Year in Geek 2018

From comics to books to live podcast tapings, this was my year in Geekdom.
2018 was crazy for being a geek and here are the highlights of various events I attended, participated in or covered for different media sites, as well as some of my digital drawings. Lots of fun and I look forward to 2019.

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The Ten Con Commandments – Remix

Back in 2015 I wrote a post called “It’s the Ten Con Commandments” where I laid out the important things con goers should have in order to make it all the way through New York Comic Con. And now I’m back to update/reaffirm these commandments, cue Biggie’s Ten Crack Commandments – Star Wars remix, if you need a soundtrack for this.

teseract1) Bag(s) – As I can’t fit everything into a Utility Belt and do not own a Tardis or tesseract, as seen on the left, I prefer a backpack to help get around without tripping folks up behind me. Your bag should be big enough to carry your gear and NYCC booty and and extra bag for stuff that doesn’t fit.

2) Gear – You think Batman plans on fighting Supes in his regular suit? Nope, he dresses to kick Big Blue in the butt. Unless you’re in cosplay dress for Comic Con appropriately. Lines are killer, and the first casualty will be your feet, good socks and insoles will help. It might be cold outside and an oven in, or the reverse, temperature is a wildcard, layer up as layers will give you flexibility in your comfort.

matter-eater3) Food/snacks – Javits is expensive, period. There are a few bargains to be found but hey are overshadowed by the long lines. Stock up on sandwiches, bring food that you know won’t go bad or stink up the joint, and eat on-line while waiting to get into a room. Snacks are good too for keeping up your energy.

4) Water – Any Fremen will tell you “water is the key to life.” Again, Javits is expensive and the money you spend on drinks could go to that limited edition collectible you’ve been hunting for the last year. It’s also good to stay hydrated if it gets hot in there.

99a30df437dcfb19f2c61ae41686f3945) Power – Doing it for the `Gram will kill your phone/pad, bring chargers and backup batteries. Would Green Lantern or Ironman go into battle with only a 15% charge. Okay, so yes Tony did fight at a power deficit in the 1st Ironman, but you ain’t him stay charged.

6) Rubber bands – Silly right, you won’t need them. Wrong, posters will be handed out and a rubber band is the difference between cramped fingers and a free hand. Also, don’t shoot at anyone with them, see #10.

7) Hand sanitizer – Con crud is real, folks go from con to con spreading germs like the monkey in Outbreak or David Hewlett in Planet of the Apes, not to say he’s full of germs, he’s actually a cool guy who took the time to take a picture with me before his panel. But seriously sanitizer, super strength.

8) Boards/bags – There are a ton of free comic handouts and you will want the bags to protect that zero issue when you shove it in your bag. Trust me it hurts your soul when you get home and that signed copy you stood on-line for an hour is dinged or ripped.

money20159) Cash – This isn’t the Federation, you need money. There are cash machines on site and most of the vendors can take cards, but the ATM fees are killer and you might be able to make a deal with cash, especially on Sunday when they want to dump as much stuff as possible. Also if you’re on a budget it helps when you have a set limit going into the day.

10) Humanity – Everyone should be there for good time. When people are pushing, shoving, harassing and just being general douche bag, it takes away from the fun. Don’t be that @$$hole, because it would suck Apache Chief balls to spend all that money to get in, just to get tossed out. Keep your hands to yourself and ask to take a picture.

With 2 days to go, remember it’s a marathon, plan and pace is the key to success, know what’s important for you to see and where you’re going because they changed a bunch of things up this year. If you can’t make it, I will be live tweeting (GCarmona3) from panels and the floor and maybe digging out the old Periscope (GC003) for floor walking. Look for me.

It’s the Ten Con Commandments.

Things you will need for surviving and conquering Comic Con.

img-thing1) Bag – As I can’t fit everything into a Utility Belt, I prefer a backpack to help get around without tripping folks up behind me. Your bag should be big enough to carry your gear and NYCC booty.

2) Gear – Lines are killer, and the first casualty will be your feet. Good socks and insoles will help. Also, layer up. It might be cold outside and an oven in, or the reverse, temperature is a wildcard. Layers will give you flexibility in your comfort.

3) Food/snacks – Javits is expensive, period. There are a few bargains to be found and then they tend to have long lines. Bring your own food and eat on-line while waiting to get into a room. Snacks are good too for keeping up your energy.

4) Water – Any Fremen will tell you “water is the key to life.” Again, Javits is expensive and the money you spend on drinks could go to that collectible you’ve been hunting for the last year.

latest5) Power – Tweeting, Periscoping or Instagram will drain your batteries, bring chargers or backup batteries. At previous Cons I’ve seen folks selling rechargeable packs, but think Green Lantern needing to stay charged.

6) Rubber Bands – Silly right, you won’t need them. Wrong, posters will be handed out and a rubber band is the difference between cramped fingers and a free hand.

7) Extra bag – Unless you have a Tardis nearby or can find Atlas in your family tree, an extra bag will save your back.

8) Boards/bags – There are a ton of free comic handouts and you will want the bags to protect that zero issue when you shove it in your bag. Trust me it hurts your soul when you get home and that signed copy you stood on-line for an hour is dinged or ripped.

fistofdollars9) Cash – This isn’t the Federation, you need money. There are cash machines on site and most of the vendors can take cards, but the ATM fees are killer and you might be able to make a deal with cash, especially on Sunday when they want to dump as much stuff as possible. Also if you’re on a budget it helps when you have a set limit going into the day.

10) Humanity – Everyone should be there for good time. When people are pushing, shoving, harassing and just being general douche bag, it takes away from the fun.

Remember it’s a marathon, plan and pace is the key to success. If you can’t make it, I will be live streaming with Periscope (GC003) and tweeting (GCarmona3). Look for me.

Brooklyn Brewery Comic Con Brooklyn Defender Beer Launch Party 2015

20150909_194632Last night I attended the launch party of the Brooklyn Defender, a specialty beer made for New York Comic Con by Brooklyn Brewery. The party was co-hosted by New York Comic Con, BB Brew Master Garrett Oliver, and Comic Book Artist Khary Randolph, the designer of this years Defender.  On tap were the usual fair of beers, free capes, glasses and cosplay. 20150909_202823

Artist from last weeks Drink and Draw were encouraged to share their interpretation of the Defender and I was blessed to have my art adorn the walls of the party. Scroll down for a better look of the finished works.

Thanks to NY Comic Con, Brooklyn Brewery, Garrett Oliver and most of all to Khary for creating a cool ass character.

Brooklyn.Defender.2 Brooklyn.Defender.1

Drink and Draw – Brooklyn Brewery Defender

Defender.5Last night was Drink and Draw NYC, a positive space where artists can come together and sketch a live model. Created and run by comic book artist Khary Randolph, last nights D&D had the distinction of being the 6th anniversary of the get together and also the unveiling of Brooklyn Brewery’s New York Comic Con specialty beer, The Brooklyn Defender.

Defender.2Each year, Brooklyn Brewery picks a comic book artist to design the look of the character for their bottle and this time the call went out to D&D’s very own Khary. To celebrate, Brooklyn Brewery was gracious enough to provide us with free samples of their specialty brew.

And I doubt it is necessary to state that when you offer folks free beer they will show up. Artists were asked to share their work based on model Atallah Divines cosplay of the character. The artwork will be on display at Brooklyn Brewery’s official launch party for the Defender next week. Also, I just got word that I will have two pieces on display based on these sketches, if you’re unable to attend the party look for the final versions here, next week.

Again thanks to Brooklyn Brewery for the beer, as well as Khary Randolph and the souls of Drink and Draw NYC for helping me to stay creative. Here’s to more beer and more art.

Defender.3  Defender.1

3 Days of the Comic Con – Part II

DSCF0390Friday – Day 2 of NYCC was redemption day, my MacArthur returns, my I’ll be back, my Return of the Jedi. With more panels to check out, I was able to make 4 out of 6, in Baseball terms I had a great day at the plate.

Starting with the Marvel 75th Anniversary opening panel, I was in the presence of Marvel luminaries; Len Wein, Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson, Rick Leonardi, Fabian Nicieza and moderated by Marvel editor Mike Marts. The panelist spoke on their time at Marvel, the creation of characters like Wolverine and Apocalypse and the rise of the crossover events. The best quote from the group was Mr. Simonson “I’m an old guy, I don’t care.” As to what he doesn’t care about, well what is said at Comic Con stays at Comic Con so no ones feelings get hurt.

IMG_20141010_120456My next stop was the I’m DMC I Can Draw!” The Artists of Darryl Makes Comics. A new graphic novel from Hip-hop icon Darryl DMC McDaniels from the legendary group Run-DMC. Promised at last years NYCC, DMC and crew make good on their promise of a Hip-hop hero for all generations.

DSCF0405That was followed up by the Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender and the Comic Book Medium panel moderated by comic mogul Regine Sawyer, creator/writer of Ice Witch and the Rippers. This panel spoke about the changing face of the comic book industry, the importance in representing all of its audience and sense of invisibility that some of the panelist had to fight in the path to becoming comic creators.

DSCF0464My last panel stop was the Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining. A mix of music icons like Pete Rock and Large Professor and comic creators Khary Randolph and Ronald Wimberly, et al. This group discussed the similarities of the two genre; both being fusions of other genres and its creation of other identities and alias on stage and in print. The most interesting comparison made by the panel was that of artists and rappers being modern-day ronin.

20141010_115104Day 2 counting the cosplayers, comic haul and quick picture with Brian Michael Bendis, I was batting over 600. Day 3 you’re next.

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3 Days of the Comic Con – Part I

IMG_20141009_100822Yes I know New York Comic Con is four days, but that is another post.

If you’ve never been to Comic Con or any comic convention, think of it like a high priced parade, circus and bazaar rolled up under one roof. A multi day marathon where you have to pace yourself so you can maximize your experience.

Thursday – Day one is usually a small crowd made up of VIP’s, 4-Day pass holders and the Press, of which I was a representative. Thanks to DJ Blackicon1 of WHCR radio and RhythmAndSoulRadio.com, for giving me the gig as his producer/AV technical person. Thanks being said, Thursdays are easy walks as the vendors and artist wrap up any last minute prep as the ramp up for the big crowds on Friday and Saturday. This year started off with the biggest Thursday crowd I’ve ever seen, not use to long lines for panels or signings on day one.

Some of the standout moments were the unveiling of the Batman Forever stamp from DC Entertainment and the United States Post Service. How to Train Your Dragon 2 VR game, a short “ride” on the back of a dragon with 360º visuals, immersive sounds and varying winds. And my personal favorite, an advance purchase of David Mack’s new Star Trek novel Section 31: Disavowed, with the awesome inscription of “Don’t get the clap” signed by Mr. Mack.

Outside of those few hits, I had a lot of misses, specifically the panels. I missed every one that I wanted to go to and when I finally got my schedule problems together, my body betrayed me. End of day one.