Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kisken Loves Pizza

Mike Kisken's had two and a half pizzas today. He loves pizza. Also calzones. And I presume pizza-flavored hot pockets. We're at Bar Bocce after a long day of meetings.

Kisken's doing a meatball pizza. Danielle's doing a mushroom and onion pizza. Travis has some meatball sliders. Mike Armstrong says hi to his mom and is downing a rock shrimp po'boy. Lance has some kind of salmon. I've got a spicy eggplant sandwich which I'll soon regret.

We can't talk about our actual meetings, but I think I can share some blind items from them. Behold a few, choice, out-of-context quotes...

I'm the captain.
I have a ritual.
A treat or a retreat?
Arcadia is also a spaceship.
American candies.
That's the rum cream.
Guys, it's really spicy.
Bitchin' logo.
Pizza drunk.
The best beer in the world.
I've been eating these stupid pink things.
We're huggers.
Feed the shark.
Balls.

Sadly, we can't print the good stuff as those quotes would either breach NDA and/or they're just obscene.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nerds By The Bay

Woke up this morning in a stange bed in San Francisco.  A nice bed. A soft bed. And a bed with so, so many superfluous pillows.  Still, not my bed.  I'm here with a good portion of ReedPOP for a week of meetings.  We'll be in San Fran, LA, and a few other cities, talking about New York Comic Con, the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, and maybe even Celebration.

Our meetings kick off officially today, but I spent last night with some fine folks from the .  The Roxie's a historic, indie theater here in San Fran, and I went out with some of the guys there to Warakubune Sushi -- where sushi comes to you atop tiny boats floating on down a tiny stream.  (Fantastic sushi, but the joint completely lacked Asahi.)

San Francisco's oldest theaer, the Roxie shows both current and classic pictures, and their current line-up -- and -- pretty much sums them up beautifully.  Are we planning a San Francisco Comic Con?  No, but with our recent posts about the Ziegfeld and chats with the Roxie, we may be tinkering with something.

Expect pictures and posts later on today.  Can't say, though, if they'll reveal anything about our meetings, or if they'll be out-of-focus snapshots of Mike Armstrong's socks.

Hail Asgard!

Thor opened Friday.  There was mighty Mjolnir action, a topless Chris Hemsworth, a smexy, swanning Loki, and -- oh yeah -- a cameo from JMS.  If you've not taken a trip to Asgard yet, be sure to stop by NYC's Ziegfeld Theatre.  Located at 141 West 54th Street, it's the last grand movie palace in Manhattan, and NYCC together wtih the Ziegfeld are offering a special deal for fans coming in to see Thor.

Present this  at the Ziegfeld Concession Stand to receive a free 85 oz. popcorn with any drink purchase (that's $5.75 of popcorn free) and a limited edition Thor souvenir pin. The offer expires on May 15, 2011, and pins are while supplies last.

Print this , see Thor at the Ziegfeld, and dig into a popcorn on NYCC!  Then, head back to the Ziegfeld for Pirates: On Stranger Tides on May 20th.  Yarrr!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brooklyn Makes Harajuku Mighty

Last weekend the Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosted their Sakura Matsuri -- a festival celebrating traditional Japan, contempory Japan, spring, and NYC.  It's an event pulling together past and future and Tokyo and New York City.  And we were there.  The New York Anime Festival hosted a haiku contest all weekend long -- more on that in a few days -- and took photos for the Mighty Harajuku Project.  Together with our friends at , we snapped pictures of cosplayers, Lolitas, and general attendees.

Click here for the full story...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

ReedPOP's UFC Fan Expo Update from RedPOPPER, Ed Gallo

From Lance: Welcome one of our ReedPOP cohorts we don’t here from very often here on Medium At Large, Ed Gallo who oversees our UFC events. It’s interesting when you look at ReedPOP because it’s hard to imagine what UFC and Star Wars fans or comic fans have in common, but as Ed articulates really well here – what all our shows have in common and what ReedPOP is based on - passionate, amped up dedicated fan base that we work to build a community for. UFC fans may look very different from the fans at Star Wars Celebration or New York Comic Con fans on the surface, but below the surface they are more similar than you can imagine. They love what they love, they want to come together and hang with other people that love the same thing, they want to see behind the curtain of the specific pop culture phenomena that they love, they want to meet the stars that drive the content the love, they camp out over night before the show, the stand in line to see the latest and greatest developments, and on and on. So enjoy a dispatch from Ed on how he got into MMA and an update on our UFC Fan Expo show in Toronto a few weekends back…..

-Lance


Hello, my name is Ed Gallo. I've been with Reed Exhibitions for nearly 15 years and am the Event Director for the UFC Fan Expos. More than just running the shows, I originally pitched the MMA convention concept to Reed and the UFC back in 2007. It took over a year of work to launch the first UFC Fan Expo, but -- in doing so -- a dream came true. I'm a true fan, and it was to fantasy to run a UFC fan event.

We just held our most recent UFC Fan Expo on May 29th and 30th in Toronto. This was our first UFC event in Canada. With a new town, a new country, and new fans, I didn't know what to expect, but it may have been the best UFC Fan Expo yet. Thank you to all the fans who came out and everyone at UFC and Reed who made the show a success.

As I said, running the UFC Fan Expos is a dream come true for me, and I couldn’t be happier sharing it with you. I am a lifelong fan. In fact, I remember the exact day of my childhood when my passion for MMA originally developed. It was the first time I saw Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I took Bruce’s never-say-die attitude and applied it to the sports I played and to my life’s experiences. As I grew up, I watched the UFC and would share my passion for this sport with my friends and family. I recall the Griffin vs. Bonner finale on Spike TV and calling my friends to say, “You've got turn this on! You will not believe what I'm watching!” I knew then, just like I know now, that I was experiencing history in the making. The UFC Fan Expos are my chance to share that passion and piece of UFC history with all of you -- and a chance for all of you to make history with the UFC!

So, why am I writing on a blog that's normally filled with comic books and cat pictures? Maybe to add back some of the masculinity that washes away with each Caturday. Maybe to share some of the achievements of this latest UFC Fan Expo. Maybe because -- whether it's comics, video games, or mixed martial arts -- we're all fans. UFC fans don't always look like comic con attendees, but the spark that brings them there -- the passion -- unites us all.

We had standing room only for UFC Commissioner Dana White's Keynote and packed houses for Q&As with Chuck Liddell, Joe Rogan, Tom Wright, Bruce Buffer, and Herb Dean. We held training and development sessions with BJ Penn, Anthony Pettis, Dick Roufus, and more big names in the MMA world, all sharing behind-the-scenes secrets with attendees. Fans could meet and get autographs from over 50 UFC and Strikeforce fighters. And attendees could take part in the UFC -- experiencing the thrill of the event by stepping into a real Octagon and putting their skills to the test in Grappling, CrossFit, and Fitness Kickboxing tournaments and events.

It was an amazing show that got my and the staff's hearts pumping. And the fans... I smile when I realize the UFC Fan Expos are a reality, and then I smile even more when I look out at all the fans and see them smiling, see them shouting, and see them taking part in something they love. Whether it's mixed martial arts, video games, or comic books, I'm proud to be at ReedPOP and making memories for fans.

And so, I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the Toronto UFC Fan Expo. Fans, exhibitors, press, and staff, you guys made so many dreams come true. Thank you! More than that, anyone who's been part of our events, from the inaugural convention in Las Vegas in 2009 or the latest we just held, you were a part of UFC History, and I hope to see you all again as we make history in Houston -- October 7-8, 2011 -- for the UFC Fan Expo's next bout.

Lastly, these events are for you. They're for the fans. They're for the passion. If you love MMA and have any ideas on what we are missing or how we can make the UFC Fan Expos more rewarding, more exciting events, please email me at
egallo@ufcfanexpo.com!

Thank you!

Caturday!



"Nyan" is the noise Japanese cats make.  "Nyanpire" is a cat vampire.  He's getting his own cartoon.  Get all the details at .

Thursday, May 5, 2011

She Just Turned The Cold War Hot

So, dear readers, you may know a bit about the cats vs. metal feud among ReedPOP's staff.  I'm Team Cat.  Kim's Team Cat.  Heels is Team Cat.  Everyone sensible and good is Team Cat.  Larry (hiss!), Mike (boo!), and Brian (really?) are all, though, Team Metal.  I think they did one Metal Monday on the blog, while Caturday is a beloved feature.  Ahem.  You probably know this.

What may be new to you is there's another cold war brewing between us ReedPOPers.  Glee.  Jackie's the de facto Captain of Team Glee, while Larry and Brian are the two-headed hydra opposing this aural apple pie.  I've been publicly tweeting things like over to Brian in the hopes it'll win him over.  Jackie, though, well... She just turned the cold war hot.  Larry will find his beloved KISS display turned into a Glee shrine when he gets in today.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

See Thor at The Ziegfeld and Get Hooked Up by NYCC

The Ziegfeld Theatre (141 West 54th Street) is unlike any other in Manhattan. A grand, old, gilded experience, it's the last of its kind. It's hosted countless premieres and is a trip back in time to what going to the movies used to be. And, this summer, the Ziegfeld will be playing host to the year's biggest films...

Thor: This Friday, May 6
Pirates of the Caribbean: May 20
Super 8: June 10
Transformers: July 1
Harry Potter: July 15 

NYCC invites you to come out to the Ziegfeld to see this summer's flicks with you fellow fans, and we've got some special things in the works. We're kicking it off with this offer to New York Comic Con attendees and Medium At Large readers...

Present this  at the Ziegfeld Concession Stand to receive a free 85 oz. popcorn with any drink purchase (that's $5.75 of popcorn free) and a limited edition Thor souvenir pin.

The offer expires on May 15, 2011, and pins are while supplies last.

Print this , see Thor at the Ziegfeld, and dig into a popcorn on NYCC!

Robert Kirkman Comes To NYCC

Grey. Icky. Rain. We're in NYC running between subway stations and rain drops for a day of meetings. We're having chats around NYCC which'll bloom in announcements in the coming months and weeks.

But we're setting the tone today. And not with the rain. Today, NYCC is proud to announce our first guest - The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman.

A New York Times bestselling author, Kirkman's success began with his self-published Battle Pope. Then, after several short-term projects, he achieved superstar status in 2003 with Invincible and The Walking Dead. MTV translated Kirkman's Invincible into a motion comic -- one of the first in a growing industry trend, Kirkman won the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series for The Walking Dead, and AMC's interpretation of the comic, helmed by Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd, has received glowing reviews from critics and fans alike and continues to garner the highest ratings for the network, making it a game changer for groundbreaking television on cable.

Kirkman's SKYBOUND imprint, under the Image Comics umbrella, is committed to fostering up-and-coming talent in the industry, and all acquisitions are hand picked by Kirkman himself.

For more information about Robert Kirkman's SKYBOUND imprint at Image Comics, please visit .

Robert Kirkman will be speaking on various panels at this year's NYCC and signing autographs with our friends Image Comics. Kirkman's just the start of this year's roster of guests, and we couldn't be happier. Stay tuned as a constellation of comics, entertainment, and anime names will be rising throughout the spring and summer!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's Alive!

Singapore.  It's on the far side of the world.  Right now, it's 1:40 AM.  HuiLeng, Melinda, Rita, and the Reed team over there are tucked into their beds and dreaming of Captain America, Green Lantern, and Hatsune Miku.  Well, I hope they are.  Then, again, they may be on their sixth round of Tiger beer, as the new Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention website launched today.

Located at , it's been updated with 2011 information and a new look and feel.  Notice some similarities between it and NYCC and C2E2's sites?  It's intentional.  We're working closely with the Singapore team, and a few of us will be spending some time out there later this month, too.

Most of the news on Medium At Large revolves around New York and Chicago, but we've got exciting stuff being cooked up in Singapore right now that we'll be able to dish out as we get into the summer.  Immediately, though, check out the site and on Twitter. There's a dazzling, neon-colored plan afoot.

Friday Night is Uki Uki Night

"Uki Uki" is a Japanese expression meaning "bouncy" or "bubbly".  I think it also means cheap Japanese beer.  See, this Friday, NYC's Japan Society (333 East 47th Street) presents their first .  A cosplay party and open house, it'll feature trivia contests, cosplay contests, and -- for the grown ups -- cheap Japanese beer.  The Apple Kissa Maid Cafe will be part of the festivities, DJ Saiko Mikan will be spinning sounds, and there'll be giveaways all night long including gift certificates to Kinokuniya, toys from Kid Robot, DVDs, and tickets to New York Comic Con.

Uki Uki Nights is free and includes admission to Japan Society's current exhibit -- Bye Bye Kitty.  You know Hello Kitty, right? Well, Bye Bye Kitty is about the other side of Japanese contemporary art, the dark, cynical, twisted side.

Uki Uki Nights runs from 6 to 10 PM this Friday.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Overheard at 383 Main

Here's a potential new feature at Medium At Large -- Overheard at 383 Main.  There's all sorts of gossip that goes on behind the scenes at ReedPOP, but 99.9% of it is dealing with stuff not yet public.  NDAs and all that.  But, beyond the behind-closed-doors cool stuff we chat about, we also say some pretty stupid things.  Presuming that could be a fun read, I present to you with the ten most nonsensical statements from our morning team meeting...

Did you rob a scarecrow?
Liz likes bloodsports.
It's a fish pen.
I should have worn brown shoes today.
That would make Brian very happy.
Relatively stress free.
Zappos or Papa John's?
I really want to run my hand through his beard.
You're Snaps today!
Alexandra needs to attend a rave.

Don't read too much into any of 'em. There's no secret code. They don't give away the location of the next Celebration or hint at NYCC's first guest.  Nothing like that.  Instead, they're a scary look at the women and men behind the curtain.

Free Comics and Free Korean Flicks

This Saturday is . A day designed to foster new comics fans, Free Comic Book Day is a day -- as its name suggests -- where shops around the US will be giving away new, free, exclusive comics to anyone who walks in.  It's a great day to head out to your local comics store with a few non-believers, as -- by day's end -- they may be asking you to explain just when the Fantastic Four became the Future Foundation or what's up with there being more than one Green Lantern.  Click the above link to learn about some of the comics that'll be given away on Saturday, and for fans in the NYC area, click the link below to learn about the signings going on at coinciding with Free Comic Book Day.

Of course, if you're reading Medium At Large, you already know about Free Comic Book Day, and you've already had your plans long since made.  What you may, though, not know about is NYC's Free Korean Movie Night.  Sponsored by the Korean Cultural Service, it's a series of free films presented at Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street).  The Free Korean Movie Night spring series runs May 10 through June 21.

Follow this link for the full schedule...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Make Harajuku Mighty Again

Earlier this week, I had the honor of meeting Sebastian Masuda - creator of the 6% Doki Doki fashion brand. 6% Doki Doki clothes and accessories are candy-colored, ultra-cute, and aptly described as "kawaii anarchy". Yet, all is not well in his neon wonderland.

Masuda and 6% Doki Doki are based in Tokyo's Harajuku. A section of the city famous for its youth, fashion, vigor, and free spirits, it has - since the March earthquake - become a ghost town.

Masuda's 6% Doki Doki was one of the first Harajuku shops to reopen, and he's been sharing news in both Japanese and English about his neighborhood's slow recovery. (Follow @sebastea and hashtag #m_harajuku on Twitter.) But more than just reporting on the health of Harajuku, Masuda aims to inject it with new life. Masuda views Harajuku's health as linked to Japan's health. Its spirit and its energy encourage the nation, and Masuda - through a project he calls MIGHTY HARAJUKU - has been sending supplies and positive images and messages to those impacted most by Japan's recent disasters.

How can you help? I and the New York Anime Festival encourage financial donations to Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund, and we hope you'll help us send images of support to Masuda this weekend at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Sakura Matsuri.

Australian website and shop Electric Alice () has created a series of signs in support of the Mighty Harajuku campaign, and we've got them with us at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Cherry Blossom Festival.

If you'll be out at Sakura Matsuri, come by the New York Anime Festival booth and pose for the Mighty Harajuku project. We'll be posting the images online and sending them to Japan for Masuda to share.

Let's help make Harajuku mighty again!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sakura Matsuri! Uki Uki Nights! Yatta!

Ah, spring. When an anime fan's heart turns to cherry blossoms. Like fluttering pink birds, blooming cherry blossoms are an iconic image of Japan, and this weekend the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Prospect Park celebrates spring with their .

This Saturday and Sunday, the festival includes taiko drums, origami workshops, bonsai demonstrations and other aspects of traditional Japanese culture along with cosplay, concerts, and NYAF staple Uncle Yo representing the pop side of Japan.

This year's Sakura Matsuri also features HAPPYFUNSMILE -- my favorite band in the universe.

When I'm not stalking HAPPYFUNSMILE, I'll be at the New York Anime Festival booth with Ms. Kristin Heise and a few members of the Apple Kissa Maid Cafe. We'll be hosting a haiku contest all weekend long as well as various stupid, silly Twitter games. Be sure to follow @ny_anime_fest for all the details.

And then, once Sakura Matsuri is over, don't pack your costume away as NYC's Japan Society will be hosting a cosplay party and open house -- -- next Friday night. I'll be there, the Apple Kissa team will be playing games, and there'll be cheap Japanese booze flowing throughout the evening.

Yatta!

Monday, April 25, 2011

BookExpo & Blog World

It just struck me that I actually get to go to this year! I missed the show last year because of a long business trip through Europe, but prior to that I had been to BEA 6 years running either as the dude running it or as a bookseller. So I’m pretty excited to actually go to the show this year! My friend Steve Rosato who runs BEA now (and also blogs over at ) is trying to recruit me to work (he wants me to video tape things or something) but I’m not sure he understands the idea that I can go and for the first time DON’T have to work…..Well that’s not entirely true I’ll have several meeting and as a book nerd to the core, there are actually a number of things I’m pretty excited about checking out but I still won’t be running a video camera for Steve – sorry.

Are you going to BEA?

The actual point of this post was to call out a cool new show happening at the same time as BEA that I think will be of interest to ReedPOP fans – . I met Rick and Dave, the guys that own the show over a year ago and got to know them pretty well before the idea was hatched to run a BlogWorld edition right next to BEA (in fact, coincidently, Rick used to work for San Diego Comic-Con).

BlogWorld is like a business summit for anyone in or wanting to be in the business of new media. So you have a blog and want to figure out how to grow it and quit your day job? Go to BlogWorld. Or maybe you work for a small company that has no serious strategy around social and new media? Go to Blog World and get an education. Or maybe you want to meet the leading typers in social media and the world of blogs? Yup, go to BlogWorld.

If this interests you, .

That’s my version of the pretty awesome world that Rick and Dave have created that we call BlogWorld, here’s some more fancy descriptors:

The Social Media Business Summit is an exclusive 3-day track at BlogWorld & New Media Expo that provides a unique opportunity to reach small business entrepreneurs, social media, marketing, and corporate communications executives from enterprise level companies. These professionals are attending to learn, network, and collaborate with other business owners and executives who use social media tools, strategies, and tactics to increase sales, improve customer service, build brand awareness and loyalty and improve communication with their customers. Social Media Business Summit goes far beyond theory. Our presenters are recognized as the leading social media experts in the world, practicing what they preach with their own brands every day. Our attendees are some of the brightest minds in business.

Some of the topics covered at Blog World:
• Developing and implementing a social media strategy and marketing plan
• Designing great blogs, creating video, podcasts and other communication channels and platforms
• Leveraging social networking sites and platforms including, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more to grow business, reach and engage new customers and build loyal communities and brand evangelists
• Utilize cutting edge social media monitoring tools and services to see what customers are saying about your brand and how to respond
• How social media effects Search Engine Optimization

I’ll be at both BlogWorld and BEA……

-Lance

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Caturday


by Liz. And, remember, the new season of Doctor Who starts tonight!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Doctor Who Arthur Darvill's 1st Trip to NYC


Absolutely love the focus racking.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ginger Man

We're at the Ginger Man tonight. It's a bar in South Norwalk. Now, the astute among you may note this image is not - in fact - of the Ginger Man. Nope. It's, instead, of a Dutch general store next door. It's a much more interesting shot.

But let's not talk about appelflappen. More importantly is who is at the Ginger Man.

Khahil, Colleen, Brian, Ally, Max, Mandy, Kate, Kelly, Toni, Alex, Mike, Pete, Kristin, Mark, Jackie, Liz, Brian, Jamie, Kim, Greg, and Lance. Golly, there are still folks I'm forgetting.

It's team ReedPOP. It's a month since C2 (that's what the hip kids are calling C2E2) came to a close. We're celebrating, remembering, forgetting, and steeling ourselves for PAX, UFC, NYCC, and STGCC.

Geronimo!

$1 Million Comic Collection Found in Minnesota

Here’s a quick all Minnesota post from an all Minnesota boy.

From the Star Tribune today (Strib if you are a local) a Minneapolis resident that passed away a few months ago’s sister came across his comic collection. It’s being auctioned off after being valued at over a million bucks. The auction is taking place in NYC (of course, the coasts always steal the best stuff from us Midwesterners and then claim as there own!) on May 5th and includes a Spiderman #2 and about 20,000 other books.

A quick excerpt from the Star Tribune Story (and the picture is a credit to Star Tribune as well):

Since Dahlberg's death, the highly valuable books have been inspected, graded and confirmed as an original-owner collection known as the Gary Dahlberg Collection to honor the 30-plus year bus driver veteran and "ensure Gary's comic book immortality."
That gives his sister chills. "You think, oh, he never married. He never had kids. Oh, poor guy," she said. "But he loved these comic books."


Second up is a quick song from The Baseball Project which is a couple of baseball themed albums from REM’s Peter Buck, The Young Fresh Fellows Scott McCaughey and others. This tune is from The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and all about my beloved Twins. The video was put together by a fan to add images to the incredibly awesome lyrics…..

Go Twins!

-Lance