Another Pulp Nation/Hook Crossover.

They’ve done it again; against their better judgement, no doubt.

The nerd overlords at Pulp Nation have let that over-sized man-child known across the blogosphere and the hospitality industry (not to mention numerous TripAdvisor posts) as The Hook dabble in their regular-sized sandbox. Again.

And fandom was never the same again…

But seriously, as an amateur comic/blogger/nerd, I’m always searching for a way to combine my passions. And since the wife refuses to don a vintage Lynda Carter era Wonder Woman costume, I feel even more fortunate that Mistress Fate intertwined my path with that of the Drew Comerford, Paul Tappay, Chriss Biggs, and Grant Plata. They’re good people.

With questionable judgement, of course.

At any rate, as a public service and gift to humanity, here’s a handy guide to holding a conversation with a comic book nerd.

You’re welcome.



See you on the streets of Pulp Nation, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Ay Yi Yi… Bang Bang!

She had four feet to my six-and-a-half.

She had a crimson hue to her skin and hailed from Mexico, while I am a proud Canuck whose outer covering is whiter than Brooke Shields.

She was sad to leave the hotel, while I look forward to the end of every day with all the glee of a super-villain with an atom bomb.

We were a match made in H-E-double-hockey-sticks, and yet, she threw her arms around me as soon as I entered her suite.

MEXICAN SPITFIRE:  Oh, Mr. Robert! I don’t want to leave here! Don’t make me go!

ME:  It’s really not up to me, miss. I’m not from Immigration!

MS:  (Doubled over with laughter.)  Oh, you’re so funny, Mr. Robert! You want these dogs? They’re Shih Tzus, they have all their papers! My Italian husband and I went through Hell to bring them to Canada from America! They’re more legal than you and I!

ME:  Well, than me, at least.

MS:  Oh, Mr. Robert! But seriously, you want a dog? I’ve had a wonderful time here all week, but yesterday was a nightmare! I peed myself on the jet boat… told my husband I can’t stand the water, but he didn’t care! He’s Italian and so his temper is legendary! He and I cursed at everyone on the boat, especially the captain! I’m a wreck! You want a dog?

ME:  Uh… you lost me halfway, but I made it back… and… no.

MS:  (Hugging me again.)  Oh, Mr. Robert!

Well, that was my morning.

How was yours?

I couldn’t get the darn dogs to sign a release, so…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

The Hook Has Become An Honorary Member of the Pulp Nation

Won’t you join him?

I mean, me? Jimmy’s getting confused…

At any rate, I’ve written another post about my Niagara Falls Comic Con odyssey but my good friends and fellow geeks at Pulp Nation have graciously agreed to post it on their own corner of the Nerd Multiverse.


While you’re there, feel free to look around. It’s a magical place. And that’s all I have for you today, kids.

See you on the “streets” of Pulp Nation

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Niagara Falls Comic Con 2015: A Top Ten List From an Exhausted Nerd.

To be clear, I am the nerd in question; the hotel has been unbelievably cray cray (Mike Tyson is not a nice man, folks – especially when he’s hungry), and I’m still processing my NFCC2015 experience.


So here’s a top ten list. Deal with it.


10)  The Niagara Falls Comic Con staff.  They’re friendly, eager to please and they’re fellow nerds. What’s not love about these guys? They’re working for free! I’d have to be a tremendous ass hat to bash ’em!

9)  The Canadian arm of Anchor Bay Entertainment.  They pay the bills by making us scream like little girls, but they’re good (deviled) eggs. They handed out free swag like it was going out of style – which it never will.

8)  The wonderful toys. K.I.T.T. The 1966 Batcycle and the Batcopter. The General Lee. A man could be a Car Guy AND a Mega-Nerd at Niagara Falls Comic Con 2015.  That’s a rare and wondrous thing, ladies.


7)  Robert Davi.  He was in my favorite Bond film, Licence to Kill.  If you didn’t know that I’ll forgive you, but you’re on notice. Say what you will about the man, but he can act like nobody’s business. He rocked in Profiler.

6)  TONS of kick-ass comic book drawing types. Amanda Connor. The legendary Larry Hama. The Crowrific James O’Barr. Leonard Kirk. They bring the scribes’ visions to life, kids. Worship them.

5)  The Pulp Nation gang and a live Nerd Play podcast.  It doesn’t get much better than Chris Biggs, Drew Comerford, Paul Tappay, and Grant Plata, friends. Unless you add bacon, of course. Bacon rules.

4)  Attending Niagara Falls Comic Con with my wife and daughter.  The wife is waaay out of her element at a con (there were no vampires), but our daughter had a blast. I even slipped away for some “Hook”time (otherwise known as scouring the bins for comics). All in all, we had a great family outing. We laughed with and at our fellow nerds. We cried when the money ran out. We stuffed our faces with pizza afterwards. That’s what its all about, kids.

3)  The comics.  Like foreplay in the bedroom, it’s easy to forget the “comic” part of “comic convention”.

But I never forget.

About foreplay or comics.

Among the modern-day treasures I acquired…




MAR150247Yes, I’m a mega-mega-nerd. What of it? I’ve had sex – more than once in fact.

2)  The atmosphere.  Mix the beauty of the Falls with horror, gaming, comic books, celebrities, swag (free and otherwise) and more elements than you can count and what do you get? Niagara Falls Comic Con, baby! There’s no con in the Multiverse like my local con and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

NFCC is a work-in-progress, but even San Diego Comic Con wasn’t built in a day. There were hiccups, but overall, this year’s con was a nerdtastic success and as always, it left me hungry for more.

1)  Scott Wilson.  Otherwise known as Hershel of The Walking Dead, this cat has to be one of the coolest souls I’ve ever met. he gave my daughter a hug and he posed for a free photo. He bonded – and even teared up – with the wife as she told him of her father’s love of his work on the Dead. In short, Scott Wilson embodied all that is good and holy about a con. I hope to meet him again.

And that’s all I have for today, folks. See you on the convention floor…



Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Niagara Falls Comic Con Is Almost Here!

Niagara Falls Comic Con Is Almost Here! Niagara Falls Comic Con Is Almost Here! Niagara Falls Comic Con Is Almost Here!


Sorry. They gave away tons of free candy yesterday in the staff cafeteria and my sugar high has only just begun to fade.

I’m buzzing like Kanye West at an awards show. Fortunately, the extra energy will come in handy when I hit my local con on Saturday.

With my trip in mind, and for all those who have decided to embark upon their own comic convention adventure, here are a few guidelines to surviving the experience with whatever sanity you had to begin with still intact.

10)  Pack water! Lots of water! Granted, I hate the bland, tasteless stuff, and finding a washroom to dispose of it can be a pain, but the fact is, you’re going to dehydrate. And that ain’t good when you’re surrounded by thousands of distracted nerds. And purchasing bottled water at a convention requires a bank loan, so throw some in your bag (preferably, in a container of some sort), and you’ll be good to go.

9)  Bring a bag. A big bag. (Stop giggling.) Make sure it’s a bag you can sling over your shoulder or across your midriff. Many vendors don’t have bags at cons so you’ll need somewhere to stash your wares. And thrust me, you’ll acquire wares. Even non-nerds are certain to find a treasure or two at a comic convention.

8)  Embrace the crowds! Not literally, of course; unless you’re really into nerds, then have at it. Niagara Falls Comic Con, like every con I’ve been to, is a crowded affair. (Nerds rule the world, kids.) You’re going to bump into hundreds of heroes, villains, orcs, wizards and assorted characters, but don’t fret, they know what they’re getting into. You can try apologizing every time, but it’s a futile effort (like dropping a Kardashian in a public library and expecting them to do anything but drop into a fetal position and sob). Just smile and move on.

7)  Bring lots of $.  I mean tons. Cash is king at a con. At the every least, make sure you familiarize yourself with the location of any and all ATMs. And if you really can’t afford to blow a wad or two at Comic Con? Don’t go! Period. They’ll have lots of stuff you want and you’re weak.

6)  Free your mind. Cons are all about acceptance. Anyone can show up and be welcomed. If society were a comic convention we’d all be much happier and safer. So be prepared to see some… interesting characters. Just remember, they mean well and they’re harmless. Mostly.

5)  Wear comfortable shoes. This tip is vital if you’re a bellman and lifesaving if you’re attending a con. You’re going to do more walking – and standing in line – than Moses so deck yourself out appropriately.

And speaking of which…

4)  When in Rome – do as the nerds do. You don’t have to dress up but at the very least, don a superhero tee. Get in the spirit!

3)  Plan ahead. If you’re attending with a partner or group, designate a meeting place. After all, one has to experience a convention solo, if only for an hour. But the last thing you want is to wander the convention floor aimlessly. I’ve been there. It sucks.

2)  If possible, load up on carbs! Food is not cheap (I’ve seen food vendors that have organ donor cards beside their menu boards), at a con so go with a full stomach and a fistful of energy bars or granola.

1) Have fun!  You’re not going to be able to do everything you want. You’re going to be overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, smells and other stimuli. You may even pass out. But that’s all part of the Niagara Falls Comic Con experience. baby!

There are no outcasts at cons.

No losers.

No one need ever be lonely or afraid of being judged.

Niagara Falls Comic Con is paradise for the disenfranchised, really.

So enjoy it. See you on the convention floor, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

It’s Monday! (Which is my only excuse for this post.)

So it’s Monday.

Let’s allow that to sink in, shall we?

Everyone good? Then we’ll begin.

Yesterday was a particularly brutal check-out rush. Like, Game of Thrones brutal. Okay, so no one was skinned alive or murdered during a wedding , but someone was poisoned. Okay, so the poisoned people self-administered and it was fun to watch them suffer the consequences (except for the guy who vomited on the garbage can rather than inside it), but it got old eventually.

And now I’m knackered. My creative engine is sputtering rather than humming, kids. And I have a eleven-hour shift in the hospitality trenches that I’m just not up for. But I would like to compose a post to entertain the masses. You know what that means, right?

It’s list time!


10)  Basking in the unique magic of Niagara Falls Comic Con. (Saturday can’t get here fast enough.) Say what you will about nerds, from TV to movies to publishing to advertising to illegal Mexican dwarf fighting, nerds of both genders rule the world these days. And once their moms drop them off, they know how to party.

9)  Reading Ned Hickson. Yes, I’m that bored.

8)  Sleeping like a Kardashian in a Mensa meeting. Or a Kardashian at a political debate. Or a Kardashian at a grocery store.

7)  Reading an advance copy of Furiously Happy by The Bloggess. Wait, I didn’t get an advance copy of Furiously Happy by The Bloggess. Hook sad now.

6)  Watching any reality show featuring vapid, privileged, so-called beautiful, young people .  (And I hate those douchebags.) Seriously, I’m sure other D-bags look at those guys and say “Man, those people are real douchebags!”

5)  Serving a pack of over-caffeinated, tech-addicted rug rats who climb my luggage cart while screaming “WE WANT TO GO TO DISNEY!” at the top of their lungs, over and over.

Wait a minute, I just served a pack of rug rats who clamored all over my cart while slobbering and screaming like howler monkeys on crack, Never mind.

4)  Surfing the web looking for news of Kim Kardashian’s latest RMD (rugrat of mass destruction). Anyone who has ever read this blog (you won’t admit it, but you know who you are), will attest to my “love” of the Kardashian clan, so you know I’m bored out of my mind, friends…

3)  Watching The Walking Dead. My package no longer includes AMC, so I’ve been zombieless since last season. And yes, I said “package”. Stop giggling; I meant “cable package”. Grow up.

2)  Devising a plan to get William Shatner to unblock me on Twitter. Come on, Bill! I’ve been watching you since you were delivering… lines on… Star… Trek!

1)  Honing my body and mind to perfection to prowl the streets as a dark avenger of justice, driven to avenge the murder of my parents… Wait, my parents are still alive.


Though not for mom and dad, I suppose.

And there you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a rumor of free candy in the staff cafeteria and I’m going to have to hurry if I plan on beating the housekeepers to it.

See you in the lobby, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Niagara Falls Is Far From Boring, Kids.

“I hate it in Niagara Falls! Nothing interesting ever happens here! Why didn’t we go to Disney? This family sucks!” – Eleven-year-old Cindy Johnson, a Kardashian in the making.

Niagara Falls is boring, Cindy?

Eleven hours of  hospitality “labor”. Over 800 check-outs. A 1980s sitcom star. The entire cast of a hit reality show plus former cast members and hanger-ons/leeches. Several bachelorette parties. A wedding  party. Corporate drones. And assorted families/ne’er-do-wells/gamblers/rapscallions.

Mix ’em all together with the world’s most outspoken blogging bellman and what do you get?

Well, just imagine taking the characters of The Shawshank Redemption, dropping them into the background of Apocalypse Now and mixing in the destruction of Independence Day. Got it?

Now multiply that by ten.

Yes, kiddies, it was another wild ‘n wooly Sunday morning in Niagara Falls. The weather was gorgeous twenty-four hours ago, but it has turned on the proverbial dime, and the city has been covered in rain, wind and a profound walking-across-your-grave-chill.

So as you can imagine, serving the public has been more fun than watching a blind long-tailed cat navigate its way through a room full of rocking chairs.

As the hoodlums and bad girls of Grease requested, I would tell you more, but the truth of the matter is…

I’m knackered.

The upheaval of the past few months lingers, I missed this week’s Sunday Blog Share on Twitter, my bad leg (yes, I’ve become that guy) is throbbing, and my shift is far from over.

I will say this: I’ll never watch that douchey reality show featuring “housemates battling for TV supremacy” again.

Not that I ever did.

Pray for me, friends, won’t you?

See you in the lobby…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments