For four years now, FlameCon, the premier LGBTQ Comic Con has been happening, and gaining momentum and fans. It has become the world’s largest Queer Comic Con, too.
Intersetingly enough, for the first time in FlameCon’s history, it is being held in Manhattan, as opposed to Brooklyn. For those of you who are unfamiliar with New York City, it is composed of five Boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx (or, as the locals call it, “the Bronx”), and Staten Island. Long Island is often referred to as the Sixth NYC Borough, but it is not actually a Borough of NYC.
Now, I shall admit, when I learned that this year’s FlameCon shall be held in Manhattan, I was shocked! As most of you know, I AM one of Catland’s in-store Readers, so I AM in Brooklyn, fairly often, and truly, no stranger to the MTA’s Transit system; taking buses and trains fairly often, usually every week, and sometimes, as many as four to five days a week.
Nonetheless, I happily took a bus into Midtown Manhattan, then a subway train to Brooklyn, and specifically, to the subway stop closest to where FlameCon was being held.
However, the Manhattan location this year means I do not need to take any additional mass transit. I can simply travel into Midtown Manhattan, NYC, then walk a few blocks to the hotel where FlameCon is being held.
Alas, because I have a previous engagement this month, I shall not be able to attend FlameCon 2018.
This was the third year for FlameCon, the premier LGBTQ Comic Con in NYC, taking place in the Borough of Brooklyn in NYC every time.
In 2015, its first year, it was held at the Grand Prospect Hall. I remember seeing commercials for this place when I was a boy. And to think that I was actually going to the Grand Prospect Hall!
Keep in mind, when I a boy, I had no idea of the concept of being a Gay Man, or a homosexual, so when I would watch commercials for this place, I always found it fascinating.
Of course, as I grew older, then came out of the closet, it never occurred to me that I would ever go there, as I never considered Gay Men going to straight weddings. The times they have a-changed!
However, last year and this year, 2016 and 2017, respectively, FlameCon was held at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. And this year, I would swear there were more attendees than last year.
Personally, although I AM not fond of crowds, I do prefer living and being in a city, and I love going to FlameCon, although what thing I did not love was saying “excuse me” and “pardon me” so many times on the first day, but I got over it.
Now, before I continue, I wish to share something with all of us.
Part of me had considered not going. Frankly, my professional Psychic Practice has become more involved, and my side position of employment more demanding, and both as of this year. Also, I have had more professional and personal expenses.
However, I had purchased the tickets (a VIP Package, in fact) about two to three months ago, and I have attended the first two FlameCon events, so attending this year’s FlameCon, also known as FlameCon2017.
And I AM so happy I did!!
Although this post, and its “Part II” shall have links to articles about this year’s FlameCon that features tons of photographs of the cosplayers, I want to focus on one of my personal favorite aspects of FlameCon and that is the panel discussions.
To give the reader a better idea, the first day of FlameCon (also known as FlameCon2017) was Saturday, August 19, 2017, 12-8PM; the second and last day was on Sunday, August 20, 2017, 12-6PM.
On the first day, Saturday, August 19, 2017, the first Panel Discussion I attended was “ComicsVerse Podcast: Celebrating Minority and LGBTQ Superheroes.”
It was a learning experience, especially since I AM still quite a newbie in the world of Queer Comics.
In the world of the Sacred Tarot, I AM a Master Level tour guide, but in the world of Queer Comics, well, they need to create a term for the level of inexperience I have! Ha!
If memory serves, ComicsVerse has been one of FlameCon’s sponsors since its very first year, 2015. Feel free to visit their Website, and show them some love:
The second panel discussion I attended was “Buffering the Vampire Slayer Podcast.” It is hard to believe that yours truly, forgot that this year is the 20th Anniversary of the debut of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Oh, well, I know now!
Here is what was written about this podcast event on the Thomson Reuters app for FlameCon2017:
“Buffering the Vampire Slayer is a podcast where, you guessed it, discussions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer abound! In addition to their weekly episodic discussions, hosts Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo (who also happen to be married to each other!) write an original song recapping every episode of the beloved television series! Join Kristin, Jenny, and friends for a live taping of a very special episode!”
As someone who attended this live podcast taping, and who was immensely thankful to have been able to gain entry (the lines for some of these panel discussions and events can be quite long, and there are safety issues to consider, such as too many people in a room can be a safety hazard, but I digress), it was definitely a very special taping.
I need to listen to it, because there is one section where one could clearly hear me say, “Yes, it’s funny.” We were talking about a First Season episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in which in one scene, everyone is talking about planning a party and Cordelia says, “I’m the dip girl.”
Kristin Russo said that it really was not that funny; all of us Lovingly disagreed with her, and I distinctly said “Yes, it’s funny” and I think I was loud enough to be recorded, but I shall let you know officially in Part II of this post.
In any event, do visit their Website, and check out the rest of their social media presence by visiting:
And finally, to conclude the evening, all of us who purchased the VIP Package, were entitled to dinner the Hill Country Barbecue restaurant. It was called Camp Fire; which makes sense, given the first part of this comic convention is FLAME.
We had brisket, collard greens, macaroni and cheese (and in spite of being Mister Literal, I continued calling it macaroni and cheese, although it was made with penne, which is how I make it, but I digress). And if you love margaritas, well, let me simply state I knew that, had I not eaten as much that particular day, I think I would have needed to have a cab take me all the way from the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn to my home in New Jersey! Ha!
For dessert, there were some super delicious s’mores cupcakes, and entertainment, which included a sing-along of the Pokemon song (I truly had no idea!), and a few other relevant ditties, including the “Rainbow Connection.”
That song touches my heart so deeply every time I hear it, sing it, etc., I always cry. I kept channeling my Inner American Idol superstar contestant, by refraining from allowing the song to affect my singing, but I kept sounding very off-key, or “pitchy,” It really was off-key. Very.
So, I simply allowed myself to stop singing and cry. Yes, the song moves me that much.
Before I begin to close and complete this post, I wanted to share with you some of the various articles I found online which showcases one of the more popular aspects of FlameCon: the COSPLAY (and other things, too)!
And now, before I conclude this post, I wish to acknowledge my newest subscribers to this, my personal, LGBTQIA+-oriented WordPress Blog, “This Gay Man’s Life…” They are: “meganwalt” and “ijustcookedthis.” Thank you both for celebrating your diversity and your ongoing PRIDE by subscribing to “This Gay Man’s Life…”
And for those of you who already subscribe to “This Gay Man’s Life…” or read without subscribing, continuing shining your Diversity and PRIDEful Light into the world, casting out all that and those who cause all of us harm.
I do not think I need to tell you of the importance of the Rainbow Book Fair for the greater LGBTQIA+ Community.
If you can attend and support this endeavor, then great! If not, then I invite you to become a Friend or Sponsor of the Rainbow Book Fair. When you visit their Website, click the tab that reads “Support Us” for more info.
Before I close, let me acknowledge my newest followers to “This Gay Man’s Life…” They are: “Chuck L,” “recipesbydaniel,” “warrenisaac,” and “amygrif.”
Also, I wish to acknowledge these other followers to “This Gay Man’s Life…” They are:”missymichaels452,” “DRCBCN08009,” “Jon,” “Man of many thoughts,” “AdultXXPO,” “uchechioma,” “scrappy1205,” “What’s your story?,” “donaldgeorgeherman,” “KRC62,” “reuserecyclerelove,” “Senna,” “Chuck,” and “lesouchef.”
To all of you whom I have acknowledged, thank you for your Love, your Light, and your PRIDE. May you always be beautiful, powerful, and sacred in all you do, and in all the ways you make a difference in the lives of those you serve.
And to all of you who already follow or read without following “This Gay Man’s Life…” may your Love and Light, bring you and all you serve, or shall begin serving, Empowerment, Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace.
I look forward to seeing you, in exactly three weeks, at the Rainbow Book Fair!!
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.”
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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!
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.