Books on the Square and Moses Brown School are pleased to present graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang at the Woodman Family Center on Tuesday April 4th at 4:00 PM. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang calls us all to READ WITHOUT WALLS, exploring books about characters who look or live differently than you, topics you haven’t discovered, or formats that you haven’t tried. READING WITHOUT WALLS promotes diversity and opens readers’ eyes to new ideas and experiences. READING WITHOUT WALLS is an inclusive way to spread appreciation and understanding for others — and to learn new and exciting things. Yang will also talk about his successful graphic novels and be available to sign books.
Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He has written and drawn many graphic novels, including American Born Chinese, which was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His graphic novel set Boxers and Saints won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He has also written for the hit comics Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman.
This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available after 3:00 p.m. in the lots accessible from Hope Street or take the number 1 RIPTA bus heading North.
Woodman Family Center
250 Lloyd Avenue, Providence, RI 02906
March 1, 2017 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
Also at RICC:
Join Michael DeForge at AS220 on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM for a live reading and book signing as he introduces the world to Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero. Sticks has escaped her heritage for the refuge of the woods and through her story, DeForge delivers another deeply humane work, one that subtly questions the integrity of the political state and contemporary journalism, all while investigating our relationship to the natural world.
Michael will be joined by Mickey Zacchilli, and musician Sadie Dupuis (Sad13, Speedy Ortiz) who will play a solo set following the reading. Come out for a celebratory lo-fi comics night!
Michael DeForge was born in 1987 and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. His one-person anthology series Lose has been nominated for, or won, every major comics award including the Ignatz and Eisner awards. His previous graphic novels with Drawn & Quarterly are Ant Colony, Big Kids, and First Year Healthy. This March he releases Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero.
Sadie Dupuis is a musician, writer and artist who most frequently performs as the frontdemon of the rock group Speedy Ortiz, which has released two critically acclaimed albums for Carpark Records. She also writes politically-geared pop songs under the moniker Sad13. Based in Philadelphia, her writing on music has been published in Spin, New York Magazine, and Nylon, and she earned an MFA in poetry from UMass Amherst.
115 Empire Street, Providence, RI 02903
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|New England’s premiere horror, paranormal, and wrestling convention in the heart of downtown Providence, Rhode Island.|
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|Rhode Island Convention Center
1 Sabin Street
Providence, RI 02903
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|Danny Lloyd, Ani Mahoney|
United States Military Honors Comic Book Legends Stan Lee And Joe Sinnott At Rhode Island Comic Con
Providence, Rhode Island – On Veterans Day, representatives of the United States Army and Navy, along with chapters of the American Legion, the Marine Corps League, and Texas State Guard, surprised comic book icons Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott with military accolades.
Awards of appreciation and recognition were presented to Mr. Lee, 93, who served as a Sergeant in the US Army Signal Corps during World War II, at his VIP panel Friday night. Army Captain James R. Whitney, Navy Chief Petty Officer Kurt Anderson, their respective staffs and several former US Service members, imparted the honors.
Army Staff Sergeant Joshua Mitchell tendered an American flag to Mr. Lee at the request of Major General Anthony C. Funkhouser. The flag was flown in his honor on the occasion of Veterans Day “for his faithful service to our Nation as a United States Soldier during World War II.” MG Funkhouser is the Commanding General, Center for Initial Military Training, US Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, VA.
“Next to my marriage and the birth of my daughter. This is the most sensational moment in my life. I will never forget this…” Stated a very emotional Mr. Lee, “It is such an honor which I’m sure I don’t deserve.”
Mr. Sinnott’s awards were handed out at a dinner attended by his family, friends and fans later on that evening. His flag was presented on behalf of MG Funkhouser who bestowed the title of “SEABEE For Life” to the sailor, 90.
After his older brother Sgt. Jack Sinnott, was tragically killed in action in France, Mr. Sinnott joined the US Navy Seabees shortly after his 18th birthday. He served in the bloody World War II Battle of Okinawa rising to the rank of Machinist Mate 3rd Class.
As restaurant patrons applauded with a standing ovation, the legendary artist who created thousands of comics for over sixty years, humbly confessed, “I’m speechless, I really am. This is just unbelievable. One of the greatest honors I’ve ever had. Thank You!”
In addition to the flags, certificates, challenge coins, plaques and “swagger sticks” of appreciation were also awarded to both veterans. “They got me mixed up with someone else” Mr. Lee said in disbelief. “But I can’t thank you enough and I will never forget this moment… We have the greatest military in the whole world.”
As uniformed service members past and present presented arms to a saluting Mr. Lee, he exclaimed to the teary-eyed audience, “If someone isn’t filming this, I’ll never talk to you again!”
HASBRO announced it is creating the first-ever HASCON fan and family convention in September 2017. The massive event, which will be held in Providence at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin Donuts Center from September 8-10, 2017, will treat attendees to three unforgettable days featuring a celebration of Hasbro’s powerful characters and stories, including live interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, panels and much more.
From bringing the first action figure to life with G.I. JOE, to creating a world where robots are truly ‘more than meets the eye’ with TRANSFORMERS, Hasbro’s brands have always overflowed with rich stories and dynamic, multi-faceted characters, providing an incredible platform to capture the imaginations of fans of all ages. The premiere HASCON event will bring the magic of decades of storytelling under one roof for the ultimate, immersive Hasbro fan and family experience. Hasbro’s top properties, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MAGIC THE GATHERING, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, G.I. JOE and many others will be reimagined through dynamic stage performances and unique opportunities for fans to engage with their favorite characters. In addition to interactive experiences designed to offer attendees a glimpse into Hasbro’s imaginative storytelling in action, visitors will have the chance to see first-look previews of Hasbro’s biggest television and movie series, attend panels and meet-and-greets with celebrities and creative talent associated with Hasbro brands, take part in Hasbro Gaming competitions and purchase special limited-edition Hasbro products.
“Hasbro is home to many of the world’s most recognizable brands, each of them with their own group of passionate and engaged fans,” said John Frascotti, President of Hasbro Brands. “HASCON will deliver an extraordinary peek behind the curtain of our brands, storytelling, and iconic characters while giving us the opportunity to invite fans and families to our hometown for the most memorable, unified Hasbro experience ever.”
For all of the latest information on HASCON 2017, please visit hascon.hasbro.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!
Brian Chippendale appears at Ada Books on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 7:00 PM to sign his debut graphic novel with Drawn & Quarterly, Puke Force.
717 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903
I went to Rhode Island to see John and Chris. John is my best friend of 25 years. We have been through it all: four divorces (two each), five marriages (he can make it six), new careers, new houses, and the almost-death of his first son, Jonathan, back in 2000. John and I have been to a number of conventions together (see here, for example), and it was time to add the Rhode Island Comic-Con to our roll.
Chris is Chris Claremont. I love John like a brother, but let’s be clear: Chris is what drew me, a lifelong Southerner, to New England on the cusp of winter (November 5-8). I have been a fan of Chris since high school, when my friend Margot introduced me to a pretty cool comic called The Uncanny X-Men. The first issue I bought was #216. I read it, was hooked, and started buying it each month. My father noticed my zeal, and realizing he could teach investment skills while doing something fun with his soon-to-be-too-old-for-him son, he started advancing me allowances to buy back issues. I learned to grade comics and spot value, and within a year, I owned issues as far back as #12, the first appearance of Juggernaut.
I just realized: that was when Stan Lee was still writing the series.
Eventually, I let my collection stagnate, and then I sold it in 1999 for a couple thousand bucks so I could marry wife #2. (Now I don’t have her or the comics, and guess which I miss more?) But I never forgot my adoration of Chris Claremont. Then I saw he would be in Rhode Island, and I called John, with whom I hadn’t planned a trip all year. John said, “I’m in,” and I thought, You better be.
Rhode Island Comic-Con isn’t as large as San Diego or C2E2, and it isn’t as venerable as, say, DragonCon. But it is on the rise. I had this brought home to me when I talked to Susan Soares, the director of media. She told me she was expecting 60,000 attendees. In 2012, there were 16,000. This is an increase of 275%—in only three years! It is the “largest and most income-generating event in the state,” according to Susan, who expects the convention to keep growing because (1) Rhode Island is not a saturated market, (2) the staff is professional and easy-going, and (3) they advertise the heck out of it.
The growth hasn’t been easy to manage, however. In 2014, the convention made headlines for the wrong reasons, overselling and getting shut down for half a day by the Providence fire marshal (see this link for the full story). I asked Susan how that contretemps would be avoided this year, and she outlined a three-part strategy:
Expansion. Last year’s event was confined to the convention center in downtown Providence. This year, they planned to situate some elements (like the dealer room) in the adjacent Dunkin Donuts Center.
Day 3. Instead of being Saturday and Sunday only, this year’s convention would start on Friday.
Scanned badges. Using the New York Comic-Con model, convention employees would scan badges as people enter and exit. This would allow them to track how many people are in the convention center at any time, thereby not exceeding capacity and getting shut down.
Overall, the strategy was a success. They had sold out of Saturday one-day tickets by 11:00am on Saturday, but I heard no other accounts of people being turned away. There were, however, navigation problems. In a convention spread across two buildings, I was surprised by the dearth of directional signs. Plus there were no printed maps—the only map was on the mobile app—so all weekend, I heard people murmuring “Where is the dealer room?” or “I can’t find Vic Mignogna’s table!”
After two circumnavigations of artist alley, I found Chris Claremont, who had been gracious enough to agree to an interview.
Me: Chris, I want you to know: you are the reason I am at this convention. I wanted to see you. Princess Leia? Pssssh. Besides, she cancelled.
Chris: Oh, really? She cancelled?
Me: Yeah. [And she wasn’t the only one. Nearly a dozen celebrities were quietly flensed from the web site as of Friday morning. I’m used to one or two no-shows, but double digits?]
Chris: The funniest thing I’ve heard is the projected opening weekend gross for that film global is one billion. I saw the very first show of Star Wars at the Astor Plaza in New York, and it was empty. It gradually filled up, but there were empty seats, and we figured, nice movie when it started, but when it finished, it was like, holy shit. We walked out the door, and the line was four-deep around the block, and it didn’t go away for about three months.
Me: Speaking of movies, what do you think about Marvel’s movies, especially X-Men?
Chris: So far, Marvel has done very, very well. Kevin Feige is a brilliant film exec. Lauren Shuler-Donner is a brilliant film exec. Between the two of them, they have nailed the Marvel pantheon. The X-Men movies maybe aren’t as financially lucrative as The Avengers. On the other hand, the casting of them is breathtaking, from the first X-Men to Days of Future Past—and, from all accounts, Apocalypse. Kevin, by the same token, starting with Iron Man, it’s been an incredible ride. I mean, Ant-Man? Who would have thought Ant-Man?
Me: Ant-Man was good.
Chris: That’s the point. It was good. And, more importantly, the actors playing the roles seem to enjoy the experience. They want to come back for more.
Me: Did you have any involvement in the X-Men movies?
Chris: Well, I helped crystallize the deal that got it all started back in the beginning, when I was briefly an executive at Marvel. I provided north of 80 percent of the source material for the characters. I mean, they’re all my guys and gals. And two-thirds of them are pretty much straight adaptations of my work. I suppose you could honestly say it was all my fault.
Me: And we’re very grateful.
Chris: Actually, the funny part is, every so often I sneak into the Marvel movies. Scarlett Johannson’s secret identity in Iron Man 2, when she walks into Tony’s house and is introduced as Natalie Rushman . . . well, Natalie Rushman is a secret identity that I invented for the Black Widow when she did a four-part team-up where she had lost her memory as the Black Widow and thought she was a schoolteacher from Boston named Natalie Rushman [this takes place in Marvel Team-Up #82-85, and the alias is actually Nancy Rushman].
Me: Cool. Switching gears a little, you’ve written comic books, and you’ve written prose novels. What’s the difference in writing the two?
Chris: When you’re writing comics, the writer’s job is to tell the story to the visual artist. All the work that goes into writing a novel goes into describing the scene. [He opens a copy of Marada the She-Wolf. A Red Sonja-like character, Marada was created by Chris and the English artist John Bolton.] So it’s describing this scene so that John Bolton could bring it to life brilliantly. Which he does. It’s giving him the sequence of events and allowing him to do what he does best, which is draw a picture that makes you go, wow! When I first drafted this scene, there was going to be lots of dialogue about how she lost her father, lost her mother, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah. But when I got to the scene, when you see the images, when you get to this image, you don’t need any words. I mean, if you can’t figure out what’s going on, if you can’t figure out the emotional relationships just from looking at it, then neither of us is doing our job. John did his job brilliantly, unlike me talking now. The key to being a writer in comics is to know when to shut the hell up and let the artist do the work.
Me: So would your instructions for that panel be “Have someone lying on the bed,” or would you describe exactly how it should look?
Chris: Well, depends on the scene. Marvel did a 9/11 remembrance book [Heroes, released December 2001] where a writer and an artist would team up to do a poster commemorating what happened and how they felt about it, and when my page came around, I spent about 2,000 words describing the scene, and Salvador [Larocca] just drew this brilliant, brilliant picture, and as far as I was concerned, it didn’t need anything more from me. I had done my work, he had done his work, and the end result was brilliant.
Me: Very good. So you were inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame earlier this year. What was that like?
Chris: A lot of fun. One of the more unexpected things in my life. It’s way too cool for the likes of me.
Me: It doesn’t surprise me at all.
Chris: Well, you can think that. I’m not supposed to because I’m supposed to be shy and modest. But it’s way cool.
Me: When did you start doing conventions?
Chris: When they started asking me. How else can you meet the fans? In the old days, it was more fun because people would write letters, and the nice thing about them is it tells you what they were thinking of and how they were reacting to specific issues. Now it’s all posted online, and you seriously have to go looking for it. There aren’t that many hours in a day. But conventions are a really nice way of putting a face on the readership.
Me: What are a couple of your more memorable convention experiences?
Chris: Just meeting people. It’s a weird sensation when you run into creators, actors, people you’ve respected, and they tell you how cool you are, and you go, “No no no, that’s my line.”
Me: Do fans ever just go to pieces meeting you? Do they cry? Hyperventilate?
Chris: Oh yeah. But the cool thing is that now I’m starting to see a lot more young kids coming, which leads one to believe there’s hope.
Me: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Chris: Get a day job [laughs]. Being a writer is like being an artist: if you’ve got the bug, you do it. You don’t argue. You can’t argue. Then it’s just a matter of kicking at the wall until something sells. And then, once you make the first sell, you go for the second, then the third, then the fourth, and so on. There’s no real secret to being a writer. There’s just having an idea and then having the madcap determination to see it through to fruition.
You might assume this is an excerpt from the interview. It is not. This short conversation lasted over 20 minutes because we were sitting at Chris’s table in artist alley, and he was signing books all the while. My recording of the interview is peppered with crowd noise, his sidebars with other fans, and announcements blasted over the PA system. Chris had trouble getting into the convention—apparently, his vendor badge could not be located—and the interview started late, when he already had more people waiting for him than a Soviet bread line. Yet it was one of my best interviews ever. Chris is articulate and witty, and he cares a lot for his fans. Though I didn’t hyperventilate, meeting Chris Claremont is one of the highlights of my life. And it happened at Rhode Island Comic-Con.
The rest of the convention was as you might expect. Dunkin Donuts Center is a basketball arena, which makes it an odd venue for a convention. The dealer room was on the court, which was roomy, but some of the celebrities were tucked away in what looked like janitor closets. Know who had the longest signing lines that I saw? Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke—you know, SpongeBob and Patrick, which confirms my theory that the next growth market for collectors is 1990s memorabilia.
There were few fan-led panels, which disappointed John. Such panels were the seed of conventions back in the 1970s, but they are in danger of disappearing in this bigger-is-better era. John likes the panels. He considers himself a fan but not a super-fan. The super-fan award goes to the girl I saw at Jim Beaver’s table. Tears streaked her teenaged face, and after she and her mother walked away, they stopped and hugged as though a dog had died.
Friends, that is fandom. That is love. Wil Wheaton says that the defining characteristic of being a nerd is that “we love things. Some of us love Firefly and some of us love Game of Thrones, or Star Trek, or Star Wars, or anime, or games, or fantasy, or science fiction. Some of us love completely different things. But we all love those things SO much that we travel for thousands of miles … we come from all over the world, so that we can be around people who love the things the way that we love them.”
Rhode Island was a great place to go for love. The convention is young, so I have no doubt they will work out the problems of limited space and no maps and unreliable celebs. Every staff member I saw, every volunteer I talked to, was a delight, which confirms what Susan Soares told me in the beginning.
So if you have the chance, go to Rhode Island Comic-Con next November. Buy your badge early. Study the schedule. Stay hydrated. It will be one of your best shows all year.
John and I weren’t the only attendees.
This guy was also there. Wait, he’s at every convention!
Due to the no-weapons policy, this guy wasn’t allowed to be armed.
Chris Claremont signs my comic.
The Fonz tells me to leave the convention.
Whoops! This isn’t the way to the men’s room.
An angel just below my shoulder.
Various winners from Saturday night’s costume contest, which had 70-80 total entries.
“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Jim Beaver asked me where I am from. “North Carolina,” I said. He nodded and said, “That explains it.” I wanted to say, “Right. Like Bobby Singer doesn’t have a rural accent!”
John and Groot, not seeing eye-to-eye.
“Uh, Doctor? I think you regenerated a little too far back.”
This gal is a great little Kidder.
Not something you see at most conventions, but a good idea.
This guy also shows up at every convention. It’s like he has a time machine or something.