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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Have fun, but not so much it’ll land you in Erewhon.
Now have a look at these pix from DragonCon 2016 . . .
Artist Christopher Jones will be signing the brand new Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: The Third Doctor #1 at Hot Comics on Wednesday September 14th from 3-8pm!
Hot Comics and Collectibles New Hope
3524 Winnetka Ave N. New Hope, MN 55427
Writer Paul Cornell will be signing the first issue of Doctor Who: The Third Doctor from Titan Comics at our London Megastore on Wednesday 14th September from 6:00pm.
When something enormous crashes into Bedfordshire, the Doctor, Jo Grant, and the forces of UNIT under Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart mobilize immediately, only to find themselves in the middle of a pitched battle against a terrifying invader.
But the shocking face that awaits their return to base may tip the whole world off its axis! It’s classic third Doctor action as you’ve never seen it before!
Exclusive Forbidden Planet / Jetpack variant with a cover by Boo Cook available!
Paul Cornell has been Hugo-nominated for his work in TV, comics and prose, and is a BSFA award-winner for short fiction. He has also written some of Doctor Who’s best-loved episodes for the BBC, and has more recently written for the Sherlock-inspired TV show Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.
Forbidden Planet London Megastore
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR
0207 420 3666
Writer Al Ewing (New Avengers, Ultimates, Contest of Champions, Loki: Agent of Asgard, Ulysses, and soon: US Avengers) signs at Books with Pictures on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM!
Books with Pictures
1100 SE Division Street, Portland, Oregon 97202
August 10, 2016 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Anime, Comic Books, Comic Strips, Convention News, Cosplay, Massachusetts, Movies, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Television, Video Games, Webcomics
Boston Comic Con kicks off the three-day comic book convention on Friday, August 12 to Sunday August 14!
Boston Comic Con Celebrity Guest list includes William Shatner, the original Captain James T. Kirk, whose appearance, along with Vic Mignogna, marks the celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. Also appearing are leading stars from top current TV shows including John Barrowman, Caity Lotz, Ciara Renee, Danielle Panabaker and Robbie Amell from CW’s Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, Ben Mckenzie from Gotham, Elizabeth Henstridge from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Gillian Anderson from the X-Files and featuring special appearances from Doctor Who companions Jenna Coleman and Karen Gillan.
Frank Miller, the most celebrated creators in comic book history, headlines a stellar line-up of over 90 world class comic book artists and writers, including notable appearances by Sam Kieth and John Cassaday. Kieth is best known for his creator-owned titles The Maxx and Zero Girl and as co-creator of The Sandman. Cassady is a fan favorite artist with acclaimed runs on Planetary, Captain America, Astonishing X-Men and Marvel’s new Star Wars series. They join other famed artists such as Arthur Adams, Mike and Laura Allred, Greg Capullo, Amanda Conner, Terry Dodson, Phil Jimenez, Erik Larsen, Jae Lee, David Lloyd, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Snyder, Mark Waid, Marv Wolfman, Bernie Wrightson and many more.
On Friday, August 12, it’s Family Day where kids age 10 and under will receive free admission to the show featuring a variety of family friendly activities.
On Saturday, August 13, Mayor Marty Walsh will greet William Shatner and deliver a proclamation to the Star Trek legend. This will take place at 9:45 AM in the Harborview Ballroom at the Seaport World Trade Center. Also participating are Nick Kanieff and Jim Talbot, co-founders of Boston Comic Con.
On Sunday, August 14, the convention continues and includes one of the most anticipated events of the weekend, the annual Costume Contest on Sunday, August 14 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the Plaza Ballroom.
WHERE: Seaport World Trade Center
200 Seaport Boulevard
WHEN: Friday, August 12: 12:00PM – 8:00PM
Saturday, August 13: 10:00AM – 7:00PM
Sunday, August 14: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Tickets and information available at the link: www.bostoncomiccon.com
Join John Barrowman, star of Arrow, Torchwood, and Doctor Who, for an intimate event on Saturday August 13, 2016 from 8:00 – 10:00 PM where he will be telling stories, answering questions and having a blast as usual. Remember, Anything Goes! Tickets available at the link…
John will also appear at Boston Comic Con from August 12-14, 2016 (this event is is not affiliated with the convention)
425 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210
Richard Starkings (creator of Elephantmen and letterer of Doctor Who comics) appears at Pulp Fiction on Saturday July 9th from 1:00 till 3:00 PM to celebrate Doctor Who Day!
Pulp Fiction Books & Comics
1742 Clark Ave, Long Beach, CA 90815
John Barrowman (star of Torchwood, Doctor Who, and Arrow) has announced the comic debut of TORCHWOOD #1 from Titan Comics which he co-writes alongside his sister Carole Barrowman! The first issue will launch at Comic-Con International in San Diego in two weeks with a panel and signings scheduled.
Torchwood #1 sees Captain Jack come back to Cardiff to engage the help of the last person who expected to see him again, Gwen Cooper! On the road, on the run, and under fire can Jack and Gwen put aside their differences and rebuild the heart of Torchwood before its flame is
stamped out forever?!
Alongside the regular edition (in comic book stores August 3), Titan Comics, Carole and I are
proud to present a special convention edition of Torchwood which includes the entirety of Torchwood #1 plus extra fan-favorite adventure The Selkie with a brand-new cover from comic book legend Tommy Lee Edwards (Batman, Hellboy).
These regular and special editions are available to purchase at the Titan booth #5537 at San Diego Comic-Con. Carole and I will be guests on a special Titan panel where fans will be treated to announcements, behind-the-scenes reveals and upcoming plans for the Torchwood comic series. This panel will take place on Saturday July 23 at 15:30 in room 5AB.
You will also have the opportunity to meet Carole and I at the show as we will be signing copies of Torchwood #1 on Sunday July 24 between 11:00am and 12:00pm at Autograph Area, Table AA21.
We are so excited about this new venture and bringing Torchwood back to life in a fresh, new, vibrant way and we can’t wait for all of you to be a part of it come join us. See you in San Diego.
Doctor Who cover artist Blair Shedd signs on Saturday July 9th at the store on Newbury St. in Boston at 2:00 PM to celebrate Doctor Who Day!
332 Newbury Street Boston, MA 02115
Artists Andrew Pepoy and Jason Millet sign at Graham Crackers Comics to celebrate Doctor Who Day on Saturday July 9, 2016 from noon till 3:00 PM! All Doctor Who merch is 12% off, cosplayers will get a SPECIAL WHOVIAN TREAT.
Graham Crackers Comics – CHICAGO LOOP
77 E. Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60602