Around Town



Buffalo, NY. It’s a town known for hockey, chicken wings, and the side of Niagara Falls you can visit if you have a criminal record. I don’t recall ever coming here, or even having a particular desire to. Not for any specific reason. Only because it was like a ton of other cities and towns across the country today. Built by rail, canal, or the automobile industry, and left to die a slow death in the aftermath of economic downturn that has decimated so many places in this country.


The hotel we arrived at this morning did not seem to be suffering any ill effects from this trend. For a city that is either second or third behind Detroit in percentage of residents who live below the poverty line, you would not be able to tell that walking around downtown. This seems to be a change that is moving outwards form the downtown area. A few years ago, a plan called the Buffalo Billion was introduced to try and bring the city back to it’s former glory. From all I have seen so far, it seems to working.


With tons of beautiful old buildings being restored, and more construction than I could avoid, it seems like things might be improving here. Paul and I went out to lunch with a co-worker of his, and I noticed something very interesting during our walk through the city. Not about Tim mind you. He is an interesting guy and likes Batman so he is good in my book. About his attitude toward the place he lives.



His first words as we went to cross Delaware street were “I remember when things were medieval…” That is pretty harsh sentiment for your hometown. I have called my hometown lots of things, but this makes Buffalo sound like it was a place to avoid. Every where we stopped, Tim would have some variation of “It was really bad, but they have done a ton of work and now this place is nice.” Whether it was the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, or just the various streets we wandered down in search of mid-day sustenance, the common theme seemed pretty clear to me.

Things were really bad, but now they are getting better.


I can’t really say I disagree. Clearly, a ton of money has been spent to revitalize this area. A quick walk down to the Canalside will show that some serious people with some serious money are serious about making Buffalo something to be proud of again.

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I only spent an hour walking around the water in the sweltering heat, and I was excited enough to want to bring my family here for the day. Full of eye catching architecture and plenty of vendors, the canal seems to be a town fair that doesn’t actually end. There were families, couples, even tourists taking full advantage of this wide open and beautiful space right next to the old Gold Medal Flour company.

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Battleships, boardwalks, and nifty little… cellar fort looking things… are just a few of the interesting spots all clustered around the main attraction. The canal.


All of this positive change can be seen and felt in the event G33kpod is here to cover this weekend. Nickel City Comicon is Buffalo’s very first large scale comic convention. It is the kind of thing you cannot pull off if things aren’t getting better in your city. It has an impressive guest list, ranging from movie and TV stars, to some of the greatest and soon to be greatest artists out there. Sean Astin(from the Goonies and some other movie by that directer Peter Jackson who did some gory movie in the 80’s that was banned.), Ray Park, and The Nature Boy Ric Flair along with the cast of AMC’s Comicbook Men are going to be hanging out for the weekend. That’s a damn good guest list for your first time out. It is a damn good list for any city outside of SDCC or NYCC. For a city that was on the brink less than a decade ago, it seems to me that the residents should be damn proud of where they are and where they are heading.  Now if only we could get Fulton to follow their example…



See you at Nickel City Comicon…





Kindness for Kinley Links:

**WARNING** Audio Volume trouble for the first 30 seconds

The guys celebrate Free Comic Book day by recording LIVE from Cloud City Comics and Toys! Paul has volume trouble on his mic and the boys talk with the fans and discuss Age of Ultron. Special thanks to Jeff Watkins, the driving force behind Cloud City for stopping in and hanging out with us.

Opening theme is: Sunday Morning by Jamus Breed*
Closing Theme is: Channel Intro Germany by Lino Rise
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Leave us feedback on Itunes, Twitter: @g33kpod and Facebook : or via email:

*Sunday Morning licensed exclusively to G33kpod Network by Dennis Johnston

The G33kpod podcast went and did a review for a small company called 5 Wits.
They operate at Destiny USA in Syracuse, NY. The adventures are reasonably priced and well worth the price, for 1 adventure (16.99), 2 adventures (11.99 per adventure) and a 3 adventure pack is only (8.99 per adventure). The staff is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. They explained in detail the adventure and made sure that you were ready to begin.
They do accommodate parties (birthday, team building events) you can take up to 20 people per adventure.
They only have 3 adventures right now there is the Tomb, Drago’s Castle, and the Espionage (Spy). They also accommodate for children 7 to adults to 70.
Each adventures has its own scoring system in which your goal is to score the highest that you can in the shortest amount of time. Each adventure last about 25 to 30 minutes and take quick thinking and a sense of adventure. 2 of the 3 adventures have special items that you can get can get, but only if you are perfect in certain rooms. (The Espionage adventure is the only adventure that does not have the special items).
Our First adventure was The Tomb which is an ancient 3000 year old archaeological dig at a pharaoh’s tomb. There is an ancient legend there that if you find the Pharaoh’s tomb you might not make it out. You must battle wits with the Pharaoh at his game and prove your worthiness.
There are two tests that need to be passed to get through the first room in which you will need good sight and a keen sense of hearing. The graphics and presentation in here is very good. The second room will test your courage of the unknown and the how well you can match symbols to get to the third room. The third room will tests your sight and quickness as well as your sight and mind. Do you think that you have what it takes to make it out alive?
The second adventure that we enjoyed was Drago’s Castle which is a fairy tale that comes to life. You must recapture the dragon and get him back where he belongs.
The first room again has to two tests that you will need to pass in order to get the second room. It will test your ability to work together and your sight and team work. In the second room you will need to be able to solve puzzles but don’t think that it is easy you will need both a keen mind and deductive reasoning. Into the third room you must go but watch your head! The third room will test your ability to put together puzzles quickly and your ability to be look all over the room for clues as well as listen to the princess.
The last adventure was Espionage (Spy). You are a team that is trying to save the world that must work together to beat CABAL but time is ticking.
In the first room there are two tests. The first test you will need to be nimble and watch all around you to pass, the slightest mistake can cost you dearly, while the second test you will need to not be afraid of a little electricity. To the second room you go but watch out it is a tight squeeze. Once in the room you will need to solve two more puzzles in which each one is timed and they will test your ability to out think your opponent it is a chess match of wits and electricity. The third room you will need to be quick with your hands, eyes, ears and work together as a team to achieve your goal. Too many mistakes and you might destroy the world.
On an overall experience this was well worth the time and money. I can’t wait for the fourth adventure to opens up so that we can experience that as well. I would recommend this adventure to anyone that asks and tell you to enjoy the experience and to make the best of your time in the adventures.

Hello People,

On Monday March 2nd around 6:00pm My friends Paul, Hugh, Corbs and I had the opportunity to review 5 Wits in Destiny USA.  Every time I go to the mall I pass by this place and wonder what it was.  I wanted to know what went on in there and was always curious.  I know am proud to say I went into this place and left very satisfied.  There are three attractions,  Tomb with mummies,  Dragos Castle and  Espionage.  My friends and I did all three and enjoyed them all.

Lets begin. Before you go into each attraction a employee helps greets you  and explains to you what will be going on.  The customer service from each employee was great, I can tell the people that work there enjoy there jobs.  It is nice to see because I have been to places where people are either boring or just do not care what they do.
Time to review! The first attraction is a tomb with mummies and it was a fun time solving puzzles but that is all I am going to tell you because I do not want to spoil anymore.
The second one is a dragons castle and again not spoiling anything.
The third one was an espionage one where you are a spy, and its about, wait I am not telling you, go and do them for yourself.
After you complete them you can see your score and see if you uncovered any secrets so you can do these over again and have different results.  This was a fun time and brought out the kid in me again however I feel adults would like this place too.  Fun times for parties.  If a child had thier birthday here they would be the talk of the classroom Monday morning.  I would go back again and I will be sure to tell people about this place.  Well that is all I have for now.  Have a good evening and bye for now.

This is Jack.

5 Wits syracuse logo jpg

     Paul Showens – Host/ Producer

As listeners to our podcast know, (Episode 12 specifically ) We have been extended the opportunity to check out 5 Wits in DestiNY USA in Syracuse, NY. Well, the boys from G33kpod took full advantage of that hospitality and made the journey on Monday night ( March 2nd 2015 ).
What is 5 Wits? 5 Wits is a cutting-edge, live-action entertainment venue that immerses participants in realistic, hands-on adventures. Think a Disney World ride meets a live action video game. Espionage, TOMB and Drago’s Castle are currently available. In Espionage, you’ll be trained as spies, infiltrating and taking down a mysterious villain in his secret lair. In TOMB you’ll be trapped in an ancient Egyptian tomb fighting for your life against an angry Pharaoh! And in Drago’s Castle, you’ll join forces with a princess to escape a dungeon, solve ancient riddles and come face to face with a giant dragon! That got your attention didn’t it? I’ll talk about each of the adventures in a minute but let’s start at the beginning.
Appearances are deceiving. Your 5 Wits experience begins with an unassuming storefront. There’s lots of thematic merchandise arranged around the room and it doesn’t do much to draw you in, as a matter of fact it kind of obscures the real attention getter, The doors to the adventures! If I had a knock on them at all, it would be this. Find a way to draw more attention to those really cool doors!!!!! The merch is cool and all but, if I’d have noticed those doors before, I would have been in there long before now!!! Once inside we met the staff who would be assisting us in our experience, A great group of people they have working there.
Adventure awaits! So, what about those adventures? 5 Wits was gracious enough to allow us to experience all three of the adventures. Each of the adventures are very immersive with top notch, state-or-the-art effects, there are even a couple of “how’d they do that?” moments! All of the experiences begin outside of the entrance to the adventure. There will be an introduction video that will acclimate you to the storyline. These videos are well produced and very informative and have just the right of campy-cheesiness to make them awesome. Once the intro is over, the fun starts right-away!

tomb logo, large
Enter the TOMB! We chose to begin our experience with TOMB. Here’s how 5 Wits themselves describes it:

Prove your worthiness and survive to tell the tale!
Enter a 3,000 year old tomb with only a flashlight and your wits to guide you! At an archaeological dig, you find yourself deep in an Egyptian tomb… face to face with the spirit of an ancient Pharaoh! Are you brave enough to make it out alive? The only way to survive will be to best the Pharaoh at his own game and prove your worthiness… but watch out for traps along the way! Test your skills in this amazing adventure thousands of years in the making!

Sounds awesome right? Hell yeah it was! This was my personal favorite of the 3 adventures. Like all of the experiences, it was extremely immersive. , going through it made me feel like Rick O’Connell. ( Yes. From the Mummy Returns ) You really get the feeling that you’re exploring an ancient tomb! It’s creepy and has a strong sense of foreboding throughout the adventure. The puzzles are difficult but not impossible and require you to use your brains as much if not more than your body. This was a very cool adventure with a rewarding ending. Next time I run TOMB, I’m wearing a fedora ( which you can buy from the merch area in the storefront! )

Drago's Castle logo-Shield-4c_Mc
Drago’s Hungry! That’s what CJ told us as we walked to the entrance of Drago’s Castle, the dungeons and dragons-esque medieval themed adventure. 5 Wits themselves describes it like this:

Are you Uppeth for the Challenge?
We’ve opened the drawbridge on Drago’s Castle — our most epic live-action adventure! But the dragon has escaped. And the princess needs your help recapturing him.
See if you have what it takes to escape the dungeon cell, solve the king’s riddles, discover secret passageways, and come face to face with the giant dragon! Otherwise, there may not be a storybook ending…

This is the one I expected to love the most and it was a close second! The tone for this one was a bit more lighthearted, but no less immersive. The environments were amazing and the dungeon area even smelled musty and dank! This experience was a bit more physical but nothing taxing. The puzzles on this go round were quite varied. Some were quite difficult ( we had one that we failed, actually ) and to answer the burning ( pun intended ) question…. Yes you DO see the dragon and he’s awesome! Once again, the finale was outstanding and made for a great experience.

espionage logo
Entering the Spy Game. We saved Espionage for last. This is a 007/ Mission: Impossible-style adventure with modernistic challenges. Here’s how 5 Wits describes it:

The Fate of the Free World Depends on You!
Time is ticking and everything is on the line when the evil CABAL Corporation threatens the world. Do you have what it takes to infiltrate an enemy base and disarm the missiles before it’s too late?
Dodge lasers, crawl through vents, defuse a giant missile and stop a madman from triggering a world war in this action packed spy thriller! Every puzzle you solve, challenge you conquer, and mistake you make will change the outcome, so stay sharp, move fast-and don’t get caught!

I guess by default this was my least favorite of the three but I still had a blast! The challenges were very cool, much of it was more physical than the others ( nothing beat dodging lasers! ) The story was engaging and the sense of urgency is really driven home during the final challenge as the atmosphere teeters into chaos ( you’ll see what I mean when you experience it for yourself.)
Final Judgement. I absolutely LOVED this experience. 5 stars all the way! I cannot recommend it enough. Everyone should go check this out at least once! My suggestion, clear an evening and buy the 3 adventure package. It’s the best value and the most fun, and don’t forget to tell ‘em G33kpod sent you.

For more details, including Pricing and Hours of Operation visit


The store front is average sized and unassuming,  and this may be why I looked but always passed by 5 Wits at the Destiny Mall.   I was always interested,  even stopped by and grabbed a brochure,  but was hesitant to spend my money on something I did not understand.  So let’s clarify something:
There many things I spend money on without knowing all the details.   A movie,  a new restaurant,  etc.   With those things however I understand the concept of what I am getting.   What has stopped me from experiencing 5 Wits is I had no frame of reference for what my money was buying.   I needed someone to tell me it was worth the price.   That person would have been right.

For lack of a better phrase, 5 Wits is an interactive adventure. Like something you would find at a theme park in Florida. There are three themed adventures, with a fourth coming in April. They cover the gamut pretty well from Egyptian tomb to medieval castle to secret agent. All three are done exceptionally well, with  attention to little details that will surprise you. Each takes about a half hour to complete, and is much larger than you would expect.

From the outside, 5 Wits does not look like it could house an entire castle or tomb. That is part of the reason I never took the concept seriously. What you can’t see is the massive space behind it, and the incredibly clever use of space just beyond the entrance. Each experience has multiple rooms and feels like a different world from the retail temple just outside it’s doors. Yes, it is hard to believe there is a castle with a dungeon in that place, but there is.

In speaking with the assistant manager John Taylor, we found out that each attraction takes about ten days to build. Which is hard to believe after you have gone through one. From the dust and stale air when you first enter the Pharaoh’s tomb, to the smell of metal and grease when you enter the dungeon, it seems every little detail was seen to with the zeal of an artist. I was continually surprised by the little touches scattered all about. While most of us will never enter and Egyptian burial site, I have to think the experience would be not too unlike this. With artistic license of course!


Another thing that struck me was the enthusiasm of the employees. The two gentleman working that evening were clearly excited to be selling their product. From a clear knowledge of the workings to being more than willing to answer any questions we had, I felt like they were there because they love show and not just for the pay check. After we went through the first attraction and saw that we were scored, they proceed to explain the workings of the scoring system. There is also apparently a meta game throughout which gives bonuses at the end if you are quick and clever enough.

For those wondering, everything is wheel chair accessible. In a clever work around, any small passageway or obstacle you come across also has a door that can be opened by the more able of the group going first. We did not catch that as twice our large selves crawled through tunnels only to see we could have sent skinny Jack through first and had him open the door for us. All three can be intense and the tomb is a bit scary, but nothing worse than a Harry Potter film. Use your best judgement and common sense with your little ones.

Finally, two things stood out for me the most. The first was when Jack didn’t show, we figured he wasn’t going to make it and started without him. As we entered the second room of the tomb he came bounding through a somewhat hidden door and scared us all half to death! The second thing was during our last run through the Espionage adventure, I finally got to do something I have always wanted to do. Badly, but I did it. I will leave it to you to go see and guess what I am talking about.

5 Wits is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT worth your time and money.  Go give them some cash, and tell them that G33kpod sent you!  You will NOT be disappointed.



The Palace Theater  (2384 James St, Syracuse, New York 13206) is screening this Troma classic on Monday, June 16 at 7:00pm as part of their Monday Flashback series. Not only do yo get to take in this B horror classic for just 5 bucks but there will be 2 actors from Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1 in attendance for the June 16th Flashback Monday screening at The Palace Theater in Syracuse NY.
They are:
•Brenda Rickert ( Aunt Bee )
•Jim Sheppard (Raphael, the Hasidic Cretin)

The rumor mill has been churning and there might be more cast members there as well. So, all the Deets:

Monday June 16th 7:30pm at The Palace Theater: 2384 James St, Syracuse, New York 13206
Doors open at 6:30pm intro from our special guests at 7:15 ish. Movie starts at 7:30pm
$5 gets you in the door
21 and over for alcohol, yes. The Palace serves beer and wine…. there’s really no better way to take in a movie ( that won’t get yo arrested for deviant behavior )
Warning – film contains adult language, massive amounts of nudity and graphic violence


Syracuse Comic Con & Heroes Expo

November 23rd. 10am – 5pm at the Holiday Inn 441 Electronics Pkwy Liverpool, NY

Adult Admission $ 8.00 , Children under 16 $3.00, free if in costume. Presale Tickets at Cloud City Comics $7.00

Hello and welcome to a very special  review. This time out, I want to talk about local comic book conventions. Specifically my local cons. Local for G33kpod is Syracuse, New York.  Yeah, Syracuse. That mid-sized city in between Buffalo and Albany where Donovan McNabb and Carmelo Anthony played college ball. Well, We have our own comic-cons too, and like any good g33k, I attend all of them…. it’s our duty after all.

First let me say that, this is second review I’ve written for this Con…. I scrapped the first one since it became more of a ‘History of Syracuse Comic Conventions’ piece instead of a critique of the most recent offering.

Syracuse ComicCon 2013

So, Let’s discuss the current Con. The winter offering was Saturday November 23, 2013 10 am to 5 pm. Adult admission was $8.00 unless you purchased Presale tickets at Cloud City Comics and Toys (Hands down the best comic shop in the Cuse if you ask me, but that’s a topic for a different column) which were $7.00. Admission for children under 16 was $3.00 UNLESS you bring the kiddos in costume, then they’re free. This show was first announced back in March and was hyped HARD as a big event with a great guest list and two, count ’em, TWO days of geeky goodness! Well sign me up! I was all about it, friends! Could not wait to get all the info on the next show and then the info…… stopped…. Syracuse Powercon as it was being called, would occasionally tease “big things” coming for their “Huge Fall Show” but info was never really delivered until the middle of September… We got a Date (yes… the HUGE 2 day show was now a single day) and a location, Ok… Cool… now who will be there? That knowledge didn’t come for another month and it was sparse to say the least…. Now, what I’m trying to point out here is this: Publicity and Communication for this show was DREADFUL. All in all they announced four guests with the promise of more to come …. but even after being rabidly hounded daily by facebook fans, no more announcements came.

So, on to the actual day of the show. My lil’ sidekick and I  arrived to the show two hours late ( hey, ballet class took precedent!) The parking lot of the venue was quite packed but we found a decent spot and headed in. We walked right in and handed over our Presale ticket to the show organizer Ted Hanes and leapt into the fray! A quick survey of the room showed a nicely set up room:  there were 10 – 15 vendor tables  with the 12 guest tables intermingled throughout. The vendor tables were your typical Con fare,  ranging from high priced wall books and collectibles( Everything from a Captain Marvel #1 and a full sized Green Lantern Power Battery) to dozens of dollar bin long boxes with some FANTASTIC hidden gems.

I even heard that someone found This treasure in one:

One of these was found in the dollar bins!

One of these was found in the dollar bins!

Yes, That is Secret Wars #8


I personally scored two of my Holy Grail books: The Man Called Nova #s 15 and 25

My Con Score! Nova 15 and 20

My Con Score! Nova 15 and 20

(Don’t Judge me!)

as well as 2 plush Jester dolls from one of my favorite books to read to my lil sidekicks (obviously, they each had to have their own Jester) Stuff of Legends,


Stuff of Legend Plush Jester in all of his cuddly glory!


I highly recommend picking up a Jester of your own from the Th3rd World Studios Online Shop. They’d be a bargain at twice the price! I also picked up a small press title called Today’s Hero  by VA Comics which I will be discussing in it’s own column real soon.

The guests at the show were fantastic even if they weren’t quite the “greatest line-up ever” that was promised ( I distinctly remember meeting Ethan Van Sciver and Kane Hodder at previous Heroes Expos) The full line up of comics pros were: Guests of Honor Joe Sinnott and Roger Stern, Joe Jusko, Mike Raicht, Joe Orsak, Tom Peyer, and Jim Brenneman as well as the boys from VA comics: Paul LaPorte, Mike Miner, Dan Wameling and Steve Wameling. Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. John Ginty, who was at the con representing his forthcoming film Good Villain, which will also get some major coverage here at G33kPod VERY soon.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering about the title of the column here…..Like I said, when it was originally announced and up to October this show was Called Syracuse Powercon Comic and Pop Culture Convention….. Then it morphed into Syracuse Powercon and Heroes Expo… well by the time the Event arrived, the sparse promotional materials that could be found were calling it Syracuse Comic-Con…. again, fantastic marketing/publicity strategy there Teddy.

Ok, time to rate the show, if you’re not familiar with our rating system, you can learn about it here: It get’s a total of :

Venue: 5 stars. As always, the Holiday Inn is easy to get to and perfect in every way that a Con needs to be.

Vendors: 4 Stars. Huge selection of merch from some great shops from all around upstate New York.

Guests: 3.5 Stars While all of the guests were Outstanding folks and treated me (and more importantly, my lil sidekick) extremely well, the caliber of guests were a bit of a letdown due to the hollow “Greatest Lineup Ever” hype … but there was a bit of redemption with the unadvertised small press artists that helped bump this from a 2.5

Publicity: ZERO Stars. Seriously….  nonexistant updates and false promises became the norm, nothing good to say here.

Total Value: 4 Stars. Had a good time overall. Saw many old friends and made some new ones. Got some great deals and the guests were gracious enough to do this for us:

G33KPod autopraphs1

So, at the end of the day, the sidekick and I enjoyed ourselves but it left me wanting more….. here’s hoping that we get more the next time around……

Final Grade: 3 1/3 stars C+