Saturday, 17 December 2011

FTN Blog 12 December 2011

It's that time of year again when we get to put our feet up and enjoy some festive fun. For me, I love nothing more than sitting down with a nice glass of wine to watch Christmas TV.
Whether it be the latest DVD release or some classic British comedy like Only Fools and Horses, the TV listings captivate me as I sit down with a highighter pen and pencil in my planned viewing for December.
All the classics will, ofcourse, be repeated but no matter how many times I watch Santa Clause: The Movie or It's A Wonderful I enjoy them just as much as when I first saw them.
Talking of classic Christmas movies, Marc and I began our top 10 Christmas movie countdown on the radio show last week.
To be honest, when we compiled the list there wasn't much difference in our choices. If you couldn't listen, It's A Wonderful Life, Batman Returns and Scrooged started the countdown. This week we'll reveal another three before unveiling our top four just a few days before December 25. Our choices are sure to cause debate on the Facebook page. Should be fun!!
A quick shout out to anyone out there that may play in a band or have some other cool redeeming talent. Do you fancy teaming up with Following the Nerd? Would you like your music played on our show or podcast? If you're good at impersonations would you like to help record voiceovers for our youtube clips? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, or have some cool ideas of your own, then please contact FTN on Facebook (Following The Nerd), email: and on twitter @nerdfollowing. We'd love to hear from you.
Until next week folks, enjoy your build up to Christmas!

Monday, 5 December 2011

FTN Blog December 4th 2011

It's been a very quiet week for us at Following the Nerd HQ as we continue to recover from our 27 hour radio broadcast for Children in Need.

But fear not, we haven't been idle. As I type this the finishing touches are being put to our brand new website which should be going live in the next week or two.

Brought to life by our great friend Gareth Watson I can promise you all that the new site looks amazing. Easy to navigate and a look that this fresh and new, we have no doubt that everyone who follows us regularly will love it.

Hopefully we'll bring you a more specific launch date when we go back on-air on Thursday (December 8).
Talking of going back on the airwaves, Marc and I are chomping at the bit to get back into the studio to talk all that is going on in the world of nerd. Things ofcourse move so fast this days that big news today will be forgotten about next week.

However, we can tell you that the thought of Harrison Ford in a new Ender's Game adaptation and the newly leaked Prometheus trailer is certainly rocking our boat at the moment... go to our FB page for all these and much, much more...

However that's it for this week folks. Don't forget you can get intouch with us via our Facebook page:, twitter: nerdfollowing and by email at
Until then....

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The FTN Children in Need after-show blog

Well it was certainly a 27 hour radio marathon to remember. I hope you were all able to join us last week because it was an experience.

You don't know what I'm talking about? Then here is a little refresher.
Myself and Marc sat in our radio studio for 27 hours on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November as we broadcast live across the world all in aid of the BBC charity event Children in Need.

We raised an amazing £500+ (thank you to everyone who donated) and had some amazing fun. Particular highlights included big Phil walking into the studio with Spock ears cellotaped to his, er, ears. He even ventured into a petrol station with them attached a week before. Mad man!
A lot of the marathon is a bit of a blur to be honest but I know I haven't laughed like I did last week in such a long time. We had such a blast and hope that came across the airwaves too.

Another big thank you to the aforementioned Phil who joined us in the studio for approximately 18 of those 27 hours and who I kinda shouted at with 50 minutes of the broadcast to go. Apologies big man, I was tired and grumpy and you were WAYYYY to excited for that time of the night.

While the big event is now over you can still donate here.Marc is also working on our very own ebay page were you will be able to bid for some cool items (visit our facebook page for more info in the coming weeks) that were donated to us from various sources for Children in Need.

That's all for now everyone. I'm still recovering from the worst 'cold' of all time but, ofcourse, I got no sympathy from the FTN Emperor. Ah well, I'll make sure I have a moan or two during next week's radio show.

Until then.....

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The FTN Children in Need pre-show blog

Hi everyone. It's been a few weeks since I last spoke to you but I've got a big excuse.

Yes, Following the Nerd is just one day away from starting its 27 hour Children in Need radio marathon.
Myself and Marc are finalising (well Marc is, I'm just there for him to moan at) our guest list, preparing the studio and sorting out delivery times for our pizzas.

Without giving too much away before the big day, I can confirm that we will be talking to voice-over actors from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a major actor from the world of the X-Files, and chatting paranormal stories with one of the hottest podcasters in this realm of geekdom, among other wonderful guests - trust us when we say we leave no geek stone unturned.

I really want to tell you more but if I did Marc would threaten to order a pizza with pineapple and we can't be having that.

One of the things that I can confirm is that we will be hosting a slightly different show this week than we normally do. As well as our usual nerd chat, we will have a special breakfast show which will veer away from the usual movie/tv/comic talk and concentrate on the news and sport of the day, as well as the latest chart hits. Later on Friday afternoon our drivetime segment will be hosted by myself, with a wonderful interview I took part in earlier this week. If you like rock music, and more specifically Queen, you will love it.

As you know this week's marathon is all in aid of Children in Need. This famous BBC charity event raises money for those less forunate than ourselves and I would urge you all to donate as much as you can. We know times are hard for everyone but even donating a pound can make that little bit of a difference.
We have set up a fundraising page which you can visit here and any donation will go straight to Children in Need, so please give whatever you can.

It's 2.30am as I write this and I know Marc is also working away on a few other things at the minute so I'll bid you a farewell and speak to you again on Thursday evening (UK time).

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Nerd Blog 26 Oct 2011

A slight change in direction this week for the FTN blog as Marc has asked me to write more about who we are and what sort of things we've been getting up to over the past seven days…..I'm happy with that. Nothing like blowing your own trumpet!
The big news for us nerds this week was the return of the Following the Nerd radio show. We've been off air for the past couple of weeks as we looked at ways of improving the service we provide to all of our followers.
First of all we got rid of Phil….nah, I'm only joking. As those of you who listen to our show will know, our uber-nerd likes to talk….alot. So what we decided to do was give him his own podcast to discuss the things that interest him most. He is a little nervous and unsure about how he's going to pull it off but Marc and I have the upmost confidence in him. He really knows his stuff when it comes to all things nerd and we're really excited about what the future holds for the big man.

On top of this Phil is set to become FTN's roving reporter, kind of like Lois Lane only without the good looks. He'll be bringing you great interviews with some of the most talented people in the world of TV, film and comics. We've already listened to some of the stuff he's done with the Game of Thrones cast during TitanCon recently and, we have to say, it's banging.

If you listened to the show on Thursday you will have noticed that we've tightened things up a little with a more structured running order so that you guys get the best of what we're talking about and less rambling from the likes of me. We hope you liked it if you listened. If not, what are you waiting for? Visit iTunes and download our latest podcast or get us on Spreaker!

Right, what else has been happening this week? Ah, that's right. Marc has been busting my chops to watch season 3 of The Clone Wars and to download Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
First of all The Clone Wars. I am up to episode 6 and loving it as usual. Such a high quality show with great animation. Once I catch up with Marc who is well into season 4, we will both sit down and have a roundtable discussion about the whole thing, which will then be available for podcast.

As for Buffy? What can I say? I've never liked the look of it. As much as Sarah Michelle Gellar is fit, she just doesn't (and never did when the show first aired) look convincing as someone who could take out loads of vampires. It's all too….well, nice. However, I have promised Emperor Savage that I will give it a go so here's hoping it's better than it looks.

Before all that however I am continuing to be enthralled by Smallville. What a great show. Every episode is being aired on SyFy in the UK (just like Buffy) and at present we are up to season 5. Tom Welling is great as Clark Kent, and someone who I thought would have made a great Superman on the big screen. As for Erica Durance as Lois Lane….wow. Fit, fit, fit!

So, what have I planned for the next seven days. Well, I plan to go see Tintin, watch more Smallville, get in preparation for next weeks radio show and annoy Marc with early morning phonecalls about absolutely nothing.

Until next week folks. Have a good one.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Nerd Blog 17 Oct 2011

Hello, all.
Although it’s October FTN has just watched the best summer blockbuster of 2011. Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman, is unoriginal, has a cliched script and is a very predictiable film...yet, we loved it. It has real heart, great supporting cast, and a leading man who is both likeable in the real world as well as being someone who has real charisma in movies in general. Check out our review on Facebook...and trust us, you’ll love it.
Elsewhere this week, we’ve released our final interview with the Gene Genie himself, Philip Glenister. The Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes star was interviewed in London recently by a number of UK publications, including ourselves, were he revealed some insights into filming on his current UK drama Hidden, which is currently being aired on the BBC.
We’ve been all comic booked out these past seven days with the news that a Green Lantern sequel could be in the works despite modest box office success.  Plans are also in place for a  separate Agent Coulsen and Hulk TV series, while the forthcoming Iron Man 3 will set in place plans for the future Avengers 2 movie. It’s a pity DC aren’t following Marvel ‘s example. That all said, The Avengers' first trailer is a great piece of pop art and really has us hopping at the prospect of chomping popcorn next summer and wallowing in Joss Whedon's superhero epic.
Finally, Following the Nerd Radio Show is back on air this week with a fresh new takes on all things nerd. We still aim to be informative, interesting and funny, but you’ll have to wait until Thursday to see what changes we have in place.
Until then, have a good one!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Nerd Blog 10 Oct 2011

After the excitement of last week’s Invasion Belfast, things have been a little quieter for FTN. However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been getting excited about some of the news filtering onto the web concerning our favourite nerd franchises.
First off, The Simpsons are to get another two seasons after confirmation by 20th Century Fox during the last week. Despite recent controversy over a supposed cut in pay for its voice actors, news that Homer & Co will continue to grace our screens is great news. Woohoo!
Something that we missed recently but was brought to our attention by FTN friend David Savage was the supposed appearance of the Superman logo in the recent Dark Knight Rises poster. If you take a close look at the bottom left corner of the poster you will notice some falling debris, of which one piece looks like a slightly blurred Supes logo. This has prompted all sorts of speculation. Could we see or hear some sort of reference to Superman in Rises? It could happen. Remember that both films are from the DC universe and that Christopher Nolan is directing Batman whilst producing our favourite son of Krypton. We think it would be amazing.
Closer to home, we at FTN have been off the airwaves the past week and again WON’T on the radio this coming Thursday. The reason? Well, we’ve been looking at ways in which we can make our radio show even more informative, funny and, dare we say it, nerdy, for all who listen. But fear not because we will definitely be making a comeback on October 20. We hope you can join us then.
And finally, a big thank you to all our followers because you have helped us achieve something that we didn’t think was possible eight months ago when we went ‘live’ on Facebook. Just this past week  we hit 2,000 followers! Unbelievable! Again, we want to thank you all for sticking with us. Here’s to another 2,000 followers. Could we hit this number in six months? Let’s give it a try!
Until next week.....

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

FTN Blog October 4th 2011

My, oh my, what a busy week it’s been for FTN.
Over the past seven days we have been up to all sorts, bringing you Nerd followers some of the latest news to rock our world.  Rejoice at the announcement that Christopher Nolan is to take over the reins of the new Twilight Zone movie and the legend that is Kurt Russell is to replace Kevin Costner in Tarantino’s latest cinematic offering, Django Unchained.
Slightly closer to home however, but no less important, FTN has been nominated as one of the finalists in the Northern Ireland Choice Awards. Following our success in the Northern Ireland Social Media Awards earlier in the year (we won best Facebook page no less), this is further evidence that Nerds really can make difference.  this is Our way of saying thanks for voting.
Meanwhile, on Saturday we attended Invasion Belfast, the Emerald Garrison’s ever popular Star Wars event at W5 in Belfast. FTN got to interview Boba Fett himself, Jeremy Bulloch, and Femi Taylor, Jabba the Hutt's Twi'lek slave dancer Oola in Return of the Jedi. We’ve met Mr Bulloch a number of times before and as ever he was a real gentleman. As for Ms Taylor? Well, what a lovely lady. On a side note, just a quick word to say how beautiful she looked. WOW!
Also, a big thank you to organiser Martin Ryan and all his team for being so welcoming.
The week ahead should be a little less hectic for FTN however don’t forget to tune into the aforementioned radio show this Thursday evening (9pm UK time) for some great craic and even better music. Last week’s show, meanwhile, is now available as a podcast while the lovely Ruth has just uploaded her latest video blog onto our Facebook page.
That's really it for now but don't forget to check out our podcast here and let us know what you think on our facebook page!
Not much more to say but a big thank you for following us nerds and I’ll speak to you all next week.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Following the Nerd at the London Film and Comic Con 2011

On Friday July 8th I departed from Belfast and after my flight being delayed due to a spot of rain, then being given the wrong directions to Earls Court (thank you to the chap who sent me to the West End!!!) I finally made it to the London Film and Comic Convention at Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

I met up with Tony and his friend and I really couldn’t believe what I saw.  The original 1960’s Batmobile glaring at me right in the face!! Whoever the bright spark was to place a barrier rope just spoilt my fun but I managed to grab a quick picture of both the exterior and the interior, it even had all of the buttons and switches from the tv series.

I made my way through row upon row of vendors of every description, from those selling DVDs, old school videos, classic toys and collectibles, weapons of various descriptions (including one seller who specialises in making replica Highlander swords) to the more high end collectible of original art, cinema posters and autographs. I finally made my way up to the guests were I was greeted by a number of the guests who were attending the special preview event.

First on my list was Gil Gerrard (Buck Rogers from the 1970s tv series).  A very welcoming chap who really puts you at ease and you can tell he enjoys talking to his fans.  After getting a brief interview with him I then made my way to W. Morgan Shepperd (The Klingon prison guard from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), this gentleman (and I mean that, he truly is a gentleman) was very friendly and provided me with a number or brief anecdotes before once again getting his autograph and making my way to my next guest.

Before I continue I think it’s only fair to say that I had never attended anything on the scale of the LFCC before. With so many guests scheduled all over the weekend, not too mention talks, a stuntman demonstration, cosplay, live music, a Nintendo gaming area, trading card championship, a comic artist workshop and photo opportunities with guests, I knew that I would have to try and plan everything I really wanted to do in advance.

With time marching on at the preview event, I sadly had to say goodbye to Tony and his friend and continued on my own. Next on my list to talk to was Mark Shepperd (Badger from Firefly). Once again I had a brief chat and some friendly banter (once he heard my accent he had no problem showing me his George Best shirt). After getting his autograph (thankfully I had the foresight before I left Belfast to purchase an A4 folder and a pack of poly-pockets for protection) I moved on to the next guest on my list, Ricky Dean Logan (one of Griff’s henchmen in Back to the Future – Part 2).

Ricky was dressed like a rock star! He had a long black leather over coat, black cowboy boots and dark sunglasses, and from his appearance I was very unsure how he would react to an interview.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Ricky was a brilliant interviewee, very witty and loved talking about his experiences on Back to the Future.

After leaving Ricky’s desk I spotted a gap at Richard Hatch’s desk (he played  Apollo in the original series of Battlestar Galactica and also Tom Zarek in the updated BSG series).  Richard loves to talk to his fans and being a very big fan of both of the series I really enjoyed our interview, he especially loves talking about the philosophy of both of the shows and he it was a pleasure talking to him.

With time pressing against me, I made my way around the rest of the guests section to familiarise myself with other guests I really wanted to meet and also to get a look at the different areas before the main event on Saturday. 

I spotted Veronica Cartwright (Lambert from Alien) and had a long chat with her discussing her part in Alien and also the cherry scene in Witches of Eastwick and it was another wonderful interview.

With the doors about to be closed, that was my final interview for the evening and it was back to my room for some rest before the madness that would be the next day.

Saturday 07:50am

I arrived at
Earls Court
to find two extremely large queues had formed.  One was for pre-paid tickets and the other was for non-pre-paid, and at one stage it was harder to tell which one was longer. Thankfully due to my Press Pass I was able to join a third queue for Gold Tickets and once the doors opened at 9am it was like the evacuation of Hoth with everyone running off in different directions to different parts of the exhibition centre.

I immediately made my way to meet Christopher Lloyd, where I was told by those in charge that there would be no interviews with any of the guests today (one of the organisers informed me to the reason for this and I was quite shocked by it). So after a bit of a queue (I only had to wait 15minutes compared to a 3hr wait in the afternoon) I finally got to meet Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown in Back to the Future).  I was able to ask him one question to which he replied, signed my autograph and I thanked him then made my way to the Talk Area.

The main difference between the Friday preview and Saturday were the crowds. Everywhere you looked were crowds of people queuing to meet a guest, or queuing for a photograph or, as was the case at 10am, queuing for the talk with Gil Gerrard and Erin Gray (Buck and Wilma from Buck Rogers).

I have attended some talks before where actors have worked with each other for a while and they have what I term as fake friendship, where the so called banter and anecdotes come off as very false and in some cases felt as if it were scripted.  I am extremely pleased to say that this was not the case with Gil and Erin.  The two of them are clearly good friends and were joking with each about not only their work on Buck Rogers, but also their private lives.  At one point in the talk Erin made a minor mistake about a scene in the show and Gil informed her that “Erin, any more and I’m going to have to spank you,” at this point the crowd were shocked and laughed, especially when Erin replied “Gil, you are always saying that, when are you going to do it?” to which the audience roared again.  With these two guests you really got to feel the sense of friendship you would make while working on a tv show.

After the talk had finished I then had an extremely busy day which was taken up with (literally) running from one guest to another, getting my picture taken, then snapping pictures of those in cosplay.

There were a large number of people (especially girls) who totally embraced the cosplay portion of the LFCC.  There were characters from Star Trek, Street Fighter, Portal and even Pokémon and, as with all outfits, some were of an exceptionally high standard (I think some people may have even had them professionally made).  Thankfully I was able to get a few photographs of some of the costumes but I felt I needed three pairs of eyes, for as soon as I saw one cosplay character, two more would catch my eye walking in the opposite direction!

By now the morning had flown in and I was feeling exhausted when I noticed that Erin Gray’s queue was fairly empty. Seizing my chance, I walked up to her and obtained her autograph (with a special dedication of ‘To Phil, Lots of Love, Erin Gray’ and walked away a VERY happy chappy! 

It was around this time (forgive me for my brain was in Uber-Nerd mode due to the number of guests I saw at every turn) that I was very fortunate to get an interview with John Leeson (The voice of K-9 from Doctor Who).  John was very generous with his time that he gave me for the interview and I was very grateful to him.

Having constantly looked at my watch I made my way to one of the many photography areas where in the space of an hour and a half I was able to get a picture with Gil Gerrard, Erin Gray (who instantly recognised me), Sylvester McCoy (The 7th Doctor and soon to be in The Hobbit), John Leeson and Sophie Aldred.

Now, as I may have mentioned earlier, Erin Gray was a lovely person and is still very attractive, but I have also had a really big crush on Sophie Aldred (“Ace” from Doctor Who and the companion to the 7th Doctor).  Sophie was a wonderful person to meet, very friendly. I had my arm around her for the picture, not too close as I didn’t want to appear I was too eager (yeah right, ever since I saw her character dispatch a Dalek with a baseball bat it was love at first sight!), the photographer asked if I could move in a little closer. Well, I mean, that’s all I needed, by now my heart is pumping crazy, Sophie rests her head on my neck and then the picture is taken. Except the photographer apologizes and says that he needs to take it again. By now I’m ecstatic, I’ve got my arm found Sophie, “Take your time mate,” I tell him, “I can do this all day”, to which Sophie giggles (she has the sweetest laugh), the picture is finally taken and I say thank you, walking out of the photo area on cloud nine!

With the pictures out of the way, I met up with some of my French friends from Facebook, had a laugh and we all went to the Auction together.  This was Bargain Hunt for Nerds! I won a number of the auctions which included autographs from Dirk Benedict, Sonny Landham, Patrick Stewart and Avery Brooks to name but a few.

While all of this was going on, there were live bands playing and the competition was taking place for cosplay.  Unfortunately I was unable to view all of the entrants, but I was able to get a number of pictures from those taking part. 

I was also able to take a peak at the Trading Game area.  There were rows upon rows of players with various packs of trading card games taking place.  I was allowed to sit in on a game for a while and I was amazed at how serious the players were taking it.  I managed to pick up the rules after a short time, but the speed at which they played astounded me and I thanked them for allowing me to witness how these professionals play the trading card game.

A short distance away I noticed that there were again a number of rows of tables with drawing materials.  This I found particularly interesting as there were a number of younger children eagerly drawing and colouring in the pictures they had just created with the assistance of some comic book artists.  I found this helpful for anyone who wanted to know how professional artists create a character, from what starts as a basic outline, in a matter of moments becomes your favourite superhero.

By now the afternoon was drawing on and the crowds just did not seem to disappear. I looked around and caught a glimpse of a burly security guard escorting Karen Gillan (the current Doctor’s Assistant) from area to the next, followed by a crowd of screaming fans.

Finally I collected my photographs from the collection area, had another look around the arena and returned to my room feeling extremely pleased with what I had obtained (especially the photographs).

Sunday 8:am

De Ja Vu had set in as I queued up for the final day of the LFCC and thankfully the  queues were a little less than the previous day.  Once the doors opened I made a bee-line for Walter Keonig (Checkov from Star Trek) and was able to get a brief interview with him. I got the impression that he is quite a shy person but he seemed happy to answer my questions and it was pleasure meeting him.

I then went over to Corey Feldman (sadly I was not allowed to interview him) where I was able to get a great autograph and dedication: I asked him to write “To Phil, I really hate Vampires”, to which he replied, “Phil, I really DO hate vampires”, great guy.

With the crowds not quite as big as the previous day, I was able to browse a little more and take in a number of the sellers.  I met some wonderful comic artists and obtained some of their works, I took their details and have passed them onto to Nerd HQ to try and get a future interview with them.  I also got to speak with a number of sellers, most of whom were more than happy to have a chat.

Having had a quick look around I was able to have a chat with Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from the Original Star Wars Trilogy).  I have met Jeremy many times through the Emerald Garrison and he instantly recognised me and shook my hand, which made a number of the attendees pretty jealous.  As always Jeremy is a pleasure to talk to and I was able to grab a quick interview before a line started to build up behind me.

Taking another look around I noticed Sandel Bergman (Conan’s wife from Conan the Barbarian) and I nearly stopped dead in my tracks!  For a child of the eighties, Sandel played one of the most iconic and alluring parts ever in a sword and sorcery film.  I practically ran over to her, and like the typical giddy nerd that I am, I tried to conduct a professional interview.  After which, I asked if I could get a picture of her. Well. She threw her arms round me, (heart pounding now more than ever, big smile) and I’m saying that this is the best thrill ever, pleasure to have met her etc, and she commented that she loved my accent. Now folks, you can think whatever you like, but I’m telling you this, Sandel flirted with me!!

Time had taken its toll on me as I was physically drained (the sheer amount of walking/running from stall to stall) was really taking its toll on me when I notice that Hugh Mitchell (Colin Creevey from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) was available. So I made a quick bee-line to his desk where I was granted a brief interview. Hugh was a great guy to talk to and to be honest, was quite over-whelmed by the attention he had received all weekend.

With the day coming to a close I thought my eyes were deceiving me for I swore I saw the Terminator (I mean Arnie, THE Terminator).  I walked up to him, and lo and behold I was standing next to The Enter-Terminator from Britain’s Got Talent.  This guy was amazing; he had the voice, the build, everything and I had a great interview and even better pictures to take away with me.

I once again had a great look around and spent some time at the Nintendo Gaming area.  I wasn’t allowed to take any Screen Shots or interview any one, but I spent some time playing Legend of Zelda which was great fun, until a 12-year-old girl stood beside and constantly informed me of all the mistakes I was making.  Ok, so I’m clearly not the world’s best gamer but I can speak Klingon and that certainly impressed a couple of people I chatted to!

Noticing that time was not on my side I gathered my things and prepared to leave the LFCC.  With the crowds dying down it was easy to appreciate the number of man-hours it must have taken to put this entire event together. But the event would be nothing without the attendees.

That is one thing I noticed all weekend. Even though there were thousands of people from all over the world (in the queues for the photographs I was talking to a group from Holland and another one from Germany) everyone was talking to each other about their costumes or about a particular guest. Yes we were all there to meet our particular favourites, but it was a gathering for all Nerds.

There is no doubt in my in my mind that I had the best weekend ever and I only hope this report can give you an idea of the sheer scope of what I saw and took part in.  Thank you to everyone I met, from the staff and crew at the LFCC, the wonderful guests (too many to name) and also a big thank you to my fellow Nerds whom I got to spend a weekend with. May we all meet again in an arena in a galaxy not so far away, in a time not so far in the future…

Phil Wilce
Nerd correspondent 

All Phil’s interviews and pics will be posted on our Facebook Page ( and our youtube channel ( over the coming days… stay posted…

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Misadventures in cosplay and the perils of the generation gap By Mark 'The Bad Man' McCann

This year we at FTN were lucky enough to get to go to Q-Con, Belfast’s annual Gaming & Anime Convention hosted by QUB Dragonslayers, the Queen’s University Belfast Gaming and Anime Society and with fellow Nerds: Michael, Paddy and Kieran having been on the previous days it was down to me and my news broheim Karol to go down and cover the cosplay/anime events on Sunday. Trouble was, we forgot the camera, somewhat instrumental as you might imagine in capturing what is mostly a visual affair, with fans having turned up in hordes dressed as their favourite anime/manga characters, games characters, you name it. And even if you could, we didn’t get photo’s. Which is we admit; a bit of a bummer!! 

Heading downstairs to the Madella Hall auditorium we pulled up a Pugh at the back and watched as the contestants for the best Cosplayer began to fill the reserved rows in front of us and the spacious balcony that circled about overhead. A security guy informed us that the event would start at 2.00PM and enthusiastically asked would we be filming it? ‘No’ I replied, trying not to look at all suspect and mumbled something about ‘having forgot the camera’ while Karol winced and pretended he wasn’t there. The security guy seemed slightly unconvinced, looked incredibly uncomfortable and promptly left us to it, as row after row seemed to fill with vibrant colourful anime/manga characters and Console heroes and heroines just beyond.

While this was happening  it soon occurred to me in a panicked eureka moment that I didn’t have a clue who any of these people were supposed to be, and would be in no way equipped to report on it. The camera was out, and a head shake from Karol said he was in the same boat. The inability to recognise anyone parading around in front of us however, was only the start of our problems and our shabbily informed attendance resulted in three things happening, and none would serve to redeem us:

1)      1) Karol and I, instantly aware that we didn’t know who any of these characters were, began to feel older than a pair of pensioners picking up their grandkids from the crèche. We felt past it, a wee bit ancient (just like Ent legend Treebeard), and began to wonder if in our long years of hard earned sagacity and cynical nerd elitism, had we also completely lost touch with what all the cool kids were watching on the anime scene these days. Scratch that we thought, these kids weren’t cool, but did anyone remember Fist of the North Star or Akira anymore? It seemed not, as no one even bothered attempting to hit my bodily pressure points and make my head explode!!

Aware of our shortcomings as latter day anime fan’s we basically didn’t know our Naruto’s from our Full Metal Alchemists and it soon felt like being at a party with all your relatives when you were in your nineties. We felt like we SHOULD know all these people, but couldn’t for the life of us place any of them. Where we cried, was Rachel Sinnamon when we needed her?

2)      2) Being at odds with what was going on was bad enough, and feeling a bit out of place was at least tolerable, but the worst was yet to come. And no amount of thinking about chunky sweaty hairy guys covered in lard could save us (It’ll all make sense in a minute). Because with slews of 16-18 year olds in outfits that would make a stripper blush, we became increasingly paranoid of being caught tripping over our gaping jaws and our tongues flopping forth like cartoon red carpets. And yes, the stigma that once attached will never wash off: being thought of as a pair of dirty old men. Because the reality is: we are in fact a pair of dirty old men (or more dirty middle aged men to be entirely accurate, but that’s besides the point).

The point is: suddenly the idea of being ousted as creeps, at a cosplay event no less, was a horrendous prospect of unique and terrifying proportions. Haunting images of being ushered into the back of a Police wagon while on looking parent’s tutted and hissed, with their brood hugged close; attired in belt like mini-skirts and Betty Paige suspenders and innocently enquiring “are those the bad men mummy” began to flood my brain as a cold sweat wept over me. ‘We had to get out of there’ I thought looking around for the nearest exit as the show began to start. But by then it was too late as we became penned in by some parents with their phones on record and at the ready sat right beside us. ‘Damn!’ I conceded and looked over to Karol was taking it all in his stride, nonchalant about the whole thing in fact. How could he be so calm. Being from Maherafelt clearly gave him some sort of psychological adavnatage I surmised. So I took his lead, bit my tongue and tried to chill like Arnie in Batman and Robin. Retrospectively however, I needn’t have worried about being called out as pervs at all, because:

3) It was about to get worse. As contestants strode out onto the stage, sat way up front, from partially screened isles at the side It soon became apparent that the event, which was composed of a quick skit (in some instances almost to Glee style specifications) that showcased a bit of acting, dancing or just the costumes was going to be a bit mad. So mad as to free our minds from anything other than an insane delirium and hopeful prospect of getting out of it alive. As Karol and myself sat awkwardly on stools at the back of the Mandella Hall auditorium trying desperately not to look suspect, like a pair of naughty school kids on tour, we decided that getting kicked out for perving had just become the least of our worries. Laughing like hyenas and falling about beside the row of parents who’d joined us in the cheap seats however, was.

The cosplay event in short, was like nothing we had ever experienced before, and may never again. Human sized Pokemon performing choreographed moves to Dance music (an absolute show stealer as it turned out), badly acted excerpts from anime and some plain off the wall humour from school kids in enormous wigs, had the combined effect of a school play on acid.

Poor sound quality that meant contestants had to shout to be heard only added to the surreal happenings in the three quarters full auditorium, as Karol and I began to slowly break, wandering further away from reality in a hazy dream sequence not so far removed from the end of Apocalypse Now. At one point I began to question if someone had spiked my Yazoo Milkshake  on the way in and two thirds of the way through the acts, having had enough of the mind bending proceeds, Karol and I limped out unnoticed (disgusted that we hadn’t stuck it to perv on Chun-Li, but prepared to make that sacrifice) before we both suffered a massive anime inspired nervous breakdown.

Struggling against the muggy heat of what had turned into a sweltering day outside we went back upstairs to the main forum of gamers and traders, and after meandering for a while came across old friend and artistic legend Paul Holden. It was nice to come back to reality to some quality art work from a man with a skilled hand in creating it, and we yakked for a while and talked about old times, his current projects and getting him onto the show. Our temperatures dropped, we reacclimatised to reality and for a while all seemed normal and fair.

Turning to leave Karol and myself met another friend of mine, who was teamed with some of the cosplayers from earlier; two young ladies who when I timidly asked told me they were Unicorns, pointing to the tiny pink horns that were clipped to the front of their heads. Unicorns who dressed like pussy cat dolls however were a far cry from the My Little Ponies I’d envisioned, and relapse threatening this seemed as good as any cue to leave (before we even had time to have a go on retro classic: Mortal Combat 2 and pull each other’s spines out).

Re-caffeinated in Clements, Karol staring heavily into his tea, he summed the event up quite adequately with: “that was wild trippy man”. I concurred as I put away my filter coffee and conceded one simple truth that I had learned from my misadventures in dress up: Q-con’s cosplay is an event for the young and fashionably dangerous. And we, it seemed were neither. 

Til next time

Peace out: The Bad Man McCann

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

This week's Skinny

Greetings Nerd Amigos and Amigass, and welcome to another Nerd Blog brought to you by me: Mark ‘the BAD MAN’ McCann

First off it’s been a good two weeks to be a Tolkien fan with the double barrel News that Both Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Sherlock co-stars) will both be in the Hobbit, Freeman having let it slip that Cumberbatch is also involved in an unknown capacity. The other biggie was Jacksons naming of the films, cut in two and re-titled there and back again, in keeping with Tolkien’s original title for the Hobbit and an Unexpected Journey re-jigged after the chapter an Unexpected Party. The White Council of Wizards, guardians of Dol Guldur, the deep dark dungeons of the Nercomancer are set to appear as will Dol Guldur itself setting fans expectations on fire as the same Jackson magic that lit up LOTR seems set to do the same on the prequel book the Hobbit.

More mutant madness abound as X-Men: First Class has barely hit celluloid and Director Matthew Vaughan is talking sequels, bigger, bolder and broader in scope with a bad ass nemesis set up to take on fan favourite Magneto now that SPOILER ALERT: Xavier’s stuck in the wheel chair. More sequel news confirms David Twohy is in the midst of  a New Riddick movie with Vin Diesel set to reprise his role as Furian escapist and all round anti-hero supreme Richard B. Riddick, the best things to happen to sci-fi since Snake Plisken and it’ll stay that way on the anti-hero front at least until George Miller does MAD MAX 4: FURY ROAD.

Huge sighs of relief whistled through the corridors of anime havens globally as the live action Akira appears to be dead in the water with both the Star (Keanu Reeves) and director ( Albert Hughes) having departed. Sadly the way is paved for new talent to get on board, the question still remains WHY? When the modern anime classic has already so perfectly captured the imagination of every generation since its inception as a cyberpunk classic and all round untouchable masterpiece.

Other live action news just out: a live action version of Hawk Man has finally been green lit by Warner Bro’s. Billed as “Part Indiana Jones/Da Vinci Code, part Ghost tentpole about the fictional superhero that appears in D.C. Comic books. He used archaic weaponry and large, artificial wings attached to a harness made of the Nth metal that allows flight. Most incarnations of Hawkman work closely with a partner/romantic interest named Hawkgirl or Hawkwoman in his fight against supervillains. Based on the DC comic.”
Hawkman has already appeared in various episodes of Superman lite Smallville as well as having his own on again off again title at D.C., the question being is the character a big enough draw to make a movie out of? Often described by D.C. wunderkind Geoff John’s as Conan the Barbarian with wings, if you ask us at Nerd HQ it’s a yes!!

In an odd move Hangover star Bradley Cooper has thrown his hat into the scribes ring with a big screen adaptation of sci-fi epic: Hyperion, a departure from his usual role as a leading man lothario and he’s also set to star in director Alex Proya’s (The Crow)  big screen adaption of Milton’s Paradise Lost (potentially as Lucifer). Coopers screen writing credentials may be in dispute but there’s no doubting that should he land the role with Proyas he’d make a smashing Lucifer.

Comic’s Nerds behold as this week in comics we have the hottest featured books on the racks (Thanks from Diamond) right here with new HellBoy (DarkHorse), FlashPoint (D.C.), 30 Days of Night (DarkHorse) and Fear Itself (Marvel) dominating the picks list, (our personal vote goes with FlashPoint) and for a comprehensive look at everything coming to a shelf near you there’s ComicList: The New Comic Book Releases List with everything you need to know about this week’s releases and we personally recommend you check out both FlashPoint and The New Gunslinger: Battle of Tull for more Roland Deschain of the Dark Tower series related tales; vouchsafed by King himself to the top scribes and artists of the Marvel Bull Pen and continuing to hold the standard high some serious amount of mini-series down the line.

Local Nerd news comes in the form of: SHAMELESS PULG - Cosplay Babe/Hunk of the Week is now live on the FTN page, every Monday from now until we run out of willing candidates, so check it out, go get dressed up, contact us and get involved. And don’t forget to leave comments for all our lovely models who’ve given up their time and effort to be a part of it and look AWESOME.

Also, Legendary Costume Club: The Emerald Garrison threw what has to be one of the BEST Predator Events we at the Nerd have ever seen, with Photo real costumes on par with anything that Stan Winston ever sculpted for the big screen. Invasion N.I. was truly a superb experience and to check the Garrison and all their awesome photo’s out pop over here or click on their Face Book Page and don’t forget to click ‘like’.

That’s all from the Nerd Blog for another week folks and remember to tune in from 9-11 PM Thursday, same Nerd time same Nerd Channel where we’ll have another fantastic show featuring none other than StarWars: Clone Wars Voice of Wilhelm Tarkin himself - Stephen Stanton with us, chatting and fielding your questions on Skype.

Until next time guys, it’s still hip to be square

Peace out – BAD MAN J

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Another show... another night of chaos!


So we've just done our latest radio show in the Shine Studio and what a busy show it was!

We had the guys from Mental Deficiency in the studio with myself and Mark, and they were CRAZY! These guys are, like us, hard core nerds and all the cooler for it lol.

But, I digress... since last I Nerd blogged we've had a busy time... on Monday night I went to The Grand Opera House in Belfast to see Spamalot (great seats guys... thank you Nerd press passes :) starring TV's own Phil Jupitus who, sorry Phil, I'm not a big fan off, but in fairness I liked him in this... especially when he was laughing so much unintentionally :) always helps get the audience started too.. not a bad show all in all, very funny in places - especially when it leaves behind the Python stuff we already know and beefs the story out with fresh material. Nice Eric Idle cameo too.

On Tuesday night we spoke with one off, if not THE biggest event organiser in NI, who is keen to get the Nerd involved in upcoming events... and believe us when we say we are giddy as school kids at some of the events that are upcoming :)

On Wednesday we had a bit of a blow when the BBC postponed our Phil Glenister (yes, Gene Hunt himself) until next week... booooo... we were so looking forward to it too, still there's always next week. But on the plus side we got to sit, relax and watch Return of the Jedi with you all @9pm :)

Then tonight we had our radio show... oh and these guys are good. A modern rock band that draw all influences from some of the greatest sci-fi movies out there (Robocop, Aliens), Mental Defeciency are definately ones to watch... be sure to check out their album launch at The Black Box, Belfast on July 1st - and don't worry listeners from further afield, it's all available on iTunes, Amazon etc too.

Tomorrow night The Nerd will be checking out Hanna, starring one of Hollywood's most unrecognised actors, Eric Bana, with a soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers, our excitement levels are pumped!!!

On Sunday we hope to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides... truth be told, we hear it's pretty poor, but it's handy having a little boy who loves pirates... good excuse to go. So expect reviews of Hanna and Pirates early next week (along with Spamalot review).

Monday and Tuesday are quiet at the minute but that could change very quickly... then, once the weekend is over we start getting ready for Close Encounters: Predators from the 28th in W5, Belfast. This looks like it could be amazing! And since the Emerald Garrison are putting it on you can be sure of great weekend, and then the weekend after we are off to Derry for 2D Comic Con. So, if you are at any of these events, look out for the guys in the red polo shirts... it could be us as we are appearing at each event.

Oh and don't forget we have an Online viewing of Bladerunner on Wednesday night from 9pm EST. Which is exactly when my press showing of The Hangover II is on. All I have to do is work out how to split myself in two and I'm all sorted :)

Tie all that in with the website getting near completion, the fact that we are looking at podcasting AND the fact that we just passed 1,000 on Facebook and, well, the party never stops. BTW much love to all our fans :)

Wow... busy is only the start of it.

Wherever this blog finds you and whatever you're doing, I hope it finds you well... until next time, remember... you nerd it first

Much love,

Daddy Nerd

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Blog virginity finally taken...

So, here is the first Nerd blog...

While sitting watching the Eurovision Song Contest (it's my wife watching... I swear) it is overwhelming how many 'nerd' related things there are to do, read, watch, work on, save...

First up is our third massive online movie viewing this Wednesday night, when we will host a global viewing of Return of the Jedi after a very successful viewing over the last two weeks of A New Hope and Jedi. But where next week? Do we go classic (Bladerunner, The Day the Earth Stood Still)? Obvious (Phantom Menace)? Modern (LOTR, Matrix)? Or do we go with our gut feelings and let our fans decide? hmmmm

Secondly, Daddy Nerd is sooooooooooooo preoccupied with the NISMA next week.. how did we do? We were finalists in three categories, and while we said it was enough, now that it's so close, we want a win, y'know? But we didn't push enough and we know we'll pay for that...

Our North Belfast Paranormal friends are away tonight ghosthunting and sadly we can't be there, but the mind is racing about next month's hunt...

We have a few important meetings this week, the house is coming down with guest reviews and interviews and on Wednesday we are intervieing the big man himself, the Gene Genie, Mr Philip Glenister and, while we don't usually feel nervous, this one is giving us butterflies...

On Monday night we are off to the Grand Opera House in Belfast to the Press Showing of Spamalot and how could we not be excited about this?!

We have a few guest blogs to write... reviews are still going on... a load of vids to upload on our youtube channel, we need to look into what we plan on doing at the Predators Convention at W5 at the end of the month, not to mention the fact we are seriously considering looking at the radio show and giving it a more structured approach.

We are planning out our live broadcast from Stormont later this month... man oh man, it's getting crazy...

But now we have the first blog out of the way here's hoping we can keep you all uptodate, informed and entertained from here on in...

Get us anytime on

And remember, you Nerd it here first :)