It’s time for more coolness! Welcome to the fourth installment of my periodic roundup of fantastic friends and their creative creations. And if you haven’t already, do check out the first, second, and third posts of this kind!
Cool Person: Kyle Anderson
I met Kyle via Twitter. In fact, I think I was one of his first followers, thanks to Chris Hardwick tweeting about him. Kyle writes for Nerdist.com, you see. But that particular coolness is not the one I’m here to share. Before I get to that, I do recommend you read his sweet Nerdist articles. Among all the other fab stuff he writes, he recently finished up a couple series of posts–a Cowboy Bebop review/discussion, and a Miyazaki Masterclass. I must admit I haven’t read them yet because I’ve barely scratched the surface of Miyazaki, and haven’t seen any of Cowboy Bebop. I know I need to rectify both those. I look forward to reading his wise words when I’m finally in-the-know. If you already are, then yay you! Go forth and read without fear of spoilers!
Cool Thing: Awesomely Bad Movies
Kyle and cohort Matt Warren have been putting together these delightfully irreverent videos for a couple years now. Kyle’s brand of dry humor and deadpan delivery mesh well with the behind-the-scenes talents of Mr. Warren. Kyle deftly picks apart the ridiculousness of some truly terrible films, but he manages to capture what’s awesome about them at the same time. He’s aptly aided by judicious sprinkling-in of clips from the films themselves.
I have had more than one laugh-out-loud moment watching Awesomely Bad Movies. I hope you’ll take a gander and find the same thing yourself.
Cool Person: Shane Turgeon
Meeting Shane was one of the (many) bonuses that came with marrying Steven. (He and Shane have been friends for many years.) Shane is one of those geeks who pulls off a laid back vibe that hides a ferocious ambition. He owns a tattoo parlor, founded the Edmonton Collectible Toy and Comic Show (ECTCS, which was one of Western Canada’s largest pop culture collectible events), was one of the most notable Star Wars toy collectors in the world, and even shot a pilot for a travelogue/reality show. You might have also seen him on an episode of The Nerdist tv show on BBC America.
But that’s not all! As you might guess, Shane is this post’s overachiever. He has several Cool Things–in addition to all those I’ve already mentioned. Oh yeah, and he has a tattoo of a sonic screwdriver on his index finger. How’s that for cool?
Cool Thing #1: Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo*
If you’ve been reading this blog (or listening to me on podcasts) for long, you’ll know one of my favorite things in the world is attending genre conventions. Shane is a big part of why I have one to attend right in my home town of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Shane co-founded The Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo in 2012, and is still the general manager of the event. This last Expo, we were even on a panel together geeking out (and disagreeing) about Doctor Who. It was a rollicking good time, and I’m grateful to Shane for making it happen–the panel and the whole darn Expo!
Cool Thing #2: The Force in the Flesh
Do you like Star Wars? Do you like tattoos? Then do I have the books for you! Or rather, Shane does. He recently published The Force in the Flesh Volume II, a gorgeous follow-up to the equally gorgeous first volume. I have no tattoos myself, nor any interest in getting one, but the pictures in these books are works of art. I’m amazed at the glorious things people have done to and with their bodies.
Cool Thing #3: A Feature in NAIT’s techlife Magazine
If all my blathering about Shane’s awesomeness hasn’t convinced you, check out this sweet article in the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s magazine. It covers many of the things I’ve mentioned here–and more! It hasn’t always been an easy road for Shane, but he’s made the most of a fascinating life. I trust there’s much, much more to come!
Cool People: Mike Huberty and Wendy Lynn Staats
Mike is my oldest friend. We bonded over love of Doctor Who on the bus on the way to kindergarten. He’s also a patron of this very blog! Wendy is one of my best friends and my very best roommate. We may live 1500 miles apart, but she’ll always be “my roommate”. They make up two-thirds of the rock band Sunspot (along with guitarist Ben Jaeger–who is probably my second-oldest friend). But as awesome as Sunspot is (and THEY ARE**), their catchy riffs are not the specific cool thing I’m here to talk about today. Though Sunspot is really really cool.
Cool Thing: See You on the Other Side
Wendy and Mike launched the See You on the Other Side podcast on Halloween of 2014–a perfect date for a podcast covering a combination of spooky, otherworldly topics plus rock’n’roll. They cover stuff like Robert Johnson making his deal with the devil at the Crossroads, the Rolling Stones’ fear of flying from England to America on Friday the 13th, and the Beatles’ legendary trip to India to learn about Eastern Mysticism.
As I said, they only started late last year, and they’re already on episode 46. That’s pretty darn good for podcasting in general. What makes this an insane feat of podcastery is that they write and record a new song for every show!
So not only do you get fascinating coverage of and interviews about the weird and the wild, but you get brand new music in every episode! Oh, and the lyrics are in the show notes, which warms the cockles of this lyric-centered listener’s heart.
If you have space on your podcast dance card (and even if you don’t), I recommend taking See You on the Other Side for a spin!
*There are, of course, LOTS of other people that help make Edmonton Expo so cool.
**Please do yourself a favor and check out some of their music.