Obsessive Comics Disorder #46: "Power Laces, Far Out!"

We're back!  Between work travel, sickness, and redoing the studio, its been a busy month...or two.  We make up for it though, with some new segments, new bumpers, and even a new background track or so.  Send us some feedback on what you like!

Current Obsessions

Chris: X-wing, Duck Dynasty, LEGO Movie

Philip: Pax East, Duffel Blog

I Want This!

Get to Your Transport


Fantasy Flight Games [News]


Newest NERF blaster has baked in camera for capturing your foam firefights


Back to the future: Nike designer touts 2015 arrival for Marty McFly's Power Laces


Official Images Of The Lego Ghostbusters Set Are Very Convincing‏


FAIL! of the Week

Ice-T records D&D audiobook: "This s%!t is impossible to read."


Man has narrow escape after car ploughs into his kitchen at 30mph


This Week in Geek

Batman/Superman casting news – Lex Luthor and Alfred found


Taco Bell to unveil cutting-edge mobile ordering system, and other news for Feb. 14, 2014


Guardians of the Galaxy trailer is here



If you'd like to comment or contribute to the show, send us an email at feedback@ocdcast.com. You can also talk to us online, I'm @ChrisTheProf on twitter and Philip is @Philip_OCD. You can also follow us on facebook at facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder. The background music in this episode was composed by Andrew Allen and can be found on his CD's "Free Play" and "Smooth Federation" - thanks for letting us play them on the show! Check out ocdcast.com for other great stuff, including my tabletop gaming podcast "Boards & Swords".

Building A Geek - With LEGO Bricks!

Last week, I talked about one of the ways in the past couple of years that I as a step father have connected with Chloe, my 9 year old daughter.  Specifically, I talked about how I got her into action figures.  This week, I wanted to talk about one of the other geeky toys that I have gotten Chloe into; and a toy that Chloe got me back into.  In case you missed the title of this blog post, I'm talking about LEGO Bricks.  Click onwards to find out more about how I "built" her interest in these awesome building blocks.

I played with LEGO Bricks as a kid - a LOT. Of all the toys that I had growing up, LEGO Bricks were one of my all time favorites. I had a few of the LEGO Star Wars sets when they first came out, but mostly my brother and I just had a large bucket of assorted LEGO Bricks that we would dump out and build the craziest contraptions. There were many times where I would be watching a show on TV, then go into my room when the show was over and build something from the show out of our LEGO Bricks. It would not be a stretch to say that LEGO Bricks helped foster my interest in science and engineering.

Fast forward to when I was 23. Ashley and I had not been together very long, and I was living in a nice apartment with another one of my co-workers. Ashley would come over to the apartment and bring Chloe with her. Being pretty fresh out of college, our apartment was stocked with lots of things that you would expect: video games, comic books, computers, etc. A lot of great things to do with other guys in their 20's; not so many things for a (then) 5 year old to do. I mean, its not like the two of us could sit down to play some Halo, right? I knew that I really wanted to connect with Chloe and have something that she could do at my apartment other than just watching TV, for two reasons. First, I wanted her to enjoy coming over to the apartment, and secondly, I wanted her to enjoy hanging out with me personally. Keep in mind, this is *way* before I got her into action figures.

So, I started thinking of things that I knew that kids enjoyed doing. Specifically, I was thinking of things that kids enjoyed doing that I could enjoy doing as well. For instance, I thought it might look kind of weird to have a bunch of Barbies laying around my apartment. That's when it hit me - LEGO Bricks! I enjoyed playing with them, and I was sure that Chloe would enjoy playing with them as well. I went to Target and picked up a standard bucket of LEGO Bricks. Nothing specific, just a random assortment of bricks; just like I used to have! Having not really bought that many LEGO Bricks with my own money, I was a bit disappointed in how much I got for the money I paid, but I remembered that LEGO Bricks could be a tad expensive. So, I jumped onto eBay and managed to buy a large box filled with random bricks to bolster my collection.

Boy, I hit the jackpot! I brought out those LEGO Bricks and Chloe and I went to town building all sorts of contraptions. I kept the bin of LEGO Bricks at my apartment, so that whenever Ashley brought Chloe over I could pull them out and we would hang out and play together. That common interest was very important to me as a future step father - it was an important "Building Block" (pardon the pun) to building a relationship between Chloe and myself.

Just like the action figures, Chloe and I's interest in LEGO Bricks hasn't gone away yet. We don't buy as many LEGO sets as we would like to have, but whenever we do get a chance to get our hands on some LEGO Bricks, we will break them out and work together to assemble the sets. This past Christmas, Chloe got one of the large LEGO Friends clubhouses from Ashley's family and her and I spent a large portion of Christmas morning putting that thing together. Even with as long as I've been playing with LEGO Bricks, I still think that was the biggest set that I have ever put together. Last month, I took Chloe to the LEGO Kids Fest that I blogged back awhile back, and she had a blast! We spent the day building LEGO Race Cars, looking at the various sculptures spaced around the convention center, and scouring the on-site LEGO store for some cool sets. We even got a chance to sit down and try out Creationary, one of the board games that the LEGO company has released.

Thanks to LEGO Bricks, I was able to connect with Chloe at a young age and have her enjoy spending time with me. I will always be grateful that I had that connection with her from the beginning, and I hope that its something that she will past down to her children (a long LONG time from now).

Did you play with LEGO Bricks as a kid? Do you still play with them now? Let me know in the comments below.

Connecting With Chloe - Through Action Figures

Many of you who read this blog and follow me on various social media outlets know that I have a 9 year old daughter named Chloe.  Technically, she is my stepdaughter, but in my heart I consider her as if she were my biological daughter.  Over the last 4 years, I've had to learn what it means to be a father (most of the time by what not to do) and find ways to connect with this precious child.  One of the big ways that I have done this is by introducing her to some of my geeky habits.  Over a few posts to be sprinkled throughout the next month or so, I am going to share with you how I've managed to do so.  Most of these were mentioned in my "9 geekiest moments with the Cloverfield" post a few months back, but I want to expand and talk about many of those topics with a bit more depth.  This week, I want to start with something that's become almost a holiday with us: Action Figure Fridays.

One of the many perks of my day job is that I have every other Friday off.  On one of these Fridays a couple of years ago, I decided to surprise Chloe and pick her up from school.  My plan was simply to take her to get milkshakes and spend some quality time together.  On the way there, I was listening to a podcast talking about the most recent toy fair, including the action figures that were presented.  This stuck in my brain as I picked up Chloe and took her to Chick-Fil-A; where we sat down and enjoyed our milkshakes.

Looking over and seeing the Target in the same shopping center, I asked Chloe if she wanted to go take a look at some of the toys at Target.  I told her that I would buy her a doll of her choosing and that I would pick out an action figure for myself.  Not surprisingly, she was all for this plan.  We went to Target and she quickly found a Barbie doll that she wanted.  So we walked over to the action figures and I looked through the Marvel figures that were available.  After awhile, I picked one for myself and we started to walk away.  Suddenly, Chloe stopped me and led me back to the Barbie aisle and set her doll back.

"I have a lot of Barbies," she said, "I want to get an action figure!"

I was touched.  So, we went back and she picked out an action figure for herself.  Then, we went home and opened them together.  We had so much fun that we decided that we wanted to make it a regular occurrence. So we began calling my Fridays off "Action Figure Fridays".  I would pick her up from school, and then we would head to a store for some action figures.  Eventually, we switched from going to shops like Walmart and Target to going to the comic book store to get some of the nicer DC Direct figures.  This worked to my advantage, as I could also pick up my comic books at the same time.  Many of the figures that we picked up during this time we would unbox in front of my webcams and talk about them.  You can still watch all of them over at my YouTube channel.

The regular trips to the comic book shop held for a good long while, but as it got closer to my wedding, money started becoming an issue.  I stopped reading comics regularly and we cut back from buying the expensive action figures.  Nowadays, I still pick her up every other Friday, but what we end up shopping for isn't limited to just action figures.  Some days we will buy some LEGO sets, a couple of times we've gotten Skylanders figures, and on one of the more recent Fridays we bought Magic the Gathering booster packs.  To Chloe, it doesn't really matter what we go get, I think she just enjoys the time we spend together, which works for me too.

So for any other dads or future dads that happen to be geeks: if you want a way to share some of those interests with your kids, find a way to incorporate it into stuff they already like.  Chloe loves going shopping (when it's for her), so by getting her various superhero toys/video games/etc, its has had the side effect of getting her more interested in those things.

Do you have any cool suggestions for things to do with little geeks in training?  Leave them in the comments or send me an email at chris@ocdcast.com.

Bringing Families Together - With 3 Acres Of LEGO Bricks

Earlier this month, I happened to hear about one of the Dads in my office taking his kids to some LEGO event in Richmond in February. Naturally, the word "LEGO" peaked my interest and away I went to the Google in order to figure out what event that he was talking about. It turns out that next month, Richmond, VA is home to "LEGO Kids Fest", an event that tours around the country bringing together kids of all ages to explore the creativity surrounding the world of LEGO. Before you click onwards to read the rest of this story, a quick note: Did you know that LEGO is an adjective, not a noun? Technically, one plays with "LEGO Bricks", not "LEGOs" - I was corrected of this myself!



Curious to find out more about LEGO Kids Fest, I reached out and got in contact with Aaron Wartner, a spokesperson for LEGO Kids Fest. He filled me in on what LEGO Kids Fest is and how it came to be.

The First LEGO KidsFest was in 2009 in Connecticut; which happens to be the North American headquarters for LEGO System (and here I thought that the Headquarters was LEGOland :P ). Originally, it was conceived to only be held in Connecticut, with only 5,000 expected to attend. Boy, were they surprised when 20,000 LEGO fans showed up! Knowing they had stumbled onto something, they expanded the event to even more cities, from 3 in 2010 to 6 events last year. In 2013, there are 7 different events planned!

February 15-17 marks the Richmond, VA LEGO Kids Fest. Cities that the tour stop in are varied from year to year, with increased focus on areas where there is a large interest in LEGO. For instance, I was informed that within a 4 hour drive of the Richmond area, there are over 50,000 LEGO Club Members!

Now, I know that the event has the word "Kids" in it, but there are events there for kids of all ages! Here is just a sample of the terrific events that will be held at the Richmond event:



* LEGO Model Gallery: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks

* LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play

* Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.

* Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family

* LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games

* Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas

* LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building

* LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods

* Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment

* Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity

* Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets

* And much more, covering over 150,000 square feet of space

Are you sold yet? I know I was. In fact, I'll be there in person on Saturday morning, scoping out all the great LEGO stuff for my own eyes. You know I'll be bringing Chloe along as well - I can't want to hear (and record) her thoughts on seeing all of these LEGO events. If you want to find out more information (and purchase tickets!), make sure you head on over to http://www.legokidsfest.com. Look and see if they'll be stopping by near you!

Oh, and if you live around the Richmond area - you might want to hurry, tickets are going quick!


My 9 Geekiest Moments With The Cloverfield

This weekend is Chloe's (otherwise known to me as The Cloverfield) 9th Birthday.  With that, I thought I'd dedicate this week's blog post to her by going through the 9 geekiest moments that I've had with her - or at least the 9 geekiest moments that I have pictures of.  Click through to find out what those moments are…

For those of you that don't know, Chloe is my daughter.  She's actually my step-daughter, but I've accepted her in my heart as my daughter.  I've known her for just about 4 years now, and during that short time have come to teach her the ways of the geek.  As I was going through the pictures I have of her on my phone/facebook/etc, I picked out a couple that stood out to me as some of our geekier times, listed chronologically:

1) Playing Video Games With Her

I am a pretty big video gamer (as most of you are well aware of), so it was only natural that I would try and share this love of gaming with Chloe.  Being too young for some of the games I was playing such as Halo, Call of Duty, etc., we started off with games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero.  Later, we moved on to games like Castle Crashers, Mario Kart, and even Minecraft!  In fact, we even did a whole podcast devoted to the games we played, until we decided we wanted to talk about other topics too.

2) World of Warcraft

Technically a video game, WoW deserves its own category just from the amount of time we've played it compared to other games.  It all started back one day when Ashley was over at my apartment with Chloe.  She was borrowing my shower (it may have been after we had been outside rummaging through the snow), and Chloe was watching TV while I was playing WoW.  She came over to where I was, curious as to what I was doing.  So instead of telling her about it, I let her make a character and showed her how to play.  She took to it in no time (I've got video proof of this below), and has since fallen in love with the game.  She got her own account so that she could make multiple characters - probably her favorite aspect of the game.  Sometimes, we will both play next to each other, but nowadays if we are both playing we will jump on our Goblins.  We've been leveling them together, and we've gotten them up to level 26 or so.


Another early moment between Chloe and I (although the picture is from this past Christmas) is our fondness of LEGO Bricks (I've been recently corrected that they are LEGO Bricks, not LEGOs).  Back before I moved in with Chloe and Ashley, I was searching for things to have at my apartment for when Chloe would come over.  When I was growing up, I LOVED LEGO Bricks.  I used to build all sorts of contraptions with them, both sets and just free building things with whatever random pieces I had laying around. So, I thought that it would be nice to have a bucket of LEGO Bricks that I could pull out whenever Chloe came over.  They were a hit with her, and we've been playing with various LEGO sets ever since.  She's in love with the LEGO Friends sets, so I imagine that her LEGO collection will not be ending anytime soon.

4) Annapolis Comic Con

I'll talk more about comic cons in a little bit, but I threw Annapolis Comic Con up here separately because it was the first 'con that I attended as a participant, not as a fan.  I bought a booth, had signs and handouts made - even had a contest!  Chloe got excited for the comic con too - she had us buy a Batgirl outfit that she wore for the 'con and stood at the booth handing out fliers and promoting the show.  She had a blast!

5) Halloween 2011

Chloe and myself love to dress up - especially for halloween.  In 2011, we were looking for costumes in Kmart when we stumbled upon some "The Walking Dead" costumes for the creepy zombie girl in the pilot and Rick Grimes.  We bought the costumes and went as a matching pair for Halloween that year.  Chloe was so creepy as a zombie!  She hated the mouthpiece that got glued onto her face, but it just fully completes the costume.  People don't believe me when I talk about how creepy she looked as a zombie, so I like to have these pictures available on my phone for me to pull out and prove to them.

6) The Avengers

Fast forward to May 2012 - The Avengers is in opening in theaters!  Chloe loves comic books, so we knew that we should take her along to see the movie with us (and we weren't going at midnight this time).  She had a couple of the Thor pieces that were available in the toy aisle, so she threw those on and went to the movie with us.  She was tired, so she did fall asleep in the middle for a few minutes, but overall she loved the movie.

7) Baltimore Comic Con

We've taken Chloe to about 3 or 4 comic conventions over the years, but our family's favorite convention each year is Baltimore Comic Con.  It is close by, has lots of great stuff to look at, and there are plenty of great deals to be had!  The past couple of times we have went, Ashley has found us some great deals on World of Warcraft action figures, combining two of our geeky hobbies.

8) Magic: The Gathering

Deciding that Chloe was not geeky enough after all of this, I taught Chloe how to play the card game Magic: The Gathering.  She had seen me look at the cards in the game aisle and watched me play the Duels of the Planeswalkers video game, so she had been curious of the game for quite awhile.  I had been waiting for her to get older to understand the game, but finally I took a risk and taught her how to play.  She beat me on her first time playing!  Needless to say, she picked up the game pretty well and even got her own Magic deck to play with for Christmas.  I'm hoping that she can get good enough at the game on her own that we can play in some local tournaments at some point.

9) Munchkin

Last on the list but probably first in her heart is the card game Munchkin.  I taught her how to play around the same time that I taught her Magic, and she caught onto this game the most.  Any time we have a free moment, she is asking to play Munchkin.  I think she's been playing it too much though - she is getting really good at it!  She has become really devious at the game; pulling out monster enhancers at the best time so that you have to have help, then offering her assistance.  I'm going to have to keep my eye on her from now on when we play.
So there are my geeky moments with Chloe.  I'm sure we will have many more over the years and I can't wait to share them with her.  You can hear about them as well, by listening to our podcast "The Adventures of Chloe". It's all about me teaching her how to be a geek, while she teaches me how to be a dad.

The Adventures of Chloe #4: "Ask The Chloe!"

That's right, in this episode, I ask Chloe a couple of questions that I got from some folks on Twitter!  Thanks go to @drquest and @docxen for submitting questions!  First, however, we talk about Thanksgiving and a couple of other things that we have been up to. By the way, Chloe loves answering questions!  Send us your questions to chloe@ocdcast.com or on twitter to @AskTheChloe!  Most likely, your questions will end up on a future episode!