How did you celebrate New Year's Eve this year? Kissing at midnight? Overrated. Ball drops? Been there, done that. Instead of any of those cliche things, what about hanging out with the Stan Lee and a bunch of other geek culture stars? That’s what I got to experience this past weekend; filled with laughter, comics, and a special New Year’s countdown by Stan Lee himself.
Marvelous Nerd Year's Eve, took place December 29 through January first at the Sheraton Dallas. This was a four-day celebration of all things pop culture that fans obsess over, from comic books and cosplay to film, television and music. This con was also special because it was marked as Stan Lee's final convention appearance. The comic book legend (who created many of pop culture's most recognizable super heroes) is winding down his public schedule, and Marvelous press release called this event his "last hurrah in America." Geek Expos' Devin Pike and team hosted this event. It wasn’t a huge con, but nonetheless it was filled with days to remember. We ended up attending Friday and Saturday’s events. The first floor was filled with comic booths, toys and all things nerdy, with celebrity signing and photo opps. The second floor was where artists exhibited their work and cosplayers channeled their inner heroes and villains. Later on that night, I got to to see Stan Lee get roasted by some of the celebrity guests for his 94th birthday. Hosted by actor Brian O’Halloran, and some of the guest stars: Michael Davis, Ming Chen, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Maurice LaMarche & Rob Paulsen (voices of Pinky & the Brain), Marilyn Ghigliotti, and Ming Na Wen, this was a memorable night. My daughter and I were cracking up with their jokes and it was amazing to see Stan Lee up close and personal. Our inner geek selves were so happy.
The next day geeks everywhere got ready to ring in the new year the Marvelous way at Geek Expo's Marvelous Nerd Year's Eve. There were three different party areas dedicated to sending 2016 off with a bang. The main event stage got down with BRIEFCASE BLUES, the first-ever tribute band celebrating Saturday Night Live's cherished Blues Brothers characters. An EDM and DJ stage that brought a modern twist with renowned mash-up artist Mike Relm and a VIP exclusive stage, rocking out with Dallas/Fort Worth's own BAD KARMA, a four-piece classic and alternative cover band that played everything from Pink Floyd to Tool. So many ways to party for this epic night. I had the opportunity to meet some of the celebrity guests like Ming Chen, Sean Gunn and got to see Ming Na Wen walk around on the floor.
I also got to meet and had a great conversation with LA based comicbook writer Preston Poulter, the creator behind, “White Lily” and his artist Diana Greenhalgh. White Lily is about the real life story of the two highest scoring female fighter pilots in history: Lydia (Lilya) Litvyak & Yekaterina (Katya) Budanova. Lydia was the first female fighter pilot to shoot down an enemy plane, the first of two female fighter pilots who have earned the title of fighter ace, and the holder of the record for the greatest number of kills by a female fighter pilot. It is such a great women empowerment story. The characters came alive for me and it was an honor to hear their story through Preston’s comicbook. Be sure to follow him on his Facebook page as well as his talented friend Diana.
I was in for a delightful surprise when Stan Lee came on stage right before midnight to help countdown to the New Year. I didn’t think he would have showed up that late. It was even cuter when he phoned his wife, Jony of 69 years to wish her a “Happy New Year” before midnight. It was a privilege to be in the same room with the icon who created the world of Marvel, the know without him Spiderman wouldn’t have existed or Guardians of the Galaxy. Such a fun and unforgettable night.
It was such a great night to ring in the nerd year at the Marvelous Nerd Year’s Eve. Massive thanks to the Devin Pike and team for allowing me to cover this remarkable event. My inner geek/nerd self is complete now after seeing Stan Lee in person. I rang in the Nerd Year just right. Looking forward to see what 2017 has in store for My Everyday Lifestyle. Check out more photos in the gallery below. Happy New Year! -xo Mel