Rose City Comic Con 2017 Expands to 3-Day Event

This year Rose City Comic Con, Portland’s best comic and pop-culture convention, is expanding to a 3-day event and will now run September 8-10, 2017. Tickets are currently on sale and guests announcements have begun. The current guest list includes: “Weird” Al Yankovic, Felicia Day, Michael Rosenbaum, Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Grey Delisle, Neal Adams, Katie Cook, Mike Zeck, James O’Barr, and more.

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For further information and tickets, please go to the convention website: rosecitycomiccon.com

BoroughCon 2017 Announced for Memorial Day Weekend

Press Release:

Superhero, animation and gaming fans will soon converge on Utopia Parkway for a four-day celebration in a park-like setting.

St. John’s University will host BoroughCon, a new pop culture convention, over Memorial Day Weekend 2017, May 26-May 29. The event, which is expected to draw up to 20,000 attendees, will appeal to enthusiasts of heroic stories in film, television, gaming and graphic formats, as well as to those who enjoy anime and manga –animation and comics, respectively, in the Japanese tradition.

BoroughCon programming will include panels and autograph sessions with celebrities, gaming tournaments, screenings of both classic and as-yet unreleased films and TV shows, a vendors’ room and an artists’ alley. In addition to special programming for youth and children as well as their parents and grandparents, there will also be a cosplay competition.

“Cosplay is the performance art of creating costumes based on your favorite media characters, then embodying those characters for the audience,” BoroughCon CEO Matthew Goodison-Orr explains. “It has become a staple of these conventions, and cosplay is always one of the most popular draws.”

Media guests are currently being announced on BoroughCon.com and Goodison-Orr says, “BoroughCon will be able to deliver at least a couple of household names, as well as several actors well-known to everyone from all walks of life within the nerd community.”

Current guests include:
•    Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, The Goonies)
•    Khary Payton (The Walking Dead, Young Justice, Teen Titans)
•    Dante Basco (Hook, American Dragon: Jake Long)
•    Steven Blum (animated voice of Wolverine, record holder for most video game credits)
•    Cree Summer (Codename: Kids Next Door, Inspector Gadget)
•    Jess Harnell (Crash Bandicoot, Animaniacs)
•    Grey DeLisle (Scooby-Doo, Avatar: The Last Airbender)
•    Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Star Wars: Rebels, Ghost in the Shell)
•    Chester Rushing (Stranger Things)
•    Johnny Brennan (Jerky Boys, Family Guy)
•    Grizz Chapman (30 Rock, The Lair)

The nerd community, he said, includes fans of comic books, manga, gaming, and science fiction/fantasy movies and television shows—and a great many self-professed nerds live in underserved neighborhoods of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. Comic creators appearing include Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans), Mike Grell (Green Arrow, Jon Sable), Tony Bedard (Supergirl, Birds of Prey)  Mark McKenna (Combat Jacks, Exiles).

“Surprisingly, New York City and the surrounding area runs short of adequate event space despite the world-class sports and concert venues,” says Goodison-Orr, who, when he served three years as CEO of Orlando’s KnightroKon, catered to up to 40,000 fans a year. “None of the hotels have anywhere enough meeting space for a convention of BoroughCon’s size, and the Javits Center is already home to New York Comic Con, with which we have no desire to invite comparison. So my partners and I chose to focus on the Four Boroughs, and St. John’s became the clear choice.”

The decision to embrace the outer boroughs required very little persuasion.

“Queens has roughly the same population as Houston, and Brooklyn is almost the size of Chicago. Both those middle-American cities host multiple ‘cons’ annually. So why would we want to be the second-biggest-by-a-mile in Manhattan when we can build something new and different here?”

What will set BoroughCon apart, according to Goodison-Orr, is the degree to which fans will enjoy direct access to well-known guests.

“If you come to BoroughCon, you’ll get a chance to meet, shake hands with or get an autograph from someone whose work you admire,” he said. “BoroughCon will be for regular fans – the con for the rest of us.”

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For up-to-date information, visit boroughcon.com.

ON – Hairy Tarantula 25th Anniversary Signing

Hairy Tarantula celebrates their 25th anniversary by hosting comic creators Chip Zdarsky (Star-Lord, Howard the Duck, Sex Criminals) on Saturday April 8th and J. Torres (The Mighty Zodiac, Teen Titans Go!) on Sunday April 9th for live podcast recordings and signings.

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Hairy Tarantula
6979 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M2M 3X9
+1 647-430-1263

BC – The Stone Heart Signing

Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Friends with Boys) appears in conversation with Eileen Cook, author of With Malice, at Chapters on Sunday April 9th at 6:00 PM to sign THE STONE HEART, the second book of the Nameless City trilogy which was just picked up for an animated series.

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Chapters Metrotown
4700 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4M1
+1 604-431-0463

DC – Reading Without Walls Discussion

Gene Luen Yang appears at the Library of Congress on Monday April 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM!

Celebrated graphic novelist and National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang discusses Reading Without Walls, a new reading initiative for kids that encourages kids to get out of their comfort zone and explore the world through books.

About Gene Yang:
Gene Yang is the cartoonist behind books including the Printz-Award-winning American Born Chinese, as well as Boxers & Saints, The Eternal Smile, Prime Baby, and Animal Crackers. He is the co-creator of The Shadow Hero with Sonny Liew, and Secret Coders with Mike Holmes, and has written for the hit comics Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman. Gene Yang lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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The Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, District of Columbia 20540
(202) 707-5000

MA – An Afternoon with Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live) joins Pam Victor (Happier Valley Comedy, Co-author of Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ and Dave Book) for an in-depth interview on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 11:00 AM as they discuss all aspects of comedy and gain insight into the creative process and Rachel’s work from Second City to Saturday Night Live and beyond. We’ll open up questions from the audience in the latter part of the interview, so get your questions ready! Tickets available at the link…

The interview will be taped as an episode of Pam Victor’s Conversations with Funny Feminists podcast, presented by WICF.

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The Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 876-6837

RI – Reading Without Walls Signing

Press Release:

Books on the Square and Moses Brown School are pleased to present graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang at the Woodman Family Center on Tuesday April 4th at 4:00 PM. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang calls us all to READ WITHOUT WALLS, exploring books about characters who look or live differently than you, topics you haven’t discovered, or formats that you haven’t tried. READING WITHOUT WALLS promotes diversity and opens readers’ eyes to new ideas and experiences. READING WITHOUT WALLS is an inclusive way to spread appreciation and understanding for others — and to learn new and exciting things. Yang will also talk about his successful graphic novels and be available to sign books.

Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He has written and drawn many graphic novels, including American Born Chinese, which was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His graphic novel set Boxers and Saints won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He has also written for the hit comics Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman.

This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available after 3:00 p.m. in the lots accessible from Hope Street or take the number 1 RIPTA bus heading North.

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Woodman Family Center
250 Lloyd Avenue, Providence, RI 02906

NYC – The Stone Heart Signing

Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Friends with Boys) appears in conversation with Marie Rutkoski (The Shadow Society, The Kronos Chronicle) at Community Bookstore on Sunday April 9th at 6:00 PM to sign THE STONE HEART, the second book of the Nameless City series.

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Community Bookstore
143 7th Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11215
(718) 783-3075

MoCCA Arts Festival 2017 Programming Announced

Press Release:

Programming for the MoCCA Arts Festival 2017 will take place at the beautiful Ink48 Hotel (653 11th Avenue at 48th street), steps away from our primary venue, Metropolitan West at 639 West 46th Street. Organized by Best American Comics Series Editor Bill Kartalopoulos, this year’s programming will feature spotlight sessions from distinguished creators and historians. A full schedule of events will be released in the coming months.

To view past MoCCA Arts Festival lectures please visit our youtube channel, which includes videos from past speakers Rebecca Sugar, Cece Bell, Fiona Staple, Robert Williams, Alison Bechdel, Bill Griffith, Jillian Tamaki, and many more!

For directions please visit our Directions and Ticketing page.

SATURDAY, APRIL 1 PROGRAMMING

12:30PM / Garamond Room
Reading Without Walls: Diversity in Comics
Gene Luen Yang is the National Book Award-nominated author of graphic novels including American Born Chinese and Boxers and Saints. When he was named the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he chose as his theme “Reading Without Walls” to promote diversity in reading. Gene will be joined by a panel including Damian Duffy (Kindred, Black Comix), Hazel Newlevant (Chainmail Bikini), and Whit Taylor (The Nib) in a conversation about issues of diversity in comics. Moderated by Jonathan W. Gray (John Jay College- CUNY).

12:30PM / Helvetica Room
Drew Friedman: Heroes of the Comics
In Heroes of the Comics and his new follow-up volume More Heroes of the Comics, illustrator and cartoonist Drew Friedman has produced a series of affectionate, beautifully rendered portraits of important figures from the history of American comic books, accompanied by short informative biographies. Friedman will discuss selected figures from his two books with Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth, special guest Al Jaffee, who is featured in the first volumeand Karen Green, ‎Curator for Comics and Cartoons at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library, who provides the second volume’s introduction.

BREAK

2:00PM / Garamond Room
Blutch in Conversation with David Mazzucchelli
Internationally renowned artist Blutch joins us from France to celebrate the publication of his graphic novel Peplum in an English-language edition by New York Review Comics. His work marries the lush grace of an informed observational artist with a playful and sophisticated approach to form that marks him as a devoted maker of comics. In this special event, he will appear in conversation with his friend and colleague David Mazzucchelli (City of Glass, Asterios Polyp) for a conversation moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos.

2:00PM / Helvetica Room
Covering Trump: Steve Brodner Edel Rodriguez in Conversation
Illustrators Steve Brodner and Edel Rodriguez have produced some of the most striking and memorable artwork of this past year’s U.S. Presidential election. Brodner’s work has appeared widely in multiple venues, including the covers of the Village Voice and The Nation. Rodriguez’s “Meltdown” and “Total Meltdown” covers for Time captured key moments in the Presidential campaign, and his stark covers for Germany’s Der Spiegel have been among the most widely seen political images since the election. Legendary art director Steven Heller will speak with these two artists about their careers, their election coverage, and the function of art in politically fraught times.

BREAK

3:30PM / Garamond Room
Fit to Print: French Artists in The New York Times
Art director Alexandra Zsigmond searches widely for artists to commission as illustrators for The New York Times. Over the past several years, she has worked with many artists who graduated from the Haute école des arts du Rhin (HEAR), an art school in Strasbourg, France. Zsigmond’s work with more than a dozen of these artists is currently the subject of the exhibit Fit to Print, hanging at the Society of Illustrators and The New York Times Building. At MoCCA, she will speak with artists including Lucie Larousse, Mayumi Otero, Eugène Riousse, Simon Roussin, and Raphael Urwiller to discuss their unique work, the influence of Strasbourg, and how they collaborate to produce work for the Times.

3:30PM / Helvetica Room
Cliff Chiang Q+A
Comics artist and illustrator Cliff Chiang made his mark working on numerous titles published by DC Comics, including Human Target and Beware the Creeper. He achieved greater prominence with the serial Doctor 13: Architecture and Morality and a long run on Wonder Woman, both written by Brian Azzarello. He currently draws Paper Girls, written by Brian K. Vaughan and published by Image Comics. He will discuss his work and his career with writer and former President and Publisher of DC Comics Paul Levitz.

SUNDAY, APRIL 2 PROGRAMMING

12:30PM / Garamond Room
David Lloyd in the Spotlight
British comics artist David Lloyd began his career working for Marvel’s UK division and then gained international fame with his collaboration with Alan Moore, V for Vendetta. A perennial classic of ultimately hopeful dystopian fiction in the comics form, V for Vendetta has not only spawned a successful film adaptation but continues to provide resonant iconography for protest movements including the Anonymous collective. Beyond V, Lloyd’s body of work includes the graphic novel Kickback and the online comics project Aces High. Lloyd will discuss his work and his career with comics scholar Kent Worcester in this rare conversation.

12:30PM / Helvetica Room
Teaching Comics Internationally
For much of their history, comics have been a self-taught discipline. Now students are learning how to make comics in a variety of academic environments, from dedicated schools to majors to minors to electives. This panel will bring together a group of international comics educators to discuss the programs they teach in and the different ways in which they approach teaching comics. Bill Kartalopoulos will lead a conversation with Jessica Abel (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, US), Guillaume Dégé (Haute école des arts du Rhin, France), Ben Katchor (Parsons The New School for Design, US), and Merav Solomon (Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Israel).

BREAK

2:00PM / Garamond Room
Rutu Modan and David Polonsky in Conversation
Israeli artists Rutu Modan and David Polonsky are both known for the excellence of their artwork and for their provocative approach to blending historical and current events into their imaginative works. Modan is best known in North America for her graphic novels Exit Wounds and The Property and for her short story collection Jamilti. Polonsky is best known in North America as the art director for the animated film Waltz With Bashir, directed by Ari Folman. He is also the illustrator of the graphic novel based upon the film. Modan and Polonsky will discuss their work with comics scholar and writer Tahneer Oksman (How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?).

2:00PM / Helvetica Room
RESIST!
In the weeks between the 2016 Presidential election and the 2017 inauguration, Françoise Mouly and Nadja Spiegelman edited RESIST!, a newsprint anthology of comics and cartoons, mostly by women. 58,000 copies of the newspaper were distributed for free by a grassroots network of volunteers during the Women’s Marches in Washington and across the country. RESIST! used online networks to solicit contributions and in the process became a new kind of hybrid platform: both an ongoing online forum for urgent expression by diverse voices and a print publication that has its roots in the Sixties underground press. In this special session, Mouly and Spiegelman will discuss the development — and the future — of RESIST! 

BREAK

3:30PM / Garamond Room
Anthologies as Art: Kramers Ergot and Lagon
The great anthologies of comics history — Zap, Weirdo, RAW, and others — have both made an assertion of comics’ aesthetic ambition at a certain time and place while functioning as a personal expression by each series’ editors. Sammy Harkham is the editor of Kramers Ergot, the anthology which, since 2003, has generated excitement with each volume as a strong statement about contemporary art comics in North America. Alexis Beauclair is the co-editor of Lagon, which debuted in 2014 as a risographed encapsulation of French avant-garde comics, and has metamorphosed with each volume leading to the latest, Gouffre. They will discuss their work as artists and editors with Bill Kartalopoulos.

3:30PM / Helvetica Room
Becky Cloonan Q+A
A graduate of SVA, artist and writer Becky Cloonan first made her mark with her collaborations with Brian Wood, Channel Zero: Jennie One and Demo. Her first graphic novel, East Coast Rising, was published in 2006. Her self-published works include Wolves, Demeter and The Mire, which earned her an Eisner Award for Best Single Issue. In 2012 she became the first woman to draw a main Batman title. Following Batman, she did the art for The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys and later created Gotham Academy for DC Comics. She is currently writing the sci-fi horror Southern Cross for Image Comics, and The Punisher for Marvel. She will discuss her career and her work with SVA MFA in Visual Narrative Chair and illustrator Nathan Fox.

DC – Reading Without Walls Signing

Press Release:

Big Planet Comics is excited to welcome National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature and bestselling comic book creator Gene Luen Yang for a signing on Monday, April 10th at 6:00 PM!

Gene Yang is the creator of American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, and the writer of Avatar: The Last Airbender, New Super-Man, Secret Coders, The Shadow Hero, and many more. Gene Yang was recently appointed the fifth National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress, Children’s Book Council, and Every Child A Reader.

As the National Ambassador, he has also started the Reading Without Walls challenge for all readers.

More information about Gene Yang’s books, his ambassadorship, and the Reading Without Walls challenge can be found on his website.

Readers are encouraged to bring their copies of Gene’s books to be signed, but copies will also be available for purchase at the event.

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Big Planet Comics of Washington DC
1520 U St. NW Washington, DC 20009
202-342-1961

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