OR – Hot Dog Taste Test Signing

000000000_lisa-hanawalt-hot-dog-taste-testLisa Hanawalt appears at Floating World Comics on Friday, June 24th, 2016 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM for the Hot Dog Taste Test release party and presentation.

Hot Dog Taste Test serves up Lisa Hanawalt’s devastatingly funny comics, saliva­ stimulating art, and deliciously screwball lists as she skewers the pomposities of foodie subculture. Join the James Beard Award­ winning cartoonist and production designer/producer of Bojack Horseman as she presents a selection of food­ related excerpts from Hot Dog Taste Test.

Lisa Hanawalt is an artist living in Los Angeles and is the production designer/producer of the Netflix original series Bojack Horseman. Hanawalt has worked on illustrations, book covers, animations, comics, murals, and textile patterns, and exhibits her work in galleries. She writes and draws a James Beard Award–winning quarterly food column for Lucky Peach magazine, and co-hosts the podcast Baby Geniuses with the comedian Emily Heller. Her first collection with Drawn & Quarterly was 2013’s critically acclaimed My Dirty Dumb Eyes.

RSVP on Facebook!

Floating World Comics
400 NW Couch Street, Portland, OR 97209
(503) 241-0227

Baltimore Comic-Com tickets Now on Sale!

BaltimoreconTickets are Now On Sale for the 2016 Baltimore Comic-Con and Harvey Awards
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – May 23, 2016 – The Baltimore Comic-Con is happy to announce that tickets are now on sale for this year’s show, taking place the weekend of September 2-4, 2016 at the Baltimore Convention Center in downtown Baltimore.

Tickets that are now on sale include:

• Weekend
• Friday only
• Saturday only
• Sunday only
• VIP*
• Harvey Awards**

As always, children 10 and under are free for general admission with a paid adult general admission!
* VIP packages are a separate purchase from General Admission tickets (which will be required to participate in any VIP offerings). VIP ticket holders receive exclusive early admission to all 3 days of the show, as well as a gift package that includes a show t-shirt, the 2016 Baltimore Comic-Con yearbook, and more!
** Harvey Awards tickets include full cocktail hour (cash bar), full service dinner (featuring a Baltimore Crabcake!), awards ceremony, and a gift bag.
“Our fans have been asking us on the website, in email, and on social media when tickets would be available,” said Marc Nathan, show promoter for the Baltimore Comic-Con. “We’re happy to make them available now, and as you can see from our website, our our guest list is already large and growing, we have CGC back, and our show floor is filling up quickly with a great selection and breadth of exhibitors and retailers, with more news yet to come!”
Visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/ for more information and to purchase your advanced tickets!
HOTELS

The Baltimore Comic-Con has made arrangements with a number of downtown hotels in close proximity to the Baltimore Convention Center. These include:

• Days Inn: From $159. Call the hotel directly at 410-576-1000 and, when making your reservation, ask for the Baltimore Comic-Con block.
• Holiday Inn: From $169. Use the weblink.
• Hyatt Baltimore: From $174. Use the weblink.
• Lord Baltimore Hotel: From $159. Call 855-539-1928 and use attendee code “16BALCOMIC” or Baltimore Comic-Con rate when making your reservation.
• Sheraton Inner Harbor: From $169. Use the weblink.

In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Neal Adams (Superman: The Coming of the Supermen); Scott Ethan Ambruson (Azteca: Ciudad Paradiso); Jeff Balke (Zombies vs Cheerleaders: St. Patty’s Day Special); Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl); Marty Baumann (Pixar artist); Carolyn Belefski (Curls); Christy Blanch (The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood); Danica Bradshaw (Wayward); Nick Bradshaw (Spidey); Reilly Brown (Deadpool); Harold Buchholz (Archie Comics); Ben Caldwell (Scooby Apocalypse); Chris Campana (The Accelerators); Christa Cassano (Ghetto Klown); Mike Cavallaro (The Fox); Howard Chaykin (Imperium); Lee Cherolis (Little Guardians); Frank Cho (The Totally Awesome Hulk); Amy Chu (Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death); Steve Conley (Bloop); Stephen Coughlin (Sanctuary); J. Robert Deans (Crass Fed); Jeff Dekal (New Avengers); Todd Dezago (Perhapanauts); Charles C. Dowd (Lilith Dark); Joe Eisma (Morning Glories); Tod Emko (A Piggy’s Tale); Joe Endres (Colossians); Steve Englehart, courtesy of Hero Initiative (Captain America); David Finch (Wonder Woman); Meredith Finch (Wonder Woman); Chris Flick (Capes & Babes); Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie); Franco (Aw Yeah Comics: Action Cat!); John Gallagher (Buzzboy); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Batman ’66: The Lost Episode); Jason Gounger (Legio Ex Mortis); Anna Gownley and Jimmy Gownley (The Dumbest Idea Ever!); Stephen Green (The Legacy of Luther Strode); Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred); Rob Guillory (Chew: Demon Chicken Poyo); Laura Lee Gulledge (Will & Whit); Dean Haspiel (The Fox); Jason Horn (Ninjasaur); Ken Hunt (Talon); JG Jones (Strange Fruit); Dan Jurgens (Action Comics, Saturday & Sunday only); Tom King (Batman); Barry Kitson (Empire: Uprising); Samantha Kyle (Paul & Olly); John Layman (Chew: Demon Chicken Poyo); Paul Levitz (Doctor Fate); Mike Lilly (Red Agent); Mike Maihack (Cleopatra in Space); Mark Mariano (The Other Side of Hugless Hill); Ron Marz (Convergence: Batman and Robin); Ed McGuinness (Spider-Man/Deadpool); Mark Morales (Convergence); Joe Mulvey (SCAM); Jamar Nicholas (Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America); Chris Otto (A Dog’s Life); Greg Pak (Teen Titans); Tom Palmer (Doctor Strange); Yanick Paquette (Batman/Superman); Dan Parsons (Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle); Brent Peeples (Gold Key: Alliance); David Petersen (Mouse Guard); Brandon Peterson (Uncanny Inhumans); Mark Poulton (A Cat Named Haiku); Eric Powell (The Goon); Kyle Puttkammer (Hero Cats: Midnight Over Stellar City); Ron Randall (Convergence: Catwoman); Khary Randolph (Robin War); Tom Raney (Ninjak); Paul Renaud (Superman/Wonder Woman); Emily Romano (Comic Art House); Craig Rousseau (Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl); Stephane Roux (Harley Quinn and Power Girl); Joe Rubinstein (Convergence: Batman and Robin); Alex Saviuk (Spider-Man newspaper strip); Stuart Sayger (Hellboy 100); Bart Sears (Bloodshot); Jeff Shultz (Betty and Veronica); Louise Simonson (Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel); Walter Simonson (Ragnarok); Matt Slay (TMNT Micro-Series); Brian Smith (SpongeBob Comics); Charles Soule (Star Wars: Poe Dameron); Babs Tarr (Batgirl); Ben Templesmith (Blackholers); Chad Thomas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Amazing Adventures); Frank Tieri (Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys); Vivek J. Tiwary (The Fifth Beatle); David Trustman (The Rise); James Tynion (Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles); Rick Veitch (Miracleman); Emilio Velez Jr. (The Dodgeball Teens); Mark Waid (All-New, All-Different Avengers); Michael Watkins (Pantha); Todd Webb (Mr. Toast Comics); Mark Wheatley (Doctor Who); Matt Wieringo (‘Ringo Scholarship Fund); Marcus Williams (Hero Cats); Rich Woodall (Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl); Sasha Yosselani (Comic Art House); and Thom Zahler (My Little Pony: Friends Forever).

In the coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found on our website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.

Contact Information
Please use the following e-mail addresses to contact the Baltimore Comic-Con:
press@baltimorecomiccon.com – for any general press inquiries or to be added to our PR distribution
promoter@baltimorecomiccon.com – for requesting exhibitor, publisher, and Artist Alley applications
registrar@baltimorecomiccon.com – for inquiries about submitted registrations
harveys@baltimorecomiccon.com- for the Harvey Awards ceremony and banquet
general@baltimorecomiccon.com- for general Baltimore Comic-Con inquiries

About The Baltimore Comic-Con
The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 17th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.

About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry’s oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 11 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org.

MA – Hollywood Babble On LIVE

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Ralph Garman & Kevin Smith appear at the Wilbur Theatre on Friday, June 10, 2016 at 10:00 PM for a live recording of their podcast HOLLYWOOD BABBLE ON!

Get tickets here…

Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman take a twisted look at showbiz news and bite the Hollywood hand that feeds them. Sometimes, they feel bad and give Hollywood a tetanus shot and some Neosporin, but, even then, they usually just turn around and bite Hollywood’s other hand. They can’t help it. It’s their nature. It’s like that “scorpion and frog” story. But, deep down, they’re just two nice East Coast boys… who happen to have a heavy dependence on drugs and alcohol, respectively.

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Wilbur Theatre
246 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
(617) 248-9700

CA – Freddie Prinze Jr. Signing

00000000_freddie-prinzeFreddie Prinze Jr. signs his new cookbook BACK TO THE KITCHEN at Vroman’s Bookstore on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 3:00 PM.

Press Release:

Most people know Freddie Prinze Jr. from movies (“She’s All That, Scooby Doo, Star Wars Rebels”) and as one half of beloved Hollywood power couple with Sarah Michelle Gellar. But to family, friends, and co-stars he’s always been a terrific father and skilled home cook who prepares delicious meals for his family every night. Freddie grew up in New Mexico cooking with his mother and eating dishes with a ton of flavor and spice from his Puerto Rican heritage. His eggs come New Mexico style, served with from-scratch biscuits and green-chile gravy. His tacos are the real deal: soft tortillas, homemade salsa, filled with steak layered with quick-pickled cucumbers, or spicy fish dressed with watermelon and thai chiles. Now in this family-focused cookbook, Freddie teaches fans to cook his mainstays, the recipes that he makes on even the busiest weeknights, as well as more luxurious date night meals.

Those wishing to get books signed will be asked to purchase at least one copy of the author’s most recent title from Vroman’s. For each purchased copy of the newest title, customers may bring up to three copies from home to be signed. This policy applies to all Vroman’s Bookstore events unless otherwise noted. Save your Vroman’s receipt; it will be checked when you enter the signing line.

Vroman’s Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5320

Backstage with Stan Lee at MegaCon 2016

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Press Release:

Join MegaCon for an intimate and exclusive meet & greet event with legendary comic creator Stan Lee on Thursday May 26th at 9:00 PM! Includes, collectible badge and lanyard, autograph and the best selfie ever – bring your camera! NOTE: Admission to MegaCon is required to attend this special event. Tickets available at the link.

DISCLAIMER:
-Some Guests may charge additional fees for autographs and photo ops.
-Most Guests are available for the duration of the event, although some are only available for a portion i.e. a single day. Appearance day(s) will be posted on the website once confirmed by the Guest.
-Guest appearances subject to cancellation or schedule change, due to professional commitments.
-All events have a limited seating capacities and are offered on a first come, first served basis.
-All sales are final, no exchanges or refunds for any reason.

CA – Art of Angry Birds Signing

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Come hear the artists of The Angry Birds Movie share stories from behind the scenes and see their development work for the movie at Gallery Nucleus on Saturday, June 4, 2016. Bring your questions for the Q&A session and meet the artists one-on-one as they sign copies of the art book! Raffle giveaways by IDW will also be announced soon.

Featured Artists:

Pete Oswald – Production Designer
Travis Ruiz – Visual Development Artist
Francesca Natale – Character Art Director
Jeanie Chang – Visual Development Artist
Alger Tam – Visual Development Artist
Cindey Chiang – Visual Development Artist

more to be announced…

Event Schedule:
2:00 – 2:15 Artist Discussion Panel
3:00 – 3:30 Q & A (moderated by Ben)
3:40 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 5:00 Book Signing

FREE ADMISSION with purchase of The Art of Angry Birds Movie (100 seats only, standing room also available).
$10 Admission at the door without book purchase

Outside books will be subject to a $10 fee.

Front Row VIP Reserved Seats available for $20 (does not guarantee availability of book for “seats only” option).

Waives admission fee.
Guaranteed seat in the first 2 rows, only 20 seats available.
No need to wait in line or get to the event early just to get a good seat.
Comes with a free bottle of water.
Guaranteed first in line during the artist signing time.

RSVP on Facebook!

Gallery Nucleus
210 East Main Street, Alhambra, CA 91801
626.458.7477

CA – A Fairy Friend Launch Party

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Artist Claire Keane signs her new book A Fairy Friend at Gallery Nucleus. It is an enchanting illustrated children’s book about the world of fairies! We will also be featuring original artwork tied to the book by Claire, in the gallery! She will be there to sign and meet with fans on Saturday May 28th, 2016 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

FREE Admission
Books will be available at the signing

About the book:
“Soar into an enchanting, miniature world full of fairies. These playful creatures are all around us, if you know just where to look. And if you want to have one come to you, build a fairy house of twigs and blooms and wait patiently for a fairy to take up residence. Children are fascinated with miniature worlds and love to imagine the fairies which inhabit them. A forever friend awaits each reader in the pages of this lovely picture book.”

Other activities will include a crafting table to build your own fairy home and a DIY photobooth that will spark your imagination!

About the artist:
Claire Keane is known for her work as a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where she made significant contributions to recent hits Tangled and Frozen. She studied graphic design at the Ecole Superieure d’Arts Graphiques in Paris, France. Claire now lives in Venice Beach, California, with her husband and kids. She is the author of the picture book Once Upon A Cloud.

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Gallery Nucleus
210 East Main Street, Alhambra, CA 91801
626.458.7477

CA – Molly and the Bear Signing

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Join Gallery Nucleus on Saturday May 28th, 2016 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm with Disney Animation artist Bob Scott for his signing of his published popular comic book strip Molly and the Bear. If you always wanted to introduce your little ones to comics, now is the chance!

FREE Admission
Books will be available for purchase at the signing

About the book:
It can be tough on a family when someone new has moved in, especially if it’s a 900-pound scaredy-bear so terrified of wilderness life that he’s fled to the burbs. Fortunately Bear was found by Molly, a fearlessly optimistic 11-year-old can-doer who has taken him firmly in hand, devoted to seeing her hirsute BFF cope with modern life. Molly’s Mom is happy with the new sibling — Bear’s an excellent conversationalist and loves her homemade cookies. But Dad is having a harder time, his role as center of the universe now shared with an ursine behemoth who, unfortunately, adores him.

About the Artist:
Bob Scott lives in both the world of comic strips and animation. Born in Detroit, he taught himself cartooning, emulating the masters in the funny pages. Acceptance and graduation from California Institute of the Arts opened the world of character animation for Bob. He has worked over 30 years in the industry as an animator, character designer, storyboard artist and voice talent. His credits can be found on projects from Marvel’s Muppet Babies, Turner Animation’s Cats Don’t Dance and Pixar’s The Incredibles. He has worked for Jim Davis, co-penciling U.S. Acres and co-directing Garfield: His 9 Lives. His heart has always wanted a comic strip of his own, and so Molly and the Bear was born in 1997 and became a syndicated webcomic in 2010. Scott lives in Burbank, CA.

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Gallery Nucleus
210 East Main Street, Alhambra, CA 91801
626.458.7477

SF – The Dam Keeper Signing

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Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo appear at Kinokuniya Bookstore on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 3:00 PM. They are the two masterminds behind the intricate hand-painted short story.

At the height of their career at Pixar, the two left to create their own visionary company, Tonko House. Join us to hear their journey to where they are today.

This event is free and open to the public. For a limited time, there will be a small exhibition space at our second floor window with Tonko House props and many more starting May 14! Tonko House merchandise will also be available for purchase!

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Kinokuniya Bookstore
1581 Webster St, San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 567-7625

Anime Fan Fest 2016 Report (Including an Interview with Aaron Dismuke!)

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I mentioned in my last article that a girl drove all the way down from New Jersey to North Carolina to Ichibancon meet Vic Mignogna, the star of Fullmetal Alchemist (he voices the main character, Edward Elric). This time, Anthony Aycock and I went to New Jersey from North Carolina to meet Aaron Dismuke, where Vic was also present. Aaron voices Edward Elric’s iron giant little brother, Alphonse. Aaron doesn’t do many conventions–mainly due to not being invited, he said–so I thought I would see him while I had the chance.

It was called Anime Fan Fest. With both Vic and Aaron as guests, plus other actors from Fullmetal Alchemist, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh, I expected it to be pretty big. However, it never seemed terribly crowded, even on Saturday afternoon. Then one of the dealers told me that this was the convention’s first year. I was immediately impressed.

The convention was held in one massive room at the Garden State Exhibition Center. Dealers (about 30), artist alley (about 10), cosplay registration, autograph sessions, and panels all took place in that one room. This layout had pros and cons. Everything was easy to find, but not everything was easy to hear. During Aaron’s Q&A, noise from the dealer area kept hitting me like Izumi Curtis’s fists.

I did hear a couple of things, though. One was Aaron talking about how his voice cracked during filming of the movie Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa. He asked to do the scene again, but director Mike McFarland told him, “No, we’ll keep that one. It shows the emotion of the character”–probably while stifling a laugh. I also heard Aaron talk about being recognized in public. Once was by a cashier at Kroger, who took a selfie with Aaron and his groceries. Another was someone who kept calling for Aaron at his parents’ house (he says he now lives off the grid). Still another was the guy in college who waited at a men’s room for Aaron to emerge and shake his hand. “You know my hands are wet,” Aaron said he told the guy. “You watched me wash them.” (Not creepy at all.)

After the Q&A, we had the pleasure of getting an interview with Aaron..

I have heard Vic talk about you falling in the booth a few times during Fullmetal Alchemist. Can you tell the story in your perspective?

Yeah, sure. Okay I was eleven whenever I started and so I was very absent minded and kind of

ADD acting, like I actually had been diagnosed. So I would like move around a lot, I had a stool and so I’d be in the booth, leaning back and picking at the walls because there’s soft soundproofing material. I destroyed those walls honestly. Like who am I kidding? It was bad. I might have even written on them at one point.

“Aaron was here”?

Yeah, I think that’s exactly what I wrote, honestly! Anyway, so yeah I was a little turd. And so I was leaning back and what I got into was this mode where I’d be leaning back and I would hear the beeps. You have three beeps and on the fourth imaginary beep is when you’d start recording your line. I was leaning back, and Mike said [Mike McFarland, director of Fullmetal Alchemist], “Alright let’s do this line.” It would go beep beep beep, and I’d go up real fast and I’d be like “Brother.” ‘Kay. And so this time I was leaning back and beep beep and I tried to lean forward but the stool like gives out. It goes the wrong way. It goes forward instead of backwards and I go backwards and it pushes me against the wall and the stool props up in the front of the booth. And so like I just end up with my legs sandwiched against my chest. And the stool like pinning me there. And the only way for me to get out myself would have been to like twist out and fall straight to the ground. And so I didn’t want to do that but I also didn’t want to admit what had happened and they had heard the sound of the stool and all the crash. That’s recorded somewhere. And so there’s this pause where Mike says “Aaron?” He looks up trying to see me but he can’t because I’m too far down. And I was just like – all I could think of – I finally realized I was going to need help. So I asked for it. A little “Help me.” He had to pull me out.

And they’ve never let you live it down.

Never.

You have mentioned before that you got into voice acting because you were related to someone who was a voice actor. Could you talk a little bit more about that?

Yeah, okay. Justin Cook is currently a director of production at Funimation, but at the time he was acting and directing a bit and he basically got the impression that I was a good reader because I was reading Lord of the Rings. I wasn’t really understanding it all, but I was reading it. And you know, I was like in third grade, I was like nine. So I was a bit above my reading level, and as a result he decided, “Why don’t I try using an actual boy who I know who I have a rapport with so he won’t be nervous for this little part of a little boy instead of using a woman. It’ll sound more authentic.” And so he did, and it ended up turning out pretty good. I felt pretty good about it. And he felt pretty good about it and so he had me do a larger part from the same show and then ultimately I started auditioning for other stuff and Alphonse was the first or second character I landed actually. And I think part of the reason they gave me that part was because there were no flaps [mouth movements for animated characters] so I didn’t have to focus too much on the mouth movements and they were able to do what they needed to to adjust. So I just had to do the acting. And I think that’s a big part of what allowed me to do that at such a young age. It wasn’t as hard as what all the other actors were having to do. So it was nice. It was like having training wheels on for my first part.

What sort of shows do you like that aren’t anime?

I like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones. I read Game of Thrones before the series came out so I was super excited about it. I’m a big fan of Peaky Blinders, it’s a British crime show. It’s on Netflix right now. I also like westerns: Bonanza. I’m also a big fan of M*A*S*H which is so good. It has some of the best comedy ever. I have almost every episode memorized, I’ve watched it so many times. That’s what I grew up on.

Which actors would you actually ‘fangirl’ over?

Alan Alda. He plays Hawkeye [in M*A*S*H]. I forget her name, but I recently started watching Jessica Jones, and that actress is fantastic.

I love Jessica Jones. I’ve actually met David Tennant.

Oh cool, yeah! He plays Kilgrave [in Jessica Jones]. That guy’s awesome.

You said you did some directing for Funimation. What sort of skillset do you need to be a successful director?

I think that the acting and writing are both important because there comes a point where you have to know whether an actor could give you the read for a certain line or whether between the way the line was written and the flaps and their personal cadence, whether they’re capable of doing that line or whether or not it needs to be rewritten. And once you know it needs to be rewritten, it needs to be able to. So you need the writing skill to alter the line if need be. And you also need the acting experience and also the ability to describe how you need a certain read. So I found I was able to mostly harness my acting experience and be able to like use – and also my acting experience with like hearing the different directors and the way that they would direct me. So you can either give someone the read you want and see how they respond to that and you can say “No, say it like this” and then say it. Like I was a good parrot when I was an early actor. As Al I could easily say something back exactly how you had said it to me. That was a good training wheels thing. And then slowly I was able to predict what it was they were going to want and do it in the first round. Other than that, sometimes I use like little analogies. I’d say something like “Could you say that as more of a languid predator? You know, a leopard stalking its prey?” Or “Make it sound more like you dipped your hand in what you thought was a crate of berries, but instead it was acid.” Things like that. Colorful things. That sort of idea that they were pretending that happened and then get a little more of the nuance of what the line is than from just hearing where the character is coming from.

What do you do if the actor just can’t get the line right?

You either settle for what they can do or you say “Okay good, thanks,” and then you get someone else to do it. I have never had to do that. But I’ve also never had the authority to do that even on the show that I was directing. That was always Tyler’s call. He was my producer. He did the casting for me because it was my first show. So he took care of the hard parts.

How did you get started on doing conventions?

My first convention was before – okay so Anizona, which was a first year con, had me and the entire cast of – It was me, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Vic Mignogna, I think Caitlin Glass – everybody was there. It was a tiny con, maybe like eight hundred people. That was my first real con. I don’t know if it’s even going anymore but I did it and I was super nervous and I was like “What am I supposed to say?” Because we were going through opening ceremonies and we were going through and everyone was like  “Hey! I’m really glad to be here! My name is Travis Willingham and I play Roy Mustang.” And I didn’t even know what to say. They were all popping jokes and they were all like “What, you’re nervous?” And I was like “Yeah I’m nervous!” “Just tell them you’re nervous.” So I was like “Hey I’m Aaron, I play Al and I’m really nervous and there was a chorus of “Awwww” and uproarious applause. And I was like “That’s weird.”

Okay, one last question. What was your first experience with fangirls?

I ran from the first girl that tried to glomp [to pounce on and hug aggressively, often with a running start] me. I actually ran. She was a titan. She was really tall and she was wearing a Sailor Moon costume and I wasn’t familiar with Sailor Moon. I was only thirteen probably. Fourteen? Her friends met me first, and Vic said, “Do you know who this is? This guy is going to play Al.” And this was before Anizona. I was going to this con to get adjusted to it. It was a con in Fort Worth, my hometown. So I just went there for kicks to check out the scene and Vic happened to be there as a guest and he happened to recognize me and he told some other fans who I was and they were like, “We have to call our friend.” They called their friend and it was the 6’7 Amazon woman in a Sailor Moon outfit. She was like [bellows like a screaming fangirl]. People are like spilling to either side and it was an anime moment. I ran to the bathroom and then I slowly came back and hugged her calmly.

#Beaniebuds

#Beaniebuds

After the interview, Anthony and I went around the dealer room one last time when I noticed something very familiar. I am a yaoi fangirl, so I would recognize fan art from a fandom I am deeply involved in–in this case, Durarara!! What I saw was a wall scroll depicting the show’s most popular characters, Shizuo Heiwajima and Izaya Orihara, as they appeared in high school. They were embracing aggressively. The image was a popular piece of fan art. Someone had ripped it off, altered it slightly, and stuck it on a wall scroll that was now for sale.

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I spoke to a very close friend, Kawaiikisshu, who is also an artist. This particular image she had seen on Zerochan.net, and I found it in other places such as tumblr. She said there are a lot of these on eBay and it is sad that work gets robbed and turned into merchandise for money. I heard the same sentiment from Irene Y. Lee, who draws the Li’l Deadpool for Marvel Comics. We saw a picture at her booth of Li’l Deadpool looking through a box of comics, which I totally do not have a T-shirt of. No one obtained Irene’s permission to make the shirt, and she receives no payment from it. I wish now I had told some of the staff what I saw because I knew it was illegal. Artists deserve all the credit and the money their art is worth. I know how I would feel if someone copied and pasted this article into their own web site and pretended that they were me. If they were me, they can buy food for my eight cats. (Disclaimer: I am not a crazy cat lady.)

Aside from copyright infringement and the need for more than one room, Anime Fan Fest was a spectacular experience. It was organized, the guests were terrific, and the staff was superb. When I interviewed Vic at Ichibancon, the staff member who was supposed to handle his schedule told me to ask him myself. Aaron’s handler, however, worked with me to create a seamless interview process.

I guess the worst part about Anime Fan Fest was the drive. In North Carolina, it had already been raining for about a week, and it did not stop until we left New Jersey, which, by the way, is the capital of RUDE. In our 24 hours in the state, we were honked at fourteen times. I haven’t been honked at fourteen times in North Carolina in my nineteen years of living.

Just kidding. I HEART New Jersey.

Artist Alley

Artist Alley

Dealers' Room

Dealers’ Room

Even Shinra Kishitani needs his morning coffee.

Even Shinra Kishitani needs his morning coffee.

The wild Aaron Dismuke in his natural habitat.

The wild Aaron Dismuke in his natural habitat.

Got games?

Got games?

I didn't see any Harley Quinns, but I did see Harlequin (King) from The Seven Deadly Sins.

I didn’t see any Harley Quinns, but I did see Harlequin (King) from The Seven Deadly Sins.

Tokyo is so screwed.

Tokyo is so screwed.

Why so serious?

Why so serious?

This cosplayer knows how to get a-head in life.

This cosplayer knows how to get a-head in life.

Is it Huu (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Man-Thing, or my mom's ex boyfriend? You decide!

Is it Huu (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Man-Thing, or my mom’s ex boyfriend? You decide!

I wonder why the celebrities left?

I wonder why the celebrities left?

I'm furry tired.

I’m furry tired.

 

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