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The Top 9 Things I Wish Somebody Told Me Before I Exhibited At New York Comic Con

The AudioShocker isn’t going to New York Comic Con this year. But our friends from the Comic Book Pitt are at Booth AA6, spiritually inheriting our spot in the Podcast Arena (mystifyingly called the “Podcast Area” on this year’s NYCC website).

We exhibited at NYCC in 2011 and 2012 (check out our NYCC recap podcasts). I had a great time meeting new people and making memories. But I did pretty much everything the hard way, from losing my cellphone on the first day of the convention to getting stuck in a massive line to enter the show floor just because I arrived 20 minutes early instead of 45 minutes early.

So for all of you first time exhibitors at NYCC — specifically those of you going there as podcasts or similar organizations — here are the top 9 things I wish someone had told me before I exhibited at New York Comic Con!

9. You can hope for big sales… but don’t expect them!

I did okay my first year at NYCC because the Podcast Arena was in Artist Alley and people dug my self-published comics. But last year my sales sucked!

I was near a press-on nails vendor and some celebrity porn stars. Nobody was in my part of the show looking to buy handmade minicomics. Even the small press vendors don’t get guaranteed sales, despite being relatively near the main attractions like Marvel, Capcom, and other corporate booths.

I had a friend (one very familiar to AudioShocker listeners!) who purposely vacated her small press spot just for a slice of a table in Artist Alley. Once she moved, her sales improved significantly.

Still we’re talking pretty modest amounts here. Unless you’re already an established creator, you may not make much money as an exhibitor let alone make your table cost back. So try to have some goddamn fun instead! Create new fans, meet other artists, and learn a few things. That stuff will pay off over time.

8. Attendees are generally friendly but often entitled.

More so than any other con I’ve exhibited at, the attendees at NYCC were super entitled. Some of them even bitched about me and my table right in front of me!

Others asked for free stuff. In fact, a lot asked for free stuff. That why I brought free Stick Cats comics and AudioShocker podcast sampler CDs with me for my second year as an NYCC exhibitor.

And people still acted weird!!! While I gave them all away, I had some attendees act like I was trying to hand them poison instead of free entertainment.

7. But some attendees are way too friendly.

Though I met my fair share of entitled NYCC con-goers, I also met a bunch of fantastically friendly ones. Some were just the right amount of friendly, sticking around the table to shoot the shit with me for 10 minutes and then moving on before the conversation got weird, like these guys…

But then there were the overly-friendly ones. The ones who started off normal but 20 mins into our discussion started ranting about how they wanted to kill such-and-such comic book artist. Or the guy who was cool the first three times he stopped by, but got kind of annoying by his seventh or eighth stop.

I enjoyed meeting a friendly cosplayer who walked to Artist Alley with me until she made things a bit uncomfortable when she revealed her love of whips and spanking while asking me to accompany her to the leather bondage booth. Oy veh.

5. The other exhibitors…

…are mostly awesome. But just like the way NYCC fans are a bit more eccentric than your average con-goers, so are the exhibitors. The table behind me was shouting about a Harry Potter giveaway once every hour for all four days. At the top of their lungs.

Two years in a row, another podcast insisted on bringing hot pants booth babes and making things awkwardly sexist for the rest of us. Oh, and there were the people screaming “buy a mystery box!” across from me all weekend. Aaaaand some exhibitors love to chat up friends who conveniently stand right in front of your table and block other attendees from seeing your stuff.

Basically, I guess the manners are just a little low at NYCC. That’s not to say it’s a bad environment. On the contrary, it’s one of the best con environments I’ve been in. Lots of positivity. But also lots of eccentricity.

4. Artist Alley is pretty much the best part of the convention.

This was true in 2011 when Artist Alley was crammed in the back of the show floor. And this was even more true last year when Artist Alley was in its own section of the building called the North Pavilion.

There’s something about the atmosphere of Artist Alley that makes it feel more comfortable, more inviting, and more rewarding. If your table isn’t in Artist Alley, make sure you spend some time there anyway. It’ll be worth it.

3. Cell phone signal tends to be spotty and the Wi-Fi is garbage.

Poor Javits. I’m sure they try. But with so many people needing internet access during the show, it’s becomes slow like molasses. With its ludicrous price tag, that makes the Javits Wi-Fi a definite no buy.

And your cellphone reception might be crap in there too. My iPhone 4s on Verizon got pretty spotty signal. It would take a while to post pics to social media. Same with email. Calls worked alright, but with the sluggish data response that means phones die quickly when they’ve been in the Javits! Bring your charger.

Also, keep an eye out for a booth on the main show floor that has free temporary Wi-Fi passwords as a promo gimmick. One year it was the DaVinci’s Demons booth that had four-hour temp passwords. So we stocked up on those. The Wi-Fi sucked by at least it was free.

3. Bring your own food and/or plan out your meals.

If you can, I recommend bringing your own food to the show. And WATER!!! The prices in the Javits food court suck.

11th Ave on the west side of Manhattan is kind of industrial and off the beaten path from the rest of the island. Food options begin on 10th Ave and go east from there. I super-duper recommend researching the neighborhood and picking out some places to eat ahead of time, for both during and after show floor hours.

If you’re in a pinch and can’t go far, there will be food carts on the street outside of the convention center. They have a few down by 34th and 11th. Probably up at 37th and 38th too. Personally, I think a Halal food cart is your best bet.

2. Look at a goddamn map of the Javits Center ahead of time!

The Javits Center is HUUUGE and the streets can get a little confusing around it if you’re not an NYC native. Take 10 minutes to study a map of the place online. Why? Because knowing which streets you can and can’t take to get there will save you time. Plus, it’ll make the food thing a whole lot easier.


Even if you ignore all of my other advice, just do this one thing: arrive about 45-60 mins before the show opens to the public. Every day. Without fail.

See, NYCC is massively popular. Lines begin forming early. And even though exhibitors can skip the attendee lines, you still can’t perform magic and quickly squeeze through a horde of people standing inches away from each other for lines that stretch hundreds of feet. And that’s what you’ll encounter if you don’t get there early. If you get to the con only 15-20 mins before it opens, you may not make it to your table before the show starts. (Granted, this may be easier if you can enter at 37th-38th around the North Pavilion.)

But beating the crowd is only one reason to get there early. The best time to hit the main show floor is about 30 mins before the festivities begin each day. Wanna play a new video game that’s debuting at NYCC? There’s no line before the show starts! But you’ll be waiting for an hour if you go at 1 p.m. Some of the comic book publishers might already have their free swag out and ready for you too. Basically, it can be your special “me” time if you play your cards right.

The Top 9 Memorable Scenes From Blazing Saddles

Mel Brooks has always taken pleasure in thumbing his nose at authority, most obviously by the rampant use of language in his films that falls far short of what you might call “politically correct.”

Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles

Racist, sexist, and scatalogical humor abound. But since it’s the bigots and misogynists who’re themselves getting skewered, Brooks’ movies are some of the most enjoyable examples of offensive humor in the comedy canon.

Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles — Brooks’ 1974 faux-Western — brilliantly satirizes not just the racism and provincialism of the Wild West but also the mythical Hollywood trope-filled depiction of this era in American history. Best of all, the film is chock full of absurdly offensive jokes!

9. “Candygram for Mongo!”

In a classic flourish, Brooks deftly works a Looney Toons parody into Blazing Saddles in one of the most ridiculous scenes in the entire film. Bart (Cleavon Little) sells it with his rabbit-like prance out of the door at the end.

8. “Who can argue with that?”

In a flawless example of absurdity becoming great comedy, residents of Rock Ridge are treated to some authentic “frontier gibberish!”

7. “Harrumph!”

One could easily argue that Brooks’ use of the absurd foreshadowed the comedic approach of later random-weirdness artists like Tom Green and Tim & Eric — just look how funny the word “harrumph” can be!

6. “Reach for it, mister!”

Frequent Brooks collaborator Gene Wilder delivers an intense performance as The Waco Kid, giving a convincing impression that he’s performing in a heart-wrenching drama film… until he finishes his story, that is.

5. “I don’t hear no singin’!”

in one of the movie’s most memorably offensive scenes, stereotypes of both blacks and whites are all thrown into an absurd song and dance sequence complete with racial slurs and words that you never want to say on Twitter.

4. “Excuse me…”

Bart delivers an excellent double entendre when he asks the assembled crowd to “excuse me while I whip this out!”

3. “Up yours!”

Bart comes face-to-face with the racism of Rock Ridge, only to receive an apple pie and the world’s most insincere apology.

2. “I’m so tired.”

German seductress Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) performs a song for the debauched, drunken men in the audience, and makes it clear how sick she is of them. The best line might be “I’ve been with thousands of men/again and again/they promise the moon/they’re always coming and going and going and coming… and always too soon.” Get it?

1. “Where the white women at?”

The Waco Kid and Bart draw the attention of two Klansmen by attempting to offend their “sensibilities” with a crack about white women in one of the most infamous scenes from the film.

About the Author: Spencer Blohm is a television, film, and entertainment blogger for Direct TV who enjoys long walks on the beach, puppies, and writing about classic comedies from the 70’s and 80’s. He lives and works in Chicago.

The Top 9 Superheroes Benicio Del Toro Might Play in Guardians of the Galaxy

Another notch on the “shit we never thought would happen” bedpost was carved today when Deadline Hollywood announced that Benicio Del Toro has been cast in a lead role in Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Benicio Del Toro

With the knowledge that the movie is inspired by the most recent incarnation of the Guardians by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Paul Pelletier, I put on my comic book thinking cap and came up with this list of possible superheroes that Del Toro might portray in next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy film.

9. Thanos

Benicio Del Thanos

While this seems far fetched, I wouldn’t put it past Marvel Studios to turn Thanos into a fast-talking mystery man. Just imagine Del Toro wearing the Infinity Gauntlet and mumbling “I am God” while fumbling with the Infinity Gems. I’d watch that.

8. Cosmo

A dog sent into space by the Soviets, Cosmo drifted out of Earth’s orbit and eventually mutated into a hyper-intelligent talking canine who assists the GofG. I could easily see Del Toro being cast as the voice of a crazy talking animal.

7. Moondragon

Benicio Del Moondragon

C’mooon! Why the fuck not? A bald Benicio with boobs might be super hot. You never know until you try it.

6. Super-Skrull

Kl’rt is probably unavailable for this film as we know him, since he has the combined powers of the Fantastic Four (currently optioned by FOX). But I could easily see Marvel giving this sassy shape-shifter a different set of abilities for the GotG movie.

5. Starfox

Eros is Thanos’s sexy brother. Maybe Marvel will go the creepy route and make Del Toro into a leering, sleazy alien with pleasure stimulation powers.

4. Captain Marvel

Benicio Del Captain Marvel

One of the most complicated and confusing of Marvel’s legacy superheroes, Captain Marvel is pretty open to interpretation. With Benicio on board, this could be a good opportunity to reinvent this cosmic Kree warrior.

3. Mentor

A guy like Benicio carries a pretty hefty salary and Marvel Studios is well-known for being stingy. Maybe Deadline Hollywood got it wrong when they said that Del Toro is a lead character in GotG — instead, he could have a cameo as Thanos’s super-smart father, Mentor of Titan.

2. Pip the Troll

Mocap is all the rage! There’s no reason why Benicio couldn’t play this chain-smoking, smart-ass troll with a history of helping out Marvel’s cosmic adventurers.

1. Adam Warlock

Benicio Del Warlock

Benicio is just moody enough to pull this off. Adam Warlock is aloof and unusual, and Del Toro could definitely capture those qualities of this cosmic anti-hero.


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The Top 9 Reasons Why The 1990 Captain America Movie Is Totally Bonkers

Thumbs up, soldier!

Shout Factory has made a Blu-ray of the classic superhero stinker, 1990’s Captain America… infamous for its confusing story and low production value.

They were kind enough to provide me with a copy* of this b-movie, and I’ve decided to review it by highlighting nine things that make it wonderfully ridiculous.

But first… buy the Captain America (1990) Blu-ray from!
When you use an AudioShocker link to buy stuff from Amazon, we get a few cents from your purchase. That adds up and helps us pay our hefty hosting bills. Every penny counts! Anyway, enough of that. Now on with the list…

9. Director Albert Pyun has extremely questionable taste.

Check out my cool wolf dog shirt!

This is the shirt he wore to the filming of the Looking Back At Captain America featurette created for this Blu-ray re-release. Do you see that frigging thing?!? Fuck. No wonder this movie sucked.

8. Matt Salinger doesn’t look the part.

The actor hired to play Captain America (J.D. Salinger’s son, believe it or not) gets an A for effort. But visually he just doesn’t fit the role. He’s tall and lanky with the kind of face you’d expect to see on a kindly professor or a middle school gym coach. And physically he’s not even close to being a match for the character — they had to pad all of his clothes in the film, including the heinous Cap costume.

7. Captain America’s shield is ribbed.

Cap hides behind his bumpy shield.

For whose pleasure, I’m not sure… because it looks like shit! Couldn’t they just make it one smooth piece of metal?!? Instead of a sleek discus, they’ve given Cap a bumpy trashcan lid that’s reminiscent of lightweight plastic whenever we see it drift through the air. Hell, the clear shield in the Reb Brown Captain America TV movies looks better than this fucking thing!!

6. There isn’t much Captain America in this Captain America movie.

One of the most confounding things about this movie is how little screen time features the title character. There’s a WWII Red Skull fight at the beginning and then a painfully boring end battle where Cap fights the Red Skull in an ancient Italian castle. Otherwise, we just see quick glimpses of the patriotic hero. Seems like a poor choice for a film where the secret identity (Steve Rogers) isn’t very compelling.

5. Red Skull is an Italian piano prodigy with eczema.

Somebody get this man some Eucerin!

To be fair, Musolini’s Italy was aligned with Germany at the beginning of WWII. But the Red Skull is a comic book Nazi supervillain whose portrayal isn’t improved by this movie’s overly clever script. Kidnapped by Fascist Italian soldiers while performing a lovely classical piece on the piano, Tadzio de Santis is transformed into the first super soldier. He survives WWII and gets some reconstructive surgery that makes him look more like Jigsaw than the Red Skull.

4. Red Skull is a Nazi super soldier created before Captain America.

Maybe you didn’t catch that part in the last paragraph — the Red Skull was the first super solider. Not Captain America! No, see, in this film Cap is created as a response to the Red Skull. This switcharoo fundamentally changes the origin of Captain America, making him a reactionary military gambit instead of a proactive attempt to create a living symbol of freedom.

3. Sharon Carter is a valley girl.

Like, ummm, hi. I'm Sharon.

Instead of being a kickass secret agent, Cap’s partner has been recast as the young suburban daughter of his 1940s sweetheart. This film’s Sharon is a SoCal teen with some bodacious fashion sense and a teased mullet. Like, um, whatever.

2. The plot is a mess.

I don’t even know where to start. The whole thing is fucked. The movie goes from Italy to California to Germany to D.C. to Canada to California to Italy and it manages to barely make any sense along the way. The generic conflict in the film revolves around an international plan to assassinate the American president. But instead of being intriguing, it turns into a disorienting goose chase for our main character.

1. The Captain America costume is a mess.

Cap shows off his fake abs to President Kimball.

But nothing is more fucked than Cap’s costume! It’s an ill-fitting rubbery blue body suit with red suede gardening gloves. I appreciate that they went with the wings on the mask, but for the life of me I can’t figure out who thought rubber ears would be a welcome addition. Not only do they look like pure shit, but they don’t make any fucking sense!!! Real ears or no ears would’ve been fine. But fake ears??!?!? Goddamn. The filmmakers wanted this movie to be a joke, didn’t they??

*Wanna own my review copy of this crappy Captain America movie? Be back here on June 4th, 2013 Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 for the first episode of Everything Blows with Ross and Nick…. where we’ll be raffling off the new Shout Factory Blu-ray! Catch ya then.

The Top 9 Things People Should Know About Millennials

TIME Magazine has a cover article coming out later this month about Millennials.

TIME Magazine Millennials

Being a Millennial myself and having a Millennial focus here on the AudioShocker, I figure now’s a good time to get the facts straight about Generation Y.

BTW I didn’t read the TIME article because that would require a subscription. And I’m too cool for that. Speaking of which…

9. We’re too cool for you.

Nick is too cool

Whatever it is, we’re probably too cool for it. I don’t mean that in an egocentric way. It’s just a matter-of-fact statement. Whatever you’re doing or thinking is probably not as cool as what I’m doing or thinking. That’s because…

8. We probably think you’re stupid.

If you’re not one of us — either younger or older — we probably think you have no fucking clue what you’re doing. In fact, even if you are one of us we probably think you’re stupid. And with that said…

7. We don’t trust you.

If you have any sort of power whatsoever we’ve already come up with ten different conspiracy theories about why you have that power and how you plan to keep it. We’re watching you, asshole. And to make matters worse…

6. We like to watch people make fools of themselves.

Jersey Shore cast

Possibly the most unifying experience of Millennial childhood in the USA was America’s Funniest Home Videos, the TV show that celebrated the idiot next door. We were the generation who fell in love with Jackass and made Jersey Shore a runaway hit. Still not convinced? YouTube. That’s our thing. We made it popular. And it’s full of people making themselves look like morons. That’s probably why…

5. We’re the “told ya so” generation.

No WMDs in Iraq? Told ya so. Financial crisis? Told ya so. Movie tickets cost $20? Told ya so. The TIME Magazine article about Millennials sucks? Told ya so. I think it all comes to down to the fact that…

4. We want to have hope but chances are we don’t.


On the whole I think most Millennials want to be optimistic people. But we rarely have hope in regards to, well, anything. I wouldn’t call us pessimistic. Just cynical. That’s why we liked Obama so much. He was all hopeful and shit. And that was cool. But whatever. We’ve already moved on. See…

3. We have insanely short attention spans.

I decide if I like a movie within the first five minutes. I don’t care if the only thing I saw was a title sequence. I’ve already decided. And no matter how much I’m enjoying the movie, chances are I’ll pause it at the 30 minute mark because I’m bored. So what do I do next? Hop online and check out my profiles! Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on. Why? Because…

2. We’re attention whores.

I’m sure the TIME article agrees with this sentiment. My generation has a celebrity complex. I’ve got one. My friends have them. And if you’re a Millennial, you probably have one too. I blame it on MTV. They made the most pointless people into cable celebrities in the 80s and 90s. So when it became our time, we flooded to the internet and acted like the next out-of-control MTV VJ. Because all Millennials secretly believe they’re celebrity material. Which brings me to my last point…

1. We want to get rich and famous without having to earn it.

Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Bieber

I know a lot of people feel the same way, Millennials or not. But it’s especially prevalent with my generation. I mean, look at the celebrities we’ve produced — people who were born rich or got famous practically overnight. Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Bieber, and the list goes on. They embody the new American dream: maximum success with minimum effort.

In Conclusion…
I’m not saying I’m proud to be this way. But I’m not ashamed either. Even though my generation will change as the years go by, I believe that this list will remain an accurate representation of American Millennials in the year 2013.

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