Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2014 took place at the Phoenix Convention Center last weekend, January 24-26. I represented BOOM! Studios at our booth, along with writers Paul Jenkins (“Deathmatch,” “Inhumans”) & Eric M. Esquivel (“Bravest Warriors,” “Loki: Ragnarok and Roll”) and artists Wook-Jin Hunter Clark (“Adventure Time: Flip Side,” “Megagogo”) & Missy Pena (“Bravest Warriors”), plus BOOM!’s Marketing Assistant, Stephanie Hocutt. They’re all awesome people! Below are some memories from throughout the weekend.

What’s the best idea you’ve ever had? Regale us with every detail of the idea — the idea itself, where it came to you, and the problem it solved. Photographers, artists, poets: show us BRIGHT.

Hollywood / Western, Los Angeles

Hollywood / Western, Los Angeles

The best idea I ever had was to make the cross-country move to Los Angeles, California from snowy Buffalo, NY.

After graduating from University, I knew I wanted to travel and I did just that working as an actor in the professional regional theatre scene. It was an amazing, eye-opening two and a half years of my life. But like any actor eventually experiences, there came a time in late 2009 where I had no gigs lined up. Instead of waiting around a half-year for the big regional auditions, I decided to bring myself closer to the entertainment hub.

So I considered my options: New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles.

To be honest, I was initially leaning towards NYC, but an hour-long conversation with one of my best buds who had moved to LA immediately after graduating gave a convincing argument. Then one of my other best buds who had lived in LA close to a year was also persuasive.

So I took a swing and moved.

But I didn’t come alone! My now-fiancee and mother of my daughter joined me in the adventure (we were only dating a few months at the time) and now almost five years later, it’s clearly the best decision of my life. I’ve unexpectedly changed fields (but not before booking a lead role on Spike TV’s “Deadliest Warrior!”) as I now work in publishing, but it still fuels my creative spirit being around passionate, energetic people who share a common interest — to make awesome comic books! I didn’t just jump in to a career shift, rather it was the result of energetic networking, going with the flow of life and not hesitating when opportunity arose. Luckily, living in LA still provides plenty of performing opportunities, but at the moment my focus is on improving myself in what I now do for a living.

I do miss the charm of my hometown — yes, Buffalo certainly has its charm — as well as the family and friends I had to move away from, but Western New York didn’t offer a whole lot of upward mobility in what I wanted to do with life. I’m not the type of person who’s ever content with where they’re at — I’m always trying to get to the next level and Los Angeles provides endless opportunities to reach those power-ups.

Plus, there’s something seriously therapeutic when you walk outside in the middle of January and it’s 72 with clear skies and a bright, warm sun.

French/Freedom fries beware — my daughter is coming to CRUSH YOU!!

FREE

My first ever NBA game was unforgettable — not only because the home team Los Angeles Clippers won in dramatic fashion (120-116 in OT), but it was an experience I shared with my Dad, a man who has taken me to more Buffalo Bills/Sabres/etc. games than I can count (when I lived back east, he used to have season tickets). Add to it the fact that he attended Buffalo Braves games in the ’70s (who eventually moved to San Diego and became the Clippers, later relocating to LA) and hasn’t attended an NBA game since, I could not think of a better way to commence this Holiday break!

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GO CLIPPERS!! (I now own a hat)

This weekend was the 5th annual Long Beach Comic & Horror Con at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. It was a mellow show with a consistent stream of excited fans who were interested in the BOOM! Studios and Archaia line-up, and indie stuff in general. Below is a small gallery of my favorite photos of the show, taken from behind the BOOM! booth!

I took pictures of Alyssa Milano with fans at the BOOM! Studios/Archaia Entertainment booth during Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo this past weekend in Los Angeles. Scored a quick selfie!

AlyssaMilano

Alyssa was promoting her upcoming comic book with Archaia, “Hacktivist,” due out in January 2014. And scope this — when I humble bragged about this photo on twitter, Alyssa tweeted back:

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Word.

Also known as Tyler Mane.

Hung out with him for a hot minute outside the Adoba Dearborn Hotel the night before Detroit Fanfare. Dude was puffin’ on a huge cigar. Chill guy.

SABRETOOTH

Starbucks lady does not approve of my far superior cup of Tim Hortons.

TIMMY-HOS

Dudes, everything about The Dudes’ Brewing Company’s Double Trunk Double IPA is 100% win — especially the taste, color, gorgeous label design and 10.8% alcohol content! Man, that label though — it’s what caught my attention and as an elephant lover, I had to give it a swing. Plus, the name of the brewery itself sounded inviting. Nice work marketing guy! The 4-pack was well worth the price and I’m looking forward to trying out the line-up of this local brewer here in Los Angeles.

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It’s been far too long since I’ve had one many of these inside me.

Beer memories

…I’m the best Dad in the sea! My fiance texted me this photo today while I was at work — apparently the Boon Monster was carrying around this picture all day of me reading comics in Hawaii. I must be doing something right!

BOON

And the other night I added some new photos to the Boon Monster tumblr. My favorites are below — a retro shot of the first photo ever taken of the Boon Monster seconds after she was born over 2 years ago, and a shot from this past weekend when we had a family lunch at Tender Greens restaurant in Pasadena. The Mom and I look really tired, and I think there may be lettuce in my teeth, but that’s OK because the Boon looks so cute!

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Please welcome the latest — and likely final (for some time) — addition to the Liegl tribe, POE the kitten!

POE
Today’s my birthday and I’ve always wanted a kitten! We actually purchased this little fella at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA on Father’s Day but he wasn’t ready for pick up until now. He gets along great with my daughter, but our other cats (Noah, age 8-ish & Zelda, age 2.5-ish) haven’t really taken to him. He’s all spry and happy and tries to play, but they just hiss at him. It’s OK — they’ll get over it. OH, and we aren’t crazy cat people. The human to cat ratio in our household is locked in at 3.

Also, I understand my phone’s camera blows, but he’s a tough dude to capture.

As a fan of Big Sky Brewing Company’s Moose Drool Brown Ale, I gave their Summer Honey Seasonal Ale a shot tonight. It’s the perfect cap on this re-energizing day!

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Big Sky’s label art’s pleasing to the eye, too — I love forest creatures! Even ones that would eat or maul me to death if I got too close.

I’ve never been to Montana, but would love to get there one day for some mind-cleansing. Lived close by once in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a few months back in 2007. My reasons for being there? I played Romeo in a traditional interpretation (with some wicked fight scenes!) of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” It was a lot of fun and Wyoming is absolutely gorgeous, but the 5-1 male to female ratio is no good.

The retro gamer nerd in me is totally thrilled June’s finally arrived! This Wednesday, Valiant rolls out the first of their 8 Bit variants with “Archer & Armstrong” #10 and “Shadowman” #7, homaging “Donkey Kong” and “Final Fantasy.”

The best part? Later this month my birthday heralds the release of my favorite Valiant series “Harbinger,” saluting a game I played all the time with my cousin Dan — “Double Dragon!”

Check out all the Valiant 8 Bit variants, also including a “X-O Manowar” homage to “Metroid” and “Bloodshot” to “Contra:”

And just for fun, a rare look at my NES shelf. Props if you can actually identify any of the items. I know the photo’s blurry, my camera phone needs an upgrade! You can’t see what’s on the top shelf — we’ll save that reveal for another day. To the right are other retro systems, none older than the first generation XBox. Keepin’ it old school in this household, yo.

NINTENDO

I’m in the hunt for the classic NES Valiant comics from the 1990s, but they’re a bit too pricey for my blood at the moment. One day!

Valiant recently released the “Harbinger Wars: Battle for Las Vegas” 8-bit game for iOS and Android devices, where you can play as either Bloodshot or Peter Stanchek. It seriously makes me want to upgrade my phone solely to serve as a console for the game.

The Boon Monster’s ready for the Los Angeles Kings to take on the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the NHL’s Western Conference Semifinals tonight at Staples Center!

King_Boon

Tonight the Boon Monster dines on Shark stew! GO KINGS GO!!