In recent years, I have become increasingly more active in the comic con scene. I wish I started going these wonderful events earlier on in my life but it looks like we have a perfect case of “better late than never” here. It all started in 2010 when I attended my first New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in Manhattan. I was born and raised in Queens so attending NYCC was just a matter of time and oh, how glad I am that I went. This soon opened the door for many other comic cons, events which attracted geeks, nerds and sci-fi/fantasy fans from all corners of the world. I met people I never thought I would and how happy I was to finally be in an environment where my love for 80s movies and action figures was accepted. Most recently I attended Hartford Con in the XL Center in Connecticut and what a joy it was.
Childhood is something most of us all remember, many with fondness and a deep love of the things and people around us. Nostalgia can be very powerful and it can transport us to different times just thinking about the cartoons, movies and toys that occupied our lives at those moments. Comic and toy conventions have been growing more and more in recent years and one such convention, Retro Con, has been joining in on the fun for a few years now. Located at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania and going on September 12th and the 13th, it is a venue in which many vendors, celebrities and events can take place and fill the air with positive energy and limitless fun.
There are many classic sci-fi franchises out there this day and age, many films and TV shows which, over the years, have generated fan bases whose numbers might seem rather insane. In 1984, director Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters took the world by storm and since then, legions of fans have flocked to Comic Cons, parades and charity events. The number of fans keeps growing and with the film turning 30-years-old last year and an upcoming reboot currently in production, the franchise seems to be stronger than ever. A new documentary, courtesy of filmmaker Brendan Mertens, is also being released next year and it promises to highlight the fandom that Ghostbusters has unleashed. Ghostheads is due out next year and with the participation of fans across the planet, it is looking to be quite a film event.
In 1981, the horror film genre was introduced to a new kind of horror. It was a film that relied on cheap gimmicks, unique makeup effects and a young actor who was terrorized all throughout the movie as well as its two superior sequels. That young actor, of course, is Bruce Campbell and ever since The Evil Dead, the actor has been an icon for the genre, big chin and all. Like most Comic Cons, Mr. Campbell was in attendance at Wizard World Chicago, not only to ham it up to his many adoring fans but to play host to a fun event and to plug his latest shows on the small screen.
“In a world…” and “One man…” are two of the most overly used opening lines in film trailer history. The film trailer establishes the tone and sets the mood of a movie in no more than two minutes. It is a marketing tool that draws audiences in and puts butts in movie theater seats. Just about every movie has one and more often than not, they can be pretty stupid. The online comedy group (and sensation) Screen Junkies knows this all too well and takes advantage of this by editing these short videos and adds their own commentary. Think of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and you have “Honest Trailers”, a brutally honest take on many of today and yesterday’s ridiculous film trailers.
The terms “geek” and “nerd” used to be something of an insult, labels that denote someone who is introverted, an outsider and just plain uncool but in the last decade or so, these terms have changed and altered society’s perception. Now, these labels seem to describe the very opposite, people who shine brightly in the spotlight and are the very essence of “cool”. Comic Cons across the country have celebrated the greatness of people who appreciate pop culture in all its wonderful glory. Wizard World Comic Con Chicago just took place last weekend and people from all over the world participated in its greatness.
Technology has always helped guide film and bring it to new heights. Since the beginning of the motion picture camera, people have enjoyed the delights of sound and image. 2015 is seeing even more advanced forms of cinematic storytelling especially at Queens, New York’s Museum of the Moving Image, which has most recently played host to an exciting new exhibition. That exhibition is Sensory Stories, a fully immersive and revolutionary film experience that not only takes audiences on a visual and auditory adventure but also stimulates touch and smell. All of the senses (with the exception of taste) are treated to a truly technological and artistic “trip”.