The Convention Season Looms in Spring

As March roles around in 2013 it’s a time of lots and lots of action and adventure on all my favorite pop-culture fronts.

I don’t get to enjoy all of them, being conflicts, financial issues, whatever, but they’re there for the taking.

For the video game lover you have PAXEast which is quickly followed by the Game Developer’s Conference/Independent Games Festival and there’s also E3 (yet that is an industry only event).

For the wrestling fan, the weekend of April 5-7 is big for anyone willing to travel to NYC/NJ for some super craziness. It’s not just Wrestlemania weekend. That show brings with it a sold out Ring of Honor PPV and TV taping the next day, the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden, after parties to the Hall of Fame such as Shenanigans and MVP at Caroline’s and then there’s Wrestlecon at Meadowlands Colliseum where Chikara, Shimmer, Dragongate, Evolve, etc. are all together along with tons of legends and even Hulk Hogan to throw the best alternative to WWE ever. Although crazy rich people find a way to do everything!

I didn’t make it to PAX or GDC, I will not be at any of the wrestling stuff. I’ll be focusing on another major love of mine, comics. A lot of comics shows are going on as well.

This Saturday is the Asbury Comic Con, equally is Wondercon. The weekend after is both FLUKE and MoCCAFest. I’ll be at Asbury and volunteering at MoCCA so the bulk of this article will be focusing on those, BUT before we get to them, some quick things.

The big deal at PAX and GDC for me were DoubleFine’s first official reveal of BROKEN AGE, the game that has been in development as DFA/REDS from their big Kickstarter project which I am a major backer. I’ll probably write a ton about it eventually, but for now? Here’s the official trailer revealed to the “world” at GDC Awards and uploaded to Youtube directly after.

If I could go to Wrestlecon I’d be all over that Chikara part of it. I really want to see who Mike Quackenbush brings as his mystery partner against Shard & Jigsaw. The ROH show when SCUM should basically decimate a bunch of ROH guys should be fun too, but I can’t go… I made commitments and I’m excited for them.

If you make it out to FLUKE make a point of checking out whatever Kyle Starks has going on at his table, I’m sure whatever it is will be freaking awesome.

So coming this Saturday is the Asbury ComicCon. I have missed it when it started as just a small gathering at a bowling alley. That always sounded quite awesome, but I just never made it out there. Now it’s moved to the convention center, but is still trying to keep the just a comics con feel in a place like the boardwalk of Asbury. There’s a couple of highlights at the show and some of them share an appearance at next weekend’s MoCCaFest as well.

At Asbury there’s the official book release party/debut of the collected DEADHORSE.

As well the only east coast appearance of Box Brown for now that I know of, as he’ll be at SPOKE next weekend. Oh wait, Toronto is the East Coast.

Bryan G. Brown and Dre Grigoropol will be debuting their comic Blueberry Boy of Asbury Park, approriately relaying some experiences from last years Asbury ComicCon!

Asbury also has some amazing panels. In particular Brian O’Halloran (best known to most as Dante Hicks from the Clerks films will be sitting with Mike and Ming of Comic Book Men. Also, John Holmstrom will have a discussion with Asbury Comiccon co-promoter Cliff Galbraith. Both these panels make the entire show worth it. Yet the fact that Danny Fingeroth also has sit down sessions with Al Jaffe and Bob Camp in talk with Craig Yoe just add to it as well. Throw in a ton of creators who actually will not be appearing at any other convention anytime soon and you have what is an awesome pre-Easter (if you do Easter) event.

Head over to the Asbury Comic Con website (the link is in the words or click on that banner to your right) and get your tickets now and enjoy your Saturday, March 30, 2013, in New Jersey… of all places).

As said prior the weekend of April 6-7th, 2013 I’ll be at MoCCaFest 2013. I attempted to find out all the major debuts and such by hunting through Twitter and Google Blog search and didn’t find tons of info, but what I did shall be below. MoCCa is amazing show. This will be my 11th year attending including the one year I almost didn’t go, but went anyways. Crazy to even think that. Here’s some highlights I could find.

Peter Kuper will debuting and signing a limited edition version of his new book.

Matt Miner who recently had the successful Kickstarter campaign for his comic LIBERATOR will be around with exclusives.

Angela Rizza will be tabled with Chase Stone right where there will also be a MoCCa Art Exhibit. They made a pretty cool banner.

Rachel Dukes will have a brand new Cat mini comic

Will Laren will be premiering Slurricane #5

Jenna Trost will have a super super limited (I bet I don’t get one) handmade book of Unraveling Traveling “Never Books”.

Nate Bear and Laura G are working on some new stuff for the show.

Kat Fajardo along with the rest of Cartoon Allies of SVA will be at MoCCA with new stuff. They’re also going to be at Asbury Comic Con so, you have less of an excuse to miss them.

The same goes for Mike Dawson. Not that he’ll have anything new, but he’ll have great stuff that if you missed, get it, and also you know, tell him how great Ink Panthers is.

Oh and Claire Connelly will be at Asbury and MoCCa as well with some awesome comics.

Now I have to get myself together for the volunteer Meet & Greet for MoCCaFest at the Society of Illustrators. I’m probably more excited than I should be.

Kickstarter Experience: A Look Back Through My Succesfully Pledged Projects

My Kickstarter experience began with backing my friend Fritz Donnelly’s film “I Like You”, it was then followed by throwing in with a graffiti/streetart gallery project. After those two it quited down although I seemed to star projects once and awhile and then one day I just stopped. That is until the project that actually brought so many people to Kickstarter in the first place brought me back and not just back, but falling into a trap of kickstarterolism. That project was Double Fine Adventure and it has steamrolled from there. While I have actually only backed 22 projects in my time I have kept track of, promoted, helped support, etc. many in that time. Here I thought I would look at those projects I actually supported to receive something in return through my pledge and see where they are in development. Kickstarter itself doesn’t have a section for backers to actually report on the success of project other than comments. Nothing to say that your pledge resulted in so and so, and while they in one hand say they aren’t a preorder site and don’t check the background on their project creators, they also have a system in place to help pledgers fight to get their money back if the project creator seems to never actually make any progress towards their project with the pledged money.

If I could do this for any project creator, especially creators who start new Kickstarter’s before fulfilling their previous Kickstarter or people who just keep recreating a project changing basically nothing trying to get funding as Kickstarter gets bigger I would. I can’t though, so at least this article will serve as a an experience of how projects can go and what they can lead to for my personal story.

I LIKE YOU – A Hi Christina Movie: I could write essays galore on my life with Fritz Donnely and Christina Clare-Ewald over the last 3-4 years since we became acquainted and then became close friends. Their film project was something that I had to do be a part of as soon as I could. They had an absolutely awesome countdown party at a loft, then after funding they had an excellent post funding party where they showed a very early cut of various scenes. Since ending I have actually helped out on a scene and according to Fritz I even have a speaking role. At that after party I mentioned I received a hand-made shirt from Christina. The film would be ready now, BUT Fritz and Christina went itno another major product… a child. That baby is named Keats and he is the most wonderful thing ever. For those who joined in on I LIKE YOU who don’t have a closeknit relationship with them I could see frustration that as we approach February 2013, the film has not come out officially yet, but this is the year. Fritz’ creative juices have been flowing like mad since starting his project Secret Door and I have faith that that project is fueling his energy to make his first full length feature to come to fruition completely.

THE PANTHEON PROJECT: This project found complete production with an exhibit in the windows at the former library located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit featured some amazing pieces on display for anyone and everyone to appreciate the gallery style, it was accompanied by a large exhibit catalog which is now completely sold out. The website is no longer up, but there are images on Flickr.

DOUBLE FINE ADVENTURE: Anyone who followed video gaming news or Kickstarter knows that this project brought a ton of attention to the site. It ended up with quadruple + it’s initial funding and instead of being a small little adventure game/documentary it has balooned into a full fledged project with a current release date not to be seen yet. That is not to say a lot has not been happening. While updates have been less frequent that liked by a portion of backers I have been very satisfied. If one includes the episodes of the documentary titled SIDE QUESTS which either feature indepth bios of creatuve members or show Tim Schaefer playing his old games there have in total been 15 episodes of the documentary feature. In terms of the game the backer forums have featured some amazing programming updates, concept art updates, story updates and more. They have been more than forthcoming in letting us see the full development of this game, warts and all, more than any studio has ever dared try. From a rewards standpoint, Fangamer in a timely, efficient and sexy manner sent out amazing shirts & posters with secret extra buttons and stickers. Of course if you only pledged at the $15 level and don’t take advantage of the fourms at Double Fine you’re just waiting for a game you thought would be out by now. To you I say… that’s your fault, not theirs. If you didn’t actually get in on the ground floor of DFA and would like to see this documentary in real time and see amazing forum posts, go check the program DFA Pay, which allows you to join in the fun early for $30 anytime before release.

CARL’S LARGE STORY: Marcos Perez’ comic appealed to me greatly. When I first found the Kickstarter I noticed he didn’t have an option for all the swag, including the new book, the one of a kind drawing, the original collection and the handmade crochet. I requested it, he made it, and then I almost missed out on actually getting to pledge at this level. Almost is the operative word here. This was also one of the most exciting packages I’ve received from all my Kickstarters so far. Of course what it was going to contain meant it would. If you don’t already have a copy of Carl’s Large Story, head over to the website and grab one. Here’s images!

GAME OVER INSERT MORE QUARTERS ANTHOLOGY: I’m not completely what made this be the next thing I kickstarted. I think looking back it was a combination of the art, the passion, and the energy shown. Somewhere in this apartment of a treaure trove library this book sits happily. Equally a year later the books organizer Nicky Soh, has an excellent illustration project titled SIXTY SHADES OF BLUE. At the same time Nicky’s sister Jen who was also in Game Over is kickstarting her own anthology titled PLAYLIST. Both these projects look fascinating. My pockets need to be much larger, these are books you should look at and own, especially if you’re looking comics and artbooks to add to your collection. I am kneedeep in projects right now, but I am supporting these two projects as much as I can, spiritually, and hopefully financially if that arises.

GODS OF THE FLIES: This short film using awesome animation came out great! In the mail I received some seriously amazing stickers, a great note and even a little finger puppet fly. I’ve watched and rewatched the hi def film on repeat and keep track of the maker Danger Charles has been up to. While this might be the only short narrative film I’ve backed, I am very happy about this once and glad to always have it been part of my collection.

BOY: I had pledged this at the minimum simply because I wanted to be able to read the backer updates and have them saved in my email box forever. I did get to see the film at the special screening in Brooklyn where I also got to meet Taika. Based on comments, American fans have yet to receive their Crazy Horses patches and there seems to be no USA DVD release on the horizon. Still, great movie.

YUMIKO-CURSE OF THE MERCH GIRL: This is a gorgeous package. The comic by Josh Blaylock and Jose Garcia is amazing. The album by Murs is stellar. After the successful Kickstarter, Devil’s Due as a publisher has been back in full swing, continuing to use the platform to prefund their efforts.Yumiko is now available on their website in various packages. I personally recommend the one you can get by clicking Buy Now on the project’s official site.

GASTROPHOBIA VOL. 2: Comics looked to becoming the trend, unsurprisingly, they had proven to be the most reliable of projects and tend to bring me my largest entertainment value. In this case I had already owned Vol. 1 that I had purcahsed directly from David McGuire via a convention and felt it best to assure my copy and also get some special Kickstarter combo editions such as high quality PDFs of both books and a special pin as well! The book is availble for purchase right now if you missed the Kickstarter and can be read online as well as GastroPhobia.com

SPIKE – A LOVE STORY TOO: The first version of Matzerath’s different thinking style of pixel art game was absolutely some of the most fun I’d ever had on a computer. When he announced his desire to make it bigger and better, I had to be a part of it. So far he has made a new version of the game that is available to play for free on New Grounds. A bigger version with expanded story, amazing modes and much more are on the horizon.

EDIT: While working on this article Houser added an update to the backer version of the game where you play as Red Haired Guy. It’s rad!

CAVEGIRL FUDGE: This was easily the most successul projects I was involved in personally. They kept us appraised of their efforts along the way and then out of nowhere, the product arrived. I loved every morself of it. It was just amazing and to die for. I loved it so much that the minute they made it available on their Etsy I ordered it. I know in the future I’ll order more. If I could I order lots and lots more, but I also know this isn’t a mass production, but a lovingly handmade product to be enjoyed while you have and miss while it’s gone so that when you can get it again, you fall in love all over again. The girls behind it have also be super kind and gracious. I’d asked for an extra sticker of their awesome label for my collection and they provided it gratis. I still also have my thank you note personally signed from the original Kickstarter order.

RIDDIKULUS! 2012: We come to my first pledged Kickstarter that hasn’t completely fulfilled their pledge rewards. They did end up doing their full tour and they got the shirts done. I even got to hit one of the spots on the tour and recorded the majority of it and posted it on Youtube. Go check it out, it was a great concert and since it was free I don’t feel bad about my donation. Yet I am frustrated that the special compilation has not yet been made available. Via Facebook on Januarary 28th I was assured it was still happening though and that when it was done it’ll be all worth the wait.

The following Kickstarters are ones that have yet to finish their rewards, in some cases they have provided half of them with promises of completion still to come.

DETECTIVE GRIMOIRE ADVENTURE GAME: This game is greatly delayed as they keep finding snags in development for making it ready for OS. I’m now wishing they focused surely on a standalone PC Version and that when I had the chance to pledge towards that version I did. Although right now it doesn’t matter, there’s still no game. It does look like their physical rewards of T-shirts and plushies are going out though. A few months back they also got the wallpapers out and gave all backers three free ones and higher tirered backers a few extras. Still at this point I’d really like my digital soundtrack and/or digital art book. They are probably holding onto sending those with the game itself though, feeling like out of context they won’t make much sense. I’ve replayed the demo like a hundred times and it still makes me excited for the final product though. I even replay the original version sometimes which has artwork that is not that great and no voiceover, BUT the storytelling, puzzles and mechanics are all in place. This big Swampy’s case version is just basically that game but better. I’m hoping once they have all these programming bugs done there’s a plan to eventually redraw the original game too though, it was a fun mystery.

JOHN K’S “CANS WITHOUT LABELS”: John Kricfalusi’s short authobiographical toon is actually coming along really nicely. I don’t think that he’ll actually end up getting the cartoon available by the end of this month though. I know he hoped he would, but based on the toons blog, we aren’t there yet. A Backer Only Clip showed us we aren’t THAT far off. Maybe by the end of March we’ll get our downloadable version. I’m pretty satisfied here. I didn’t pledge towards any of the crazy doodle or toys so I can’t really complain about the progress on those and the cartoon really has developed a lot.

SCIENCE FICTION LAND: This documentary is going to be bonkers. Especially with all the awards ARGO has received it’ll only help in making the final product of this even larger and more expansive. Packages with most of the pledge rewards other than the film itself have all gone out. I got my package with stickers, pin, postcard, laminated pass, CD (which I already owned because I love the band, so I need to figure out who to give my old copy to) and a thank you note. These extras are really fun and add to the entire thing. Swag is great, but this is one where it’s being to download and watch that final documentary with any extras that it comes with that I’m really awaiting.

THE LAST DOOR: This game hasn’t launched yet, but the updates have been happening. They just finished their third sprint of development and the BETA launch is for Feb 25. At that time I assume I’ll finally see my pixar avatar as well. That might not be till March though on official launch. The ARG they have put together has been extremely immersive. I think I’m now in the home stretch. I may or may not have to learn morse code backwards and forwards to pass it. That might not even be the answer. Luckily though the ARG I have become friends a young man in Croatia of all places. If anything else comes out of this game of that kind of experience it shall be all worth it. Yet, I still really want to get emerged in this 8 bit poink n click adventure and then listen to some classical music.

EDIT: They have pushed BETA back till March 1, with launch for March 11th to refine and perfect everything.  They are on top of us keeping us updated very well, so no complaints.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE: What convinced me to grab this what should be amazing book was Ryan North’s Choose Your Own Adventure comic of Adventure Time. The final product should be super exciting with illustrations from some of my favorite independent comic artists going today. Stretch goals on this got so insane it offered the most amazingly tangible package for the lowest physical tier. This is going to be one kickass book. It’ll take years to read and re-read. It’s just… so much awesome. I can’t wait for this to come out. It’s not scheduled till May. If you missed out on the Kickstarter I’m sure breadpig will be publishing plenty more to go to bookstores, comic shops, etc., etc. It’s going to be an amazing worthwhile book at any price.

Michale Graves-Lost Skeleton Returns: Scheduled for a June release, I’m very happy this music album got funded and that I put myself into a position to guarantee a special edition exclusive version of the pressing. There’s not much more to say as June is far away.

THE WHOLE STORY-WINTER 2013: Never have I seen a Kickstarter that started releasing it’s material DURING the pledge drive. Backing meant you got access to many of the books offered, but the more you backed the more you got, as is the case with most things. This was a case of seriously getting more if you packed and still getting more if you didn’t though. Some of the most impressive stretch goals that provided tons and tons of comics. On the day AFTER pleding Ryan Estrada unleashed about 75% of the promised content and 100% of the original content the project planned to present. I pledged at a very high level here impressed so much with what Ryan was going I felt he deserved it and knowing what I’ll be getting in return will be worth it.

EARTHWARD: I jumped in on the physical version of this book by Bryan Q. Miller and Marcio Takara at the last few hours. I’m thinking of it more like when I do my monthly Previews Order. When it finally arrives in my mailbox it’ll just be a lovingy read graphic novel like my many others which will be read, then lost in a pile till one day it is found again and read again. I feel in love with Miller on his Batgirl run and Takara on his The Incredibles work with Mark Waid and then Landry Walker so I expect the two of them to do big things!

My Two Current Pledges, due to close over the next three days!

VERY NEAR MINT VOL.3: I purchased both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 at comic conventions and somehow completely missed the Kickstarters for them. That isn’t happening this time. I chose the Baby Variant and am super excited about the entire package being created for this with all the stretch goals, including swag, prints, stickers, buttons and a new comic. This is one of two comics I am in at a major level for personal artwork and I can’t wait for it.

LEGEND OF RICKY THUNDER: Professional wrestling meets comics in an amazing crazy way. This beaty also hits it’s super stretch goals. Come in at $25 and get not only Ricky Thunder, but stickers, trading cards (inclduing one that will feature ME as a pro wrestler) and a collection featuring Kyle Starks other awesome comics (and that means his super hit This Is… Wildog). You really shouldn’t miss this while you still can! I don’t think he’ll be offering it like a package at this level after the Kickstarter. The same probably goes for Very Near Mint. The comic, lanyards and prints MIGHT be available but all at extra costs to recoup the investment.

I am also ALWAYS looking for new Kickstarters that really grab my eye. I’m kneedeep right now especially waiting on my The Whole Story package and then for my Ricky Thunder and VNM packages, but the right project will pull right into pledging and promoting the heck out of it.

On Thursday I’m actually getting to visit the Kickstarter offices and this week I became the process of being serious about my own Kickstarter projects so it’s all coming together and this is the perfect time for this reflection.

In a year or so from now I’ll probably revisit this all too. Maybe I’ll make a Kickstarter to make something about Kickstarter even!

Tribute to the Fallen of 2012 – Comic Books

Richard Alf (59, cancer): A co-founder of what became Comic-Con International, he also ran a successful comic shop as well as mail order service. His contributions to how the comics industry and well, the entertainment industry as a whole can not be ignored. An article on the San Diego Union Tribute website has a very well written and detailed account on his life and accomplishments.

Josie Decarlo (82, natural causes): A model for a short time in France, she became Dan Decarlo’s wife and the actual inspiration for Josie and The Pussycats. After his passing she kept his legacy and legend going.

Jean Giraud aka Moebius (73, cancer): I probably first discovered Moebius through his work with Jodorowsky. I was a weird kid growing up, so The Incal definitely called to me when Epic published it. I like many people who learn to love Moebius, be it through Heavy Metal, his Silver Surfer comic or even Blueberry would love when they found out he was designing something for a movie. Be it ALIEN, TRON, WILLOW, etc. and of course the failed Jodorowsky version of DUNE.

Joe Kubert (85, cancer): I absolutely and utterly have loved TOR and SGT. ROCK since I probably first started really discovering comics as more than just a kid who read comics. It has amazed me how he just kept doing work that surpassed anything he did beforehand as he got older. Books like Fax from Sarajevo blew me away showing what a true talent the man really was. He can also be thanked for helping train and guide some of my favorite creators ever through his school, including Rick Veitch, Steve Bissette, Tom Mandrake and Adam Warren.

Sheldon Moldoff (91, natural causes): A mainstay of DC Comics from the 40’s through the late 60’s, Sheldon is one of those unsung legends who did multiple classic covers and alongside Bob Kane ghost drew and co-created some of the most major characters of the Batman mythos. His best known work that is credited to him is his run on the 40’s Hawkman feature in Flash Comics.

Keiji Nakazawa (73, cancer): One of the few survivors to have actually been within Hiroshima during the World War II bombing, he went on to take this experience and become the creator of the highly popular and well known BAREFOOT GEN. Adapted into various live action and animes, his work delivered some of the strongest manga to make it stateside and a true legacy of the power of sequential storytelling in how it can capture life in all facets and add a new face unseen without comics.

Al Rio (49, suicide): The only work from Al Rio that I personally have gotten to enjoy was within the one shot comic associated with the video game Unbound Saga. He drew many other great books though and despite being considered a “good girl” artist, he has a linework style that should’ve procured him many more bigger gigs than he had. If he had been given a real run on something that I loved I would not have been upset about it. I probably would’ve ended up calling him one of my favorites, but unfortunately this was not be.

John Severin (90, natural causes): I first discovered the awesomeness of Serverin as a kid with CRACKED. Of course as I got older and “studied” comics I discovered his long history, especially his amazing work in Western comics. One of the best things I ever think he drew was one of the miniseries in the Desperadoes. It amazes me that his sister Marie is just as talented as he was. There’s actually no artist right now who can even come close to capturing John’s style. A true one of a kind artist whose legacy left behind are pages of shootouts, action, war and comedy that are so versatile in their expressionism, it makes you wish he drew every comic ever almost.

Tony de Zuñiga (79, results of stroke): Best known for co creating and drawing Jonah Hex in the 70’s, Tony is accredited with an even more important factor in the history of comics. Being a Filipino born artist and quite talented inspired the head honchos at DC to go to the Phillipines for a talent scout way back when. That search brought us talents like Nestor Redondo and Alex Nino, which in turn allowed folks like Whilce Portacio and others.

New York Comic Con 2012: Day 2

I had many panels laid out for myself to hit, but I also knew that I also had press sessions this day and Saturday, so anytime not in one of those would be the only time I would have to actually be on the show floor itself, so I took advantage of that and hit the floor hard.

This meant visiting The Block and checking out vinyl toys and one off exclusives I couldn’t even begin to think of buying, but I took my share of photos and had conversations. Got a sketch from Australia’s Sekure D which was pretty sweet. I really liked Ron English‘s big statues he made to have shown off at the show as well. What was really sweet was seeing some of the art from Spoke Art, especially the work from there Wes Anderson art show Bad Dads, where they had prints from both this last year and this year’s show.

The Block is next to where all the super expensive autographing of wrestlers, playboy bunnies and pornstars who aren’t actually guests of the con are located, so I got to see Brutus Beefcake, Tito Santana, and Greg Valentine whoring themselves across the aisle from the real Delorean and 1960’s Batmobile with a fake Marty McFly. Nearby was Shifty Look who had an old school arcade set up which was pretty cool. This was near the Podcast arena where I got to say hello to Keith R.A. DeCandido and next to him The Chronic Rift‘s John S. Drew who I haven’t met in person before but have talked to online. I also stopped in the Fandom Dating booth and got to talk to the site’s runner/owner. I had a feeling I wouldn’t make it to Sci-Fi Speed Dating during the show so at least being registered on that site might make something happen, although I’ve gotten two totally Spam or just “Really? Why would I respond to you?” things from it and the one person who caught my interest responded with such a blah response I didn’t follow up. The sites still in beta though and the NYCC was a big part of building the site, so we shall see.

My interview session with Red Bubble was rescheduled through txts while walking the floor so I made my way over to their booth. It was completely a thrill to learn more about the site and this is another one of my specific articles coming up with pictures and more, so I won’t say more now.

I had a little time to kill at this point and also bumped into a few friends on the floor just walking around, so I took advantage of this fact. I made my second purchase of the show around this time in THEY LIVE Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray. Shout Factory, the distributors had it available for $25 and almost a month before release to retail so I just grabbed it since it’s something I’d buy in stores eventually anyways. After this I made my way over to Artist’s Alley for my first of two trips as there was lots of aisles in Artist’s Alley in the very large North Pavilion. While there I got to at least say hello to my good friend Laura Lee Gulledge and become a member of the Molly Danger fan club, Jamal Igle’s awesome project he’s working on.

Somewhere in this time I also made it over to Scott C.’s table in Autographing to pick up his new book The Great Showdowns, which would be purchase three of four, for those counting along. I had worn my Double Fine Adventure shirt specifically hoping a few folks would notice, but mostly Scott. I asked him to draw rejected versions of the two protagonists from the still codenamed REDS in a showdown inside the book.

The most exciting time I had on the schedule for the day though was getting to sit with Mary Lynn Rajskub, Hank Harris and Jamie Clayton, the cast of the transmedia program on rides.tv from Fourth Wall, DIRTY WORK.  It was great to sit down with them and discuss working on the show, some behind the scenes and questions that haven’t really been covered, but mostly it was the meeting them that was most awesome and now having an excuse to promote the show even more than I was doing so before. I want more episodes and so does the cast, they really seemed to enjoy being part of this production.

After the press room I had a few hours to kill till I had to get my opportunity to interview Nick Kroll, so back to Artist’s Alley to try and finish it up knowing that I might not get back there Saturday or Sunday. I saw a couple of Cosplay’s that really caught my eye, most notably BATTLE POPE. I also made my final purchase, number four if you forgot from a few paragraphs above. It was the collected edition of ACE KILROY Volume One. When the collection first appeared on Kickstarter it really caught my notice, but at pledge rate it was going to run $40, a bit rich for my blood at the time. I am very happy and feel fortunate that the guy’s had a very successful Kickstarter (200% funded) and that the collection was at the table for $10. I snatched that right up! Can’t wait to sit down and read it.

Finally I headed back to the Press Room area which was located in the back of the Que Hall C used for letting folks into the building in the morning and the IGN theater after that. It’s what feels like a three block walk on paved concrete designed for cars and planes, not feet. That press ran a bit long, ending up at a table that was next to last in 15 minute roundtables. Yet I had lots of fun and got a great video which also features John C. Daly and executive producer John Levenstein.

It was more floor walking after till I decided to check out Scott C.’s Unbound stage talk where he went into further details behind the history of The Great Showdowns. The highlight of it all though was that during the Q & A Scott draw the questioners portraits. Yes, that means I have a quick sketch portrait of myself by Scott C. It’s a big large though, done on 11 X 17 paper.

I went over to the Titmouse panel after this and had gone to try and get some giveaways (I only wanted the coloring book actually), but as I was sitting there watching the sizzle reel I remembered that there was a Bravest Warriors/Superfuckers party down at Jim Hanley’s and so I rushed down there and while I was late, Nate, marketing director at Frederator had them reloop the Bravest Warriors episode, which ended up being the full version, which is not what was shown the next day at the panel. I also got some awesome buttons. If you aren’t subscribed to Cartoon Hangover, go do so now!  Also, at the Titmouse panel I did at least discover that this awesome music video directed by Mike Judge of Zac Brown Band animated by Titmouse existed.

Thus ended my second day at NYCC and boy was I exhausted!

New York Comic Con 2012 Preview: Non Panel Minor Overview, Perspective & Advice

This will be my final write up pre-con on NYCC, although if time and energy allows I’ll report on Wednesday’s ICV2 and the art events (which are NYCC related) I am planning to head to before offical NYCC day start. In this I’ll be giving as much infomration about exclusives, signings, and just intriguing booth events that I can gather, make sense of and of course are of interest to me. Why promote something that isn’t of interest to me? Seems silly right. At the end of this article I’ll be trying to do some perspective/retrospect going back to 2006. Some of that perspective might just roll into the article itself. We shall see what happens. Read, enjoy, take notes and get ready because Monday-Wednesday will go fast and before I know, you know it and the “world” knows it Thursday will hit, NYCC will open and even if things feel scary, wary, wild, dangerous, and you don’t feel ready, well as Ben Folds Five says “Do It Anyway”

MyPlasticHeart is one of the coolest little shops in all of NYC if you’re a popart and/or vinyl toy fan. They have a tons of excellent exclusives, colorways, and one of a kinds they’re bring to The Block, but equally they’ve been doing an awesome thing on their blog of keeping up with the exclusives and signings of other folks on The Block at NYCC. So go check that out and take notes.

Sure, Attack of the Show and Xplay aren’t the same since Kevin Pereira AND Adam Sessler have left, but Morgan Webb is still there and Blair Butler and Jessica Chobot. I guess Blair Herter is okay, but for me he will always have a Road Rules stigma. If he was on The Real World, the stigma is good, but he was on Road Rules… Anyways, G4 is going to have a presence at NYCC, with swag, stuff to buy, covering the con for people who have to be at home and even signings. Click the link for more info and once again, take notes. This is where information is going to get into the nitty gritty of “But that’s when this panel is, which is when this booth event is happening, oh no, damn it, compromise, compromise, ugh”

DK publishes cool books, here’s a link to a graphic detailing their booth events.

Time for some retrospection as I talk about professional wrestling & the NYCC. This year might be the biggest wrestling presence yet with quite an amount of folks appearing, but before I get into that, let’s look at previous years:

In 2006, KANE made an appearance:

In 2007, Mick Foley was there:

From at least my records, there was no presence in 2008, so we skip to 2009, where So Cal Val, Jackie Gayda, Christopher Daniels, James Storm, Jerry Lawler and Dawn Marie were in attendance.

In 2010, the only wrestler I personally encountered was Lawler. Last year (2011) Raven had a table and I met “Diamond” Dallas Page.


Well this year there’s a whole slew of wrestlers appearing.
Dolph Ziggler for Mattel.
Booker T. in promotion of his book From Prison To Promise.
And the following appearing from different representations:
Big Van Vader, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Tito Santana, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Angelina Love, Brutus Beefake, The Bella Twins, Robbie E., Kelly Kelly and much more.

On top of wrestlers though here’s an extra excitement, rock superstar/horror maestro Dee Snider will at the Metal Sucks & Vertebrae33 (Booth #776) on Friday from 4-6 pm …

Some of the best parts of walking the show floor at NYCC on top of video game displays, toy showoffs and previews are interesting interactions of the social viral/meme/weirdness kind.

Over at DC they’ll be a green screen photo-op where you can strike your most evil pose alongside Bane, The Joker, Lex Luthor and more and then get a special printed image of your cover to take home.

Square Enix might have the craziest thing in marketing for TOMB RAIDER. It’s called thed the Tomb Raider Archery Experience and here are details from the official press release.
Each participant will let three arrows fly at their own individual TOMB RAIDER themed shooting target which they can then take as a memory of the event. Those lucky archers who hit a bull-eye will receive a limited edition TOMB RAIDER lithograph. The Archery Experience is being supervised by the New Jersey School of Archery.
When: Thursday, October 11: 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Friday, October 12: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday, October 13: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM*
*first hour on Saturday reserved for TOMB RAIDER community and media guests
Sunday, October 14: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Where: North Pavilion Walkway NC 106, Javits Center

Madefire is one of the coolest digital platforms going right now. All free comics in a new digital design program from the mind of Liam Sharp. There are comics on the application from the likes of Dave Gibbons, Gary Erskine, Jimmy Broxton, Angus McKie, Robbie Morrison, Dpug Braithwaite, and more. It’s pretty awesome, but as much as I respect the new digital revolution I will only love print. Luckily Madefire is bringing some print exclusives to the con in the Madefire Sketchbook 2012 and the MONO novella: Prospero Rising, a 150 page prequel to the first Mono comic with Gary Gianni art!

One of the more exciting new booths at Comic Con will be Spoke Art. This awesome SF Art Gallery has had showed advertised in Juxtapoz that always make me wish I had a private plane. At the booth they’ll have their upcoming show, their annual tribute to Wes Anderson films. Plus prints and more, but I’m just excited about the idea of getting to finally visit Spoke Art by taking a subway instead of getting on a plane.

There are going to be lots of indie comics debuting at the show, but one of the ones which has made some leeway in marketing and promotion that caught my eye is Tara Normal. It looks really quality and as I’ve said above, digital is awesome, but I LOVE print.

Here’s just one Signings Schedule: This one is for First Second (booth #1241):

Friday:
2:00pm — MK Reed (Americus)
3:00pm — Zack Giallongo (Broxo)
4:00pm — JT Petty (Bloody Chester)
5:00pm — Ben Hatke (Legends of Zita the Spacegirl)

Saturday:
10:30am — Ben Hatke (Legends of Zita the Spacegirl)
11:30 – Faith Erin Hicks (Friends With Boys)
12:00pm — Carla Jablonski (Victory)
3:30pm — Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy)
4:30pm — Humayoun Ibrahim (The Moon Moth)
6:00pm — Zack Giallongo (Broxo)

Sunday:
11:30am — Mark Siegel (Sailor Twain)
12:30pm — Jorge Aguirre (Giants Beware)
1:30pm — Mike Cavallaro (Foiled)
2:30pm — Zack Giallongo (Broxo)
3:30pm — Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy)

If you look around the net you can find schedules for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and more. Take notes, notes, notes, also notes.

I am starting to feel like I could be bombarding people with too much information here. It’s a good place to end this with some perspective.

I decided to read my recaps from 2006-2011 of my expereinces at NYCC. Each year was different, each year was exciting. Each year was also exhausting and worth it. Yet each year it also felt like the first time. Everything I knew went out the window except basics.

Water, comfortable shoes, be note prepared, be ready and willing to drop or change your schedule be it changes in the con or sudden life situations. One year, my dad was in the hospital during con, another year my mom ended up in the hospital. Both suddenly making me changes my entire schedule and plans

My final advice to is simple, HAVE FUN!

New York Comic Con 2012 Preview: Saturday Panels Part II

Here we go again on a trip into the craziness of New York Comic Con with the second part of Saturday panels.  A little less overlap here, but once again as stated before these articles are discounting autographing sessions, booth events and the such.  Enjoy!

 

 

Carrie and the Evil Dead
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
IGN Theater
This is 3:45 Ign Theater event, which means line up at 3 PM event doesn’t make things any easier. While I am not truly sold on remakes of either of these films, the Carrie one has a LOT going for it. Sure the Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore casting is exciting, but the fact that this isn’t a remake, but a revisionism of the original story from Brilliant playwright/comics writer/GLEE guy Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and writer/director Kymberly Pierce (adds some real oomph that that makes me excited for it. A bit more than Evil Dead which while spearheaded and produced by Raimi, Tapert and Campbell has unproven director and supposedly a treatment on it from Diablo Cody who proved with Jennifer’s Body that has no handle on horror writing. Still these are also the official unveiling for both these films. The first time any footage will be seen so, a great coup for New York Comic Con in pushing it’s hand at being as big as SDCC.

Garth Ennis: Top Secret New Project Revealed!
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1A06
Garth actually has books scheduled past the end of The Boys, including Stitched from Avatar, The Shadow from Dynamite and Fury from Marvel. This must be some completely new major announcement of what he plans to try and tackle with The Boys done. There’s very little left from him to accomplish as a writer in comics, unless maybe he’s going to tackle kid’s comics! Oh wait, NO!, He did ERF! too…what is left for Garth?!

Kickstarter and Indie Comics!
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1A08
The panel description only mentions Benign Kingdom as the discussion partners for this talk, but I really hope they tackle things such as Fairy Quest, Womanthology, Sullivan’s Sluggers, Molly Danger and other successful Kickstarter comics projects that may’ve not happened as well as they are without the website. There’s a lot to tackle there, but I hope they do it all.

Marvel Television Presents
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
1E13
This is where Jeph Loeb tries his damnedest to sell the new Avengers toon to us and why it’ll be bigger and better than the last one that was completely perfect and deserved a third season. They also premiere the new Hulk cartoon and maybe another cartoon too. Maybe this will be where they discuss S.H.I.E.L.D a bit more. I still wish Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest was on the air. Spectacular Spider-Man as well. I like Ultimate Spider-Man even, but they tied it into Avengers: Earth’s Migtiest… so I lost and confused. Marvel man.

ADULT SWIM: Childrens Hospital/NTSF:SD:SUV::
4:30 pm – 5:15 pm
1A10
These two Adult Swim live action shows are obscenely different, but both accomplish the same thing, combining really funny comic actors with very famous dramatic actors to perfectly parody some of the tropes of television. Children’s Hospital tackles all those medical dramas, while NTSFohfuckit tackles all the crime procedurals. NTSF has the special exception of having folks like Kate Mulgrew and Rebecca Roijn in them, both folks you wouldn’t be shocked to see cast in a real crime drama show. Although Children’s Hospital does have Ken Marino who while a member of The State is also a very warranted dramatic actor and Malin Ackerman. What am I rambling on about? I’m just saying I like these shows and I’d be curious to see with their further success what a panel would bring.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Panel Event
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
IGN Theater
This will be a MAD house. Going into season 3 now which is just the night after this people are going to line up for this even more than um… whatever the thing I said people would line up for before. Ignore what I said… this is where the line will be like a parade of walking dead in Atlanta. The new showrunner Glen Mazzara, Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, and most of the cast including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey and Michael Rooker are going to be there and fans are so rabid that they’ll even be excited that they’ll see footage from the episode airing the night after!

Comics Quickfire!
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm
Variant Stage
At last years Brooklyn Book Festival I covered a Comics Quickfire that featured Laura Lee Gulledge, Dave Roman and Raina Tegelemeier. They did one at the Book Fest this year too, but I missed it, but the one they’re doing at the con has Laura, with Dave as host and the following artists are joining in: Ryan Sias, Mark Siegel and John Green. These things can be really fun filled and create awesome drawings.

Hip-Hop and Comics: Cultures Combining
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm
1A06
There’s only two people on this panel who I feel have merged hip-hop and comics, those being Eric Orr, the highly valued graffiti artist Robothead who has bridged grafiti with being a fine artist as well as a comic strip creator and Adam Wallenta, the writer/artist behind the official Public Enemy comic and an MC himself. The panel does feature some awesome people on top of this though in the hip-hop legends DMC and Pete Rock. The only “things” missing are Percy Carey and MC Chris.

 

 

Developers from IO Interactive demo HITMAN
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
1A10
I’ve seen tons of Hitman footage online, but seeing it on panel with developers discussing it with a Q&A is always a bonus. There are so few games for me to play ever, but things like Hitman, AC3, Epic Mickey, Last of Us, Remember Me… makes it easier.

Costume Contest
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Variant Stage
I always consider going to this… but at the same time, the entire show is a costume contest, just in here, they can win a prize and be on a runway. For cosplayers and cosplay lovers it’s perfect though.

Ladies of Womanthology
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
1A07
Womanthology is an awesome project which features lots of amazing talent and was a very successful Kickstarter project, and equally successful when published by IDW, so much so it’s becoming an ongoing concept. There’s an assortment of ladies talking on this such as Jill Pantozzi, but notable for me is my internet friend Ashlee Lentini.

FIRST COMICS Relaunch and 30th Anniversary Party!
Saturday, October 13, 2012
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
1A01
Last year First was in a hidden corner promoting some of the upcoming books and the resurgence of the company, including doing a new BADGER and new stuff from Fillbach Bros. The thing is that they aren’t doing regular distribution so unless you go to a comics shop that picks them up you arent getting these books. Hopefully they’ll have them available at the convention. I mostly want to see this new Badger book from Baron and Fillbach. I’ll totally buy that. I don’t want to hear about it anymore… I want to have it in my hands.

Capcom Presents: Remember Me
6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
1A21
After watching videos of Remember Me from the internet I am super excited for this panel. I want to know, see and hear as much as I can about it as possible. It combines everything I like in gaming and from what I can tell has none of what I don’t tend to enjoy.

You Can’t Do That On Television
7:45 pm – 8:45 pm
1A01
I want to go to this late night panel simply to hear/see Fred Seibert show off and talk about Superf*ckers and Bravest Warriors from Cartoon Hangover. The stuff on Mondo is awesome too… but I’m all about Cartoon Hangover.

There’s Saturday night parties as well and Sunday has tons of events. I’m hoping things come through and I’m taking my nieces with me on Sunday, meaning any plans I had for panels go up in the air, but I don’t know what’s up yet.

New York Comic Con 2012 Preview: Saturday Panels Part I

My preview of NYCC continues with a look at Saturday panels going from 10:30 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon.  There is a lot of overlap here.  I’ll be making compromises, you’ll be making compromises.  A lot of these compromises for me come from Press offerings and stuff happening on the show floor as well as autographing.  Focusing solely on panels in these previews already make the show look huge, imagine if I talked about the show floor and the autographs and the giveaways?  I will be doing that though, it’ll be getting its own post and then if you already have a ticket you might go “Oh my god, that’s too much craziness and stay home… or you’ll show up and have a nervous breakdown or you’ll have an amazing time.  Just do me a favor?  Shower.  That’s it.  Smell good.

 

Haven
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
IGN Theater
Going into its third season, Haven is one of those SyFy shows that allows SyFy to not be a channel full of bad direct to cable movies and a Friday night wrestling program considered of secondary importance by the company that runs it. It’s not the only show that is quality, SyFy also has Warehouse 13 and Lost Girl. Spekaing of Lost Girl though, guess what’s on a panel directly during the Haven panel? That’s right, LOST GIRL. Based on the Entertainment guests page, Emily Rose and Eric Balfour will be in attendance.

Lost Girl
10:45-11:25 am
1A10
Ksenia Solo, Zoie Palmer and Rick Howland are all scheduled to appear for the Lost Girl panel. The panel and promotions are in conjunction with Funamation who are releasing the U.S. edition of Season One to DVD which is probably why the show which was actually a SyFy pickup and not a SyFy original is in direct “competition” time with Haven. Haven is in the IGN theater so, probably way more crowded.

Marvel Video Games
11:15 am – 12:15 pm
1E13
At this point the only Marvel game I’m interested in is Deadpool. If they have that on the floor and I can see it Thursday night or Friday I might not make this panel. Although they could have some surprise announcement or giveaway. That’s a chance at ANY panel though, special give aways. This is going to fall into scheduling, what else is happening, etc. I do relaly care about Deadpool.

Once More With Feeling: 15 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
11:15 am – 12:15 pm
1A21
Scott Allie is hosting this and it will probably MOSTLY discuss the Buffy comic, but I am guessing Nicholas Brendon and Amber Benson will come into tell some stories as well on the anniversary of it all. Maybe Seth Green might sneak up in there too. Those chances are pretty worth it to sit down on this and take the chance, or just to reminisce on Buffy. Whatever.

Violet and Daisy
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
1A10
This film has been on the film festival circuit for so long I thought it’d never get an official release. Actually I think it’s only been shown at Toronto International Film Festival in terms of North America, while getting showings in China, and Germany at special Fanfests. Director/screenwriter will be at the panel as well, and this is Saorsie’s main film since 2011’s Hanna other than the Neil Jordan vampire flick and before her seriously huge film, in the adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s The Host. Of the three films, Violet and Daisy is the most intriguing to me.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2!
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
IGN Theater
I have yet to actually see the first part of the newest DC Animation adaptation, again from Bruce Timm of the Frank Miller “classic”. I put classic in quotations, because I’ve never been a big fan of the comic. An animated adaptation is cool and all and this panel itself is going to be fan service galore for hardcore Batman fans. I’m expecting the line down the block and by that I mean up the stairwells, and outside the actual Jacob Javits arena. Longer than lines for Robot Chicken and Venture Bros. combined. Longer than lines for um… Dark Knight Rises midnight showings. That long, long enough for the Joker to show up. The real Joker… Frank Miller. I know Kevin Conroy is going to be there. Is here for this? I don’t know… I bet he is.

Mad about MAD
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
1A23
I always want to go to one of these MAD panels to see if the Regular Gang of Idiots are as funny, less funny or more funny in panel/person than in the pages of their magazine. This year the panel has John Ficarra, Sam Viviano, Al Jaffe, Peter Kuper and Drew Friedman. Jaffe and Friedman are big pulls right now.

Bill Paxton and John McLaughlin’s “Seven Holes For Air” Introduction
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1E13
Seven Holes for Air was being mentioned as a vehicle that Paxton would direct starring Mickey Rourke, but that fell through and Paxton took an acting role. While that happened he helped turn the script into a graphic novel with art by Mick Reinman. I’m guessing this the official unveiling of the comic book and then the start of building fan interest to finally make the movie happen. He co-wrote with John McLaughlin, and I think it’s the one who wrote the upcoming Hitchcock and also Parker. Unless it’s the host of the political TV show or the famous rock musician. No, I bet it’s the Parker guy. In an interview Paxton stated he’d be trying to sell the property to Legendary. I don’t know if that already happened and that’s why the panel is happening, because Legendary Comics is publishing the comic and then going into production or not, but speculation is fun.

The Bay
2:15 pm – 2:45 pm
IGN Theater
Yes, Barry Levinson has made some of the greatest films of all time. Diner, Rain Man, Wag the Dog, TOYS (I love TOYS), and I even had the pleasure of working with the man myself on the set of Sleepers. Still, this is a found footage film and was produced by Jason Blum, the man behind such films as Paranormal Actvity 1-3 and the recent found footage horror film Sinister. The trailer also did not instill a lot of faith in me. Yet I am optimistic about The Bay because it’s Barry Levinson…

JUDGE DREDD, 2000 AD, IDW
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
1A07
This is one of those kind of panels where the description actually explains what is compelling and worthwhile of the whole deal:
With the Dredd 3D movie in cinemas from September 21, 2012, the new Dredd monthly comic launching from IDW in November 2012 and 2000 AD continuing to release new and classic
material, along with celebrating 35 years of publishing and celebrating many other high-flying series, such as the climax of the Nikolai Dante saga, this panel must not be missed – with top talent such as Duane Swierczynski (IDW’s Judge Dredd), Andy Diggle (The Losers, Lenny Zero), Simon Fraser (Nikolai Dante), Ian Edginton (Leviathan, The New Deadwardians) and Al Ewing (Jennifer Blood, Zaucer of Zilk)!

King of the Nerds on TBS: Sneak Peek and Panel
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
1A23
Turns out I was too old to even try out for this show had I heard about it. There’s something about the concept of this show that makes me think it’ll be Beauty & The Geek without the Beauty and with a much cooler host than Mike Richards in the way cooler than their Revenge of the Nerds characters, Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong. I am actually curious about the program and what kind of panel they’ll put together here.

From FIGHT CLUB To HELL and BACK

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Unbound Stage
This event is set up for Chuck Palahniuk to discuss his novel DAMNED and I assume also Invisible Monsters Remixed. Mostly DAMNED though as Random House will be giving away 350 free copies. 200 in a ticketed autograph event and 150 at this panel. I gave DAMNED a very critical review, but I still enjoyed it and look forward to any opportunity to listen to Chuck talk so I might have to skip King of the Nerds for this… but then there’s the next panel!

Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini Discuss HOUSE OF SECRETS
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
1A21
As a writer Crhis Columbus gave us The Goonies, Gremlins and Young Sherlock Holmes. Ned Vizzini has written three excellently and weird novels which really capture a teenage voice. These two coming together to present a new teenage supernatural concept in a YA book is an awesome idea and one I wholeheartedly like and support. These 3 PM panels being up against each other is near torture for someone of my ilk. I’ve said in my intros about compromises, this is it in a true nutshell.

To be continued in Part II…

New York Comic Con 2012 Preview: Friday Panels Part II

Here it is Part 2 of my look at panels which catch my eye for this years’ New York Comic Con.  Once again as stated in prior articles, this is not MY schedule.  There’s too many panels, too many signings, too many booth events and then throw on top of that that I have Press hours and events and scheduled meetings and such, this is just a guideline and a way for me to promote things you shouldn’t miss at the convention if you’re there.  You also can’t do everything, so once again, a guide.  Go to what interests you most and realize you must compromise.  Sometimes compromising three things for one.

Food & Comics
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1A23
I desperately wished I had $575 for the sitdown dinner prepared by Iron Chef and owner of The Lamb’s Club, Geoffrey Zarkanian in which I’d be sitting with fellow fans and hopefully foodies in discussion with Joe Quesada, Jonathan Hickman and C.B. Cebulski, in which I would assume the conversation doesn’t have to to be about Marvel. I can’t do that dinner so maybe I’ll attend this panel which won’t have food to eat (I’m guessing) but will at least discuss food. I’m surprised J.T. Yost who kickstarted an anthology about Food & Comics called Digestate isn’t involved, but C.B. does actually have an excellent food blog.

Husbands
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1A14
Last year at NYCC I got a triple kiss photo with Brad Bell and Sean Hemeon because I absolutely loved season 1 of Husbands and found it just fabulous.

Season 2 has been even more excellent, adding amazing guest stars and longer episodes. I hope to make this panel, but if I don’t I am going out of my way to make it to one of the Husbands signings. Btw if you aren’t watching HUSBANDS, you should throw out your computer.

Crime Scenes, Horror Anthologies, and Steampunk Dracula: Genres leaping to Transmedia
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: 1E07
Fourth Wall Studios awesome and amazing concept RIDES is brand new to me, but has quickly become my favorite idea/concept yet. The best show in their line-up so far is the Emmy Award winning TV sitcom length DIRTY WORK about a team whose job it is to clean up after murder scenes. They’re an interesting trio portrayed by one of the funniest women ever Mary Lynn Rajskub, former child actor Hank Harris and the beautiful Jamie Clayton whom if this role didn’t make it part of her character I would’ve completely forgotten her transgender status. Fourth Wall has some other awesome stuff including a cartoon, short horror films and even a very interactive fun piece featuring the voices of Greg Proops and Ron Lynch over some real drama written by Fourth Wall co-founder, Canadian sci-fi writer and former member of 42 Entertainment, Sean Stewart. This panel will focus a lot on Dirty Work but also on the rest of RIDES and what will be coming up.

Open Road Films Presents: SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
IGN Theater
Since this is an IGN Theater event and up against a ton of other stuff there’s a high chance I’ll miss this panel, BUT I still want to state my excitement that this film exists and is coming out. Gans and Avary’s film was excellent and while I doubt Michael J Bassett’s sequel to that first film will be what Avary planned it will be combining elements from that first film with Silent Hill 3, the game. Grr… NYCC scheduling!

Legendary Comics
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm
1E07
Legendary is new to the comics arena. So far they’ve only actually published Frank Miller’s The Holy Terror and The Tower Chronicles created by Matt Wagner and Thomas Hull with art by Simon Bisley. This panel hosted by The Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick will feature Guillermo Del Toro who I bet will announce a comics adaptation of The Strain, as well some of folks on the Legendary banner, hopefully more of the Mark Waid book forthcoming.

The Venture Bros
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm
IGN Theater
Last year the Venture Bros. panel they had no new footage and basically acted like goofs for an hour. It was ridiculous. Funny, but ridiculous. A fan actually asked if Brock Samson could come to his birthday party. Not Patrick Warburton, the VOICE of Brock Samson, but Brock Samson himself. Like I said… ridiculous. This year they’re going to have footage of the upcoming Halloween special, so I expect a madhouse line down the block into that damn garage they used to bring in cars. I’d love to see some early footage, and if you’re a Venture Bros. fan… go to this, but be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time waiting.

Robot Chicken
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
IGN Theater
The same can be said for this. They might bring a special guest again this year even.I think it was last year that Macauley Culkin was on panel and the season hadn’t even started yet, so they had a lot of footage to show off. This year they have the DC special behind them and I think four episodes of the new season. Maybe they’ll announce a Bluray with the rest of the season on it coming out the week after Comic Con. I mean they did it with the LAST season!

There’s some alternative panels/programming to check out during the Adult Swim IGN insanity if you don’t want to wait.

Anne Rice Spotlight
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
1A10
Up until Merrick I loved Anne Rice. I just felt at that point I’d spent enough time with the Vampire Chronicle characters. I also enjoyed the Mayfair Witches and her books outside of the series, but since 2000 I haven’t really read her work. Especially when she started writing about Jesus Christ and then about a former government assassin involves in Christian concepts. Then in 2010 she renounced Church. She stayed a Christ follower, which I still go “Really?”, but I don’t hold it against her. Unfortunately her first book after that was a Werewolf take, which is not what she needs to do. I am hoping she’s here to announce her Zombie take or a return to Lestat. I want her to announce an embracing of everything she’s done. Maybe returning to erotica and sadism just to show people what Fifty Shades of Grey could be. Although she tackled that perfectly in the 80’s. No, I want to hear her announce something completely new. An original intellectual property all her own.

Hachette Author Spotlight
6:00 pm – 6:45 pm
Unbound Stage
Okay time for speculation!
Lemony Snicket for All The Wrong Questions
James Patterson for ZOO and Daniel X
Joe Hill for NOS4R2

Seriously Hachette encompasses a bunch of divisions and authors. This could be anyone! Well, except for Anne Rice whose with Random House.

Comedy Central
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
1E07
The Comedy Central panel is usually super crowded and instead of doing each show as separate things, they’re just doing three hours showing everything they have new and old. Which means Dinkleberry, Key & Peele, Tosh.O, Mash Up, South Park. Oh and the night after this there’s the fourth annual Autism fundraiser. So yeah, if you can’t get into Venture Bros./Robot Chicken and want a panel and want it to be adult humor TV based, this is the place to be. Or you can also try the next panel!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
1E13
The new Nickelodeon cartoon just debuted on Saturday and it combines the nostalgia and antics of the 80’s toon with the style of the 2000’s CGI film. I haven’t been completely sold on this show, but it’s TMNT and it has a chance of success and I’m sure this panel will have fan service.

TRON: Uprising
6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
1A10
As will this because it’s much less a panel and more a screening without commercials of an airing after the con two part important episode. I’m guessing together the two episodes are 44 minutes long, allowing for an intro and a 5 minute Q& A. The show doesn’t actually start airing again till October 19 so this is a 1 week preview.

Scott C and The Great Showdowns, from Ripley vs the Alien Queen to Han vs the Green Fellow!
7:00 pm – 7:45 pm
Unbound Stage
Of all things with things scheduled at the same time and all the other things on my schedule, I’ll probably be going to this for sure. I really wanted to go to The Great Showdowns art opening/book debut in California that was last week, but I couldn’t… so this is the next best thing. I love Scott Campbell’s art and even though he told on Twitter that Double Fine isn’t sending him in for DFA, that doesn’t mean he’s telling the truth! DF have to know there’s fans in NYC who couldn’t come to PAX, I mean, yes, Scott’s book is important, and the game is really Bagel’s… but Scott did all the concepts on the girl in the game!

THE SCRIBBLER Movie!
7:45 pm – 8:45 pm
1A23
I don’t really know John Suits movies, but this is based on Dan Schaffer’s comic and is starring Katie Cassidy and Michele Trachtenberg so if anything I am definitely intrigued.

Titmouse
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
1A10
Titmouse animates everything man. From Superjail to Black Dynamite to Motorcity to Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja. They’re a seriously awesome animation house. Next to Augenblick Studios, possibly one of my favorites. This panel which will have most of the staff on it is a big example of overlapping schedules being the death of me. This is going to all rely more on where I am mentally, where rooms are physically and all that.

Kaiju Big Battel
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Variant Stage
Dude holy shit! Live Kaiju Press Conference. This may be one of the best photo opportunities of insanity the whole show. I am not even going to try and explain Kaiju.

Kirk Hammett, Lead Guitarist for Metallica, Talks to Kevin Clement about His Passion for Collecting Monster Movie Memorabilia
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm
1A23
Of course Kaiju would be at the same time that a Master of Metal would be talking about his Monster Movie Memorabilia book, Too Much Horror Business. Yes, let us schedule a panel about monsters fighting each other to loud, brash heavy metal music against one of metal’s GODS talking about monsters fighting each other.

I love you New York Comic Con, but your coordination director totally did not take fans/genres, etc. into consideration or maybe he did and they’re trying to split them up. They know the same people who go to Kaiju will want to be at this and in an effort at crowd control, force them to choose!

Genius New York Comic Con… I take it all back. I just wish I could be two people. That’s my fault though, not yours.

I’ll be back with Saturday, Part I and II later today or tomorrow!

New York Comic Con 2012 Preview: Friday Panels Part I

Here in my second Preview article for NYCC 2012 I focus on the panels for Friday morning to early afternoon.  This is ONLY about the scheduled panels, not press hours, signings, booth events, etc.  These do not reflect my own possible schedule, especially with the overlap existing here.  It is is meant to help promote panels which I think are worth going to and if I could I would go to all of them, and do everything else too.  Understand Con is again all about making decisions and sacrificing and compromising to get the best possible experience due to circumstance and situation and if you’re anything like me, that gets harder… so here we go.

Setting the Score: Composing for Film & Television
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
1A01
One of two panels focusing on the music and composition of genre orchestral/instrumentals. This one focuses on Television and film with the following talented musicians:
Dino Meneghin (MTV’s Teen Wolf)
Frederik Wiedmann
Jay Vincent
Kevin Manthei
and Will Bates

Adam West and Burt Ward Spotlight
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
1A23

When I was much much younger I entered a costume contest with a seriously ridiculous prize at a convention held in New Yorker Hotel. That place where the Big Apple Cons take place now and stuff. I was 14 years old and Batman Returns had just come out. I had heard that Adam West was going to be the judge and I came up with the idea of working up a Batman TV show costume. I used a Mask from the Batman films, but cut the mask up and stitched the bat emblem on it onto a gray sweater and I put together a cape and a batbelt even. I even built my own old school batarang. I won. I don’t know where I placed, but about 65% of my comics collection as it exists. Anyways, here’s a photo from that.

How to Get a Job in the Video Game Industry with Capcom
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
1A14
This sounds like it might a really indepth panel with focuses all ALL elements of the industry. Not just the jobs that require a background in computer science, programming skills or artistic talent, but the jobs I’m qualified for but don’t completely now how to pursue such as Public Relations, Advertising, and Producing and there’s a chance after to meet with the panel and network. This will be a great opportunity for young programmers, concept artists, etc as well to do the same.

Maestros of Horror & Sci-Fi Music
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
1A01
The second of two panels focusing on the music and composition of genre orchestral/instrumentals. This focusing on developing for video games in genre. It features the following talented award winning music writers:
Jason Graves
Kevin Riepl
Sam Hulick
Sascha Dikiciyan
Tom Salta
and
Cris Velasco
On top of that though, the disco king, electronic genius, master producer and living legend, Nile Rodgers, shall be in attendance, having done the lead production on Halo’s soundtracks.

Christopher Lloyd Q&A
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1A10
“What are you supposed to when you are are asked a weird question at a panel?”
“Slow down”
“What…are… you… supposed… to…do… when… you… are… asked…

You get the point. Honestly I’m not sure what brings Christopher to NYCC. I mean he will always be Doc Brown, between 2011’s NIKE Mag promotion and the Telltale Game’s BTTF, the character is alive and well, but that isn’t enough is it? I mean maybe it is, but he does a horror film coming upand a children’s supernatual adventure called Mickey Matson so he has plenty to promote, but it doesn’t seem like he’s promoting anything specific… still, it’s Christopher Lloyd, I’m not complaining.

Debuting the Vision Machine iPad app!
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1A21
Greg Pak’s Vision Machine is one of the coolest and best projects I’ve seen in forever. Drawn by RB Silva of DC Comic’s Jimmy Olsen and also The New 52 Superboy it’s a free comic that is excellent and NOW it’s an iPad motion/animated comic. Vocal actor Phil Lamarr is part of it and the comedy music genius Jonathan Coulton is as well and if you’ve missed your opportunity at a free copy of the Vision Machine GN, this is is another opportunity.

Sir Terry Pratchett introduces…DODGER
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Unbound Stage
This probably will be one of the final times Pratchett will ever appear in public. It’s even possible that this Charles Dicken’s inspired Young Adult novel will be his last book. I am a huge Discworld fan, but have also loved Good Omens and his Johnny Maxell series.

As you can see the three above panels is where overlapping becomes a real issue. All three panels excite me for different reasons and I don’t know what to do… but for some fans, it’s the next overlapping that is truly insane!

Dark Horse Presents: Yoshitaka Amano
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
1A21
The genius behind the artistic design of Final Fantasy who has also done his share of comics work and other films is in America, a real rare treat in promotion of his Dark Horse published art collection and his panel is booked against the following.

Grant Morrison Spotlight
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
1E13
One of comics favorite writers, the man behind The Invisibles, Flex Mentallo, All Star Superman, Batman Incorporated, etc. etc. etc. and who just had his own comics convention has a one hour sitdown retrospective. I’m shocked this isn’t in the IGN theater!

Sean Astin Q&A
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
1A10
Sean Astin is at NYCC because his role in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, but a recent episode of SyFy’s Treasure Hunters showed that Sean has a great affinity and love for all things Sean Astin, from Goonies to Rudy to Lord of The Rings, the guy is as big a “geek” as his LOTR co-star Elijah Wood, so a sitdown talk with him should be quite entertaining.

To be continued in Part II with 4 PM – 9 PM!

New York Comic Con 2012 Preview: Thursday Panels

 

The 2012 New York Comic Con is about 2 weeks away and while tickets are sold out, that doesn’t mean people going are clear cut on what to do or what they should attend. The panel listing are a maze to explore. Finding out what’s cool and worthwhile. Figuring out what’s a miss event, exclusive, giveaway or signing on the floor is even harder. As a proud press member for the last four years of the convention (year 1 and 2 I went as a consumer, years 3 and 4 I was with an exhibitor, different one, while 5 and 6 and now 7 I’ve been as a journalist but no booth) I feel it is partially my job to not only cover the conevntion but promote specific things that excite me in my own language that explains it and might sell it even more than it’s press releases or write ups.

This is the first of these. I’ll be breaking things down into Panels and since Friday & Saturday are super long days breaking them into Part 1 & 2 for reading ease. Here we go with the special Thursday night Preview though, open to Press, Pros, Ultimate Access, Special Access, and 4 Day Ticket Holders. (All those sold out so there’s actually A LOT of them).

THURSDAY
Comics Studies Conference: The Origins of Leaping Tall Buildings: Finding New Ways to Document the Creators Behind the Comics
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1A07
One of the smartest comics scholars I know, Hannah Means-Shannon, college professor and contributor to Sequart, The Beat, Trip City and other places will be moderating this discussion with writer/journalist Christopher Irving, photographer/journalist Seth Kushner and designer Eric Skillman to discuss the history and making of their comics profiles book, Leaping Tall Buildings, in probably one of the more in depth, intellectual conversations of the show. Especially since it’s on the “education” tract in the Thursday sessions during Preview Night. It should be compelling and exciting AND there’s a flyer!

Justice Is Served
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
1A14
Amber Benson and Thomas Sniegoski are both on this panel about novelists who write books which are essentially crime novels with some kind of supernatural twist. I’ve read a lot more of Tom than Amber and I kind of just like looking at Amber. Can you blame me? Look at her. But I have read her books and she’s a really good writer.

My Little Pony
6:15 pm – 7:15 pm
1A06
I’m not a Brony, but I do like Friendship is Magic. Hasbro’s toy line is part of this as well. I wish I knew who the guests/speakers were and a bit more about what this was about, but the fact that exists piques my interest.

The Image Revolution Documentary
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
1A04
Sequart were able to successfully fund this much larger project than their more singular focused productions through Kickstarter. I’ve been following its progress and I’m interested in seeing where they are at in production. I know they just finished new interviews, so it’s becoming a great documentary hopefully. Curious to see what special Image guest they have show up as well. Could be anyone from While to Larsen to even Jim Lee (doubtful).

NYCC Kick-Off Concert with Ben Folds Five
Thursday, October 11, 2012
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
IGN Theater
I am all about this concert. You have no freaking clue how much I am into this concert. I don’t even want to get into it. It’s an entire article. I just hope they find a way to have the Fraggles on stage or draw some dicks on the wall. That is if they do just the new album. I wouldn’t mind hearing “Magic” or “Where’s Summer B.?”… Seriously though, if Chris Hardwick and Rob Corrdry aren’t on stage for a performance of “Do It Anyway” since it IS New York Comic Con I might actually call fail!