Not to start off with this old cliche, but how many times has this happened to you? You're traversing the corridors of a hotel when you turn a corner and see a man wearing only dance pants and a very well-made Elmo mask, either practicing dance moves or having a seizure. I can use the word seizure, because I have a brain tumor. That's our word.
As I sit here on a randomly snowy April morning listening to The Blues Brothers soundtrack, my mind drifts to the likes of The Nerima Daikon Brothers. Like Hideki and Ichiro trying to desperately save their precious daikon field by any means necessary, I'm reminded of two hardworking women scrambling to keep a huge anime convention together. Those two gracious ladies are Jeanie Rabatsky and Allison Milwid, since President/CEO Jim Gogol was rather sick during the pre-production portion of putting on Tekkoshocon X, which took place from March 21-25. A four-day con is a rare thing, but so wise it boggles the four brain cells I have left. The first night of the con was actually held at approximately 6 p.m. at the Hollywood Theatre in Dormont, PA. The genius of this, besides giving anime and manga fans an early start to collect their weekend passes, was to cut down on the lines for the following day, when hordes of preteens bombarded the hotel in which the convention was held. Atlas may have been able to shrug, but Jeanie and Allison had to wait until the con was over, packed up, and ready to go for the next one. Besides having to wrangle guests, volunteers, staff, and myself, they had their hands full. I must say, ladies, you did a hell of a job.
"Diamond" David Lee Roth. Steve Perry. Peter Gabriel. Hellboy. Besides all falling under the category of "awesome," one may ask what they have in common. The answer? They may have gone on to interesting, if not magnificent, solo careers, but they left behind groups that could hold their own and persevered without them. Most replaced that lead position, some from within, while others added to the group and came into their own. One of which is The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, otherwise known as the B.P.R.D.
Look at you, my little one! My oh my, aren't you getting big?! You're almost as tall as a stalk of corn! Also, from what I hear, just about to turn another year older! (If female and under the age of 18, please continue reading the article. If older than 18 and in the Greater Pittsburgh area or willing to travel, please contact Fanboy Comics for my contact information. If male just be quiet, sit there, and learn something) Good for you! Why don't you take a seat on your 'Ol Pappy J.C.'s knee (only girls 18 or older), and I can tell you the interesting story of a bygone era that was before the Comic Code Authority.
When you have multiple balls coming at you from all sides, usually you're either working in the adult film industry (ask for extra pay) or you're the last kid on one side of a dodgeball game. Nay, perchance you're playing the game of kings (most commonly that royal title is of the burger variety or McCheese Mayors), a game of flippers, spinners, locked balls, extra balls, and many a ramp (again, not porn), I speak of Pinball!
Well, I just got finished watching Disney Pixar's Up. First and foremost, I would like to say, John Lasseter and crew, you sneaky sons-a-bitches, you did it again. As the menu screen slowly burns into my TV, I sit here wiping my eyes (equally from tears of laughter and from other squishy emotions) and pondering what makes a Pixar film so great. I don't want to say that their works are formulaic, but they do have a rhythm and rhyme that is distinctly Pixar.
Most are aware that there is no great story without great conflict. Hamlet, The Divine Comedy, Porky's Two: The Next Day; they all shared this ethos. Pixar has taken spinning tragedy into a wonderful plot to an art form, though. Let's run down a quick list. Toy Story 1 and 2 (soon to be 3) all dealt with loss of some kind. With Monster's Inc., it was a loss of home for poor Boo. A Bug's Life, well, you have me there; maybe going through changes, metamorphosis, and what not. I don't really remember that one well. Touching, but not to say so tragic that one feels the immediacy of the loss. Childhood playthings, the home and friends you grew up with: these are the things that we look back on with nostalgia and ennui. Moving on.
Sorry for the slight ruse, Rocky Horror Fans (of which I am one), but this post will not be about a young Susan Sarandon getting it six ways from Sunday by everyone except the dude in the wheel chair. That post may be coming soon though.
No, this post is about that great American institution known far and wide as the Drive-In. These bastions of celluloid hearken back to days-gone-by, when teens would pile into a car, have an orgy during a B-rated horror film, and then go to a malt shoppe - all for under a nickel! Drive-Ins took a big hit in the '80s and '90s with the advent of VCRs and DVD players, but they are making a come back; partly because of the kitsch factor and cheap prices and partly because if you wanna see someone going at it, by themselves or with a partner live, chat roulette is a pale comparison to the Americana that is the drive-in theater.
Tekkoshocon/n/tech-ko-show-con (Steel Mill Con)
1. An anime convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that usually happens around April of every year.
2. A gathering of Otaku, Cosplayers, and gamers to celebrate anime, manga, and Japanese Culture.
3. An experience of dedication and love.
If you were to were to walk down the streets of Pittsburgh, PA, on any given day, you'd be hard pressed not to encounter one of the following: a yinzer, a hipster, or a hometown sports fan. The sports fan, in fact, is your surest bet. Decked out in Steelers regalia, possibly one or more team tattoos, as sure as sure can be, if pricked would bleed black and gold. But, if you were to encounter a six foot tall Pokemon accompanied by members of Team Rocket, you'd do a double-take. If a gaggle of teenage cat-girls and maids passed you on the way to work, you may think your prayers have been answered and the restraining order was finally lifted. One glimpse of Raptor Jesus and our more devout citizens cling to their rosary beads more tightly. Then again, if it's early Spring and you've been in the ‘Burgh a while, you may already know... it's Tekko time in town.
Hey Howdy, my lil' Fanboys and girls! J.C. here and, with Con season getting under way, I thought I might give you the fun-down-run-down about being prepared and staying safe at your favorite Con! I myself am looking forward to attending the upcoming Tekkoshocon in Pittsburgh, but this info can apply to any Con anywhere. (Except space. Space Con is dangerous and takes years to mentally prepare.) Even if you're an experienced attendee, it's good to brush up on some of the particulars, and I'll have you going from Baka to Sempei in no time.
Cooking Mama Says: Just Like Making Souffle, Preparation is Key.
OK, so, you bought your ticket, booked your hotel (if needed), and you're ready to go, right? Wrong! You gotta plan. Luke didn't just hop into an X-Wing and roll out guns a-blazing, did he? No. That would have been an Anakin move, and we all know how well that turned out. So, here are a few tips to get your prepared for Battle Royale.