MA – Music Hits Home Signing

Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis signs on Friday, July 16th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Newbury Comics in Fanueil Hall – Boston, MA.

Kevin Youkilis will be autographing copies of the upcoming CD release, Music Hits Home, a CD benefitting his youth charity, Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids.

MA – Celebrating Comic Art Exhibition

SPACE 242, Boston’s Low Brow Destination, proudly announces its May/June exhibition, SMUDGE! SMEAR! SPLATTER!, Celebrating Comic Art, features work by Jamie Buckmaster, Craig Bostick, Alison Cowell, Andy Fish, Veronica Hebard, Bret Herholz, Mike Leslie, Derek Ring, Paul Ryan, and Tak Toyoshima.

The exhibition, on view May 28 through June 18 includes vaired works by the above artists including comic pages, original pieces, and prints. The opening reception is Friday, May 28, from 6-8pm. The event is free and open to the public with RSVP at the website. An artist talk will be held Friday, June 18 from 7-8pm. Gallery hours are Friday evenings 6:30-8pm, no RSVP necessary.

SPACE 242′s May/June exhibition is sponsored in part by The Weekly Dig, ArtScope Magazine, Jakprints, DrinkMasters, and Harpoon.

The above images, from left to right:
Batman by Paul Ryan c DC Comics
ANHV by Derek Ring
Dracula by Andy Fish

SPACE 242, 242 E. Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02118

Boston Comic Con a Phenomenal Success

When you have a guest roster that boasts comic book icons like Jim Lee, Sergio Aragones, and Mike Mignola, one would assume a good turnout. The Boston Comic Con anticipated more attendees by moving to a bigger venue. But no one could have predicted the crush of people who lined up for hours outside the Westin Waterfront on Saturday April 10th. With a record attendance 60% larger than any of the previous shows, the Boston Comic Con was clearly the place to be.

Jim Lee

There was an excitement in the air that was felt by fans, artists, and vendors alike. Many observations were made to this show quickly becoming the northeast equivalent of homegrown, comic book central conventions in the vein of Emerald City Comicon, Baltimore Comic Con, and the venerable HeroesCon. “This is the show that put us on the map,” said co-founder Nick Kanieff

Newly anointed DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee was on hand to sign for hundreds of fans, many of whom walked away with a rare and coveted head sketch. He also spoke on a spotlight panel, as did Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, and Eric Powell, creator of The Goon. Eisner Award-nominees JH Williams III, Skottie Young, and Cameron Stewart were all besieged by comic art enthusiasts looking to add sketches and commissions to their collection. And legends like Bill Sienkiewicz, Jim Starlin, and Sergio Aragones met with both fans that have been following their work for decades and those first discovering their work. 

Artist alley was a showcase of the phenomenal talent that New England has to offer. ZombieBomB! co-creator Adam Miller said “The response we received at the Boston Comic Con was amazing! We sold out of our book on the first day of the convention; it was more than we could have hoped for.” Mark Chiarello, Art Director of DC Comics, conducted many portfolio reviews giving advice and encouragement to dozens of artists. He also may have found DC’s next superstar in Jeff Wamester, a local who piqued Chiarello’s interest. 

Sergio Aragones

Overall the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. In response to the detractors, many of whom got stuck outside on Saturday when the Boston Police Department was concerned about the capacity of the venue, Boston Comic Con assures them that next year’s show will utilize a larger space and feature more programming. As a young show there are always growing pains, particularly when it is a fan-run operation without corporate financial backing. However, most attendees recognize and appreciate the intimacy of the show and the access it gives them to creators. 

This past weekend was a turning point for the Boston Comic Con. After four years of quietly building a convention that New England fans can be proud of, they have established themselves as a destination event. With this kind of momentum built up the next show on April 2-3, 2011 is sure to be one that comic fans absolutely cannot miss. Tell your friends!

(all photos courtesy of Alan Wong. see more photos from Boston Comic Con at the link)

PAX East is a Gift to Boston

This past weekend Penny Arcade brought their gaming convention to the east coast for the inaugural PAX East. The original Penny Arcade Expo (or PAX Prime) was founded in 2004 by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (aka Gabe & Tycho) as a way to bring together all aspects of gaming culture. The convention has grown in size and acclaim in the intervening years leading them to bring it on the road. Their reputation is held in such high regard that PAX East was held to a sold out crowd with reports of over 60,000 attendees and plans of moving to the larger Boston Convention and Expo Center for 2011 and 2012.   

Major video game companies like Rockstar, Disney, EA and many more demoed their new products for gamers who travelled from all over to take part. One group drove two straight days from Washington, the home of PAX Prime, just to join the festivities. Wizard of the Coast hosted RPG tournaments and musicians like MC Frontalot, The Protomen, Anamanaguchi, and Metroid Metal rocked the evening concerts. 

The big theme of the convention is community. In his keynote speech actor and geek culture ambassador Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation) said that Gabe and Tycho have given the city of Boston a gift and implored the standing room only audience to appreciate the next three days saying that “playing games is never so much fun as when it’s done together.” He chronicled the long history of fans of sci-fi culture gathering in hotels and ballrooms, and then gamers playing in LAN parties, to travelling to E3. 

“And then when E3 sucked so very hard,” said Wheaton to the cheering crowd, “And begat the death of video games conventions, Gabe and Tycho created PAX.” This sentiment was echoed by Gabe and Tycho themselves in their Q&A panel, “The goal of PAX is to create a community of gamers as much as celebrating gaming itself.” When asked what the next location in the PAX tour is, Gabe and Tycho joked that they’d like to establish EuroPAX. But with this kind of success maybe it’s no that far from a reality. 

Wheaton also praised the gaming industry for its imagination and innovation. “As a kid I was inspired by movies,” he said, “But now video games lead the entertainment industry in driving visual narratives” and cited the game Heavy Rain specifically as the apex of the medium. “In this room there could be the next Gary Gygax or the next Shigeru Miyamoto.” 

Clearly, PAX East came out of the gate like a shot, blowing away everyone’s expectations. The gaming community has been given a desperately needed outlet to come together to celebrate their culture. Watch the website for when they open registration for next year’s show, it’s bound to sell out quick.

ZombieBomb! Drops at Boston Comic Con

 Boston Comic Con is happy to host the launch of ZombieBomb! from Terminal Press. Series creators Adam Miller and Rich Woodall will be on hand with the first copies available anywhere. Be sure to stop by their booth and pick up the exclusive blank cover edition, ready for sketches.

About ZombieBomb!:
The reanimated brainchild of Adam Miller and Rich Woodall, ZombieBomb!: Dead Not Dead is the first in a series of ZombieBomb! anthologies featuring top creators putting their spin on the cranium-chomping, lumbering legends. Each creative team involved has crafted their own unique interpretation of the subject matter, ensuring fans a diverse and original experience. From classic horror to offbeat alternative to whimsical comedy, the stories and artwork manage to breathe life into the undead and keep the rotting corpses fresh.
 
 
ZombieBomb!: Dead Not Dead features the talents of Shawn McManus (Sandman, Swamp Thing), Tomm Coker (Marvel, DC, Image), Neil Vokes (Marvel, DC, Image), Jack Herman (Terminator, Elementals), Paul Maybury (Image),  Matt Roberts (Image), Jason Copland (Image), Joe Haley (The Underburbs), Narek Gevorgian (Terminal Press, Elite Gudz), Matty Field, Jerry Morrissette, Tony Donley, Tom Whalen, Josh Morrissette, Veronica Hebard, Anthony Schiavino and Steve Jones.
 
 ZombieBomb! Dead Not Dead is available right now at TerminalPress.com
 
 Visit the Terminal Press Fan Page 
 
 Visit the ZombieBomb! Fan Page 

About Boston Comic Con:
The Boston Comic Con is in its fourth year of producing independent comic book shows and is committed to bringing the biggest and best comic book show to New England. Previously announced guests include Jim Lee, Mike Mignola, Eric Powell, JH Williams III, Joseph M. Linsner, Sergio Aragones, Amber Benson, Ben Templesmith, Bill Sienkiewicz, Billy Tan, Cameron Stewart, Christopher Golden, Craig Rousseau, Eva Hopkins, Jim Mahfood, Jim Starlin, Joe Jusko, Joe Quinones, Mark Chiarello, Michael Golden, Norman Lee, Skottie Young, Steve Rude, Pat Broderick, and many more!

The Boston Comic Con hosts over 22,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia. The event will be held Saturday April 10th and Sunday April 11th at the Westin Waterfront, 425 Summer Street, Boston, MA from 10am to 5pm. Admission is $15 each day. For more information please go to the website.

Scott Kurtz Announces PAX East Schedule & Exclusives

Scott Kurtz, creator of the webcomic PvP, posted about his schedule and the exclusive items he will have this weekend at the inaugural PAX East convention at the Hynes Convention Center:

This weekend, I’ll be trekking to Boston, MA for the very first East Coast PAX!

Last year, PAX West was the single most amazing show of the year for me, so I have high hopes for this weekend. We’re going to have a hell of a time. I can’t invite any of you to come out if you don’t already have plans because apparently the show is completely sold out.

If you ARE attending, however, you need to know what Kris Straub and I are up to. Cause we got nefarious plans, baby.

Saturday Night, 10:30pm, Wyvern Theatre: An Evening with Scott Kurtz My panel at PAX West was so much fun. I hope that you come out for another evening of stories and laughter and pelting me with questions. Join me as I open the kimono and let you into the secret life of this cartoonist.

Sunday Morning, 10:30am, Main Theatre: BLAMIMATIONS ALIVE, with Kris and Scott PATV veterans Scott Kurtz (pvponline.com) and Kris Straub (chainsawsuit.com) take you deeply behind the scenes of their hit Blamimation series for one magical hour. Will you help come up with the next breakout hit character? Will you watch it come to life? Will you see Kris and Scott BS for 55 minutes? No, maybe, and yes.

Also, I’ll be set up in Bandland, selling PvP wares with guest booth stars Mary Cagle (CubeWatermelon) and Brad Guigar (Wigwam). I’ll have copies of PvP book 6 and 7, as well as the PvP Awesomology and plushes. But that’s not all. I’ve got some exclusive PAX items:

Since buttons are a big deal at PAX, I’ve made a set of LOLbat and ReTweet buttons. You’ll be able to pick these badboys up at our booth while they last.

And since our limited edition poster was such a hit at the Emerald City Comicon, I’ve decided to make ANOTHER exclusive poster. Exclusively at PAX East, this amazing LOLbat and ReTweet poster. It’s my homage to an homage by Nate Bellegarde’s homage to The Dark Knight Returns

Finally, I’m thrilled to announce that Kris and I will be selling a PAX exclusive BLAMIMATION POSTER. When you see this, you’re going to crap your pants.

See you in BAH-stan! It’s going to be wicked smaht.

Tomm Moore Reveals the Secret of Kells

Director Tomm Moore screened his Academy Award-nominee animated film The Secret of Kells last night at the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, MA sponsored by the Irish Film Festival, Boston, capping off a whirlwind tour of the United States. After its debut last year at the Angouleme Festival in France, word of mouth spread which led to its being a dark horse pick for the Oscar. Moore said he really appreciated the Academy’s recognition of an  independent film and the acclaim has been very positive for him and his career.

The story revolves around a group of abbots in medieval Ireland illuminating the famous Books of Kells. Besieged by a group of marauding Vikings, the young hero Brendan and his faerie friend Aisling struggle to protect the tome and preserve civilization. Through breathtaking animation, Moore showcases the uncharted depths of Irish mythology and the beauty of  ancient Celtic art.

Moore began developing the film in college in 1999. It languished for several years till he partnered with the producers of The Triples of Belleville which resurrected the project. While the storyboards and key designs were completed by Irish animators, Moore led an international army of artists from Belgium, France, Hungary, and Brazil to complete the film. He described the experience as “lovely but difficult” as he approved scenes online through a program called PopSoft.

In addition to Celtic artwork, Moore cited animation luminaries like Hayao Miyazaki and Genndy Tartakovsky as influences. “Samurai Jack is a lesson in art direction,” said Moore, “With a limited budget it accomplishes a very cinematic style.” 

Moore also mentioned his appreciation of American comic books. He was a huge fan of DC in the later 80s and early 90s, particularly Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. While his current tastes run more towards the work of Jeff Smith, Jimmy Corrigan, and David Mazzuchelli’s Asterios Poylps, Moore said he needed another suitcase to accommodate the stack of comics he received after a tour of DC Comics. He also is a big fan of French bande desinee like Three Shadows and Blacksad.

In regards to the reactions Americans have had to his film, particularly those of Irish descent, Moore said said he finds it heartening the bond they feel to their ancestral roots. The project that Moore is currently working on is entitled Song of the Sea, the story of the last selkie wandering modern-day Dublin. “It’s really a story about loss; the selkie has lost her people and the human family have lost their mother. It reflects the loss of culture Ireland has experienced through homogenization.”

The Secret of Kells is a unique voice in the world of animation and one that any fan of the medium would be remiss to pass up. Be sure to catch a screening at your local theater.

Sergio Aragonés & Amber Benson Come to Boston Comic Con

With less than a month to go before the convention, Boston Comic Con is happy to announce more guest appearances! It is our privilege to bring to New England a legend of comics, the fastest cartoonist alive, Sergio Aragonés! A mainstay of MAD Magazine for nearly 50 years Sergio’s cartoons have appeared in almost every issue. He is also the creator of Groo the Wanderer, one of the longest-running creator-owned comic book properties, which has outlasted many of the companies that published it. 

We are also excited to welcome our very first media guest Amber Benson. Best known for her role as Tara Maclay, Willow’s ill-fated girlfriend on the hit television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Amber also co-wrote the Willow & Tara limited series with fellow guest Christopher Golden for Dark Horse Comics. Currently Amber is directing, producing, and starring in the upcoming film Drones and recently published Cat’s Claw, her second novel in the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. 

Previously announced guests include Jim Lee, Mike Mignola, Eric Powell, JH Williams III, Joseph M. Linsner, Ben Templesmith, Bill Sienkiewicz, Billy Tan, Cameron Stewart, Christopher Golden, Craig Rousseau, Eva Hopkins, Jim Mahfood, Jim Starlin, Joe Jusko, Joe Quinones, Mark Chiarello, Michael Golden, Norman Lee, Skottie Young, Steve Rude, Pat Broderick, and many more! Tell your friends!! 

The Boston Comic Con is in its fourth year of producing independent comic book shows and is committed to bringing the biggest and best comic book show to New England. The Boston Comic Con hosts over 22,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia. The event will be held Saturday April 10th and Sunday April 11th at the Westin Waterfront, 425 Summer Street, Boston, MA from 10am to 5pm. Admission is $15 each day. For more information please go to our website.

Boston Comic Con After Party

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen Comic Book Podcast and New England Comics present the Official Boston Comic Con After Party

Free admission (18+ only)

Sunday, April 11, 2010 from 5:00pm – 9:00pm

RSVP on Facebook

Middle East Downstairs, 480 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

MA – The Secret of Kells Screening

Tomm Moore and The Secret of Kells is proudly presented by Irish Film Festival, Boston on March 19th, 7pm at the Kendall Square Cinema 
 
Irish Film Festival, Boston proudly presents a special screening of the Oscar-nominated animated feature, The Secret of Kells on Friday, March 19th, 7pm at the Kendall Square Cinema.  Director Tomm Moore will be there in person for a discussion and Q&A.  Please join us afterwards at a reception in Tommy Doyles to celebrate this  milestone in Irish animation. 

Click here for tickets Make sure to select the 7pm showing

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