DeLand Comic & Collectibles Show hits January 10th!


For more info visit

Dark Horse Comics Announces Panel Schedule for NYCC 2015


Press Release:

Come and check out the Dark Horse booth, #1636, at NYCC 2015! Here’s the full list of amazing Dark Horse Panels!

Be sure to check out the full NYCC panel schedule here for a complete list of panels including other incredible Dark Horse Comics creators!


Title: Dark Horse Creators: Crafting The Original Story    

Description: Dark Horse’s creator-driven original series are full steam ahead with the industry’s top talent! Moderated by Dark Horse Comics publicist Steve Sunu, Greg Pak (Kingsway West), Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal (The Paybacks), Christopher Golden (Joe Golem), and Ethan Young (Nanjing: The Burning City) discuss developing their original stories, and what’s coming next from Dark Horse’s prolific creators.  

Date:  October 8, 2015  

Time: 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM            

Location: Room 1A18     


Title: Dark Horse: CLASSIFIED!   

Description: The can’t-miss Dark Horse Panel of NYCC 2015! Join Dark Horse creators Brian Wood, Matt Kindt and surprise guests along with Dark Horse Comics publicist Steve Sunu for the first word on new series and announcements, including creator-driven original series and all-new TOP SECRET projects!              

Date:  October 9, 2015  

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM         

Location: Room 1A21     


Title: Spotlight on Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá: Different is Cool 

Description: Eisner Award winners, Brazilian Wonder Twins Gabriel Bá (Daytripper, Umbrella Academy) and Fábio Moon (Daytripper, Casanova) have returned for a new collaborative original graphic novel with Two Brothers from Dark Horse Comics. Join them as they share their experiences, both inside and outside the US comics market, and invite young creators and readers to a discussion about career choices, foreign languages, exotic places and how the best way to make it big might not be by doing what everyone wants, but by doing what only you can do.   

Date:  October 10, 2015

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM         

Location: Room 1A18     


Title: Dark Horse All-Ages: Comics Are For Everyone!

Description:  Celebrate all-ages comics with Dark Horse creators Art Baltazar and Franco (Itty Bitty Hellboy, Aw Yeah! Comics), Kevin Panetta, (Zodiac Starforce), and Matt Kindt (Poppy and the Lost Lagoon) as they discuss the glory of all-ages comics, and what readers of any age will be talking about going into 2016.

Date: 10/10/2015

Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Location: 1C02

Splash Page Comic Art Brings Artists to NYCC 2015


Press Release:

Splash Page Comic Art will be setup at New York Comic Con on October 8th – 11th in our regular spot at booths 2405.

This year we will have artists Goran Sudzuka, Dalibor Talajic, Sebastian Fiumara, and Max Fiumara at the booth signing books and selling original art.  Goran & Dalibor will each be offering a FREE sketched on blank comic for a $400+ original art purchase of their work.  Sebastian & Max will also each offer either a 9 X 12″ sketch or blank comic for any $400+ original art purchase of each of their work.  Buy $400 of art from Goran & get one of his sketches for free, $400 of Dalibor’s and get one of his for free etc.

Goran and Dalibor will be sketching throughout the show.  Max & Sebastian will NOT be doing any sketching other than the Art Promotion pieces.

GORAN is taking pre-signups for NYCC NOW.  Here is Goran’s price list:

Blank covers and A4 drawings
Bust  $50
Full figure $80
Each additional character  $40
Simple background  $20
More elaborate background (e.g. city panorama, etc.)  $40

A3 drawings
Preliminary sketch  $30
Full figure  $120
Each additional character  $80
Simple background   $30
More elaborate background (e.g. city panorama, etc.)  $80

Here is a link to examples of some of the commissions that Goran has been turning out recently:

Feel free to email Mark Hay to setup a commission for Goran or Dalibor or to arrange for me to bring specific art you would like to purchase at NY.

Locust Moon Comics Festival 2015


The Locust Moon Comics Festival, Philadelphia’s premiere celebration of comics, illustration, and the graphic arts, returns to the historic Rotunda, just off UPenn’s campus, on Saturday October 31st from 11:00 AM till 6:00 PM. This year’s guests include Craig Thompson (Space Dumplins, Blankets), Chris Claremont (Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine), Noah Van Sciver (Fante Bukowski, Blammo), David Mack (Fight Club 2, Kabuki), Bill Sienkiewicz (Moon Knight, New Mutants), Dean Haspiel (The Quitter, The Fox), Alexa Kitchen and Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press), and more to be announced throughout September.

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date!

ATTENDEES: Pay at the door! No advance purchase required. KIDS 13 AND UNDER ARE INVITED IN FOR FREE!

RSVP on Facebook!


McFarlane Toys Brings Brick Toys & more to NYCC 2015

00mcfarlane-NYCC15Press Release:

Todd McFarlane and McFarlane Toys are planning their trip to the Big Apple for New York Comic Con 2015! Last year, McFarlane Toys debuted their AMC’s The Walking Dead construction sets and this year, for the first time, McFarlane Toys is showing off their HBO’s Game of Thrones Construction Sets slated to hit stores this November!

Visit the McFarlane Toys booth #1526 for a chance to meet Todd McFarlane and see the latest construction sets, action figures and statues from brands including: AMC’s The Walking Dead, HBO’s Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead Comic, Halo, Assassin’s Creed and more.

Here’s an overview of McFarlane’s schedule at NYCC:

PANEL: Toddfather Talks Toys, Comics, Spawn and Insight to Being an Independent Creator

  • Date: Thursday, October 8, 2015
    Time: 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
    Location: Room 1A06

This is a can’t-miss panel featuring the man, Todd McFarlane! The toy company giant gives a sneak peek at McFarlane Toys’ upcoming AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones construction sets. Todd also talks exciting Spawn and Savior news that will make any comic fan eager for new issues! A Todd McFarlane panel wouldn’t be complete without words of wisdom on persevering and obtaining your dream job.

SIGNING: Todd McFarlane VIP Signing

  • Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
    Time: 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
    Location: VIP Lounge in the 4th floor Galleria

If you’re a VIP ticket holder, this is for you… Bring your two favorite Todd McFarlane items for a free autograph!

PANEL: Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel

  • Date: Saturday, October 10, 2015
    Time: 4 PM – 5 PM
    Location: 1B03

Already a legend for his creation of The Spirit in 1940, Will Eisner – with the 1978 publication of his A Contract With God – would be instrumental in popularizing the graphic novel format, changing the world of comics forever. Join us and find out how and why Eisner did it, with moderator Paul Levitz (author of the upcoming Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel) and Panelists Todd McFarlane (Spawn Creator & Image Comics President), Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Dennis O’Neil (Batman) and Denis Kitchen (The Best of Comix Book).

NYCC BUILD OFF: In-Booth Construction Set Challenge

McFarlane Toys is challenging New York Comic Con fans to a construction challenge featuring our McFarlane Construction Sets.  Fans can test their construction skills as we pit them against one another in a no-holds barred construction throw-down! The contest is free and open to all NYCC attendee badge holders and will be held in McFarlane Toys booth (1526) Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10th.

Can’t make it to NYCC? Upload a photo of your McFarlane Construction Sets to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #McFarlaneBuilds for a chance to win a McFarlane Construction Set prize package!


Stop by the McFarlane Toys booth #1526 for several different chances to win some awesome prizes!

  • Win McFarlane Toys for a Year: Sign up for the McFarlane Toys newsletter on an iPad in our booth to be entered in our ‘Win McFarlane Toys for a Year’ sweepstakes. Not going to NYCC? Don’t worry… You can enter the contest by clicking here.
  • Daily Lanyard Pin Giveaways: Each day of NYCC, we’ll be giving away NYCC EXCLUSIVE lanyard pins. Limited quantities available.
  • Daily Blind Bag Giveaways: Be one of the first to our booth (#1526) to grab a blind bag from AMC’s The Walking Dead. Check the front and back of your blind bag for a neon sticker, because you could be an INSTANT winner winning comics, action figures or construction sets. Limited quantities available.


More Todd McFarlane autograph sessions times to be announced! Check back here and on Todd’s Twitter for more details!


Stop by the McFarlane Toys booth for life-size photo opportunities from AMC’s The Walking Dead hit TV series.  Upload a photo of you in our booth to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #McFarlaneBuilds for a chance to win a McFarlane Construction Set prize package!

MegaCon Announces New Fall Show November 21st – 22nd!


Announcing MegaCon Fan Days!! Join us November 21-22 for a FANtastic fall show!

‪‎ Mega Fan Days brings you more of the MegaCon fandom, fun, & geekery you love – just in time before we ramp up for our MEGA show in May!

1st Guest announced Samwise Gamgee brings the shire to Orlando! Meet fan fave Sean Astin!

For more information visit

PalmCon hits this Weekend September 26th & 27 th!


Come out to the Palm Beach County Convention Center – September 26th & 27th for Palm Beach’s Original Comic-Con!

Meet Special Guest Matthew Wood – General Grievous in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: The Clone Wars!

Meet Special Guest Carlos Castellanos! Carlos is the illustrator of the nationally syndicated comic strip Baldo!

Meet Special Guest the one and only Captain Cartoon – Dick Kulpa! He is an accomplished artist, who worked on the Star Trek and Bruce Lee comic strips and headed up Cracked Magazine. He is also the creator of (the still on the loose) Bat-Boy for the Weekly World News!

PalmCon: The Palm Beach County Comic Book and Collectibles Show is Palm Beach County’s biggest comic and pop culture convention. Now celebrating their fifth year, PalmCon continues to hold true to it’s mission statement to bring Palm Beach County the best in comics, animation, and pop-culture while providing a fun and safe family friendly atmosphere.

More information and tickets can be found on our site!

NC – Spider-Gwen/Paper Girls Signing


Jason Latour, Cliff Chiang, Rico Renzi, Jared K. Fletcher, and Matt Wilson appear at Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find on Saturday, October 17, 2015 to sign the debut issues of SPIDER-GWEN #1 and PAPER GIRLS #1!

Skottie Young will also be joining us to celebrate the release of I HATE FAIRYLAND #1!

Please note: Spider-Gwen artist Robbi Rodriguez has had to cancel his appearance at this signing.

RSVP on Facebook!

Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find
1957 E 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 375-7462

Spooky Empire Announces a Very Impressive Line Up for UHW!

SE_flyer_2015Spooky Empire’s line up for this year Ultimate Horror Weekend October 30th- Nov 1st!

Includes a SCREAM and WILLY WONKA Reunion plus legend BURT REYNOLDS!

For more info and ticket information check out the website!

DragonCon 2015 Report (with an Interview with Caroll Spinney)!

DragonCon log
It started with my friend John, whom you may remember as my sometime convention companion. He was with me at Minneapolis Wizard World and at Spooky Empire in Orlando, where we discussed the popularity of horror movies while waiting to meet Tobin Bell.

Back in 2011, John sent me an email that read, “Son, look at this.” John and I have called each other “son” for twenty years. It’s our oldest invention, the stone tools of our friendship. His email included a link to a convention called DragonCon, which I was unfamiliar with. “We should go to this to watch all the freaks,” he went on. “We’d have the time of our lives!”

We went to DragonCon that year, plus the next two. In 2014, John was unavailable, so I took my wife and daughter, who went with me again this year, marking my fifth Labor Day weekend spent in Atlanta, Georgia.

* * *

DragonCon has been held in the Dogwood City since 1986, when it was started by a science fiction and gaming group, the Dragon Alliance of Gamers and Role-Players (DAGR). From the outset, it was different. In an era when most conventions focused on a single universe (Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who) or medium (comics, games, science fiction), DragonCon was founded as a multi-genre convention, and it has remained one ever since.

That first gathering drew 1,400 fans and featured some surprisingly renowned guests: Robert Asprin, Lynn Abbey, Michael Moorcock, and the band Blue Öyster Cult. Attendance grew every year, doubling in some years. By 1995, it was at 14,000. It topped 40,000 in 2010, and in 2015, just five years later, over 65,000 were expected. Heck, there are now more volunteers (2,300+) than inaugural attendees!

Most gatherings of that size take place in convention centers, but DragonCon is still hotel-based. Initially confined to the Piedmont Plaza, it now swamps five four-star venues: the Hilton, Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis, Sheraton, and Westin. Vendor booths are located in a sixth building, the AmericasMart. Over 3,000 hours of programming are spread among those hotels, divided into fortysomething tracks. Tracks such as comics and Tolkien are the DNA of DragonCon. Others like podcasting, Whedon Universe, and filking are newer. The curriculum is always changing, always improving, according to Dan Carroll, DragonCon’s director of media. The alternate history track, for example, was added seven years ago when a panel on the topic was planned for 400 people. Over 3,000 showed up.

I went to one panel this year. Cacophonously titled “Legendary SW Authors Talk Mythos,” it featured four writers—Rebecca Moesta, Timothy Zahn, Michael Stackpole, and Kevin J. Anderson—who have totaled no fewer than 50 Star Wars novels. To call these authors “legendary” carries a double meaning, as their works, like others of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, are no longer canon thanks to a 2014 Lucasfilm decree. (This article describes the new continuity in detail.)

The authors talked about this decision, not to bellyache but to explain that it isn’t the degradation most fans seem to think. They knew from the start that they were scribblers, hired to tell tales from someone else’s world. They didn’t feel betrayed; they felt lucky for the opportunities. After all, it isn’t just any world—it is Star Wars, one of the best worlds in this, or any, universe. Besides, there is nothing to stop Lucasfilm from taking their work—say, Michael Stackpole’s X-Wing books—and turning it into a separate movie or TV series, a possibility hinted at during last year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

The panelists discussed other topics, including their tastes in stories (westerns, Doc Savage, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and fortuitously, romances like Gone with the Wind), what influenced them as writers, and how they collaborate. It was a fascinating colloquy despite the feebleness of the moderator, a supposed Star Wars blogger whose questions were rambling and confused the panelists. One question had already been answered by Stackpole, and after the moderator asked it, Kevin J. Anderson said, “Mike, you want to run through that again?” The moderator smiled, turned to the audience, and said, “Never mind. We’ll take your questions now.”

* * *

One of the biggest attractions of DragonCon is the Walk of Fame, where all the TV, movie, gaming, and other guests interact with fans. Over 400 guests attended this year, a few of them household names: Stephen Amell, John Barrowman, Katie Cassidy, Karen Gillan, Nichelle Nichols, and Edward James Olmos. I wanted to interview some guests, a process DragonCon manages better than most conventions. Reporters who are granted press passes must be separately approved for interviews. These approvals are based on the size of their media outlets. Once I got my approval, I could request interviews with up to ten guests.

With over 500 interview requests for 114 slots (according to Samantha Douglas, the interview coordinator), not every reporter approved for interviews actually gets one. Imagine my surprise when I was offered two: one with Sylvester McCoy, who played the Seventh Doctor on Dr. Who, and one with Caroll Spinney, who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. The interviews were actually press conferences held in one of the Marriott meeting rooms. About twelve reporters were at each one. Most represented nerd-news sites like ConventionScene, though I also saw CNN and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Through no fault of DragonCon, the press conferences were disasters. After we waited thirty minutes for Sylvester McCoy, someone came in to say that he was cancelling. His panel had run long, and because he was leaving that afternoon, there was no time to reschedule. Carol Spinney was over an hour late (he simply forgot) and stayed only about ten minutes. Here is a bit of what he had to say:

Reporter: I heard in other interviews that you based Big Bird on a four-year-old child. Over the years, have you had to adjust your characterization of that four-year-old child version of Big Bird based on the generations?

Spinney: Actually, initially, since I decided Big Bird could not read or write, he was four-and-a-half. Then I had to go up to six. And now he has been six for years. He is a precocious child of six. He travels by himself with a dog. And he went to China, somehow. I don’t know how he got tickets. I think it’s just fun playing him as a kind of wide-eyed child. I get letters all the time from children saying, “Big Bird, you’re my best friend. Please come and play with me.” One said, “How about next Thursday?”

Reporter: When the movie [Follow That Bird, 1985] came out, Big Bird had already been around for a while, and a whole generation of children had been watching him and relating to him as a friend, and kids really felt that their friend had been kidnapped. Were you expecting Big Bird to connect to a whole country of children at that deep of a level?

Spinney: I didn’t really know what to expect. When Jim Henson hired me, we were both puppeteers. I would do whatever characters needed performing, but by the third year, with Big Bird, I was so busy. They tried to have me continue doing the incidental stuff too, but one day, Big Bird was in almost all the scenes, and I had to keep taking a taxi up and down Broadway [performing as different characters in different scenes], so one day I said, “Let’s not play this game anymore.” On the fourth year, I said I was busy enough that we needed more puppeteers. So we got some more.

Reporter: I saw that you visited the Center for Puppetry Arts yesterday. Can you talk about what you saw and did there?

Spinney: Well, the museum is going to open by November. They have so many things to display. I saw the place where they are building and repairing puppets, a lot of the Henson puppets that are worn-out. Some of the material has decayed. It has turned to powder. The only puppet I ever created myself is one that has gone to pieces. It was Bruno, who carried Oscar’s trash can around. There were fake arms going to Bruno’s shoulders, and my hands were inside. Oscar would come up and try to boss him around, but Bruno would not be bossed. I designed Bruno so that my head was in his head. I could see out through where the bags under his eyes would be. He looked like a Bert-type puppet. That way, we could get Oscar out on stage for concert tours. I asked a couple of years ago why we don’t use Bruno in shows anymore. He doesn’t exist. He has turned to powder. I asked why they don’t make a new one. It would cost $20,000, so good-bye, Bruno.

Reporter: You are an animator as well. Are you planning on making any future animations?

Spinney: Not really. After four years of doing it in Boston, I kind of got tired of it. I was glad it didn’t have to be my permanent career. I was hired by Disney Studios to be an animator, though I didn’t take the job. This was 1957, and the pay was only $56 a week for the first two years. I decided I’d try for something different, so I did. Walt [Disney] actually walked into the room during my interview. I never actually got to speak to him. I had always had a bucket list of three people I would like to meet: Andrew Wyeth, who I spent an afternoon with once and his son Jamie; Walt Disney—at least I was in the same room with him, and I turned his company down; and the other one was Jim Henson, who personally hired me. So I guess I accomplished all those.

Caroll Spinney in the interview room

* * *

Suppose you are thinking of going to DragonCon in 2016, which will be its 30th anniversary. What do you need to know?

  •  Book early. Tickets are plentiful, but the hotels fill up fast. The marketing manager at the Hyatt told me that it takes fifteen minutes to sell his 1,250 guest rooms for DragonCon weekend.
  • Prepare to wait. You will wait for autographs. You will wait for panels. You will wait for the Heroes & Villains ball or the DragonCon Burlesque or panels with the biggest celebrities. Heck, you will wait for an elevator or a restroom. Get used to it.
  • Pay in cash. I have a dream that someday the DragonCon decision-makers will realize they need to mail pre-paid badges. What’s the point of buying online when you have to pick them up in-person? This means 65,000 people standing in line. Yes, registration starts on Thursday, but this benefits only those who buy a weekend pass. Those who want a one-day pass on Saturday can only buy it on Saturday and must pick it up on-site, even if they paid online. You may as well pay for a one-day on-site, and if you do, pay cash. The cash line is terribly shorter and faster than the credit card line.
  •  Account for the parade. A highlight of the weekend is the Saturday parade, which starts at 10:00am and stretches through downtown. Over 80,000 people show up to watch, making it the second largest parade in the state of Georgia (the first is the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade). Along the parade route, every inch of sidewalk bears a geeky gawker. It’s like a Marvel mosh pit, so plan accordingly. I heard one woman complaining that she had missed her Saturday morning photo op (which she had paid for) because she could not reach the hotel through the throng.
  •  Schedules are bunk. The program you are handed at registration contains a detailed schedule for the entire weekend. It is outdated the moment it is printed. There is a smartphone app that is kept current, but even it is not omniscient. For example, when I entered the Walk of Fame on Saturday, I saw a handwritten sign taped above Karen Gillan’s booth announcing that she would arrive on Sunday. DC Comics luminary George Perez left at 1:00pm on Saturday, and that was announced only when his signing line was cut off at noon. And I’ve already mentioned the press conference bloopers. Bottom line: No one can manage a convention of this heft flawlessly, so be flexible. Don’t have a meltdown when something goes awry.
  • Take care of yourself. Dan Carroll calls DragonCon an “immersive experience.” This can be dreadful if you don’t manage it. He told me about an attendee some years back, a diabetic, who fainted during a session in the gaming room. She told the EMT who restored her that she hadn’t eaten in two hours. “When did you last eat?” the EMT asked. “Around 2:00,” the woman answered. The EMT looked at her and said, “Honey, it’s now 11:00.”

Six buildings. 65,000 attendees. 2,400 volunteers. A $55 million economic impact. You may have attended conventions in the past, but none compares to DragonCon, one of the United States’ largest and most venerable. Nowhere is this more evident than in the cosplays, which are more sumptuous than those you’ll see anywhere. Check them out for yourself below. Maybe I’ll see you there next year, when I plan to be dressed like this.

* * *

twenties DC

Gotham City’s underworld, circa 1925

Big Trouble

I didn’t want trouble, but these guys brought it. Big trouble.

Star Wars

George Lucas’s first casting attempt


Here’s Sam. Where’s Dean?


It’s always hot in Georgia in early September. Some people respond by practically going nude.

Scooby gang

Who you gonna call? Sorry, wrong ghostbusters.

scooby villains

Maybe Mystery Inc. was looking for these guys. I found them instead.


I went to DragonCon looking for a life-size Barbie doll. Here it is.

Steampunk ood

This was a ood cosplay . . . I mean, a good cosplay.

Kermit & Piggy

An impromptu Muppet Show breaks out.


I found a baby once. Then this guy took him from me.


Preach it, Deadpool. Preach it.


Want to know what 3,000+ cosplayers in a parade look like? Here’s a glimpse.

Wife and daughter

Want to know what happens when my wife and daughter spend an entire weekend together? Here’s a glimpse.

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