#NYCC and me

The week post-NYCC has flown by, yet it also feels like an eternity ago. The contrast of daily life against the sci-fi and fantasy Disneyland that is New York Comic-Con, is not a transition one traverses lightly; or at least I don’t. Like emerging from the wardrobe after discovering Narnia, I’m still dusting snowflakes from my hair or, rather, quippy buttons, flyers and business cards. I met so many amazing people and went on some pretty cool adventures (some I’ll talk about here, some you might have to read about in my unauthorized biography #pretendingtobefarmoredangerousthaniam). But all in all, it was an awesomely fun, productive and exciting weekend.

Even though the media guests were sanctioned to a far away wing, I was stoked to see all the friendly and loyal fans who came by to grab an autograph, snag a t-shirt, or just to say hello. The laid-back pace was actually a welcome break. Hanging out all weekend allowed me the freedom to come and go and carry on real conversations, rather than frantically packing in a rush of autographs in just a few hours. Admittedly, I only ventured out into the madness twice. On Saturday, I naively walked around artists alley thinking it was the main attraction. A friend of mine with a comic book booth educated me on the different smells emanating from the different areas—that way if I got lost, I could navigate using my ninja olfactory skills. According to him, the publisher’s area was the most offensive, but I didn’t test his hypothesis. I chatted a bit with the cool and talented Cat Staggs, who was kind enough to give me one of her books. Apparently she’s going to be making some BSG art in the near future, so you should definitely keep an eye out. You can find more of her artwork on her site. I also tripped over Scott Adsit (Pete from 30 Rock) pimping out his precious sketchbook for artists to draw/paint/doodle/make magic in. I learned about his idea last year, but this year I actually got to see some of the fruits of his many travels and contributions from incredible artists. I’m not sure how many sketches he has in total now, but it’s an impressive amount and he’s somewhat modest about it; either that or he’s a little self-conscious about the inherent geekery in such an undertaking. I personally think it’s awesome! I also love anything that challenges the fan/celebrity separation. At the end of the day, we're all fans of something, right? And if you're not, sucks to be you! Anyway, I digress, Scott was also kind enough to be excited about my “OH MY GODS! THEY KILLED CALLY” t-shirts and even sported his very own on Sunday. If you catch him in any pics or videos that day, you’re sure to see him representin’. Thanks again Scott! If you're in the city, catch him doing Celebrity Autobiography. It sounds super hilare!

On Sunday I had the good fortune of having a dear old friend from Vancouver serve as my sidekick. So during the slow times we got to catch up and reflect on the good ol’ days kicking around Vancity. It was really nice, and always humbling to have old friends to help you remember how far you’ve come. It was also really neat to hear her perspective on the convention. She moved to NYC seven years ago and has since become a hugely successful and sought-after stylist. She loves her job, but will be the first to admit the fabric holding together the commercial and fashion industry is one of carefully constructed facades and shiny veneers. Her and I have always bonded over our mutual love and appreciation for the nerdier side of life, so it was perfectly apropos for us to unite in such a setting. Her comments on the event were both refreshing and endearing as she compared the people at the convention to the people she normally works with. Sure, they both dress up in outrageous outfits, some of them even with outlandish make-up and accessories. They both obsess over material commodities and identify themselves with their specific interests; most of them form social groups as a result of these interests. But still, there seems to be something tangibly different about these “genres,” if you will. I might be so bold as to say that sci-fi fans seem genuinely happier than my experience of fashion-industry types. But aside from that, I feel the major difference is expressed in their intent. Rather than trying to create an image in order to fit in and be liked by others, comic and sci-fi fans are expressing themselves in a way that is not typically accepted by mainstream culture, and cons are the one place they can actually share that passion with others. I don’t get the sense that con-goers are trying to be cool; in fact, it’s cool not to be cool at a con (the irony is not lost, but you get my point). To put it simply, I it seems like people at conventions come together through a shared LOVE of something, rather than a shared FEAR of something. And that's just cool.

Well that’s enough waxing philosophic for now... More to come on Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Evolution, the Occupy Wall Street protests, and some more cool (mis)adventures I embarked on last weekend.

Oh, and did I mention, I KILLED it in this Black Eyed Peas dance game? KILLED. IT. :)



Nicki Clyne Fan 'Zine FTW!

Hey everyone! I'm really excited to roll out this lil' collaboration I've been working on. With the help of some talented friends, the first ever "Nicki Clyne Fan 'Zine" has been created! It's all for fun, kind of a throwback to comics from the 50's with cut-outs and games. You can even help Cally find the cylon through a maze! The art work is pretty spectacular, somehow Pedro Vargas captured a certain "Nicki-ness" and managed to translate it into a cartoon.

I'll be releasing a limited edition run of 1000, so get 'em while they're hot! I'm giving first dibs to everyone who comes to I-CON 30 this weekend, then it's fair game to the internet populace thereafter. Every 'zine will be numbered and hand signed - even personalized if you so desire!

Looking forward to hearing what your thoughts! Please send feedback, as this is only the beginning of my creative endeavors.

Here are a few sample pages to whet your appetite, there are 16 total. Full details coming soon... Enjoy!

montreal, je t'aime

All of a sudden I have a whole bunch of things I want to write about, but it wouldn't be right if I didn't catch up on my convention escapades first... I actually wrote about my trip to Montreal on my way to the NY Comic Con, so here it goes: Time for another convention download! I better hurry or I’m going to crash my hard drive - my brain’s hard drive that is - as I’m headed to another convention this weekend... I had a great time in Montreal. The convention was quaint and community oriented; in other words, very small. It's always nice, though, because you get to have closer interactions with the fans and overall it’s just more relaxed. Like most small conventions, it seemed the people shared a history and the convention served as a reunion of sorts. I enjoyed the dysfunctional-family-dinner feel and felt very much welcomed by everyone there. Fortunately, I wasn't forced to unleash my neglected French, though I did escape a few tourists asking for directions with a convincing, "Je ne sais pas." But anyway, since my time spent at the actual con didn't go beyond my two Q & A's and a few hours signing, I had the luxury of wandering around Montreal, checking out some live music, taking a yoga class and eating at some awesome vegan restaurants. Here are some random photos of my trip.

Other discoveries I made in Montreal include:

  • Diamond Rings (walked into a performance randomly and have been smitten ever since. his new album came out today! yay!) http://diamondringsmusic.com/
  • Aux Vivres (excellent vegan fare and fun atmosphere) http://www.auxvivres.com
  • Bixi bikes (worked off the vegan chili with a little cruise around town on a rental bike. a little intimidating in traffic, but totally worth it. i hope the rest of the world catches on soon) http://www.bixi.com
  • No right turns on a red light! Say whaaaaat?

poster / art

i tried to pick only a few of my favorites, but there are so many good ones...  austrian designer Albert Exergian presents his humorous view on television culture with the minimalist sensibility of someone who doesn't own a television.  very well done in my opinion.  to see all forty posters, go here. 05_30_rock02_true_blood06_heroes31_battlestar10_prison_break09_californication12_lost26_twinpeaks34_sixfeetunder35_flashforward36_stargateyou can also purchase them here.


finally home from some exciting travels, i realize it's a little late for a comic-con wrap up, but a brief one you shall receive nonetheless.  there were several highlights amidst the chaotic explosion of genuine fandom, sundance-esque celebrity hype, and thinly veiled car salesman-like consumerism.  as per usual, connecting with my beloved castmates was the bestest, but i would be remiss if i didn't express the honor, astonishment and pure love i felt watching the Battlestar Orchestra perform at the House of Blues Friday night.  i've always emphasized the integral role music plays in backing the emotional fortitude of a story, but it's often taken for granted.  engrossed in a characters' strife and struggle, seldom do we step outside to say, "wow, what an incredible score."  not only did the live performance provide such an opportunity, but it brought life this otherwise mysterious side of the production process.  what moved me most was witnessing the relentless and beautiful life force driving each instrument, each person's essence expressed through his or her contribution to the greater experience.  it was wonderful.  however, between the smiles there were also tears, as we paid tribute and celebrated the life of Harvey Frand.  i don't believe this is the place to share my personal feelings on his passing, but i will say he is in our hearts and will forever be an essential part of the battlestar family.  i was grateful we could all be together to celebrate his life and how he enriched each of ours. Visit bear mccreary's blog for an awesome account of the whole weekend's festivities and shows.

battlestar orchestra

other highlights included hanging with matt pizzolo and the rest of the Halo-8 crew doing Godkiller signings and other fun shenanigans, complimenting someone on her "cally" costume to which she replied, "thank you" and kept on walking, and watching Michelle Forbes watch the Mighty Boosh - i can't say i fully understand or appreciate their humor, but watching the pure delight she derived from their performance made it all worthwhile.

star trek: voyeur

at the risk of exposing my modest (an understatement) knowledge of one of sci fi's most revered and iconic programs, i'm going to illuminate my sheer excitement and awe over the new Star Trek movie.  i hadn't read any reviews prior to seeing it, and have yet to, so my scope is limited in being able to compare its integrity to the old show, but i should know as well as anyone that a remake only earns its reverence when it can succeed on its own merit.  this, in my mind, is a battle this year's Star Trek fought boldly, and won.  not a note hit off key.  not a life spared sentimentally.  not a Vulcan hair ever out of place.  the characters were consistent, endearing, and uniquely heroic.  well, the male characters were at least.  that would be my one dissatisfaction; an unfortunate and not uncommon one.  there were no dynamic female characters, only two dimensional archetypes.  perhaps it was simply upholding of the original show, perhaps it is a sign of a greater discontinuity in our culture's view of women.  either way, that's where it failed.  but in every other way, it was an awesome representation of our metaphorical struggles, and a hugely entertaining  journey on the backs of some pretty bad ass members of Starfleet.  (yes, i did just use the words "bad ass" and "Starfleet" in the same sentence. that must qualify for some amped up level of nerd-dom, no?) i didn't find any exchange gratuitous, even the action sequences - which is where i typically wander off.  the humor too, walked a fine line, but was so clever and enjoyable, how could you resist?  i suppose my only distraction was thinking, "oh! isn't that the girl from House?" or, "where do i know that Russian kid from?"  but despite any preconceived imaginings, i was immediately taken in by the story before i could begin to scan my mental imdb.  the casting all made sense and was amazing, which was a relief let me tell you.

in what i have seen of Star Trek, what I love most is its simple examination of our deepest concerns about humanity.  with no pretense, it asks us to explore our moral stature through seemingly unlikely occurrences; though once examined, they become all too commonplace in our technologically advanced culture.  and actually, what i think it shares with Battlestar in this regard, is an intellectual and emotional strength that merely complements the special effects, instead of relying on them for bravado.  so i'm still not sure whether i would have liked it more or less had my historical framework been more prolific, but i can confidently proclaim that i'm really glad i saw it, and i may or may not even see it again...  in digital... and IMAX.

is it logical to love spock?