Geekade's 2015 Year in Review

As we come to the end of Geekade very first calendar year, we've decided to take a few moments to reflect on the last 365 days. Members from all corners of Geekade have come together to share their favorite things of 2015, as well as what they're looking forward to most in 2016. 

Dan Ryan from Why I Love Wrestling, The Stone Age Gamer Podcast, The Paper Cuts Podcast, and Bits & Brews

2015, you magnificent bastard. And you really were. There were many, may highs and many, many middles and lows. (looking at you transmission computer...) But here at Geekade we focus on the positive. We look upwards not downwards. Forwards not backwards. And always twirling, twirling towards the future. (man I love that show) Anyway, for me, 2015 brought with it some truly amazing experiences. Let's start with Lego Dimensions. In this game you can play as the Doctor, driving the Mystery Machine through Jurassic World. Or Batman, flying the TARDIS through Oz. Or any other myriad of ridiculous scenarios. It's a joy to play and with more coming in the future (Lego Ghostbusters!) it is looking to be a mainstay of my gaming time. Speaking of gaming, Metal Gear Solid V. What a fucking game! The most Kojima of games I have ever played and an absolute love letter to the fan base that has stuck with him and with the franchise. There were tons more great gaming moments in 2015, Axiom Verge or Shovel Knight of Rocket League, that this simple write up would not do justice. Listen to the Stone Age Gamer podcast, right here on geekade.com, to find out what I'm referring to.

Venturing away from games, comics dropped some bangers as well. (thanks Tiger Driver '91!) From movies, Avengers and Ant-Man, to TV, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, to actual books, Bitch Planet, Kaijumax, Secret Wars, and Doctor Strange to name a few. The movies were great, the TV was spectacular, seriously how good were Kingpin and Kilgrave?, and the comics were more hit than miss. (NOT looking at you Convergence...) Again there was so much good stuff that this post cannot contain it all so give a listen to the Paper Cuts Podcast right here on geekade.com.

NXT-TakeOver-Brooklyn-Poster.jpg

Switching gears to the squared circle for a moment, 2015 saw Wrestle Kingdom 9 broadcast in English with good ol' JR on commentary. It was an incredible event with some incredible matches. In addition to NJPW killing it all year we got a solid year of NXT out performing the main roster WWE in every conceivable way. NXT Takeover Brooklyn was one hell of a show and really put a spotlight on Women's wrestling. Seth Rollins had a great year in the ring and on the mic. Dalton Castle showed off the best entrance going today. And PWG put on one event after another that delivered amazing matches with amazing performers. So much good could not possibly be discussed in one measly post so you should definitely check out Why I Love Wrestling, the Tiger Driver '91 podcast, and Ring the Bell TV right here on geekade.com.

And finally, beer. Beer, that most wondrous of beverages. That most divine of liquids. That most excellent... you get the picture. 2015 saw some truly great beers released including Death By Coconut, Nooner, Liliko'i Kepolo, Sunday Morning Stout, 4 Beans, Bourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard, and Or Xata to name a few. There are an insane amount of craft breweries operating and opening across America and there is no sign of slowing down. I drank over 200 unique beers this year alone and cannot wait to see what's coming.

As for 2016, the future is bright. Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Batman v Superman all will hit the big screen. No Man's Sky and a new Legend of Zelda will hit consoles. The next great comic will be published and the next great beer will be brewed. And I cannot wait.   

Travis Menard from Apathetic Enthusiasm, and The Walking Dead Fantasy League

For me, 2015 will always mark the return of Star Wars to the forefront of pop-culture. The marketing machine at Disney wasted no time getting fans excited about the new film, but there was a lot of other content that also made waves in 2015. In gaming, Star Wars Battlefront was one of the most anticipated games of the year, and though I felt the gameplay left something to be desired, the visuals and music really made the game feel like an authentic Star Wars experience. There were also a ton of great Star Wars comics released in 2015, from Shattered Empire to the Star Wars and Darth Vader series, these books provided great stories and added rich details to the Star Wars canon. Finishing off 2015 with the hugely successful release of The Force Awakens really sealed the deal for me on 2015 being the return of Star Wars. 

Looking forward to 2016 there are so many great geek movies coming out next year it’s almost hard to believe. Quick rundown; Deadpool, Batman vs. Superman, Civil War, Star Trek Beyond, X-Men Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, Rogue One and even Doctor Strange. Did I get all of them? Probably not. Some of these films will probably look rather familiar or fit in cleanly with their respective series or source material, but there are a few here that are taking risks and have a chance to really shake things up! I am looking forward to seeing all of these movies and sharing our thoughts on Apathetic Enthusiasm. We will hit our 1 year anniversary in a few months and I can’t wait for another great year of podcasting and connecting with our audience! - Travis

Carlos L. Patron from Tiger Driver '91, Between 2 Beards, and The Comic Book Fans United podcast

My favorite moment this year was calling in to Tiger Driver '91 during episode 33. I was drunk, wandering around the streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Those sweet islanders watched a man yell into his phone about Savio Vega and Bruiser Brody's bodily fluids. It was a highlight of my vacation.

When it comes to Between 2 Beards, it's probably the The First Annual Topher "Who Would Win" Tournament. He couldn't make it to the episode because he had class, so we dedicated a tournament to him with all his least favorite characters. It was a good time. For 2016 here on Geekade I expect B2B, TD'91 and CBFU to continue getting reckless on a nuclear level. Happy New Year!

Jonathan Fugger from Welcome to the D-List, and The Think Tank

My favorite thing of 2015 was attending multiple conventions with my girlfriend. Though we commuted to and from New York Comic Con, we stayed in hotels for Atlantic City Boardwalk Con and Anime Next. The actual conventions were a blast, but the best part about Atlantic City and Anime Next was that I got to spend short vacations with my girlfriend. Life is extremely hectic and it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of responsibilities and forget about having fun. It was wonderful to share the excitement of those experiences with someone (not to mention being with someone who shares my interest of nerdy things). But the best part about New York Comic Con was MEETING CLAYTON CRAIN AND GETTING HIM TO SIGN MY FAVORITE COVER!!!!

For 2016, I’m looking forward to earning more money so I can spend all of it on comic books and coffee. I can’t wait. I’m gonna go get a head start right now.

 

Karen Randazzo from This Week's Episode, TARDIS, and The Think Tank

There was a lot to love in 2015, but if I have to pick a favorite, the choice is obvious to anyone who’s been around me for any amount of time in the second half of this year. Hamilton has been a smash hit since the minute it opened on Broadway. Obsessed fans, of whom I am one, have waited in lines for ticket lotteries, memorized all the songs from the cast recording, and mashed up its stories and characters with every other fandom imaginable while we all wait for the opportunity to see it. For the uninitiated, Hamilton tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, from his involvement in the Revolutionary War up to his famous duel with Aaron Burr. It may sound like the driest subject matter imaginable, but creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has cracked the story wide open and made it relatable to current audiences. Infused with rhythms and rap breaks found in the most popular music of the present, it tells the heartaches, struggles, and triumphs of the past in a way that your history teacher never dreamed of doing. If you like rap and hip-hop, musical theater, American history, a good underdog story, or any/all of the above, check out the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton on Spotify for free or buy it from iTunes because you just can’t get enough. If you need more convincing, look for a more in-depth Hamilton analysis in the Think Tank in January. Hopefully I’ll see you at the theater in 2019 when tickets are finally available to common folks.

I won’t have to wait long to get my most-anticipated thing of 2016. By the end of January, new episodes of The X-Files will be available for better or for worse. I’m trepidatious to say the least; reviving an old series is a thing that can and has gone poorly in the past (and more specifically did for this property in movie theaters in 2008 for reasons no one understands). But back in the day? Man, did I love me some good ol’ Mulder and Scully and I’ll take them in just about any context I can get them. The upcoming limited series has a lot going for it. All the original cast and creative team have returned, including the original Lone Gunmen. Cast additions include Robbie Amell (formerly of The Flash) and Lauren Ambrose (can’t go wrong with another awesome snarky young redhead) and Joel McHale, (fresh off the demise of The Soup). Best of all, it’s a limited series. If it sucks, there are only 6 episodes. How badly can they really damage our memories of the old show in that time? If it’s great, it will certainly be brought back for more, with Amell and Ambrose in the lead roles. I hope, I hope, I hope it’s good, but even if it’s not, I will enjoy the heck out of seeing my favorite old characters again. Tune in to This Week’s Episode in late January/early February to hear what me, Kris, and Evan think of The X-Files.

Matt Raimo from Ring the Bell

It seems customary to become reflective this of year. With holidays that bring families together and the dawn of a new year it all makes plenty of sense to be reflective. So with that sentiment in mind I was asked to take a moment and reflect on my 2015. More specifically I was to pick something that really stood out among all the stuff that I've done and has happened so here goes.

The biggest thing that stands out for me is Ring the Bell. For those that are not familiar with Ring the Bell it is a show in the style of The Daily Show that finds the humor in professional wrestling. It is written and performed by a super talented, but small, staff and it's production team is even smaller. Me. That's it. I know it seems a little self serving to say something I'm producing is the highlight of my year and while you're right to some degree I did not want to take this time to pat us on the back but, instead, light a fire under your ass. Yes you. If you're reading this I'm talking directly to you and no one else.In producing Ring the Bell (from the directorial and production side of things) I've done what a lot of other people haven't... something.

Too many times have I had beers with friends, or meetings with peers and we've all said "wouldn't it be great if we did..." and I've been 100% behind it and ready to go only to find that everyone else wasn't as serious as I was. I'm sure you've gone through this too especially if you're a creative type. I think creative types get it worse because those who are not creative turn to use and just assume we will take the idea/project and run with it and it will magically be made and we will all get showered in millions of dollars and life happily ever after. Sorry, but it doesn't happen that way. There is a lot of sacrifice that goes into doing something like Ring the Bell (for example). First imagine figuring the initial concept out then finding someone who would be willing to do all the production work for it AND THEN finding people who you respect enough and share the same interest to write and work for the show. All. For. Free. Doesn't sound like something you'd want to be involved, right? So I fully understand why things don't even get out of the hanger let alone get up off the ground. It's not easy and it doesn't get any easier.

But fear not. Because while it may seem like I'm attempting to turn you away from being creative I'm not.The hardest part of creating anything is starting. Getting it going. Bringing it to life. But once you do i guarantee you will feel that awesome feeling I get every time I send out a new episode and get positive feedback and reposts and shares. Our host even gets people telling him our own jokes. It's a great feeling to know that people enjoy what we do. So, yeah, me and boys producing the very first episode of Ring the Bell is the highlight of my year. And as far as what I'm looking forward to in 2016 it's another year of Ring the Bell and everything else that will come from the Geekade family. 

If you're full of ideas find a way to make them happen. If you're in the middle of making things happen keep going until it happens. And if you're passed all that? Keep going.

Sam Platizky from the Comic Book Fans United Podcast, and Narrow Bridge Films:

Best comic ongoing series: Star Wars by Marvel Comics. 
What a fucking series. Marvel has been killing it with this series since issue 1. Between it and its sister series, Darth Vader, Star Wars comics have been amazing. I had followed the Dark Horse books for years, and I was sad to see the Extended Universe go. But this Marvel series has softened the loss. 

Best comic mini: Secret Wars. 
Jonathan Hickman can do no wrong and this series, which consistently gets 10/10 on From the Shop, is no exception. It's just such a huge story so intricately plotted and beautifully illustrated by Essad Ribic. It may be my favorite event book of all time. 

Best movie: before December 17th, I would've said Avengers: Age of Ultron... But 12/17 changed the game, because Star Wars Episode VII came out and blew me away. Sure, it shares some similar beats of the original trilogy... But where others find fault with that, i find that the team behind Star Wars gets it. The humor, the action, the acting, the new characters. After being abused by the prequels, I'm in love with the galaxy far far away again. 

Best tv show: Leftovers. Season 2. After a lackluster season 1, season 2 was amazing. I thought that the characters were appealing, the episodes left me wanting more, and I have no idea what's going to happen... In the best way possible. 

2016: So many movies to look forward to. Deadpool, Dawn of Justice, Civil War, Dr. strange, Suicide Squad, Independence Day 2, Star Wars Rogue One, Star Trek Beyond... And not one, but two Narrow Bridge Films features: Summer Cabin & Yellow Scare. TV shows, I'm looking forward to a season 2 of Daredevil and Season 1 of Luke Cage. Comic-wise I'm loving what's happening at Marvel now, and I'm very interested in the books coming up from them, especially Old Man Logan and Spider-Man (with Miles Morales). So much to be excited about. 

Alex Azar from Macabre Movie Mausoleum and The Think Tank

2015 is but a yearlong memory (minus a few alcohol induced black out nights) and there were some great moments to highlight. Not least of which was the emergence of Geekade with a solid team supporting one another. Movies were relentless with their awesomeness, including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, The Visit, Creed, Mad Max, Ant Man, Krampus, The Martian, Pitch Perfect 2 (yea I said it), Straight Outta Compton, and some movie about a war amongst the stars, you may have heard of it. I’m not the biggest of TV watchers, but as far as the comic front goes Agents of SHIELD, Flash, Arrow, Constantine (a moment of silence) and Jessica Jones have all been great. And speaking of great TV, how can we not mention the pure gory glory of Ash vs The Evil Dead.  Marvel’s comic event Secret Wars, while oft delayed, has been gold each and every issue. Nailbiter reminded how to properly read horror comics. And I checked off two items from my bucket list. Firstly, I now own a comic signed by the (hopefully) immortal Stan Lee. Secondly, and perhaps the biggest moment of my life, I’ve had my first full length book (and multiple award nominated), Nightmare Noir, published.

But that’s last year. That’s old news. That’s the past, not the future, and the future looks bright. With all of the previous comic shows already renewed for more seasons, including the return of Agent Carter, we’ll have plenty of reasons to turn on the TV. But perhaps even more fascinating, as amazing as 2015 was movie wise, 2016 may be a real competitor. We’ve got Deadpool, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (horrible title), Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Trek Beyond, Dr. Strange, Star Wars: Rogue One, Suicide Squad, Ghostbusters, Independence Day: Resurgence (although I’m upset they seemed to have removed all the joy of the original), Amityville: the Awakening, and The Boy.  I just hit my pleasure load thinking about all of those movies… 
Ok I’m back. 2016 also promises to deliver the conclusion of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Trilogy (which may now be a foursome, kinky) a new season of Daredevil featuring an impressive Punisher. And MORE Ash vs The Evil Dead.  Oh and there’s something about a presidential election that will determine the future of the free world, but who cares? MORE ASH!!!

While all of the above is mostly guaranteed to pass, my biggest wishful thinking is publishing (or at least finishing) a sequel to my book Nightmare Noir. See you throughout the next 366 days! 

Brandon Cruz from Apathetic Enthusiasm and The Walking Dead Fantasy League

The best thing about 2015 is of course my family. They're awesome and their patience and understanding has facilitated the ease by which Travis and I were able to record every week since the inception of Apathetic Enthusiasm. I mean, AE is really cool, and doing all the stuff we've done, interviews and cons and running a table has been such an amazing experience; but none of that would be possible without Chelsea saying, "have fun recording".

Now, sappy-ness aside, 2016 is gonna be interesting! I'm looking forward to pushing out the new Twilight Zone themed podcast, Submitted For Your Approval, with a revolving cast of regular and special guests as we talk about each episode of Rod Serling's original series. On the AE front, Travis and I are looking to expand our scope a bit: more interviews, guest hosts, boost listener interaction, Youtube content and more! Here's to a successful 2016 to the Geekade family and to all of our wonderful listeners/watchers! 

Dean DeFalco from The Paper Cuts Podcast, The Stone Age Gamer Podcast, and Geekade Twitch streaming. Co-founder and General Administrator of Geekade.

2015 was a very special year for me. As some of you know, I'm the “General Administrator” for the website, so I have my hands in many of the things we do. “Geekade” means a lot to me and  I'm immensely fortunate to have all the people that spend their time submitting content for it on board. When I look back on 2015, most of the things that are committed to my memory banks are things I did with the content creators helping us out. For the year in review I just wanted to talk about something I really enjoyed, and that was the conventions we got to go to this year.

Not only did I get to meet some great people and personalities but I got spend time with parts of Geekade, and that is honestly some of the best experiences this year. I find it incredibly fascinating meeting people from all walks of life, uniting to celebrate whatever the convention is about. “Garden State Comic Fest” had to be one of the most satisfying conventions I've been to between speaking to the artists, getting some art done, talking to some fans and having a live podcast. It was a great time. I wish we could go to conventions all the time.

What the future holds for the anything, I'm not sure. I am excited for some of the projects we have going on Geekade. Big things are in the works with the best people I could ask for. I guess if it were something in specific, it would probably be getting back to “Too Many Games” in 2016. That was one of our first conventions that a few of us went to as a group and I personally got to meet and talk to some of the coolest gaming personalities around. I can only imagine what 2016 holds in store for us, but “The Vest Lord” is ready.

Evan Goldstein from This Week's Episode, The Paper Cuts Podcast, and Artist Ave. Co-founder of Geekade.

A love letter to Geekade:

It was a little more than year and a half ago when a young man by the name of Dean approached me at a Memorial Day barbecue. He knew of my love for comics (due to the fact that we both worked at the same comic book shop) and asked me if I was interested in doing a comic podcast on his website G33klife.com. He was a little drunk so it took his comments with a grain of salt. At this point in my life I had been listing to a number of pods but I never really thought about doing one myself. I was wary, why would anyone want to hear my voice or ideas on the internet? All my reservations fell away when an angel of a man stepped in and said that he would love to hear me and his mortal nemesis (Dan Ryan) converse about comics. So right then and there Paper Cuts was born! We started doing the show that July and have just recently recorded our 64th weekly episode.

It was official… I had been bitten by the podcasting bug! I had so many ideas welling up inside of me that were just waiting to burst out. I wanted to talk about art, TV, movies, video games and so much more. Towards the end of the year I had the idea to take G33klife to the next level. As of that moment, it was just Dean running the whole thing by himself. The aspirations that I had for the site could not be done by one person alone… it would take a team of like-minded individuals to make it a success. I approached Dean with my ideas, making sure that he understood how impressed I was with everything he had done with the site up until that point, but it was time to take it to the next level. I wanted to help him make it the site what he had always dreamed about. We both decided that we would need help and we reached out Kris Randazzo, the one man that we knew that was as passionate about this stuff as we were.
 
He said no… ok to be honest he said he LOVED the idea but was really worried about the amount of time and energy it would take to get it the way we wanted it. We fully understood and supported his decision (he was a new father, after all) but in our hearts we knew he would be back… they always come back. Yes, it took a couple of months but Kris did finally jump in with both feet and Dean and I couldn’t have been happier. We started to plan the full rebranding of G33klife.
 
In February of 2015 we launched the fully made over G33klife… GEEKADE.COM was born! We put our hearts and souls into this endeavor. Blood, sweat and tears to say the least. Podcasts, articles, videos, blogs, comics, video games, art, movies, television, music, beer, wrestling and so very much more. One man started it and 3 friends brought it to life.
 
I feel it necessary to say thank you to a few people… Dan Ryan and Matt Much, you guys make talking about comics a true joy (even if the book are pure shit). Karen, I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather make fun of television with. To every guest I have had on Artist Ave. Anthony, Fernando, Idan, Tony, Markie, Brigid, Angie, Alexia, Aysegul and  Vanessa, you all have broadened my horizon to the wonderful world that is art. To everyone that has contributed to the site whether it be a video, article, interview or anything else THANK YOU!!! Because of you this site has been a true success in its first year (actually first 11 months).

Finally, Dean and Kris: If it wasn’t for you two this would never have happened. I can’t put into words how much it truly means to me that you both decided to take this adventure with me. Without either one of you it would never have worked, so thank you thank you thank you!
 
As for the future… who’s to say? All I know is I want more! More fun, more laughs, more incites and more love. Everything that you see on this website is an act of LOVE, and we here at Geekade wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
Love Always,
Evan John

Kris Randazzo from The Stone Age Gamer Podcast, This Week's Episode, The WaveBack Music Podcast, The Think Tank, Lost In Time, and Into the Vault. Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Geekade.

With 2015 coming to a close, it’s time for an obligatory post about the year. It’s been a weird one, but the last 365 days have had some pretty incredible highs. From an entertainment standpoint, I got Dragon Ball Super, Super Mario Maker, a new Collective Soul album (shut up, I love those guys!), discovered the Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Nintendo World Championships, an incredible year of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Agents of Shield kicking ass, Yoshi's Wooly World, new Chadwick Stokes, I beat EarthBound, discovered Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is coming back, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens was better than I could possibly hoped for. But more than anything else this year, the thing that will stick out in my mind as THE thing of 2015 is this very website. 

You heard Evan's version of this story earlier, but here's mine. I met a guy named Dean. He had a website, and he wanted me to do some stuff on it. I did. It was fun. Dean met another friend of mine named Evan. The two of them decided that they wanted to make a new website. This new site would be like the old one, but they would take it beyond just a hobby. They would try to make it a real thing, take it seriously, and see how far they could go. They wanted me to be a partner in it.

I said no.

I have a tendency to get sucked in to projects like this, to the detriment of the rest of my life. I was enticed by the idea, and I would continue doing what I was already doing for the old site, but I couldn’t commit to doing something like that because I knew me, and I knew my limits. As they started putting together the site, they asked for my input on things. Names, logos, content, etc. It was exciting to help, but it wasn’t too long before I realized that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I was already invested. I was already too excited. I took them up on their offer to be a part of the site, but then they took things up a notch by offering me the Editor-in-Chief position. I accepted, and Geekade has ruled my life ever since. Well, surprisingly, no it hasn’t. There have been times when I have poured far too much of myself into the site, but on the whole, I’ve found a pretty good balance between the site and my life. I even use it as a weekly activity for my wife and I to do together in the form of a TV podcast I do. So, when I started this year, I was on one podcast, wrote one article per month, and did one video per month. Now, I manage all content for the site, I’m on 3 podcasts (2 of which are weekly), I write at least 2 articles per month, I run social media for the site, and I still do my one video. Geekade keeps me busy, that’s for sure, but it’s honestly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Putting it on my resume helped me get my new job. I got to go to all sorts of conventions and meet all sorts of cool people. And there’s much more on the horizon. Geekade is a hell of a thing, and I couldn’t be more proud of it. 

Of course, there was some great stuff with my family and friends, but from a geek standpoint, Geekade was the absolute tops for me, and boy have we got some cool stuff in store for next year.

Speaking of next year, the thing I'm looking forward to more than anything is The Legend of Zelda for Wii U. There are a ton of great movies, TV shows, video games, and more coming our way in 2016, but there are few entertainment events in the world I look forward to more than a proper console Legend of Zelda. We know very little about the next game in my favorite game series, but I think it's that promise that has me all the more excited. From what we've been told, this new game is meant to capture the open world feeling of the original NES game, while using the power of the Wii U to make an expansive and beautiful world the likes of which the franchise has never seen. It's running on the Xenoblade Chronicles X engine, so scope isn't going to be a problem. If they can deliver on their promises, I very may well have a new favorite game. ( The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is my favorite game of all-time). The Legend of Zelda is the epitome of adventure to me. Nothing fueled my imagination more as a child than the mythology surrounding that series, and little has changed since. I can't wait to learn more about it, I can't wait to see what the art style looks like in the end, but more than anything, I can't wait to play it. 

And that's about it from us here at Geekade for the year 2015. What were your favorite memories? What are you looking forward to in 2016? Sound off in the comments, on Facebook, or wherever you like. As one last note, I'd like to extend my eternal gratitude to each and every person who has read, listened to, contributed to, or watched anything relating to Geekade. We do this because we want to, not for any sort of internet fame, and certainly not money. The fact that people look at this stuff at all is a bonus, and a kick-ass bonus at that. Thanks again, and I'll see you all in 2016!