NYC – Comic Book Club w/ Dan Fogler

Actor/comic creator Dan Fogler (Fanboys, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Goldbergs) appears on the Comic Book Club for a live podcast on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 8:00 PM!

RSVP on Facebook!

The PIT Loft
154 W 29th St, Fl 2nd, New York, New York 10001
(212) 244-1722

NYC – Brooklyn Gladiator Signing

Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) will be returning to Forbidden Planet NYC to sign comics on Wednesday April 11th! Premiering his new book Brooklyn Gladiator, Dan will be on hand for TWO signing sessions; one starting at 12pm and later that evening at 5pm.

Brooklyn Gladiator is set in the year 2033, in a despoiled America where New Yorkers survive on scraps. John Miller is an action hero for the ages, a rough and ready badass who could drink Han Solo, Jack Burton, and John McClane under the table. Brooklyn Gladiator is a tribute to the comics, films, and experiences that have inspired author Dan Fogler. With artwork from Glen Fabry, Tom Hodges, and Darrick Robertson, a panoramic creative vision, and a bloodthirsty, snarling sense of humor, this a comic sure to leave mind-blown readers in its wake!

Forbidden Planet
832 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
212-473-1576

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.

Golden Apple Comics Signings at SDCC 2016

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Press Release:

Golden Apple Comics has teamed up with renowned artist Darick Robertson (The Boys, Transmetropolitan, Happy, etc.) for this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA on July 20-24th at booth #1806 (near DC Comics). Darick will be signing free autographs daily at the booth; check booth for signing times.

-Official SDCC exclusive Justice League #1 by Darick Robertson! Limited edition C.O.A for the first 1000 copies sold.

-$1 tooth & mail instant winner game: pick an envelope to reveal prizes, everyone is a winner. look for 100 golden tickets to win grand prizes!

-Actor/creator Dan Fogler from Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them will be signing Sunday July 24th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM only.  Dan created two indie comics: Brooklyn Gladiator and Groom Lake, which both feature artwork by Darick Robertson.

-New indie comic, Tooth & Mail  co-created by Darick Robertson available only at booth #1806 with writers and co-creators Eric Peterson & Joe Aubrey.

Warner Bros. Pictures Brings Heroes, Magic & Myth to SDCC 2016

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Press Release:

Warner Bros. Pictures will once again commandeer the convention when the Studio’s biggest stars, DC’s best Super Heroes and “worst” Super-Villains, fantastic beasts great and small and more head to this year’s Comic-Con International: San Diego. On Saturday, July 23, beginning at 11:30 a.m., Warner Bros. will showcase several of its most-anticipated upcoming feature releases in its Hall H presentation, headed up by master of ceremonies Conan O’Brien:

• “Wonder Woman” stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Connie Nielsen and director Patty Jenkins.
• “Suicide Squad” stars Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Adam Beach and Karen Fukuhara, along with writer/director David Ayer.

• Director Chris McKay and star Will Arnett from “The LEGO Batman Movie.”

Charlie Hunnam, who plays the title role in Guy Ritchie’s epic actioner “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures.

• Stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell and director Jordan VogtRoberts of Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ “Kong: Skull Island.”

• Director David Yates with stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller and Colin Farrell from “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Also on Saturday, convention floor activities include:
• In the Warner Bros. Booth: a “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Wand Station and talent signing; “The LEGO Batman Movie” Selfie Booth; and an autograph signing with “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” star Charlie Hunnam.
• In the DC Booth: “Suicide Squad” and “Wonder Woman” talent signings and costume displays; lifesized LEGO Batman character.

• In the LEGO Booth: “The LEGO Batman Movie” talent signings and Selfie Booth; “building zone” activation for fans to help LEGO Master Builders build life-sized LEGO Batman, Batgirl and Joker from “The LEGO Batman Movie.”

Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, stated, “Comic-Con is one of our favorite annual events and we’re thrilled to have an extraordinary lineup of films to highlight this year. It’s always exciting for us to give these fans a taste of what we’re bringing to theaters in such a direct way, connecting them with the talented actors and filmmakers who work so hard to make everyone’s movie-going experience a memorable one.”

About Wonder Woman:

“Wonder Woman” hits movie theaters around the world next summer when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.

Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner and Saïd Taghmaoui. Jenkins directs the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg, based on characters from DC Entertainment. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston. The film is produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Richard Suckle, with Rebecca Roven, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, “Wonder Woman.” The film is scheduled for release on June 2, 2017, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. www.wonderwomanfilm.com

About Suicide Squad:

From director David Ayer comes “Suicide Squad,” starring Oscar nominee Will Smith, Oscar winner Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman and Oscar nominee Viola Davis. It feels good to be bad… Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super-Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

Written and directed by Ayer based on the characters from DC, the film also stars Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Adam Beach, and Karen Fukuhara in her feature film debut. It is produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment production, a film by David Ayer, “Suicide Squad.” The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film opens worldwide in 3D, and in 2D, and in select IMAX 3D theaters August 5, 2016. “Suicide Squad” is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language. www.suicidesquad.com

About The LEGO Batman Movie:

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Will Arnett reprises his starring role from “The LEGO Movie” as the voice of LEGO Batman, aka Bruce Wayne. Zach Galifianakis stars as The Joker; Michael Cera as the orphan Dick Grayson; Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon; and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred. “The LEGO Batman Movie” is directed by Chris McKay and produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. It is written by Seth Grahame-Smith and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, with additional screenplay material by Jared Stern & John Whittington, based on LEGO Construction Toys, in association with LEGO System AS. Chris McKay also serves as an executive producer, alongside Ryan Harris. A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, “The LEGO Batman Movie” will open in theaters on February 10, 2017. It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. www.LegoBatman.com

About Kong: Skull Island:

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Kong: Skull Island” reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.

“Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Oscar winner Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. The international ensemble cast also includes Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Thomas Mann, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell and Eugene Cordero. Vogt-Roberts directs the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy and Derek Connolly. “Kong: Skull Island” is produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni with Mary Parent. The executive producers are Eric McLeod and Alex Garcia. Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, “Kong: Skull Island.” The film will be released worldwide in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX March 10, 2017, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

About King Arthur: Legend of the Sword:

Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to an original King Arthur epic, a sweeping fantasy action adventure starring Charlie Hunnam. Starring with Hunnam are Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Oscar nominee Jude Law, and Eric Bana. Ritchie directs the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Joby Harold. The film is produced by Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman, Joby Harold, Tory Tunnell, Lionel Wigram, Guy Ritchie and Steve Clark-Hall. David Dobkin and Bruce Berman are executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Weed Road/Safehouse Pictures Production, a Ritchie/Wigram Production. Slated for release on March 24, 2017, the film will be distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. www.kingarthurmovie.com

About Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is an all-new adventure returning us to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling. Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne stars in the central role of wizarding world magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters. The film opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Starring with Redmayne are Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton, Oscar winner Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Carmen Ejogo, Jenn Murray, Faith Wood-Blagrove and Colin Farrell. The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose beloved “Harry Potter” books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” written by her character Newt Scamander. The film reunites a number of people from the “Harry Potter” features, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. Warner Bros. Pictures has slated “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for worldwide release in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX on November 18, 2016. www.fantasticbeasts.com