Pictures from the 2013 Rhode Island Comic Con

By Jason Harris

The second Rhode Island Comic Con held at the Rhode Island Convention Center was a big success. The attendance for this year was around 33,000, which was close to 11,000 more than last year’s convention. There were some issues with pre-sale tickets and a few celebrities such as Anthony Michael Hall, Jett Lucas, and Nichelle Nichols weren’t able to make it because of the¬†gunman who shot up Terminal 3 at the Los Angeles International Airport Friday morning. Nichols felt so bad about missing the convention that she has already signed on for next year’s convention.

Comic Con had the entire convention center this year so the organizers were able to make more room in the aisles so there was plenty of room to browse the vendor tables and get pictures of the cosplay that were on display around the entire convention. There were people dressed as characters from movies, television, comic books, video games and books.2013-11-01 23.29.47

C. Thomas Howell

C. Thomas Howell

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J. Jonah Jameson

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Julie Newmar

Julie Newmar

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Author Rob Watts with some Visitiors.

Author Rob Watts with some Visitiors.

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 Abby Sciuto of NCIS.

Abby Sciuto of NCIS.

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Burt Ward and Adam West at the Batman panel.

Burt Ward and Adam West on the Batman panel.

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Author Eric Dimbleby

Author Eric Dimbleby

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WWE wrestler and author Kenny Dykstra (Billy's Bully)

WWE wrestler and author Kenny Dykstra (Billy’s Bully)

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The Connecticut Visitiors (www.facebook.com/CTVisitors)

The Connecticut Visitors (www.facebook.com/CTVisitors)

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Jonathan Silverman

Jonathan Silverman

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Authors Erin Thorne, Stacey Longo, and Rob Watts at the Books and Boos booth.

Authors Erin Thorne, Stacey Longo, and Rob Watts at the Books and Boos booth.

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Danny Glover

Danny Glover

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Sarah Douglas

Sarah Douglas

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A member of the Connecticut Visitors

A member of the Connecticut Visitors

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WWE wrestler Kevin Nash.

WWE wrestler Kevin Nash.

The Dome of Sci-fi Saturday Night talking with Nicholas Brendon.

The Dome of Sci-fi Saturday Night talking with Nicholas Brendon.

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James Tolkan from the Back to the Future movies.

James Tolkan from the Back to the Future movies.

Jim Dyer of Fenham Publishing.

Jim Dyer of Fenham Publishing.

SWF wrestler Yukon Jack

SWF wrestler Yukon Jack

Nikki Clyne with some fans

Nikki Clyne with some fans

Survivor's Richard Hatch talking with author Stacey Longo.

Survivor’s Richard Hatch talking with author Stacey Longo.

Barf with author Rob Watts

Barf with author Rob Watts

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Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

WWE wrestler Danny Davis

WWE wrestler Danny Davis

Author Stacey Longo with Sloth.

Author Stacey Longo with Sloth.

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Author Erin Thorne with some Steampunk characters.

Author Erin Thorne with some Steampunk characters.

WWE announcer/referee Howard Finkle

WWE announcer/referee Howard Finkle

Artist Seth McCombs.

Artist Seth McCombs.

Authors Rob Watts and Stacey Longo

Authors Rob Watts and Stacey Longo

Billy Dee Williams

Billy Dee Williams

Me with Leslie Easterbrook.

Me with Leslie Easterbrook. Photo by Stacey Longo.

I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures.

The Birth of ‘Dark Discussions’

The Birth of Dark Discussions

By Philip Perron

If you miss your favorite ESPN show, go get it on a podcast. If you want to hear news from some of the biggest news agencies in the world, you can get it through a podcast and listen to it a day later. Podcasting has been a spectacular if not largely known medium that provides programming for those folks who prefer to listen to their favorite topics when they want and wherever they want.

Though satellite radio has been a great phenomenon where folks are able to listen to an eclectic mix of shows on books, movies, sports, news, finance, and even cooking, niche audiences still may not be fulfilled with what they really want to listen to. What about themes such as video games, gardening, or even something as specific as horror movies? This is where podcasting really has promise. Not only is it free, it requires nothing more than an audio digital device, a laptop, or even a smart phone.

As an avid fan of the arts, specifically books and movies, I was always visiting websites to read about the production of Martin Scorcese’s latest film or the progress of the next Stephen King novel. Then one day I came across an audio review on the film Cloverfield as well as an audio round table discussion about the film No Country for Old Men. Afterwards, I saw that these audio files were also being streamed from Apple’s iTune’s store for free.

Getting programs on my little iPod was a convenient way to listen to programs I wanted to listen to while doing my daily walks in the woods or working out or commuting to work. And with the wide variety of programming available I was able to search for shows discussing upcoming books and movies. And yet even more specifically books and movies within the horror and techno genres.

The interesting thing was that many of the podcasts I listened to were done by amateurs or simply people who did them for fun. Their shows were filled on topics they were passionate about. The discussions were probably the same ones they’d be talking about over a round of beers. They weren’t making any money, they weren’t making any inroads towards a more promising career, they were doing it simply because they loved talking about their focused topic.

Early 2011, I figured I could do it myself. While grabbing burgers with a few guys, I noticed our discussions focused around either sports or genre fiction which included horror, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, techno-thriller, and mystery. And having added a number of genre themed podcasts as part of my weekly listen to-do list, I did my research and started putting together the idea. What resulted was a genre themed topical podcast entitled Dark Discussions Podcast.

Finding two wonderful folks online through various genre themed forums, myself along with Eric Webster, of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Michael Dunleavy, of Port Jervis, New York came together and put together a weekly show on topics that anyone from the New England Horror Writer’s group would be familiar with. Not to be tagged as specifically horror, the tag line “Your place for the discussion of horror film, fiction, and all that’s fantastic” seemed to fit.

The podcast basically focused at first on themed discussions or specific movies. Topics such as a retrospective of the director and screenwriter Frank Darabont as well as the franchise of the Planet of the Apes were some of the early weekly episodes. But also films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and John Huston’s Moby Dick have been a focus. It’s true, we are no experts but our perspectives as fans of genre fiction were as well thought out as some of the genre websites and magazines available. And at the worst, we provide another voice on both obscure works and genre classics.

Some of the inventive ways the podcast has expanded were by being contacted by some folks for reviews and promotion. Horror Realm, a convention every September in Pittsburgh, emailed and offered the podcast passes to their convention. M.J. Preston, the author of The Equinox, asked if we’d be interested in a free copy of his novel to review. However, it was co-host Michael Dunleavy who really got it. While attending Horror Realm 2011 as press, he not only interviewed the film stars of some of horror fans favorite films, but he started interviewing the vendors and independent talent. What resulted was Dark Discussions Podcast helping out folks who need promotion of some really fantastic works that anyone who enjoys horror should know about.

This is where Dark Discussions Podcast in a sense merges with the NEHW group. After Horror Realm 2011, Dark Discussions contacted the folks at both the Rock and Shock and Anthocon conventions and received press passes to attend and promote their events. This is where our podcast became what some would call an unofficial promoter of the folks we met specifically at Anthocon and therefore NEHW. We interviewed such NEHW members as Charles Day, Gregory Norris, and Inanna Arthen. Small presses as Evil Jester Press and By Light Unseen Media, which had tables at Anthocon were also focused on.

So after a year and a half, the podcast keeps going. The listenership grows. And topics as wide ranging as modern novels as Scott Sigler’s Infected and independent cinema as Simon Rumley’s Red, White, and Blue are featured. As an inspiring writer, I know the work folks go through juggling their everyday lives with writing. With Horror Realm come and gone and Rock and Shock and Anthocon coming up, Dark Discussions looks forward to seeing everyone and helping you promote your new and wonderful works. As an inspiring writer, I know the work folks go through juggling their everyday lives with writing.