Browsing articles tagged with " sci-fi"

Artist Spotlight: Carvings of The Pumpkin Geek

When we think of carving pumpkins, our minds immediately imagine the nostalgic Halloween tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation and only happens once a year. Then we toss our molding fruit and wait for another season to begin again. But what if we could keep those carves forever? Alex Wer, otherwise known as The Pumpkin Geek, has devised a way to do just that. In fact, he has created an entire crafty business dubbed the “orange empire” from carving celebrities, famous characters (mostly from geek-genre shows and films), everyday people and more.

So… you carve pumpkins. How the heck did this all begin?

I’ve always loved carving, and a few years ago my wife asked me to carve her company logo for an open house.  Well, it was Oct 3rd and I knew the kins would die well before Halloween.  “Let me try the craft pumpkins from Michael’s so it’ll last” is what I said.  At the open house, the carve was a HUGE hit and I got thirty-five orders that night!

Doctor Who carving by The Pumpkin Geek

What inspired the name “Pumpkin Geek?”

It just came to me. At the open house, people were asking for my card, like I actually did this for a living. My wife went to her computer, created a business card with a pumpkin and asked me for a name. “The Pumpkin Geek” just came out of my mouth and history was made!

Tell us a little about the pumpkins themselves, the materials you use and the process involved in carving.

They are “craft” pumpkins from Michael’s Craft Stores.  I call the material “polyfoam,” but I kind of made that up. Basically I use a dremel (hand held drill with various bits) to do the carvings and shading.  It takes about four to five hours per carve, and I get pumpkin dust EVERYWHERE!

Alex featured on Good Day Sacramento.

Who was your favorite person or celebrity to carve?

Zachary Quinto was the first celebrity to request a carve at the Trek convention in 2009.  He came to meet me because her heard about someone doing a carve of him. He was very cool, hung out for about five minutes, gave me an autograph and complimented my work.  When I got home, I realized he posted my info on Twitter, and I got about 170 of his followers to follow me!  I’ve carved him about seven times for his fans, and have done some charity fund-raisers with him as well.

As far as favorite carves, Hugh Jackman Wolverine came out just like I wanted. Harry Potter and Captain Jack Sparrow are always a big hit.  The Storm Trooper was extremely challenging because he is all white (portions I usually cut-through), but the client was thrilled with that one.

Star Wars Storm Trooper carving by The Pumpkin Geek

Who would you love to carve and hand a pumpkin over to (dead or alive)?

Easy…Jeri Ryan!  She actually has her own carve, but it was done via mail.  She has been incredibly kind to me.  She not only follows me (yes, I Geek out every time she tweets me!), but she has run contests with me and actively supports what I do.  She’s a total gem, and I’d like the opportunity to thank her in person.

The other person would be Oprah, for obviously reasons.  One mention from her and I could actually do this for a living!

Oprah Winfrey carving by The Pumpkin Geek

When you tell people what you do, how do they react?

Either, “yeah, my eight-year-old carves pumpkins too,” or when they see just how intricate my work is, “you have way too much time on your hands!” When I tell them I made almost $10,000 at my first Trek convention, they shut up about it. The other reaction is complete shock and awe over the work… I like those reactions better!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received on your work?

A lot of people think I just project an image on the carve and it’s a trick, so when they realize I actually hand carve them, their jaw hits the floor. The most meaningful carve, however, is one my site. See the tab named “Jeremy“.  The carve and story are there for readers to understand why. It was a humbling encounter.

Have any other artisans inspired you throughout your career?

Since my craft isn’t that mainstream, not really anyone I am trying to imitate.

If you could have any other profession in life, what would it be?

I’d say movie critic. I love movies and if I could get paid to see them, I’d be pretty thrilled!

Captain Jack Sparrow carving by The Pumpkin Geek

Where did you grow up?

Ugghhh…STOCKTON, California!  A comedian once said it was “God’s graffiti on California.”  It was a nice town when I was there.

Favorite movie?

Impossible to answer.  I’d have to break it down into genres and decade. I love Sci-fi, drama, chick-flicks, rom-coms, action and musicals.  My favorite Christmas movie is the only one can easily answer: It’s a Wonderful Life.  The movie shows how giving of yourself whole-heartedly will always be rewarded, especially when things are difficult. I’ve experienced that in my life personally.  When Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed passed away, I cried.  That movie always touches me.

What superhero power do you wish you had?

So, that does not include the one I already have which I cannot name?  I’d say the ability to fly.  I’ve had various dreams where I was able to fly and I’d wake up pretty invigorated!

Everyone gets asked this question: What would you do if you had a time machine?

Well, first I’d go tell Eve, “DON’T EAT IT!” Then stop the invention of gum. After that, tell the Wachowski Brothers there does not need to be a sequel to The Matrix, and finally, I’d order the portabella mushrooms last night instead of the Lasagna. What a disappointment!

Harry Potter carving by The Pumpkin Geek

Where can you find more from Alex Wer?


See more of Alex’s work on his web site:

Follow Alex on Twitter

Upcoming Events

Sept 24, 2011: Sacramento Horror Convention

Oct 2011: Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Nov 5th-6th, 2011: Comikaze Expo – LA’s 1st annually Horror, Sc-Fi, Gaming & Comic Convention! Alex will be raffling off a custom carve of your choice at the convention.

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Leprechauns aren’t the only creatures clad in green

As St. Patrick’s Day celebrations cover most of the world, we’re nearly overwhelmed with images of leprechauns, or little men that represent fairies from ancient Irish folklore. Yet these aren’t the only magical beings man has imagined clad in green.

Here’s an ode to some of the brilliant sci-fi, comic, and fantasy artists out there who have taken popular characters from books, films, and more and added their own creative spin.

Green Fairy by Brian Froud

Poison Ivy by Kay C

Slimer by Tim Kelly

Green Hornet by Chuck Moore

Frankenstein by Rainer F. Engel

Rydia (Final Fantasy IV) by Unknown

The Incredible Hulk (original concepts)

Green Alien by Keith Trimm

Hal Jordan as Parallax by Tom Fleming

An Orion (Star Trek) by Gavin de Lint

FCBD 2010 Kizoic Presents: Shrek

Army of the Dead (LOTR) by Weta Workshop

Speaking of Lord of the Rings

Minas Morgul by Stardock

And though this is not exactly sci-fi or fantasy, no St. Patty’s Day would be without the Green Man from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (a show I had the opportunity of being in!)…

Green Man from It's Always Sunny

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Dragon*Con 2010 Photos: Parade, Costume Contest & Hallway Mania


Me with a group of 300 soldiers
Me with a group of 300 soldiers

Where else can you go to get your Star Wars, Star Trek, Tolkien, Wheel of Time, Dr. Who, Steam Punk, Harry Potter, Superhero, Comic, Gaming and Pirate fix? (Whew!) Why Dragon*Con, of course.

What’s donned as the largest sci-fi and fantasy convention in the world, or Disneyland on crack as I like to call it, is a four-day adventure into the deepest depths of Nerdvana. There’s almost too much to see, from art to panels galore to celebs and much, much more. The good news is that there are shorter lines than some of the other Cons (ehem, you know I’m talking to you Comic-Con), and you actually have a chance of getting to see what you came for.

However, despite the geek overload, I went (primarily) for one thing: COSTUMES! Here are the multitudes of photos I took from the parade, costume contest and creations seen wandering the hallways.

Stay tuned for Dragon*Con video highlights, plus more photos of The Wheel of Time and True Blood!

PS. I was kidding about Comic-Con (not). We attended that too. In case you missed it, be sure to check out our special Comic-Con episode

Dragon*Con Parade

Dragon*Con Hallway Costumes

Dragon*Con Costume Contest

*Select photos of some of the contestants

Related articles

The Wheel of Time at Dragon*Con 2010: Book trailer, photos & eBook art

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The 12 Hours of Comic-Con (the song)

By Kristen Nedopak  //  # Watch the show!, Costumes, Festivals & Events, Science Fiction, Star Wars  //  Comments Off on The 12 Hours of Comic-Con (the song)

Outta This World the show covers everything geek, so of course we were at the largest ‘nerdvana’ convention in the world: Comic-Con. We even made a song about it.

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The Vader Project: Interview with co-creator Sarah Jo Marks

For our first episode of Outta This World the show, we had the opportunity to interview Sarah Jo Marks, co-creator of The Vader Project, to discuss the ups, downs, and the process of putting together a pop culture-style art show.

After watching the video, check out a handful of some of The Vader Project helmets that are up for auction below!

To find out more about the auction or to purchase your collector’s catalog with all 100 helmets illustrated in vibrant detail (I have one and it’s incredible), visit the Freeman’s website.

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Star Wars…Burlesque?!

By Kristen Nedopak  //  Costumes, Festivals & Events, Star Wars  //  Comments Off on Star Wars…Burlesque?!

The Fempire Strikes Back comes back to Hollywood (Music Box) on July 10, 2010. This is not a show to miss!

One of the hottest burlesque troupes in LA—The Devil’s Playground—brought sexy and sci-fi together in one amazing show at the Music Box in Hollywood: Star Wars Burlesque!

Each custom-tailored performance was an experience for any fan of the original trilogy (not to mention hot women), with cast members dressed as characters from Chewbacca to Boba Fett to (you guessed it) slave Princess Leia.

Watch the highlights right here! Photos of many of the sci-fi clad vixens can be found below.

Or check out these hot photos of the sci-fi clad vixens.

Olivia Bellafontaine as Princess Leia (photo by Josh Reiss)
Charlotte LaBelle as Darth Vader (photo by Josh Reiss)
Audrey DeLuxe as Boba Fett (photo by Josh Reiss)
Lucy Fur as C-3PO & Sin Fisted as R2-D2 (photo by Josh Reiss)
Sin Fisted as R2-D2 (photo by Josh Reiss)
Scarlet O’Gasm as Jabba the Hutt (photo by Josh Reiss)
Scarlet O’Gasm as Jabba the Hutt (photo by Josh Reiss)
Daisy Meadows as Chewbacca (photo by Josh Reiss)
Courtney Cruz as the Stormtrooper (photo by Josh Reiss)


Check out LA Weekly for complete coverage of the event.

Featured artists

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Space landscapes celebrate the lunar and solar eclipse

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are in exact alignment with one another, where the Sun’s rays are blocked from shining upon the moon by the Earth, which stands between the two. There is always a full moon during a lunar eclipse. A solar eclipse, from Earth, can be seen as a bright ray of fire as the Moon appears to cover the Sun. Now both of these astronomical events will be occurring within mere weeks of another (lunar on June 26, 2010 and solar on July 11, 2010), creating a huge shift in the electro-magnetic energy field that effects every Earthling.

Fantasy and Science Fiction artists have been enamored by the stars, planets, the Moon and the Sun for ages, creating such incredible depictions of the universe and faraway worlds that inspire even the most reality-driven man to use his imagination.

In honor of these symbolic elements that remind us just how small we are in this universe, here are some of my favorite pieces of art.

Cold Fire by Inga Nielsen
Wheel of Fire by Inga Nielsen
Space Scene by xcine
Age of Discovery by Josef Bartoň
Blue Moon by David Fuhrer
Fire in the Land of Shadows by Inga Nielsen
Broken Planet by Jordan
Another World Sunset by Gary Jamroz
Backdrop of Megamind by Patrick Jensen
Moment in space XCIV by Tuomas Pekkarinen
Eclipse by Sami Mattila
Obsequium by taenaron
Lux Aeterna by taenaron
Space by Mariusz Karasiewicz
The Beginning by Mariusz Karasiewicz
The Untitled Scenes CLII by Tuomas Pekkarinen
Space Lunar by Mariusz Karasiewicz
Just Space by Josef Bartoň
Paramount by Josef Bartoň
Landscape 3 by AnastasyaCemetery

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Madame Tussauds immortalizes Star Trek, Wolverine, and more

By Kristen Nedopak  //  Star Trek, Visual Art  //  Comments Off on Madame Tussauds immortalizes Star Trek, Wolverine, and more

My family is visiting from back east, so I took them to see the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Hollywood. We had fun posing with our favorite movie stars—of course, I had to sit in the captain’s chair!

Here are some of my favorites. PS. I only had my camera phone.

Kristen in the captain's chair with Picard and Kirk

A close up of Picard

Close up of Kirk

William Shatner with his own wax version of Captain Kirk

Oooops, Kristen gets carried away with Wolverine

Plaster mask of Hugh Jackman's face



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Heroes scoop: Cast members disagree on movie

Sylar (my favorite character) and prey

First of all, like all fans, I want to start off with an official R.I.P. Heroes. I fell in love with the show in season 1, and though it took a few interesting twists and turns, I’ve remained a fan ever since.

Though countless blogs and magazines continue to speculate whether or not NBC will wrap up the Heroes plot via a two-hour film, I had the opportunity to ask one cast member (last night) who said, “there isn’t going to be a movie.” He notes that NBC ditched the mere thought of a season 5 because, well, it cost too much money to produce the show. Why would they spend money on a film?

Entertainment Weekly gives us an exclusive interview with Greg Grunberg (a.k.a. Matt Parkman) who still has high hopes that the fans will get their wish of a proper ending.

I guess that means… we wait!

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Star Wars goodies to celebrate George Lucas’ birthday

In 1977, the year of my birth, one of the greatest film series known to Sci-fi fans across the planet was born: Star Wars. Here’s a tribute to the characters, creatures, and far away worlds that inspired us all… and to the man who started this whole insanity: George Lucas!

Incredible poster art

Star Wars poster art by Tom Whalen

Star Wars poster art by the Hildebrandt brothers

View more poster art by the Hildebrandt brothers!

Star Wars poster art by Drew Struzan

View more artwork by Drew Struzan!

Star Wars videos

The Fastest and Funniest LEGO Star Wars story ever told

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back (Original Trailer)

Ceci n’est pas Chewbacca

Starring my good pal Eric Toms!


And last but not least, who can forget some of the best spin-off shows and films based on our beloved series.


Ode to the the funniest moments of one of my favorite films!

Seth MacFarlane’s Blue Harvest

The hour-long premiere to the sixth season of the FOX series Family Guy.

Happy Birthday George! May 14th, 1944.

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