Long Beach Comic Con 2018

 

Long Beach Comic Con has come and gone, and all in all it was a fun time once again. As always the best part of any Comic Con, I have attended, is of course the other attendees. I got the chance to hang out with a lot of old friends and make new ones in the process. Artist Alley had to be the largest one I have seen at any Con since NYCC, from when I lived on the East Coast. Majority of the Con floor was Artist Alley with only a couple vendors lining the walls and front of the floor. The Cosplay corner was a little small as well, but at the same it is was enjoyable. Among the attendees were some well-known names in the game and some newer ones as well, which I thought was a great mixture. I did have a fun time while on the Con floor, but Long Beach Comic Con was not without its issues.

Let’s begin with the new entrance at the Long Beach Convention Center for the Con, which is completely different than anything that they have done before. By making attendees go through the back entrance it was far less organized and and accessible. I am hoping it was because they had to share the venue with another convention that was going on at the same time, LBCC staff if you read this, I suggest if this occurs next time you do your best to accommodate all participants. I suggest you do everything you can to bring the entrance back to the front, and have the parking available for every one. If you are familiar with any of the previous Cons held at Long Beach Convention Center you will recall walking up to the front and having a good selection of food trucks and movie cars parked right in front of the beautiful Wyland Marine Art. That access was not available to Comic Con goers this time around and as a matter of fact once inside the hall you could not even get to the front entrance to enter or exit as they had to blocked off. There was also garden side food truck and smoking area which provided NO food truck options on Day 1 but was utilized as an area to take pictures of cosplays, socialize, to smoke. Come day 2, that very same area was locked down and each door had an “EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY. NO RETURN ENTRY.” I found this to be extremely inconvenience and uncool.

There were two new entrances this year one upstairs with plenty of security and ticket booths, and one on street level. Early in the morning on day two, we attempted to go through street level but were turned away due to the fact that we were not exhibitors. There were no signs posted anywhere explaining the entrances. This is odd considering that the street level entrance was the only one with access to the movie cars and very few food trucks. If we were allowed to use that door to exit, would we not be allowed back in to the Con?

One of my biggest complaints with Long Beach Comic Con is the security and inconsistencies that ensued. I asked the security members several questions, and not a single one had an answer for me. I do understand that LBCC doesn’t provide the security, but maybe the convention hall staff should be properly trained, on the same page, and far more knowledgeable than they were. Why would you set up a meeting area with food trucks and movies cars, without having the ability to use the exit as an entrance as well? Later in the day I did witness some attendees walk back into the Con through that entrance but there were still no signs posted anywhere about the entrances/exits.

Once you made it through security and received your wrist bands you were asked to present said wrist band 4 different times before getting to the con floor. We weren’t randomly asked, no, they practically had us stick our wristband up from security, through the first door, through the hallway, and then through the final entrance to the hall. One was right after getting your wrist band 10 ft. away from the ticket booth, second one was literally 30 ft. away from that person, third security guard was posted in the hallway on the way to the entrance, and the final one was in the doorway. They were rude, unorganized and continued to scream at all guests no matter the age. By that time you have walked maybe 2 or 3 hundred feet but where asked to provide proof of entrance 4 different times. I’m sorry but that is major over kill. Take a que LBCC staff, LA Comic Con nor Wonder Con does anything like that and I would say they are your major competition in the So Cal area.

The next, and the most frustrating, thing I would like to talk about is also probably the most sensitive subject that needs to be addressed. Prop weapons, firearms, and their guidelines. LBCC rule clearly state NO FIREARMS of any kind, a detailed description was even posted on what “any kind” means. Whether fake or real looking plastic, ANY KIND means any kind. My prop NERF guns with no projectiles where not allowed in and that’s fine those are you rules. The larger gun was painted realistically, so I understood why it was turned away. But even my prop guns with orange tips were turned away, which my six year old even stated was wrong. But did you really enforce that rule on everyone? NO. No you did not. It was very selective, as on both days people were walking around with prop firearms tagged with the weapon wristband as if they were allowed. But your rules clearly state NO FIREARMS of any kind. So what gives? If a Prop weapon of any kind has been check by security, the security you have hired for this convention, and deemed dangerous, all should be banned. Why was the bending of rules for some but not all?

Why should exhibitors, let’s say those with the STAR WARS booth who are there recruiting and spreading their message, be allowed to have blasters for their Storm Troops if NO FIREARMS of any kind are allowed at your con. I know this is all coming off that I am just bent out of shape due to my prop NERF guns not being allowed in, but I assure you that is not the case. I live by rules everyday as I am in the military and have no problem with rules. I do have an issue with rules not being forced on all when we have all been told the same thing? Hell, why just stop at firearms. I assure you a 3D printed, foam or plastic STORMBREAKER (THOR’s new Hammer Axe) can do a lot more damage to a person then my plastic NERF gun without projectiles. I would like to see a con goes as far to say NO WEAPONS OF ANY KIND. Why should some people be allowed to complete their cosplay and not all. We are a community of “One for all, All for one” are we not?

There was a few other things I could touch but really don’t have enough information to speak on, for instance the lack of Handicap access into the con, no signs for panel rooms ANYWHERE, and I’m sure there are things that I missed that were just really really wrong with LBCC this year. Hell I’m sure that maybe someone who reads this and has no clue what I am talking about had a great time and I’m happy for them cause this is what it is all about. Every Con will be what you make of it and I didn’t let the things I complained about above stop me from having a good time. But I’m sorry I couldn’t just bite my tongue here. There were good things that Long Beach Comic Con had provided their guests with, but there seemed to be a pattern with these cons with them all being very repetitive. Lets hope we can only go up from here.

See you all at NERDBOTCON in 2 weeks.

 

 

NERDBOT-CON 2018

NERDBOT MEDIA presents NERDBOT-CON 2018

Saturday September 22nd, 2018

10am – 5pm

*ONE DAY ONLY NERD CULTURE AND COSPLAY CONVENTION*

*Over 120 Vendors*Celebrity Guests*Cosplay Contests*Nerd Karaoke*

*Nerf Gun Zombie Shoot Out*Photo Rooms*Panels*Live Music*Performances*

AND MORE!

 

*Tickets are on sale now for $18/will go up to $22 at the door*

*Kids under 12 are free with Adult Ticket purchase*

 

*Celebrity Guests Include*

Gregg Berger – Cartoon Voice Actor

Rikki Simmons – Cartoon Voice Actor

Suzie Plakson – Star Trek Actress

Rikishi – WWE Hall of Famer

Christopher Khayman Lee – Power Rangers Actor

Jack Guzman – Power Rangers Actor

Gigi Edgley – Actress

Eric Bauza – Voice Actor

And More!

All paid ticket holders have free entry to the Nerdbot-Con After-Party!

 

 

 

This will be NERDBOT MEDIA’S 3rd annual NERDBOT-CON at the Pasadena Convention Center.

In 2018, we are going to go bigger and better with more activities, more vendors, more music, more guests, more games, and awesome panels!

 

NERDBOT-CON is your alternative to huge, faceless and expensive conventions with long lines and enormous crowds that steal your soul (and your wallet!). Our safe and family friendly event is centrally located in the heart of beautiful Pasadena, California.

 

NERDBOT MEDIA, a leading company in new media and journalism, has been organizing great meet ups, after parties, and night events in the Los Angeles area for the past three years, including the brand-new smash hit anime convention Anime Pasadena.

 

Our staff has been attending and covering conventions for years now. We think it’s time for something different! NERDBOT-CON is a fun and interactive event for all attendees. Cosplayers, photographers, collectors, and all Nerds and geeks that just want to go out, see their friends, and have an AWESOME time.

 

Our mission is to bring the very best photographers, videographers, vendors, and entertainment to the beautiful Pasadena Convention Center. It’s going to be an amazing day of interactive giveaways, panels, Cosplay contests and photoshoots.

 

Our official NERDBOT-CON 2017 Highlight Video is available on YouTube!

The Grand Geek Gathering reviewed NERDBOT-CON 2017 and had an amazing time!

Find NERDBOT all over Social Media:

NERDBOT-CON on Facebook

NERDBOT Media Official Website

NERDBOT Media on Facebook

NERDBOT Media on Twitter

NERDBOT Media on Instagram

NERDBOT Media on YouTube

 

For inquiries about Nerdbot Media and Nerdbot-Con please contact:

Elvin@nerdbot.com

Anthony@nerdbot.com

Loryn@nerdbot.com

nerdbot con

WonderCon 2018

20180325_143619WonderCon has come and gone, that 3-day weekend flew by. Sometimes I wish cons could be longer, but then I look at my bank account and I am glad they aren’t. Wondercon was a blast this year just like it has been in the previous years. I think some things could have been done differently and I will discuss that later. As for now I will say it was a great time, a great time that was made mostly in part by the con goers and cosplayers.  

As for the con itself, the food truck line was back and was just as good as always. Weapons check seemed to be a tad inconsistent on what they would and would not allow in. I guess it just depended on who checked whether your props met the guidelinesRFID badges were being used and were utilized very well to make it a lot easier to get in and out of the con now. I first noticed the RFID being used at Comikaze in 2016 and it looks like more cons are starting to go that route to monitor traffic. Here’s to hoping there will be more improvements of all kinds in the future at all cons. I say that because I have started to feel that all cons are almost the same now. This is the same Wondercon as it was last year, which also feels the exact same as the cons that take place in Long Beach and Los Angeles. There needs to be something new. Something different than ever before, or something old that went away and needs to comeback for the Con goers. I attended a little con in the fall called Nerdbot Con which was held in Pasadena and while it felt similar to the other cons, it was very different at the same time. It had live bands on one floor and different rooms with different things setup throughout not just vendors and artists. 

I enjoyed the con, but one thing that comes to mind is that WonderCon is put on by Comic Con International, which also puts on San Diego Comic Con, so why not share the wealth. Why not bring some of the highprofile celebs and screenings to WonderCon as well. I feel like it would help make WonderCon more exciting and give attendees more to do at that venue. It would also potentially help with the horrible overcrowding that takes place at SDCC. How about getting Marvel a booth at WonderCon, I haven’t noticed one there in a few years. I mean the biggest comic book movie of all time is getting ready to come out in just one month and there was not one thing promoting Avengers Infinity Wars. Why not? Did CCI even try to get something going, who knowsmaybe they did? Regardless it was a letdown to see absolutely nothing there to promote it.  

Which brings me to issues with promotion. I found it strange how there was little to no social media promotion for WonderCon this year. Their twitter page was without posts for weeks and they even made an announcement on the first day of the con that 3 day badges where sold out through twitter. I am pretty sure those were sold out long before Friday due to knowing people who tried to purchase them but weren’t able to, but I could be wrong. Also there was absolutely no promotion for talent or guests that would be at the con. Not a single post through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Hell, the last post before this month about this year’s con on Instagram was in April of 2017. If you tried to find any promotion for talent on other platforms it led you to their unorganized webpage. You would then have to try and skim through their schedule of events without going cross eyed before finding any panel that you might like to attend or talent that you might like to see. There was close to zero promotion and I do not understand why. Any promotions that I did see from any artists, vendors, or talent was done all on their own social Media platforms.  It seems there may be an opening in the social media advertisement realm for CCI.  

To end on a good note, many people attended and we all had a great time. Countless numbers of cosplayers stormed the fountain to take group pictures and everyone I had a chance to interact with were all very friendly. I do believe that some photographers need to learn manners and proper etiquette, but all in all I had a blast. I made some new friendships and was able to purchase some prints that I have been wanting. Will I go again? Of course, I will go again. After all, even if I end up having a bad time, I can just walk across the street to Disneyland. 

 

The Fusion of EQO: Philly’s Stage 2 Evolution

In Stage 1, the Philadelphia Fusion we saw take to the arena was a lineup flushed with talent, struggling to find a range of consistency in their play.  This was rather perfectly illustrated when the team was able to take on the giants of NYXL with a 3-2 victory, then be taken to 5 games by both the Shanghai Dragons and the Florida Mayhem.

Philadelphia began Stage 2 of league play with the debut of Josue/Josh “EQO” Corona. Known mostly from his play in the Overwatch World Cup in 2017 as a Tracer, Genji and Soldier specialist, his appearance was met with much question on how he would mesh into this squad.  Was this a player whose hero pool would benefit their roster? Is he worthy of being played in place of Shadowburn?

EQO took the opportunity to answer those questions with a booming ‘YES’ in his first map of play in Overwatch League against the Boston Uprising, displaying a dominant Genji play style which gave the Fusion a steam-rolling victory on Hanamrua and a 4-0 victory for the series.  

Since then EQO has displayed repeated and consistently high performances on a myriad of heroes.  Beyond that, this aggressiveness brings more than just unbridled frag hunting. This young player has showcased a strong discipline that accompanies his in-your-face DPS style.  While he is continually looking to dive in and create opportunity for an opening pick, he is constantly mindful of his positioning. Notably on Genji, we see continual rotation from this player aiding in not only attack, but also damage mitigation with his dive tanks via Deflect and quick peels for his support line.

His individual performance has been a powerful addition, but even more impactful is the change it has had on the team dynamic of the Philadelphia Fusion.  Carpe not only has a strong secondary on his flanks, but also is able to capitalize on positional mistakes being created by EQO’s aggression.

The strong front-line presence of EQO has enabled Fragi to feel comfortable his natural tanking style of very forward placement, knowing that tight follow-up is on it’s way.  Similarly Poko in his off-tanking position has found comfort in this dynamic. His D.Va continues to light up the kill feed as he is able to commit fully to either an aggressive dive, or defensive peel, confident that his tanking counterpart has the support to last through the fight.  

The ripples continue all the way through to the support line, finding Boombox and Neptuno caught out by flanking DPS less, and Boombox in the kill feed more. Even the just recently eligible Simon “snillo” Ekström has seen fantastic results.  As a more responsive Tracer specialist, Snillo relies on continuous information from his teammates. Watching Snillo’s impeccable positioning and split-second response to calls and target selection is a testament not only his game-sense, but to the fluidity this roster has developed together.

This Philly roster, which was not so long ago chastised for continual over-extension and lack of effective communication, is now rightfully praised for their ability to play as a unit.  I’m extremely excited for their upcoming battle against The Los Angeles Gladiators, another strongly rising aggressive roster. It promises to be a battle you do not want to miss. Tune in Wednesday March 21 at 4:00PM PST on the Official Overwatch League Twitch Channel.

Cosplay Sneak Peek: Tom Sidoti as Negan!

We caught up with Artist and Cosplayer Tom Sidoti to get some insight into the creation of his latest cosplay, Negan from The Walking Dead. Read on to see what Tom had to say about why he chose to cosplay Negan, how the cosplay came to be, and what went into making some of the props that would bring Negan to life.

 

 

What was it about the character Negan that made you want to cosplay him?

I wanted to cosplay Negan because I first fell in love with him in the comics and I felt that he was the best villain that the comics ever had. When they announced he was coming to the TV show I was very scared that they would not be able to portray him the way he needed to be because it was on regular TV, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan was able to make the character into someone the viewers both loved and hated at the same time, which was very unique from my perspective.

I love everything there is about the character Negan and I can see his point of view in the way he is surviving the apocalyptic world, but I also see his enemy, Rick Grimes’ point of view and I do often find myself siding with both at the same time and that’s mostly because of how well both of those actors portray their characters.

Though I can relate to and side with both Negan and Rick, when it comes down to it I don’t think my look can pull off a Rick Grimes cosplay. However I did feel that I could pull off a Negan cosplay properly and even though it’s well known in the cosplay community that you don’t have to look a certain way or have a certain body type to pull off any character, I do think my natural look helps this character come out even more and that’s definitely one of the reasons why I wanted to do it.

What went into the creation of this cosplay?

When it came to creating the costume I already had a leather jacket, a white shirt, grey pants, and black combat boots. I do have more accurate boots to use for this cosplay I just couldn’t find them right now so the black combat boots will do this time.

I got a hold of a brown leather belt and put bullet holsters on it and since you definitely cannot take a Bowie knife into a convention I made one out of foam. As for the most important piece of this cosplay, Lucille “The Vampire Bat” as Negan calls her, I purchased a replica Lucille off of Amazon. So realistically not too much went into making this character as a lot of it is made up of stuff I already owned or could easily purchase.

Can you tell us about the creation of the parts you made?

The things I did have to make were pretty simple for this character. When I added the bullet holsters to the belt I used craft foam and a battery. I rolled the craft foam around the battery to measure out the size of a bullet and I used a finger drill to drill holes into the leather belt and the foam and then I stitched it on the belt. Negan has about 10 bullet holsters on his belt so I made 10 bullet holsters by repeating the above process 10 times.

Now, I watch a lot of prop making tutorials and tv shows so when it came to the Bowie knife I knew it was going to be a pretty simple prop to make. I started with a sketch on paper then moved the sketch to cardboard and cut it out. Then I used craft foam to cut out the center of the blade. I strengthened the handle of the blade with more craft foam and then strengthened the center of the blade with another small piece of craft foam which is the Orange piece in the pictures. From there I used a dremmel to give the blade some shape and let it all dry and harden. Once it was dry I covered it in primer and painted it black and silver.

It was also fairly simple when it came to the sheath for the blade. Same beginning process went into it as once again I started with paper sketch and transferred the paper sketch to foam. After that was cut out I stitched it together and painted it black so that it had more of the authentic look of an actual leather sheath. While making the bullet holsters, Bowie knife, and sheath, I was able to look back and think of things I’ve seen people do in the past to get the ideas of how to do them easily and effectively.

When it comes to prop making in general I’ve been perfecting my number one go to cosplay. which is my tactical Captain America. I wore that cosplay for the first time at New York City Comic-Con in 2011 and I’ve been working on perfecting the props for that one since then and it wasn’t until last year, 2017, that I was completely happy with the way it looks. I’ve done everything from making chest armor, helmets, over the head ear pieces and weapons. Even with that amount of prop making experience I’m still not as extensive with my prop making as other people are but I do enjoy making props very much.

What are you looking forward to the most about debuting this cosplay?

I’m looking forward to going to wonder con this year and seeing more people cosplaying as characters from The Walking Dead and taking pictures with them. I also like to find other people wearing that same character as me and taking pictures with them so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more Negan’s and getting some great pictures throughout the convention.

Thank you so much to Tom Sidoti for sharing this cosplay sneak peek with us. Make sure to keep an eye out for him as Negan during WonderCon 2018 at the Anaheim Convention Center March 23rd-25th!

Overwatch’s Hero 27 REVEALED!

The world could always use more heroes…”

Finally we get to welcome “Hero 27” to the roster by name. Welcome Brigitte Lindholm!

Brigitte, the daughter of Torbjörn and Ingrid Lindholm, and also Reinhardt’s squire, has officially been announced as the highly anticipated hero 27. The official reveal was prefaced by three teasers from the official Overwatch twitter account.

The first teaser on February 24th, gave us a glimpse into a previously classified mission Operation: White Dome. In the mission report for Op: White Dome we got a name we’ve never heard before, Private First Class Emre Sarioglu, as well as the mention of the injury that took Torbjörn’s arm and would have taken his life had Reinhart not intervened. Along with the after action report, the teaser also gave us a letter written by Torbjörn to his wife Ingrid. In this letter we see the mention of an unborn child whom Torbjörn has promised Reinhart he could name as well as appointed Rein as the unborn baby’s Godfather.

On February 26th, two days after the release of the letter and after action report we got our first glimpse of the weapon of choice for Hero 27.

This image had fans not only speculating on the type of weapon this is, but also looking up the word on the schematic to translate them to English. At this point it seemed that for the most part fans were already putting together that Hero 27 could be Brigitte. Still, there were some who hadn’t settled on Brigitte as there was also some talk of the schematic showing a weapon that was reminiscent of the one wielded by The Junker Queen.

Our last teaser was posted by the Overwatch Twitter account on Feb 27th, this image a bit more detail that all but confirmed the new hero would indeed be Brigitte.

With the symbol on the mug and the shield, this image confirms that hero 27 has a relation to both Torbjörn and Reinhardt. We also get a bit of a glimpse of the fabled Jet Pack Cat who was a scraped original Overwatch hero. If you look closely you can see a sketch of Jet Pack Cat peeking out from underneath the schematic for the shield. It’s even circled for us in a ring from the coffee mug.

On February 28th, after much hype and speculation hero 27 was finally revealed and Brigitte Lindholm was confirmed as our new hero.

She was released today on PTR just before 1:00pm PST. I had the chance to play her today but that’s a different story for a different article, though I will say she’s very interesting.

With her reveal we got some in depth details about her abilities. She’s a support class hero with ranged melee attacks and a a very clutch healing ability.

Here’s what Blizzard has to say about her abilities from their official Overwatch site:

Her current abilities have the potential to change the meta that is currently played in Overwatch. With her close quarters combat and stun capabilities it is going to very hard for heroes that are typically played as flankers to be viable against her. She seems like an overall great addition to the hero roster, but I do need to play her a bit more to be more through in my assessment of her in game role.

All in all I am very excited to have a new hero, especially one that will come with some inevitable changes to how the game is played. With Mercy Meta over, could Brigitte lead us into a “support tank” meta? Let me know your thoughts on Brigitte Lindholm and where the addition of her to the hero roster could lead the current meta. Be sure to check out Brigitte’s Origin Story then sound off in the comments below!

Puppy Power: Overwatch brings us The Puppy Rumble

On Monday, February 19th, in celebration of The Year of The Dog, Overwatch gave us one of the greatest events in esports: The Puppy Rumble. This event brought out two teams of puppies from Wags & Walks, a non profit dog rescue in Los Angeles, California. The two teams went head to head in an action packed game of capture the flag that was expertly casted by Monte and Doa, two of Overwatch League’s top casters. The amount of serious hosting and casting that went into The Puppy Rumble made it such an enjoyable event to watch. The hosts, Mitch “Uber” Leslie and Rachel Quirico did such a great job providing the viewers with information on each of the dogs and where to adopt them, as well as very detailed information on Austin Pets Alive and PAWS Atlanta , which were two additional non-profit dog and rescues that partnered with The Puppy Rumble. The game ended with Monte and Doa adorably cuddling the pups on the field while Monte declared the match a draw and named Lulu as the match MVP. The hosts followed up the end of the match by spending some time discussing how to be a responsible dog owner. Overall the entire event was not only a welcomed bit of levity in the Overwatch esports community, but also a very educational event that gave the viewers some really great information on pet ownership and animals rescues. While this entire event may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I definitely enjoyed it and I am looking forward to more special events from the Overwatch team.