Peter Cullen promo graphic by Voices Against Cancer

I can hardly believe this one! As part of their Voices Against Cancer Initiative event in Sioux Falls, the nonprofit Voices Against Cancer (VAC) will be bringing Peter Cullen as a guest. Cullen happens to be the voice behind what I think is the greatest cartoon hero of all time: Optimus Prime! In this (hopefully) brief post, I will geek out a little over why having Cullen come to Sioux Falls absolutely rocks. 

The Voice of Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime Hasbro box art. Picture embedded from Wikimedia Commons.

Growing up, Transformers was probably my favorite cartoon. And of all the Transformers that came out, none were ever as cool as Optimus. I think that one hundred percent has to do with Cullen’s voice acting. Somehow Cullen created a voice that had authority, compassion, empathy, and wisdom all wrapped up into one package. If someone were to ask me what the perfect sound for a true leader would be, my answer without hesitation would be the voice of Optimus Prime.

I happen to be one of those upset kids back in 1986 when Optimus Prime died. Yes, looking back, it was possibly a good storyline arc. But in reality, when Optimus died, so to did a great role model. He was a true hero that many children looked up to and were learning about compassion for others. Luckily the powers that be eventually brought Optimus back (I’m sure sales had to do with that).

So I don’t geek out too much about Optimus I’ll move on to other cool voices Cullen has done over the years.

There is more to Cullen than just Optimus

Cullen’s Wikipedia page has a long list of roles to which he has lent his voice. Here are a few of my favorites I think are worth calling out.

  • Predator! Cullen was the voice of the Predator. I remember seeing that movie back in ’87 and loving it. Well, actually I still love the film and the fact he was the voice of the Predator just rocks!
  • Eeyore. I will admit, I’m not a big Winnie the Pooh fan. But like many other people, I think Eeyore is a great character. Actually, I always wondered if Douglas Adams didn’t turn Eeyore into a robot and call him Marvin. Cullens was the official voice of Eeyore from the late 1980s to the early 2010s and is so once again.
  • Venger. Dungeons and Dragons was one of my favorite Saturday Morning cartoons (remember when that was a thing?). Venger is another of Cullen’s voices where I think his talent for including some authority is beyond all expectations.
  • Mantus. This one comes from the Pirates of Dark Water. Mantus may be the number two villain, but I have a feeling he would have been the top villain if the series had been able to run to its conclusion. Again Cullen absolutely nails the controlled temperament of Mantus.

VAC promo for Peter Cullen

Voices Against Cancer shared this video on their YouTube channel to promote Cullen being a part of the event. This vid has a few voice highlights from Cullen.

Earlier this week I blogged about Frank Welker. Welker is also coming to the VAC event and happens to the be voice of Megatron. Here is another promo video from VAC pitting Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) against Megatron (Frank Welker).

Actually, I already know who will win between the two: (queue cheesy 80s song) All of us fans that get to meet these voice actor icons. Plus, all the money that will be raised to fight pediatric cancer.

More to come

So far, I have blogged about two guests coming to the VAC event. There has already been a third announced (blog coming next week), and I know there are a bunch more announcements forthcoming. I will admit, though, I am already wholly sold on traveling to Sioux Falls so that I can meet Cullen. All of the other announcements are just frosting on an already super sweet and yummy cake..

Song of the Day – Transformers

Since I mentioned Transformers The Movies I think it is entirely appropriate to include the classic (and very 80’s) theme song from that movie by Lion:

Bonus Song: Cullen’s voices

Ok, this one isn’t a song. It is a video that includes many of the voices Cullen has done over the years.

My youngest son and I at SiouxperCon in 2019.

The premier event for geeks and nerds in South Dakota, SiouxperCon, will be held September 11th through the 13th in 2020. I would urge anyone living even remotely close to Sioux Falls to put these dates in your calendar and plan to attend. As the year goes on, I’ll blog about SiouxperCon. But for now, I just wanted to be sure everyone possible is saving the date. SiouxperCon 2019 rocked, and I expect Siouxpercon 2020 (officially called SiouxperCon Vol. 5) to be even better (how can you go wrong with a Guardians of the Galaxy theme). You can also help out the SiouxperCon staff by letting them know you are going or interested on their Facebook event page

Frank Welker promo graphic by Voices Against Cancer

On June 27th, the nonprofit Voices Against Cancer (VAC) will be hosting a Voices Against Cancer Initiative event in Sioux Falls. This event will have several iconic voice actors raising money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s battle to end childhood cancers. A little over a month ago, VAC announced their first guest: iconic voice actor Frank Welker. I would use this post to share a few of my favorite voices provided by Welker.

Some of Welker’s voices

Frank Welker has a long list of iconic sounds. There are too many for me to blog about in one post. Here are just a few of the iconic voices Welker has voiced from shows I happen to like:

  • Fred Jones on Scooby-Doo. Eventually, he became the voice of Scoob!
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk in the early 80’s Super Friends. Episodes with Mr. Mxyzptlk were great. Even all these years later, I can hear Myx tormenting the Super Friends.
  • Uni on Dungeons and Dragons. This was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid. He also voiced Tiamat in the series.
  • Slimer and Ray Stantz on the Real Ghostbusters. As a huge Ghostbusters fan, I am very excited to meet the voice of Slimer! He also later did the voice of Ray Stantz for Extreme Ghostbusters.
  • Niddler on Pirates of Dark Water. This is a series I wish could have run until its conclusion. It was a very cool animation and probably one of the best storylines for an ongoing cartoon. Weirdly the monkey-bird creature Niddler was initially voiced by famed British actor Roddy McDowall, but later was replaced by Welker.
  • Animaniacs!! Welker did a lot of voices for Animaniacs. Ralph the Guard and Thaddeus Plotz are probably two of my favorites. Plus, his Bill Clinton voice used on this series is just too darn good!
  • Nibbler on Futurama. Actually, I wonder if somehow him doing the voice of a weird creature called Nibbler somehow ties back to him doing the voice for a weird creature named Niddler.
  • Stripe in the Gremlins movie. Gremlins is one of my all time favorite Christmas movies (behind Die Hard), and Stripe was such a great bad guy.
  • Welker has done many, many, many animal voices. One of the coolest is that of a Mastadge, an animal found on Abydos in the movie Stargate.
  • Tommy Boy is one of the greatest comedies from the 90’s. And Welker voiced the deer from one of the funniest scenes in that movie!

My favorite Welker scream

While researching Welker, I found out he also has ties to Star Trek. Specifically, Welker voiced the scream from young Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. These screams were being handled by Leonard Nimoy (Spock) before Welker came in.

Actually, this happened to be the second time Welker took over for Nimoy for a voice. Originally Leonard Nimoy had voiced Galvatron in the original Transformers movie. Welker took over for the voice of Galvatron in the series. I wonder if Welker ever did any Nimoy voices saying something like, “I’m a doctor, not a transformer.”

Best of the Decepticon voices

Soundwave Hasbro box art. Picture embedded from Wikimedia Commons.

When it all comes down to it, though, my favorite Welker voices go back to his work with Transformers. He is probably most famously known as the voice for the original Megatron. And I will admit Megatron is my second favorite villain of all cartoons (my favorite will be the subject of another post having to do with VAC).

But Megatron is not my favorite Welker Transformers voice. Instead, that honor goes to Soundwave. I remember hearing Soundwave speak as a young boy, and I thought that was the coolest voice for a robot ever. Even today, I tend to compare all robot voices with Soundwave. It was just so cool of a sound and seemed so futuristic. Actually, a lot of other robot voices he does seem to derive from Soundwave.

VAC promo for Frank Welker

Voices Against Cancer shared this video on their YouTube channel to promote Welker being a part of the vent. This vid has just a few voices Welker has done over the decades.

Stay tuned for more

At the time of this post, a total of three voice actors have been announced by Voices Against Cancer. In the coming weeks, I plan to do posts about each of the guests. Plus, I hope to have some content relating to other charity events and geek groups around South Dakota.

Song of the Day: The many voices of Frank Welker

OK, this really isn’t a song. But this video rocks! Watch this video to see a few of the great voices Welker has done over the years.

Bonus Song: Scooby Doo does Batman

Ok, once again this is not a song. Instead this is a clip from the Scooby-Doo & Guess Who series. In this clip Welker is voicing Scooby-Doo, who is imitating Batman. How cool!

This last Saturday, the annual MallWalk for LifeScape occurred at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls. This annual walk is a significant fundraiser for LifeScape, a wonderful organization doing great things for the community. I am proud to say the geek community was well represented. I attended the event as part of the South Dakota Ghostbusters. In this post, I will share some photos from the event. 

On a side-note, my son Ashton was my photographer. He did a great job. Unfortunately, many pictures were lost. But that had to do with a corrupt SD card and not anything Ashton did. I am glad that I somehow managed to recover some good pics.

Best picture of the day

I was amazed when I saw how much money was raised by the mall walk. In my wildest dreams, I would not have imagined over ninety-three thousand dollars would be raised for this great cause!

Mall walk money raised. Photo by Ashton Santema.

Gallery of the other pictures

Here is a gallery of some pictures taken. I am very proud of the geek community for supporting organizations such as LifeScape.

Stay tuned for more!

This is the first of many posts I hope to do highlighting what geek groups are doing for charitable causes in South Dakota. If anyone has pictures from any such events, I would love to share them! The best thing to come out of the LifeScape MallWalk was the $93k raised for a great cause!

Song of the Day: Ghostbusters

OK, I used Ghostbusters as a song of the day in my previous post. So I would share this heavy metal cover by Heavy Metal Heroes.

Bonus Song: Now I’m a Believer

Since there was a Fiona at this event, I couldn’t help but get this song in my head.

Welcome to my new blog. In this post, I will explain what drove me to start this blog. Additionally, I will briefly discuss some plans for the SD Charity Geek blog. (yes, I can get long-winded, I promise to keep this post short!)

The reason for SD Charity Geek

Highlighting the things geeks and nerds do that make them superheroes.

First, I should note that I am a lifelong geek. Comics, sci-fi, D&D, and wrestling are just a few areas I consider myself to be overly geeky. For the last decade or so, I have suppressed most of my geekiness. Mostly this was due to being busy with family, work, and life in general. All that changed a little over a year ago when I received my cancer diagnosis, and I thought I was about to die.

From that point on, I vowed to do all I could to help others with cancer. That is part of the reason I started a blog called Dad Against Cancer. By sharing my story, I found others going through the same thing feel comfort knowing they are not alone. At the same time, I decided to rediscover my geeky roots and delved into the world of comics, sci-fi, and D&D once again. In doing so, I became a member of the SD Ghostbusters, a charity cosplay group. 

It’s hard to explain just how much being a member of the SD Ghostbusters has done for me. Part of what the SD Ghostbusters does is raise money for charity. Which is good, and I’m proud of the group for that. But an even more significant impact the group has upon me is bringing joy to the faces of children as we pose with them. My next post (sometime later this week) will include pictures from an event we did this previous weekend. My heart was full of happiness the whole event as I saw the joy on faces of the children we were there to help. No price can be placed upon the pure joy we brought to those kids.

Now I want to dedicate the remainder of my life to helping as many kids as I can. I will continue to be a member of the SD Ghostbusters and, hopefully, some other cosplay charity groups in the future. But I think I can use my blogging experience to draw more attention to the many ways geeks and nerds are genuinely helping make South Dakota a better place through charity work.

Plans for this site

Since I blabbed too much in the previous section, I will keep this one short. Among other things, this site will be used to highlight the following:

  • Cosplay groups raising money for charity
  • Cosplay groups bringing joy to children with medical conditions
  • Geek and nerd events that raise money for charity
    • Siouxpercon and Voices Against Cancer are two examples
  • Geek Superheroes that go above and beyond to bring joy to children with medical conditions
    • Sioux Falls Batman is a perfect example of this
  • Any cancer charity that I can find even a small hint of geekiness or nerdiness involved.
  • Anything else I think the geek and nerd charity community would find interesting

In the future, I hope to have additional authors on this blog. For instance, if someone from a Star Wars cosplay group did a great event, I would love it if they wrote a post about the event and shared some pictures for the rest of the world to see.

Finally, I plan to add a podcast later on this summer. In the beginning, this podcast will focus mostly on significant events and geek superheroes. But who knows where it will go.

Better wrap it up

This post was much longer than planned. I look forward to this new blog adventure and welcome any ideas from the community for this blog. Since I am fairly new to the scene in Sioux Falls I don’t know all of the cosplay groups yet. But I hope to meet with many of them and highlight the great work they have been doing.

Song of the Day: A New Hope

Anyone following my other blogs probably already know I love music! Usually I try to include a song or two with each post. This blog will be no different. To kick of this blog I thought Binary Sunest composed by John Williams was appropriate. To me this blog represents a new hope, and well the song was made for Star Wars: A New Hope.

Bonus Song: Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk

OK, I don’t generally like disco and think it is better left in the 70’s. But… Who doesn’t like this classic by Meco. I actually owned this on vinyl as a kid and loved it! Even today it is one part of Disco I don’t mind sticking around.