The NekoCon Diaries 2016: Fan Panel Recap

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So when you’re like me and don’t know what to do with yourself other than look at overpriced figures at the Vendor’s Hall, it’s good to have a schedule to provide some structure to your con going experience; hence why I attended so many panels this year.  Well, that and I knew I was going to recap them for the website; and that’s a win-win in my book!  Today, we’ll be focusing on the fan panels which are hosted by individuals attending the convention rather than the invited guests or representatives of some company looking to market directly to their fans.  Do these manage to have an authenticity and love of their respective fandoms that you wouldn’t find in more professional presentations?  Let’s find out!!

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90s Animation Revisited: Rejoin Your Childhood Friends

Hosted by Peggy Miller

This was the first panel I went to at the convention, and right off the bat it put me in a sour mood.  This was nothing more than nostalgia baiting with nothing even resembling insight or depth into what made these cartoons so memorable (or in certain cases, infamous).  Rattle off the name of a series, show the opening, ask the audience what year it came out, and repeat nineteen more times.  Hell, they couldn’t even stick to the decade as several of these started in the late eighties but remained popular throughout the nineties.  Fair enough I guess, but what about showing Power Rangers which was NOT an animated show?  I’ll let you all know right now that my biggest problem with most of the fan panels this year is that they’re sometimes a mile wide but always an inch deep.  This one did manage to have a breadth of content by name checking twenty different shows in an hour, but so what?  No mention of Klasky Csupo shows, no mention of how Mighty Mouse: the New Adventures from 1987 was the jumping off point for many prominent animators in the following decade, no mention of Disney Television Animation who made half the shows name checked here, and most egregiously (at least in my opinion), they couldn’t even be bothered to tell us all that the creator of Doug was born less than a hundred miles away from where we were sitting.  That’s a VERY easy factoid to just throw out there to the audience and I’m sure several people would have gotten a real kick out of it.  The only thing you’d get out of this is what you already would be bringing into it, and I just don’t think that’s much of a panel.

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The NekoCon Diaries 2016: NekoCon Harder

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Another year has passed which means it’s time for Doctor Scientist and I (along with Doctor Scientist’s girlfriend this time) to head back to Hampton VA and attend NekoCon 2016!  And yes, if we do this again next year, than it will be called NekoCon with a Vengeance.  With my schedule the way it is (work, website, sleep, repeat until death) I’m not one to get out much for anything other than seeing movie and making poor choices about my diet, so I really have been looking forward to going back to this convention since I got back from it last year.  So how was it?  Well considering that this is only my second convention ever, let’s just say that it’s still a work in progress for me to get the most out of my experience.  I’m not a typically social person in the first place, so being surrounded by THAT many people is nerve racking to a certain degree which kinda limited how much fun I was having at the time; rather I was focusing a lot on having a full schedule so I would have lots to talk about here.  I do have a notebook full of notes and a mountain full of things I bought, so there’s no doubt I got something out of it, but the in-between moments where I had an hour or two before the next event, I was struggling to do anything other than walk around the Vendor’s Hall decidedly not buying anything and not really talking to people either.  Oh well.  Live and learn I guess.  I DID get more pictures this year than last, so that’s something at least!

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Cinema Dispatch: Inferno

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Inferno and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Ron Howard

Oh hey!  I guess this is the reason Tom Hanks has been around so much recently!  His recent Saturday Night Live appearance was absolutely fantastic and honestly just what we needed during this very stressful time of the year.  Now I thought The Da Vinci Code was a decent enough film, and while I haven’t seen the sequel Angels and Demons, it’s mostly due to laziness rather than a real lack of desire to see the further adventures of Robert Langdon; especially considering that Ron Howard is still helming these things.  Can they manage to make decent thriller out of yet another Dan Brown novel, or has this series already grown stale? Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with good ol’ Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) waking up in a hospital in Florence with a bleeding skull and no memory of how he ended up there or what the hell he’s doing in Italy in the first place.  He doesn’t have much time to figure out what happened though as within minutes of him waking up, he’s attacked by a rouge police officer and only manages to escape with the help of the on duty nurse Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones).  It doesn’t take long after looking through his personal affects that he’s trying to solve some mystery left by Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) who’s some asshole tech billionaire (oxymoron, I know) who’s SO concerned about overpopulation that he creates this super virus that will kill half the Earth’s population and will be release on the world in twenty four hours and FOR SOME REASON left a series of clues to find the damn thing so that Langdon can Sienna can stop him.  Of course, the reason why they have to follow the clues instead of getting Jack Bauer to beat the location out of him is because dumbass jumped off a tower and went splat after being chased by World Health Organization agent Christopher Bouchard (Omar Sy) who was trying to stop him.  Of course, the World Health Organization is ALSO after Langdon for some reason that probably has to do with that block of time that he cannot remember.  So not only does he have to run from renegade cops, but also from the WHO that I guess will only slow him down on his quest to find where the virus is and how it will be released upon mankind.  Can Robert solve this mystery despite recently suffering a head injury, and are the answers locked up in his slowly recovering mind?  Will the World Health Organization get its shit together long enough to be of some ACTUAL use in this situation rather than getting in Langdon’s way?  What is it with rich assholes thinking they can kill their way to a better world!?

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“Look!  Zobrist added words to this picture! It must mean something!”     …     “No wait.  It’s just some terrible poetry about the darkness of mankind and shit.”

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