Akron/Canton Comic Con

Today was a great day! I took a much needed break from work (and the daily grind that comes with trying to manage two careers) so that the family and I could go to the Akron/Canton Comic Con put on by Harper Comics. Okay, so I went with the ulterior motive that I might get a chance to talk to some artists or other industry professionals but thats besides the point. My wife and I packed up our three-year-old and  five-month-old daughters and headed on down not knowing how well the day would go with such young ones.

All things considered, the trip went pretty well. When we got there, my three-year-old spotted a cosplayer dressed as Anna from Frozen. She was so excited, she started running full speed pulling me along to go say hi. Unfortunately, it was not Anna. The young cosplayer, informed us that she was actually Ariel from Little Mermaid, a movie that isn’t as familiar to my little one when compared to Frozen. She was a little confused but managed to walk away without tears.

I mean, honestly though, I can understand how a little kid could get confused.

 

 

I underestimated how much stuff there would be, and I had forgotten the allure of it all. I stopped in to see our home town shop, Hazel’s Heroes, representing our neighborhood. Seriously, they always have a fantastic booth and a great selection. Thanks to my wife, I made out with some cool stuff. Every time we would walk by something cool she would point out that we need this or that for the basement (aka my office) or something along those lines.

 

 

I stopped by Robert A. Kraus’ booth and grabbed these fun little sketches. For any that don’t know, Yoda is on the left and Rick and Morty on the right. He has quite a range of artistic ability and not everything is in a caricature style. Check out his site, RakGraphics.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Couldn’t pass up these amazing pieces from Scott Campbell. He had such an awesome selection, I can’t wait to get them on my wall! For those that don’t know, left is Spider-Man/Venom and right is Alien/Predator. Check out more of his work at SinFire Studios on Facebook.

 

My wife informed me that we NEEDED this lamp to literally brighten up my desk/workspace. It looks great  I only wish that I knew the vendor it came from. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a card to give them credit.

 

 

 

 

 

Saving one of the best interactions for last, I had the pleasure of chatting with fellow writer, Marcus V. Calvert. I really do mean pleasure. He was animated, passionate, and comical which overall was quite entertaining. Oh, and he had a cool hat. Marcus took us through his whole line of tales, all of which sounded fantastic. It was a tough decision but I settled on I, Villain.

I am looking forward to reading this book and I recommend you swing by his Social Media home or Amazon and take a look at the titles he has available.

 

It was a lot of fun and I was pleased that I didn’t lose any children (not kidding) and that they were both well behaved!

Support local talent!

Until next time.

-Dustin

 

Aphotic Realm Update, CBR.com, and More!

I’d like to make a quick note of apology to any fans or followers of the page. I stay pretty active on my Twitter account so if you haven’t heard from me, you can always check there. However, there is something more profound about the silence. It means I’m busy kicking butt!

This past month has been crazy. In addition to my day job and my efforts starting up a new business–AphoticRealm.com–I started writing for Comic Book Resources! Writing list articles is a lot harder than it initially seemed. There is just so much research involved–even if you know everything about the topic. Also, they have so many writers over there all scrambling for the best lists it’s hard to jump onto the train barreling down the tracks. I’m still doing it though! As of today I’ve got three articles under my belt with four and five due dates coming up quick. I’ve updated my site and my resume to include links for all of the articles but for now, you can check out the latest article, Star Wars: 15 Times The Movies Were WORSE Than The Books.

Now a quick update for Aphotic Realm. I am so very excited for the first issue of our magazine coming out next month. I promise, as soon as I have more details, I’ll post them here. I wrote an editorial for the magazine as well as other things. That editorial will be opening up the issue and I hope with all my heart that you enjoy it. That’s all I can say for now about our upcoming issue: Apparitions. Check back soon for more details!

It’s been a great time for the world of geeks! There have been some fantastic movies and comics out lately and if you haven’t jumped on DC’s summer event, Dark Nights: Metal, you better get to it ASAP. Go to your local comic shop and pick up Dark Days: The Forge. Sunday marks another date for geeks with the premiere of season 2 of Preacher! I am pretty excited for that one. I love Cassidy! In fact, I’m currently re-watching season 1 right now.

Also, I can’t go a day without talking about my newest favorite show. I’ve already gushed about it all over Twitter, but if you haven’t checked it out, go watch Patriot on Amazon. It’s wonderful. One of these days I’ll have to sit down and actually do the show justice by talking about it on my blog. I love this show so much, I’ve watched all ten episodes TWICE!

I’ve just given you lots to talk and check out. Be sure to comment with what you are currently geeking about! I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you have a moment, please share or tweet my page! I appreciate your support!

MoonMarket Games

Hey everyone! I just wanted to take a moment to plug something really cool. This is especially relevant news for all my gamer friends and followers. As most of you know, I love games, and I am more apt to play a table top/board game because my wife also likes to play too.

If anyone else out there is like me, you should check out MoonMarketGames.

They currently have two games out: Doomsday Cult and Sanity.

In Doomsday Cult, “mass suicide has never been so fun!” The object of the game is to build your cult, gaining the most followers before the Doomsday Clock runs out.

In Sanity, you must “press your luck in Edgewater Asylum.” Instead of Monopoly money, your Sanity is on the line. Whichever player leaves the game with the most Sanity wins.

You can find out more and purchase these games on their website. You definitely want to check these out!

Aphotic Realm News

The posts on my blog may have been quiet these last few weeks but that is only because I’ve been working so hard on Aphotic Realm. I’m so proud of the work Adrian and I are doing. We are both quite ambitious and it’s exciting to see it grow. To any of you reading this, I ask for your continued support especially with this endeavor. I could use some share warriors! If you could like and share the posts coming off of any of our social media platforms, I would greatly appreciate it!

We’ve published a number of short stories to the site, seven to be exact, two of which are Spotlight features. We’ve really enjoyed interviewing both authors behind those stories as well. There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon, some of which I can’t share yet, so let’s start with what I can talk about.

I’m pleased to share with you that the theme for our first issue will be APPARITIONS!

Astronauts encounter fifth-dimensional beings! Knights stumble upon ghastly creatures from another realm! The high school is haunted by a bitter janitor! Science fiction, fantasy, or good ‘ol horror – it doesn’t matter, just make sure it has a ghostly element.

The cover art, pictured left, is a brilliant piece by the talented Gunnar Larsen and we feel it is a fantastic representation of both this themed issue and Aphotic Realm.

Submissions will be due June 1st.

In addition to the magazine submissions, we accept submissions year round for the online side of our publication. Please share with any writer friends! We are also looking for artists willing to contribute their work to our publication.

That’s pretty much all I can share for now. There is a lot coming though! In the mean time, head on over to Aphotic Realm and check out all the stories.

http://www.AphoticRealm.com

-Dustin

Announcing Aphotic Realm

I’m proud to announce that my latest endeavor with fellow Full Sail alum, Adrian Medina, is now live! Check out Aphotic Realm!

Aphotic Realm, a new literary website and magazine, is now accepting submissions. We are looking for unpublished short stories of any genre, but they must be dark, strange, or sinister. Since this is the debut of Aphotic Realm, we do not currently have a deadline. This is because we are unsure of the volume of submissions we will receive. If you would like to submit your story to Aphotic Realm, please check out our submissions page at AphoticRealm.com.

Also, follow us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/aphoticrealm and on Twitter @AphoticRealm.

Thank you,

Dustin

Movie Review: LOGAN

I’m laying this down right up front–I know I’m NOT going to be able to hold back from some SPOILERS! So consider yourself WARNED!

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I remember thinking at one point during the movie, “this is wonderful.”

Won-der-ful: adjective – inspiring delight, pleasure or admiration; extremely good; marvelous.

Again, SPOILERS!

I remember exactly when I had that feeling. Logan, Charles and Laura stop to help a family collect their horses running in the road. Logan introduces Laura as his daughter and Charles as his…dad. The grateful family invites the trio back to their home to repay their kindness. Logan initially refuses but Charles accepts knowing that this quiet, normal moment is exactly what Logan (and possibly Laura) needs to bring out their humanity.

Back at the family’s farm they are all sitting around the dinner table. Laura, devouring everything like she hasn’t eaten for days, drew a chuckle from me. Logan and Charles share fond memories of days past in an almost “tongue-in-cheek” fashion. The pair exchange a glance and in that moment I realized that all the blood, dismemberment, f-bombs and even this 17 year long journey, for better or worse, has all been worth it. Everything was building to this simple, beautiful moment.

Several days have past since I saw Logan in theaters. This scene is easily the most memorable of that movie…possibly even the franchise. The only other scene that comes close for me is the first bar scene where Wolvie’s claws come to bare for the first time in cinematic history. You can relive that scene by watching this video on YouTube.

There is one other iconic scene found in X-Men 2 where Logan springs out of the tank, claws extended, and water spraying everywhere. As great as it is though, it doesn’t come close to the dinner scene in Logan or the bar scene in X-Men. 

As amazing as those two scenes are, I honestly think the dinner table scene in Logan tops them both. I could gush about the dinner table scene all day and reminisce but I have a few other things to talk about.

Over the course of the movie, Logan is detached and Charles implores him to stop denying and pushing his humanity away. His detachment is preventing him from caring or connecting with anyone. Sparing one of the major spoilers (some sacred things should remain revealed by watching the movie) there is a final scene where Logan finally finds himself and he connects with Laura in a very touching scene.

This film also holds a certain weight to it aside from the fact that this is Hugh Jackman’s last appearance as Wolverine. It’s the realization that (SPOILERS FOR SURE) the humans have suppressed the mutant gene by genetically altering corn syrup. The only way mutants come into existence now is if they are created in a lab.

I was skeptical when seeing an X-Men comic reference in the trailer but I was surprised and impressed at how they actually utilized the comic. After the “threat” of the mutants was gone, stories were written about actual events that occurred and embellished by adding flashy costumes and twisting what actually happened. I thought this was a neat element and it wasn’t a throwaway Easter egg either as it was later used in a major revelation.

Overall, Logan is a wonderful film. It’s easily the best Wolverine solo movie and that’s clear to see but I think it’s the best film of the franchise. My recommendation? If you can get past the blood, cursing, and a brief flash of naked breast then go see Logan! If you can’t get past the rated R content, then you should suck it up and try anyway (if you are of proper age of course) because this is truly a marvelous movie for Wolvie fans everywhere.

Logan is directed by James Mangold and is written by James Mangold (story and screenplay), Scott Frank (screenplay), and Michael Green (screenplay). It stars Hugh Jackman as Logan, Patrick Stewart as Charles, and Dafne Keen as Laura. The film is rated R for language and extreme violence as well as some brief nudity. Watch the final 137 minutes of Hugh Jackman portraying Wolverine at a theater near you.

–Dustin

Graduation Day

“Sleep is for the weak. I’m gonna sleep for a week.”

I’m not sure where the quote came from or the circumstances in which it came up in conversation. All I know is that it was the mantra my friend and I would quote during our journey at Full Sail University. While we were in class we carried the attitude of, “sleep is for the weak,” but as soon as we graduate we are going to sleep for a week.

That week has finally arrived and yet I don’t feel relieved. I’ve rested, watched TV and movies, completed jigsaw puzzles, read books, and most importantly–I spent time with my family. Something still feels off.

graduation-1695185Even now, as I sit here trying to organize my thoughts into something coherent I am unsure exactly what it is that I am feeling.

I had a good time and I enjoyed learning. That much is clear to me. I liked most of my professors and I hope to stay in touch with quite a few. That is also clear to me.

While I am relishing the lack of deadlines and mountain of homework, I’m afraid the dam broke. With that barrier gone, the tsunami of projects and possibilities has caused me to nearly drown. Luckily, I’m a good swimmer.

For so long I’ve been juggling work and school and a family full time. Any idea for a story that has come up hasn’t received much of my attention and now that school is over, all of those ideas came bubbling back up to the surface. The only way I can sort through all of these things effectively is to treat it like school–one month at a time and one week at a time.

I know I have a long road ahead of me and there are so many other things I can say but all I want to do is get started.

But before I go, I do want to give a brief shout out to my friends and family that stood by me through this whole process.

Thanks,

Dustin