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“Comic-Con is the one time of the year when all nerds can set aside their personal opinions and focus on their petty differences … ”

-Will Arnett

Two Daphnes: post-apocalyptic and classic. Photo: JSDevore

Cheers, kittens! ‘Tis July and that means Comic-Con in these here parts! Final touches to costumes, triple-confirming hotel reservations, extra days at the gym and squirreling away all the forgotten pocket-dough you find doing laundry. Oh, wait … how rude of me. You didn’t get a badge? You’re not attending San Diego Comic-Con (San Diego Convention Center, July 21 – 24, 2016)? Oh, dear. Well, in that case …

So, dear reader. Did Badge Quest vanquish you, again? La pauvre. Forget to pre-reg after last year’s Con, so you could at least have the opportunity to be vanquished early on this year, as quickly and easily as a paladin with zero-invisibility? Registered eventually, woke up crazy-early on open-reg, massacre morning, yet still missed out, even on Sunday badges? What a loser. (JK. Not really. K, maybe. No, jk.) In the end, perhaps you just don’t give a f^%$, but someone you really care about does. However it plays out, come the third week in July you are stuck in downtown San Diego with hours to kill, but no badge. Now what?

Yours Truly (and my supa con-cohort Dr. Lucy) has been very fortunate to have regularly obtained badges, by varied manner of acquisition. (Yes, even ghosts need badges. That’s how bonkers this pop culture phenomenon is.) Whilst a number of folk I know find interest in the Con, none enough to do the early footwork themselves. Further, I believe the innate coveting comes more because they may not have a badge, rather than a crushing desire to see a panel with the entire Chanel-cast of Scream Queens, or nab an SDCC-exclusive, Star Trek Barbie. What assuages the unbadged best? Assuring them there is almost as much to do outside the Convention Center as inside the Con. (Heh heh. No, there isn’t really; but it’s kind to let them know there’s summat they can do whilst they’re waiting patiently until you join them for après-Con drinkies.)

Luckily for the unbadged, San Diego’s downtown is host to myriad entertainment, even in non-Con times. (Whaaaat? Non-Con times? What is this arid, desert existence of which you speak?!) Walking distance from the San Diego Convention Center – providing you’re mildly healthy – gives you a breadth of activity: Gaslamp District bars, restaurants, shops and galleries, and the Waterfront’s harbourside diversions, like Seaport Village, Star of India (1863, still-seaworthy sailing ship) and Little Italy.

A short drive or ferry ride proffers more divertissements. Natch, my fave nearby haunt is The Hotel del Coronado and its luxurious, beachside enclave of Coronado Island: one-time home to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) author L. Frank Baum, and location for Marilyn Monroe signature-flick, Some Like It Hot (1959). Ferries scoot across the bay every half-hour to/from Coronado at the Convention Center Landing (5th Ave.), and hourly at the Broadway Pier Landing (N. Harbor Dr.): same regularity on return trips at Coronado Landing. (Be smart! Verify Flagship Cruises ferry schedule during the Con.)

If a grand Victorian resort – world’s first to have electricity, in 1904 – , quaint island shopping and multi-million-dollar beach houses aren’t your cup o’ cuppa, try Point Loma. Point Loma, too, boasts multi-million-dollar beach houses, yet it is also home to San Diego Comic Art Gallery, IDW Publishing and Stone Brewing Bistro (host of Hop-Con 4.0, a beery, hoppy alternative to SDCC Preview Night: Wed. July 20th at 5:00p.m.). All three establishments are housed at Liberty Station, a former U.S. Naval Base-turned-unique shopping/dining/work atmos.

Like Alice in Wonderland, if all this noise is screaming at you, cross-armed this-a-way that-a-way, there is a safe place: OutsideComicCon has your 411. Be ye unbadged, or badged-but-bored after the con doors close, OCC has plenty of suggestions, nicely organized and detailed at their site: from Conan at Spreckles Theater (likely no tix left), to Comedy Bang! Bang! Live! at The Irenic; from Gam3rcon at New School, to Magic the Gathering tourneys at the Marriott; from Star Trek‘s makeup-collection debut at MAC Cosmetics, to Star Trek: Beyond film premiere at the Embarcadero; from Suicide Squad at the Hard Rock, to Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque at Brick by Brick … phew, there’s far too much to cite here! Please, visit their 2016 Events page, kids!

If you desire a more serene escape, a respite far from the madding crowd, but still smack dab in the middle of it all, Daffy Duck into Chuck Jones Gallery on Fifth Ave., in the Gaslamp. Set in a light, cool and welcoming brick space, the gallery serves as either museum or dream boutique, depending upon one’s cabbage count. The gallery boasts original works on paper and canvas, as well as cels, sculpture, lithographs and limited edition copies of not only Chuck Jones and Warner Bros. delights, but also Disney, Marvel Comics, Dr. Seuss and Peanuts (Charles Schulz, Bill Melendez and contempo, Peanuts-interpretive artist Tom Everhart). Geoff Hampton, an affable and patient CJG art consultant, was happy to field numerous questions and displayed none of the condescending strain so commonly oozing from other gallery folk. Mr. Hampton informed Moi the gallery enthusiastically engages a Comic-Conesque overlay during SDCC, highlighting their Marvel works, keeping well in tune with the vibe of our Con. (Please note the gallery does not have a space within the Convention Center; so, be certain to seek them out, badged or not!)

Of course, the overwhelmingly popular, just-waiting-for-my-fill-in-the-blank activity is drinking and strolling in the Gaslamp. (Not simultaneously, though. This ain’t New Orleans, kittens!)  For you drinkers, caveat emptor, I say! Beware tavernkeeps promising Con-deals. If they can slither into your Apple Pay, they will. (Of course, there are a number of proper deals around town, if you show your badge. Curses! the unbadged declare. Foiled again!) Moreover, whatever you pay, wherever you drink, find thee a taxi, an Uber, a Lyft, a shuttle, a trolley, a train, a spaceship, a landspeeder, a Tron lightcycle, a royal sedan-chair: whatever it takes to get home, or back to your hotel, safely.

As far as the crowds, (Ohh, Jebus, the crowds!) be nice and superduper patient. Don’t poke strangers with your parasol (guilty); if you do, apologize profusely. Hold onto your purse, not to mention your bippy. Say Pardon me, no matter how tired you get of saying it (and you will, after the hundredth time bumping into someone). Hold doors for folks, say After you! often, but don’t hold up the line. Compliment congoers’ costumes, as we spend an awful lot of thought, time and money on them; and save the snark and criticism for … never. Just be nice. My tried and true, popular, SDCC 2014 post, “Boobs Are Not Bunnies“, should help.

Abyssinia on the Con Floor, Kids!

Check back here, and/or follow me @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek and Instagram for all the geeky goodness at San Diego Comic-Con, starting Preview Night at the S.D. Convention Ctr. July 20, 2016!

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San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC, San Diego Convention Center 21 July - 24 July, 2016) is only one month away and few are more excited than Yours Truly, (Miss Hannah Hart) and my fave con-cohort and shutterbug, Dr. Lucy. Naturally, with all those hot and geeky bodies smooshed in such a tight space, naturally the mind wanders to ... security at the San Diego Convention Center. Good news, kittens! You'd be hard-pressed to find a safer spot in San Diego County the third week of July.

Because of all those bodies, the mind-boggling array of fantasy-weaponry and, let's face it, current events, I wanted the lowdown on just how safe and secure the geek masses will be; so I asked. (Always ask, kids. It rarely hurts to ask for what you really want.)

Natch, as is all too sage, no security operation is going to spoon-feed the pubic all the details on what they do, how, when and where they do it. Comic-Con International (CCI) is no exception. What I did get was a satisfying, official statement from Mr. David Glanzer, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer (CCSO) for Comic-Con International. (Did you know Comic-Con has its very own, on-site, police command center? Makes me feel better!)

 

Security is of paramount importance to Comic-Con. And while we don’t discuss specifics of security at Comic-Con, we have a great relationship and work very closely with the San Diego Police Department and other law enforcement officials. This has resulted in routine discussions throughout the year on various aspects of safety and security. We also have an onsite Police Command Post at the convention center during our event.

Additionally, we make a point of having a great many hired security staff, so many in fact, that, oftentimes, we hire security firms from San Diego and other cities. This has necessitated bringing on a security management company to interface with the many different security agencies hired during Comic-Con.

-Comic-Con International

 

Thank you, Mr. Glanzer! Straight from the unicorn's mouth. It certainly assuages most of my concerns. Forget not, a great deal of security is in our hands, as attendees: following proper weapons-check, keeping hands to ourselves and just basic good manners. Need a refresher? My SDCC2014 post, "Boobs Are Not Bunnies", will help.

 

 

 

Abysinnia, kids!

 

Check back here, and/or follow me @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek and Instagram for all the geeky goodness at San Diego Comic-Con, starting Preview Night at the S.D. Convention Ctr. July 20, 2016!

 

 

 
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Farewell, Han Solo

 

by

Jennifer Susannah Devore

 

 

The Force Awakened, fresh tales to tell

Friends and enemies, today and long ago

Han Solo, we bid you a fond, hallowed farewell

 

Ridley, Boyega, Fisher, Ford and Hamill

Passionate protags, plus a pilot called Poe

Droids, smugglers, scoundrels and scavengers who sell

 

On the dunes, in the woods or high atop an island fell

Heroes fight for the Republic to repel a dark foe

Han Solo, we bid you a fond, hallowed farewell

 

Begat Han and Leia, out of a love forged so well

A son rife with woe, a son called Kylo

Who knew Ben would ring his father's death knell

 

Supreme Leader Snoke, his generals run amok, harness the sun to quell

The last outpost of Hope, an Empire's final crow

'Twas not to be, the Resistance swooped down to vanquish all hell

Han Solo, we bid you a fond, hallowed farewell

 

 

 

@JennyPopNet

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Just four days to check-in at the Omni Los Angeles, kittens! Dr. Lucy and Yours Truly are headed north and changing hotels for the weekend so we can cover all the geeky, gooey goodness of WonderCon 2016 (March 25 - 27, L.A. ConvCtr) just for you, fair reader! Playing under the bright lights of Hollywood (well, H-town adjacent), especially after the Con doors close, brings a splash of glamour to this year's WC that, as much as we love The O.C. (Psst, don't call it that.), Anaheim just cannot provide.

Previous years have found the pre-SDCC crowd playing D&D and Magic the Gathering tourneys, or cosplaying and masquerading in grand fashion at WonderCon Anaheim (WCA). WCA was fab fun, as it was housed in the Anaheim Convention Ctr, just across the street from our Disneyland. What beats a night at Disneyland, after the Con? Nothing. You could still go this year! It is, after all, only about thirty miles down the road. Of course, if Disney admission (currently $119/day, March 21st - 31st) isn't factored into your budget, with the exception of Downtown Disney (no admission fee) and a string of restaurants at Anaheim Gardenwalk, there was, and still is, little else to do within walking distance of the Anaheim convention center.

For this geek girl, just being near the House of Mouse, the manicured lawns and immaculate beaches of Orange County makes me swoon; but even the geekiest of pure geekage on the Con circuit, sometimes, need a little more hip and a little more grit. L.A. can proffer both. Sure the traffic sucks, the parking bites (ex: $48/dy at Omni Los Angeles) and the prices for everything make Disney Dollars seem like Indian rupees, but no matter all that. Like that fun, albeit obnoxious, pal who drinks too much, is always too loud and never offers to chip in, L.A. is worth the effort and the drive ... occasionally.

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So, kids, it's me, Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of The Del. By now you know my backstory very well and, clearly, I am here to stay in this dishy, dizzy burg by the sea. Why would I ever leave my glorious San Diego and my fab Hotel del Coronado?

Aside: The Hotel Del is under new ownership, BTW! Let's see if the new Patron appreciates all the kippy gratis adverts and bon mots Yours Truly, and our Dr. Lucy, proffer to The Del. Feel free to send your cheerful postcards to Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of The Del at 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118! Let the new owners know how much you love The Del, San Diego, Hannah Hart, ghostdame, Dr. Lucy and her pet, Onslow the Ghostly Octopus!

Anyhoo, even if I wasn't a full-time haunt at one of America's grandest Victorian hotels, I would never dream of floating north, unless it was all the way to Monterey. Bloody Marys on Cannery Row with John Steinbeck? Yes, please! Well, hard to believe, two San Diego icons have been flirting with plans to float: San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) and the San Diego Chargers (a football team) have been looking northward.

Until January 2016, the Chargers were already gone in their mind - Fiigmo, I believe military folk call it - headed to new digs in L.A., to be built, and shared, in concert with the Oakland Raiders. After months of Chargers-owner Dean Spanos toying with fans and city officials, like a girlfriend keeping you around in case Mr. Better doesn't work out, he made an L.A. bid. Sadly for him, Mr. Better sent him and his dirty-weekend bag packing after a meeting of NFL owners in NYC nixed his dreams of the City of Angels. Now, the NFL suits have given Spanos and his team until January 2017 to make nicey-nice with their longtime girlfreind, San Diego: fifty-five years of holding hands on the beach. San Diego is a very popular girl, as she and Comic-Con have also been holding hands on the beach for quite a while, too: forty-five years.

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Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

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Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!