Thursday, 30 July 2015

Fandom: San Diego Legacy of Geekdom 2015

I was going to glump this with San Diego Comic Con but decided to give these guys their own light, because they deserve it! Though I can’t actually say anything about what was said but you know I just wanted to geekout for a minute...

Whilst at San Diego Comic Con 2015 I got to meet with the man himself, Daniel Cabuco, who was the Art Director/Art Lead for the Legacy of Kain series (SR, SR2 & Defiance). His work shaped the design of the characters, landscapes, murals and well basically anything you see in the Legacy of Kain universe. OMG he’s like a legend, a god, and a really top bloke!

I got to spend just under and hour with him, which was basically just me geeking out at him for this amount of time. I got to ask him some things that I was curious about and also he kindly brought along his original sketch book which had concept art for the character and mural designs in it. It was like looking at the holy bible of LoK. If you hadn’t guessed I just fangirled lots.

He then at the end of the time asked me which picture I liked most, of course to me it’s the iconic image of the Ancients creating the Pillars/banishing of the Hylden…he signed it, tore it out and gave it to me! I nearly died! Ok I basically didn’t stop jumping around squeaking like a child for about 10 minutes and held it for the rest of the day like a holy relic.

He was truly lovely to meet and added to the wonder of my trip! I want to thank him for all his work on my favourite series and continuing to remember the series, love it and cherish it the way he does!

On my final day in San Diego I had a massive treat; I got to head over to the Psyonix offices and meet the Nosgoth’s art team! OMG like yah! So I got to sit down and talk to the guys who designed the characters, maps, artwork and everything that’s shiny and pretty in the world of Nosgoth.

I was hosted by Eric Majka and Jason Newhouse, if you don't know Eric is the Art Lead for Nosgoth so makes sure everything that's created looks sweet, getting hands on with creating shiny things, as well as poking the rest of the art team with a really big stick j/k. Jason is one of the teams Concept Artists and is the one of the main men behind creating the cool ass skins, characters and the world and all the stuff in it, yes this is the guy that gave me such hell as not being able to see for at least two comic cons lol.

They showed me around the office, introduced me to the rest of the awesome gang, who were all fab peeps. They chatted to me for most the morning about various things Nosgoth related and stuff, yes I disrupted them from their work for that long, so sorry my bad if things are delayed lol.

These guys and the rest of their team were great, good humour and kindness, and hopefully I didn’t annoy them too much as I tried to keep my geekouts under control as everyone was working away but inside I was a screaming fangirl. All I can say is it was an amazing experience and one I am very very very please I got to have.

It was great to spend time with them and to get to see where all the vampiric things come from, it was all very very very fascinating. They were very kind to gave me a couple of signed pieces of artwork and bits which was absolutely amazing and awesome of them! I geeked out lots when I left the office as I’d bottled it up for so long, which involved me prancing down the San Diego streets, and yep there were some people that were clearly confused by this lol.

I’d just like to thank both Eric and Jason for looking after me and being such awesome guys, thank you for everything and your teams amazing work on Nosgoth, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to come in the future! Keep up the great work!

*End Geekout*

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Fandom: more LoK/Nosgoth stupid cartoons

I know recently I haven’t really posted much on here apart from movie reviews but I’ve kept my Facebook up to date with some random stuff…I now have found a few moments so I thought I’d share them with you here also…

So here are some more of my random Legacy of Kain and Nosgoth inspired silly cartoons, just for laughs…

50 Shades of Turelim Grey...

 Kain on the Toilet...

Ariel was a teenage rebel...

What the Arena in the Crucible is really used for...

Azimuth riding Turel like a pony...ok I admit it I have no idea...

For all those Scout players that can snipe you from across the map and hit in you the fecking balls...

Did someone shout an arousing cry...nope I said rousing cry...

Time for tea?

Monday, 27 July 2015

Movies: Inside Out (U), Southpaw (15) & Outlander (DVD – 15)

Inside Out (U) – what’s it about? What’s really going on in our minds??? This follows the story of what’s going on in a young girls head as her life changes…

This was really quite good! I wasn’t sure on it from the trailers but it was entertaining, I’m not sure how much the really young ones will understand, cuz deep down this is quite a complex movie. I think its one of those that works for all ages in some ways, worth having a look if you like Pixar movies.

Rating: J J J

Southpaw (15) – what’s it about? This follows the story of a pro-boxer who looses everything when his wife is killed, he then tries to get his life back on track for the sake of his daughter.

Ok let me just say something here, this is a drama and a sports drama at that, I don’t really do dramas and I reaaaaallly dislike sports, so as you can guess this wasn’t top of my list to see. Yes it was really depressing as most dramas are (and I cried twice in it, like wtf!) but that said it was a really compelling story and a complete emotional ride. It’s worth watching if you like dramas and/or boxing as it’s really quite good.

Rating: J J J O

Outlander (DVD – 15) – what’s it about? A spaceship crash-lands on earth and the sole survivor finds some allies in the Viking people as they join forces to try to stop the “dragon” that crash-landed with him.

This is awesome! It’s a good mix of story and action, with a bit of sci-fi chucked in and some good old school fight scenes to boot. If you like Vikings and shit like that and sci-fi then this is definitely worth a look! Now pass me the Mead!

Rating: J J J J

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Fandom: San Diego Comic Con 2015

So at the end of June I crossed the pond and got to spend some time in San Diego for the San Diego Comic Con and also to make another couple of geek stops along the way.

I decided to stay in the city the week before and got to explore a little. It’s a lovely place and is worth visiting, so if you’re ever heading there for the convention I’d recommend just taking a few extra days to visit the place as it’s a beautiful city.

It was great as well to see the city itself getting prepared for the convention, the buildings being modified, shops being decorated, the experiences getting set up, the cities people getting into the spirit of it all, this all added to the hype of the event.

Arriving at the convention was great, no queues, NO QUEUES to get our badges, that was amazing, though it was on Wednesday so the preview night so I’m not sure how the rest of the weekend faired.

I have to make a comment on the badges themselves, I have to say I prefer the wristbands we have at UK cons, why because they can’t get lost or stolen. Yes I was one of the unfortunate people that had my badge stolen! I heard a lot of other people over the weekend saying they had lost or had theirs stolen. I’m not going to go into detail though about the rude man at badge solutions, having to re-pay a full price or even security not having radios…so anyway…

So after waiting zero minutes to get in we sat in a queue for 2 hours for the exhibition hall to open, this was mainly due to we got the timings slightly wrong, but we got to chat to some lovely people which was nice and the queuing system was really well organised.

When we got into the exhibition hall it was like a kid in a candy store reaction. It was immense; I haven’t seen a convention hall to this scale. It was like wow and completely out of this world. There were lots of displays of huge models, displays of actual costumes used in movies/films, replicas, artist’s stalls, experiences and of course all the stuff you could possibly want to buy.

The amount of free stuff we got given was crazy, it was beyond crazy, so make sure if you’re travelling there you have enough room in your luggage for all the stuff you get given and all the crap you’ll buy, because you’ll need it! Even though we had a 5 day pass we still didn’t get to all the stalls. A word of advice for further convention goers, the hall on Saturday was unbearable…Sunday was pretty bad too so do your shopping on the first three days.

Apart from the exhibition hall what was there to do? Well the whole of Downtown San Diego basically becomes an extended comic con. The local hotels have things going on, some of the panels are in hotels as is the XBox lounge and outside there were the experiences, such as the zombie church, Assassins Creed obstacle course, The Strain experience, American Horror Story experience etc. So there was a lot to do outside as well as just buy stuff and meet artists.

There were enough panels to keep anyone entertained too and of course all the massive names to boot! I know a lot of people have issues about the panels for this convention in that the queues are intense. Yes for Hall H I can confirm the queues were crazy, there were people queuing for Star Wars which was on Saturday on Wednesday as soon as the convention opened. I basically didn’t have the stomach to be in a queue for that long, so opted not to. So I did miss the Supernatural panel which I was really hoping to see, but that was the only one I missed.

I got to see a lot of panels over the weekend, all the ones (apart from Supernatural) that I wanted to see, with no queuing what-so-ever. We took the advice of someone we met and turned up a little early but we didn’t have to, as all the ones we wanted were in one room all day. So I saw Falling Skies, The 100, Minority Report, Marvel TV (Agent Carter & Agents of SHIELD) and The Originals on one day. Then another day we headed to the Hilton and saw John Barrowman (if you ever get chance to see him, do it, he’s absolutely brilliant), The Expanse and Z Nation. After this we then headed to Hall H and got to see Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll, The Strain and The Bastard Executioner.

I also got a go on a couple of the experiences over the weekend, though the queues were really really long. I chose The Strain (as it’s one of my favourites atm) and The Last Ship (another fave right now). These were virtual reality experiences. The Strain you put on some goggles, headphones and sat on a chair that moved as you tried to rescue a girl from some vampires. The Last Ship was a VR game experience, so we had the goggles, headphones and an Xbox controller to control the character. This was really fun though really disorientating as it was on the ship and there was the water motion, with this one you had the get through the ship and battle people/situations to find the vial that contained the cure to save the world. These were really great, so if you go to the convention and get chance to take in a couple of experiences then do so. I wish I had time to do more but as I say the queues were crazy some days.

There was one thing I didn’t get chance to see that I wanted to and that was the Cosplay Parade. I would have liked to but it involved a lot of hassle just to find the people walking around with the tickets and then to go queue for a good few hours to try to get a place in the hall (plus the person I was with wasn’t interested in it).

Overall though I have to make a comment on the cosplay at the convention, cosplay is a big part of an event for me, and I have to say I was really disappointed by this convention. By this I do not mean the standard of the cosplay, there were some really fabulous costumes, it was more the lack of cosplayers. Ok so I’m used to the likes of MCM London which I’d say 70% of people are in cosplay so there is a great cosplay community spirit. Where as at SDCC there was probably less than 10% in cosplay, so to me it was a little disappointing.

There just didn’t seem as much interest in cosplay, yes people would stop and talk to you about the show/game your character was from or we would talk to them but it just seemed a little bit meh, like something was missing. I know people will argue I didn’t see the parade, but the parade is only part of cosplaying or maybe it was that I didn't know the cosplay place to go. All I’ll say is if I went to SDCC before any other convention I probably wouldn’t be into cosplay so much and do it so much. This was a big let down for me, as I was really hoping for more.

As I mentioned earlier the city itself comes alive with the convention, the pubs…sorry bars do special deals for convention goers, theme themselves for the event and have special menus etc which is really really cool. The pubs were holding events such as showing programs, give-a-ways, cosplay events and general fandom stuff. Though a word of warning trying to get food after the convention can be pretty tough.

The streets are filled and I mean packed with people its unreal, there’s promotions going on and give-a-ways, there were lots of zombies and the such freaking people out and the police were even there with a display. So in short basically the whole of Downtown becomes a massive comic con party which was absolutely awesome!!!!!

So to round up it is a great convention with its pros and cons. I’d just like to point out even with my gripes earlier, overall the event was really well organised, the queuing systems were well managed and controlled. That said imo the scale of it has become so big, well compared to the UK ones anyway, and even though it has a brilliant community spirit it seemed to lack the personal touch in parts. There is so much to see and do, don’t expect to see it all or do all you’d like to even if you have 5 days worth of ticket, it is absolutely massive.

I met lots of great people there, everyone I spoke to was absolutely lovely, the people are really friendly. I think though with any big event you sometimes attract a bit of the ‘wrong crowd’ which can cause a few issues for the convention goers. I’ve heard about some negative things people say have happened and can understand why these things go on, personally I didn't experience anything that was too bad. I do though however think the event and security need to step up to tackle ongoing problems and concerns.

In general though it’s a great experience and one I’d say to anyone who goes to comic conventions/games conventions should go to once in their lifetime, just to say they’ve been and experience the whole thing as it’s an out of this world, crazy and really different experience!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Movies: Ant-Man (12A), Terminator Genisys (12A), Black Sea (DVD – 15), Son of a Gun (DVD – 15), The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (DVD – U), Get Hard (DVD – 15) & Book of Eli (DVD – 15)

Ant-Man (12A) – what’s it about? Criminal Scott becomes an unlikely superhero when he is given a suit that allows him to shrink to the size of an ant…

This is enjoyable but not one of Marvels best movies, it’s still filled with humour, action and some serious stuff, a good mix. It definitely had its moments! Worth looking at if you like the Marvel universe but don’t expect it to be as awesome as Avengers.

Rating: J J J O

Terminator Genisys (12A) – what’s it about? Reese goes back in time to protect Sarah Connor and stop Skynet from coming to life!

I love the Terminator universe, interesting characters and plot and how everything links together. This movie does the series justice with the inclusion of the different variants of Terminators and gives a bit more to the franchise. Worth seeing if you like the other movies but also as this is a reboot worth it if you haven’t seen them!

Rating: J J J J

Black Sea (DVD – 15) – what’s it about? A team go aboard a submarine and go in search of gold…

This was kind of interesting; it has some good crew interaction of this seedy bunch, their quest for treasure and the mistrust and greed between them. It’s a good and dark treasure hunt movie.

Rating: J J J

Son of a Gun (DVD – 15) – what’s it about? JR gets out of prison and joins up with Lynch and together they go on a gold heist.

This movie is an interesting gem, good story, characters and plot; it is a good look at the criminal underworld. It’s worth looking at if you like crime/robbery type movies.

Rating: J J J

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (DVD – U) – what’s it about? SpongeBob and friends try to get back the secret Krabby Patty formula which has been stolen by a pirate.

This is probably one of the worst movies I’ve seen for a while, it was pretty much torture. I quite like SpongeBob in small doses but this was just too much for me, the story kind of lacked as it was basically just a bad long episode. It’s probably alright for those under the age of 6!

Rating: J

Get Hard (DVD – 15) – what’s it about? King is sentenced to a prison term and is given 30 days to get his life in order; he turns to Darnell to prepare him for his sentence.

Ok this was one of those movies I wasn’t really sure on before watching it but I thought I’d give it a go. It was ok to pass the time, it had it’s moments that were heh funny but nothing that’ll make you roll on the floor in hysterics.

Rating: J J O

Book of Eli (DVD – 15) – what’s it about? In a post apocalyptic world Eli protects a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving mankind.

This is a good movie; it’s an interesting world and the characters are intriguing. There are some good plot bits to this one and also some good twists in it. It’s definitely worth looking at, as its got story and some great fight/action scenes.

Rating: J J J O