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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2008!
   Assistant Editor / Co-Moderator:  Terence Nuzum.                                                   HOME      ARCHIVES
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our ninth calendar year!
Number 451  (Vol. 9, No. 46). This edition is for the week of November 10--16, 2008.

"Quantum of Solace"
DVD Review: "Stanley: Special Edition"
FANGRRL Goes To The Tampa Comic Book & Toy Convention
Sorry Folks .... .... .... o
Wednesday??? .... Is Chris Rock Going To Be Mr. Myagi? .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... And The Oscar Should Have Gone To... e

The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Toy Show for November
Pictures from the Tampa Comic Con
Readers Comments

The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Toy Show For November
Sadly, this marks the final show at the DoubleTree Inn Hotel

POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, NOVEMBER 12, 2008.

Sunday, November 9th, 2008
The DoubleTree Inn Hotel
4500 West Cypress St.
Tampa, FL

At the risk of seeming overtly cliché, it was both a glad time and a sad time. I always enjoy these Cons tremendously, but a little darkness lay ahead this day.

Seconds after entering the Tampa Comic Con's outer perimeter, Terence Nuzum and I were both handed a "program" by a Con associate. I barely glanced at the paper, figuring it was something I could refer to later. Terence suddenly exclaimed, "Uhh...did you see this?!" I said, "See what?" He pointed to the program.

On the paper was an announcement that convention owner/promoter Tim Gordon had done much "soul-searching" and had decided after much thought to continue the convention series another year (very cryptic, that). The big change, though, was venue. After 6 years at the DoubleTree Inn, the Con is moving to Largo, FL, specifically, the Honeywell Min-Reg building at 6340 126th Ave. North. It would be near I-275, have plenty of free parking, and feature an inexpensive snack bar. All fine and well, but it puts the Con another 15 miles away from most of us, and I feared this would impact heavily how often I'd be able to personally attend.

Momentarily disoriented by this, I stumbled into the outer dealers area, and was shocked at how unpopulated it was, both in dealers and attendees. This was more like what you'd see close to 5:00pm pack-up time, not at noon where it's always been shoulder to shoulder (particularly August's show, which was a madhouse).

Tim himself showed up moments later (I'd already sent for him to approve our press passes --- the confused girl at the front desk was not our regular --- but after waiting several minutes we went ahead and paid to get into the show anyway. At $5 a pop, that's certainly no big deal). I asked Tim what the mysterious message on the program was all about and he told me in extremely carefully chosen words that the DoubleTree was under new management and they couldn't come to terms over their, well, new terms. Basically, the Comic Con was not regarded as profitable or prestigious enough or something and Tim and company were encouraged to find new digs. He was reluctant to discuss the matter further, so I dropped the subject, but the encounter was disturbing. I'm happy to report, though, that Tim's health is good, even robust. After that scare from a couple years ago, I always ask.

Focusing back on the event at hand, I decided to set aside brooding for some other time; there was a convention to enjoy!

At first (and for the first time ever) I didn't see horror/fantasy author Andrea Dean Von Scoyoc (Michael, The Two) at her table, so went to see Glenda Finklestein first. Besides also being an author of excellent repute (Nemesis Rising, The Edge of the Universe), and a filmmaker (Perfect Copy), Glenda is promoting her new internet video show, Sci-Fi Times TV. Next to Glenda was actor Jeffrey Breslauer (Swamp Thing, The Muppets Take Manhattan), a really nice guy I always like to stop and chat with. Finally, Andrea arrived and we had a very nice reunion and Terence took our traditional DoubleTree portrait photo (see pics, below). Before leaving the outer artists area, we managed a momentary brush with Terence's high school buddy, indie comic artist Joe Leone, Jr. (Unlikely Heroes) just before he left the Con for an appointment elsewhere.

Moving into the main ballroom, we were soon joined by PCR staffers Chris Woods and John Miller and....holy crow, could it be...Andy Lalino?? Yes the estranged columnist for PCR (Oddservations) had decided to grace the DoubleTree with a personal appearance. Andy's been busy working on his latest film Brainjacked for several months and apparently is able to leave the house again (haha).

Not many comics celebrities were announced on the website as scheduled to appear (and no TV celebrities this time), but a few regulars managed to make it in like Pat Broderick, Alex Saviuk, and Fran Matera (who was selling pencil drawings for $2 each!).


Lisa Ciurro: What I Have to Be Thankful For This Holiday Season
Mike Smith: My Trip To The Chiller Theater Con (with pics)
ED Tucker: On My First Trip To Universal's Halloween Horror Nights (with pics)

Comics and DVD pickin's were slimmer than usual with the fewer number of dealers present, but there is always a lot to look through regardless. Terence, John, and Chris managed to find several DVDs to their liking, and I almost....almost...caved in to getting some Crumb underground comics from the '70s (such a closet stoner am I). But I already have a lot of those, and I hate getting expensive duplicates, so I lamented not making a list to bring to the Con (truth to tell, though, this is the first time I remember seeing these here).

One thing I was looking forward to investigating was "Live Wynkoop TV" a confabulation of former Creature Productions assistant Doug Vater and wildman-actor Joel D. Wynkoop. According to his website, VEFilms.com, Doug was going to be streaming live video from the Con to said website. An impressive accomplishment if it turned out to be true.

Arriving at Wynkoop's table, I saw Vater on the side with a locked-down camera attached to a laptop computer. The camera was pointed at Wynkoop, and, (with me looking over Doug's shoulder), seemed to indeed be streaming live video! While I congratulate them on this, I have to say, the result looked more web-cam-ish than anything that would send CNN packing. However, it was live and it was Wynkoop. So, anyone with a need to watch several hours of Joel Wynkoop at his table, live as it's happening, this was the stop for you! (In all fairness, I should point out that we were all invited to participate in live interviews after the show in the film room. Terence and I left, but I believe the others did go down there.)

Speaking of Creature Productions, I did run into John Lewis (head of C.P. and former PCR columnist for Creature's Corner). Daughter Ashley (Ashley's Hollywood), had, evidently, only stayed a short while before leaving with son Gavyn.

Our final ritual is a late lunch at Players Lounge, located right inside the DoubleTree. Unfortunately, the original has been closed and integrated into the bar area down the hall, so that bar is now the bar and lounge. (This, as was explained to us by our server, was due to cutbacks.) A new environment, but we made due. This fanboy/girl summit is always a worthy separate event all by itself!

As we enjoyed each others' company and discussed the happenings of the day, someone spotted actor Mike Christopher walk by the window. Unannounced as a convention guest, Mike was the "Hari Krishna" zombie in Dawn of the Dead and has been making the rounds at conventions lately. He came in and sat at the bar. We didn't let him leave, of course, without a fan assault, which he took in good stride, even posing for a couple pictures with us. A fitting ending to a weird/wonderful/sad/glad day.

The next Tampa Giant Comic Con and Toy Show is March 22, 2009 in Largo.

THE DOUBLETREE COMIC CON, NOVEMBER 9, 2008. Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
Besides the built-in magic of an event like this, check out the brighter-than-normal "spirit orbs" that inhabit many of these pictures!
Horror/fantasy author Glenda Finklestein and husband Tony are the first happy faces I see at the Con.Actor Jeffrey Breslauer, right, graciously poses with yours truly.At last! Delayed from appearing at her table earlier, goth/horror/mystery author, dark princess Andrea Dean Von Scoyoc and yours truly reprise our traditional DoubleTree portrait.PCR's own Terence Nuzum, right, conspires with the Kingpin for control of crazed fandom.
Former PCR columnist, Andy Lalino (Oddservations), right, surprised us all with a visit. Chris Woods, left, and Andy are probably talking about Chris's Wynkoop T-shirt.Terence and John Miller (ball cap) look over the wares of their favorite DVD dealer.The number one indie film wildman himself, Tampa's own Joel D. Wynkoop, mans his table with typical ferocity as Cathy Wynkoop looks on. I can't beg, borrow, or steal that CREEP poster from Joel, though I've wanted it for years.Yours truly, left, with Comic Con owner/promoter Tim Gordon, right. Tim is a terrific, kind and gentle individual who will have to move the Con to new digs after today (see story).
Former Creature Productions assistant Doug Vater has branched out with his own video business, VEFilms. Here, he mans the live internet video feed of Wynkoop TV.With the video camera temporarily moved, we get a better view of the celebrity artist's area. Right in front is Fran Matera.Indie comic artist Joe Leone, right, poses with his high school friend Terence Nuzum, left, seconds before he had to leave the Con.Group portrait #1, taken in the hall just outside the Creature Film Fest, L-to-R: Doug Vater, Joel Wynkoop, Wanda Vater, Terence Nuzum, Nolan Canova, John Miller, Chris Woods, and Andy Lalino.
Just one sampling of the many comics dealers present at the Con.This toy table attracted lots of fans looking for good deals on out-of-package toys.A terrific shot of Marvel Comics legend Pat Broderick.From the elevated platform where I was talking to Pat Broderick, I got a better over-view of the Con. Seated at lower right is comic artist Alex Saviuk.
Swinging my camera around to the left, I got the other "half" of the Con. Terence Nuzum and Joel Wynkoop are at lower left.Nick Cuti, former writer for Warren Magazine Comics (Eerie, Creepy), at left, joins Creature Productions' John Lewis at John's table.L-to-R, Nick Cuti, "Brittany", and John Lewis. Brittany is holding the DVD to "Creature Watch" in which she stars.Terence Nuzum, left, and Joel Wynkoop, right, clown around for Lisa "FANGRRL" Ciurro, center, who'd just arrived.
I sincerely want to thank Tim Gordon for six terrific years of comic fandom at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tampa, and wish him and the cast of regulars who comprise the beloved Tampa Giant Comic Con and Toy Show the best of luck at their new location in Largo.

For more information on this and future events, please check out their website. ---Nolan

Relaxing after the Con at the refurbished Players Lounge, we were shocked by the surprise visit of Mike Christopher, the "Hari Krishna" zombie from Dawn of the Dead ! Mike graciously posed with yours truly for this shot. (Hey, where'd he pick up the Wynkoop T-shirt??)Not only that, but he further honored us with this final group shot at the Players bar.
Seated, L-to-R: Chris Woods, Andy Lalino, Lisa Ciurro. Back row, standing, L-to-R: Terence Nuzum, John Miller, Nolan Canova, and Mike Christopher.


Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact ,please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! The comments below are lisetd starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
ED [18-11-2008 06:30] 
Lisa - that's fine, the Tampa Con was just a warm up for you. Now you are ready to join us for Megacon or FX next year in Orlando.
The JTipton [17-11-2008 19:51] 
To Nolan- Guess I should prolly check my email huh? Lol.

And no, not Bobby. Not sure who you're mixing me up with. Hopefully someone awesome!
Lisa C. [17-11-2008 14:44] 
ED -- I did gush a little bit about the Tampa Comic Con there, didn't I? I guess it's always more fun to go from smaller event to larger event (or in my case, from no event to small event, since the Tampa Comic Con was the first con I ever attended). Someone used to much larger events might have a different opinion of this event than I.

Yep, I would probably keel over from over-excitement at MegaCon. I hope to give it the ole college try someday, though.
Nolan [17-11-2008 07:25] 
To JTipton: Woops, talk about fragile memory cells, haha. Sorry about the birthday mix-up, I'll take it down this month and put it back up next month where it belongs! So...whose birthday am I remembering being the 17th of this month, is it Bobby's?

BTW, I did write you both about the DoubleTree Con a couple days beforehand, but never got a reply. Guess you didn't check it till later? Anyway, sorry we missed you. Hopefully next time, then.
ED [17-11-2008 06:26] 
Brandon - I can't speak for comics specifically but for collectibles such as toys it was eBay that killed the shows back in 1998. I know because I talked to the dealers one by one as they stopped doing shows. They were lured by the idea of a 24/7 show they could operate out of their homes without having to transport inverntory and set up and break down. eBay was also generating much larger and more consistant profits at that particular time. I could not blame them but I preferred the face to face interaction that was lost with eBay.
Brandon [17-11-2008 04:44] 
Ed, I have to disagree to a certain extent regarding eBay. I think the greater factor is the comic book industry, which is on life support at best. I still attend the conventions to buy comics that I can inspect myself. Grading comics is a dying art and eBay is risky business. Unique items from eBay are one thing, but face to face interactions at a Con is another. Timís Tampa Con was very nostalgic and provided a great venue for all of this and Iím sad to see it go.
JTipton [16-11-2008 21:43] 
Lol, I appreciate the birthday shoutout Nolan, but you're a little bit off. It's December 14th. Close guess from memory though!

Cool article about the convention too. Forgot about it entirely this time, still shamed I couldn't make it before. Maybe a fresh chance at a new location eh?
Nature Boy Paul Guzzo [16-11-2008 19:14] 
The Wynkoop TV segment on TFR is great guys ... I hope you can come out again and tape ... but next time cut off my friend Gene sooner! Christ does he ramble!! haha ...
Petrey [16-11-2008 16:18] 
You're probably right Nolan about Mr. Sousa. Thanks for waking those fried cells of mine up. It's getting harder to remember past items. Somebody said it could be because I'm turning 45 next month, ha!
Nolan [16-11-2008 07:10] 
Doug, it was good to see you guys, too. The confusion over your name spelling comes from alternately using "Vater" and "Vaters" is describing your company's name (e.g., "Vater Entertainment"). Why isn't it "Vaters Entertainment" then?

I look forward to watching the video.

VATER ENTERTAINMENT FILMS [15-11-2008 23:04]  
Hello guys it's Doug i loved the TFR last night. It was my first TFR and we had a lot of fun. Mr Nolan my name is Vaters so you can put my right name on all future comments and blogs i would love that Thanks pal. Hey everyone the TFR we shot last night will be on Wynkoop TV by 6am Sunday so please tune in at www.wynkooptv.com Thanks
The Love One Paul Guzzo [15-11-2008 16:38] 
Great TFR last night .... good crowd and films.
ED [14-11-2008 14:32] 
Lisa - if you have that much fun at the Tampa con, Megacon would probably cause your brains to pop out your ears! See you in March!
ED [14-11-2008 14:32] 
Brandon / Nolan - I used to love the little hotel shows we had in Jacksonville. I supported the comic and toy ones for as long as they lasted and even ran my own group for about five years. Once eBay came along though (1998), all of the quality vendors here bailed and the only ones left were selling crap no one would buy. I read the writing on the wall and got out while I had money in the bank like most everyone else. A few shows struggled along another year or two but we have had very little here in the past 5-6 years. I tried to make last weekend's Tampa show because I was supposed to be in the area this week but I got sick at the very last minute and had to cancel everything. It doesn't matter where it is to me personally, I will still try and make another one as soon as I can.
Brandon [14-11-2008 11:19] 
Several years ago, in front of Nolan even, I asked a simply question to Alex Saviuk and then he and Ethan Van Sciver blew into this huge back and forward about the publishers screwing the artists, how things were at both Dc and Marvel -- it was awesome.
The Man With All The Hair Paul Guzzo [14-11-2008 08:10] 
One of my fondest memories as a filmmaker will always be from the DoubleTree Comic Con ... we showed The Dance at the film fest there one year and the door busts open during the film and some jack ass turns on the light before realizing a film was showing and turns it right off. Normally, I would've snapped and yelled at the guy, but when I looked up to see who the idiot was, it was the Green Lantern! And boy, did he really let himself go! I said afterwards I couldn't be mad ... instead I was excited. How many filmmakers can say their films were interrupted by the Green Lantern?!?!?!
Nolan [14-11-2008 07:48] 
Haha, SunCons, yeah. They were the sh*t, man. I can't speak for Ed (I'm sure they were called something different where he was), but I tried never to miss these little $2.00 shows with, maybe, one signing celebrity aboard---who signed for FREE (after you paid the $2 admission, natch). Comics were affordable and the place easy to get to.
Brandon [14-11-2008 07:16] 
It's really sad to me to see the Doubletree Tampa Comic show move and have such difficulties. It has been a very nostalgic festival, similar to the ones from the late 80's and 90's. Even when the guest list is weak or repetitive, it always reminds me of those shows, particularly the SunCons. I know there's a lot of people (Ed Tucker for example) that has missed out on that experience and it's ashame that the venue is changing. My best to Tim Gordon and hope that the Convention can overcome whatever obstacles it faces.
Tampa Fashion Icon Puff Chrissy [14-11-2008 06:05] 
Paul: Hated and obnoxious? Terence could be so lucky to be name-dropped in loquacious blogs that resemble the fever dreams of Theodore Kaczynski. Seriously, it's like being stalked by Dwight Schrute. You must be thrilled.
Nolan [14-11-2008 01:25] 
Mr. Petrey: I believe Rick Sousa worked at Britton Cinemas for a short while in the '80s. That may be where you remember him from.
Indie Film Trouble Causer Paul Guzzo [13-11-2008 19:50] 
"Soon, you will be like the Guzzo and me." You mean hated and obnoxious?
matthew [13-11-2008 16:39] 
very sorry to hear of the passing of rickys father. hey rick, if you see this, my sincere condolences bro.

shoot me an email when you get the chance buddy.
Petrey [13-11-2008 15:17] 
I don't why but that name, Sousa, rings a bell.
Nolan [13-11-2008 15:08] 
R.I.P. Richard J. Sousa, 73. To former Andromeda Society members: past president Rick Sousa's father passed away November 4th. He was predeceased by his wife Joanne, and son, Steve.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ricky Sousa, wife Janet and daughter Maddy at this time.
Terence [13-11-2008 13:58] 
go completly bald? nah there are always surgery options before it has to come to that! dammit now you have done it! here we are talking about each others lack of hair!
Tampa Hair Club Puff Chrissy [13-11-2008 10:33] 
Well, smile or not, I'm enjoying the ever-evolving receding hairline Terence is sporting. Soon, you will be like the Guzzo and me.
Tampa Film Clique Member Paul Guzzo [13-11-2008 09:41] 
What if John Lewis was flashing you while doing the "Sign of the Horns" ... would you smile then?
Terence [13-11-2008 08:55] 
but hey at least i didnt do the "Sign of the Horns"!
Terence [13-11-2008 08:55] 
you have to remember some of the company I am in when im not smiling. crazedfanboy allumni excluded. i mean if there was some chick flashing me right when the camera was flashing me then it might be a different story haha. acutally thatd probably be worse then id look like the wolf from the droopy dog cartoons.
Cheeky Monkey Paul Guzzo [13-11-2008 07:24] 
I bet Terence looks adorable when he smiles!
Tampa Pen Pal Puff Chrissy [13-11-2008 05:54] 
Oh, it's "Sign of the Horns". I always thought Lewis was spastic. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of him not doing it. As for Terence and his dazzling smile, I once had a picture of him smiling. His smile is hard to document, like a Bigfoot sighting.
Terence [12-11-2008 18:47] 
not entirely true paul. i did in the ones with H.G. Lewis. jeez now the topic of the day in PCR Land is that you are immature if you do "Sign of the Horns" and wether or not I smile.
The Man, The Myth, The Legend, Paul Guzz [12-11-2008 18:22] 
And Terence never smiles!!!!
Brandon [12-11-2008 17:02] 
John Lewis still hasn't grown out of the "Sign of the Horns" thing --- pathetic.
Chris Woods [12-11-2008 15:59] 
Nolan - Great article on the Tampa Comic Con and cool pictures. I had a good time at the con as always. We'll have to see how the Largo one will be like in March.
Friend to Models Paul Guzzo [12-11-2008 12:39] 
Great photos man ... best coverage yet ... But what did you buy?!?!?!?!?!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    


"Mike's Rant" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2008 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith    "FANGRRL" is ©2008 by Lisa Ciurro    "Retrorama" is ©2008 by ED Tucker    "Sports Talk" is ©2008 by Chris Munger      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova    
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