Cosplayers, Artists, Comic Books and More at Wondercon 2017


HI everyone! Over the weekend I had the chance to attend Wondercon in Anaheim. Steve and Larissa were both out of town working on separate projects so I took my sister and we met up with a few friends there and want to give you the inside scoop.


In case you are not familiar Wondercon is a three day annual convention that focuses on comic books, science fiction and superhero/comic films. It’s a cosplayer’s dream event. If you don’t know what cosplay is it is the practice or art of dressing up like a character from your favorite comic, video game, movie, book, ect. Random fact more females cosplay than guys and people up into their 70-80’s are in the cosplay community.


Thousands of comic book, video game and TV and movie fans took over the Anaheim Convention Center for three days. There were pop-up shops stocked with limited edition items, cosplay outfit repair booths, comic book booths and more. Along with an “Artists Alley” where you could find all the comic book artists selling their work, signing books and drawings, doing personalized sketches and more. You also had panels of mainstream celebrities talking about their sci-fi and super hero shows and if you were one of the lucky ones who had several hundred to spend you could get a photo and autograph with them.


During the weekend I had the chance to interview Comic book artists to Wonder woman and everyone in between. I looked for artists who stood out to me and I think you will like their work as well. A few of the artists I talked to were Levi Craig who does awesome watercolor art, Lamont Hunt who does artwork on vintage items and has the Dakota Kid line, which is looking at the imagination of kids, Mike Matola who does art centered around song or movie lyrics, James Wright writer of Nutmeg comics, and Jessica Rose Davis who kills as Wonder woman in the cosplay world.

                                                     (Levi Craig)                                                                                  (Lamont Hunt)


                                        (Jessica Rose Davis aka Wonder Woman)                                                       (Jame Wright)


                                                                                   (Mike Matola)

Be on the look out for photos and highlights of the interviews on our Facebook and Instagram pages (@utalkradio) as well as special Wondercon edition of Utalk Radio coming soon. You can also find more photos from Wondercon on my social media pages @officialkatiann.

Demi Lovato celebrates a big day

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Demi made a musical vow in 2011 – “Go on and try to tear me down. I will be rising from the ground like a skyscraper.” Today she celebrates becoming a healthier and happier person because of the choices she’s made. The journey out of her self-described nightmare hasn’t been straight or narrow.

As she has since publicly revealed, the former child star secretly spent her teenage years grappling with substance abuse, addiction, eating disorders, depression and self-inflicted harm as she rose to fame on the Disney track. In the shadow of her brightening limelight, the New Mexico native had reached a point where she was unable to “go an hour without using cocaine,” as she described to Refinery 29. “Prior to getting sober, I was one of those people who was like, I don’t give a f–k, whatever. And I used that as an excuse to do whatever I wanted,” Demi told the website.

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Her personal battles became a matter of public scrutiny back in 2010 when she punched backup dancer Alex Welch while on tour with the Jonas Brothers. She subsequently checked into rehab for three months for unspecified medical issues.

She remerged the following year with a newfound attitude on her life and the people in it. “I surround myself with people that are beneficial in my recovery and my recovery is still a daily battle and I definitely hang out with people that support me in making the right decisions,” Lovato told E! News in August 2011.

However, the addictions had not been entirely shaken. As the songstress admitted, she was susceptible to relapse and did. “I had to learn the hard way that I can’t do parties anymore,” she told Refinery29. “Some people can go out and not be triggered, but that’s not the case for me.”

So, she addressed the problem by reportedly checking into a sober living house where she remained for at least a year. In the process of continuing to patch her life back together soberly, Lovato released her fourth studio album, Demi, a departure from her old sound in exchange for something more authentic. The change paid off as the album garnered the songstress the most first-week album sales of her career.

Demi recognizes she’s not alone in her struggle. Substance addiction is a growing issue in the United States that impacts millions of people and their families. Demi harnesses her power to inspire change in the realm of mental health by being a prime example of what she preaches.

Do you or someone you know struggle with addiction or a mental health issue?

As Demi rose to new heights personally and professionally, her life was still not without its challenges.

“Since I went to treatment, there have been days when it’s felt really easy, and I’ve felt great about where I am. But then I have moments when it’s not. That’s life,” she said in a 2014 issue of Seventeen. “You can’t just take your mind and your body into the shop and get it fixed. It doesn’t come out repaired. It’s not like a car. It takes time—pace yourself. Every day is a new opportunity to change your life and be who you want to be.”

After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Demi took her impassioned platform to Capitol Hill as an advocate for mental health reform.

“We have the power to make a difference and we have the personal experience needed to be taken seriously. We know what it means to have our lives or the lives of people we love get off track because of mental illness. We understand that mental illness can be serious and absolutely devastating. We also know mental illness can be treatable when we have access to appropriate, comprehensive care,” she said during a speech on the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Day of Action in Washington, D.C. in 2014.

According to a source, the star still has some struggles, but has the support of many people in her life. She has not had any slip-ups with substances and continues to stay on her course. The same source added, “It just gets better with each day. Demi has a strong mind and determination to keep it up. Each day is a celebration.”

The stats are staggering when it comes to mental health and addiction today. Check it out:

  • 1 in 5 young adults suffer from a mental illness, that’s 20 percent of our population but yet only about 4 percent of the total health   care budget is spent on our mental health.
  • Nearly 20 percent of those under 18 live with a parent (or legally responsible adult) who drinks heavily or has an alcohol problem.
  • Individuals treated for alcohol misuse are approximately 10 times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not misuse alcohol, and people who abuse drugs have about 14 times greater the risk for eventual suicide.
  • Twenty-three million Americans age 12 or older suffer from alcohol and drug addiction.
  • In any given day, over 700,000 Americans seek treatment for alcohol or drug addiction.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with mental health issues or addictions. Don’t try to deal with it on your own. Share your pain with a trusted friend or relative.

Reach out to us. Remember Utalk is about “YOU” talking to us. We can listen and connect you with resource to help and encourage you. Check out Larissa’s “Love and Discovery blog  ( for encouragement.

There’s no shame in seeking professional help. Decide that you want to live a healthier and happier life.


Best moments from the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards

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Just three weeks after the Grammys, some of music’s biggest names gathered once again for the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday March 5th.

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Katy Perry kicked off the show with other performances including Big Sean, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and The Chainsmokers and Shawn Mendes singing some of the most popular hits from the year. In between performances during the two-hour long broadcast were notable moments – all of which were pretty good – from the star-studded event.

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Presenters for the show included Miley Cyrus introducing her undeniable mini-me, Demi Lovato, John Legend, Joe Jonas, Jason Derulo and DJ Khaled.

Here’s some of best moments from the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards.

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24k Innovation

iHeartRadio honored Bruno Mars with its prestigious “Innovator Award” previously given to Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and U2. Mars took the stage for the first time at the iHeartRadio Music Awards further raising the energy and the excitement graph of the show.

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Justin Timberlake telling haters what’s up

After winning the first — and one of the biggest — awards of the night for song of the year (“Can’t Stop the Feeling!”), Timberlake gave a rather comical speech that closed with a heartfelt message to fans who may be dealing with haters. “Anyone that is treating you unkindly and it’s only because they are afraid or they were taught to be afraid of how important you are,” he said. “Because being different means you make the difference, so f— ’em.”

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Best acceptance speech 

John Legend presented Coldplay with one of Sunday evening’s most buzzed about awards. Three cute kids, who first performed alongside Katy Perry during her opening number were enlisted by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin to thank the music biz for honoring the band with Best Tour. Legend even grabbed a chair for the backup dancer to stand on in order to reach the mic!

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DJ Khaled​ showing off his boy 

While introducing Ed Sheeran’s medley performance of “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill,” DJ Khaled had an adorable little sidekick to enhance his iHeartRadio Music Awards appearance: His 4-month-old son, Asahd. Although there was some concern for the boy’s little ears it was pretty hard not to gush over what a precious son he has.

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Ansel Elgort fanboying over The Chainsmokers

The actor-turned-DJ did the honors of presenting the award for dance song of the year, already professing his love for the Chainsmokers by busting into their record-breaking hit “Closer” before even announcing the winner.

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Halsey gives a shout-out to Blink-182

During her acceptance speech for dance song of the year with The Chainsmokers, Halsey had to make sure that the rock band she references in “Closer” got some recognition.

So if you happened to spend part of your Sunday night watching the iHeartRadio Music Awards, what were some of your fave moments? Any disappointments for you? How about an album you want to download?