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Jul 222014
 

by Karina “Cinerina” Montgomery, contributing writer

If you’re just now joining this series, we have already discussed tips for out-of-towners, tips and tricks to make things easier, and attitude and manners. As you know, Preview night is TOMORROW and then it’s four wonderful days of action, adventure, spending, crowds, lines, and fun. Find a meet-up for your favorite group of folks, be it Marvel or DC cosplayers, Trekkers, Browncoats, Twihards, Steampunks, Homestuck, Furries, Night Vale, Sleepyheads – there’s something for everyone. Or rove the con like a leaf on the wind – sometimes that leads to the best accidental discoveries.

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I’ve said a lot before about pacing yourself but this is Comic-Con! You can sleep Monday when you call in with nerd flu. Live it up – you have no idea how many people could not get tickets to this event.

HowYouFeelMOnday

Uh oh! Someone’s got a case of the Mondays!

Wireless access at SDCC

A con-goer’s best friend

Communications Officer

Wireless access: It’s there! A booster antenna is planted every few feet in the convention center, but your fellow nerds have a LOT of tech, so it’s pretty glutted. Your batteries will drain faster than normal no matter how good they are. Post responsibly. That said, if you get a picture of yourself with Nathan Fillion giving you a high five, POST THAT IMMEDIATELY! The 4GB video of the cast of Falling Skies talking about script revisions: that can wait until you get back to wherever you’re staying. Public transportation in San Diego does not have wireless access. This means using Twitter to let people know where you are will be time delay nightmare. Text, or better yet plan ahead.

Don't let this happen to you.

Don’t let this happen to you.

 

Quiet offsite places and/or good places to set pre-determined rendezvous points: Nerd HQ, Petco Park, the Sails Pavilion, the Mezzanine, the patio, the big steps on the front of the convention center, or one of the bars and restaurants nearby.

Your badge is a treasure coveted by many: keep an eye on it, and when entering restricted areas, have it out and ready to scan, even if you tuck it inside your costume to keep your cosplay pure. Badge access gets you into a lot of things, but there is a lot that goes on around the convention center that does not require a badge. Explore downtown and see all the fun stuff going on outside the convention center. Catch a concert or a show!

 

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Julie, Your Cruise Director says plan, but don’t over-plan

By now you should already have looked at the programming schedule online. So now you are probably going “OK, at 2 there is this and at 3 there is this…” slow down, partner. Definitely add everything you want to do into MySched or on your iPhone/Android – it’s a phenomenal tool to use when the schedule is as varied and packed as SDCC’s is – but be sure to allow for travel time, bathroom or food breaks, and just be realistic. When will you even get to the vendor floor, where all the good people watching is? There is a ton of stuff to actually do down there, too, it’s not just shopping.

 

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Fill up your schedule with stuff you want to see, and then pick out the ones that you really don’t want to miss. Or things that you are cool with seeing that are right before the thing you MUST see. And then line up some alternates in case the room is full or you get waylaid. Flexibility is key. You don’t want to Hulk out and ruin your own day.

 

Rest. Sit. Eat. Hydrate. Mints.

Walking around talking and snacking all day, cheering your fan favorites, or just gaping at all the wonders will give you sewer breath. Bring some mints and don’t be shy about sharing with those in need. It’s all about getting along.

Don’t make me call security.

Bring sunscreen! Sharing is caring.

Most true nerds come with a “Keep out of direct sunlight” label affixed to them somewhere, but at San Diego Comic Con, especially if you wait to get into Ballroom 20 or Hall H (or any offsite location), you will be in the sun, and it can burn you pretty quickly. I go into some additional detail about things to pack in part 2 of this series, but really, sunscreen cannot be dismissed.

When in line: keep a small footprint, keep the line tight so they can fit as many as possible without interrupting foot traffic flow around you. A gap means someone might not get in. Would you want that to be you? Be cool and help your compatriots out if they are alone and need to zip away for a bathroom break. Buy a loyal line buddy a snow cone if they hold your place.

This is the best place in the world to interact with fellow fans and chat with folks. Don’t just hide in your phone! You can tweet later about how you wish you had a hat or sunscreen right now.

DO NOT PUT YOUR BAGS IN THE CHAIR next to you unless you are for real saving a seat for a real person who is really coming. If you must sit on an aisle, put your stuff in your seat and stand up so everyone can squeeze in.

 

 

 

Cheap and awesome!

Cheap and awesome!

Darsek, Spice, GIL, Kalganids, Galleons, Crindars, Septim, and Credits

I’m here to tell you, if you aren’t tightly disciplined, it’s very hard to not spend more than you planned at Comic-Con. Whether it’s a chance to buy an autograph unexpectedly to the perfect t-shirt that sums up your personal philosophy, you’re going to buy stuff you didn’t intend to. Thanks to the future, many (but not all) vendor floor merchants can accept Square or a few similar phone-based payment services. Bring a bunch of one dollar bills for buying things like pins or stickers; using your debit card for that is just mean. Get registered with Square ahead of time (choosing email receipt by default) and you can make your transaction faster for everyone. You can also get into their system by using Square with your intended card at a restaurant or some such before you come to SDCC.

Exploration Achievements

Despite the masses of humanity surging around you, enjoy it! It’s always an adventure but it doesn’t have to be miserable if you prepare. Being in a place with a trillion like-minded people who love what you love can be a unique and wonderful experience. Even if you are a person who is not into crowds, once you pick up your badge and actually enter the event, there is a place for you to enjoy yourself.

Do enjoy all the crannies, even if they might not appear to be your thing. The comics aisles are quiet and relaxing after all the crowds, and you might find the most unexpected things. Small Press is my favorite section of the vendor floor – it’s artists selling their wares directly to you, often self-published, or crafts/toys/art they have made themselves. It’s a great way to find exciting new titles or just awesome buttons. And meet Eisner-winners who are just sweet guys!

Final tip

Don’t forget your towel, and be awesome!

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Jul 192014
 
Actor and Burbank International Film Festival director Jeff Rector is also the spokeman for the Academy of Science Fiction and Horror Film.

Actor and Burbank International Film Festival director Jeff Rector is also the spokeman for the Academy of Science Fiction and Horror Film.

On The Event Horizon tonight at 9PM Pacific / 12AM Eastern, we are pleased to welcome Jeff Rector.  He’s the president and director of the Burbank International Film Festival, and the spokesperson for the Academy of Science Fiction and Horror Films, the latter being the organization that puts on the Saturn Awards every year.

Here are the show times:

Tune in to hear the show at any of these air times:

  • 5AM Pacific / 8AM Eastern
Saturday, July 19
Sunday, July 20
Thursday, July 24
  •  9PM Pacific / 12PM Eastern
Saturday, July 19
  • 4PM Pacific / 7PM Eastern
Thursday, July 24

If you manage to miss every one of these showtimes, you can still download the show as a podcast after July 26.  It’ll be on Stitcher, on iTunes, and here on the Krypton Radio web site. The Event Horizon - it’s Sci-Fi for your Wifi.

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Jul 032014
 
Death-Star-Destroys-Enterprise

You often read about how the software used by the visual effects industry has gotten so cheap and so ubiquitous that people can do it at home on their desktop computers.  What most people don’t realize is that desktop computers are precisely what the motion picture industry has been using to do these effects for more than 30 years now, starting very famously with the J. Michael Straczynksi television series Babylon 5, which did all of its visual effects using Lightwave 3D running on computers no more glamorous than a 486.  In the beginning, they weren’t even doing this on Pentium class machines, and those are so ancient now that most users don’t even know what they were.

Today’s offering has resurfaced since the first piece of it made its debut five years ago.  The producers at IGN filled out some more of it and it got posted a year ago, and now it’s making the rounds again – but we’re betting it’s the first time you’ve seen it.  This is too cool and too well done not to spend the two minutes to look at.

From a visual effects standpoint, this is nearly flawless.  Only one or two effects ring hollow, mostly having to do with transporter effects and whales in San Francisco Bay, and one particular explosion at the end fell a bit flat.  However, the quality is certainly well within the boundaries one would expect from a major theatrical motion picture, and the tracking, matchmoving, compositing and lighting on the models inserted into the scenes is as good as you’ll ever, ever see.

Unfortunately, information on exactly who did all this work is a bit on the thin side, which, given the magnitude of the achievement, we find very surprising.

We know that this is a work of fiction though.  Seriously.  The White House turned down the idea of building a real Deathstar, so there won’t be one to blast the Enterprise into smithereens.

We loved watching this.  We know you will too.

Enjoy.

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Jun 012014
 
jaylake

Science fiction author Jay Lake

Jay Lake passed this morning, June 1 at 5:45 in the presence of family — and surrounded by the best wishes of a large portion of the science fiction community.  He was 50.

He wrote prolifically and in many formats – nine novels as well as hundreds of shorter form pieces for Postscripts, Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Strange Horizons, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Nemonymous, and the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. He was an editor for the “Polyphony” anthology series from Wheatland Press, and was also a contributor to the Internet Review of Science Fiction.

Lake’s illness started in his colon but progressed into his lungs and liver, resisting multiple treatment courses. The documentary Lakeside — A Year With Jay Lake following the course of his struggle had an in-progress screening at the 2013 Worldcon and will be released this year.

A fundraiser by fellow writers and fans, Acts of Whimsy raised money not for another specific treatment, but instead for Jay’s genome to be mapped.

Lake said to Jeff Baker of The Oregonian, “I’m open-sourcing my genome so that scientists and doctors as well as hobbyists and students can have access to a full human genome, which is very difficult to find right now … I haven’t been able to help myself very much so maybe I can help some other people.”

Somebody could study that and come up with something that will save the world.

“That’s exactly right. That’s why I want to give it away, so that somebody else can help save the world. If that becomes true then I have triumphed over my disease. Even if I’m not here to know it. My daughter will know. You will know. Everybody will know.”

Memorial contributions may be donated to Clayton Memorial Medical Fund c/o OSFCI P.O. Box 5703 Portland, Oregon 97228.

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Jun 012014
 
René Auberjonois

René Auberjonois

by Nur Hussein, contributing writer

Today we wish to extend a very happy birthday greeting to René Auberjonois, the actor whom we know and love from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where he primarily played shapeshifting alien, Odo.

Auberjonois was born in New York in 1940. His father was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and his grandfather was a post-Impressionist painter. He is related to Napoleon Bonaparte on his mother’s side.

Theatre was where Auberjonois’s early acting career started, and he has appeared all over the United States, including Broadway where he starred alongside Katherine Hepburn in the 1969 production Coco. He earned a Tony award for that role. In 1970, Auberjonois starred in the film version of M*A*S*H as Father Mulcahy. Since then he has appeared in numerous films and television shows.

Auberjonois’s foray into Star Trek actually started with a film role in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where he played Colonel West, a Starfleet conspirator in the Chancellor Gorkon assasination. His scenes however did not appear in the theatrical release, but were later restored on home video releases.

The Star Trek role that everyone knows Auberjonois for is Constable Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, an alien with shapeshifting abilities (a Changeling) from the Gamma Quadrant. His character was the chief of security on the Deep Space Nine station, and his race of people were featured heavily in the series’ mythology arc that spanned multiple seasons. Besides Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Auberjonois also guest-starred in one episode of Star Trek Enterprise as the character Ezral.

Auberjonois’s other genre roles include guest roles on the Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Stargate SG1 and Warehouse 13. Outside of genre, he was a series regular on Boston Legal alongside other Star Trek alumni such as William Shatner and Jeri Ryan. He has also done extensive voice acting work, the most famous of which is probably the character of Chef Louis from Disney’s animated film, The Little Mermaid. He has also lent his voice talent for book narrations, and has narrated many of the Pendergast series of novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

René Auberjonois has had a very long and fruitful career, and we wish him many more productive years ahead. Happy birthday!

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May 302014
 

LBCEby Hannah Carter, contributing writer

It’s almost time for Long Beach Comic Expo! This celebration of comics and pop culture is held every spring at the Long Beach Convention Center. Saturday, May 31 (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) and Sunday, June 1 (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.), con-goers will be able to experience noteworthy works by writers, artists, illustrators, and creators from various genres.

Long Beach Comic Expo (LBCE) features guest speakers, meet-and-greet panels, art exhibitions, and more. The extensive guest list includes comic book artists like Scott Koblish (known mostly for his work on the Deadpool series for Marvel Comics), Todd Nauck (an artist and writer who has worked on several Spider-man series for Marvel and a few Teen Titans series for DC comics, in addition to his original series, Wildguard), Tone Rodriguez (a primary artist for Bongo Comics, which publishes comics related to Futurama and The Simpsons), and Tony Fleecs (a recurring artist in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series). Gerry Conway (co-creator of The Punisher, Firestorm, and Power Girl and author of the Spider-man story The Night Gwen Stacy Died) will be returning to LBCE this year. Professional cosplayers Ani-Mia, Las Vegas Power Girl, and LeeAnna Vamp will also be attending.

LBCE has one of the largest Artist Alleys in the country. The exhibition space features big name artists, indie artists, and webcomic creators. Talents range from penciling and inking to writing and lettering and con-goers can get an up-close look at the artists and the art.

Both days are packed with all kinds of events. Saturday will have panels like “How to Get More Freelance Work,” for writers, illustrators, and other freelance professionals, and “Indie Creators, Unite! A Guide to Self-Publishing.” There will also be a “Body Positivity” panel, discussing variation of body types among cosplayers, and an “Art Battle,” in which five artists compete against each other to draw the best representation of the crowd’s subject of choice.

Saturday only, there will be an appearance from comic book legend Marv Wolfman. He is well known for writing The New Teen Titans, Nightwing, Spider-woman, Blade comic series. Wolfman has had the most original characters turned into television shows, animations, and movies of any comic writer other than Stan Lee. Tony Fleecs will be demonstrating the proper way to draw My Little Pony characters. Tone Rodriguez will be giving lessons on how to draw Futurama and Simpsons characters. There will be a panel called “Kids Drawing Comics” for the young aspiring comic artist and a “Cosplay Live Drawing” by Pierre Bernard (from the Conan O’Brien Show).

For a full list of guests, artists on Artist Alley, programs, and events, visit the Long Beach Comic Expo website. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the website or participating comic book shops. A pass for both days will cost $20, Saturday tickets are $15, and Sunday tickets are $10. The site also has information about accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach Hotel.

We at Krypton Radio would like to remind everyone that cons are about having fun and interacting with fellow fans. Cosplayers, like everyone else, should be treated with respect. A short dress is not a yes.

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We’d love to see your photos from LBCE! Tag us on Instagram or Tumblr (#kryptonradio), or post up on our Facebook page!