Ichibancon 8 Con Report (with Interview with Quinton Flynn)!

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In 2014, I began my career at Convention Scene with an article about Ichibancon, the Concord, NC anime convention that is now a staple of my family schedule. “Ichiban” means “number 1” in Japanese, a fitting appellation for a convention held over New Year’s Eve weekend.

We have attended since 2012, when my daughter was fourteen and stayed up all night in her bedroom watching one anime after another. Now she is nineteen, and she stays up all night in her bedroom watching one anime after another. She does have a job as a Pizza Hut deliverer, which is why she couldn’t go to the convention. This year was her first time missing Ichibancon, and I hated that for her.

I wrote in 2014 that the convention had grown. After spending its first three years at the Blake Hotel in Charlotte—which, after pissing off more Democrats than Donald Trump, was split into two hotels in 2013—Ichibancon moved to the larger, family-friendlier Embassy Suites in nearby Concord. It needs to move again. Fridays are usually the slowest days at conventions, but by 5:00pm on that Friday, this is where people were parking.

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I stuck my head into Vic Mignogna’s Q&A on Saturday, and it was less than standing-room only. A con staffer asked me to “choose another place to enjoy the presentation.” That sounds feng shui and all, but it was like telling a sardine, “You might be more comfortable at that end of the tin.” Managing growth is a problem all conventions face, and it is a good problem. Means you’re doing something right.

Ichibancon’s sister convention, Triad Anime Con, is moving this year from a hotel to the roomier Greensboro Coliseum. Ichibancon could step up to the Charlotte Convention Center, but that might be cost-prohibitive. Still, more space should be a priority in the next year or two.

Another consideration of managing growth is figuring out ways to smooth the experience for attendees. For that, Ichibancon developed its first mobile device app.

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The app was great for updates. Throughout the weekend, I got announcements for session delays and cancellations, price changes, and other things. The app was also a repository for policies and maps, relieving attendees of having to carry a program. Here, for instance, is the autograph policy.

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One criticism of the app is that I couldn’t find a master list of changes and updates. Once, I saw an update pop up, but it vanished before I could read it all, so I still didn’t know what was going on. This left me to dig through the calendar to find the change.

The best part of Ichibancon has always been its guests. We have seen Vic Mignogna there every year, and I still marvel at his star power. For a 5:00pm autograph session, his line started forming at 3:30. By 4:15, it stretched out of the room, around the corner, and down the hall. My colleague, Michaela McPherson, interviewed Vic last year, and I recommend the read.

I got a chance this year to talk to Quinton Flynn, a veteran of video game and anime voice work.

How did you get started doing voice acting?

Well, the long story short is, I got a voiceover agent in Los Angeles, and he started providing me with copy to audition. I started auditioning in a recording booth at their offices, or I would go to outside casting director offices to record me in a booth reading from copy, making it come alive on the page. Eventually, I started booking work for commercials on radio, some on TV, and then I started doing animation, where I voiced the Human Torch and Johnny in The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest. And then I replaced Nathan Lane in the role of Timon in The Adventures of Timon and Pumba.

The longer answer is that I started doing impressions as a little boy. All through school, I did theater. I was also into rock and roll, so I had rock bands, and in college, I studied radio, television, and film. Once I got out of the university, I took some local voiceover workshop classes in Cleveland. Eventually, I knew I had to bounce to one of the major cities. That city became L.A. I took some animation voiceover workshops, and in that process, made a proper demo to go around knocking on doors in Hollywood that eventually yielded me an agent who got me to that place where I started answering your question.

You also do video games. What are the differences in voicing for a video game as opposed to a TV show?

Well, in video games, it is nonlinear recording. You might show up to a session and be jumping around in the script to different time lines, and you have to kind of turn on a dime. It’s great if one has an improvisational background, which I do, and if one is easily flexible in terms of taking direction and interpretation and using their mind in the way we always did as children: pure imagination.

That is different from an animated series in that, more often than not, we record alone for a video game. It’s just me in the booth. On the other side of the glass is the engineer who is working the knobs and the buttons and the faders. There is a director and sometimes a writer and producer.

In an animated series, if it is an original one, like when I did Johnny Quest or Timon and Pumba, or when I guested on Scooby-Doo or Animaniacs, the whole cast would be in there, and we would start the script from beginning to end, so you’d have the whole story in linear fashion. We would often get the script beforehand, and we’d get to read it and know it, and we’d also have the opportunity to work off one another. So you’d have some fun organic things happening in the moment. Sometimes, we’d be allowed to improvise, and then you’d have some kind of camaraderie.

Interestingly enough, in the video game world, depending on the writers and producers and actors, but largely those in charge of the cutting and editing, they have to be very sharp and clear about the scenes they are recording separately, so that when they bring the characters together, such as Axel and Roxas in the Kingdom Hearts series, they actually sound like they are talking to one another in the same scene, and I can tell you that, listening to the playthrough on YouTube, I was even blown away. It sounded like Jesse McCartney [who voices Roxas] and I were in the same room.

But you weren’t? You recorded separately, perhaps not on the same day?

No, never. In fact, I met Jesse at a release party the first time we had done Kingdom Hearts. We had said hello in passing, but we didn’t really know who we were to each other in the game. I’ve never seen him since. And yet, the relationship and the end result is very heartwarming, and I love it.

When I was growing up, video games didn’t have voice actors, and I’m always surprised at the number of video game fans who show up at conventions.

Oh, it’s true. I’ve done a huge body of work in animation, and some like it. Then I’ve done anime, which I have a bigger fan base for. And then, as you said, I’ve done video games, and the fan base is crazy. The way these things are released nowadays, they’re making major motion picture money, topping some of the biggest films that are coming out.

I once heard that the video game industry is bigger than the motion picture industry and the music industry combined.

Yeah, they’re making money hand over fist.

When you are preparing to voice a character, how do you get into the role?

Usually, I’m given a breakdown of the character, which tells me where the character is from, the character’s age, the tone and register of the character’s voice, what his position or role is, or title, what his background is. Based on that information, I then create and develop one character for them that I believe they are asking for, and I give it my Quinton Flynn take or spin. And then I might provide them with an alternate second or third read, just to give them something different, maybe something they hadn’t thought of, something that I think does apply to the character. I might sound older or add a different dialect, just to think outside the box. It’s kind of like painting or drawing, except I do it with my voice.

How did you get started doing conventions?

About ten years ago, my friend Jeff Nimoy, who was directing me in a show called Digimon Data Squad, was invited to a convention, and I believe another actor bowed out. He and I had done lots of improv together, and we had a fantastic relationship. He asked if I’d like to go, and I said sure, I’d love to go. I didn’t know anything about these conventions, and I didn’t know if anyone was going to know me. We showed up, and the attention, the adoration, the appreciation, the gratitude, the love, the interest, and the knowledge of the fans was immense. I had no idea. So over the last ten years, I’ve gotten to go many places in the U.S., Canada, England, and Ireland, and I’ve met people from all over the world. Recently, when I was in New York City for the New York Comic Con, I met people from Egypt, Scotland, Bangkok, Dubai, and Paris. I’ve had fans from Belize and Italy contact me on the Internet. It’s mind-blowing.

Switching gears a little, I love impressionists, which I know you are. Your YouTube video in which you tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood using 30 different impressions is terrific.

How did you develop your skills as an impressionist?

That is something I started when I was a little kid. My boyhood pal Billy Russ and I used to do impressions of impressionists’ impressions. At the time on TV, we were watching Frank Gorshin, Fred Travalena, John Byner, and Rich Little. Those were the four biggies. We started doing impressions of their impressions, and I was obsessed with entertainment, so I watched the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and I would do Johnny. I also watched Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, and Mike Douglas, who would provide us with hours of entertainment, impressionists, actors, and characters that I would kind of sponge off and recreate with my voice. Then in 1975, when Saturday Night Live hit, I watched it until the 90s solidly, and I did impressions of those characters. It’s just been a skill I’ve had and developed since I was a kid, and I have found a method by which I’ve been able to do it. Some things take work. Other things just kind of fall into place. As I tell people, the characters talk for me; I don’t talk for them.

I always wonder whether impressionists ever get feedback from the people they do. Has anyone ever commented on your impressions?

I haven’t met any face-to-face, but I once did an impression of Paul McCartney on a morning radio show, and someone close to the McCartney camp called the radio station and said, “How did you get Paul’s private number, and why did you wake him up on tour?” Then they had to tell the truth: that this was an impressionist. That did get back to Paul, and he was actually impressed.

There was another convention I was attending, and I had been on a panel doing impressions of Christopher Walken and Christopher Lloyd. I found myself on a break speaking with Christopher Lloyd. His handler had been at the panel, and he said to me, “God, I loved your panel and all your impressions. Which was your favorite?” My Christopher Lloyd/Doc Brown impression went over like gangbusters and was by far the most fun. But there I was, as close to Christopher Lloyd as I am to you, and I was thinking, Do I tell him he was my favorite? If I do, will he be honored? Or will he be upset? What if he asks me to do it? I didn’t know him well, and I was afraid he would think I was mocking him. So I didn’t tell him. But I promise you this: if I see Christopher Lloyd again, I’m gonna flat out tell him.

Okay, last question. What’s the next convention you’re going to, and acting-wise, what are you working on now?

I will be in London for their anime convention [London Anime and Gaming Convention, February 3-5]. That is my next convention. I am currently working on an animated series on the Internet called Cartoon Hook-ups, in which I voice the role of Deadpool.

I saw a picture of that series on your table, and I wasn’t familiar with it.

Right. Not a lot of people are. It is put together by a gentleman named Jared Winkler, who is a terrific writer, and he has a fantastic artist with him. These are adult-themed, sitcom-type animated episodes where different cartoon characters and sometimes video game or anime characters end up hooking up in hotel rooms. They are cliffhangers in a way because the question is, are they going to hook up? Will they be accepted, or will they be rejected? It’s a lot of fun, and I got to do Deadpool, which was a thrill for me.

Who does Deadpool hook up with?

The closest he came to hooking up was with Harley Quinn. It is one of the best, and the actress who plays Harley Quinn [Lauren Taler] is spot-on. I encourage anyone to look that up. You’ll get a big laugh.

What else are you working on?

I’m a character named Jhin on League of Legends, which is a platform game you can sign up for online. I’m also creating a show called The Snozzberries, which is about three brothers who have the same mother who was a groupie, so they all have different fathers. They were latchkey kids who ended up living in front of the TV set, and their whole life is seen through a veil or prism of popular culture. They do a musical thing that is akin to Spinal Tap meets Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It will be a combination of animation themes, sitcom themes, movie themes, and original songs along with comedy interspersed. We may start out in the clubs playing it as a show, or we may do it into a little theater venue that tours. We’re not sure yet, but we will start out shooting episodes to post online, so look out for The Snozzberries starring Quinton Flynn, Scott Vaughn, and a third brother as yet to be determined.

Quinton and me

Quinton and me

Another area of Ichibancon that has grown is artist alley. In a world that increasingly devalues the fine arts, a convention artist alley is still a place where painters, sculptors, jewelers, and other artisans can make a living. I remember when the Ichibancon artist alley had only three or four members. This year, over a dozen artists were there, offering something for everyone.

An artist at work

An artist at work

Ichibancon was one of my first conventions, and it remains one of my favorites. The venue is posh (if a little crowded), the staff is among the best I’ve worked with, and North Carolina in January is not the deep freeze that other parts of the country are. Check out Ichibancon next year. Maybe I’ll see you there!

It was great seeing Vic Mignogna again.

It was great seeing Vic Mignogna again.

This couple decided not to leave the kids in the hotel room. Understandable.

This couple decided not to leave the kids in the hotel room. Understandable.

This couple decided not to have kids. Totally understandable.

This couple decided not to have kids. Totally understandable.

A look at the Ichibancon video game room.

A look at the Ichibancon video game room.

Artist alley can be a little cozy.

Artist alley can be a little cozy.

This Cruella is a fella.

This Cruella is a fella.

Coffee, tea, or LSD?

Coffee, tea, or LSD?

I thought I was coming down with something, so I asked to see the nurse. Then I really came down with something.

I thought I was coming down with something, so I asked to see the nurse. Then I really came down with something.

Spellcheck, where are you when I need you?

Spellcheck, where are you when I need you?

Harley Quinn Co-Writers Announced as Guests for Planet Comicon 2017

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Harley Quinn co-writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner (who is also the cover artist) are the first guests announced for Planet Comicon on April 28-30, 2017! Tickets are available for sale now at the link…

JIMMY PALMIOTTI:

Jimmy Palmiotti has a wide range of experience and background in advertising, production, editorial, film writing and production, media presentation and video game development. His clients include Nike, Disney, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, Fox, and New Line, 2KGames and THQ games.

000_jimmy_palmiotti_planet-comiconJimmy Palmiotti is co-founder of such companies as Event Comics, Black Bull Media, Marvel Knights and the current Paperfilms, where he is partners with Amanda Conner, Justin Gray, Frank Tieri and Paul Mounts.

Has created and co-created numerous series and characters including: The New West, The Monolith, 21 Down, The Resistance, The Pro, Gatecrasher, Beautiful Killer, Ash, Cloudburst, Trigger Girl 6, Thrill Seeker, Queen Crab, Weapon of God, Sex and Violence, Denver, Creator Owned Heroes and Painkiller Jane, which was turned into a SyFy original TV series starring Kristanna Loken and recently optioned for the movie screen.

With PaperFilms co-founder Amanda Conner, they are currently working on the highly received Harley Quinn and Starfire series for DC Comics. Garnering national attention and sales results, the team continues to receive accolades for their work on these titles.

He has co-written, with Justin Gray, the DC comic book series Jonah Hex, All-Star Western, GI Combat, Star Spangled War Stories, Power Girl and the digital release Ame-Comi Girls, available digitally at Comixology.com. The pair have worked on the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us for NeatherRealm Studios and DCU vs. Mortal Kombat. At Marvel, Jimmy teamed with Joe Quesada to create the Marvel Knights imprint and usher in a radical change at Marvel Comics still felt to this day. He and Justin Gray were tapped to adapt the award winning novel Wool for an Amazon exclusive digital graphic novel series.

Currently in film development are a number of projects created by Jimmy, which include Just A Pilgrim, The New West, Random Acts of Violence, Monolith and Tempest; as well as well as Painkiller Jane being adapted for film.

AMANDA CONNER:

000_amanda_conner_planet-comiconAmanda Conner started out in comics working on small projects for Marvel and Archie. She had been working as an illustrator for New York ad agencies Kornhauser and Calene and Kidvertisers. She worked on a number of launches and campaigns such as Arm & Hammer, PlaySchool and Nickelodeon, to name a few.

However, loving comic books and cartooning the most, Amanda found herself working for Marvel on their Barbie line (many of Amanda’s covers were made into designs for the line of Barbie toys), Disney line which included the Gargoyles books. At the same time she was illustrating Soul Searchers & Co. for Claypool Comics and worked on other Marvel projects, such as Excalibur for the X-Men line and Suburban Jersey Ninja She-Devils.

During an assignment for Crusade (Tomoe) she and Jimmy Palmiotti became a real team as penciller/inker.

Amanda then moved on to do what is probably one of her best known works. She did several years as penciller on the hit series Vampirella for Harris Comics drafting 24 issues. While illustrating Vampirella, Amanda worked with the top writers in the field including Grant Morrison, Mark Millar and Warren Ellis.

Continuing to expand her horizons, Amanda illustrated the best-selling crossover Painkiller Jane vs. the Darkness, and went on to work on Painkiller Jane #0 (the origin book). She also wrote and illustrated a story for Kid Death and Fluffy.

Since then, Amanda has moved on and has worked on many of the top titles in comics such as Lois Lane, Codename: Knockout, and Birds of Prey for D.C. Comics Vertigo line, X-Men Unlimited for Marvel, co-created Gatecrasher for Blackbull Comics, and The Pro, an Eisner nominated creator owned book for Image Comics with Jimmy Palmiotti and Garth Ennis.

Amanda, together with artist/inker/writer Jimmy Palmiotti and writer Justin Gray work together via Paperfilms; a multimedia entertainment studio, engaged in screenwriting, art production and multimedia development.

She continuously produces cover work for Marvel Comics, DC Comics and an assortment of independent titles.

Amanda’s work can also be seen outside the comic book community in such places as ABC’S Nightline, the New York Times, Mad Magazine, the syfy series Stan Lee’s So You Want to be a Superhero. For the upcoming Disney Underdog movie doing character designs for film and television. Amanda did character designs for the Los Angeles Avengers stadium football team and is featured in a Biography magazine commercial on A&E. Amanda does spot illustrations in Revolver magazine each month and has had a huge success with the JSA Power Girl miniseries in previous years. Each issue went into 3rd printings.

For more information about the 2017 show, event photos, interviews and more, “Like” Planet Comicon on Facebook and follow @PlanetComicon on Twitter. Planet Comicon Kansas City is always available online at www.planetcomicon.com.

Baltimore Comic-Con 2017 Tickets Now On-Sale

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Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased to present our fans with an early holiday gift — tickets will be on sale from Black Friday to Christmas at a discount rate for next year’s show, taking place the weekend of September 22-24, 2017 at the Baltimore Convention Center in downtown Baltimore.

Tickets that are now on sale include:
  • Weekend
  • Friday only
  • Saturday only
  • Sunday only
  • VIP*

As always, children 10 and under are free for general admission with a paid adult general admission!

* VIP packages are a separate purchase from General Admission tickets (which will be required to participate in any VIP offerings). VIP ticket holders receive exclusive early admission to all three days of the show, as well as a gift package that includes a show t-shirt, the 2017 Baltimore Comic-Con yearbook, and more!

“Every year, we get asked if we can provide tickets early enough for holiday gifts or Valentine’s Day gifts or birthday gifts, but we have been unable to make that happen… until now!” said Marc Nathan, show promoter for the Baltimore Comic-Con. “We’re thrilled to announce that, through the holiday weekend, tickets are available for our 2017 event at a discounted rate and, if you’ve peeked at our website, you know our our guest list is already growing with some great new and returning guests, CGC is with us again to do on-site grading, and we began selling our 2017 show floor space to exhibitors and retailers before last year’s show even ended.”

First guests include: Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), Reilly Brown (Slapstick), Mark Buckingham (Everafter: From the Pages of Fables), Dave Bullock (The Rocketeer at War), Jim Calafiore (Surviving Megalopolis), Howard Chaykin (Midnight of the Soul); Frank Cho (Skybourne), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn), Todd Dezago (The Perhapanauts), David Finch (Batman), Meredith Finch (Catwoman: Election Night), Ramona Fradon (Convergence: Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman), Michael Golden (Doctor Strange), Scott Hanna (Wonder Woman), Dean Haspiel (Dark Horse Presents), Klaus Janson (Dark Knight III: The Master Race), Kazu Kibuishi (Harry Potter covers), Matt Kindt (Ninjak), Sharlene Kindt (Dept. H), Tom King (Batman), Barry Kitson (Avengers), Hope Larson (Batgirl), David Marquez (Civil War II), Mike McKone (Old Man Logan), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Mark Morales (Deathstroke), Greg Pak (The Totally Awesome Hulk), Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn), Paul Pelletier (Cyborg), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Revolution), Tom Raney (Invincible Iron Man), Don Rosa (Donald Duck), Craig Rousseau (The Perhapanauts), Andy Runton (Owly), Julie Fujii Sakai (Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz); Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo); Stuart Sayger (Krampus: Shadow of Saint Nicholas), Louise Simonson (Faith); Walter Simonson (Ragnarok); Rob Stull (Executive Assistant: Orchid), Peter Tomasi (Superman), Billy Tucci (Shi), James Tynion IV (Detective Comics), Ethan Van Sciver (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps), Mark Waid (Avengers), Renee Witterstaetter (Joe Jusko: Maelstrom), and Rich Woodall (Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl).

Visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/ for more information and to purchase your advanced tickets!

NH – Halloween ComicFest 2016

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Artist Craig Rousseau, Chrissie Zullo, Christopher Uminga, Ransom Getty, Amanda Dufresne, and Scott C. Hamilton appear at Merrymac Games and Comics on Saturday October 29th from 11:00 AM till 5:00 PM to celebrate Halloween ComicFest 2016!

Merrymac Games and Comics
550 DW Highway, Merrimack, NH 03054
(603) 420-8161

DragonCon 2016 Con Report (Including a Sort-of Interview with Nolan North)!

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Have fun, but not so much it’ll land you in Erewhon.

Now have a look at these pix from DragonCon 2016 . . .

Alucard will deal with this photo bomber later.

Alucard will deal with this photo bomber later.

You should see my sonic screwdriver . . .

You should see my sonic screwdriver . . .

He may be deaf, but he can hear the crowd cheering.

He may be deaf, but he can hear the crowd cheering.

When Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool . . .

When Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool . . .

DragonCon . . . where memes come to life.

DragonCon . . . where memes come to life.

This guy is Dumbledorable!

This guy is Dumbledorable!

Don't PokemonGO. Just go.

Don’t PokemonGO. Just go.

I found out where Nightcrawler has been hiding.

I found out where Nightcrawler has been hiding.

Screw the Joker. It's Ivy time!

Screw the Joker. It’s Ivy time!

To get this picture, I had to chase her down like Kinnosuke Kuzuhara. Except I actually succeeded.

To get this picture, I had to chase her down like Kinnosuke Kuzuhara. Except I actually succeeded.

And here we see . . . the typical Facebook user.

And here we see . . . the typical Facebook user.

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today . . .

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today . . .

When in doubt, follow a Sailor Scout.

When in doubt, follow a Sailor Scout.

The game . . . it's following me.

The game . . . it’s following me.

Walk toward the light!

Walk toward the light!

Me too, Deadpool. Me too.

Me too, Deadpool. Me too.

Is anime real?

Is anime real?

So this guy came up to me and just said "Shhhhh if anyone asks, Spiderman did it." And then sprayed silly string on my phone.

So this guy came up to me and just said “Shhhhh if anyone asks, Spiderman did it.” And then sprayed silly string on my phone.

"It's not a phase, Mom!"

“It’s not a phase, Mom!”

DC Entertainment Announces Signing Schedule at NYCC 2016

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Press Release:

New York Comic Con (NYCC) is always one of the best ways for fans to meet the talented list of writers and artists behind DC and Vertigo’s most popular stories for meet-and-greets and signings.

This year’s booth (South Concourse, Booth #4002) will feature some of the fans’ favorite REBIRTH talent including Tom King and David Finch (BATMAN), Steve Orlando (SUPERGIRL), Christopher Priest (DEATHSTROKE) and DC Publisher Jim Lee (SUICIDE SQUAD), among many, many others. Already a smash hit with comic book die-hards and novices alike, the curator of DC’s Young Animal imprint, Gerard Way, will be signing copies of DOOM PATROL with artist Nick Derington.

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Amazon Princess just a few weeks after NYCC on Oct. 21, a number of past and present Wonder Woman talent will be on-hand for signings including, WONDER WOMAN Writer Greg Rucka, WONDER WOMAN: THE TRUE AMAZON Writer and Artist Jill Thompson, as well as legendary Wonder Woman Artist José Luis García-López.

Highlights from this year’s signing schedule include:

Thursday, October 6th
11am-12:00pm: Brenden Fletcher
11:30am-12:30pm: Amy Chu, Clay Mann
12:30-1:30pm: Marc Andreyko, Cat Staggs
1:30-2:30pm: Jill Thompson
3:00-4:00pm: Peter Tomasi, Doug Mahnke
3:30-4:30pm: Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo
4-5:00pm: Joshua Williamson, Ed Benes
4:30-5:30pm: Scott Snyder*, Rafael Albuquerque*
5 -6pm: Shea Fontana
5:30-6:30pm: Jim Lee*, Alex Sinclair
6-7:00pm: Steve Orlando, Phil Jimenez

Friday, October 7th
10:30-11am: José Luis García-López, Paul Levitz
11:am-12pm: Brian Azzarello, Klaus Janson
11:30am-12:30pm: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Yanick Paquette
2-3pm: Tom King*, David Finch*
3-4pm: Christopher Priest, Paolo Pantalena
4-5pm: Greg Rucka
4:30-5:30pm: Jim Lee*, Alex Sinclair
5:30-6:30pm: Scott Snyder*, John Romita, Jr.*

Saturday, October 8th
11am-12pm: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Yanick Paquette
12:30-1:30pm: Steve Orlando, Clay Mann
12pm: Christopher Priest, Paolo Pantalena
3-4pm: Gerard Way*, Nick Derington, Marley Zarcone
3:30-4:30pm: Shea Fontana
4:30-5:30pm: Brian Azzarello, Klaus Janson
5:30-6:30pm: Scott Snyder*, Greg Capullo*

Sunday, October 9th
10:30-11:30am: Brenden Fletcher, Lee Weeks
11-12:00pm: Shea Fontana
1-2pm: Tom King*, David Finch*
2-3pm: Greg Rucka
3:30-4:30pm: José Luis García-López
4-5pm: Jill Thompson

Download the new DC All Access mobile app for a complete list of panels and talent signings, behind-the-scenes coverage and in-depth interviews directly from DC’s web series, “DC All Access.” The app is available for free at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Massive Comic Con Announces 2017 Dates & First Guests

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Press Release:

The MASSive Comic Con returns to the DCU Center in Worcester, MA on Saturday June 24th & Sunday 25th in 2017 for more comic book and pop culture fun! The first featured guests to be announced are Harley Quinn co-writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti!

Amanda Conner’s body of work as both an artist and writer includes Power Girl, The Pro, Red Sonja, Starfire, and Painkiller Jane to name just a few!

Jimmy Palmiotti is a writer, penciler, inker, and editor. Pretty much an all around guy! Notable works include Jonah Hex, Harley Quinn, Star Spangled War Stories, Daredevil, and Power Girl.

Attendees can expect a wide assortment of comic book and collectible vendors and artists, special guest artists and celebrities, interactive panels, kids con, after hours events, cosplay groups, movie cars and much more!

RSVP on Facebook!

Watch our Facebook Page and www.massivecomiccon.com for updates!

Kent State’s Wonder Woman Symposium

September 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Comic Books, Convention News, Ohio, Top Stories

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Press Release:

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the comic book super heroine Wonder Woman in 2016, Kent State University and the Cleveland Public Library will partner to celebrate the intersections of public literacy, comics, and feminism in a jointly sponsored symposium. The 2016 Wonder Woman Symposium partners two powerful public institutions in Northeast Ohio, taking up the historical trends that have changed the world of comics, American popular culture, and feminism. Centering on the figure of Wonder Woman and her heirs, this symposium will feature plenary addresses by major creators in the industry and historians of the comics world, and workshops by comics creators on creating graphic narratives and comics. This forum seeks to highlight both regional and national talent. Our celebration of Wonder Woman’s anniversary pays respect to “herstory” while recognizing her perpetual relevance to our present day, and beyond.

This conference is made possible, in part, by the Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this conference do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

FULL SCHEDULE:

THURSDAY, SEPT. 22, 2016

Cleveland Public Library, Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium, 325 Superior Ave, Cleveland OH 44114

6:00-7:30pm

  • Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (via skype), Creative team of Harley Quinn, Starfire, and Harley Quinn and Power Girl
  • Phil Jimenez, Writer/Artist of Wonder Woman and Superwoman, and artist of Astonishing X-Men, New X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man and The Invisibles

Carol & John’s Comic Book Shop, 17462 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44111

8:00-10:00pm- Artist and Author Book Signing with Phil Jimenez, Cameron Stewart and other comics creators

FRIDAY, SEPT. 23, 2016

Cleveland Public Library, Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium, 325 Superior Ave, Cleveland OH 44114

3:00-4:45pm

  • Joan Ormrod, Co-editor of the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics and co-editor of Superheroes and Identities
  • Cameron Stewart, Writer/Artist of Batgirl, Motor Crush and artist of Batman and Robin and Fight Club 2

5:00-6:00pm- Trina Robbins,  Author of The Great Women Superheroes, Wonder Woman, and editor of Babes in Arms and The Complete Wimmen’s Comix

6:00-6:45pm- Roundtable Discussion with Presenters

SATURDAY, SEPT. 24, 2016

Cleveland Public Library, Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium, 325 Superior Ave, Cleveland OH 44114

9:00-9:30am- Coffee provided by Rising Star

9:30-10:45am- Genevieve Valentine, Author of Catwoman, Xena: Warrior Princess and the novels The Girls at the Kingfisher Club and Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

11:00am-12:15pm- Carol Tilley, Author of “Seducing the Innocent: Fredric Wertham and the Falsifications That Helped Condemn Comics” and a Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards Judge

12:15-2:00pm- Lunch and Wonder Woman Record Breaking Event (at the Eastman Garden)

2:00-3:15pm- Laura Siegel, Daughter of Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman. A former correspondent for CNN, she has won over 100 awards including 13 Emmys and 8 New York Festival Awards

3:30-4:45pm- Peter Coogan, Director of the Institute for Comics Studies and author of Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre and co-editor of What is a Superhero?

5:00-5:45pm- Roundtable Discussion with Presenters

6:00-6:45pm- Meet and Greet with Presenters

CA – Batman: Dark Night Signing

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Writer Paul Dini (Co-Creator of Harley Quinn, Producer and writer of the Batman: The Animated Series) presents and signs Dark Night: A True Batman Story at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 7:00 PM to celebrate BATMAN DAY!

(NOTE: This is a wristbanded event.)

RSVP on Facebook!

Barnes & Noble – The Grove
189 The Grove Dr, Ste K 30, Los Angeles, California 90036
(323) 525-0270

NV – Harley Quinn Signings

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DC’s Harley Quinn artist Chad Hardin will be in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 27th, appearing at the Palms Casino Resort. But if you are unable to attend Saturday, don’t worry as Chad will be appearing and signing comics on Sunday, August 28th at both Celestial Comics (from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM) and Vegas Comics (from 3:30 – 6:00 PM). There will be a nominal signing fee for anything signed. Special COA’s will be available for purchase as well as all books signed will be eligible for grading at an additional cost.

RSVP on Facebook!

Celestial Comics
9440 W Sahara Ave, Ste 170, Las Vegas, Nevada 89117
(702) 222-9883

RSVP on Facebook!

Vegas Comics
8866 South Eastern Ave #103, Las Vegas, Nevada 89123
(702) 750-9399

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