Anime Expo 2011 Report

On July 1st-4th, 2011, the Los Angeles Convention Center played host to the 20th Anniversary of the Anime Expo. As always, from the minute I hit the floor, I was surrounded by the myriad of cosplayers that greet you in the main hall. As you enter the doors and on to the show floor, you’re greeted with tons of booth babes, more cosplayers, and anime related goodies for sale everywhere. I will say, it’s really refreshing to see people who really embrace anime come to the show and mingle with other fans. Too many times, we see a lot of people go to comic con only to see their favorite actor or actress, or to buy a limited edition product and rarely because they read comics or want to meet their favorite creators. Even if anime is not my genre, I always go just to appreciate the purity of the show and the fans that continue to make Anime Expo an enormous success year after year. And now, onto the pictures!

 

Enter if you dare!

Inside the doors.

 

The next best thing to being a Victoria's Secret angel.

 

 

Pocky booth!

 

Gundam booth.

 

Artist alley!

 

 

Fans waiting in line for anime voice actors.

 

Love is in the air?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street Fighter!

 

Some people are just right at home...

 

Babydoll!

 

Freakiest thing on sale at AX.

 

 

 

 

Best hair.

 

Avatar!

 

Cute bunny.

 

 

Naruto.

 

Taunt Button!

 

Block Heads.

 

 

 

 

 

Kenshin!

 

Link!

 

Fans posing on the red carpet.

 

 

 

 

HAI YAH!

 

Not sure about this one...

 

I can fly!

 

Mortal Kombat!

 

Go down swinging.

 

Light show!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oompa Loompa!

 

Stewie!

 

Wouldn't you want to be her?

 

Yuna!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tinkerbell.

 

 

 

Sign up for Anime Expo next year!

Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con 2011 Con Report

On April 29-May 1st 2011, the Anaheim Convention Center hosted the 2nd annual Wizard World Anaheim show. Considering the amount of traffic on a Friday evening in Los Angeles, and a start time of 5 PM, I wasn’t expecting many people to show up the first day. I was mistaken. 

From the start, the show started off with a bang. Just like last year, the crowds of people showed up to see some of their favorite celebrities, and also to interact with comic book creators. Saturday’s crowds definitely rocked the show, and although the Sunday crowds definitely thinned out, it was a terrific con, just like last year. It seems Anaheim is a great spot for a comic convention, with a lot of people commenting this was their first show. Whether it was through word of mouth, or the 50% off ticket purchased through Yelp, the show was definitely a success. If Comic Con ever left SD, Anaheim might definitely be a place to call home. Now on to some pics!

Welcome to Wizard World Anaheim!

 

Philip Tan setting up his booth.

 

Rob Liefeld busy from the get go!

 

Whilce Portacio interacting with a guest.

 

Writer Judd Winick takes a stab at a sketch.

 

Bill Sienkiewicz signing some books.

 

Ebas doing his thing.

 

Talent Caldwell being interviewed at his table.

 

Wizard's huge Gaming section.

Catwoman Julie Newmar.

Sci fi cult actor Ray Park!

Hercules himself, Kevin Sorbo.

Tricia Helfer!

It's Shaft!

Lost's Rosseau can be found at Wizard World Anaheim!

Smallville's Pa Kent!

Go go Power Rangers!

And finally, what good is a con without cosplay?

Chicks dig Batman.

Green Lantern and Atrocitus!

Neo and Trinity!

Comic and Movie Supermen.

 

Don't be left in the Negative Zone like this guy! Come to Wizard World Anaheim next year!

WonderCon 2011 Report

WonderCon’s 25th anniversary took place last weekend, April 1st-3rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As an attendee for many years, I was shocked to see how crowded the show was for the duration of the show. With Marvel making their first appearance at the show, as well as mainstays such as DC Comics, Image, and Aspen, the show definitely had a strong comic vibe. However, more than most years, especially with some of the most anticipated comic adapted movies coming out this summer, Wondercon also emphasized their entertainment presence. With Green Lantern cast members Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively signing at the DC booth, to fan photo ops of Henry Cavill (newly cast as Superman in Zach Snyder’s next project), Luke Evans, and Isabel Lucas for the new Immortals movie, and Lily Collins, Paul Bettany and Cam Gigandet promoting Priest, along with a surprise appearance from Brandon Routh joining costar Sam Huntington for Dylan Dog, this WonderCon almost felt like a pre San Diego Comic Con show. While it was definitely awesome to see the stars promoting their films, I do hope that Wonder Con can still retain it’s own identity and not turn into a San Diego Comic Con part 2. And now, onto the photos!

WonderCon at the Moscone Center!

 

Lines of people hurrying to get into the show floor.

 

Marvel advertising their next big movie, Thor!

 

... Along with their other big hit of the summer, Captain America!

 

DC promoting their next big movie, Green Lantern!

 

 

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively signing at the DC Booth (photo courtesy of Warren Hayes)!

 

Immortals Poster on display for the media.

 

Director Tarsem Singh, Luke Evans, Henry Cavill and Isabel Lucas pose for Immortals.

 

Brandon Routh strikes a pose with yours truly after promoting Dylan Dog!

 

Nate Simpson showing off his print from his hot new book, Nonplayer!

 

Adam Hughes doing what he does best: drawing awesome masterpieces.

 

Fan favorite Geoff Johns signing for his legion of fans.

 

J. Scott Campbell's awesome Wolverine sketch for a fan.

 

Humberto Ramos drawing for fans at the Marvel booth.

 

Tony Daniel drawing for the Hero Initiative.

 

Francis Manapul also sketching at the Hero Intiative.

 

And of course, what good is a con without Cosplay? Here’s some of the best ones I saw at the show:

A stunning Supergirl.

 

The New Green Lantern Corps?

 

Thor!

 

I know what you're thinking...

 

Justice League!

 

Aang by the dumpsters. Much like the movie.

 

Gotham Girls!

 

New take on Disney Princesses.

 

The Killer B's: Babydoll and Black Cat!

 

No con is complete without a R2-D2 sighting.

 

Most original and funniest costume ever: Barney Stinson as Ted Mosby.

 

A hot Aquaman. Is that an oxymoron?

 

So who won?

 

Red Bull really gives you wings!

 

DC Superheroines patrolling outside the show floor.

 

Wondercon 2011, a rousing success!

 

Superman says to keep tuning into Conventionscene.com!

ECCC 2011 Con Report

March 4th-6th marked the first time ever in it’s 9 year history that Emerald City Comic Con kicked off on a Friday. Although it was my first time at this show, I’ve been told wonderful things, about the myriad of artists that flooded artist alley, the mobs of fans trying to meet creators, and how this show was truly a “comic centric” type of con, and not bombarded with Hollywood studios. I am happy to report that all of those things were true. With one of the biggest artist alley’s I’ve seen, along with truly knowledgeable fans who lined up for commissions and autographs, Emerald City Comic Con is one of the best shows I’ve attended. It also doesn’t hurt that Seattle had gorgeous weather that weekend, and had plenty of great restaurants within walking distance to the convention center. Here’s a few photos from the show:

Welcome to ECCC!

DC Booth.

"Minions" getting ready to help artists and to control the flow of the show.

Cosplayers were rampant throughout the show.

A small portion of Artist Alley. Great guest list!

Frank Quitely signing for his legion of fans.

Steve Epting holding up one of the most infamous pages in recent history, the death of the Human Torch.

Erik Larsen drawing commissions.

Adam Hughes working on another one of his masterpieces.

Ed Brubaker and Brian Michael Bendis talking shop prior to their signing.

Jim Cheung sketching for fans. Huges lines all weekend long!

JG Jones drawing Wonder Woman.

Mark Brooks interacting with fans while working on commissions.

Eisner Award winning artist Skottie Young being interviewed at the show.

Bruce Timm drawing the Flaming C!

Aquaman, King of the 7 Seas!

Kid posing with some friendly cosplayers.

Taking a pitstop at the show.

Giant Ewok stalks the floor.

Does this remind anyone of Spaceballs?

Great Gambit costume!

Kaboom Studios and their huge booth at the front of the show.

Image booth had fans stopping by all weekend long.

The couple that cosplays together...

Huge group of cosplayers pose at the entrance to the show.

Seriously?

Old School.

Very cool Tron Legacy costume.

Wardrobe malfunction.

Come to ECCC next year! Comic fans won't be disappointed.

Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2011 Photo Report

From January 8th-9th, Arizona was home to the first comic con of 2011! Brothers Jimmy and Bill Jay threw an awesome comic convention with a host of excited fans. With huge artists and writers from the comics industry, including Robert Kirkman, Jeph Loeb, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Ryan Ottley, in addition to Jon Bernthal and Steven Yeun from the hit TV series The Walking Dead, Amazing Arizona Comic Con was a great way to start off the 2011 con season. Not only was the fan enthusiasm infectious, but the professionals also seemed to enjoy being there, greeting all the guests and signing books. Artist Alley was perpetually packed during the show, and the lines for the bigger guests never seemed to shrink. If you couldn’t make it this year, and you want to see a comic con done right, make sure you come next year! Here are some pictures from the inaugural Amazing Arizona Comic Con (Special thanks to http://twitter.com/#!/gelatometti for additional photos, who reminds you to always charge your phone and cameras at shows!):

Anxious crowds waiting for the doors to open.

AACC founder Jimmy Jay greets the crowd with cosplayers behind him.

The mayor of Mesa presents Robert Kirkman with his own street as Steve Yeun and Jon Bernthal look on.

Fan favorite Rob Liefeld signing and sketching for fans all weekend long!

Artist Keu Cha talks to fans about Hex, his pet project, while inker Joe Weems goes over a drawing.

Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker working on their commission lists (photo courtesy of @gelatometti).

Jon Bernthal gives a fan a high five during the Walking Dead signing.

Robert Kirkman walks the line to please the fans.

Todd McFarlane's only break during his 4 HOUR signing on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of @gelatometti)

Jeph Loeb signing for fans.

Aspen's JT Krul and Mark Roslan find a peaceful minute amidst the chaos.

Cosplayers pose for the fans.

Retailers peddling their books to fans.

Artist Alley was busy all weekend long.

Comic Madness greets guests at the door.

Artist Ebas strikes a pose.

Along with colorist Nei Ruffino.

Booth babes!

Bill Jay hopes you come back next year!

Last Contest of 2010!

December 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Arizona, L.A. Sequential

Season’s greetings! Thanks to all the followers and readers we’ve had during the course of the year! It’s been a blast reporting to you guys about the cons I go to, so you get a better sense of what’s out there, and what you can hope to enjoy should you attend a certain show.
I’m very excited to attend the first big show of the upcoming year in the southwest, the Amazing Arizona Comic Con! Run by one of the best retailers in the business, Jimmy Jay, I expect nothing but the best in what looks to be a spectacular show.
With huge guests such as Robert Kirkman, Jeph Loeb, and Rob Liefeld, along with recently added comics legend Todd McFarlane, I’m excited to get some commissions and get my books autographed!  With affordable pricing on tickets, not to mention some very cool exclusive comics made especially for this show, I think this is going to be one of the better shows I’m attending this year. And I’m not even mentioning that 2 of the stars from the hit TV show, The Walking Dead, will be in attendance!
To encourage you guys to come join me, I’m offering a free contest myself! I will be giving away 3 prizes to anyone who registers from now until January 7th. Tweet @conventionscene and @AmazingComicCon a picture of a receipt of ticket purchase with the date of 12/31 or later and with the #CSContest tag.
I hope you all have a Happy New Year and hope to see you in Arizona!

3rd Prize: Autographed Jeph Loeb Hulk Marvel card!

Incredible Hulk # 340 Marvel card signed by Peter David, w/ art by Todd McFarlane!

First Prize: Long Beach Comic Con Walking Dead # 78 Variant!

CTN Animation Expo 2010!

November 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Animation, California, L.A. Sequential, Top Stories

CTN (Creative Talent Network) Animation Expo is an annual expo designed to celebrate as well as develop networks within the animation industry. With heavyweights such as Disney, Dreamworks Animation, and Sony Picture Animation, along with big name artists such as Peter De Seve, J. Scott Campbell, Tim Sale, Humberto Ramos, and Moebius in attendance, CTN was a great expo for fans as well as potential applicants in the animation field.

With panels showing the magic of some of the recent animated films, as well as watching artists draw live on stage, and even portfolio reviews, CTN is definitely a great show for those looking to break into the animation field. Here’s some photos from the show!

Prints and other artsy goodies for sale!

Fans getting to interact with artists was a definite highlight at CTN.

Artists J. Scott Campbell and Tim Sale share a table at the front of CTN.

The drawing stage with TVs hooked up so that people can watch artists work their magic!

Humberto Ramos working on a jam piece at CTN.

Tim Sale showing off his awesome Batman drawing.

A cowboy model poses for potential artists sketching away.

Wacom booth in the east hall of CTN.

Applicants line up for Disney.

Moebius interacts with his fans, giving some personal time to each fan.

Artist Sean "Cheeks" Galloway gives a portfolio review.

Come to CTN next year, rain or shine!

LBCC 2010 Con Report!

Long Beach Comic Con held it’s 2nd annual convention at the Long Beach Convention Center on Halloween weekend this year. With the success of the inaugural show, I was a bit disappointed to see a smaller crowd this year. The show did have some strong guests, featuring fan favorites J. Scott Campbell, Amanda Conner, Tim Sale, and Mike Mignola. However, it seemed that Halloween weekend proved that it’s the kids and family aspect that drive people to come, and can really dictate the success of a show. The people that did attend had a wonderful time, meeting their favorite creators, buying some show exclusives, and enjoying the Halloween festivities with costumes galore.

Now onto some pictures from LBCC!

Yoda greets you at the front of the Long Beach Convention Center.

An enraged Hulk is in front of the ticket lines. BUY TICKETS!

Helpful representatives are standing by.

Welcome to LBCC!

Retailers set up shop for customers.

Wildstorm sets up in Artist Alley.

Mike Mignola sketches away at the show.

Josh Middleton draws X-23 for a fan while chatting up with people in line.

Ebas showing off one of his awesome prints.

Artist J. Scott Campbell draws for 3 lucky winners for the Hero Initiative.

Tim Sale drawing for a fan at the Hero Initiative on Saturday morning.

Darkwing Duck creator Tad Stones quickly had a long line after announcing he was sketching at the Boom Studios' booth.

Stan "The Man" Lee greets colorist Nei Ruffino on Sunday afternoon.

Glenn and Duane from the Walking Dead signs for fans the day of the Walking Dead premiere!

And what’s a con without costumes? Thanks to Halloween, it was a treat to see some really awesome costumes. Here’s a few:

Justice League (and Pinhead Guy)!

It's me, Mario!

Your outfit is so breathable. I'm so jealous.

Gotta catch 'em all!

Girl: What's that? Pig Mask: Dude I'm not falling for that this time.

Princess Leia (now complete with chain)!

What good is Leia without a Jabba?

Antman: Let's pose honey. Wasp: I don't want to.... Antman: I SAID POSE! DO IT NOW!

Popular costume this year: Kick Ass and Hitgirl.

Schoolgirl and Zatanna. Nice.

Who you gonna call?

Hellboy visits Mike Mignola.

Yoda meets Kermit. There's a crossover here that should be delved into...

I lost my white mask, have you seen it?

Ultimate Spidey. Not bad.

HUGE Doctor Doom. I think he was on stilts.

Wanna see my chicken dance?

Man... my back hurts.

Funniest costume I saw at the show.

Best costume of the con. Period.

In honor of the Walking Dead, Zombie Big Boy.

Uhh... I think I'm gonna need a bigger gun.

Todd Nauck as Chuck!

Amanda Conner as Leela!

Amanda Conner's 2nd costume! Smell you later!

And who can forget the kids?

Kid Flash!

Kid Thor!

Kid Wolverine!

Kid Spiderman had too much fun....

Joe Benitez says come back next year... or else!

An Evening with Leonard Nimoy

An update on my schedule for con related events! Join me at the awesome event! If you spot me there, the first person to approach me will win a Conventionscene.com lanyard (or maybe a cooler prize)! See you there!

LONG BEACH, CA – Film and television icon Leonard Nimoy will share his thoughts on portraying the intense, rational and emotionally suppressed Vulcan, Spock, as part of a remarkable and diverse career that’s left an indelible imprint on American society at the Carpenter Center on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00pm.
 
Touching on subjects of innovation, creativity and personal development—Nimoy will talk about his role in the history of Star Trek, its origins, and how a new genre for television and movies was created. First airing in 1966, his character would become an icon over the years, his performance garnering three Emmy nominations, as Star Trek branched off into syndication and later onto the big screen as a series of six feature films.
 
Nimoy also became a successful movie director, helming Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, one of the most successful of the Star Trek films. Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator, referred to Nimoy as “the conscience of Star Trek.” Nimoy has directed several films outside of the Star Trek series, and three of his films have been among the top box office successes of all time.
 
After appearing in a recurring role on popular FOX television series Fringe, Nimoy announced his retirement from acting earlier this year. This intimate evening may be the last chance to see him on stage live.
 
Aside from his credits as actor and director, Nimoy has recorded ten narrative albums and authored several volumes of poetry (two of which feature his photographs). In 1975, he published the autobiography I am not Spock and followed it 20 years later with I am Spock, in which he refers to “coming to terms” with his alter ego. Nimoy’s performance of the audio version was nominated for a Grammy Award.
 
An accomplished photographer, his black and white art photography is represented in several galleries nationwide. He recently finished an appointment as artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome. In July, his “Secret Selves” color photography exhibit opened at MassMoCA – his first solo show at a major museum.
 
Single tickets for An Evening with Leonard Nimoy are $65 and $60 for seniors. All tickets can be purchased by calling the Carpenter Center Arts Ticket Office at (562) 985-7000, or by visiting www.CarpenterArts.org.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse @ Paley Center!

September 30, 2010 by  
Filed under California, L.A. Sequential

The cast and crew at the Paley Center for Superman/Batman: Apocalypse!

Last Tuesday, September 21st, was the world premiere of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, the latest direct to DVD animation motion picture from WB Animation. The movie brings back the vocal talents of fan favorites Kevin Conroy (Batman), Tim Daly (Superman), and Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman). Ed Asner reprises his role as Granny Goodness, and also introduces Andre Braugher as Darkseid and Summer Glau as Supergirl.
The movie is based off of Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner’s Supergirl storyline. Reintroducing Supergirl to the DC Universe, the movie succeeds in paying homage to the art style of the late Turner, as well as capturing Kara Zor-El’s integration into the DCU.
The Paley Center hosted the world premiere, followed by a Q and A with some of the cast and crew that attended.

Among the highlights:
Tim Daly joking around about Superman’s sleeker look in the movie:
“One thing that I noticed about Superman in this, first of all he’s eating less carbs. And second of all, did anybody notice, what’s going on with his hair? It’s 2 curls!”

Tim Daly arrives at the red carpet.

When asked, Lois Lane or Wonder Woman by the audience, Daly responds:
“Oh, Wonder Woman. (smiling at Susan Eisenberg) If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

Lauren Montgomery, director of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, was asked why the movie wasn’t titled Supergirl, responds:
“The title of the comic originally was Superman Batman: Supergirl, which… really would assume that the movie would be titled that, but since our wonderful Wonder Woman movie didn’t sell so well, they decided that girl movies don’t sell so we gotta trick everybody into buying it.”

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse director, Lauren Montgomery!

When asked what personal projects they’d love to work on if given the chance:
Bruce Timm, Executive Producer: “I would probably do the Black Hawks.”
Montgomery: “I would probably do Batgirl Year One, or anything with Aquaman.”

Executive producer Bruce Timm on the red carpet.

When asked what in the movie came out better than expected:

Daly: “I think that I am temperamentally as a person more suited to Batman, because I tend to have sort a darker skewing view of the world, so I was pleasantly surprised by the Superman scenes that were a little more sincere and tender, because I thought they played pretty well. I didn’t squirm and think like ah geez, Superman is being a real sap. I felt like he cared about Supergirl, I like that.”

Daly playing with the Superman doll during the Q and A session.

Rachel Quintance (Artemis/Lyla): “For me, I’m just so happy to be a part of it, my first foray into the DC comic world so watching all of it was just fantastic to me. It’s like, I mean, you all know this so well, and to me it’s like, wow, oh my gosh, this exists. So I thought the whole thing was incredible.”

Tab Murphy (Writer): “I think I responded to the relationship between Superman and Kara Zor El a lot because of the idea of suddenly finding somebody you’re related to and becoming overprotective and then having to let go. I have a 13 year old daughter and going through that same thing so I can totally identify..”
Bruce Timm: What’s her name?
Murphy: Kara! It’s true, it’s true… whoa.

Montgomery: “I’m a pretty big sucker for feel good movies these days so I guess just seeing how it all wrapped up in the ending and Supergirl finally getting her costume and she gets the nod of approvement, she gets the nod from Batman, and you just leave the theater happy. That’s the part I like the most.”

Timm: “I’m actually just really relieved that the opening of the movie worked because the movie, it came up short when we timed the animatic, the storyboard. And so we kinda had to pad it, and part of the stuff we padded was that opening in Gotham City where we’re just kind of panning through Gotham City, oh there’s a cat in the alley… oh look, there’s blimps overhead! So when we got the film back, it was like oh my god, there’s nothing happening, there’s no dialogue, we’re just panning through the city for like 2 minutes! So we added a bunch of radio dialogue, and sound effects and music, and you watch it now, and it’s like, ok, yeah, it kinda works… so WHEW!”

Andrea Romano and Susan Eisenberg at the Q and A panel.

Eisenberg and Andrea Romano (Voice Director) were both fans of the quieter moments, as well as how the fight scenes came about together, particularly when it seemed that most of the recording time was spent doing battle scenes.

The Paley Center did a wonderful job organizing this event, and I’m also looking forward to the next 3 announced feature length animated films: All Star Superman, Green Lantern Emerald Knights, and Batman: Year One!

The Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD is out in stores now! Pick it up and let me know what you thought of the movie!

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