Episode 29-Wizard World Comic Con

Episode 29-Wizard World Comic Con


     What a fun day meandering among some interesting characters and bearded folk!  I meet some of the most interesting people at these types of events, I guess that is why I try to go to as many as I can and meet the people!  Wizard World Comic Con came to Cleveland March 17th-19th for it’s third appearance at the Cleveland Convention Center.  There were a ton of comic, sci-fi, role-playing, pop-culture, and bearded fans in attendance-it truly was a sight to see.  I went down Saturday afternoon with no expectations of what type of time I was going to have, I just wanted to slowly walk around and take it all in.  There was a lot to take in from artists, content creators, costumed role players, comics, celebrities, games, books, toys, and just great people! 

     Like I said, I wanted to take my time and just slowly take it all in.  There is so much to investigate and absorb at an event this large.  I wasn’t able to take a lot in a few years ago when I went with my friend Bald Faced Josh and his daughter, and The Child.  The kids were ready to go after 30 minutes and Josh and I couldn’t really check out all the greatness that Wizard World Comic Con had to offer.  This time I was going to take advantage of going solo and take my sweet time and check out what I wanted to see!!!  I wasn’t there to find anything specific, other than interesting bearded or mustached folk to chat with, but I found myself really drawn to the artists and illustrators this year.  There were so many great ones on site, so much eye candy and talent.  Though I was there to check out everything my main goal was to search out interesting people to converse with.  One may ask how I may find someone interesting to talk to just by looking around.  I say to them, “I am The Beardcaster, I search for the great beards, and behind those great beards are the interesting people I seek!!!”

     The first beard I stumbled upon was my good friend Joshua Jenniges.  You may remember him from episode 2 of The Beardcaster.  One of the most amazing artists I have ever met, Josh is just one of those kind souls whose red beard pulls you in for friendship. He was there with his fiancé, Lydia, to help find some inspiration for work and for his personal growth.  As the two of them walked around Josh ran across an artist by the name Mark Kistler, who had a PBS show called, "The Secret City", when he was a child.  Josh told me that he was a real inspiration to him growing up and that he was part of why he became an artist.  Make sure you listen to the podcast to hear that whole conversation!

     The next bearded gentleman I ran across was a Alex Demko and his fiancé Bridget.  It was good to see this bearded man who I have known for a coons age, as they say.  Alex has recently embraced the bearded lifestyle and is currently sporting his longest beard I have ever known him to have.  They were there to enjoy the sights and see what was going on in the world of Sci-Fi.  Bridget was dressed in a classic Federation dress, which she wore very well!  We talked about the different Star Treks that have been around and the re-boot series and which were our favorites.  The discussion took a turn when I asked about her favorite bearded Trek character.  This lead us into Lando and Chewbacca and their facial hair.  She was an interesting one to talk to but it took her bearded man to help me find her fascinating story...

     The highlight of my afternoon took place shortly after my discussion with Alex.  I was slowly strolling  down an isle when my eyes were drawn to something incredable, as if being called synchronistically by a strange force.  I couldn't believe what my eyes brought forth, something so magical, so mysterious, so perfect.  I almost didn't believe my eyes as they rest upon a table with a comic book laying on it titled Beardo. The magic didn't end there.  As I scanned the table and let out an exclamation of shock, our eyes met.  I hear the author, Dan Dougherty,  say something along the lines of “WOW!”  and the next thing you know…we are instantly friends!!!!  There were two beards guys standing at a booth with a comic all about a bearded guy and the struggles of his life and how he copes and gets through each day, smiling ear to ear; we found each other.  This was honestly a very surreal moment for me as I felt that this was some weird cosmic moment laid in my lap telling me I was on the right path.  Dan had such charisma and his nice tight beard had me “Hello”.  We spoke for awhile as the booth next to his just laughed that we were going nuts over the fact that we “found each other!”  and we couldn't believe the coincidence and the fact I have never ran across his comic on-line.  We had a great conversation and I purchased a copy of his Beardo comics which he so graciously signed and made a character of The Beardcaster!



@Beardocomics on Instagram

Unshaven Comicshttp://www.unshavencomicsonline.com

Touching Evil-  http://www.beardocomics.com/touching-evil

     The next person I ran into was a fella by the name of Steve Goetz.  He was an easy grab, his large beard drew my eyes from afar, but as he got closer I knew this was the guys I needed to be talking to! He was wearing a Stranger Things t-shirt and a Machine Head beanie, a favorite show, and a favorite band of mine.  I knew we would hit it off and have good conversation just because of his beard, hat , and shirt.   We talked about him meeting Millie Bobbie Brown, "Eleven" from the ground breaking Netflix series "Stranger Things" and he showed me the picture he got with her.  We speculated if she may have a beard in season two which is slated to premiere this October.  Our conversation turned from Wizard World to Machine Head and our thoughts on the band and both our personal interactions.  I tried to convince Steve that he needed to find the world of competitive bearding but he seemed a little reluctant.  I assured him that he would be a welcome part of our family and he would defiantly bring good nature and possible winnings if he competed! I asked what his inspiration was for growing this great beard.  I was caught off guard by his answer, it was an inspiration I had yet to hear from talking to someone when asking about why they grew.  I guess you are going to have to listen to the podcast to hear what his answer was!!! ...I'm such a dick!!!

     I walked by Andrew Heaths booth a few times before I mustered the confidence to talk to him about his artwork.  Intimidating it was for both of us to meet I could tell, his artistic vision and his prints blew me away, something I just don't have!   Hailing from Lexington, Kentucky, Andrew has used his skills to make a career as a designer and illustrator and had some great examples of his screen printed art on display.  Pulling many ideas from pop-culture there were recognizable images that we all could relate to from Dr. Who to Bob's Burgers and Star Wars to Star Trek. Check out Andrews designs by going to his website-I can almost bet you will find something you would like! 

     My last guest this episode is a man named Jerry Milani who works for the Wizard World Comic Con organization.  I asked him some questions about how they got this massive monster of a traveling pop-culture convention going. We talked about some of the great celebrity guests they have booked and how they are trying to book more of a variety to expand the draw for these various Wizard World events. He told me about the involvement of Gene Simmons this year and how excited they are to expand this pop-culture fest by incorporating a music element into the mix. Though Jerry is a proud "bald faced" mortal, I had fun talking with him and he was a great source of information about Wizard World Comic Con! To hear more about what he said check out the podcast. Keep your eyes peeled for me at next years Wizard Con, come and find me and we will chat!!!

Wizard World Comic Con

Stranger Things

Incredible Hulk

Dean Cain

Barry Bostwick

Gene Simmons

Kato Kaylen

     This year was by far more magical for me at the Wizard World Comic Con.  I was able to see more and experience it like it should be. Take your time to take in the sights and absorb everything that is there.  There is something for everyone and it is a place to be something special.    It is a place you can be a superhero for the day, a real princess, or a galactic bounty hunter in search of a bearded guy to collect a handsome reward for.  Wizard World is more than a traditional comic and pop-culture convention, it is an expression for many and a place to find a "family" and be a part of a community. 

Here are some more fun pictures from Wizard World-

music provided by:

Ben Levin

Ben Levin

Chris Donley

Chris Donley

French Donkey

French Donkey

     What kind of content do you want to hear?  What do you want to know about?  I am looking for ideas for things that are important to you. Do you want more beard care information? Do yo want more interviews with the more known and popular people in the scene? Do you want more shows where I go to events YOU are interested in and talk to the people that attend? Do you want more personal adventures covering aspects of my bearding adventure and how I got to where I am? What interests YOU and let me try and give you something you want to hear!  Email your thoughts and ideas to scott@thebeardcaster.com

I recently did a blog post/music review.  The band, French Donkey, the album-Make Gold, check out link to the blog here and make sure to stick around till the end of the show to check a song out from this release. Loved the album so check it out!!!- Blog post review can be found HERE

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Episode 23-KRAMPUS KARN-


     There is one night a year when the mythical creature known as the Krampus comes out.  It is called Krampusnacht  and happens on December 5th.  Though the event I attended happened a few days earlier, I found myself at Annabell's in Akron Ohio for their annual KRAMPUSNACHT which found a gaggle of Krampuses, or also maybe refered to as a pride of Krampi, parading down the mean streets of Akron looking for naught girls and boys.  Not only was it visually captivating, but the incredible sounds of the bells and chains was almost deafening at times.  The regular group that usually assembles for the annual KRAMPUSNACHT was joined this year by Krampus of Cleveland which was lead by Brian Karn from Beards Of The Old Northwest.  There were some really intricate masks and costumes that were constructed by each individual who participated as their own personal "Krampus" .  It was a interesting experience to say the least and was full of a lot of education on the history of the Krampus.   

     I would like to thank my fellow beard club member Brian Karn for having me down to witness my first KRAMPUSNACHT.  I was able to talk with him and hear how he got interested in the world of Krampus tradition and how it has evolved into a family passion.  Joined by his brother Jerry Karn and nephews, the family has really got behind this Austrian tradition which is now sweeping the nation.  I was also able to talk to other participants that were at the event in their portrayal of this horned goat beast.  I got various stories on how each got involved and learned a little back story on where the tradition came from.  

     When I arrived home after the event I still had a lot of questions that needed to be answered.  I went to search the web for information pertaining to the Krampus and where it came from.  I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on the subject but wasn't impressed on the information provided.  I finally came across a very informative, well spoken history of the Krampus.  It was presented by a guy named Phil Albertelli who does a great podcast called The Week in Doubt Podcast.  The video had some really great images and pretty in depth historical information that I was looking for.  I reached out to Phil to see if I could share his material with The Beardcaster audience and he graciously, and gladly, said yes.  I used the audio in my podcast to help share the history, tradition, and current trend of the Krampus.  I thank Phil for letting me share his hard work with you all and hope you also learned something exciting as well!  Please consider checking his podcast out by clicking here and subscribing.  

     An additional cool thing that happened was that one of the people I interviewed of the street happened to be someone who I had ties to from many years ago.  You will hear me talk to a guy named Joe, who was with a girl named Jenn.  We caught up later in the evening after and talked about the music scene around the area and he told me about his current band, Something Involving a Monkey, and gave me a CD.  I asked if I could play it if I thought it was good and he said sure.  Well, I listened to the disc 2-3 times on the way home, I thought it was great!!!  I end the show with a track from their newest album, Dive Into The Great Blue Waffle, called EYE.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, I know it is a little different but enjoy!  


Episode 21-World Series Trump


Bald faced mortal, Josh, and I sit down with the child to talk the Cleveland Indians in the World Series and Donald Trump amongst other things.   The conversation begain with us going over the Cavaliers Championship and which would have been more important, the World Series win by the Indians, or the Championship from the CAVS.  Finding out what it is to be American and our preference in pie or cake, we learn that Rey, from Star Wars, is inspiring a whole movement of little girls to be great, not Hillary!  


The final game of The World Series was slept through by Scott and Lukas so Bald Faced Josh walks us through how the game ended.  The Indians fought hard and had an amazing season and we were all ok with the Cubs winning.  Our conversation took a turn towards what had just happened with the election and our thoughts, and opinions, on the win of Donny Trump.  The child voices his opinion on Ted Strickland and he regurgitated what he had heard on the television commercial attack ads.  Josh tries to explain how politics work and Scott tries to derail the conversation by claiming Trump is just like Anakin Skywalker, and is here to bring balance back to the political world.  Josh tries to tie Hillary Clinton to the Pink Power Ranger taking over the world and it turned into watching Power Rangers and MST3K.  


Josh started giving us a history of great presidents and how the political landscape needed to be shook up and how career politicians needed to be taken down.  We started talking about how the country may needed to be run more like a corporation and some similarities between Perot and Trump and how the country needs to be run differently.  This election has really polorized the public, either the citizens are embracing the win or our extremely upset and voicing their opinions via social media.  


The conversation gets pulled in the direction of who has worse hair, Trump or George Washington.  One wore a wig, the other we are not so sure.  The Child starts to talk about an 11 year old perspective of what happened in the election and how all his friends were all about Hillary Clinton.    The Trump playground equipment was voted on and we got the child to laugh so hard he about pee’d his pants.  The fake outrage that exists for people to look, and feel, important to everyone around them has become more evident with this election.  


Election results were broken down as things were being released on Tuesday night via the news outlets.  Josh explains how the popular vote works vs. the electoral college.   We also talk about how if you don’t like either candidate you can write in any name you like, such as Vermin Supreme, as your nomination for president.  Harambe was reported to have received over 11k write in votes but in researching I discovered this was not true according to CNN.  


The stock exchange was greatly effected with the election of Trump, in a great way!  With a lesser amount of money spent by Trump in his campaign, Trump proved that America wants something different.  The market has been looking good since he was elected president.  The treat of nuclear war and tensions with Russia were a concern of the child but he realizes that a president who runs out of control will be taken down by their government. 


Episode 19-Steel City Drew

Beards for Beasts is only a few weeks away so The Beardcaster, and special guest co-host Anthony "The Stache" Fontes, sat down with the Steel City Beard and Mustache Club president Andrew Miscowiec to get the lowdown on the 4th year of this fantastic event.  Held at the beautiful Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA the event is once again benefiting the Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Shelter and Hello Bully charities.  

The boys met up at Suzie's Dogs in Boardman Ohio to discuss the upcoming event and enjoy some fine weiners.  Beards and Suzie's have a history as Anthony and Suzie's in Youngstown have collaborated in the past to host a couple of The Rust Belt Whisker Society's beard competitions, so we wanted to give back to those who have given to us.  Entering what appeared to be a newly built establishment I fought my way though the hordes of Browns and Steelers fans watching both games on the multiple big screen tv's in the venue.  I was greeted by Drew, who as any Steelers fan, was 16 beers into his Sunday football afternoon and being all crazy. I soon realized the Drew I sat with was a bald faced mortal and quickly scooted across the bar to the Drew I knew, the man with the red chops.  Shortly after we are joined by Anthony and we all began to catch up on what was going on in the world of bearding.  Giving us barely any time to breath, Ariana, our server, attacked us with all the great things Suzie's had to offer.  A luxurious menu of over 50 possible toppings were presented to us with different "dog" and bun configurations that were possible.  The choices were tough, there was some confusion, fear and tears, but our AMAZING server Ariana was there to save the day.  It is typical that any time I go out to eat  I need to get in the head of the person serving me.  I need to achieve confidence that I know that they are legit and that they know their craft and their home. I needed the confidence of an employee to make me lust after the weiners served in an establishment such as this.  I needed to know I was going to be taken care of...and taken care of WE were.  She made skilled suggestions to all of us like she knew what each of us needed in our lives at that specific moment. I became terrified with all the options that were before me, would I choose right or wrong, I didn't know.  Ariana walked me from the ledge, she gave me hope, it was as if she looked deep into my soul and knew the hot dog I needed in my life and that hotdog was delivered.  It was pure ecstasy as I bit into that dog.  The Sloppy Joes made love to my teeth as the pickle jalapeno's caressed my tastebuds.  The Fritos that were on top were like sexy lingerie showing the curves and valleys of this hotdog that was about to be devoured by my waiting mouth.  This custom made dog hit the spot- beautifully  delicious and fulfilling in every way imaginable, I was in heaven. My friends were also in a blissful paradise much like my own but I needed to get back to reality and remember why I was here.  I needed to get the clouds from my head all cleared and get back on the path of talking about Beards For Beasts 4 with Drew and Anthony.  It was as if this hot dog wanted to de-rail the interview and the event rendering me powerless to broadcast to the masses about helping the poor animals of Pittsburgh...

Beards do not know weakness. Our beards came together to overcome the deliciousness that was trying to destroy our message.  We were able to pull ahead and begin this wonderful conversation you are about to hear.  This might have been my favorite hang to date.  I love these dudes.  They both have great hearts and want to help their communities and clubs and the social awareness about beards.  I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed the hotdogs!!!  Please support the local businesses in your neighborhood and we hope to see you in Pittsburgh on October 29th!!!