Rhode Island Comic Con 2014

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This year’s Rhode Island Comic Con was a general success.  The Comic Con attendance greatly exceeded the organizer’s expected turnout compared to all prior years.  In fact, the Rhode Island Convention Center exceeded their expected numbers compared to all other events… ever!  (Nerd pride.)  However, the convention was not without problems.  You can read about the over-capacity debacle here:

http://nerd-base.com/2014/11/02/rhode-island-comic-con-2014-exceeds-capacity-fans-stuck-out-in-the-rain/

But for now, let’s focus on the other experiences, which were generally positive.  The con took place on November 1st – 2nd with a Halloween party the night before (on Halloween).  The party was decently attended.  I enjoyed the drink list which had tasty choices such as the Ecto-1, the Ooze, and the Beetlegeuise.  And of course, it was a great place for the cosplay to begin.

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Rhode Island Comic Con 2014 Exceeds Capacity! Fans Stuck Out in the Rain.

Congratulations to The Rhode Island Comic Con organization for blowing way past their turn-out in 2013, on Saturday alone! However, it seems that the Rhode Island Convention Center wasn’t ready for the big leagues.

On November 1st, 2014, a little prior to 3pm, the RI State Fire Marshall shut down the registration area of the Convention Center due to the Center reaching capacity This meant that no one new was allowed to enter the RI Comic Con.

I was covering the convention for Nerd-Base. On Saturday, I arrived prior to the debacle. However, I never received a convention program. I inquired with RICC staff where I could get pick one up and was directed down to the first floor, where registration takes place. Now, the convention events themselves took place on all floors above the first such as the vendor floor, panels, signings, etc. No one stopped me from going down that escalator. After all, I had my pass, other people had bracelets, and all seemed good. However, as I and others traveled down that escalator, it was clear that something was very wrong.

Ain't right anyway.

Ain’t right anyway.

Once at the bottom we entered a mob. Not just any mob. But a mob of angry fanatics… a collective tinder box of bat-men, teenage turtles, and Sith lords. Not even an army of Deadpools could break the 4th wall of comedy in this situation. I pushed through the crowd to an area that security had roped off.

“No one is allowed in.”
“I just came down,” I said. “I was told that I should get a program down here.”
“I’m sorry but we’ve reached capacity. I can’t let anyone in.”

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Not only are the police, fire department, and Convention Center management trying to handle the situation… but the Borg have been called in as well.

Apparently, the State Fire Marshall shut down any new attendees from entering … or rather ANY attendees. That included people that went looking for programs, anyone that pre-ordered a ticket, anyone that JUST bought a ticket, and anyone that went outside for even a smoke. Heck, I was told that Gold member VIP’s that shelled out over $300 for a ticket weren’t allowed in! What does that mean? That means I was in a packed room full of really angry people with even more angry people lined up down West Exchange St. outside in the freezing rain.  Even worse than that, I talked to vendors and artists that couldn’t get back in to man their unattended tables such as famed artist J. David Spurlock (Vanguard Productions) who walked out earlier to get lunch!  (He managed to sneak back in).  I was also told that invited guests could not get in but it was unconfirmed who those guests were.  Sure, let’s just see what happens when we don’t let people see the William Shatner panel.  q_q

People standing in the freezing rain.

People standing in the freezing rain.

I began asking questions from convention staff and security and police.  No one seemed to actually know what the capacity of the Center was.  I was told by multiple people that only the room capacities were  known but not the hallways in-between.  Some numbers were thrown around for how many were already inside…  16,000 people…. 18,000…. 20,000.  It became clear that the Convention Center was completely unprepared for a single event of this magnitude.  In fact, I was told by many sources that the Comic Con was the only (and largest) event to ever exceed the Center’s capacity.  Nerd pride!  However, that didn’t help the situation.  I think that once the officials saw me taking pictures and asking questions, then went away into a private room.  Perhaps they realized they had a problem as more people filled the lobby.  The solution?  Kick them ALL out into the freezing rain.

For the next approximately two hours, people could not get in to the convention, let along the lobby.  Then slowly, they began to filter them in as others left.

I’m not really sure who is to blame here.  Perhaps the Rhode Island Comic Con folks ignored a capacity cap.  I think it is more likely that the Convention Center was truly unprepared.  Perhaps the Fire Marshall was just having a bad day.  To be fair, in the middle of the day, things became a bit crowded in the vendor room.   However, not so much that I felt like things got out of control… not like NYCC 2014 anyway.

Earlier in the vendor room.

Earlier in the RICC vendor room.

In any case, I think matters were handled fairly poorly.  A riot situation was not impossible.  I was told by staffers that there was no mechanism in place for ticket refunds.  It all added up badly.  Luckily for everyone involved, nothing terrible occurred.

…and I snuck back in too.

Confucius

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The movie Confucius is obviously based on the historical person of the same name, founder of the philosophical movement of Confucianism.  Personally, I know a little about Confucianism but really less than I’d like to.   Therefore, this movie appeals to someone like me. However, I must admit, beyond a simple Wikipedia search, I don’t really know how much of the movie is autobiographically accurate and how many liberties were taken. Based on my meager prior knowledge and the wiki-gods, the movie seems to draw on true events and stories. I’m sure others will disagree. Having said all that, I really learned a lot.

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My NYCC panel experience

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This year at New York Comic Con I think I spent more time in panels than I ever had before. Part of that is because I was usually standing in line for sometimes up to 3 hours to get into a the panel which caused me to miss out on other interesting panels my line wait conflicted with.  This year the max I waited for anything was about an hour, and I think I got into everything I actually wanted to.

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NYCC ’14 Breaking News! Marvel Releases Netflix “Daredevil” Costume!

Marvel has released the first image of what Daredevil’s costume will look like in the upcoming Netflix series.
Black suit and bloody fists, looks very reminiscent of a combination of the black Daredevil costume from his first live action appearance in the TV movie Trial of the Incredible Hulk and Marvel’s Noir series.
(This will be updated later when they release the actual image.)
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*******UPDATE!! THE FIRST OFFICIAL IMAGE HAS BEEN RELEASED!!*******

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Behold! Charlie Cox as Daredevil!

NYCC dropping the ball in 2014?

It seems like there have been several issues with NYCC this year, starting with ticket issues, where 3 and 4 day passes sold out in record time, only to be sold by scalpers on eBay later.  For the most part I don’t have a huge issues with this.  It’s a difficult situation to manage because scalpers have pretty much ruined any event the same way, unless they take draconian steps like San Diego comic con has, which is also extremely hard to get tickets to.   NYCC has made some pretty big changes this year, and some decisions we can’t really judge until the convention is over with, but one thing I’m against is NY Super Week.  On the surface NY Super Week seemed like a potentially good idea, but now it feels like a scam.

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Nerd Babes: Charme

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Nerd-Base’s newest Nerd Babe is the gorgeous and geeky Charme! I met Charme when we both worked for popular Philadelphia radio station 93.3 WMMR as promotional models. Charme is fun, smart, beautiful, and of course nerdy. She also has a ton of beautiful tattoos, is an amazing graphic designer, and recently became a sex therapist! Charme really is the whole package, and we’re lucky to have her as a Nerd Babe on Nerd-Base.com!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am Charme! I am petite, half-Filipino and have a ton of tattoos. I met Amanda while working for WMMR 93.3 and we created the infamous Gadzooks ice cream video! I just graduated with a Masters in Couple and Family Therapy (focus on sex therapy) and I also have a BFA in Graphic Design and do that part time. I am big into yoga, and although I am introverted and shy, I love meeting new people. Other loves include food, fat cats, big headed dogs, boobs, beer and whisky. 
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