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Preview: Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con

Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is coming up again this weekend!

This is the 4th annual convention for Amazing in Las Vegas, and this year they have moved away from their usual space at Southpoint Casino and are instead taking up residency at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The venue isn’t the only thing that’s different this year. Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con has decided to take their convention in a new direction, focusing on what Comic Con used to be about: comics.

Many comic conventions are criticized for using pop-culture guests as their main attraction, and it seems as if Amazing has decided to counter this trend by focusing primarily on comic writers and artists.

Comic guests for 2016 include comic book legends Chris Claremont and Kevin Eastman, Marvel artists Steve McNiven and Kenneth Rockafort, DC artists Phillip Tan and Tyler Kirkham, along with many others. The convention’s focus on comics is also reflected in their panel lineup, meaning that guests will have plenty of time to learn a thing or two from their favorite comic artist/writer.

On Saturday guests can join Phillip Tan for a look at the DC Universe according to Harley Quinn, as well as join Steve McNiven, Charles Soule and Jimmy Cheung as they discuss the world of Captain America. Sunday is officially kid’s day, and guests will be able to talk TMNT with Kevin Eastman and attend a couple panels featuring MLP artist Tony Fleecs and Phineas and Ferb’s Matt Nastos.

There will be a variety of costume contests and performances by The Library Bards all weekend long, and guests will have the opporunity to meet the the executive producer of AMC’s Preacher and get the first issue of the original comic for free!

If you’re going to be in Las Vegas this weekend, then make sure to put this on your list of geeky things to do! It’s not too late to grab your tickets.

Will you be attending Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con? Let us know in the comments!

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Wizard World: Vendor Spotlight

If you’re looking for some great artists and creators to fulfill all your geeky purchasing needs,  head into the Wizard World vendor hall and check out these amazing items!

candles

2016-03-19 15.58.28First up I found Lauren with Boonzy Arts who is based out of L.A. She has all kinds of incredible candles that smell delicious.  Her candles are inspired by her love of pop-culture which grew from her immense love of reading as a child.  Her “Wheel of Flame” candles are a unique idea she came up with and Kickstarted. Each scent can be used to
enhance your table-top gaming experience and comes with a random metal die. For instance, if your party is about to head into a cave to fight a dragon,  you can light the “Lair of the Dragon” candle to take the experience to a whole new level.  She also has pop-culture candles like “It Rubs the Lotion on It’s Skin” which smells like lotion , “Marshmallow Man” which is modeled after the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man,  and “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” which comes in a teacup! You can buy directly from her site also so make sure to check it out of you’re not in the Las Vegas area this weekend.

crafts
The next booth that caught my eye was Sara with My Faerietale because she has these 2016-03-19 16.00.05absolutely adorable pot people. She is Las Vegas based and you can only find her at conventions so make sure to come out!  She also has a love of pop-culture and a great motto of “I make what I like and I hope you like it too.” In addition to her pot people she also has an assortment of pins, magnets,  clocks and jewelry.  All the artwork is original from her daughter. Sara started at the Las Vegas Comic Expo in 2013 and now is doing between 12 and 15 conventions a year. I highly recommend stopping by her table and taking home your very own pot person.
petsI ran into Shakespeare’s Workshop (almost literally) with owner Summer Shakespeare who was absolutely delightful.  She is also based out of Las Vegas and has all sorts of 3-D prints,  custom costumes and hoodies, wigs, and the most incredible pet costumes.  She can be found on Etsy as well as on Periscope,  where you can actually watch her as she creates your custom item.   

2016-03-19 18.26.42If you’re like me and can’t leave a con without picking up a new print (or 10) to adorn your walls, make sure to check out Lisa Hall with Hallustration. She was always into Star Wars growing up and has expanded her geeky interests into anime and now comic characters.  It was through attending other conventions that she learned she could put her artistic talents to work reimagening her favorite characters in her own style. Most of the prints are in digital media, although she very much enjoys traditional art as well. If you can check her out here at Wizard World,  but if you can’t you can check out her Etsy or next weekend she will be at Salt Lake Comic Con.

2016-03-19 18.27.31

If you’re looking for a new series,  I highly recommend checking out Katie Salidas. She is from Las Vegas and currently has two full,  6 book series and a third series that is just starting out.  Chronicles of the Uprising is a Hunger Games meets Interview with the Vampire meets Gladiator.  She says that although it has vampires in it,  they’re not what you would normally think of vampires.  She also has her Immortals series which is a paranormal romance. Both of those series you can read without having to wait for the next installment! Her newest series is Pretty Little Werewolf.  The synopses for the first book begins: “All Giselle ever wanted was a family… who can accept her for what she is, a werewolf. In a world where supernatural creatures are not out and proud, this has been a problem for 16 year old Giselle. A child of the system, she’s been bounced from home to home for as long as she can remember. As soon as the moon calls out her inner wolf, it’s back into the system she goes….” you can read the rest on her website if you aren’t able to visit her this weekend.

 

Let us know what you think of these great artists and creators in the comments below!

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Foodie Friday: Viva Las Vegas!

Oh Las Vegas! I have so many feelings about you. As a former resident of Las Vegas, I feel I can speak candidly about the city. Las Vegas and I have a torrid love affair. Well not like a steamy romance with some hot pool boy like you would see in the movies. Las Vegas is more like a one night stand you would have with the Tuesday morning shift stripper who is missing all but 2 of her teeth, and had her great-grandchildren taken away by child services because she brushes her teeth with meth. Las Vegas is horrible, but I am somehow drawn to it for an inexplicable reason. Fine, it can easily be explained for me. Las Vegas has some of the best food in the country. Period. Vegas gets a bad rap in the food world because there are a lot of big names on many of the restaurants’ marquees, but those chef’s don’t actually have all that much to do with their namesake restaurant. I’m not exactly sure why this matters to anyone. Is the food good? Yes. Ok then! Why should I care who made my food? There are some very talented chefs helming the kitchen of many of the restaurants in Vegas, and they get very little recognition because they aren’t Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, or Gordon Ramsey. During my most recent trip to Vegas I stopped by some of the big name restaurants but it was some lesser known spots that really stood out to me.

Hearthstone’s Pancakes with huckleberry compote, sweet ricotta and topped with edible flowers
Hearthstone’s Pancakes with huckleberry compote, sweet ricotta and topped with edible flowers
Heathstone’s French Toast
Heathstone’s French Toast

 

My very first stop after landing in Vegas was Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar at the Red Rock Casino and Resort. After a very confused 5 minutes where multiple servers were looking for the hostess, no one seating us, and rethinking if we were even at the correct host stand, we finally were able to enjoy our experience. Our waitress was certain we ordered too much food for 3 small girls…she underestimated our prowess. Of our extensive order the pancakes and French toast stood out to me the most. The pancakes were shockingly beautiful. So much so that I looked around to see if other people in the restaurant were as impressed with our meal selection as I was. They were not. Despite the lack of shock and wonderment from the fellow diners, I managed to thoroughly enjoy these beauties. The French toast was another showstopper. Apparently flowers are pretty, and if you sprinkle them on things, then those things become pretty! The French Toast at Hearthstone is comprised of a salted caramel sticky bun topped with a pool of icing, blueberry compote, and served with banana syrup. I have to say I absolutely under estimated this place. I knew Hearthstone would be enjoyable, but I didn’t know it would become my new favorite brunch destination in town.

Crunch ‘N Munch Bread Pudding from Yardbird
Crunch ‘N Munch Bread Pudding from Yardbird
Yardbird’s Chicken ‘N Watermelon ‘N Waffles
Yardbird’s Chicken ‘N Watermelon ‘N Waffles

The newly opened Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at the Venetian was far and away the meal I was most looking forward to. I seem to keep missing the openings of the restaurant. I was dating someone who lived in Miami and broke it off mere weeks before the opening of Yardbird’s original location. Yardbird’s second location in Las Vegas then opened about 1 year after I did a 10 year stint in Vegas. Oh magical restaurant, why do you elude me?! Well, I finally caught this mythical unicorn of a restaurant and was very much placated by the experience. Again, this was another dining experience where we ordered far too many dishes, but this time we struggled to finish any one of the items that made it to the table. Yardbird is known for its fried chicken so we decided to order their signature dish the Chicken ’N Watermelon ’N Waffles; five crispy pieces of chicken with honey hot sauce and bourbon syrup, a cheddar cheese waffle, and spicy watermelon. While Yardbird’s offerings are modern interpretations of southern classics, all of the dishes have a familiarity that makes each dish incredibly comforting. While all of our entrees were certainly enjoyable, it was the Crunch ‘N Munch Bread Pudding that came for dessert that really wowed us. A beyond decadent cast iron dish with M&M riddled bread pudding, popcorn ice cream, and caramel popcorn pieces. Being gluttons for punishment we added a second dessert which continued to impress. The Deep Fried Oreos, while similar to the carnie classic food, was intensified by a coating in Rice Krispies, a drizzling of chocolate, and cookies ‘n cream ice cream. Yeah, it was like that. I don’t know how to describe what joy would taste like, but I would assume it is something like these Oreos . Hmm…so I guess I’ll just have to add Yardbird to my list of favorites too.

deepfried
Deep Fried Oreos at Yardbird

My final day brought me downtown to another new spot, Glutton. If Glutton isn’t the most appropriate name for a restaurant considering my habit of eating until I’m sick, and being that it is located in Sin City, I just don’t know what else would be better. Glutton is absolutely a hidden gem, but hidden in plain sight. Glutton is located almost directly across the street from a very popular downtown breakfast place that often has a long line the majority of the weekend. While other saps wait for fairly good food, we were full and happy long before the diners at the other restaurant even sat down. Not only is Glutton great because we didn’t have to wait to eat, but the food is really interesting and far more delicious than anything else for brunch downtown. Glutton’s Peaches & Cream Belgium Waffle was by far the best item we ordered; crispy waffle, slightly firm peaches, bourbon caramel sauce, and sweet ricotta whipped cream. A Shrimp Scampi omelette was also a crowd favorite and enveloped garlic spinach, tomatoes, covered in a rich scampi butter. Glutton was a wonderful end to a fantastic trip. Just the knowledge that never again will I wait in line for breakfast downtown was worth the trip alone!

Glutton’s Peaches & Cream Belgium Waffle
Glutton’s Peaches & Cream Belgium Waffle
Shrimp Scampi Omelette at Glutton
Shrimp Scampi Omelette at Glutton

 

 

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Wizard World Las Vegas – Weekend in Review

Wizard World Comic Con made its debut here in Las Vegas at the end of April and I couldn’t have been more excited! I had followed the Wizard World cons before hearing they were headed to Vegas but never had an opportunity to attend. For years I hoped Vegas would make it onto their more than 20+ con location roster and this year was it! I would consider myself an average con-goer who enjoys a little of everything when attending a convention and it is always enjoyable when a con has more than enough to offer.

One of the most important aspects is the guests a con gives you access to and Wizard World did not disappoint! I was able to meet some faves from The Walking Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, Sleepy Hollow, the WWE, Heroes, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I absolutely loved getting selfie pics with Milo Ventimiglia who is a complete goofball as well as the amazing Tom Mison who is so sweet and soft spoken, it’s no wonder he causes hearts to melt. I also had the opportunity to spend a good deal of time the the greatest Power Ranger of all time, Jason David Frank. And while there were a couple last minute cancellations, I have learned to expect it as filming schedules change; there is just no way to predict something like that.

Another important part of a great con is the vendor floor. Wizard World had one of the best layouts on the vendor floor that I’ve ever seen. With this being only their first year in Vegas, it was easy to see they were veterans when it came to crowd flow and schematics. The exhibit floor map was so easy to follow, I was able to locate the vendors I look forward to seeing at each con I go to with ease and managed to snag some of their newest prints! It was so nice to be able to walk through an exhibit hall and have the room to stop and really look at all the amazing items for sale without feeling like you were in someone else’s way or crammed into a corner. This was definitely not for a lock of attendance, as there were so many people everywhere, but because the Las Vegas Convention Center they chose as their location has plenty of room to make the aisles wide and the space comfortable.

My personal favorite part of a comic con is the panels. I love when there is an ample amount of programming to keep you busy the whole time. Wizard World offered a wide variety of panels and programming including gaming tournaments, intros into writing, cosplay, creative workshops, social injustices within comic books, the impact of women in today’s fandoms, as well as Q&As with the media guests. I had the opportunity to attend many of these panels, including the ones focused on women in fandom, the Q&As with Tom Mison, Milo Ventimiglia, James Marsters, Arthur Darville, and Robert Englund, as well as a couple on cosplay and the costume contest. This is the first local con that I feel has had an adequate amount of programming for the entire duration of the event. In fact, there were a couple of times I had to choose between multiple panels I wanted to go to.

Overall I am excited for the return of Wizard World next year, I know it will be just as awesome. Wizard World did an excellent job in making sure everything ran smoothly, there was plenty of options for food to fuel you throughout the day, and never was there a dull moment. I am impressed with the quality of presenters for their panels, the amazing vendors, as well as the unique aspects of the Wizard World Comic Con.

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Wizard World Las Vegas Announcement!

Don’t miss out on an exciting convention coming to Las Vegas for the first time! Wizard World Comic Con will be at the Las Vegas Convention Center starting Friday, April 24, 2015. I am so excited to attend this event and it’s sure to be a great time for all!

Some highlights are to include Q & As with Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead), and Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes and, most recently, Gotham!!!). There will also be more than 50 panels that run the gamut, like industry insight with special effects makeup artists like Fon Davis; learning how to write comics with Steven Grant, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez and Chelle Dey; going behind the scenes of Furious 7 with Noel Gugliemi, Caesar Garcia and Jon Lee Brody; meet and greets with Jason David Frank; and the stars of A&E’s Epic Ink!!! There will also be an adult’s cosplay contest Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. that I will for sure be covering, as well as a children’s contest Sunday afternoon at 3:30 pm.

A full list of Wizard World Comic Con Las Vegas programming is available here. Will you be there?

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Lay the Favorite Review

Should audiences take a chance on Lay the Favorite? Let’s look at the pros and cons (or in this case, the losses and wins) of Anchor Bay Entertainment and Radius-TWC’s latest flick, which hits shelves March 5, 2013.

Lay the Favorite coverLOSSES:

The characters have little depth.

Instead, the cast is full of caricatures played by familiar faces: Rebecca Hall (The Town) stars as Beth, the small-town dancer with a knack for letters and numbers, who finds herself taking and making bets for professional gamblers after she moves to Sin City; Bruce Willis (The Die Hard Franchise) plays Dink, the short-tempered, slightly suicidal, Las Vegas bookie with a troubled past and a heart of gold who thinks Beth is his good luck charm; Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago) comes in as his fierce yet loving wife who agrees to let Beth work for her husband in exchange for— wait for it—a face lift; Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers) appears (as he often does) as a loud, boisterous, and over-the-top competitor/colleague named Rosie, whose “not totally legal” business ventures are based out of another city; and Joshua Jackson/my 5th grade crush (Dawson’s Creek) shows up as Jeremy, the stable, sane, completely normal, and slightly boring love interest to Beth, who inevitably finds himself caught up in her drama when he agrees to help her with a client. These are all talented actors who have made me laugh and cry in their other work: so why were they so one-dimensional and wooden here? I have to say, I expected more from them (especially you John McClane). Director Stephen Frears (The Queen, High Fidelity) isn’t off the hook either: he’s been nominated for two Academy Awards for other films and should have been able to bring out better performances.

Locations are under utilized.

I know some films, especially those that don’t have a wide theatrical release, may not have the budget to film at beautiful and exotic locations. Still, if you’re going to make a film about a person whose adventures take her from exciting places like Las Vegas to New York to Curacao and back, I want to see more than 2 slot machines at a seedy casino, a tall building and stairwell that presumably lead to Jeremy’s tiny apartment, and what I am praying was a not a green-screen shot of the sun and water outside of Rosie’s beach-side business. As a viewer, I wanted to get swept away in Beth’s crazy life. That didn’t really happen, and it made me feel detached from her story.

lay-the-favorite02WINS:

Beth is likable.

What luck, as the whole movie was based on the “real” Beth Raymer’s best-selling memoir, “Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling.” I have decided if I ever meet Ms. Raymer, I will pinch her cheeks, because she comes off as adorable in the film. Her naivety is what really makes her so lovable. I mean, as a Las Vegas local for over two decades, I seriously laughed out loud when Beth said she dreamed of a better life… as a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas! Seriously? Oh, Beth! You have so much to learn! Thank goodness you later smartened up, made a lot of money running bets, took your ABC-order talents to college, and became a writer! At one point in the film Dink describes Beth as a “ganef,” which is apparently “Yiddish for small-time lovable thief.” I really hope that word can be used as a term of endearment because it describes her perfectly. My one comment on Beth is that I would be shocked if Rebecca Hall did not choke on a hair ball after filming wrapped: she girlishly twirled her hair around her finger and put her curls in her mouth during three-quarters of the movie.

The betting lingo is really cool.

That’s right, I said it! This movie made me want to gamble! Except… wait! I don’t know anything about sports or betting. I just want to use the term “lay the favorite.”

lay-the-favorite-photo-04
Like most bets, the odds of winning are 50/50. I suspect gamblers, sports-lovers, and men’s-men will love this movie for the gaming references, blatant boob shots, and wads of cash. I also anticipate people not enjoying the R-Rated flick for the exact same reason. So, it’s really up to you: are you ready to go all-in with Lay the Favorite? Personally, I give this one a 4/10.
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Lay The Favorite On DVD Giveaway

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Lay The Favorite will arrive on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 5th, and GeekGirl World is giving you the opportunity to get a copy of  this film on DVD!

To enter our giveaway contest, all you have to do is like our Facebook page and make a comment on the Facebook post announcing the contest here. One lucky fan of ours will receive a copy of the movie on DVD! The contest will end on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 12:00 pm PST.

Edit: (March 5th, 2013) Congratulations to our winner, Matt Armstrong! He will receive a copy of Lay The Favorite on DVD!

The film is based on the best-selling novel Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling by Beth Raymer, and stars  Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The story follows the exploits of a gambling operation in a town known for playing favorites: Las Vegas.

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Day 1 at NAB

nab-showNAB is the National Association of Broadcasters, and they have one of the largest annual tradeshows in Las Vegas. NAB focuses on the technical side of the television, radio, and film industries, offering its exhibitors a chance to show off new products and technology, and its attendees the change at information sessions and education to help them succeed in their fields.

Even though the crowds were large, we got in and got our badges printed fairly easily. There was so much to see. The Las Vegas Convention Center is like a small town in itself so there is a lot of ground to cover. We went to the big name booths like Sony, Panasonic, Canon, and JVC. Mainly the theme this year was 3D. With the huge resurgence of 3D films, and its perception change from marketing gimmick to actual movie feature, 3D is now becoming the big thing in television and online production as well. Everywhere you looked there were companies talking about how to do 3D with them.

GoPro, who produces the HD cameras Hero and Hero2 were showing off their 3D rig which is just two of their cameras in a case with one turned upside down. The 3D film it captured was still amazing, and it was really interesting to see the great quality 3D filming you could get with just two small cameras. Their booth, I have to say, was my favorite because not only did they have a great design and great product to show off, but they also had a Ford GT40 and a Porche 911, both racing editions sitting in their booth tricked out with their cameras and rigs!

Another theme this year has been the 4K technology. It seemed like all the 4k theaters were crowded and hard to get into, so I took a pass on the first day, preferring to just go through the booths, look around and test the equipment. Since NAB is here for 4 days, I do plan to go back and see at least one of the theaters because 4K is definitely a technology that is getting a lot of buzz throughout the industry.

All in all it was a great experience, and even though I am so sore for doing a lot of walking, XD I had fun! If you are going to be at NAB this week, let me know!

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