May 12, 2016 by Joe Fauvel
Filed under Animation, Anime, Collectibles, Comic Books, Convention News, Cosplay, Florida, Gaming, Horror, Manga, Movies, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Sports, Television, Video Games, Webcomics
We are headed to the Orange County Convention Center for one of the biggest horror conventions to date.
Join us on the dark side of comic con October 7-9, 2016!
Rooms are now available at our host hotel, The Hyatt Regency. Just mention “Spooky Empire” and get the special rate of $119/night. For reservations call 1-407-284-1234 or visit the site to reserve online.
For more information, tickets and hotel info visit us at www.spookyempire.com
A few years ago, when I was still in high school, a person who liked anime was made fun of for it. My school had a manga/book club, and the entire group was often ridiculed by jocks who wouldn’t know good writing if it were mixed in their protein shakes. Despite this, I grew to love the art form, and when I learned that there were whole conventions devoted to it, I begged my dad to take me to one. Surprisingly, he agreed.
Anime conventions were smaller then, including my first, Ichibancon 2012, which was held at a tiny hotel in Charlotte, NC. I originally went with two friends to meet none other than Vic Mignogna, who was–and remains to this day–my favorite voice actor. We stood in his autograph line for about 30 minutes, and when I finally got to his table, I said “Hi” in a talking-to-your-crush-for-the-first-time voice.
Now, five years later, I’m still going to that same convention. It was held this year over New Year’s Day weekend at Embassy Suites Hotel in Concord. Comparing this year’s Ichibancon to the one in 2012 is like comparing the inside of the TARDIS to the inside of my closet. Over 5,000 attendees pre-registered this year, which doesn’t include those who bought a badge on-site. I don’t think 5,000 people even knew about it in in 2012. The cosplayers were awesome. I saw anime, Marvel, and DC characters, plus assorted Pokemon and pop culture figures (the guy dressed as John Cena was meme-tastic). One group of cosplayers was from Undertale, a video game that just came out, which was impressive in its immediacy and quality. Dozens of panels were scheduled on just about any nerdy topic you could imagine, even for Homestuck, the webcomic created in 2009 by Andrew Hussie. The gamers had their own room: dozens of PlayStations and Nintendos (and I don’t mean Nintendogs) projected onto the walls. There was even a TARDIS bouncy house for all the children. I didn’t see the cosplay contest, but I’m sure it was fabulous, especially since, for the first year, a $500 prize was available for first place (this would probably cover the cost of half an automail leg).
Speaking of automail, I got a chance to talk to my five-years-ago idol, Vic Mignogna. Vic is the Johnny Depp of anime. Other voice actors were there, including several members of the cast of Durarara!! (Saki Mikajima, Kasuka Heiwajima, Seiji Yagiri, and Saburo Togusa), whom you don’t see often. But Vic was clearly the biggest draw: one girl came all the way from New Jersey to meet him.
After seeing him a dozen or more times over the years, I felt more relaxed than that initial time. Here is what we discussed.
Me: As Edward Elric, you’re very emotional and over the top. Then you recently switched to playing Kasuka on Durarara!! who is emotionless with a very emotional brother. What was that like?
Vic: You know, I have to tell you, I’m kind of naturally emotional and expressive with my voice. Then, when I was doing Durarara!!, started, and they asked me, can you take the emotion out of it? Can you make it flatter? I’m thinking, it’s pretty flat already. So, yeah, that was a big change.
Me: How long have you been doing conventions?
Vic: Wow. Honestly, maybe a total of thirteen years.
Me: How did you get started?
Vic: Well, I got started in voice acting sixteen or seventeen years ago, and I didn’t know anything about conventions. In fact, there weren’t any at the time. Then, a few years into my career, I saw Monica Rial, and she said to me, “Hey, do you want to go to an anime convention?” I was like, “A what? They have conventions?” I went to Star Trek conventions when I was a little boy, but I had never been to an anime convention. So I went as a guest to one in Ohio, in Columbus, and I was just blown away. I couldn’t believe that there were these wall scrolls with my characters on it and pencil boards and plushies. I had no idea this stuff existed. That was the first one I went to, and of course it ramped up since then.
Me: I’ve also seen you at conventions like DragonCon that are not strictly anime conventions. Talk about the difference between those.
Vic: Anime conventions are very special in and of themselves. There is a real strong sense of community because everybody is there because they love this one specific genre of entertainment. Multicultural, pop culture conventions are more of something for everyone. It’s nice to have an anime presence there, but they don’t typically have the same feeling, a sense of family that you get at an anime convention. I suppose it would probably be the same for any convention that pertains to one thing. If you went to a Supernatural convention, it’s a little more focused. But I enjoy pop culture conventions, mostly because I’m a big sci-fi fan myself, so it’s a real pleasure to get to meet other sci-fi actors that I’m a fan of.
Me: Who is your favorite celebrity you’ve ever met?
Vic: Oh, Bill Shatner, of course. I’ve loved Captain Kirk since I was a little boy. [Want to see Vic as a little boy? Click here.] And you know, when I was young, I used to go to Star Trek conventions, and he is the only one of the original cast I never got to meet. Now, to literally be represented by the same manager who represents Bill, we get booked into conventions together, and we’ve gotten to have dinner together and travel a little bit and hang out, so it’s a real privilege.
Me: Have you had to suppress the urge to squeal like a fangirl?
Vic: All the time. All the time. [Laughs.] I want to respect him and not turn into one of those fanboys he’s dealt with for forty years.
Me: I read on your Wikipedia page that you were once a law enforcement officer.
Vic: I was. Right after college, my mom, who lives on the eastern shore of Maryland, was very good friends with the chief of police in the city where she lived. She always used to brag to him about her son who was a moral, ethical, upstanding member of the community. And so he said, well, I’d like to have someone like that on the police force. I didn’t have any plans right after college, so I went back there and went through the police training and became a cop for two years. It was never a career move. I enjoyed it a lot, but it isn’t something I want to do forever.
Me: It takes a special person to do that job.
Vic: It does. And to deal with the darker side of humanity so much of your life, always having to enforce the laws and deal with people breaking the rules can make a person very cynical and depressed.
Me: I have a copy of your Gospel of John CD. What was the genesis [see what I did there?] of that project?
Vic: Actually, it’s kind of interesting. I was at a convention, and a mother came up to me and said, “My daughter loves your work. She could sit and listen to you for hours. She loves your voice. You could read the phone book and she would listen to it.” I thought, what a nice thing to say. Then I thought, maybe not the phone book, but what if I were to record something of more importance and give it away. So I went home and recorded the Gospel of John and used a contemporary translation and played the piano underneath it to make it easy to listen to. I put a lot of money into it myself to get all the discs pressed, and now I give it away at conventions because what better thing to give to fans of my work than something that is very precious to me?
Me: Do you have plans to do more books?
Vic: I would love to, but it takes a lot of time, and to be honest, I don’t know what book I would do. There aren’t a lot of books of the Bible that stand by themselves, that tell the whole story. If you’re gonna get one chance to tell someone the story of Jesus, why he came, what he did, his ministry, his rising again, all of that, it’s all pretty self-contained in the Gospel of John. So I don’t know what book I would do, and it’s very time-consuming. I don’t have a lot of time, especially now with the Star Trek series I’m doing.
Me: So the Star Trek series is still going well?
Vic: Oh yeah. Bigger than ever. We just finished shooting episode six. Popularity is growing, and viewership is growing. At the risk of sounding partial, it’s fantastic. It looks and feels and sounds exactly like the original series. We have managed to continue the original series in every way, so you feel like you’re watching episodes that were never broadcast.
Me: But they’re all original stories.
Vic: Oh yes. From the recreation of the sets to the lighting, costumes, make-up, story, music, editing, characters—everything. No amount of description can prepare you for the quality. And it’s free. Just go to startrekcontinues.com. The first episode is wonderful, and the second is better than the first, and the third is better than the second. They just get better and better
Me: Last question. What is it like dealing with all the fangirls who are much younger than you?
Vic: Well, it’s kind of funny because, if I were half my age, I would be flattered. But I really look at it more like a father looking at younger people and going, Man, if I can give some joy to this person, if I can make them feel special about themselves, because so many of these kids are struggling with who they are and their place in the world and their security and self-esteem. I feel as if I have been given an opportunity to be an encouragement, somebody that they look up to and notices them and compliments them and puts his arms around them and gives them a big hug and engages with them. I think that’s very important. I didn’t used to realize how important that is, and over the years, with all the emails and letters I’ve gotten and interactions I’ve had at conventions, I’ve come to realize that God has put me here for a very specific purpose, and that is to bring encouragement and love and kindness and support to a lot of people who are at a very sensitive crossroads in their lives.
Of course, everyone has their criticisms no matter how much they enjoy something, and Ichibancon was not without flaws. For one thing, it needs a larger venue. There were lines to get into the dealer room and artist alley, and some of the panels were standing room only. Parking was ridiculous. I squeezed my car in next to a dumpster, and I saw people walking over from car dealerships and other hotels. According to one staff member, however, the only place large enough to expand to is the Charlotte Convention Center, whose surrounding hotels are much more expensive–$240 a night or more. Anime conventions are largely attended by teenagers, who don’t have much money (and spend what they do have on Call of Duty).
It was clear from artist alley and the dealer room that neither of them was “juried.” Some conventions judge vendors’ merchandise ahead of time and then make decisions on who gets a slot. This is done to make sure there is enough variety and quality in the room. Ichibancon, it seems, didn’t do this because there was a lot of repetition in both areas. Merchandise was mostly plushies, posters, and wall scrolls. There was no manga, and I saw only one dealer selling comic-related stuff (usually, there are more).
Even with all these negative things going on in the convention, that is no reason for the muggles to boycott this convention (I saw a picketer in the parking lot). In fact, I believe that this convention is the perfect one for any anime convention newbies.
|Clarksville Comic, Anime & Toy Con|
|Convention Website Address|
|This convention will take place:|
|Start Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)|
|End Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)|
|About This Convention|
|CLARKSVILLE/FT CAMPBELL ANIME , COMIC, & TOY CON
APRIL 30 & MAY 1st, 2016
ALL MILITARY FREE WITH ID ON SUN …ALL FAMILY MEMBERS INCLUDED ! Police , Fire, and Rescue Personal FREE as well on Sunday with ID!
This show is created to give our Thanks to YOU , AND your Family , for your Service and Sacrifice for our Country!
Riverview Inn, 50 College St. , Clarksville , TN 37040 (931) 552-3331
SAT 10-5/ SUN 11-4.. FREE PARKING..ALL GUESTS SIGN FOR FREE! (Guests will sign any item brought to them for FREE…They will charge for the items at THEIR table..But the Autograph is FREE!
ADMISSION FOR NON MILITARY $10 A DAY, VIP PACKAGE 35.00 (Details Below)VIP PACKAGE THERE ARE ONLY 50 VIP’S AVAILABLE !!
The Package is 35.00 and Includes the following:
1. Guaranteed FREE Convention Nylon Totebag
2. Admission for BOTH Saturday and Sunday
3. Early Entrance BOTH days 30 Minutes before the rest of the Attendees (9:30 Sat, 10:30 Sun)
4. Goodie Bag at least 30.00 worth of Comics, Books, DVDs, CDs, Posters, Cards, etc.
5. 1/2 Price Passes to our Conventions in Nashville, Paducah, and Jackson (TN)
6. A SIGNED Comic Book . There will also be ONE signed comic book inside each package signed by , Mark Silvestri, Eric Powell, Mike Zeck, Joe Quesada, etc.
7.You will receive 10 “Raffle” Tickets for entry to the Sunday Win-An-Entire-Booth of Merchandise drawing (3000.00 worth of Merchandise) instead of ONE ticket that the regular admission gets you. (SEE DETAILS BELOW)
8.Free Passes to Atlanta Comic Convention
9. Free Black Widow Print made JUST for the show that you can have ALL the guests sign for FREE!
10. Gravity Falls or Family Guy Print to get signed by Roberto Rodriguez for FREE!
11.Spawn Comic to get signed by Mike Nicolosi for FREE!
12. Walking Dead Print to get signed by Santiago Cirillo for FREE!
…..ALL FOR JUST 35.00 ….You can Paypal the funds to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check or MO to Wes Tillander, PO Box 1251 , Hogansville ,Ga 30230
You can also use your credit card …email me the number, expiration date , 3 digit number on the back of the card and your zip code..and we will process your order and email you your receipt…your charge will read “Wesley Tillander’s Books”… Anymore questions, let us know…Thanks Wes
Jacob Roguemont Artist of Deadpool, Wolverine, Avengers , Iron Man, Thor , X-Men, Index to the Marvel Universe Series, More!
Sherard Jackson..Comic Artist of Voltron , Various Antarctic Press & Image Comic Titles and Animator on A Scanner Darkly , Unconditional, More!
ACTORS & MEDIA
Santiago Cirrillo … The Walking Dead’s Julio
David Fultz..Credits include The Dark Knight, Santa Claus Vs The Zombies, RED, More! Plus He is a Musician and Hall of Fame Martial Artist
Bill Byrge…Ernest Saves Christmas, Ernest Scared Straight
James Neathery…Contestant on Game Show Network’s Steampunked, and Cosplay Expert
Dr. Jeff Thompson…Horror Writer and Dark Shadows Expert
WIN-AN-ENTIRE-BOOTH PRIZE RAFFLE ! (3000.00 WORTH OF MERCHANDISE!)
PANEL SCHEDULE (Subject to change)
|Venue Name and Address|
50 College St
Clarksville, TN 37040
|Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables|
|Please select the Category that best describes the convention|
|Roberto Rodriguez, Mike Nicolosi, 20 Guests in All|
April 15, 2016 by Joe Fauvel
Filed under Animation, Anime, Collectibles, Comic Books, Comic Strips, Convention News, Cosplay, Florida, Gaming, Horror, Manga, Movies, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Sports, Television, Video Games, Webcomics
AHOY THERE, EXHIBITORS AND ARTISTS!
Thar be a Wizard World Cruise Coming This December!
Don’t miss a chance to enjoy a cruise from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas and sell your booty on the high seas! The cruise will happen this December 2nd-5th. Click here for general information about the journey.
The details are almost finalized, but before we can send information and pricing to you, we need to know if you’re interested!
If you would like to know more about being an Exhibitor or Artist on board the ship and have not already inquired, please fill out THIS FORM by Sunday, April 17th and we will reach out to you shortly with more specific information including pricing.
For more information on the cruise visit HERE!
Dallas Comic Show is meant to be a nice throwback to the good old days of pop culture conventions, with affordable admission prices, a nice mix of guests from both the comic book and media realm, and carefully curated vendors offering high quality and licensed product. There’s a strict “no fan art” policy for all artist alley tables, bringing back the purity of creator-owned product and original content for customers to check out.
Comic book guests include Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Tony Harris (Star Wars: C-3PO), Brandon Peterson (Uncanny Inhumans), Cully Hamner (Red), Tony Bedard (Supergirl), Mark Verheiden (Netflix’s Daredevil writer/producer), Mark A. Nelson (Aliens), Michael Lark (Lazarus), James O’Barr (The Crow), Joe Eisma (Morning Glories) and more.
Media guests include Sam Jones (Flash Gordon), Jamie Kennedy (Scream 1-3), Sean Patrick Flanery (Boondock Saints), Billy West (Futurama and Ren & Stimpy), Samantha Newark (Jem), Judith Hoag (TMNT’s April O’Neil), Taimak (The Last Dragon) and Dragon Ball Z voices Chris Rager and Josh Martin.
- World premiere signing of Dark Horse’s ALIENS 30th Anniversary hardcover with writer Mark Verheiden and artist Mark A. Nelson.
- Brian Stelfreeze and Tony Harris make their first signing appearances since the release of Marvel’s super hot Black Panther #1 and Star Wars: C-3PO.
- Special film screenings with guest Q&As on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson, TX.
This is a fun family event for all ages, Q&A panels all weekend, and costume contest Saturday night. All the info can be found at www.dallascomicshow.com
April 15, 2016 by Joe Fauvel
Filed under Animation, Anime, Collectibles, Comic Books, Comic Strips, Convention News, Cosplay, Gaming, Horror, Manga, Movies, Rhode Island, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Sports, Television, Video Games, Webcomics
Get Stan VIP Tickets HERE!
Ian Condry (MIT) and Jennifer Fu (Funimation) host a discussion and screening of the anime THE BOY AND THE BEAST at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Building 34-101 on Tuesday April 26, 2016 at 7:00 PM! Admission is FREE on open to the public!
Latest feature anime film from award-winning Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Wolf Children)
When Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts, he’s taken in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who’s been searching for the perfect apprentice. Despite their constant bickering, Kyuta and Kumatetsu begin training together and slowly form a bond as surrogate father and son. But when a deep darkness threatens to throw the human and beast worlds into chaos, the strong bond between this unlikely family will be put to ultimate test—a final showdown that will only be won if the two can finally work together using all of their combined strength and courage.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
50 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
April 5, 2016 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Anime, Comic Books, Convention News, Cosplay, Georgia, Horror, Manga, Movies, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Television, Video Games, Webcomics
Dragon Con, Inc., parent company of the internationally known Dragon Con pop culture convention, and MomoCon LLC, parent of the fastest growing all ages fan convention in the country, have formed an unprecedented strategic partnership to share resources, knowledge and experience to ensure that Atlanta continues to have the strongest fan conventions in the country.
Importantly, Dragon Con, Inc. will provide MomoCon with back office and administrative support while the current MomoCon leadership, including founders Chris Stuckey and Jessica Merriman, will continue to organize the convention and serve as its co-chairs. Stuckey and Merriman will also take expanded roles with Dragon Con, Inc. and the Dragon Con convention.
Founded in 2005, MomoCon began as an outgrowth of Georgia Tech’s anime club. Its first convention attracted about 700 people to a free event on the school’s campus. Ten years later, MomoCon attracted some 22,000 total attendees (more than 60,000 at the turnstile) to a four-day convention held in the Georgia World Congress Center.
“In today’s competitive convention landscape, having Dragon Con and its founder Pat Henry on our side is an incredible advantage,” Stuckey said. “This partnership gives Jess and I the ability to pursue our vision for MomoCon while continuing to provide our fans with the high quality event they expect from us year after year.”
“We believe deeply in home-grown, well-run fan conventions that bring real value to the community,” said Henry, who was one of several Dragon Con founders in 1986 and serves as the company’s president today. “I am excited to be working with these two enormously creative entrepreneurs. I believe that their leadership will also help keep Dragon Con on the cutting edge of the convention scene.”
MomoCon 2016, which brings together fans of Japanese anime, American animation, comics and gaming, will be held May 26 through May 29 at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Dragon Con will celebrate its 30th year as the internationally known pop culture, sci fi, fantasy and gaming convention on Labor Day, September 2 through September 5 at five host hotels and the AmericasMart in downtown Atlanta. More than 70,000 people from every state in the union plus a few foreign countries attended Dragon Con in 2015.
About Dragon Con
Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans by fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,000 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Founded in 2004 by Jessica Merriman and Chris Stuckey, then students at Georgia Tech, MomoCon has grown from a 700 person on campus event to one of the largest conventions in the southeast United States for fans of video games, animation, cosplay, comics and tabletop games. More information about MomoCon is available at www.momocon.com.
Boston Comic Con is happy to welcome actor Vic Mignogna, best known for his voice acting work on the anime Fullmetal Alchemist, to the media guest lineup this year as part of our Star Trek 50th Anniversary Celebration! Vic plays Captain Kirk in the webseries Star Trek Continues, which is a direct continuation of the Enterprise’s five-year mission. He joins a guest list that includes Karl Urban, Dr. McCoy in the new series of Star Trek films including this summer’s Star Trek Beyond, and the original Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner! Check out the full list of celebrity guests at the link!
Victor Mignogna is an American actor known for his prolific voice-over work in the English dubs of Japanese anime shows and for his role as Captain Kirk in the immensely popular fan-created sci fi series Star Trek Continues. Vic’s most notable voice role is that of Edward Elric for the Fullmetal Alchemist series, for which he earned the American Anime Award for Best Actor in 2007. Other notable roles in anime include his work in the Dragon Ball Z films, Ouran High School Host Club, Tubas: Reservoir Chronicle, D.N. Angel, and Vampire Knight. His video game credits include Sonic the Hedgehog series and Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3.
Victor will be appearing all three days of the event.
About Boston Comic Con:
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 120,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. This year’s convention will be held Friday August 12th, Saturday August 13th, and Sunday August 14th at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210. For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!