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The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Indie Fest for May áby Nolan B. Canova
LA FLORIDIANA
The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region -- Part Three áby William Moriaty
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LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 372  (Vol. 8, No. 19). This edition is for the week of May 7--13, 2007.


The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Indie Fest for May

By Nolan B. Canova

Since I didn't have a hosted chatroom to moderate this fine Sunday morning (the two pastors postponed), traveling companion Terence Nuzum and I were able to depart earlier than expected, but still arrived at the Cypress Avenue DoubleTree Inn about 11:20am or so, roughly an hour after doors opened.

The first smiling face to greet me as I entered the lobby was goth princess/author Andrea Dean van Scoyoc (our first meeting was at HHPS '06, you might recall), who gave me a BIG hug and kiss behind her table which was incredibly awesome. That's, like, less than a minute after I stepped foot inside, how can I have a bad day now? HAhahaha.

Andrea is having quite a season with great reviews for her best-selling books Michael, The Two, and A Man of two Worlds. She also appeared in Joel Wynkoops's film Always Midnight as well as the short Andrea's Revenge. I caught a little of that action during the indie film fest, but more on that later.

Next to Andrea was Glenda Finklestein. She not only has books out (Nemesis Rising, The Edge of the Universe), but like Andrea has made a move into movies. I got to see an aextended trailer for Perfect Copy at her table and again at the Creature Indie Fest. Perfect Copy is based on Glenda's short story about cloning and she plays a part in the film as well.
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The adorable Andrea Dean von Scoyoc, goth author/princess of darkness, reunited with the ye humble editor of PCR. Unfortunately, the camera's flash reflected in the mirrored glass behind us, which degraded the picture a bit, but it's still a great moment.
Next booth over is author Glenda Finklestein, a very sweet lady who's taken her first steps into filmmaking with Perfect Copy.
I always love when superheroes come out to party. This is the classic universe version of Superman, not the Returns version. That's fine by me.
A terrific portrait. Ye humble editor is on left, standing with the man who makes the Tampa Giant Comic Con happen: Tim Gordon.
Main comics artist area. I believe we're looking at Fran Matera and Pablo Marcus
Among New York's favorite sons, Alex Saviuk.
Great group portrait. L-to-R: Shelby McIntyre, Joel D. Wynkoop, Nolan B. Canova, Corey Castellano, Terence Nuzum, Chris Woods, Andy Lalino.
I don't run into these guys nearly often enough! L-to-R: Jacob Jones, Brandon Jones (formerly of Splash Page), Sam Catalino (high-school buddy of mine), and our own Terence Nuzum.

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The Creature Productions booth manned by L-to-R: John Lewis, Ashley Lewis, and Nick Cuti.
Another cool hallway portrait. Top row, L-to-R: Marcus Koch, Nolan Canova, Terence Nuzum, Chris Woods, and Andy Lalino. Bottom row, L-to-R: Corey & Nicolas Castellano.
Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man stopped for a pic.
Venom/Dark-Spidey hides behind Nicolas Castellano!
Having moved our festivities to Players Lounge, Chris Woods, left, listens to special FX make-up maestro Corey Castellano spin some Hollywood tales as Nico plays with his new toys.
Marcus Koch, left, an up-and-coming make-up FX maestro now with two director credits, describes make-up contruction techniques as Alanna listens in.
Terence Nuzum, left, and ye humble editor are enraptured by Marcus's story of how he first met Rick Danford.
As we are preparing to leave the Con, PCR's own William Moriaty (far right) arrives! Corey Castellano, left, and Terence Nuzum in a great -- if tilted, Batman-style --- shot with Will.

Finally making our way into the main dealer's room, we saw most of the reliable faces we've come to know and love (haha) over the years, including Cadre Corner, Greenshift Comics, Demolition Comics, Wonder Water Comics, Wet Ink Studios, and many, many more. Among the celebrities were comic artists Pablo Marcus, Alex Saviuk, and Fran Matera. Film celebs counted Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack) and actress/model Chris Noel (Girl Happy, The NAM). Local comic artists were there in good number (first I've seen Greg Vondruska in ages---thanks for the sample comic, Greg, that was cool), and Joel D. Wynkoop was there representing local Indie Film.

These gatherings always are a very important social occasion for me and is a place many of us see each other who don't any other time of the year! I'm happy to report the turn-out was very, very good (as seen in the photos at right).

Lisa Ciurro and Terence Nuzum were able to find good deals on used DVDs, always a plus. I ran into old schoolmate Sam Catalino. First time I've seen Brandon & Jacob Jones in, like, a year. Make-up FX whiz Corey Castellano was there with his 7-year-old son Nicolas (his first con!) and they were able to find some action-figures for Nico to play with/destroy, haha.

Creature Productions Indie Fest
Ahhh, yes, the dark horse of all local indie fests, Creature Productions. Constantly a source of conflict, miscommunication and non-communication, and with absolutely NO promotion for this event, I suggested ahead of time that everyone brace for a no-show by John and Ashley Lewis (I sincerely believed that could happen even though it's their fest). I was surprised to find them there (but grateful), and they had little to no explanation for their continued silence nor seemed to care much to elaborate. After a much-improved showing in 2006, I must say this comes as a disappointment. Not a shock mind you, but a disappointment. (Alone at his table for a moment, I asked John about it, he blamed Ashley. When Ashley returned and I repeated the question, he blurted out, "I said we've been busy." No, you didn't, but whatever...) Associate producer Nick Cuti was present at the table as well.

Always Midnight, Dark Dimensions, and Angora were the three full-length features showing, with two last-minute trailer entries, 100 Tears and Perfect Copy. No shorts, which was unusual.

Due to extended social interaction, I only caught some of the final segment of Always Midnight, called "Kill Her, Arnold" starring Joel and Cathy Wynkoop, with Gus Perez. Over-the-top performances by all parties made this very enjoyable, possibly Gus's best performace ever! I think it was the end of Always Midnight that I saw a scene with Joel interacting with author/actress Andrea Dean von Scoyoc.

I was assured by John Lewis that today's cut of Dark Dimensions was the same as Terence and I saw last November at a special screening, the special CGI inserts hadn't been inserted yet, so I bailed on the repeat.

I was assured by Gus Perez that today's cut of Angora was the same as we'd seen at the last Indie Fest. The legendary "singing girl-gang scenes"(!!) filmed but not included are indefinitely shelved, so I bailed on the repeat.

(For those of you who haven't seen any of these, they're all recommended for the insane comic performances by Joel D. Wynkoop and Gus Perez if nothing else.)

We did make it back for the trailers. Marcus Koch's much-anticipated splatterfest 100 Tears was up first (the two-minute version -- John decided the un-kid-friendly 4-minute extended gore trailer was too violent), and Glenda Finklestein's cloning-gone-wrong Perfect Copy (pretty darn good for a first effort, I like the make-up effects.)

It was decided to save time and energy we'd forgo our usual lunchtime pilgrimage to The Durango Steakhouse in favor of the in-house bar and lounge called Players. The only tricky thing was timing as the bar/restaurant seemed to be in the middle of opening or closing or something. In any event, we made it in.

Present for this fanboy mini-Summit were Corey Castellano & Son, Shelby McIntyre, Marcus Koch, Alanna (I gotta get her last name), Andy Lalino(!), Chris Woods, Terence Nuzum, and myself.

Local acting legend Robert Elfstrom stopped by briefly to say Hi. A school friend of Andy's joined us later. I regret now not being more aggressive getting Lisa Ciurro in on this (at the time I didn't think she'd be interested for some reason), a mistake I'll not make again. (Fanboy summits can include girls -- as long as they know the secret handshake. Snicker.)

The show belonged to Corey and Marcus who entertained us comparing stories of effects-intensive filmmaking. Marcus also relived for us his first meeting with notorious local film promoter, Rick Danford, who, at the time, was just cranking up Web of Darkness (that's going to make it into a book someday, haha). Of course, Corey's held positions on some pretty big Hollywood productions (Lions for Lambs, War of the Words, The Patriot, The Prestige just to name a very few), which is always fascinating to hear about.

The next Tampa Comic Con and Toy Show with Creature Productions Indie Fest is scheduled for August. Check their website for more info, and a complete rundown of Sunday's guests as well as upcoming shows!


"The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Indie Fest for May" is ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.

Additional thanks to Terence Nuzum, Chris Woods, Joel D. Wynkoop, and Corey Castellano for help with photography.

All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ę2007 by Nolan B. Canova.


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