Doctor Who Reunion at Emerald City Comic Con 2018

Press Release:

Emerald City Comic Con is excited to welcome Doctor Who’s companion, Rose Tyler AKA Billie Piper to Seattle on Thursday March 1st and Friday March 2nd! She will be joining the Doctor Who Main Stage panel on Thursday. She will have solo photo ops available, and she also has autographs for pre-sale available at noon (PST) on Thursday, January 25th.

More good news! Dual photo ops with Billie & David Tennant on Thursday & Friday of the show. All these photo ops will be available on Thursday, January 25th at 12:00 PM PST. Get Thursday & Friday tickets at the link…

RSVP on Facebook!

OH – An Evening with Neil Gaiman

Author Neil Gaiman appears at the KeyBank State Theatre on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 8:00 PM! Tickets available at the link…

“I make things up and write them down” is the way Neil Gaiman describes his varied art. Today, as one of the most celebrated, bestselling writers of our time, his popular and critically acclaimed works bend genres while reaching audiences of all ages. In his live event, “An Evening with Neil Gaiman” he will tell stories and read stories, answer questions, and in his own words “amaze, befuddle and generally delight. It will be fun and odd and not like any other evening with Neil Gaiman.”

Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books. Gaiman’s best-selling contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods, took the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, and Locus awards-as did his bestselling young adult story, Coraline. Another children’s novel, The Graveyard Book, is the only work to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) Medals – awarded by librarians for the most prestigious contribution to children’s literature. Gaiman’s groundbreaking Sandman comics, which has garnered a large number of accolades including nine Eisner Awards, was described by Stephen King as having turned graphic novels into “art.” Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as the greatest epic in the history of the form, an issue of Sandman was the first comic book to receive literary recognition, the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.

RSVP on Facebook!

KeyBank State Theatre at Playhouse Square
1519 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Performance Art Theatre
(216) 241-6000

DragonCon 2017 Report!

Each year, I start checking the guest list on the DragonCon web site in December. Call it my Christmas tradition. I check it once a month until, say, May, then once a week until summer’s midpoint. After that, I’m checking it pretty much daily until that pre-Labor Day Thursday, when the convention opens.

The web site has a full guest list and a featured list. The featured list is where the major authors  and actors appear. It is the only list I check because, unless you are self-published or have ten or fewer Twitter followers, that is the list you are usually on.

Except this year. This year, Wallace Shawn was too obscure to make the featured list, which is . . . wait for it . . . inconceivable. And Jerry Pournelle. Jerry wrote or edited 43 books. He won the Heinlein Society Award, the Prometheus Award, and the John W. Campbell Award. He was the president of SWFA and one of sci-fi’s leading lights. How was Jerry effing Pournelle left off the featured list?

(Don’t tell me they were added too late to make both lists. Arthur Darvill was on both despite being added the day before the con opened).

I had never met Jerry Pournelle at any convention, despite being a bibliophile and science fiction fan. Thus, there was a hole in my collection where his autograph belonged. Fortunately, I saw him on the web site before leaving home, so I grabbed my first edition of New Voices in Science Fiction: Stories by Campbell Award Nominees (1977). The book contains Jerry’s story “Silent Leges,” a masterpiece of military sci-fi. My copy was signed by George R.R. Martin. I wanted Jerry to sign it, too.

He was scheduled to be on a panel Friday afternoon. I got there early. Snagged a front row seat. The other panelists were milling, talking to fans, signing a book here or there. Then I heard someone say, “There’s Jerry.” Turning around, I expected to see the tuxedoed impresario on his Wikipedia page. Shuffling toward me instead was a gaunt man of many years being helped toward the stage. He used a walker. Settling into his chair, he sighed, the weight of a world (not this one, surely; one of his creation) on his shoulders.

I hate being the first to ask for an autograph, and as the panel was starting in ten minutes, I needed someone else to step up. And someone did. I was at the table next, passing Jerry my book and asking if I could have “a quick signature.” He turned the book in his hands like a rare gem.

“Am I in this?” he asked weakly.

“Yes sir,” I said, opening to the title page and handing him my pen.

“Am I a co-editor of this?” I was about to demur, but he answered himself: “No, that was George.” The pen I had given him was a felt tip Expresso, the only pen I can use without smearing the ink. He tried to sign his looping J and poked a hole in the page. I winced. He got it right the second time, though the signature was eroded-looking, like Sumerian clay tablets.

There. Target acquired. I needed to get my book back lest it suffer more damage, like a cracked spine. (Burt Ward did this at DragonCon 2012, opening my book so wide I heard the binding let go like a gunshot.) Inexplicably, I turned to the table of contents. “See? There’s your story,” I said. He smiled. “Oh yes,” he said. “That story.” Then he signed again, forgetting, I suppose, that he had already obliged me.

I don’t mean to ridicule. In fact, I admire Jerry for coming out to DragonCon. He was clearly unwell. Things got worse the following week, and he passed away on September 8. According to the New York Times, he “contracted a cold and flu on the trip.” I was getting over some sickness the day I met him. Did he contract my cold? Did I kill Jerry Pournelle?

I hope not. The memory of a once-vibrant writer hobbling down an aisle is haunting enough. It is hard seeing your heroes reduced by time. When I saw Adam West in 2013, he walked with a cane. William Shatner has put on a few cheb’a’. For some people, going to conventions is like going to a class reunion: they want to see who is still a geek or jock, who succeeded and who flopped, and who got old. I go to pay my respects. Knowing I was among the last people to see Jerry Pournelle alive is a sobering thought, one that has made me realize my responsibility as a fan: to treat celebrities with dignity. They show up for our entertainment; we show up for their actualization. Puts things in perspective, don’t you think?

Attendance at this year’s DragonCon was a record-setting 80,000-plus, which most people attributed to two factors: (1) Stan Lee, who had not been to DragonCon since 2012; and (2) a Doctor Who contingent of Billie Piper, Karen Gillan (who cancelled last year), Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston–and Matt Smith. I heard that Matt was the first post-2005 Doctor to attend DragonCon, and he was terrific, humble and funny, though he wouldn’t shake my hand, offering the fist bump instead. Karen limited herself to the fist bump too. Alex and Billie shook hands and hugged people. Different strokes, I guess.

All the Brits were in one room, sitting at a row of tables. It would have made sense to have a single line, and if you had autograph tickets for, say, only two of the five, you would simply skip the ones you didn’t have tickets for. Instead, once you got, say, Matt’s autograph, you were directed into a separate line for someone else, and if you wanted a third autograph, you had to trudge to a third line, and so on. Bit of a nutter way to do things, if you ask me. Also daft was the fact that Billie Piper was there only one day, but when I bought autograph tickets on Friday, I was told she was there all weekend. I didn’t learn she was Sunday only until I showed up on Saturday. DragonCon is staffed by volunteers, and it is bedlam from start to finish, but I don’t think I’m out of bounds to ask the autograph ticket sellers to know when the autographers will be available.

Lines are a fact of convention life, and with more attendees than all but four NFL stadiums hold, I expected some lines to be interminable. What I didn’t expect, though maybe I should have, was a line to get into a building. Vendors and artists occupy three floors of Americas Mart 2, and last year, the fire marshall shut down the building one day because it was at capacity. To prevent that this year, DragonCon staffers were funneling people into a line outside, letting them in a few at a time. It was a workable but maddening solution. One vendor told me that, next year, the artists will be moved to the fourth floor of Americas Mart, which is an excellent idea. Spreading out attendees over more of the building should curb the overcrowding problem.

After being unable to interview guests last year, I was scheduled for two this year: Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes. Remembering that only one of my two interviews in 2015 took place, I was cautiously optimistic. Turns out the caution was warranted, as was naked fury, because both Marina and Jonathan cancelled. Another reporter told me she had an interview with Gates McFadden, who simply didn’t show up.

To all DragonCon celebs: I know conventions aren’t your vacations. You are working while you’re there. I am working too, and I can’t do my work if you blow off a media session. Remember when you were young actors, struggling to make your way? People helped you, right? So pay that forward–help us. We’re not Nightline anchors. We need the exposure your interviews give us. I can’t speak for all reporters, but I make my interviews short and anodyne, possibly enjoyable. So if you agree to an interview, please keep it. That’s all we–I–ask.

This year was my seventh DragonCon, and despite my cavils, I love it. The show gets better every year. If you have the chance to attend, do it. Don’t say you’ll think about it. Don’t say you want to read more of my reviews first. Just go. But keep reading my reviews. And take a look at the pictures below. Talk to you soon.

Me with my colleague, Michaela McPherson. Check out her interview with Jai Nitz, creator of Suicide Squad’s El Diablo, on Convention Scene.

 

Cool board, bro.

 

Where’s Harley Quinn when you need her?

 

Never seen Marry Poppins and Bert cosplayers before. Excellent!

 

Excuse me, sir. Why is your suitcase wiggling?

 

Believe it or not, this is the first year I’ve seen a dragon at DragonCon.

 

When Michaela wanted to enter the armory, I told her she was axing for trouble.

 

When the rum is gone, you can buy more in the hotel bars . . . or from this guy.

 

Me Grimlock say, “Rawr.”

 

This guy is most definitely not a member of Hair Club for Men.

 

Before and after

 

DragonCon hoststhe Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive, which reached a milestone this year: 25,000 donors since 2002.

OH – An Evening with Neil Gaiman

Author Neil Gaiman, whose popular and acclaimed works, including Coraline, The Sandman, American Gods, and The Graveyard Book have reached audiences of all ages and made Gaiman one of the most celebrated writers of our time, appears at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 7:00 PM.

Press Release:

International best-selling author Neil Gaiman has always been vocal about his love for and support of libraries. He often credits them with his distinguished career. And now, thanks to the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, his fans will have the chance to see him in person.

Joseph-Beth Booksellers will be selling Gaiman’s books at the event, including a limited number of pre-signed books. Gaiman is not signing books after the event.

An Evening with Neil Gaiman is made possible in part by the Friends of the Public Library and the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe fund.

About Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman was born in the United Kingdom and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis. As a child he discovered his love of books, reading, and stories, devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, Ursula K. LeGuin, and G.K. Chesterton. A self-described “feral child who was raised in libraries,” Gaiman credits librarians with fostering a life-long love of reading. He is a passionate advocate for books and libraries, and a supporter and former board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Gaiman teaches at Bard College and is married to artist/musician Amanda Palmer, with whom he sometimes performs.

Gaiman’s bestselling contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods, took the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, and Locus awards—as did his bestselling young adult story Coraline. Another children’s novel, The Graveyard Book, is the only work to win both the Newbery (U.S.) and Carnegie (U.K.) medals — awarded by librarians for the most prestigious contribution to children’s literature.

Gaiman’s groundbreaking ‘Sandman’ comics has garnered a large number of accolades, including nine Eisner Awards, and an issue of ‘Sandman’ was the first comic book to receive literary recognition by winning the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.

Two of Gaiman’s speeches have gone viral. One of them, ‘Make Good Art’, an inspiring commencement address from 2012, received 1.5 million views (Vimeo and YouTube), and proved so popular it was released as a book illustrated and designed by Chip Kidd. His work Neverwhere was broadcast as a BBC radio adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch and, locally, is being presented as a play by the Know Theatre. And he scripted two Doctor Who episodes; ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ and ‘Nightmare in Silver’.

Gaiman’s best-selling contemporary fantasy novel American Gods, which won Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, and Locus awards, was made into an American television series for STARZ. Good Omens, a book he co-authored with Terry Pratchett, will debut as a six part series on Amazon Prime in 2018. A four-part series, Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories, based on Gaiman’s short stories, debuted on Sky network in the U.K. and will debut on the Shudder network in the U.S. in August 2018.

Altogether, Gaiman has received four Hugos, two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, four Bram Stoker Awards, six Locus Awards, two British SF Awards, a British Fantasy Award, three Geffens, an International Horror Guild Award, two Mythopoeic Awards, and 15 Eisner Awards. In 2017 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees appointed Neil Gaiman as a global Goodwill Ambassador.

RSVP on Facebook!

TICKETS:
Tickets go on sale Jan. 8, 2018.
$5 apiece (limit four per person)
There are 50 VIP tickets (limit two per person) available for $100 which grant a meet-and-greet with Gaiman.
To purchase tickets, go to CincinnatiArts.org; call 513-621-2787; or visit the CAA ticket office at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

Aronoff Center for the Arts
650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202-2517

NY – An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler

Press Release:

Join a public conversation between Neil Gaiman, Bard Professor in the Arts, and Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), bestselling author of the beloved A Series Of Unfortunate Events and noted literary critic, on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 8:00 PM. Handler and Gaiman will discuss adaptation, collaboration, and the role of the writer as giver of advice.

“My parents claim that when I was six years old I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, and my answer was that I wanted to be an old man who lived at the top of a mountain giving advice,” says Handler. Part of a regular series of conversations at the Fisher Center hosted by Professor Gaiman.

This event includes an audience Q&A. Signed copies of the authors’ work will be available for sale.

Tickets: $25; free for Bard students, faculty, and staff

RSVP on Facebook!

Fisher Center
60 Manor Avenue, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
845-758-7900

UK – Avengers #675 Signing

Writer Al Ewing will be signing AVENGERS #675, #676 and #677, INHUMANS JUDGEMENT DAY #1 and ROCKET VOL. 01 BLUE RIVER SCORE at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday 27th January from 1:00 – 2:00 PM.

In Avengers, we see the first three parts of a sixteen-issue saga that will write the end of an era. The teams you know and love from Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, US Avengers and Occupy Avengers come together to face a threat beyond any they’ve faced before!

In Inhumans, the Royal Family stole fire from the gods. And the gods are angry. The fate of planet Earth once again sits in Black Bolt and Medusa’s hands. The Progenitors are here to end their experiment once and for all – and our world with it. Who will be able to stand…on Judgment Day?

With Rocket – get ready for a life of spacecrime! He’s about to end up in court in the trial of the (light) century, and there’s only one thing keeping our hero out of the iron hotel: the galaxy’s greatest lawyer, Murd Blurdock! Is he worth his fee, or will Rocket be forced to break out of prison – again?!

Al Ewing began his career writing Judge Dredd and Future Shocks for 2000AD. He’s contributed to Solar Wind, FutureQuake and The End Is Nigh, and is the creator of the comedic blog The Diary of Ralph Dibney.

Breaking into American comic books, Ewing was picked by Garth Ennis to provide a six-issue arc on Jennifer Blood, and a spin-off series The Ninjettes. Ewing’s debut novel was published in 2007 by Abaddon Books.

Forbidden Planet London Megastore
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR
0207 420 3666

Free Comic Book Day 2018 Announces Gold Sponsor Comic Titles

Press Release:

The Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) Committee has selected the twelve Gold Sponsor comic book titles for the comic book industry’s most anticipated annual event, Free Comic Book Day. FCBD happens each year on the first Saturday in May at participating comic book shops worldwide, with next year’s event taking place on May 5th, 2018.

The titles were curated by over twenty comic shop retailers who make up the FCBD Selection Committee and the comics feature something for everyone: from superheroes, to popular films and television shows, to beloved video game franchises, and all-ages favorites. The Gold Sponsor titles come from the industry’s top publishers, including:

  • DC Entertainment (TBA)
  • Marvel Comics (MARVEL AVENGERS/CAPTAIN AMERICA)
  • Dark Horse Comics (OVERWATCH/BLACK HAMMER)
  • IDW Publishing (TRANSFORMERS: UNICRON: THE DARKEST HOUR #0)
  • Image Comics (BARRIER #1)
  • Archie Comics (RIVERDALE)
  • BOOM! Studios (MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS SPECIAL)
  • First Second Books (COMICS FRIENDS FOREVER)
  • Joe Books (DISNEY PRINCESS: ARIEL SPOTLIGHT)
  • Oni Press (INVADER ZIM: FLOOPSY BLOOPS SHMOOPSY)
  • Titan Comics (DOCTOR WHO #0)
  • VIZ Media (POKÉMON: SUN AND MOON / POKÉMON: HORIZON).

“With 91 titles submitted from over 70 publishers, the FCBD Retailer Committee had to make some tough choices for this year’s Free Comic Book Day,” said FCBD spokesperson Dan Manser, “but we think retailers and fans alike will be thrilled with the sponsor titles chosen for 2018. Free Comic Book Day is the comics industry’s most important event—a day to celebrate comic books and comic shops, and to introduce family and friends to the comics medium we all know and love. It’s important that the titles reflect the varied interests of people coming into stores these days—and we believe there’s a comic book for everyone this Free Comic Book Day!”

The full line-up of this year’s comic books will be announced next week, when thirty-eight additional FCBD Silver titles will be announced on Tuesday, December 19th. A complete listing of all fifty FCBD titles, as well as two education titles about the industry, will also be found in the January issue of Diamond Comic Distributors’ PREVIEWS catalog, on sale at all comic book shops December 27th, 2017.

UK – Doctor Who Convention Special Signing

Richard Dinnick will be signing Titan Comics’ DOCTOR WHO 2017 CONVENTION SPECIAL at the Forbidden Planet Cambridge on Saturday 2nd September from 1:00 – 2:00 PM!

PART OF OUR DOCTOR WHO DAY CELEBRATIONS!

When the Doctor and Bill get entangled in the hunt for an impossibly rare action figure, their journey takes them all across time and space!

Richard Dinnick is writer of TV, books and comics for the BBC, ITV and Disney writing on Thunderbirds Are Go, Tree Fu Tom and Go Jetters amongst others. He also has several TV dramas in development. He has written books and short stories for Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes and Stargate. Richard is now writing on Titan’s Doctor Who comic range and Legendary Entertainment is developing his first graphic novel.

Forbidden Planet
28 – 30 Burleigh Street, Cambridge CB1 1DG
01223 301666

UK – Doctor Who Comics Day 2017 Signing

Paul Cornell and James Peaty appear at Gosh Comics on Saturday, September 2nd for a signing from 4:00 – 5:00 PM on Saturday, September 2nd: Doctor Who Comics Day!

An annual international celebration of The Doctor in comics, Doctor Who Comics Day will be marked this year by a special crossover through the four ongoing titles (Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors), entitled The Lost Dimension. It all kicks off with a special jump-on Alpha issue released the week of the event!

And to help celebrate we’ll have Doctor Who scribes Paul Cornell and James Peaty along to sign their work, including Paul’s 3rd Doctor TP, which he considers to be his final word on Doctor Who. Quite a landmark for a man who has helped shape the world of Doctor Who novels and comics since 1990!

RSVP on Facebook!

Gosh Comics
1 Berwick St, SoHo, London W1F0DR
United Kingdom

UK – Doctor Who Day 2017 Signing

Cover artist Simon Myers will be signing DOCTOR WHO 12th YEAR THREE #3 and DOCTOR WHO 9th #13 at Forbidden Planet Coventry on Saturday 2nd September from 1:00 – 2:00 PM.

PART OF OUR DOCTOR WHO DAY CELEBRATIONS!

After years of being a garment graphic designer for the high-street fashion industry Simon decided to step away and follow his passion of illustration.

Growing up in a sleepy farming village in he Midlands, Simon immersed himself in Film, Animation and American Comic Books. These and his fondness for the aesthetic of the late sixties and early seventies prove constant inspiration and influence on his work.

As an individual away from his work, Simon still loves to draw, and has sketchbooks full of streams of consciousness. He enjoys being taken on an adventure, in any media, and runs a few miles most days, just him and his eclectic iPod keeping the pounds off as he adores good food.

Forbidden Planet
31 Cross Cheaping Coventry CV1 1HF
024 7622 9672

« Previous PageNext Page »