Hasbro Announces HasCon 2017

000_hascon

Press Release:

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

ToyConNJ 6 Takes Place This November 2016

Press Release:

ToyConNJ

 

 

Steel City Con Adds Dana DeLorenzo and Jill Marie Jones from Ash Vs Evil Dead

Via Steel City Con:

Dana

DANA DeLORENZO – JUST ANNOUNCED!

The Steel City Comic Con is very pleased to announce that actress and former radio personality and producer, Dana DeLorenzo will be attending the upcoming show! She currently stars as Kelly Maxwell in Ash vs Evil Dead. Dana will be joining Ray Santiago and Jill Marie Jones for an amazing reunion of 3 main cast members of Ash vs, Evil Dead TV series!

ticket availability at www.steelcitycon.com

Dana DeLorenzo will be available for signings and professional photo ops. Don’t miss this rare opportunity.

Jill

JILL MARIE JONES – JUST ANNOUNCED!

The Steel City Comic Con is pleased to announce that Jill Marie Jones will be attending the upcoming Steel City Comic Con!
Jones is best known for her role as Antoinette “Toni” Childs-Garrett on the UPN comedy series, Girlfriends (2000-2006). Jones later has appeared in a number of films, and had the recurring role as Cynthia Irving on the Fox supernatural series, Sleepy Hollow. From 2015 to 2016, she starred as Amanda Fisher in the Starz horror-comedy series, Ash vs Evil Dead.

ticket availability at www.steelcitycon.com

Jill Marie Jones will be available for signings and professional photo ops. Don’t miss this rare opportunity.

 

DragonCon 2016 Con Report!

logo

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.

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

untitled

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!”

GA – March: Book 3 Signing

000000000000000_jlewis-march

Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today’s world. Congressman Lewis will appear for a signing at the Norcross Cultural Arts Center on Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM!  Copies of all three volumes of MARCH will be available from Eagle Eye Books.

RSVP on Facebook!

Norcross Cultural Arts & Community Center
10 College Street, Norcross, GA 30071
(678) 421-2025

Massive Comic Con Announces 2017 Dates & First Guests

000000000000000_ac-jp-massive

Press Release:

The MASSive Comic Con returns to the DCU Center in Worcester, MA on Saturday June 24th & Sunday 25th in 2017 for more comic book and pop culture fun! The first featured guests to be announced are Harley Quinn co-writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti!

Amanda Conner’s body of work as both an artist and writer includes Power Girl, The Pro, Red Sonja, Starfire, and Painkiller Jane to name just a few!

Jimmy Palmiotti is a writer, penciler, inker, and editor. Pretty much an all around guy! Notable works include Jonah Hex, Harley Quinn, Star Spangled War Stories, Daredevil, and Power Girl.

Attendees can expect a wide assortment of comic book and collectible vendors and artists, special guest artists and celebrities, interactive panels, kids con, after hours events, cosplay groups, movie cars and much more!

RSVP on Facebook!

Watch our Facebook Page and www.massivecomiccon.com for updates!

Star Wars Comes to Paradise City Comic Con 2016

Press Release:

STAR WARS COMES TO PARADISE CITY COMIC CON

December 9-10-11, 2016 at THE GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE CONVENTION CENTER!

 Meet David Prowse “DARTH VADER”, Billy Dee Williams “LANDO CALRISSIAN”, Paul Blake “GREEDO”, and Brian Herring “BB-8”.

Paradise City Comic Con is 3 days of fun featuring celebrity guests, comic book creators, voice actors, industry guests, cosplayers, artists, writers, panels, Q&A’s, films & shorts, costume & cosplay contests, vendors, parties, anime, workshops, video gaming and more!

The guest list is growing weekly, and some of the highlights include:

* Star Wars Cast Members: David Prowse “DARTH VADER”, Billy Dee Williams “LANDO CALRISSIAN”, Paul Blake “GREEDO”, and Brian Herring “BB-8”.

* TV and Movie Stars: Terry Jones (Monty Python), James Marsters (Spike in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Brainiac in Smallville, Captain John Hart in Torchwood), Aaron Stanford (James Cole in 12 Monkeys, Pyro in X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand), Tara Reid (Sharknado, American Pie), Manu Bennett (Crixus in Spartacus, Slade Wilson / Deathstroke in Arrow, Azog, king of the Orcs in The Hobbit trilogy, Allanon in The Shannara Chronicles), Sam Jones (Flash Gordon).

*RWBY Stars: Arryn Zech (Blake Belladonna), Kara Eberle (Weiss Schnee), and Elizabeth Maxwell (Winter Schnee).

Comic Book Creators: Bob Layton, Mark Bagley, Allen Bellman, Jeff Dekal, Jose Delbo, Mike Grell, Pia Guerra, Amy Mebberson, Moritat, Robbi Rodriguez, Tim Seeley, James Silvani, Ryan Stegman, Roy Thomas, and more!

* Animation Stars: Tad Stones (Creator of Darkwing Duck), Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Lego Star Wars, Squidbillies), Lori Alan (Family Guy), Rikki Simons (Invader Zim), Rodger Bumpass (SpongeBob Squarepants, Invader Zim), and Melissa Fahn (Invader Zim).

* Anime Stars: Vic Mignogna (Fullmetal Alchemist, Dragon Ball Z, Ouran High School Host Club, Attack on Titan, Free! Eternal Summer), Beau Billingslea (Cowboy Bebop, Naruto), Leah Clark (Negima, Suzuka, Toriko, Sgt Frog, Soul Eater), Melissa Fahn (Cowboy Bebop, Digimon Tamers, FLCL), Brittney Karbowski (Soul Eater, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, High School of the Dead), and Elizabeth Maxwell (Attack on Titan, Noragami, Fairy Tail).

* Power Ranger Cast Members: Cerina Vincent, Nakia Burrise, and Catherine Sutherland.

* Star Trek Continues Cast Members: Vic Mignogna (Captain Kirk), Chris Doohan (Scotty), and Michele Spect (Dr. Elise McKennah).

* Lloyd Kaufman: Troma Films founder and creator of The Toxic Avenger.

* Pete & Pete Stars: Mike Maronna and Danny Tamberelli.

For more info visit the website HERE!

2017 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity Nominations Now Open

Dwayne McDuffie Award

Press Release:

Nominations for the 2017 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Are Open

Announcing Will J. Watkins As Director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics & New Selection Committee Members Mark D. Bright, Don McGregor, Kevin Rubio, Cassandra Pelham and Gail Simone

Dwayne McDuffieSeptember 16, 2016: Mad Event Entertainment and Long Beach Comic Con announced today that nominations for the 2017 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics are now open. This McDuffie Award has a new director, Will J. Watkins, and several new Selection Committee Members: Mark D. Bright, Don McGregor, Kevin Rubio, Cassandra Pelham and Gail Simone. The third annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics reception will be held February 18, 2017, in Long Beach, CA during the Long Beach Comic Expo.

The motto of The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics comes from Dwayne’s own words, “From invisible to inevitable.”

“The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics is the very first award ever established in my husband’s name,” said Dwayne’s widow, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie, “and we are tremendously proud that in just its third year, both the comic book and animation industries are already beginning to see some evidence of the DMAD’s powerful mission statement demonstrably influencing reality by helping a more diverse range of outstanding creative voices finally find some inclusion in the media, with the careers of our first two winners and finalists starting to take off at major entertainment companies. To paraphrase Dwayne: Everyone deserves to see themselves represented in the media. And everyone deserves to participate in telling their own story.”

To commemorate his vision and contributions, the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, grand opening September 24th, has invited Dwayne McDuffie to be included for posterity.

“Everyone has heroes, but most people never get the chance to ensure that their hero’s legacy will endure,” said Watkins. “Dwayne McDuffie was my hero, and for the last two years I’ve been honored to be on the selection committee for an award in his name that promotes diversity and inclusion in the comic book industry. This year I’m doubly honored to be the award’s director, and my efforts to ensure Dwayne’s legacy endures will be nothing short of heroic.”

The deadline for completed submissions for the third annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics is December 31, 2016.

“Long Beach Comic Con and Long Beach Comic Expo are committed to celebrating diversity in comics,” said Martha Donato, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Long Beach Comic Expo, on the eve of Long Beach Comic Con. “This is not a fad, this is not an isolated moment. We are committed to diversity in storytelling. Last year, the number of submissions were three times that of the first award last year–and a third of those were from women. This is the future.”

The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Selection Committee consists of twelve prominent comics and animation professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to McDuffie’s vision of inclusiveness:

  • Mark D. Bright is a storyboard artist for commercials, television and feature films. Prior to his career as a storyboard artist, he was an artist for Marvel, DC, Acclaim and Milestone Media working on titles including Iron Man, Green Lantern, G.I. Joe, Power Man and Iron Fist and Icon. He is also the co-creator of Quantum and Woody.
  • Neo Edmund – is a former child actor turned bestselling author, screenwriter, comic book writer, story development exec, and Virtual Reality director. He is the author of The Red Riding Alpha Huntress series published by WordFire Press. He is currently writing numerous books including a Predator anthology and the reboot of Colt The Outlander.
  • Joan Hilty is Comics Editor at Nickelodeon and editor-in-chief of Pageturner, a boutique comics/graphic novel production house. She was formerly a Senior Editor at DC/Vertigo and syndicated cartoonist. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
  • Joseph Illidge is a Senior Editor for Lion Forge Comics, a columnist for Comic Book Resources and The Shadow League, and the co-writer of Solarman for Scout Comics. His editorial career began at Milestone Media, Inc. He then joined the Batman Editorial Group at DC Comics, and later worked for Archaia, now a division of BOOM! Studios. His graphic novel, The Ren will be published by First Second Books, a division of Macmillan.
  • Heidi MacDonald is the editor-in-chief of Comicsbeat.com and a former editor for Disney and DC Comics. She also edits the graphic novel review section for Publishers Weekly and can be heard on PW’s weekly podcast More To Come.
  • Don McGregor is a writer whose notable comic books for Marvel Comics include Jungle Action, where he did the seminal work on Black Panther and Amazing Adventures Featuring Killraven, which contained the first interracial kiss in a color comic book. He also created Sabre, one of the first modern graphic novels. Don’s groundbreaking career garnered him the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing last year.
  • Kevin Rubio is a writer/producer who has contributed to Justice League Action, Avengers Assemble, Thunderbirds Are Go!, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He is also the creator and writer of the Star Wars graphic novel Tag & Bink Were Here and Red 5 Publication’s Abyss Vol. I & II. He is an inaugural recipient of the George Lucas Film Award for his Star Wars short film, TROOPS, a Promax Award winner and Emmy nominee.
  • Cassandra Pelham is a senior editor for the Graphix and Scholastic Press imprints at Scholastic, where she has edited award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling, and USA Today bestselling graphic novels.
  • Gail Simone is a writer known for the DC titles Birds of Prey, Secret Six (for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award), Batgirl, Wonder Woman and The All-New Atom. She recently wrote Dark Horse’s Tomb Raider, Dynamite’s Red Sonja and is currently working on DC/Vertigo’s Clean Room.
  • Will J. Watkins is a film and animation writer who is also comic book story/world-building consultant on The Protectors graphic novel published this year by Athlita Comics. He had a stint as an assistant editor at DC Comics and before moving to L.A. he owned Chicago’s first African American-owned comics store and is currently writing a novel about the experience.
  • Matt Wayne has written on many highly-regarded animation projects including Niko and the Sword of Light, Cannon Busters, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Avengers: Ultron Revolution, Thunderbirds Are Go! and the 2006 Biker Mice from Mars revival. He wrote the Emmy-nominated Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms and was also a writer and Managing Editor at Milestone Media. was the Managing Editor of Milestone Media, and is currently a Primetime Emmy®-nominated animation writer. His credits include Static Shock!, Justice League Unlimited, Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Ben 10: Omniverse, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Avengers: Ultron Revolution, Thunderbirds are Go!, Niko and the Sword of Light, and Cannon Busters.
  • Len Wein is the legendary animation and comic book writer who co-created Swamp Thing, Wolverine, and the wildly successful diverse new team of X-Men that debuted in 1975; He’s had the distinction of serving both as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics and Senior Editor at DC Comics. The Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Famer’s most recent comic book Batman “66: The Lost Episode was released last year.

About Dwayne McDuffie:
Dwayne Glenn McDuffie was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. The middle son of Leroy McDuffie and Edna (Hawkins) McDuffie (now Gardner), Dwayne attended the prestigious Roeper School for gifted children before going on to earn undergraduate degrees in both English & Physics as well as a graduate degree in Physics, all at the University of Michigan. (Go, Blue!) He later also studied filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Dwayne first entered the comic book industry as an Editor at Marvel Comics, thanks to his NYU friend Greg Wright with whom he recreated the Deathlok character into the one in use today. With artist Ernie Colón, Dwayne also co-created the comedic Marvel team book, Damage Control.

Frustrated by the lack of diversity of both characters and creators in comics, Dwayne—together with Derek Dingle, Denys Cowan, and Michael Davis–co-founded MILESTONE COMICS (later MILESTONE MEDIA), the first African-American owned comic book company in history, with a mission to provide a wide array of characters, content, and creators that more accurately represent the racial, ethnic, religious, and gender diversity of real life. (Also? They were just outstandingly good books. Seriously. If you haven’t read them, seek them out. Now. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing!)

Static, Icon, Hardware, Xombi—to name just a few. Throughout his career in the comic book industry, Dwayne created or co-created these and more than a dozen other series, in addition to writing stories for too many other titles to list but here are some highlights: Justice League of America, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Captain marvel, Avengers Spotlight, Hellraiser, Ultraman, even The Tick, and Back to The Future. Dwayne also co-created The Road To Hell with fellow writer and Milestone editor, Matt Wayne, the inaugural Director of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, established posthumously by Dwayne’s widow, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie.

Dwayne transitioned into the animation industry as a Story Editor and Writer on the Emmy-winning Kids WB series, Static Shock, which he co-created and for which he won the 2003 HUMANITAS PRIZE.

Dwayne was also a Producer, Story Editor, and Writer on Cartoon Network’s JUSTICE LEAGUE and JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED animated series, for which he received a 2004 WRITERS GUILD nomination.

With artist Glen Murakami, Dwayne redeveloped Man of Action’s BEN 10 animated series into BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE then BEN 10: ULTIMATE ALIEN—98 episodes of what became and continues to be an on-going, blockbuster, 230-episodes-and-counting franchise for Cartoon Network.

Dwayne also wrote the animated features JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, and JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM, as well as episodes of WHAT’S NEW, SCOOBY-DOO? and TEEN TITANS, all for Warner Bros.

For his indelible work in animation, Dwayne was posthumously presented with the WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA’s 2011 ANIMATION WRITING AWARD, the first African-American in history to be so honored.

The winner of 3 EISNER AWARDS for his work in comic books, 11 PARENTS’ CHOICE AWARDS, 6 “BEST EDITOR” awards, the 2009 INKPOT AWARD presented by Comic-Con International, and a GOLDEN APPLE AWARD from his alma mater for his “use of popular art to promote and enhance human dignity,” Dwayne McDuffie’s life’s work exemplified both diversity and excellence.

He led by example while presciently stating, “From invisible to inevitable”–now the motto of the “Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics.” The man may be gone, but his mission lives on.

About Charlotte McDuffie:
Dwayne’s widow, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie, is a twice Emmy-nominated animation writer, best known for her work on Hasbro’s My Little Pony and Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 franchise. She is currently the first female chairperson in history of the Animation Writers Caucus at the Writers Guild of America.

About Long Beach Comic Con:
Long Beach Comic Con is an annual event held at the Long Beach Convention Center that celebrates comic books and pop culture and showcases the exceptional works of talented writers, artists, illustrators and creators of all types of pop culture. At Long Beach Comic Con, you’ll find exhibitors promoting and selling all types of related products, as well as entertaining and educational programs for all ages, guest signings and meet & greet sessions with celebrities. Long Beach Comic Con is a MAD Event Management, LLC production. To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit www.longbeachcomiccon.com.

Valiant Heads North for Buffalo Comicon 2016

September 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Comic Books, Convention News, New York, Top Stories

Buffalo

Press Release:

Valiant Heads North for Buffalo Comicon 2016 with Panels, Merchandise, and More!

From Saturday, September 17th to Sunday, September 18th, Valiant is bringing its hard-hitting cross-country road show to Buffalo Comicon for a weekend packed with award-winning comic books, merchandise, programming, and panels!

All weekend long, join Valiant inside the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center at Booth Section S and see why Valiant is the leading independent superhero universe to beat with a complete selection of trade paperbacks, deluxe hardcovers, and t-shirts and merchandise for critically acclaimed and award winning titles including BLOODSHOT REBORN, BOOK OF DEATH, DIVINITY, FAITH, NINJAK, THE VALIANT, A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR, X-O MANOWAR, and many more!

Then, the action hits with the force of the Niagara on Saturday, September 17th at 1:00 p.m. in Panel Room 106 CV with VALIANT 101: NEW FANS START HERE – a concise and fun-filled introduction to Valiant’s biggest, most memorable characters! You’ve seen the reviews, you’ve heard the buzz… Now find out why Valiant Entertainment has taken fans and critics by storm as the most acclaimed comic book publisher! Join us here for a one-of-a-kind introduction to the largest and most acclaimed independent superhero universe in comics! From X-O MANOWAR and FAITH to BLOODSHOT REBORN and DIVINITY, get the stories behind Valiant’s biggest heroes and find out where to jump on board right here with an in-depth tutorial that’s perfect for new fans!

We’ll see you in the Queen City! And don’t miss a moment of the action as Valiant’s one-of-a-kind convention road show storms on through Buffalo, New York City, San Antonio, and more all year long!

Saturday, September 17th – Sunday, September 18th
Buffalo Comicon

Buffalo Niagra Convention Center
Buffalo, NY

Thursday, October 6th – Sunday, October 9th:
New York Comic Con

Jacob Javits Center
New York, NY

Friday, October 28th – Sunday, October 30th
Alamo City Comic Con

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, TX

Friday, November 11th – Sunday, November 13th
NC Comic Con

North Carolina Convention Center
Durham, NC

For more information, visit Valiant on FacebookTwitterTumblr, Instagram, and ValiantUniverse.com.

For Valiant merchandise and more, visit ValiantStore.com.

« Previous PageNext Page »