Scene on Video: San Diego Comic-Con 2017

Our collection of 2017 SDCC videos including trailers, panels, cosplay music videos, etc.

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SDCC Digest #2

More highlights from the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con.

SDCC 2017 Thor: Ragnarok Trailer, Panel, and Interviews

Everything Thor: Ragnarok related for you in one place.

SDCC Digest #1

Some highlights from the first couple of days of the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con.

UPDATED: Scene on Video LIVE: IGN at SDCC 2017

 

Scene on Video LIVE: Marvel at SDCC 2017

JULY 20
11:00 AM PST|Good Morning Comic-Con
11:20 AM PST|Booth Tour – Marvel
11:30 AM PST|THWIP Live!
12:00 PM PST|Booth Tour
12:05 PM PST|Marvel Top 10
12:10 PM PST|Guest Interview
12:20 PM PST|Eat the Universe
12:25 PM PST|Marvel Top 10
12:30 PM PST|Guest Interview
12:50 PM PST|Booth Tour
12:55 PM PST|Sizzle Reel of All Original Series
01:00 PM PST|Marvel Merch Spotlight
01:15 PM PST|Booth Tour
01:20 PM PST|Ask Marvel: Signing Station
01:30 PM PST|ESPN College Moment
01:45 PM PST|Jack Kirby D23 Spotlight
01:50 PM PST|Marvel Becoming: How To
02:05 PM PST|Static Cam Shot
02:10 PM PST|Eat the Universe
02:15 PM PST|Marvel Becoming Live!
02:45 PM PST|Booth Tour
02:50 PM PST|Marvel Gaming Segment
03:40 PM PST|Booth Tour
03:45 PM PST|D23/Oculus
03:55 PM PST|Sky Viper Drone
03:57 PM PST|M&M Groot Glass Bowl
04:00 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
04:10 PM PST|Static Cam Shot
04:15 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
04:30 PM PST|Quickdraw Live!

JULY 21
11:00 AM PST|Good Morning Comic-Con
11:15 AM PST|Marvel
11:55 AM PST|Marvel Top 10
12:00 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
12:10 PM PST|Quickdraw Live!
12:25 PM PST|Sizzle Reel of All Original Series
12:30 PM PST|Karen Gillan/Michael Rooker Signing
01:00 PM PST|Booth Tour – Marvel
01:10 PM PST|Booth Tour
01:15 PM PST|THWIP Live!
01:45 PM PST|Cosplay Photo Op
01:50 PM PST|Sponsorship Segment
02:00 PM PST|Booth Tour
02:05 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
02:15 PM PST|Black Eyed Peas Signing
02:45 PM PST|Ask Marvel: Signing Station
02:55 PM PST|Static Cam
03:00 PM PST|Marvel Gaming Segment
03:25 PM PST|Booth Tour – Marvel
03:35 PM PST|Marvel Merch Spotlight
03:45 PM PST|Marvel
04:15 PM PST|Marvel Becoming Live!
04:40 PM PST|Static Cam

JULY 22
11:00 AM PST|Good Morning Comic-Con
11:05 AM PST|Ask Marvel: Signing Station
11:15 AM PST|THWIP Live!
11:45 AM PST|Giveaway Hour
12:00 PM PST|Marvel Gaming Segment
12:30 PM PST|Booth Tour
12:35 PM PST|Booth Tour – Marvel
12:45 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
01:00 PM PST|Quickdraw Live!
01:15 PM PST|Sponsorship Segment
01:30 PM PST|D23/PB&J Package
01:35 PM PST|Marvel Studios
02:00 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
02:15 PM PST|Kids Cosplay Competition
02:45 PM PST|Guest Interview
03:00 PM PST|Marvel Top 10
03:15 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
03:30 PM PST|Lockjaw Unveiling
03:45 PM PST|Eat the Universe
03:50 PM PST|Marvel Studios
04:25 PM PST|Sizzle Reel of All Original Series
04:30 PM PST|Good Night Comic-Con

JULY 23
11:00 AM PST|Good Morning Comic-Con
11:15 AM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
11:30 AM PST|Cosplay Competition
11:45 AM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
12:00 PM PST|Cosplay Competition
12:15 PM PST|Quickdraw Live!
12:30 PM PST|Marvel Animations
12:45 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
01:00 PM PST|Guest Interview
01:15 PM PST|Marvel Gaming Segment
01:45 PM PST|Reaction: Marvel Panels SDCC 2017
02:00 PM PST|Marvel Becoming Live!
02:30 PM PST|Sizzle Reel of All Original Series
02:35 PM PST|Guest Interview
02:45 PM PST|Goodbye Comic-Con

UPDATED: Scene on Video: Sideshow Collectibles at SDCC 2017

Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) 2017 Report!

Chicago. I had been there before. It was 2014, and the occasion was Wizard World. April 2017 was my second trip to the city that the poet Carl Sandburg called “Hog Butcher for the World, / Tool Maker, / Stacker of Wheat, / Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; / Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders.” Railroads are no longer America’s arteries, and big shoulders are now an 80s fashion relic, but I, like Sandburg, “have seen painted women / under the gas lamps / luring the farm boys.”

   

Such women in Chi-Town can mean only one thing: the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, known as C2E2. I went with my convention buddy John, whom you will remember from Spooky Empire, Minneapolis Wizard World, and Florida Supercon. We stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel. Opened in 1893 in anticipation of the World’s Columbian Exposition–i.e., the Chicago World’s Fair–the place was a blend of grand and shabby. John likened it to “the Stanley Hotel meets Super 8.”

We grabbed some dinner and walked around downtown, which was eerily empty for a Thursday evening. I saw a few people with the telltale Pokémon shirts, beanies, and/or Barbossa beads and thought: convention goers. Things would heat up the next day and be full-bore by Saturday. John was looking forward to panel discussions and stellar cosplays. I had my usual assortment of books to be signed.

One thing going to conventions with John has taught me is the value of the convention app (if there is one). I still like the printed program of course–great for signatures. But John always downloads the app because it is (1) updated in real time, (2) doesn’t require him to keep up with something else, and (3) makes him feel tech wizard-y. And the C2E2 app is sweet! It has autograph schedules, prices, and locations for every celebrity. The prices were an especially nice feature. Most conventions don’t post these in advance, which makes budgeting for the weekend Mulvaney-esque.

Another innovation was getting my badge in the mail. If you read my first DragonCon report, then you know my acrimony regarding registration lines. John agrees: “Just charge an extra 40 cents and mail everyone’s badge.” How satisfying it was to open an envelope in February, slide out my shiny badge, and reflect on at least one queue not in my future.

Of course, it is impossible to avoid lines altogether. It is an axiom that, no matter which line I choose–supermarket, toll road, ATM, wherever–it will the line with problems: a technical malfunction, say, or a non-English-speaking customer, or an employee who skipped training. At conventions, I am similarly thwarted. Steve Blum was scheduled to sign at 11:00am on Friday, which was great. Fridays are the least crowded days, making them best for autographs–except this Friday. All around me, guests were meeting fans, posing for pictures, translating Celtic texts, building additions onto homes. Meanwhile, I waited. And waited. Blum’s line grew longer than the Santa Fe Trail, and still I waited. The con staff began setting up his booth at 11:50, suggesting he would arrive at 12:00 rather than the advertised 11:00. In fact, it was almost 1:00 when he got there.

Autograph lines. Look closely, and you’ll see me with a floor-length beard.

Rob Liefeld was also late, though not as egregiously. His line would have been long anyway–everbody loves Robert–but there was a new thing complicating it: VIP clients. For $125 in advance ($160 on-site), you would get two signed exclusive comics, one signed Deadpool print, one autograph ticket for your own item, and a picture with Liefeld. He is a quick signer, and friendly without being effusive, which moves the line along. But it is a gut punch to get aaaaaaalmost to the table and be superseded by a group of VIPs. I said there should be VIP signing times and non-VIP signing times, but John argued that would dilute the perks of being a VIP, one of which is the freedom not to have to visit the booth at a specific time.

Those who eschewed the VIP ticket could choose from Liefeld’s a la carte menu.

The growing practice of comic creators charging for autographs has been discussed a lot lately. I don’t mind a blanket charge because, as Dan Seitz argues, “sign your name a hundred times in a row. It’s simple work, but it’s work. You pay people for work.” I do mind creators charging more for a CGC-witnessed signature. Is it more work to write your name when a third party is watching? And charging more to sign a more valuable book like New Mutants #98 is merely a money grab. After all, a number of market forces affect secondary value that have little to do with the quality of the product.

But I care less about cost than about time, the latter of which is more precious and fleeting at a convention. Memo, then, to all creators and celebrities: don’t be late to your signings! The convention is your job for a particular weekend. Do your job. I cannot conceive of any legitimate reason for a guest who is in a city where they have no other business and is staying at a hotel across the street to be unable to make an 11:00am appointment. I am at this convention to meet you, be enthralled by you, and then carry your name across the land. Hard to do that when you’re a no-show Jones.

As for the rest of the convention, it was a delight. C2E2 is big–70,000+ attendees–but the open floor plan gives plenty of space, so I never felt pinioned. The dealer room had all the comics dealers together, all the anime dealers together, all the T-shirt dealers together, etc., which made shopping go smoother. The family area had games, a play space, chairs for adults to rest, and circus performers. The selection of comic creators was spectacular–Stan Lee, Frank Miller (too bad he was there Saturday only and sold-out), Greg Rucka, Rob Liefeld, Matt Wagner, and some who don’t do many conventions anymore, like Dan Jurgens. There were fewer actors than I expected, but this reinforces the focus of C2E2–comic and entertainment, not the other way around. John said there weren’t enough panels and seminars for a convention this size, but the ones he attended were good. His favorite dealt with using comics to boost literacy and teach science. Finally, there was a larger selection of (over-priced) food vendors than I find at most conventions.

If you’ve never been to Chicago, go. And if you’ve never been to C2E2, go. Most conventions are run by small nonprofits, who are exposed as amateurs in a number of ways, but the power of ReedPOP ups the professionalism. Despite three different volunteers being unable to tell me where Frank Miller’s autograph sessions would be held, I found C2E2 to be well-managed, well-marketed, and an all-around pleasure.

Want to see more images from C2E2? Here you go!

“Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse / and strong and cunning.”

 

Must. Catch. Train.

 

I always wanted to be an Ivy League graduate.

 

Look at that chicken . . . and the two cosplayers beside him.

 

At least I didn’t have to queue to see Q.

 

Strangely enough, John lost his voice after this picture with the Sea Witch.

 

“Wait’ll they get a load of me.”

 

“Sure, honey, I’ll go get your purse from the car. Be right back.”

 

Some people put a lot of thought into their cosplays. Others just wing it.

 

Two big reasons to go to C2E2 are . . . um . . .

 

C2E2 just goes on . . .

 

and on . . .

 

and on.

 

Cosplay Central: the heroes behind the heroes

 

Chicago is cold enough without this guy being in town.

 

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!

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Premiered at Anime Boston 2017

This past weekend saw Anime Boston, the northeast’s largest convention dedicated to anime, manga, and Japanese culture, held at the Hynes Convention Center. Several thousand otaku, the majority of which in cosplay, braved the cold and snow to mingle with their fellow fans. On Friday, a band named The Beach Episode, greeted con-goers with renditions of popular anime, video game, and cartoon theme songs such as The Legend of Zelda.

One of the highlights of this year’s show was the grand premiere of the English dub of the eagerly anticipated movie Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale. Following the events of the popular television series, SAO: Ordinal Scale finds protagonists Kirito, Asuna, and their friends once again playing a video game, but this time instead of immersing themselves in a digital realm a new technology allows for enhanced reality where players engage in combat in the real world against virtual foes. Naturally, a sinister plot threatens them once again.

Special guest Cherami Leigh was on hand for a Q&A session in which she discussed her ten years of working in the voice acting industry. When asked about her experience making this movie and reprising the role of Asuna, Ms. Leigh said, “She goes through a lot of changes in the movie and her relationship with Kirito grows. You kind of see how much of a positive effect being in SAO series affected her.”

She went on to say that it spoke to real life issues in that many fans of games and animation are misunderstood by others in their lives who do understand their passion. “I think that something for people, specifically parents, who don’t think that games or anime can positively affect someone. There are things you learn about yourself, gain confidence levels, and things you didn’t know you had in when you’re playing once you step outside of yourself and realize, “I can do this.” A lot of the characters in the series realize this in the movie. So I hope that it opens people’s eyes that aren’t as accepting of anime or games.”

Cherami Leigh: voice of Asuna in Sword Art Online

In discussing the themes of technology taking over one’s life Ms. Leigh said, “But at the same time there’s that cautionary tale that’s been very prevalent with SAO of being careful with what technology is now able to do, like getting trapped in this virtual world or what it might do to our brains and the crazy things that happen. It’s definitely scary but it’s really cool and I was excited to work on it.”

She also mentioned that the recording sessions gave her a rare opportunity to collaborate with the Japanese creators, “I watched it subbed and met the creative team from Japan and they were able to guide me in some of my recording sessions which is very rare to have the director, Tomohiko Ito, present. He told me about the process of recording in Japan and there were a couple of moments he said he wanted to be sure were exactly right for this version. It was great to have our English writer/director, Alex von David, and the Japanese creative team working together.”

Fellow voice actor Patrick Seitz, who plays Agil in SAO, was also a guest of Anime Boston 2017. He said following the screening, “The SAO fans were really hyped for this movie. It’s great to see that reaction and that the fanbase is still so strong after all these years. I liked that the movie was an original story continued the series and not a rehash of previous episodes.”

Ms. Leigh was quick to point out that one does not have to any prior knowledge to enjoy the movie. “They did a really great job with the movie because you don’t have to have seen the entire series in order to watch (it). “You can pick up with the movie and they’ll do some exposition to catch you up on what you might have missed. My husband hadn’t seen much of the series when he watched the movie (in its original Japanese) and it didn’t affect his awareness or catching up with the story at all.”

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale hits theaters on April 22, 2017. For further information, please go to their website: sao-movie.net/us

 

 

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