Written by John Edward Betancourt
If there is one thing that Denver Comic Con likes to do on a Saturday morning, is to make all of our days better with an incredible guest announcement and this Saturday morning is no exception. In fact this convention continues to prove time and time again that even though it is in its third year, it brings in the big names as well as any other convention out there.
Today they started our day off on an incredible note, as they announced one of the biggest sci fi actors out there, Karl Urban, will be attending Denver Comic Con in June.
Yes, you read that right. I had to take few minutes along with the staff to make sure I was seeing this correctly. In fact, Mattie and Shae are still in their offices, giggling and possibly crying with glee over the fact that Karl is coming to DCC.
For those of you somehow unfamiliar with his work, Karl is pretty much everywhere right now. He just wrapped up his first season playing Detective John Kennex on Fox's Almost Human. He played Éomer in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. He did an incredible job playing Judge Dredd in the 2012 reboot Dredd and of course he is well known now for his portrayal of Leonard "Bones" McCoy in J.J. Abrams' relaunch of the Star Trek franchise.
In fact, his incredible spot on portrayal of Bones is one of the reasons I love the new Trek films because it takes a special actor to follow in the footsteps of DeForest Kelley, especially since Mister Kelley played that part with a unique flair that so far, only Karl has matched.
He is hands down, an incredible addition to Denver Comic Con 2014 and I can't wait to see Karl and all of you there!
Written by John Edward Betancourt
It's no secret that this year is the 75th anniversary of the Caped Crusader. Yes the Batman has been rescuing Gotham for that long and to celebrate this incredible occasion, Denver Comic Con has out done themselves again. Ladies and gents DCC just announced an incredible lineup of Batman Guests for this year. Who exactly will be in attendance? Well before we riddle you that we ask that you take a moment and sit down because I'm not joking when I say these guests are epic and will leave you feeling lightheaded.
THE DYNAMIC DUO - ADAM WEST & BURT WARD
Holy Reunion Batman! Not only did Denver Comic Con land the iconic Adam West but he will reunite with Robin himself, Burt Ward. For those unfamiliar with Mister West outside of Batman, you can find him all over the place in film and television but he is best known from The Detectives, The Last Precinct, and of course he just happens to play Mayor Adam West on Family Guy.
As for Mister Ward, after hanging up his cape and tights he went on develop Early Bird Learning, an education charity program that promotes social values, good health, safety, and critical thinking skills.
These two are an incredible addition to Denver Comic Con and this is a panel that we all know will be worth taking the time to attend.
THE CATWOMAN - JULIE NEWMAR
What good is a pair of heroes though without a villain? Well don't worry DCC has us covered by bringing in the original Catwoman, Julie Newmar. But her career goes beyond saucers of milk and bank heists. Julie also won a Tony award for The Marriage-Go-Round and you've likely seen her in The Twilight Zone as well.
THE VOICE - KEVIN CONROY
There are many of us out there who have only one Batman in mind when we think of the character. He is the Dark Knight we rushed home from school to see on weekday afternoons, and yet we only truly knew him by his voice. Kevin Conroy, the voice behind the Bat in Batman: The Animated series will also be attending Denver Comic Con this year. In fact Kevin's voice is so synonymous with the character he has gone on to play him numerous times in The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
Animeland was this past weekend and it was hip hopping with events, concerts, costume contests and much more. There was so much to do and not enough time to get it all done in. Friday bustled with happy con goers however Saturday led to the main event.
Even though the weather was not favorable and accidents happened everywhere due to the snow and ice, the parking lot was full. Luckily we were able to follow someone who was leaving and got their spot when they left. As we went inside the convention, the halls were packed full of people in costume. Everywhere you looked, there were people.
We were able to make it to the costume contest, Suki na Shuujinkou, where there were many beautiful costumes that were displayed on the catwalk. Uncle Yo was the MC for the it. I loved the Umbrella Corp skit the most. They were pretty cool. I also liked the Jack and Sally cosplays.
After browsing around the dealer’s room, I finally decided to buy a few prints to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation then bought a Merle Dixon figurine. I also was able to buy a pair of colored contacts for my Anna costume which is am still in the process of making for upcoming conventions.
At the end of the day, we were able to do a Q&A with Erica Schroeder (One Piece, Pokémon), “Uncle Yo” (The Geek Comedian), Warky T. Chocobo (Dungeon Fighter Online, Return of the Guitar Lord), Danielle McRae (Skullgirls, Faceless) and the girls from Angel Anatomy. It was really cool getting to know how they got into their respective careers and how they all came to be at Animeland Wasabi. It was really cool being able to talk with them all.
In the end, I am horribly exhausted from a fantastic weekend. It was great seeing all my convention buddies and I look forward to next year’s Animeland Wasabi.
Saturday at Animeland Wasabi was perhaps the best day ever! Okay, maybe not ever, but it was a close second! As far as cons go, the turn out was utterly amazing. I saw many a familiar face, especially those in Cosplay, and many a friend! I talked to a bunch of new people, and even had some Pocky!
Why? Because Pocky is delicious! Which brings us to story time. So, Friday at the con I found Mochi. Hopefully, many of you reading have had some at some point and know how delicious it is. Well, John had yet to try this confectionary delight. So, of course, I had to rectify this situation. Thankfully, a booth in the dealer's room had some wonderful Mochi choices! Mango was the day's flavor of choice and while Mattie and I loved it, John did not. Apparently, our wonderful friend does not enjoy the nice flavor of rice dough and mango paste. That's okay, he did at least try it. On Saturday this made him a bit more apprehensive to try Pocky. First was the chocolate flavor, of which he did eventually try after many long minutes of pouting, pleading, and someone else telling him it was okay. Thankfully, the Pocky was a far more acceptable treat than Mochi had been. Strawberry flavor wasn't liked as well, but that one is my favorite, so I was okay with not sharing.
Later we got to get some free cupcakes that were utterly amazing! (Gonna have to find a way to get some more!) We all also ended up getting something more from the dealers room. Mattie, John, and I each bought some Walking Dead action figures! And while the weapon's tables were utterly tempting, Mattie and I decided not to buy anything sharp and stabby this time around.
Later we got to go to the Costume Contest and see some utterly amazing craftsmanship and a really spiffy runway style stage! The talent on that state is the reason why I love to Cosplay! Everyone put so much effort into their costumes it was a true pleasure to watch. Sadly, we were unable to stay for the skit portion, but many a friend made it to the show and told me later on how much fun I missed out on.
At the end of the night, we were able to sit down with some great guests at the con and hear their tales of voice acting, music, and all around love of the fandom. We all share something special, and Anime conventions have shifted to incorporate more than just Anime. This con had a wide arrange of great guests, amazing people and fandoms that were more than just Anime. From video games, to popular television shows, Animeland Wasabi had something for everyone and this year was utterly fantastic.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
Sunday is truly the toughest day at a convention. You spend months priming yourself for what should be the weekend of a lifetime. You fawn over the schedule for hours on end and always step through the door with a smile on your face because at long last...you have arrived.
The joy doesn't end there as you get to wander the halls at last, see old friends along the way and of course see your favorite celebrities and panels that pique your interest all before you take home that awesome collectible from the dealer's room to make a collection complete.
Then comes Sunday, the darkest of days. Not only is there exhaustion settling in, but the horrible realization that in a matter of hours, the joy comes to its end. Bags get packed, hotel rooms are checked out of and it is time to return home. Some accept their fate, but for some...it becomes an incredible challenge to have every last ounce of fun before the convention is over.
That's what I observed walking the halls on Sunday today. A combination of folks that were exhausted and taking in the last few hours of the atmosphere to remember an awesome weekend, and people that were hustling like never before to make sure they did not miss a memory.
I saw faces in the dealer room focused on finding the perfect collectible. I saw people with schedules in hand or on their phones working out the plan with their group of friends. They were on a mission...to enjoy everything they possibly could and that made Sunday not so dreadful after all. Sure the con was ending, but those that were racing against the clock were making a point to embrace every last wonderful moment before them and that my friends...is what a convention is all about, having a blast. Until next year.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
If there is anything I have learned about die hard fans of any genre, is that there is little that will stop them from enjoying something wonderful when it comes to their fandom. This fact was on display yesterday when the fans at Animeland Wasabi came out in droves to attend the convention, despite frigid temperatures and a healthy dose of snow, this is a convention that found the hallways packed and people in good spirits as day two of the convention got underway.
Trust me, saying that people were coming out despite the weather is no joke. We had a heck of a time finding a parking spot and on several occasions you simply had to stop and wait for the crowds to disperse in the hallways due to the sheer volume of people.
But despite the never ending crowds that passed us by every waking moment of the convention as we walked the floor and took the whole event in, there was one thing on all of our minds that is truly a Saturday convention tradition...the costume contest. There's nothing quite like seeing incredible work on display and this convention was no exception, and it was one filled with variety.
We saw everything from characters from Frozen to Assassin's Creed and everything mixed in between, with of course plenty of Anime as to be expected. We were treated to some incredible costumes this year, I was particularly impressed with how many "beginner" costumes were clearly beyond their skill level as incredible craftsmanship was on display as one amazing costume after another stepped out onto the catwalk.
All in all, it was a solid and satisfying day two, but as always day two leaves one with a sense of sadness...after all the end is near as Sunday brings forth the closing ceremonies and the long voyage home.
Animeland Wasabi kicked off Friday bringing lots of people in attendance. The hotel where the convention is being held was much bigger than I had expected however we wandered around looking at all the different costumes that everyone was wearing. I would say that around 80% of the attendees were wearing a costume so it was pretty exciting.
Shae and I first ventured into the Artist’s room. It was cool, those we talked to were very nice and I was excited for Saturday so that I could go back and look some more to see if there was anything that would catch my eye. We also ventured eventually into the Dealer’s room where Shae purchased mohci and ramune for John and I. It was John’s first time and although I think he liked the soda, the mochi was just too bizarre for him. Although I didn’t purchase anything Friday. I really thought about what I wanted to spend my money on, all night.
Throughout the convention they had all sorts of things to do for the attendees. They had a blow up bouncy castle and a blow up, I don’t know what to call it. Basically you stand on a pedestal and your opponent stands on another right across from it and you whack each other with big whacking things trying to get the other to fall off. Also in that room they had a stage for various things like belly dancing and concerts. I also think karaoke was also held in that room.
They also have a room completely filled with gaming platforms like PS3’s and Xbox360’s where one could sit and play whatever game was in the console. In the back they had Rock Band, completely set up and people could pick and choose to play their favorite songs.
Next to it was the main events room where we as press were able to do my first press conference ever. It was epically cool. The guests were Cassandra Lee Morris, Emilie Ullerup and Billy West. It was amazing. Even though we all were pretty shy, I asked the second question of “If you could play any role, what role would you choose?” Cassandra Lee Morris told us all that she wanted to play a strong female, warrior character while Emille Ullerup said that she wanted to try her hand in horror since she is the comedic relief in the show she’s in at the current moment. Billy West ended with that he would play any role given to him because of his “Immigrant” mind frame of always needing work with the fear that he would lose everything he had. They all stole my heart, especially Cassandra Lee Morris and Emilie Ullerup. They’re just so beautiful, smart and adorable all at the same time. Billy West I have always idolized and I still continue to do so.
By the end of the day, I was beyond exhausted and only wanted to crawl into bed and pass out. It was a good first day of con however my body ached and it was time for bed. I was super excited for Saturday.
Yesterday, Friday February 28th, was the first day of Animeland Wasabi 2014. This year, Wasabi is hosted by the Crowne Plaza Hotel! I have to say, this choice in venue works well. The place is large enough to accommodate all the con's needs! Plus, the Dealer's Room is awesome! While I haven't purchased anything yet, there were several things that caught my eye. One of the amazing stalls is selling Art and some pretty cool Metal Symbols of famous things we all know and love (like Batman!) and all their proceeds go towards the Make A Wish Foundation. Which is pretty amazing!
Of course, there is plenty of Anime related things to be had. From plushes to food (Mochi!!), to pins, and my favorite, contacts. That's right, there is a booth selling contacts and you can bet I'm going to have to go buy myself a nice pair! The Dealer's Room is also attached to the Autograph section where you can meet your favorite stars. This is absolutely brilliant! Walking from one section to the next was utterly fun. I can't wait to see it all tomorrow! There's something to be had by all! There is also an Artist's Alley. One big enough to get its own room! They've got everything from deals, to soaps, to jewelry and of course, many pictures. This is easily one of the largest Artist's Alleys I've ever seen with some of the most talented and amazing people.
Earlier in the day, Cosplayer's met with Judges in preparation of today's Costume Contest. You can bet I will be there to see all the amazing people and their wonderful costumes! I am a total Cosplay nut and am so excited to see what this years contest has to offer! There were many a talented Cosplayer to be seen throughout yesterday! Today has only more to offer! It was a glorious day for picture takers everywhere! The hotel set up allows for ample room for picture taking. It's hard to pick a favorite costume that I saw. There were so many amazing people dressed up! Sadly, Mattie and I were not amongst them today. We decided to take a break and just enjoy the weekend.
We also got a spacial treat. Billy West, Cassandra Lee Morris, and Emilie Ullerup took the time to do a press conference. Here they shared with us something we've all secretly wanted to ask; their best/worst con moments; a role they most liked; what their future holds? It was great to hear their wonderful stories and see the enjoyment on their faces as they shared with us their answers. It was an honor to be there.
Wasabi has much to offer, from their esteemed guests to their amazing panels. This con is the place to be this weekend.
Did I mention the Bouncy Castle? Because, yes my friends, there is a Bouncy Castle. Saturday of the con has much to offer and I cannot wait to experience it with you guys. I hope to see many of you there geeking out along side me!
Written by John Edward Betancourt
There's something that the heart of winter robs from all of us out there who celebrate the world of geeky and awesome things. It takes from us a season of camaraderie. We are removed from the incredible meccas known as conventions, taking all of us away from our fellow geeks and while there is nothing wrong with a break, it doesn't take long for the itch that only a con can scratch to return.
Thankfully the new year brings with it the return of convention season and at last in Denver, the season is in full swing. This year, Girls of Geek was given the opportunity to attend Animeland Wasabi, a convention that only one person on the staff, Shae, has been to before, so yes, for me this was my first year at this particular convention and I have to say...day one was pretty awesome.
I always enjoy pulling up to the entrance of a convention center only to see a line overflowing with people waiting to get inside and that is exactly how I was introduced to Animeland Wasabi. Stepping into the building was no different, the crowd was ready and raring to go with costumes all about. As always, the first task of the team was to take inventory and figure out where everything in the building was and then it was off to the Dealer Room to see what incredible things we could find.
I was introduced to Mochi, a gelatin dessert that has a fruit filling and well...it was different. I'll just leave it at that. But besides trying out new foods and stepping into a convention for the first time, day one for us was really about taking everything in and just enjoying all the smiles on the faces that passed us by. In fact that was one of my favorite things to see yesterday, just how much fun everyone was having.
Our day wrapped up with something I had not done in a long time but was new to Shae and Mattie...a press conference with Billy West, Cassandra Lee Morris and Emilie Ullerup and it was simply fantastic. Billy West often slipped into a voice character without even knowing he did it as he and the other two actors took the time to give all of us more insight into their careers.
Either way, it was a busy and productive day one in my opinion and I cannot wait to see what Day Two offers, see all of you there!
Written by John Edward Betancourt
The clock is ticking down. In a matter of hours, the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport will be host to a new way to anime as at long last our wait comes to an end and Animeland Wasabi gets underway. I've been looking forward to this con as since it is one of the few in this state I have not attended and from the guest lineup alone, I'm expecting this to be a blast.
We here at Girls of Geek have been pouring over the schedule to get an idea of where we should be today and I have to say, it's tough to decide because there are a ton of events starting at noon.
If you're ready to kick off the afternoon showing everyone why American Idol
is your next destination, then good news, Karaoke gets underway first thing. If you've come to see the guests, Billy West and Jessica DiCicco take the stage at 1 and 2 p.m. respectively.
But if you take a look at the schedule (which you can find at http://AnimelandWasabi.com/schedule/
) you'll see that it is completely loaded to the brim with awesomeness. The Panel Rooms are churning out content for every interest out there. I saw everything from how to write your own comic book and make your own music to building costumes and heck, there's even an open mic night later on this evening.
It's going to be a great weekend folks because there is definitely something for everyone and I can't wait to see all of you there in just a little bit.