Tickets for Vermont Comic Con

Vermont Comic Con is coming up in just over a week, with tickets on sale now. Here’s the rates for the convention:

  • Single Day: $20.00. This 1 day pass is valid for admission on either Saturday, Oct 25th or Sunday, Oct 26th.
  • Single Day – Student / Military / Senior: $15.00. Must show valid ID proving discount along with ticket to use this admission. This 1 day pass is valid for admission on either Saturday, Oct 25th or Sunday, Oct 26th.
  • Weekend: $35.00. This 2 day pass is valid for admission on Saturday, Oct 25th and Sunday, Oct 26th.
  • Weekend – Student / Military / Senior: $27.50. Must show valid ID proving discount along with ticket to use this admission. This 2 day pass is valid for admission on Saturday, Oct 25th and Sunday, Oct 26th.
  • VIP Pass: $100. This VIP 2 day pass includes the weekend pass, after party ticket, exclusive ticket, and all access pass (valid Saturday, Oct 25th + Sunday, Oct 26th).
  • VIP Pass – Student/Military/Senior: $90.00. Must show valid ID proving discount along with ticket to use this admission. This VIP 2 day pass includes the weekend pass, after party ticket, exclusive ticket, and all access pass (valid Saturday, Oct 25th + Sunday, Oct 26th).
  • Walking Dead/Vermont Comiccon Exclusive Print: $10.00. One Walking Dead/Vermont Comiccon Exclusive Print.
  • After Party: $10.00. The after party will be held on October 25th from 8pm-12am at The Vermont Sports Grill on 1705 Williston Rd, right down the street from the Sheraton.

Purchase tickets here.

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New England Pinball League’s Vermont Branch

The New England Pinball League is starting up a Vermont branch, and they’re kicking everything off tonight at the Tilt Arcade and Ale House in South Burlington. Here’s details:

The first week of the New England Pinball League’s new Vermont branch begins at 7pm tonight at Tilt Arcade & Ale House. The league will run for 8 straight weeks and will conclude with a November 1st tournament for the entire league at the Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, NH. There are still slots available to join the league by emailing vermontpinball@gmail.com.

Here’s some additional details:

  • The league consists of 8 weeks of competitive pinball play, and follows up with finals where trophies and cash are given out, along with end of season party (food included).
  • Each player’s best 6 weeks count toward the league championships. A player could join in Week 2 or 3 and not be negatively impacted.
  • Finals are open to all NEPL players and will be held at Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, NH on November 1st. All players will be grouped into divisions A-D based on performance during regular season play. Cash prizes for each division are identical.
  • The season costs $30. Players also pay for tokens for the games they play each session.
  • Full rules can be seen (subject to change before start) here.

Interested? Shoot them an e-mail.

Tilt Arcade & Ale House: Open for Business!

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The long-awaited Tilt Arcade and Ale House is finally opening up for business. Following a successful review from the city’s fire marshal, the barcade announced that they will be opening up today at 3pm.

Hello Tilt Faithful, after months of hard work and dedication we are ALMOST ready to go. We will be opening our doors to the general public tomorrow at 3pm!!! Thank very much for your support, we can’t wait to share our space with you all…see you in less than 24 hours!
This is absolute perfect timing for today’s GMS Book Club. Hope to see you there!

Sharknado: Rifftrax

The SyFy channel’s terrible movie Sharknado is getting Rifftrax treatment and headed to theaters, including two dates here in Vermont later this month!

Join Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett of RiffTrax.com for an uproarious riff on the most outrageous flick of 2013! This two-night event will be your only chance to see the guys fire their wisecracking commentary at Sharknado on the big screen.

Palace 9 of South Burlington will screen the film on July 10th (8:00pm) and 15th (7:30pm). Tickets are $12.50.

Tilt Arcade & Ale House – The Interview

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We’re very excited for Tilt Arcade to open in South Burlington. The barcade will have local beer and food alongside retro arcade cabinets. We recently chatted with Joshua Nickerson, one of the business’s founders:

Geek Mountain State: Describe for me the origins of the Tilt Arcade and Ale House. How did you guys come up with the idea to put together such a place?

Joshua Nickerson: I first got the idea for Tilt after visiting a similar place in Portland OR called Ground Kontrol.  It is a place with games similar to what we will feature but a very limited bar menu and drinks served in plastic cups.  However, it does a booming business and is always filled with folks from roughly my demographic.  This was a few years ago and I thought that the Burlington area would be perfect for something like this as there are a lot of young people around here who grew up on arcades but there aren’t really any around anymore that are geared more towards adults.  However, I thought that it would be fun to pair the arcade concept with a more expansive bar and a wider selection of good food.  I am also a bit of a foodie and the local food movement in Vermont is one of the things I love about living here.  I registered the Tilt name with the state a couple of years back but then things were in limbo until I could find someone with the experience and drive to really make the place come to life.  I am a neuroradiologist with a full time job at Fletcher Allen and no experience running a business.  Things really got going when I met Thom Dodge, the Managing Partner at Tilt.  His wife was working in radiology at the time and we met at a summer department event.  He had just left the Hinesburg Public House and was interested in something new.  We met over lunch and were on the same page from the very beginning about what we wanted to build.  Like myself, he had also grown up love arcade games (Robotron 2084 was his first game priority!) and he immediately saw the potential of this kind of business in our area.

GMS: How have you gone about getting the various games for this? Was there any criteria for selecting games?

JN: We have sourced games from as far as the Los Angeles area and the Midwest, although the bulk of them have come from a company down in the New Haven, CT area.  A few were also purchased from Pinball Wizard down in Pelham NH.  The criteria for game selection were pretty simple- were they games we loved playing?!  Also, to be fair, price did come in at times.  I would love to line the wall with Medieval Madness, Cactus Canyon, Monster Bash, etc… but since those games can fetch up to 15K each, it will be a building process.  We have a mix of new and old machines with regard to pinball, and as you have seen on the FB page some are pretty desirable and collectible.

GMS: Are there any games that you’d like to add, but haven’t had a chance to do so?

JN: Definitely!  I can think of many arcade and pinball games I would like to add at some point.  My personal favorite pinball machine is a rather rare one called Banzai Run that I have not been able to find for a reasonable price yet.  A few arcade games like Spy Hunter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Double Dragon, and more spring to mind.  But the games we open with (a list I am quite happy with) will not be the end of our inventory.  If things go well we will continue to add titles as quickly as we are able.

GMS: What is it about Pinball and cabinet games that appeals the most to you? Q: Are you planning on rotating games in and out to keep a fresh lineup?

JN: Pinball appeals to me as it is “real.”  We all play computer games and so forth, have iPads, etc.  But the physics of a pinball and flippers is something that can’t really be simulated despite some pretty good efforts out there.  Pinball can be very casual or very serious if one wants to put in the time to learn all of the goals and shots of each table, many of which can have pretty complicated rule sets if you do a little research.  Cabinet games appeal to me largely for the nostalgia.  And on some level the simplicity.  I like to play computer games at home and I have a Wii and a PS3.  Maybe I am getting old, but some of the games for these systems almost require an instructional course just to play!  There is something about the simplicity of standing up at a cabinet game like Altered Beast with only three buttons to worry about, drink in hand, and just having fun.  We do plan to rotate things in and out of the lineup eventually, and will also have “backup” games in case there are out of order games that have to be pulled off the floor.  But at least for opening everything we have will likely be out there to play.

GMS: What’s the response been like so far?

JN: The response has been fantastic and very exciting.  When I wear my Tilt shirt out these days I have strangers come up and tell me how excited they are for us to open.  The buzz that has been generated thanks to websites like yours and support at Seven Days has been great and I think has confirmed that the Burlington area has been waiting for a place like this for a while, whether folks knew it or not.  My favorite responses are those we see after announcing a game when one person shares the link with a friend and challenges them to a game.  It exemplifies what I hope we will be all about- getting together with friends and enjoying a pastime that maybe you both grew up with and have great memories around.

GMS: Are there other places like Tilt around the country?

JN: There are, although each is a little different.  Both Thom and I have been to several.  Some, like Pinballz in Austin TX or the Seattle Pinball Museum in WA are primarily devoted to the games.  Others like Ground Kontrol in Portland OR or Emporium in Chicago IL are games and drinks and maybe a little bit of food.  I have not been to place yet though that has had both the games, a great full bar and a really good menu of house made food (not microwave entrees…).  I think we are taking the concept to the next level with Tilt.  At least I hope so!

GMS: What’s the build / acquisition process been like thus far? Where do you find all of these games?

JN: The build had been an education for me for sure, although I think it has largely been what Thom expected.  He built the Hinesburg Public House from the ground, and so knew what challenges we would face far better than I.  Regulations regarding public buildings are extensive and all have to be managed very carefully.  Every little step is dependent on the ones preceding, so a delay always has a chain effect.  That being said the folks we have been working with have all been great and it is gratifying to be able to hire local craftspeople to build something we can all be proud of when it is done.

I have found most of the games by wandering around the internet looking for deals.  Ebay is good.  Mr. Pinball Classifieds is helpful as well.  There are lots of games for sale out there and often finding one leads you to a source for a whole lot more.

GMS: Are you planning special events or tournaments at all?

JN: We will definitely be hosting tournaments- we have connected with the VT Pinball Association and they have connected us with the New England Pinball Association.  I think there will be a regular schedule of these sorts of events.  We will certainly be open to additional events as folks present opportunities.  Both Thom and I are firm believers in supporting the local community and economy and hope we will be able to partner with other businesses, organizations, and collectives as soon as possible.

 

The Tilt Arcade and Ale House is opening soon, if all goes well.

 

Author Appearance: Moira Young

Barnes and Noble is hosting UK author Moira Young in an event tomorrow to support the release of her latest YA novel, Raging Star, the third book in her Dust Land series, which was released earlier this week. She will be in the store tomorrow (May 16th) at 7:00pm for a discussion and signing.

Here’s what the book is about:

Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton…until she meets him and he confounds all her expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world…for the chosen few.

Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop New Eden. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother, Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia. What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price.

Looks intriguing!

Details.

Update from Tilt Classic Arcade and Ale House

The folks behind South Burlington’s Tilt Classic Arcade and Ale House has been hard at work getting it ready for opening. Here’s the latest update from their Facebook page:

The folks at Vermont Frames are working hard getting the mezzanine constructed this week at Tilt! Had to reinforce the whole structure to hold all of the games that will be up there- 3000+ lbs worth. It is going to look great with another 3000lbs or so on the main floor. Hope we will be seeing you in just a little more than a month.

It’s pretty impressive, and so far, they’ve added pictures of South Park, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Metallica, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones and other pinball games, as well as other classic games such as The Golden Ax, Centipede, Operation Wolf, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II, and others!

It looks like they’re still slated to open at the end of May.

Geek Things for August 24th

No earthquakes scheduled for today!

  • Greening Your Home, 6PM, Rutland Free Library, Rutland. Free. (Energy)
  • Renewable Energy Workshop, 6:30–7:30PM, Hunger Mountain Co-op, Montpelier. Free; preregister. (Energy)
  • Community Bike Shop, 5–8PM, Bike Recycle Vermont, Burlington. Donations accepted. (Bikes)
  • ‘Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands’, 7:30PM, Film House, Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, Burlington. $10 suggested donation. (Environmentalism / Documentary)
  • Monarch Butterfly Tagging, 3:30–5PM, North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier. Free. (Nature)
  • Magic Booster Draft – $12, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Pathfinder Society, 6:30pm – 11:00pm, Game Lounge, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Batteries & Motors, 11:00 am, Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Mirror, Mirror, 3:00 pm, Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Learn About Simple Touch, Our Newest eBook Reader! 5:30 PM, Barnes and Noble, South Burlington. (eReaders)
  • Learn the Japanese Art of Origami, 10am, Congregational Church, Waterbury. Pre-reg. 244-7036. (Origami)
  • Naruto, 4:30pm – 8:00pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Wednesday Night Board gaming at Triple Play, 6:00pm – 10:30pm, Triple Play, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • D&D Encounter, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, The Gamers Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • L5R Night at Triple Play, 6:30pm – 10:00pm, Triple Play, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)

Geek Things for August 17th

  • Community Garden Workshop, 4:30–6:30PM, St. Johnsbury School, St. Johnsbury. $5 suggested donation; preregistration suggested. (Gardening)
  • Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 9AM–9PM, Bread Loaf Campus, Ripton. Lectures and readings are free and open to the public; see middlebury.edu for schedule. (Writing)
  • Community Bike Shop, 5–8PM, Bike Recycle Vermont, Burlington. Donations accepted. (Bikes)
  • ‘RiffTrax Live: Jack the Giant Killer’, 12AM, Palace Cinema 9, South Burlington. $12.50. (Movies)
  • Green Mountain College Morning Speaker Series – “Culture Change in Contemporary China.” 9–10AM, The Station, Poultney. Free. (Talk)
  • Donald H. Wickman – A Very Fine Appearance: The Vermont Civil War Photographs of George Houghton, 7–9PM, River Arts Center, Morrisville. Free. (History)
  • Authors at the Aldrich: David Macaulay. Presentation by the author and illustrator of “The Way Things Work.” 6PM, Aldrich Library, Milne Community Room, Barre. FREE. (Authors)
  • Magic Booster Draft – $12, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Naruto, 4:30pm – 8:00pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Wednesday Night Board gaming at Triple Play, 6:00pm – 10:30pm, Triple Play, Lebanon, New Hampshire. (Gaming)
  • D&D Encounter, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, The Gamers Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Who Sank the Boat? 11:00 am, Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (KidS)
  • Straw Oboes, 3:00 pm, Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (KidS)

Geek Things for August 15th

  • Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 9AM–9PM, Bread Loaf Campus, Ripton. Lectures and readings are free and open to the public; see middlebury.edu for schedule. (Writing)
  • Draw Comics! 3–4:30PM, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Free. (Kids)
  • ‘Wicked City’, 8PM, Depot Theatre, Westport. $25. (Theater)
  • Book Discussion Series: China’s Transformation – Before the Deluge. 5:30PM, Burnham Memorial Library, Colchester. Free. (Books)
  • Marjorie Cady Memorial Writers Group, 10AM–12PM, Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury. Free. (Writing)
  • East Montpelier Historical Societies Meeting. 6pm, East Calais Community Building, East Calais. (History)
  • Red Cross Blood Drive, 11:30-5:30pm, Vermont College, Montpelier. (Blood Drive)
  • Open Cardgames!, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • CLiF Presentation, 12:30pm, Greensboro. (Kids)
  • CLiF Presentation, 10am, Jeudvine Library, Hardwick. (Kids)
  • Leaf Cutter Ants, 11am, Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Who Sank The Boat, 3pm, Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Contemporary Fiction Book Group – Beowulf, 7:00 PM, South Burlington. (Reading)
  • Monday Night Magic, 6pm – 9pm, Village Pizza, Montpelier. (Gaming)
  • Mini Painting, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, The Gamers Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Cartoon Studies New Summer Workshop: Animation for Cartoonists with Scott Dikkers, August 15, 2011 to August 19, 2011, Center for Cartoon Studies, White River Junction. (Cartoons)