Earlier this week, I noted that I would do posts highlighting some of the guests attending SiouxperCONLINE. There is no better place to start than with the SiouxPerCon’s announcement of Dan Jurgens as a guest. Jurgens is probably best known as the man who killed Superman back in the early ’90s. This post will highlight a few Jurgens’ extended career areas of which I am a fan. 

The Man Who Killed Superman

Admittedly I am somewhat more of a Marvel fanboy. But once in a while I would find a reason to check out DC titles. In the early ’90s, Jurgens and a few other writers came up with a Superman crossover that had me reading various DC titles. It was a well-produced storyline, and I still have every crossover issue in my collection. Of course, like many others, I also have multiple copies of Superman 75.

Over the years, many people have tried to tell me the death of Superman was nothing more than a publicity stunt by DC. While I do believe DC would do such a thing, I never thought that rang true. Jurgens and crew put a lot of work into a well-written story. Plus, Jurgens created great characters, most notably in Doomsday, that continue to be important in comics. Many comic book writers have tried to recreate what Jurgens did in Superman’s death, but I really don’t feel any have come close to what he was able to achieve.

Captain America

Artwork done of me as Captain America during SiouxperCon in 2019. It has nothing to do with Dan Jergens, but I like his run a writer on Cap and wanted to show this off.

In the early 2000s, Jurgens was the writer for Captain America for a couple of years. It’s an essential run for Captain America. As a writer, Jurgens seemed to return the title to being more of an old-school superhero comic, something I can appreciate. The stories seemed focused on the good guy (Cap) fighting the latest bad guy (usually Nazi or AIM). To me, this is where Marvel comics used to excel way back in the day, and Jergens seemed to be giving a hat tip to the days of yesteryear. I also liked this run of Cap comics for how Jurgens treated Falcon. Sometimes, I felt writers undervalued Falcon over the years, but I never felt that way from Dan’s writing.

Secret Origins

One Jurgens website, there is a section called Secret Origins. I highly recommend any comic geek check out this page. It is a collection of exciting artwork and concept tidbits from Jurgens. One of the tidbits is some early Doomsday drawings, and even notes highlighting what Jurgens felt were important when creating the character. 

Typically when I think of Jurgens, I think of his work as a writer. This little secret origins section of his website is a good reminder that he is also an artist. Realistically we shouldn’t forget he is an artist because he seems to have also been an artist on many of the titles he has written for, including the Superman and Captain America runs I mentioned earlier in this post.

Looking forward to Jergens Q&A

SiouxperCONLINE is asking questions to be submitted for Brian to ask of Jurgens during the Q&A. It should be an exciting session. I mean, how can you go wrong having the man who killed Superman as a guest? 

Song of the Day: Kryptonite

How can I write about Superman without getting this song from 3 Doors Down in my head?

Bonus Song: Holding Out For A Hero

For the bonus song, its time to go back to the ’80s. Not only is this a great 80’s music video relic, but the song also beckons back to a day when superheroes were actual heroes…

In just a little over a month, the premier fan convention in Sioux Falls, SiouxperCon, will host its annual gathering. Unlike the previous four years, though, this year’s convention will be moved entirely online. With this being 2020, I don’t think any explanations are necessary; everything seems to be getting canceled this year.

Over the next month, I hope to do posts highlighting some of the guests that will be a part of this convention. But before doing that, I wanted to remind everyone that SiouxperCon (or SiouxperCONLINE as its know this year) is not just about getting together and celebrating geek culture. An essential part of SiouperCon is that proceeds from the con go to support two deserving charities right here in South Dakota: REACH Literacy and the JY6 Foundation. Both charities are worth checking out and supporting. 

That is all I have to say for right now. I just wanted to make sure people are aware of these crucial charities before posting posts about the great lineup of guests appearing at SiouxperCONLINE this year.

PS. I know I haven’t blogged for a few months. That was a mixup with Facebook, which I think is fixed now.

Song of the Day: The Book I Read

This classic Talking Heads song isn’t about reading. But when I think of Reach Literacy, I can’t help but think about this classic song.

Bonus Song: Heroes

Any group that is doing something to fight pediatric cancer has my utmost respect. So when I think of the JY6 Foundation, this song from David Bowie comes to mind. This is a great live version of the song.

Optimus making Bumblebee feel better after hearing Voices Against Cancer was postponed.

Due to this coronavirus pandemic, it seems everything is getting postponed or canceled. Earlier this week was a postponement I knew was coming, but still dreaded. The organizers for Voices Against Cancer officially announced that the event would be postponed until the summer of 2021. Of all the cancellations lately, this one is probably the saddest for me. Not only was the geek in me looking forward to meeting all of the great voice actors, but I was genuinely hoping the event would raise tons of money for pediatric cancer. 

The good news though, is that the organizers have a full extra year to make sure the event is truly epic. Honestly, an event such as this would have required a lot of attendance to raise money. With social distancing, I don’t see how that could have been done. Now the next year can be spent getting the word out and preparing for an event that I think could become a benchmark for all geeky fundraisers going forward.

Over the next year, I will continue to do posts about the event. I hope to do continued posts highlighting the talent scheduled to appear. And once the podcast gets going, I want to have an organizer on my show.

Song of the day: Seasons in the Sun

I was pretty sad when I first heard this was postponed. This classic Terry Jacks song came into my head at the time.

Bonus Song: The Show Must Go On

Luckily I wasn’t sad for long. Queen better portrays my feelings of the Voices Against Cancer event being moved to 2021.

This site is all about geeky things, especially cosplay, for a charitable purpose. During this whole COVID crisis, it has been very hard for cosplay charity groups to provide much in the way of community support. The video below released by the South Dakota Ghostbusters shows that cosplayers can still do good for their community while isolated.

PS. Yes, I am a member of the SD Ghostbusters, and I am in the video! I am very proud of the work SD Ghostbusters does!

2020 has been a rough year for cons. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, most cons have canceled, rescheduled, or are “pending.” The good news, however, is that online conventions are becoming a thing. Next Saturday and Sunday (April 25 & 26), there will be Mainframe Comic Con coming out of Chicago. It appears to be a fully operational con, just done online!

The con has some great guests. I’m sure anyone reading this can recognize most, if not all, of the guests in this promo graphic for the con:

Mainframe Comic Con promo graphic.

Looking at the Mainframe website, I see this con has pretty much everything you would expect. Here is what I see being offered at the con:

  • Guests. There will be live video feeds of entertainment and comic guests! There is a schedule of events on their website.
  • Exhibitors. I think this is likely just links to various exhibitors’ eCommerce pages. Kind of a cool way for exhibitors to keep going while regular cons are down.
  • Artist Alley. You can’t have a con without artist alley. There are some pretty cool artists listed. I love the Star Wars stuff showing for Kayla Woodside!
  • Cosplay! They are taking submissions for cosplay! Over the last couple of months, I’ve seen a lot of a virtual cosplay. This con is another excellent avenue for those missing the cosplay aspect of cons!

If I find time this week, I hope to look deeper at this con and maybe do another post or two. Regardless, I plan to attend the con next weekend and enjoy some of the great guests. What cool way to keep cons going!

Song of the Day: Max Headroom

Hopefully, it doesn’t age me to pick a song featuring Max Headroom. But, when I think of a virtual con, I can’t help but picture Max Headroom. Here is the music video The Art of Noise did featuring Max.

Bonus Song: Rockit

Watching the above video made this crazy video from Herbie Hancock come to mind. This video is truly one of the more interesting 80’s artifacts from my youth of watching MTV.

I’ve had a few people contact me to ask if I knew anything about local South Dakota hospitals in need of masks for healthcare works. Many cosplayers have sewing skills that are ideally suited for making healthcare masks. Unfortunately, I am in quarantine, so I hadn’t looked into it. I can’t find anything for Sanford, but I see Avera has a blog post asking people to make health care masks. In this post, I will focus on South Dakota hospitals. For anyone reading this post from elsewhere, I would recommend checking with local healthcare providers and local cosplay/sewing groups. 

Avera’s mask program

Sample mask provided in Avera’s blog post.

All of the information about Avera’s mask program can be found on this Avera website blog post. Avera does include a mask design they are asking people to follow. According to the blog post, single ply cotton-blend T-shirt material works best. The shirt should be newer and not worn or tattered. Quilting cotton is also mentioned as a choice of fabric. They also include information on creating elastic bands or fabric ties. 

If you or someone in your family decides to make masks, I probably wouldn’t just make them. I would contact the nearest facility on the blog post and ask if they are still in need. Also, ask how the masks can be delivered. The post mentions that at least twenty-five masks have to be completed to be accepted.

M5: Moms for Medical Mask Mass Manufacturing

While researching this post, I found a Facebook group called M5: Moms for Medical Mask Mass Manufacturing. This group looks like an excellent resource for anyone looking into making the masks. It is heartwarming looking at the finished products the mask makers are creating for healthcare workers. It reinforces my belief that the world is full of good-hearted people. 

3D printed masks

I belong to a couple of 3D printing groups that have been working non-stop to print masks and face shields. I have not found anything in South Dakota about healthcare providers asking for this. If anyone knows of healthcare facilities in need of 3D printed masks or face shields, let me know! I’ll pass the info on in this blog, and probably make some. Actually, today I’m going to attempt printing a couple of different designs to test them out.

Contact local healthcare providers if you wish to help

I wish I had more information here. But to anyone looking to makes masks or similar items for healthcare workers, I would suggest contacting those facilities. They may or may not have a need. If you find a healthcare facility in need, please pass that on to other people. There may be another way you can help as well. The only way to be sure is to ask.

Song of the day – Family Hands

This song from Mary Chapin Carpenter seems to fit the topic of making masks for healthcare workers, both in a literal and figurative sense. The following is a beautiful song by a great singer.

Bonus song: House of the Rising Sun

I can’t talk about sewing without singing, “My mother was a tailor, she sewed my new blue jeans.” With that said, here is an outstanding live version of the song by Eric Burden and the Animals from almost ten years ago.

Times are getting crazy, but that doesn’t mean we have to act crazy! During times like this, it is more important than ever to look out not just for yourself and your family; it is also essential to help friends, neighbors, or anyone else who needs it. Recently the South Dakota Ghostbusters shared the following post:

I think the above post does a great job of highlighting what the charity groups are all about: helping others in need. Yes, we dress up as characters in public. But to me, that isn’t an essential part of charity cosplay. Charity cosplay is about helping others. In this case, it is a charity cosplay group offering to help others out with essential items they may be short on during this global panic.

I would urge anyone reading this that requires help to reach out. There are many ways to reach out for help in the modern world. Here are just a few ways I can think of:

  • Reach out on social media, such as Facebook. Just put a post out saying you require something. I’ve seen this happen recently and was quite pleased to see many people stepping up to help. Reaching out to charity groups (and charity cosplay groups) directly on Facebook can also get some great results.
  • Reach out to charity groups. There are a lot of charity groups out there. Pick a local charity group and call them on the phone. Even if they are unable to help, they may know of someone who can help with your particular need.
  • Call or text a friend or neighbor. This option should never be overlooked. Many people, such as myself, hate being a burden on others but will go out of our way to help others. If you require something, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. I’ve had to learn to do this myself and realize it’s not easy.
  • Contact me. I can be contacted through this site or Facebook. If you require anything, let me know. I will see if someone I know can help you out!

The main thing: if you have a dire need, please reach out for help!

On the other end, I would urge everyone to reach out to friends and neighbors to make sure they are OK. There are people out there in need who are afraid to reach out for help. Just a simple phone call or Facebook message to them could be enough to get them to ask. With all this isolation, some people could feel lonely and depressed. That simple call or message may seem like nothing, but it might mean the world to someone feeling devastated by the isolation and fear of the unknown.

As I end this post, I want to reiterate that if you need help, please seek it out! Plus, please everyone check on their friends and neighbors. If we all look out for each other, this whole isolation thing won’t seem to last as long.

PS. I actually wrote this post two weeks ago. Apparently, I was so busy I forgot to hit publish after writing it. I did make some minor updates to it, and now it should be published. (well obviously it’s published if you are reading this)

Song of the Day: Care

I’ve been a huge Kid Rock fan for years. My favorite album of his is Born Free, which is more southern rock. On that album is a song I play and share quite often. It really sums up this post well. Usually I share the version with Angaleena Presley for the music video. This time I will share the album version with Martina McBride:

Bonus song: I’m Going to Love You Through It

Speaking of Martina McBride. I’ve got to admit this song makes me tear up a bit, probably because it is too close to my reality dealing with cancer. But I think using love to help neighbors and family out during times such as this is just as important.

Bill Farmer promo graphic by Voices Against Cancer

Voices Against Cancer announced another great guest earlier this week: none other than Bill Farmer, the official voice of Goofy! Farmer has been doing voice acting for over thirty years now. In this short post, I will highlight a few of my favorite voice roles from this legendary actor.

The voice of Goofy and Pluto

Goofy image copyright Disney, embedded from Wikimedia Commons.

In 1987 Farmer started doing the voice of Goofy. Three years later, he also became the voice of Pluto. Of the many Disney characters out there, I must admit I probably like Goofy the most. Goofy is a great role-model. He is generous and always optimistic. That is something I try to strive for myself. Yes, he is a bit goofy, but that makes him all the more appealing as a character. Recently I’ve rewatched A Goofy Movie. It’s incredible how much I can relate with the Goofy portrayed in that movie now that I am a dad myself. Farmer absolutely nailed his work in that movie!

Baldur’s Gate!

In the late 90’s Balders gate came out. As a gamer and D&D geek, I think this sis still one of the best fantasy RPG’s of all time. In Baulder’s Gate Farmer voiced Brunos, Irlentree, and Yeslick Orothiar among other voices. Actually, as I look at the list of voice actors in Baldur’s Gate, there are three others worth pointing out because they are also guests at Voices Against Cancer: Grey Griffith, Frank Welker, and Jim Cummings. Actually I just noticed Welker was the voice of Elminster! How did I miss that when looking through his bio.

Some great voice roles

Here are just a few of the voice roles Farmer has performed. As with the other voice actors announced for VAC, Farmer simply has too many voice roles to mention in one short post. It is interesting to note he has done a lot of voice acting for video games.

  • Space Jam: This is probably one of the most iconic animated movies of the ’90s. In this movie, Farmer voiced Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, and Yosemite Sam!
  • Robocop: Ok, this wasn’t a voice acting job, but Farmer had a small role in the original Robocop as reporter Justin Ballard-Watkins. I think it is cool he was part of a classic sci-fi movie.
  • Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness: I loved the Quest for Glory games; actually, I probably owned all of the Sierra games from this era. In this game, Farmer performed the part of Leshy. It is interesting to note that another voice actor scheduled to be at Voices Against Cancer was also on the cast of this game. Jim Cummings, the voice of Darkwing Duck, played Boris Stovich and Hans in this game.

Plan to attend Voices Against Cancer

Somehow the organizers at Voices Against Cancer seem to keep announcing top voice acting talents. I think that’s great! We will get to meet some legendary voice actors while raising money for pediatric cancer. I think it also speaks volumes about these voice actors that they are willing to do an event in South Dakota to raise money used to battle pediatric cancer. Voices Against Cancer is setting up to be THE event of the year.

Video of the Day: Interview with Bill Farmer

This video has a pretty good interview with Bill Farmer. In this short video, we learn quite a bit about Farmer and his voices.

Bonus Video: Goofy singing

Here is a short scene from A Goofy Movie where Goofy gets to sing. The scene shows how Goofy is trying to be the best dad he can. I think many of us parents can relate to Goofy in this scene. A Goofy Movie is such a great movie!

Sioux Falls Batman. Image from the Dark Knight Entertainment Facebook page.

Yesterday I saw a post on the Dark Knight Entertainment Facebook page from the Sioux Falls Batman. For anyone unfamiliar with the Sioux Falls Batman, he is a cosplayer that goes to events in character to raise money for charity and bring joy to the lives of children. In particular, he has brought joy to the lives of children going through devastating health conditions such as cancer. Below is the live video he recorded yesterday. After the video, I will blog briefly about the news he released in his live cast. I wouldn’t recommend reading past the video below if you don’t want spoilers!

Video from Sioux Falls Batman

To view this video, click play below, or click here to view it on Facebook.

The big news

Last warning for spoilers!

For those of you that chose not to view the video, here is the big news from Sioux Falls Batman: he is moving to the east coast and will no longer be in Sioux Falls. On the east coast, the Sioux Falls Batman believes he can do more to help others.

He did note that Team Batman will exist in Sioux Falls and that he believes the local Team Batman members will keep up the great work. Some other heroes have helped Sioux Falls Batman in his mission, and he thinks they will do great going forward. I have to agree with him. During SiouxperCon, I met a few of the heroes and believe they will keep up the great work.

I will admit I don’t know the Sioux Falls Batman very well. It is only recently I decided to dedicate myself to cosplay and raising money for cancer-related charities (especially in the battle against pediatric cancer). But I did get to speak with him briefly at SiouxperCon last year. From that brief conversation, I got the impression that he takes his cosplay very seriously and sincerely hopes he can bring joy to the lives of some children going through genuinely horrible situations.

Beyond that, though, I know two families dealing with pediatric cancer. The Sioux Falls Batman did a tremendous job bringing joy to the two boys of those families battling against cancer. I am a self-proclaimed Marvel fanboy, but since seeing what the Sioux Falls Batman has done, I have become somewhat of a Batman fan now.

One last event in Sioux Falls

During the video, Sioux Falls Batman noted he would do one final event in the area: the Children’s Miracle Network telethon at the end of the month. That would be an excellent opportunity for everyone to say thank-you to him. Actually, I think the most excellent way to thank him would be to make a donation during the telethon (every little bit raised helps a lot!)

Song of the Day: Who’s the (Bat)Man

Yes, the Sioux Falls Batman’s cosplay is very serious. But I have to admit my favorite incarnation of Batman is actually Lego Batman! So today’s song will be from the LEGO Batman movie.

Bonus Song: Batdance

I can’t blog about Batman without including a video from my favorite of the live-action Batman movies. Plus, you can never have too much Prince in your life!

Grey Griffin promo graphic by Voices Against Cancer

Earlier this week, Voices Against Cancer (VAC) announced Grey Griffin as the fifth guest for the Voices Against Cancer Initiative event in Sioux Falls. If you’ve watched an animated show in the last twenty-plus years, you have likely heard at least one voice done by Grey Deslisle Griffin. Grey has over 1700 voices to her credit! In this post, I will mention a few of my favorite voice roles Grey has performed over the years.

Asajj Ventress!

Asajj Ventress promo image from Wikimedia Commons.

I’ve got to admit I’ve been looking for any Star Wars or Star Trek connections when going through the VAC guest list. In Grey’s case, I think Star Wars fans have a huge win! She was the voice for Ventress in Star War: The Clone Wars. I’m currently rewatching The Clone Wars and have to admit I look forward to any episode that includes Ventress. Grey brought life to what was one of the most refreshing and more powerful characters in the series.

She also did voice work for Padme and assorted other characters in the series. Many of the Star Wars video games that include Padme appear to utilize Grey to do the voice performances.

Grey also voiced Maz Kanata in various Star Wars games.

The voice of Daphne

For about the last twenty years, Grey has been the voice of Daphne Blake in various Scooby-Doo projects. Daphne is an interesting character. Initially, Daphne was used as little more than a “damsel in distress.” But over the decades, the role of Daphne was allowed to grow and have a genuine personality. It is now Grey Griffin that masterfully brings personality to the character of Daphne.

It is worth noting this is the second guest announced for VAC that happens to be voice actors for core Scooby-Doo characters. The other is Frank Welker, who is the current voice of both Scooby-Doo and Fred Jones.

A few other voices

As mentioned above, Grey has performed hundreds of voices. There are simply too many for me to mention. But I will mention a few of my favorites to give a sampling of how talented Grey is:

  • Many voices on the Powerpuff Girls and Johnny Bravo. Both of these were great and hilarious shows from Cartoon Network in the late ’90s. Grey voiced many of the additional voices on both shows, including Jenny Bravo and Femme Fatale.
  • Vicky, the evil babysitter on Fairly Odd Parents. This was one of my oldest son’s favorite cartoons growing up, and actually, I have to admit I love the show as well. Grey managed to perfectly encompass her inner evilness to portray Vicky.
  • Flicker on Handy Mandy. I only mention this because my youngest two sons loved this show when they were younger. I just thought it was cool seeing Grey did voice-work for the show.
  • Ice Queen and other roles in Adventure Time. Adventure Time is excellent, and I can’t wait to meet the Ice Queen!
  • Female Wizard in Diablo III. Too much of my adult life has been spent playing the Diablo games. I might have to go back and play this game again as it’s been a while
  • Arcee in the Transformers live-action movies. Actually, the transformers will be well represented at the VAC event.

I could keep going all day, so I’ll stop there.

Plan to meet Grey at Voices Against Cancer

Grey Griffin promo graphic by Voices Against Cancer

I plan to meet Grey at the VAC event. With great guests like Grey in attendance, I have hope that turnout will be great. Most importantly, a large gathering will mean even more money will be raised in the battle against pediatric cancer.

Video of the day: The Many Voices of Grey Griffin

This fifteen-minute video has a great sampling of voices performed by Grey.

Song of the Day: Bohemian Rhapsody cover

I’m a huge Queen fan. In my wildest dreams, I never would have thought during the researching of a voice actor that I would find a connection to Queen. Well, Grey is not only a talented voice actor, but also one heck of a singer. On YouTube, I found a stunning cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. Actually, I think I heard this song once or twice before, maybe on Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country channel. Grey performed a beautiful version of the song. I love it when artists bring new interpretations of a song, instead of just doing karaoke.