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
May the 4th be with You! Star Wars Celebration comes to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL in 2017.
Tickets on sale May 25 at 12:00 PM PDT, 3:00 PM EDT, 8:00 PM GMT+1.
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.
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!
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!
April 13, 2016 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Collectibles, Comic Books, Comic Strips, Convention News, Cosplay, Gaming, Horror, Michigan, Movies, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Television, Top Stories, Video Games
“C’mon Batman – There’s not a moment to lose…”. The excitement has been building and Motor City Comic Con 2016 is announcing a new cast of comic and media guests for its 27th
annual, three-day comic con and has opened ticket sales online. Michigan’s number one pop culture event will toast the 50th anniversary of Batman with stars from the original cast in their last year of appearances before they hang up their capes. The weekend event will feature stars from popular television series and films like Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Gotham, The X-Files, Monty Python, The Hobbit, and many more. “Holy smokes, Batman.” This year’s Motor City Comic Con will take place Friday, May 13 (12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.), Saturday, May 14 (10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday, May 15 (10:30 a.m. to 5
p.m.) at the Suburban Showplace, located at 46100 Grand River Avenue in Novi. Complete information about the event, tickets, panels and VIP passes is available at www.motorcitycomiccon.com
The weekend event features more than 300 creators, writers, illustrators and actors who will greet the fans, sign autographs, take pictures, and provide panels and Q & A discussions, while many super fans are dressed in their pop culture best. A popular event is Saturday’s cosplay contest where a mix of celebrity judges determine the best costume winners, presenting prizes and gift packages. Motor City Comic Con’s annual Saturday night bash celebrates comic con weekend with entertainment, refreshments, and light hors devours for the public. Sunday is Kid’s Day featuring kid-friendly activities.
Hot off the Gotham Globe press, some of this year’s Motor City Comic Con guest announcements include:
Lena Headey: The English actress is best known for her role as Cersei Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Other appearances include: The Purge, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dredd, 300, and more.
Adam West: Known as the original Batman from the classic television series, his film, television, character, voice, and stage actor career spans over six decades, making nearly 50 movies. West is the author of Back to the Batcave, and Climbing the Walls.
Burt Ward: Known as the original Robin from the classic television series and Batman: The Movie (1966). Ward wrote tell-all autobiography Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights, and continues to appear in numerous reunions with co-star Adam West.
Billie Piper: The UK singer, dancer and television star is best known for her role as Rose Tyler in Doctor Who. Piper can also be seen on Penny Dreadful. Other television film roles include: The Ruby in the Smoke, and The Shadow in the North, and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
Holland Roden: Known as Lydia Martin on MTV’s Teen Wolf and as Emily Locke on Lost. Other appearances include: Weeds, Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Cold Case, Community, and Criminal Minds.
Tara Reid: Best known for her roles in American Pie, The Big Lebowski, Josie and the Pussycats, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, My Boss’s Daughter, and SyFy’s Sharknado.
Elden Henson: Actor best known for playing Matt Murdock’s partner and best friend, Foggy Nelson in Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix series, Fulton Reed in the Mighty Ducks trilogy, and Pollux in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2.
The Four Horsemen: A rare reunion after 15 years of the greatest wrestling faction of all time. Professional wrestlers Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham and manager JJ Dillion were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.
Michael Nesmith: An American musician, songwriter, actor, producer, novelist, businessman, and philanthropist, Nesmith is best known as a member of the pop rock band The Monkees and co-star of the TV series The Monkees (1966-1968). This year marks the 50th anniversary of the show.
Michael Cudlitz: Known as Abraham Ford on AMC’s The Walking Dead. He played John Cooper in series Southland, and has appeared in more than 20 films and television series such as Prison Break, Lost, The Dark Tourist, Surrogates, Tenure, Six Feet Under, and more.
Robin Lord Taylor: Dubbed as “favorite breakout star of television,” Taylor is best known as Oswald Cobblepot or The Penguin on Gotham. Known for his role as Sam on The Walking Dead, and as Abernathy Darwin Dunlap in Accepted.
Dean O’Gorman: A New Zealand actor, artist and photographer, he is best known as Fili in The Hobbit trilogy, and as Kirk Douglas in Trumbo. Other appearances include: Shortland Street, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Young Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess, and McLeod’s Daughters.
Josh McDermitt: Comedian and star of AMC’s The Walking Dead made his television debut on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006. He was casted in TV movie Rehab for Rejects and as Brandon on Retired at 35. McDermitt can also be seen in Middle Man and Odious.
Sonequa Martin-Green: An actress and producer, known for her role as Sasha in The Walking Dead, and as Tamara in Once Upon a Time.
Mitch Pileggi: An Italian-American actor best known for his role as Walter Skinner on The X-Files. He later reprised the role in the show’s feature film The X-Files (1998) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).
Michael Trevino: Known as Tyler Lockwood in the CW series The Vampire Diaries, Lockwood also appeared in spin-off series The Originals.
Alan Davis: UK artist known for drawing the revamped Captain Britain story in The Mighty World of Marvel, he has also created D.R. and Quinch for 2000AD. Other recognizable works include: The Uncanny X- Men, Excalibur, JLA: The Nail, and JLA: Another Nail.
Kevin O’Neill: British comic artist is best known for his work on 2000AD, Marshal Law, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Other works include: Omega Men, Tales of the Green Lantern Corp., Metalzoic, and Avatar’s Cinema Purgatorio.
Neal Adams: Known for transforming Batman’s realistic incarnation seen in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Other legendary comic book work includes: X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, and Deadman. Adams is preparing to release his graphic novel Blood, and a Harley Quinn book.
Bob Layton: A comic visionary, creator, writer, artist, designer, and entrepreneur, known for reinventing Iron Man in the 70s, turning it into an all-time best selling comic series. Layton launched the first mini- series in comics’ history Hercules: Prince of Power.
Terry Jones: Best known as a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, Jones co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Other directing credits include: Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life, Personal Services, Erik the Viking, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and Absolutely Everything.
Ian Ziering: Known for his array of acting including Beverly Hills 90210, No Way Back, What I Like About You, Melrose Place, and Happily Divorced. Ziering became the most in-demand actor for various animated films and television shows Spider-Man, Mighty Ducks, Batman Beyond, and Biker Mice from Mars.
Additional media and comic guest announcements are coming soon. For more information regarding Motor City Comic Con guests and events, visit www.motorcitycomiccon.com.
About Motor City Comic Con
Michigan’s largest pop-culture event since 1989, Motor City Comic Con gathers comic book and multimedia dealers from across the country, offering a vast variety of pop-culture merchandise, including comics, art, t-shirts, movie memorabilia, posters and much more. Over 300 comic book creators, writers and artists are on site at Motor City Comic Con each year, as well as more than 50 actors from the television and movie industry. Motor City Comic Con offers big fun for kids young and old.
Artist Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, The Sandman) returns to Challengers Comics for a release day signing for the brand new BEASTS OF BURDEN one-shot “WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN” on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 from 5:00 till 7:00 PM!
1845 N. Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
|RocCon! Rochester’s ComicCon & Pop Culture Convention|
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|RocCon is a multi Genre Con featuring Comic Books, Sci Fi, Anime, Gaming and some Horror.
This year’s Guests: Naomi Grossman/Pepper in American Horror Story, Ming Chen & Michael Zapcic From “The Comic Book Men”!, Vic Mignogna/Dragon Ball Z/Full Metal Alchemist/ Star Trek Continues, Veronica Taylor the voice of Ash Ketchum in Pokemon & April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 and Susan Gibney/Dr. Leah Abrams Star Trek Next Generation! Many other Stars to be announced!
Guest artists include(But are not limited to): Ken Lashley (Extrodinary XMen, Superman, He-Man, Justice League and more!, Mark Sparacio (Wolverine,XMen & More), Ken Hunt (Batman & Many others), Laura Inglis (Comic Artist who’s work has appeared on over 40 popular trading card sets) and Dan Curto (Star Wars Topps Collector Card Series Artist!)
Fun for ages 6 and Up
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|Kodak Event Center/Theatre on the Ridge
200 West Ridge Rd
Rochester, NY 14615
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|Naomi Grossman/Pepper in American Horror Story, Ming Chen & Michael Zapcic From “The Comic Book Men”!, Vic Mignogna/Dragon Ball Z/Full Metal Alchemist/ Star Trek Continues, Veronica Taylor the voice of Ash Ketchum in Pokemon & April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 and Susan Gibney/Dr. Leah Abrams Star Trek Next Generation! Many other Stars to be announced! Guest artists include(But are not limited to): Ken Lashley (Extrodinary XMen, Superman, He-Man, Justice League and more!, Mark Sparacio (Wolverine,XMen & More), Ken Hunt (Batman & Many others), Laura Inglis (Comic Artist who’s work has appeared on over 40 popular trading card sets) and Dan Curto (Star Wars Topps Collector Card Series Artist!)|