July 27th, 2007

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Denzel Washington, and Brooke Army Medical Center

Denzel Washington and his family visited the troops at Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio,Texas (BAMC).

This is where soldiers who have been evacuated from Germany come to be hospitalized in the United States, especially burn victims. There are some
buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is a Hotel where soldiers' families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the Hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base, but as you can imagine, they are almost filled most of the time.

While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. He took his check book out and wrote a check for the full amount on the spot.

The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear this story and want to get the word out to the American public, because it warmed their hearts to hear it.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Anime Arlene and Welcome to Nerdvana

Hello Sane Ones,

You can not believe how crowded this place is. We barely escaped San Diego Comic Con's Preview Night with our lives. 124,00 rabid geeks stormed the exhibition hall Wednesday night in search of freebies.Viz totebags, "300" shields, trading cards, sampler DVDs, books, comic books, beads, bookmarks... all kinds of promotional items.

The floor is amazing.
It's about the size of 3 city blocks with about 5000 vendors. I got to meet one of my all time favorite artists, Kuniko Craft. In addition to doing the book covers of numerous fantasy novels, she has illustrated more than a dozen picture books for children. I tried to get near the Viz Media booth, but was trampled by Narutards anxious to demo the new Wii and Xbox games.

Yesterday the chaos was a little more controlled.
I sat in on four panels, one on comics in education, which was fascinating. Many schools and universities across the US and Canada are using graphic novels such as Maus and Watchmen in the classroom.

one of the major distrbutors of manga,
has a handout of all of the ALA award winning and reccommended titles in their lineup.

Underground comics are huge and there are so many talented artists and writers out there waiting for and deserving national recognition. The Viz media panel assured me that manga and anime are still a huge market, and some of the best is yet to come. Featuring two manga editors and an anime editor, and moderated by an assitant product manager, they previewed a dozen upcoming series. And yes, the Death Note anime will be released in the US in November, woo hoo!

I sat in on the "Where Did that Come From" panel,
featuring 8 masters of thrillers and horror literature.
David Morrell (of "First Blood" fame),
F. Paul Wilson,
Christopher Golden,
Stephen Woodworth (of the awesome "Violet Eyes" series...I geeked out on him so badly it freaked him out! I LOVE that series),
Mike Carey,
Simon Wood...and two others I can't remember were very entertaining as they spoke about where they get all their gory ideas, and about the psychology of horror fiction.

The last panel of the day was 100 Manga Magazines in 60 Minutes,
which proves that the Japanese truly value the visual arts like no other nation. With weekly, biweekly and monthly titles, the population reads their manga the way we read newspapers. They even have newspapers manga style.

Now celebrities...
I saw Mark Singer of "Beast Master" fame
....It was a pleasure meeting Richard Hatch --what a gentleman!

Jane Weidlin
(of the Go Go's, yes indeed)was really fun to hang with. She made a point of reading everyone's name badge and addressing people personally.

My biggest thrill was standing near Christopher Judge of "Stargate."
I didn't win the lottery for an autograph (yet) so I stood gawking. I was taking a picture of him when he looked up, smiled and waved at me, and my daughter had to pick me up off the floor.

I go back today for more...It's really kind of cool,
I'd say 90% of this city is at the convention, and it's been fun riding the "trolley" (the equivalent of our Tri Rail, but it works) with other geeks, nerds, and dorks.

Till next time,
Anime Arlene

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Karen Allen will reprise Marion Ravenwood

For most Indian Jones fans, it is great to read that Karen Allen will be reprising her role as Marion Ravenwood. If only Sir Sean Connery was healthy enough to take part in the future "Indiana Jones" movie, it would have made a nice family portrait. See the video feed at http://www.cinemablend.com/new/See-The-Comic-Con-Indy-4-Presentation-5920.html

Take a peak of Karen Allen's small business based out of New England;