The Inaugural Comic & Media Expo

This year has seen the addition of several new conventions aimed at the geeky crowd. One of those, the Comic & Media Expo (CMX), happened this weekend at the Mesa Convention Center. The lovely geek host Alice was kind enough to accompany me at the CMX festivities on Friday and Saturday.

CMX had several super awesome guests including Amy Okunda, from The Guild, and Sandeep Parikh, of The Guild and Legend of Neil. (If you haven’t already, check out geek host Cassie’s QA article on Amy and Sandeep!) Also in attendance was Dante Basco who voiced Zuko on Avatar and Janet Varney who voices Korra on Legend of Korra. I gotta say, there were a lot of cosplayers from the Avatar universe over the course of the weekend! It was awesome to see. Speaking of cosplay….


The Guild Cosplay

I’ve never been able to put together a cosplay outfit. But, I was reminded of how much I fracking love The Guild, and with a little nudge from Ms. Alice, I pulled something together. Alice rocked a fantastic Vork cosplay, although she promised not to be too frugal; and I attempted my own Clara.

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Maybe not super successful in my first cosplay venture, but regardless, it was a blast! It was so wonderful to have support from the lovely Robin Thorsen herself!


We also encountered a fantastic female Captain America and Winter Solider. (I’m totally a sucker for gender bending cosplay)


(Note: Educating Geeks hosted our own panel on the Guild. But, we’ll talk more about that on November 21 when our podcast goes live!)

Who Am I? A Study of the Eighth Doctor

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The women on this panel knew their stuff! If you wanted to know more about the 8th Doctor, Paul McGann, this was the panel to be at. The panelist shared insights and trivia from the 1996 TV film Doctor Who which I learned was a back-door pilot produced to get the US audience interested in the series. More interesting was learning that Paul McGann continued to play the 8th Doctor in numerous audio dramas that are available through Big Finish Productions. For those of you like me who were unfamiliar with this Doctor, you can get a taste of him in the minisode The Night of the Doctor.

 Steampunk Anime

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We decided to sit down, even though the chairs were uncomfortable, and watch some Steampunk Anime. The group presenting, showed three different examples. What we couldn’t figure out was why some of the lines were dubbed into English and some weren’t. Do you know?

Also, the only pictures from this panel were not of the panel. But of me. Eating a delicious Hazenut Custard Bun from AA Wholesome Bakery. Just an aside.

Welcome to Night Vale

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The Very Awesome Girls (or VAG ladies as we lovingly refer to them) gave us an introduction to “Welcome to Night Vale“. WtNV is a wildly popular, twice monthly podcast in which narrator Cecil Baldwin provides listeners NPR-style updates on the desert town of Night Vale. A short, 7 minute clip of WtNV was played and only the first 10 episodes were discussed. This town has some crazy happenings, including an off-limits dog park, hooded figures, angels, secret police, and Carlos the Scientist.  The premise piqued my interest, so if you hear me chatting about Old Woman Josie or Carlos, don’t be surprised. You can check out the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher or Libsyn or Feedburner or Soundcloud.

Q&A with Janet Varney & Dante Basco

We learned a lot about Dante and Janet during this panel! The last time he was in Arizona, Dante’s crazy friend smashed two bottles together. And that is the key to winning a fight*. (*we do not condone fighting. Unless its in a video game. Even them, some hosts STILL do not condone it). We learned that Janet occasionally writes for Riff Trax,  an offshoot of Mystery Science 3K which adds hilarious commentary to all types of movies. A panel concensus between Dante and Janet was that you shouldn’t do drugs, specifically heroin, and that you become a puppet when you die.

While hilarious, they also expressed a genuine love of all the cosplay outfits. Over and over again, they professed their admiration of the various anime (and not so anime) cosplay, telling each person they interacted with how amazing they looked. When asked the standard panel question of “how to get started in the industry” Janet responded with some tangible advice. She directed people to Dee Bradley Baker’s site, I Want to be a Voice Actor. She and Dante reminded people that whatever your goal in life is, you should do it because it makes you happy, not for the fame or fortune. That a genuine love of your craft is the most rewarding thing you can ask for in life.

Q&A with Amy Okuda & Sandeep Parikh

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We love them! Check out geek host Cassie’s post that covers this panel in depth!

Vendor Room

Bookmans bYay Bookmans! They are such great supporters of all things geeky and nerdy. We stopped by their booth and we were was almost tempted by some great Star Wars posters.

Being a smaller event, the opportunity to get to know the vendors and artists was priceless. Jeff Pina, with Sideways 8 Studios, was a true pleasure (it does not hurt that his work is so adorable).

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All the vendors we met, including a purveyor of leather scrolls and notebooks (who also happened to design the expo badge), were local!

Favorite Things

I loved interacting interactions with the vendors and guests, especially chatting with Jeff Pina of Sideways 8 Studios. I just love his works!

Jeff Pina of Sideways8 Studios

Jeff Pina of Sideways8 Studios


Alice had a blast getting an autograph from Sandeep Parikh. He signed as Zaboo:”Alice, I’ll venture down your rabbit hole! Wink wink”


Thank You Sandeep Parikh


Thank you to everyone who made the experience so wonderful!