Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sept. 22, 2016: EBASS and Hannah Christianson/King Julius/Blackout Bootleg: A. Wags Illustrations and T.H. Paul

Hannah Christianson [left] and Hailey Magee
EBASS is back! Hailey Magee returns to talk about the things to do before going on tour-suffice it to say, it's a long list. Setting aside money, checking the area ahead of time, planning the best route to get to the venues on time....there's so much to do, and many artists miss these all-important items.

Joining Hailey for the artist portion is singer-songwriter Hannah Christianson. She has a new album coming out on Dec. 4 with a show at the Burren in Davis Square. We also talk about how music has grown her as a person.

Next we're joined by royalty as hip-hop artist King Julius! He's been producing a number of music videos for his many songs, and is working on several new projects. We talk about the stigma of hip-hop music, how he rates a pro versus an amateur, and his time in the studio.

BONUS: Our newest Blackout Bootleg series begins with interviews with the many creative folks at the recent Granite-State Comic-Con. First is Arriona Wagoner, head of A. Wags Illustrations. Her work centers on the female form, popular characters, and zombies. She switches between styles, going from acryllic to digital to watercolor, depending on the job.

Next is author T.H. Paul, who's released his first fantasy novel, "The Legacy Chronicle." T.H. grew up reading the works of Tolkien and Dragonlance, and created his own world for his new series.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A recap of the Granite State Comic-Con

As I walked up to the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, I questioned whether I had given my GPS the right directions. This didn’t seem like the site of a major convention of geek-dom. Then, I was greeted by the sight of a young woman dressed as the infamous Harley Quinn standing beside a Gotham PD car, tagged in green spray paint.

The cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender

Yeah, I’d say I’ve got the right place.

My first time at the Granite State Comic-Con was an exploration of sorts—I’ve been to its larger cousins, Boston Comic-Con and PAX East, but this was my first time at Granite State. After getting my press pass [yay, I’m an official convention correspondent!] I took a quick walkthrough to get a feel for the place and what this con had to offer. I soon confirmed many of the staples of the convention world: a massive array of vendors selling everything from replica weapons [oh, my kingdom for a halberd!] to comics from all eras, to toys from my childhood and posters, posters, and more posters! There was a gaming room where players could test their skills, and one set aside for panels all weekend that gave solid advice on the comic industry and how to make your mark in it. For those that attended, I hope you took good notes…by the way, can I borrow those?

Zatanna, by Lady Jay Cosplay

Of course, what convention would be complete without lots and lots of cosplayers? Many donned Marvel and DC regalia such as Zatanna, Raven, and Nick Fury, but others tested different characters, including a casually-dressed Wolverine, Doctor Who, the mashup Deadpool Ranger, and even the entire main roster of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I was really impressed with the styles and detail of the costumes, as nearly all looked hand-made. Those that I talked to eagerly posed for photos, striking some epic stances for camera after camera. There were some professional cosplayers as well [those that have turned their fandom into a business], such as Koi Fish Asylum. 

A stalwart Nick Fury, by Everyone's Hero

In the main vendor’s hall, I saw impressed to see many first-time creators showcasing their work, such as V.S. Holmes who was telling fellow fantasy fans about the newest book in her “Reforged” series, or ArrionnaWagoner, the master of all artisticstyles and head of A. Wags Illustrations. Her work—which features zombies, fantasy setting and her take on popular female characters—was so good, I had to pick up one for myself. I also learned of the Horror Writers of Maine, a collection of some of the best masters of the macabre to be found up north. Peter Simeti, founder of Alterna Comics, talked about his upcoming release of "The Chair," which sounds like a truly haunting story.

A sample of the work by A. Wags Illustrations

There were plenty of great bonuses, such as the lightsaber dueling classes that went on all weekend. Sith or Jedi, everyone seemed to have a great time, and those leading the class really knew their stuff. The entire setup was easy to navigate, and never did I feel to penned-in or claustrophobic by the tables or people.

All in all, the convention was a great experience, an introduction to some amazing new artists, and an opportunity to mingle with my fellow nerds. On to next year! 

A day well spent at Granite State Comic-Con

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sept. 15, 2016: Steven Hobbs/Triggerfist/Ryan LaPerle/Gregory Adams


We're very happy to welcome author Steven Hobbs to talk about his book, "New Hope." Steven's book is about young Miri Jones and how she becomes entwined in a war she never knew existed, but one that threatens her life and the lives of everyone in the town of New Hope. This is Steven's first book, but more are in the works!

The metal band Triggerfist keep things going with some new music and videos, all recently released or coming out later this fall. Their music is all self-produced, and along with outlining their recording journeys, we talk about their musical backgrounds, some of the bands they grew up listening to, and much more.

Singer-songwriter Ryan LaPerle has had an amazing career, with shows across Boston and appearing on numerous TV shows. This fall, he's embarking on a new journey with a college tour and new EP release.

Gregory Adams brings the show to a close with a vast array of horror short stories. His two collection books, "The River Above" and "One Day in Hell" bring a fresh take on some popular genres of "things that go bump in the night."
Plus, he's got a new e-book out, "Season of the W.I.T.C.H." and we'll be sharing some of these haunting tales on our show.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sept. 8, 2016: Veronika Gasparyan/Nick Cincotta and Z2 Music/East Coast Runaways/From Grief to Gratitude

East Coast Runaways playing live
We're opening the show with Author Veronika Gasparyan's book Mother at Seven, the true story of a little girl's tragic childhood, and how she endured and overcame unspeakable abuse at the hands of her sadistic family. Many have spoken about how this book spoke to them, how once they started it, they couldn't put it down.

We welcome back music promoter Kierra Walsh and hip-hop artist Nick Cincotta, plus newcomers to the show, Z2 Music. They've got a show on Sept. 24, at the Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub. Nick has new music and Z2 has a brand new music video.

It's been quite awhile since the band East Coast Runaways were last on the show, and we're so glad to have them back! They play a killer live set, and we talk about their upcoming shows and what they've been up to the past few years.

BONUS: Our Blackout Bootleg series from the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival concludes with Debbie Savigliano, whose book, "From Grief to Gratitude," was adapted into a documentary about how she turned her grief over the sudden death of her niece into a mission that has helped many, many others.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sept. 1, 2016: Plastic Angels/Shannon Beeby

Max with Jeff and Bethany of Plastic Angels
Jeff and Bethany from Plastic Angels talk about this new music project, how they transitioned from their last band, Angry Ginger, and their new EP, "Kings of the World." This one has a deeply personal message, and we discuss what it means for them to share such stories on stage.

BONUS: Filmmaker Shannon Beeby talks about her movie, "RSVP" which screened at the recent Massachusetts Independent Film Festival in August. The movie's about a gay widower who wants to honor his late husband's final wishes by scattering his ashes at sea, but faces resistance from his family.