20 Honest Things About Me… Be Gentle


We are on the eve of the Comic-Con madness. Starting on Thursday, the SDCC schedule will appear online marking the final two week countdown until the greatest show on Earth! As my 6th year blogging about con culture, I’ve received a number of random questions and made me realize  that as much as I post about my passions, I haven’t shared that much about myself personally. So here are 20 things about me with a few questions from you.

1. What’s the first TV Show/Movie you became obsessed with? [@uncledarryl37 & @0sunny0]

Easy. Star Trek: The Original Series! While all my friends were running around with lightsabers and blasters, I had a phaser and tricorder. If you were a young Trekkie like me, you know that means you were a next level nerd among nerdom- like real inception level stuff. The exploration, diversity and curiosity of Star Trek captured my imagination as a child and shaped me as an adult. It will always be my first love along side DC Comics.

2. Whats the most embarrassing thing you have ever done? 

FullSizeRenderA few years ago, I was moderating a panel at Comikaze Expo with @BlackNerd, @VampyBitMe@GeekPinata and @MisfitsTamara. I began my intro welcoming everyone and attempted to get the audience all fired up. In my enthusiasm, my chair slipped off the back of the stage, sending me  tumbling onto some sound equipment on the floor. I survived but gashed my leg open- but more importantly, I was able to recover for the panel. The crowd and I had a good laugh about it but I am now super paranoid every time I go up on stage. That is just the start, I’m pretty good at looking dumb. Looking like a fool is not the worst thing that will ever happen to you. It creates great memories and pushes you to change.

3. What is your favorite scene from any DC movie? [@batfanjordanv]

My favorite superhero movie of all time is the Christopher Reeve Superman. The wonder, magic, and optimism of it is unmatched in my opinion. Especially when you consider the technical and cultural limitations, Superman achieve their goal of making us believe a man can fly. So I would have to say the Lois/helicopter rescue sequence is my favorite all time scene.

4. Relationship status?

There is a Mrs Crazy4ComicCon. We’ve been married for some time now and I love her more everyday. We met when I was an Art Director at a software company and I hired her to be my design intern. She was charming, smart, talented and of course, hot. We met, dated, were engaged and got married all under a year! When you know you know. She isn’t a nerd like me but supports my addiction. We do however share a lot of similar passions and I am grateful to be blessed with someone like her.

5. What’s your guilty pleasure during SDCC? [@sctdaigle]

While I have loved all the big experiences over the years like the TRON offsite, the first appearance of the Avengers in Hall H and filming videos all day at Comic-Con, my interests have changed a lot. Honestly, my favorite thing in the world is meeting you all, the readers, at Comic-Con. The fact that anyone is remotely touched by anything I blog or tweet about still blows my mind. Hearing your stories, difficult journeys and steps of faith is the best part of the Comic-Con experience. Regardless of my future endeavors, I don’t think that will ever change for me. You all are my heroes and I love be able to meet in person.

6. Do you have a strange or interesting talent? (Pull cars w/your teeth, closet contortionist, fire eating? 😊) [@amlehr]

This isn’t really a talent, but what very few people know about me is that I am ordained. That’s right, I can marry people! So I am still waiting to perform my first wedding at Comic-Con ;). Faith has been an important part of my journey. Not the rules or weird parts but the acceptance of all people and the role of ‘destiny’ in our lives. I find it comforting believing that their is a cosmic plan in motion and that we each have an important purpose in this world.

7. Favorite place to chill at #SDCC [

The Tin Fish right in front of the convention center. Every year, my friends and I have a tradition to eat lunch there before the show begins on Wednesday. I love basking in the pre-con buzz and preparing for the week ahead. The Broken Yolk is my favorite breakfast place and I try to start as many mornings as possible there. This year I will be at the Marriott Marquis for the first time, so I will probably be chilling in the lobby late at night.

8. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for one of your fandoms? [@ethne88]

IMG_4265It was asking Matt Smith to sign my WB Swag Bag jacket in Hall H for his last appearance as the Doctor a few years ago. I did get some heat over it for making a personal request but part of fandom is taking risks and making memories. It ended up being one of the most shared photos by the BBC that year. As a result, his publicists remembered me from that experience and enjoyed watching me host the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Fan panel at Austin Comic Con shortly after that. Having confidence in me, that directly led me to host Matt at New Orleans Comic Con a few months later. Matt and I had a good laugh over that jacket moment. You never know what taking a risk will lead to. Fortune favors the foolish.

9. How many cons do you attend on average in a year? [@stardust1006]

Probably about 10-12 a year. I am very grateful for shows like Wizard World that has had faith in me as a moderator and assisting their program team. I have so enjoyed interacting with fandom from all across the nation and have become a better geek as a result. @Cmjansen, I owe a lot to you and appreciate all the opportunities you and the team have given me. I don’t know how long I can keep up this pace but will enjoy it as long as I can bring value to the con community.

10. What are you passionate about besides Comic-Con?

When I’m not going to cons or tweeting/blogging about them, I’m am also an advocate for foster kids in Orange County. My wife and I adopted two beautiful kids through social services and we have fostered a few more in between. The stories of foster kids are very similar to the stories we find in many comic books. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Luke Sky Walker, and Harry Potter were all kids that either were orphaned or separated from their parents. There is nothing more vulnerable than a child without loving parents. I have made it my life mission to help children at risk and support other foster parents. It’s been the hardest thing we have ever done. A lot of tears, a lot of worries and a lot of pain- but it has also been the most rewarding. This is the main reason why I have rarely blogged or shared about my kids. There is a lot of privacy and safety issues when it comes to kids in social services so for their sake, I have to keep that part of my life on the down-low. However, if you ever have questions about it, let me know directly through e-mail and I would be happy to share my story.

11. If you could be transported and intergrated into any fictional universe (comic/movie/tv), which would it be? [@offbeat_lindsey]

p025wvg8It would have to be Doctor Who and I would have to be the Time Lord himself. The ability to travel to the past or future and across all dimensions- how awesome would that be? Plus I love the fact that the Doctor is not a brute force for his own agenda. He is a diplomat and sees the beauty in all things. But, in the most dire of circumstances, he can make the tough call for the greater good. I am so happy for what Doctor Who has brought to con fandom and how it has changed the culture. Plus, an Asian Doctor…

12. What’s your guilty fandom? [@AngusMaximus]

I love HBO’s Entourage. I know it’s super testosterone ‘bro’ life but there is something so endearing about their friendships. I wouldn’t want to live their life but there is something satisfying about living in the chaos and sacrificing for the sake of art. Oh, I can watch Pitch Perfect on endless repeat.

13. What’s something you failed at?

In 2010, I was cast in Morgan Spurlock’s Episode IV: A fans Hope documentary about Comic-Con! After over a week of filming at my home, work and all week in San Diego, I was left on the cutting room floor. Guess I wasn’t interesting enough. I found out when I was sent the coffee table book about the documentary and I realized I was left out of the cast page- that hurt. No one called or explained, just cut. But what came out of it I could have never predicted. In an effort to show my passion for Comic-Con to the producers of the doc, I started this blog. While the film didn’t work out, I discovered I was crazy for Comic-Con and continued on blogging! If it wasn’t for that epic failure I would not have had this chance to interact with you all. Failures suck but there is something always greater on the other side of it. I still haven’t watch it.

14. Your favorite Comic-Con moment or celebrity encounter?

10LIONSGATEjp-master1050I worked full time for a couple of years for Comic-Con International through the 2011 and 2012 shows. During that time I saw all kinds of amazing and crazy things. One time I had to spoon Tailor Lautner (story for another time) and I have been in counseling ever since 😉 The best experience I ever had was being Conan O’brien’s liaison for the day. It was surreal, exhilarating and so much fun. Out of all the crazy celebs I have met or worked with over the years, Conan was the most kindest and social aware out of all of them. He was the only one that at the end of the day, personally thanked everyone that helped him. He embraced me and said “Today, we are now blood brothers!”. It helped wash some of the Lautner’s residue off me.

15. Cats or dogs?

My favorite is a Bilgesnipe. You know, huge, scaly, big antlers and from Asgard. No? In that case, I take dogs. I love my Maltese/Shih Tzu mix named Bitty.

16. Of all your pet-peeves, which is the strangest?

I can’t stand it when people say ‘So without further adieu..’. Related to that, I can’t stand when panels are poorly moderated. I’ve sat through too many panels, from big to small, with hosts that were just awful. This is the main reason I started moderating in the first place. Believe me that I am far from great and I make mistakes all the time (like falling off the stage). But I take it seriously and try to get better every time I take the mic. To have a chance to speak in front of a captive audience is a sacred thing to me. It’s a huge opportunity and I will take it with the utmost respect as long as I have the opportunity. Oh, remind me to tell you of the time I announced the wrong winner of an award, at an awards show…

17. Describe your first kiss.

In the back of a gross dollar movie theater watching Karate Kid. Wax on, wax off.

18. What is the one thing you want people to take away from this site?

star-wars-the-force-awakens-daisy-ridley-bb-8It’s my recent message about Finding your Mission. That really is it for me. I enjoy providing con tips and breaking news about Exclusives, but most of all, I want fans to find their geek purpose in life. Not to sound cheesy, but we will all blink and find ourselves 80 years old someday. Do you want to have a life of regret? I want you all to try crazy things, break rules, create art, connect people and change culture. Disrupt the status quo and be daring! That’s why I love Comic-Con fandom. It’s about a community of people who are creative and love trying new things- and getting others to do the same. The greatest compliment anyone has ever said to me is “I tried this new thing because of you”. When I stop inspiring change, this blog will cease the exist.

19. Margot Robbie or Jessica Alba?… (@Comic_Con_Kook)

Like if God can create a rock that even He can’t lift, that is an unanswerable question.

20. What is your current real-life job? [@Tudec]

4618671983_5b786d1dafFunny you should ask. I recently left my marketing position to take a new big leap of faith for my future. I’m putting everything on the line for this one and it could epically fail. Like it keeps me up at night. However, I have to try and I am super excited to share my new endeavor with you. I’m really nervous about it but also have the peace of mind knowing that this is my calling for the foreseeable future. I plan on revealing my master plan this Wednesday morning so stay tuned. So without further adieu..

I hope you enjoyed these 20 things about me. Please leave a comment about what resonated with you and what you liked or learned about me. I hope to learn some stuff about you at Comic-Con too!

27 thoughts on “20 Honest Things About Me… Be Gentle

  1. Everything, Tony. Everything about you resonates with me. That is why I make sure we see each other at the cons we attend and to keep in touch during the in between. Your kindness, your drive, your support of all, and your love of everyone is incredible and makes others strive to be the same. Your personal endeavors with foster children and your own family top off the amazing person you are. You radiate positivity and who wouldn’t want that in their life. I am beyond excited for your announcement on Wednesday and know that we are with you 100%. Whatever you need from us, just ask and we are there. Thank you for your friendship and for being you.

  2. Asian Doctor Who? Awesome idea! It’s amazing that you foster kids. Something I definitely want to do down the line when I’m more stable. That’s something I wish more people would do. Those kids need a loving home and so many people refuse.

    One day maybe I’ll have you marry me to whomever I finally settle down with. Hahah 😊

    Another great post. Love reading!

  3. Ever since finding your blog for my first SDCC in 2013, you’ve been a constant inspiration & mentor both for attending cons & living life. You inspired me to try something different at SDCC every year, and I’m now venturing into podcasting. 2016 will be my 4th consecutive SDCC, and though it may be my last for a few years, your inspiration lives on! Hope to run into you this year like I did my first two years (I was in Hall H for the jacket signing!), it just wasn’t SDCC without ya last year 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what your next big chapter is Weds!

    • Thank you and that means a lot. It’s great to hear you have discovered a way to express yourself and I look forward to where it goes for you. Appreciate your support over the years. See you at the show!

  4. Heck yea made it in the list! Enjoyed this and always enjoy following you in all your nerdy endeavors. I too share love for star trek, Next Generation tho. It was away for me to escape a bad childhood. Thanks for all the great thought provoking content over the years!

    • I hope you keep boldly going where no one has gone before. Thanks for faithfully following and thanks for commenting.

    • Thanks bro. Like I said about in my pos, I owe a lot to you. Thanks for all your support and the enthusiasm for what’s next.

  5. Wow! Since my first con, I have relied on your advice, blogs, suggestions all of which has led to some great experiences. How you find the time to accomplish all that you do is astounding and inspirational. Thank you for sharing such personal insight. I hope to shake your hand one day to thank you.

  6. I remember a few years back at Wondercon when we were trading tweets in hopes of finding some Pacific Rim con exclusive cards and I was telling my friend about you and your blog (& how I was excited you answered my tweets lol!)! It’s been so neat to see how much you’ve accomplished ever since starting this! Just thank you for this blog and I completely agree with all the comments- everything you said resonates! I continue to recommend your blog to my friends (esp the newbie SDCC goers) bc you really capture what’s great about fandom & the “con” life (haha). Looking forward to your announcement Wednesday!

  7. Thanks for sharing a few tidbits about yourself. It’s nice of you to interact with your followers once in a while. Last year is one of my best SDCC experiences to date, and running into you at Nerd HQ added to that. Thanks for taking the time to chat for a moment!

  8. I have been looking forward to reading this post. I attend SDCC with my husband and our girls every year to support them. I don’t watch movies, tv shows, read comic books, or collect toys. I do, however, love people watching and making it my mission to get into the Hasbro booth and other lines that my family doesn’t think are possible! 😉 I enjoy the atmosphere, but have absolutely no idea who any of the celebrities are. When my daughter sees one I’m quickly googling an image before we ask for a pic. To prepare for comic con I do follow several blogs and stay plugged into Twitter so I have somewhat of an idea what’s going on. The last few years I have told my husband the celebrities I want to meet are Tony B Kim and Shawn Marshall! Coincidentally, your favorite places to eat are ours too. Since we are also staying at the Marquis perhaps we will run into you there. For once I won’t have to google image search before asking for a picture!
    Thanks for sharing such a personal post. Helped solidify that you are just as kind and cool as we thought you were. What really resonated with me is your experience with adoption. As an adoptee, those stories get me every time!

    • That’s so awesome that you are supportive of your daughter- if we all only had parents so attuned to their kids. The best thing about Comic-Con is that it is a family experience since there is something for everyone. Thanks for your encouragement and hope to meet you guys at the Marriott!

  9. If it wasn’t for your SDCC info for newbies like me in 2012, this 52 year old at the time, wouldn’t have went to the 2013 SDCC! I lived out my most wonderful dreams there! I was in fantasyland and I went alone. To boldly go…

  10. After reading this post, I give you many heartfelt salutes to your achievements, future goals, dedication as a parent (adoptive and foster) and passion for taking risks to follow your hearts desires. Both personal and professional – I am here to support you! I really enjoyed the Matt Smith story – how you charged up the fan mountain and had your flag signed; eventually getting recognized as a super fan with an infectious enthusiasm that you backed up with real professional moxie as a host and interviewer.

  11. After meeting Conan on several occasions at SAG events and enjoying our conversations, I consider your rare opportunity to work with him a valuable and pivotal step in your rising career. It was great that your experience was a powerful and positive one. Finally, do you have a Star Trek 50th Anniversary Pin? I can bring one with me to SDCC for you, if you don’t.

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