In first or second grade, I was totally into Michael Jackson. Thriller had just come out and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it was the biggest album of the day. That Christmas, I got my own Michael Jackson doll. I treasured him, but not enough to keep track of the single sequined-like glove. I still have the doll, but he is incomplete. That’s why I find Transformers collectingso interesting. Those toys had a lot of small parts and there’s little chance that their former six-year-old owners kept them intact. That makes collecting those toys of the ’80s tough for adults.
Last weekend, I went to BotCon. That’s an annual Transformers convention that moves from location to location across the country. While I was there, I asked a lot of vendors about those collectibles. I wanted to know what people were trying to find and what was considered rare. You can read about that in my story for Topless Robot.
Meanwhile, I met some creative Transformers fans at the convention. One customizes toys for fans who can’t find the look they want. Two others started their own toy company that makes accessories/tiny friends that fit with a number of retro toys. I wrote about them in my latest column for L.A. Weekly.
A few months ago, I hopped into a towncar with Afrojack and interviewed him while en route from Point A to Point B. Fortunately, it was a Saturday evening in Hollywood. Lousy traffic makes for better interviews! The story is now ready to read as part of Paper‘s special issue on high-profile DJ/producers.
On the DJ front, tomorrow will be my last night at Shadowplay, the goth club that my pals and I launched last year. I won’t be playing, or even going to, clubs often for at least the next few months as I have to focus on some big writing projects. If you would like to join us, go to the Grand Star (next to the Bruce Lee statue in Chinatown) Saturday night at 10 p.m. This is a 21+ event and the cover is $5 all night.
Early last fall, I stopped by Titmouse Animation Studios and met JJ Villard. King Star King, the show he created for Adult Swim, was in the midst of production. Over the course of the next few months, we spoke a few more times. Last week, the show premiered online. On Thursday, my story about JJ came out in the print edition of L.A. Weekly. Pick up your copy at newsstands across Los Angeles, or read it online.
3 Teeth are a new industrial band with a style that harks back the genre’s golden age. They’ll make their debut at Complex tomorrow night and I had the chance to interview them for L.A. Weekly.
That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.
Traci Hines at Japan L.A. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
Last week was E3, so I spent a good chunk of time Metro-ing back-and-forth from Los Angeles Convention Center. This was my second time attending E3 with a badge. (I went badgless two other times.) It’s much different from the events that I normally cover, mostly because it’s a trade show rather than a fan convention. It’s much more similar to NAMM, the music trade show in Anaheim, than it is to San Diego Comic-Con.
I wrote E3 stories for L.A. Weekly this year. “Why Aren’t There More Women in the Video Game Industry?” features interviews with women who make games, write about games and are otherwise involved in the industry. “Oculus Rift Gives You Magical Powers in a New Video Game Set in 2020 L.A.” spotlights a game I tried out at IndieCade’s booth. Anamnesis was created by two USC students and uses Oculus Rift to present multiple points of view in a narrative game.
Aside from E3, there has been quite a bit going on lately. Paper Magazine sent me on assignment to check out Cut Your Teeth, an underground dinner party from Wolvesmouth mastermind Craig Thornton and artist Matthew Bone. For KCET’s Artbound, I met up with writer/photographer Mr. Bonzai and sculptor Keiko Kasai at their home/studio. The two have been together for 30 years and Mr. Bonzai recently unveiled three decades of drawings he created based on Kasai. Last weekend, Traci Hines was at Japan L.A. for an Adorkable Apparel pop-up shop. Hines is a singer who gained a lot of popularity thanks to her resemblance to Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I talked to Hines about how she channeled that popularity into a nifty clothing line for my latest L.A. Weekly column.
Stay tuned because there will be more stories coming out in the next few days.
Photo: Liz Ohanesian
Last weekend, I went to Long Beach Comic Expo and was excited to interview Jarod Lee Nandin. He cosplays Jenkins, aka The Griefer, aka “that which has no life” from the South Park episode “Make Love, Not Warcraft.” It’s a particularly genius episode of South Park. I remember watching it at my friend’s house and almost falling off the couch because I was laughing so hard.
Anyhow, I previously saw Jarod at a couple other conventions and admired his costume, so I asked him for an interview and he kindly obliged. Jarod is a super cool guy and very friendly. I figured that someone cosplaying such a minor South Park character would have to have a good sense of humor and now believe this to be a correct assumption. You can read the story in this week’s “Cult Stars” column for L.A. Weekly.
“A South Park Cosplayer With a Message for the Trolls”
Otherwise, things have been pretty busy lately. I’ve been working on freelance goals and, most of the time, I’ve been meeting them. It’s nice to see how things work out when you actually make spread sheets and write stuff on white boards.
I just updated my clips for the first half of 2014, so you can catch up on stories there. It’s not everything, just some stand out pieces. Amongst the highlights are my first feature for Boing Boing (on Sailor Moon) and an interview with Herb Alpert that I still can’t believe happened. There’s also a tour of Cartoon Network’s Burbank Studios, a Jem and the Holograms think piece and a personal story in which I make my husband sit down and watch the original Star Wars trilogy with me. He never saw it. I’m kind of a nerd about it.
Next week, I’ll be at E3. If you want to follow the adventures, look up @lizohanesian on Twitter.
Thanks and have a great weekend!