Category Archives: Travel

Comic Con 2016

Do you ever wish to save the entire world with cool superpowers and tight spandex like I do? The answer should be yes. Otherwise you may be living in another dimension were pop culture doesn’t exist because every human living in the 21st-century on planet Earth is obsessed with space raccoons, storm troopers and meta humans.
Just go to the Paris Comic Con and you’ll understand. This year, cosplayers from all around the world joined forces to showcase their best costumes. From Jedis to Harley Quinn and the Joker, every cosplayer had their unique style, walking among the visitors and taking selfies with them.

I had the chance to cover the first day (October 21st) of the 2016 Paris Comic Con and be part of this intense 3 day exhilarating convention.
The convention center opens at 9:30 am and arriving early is the best way to beat the crowd and avoid the long lines that start to form rapidly at animation booths. You could take pictures with BB-8, stormtroopers or even get a polaroid photo of you at the Instax by Fujifilm booth.

Cosplayers at the VR booth. Photo by Laurie Le Bomin
Cosplayers at the VR booth. Photo by Laurie Le Bomin

The VR experience was also popular. The PS4 instalment allowed visitors to fight crime as Batman and the Partouche Booth offered a Roller Blaster 4D experience.

Canal was a generous exhibitor, handing out bags and entertaining visitors with quizzes and opportunities to win gifts.
Many exhibitors not only promoted their brand and merchandise, but they were also eager to share their passion. Figurines, t-shirts, comics and costumes were a big hit among fans.

Even if you left your light sabre at home (because of safety regulations of course) you’ll have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate how well you use the force. There was a light sabre initiation proposed by the Light Sabre Sport League and many other opportunities to get your hands on one.

Light sabre initiation. Photo by Laurie Le Bomin.

There were plenty of Star Wars themed activities; ranging from photos to conferences.
I attended the masterclass delivered by Lorne Peterson, FX artist. He created most of the models for Star Wars. He shared his experience with humour and gave us funny behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

Lorne Peterson. Photo by Laurie Le Bomin.

At lunch time, superheroes get hungry as you’ll witness spidermen and batmen waiting in line to get a hot dog or fresh crepes at the food corner. I decided to try Japanese delicacies. I even treated myself to a freshly baked matcha and dark chocolate cookie.
To feed another hunger, the one for series and movies, I went to see the Warner Bros. Television event which projected trailers for up and coming movies and the first episode of the Season 3 of the Flash. After that, the pilot episode of Supergirl was on the menu.

Star Trek Cosplayer being interviewed. Photo by Laurie Le Bomin.

Erik Larsen, illustrator known for his work on Spider-Man Marvel and other comics gave a conference. Visitors got to discover his career at the Masterclass room.

Other talents were here; actress Eliza Dushku, costume designer for Agent Carter Giovanna Melton, actress Carice Van Houten, cosplayer Leeanna Vamp, comic artist Trevor Hairsine, HBO storyboarder William Simpson…

The highlight of the day was the Luke Cage panel. Actor Mike Colter, costume designer Stephanie Maslansky and illustrator Shawn Martinbrough gave us an insight of the creation of the new Netflix show. Everyone was listening attentively to the interesting process of how the character was brought to the screen.

Luke Cage Panel. Photo by Laurie Le Bomin.

After clapping my hands cheerfully to several rounds of applause, I went to the mezzanine floor of the convention center. The atmosphere was laid-back and intimate. Illustrators were signing books or artwork and connecting with their fans.

I came across the Fusion Designs Caricatures booth. These guys offered amazing artwork.

To end the day on a good note, I attended the Premiere of the movie Arrival. It was such a compelling movie. The kind that makes such an impactful impression on you that you want to see it again. Just like how badly you want to go to Comic Con again next year!

The opening day of the Comic Con 2016 in Paris was a gathering of visitors and die hard fans wearing spandex and other cool costumes. At the masterclasses and other conferences, we had the chance to listen to professionals who described us how they created these great projects. We also got to see an exclusive of the Arrival, never shown before. Comic Con 2016 was a marvellous experience. Hollywood Press Corps is looking forward to the third edition next year.

Laurie Le Bomin

Writer and photographer based in Paris, France.

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The Cookie Kahuna is Back and Baking Up a Storm

The Cookie Kahuna and his new bride Carol are an inspiration to romantics everywhere. The Hollywood Press Corps was invited into their home to talk about love, life, and the resurgence of the perfect cookie.

Wally Amos and His Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies
Wally Amos and His Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

You may remember Wally Amos from the 70’s when he became the “Famous Amos” cookie mogul. He was a warm, young, caring entrepreneur who conquered the world with his amazing little chocolate chip cookies. After taking a break from the world of baking, Wally Amos has decided to jump back into the kitchen with both feet and his original crunchy cookie recipe.

Wally Amos taking pride in his famous cookies
Wally Amos taking pride in his famous cookies

Amos prides himself with his all natural ingredients, including his high quality chocolate chips from Guittard Chocolates, and his vanilla bean extract. He proudly tells us that the very first ingredient in his chocolate chip cookies is “chocolate,” a statement very few cookie companies can make.

As we sat in his kitchen and got a first-hand lesson in “how to roll the perfect cookie”, we were entertained with the story of how the two love birds met and married. Carol recounted every detail down to a loving message left on her voicemail by Wally. He jokingly denied it ever happened so she grabbed her phone and played the message on speaker for all of us to hear. Wally’s eyes lit up and a giant smile grew on his face as he admitted he did, in fact, say those wonderful things.

Wally and Carol Amos rolling cookies together
Wally and Carol Amos rolling cookies together

They met in late January and were married by the end of February. When asked why they moved so quickly, their response was, “Why wait? We’re not getting any younger!” Wally will be 80 soon and Carol turned 70 this year. But when the two look into each other’s eyes, eternal youth seems from them.

As the cookies came out of the oven, Carol enticed us to enjoy at least 18, since she had already had that many before we arrived. She continued to eat them, and continued to up our target number as the meeting continued. Batch after batch came out of the oven and we each continued to toss dozens of the Cookie Kahuna’s masterpiece into our mouths.

A special batch of cookies made with love
A special batch of cookies made with love

We learned that Amos had been invited to go on “Shark Tank” to pitch his new cookie business to the team. He was going to pass on the idea but Carol convinced him that it was part of his destiny, so he decided to move forward.

After eating at least two or three dozen cookies a piece, and enjoying numerous stories of wedding bliss from our newlywed couple, it was time to go. The warmth of the Amos house didn’t come from the cookie oven, but from the cookie Kahuna and his new wife themselves. It was a true pleasure to meet them both and we can’t wait for the new brand of cookies to make their way to our grocery store shelves soon!

Check out the Cookie Kahuna website here;

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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My trip to Jamaica 2015

Vacationing in Ocho Rios Jamaicaimage

I had another opportunity to go on vacation which was to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The vacation started off bad, as my American Airlines red eye flight was delayed by an hour and I was stuck at LAX. When I finally reached Miami, I had to run to my connecting flight to catch the plane to Jamaica. I literally had fifteen minutes, but I made it. When I reached Jamaica, of course my luggage wasn’t there, but the customer service representative (at Montego Bay Airport) was very helpful and stated that my luggage will arrive at my hotel that evening. The drive from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios seemed like it took a century, but it was only two and a half hours. The scenery from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios was shocking. One corner, there were these amazing mansions, the next corner there were these small one bedroom un-keep houses and they all surrounded the beach. During my long ride (on a two lane highway) to the resort, I saw goats and chickens in the road; I was wondering is this the country? Nevertheless, I reached my resort, Jewel Duns River and the bellman was like where’s your luggage? Good question (I said sarcastically; hey I just go off of a long bus ride and was in need of an adult beverage-don’t hold it against me).

Jewel Duns River Pool

Jewel Duns River was a beautiful resort, as I entered the facility (which had no doors by the way); I was greeted with cold towels, and a drink, which was just what I needed-considering the circumstances. My room was ready and I had an ocean view. The receptionist also said my room came with the concierge and they would check on my luggage and bring it to my room. My concierge was Trent Lee, a handsome and helpful young man. It was at least 100 degrees and I desperately wanted to get in the pool. Well I couldn’t, so I settled for food and drinks. I noticed in Jamaica that everyone lets it hang out-big, small, short and tall- the swimsuits and trunks left little to the imagination, but  after a few drinks, you really don’t notice at all. The food at the resort was decent, they had five restaurants (Pizza, Bar and Grill, Italian, Japanese, and a Buffet) plus two swim up bars and three regular bars. The Japanese restaurant was like Benihannas- which I enjoyed the food and ambiance (you have to make reservations-and Trent-lee fulfilled my request). The beach (water was warm) was amazing, workers graciously fixed you chair so you can lie down and relax and would bring you a drink (well maybe it was just me-because other resort goers had to get up and get their own). I spent the majority of my five (5) days at the beach or at the pool, where I got terribly sunburned and had to go to the spa for relief (an Aloe Cooler). The therapist that helped me get relief on my back was Charmelon, she was nice and had compassion toward my pain-so if you ever go to Jewel Duns River and get sunburn-the Aloe Cooler works magic.

View from my room

Well- its back to reality and back to work-here are a few tips when traveling to Jamaica (1) tip the service workers (they don’t make a lot of money), plus tipping you will get better service (2) if you don’t have kids, stay at an adult only resort-more relaxing, (3) don’t take it personally when the security from your resort ask where you are going, and when will you return-you have to check back in (it’s a safety issue) and (4) get the hotel to get you a cab when you go off the resort, and always get a round trip.

Well my darlings…Stay tuned until my next vacation… Any suggestions?

Monica G.