My Second Trip to Granite State ComiCon (Pictures)

By Dale T. Phillips

Pictures by Dale T. Phillips and Stacey Longo

 

Once more, I got to travel to another world or a lot of them, by attending Granite State ComiCon, organized by Double Midnight Comics. I was one of two authors at the Books & Boos table. The other author at the table being Stacey Longo. We were signing books for fans, new and old.

Author Stacey Longo at the Books & Boos table.

Author Stacey Longo at the Books & Boos table.

It was an amazing time at a well-run con, with thousands of fun people enjoying themselves and sharing their special likes of comics, TV shows, books, films, graphic novels, games, and cultural icons of all sorts.

Hall3

Hall2

Waiting

You get to see people like The New England Brethren of Pirates.Pirates1

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire Ghostbusters

GhostB1

GhostB_501_roller

The New England garrison of the 501st Legion.
All three groups make appearances to help raise money for charities. These people put a lot of time and effort into their outfits and shows, and they deserve a big hand for what they do.501_base

Star_wars

Starwarrior

Wookie_face

Leia

Sam Jones

Sam Jones

You get to see celebrities, like Sam Jones (of Flash Gordon and Ted fame) and tough-guy actor William Forsythe, both of whom were

Author Stacey Longo with William

Author Stacey Longo with William Forsythe.

extremely gracious and kind to the fans. You also see the people behind the voices of your favorite animated characters such as Richard Horvitz, who voices Zim in Invader Zim, .

Richard Horvitz.

Richard Horvitz.

You get to meet writers such as Gordon Bean, Rob Watts, Katherine Silva, and Scott Goudsward, who are all members of the New England Horror Writers.

From left to right: Bean, Watts, Silva, and Goudsward.

From left to right: Gordon Bean, Rob Watts, Katherine Silva, and Scott Goudsward.

Author Matthew Bartlett, another NEHW member, was also signing books at the organization’s table.

Author Matthew Bart

Author Matthew Bartlett.

Besides the NEHW and Longo, Chris Philbrook, another author, had his own table at the convention.

During my time at the convention, I also met author John Murphy, who was recently heard on the Sci-fi Saturday Night podcast. I can’t wait to hear their interviews with the cast members of Game of Thrones.

Me (left) and John Murphy (right).

Me (left) and John Murphy (right).

The Game of Thrones celebrities.

The Game of Thrones celebrities.

Speaking of which, lots of folks were Game of Thrones cosplaying to honor the cast members who were there.

Arya

Arya of Game of Thrones.

Arya2

Arya of Game of Thrones.

Snow_dani

 

Miltos Yeramelou (Syrio on GoT) hosted a Water Dancing class to teach beginning fencers. I watched some of it, and thought it superb– and I’ve been a fencer for over 35 years.

Miltos Yeramelou.

Miltos Yeramelou.

Syrio2

Syrio3

Groot

Groot.

You get to see about every superhero and supervillain you can think of.

Catwoman

Catwoman.

Batgirl_Robin

Robin and Batgirl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harley_Joker_Riddler

Harley Quinn, the Joker and the Riddler.

Mr_T_JasonAnd many other costumes. A guy who plays Mr T. emceed the huge costume contest. I sure wouldn’t want to judge that one, because there are so manyCostume_crowd2 cool costumes, it would be too hard to choose a winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two days of fun, and we just saw a small part of it. It’s a total experience, with panels, parties, and participation.

Alien

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Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees.

Borg

A Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Horns

Loki

Harley_Joker

Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Big_Guy

HauntedAcres Haunted Acres is New England’s most exciting haunted attraction, with Maniac’s Midway, live bands, a beer garden, and lots of food and ride vendors.

Cosplayers

Costume_crowd3

Danerys_Tardis

Frozen’s Elsa taking a trip in the Tardis.

Deadpool_WW

Deadpool and Wonder Woman.

Mech_warrior

Dredd

Judge Dredd.

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Groot.

Gosselin

Artist Karen Gosselin.

Mr_T_Stacey

Mr. T with author Stacey Longo, holding her book Secret Things.

Princesses

Puppet

Ralphie

Ralphie from A Christmas Story.

Saints_3D

Silverlady

Steampunk

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A Medieval Deadpool.

Me with author Rob Watts.

Me with author Rob Watts.

Tardi

Things1_3

Vulcan

Star Trek’s Starfleet officer

WreckRalph

Wreck-It Ralph.

The Dome and Kriana of Sci-fi Saturday Night.

The Dome and Kriana of Sci-fi Saturday Night.

Disney Princesses.

Disney Princesses.

Droogie1

A Droogie.

WW_Batman

Wonder Woman and Batman.

Guardians

Guardians of the Galaxy.

A Droogie.

A Droogie.

Brave's Princess Merida and Silk.

Brave’s Princess Merida and Silk.

Performers from Fright Kingdom.

Performers from Fright Kingdom.

Convention attendees.

Convention attendees.

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Rikki Simons, the voice of Gir.

Rikki Simons, the voice of Gir on Invader Zim.

Thor_Block

Thor and Voltron

Puppet

New Trailer for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′ Debuts

 

The brand new trailer for the most anticipated movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, of the year debuted on TheHungerGamesExclusive.com.

Watch the Official The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Worldwide Trailer here: http://hungrgam.es/Trailer

In conjunction with the trailer’s  debut, be sure to check out The Hunger Games Exclusive Series #2, including exclusive new images and interviews with Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Natalie Dormer, Mahershala Ali, and more on TheHungerGamesExclusive.com.

SYNOPSIS
The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.
Advance tickets will go on sale October 29 at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PST.

Books and Boos Press Debuts ‘Insanity Tales’ this Halloween Season

 

Publishing news from the Books & Boos Press website.

 

Books & Boos Press is excited to announce our October release of Insanity Tales, due out just in time for the Halloween season. This anthology contains short stories from David Daniel, Stacey Longo, Dale T. Phillips, and Ursula Wong, and a short novella by Vlad Vaslyn. Longo also edited the collection.

All of the stories in the anthology are new, with the exception of one from Longo (“Old Man’s Winter”), which was expanded and changed from an earlier version. Each story in Insanity Tales features a character whose actions could very well be perceived as crazy—and in some cases, they are.

The table of contents for Insanity Tales is as follows:

Foreword by Jonathan Maberry

“Memory Unit” by David Daniel

“Dark Water” by Ursula Wong

“Jack-o’-Lantern” by Dale T. Phillips

“Old Man’s Winter” by Stacey Longo

“Scalper” by David Daniel

“Never Alone” by Ursula Wong

“Chupacabra Moon” by Dale T. Phillips

“Color Him Crazy” by Stacey Longo

“The Sleep Artist” by Vlad V.

David Daniel is the author of eleven novels and more than a hundred short stories, and has won a Private Eye Writers of America Award (for The Heaven Stone) and was a Shamus Award finalist. Stacey Longo is the author of Ordinary Boy (due out May 2015) and Secret Things: Twelve Tales to Terrify, and was a featured author on the 2014 Connecticut Authors Trail. Dale T. Phillips is the author of four novels (A Memory of GriefA Fall From Grace), over thirty short stories, and has appeared on stage, television, and in an independent feature film, Throg. Vlad V. is the author of The ButtonYorick and Brachman’s Underworld. He is a freelance writer and former newspaper correspondent for the Lowell Sun and Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise. Ursula Wong is the author of Purple Trees, is a regional winner of the flash fiction contest sponsored by the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, and leads the NHWP Nashua chapter. Books & Boos Press is honored to be able to work with such a talented group of writers.

 

The 6th Annual Connecticut Authors Trail Finale with Mar Jennings

Mars Jennings

Mar Jennings. Photo by Jason Harris.

The 6th Annual Connecticut Authors Trail celebrated its finale on Thursday, September 4, 2014. The featured speaker was TV personality Mar Jennings, author of Life on Mar’s: Creating Casual Luxury. Giving a lively presentation from the stage of the Cabaret Theater at Mohegan Sun, Jennings gave advice and tips on creating a warm and inviting environment inside and outside the home. Sharing beautiful photos of his own home and garden in Westport, CT, Jennings shared his six principles for decorating a room, including repeating patterns and incorporating nature into the décor. He answered questions from the audience about personal interior decorating preferences and the best flea markets to shop in the area.

Many of the other authors who were featured on the Author Trail this year were in attendance for the finale. Mystery writer Liz Mugavero (Kneading to Die), historian Quincy Abbot (From Schoolboy to Soldier), and horror writer Stacey Longo (Secret Things) were all on hand with copies of their books. Libraries participating in the 2014 Connecticut Authors Trail kindly donated raffle baskets, and readers who attended the authors’ presentations throughout the state were given tickets to enter in the raffles. Mohegan Sun generously provided appetizers for the event.

To learn more about the authors who appeared on the Trail this year, please visit http://connecticutauthorstrail.org.

Author Stacey Longo to be Involved with the Connecticut Authors Trail Finale at Mohegan Sun

Author Stacey Longo during her CT Author Trail appearance at the Saxton B. Little Library in Columbia. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo during her CT Authors Trail appearance at the Saxton B. Little Free Library in Columbia. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo joins other Connecticut authors at the Connecticut Authors Trail finale being held Thursday, Sept. 4, from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theatre.  She will be selling and signing copies of her books, Secret Things and Pookie and the Lost & Found Friend.2013-08-16 14.43.21

2014-01-23 14.48.17

‘Saw’ Cuts Its Way Back into Theaters this Halloween to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

 

Horror Film Which Ignited Blockbuster Franchise Will Be Available in Theaters for One Week Only Starting October 31

 

This Halloween, Lionsgate will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the theatrical release of Saw, the film that kicked off the most successful horror franchise in history, by bringing it back to theaters nationwide for one week only.  The film will open on Friday, October 31st, with select screenings beginning Thursday night, October 30th.  The seven Saw films grossed $874 million at the box office worldwide and were hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Horror Franchise” of all time.

“The launch of Saw was a signature event in Lionsgate’s history, establishing our first franchise and paving the way for our growth into a global studio,” said Lionsgate President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Jason Constantine. “We are excited for our fans to revisit the twisted magic that first blew their minds on Halloween 2004.”

“As part of Saw’s 10th anniversary, we’re thrilled to give new fans and audiences the opportunity to experience this film on the big screen for the very first time,” added Saw’s producers Oren Koules and Mark Burg.

Saw was the first collaboration for co-creators James Wan, who directed the film, and Leigh Whannell, who wrote the screenplay. Together, they also created the successful Insidious franchise, and Wan has gone on to direct such high-profile films as The Conjuring and the upcoming Fast & Furious 7.

Directed by Wan from a script penned by Whannell, Saw is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer, with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping. The film, which was released over Halloween weekend on October 29, was produced by Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules, and Mark Burg.

Pictures from the Connecticut Horrorfest

 

By Jason Harris

 

Ryan Emerson and Joe Rubin of Vinegar Syndrome.

Ryan Emerson and Brandon Upson of Vinegar Syndrome.

Beetlejuice and Lydia.

Beetlejuice and Lydia.

Irone Singleton of The Walking Dead.

Irone Singleton of The Walking Dead.

Alex from A Clockwork Orange.

Alex from A Clockwork Orange.

Authors Stacey Longo and G. Elmer Munson at the Books & Boos table.

Authors Stacey Longo and G. Elmer Munson at the Books & Boos table.

Carnage

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Lady Pinhead.

Lady Pinhead.

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Jennifer Lynn Warren of American Horror Story.

Jennifer Lynn Warren of American Horror Story.

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Author Stacey Longo with a cosplayer.

Author Stacey Longo with a cosplayer.

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Author F.M. Longo.

Author F.M. Longo.

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Cerina Vincent of Cabin Fever.

Cerina Vincent of Cabin Fever.

Theshay West and Moses Moseley of The Walking Dead.

Theshay West and Moses Moseley of The Walking Dead.

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A Clockwork Orange cosplay.

A Clockwork Orange cosplay.

2014-08-23 14.47.40

Stacey Longo with Lady Pinhead.

Stacey Longo with Lady Pinhead.

Movie Review: ‘Man with the Screaming Brain’

 

By Stacey Longo

man-with-the-screaming-brain-original

If you’re a big Bruce Campbell fan like me, you’ll probably be tempted to watch Man with the Screaming Brain (2005).  Written and directed by and starring Campbell, it sounds like a safe bet. I mean, Bubba Ho Tep  was funny, right?

Let me gently remind you that nobody can be funny ALL of the time. And for the first thirty minutes of this movie, you will find yourself thinking this very same thought several hundred times.

Campbell plays William Cole, a shady corporate industrialist traveling in Bulgaria to set up a tax scam. He’s traveling with his wife Jackie Cole, played stiltingly by Antoinette Byron, who might be wearing that hideous blond wig in the hopes that nobody will recognize her in this stinker.

Bruce Campbell is trying too hard to play the obnoxious American, and the result is boring and unfunny at the start. The banter between Campbell, Byron, and Russian cab driver Yegor (played by Vladimir Kolev) is forced and hokey. The relief comes when a mysterious Gypsy woman murders the three of them, but it takes much too long to get to this major plot point.

Good news for the Coles and Yegor: there’s a mad scientist in the neighborhood looking for hapless victims to conduct experiments on. Said scientist transplants Yegor’s brain in to William Cole’s body, presumably with the expectation that hilarity will ensue. We are treated to ten minutes of Cole and Yegor battling for control of Cole’s body, until they realize they were both murdered by the same woman, and decide to work together to hunt her down. In the meantime, Jackie Cole’s brain is transplanted in to a robot. I wish I could tell you I was making this sucky plot up, but sadly, this is really what the movie is about. My heart breaks for all of the Campbell fans out there who will try to stab out their own eyeballs with knitting needles in an effort to stop watching this crapfest.

The highlight of this movie is Ted Raimi, who plays the mad scientist’s assistant, Pavel. It’ll warm your heart to see that he’s still finding work, and that he isn’t the worst thing about this movie (that honor goes to the Jackie robot, which malfunctions much easier than any terminator I’ve ever seen in the movies, and at the worst possible times).  Raimi is—dare I say it?—actually kind of entertaining in this role, and helps make the film almost bearable. Almost.

Overall, this movie reminded me of a hilarious comedy with Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin battling for control of a body that I saw once. Only All of Me (1984) was funny. Man with the Screaming Brain, with the standout exception of Ted Raimi, is not.

Two Chances to Visit Books and Boos this Weekend

 

BooksBoospixellatedBooks & Boos, which closed its physical location at the end of May, is continuing to do events like it was doing when the bookstore was still open. This weekend will give people two opportunities to visit the traveling bookstore.

The first opportunity to visit the bookstore will be Saturday at the Connecticut Horrorfest. Along with used books, people will be able to meet authors Stacey Longo and G. Elmer Munson and get them to sign one of their books. The horrorfest takes place at the Courtyard Waterbury Marriott located at 63 Grand Street in Waterbury, CT. It runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The second opportunity happens on Sunday when Books & Boos takes part in the Open Air Market and Festival at the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown, Connecticut. This will be the bookstore’s second appearance at this event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Wadsworth Mansion is located at 421 Wadsworth St. in Middletown, CT. Longo will also be signing her books at this event as well. She is joined by authors Dan Foley, Dale T. Phillips, and Joseph Ross.

Remembering Our Friend, Robin Williams

 

By Stacey Longo

 

2014-08-12 13.00.09

The death of comedic genius Robin Williams hits especially hard, because he was a part of all of our lives. My parents’ generation remembers him getting his start as an alien on Mork & Mindy. Gen-Xers remember him as an inspirational teacher in Dead Poets Society, an inspirational therapist in Good Will Hunting, and an inspirational doctor in Patch Adams. For younger generations—for all of us—he will always be Aladdin’s genie. The loss of Robin Williams hurts as much as losing an old friend.

As children, my sister and I laughed right along with my parents at Mork & Mindy, though we didn’t always get the jokes. For us, the monumental moment when Robin Williams really became somebody in our minds was watching his poignant portrayal of the title character in The World According to Garp. Williams’s work in this film showcased his ability not only to be funny, but to be able to portray the struggles and achievements that we all face: hope, betrayal, loss, and redemption. His talent was limitless.

Robin Williams was so interwoven into our daily lives that it will take time to adjust to his absence. Besides his numerous film roles, he sometimes popped up on popular television shows like Saturday Night Live, Happy Days, The Larry Sanders Show, and Friends, among others. Imagine my delight when watching my favorite holiday special, A Wish For Wings That Work, and realizing the voice of the kiwi was someone very familiar to me. Robin Williams was like a well-worn blanket, something to wrap us in comfort on a rainy day.

His death, a suspected suicide, is unthinkable. How could this funnyman, who brought such joy to so many people, kill himself? For those who suffer from depression, it’s particularly hard: if Robin Williams couldn’t handle it, how can I? His drug problems were well documented—his cameo in Bob Woodward’s scandalous Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi was the first indication I saw, about 30 years ago. Williams also made no secret at his attempts, successes, and failures at sobriety, an open book for all to read. Those left behind have to wonder: how could someone so good at making us laugh be so unhappy inside?

It’s a question to which we will never have an answer. Though angry at his method of death, this is not how I choose to remember the beloved comedian. I’m sorry he was so miserable that he felt suicide was the best answer. But I am thankful for the sweet entertainment, the moving portrayals, and above all, the laughs he gave me while he lived.

As a blue genie once said, a woman appreciates a man who can make her laugh. And Robin Williams did that for me, countless times.