Wednesday, May 20, 2015

AC Boardwalk Con Adventure Part 1


You couldn't move in AC last weekend. Everywhere you turned there was a bachelorette party going on. It was like an old B-movie, but, instead of the Jersey Shore getting infested with 50-foot mutated soon-to-be brides, it was overrun with literal hordes of drunken twenty-something girls wearing dresses that could barely fit my arm. They were stumbling all over the boardwalk, making a scene at the casinos, and even loud talking (slurring) on line at Starbucks. Believe me, I'm all for partying, but the combination of drunkenness only amplified the fact that they all seemed to think they were hot shit. Something about getting dressed up and downing weak shots of fruity liqueur makes even the biggest disasters feel like they could nail David Beckham. They couldn't even pronounce Macchioto at that point, but, then again, they could barely walk - even with those giant heels in hand. Don't think for a second that their male counterparts weren't up to the same shenanigans in other casinos, they just disguised it better. Clusters of dudes on their bachelor parties were equally as obnoxious, but they weren't wearing tiaras and sashes, so they didn't stand out as much. Why am I telling you this? To set the scene of course!

While much of this turned out to be entertaining in itself, like witnessing multiple girls trip over their giant heels in their micro mini skirts right before my eyes, it got in the way of my real mission: getting to the FIRST EVER Atlantic City Boardwalk Con. Last weekend, Dinosaur Dracula and I escaped immediately into a parking garage and sought refuge in the most perfect place imaginable - The Atlantic City Convention Center. This place was bustling with an entirely different breed of revelers: Geeks. The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con was like being in the Merry Land of Oz, if Oz was a comic convention and Kevin Smith was the Wizard.

AC took on a double meaning for me. The Atlantic City Convention Center was supplied with Air Conditioning, which made it a haven in more ways than one; it was an awesome way to get out of the humidity (I'm currently AC-less at home), but it was also an immense emporium for all of my favorite geek things. From comics books to Zatanna cosplay, it was all there spread throughout the cavernous facility. The craziest part about it was that they didn't even utilize half the floor space and ACBC was still a huge con.

Cosplay was in full force. Personally, I never get sick of seeing cosplayers and the insane amount of time and effort they put into their bringing their characters to life. Some cosplayers have such elaborate homemade costumes and they never break from their roles. They're usually happy to chat and take pictures and those I spoke to at ACBC were friendly and seemed pretty psyched to be there. Cosplay was a key part of the AC Boardwalk Con (i.e Dark Helmet) and it's welcome to see it get the spotlight that it deserves here in New Jersey. I saw Callie Cosplay as Sue Storm and she looked fantastic. Much like some of the other cosplayers at ACBC, she changed costumes over the course of the weekend, but in the video you can catch a quick glimpse of her as Sue.

Since ACBC is new, it was a fresh experience. There was an aspect of discovery that I don't get from other cons. With New York Comic Con, it always feels like an organized mess, overshadowed by the mega conglomerates who sink the most ad money into the event. On the other hand, ACBC provided me with a happy feeling every time I turned a corner and noticed something that I hadn't before. It was a mix of independent vendors and the random official Marvel Universe kiosk. An excellent balance of both. Plus. the easy to follow floor layout and the imaginative vendor set-ups infused the stagnant con prototype with a new style. Mostly, it was just different than the norm, and less stressful and aggravating to navigate than the other big cons.

Enticing my eyeballs for a few hours were random toys, odd collectibles, and beautiful artwork. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I actually didn't come home with any. I resisted. I so desperately wanted the Batman/Harley Quinn painting you'll see in the video above, but it was about $900 bucks! I got bills, yo! I'll stick with the shots in the video footage I took. Further guilt was brought on by the fact that I've bought so many figures recently that I wanted to stick with a few original items to take home with me, so let me show you what came home with.


The NJ Ghostbusters were on site investigating a free floating full torso apparition of an old famed casino owner who is known to haunt the Atlantic City area. When I ran into the boys in gray, they didn't have much time to B.S with me about the latest issue of Space Catalog because they just got an urgent call from Janine Melnitz, so I quickly threw them some cash so I could own one of their beautiful NJGB t-shirts! Could this shirt be any more apropos for me? NJ and Ghostbusters, perfect. I also picked up some stickers.

All the way from the far off land of Los Angeles, CA, I stopped at the table of JSalvador's Super Emo Friends. These cute paintings of sad super heroes, rock stars, and pop culture icons grabbed me as if I saw a sad puppy in a pet shop window. How could I resist Emo Jason Voorhees moping on his mother's severed head? I also picked up the Emo Arrow for Mike


ACBC didn't give me much to bitch about at all. I only had one minor gripe. I didn't wind up meeting any of the guests, but the celebrity signing lines could've used more ingenuity. Once you reached the autograph and picture area in the back of the con, it was clogged up with people milling around trying to figure out whose line they wanted to go wait on first. Even getting remotely close to that wing would've gotten you caught up in a bit of a traffic jam. It's possible they weren't expecting such a huge turnout, but they'll definitely have to expand this area next year.

ACBC was a success and I will venture to say that it was one of the most enjoyable conventions I'd ever been to. There was a positive vibe throughout and people weren't acting like jerks. Seeing kids and families there also brought me back to when I was young and geeky things like comics weren't ruled by 40-something dudes. It's a family affair and that's cool. ACBC did a bang up job right out of the gate. Looking forward to next year already!

You didn't think our adventure ended at The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, did you? Of course, there's more to come from our exploits AFTER the con! Things got pretty interesting so come back soon to check it out. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Dirty Pearls at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ


My blogging time has dwindled as of late, so this recap should've been posted weeks ago, but it's here now! Get ready to watch, listen, and read about The Dirty Pearls show at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ on April 11th, 2015. After their upcoming show at The Viper Room in West Hollywood on May 23rd, it's onto their BIG New York City concert, Saturday June 20th! Tickets are available now.

The show at the Brighton Bar was basically a warm up for the band. When you're prepping for a workout, you might want to stretch first so you don't pull a muscle. Some people choose to contort themselves, others jog in place. Occasionally, you'll see some crazy bastards doing thousands of jumping jacks. That's all good if you're exercising, but what if you're a rock band preparing for a bunch of concerts in support of your new music? You can do all the vocal exercises you want, but you better be on point when you come to New Jersey. In this case, the crew from the lower east side of New York City, The Dirty Pearls, brought their A-game to The Brighton Bar  - no arm circles necessary.

Evaluating a band like The Dirty Pearls, who are constantly running on all cylinders, they don't need much of a warm up. Just give 'em a stage to play on and they'll blow the audience away, which is precisely what they did at The Brighton Bar.

On our way to the show, I realized that I hadn't been to The Brighton Bar in about 10 or 11 years. This fact was shocking to me, and after the night was through, I already wanted to go back because it's such an awesome place to see a show. The layout is perfect for seeing bands and the bar made me want to plant myself next to it for a few hours. I felt at ease there which is rare for me since I'd rather watch the concert via my couch at home.

Back to the DP concert!

These guys are always on, and I have no idea how they do it. Their fuel may very well be "Caffeine and Gasoline," which happens to be one of their most potent tracks, one that will get you energized before you can even reach over and crack open that Red Bull to get you through the night. Naturally, it was included in their set list, among many of their other staple tracks, like their opener, "Whether You Like it or Not," followed by "Bring on the Night," "Sucker for a Sequel," and sending it home with their signature anthem "New York City is a Drug."

I always try to seize the opportunity to check out one of my favorite bands, The Dirty Pearls, when they're playing merely miles away from my house. It was all the more awesome since they debuted some brand new tracks, some were never performed live previously! 

If you checked out My Top 6 Favorite Dirty Pearls Songs, you know that "Dynamite" made the list, and sure enough, they played it at the Brighton Bar! After talking with the band, that song will likely appear on their next release, along with the other tracks they premiered that night including, "Boom Boom Boom," "Who Will Save Rock and Roll?" and "We Don't Need Your Kind." These new tunes planted a pop-rock punch while maintaining the booze splashed punk edge and Lower East Side attitude of their previous work. 

Smashing the kit and spinning his sticks, Mr. Marty E. looked like he was having a blast as he always is. That dude has fun whether he's at a real estate seminar or rocking out on stage. Frontman Tommy London interacted with the crowd throughout their set. Always entertaining, London bestowed us with his definitive David Coverdale impression and even made a Friendster reference. Not many lead singers of rock and roll bands are gonna be making references to ancient social media sites, but leave it to Tommy! Along with telling amusing anecdotes about some of their popular tracks, he broke into a homage to Billy Idol with a bit of "Rebel Yell," and also dedicated a cover of "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" to New York's beloved Ramones.

This was merely an appetizer prior to their big New York City show at the Gramercy Theater on June 20th. Tickets are on sale NOW! GO HERE FOR MORE INFO!

Monday, May 04, 2015

AC Boardwalk Con Is Coming May 14th - 17th!

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Get Your Tickets at DOACBC.COM and USE DISCOUNT CODE "BLOG10" to receive 10% off your ticket purchase, courtesy of AC Boardwalk Con and The Sexy Armpit!

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Geek conventions and casinos have something in common. Think about it, aside from a few exceptions, for many years there were two main spots in the country to gamble in a casino, Atlantic City and Las Vegas. It was much the same with comic conventions. The official Comic Cons always happened in San Diego and New York City. No longer do we have to deal with only two major cons. Nowadays, comic and pop culture conventions are happening constantly all over the country.

Promoters have been capitalizing on the demand for cons and we have more events to choose from than ever before, especially here in New Jersey. One that I have been waiting patiently for the last couple of years for is the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, a.k.a ACBC. The announcement for this huge event came quite a while ago and it's finally upon us. In merely a couple of weeks (May 14th - 17th 2015) you can be a part of their inaugural event in Atlantic City, NJ.

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New Jersey has a few comic conventions throughout the year, but none seem to be on the same level as this one. ACBC's organizers have spared no expense to hit the ground running. Although it's the first ACBC, it has the epic feel of a con that's been around for a decade. Celebrity guests, collectibles, concerts, events, contests, film fests, and an after hours party will comprise this jam-packed geekgasm of a weekend.

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This is a chance to hobnob with comic book artists and creators as well as check out some Q&As, workshops, take part in masquerades, and snap your cosplay photos at some awesome backdrops. There will also be the cosplay competition and crowning of Mr. and Miss Cosplay Atlantic City, a Warriors Reunion, and a Film and TV auto exhibit.

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I've always been a huge fan of events that take place in Atlantic City because there's always stuff to do when the con ends for the night. Plus, it's so much easier to make a weekend of it all and give it that "mini-vacation" vibe. The weather is warm, the beach is next door, the boardwalk is always filled with stuff to do, and you'll no doubt want to try your luck at a table game or a slot machine while you're in AC, because what's the sense of being in AC if you don't gamble away your life savings and fall deeper in hate with yourself in the process? But do that AFTER you head to ACBC because you may want an autograph from Thea Queen from Arrow first. Just looking out for ya!

From the looks of the website, this con is shaping up to be the real deal. It would truly be a feat to see ACBC succeed in such a big way that it cements it's place amongst the major players of the convention scene. It's looking promising, and New Jersey may finally have it's official comic-con.

Celebrities Appearing for Autographs and Photo Ops Include:
Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanaugh, Willa Holland, William Shatner, Brian Tee, Bryan Johnson, Drew Powell, Charles Fleischer, Elizabeth Lail, Garett Wang, Georgina Haig, Jason Mewes, Jeremy Shada, Jess Harnell, Michael Rooker, Manu Bennett, Rob Paulsen, The cast of The Warriors, Tress Macneille and a host of others!

Bands Performing: September Mourning, New Politics, and Make Out Monday

Atlantic City Convention Center
1 Convention Boulevard
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rob Zombie's Super Monster Sex Action Tour Is Coming To Starland Ballroom


He claimed he would be swearing off horror for a while to delve into other genres, but Rob Zombie isn't keeping his word. There's more movies and music to be made and Zombie seems like he's Never Gonna Stop. I'm more than cool with his self-defiance. The hard working and hard rocking horror icon, a.k.a Rob Cummings, will be unleashing his own brand of hell onto the Starland Ballroom is Sayreville, NJ on Saturday, June 6th 2015. It's the Super Monster Sex Action Tour, and it's gonna be insane.

Zombie's ability to churn out new music is astounding. This guy is a creative machine. For Zombie fans, each of his albums have consistently delivered, all while throwing up a middle finger to the mainstream. I'm hoping a few new tracks will be unveiled at the sold out show.

How does he do it all? I have a hard time working, blogging, and putting the dishes away, but this guy writes and directs films AND tours in support of albums crammed with songs he writes and records with his band. Whatever magic juice he's drinking, gimme some of that!

In the movie realm, on the horizon for Zombie is his own crowdfunded horror film, 31. Early clues such as plot, storyboards, and character design point to this being the best work of his career, which is encouraging for people who were left underwhelmed by The Lords of Salem. Not saying it's a great film, but personally, I enjoyed it.

Also coming up, he'll be executive producing and providing some voice work for the animated The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning. Getting Zombie on board for an installment in this franchise couldn't be more in his wheelhouse, it's a total no-brainer.

Back to the topic of Zombie's concerts - they are always quite a spectacle. You won't be hearing any A Capella or harmonizing, it's all about the rock. You'll have a bad case of rockneck from all the headbanging. He often throws in some surprises too. For instance, last year, at his concert in Camden, NJ, Zombie brought out the Catman himself, Peter Criss, for a special performance of "God of Thunder." He eloquently urged his legion of fans in a courteous manner that, "Now would be the time to take out those stupid fucking phones, you might want to film this..." You can check out the entire clip courtesy of Jim Powers' YouTube account below.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 118: Jolly Voorhees!


It's not often that I'll actually model the t-shirt for this column, so savor this moment while it lasts. Earlier today I posted this pic on my Instagram, which you should follow if you haven't already and I will most likely follow you back as long as you aren't some fake robo-account, so you can see dumb pics like this that I tend to post. Today's shirt, The Jolly Voorhees, arrived today in my mailbox and it features a design by a favorite artist of mine from South Jersey, Blair J. Campbell.

Mr. Campbell has created hundreds of awesome designs that you've seen on t-shirts and basically all over the Internet. He's responsible for some of my favorite pop culture mash-ups that run the gamut of cartoons and comics to movies and TV shows.

The Jolly Voorhees is another one of his brilliant fusions. The skull and crossbones is a logo notorious for letting everyone know that whoever has a Jolly Roger flag are usually evil pirates. Mix that with my favorite horror film franchise, Friday the 13th, and it doesn't get much better than this! This black tee's graphic depicts Jason Voorhees' mask with 2 machetes crossed underneath with a dripping red number 13. PLUS, the entire graphic is subtly splattered with blood.

Aside from taking this silly selfie today, I was also excited to see that Jerry Bruckheimer tweeted the first pic of Captain Jack Sparrow from the set of Pirate of the Caribbean 5! On top of all this, it's T-Shirt Tuesday, so it felt like fate that this all happened all in one day and I just had to tell you all about it.

Check out all of Blair's other t-shirt designs including his Star Wars Red Five tee in the Top Gun style - it's a classic! You can see more at his Teepublic shopAND OMG HIS ZIGGY STAR TREK IS INSANELY GOOD!
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