What Disney owning Fox means and doesn’t mean for Nerds

Disney just bought Fox for a $52.4 Billion dollars which  opens the door to X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool. both the current versions and any MCU takes. This means things like Deadpool can both stay the way they are Disney can’t stop movies all ready in production but they can however reboot or rework for the MCU Deadpool 3/ Deadpool’s ending. Being that Deadpool is a money maker who stole MCU stuff to have in the first movie I’m guessing reworking would be in Disney’s best interest. Disney has also bought Han shooting first as Fox owned the 1977 version of Star Wars. Disney does not hold the rights to things like Gotham however and will must likely be requested to go back to the WB much like the Star Wars The Clone Wars.

Source:Business Wire

Comic Con celebrities – Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders and Elizabeth Henstridge

Not only was there a treasure trove of goodies for nerds of all ages at the Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago, but there were also celebrities that spanned a wide range of interests. Unfortunately, we were highly anticipating David Tennant and he was a last-minute cancellation, also in attendance was John Cusack, Danny Trejo, WWE stars, The Hardy Boys and Alexa Bliss as well as Dean Cain, Lou Ferrigno and Michael Rooker (“I’m Mary Poppins, y’all”).

We took the opportunity to sit in on Paul Bettany’s panel as well as the girls of SHIELD, Elizabeth Henstridge and Cobie Smulders. Here’s some highlights from each panel (from fan questions):

Fan: Which Defender would you want to join the Avengers?
Bettany: I don’t really know but I will go with Daredevil because he’s my son’s favorite.

Fan: What was it like to work with Heath Ledger?
Bettany: He loved to have fun. I never saw the darkness. He just didn’t know when to stop the fun. I really miss him. He was one of the most alive people I ever met.

Fan: What’s going to happen between Vision and Scarlet Witch in Infinity War?
Bettany: I could tell you but then I’d get shot and then I’d get fired after I got shot! But really I can tell you that Infinity War is the biggest production I’ve ever been on. Ever.

Fan: When you were younger, what did you watch on TV or in the movies that made you want to act?
Bettany: I always lie about this answer but the truth is it was Star Wars. My Dad was a teacher and my Mom was a secretary and I wanted to be a guitar player but I’m just not a good enough guitar player.

Fan: Which Jarvis did you prefer to play or do you prefer Vision?
Bettany: Vision although Jarvis was great but it’s really nice not to be anyone’s servant any more.

Fan: When you signed up to be Jarvis, did you know you’d be Vision?
Bettany: No, not at all. Favreau needed someone for the voice of a computer with no personality at all and he called and said he thought of me.

Fan: You seem like the most down to earth person…..
Bettany: I’m not, I’m faking it.
Fan: What bad guy would you play if you had an opportunity?
Bettany: It would have to be Thanos.

Fan: Do you have any roles you regret playing?
Bettany: Yeah, yes I do but I’d never mention them because every film is someone’s vision and dream.

Fan: What is the difference you find between the MCU movies compared to Knight’s Tale?
Bettany: I was younger and drack more and I could stay up later.

Fan: Who’s your favorite superhero or villain from MCU or DC?
Bettany: I would have to pick the Joker and Heath’s portrayal of the Joker was magnificent. I love Batman too. On the Marvel side, it’s Vision. I have to say that cause it keeps the kids in shoes.

Fan: Who decided Jennifer (Connelly, his wife) would be the new female Jarvis?
Bettany: It was Kevin Feige’s idea – he said, “Don’t you think it’d be like the most meta thing in the world?” He asked the missus and she said yes. I just asked what this meta thing was he was talking about.

Now to the girls of SHIELD:

Fan: Are there any literary characters you’d like to play?
Smulders: Any Jane Austen character.
Henstridge: Mr. Darcy. Well I guess I’d be Ms. Darcy.
Smulders: Evil complicated characters are the most interesting to play.

Fan: What’s the best thing about playing Simmons?
Henstridge: I get to look like I’m clever.

Fan: Have your kids seen you on TV or in the movies and how do they know you from that?
Smulders: My 8 year old is still a little too young and doesn’t really watch things I’m in but kids at school are starting to say, “Your Mom is in Avengers.” They just know me as Mom.

Fan: If you weren’t acting, what would you want to do?
Smulders: I would be a marine biologist. I was enrolled in college for that but then I met a group of really cool actors and realized I could get paid for it so I thought I’d try that. I still think about giving up acting sometimes and going back into marine biology.
Henstridge: I loved psychology and I’m fascinated by people but I don’t really know.

Fan: What would you do if you had to choose between movies, TV and plays?
Smulders: If I was just doing theater, I’d be the happiest person.

Fan: What was it like preparing for the Framework storyline (Agents of SHIELD)
Henstridge: It was awful. I wasn’t with Ian (Fitz) which was different and I didn’t see him until he was evil. But Simmons did get some sassy clothes to wear for awhile. That was fun.

For more of the panel with Cobie Smulders and Elizabeth Henstridge, see the YouTube video below.

We have one more interview to share with you in a couple of days. Stay tuned!

Star Wars loses its 2nd director

Just after replacing Lord and Miller on Han Solo due to “creative differences”, Star Wars episode 9’s director, Colin Trevorrow, is being replaced for the same reason. This could be a troubling habit of the new Lucasfilm or because of restructuring the storyline as episode 9’s focus was on Leia (played by Carrie Fisher, who is deceased) therefore the vision had to change. Star Wars fans will never know episode 9’s true story at any rate.

Source: Star Wars.com

Happy Force Friday!

Happy Force Friday! Nerd Nation has you covered if you didn’t go shopping or didn’t know what was out there (The Lukes are gone. Sad face emoji).

Books
There are two canon books. Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Leia, Princess of Alderaan and Phasma. They both take place at different points in the timeline with Leia closer to Rebels Season 2 while Phasma is after Bloodlines. They can be found here and here.

Toys
This time around there are talking toys with a device found here.

Happy shopping!

IT is coming!

By: Julia

If you have a fear of clowns you may want to look away now.

The big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s best-selling 1986 novel IT is due for release next week and looks likely to create a whole new generation of coulrophobes.

The story centers around a group of outcast kids, known as “The Losers Club”, who discover the reason why local kids are going missing is an ancient evil that is terrifying the small town of Derry, Maine by using their fears and phobias against them, most often appearing as Pennywise the clown to attract children.

IT appears to be the first part of duology; part two will pick up the story with the children as adults 30 years later, when the monster returns to terrorize Derry. While the book is set in 1957-58 and 1984-85 it looks as though the films will be 1989 and 2019.

This isn’t the first time IT has been adapted for the screen – in 1990 there was a four-part miniseries with Tim Curry as Pennywise.

Given the popularity of Stranger Things, which pays heavy homage to Stephen King, and the rise of 80s nostalgia, it will be interesting to see how IT performs at the box office.

Early reviews for the film have been very positive, and Joe Hill, King’s son and a horror writer in his own right, has said “Andres’ adaptation of IT is one of the 5 scariest films ever made”.

If you want a taste of the terror to come, here’s the trailer:

IT opens on September 8.

Wizard World Comic Con: Chicago – That’s a wrap!

         

Wizard World Comic Con – Chicago:

It was the 20th year for the Wizard World Comic Con to be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL., just outside that great city of entertainment, Chicago! Nerd Nation attended on Friday and Saturday (August 25 and 26) of the 4-day event and we have a wrap up to share with you!

The last time we attended the Chicago event was about 5 or 6 years ago so we were interested in what had changed in that span of time. Well, the event has grown immensely! Previously, vendors, artists and celebrities were all in one hall but this year, we found vendors and artists in one hall, celebrities (for autographs and photos) in a separate hall and another space for fan experiences, with a variety of vehicles that fans could have their photo taken in. It was great to see some extra space to browse and take in everything the Con offers!

On the downside, food selections for those putting in a whole day are nothing to write home about. A couple of snack bars offering hog dogs, pizza and burgers are available as well as a few scattered mobile food sites serving pulled pork/potatoes but there is so little seating, it is difficult to grab a bite comfortably. There is a restaurant attached to the convention center but it offers the same type of food as the snack bars, in cafeteria style. The other noticeable concern was the overcrowding of restrooms and no family restroom. But these are Convention Center concerns, and not Comic Con issues. We just want to report it all for those who have never been and would like to check it out next year!

As for the Convention itself, if you’re a shopper or an art lover, you will be in nerd-vana!! There were over 200 artists and close to 300 different exhibitors! If you go home empty handed, well, that would just be insane!!  From fossils to lightsabers, clothing to Pop! Vinyls, cookies, dice, and of course, comics, there is something for everyone!

The celebrity list included, as expected, some big names, some not so big names and some that make us say, “Why?” Unfortunately, we were most looking forward to seeing and hearing David Tennant and he was a last-minute cancellation. Other celebrities included Paul Bettany (Avengers Vision), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of SHIELD Simmons), Cobie Smulders (Avengers Maria Hill), Alex Kingston (Dr Who), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy Yondu), and Summer Glau (Firefly). In the “Why?” category: Gene Simmons (KISS), Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinnati), and Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show). Are we missing something here? There are just some guests we’re not sure fit into a comic convention. Correct us if we’re wrong.

As always, one of the best parts of Convention is the small treasures you find throughout the center. Such as a great cosplayer in costume, or an enlightening panel or an incredibly cool talent like Dancakes! (more on that in another post). But overall, this year, there was not as many fabulous cosplayers, or entertaining panels and that was a disappointment. Besides the celebrity panels (which is the only opportunity to get close to the celebrities without paying extra for an autograph or photo), the panel selection includes a lot of sessions for aspiring artists, comic writers, and cosplayers and includes such offerings as speed dating, yoga, trivia and other time-fillers, which is all fine but not particularly for the average fan. Maybe there are more people than we know that want to start an Etsy store or take an inside look at Second City, which may be full of laughs but does it fit in the comic (not comical) convention atmosphere? Current, up-to-date substantial panels based on comics, entertainment, movies and more hold more appeal for the nerd masses. Stay out of the past when there’s so much great future! Here’s another example. One panel was entitled Star Wars vs Lord of the Rings: Which is Better this Year?  Is Lord of the Rings even a thing this year? Not current, not interested.

All in all, Wizard World Comic Con is sure to offer something for everyone! No matter what you’re passionate about, if you’re a nerd, they’ve probably got something perfect for you to discover and enjoy.

Stay tuned for more Comic Con posts, including panels from Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Henstridge and Cobie Smulders and our chat with Dancakes!

Tennant, Barrowman, ‘Firefly’ Q&As head programming at Wizard World Comic Con Chicago

CHICAGO- Q&A sessions with standout celebrities David Tennant (“Doctor Who,” “Jessica Jones”), John Barrowman (“Arrow,” “Doctor Who”), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy , “The Walking Dead”) and casts of “Firefly” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and WWE® Superstars, sci-fi speed dating, anime, cosplayer and comics creator sessions, adult and kids costume contests and more highlight the programming offerings at the 20th annual Wizard World Comic Con Chicago, August 24-27 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Most programming is included as part of the standard event admission and is in addition to the live entertainment options (magic, dancing, music, etc.) all weekend.

Some highlights of the more than 120 hours of panels scheduled include:

  • Interactive Q&As with Tennant (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.), Barrowman (Sunday, 1 p.m.), Rooker (Friday, 1 p.m.), Dean Cain (“Supergirl,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” Saturday, noon), Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Saturday, 11:30 a.m.), Danny Trejo (Machete, Death Race: Inferno, Sunday, 2:15 p.m.), Gene Simmons (KISS frontman, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.), John Cusack (Say Anything…, HIgh Fidelity, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.), Christian Kane (“Leverage,” “The Librarians,” Sunday, 11:30 a.m.), Loni Anderson (“WKRP in Cincinnati,” Sunday, 2:30 p.m.) and many others

  • Group sessions with the casts of “Firefly” (Summer Glau and Jewel Staite, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.), “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (Cobie Smulders and Elizabeth Henstridge, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.), “Doctor Who” (Alex Kingston, Jenna Coleman and Catherine Tate, Sunday, noon) and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Nicholas Brendon and Charisma Carpenter, Saturday, 5 p.m.)

  • Wrestling talk with WWE® Superstars Roman Reigns™ (Thursday, 5 p.m.), Alexa Bliss™ (Thursday, 6 p.m.), Kevin Owens™ (Friday, 3 p.m.), Charlotte Flair™ (Friday, 4 p.m.) and The Hardy Boyz™ (Saturday, 4 p.m.)

  • Creator-themed hours featuring industry superstars Rob Schamberger, Clinton Hobart, Mike Grell, Dean Haspiel, Barbara Slate, Alex de Campi, Trevor Muller, Danny Fingeroth, Joe Harris, Steve Geiger, Lani Sarem, Genese Davis, Maggie Thompson, Dr. Travis Langley, Victor Dandridge and more

  • Anime-themed sessions with Wizard World’s own Mogshelle and Laycee and others

  • “Nothing Stays Dead in Comics,” featuring Wizard World Editor in Chief Brian Walton on the cyclical death and rebirth of comics and the relaunching of Wizard

  • Wizard World Concert: Performed By World Of Warcraft Composer Jason Hayes and Video Game Band “Critical Hit” (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.)

  • Sci-Fi Speed Dating sessions (tired of lookin’ for love in Alderaan places?) (Thursday 6 p.m., Friday 4, 6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.(LGBTPQ), 1, 3:30, 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.(LGBTPQ), 1, 3:30 p.m.)

  • Kids programming all four days, including story time, face painting, puppet shows, dance parties, magic, learn to draw, (and Kids 10 and under are free every day with paid adult)

  • World-famous Wizard World Comic Con Adult Costume Contest, Saturday at 7 p.m. and Kids Costume Contests on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

  • Cosplay with special guests Brit Bliss, Mogshelle, Papa Bear, Princess Morgan, Termina Cosplay and more, throughout the weekend

Unless noted, programming events take place in the designated General Programming Rooms or show floor stages at the convention center. VIP tickets or additional costs may apply to ensure access to select activities, as noted.

A full list of Wizard World Comic Con Chicago programming is available at http://wizardworld.com/programming-entertainment/chicago (subjects, guests, times and rooms subject to change).

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Show hours are Thursday, August 24, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, August 25, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, August 26, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, August 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

 

Join Nerd Nation in Chicago or right here online as we bring you reports from the convention!

“It’s fun to be a vampire”: The Lost Boys turns 30

By: Julia

Thirty years ago today, The Lost Boys was released in cinemas across America, ranking second at the box office its opening weekend it would go on to gross over $32 million and become an 80’s classic.

Directed by Joel Schumacher, it tells the story of two teenage brothers, Sam (Corey Haim) and Michael (Jason Patric) whose mom Lucy (Dianne Wiest) moves the family to the fictional seaside town of Santa Carla to live with Grandpa (Barnard Hughes) after divorce left them broke. But Santa Carla has a dark secret, it’s also home to a nest of vampires who prey on the local population.

The Lost Boys is a brilliant blend of teen drama, comedy, horror and atmospheric soundtrack which reinvented vampires for the modern age, turning them into Rockstar-like rebels. It also embraces the misfit geek in all of us which makes many of the characters relatable. It undoubtedly created a new genre without which we wouldn’t now have shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary, here are some things you might not know about The Lost Boys:

  • The Lost Boys was originally a kid’s adventure movie with the Frog Brothers as eight-year-old vampire hunter boy scouts.
  • Schumacher was about to turn it down when he instead made a counter offer, he’d do it if they can be teenagers.
  • The studio didn’t understand how a horror movie could also be a comedy and was sceptical it would work.
  • Dianne Wiest was always Joel Schumacher’s top choice for Lucy but having just won numerous awards, including an Oscar, for her role in Hannah and Her Sister he didn’t think she’d do it.
  • Star was going to be a blonde pixie haired waif but when they were having trouble casting her Jason Patric persuaded Schumacher to audition Jamie Gertz who was the perfect enigmatic ingenue.
  • The Lost Boys was the first time two of the 80s biggest teen idols, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, worked together and their on-screen chemistry was so strong they went on to make another six movies together.
  • If you thought Edgar Frog was Ramboesque, you’re spot on because Joel Schumacher told Corey Feldman to watch Rambo and Chuck Norris movies in order to make his character more butch.
  • Most of the exteriors were shot in Santa Cruz but they weren’t allowed to use the location’s name because the town trying to appeal to a more family friendly crowd and didn’t want to be associated with a film featuring teen violence.
  • Santa Cruz is Spanish for Holy Cross and was called the “Murder capital of the world” in the 1970s after multiple serial killer sprees in the area.
  • There are only two greenscreen shots in the whole movie, all other effects are practical.
  • Original Doors’ member Ray Manzarek plays keyboard on Echo and the Bunnymen’s cover of People Are Strange for the soundtrack.
  • Good Times, the INXS and Jimmy Barnes cover of the 1968 Easybeats song, was the only song from the soundtrack to make the Billboard chart peaking at 47.
  • Joel Schumacher went on to direct INXS’ music video for The Devil Inside.
  • The infamous topless saxophone player is accomplished musician Tim Cappello who performs I Still Believe on the soundtrack.
  • The soundtrack peaked at 15 on the Billboard 200 album chart in October 1987.
  • If you have a copy of the novelisation by Craig Shaw Gardner, hold onto it because it’s almost impossible to find a second-hand copy for under $100!
  • In July 2008, almost 21 years to the day since the original movie’s release, Lost Boys: The Tribe appeared, a terrible sequel with Corey Feldman reprising his Edgar Frog role.
  • Angus Sutherland, half-brother of Kiefer Sutherland, plays Shane Powers in Lost Boys: The Tribe, the half-brother of David Powers from the original film.
  • Lost Boys: The Tribe was Warners’ highest selling DVD of 2008, recovering its production costs in just three weeks.
  • Due to Lost Boys: The Tribe’s sales success Warners did not hesitate to greenlight another straight to DVD Lost Boys movie.
  • Shot on location in South Africa, Lost Boys: The Thirst was released in October 2010 and reunites Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander as the Frog Brothers.
  • In the months leading up to the release of Lost Boys: The Tribe, Wildstorm published a four-issue comic Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs set between The Lost Boys and Lost Boys: The Tribe. It was written by Hans Rodionoff, who also wrote Lost Boys: The Tribe, with art by Joel Gomez.
  • Vertigo continued the revival with The Lost Boys 2016, a six-issue comic set one year after the original movie. Written by Tim Seeley with art from Scott Godlewski, it finally took Joel Schumacher’s idea that the sequel always should have been The Lost Girls by introducing the Blood Belles alongside many of the original characters.
  • In 2016 it was announced Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, iZombie) is bringing The Lost Boys to television on the CW. Each season will be set in a different decade starting with the 1960s in San Francisco during the Summer of Love. While there is no word on when the series will air, Thomas has a seven-season plan, with the final season as current day.
  • Joss Whedon took a lot of the look of The Lost Boys vampires for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he told Salon “The idea of them looking like monsters and then looking like people, that was in [The] Lost Boys, and that was very useful for us.”

The Lost Boys melds pop culture with age old monsters for an unapologetically fun ride. While there is no getting away from its 80s look, the story, just like vampires, never grows old. Whether you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve seen it or never had the joy of seeing it, now is a perfect time to watch it!

Anime Boston 2017

By: Meghan Nigrelli

Ah, Anime Boston. One of my first and favorite conventions of all time. The first time that I ever went to Anime Boston was all the way back in 2014, which was around the time that I started to become comfortable with my nerd status. My very first convention was Rhode Island Comic Con in 2013, and I had just graduated high school and my parents had to drive me from a state away. I will never forget their faces when they saw people walking around in vibrant cosplay. They were so confused, but I remember looking at those cosplayers and thinking “these are my people.” Conventions always make me feel right at home, and some of my best memories are from convention experiences.

And Anime Boston 2017 was certainly no exception! I had such an amazing time with my friends, and I got to see lots of different cosplays and voice actors. I even got to participate in Anime Boston’s Masquerade, and won first place in the novice’s performance division for my singing. Boston is such a beautiful city, and to be able to experience the city and the convention was such a delight. There are plenty of great restaurants close to the convention, two of my favorites are The Cheesecake Factory and Wagamama, where you can get authentic ramen and courtesy green tea. Anime Boston creates a welcoming environment for thousands of fans from around the country, and is filled with supportive people and kind volunteers. I would definitely recommend Anime Boston to anyone to lives in the area or is willing to make the trip to Boston. Anime Boston 2018 will be here soon enough!

 

Arvell ‘Marvel’ Jones – interview

              

Nerd Nation recently had the opportunity to interview Arvell Jones at Fantasticon Toledo.

Arvell broke into the comics industry as art assistant for Rich Buckler, the first of a Detroit group of artists to enter the field professionally. After helping him on Marvel features starring the superhero the Black Panther and the Buckler-created cyborg antihero Deathlok, Jones received his first published credit, for pencil-art assistance, alongside Pollard, on the Buckler-drawn Thor #228 (cover-dated Oct. 1974). Following an illustration for the text story “The Atomic Monster” in the Marvel black-and-white horror-comics magazine Monsters Unleashed #9 (Dec. 1974), Jones made his full comics-art debut as penciler of an 18-page story starring the martial-artist superhero Iron Fist in Marvel Premiere #20 (Jan. 1975). He went on to do the next two Iron Fist stories in that bimonthly series. At DC Comics, Jones worked with writer Gerry Conway on the Super-Team Family title which starred the Atom teaming with various other DC characters. After the cancellation of Super-Team Family, a Supergirl/Doom Patrol team-up drawn by Jones originally scheduled to appear in that series was published in The Superman Family #191-193.

Jones worked on the DC Comics series All-Star Squadron in the mid-1980s, penciling the majority of the issues released between 1985 and 1987. After leaving the comics field for several years to work in television, he returned in 1994 to provide pencils on DC Comics/Milestone Media’s series Kobalt and Hardware.

One of Arvell’s personally designed characters is Misty Knight in the Luke Cage series.

Nerd Nation: Besides your own characters, who are your favorite characters?
Jones: BATMAN (said in a deep, raspy voice). Also Black Panther, Captain America, street level type characters.

Nerd Nation: As an artist, what are your favorite tools of the trade?
Jones: A #2 pencil and a piece of paper. Also my Mac and Photoshop.

Nerd Nation: Do you have any favorite artists?
Jones: I would definitely include Jack Kirby and Neil Adams but there are a lot of good artists.
Nerd Nation: Any new artists to keep an eye on?
Jones: Wow, there’s so many in the business…I like Ivan Reese, Stewart Edmund….those are a couple I can think of.

Nerd Nation: Do you think it was harder back in the early days to get into the business or harder now?
Jones: I think it was harder then. Now there are more avenues to get into the business through self-publishing, social media, new technology. I think there’s more opportunities now for new writers and artists.

Nerd Nation: Do you ever see someone else’s artwork and think you could have drawn that scene better?
Jones: I sometimes think how it could have been done differently but not better. It challenges me to always be looking for ways to improve my own work.

 

Thank you to the guests we had the pleasure of speaking with at Fantasticon!

Gregory ‘The Walking Dead’ French – interview

On our recent excursion to Fantasticon, Toledo, Nerd Nation had the opportunity to talk to a couple of celebrities at the event. This first interview is with Gregory French, actor. Gregory​​​​​​​​ is best known for his many appearances on “The Walking Dead”, where he has played around 20 different walkers in seasons 3 through 6 including the Barbed Wire Face Walker, one of the Gas Mask Walkers, and several Prison Walkers, Woodbury walkers, and one of the Saviors. Greg’s other television credits include shows such as “Under the Dome,” “Revolution,” “Vampire Diaries,” “Sleepy Hollow,” and “Banshee,” and he is currently in production on the Cinemax series “Outcast.”

His movie credits include “Spiderman Homecoming”, “Iron Man 3″, “Parental Guidance”, and “We’re the Millers”. He also enjoys the Indie film world where he has earned starring roles in the horror film, “The Legend of 7 Toe Maggie”, and the military comedy “Weekend Warriors”.

We asked French which came first for him – being a zombie expert or getting a role as a zombie and learning as you go? “I was a fan but all my zombie stuff comes from the show.” He said he’s researched and read more about zombies since being on the show “The Walking Dead.”

Nerd Nation: Do you consider yourself a zombie expert and do you have a game plan if there’s a zombie uprising?
French: No, I don’t really consider myself an expert. And I’ll probably die right off the bat (in an uprising). I may not be so bad being a zombie. They might be happy, just walking around being zombies.

Nerd Nation: When you get a role a movie like “Iron Man 3” or “Spiderman: Homecoming”, do you feel like you’re really a part of a big movie or do you think it’s no big deal because it’s just a small part?
French: A lot of ‘Walkers’ get little bit pieces, often because they are used to the long hours in makeup, in the heat. For instance, a lot of ‘Walkers’ were cast in “Guardians of the Galaxy” which was filmed in Atlanta. I can’t speak for all actors but I always think, I was in that, it was amazing! So no, I always feel like I’m a part of the movie, it’s a job no matter the size of the role.

Nerd Nation: Can you tell us what your role is in “Spiderman: Homecoming”?
French: I’m a DODC guard.
Nerd Nation: Can you tell us anything else about the scene itself?
French: Nope, not until it’s (the movie) released.

Gregory French is a New York native now living in South Carolina. In addition to acting, he enjoys costuming and building sci-fi props and considers himself to be an all-around supernerd as a member of the 501st Legion, the R2 Builders Club, and the Doctor Who Costuming Academy.

 

Stay tuned for another interview – this one with Arvell Jones, artist for Marvel and DC Comics.

Nintendo Switch review

By: Meghan Nigrelli 

On March 3rd, the Nintendo Switch was released and it has proven to be a tremendous success. According to New York Times reporter Nick Wingfield and his interview with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, the Nintendo Switch is beating out first two-day sales of any other Nintendo console ever. It’s not too surprising when you consider all the times that Nintendo has consistently worked to upgrade their consoles and revolutionize the products they release. The Nintendo Switch is bringing tons of new aspects to the table, which is enough to entice old and new fans alike. This includes the luxury of taking your Switch with you wherever you go, while still getting to play Breath of the Wild on a television in the comfort of your living room.

The system itself is incredibly unique, with its vibrant visuals and uncommon controller options. You can play the Switch as a handheld device that allows you to make a seamless transition between progress made on the smaller device to the big screen. This offers more versatility than the Wii U, which seems to be working in Nintendo’s favor. Deciding to release Breath of the Wild along with the launch of the Switch was enough to grab the attention of many gamers all around the globe. The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most successful franchises, making it the perfect series to begin a new era in Nintendo history. Breath of the Wild is a beautiful, immersive game that has taken years of careful crafting to create. All of Nintendo’s hard work has paid off, and they are striving to make the system inclusive for all people. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the popular console, and what types of games will be released to keep people engaged and wanting more.

 

Fantasticon Toledo – review

 

If you’re looking for a mid-sized comic convention in the Toledo area, you may want to check out Fantasticon! In its third year, Fantasticon is created for comic book and pop culture fans and collectors. Held at the Seagate Center in downtown Toledo, the convention has gained a larger space than its original venue and this is certainly an improvement for the many people walking through the aisles of vendors, artists and celebrities. But while the larger space is welcome, the layout is a little cumbersome, with artists mixed among vendors and space somewhat narrow along the wall of celebrities. Another notable concern is the location of the panels being presented during the day. These are held in a curtained-off section of the hall – great in theory, but not in practicality. Nerd Nation attended the Comic Book Creators panel today and found it very difficult to hear the presenters, which included Arvell Jones, Bill Reinhold and Linda Lessman Reinhold. The noise from the rest of the hall combined with music being played overhead could be heard over the speakers, which was disappointing. Additionally, the host of the panel spent too much time speaking himself. The fans want to hear from the artists not the host so this is definitely a change that needs to be made for future events.

 

Overall, Fantasticon is a nice show that has room to grow and improve. But it’s definitely worth checking out – and there’s still time to do just that! The con runs through tomorrow, 3/12 from 10 am to 5 pm.

 

And stay tuned to Nerd Nation for more coverage from Fantasticon including an interview with Arvell Jones (Marvel) and Gregory French (The Walking Dead).

Welcome a new Nerd Nation team member!

Please help me welcome a contributing writer to the Nerd Nation team, Meghan!

Meghan Nigrelli is a writer, voice actress, and singer who is currently studying Film, Video, and Media Studies and Public Relations at Bridgewater State University. She also writes for Zelda Universe, one of the world’s largest websites dedicated to Legend of Zelda news. Her research paper on video game communities has been accepted by multiple national conferences, including the 38th Annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference.

Meghan will be contributing in areas such as video gaming and will be posting her first article tomorrow on the new Nintendo Switch.

 

Namco founder Masaya Nakamura passes away

Namco founder Masaya Nakamura passed away on January 22. He was 91.

Nakamura has been known as the “Father of Pac-Man” ever since Namco developed and released the arcade game in 1980. The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the game as the world’s “most successful coin-operated arcade game.”

Nakamura founded Namco under the name “Nakamura Manufacturing” in 1955, and served as its president from 1955 to 1990 and again from 1992 to 2002. Following the merger of Namco and Bandai in 2005, he began serving as a senior adviser to Bandai Namco Holdings.

Nakamura received a Blue Ribbon Medal of Honor from the Japanese government in 1986 for his contributions to advancements in industry, and he was recognized in 1997 by the Japanese Minister of International Trade and Industry for contributing to the advancement of computer technology.

Source: Anime News Network