Sultryminxzoe's Blog

Sometimes it is the lies we tell ourselves that hurt the most January 1, 2013

Filed under: Personal — sultryminxzoe @ 1:10 pm

Most of those who follow me (used to follow me, I know I don’t post anywhere near regularly – a resolution for the New Year), do not know much about me. We may actually know one another in real life and have done so for years. We may have shared good times and sad times and even wiped away a few tears together. Alas, there are few who truly know me – all of me. That previous statement applies to no one more than myself.

It is New Year’s Day as I write this post. While the rest of the world nurses a hangover or makes that first trip to the gym, I sit alone with only the stark white glare of my laptop to comfort me. I was invited to a slew of parties last night, parties I should have attended. Truth be told, I was a terrible friend in 2012, among my many other failings.

New Year’s Eve is a time for taking stock – of your life, or your deeds, of the deeds done unto you. It is a chance to acknowledge our faults and make plans to be better. It is also a time for hope. When the clock strikes twelve and a new year begins, it brings with it the hope that the future is wide open, that all our greatest hopes and dreams are attainable – “the world is my oyster!” This year I will drop those 15 pounds. This year I will find a new job. This year I will find the love of my life. I do not wish to belittle these resolutions should they be among yours and I must admit, I would welcome any of them; however, my resolution for 2013 is this…to leave some of my baggage behind.

2012 was not my best year. Nonetheless, I have always prided myself on a sense of strength. Safely behind my own fortress of solitude, carefully constructed year after year against the constant bombardment of life’s strife, I carry on. That is not to say I do not feel emotions, but rather that I keep them to myself. It is how I was raised. Alone with my thoughts and doubts and insecurities, I process; I deal; I move on. Or so one thinks. There are those that would argue my desire to take on the world alone is at the expense of my relationships. I can neither confirm nor deny this belief. For those that would choose a place beside me, trust is hard-won. However, once attained, it is most sacred to me.

It has taken years to get to a place where I can truly believe I am worthwhile and even of some value – to believe I am awesome. As Jen Friel would say, “I’m not special, I’m just awesome!” I believe with every ounce of my being that I was there. No matter what life threw my way, this was an infallible truth. Of course there are things I could do better, more I wanted to learn, experiences I yearned to have, but as a whole, I could say I was happy with who I had become – strong, confident, secure.

Then, something happens – nothing earth-shattering, in fact it can be something quite inconsequential; however, it changes everything. It makes you question that sense of yourself you fought so hardly for and reintroduces insecurities you thought long laid to rest. Sadly, this is where I begin 2013, with a renewed sense of anxiety and fear, left to wonder how one who was once so self-assured gets back to solid ground. I do not know what it will take to work through my issues, but I am taking a stand here and now. I resolve to spend 2013 learning to cope so that I can finally move on with the rest of my life and release that which continues to hold me back. I will learn to channel my emotions rather than confine them to a dark corner within my mind. Use that which threatens me so to become a better, stronger person. I resolve to leave the negative fallout behind.

 

Geeks or Geeklitists? July 24, 2012

Filed under: Geek Rant — sultryminxzoe @ 11:47 pm

I recently read the post “Booth babes need not apply on the CNN Geek Out! blog, as well as many of the comments posted in response. While I agree with the ideal this blog post is hoping to convey – there is no need for fake in the geek community, this post neglects a few points.

 

What follows are my personal views.

 

For instance, why are we hating on the cosplayers? Look, I have some not so nice thoughts about booth babes. The women who dress up in skimpy outfits with no concept of the brands they are paid to represent SHOULD NOT be confused with talented individuals with a flare for performance art, or a passion to play. The “pretty girl” geeks may be few, but they exist and dare I say, in larger numbers than anyone would like to acknowledge. What right does anyone have to judge their level of passion?

 

Secondly, I have a problem with the implication that women are involved in the community due to the “broadening content.” Some of us are geeks through and through. We did not need Twilight, an Apple product, comics finally adapted into films that actually see a return on investment, or The Big Bang Theory greenlit for primetime television to realize we were card-carrying members of the L33t Squad. Some of us have been teaching ourselves to program, watching subtitled anime and geeking out over experimental tech since we were hammering away on our Commodore 64.

 

Third, I would echo a point made by one who submitted a comment to the blog. When did the community develop a litmus test to keep out the “cool” kids? I have been patiently waiting to receive my Star Trek communicator badge, but until we can all proudly pin those on, what criteria should we be using to identify our fellow geeks. Who gets to be in charge of deciding who makes the grade?

 

Finally, I simply want to say this sense of the torch-bearing mob out to burn impostors, is not the community I know and love. I consider the geek community family for the very reason that, as a community, we come together to support one another. We may wave flags of different fandoms or represent different segments of nerd culture, but together “we are mighty!” I do not have to play your RPG to understand your attachment to something that gives you such joy. You do not have to watch the Syfy Original Movies I love so much to respect my inclusion in the group.

 

THIS IS NOT THE SCHOOL PLAYGROUND! We are geeks and we run the world. When did we become so elitist? Surely, we do not mean to say there is nothing of value to be gained in associating with the non-geeks of the world. I refuse to believe that a community, of which so many members struggled, hoping to one day be accepted, now refuses to accept others due to a perceived lack of status. Instead of worrying so much about whether or not someone has enough geek cred to join the club, perhaps we should start seeking out and encouraging those elements in the people around us; thereby, cultivating a more expansive community.

 

Jammie Dodgers – Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Sandwich Cookies December 21, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — sultryminxzoe @ 11:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As the holidays have been creeping closer and closer, recipes for Christmas confections have been dancing in my head. I collect recipes and pictures of food like a hoarder, inspired by a colorful plate of food, an intriguing flavor . . . or in this case, one of my favorite television series.

I am a Whovian – loud and proud! I have spent a considerable amount of time waiting for a strange Doctor and his lovely blue police box to appear in my yard. I anticipate snow so I can try out my latest plans for a life-size Tardis out of snow (I even have plans to make it appear bigger on the inside). With all my love for Doctor Who, it was only natural that I should take my love to the kitchen. While fish fingers and custard could be quite tasty, I’m in a cookie state of mind. What could be more Whovian than a batch of Jammie Dodgers?

Jammie Dodgers with an assortment of mini leaf Sugar Cookies

Jammie Dodgers are traditionally a shortbread cookie filled with jam. If you are already familiar with Linzer cookies, you’re on the right path. Hmm, I thought. I can make shortbread cookies and jam is a breeze to whip up. The Angels sing and a star is born!

I will warn you up front, I have taken a few liberties here. The shortbread cookie recipe is actually a family recipe. Big thanks to my Aunt Linda for sharing her Sugar Cookie recipe with me . . . and now, with you! I selected her recipe because it is not one of those overly-sweet-put-you-in-a-sugar-coma recipes. It has just a hint of sugar, enough salt to tingle the tastebuds and will hold up to spreading; a perfect compliment to a fruit jam. As far as jam is concerned, fresh is best. I am including a quick and easy jam recipe below. If making jam just isn’t your thing, don’t sweat the small stuff – store bought jam will work wonders in a pinch.

TO MAKE THE COOKIES, you will need:

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Table Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Shortening
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Milk
2 tsp Vanilla
Confectioners/Icing Sugar, for dusting

Directions:
1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Grease cookie sheets.
2.) In a large bowl, mix together Flour, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Sugar.
3.) Cut Shortening into the dry ingredients. The mixture should begin to resemble sand.
4.) In a measuring cup, beat Milk, Vanilla and Eggs with a fork to blend.
5.) Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold until the dough begins to come together. The dough will still be loose.
6.) Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with Confectioners/Icing Sugar. Knead the dough until the mixture comes together completely and will hold shape.
7.) With a rolling pin dusted with Confectioners/Icing Sugar, roll dough out to approximately 1/8″ in width. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out individual cookies from the rolled dough.
8.) Place cookies on the greased sheet. Bake until just firm to the touch, approximately 10 minutes.
9.) Allow cookies to cool on the sheet pan approximately 5 minutes. Move cookies to a rack to cool completely. Makes about 40 cookies, but remember sandwich cookies require 2 cookies 🙂
Note: Using Confectioners/Icing Sugar to dust surface and rolling pin allows the cookies to retain a bit of sweetness. The recipe has a large flour to sugar ratio, so using flour to dust your surface and rolling pin results in bland cookies.

TO MAKE THE JAM, you will need:

Ingredients
2 cups of Fruit, prepared*
1/4 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 1/4 oz Envelope Unflavored Gelatin

*To prepare, remove pits, stones, cores, seeds and peel where necessary. Cut bigger fruits into slices or smaller pieces to allow the fruit to break down more quickly and at a consistent rate.

Directions
1.)  Add fruit to a medium pot and place over medium-low heat. Bring fruit to a slow simmer, stirring regularly, approximately 15 minutes. The fruit will begin to break down and provide juice.
2.) Add Confectioners Sugar and stir to integrate completely. Continue cooking fruit mixture approximately 5 minutes. The fruit should be equal parts fruit pieces and juice. If you have a great volume of juice, that is okay.
3.) Using a fork or masher, mash the fruit. Do not completely destroy the fruit, you want pieces of fruit to run throughout the jam.
4.) Remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle the fruit mixture with Gelatin. Stir with a fork to dissolve the gelatin completely.
5.) Set the jam mixture aside and allow to cool completely. As the mixture cools, it will gel together. Alternately, now would be a good time to put the jam mixture into jars and save for later.

TO ASSEMBLE JAMMIE DODGERS:

1.) Take a Sugar Cookie, flat side up.
2.) Spread a generous amount of jam on the flat side of the cookie.
3.) Top with another Sugar Cookie, flat side facing jam.
4.) Dust with Confectioners/Icing Sugar, if desired

These sandwich cookies are even better with your warm beverage of choice. Snuggle up on the couch with a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa, a couple of Jammie Dodgers and watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Enjoy!

 

Dragon*Con 2010: My Dream Schedule August 31, 2010

Filed under: Conventions,Dragon*Con,Events — sultryminxzoe @ 3:07 am

If you’ve been to Dragon*Con before, you know that trying to cram everything you want to see and do into 3 1/2 days is near on impossible. However, every year, thousands upon thousands of us make attempt the impossible. While I know it is improbable, I have developed my dream schedule to optimize my Geek Out session for Dragon*Con 2010.

FRIDAY

10 am – True Blood with Actors

11:30 am – Warehouse 13

1 pm – Buffy/Angel

2:30 pm – Eureka

5:30 pm – Simon & Kaylee

7 pm – Buffy & Dr. Horrible

8:30 pm – Violent Video Games

10 pm & on – Stargate Party

SATURDAY

10 am – 21 Days to a Novel

11:30 am – Legend of the Seeker

2:30pm – Farscape

4 pm – Firefly

7 pm – Browncoats: Redemption Screening

10 pm – Browncoat Shindig

11:30 pm – Bedlam Bards Live

SUNDAY

10 am – Buffy/Angel

11:30 am – Scapecast Podcast

2:30 pm – Data from Data

4 pm – Farscape

5:30 pm – The Signal Podcast

7 pm – To V or Not to V (Back-up Panel: Being Human)

10 pm – BSG/Caprica

MONDAY

10 am – Whedonverse

11:30 am – BSG

1 pm – Red Dwarf

4 pm – Eureka

I realize there are some panels I have listed on multiple days. This is just a contingency plan. The one constant at fan conventions is lines. I am prepared to stand in lines for up to 2 hours for the big panels I must see. If I miss a panel the first time around, here’s hoping I see it another day. Of course I will not make it to all these panels. In addition to the geekery, I have friends to see, more friends to make and at some point a gal has to eat. Nonetheless, if I had my way and if the Con Gods are on my side, maybe, just maybe I’ll get my wish.

 

Road Trip: You Help Pick the Playlist! August 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sultryminxzoe @ 3:50 am

If you follow me on Twitter (@sultryminxzoe), you know I will be making my annual pilgrimage to the geek mecca that is Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia. On Tuesday, August 31st, I will finish my shift at the day job, hop in my car and make the arduous journey from Massachusetts to Georgia. My only companion, Gerry, my Aussie lover (a gal can dream), who resides in my GPS. However, a gal cannot retain her sanity (if there is any left) with Aussie accent alone.

Here is where you come in. Over the last week, I invited you to submit playlist recommedations – upbeat songs that will keep me singing and dancing in my driver’s seat. I’ve posted below most of the songs that make up the final playlist, in no particular order. There is some new music represented; however, the majority of the song selections include a healthy dose of nostalgia. I’m pretty sure there are some selections I should be embarrassed by. Nonetheless, I stand by my playlist. Love it or hate it, I hope you find at least one song to make you dance.

Big hugs to @dawnsister, @aboynamedart & @kelleyclark for contributing to the playlist! I received some excellent suggestions and was very excited to fall in love with some new bands/artists!

Dragon*Con 2010 Playlist

God is Not Great – George Hrab (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

When I Was Your Age – George Hrab (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

Wild Wild West – The Escape Club

Let the Bodies Hit the Floor – Drowning Pool

Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm

Bullet with Butterfly Wings – The Smashing Pumpkins

Voodoo – Godsmack

I Want to do Bad Things With You – Jace Everrett

Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) – Offspring

Dream On – Aerosmith

Why Don’t You Get a Job? – Offspring

Love the Way You Lie – Eminen ft. Rhianna

Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks

Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield

Rollin’ – Limp Bizkit

Money Money Money – ABBA

Heartbreaker – Pat Benetar

Invincible – Pat Benetar

Hold My Hand – Hootie & the Blowfish (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Only Wanna Be With You – Hootie & the Blowfish (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Small Town – John Cougar Mellencamp (Thanks to @dawnsister)

All I Want to do is Make Love to You – Heart

Alone – Heart

Sweet Dreams – The Eurythmics

Black Velvet – Alanna Myles

Come to My Window – Melissa Ethridge

Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty

The Garden – Mirah

R.O.C.K in the USA – John Cougar Mellencamp (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Somebody to Love – Queen

Don’t Stop Me Now  – Queen

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

The Freshmen – The Verve Pipe

Bound For the Floor – Local H

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something

Bawitdaba – Kid Rock

The Beautiful People – Marilyn Manson

On Our Own – Bobby Brown (that’s for you, @Browncoats359 🙂 )

Shadows (Dave Rubato Mix) – Midnight Juggernaughts (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

Mujer Latina – Thalia

Mas – Kinky (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

The Laws Have Changed – The New Pornographers (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Mr. Brightside – The Killers

Watching You – Rogue Traders (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

I Want to be Sedated – The Ramones

Magic Dance – David Bowie (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

Happiness Burns – Two Hours Traffic (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Firefly Theme – Sonny Rhodes ( @kelleyclark, I keep this one on my cell, GPS, MP3 & all my computers 🙂 )

*JoCo Looks Back – Jonathan Coulton (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

*Ready For This? – Tim Minchin (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

I Am a Paleantologist – They Might Be Giants (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

Electric Car – They Might Be Giants (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

*Flood – They Might Be Giants (Thanks to @kelleyclark)

Walk Now – Orbital (Thanks to @aboynamedart)

Are We Here? – Orbital (Thanks to @dawnsister)

Macho Man – Village People

In the Navy – Village People

Steam – Ty Herndon

Wait a Minute – The Pussycat Dolls

Buttons – The Pussycat Dolls

*The Adventures of the O.C. Supertons – The O.C. Supertones

*Supertones Strike Back – The O.C. Supertones

The Impression That I Get – The Mighty Mighty BossTones

All the Things She Said – t.A.T.u.

Roadtrip – Stomach Monkey

Slave to the Habit – Shane Minor

Ordinary Love – Shane Minor

Forgive – Rebecca Lynn Howard

I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! At the Disco

Morris Brown – Outkast

Someday – Nickelback

Figured You Out – Nickelback

Take Me to Your Leader – Newsboys

Cup O’ Tea – Newsboys

Breakfast – Newsboys

*Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Soundtrack

Move to Bremerton – Mxpx

Chick Magnet – Mxpx

The Devil in Miss Jones – Mike Ness

Crime Don’t Pay – Mike Ness

I Can Only Imagine – MercyMe

How Far – Martina McBride

*Got to Fly – Marian Call

One Step Closer – Linkin Park

Rollin’ – Limp Bizkit

My Way – Limp Bizkit

Cowboy – Kid Rock

Boogie Shoes – K.C. & the Sunshine Band

I’m Your Boogie Man – K.C. & the Sunshine Band

*Greatest Hits – JoDee Messina

*The Insyderz Present Skallelujah – Insyderz

Crawling in the Dark – Hoobastank

Runaway – Hoobastank

Faith Builder – Gimerstick

Stupify – Disturbed

Down With a Sickness – Disturbed

Without Me – Eminem

Mercy – Duffy

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves – Cher

Half-Breed – Cher

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – Cher

Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls

Toxic – Britney Spears

Circus – Britney Spears

If You Seek Amy – Britney Spears

Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) – Big & Rich

 

When Bad Things Happen to Good People August 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sultryminxzoe @ 11:18 am

If you’ve visited my blog before, you are used to seeing fan convention coverage and movie reviews – stuff that generally allows me to proudly wave my Geek flag. To this point, I have shared little in the way of personal information here. I would like to take a moment to change that and share a bit of myself with you. Many of you have heard me mention here and there about my brother. Please allow me to fill you in.

My brother, at the young and healthy age of 27, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As one would imagine, my family and I were shocked and astounded.  Even the doctors were hesitant to confirm such an unlikely diagnosis. Nonetheless, after countless tests and scans, there it is. The Big C in the corner, casting it’s shadow on an otherwise carefree youngin’.

Kevin "KP" Phillips

He was lucky in a way. He qualified for an international clinical trial. This trial uses a combination chemotherapy treatment, including Abraxane and Gemzar. While Gemzar is routinely used in treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, Abraxane is approved for the treatment of breast cancer. Together, the success in stabilizing or regression of pancreatic cancer has been promising.

He has more than hope! After 8 weeks of treatment, his latest test results and scans showed the cancerous tumors have reduced in size by 10%. Where he was barely able to eat a fist-size portion of food, he has regained his appetite and gained back 11 of the 20+ pounds he had lost during the initial weeks of treatment. The debilitating pain, which often relagated him to hours sitting in a hot shower, has all but subsided.

His general good health and young age pay a significant part in fighting the disease and bolstering his immune system. Perhaps more important, is his mellow attitude and consistent positive outlook. He has always been the laid-back sort and always up for a good time – characteristic which have always made him popular. With the blow to his health, the many friends he has made over the years have come out in droves to show their support. United, they make up Team KP – family and friends who share a genuine love and friendship for my brother and have vowed to stand with him in his fight. Check out Team KP on Facebook.

Half the Federici clan: (from left to right) Jessa Phillips, Kevin Phillips, Arlene Phillips, Teresa O'Doherty, Candice Phillips, Priscilla Federici, Joseph Federici, Jake O'Doherty & Audrey Federici

To date, there is no cure for pancreatic cancer. Sadly, this means my brother will always need treatment. Recently, Team KP hosted a fundraiser to help my brother with the considerable medical costs. Held at Williker’s in Shrewsbury, MA hundreds of family and friends came out to enjoy great food, listen to some great music and win lots of fantastic prizes, ranging from gift certificates to local establishments to tickets to sporting events and vacation packages. All tolled, the event raised more than $15,000.00! Read the press coverage at Community Advocate and TheDailyWestborough.com

Kevin, his girlfriend Teresa O'Doherty and her son Jake

If you would like to stay up to date on my brother and the progress of his treatment, visit his blog on Caring Bridge. If you are interested in helping financially, a fund has been set up at Sovereign Bank. You can walk in to any Sovereign Bank to donate or you can mail a check directly to his fund.

Kevin J Phillips Fund – Acct #38604896274

Mail donations to:
Sovereign Bank
Attn: Tim Alves
486 Lincoln Street
Worcester MA 01405

There will be more opportunities to contribute. There are Team KP wristbands, tanks, t-shirts and key chains. Check back here to find out how you can get your hands on these products and more in the near future.

While we may not have met, save for a tweet lost in the data stream of the world wide web, I consider you friend. I have had the great pleasure of meeting a number of you and cementing our friendship offline, and still more of you have made it a point to show caring and concern. I cannot express how truly appreciative I am to know each of you. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support.

 

At the Con: GraniteCon May 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sultryminxzoe @ 9:20 pm

Courtesy of Granite State Comicon

If you are a geek living in New England, I hope you made your way to the Radisson in Manchester, NH on Sunday for the Granite State Comicon (also known as GraniteCon). GraniteCon markets itself as one of the premier comic conventions in New England. Find out if a 1 day convention can deliver all the nerdery many have come to expect from a convention experience.

Courtesy of Double Midnight Comics & Collectibles

GraniteCon is sponsored by Double Midnight Comics & Collectibles, a comic and gaming store also located in Manchester, NH. Known as much for their welcoming embrace of gamers as for their massive collection of comics, Double Midnight Comics has made one thing abundantly clear – they listen to their geeks! GraniteCon seems to be a reflection of that.

When you arrive at the convention space and exchange your paltry $7.00 for admission (free if you come in cosplay) to a full day of comic immersion, you are immediately thrust into the Dealer’s Hall/Artist’s Alley/Tournament Space. Let us be honest, this is where you would be spending most of your time. The variety of Dealers is what you would expect – plenty of comics at bargain prices, the signed memorabilia you are all too eager to break into the piggy bank for and making an appearance as the official drink of GraniteCon, Gamer Soda.

One of the wonderful things about this convention is the variety. Double Midnight Comics understands that fans do not limit their interest to the trades, but are just as passionate about indie comics and artists. Among the artists were some names you may know: Cliff Rathburn (The Walking Dead Colorist), Talent Caldwell (Fathom, Wildcats & Supergirl Artist), Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash Creator & Wildcats Artist) and Eric Basaldua (Top Cow – Witchblade & Magdalena Artist). Also represented were artists you may not be aware of, such as Angela Costello-Nieves, Art O’Callaghan, Blair Shedd (oneGemini Studios – IDW’s Doctor Who Artist), Don Higgins (Dark Magic & Donuts) & Silver Circle (Animated Independent Movie) who hosted a Scream Contest for a chance to lend your voice to a scene in their movie.

Courtesy of 501st New England Garrison

Courtesy of Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

Perhaps you attend conventions to critique cosplay. With the lure of free admission, there was plenty of cosplay to admire. Capitalizing on attendee participation, GraniteCon hosted a Cosplay Contest judged by the members of Human Sushi Cosplay. Even if you are too shy to invite the attention cosplay garners, you could have your picture taken with a cosplayer. The 501st New England Garrison was on hand with R2D2 and the Ghostbusters of New Hampshire took Vigo out of his crate for pictures with attendees.

Most fans pride themselves on knowing more than others, so what is a convention without panels? The 501st New England Garrison took over the panel room with a screening of Star Wars Builders. The 501st is well-known for their extreme prop builds. Star Wars Builders is a documentary which chronicles their hard work as they build a self-propelled Dewback and Landspeeder.

If you have ever been to a fan convention, you know you can always count on a zombie presence. Adam Miller and Rich Woodall (Art Directors) of the comic anthology, Zombie Bomb!, along with John Herman (Director & Writer) & Bryan White (Writer & Host) of the webseries How to Survive the Strange shared the spotlight to talk about their projects and our fascination with the walking dead. Zombie Bomb! brings together more than 200 writers and artists to create great zombie stories in a series of comics. You can purchase the first installment from Terminal Press. How to Survive the Strange is a comedic series that provides practical tips on surviving the impending apocalypse. View the first episode now on howtosurvivethestrange.com with new episodes available twice a month.

Making a special appearance, Michael Dougherty, Director of the fan film Browncoats: Redemption, indulged fans with a panel. Browncoats: Redemption is a feature-length film which takes place in the world created by Joss Whedon in his television series Firefly and motion picture Serenity. Browncoats: Redemption picks up the story after the events of Serenity. The completed film will be available on dvd and the proceeds will be donated to charity. Sponsored by the SciFi Saturday Night podcast and accompanied by some New England Browncoats, Michael shared stories about making the film. Due to technical difficulties, the audience was rewarded with 7 minutes of never before seen footage of a fight scene featured in the film. Browncoats: Redemption will be released Labor Day weekend. Visit the website to learn more and view trailers.

According to their official twitter feed (@dmcomics), GraniteCon is not their first forray into events: “We’ve been running shows since 2003 but they’ve been taking off in the past few years. . . ” The event was fun and a great experience. Personally, I would have liked more panels and a bigger gaming presence, but it was definitely promising. I look forward to seeing how GraniteCon will continue to grow and develop. One thing is certain, GraniteCon has earned a place in my convention schedule.