Super Nintendo. The Sega Genesis. The PS1. Neo Geo. These are just a few of the consoles of yesteryear that evoke a sense of nostalgia. The advent of console emulators, Hyperkin's Retron series and the Sega Genesis Classic Console, or handheld versions that include Supaboy and Neo Geo X, as well as the upcoming November release of the NES Classic Edition loaded with 30 iconic games, has steered vintage collecting of original game cartridges and discs beyond the die-hard collector to the general video game fan. With renewed interest in revisiting the games under the Tengen and SNK monikers for example, video game fandom has given rise to conventions showcasing vintage and retro consoles, games, and other paraphernalia to delight collectors and fans.

With the slogan “Keeping Your Childhood Rad,” Yestercon the Sequel was back for a second time on Sunday, July 31, in Carson, California. The Carson Civic Center served as the locale for the one-day annual event which included exhibitors, creators, media guests, as well as a handful of video game arcades.

NerdHQ founder Zachary Levi (Chuck, Tangled) took to the stage as soon as the audience of approximately 200 people took their seats Sunday afternoon, July 24, at 4 o'clock. The small venue evoked an informal and more intimate feel, quite opposite to the 6,000-plus seating at Comic-Con's Exhibition Hall panels. In addition, Levi's organization raises funds from panel ticket admissions for Operation Smile, a non-profit group that raises money to pay for cleft lip and palate surgery for children around the world.

For five days each July, San Diego, CA, becomes a mecca for fans of all things related to popular culture, be it comics, films, novels, toys, art, video games, and every medium in between. Just a short walk down the street at The New Children's Museum, NerdHQ was in full swing Sunday afternoon, July 24th. Established by actor Zachary Levi in July 2011, the NerdHQ panels raise funds for Operation Smile, a non-profit organization that raises money to pay for cleft lip and palate surgery for children around the world.

As dusk waned, creators and publishers from the comics industry gathered for the “Oscars” of the industry, the 28th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards on Friday, July 22, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Administrator of the awards, editor, and publisher Jackie Estrada opened the ceremonies by explaining the voting and nomination process, followed by thanking sponsors and organizers of the event. Then, she introduced the special host of the evening, actor John Barrowman, known for his roles on Arrow and Torchwood, but who has also co-written with his sister Carole for Arrow: The Dark Archer (DC) and Torchwood (Titan). He was the perfect choice: representing both comics and Hollywood.

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

Beneath a broken canopy of threatening rain clouds and rays of sunlight, square white tent peaks dotted the manicured green lawns of the urban campus, and it felt like the opening of a sweeping English novel as the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books got underway Saturday morning, April 9. Held at the University of Southern California campus, this cultural zeitgeist is touted as the largest of its kind in the U.S, annually attracting 150,000 visitors over the two-day event. In addition, on Saturday evening, the event hosted the 36th Annual Book Prizes with honors going to novelist James Patterson, among others.

Game of Thrones Psychology: The Mind is Dark and Full of Terrors is an upcoming book full of essays delving into the psyches and psychoses of the various cast members of the popular Game of Thrones universe. Several contributors to the book gathered at WonderCon in Room 515B to share their thoughts with fellow enthusiasts and share their expert opinions about the "best and worst" people of GoT.

Kodansha Comics is probably best known in the US (and among the WonderCon crowd) for bringing the hit manga, Attack on Titan, to English-speaking readers.  At 4:30 p.m., fans of the series, including some adorable cosplayers, stormed Room 515B for information on the upcoming Attack on Titan Anthology and other news from the publisher and members of the creative team behind the upcoming work.

On Saturday, March 26, moderator Brian Ward (The Arkham Sessions) brought together a panel of geeky entrepreneurs to share their successes and challenges with eager WonderCon attendees in Room 502B.  Matthew Arevalo from Loot Crate, Donna Ricci of Geeky Teas (formerly Clockwork Couture), Janelle Badali from family business Badali Jewelry, and David Nett of LA’s own Nerdstrong Gym generously shared stories of how and when they identified as nerds/geeks and when that love developed into a viable business.

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