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Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo 2019 Report

25 Jun

20190622_111629By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

It’s very rare that I get to ply my video game handle at a show. When the days of Golden (and Silver Age) gaming meets modern arts at the Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo, I’m in the zone. This event was held on June 22, 2019. It’s now in its eighth year. Tournaments, music performances, and panels make up most of this one-day show. and its present location includes a New Media Gallery.

To have this exhibition in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, the municipality of New Westminster is the right spot to locate this show. The Anvil Center is the center of a nice hub where the Fraser River cuts through. Food and the arts are nearby. On a beautiful sunny day, this neighbourhood is a nice place to explore. Those wanting a history lesson of the area will get more than one since the area includes three nearby museums.

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At Dark Horse Comics, Good Ol’ Mr. Higgins Comes Home, An Excerpt & Review

1 Nov

3001524By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Mike Mignola and I have one big thing in common. Our love of ghosts and monsters started at an early age. He read Dracula and I saw the classic Bela Lugosi film. Although we were at different ages when we were exposed to this work interpreted across different mediums, the fact this creator and I have a love for Victorian age supernatural style drama says a lot about what we like to examine the most. For me, whether that’s with a cinematic product like an early attempt with CGI with Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) to Sweeny Todd (2007), not many products exist in this sub-genre of horror films unless I want to consider Hammer Film’s work a highlight of the period.

His work, Mr. Higgins Comes Home, is a one-shot which beautifully depicts the attitudes common in this age and plays with a slowly creeping fear of the unknown. If the people from this age are not ready to challenge it, then a lot of the mysteries will still remain behind locked doors — like with what Count Golga has planned for Walpurgis, the Devil’s own night. This time is when witches and warlocks gather. The fact such an event actually exists in European tradition makes me believe this author did his research, or he knows a lot more about the occult than he can let on in a singular world where Hellboy exists in. Technically, the festivities fall on the night of April 30th and into the early hours of May 1st. This tradition is considered a second Halloween in certain parts of Europe.

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It’s The News of the World with Queen!

11 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

When I heard Queen + Adam Lambert are touring again, I knew I have to see them again. The last tour had two yokals next to me chatting it up for a good half of the show and they ruined my concert experience. Thank Freddie Mercury for the fact Vancouver, BC is a regular stop and giving me a chance to see the show proper. His legacy is never forgotten as it’s a reminder during parts of the performance, since without him there’d be none of the fabulous music we’d hear (as covers, tributes or otherwise).

Brian May misses his dear friend and he acknowledged this fact. “Love of My Life” played with a video interlude of Freddie like it was an augmented reality segment. The timing is perfect as we see him on the screens, and May is looking at the space on cue as though his spirit is there. I think he was. Although I’m not as “sensitive” enough to feeling out spiritual energies, the ambiance was right and he must have been smiling from Heaven.

I find it strange to hear from some people say that Adam Lambert is out to imitate the former lead singer. I say, “No. He makes the songs from the band’s catalogue of hits his own, and he acknowledges to audiences he’s not there to outdo.”

He adds his own nuances to the tunes, and he does a spectacular job at it.

Lambert talked about how this year marked the 40th anniversary of Queen’s album, “News of the World” and it was fantastic to see Frank the Robot make a rare stage appearance! A real model of the head and a video animating the hands interacted with performers. I particularly enjoyed how the trick of practical effects and visual made Brian May float in space when he played his extensive guitar solo leading into “Last Horizon.”

To hear the entire album performed instead of the set list would be cool and this show came close. Lambert sang to one of his favourite hits and the light show for “Spread Your Wings” was like experiencing a gospel moment. “Radio Ga Ga” always gets me giddy with delight, intermingling moments from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on the big 4K video screens and I could hear the entire arena singing along.

An interesting part of the night had May showing to audiences a stereoscopic camera mounted on a selfie stick. He’s no doubt filming bits from all the stops this show is hitting and I’ll be very excited to see where the final product will emerge. I imagine it will become available on VRTGO, Universal Music Group’s proprietary VR platform, so it can be viewed on various platforms.

Much of the night had a mix of what I recall from the last show with a few new tracks intermingled. The opening numbers are different. The show began with “We Will Rock You” and “Hammer to Fall.” I always wanted to hear to the latter live and got my wish! I’m was not disappointed and I could hear Freddie in my head closing off the song with “Give it to me one more time!”

Yes, I’m hooked. Despite never seeing the original lineup perform live because my parents would not take me (or let me go), I’m glad to have the chance now. Queen’s music is timeless, and the enthusiasm of this new lineup shows that neither Freddie’s legacy will be forgotten nor will fans forget. It’s a chance for everyone to rock-and-roll all night, and I wish I could party it up every day!

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The 2017 Comic Arts Festival at Camosun College Grows! Recap & Gallery

17 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The 2017 Camosun Comic Arts Festival (CCAF) is growing and for most, it has the feel of wanting to become bigger. As one vendor told me, it has everything people expect from such a larger show. As an event to spotlight local talent, everyone is here, including showing the next generation is ready. Gareth Gaudin‘s (of Legends Comics & Books and creator of the Perogy Cat) daughters are ready as father and his children have teamed up. Enid Jupiter and Lyra Gotham, the Monster Sisters, is an original comic which shows them facing off against the dark threats hiding in the fair city of Victoria, BC.

On April 15th, the third floor of the Young Building at the Lansdowne Campus was completely taken over by local talents (to name a few: Paul Chadwick, Nelson Dewey and Janine Johnston) and the graduates of this year’s Comics & Graphic Novels Program. Photos of some members of this class are offered in the gallery as seen below.

Plenty of range can be found, which includes me spotting a few reps from local gaming firms perhaps looking at talent to hire (I saw one person sporting a KANO/APPs shirt) and Codename Entertainment giving out bonus content pass-keys for their latest game Crusaders of the Lost Idols for people walking by.

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