New Stories on Dance Music and Animation

In the studio where Datsik and team prepared The Vortex for tour. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

In the studio where Datsik and team prepared The Vortex for tour. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

Last weekend, I attended Anime Los Angeles as a guest of honor. It was an amazing experience. Throughout the weekend, I gave talks on writing and answered a bunch of questions about everything from college to “shipping.” I think I answered all the shipping questions wrong, though, since I didn’t know what the word meant until after the fact. To clarify, I think characters should be in relationships with the characters who will treat them with respect, as one would expect in real life.

Anyhow, I want to thank everyone at Anime Los Angeles for making this experience so memorable.

There was no break after the convention ended. I spent most of this week traveling across town, actually, L.A. County, to interview people for a few different stories. I’m pretty excited about the work I’ve been doing lately and can’t wait until I can share it with you. Before that can happen, though, I have to finish writing.

One of my goals for 2015 was to do more music writing and that’s working out pretty well. This week, L.A. Weekly published my list of 10 female DJs who were big before the big EDM “brofest” began. This is essentially a response to a trend piece about the emergence of lady DJs. Unless you’re a n00b, you should know that there have been women in the DJ booth for a long time. Apparently, a lot of people who aren’t n00bs got a hold of the story because most of the responses I saw were of the “You forgot [insert DJ name here]!” variety. I sincerely love seeing that. Because there are so many women in the dance music world who have made an impact, and this was just a 10-person list, I’ll be posting tracks and mixes from many more on my Facebook page.

Read: “10 Female DJs Who Ruled Before the EDM Brofest”

For my “Cult Stars” column that runs online in L.A. Weekly’s arts section, I talked to Amy Lee Ketchum. She’s an animation artist who makes beautiful short films that you need to see. A recent one, “Dreaming Los Angeles,” is actually an exquisite corpse collaborative project that screened recently at the Egyptian.

Read: “A Chain of Animators Created and Exquisite Corpse Movie About L.A.”

On Tuesday, I ventured to North Hollywood where DJ/producer Datsik unveiled the latest incarnation of The Vortex. That’s the massive DJ booth/image mapping prop that he brings on tour. Datsik is about to embark on a lengthy tour and it may be the last trip for The Vortex.

Read: “Datsik Prepares the Vortex for What Might Be Its Final Tour”

A Horror Convention, a Japanese Film Festival and More

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Last weekend was Son of Monsterpalooza, which is a horror convention that is filled with special effects artists and other people who make monsters and other creepy things. I was there on Saturday to cover for L.A. Weekly. Not too long after arriving, I noticed that Tom Savini was sitting at a booth near the front of the convention center. Immediately, I knew I had to get a quote from him. If my brother– who spent pretty much all of his teenage years talking about horror movies– found out that I was here, that I saw Tom Savini and didn’t try to meet him, he would never let me live it down. So I went up to the booth and got quotes and a photo.

I spent four hours and change hitting up people for interviews and photos. One of the highlights was stopping by the Chiodo Bros. booth. They made Killer Klowns from Outer Space. I love that movie. In the end, I got two stories out of the experience.

“Son of Monsterpalooza, a Gathering of Monster-Makers in Burbank” (L.A. Weekly)

“10 Creepy Awesome Things We Saw at ‘Son of Monsterpalooza'” (Topless Robot)
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Catch Up: New Stories for L.A. Weekly , Geek Exchange and Hi-Fructose

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Just a quick post to let you know what’s been going on this week.

On Tuesday, Titmouse released the animated short “Pinched” via iTunes. It’s a cool flick and I had the chance to interview creator David Vandervoort for Geek Exchange.

“Animated Short ‘Pinched’ Hits iTunes”

I recently had the chance to visit Abso Lutely Studios, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s production company. While I was there, I talked with Heidecker, as well as Eric Andre and Derrick Beckles, star of the new Adult Swim series Hot Package. Read the story for L.A. Weekly.

“Inside Tim & Eric’s Company, Which Is Pushing the Boundaries of TV Comedy”

On the print side of the spectrum, I wrote about L.A.-based artist Ken Garduno for Hi-Fructose vol. 29. This story is not available online, so if you want to read it, make sure you pick up a copy.

Order a copy of Hi-Fructose vol. 29.

For more updates, see Facebook and Twitter.

Catch Up: New Stories for KCET Artbound, L.A. Weekly and Geek Exchange

Setting up for Germs' show at Vincent Price Art Museum

Setting up for Germs’ show at Vincent Price Art Museum (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

I just started writing for KCET Artbound. For my first story, I headed down to the Vincent Price Art Museum to chat with L.A.-based artist Germs as he set up for his recent show. You can read the results of the interview in, “The Infectious Ephemera of Germs.”
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San Diego Comic-Con 2013: The Recap

Marvin the Martian Spotting at San Diego Comic-Con (Photo: Liz O., originally appeared in the L.A. Weekly slideshow "San Diego Comic-Con: Inside the Convention Center")

Marvin the Martian Spotting at San Diego Comic-Con (Photo: Liz O., originally appeared in the L.A. Weekly slideshow “San Diego Comic-Con: Inside the Convention Center”)

Last Wednesday morning, I left for San Diego Comic-Con. I was there until Sunday night and continued working on assignments through Monday morning. Here’s my reporting and photos, all of which appeared in L.A. Weekly. 
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More Anime Than You Can Handle

Anime Expo in the opening hours. (Photo: Liz O.)

Anime Expo (Photo: Liz O.)

Before I start the weekly recap, I want to thank Dianne Garcia for creating new art for the site. Dianne is an incredibly talented artist as well as a co-host of the  super podcast Defective Geeks. She’s also one of my Comic-Con roommates, so you’ll probably be seeing her pop up on my Instagram feed next week.

I spent the bulk of last week at Anime Expo, which is a massive anime convention that happens annually in Los Angeles. I’ve been going since 2008 and have seen it grow immensely over the years. This year, they brought in 61,000 people.
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New Stories: Los Animales, Misha, Boys Noize and Heathers

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We have new pages of Los Animales up this week. The above image is just a taste of what Jeaux J. and I have in store for you on the webcomic front. Find out what happens when Manda and Dani encounter a club creep at Nadarave. 

I’ve been spending a lot of time prepping for Anime Expo, which is next week, and San Diego Comic-Con right now. Still, I had a few other stories published in the past few days. Check them out below the jump.
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New Stories: Geek Pride at Pride, iam8bit, The Stepkids, Damian Lazarus, Anamanaguchi

The Doctor at Los Angeles Pride (Photo: Liz O.)

The Doctor at Los Angeles Pride (Photo: Liz O.)

Recently, I got back into reporting on fan culture. I was doing a lot of that for a few years, then slowed down a little for reasons I explained in a recent post on my blog, Beatique. Now, I feel like there’s a lot more work to be done within this realm of pop culture reporting. There will be a lot of related stories coming up in the next month, as both Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con take place in July. I’ll be at both events for the duration of the conventions and plan on coming home with some interesting stories. In the meantime, check out some of the recent stories I’ve written.
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L.A. Weekly People Issue Is Out Now

LAW People

L.A. Weekly‘s People Issue is out now. It’s one of the biggest issues of the year and I’m honored to have contributed to it again. This year, I wrote about Sean Z. Maker. He’s a comic book creator who also founded Bent-Con, an annual LGBT-centric pop culture fan convention. It’s a great convention. If you’re in L.A., you can probably still find copies at your local newsstand/gas station/7-11/etc. Otherwise, check out the story online.

“Sean Z. Maker: Founder of Bent-Con, the LBGT Pop Culture Convention”

Speaking of conventions, last weekend, I headed out to Woodland Hills for BlasterCon. This is a new sci-fi and fantasy convention that emphasizes works from the 1970s and 1980s. It was a very small event, but also an incredibly fun and interesting one. You can read about it my L.A. Weekly column, Cult Stars.

“Retro Sci Fiction/Fantasy Convention BlasterCON Debuts with Small Crowd and Big Ideas”

IAMX played L.A. last week. Prior to the show, I interviewed Chris Corner for L.A. Weekly about his wildly successful crowdfunding campaign.

“Chris Corner Got Way, Way More Crowd-Funding Money Than He Sought”

Black Veil Brides has come a long way in the past few years. This week, I talked to Andy Biersack about the band’s past and how that’s affecting their present career. Check out the story in PureVolume.

“Q&A: Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides—’We Come From the Dream of Hollywood'”

As a kid in the San Fernando Valley, I loved Earth Girls Are Easy. Frankly, I think it’s the best Valley-centric sci-fi comedy around. Yes, better than Encino Man. Recently, though, I learned that I like Earth Girls Are Easy more now than I did in the late 1980s. I wrote about that for Geek Exchange.

“It Came from Netflix: Earth Girls Are Easy”

 

Jeaux J. and I just finished the second week of Los Animales: Nadarave. Our readership is growing and we’re pretty happy about that. Right now, I’m finishing up Chapter 3, which will probably start running sometime around San Diego Comic-Con. In the meantime, read the first 10 pages (11, if you count the cover) of Nadarave.

Los Animales: Nadarave

Things are pretty exciting on the DJ front as well. Last weekend, I played at Deadcadence, a monthly party held at Roberto’s in Chinatown. The sets went over really well. You can check out what I played and find out about the bands on the bill on my blog, Beatique.

“Set List: Deadcadence 5/11/13”

 

Not long ago, we did a goth party at Underground called Shadowplay. The response was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, it was so great that we decided to spin off Shadowplay as it’s own club. That’s going to happen on June 29. In the meantime, we’ll be doing another Shadowplay party at Underground on May 31. Want to know what this night is all about? Check out my set list on Beatique.

“Set List: Shadowplay @ Underground”

Thanks for reading!

 

Weekly Recap: Star Wars, Clue and More

Shag tackles Star Wars in a recent Gallery Nucleus show. This photo originally appeared in L.A. Weekly.

Shag tackles Star Wars in a recent Gallery Nucleus show. From my L.A. Weekly slideshow “A Saga in the Stars…”

It’s been a mildly ordinary week. The second chapter of our webcomic, Los Animales,  just finished its first week online. We somehow managed to get a bit of attention on Tumblr and are incredibly grateful for that. The first five pages are available for you to read now. Check out Los Animales: Nadarave.

Tomorrow night, I’ll be playing at Deadcadence, which is an amazing monthly party at Roberto’s in Chinatown. I’ll be spinning a mix of goth, coldwave and minimal synth tunes on vinyl. For more info, check out Beatique.

Last Saturday was pop culture overload. I spent the early afternoon at Golden Apple on Melrose for Free Comic Book Day, where I was able to interview famed writer Geoff Johns. That evening, I headed out to Gallery Nucleus to take photos of their special May the Fourth art show. Both assignments were for L.A. Weekly.

“A Saga in the Stars: A Tribute Event to a Galaxy Far, Far Away” (Slideshow)

“DC Comics Writer and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns Explains the Comic Books That Inspired Him” (Interview)

 

I did another “For the Weekend” interview for KCET. This time around, I talked to John Giovanazzi, who co-owns the fantastic Glendale bar/show space, Complex. John talks about everything from record stores to restaurants to the Dodgers in this interview.

“For the Weekend: John Giovanazzi”

Lately, I’ve been reviewing old movies and TV shows that turn up on Netflix Instant for Geek Exchange. This week, I tackled one of my childhood favorites, Clue.

“It Came from Netflix: Clue”

 

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend.

L