Conventioning… A Walk Around Con Bravo Part 2

I’m back, sorry about the long pause, been busy. Now onto Part 2, Saturday’s antics. Ahh, fresh cappuccino to help wake me up.

Act 2 – Saturday July 28th, 2012.

So, on Saturday, after some breakfast, we went through the vendors, to check out some of the cool stuff on display and available for purchase. I wish I could have bought something, but due to a lack of funds on my part, I couldn’t. However, that doesn’t take away from the awesome-ness that is seeing all the various toys, trinkets, clothes, and artwork filling the room. Here are a couple of images, thanks to Brent.

Some of the great artwork I witnessed while following Brent around, and Games Galore!

After our jaunt through the vendors room, I went onto the first panel of the day for me.

You Don’t Know Jack! Featuring The 404s. 

For those who, like me who had never seen or heard of the show, it was a 90’s game show where people would answer trivia questions with multiple choice answers with a card for the number or letter for the answer, or in some of the lightning rounds, word association, yelling out the appropriate word as it showed up for the theme word. This version however is all geek related, so naturally most of the people in the room would probably know the answer, even if the contestants didn’t. There were definitely a couple I would’ve answered, but I wasn’t a contestant, even though I was wanting to try it out. (Trivia Nut.) Unfortunately, because I’m a forgetful person and in the mornings, its hard to concentrate; running on cappuccinos and bagels, I forgot to take some images. While I was in that panel, Brent was probably at the “Creating An Online Persona” panel, as he’s interested in such things. (I kind of just wing it, after observing others).

After observing the hilarity in the You Don’t Know Jack! panel, I went over to the Atrium with Brent for one of the big panels of the day.

Gaming Critics

Running the panel were Tom White, Spoony, AVGN, Roo, and Mike “Birdman” Dodd, (with a preview of his Channel Awesome Q&A present). With many Q&A panels, its primary format is just that, Questions and Answers, many questions were asked, and things were either signed, given or answered. I was able to salvage a couple of my images, some of them became white washed, as I set the exposure a bit too high on the phone. Also, I grabbed a couple from Brent. (My gallery of fixed photos will be available soon).

Critics from left to right: Tom White, Spoony, AVGN, Roo and Mike “Birdman” Dodd. Mike kinda has a weird look on his face in one of my images.

Also an image of the giant crowd gathered for the panel.

Immediately after the Gaming Critics panel, the Channel Awesome Q&A started, which had been moved from the Event rooms to the Atrium. Which was a smart plan, as the events room was passed room capacity last year, thankfully the Atrium is a lot, and with the balconies, some of us were able to still view the panel, even if we didn’t have a seat.

Channel Awesome Q&A Part 1

This time around, to start the ball rolling with the panel, we had Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic), Tom White, Linkara, Roo and Mike “Birdman” Dodd. For those who could not make the con, and haven’t seen Brent’s album on Facebook; Yes, Mike Dodd is a Brony.

The Q&A went on, people asking Doug and the others to sign things, asking questions like “What’s in store for the next anniversary special?” and things of that nature. I, myself am not a Brony, nor do I watch the show, but I don’t harass those who are Bronies, even if they sometimes look a bit silly.

Mike Dodd poses for some photos.

Brent got in closer for some more shots of the crew…

… and a shot of Paw, before the panel.

Afterward, I wandered around for a bit, before lining up early, for…

Atop Of The Fourth Wall Live!

Next up, was a live recording of Atop Of The Fourth Wall with Linkara. In it he performed his usual flair, tenacity and general bashing of ridiculous comics. This time, he set his sights on the comic: Spiral Zone. A comic based off of a popular line of toys with the same name. If you haven’t seen the video, please do so, it’s rather funny. The recording of said episode was held in a room, everyone dubbed as Sweatbox B. The Sweatboxes, were the panel rooms designated for the year, where the air conditioning did “partially” work, but it was never suited for more than about 10 people. Here are some shots from the panel.

After Linkara finished the episode, he had some time left to kill to fill the hour. So he devoted the rest of the panel to a Q&A. He had something special for us in mind for the 200th episode, on Sunday.

When we finished with AT4W Live, I headed downstairs to the Atrium, to wait for…

D20: Lords Of The Internet Edition

While I was eager to see what was lined up in the DnD match, as Linkara said he was going to be there, and he was. James Rolfe aka Angry Video Game Nerd, had made his Canadian premiere with the Con. The staff had devoted 2 hours for a signing for him, as they expected big numbers, however, due to the sheer number of people lined up, they had to take up his Q&A time to devote to more signing for him and then push D20 off for another 40 minutes to help get as many people signed. The reason why, was that people had been lining up for over 3 hours, as he’s a popular guy. I myself hadn’t gotten his signature, knowing that it would be a zoo waiting in line, and would’ve missed Atop Of The Fourth Wall Live. During D20, as it was devoted 3 hours, Brent and I went for food, while he went to wander, I headed back to D20 for the awesome victory of the heroes.

The heroes I mention were: Noah Antwiler (The Spoony One) known as the best swordsman in the world, as his story will state. Mike “Birdman” Dodd, Linkara, and Roo. Each were handed I believe were Bard sheets (Would love some correction on this, if I’m wrong), but eventually evolved them into more useful characters. Linkara gave his bard a Scottish accent, whom was a ranger, Roo evolved his character into a mage, Spoony stuck with the bard, but kept his mastery of swords, and Mike went for a hands on approach with hand to hand combat. Their DM for the matchup was Big Mike of the 404s, whom did receive some ridicule from some of us, after the match, and you’ll find out shortly why.

During the story, things were progressing to Big Mike’s plan until, when he unveiled the major villain. Basically, the local alchemists of a town the guys were sent to, had been kidnapped and forced to make an army for their captor, whom just happened to be an aging, war-torn, black dragon. Now, Big Mike’s plan was to have the guys go back to the guy who hired them which was a lord of the region who brought them in to find out why the Alchemists were taken and retrieve them. Here’s where things deviated; Spoony decides to call out the dragon, from behind the safety of a tree, as he knows about black dragons. The dragon looks to the treeline where  the guys are hiding and demands Spoony’s bard comes out. So, he sends out his hologram. The dragon wasn’t amused, and decides to douse the entire treeline with acid, so the guys have to exit the trees to avoid being melted like the wicked witch of the west from Oz.

The guys decided to just launch an all out assault on the dragon, not wanting to wait for the final battle. Spoony had his own custom dice, just to ensure with its straight edges, his rolls were fair and not crap like that of the regular rounded edge dice would allow. He had some good roles, Birdman had a few good ones too, but the crit master of the evening was Roo, he was hitting hard, with his spells. Birdman had a bout of indigestion when the guys had picked up a vile of supposed “Superhuman” juice from the alchemists’ lab that was known to have killed most of the test subjects. Dodd wanted to try it anyway, however it made his character pass out, convulse and then vomit up the juice, basically keeping him out of turn for a few. Haha.

The final blows went in this particular order, Dragon derps, when Big Mike kept screwing up rolls, or getting a one. He tried to attack with one set of claws, while still having the other paw raised. So his dragon landed face first into the dirt, so Spoony took advantage and stabbed at the dragon’s spinal cord in the neck. He had a high enough hit to bounce off bone into the soft tissue around it. Oh dear, Big Mike and his rolls, haha. Then it was Linkara’s turn to deal some damage to the beast, and Roo was soon to follow with his lightning. Big Mike knew his end was near, as both Roo and Linkara had very high rolls. Annihilating the dragon.

After the crushing blows, the team along with Big Mike pose for some photos, and Dodd felt the need to hold Spoony’s moobs, and Linkara had a nice dance for his crippling blow.

Brent wasn’t there, to take some better photos than me, so I do apologise for the low quality. After the laughs of the jokes and the derp rolls (*cough*Big Mike*cough*), and after Brent returned from Lindsay Ellis’ panel on “Being A Girl On The Internet”, we lined up for the…

Bad Fan Fiction 18+ Panel

Oh my, the insanity and hilarious-ness of the panel, run by Jen, whom those of you that were there, would recognise her during the day cosplaying as Connie, the Con Bravo mascot.

 

Photo credit of Connie to Paul Hillier Photography. (Link to his FB page tied to photo).

The panel involved many, including Derek Burrow of Chasing The Muse, and Tom White of Channel Awesome. Both of which had read some of the bad fan fiction.

Derek and Tom’s reactions to some of the bad fan fiction.

Ah, the fun times had by all at the panel, including the small ribbings Big Mike of the 404’s had while viewing the panel. Everything from the “Hot Topic” gothicly themed “My Immortal” Harry Potter fan fiction, to that of a sex scene from the Sonic Fandom between Sonic and Amy or the strangely bizarre; “The Fish, The Pussy and The Wardrobe”. Thanks to Brent for the photos.

    

After the laugh out loud comedy of the Bad Fan fiction panel, Brent and I headed back to the motel, for a nice sleep, before the final day. With that, I’ll sign off for now, and stay tuned for Part 3 of the Walk Around Con Bravo 2012.

Conventioning – A Walk Around Con Bravo.

So, as promised, a walk-around with me, and my friend Brent, on our journey through the Con Bravo convention in Burlington, Ontario. Some of the photos are mine, and I do apologise for the lack of quality on them, as I used my android phone for them, other photos are from Brent’s DSLR. Thanks to him for some of the shots.

Act 1 – Friday, July 27th, 2012

For this year, they added a third day, although it was more so evening, as it started at 5pm EST. Con Bravo previously just had Saturday, and Sunday, with the addition of Friday, it allowed for more panels to be showcased. This convention has grown considerably, last year, they had only 60 people pre-register, but over 1200 show up, as it was the first time they showcased people from Channel Awesome. This time around, they added more, last year was just 3 – Doug Walker “The Nostalgia Critic”, Joe Vargas – Angry Joe, Mike “Birdman” Dodd, Tom White, and Noah Antwiler “The Spoony One”.

This year, most were representing Channel Awesome, except for Noah, who recently left Channel Awesome. So returning this year were Doug Walker, Tom White, Mike Dodd, and Noah Antwiler. New additions for the panels this year on the guest list included the following from the Channel Awesome team: James Rolfe aka The Angry Video Game Nerd (Formerly Angry Nintendo Nerd), Lewis Lovhaug aka Linkara, Lindsey Ellis aka The Nostalgia Chick, Joey “Roo” Desena, Todd Nathanson of “Todd In The Shadows”, Paul Schuler aka Paw, and making her first ever Con, Elisa Hansen aka Maven.

Brent and I showed up for the opening ceremony on Friday, and half of the VIPs did show up for the ceremony, but some had some issues with transportation. Linkara, Spoony, Doug and Tom White showed for opening ceremonies, Mike Dodd was wandering somewhere, and some of the others were passed out. Lindsey, Todd, Maven and Paw were travelling by Todd’s car, which would’ve been there earlier, had the car’s radiator not catastrophically failed on the bridge at the border of Canada and the US. AVGN also had some issues when his flight got cancelled, so he decided to also drive all the way as well. Here are some photos of the opening ceremonies as taken from Brent’s DSLR, as mine turned out terrible.

If you have a Facebook account, you can view more of Brent’s ConBravo 2012 photos Here

Onto the first of many panels, Game Of Thrones Discussion Panel-

It was basically a spoiler-thon, granted I’ve only just scratched the surface of Game Of Thrones, it does pique my interest. Thanks to Brent for a photo.

Afterward, while Brent and I wandered for a bit before having dinner, here is a photo of some random cosplay at the front of the hotel.

Photo is from my android, sorry about the quality

Afterward, we wandered some more, through the music show, tons of photos on that from Brent on Facebook. I stood in line for the 4Chan panel, and saw both it and the My Little Panel: Fandom is Magic panel lines were starting to get long, so I managed to get a good spot while I did. When I saw that there would be a 4Chan panel, I knew I had to get in line, as comedy memes would ensue. While there, I met more and more people, as one does at a convention, you socialize with your fellow geek. The panel of course had hilarity from the site of memories of past memes and people representing different boards on 4Chan, running the panel were 2 regulars and a moderator from the site.

Ah the memories of random crap on the site. For those who don’t know, 4Chan was created to serve as an english version of 2Chan, a japanese forum for everything Geek, essentially. These days you will have every walk of humanity on there, so remember to bring your metaphorical umbrellas, rubber boots, and probably a gas mask if you value your sanity. Those whom can survive, live on and enjoy the hilarity that is 4Chan.

Photo credit to Brent, as I forgot to take some photos on my phone.

Later, after the hilarity that was the 4Chan panel, Brent got in line for the Audition for the Worst Movie Ever panel, I went down to wait for the Late Night 404s 18+ panel. The 404s, for those of you who don’t know, are a geek comedy troop that perform their variation on the Whose Line Is It Anyway? show, and damn they do it well. Members of the 404s include: Big Mike, Medium Mike, Little Mike, Jon, Dany and Christine. As it was the 18+ panel, no whips were spared, no jokes pulled, and things we should not see at Con Bravo, we did. Note for next time, Dany, for the love of god, no Green Lantern boxers that enhance the package dude!

404’s from left to right- little Mike, Medium Mike, Jon Lee, Christine, Big Mike and Dany.

They even saved a seat, just for Mark Tjan- Chairman. Rock on Princess Celestia, haha.

Mark not enjoying his spot- photo credit to Brent.

After the side-splitting comedy of the 404s with the Pants-less O’clock antics, and Dany’s green lantern boxers, we called it a night for Friday, as the end of their show, marked the end of the first day of Con Bravo. We retired to the motel we were staying in, and after a bit of Civilization 5, I went to sleep, to have a fresh start for Saturday.

With that, marks the end of the first act of my 3 blog entry for Con Bravo, as it is very early in the morning, and I could use some sleep, look for the second half within the next day or so.

The Dark Knight Rises… and some news.

The Dark Knight Rises

TDKR Poster

Sorry this took me a while to get out, been busy with stuff around the new house and just got back from a convention, which I will talk about in another blog. Not to mention, getting distracted with TV shows returning and catching old favourites, like Digimon Tamers, haha.

So, on the Tuesday after its Premiere, I saw TDKR, and to be honest, now looking back, it’s a great flick, it’s just not what I expected.

Character Portrayals: (Note: Only of those joining the existing cast.)

Bane – Tom Hardy does a fantastic job, he is a very believable Bane, even though it’s not the Bane we know and remember. Despite the voice mask making him sound a little like a dark Sean Connery. He is the embodiment of a Bane-esque terrorist in this movie.

Selina Kyle/Catwoman – Anne Hathaway does an excellent job portraying the character, granted we didn’t see enough of the character itself in the movie, all the parts we did see of her, were excellently portrayed, and all sequences of cat-like agility are spot on.

Blake – Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a very good job in a more serious role than I’ve ever seen him in, besides Inception. If this was not the last of Nolan’s movies, I would’ve loved to see more of this character in future stories. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but Nolan takes back something he said previously. One word for this character which is a spoiler, sorry, Robin.

Miranda – Marion Cotillard plays her character extremely well. I can’t say too much on the character as it would be a spoiler to the movie.

Daggett – Ben Mendelsohn does a great job, his flair makes the character his own, as I’ve seen Daggett in many other Batman stories, as he is a regular in the Batman universe.

Stryver – Burn Gorman, wow what a difference in characters I’ve seen him play previously, especially that of Torchwood. As Stryver, he’s cold, ruthless, almost as if he is a trained assassin, but not quite. As Daggett’s right hand man, he is very much like an assassin by basically carrying out Daggett’s dirty work with underlings and loose ends. Gorman does a fantastic job making the character come out and not just be in the background.

Special Effects – As usual, all the special effects and gadget work are phenomenal with Nolan’s movies, this movie is no different in its execution.

Sound – Effects are done practical, every crunch, every hit is very natural sounding, even if it’s the armour of Batman’s suit, or bullets firing in the sky. Music, as usual with Hans Zimmer, fantastic work, some of my favourite themes and movements from the previous movies, and some new ones to compliment the movie. Granted, not as much quantity of songs as The Dark Knight, as that was a group effort, but still amazing work as always.

Technicals – Editing, Filming, Direction – Nolan does some of his best film work in this flick, however, even though the movie is 2 and a half hours long, it kind of feels it needs more to help explain certain pieces of the story that are missing, more on the story a little later.

Writing/Story – Oh my, this is where the film shows most of its cracks, as much as I love this Batman trilogy, this movie feels as if it was pieced together and needed more movies to finish off the story. It feels short to me, as if the book adaptation will be like the first films book, where there is more explained in the novel. Unlike The Dark Knight, where everything in the movie, is in the novel, with very little added. The story is a bit haphazard in some ways, especially between Miranda and Bruce, and Bane, as much as this Bane is very realistic, it’s not the Bane we know. It also feels as if the story/movie isn’t taking the same risks with characters as previous ones.

Sure Bane is different, but no one else really changes, at least in personality, but you can tell that everyone knows what’s going to happen. Granted yes, I knew beforehand that certain instances would happen at different points in the movie, since I’m such a huge fan of Batman and being a writer, I know plot devices when I see them. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but one of the key plot points is a bomb, yes a bomb. Unlike Joker’s bombs which were common, and very useful, this one just seems like a cop-out in some ways, especially with its disposal.

Batman felt like he was kind of shoed in with the primary calamity, being the bomb, as that device has been used many times before, and made him feel generic. The film to me, is a good, but slightly flawed adaptation of 2 comic lines, The Dark Knight Returns, which for those who don’t know is Frank Miller’s epic where Bruce dawns the cape and cowl after pushing 60, as he feels he’s needed yet again. The other is that of Knightfall, which DC used to “Spoiler” cripple and therefore kill the Bruce Wayne Batman, so that his story could end as the cape crusader and move on with his life, while another could continue his work. A lot of Batman stories go to the Knightfall storyline when talking about Bruce’s end with being Batman.

While at first, the ending would’ve left me sad, to almost shed a tear had it continued down its first path, but the twist while nice to see with this story line, kinda feels as if Nolan wanted to continue, but due to DC wanting to get Justice League Of America started, can’t, which saddens me due to how the movie ends. I won’t spoil it, so you’ll have to go see the movie, as it’s still in Theatres and I expect it to be in there until late August, early September, depending on ticket sales. Also, Nolan even said that he wanted to finish his Batman off, because he didn’t want to include him in JLA, as other sources are saying it was DC not wanting this dark, and realistic Batman being in JLA. Personally  I agree that this Batman wouldn’t fit, especially if they get Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern in the movie, as his movie was a mess, more on that in my review.

Trailers – The Man Of Steel teaser was shown, while it will hopefully do well with Nolan helping on the writing, and Zack Snyder working on the direction, should do well, the film’s cinematography just from the trailer, looks amazing, but because it’s a weird take on Clark’s story, it’ll definitely be different, it almost feels as if they’re trying to make him more realistic, which is fine, but something bugs me about the trailer. Hopefully it does well, as I like Superman, he’s bad ass in the DC Universe Online trailer/intro movie. I’d like to see Nolan and Snyder bring that badassery back to Clark.

With that, I’ll end this off here. Look for my Con Bravo coverage blog later on, *With Photos*. My friend Brent and I went to a convention in Burlington, it has turned into an annual event, as last year, he and I went with a friend to it before.  Also, I’ve been drawn into Game Of Thrones from people who have seen the show and read the books, so look for a future blog about the series, as I get caught up and a separate one on the books, when I get the chance to read them.