Clermont Comic Con adds more Artists to November 19th Show!

Legendary Iron Man artist Bob Layton!

For more info visit the website HERE!

2017 ALA Conference Announces Graphic Novel & Comics Programming

Learn about the art of graphic novels, comics, illustration and how games and gaming inspire creativity and social interaction at the American Library Association’s annual conference on June 23-26, 2017! RSVP on Facebook!

Friday, June 23

5:45pm-6:35pm

DC’s Young Animal

DC’s Young Animal is a new publishing imprint spearheaded by Gerard Way, the acclaimed author of THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY and best-selling musician. This new line of graphic novels is something different, inspired by the visionary work of DC’s experimental past, but shaped and focused by the absurdity of today. Join Way and some of today’s most innovative creators including Cecil Castellucci, Jody Houser, Jon Rivera, and Nick Derington, as they discuss their works DOOM PATROL VOL. 1: BRICK BY BRICK, SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL VOL. 1: EARTH GIRL MADE EASY, CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE VOL. 1: GOING UNDER and MOTHER PANIC VOL. 1: WORK IN PROGRESS. This panel will discuss how the themes, characters and plot devices in these graphic novels from DC’s Young Animal will engage with readers and patrons like few other works in the industry can today.

Saturday, June 24

9:30am-10:20am

The Rise of Graphic Novels for Kids in Europe and the USA

European and American publishers and authors discuss the emergence of the format and its phenomenal rise internationally in the past decade. They will also look at the differences and similarities of working in comics in Europe and the USA.

10:30am-11:20am

Hazardous Tales and Science Fiction with Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale’s New York Times bestselling graphic novel series NATHAN HALE’S HAZARDOUS TALES have exploded in classrooms and libraries around the country. With a seventh book on the way for Fall 2017, the craze that gets kids excited about history shows no signs of slowing. In this presentation, Nathan Hale will give the audience a sneak peek of the next Hazardous Tales book as well as discuss his recent science fiction graphic novel, ONE TRICK PONY.

11:30am-12:20pm

Spotlight on Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation with adapter Damian Duffy and illustrator John Jennings

More than 35 years after its release, Octavia Butler’s celebrated science fiction masterpiece, Kindred, continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings have adapted this iconic work into the graphic novel format, which instantly became a #1 New York Times bestseller. They will discuss the process of working with this mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century.
12:30pm-1:20pm

What Does An Idea Look Like? A Conversation About Creativity with Grant Snider, author of The Shape of Ideas

What does an idea look like? And where do they come from? An orthodontist by day and artist by night, Grant Snider, author of ’The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity’, had had comics featured in the Kansas City Star, the New York Times Book Review, as well as The Best American Comics in 2013. On this panel, he will share the secrets to his own creative process and share tips on how to keep ideas flowing. ’The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity’, is a collection of one- and two-page comics that provide insight into the joys and frustrations of creativity, inspiration, and process—no matter your age or creative background.

1:30pm-2:20pm

VIZ Media Presents – Manga!!

VIZ Media, the premier publisher of manga in the English speaking world, has released several hit series such as Naruto, Pokemon, and Ouran High School Host Club. Join us as we talk about which manga are currently the most popular on the scene as well as exciting new series coming soon!

2:30pm-3:20pm

Creator Spotlight: Jessica Abel

Writer/artist Jessica Abel has always been known for work outside the graphic novel mainstream. From her breakout work LA PERDIDA to her comics textbooks, Abel has displayed not only the ability to craft compelling stories but also a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the medium. Her latest series, TRISH TRASH: ROLLERGIRL OF MARS is the story of a mixed race teenager on Mars, struggling to escape economic oppression through a futuristic version of roller derby. Super Genius publisher Terry Nantier speaks with Abel about her long career and why TRISH TRASH is the heroine America needs right now.

3:30pm-4:20pm

Category or Genre: What’s Next for Graphic Novels?

With books aimed at everyone from young children to the most mature adults, there literally is a graphic novel for every reader. But does all this diversity mean we should rethink graphic novel sections in libraries? Should they take their place alongside more traditional books in sections ranging from biography to science fiction. Or does the unique nature of the medium (and its readers) drive a need for graphic novels to always have their own special place on the shelves?

4:30pm-5:00pm

DC Super Hero Girls Original Graphic Novels

Join DC Comics and writer Shea Fontana for a discussion on the DC SUPER HERO GIRLS original graphic novel line! With books such as FINALS CRISIS, HITS AND MYTHS and the new SUMMER OLYMPUS, these graphic novels developed for girls 6-12 have been a smash-hit success across libraries and bookstores alike. Shea will discuss how these new works from DC are relating to young girls everywhere, with themes of empowerment, friendship and teamwork prevalent throughout. Q&A to follow!

Sunday, June 25

9:30am-10:20am

How to write for children

An overview of graphic novels for kids, from classics (like “Tintin”, “Boule & Bill”, etc), right up to the present day. How do you think up a story for a three-year-old, an eight-year-old or a young-adult?

10:30am-11:20am

Comics at the frontier of a new literary movement

Comics are at a new height of popularity and cultural acceptance, but can artists and publishers ensure that this isn’t just a passing trend? Does the popularity of superhero comics help or hinder the consideration of the art form as a whole? Artists like Sam Bosma, Jen Lee & Elise Gravel are at the vanguard of taking comics beyond the public’s popular preconceptions, and they’ll discuss the shape of comics as a genre, a medium, and an art form. Learn how artists can use genre conventions to ease readers into a completely different side of the comics scene, and see what’s possible when artists are able to take you beyond your assumptions. The popularity of genre has given fans an introduction to the art of comics, and these panelists are using that to show the world that the future of the medium goes beyond any one category!

11:30am-12:20pm

Image Comics 25th Anniversary Celebration

Comic creators Ryan Browne, Marjorie Liu, Jim Rugg, Gregg Schigiel, Tim Seeley, and Skottie Young speak about their experience of Image Comics throughout the years & reflect on how the company’s history has impacted their own career trajectory. Discussion will touch on both specifics about Image and also how comics as a whole have evolved. Creators will talk about their inspirations, tell stories about times they were directly or indirectly affected by their industry role models, talk about upcoming titles, and discuss how they are carrying the torch forward! A raffle and short signing will take place at the close of the event.

12:30pm-1:20pm

Comics for Teens: Discovery in the Library

Librarians, authors and publishers discussing and sharing thoughts about aiding teens and YA readers in discovering comics/ YA Graphic novels. A look at what has worked in the past as well as what tools can be used to grow readership in this category.

1:30pm-2:20pm

A Monstress Discussion with Author Marjorie Liu

Marjorie Liu discusses the upcoming new volume in her critically acclaimed series, Monstress. The author will describe her creative process, including inspirations and research methods, and will take questions from the audience. A raffle and short signing will take place at the close of the event.

2:30pm-3:20pm

Check out Dynamite in 2017

A discussion of Dynamite’s exciting current and future releases.

3:30pm-4:20pm

Liberties at work and Creator’s ownership

Artists come together to discuss the different creative methods in France and the USA: liberty of choices, schedules, production, printing, etc. What does it means to be a French Artist?

Authors will also discuss the concept of ownership in France and in the USA : To whom does the work belong? What are the rights of an artist over their work?

Monday, June 26

9:30am-10:20am

Champion of the Graphic Novel: Will Eisner at 100 Years

Will Eisner was, and still is, one of the most influential forces in the comics and graphic novels publishing industry. This year we celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday with a conversation about his contribution and commitment to the idea of graphic novels as a true form of literature. The discussion will also cover the relationship between the library world and the growth of the comics industry and more specifically how librarians helped to define and grow the graphic novel category.

10:30am-11:20am

Tabletop Games 101

Playing Tabletop games in libraries is growing. As libraries expand their breadth, more and more library members are enjoying table-top games, played with real people, face-to-face, in libraries. But, what exactly are tabletop games? How do I tell board games from role-playing games, from card games? Which games are suitable for young people, and which will be enjoyed by an older crowd? This panel of gaming veterans including game publishers and distributors will cut the red tape so each library knows which games to bring in. At ALA Annual, Friday Games Night will give everyone an opportunity to play a variety of games and talk to publishers and distributors. Open gaming on the floor, during the day offers more opportunities to learn and have fun doing it.

11:30am-12:20pm

Disney Manga: family friendly fun!

With the explosion in popularity of manga, parents and librarians have rightfully been concerned about child-friendly titles. With TOKYOPOP’s Disney Manga line, we bring the magic of Disney to this popular form of graphic novels, providing families with a way to enjoy their favorite Disney characters and stories in manga style! With titles brought directly from Japan and our own original titles made in collaboration with Disney’s team, we want to break down the misconception that all manga is inappropriate for little ones and encourage young readers with this fun line of graphic novels.

STAR WARS Legend Confirmed for Boston! 

THIS IS THE DROID YOU’RE LOOKING FOR!

ANTHONY DANIELS, the legendary actor behind STAR WARS’ iconic C-3PO is bringing
over seven million forms of communication to BOSTON COMIC CON!

Boston Comic Con runs from August 11-13 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

Bob Layton will attend Clermont Comic Con

Bob Layton will attend Clermont Comic Con November 19th

One of the comics industry’s true visionaries at every level, creator, writer, artist, designer, and entrepreneur, with over 5000 comic book credits to his name, Bob Layton has successfully migrated from comics to other media, including television, animation and feature films .

If you’ve seen the Iron Man movies, then you’re familiar with Bob’s work as the DVD extras make clear. Bob reinvented the Iron Man comic in the late 70s, taking it from near-cancellation to one of Marvel’s all-time bestselling series. The classic Iron Man story “Demon in a Bottle” was recently voted “one of the top 20 comic stories of all time”. Bob also is credited as the co-creator of Marvel’s War Machine and DC Comics’ The Huntress as well as designing Mattel’s hugely-successful “Secret Wars” toy line.

At Marvel, Bob launched the first mini-series in comics’ history with his highly-praised “Hercules: Prince of Power“. That series, which Layton wrote and drew, spawned several successful sequels, a graphic novel and is still available to this day in trade paperback format. Layton also launched the record-breaking comic series “X-Factor” for Marvel. As co-author, Bob was involved in the creation of the new Ant-Man (Scott Lang) and many of the characters that appeared in the hit Marvel film.

Dubbed the unofficial “King of Marvel Merchandising”, Bob’s Bronze Age art currently appears on over 10,000 individual items for sale.

Bob was instrumental in Valiant Comics’ meteoric success in the 90s — first as co-architect of the Valiant Universe and then, as its Co-Owner/Editor-In-Chief/Senior VP. Valiant continues to thrive to this day and has begun work on creating motion pictures based on Bob’s original creations with Sony Pictures

In 2007, Bob made a career change and turned his attentions towards film and television. Bob currently works with Hollywood and the various Florida Film Commissions in developing properties in state for motion pictures and television. Bob has creative credits in seven Marvel films and a host of other television and movie acknowledgments while working with such stars as Academy Award Nominee Edward James Olmos, Kevin Feige, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Faveau, (Iron Man 1-3 , Ant-Man and both Avengers films) Howard Stern, Tracy Torme’ (Star Trek, Sliders, Odyssey 5), Scott Winant (Huff, My So-Called Life, True Blood), John Turman (FF2: Rise of the Sliver Surfer), Patrick Massett and Jon Zinman, (Caprica, Tomb Raider, Deep Blue Sea), Anne Marie Gillen ( Fried Green Tomatoes) David Nutter (Smallville, X-Files, Sarah Conner Chronicles, Flash, Arrow), John Harrison (Dune, Children of Dune) , Dante Harper (Mission Impossible, Edge of Tomorrow)Comedian Dane Cook and George Romero (Night of the Living Dead).

For more information visit HERE

MEET LEGENDARY COMIC CREATOR ADAM KUBERT IN BOSTON

THE ADAM KUBERT FAN EXPERIENCE
Saturday August 12, 2017

$495.00 (Only 10 packages available)

This package includes:

1 original inked head sketch (character of your choice)* done on an 8×10 artboard or blank comic
5 autographs per person
Exclusive roundtable discussion with Adam Kubert
The best selfie ever! Don’t forget your camera.

Find more info HERE! 

Hasbro to host its first convention…HASCON!

First ever Hasbro lead HASCON hits September 8-10, 2017

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — May 22, 2017 – Today Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), a global play and entertainment company, officially opened ticket sales for the first-ever HASCON FANmily™ event, which will take place in Providence at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center from September 8-10, 2017. Hasbro fans and families from around the globe can purchase single day tickets or three-day tickets for the convention, with VIP packages available for super-fans and the most enthusiastic collectors.

Today Hasbro also revealed the first round of talent appearances, panels and brand experiences set to take place during HASCON 2017. Appearances and meet & greets will be available with some of the biggest names from Hasbro, including DUDE PERFECT, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (Producer of all the TRANSFORMERS films, as well as G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. JOE: Retaliation); Stan Lee (Marvel Comics Legend); Peter Cullen and Frank Welker (original TRANSFORMERS voice talent); Andrea Libman and Cathy Weseluck (voice talent of MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC and MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE), “Chewbacca Mom” Candace Payne and more.

This unique event will bring Hasbro’s most iconic brands to life like never before, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY and G.I. JOE, and exceptional partner brands such as BEYBLADE, DREAMWORKS TROLLS and SESAME STREET. Fans will get a peek behind the Hasbro curtain during the three days filled with exciting first-look previews and panels from Hasbro’s biggest television and movie series.

Attendees will be immersed in hands-on, interactive experiences with oversized games such as PIE FACE and TOILET TROUBLE from HASBRO GAMING, photo opportunities with SESAME STREET and TROLLS costumed characters, epic BEYBLADE battles, a PLAY-DOH creation zone and the MY LITTLE PONY magical world of Equestria. FANmilies will be able to take photos with props from Hasbro’s movies and step into a custom-built NERF battle arena, maybe even with the guys from DUDE PERFECT. HASCON will also host MAGIC: THE GATHERING gameplay featuring an exclusive preview of the upcoming Iconic Masters card set. Youth fans, ages 3-15, have the opportunity to audition for Hasbro commercials and voice talent on our animated series. Fans also can purchase exclusive* Hasbro toys and merchandise including new TRANSFORMERS products.

In addition, there will be activities inspired by several iconic Disney properties, including Disney Princess, Frozen, Elena of Avalor, Moana and Descendants 2, as well as Star Wars and Marvel’s Avengers, Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. From movie props and costumes on display, to hands-on fun through art tutorials and more, these areas will be can’t-miss destinations during the show.

“Hasbro constantly strives for new ways to bring our storytelling to life and offer fans greater access to our brands, and HASCON is designed to bring attendees closer to Hasbro’s biggest properties than ever before,” said John Frascotti, President of Hasbro. “We are assembling the ultimate fan celebration, with three days of marquee talent, interactive activities, immersive experiences, game events, panel discussions, VIP events and much more. We’re set to deliver an unforgettable experience for fans and families alike.”

HASCON tickets are on-sale now. Single day tickets are available for $30 for youth (ages 3-15) and $60 for adults (ages 16+). Three-Day tickets range from $75 for youth (ages 3-15) to $165 for adults (ages 16+). VIP packages are also available for super-fans and the most enthusiastic collectors starting at $200 for youth (ages 3 – 15) and $600 for adults (ages 16+), plus taxes. To purchase tickets and stay up to date on all the latest information on HASCON 2017, please visit hascon.hasbro.com

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. © Hiro Morita, BBBProject, TV TOKYO. © 2017 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.

About Hasbro
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences. From toys and games to television, movies, digital gaming and consumer products, Hasbro offers a variety of ways for audiences to experience its iconic brands, including NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and MAGIC: THE GATHERING, as well as premier partner brands. The Company’s Hasbro Studios and its film label, Allspark Pictures, are building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Through its commitment to corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to make the world a better place for children and their families. Hasbro ranked No. 1 on the 2017 100 Best Corporate Citizens list by CR Magazine, and has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere Institute for the past six years. Learn more at www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
© 2017 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SPOOKY EMPIRE EXPANDS WITH WICKED ADDITION OF SPOOKY DAY IN THE PARKS

SPOOKY EMPIRE EXPANDS WITH WICKED ADDITION OF SPOOKY DAY IN THE PARKS

A New Event by the Creators of Spooky Empire for a Weekend of Villainy Fun 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Spooky Empire is thrilled to announce the addition of a new event:  Spooky Day In The Parks. Coming to Central, FL this Fall on September 22 – 23, 2017, Spooky Day in the Parks is a two-day meet up event for fans that have a “villainous” side. The weekend taking place throughout the Walt Disney World® Resort, will include a mixture of Theme Park gatherings, Special VIP events, a “Bizarre” full of merchandise to fulfill their dark side, art exhibit, fashion show, and much more to be announced.

This is an opportunity for fans to gather and celebrate their favorite Disney villains and haunted attractions. Not to mention a chance to step out in your best ghoulish garb. Attendees are encouraged to express themselves through Disney bounding or wicked attire, but do keep in mind this is not a costume or cosplay event. Be it dark or fun, guests will be able to showcase their personal style and materialize for this spirited event.

“We wanted to combine the Spooky Empire brand with our love for Disney. It was only natural to combine the two and honor the villains and haunted theme park attractions,” said the owners of Spooky Empire “We are so excited to see this inaugural event come to life.”

Meet-ups during the event will happen at multiple locations around Walt Disney World:

  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (central location)
  • Magic Kingdom® Park
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorTM at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
  • With more to be announced

Ticket packages will be announced soon.

Rooms are available at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort for a discounted price of $199 per night. Rooms can be reserved by visiting our website SpookyDayInTheParks.com

Spooky Day in the Parks is not associated with Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, or Magic Kingdom® Park. Spooky Day in the Parks works closely with Disney to insure all park rules and regulations regarding attire are followed.

For more information about Spooky Day in the Parks, visit www.spookydayintheparks.com.Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and for style-inspiration Pinterest.

For more information about Spooky Empire, visit www.spookyempire.com.Follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (@SpookyEmpire).

# # #

About Spooky Empire

Founded in 2003, Spooky Empire has grown to become one of the largest genre conventions in the nation with attendance increasing each year. Spooky Empire’s ultimate goal is to provide memorable events for fans to return to each year, a place where they can congregate with thousands of other people with the same interests. For more information, visit www.spookyempire.com.

Ezekial Visits Tampa Bay Comic Con!

The Walking Dead Star will be visiting all weekend!

Khary Payton will be a guest at the July 28-30, Tampa Bay Comic Con!

Khary is best known for his role as Ezekial on The Walking Dead and Cyborg on Teen Titans!

To pre-order tickets for the July 28-30, Tampa Bay Comic Con, please visit: www.tampabaycomiccon.com

Triad Anime Con 2017 Report (including Interview with Johnny Yong Bosch)!

Greensboro. Third-largest city in North Carolina. Named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the American rebel forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781. Two centuries later, a Greensboro resident, Orson Scott Card, set war at the heart of his novel Ender’s Game. Speaking of war, Greensboro is home to the Atlantic Coast Conference and often the site of its annual men’s basketball tournament, the last conference tourney before March Madness. Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim told the world what he thinks of the city, and I forgive him his Gotham grouchiness. Perhaps if he spent more time there, he would have a softer opinion. Perhaps if his team had gone to this year’s Triad Anime Con, held March 3-5 at the Koury Convention Center, they wouldn’t have lost their first tournament game three days later.

Triad Anime is done by the same team that puts on Ichibancon in Charlotte (I wrote about this year’s Ichibancon here). It is normally held in Winston-Salem but moved to Greensboro this year and a larger venue. A much larger venue. Here was the view Friday morning.

Bueller? Bueller?

Things heated up throughout the day, and of course Saturday brought in a great crowd, but the whole weekend felt less cozy that I was accustomed to. I expect that to change, however, as the con grows into its new digs. The on-site Starbucks was a welcome sight, and next door was Four Seasons Mall, with plenty of lunchtime options. And for perhaps the first time in my convention-going career, I didn’t have trouble finding a parking spot.

When I first attended Triad back in 2014, there were only two or three guests. This year had three times that number. Vic Mignogna has been every year (read our 2016 interview with him here), and I always enjoy seeing him. I was eager to see Brian Beacock, but he had to cancel (hey, Triad: get a phone app like Ichibancon so you can update us on changes like that). The person I was most excited to see was Johnny Yong Bosch. Power Ranger, voice actor, rock star, Johnny has done a little of everything. Whereas Vic has the personality to fill a lecture hall, Johnny is more reserved. I caught up with him on Friday after his autograph session.

What’s it like going from a character like Ichigo (Bleach) to someone like Izaya Orihara (Durarara!!) or Saruhiko (K – Project)?

Well the thing is, I didn’t work on those at the same time. There’s a lot of separation in time. So things I worked on while I was doing Bleach was Code Geass. And I think that overlapped a little bit with Eureka Seven. They’re different characters in different shows, but once you know your character, you just go in and do it.

How did you get into voice acting after doing live action?

Well, basically I was working on an independent film with the Japanese stunt team from Power Rangers, and the audio got screwed up. So I had to dub myself. As I was dubbing myself for the movie, the producer walked in and heard my voice and he thought I had a decent hero voice and asked me to come audition for some animation. And when I auditioned for that animation, I got the role for Vash from Trigun.

Why do you think Power Rangers has stayed popular for over twenty years?

Well, that’s a good question. A majority of the fans have stayed pretty loyal. I know there have been different actors over the years. I really don’t know. Basically, I think that it’s something that people grew up with and that they want to keep watching.

What has been your favorite role thus far in your career?

It’s very hard to pick one. It’s like picking your favorite child. For me, they’ve all been really great moments in my life, from Vash in Trigun to Bleach, Code Geass. I think one of my most favorites would be Nero from Devil May Cry 4, because I got to do the motion capture. I got to go to Japan for the first time. And I wasn’t limited to the animation. I was creating the character and then they animated it. And it was more of me. That would be one of my favorites.

What is it like doing motion capture?

Motion capture is weird at first. Your motions have to be overdone a bit and you have to overact your body language so that the computer can read your motions. But your face and your voice have to be very natural because they pick up every little detail.

What do you think of all of the fanfiction of Shizuo and Izaya?

I don’t read those. I know they exist. People have brought me books that looked interesting at first and I’m like “Huh, what is this?” So no, I don’t read those, but I did a long time ago with Power Rangers. I was like “Oh, there’s fan fiction?” And I read one. It was a little weird for me, so I stayed away from it.

I thought it was cool that Narita, the creator of Durarara!!, made a fiction of Shizuo and Izaya for April Fools’ Day.

[What Johnny said here was, “Oh my goodness.” But what I heard was this.]

Let’s switch gears a little. How did you get started doing conventions?

In 2001 or 2002, a director of Trigun, whatsherface, went to Sakura Con and said that she had an awesome time and it was really cool and a lot of fun. She recommended to me to go and took me with her the following year. And it was cool. Over the years, little by little, the convention scene (nice shout out) started growing. It wasn’t every weekend then like it is now. I started getting more invites. And now I have a few booking agents that handle me and my appearances.

How many conventions a year do you do?

I think last year it was fifteen or twenty, this year I’m already doing far too many. It’s neat to come out and meet fans. If I’m in the booth working on a project, nobody is saying “great job”. The director might say “Okay, next one. Okay next one.” It’s not like in theatre where everyone cheers. You don’t get to see the reward. Coming to a con, is seeing that reward. Seeing whether it was a success or not. The only drawback for me is my family. My family is back home. My kids are little. My son, for the first six months of his life, didn’t know me and was afraid of me. That’s where I had to pull the brakes a little and make some changes.

How did you start your band, Eyeshine?

Basically I couldn’t get a job to save my life after Power Rangers. There weren’t a whole lot of half-Asian roles at the time. I was very depressed, and I was near homeless. I had two trash bags full of clothes and a guitar. And in that time, I started teaching myself to play the guitar. Out of all that, I formed the band.

How many concerts a year do you do?

I have no idea. There are so many. We have quite a few this year. We have a lot of albums now. Got a new one coming out this April.

Between conventions and your band, when do you find the time to do acting?

I do that as well! Every day. My weeks are usually booked a couple of weeks in advance. Sometimes more than that. For voiceover work especially because they know their schedule and when things are coming along. The end of this month and going into next month, I already have bookings for voice over.

Are you able to record at home?

Sometimes I record at home. I do have a studio at home. But sometimes they like you to be there, but on occasion, they’ll ask for pickups or something to be done at home.

Okay, last question. What are some of your favorite TV shows?

I am watching Walking Dead at the moment. Breaking Bad was a really good one. Sons of Anarchy was a very interesting show. I watch a lot of terrible shows. Not terrible as in inappropriate, but terrible as in really bad.

Do you ever think, when you’re watching a bad show, “I could do better”?

I may have thought that. The thing about bad TV shows is they stay with you forever.

Fellow Convention Scene writer Michaela McPherson and I pose with Johnny.

Another thing I enjoy about Triad and Ichibancon is the Otaku Flea Market. Held all day Sunday, the flea market is a chance for any convention goer to sell merchandise. It is a feature I have seen at no other convention. The intent is for people to sell their own used stuff–manga, costumes, DVDs, toys, cards, etc.–but sometimes vendors who couldn’t get into the dealer room will grab a table. I have also seen people selling original art, which is against the rules: art belongs in artist alley. It is a good rule though hard to enforce in the first-come-first-served madness of getting flea market tables. Besides, who says the person made the art they are selling? I had trouble finding this year’s flea market because it wasn’t in the room designated on the convention map, which probably explains why all the sellers had their wares on the floor instead of on tables. One of the hiccoughs of being in a new venue, I guess. Again, however, a phone app would have made the room switch easy to announce.

To all my readers, I’ll say this: come out next year and check out Triad Anime Con. It is terrific value–the weekend pass was only $42!–and I guarantee you’ll have fun. Don’t let Jim Boeheim have the last word on Greensboro. And before you go, enjoy these photos.

A view of the dealers room

Security was pretty tight at this convention.

“Near, far, wherever you are . . .”

The long and short of it

Not your typical cosplay car

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made, especially an old guy picketing an anime convention.

Ballers

Nice tat-Tardis!

Was she trying to tell me I need more Right Guard?

I guess only MOST exits are an entry somewhere else.

The family that cosplays together stays together.

So sad when a convention ends. I’m looking forward to next year already!

Walt Simonson visits the Garden State

GSCF is proud to welcome Legendary artist and writer Walter Simonson to Garden State Comic Fest July 8th in Morristown NJ.

Simonson is most known for his work on Thor, which he wrote and illustrated for nine years, during which he created the character Beta Ray Billand Malekith the Accursed
Among others.
He has also worked on other Marvel titles such as X-Factor and Fantastic Four, on DC Comics books including DETECTIVE COMICS, Manhunter, Metal Men and Orion, and on licensed properties such as Star Wars, Alien, Battlestar Galactica and Robocop vs. Terminator.
In addition to his work for both Marvel and DC, Simonson has also generated a considerable body of creator-owned work, like Star-Slammers and Ragnarok. Simonson is married to Louise Simonson. The couple made a cameo appearance in the 2011 Thor feature film.
Simonson has won numerous awards for his work and has influenced artists such as Arthur Adams and Todd McFarlane.
At the 2010 Harvey Awards, Simonson received the 2010 Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award. It was presented to him by his wife, Louise Simonson.


Currently Walter has been working on his creator-owned series Ragnarök published by IDW Publishing. It features a version of Thor unrelated to the Marvel character. The first issue was published in July 2014.


You can see more on this at Walter Simonson’s Ragnarök and check out The Official Walter Simonson Page

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