TERRIFICON 2018 Review! In a word…. TERRIFIC!

TERRIFICON 2018!


Books I picked up at this year’s terrific Terrificon at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conneticut!

 

Man, we had such a great time at this year’s Terrificon two weekends ago. We just made a weekend of it in Connecticut, and only spent one day at the con, but what a fun day. My better half, who is not the comic head I am at all, was surprised by how much she enjoyed it.

Part of it is the convention is very well laid out in the simply massive Mohegan Sun Casino Complex. The Con which was huge in terms of space, only took up a fraction of this massive Casino Complex. And there was huge room between booths and areas, so while well attended, you didn’t feel crushed in a crowd, like Awesome Con or New York Comic Con. Also the emphasis here was very much on Comics, so you just had a very laid back, yet fun crowd. The writers and artists were very much the superstars here.

Another part of the success is the panels. While the shopping was great, and I found great deals; walking around and shopping to me, is not enough reason for me to go to a con. And I am not really interested in getting anyone’s signature, and shopping alone I can do online and save the hotel fees and travel expenses.

I am someone who likes great panels, informative conversations with those creators who created what is best in this hobby, and their interesting behind the scenes stories . So I did my homework and new the panels to attend, and the time to get there for them.

The Black Panther panel was a definite hit, being able to see three generations of Black Panther writers on the stage. Don McGregor and Christopoher Priest were the name draws, and were excellent but I think everyone was wowed by newest Black panther artist and writer Afua Richardson. She was just a joy, and her talk of how she laces symbolic and linguistic meaning into the covers she did for Black Panther has I think everyone who left that talk.. on the hunt for her work.

 

The girl power vibe in the room was strong. 🙂 But so was the Christopher Priest vibe, this guy is one of my favorite writers, the only monthly DC book I buy anymore is his Deathstroke, and he has written some of my favorite runs. Quite frankly he was a huge reason I attended this con. Him and Roy Thomas. Getting to hear both of these legendary crreators speak, a win, win.

In addition there was the mellifluous John Suintres (from the WORD BALLOON podcast) as MC, Jim Starlin the always stoic Larry Hama, the slightly bemused Michael Golden, and Paul Kupperberg.

So a fantastic set of panels oh and some great food and shopping. The Mohegan Sun Casino offering world class food and shopping options. We stopped at Bobby Flay’s Burger and it was awesome.

And without futher ado, onto the comic book shopping. Here are some of the books I got at Terrificon 2018. All of my shopping for the con was between 50 cents and $2.50 per book. The following books averaged $2 a book, and as you can see are in great mid-grade condition. Fine  to VF condition. Why on earth would anyone pay over $3 for new books, when you can get great bronze and silver age comics , with great stories and art for that same price or less???!!!!. Shame on you Marvel and DC . Instead for new comics replace Marvel and DC with Canadian company Chapterhouse and American company Alterna. And preorder from Image, Dark Horse,  IDW to also get their new books for less than $3.

All in all just a great experience. Along with Heroescon and Baltimore it is considered one of the best, most enjoyable true Comiccons.

I definitely look forward to going next year.

Go ahead and like and subscribe to this post. I have pics of the panels, with Christopher Priest, Roy Thomas, Jim Starlin, etc…so if this post gets enough likes, and new subscribers I’ll add additional pics and content.

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Thanks and be well out there!

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Ferguson New York Baltimore – States of Emergency-

true_detective

 

 

I like the above poster.

It sums up my take on our seasons of discontent.

Your roving reporter on the ground here.

My take on ‘the State of Emergency’.

I think it has been blown out of proportion, by a media that sells advertising by blowing things out of proportion. I think the bad behavior of a few knuckle heads has also been blown out of proportion by a Law Enforcement public relations arm that is eager to obscure the fact that there are valid reasons for the peaceful protests; and reasons for community outrage. Namely a law enforcement that needs more oversight and control.

Instead the knuckle heads, who also lack oversight and control, ignorant of their own best interest, play into a policy of increased and ramped up policing and therefore more reckless, them and us, policing, which will lead to more injustices that caused the current state of unrest.

So what you have is a small minority of bad apples on both sides, that think they are above the law, And the majority suffer for their… hubris.

To weed out the bad apples, is not just a lesson and mandate for the protesters, it is a lesson for the police. If there is to be an end to unrest, the police can not be an occupying force, and they can not be above the law they have sworn to serve, nor deride the population they have sworn to protect.

Whether New York, Ferguson, or Baltimore the population protected, must be policed by those who are of the population, not those who are outside of, or anathema to, said population.

That process requires a family system, an educational system, a judicial system, and an economic system that prepares a population to be responsible for themselves… Take positions of responsibility, and control, and of respect, onto themselves.

I fear all those named cities have a way to go, but it has to begin with a step in the right direction. And making police crimes, no less punishable than anyone else’s crimes… is a start.

THEATER REVIEW: CSC’s Movable Shakespeare’s RICHARD III

“No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.”
― William Shakespeare, Richard III

There is no shortage of villains in the oeuvre of the writer known as William Shakespeare. From the machinations of Hamlet’s Uncle-cum-Father who puts Hamlet ‘too much in the Sun’, to the deviousness of Othello’s ‘trusted’ Iago, to the bloody, eye-plucking Cornwall in King Lear, but none are so ever quotable, and perhaps as eminently watchable as Richard III, who is of such expanse in his villainy that he is the star of his own self-titled play, rather than just a player in another character’s tale.

And this comes to life in florid detail in the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s unique production of RICHARD III. Directed by Ian Gallanar, one of the CSC’s founders, RICHARD III is presented in a ‘movable’ style that puts the audience, truly in the heart of the action and makes them mute(and not so mute) chorus to this tale of treachery and tragedy.

Taking place in the ‘haunted’ ruins at the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City, Maryland, beneath the stars and the eyes of God, it is truly a presentation to remember. Particularly on a good, clear fall night (which we were blessed to see it on) with the wind picking up just a little, and showering Richard III with leaves, almost on queue, as he woos a man’s widow over his corpse. Ay, it’s a great thing, when the heavens provide your special effects.

And the whole play went thus, as a crowd of over 100, moved from picturesque room or steps or courtyard, moved from scene to scene, and watched actors of talent and temper… a tale unfold.

And before getting into the actors, a bit more on the setting.

Ellicott City is a 30 square mile area, more loose community than incorporated sub-division, that traces its history back to its founding as a Flour Mill back in 1772 by Quaker Brothers named Ellicott. Nestled in the Baltimore-Washington bosom, the area is rumored to, like Rome, be built on seven hills.

So this is no concrete jungle or ‘great white way’ for your theatrical experience, it is a beautiful and languid tree-lined drive, followed by a pretty spooky uphill walk to make the (typically) 8pm showing, that takes place in the Grecian tinged ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute.

So that is the stage, not New York, or Charlotte, or DC or LA, but the woodlands of Ellicott City; and the PFI Historic Park is a stage worth traveling to see.

Now for those who prance upon that stage.

While there are many strengths to an outdoor production, there are also obvious weaknesses. There are minor moments of congestion and confusion inherent in herding a hundred people to and fro, and that very act of going in and out of the ‘reality’ of the play, perhaps can limit how engrossed the viewer can get into the play.

However I think the immediacy of being ‘in’ the play, and viewing that closely the actors and interacting in their space, compensates for any loss of concentrated immersion in the piece.

However one other weakness of an outdoor production, is the sound. Without the acoustics and sound system of a real theater the actors have to project to be heard, particularly should the weather pick up. Some actors were better at doing this than others. Some actors needed to project better. And some actors were stellar.

The word stellar has to be kept close to the name Vince Eisenson who stars as the titular Richard the IIIrd. He has, as expected, to carry much of the play, much of the language, much of the energy. It is a ponderous role to undertake, and Eisenson manages not just to suffer the weight of the role, but to carry it as if he was born to it.

Part of this may have to do with his youth, but more than that Eisenson’s Richard is a far more vibrant and lively Richard, no less tortured than other actors who have portrayed the character, but there is a sophistication there, a deft touch to his portrayal, that eschews mustache twirling, that makes the character’s ability to charm and deceive, more believable here.

Also of note is the performance of Associate Director Scott Allan Small, as he makes the role of Buckingham, that I think can often come off as no more than a yes man, into one of the formidable figures of the play. He particularly just shines in the scene where he mixes with the audience as he ‘attempts’ to get Richard to accept the crown.

Also the scene where Buckingham draws the line at the slaying of children, and demands his due of Richard, I thought was just played beautifully between the two actors of Eisenson and Small. The physicality of how they played that role, with Buckingham played as the brick wall in that scene (like Marvel Comics’ Kingpin transplanted to Shakespeare), against Richard’s flowing water, that seeps into the brick… and breaks it all to pieces.

And the CSC performance is filled with such capable actors, among them Dave Gamble, Greg Burgess, and Jamie Jager in a passionate performance as Richmond. Another highlight scene is with Ron Heneghan delivering a very captivating performance as the imprisoned Clarence; it takes place in a fireplace dominated prison opposite equally entertaining performances by Bart Debicki as Brackenbury (the lieutenant of the tower) and the actors playing his assassins (Rebecca Dreyfuss and Jared Murray).

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable and recommended production, by a theater company I do not think you would be wrong, in calling world class. And this is typified by the fact that the last few performances of their RICHARD III (ending the weekend of this writing) are all sold out.

But don’t mourn too much, if moved by this review to sample the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in the future and will be visiting the East Coast, 2013 brings new CSC productions of Shakespeare’s classic plays, among them ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA and THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.

And If RICHARD III is a gauge, both shows will be much labored over in their construction, and much loved in their delivery.

Accolades go out to communications Director Sandra Maddox Barton for all her assistance, in making this review possible.