Gene Luen Yang appears at Mission: Comics & Art on Saturday, August 16th at 6:00 pm to sign his new graphic novel THE SHADOW HERO!
Mission: Comics & Art
3520 20th St. Suite B, San Francisco, CA 94110
This past weekend was ConnectiCon in Hartford, CT. Founded in 2002 primarily as a gaming convention, it has come to encompass multiple genres and attracts attendees from all over the country. It roots in gaming are still clearly apparent as they host a gaming room equal the size of the main vendor/artist area which hosted hundreds if not thousands of gamers playing Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, WarHammer, and many other table top games. Naturally there is also a large contingent of cosplayers dressed as their favorite characters from TV, moves, comic books and video games. The projected attendenace fo this year was 17,000 people and while there were certainly a lot of people in the Hartford Convention Center, it was laid out and organized so it never felt crowded. The autograph lines for guests moved surprisingly fast and, provided you showed up a little early, panels were easy to get into.
A big draw for this year’s ConnectiCon was the wealth of guests from the voice acting industry. A growing trend at conventions across the country, these talented performers need only a microphone to display their gift for breathing life into characters. Guests included Invader Zim’s Richard Horvitz and Rikki Simons, Pinky and the Brain’s Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen, Batman: The Brave and the Bold’s Dietrich Bader, Mass Effect’s Jennifer Hale, and Legend of Korra’s Janet Varney. Speaking to the press, Horvitz and Simons said they love having meeting fans who grew up watching Zim and are now cosplaying as their characters. The also mentioned people sometime have full sleeve tattoos where they leave room to get autographed. Horvitz said, “We always ask them to please not get murdered because we’re afraid the police will think the killer signed their work.”
As an actor who had success in on-screen roles on The Drew Carey Show, Outsourced, and Office Space, Bader remarked that he is in awe at the talent of his cartoon co-stars and how unpretentious and friendly most are compared to the rest of Hollywood. When asked what his favorite character to play was, Bader immediately and unequivocally said “Batman.” Prior to being cast on Brave and the Bold Bader had not been terribly well-versed in Bat-lore but said that getting into character really moved him especially in the scene where Batman confronts his parents’ killer, during Bader said he had literal tears running down his face.
On panels with LaMarche and Paulsen it was readily evident that their their friendship and work relationship easily rolls into one another. Paulsen remarked several times that his co-stars are people with whom he would choose to be friends had they never met at work. They often finished one another’s jokes and would goad the other into saying a favorite line or catchphrase. They credited a mutual love of Monty Python and Beyond the Fringe as instantly cementing their bond when the first worked together.
LaMarche and Paulsen shared many stories from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, one being the famous “Yes, Always” sketch in which LaMarche faithfully recreates a famous outtake of Orson Welles recording a commercial for peas in which the famous director angrily tells off the staff. LaMarche had regaled his co-stars, directors, and engineers with his rendition so it was added to the script as a suprise for LaMarche. They also regaled the audience to a reading of “Green Eggs in Ham” with Paulsen reading Sam I Am (in the voice of Pinky) and LaMarche playing the main character as the Brain. The showstopper, however, was Paulsen singing “Yakko’s World” in which he rattles off every single country in the world to which the entire crowd clapped along.
Finally, Janet Varney who voices the title character of The Legend of Korra spoke about the series to a full panel room of Avatar-fans. She noted that they all had very pointed questions regarding many of Korra’s decisions on the show. Varney said while she often disagrees with Korra’s actions that is part of what makes her a well-rounded character. Twice during the Q&A Varney had to apologize for “rudely” taking a phone call. The first was from Firelord Zuko (actor Dante Basco) who called in to look for his honor and the second was Bolin (voice actor PJ Byrne), both whom were kind enough to say hello to the fans and field a question or two.
Fans were very excited to meet the people who helped bring their animated favorites to life. LaMarche said it best, “Hearing I made your childhood better makes my middle age better.” Here’s looking forward to seeing what voice talents are scheduled for next year’s show!
For over 5 years, The Avatar Legacy Fan Panel has proudly organized this gathering.
Moderator Avatar_Mom, Kevin Coppa (Puppetbenders), Elizabeth Furr (fan artist/Amira Ink!), Gene Luen Yang (writer/cartoonist), Angela Song Mueller (character designer), Josh Hamilton (writer), and Jessie Flower (voice actor for Toph) share stories and answer questions about the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra!
Cosplayers, practice your stance for the cosplay contest! Cosplay prizes include titles from Dark Horse Comics.
Saturday, July 26 • 10:30am – 11:30am :: Room 24ABC
Gene Luen Yang appears at Wild Rumpus Books in Minneapolis Friday July 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm! He will be talking about his and Sonny Liew’s latest graphic novel The Shadow Hero!
Artist, author, educator, trailblazer! Gene Luen Yang is all of these and more. That’s why we’re so very excited to meet him.
His book American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to earn a National Book Award nomination and the first to win the American Library Association’s Prinz Award.
His most recent works, Boxers and Saints, are a diptich, with the stories of the two books intertwining. Not surprisingly, the diptich is another National Book Award nominee.
Wild Rumpus Books
2720 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Join us on Thursday, July 24 at 7:00 pm when creators, authors and illustrators Gene Luen Yang and Dave Roman will be in-store to host a Create Your Own Comic demo and workshop followed by a signing.
Barnes & Noble
Mira Mesa MarketCenter, 10775 Westview Parkway, San Diego, CA 92126
Cartoonists Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Drama) and Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry) for a Drawing Party on Wednesday July 9th at 6:30 pm at The Astoria Bookshop! Celebrating their new graphic novel, Comics Squad: Recess! Drawing! Reading! Snacks! Prizes!
The Astoria Bookshop
31-29 31st Street (between Broadway and 31st Avenue)
Astoria, NY 11106
Gene Luen Yang (Boxers & Saints, American Born Chinese) appears at Flying Colors Comics on Saturday, August 2nd at 4:00 pm for the debut of his new graphic novel with artist Sonny Liew THE SHADOW HERO.
Gene is always an entertaining guest, so stay tuned for more details as the event draws nearer. Just know this: SHADOW HERO will be one of 2014′s most engaging and talked about graphic novels!
Flying Colors Comics
2980 Treat Blvd (at Oak Grove Rd), Concord, CA 94518
WWE Hall-of-Famer Mick Foley (a.k.a. Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love) appears at Kowloon to perform his one man show “Tales from Wrestling Past” at 8:30 pm on Friday June 27th and Saturday June 28th.
948 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906
Sifu Kisu leads a martial arts workshop at UMAS Karate Studios on Saturday May 31st from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM! Open to all ages and levels! $20 per person (cash only-paid at door) Sign up to reserve your space today!
Sifu Kisu is the fighting instructor and consultant for the Avatar franchise. He is known for his extensive knowledge and abilities with various styles of martial arts. Sifu Kisu related the four bending arts to actual styles of fighting in real life, in order to give bending in the series authenticity. His extensive work with the series is highlighted in the behind-the-scenes featurettes Creating the Legend and The Essence of Bending.
UMAS Karate Studios
3168 Salem Road Conyers, GA 30013
Phone: (770) 385-8106
Justin Ridge, Le Tang, Anson Jew, and Steve Ahn appear on Saturday May 31st at the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. They will discuss their experience in live action and animation projects, and their perspective on the future of storyboarding.
SILA – The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles
3326 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505