This weekend is the 12th Annual Cape Comic Con in Cape Girardeau, MO.
This year’s Cape Con preview episode features two of my favorite people and best friends, Jared and Nia Smith, of Talking Smit fame. We’re talking about some of our memories of recent Cape Con’s, the mistake that I made once and the good times had by all.
Learn about their favorite memories of their trips to Cape Con (spoiler, this pic place a part):
Cape Con 2017 will once again reunite me with my good friends, but we also talk about what is anticipated the most for them this year. Being that they’re both big wrestling fans, they’re eager to see two great nights of wrestling at the Arena. It’s Girl Fight and the Luna Vachon Memorial Tournament Friday night and the CCW Super Show Saturday night. Big names are brought to Southeast Missouri for a great weekend, and you can see them all (and the CCW talent) at the Con itself.
Enjoy the show. We get a silent cameo from my son who walked over to the broadcast area late in the show (he was a little more vocal about midway through).
Imagine it’s 1970 (I can’t, I’m not old enough) in San Diego. You’re at the U.S. Grant Hotel in the first days of August. Among the guests there is the King, Jack Kirby. And welcome to San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con.
It was a different era.
I honestly didn’t even hear about “comic con” until about ten-ish years ago. Maybe it was before that. I don’t know. I was a late bloomer. But the San Diego Comic Con has seen steady growth since its beginning, when it had 300 guests. It eclipsed the hundred-thousand visitor mark in 2005 with 103,000 visitors. That was a year after the “meager palace of Midgard,” Hall H opened. In 2015, 167,000 of you crazy bastards were there.
As far as information goes, we nerds anxiously, if not patiently, await the goodies that come from San Diego each summer.
Since San Diego’s International Comic Con became such a big hit, other cities have begun holding similar events. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Kansas City, and Seattle are just a few places to host their own. And there are promotion companies like Wizard World who bring their Cons to various cities. And it has branched out beyond that. Smaller markets have smaller Cons, but still provide a great atmosphere and bring good names to regions and areas that may not ever have the opportunity to meet these creators or actors again.
It’s why I think very highly of these Cons. I was asked to give my opinion on the rise of the numerous comic cons. There’s my answer. I love ’em.
Now, my social calendar for the year includes a comic con trip. For the last three years, I’ve made the short drive to Cape Girardeau, MO for the Cape Comic Con. I’ve been able to meet writers and artists, actors and cosplayers, wrestlers, and a promoter who truly cares about the product he puts out there for his guests. Everything about this is top-notch, and Ken’s a helluva guy who has been doing this in Cape for over a decade.
I get to go down there, get some audio, hopefully put together an episode or two of the podcast. But I also get to spend some time with some of my best friends. And I’m hoping my schedule allows for that again this year. Ken has Cape Girardeau ready for another amazing weekend at the end of April. I just hope to be there to be a part of it.
So I’m going to preface all of the following with this statement, sure to be controversial:
My mom’s better than your mom.
Today is her birthday. So I’m going to dedicate this post to her.
My folks, probably mom in particular, didn’t receive the recognition they deserved for all of the stuff they did, not until years later anyway.
I remember being young (4-5) when mom worked nights, and my older sister was in school. I remember the lunches with the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the “s’more” from the microwave. I remember sitting on the family room floor with her as we played He-Man.
As I got older, I remember being a more integral part of the Christmas cookie production process, and even getting to help ice the beloved cut-outs. I remember being in second grade and on a school field trip to St. Louis’s The Magic House and telling the entire bus, “Hey everybody, today is my mom’s _____ birthday!” In my defense, I was 7. I didn’t know that you aren’t supposed to announce women’s ages.
I know that now.
Over the years, I gave my mom her fair share of headaches. You know that line “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it?” I heard that a lot…that and “you want to live to see your next birthday?” And it wasn’t because I was some demonic kid…I just did a lot of little things (or didn’t do the little things I was told to do) that caused unnecessary tension in our relationship. I was a typical teenager. But even before that, I remember being 9 or 10 and mom asking me “what happened to my sweet little boy?” *GUT SHOT*
As I got older, I found new ways to irritate my mom. I got a tattoo up in Sturgis, SD and came home and showed the family. Mom was not amused. Then she found the one on my back that I sometimes forget about and was none-too-pleased. I was in my 20’s for those particular shenanigans.
I remember vividly mom finding my stash of beer in the trunk of my car and storming into the house with it. I was 19. She was pissed. My dad’s response was “of all the beers, why Natty Light?” (I was in college, dad. I was working two jobs and it was cheap.)
But through it all, mom has always been one of my biggest supporters, and always wanted what was best for me. I’m very fortunate in that regard. I know I’m blessed in ways many people are not, and for too long I took it for granted.
So happy birthday, Mom. Sorry for all the times I made you worry about me. I hope you have had a wonderful day and, even though you won’t read this, likely, unless someone emails you the link, just know that I love ya.
Disclaimer – the tattoo in the featured image is not mine. That’s a Google Image Search.
Cape Championship Wrestling made a splash in its inaugural show in July and this past weekend, they raised the bar once again with their CCW Homecoming show at the historic AC Brase Arena Building in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The Arena Building was once a tour stop for International Championship Wrestling, which was ran by Angelo Poffo and featured his son’s Lanny Poffo and, oh what was his name…oh yeah, Macho Man Randy Savage! History flows through this building and now, Cape Championship Wrestling calls it home!
The night kicked off with promoter Ken Murphy and GM Hunter Hendricks in the ring, in which Hunter Hendricks noted that The Pinnacle, led by Jeff O’Dell, had been making things rough and that he was going to do his best to ensure that tonight went smoothly. Suddenly, The Pinnacle’s music hit. Jeff O’Dell, Sarge O’Riley, Billy Hills, Sarah Summers and CCW Champion, Brandon Barbwire, came to ringside. In a show of dominance, they cornered Hunter Hendricks, before Jeff O’Dell laid out his group’s plans for dominance for the evening, even saying they would show up in the main event.
The first match of the night featured a very well-traveled and well-respected veteran, “Tornado” Tony Kozina taking on young challenger CJ Shine. CJ Shine tried to use his overly confident (ie, cocky) demeanor to bully Kozina throughout the match. However, once Tony laid in some MASSIVE knife edge chops, the momentum slowly began to turn toward Kozina. Tony hit a vaulting senton bomb, then later hit a springboard bulldog to secure the win!
Up next, BT Daramola took on God’s Gift to Wrestling “Drop Dead” Dale Wylde. Daramola got the crowd behind him early on. Wylde, after he continued to admire himself in his mirror, slowed the pace of the match by grinding the momentum down and controlling the energy of Daramola. Wylde slipped in a few, well, less than honest attacks and ultimately took the win by a quick schoolboy roll up.
Sexy Sarge was up next and in the weeks prior to Homecoming, he had issued an open challenge, stating that if nobody answered it, he would still come down and give the fans a show. His idea of a show would be a tutorial on what he calls “porn star dancing.” Thank the Good Lord above that his challenge was answered while he was in the ring by none other than young star Hollis Giroux!
Jeff O’Dell, assuming Hollis was out to join The Pinnacle, soon learned that Hollis was out there to stop Sarge’s display. This was a great match with a lot of back and forth action, even some outside interference from Jeff O’Dell. The match ended when O’Dell mistakenly tripped up Sarge while hitting the rops, which led to a Superkick and a victory for Hollis Giroux. After the match, Sarge and O’Dell had words which almost led to Sarge punching O’Dell when suddenly, Drop Dead Dale Wylde ran into the ring to save Jeff O’Dell! After that, O’Dell claimed that Sarge had been replaced by a younger, better looking version, to which Sarge replied that he didn’t need The Pinnacle, that he regretted the decision to join and was now out to reclaim the love from the fans.
Coming back from intermission, GM Hunter Hendricks came out to announce there was a change in the women’s match. Paloma Starr had been booked to take on Lil Bit, however, Paloma was unable to attend due to other obligations. Lil Bit’s new opponent turned out to be none other than her nemesis, Diamond Doll! Lil Bit and Diamond Doll had a match on the inaugural show, which resulted in Diamond Doll attacking Lil Bit after the bell. These two had another intense match with each other, featuring a lot of back and forth offense and flat out brawling. The ending saw Diamond Doll roll up Lil Bit and use the ropes for leverage for the win due to the fact that the ref didn’t see the feet on the ropes! I smell a rubber match coming!
The following match featured a title defense of the prestigious Missouri Heavyweight Championship, featuring champion Brandon Espinosa making his CCW debut against Farmer Billy Hills with Sarah Summers. Farmer got this match after he, seemingly, took out his prior opponent “The Fury” Jason Vaughn in what we will just call an automobile accident.
Early on, Farmer used his size and strength to push Espy around the ring. Espy was able to turn the tides with his quickness and his own deceptive strength. Billy began favoring his shoulder midway through, but was still able to weather the storm of power moves, showing his grit and determination. Suddenly, Jason Vaughn’s music started playing and a bewildered Hills looked at the entrance. This gave Espy enough time to launch an attack that, in the end, resulted in a win from an armbar submission. (Editor’s note – somebody here say “armbar?”) What a performance from both guys and a great title defense from Espinosa!
The co-main event was up next, featuring The Monster, Jake Dirden against CCW Champion, Brandon Barbwire with Jeff O’Dell. Ever since winning the CCW Championship in July, Brandon has developed his boisterous personality, and came into the night with a large chip on his shoulder due to the fact he wasn’t in the main event. Jake Dirden came into the night with one thing in mind, to claim a title and destroy Barbwire. This match was a slugfest, with the champ, Barbwire, taking large amounts of punishment early on. However, Barwire absorbed the damage and turned the tides after throwing Dirden into the ring post outside. Toward the end of the match, Barbwire ran to grab the CCW Title belt and then brought it into the ring as a weapon! Dirden, seeing what was transpiring, knocked the belt from Barbwire’s hand, then hit The Cure on the belt! It looked like a sure-fire win, however, Jeff O’Dell distracted the referee long enough for Barbwire to be able to kick out of the eventual pin.
This ignited the Monster, as he lunged for O’Dell, who was now on the ring apron. Barbwire attacked, but again was hit with The Cure, which again, O’Dell distracted the ref. Dirden went after O’Dell one more time, however, this time the champion was able to hit Dirden with the belt to take the win and hold onto his title.
The Main Event of the evening featured one of the biggest names on the independent wrestling scene across the world, Ricochet! There’s a chance you’ve seen him on Lucha Underground as Prince Puma, or possibly from the match against Will Ospreay, among many others, but he brought his insane talents to Cape Girardeau for a huge match up with the Best of the Best, Austin Lane. Prior to the match, Hunter Hendricks brought out a second referee to stand guard to prevent The Pinnacle from coming to ringside. The match started with some humor as Austin Lane refused to shake Ricochet’s hand, but then business picked up in a hurry as both guys were able to reverse out of a series of chain wrestling holds, in which neither guy was able to gain an advantage, each competitor holding a counter for the other’s move. Ricochet finally gained an advantage outside with a series of chops which led to him being able to hit The People’s Moonsault in the middle of the ring once they returned.
However, Austin Lane was able to regain his composure and launch a counter attack and at one point, scoring a 2.9999 count. The athletic abilities of these two wowed the crowd. At one point, Jeff O’Dell tried to interfere, but was caught at the entrance area and sent back. The match ultimately went in the favor of Ricochet, with a wonderful sequence of his Benadryller kick, followed by a high knee to the face, and capped off with a well-executed Shooting Star Press. During the celebration, The Pinnacle ran down to ringside and attacked Austin Lane, which prompted Ricochet to run back out and help his opponent. Hunter Hendricks came out and stated that since Brandon Barbwire was so desperate to get into the main event, that he will be on the next show against 2 TUFF TONY! After that announcement, The Pinnacle was sent back, while Austin Lane thanked Ricochet and the crowd.
Cape Championship Wrestling will be back at the AC Brase Arena Building for their next card on September 24th, featuring 2 Tuff Tony and Brandon Barbwire for the CCW Title, plus many matches still to come! Don’t miss out on another great show in September!
You’ve seen the posts. You’ve read the blog. NOW listen to the show where I talk about moving. Because that’s important and nerd-related. But seriously, I hate moving. So this podcast is a little bit of me bitching and moaning and a little bit recapping some of the goodies we took away from the San Diego Comic Con.
Also, piece of advice – do with it what you want:
When it comes to moving…pay someone else to do it and sleep easy!
Saturday night, July 16th, will forever go down in history as the debut show for Cape Championship Wrestling. With a crowd nearing capacity at the Osage Center in Cape Girardeau, promoter Ken Murphy greeted everyone with excitement and enthusiasm as he announced CCW to everyone in attendance, as well as an announcement of a huge surprise and that a champion would be crowned before the night was through. Local morning show DJ, Hunter Hendricks, was also announced as the acting General Manager for the night and former WWE Tag Team Champion Trevor Murdoch was doing a meet and greet with the fans, although he was still out of action with an injury.
The first match of the night featured Sexxy Sarge, accompanied by his manager Jeff O’Dell, taking on Brandon Barbwire in a CCW Championship Title Tournament match. Jeff O’Dell ranted about how it was a travesty that he was not invited to be a part of CCW and went out on his own to be there. Although Sarge tried to shimmy and shake his way to victory, Brandon was able to secure a win, advancing to the finals of the tournament. However, Sarge got the last words in, as he attacked Brandon Barbwire after the bell while Jeff O’Dell cheered on his client.
Match two featured Farmer Billy Hills, accompanied by Sarah Summers, taking on hometown favorite Jason “The Fury” Vaughn in the next semi-final round of the CCW Title Tournament. After a fair deal of mouthing by Billy Hills to the fans and to Jason Vaughn, the match got underway. In a very stiff match, it went back and forth until Billy Hills secured the victory by leveraging the pin with his feet on the ropes, sending him to the Championship Tournament final against Brandon Barbwire in the main event.
Match three featured a young wrestler, Hollis Giroux, coming down from Kansas City to take on national sensation Davey Vega, who in recent time has been featured very prominently in the St. Louis area, often with his tag team partner Mat Fitchett. In a very exciting match featuring a blend of power and quickness, the match was even until the final minutes, when Davey took the momentum and the win in the match in what many voted the match of the night.
At intermission, promoter Ken Murphy came out to let everyone know that the next show for CCW will be on August 27th and will feature one of the top names in the world…RICOCHET!!! The Paducah, Kentucky native will be in the house working for Cape Championship wrestling. What an announcement! Two shows in and CCW has pulled in one of the hottest names in the world!
The fourth match started with Genesis coming to the ring, where he began running down the city of Cape Girardeau. That didn’t last long, as GM Hunter Hendricks came to the ring to show how much the crowd did not appreciate him, and to show him how little we liked his rant, he had a surprise for him who just so happened to be The Missouri Mad Man, Jake Dirden! Jake Dirden is known by many in St. Louis, across the country from many promotions, as well as internationally through work in Japan.
Needless to say, Jake Dirden is a big, mean man and he came out to shut up Genesis. Genesis was able to hobble Jake, by attacking his knee throughout the match. That only served to anger the big guy, as he was finally able to take down Genesis with his Asiatic Spike.
Up next, the women took the stage in the fifth match of the night. It featured the masked Diamond Doll, taking on hometown favorite Lil Bit. In a match where Diamond Doll had the size advantage, Lil Bit was able to use her speed to elude her masked opponent. Diamond Doll was able to slow down Lil Bit and bully her, however, in a great finish, Lil Bit was able to overcome the size deficit and take the win. After the match, Diamond Doll was so enraged that she attacked Lil Bit during the celebration, locking her in a very tight camel clutch, prompting the referees to come out and force Diamond Doll to finally break the hold.
And now, the final match of the night for the Cape Championship Wrestling title!! Billy Hills and Brandon Barbwire squared off in a great main event! Brandon, visually sore from his post match attack, stood strong against the Farmer, as both competitors traded blows. Sarah Summers made her presence felt throughout the match, taking the opportunity to choke Brandon on multiple occasions. As the match drew to a close, Jeff O’Dell and Sarge came to ringside to assist Billy Hills in a new alliance. However, The Fury Jason Vaughn ran to ringside to even the odds. As the action escalated both in and out of the ring, with the aid of multiple distractions, Brandon Barbwire hit Billy Hills with his finish to take the win and the title!
However, the action was not finished as everyone ended up in the ring. Vaughn and Barbwire attacked Sarge and Hills when suddenly, Brandon Barbwire turned on Jeff Vaughn and it became a 3-on-1 attack in the ring, while Jeff O’Dell cheered on from the outside. Jeff O’Dell announced that this was the formation of The Pinnacle of professional wrestling. However, the tide turned when none other than Jake Dirden ran to the ring to save Jason Vaughn!! Once the ring had cleared out, GM Hunter Hendricks came back to the ring in what would be another big announcement. He set up a grudge match between Jason Vaughn and Billy Hills for August 27th BUT THEN, he also set up a CCW title match between Brandon Barbwire and The Missouri Mad Man Jake Dirden! What a way to end the night!
Also, I can’t go without mentioning a big moment that happened. Among all the happiness, excitement and enthusiasm was a much more somber and bittersweet moment. Osby Tomlin, a 9 year ring veteran, laid his boots and his Kult of Kayfabe Championship title in the middle of the ring on Saturday night as he was forced to retire from his passion of wrestling. Osby was injured last month in a match, resulting in a compression fracture in his neck. This forced him to make the unfortunate decision of leaving his love of wrestling to allow himself to heal up and plan for the future with his family. Thank you, Osby, we’ll sure miss you.
Don’t miss out on the next Cape Championship Wrestling show, August 27th, featuring Billy Hills vs Jason Vaughn, Jake Dirden vs Brandon Barbwire for the Cape Championship Wrestling title and international superstar Ricochet, plus much more!! See you then!
This past weekend was the annual Cape Comic Con in Cape Girardeau, MO. You know this event. This is the comic con I attend each year (this being my third trip in a row). I even took my wife and son.
He is four months old and has no concept of who or what R2D2 is…but he likes lights.
One of my highlights the last couple years has been the panel discussions/Q&A’s. This year I was able to record two panels. You can catch the panel with WWE Hall of Famers Terry Funk and “Cowboy” Bob Orton over on My 1-2-3 Cents.
The second panel was that of comic book artist Lorenzo Lizana.
Lorenzo is Art Director for Lion Forge Comics in St. Louis, MO. He is a staple at the Cape Con, and talks about his life and career in art as well as original characters and his role at Lion Forge.
I had an opportunity to visit with Lorenzo later in the afternoon. He showed us (me and my wife) his sketch book for his upcoming comic, Scarab. Lorenzo talked with such enthusiasm about this story to be told that I can’t wait for him to join me for an actual conversation in a few months. Be looking and listening this summer for more Lorenzo on Nerds United as he prepares to release the first issue in August.
The annual Cape Comic Con was held this past weekend in Cape Girardeau, MO. Two of the featured guests were WWE Hall of Famers Terry Funk and “Cowboy” Bob Orton.
These two legends held a Q&A discussion, taking questions from the audience. Favorite matches, Cowboy Bob Orton’s Wrestlemania I experience, their favorite ribs, the evolution of the business, and sharing their love of the industry with their family.
Then they took pictures with the fans in the panel before returning to their booth. They held another meet & greet before the Wrestling at the Arena later Saturday evening.
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After eighteen months, I can officially say that I have seen Four Color Eulogy, and it is good!
Here’s the same poster next to another comic book movie with which you may be familiar:
This touching independent film features a cast and crew from St. Louis, MO and was shot in the Gateway City. So in Episode 64, I welcome Jason Contini back to the Nerd Dome.
Jason co-wrote Four Color Eulogy and served as a co-producer. Sit back and enjoy the show as Greg tries not to cry while talking about Four Color Eulogy. The movie had a red carpet premier at Ronnie’s 20 Cine in St. Louis Friday night and was sold out! In fact, they sold out the smaller auditorium and then sold out the larger auditorium.
Four Color Eulogy is playing at least through Thursday (Apr. 14) at Ronnie’s on S. Lindbergh in St. Louis. Two shows a day (2pm and 7:30) with at least one cast/crew member on hand to visit with fans and viewers and answer any questions.
I cannot stress enough how much I encourage anyone to go out and watch this movie. As I stated to Jason, this is a movie that hits you in the feels and one you can (and will want to) watch over and over.
To everyone who worked on this film, from cast and crew to art contributors to local publishers like Stache Publishing who provided comic books for the comic book store scenes, to everyone who had a hand in this project no matter how finite, you have my utmost gratitude.
It’s Wrestlemania Sunday and that means we’re only two weeks away from the Cape Comic Con.
Time to visit with my friend Ken Murphy, organizer of the annual event. We talk about the new additions to the event, like Wrestling at the Arena, Trivia Night, a Steampunk Panel, Tea Duel, and more. The Costume Contest, all-day gaming, art show, and Acting Out are all back for another great year.
I’m looking forward to returning to the event and this year, I’m taking the whole family. As I say at the end of the chat, if you’re in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, or Arkansas…or you don’t mind a little travel for a great weekend, head out to the Eleventh Annual Cape Con. It really is a great time filled with wonderful people. You won’t regret it.
One of the individuals I had the good fortune to meet at the Cape Comic Con was fan, creator, publisher, educator Steve Higgins.
Steve and I had a lot to chat about, like incorporating comic books into the classroom. We also get into Ink & Drink Comics, a publishing company based in St. Louis. They like to theme their anthologies after drinking terms. For example:
Say hello to Cullen Bunn, writer extraordinaire. His career – his resume – is filled with titles from both Marvel and DC as well as creator-owned. Magneto, Sinestro, Deadpool – and a slew of successful creator-owned entities like The Sixth Gun, Harrow County, and the new series Hellbreak (Issue #2 available today). In this episode, we listen to the Hellbreak Panel from the Tenth Annual Cape Comic Con that was held April 17-19 in Cape Girardeau, MO. The panel is hosted by Steve Higgins with a few questions coming from the audience. Lots of insight into the differences between writing for one of the “big two” and writing your own characters. And you learn how busy a top writer can be. So kick back, relax, and check out Hellbreak #1 and #2 at your local comic book shop. A great time to do that would be on Free Comic Book Day!
In Episode 21 Kevin has a quick chat with professional wrestling legend “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton. Bobby was a part of the 10th annual Cape Comic Con event recently in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He was a part of the Midnight Express with “Sweet” Stan Lane and manager Jim Cornette. The trio is among Kevin’s favorites. Bobby talks about his past partners, his time in the NWA and why he never worked for WWE. You can check out Bobby on Facebook.
The 10th annual Cape Comic Con is coming to Cape Girardeau, Missouri April 17-19. Former WCW TV champion and multiple time tag team champion “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton will be this year’s wrestling guest. Organizer Ken Murphy is a life long wrestling fan and talks about the importance of having a wrestler on hand at his event each year. You can meet Bobby on April 18 from 10 until 2 and April 19 from 11 until 5. Bobby will be on the show in a future episode.
It has been a CRAZY week and a half since the 2014 Cape Comic Con. I’m alive (and well) and I had a blast! What a fun time it was down in Cape Girardeau, MO. I got to talk and visit with so many great people. And I got some sweet moments like this:
ARE YOU SERIOUS? Look at this awesome costume! And you can see more pictures from my two days at the Con HERE. Seriously – if you know any of the great people in those pictures, PLEASE tag them.
Part One of this two-part episode (Part Two heading your way tomorrow) features some of the vendors and creators, as well as cosplayers (sorry, no words from LEGO Batman…but he’s more of an “actions speak louder than words” guy anyway) and it all starts with a conversation with event organizer Ken Murphy.
Tell your friends about the show. If you hate the show, tell your frenemies.
Tomorrow’s second half will have some longer segments from the featured guests.
I’m so grateful for everyone who took the time to talk with me.