Friday, September 30, 2011

It's that time of year!

The witching hour is upon us, and with it brings "Augtoberfest," Augmented Reality's month long celebration of the creepy, and kooky, mysterious, spooky, and altogether ooky! Expect to see a lot of fun Halloween themed videos, articles and audio leading up to our coverage of Frank N' Con - 2011

Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine. When I was but a little Mike Cervantes, I was actually quite meek and scared all year long. It didn't help that I had an older brother who liked to torment me, stick the shells of Cicadas in my bedsheets, and one Halloween dragged me kicking and screaming through my grade school's haunted house. Celebrating Halloween helped me to get the better of my fears though, and learn to appreciate the deeper, darker parts of the human psyche, and develop a love of the mysterious and the macabre.

There's nothing about Halloween I don't love, be it the cutesy, family friendly TV specials of my childhood, or the outright frightening instances of violence and gore I witnessed in the horror movie marathons I enjoyed in my early teens. That's why, when we decided to dedicate October to Halloween, I suggested it should be a celebration of all the great things about Halloween: The mystic playfulness as well as the hardcore gore.

So enjoy our month of Halloween-styled updates, and don't forget to always keep an eye towards the shadows!

Thanks to our supporters!

The month of September is nearly at an end, but before we go, we'd like to mention all the great local businesses and vendors we met at EPCON 2011!

Elusive Imagery - Photography, collectibles & exotic pets

Daxie Boy Toys
"Collecting is "Ruff" Let us make it easy"
126 Shadow Mountain Dr, Suite D, El Paso TX, 79912

Cristian Atley - Author of "Deathless"
Check out the comic at!

Aaron Bossig of "Cosmic City Tees"

Film. Photography.Design

Greg "Grego" Hernandez - Bean Pot Toiz
Urban Vinyl Figures, Sports, Vintage, Retro and More!
san Antonio, TX

Smoking Rack Comics

New, used and Vintage Comics in the El Paso area.

Thanks to all these great local businesses, artists, and others who kindly took time out of the convention to speak with our cameras!

Welcome to a New Month/ Manga Digest #1

Well! Tomorrow is the official start of October which means too many birthdays (mine and fellow blogger Ruben's included) and a lot of festive activities such as pumpkin carving, face painting, lots of bake sales and more. I personally will be involved in a some of these events, some of which are fundraisers (one in particular for FAL-Con) and others which are just for fun. Keep your browsers tuned to AugReal for more details on these events in the coming days.

With a new month, comes new blog entries- today in particular I'm starting a new series called "Manga, Light Novel & Novel Digest" where I will be introducing you to various manga and light novles newly available for purchase in English and some that I've had for a while that I feel need to be put in the spotlight; a lot of the time these spotlight manga will be part of a theme. For example, since October is starting I'll be doing a spotlight on some manga that have a horror theme. Manga isn't always released on the days a particular publisher may put as the release date, so a lot of these are ones I've personally seen at a book store already while others I'm posting based on release date. I'll also be featuring some Novels I've been reading. buuuut for this month I'm just going with manga cause there is a lot >.<

Click HERE to read the rest of this entry.

Augmented Reality Polls: Who Could Beat Superman in a Fight?

In this segment, Mike Cervantes asks the patrons of EPCON 2011, who could beat Superman in a fight?

Cameras: David Tennessee, Edited by Ruben Rascon III

(c) 2011, Retro-Cam Productions, all rights reserved.

Augmented Reality Polls: Who was Your First Comic Crush?

In this installment, both Ruben Rascon and Mike Cervantes ask the quesiton, "Who was your first comic crush?" in this Poll at EPCON 2011.

Camearas: David Tennessee and Ruben Rascon III, Edited by Ruben Rascon III
(c) 2011, Retro-Cam Productions, all rights reserved.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My heart has been officialy Geassed

It's about time I got around to reviewing an anime (both seasons) I finished a few days ago- Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion. It took me long enough to even get around to watching this anime... I mean it's not like I wasn't watching it on purpose, in fact I had seen the first few episodes of the second season on [adult swim] but at the time they weren't too interesting considering at the time I was not a fan of the mecha genre. Matters weren't made any better with me knowing the show was produced by Bandai who is known for their long running series of mecha under the Gundam label. Ya, I knew CLAMP did the character designs and I happened to have done some CC (a character from the show) fan art before even watching more than one episode... but that was a request so I don't know if it counts as me being oblivious to the show.

image copyright goes out to Bandai

Code Geass is based on no previous work. It was not previously a manga, visual novel, game nor light novel. It is what you would call an original work by the studio that produced it. Lots of times than not anime has some basis in something that already exists, and this gives the viewers expectations for a show already because they have voices and mannerisms in their hair for characters even before an anime has been green lit, so for Code Geass to be a show that didn't have something to be based on other than concepts, it left me wondering if it would be as good as some of my favorite anime that have something to be based on.

Studio- Bandai
Director/ Original Concept- Goro Taniguchi
Music Producers- Hitomi & Kotaro
Original Character Designs- CLAMP

Series Information:
Year(s)- 2006 to 2008
# of Seasons- 2
# of Episodes- 25
Genre(s)- Action, Drama, Mecha
The Empire of Britannia has invaded Japan using giant robot weapons called Knightmare Frames. Japan is now referred to as Area 11, and its people the 11's. A Britannian who was living in Japan at the time, Lelouch, vowed to his Japanese friend Suzaku that he'd destroy Britannia. Years later, Lelouch is in high school, but regularly skips out of school to go play chess and gamble on himself. One day, he stumbles on terrorists 11's who've stolen a military secret and is caught by a member of the Britannian task force sent after them, who is Suzaku. As the rest of the squad arrives, Suzaku is shot for disobeying orders, while the military secret, a young girl, gives Lelouch the power of Geass, which makes anyone obey any order. While Suzaku is secretly made the pilot of Britannia's brand new prototype Knightmare, Lancelot, Lelouch becomes the masked Zero to lead the rebellion to destroy Britannia once and for all. [ann]

After watching both seasons of Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion I've come to the conclusion not all breath taking anime has to be experimental, sad, one that teaches a lesson or even tragic. Anime doesn't have to be good solely cause it has some ground breaking story that surpases any of it's predecessors or even those to come. Anime is suppose to be entertaining and fun. It's suppose to be enjoyable and make you think 'time well spent.' It's also suppose to make you think, while also letting you not think too hard for a while. Just like a good book, movie or tv show anime is an escape from the world even if only for one 24 minute episode. Code Geass is all of this, and more.

I won't go into a premise for the anime because there is a handy synopsis that has already been posted, and this is a review not an anime showcase. Instead I'll go into some initial thoughts of this anime when I made the mistake of watching the first few episodes of the second season on [adult swim] without realizing that I was coming in half way through the series. I honestly thought that these episodes were those of the first season because one of the manga adaptations of Code Geass started from this point. I had picked up a volume of this adaptation after watching a few episodes of the show to see if the manga would appeal to me more than the show itself, in the end neither were all that interesting to me at the time so I dropped the show and sold the two volumes of the manga I had to someone who had wanted them. Basically, back when the second season started it's first run on [adult swim] the show seemed a bit to mecha focused and not as much as on characters. I'm more of a character driven based anime fan, than one driven by an end result or plot alone.

Fast forward to about a week ago. I had some spare cash, and a friend had been telling me the fight scenes in Code Geass were "pretty dope". Relying on the fact that Bandai has been releasing Gundam Unicorn (the anime that got me really interested in just about any mecha show) for a few years now, I decided to buy the recently release anime legends complete collection of Code Geass only to watch the entire first season in about three days. I was utterly surprised on how much I had been enjoying the show considering that a few years before hand I had no interest in it just because there was mecha involved. Due to my love for the first season I ended up getting my hands on the second, had an 8 hour marathon the next day and cried because I felt like this was one of the best anime I had seen in a while.

It's really hard reviewing a show like this. There's really no story to it, but more of a series of events and rebellions that bring about the end of the series. There are some pretty breath taking mecha fights, even a hand to hand one in the second season. There are quirky characters, even side characters are pretty likable. Good Guys and Bad Guys are sometimes hard to distinguish because while the main character Lelouch is a hero of sorts, there are plenty of times he's closer to that of an anti-hero. There's this huge roayal family, and the show is full of politics. This is certifiably a Bandai mecha anime, but it has one of the best main characters I've seen in a while as well as some other characters who made me go awww every time I saw them.

Let's get something straight before I move on, Code Geass is an anime that no matter who I've asked is one that is seen as having a really good story. I'd be more than willing to say the same to someone who asked me if the story was good only if the person who asked was an anime fan, if not well I'd have to tell them based on what I've seen in other anime it's good but if I were to have the choice between recommending say a good book or movie verses Code Geass I'd have to say the story is rather forced. The main character from the get go was meant to become someone who's sole purpose in life was to create a world where his little sister could live in peace and without fear. While this is a good basis concept, it makes the main character rather bland and one dimensional. Bandai did try to solve this with some "love interest" type characters but there wasn't much development with these characters so in the end they were just there to make the character seem like he had many angels where was he didn't.

Other than having the main character be one sided, the geass powers in this anime made the show interesting because the questions posed to those with these powers became an interesting look at human nature. Almost anyone effected by a geass power proved to end the end be a bit more human than those who never dealt with the drastic change geass could create. I can't say much in reguards to these powers because the show is very reliant on them just as much as the show is reliant on the main character.

All in all, Code Geass is a very entertaining in your face show. I liked it because while the main character ended up being so one sided, most of the remaining cast made up for the lack of any real development with the main character Lelouch.

Mike Cervantes at EPCON 2011

Mike Cervantes has a chat with many of the wonderful local vendors at this year's El Paso Comic Con. Special promo done by James Horan of Star Trek fame.

Aspect Ratio - EPCON 2011 (Day 2)

Ruben Rascon takes to the aisles of El Paso Comic Con for the second day of this wonderful convention. special appearance by The Alien Warrior Comedian.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

So, I'm a nerd.

I know I promised, and I know you all are just DYING to hear what my opinions are regarding how a convention should be run, but things keep coming up that I think are just a little more important and require a little more of my attention than some pie-in-the-sky ideals I may or may not have about the leadership of local anime conventions. Things that have plagued me since I first decided to become any kind of professional, never mind a participant of the fan community at large. Problems I still have, that keep me up at night, that affect me on a very personal level and I wish would come to an end simply because I’ve come too far.

Let me get specific: As many of you know, I’m still a student at UTEP, and right now I’m taking a semester in Public Relations. I’m currently minoring in communication, and it’s been a pretty rewarding element of my collegiate career so far. It’s through communications that I found an interest in both journalism and internet-based media which helped me to, well, you know. I’m almost at the end of my major now, so I decided to take my final communications course in Public Relations, so I can have a well-rounded minor. I figure since I already have a degree in graphic design, I’ve studied marketing, I’ve studied AND practiced multimedia journalism, a mere semester of Public Relations is the last frontier in my exploration of my minor.

The problem I’ve been having with this course, though is that we’ve been separated into teams that are responsible for finishing the projects through the semester and there’s this one girl on our team who keeps giving me the stink-eye when I walk in the room. If she speaks to me, she uses a very condescending tone. The kind where every word is phrased as a question. “Do you think that was a good idea? Maybe you should have considered something else?”

Honestly, if I made a bad first impression, it’s my fault. I sometimes make bad first impressions. But the continuing, enduring, and frankly unprofessional banter of this one fellow student can only lead to one inarguable conclusion.

She thinks I’m a nerd.

People tend to think that nerd discrimination comes to an end when you’re an adult and you’re in a professional environment like a college. Not so. As long as you exhume the smallest amount of awkwardness, there will always be someone to use it to vault their own plebian egos. I’ve personally been left outside of clubs by bouncers who disliked my sneakers, turned away from cosplay events because it was assumed our cameras would “creep people out”, and had letters sent about me from detractors, suggesting I “wasn’t the right person” to be covering certain events from my cameras. I know all of the responsible parties in these situations and I know for a fact that it has to do with my demonstratively obvious social awkwardness.

All I’ve got to say to that is: GROW UP, PEOPLE!

Okay, so I’m a nerd. Thanks for pointing that out. Show’s that you have eyes that can see. I’m gonna skip the usual soliloquy about how nerds actually rule the world. I don’t necessarily agree with that myself. Instead I’m going to talk to you a bit about what it actually means to be a nerd.

There’s this one very popular episode of the Twilight Zone called “Time Enough At Last.” It stars Burgess Meredith, the man most well known as the Penguin in the 1960s Batman. He plays an awkward little man with coke bottle glasses who does nothing with his time but read. Because of this, he’s picked on by his boss and his domineering wife. To make a long story short, he survives the atomic bomb and becomes the last surviving man on earth. Happy as it is that now he has all the time in the world to read, he breaks his enormous glasses and is left to stew in that ol’ Rod Serling way.

After a few dozen viewings of this episode it occurred to me: THAT is what it means to be a nerd. Sure, the people around you can potentially be silenced, but even if they are, you still remain a slave to your own obsessions. Replace this man’s obsession over books with comics, anime…you name it. The moral stays the same.

So there will always be an element of me that is the pudgy, spectacled, and just plain weird little kid I left behind in high school. It seems like a defeatist way of looking at it, but it isn’t, and this is what I vow to tell ANYONE who questions my ability from now on.

Even if I remain an obvious nerd, I’m still a professional. Hell, I’m nearly 30 years old, how could I not be at this age?! While I’m merely a small step away from getting my bachelor’s I already have a degree in graphic design, and for as long as I’ve been in school, I’ve amassed an enormous education. In the time I’ve been idling I’ve developed loads of graphics and advertising campaigns, some of which you’ve actually seen in a store or on a restaurant sign somewhere. I’ve written numerous articles for online magazines, and I’ve held on to an important job as a teaching assistant in a community outreach section of the city for nearly 4 years.

Plus I came up with the idea for the YouTube channel, which eventually became this blog. I have made valuable connections with numerous important figures in this community, one of whom is the head of the most successful convention this whole damn city has seen so far. Some of you may question the validity of this blog, but even if you do, you can’t take that simple fact away from me.

But…it’s not all that which I’ve accomplished that makes me proud to be who I am. I’m proud of who I am because when I was around middle school age, I made the decision that no matter what people said or did to strike me down, I was always going to be myself. Since I’ve grown, I’ve broken a few promises, but that one remains as true as the day I decided it.

And speaking of promises, next time I PROMISE to build the hypothetical comic convention of my dreams…

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Good Vs. Evil - EPCON 2011

The guys at Sexy Taco Productions bring their awesome panel to EPCON 2011. Watch as the cosplayers of EPCON lock in an immortal battle of right vs. wrong.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Got my wisdom teeth out!

For those of you who listened (or will now that I've mentioned it) to episode 3 of the AugReal Podcast, I was having jaw pain before and during day 1 of EPCON 2011. I ended up going to the emergency room and was put on some pain killers that I used for a few days before going to the dentist who recommended my first step to completely getting rid of the pain was to get my wisdom teeth out.

Now I'm one of the "lucky ones" who didn't have all 4 wisdom teeth- I had two on the right and one on the left. When I went to the dental clinic on Thursday to get them removed, I wasn't experiencing much jaw pain that day which was weird considering I went 10 hours without eating, and about 14 without taking my pain or blood pressure medicine =/ So the doctor was confused because my dad had told him I could barely open my mouth. I was like "well for some reason today of all days I can" lol. Oh well. I was then given the option to get my wisdom teeth taken out or to just be put on some pain meds for 90 days to get rid of any jaw pain. I took the getting my wisdom teeth out option because it was free to me and my family rather than paying like $1k in the future.

So my mom took me to the doctor cause you have to have an escort to and from since they put you to sleep for the procedure. I was in the waiting room for maybe 20 mins before I was taken to get a panoramic xray of my teeth. That kind of hurt because my front teeth are crooked which makes biting down a bit tough. After wards I was sent back to the waiting room for like 10 more min then went in to get my blood pressure taken and to watch an informative video that usually you'd probably be shown before even scheduling a surgery. I also signed paperwork saying no im not preggo and that I saw the video and know the risks of the surgery and being put under using anesthesia. All in all, I was worried for nothing.

After talking to the doctor about my emergency room and dental trip, I was asked if I wanted the surgery. Said yes, and was taken to the operating room. Once there I was hooked up to a heart and blood pressure monitor as well as given a really warm blanket. The nurse who had given it to me said anytime she's put under a warm blanket it makes her feel like she's having a hot flash. I was like lol. She was pretty funny. She also called me a no vein wonder, and slapped me to see if she could get the veins in my elbow to show. While they did she decided to go for my hand instead since they were showing up better there.

Not too long after I was given one of those nose oxygen things, and the doctor injected some medicine into the IV and I was off to sleep. Next thing I remember is waking up at my parents place. My mom gave me some pain medicine and a strawberry slim fast which was really good. Too bad it was the only one cause I've been stuck drinking some chocolate shake one now :P

She later one went to got me some clothes and other necessities I didn't being because I honestly thought I'd only be staying over for a night or two, not 4. She also got me a Pop Star magazine probably to be funny.

Overall, I haven't had much pain today since it's my first full day of recovery (er morning cause it isn't even noon yet). Yesterday was pretty bad because any pain medicine I was given my body just had to rid itself of a few mins later >.> Now it's not so bad. I'm not taking the kind the doctor gave me because it still makes me sick so my moms been giving me over the counter stuff.

In the end, I'm not actin a fool like all those wisdom teeth YouTube videos. I think it's because I've been to the emergency room enough in my day that I don't act silly on drugs. And I'm almost always taking Tylenol for headaches so I'm pretty used to over the counter pain killers XD

Sexy Taco Productions - Alien Warrior Comedian

It's the middle of EPCON 2011 and Edward Ayoub of Sexy Taco Productions is nowhere to be found. Guess that they'll have to find a replacement. How about EPCON's very own special guest emcee, the Alien Warrior Comedian?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Aspect Ratio - El Paso Comic-Con 2011 (Day 1)

This week on Aspect Ratio, Sonic Man fills in for our host, Ruben Rascon, as he walks around the El Paso Convention Center, interviewing the various con-goers of the El Paso Comic-Con!

Special thanks to PJ Moreno

(c) 2011, Retro-Cam Productions, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Augmented Reality Podcast #3 "El Paso Comic-Con 2011" (9/11/11)

Augmented Reality Podcast - Episode #3 - ''El Paso Comic-Con 2011'' 09-11-11 by Sonic Man Network

In this installment of the Augmented Reality Podcast, Ruben Rascon, Alicia Bracken and Mike Cervantes discuss the joys and wonders of the El Paso Comic-Con at the El Paso Convention Center, with surprise guest, Julian Lawler of Broken Tree Comics!

(C) 2011, Augmented Reality Online Magazine, all rights reserved.

The New Avengers #7-9

Truth be told, I'm not really a "comic book" fan as I am specifically a fan of manga/manwha and the like. I've wanted to be a comic book fan, heck I occasionally buy comics... but mainly on free comic book day and at comic conventions. But going from reading Asian comics to American is like jumping from one poison to the other- both are pretty expensive- manga is about $10+ a volume while comics can range from $3.99 or more for a single issue and the collections are like $15 or more for only like 7 issues so either way, it's an expensive fandom. But that hasn't stopped anyone before, so it sure as hell probably won't stop me!

Now, I picked up the New Avengers Marvel Must Have collection of issues #7-9 because the cover looked interesting. I mean Mokingbird, Wolverine, The Thing, Spider-man and more team up to be a band of super heroes? That looks interesting to me... even though I went to the store looking for TMNT issue one (which I did find but on the back said there was a collection coming out so I decided in the end to wait for that). I was also interested in the new FF series, but couldn't find issue one (I was at Barnes and Noble, which typically only caries recent issues so I'll prob have to check a comic store for some older ones). I also picked up some Spider-Island but that'll be a different AugReal entry.

Art: 8/10
It's always hard for me to let someone know what I think of art in a comic book because I haven't read many in my life. Most of them end up looking the same to me- more realistic than cartoonist... well at least the super hero comics. I have read some non-super hero comics such as Maus that don't have that realistic look, but that's not what we're talking about.
The New Avengers art is pretty constant, but there are a few times the art is a bit too realistic and that's not what I look for in a comic.

Story: 9/10
The beginning kind of recaps what happened in previous issues without having to be a flat out recap chapter, which is nice even though I didn't have the chance to read issues 1-6. I like the whole issue about if the team should be paid or not, and how everyone but Luke Cage agreed with the need to be paid, and that Spider-Man who has yet to come forth with his real identity is unable to be paid until he does so. There's also a hunt for a nanny that has super powers for Cage's baby. I don't think I've ever read a super hero comic or seen a super hero comic movie adaptation that has super hero families (Incredibles doesn't count considering it was an original film) so this was a nice look at the life of a super hero family.
There's plenty more to this story, and that's only from issue 7. I don't feel like "spoiling" anymore so you'll have to pick up the issue in order to get the rest of the story. I don't have much to compare this one to so please bear with me as I create a rating system >.<

Overall, I'm really enjoying this team up and looking forward to getting my hands on the next issue. Here's to creating a new addiction I don't even need.

If you'd like me to take a look at a specific comic, please leave your request below or email it to

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sexy Taco Productions - EPCON 2011

The guys at Sexy Taco Productions can't be undone. They've put up their latest video featuring their wild and crazy takes at this year's EPCON. Be sure to look out for appearances by the cast of The Walking Dead, the Cast of Power Rangers, and the Alien Warrior Comic.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Live and Learn

Well, once again I’m way overdue for another update for this column. I wish I had a good excuse, but honestly I don’t. Since I wrote my last article I’ve gone back to school and work, and since I work at an elementary school, I’ve also gone back to making lesson plans and facilitating lessons for an after school program the school has. This year I’m teaching computers.

I also did one more very important and necessary thing since my last article: I went on a week’s vacation. I visited my mother in Austin TX. I really enjoy Austin. The air is fresher, the people are friendlier, there is artwork on every wall, and the community life is great. There’s always something going on every weekend at a park or at a convention center, and if you’re a geek, people understand you. I went with my mom to visit Amy’s Ice Cream, which is a great regional ice cream parlor, and the girl behind the counter complimented the Super Mario World T-Shirt I was wearing; telling me that the was always a big fan and she didn’t understand “where video games were going these days.” I replied by saying I understood how she felt, even though I enjoy a game of Call of Duty every once in a while myself.

I don’t know what the comic or anime convention scene is like in Austin, but I don’t worry about that one bit. All I gotta do is turn on the morning news to find out that they’re having an ice cream convention at the convention center, a chili pepper convention in the giant organic foods store and a convention in the town hall where artists paint ceramic cows. No bull. Cows. I didn’t actually go to any of those events, but I did check out a local comic shop, where I bought about 30 dollars’ worth of independently published comic books. While the El Paso comics scene often concerns itself with inventing superhero books, gritty real-life dramas, and, surprisingly, horror, the Austin comics scene is filled with works that have intrinsic artistic value in a variety of styles ranging from cartoons to graphic novels that have the same emotional gravity as Maus or Persepolis.

Now, I bet you’re thinking that I’m only saying that the grass is greener on the other side. Well, that might be true, but my occasional visit to Austin is important to me because it reminds me that I am right about one thing when it comes to fandom in El Paso: there’s lots of room for improvement. It’s an improvement that is slowly happening, as evidenced by the grandiose reception of the upcoming El Paso Comic Convention, but despite the admirable success of one convention, a visit to Austin shows me that there could be more done. A lot more.

And it’s an important perspective for me to have since a few years ago, just as I started my first soiree into the fandom with “The Captain_M Show,” I really had no clue.

My first immersion into convention life came with A-Kon. I went there with someone who was once my friend but is now infamous in the local anime community for his naysaying and cynicism. We’ll call him Theo. Theo and I shared a long, stressful, bus ride from El Paso to Dallas to attend the convention. We sweated and snored and when we finally got off the bus, we both noticed the smell of the whole trip had stuck on our shirts. Theo suggested we soak our shirts in a sink using cold water while we went downstairs to get our badges.

As soon as we got to the floor, I was in awe. For the first time in my life, I was transported to Geek Nirvana, a place where all the world’s hopes and joys could be had among throes of people who loved and understood all the same things I did. Then I looked over at Theo who simply sneered and said “This convention has gotten worse in the two years since I started coming here.”

Also, that shirt I soaked in the sink in our hotel room shrunk.

I went back to A-Kon two more years, and then I decided it was time to take a look at what we were doing similarly in our own town. I went to EPAC in 2007 and saw that it had a lot of growing to do if it had to meet up with my A-Kon experience.

But my A-Kon experience was my only experience. Another time I was sitting with my gaming club, having an argument about whether the club should take a trip to A-Kon or Anime Expo I was all for taking a trip to A-Kon, but the other club members, who had already managed to take one trip to California for AX thought that the much bigger convention was worth saving up money for. They downvoted A-Kon, but I ended up going anyway, with a different group of friends. As far as I know, that club has yet to come back to AX.

The idea that the grass is always greener comes into play when we consider the club’s decision not to go A-Kon that year. They’d already been to a bigger convention so the smaller convention didn’t mean as much to them. It’s like being offered hamburger after tasting filet mignon. Me, I don’t have a problem with either. Red meat is red meat, but to others, only the very best will be able to satiate their appetites.

But what’s really unique about the El Paso situation is that the people with the taste for the finer things, are often the ORGANIZERS of these conventions, and with the exception of EPCON and possibly the upcoming Frank N’ Con convention this October, things still turn out pretty mediocre. Never mind hamburger, we settle for whatever the heck’s in the middle of a hot dog. A trip to one of these events always leaves me feeling unsatisfied as if I’d eaten a meal full of empty carbs. (Which I did once when I visited A-Kon.)

All the time I’ve been quietly observing this, I was often accused of not having enough of a viewpoint. I was often told that I only knew the grandeur of one great convention, and there’s no comparing what I know to what I often see in local conventions. What goes on in other cities might be better OR worse.

Well, as true as that is, I can safely tell my detractors that I know what it’s like to be at a truly great convention. One where everyone is friendly, there is art on every wall, and people understand you, even if you are a total geek.

Because I’ve been to Austin.


You've been hearing about it from us, from What's Up, from Fusion, From the KLAQ Morning show, and all over local TV. But tomorrow, the greatest comic even to come to El Paso to date is finally going to happen. EPCON 2011! There's no containing the excitement! But, just to be sure you feel like this event is a can't miss, the folks at Sexy Taco Productions have put together a set of clips showing off the guest stars we'll be seeing there.

One last time, EPCON 2011 will be taking place THIS Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10th and 11th at the El Paso Convention Center. Tickets are avaliable by Ticketmaster and by the door, for more information, visit

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sexy Taco Productions - EPCON Zombie Walk 2011

Again the fine gentleman of Sexy Taco Productions eat your brain with their fantastic video coverage of the EPCON 2011 Zombie walk.

EPCON 2011 is just around the corner, this Saturday and Sunday Sept. 10th and 11th at the El Paso Convention Center. For more info visit

Friday, September 2, 2011

An Update from the Editor [#2]

Hey guys! Akia here with some updates in regards to what the AugReal crew is going to be up to and why I haven't been working on the blog as much as I have in the past.

Let's get my specific update out of the way. I haven't been working on the blog as much as I have in the past because I've been busy with getting a job. I had one working at a pizza place but due to a medical condition that job feel through after about a week and I'm back to looking for another one. I currently am aiming for a teacher's aid position at a local YWCA. Oh and I haven't had internet at my apartment in over a month. I had my Time Warner account closed and it's helped me with focusing on getting a job. SO I'm probably not going to have my own personal internet until my planned move in with a few roommates in October. I probably won't be updating the blog as much again until October >.< Sorry in advance!

The Augmented Reality crew will be at several pre-EPCON events and at EPCON itself. For more information on all things EPCON go here! I will be running the anime theater as well as the first panel of day 1.