Category: New York City

FlameCon2, Part II…


Exactly seven days ago, on Sunday, August 28, 2016, I had the honor and pleasure of attending the second and final day of FlameCon2, which was the second annual Queer Comic Con.

You can read my blog post about the very first FlameCon by visiting:

 

 

https://thisgaymanslife.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/flamecon/

 

 

And so, I was on my way to Manhattan, to go to Brooklyn.  Specifically, the New York Marriott at The Brooklyn Bridge.  In the meantime, in spite of being a fanatic for punctuality, I was late.  Well, I did not need to be there at a certain time, per se, but the hours for the last day were from 11:30AM-4PM, so it was not like I was going to be there for several hours.

Last Saturday night, I began chatting with someone on the Growlr app, and he told me that THE Chris Claremont was going to be part of a panel discussion entitled “PRIDE and the X-Men,” and when I had learned that he wrote Uncanny X-Men for seventeen years, I knew that was a panel discussion to attend.

And I would have, except that I arrived after 2PM (did I mention the panel discussion was from 2-3PM?), and by the time I arrived, the room was closed.

Actually, I do not recall the exact phrasing the volunteer used, but she said that I would be unable to enter; I eventually learned that any additional people in Room B might be a safety hazard.  Now, that I can certainly understand, especially as someone who used to work in supermarkets.

It certainly gave me the opportunity to catch my breath, wipe the sweat from my forehead, and have a light breakfast and certainly sitting down!

After catching my breath, eating, and relaxing, I looked at the Thomson Reuters Convene app, that FlameCon/GeeksOUT! recommended downloading on one’s smartphone (which was a very good recommendation, by the way), and saw a great panel discussion entitled “Agism in the Geekosphere & Fandoms That Span Generations.”

 

 

App

 

 

Little did I realize that attending this panel discussion would make the entire con for me!  And I cannot deny, I LOVED the fact that I was first in line to attend this particular panel discussion.

Originally, the panelists consisted of:

 

 

Mags Visaggio

https://www.tumblr.com/search/mags%20visaggio

Laura Antoniou

http://lantoniou.com/

Nayland Blake

Matthew Waterhouse

http://www.matthewwaterhouse.com/

Cecilia Tan

http://www.ceciliatan.com/

 

 

However, Nayland Blake announced early on that Mags Visaggio had an emergency and was unable to be a part of the panel discussion, as originally scheduled.  I must confess, I have not followed up to see if she is OK, but I hope and pray that she is OK.

In the meantime, as much as I enjoyed all the panelists, it was listening to THE Laura Antoniou talk about her growing up, sharing her anecdotes, and her treasures of old ‘zines and scripts that touched my heart and moved me to tears.  What she shared moved me to feeling nostalgic, in spite of the fact that the experiences she shared when she was younger were not experiences that I had experienced when I was younger, but they touched my heart, all the same.

Every panelist, from Nayland Blake, to Laura Antoniou, to Matthew Waterhouse, to THE Cecilia Tan, were a joy.  Truly, I received more than double my money’s worth with that one panel discussion.  I was also happy to discover that all the attendees of this panel discussion received a ten per cent discount on any purchase at the Circlet Press table.  Circlet Press, “Erotica for Geeks” was founded by THE Cecilia Tan.

I must acknowledge that, although I took notes during this panel discussion, as well, I have not looked at them.  Then again, my penmanship when I participate in panel discussions and workshops seems akin to Ancient Sumerian, these days!

I was truly very happy and floating on a cloud peace and light-heartedness after attending this particular panel discussion, and was looking forward to going to the Circlet Press table, and as I was about to leave said table, I had the opportunity to meet and speak personally with THE Laura Antoniou!

Once I finish up some of the books that I AM reading (as well as rereading), I shall begin reading her novel, The Killer Wore Leather.  Yes, I AM very excited to read it.  It has been a while since I have read some good LGBT books; of course, I only read good or very good LGBT books, but I digress!

In closing, here is a video that I made and uploaded a few moments ago, where I show off the programme for FlameCon2:

 

 

 

 

 

And I love how in the background you can see THE Terry Blas’s venerated vision of Buffy Summers, and yes, she DOES fight like a girl!

You can also view the Facebook Event page by visiting:

https://www.facebook.com/events/315671141941358/

Also, you can learn more about FlameCon by visiting their Website:

Home

And you can learn more about GeeksOUT! by visiting their Website:

http://geeksout.org/

Thank you, FlameCon.  Thank you, GeeksOUT!  And good night!

 

 

FlameCon2, Part I…


Exactly seven days ago, on Saturday, August 20, 2016, I had the opportunity to attend the first day of the second annual FlameCon, the NYC area’s first LGBT comic con.

After finding out about the very first FlameCon, I knew that I would be attending FlameCon2.

For those of you who may have missed it previously, you can click here:

 

https://thisgaymanslife.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/flamecon/

 

to read about my experience at the very first FlameCon.

This year’s FlameCon (or, FlameCon2, as the case may be) was not held at The Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, but was held at the Brooklyn.

However, it was still held in the Beautiful Borough of Brooklyn, NYC.  Specifically, the New York Marriott at The Brooklyn Bridge.

Once again, as I have been stating lately, especially online, Brooklyn is doing a very good job of taking very good care of me.

When I first became a professional Psychic, Manhattan and Queens were the NYC Boroughs treating me very well, but especially since last year, Brooklyn has been doing a better (and more frequently!) job of taking good care of “Robert Alvarez, the Psychic Witch” than Manhattan and Queens, COMBINED!

The first day of FlameCon2 was last Saturday, August 20, 2016, and was from 1-7PM.  I must acknowledge that I was already looking forward to purchasing comic books, graphic novels, original art work, and some other fun stuff, so I went right into the Main Ballroom for a bit of a shopping trip.

In fact, it soon became apparent that I needed a big shopping bag.  I was walking by one of the tables, specifically, the one for Prism Comics, and found a big, purple tote bag with the words “homo superior” written on it.

It also reads, “A nonprofit organization supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender comics, creators and readers.”  That enormous tote bag helped me enormously.

For more info about Prism Comics, you can visit their Website:

 

HOME

 

I went on to go to a few other tables and buy some more things, mainly books (of course!), but I also wanted to attend at least one of the panel discussions, and I did!

I decided to attend “Breaking the Mold: Diversity in Comics” which was held from 4-5PM in Room B.

A few moments ago, I briefly read (or, rather, attempted to read) the notes I took during that panel discussion.  I AM Re-Minded that I truly would benefit from learning shorthand.

In the meantime, let me list the individuals who were a part of the panel:

 

Amy Reeder

http://amyreeder.tumblr.com/

Sophie Campbell

http://mooncalfe-art.tumblr.com/

Heather Hogan

http://heatherannehogan.tumblr.com/

Terry Blas

http://terryblas.com/

Steve Orlando

http://thesteveorlando.blogspot.com/

Greg Pak

http://gregpak.com/

 

Heather Hogan moderated the panel discussion, and she did a lovely job.  I must confess, I knew very little about Ms. Hogan, but after spending some time devouring her Tumblr page, I feel like nominating her for President of the United States (can I do that?  Please?!).

I enjoyed all the panelists, but shall not deny that I felt a greater affinity for two of them.  First, Sophie Campbell, a comic writer and artist known for her indie comics Wet Moon and Shadoweyes, as well as the artist for a new Jem and the Holograms Series.

When Ms. Campbell said that she was in a grouchy mood, I could not help but feel this amazing affinity with her.  Granted, I was in a great mood, and was so happy to attend that panel discussion (although I would have loved to have sat in a chair, as opposed to standing, but I digress), and I know what it is like to feel grouchy!

And then, Mr. Terry Blas.  When he mentioned that he is half-Mexican, and was a Mormon from Boise, Idaho, I was like, “WHAT?!”

Of course, once he mentioned how much he enjoyed watching the complete series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer after he was no longer a Mormon, well, I felt as though I was looking at yet another brother from yet another mother.

It was a very informative and insightful panel discussion, and yes, I was able to have a seat, about a minute before the conclusion of this panel discussion.

After the panel discussion, I was certainly going to Mr. Blas’s table, and when I arrived (surprise, surprise!) there were several people there, and I must admit, I was truly digging watching the others talk to him, interact with him, ask him questions, buy his publications and art, etc.

Little did I know that I was experiencing a live, somewhat Psychic form of “foreshadowing.”

After about seven or eight people talked to Mr. Blas, made purchases and whatnot, he started greeting someone, and I had no idea that he was talking to ME!  And yes, I realized this after I started looking around to see to whom he was speaking; when the people I saw around me looked at me, I quickly realized that Terry Blas was talking to ME!

Being Cuban, I was able to have a great conversation about being Latino, growing up Latino, and of course, I could get away with telling him to take another bite of his sandwich!  People gotta eat, you know.

I enjoyed our Latino-themed bochinche and then purchased several items.  And, of course, he autographed all of them.  Thank you, again, Terry Blas!

There is more, but I shall leave the rest for tomorrow, Sunday, August 28, 2016, when I write and publish “FlameCon2, Part 2…”

But in the meantime,feel free to visit the following Websites:

 

Home

 

http://geeksout.org/

 

In the meantime, thank you, all for all you do for so many.  I look forward to reading and replying to your comments on this post.

Thank you, and good night!

The "power purple" homo superior tote bag from Prism Comics. They also had a golden yellow and a blazing pink, as well.
The “power purple” homo superior tote bag from Prism Comics. They also had a golden yellow and a blazing pink, as well.

 

Bureau of General Services–Queer Division…


In the last few months, I have written blog posts on “This Gay Man’s Life…” about events that I have attended at the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division (or, the Bureau, for short).  I have stated in said blog posts that I need to write an actual blog post about the Bureau.

After attending a recent (as well as lovely, or rather, another lovely event) at the Bureau, not to mention telling both of its co-founders, Donnie Jochum and Greg Newton, how much I love their space (very much, in fact!) and then mentioning this WordPress Blog, I knew the time had come for me to finally sit my ass down and write this blog post.

And yes, my beautiful followers and readers, you can say it (or, in this case, write it).  In fact, I shall happily start you off: “Robert, it is about FUCKING TIME you wrote a blog post about the Bureau!”

So here it is.

The Bureau brings back a Queer bookstore, art and cultural space to Manhattan, NYC.

Those of us who live in or near NYC and are at least twenty-five years of age may recall that Manhattan had two LGBTQ bookstores: A Different Light and the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop.  As you also know, they closed up their respective shops many years ago.

The Bureau was originally located in the Strange Loop Gallery, located on Orchard Street, in the Lower East Side section of Manhattan, NYC from November, 2012, until August, 2013.  From there, it moved to Hester Street, also in the Lower East Side, and was there from September, 2013, until September, 2014.

I vaguely recall when it was located at Strange Loop Gallery, but was very happy that I discovered it in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center, located on West 13th Street in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan.

Although I AM a happy Gay Man, I was happy to have attended a Bisexual Book Club meeting, as my very first Bureau experience.  In addition, I happen to have a dear friend who is a fellow professional Lightworker (specifically, an Energy Healing Practitioner) and who is also Bisexual, and he accompanied me to the book club meeting.

Frankly, I was happy to introduce someone else to the Bureau, so soon after learning about its existence.

Since then, I have been to about four or five other events at the Bureau, and looking forward to attending others.  By the way, did you know, the Bureau hosted 171 events in 2014?

For more information about the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division, as well as upcoming events, offering to volunteer, or arranging to make donations (because really, Manhattan has already had two queer bookstores close, having another one would simply not do!), you can visit their Website:

 

http://bgsqd.com/

 

I AM most thankful to both Donny and Greg for co-founding the Bureau, and for all they do there, and make no mistake, they do a lot!

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog follower, “thescalesofapisces.”  Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.  May you receive great information and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…”

And to those of you already following or reading “This Gay Man’s Life…” thank you for honoring who you are and what you do, and for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.BGSQDlogo

FlameCon…


Most of you know that I book up super fast.

Between a professional Psychic Practice, and a side position of employment that is more full-time than part-time, especially since September, 2014, advance notice is truly a great friend of mine.

When someone tells me about something taking place within a week of the notice, the chances of me attending are slim to none, but when I find out about something happening at least two months from the time I find out about it, the chances of me attending are much greater.

Indeed, it was approximately two months ago that I found out about FlameCon, NYC’s very first Queer Comic Convention, and I was so happy to learn about it.

I must confess, that when it comes to comic books, the only one that I ever read faithfully was Darkwing, which I enjoyed very much, especially since the lead character discovered an Ancient Egyptian artifact that imbued him with super powers.

Nonetheless, I was overjoyed to have had the opportunity to attend FlameCon.

Interestingly enough, I had the opportunity to go to the Prospect Avenue in Brooklyn this past Thursday, June 11, for a different event and reason, which certainly helped me to find Grand Prospect Hall so I could attend this event.

I love that a nationally registered historic place (yes, Grand Prospect Hall is a historic monument, another reason why Brooklyn is badass!), was the site of the very first FlameCon.

Even before I arrived, I could see people who either were going to or coming from Grand Prospect Hall.  The various super hero logo t-shirts, not to mention various people beautifully and wonderfully engaged in cosplay.

The volunteers were super nice and helpful, and they did a great job of taking care of everyone, including me.

Now, to the juicy stuff!

When I entered the Sun Room, I soon encountered the lovely Tere Michaels, author of, among many others novels, The Vigilante: Book One: Who Knows the Storm.  Now, when I first encountered her, I was about to ask her how much a book entitled Dreams of Fire and Gods: Gods, by James Erich was.

However, she totally surprised me by informing me that, if I sign up for their Email list, I can have any book on that side of the table, FREE!  Truly, arm-twisting was wholly unnecessary!!

Yes, I signed up (after placing that book in my bag), and then I met Jeff, the wonderful husband of the wonderful author known as Damon Suede.

First of all, Jeff is not only beyond badass, but super sweet.  At one point, he asked me if I simply wanted to browse, of if I wanted to hear the pitch.  Frankly, I wanted to hear the pitch, because I really did feel like a tourist all over again (there must be something about that section of Brooklyn that turns me into a tourist!).

I loved his pitch, and wound up purchasing the aforementioned The Vigilante: Book One: Who knows the Storm, by Tere Michaels, then purchased Hot Head, by Damon Suede (which, Jeff, verbally applauded; I mean, really, between the delicious-looking, half-naked studs depicted on the cover of the book, the title (REALLY!), and, after Jeff told me the story behind Mr. Suede’s Bad Idea, how could I not buy it, too?

So, I purchased the three books, which of course, I had autographed, and what wondrous autographs, indeed!

Then, Jeff gave me a pair of purple sunglasses with the Dreamspinner Press logo on one of the arms, then a “bad idea” stick pin.

Of course, Jeff flustered me because he took one out of the box, leaned forward and said, “How would you like a bad idea?”  Oh, my Gods!  I was a-flutter the way he said it!

So much so, that my usual dominant nature was temporarily suspended and I told him to stick it wherever he wanted!

Really, he said it so seductively, that I was quite flustered.  It felt good to be Re-Minded of manly wiles!

After that, I walked around to the other side of the Sun Deck and saw THE Tom Cardamone.  I first met him back in 2013 (you can read about that experience by visiting https://thetarotman.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/tom-and-trebor-rimming-a-horse-and-a-faun/ ), and saw his book, The Lavender Menace, which he not only edited but also features one of his stories.  You know I cannot wait to read all of them!

I also had the lovely pleasure of meeting Jezza Smilez, who created Nathan and the Adonai.  The artist is even more gorgeous than the men he draws.

All I can say is: HOT DAMN!

Then, I walked into The Salon, and saw Greg Fox, the super cool creator of THE Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast.  I first discovered this series, several years ago, during one of my first visits to Giovanni’s Room, and I love the series.  No overt nudity, which I can enjoy, and a culturally diverse cast of sexy men, which proves that men come in many different beautiful shapes, sizes, and colors!

I must confess, although I have owned the first Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast book for years, I had no plans to buy anything, but between some great chats, and some star-strucked behavior on my part (which, if Mr. Fox is reading this, I hope and pray I did make you feel uncomfortable), I decided to purchase Kyle’s B & B Presents: The Pin-Ups.

Again, all I can say is: HOT DAMN!!

Alas, by the time I saw C. Edwards, author of both Abel Boddy and 12′ Roommate (which has been designated as NSFW!! [Not Safe For Work] and I have no doubt that designation is quite correct!), I was running low on funds.  Good thing I had made sure to set aside the bulk of my monies and leave those at home, otherwise, well, I might have been carrying a sandwhich board sign that reads “WILL GIVE READINGS FOR FOOD.”

And I almost forgot: I purchased a copy of Cretian Cow, by THE Gengoroh Tagame.  I had the honor and pleasure of reconnecting with two people who work with THE Jiraiya.  I had the honor and pleasure of meeting both of them a few months ago, when I met THE Jiraiya.  Alas, no, I did not write a blog post about it.

If I allowed other men to spank me, I think there would be a line of men wanting to spank me, and hard!

I wanted to take a short break, so I took the Otis French birdcage elevator to the Balcony and sat to do some people watching.  Which I enjoyed very much.  Half-naked men, especially fellow hairy men who were in full force today!

If you have the opportunity to go to FlameCon, next year, I highly recommend it.

You can visit

http://www.flamecon.org/

For more info.

Thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.  And good night!flameconlogo

 

7th Annual New York Rainbow Book Fair…


Yesterday, Saturday, April 18, 2015, I had the opportunity, honor and pleasure of attending the 7th Annual New York Rainbow Fair, which is touted as “The Premier LGBT Book Event in the U. S.”

I was in sheer heaven!  Remember, I AM a certified bibliophile, and when I look at some of these photographs on the Internet showcasing some of the most GORGEOUS Libraries on the Planet, I experience something quite akin to an orgasm!

As most of you know, I book up very fast.  In previous years, I would find out about this event either a few weeks after it took place, and in one case, a few months.

Fortunately for me, I found out about this event back in March, a full month or so before the Fair took place.  I was excited, and I was ready.

The Rainbow Book Fair was from 12-6PM, however, I was Divinely Guided to wait until after my local postal carrier did his or her rounds for the day.  After I retrieved my regular mail (or, to use the phrase of the day,”surface mail”) for the day, I was off to Manhattan.

I wanted to walk up from Port Authority, and I was feeling good, listening to Chaka Khan on my smartphone (thank you, Spotify!), and feeling good.  I was wearing a new outfit and showing off a bit of tummy!

But you do not want to hear about that (or, maybe you do!).  Regardless, I was on my way to the Holiday Inn Midtown where the Rainbow Book Fair was held.

Now, as I have mentioned in previous posts, as well as offline, I happen to love books, and were it not for time and money, I have no doubt I would have needed to purchase some luggage, or even hired a personal assistant to assist me with my purchases!

I had arrived at approximately 2:30PM, and was delightfully shocked that the admission price was $3.00.  That is how much I pay to go from where I live into Manhattan.  In my Mind I thought, “That’s it?!”  Indeed, I shall happily pay $3.00 to walk in the door and buy books!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the volunteer behind the table was someone with whom I have engaged in social activities at both the Gay Community Center of Manhattan, as well as the Queens Pride House in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, NYC.

I received a program, a sticker (which fell off not too long after my arrival; next time I shall put it on my face and see if it stays there!), and a copy of the Gotham Cafe menu (no, I did not eat there, but I have a great reason to return).

Then, I walked around, and found a table for the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division (and yes, I still need to write that blog post about them!).

From there, I walked to the table for Lethe Press.  Now, as many of you know, I AM a big fan of the Marco Fontana Mystery Series written by THE Joseph R. G. DeMarco, whose books are published by Lethe Press, so you know I had to go to that table.

I do not recall the names on the sign, but neither author was there.  However, Mr. Jonathan Harper was, whose Energy is lovely, and who is quite easy on the eyes!

I must confess, when I first walked up to him, I thought he worked for Lethe Press, as in, he was an employee, but I was happy to learn that he was selling copies of his debut collection of short stories, Daydreamers.  It has been a while since I have read a collection of short stories, so I AM looking forward to this.

After this, I met Chris who was representing La Casa Azul (which is Spanish for “The Blue House”), which is East Harlem, NYC’s, local, independent bookstore.  You know I love my Independent Booksellers!  And yes, I AM already planning a trip, and soon!

From there, I walked over to the table featuring the works of Rhys Ethan, “Author-Actor-Crazy Person.”  Mr. Ethan is yet another lovely man with lovely Energy and quite easy on the eyes!  We had a great conversation about Spirituality, and although I did not purchase any of his books, I did purchase this pin he made.  It consists of a big safety-pin, pink and green ribbons (you know I love my Heart Chakra colors!), and two dangling spheres, ocean blue on one side, rich pink on the other, and above each sphere, angel wings.  And for a dollar each, how could I not?!

Then, I made my way to the table featuring Stephen Morris, author of the Come Hell or High Water Trilogy of novels.  Clearly, my Witch Powers were directing me to this table, because this series is too good not to read!

The first novel, subtitled “Wellspring,” begins in Prague in 1356, and then flashes forward to Prague, Spring, 2002.

If I went any further, this post would be about this trilogy of novels, as opposed to the 7th Annual New York Rainbow Book Fair.

And then, my last stop (at the time, anyway) was to the table manned by THE Perry Brass.  I had the honor and pleasure of meeting him previously, during an in-person meeting of Gay Men of Wisdom, founded the wonderful Ray Rigoglioso, author of Gay Men and the New Way Forward.  And yes, I surprised Ray, once more, and the manner in which I surprised him surprised me, too!!

Perry Brass is just as lovely as ever.  Friendly, eloquent, and engaging.  I happily discovered that he had written a sequel to his book The Manly Art of Seduction: How to Meet, Talk to, and Become Intimate with Anyone.  The sequel is entitled The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love: Your Guide to Life, Happiness, and Emotional and Sexual Fulfillment in a Closed-Down World.  As soon as I heard that, it was an instant purchase!

And then, I discovered that he was also selling back copies of his previous works at what I would call a Divine Discount.  I was Divinely Guided (appropriately enough) to purchase his novel The Substance of God.

Well, after all that, I wanted to see if I could meet a particular published author.  No, I shall not state his name, but I had a lovely surprise waiting for me.

Going into the room where I thought I would meet this author, I arrived a few minutes before the start of a panel discussion: “In the Beginning,” LGBT Jewish Writers on Culture, Heritage, and Queer Family Ties.

Now, I have always felt drawn to Jewish Culture, and there was a time, when I was younger, that I seriously considered converting to Judaism.  Indeed, had I done so, I would have gone from being a Jew to being a Jewitch, but I digress.

The Panel was moderated by THE Perry Brass, and featured Michael Broder, his husband, Jason Schneiderman, Donna Minkowitz, Ms. D. L. King, and Martha Shelley, whose Energy I loved with each subsequent eloquent word.

It was a lively, fun and mentally stimulating discussion, and my ears certainly perked up when there was the topic of Paganism and Judaism!

And yes, afterward, my friend and I stopped in a cafe, where I had a coffee and a hamantaschen,also known as hamantashen or hamentaschen, and before taking my first bite, I gave Gratitude and Praise to the Queen of Heaven!

I highly recommend you visit the following Websites:

http://rainbowbookfair.org/

(WordPress Blog.  YES!)

 

http://jonathan-harper.com/

(the Website of Mr. Jonathan Harper)

 

http://www.lacasaazulbookstore.com/

(The official Website of La Casa Azul, East Harlem’s local, independent bookstore)

 

http://www.rcethan.com/

(the official Website of the “Author-Actor-Crazy Person” Mr. Rhys Ethan)

 

http://www.comehellorhighwaterprague.com/

(The Website for Mr. Stephen Morris, author of this Trilogy of novels)

 

http://www.perrybrass.com/

(The official Website of THE Perry Brass)

 

And there you have it!

Lesbians, my fellow Gay Men, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and our straight allies, as well as my blog followers and blog readers.  Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do, and for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.

I wish you the Peace, Health, and Plenty of this Day.rbf7_masthead_web