At Last, Comic-Con Offers a Way to Get in Hall H Without Camping All Night

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 10:34 am


Last year, Comic-Con had the right idea but wrong execution in giving out wristbands. You had to be in line before 1 a.m., they gave you a wristband, but you still couldn't leave the line - it just let them count how many people were there.

This year, you can get a wristband at a reasonable hour the night before, leave, and if you come back before 7:30 a.m. you get to go right back in line, behind other wristband holders but in front of anyone else. And that, friends, is how it is supposed to work.

Thank you for listening, Comic-Con. Now please tell your security people to stop harassing anyone leaning against the walls of the convention center, and we'll be awesome again.

"Real Fake History" Recounts the Battle of Endor, Ken Burns-Style

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 9:21 am


"Real Fake History," a new online series from Machinima, looks at great historical battles in nerd fiction, and gives them the full PBS documentary treatment (for a few minutes, anyway). Narrated by veteran voice-over actor Phil Morris, future episodes will include the likes of Kill Bill and Starcraft.

But first - Return of the Jedi. Rebel pilots remember it well, even if they still don't understand what the hell Nien Nunb was saying.

More >>

7 Awesome Things We Saw and Heard at the Saturn Awards

Monday, June 29, 2015 at 5:00 am

Liz Ohanesian
The Saturn Awards celebrated genre entertainment on June 25 in Los Angeles.
James Gunn, Richard Armitage and Melissa McBride were amongst stars of genre entertainment who were honored Thursday night at the 41st annual Saturn Awards. Essentially a Golden Globes for nerds, the event spotlights television and film of the sci-fi, fantasy and horror varieties.

The full list of winners is available online, but, to summarize, Interstellar and Guardians of the Galaxy were the favorites amongst the film nominees, while Hannibal, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and The Flash secured a good share of TV awards.

Judging from the crowd of autograph-hunters outside the venue late in the night, it was a good place to get a hold of your favorite cult entertainment stars from Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show) to Dawn Wells (Gilligan's Island). Cosplayers, most of whom were dressed in unusual variations of popular characters, were on hand for photo-ops. Read more on who we saw and what we heard at the event.

More >>

9 Possible Re-Definitions of the Word "Nerd" for the Modern Age

Friday, June 26, 2015 at 5:00 am


I'm perhaps the 10,000th person to observe this, but it bears repeating: The definition of "nerd" has, in the last 20 years, changed dramatically, perhaps even losing its meaning altogether.

I went to high school in the mid 1990s. At that time, my interests earned me scorn from most people. I enjoyed betting together with friends to play Dungeons & Dragons at lunch, had extensive conversations about Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I voraciously read superhero comics. I was a teenager, but I was still eager to watch Saturday morning cartoon shows. I was heavily involved in my school drama program. I played the flute. My favorite records were Broadway showtunes, "Weird Al" Yankovic albums, and anything that was played on The Dr. Demento Show. In addition to all this, I was a noisy, awkward, chubby weirdo. I doodled a lot and made bad jokes to anyone who would listen. I was a virgin. I was, by the parlance of the time, a nerd.

More >>

Robots Can Play Mario Kart Now.

Monday, June 22, 2015 at 2:54 pm


Some jackass is teaching a computer how to play Mario Kart, because it's not enough that you have to try and lodge a Wii-mote in your friend's skull every time you play. Now you get the added terror of contributing to the eventual robot uprising with every lap. You can watch our existence as apex predators continue to erode on his Twitch stream here, or you can check out his shameful excuse for being a species traitor below the fold.

More >>

Badass Arkham Origins Batman Cosplay

Friday, June 19, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Kamil Krawczak
Click to Enlarge
Holy shitballs this cosplay is nuts! Julian Checkley, who we've featured on the site before for his Darth Malgus cosplay, is back with an Arkham Origins Batman that he made himself. There are a bunch more pictures below the fold.

More >>

SDCC Bans Selfie Sticks, Vaping, Drones

Friday, June 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm


SDCC just updated their rules for this year's event, and now I'm going to have to redo ALL of my con bingo cards.

No Smoking at Comic-Con, Including E-cigarettes and Vaping Products and Devices

Vaping Steampunker was a corner square on like, half the cards. The rest of the new rules are after the jump.

More >>

Weekend Open Thread: Familial Nerdery

Friday, June 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm


My great-uncle John wrote newspaper crossword puzzles for a living. For some 55 years, he was known as "Araucaria" to readers of The Guardian in England. (If anyone asked why he chose that name, he would simply say "Look it up in the dictionary." Once you do, you'll understand.) In his 90s, when he developed the esophageal cancer that would ultimately kill him, he revealed it to his readers via crossword clues in the puzzle of the day.

I didn't know until recently that before he died, the Guardian made a documentary short about him. At the risk of being self-indulgent, it's a nice taste of my family tradition of wordsmithery. It's embedded below if you'd like to watch.

Pardon the earliness of this thread - I am not just on usual blog duty, but also attending the LA Film Fest, which features some great stuff you'll want to know about...and I'll tell you about, later. Talk amongst yourselves below - but please keep Jurassic World discussion to the thread designated for that.

More >>

This Homemade 40-Watt Laser Shotgun Pops Balloons Real Good

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 11:30 am


Says the maker, "The massive diode array is powered by a huge lithium polymer battery pack (capable up dumping 250A) and the laser array is regulated by a whopping 24 LM317 drivers." I hope somebody reading this knows what that means. It sounds important.

Don't try using the weapon to shoot burglars, though - it's basically just an amped-up version of using a good magnifying glass and the sun. Still cool, though, and there's video to prove it. I hear George Lucas watched it and claimed the balloons fired first.

More >>

Obsessive Browncoats Parody Cher Lloyd's "Want U Back" to Demand Firefly Return

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 9:00 am


I'd put the odds of an actual new Firefly series at just slightly less than those of a full on Star Trek: The Next Generation reboot on network TV with all the original cast, but by all means, fans, don't let that stop you getting creative with your demands. Who knows - Joss Whedon does seem like he got very tired of counting Marvel money, and he may decide to go the opposite direction and get back to making things with more limited appeal that aren't guaranteed success. Maybe if we all clap our hands, Tinkerbell style, and chant, "I do believe you're feminist! I do! I do!" he'll get well again.

Or maybe there's a better approach. Production group geekiarchy didn't stop with making T-shirts - they've done a full-on music video featuring clever lyrics and a pretty outstanding Adam Baldwin impersonator. The chorus refrain is good, but...

I particularly like the 'verse.


YEEEE..waitaminute. Maybe you should watch the video first.

More >>