Sunday, September 24, 2017

NERD of the month Whitney "Spooky Whitt" Johnson



While I was at Dragon Con this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Whitney "Spooky Whitt" Johnson. Whitney is a cosplayer who has quite a bit on her plate. She organized a Final Fantasy cosplay group of over 200, volunteers with kids,while still managing to be a model and an equestrian. 

How did you get started with cosplay?

     I got started about 20 years ago in Highschool making my own cosplays: Yuffie from Final Fantasy 7 for Halloween and then Princess Mononoke for a Theater character day. It wasn't until I went to my first con, ConDUIT, that I found out we could do this as a thing and bring our characters fully to life and I was hooked. 


What are your top three cosplays?

     My top 3 cosplays: Sephiroth, Sesshoumaru, Fang. Though Sesshoumaru is now retired (Sesshoumaru is in dire need of repair. He has been to many cons and festivals, the costume is worn out in addition it also needs new fur).  




What motivated you to start a group? Why a Final Fantasy group?

     What motivated me to organize the group was when I was at Dragoncon in 2009 people were spreading the word of a Final Fantasy photoshoot at the Marriott. My girlfriend at the time and I were dressed as Sora from Kingdom Hearts (her) and Irvine Kinneas from Final Fantasy 8 (me).  it was a fantastic little gathering and as Irvine I suggested we all had to go to Hooters after and even shot a little bit of video there with permission from the owner. 
It grew from there. I created the group to help keep us organized and each year we spread the word: Saturday, 1pm Marriott Atrium, Pool Entrance. But now we have outgrown that space and even that time slot. So I have been organizing this group (which has now reached over 230 members) since 2011.
     I have always LOVED Final Fantasy since junior high school. Ever since a friend showed Final Fantasy 7 to me. I loved how Sephiroth looked and how he was drawn. Seeing Sephiroth helped me with my art and ended up being what got me into anime.  I loved how the game was played and how great the stories were!


What kind of volunteer work are you doing?

I am a fringe volunteer (meaning I go where I am called when I have time) for different groups in Utah like Make-a-Wish, Kids Heroes Foundation, etc.  My most recent event was an event for adopted children called United For Adoption. I was 1966 Robin. 

Congrats to the first nerd-cred.com NERD of the MONTH 
September: Whitney Johnson
She received a free copy of the Red Dragon Inn 2

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Nerd Parents...Summer Freebies for kids



Hey nerd parents...
Free movies for kids...
Need a low cost activity for the summer?
Local to Michigan and Illinois

Movie Line-Up: All Films Start at 10AM

  • Wed, June 14 & Sat, Jun 17: Kung Fu Panda 3
  • Wed, June 21 & Sat, June 24: The Secret Life of Pets
  • Wed, June 28 & Sat, July 1: Trolls
  • Wed, July 5 & Sat, July 8: Kubo & The Two Strings
  • Wed, July 12 & Sat, July 15: Hotel Transylvania 2
  • Wed, July 19 & Sat, July 22: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
  • Wed, July 26 & Sat, July 29: Ice Age: Collision Course
  • Wed, August 2 & Sat, August 5: The Angry Birds Movie
  • Wed, August 9 & Sat, August 12: Monster Trucks
  • Wed, August 16 & Sat, August 19: Rock Dog




Original website:
http://www.emagine-entertainment.com/free-kids-summer-movie-series/

Wednesday, May 3, 2017




The best thing about May is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Be sure to stop at your local comic shop and pick up some awesome freebies!!!!!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pros & Cons: Marvel Miniature Game by Knight Models

This week Knight Models released its first run of Marvel Universe Miniature Game. As this game involves superheroes, I rushed to check it out. Actually, as a nerd dad, I had to ask my wife’s permission to get it. After a lengthy bargaining process, I rushed out to get the game. Because I’m a nerd dad, I plan to play the game is a day or so as the models that come in the started are not painted and need to be assembled. I did however read the rulebook and look over the figures and their associated cards. Here are my first impressions for Knight Models’ Marvel game from those observations.

PROS


  • The figure sculpts are well done and are free of the unnecessary flash you see on inferior models. Details like the individual plates of Thor’s armor or the disks in Black Widow’s belt confirm the quality of the models is impressive.

  • The rulebook looked to be well edited and concise. I liked the format of the rulebook.

  • As far as the rules go, the use of colors, symbols, keywords as well as numbered stats allow for thought-provoking ways to bring a superhero to life.

  • The folding character cards hold a lot of information and give an interesting take on keeping track of your character.

  • The price-point of $55 - $60 dollars is acceptable for 4 figures, 4 character stat cards, and a rulebook.

  • You can customize your battlefield scenery with ready-made objects or make your own.


CONS




  • It’s nice to have a miniature rulebook with a miniature game, but the small print made it hard to read. There were several times I had to read a section twice.







  • The character card uses a color scheme that might be hard to read.
  • I was planning to purchase a DEADPOOL and a BLACK PANTHER figure along with the Avengers starter, but the $25 price tag for a single figure made me reconsider.  

  • This first run only included hero figures. There aren’t any villains to purchase.

  • Scenery is an added expense.



The game seems similar to Warhammer or Hordes. What are your thoughts? Are you enthusiastic about a new tabletop version of superhero warfare? Leave a comment. Watch for my upcoming full review of the game.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman vs Superman - no spoiler reaction

If you've read a few of my articles, Facebook posts, or tweets, you know at least two things about me. First, I'm a nerd dad and second, I love superheroes. The latter being the most important part for this article. I'm calling this article a reaction rather than a review of Batman vs. Superman. There are enough reviews floating around so i thought I'd try something a little different. Still, watch for a review for the movie soon. But I digress...

If I said Batman vs Superman was disappointing, I think my buddy Loose would probably punch me in the teeth. He and I have had long discussions about how I liked the Fantastic Four reboot film by Fox. Yes you heard me right, I found some merit in that trainwreck of a film. To say that Batman vs Superman disappointed me almost seems like hypocrisy. Check out my article, "What the Fantastic Four Remake Taught Me," for more details. Let me be clear though, I am in no way saying that I liked Fantastic Four better than Batman vs Superman!

Excited about this film for some time, I went into Batman vs Superman expecting DC's A-game. My excitement caused me to mistakenly buy extra tickets online. The film was like begrudgingly giving an A student a C+ grade on an exam. That is what the student earned, but not what the teacher expected.  Batman vs Superman had all the tools it needed to be great movie, bankable actors, big budget, compelling characters, great costumes, and excellent effects; everything it needed to reach the top, and it fell short.

I will not say that Batman vs Superman was a bad movie. There was an valiant effort on my part to see the movie before reading any of the many negative reviews.  My first reaction on Facebook after watching the movie..."not sure how I feel about it." The film had let me down on several levels which left me a little numb.  Much to my chagrin, there were points in the film that were frustrating; There were other points to the movie that were awesome. I'll stay away from specifics for now to keep the spoilers out of this. Bad reviews or not, I don't think that this film is a deal breaker for DC. Suicide Squad is on the horizon and a Wonder Woman film is in the works as well.

Batman vs Superman, Dawn of Justice was not anything special, and that's too bad because it should've been.

How did you feel about the Batman vs Superman? Leave a comment, but no spoilers please.

Monday, March 21, 2016

My minute with comic legends


 I was fortunate enough to spend a day at Fantasticon in Lansing, Michigan. Fantasticon is a pop culture and comic experience that spans several locations throughout the year. These show locations include cities in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. This is the first of my articles on my time as Fantasticon. While there, I had the awesome opportunity to sit at the Comic Legends of the Bronze Age paned.  The panel consisted of Keith Pollard, Mike Grell, Arvell Jones, and Kurt Lehner. Each of these talented gentlemen have over a decade of experience in the comic industry. It was fascinating listening to their stories of how they "broke in" to the industry, who they worked with, and what they worked on.









Keith Pollard and Arvell Jones, two artists from the Detroit area, told a story of how they worked together in comics. Apparently the legendary John Romita Sr. looked at both of their work and had issues. He said that Pollard's work was good but lacked excitement. He said that Jones work was also good but lacked consistancy. THe faces Jones drew from panel to panel looked like different characters. So Mr. Romita did what any forward thinking Marvelite would do...he teamed both Pollard and Jones together. I suppose he figured that both these talented guys together would equal a great artist.






Both Pollard and Jones had a hand in creating two of Marvel Comics baddest ladies. Jones co-created the bionic armed Misty Knight. Pollard brought  Felicia Hardy aka The Black Cat to life in the pages of the Amazing Spider-Man. Pollard and Jones also did various work for DC.







Mike Grell, creator of the DC character Warlord has served as both artist and writer. Not only has he done work for DC but Grell has done several creator owned works for various companies.  This includes the series Shamans' Tears. Among many of Grell's accomplishments in comics was the Green Arrow limited series Longbow Hunters. This led to an 80 issue Green Arrow run for Grell. He is credited for changing the direction of Green Arrow making him an 'urban hunter' and focusing Green Arrow on more street level threats. During the panel, Grell said that his influences on the character earned him a small nod in the current CW television series Arrow. In the first season of Arrow Laurel stands before a Judge Grell. He also mentioned how he had to explain to his nephew that he didn't get paid for that. I told Grell that I would check out the Longbow Hunters series. I'll post a review after I've finished it.



Kurt Lehner said that he grew up following and emulating the other panelsts. He feels that where he developed his "modern-retro" comic art style. While he's been involved for almost two decades in comics, he didn't feel he technically was a legend of the Bronze age. Many of Lehner's work involved design work for animated features and films including Disney and Marvel. Lehner shared an interesting story that he said was the one thing that he was most proud of. At the time Lehner was working with the legendary Stan Lee on The Marvel Action Hour; Stan the man told Lehner (after looking at some of his work) that if he had walked into (Stan's) office in the 70's, he would've hired him on the spot.




I had a chance to sit down and talk one on one with both Arvell Jones and Keith Pollard. Look for those follow up articles soon. It was awesome meeting these gentlemen and I hope to see them again.



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fallout 4 DLC – Automatron





The first DLC for Fallout 4 is right around the corner. The trailer looks impressive. This should be out next week. I'm excited... Hope you got your season passes...

What do you think of the trailer? Are you excited?