Categotry Archives: Conventions


PAX Prime 2015, Day One


Eldrazi means business.
Eldrazi means business.

Rob woke up with a migraine and Mary couldn’t make it ’til the end of the show (stupid day job), but we still managed to take in lots of great PAX action, starting with the amazing Eldrazi sculpture outside the Magic show in the Annex (see above). Here’s our report:

  • Trivia Night
    We kicked off this year’s PAX in a big way by cohosting Nerd Trivia Night at Raygun Lounge. The house was packed, and while we suffered some unfortunate tech issues, our cohost Andrew of A Podcast [,] For All Intents and Purposes handled everything with grace and charm. Mary’s “Shitty Vampire Things” category was a big hit, and the winners were super-stoked thanks to our extremely generous prize donors:

    • Pelgrane Press gave a 13th Age core rulebook, Eyes of the Stone Thief mega-adventure, and a super-sweet icon die spinner ring. Check them out in Room 206—they’ve got tons of cool stuff going on.
    • Wargaming.Net gave two delightful (and practical) prize bags containing World of Tanks gaming mice, minifigs, and more. It is almost literally impossible to miss their huge presence in the main expo hall, so make sure to check them out when you see them.
  • Paperback
    This stopped us cold in the Indie Megabooth tabletop zone. A small, handwritten sign read “Scrabble + Dominion = Paperback.” WHAA? We watched a bit of a demo and are going to try to play it sometime over the weekend. Like Dominion, you start with a small deck of cards, each of which has a letter (sometimes two) and many of which have special rules attached. On your turn, you use your cards to form a word and score points to buy new cards for your deck. Victory points come in the form of novels you help write, which are added to your deck just like in Dominion. There are some nifty complications that look like they could give this game some real legs.
  • Antihero
    We have a friend who runs a landscaping business, and his advice for picking a landscaper is to choose the one with the best-looking business cards. His reasoning was that appealing design was a relatively reliable indicator for just generally Caring About Things, and–fair or not–it’s not a bad way to apportion your attention on the showfloor at PAX. That’s a long way of saying that Antihero grabbed us first with its cartoony good looks (see below!), and then likewise proved to have equally satisfying gameplay–fun, fast, quirky, and scratching many of the same itches as games that inspired it, like the beloved Civ series and seminal mobile game Hero Academy. You play a Victorian-era skuldugger, managing a thieves’ guild that’s trying to 4X its way through a mist-shrouded city. Play is turn-based (with a 1P campaign and asynchronous multiplayer), and involves juggling several-but-not-too-many resources, upgrade trees, and menacingly cute units like thugs and urchins. Like! And good news: it’s been Greenlit.
  • I Heart PAX
    Rob here. I just need to break in on the journamalism to express my deep, sincere affection for PAX culture. My generation was ruined by degenerate irony, so it can be hard for me to feel all the feels I should be feeling, but I love seeing all the young nerds unburdened by my cultural baggage. They are who they are and they love who they are, and I love them for it. That goes double for all the folks who have been (and, sadly, continue to be) underrepresented and/or exploited by nerd culture over the years.
  • Cards Against Humanity
    We don’t have too much to say about this party game that hasn’t already been said—but their marketing this year is brill. They’re selling oversized popsicles with small packs of cards inside. They look yummy (we found the truck just as they were closing shop) and are great at provoking curiosity in onlookers. Great job, marketing team!
  • Brigador
    If you like isometric games where mechs, tanks, and other belligerent vehicles destroy everything in sight using multiple weapons and smashy-smashy physical attacks, then check out Brigador. The WASD/mouse controls can take some acclimatization (especially with a mech), but it’s got a nice Crush, Crumble, Chomp vibe with its destructible environment and pell-mell attackers.

PAX Party Planning: Nerdhole at Raygun Lounge and More!!


geekouttriviaPAX GEEK OUT TRIVIA
Thursday August 27 / 8:00 pm / Raygun Lounge / Free!
featuring special guests from A Podcast for All Intents and Purposes and us, Nerdhole!

Come kick off your PAX weekend with Nerdhole! We’ll be at Raygun Lounge’s weekly Geek Out Trivia night, hosted by MC Andrew. All three of us will be in attendance, and we’ve got some sweet swag to give out as prizes! Look forward to seeing you there!


And here’s some other ways to spend your non-con hours, even if you didn’t score a PAX pass:




  • Nerd Concert at LoFi “We have chiptunes, we have rock, we have hip hop, we have cheap booze, we have give-aways, and a few arcade machines just for good measure.”
  • Give Me a Quest at Raygun Lounge Play arcade and board games with the staff of Bitch Team Alpha and Can’t Talk Media! Cover is $1 and all proceeds benefit Take This Project, party is 18+ only. No PAX badge required.”
  • Insert Coin: Mortal Kompax!! at The Eagle Brought to you by Queer Geek! Seattle, this event has EVERYthing: music, cosplay, booze, dancing, and Mortal Kombat!
  • All Your Dance Are Belong To Us A video game-themed dance party with DJ Morgue Anne. Chiptunes, Nerdcore, Geekstep, and beyond in a night combining a love for video game culture and dance music. Costumes are encouraged and prizes will be given out to the best dressed.


  • Super League Gaming PAX Red Carpet Meet & Greet Gameplay Event Play Minecraft while you watch it on a movie screen! Meet Captain Sparklez, Parker Games, and other YouTubers on the red carpet and in the theater!
  • Pink Party Prime 7 featuring voice actor Troy Baker Queer Geek’s Pink Party Prime 7 will feature actor and voice-over artist Troy Baker, a VIP lounge, and the Official Pink Party $1,000 Cosplay Contest. With DJs Krot and Futurewife and gogos Bolt and Tyler Rush. Proceeds from Pink Party Prime 7 will benefit Gay City Health Project.
  • Ms. Pak-Man: Bonus Stage! Watch this world-renowned video game superstar of the 1980s try and stage her big comeback (again) after years of popping too many power pills. A cabaret-style theatre experience starring Scott Shoemaker (Ian Bell’s Brown Derby Series, Homo for the Holidays) as the loveable trainwreck Ms. Pak-Man.
  • NerdSquatch GameBoy Music Festival “5 different GameBoy artists – Trey Frey, GRAZ, RTR0 DR34M, 8-Bit Zero, and bryface plus a bard from hyrule, and visuals and lazerz by Lightlinked”


  • That Other Party More excellent music for your weekend: nerdcore, chiptune, electro jazz, and more.
  • PAX Prime Karaoke Time 2015 with Mike & Tifa “Want to hang out with awesome people in the gaming industry and sing your favorite nerdy songs? Mike & Tifa have partnered with The Mercury* and Baby Ketten Karaoke for an amazing night of nerd karaoke!”
  • Starr Mazer Concert Join the Starr Mazer crew in a concert featuring a bunch of different musicians at Chop Suey. No PAX Prime badge needed.
  • Poropalooza 2 A giant PAX after party at Q nightclub featuring a party bus available from the front of the convention center to the club. Free for cosplayers.




Conventions This Weekend!


SakuraCon at the Washington State Convention Center (photo by Vic DeLeon)
SakuraCon at the Washington State Convention Center (photo by Vic DeLeon)

Three conventions happening in the northwest this weekend, and you can still get tickets!

Sakuracon (Seattle)
“Sakura-Con is the northwest’s oldest and largest anime, manga (comics), gaming, and Asian culture convention.”
Online express registration is available on their website.

Norwescon (Seattle)
“Norwescon is the Pacific Northwest’s premiere science fiction and fantasy convention and one of the largest regional science fiction and fantasy conventions in the United States. While maintaining a primarily literary focus, Norwescon is large enough to provide a venue for many of the other aspects of science fiction and fantasy and the interests of its fans such as anime, costuming, art, gaming, and much, much more.”
Pre-registration is closed, but weekend and daily passes are available at the door while supplies last.

Fan Expo Vancouver
“Fan Expo Vancouver is a playground for people of all ages who are interested in any, or all, of the 5 genres the expo has to offer.”
Online sales are closed, same-day tickets available at the box office.

Subscribe to our Northwest Nerd Events Calendar and keep up with all the events relevant to your interests! Have an event you’d like to submit? Use the contact form below!

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Celebrity Panel Highlights From Emerald City Comicon


Standing room only in the Gina Torres and Jewel Staite Firefly panel.
Standing room only in the Gina Torres and Jewel Staite Firefly panel.
Here’s some fun highlights from the celebrity panels I attended:

Amanda Tapping
I’ve never watched Stargate SG-1, and I bowed out of Sanctuary pretty early on so I really didn’t have an opinion about Amanda Tapping going in to this panel, but the friend I attended with on Saturday was a fan so we went to hear her talk. And I’m so glad! Tapping is funny and approachable and had lots of stories from the sets of her various projects (including the time she got blown up on the set of SG-1). She and her daughter are big Whovians and she fangirled about getting to meet Alex Kingston. She also said she’d love to play either River Song or the Doctor.

Alex Kingston
Many of us know her best as River Song on Doctor Who, which she acknowledged immediately by greeting the audience with, “Hello, sweeties!” Originally asked to be the headmistress of the adipose, Kingston turned it down because she had another job. “Thank God!” she said, because then she was later asked to fill this much more memorable role. Kingston said that writer Stephen Moffat knew River’s arc from her first appearance in the episode “Silence in the Library.” Kingston’s daughter, Salome, was celebrating her 14th birthday on Saturday, so Kingston brought her out on stage and the entire audience joined in singing “Happy Birthday.”
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Highlights From Emerald City Comicon, Day 1


First of all, I always forget how impossible it is to get online at cons, so updates are going to be limited to when I can step away from the convention center. I have also never worn such an elaborate costume to a con, and I salute everyone whose costume is even more constricting and sweaty! Well done! (Costume photos tomorrow!)

After wandering the floor a bit and getting the lay of the land, I headed to my first panel of the con, Loving What You Hate: How to Love Media That Doesn’t Always Love You Back. The panel consisted of members of the Digital Future Lab at UW Bothell discussing their passion for various fandoms at the same time they examined what is problematic in each. (Problematic in this context refers to lack of diversity, racism, homophobia, etc.) It’s something many of us deal with, whether we’re directly effected by the particular issue or not. The conversation was based on a podcast episode by the same name from the DFL. The main take-away is that while we are bound to fall in love with things that have problematic themes, it’s also important to examine those problems and talk about them. And if you’re not sure if something is racist (for example), look into the response from the community it’s affecting. No community is monolithic, but it’s important to step outside yourself when an issue doesn’t directly affect you. It was a great panel, you should give the podcast episode a listen.

"The prop dept gave me a key item from each episode. So I do have Steve's blood. And a bomb." @HayleyAtwell #ECCC  — Emerald City Comicon (@emeraldcitycon) March 27, 2015
“The prop dept gave me a key item from each episode. So I do have Steve’s blood. And a bomb.” @HayleyAtwell #ECCC
— Emerald City Comicon (@emeraldcitycon) March 27, 2015
I arrived an hour early for the Hayley Atwell panel, and boy was I glad! The main hall was packed solid for Atwell’s first appearance since Agent Carter aired. The panel immediately started well: former Mythbuster Grant Imahara was the host which is a huge improvement from hosts in years past. (According to his Twitter feed Imahara is moderating a bunch of the panels throughout the weekend.) Hayley Atwell is beyond awesome: smart, well-spoken, thoughtful, compassionate, funny… everything you hope she is! She started off with a story of her clutzy first days of stunt-fighting. They didn’t end well for many members of the cast and crew, including a stuntman she accidentally kicked in the balls SIX TIMES! During the Q&A she was asked what she’d like to see next for Peggy Carter, and replied that she’d love to explore Peggy’s background and where she gained her strength and independence, or possibly see into Peggy’s future and how she handles having a family while continuing to kick ass. She also talked about how glad she is that Peggy’s friendship with Angie isn’t competitive as opposed to how female friendships are often portrayed. And while she considers Chris Evans almost like a brother, she indulged fans with a description of kissing him… he has VERY soft lips and smells really good. When asked what she’d like to be able to tell other woman, Atwell replied, “Know your value.”

Stay tuned for more tales from the con, coming up tomorrow!


Some Stuff We’re Stoked About at Emerald City Comicon


logoIT STARTS TOMORROW YOU GUYS. Either you have tickets or you’re not going, but if you ARE going, here’s some of the stuff we’re most excited about:

Some special guests, some regular exhibitors. Booth number in parentheses.

  • enfu Seattle artist, creator of comics and other geeky things (502)
  • Levi Hastings Seattle artist, illustrator on the card game Salem, also paints dinosaurs and other geeky things! (1214)
  • Jody Houser Writer of the upcoming Orphan Black comic (II-12)
  • Matthew Inman Seattle writer/artist who created The Oatmeal. (202)
  • Mike Mignola Creator of Hellboy. (A-09)
  • Noelle Stevenson Comic writer and artist, known for Lumberjanes, Sleepy Hollow, Adventure Time, Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake, Bravest Warriors, The Midas Flesh, Nimona. (1002)
  • Kurtis J. Wiebe Creator and writer of Rat Queens. (P-06)

This (very condensed) list highlights some panels you might not have noticed. It’s in order of when the panels are occurring, visit the ECCC website for more details on days/times/locations/etc.

  • Supernatural Fan Panel – Sadly, the actual stars are going to be across town at the Supernatural Convention, so it’ll just be us nerds
  • Loving What You Hate: How to Love Media That Doesn’t Always Love You Back – a panel on loving problematic media
  • Meet The Valkyries – hear the insights of The Valkyries, a network of female comics retailers
  • Diversity, Representation and the Changing Face of Mainstream Comics, Cover Artist Confidential
  • Copyright Infringement and the Fair Use Doctrine Defense – great if you’re a fan creator!
  • Image Comics Presents: Your New Favorite Comics – including Kurtis J. Wiebe, creator of our new favorite comic, Rat Queens
  • How to Be a Nerd for a Living: Your Career in Nerd Culture
  • How Can You Help Diversity in Gaming?
  • Body Confidence and Positivity in Cosplay
  • It’s a (Straight White Cisgendered) Man’s World – hear from folks in the industry who aren’t straight, white, cis men about their experiences.
  • So Your Kids Want to Make Video Games?
  • Science Fact in Comics
  • Green Arrow to Katniss: Archery in Pop Culture – a panel of archers and archery nerds discussing archery
  • Women in the Gaming Industry – Industry pros discuss their experiences as women in the industry
  • Comics in the Classroom: Students as Makers

Celebrity Guests

Be sure to download the ECCC app to navigate your way through the weekend!


Emerald City Comicon Event Roundup!!!


image-eccc-eventsEven if you’re not attending Emerald City Comicon proper, there are plenty of awesome nerdy events happening in Seattle this weekend! Some of them with celebrities! Here’s a sampling of events we’re excited about… maybe we’ll see you there!

Guardians of the Sexy Nerdlesque (Sold Out)
Rat Queens Afterparty at Raygun (FREE)
Pink Party hosted by Kristian Nairn (aka Hodor from GOT) at Neighbours
Laser Guardians: Awesome Mixtape Vol. 1 at Pacific Science Center
Nerds and Music: A Night with Joel Hodgson, Pat Rothfuss, and Paul & Storm
Zero Gravity: Opening Night Party for Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction at EMP
ECCC Cinema Series at Cinerama
Insert Coin Comicon Special at the Eagle

Keep up with events relevant to your interests here in the PNW with Nerdhole’s Northwest Nerd Events calendar! (Have an event you’d like us to list? Submit it here!)


Upcoming Northwest Nerd Cons!


Finn and Jake at Emerald City ComiCon • photo by Vic DeLeon
Finn and Jake at Emerald City ComiCon • photo by Vic DeLeon
Looking to fight the doldrums of the Pacific Northwest grey season with some convention goodness? Here’s what’s coming up through the end of March:

Sherlock Seattle
January 9-10-11 at the Broadway Performance Center in Seattle, WA

The game is afoot this weekend in Seattle for fans of all iterations of Sherlock Holmes, from the original Arthur Conan Doyle canon to the beloved BBC series and more.

Wizard World Portland
January 23-24-25 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OR

One of Portland’s two comicons, Wizard World has a fantastic lineup of great celebrity guests (including Bruce Campbell!) as well as a pantheon of comic artists and cosplayers.

February 13-14-15 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC

A small anime con featuring a cosplay contest, a Pokemon tournament, and more!

February 27-March 1 at Victoria Conference Centre in Victoria, BC

Now in its seventh year, GottaCon focuses on all types of gaming and related hobbies. Tournaments, demonstrations, contests, panels, workshops, special events and a variety of exhibitors.

Terminal City Tabletop Convention
March 14-15 at the Bonsor Banquet Hall in Vancouver, BC

Games, games, games, games!! All games, all the time for two days!

Emerald City ComiCon
March 27-28-29 at the Washington Convention Center in Seattle, WA

Emerald City ComiCon has gotten HUGE, and many of the passes are already sold out… but if you hurry you can still grab a 1-day pass! The celebrity guest list this year is so good and the multitude of comic writers and artists, voice actors, and cosplayers is astounding. Don’t miss it!

Coming soon: FanExpo Vancouver, SakuraCon, and more! Subscribe to our Northwest Nerd Events Calendar and keep up with all the events relevant to your interests! Have an event you’d like to submit? Use the contact form below!

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