Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some friends I made at Wizard World Toronto 2010

Carol Zara of Digitally Blonde and I have been Twitter friends for a while. We finally got to meet at the Wizard World Convention in Toronto and we drew this custom shirt together. Carol drew Princess Leia and I drew Jabba the Hutt. I may have a little more detail about the creation of this shirt later in the week.

Me and Wolverine! This guy looked WAY too much like the real thing. Winner of the best snarl, hands down.

Miss Prestin and I. Laura Michelle Prestin is a full-time university student at McMaster, fitness instructor (come to think of it, I could use a personal trainer), and cover model. Nothing overly geeky about this girl so why she graced the comic con with her presence I don't know, but I'm not going to complain.

Me and Supergirl. Technically, her costume isn't entirely accurate if you compare it to the costume being drawn in the current run of the comic book... but I wasn't over put off by this.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting Read and Getting Promoted

Saturday morning I awoke to a pleasant surprise. There was an e-mail in my inbox saying that someone had linked back to one of my Geek Effect articles from another site. This is always a pleasure because it generally means you've produced something that other people appreciate on some level or have found some value in.

I tracked the link back to a site called Sequential - Canadian Comix, News and Culture. This is a site that had been on the edge of my radar in the past, but had unfortunately slipped off like so many other sites simply because there is just so much to explore on the internet and only so much time to explore it all. In their effort to aggregate the swell of internet news buzz around this past weekend's Wizard World Toronto Comic Con, Sequential linked to both a short article I wrote for The Geek Effect as well as some photos from the Con that I posted right here at The Mental Kavity. They even saw to it to mention me by name in their post which was very nice of them and most appreciated. You'll probably have to click the image above to enlarge it and see just exactly what the Sequential post looked like.

Or, better yet, click on through to their site and check it out. If you're Canadian (or even if you're not) and your into comics and you don't know about Sequential, then I'm sure you'll thank me for pointing you in their direction. They host a mighty fine site chock full of smart and exciting content.

So, a big, hearty thank you to the fine folks at Sequential for showing me some love. They've even made mention of some of my Wizard World coverage again today which appears on The Geek Effect site. Thank you folks.

And just one more bit of happy news. On Sunday I was promoted from a contributing writer to a site administrator over at The Geek Effect. Thanks so much Bob and Luc, for trusting me with the keys to the little project you guys started. I'm most honoured and appreciative.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Some photos from Day 1 of Wizard World Toronto Comic Con

Here are just a few of the photos I snapped at day 1 of the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con. I'll have many more up by weekend's end. (Celebrity profiles that follow are taken from the Wizard World website.)

For five years on nightly network NBC TV, Erin Gray was the American public’s image of the ideal woman. Her “Kate” in Silver Spoons managed to have it all—marriage, family, and business career. And for the two years before that, she had redefined our public image of the beauty with brains, when “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” became a hit series, her sleek, sophisticated “Colonel Wilma” became a role model, and Erin Gray became a household word.

Erin’s success as the face that launched some of America’s most glamorous beauty products was already legendary before she made the dramatic career change from model to actress. As the original “I’m worth it.” woman for L’Oreal, and the Bloomingdales’ spokeswoman for Ten years, she was launched into a starring role in the critically acclaimed television mini-series “Evening in Byzantium” with Glenn Ford. Ms Gray continued to star in numerous Movies-of The-Week, “Born Beautiful”, “Starman”, “Coach of the Year”, and “Code of Vengeance”, and also starred opposite Kenny Rogers as Lilah in the feature film “Six Pack” directed by Dan Petrie.

In “Silver Spoons”, in which Ms. Gray met and mastered the triple-challenge of the television sitcom—comedy, television, and live audiences, she further honed her “live audience” comedic skills by doing theatre, starring in “California Suite” and “Six Rooms River View”, and not only achieving critical success with “Social Security”, but bringing audiences to their feet with standing ovations.

Ms. Gray continued to co-star in numerous MOWs such as “Breaking Home Ties” with Jason Robards, “The Avenging Ace” and “Addicted to His Love”. In three fascinating roles Ms. Gray was again able to express her versatility and range, as a psychotic killer, and “evil duchess” opposite John Rhys Davies, a brilliant and twisted femme fatal in “Dark Justice”, opposite Frances’s leading comedic leading actor Thierry L’Hermite in a hilariously funny farce as an American writer who while hiding out in a French Chateau, becomes involved in a murder mystery.

In the mid nineties Erin starred in three feature films, “Jason Goes To Hell”, “Dangerous Place” and “T-Force”. She also starred in the first original movie for the USA/ Sci-Fi Networks, “Official Denial” with Parker Stevenson, and Dirk Benedict, as well as, the challenging role as the intense prosecutor, Pam Bozanich in the controversial film of the high profile Menendez trail, “Honor Thy Father and Mother”. Erin also made appearances in guest-starring roles in the CBS MOW “Crowfoot”, and in the very popular “Baywatch”.

In the summer of ’97 Erin starred in the award winning play “La Moure N.D. 58458” at the Bitter Truth Theatre in Los Angeles, as part of the cutting edge NoHo Arts Festival. Erin went on to guest star in recurring roles, as Congresswoman Karen Archer in NBC’s highly acclaimed drama “Profiler”, and the coldhearted Nicole Devlin in ABC’s “Port Charles”. And in 2002 Erin was honored with the Entertainer Award at San Diego Film Festival.

Erin and Co-star Joel Higgins from Silver Spoons delighted in working together again, in 2005, this time performing in Bernard Slade’s “Same Time Next Year” at the Buck County Playhouse in New Hope, Penn.

Within the new millennium, Erin has completed filming 14 independent feature films, “The Last Producer” with Burt Reynolds, “Woman’s Story”, “Social Misfits”, “Touched By A Killer”, “Delicate Instruments”, “S.W.A.T.”, “ManFast”, “Serial Intentions”, “Clover Bend” with Robert Urich and “Caught In The Headlights with Stacey Keach. In 2006 there was “The Wedding Video” and “Loaded” with Jesse Metcalf and Chace Crawford.

Magically last year brought Gil Gerard and Erin together for the first time since “Buck Roger” in a made for TV movie called, “Meltdown.” In addition, Erin thoroughly enjoyed working on David Kelley’s short lived but very funny comedy series, “Wedding Bells”, and starred opposite William Atherton in the Sci Fi Channel’s “Ghouls” which was shot on location in Romania. Erin has just completed filming on location at the mystical Mt. Shasta a much loved project called “Dreams Awake.” This very special film reunited Erin with Tim O’Connor, Dr. Huer from “Buck Rogers,” who portrayed her dad, and Gary Graham as her husband.

Throughout the nineties Erin and friend, Mara Purl managed to co-write “Act Right”, a professional guide for actors which just won first place in 2007 for the Evvy Award give by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

In addition to raising two beautiful children who are a constant source of pride and joy, Erin and her husband, the noted Director of Photography Richard Hissong, are currently producing a video on one of her favorite subjects, Chi Kung & Tai Chi. Erin teaches these moving art forms 4 days a week at the Encino Acupuncture Center and travels around the county sharing her passion for Tai Chi and the healing arts.

Within the last eight years, Erin established, Heroes for Hire, a company which books celebrities at personal appearances and speaking engagements, and a production company, Wu Wei Entertainment.

Possessing a highly developed sense of public service, Ms. Gray, as spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence & as an advisory board member for Haven House, the oldest battered women’s shelter in the U.S., co-produced & wrote PSAs with Women In Film. For over a decade Erin has been speaking out against domestic violence, a topic that is close to her heart.

Erin also takes time out of her busy schedule to host such programs as lifetime Cable’s “Drug & Alcohol Intervention Program”, and give motivational speeches for such organizations as UPS, AFLAC, and Lady Remington. Erin is the recipient of 9 community service awards, such as the leadership Award by the county of LA & The Guardian Angel Award from Mothers Against Sexual Abuse, the YWCA’s Women of Achievement Award of Distinction, the 1999 Women’s peace Power Media Award. & the 2002 Women of the year award by the LA commission For Women and 2 Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Staite played Kaylee Frye in the short-lived science fiction/western television series Firefly and its subsequent 2005 film, Serenity. She also wrote a chapter in the book Finding Serenity, called "Kaylee Speaks: Jewel Staite On Firefly".

She also played Heidi Gotts, the antagonist in the TV series Wonderfalls and appeared in a Season Three episode of the X-Files.

Staite played the role of head of medicine Dr. Jennifer Keller in the Stargate SG-1 spinoff Stargate Atlantis, making her the third actor from the Firefly series to move on to appear in a Stargate series (the first being Adam Baldwin and the second being Morena Baccarin), and the second to take a recurring role. She replaced Paul McGillion (Dr. Carson Beckett). In the fifth season her character was changed from recurring status to part of the main cast. Before taking on the role as Dr. Keller she previously played the Wraith child Ellia in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Instinct". She will star in the 2010 RHI Entertainment thriller, Mothman, under the direction from Sheldon Wilson.

MAX BROOKS is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. His previous book, The Zombie Survival Guide, formed the core of the world's civilian survival manuals during the Zombie War. Mr. Brooks subsequently spent years traveling to every part of the globe in order to conduct the face-to-face interviews that have been incorporated into this present publication.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Off to See the Wizard Today!

Off to Wizard World Comic Con Toronto today. You can watch my Twitter account for all sorts of updates all day long and then check back here later for pics!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Joe Hill's "Horns" Book Tour

Here are a couple quick photos from the Joe Hill book signing tour I went to last night here in Toronto. Joe read from his new book, "Horns", for about about 15 minutes, then answered a good number of questions from the audience and finally signed everyone's stacks of books.

I got volumes 1 and 2 of Locke & Key signed as well as a paperback copy of Heart Shaped Box and a hardcover first printing of Horns.

Geez man, how did this photo turn out so awful?! I guess the positive swing I can put on this is that the scariness of the pic is well suited to the reputation of the author I'm posing with.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meet Joe Hill... isn't that a movie or something?

I didn't find this out until I read a friend's Twitter feed early this morning, but writer Joe Hill, son of the one and only Stephen King, is visiting Toronto today and will be doing a reading and autograph session tonight. Of course, this meant that my plans for tonight immediately had to change, and change they did.

I hope to have some photos from the event that I can share tomorrow.

Mr. Hill will be appearing at the Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College Street from 7 - 10pm. I'm leaving work a little bit early to ensure I get there on time.

Joe Hill is probably best known for his debut horror novel, Heart Shaped Box and his comic book series, Locke & Key. His latest book is Horns.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wizard World Toronto Comic Con Press Passes - CONFIRMED

Confirmation arrived last night via e-mail from Wizard PR that I will be able to pick up my press pass for the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con this coming Friday at noon. Woohoo! This makes me feel very super! I'll be there all weekend covering all the nerdy shenanigans with other members of The Geek Effect crew - another nerd new blog that I write for, in case you didn't know.

Here's the really fun part. The e-mail from Wizard gives me a contact to get in touch with if I'd like to arrange interviews with any of the guests who'll be at the show. So, immediately my head started to spin with the possibilities. There are so many cool guest. How can I possibly decide who to request for an interview?

That's when I decided this is exactly what social media is meant for! Why not put the question to all readers and friends I've made via blogging, tweeting and Facebooking. So here it is:

Who do you think I should try to get an interview with at the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con?

You can see the complete list of guests by following the link above and you can leave me your feedback below! Can't wait to hear from you!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wolfmother and Slash - Making Magical Music

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about music so let’s change that. Music is important to me.

Some bands are magical.

Not every band is magical to everyone, but everyone has their magic band. Wolfmother is one of those bands for me. Like Pearl Jam in their hay day of the early 90s, Wolfmother stomps all over other new rock bands, and a whole lot of old bands while they're at it. Their musicianship is second to none and the vocals of Andrew Stockdale are both unique and powerful.

Their latest effort, Cosmic Egg was easily my favourite album of 2009. Their staticky, buzzed-out, 70s, fuzzidelic vibe places them squarely in the stoner rock genre. But, while stoner rock often implies loose, sloppy playing and arrangements, that couldn't be further from the truth in the case of Wolfmother. They are tight, deliberate and undoubtedly musical craftsmen with a serious amount of passion.

Let’s take a musical interlude here and check out Wolfmother covering Led Zepplin’s Communication Breakdown at Zepplin’s induction into the UK Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame:

Stockdale, singer, guitarist and only original member of Wolfmother has written and sings a song on Slash's upcoming solo album called By The Sword. They've performed the song live several times and it will apparently be the first single from the album.

Check it out:

Slash's album will feature an array of different vocalists which is a concept I've seen done before and to me the results have traditionally not been all that favourable. That's really just my opinion of course, but I tend to like a certain consistency across an entire album and if the vocals keep changing, well that tends to irritate me a bit. However, I've now heard three tracks from the forthcoming album - By The Sword, Sahara and a cover of the Guns'N'Roses classic, Paradise City, featuring Cypress Hill and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas of all people – and they are all awesome.

Don’t believe me? Check out Slash tearing things up with Fergie on Paradise City:

Yeah, that’s what I thought too. Fergie is way hotter as a rocker. But then again, everyone is ;)

Here’s a way cool trailer for Slash’s album:

Alright, this started out as a Wolfmother post and morphed into a Slash solo album preview so let’s bring it full circle and round things out with the video for my current favourite Wolfmother tune, White Feather. Honestly, I got shivers the first time I heard this song and still do:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Team Conan Fan Incognito

At first glance this guy looks like a typical Tonight Show fan who's pleased as punch to get a pic of himself with newly reinstated host, Jay Leno. However, upon further inspection we can tell this is actually a Team Conan fan incognito for the purpose of punking poor old Jay. That certainly looks like it says "CoCo FTW" on that young man's hand.

What do you think?

This image via BuzzFeed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kudos Facebook, Your New Weekly Fan Page Update is Very Useful

Much to my delight last night I received an interesting e-mail from Facebook with the subject line "Your Weekly Facebook Page Update". At first I though, bah, more social media spam. But, oh no. How wrong I was.

I'm the administrator for three Facebook Fan pages in addition to my own personal page and this new e-mail initiative by Facebook provides a succinct roundup of the analytics for each one of my Fan pages. Not only are the stats very interesting, but they are hugely handy and having them all in one place, all assembled for me is massive pain in the butt reducer.

I could ramble on about this new Facebook feature, but Joe over at Joe's Gone Social has already beat me to the punch and done a bang-up job of highlighting all the main features and interesting aspects in one jim-dandy video which I've embedded below.

I do have one question though - is everyone getting this e-mail or are those of us who received it part of a lucky test bed?

I ask this because I know of one person who did not receive the new Weekly Facebook Page Update and she's rather jealous of me at the moment. I won't mention any names, but she does go by the online handle of wunderbug.

Sometimes the most simple post is the most popular

Court was running a little late picking me up yesterday morning so I took the extra ten minutes to do a quick, but apparently popular post for The Geek Effect. I found this little Star Wars and The Bounty Hunter mash-up via Twitter about two days ago and decided that it fit perfectly the theme of my recurring Star Wars Oddities column that I write/compile for The Geek Effect. Little did I know how much retweet attention this post would get on Twitter where I always tweet new blog posts. Interesting how social media works sometimes.

Click on through if you're interested in checking out the full image.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Funeral for a Lost Boy

Corey Haim will be buried here in Toronto today. Actually, in Thornhill to be exact. I wrote a short memorial piece for The Geek Effect on the day of his passing called Lost Boy Lost Forever. There's only a 2 year age difference between Haim and myself so it was fascinating to me, in the 80s, watching his meteoric rise to fame, and then, of course, his tragic plummet back to Earth and seemingly even lower. There seems to be no end to the tragedy and sadness in Haim's life as even in death controversy swirls about him. The local news has been buzzing over how Haim's funeral will be payed for and I've heard angry protest on the radio over the idea that the city of Toronto may actually foot the bill. I find it all rather distasteful and exceedingly inappropriate. His fame and name have surely waned over the years since his peek stardom, but being connected to the Hollywood machine as he was, surely there must be someone who could help his family at his dire time. Enter Haim's old friend Michael Kronick, owner of www.startifacts.com. Kronick was also perturbed by the fuss around Haim's burial and fortunately, along with his conscience, comes a rather sizable wallet. Kronick has offered to pay for Haim's entire funeral.

Nice work Mr. Kronick.

This full story can be found at thestar.com.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pushup bar for Wii Fit Balance board - just about as bad a promo video as you could ask for

I purchased a PS3 back in September (LOVE it!) and have recently been considering expanding my gaming arsenal with the purchase of a Nintendo Wii. Sure, the games for the most part aren't exactly hardcore, but that whole motion control thing seems pretty fun and then there's the whole fitness aspect of the Wii... rrrrright?

How could one go wrong with this cool looking Wii Fit Pushup Bar? It's designed to be compatible with:
  • New U Fitness
  • Wii Fit
  • Wii Fit Plus
  • Jillian Fitness Ultimatum 2009
  • Jillian Fitness Ultimatum 2010
Sounds pretty good, right? That is until you watch the promo video for this product that is. It is so incredibly poorly done and all together lame that... well why don't you watch this video and then tell me if you'd buy this product.

An extra special thanks to Engadget for the heads up on this FAIL.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Wizard World Toronto Comic Con - I'll be there with The Geek Effect crew!

For many years Toronto has had one big, yearly comic convention that always takes place at the end of August. That con is FanExpo and is put on by Hobbystar Marketing. For several years The Paradise Toronto ComicCon has been trying to run some competition and this year I think they just might have really succeeded. This is of course because the Paradise show was bought out last year by none other than Gareb Shamus of Wizard Entertainment.
Shamus brings a whole lot of extra star power to the show and helps tip the scale from a "pretty competent con" to something of more "spectacular" proportions.

Personally, I'm dually excited because myself and the rest of the crew from The Geek Effect have been promised press passes to get into the show all weekend long. Now, the press passes haven't yet arrived, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have one in my grubby paws very shortly.

Of course, this means I'll be reporting about the con all throughout the weekend of March 26, 27 and 28 and you'll be able to catch all that coverage over at The Geek Effect. In fact, I've got some details about the show over at The Geek Effect right now so be sure to go check them out!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When enthusiasm wanes, suddenly inspiration strikes!

I'm feeling bad here tonight because I've really, seriously been neglecting my personal blog lately. I'm also trying to compose a post for The Geek Effect (formerly Two Geeks and a Blog) and I really, seriously can't get in the writing groove. On top of this I'm attempting to work out a blog post for The Flickcast which is yet another blog I'm supposed to provide writing for which is based out of Los Angeles.

Add to this mix of too much to do, a lethal case of my mind spinning out of control in about 80 directions, thinking and pondering new ideas and projects and back-burner plans - all of which I want to work on and complete right NOW!

Phew. Definitely driving me a bit batty. But Court had a good suggestion; "How 'bout you hang it up for the night?"

Yep, very good plan. So, I put aside the notion of really accomplishing anything tonight and started doing some lazy surfing. That's when I came across the Toronto Blog Stars event:

Whoa! How did I not know about this event before now!? Talk about a timely dose of "just what I needed". This event just might be the ticket I need to take a much needed "next step".

Definitely going to look into attending.

Monday, March 1, 2010


The Vancouver Olympics may be over and done with, but as the calender rolls over to March first Canadians can rejoice in RRROLL UP THE RIM season at Tim Horton's. Next to hockey, beer and poutine there are few things that say "Canada" more succinctly than a steaming, hot cup of Tim Horton's coffee.

I just finished my first RRROLL UP THE RIM coffee and got a big fat "Please Play Again" message under the rim. However, I just discovered that there are more chances to win on the Tim Horton's website. Specifically, you can win coffee for a year by registering on the site and going back daily to enter your e-mail address. This gets your name in the contest to be the daily winner of coffee for a year.

In addition, Tim Horton's seems to be getting their social media act together this year. If you're checking out their site and entering their coffee for a year contest you may also want to create your own Tim Horton's branded profile picture which you can in turn use on Facebook and Twitter.

And if that's simply not enough Tim Horton's interaction for you for one day, you can write your personal RRROLL UP THE RIM ritual or win story and post that to their site.

All in all, this RRROLL UP THE RIM season promises a whole bunch more interaction than simply drinking your coffee and rolling up that rim afterwards.