Valiant’s 2016 Convention Tour Expands with Eight New Dates Across the Country – Beginning at Fan Expo Canada!
Valiant is kicking its coast-to-coast road show into high gear…and getting ready to bring the most critically acclaimed superhero universe in comics today to hundreds of thousands of new fans throughout the US and Canada!
Valiant is proud to announce a new slate of additional dates for the Valiant 2016 Convention Tour – a months-long, nationwide celebration coming soon to a town near you! Continuing at Toronto’s Fan Expo Canada, Valiant’s one-of-a-kind convention set-up is getting ready to roll into Baltimore;Portland; New York City; San Antonio; and more:
Thursday, September 1st – Sunday, September 4th
Fan Expo Canada
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Friday, September 2nd – Sunday, September 4th
Baltimore Comic-Con 2016
Baltimore Convention Center
Saturday, September 10th – Sunday, September 11th
Rose City Comic Con
Oregon Convention Center
Wednesday, September 14th
GameStop Expo 2016
Anaheim Convention Center
Saturday, September 17th – Sunday, September 18th
Buffalo Niagra Convention Center
Thursday, October 6th – Sunday, October 9th:
New York City 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
The year’s industry-leading celebration of your favorite superheroes takes flight in Toronto, CA at Fan Expo Canada 2016! From Thursday, September 1st through Sunday, September 4th, join Valiant at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for a weekend packed with programming, merchandise, and the best-reviewed comics in the industry!
Visit Booth #838 all weekend long to find out why Valiant has captured the nation’s biggest headlines and highest praise – including an unprecedented 50 Harvey Award nominations – with a complete collection of trade paperbacks and hardcovers featuring Valiant’s world-class roster of superheroes and villains, including X-O MANOWAR, BLOODSHOT REBORN, FAITH, DIVINITY, NINJAK, RAI,ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, HARBINGER and more! Then stick around for a universe of high-flying merchandise, including t-shirts and collectibles featuring X-O Manowar, Faith, Bloodshot, and more!
Plus: Get the inside scoop on the most celebrated superhero universe in comics on Friday, September 2nd at 3:45 PM in Room #717 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!
Then, peek into the unbelievable stories charging towards your favorite superheroes on Saturday, September 3rd at 11:00 AM in Room #713 for Valiant: The Future of Valiant and Beyond! Valiant Entertainment is the most acclaimed publisher anywhere in comics today… Now, find out what’s next for powerhouse series like FAITH, GENERATION ZERO, BRITANNIA, BLOODSHOT U.S.A., HARBINGER RENEGADES, SAVAGE, and DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE right here as the future of Valiant starts here with an exclusive round of news and announcements – only at Fan Expo Canada!
As Valiant continues to skyrocket towards the top of the charts, the road to this year’s most exciting announcements, exclusives, and can’t-miss comics begins right here with one of the biggest shows of the year, only at Fan Expo Canada!
For Valiant merchandise and more, visit ValiantStore.com
“Firefly”, “Arrow” Veteran Sean Maher To Attend Grand Rapids Comic-Con
Sean Maher is well known to television and film audiences for his role as ‘Dr. Simon Tam’ in Joss Whedon’s feature Serenity. The film was based on the critically acclaimed TV series “Firefly”.
He moved to Los Angeles after landing the coveted title role in the FOX drama “Ryan Caufield: Year One.” Upon the cancellation of that series Maher secured a holding deal with FOX and collaborated with the network on the well loved series “Party Of Five” as well as Darren Star’s “The $treet”. Additional TV credits include “The Mentalist”, “Human Target,” and “Warehouse 13”.
In 2011 while playing closeted gay man Sean Beasely in 1960s Chicago on NBC’s provocative “The Playboy Club” Maher used the role as a platform to come out publicly as a gay man himself. Entertainment Weekly graciously covered the story and Maher regards that decision as one of the highlights of his professional career.
Sean most recently appeared in the season two finale of “Looking” for HBO, directed by Andrew Haigh. Additionally, he was seen recurring as Mark Scheffer (aka Shrapnel) on the hit series “Arrow” for The CW. Maher won praise for his portrayal of ‘Don John’ in Joss Whedon’s feature film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and can be seen starring in the upcoming indie sci-fi feature ISRA-88. He is also the voice of ‘Nightwing’ for the Warner Bros / DC Comics animated universe, including Batman Vs. Robin, Batman: Bad Blood, and Justice League Vs. The Teen Titans.
Maher can also be found on the internet playing himself in the web series “Con Man” starring fellow “Firefly” alumni Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion.
“We are pretty thrilled that Sean is coming to the show,” said event director Mark Hodges. “Guests from ‘Firefly’ are requested by the fan base all the time, and it is great that we are able to help fill that need this year. In addition, his roles in ‘Arrow’ and the DC Comics animated films also fit in quite well with the Grand Rapids Comic-Con so we are really looking forward to his appearance.”
The Grand Rapids Comic-Con will be held on October 21-23, 2016, at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Other TV and movie celebrities attending include “Game Of Thrones” veteran Julian Glover, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alumni Denise Crosby, and Hellboy sidekick Doug Jones.
More information: www.grcomiccon.com
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/249963528708213/
LadiesCon is a one-day celebration of women of all kinds and their work in comic books, science fiction, fantasy, cosplay, and many other realms of pop culture. Special guests include Linda Medley (Castle Waiting), Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Jughead), and Ming Doyle (Girl Over Paris, Constantine: The Hellblazer). More guests and vendors will be announced as the event approaches.
Admission is FREE! All are welcome!
IMPORTANT UPDATE: We have added tickets for LadiesCon – due to the huge response to the event, we think this will help us keep the day a safe and fun one for all. The event is still free, but we will be able to better track attendance; get tickets at the link…
LadiesCon 2016 will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 on the third floor of 212 Elm Street in Somerville, MA. It’s an easy walk from the Davis Square Red Line stop and mere steps away from Comicazi.
UmiCon Daytona Preview: Interview with Actor Steven Ogg (The Walking Dead, Westworld, Grand Theft Auto)
If you don’t recognize his face as soon as you see him, Steven Ogg’s voice will certainly give him away. The charismatic actor gained notoriety portraying the critically acclaimed ‘Trevor Phillips’ in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V.
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ogg has been acting nearly all his life. Some recent notable appearances include Grand Theft Auto V, Comedy Central’s Broad City, and AMC’s Better Call Saul. Fans of AMC’s mega-hit, The Walking Dead, know Ogg as one of the ‘Saviors’ that led Rick and company into Negan’s trap. (Keep an eye out for Ogg when TWD returns this fall as he has been filming for their 7th season). Ogg will also be seen this fall in the HBO series Westworld, an adaptation of a Michael Crichton novel and 1973 sci-fi film of the same name. Ogg will be appearing at UmiCon Daytona next month!
Here is a taste of our Q&A…
CS: Do you have any preference between doing voice work to traditional acting roles?
SO: The voice acting thing, it gets that sort of label, but it’s something I’ve never recognized because I think acting is acting. Really, you’re either working or you’re not. That’s the difference.
…With these different mediums, like obviously with GTA, the video game was a motion capture, which is basically an animated performance. So take any performance, be it theater, film, TV, or any other medium and animate it, and that’s what the video game experience was, primarily. Of course, there was some recorded dialogue, where we’re just in the car talking, and that’s strictly voice-over. But certainly, any of the voice acting, for me, it’s still words that you have to communicate. That’s your job.
CS: And, you started with community theater, is that correct?
SO: I did, yeah. I started in Alberta, Canada. The theater is where I began. And that’s the same thing; you get a play, you read, and you have to communicate those words and create a character, and serve the writer.
CS: Have you ever done a musical?
SO: I love music. I’m not a musical theater guy, but I’ve always wanted to do, actually, something where you do like [pauses] Moulin Rouge! You remember when Baz Luhrmann did Moulin Rouge! with Ewan McGregor? That! I mean, Ewan McGregor [sighs] It’s like the guy smiles and I melt. I’m like, Oh your beautiful smile! I love that idea of doing something like that, but I thought even their voices were too good! Like it would be interesting to do something where you have-I’m trying to come up with a better example-but where you have someone break into song, but they’re not…It’s not about the quality of the voice, it’s just about the passion.
… You just start singing cause you love that song or it represents another way to communicate. I’m always quoting song lyrics and singing away, but as far as me going and doing Phantom of the Opera with Norm Lewis? No. No, thanks.
CS: [On TWD season 6 finale] Does anybody come up to you and start doing that whistle?
SO: Interestingly, no. People talk about it, like ‘that whistle creeps me out’ [starts whistling into the phone]
CS: That was one of the creepiest things!
SO: Yeah, they created something really good and creepy with that one. It’s weird cause like, most people come up and they either want me to be mean to them, or just curse at them, or pretend to strangle them. And I’m just like, really? Like, I’m the hug-it-out-guy. I mean, [in a ‘Trevor’-sounding voice] I’ll hold you for an uncomfortably long time, maybe a little too close than you want. But I ain’t gonna strangle ya or swear atcha. I don’t want to do that.
[On his upcoming UmiCon Daytona appearance this September 9-11, 2016]
SO: Certainly, my priority is always work. So, if I have to be somewhere shooting and I’m working Monday, well then my focus is on working Monday, not the cons. But, when I have the time I certainly love to do them! And I certainly feel very grateful for the opportunity to do them. And, to meet people is great.
CS: I know that your fans are grateful that you do take the time to come and do that. We appreciate it.
SO: Well, it’s a mutual appreciation zone.
If you want to take part in the “appreciation zone”, be sure to come out and meet Steven Ogg, and many more, at UmiCon Daytona September 9-11, 2016.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE LONG BEACH COMIC CON 2016 COSPLAY CONTEST!
One of the Most Celebrated Events of Long Beach Comic Con Returns on September 17!
AUGUST 10, LONG BEACH, CA–Just over a month before the doors open to the seventh annual Long Beach Comic Con, MAD Event Entertainment is pleased to announce registration is now open for this year’s Cosplay Contest!
Hosted by Nerds Like Us’ Rhapsody Artejo & Chad Everett Lee Edward, this year’s contest takes place on Saturday 9/17 at 7:00pm in Room S7 in the Long Beach Convention Center.
“Cosplay has always been one of the most celebrated parts of the show,” says Executive Director and Co-Founder, Martha Donato. “It is very important that our show be friendly to cosplay in every aspect, on and off the show floor, with programming and events geared toward cosplayers from beginners to professionals. Our annual cosplay contest has grown into one of the highlights of the show, and it is always exciting to see the passion that goes into all of the costumes of our participants.”
Entries for this year’s Long Beach Comic Con/Expo cosplay contest will include several categories. Awards will be given for: Best Hero, Best Villain, Best Youth, Best Group, Funniest, Best Tv/Movie, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Judges’ Choice, and of course, Best in Show. Judges will be scoring for overall difficulty, creativity, accuracy(for recreation), and showmanship/character. Look for further announcements on prizing in the coming weeks!
All participants must register in advance, and complete rules and registration info can be found here (hyperlink to rules on site?)
Enjoy an exciting weekend full of exceptional guests and exhibitors, and engaging panels, at Long Beach Comic Con, Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Sunday, September 18 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Long Beach Convention Center. The show opens to advance ticket holders at 9:30 AM on Saturday and 10AM on Sunday. Tickets are available now through the website: www.longbeachcomiccon.com.
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.
Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr sign at Graham Crackers Comics on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 from noon till 2:00 PM!
“Haunted by the death of his sister, NYC Chef Nate Willner has lost his desire to cook. Forced to move back to his tiny hometown in Utah, Nate’s life is quickly becoming a dead end. But when he unexpectedly inherits a time travel suit that takes him to the age of dinosaurs, Nate’s passion for cooking is reignited! With a little help from his knife-wielding Grandmother Maribel, and friends Starlee and Captain Jim, Nate opens a restaurant that secretly serves dinosaur meat. Can he survive long enough to make it a success and turn his life around?”
Graham Crackers Comics – CHICAGO LOOP
77 E. Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60602
I know many of you are asking: who in the name of J. Jonah Jameson’s sideburns is John Stover? In fact, you have met him before. He introduced me to DragonCon in 2011. In 2014, he was my boon companion in Mouse-town for Spooky Empire. In 2015, we took a break from Florida to stay a few miles from the oldest Baptist church in America (founded in 1638) for Rhode Island Comic Con. This year, over the July 4 weekend, we were back in the Sunshine State for another convention new to me: Florida Supercon
John and I have been tight since eleventh grade, when he transferred to my high school midyear, walked into my Spanish class, and took the only available seat—next to me. Twenty-eight years later, we have seen each other through four divorces (two each), five weddings (I lead 3-2), a knot of children (my 2 step, his 3 bio), the near death of his first son, new jobs, new homes, graduate degrees, and a Playboy bunny ex-girlfriend (his, wouldn’t you know). Spooky Empire and Rhode Island were new to me, and I’m glad I could experience them with John.
Held in Miami, Supercon is the largest comic book, anime, cosplay, sci-fi, fantasy, video gaming & pop culture convention in South Florida, according to Instagram. Over 51,000 people attended in 2015, and it seemed this year’s total would surpass that. Four-day passes had sold out weeks before, and Saturday-only passes were gone by Friday afternoon. Unlike smaller conventions, which tend to be held in hotels, this one was at the Miami Beach Convention Center. I am biased toward hotels for their intimacy (Michaela McPherson discusses this in her Anime Fan Fest article), but except for DragonCon, which is unique, shows of 50,000+ people need the vastness of a convention center.
They need this vastness for, among other things, effective line operation. There were some major celebrities at this convention: William Shatner, Henry Winkler, Ben McKenzie, and some members of the Deadpool cast. Lines were long, but they never felt crowded or unruly. (For line management, it doesn’t get much worse than the George R.R. Martin debacle at ConCarolinas 2014.) I don’t mind the waiting part of being in line. You learn a lot by talking to other attendees. One couple talked about how accessible the mega-celebrities are at San Diego Comic-Con. The year they went, they were waiting to get into a panel when Ian McKellan showed up and started mingling. Another guy said he waited in Stan Lee’s signing line at Mega Con for five hours. Why? Stan was a no-show for the morning session—his M.O., according to the guy.
And sometimes cool things happen in line. Henry Winkler stood in front of his signing table, and he occasionally walked to the end of the line, shaking hands and thanking people for their patience. (Of course, if he didn’t take these breaks, there wouldn’t be such a need for patience.) Once, he stopped to perform a magic trick for a group of kids. John and I went to Henry’s Q&A, which was held in an honest-to-goodness theater next to the convention center. From the moment Henry stepped on stage, he owned it. I had read before that Henry was dyslexic, but I didn’t realize how problematic that was for him. He said that, academically, he was in the bottom 3% of the United States. He can’t spell and isn’t good at math. In high school, he took geometry four times, finally passing with a D.
But he had wanted to act since he was seven years old, and he found a way to do it. How? Tenacity and gratitude: “two words I live by.” Both traits power his lifelong advocacy for literacy and education. “If you have trouble in school,” he said, “it has nothing to do with how smart you are”—good advice from a man who overcame his obstacles. He has a new show coming out on August 23 called Better Late Than Never. He lauded the cast and writing of Arrested Development, and of course, he talked about being the Fonz, whom he based on Sylvester Stallone’s character from Lords of Flatbush. “One of the things I brought to the Fonz,” he said, “was loyalty to my friends,” which was why Fonz was always watching out for Richie, Ralph, and Potsie. Fonz was the anti-bully, at a time when bullying was becoming an epidemic. And when someone asked him about working with the late Robin Williams on Happy Days, he gushed for five minutes about Williams’s brilliance. The next person asked about Ron Howard and got this response: “Ron Howard looks like a loaf of Wonder Bread.” He didn’t say “Ayyyyyy” after that line, but it was implied.
What else can I tell you about Supercon? Actually, I’ll let John Stover tell you in his words. John and I have been to a lot of conventions together, and he tends to give thoughtful feedback on things.
Me: Tell me about a couple of the panels you attended.
John: Okay. I attended a tap dance show which was based on video games such as The Legend of Zelda. Link was the lead, and there were about 6-7 other tap dancers.
Me: Were they children performers?
John: No, I’d say late teens or early 20s. It was set to music inspired by video games. I watched about 15 minutes of the hour and decided that was enough. Then I went to watch a short film which was part of the short film festival. It was okay. You know how those are. Some of them are good, some are mediocre.
Me: The one I watched with you, Attack of the Killer Donuts, was worse than mediocre.
Me: Thirty minutes of my life I won’t get back.
John: I stuck my head into one session that had something to do with light saber technology [actual title: The Lightsaber Combat Global Movement and How to Participate]. That was a little over my head.
Me: It turned up the nerd factor. That’s like the people who teach themselves to speak Klingon or Elvish. They are immersed.
John: Yes. That is one reason why I liked this convention more than any of the others we’ve attended. I like the breakout sessions. Those to me give it a more local feel. They are organized by local fans, and I feel like there is more enthusiasm and more energy in the convention when that happens.
Me: As opposed to, say, Wizard World conventions, which are more commercial.
John: Yes. This is not a bunch of experts. It’s local fans volunteering their time for the thing they love.
Me: So you would recommend Florida Supercon?
Me: What does someone need to know before coming here?
John: Don’t be a fuddy-duddy. At least buy a nerd-related T-shirt at Target or something. We made that mistake for the first few years. I was looking this weekend at all the people not dressed up or even wearing a T-shirt, and I thought, get some enthusiasm. I would also recommend wearing comfortable shoes. But that’s what I liked about the panels. Whenever you get tired of walking, just find one that interests you or that you want to learn about.
Me: I liked the eating choices. Often, in conventions held in a convention center, there is only one restaurant, the convention center snack bar. This one had several food courts with Papa John’s Pizza, a Chinese place, a taco place, a French place, gyros, barbecue. There were lots of options for dining—all overpriced but lots of options.
John: The biggest food court could have had more tables, though. Did you see that?
Me: Yeah. It had a huge open floor with nothing on it where they could have put in more tables.
John: I liked how, at the photo op area, there was a schedule of all the photo ops for each day with prices. There was a big screen monitor with a spreadsheet listing them all. Too often, it is hard to know when the photo ops are scheduled and how much they cost. It might be printed in the program, but then you have to dig that out and flip through it. Here, the information was right up on the screen, so I appreciated the organization.
The whole convention was well organized, in fact. I saw few signs rescheduling things, and as far as I know, only three guests cancelled: Jerry Lawler, Karl Urban, and Arthur Darvill. I liked the extended dealer room hours: until 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday. And the cosplays were among the best I’ve seen. I guess my only disappointment was the schedule on the web site, which was not a single printable sheet. Each day had its own web site page. There was a convention app, but my antediluvian Android is not app-friendly, meaning I had to rely on the web site—not good for a place where 50,000+ were soaking up the Wi-Fi.
I agree with John: Florida Supercon is terrific, well-organized and fun. Despite its size, it is not unwieldy. We’ve all attended conventions that were too much for their staff, but this is not one of them. Check out the pix below for more fun!
IGN is streaming live from the San Diego Comic Con, and you can watch it on Convention Scene.
Marvel is streaming live from the San Diego Comic Con, and you can watch it right here on Convention Scene.
Boston Comic Con welcomes Gillian Anderson on August 13-14! Gillian is an award-winning actress best known for her role as Special Agent Dana Scully on the iconic sci-fi drama The X-Files. Currently she is filming the television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for Starz. She recently starred in the series The Fall, Hannibal, and War & Peace. Her film work includes The House of Mirth, The Last King of Scotland, and a voice role in the English dub of Princess Mononoke.
Other media guests include William Shatner (Star Trek), Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy), Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who), Karl Urban (Star Trek Beyond), Ben McKenzie (Gotham), John Barrowman (Arrow), Danielle Panabaker (The Flash), Ciara Renee (Legends of Tomorrow), Robbie Amell (The Flash), Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow), and more. Check the website for full details on exciting events!
About Boston Comic Con:
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 120,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. This year’s convention will be held Friday August 12th, Saturday August 13th, and Sunday August 14th at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210. For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!