WonderCon in 20 Photos: The Great, the Genius and the Disturbing

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 6:00 am

Number 1: Furry's a Jolly Good Fellow.

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WonderCon used to be the wholly reasonable, doable, manageable, less-crowded version of San Diego Comic Con...but that's gradually going away as more and more people figure it out. Yes, you can still get into some panels easily, and yeah, parking nearby is quite attainable if you're an hour early...and yes, most of the exclusive clips of movies shown here have been shown at prior festivals (seriously...how many people out there were STILL surprised that the new Godzilla has more than one monster in it? More than you'd think).

I took a few pictures. I thought you might like to see them.

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10 Things I Learned Running Game Demos at WonderCon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 6:00 am

This last weekend, I attended WonderCon for the first time. In addition to general convention activities like observing cosplayers and wandering the Exhibit Hall, I was also con liaison for Steve Jackson Games.

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PROOF!

WonderCon didn't particularly have gaming as a focus, but there was a sizable gaming area, part of which was reserved for the Steve Jackson Games demo team. It was an interesting and fun experience, so I'm sharing ten things I learned serving as a con liaison and miscellaneous convention attendee.

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18 Fictional Bunnies That Haunt the Dreams of Nerds

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

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When we learn that the Martians are predatory toward humans in War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells offers us a bit of perspective by having his narrator remind us: "how repulsive our carnivorous habits would seem to an intelligent rabbit."

No doubt, but this time of year even the vegans enjoy eating rabbits, of the chocolate and marshmallow variety delivered by the Easter Bunny. Perhaps it's an attempt to steer humankind away from our repulsive carnivorous habits? Although his ancestry is in pagan folklore - a fertility symbol, probably - the E.B. is an unthreatening sort. But it's striking how many of his fictitious cousins from nerdy pop culture are fiercely formidable, even sinister and scary, and how often they even the score with humankind for our lapine cruelties.

A few examples...


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7 Ways Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Was Significantly Better Than Its Parent Show

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 6:00 am

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I for one - and possibly the only one - will miss Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. ABC's Once Upon a Time spin-off, which bowed out earlier this month after just 13 episodes, never hooked as large an audience as its parent, but for me it's a much more satisfying guilty pleasure. This crazy, psychedelic action-romance take on the adventures of Alice (Sophie Lowe) in Wonderland intrigued me from the start, and by the end I really rather adored it.

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The 10 Greatest Roles of Dick Miller

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Dick Miller

You love Dick Miller movies. Maybe you don't know you love Dick Miller movies, but you definitely love Dick Miller movies. He's been in 174 movies and TV shows, but you may only know him as "that guy." Whenever he shows up in a pivotal scene, you go, "It's that guy!" That's why the name of his own movie is That Guy Dick Miller.

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The 7 Coolest Things About Ayumi Seto's J-POP Appearance at San Francisco's Cherry Blossom Festival

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Street fair season in San Francisco kicked off this this past weekend with the 47th annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown. It tends to focus more on traditional Japanese culture - I arrived just as a Taiko drumming performance was ending - but it's also a precursor to one of my most favorite festivals, also happening in Japantown, later this summer: the J-POP SUMMIT Festival. As the name implies, J-POP is a celebration of all things related to Japanese pop culture - as they put it, "the latest in Japanese music, film, art, fashion, games, anime, food, as well as" (my personal favorite) "niche subcultures" -- and we got a preview in the form of an autograph and photo session with Ayumi Seto. She's a Harajuku Kawaii model turned Aomoji-kei fashion designer, and I spoke with her about just what Aomoji-kei fashion is, as well as about the nerdy influences in her new clothing line, "Aymmy in the batty girls," which takes most of its inspiration from American pop culture. (There are aliens and zombies involved.)

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7 Reasons Why Marvel Superhero Movies Are Really Boring

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

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The small popcorn is long gone. The soft drink cradled in the side of a massive movie theater seat is watered down. The movie drags, but you can't sleep through it if you tried. A nap would be too quickly disturbed by the gunfire and explosions that bombard the audience scene after plodding scene.

It's another Marvel superhero movie. You're not sure why you are here.

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8 Cliche Puzzles That Are In Every Goddamn Adventure Game

Friday, April 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

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As a card-carrying fan, I'll be the first to say that playing adventure games means putting up with a lot of bullshit. Why bash adventure gamers, you may ask? All they want to do is wander around empty houses and be told "I can't use that here" 50 million times in peace. But now that Telltale Games and Broken Age are flying high, I think the genre can handle a bit of a ribbing. We'll survive.

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10 Dungeons & Dragons Tips From Dan Harmon and His Dungeon Master

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Future You Pictures
Dan Harmon on the road in Harmontown
If you're a Community fan, you've already enjoyed two episodes featuring the gang playing Dungeons & Dragons. But if you don't listen to Community creator Dan Harmon's podcast, Harmontown, you don't know that you're missing weekly D&D sessions. Spencer Crittenden, who guested on the VCR game episode of Community, is Harmon's Dungeon Master. Yes, when you're as famous as Dan Harmon, you get your own personal Dungeon Master. Every podcast ends with Harmon, his cohosts and celebrity guests sitting down with Crittenden for a short campaign.

So you know he knows what he's talking about when he lays it down...

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8 Batman Characters Who Might Be the Arkham Knight

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 6:00 am

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It's been a few days since DC and Batman: Arkham Knight revealed the first images of the game's titular heavy in what they're billing as the finale to the Arkham series. And we have some thoughts on who might be under the techno cowl.

Sure, both sides are saying the Arkham Knight is a new villain, but that doesn't necessarily mean that one of Batman's longtime rogues hasn't decided to suit up in a new costumed identity. So here are eight characters who we think could be suiting up as the Arkham Knight - and the reasons why they might have the Dark Knight in their crosshairs.

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