To Aquaman


I found this handwritten letter while cleaning my apartment. I had forgotten I wrote this. This was on the day one of my friends, Jonathan Vela, passed away. These were my thoughts at the time. Please be respectful in your comments.

To Jonathan,

I wish I knew you better. I should have known you better. We were classmates. We attended so many of the same geek events. I had every opportunity to get to be a true friend to you. You were a greater man and human being than any I’ve ever known, save for my mother. Your selfless attitude and passion for helping others knew no limits. You had a level of bravery unmatched by even the most legendary warriors. You would dress up as Aquaman and people would ridicule you and make fun, but you always shook it off with a smile and a disarming charm. I grew to admire your unwavering dedication to and love for your community. Humanity, really. The example you set for us all can never be eclipsed. The world was far too undeserving a place for the likes of you.

To know that you are gone makes me very sad and incredibly angry; angry at a universe that would allow such a terrible end befall such a beautiful, soulful human. Why you? Why in the prime of your life? What could you have possibly done in your short life to be saddled with such a tragic and unfair ending to your story? Why are others, evil others, rewarded for their cold actions against mankind? Why do they live and you do not? The only thing I can think is that there is no intelligent design and we are on this blue orb, hurtling through the black void, alone and rudderless. Maybe the universe is completely fair in its complete unfairness.

All I do know is that the world, San Antonio, cosplay, geekdom, and most of all the Velas, have lost a man of immesurable beauty and good. We all look for heroes in the world. I can say with certainty that we lost one today. We lost a legend. Rest in peace and take solace in a job well done, Aquaman.

You will always be my friend, Jonathan.

Aquaman

It’s Not Your Body to Shame.


Today I want to talk a little bit about a subject that many of my close friends and I have strong feelings about: body shaming.

Many of my close friends are cosplayers. Cosplaying is the act of dressing up as one of your favorite characters from a comic, game, movie, tv show, or anime/cartoon. I’ve done it a couple of times myself (stories for another time). I admire the craftsmanship, ingenuity, time, and effort that goes into making an outfit not to mention the bravery it takes to wear one. That bravery part brings me to the body shaming point. We all have insecurities about our bodies and have things we would like to change or wish were different about ourselves physically. Knowing that about myself and other people I always try my hardest to respect anyone and everyone who cosplays, regardless of their size, shape, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. None of that should even matter, ever. We are all just trying to have fun. The world at large is shitty and terrible enough that we don’t need to bring negative shit and heap it onto something that should be fun, whimsical, and light-hearted.

Unfortunately, not everyone is tolerant and understanding. Too many in the geek community and the populace in general will look at someone having fun in costume and take that opportunity to ridicule or make fun of them. What’s the point of that? You can’t make yourself feel good some other way? Do you feel threatened? You see something you don’t understand so you have to be afraid of it and throw shade upon the person? Or maybe you are ashamed knowing that you don’t have the fucking balls to cosplay yourself due to your own insecurities? How dare they dress up and have fun! That makes me mad because I’m too chicken myself and too afraid of what people will think of me! Oooooh, let me take it out on them.

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I hate intolerance of any kind. We are a geek community and we have to support and accept one another. We are all different, we all have different likes and dislikes, but we are all still in this together. I had a friend of mine, Jonathan Vela, Aquaman of San Antonio, who would dress up as Aquaman all the time. That was his favorite character. He was the sweetest, nicest, most heartwarming fellow ever. He would help anyone he could personally and through many charities by making appearances in costume at children’s hospitals and birthday parties. The kids always thought it was amazing and a blast. His message was always that anyone can cosplay any character they wish, no matter what. It’s the love of the character that mattered. He wasn’t a small man, but it didn’t matter. He was having fun and nothing you could say could ever change that.

Sadly, he passed away a few years ago. I bring this up because just the other day, I saw a post on Facebook by a friend detailing a post he saw on Instagram. It was a body shaming meme that featured Jonathan. Did this guy know Jonathan? I don’t know, but that doesn’t matter. It was in poor taste. The man is dead and unable to defend himself. He was a huge personality in South Texas and even beyond. I am proud to know that many came to his defense and voiced their anger at that post and reported it to be taken down. I hope those efforts were successful.

 

The Declaration of Geekdependence


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People ask me why I am doing this. Why am I chasing down this dream of becoming a professional, paid geek entertainer, podcaster, and voice actor? Where did you get this drive to do what needs to be done to make it happen?

To answer that question, I have to go back to July 6th, 1975, when I was born to Carolyn and Donald Coe. That was a year of the rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. Why does that matter? Well, the traits of men born in the year of the rabbit are:

“…those who always treat people politely, with a gentle smile that makes people feel that they are credible and sincere. When meeting trouble, Rabbits can handle it in an orderly way; when encountering tough difficulties they are never discouraged, but are persistent to seek solutions. So they eventually achieve enviable success.”

Enviable success?  I like that.

So I’m totally destined for greatness?

Perhaps, but having those traits doesn’t guarantee anything. I still needed the nurturing and the constant push to speak up, to do the right things by people, to make them laugh, to make them happy. I credit my mother with this, the toughest woman I have ever known. She came from South Central Los Angeles and could survive almost anything. She showed my sister and I how to take life’s punches and punch back. I never saw her complain or quit, and she had every right and reason to. I used to ask her why she never gave up. My mother always said, “Baby, I never was given the choice. I have you and your sister. You need me.” She loved my voices I made and how I made her laugh, and fed my burgeoning geekiness. She encouraged me to be me. She said if I could overcome my shyness, I could do wonders with what she says God has gifted me.

I always thought I was ugly and odd shaped. I would hide and make my voice small, freezing up when I had to speak in class or give a presentation. I sneaked silently through school, only really being myself around my trusted friends. They had always told me, “Your voice is great! You should do radio! Cartoons! Something! You could be the new Movie Trailer Guy! You are funny, seriously. You can do it!” I would say, “No, I’m nowhere near as talented as Don LaFontaine!”  They’d say, “Who?” I would roll my eyes, “How do you not know who that is?!”  I just didn’t think I was worthy of the success I craved, the goal I desired. I thought that my heart disease, low self esteem, and size wouldn’t allow me to be anything other than invisible.


After the deaths of too many friends and family before their time, including my mother and father, I realized there was no right moment. I had to push myself to believe I had talent and, most importantly, that I was worthy of success. I had to make it happen. I had to make it the right moment. So with that in my heart and the integral help of my brothers Timmy Stewart, Alex Trevino, we formed The GeekVengers. We started small with local conventions here and there locally, did some videos, and had a blast. They gave me the mic and put me out front. “Use your natural humor and charisma! Fuck the fear!” I did just that and at our very first convention we met and interviewed Jennifer “Lil Bit” Adams.  I had no idea at the time how that singular event would chart the course of my life going forward. 4 years later, with some heartbreaking subtractions and some wonderful additions like Adam Garcia, Courtney Goodrum, The Blurred Nerds Podcast, and GVTV, we are going strong and growing stronger.

This is my calling. This is my focus. This is my destiny.

No quitting.

Alamo City Comic Con 2015: Generalissimo Pwns It!!!


We’ve had such an amazing run since September when we attended this event. We apologize for the delay, but we’re only human! So now that you’ve whet your appetite with The Blurred Nerds podcast‘s newest episode, you can give your ears AND eyeballs some sweet geek loving and watch this panel! He’s The Man.

Excelsior!

Episode 3: The Holidays Awaken


 

 

On this episode, Lil Bit and I discuss unending Force Awakens trailers, best Christmas gifts evah, holiday memories, wishlists, and I beg just about the entire known universe for an Xbox One. So click the picture and sit down for an hour of fun and geek frivolity! We’ll be back soon with all new musings and rants to sate your geek appetite.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, VENGERS!!!

The Blurred Nerds: Episode II


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We discuss some Adele, Mockingjay Part 2, Jessica Jones, the etiquette of talking at the movies, what we’re thankful for, Black Friday shenanigans, some dog wrangling, and the joy of being a geek!

PAX South 2015 Spotlight: State of Decay


So, the GVTV gang was lucky enough to attend the inaugural PAX South in San Antonio, TX and let me tell you, we were all insanely impressed and quite a bit manic. Sensory overload was the catchword of the day during our time there. I’ll get more into that on another blog at a later time, Geekvengers. What I want to tell you about right now is what I think was the game of the show.

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State of Decay. YEAR ONE SURVIVAL EDITION!!!!! BOOOOOYYYYYAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

Yes, it is a zombie game, but it also is much more than that. The game was originally available as an Xbox Live download. That’s when I first became aware of it and the word of mouth buzz surrounding it was quite strong. It has since had DLC content; Breakdown, released in 2013 to very solid success and that was followed up by Lifeline, a much different style of play that let’s you “Go loud!” as a military squad, as Brant Fitzgerald, head of art and design says. I enjoyed the game thoroughly and got uber excited to hear that Undead Labs was asked to remaster it. What about this new version is different? Why should we care?

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Mmmhmmm!!!

Well, I had an opportunity to sit down with Brant Fitzgerald and Jeff from Undead Labs and they told me exactly why I should care! First off, the game did so well on Xbox Live that Microsoft asked them to do a remastered version for their new console, the Xbox One. They were obviously pumped and jumped at the chance. The graphics have been heavily beefed up, featuring 1080p HD, improved shading, animations, draw distance, and improved gameplay. All current DLC is included within the game and there are over 280 weapons in the game so you can get your zombie beat-down on! I’m not a tech jargon expert, but it looked fantastic and plays beautifully. Zombie heads pop like melons in beautifully rendered HD. Running over the undead is just as satisfying as ever.

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Remastered! Now with 100% more hipster!!!

While talking to Brant and Jeff, I could feel the energy and love they put into this game. Brant said, “We got a phone call from my former boss and he said, ZOMBIES, and hung up the phone.” Also, “We’d sit around and watch zombie movies and we’d complain about how dumb the people were. We always sat around for an hour after the movie and we talked about what we’d do differently….We wanted to double down on the survival aspect of the zombie apocalypse” We all know zombie games do death extremely well, but what’s been missing in many is the RPG survival aspects of the game. Gathering survivors, tracking their health and morale, and managing your entire group and resources are front and center here. You could go in guns blazing and hack and slash, but then you get tired, or over encumbered, or get hurt, sick and die. Difference here is, the game continues without you. That’s right, people…PERMADEEEEEEEEAAAATH!!!!!! You make the mistake, you pay the consequences.

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They’re serious about people skipping out on the check in these parts, mister!!!!

While talking to Jeff as my compatriot Adam Garcia got some hands on time with the game, I asked him about things that he wanted to add. Okay, I gave him some ideas, to be honest. I said, “How about you add customizable cars into the game? Like spikes and grill guards and other crazy zombie smashing shit?!” Jeff was visibly excited by the idea. I could so tell. I fully expect in future game installments for there to be a crazy Chocolate Machismo mechanic named Marselles who can build you a sweet zombie flattening ride, baby! Also, I mentioned something about adding ambient music. Not like a soundtrack, but more like you could find CDs or iPods in abandoned cars that you could play. It could expand the scavenging mechanic as well as increase the danger. You could play music and jam out, but of course the noise would draw in zombies. Perhaps you could use it as a zombie trap? We were brainstorming at this point and I doubt any of that will be done, but I love that I was able to sit down and toss ideas at the actual game designers.That was a blast!

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This should be my actual in-game hat. Cause it’s pimpin’.

The guys and girls at Undead Labs get it. They’re gamers and they love what they do. State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition will be available April 28th on Xbox One and Steam. If you have downloaded the previous versions, you can grab the new version for up to 33% off. If not, you can still snag it for $29.99. Bonus content also includes a new exclusive playable character.

Geekvengers Present: Artslam!


 

Selles here! Howdy and welcome to my blog about Artslam! Artslam! is a locally (San Antonio, TX) run live music and art event held bi-monthly that does it’s best to promote artists and the hidden creativity of San Antonio. Your friendly neighborhood Geekfather was there last night representing the Geekvengers and supporting our new friend, Jagwired Art, also known as Jamie!

Jamie, hard at work and rocking her Harley Quinn inspired fedora!

Jamie was working on Sideshow Bob. The finished product was most impressive!

 

 

Last nights event was held at The White Rabbit, a legendary San Antonio live music venue. The vibe last night was electric. The place was just crackling with creative energy and a feel good vibe. Everyone was there to support each other and have a great time. I had a blast! The theme was…..

 

 

Villains.

One Hundred BILLION DOLLARS!!!

 

Local artists such as David Mojica, also known as SPIT, were on display, with the pieces they were working on that night being up for silent auction. They were also encouraged to bring other completed pieces they had to sell. I’m always amazed and blown away at the artistic ability of people and how they take what is in their brains and make the canvas sing with their talents. All I can ever muster are stick figures and doodles. Some of the work last night had me speechless.

David Mojica’s work. Very impressive! Zombies!

 

There really isn’t much else for me to say here as the art speaks for itself, but I do want to say that I am proud of Jamie and very happy that she invited me to this event. This is just the kind of local geek flavor that The Geekvengers love and look forward to experiencing and sharing with you in whatever way we can! We would have liked to have had video for you, but they did not allow video or audio at the event. So we did it old fashioned and wrote about it! San Antonio doesn’t get enough credit for being a hotbed of creative talents. I’m here to tell you that we are and we are coming up! Austin isn’t the only town in these parts that fosters people’s creativity and heart. We know how to do it quirky, eccentric, awesome, and geeky too!

 

Now, for your viewing pleasure…..

Mummmmm-Raaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

“Never will you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy!”

 

One of my absolute favorites of the night!

 

 

And here are two that were just my most favorite I saw last night. Besides Jamie’s work that is…

The Joker and Two-Face. Beautifully rendered.

 

And one of the best of the night….

All done with aerosols. Just amazing!

 

I apologize to all the artists for not linking each of them individually for they truly deserve all the recognition in the world. If you click on the link at the beginning of this blog it will take you to the Artslam! website where the artists are featured and linked. Please check it out and see what other amazing pieces these talented people have created. We all need to support our artists in all genres. Art, music, acting, writing, comics, video games, etc. Without creativity and artistic expression, our society loses a lot of its heart and soul. So please support your local artists and thanks for reading!!! Geekvengers out!!!