LINK: A Look Back at WonderCon 2016

WonderCon Photo: R. Manahan © 2016 SDCC

Comic-Con International has photo galleries for each day of WonderCon 2016.

DragonCon 2016 Con Report!

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Overheard on an Atlanta street corner:

 

“Look at that person with blue hair.”

“Over there?”

“No, over there.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Cool, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. What other place can you say, ‘No, the other person with blue hair.”

The “place,” of course, was DragonCon. September 2-5. I have been for the last six years, but this year was special: the 30th anniversary. It started in two downtown hotels, Hyatt and Marriott. The Hilton was added later, then the Sheraton and Westin. When five hotels were not enough space, the vendors were moved into the AmericasMart, a four-building, seven-million-square-foot trade show monolith. This year, AmericasMart became the new home of two other DragonCon mainstays, tabletop gaming (formerly in the Hilton) and Comic and Pop Artist Alley (neé the Hyatt)—evidence that DragonCon, despite its venerability, is still figuring things out. Perhaps that is how it became venerable: refusing to be complacent.

And more growth is on the way. Some programming was held on Thursday this year, and according to media director Dan Carroll, we will see Thursday “full-time real soon.” My colleague Michaela McPherson has written about shifts in the Saturday morning parade. This was the inaugural year for the Dragon Awards, a fan-driven awards program to “recognize the creators of science fiction and fantasy in books, comic books, games and filmed entertainment,” according to a press release. (Awards results are located here.) Attendance grew this year as it does every year, with over 77,000 showing up–and, in some cases, suiting up–for the weekend. These attendees walked (Walk to End Lupus Now), gave blood (about 6,000 units), raised money ($98,000 for the Atlanta Center for Self-Sufficiency through auctions, karaoke, a lip-synch battle, and other events), and enjoyed the 400+ actors, artists, writers, and other guests who formed the convention’s foundation.

I was excited about one guest I had never seen at DragonCon, or any convention: Christopher Paolini, author of the four-volume Inheritance Cycle. Paolini wrote the first volume, Eragon, the story of a farm boy who protects a dragon egg from an evil king, when he was a teenager. His parents self-published the book, and for a year, Paolini promoted it himself at libraries, book shows, and other events. In 2002, the book came to the attention of the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, which re-released the book a year later. This led to three other books, the last one appearing in 2011.

On Friday night, Paolini was one of several panelists for a discussion of self-publishing. The other panelists were freelance writer/editor Jaym Gates, editor Dayna Linton, Baen Books publisher Toni Weisskopf, writer Chris Kennedy, and Todd McCaffrey, son of Anne McCaffrey and custodian of her Pern universe, to which he has contributed several volumes. Some highlights from the panel:

  • McCaffrey: The biggest mistake in self-publishing is to “think you can do everything yourself.”
  • Eragon was a family project. Paolini’s father, who had press experience, designed the book. Paolini drew the cover and the maps. They borrowed money to finance the printing (the first 50 copies were cut wrong). He dressed in medieval costume and made presentations to schools, libraries, and bookstores. Sold maybe 15 books at a time. Two chain bookstores rejected him, saying the novel was “not commercially viable.”
  • Gates: “Readers and writers have different ideas of what works.” This led to a vigorous discussion of the value of editing. It’s the biggest difference between professional publishing and self-publishing (a view echoed by this Slate article). Writers know their own story, but editors are storehouses of stories. They understand the market, and what will appeal to readers. Thus, they can guide the author, helping to bring out his/her voice. As Gates said, “it is the editor’s job to help the writer say what he/she wants to say in the best way.”
  • Paolini was skeptical of the wisdom of a beginning writer paying for editorial services, but the other panelists–I won’t say they shouted him down, but they were unified in saying that it would be money well spent. Paolini did agree on the worth of an editor, saying an editor “can fix bad writing. They can’t fix a bad story.” Bottom line: the author has a job, and the editor has a job. Good books result when each person does their job.
  • McCaffrey talked about “hybrid authors”–authors who write for traditional publishers and do some self-publishing. Here is a good discussion of this type of writer. The panel agreed that the hybrid approach is the best, blending the advantages of self-publishing (speed; flexibility; more profit per sale) with the comfort of traditional publishing (editorial, design, and marketing services; bulk sales; multi-book deals; advances against royalties). More authors are taking this approach, which is new in the history of publishing. According to Weisskopf, the “received wisdom” used to be that, if you self-publish, you’ve “tainted the waters and will never get a traditional contract.” The panel agreed that this is no longer the case.
  • On traditional contracts: beware the predators. Gates brought up two blog posts by John Scalzi (here and here), who has always been an advocate of authorial self-interest, about Hydra, an imprint of Random House with shockingly bad contract terms. The panel’s message: don’t be so desperate to publish that you’ll sign anything.

All the growth in DragonCon has brought some irritation. At 2:30 on Friday afternoon, the vendor room in the AmericasMart reached capacity and was shut down. I have never experienced that at a convention (I read about it happening a couple of years ago at the Rhode Island Comic-Con). The room was open an hour or so later, I think–I didn’t wait around to find out–so it wasn’t a disastrous inconvenience. But I did find myself wondering, is there no building in Atlanta large enough to handle DragonCon?

The lines in the hotels were certainly longer than ever. I waited nearly two hours to buy Saturday-only badges for members of my party. (It is useless to buy these in advance because DragonCon mails you a card that you have to redeem on-site for a badge.) There may be no space to do this, but I would love to see registration expanded. Or split into two buildings. Why do one-day badges have to be claimed on site? Why can’t they be mailed? One thing is for sure: a single ballroom in the basement of the Sheraton is inadequate for the thousands upon thousands of people who opt for one-day badges.

DragonCon is a study in lines. Walking around the sidewalks, you’ll often see a line with no discernible beginning snaking into an unmarked side door. It’s like a speakeasy line. If you ask someone what they’re waiting for, they respond without confusion, but what if they’re wrong? What if the real purpose of the queue has been miscommunicated all the way down, so that someone who thinks they’re waiting for William Shatner’s photo op is actually in line for the blood bank?

It isn’t that hard to form a line, after all. My wife and I did it for Chris Paolini’s Sunday autograph session, which was scheduled for 2:30. Jim Butcher had started signing in the same room at 1:00. His line was capped at 1:30, and we knew that people looking for Paolini would start showing up soon. So we stood a few feet behind the last person for Jim Butcher and declared it the Start of the Line. Within minutes, a hundred people were standing behind us, and when a DragonCon staffer came along and legitimized us, I felt like Saul Alinsky.

If you have never been to DragonCon, you need to go. It is not the largest convention in the U.S., but it is unique, being spread across five Atlanta hotels. I have often wondered why it doesn’t move to the Georgia International Convention Center or the Georgia World Congress Center. It may need to, especially when attendance reaches 100,000, as I believe it will. But I hope DragonCon doesn’t move. I love the atmosphere of hotel-based conventions. There are other hotels in downtown Atlanta, and maybe DragonCon will incorporate those. Whatever happens, I look forward to many more years of attending this convention, which was my first and will always be one of the best.

 

So THIS is the horse of a different color I've heard tell of.

So THIS is the horse of a different color I’ve heard tell of.

The official store is the place to get your swag on.

The official store is the place to get your swag on.

No, Storm Shadow isn't wearing a hat. Some pirate photo bombed us.

No, Storm Shadow isn’t wearing a hat. Some pirate photo bombed us.

Pikachu takes some pictures with fans.

Pikachu takes some pictures with fans.

Recognize the guy in the middle? Here's a hint: it rhymes with Bash Jordan.

Recognize the guy in the middle? Here’s a hint: it rhymes with Bash Jordan.

Christopher Paolini pauses for a pic during his (only!) book signing of the weekend.

Christopher Paolini pauses for a pic during his (only!) book signing of the weekend.

I want a suit like that, but my wife probably wouldn't let me wear it.

I want a suit like that, but my wife probably wouldn’t let me wear it.

The dealer room was closed on Friday afternoon due to overcrowding. I can't imagine why.

The dealer room was closed on Friday afternoon due to overcrowding. I can’t imagine why.

Peter, meet Victor. Victor, Peter.

Peter, meet Victor. Victor, Peter.

This guy had been to 44 Weird Al concerts in 2016, with plans to attend several more. Check him out on Facebook at Mandatory Fun Al.

This guy had been to 44 Weird Al concerts in 2016, with plans to attend several more. Check him out on Facebook at Mandatory Fun Al.

Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia . . . or a George R.R. Martin autograph, whichever.

Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia . . . or a George R.R. Martin autograph, whichever.

This cosplay (yes, a person is inside) was made using 318 ballons!

This cosplay (yes, a person is inside) was made using 318 ballons!

Ran into this couple at the convention. They're crazy for each other.

Ran into this couple at the convention. They’re crazy for each other.

DragonCon is a place to spare no expense.

DragonCon is a place to spare no expense.

Mr. Roper doesn't know how good he has it.

Mr. Roper doesn’t know how good he has it.

LINK: Meet the Evil Genius Behind New York Comic Con

NYCC

Entrepreneur interviews Lance Fensterman, creator of NYCC and senior global VP of ReedPOP.

Marvel Comics Schedule at NYCC 2016

Marvel Comics is live at New York Comic Con 2016! Join them right here at Marvel’s online destination for the latest con coverage, news, galleries, schedules, panels, live events and so much more! Panel and booth signing schedule has been announced, including opportunities to meet the casts of Luke Cage and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. plus the upcoming Legion and Iron Fist; see below for details.

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Image Comics Schedule at NYCC 2016

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Press Release:

Image Comics is pleased to return to the big apple this year for New York Comic Con on Thursday, October 7th through Sunday, October 9th. Please note: updates to the schedule may appear online during the show. Please refer back to this post for the most up-to-date information.

LIMITED* SDCC VARIANTS SOLD AT THE IMAGE BOOTH (#1444):
* Quantities will be limited by customer and per day on a first come, first served basis. Please ask at the Image booth about availability.

  • CANNIBAL #1 by Brian Buccellato, Jennifer Young & Matias Bergara, $10
  • MOONSHINE #1 by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso, $10
  • REBORN #1 by Mark Millar & Greg Capullo, $10

CONVENTION EXCLUSIVES:

  • TOKYO GHOST, VOL. 1 hardcover by Rick Remender & Sean Gordon Murphy, $35
  • MONSTRESS, VOL. 1 hardcover by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda, $40

PANELS HOSTED BY IMAGE COMICS:

Comics In #YourImage: Adventure
10/6/2016 at 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM, in 1A21

Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), Greg Rucka (BLACK MAGICK), Simon Spurrier (CRY HAVOC), Caspar Wijngaard (LIMBO), and Joe Harris & Martin Morazzo (SNOWFALL) are ready and willing to break down how they create perfect comic book adventures, versatile heroes, and chilling villains in complex stories that demand a lot from the reader, but have a huge payoff.

Comics In #YourImage: Character
10/7/2016 at 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM, in Room 1A24

A high concept for a comic is a great invitation, but great characters are what make you want to stay with the book. Characters that you empathize with or are cooler than cool are captivating. Sana Takeda (MONSTRESS), Steven T. Seagle (CAMP MIDNIGHT), Rod Reis (HADRIAN’S WALL), Donny Cates (TBA), and Jason Hurley & Jeremy Haun (THE BEAUTY) are going to dig deep into characters, and how it’s not as easy as a cool outfit and a snappy name.

Comics In #YourImage: Storytelling
10/8/2016 at 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM, in 1A21

You can’t judge a comic solely based on what happens to the characters in it. You have to look at how things happen, what the story looks like, and a bunch of other little tiny things that make comics one of the most vibrant storytelling mediums around. Karen Berger (SURGEON X), Gabriel Hardman (INVISIBLE REPUBLIC), Declan Shalvey (INJECTION), Marjorie Liu (MONSTRESS), Scott Snyder (WYTCHES), and Bryan Hill (ROMULUS) are some of the best storytellers in the business. In addition, check out an EXCLUSIVE preview of the upcoming OFFICER DOWNE film at the end of the panel, based on the graphic novel by Joe Casey & Chris Burnham!

Comics In #YourImage: Spectacle
10/9/2016 at 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM, in 1A24

What is it that excites you about comics, that makes Wednesday the best day of the week? Whether it’s the idea of seeing a new world through someone else’s eyes or getting a look at reality from another angle, we’ve got you covered. Our panelists, including Jim Zub & Djibril Morissette-Phan (GLITTERBOMB), Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, & Babs Tarr (MOTORCRUSH), Jason Latour (SOUTHERN BASTARDS), and Andrew MacLean(HEADLOPPER) know what you want and aim to please.

SIGNINGS* HOSTED AT IMAGE COMICS BOOTH (#1444):
*wristbands will be available for fans to pick as soon as doors open, first come, first served, at the Image booth on the day of the desired ticketed signing.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6
12 – 12:45 PM, Alex de Campi & Carla Speed McNeil
12 – 12:45 PM, Joshua Williamson
1 – 1:45 PM, Declan Shalvey
1 – 1:45 PM, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart & Babs Tarr* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
2 – 2:45 PM, Greg Rucka* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
2 – 2:45 PM, Brandon Thomas
3 – 3:45 PM, Bob Fingerman
3 – 3:45 PM, Brian Schirmer
3 – 3:45 PM, Shawn Martinbrough
4 – 4:45 PM, Brian Buccellato
4 – 4:45 PM, Giuseppe Camuncoli
5 – 5:45 PM, Jim Zub & Djibril Morissette-Phan

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7
10 – 10:45 AM, Scott Snyder* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
10 – 10:45 AM, Tim Seeley
11 – 11:45 AM, Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
11 – 11:45 AM, Joe Harris & Martin Morazzo
12 – 12:45 PM, Meredith McClaren
12 – 12:45 PM, Shane Davis
1 – 1:45 PM, Joshua Williamson
2 – 2:45 PM, Donny Cates & Geoff Shaw
2 – 2:45 PM, Brandon Thomas
3 – 3:45 PM, Kieron Gillen* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
3 – 3:45 PM, Giuseppe Camuncoli
4 – 4:45 PM, Emi Lenox
4 – 4:45 PM, Brian Wood & Garry Brown
5 – 5:45 PM, Jeremy Haun & Jason Hurley
5 – 5:45 PM, Gerry Duggan & Phil Noto
6 – 6:45 PM, Andrew MacLean

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8
10 – 10:45 AM, Dustin Nguyen* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
11 – 11:45 AM, Wes Craig
11 – 11:45 AM, Shawn Martinbrough
12 – 12:45 PM, Brian Azzarello* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
12 – 12:45 PM, Giuseppe Camuncoli
1 – 1:45 PM, Greg Capullo* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
1 – 1:45 PM, Brandon Thomas
2 – 2:45 PM, Robert Kirkman* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
2 – 2:45 PM, Greg Rucka* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
3 – 3:45 PM, Jason Latour* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
4 – 4:45 PM, Brian Azzarello* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
4 – 4:45 PM, Paul Azaceta
5 – 5:45 PM, Jerome Opeña* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
6 – 6:45 PM, Andy Belanger

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9
10 – 10:45 AM, Scott Snyder* (wristband required, 3-item limit)
11 – 11:45 AM, Caspar Wijngaard
11 – 11:45 AM, Stefano Gaudiano & Cliff Rathburn
1 – 1:45 PM, Leandro Fernandez
2 – 2:45 PM, Paul Azaceta

IMAGE CREATORS IN ARTIST ALLEY:

Albuquerque, Rafael: BB11
Balboni, Claudia: S6
Bechko, Corinna: Q9
Belanger, Andy: BB12
Blake II, Nelson: Q14
Brown, Garry: R4
Buccelleto, Brian: CC2
Burnham, Chris: F2
Camuncoli, Giuseppe: AA4
Cho, Frank: AA11
Craig, Wes: X6
Davis, Shane: B10
De Campi, Alex: B6
Delecki, Michelle: AA5
Dodson, Terry: D18
Dos Santos, Mark: V7
Eisma, Joe: X7
Fiumara, Max: BB3
Fletcher, Brenden: W16
Fowler, Tom: Q8
Giarrusso, Chris: D5
Glapion, Jonathan: G3
Goodhart, Isaac: Q15
Gorham, Adam: Q3
Hardman, Gabriel: Q9
Harren, James: R4
Harris, Joe: V18
Haun, Jeremy: Q1
Hawkins, Matt: Q15
Hill, Bryan: Q14
Huang, Edwin: S3
Jordan, Justin: N8
Katzenstein, Jason Adam: BB13
Kesgin, Sumeyye: Z17
Kyriazis, Ilias: H2
Larsen, Erik: Q18
Liu, Marjorie: K2
MacLean, Andrew: T4
Mahfood, Jim: O12
McClaren, Meredith: A3A
McNeil, Carla Speed: B6
Montclare, Brandon: H11
Moreci, Michael: X5
Morissette-Phan, Djibril: S5
Murphy, Sean Gordon: E1
Nguyen, Dustin: F9
Opeña, Jerome: L2
Orlando, Steve: K17
Ottley, Ryan: T10
Panosian, Dan: E13
Randolph, Khary: J18
Rathburn, Cliff: T11
Reeder, Amy: H10
Reis, Rod: R2
Rossmo, Riley: R5
Rucka, Greg: A1
Ryan Browne: X2
Scalera, Matteo: E3
Schirmer, Brian: S6
Seagle, Steven T.: BB13
Seeley, Tim: X1
Sejic, Linda: Q16
Sejic, Stjepan: Q17
Shalvey, Declan: K10
Shaw, Geoff: R5
Sienkiewicz, Bill: O10
Snyder, Scott: CC20
Soule, Charles: X3
Spencer, Nick: R1
Takeda, Sana: K2
Tarr, Babs: W17
Templesmith, Ben: N9
Van Lente, Fred: W12
Wijngaard, Caspar: H3
Williamson, Joshua: CC3
Wimberly, Ronald: O3
Zub, Jim: S4

NYCC AFTERPARTY: Image Comics and Sonicboombox team up for a night of wizards, bowling, and mingling

You’re invited to join the fun on Friday night at Bowlmor Times Square 

Image Comics, Midtown Comics and Sonicboombox are re-teaming for a special NYCC After Party to be held at Bowlmor Times Square (222 W. 44th Street). A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Must be 21+ to attend. The fun begins at 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. in the Art Deco room (4th floor) 12 lanes of free bowling (first come, first served) Admission: $15 in advance, get tickets here.

Come join Charles Soule, Greg Rucka, Jason Latour, Wes Craig, Alex de Campi, Declan Shalvey, Amy Reeder, Tim Seeley, and more of your favorite Image creators for specialty drinks, complimentary bowling all night long, photobooth shenanigans, mingling, and enjoy a live music performance, Q&A, giveaway, and raffle from Charles Soule and his Wizard Band in celebration of the forthcoming launch of CURSE WORDS.

– See more at: https://imagecomics.com/content/view/image-comics-at-new-york-comic-con#sthash.zA4rDrPh.dpuf

Living Dead Weekend 2016 Celebrates Film Origins of the Zombie

October 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Convention News, Horror, Pennsylvania

Living Dead Weekend

Press Release:

LIVING DEAD WEEKEND CELEBRATES FILM ORIGINS OF THE ZOMBIE

Evans City, September 30, 2016: Evans City, PA, the home of the modern zombie in pop-culture will host the annual Living Dead Weekend on October 14, 15 and 16. This title is given to this Pennsylvania bureau because of it’s ties to the 1968 classic film, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Evans City served as the filming location of the infamous George A. Romero’s debut feature film about a night where the recently dead have returned to life and upset the human way of life. Now 48 years old, the film has had immeasurable influence on pop-culture and has given the world a new monster archetype.

This annual event has grown considerably and has become Evans City’s largest local festival. This event will feature a full weekend of events including movie screenings in the nearby Strand Theater, over 30 celebrities from the Romero films signing autographs, seminars and discussion panels, makeup and special FX booths, and over 100 vendors of art, crafts, food, exhibits, entertainers, Halloween merchandise, zombie goods, souvenirs and apparel. Also back for its third outing within the weekend is the Sunday afternoon Pet Walk of the Living Dead, a family friendly pet and owner costumed parade around EDCO Park which includes various local pet vendors all day this year.

A highlight of this year’s Weekend is a community effort to raise funds to save EDCO Park’s swimming Pool. GHOULS FOR THE POOL is Evans’s City’s answer to the popular Scarecrow Invasion- an interactive art exhibit to fill the park with fan-made zombie scarecrows. Participants will build and design a scarecrow to decorate and add ambiance to the park for Halloween. For only $5, the core essentials are supplied and park visitors throughout the weekend will use their ideas and artistic vision to build a zombie scarecrow and plant it in the park. The goal is to fill the back yard of the park with 1000 unique zombies. For every zombie scarecrow that joins the horde, the park gets $5.00.

Everyone is invited to celebrate all things zombies and especially the film that started it all, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, where it all began, Evans City, PA. Visitors from all around the world, as far as New Zealand are expected this year. Admission is FREE, with some activities having individual ticket costs. Additional details can be found at the website www.TheLivingDeadWeekend.com

“The way Evans City has embraced its own role as a focal point of film making history, and the warmth of the community to all its many visitors has made this a truly special event,” says, Jim Krut, actor from DAWN OF THE DEAD, “As the event continues to grow, the town will continue to find itself seen through the eyes of visitors from across the country and the world.”

The Living Dead Museum is a museum and gift shop celebrating Zombies in Pop-Culture. Located in the town center of Evans City, PA, location of the original film, George A. Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, the themed attraction takes fans through a visual history of zombies in cinema and pop-culture. Displays of props and memorabilia are woven into a presentation featuring interactive experiences, and zombie gift shopping. For more information, visit www.livingdeadmuseum.com and www.TheLivingDeadWeekend.com .

Scene and Reviewed: 6 Plots

October 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Everything Else, Horror, Movies

6-plots-dvd

I want to play a game. The game is to count how many classic horror films were mimicked in the making of the Australian thriller 6 Plots. Right on the DVD cover you see references to Saw and Buried. Another review mentioned Hostel. You could make arguments for Cube, Vile, and The Hills Have Eyes. But the greatest debt owed by this movie is to an older film, one that helped originate the slasher genre despite itself being a suspense thriller (and a nonpareil one at that): Halloween.

SPOILERS:

Seven students at Oak Bay High School plan a Friday night bash. There will be music. Booze. Sex. Hijinks. The party will take place in a “borrowed” (read: they broke in) house on the beach. We see the kids doing what kids do at parties, every jiffy of which they intend to livestream on the Internet because–well, you’ve seen American Pie. Anyway, everybody passes out, and when one of the kids, Brie, wakes up, she notices the others have skedaddled.

As Brie gathers her stuff to head home, she gets a phone message from this guy.

emoticon

The message tells her to play a game, no parents, no authorities. The game: find her friends. All are locked in boxes and stashed around town. All can communicate with her via their phones. She is also sent video updates of their predicaments via the cameras installed in each box. Inevitably, parents get involved, as do the cops, so a few kids have to die. One is burned (she kept saying she was “covered in petrol”). Another is buried alive. A saw mill blade provides the most gruesome killing. Brie and the cops manage to save the other three, and a few weeks later, they are all back at school, cracking wise and calling one other “bitches.” Then they run into a creepy guy we saw for five seconds at the beginning of the film who makes some cryptic remarks in a basso profundo voice and walks away with the above emoticon on his skateboard. I guess he was the bad guy.

Did you catch all the Halloween analogs?

  1. Teenagers plan a gathering.
  2. They lie to their parents about it (in one geek-gasmic scene, a guy’s father calls home to check on him, and his buddy sitting in a different house answers the home phone using his cell phone and an “automated Skype message faker”).
  3. They use someone else’s house without permission.
  4. The girl with no boyfriend (Brie) becomes the savior.
  5. One victim’s father is the police chief.
  6. The whole thing is broadcast online (as in Halloween: Resurrection).

Now let me tell you what is not like Halloween: there isn’t one bit of menace in this movie. When there is a movie involving a villain, that villain is the film’s strength. Michael Myers’s mix of childlike wonder and unholy force is established from the first moment of Halloween, and it twists through all the films in the series. You can’t take your eyes off him. Ditto for John Kramer (aka, Jigsaw), Fred Krueger, Dracula, and all the great horror villains. Their personalities–Kramer’s cold logic, Krueger’s impishness, Dracula’s smug ferocity–make them compelling, while their motives make them scary.

What of the villain in 6 Plots? Other reviews call him The Emoticon, but I don’t recall anyone saying that in the film, and for good reason: it sounds like a lame Charlton Comics superhero. So he’s nameless, and until the final scene, he’s invisible. This is another mistake by the filmmakers. It isn’t necessary for the protagonists to meet the villain until the end–the Die Hard movies have mastered this approach–but it is necessary for the audience. How can we be afraid of someone we can’t connect with? As for motive, think of John Kramer’s aim: “to test the fabric of human existence.” It’s an unusual goal, lofty and sinister. The guy behind The Emoticon? His motive seems dull as driftwood.

The opening credits of 6 Plots include the line “Based on a concept by Leigh Sheehan and Tim C. Patterson.” Because these are the film’s director and writer, I wondered why they were credited this way, since “concept” seems an integral part of writing and directing. The unfortunate answer is that concept is most of this movie’s appeal. The non-villain characters are relatable, and the actors are good–so good I wanted to see interviews with them in the making-of documentary that forms the DVD’s sole special feature (I was disappointed). It is an interesting concept, though maybe too ambitious. With six victims to keep up with, I found myself getting confused.

Maybe 6 Plots should have stuck to one plot this time around.

 

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Year of Production: 2012

Type: Home Entertainment Premiere

Rating: R for Language, Some Violence/Terror and Teen Partying/Drug Material

Genre: Horror

Closed Captioned: English

Subtitles: English and Spanish

Feature Run Time: 87 minutes

DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen (2:35:1)

DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

ABOUT LIONSGATE

Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video game sand international distribution and sales. The company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange in the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication successes The Wendy Williams Show and Celebrity Name Game (with FremantleMedia), the breakout series The Royals and the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy Casual.

Its feature film business has been fueled by such successes as the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate’s The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions’ Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films’ Addicted and Pantelion Films’ Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.

Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. See www.lionsgate.com.

 

DragonCon 2016 Con Report (Including a Sort-of Interview with Nolan North)!

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Cinderella, Wonder Woman, and an assassin walked into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Actually, it was the first day of DragonCon 2016.

DragonCon is one of the largest conventions in the Southeast. This was my third year, but my first as a journalist. Even as a veteran convention goer, you really never know what to expect, especially for a place such as this. With over 75,000 attendees, it’s hard to find the same cosplayer twice, and it’s easy to lose your companions, like the Doctor loses Rose in every episode.

This is especially true of the Saturday morning parade. Several streets in downtown Atlanta are blocked off, and the sidewalks are covered in Disney Princesses, Deadpools, and Batmans (Batmen?) all converging together. It’s one of the few places you can see the Punisher pull Bullseye out of the street to prevent him from being run over by Doc Brown’s DeLorean. Until recently, people could register to be in the parade up until the day before. It has grown so popular, however, that last year registration for the 3,200 slots closed in August. This year, registration closed on March 1st. Also, for the first time, the parade was broadcasted on the CW Network. One of the best things about this parade is the fact that they have a specific place for just the Deadpools to roam, and it’s certainly one of the most popular cosplays done in any convention I have been to.

And then of course, due to the new movie that came out recently, Suicide Squad, my colleague, Anthony Aycock, and I were curious to see just how many Harley Quinns and Jokers there were, but only from that movie. We counted a total of ninety-one Margot Robbie Harley Quinns and nineteen Jared Leto Jokers. Most of the Harleys were in her usual outfit, complete with the shirt that says “Daddy’s Lil’ Monster,” but we noticed some variations. One Harley was wearing the prison uniform from the beginning of the movie, a few were wearing the “stripper” Harley outfit, and then there were a couple that had dressed as Harleen Quinzel, the pre-Harley Quinn – long white lab coat, no nonsense blond bun, and leading a prisoner Joker with a makeshift leash. I also saw one Charlie Quinn, a male Harley with “Mommy’s Lil’ Monster” scrawled on his pecs. I suppose one reason that there were more Harleys than Jokers is because most people seemed to have had a distaste for Leto’s portrayal of him. It might be because I was a fan of 30 Seconds to Mars far before the movie was even thought of, but I actually quite enjoyed it. One criticism I have though is that we didn’t see much into the abusive relationship, and now most couples who are unfamiliar with the characters are thinking “OMG hashtag relationship goals!”

One of the most popular areas of DragonCon is the Walk of Fame, which is overflowing with beloved actors of the traditional and voice kind. A few of my favorites were Carlos Valdes (Cisco from the CW TV show The Flash), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy, Commander Zhao, and Captain Hook), Nolan North (voice of Deadpool in the Deadpool video game, Nathan Drake from Uncharted, and Desmond Miles from the Assassin’s Creed series), and of course William Shatner (you already know who this is).

We stood in line for Nolan North (who was tardy to the party), and ended up talking to his agent for a while. She told us that voice actors usually make around $900 per four hours of work plus residuals (i.e., they get paid each time the episode they were in is broadcast). Anime voice actors make a lot less, roughly $65 per hour. Most conventions guarantee their celebrities a certain amount of money. For example Lana Parrilla of Once Upon a Time gets $10,000 per convention. If her autograph sales fall short of that, the convention makes up the difference. DragonCon, however, does not make guarantees like that. Not even for ol’ Bill Shatner. I found this fascinating, especially how undervalued anime voice actors are. I expect that to change, however, as anime becomes more mainstream.

Finally, Nolan arrived, and I managed to speak to him as he was signing a Deadpool Pop figure for me (I am not a nerd, I swear). Interviews are not allowed in the Walk of Fame, but I wanted to ask him a couple of questions out of my own curiosity. He was so friendly and engaging that it might as well have been an interview.

My first question was what he thought of Ryan Reynolds stealing the spotlight for Deadpool. He said, “There is no spotlight. Ryan does a terrific job, but I do have an idea for a cameo for the next movie. Deadpool is chasing someone, fires a gun, blows a hole in the wall, and behind the wall, I’m standing there wearing headphones, recording Deadpool’s voice for a video game. And Ryan looks at me and says, ‘You sound nothing like me’ and shoots me.” Nolan went on to say how funny Ryan is on Twitter, and I second that since I stalk him too.

My second question was how Nolan felt about the Assassin’s Creed movie coming out in December. He replied, “I’m a big fan of Michael Fassbender [co-producer and star of the movie]. What I like about it is that it will be an original take on the story. It won’t just be the game translated into the movie. The game is the inspiration for a unique movie.”

I stood there with Nolan so long that his agent started clearing her throat—thank goodness I didn’t have a third question—but it was interesting getting his perspective. As a fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, I was a bit tentative to see the movie, but after hearing Mister Desmond Miles himself praise it, I have a bit more hope for how it will turn out. Oh, and when I got his autograph on Friday, it was only $20, but two days later, he was charging $40. Way to up your game, North.

Are you thinking about going to DragonCon? Here are five morsels of advice:

  1. Bring all the money you have plus what you can bum from your parents and what you can earn by selling a kidney. I’m not saying stuff is overpriced; you’ll just want to buy it all.
  2. Prepare to stand in line for an hour and a half, feet tired, arms dragging the floor, just to be told to come back later after the actor’s friggin’ panel (I’m looking at you, Carlos Valdes).
  3. The hotels in downtown Atlanta fill up fast, but don’t worry: you can stay outside the city and just take the MARTA in. It’s quick and cheap. But don’t let the homeless guys take your money—you need it for the autographs and the plushies and the posters and . . . you get the idea.
  4. Prepare to walk. I know a lot of you like to wear heels everywhere. Don’t. You will not be able to feel anything beyond the blisters that will begin to appear after just the first day.
  5. Have fun, but not so much it’ll land you in Erewhon.

Now have a look at these pix from DragonCon 2016 . . .

Alucard will deal with this photo bomber later.

Alucard will deal with this photo bomber later.

You should see my sonic screwdriver . . .

You should see my sonic screwdriver . . .

He may be deaf, but he can hear the crowd cheering.

He may be deaf, but he can hear the crowd cheering.

When Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool . . .

When Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool . . .

DragonCon . . . where memes come to life.

DragonCon . . . where memes come to life.

This guy is Dumbledorable!

This guy is Dumbledorable!

Don't PokemonGO. Just go.

Don’t PokemonGO. Just go.

I found out where Nightcrawler has been hiding.

I found out where Nightcrawler has been hiding.

Screw the Joker. It's Ivy time!

Screw the Joker. It’s Ivy time!

To get this picture, I had to chase her down like Kinnosuke Kuzuhara. Except I actually succeeded.

To get this picture, I had to chase her down like Kinnosuke Kuzuhara. Except I actually succeeded.

And here we see . . . the typical Facebook user.

And here we see . . . the typical Facebook user.

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today . . .

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today . . .

When in doubt, follow a Sailor Scout.

When in doubt, follow a Sailor Scout.

The game . . . it's following me.

The game . . . it’s following me.

Walk toward the light!

Walk toward the light!

Me too, Deadpool. Me too.

Me too, Deadpool. Me too.

Is anime real?

Is anime real?

So this guy came up to me and just said "Shhhhh if anyone asks, Spiderman did it." And then sprayed silly string on my phone.

So this guy came up to me and just said “Shhhhh if anyone asks, Spiderman did it.” And then sprayed silly string on my phone.

"It's not a phase, Mom!"

“It’s not a phase, Mom!”

DC Entertainment Announces Signing Schedule at NYCC 2016

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Press Release:

New York Comic Con (NYCC) is always one of the best ways for fans to meet the talented list of writers and artists behind DC and Vertigo’s most popular stories for meet-and-greets and signings.

This year’s booth (South Concourse, Booth #4002) will feature some of the fans’ favorite REBIRTH talent including Tom King and David Finch (BATMAN), Steve Orlando (SUPERGIRL), Christopher Priest (DEATHSTROKE) and DC Publisher Jim Lee (SUICIDE SQUAD), among many, many others. Already a smash hit with comic book die-hards and novices alike, the curator of DC’s Young Animal imprint, Gerard Way, will be signing copies of DOOM PATROL with artist Nick Derington.

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Amazon Princess just a few weeks after NYCC on Oct. 21, a number of past and present Wonder Woman talent will be on-hand for signings including, WONDER WOMAN Writer Greg Rucka, WONDER WOMAN: THE TRUE AMAZON Writer and Artist Jill Thompson, as well as legendary Wonder Woman Artist José Luis García-López.

Highlights from this year’s signing schedule include:

Thursday, October 6th
11am-12:00pm: Brenden Fletcher
11:30am-12:30pm: Amy Chu, Clay Mann
12:30-1:30pm: Marc Andreyko, Cat Staggs
1:30-2:30pm: Jill Thompson
3:00-4:00pm: Peter Tomasi, Doug Mahnke
3:30-4:30pm: Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo
4-5:00pm: Joshua Williamson, Ed Benes
4:30-5:30pm: Scott Snyder*, Rafael Albuquerque*
5 -6pm: Shea Fontana
5:30-6:30pm: Jim Lee*, Alex Sinclair
6-7:00pm: Steve Orlando, Phil Jimenez

Friday, October 7th
10:30-11am: José Luis García-López, Paul Levitz
11:am-12pm: Brian Azzarello, Klaus Janson
11:30am-12:30pm: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Yanick Paquette
2-3pm: Tom King*, David Finch*
3-4pm: Christopher Priest, Paolo Pantalena
4-5pm: Greg Rucka
4:30-5:30pm: Jim Lee*, Alex Sinclair
5:30-6:30pm: Scott Snyder*, John Romita, Jr.*

Saturday, October 8th
11am-12pm: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Yanick Paquette
12:30-1:30pm: Steve Orlando, Clay Mann
12pm: Christopher Priest, Paolo Pantalena
3-4pm: Gerard Way*, Nick Derington, Marley Zarcone
3:30-4:30pm: Shea Fontana
4:30-5:30pm: Brian Azzarello, Klaus Janson
5:30-6:30pm: Scott Snyder*, Greg Capullo*

Sunday, October 9th
10:30-11:30am: Brenden Fletcher, Lee Weeks
11-12:00pm: Shea Fontana
1-2pm: Tom King*, David Finch*
2-3pm: Greg Rucka
3:30-4:30pm: José Luis García-López
4-5pm: Jill Thompson

Download the new DC All Access mobile app for a complete list of panels and talent signings, behind-the-scenes coverage and in-depth interviews directly from DC’s web series, “DC All Access.” The app is available for free at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

LINK: SDCC Attendee Preregistration Will Now Be Known as Comic-Con Returning Registration

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Returning registration for SDCC 2017 will occur sometime in early 2017.

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