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Lethbridge born Flash star Chad Rook comes home for Lethbridge Comicon

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 Adam Essex is excited about the second edition of Lethbridge Comicon which takes place at the Lethbridge College Barn, Oct. 17-19.
 The event, which took place last year at the Italian Canadian club, but has grown enough to  warrant a bigger venue and bigger guests.Lethbridge Comicon organizer Adam Essex does his best Action Comics Superman pose. Photo by Richard Amery


 Dirk Benedict of the A-Team and Battlestar Galactica will be at the event as well as plenty of comic book artists, vendors and lots of special guests  professional Cosplayer Vegas PG, Spawn, Death Dealer and ‘68 artist Nat Jones and Kyle Charles and street artist Mark Oliver ‘Twist” and Eric Dyck, the Lethbridge creator of the comic Slaughterhouse Slough.


Eddie Spears of Hell on Wheels

is unable to attend as planned due to conflictingshooting schedules.

“ For me it’s been nice and easy planning it this year,” said organizer Adam Essex.


“This year it was so easy to find  guests and vendors,” he said.


 Picture Butte/ Lethbridge actor Chad Rook is excited to come back home for Lethbridge Comicon, just after his debut as the Weather Wizard— the primary villain in the the new TV series the Flash, which premiered on Oct. 7 on CW. It also stars Tom Cavanagh (Ed, Love Monkey, Eli Stone, Scrubs, The Following) , Grant Gustin (Arrow, Glee, 90210), Candice Patton (The Game, Young and Restless, Entourage) and Jesse L. Martin (Law and Order, Smash, Ally McBeal).


“I’ve been a professional actor for 15  years, so it’s good to finally be able to say I’m making a living as an actor,” said Rook who moved out to Tampa Bay Florida  to pursue a modelling career in 2001 shortly after graduating from Picture Butte High School.

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The A-Team’s Dirk Benedict to visit Lethbridge for Comicon

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Dirk Benedict, who will forever be known as Templeton “ The Faceman” Peck” from the popular ’80s TV show the A -Team and Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica, has been “working on maintaining his anonymity” since  the A-Team ended in 1986.

He will be a special guest at Lethbridge Comicon, Oct. 17-19 at the Lethbridge College Barn.Dirk Benedict comes to LEthbridge for the Lethbridge Comicon this week. Photo Submitted
The obvious question is what he’s been doing since then. He is a great observer of the world around him.


 “It’s been  20-30 years. It’s a book,”  Benedict said, taking a long pause over the phone from his home in Montana, to light or relight a cigar as he thinks about the question.


 He has in fact written a couple of books, “ Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy: A True Story of Discovery Acting Health, Illness, Recovery and Life ” about how to eat healthy, which he released in 1987 and  “ And Then We Went Fishing: A Story of Fatherhood, Fate and Forgiveness,” which he released in 1995 about his own early years and his wife’s home birth.


“ I’m driving to Lethbridge, so I can bring some of the books with me for people. Usually I fly and they’re too heavy to carry. I have a great publisher. He keeps them. I sell maybe 3,000 a year. Most publishers would drop you for that,” he said.


 Recently he co-wrote a comic book “Dirk Benedict in the 25th Century, with Scott Phillips a story about Benedict appearing at a Comicon and being taken by aliens to the 25th century.


“I wrote three issues with Scott  Phillips and the guy disappears. I’ve never even seen an issue. I’d like to find a copy of it and so I could bring them to these Comicons so I could tell people about it and get paid for them,” he said adding he goes to a couple of Comicons a year including several in Europe where the A Team and Battlestar Galactica are very popular.


“It’s very funny.  It was a lot of fun to write it, I’m trying to convince the aliens that I’m not Starbuck, but go to the 25th century and find out I actually can do all of these things,” he continued.
 But the main thing he’s been doing is raising his sons, now 24 and 26.


“I’ve been being a single father and that's a difficult. It’s a 24-7 job,” he said adding one of his sons is a very good soccer player, so he has been accompanying him to places like Glasgow and Malta while he pursues his dreams.


 Soccer has brought him to Lethbridge a couple times.
“ You have a really beautiful indoor facility there.
 His team won a big tournament here a few years ago.


He noted television of  changed  since the days of the A-Team, which he compared to the old westerns of the ’50s and ’60.


“ When they redid Battlestar Galactica, the first thing they did was turn me into a girl. And they made Cylons the good guys and humans the bad guys,” he observed.


 “In the day of the A-Team team things were more black and white. There were bad guys and good guys. Now it’s all shades of grey,” he continued adding he has found it fascinating to watch how television has changed, though he doesn’t watch a lot of TV or go to many movies.


“ Now everything is so politically correct. Even James Bond has come a long way from Sean Connery.  Now the Bond girls are all martial arts experts. They're warriors,” he said.

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David Vertesi takes a break from Hey Ocean to go solo

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While popular Vancouver pop rock band Hey Ocean is on a bit of a hiatus, band member  David Vertesi and the other members took the time to explore solo projects.David Vertesi plays a solo show with his band this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 Vertesi brings his solo show to the Slice, Oct. 20 with  Hey Ocean members drummer Johnny Andrews and keyboardist Andrew Rasmussen.  Rosie June will be opening the show.


 Vertesi just released the first single “ Loud Talker” off his  upcoming second CD.


“ It’s an older song that I revamped,” he said.
“ I’ll be playing baritone guitar.  I love the sound of it. And I get to explore that sonic part of  the bass,” he said.


 He is excited to tour with his band.
“We’re a unit,” he said of his bandmates.


“ Hey Ocean has been on a break over the past few months The past couple years have been crazy, so you need a break. The band wanted to work on their own projects,” he said adding he is working on his second solo CD as well as producing other people’s projects including a new EP from Hey Ocean bandmate Ashleigh Ball.

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Eclectic week of rock and roll and drama

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It is an eclectic week of music featuring some of my favourite performers coming back to Lethbridge plus some intriguing ones I haven’t seen but am hoping to. Unfortunately, and simultaneously fortunately because I’m stage managing Hatrix Theatre's production of  Lend me a Tenor this week, Oct. 15-18, I’ll miss most of them. So while late starting shows are really beginning to grind my gears, I’m actually hoping for them this week or at least longer shows.

The Gay ’90s return to rock Lethbridge this week.Photo by Richard Amery
 The Geomatic Attic brings in one of my absolute favourite performers when they feature Vancouver blues duo Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, who play the Attic  at 8 p.m. on Oct. 17. Shawn “The Harpoonist” Hall and Matthew “The Axe Murderer” Rogers play an array of instruments  though of course the cornerstone of their sound is the “harp” and the guitar.

As a special bonus, they are bringing in fellow Vancouverites Miss Quincy to open the show. So don’t miss it. They are supporting their great new CD  “A Real Fine Mess.” Tickets cost $27.50.
Unfortunately The Geomatic Attic presentation of alt-country troubadour Fred Eaglesmith  at the Lethbridge College Barn, Oct. 15 has been postponed due to slow advance ticket sales. It will be rescheduled for next year.
There is a special country  show at the Farm on Oct. 16 featuring Kent McAllister and Matt Masters. Admission is $10.


 And Stuart Maclean and the Vinyl Cafe return to Lethbridge for  two shows, Oct 17 at 2: 30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m., but the evening show is sold out.
 On the rock end of the spectrum, Winnipeg based piece noise rock duo Vampires lIke You visit the Slice, Oct. 17 with local bands betterhalf and the Mormon Girls.

The Slice also brings in Saskatoon band Close Talker to play Oct. 16 . They also bring back The Gay ’90s on Oct. 15.


 The Owl also rocks this weekend  with Victoria eclectic collective Mindil Beach who fuse elements of funk, upbeat indie rock and a touch of hip hop. They play Oct. 17 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
The other big rock show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge is the Lethbridge Comicon afterparty featuring Calgary indie rock bands Go For the Eyes and Windigo. They play Oct. 18. It will be  a different show than this past week as lead singer/ keyboardist Elise Roller will be touring with her other band and the rest of the band will be trying out a new drummer.


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About L.A. Beat


L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

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