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Party Happy: Rialto + Jack’s Abby Brewery

A few things I learned at last week’s event at celeb chef Jody Adams’ acclaimed Cambridge, MA restaurant, Rialto: beer cocktails are bubbly and delicious; french fries are better sliced like ruffled potato chips; any type of soft cheese compliments saffron roasted peppers on bread; and Jack’s Abby Brewing co-owner, Sam Helder hates punny beer names.

Friend and food blogger, Jacki Morisi (Boston.com’s Chow Down Beantown, Just Add Cheese) was the brains and brawn behind the event, having slipped gracefully into her new position as Rialto‘s marketing and PR coordinator. Amongst the charcuterie, passed plates and educational beer tasting, our guests chatted with the aforementioned Sam Helder (one of the three brothers who own Jack’s Abby), who expressed his utter disdain for the pun-riddled beer names his siblings constantly devise.

At the request for un-punny beer name suggestions, some pals and I commenced our brilliant naming technique: punny beer names.

“Drop it Like it’s Hops?”

Blank stare.

“Lager? I Hardly Know Her!”

Blank stare.

“Too Hops to Trot?”

Walks away.

Regardless, the star of the evening was a deep, dark chocolate-colored lager called Smoke & Dagger, which, as the description reads, “skirts the line between a schwarzbier and smoked porter.” As an only occasional beer drinker myself, I still loved the malty, full-bodied flavor of the brew, which paired well with Rialto’s epic grilled seafood spread.

Verdict: If you enjoy a hearty lager, the Abby boys will be your jam; and for the full experience, check out their tasting room and brewery tour. Also, if you’re looking for beer names, my friends and I would be hoppy to help. GET IT?

For more info on the Framingham, MA-based brewer, visit JacksAbbyBrewing.com and follow them on Twitter at @JacksAbby.

Gonna Moderate the HECK out of Some Panels at the BOSTON COMIC CON!

It’s official, folks – I’ve been invited to moderate two AMAZING panels at the Boston Comic Con next weekend, April 30th-May 1 at the Hynes Convention Center! Not only am I flattered, but I’m super-psyched to get the chance to chat with some creators I truly admire.

I’ll be moderating the Female Creators Panel with Ming Doyle, Sara Richard, Stephanie Buscema, and Allison Sohn on Saturday, April 30 from 11:30A.M.-12:15.PM and the Spotlight on Terry Moore from 6:00P.M.-6:45P.M that same day – so get yo’ questions ready!

Here’s the full lineup for the Con:

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Ummm…I bought some stuff at New England Comic Con.

Finally, major gaps in the Happy Blogtime library have been filled! This past weekend’s Wizard World New England Comic Con in Boston proved to be a major jackpot for me; if I told you the prices I got up in here – hooked up by Billy, who’s the BESTISH! – you would start foaming at the mouth. I swear I’ve had dreams like this (you know those dreams…where you’re walking around a comic shop and everything’s on sale? No?).

I also wrote a lil’ recap of the event for the Adams Media Daily Bender blog here, complete with a picture of a Wookiee. A very attractive Wookiee (we exchanged numbers).

Here’s what I scooped:

  • Alias, Issues 1-11
  • The Perhapanauts, Book 1
  • Chew, Book 1
  • Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse
  • Marvel Romance
  • Marvel Romance Redux: Another Kind of Love
  • Eternals
  • Wolverine Classic, Vol. 5
  • NYX: No Way Home
  • Criminal: Lawless
  • Criminal: Coward
  • Marvel 1602
  • Women of Marvel
  • Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, Vol. 1
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Original Sins
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1
  • Hellboy: Wake the Devil, Book 2
  • The Boys: The Name of the Game, Vol. 1
  • 30 Days of Night, Vol. 1
  • The Goon: Nothin’ But Misery, Vol. 1
  • Wizard X-Men Masterpiece Edition, Vol. 1
  • Comic Book Tattoo
  • Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess, Hardcover

Whoah. Nerdgasm, right? I can’t wait to sit down and read for hours – some of it for the first time, even! What books in my stash have YOU read, faithful minions? And what should I cop more of?

Maine Comics Arts Festival Maine-ia!



Though the true highlight of my weekend was, in fact, my awesome lil’ brother’s college graduation, the Maine Comics Arts Festival in Portland was next on the list. I met some amazingly talented artists, scooped some soda freebies, and copped some customized swag.

You can check out my short-but-sweet recap and photos of the Fest here at The Daily Cross Hatch.

Meanwhile, I had to share some of the goodies I grabbed/really wanted to grab (my budget was $20, peoples!)…

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This Weekend: The Maine Comics Arts Festival

This Sunday, you can catch me in Portland, Maine at the Maine Comics Arts Festival, getting the scoop on over 70 comic artists and writers in attendance, including special guests: Kean Soo (Jellababy), Becky Cloonan (Demo), Chris Giarrusso (Mini Marvels), Gabrielle Bell (Cecil and Jordan New York Stories) and more.

I’ll have a full report for the folks at The Daily Cross Hatch, which I’ll of course link to when it’s up.