Shock and Awesome was the title of Dean Haglund’s Kickstarter campaign to raise money for his soon coming Graphic Novel. While his novel is not yet out, Shock and Awesome is already here for me. For my part in contributing to Dean’s Kickstarter he was going to do an original sketch. Last year when I heard about the Gary Gygax monument and they were working on it occurred to me that a cartoon of Role Playing Gamers with one invoking the Blessing of Gary Gygax and having Gary’s Spirit there behind them performing the blessing. Dean’s Kickstarter seemed perfect for it and it was! So for me the Shock and Awesome is already here!
The month of August is a huge month in the mid-west for the wonderful world of weird and even more so this year with Wizard World in Chicago, Gen Con in Indianapolis, The Toronto Fan Expo, and again in Chicago, Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, whose poster says, “We are the geeks you’re looking for.” For me it started last weekend with the great anime convention, Go! Daiko-Con, and will end over when I will be meeting up at Chicon7 with Mark Stolaroff (the award winning producer that has been writing about film festivals for The Weird Review) there and he will be screening his movie, Pig.
Five Year Mission as they performed at Wizard World New Orleans!
To celebrate this months amazing array of awesome adventures, I have some of the bands who will be performing at Wizard World and Gen Con currently playing on The Weird Review’s audio Stream. Among them are from the Federation – 5 Year Mission, From Q’Nos – Il Troubadore, Michi, The Water Street Bridge, plus The Slants, Eyeshine, and more! So give a listen to the audio stream and then get over to Chicago for Wizard World and Chicon, to Indianapolis for Gen Con and Toronto for the Fan Expo!
The Weird Review interviewed fantasy artist Larry Elmore and Betty at Wizard World New Orleans
I checked in at Chicago and Wizard World is already in full force. From what I heard they have pre-sold over 30,000 tickets for tomorrow and the guest list is amazing with three captains from Star Trek Plus Vic Mignogna who will be in the Star Trek Continues webseries, Mr. John Cena and other professional wrestlers, Sam Trammel from True Blood, James Marsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, folks from The Walking Dead, Colin Fergusson from Eureka (I may have an interview with him! more on that later!) and dozens of others from movies and television. While being more than a comic convention Wizard World doesn’t forget its most important stars, the writers, artists, editors, colorers, and letterers that bring us some of our favorite reading. Topping that list is Stan Lee, Neal Adams, Daniel Acuña, and many more including some of my favorite like, Chris “Sinj” Burke, Jake Rueth, and Mike Gagnon! I interviewed Mike at the grand opening of his new studio in Hamilton, Ontario after we supported his Indigogo campaign.
I just checked in with Mr. Gagnon and things came up preventing him coming but here is the interview
More on Wizard World later.
Next weekend starting Thursday is Gen Con in Indianapolis where the gaming industry will be demonstrating their new innovations and products to gamers from all over the world. I already have a couple interviews set up with the kind folks from Wizards of the Coast, so expect more fun of a gaming variety next weekend. While the gaming is huge at Gen Con, it is not the entire focus by any means. There is a film festival, a fantastic Masquerade and lots of fantastic entertainers!
Herb, one of my photographers from Mardi Gras will be working with me to cover Wizard World and Gen Con, and he is bringing Zoey, his daughter so we may do some reporting from a child’s perspective. Incidently, this weekend while Herb and I are at Wizard World, Mark Stolaroff will be out at Raleigh Studios presenting classes for his No Budget Film School. Mark and I will be meeting up again in Hollywood the first weekend in October when he and I are co-sponsoring the Best Science Fiction Feature film at Hollywood’s Shriekfest film festival. Mark and Pig won it last year but I beat him to Shriekfest director Denise Gossett for the sponsorship this year, so we agreed to co-sponsor it. Mark is a brilliant producer and an amazing man and we at The Weird Review are honored to be associated with him!
The Weird Review interview with Producer Tammi Sutton 20 minutes before winning Best Thriller for Isle of Dogs
Toronto Fan Expo is only tentatively on our schedule at this point as we haven’t heard word on the press pass request (hopefully that will come soon!) I am looking forward to seeing some of my Canadian friends, and hope to do an update interview with Blake Northcott, if all goes well!
The Weird Review’s interview with Blake Northcott, Author of Vs. Reality (now in Pre-production!)
Finally for August, as I previously mentioned, the World Science Fiction Convention will be convening where we will be geeking out over all manner of science fiction and Chicon 7 (another name for World Con. World Con is well known for having a fantastic, world class, masquerade/costume contest, a huge event.
September begins with the Northern Michigan Anime con followed by Mike Holman and I attending a My Little Pony con in Chicago (it was a shocker to find out that my Jackass friend was a Brony!) After that there are several tentative but include the possibility of doing some behind the scenes reporting on a couple movie sets! To top the month off is New Orleans awesome Halloween Music event – The Voodoo Experience in City Park.
The Weird Review inteview with the Potter Puppet Pals Severus Snape Puppet at Youmacon 2011
The first weekend in November is Youmacon at the Renaissance Center in Detroit and later in the month, Starbase Indy in Indianapolis where I first met Dean Haglund last year. All in all, it is going to be an awesome Fall!