Opinions May Vary

It's that time of the year again. That one beautiful weekend in August where we make the trip to the lovely city of Boston and set up shop for three days at the one and only Boston Comic Con. This is our 6th year in a row attending the show and our 3rd year tabling and like a fine wine (whatever that tastes like...) the show only gets better with age. SignThis year's show was both exciting and nerve-racking for me. On the one side many of my absolute favorite creators were in attendance and I had the opportunity to sit and have some fantastic conversations with them. But on the other side sat the feeling of "Man. This is expensive." With shows like BCC that are constantly growing one of the downsides is increasing ticket prices. It's a bummer. But at the end of the day I guess it's a necessary evil. Still, it sucks. The weird part was when we finally walked into the convention center for the first time on Friday. All those shitty feelings of regret and spending too much money? They were gone. I was at comic con with my people and I was going to have a great time.

BKAMWe did the table thing again this year. Of course that means we were side-by-side with the legend himself Brett Kelley all weekend. I mean come on. Look at that face. That's the face of a man who is ready to melt people's souls with incredible works of art (at insanely reasonable prices, I might add). And believe me when I say that this year Brett cranked out some of the best work I've ever seen from him. Including a giant evil robot for our pal Tom Franck.

Tom

I'm barely scratching the surface of all we saw and did at BCC this year. Luckily we have an entire episode devoted to talking about the rest of it! Of course I can't end this without thanking everyone who came by our table and said hi, all those who even glanced in our general direction, and our ever loyal pal Joe for once again holding down our table when we were wandering off and promoting our show better than we ever could. You are all the greatest and really make this trip worth it. Now look at some more pictures!

-Jr.

AV

joe

row

Direct download: 8.4.2015_Episode_177.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 1:30pm EST
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Hey.

It's currently 12:10 in the morning and we have to leave for Boston Comic Con in t-minus not a lot of hours.

So I'm gonna keep this short for now.

We talk about videogames, pokemon, and Boston Comic Con this week. Joe joined us. It was super chill.

We hope you absolutely love it. For those who are going to be at Boston this weekend, stop by table D414 and say hi and snag a neat pin.

You'll love it.

-Jr.

Direct download: 7.30.2015_Episode_176.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:13am EST
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Longtime listeners of the show might recall the last time Tom was our guest. After meeting him at the 2014 Boston Comic Con it was evident from the get-go that Tom was a great dude with some brilliant ideas for putting on shows at conventions. See, for me it can be standard practice to write off panels at certain conventions especially when they're just "Q+A with Celebrity A" and "Q+A with Celebrity B". The fact of the matter is 99% of the time I just don't care about that kind of stuff.

However.

Sometimes at shows you get the good stuff. The fresh and original stuff doesn't make you regret losing hours of valuable show floor browsing time. The kind of show that makes you declare "I need to see that!" after reading about it in the program. If you haven't guessed it by now I'm talking about Tom's shows: Comics & Comics and Sketch Fighter. Join us this week to learn all about Tom and his brand of comic themed comedy shows and be sure to check them out at a convention near you. (Like Boston Comic Con. Next week. Do it.)

Oh, and while I'm at it. Did I mention Boston Comic Con is next weekend? For those wondering: The answer is Yes. We're totally tabling again this year. This will be our third year in a row rocking a table with the incredible Brett Kelley and with each passing day our excitement grows tenfold (maybe even twelvefold). If you're in the area, specifically the World Seaport Trade Center in Boston next weekend, stop by table D414 and say Hi! We'll have pins for sale and Brett will be doing his arts in exchange for various amounts of moneys. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say "It's gonna be somewhat of a good time." Don't miss out!

-Jr.

Direct download: 7.21.2015_Episode_175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EST
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Going to conventions typically means traveling. Trying out new conventions typically means even more traveling. Things like gas, hotels, ticket prices, parking, and food all add up quickly and can easily turn what was supposed to be a fun adventure into a stressful (and financially painful) endeavor. If you're not careful most of your finances could be easily pissed away before you even step inside the convention center leaving you with massive feelings of regret and a massively empty wallet.

Outside
But what about those conventions that are happening in your metaphorical "back yard"? You know, the ones that don't take 3 hours of travel time. The ones that don't require spending hundreds of dollars just so you have a place to sleep. Depending on where you live finding one that's worth it might be tough but for us Connecticut-ians...ConnectiCon is the one for us.

cosplay
If we were to only discuss the matter of convenience ConnectiCon would absolutely be my favorite convention of the year. It's a 15 minute drive with reasonable parking costs in a beautiful area of Hartford. It's in a massive convention center that's easy to navigate with plenty of areas for photo-ops and hanging out. It's just easy and it's great.

photos
I know I tend to gush in these write-ups but don't get me wrong: ConnectiCon isn't perfect. Ticket prices can run a bit high for casual con-goers and the show can quickly turn stale if you show up without a plan. If you're nervous this might happen to you just take your time and do some research. The best part about ConnectiCon is there's something for everyone. You just might have to look for it.

saf
If you haven't guessed it yet; this week's episode is all about our experiences at ConnectiCon last week. Overall we had a great time again (with some hiccups along the way...) and we're already looking forward to next year. Do us a favor and check it out? Our full photo album can be found here. Maybe if you like it we'll see you there next year!

-Jr.

Direct download: 7.16.2015_Episode_174.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 1:49pm EST
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By Alex

Being a geek is becoming more and more popular, there are more conventions and events springing up all the time and I wanted to check out a new one nearby. This was MASSive Cons first year, and it's named implications are hopefully a look at it's evolution and things to come. It's not Massive yet, but it has potential.  It had the normal show floor featuring artists, vendors, celebrity guests and other things such as the featured cars. But also, and some events have been doing this for a while, is additional rooms not just for panels but for gaming. There was the board game tryout/rental room, and the videogame room with different consoles and tournament on the projector screen.

art
Our resident artist Brett Kelley accompanied me on the trip and after years together we're still teaching each other. Such as "How come when I go to
Worcester, I'm on big streets and there is never any traffic, but then I go to Thats Entertainment or the halloween store or Ralphs and it's a mess."
"We're in the financial district and it's a sunday."
"oh... right. makes sense."

Rob!

  It was cool having Brett on the outside of the tables for a change, he hasn't gone to a show as an attendee in a long time. And him and Ransom Getty were chatting like old pals, I don't know if I would've gotten as much out of him.  
Ransom --"I got hired by DC to do the relaunch of Suicide Squad for the new 52, there was a crazy deadline and they said 'you work fast right?' and I said 'Have you seen Guarding the Globe?'" and we all laughed.

kyle

 Overall, from just going on sunday, this was not an all-day event for us. We got there once the doors had been open for a couple hours and we had done everything we wanted with an hour it ended.
I see conventions as an experience outside of my normal life. While it's nice to provide table top and video games, it's not the reason I came here. People certainly do spend time putting them to use, but I can be an old curmudgeon who has games to play at home. Show me more art. It's easier to approach the artist who has their head down drawing than it is to approach the actress who is reading the newspaper.

james c

In the episode I give props to the organizers who kept the fans informed in many ways. It was Brett that sent me the post where they explain all they tried to do to get Richard Dreyfuss back, their Red Shirts (volunteers/staff) were accommodating and on the ball. Recalling the effectiveness of the Red Shirts is what swayed my grade from the C+ I was going to give it up to a B-.

 I've left a lot out here because I cover lots more on this episode, more than I planned. We bumped a topic which has never ever happened before in the history of this podcast.

Direct download: 7.8.2015_Episode_173.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:10pm EST
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I'm not a man of many talents. I'm more a man of many averages. I'm an average gamer, I'm an average writer, I'm an average athlete (Those 3 times a year when I manage to get outside). It's just a fact and I've made my peace with it. But if I were to decide upon one thing of which I'm absolutely below average...it would be art. I can't draw. I can't paint. My stick figures are frequently offended by their very existence. I'd love to be able to say I've made my peace with this as well but art has always been that one skill that I wish I had.

Luckily I have a podcast that gives me an excuse to interview people who have no shortage of artistic talent and Xela is one of them. Being an artist who excels at Magic Card Altering, Xela is a pro when it comes to expanding and elaborating. Her work is so detailed that only those with a sharp eye will even be able to spot the difference between the original art and her alterations. That's talent. Talent that I will never have.

*sigh*

Aside from listening to us talk to her for an hour this week, you can also check out her YouTube channel where she posts time-lapse videos of card alterations. While you're at it go give her Facebook page a "Like" and maybe follow her on Twitter?

Did I mention she's on Instagram, too?

No?

She's on Instagram too. Check it out. Dig the episode. See ya'll next week.

-Jr.

Direct download: 7.2.2015_Episode_172.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:48am EST
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By Joe

 

The short answer: it’s better than Episode 2, not quite as good as Episode 1.  If you like Borderlands or Telltale games, I’m saying this for the third time: go buy it immediately.  

 

We find ourselves at the midpoint of Tales from the Borderlands with Episode 3: Catch a Ride!  There’s this inherent problem that most Telltale games because of their episodic nature, that you have to try and remember what happened… Tales takes the Borderlands introduction convention and utilizes it perfectly to catch up while being funny at the same time.

Table

The two biggest concerns from the last episode were the short sequences/game length overall, and the very minimal "game play" that occurred – there was only one sequence of puzzling, and very little action.  Have they been fixed?  The answer is a resounding, “mostly!”.  From a content perspective, there is a ton of game here.  I played it once, and then watched someone else play it immediately after - there are entire other sequences nestled that you will never see, jokes that will go unheard, and items that may not be found.  The writing is still on point (Anthony Burch, writer of Borderlands 2, mentioned that he put in an assist on this episode, and it shows).

Jungle

Most Telltale games are action-free, but there was an awesome action sequence in the first episode that has spoiled me and left me wanting for more - this episode delivers, but in a way that is a bit choppy and jarring.  Having said that, there is a fair amount of puzzling and exploring in this version, which helps quite a bit.  The tension of wanting to be able to act more works well with the game - you aren’t a crazy powerful Vault Hunter in the main series, and the frustration of being a technician or con artist in a murder world is felt throughout.

 

The character work is really where Telltale games have stood out for me in the past, and we get this again.  Loaderbot has been a breakout character since Episode 1, and his involvement has only increased by giving him another well-written character to play off of (minimizing spoilers here, as it makes for a great reveal).  And while the lip syncing is criminal, there are some really clever dialogue trees and body language reactions that help flesh out the characters, their relationships, and how you choose to play them.

Gortys

A special shout out has to be given to the folks who keep finding and creating the excellent soundtrack to this series, as well as the geniuses that do the music video openings.  Music that elicits laughter is far too rare, and gives a subtle indication as to how deep the humor talent well goes at Telltale.

 

It is worth noting some criticism.  It is common now that Telltale episodic games feature some rough lip syncing and game-crippling glitches, and I did have one load screen freeze out on me with buzzing music.  It makes you close down and you only lose a few minutes, but still - frustrating.  And as a general criticism of the point-and-click adventure genre, these aren’t games that are going to be pushing you to the limits of your reflexes or hand-eye coordination.  However, there is enough here where you are instead being assessed on your judgement and what’s important to you.  It's a mental, social, and emotional engagement.  And when your avatars are a nerd and a street urchin, that makes for an engaging experience.


OVERALL: 8.5/10

Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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Let's go back in time 3.5 years.

If you told me that doing OMV week in and week out would lead to me having the opportunity to talk to some of my favorite artists and creators I would have laughed right in your face. Like a lot. A lot of laughing. In and around your face. To the point where you probably wouldn't want to talk to me anymore.

This week I got to talk to one of my favorite artists/creators.

Taylor Wells is is an LSU grad who currently resides in New Orleans rocking a sweet gig doing design and quality control over at teeVillain. She's also the colorist on a comic book called Chew.

Yep.

For those unfamiliar....go back and listen to pretty much any of our episodes and there's a very good chance you'll hear me gushing about my love for Chew. It's pretty shameless and I regret nothing.

Anyway. Despite having one hell of an ankle injury Taylor was kind enough to chat with us for a bit and regaled us with tales about landing your dream job and how to avoid buying a haunted house. Seriously. Apparently there are a lot of them down there.

While you listen to me enter fanboy mode for an hour be sure to check out Taylor's work. You can find some of it by clicking these links and also by picking up Chew every month. It's the best $2.99 you'll spend all month and it'll only leave you with slight emotional scarring! What a deal!

-Jr.

Direct download: 6.25.2015_Episode_171.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:47pm EST
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You'd think after 170 episodes we'd be running out of ways to change things up. You'd think doing the same thing every single week for the past 3 years would get stale and eventually just turn into the same old recycled garbage.

Luckily I work with Alex. And now we have something completely different from anything you've heard from us in the past. Our guest this week isn't a professional in the comics world. She's not a film director nor is she a record holder.

She's 10.

Her name is Megan. She's 10 years old and reads comics, watches cartoons, and is a wizard on her smartphone. (She's also Alex's niece and she was cool enough to delay her date with Alex's pool for a few minutes while we talked with her.) Don't let Megan's age fool you, though. The wisdom of a 10 year old is a welcome refreshment in a world where anyone with WiFi can tear you down in a matter of seconds. 

We also talk the joys of the last day of school. Remember that feeling? Those were the days. Oh, and cartoons. We talk cartoons, too.

-Jr.

Direct download: 6.19.2015_Episode_170.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:47am EST
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Welcome back!

We have a real treat for you all this week as we're joined by the creators of Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl! That's right: Craig Rousseau and Rich Woodall joined us via Skype and even let us ask them some questions while recording it all in the process. How neat is that??

Longtime fans may remember when we had Rich on our show this past December but for those who might not be familiar with Craig he's a New England based artist who has done work for both Marvel and DC and he's also the co-creator of The Perhapanauts (Which, believe it or not, actually has a Kickstarter going at this very minute. Check it out!)

If you're ever at a convention in the New England area do yourself a favor and hunt these guys down. Supporting good people who make good stuff is what we're all about and I can assure you these dudes are good. (They also make cool stuff. That's a pretty neat bonus.)

Until next week!

-Jr.

Direct download: 6.10.2015_Episode_169.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 6:11pm EST
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