ComicCon-ing: Discussion Panels at Wizard World New Orleans

For the next two weeks, most of our blogs will be about Wizard World New Orleans. The Convention is held at the Morial Convention Center on January 6,7, and 8th.  This week we will be previewing the event, and next week reviewing the event. 

Wizard World New Orleans allows people to find others with like minded interests. It also allows for fan groups to get together and discuss their favorite fandoms. Other people enjoy talking with others about social issues in the comic community.   If you are looking for thought provoking discussions, then these panels might be for you.

Here are just some of the discussion panels that will be taking place at Wizard New Orleans.


7:30-8:15 POE IN POP CULTURE (ROOM 240):  Bill Pulkovski and Tony Miello will lead a panel to discuss Edgar Allan Poe’s influence over modern pop culture.


12:30-1:15 ONLY SHEEP EAT ROTTEN TOMATOES (ROOM 240): For those of you who liked Batman v Superman, this panel will be on your side.  This panel will attempt to prove those critics wrong.

1:30-2:15 PETER PARKER AND THE WOMEN THAT LOVED HIM (ROOM 240): Oh, Spidey and his love life.

2:30-3:15 CIVIL WAR: PICK A SIDE (ROOM 240)  I really hope this panel makes Iron Man fans sit on the right, and Captain America fans on the left (or vice versa).

2:30-3:15 STARSHIP SMACKDOWN: A SALUTE TO STAR TREK (ROOM 343): This panel will allow you to put forth your theories about which starship would do the most damage.

3:30-4:15 DON’T READ THAT! A HISTORY OF CENSORSHIP IN COMIC BOOKS (ROOM 240) I’m leaving this one in bold, because yours truly will be part of this panel.  This panel will be led by the Longbox Guys and will also feature a fellow educator colleague of mine.  We will look at books that have been challenged and why. I hope to see you there.

3:30-4:15 HARRY POTTER MANIA: SURVIVING HOGWARTS:  Harry Potter will be dissected by psychologists, professors, and a Burlesque performer. Normally, I wouldn’t miss this one, but it is at the same time as my panel. 🙂


4:30-5:15 GODS AND MONSTERS: H.P. LOVECRAFT’S HORRIFYING CREATURES (ROOM 240) Horror fans, this is where you should be if you have no prior commitments.

5:30-6:15 DOCTOR WHO PSYCHOLOGY: A MADMAN WITH A BOX (ROOM 343):  A look at the kind of person the Doctor really is.


11:00-11:45 HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE STEREOTYPES IN COMIC BOOKS (ROOM 343) Our good friends, the Longbox guys (link to the left of your screen), will be hosting this panel.  It’s in bold because we have attended this one before and it gets our highest recommendation.  

12:00-12:45 THE END OF WORLD IS ONLY THE BEGINNING: PREPARING FOR THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (ROOM 238) Dr. Robert Collins, of Dillard University in New Orleans, will look at how real life disease prevention can be aided by all those apocalypse programs and movies.

12:30-1:15 ZINES: FROM FANDOM’S EARLIEST PUBLICATIONS TO CONTEMPORARY CULTURE (ROOM 240):  New Orleans Public Library librarians will talk about the history and culture of zines.

2:00-2:45 WHO’S THE MOST NEUROTIC SUPERHERO? INSIDE THE MINDS OF BATMAN, SPIDER-MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, JESSICA JONES AND MORE with BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY’S DR. TRAVIS LANGLEY, MARVEL ZOMBIES’ FRED VAN LENTE, THE RED HOOK’S DEAN HASPIEL, SUPERHERO THERAPY’S DR. JANINA SCARLET & SPIDER-MAN’S DANNY FINGEROTH (ROOM 238)  Again, not only is the topic fascinating, but the leaders of the panel are fantastic. Fred Van Lente is one of my favorite writers and I highly recommend this book by him.

This whole week I’ve attempted to share just some of the panels that will be going on at Wizard World New Orleans.  There really is a lot to choose from and I didn’t even mention them all. In fact, the more I look at the list the more I’m upset I can’t be in two places at once. It really is one of the better panel line-ups I’ve seen.  Hope to see you there at a few!


For a full listing of the panels at Wizard World New Orleans, click here.


ComicCon-ing: Very Early Pensacon Preview

Along with Wizard World New Orleans, Pensacon is one of our favorite cons. Occurring in February, Pensacon is a short three hour drive from New Orleans.  Each year we have gone, it has been worth the trip.

First a look at the celebrity guests:

  • Jason David Frank: The former Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger is always a crowd favorite.
  • Tara Reid: If you go take a look at her IMDB page, she has done quite a bit of work all over the map.  She was in The Big Lebowski, Cruel Intentions, American Pie, and Scrubs.  And of course, the Sharknado franchise.
  • Ric Flair: Whoooo!
  • Sam J. Jones:  He saved the universe as Flash Gordon.
  • Gates McFadden:  Back in college had a huge crush on Dr. Beverly Crusher.  I’ve met her before and she is sweet as can be.
  • Jeremy Bulloch:  Boba Fett himself.  We have met him multiple times and his very accommodating to his fans.
  • Nicholas Lea:  I’ve been thinking about starting an X-Files poster for some time.  I probably will start at Pensacon.
  • Matt Ryan:  While we didn’t watch Constantine, we did love Matt Ryan on arrow.
  • Scott Wilson:  Go look at his IMDB page.  He has an impressive body of work.  He had major roles in In the Heat of the Night and In Cold Blood.  While most fans will be there to get his autograph on The Walking Dead pictures, I really want a picture of him for his work in Damien.
  • John Wesley Shipp:  Barry Allen and Jay Garrick all rolled into one!
  • Rene Auberjonois: What do you get signed by this man?  A picture from MASH? Benson? Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?
  •  Terry Farewell: Man, I really need to back and watch all of Deep Space Nine!
  • Ted Raimi:  Ms. Nola Nerd Couple was beyond excited when Pensacon announced he would be there!
  • Virginia Madsen: She is part of the Candyman cast that will be at Pensacon, but I might ask her to sign a bottle of merlot.
  • Gemma Whelan:  Ms. Nola Nerd Couple will defitely have the actress that plays Yara Greyjoy sign her Game of Thrones poster.
  • Mitch Pileggi:  Mulder and Scully’s boss on X-Files. A neo-nazi on Sons of Anarchy.  Which one do I get him to sign for?
  • William B. Davis:  If I do get that X-Files, the Smoking Man needs to be on it.
  • Ellie Kendrick: Another guest to be on our Game of Thrones poster, she plays Meera Reed.
  • David Bradley:  Argus Filch. Walder Frey.  I’m expecting long lines for Mr. Bradley.
  • Mick Foley:  We don’t normally meet wrestlers but I might have to with Ric Flair and Mick Foley in attendance.
  • James Marsters:  Mr. Marsters played my favorite character on Buffy, Spike.  We have met him before and he is always entertaining.  If he does a panel, attend.
  • Walter Koenig:  Mr. Chekov on the original Star Trek.  I’ve met him twice before and barely utter a word.  That’s how I get around original cast memebers.
  • Tim Rose:  The actor inside Admiral Ackbar’s suit.  He will definately take time out to talk to you if you make small talk.  We met him at Celebration a couple of years ago and he was a blast.
  • Sylvester McCoy:  The seventh doctor and Radagast from the Hobbit.  We have his signature for both and if you are fan of both series, we highly recommend you go out and meet him.
  • Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen:  Two of AMC’s Comic Book men will be there.
  • Sven-Ole Thorsen:  I’m not sure if we have his autograph on our Mallrats poster.  If not, you will see us in his line.
  • Matt Gerald:  Mr. Gerald plays one of the more interesting characters on Daredevil, Melvin Potter.  We have two of the writers signature on a Daredevil poster, we might add to it.

Ok…I’m estimating the cost of every signature we want to be….$1237. We might have to pare that down a bit.  Luckily, Pensacon always gets great guests and plenty of these guest are repeaters.  And I can’t blame them.  It’s a great con in a great city.

Plus they always have great artists.  This year is no exception with guests such as Neal Adams, Dave Dorman, Kelly Yates, Pat Broderick, and Jose Delbo.  Pensacon always has interesting  panels and events, which we will talk about when we get closer to the con. 

Pensacon will be held February 17-19.  If any more news about Pensacon comes about, we post about it.  We plan on doing a Comic-Con watch blog every Monday so keep checking back!.

Reviewing: Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive

Nola Nerd Couple started seriously collecting comic books in 2014.  Unfortunately for me, my palindromic rheumatism started around the same time.  So, I was buying  comic books that I didn’t read.  When I wasn’t in pain, I was reading books for grad schools. A lot of books just found a space in our long box and sadly were not read.

Until now.

One of the  comics I collected at that time was Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive by Scott and David Tipton with artwork by Rachael Stott.  Star Trek got me through college and growing up Charlton Heston could do no wrong according to my mom. In other words, two of my favorite sci-fi franchises were combined in one story.



The Primate Directive #1.  Buy it at IDW


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NOLA-ing: Things to Do January 25-31, 2016

Looking for a couple of things to do this week in New Orleans?  Here are a couple of recommendations from!

Arthur Hardy Mardi Gras Tea: Join the definitive Mardi Gras expert, Arthur Hardy, at Longue Vue on January 26 from 1-3.  Mr. Hardy will provide a talk, then after a tour will provided of the mansion.  His coffee table book Mardi Gras in New Orleans: An Illustrated History is a fantastic read.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage: On Wednesday, January 27 at 8:00 the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts will boldly be going where on select theaters have gone before.  A live orchestra will be playing scores from various Star Trek franchises with scenes playing on a screen behind the orchestra. We have attended versions of this for Star Wars and The Legend of Zelda (which is coming to New Orleans in April), and we were not disappointed.

Family Gras: A free event held on the neutral ground on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie across from the Lakeside Mall.  Dr. John, The Monkees (on their 50th Anniversary Tour!), Andy Grammar, and Amanda Shaw will be performing at the festival. There will also be an arts market and, of course,  festival food. The festival will be from Jan 29 to Jan 31.

The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus:  Every nerd’s favorite parade starts at 7pm on January 30th.  We spent quite a bit of time this past year discussing should we go to the parade or be in the parade before deciding to be a spectator this year.  Now, what to dress up as….

King Cake Festival  On, January 31, 2016, Champions Square hosts the 3rd annual King Cake Festival.  Samples are $1 and proceeds go to children at Ochsner.




ComicCon-ing: Meeting the Cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation helped me get through college. It was on right when I got home and provided a great study break later on at night. At the time, we could catch TV stations from both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and luckily for me, a channel from each city played it in syndication. While I’m not the kind of Trekkie that can recite engineering schematics or much less dialogue, it is one of my favorite shows of all time.

A couple of years back, Wizard World New Orleans announced the cast would be attending the Comic Con. Due to an early Mardi Gras and the hosting of the SuperBowl, the con was moved to early December. It was on my birthday weekend. However, when the date approached, Wil Wheaton and Patrick Stewart, for very good reasons, had to cancel. (I didn’t vilify either one unlike Sheldon Cooper).

The rest of the cast didn’t let me down. Each one of them understood that the fans at comic cons just want a few minutes of their time to tell them what the show meant to them. Wizard World placed quite a few of them next to each other, and the chemistry that was apparent on screen was still there all these years later. They joked with each other, asked us questions, and totally made us feel great.

However, Marina Sirtis took it to the next level. Like every young man that watched the show, I had a huge crush on her. Scratch that past tense, I still have a huge crush on her. When we walked up to her booth, I think she developed a crush on….Cristina. She kept remarking how beautiful my wife was. While it wasn’t a crush on me, I can’t really complain about her gushing over Cristina! Cristina told her that the poster was my birthday present, so Sirtis gave me her autograph for free as a birthday present!

It was a great birthday. I got to spend it meeting some of my teenage heroes. I had six out of the eight actors’ signatures on my poster. I figured it would be a while before I got the last two.

To paraphrase one of my favorite attractions in Orlando…”or so I thought.”

Orlando’s MegaCon, just six months later, had the entire ST:TNG cast including Sir Patrick Stewart and Wil Wheaton. This was great for us since we have family that lives there. Both Stewart and Wheaton made the wait worth it. We told them we both missed them in New Orleans and they both explained why they couldn’t be there. They both understood that 30-second connection (which Wheaton actually talks about in his blog and on Twitter).

They all understood that this is a way to make sure their work lives on. Comic Cons allow us to meet our heroes. The ones that understand that a positive experience will make us rewatch their shows and tell others about our experience, which in turn may make others watch the show. Plus, the money they make at the cons has to be a great perk as well!STTNG

Now my poster is complete. It has the place of honor in our Nola Nerd Couple lounge. It makes me smile and think of how much fun we had at both of those Comic Cons. Writing about this, made me realize how much I love Comic Cons. Luckily for us, we have quite a few still in store for this year!


ComicCon-ing: Nerds of the World Unite in New Orleans Comic Con 2011

All my life I have been a nerd. Sure, I tried playing it off from time to time. I’ve even denied it on occasion. However, nothing can change the fact that I’m a nerd. It’s in my blood. It’s coded in my DNA. My fiancée is built the same way. Hence, Nola Nerd Couple.

New Orleans Comic Con

Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans

Recently, I’ve been re-watching Buffy and Angel in chronological order of course. I never made it out of the fourth season the first time around and that’s where I’m currently in my viewing. One day, Cristina asked me who my favorite character was. Spike, I answered. For our Christmas, which was December 19 due to Cristina’s NYC trip, she surprised me with a James Marsters VIP pass to the New Orleans Comic Con.

With the exception of Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World, it had been over a decade and a half since my last convention. At the last one I attended, a Star Trek convention in which the featured guest was James Doonan aka Scotty, I nearly got into a fist-fight with a woman who looked like Newman from Seinfeld over the merits of the fictional writings of William Shatner. In other words, sci-fi conventions are wonderful entertainment.

Billie Dee Williams

The coolest guy in the room imagining what it would be like to be president

We woke up early Saturday morning and heading to the Earnest Morial Convention Center. We got our tickets and went to look for food. Convention food is horrible. If we had more time, I would have suggested Couchon Butcher but we were pressed for time. Dried hamburgers and chicken sandwiches would have to make due. I then got Walter Koenig’s (Chekov from Star Trek) autograph. I went to a panel for James Marsters and realized quickly that this guy gets it. He wasn’t ashamed to be there…why should he be considered how much money could be made doing this? Next up, was the coolest guy in the convention: Mr. Billie Dee Williams. He did confirm that for him, at least, Colt 45 worked each and every time. We then went to the autograph booth and got his picture. Collecting Star Wars autographs is one of Cristina’s hobbies, so this was a nice early birthday present for her. We then split ways. I went to another Buffy panel while Crisitna went meet Adam West and Burt Ward. She recommended Drago’s to Burt Ward but he doesn’t like oysters so I don’t think he took her advice. I wonder if she told him she doesn’t like oysters either. We got more autographs from the Buffy cast and went to more panels.

Kurt and Cristina on the Riverwalk

I’m photobombing my own picture

For supper, we just walked to the Riverwalk. This is when I love living in New Orleans. Other people’s malls have Sbarro’s, Taco Bell and if they are fancy they might have a Ruby Tuesday. I ordered from Mike Anderson’s Seafood. While it’s not as good as the Gonzales restaurant, ordering fried oysters and alligator in a mall is just really (for the lack of a better word) cool.

We headed back to the Con and watched the costume contest. If I were from anywhere else I would have been amazed. Living in and around New Orleans, I wasn’t that impressed. We finished the night with a James Marsters concert (who knew?) and then went visit friends at the Half Moon.

Julie Benz

Julie Benz answering questions about Buffy, Dexter, and No Ordinary Family

Day 2 started with the lovely Julie Benz of Dexter and Buffy fame. She was very chatty when we met her. We met more actors; we looked at and bought plenty of art work. I got to meet David Pirner of Soul Asylum which is when I turned into a true fan boy. I think I hid it well though and just thanked him for the music he’s made over the years.

Overall, it was a great two days and a wonderful birthday present. I loved the fact that the actors were happy to be there. Two of them, Marsters and Koenig, knew the bigger reason for those conventions. They are not for the fans to meet the actors and artists. It’s for them to meet each other. It’s for nerds to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

Walter Koenig

Walter Koenig sharing his wisdom