Pictures from Super Megafest 2014

By Jason Harris

Super Megafest has come to New England once again. It’s a show that draws hundreds of people every year. If you couldn’t make it this year, you will have two chances next year. There will be two Super Megafests next year. A Spring Edition in April to be held at the Marlborough Trade Center in Marlborough, MA. This convention will be held over three days, April 17 through 19. The Fall Edition will once again be held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel in Framingham, MA. November 21 and 22.

Dwight Schultz (The A-Team, Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Dwight Schultz (The A-Team, Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Walking Dead).

Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Walking Dead).

Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Lee Arenberg (Pirates of the Caribbean series).

Lee Arenberg (Pirates of the Caribbean series).

Paul Amos (Lost Girl).

Paul Amos (Lost Girl).

Me and Kris Holden-Reid (Lost Girl).

Me and Kris Holden-Reid (Lost Girl).

Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix, Daredevil).

Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix, Daredevil).

Jamie Kennedy (Scream, Scream 2).

Jamie Kennedy (Scream, Scream 2).

Ian Ziering (90210, Sharknado).

Ian Ziering (90210, Sharknado).

Wrestler Scott Hall.

Wrestler Scott Hall.

Wrestler Kevin Nash (Magic Mike, Rock of Ages).

Wrestler Kevin Nash (Magic Mike, Rock of Ages).

Kiss Demon.

Kiss Demon.

Vincent Pastore (The Celebrity Apprentice, The Sopranos).

Vincent Pastore (The Celebrity Apprentice, The Sopranos).

Aileen Quinn (Annie).

Aileen Quinn (Annie).

Debbie Gibson (Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, Rock of Ages).

Debbie Gibson (Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, Rock of Ages).

Author Stacey Longo and musician Gary DeCarlo.

Author Stacey Longo and musician Gary DeCarlo.

Musician Micky Dolenz signing an autograph for a fan.

Musician Micky Dolenz signing an autograph for a fan.

The pictures below are pirates from the Rogues’ Armada. You can also find these pirates on Facebook here.

A pirates from the Rogues’ Armada.

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Commodore Samuel “WeirdBeard” Hain of the Rogues’ Armada.

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Authors Della Rita Rossetti and Lory La Selva Paduano.

Authors Della Rita Rossetti and Lory La Selva Paduano.

Spawn.

Spawn.

A Dalek from Dr. Who.

A Dalek from Dr. Who.

Santa Darth Vader.

Santa Darth Vader.

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A Starfleet officer.

A Starfleet officer.

BB hanging with the Ghostbusters.

BB hanging with the Ghostbusters.

Spawn.

Spawn.

BB hanging with some superheroes.

BB hanging with some superheroes.

Pictures from Hartford Comic Con

 

By Jason Harris

 

This past weekend Hartford experienced the debut of Hartford Comic Con at the XL Center. There were long lines before the doors opened at 10 a.m. From what I saw, this convention will be coming back to Connecticut.

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Batman, Poison Ivy and Donatello.

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Michael Massee of The Amazing Spider-man

The crowds at Hartford Comic Con.

The crowds at Hartford Comic Con.

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Chronic and Bluntman

Chronic and Bluntman

Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Kenedy of The Walking Dead.

Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Kenedy of The Walking Dead.

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Michael Myers

Michael Myers

Beaker

Beaker

Spider-man

Spider-man

Disney Princesses

Disney Princesses

Maleficent and Anakin Skywalker

Maleficent and Anakin Skywalker.

Katrina Law of Arrow and Spartacus.

Katrina Law of Arrow and Spartacus.

An Umbrella corporation soldier.

An Umbrella corporation soldier.

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Ghost Rider.

Ghost Rider.

Jim Dyer of Fenham Publishing.

Jim Dyer of Fenham Publishing.

Marvel superheroes.

Marvel superheroes.

There will be a few more entries with pictures coming in the next few days.

Granite State Comic Con, a Glimpse Into Another World

By Dale T. Phillips

WelcomeOnce in awhile you get to do something really interesting, like get a glimpse into another world where people are nice, intelligent, and having fun in a different way. I had that experience this weekend at Granite State Comicon, a convention held in Manchester, NH, for people to meet who enjoy a variety of things: comics, costume play (cosplay), science fact and science fiction, fantasy, horror, anime, manga, and just hanging out with like-minded people.

This particular annual gathering began ten years ago, and Chris Proulx, co-owner of Manchester’s Double Midnight Comics, organizes the event. The show has proven popular, and grown to be a two-day event, with roughly 3000 people attending. It’s such a rush for those attending there were already people trying to register for next year, while the event was going on.

There was a great deal to see: panel discussions on various subjects, Ghostbusters, the only privately-held Delorean from the “Back to the Future” movies, R2-D2 and Imperial stormtroopers, vampires, pirates, superheroes and villains of all stripes, and even a place to play working arcade games from the past.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

R2-D2

R2-D2

Stormtropper

Stormtrooper

Pirate_Elvira

Jack Sparrow, the Silence from Dr. Who, and Elvira.

The Justice League

The Justice League

Arcade

The people who come to the con love the stories and characters they find in graphic novels, movies, television, podcasts, and online. Many of them enjoy dressing up as a particular character they find appealing, and there are contests for best costumes in many different categories. But these are no mere outfits grabbed off the rack at a party store, they are meticulously researched and hand-crafted designs of ingenuity and creativity.Ladies_Cos

You may have seen a television show about people who cosplay and enter these contests, but in true television fashion, it shows many participants in a less-than-attractive light, editing to make them seem as if they are nasty competitors. Those in the costume contest I saw were nothing but supportive of each other, cheering each announced prize and high-fiving each category winner. I spoke with one participant who had a costume that included beautiful, hand-crafted armor. Having made armor myself, I know how difficult and time-consuming the process is, and complimented him on a stunning display. Though he was completely passed over for any prizes (an oversight, to say the least), he had no words of disparagement for his fellow competitors, no whining or complaining like you might see on television. A true hero of cosplay, and one who embodies the completely positive spirit of the whole event.

Winners

Winners

One costumer (cosplayer) who really goes above and beyond is artist Amy Fletcher, who over the years has become well-known for a series of striking mermaid costumes: steampunk mermaid, goth mermaid, even Ariel (from a well-known animated film). She’s back at cons after a hiatus, and what she does is more performance art than just dressing up. A true mermaid costume restricts ones movements, and she sits for hours at a time on display, where fascinated folk come to take pictures and marvel at the attention to detail on the current incarnation. Amy says she enjoys meeting people and being an inspiration to others, and loves to push creativity. Her attitude is: “Have fun, be yourself, and don’t care what others think!” Check out her website for great art and all things mermaid: http://sinicallytwisted.bravehost.com/.

Goth Mermaid

Goth Mermaid

One place that encourages and educates this convention audience (and the world beyond) is Sci-Fi Saturday Night, a wicked cool podcast of all things science fiction. Check out their site and listen in on Thursday nights for news, interviews, and commentary by a talented cast of characters and guests from film, TV, and the writing world. Yeah, when I can tune in and hear classic writers like Spider Robinson and Harlan Ellison, you’ve got me without anything else. Then they’ll bring on someone like actor Lance Henriksen from the Aliens movie, just for good measure!

The Sci-fi Saturday Night crew

The Dome, Zombrarian, and Kriana of Sci-fi Saturday Night

And there are illustrators by the score, vending their artwork in various forms. Many have created graphic novels or other books, such as Susan Saunders, who was at her first convention, selling her children’s book Snowpocalypse, co-written with well-known horror writer Rob Watts. With a background as a schoolteacher, she’s now interested in creating literature for children. She enjoyed the people-watching element of the show, and was getting inspiration from the many other artists on display.

 Susan Saunders and Rob Watts holding their book,  Snowpocalypse.

Susan Saunders and Rob Watts holding their book, Snowpocalypse.

There were other writers as well, most notably a contingent of the New England Horror WritersRob Smales, one of those selling books with the group, said that there were “a metric butt-ton of good writers in the New England area– some seriously creative people.” Earlier in the day, he’d gone around the event with a death mask on to scare up some business.

Authors and members of the New England Horror Writers Tracy L. Carbone and Rob Smales.

Authors and members of the New England Horror Writers Tracy L. Carbone and Rob Smales.

From left to right: authors Tracy L. Carbone, Rob Smales, Scott Goudsward, and Tony Tremblay.

From left to right: authors Carbone, Smales, Scott Goudsward, and Tony Tremblay.

Author Scott Goudsward in front of the New England Horror Writers sign.

Goudsward in front of the New England Horror Writers sign.

You see a lot of good ideas here, such as raising money for charities– for example, the Ghostbusters of New Hampshire, who go to cons as their favorite movie characters, complete with heavy packs and gear for dealing with paranormal occurrences. They pay their own way, and make appearances and accept donations from attendees which all go to a specified charity. At the event, they were raising money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The Delorean Time Machine is doing something similar, and making appearances to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

The Delorean

The Delorean

So it was a great time, talking to filmmakers, photographers, and fans. Artisans creating accessories and vendors selling items from favorite shows and comic lines. Enthusiastic people having a ball, enjoying themselves and learning about many creative venues while meeting people from all over. If this sounds like your thing, there’s a slew of shows throughout the year, and New England hosts a number of them.ObiWan_jabba

Silence_SciFiSat

Vendetta

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Raider
Danearis
Lara_Rhyddick
Lady_Cosplay
Young Justice
Editor’s note: All pictures in this article were taken by Dale T. Phillips