Rai Con 2017

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall played host to Rai Con, an Anime and Manga Convention with a whole host of interesting characters in attendance with some wearing beautifully made costumes with intricate design.

The cutest costume of the day went to a lovely family with their three children. There was little Darth Vader, a little Doctor Who and little Princess. they looked absolutely adorable.

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Rai Con was started in 2016 with it’s first event attracting over 1500 attendees. It’s event, Rai Con Spring held in March 2017 brought 2200 people through the doors and the event appears to have become even more popular.

There are several science fiction, comic and fantasy conventions held in Glasgow each year and they all cater to the different fandoms. While Rai Con is an Anime and Manga Convention, there were people dressed as Doctor Who and other characters. It’s awesome to see people from different fandoms getting together and having a great time.

Various tables had beautifully crafted items for sale including hats, jewellery and artwork. The jewellery in particular was beautiful and there was a lot of fine detail in many of the pieces. It shows the talent that these designers have and the hard work to produce these beautiful pieces. One of these stalls was Lady Shinjuku which had earrings and gorgeous clip on furry ears.

The North Lanarkshire Ghostbusters and Capital Con Sci Fi were just a couple of the stands at Rai Con offering pictures to anyone who wanted and raising money charity.

This Convention was outstanding with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It is definitely one to check out if you haven’t already and one I will be attending again. Ten out of ten.

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Interview With Jon Davey

Jon Davey’s name is a regular one on the credits of Doctor Who. The actor has played some of the scariest and memorable villains on the hit BBC show. From Cybermen to Scarecrow, Jon has been behind iconic bad guys that the Doctor has battled. His list of characters include playing a UNIT Soldier, Marine and the all too familiar and terrifying Dalek.

JD Dalek

Jon’s work also includes live appearances at the Doctor Who Proms, Doctor Who Live and the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in Australia and New Zealand. He has attended numerous Science Fiction and Film conventions from London to Seattle.

JD Symphonic

I was fortunate enough to interview Jon and ask him some of the questions that I have always wondered about certain characters on Doctor Who.

Q – You’ve had a very successful career. What parts that you’ve played have stuck in your mind or been your favourite?

A – Probably the Cyberman from series ten as they were the first and the coolest looking monster. Also in particular, the headless pandorica cyberman. It was to have my head and arm cut off for the show.

Q – The Judoon wearing New Rocks was awesome. Was the Judoon costume heavy?

A – The New Rock boots fit the character well, they helped with the stomping too. The costume was heavy but the weight was well distrubuted so it wasn’t too bad. I wore the Captain’s Rhino head at Doctor who Live and the Symphonic Spectacular. There was very little vision but it was fun to creep up behind people and give them a scare.

Q – You’ve played quite a few key villains, cybermen and clockwork droid to name a few. Do you enjoy playing bad guys?

A – It’s good to be bad. Getting a geniune reaction from people is always fun. Especially at live events.

Q – What has been your best scare at a live event?

A – Doctor Who Live in Cardiff. During the interval I was dressed as a scarecrow and followed a popcorn seller without her , until she turned round, screamed and popcorn went flying everywhere.

Q – So you enjoy scaring people. Do you enjoy being scared? Are you a fan of horror movies?

A – Love horror movies. I watched Salem’s Lot as a child and had nightmares. Evil Dead and the Dead movies were also a favourite.

Q – If you were to go up against any of the bad guys you’ve played Which would it be and why?

A – Maybe the Clockwork Droids, I can hold my breath for a long time.

A huge thank you to Jon for taking part in this interview. The photos used on this blog are from Jon’s website which can be viewed at:

http://www.jondavey.com

 

An Epic Chess Battle

Residents of a scheme in Thornlibank, Glasgow would have been forgiven for thinking they were in the middle of a parallel universe when cosplayers descended on a small park for a chess battle with a difference.

Super Mario, Ghostbusters, Samurai Troopers and a Pokémon trainer were just a few of the characters involved.

Faced off against one another, these characters took one another on.

The shoot was organised by Rayhan Abbasi who turned a plain dog enclosure into a chess board where the iconic battle would be fought. When asked how the shoot came about, he said,

“I had an idea that I thought I could captivate a lot of people and I was lucky enough to have the cosplayer community back the idea. Now hopefully I’m on the way to create something that does them all justice.”

As characters made their way across the board, some were beaten in unique and interesting ways. Others felt the wrath of Pokémon and the dark side of the force. Each move carefully choreographed by Rayhan and his crew.

The event was great for cosplayers to get together and have fun. Laughs were had when a Samurai trooper broke into song with “Cuban Pete”. It was amazing to see so many like minded people chatting and getting to know one another.

The final product of the shoot will be something to look forward to. Rayhan and his team are currently editing the piece and there will be a showing of it once it is completed.

Cosplay brings people who enjoy the same things together and there are several who use this to raise money for worthy charities. This is another example of cosplayers coming together to do something worthwhile and having a lot of fun doing it.

What Is The Answer

What Is The Answer?

Shortly after 22:00 hours in Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on an open air concert from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The number of fatalities is still unconfirmed however at least 59 people are thought to have been killed.

The norm for this sort of incident means that the debate about gun control in the USA is going to come up. Both sides are passionate about their argument and there are times when it becomes ugly. It once again raises the question as to whether the USA needs stricter gun control.

The 2nd amendment states:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Many Americans take the 2nd Amendment very seriously and have stated that they would refuse to give up their guns and that’s their right. Everyone has the right to defend themselves, so long as they do it within the law.

While there is gun control in the US, a lot of people believe it’s not enough. Every time there is a mass shooting, the same argument comes up.

On 13th March 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School in Scotland with four handguns that were legally purchased and owned. He shot and killed 16 children and one teacher.

The massacre led to the formation of a group called the Gun Control Network. Their work led to the government introducing the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 banning all cartridge ammunition handguns. A further Amendment would be added which banned .22 cartridge handguns. The ban is a frequent argument used in the gun control debate.

It is understandable that people want to see better gun control. Guns can do a lot of damage from a distance, especially automatic weapons. In several mass shootings, the shooter has been found to have mental problems is another can of worms. Are better background checks the answer? Should there be psychological evaluations before someone is allowed to own a gun? There are so many questions and possibilities that it becomes impossible to reach a suitable conclusion.

The National Rifle Association of America prides itself on fighting for gun rights for its members. They provide firearm training and their programs include Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program which teaches children in pre kindergarten through third grade on what they should do if they find a gun. Advocating responsible, safe firearm handling and safety, the NRA ensure that their members have all the tools required.

Whether or not the gun control issue will be dealt with, the debates will continue and both factions divided. I have a lot of friends who are responsible gun owners and while they try to explain their side to people, there are a lot of those people set on guns being banned and no amount of explanations will convince them otherwise.

Perhaps the ideal solution is tougher sentences for those who break gun laws? While that may deter some, there are individuals who are so determined to take the lives of others, nothing deter them. The media will be raising the gun control question over the coming weeks and there will be a lot of facts and figures from both camps.

Had guns been banned in the US. Would Stephen Paddock have been able to kill as many people? Would he have obtained a gun anyway to complete his plan? These are questions that are very tricky to answer. Terrorists have begun using cars and vehicles to kill people. Does this mean cars should be banned? We live in a world where there are a lot of dangerous people who will stop at nothing to kill others.

Should the focus be shifted to those firing the weapons rather than the actual weapon itself?

MCM Brings Geek To Glasgow

MCM Brings Out The Glasgow Geeks

Comic fans, cosplayers and collectors descended on the SEC in Glasgow this weekend for MCM Scotland Comic Con. The two day event held over this weekend hosted various guests including Sam Jones who played Flash Gordon, Power Ranger stars David Yost, Walter Jones, Karan Ashley and Johny Yong Bosch. The event was sold out on Saturday with tens of thousands in attendance.

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Various stalls held a treasure trove of collectables. There was a vintage toy stall called ‘Retro Spective’ that had a toy from my childhood, a Keeper which I couldn’t resist buying. There was some amazing artwork by different artists who put a lot of work into their pieces and it shows by how beautiful and intricately detailed they are. Other stalls had action figures, comic books, plushies, cosplay weapons and an array of clothes.

A friend of mine runs a stall called Venus’s Vault at these conventions and her work is amazing. Everything she sells is handmade and the work she puts into her merchandise shows in it’s high quality. If you’re looking for patches, cushions or a bag of your favourite show then she’s the one to speak to. She also does custom work if you contact her.

https://www.facebook.com/VenusVault/

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As someone who has attended numerous conventions, it is still fantastic to see how detailed the costumes are. One Batman cosplayer had a great costume (pictured below). What was also great to see was the higher numbers of anime and Disney cosplays. There was a wicked queen from Snow White and Maleficent whose costumes had great detail and their demeanour as they walked around the halls added to the characters they were representing.

Personally, I was thrilled to see some Resident Evil cosplayers, Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker and Leon Kennedy were just a few I spotted.

There were some very adorable young cosplayers, one of which was a baby dressed as wonder woman and another dressed as Yoda.

MCM really brought the Geek to Glasgow in the best way possible. To see so many like-minded individuals in one place doing what they loved is what conventions are really about and it was a pleasure to see. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of different things, it doesn’t matter if your costume is store bought or hand made. There are no best and worst with regards to costume or the person wearing it. What’s important at these events is having fun and meeting like-minded people. It is a great atmosphere and gives everyone such a buzz. If you’ve never been to a comic convention then I would high recommend you give one a try, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s Never Ok

It’s Never OK

Bruno Tonioli was told off by Tess Daly on Strictly after he apparently groped fellow judge Shirley Ballas. Daly told Bruno off saying ‘Bruno! What? We are live!’ Shirley Ballas was laughing at the incident and up until now hasn’t said anything. No doubt Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites will be ablaze with opinion before the weekend is out.

Bruno Shirley

The incident got me thinking about something that struck me last week when I was watching clips from America’s Got Talent.

Ventriloquist Darci Lynne had brought out her puppet Edna who she said had a crush on Simon. The camera cut to Simon as fellow judge Heidi Klum reached over and pulled Simon’s shirt open a little further. Simon moved her hand away and shook his finger at her but it got me thinking that it’s not the first time I’ve seen this happen. If memory serves, Amanda Holden has done the same thing to Simon on Britain’s Got Talent and yet there was nothing mentioned about the incident. However, I have a suspicion that if Simon had done the same thing to Amanda or another female judge then the public and tabloids would have had a field day.

Simon

Is nothing mentioned because Simon is a man and it’s generally considered that it’s acceptable for a woman to touch a man in such a way? The story about Bruno is making headway online and I am sure it won’t be long before women’s rights groups will be jumping on the bandwagon and yelling for Bruno to be sacked. Yet nothing is mentioned when a woman touches a man in such a way.

So many people are crying for equal rights for women and yet the tabloids and some women don’t see it that way.

The bottom line is, it is never ok to do this to someone without their consent. There are no exceptions and it stands for both men and women. A persons gender shouldn’t dictate whether or not another person has the right to touch them in such a way or pull at their clothing.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few days.

CRUFFA’s Swing and Miss

The day that was planned to be the jewel in CRUFFA’s crown was a dud when some laughable photos and captions were put on the CRUFFA Facebook group. The first was of a bulldog on it’s way into Crufts with Jemima stating the temperature was 10 degrees and the dog was panting. It was quickly pointed out that a lot of the dogs will pant on their way into Crufts as it is quite a walk from the car park to the NEC, not to mention a lot of dogs get excited seeing other dogs and people. It was really scraping the bottom of the barrel to find fault.

Another incident saw Jemima’s photographer Sue Thatcher confronted politely when she was taking photos of Bulldogs in their benching area. When she was asked if she had permission to photograph the dogs, she quickly walked away. However not before someone saw that she was wearing a press pass. I’m intrigued to find out exactly which publication (if any) she was representing. Or have CRUFFA applied and been granted press access by the Kennel Club, which is so is extremely bad judgement on their part.

Never the less, it was a good day for exhibitors who enjoyed watching some very beautiful dogs strutting their stuff on the green carpet and the dogs having fun while spending time with their owners.