Category Archives: Fans

NY Comic Con 2013

The exhibition/booth floor was packed at NY Comic Con 2013
The exhibition/booth floor was packed at NY Comic Con 2013

This past weekend (10/10-10/13) was the eighth annual NY Comic Con, where tens of thousands of fans gathered each day (for an estimated total of 120,000 overall) at the spacious yet ever-crowded Jacob Javits Center in midtown Manhattan to attend panels, fun activity sessions, and autographing booths, and to engage in cosplay while purchasing all manner of geekware and collectibles.

I was in attendance on Friday as Princess Leia (from the original Star Wars film) and on Saturday as Hermione Granger.  Much fun was had by all! Continue reading

The First (Annual?) Mythgard Institute Webathon

The Mythgard Institute was founded in 2011 to bring rigorous, dynamic and interactive educational experiences to students around the world through the latest online course tools while also boasting challenging and engaging classes taught by world-class teachers and leading scholars of literature and language. The Institute’s courses welcome both auditors and students working towards an M.A. degree. Now, two years after this unexpected journey began, Mythgard’s students would like to give something back to this groundbreaking organization.

On Sunday September 22nd, Tolkien Day, Mythgard will host its first-ever student led webathon to support the Mythgard Academy Indiegogo campaign. The Mythgard Academy offers free content on literature and language to everyone in the form of courses, lectures and podcasts. You know how these things work: The more they raise, the more free stuff we all get! There are great perks for the various donation levels, including votes towards what course topics will be offered.

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The Clock Strikes Twelve…

As per the kind request from  Travis, and because I obviously can’t shut myself up from the subject of Doctor Who, these are my thoughts on the casting of the Twelfth Doctor who will be making his way into the world this Christmas. I’m not sure how cogent an argument or analysis I can make at this point as to his ability, given that it will be a year before we see a full episode featuring him as the new, new, new, new Doctor. However, I do have several thoughts (many of them shared with other Whovians and bloggers) that I’d like to put on record while the news is still fresh.

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How Things Change

I recently realized it had been over 2 years since I posted something new here at The Hog’s Head. There are a myriad of reasons around why that’s the case, most of it owing to my need to finish out graduate school. In that time, so many things have happened:

  • The Hunger Games has become the most recent literary/movie franchise to draw huge fan attention
  • Twilight has become the subject an internet meme  disparaging its central love story
  • I moved from Kentucky to Minneapolis, Minnesota—after spending a year in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • In an effort to create a viable social network, Google sold Wave to Apache, folded Buzz, and then launched Google+ (none of which I’ve participated in to any great depth)
  • Facebook bought Instagram for a billion dollars
  • My beloved Kentucky Wildcats won a basketball national title
  • My even more beloved Chicago Cubs are still terrible

And, most importantly, the Harry Potter saga is now complete in its two most significant media forms: books and film. Continue reading

Around the Common Room: August 17, 2012

It’s that time again–not just for a Common Room linkfest, but for the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Results, where, in honor of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s “It was a dark and stormy ni

ght”, judges have chosen and proclaimed this year’s winning attempts to write the worst possible opening line for a novel.

Much imagination goes into this contest every year. As a big fan of really bad puns, I probably laughed hardest over this one:

Professor Lemieux had anticipated that his latest paper would be received with skepticism within the small, fractious circle of professional cosmologists, few of whom were prepared to accept his hypothesis that our universe had been created in a marijuana-induced industrial accident by insectoid aliens; nevertheless, he was stung when Hawking airily dismissed it as the Bug Bong Theory. — Alan Follett, Hercules, CA

But there are many more to enjoy, all of them works of positively awful brilliance. Have fun.

In other news of literature and imagination:

From SmartPopBooks.com, How Star Trek Liberated Television. This piece contains some interesting thought that may appeal in particular to pub readers used to the marginalization of fantasy and speculative fiction in general:

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Around the Common Room: July 13, 2012

Here’s a list that’s slightly less monstrous, having aggregated for only a week instead of a month. Never fear, though–it’s still packed with interest.

First, if you haven’t checked out Mythgard Institute, i

t’s worth a look and then some, as it offers college-level classes on medieval and fantasy literature (accreditation coming soon). Dr. Amy Sturgis has been teaching classes on Harry Potter, and on Saturday, September 1, she’ll be giving a “live, one-time only video lecture” titled “The Hunger Games and the SF Tradition.”

While we’re on The Hunger Games, the movie for Mockingjay is going to be split into two parts. Surprised, anyone?

Here’s a fascinating post: Lit Reactor’s Rob W. Hart on the question of whether–and what–series writers owe their fans. Does George R.R. Martin owe it to the world to spend every waking moment writing, in order to provide highest likelihood that he won’t die before finishing his series like Robert Jordan did? Or are fans too demanding in worrying, publicly and sometimes rather desperately, whether Martin has another six or seven years to write the last two books?

Now, something to warm every Hog’s Head regular’s heart: Continue reading

Around the Common Room: July 6, 2012

Once again, a linkfest for the ages!

Ray Bradbury’s death, some weeks back, drew quite a lot of beautiful eulogies. Among those who remembered him and his contributions to literature: Sarah A. Hoyt, Neil Gaiman, Hog’s Head regular Katherine Sas, Catholic writer Jimmy Akin, and President Obama. Also, RiaNovosti put together an infographic of Bradbury predictions that have been fulfilled.

In fantasy fiction:

In science fiction: Continue reading

Around the Common Room 3/31/12

Our last Common Room post having been nearly a month ago, we’ve aggregated quite a number of links, so prepare yourselves for a full and (hopefully) satisfying websurfing experience.

We all know the Internet world has exploded with Hunger Games movie reviews. Along with those have come various spinoff posts, including Slate.com’s fascinating “How Will They Make a Movie out of Mockingjay?” and FilmCritic.com’s “How YA Like ‘The Hunger Games’ Came to Rule Fantasy and Scifi Films“. For those who read The Hunger Games and want more books along the same lines, Tor.com offers “Hunger No More: YA Fiction to Fill the Hunger Games Void“, and Flavorwire gives us a similar post starring mostly different books, titled “Required Reading: Dystopic Books where Kids Meet Tragic Fates“.

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