Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

The Geekrican Project

The folks from Puerto Rico Comic Con have organized a small exhibit of geeky art by Puerto Rican artists celebrating Puerto Rican geeks or “Geekricans.” I stopped by and took some pictures to share. If you are in Puerto Rico, the exhibit will be open until May 15th at Artlab gallery, Calle Condado 306 in Santurce. Look for the red door.

This year PRCC will be held May 22-24 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

 

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Free Comic Book Day at Metro Comics

This past weekend was the yearly Free Comic Book Day, when comic book stores around the world offer their customers special free editions of new comic books and usually have additional events, like artist signings and cosplayer groups. This year we stopped by Metro Comics at San Patricio Mall in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. We arrived before opening which was a good thing because the line gets pretty long as the day goes by. The store is a pro at this day and has good crowd control so even though it’s a small shop it accommodated everyone and the wait wasn’t bad at all. They use the mall’s hallway for their extra events.

Some local artists were in attendance and I purchased some Puerto Rican comics and got them signed for no additional cost. One of the free comics from the States was in Spanish. It was Castilian Spanish though, which sometimes takes me out of the story because my brain isn’t used to it.

I had a great time as always. I didn’t take a lot of pictures this time but I’ll share what I have. I’ll write about my local comics haul this week, so see you soon!

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05/04/2015 · 6:42 pm

Kaisen Loves Its Cosplayers And They Love It Back

This weekend (September 15-16) was the Kaisen Festival at the Cosme Beitia Coliseum in Cataño, Puerto Rico. I had the opportunity of going on the Saturday and it was a delight. There is something about Kaisen that you can’t get at the larger, flashier Puerto Rico Comic Con (PRCC). Since it’s held in smaller locations across the island, it is cozier. You can easily find your friends, stalk cosplayers for a picture, and sit in the stands to just people watch. Parents and People Who Get Tired (me) find this sitting thing very convenient. Cosplayers have a place to rest yet not miss out on the onstage magic performances, singing, skits, and the random car-with-the-headlights-on announcements. At the PRCC you’d have to sit out in the halls to get a break from the crowd. Also, Kaisen has free parking and is way more wallet friendly.  Of course, there are fewer vendors (I noticed a serious lack of local comic book artists this time- there were maybe three) and no visiting guests but for the price I would say Kaisen does what it does beautifully. Besides the cosplay contests and skits, they have video gaming, card play, a movie marathon and small workshops related to fan life. They have built a supportive community online and the organizers have events throughout the year to keep people entertained and excited about the next convention. Even if they don’t have something going on, they will post about fandom events from other organizations.

I have posted the pictures above and others as a Facebook album. For more information about Paquines.com (the Kaisen Festival organizers), visit their website here and their Facebook page here.

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Kaisen Infinity Convention of Puerto Rico

Kaisen Infinity poster

The Kaisen Infinity convention was held this past Saturday May 7th at the Fernando (Rube) Hernández coliseum in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. This is the main event of Paquines, a nonprofit organization of fans of comics, anime, science fiction and other hobbies on the island. (Paquines are the same people behind the Karibukai Animation Festival.) The main attractions of Kaisen (besides local retailers of fandom goodies) are the cosplay contests, gaming tournaments, model exhibits, live music, and fan skits.

Welcome to Nana Cafe

Kaisen attracts people of all ages and fandoms, although most of the cosplaying (and merchandise) I saw was inspired in anime.

This was the first time Kaisen was held in Gurabo, a town in the central eastern part of Puerto Rico. The relatively new coliseum was an ideal place for this event. It was spacious, fully air-conditioned, with ample parking and a great location. People came from all over the island to enjoy the festivities.

Some highlights of the day:

  • Furries represent!

    An impromptu dance based on the Caramelldansen meme everybody seemed to know and I had to look up later. A lion furry started it as a solo dance and people just jumped in behind him. It was definitely a great moment of the Con. Here is a video I found on YouTube.

  • Nana Cafe, a new local maid cafe, offered food and entertainment. I look forward to their restaurant opening soon to see them in their element. They even danced during skits time after being crazy busy all day.
  • The huge detailed World War II and Iraq War dioramas from Museo de Figuras y Dioramas. I did find the Nazi flag and cosplay jarring however.
  • Rock band Back Seat Driver gave a crowd-pleasing performance.
  • Quickly helping Captain America

    Another local band present that I didn’t see perform but were lovely to chat with (in spite of their name!) was Death Arrangement.

  • Being amused at the innocent/sexy feel of the anime cosplay and merchandise.
  • The Flash and Captain America chasing each other around the coliseum. All those who were having fun with their outfits were also fun for us to watch.

I was part of the volunteer crew; it was great to talk with fellow genre fans while we attended our duties. A shout out to Paola of Hogwarts Puerto Rico, Aiko, Lavinia, Victor, Karlo, and Alchemist for your Japanese lessons and general camaraderie!

I posted my photos in a Facebook album. Also here’s a slide show with even more pictures- another YouTube find:

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Afterglow: What happens after we defeat alien invaders? (Sci-Fi Short and Interview)

Afterglow (2009) is a science fiction short film written and directed by Andres Anglade. It is a story told by a militia officer reporting to his superiors about an incident during his alien patrol. In this world, humanity has repulsed an alien invasion, but it’s still possible part of the enemy remains on Earth. The officer’s job is to find them.

Afterglow has been shown at several film festivals and San Diego Comic-Con, and won the 2009 Director’s Choice for Short Film Category at the Rincón International Film Festival in Puerto Rico. This is director Anglade’s first professional film.

Andres Anglade is of Puerto Rican and German heritage, and currently resides in California. I had the opportunity of interviewing Anglade which was fun because he’s very much “one of us.” He loves science fiction and telling stories through a visual medium. We talked about the short, where he got his inspiration and his work on Battlestar Galactica and NBC’s Community.

Where did you get the idea for Afterglow?
The basic idea came from one simple question “What would happen if an alien invasion happened right now?” What would you do? How would you act? That’s essentially the genesis of the story behind the film. But what I really wanted to explore was how people dealt with an alien invasion after the invasion. They invaded. We won. What comes next?

So Afterglow is from a “common person” point of view instead of the major players?
Yes, exactly. I’ve always been a fan of seeing how “regular” people react to large scale events. I’m also a fan of not showing the big event, but letting people’s imaginations run wild and let them envision what may have happened.

What type of science fiction inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of [genre films where] there are moments that you forget they’re science fiction. One of my all time favorite sci-fi films is the original The Day The Earth Stood Still. And with that film, sure you have the classic flying saucer landing on Earth, but the exploration of people’s emotions and reactions to it is so well done. That film holds up today and I always tell people to watch it. A more recent film that explores a new world [that] way was Children Of Men. It was able to explore individual lives in and around much larger issues.
Don’t get me wrong, though, the little kid in me still loves to see the action spectacle and will go see films where stuff blows up, but the ones that inspire me also touch upon the relationships we have. The Abyss is my favorite sci-fi film, and again it has moments where you forget you’re watching a sci-fi film. But the action is spectacular and [director James] Cameron makes us really care about the characters.

Andres Anglade at the Science Fiction Museum

In Afterglow, people are highly suspicious of each other after they defeat the aliens. Is Afterglow an allegory of how we treat others in a post 9/11 world?
We do now live in a world of suspicion and that was definitely a theme I wanted to explore. But again, the most important things for me were the characters. I wasn’t trying to touch upon the issue of torture; it was more of trying to explore the most horrific way someone could just snap after a tragic event.

How did you finance Afterglow?
For financing, I saved up money, and Executive Producer Melissa Scotti helped raise around $3000, which was awesome. And all of that combined was still not enough, so the rest went on credit cards. The final budget for the film ended up being around $12,000. But I also called in a lot of favors. That’s what’s great about being around a film-loving/making community of friends. We all like to help each other out.

Does Afterglow have a future (part two)?
I wrote a few scripts for a webseries and pitched it around, but nothing ever happened. I’m glad it didn’t work out, because looking back at them, the scripts need work. I’ve tried several times to turn it into a feature, which I still want to do, but I have to find the right story to tell. There are so many to tell in that world and I want the right one. I don’t want to settle.

How was winning the Rincón award in Puerto Rico?
It was such a great festival. Doug Lantz [Festival & Programming Director] and everyone involved were so accommodating and generous. Winning the award was surprising and unexpected. Unfortunately I left the day of the awards ceremony, so they gave me an impromptu ceremony out at dinner the night before. It was great!

Tell us about the work you did for the Battlestar Galactica shorts and NBC’s Community. Were you a fan of these shows before you worked on them?
I worked at a company that did all the special features for the DVD and Blu-Ray releases of BSG. Those two special features [Cylons – The Twelve and The Journey] were something that was kind of thrown at me by the producer with an impossible schedule. We managed to turn those in and because of the hard work I put in I was given producer credit on it. It was rough, but I got to know the company editor on it really well, Brian Kelley, and he ended up doing the color correction for Afterglow.
I did watch BSG. It was amazing. I do have to admit, though, a friend tried to get me to watch it way back and I couldn’t get through the mini-series. A few years later I gave it another shot and once I saw [season one, episode one] ‘33’… once you see that, you’re in. I actually got some of my non sci-fi friends into that show.
I’m currently the post coordinator for the show Community. I work with the post department and I love it. I was a fan of the show before I got the job and everyone I work with is really cool. I couldn’t ask for a better crew.

What’s next for you?
Right now I’m in pre-production for my next short that I plan on shooting in Puerto Rico next summer. The script is done, we’re raising money, location scouting, prepping VFX [visual effects] and all the fun stuff.

Watch Afterglow below or here and check out its Facebook page for behind the scenes photos!

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