We’re incredibly pleased to announce our coverage and presence at Reed-Pop’s Special Edition: NYC! Taking place on July 14th and 15th, this purely comic con promises, “an intimate event that is focused solely on the art, creation and culture of comic books.” The convention will feature several well known comic artists and writers as well as vendors and panels with whom we can celebrate comic culture with hopefully less crowds and lines.
This con is especially exciting given that every year we see our conventions taken over more and more by a film and tv presence. Attendees can get an autograph from their favorite Walking Dead star while picking up that back issue they’ve been searching for, so it’s not intrinsically a bad thing. I certainly didn’t complain about getting first looks at the next Arkham game. But somehow, it feels a little like we’ve been taken in with the glitz and glam of a Hollywood appearance at our comic conventions, and we’ve lost some of the point and more of the ownership.
It will be really interesting to see how this con unfolds as well as the fans it will attract. Many save up all year to travel hundreds of miles to attend NYCC in October( also hosted by Reed-Pop), so hopefully enough fans will be able to support the running of two conventions.
So, if you’re into comics and can get your butt to NYC in July, make sure you get tickets to the Jacob Javits Center North so we can talk, live and love comics!
Supergiant Games’ sci-fi action/strategy game Transistor has arrived! Is it a Badass Jammin’ Title (BJT) or a Monster Of Supreme Fugliness Exemplifying Terribadness (MOSFET). I’m an EE and this has been jokes about transistors, thank you everyone goodnight.
This weekend, thousands of fellow X-Men fans went to check out Fox’s latest installment to their franchise, Days of Future Past. As I sat, I couldn’t help giggling to myself as I thought about what must have been going through Kitty Pryde’s mind during the entire flick, as this was originally a story centered around her. Please note, there are spoilers below, and as always, I enjoy hearing what you guys have to say.
Dallas Comic Con finally moves to it’s namesake!
More than 50,000 fans came in droves this weekend to Dallas Comic Con, which has outgrown its previous dwelling in Irving, Texas and has a new home in the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center, located in the heart of downtown Dallas. The new venue totes close to a million square feet of space, as opposed to the quarter of that in the Irving Convention Center at 275,000 square feet. In addition to the new location, Dallas Comic Con expanded their usual time slot to encompass the entire weekend, making the now 3-day event on par with its big city convention competition.
Dallas Comic Con boasted an array of guests for their fanbase, such as Alice Cooper, Robert Englund of Nightmare on Elm Street fame, a slew of Star Trek: TNG cast members including William Shatner (Sunday only) and Levar Burton, and was thisclose to bringing together an entire Firefly cast reunion. Oh, did I mention the man of the hour himself, Stan “The Man” Lee? I didn’t think I needed to.
Like other big city conventions that are quickly making a name for themselves, Dallas Comic Con is injecting a little bit of pop culture into their line up this year. Texas native FUNimation brought not only a large booth but an entire star studded line up, including Mike McFarland, ADR director and voice of Jean in current cult phenomenon Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin), the ever gorgeous Monica Rial (DragonBall Z Kai), and, in my favorite sight of the day, Sean Schemmel doing the Fusion Dance with fans during photo ops.
With cosplay guests quickly becoming the new staple at conventions, Dallas did not disappoint. Local cosplayers The Taffeta Darling and Chaka Cumberbatch of Fangirls: Dames of the Round Table, Texas’ first and currently only all-female ran and produced round table of fandom, were on hand, holding informative panels, judging the Cosplay Masquerade, and opening the epic Saturday night party, which yours truly was super bummed to miss out on. Insert sadface here.
Cosplayers lined up in full regalia at different intervals on each of the three days to participate in Dallas Comic-Con’s “Cosplay Red Carpet.” Initially brought in as a way to keep the small lanes at Irving Convention Center free from the traffic jam of snapping photos, the backdrop serves as an out of the way area for attendees to get photos and a general meeting place. The one criticism on everyone’s minds seemed to be the location of the Red Carpet, as setup seems genuinely fond of throwing the banner up in front of windows which isn’t exactly the best place for a photo op. At the Cosplay Masquerade held Saturday evening (hosted by sworn frenemies Devin Pike and Ben Ambroso), everyone brought their A-game, but none moreso than cosplayer Christina Revis, who won Best in Show for her beautifully detailed Katniss Everdeen’s Mockingjay dress from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Dallas Comic Con attendees were hyped to the point of tears for a full Firefly cast reunion, though were sadly disappointed when Morena Baccarin (Inara Serra) and Alan Tudyk (Wash) both cancelled. The Firefly panel opened with a video from Joss Whedon himself addressing the cast and attendees alike with a jovial, “To everyone there, I hate you.” and Alan Tudyk spent a little Facetime with the audience from Nathan Fillion’s phone.
In my favorite moment from Nathan Fillion’s Q&A panel, the dashing Castle star recounted his pitch of an episode of Castle as a response to the audience question, “Would there be something from Firefly that you would like to see in Castle?”
“Excellent question. What was the question? Would there be something from Firefly that you would like to see in Castle. I pitched an episode of Castle where there was a murder on the cast of a sci-fi TV show of the guy who played the captain. And I wanted the cast of Firefly to play the cast of the sci-fi show. But they all hated him, and they all had a reason to want him dead. One of the reasons being his immense popularity. And his tremendous good looks. And incredible talent. And lovely singing voice. And sense of fashion.” – Nathan Fillion, Dallas Comic Con Q&A panel
I would certainly watch that episode, and no doubt the rest of the audience agreed wholeheartedly. Quotes like that just further my desire to be a panel moderator. Wait, what?
However, Dallas Comic Con was not without it’s hiccups – and I’m not talking about cosplayers from How To Train Your Dragon, though I didn’t see as many of those as I would’ve liked. Larger venues mean a price increase for the convention and many local artists and shops who go through the North Texas convention circuit and have been purchasing exhibitor space since the show’s inception felt that more than a few of the price increases were deal breakers. Similarly, attendees of Dallas Comic Con were struck not only by its noticeably different array of vendor space, which included more than the usual rows of local shops and artists with large spaces dedicated to corporate storefronts and movie booths, but also the increase in price for parking with a no in-outs rule, which means no convention breaks and getting stuck with food court cuisine.
Despite the growing pains, Dallas Comic Con has found it’s new residence and its name is no longer a lie. What was your favorite part of Dallas Comic-Con 2014? Are there any changes you’d like to see for next year? Sound off in the comments!
For an (almost) mid-week break, I have another beautiful picture book from NorthSouth that I heartily recommend for kids of all ages and for those who love illustration. This time it’s Two Parrots, a fun American debut from Iranian illustrator and animation director Rashin. Her new book Two Parrots is inspired by a tale from Rumi. Rumi, or Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Persian: جلالالدین محمد بلخى) was a 13th century poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic (basically a really amazing guy). Rashin, or Rashin Keiriyeh, born in Iran and already prolific children’s book illustrator with over forty-five books under her belt is well known overseas. This however, is her first release in America!
Featuring beautiful illustrations that pull from traditional Persian art but are presented with a fresh, friendly folk-art spin, the colors green and red dominating the piece, Two Parrots is overall a neat little book. Rashin’s art fits the simple but whimsical story about a merchant and his pet parrot, who is unhappy about living in a cage.
Rashin’s body of work is already massive; she’s also worked in animation and is just an immense talent. America has just gotten the first taste of her with some editorial work, this and her follow-up; her own version of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly coming this fall. I hope this first translated debut and There Was An… means a lot more of her books released in countries like South Korea, Spain and France will be coming over to the States in the near future. Publisher NorthSouth always excels in releasing fun, engaging books with a global mindset. If you have kids or enjoy illustration, their artful, whimsical titles are always always worth checking out. I’m always excited to explore their catalog and look forward to reviewing more titles from them for you in the future! Again, hopefully that entails even more Rashin.
See you all real soon!
Jen, Max and our junior reporter Lauryn (Jen’s sister!), last featured in our visit to CTcon, are going to bring you news from this annual event covering the book publishing industry. Publishing houses big and small will be in attendance, as well as tons of authors and representatives of the industry.
We are meeting with various publishers and authors to see all the exciting new offerings the book industry has coming up in the next year. There are some incredible multi-media events planned, as well, and we will be on-site conducting interviews and taking exclusive photos. Look out for video diaries that will show you what life is like at this massive event.
This year for the first time, BEA is happening in conjunction with Bookcon, an exciting one-day event that welcomes some superstars from the YA world. The event is all day Saturday, though there is a “welcome panel” Friday evening to kick off this inaugural event.
Our events and interviews list so far:
Thurs 11:00 am: Interview with Korean publisher and CEO of JR Comics, J.R. (Jung-Rok) Han . Mr. Han wants to bring Chinese legends to a young western audience using graphic novels.
Thurs 1:30 pm: Switch Press release of The Frankenstein Journals
Fri 9:00 am: Switch Press bag givaway, release of The Isobel Journal
Fri 11:00 am: Fireflies Entertainment throws a concert for their new multi-media title Broken. Author and hip-hop artist Tanille will perform songs that are part of the new book.
Fri 3:00 pm: Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer 50th Anniversary Pop Up Book Release party and Hot Chocolate.
Sat 10:30 am: Meeting and interview with Switch Press publisher, a new YA imprint from Capstone.
Sat all day: Bookcon panels. (these are our favorites we obviously won’t make it to all of them.)
11:15: My First Novel
12:30: Best and worst book-movie adaptations
1:00: Cary Elwes on The Making of the Princess Bride
2:00: Kids Authors who dazzle
4:15: Dystopian Futures, are they science fact or fiction?
With special guests like John Green, Cassandra Clare, Rick Riordan and Lemony Snicket, BEA and Bookcon are sure to be an amazing rollercoaster.
Feel free to say hi if you’re at the con!