Sunday, October 23, 2016

Arn Anderson at the Motor City Comic Con 2016

Arn Anderson has had an interesting wrestling career.  He was "brought" into the "Anderson" family because he bore a resemblance to the Ole Anderson.  He enjoyed success as part of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.
They started a loose alliance with Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard and JJ Dillon.  Soon, thanks to a fantastic promo by Arn, this group became known as the Four Horsemen.  This group is the benchmark for all wrestling stables.  There have been many attempts to duplicate them, but none will ever match their success and popularity.
Arn never attained the big championship, but he won several smaller titles and many tag team championships.  "The Enorcer" seemed happy in his role.
Cuzz and I met Arn at the Motor City Comic Con 2016.  We were the first people at his booth and he immediately instructed us to "put up the four."  As silly as it might sound, I got chills.  Arn is one of the very best never to have won major heavyweight titles.
Arn was the last of the main Four Horsemen that I have met.  I can now take him off my "Most Wanted" list.  Thank you MCCCC and thanks to Arn, too!
Cuzz Gekas, Arn Anderson and me in Novi, MI-May 2016.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Jake Aurelian at Dark History Con

Last year, I met Ripper the Clown at The Dark History and Horror Convention.  Coincientally (?), I also met Jake Aurelian there.  Jake is an award-winning author and performer.  Ripper is a clown, as his name would indicate.
Where one starts and the other ends is a matter of opinion.  Either way, he (they?) are highly entertaining and interesting.
Jake's take on Ripper is that as a clown, he is creepy.  It's an interesting and unique twist on a clown.  I'd expect nothing less from Jake.
As a writer, he has published The Life & Mimes (& Zombie Apocalypse) of Ripper the Clown: The Autobiography of an Unconventional Zombie.  I have not yet read this, but it is on my list.  I have read and enjoyed Dead Wrestlers, Broken Necks & the Women Who Screwed Me Over: A Main Event of Fiction & Photography.  Jake and Ripper make a great combination.
For those not familiar with pro wrestling, I must point out that the legendary Jake "The Snake" Roberts was born Aurelian Smith.  There musy be a connection there.
Today, I am at the Dark History and Horror Con.  I will be seeing some familar celebrity guests and meeting new ones.  No other will be quite like Jake (or Ripper) though.
Jake Aurelian and me in Champaign, IL-September 2015.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Revisiting "Pieces of Talent"

I just watched Pieces of Talent again and I loved it again.  I think it is destined to be a cult classic.
I first encountered Kristi Ray (the female lead) at Days of the Dead.  The trailer caught my attention and Kristi's enthusiasm also helped.
Pieces of Talent is the story of Charlotte, an aspiring actress stuck in a job she hates, while she cares for her mother and hopes for her break.  She meets David, who happens to be a film maker.  None of that sounds extraordinary, but it is filmed well and it slowly draws in the viewer.
Once Charlotte and David meet, the real story starts to be told and it is quite a story.  Charlotte agrees to be in his film project and the story takes some interesting and frightening turns.  None of the twists seem forced or unnecessary.
I don't want to give away too much of the story.  Actually, you can hear Kristi talk about everything at On the Beat with Kristi Ray.  She is totally correct when she describes Pieces of Talent as a character-driven, psychological thriller.  That's exactly why I love this movie.
There is also a sequel in the works, although it will not be done for a few years.  Until then, you can keep up with all of the info at the Pieces of Talent Facebook page.
Kristi Ray, Joe Stauffer and me in Indianapolis, IN-June 2015.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Paul Erickson at C2E2 2016

Yesterday, I featured James Finn Garner, friend and boothmate of Paul Erickson, today's featured celebrity.  Singularly and together, these two are gold.
You can usually find Erickson dressed in some form of Hobbit gear at comic cons.  In that world of colorful characters, Erickson always manages to stand out.  It could be his outgoing personality.  He is always in front of the table, gently steering people towards any of his books.
He has written The Wobbit: A Parody, Jar Jar Wars and others.  The books are a lively romp through the various worlds they parody.  You don't have to be a fan of either "franchise" to enjoy Erickson's take.  In fact, I enjoyed Erickson's parodies more than I enjoyed the originals.  Don't tell him that though.  His massive ego will be out of control.
Actually, Erickson is pretty humble.  He lets his humor do the selling.  Occasionally he does a panel, which are as fun as they are productive in pushing his books (or at least his brand).
Obviously, I am friends with Erickson, but I don;t have to write this.  I truly enjoy his parodies and look forward to more.
You can check out his Jar Jar Wars and his other books at  You'll also find updates and other fun stuff.  Why are we eating fruit in the picture?  Nobody wants to see a hobbit eating a meatball sub.
Paul Erickson and me in Chicago, IL-March 2016.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

James Finn Garner at C2E2 2016

I knew James Finn Garner was a legit best selling author, but I did not realize just how successful he has been.  At Wizard World Chicago 2016, I learned of his tours on the talk show circuit.  Aside from his satirical fiction, I'd love to see him write a book about celebrity encounters.
JFG has written the Politically Correct Trilogy, that being two "Bed Time Stories" books and one "Holiday Stories" book.  I have only read excerpts thus far, but I find them hilarious and I plan on pcking up the books at the next con (yes, start my tab, JFG).
What originally caught my eye was his Rex Koko series.  Clown Noir seemed like such a unique concept.  He describes it as "the award-winning series, where "Freaks" meets "The Maltese Falcon."  That's pretty funny and pretty accurate.  These books I own and I absolutely love and recommend.
JFG can usually be found in full Rex Koko garb at comic cons.  He usually shares booth space with friend and Parodist Paul Erickson (tomorrow's feature here).  Stop by his booth anytime for some good laughs.  Also check out for all info and updates.
James Finn Garner and me in Chicago, IL-March 2016.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Heroes and Legends of Pro Wrestling VII

I had a blast at Heroes and Legends of Pro Wrestling VI, but unfortunately will not be able to attend Heroes and Legends VII on Saturday, October 22.  Still, I can support it, because it is a great show run by a good guy.
Jayson Maples runs Heroes and Legends out of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He works very hard at putting together a great night of wrestling and wrestler appearances.  In contrast to the rough world of pro wrestling, if you are friends with Jayson on Facebook, you will see the cutest pictures of his little guy Noah.
Back to the wrestling, VII is going to be incredible.  Slated to appear are Ryback, Vicki Guerrero, Lex Luger, Nikita Koloff, The Godfather, Dutch Mantell, Raven, Swoggle, Gary Michael Cappetta and more.  That lineup alone is worth admission.  For me, Nikita by himself would have been enough to go, if I wasn't out of town.
On the wrestling card are Damien Sandow, Carlito, Ricardo Rodriguez, Tracy Smothers, Steve Lombardi and more.  A few of my friends from Resistance Pro,. including Sugar Dunkerton, Scotty Young and Jake Omen, will also be in the ring.
The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is a great place to watch, since all seats offer excellent views.  There are plenty of good dining and hotel options nearby, too.
While I will not be at Heroes and Legends VII, I will be there in spirit.  I will also look forward to an announcement about VIII, because I'm hoping my schedule permits me to make that event.  For more info, check out
Jayson Maples and me in Fort Wayne, IN-March 2016.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Friendly Encounters: Joe Minoso and Bridget McDonnell

Friendly Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.

Bridget McDonnel was a member of the 2014 Legends Football League champion Chicago Bliss.  More importantly, she has served her country.
BMac was the "Voice of the Rookies" during that championship season.  She was always good for an interview and a laugh.  She workd very hard to earn her spot on the team and some playing time.
BMac will always be special to me.  During my quest to complete the 2014 Chicago Marathon, I dedicated various daily runs to people as a way of thanking them and holding myself accountable to them.  After completing the Marathon, many people congratulated me, but BMac's note went above and beyond.  She thanked me for my dedications and congratulated me on my accomplishment.  I appreciated everyone for reaching out, but BMac was one of a handful who I will always remember for giing a bit extra.
Bridget met Joe Minoso of Chicago Fire at Joe's on Weed Street.  The television star meets the football star.  As I always point out, more importantly, BMac has served our country and deserves applause for that.
Thank you Bridget for all you do.  I hope to see you somewhere down the line.
Joe Minoso and Bridget McDonnell in Chicago, IL-May 2016.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Celebrity Jersey Cards #295 Debbie Gibson & Jimy Sohns

This is a regular series which attempts to combine my lifelong passion for trading cards with my semi-professional interest in celebrities.  We continue riding the Cubs wave.

The 80's pop sensation Debbie Gibson hails from Brooklyn, New York.  Having recently met her, she is just as cute now as then.  I could even forgive her if she had a New York allegiance.  Fortunately, at least as far as this Celebrity Jersey Card goes, she was a Cubs fan.  This might make even a diehard Sox fan think of splitting his loyalty!
Chicago-area musician Jimy Sohns rose to fame with The Shadows of Knight.  It is always cool (or at least easier on the ears) to see musicians, especially local ones, sing during the 7th inning stretch.  It's also cool to have locals on their team's Celebrity Jersey Card!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Melanie Cruise, Toots and Me!

Melanie Cruise is the first female independent wrestler I ever followed.  Mel is a monster in the ring and a sweetheart outside of the squared circle.  She wrestles all over the world and has a huge following.  She would do great things in the big companieshere, if given the chance.
Steph Stolz (aka Toots, Toots Boots, Toots Boots Wyatt and more) is also a real sweetheart.  Her whole family is awesome.  I think she is the last member of the family I officially met.  She's a wrestling fan (of course) and a lot of fun.
I had a blast hanging with Mel and Toots at C2E2 earlier this year.  It had been too long since I had seen either of these fine ladies.  It better not be that long until I see them again!
Toots Boots, Melanie Cruise and me in Chicago, IL-March 2016.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Sara Richard (and a Johngy) at C2E2 2016

On Monday, I mentioned that artist Sara Richard did her take on the "Johngy" character.  Here it is.
Sara is an incredibly talented artist.  At the risk of sounding like a high schooler, she is just super cool, too.  I love following her adventures at Sara Richard on twitter.  I also love seeing her new artwork or finding gems in her previous body of work.
One piece I really love is her version of Johngy!  "Johngy" is hanging out with Groot, Guardian of the Galaxy.  The wonderfully gifted Sara drew me.  This is just awesome.
I really appreciate Sara doing this for me.  I also appreciate her time over the years and her friendship.
Catch her on the comic con scene if you can.  Either way, head to for all of the relevant info on Sara!
Sara Richard and me in Chicago, IL-March 2016.