February 19, 2010

The Matrix is real!

Well, actually it’s not the matrix but just a well-placed green screen. Check this video out. Found it over on BoingBoing by Cory Doctorow.

February 18, 2010

Moments from ConDFW 2010

I’ve finally gotten the energy and time to write about my evening at ConDFW 2010 this past week. Friday was the only evening I had available so I asked Tom from work if he would like to check it out. I dropped the wife off her parents with the baby and Tom and I headed over to the Crowne Plaza. Had a great time and got to meet some great folks, some I already knew and some I didn’t. Check out the pics here and the links below, and if you have any to share, send them to me.
Crowne Plaza Suites in Dallas Crowne Plaza Suites in Dallas
Crowne Plaza Suites in Dallas James Pickering with Steampunk hat and goggles
Henry Melton James Pickering & R. K. Milholland
Gloria Oliver Kerry Tolan
Ciara Gold T. M. Hunter
Enjoyed meeting R. K. Milholland, Henry Melton, Gloria Oliver, and the fine folks at the Champagne Publishing table, Kerry Tolan, Ciara Gold, and T. M. Hunter.

February 11, 2010

Ideas for Valentine’s Day



If you’re like me, you wait until the last minute to even begin thinking about Valentine’s Day! If you didn’t, then congratulations. You’re either very well organized and aware of what day it is, or you’re Koothrappali of Big Bang Theory!


So, for the rest of us, I’ve put together this little list of folks who have compiled lists. That’s right, let someone else do the work for me. BARRETT.VALENTINES.2010.1

Starting off with the card. Women can put a lot of emphasis on a card. “That’s okay, dear. I’ll be happy with just a card.” If she gives you that line, then don’t scrimp. The cards below are not for sale (I didn’t see a link or a checkout), but you can probably show her the picture and still win her over. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Click on the picture to be taken to Jason Stowe’s website and tell him how great they are!

The following are three blogs that I ran across that give a diversified list of gifts for the most discriminating fanboy or fangirl. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day! Oh, yeah, shoot me a post about what you’re significant other got for you or if you’re Koothrappali, what you bought yourself!

ConDFW IX this weekend!

ConDFW Guests of Honor for 2010 are Jack McDevitt, Elizabeth Moon, and now Vincent Villafranca!

2010 sees the ninth ConDFW science fiction and fantasy convention, dedicated to promoting the advancement of education with emphasis on sci-fi/fantasy/horror literature, publishing and writing, and science, to Dallas-Fort Worth, TX! Come join us at the Crowne Plaza Suites Hotel in Dallas from February 12 – 14 for a weekend of discussion, books, shopping, fun, and more!"

My only chance to go this year is on Friday, so let me know if you’ll be there and let’s chat a little! Send me photos if you take any and I’ll post the links.

February 9, 2010

Local Ghost Hunter Organizations

Ghost Hunters Had a customer come in the store the other day and purchase a book on local Texas haunts. It reminded me of an article that I had intended on doing several months back. At the job I had worked at before, there were several folks that I worked with that were big fans of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. I admit that I was one of them, but not as much as Tim and Maria. I watch the the show on a semi-regular schedule though with my DVR. I would love to get the magazine at our bookstore but for now it only seems to be available in the northeast, but I’m still looking into it.

All of this got me to thinking about local organizations that do the same thing and so I set off tracking them down. I think that I’ve weeded out the ones that haven’t posted in a while and have current content. There also seem to be  some that are hokey, but fun so I included them as well. Do you know of any sites, local to Dallas and Ft. Worth or even to your own area, if you're outside DFW or the state? Let me know and I’ll put your submissions in a directory here on the site. I will also continue to keep everyone updated as I add more.

National Sites

Texas Sites

February 6, 2010

Memories of Dallas Comic Con 2010

I can remember it like it was yesterday. Or, about seven days ago. Okay, so I’m late posting. I got a month old that eats like me. Does a lot of things like me that in one sense makes me proud but in another sense scares the livin’ poop outta me!

Anyway, despite the cold weather and the late night before, I was up and ready to hit the road. Fortunately, the weather wasn’t as bad as the weatherman made it out to be, so I arrived safely. I arrived about 11am which is when the doors officially opened and parking was not that bad. The Richardson Civic Center is not that big, but seem to be just the right size for the event. A small line was at the door but since I had purchased my tickets online, I got to walk right in. Previous experiences have led me to making sure I get my tickets early.

DSC01882I was really excited to meet Batman (TV), Adam West , but there seemed to be a line waiting for him so I thought it a good idea to peruse the exhibit room. Dealers of every sort were on hand, including Boomerang Comics and the Austin Brown Coats. Saw so many cool things that I wish I had won the lottery.

Made my rounds to all the different artists and made it a point to track down my favorite locals. One of the first was Joel Watson at HijiNKS ENSUE. He recognized his t-shirt that I was wearing and I got him to sign a “Godspeed You Fancy Bastard”.

Just around the corner, I found Joe, Vlad, and Barry from the Variants courtesy of Zeus Comics. Keli showed up later, but Richard didn’t get there until after I had left. I did get Joe to draw a Terrible Sketch. I had him do Spider-man in tribute to episode 5. Check out the Variants website to catch up.

Variants Card

Also in attendance were two of my favorite local comic book artists, Josh Howard and Brian Denham. Josh is working on a one-shot Ghostbusters for IDW and says that his cover art got accepted without any changes which is pretty cool. Dead@17 is also in development for a 2011 movie release. Looking forward to that. Brian Denham is also keeping busy with Angel. He takes over drawing in #28 and it’s getting great reviews. He’s also doing the new Olivia Munn one-shot for Antarctic Press and the cover that I saw was awesome. Will have to wait and see if the story is any good.









I sat in on a panel presented by Devin Pike of Red Carpet Crash, Katrina Hill of Action Flick Chick, and Mark Walters of Big Fan Boy about what’s new in 2010 as far as movies go. It also kicked off with Bob Wayne of DC comics. He’s the VP of Sales and is in the know for what’s coming from their vaults in 2010, but he did have a lot of “I can’t divulge that” comments. I can kinda understand, but hey, Bob, toss us a bone, will ya!

And last but not least! I got to meet Batman! The original caped crusader! TV Batman – Adam West! Well, most of you younger ones only know him as Mayor of Quahog on Family Guy (or Adam We – you know the episode). I didn’t get to talk to him as much as I liked because he had a handler, but I did get to shake his hand and what an honor it was to meet him. I was grinning the rest of the day just from that moment. I even commented about it on Geek Orthodox’s post here.

Yea, Charisma Carpenter and Colossus from X2 and X3 were there, but no disrespect, I didn’t connect with them like I did Anne Lockhart and Herb Jefferson, Jr. Sheba and Boomer from Battlestar Galactica TOS were signing autographs and talking with fans. I met Anne last year at All Con and she’s a delight to talk to and Herb is a big supporter of the troops with his work with the USO and the Marine’s Toys For Tots programs. If you ever get the chance to meet them, do.

imageBoomer BSG_TOS.BMP









If you have any stories you’d like to relate, please do or send me links to your photos. Mine can be viewed on my facebook page.

February 1, 2010

Sleeper Awakes: The Third Book in the Hidden Lands of Nod by Robert Stikmanz

Sleeper Awakes - Stickmanz
I was lured to this book by the promise of a fantasy world returning to our present existence and  conspiracies run amok. What we believed long since extinct, or to have never existed at all appears easily enough and a danger lurks at every turn.

The Traveler, a man named Boyd, survives a holocaust of what seems to be natural origin, but after waking in a hospital, soon realizes that it was anything but natural. Dogged by a government agent and a case of amnesia, he races cross country to find safety and his memory.

Along the way, he finds that our existence is not quite what it seems. What he knew of dwarves, elves, sprites, and fairies from storybooks are just misinterpreted factual beings and it would seem that they are his only hope of survival and he, theirs’.

I will admit when I started to read this book, I wondered if I had been led astray. After a murky start, the story picks up speed and once it does, you don’t want to put it down. I have very limited time to read due to a new-born and work, but I learned to juggle book, bottle, and baby just to be able to finish it. But, finish it I did.

I have to admit that Boyd does seem to be a bit daft at times. He doesn’t seem to get even the most simple points concerning his situation but Mr. Stikmanz may have played him ignorant to point out just how fanciful and unbelievable the situation was in the first place. I loved the three Dvarsh characters (dwarves) but I believe my favorite was Sigismunde. In my mind's eye, I either pictured him as a fey Tommy Chong (without the herbal additive) or Sgt. Floyd Pepper from the muppets band, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Sorry, that’s just how I see him.

Robert Stickmanz - Sleeper AwakesI feel that if you give it a chance, you’ll love this book. You can pick it up on the author’s website or at Amazon, but the last time I looked, Amazon was down to two copies. You can see Mr. Stikmanz in the next couple of weeks at these conventions.