Tag Archives: geeks

Let your geek flag fly at 42 Lounge’s Cosplay Rave 3.0

When you walk the floor at a comic and entertainment convention, the superstars aren’t the celebrities at the autograph booths. It’s the cosplayers making their rounds on the floor dressed as favorite fictional characters and posing for photographs to show off months of hard work and handcrafted artistry. 

In other words, when cosplayers are in the area, no matter who you are, you’re bound to geek out — at least a little bit. 

For many years, Milwaukee cosplayers (a portmanteau of “costumes” and “players”) had to make a trip outside the city to show off their outfits. Thanks to the 42 Lounge, Milwaukee’s self-proclaimed geek bar, local cosplayers have the chance to dress up, enjoy a few drinks and dance at Cosplay Rave 3.0. 

“Because we’re gearing this towards geeks, you get a lot of that superstar cosplay crowd, kind of all in the same spot, but outside of a convention,” says Anthony Nilles, owner of 42 Lounge.

The event is in its third year, but expanding from the bar to Turner Hall due to its growth in popularity. The original Cosplay Rave in 2013 was effectively a “Halloween in the middle of July,” Nilles says, and a huge success. The follow-up in 2014 was bigger still, with a 90-minute wait to get in. 

Cosplay Rave 3.0 is a bigger deal than your average costume party. Nilles says regular Halloween parties are “amateur nights.’ Cosplay events attract more dedicated fans. 

“(For Halloween), everybody just buys their costume or just wears whatever they’ve got laying around,” Nilles says. “People who are more serious about the cosplay … really have some unique stuff. We had one person that dressed up as a psychedelic, Tron-version of a scout trooper from Star Wars. That was super cool.” 

This year, with a larger venue, the party is going to be bigger than ever. When the doors open, costumed guests can come in and get acquainted with the space. As the drinks are poured and savored, a DJ will spin tunes and, of course, there’ll be a judged costume contest. New this year is the inclusion of special musical guest Freezepop, a synth-pop band featured in the video game Guitar Hero.

“When you start to get a little energy, it moves throughout the crowd very, very quickly,” Nilles says. “I’m hoping that even with the larger venue, we can capture that.”

Nilles says although they host many themed parties every year, Cosplay Rave is their most popular. “It’s really just a bunch of people that love what’s going on, love their costumes, and love the theme and are just having a good time being around each other,” he says. 

Nilles and his customers aren’t offended by being labeled geeks. In fact, they embrace it. Cosplay Rave offers a chance for the city’s geeks to embrace such labeling and to be themselves — by being someone else.

In fact, Nilles says, there’s no better time than now to be a geek. “Not only because of prevailing culture and people getting more comfortable with being a geek, but also having venues like ourselves that are doing things out in public and not trying to hide it in somebody’s basement or behind closed doors,” Nilles says. “It’s like, ‘We’re geeks. We’re trying to do this thing.’ I think that’s really encouraging to a lot more people to let that geek flag fly.”

ON STAGE

Cosplay Rave 3.0 will take place at 8 p.m. July 17 at 1040 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee. Admission is $24.50 and can be purchased at pabsttheater.org or 414-286-3663. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

‘Peabody & Sherman’ a sweet, geeky jaunt

Animated films have seen their share of uptight dads — the most memorable being merman Triton and his strict rule over daughter Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” and the over-protective caveman Grug in the prehistoric journey “The Croods.” Mr. Peabody the dog in the charming “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” is no different.

As the aforementioned papas learned, this overbearing beagle must eventually loosen the leash he has on his adopted son, Sherman. But this is especially difficult for Mr. Peabody, since Sherman is not only a lively youngster, but a human one.

Heartfelt and snappy, DreamWorks Animation’s “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” follows the wild adventures that bond a dog and his boy. Within the first few moments, we discover Mr. Peabody (voiced by a tenacious and loveable Ty Burrell) is a pseudo-intellectual dog who attended Harvard. Meticulous and reserved, Mr. Peabody’s success has earned him an impressive penthouse in New York City and the consent to adopt Sherman (voiced by child actor Max Charles of ABC’s “The Neighbors”), who he found abandoned in a cardboard box as a baby.

Like last year’s wacky, yet underwhelming “Free Birds,” this animated feature features time-travel. Luckily, “Peabody & Sherman” offers a tighter plot and adorably geeky dialogue, thanks to writer Craig Wright (“Six Feet Under”). Via a time-machine he’s invented, papa Peabody has enriched Sherman’s upbringing with visits to past eras and the benchmark events within them — like Vincent van Gogh’s creation of “The Starry Night.”

Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, Mr. Peabody and Sherman first appeared in “Peabody’s Improbable History,” a segment within the animated television series “Rocky and His Friends” and later “The Bullwinkle Show.” The latest film modernizes the duo’s story, time-machine still included, into a 3-D jaunt.

Now in elementary school, Sherman, a cute kid with wild red hair and huge glasses, is curious and frisky. On his first day of class, a brainy blonde named Penny (voiced by Ariel Winter of “Modern Family”) starts a fight with Sherman when he challenges her knowledge of George Washington, who he’s actually met in his time travels.

Despite the aptitude of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, we never really get another glimpse of Penny’s intelligence, even as she becomes a central character. Instead, she’s mostly obnoxious and when Sherman takes her for a ride on the time machine, she leads him to be disobedient. But she also encourages him to be a risk-taker, fostering his individuality and that of the little ones watching. It’s here that Mr. Peabody learns a thing or two about parenting. He must remain in control, while allowing Sherman to make mistakes.

As Mr. Peabody and Sherman visit ancient Egypt, the French Revolution and the Trojan War, historical tidbits unfold in cunning ways. However, aspects of their adventures, like Leonardo da Vinci’s weird robot baby invention, are often too loony. But the story, with additional voices by Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann and Allison Janney, does have the ability to inspire kids’ curiosity about historical benchmarks. And though a few corny jokes may go over their heads — “Perhaps I’m an old Giza,” Mr. Peabody says after leaving Egypt — jabs at Spartacus and Bill Clinton will make adults giggle.

Directed by Rob Minkoff (“The Lion King,” “Stuart Little”) and with Jason Schleifer (“Megamind”) as the head of character animation, the visuals are stylish and clean. But the 3-D effect is unnecessary. Danny Elfman, whose credits include “Big Fish” and 14 Tim Burton films, crafts a score that’s sprightly and sentimental. The most touching moments come during montages of Mr. Peabody and Sherman playing sports.

The kiddie film is a big wet kiss for dogs and dog lovers that champions loyalty and bravery as not only traits of canines, but as universal attributes.