July 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Gary Gygax! We miss you.

For those of my friends that aren’t into all things geeky, let me start off by saying that today is the birthday of a man that is responsible for a lot of my teen years being spent huddled over dice and a notebook. Gary Gygax would have celebrated his 74th birthday today, but he passed on to that final RPG in the sky back in 2008.

Basic Dungeons and Dragons Box Set - This was my first!He is considered the father of role-playing games and, especially, Dungeons & Dragons. I first heard about the game when I was a sixth grader and taking a Saturday Science class at the local college. Upon overhearing a college student talking about this game and describing a raid on some orcs, I thought to myself, “this is THE game I’ve been longing for!” I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my parents. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard stories of the great witch hunts back in the late seventies and early eighties and the folks that wanted to burn heavy metal albums and anything that looked satanic. Fortunately, my parents didn’t watch the news much or take that sort of nonsense seriously. Plus, Mom usually trusted me in my choices, even though that purchase of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ made her question it. And the craziest of all things was the fact that I bought both items at Wal-mart back in the day before they got the wild idea of selling censored music or banning such games! If it weren’t for this game, I wouldn’t have met the guys that I did when I was in school. It was how we bonded. Many a night spent making characters, staying up all weekend long for marathon sessions, and even cool costumes! Yep, Clif’s mom was a great seamstress and made everyone a cloak or something! Yeah, we didn’t have girlfriends but who cared. This was more fun than the angst of youth and peer pressure!

I eventually went into the Navy and while stationed in Great Lakes, Illinois, in 1988 I got a chance to go to GenCon XX in Milwaukee. It was the first time that I had ever been to something of this sort. Big culture shock to a boy from the woods of North Louisiana. But, I got to meet Gary and Dave Arneson (October 1, 1947 – April 7, 2009), Clyde Caldwell, Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, Erol Otus (who did the image in this post), and Keith Parkinson. Gamers and artists and I was in hog heaven.

Sadly, I quit gaming as my stay in the military progressed. Even after I got out and got into DJing I still didn’t go back and to this day I don’t know why. I take that back. I do know why. I got into music and that became my passion. Long story, short, I quit DJing in 2004 and lost the fire. Cold soot, no sparks, no embers. Nothing.

During a bout of unemployment in 2009, I saw where an acquaintance from my DJing days was going to a con and doing a little cos-play. Normally, she would leave on a Wednesday, but this being Saturday morning, I figured it had to be close. I looked it up and decided to go to All-Con and I’ve been hooked ever since. In fact, it’s because of these events that I put together my website, A Galaxy Called Dallas.

I’ve been lucky enough to find folks to play with but no where near as much as I would like. But I do when I can and I meet new people and create new stories to tell. Again, it would not be if not for Gary Gygax. Happy Birthday, Gary!

A special thank you to my friends of days long passed who helped me create great stories to tell over a flagon of ale and to the new ones who I’ve yet to travel with. Clif, Stephen, Rickie, Jay, John John, and Todd.

And thank you to Traci Baker of CrimsonVision.net and All-Con.org!

July 20, 2012

RUIN–From Animated Short to Live-Action Franchise

It would seem that an animated short by Wes Ball is in negotiations to be turned into an live-action movie by the folks at Fox. McG is said to possibly have a hand in it, and a few other heavy-hitters. The short looks amazing and has a lot of possibility if handled right. Here’s hoping!
 
Got any takes on what’s happening? Think the short warrants this much attention?
 
To read more head over to The Hollywood Reporter:
 
 

July 17, 2012

Oh, So Many Batmen!

Thanks to Half Price Books on their blog for giving me an education of sorts. Batman Actors Through the Decades gives a short list of men who have played the superhero. After reading it and doing some research of my own, I found that even their list is a little short. Check this list out and you’ll see what I mean. Batman has even been played (voiced) by a woman. That was interesting to find out. Great post by Half Price which led to some great info.

tdk_batman_nodate

 

Whose got plans to see The Dark Night Rises? Standing in line, waiting a week or so, or waiting on DVD? 

Halo Vs Predator–Playdate?

Found this on The Mary Sue who found it through one of their tipsters named Heidi. They bill themselves as a guide to girl geek culture but do a very good job of not making it a centerpiece and thus are a very relevant blog to everyone. Anyway. This video is hilarious. What if a Halo Spartan and a Predator got together for a playdate? Hilarity ensues!

Have you seen any good videos recently that you’d like to share here?

Games & Comics & The Moon Make for a Great Weekend

Texicon

Texicon LogoIf you are looking for anything to do this weekend, you have plenty of options. Gamers will be converging on Ft. Worth for the toddling Texicon. Beginning as an idea between two brothers at an anime convention in 2008, it has now grown to an event for gamers, game stores, and game manufacturers from every corner of Texas. The games will begin Friday, July 20th, at 9:00 AM and continue until Sunday at 6:00 PM or until they run out of Funyuns and Mountain Dew! Just kidding on that last part. Get yourself to the Norris Conference Center in Fort Worth and Game ON!

Dallas Games Marathon

Dallas Games Marathon LogoA bit closer to Dallas will be the Dallas Games Marathon – Monthly Board Gaming Event Friday through Sunday. A fee gets you through the door for the weekend or day and gets you the following:
- Entrance into the event.
- Exclusive access to the board game library for the weekend.
- Free entry into a drawing for one of several games given away every month.
- Monthly game tournament with prizes for winners and sometimes for participants.
- Occasionally we provide demos from game designers and publishers.
- Toys for children on Sunday.
- Free entry for your direct family (spouse and children) on Sunday.

Dallas – Forth Worth Comic Book Shows

Sam de la Rosa Courtesy of ComicBooksDallas (dot) comIf you’re looking for comic books, head to Arlington for the Dallas – Fort Worth Comic Book Show. This is another repeating show that comes around every quarter. For one day only, you can be in comic book Heaven (well, on a smaller scale) to grab those hard-to-find items. There will be guests at this event which is considered to be “the supplement to the comic cons.”
Special guests will include:
-John Wilkins - Graphic Illustrator from El Paso, TX.
-Terry Parr - Comic Illustrator
-Chantal Small - Labyrinth Story
-Halo Seraphim - Pop Culture Artist
-Charles Martin - Counter Culture Author
-David Doub - Comic Book Writer and Publisher
(Dusk Comics).
**Update**  John Wilkins has let me know that he will be there Friday and Sunday status and might be there Saturday night, but that is TBA. ~ James 1:54 PM 7/17/2012

But the Featured Guest will be none other than Sam del la Rosa of Spiderman and Venom fame.

Moon Day

Moon Day Flyer 2012Last, but not least, Moon Day! Saturday will find many folks celebrating the July 20, 1969 landing on the moon by visiting the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. The National Space Society of North Texas has joined with the museum and other organizations to bring a fun and fact-filled day to everyone. There will be exhibits, film screenings, and family-friendly classes in the Moon Academy Program!
If you find any of these interesting, let me know and be sure and snap photos to share with us!

July 14, 2012

It is a Good Day to Play!

New Coppell-based Roll2Play was the scene of epic proportions today when fans of board, card, and role-playing games converged on the store for their grand opening. Though they had been in operation at conventions for the better part of two years and at this store front for several weeks, today was the day to make it official. Members of the 501st and USS Navras were on hand, as well as, Taffeta Darling, the United States of Geekdom, and David Doub of Dusk Comics (sorry, I didn’t get to say ‘Howdy’, Dave.) There were costumes and lots of games and prizes to be had and I overheard that the USS Navras edged out the Empire in the money raising for charities. No big deal, though, because even the losers raised a good amount for charity!

If you got to go and took some pictures be sure and send me a link, so that I can share!

Here’s another take on the event from My Geeky Geeky Ways. Check out the website and show’em some love!

Link to A Galaxy Called Dallas’ Fan Page Photos

July 13, 2012

Roll2Play Grand Opening in Coppell

P1000081If you’ve been to any of the conventions in the last two years here in the DFW area, then you’ve probably seen Tiffany Franzoni  and her crew at the Roll2Play. Board games, card games, dice or die (pl?), and much more. Well, now they’ve gotten themselves a great location in Coppell. Of course, they did wait until I moved out of the area, but I’m not bitter. Much.

This Saturday, July 14th, they will be having their grand opening with all the fanfare a new business of this caliber deserves. The guest list looks great with all of this to look forward to:

The 501st and USS Navras will be raising money for the local Boys & Girls Club and Cook Children’s Hospital.

Doors open at 11 AM with most guest wrapping up between 2:30 PM and 4. Tiffany says that this will free up tables for gaming, demos, and events. Dress casual and comfy because it will be a warm day and lots of people, but if you don’t have a comfy shirt, then you can get a Roll2Play t-shirt for $20. When I spoke with Tiffany a few weeks back, she assured me that she gets large sizes for fanboys like me, so I’ll be sporting mine!

So, what are you in to? Board games, card games, or RPGs?

July 11, 2012

Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event

Be sure and get your tickets for the Star Trek: TNG 25th Anniversary Event now! The date is July 23rd and there are many theaters that will be carrying this. So hit the link, and get your tickets or you’ll just have to hear about it.

Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event

Whose going?

First Guest of All-Con 2013

kathy-coleman-land-of-the-lostAll-Con has just put out their first guest of 2013. Kathy Coleman who played Holly Marshall in Land of the Lost will be joining the show. The theme has also been announced as ‘Fractured Time,’ so this should lend to some great ideas in costumes! All-Con posted the announcement this morning, so we’ve got plenty of time to let those gears turn in our heads.

All-Con is March 8-10, 2013.

July 9, 2012

Taylor Anderson Signing at A Real Book Store

When I was working at a now-defunct book store, I remember seeing “Into the Storm: Destroyermen, Book I” (affiliate link) on the shelf and found the premise interesting. Why I never picked it up, I can’t say. May have been the lack of time to read at that point in my life. But upon seeing the signing coming up, I think I shall go and get a copy and have Taylor sign it for me! The premise is very good and not at all what I thought it was going to be and so I look forward to reading it. He will actually be signing book seven, but they will have plenty of other copies.

Here’s a link to the event on A Real Bookstore and his blog for you to peruse!

Iron Gray Sea: Destroyermen

(This is an affiliate link)

July 6, 2012

Lewisville Science Fiction Book Club July 2012

Lewisville Science Fiction Book Club will be holding their meeting on July 13th, 2012 in their usual spot at the IHOP in Lewisville at 7:30 PM. Below you will find a list of upcoming books that will be read and discussed with the first being ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins.

I’ve missed out on the last few meetings and will probably not be attending as many as I would like seeing that I now live 30 miles away. That doesn’t mean that I won’t check back in from time to time, as I do love the company. This group accepted me in as a stranger and made me feel at home and I do not plan on severing that tie anytime soon.

If you live in the area, check them out and if you haven’t finished the book (I think I’m the only one) still go.

Are you a member of a book club already? What do you like about your club that makes you recommend it to others?2012-07-06_10-15-40_616

July Book Releases by SF Signal

This is a great website and I can only hope that I can build ‘A Galaxy Called Dallas’ to be one-tenth this good. In the meantime, they post a monthly article on all the science fiction, fantasy, and horror releases, including trade graphics. I love to browse this and make my wish list for the next month. A few titles stick out in my mind, but not to the point that I’m going to break my neck buying them. Anything on this page make you salivate?

A Book Cover Gallery of 132 Science Fiction  Fantasy   Horror Books Coming Out in July 2012   SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog

July 3, 2012

Omnicon in McAllen, Texas

If you happen to be in the Rio Grande Valley this weekend, be sure and stop in McAllen to check out Omnicon. It happens every summer and is a great way to get together and share the love of anime, comics, music, and video games. In fact, they are the longest running and largest operating convention on pop culture and animation in the Valley. This year’s guest will include Vic Mignogna, Travis Willingham, Caitlen Glass, Aaron Dismuke, and Matt Frank. In addition, vendors, artists, guest panels, movies, video games, and the Rock Band Concert!

Omnicon Convention

(This banner is property of Omnicon Convention)

July 1, 2012

A Starfleet USO Show

Being a former Navy ET, helping the troops is very close to my heart. I served during the Desert Storm/Desert Shield days and am still in contact with many of my shipmates. I remember going through the USO many times and I appreciated every comfort of home they afforded to me. The USO is sometimes the only link that a soldier has with home, so this is a very important event and you will see me tweet it, Facebook it, and share it every other way possible before the date arrives. Please help support our troops!

Starfleet USO Show 2012 Flyer
 
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