picked out a couple of shirts. The one on the left is the Seinfeld logo, and if you want to get into specifics, that is the Seinfeld logo which was presented on screen during season 3 and the first couple of episodes in season 4. On the right is a 2001: A Space Odyssey shirt. I figured I’d get it because for one thing I LOVE “2001” and I’m going to see the movie in IMAX next week. It’s gonna be dope! If you look at the shirt you’d notice that it contains a couple of images from the movie. One is of the space baby and the other is a shot of the monolith and the sun from the first encounter with the monolith where we see the apes. The only downside is the price (nearly $50 for both shirts after tax), but for the variety that’s in store, I guess MTC Toys is at least worth a gander.

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Sticking with the topic of “2001,” you can see I picked up three posters, and “2001” just so happened to be one of them. The other two are for “Ready Player One” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I believe I got these at Rock N’ Reel Posters. I’m rather satisfied with my choices because I highly enjoy all three of these films, and I happen to have a quirky poster too with “Ferris Bueller” considering it’s meant to be hung sideways.

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Out of all the movies in the MCU’s first phase, “Thor” is definitely my favorite of the bunch. One of the best lines from that movie is on this glass you see above. Once I saw this, I had to get this! It was worthy! I got this thing from Go Geek, which sold nerdy candles with “Supernatural,” “Harry Potter,” “Pokemon,” and “Star Wars” themes, and some other cool stuff. When it came to getting this, I almost settled on one or two other glasses. Another glass that caught my attention was one that said “Wanna Smash?” One of the letters in that phrase had the “Super Smash Brothers” insignia, not to mention Samus from “Metriod.” And if you play “Super Smash Brothers,” you’d know Samus is one of the fighters in all of the games.

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This purchase here is not exactly one I originally made for myself. I was originally intending on sending this to my friend in Michigan, but he decided I should keep it, so therefore I’m keeping it. This piece of space Kirby awesomeness comes from Johnny Flid. Originally from Long Island, he is a master artist, muralist, fine painter, and illustrator. When I did a Facebook live from the con, I actually gave him a shoutout, so I hope he gets some attention!

And while I may be done with standard purchases that I’ve done at Terrificon, I have not gotten to a purchase that I made involving a celebrity. As you may know, on the Sunday for the con, I attended the panel for Pom Klementieff. However, the day before, I got in line to get her autograph. The line wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short either. It was however longer than I expected because I remember going to this con last year and lines were almost never a problem. In line, I got to glimpse at Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Arrested Development). I didn’t talk to him, but he was walking through and I tried say “ayyy” like he would as the Fonz on “Happy Days” and see if he would notice. I got no reaction however. Granted, I don’t watch “Happy Days” and I forgot to raise the thumbs! Dammit! Seeing Henry Winkler though, he does seem to be a nice guy, and definitely very interactive with fans. How often do you see a celebrity get out of their chair and move away from their table to get attention? They’re usually just sitting down!

So after somewhere between ten to twenty minutes, it is my turn to talk to Pom. I’m in my “You’re Not Groot” shirt that I got at this very con last year. From what I can tell, she didn’t notice it. We didn’t talk too much, mainly because I was busy with the assistant at her table. However, we did say a few words. Klementieff goes on and signs my free IMAX poster that I got when I saw “Avengers: Infinity War” on opening night. The biggest thing I can recall out of all of this was after we took a photo together.

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“Take names, kick ass.”

Once she heard that she kinda cheered in a way. I don’t know how often she’ll get that, and I bet there could be a point where she could be dead tired of hearing that. But with it being one of the best lines from “Avengers: Infinity War,” I had to spit that out. I did talk to a couple of other celebrities, specifically Sam Jones (Flash Gordon, Ted) and Lou Ferrigno, but I’m not gonna dive too much into that. Although I will say Sam Jones noticed my “You’re not Groot” shirt and we had an interesting exchange concerning it.

I could go on, but then I’d just end up babbling until the end of time. I really enjoyed Terrificon 2018, I thought this convention was an improvement over the previous one, I’m definitely looking forward to coming back next year. I gotta give a shoutout to the staff, some of the nicest staff I’ve encountered at a con. They know what they’re doing and they sound like they’re happy to be at the con as much as I am. Not only do they know their audience, but they also know how to put on a fantastic show. Thanks for reading this post! I’d like to thank everyone I encountered at the con, from Johnny Flid to Pom Klementieff and everyone I met during the Jackbox Games session, all of the people who took what could have been a decent con experience and turned it to something much greater. As for other cons, I actually do have plans to go to more down the road. This October I’ll be going to New York Comic Con. I’ll be going on Friday, October 5th, and Sunday, October 7th, it’ll be my first time at that convention, I’m very much looking forward to it. Also, the month after that, I’m gonna be in Providence for Rhode Island Comic Con. I’ll be there all three days on the first weekend of November, which is the 2nd through the 4th. Too bad I’m not going on the 5th, it could have been perfect timing to do a cosplay as V from “V For Vendetta.” These next couple of months are gonna be con heavy, which means you can assure yourself that you will be getting some great content coming your way. Be sure to follow so you can stay tuned for said content! You can either follow with your WordPress account or your email, nevertheless, make sure you click that follow button! I want to know, did you go to Terrificon this year? What was your experience like? Or, if you have any cons that you want me to go to in the future, leave a comment and maybe I’ll do some research on it. I will say, I’m in eastern Massachusetts so that will be a hint as to what maybe I can or can’t do. But nevertheless, leave your comments, I’d love to hear your suggestions! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to TerrifiCon 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! We are currently in the second half of 2018! And I’ve already stated to y’all that I’m going to Rhode Island Comic Con and New York Comic Con this year! Well guess what? That ain’t enough to please this guy! I’m the king of the nerds, what can I say? This August, I’ll be making my second trip to a convention down in Connecticut. Based on what I’ve been hearing, it’s not gonna be quite the same as it was last year. It might as well be said that this year’s upcoming TerrifiCon is more terrific than ever!

Having gone to this event only once, I gotta say it’s a fun time. In fact, it came with a couple perks that I’ve missed at other cons I’ve encountered. For one thing, it doesn’t have many crowds, which kind of shocks me because when I went last year, the space used for the con wasn’t really that big. It worked, but it wasn’t big. Another perk for me, and perhaps my mother, is that all my time spent at this con is actually free. Why? This is taking place at the Mohegan Sun casino, and she is a member of some sort of club there. The membership aided in her getting free tickets. Last year, she was actually able to get tickets for two out of the three days. This year however, she actually managed to get three free days. Thanks, mom! Judging by my recent comment, I’m going to be at the con from Friday August 17th, to Sunday August 19th.

TerrifiCon is going to be taking place in an all new venue this year! As a matter of fact, when I was leaving Mohegan Sun last year to go home, there was actually construction being done on the new center. The venue goes by the name of Earth Expo & Convention Center, and it’ll still be attached to the Mohegan Sun property, but it’s an addition to the all new Earth Tower. I haven’t gotten much of a look at the place, but I have seen progress on its assembly.

Guests at this year’s TerrifiCon range from media guests, cosplay guests, artists, and writers. Some standouts include Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ingrid Goes West), Lou Feringno (King of Queens, The Incredible Hulk), Sam Jones (Flash Gordon, Ted), and Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Arrested Development).

However that’s not all the guests that stand out, because a there’s a couple a guests that I’d imagine would be getting a lot of attention, but they won’t because they canceled.

One of the biggest guests on the list, in fact what I think may be THE biggest guest on the list for this year’s TerrifiCon is Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street). His name was leaked on the guest list somewhere towards the second half of spring. Although recently, the unfortunate happened. Days ago, a representative for Jon Bernthal said this:

“I cannot even begin to express how sorry I am to inform you that Jon Bernthal will have to cancel his appearance at your show in August to do his filming schedule. It seems he will have wrapped “Punisher” and gone into production for his next film the week before. He really wanted to make it especially since it would’ve been perfect since it was so close, but after just receiving this new schedule, it’s not going to be possible.”

Speaking of canceled appearances, we have another from KISS member Vinnie Vincent. As the website suggests, this guest canceled due to a scheduling conflict. Similarly, Shannon Farnon, known for her work on the Hanna-Barbera “Wonder Woman,” couldn’t make it due to a scheduling conflict of her own.

Funny enough, since we’re talking about things that have been unfortunately canceled, let’s talk about “Comic Book Men.” I never really watched “Comic Book Men,” but there’s gonna be a trio of guests from the AMC TV show of that name. These guests include Mike Zapcic, Bryan Johnson, and Ming Chen. The thing I love about these guests is not necessarily their show, their personalities, the fact that they’re even at the con, none of that. It’s not that I don’t like them, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. What I truly appreciate about the announcement for these guests is how the writer is trying to project himself. It’s like he’s talking straight to the target audience given his statement, calling the trio from “Comic Book Men” “former stars of the wrongly cancelled AMC-TV show.” For the record, this convention is being presented by Mitch Hallock and Big Fedora Marketing. So this must be either Mitch Hallock himself or some guy we don’t even know behind Big Fedora Marketing who wrote this sort of thing. Funny enough, on Jon Bernthal’s cancellation notice, it says “We were looking forward to seeing him as well – I already bought a 1st appearance of the Punisher for him to sign. But its not happening this year.

And yes, for those of you paying close attention, there is no apostrophe in what I assume was supposed to be “it’s.”

I could go on talking about all of the guests, but it’s a small list so I don’t feel it is absolutely necessary. One thing I do want to talk about is if you are going to the con, there is a chance that you could be making history. As an attempt to make a Guinness World Record for “Most contributions to a greeting card,” Terrificon is going to have a 5×24 ft card featuring art from Jerry Ordway. Some of you might be thinking that this is one of those world records that might be looked at for a second by someone simply before they move on to find something more “valuable” or “important,” and maybe you’re right. However, it does not mean there is no purpose to this world record attempt. After all, this greeting card, is also a birthday card. Who’s birthday is it? It’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, but I can definitely guarantee it is Superman. How old is Superman? This year, it is eighty years since his first ever appearance in a comic book!

Also, I gotta say, he ain’t lookin’ too bad for his age. He’s gotta lose that mustache tho, it’s kinda distracting. A little digital effects in post production will take care of it, don’t ya think?

If you are into cons with activities, I will say, that sort of thing caters to all kinds of guests who enter the convention center looking for something to do. Aside from your traditional walking around, shopping, meeting celebrities, artists, going to panels, cosplay contests, etc, the con also has an after party. The after party takes place on Saturday, August 18th at 7:30 PM to midnight. This event goes by the name All-Ages* Super Terrific Retro After Party, and don’t take the all-ages thing too literally. Yes, even if you were just born in the casino minutes ago, you might not have a problem getting in. However, if you’re younger than twenty-one, you must have a parent or guardian accompanying you. There will be live music, a DJ, a trivia contest, karaoke, and cosplay is certainly permitted! To enter and get all of this cool s*it, it just costs $10! If you’re not a party-person, that’s OK, no one ever forced you to be. Because you know, nerds are born to avoid any social interaction possible. And one way they do such a thing is go in their soundproof room, turn on some console or computer, and play video games.

Throughout TerrifiCon, there will be tons of opportunities to play some of your favorite video games such as “Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite,” “Rock Band 4,” “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U,” “Injustice 2,” and “Fortnite.” This is part of what’s being called CTGamer Arena, and seeing some of these titles, I am somewhat curious to check this out. The schedule suggests that they’re going to be doing Jackbox Games at 7PM on Friday. I would love to play Jackbox Games with a large group of people, just hear all of the laughs! I play Jackbox Games with my friends several times a year! COUNT! ME! IN! But one rule, if we’re playin’, we gotta do Fibbage at some point.

And if video games aren’t your jam, there is certainly nothing wrong with doing tabletop, and this con has got that! Granted, it’s a smaller schedule, but they’ve got it covered! If you want to play “Magic: The Gathering” or “Warhammer,” go get your game on in The Dragon’s Lair!

When it comes to TerrifiCon, they’ve always come off to me as one of the more family-friendly conventions I’ve seen. When I usually think of conventions, I don’t usually think of family, I just think of a place where out of shape, nerdy men like myself go around and spend money on whatever makes people like me happy. TerrifiCon feels like a con that would be welcoming to families, and when it comes to family related events, the convention has that covered! If you want family fun, find out about the “Aw Yeah Comics Fun Zone.” This area is in a giant ballroom featuring artists, writers, musicians, arts and crafts, face painting, robotics, demonstrations, and magic shows.

If you are traveling to this con and are looking for a place to stay, you can always book a hotel room on the Mohegan Sun property, that way you don’t have to make much of a trek towards the convention center considering it’s just steps from the elevators of both hotel towers. If that doesn’t satisfy you however, there are also hotels in the area that can get you staying close to the Mohegan Sun property. There is also another casino in the area, for those who aren’t familiar, by the name of Foxwoods, although Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are owned by different tribes, so if you’re looking to shuttle from one casino to another, tough luck kid. If you want a link for hotels in the area, click the link below!

MOHEGAN SUN & HOTELS: http://www.terrificon.com/mohegan-sun—hotels.html

I’ll be at TerrifiCon all three days of its run, I hope to see you there, and I’m willing to bet it’ll be a heck of a time. I’ll be sure to do a haul and review once I’m done, and with that being said, if you want to see that sort of thing, don’t forget to follow me on WordPress using your WordPress account or an email! Thanks for reading this post! While we are still talking about upcoming content, I should have you all know that tomorrow I’m going to see “Skyscraper,” I’ll have that review up as soon as possible, and I hope you can stay tuned for all of my future work here on Scene Before! I want to know, are you going to TerrifiCon? What days are you going? Have you been before? Tell me about your experience! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to New York Comic Con 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we get any further and dive into any specifics I have associated with the main topic of this post, I’d just like to say that I hope everyone at San Diego Comic-Con is having a wonderful experience this weekend, but f*ck each and every one of you who didn’t bother giving this guy a ticket! I have feelings, ya know! I hope those long lines will show you what you’re worth, jerkfaces! Speaking of things that are long, let’s talk about a couple who had a long journey making their own baby. The couple goes by the names of Paul and Genevieve, and they have gone through literal hell trying to conceive. When it comes to editing videos or memorizing comic book knowledge, these two are OK. Making babies? Eh, forget about it! This is all explained… in “What the IVF?”

“What the IVF?” is a YouTube series featuring the recently mentioned couple. The premise of the series is pretty much what I said up above. These two are trying as hard as they can to have a baby, but to do it, they go through methods containing difficulty equal to winning the arcade game Stacker. In other words, Genevieve’s uterus is rigged and after each sexual act or IVF cycle, it must be game over. Witness the dynamic duo as they encounter problems in sex, math, appointments, tests, and pains in the ass–err I mean needles! You can find the latest content from “WTIVF?” on YouTube, including new episodes uploaded each and every Monday. The latest episode in the series, episode 19, goes over the couple’s first embryo transfer, and maybe there’s hope, a miracle on the rise. Watch to find out! Be sure to subscribe to the “What The IVF?” YouTube channel (link below), and speaking of social media, be sure to check out “What the IVF?” on other noteworthy places on the interwebs! All the links are down below, check em out, and be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

Now I’ve done a few con announcements here on Scene Before, specifically for Rhode Island Comic Con and Terrificon, and I’ve been to those and another convention (PAX East). But the thing about those conventions is that those are all in the New England region. This convention we’re gonna be talkin’ about, this is not just the first con I’m going to outside the New England area, it is one of the biggest and most revered conventions in all of history! That con, is New York Comic Con!

As far as my personal attendance there goes, I’ll say that you will be able to find me in the convention center for two out of the four days this convention goes on for. What days you ask? Those will be Friday and Sunday. Note how I didn’t say Saturday, my friend couldn’t get tickets for that day unfortunately. Doesn’t matter, that means I get a day to perhaps roam around New York City and see what’s what!

Sticking to the con itself, New York Comic Con has been around since 2006, and is held by the for-profit organization known as ReedPOP. Greg Topalian, former VP of Reed Exhibitions is credited as the founder of both New York Comic Con and ReedPOP. This organization is also behind conventions such as C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo), PAX (Penny Arcade Expo), Comic Con Seoul, Comic Con Africa, Hyderabad Comic Con, Comic Con Paris, Emerald City Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, BookExpo, Oz Comic Con, Indonesia Comic Con, Mumbai Comic Con, ComplexCon, Bookcon, and more!

This convention is going to feature a bunch of faces, including some of your favorite celebrities from movies and TV, artists, and a few other people in the mix! Let’s go over some group guests that stand out!

The first group is a bunch of people that maybe years back that you’d wonder, HOW’D THEY GET ON TV? Now you just wonder, how do I survive without this show? This first batch out of the oven is a group of four folks I like to call the Impractical Jokers! Call em what you may, Impractical Jokers, The Tenderloins, four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other, whatever, I LOVE THESE GUYS. If you guys don’t watch “Impractical Jokers,” I’ll tell ya, it’s a riot! Turn on TruTV, go ahead and do yourself a favor and prepare to laugh, cringe, and question humanity. It’s one of those times where me cringing isn’t a negative towards something I watch! IT’S THAT GOOD. By the way, if you’re thinking that one or two of the Jokers will be at the con, that ain’t happening! All four are appearing! If you’re going to New York Comic Con, this is your chance to meet Murr, Sal, Joe, and Q! Then again, considering the fact that they live and film their show around the area, it’s not that surprising that they’ll be at a con like this. Although keep in mind, the New York Comic Con website suggests that they won’t be autographing, so you probably won’t be talking with them much. I will say though, from a personal perspective, that’s somewhat surprising. I can kind of understand Q, Sal, and Joe not autographing, but what about Murr? He actually just released his new book, “Awakened” so I was figuring with that out right now, it would be a grand opportunity to promote the book. Since they’re paneling, I can imagine there will be some talk about the book, but no signing? I’m not judging here, but I’m kinda surprised. Also, one more thing, to those who are attending, all four will be at the con THURSDAY ONLY, so if you’re going Thursday (which I’m not, :(), you can meet the Jokers.

As for other groups, we’ve got a bunch of folks from Critical Role joining in on the fun! We have Liam O’Brien, Laura Bailey, Marisha Ray, Matthew Mercer, Sam Riegel, Travis Willingham, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, and Brian W. Foster. If you had to ask me which of these folks I’d be most excited to meet, I’d personally pick Laura Bailey. I don’t watch a lot of “Critical Role,” but she’s Lucina in the “Fire Emblem” video game series, which I have played. She’s also one of my goto characters when I’m playing one of the newer “Super Smash Bros.” games.

Another group showing up is part of the cast of “Star Wars: Rebels!” Now that the series is over, it doesn’t mean that the cast’s con appearances are! This year at New York Comic Con, feast your eyes upon guests including Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Steve Blum! If you are a “Star Wars” fan and that info doesn’t satisfy you enough, I’ll have you know that there are more “Star Wars” guests that I haven’t even gone over! One such guest is Grey DeLisle, or as she’s known on IMDb, Grey Griffin. She’s been in several pieces of “Star Wars” content, such as “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” and even a couple of “Star Wars: Rebels” episodes now that we’re on that topic! Griffin is also known for tons of voiceover work in other material, just look at her IMDb, she’s got a ton of credits!

Got a few more groups to go over, one of which is “Boy Meets World,” or depending on which generation you grew up in, “Girl Meets World.” We have Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel, and Will Friedle, if you have watched either one of these shows, then you’re in luck at NYCC! You will get a chance to meet these three characters from the franchise (Fri-Sun)!

We also have a couple people from “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” specifically Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, that way you can actually meet Lois and Clark in a big metropolis (New York)! Is it just me or has Dean Cain been going to a lot of cons recently? Seriously, I’ve been seeing his name on con guest lists a lot over the past year or so.

One of the more successful shows on Starz goes by the name of “Outlander,” and a number of its cast members will be appearing at the con. The list includes Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall) and Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser). Both cast members have been present in the show’s entire series and play major roles.

Now in case you don’t already know, this is a BIG CON. But one thing that personally surprises me about it is that badges are still available for purchase. Saturday is sold out, but Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are all still available. Although my friend and I will tell you, getting the badges is not easy. It almost got to a point where she gave up. This was a graduation gift from her, so I can’t thank her enough. For example, before you can actually purchase any badges, you actually need to create an account that will allow you to purchase badges. That’s like going into some warehouse store like Costco and someone who works there tells you if you want to be a member, you need to go on your phone, go to Costco.com, and create a “Costco Confirmation” account, or as they call it “CC.” Once that’s done, you are eligible to be a member! And the tickets are not cheap! For the tickets that are on sale, you have to pay somewhere in the fifty dollar range, which funny enough, is almost the price of a Gold Star Costco membership! Also, for those of you who like to buy passes with multiple days for one price, I gotta tell ya, that’s not a thing. NYCC used to have that, however in 2017, that was discontinued. Why? I don’t know, probably to get more money.

In recent news, it has become apparent that New York Comic Con is partnered with Anime Expo. If you go to New York Comic Con this year and happen an anime junkie, you’re in luck! During NYCC, there is going to be a four day anime festival known by the name “Anime Fest @NYCC x Anime Expo.” Anime Expo, if you are not already aware is a large convention held annually in Los Angeles, CA. According to Wikipedia, the total number of attendees at these conventions have reached numbers in the six digit marks! You don’t necessarily need a badge to New York Comic Con to take advantage of an experience like this, but if you are curious about any sort of discount you could possibly get for possessing an NYCC badge, you can’t get one. All the discounts have been sold out. You can still however pay the standard price to attend this event on each day of its run.

New York Comic Con is from Thursday October 4th to Sunday October 7th in New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center! I hope to see you there, and I can guarantee that this will definitely be a unique con experience. This con is one of the biggest nerd celebrations in the world, and just for that alone, I am super stoked to see what this thing is all about! Over the next couple of months I’ll be asking myself, is NYCC worth the hype? And maybe when it comes time to do my review and haul of the convention, that question will be answered. Thanks for reading this post! Be sure to stay tuned for more great content coming to Scene Before, including my review for “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again.” I just got tickets for a showing of the movie on Sunday, so expect a review of that movie sometime soon! Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, are you going to New York Comic Con? Have you been before, tell me your thoughts on it! Also, is it worth the hype? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to Rhode Island Comic Con 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This week is San Diego Comic-Con! Despite my gripe with them that I’ve held onto for the past number of months, I can still say with happiness and joy that the nerd celebration of the year is here! And to celebrate that, I’ve got con announcements incoming! Because I suck and can’t refresh my computer as fast as possible to get my San Diego Comic-Con tickets. Before we dive into this con announcement, let me just ask you something. Are comic-cons just for the nerds? I wouldn’t say they are. Nerds are definitely the target audience, but in reality, everyone is welcome! After all, I can imagine a lot of people want to meet an admirable celebrity, shake their hand, get their autograph, take a pic, all that jazz. Speaking of celebrities, there are a bunch of them that can be found on YouTube. And I know a lot of you viewing this might be thinking about people like PewDiePie or Shane Dawson or Smosh or Markiplier. Sure, those users are definitely popular. However, there are several communities and users on YouTube that aren’t necessarily talked about or brought up when thinking about YouTube celebrities. Today, we are going to change that. Ever since I discovered YouTube, I have been stalkin’ a group of people that make up the “elevator community.” One such member includes, its revered founder. In this post, I’d like to give a special shoutout and promotion to the YouTube user Dieselducy!

Dieselducy is a fairly popular YouTuber who happens to be a master of his craft, which simply put, is riding elevators. It takes hard work and dedication to find the finest and most presentable elevators on YouTube, and Dieselducy knows exactly what to do in order to show off the best of the best! Having shot many videos by himself and more alongside fellow elevator enthusiasts he met along the way, it’s easy to say that Dieselducy may be the most highly appreciated elevator photographer on the Internet. You can find all of Dieselducy’s content on YouTube, including this one of an elevator that’s shaped in a circular form, so you can say that it’s a lot like a “Star Trek” transporter. And seriously, this dude is a boss! He’s got over 50,000 subscribers! Thousands of videos to choose from for your viewing convenience! And as of recently, tons of livestreams, including one where he GETS A TICKET ON CAMERA! Please check out Dieselducy’s YouTube channel, be sure to subscribe, hit the notification bell, and check his other social media pages! Also, be sure to tell him that Jack Drees sent ya over!

DIESELDUCY’S YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S WEBSITE: http://www.dieselducy.com/

DIESELDUCY’S TWITTER: https://twitter.com/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/DieselDucy/

DIESELDUCY’S INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/dieselducy/

DIESELDUCY’S FLICKR: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S SNAPCHAT: Dieselducy

Now, as you can tell by the title of this post, you may be aware that I’m going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year. I’ve been running Scene Before for over two years now, and in that time, I’ve been to this con twice. Before I started this blog, I didn’t just go to that con, that was actually the first con I’ve ever gone to. I even documented my thoughts on the 2017 convention, which I thought was slightly clunky and disorganized, but despite that, it might have been the best con I’ve done in my life so far. I got to meet the cast of “Revenge of the Nerds,” I met a few people from Channel Awesome, I attended a couple panels, and I got a photo op alongside Christopher Lloyd. This upcoming con, doesn’t look like it’s going to disappoint. Some of the guests they’ve got lined up for this thing already impress me, and I can tell there will definitely be more impressive guests to come along the way. For the ones that are already listed, let’s dive into IT!

Take that last statement very lITerally, because “IT” seems to be playing a huge part in this con! And I’m talking about both the straight to TV miniseries and the recent hIT movie! As for the miniseries, one name you may recognize who will be showing up to Rhode Island is Tim Curry! You may know Curry as the famous clown, Pennywise. While “IT” is definitely partially responsible for Tim Curry’s fame, he has also appeared in such projects including “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Clue,” “The Hunt For Red October,” “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York,” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” As of now, there is currently no announcement of Bill Skarsgård appearing, so you can’t really say you have two Pennywises coming together. Although there are people from the 2017 “IT” movie who will be making an appearance, specifically kids.

The appearing kids include Wylat Oleff (Stanley Uris) and Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough). I can’t really say that much about their performances in “IT” overall, because I haven’t actually watched the movie. I watched tons of movies in 2017, but “IT” was not one of them, which to be honest is kinda surprising when you think about the success IT had. Another thing to bear in mind with this post here, is that IT is published before all of the “IT” guests have been announced (probably, depends on how the people behind the con close out this week’s announcements).

Sticking with the topic of Tim Curry, he happens to be one of the guests currently listed in the “headliners” category. Now, if you look at the guest list for Rhode Island Comic Con on their website, that label doesn’t actually exist. But last year, they had several guests labeled as “headliners.” These guests would be on the first list you’d see on the guest page, and if RICC intends to do things similar to last year, they’ll all be in the Dunkin Donuts Center together (well, at least most of them), as opposed to the Rhode Island Convention Center, which is attached to that property. Rhode Island Comic Con currently has eighteen headliners listed on their site and they are…

Tim Curry (It, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Alan Tudyk (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Moana)
Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, Gotham)
Karl Urban (Star Trek, Dredd)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) He’s Mary Poppins, y’all.
Finn Jones (Game of Thrones, Iron Fist)
Jessica Henwick (Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight, Bates Motel)
Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Empty)
Danny Trejo (Sons of Anarchy, Machete)
Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool, The Exorcist)
Stefan Kapičić (Deadpool, Counterpart)
Richard Dean Anderson (General Hospital, MacGyver)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy)
Billy Zane (Titanic, Back to the Future Part II)
Cassandra Peterson (Movie Macabre, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stand and Deliver, Young Guns)
Ben McKenzie (Gotham, Southland)

Since we’re on the topic, let’s talk about three of them specifically. The trio includes Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, and Morena Baccarin.

What do the recently mentioned trio have in common? They’re all in the “Deadpool” movies! You may know Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapičić is the voice of Colossus, and Morena Baccarin plays Vanessa, the love interest to “Deadpool.” I am SO excited for this trio! I actually met one of the people in this trio before, specifically Brianna Hildebrand, and it was fun meeting her. In fact, it was actually at this exact con in 2016. I didn’t talk to her much, although I did ask her how her time was in Providence, I told her she had the “coolest name ever,” to which she chuckled, and we went our separate ways. One thing you might be interested to know is that Stefan Kapičić was actually at the same convention that weekend. Although I didn’t meet him. So depending on what I do during this convention, I’ll have a chance of meeting three “Deadpool” cast members, one of which I’ve met before, and two I’d meet for the first time. If I can’t get to all three, I’d personally flock after Morena Baccarin. I mean, let me just say, I’m a white, straight, eighteen year old boy. Of course I f*cking love “Deadpool.” Morena Baccarin’s character is not only gorgeous, but my gosh, she is just one of the best and most charismatic love interests I’ve seen as far as recent movies go.

If you were going to ask me who I think might be the “best on-screen couple” in movie history, Vanessa and Wade from “Deadpool” are definitely in that conversation. While certain parts of their relationship feel somewhat fantastical, you just can’t help but appreciate their chemistry and dialogue throughout both “Deadpool” and “Deadpool 2.” I’m twenty years younger than Baccarin, but if she happened to ever be single and want a younger guy… I’m available. But in all seriousness, Baccarin at a con is definitely going to be interesting, but you know what would be even cooler? If they pull out all the stops and get Ryan motherf*cking Reynolds!

Another group of guests that is likely to get a lot of attention at Rhode Island Comic Con is the cast of “The Walking Dead.” Last year, they’ve had plenty of guests announced who happened to be “Walking Dead” cast members. Although, due to bad timing in their schedules, four of them couldn’t even make it. Let’s just hope for the sake of the fanbase’s personal joy that this doesn’t happen again this year. So far, when it comes to “The Walking Dead” guests this year, we have Steven Yeun, Michael Rooker, Laurie Holden, Lennie James, Jeremy Palko, and Cooper Andrews. This con is three and a half months away, so there could be potential for more “Walking Dead” guests to show up, however if there’s one that’s unlikely to show up, that’s Jeffery Dean Morgan. I remember hearing on YouTube he was rather dissatisfied with Rhode Island Comic Con due to its chaos and disorganization. Oh well, there are other people to look forward to meeting!

This con is not exactly a couple of months away, so I’m not gonna get into too many more guests, but some of the guests I’m noticing seem to be very well known for their voiceover work.

The first guest I’ll mention is Kevin Conroy. While some may argue about the best on-screen Batman and lean towards someone such as Adam West, Christian Bale, or Ben Affleck, some may lean towards Kevin Conroy. He has not just played Batman, you can make the argument at this point that this guy probably IS Batman! Seriously, let’s make a list of some of the s*it that he’s done as the character of Batman! “Batman: The Killing Joke,” “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” “Batman: Arkham City,” “Batman: Arkham Knight,” “Batman: The Animated Series,” “The New Batman Adventures,” “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” “Injustice 2,” “Batman and Harley Quinn,” “Batman: Vengeance,” “DC Universe Online,” “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm…”

Now let’s move onto our next voiceover artist, Tara Strong!

If the name Tara Strong does not sound familiar to you, than chances are you don’t do much research on “My Little Pony” or “The Fairly OddParents.” Tara Strong is very well known for years of voiceover work, having received several nominations in the Annie and Behind the Voice Actor awards shows. She also is known for her work as Bubbles on “The Powerpuff Girls.”

Another big voiceover name at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con is John DiMaggio. You may know him from “Adventure Time,” “Gravity Falls,” the “Transformers” movies, and “Futurama,” otherwise known as that one show with a popular meme that is going to describe everyone attending Rhode Island Comic Con once they hear the word “autograph,” “ticket,” or “photo op.”

I don’t really have as much of an objective at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con like I did other times I went, but then again, that could potentially change in the upcoming months. If there was an objective this year for me, the closest thing to it is to meet Morena Baccarin. As far as talking to her goes, that’s a different story, I don’t know how big or fast her line will be, but I can guarantee that it won’t be small. Maybe I can at least get a hello or some witty joke in or something jazzy. For the other three years I’ve gone to Rhode Island Comic Con, there was an objective I had in mind, and it has been accomplished each time. In 2015, I met Curtis Armstrong. In 2016, I met Gal Gadot. In 2017, I met the entire cast of “Revenge of the Nerds” who happened to appear for their reunion. When it comes to Rhode Island Comic Con, the thing that has always impressed me is the guest list. Not only is it big, but it includes people that probably rarely go to cons! The guest list and con is so big in fact, that it needs three venues to fit everything! For the past few conventions, it has been held inside the Rhode Island Convention Center, as it has every single year, but it has also been held in the attached Dunkin Donuts Center. In 2017, however, I was made aware that new ballroom space in the closeby Omni Providence Hotel was used for the con. I imagine that will continue this year, because that space was used for a traveling group that shows nerdy films called GeekFest Film Fests, and they are coming back this year.

Why is there so much space? If you haven’t followed this con or been to it, one big story that went down during the con’s run in 2014 is that the Rhode Island Convention Center was filled to capacity, which is the first time that’s happened in the building’s history. 20,000 people attended Rhode Island Comic Con that weekend, and this was kind of a hazard. The fire marshal temporarily shut down the con due to poor attendance flow. At least about 1,500 attendees couldn’t enter the convention and those who left the convention could not reenter. Luckily, those who wanted refunds likely had their wish granted, and precautions such as adding the Dunkin Donuts Center in 2015 helped this sort of thing become less likely to happen again. Then 2015 happened, and the line to get in the Rhode Island Convention Center from the Dunkin Donuts Center was longer than jury duty. Disorganization was also a key complaint uttered by some con-goers in 2016, one such complaint was towards the company issuing photo ops, which was resolved in 2017 by getting a new team. However, for whatever reason, that team is not back this year.

Now this con, as mentioned, is disorganized, and that was one of the big complaints that they MAYBE tried to avoid from happening again like it did in 2016. When I entered the con last year, something REALLY strange happened. The entry point of the con allows you to go straight into the Dunkin Donuts Center, and nearby to the right is a ramp that transports you onto a skybridge that goes over to the Rhode Island Convention Center. In 2017, however, that was not a thing. Apparently, as a method of “crowd control” everybody had to go around the circle that makes up the Dunkin Donuts Center before they can even enter the Rhode Island Convention Center! Is this an attack on nerds for not getting enough physical exercise? And if that’s the case, it’s good to know that an arena with a donut shop’s name is helping out! I don’t know if this will happen again in 2018, but as much as I look forward to this con, that might be the first or second biggest downfall of last year’s experience.

Much like last year, this con is going to have some nifty events tied into it. This year there’s going to be an after-party on Friday and Saturday, tattooing, gaming tournaments, Sci-fi Speed Dating (must be 18 and single to participate), and if you’re coming here with your kids, you may be happy to know that RICC will have certain things that cater to them at Kids Con!

I’ve been going to Rhode Island Comic Con, and while it’s definitely not a perfect convention, it has some weird quirks and bugs behind it, the con definitely does not disappoint and it’s a buttload of fun. I’ll be there as a patron all three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This starts on November 2nd and ends on November 4th. If you want to go to Rhode Island Comic Con, I do highly recommend you check it out, and if you’re staying somewhere overnight, click the link below and go check out the discount hotel rates you can get during your stay at Providence during this event. As of this post’s publication, you can still book a few nearby hotels such as The Hilton Providence or Courtyard Providence Downtown. If those are out of your budget, the list also includes a couple hotels near the airport in Warwick, which is towns away from Providence. I’m looking forward to Rhode Island Comic Con and I hope to see you there! Thanks for reading this post! Pretty soon I’ll have a couple “Mission: Impossible” reviews coming your way. I’m gonna soon have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” and “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, are you going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year? Have you gone before? Tell me your thoughts on it. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

DISCOUNT HOTEL RATES DURING RICC 2018: http://www.ricomiccon.com/hotels

Salt Lake Comic Con Violated Copyright Law For Using “COMIC CON” *FOUL LANGUAGE AHEAD*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Occasionally on Scene Before I talk about conventions. To be specific I talk about my experiences at certain cons that I go to or I simply announce that I’ll be present at a particular con. This post will have a focus on conventions, but it’s a bit more law based as opposed to what I usually do. Recently, there was a lawsuit involving two conventions, and even more recently, there was a court case for this. Let’s introduce both sides of the situation.

*Cue “The People’s Court theme*

First off we have San Diego Comic-Con, AKA the original Comic Con. Established in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, this event became the one of the largest and most well known fan conventions in the US and on the planet. The event has gone by multiple names aside from Golden State Comic Book Convention since its inception. These names include San Diego Comic Book Convention and a name that the convention goes by today, Comic-Con International: San Diego. Despite mentioning that recent name, the convention often goes by the names Comic-Con, San Diego Comic-Con, and SDCC. This convention has a focus on comics, sci-fi, fantasy, TV, movies, etc. In fact, this convention often features celebrities you wouldn’t usually find in many other conventions and considering its popularity, this con is known for revealing material such as trailers for upcoming content at panels. When tickets go on sale for this, there’s no messing around. They sell out pretty much instantly. This year they sold out a little over an hour of going on sale. The organizers of SDCC, Comic-Con International, are also the organizers of Wondercon, held annually in Anaheim, CA.

Next up we have Salt Lake Comic Con. First held in September of 2013, this convention is held semi-annually. The convention goes by two names and one event in terms of when it’s being held comes before the other, Salt Lake Comic Con, as recently mentioned, and the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience. What’s the difference? Salt Lake Comic Con tends to focus more towards science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and superheroes whereas FanXperience tends to focus on fandoms that aren’t traditionally found at most comic book conventions. This event is so outside the box to my knowledge that in 2016, Buzz Aldrin, the 2nd man to walk on the moon, appeared as a guest! These events, regardless of whether it’s just a traditional comic con or FanX, brings in tons of people whenever it’s held and it shows no sign of slipping in the future. Interesting fact, on September 25, 2015, when the third Salt Lake Comic Con was held, a world record was broken here. That record by the way happened to be the most costumed comic book cosplay characters in one location.

These two recently had a battle in court. How did this all start? On July 25, 2014, San Diego Comic-Con International sent a cease and desist letter to Salt Lake City Comic Con over its use of the words “comic con.” Dan Farr Productions, the organizers of Salt Lake City Comic Con, responded saying that this can affect tons of other conventions. Salt Lake was unwilling to go through with the cease and desist letter thus beginning a legal battle. I wouldn’t say Salt Lake is wrong when it comes to this case possibly affecting other “comic cons.” Just look at how many “comic cons” there are:

  • Rhode Island Comic Con
  • Boston Comic Con
  • Granite State Comicon
  • Emerald City Comicon
  • New York Comic Con
  • ComiCONN
  • Delhi Comic Con
  • Colorado Springs Comic Con
  • Phoenix Comicon
  • Motor City Comic Con
  • Denver Comic Con
  • Alamo City Comic Con
  • Silicon Valley Comic Con
  • Baltimore Comic-Con
  • Tampa Bay Comic Con
  • Nottingham Comic Con
  • Wildcat Comic Con
  • Big Apple Comic Con
  • Comic-Con Russia
  • Wales Comic Con
  • Oz Comic Con
  • Mumbai Comic Con
  • Bangalore Comic Con

Yes, some of these events are referred to as Comicon and are altered slightly in terms of name to separate themselves from other events, but the point is, the use of comic con is pretty much as common as putting cheese on a pizza!

Leading up to the court case, Salt Lake Comic Con pointed out the same statement I recently made, “comic con” is a popular term used in names of conventions around the world, and they pointed to more than one hundred events in the US which use the term.

Once the case concluded, San Diego Comic-Con International released the following statement which I happened to find in an article for FOX 13 Salt Lake City:

“San Diego Comic Convention has used the Comic-Con trademarks in connection with our comics and popular arts conventions for almost 50 years.  We have invested substantial time, talent and resources in our brand resulting in world-wide recognition of the Comic-Con convention held annually in San Diego.   The jury today upheld San Diego Comic Convention’s trademarks as valid.  The jury also found that Dan Farr Productions, Daniel Farr and Bryan Brandenburg each infringed San Diego Comic Convention’s marks.  San Diego Comic Convention respects the decision of the jury.  From the beginning all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks.  Today we obtained a verdict that will allow us to achieve this.  For that we are grateful.”

Let’s dissect this from each important point. First, they point out that they “used the Comic-Con trademarks,” which I’ll mention once again, is used on tons of other conventions, which leads me to a serious question. Wanna trade? Oops, sorry, I mean, when did you f*cking trademark the term?! Next, let’s talk about the jury’s decision to verify the “comic-con” trademark as valid. Who was in this jury? Was it people who have only been to San Diego Comic-Con and not other conventions? Was it a bunch of jocks who have never gone to a con? Was Mike Pence in that jury? Was Casper the Friendly Ghost in that jury? Was Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons” in that jury? Was Ogre from “Revenge of the Nerds” in that jury? I don’t know if it was all nerds, in fact, based on the results, I don’t think that would have been possible, because I talk to nerds on Thursday nights and we were discussing this legal battle, they thought comic con is a term used in so many conventions now that it’s absolutely pointless for San Diego to do what they’re doing. One of the last parts of the statement contained this: “all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks.” Sure, maybe in one way that’s not asking a lot, because it was a simple request, but following up on that request is an absolute impossibility in all reality. It’s almost like saying, despite being a convention that has similarities to San Diego, not to mention just about ANY comic book convention that has ever existed, it can have a name that a high fraction of these types of conventions use. Also, my biggest question is this: If San Diego is so upset about their f*cking trademarks being used by someone else, why are they so concerned about Salt Lake? Not to mention, Salt Lake isn’t completely identical to San Diego in terms of their trademark. Note the difference: San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Like Comic Con. Can’t see it? San Diego has a dash, Salt Lake doesn’t. Let’s also observe the last sentence concerning San Diego’s response to the verdict: “For that we are grateful.” Allow me to respond with eloquence…

*Clears throat*

*Taps microphone*

OK good, this thing’s on.

F*ck you!

You may be grateful, but you may have just turned the entire convention game upside down! If you are the convention that everybody loves, you would be supportive of the influence you have on the convention community! At the time of San Diego’s inception, there was nothing like what they had going for themselves. Now they’ve spawned an enormous number of conventions to the point that it’s extremely hard to visit them all. You know one reason why I go to Rhode Island Comic Con more often than San Diego Comic-Con? It’s closer to me! These conventions have expanded to the point where anyone in the world can conveniently go to them. Granted, nerds everywhere may consider going to San Diego Comic-Con their version of a pilgrimage, but in all seriousness, you’ve got to consider how we don’t have the time, gas, money, or complete motivation to go to your convention. There are other options out there! This is why they make multiple brands of soda. Coca-Cola isn’t the only thing around, there’s also Pepsi! In fact, this is why they make multiple flavors of soda! It doesn’t have to be plain, it can be cherry, vanilla, or orange!

One of the biggest purposes of conventions (aside from loading celebrities up with cash) is to unite people together in one place. This isn’t just applicable to only “comic-cons,” but also gaming conventions, anime conventions, brony conventions, all of that stuff. We’ve gotten to this point where San Diego is saying that they literally started this craze (to be fair, they did technically) and for that, they think they can get away with taking LITERAL OWNERSHIP of a name that’s so popular around the world that doesn’t just apply to them. It’s like if the Beach Boys said that “Boys” was a trademark to them forty years after they started performing. Groups like the Backstreet Boys, Boys II Men, and the Beastie Boys are would have freaked the f*ck out if this happened! If this were between San Diego Comic-Con and another convention that has the EXACT SAME NAME, I’d be more understanding of this, but as far as this goes now, this is ludicrous.

One big question behind how this all came about is literally, how did this come about? I will remind you that Salt Lake was sued on July 25, 2014, which is almost a year after the first Salt Lake Comic Con happened, and also a few months after the first Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience happened. Is this all because of the FanX event occurring? After all the primary focus of FanX is to think outside the box and include other aspects to a convention other than anything that’s comic related. The event is technically called the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience, maybe instead of telling Salt Lake to change its name entirely, just tell them to eliminate the “comic con” from their FanX title. However I wouldn’t do that, I’m not an asshole that forces people to do things that they probably don’t want to do.

Another thing I’ll mention is that according to the FOX 13 article that I’m using as a reference for this post is that Salt Lake Comic Con used SDCC’s trademark “without permission.” Is the article stretching this statement? Possibly, I can’t be sure, I wasn’t one of the people doing jury duty as this case was going on, but this s*it is bonkers! What other “comic con” needed “permission” from SDCC or Comic-Con International to give their specific event an identical name to San Diego’s? This is determining a convention’s name, not asking a student’s parents through a slip they have to sign if they allow their kid to watch a R rated film in class for educational purposes!

To sum it up, San Diego Comic-Con started out as a place for nerds to unite. Now, they’ve become the jocks that are stepping on the territory of other conventions that are trying to do the same thing. Being a nerd is about inclusion, it’s about tolerance, it’s about respect for yourself and those around you. To say that you are the kings of conventions isn’t exactly an improper thing to say, but to say that someone can’t be like you NAME-WISE on something as basic as a small part of your name that’s used WORLDWIDE, is a load of crap. For a portion of my life, there was a part of me that always wanted to attend San Diego Comic-Con, because it has always come off as the ultimate nerd convention, now that they’re essentially being an asshole to another convention that probably wouldn’t have even existed today if it weren’t for SDCC, I wouldn’t say I’m off their radar entirely, but I’m skeptical of whether I truly want to take a trip there in the future. I love conventions, I love nerdy things, I love sci-fi, superheroes, fantasy, all that stuff, but I’m not sure I’m loving San Diego Comic-Con as much as I once was, which leads me to this…

San Diego Comic-Con, why do they call you a con? Oh yeah, because you’re a f*cking cheap con! You know what? After my experience of watching “Anchorman,” I’d say Ron Burgundy was right about the origin of San Diego, let’s change your name to A Whale’s Vagina Comic-Con! It almost seems that this naming fiasco has you out of line, but don’t worry, if there actually is a line in this circumstance, I’m sure it’s not as long as any of the lines during your convention! Also, I’ll remind you to get back in line, and once you do, there’s no cutting allowed, you already did that to Salt Lake Comic Con’s name! I wonder what’s next for you and changing things around, perhaps making certain celebrities not show up because they may have heard about the name situation and they disagree with the final verdict? Well I guess that means we have our next “Star Wars” movie! San Diego Comic-Con, I’m a huge nerd, I have been all my life. All I want to do is make things the best they can be, and to do that I have to sometimes be tough, so if you think you can exclude me from your convention in the future just because I said some stuff you might find to be harsh, I’m sorry, you can’t do that “without permission.” Whose permission you ask? My f*cking permission, you morons!

If I don’t go to San Diego Comic-Con in the future, that’s fine, I’ve got plenty of other conventions to go to that are cheaper, closer, and perhaps even less crowded. New York Comic Con is a beast in terms of size which kind of intrigues me, so maybe I’ll go there in the future. Thanks for reading this post! Later this week I will have my review for “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi,” which I will be seeing opening night, so I’ll have the review up not long after it releases. Look forward to that and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, have you been to San Diego Comic-Con? What are your thoughts on it? Have you been to either Salt Lake Comic Con or the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience? What are your thoughts on either of those? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Rhode Island Comic Con 2017 Review and Haul

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you were in Providence, RI last weekend like I was, there’s a good chance you were there for Rhode Island Comic Con, which advertises itself to be “The BIGGEST show in the smallest state!” I went for my third year in a row, I had my reasons for going, and despite wanting to go right away just because I had a lot of fun at this event for the past two years I went, new enormous reasons developed along the way. Mainly the fact that a good number of the people who were in “Revenge of the Nerds” were showing up. Not to mention, you’ve also got the legends I like to call Curtis Armstrong (Booger) and Robert Carradine (Lewis), the hosts of “King of the Nerds,” which is perhaps one of the most overlooked shows I’ve ever watched in my entire life.

The convention had one of the biggest lineups for any con I’ve seen. If you want to come here for autographs or photo ops, you’ve got the whole day ahead of you because you’ve got a plethora of guests from various realms including movies, TV, and music. For movies, I’ve recently mentioned the cast of “Revenge of the Nerds” was having a reunion, but you’ve also got a couple folks from the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies including Dave Bautista, who you may know as Drax the Destroyer, Sebastian Stan, who you may know as the Winter Soldier, and Paul Bettany, who you may know as Vision and JARVIS. Not to mention you’ve even got a couple folks from “Back to the Future” including Tom Wilson (Biff Tannen) and Christopher Lloyd (Doc Emmett Brown). For TV, you’ve got a number of “Star Trek” cast members, mostly from “The Next Generation,” which includes Brent Spiner (Data), Michael Dorn (Worf), Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher), Marina Sitris (Deanna Troi), and Jonathan Frakes (William Riker). You’ve also got a cast member from CBS All Access’s/CBS All Cash-Cow’s “Star Trek: Discovery,” Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca) and a man who needs no introduction, but I’ll introduce him anyway, William f*cking Shatner (Kirk), who moderated a panel dedicated to the cast members of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” There also happened to be some cast members from “Married with Children” including Ted McGinley (Jefferson), Amanda Bearse (Marcy), and David Garrison (Steve). Also there were a couple of musical artists including Gene Simmons and Al Yankovic. This is just scratching the surface of the neverending guest list, I could write every single person’s name down, but for the sake of not killing my keyboard, I’m just gonna stop here.

There were a number of guests who also happened to be artists. I didn’t really take much of a gander at them, but I did notice that there were a lot of these people. A lot of them happened to be local, I actually happened to talk with one of them, in fact since we’re on that I actually will bring something in particular up to you all next.

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Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce, “The Overlords!” “The Overlords” is a book series written by J. Michael Squatrito Jr.. According to the website, it’s a “fantasy adventure set in the times of warriors and magic.” Seven men and a special dog embark on a journey to find the coveted treasure of the land, the bounty left behind by the ancient Four Kings. The main character is referred to as Harrison Cross, an orphaned warrior. There’s an antagonist who goes by the name of Lord Nigel Hammer, which by the way, badass name! That might even be a better name than Taserface! This antagonist has an army and often gains the upper hand which damages the adventurers. There’s also a humanoid race known as the Seynthians, who want to eliminate humanity as a whole. If you want to find out more about this, click the link below to find out about these books on their website. Also, if you’re reading this before December 2nd, the author of this book will be attending the 5th Annual Rhode Island Author Expo, where many Rhode Island authors show off their material. This takes place in Cranston, RI, so if you’re into that, check it out!

THE OVERLORDS WEBSITE: http://the-overlords.com/Default.aspx

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Moving onto the con itself, the con was more organized than I thought it would be. I say this because I’ve gone the past couple of years and they kind of f*cked up. I remember going in 2015 and it happened to be overcrowded, which interfered with me as I was simply attempting to go to a panel. In 2016, the autograph system was a little different than I was expecting it to be (in ways). The convention had multiple headliners including Millie Bobby Brown, Stan Lee, Frank Grillo, and Alice Cooper. They had you pay for your autograph at a box office before heading in line, which I didn’t even know about until the moment I was near a celebrity when I went. I don’t know how many other conventions are like this, but I don’t really think that’s a good idea, because for what I know, it’s non-refundable, which only benefits the con and not the customer, but also it prevents you from deciding whether or not getting an autograph from someone is actually a good plan. By the way, they had the same system this year for the headliners. Although one thing I did notice this year that I didn’t notice last year, is that for certain celebrities on the Dunkin Donuts Center floor, you don’t even have to pay at the box office, you can just give the money at the table. Sticking with last year’s headliners, the line for Gal Gadot was all over the place, and I know that because I was in that line. For what I know, none of the issues I encountered, including one I had this year which I’ll mention in a second, were as abysmal as 2014, a year I didn’t go. I first heard about this from a con-goer as I was facing my 2015 incident. Unlike the years I went, 2014’s Rhode Island Comic Con took place in the Rhode Island Convention Center. While it still happens there, 2015 has brought an expansion to the mix at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Although before that happened, 20,000 people had tickets, but the convention center could only hold 17,000. The convention center had to shut down due to overcapacity, making this a first in the building’s history. I had an issue where you had to literally make a loop around the Dunkin Donuts Center to get to the convention center, but that’s not the big problem I had. My main issue this year was the organization for a panel I was attending. Granted it was in a tiny room with people you’d probably only know if you were constantly surfing the web, but nevertheless, it irked me. A lot of people were in line for a panel, and when you hear what it is, you’d understand why. Apparently, around the time of my panel, which was for Channel Awesome, there was a “Game of Thrones” panel. There was almost no line whatsoever for Channel Awesome because “Game of Thrones” is more popular, but what really caught me off guard is that there were basically people next to the walls of the doors to the room which I was trying to reach happened to be located. They were in the “Game of Thrones” line. I guess size DOES matter. My suggestion is that you’d put down barriers for each panel room. When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” came out, I went to a local theater and they had barriers for each auditorium dedicated to showing the movie so you can discern which auditorium is showing it and which line you should get into. The photo ops were organized and they didn’t even use barriers. Although it makes sense because they were in a tent which is covering the sky, and the lines happened to be drawn in yellow chalk. The staff was a mix between nice, unaware of various situations, or just there to organize. Some of the staff could have used a more pleasant tone when this happened, but still. Speaking of misunderstandings, I have a story for you, but we’ll dive into that later. For now, let’s talk about a purchase I made.

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If you like “Star Wars” but hate the changes George Lucas made to the original trilogy, you’ll love what you’re about to hear. This here is the original theatrical version reconstruction of what’s now commonly referred to as “Star Wars Episodes IV-VI.” This started out as a fan project which involved tons of Photoshopping, reconstructing, color correcting, and all sorts of other stuff in order to create an HD version of the original “Star Wars” trilogy. Hardcore fans are aware of this, but in case you don’t know, there was a time when “Star Wars” started releasing what became known as “special editions.” A name which nowadays a good number of people disapprove, because the only thing that could be considered special about the special editions is not watching them. Granted, they are still the original movies, but they’ve added some changes here and there. Pretty much all of them are unnecessary. Some of them have enraged fans, including me. What made many viewers outraged is the change made during the conversation Han Solo and Greedo have in the Cantina. Specifically, they changed Han shooting first and made Greedo shoot first. There was also a Blu-Ray release in 2011, which brought more changes, including a change to the Cantina scene where Han and Greedo shoot simultaneously. This also brought my least favorite change, which happens to be featured in “Return of the Jedi.” During the scene when Luke is being electrocuted by the Emperor, Darth Vader screams “No!” like he did at the end of “Revenge of the Sith.” So essentially, these three discs take that pile of unfortunate s*it, and throws it into a trash compactor, leaving it to die. I already have seen the original versions of the “Star Wars” original trilogy, but I can’t say I’ve seen them all in HD yet. I will say though, one complaint I have, and it’s rather minor for now, is that the discs are in 720p HD as opposed to what Blu-rays traditionally have, which is 1080p. Speaking of stars, let’s move onto some “stars” I ran into during my visit.

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Let’s start off with a guest I took a professional photo op with. This is also the first pro photo op I’ve ever done at a con. I’m pretty sure you’ll be impressed with my first choice, Christopher Lloyd. For those of you who haven’t been to conventions or don’t get to experience pro photo ops, these are very quick, so I never got to say hi to Christopher or engage in conversation with him. I did utter “Hey, man” as I was walking up to him however. One pro I will give to the entire staff behind the photo ops is that they seemed nicer than the con’s main staff. Also, for those of you who don’t know, the photo op company taking charge at this year’s convention is Celeb Photo Ops. Last year the convention had Froggy’s Photos, which I heard brought some issues last year, which is why Rhode Island Comic Con made the switch.

 

Before we get into other guests, I have a story that occurred during the con that quite honestly, will make you slap your knee harder than whenever a bitch slap occurs. So I was looking for a certain guest, and I run into this man, the man you see in the five photos above alongside me. That man is David Garrison. I don’t see anything on his table worth signing, but I notice the price for a posed photo, which happened to be $20, so I’m just going, OK, I’ll do that. I take my camera out, I give it to a guy sitting next to David, the guy is then referred to by David as a “great photographer.” The camera I was using happened to be a Samsung ST150F, which I don’t think is a bad camera for the money, but it’s by no means anything professional. I pointed out that unfortunately the camera he was using was probably not the greatest, I had more professional cameras in my mind. I tried to be humorous, calling the device “a camera that looks like something traditionally used by soccer moms.” We took five shots, then I headed away from David. Only thing is, when I headed off, I had no idea what I was in for. There was another guest two seats away from David, it’s Ted McGinley.

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The placement which was just recently described makes sense, because Ted McGinley, like David, happens to be from “Married With Children.” I actually walked up to him and I had something to say. “You say that guy (David)? I thought you were him.” I even told him “I took five photos! I paid $20!” Ted responded to me saying that he was in a similar situation when he was signing autographs for people while getting off a bus and someone asked what this was. They thought McGinley was someone else. My memory remembers him saying “George Michael” or something like that. Although it could have been David because he said he’d rub this story in David’s face if I had that worded correctly. Although when we were taking a photo I said “screw George.” Before we did that, we high-fived each other. Just a little fact about Ted, he’s known for playing Stan Gable in “Revenge of the Nerds.” When I was talking to David, I was unaware of the embarrassing situation, but he said “See you on the reruns,” obviously referring to “Married With Children” as I was walking away from him. I don’t think he quite made out what I said, but I replied back saying “And the “Nerds” movies.”

F*CK. ME.

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Here we have two autographs, one of them is from Ted McGinley, specifically the one the right. If you can read the left one clearly enough, that one was from Donald Gibb.

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Here we have a picture of me alongside Donald Gibb, a guy who some folks might refer to as Don Gibb, but also a guy who as of just recently, I personally refer to as “Surprisingly Not Santa Claus in a Live Action Movie or TV Show.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I’m right. I scrolled through his IMDb. Gibb was fun to talk to, granted this was a day after a panel I attended featuring him so we had something to talk about, but we still had fun talking to each other.

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We’re not quite done with “Revenge of the Nerds” just yet, we’ll be coming back to it. For now, let’s focus on Channel Awesome. Channel Awesome, if you don’t know the name, is an online media production company. One of its popular series’ happens to be “Nostalgia Critic.” This is a series where Doug Walker, AKA the Nostalgia Critic (middle) gives a commentary on whatever random topic related to movies happens on his mind. Doug’s brother, Rob (left), and their father, Barney (right) also join in on Doug’s content. These folks have a pretty dedicated fanbase. I know someone who watches Channel Awesome’s material, and by the way, on Sunday, I went up to the trio and purchased an autograph for that friend. That wasn’t the only time I went up to them, because my sister was trying to get an autograph for her friend as well and this happened on Friday. When I went up on Friday, I informed the trio I wanted to help out someone who’s often shown in Channel Awesome material, Tamara Chambers. I had a DVD for “Point Break,” the original, not the remake. I figured I’d give it to them so they can give it to Tamara since she wasn’t at the con. Why was it exclusively for Tamara? I wasn’t sure if she saw “Point Break,” but if she didn’t, she could make this a part of her “Tamara’s Never Seen” series. I didn’t have the copy of the movie on me at the time, it was in my hotel room, I said I’d bring it over before the con ends. They said they have it and the movie can be an idea for Tamara to watch. I told them that was OK. I honestly figured Tamara just watches whatever she owns, I didn’t think she would take them from the Walkers or the Channel Awesome studio. Going back to Sunday, Rob noticed my shirt. You’ve already seen it in a few images, the one that says “Jar Jar Stinks.” By the way, remember the folks behind The Overlords? They thought it said “Star Wars Stinks” until I corrected them. Rob actually took a picture of it and sent it to his friend. I also attended their panel, which was advertised as a “Movies Everyone Disagrees With You On” panel, but was also, according to the panelists, a Q&A. Although it was mainly a “Movies Everyone Disagrees With You On” panel. The panel was fun, not to mention surprisingly calm, and Channel Awesome would agree because at one point, someone said they didn’t like “Napoleon Dynamite.” I own the Blu-ray for that film, but I haven’t seen it. Although it was mentioned that whenever Channel Awesome does these panels, “Napoleon Dynamite” has caused some violence in the past.

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Speaking of panels, let’s talk about one I attended on Friday. At 6:00, there was a panel for the “Revenge of the Nerds” cast called “Nerds on Stage.” This does make sense because two of the sequels in the series have similar subtitles. Those sequels are “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise” and “Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love.” The panel was moderated by Clare Kramer, who you may know from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as Glory and “Bring It On” as Courtney. Each actor had something to say, Donald Gibb was trying to make everyone laugh saying that he can’t read. Curtis Armstrong was talking about how he got the role of Booger and how he didn’t want it. I heard that story multiple times and it never gets old, especially when I hear it from him because he delivers it with such passion. Julia Montgomery was saying that she didn’t appear on “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise” because her character was cheating on Lewis, played by Robert Carradine. Speaking of Robert Carradine, someone asked him to do the laugh that you’d often hear in the series. Andrew Cassesse was talking about how he was much younger he was compared to the rest of the cast as the first film was in production. This was one of his earliest films, and it’s interesting to realize Andrew, who at the time, wasn’t even a teenager, appeared in a movie containing nudity, sex, and panty raids. At one point, Curtis Armstrong brings up what was originally thought of as an attempt to cash-in on “Revenge of the Nerds.” This is now known as “King of the Nerds.” He and I basically agree that it is a show that definitely deserved lots of praise, and its passing is mourned every day. I’m trying to get it back though, and Curtis is well aware of that. Curtis also pointed out a “King of the Nerds” contestant was here at the con and he happened to attend the panel. By the way, that contestant is Colby Burnett, he’s a “Jeopardy!” champion whose combined winnings come out to $375,000. He talked about his time on the show and what it was like. I actually interacted with him before the panel, and this isn’t the first time I actually had a conversation with him, because we were once on a Google Hangout together. We talked about “Jeopardy!,” Austin Rogers, and other contestants. I wanted to talk to him one more time by the end of the con, but by the time I came up with something that I really wanted to discuss with him (“500 Questions”), he was nowhere to be found. Oh well! Nevertheless, the panel was a blast and I loved seeing these cast members come together.

Staying on the topic of the “Revenge of the Nerds” cast, I happened to meet Julia Montgomery, and when we met, it was almost like we were long lost cousins. You may know Julia Montgomery from “Revenge of the Nerds” as Betty Childs, a cheerleader and head of the Pi Delta Pi’s. We talked to each other, I ask her to sign an autograph. I also mention that she may know me from Twitter, and I happen to mention my name. She knew who I was and she said she comes across my stuff a lot. Just for the record, she follows me. She even called me “famous.” Oh yeah, if you want to join Julia in that club, be sure to search my handle, @JackDrees! When I met her on Friday, I forgot to take a photo, so I did it on Sunday. Julia Montgomery was not only nice and beautiful, but she also had a great fashion sense. Just look at what she’s wearing in the photo where I stand alongside her.

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Some of you might be wondering what this is here. Well, it’s basically everyone from “Revenge of the Nerds” who happened to be part of the Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity. I’ve already talked about a couple of these people while I was focusing on a panel I attended. I didn’t go into full detail however, when I talked with them in person.

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Starting off with Andrew Cassesse, you may know him as Wormser. Cassesse appeared to be a nice guy, we shook hands, he gave me an autograph, we talked a little bit about the con, and we took a picture. It’s interesting to see his progression into an adult. I wonder how many people who have watched the “Revenge of the Nerds” films would recognize him now because in that movie he was very young and looked a bit different than he does when I walked up to him.

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This here is me with Brian Tochi, who you may know as Takashi. For those of you who happen to be big “Star Trek” fans, you might also recognize this guy from two episodes in the franchise. His earliest appearance was in the third season of “The Original Series” where he played Ray in “And the Children Shall Lead” and he also appeared in the fourth season of “The Next Generation” as Ensign Kenny Lin in “Night Terrors.” We talked for a short amount of time, he gave me an autograph, we took a photo, and I went off. When I went off, I actually managed to receive a sheet of paper detailing what this guy has done throughout his career.

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Right here we have Larry B. Scott. I met this fellow on Saturday, and I consider him to be a nice guy. It was almost the end of the con (as far as Saturday goes), so he said “You came in at the bottom of the ninth!” If you watched “Revenge of the Nerds,” you might know him as Lamar. I had a chat with him, he gave an autograph, we took a photo, and before I headed off, he asked if I’m coming to the after-party. I said I couldn’t because I wasn’t 21. He said “That’s OK, you’re still my friend though!” To me, that’s great, because I could use more friends. We’ll see if we run into each other again as “newfound friends.”

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Before we dive into this next photo, I will remind you that Julia Montgomery recognized my name based on her experience on Twitter and she happened to call me “famous.” This next person who you may recognize said the same thing. Although I’ll remind you that this is the second guest I ran into during the entire con, Julia was the fourth. When I was talking to Julia, and she exclaimed “You’re famous!” I shouted in a voice in a pitch higher than what I usually give off, “He said that!” Who’s he, you ask? Well, he is Robert Carradine, although I personally call him Bobby. He is one of the two hosts of “King of the Nerds” and when I walked up to him, I asked how he was doing, he said he was good, I went on saying I had a story to tell him, and I assure you this is true. I was vacationing in Delray Beach, Florida. There are barely any times I leave the New England area, but this wasn’t one that I personally enjoyed. The main parts I enjoyed was watching “King of the Nerds” because season 3 was happening. So I mention that one night I’m at a restaurant, I’m looking at my phone, and a notification pops up saying something along the lines of “@bobbyislewis is following you.” If you don’t know what @bobbyislewis is, that’s Robert Carradine’s Twitter handle. The name does make sense since Bobby plays Lewis in “Revenge of the Nerds.” That moment made my vacation. Yes, you can argue that there’s more to life than Twitter, but I was 15, and my Twitter life was just getting started. Robert guesses who I am with two words that part of me still can’t believe he uttered… “Jack Drees?” I get that I’m super active on Twitter, but for what I know, he barely goes on there! I’m just amazed he knows my name! I confirm I’m the guy he’s thinking of, he says I’m famous, and he asks how far up I am. I say to him “30 minutes north of Boston.” Although maybe he meant followers, I probably didn’t understand what he was going for during the conversation. I got an autograph from Bobby on Friday, and I took a photo with him on Sunday. This just goes to show how much one person’s dedication towards something, even after perhaps a good number of people had it erased from their memory, can pay off. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, I’m speaking of “King of the Nerds.”

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If you have followed this blog, you might already know about how much I admire “King of the Nerds.” You’d know that me talking about it here on this post isn’t necessarily a once in a blue moon event. “King of the Nerds” not only introduced me to Robert Carradine, but it also introduced me to Curtis Armstrong. My memory goes back far enough to seeing material containing Armstrong prior to “King of the Nerds,” specifically “Jingle All the Way,” but I didn’t even find out he was in that until months ago. Since we’ve been on the topic of “Revenge of the Nerds” the whole time, I might as well state Curtis plays the character of Dudley Dawson, but you can call him Booger. Let me just remind you, this isn’t the first time I met Curtis. I went to this same con during November 6-8 2015, and Curtis happened to be there all three days. I first met him on the second day because this con is large and there was an entire area which happened to be open that I didn’t even know about. I went back to him the final day saying he was the best part of the con. Then came July 12th, 2017. Curtis releases his new memoir, “Revenge of the Nerd,” great read by the way! There happened to be an event dedicated to it where Curtis talked about the book, it took place at the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA. I happen to run into Curtis there, and he’s signing books for everyone who wants a signature. I already purchased a book, so I brought mine in case the autographs were bound to happen. It took a moment for him, but he recognized me. Now we’re here during the time of November 2017, it’s been a year since Donald Trump was elected, and there are still two controversial sides related to this, the Houston Astros won the World Series, and “Will & Grace” is now back on the air making new episodes! It’s also the time of my next meetup with Curtis. Instead of having to remind him of who I was, he recognized me instantaneously. He recognized me because I was wearing the same shirt I wore every time we met. In fact, a little something extra that could’ve helped, but also possibly didn’t matter, is that I was wearing the same sweatshirt I wore when we met for the first time. When he saw who I was he got up and hugged me. We talked for a moment, I told him I recently watched “Ray,” a movie he’s in, and I thought it was great. Curtis said he loved that movie. I ask him to sign an autograph, which was free by the way, I’m not trying to brag, I’m stating the truth. No fake news here! We take a photo, and I leave telling him I’ll see him at his panel, you know, the one I recently talked about. There was a point in my life where I considered Curtis to be an idol. I still do by the way, although based on our recent meetups, I consider him a friend. We may not hang out all the time. In fact, if he wanted to be alone I’d respect his privacy, I need plenty of alone time so I can understand someone else feeling the same way. I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done. By the way, if you’re weirded out by the photo of me alongside him, let me just say that I have no idea what I’m doing either. I can just tell you I’m not impersonating Booger during the belching contest in “Revenge of the Nerds.”

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If I had any other disappointments to list, it would be that I didn’t get to meet John O’Hurley, who didn’t really show up all that much despite having his name on the guest list. Although overall, I’m inevitably coming back to Rhode Island Comic Con for another year. If there are any guests that I would suggest bringing to the con (that weren’t there this year), I’d say that a few of my requests are Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory, Hitch), Ezra Miller (Justice League, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), and Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stand by Me). This convention was organized by Altered Reality, who also does conventions including ComiCONN, which is a convention that occurs once a year in the state of Connecticut. They also do Terror Con, which also occurs in the Rhode Island Convention Center, but has a dedication towards horror as opposed to comics. There’s also Colorado Springs Comic Con, which takes place in Colorado Springs, CO. And a new convention will be popping up next year called Empire State Comic Con. This new convention will take place in the Albany Capital Center in Albany, NY. One guest has already been announced, Jason David Frank, and based on what these guys have done for Rhode Island Comic Con, I’d say for some folks this could be worth checking out.

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Thanks for reading this post and thanks to Rhode Island Comic Con for providing a wonderful experience for me. It wasn’t perfect, but I hope my criticisms would help you in next year’s organization. I would like to thank the cast of “Revenge of the Nerds,” Christopher Lloyd, some of the lovely people from Channel Awesome, all of those people for providing me a great time. What will the next con be? Who knows? The Empire State Comic Con I just mentioned sounds somewhat intriguing. Maybe PAX East, maybe when Super Megafest announces their next convention, we’ll have to see. Although a little note to conventions, I want to come to you, and I know you want me there. So if you want me there, leave a comment below, send me an Email (visit my contact page), and I’ll see what I can do. As far as upcoming reviews go, I am hopefully going to see “Justice League” this weekend, but it’s not a certainty yet. Only time will tell. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to ask, did YOU go to Rhode Island Comic Con? What did you think about it? What did you do there? Have you gone in years before this one? OR what conventions do you want me to cover in the future? Let me know down below in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks, and with a thanks to @ClareKramer having this tweet up, let me leave this little moment from the “Revenge of the Nerds” panel down below for you all to look at.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to Rhode Island Comic Con 2017!

 

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we begin this post, I’d like to give a little free promotion to something I personally feel, needs promoting. You see, I live in New England, and I like bowling. For those of you who don’t know where I’m going with this, I should inform you we here in New England don’t have as much traditional tenpin bowling as opposed to another form of bowling. In New England, candlepin is king. And on YouTube you can watch a web series dedicated to professionals competing against each other in the sport. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, “King of the Palace.”

“King of the Palace” is a show that takes place at a candlepin bowling alley known as New Palace Lanes in Fitchburg, MA, it features skilled bowlers showing their stuff as they compete against each other. It’s intense, it’s got people who know what they’re doing, and it definitely gets the ball rolling. Whether you’re from New England and want to watch your traditional bowling, or you’re not from New England and want to dive deeper into “weird bowling,” or you just want some moments of entertainment, this show is for you. The show is hosted by Steve Bronchuk, Dave Maatala, and Dennis Nuzzo and they definitely got some fascinating words to say as the bowlers duke it out. “King of the Palace” is shown on TV on some local stations in Massachusetts, however if you want to look at the YouTube channel for it, click the link down below and check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/user/NewPalaceLanes

Now bowling is not the only thing I’m interested in, I’m into a lot of other cool stuff, including conventions. On that note, I’d like to break to you all that I’m going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year! Now what is Rhode Island Comic Con? Rhode Island Comic Con is a convention which takes place in Providence, RI. It will be in two locations which are connected, the Rhode Island Convention Center, and the Dunkin Donuts Center. I’ve been to this convention for two years in a row and now this will be my third. This is one of the conventions done by Altered Reality, who also do ComiCONN, Colorado Springs Comic Con, Southcoast Toy and Comic Show, and Terror Con, another convention that takes place in Providence, RI. Rhode Island Comic Con markets itself as the biggest show in the smallest state. I haven’t been to many shows in Rhode Island, but I can guarantee you, this is big. Both years I’ve gone there have been tons of celebrity guests from TV, movies, etc. Last year this show had guests including the cameo master himself, Stan Lee, Billy Dee Williams (The Empire Strikes Back, Batman), Alice Cooper, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, Monster House), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), and surprisingly, Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot. This year we have another enormous lineup of guests, and we’re about to talk some of the guests who have actually been announced thus far.

This con has a number of guests that fall into a category of “special” guests, otherwise known as headliners. This is something that happened last year too. Guests like Gal Gadot, Stan Lee, Millie Bobby Brown, and Ray Fisher all fell into this category. These guests were all located in the Dunkin Donuts Center, specifically on the stadium floor, which is kind of a good idea. The lines for some of these guests were long as hell, in fact Gal Gadot’s and Stan Lee’s lines were almost too long. Although my dad only waited seconds to talk to Alice Cooper, another headliner from last year, but then again this was on the last day of the con and everybody was getting ready to head home. If my head isn’t messing with me, the layout in the Dunkin Donuts Center probably won’t change this year. Regardless of where these guests end up, here are this year’s headliners:

Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick)
Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Godzilla)
Val Kilmer (Batman Forever, Top Gun)
Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints, The Walking Dead)
Paul Bettany (Iron Man, A Beautiful Mind)
Michael Colter (Luke Cage, The Good Wife)
“Weird Al” Yankovic (Musician)
Gene Simmons (Musician, KISS)
Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Collateral)
Sting (Wrestler)
Jason David Frank (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
John Cusack (Better Off Dead, 2012)
Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Punisher)
Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Peter Pan)
Dolph Lundgren (The Punisher, The Expendables)
Freddie Prinze Jr. (Scooby-Doo, She’s All That)
Beverly D’Angelo (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Entourage)
Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty, Gravity Falls)
Carl Weathers (Predator, Arrested Development)
Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street, Regular Show)
William Shatner (Star Trek, Boston Legal)

When it comes to these headliners, a number of them do intrigue me. If I were to meet any and talk with them, it would probably be Weird Al and John Cusack. Weird Al isn’t really an artist I listen to but I do want to talk about his appearance on “Last Week Tonight” with him. As far as John Cusack goes, that’s another person whose work I don’t follow, but part of me is somewhat intrigued to engage in a conversation with him. I haven’t seen “Better Off Dead,” I’m making an attempt to get my hands on a copy though, but I heard Cusack himself hated the movie. I also heard somewhere that Cusack’s despise diminished, I’m curious to know how this happened. I’d probably have time to ask this depending on the lines, both guests will be at the con for multiple days. Weird Al will be there longer, but still. The idea of having Dave Bautista and Elizabeth Olsen as guests does somewhat excite me, but I have a feeling their lines will be long and all they’ll be doing is signing autographs and won’t have any sort of time for conversation. But who knows really? Not to mention, when it comes to those guests, I had no absolute desire to meet them as opposed to Gal Gadot last year. I fanboyed hard when I found out she was going to be there!

This con also has a number of guests appearing which happen to be affiliated with various groups. There are plenty more on the way, but there have been a good number who have already been announced.

Starting off with “Star Trek,” we have a good number of guests there. So far we have a plethora of guests from “The Next Generation” such as Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Marina Sitris, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, and Gates McFadden. Just a fun fact, I’ve actually met Michael Dorn before. I haven’t chatted with him much, but I got his signature for a good friend of mine. Also, for LeVar Burton, I actually heard he’s been doing this series where he reads short stories and he gives his thoughts on them. It’s called “LeVar Burton Reads,” I actually haven’t checked out yet, I might sometime. However if you know me as a member of the Knights of Nerdvana, our challenge for July 2017 was to take a gander at this series. The members who did check it out thought it was worth witnessing, so I might take a look at it before I go and possibly talk to Burton about the series. Also we have a guest from “The Original Series.” Ladies and gentlemen, the one, the only… William Shatner. He will, as recently mentioned, be a headliner, and he’ll also moderate the “Star Trek” panel at the convention.

Next up we have “Star Wars” and when it comes to the “Star Wars” guests, many of them are people I wouldn’t exactly know, but there are a couple that stick out to me. The guests are Freddie Prinze Jr., who also happens to be one of the headliners, Jason Isaacs, another headliner, Julian Glover, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Joonas Suotamo, Steve Blum, Spencer Wilding, and Ian. F*cking. McDiarmid. Based on what you just read, you can tell I have extreme excitement for Ian McDiarmid, we’ll get to him in a minute, however one guest I feel like talking about is Spencer Wilding. Some of you might not know who this guy is, although if you look at his IMDb page, you may know him from “Guardians of the Galaxy” as one of the guards, and he was also in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Which character does he play? Only the best character in the entire movie, Darth Vader! You may know that James Earl Jones does the voice, but you may or may not know that someone else is walking around inside the costume. For “Rogue One” in particular, the one walking around is Wilding, which means he’s the one who gave the best scene in the film towards the end! Now let’s talk about Ian McDiarmid. If you don’t know who Ian McDiarmid is, you may know him better as The Emperor, otherwise known as Palpatine, or that crazy maniac who laughs a lot, or the “Star Wars” character most likely to be a mascot for the Tampa Bay Lightning. I admire The Emperor as a character, and when McDiarmid was referred to as Palpatine in the prequels, he was one of the best parts of the entire thing. Just watch “Revenge of the Sith” to see what I mean. Alan Tudyk, who you may know as K-2SO in “Rogue One” was going to show up at one point, but unfortunately ended up cancelling his appearance.

Next up we have “Power Rangers” guests. And for those of you who are waiting for me to tell you Amy Jo Johnson is here, sorry, her name has not been announced. She has been to this convention both years I went, so who knows what could happen? However when it comes to the original series, we have Jason David Frank (Green Ranger), and Steve Cardenas (Red Ranger). We also have cast members from other series’ in the franchise too. These include: Blake Foster, Hilary Shepard, Catherine Sutherland, Selwyn Ward, Nakia Burrise, and Michael Copon.

For those of you who are familiar with the “Rocky” franchise and have watched “Rocky 4,” that’s one reunion taking place here. This is between cast members Carl Weathers, who you may know as Apollo Creed, and Dolph Lundgren, who you may know as Drago. By the way, both of these folks are headliners.

Another reunion is for the movie “The Boondock Saints.” The cast members associated with this reunion are Norman Reedus, who you may know as Murphy MacManus, Sean Patrick Flanery, who you may know as Conner MacManus, and David Della Rocco, who you may know as Rocco. By the way, Norman Reedus is a headliner.

Speaking of Norman Reedus, he’s also one of the many guests from “The Walking Dead” that will show up at the convention. The other guests include: David Morrissey, Jon Bernthal, another headliner, Jeremy Palko, Khary Payton, Tom Payne, Michael Koske, Michael Cudlitz, and Lennie James. By the way, Jeffery Dean Morgan was here last year, and it’s very likely he won’t be back this year due to his complaints about the con.

For wrestlers, this con is currently featuring six, and there are more to be announced in the future. So far we have Dave Bautista, one of the headliners, Rey Mysterio, Sting, another headliner, Brooke Adams, Bret Hart, and a duo who refer to themselves using the hashtag #TeamBestie, Trish Stratus and Amy Dumas.

The last of the reunions the con is currently showing on their website is one I’m highly anticipating, and that is the “Revenge of the Nerds” reunion. This con is going to feature eight cast members from the “Revenge of the Nerds” franchise including: Julia Montgomery (Betty Childs), Brian Tochi (Takashi), Larry Scott (Lamar), Ted McGinley (Stan Gable), Andrew Cassese (Wormser), Donald Gibb (Ogre), Robert Carradine (Lewis), and Curtis Armstrong (Booger). I consider to be “Revenge of the Nerds” to be one of my favorite comedies, it’s not technically perfect, it’s not a masterpiece, but it’s funny and relatable. Not only does it excite me that the cast is coming to the con, but I’m also excited for Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine, probably more than any of the other cast members. If you know me in real life, I’m a huge fan of “King of the Nerds,” the two hosted that show and I consider it to be my favorite show of all time based on what it did for me and other people. I’ve met Curtis before, in fact I met him twice, but I’ve yet to meet Bobby. I’d love to go here, meet Curtis once more, talk with him for a bit, and also chat with Robert. I barely go to panels at cons, but once I see a “Revenge of the Nerds” panel, the con has me running for it! By the way, Curtis, if you’re reading this, I’ll be sure to bring “the shirt” when I go to the con. And for those of you wondering, no, I didn’t meet Curtis topless without having an idea what a shirt is, I met him twice wearing the same “King of the Nerds” t-shirt I owned since March 2015, for good reason. Oh yeah, Bobby will get to see it too!

That’s all for group guests, although I’m gonna do some separate paragraphs on guests I’m particularly interested in that don’t belong in any of these groups.

The first one I’m gonna talk about is Rob Schneider. I feel like talking about Schneider because I honestly never really expected him to show up at conventions. You may know Rob Schneider from “Grown Ups,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Deuce Bigalow,” and the poorly received “Norm of the North.” I never really imagined Rob Schneider as someone who would show up at an event like this. Although once I researched this I found out he was at some other cons this year. He’s actually going to be here all three days of the con, and I’m willing to bet that meeting his fans may be somewhat exciting to him, but I’m willing to bet he’s in it for the money a little more. Although I will say, having Rob Schneider at Comic Con is probably a better idea than “Grown Ups 3” so that’s a plus.

One guest I admire, but don’t necessarily plan on meeting, is Gene Simmons. I feel like bringing him up because he’s actually doing something that I think some of you might be interested in. This year, he’ll be there and the website is also promoting a concert at the VETS Memorial Auditorium which he’ll be performing at. The concert will be happening on Sunday at 8PM so if you want tickets to this concert for Gene Simmons Band, go to the link down below!

http://www.thevetsri.com/events/detail/gene-simmons-band

Another unique guest showing up to Rhode Island will be Geekfest. Geekfest does film festivals and right now they are touring at multiple cons. They are marketing this stop, based on one of their tweets, as the “World’s Largest in New England!” I’m not exactly sure if I’ll be familiar with the films they’ll be showing, but this is unique and it is kind of interesting to me to have a film festival in a convention like this.

One more guest I’m gonna talk about is one I’m undoubtedly stoked to meet, and that is Doug Walker. I’m willing to bet some of you are thinking right now, who the f*ck is Doug Walker? Allow me to say, Doug Walker is one of the greatest people I’ve ever seen on YouTube. You may also know him from That Guy With Glasses or Channel Awesome as the Nostalgia Critic. He remembers things so you don’t have to. I may be a little biased since he reviews movies just like me, but he’s mainly focused on anything that has any sort of nostalgic connection. A lot of Doug’s reviews are mainly for various films highly regarded as some of the biggest abominations known to man including “Batman & Robin,” “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace,” and the 2003 live-action movie version of “The Cat in the Hat.” As a fellow movie reviewer, I’ve actually, well, I wouldn’t say I copied him, but he may have inspired me to take on a certain writing style. You’d see it in my reviews for “Moonlight” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.” In recent years, Doug’s reviews have altered, he traditionally still follows the same formula that he does in his older reviews, but we’ve seen more sketches that are basically parodies on the movies he’s reviewing. In fact, he’s now doing movies once they come out in theaters. This is where Doug utilizes his “clipless” technique, which is basically not using actual footage from the movie, and instead, recreating it with his own actors, including himself in order to poke fun at it. You can see this in his reviews for “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “Wonder Woman.” I’ve also been exposed to Doug’s panels on YouTube, and one thing I love about them is that people ask him, sometimes in a literal sense, sometimes with subtle hints, to do his “Bat credit card” gag. In “Batman & Robin,” the two heroes are together, we are witnessing a scene where an auction takes place, and there’s minutes dedicated to men bidding on women, and at one point, one of the film’s villains, Poison Ivy, played horribly by Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Gattaca) uses her powers to make men fall in love with her, then Batman and Robin start bidding on her. They’re going back and forth, bidding millions of dollars, then Batman, says “7 million,” he whips out a credit card, allowing us, the audience to hear a cha-ching sound effect, by the way, the card is good “forever.” Doug spent some of the review freaking out about the credit card like a boy who got nothing for his birthday. During the panels, when this whole gag goes down, Doug will get out of his chair, and chase down whoever made him freak out. This is one of the few occasions in somebody’s life when one would say “I’m really glad that dude beat me up.”

I just realized how long I went on talking about the guests, it was long indeed, but let’s move onto something else. As fun as cons are, they’re not always perfect. This con has had a number of issues over the years.

In 2014 for example, there was an issue regarding the number of people who showed up to the convention. At the time, Rhode Island Comic Con only took place in the Rhode Island Convention Center. The center has a maximum occupancy of 17,000 people, but 20,000 people turned out to be in the building. This caused the convention center to close for hours, making people turned off by crowds and some not wanting to go to this convention again.

In 2015, more issues came along. The show expanded itself to put some of its guests and vendors in the Dunkin Donuts Center, but the show still experienced unfortunate crowd issues. There’s a walkway that can take you from one building to another located indoors between the two. It turns out that year, there was clogging in the walkway, which if I remember correctly, is a reason there was such an enormous line to get from one center to another at one point.

In 2016, they had a little spin on what people would normally do in order to meet certain guests. As mentioned, during this year in particular, the Dunkin Donuts Center arena was dedicated to headliner guests such as Stan Lee and Millie Bobby Brown. This didn’t stop the long lines, which isn’t necessarily the issue. The issue here is that being able to get an autograph or photo op from these guests is a little bit tedious. I got an autograph from Gal Gadot, and instead of paying my money during the process of signing, I had to pay at a box office. I didn’t even realize this. Let me tell you what happened. So I was staying at a hotel with my dad, it’s morning, it’s almost the time for the convention to open, so I figured we grab a quick breakfast. We grab something to eat at Dunkin Donuts inside the Providence Place mall, we get in line for the convention, I get inside, I knew where my first stop was, Gal Gadot’s table. I get in line, eventually I find out I’m in the VIP line, I’m not a VIP ticket holder, so I’m taken to another line. The line eventually kept on moving, and once I get to five spots away in my line from Gal, she leaves. To be fair, she was only there Sunday, and she also had photo ops and a panel to do, but it kind of left me somewhat disappointed. I waited probably over five hours until she came back. Then when it was my turn to get an autograph, it turns out that I’m missing something, a punch card. I didn’t even realize I have to pay beforehand. This is something I can kind of understand for photo ops, but not autographs. I have a feeling a reason why they did this is in order to make more money. A lot of people didn’t get to meet Stan Lee like they wanted from what I could tell and I doubt the con gave any refunds for that reason. From what I can tell, I believe they’ll be doing that again this year. (Sigh) Although then again I probably won’t be focused too much on headliners this year anyway so it won’t matter.

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The con itself, as mentioned, is massive. As mentioned in the name, it’s partially dedicated to comics. As you can also tell, it has a major focus on providing tons of celebrity guests, but it also focuses on providing artist guests, games, panels, cars, wedding ceremonies, exclusive items, and something called “Sci-Fi Speed Dating.”

The con also has a number of discounts available for those staying overnight, if you want to stay at a certain hotel, I’d recommend going to the Rhode Island Comic Con website, click on the section labeled “Hotels” (link down below), that way you can check out the discounts you can get on a certain hotel. A number of these are conveniently located near the convention center, but there are also a few that are away from it, specifically in the town of Warwick. These discounts won’t last forever so get them while you can!

http://www.ricomiccon.com/hotels

Alright, that basically is everything I need to say so far about Rhode Island Comic Con, I hope to see you there, I’ll be there ALL THREE DAYS, so you might run into me at least once. So I want to know, are YOU going to Rhode Island Comic Con? What days are you going? What do you plan to do there? Or, what is a con that you think I should attend in the future? It can be far away, and if you actually happen to be working for a convention I’d love to visit your con to review it as long as I don’t have to pay for much of anything, maybe except for food and definitely anything inside the convention center. Also guys, I mentioned before that the hosts of “King of the Nerds” will be at this con, and in honor of that, I’d like to leave a link here that will take you toward a post I made on September 4 about “King of the Nerds” detailing why I’m not done with the show, and what I’d like to hopefully see in the future regarding the show itself. I put a lot of effort into it, and I don’t know why I wouldn’t, I love the show probably more than I love pizza, and that’s kind of saying something. Please look into that post, also stay tuned for more posts, including my series of Tom Cruise related movie reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“KING OF THE NERDS”: Two Years Since Cancellation Was Announced To Public, Why I Am Not Done with the Show: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/king-of-the-nerds-two-years-since-cancellation-was-announced-to-public-why-i-am-not-done-with-the-show/