Hey all, welcome back!

Allow me to start off by saying, Nerdtacular 2010 was absolutely amazing. I’ll admit I walked into it with a good degree of trepidation. For a lot of reasons, I didn’t have as much of a good time at Nerdtacular 2009 as I did in 2008. The big reason was that I spent it fighting off the remnants of a chest cold, but there were others. I attributed it somewhat to the greater increase of out of towners, and there being too many of us to really get to spend good quality time with each other, and given the sharp rise in out of town attendance in this year’s event, I expected that problem to increase

I was wrong, for certain. I had so much fun meeting new people, meeting folks I had only previously spoken with online, and seeing old friends again. I can’t tell you how many awesome folks I met just in this year alone, because I’ll likely forget someone, and then I’ll feel like poo. Suffice to say, we had a truly awesome crowd this year.

That really is the reason to go to Nerdtacular. It’s not about the film, not really. Scott calls it a fan appreciation event, and it’s as much about him showing appreciation for his fans as it is the other way around, but it’s also about the fans appreciating each other. You meet incredible folks each year, and hopefully get to see them again year after year. It’s always a loss for everyone if someone that has previously attended is unable to. Randy and Samantha were, to everyone’s sadness, among that list. All of us were crazy-excited to meet the new member of their family, to say nothing of the joy that comes from seeing them again as well.

Let me say this about the film….it’s not perfect, and I would not call it near as epic as the previous two year’s films (Dark Knight and Star Trek), but it is very enjoyable. The special effects are amazing, especially for the combat scenes, and the acting was especially good. Gwyneth Paltrow once again nailed the character of Pepper Potts, and I was very surprised by how much I loved Don Cheadle taking over the role of Colonel James Rhodes. When I heard that Terrence Howard had been replaced, I was rather outraged, as I thought he did a spectacular job in the first film, and I really was looking forward to him donning the War Machine armor in this one. Cheadle did a perfectly good job with the role in his own right though, and I didn’t find for a moment that I missed Howard. I also really loved Sam Rockwell’s portrayal of Justin Hammer. If you’re not aware, in the comics, Hammer is supposed to be an older man, and an industrial rival to stark. His conservative business style and personality clashes with the younger and more flamboyant personality of Tony Stark. The film, however, had Rockwell portraying Hammer as about the same age as Stark, and contrasted their business styles as being more akin to the whole “Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates” feud. Hammer’s character acted exactly how you might picture an evil Bill Gates; still completely nerdy but also utterly ruthless and willing to do anything to destroy his competition. It was really fun to watch, and I think he did a great job, especially his scenes with Mickey Rourke (who played the film’s other villain, Whiplash).

In short, go see the film. If you liked the first one, you’ll love the second. You might groan a little bit at the strange pseudoscience if that sort of thing matters to you, but you’ll get over it pretty quick once you get swept up in the awesome action. Or how lovely Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlet Johannson look, that’s always a possibility! I mean, not for ME, I’m dating the most beautiful woman on the planet, but for the rest of you guys who can’t quite have that, you might enjoy that part!

I didn’t take a whole lot of photos from the event, but I WILL link you to this awesome set of photos on flickr, being compiled by Scott Johnson. It’s going to continue to expand as more folks send Scott photos, so keep checking back once in a while!!

All attendees of the film got a sweet bag of swag. In it were 5 photo-sized prints of some of Scott’s artwork, a few stickers he has for sale, and some other goodies, but he also did a massive raffle for all sorts of door prizes at the after party. One of the items he gave away was this

It’s a statue of Illidan Stormrage, the main villain of the first WoW Expansion, the Burning Crusade, in his demon form (Don’t mind the Obey Henry sticker, that’s just there cause it’s funny) . And it’s freaking amazing. I love the detailed craftsmanship put into this, and how there’s absolutely no cut corners, especially with the painting. I’ve seen so many similar statues with other franchises that had some very sloppy paintwork, colors where they shouldn’t be, and it always made them look cheap. Not this. Thank you very much again, Scott!

I had a great time, and can’t wait for next year’s. Because I’m truly hopeful that next year, the woman I love more than anything else on this world will be joining me. I kept thinking how much Karen would truly have enjoyed the event, and with any luck, she’ll see it herself.

Catch ya’ll soonest!

  1. True story! I had a blast too Brandon. Catch up with you next year. I think we have Bonsai coming too now! We hooked him in!

  2. Great insight on the event Brandon! It was really awesome meeting you and the rest of the Extralife community. I already promised Scott that I would be the photographer for next year’s event so you can expect Britt and me again in ’11! Stay in touch. =D

  3. As an OLD time ELR/Instance listener and AIE member I’ve been very tempted to go throughout the last few years.

    Maybe this year will be the one. 😛 It sure sounds like a blast.

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