Featured Video: Nerd Reactor Presents Dragon Con Cardboard Stories

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Momocon Winter Ball 2013 Cosplay Music Video

From Momocon’s annual Winter Ball (January 5th, 2013):

(Just FYI: this video IS most assuredly SFW/safe for work — the *song* “Fly Away” is from the anime Panty & Stocking.)

Mark your calendars — Momocon 2013 takes place March 8-10, 2013 at the Hilton in downtown Atlanta. They have some great events and guests lined up, including STEVE BLUM (Cowboy Bebop, Transformers Prime), Mass Effect’s JENNIFER HALE and MARK MEER, BRINA PALENCIA (Summer Wars, Hetalia, Evangelion), The Simpsons’ writer/producer MIKE REISS, and two cast members from the popular FX animated spy comedy Archer — AMBER NASH and LUCKY YATES.

Geek Grotto Visits Atlanta Geek Venues

Geek Grotto‘s Road Geek visits Anime-Zing Escape (McDonough, GA) and Battle and Brew (Marietta, GA) — both of which are listed here in the Guide.

[Thanks to Linda V. for the heads-up via the Atlanta Puppeteers Facebook group.]

More Updates, Additions, and Store Closures (Oh, my!)

Whoa. Two updates within three months. If I keep this up, my wife is going to say I’ve got too much free time on my hands and give me more chores around the house.

Updates/Additions to EVENTS & VENUES:

– Event dates edited current to 2012-13.

– Deletions:
WIZARD WORLD ATLANTA was a one-time event that won’t likely return.

INVADERCON was promoted as a one-time event for Atlanta, so it’s been deleted since INVADERCON II: DOOMCON is scheduled for Los Angeles, CA in July 2012.

– Additions:
ANACHROCON
ATLANTA GAME FEST
ATLANTA MOVIE TOURS
ATLANTA ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
CARDBOARD*CON (March 3, 2012!)
COLUMBUS COMIC BOOK SHOW
CON*tourage
EYECON (March 2-4, 2012!)
HORIZON THEATER/AVENUE Q (show running through April 1, 2012!)
INFESTATION (zombie 5K obstacle course March 31, 2012!)
JOELANTA (March 18, 2012!)
KAMPINGKON (March 3, 2012!)
MOMOCON (March 16-18, 2012!)
NETHERWORLD
RELAPSE COMEDY THEATER/CINEPROV
SAFETY WOLF RECREATION OUTPOST
SAVCON
SECRETS FACTORY
SOUTHERN ORDER OF STORYTELLERS
STUDIO MOVIE GRILL

Updates/Additions to the SHOPPING guide:

– Deletions:
AFG reader Mark reports that the Athens PLAY N TRADE store closed in late 2011, and it appears that their stores in Peachtree Corners and Snellville have closed as well since they are no longer listed on playntrade.com’s store listings.

The VIDEO WAREHOUSE store in Winder, GA closed in December 2011. In February 2012, they announced they would be closing locations in Columbus and Cairo, GA.

The RERUN VIDEO store in Braselton, GA closed Summer 2011, but may still have a booth space at the Pendergrass Flea Market.

The TOWER GAME CENTER has relocated from Lawrenceville to Suwanee, GA.

– Additions:
A TOUCH OF MAGIC: Costumes by Creatively Tink
BILLY’S TOYS AND COMICS
PSI / PUBLISHER SERVICES, INC.

Updates/Additions to FAN CLUBS & MEETUP GROUPS:

– Deletion: Jer Alford, founder of ATLANIME.NET, informed me that he decided to discontinue his ATLANTA FANDOM site on ning.com last year in order to focus on his anime club and other projects.

– Additions:
ATLANTA SCIENCE FICTION SOCIETY
GEORGIA G.I. JOE FANS
SOUTHERN ORDER OF STORYTELLERS

Upcoming projects on the to-do list:

Upgrade blog design template to something less drab and crappy
Launch AFG Facebook and Twitter pages
ATL Guide to Geek Good Eats
Shopping Guide store reviews
Events Calendar
Listings for Atlanta-based genre professionals
Favorite Geek Links
Launch secret spin-off project
Laundry
Organize sock drawer
Procrastinate

Fan Clubs and Meetup Groups Page Updated

Image courtesy of health.state.mn.us

Finally finished formatting the Fan Clubs & Meetup Groups page. Also updated previous entries and added over 30 new listings. Just to name a few:

ATLANTA COMIC BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
ATLANTA SWG (STAR WARS GAMERS)
COSPLAY ATLANTA
GWINNETT GEEK GIRLS
MST3K ATLANTA
NOTORIOUS PIRATES
MYSTIC FALLS TOURS
SAVING THROW
SECRETS FACTORY GAME NIGHT
METRO ATLANTA GEEKS
STEAMPUNK ATLANTA

In the next month, or two, or three… or whenever I get around to it, I will be updating EVENTS & VENUES and the SHOPPING GUIDE.

Store Review: A World of Heroes (Dacula, GA)

I have added “A WORLD OF HEROES – Comics & Games” in Dacula, GA to the Shopping Guide.

Finally had a chance to visit this store for the first time in June 2010 even though I’ve known about it since moving northeast of Atlanta in 2007. (Tried staying faithful to keep my orders at another comics shop I’d been doing business with since 2003. But after moving further outside of Atlanta, the driving distance led me to look for another option.)

A World of Heroes specializes in comics (current popular titles, TPBs, back issues) and gaming (primarily the card and strategy type), but they also have other collectibles and merch available if you’re into superheroes and/or science fiction. (Not much in the way of Transformers or Anime except by way of manga, TPBs and back issues, but no big there since it’s not the store’s focus).

An adjacent room in the store has tables set up for gaming, and the store hosts both regular and spontaneous weekly gaming events. They don’t have a website, but they do have a Facebook page where they post info for upcoming store events.

One of the store’s co-owners, Fred Clayton, was very nice and helpful for me, and I learned that he’s also involved with fan panels for Dragon*Con’s SciFi Tracks.

At the time I visited, the store was doing 50% off select TPBs which motivated me to purchase volume 2 of “Twisted Toyfare Theatre,” and I picked up a back issue of IDW’s Transformers comic series as well. And I shall be visiting A World of Heroes regularly in the future as I’ve decided to do my future Previews orders with them.

Shopping Guide Updates

I’ve finished revising the Atlanta Fandom Shopping Guide.

Some noteworthy additions and updates:

Bookstand of NE GA
Spidee’s Comics & Toys
Discover Mills Mall
Hobbytown USA
The Junkman’s Daughter
The Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother
The Raven’s Nest
Rerun Videos

Also wanted to mention that both the N2 Movies and Games stores in Lawrenceville and Social Circle have closed in 2010 (although I don’t know when). I inquired about the Lawrenceville store in May 2010 at the PC/Mac tech store next door and they said they just came in one morning and noticed N2 was empty — like it happened overnight. And I went by the Social Circle store a week later and found it also empty with a “FOR LEASE” sign on the door.

The owner of N2 is an entrepreneur and an avid gamer. If he can find a way to reopen and remain profitable against MovieStop and GameStop, it’s likely he’ll give it another try in the future.

And I finally got around to visiting the House of Anime store in Duluth only to learn that it has become an online-only store. Their physical location is a warehouse storage facility which is not open to the general public.

I’ve also removed the listing for the Santa Fe Mall (formerly Venture Mall) in Duluth, GA. There used to be a sports/comics/collectibles/gaming store in this mall that sometimes had some great deals. However, the store closed sometime during 2009. (If they’ve moved and anyone knows their current location, please post feedback below.)

This mall was completely overhauled and redesigned with Gwinnett’s Latino population in mind as the key demographic. And it’s in an ideal location considering the sizable Hispanic population in Gwinnett. However, it’s doubtful that there are any stores still in this mall that would appeal to the fandom in Atlanta. There is one store selling videogames, videogame accessories, movies and related merch. Unfortunately, they were also selling so many bootleg products that I will not support them by listing them here.

The Venture Cinema is still located at the Santa Fe Mall. I used to watch movies here regularly when I lived in Lilburn due to it being a discount movie theater. However, the place is really run down and dirty, and probably unsafe after dark in the parking lot on weekends.

If you live in Gwinnett County and still want to visit a value/discount movie theater, I recommend the GTC – Gwinnett Town Center Value 10 Cinema in Lawrenceville, GA (next to the Kroger shopping center). It’s located in a marginally better part of town and at least the parking lot has brighter lighting.

Store Closings: Play N Trade – Dacula and Buford, GA

The Play N Trade video game store in Dacula, GA (next to Stars & Strikes) has unfortunately closed without notice. I visited this location on 5.24.2010 and found the store locked with all the product still inside. A brief note posted on the door stated that due to the poor economy the store had to close abruptly, and thanks all their regulars for their business.

On a related note, the Buford Play N Trade store near the Mall of Georgia appears to have closed recently as well.

I must say it’s very disappointing to see these two stores closing almost in the same month, and not just because I was a regular at both stores. It means that the retail industry in Atlanta is continuing to decline and that Play N Trade stores are unable to remain profitable and competitive with the monster corporate juggernaut of GameStop.

Play N Trade’s stores are very gamer-friendly and the staff have always proven helpful for me, and they are among very few retailers outside of independents who still buy/sell/trade vintage games, consoles and accessories.

There are still 8 7 6 5 Play N Trade locations open in the Atlanta area, and I encourage all Atlanta-area gamers to support them:

Athens – closed late 2011
Atlanta
Snellville – closed Summer 2011
Canton
Gainesville
Peachtree Corners – closed in 2010
Tucker
Woodstock

Visit PlayNTrade.com to find the location nearest you.

For you nostalgic types and former regulars at the Atlanta-area PNT stores that closed, I found some videos/TV commercials from those stores:

– Athens, GA

– Buford, GA

– Peachtree Corners, GA