McDonald’s 2018 Szechuan Sauce (Rick And Morty)

Do you remember where you were on June 19th, 1998? That was the day Disney’s Mulan hit theaters.

No? How about October 7, 2017?

I was at New York Comic Con that day and I was heavily debating if I should even attempt a trip to McDonald’s. Why? Because to coincide with the film’s release, McDonald’s offered a limited edition Chicken McNugget sauce in 1998: SzeChuan Teriyaki Dipping Sauce. I vaguely remember trying it…

Fast forward to April 1, 2017 as Adult Swim’s series Rick And Morty premiered its third season:

Rick And Morty fans are pretty hardcore. By Justin Roiland’s character (specifically Rick, since he actually voices both Rick & Morty) giving a brief history lesson on the sauce, fans went wild on social media! Original 1998 sauces started to sell for thousands and thousands of dollars! (Who’d eat that though?)

Needless to say, with one quick glance on Twitter while still at New York Comic Con, I was able to see that the situation was out of control.

Customers lined up the night before at their McDonald’s locations to obtain the limited edition designed sauce, plus collectible posters.

But alas, the select McDonald’s locations across the country had at most 20 each to give out, which means they ran out in seconds. Because of this, I’ve read some reports where there were fights and even worse outbreaks in attempt to get a pack or 2. Tension built up and demand went higher, leading to more eBay auctions at soaring prices.

Trying to right their wrong, McDonald’s announced that starting today 20 million Szechuan Sauces would be available at every McDonald’s in the country… So let’s see what happened.

I got a few packets to try with some Chicken McNuggets and the new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders.

My McDonald’s location was very strict and only gave a specific number of sauces based on the kind of chicken you order. And depending on your location, they may not even offer it with the Buttermilk Crispy Tenders… no clue why.

The packaging is nice. In fact, I much prefer this black, gold, and red look over the limited edition art from last year. The actual sauce is pretty good, but I’m glad I didn’t stand outside mid-fall to get it (or more likely: not get it). Still, it was fun munching on some nuggets while watching that clip from Rick And Morty.

I’d give this sauce a 7 out of 10.

If you’ve always wanted to try it for yourself, ask yourself: “How quickly will 20 million packets sell out?”


Star Wars: Galactic Nights Premiere (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, April 14, 2017)

I had the honor of attending Disney’s first ever Star Wars: Galactic Nights at their Orlando Hollywood Studios on April 14, 2017. Coincidentally, it overlapped with Star Wars Celebration at the Orange County Convention Center which I also attended, so the Force was very strong that weekend!

Galactic Nights is a single night event taking over the entire Hollywood Studios park, transforming the area into one giant Star Wars attraction! Since it was the galaxy debut, no one knew what to expect with the $129 admission… except for:

  • Rebel Base Activities – The Rebel Base will serve as the event hub with multiple events, hosted shows, Star Wars dance parties and more taking place in the center of the park.
  • Watch “Inside the Saga: Celebrity Chat Show” – Catch a celebrity chat show in Epic Theater to learn more about the making of Star Wars films.
  • Can’t-miss Star Wars photo ops – iconic Star Wars backdrops including Han Solo in carbonite, Jabba the Hutt’s Palace, the Hoth Wampa Cave and more.
  • Stars in Cars Motorcade – This procession will welcome in Star Wars celebrities down Hollywood Blvd.
  • Imperial March & March of the First Order – Darth Vader will lead a battalion of stormtroopers on a dramatic march down Hollywood Blvd to the Event Stage. Captain Phasma will also lead a unit of First Order stormtroopers through the park, pausing to give a demonstration of power and strength.
  • “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” – Watch high-energy clips of the best moments from the film saga juxtaposed with character moments on stage, featuring Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and more.
  • “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” – The skies will come alive with the power of the Force, as the park’s popular Star Wars-themed nighttime spectacular lights up the night.
  • Seize the Saga Interactive Scavenger Hunt – Event Guests are challenged to collect Star Wars themed pieces at the photo backdrops throughout the park, revealing a surprise when all items have been collected.

Here’s a glimpse of the Star Wars themed pieces referred above:

Each piece puts together a mini poster on the back of your badge to reveal a collage of all the Star Wars film (to date), and when placed under a special light during the fireworks spectacular, reveals a special message: Celebrating 40 Years, May The Force Be With You.

The event was truly special because only special ticket holders could stay in the park for the event as others were escorted out. And though the night was short, it was a very packed schedule. Starting with the Motorcade, a slew of Star Wars celebrities drove down Hollywood Blvd. including Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Warwick Davis (Wicket), Ray Park (Darth Maul), Alan Tudyk (K-2SO), Daniel Logan (Young Boba Fett), and Andi Gutierrez & Anthony Carboni from the Star Wars Show.

That led to this epic photo op:

If you’ve never experienced Star Wars Weekends (when it was around) and can’t afford to attend Star Wars Celebration, I highly recommend Star Wars: Galactic Nights. It’s just a fun-filled time with elements that make you feel like a part of the Star Wars universe! I mean, check out some of this amazing Star Wars themed food:

And what’s unique to Star Wars: Galactic Nights that you can’t find at conventions is the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Step inside and browse some of the galaxy’s finest offerings! Props, art, costumes, and even character meets! I got to meet Kylo Ren & Chewbacca and even collected character trading cards along the way.

Be sure to check out the stores set up around the park to score some awesome park exclusives – collectibles, lightsabers, action figures, etc…

And on TOP of all that, most of the park is still accessible and maybe even Star Wars-ified: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster changed up its soundtrack with some classic John Williams score as you soar through the ride. It was epic!

I don’t know how many times I rode Star Tours but because this was a private event, the lines were almost nonexistent!

And of course Padawan training was still happening outside Star Tours:

If only they offered autographing sessions like they used to do at Star Wars Weekends… But again, I guess that’s what Star Wars Celebration was for!

But for 5 solid hours, my night was filled with fantastic photo ops and memories at the first ever Star Wars: Galactic Nights.

And the good news is, Disney has continued and will continue to hold this event… December 16, 2017 for The Last Jedi… May 27, 2018 for Solo: A Star Wars Story… and beyond!

For tickets and more info, please visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.

Ramen Azuma (Englewood, NJ)

Northern NJ has experienced a recent influx of new eateries. And with a half mile street full of restaurants, dessert shops, and retail stores, Englewood is no different.

But here comes a game changer, just located a block away from the busy Palisade Avenue in the downtown area… Ramen Azuma opened its doors today, offering authentic Japanese ramen noodles for the first time in this city.

With a menu currently boasting 8 types of ramen, Ramen Azuma is changing the industry with their own ramen noodle machine, a first in the area. Wait until you try the kind of bite it creates in the noodles! Everything is prepared fresh in the open kitchen, and diners can enjoy a display of personal touch added to their food when seated at the bar area.

Coming from the same owners of East Japanese Restaurant in Teaneck, NJ and Soba Azuma in Fort Lee, NJ, you can expect the same high level of quality and ambience at Ramen Azuma. I got to experience this firsthand as the restaurant’s official first customer and even got to speak to the owner, Maou Suzuki.

Maou gives credit to his knowledgeable and experienced staff, some who flew in all the way from Japan, and the special machine they use to make the noodles from scratch. On top of the 8 ramen dishes, Azuma only offers a handful of appetizers to complement them so that they can focus on the quality and excellence of their ramen. Some of the sides you can order are pork or shrimp buns, homemade gyoza, takoyaki, fried chicken, kyuuri, poripori salad, and French fries.

I liked the ramen a lot and the fact that you can choose the type of noodles you’d prefer (thin white vs. thick yellow). The house made noodles have a great “bite” to them and the thick cut pork was delicious. The broth was just the way I like it and was proportionally served with the noodles.

The gyoza was cooked perfectly and had a sauce that complemented it so well. The takoyaki came with plenty of flakes and also had a great sauce. The balls themselves were packed with flavor with a perfect texture. And the shrimp buns were just fantastic.

If that’s still not enough, you can always add additional toppings to your ramen for just a little extra. I found that the size was already satisfying, but maybe on an extra hungry day could use another egg or some bamboo shoots.

Finding great ramen spots is a passion of mine so I’m so glad that Ramen Azuma is finally here, and so close too! If you’re still looking for that perfect ramen spot for you, be sure to check them out. They’re open daily from 11:30am to 9:30pm and offer a takeout menu as well.

For more information, visit them at

The New York Earth Room (1977), Walter De Maria

If you knew that there was a building in New York City with an entire floor filled with dirt, what would you do? I ran there!

Up on the second floor of 141 Wooster Street in SoHo is this massive interior “sculpture” by the artist Walter De Maria. Filling up the 3,600 square feet of space at 22 inches of depth is 250 cubic yards of earth weighing in at 280,000 lbs. (Wow, that’s a lot of stats!)

The artist created this gallery in 1977 as his third Earth Room (the first two being in Germany – both no longer on display) and it has been open to the public since 1980. The New York Earth Room was intended to be a 3 month exhibition but thanks to the Dia Art Foundation, it is still a popular site 41 years later with Bill Dilworth as its caretaker for the past two decades.

When you arrive, be sure to press the buzzer to gain access to the stairwell (the elevator will not take you to the second floor). Though it is a quick visit, it’s fascinating to see the whole space filled with dirt, which is regularly watered. Please note that touching of the work and photography is prohibited.

Admission is free and is open mid-September to mid-June, Wednesday to Sunday, from 12-6 pm (closed from 3-3:30 pm). Though it’d be impossible to put a price on this exhibit’s worth, it’s been said that it would easily be over one million dollars!

For additional information (including holiday closings), please visit:


GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center (Newark, NJ)

The Grammy Museum Experience is an interactive, experiential museum devoted to the history and winners of the Grammy Awards which opened at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on October 20, 2017.

Here’s your chance to experience music and the GRAMMYs like never before! Get a closer look at GRAMMY history, including the trophy design & past winners, and even iconic artifacts like wardrobe & instruments. You’ll even be able to pick up an instrument or two to see if you have what it takes to be a winner! (Be sure to stick around for the video at the end of this post!)

The GRAMMY Museum first opened in Los Angeles, CA in 2008. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching the history and significance of music. The music education aspect of Newark’s GRAMMY Museum Experience is clearly evident with interactive displays, Roland instruments scattered throughout the exhibit, and even a one-on-one lesson with Max Weinberg, the legendary drummer of the E Street Band!

Although the museum space is compact, every wall is used to provide something unique and educational. One of the first displays is a brief timeline of GRAMMY Awards trophies and their designs. Each era is represented with a trophy encased with a placard.

It was amazing to see how the design has changed throughout the 59 years of the GRAMMYs. And you’ll get to see how performances also have evolved, thanks to the great resources in this museum – try one of their many stations to listen & watch performances from over the years. Maybe you’ll even find your favorite artist or band featured on the walls! I did!

One of the great ways you can learn is with hands-on lessons. There are a number of ways to do this in the GRAMMY Museum… Step right up and sing along with Ray Charles & The Raelettes:

Or rock out with a few friends on the Roland Live stage! Playable instruments like drums, keyboards, electric guitar, turntables, keytar, etc.

I took the liberty of trying each instrument myself:

A section I particularly enjoyed was the “New Jersey Legends” showcase. Jon Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra, the Jersey Boys, Whitney Houston… These are just some of the artists who started their careers in the Garden State.

As you can see, there’s a lot of wardrobe and memorabilia on display but, as a musician myself, I was particularly fond of the instruments. If that’s you too, then you’ll love the upright piano used by fun. at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards and the Prince tribute drum set used by Bruno Mars at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards:

Everything is displayed so stunningly that you’ll realize that I can only include so much on this post. But something I must include before I wrap up is the art.

While there are many photographs and quotes posted all around the museum, some of the most beautiful GRAMMY themed art is on display. First, be sure to check out decades worth of GRAMMY art posters:

It’s just so incredible to see the transformation of style and expression throughout the 59 years of the GRAMMYs thus far…

Then we have a very special display of the “Making of a GRAMMY”, featuring a video explaining the process as well as a “dissected” GRAMMY trophy:

Next, there’s this giant GRAMMY Award by artist Laurence Gartel. Using his distinctive psychedelic technique combining vinyl, glitter, and prismatic materials, Gartel’s work is sure to catch your eye!

And finally, I consider this to be the centerpiece of the entire GRAMMY Museum because it is front & center at the entrance. Seen from outside and in, this white GRAMMY is on display with alternating colored lights. Personally, I think it’s an iconic symbol representing the blank canvas on which all musicians can paint using various styles and genres. A wonderful piece to see both on your way in and out!

So no need to wait for the Annual GRAMMY Awards every January/February. Swing by the GRAMMY Museum Experience at Prudential Center. It’s chock-full of information and is an entertaining visit through and through!

For more information, visit

The Jim Henson Exhibition (Museum of the Moving Image)

This was our first time visiting the Museum of the Moving Image!

In such a historic location, the Museum of the Moving Image is in Astoria (Queens, NY) and is found in the former building of Astoria Studios. After intensive renovations, it reopened in 2011 and is still an amazing spot for learning about the history & significance of various mediums including, but not limited to, film and television.

Currently, one of the permanent exhibitions found at the museum is The Jim Henson Exhibition, celebrating the life and legacy of Jim Henson with more than 300 pieces!

I grew up watching various Muppets programming, Sesame Street, and Star Wars, so Jim Henson’s work had a huge impact on my childhood. It was so amazing seeing some of these classic characters up close. Here’s one of my favorites (and one of my favorites to do impressions of)… Kermit the Frog!

As you can see, next to the Kermit puppet is the special headpiece that Jim Henson would wear when puppeteering him. It’s so crazy to see how well inanimate objects can come to life with the right hands!

Even something that appears to be a slinky/tube, named “Java” below, was a blast to see on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1966:

But, of course, we had to see some of our favorite Muppets like Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Statler & Waldorf, and Miss Piggy!

But what’s fantastic about the Jim Henson Exhibition is that it not only teaches you about his work, you get to be a part of it too!

My favorite kinds of museums are the interactive kinds, and thankfully this exhibit is one of them!

Step right up and try your “hand” at puppeteering a couple characters on-screen! You have to get low and build a scene from scratch, and then you’ll see a live playback! (Check out the video at the end for more)

In addition to this booth, there’s also a station to build your own puppet! This is for demonstration purposes only so you don’t get to keep it. But feel free to customize the look of your very own Muppet! Here’s our take:

What will yours look like?

But as I mentioned, one of Jim Henson’s biggest involvements was of course Sesame Street. For any Sesame fans, you’ll be very pleased with this next area! No introduction is needed:

And last, but not least, one of the final displays for the Jim Henson Exhibition was for his non-Muppets projects like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal.

There were puppets, animatronics, diagrams, videos, and so much more going on here!

(And don’t forget, Dark Crystal returns to theaters for 2 days only in February!)

It’s just a thoroughly detailed exhibition and I highly recommend it for fans of Jim Henson or the movies/TV shows mentioned earlier. His work and legacy continue to ripple into today’s franchises… Star Wars’ Yoda (Frank Oz), for example, and even Nien Nunb (Mike Quinn) in this week’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi! (Who’s ready for it??)

Which leads us into the rest of the Museum of the Moving Image.

The whole museum is filled with rich history and beautiful displays of vintage toys, collectibles, arcade games, film & TV props, and more.

So be sure to walk around and explore the techniques used in soundtracks, dubbing, sound effects, and visual effects. You might even be able to make yourself into a flipbook/GIF!

The Museum of the Moving Image is open to the public (starting at $7) Wednesday-Sunday. Free for Museum members & children under 3, and admission is free every Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Visit the site for specific hours & holiday closings.

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (Baltimore, MD)

Tucked away in Baltimore, MD and hidden from plain sight is Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. Opened over 11 years ago in September 2006, Geppi’s is a moderately sized pop culture museum. Special exhibitions are constantly rotating but inside you’ll always find a collection of over 60,000 amazing items including retro posters & artwork, collectibles, and rarities.

Tickets are reasonably priced and there are also memberships available.

The only way up to the museum is with an elevator spammed with pop culture decals… Random meters and dials, comic book character logos, and other references are plastered all over its walls:

And once you’re upstairs, you’re greeted by none other than the bounty hunter himself, Boba Fett!

Before you even pay for your ticket, you get an idea of the vibe awaiting you inside the museum. Vintage posters, framed art, things you’ve only seen on Google and Pinterest:

In no particular order, we began to wander the halls of this 16,000 square foot museum. And by chance we entered the massive room filled with old comic books and magazines… Amazing!

Not only did they have Superman’s first appearance, Action Comics #1 (1938), but also Batman’s first appearance, Detective Comics #27 (1939)! I’ve never seen these up close and in person before, so this was truly a one of a kind experience. Plus, this year Superman and Batman both released their 800th issues, so that’s something!

Not to mention all the other fantastic and iconic covers throughout the decades!

I thoroughly enjoyed each room, which housed its own era or theme. One room in particular was home to a very cool Daily Planet display case, surrounded by Superman artifacts and clippings. Toys, certificates, games, and art were all present here.

Check out this 1943 issue of World’s Finest #9 featuring Superman, Batman, and Robin throwing baseballs at the heads of the Axis alliance:

Other rooms pay tribute to popular television icons like sports teams, Howdy Doody, or the Three Stooges.

But one of the coolest rooms was the one that honored everybody’s favorite caped crusader… Batman!

Inside was a life-size statue of the Dark Knight, along with the iconic red 1960’s Bat Phone and Shakespeare bust with moveable head (see the video at the end for more)!

(Don’t worry if Superman is more your thing… Geppi’s has 2 lifesize statues of the Man of Steel!)

When I visited, Geppi’s was also running a special exhibit, “The Dark Knight Through The Decades”, which featured many rare collectibles and photos throughout the years. Autographed pictures, one of a kind art pieces, and more! It was a pretty hefty room, but here’s one part of it:

But with The Last Jedi releasing in one week (AHH!!), I’d be remiss not to mention all the great Star Wars items on display.

From vintage toys to vintage comics, Geppi’s has Ralph McQuarrie art, AFA graded Kenner figures, a CBCS graded Marvel Star Wars #1, and even the original folded 1977 27″x41″ movie poster!

As a huge Star Wars fan, this was a lot to take in!

So much eye candy and so little time!

I couldn’t believe how many spectacular pieces this place had acquired… But it’s important to note that while many of the exhibits are Geppi’s, many are also on loan from dedicated collectors all over the world.

It’s what allows the museum to have such pristine condition collectibles displayed, like these Transformers toys of Grimlock, Hot Rod, and Bumblebee:

Or like-mint condition boxes of Nabisco DC Super Heroes cookies and Mr. T cereal!

All in all, for the low admission price, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is just that: entertainment. If you’re a collector, pop-culture pundit, or just love watching reruns of Pawn Stars or American Pickers, you have to check out Geppi’s!

And as if all of that isn’t enough, as you exit the museum you’ll walk through a very extensive gift shop! You’ll find modern collectibles both cheap and not, as well as an impressive selection of comic books. (If you’re looking for any back issues, be sure to ask!)

Try to walk out empty-handed!

So check out Geppi’s Entertainment Museum! It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am-6pm and closed on some holidays. Check out for contact or more info.

Louis Vuitton Exhibition: Volez Voguez Voyagez #NYCVVV

We got to check out the brand new pop-up exhibit by Louis Vuitton in New York City during its opening week. Volez Voguez Voyagez is in NYC for a limited time: October 27, 2017 to January 7, 2018. Admission is free but timed reservations are recommended. There’s also an interactive app you can download for the exhibit, plus feel free to check out the audio guide tour and guided tour options as well!

Above: The Trunk of 1906…

The line to get in wasn’t too overwhelming but it wasn’t moving swiftly either. But time goes by rather fast, and it’ll all be worth it once you step inside and learn all about Louis Vuitton’s history. Plus, some great Insta-worthy photo ops (video at the end for more)!

Volez Voguez Voyagez is a multi-floor exhibit ranging from classic trunks from the 1800’s, to fashion pieces, retro advertisements, and even collaborations. Here’s a cool collab between LV and skateboarding brand Supreme:

The beginning of the exhibit is a huge history lesson which is really interesting because LV didn’t start off right away with high-end bags.

As you can see, the Vuitton empire is massive. You learn how LV started as a box-maker and developed unique and revolutionary trunks that paved the way for modern luggage… The Trunk Of 1906 is still used as inspiration for luggage today!

In addition to the trunks, many relics and artifacts were on display – tools used to build LV products, photos of LV’s start, and (one of my favorites) even records that keep track of numbered keys after the invention of the tumbler lock in 1890:

As you’ll see, the iconic monogrammed canvas was used from a very early time. This set Louis Vuitton’s creations apart from the rest and allowed him to stand out as the brand we all know today.

From room to room, a different theme or layout is used to match the historic pieces. One of the more popular rooms was called The Rise Of Yachting (see it in the video at the end). As you step inside, it feels like you just stepped aboard the Titanic! A giant mast & sail greet you as an imitation deck displays the invention of the steamer bag by LV:

Another popular room was Aviation which featured a 3D airplane displaying early 20th century bags:

The following room, Trains, reminded me of the Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios! The windows were changing scenery as you’re transported to another time & place. Here you’ll find new modes of travel with the invention of narrower trunks that can be tucked away in the train and a very particular fashion style for transportation.

The last room before the gift shop is “Louis Vuitton Loves America”! This is the most modern of all the rooms and showcases many pieces of Louis Vuitton from today. (Think: Red Carpet Premiere)

After going through this exhibit, all I can think of is “my, how times have changed!” Isn’t it crazy how easy it is to travel today? Wardrobes are easier to carry, bags come in all shapes and sizes, and we get from place to place faster than ever.

There may be times where you’ll find this exhibition a little dry and slow, but if you’re interested in learning how Louis Vuitton became the company it is today, I highly recommend checking it out before it closes its doors on January 7, 2018! It’s free, it’s informative, and you’ll get some great photos to remember it by too.

On your way out, be sure to see if there are any souvenirs you want to pick up at the gift shop. I even saw some people purchasing customized luggage tags that get stamped in the shop. And don’t forget to pick up your free #NYCVVV pintrill:

Rhode Island Comic Con 2017

Following the great time I had at Rhode Island Comic Con last year, I decided to attend the “The Biggest Show In The Smallest State” again!

While last year’s RICC had it’s ups & downs, it was still a well-put-together event given its venue restrictions. And even though some of its faults carried over into this year, it was still jam packed with amazing guests, fun panels, and cool vendors (feel free to peruse last year’s post to supplement the look & feel of RICC). Let’s photographically travel to Providence, RI together:

Of course there were many vendors who had the latest collectibles, ranging from plushies to statuettes, from cards to comics.

The art was also amazing this year. New techniques are becoming very popular trends… Maybe it’s because of the influence of DC’s recent “Metal” series, but the metal art I saw at NYCC a couple years ago has now blown up to a whole new level! At RICC not only did I see metal prints but also metal trading cards, poster sizes, and even Michael Golden (co-creator of Rogue & Bucky O’Hare) is upping his booth with 3D/lenticular prints. (I was yelled at for trying to take photos/videos of them…)

3D printing has also started to become a dime a dozen.

The more and more I attend cons, the more vendors I see creating 3D printed props and figures. This Baby Groot took many hours to print but you can tell that given its size, the printer is creating him in high detail!

Even the 501st Legion got in on the action with a life size 3D printed K-2SO!

This year, the 501st had an amazing section upstairs in the Rhode Island Convention Center. In addition to their costume/helmet gallery & R2 Builders Club, they put up an Endor Shield Bunker & speeder bike for photo ops. And of course, fully costumed 501st members were present. (Check out my video at the end for more)

I scoped the tables, picked up a few 501st trading cards that I didn’t have yet, and made my way over to Scarif again where I ran into Cassian. We almost got the Death Star plans out of there but an Imperial surveillance unit caught us in the act!

Smile! You’re on Imperial Candid Camera!

I saw a lot of great cosplay at the con, including a Spider-Man Homecoming version of Vulture. Check him out in the video below! (I think he had to check his wings in at the door!)

There was also a life-size Gal Gadot Wonder Woman statue on sale at FYE. It’s a lot more convincing than their previous Batman, Harley Quinn, and Deadpool statues.

Speaking of Deadpool… While in the past Deadpool was a popular fan favorite for comic con cosplay, I’ve actually been seeing more Ricks from Rick & Morty these days! Regular Rick, armored Rick, Piccolo (Dragon Ball + Pickle) Rick, Ronald McDonald Rick, etc…

With their third season done, I recently binge watched all 3 seasons for the first time. This allowed me to actually get all the references around the con, including artists appealing to the ever-growing Rick & Morty fanbase:

In particular, Adam Soltys‘ table caught my eye with my favorite Rick & Morty charcter: Mr. Meeseeks (look at me!)! In addition to prints & t-shirts, Adam also had his zombified Disney Infinity and Nintendo amiibo figures.

Check out some of his designs, including Super Saiyan Rick:

Unfortunately, meeting Rick & Morty creator Justin Roiland was no easy task. (We’re talking about 2 hours on a line to meet him…) Rhode Island Comic Con estimated about 100,000 attendees over the course of the weekend, and with last minute cancellations from many guests such as The Walking Dead cast, Mark Ruffalo, Val Kilmer, Jon Bernthal, and Freddie Prinze Jr., many fans were upset and had to “settle” for the remaining guests. My guess is that the long lines are due to the fact that TWD fans had to resort to their second, third, and fourth choices for meet & greets.

Justin Roiland, Jason Isaacs, Christopher Lloyd, Weird Al, Paul Reubens, and Robert Englund definitely had the longest lines throughout the con!

But I did manage to find time to meet some of the people I planned on meeting:

Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman, was such a nice guy! The line was moving slowly but it was worth it because he spent time talking to each fan, getting to know them, and even asking what they do for a living. The guy in front of me must have had an interesting job because Paul asked his assistant to continue interviewing him! When it came to my turn, we talked about Pee-Wee (of course), his voice as RX-24 in the Disney ride Star Tours (and how he reprised the role in the Star Wars Rebels cartoon), and his role in Gotham.

I’m not a fan of getting my autographs personalized, so when I handed over my Pee-Wee comic and RX-24 figures he jokingly asked, “Are you going to sell these?!” We laughed and continued our conversation. The book above and the one below for Weird Al are currently on their way to CGC!

If you’re just tuning in, I got this Obi-Wan & Anakin #1 comic sketched by Creees a few months ago at Garden State Comic Fest. Hoping to meet Weird Al at RICC, I asked Creees to draw Al in his Saga Begins attire (a la live performance) along with the first line of the chorus. It was perfect! Be sure to check out more of Creees’ art if you’re interested in prints or commissions!

When I showed Al, he was in awe and wanted to snap a photo of it on his phone before he signed it for me.

The funny thing about Weird Al’s booth was that instead of being a table out in the open like the other Headliners, he had a closed off booth which was accessible through a curtained entrance. I felt like I was lining up to meet a fortune teller or the Wizard of Oz! Upon entering, I exclaimed “Hey, they told me Spatula City would be behind the curtain!” (A reference to his 1989 movie “UHF“)

So glad I got to meet him though. Growing up, Weird Al was an influence on me in many areas: musical genres, pop culture references, humor, and even his fashion (just kidding!)!

We talked about his VH1 Behind The Music special and how my friend lost my VHS recording of it… The “Remastered” version on YouTube just isn’t the same. Unfortunately he couldn’t help me there!


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The third book I’m sending to CGC is my first Neal Adams signature:

If you know Neal Adams, then you probably know Deadman, and vice versa!

This is a highly anticipated comic book series that just launched two weeks ago. Above is the glow in the dark variant cover. I was lucky enough to grab one from my local comic book shop before they sold out!

Neal explained why he signed at the bottom of the cover: the raised glow in the dark lines repel the marker ink! He said he ruined two books earlier because he didn’t know this. Glad mine wasn’t a guinea pig!

Lastly, I was able to meet the new Chewbacca actor, Joonas Suotamo:

Joonas is a Finnish basketball player turned actor. He played Chewie alongside Peter Mayhew in The Force Awakens. He’ll do the same for this year’s The Last Jedi. And he’ll be the sole actor as our favorite Wookiee in next year’s Han Solo movie!

I did have to wait a few minutes though because one of those “autograph service” companies had just stepped in line ahead of me. They had stacks and stacks of items to be signed with Post-it’s indicating where Joonas should sign… and with what color. Insanity!

But I absolutely love the way he signs his name, incorporating a little Chewbacca face into his autograph. I told him it looked a lot like the Chewbacca Dog, and he said that Chewbacca Dog is his favorite picture!

All in all, Rhode Island Comic Con is still one of my favorite conventions because they don’t skimp out on the celebrity guests. Navigation is still something that can be improved, but was definitely better this year than 2016. I do feel bad for the fans who bought tickets just for 1 star who ended up canceling, but unfortunately that’s to be expected once in a while from any comic con. But even if that happens, walk around the show floor! There are always amazing artists, actors in roles you never realized before, or a collectible you never knew existed!

Until next time, RICC! You know how to get in touch with me…

Chow: Making The Chinese American Restaurant (Museum Of Food And Drink)

The Museum of Food and Drink is extending Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant until the Chinese Lunar New Year on February 16, 2018!

Step inside the Museum of Food and Drink as you experience the history of Chinese American cuisine with artifacts, 100 year old clippings, infographics, and even a fortune cookie machine! This limited time exhibit also features tastings at their exclusive Culinary Studio.

As the world’s first large-scale food museum, Brooklyn’s MOFAD delivers a visual walkthrough of the Chinese American Restaurant timeline (almost 200 years)!

You’re immediately greeted with a massive wall of takeout containers. But as soon as you step behind it, prepare to be immersed in a rich past. This exhibit was interesting and though it was quick, you learn a lot about the culture and cuisine, leading up to today.

As you walk around, you’ll find fantastic displays: photos, articles, even videos. One of my favorite sections was the wall of old restaurant menus. It was amazing to see how much has changed over the decades. Imagine paying only 75 cents for a plated dinner combo (soup, entree, and dessert)!

For Chow, MOFAD also houses a special fortune cookie machine that will create the cookies live with custom fortunes submitted using their in-house tablet/Twitter/hashtag (#ProjectFortune).

Powered by Infiniti, the purpose of #ProjectFortune is to spread messages of goodwill so that when visitors come to the exhibit, they’ll hopefully receive your fortune and share it with friends & loved ones!

See the fortune I submitted here!

Though the machine wasn’t working this particular day, we still got to learn about the whole process and see many of the submitted fortunes colorfully displayed at the end of the exhibit.

MOFAD also had part of Flavor: Making It and Faking It on display, their previous/debut exhibit. In this MOFAD Lab, different smelling stations were set up. Here you can experiment with a few apparatuses that would release a combination of various smells of your choice.

For example, what combination of cilantro, peach, caramel, and candy will create “strawberry”? Or how much orange oil, lime oil, cinnamon oil, and vanilla extract is needed to smell like “cola”?

Build different flavors at 3 stations or try your hand at the Smell Synth, a scent organ you can play! With over 500,000 different combinations, your senses will go haywire!

As you make your way to the exit, don’t forget to stop by the Chow Culinary Studio! Each General Admission ticket includes a small complimentary tasting (MOFAD states that they cannot guarantee dietary accommodations). And for an additional $11, you can upgrade to the Chow Down ticket which turns your tasting into a 3-course meal!

Tastings will vary from the chefs on duty to the featured dish of the month. We had the pleasure of sitting with in-house Chef John Hutt, who was not only very knowledgeable about authentic Chinese cuisine but also able to deliver a delicious meal!

He started us off with the dish of the month which was the Peking Pork with Sweet and Sour Glaze over rice. Great texture and great taste – the chef meticulously cooked the pork (see more in the video at the end).

Next, he served up some Malai Mushroom Dumplings with 7 year old vinegar. He taught us a brief lesson on Ma (numb) and La (spicy) – explaining that the mushrooms will create a tingling sensation, ultimately giving off a “spicy” effect. What a rush!

Lastly, we wrapped up with a Rice Pudding with Fortune Cookie. I normally don’t like rice pudding but it was a great finisher as we continued talking about Chinese cuisine and his involvement with the museum.

We were fortunate to have Chef John rather than one of the rotating guest chefs. His experience made our meal all the more enjoyable and it was educational too! The exhibit itself takes about 30 minutes with an additional 30 minutes for the full tasting. Be sure to check out the video recap below for more and click here for tickets.

The Museum of Food and Drink is extending Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant until the Chinese Lunar New Year on February 16, 2018!