Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lexington Comic & Toy Con: This Was A Triumph

I attended a couple of conventions last year which were really well attended, but at Lexington Comic & Toy Convention I got to experience things from the other side: I had my very own booth. For those of you who were there, you know how absolutely busy things were all day long, but that craziness proved to be great success for all those involved. The attendees totaled over 4000! This is a phenomenal turnout considering that this was the first year of the convention and LCTC was only held for one day, from 10 - 5. With only 250 VIP tickets sold, that is an amazing figure. I was so impressed by the costumes that people were wearing. They ran the spectrum of Marvel and DC, Soviet Russian, and many, many Mandalorians!

The day was full of events for the con-goers like a Q & A panel with the Power Rangers as well as panels with Mike Grell and Mark Ryan, an MMA demonstration from Jason David Frank, and the costume contest. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend any of those, but I did get to talk to so many wonderful people at the KGG table. I want to personally thank everyone for stopping by and saying hello. I hope everyone enjoys the GEEKSOAP, shot glasses, t-shirts, and mugs. I really appreciate the interest so hopefully there will be something just as awesome!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

LCTC Spotlight: Gears and Glass Guy


I'm not sure if I'd said it before, but I love Steampunk. As a history major, I'm drawn to all things inspired by particular time periods. If you're a fan of Steampunk, then definitely stop by to see David Underwood, the Gears and Glass Guy. After attending Dragon*Con several years ago, he was inspired to make his own Steampunk creations. His prices are affordable and all of his pieces are original and hand-assembled. Take a look at his Etsy shop and stop by to see him at Lexington Comic and Toy Convention tomorrow!

Friday, March 23, 2012

EPIC GIVEAWAY: lots of free stuff from KGG at LCTC!

 Alrighty folks, the time has come where I let you all know the details of the giveaways that I'll be doing at Lexington Comic & Toy Convention! Some great people have graciously donated items for me to give away, so I'll be having giveaways every hour beginning at 11:00 AM (the second hour of the convention.) Items include: Batman soap from GEEKSOAP.net and prizes from The Morris Bookshop, Apex Publications, and DriveThruRPG.com

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

After having read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins a few months ago, I began to eagerly await the movie along with everyone else. I was drawn to the narrative that Collins had created and the way readers are able to empathize with Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist, as she navigates her way through her life as a citizen of Panem: from District 12, to the Capitol, and finally into the Arena. Panem, the former North America, has fallen into a post-nuclear, dystopian society in which a totalitarian government has replaced the democracy that once existed. The Capitol is surrounded by twelve outlying districts, each of which provides material goods which are in turn used by the Capitol to maintain its standing as a marvel of technological and cultural wonder. In order to keep stability and prevent uprisings in the districts, 74 years before the action of the book/movie takes place, a treaty was signed which instituted a "pageant" that would ultimately prove that The Capitol is still superior to the districts in every way: each district would send two young people into an arena to fight to the death in The Hunger Games. A total of 24 teenagers enter the arena, but only one will emerge victorious.

LCTC Spotlight: Apex Publications

 Apex Publications, based in Lexington, is a media publication company that produces an online magazine and print works of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. The company has been in operation for ten years and is owned by Jason Sizemore. Beginning with a digest of short fiction, Apex has grown over the years and now produces the online magazine of science fiction as well as print novels, anthologies, and short stories.

Jason says that some of his earliest memories include watching films such as The Exorcist, The Thing, and Alien with his mom during their weekly movie nights. He has drawn a significant amount of inspiration from these horror and science fiction classics and cites storytellers such as John Carpenter as heroes. Apex was formed after he became interested in publishing his own fiction. Though he says that he has always enjoyed writing, it wasn't until he was in his teens and twenties that he started to pursue it. Now, Apex has a stable of authors, editors, and designers who produce works including the newly released Machine, which was written by Jennifer Pelland. Apex Publications is currently seeking authors based in Kentucky.

In promoting Apex Publications, Jason says that he attends eight to twelve conventions per years. This weekend, he'll be at Lexington Comic & Toy Convention and will have books available for purchase. Among his favorite conventions are MidSouth Con in Memphis, which he says is the farthest he's traveled for a convention.

The Apex Book of World SF Volume 2, an anthology of science fiction, will be released in April, and pre-orders are available now. It features works by international authors Will Elliot, Hannu Rajaniemi, Shweta Narayan, Lauren Beukes, Ekaterina Sedia, Nnedi Okorafor, and Andrzej Sapkowski. The anthology was edited by World Fantasy Award nominated editor Lavie Tidhar. Works by Apex are availble in print, epub, mobi, and pdf and are highly convenient for readers of all preferences. 

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Jason at LCTC! Check out the website for Apex Publications for more information about upcoming releases and other news.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic (September 14, 2008)
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: The Hunger Games (Book 1)
Source: E-book/Kindle Fire
ISBN-13: 9780439023481
Genre: Dystopia

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I will be the first person to admit that I put off reading this book. When I first heard about it earlier last year, I kind of dismissed it, but I was definitely judging the book before I even read the synopsis. I knew that it was popular and I knew that everyone liked it, but I had to see for myself exactly why. I was able to download the lending copy of this book onto my Kindle Fire and actually the digital edition was quite good. The book was a very fast read and I quickly found myself in the dystopian world that Suzanne Collins had created. One of the reasons that I liked the book so much was that she was able to take North America and completely wear it down into the new country of Panem, where the Capitol exploits its citizens and the 12 Districts provide the materials needed for the Capitol to maintain its luxurious lifestyle. While denizens of the Capitol enjoy haute-couture and parties, those in the districts are mostly living in poverty. That's especially the case in District 12, where we find Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of the story.

By now, we've all seen in the trailer that Katniss announces that she'll volunteer in The Reaping, where the two district entrants for the Hunger Games are chosen. With this introduction to Katniss, we immediately see that she is extremely protective of her family.  She has largely become the provider for them, going out to hunt with her closest friend Gale. We learn that her father died in an accident at the coal mine, leaving Katniss, Primrose (Prim), and their mother to provide for themselves. Through trading her wild game in the Hob, Katniss is able to obtain the meager provisions that help her family to sustain themselves. She also takes out the tesserae, which provides    enough oil and grain for her family for a month. That also puts her name in for The Reaping more times than normal. Her self-sacrifice allows her family to hang on and when she volunteers for The Hunger Games, in the forefront of her mind is the prospect of her family being well taken care of if she wins.

Collins presents Katniss as a character who is both completely unsure of herself and incredibly strong at the same time. She acts on instinct most of the time, and while it may seem to her mentors that she is hopeless, Katniss begins to emerge as a figure who can completely change the system. And it becomes clear that her fellow tribute, Peeta, has his own opinions of the Capitol and asserts that he wants to still be himself even with the horrific and brutal fighting of the Games. It's hard for her to discern his true feelings, and she struggles with her emotions toward both Peeta and Gale. Peeta is, however, incredibly calculating and he knows exactly how to play the Games. Both of the male protagonists come to play an important role in her life and their love triangle isn't simply a plot device, rather it actually drives the story and drives her motivation to win.

I really enjoyed this book and was very glad to have finally read it. There really is no minor character in this book. Each is given their own distinct personality and I am eager to see how the film adaptation captures the eccentricities of the characters. She captures each of the Districts and the Capitol with vivid descriptions, though it's obvious that life in District 12 is bleak. The pacing of the story was great and I found myself having devoured the book quickly. Though the movie premieres in just two days, I highly recommend everyone reading the book.

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Check out KGG on Completely Comics: Bonus Episode: Completely Who Is Under The Hood?

I know that Will and Troy of Completely Comics are as excited about Lexington Comic & Toy Convention as I am, so I phoned in to the show let them know what I'll be doing at the convention: giving away free stuff! They'll be roaming the floor at the convention so be sure to say hello!

On this bonus episode of Completely Comics, the guys talk about the season finale of The Walking Dead that aired on Sunday (AND HOLY COW WHAT A CRAZY EPISODE IT WAS!) and answer some of the questions that were raised.  Please note that the episode does contain spoilers, so be sure to listen to it when you've watched Sunday's finale.

I talked  to them about the giveaways that I'll have at LCTC, including GEEKSOAP, as well as items from Apex Publications and Morris Bookshop. Look for a post later with the specifics about what you can win! HUGE thanks to Troy and Will for having me on again.

In addition to this week's bonus episode, be sure to check out their convention preview, where they talk to Jarrod Greer, the organizer of LCTC!

Check out their website, Facebook, and Twitter pages for more info!

LCTC Spotlight: Beaucoup Pop

A few months ago, I finally met the wonderful team of Beaucoup Pop after a year of reading their blog and listening to the podcast. They've been hugely supportive of Kentucky Geek Girl and it's awesome to be part of the Lexington geek scene with them. BP is a podcast in which the hosts Justin, Tressa, Matt, and Kerry share their loves: movies, comics, music, books, anime, video games, TV, manga, board games. Like with what I like to do here at KGG, they pimp out the things that they think are awesome on their weekly podcast and through their blog. You can subscribe to their podcast through iTunes or listen to it on their Libsyn page! While they do have a page which you can like, the real action takes place in their group on Facebook. You can also follow them on Twitter for updates in 140 characters.

Monday, March 19, 2012

LCTC Spotlight: Kenn Minter

Lexington comic artist Kenn Minter will be among the 200 vendors at Lexington Comic & Toy Convention. Minter just held a signing at The Morris Bookshop to promote the release of his new book Tales of the Emerald Yeti #1. The artist is a Lexington resident who is also behind I'm Not From Here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pardon the dust

Friends, it's probably not hard to see that there have been a lot of changes made around here the last few days. I wanted to wait until I'd prepared everything to unveil the new awesomeness that had been in store for Kentucky Geek Girl all at once, but I was too excited to keep it a secret. (Full disclosure: that is a character flaw.) Anyway, I wanted to throw up a little post to let you know that the changes are not all complete and there may be some broken links, some dust flying, but things will be back to normal very soon, because LEXINGTON COMIC AND TOY CONVENTION IS ONE WEEK AWAY! Holy convention season Batman! It's here!

So, while I have you captivated, why don't I just share some stuff? First of all, I will have 2 more sets passes to the convention to give away. The details aren't fully in place yet, I just know that y'all have to work for it. It will be fun. Trust me.

Speaking of giving away free, awesome stuff. Lesley of Geek Soap and I have partnered for the convention to provide some freebies to convention goers. I'll have some soap up for grabs on Saturday, but again, you're going to have to work for it. Look for details in the coming days. I'm also going to have some neat stuff from The Morris Bookshop and Apex Publications available to win. I'm seeing what else we can rustle up so stay tuned for all of those details.

Also in the next week, I'm going to have some previews of folks who will be part of the convention in some way. Exhibitors, vendors, guests, you name it. Look for that!

And finally, as you can see, there's a rather awesome new avatar for the site. Said logo, which I will affectionately call Mini Me, was designed by the extremely talented Michael Parsons. He's a Kentucky native who runs his own site Geekasms which is full of fun nerdity. Words really cannot express how thankful I am for his time and hard work to help facilitate this transformation of the site. Check out his site and if you're looking for a graphic designer, definitely contact him because he is simply awesome! She really looks like me and it's kind of eery. Even my mom approves. So, yay for Michael and his awesome work. A million thanks to him!

So, yeah, that's about it. I'm a bit behind on the reviewing, having seen some pretty good movies in the  last few weeks. I'm thinking about maybe doing some video reviews or videos in general. That might be fun! Yay! Just be patient while I get all of these aesthetic kinks worked out. I'm excited for the future, so just hang on with me!

Be sure to give me some feedback. I'd really appreciate it!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Is An Elder Scrolls MMO Announcement Coming In May?

You can find this and other articles by me at Word of the Nerd Online!

After the success of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there has been a tremendous amount of speculation as to the likelihood of Bethesda Game Studios releasing an Elder Scrolls MMO. Take off the tinfoil hats, folks, because there may be an announcement sooner than you think. Kotaku, via Tom's Guide, has late-breaking news that the makers of Oblivion will be unveiling their plans to market a massively-multiplayer game based on their Elder Scrolls franchise. Now, there are few details at this point, but it looks as if Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios will be making their announcement in May.

Of the few details that have been leaked, where this game would fit on the Elder Scrolls timeline seems to be the most important. Sources are reporting that it would take place a full millennium before Skyrim, during the "Second Era", which basically places it several hundreds of years before any of the current Elder Scrolls games. As of now, there will be three factions. It's not clear where each of the playable races of the current Elder Scrolls will fit into each of these factions, or if all races will be able to choose their own faction.

One detail that seems not to have surfaced at this point is the subscription model. With so many games going free-to-play, one can't help but wonder if an Elder Scrolls MMO would hang with the likes of World of Warcraft and Star Wars the Old Republic. The trajectory of the industry seems to be placing more and more games into a free-to-play model, but time will tell when details of Elder Scrolls Online are fully revealed!

Check back for any news as it develops!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Legend of Korra gets a release date and new trailer!

I first watched Avatar: The Last Airbender a couple of summers ago. Using my powers of the Fire nation, I burned right through the series and I was so sad that when I watched the finale. When I found out that there was going to be a new series on Nickelodeon, I rejoiced with the masses. As of today, we finally know how much longer fans will have to wait: the new series The Legend of Korra will premiere on April 14! Check out the brand new trailer after the break.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kickstarter Spotlight: A CONvoluted Story

I love conventions, you love conventions, and so do the good folks at The New Normal Productions. If you're a convention goer or just like hearing about them from others, then A CONvoluted story is the documentary for you. They can only do it, however, with your support on Kickstarter. Their project will take them to several science fiction/comic conventions in 2012 (including Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, better known as C2E2, HeroesCon, New York Comic Con and Dragon*Con) where they will interview attendees and discover what draws people to conventions. Whether its the ability to meet like-minded geeks, cosplay, or finally to meet your childhood idol, Bryan, Bex, Proffitt, and Jason will explore what brings geeks together and allows them to let their geek flags fly.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lexington Native to Appear in Downton Abbey Season 3

The Season 2 finale of Downton Abbey aired just a few weeks ago on KET and now Downton Abbey fans will wait at least 11 months until the third season premieres. For those who have been not indoctrinated into the Downton Abbey fandom, it is PBS Masterpiece Classics series which centers around the life of an aristocratic family and their servants in Great Britain. The family has weathered the storm that was the first two decades of the 20th century including the Titanic, World War I, and personal scandal. The series has become such a hit and many Kentuckians will be delighted to know that one of our own has been cast in the third season.

Lucille Sharp, 21, is a Lexington native who attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) from 4th grade until 10th grade. After finished her high school career at Interlochen School for Performing Arts in Michigan, Sharp moved to London where she has been pursuing an acting career. Sharp looks a great deal like Michelle Dockery who plays Lady Mary Crawley on the series, so she definitely could pass as a Crawley cousin. However, her role will be Miss Reid, the maid of Lady Cora's mother, Martha Levinson. Shirley MacClaine will be debuting in that role when Season 3 premieres in early 2013.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Geeks Who Care: Ways To Help Tornado Victims

On Friday, the state of Kentucky was devastated by the worst tornado outbreak in over 20 years. West Liberty, located in Morgan County, was among the hardest hit. Please consider lending a hand with the relief efforts. If you're able to, I implore you to donate blood with the American Red Cross or Kentucky Blood Center. You can also text "Red Cross" to 90999 to donate $10 for relief efforts.