June 30, 2016
Almost time for fireworks! And Fandomfest 2016 - now taking place at the Kentucky Exposition Center from July 29 through July 31. This event keeps getting bigger and better every year (started in 2005 as Fright Night Film Fest). You can find accomodations at the Courtyard Louisville Airport Hotel.
Description from the website:
Fandomfest is the largest comic con in the midsouth region, reaching thousands of attendees. We serve the anime, comic book, pop culture, movie, TV, scifi, horror, literary, arts crowd, and Fandomfest is the flagship show of our multi-city tour.
Gaming and Cosplay will also be happening. Special guest of honor will be the legendary Stan Lee. (See the site for a full list of celebrity, artist and author guests.)
Don't miss the fun!
And be sure to check back here later this month for more book and movie reviews.
Happy 4th of July!
May 31, 2016
Happy to remind everyone that Derby City Comic Con is returning this year to the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville on June 25 and 26.
The Hyatt Regency is set to be the official host hotel. Scheduled events include panels, Cosplay, gaming, vendors, as well as activities for children. Special guests who have been announced are comic book artist Jae Lee, comic book writer Bob Layton, Bryan Johnson and Ming Chen of Comic Book Men, as well as Colleen Doran, graphic novel artist - and many others.
Click here for tickets and more information.
April 30, 2016
It's already the end of April - and not too early to bring up events I'm looking forward to this fall. Join me this October 7 - 9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel here in Louisville for a new favorite, local convention: Imaginarium 2016, a midwestern/midsouth conference for writers, readers and fans (media, news, publishing, gaming).
Check here for more details.
The Imadjinn Awards (includes an awards banquet) will be handed out on Saturday, October 8 to winners in the categories of Small Press nominees and independently published authors.
Also on Saturday evening, October 8, make plans to attend the third annual Imaginarium Masquerade Ball. There will, of course, be a costume contest.
Don't forget that the Film Festival will include an awards show as well. Many things to keep track of over the course of three days!
Some special guests of the convention this year:
Brian Keene (author and Guest of Honor)
Elizabeth Bevarly (author)
Jason Sizemore (author/editor/publisher)
Lynn Tincher (author/filmmaker)
Michael Knost (author/editor)
Lana Read (screenwriter/film director)
Tim Waggoner (author)
Dan Jolley (author/game designer)
Maurice Broaddus (author/editor)
And many more....
I hope to see you there!
March 29, 2016
I've wanted to be in the same room with Stephen King since I was 13 years old. Finally, it seems I'll have my chance. Louisville is one of the stops on his 2016 book tour this summer - probably the first time he's been to the Derby City, so I was quite excited by the news.
Tickets went on sale here on March 26, and I'm happy to say I nabbed one early that morning. Even though the event is sponsored by Carmichael's Bookstore, the actual venue for his appearance will be Iroquois Amphitheater.
From King's official website:
"To celebrate the release of End of Watch, Stephen King will embark on a twelve city book tour kicking off on June 7 in New Jersey. The tour will include an evening with Stephen discussing End of Watch (the final book in the Bill Hodges Trilogy) and much more. At each event, 400 pre-signed books will be given out at random. There will not be book signings during the appearances."
For more details, click the link below. (It's been reported that the events in Iowa and New Jersey have already sold out.)
I also wanted to remind people that ConGlomeration 2016 (Louisville's grassroots interactive sci-fi and fantasy convention) will take place April 8 - 10 here at the Ramada Plaza Hotel. Click here for more info.
February 29, 2016
I don't think anyone could have been more excited about the return of The X Files than this redheaded gal right here. It was my favorite show from the 90s - probably my favorite series of all time. And three years ago I finally got to (briefly) meet Gillian Anderson - Agent Dana Scully - at a local convention.
"I can't remember how many times I pretended I was Scully for Halloween." The cheapest costume ever, even with my fake F.B.I. badge.
But duh - that's what I chose to say to an icon? Gillian just smiled. "You fooled your friends. I know you did."
During her Q&A, she mentioned how she'd love it if Chris Carter brought back the series. No one I know believed it would happen, but here we are in 2016 and wishes do come true.
Was Season 10 perfect? No, far from it, but you won't hear me complaining. The old show had its flaws, too. Unlike a lot of fans, I didn't expect these newest six episodes to have the same quality of writing and chemistry that the early seasons had. Many years have passed since the end of the original series, so of course the actors, characters and writers had all aged. And the world had changed. A complete reboot/reset button had to be pushed, and I expected some glitches along the way.
Minor spoilers ahead.
I consider the first episode - "My Struggle" - an attempt to set up the new season for old viewers and new viewers alike, with a government conspiracy (and alien abductee) plot-line. We were subjected to lots of background info and exposition, and it's clear that David Duchovny (Mulder) and Anderson had to rediscover - and then redefine - their characters and their relationship. To me, it all felt familiar and different at the same time. Scully seemed the most changed. Even her voice sounded husky and strange. (Perhaps she simply had a cold?) I heard many of my friends moan and sigh over the Season 10 premiere, saying they were disappointed. But I was unperturbed.
The second episode ("Founder's Mutation") was better received by all - a definite improvement over the first. Extreme genetic experimentation at a lab had resulted in subjects developing dangerous powers. More like the old show for sure. Mulder and Scully seem more comfortable with each other, too. But Scully's voice still isn't normal.
"Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-monster" is my favorite of the six episodes. This third installment is nothing but fun, and made me feel nostalgic. It reminded me of how I felt watching the original series - witnessing the same old chemistry between Mulder and Scully (whose voice sounded unstrained, finally). The two investigate a dead body that was found in the woods, trying to determine if a serial killer, an animal, or a weird creature rumored to have been on the scene is responsible. Written by Darin Morgan, who wrote four of my favorite episodes during the original run, it involves nihilistic humor, left-field plot twists, and a few Easter eggs to be discovered and enjoyed by us X Files fanatics (who know more about the show than your average fan).
"Home Again" also managed to capture the feel of the original series. Mulder and Scully investigate the odd, gory murder of a city official who was considered an enemy of the city's homeless population. At the same time, Scully struggles with feelings of guilt and remorse regarding the son she gave up for adoption fifteen years before.
The "Babylon" episode reflects the world we live in today - terrorism on the rise due to religious extremism. An art museum is targeted by suicide bombers, one of whom survives the blast, and Mulder and Scully try to find a way to communicate with the comatose young man to prevent another attack. I found this episode to be a bizarre mixture of tragedy and comedy - the humor coming into play during Mulder's wild "trip" after supposedly using mushrooms in an attempt to reach another plane of existence. The "Achy Breaky" dance sequence amused me greatly, and we even got to see The Lone Gunmen again. We are also introduced two new likeable characters, young F.B.I. agents who are nearly carbon copies of Mulder and Scully: Agents Miller and Einstein. The scenes between the four of them were quite humorous.
The season finale, "My Struggle II," had me thinking "too much, too soon." I feel it would have been much better to spread (and expand) the events out over two or three episodes instead, building up to the cataclysmic ending. We see the return of an old nemesis, and the controversial web-TV host from the first episode is back as well, along with Agents Miller and Einstein. People are becoming seriously ill all over the world, apparently relating to the events of 2012 that were predicted by the Cigarette Smoking Man (aka Cancer Man) near the end of the original series. Mulder is in danger but Scully is immune. All along I wanted them to have a reason to find their son, William, and now they have no choice but to locate him. Will he be a typical angry teen, or a human-alien hybrid with his own agenda? The events at the end of this episode mean the world will never be the same again, so a future season - probably the final one - would have to pull out all the stops. The X Files would become a different kind of series altogether.
So come on, Chris Carter, give it one more try. As the late director/producer Kim Manners used to say, "Let's kick it in the ass."