Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Couch Crusader - Looking Back at Batman '66 by Geena Phillips

Batman (1966) Season 1, Episode 7 - "Instant Freeze"

Aw, shit, y'all! You have no idea how long I've been saving up "freeze" and "cold" puns. Tonight, we dine in (frozen) HELL!

Real dialogue:

Skating patron #1: "Officer! Some kook just melted the ice rink!"

Skating patron #2: "With a flamethrower, yet!"

Imaginary dialogue:

Motorcycle cop: "What? All our flame throwers are supposed to be setting fire to villages in Vietnam! We'll just see about THIS."

Monday, September 29, 2014

Needless Things Spotlight: This Is Car Number 187 - Chapter 2 by D. D. DeJesus

Welcome to Needless Things Spotlight, where we focus on new fiction from talent around the internet.

Today's short form story is the first part of several that will be published over the course of the next several months.
You can find the first chapter of this story here.
This Is Car Number 187
D. D. DeJesus


The headlights of the train flash on and off, as rubble falls from the ceiling on to the immobile transit. The shouts of panic echo throughout the stale, cool darkness of the tunnel. The passengers beat and pull on the sliding doors, hoping that at least one of them will give way for they can make their escape.  
Joseph snatches his attention away from his phone and begins to slide it back into his pocket, when he is suddenly pushed to the side and drops it on the floor. Catching his balance, he looks up to see the homeless man that was sleeping across from him earlier, tugging at the sliding doors.
God dammit!” shouts the homeless man slapping his palms on the glass windows of the doors.
Try the emergency latches!” shouts Ralph to the passengers.
The homeless man spots the emergency latches on both sides of the doors and notices that he cannot possibly pull up both latches at the same time. He turns to Joseph, who is picking up his phone and offers him a hand.
I’m sorry about that, kid,” said the homeless man extending a dusty hand, wrapped in what appears to be old athletic tape. “I’m Steward.”

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wrestling With History – 2014 WWE Versus 1995 WCW

This is going to be a stream-of-consciousness post. I know how I feel about what I’m writing about today – the entertainment value of WCW Monday Nitro versus that of the current WWE products – but I’m not sure where I’ll end up or what my conclusion will be. So hang in there.

Two things inspired this post. The first is the fact that full episodes of World Championship Wrestling’s flagship show, Monday Nitro, are now available on the WWE Network (only $9.99 a month!) and I have been binge-watching and loving it. I was watching episodes from 1995 with Jonathan from Wrestling With Pop Culture this past Sunday and when it was time for WWE’s Night of Champions pay-per-view to start I did not want to change the channel. I knew that WWE’s show would not be as much fun to watch. So today I want to investigate those feelings.

The second reason I’m writing this is I need a few more posts before 31 Days of Halloween starts here on Needless Things.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


ATLANTA, GA – Walker Stalker Con, a zombie, horror, and sci-fi themed fan-centric convention,
will be held at the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart this October 17-19, 2014.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Toy Review – WWE Elite Collection Series 29 – Erick Rowan from Mattel

Let’s go ahead and wrap up that wacky Wyatt family!

Mr. Rowan is the most simply dressed and cleanly shaven (the top of his head) of the Wyatt family. Two elements keep him from being an utterly boring guy in a jumpsuit – his beard and that creepy effing sheep mask.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Couch Crusader -Looking Back at Batman '66 by Geena Phillips

Batman (1966) Season 1, Episode 5 - "The Joker is Wild"

Our story begins at Gotham State Penitentiary, where a game of softball is underway. Now pitching: The Joker! Some have suggested that the Joker is more of a catcher, but I believe he's equally comfortable in either role. 

And while we're on the subject, it's important to remember that this series was conceived from the word "jump" to have both colorful adventures to appeal to kids (>raises hand< it's impossible to overstate just how enthralled with this show I was as a child), AND more subversive humor that adults would appreciate. I mention all that at this juncture because there is NO WAY the word "penology" would be used that many times in the space of two minutes unless it was on-purpose. 

"He sprung himself!" Heh; I see what you did there. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Toy Review – WWE Elite Collection Series 29 – Luke Harper from Mattel

I wanted to go ahead and knock these out before Dragon Con because I was still excited about them and because I don’t know how much tolerance the average Needless Things reader has for wrestling toys.

Actually, I don’t know anything about you guys because Blogger’s comments system is bullshit. So be sure to find us on Facebook and Twitter, as well as following Phantom Troublemaker on Instagram. It’s much easier to interact those places. And maybe – just maybe – at some point I’ll figure out something better to do with the site.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dragon Con 2014 - Phantom Troublemaker's Recap Part 4


It was around 11 AM on Sunday when I woke up, so I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dragon Con 2014 - Phantom Troublemaker's Recap Part 3


I woke up Saturday morning feeling just fine. I didn’t necessarily limit myself Friday night, but I tried to stay aware of the fact that my first panel was at 10 AM. For me this is very early, but I was super-excited about the panel and did not want to miss it. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Timothy Zahn Interview

The fact that I was able to score an interview with Timothy Zahn was huge for me. I've never interviewed anyone before so to me I was starting pretty high up on the awesome scale. I know not everyone knows who he is or has read his books so I'll give a very brief intro for those of you who don't know why I was so excited. Although I'm not sure why you'd be reading this if you don't know who he is. Timothy Zahn basically started the Star Wars expended universe. He's kind of a big deal. In 1991 he wrote Heir to the Empire, and followed with 2 more books to make up the Thrawn trilogy. There was no such things as Star Wars novels before he came along. Now there are gagillions of them, but this is the man that started it all. Even if you haven't read any of them you probably know his original characters. Talon Karrde, Mara Jade, and Grand Admiral Thrawn are almost as well known as any original movie characters. He them proceeded to write 9 other Star Wars novels, and a bunch of short stories.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Costumes of Dragon Con

My Dragon Con 2014 coverage starts winding down with my view on costumes this year. Don't worry, I've saved the best for last. I'll be wrapping it up with my Timothy Zahn interview tomorrow.

I'm not a costumer, but checking out everyone's costumes has always been one of my favorite parts of Dragon Con. I don't have a real camera, and my phone doesn't always get the best shots so I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I wanted. It was just too tough to pull my phone out of my bag, chaeck the lens for cleanliness, and try and get the setting right when you don't want to be the asshole who holds up traffic. Luckily Sharron Von Hoene and her camera were on hand, and did a great job getting lots of pictures that she has kindly allowed me to swipe. Lack of pictures aside I'm really envious of the great cosplayers and costume aficionados out there. I've always wanted to get into it myself, but I'm inherently lazy. Another part of the problem is that I can't think of anything truly unique to do. I don't want to be just another Lara Croft, Rogue, or (god forbid) Slave Leia. And to get truly unique you need to really put some thought and work into you costume. I would totally go as my character from Skyrim, Mass Effect, or any of the other games I have where I've got something so customized that there's no chance any one else will have anything like it. That is also going to require a place to put all your cool weapons and armor and junk when it gets to be too much. I refuse to get over my objection to shelling out hundreds of dollars for a hotel room in the city I live in, and if I can't change when needed I have a hard time committing to a costume for 12 or so hours a day. Let's face it I'm also just a little too out of shape to pull of a Slave Leia without upsetting the children. Until I get my ass back to the gym the best I could do would be a Mon Mothma mu mu, but maybe that's not such a bad idea. I am just too conscious (although accepting) of my body type and it's costuming limitations. I've always wanted to do a Psylocke since she's been one of my favorite X-Men for many years. But I don't have the skill to pull it off accurately, and there aren't enough Spanx and dance tights in the world to suck all my business in properly. This is a weekend about fantasy, and cellulite hanging out of an assless unitard is not part of any fantasy I have. But as usual, I digress.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Movie Magic By R.T. Ewell

I love going to the movie theater. Don't get me wrong, watching a movie at home is great but the experience of going to the movies is like nothing else. When I was younger it wasn't often that I got to go but when I did, it was a memorable experience. I loved pulling into the parking lot and seeing the marquee up in lights with all of the movie titles in big letters. The smell of popcorn as I walked into the lobby still permeates my senses. Even when the usher tears my ticket and directs me to the correct theater brings good feelings inside. Just everything about going to the movies send tremors of excitement down my spine.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dragon Con 2014 – Phantom Troublemaker’s Recap Part 2


When I did finally wake up on Friday afternoon I felt fine. No headache, nothing. No indication that I had been in some kind of weird, drunken mindwarp the previous night.
I made myself some oatmeal (which I had to eat without the assistance of a spoon), cleaned myself up, and went to wander around a bit before DCW. I was going to need to be there a little early this year because there was a possibility that Monstrosity Championship Wrestling was going to put on a couple of matches. I didn’t know if I would be doing my ring announcing thing or maybe managing somebody or what. It turned out to be a much bigger deal than that.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beth's Dragon Con Recap Part 2

If you want to hear the intro or know about all the stuff that happened Thursday and Friday you'll have to go back to my last post. This here is all about Saturday and Sunday. Where the real action is, or something...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews September 2014: These Prices Are INSANE! (but not in the way that usually means)

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalogue that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beth's Dragon Con Recap Part 1

Sorry for the delay in posting, but I was struck down with the post-Dragon Con funk. Not the general malaise that follows the end of the Con, but an actual flu generated by a weekend of overindulgence/lack of sleep combined with the germs that only 60,000+ people in close quarters can provide. But I'm back and ready to get this coverage underway. And really this was going to be one story about the whole weekend, but as I barely got to Saturday evening by 3000 words I decided I might need to split this thing up. So I had to split the weekend to make it readable. Sorry to those of you with decent attention spans, but I couldn't keep my own interest after that many words if I wasn't saying anything deep or meaningful about life. And I'm almost certain you're not going to find anything like that here. But I don't know you or what means anything to your life so if there are words of wisdom here for you then go nuts. Just not literally, if you happen to be near me at the time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dragon Con 2014 Recap Part 1 - Thursday by Phantom Troublemaker

I am going to do my best to keep this a bit more brief than I usually do. Typically my Dragon Con recaps span around four days of posts and that’s just absurd. But every year I say I’m going to tighten them up and it never happens.

Let’s see how I do this time around.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dragon Con 2014 Recap by R.T. Ewell

Well, these are the words I have been dreading to say for a while. Dragon Con is over. We call an end to the 2014 convention. As previously stated in my thoughts on Dragon Con here on Needless Things - this was my first journey to the con in well over five years.

It was safe to say that I was super excited and even danced my way into the hotel room when I finally arrived Wednesday night. Yes, I said Wednesday night because Wednesday is the new Thursday and Thursday is the new Friday and so on.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Needless Things Podcast Episode 33: Dragon Con 2014 – Conan the Destroyer Panel with William Stout

Dragon Con is over and I may only have one podcast to show for it!

Due to many different factors – one of which was me neglecting to turn on my digital recorder – I only recorded one panel. But that's okay because it was a great one!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Super-Late Post-Dragon Con Non-Dragon Con Post - Toys R Us Report

They repainted the front of the Toys R Us I frequent. It's now silver rather than blue and looks pretty cool. My main takeaway is that they probably wouldn't have done that if the store was potentially going to close any time soon.

These are the things I think about.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dragon Con 2014: Inclusiveness at Con by Veion

So 2012 was my third Dragon Con, I decided to cosplay a Gryffindor but my costume wasn't "fully legit" I guess you'd say. I had to put together something from some clothing I had laying around that worked, because I couldn't afford the nice robes from the actual Harry Potter universe.