2016 Florida Supercon Con Report (Including an Interview with John Stover)!

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I know many of you are asking: who in the name of J. Jonah Jameson’s sideburns is John Stover? In fact, you have met him before. He introduced me to DragonCon in 2011. In 2014, he was my boon companion in Mouse-town for Spooky Empire. In 2015, we took a break from Florida to stay a few miles from the oldest Baptist church in America (founded in 1638) for Rhode Island Comic Con. This year, over the July 4 weekend, we were back in the Sunshine State for another convention new to me: Florida Supercon

John and I have been tight since eleventh grade, when he transferred to my high school midyear, walked into my Spanish class, and took the only available seat—next to me. Twenty-eight years later, we have seen each other through four divorces (two each), five weddings (I lead 3-2), a knot of children (my 2 step, his 3 bio), the near death of his first son, new jobs, new homes, graduate degrees, and a Playboy bunny ex-girlfriend (his, wouldn’t you know). Spooky Empire and Rhode Island were new to me, and I’m glad I could experience them with John.

Held in Miami, Supercon is the largest comic book, anime, cosplay, sci-fi, fantasy, video gaming & pop culture convention in South Florida, according to Instagram. Over 51,000 people attended in 2015, and it seemed this year’s total would surpass that. Four-day passes had sold out weeks before, and Saturday-only passes were gone by Friday afternoon. Unlike smaller conventions, which tend to be held in hotels, this one was at the Miami Beach Convention Center. I am biased toward hotels for their intimacy (Michaela McPherson discusses this in her Anime Fan Fest article), but except for DragonCon, which is unique, shows of 50,000+ people need the vastness of a convention center.

They need this vastness for, among other things, effective line operation. There were some major celebrities at this convention: William Shatner, Henry Winkler, Ben McKenzie, and some members of the Deadpool cast. Lines were long, but they never felt crowded or unruly. (For line management, it doesn’t get much worse than the George R.R. Martin debacle at ConCarolinas 2014.) I don’t mind the waiting part of being in line. You learn a lot by talking to other attendees. One couple talked about how accessible the mega-celebrities are at San Diego Comic-Con. The year they went, they were waiting to get into a panel when Ian McKellan showed up and started mingling. Another guy said he waited in Stan Lee’s signing line at Mega Con for five hours. Why? Stan was a no-show for the morning session—his M.O., according to the guy.

And sometimes cool things happen in line. Henry Winkler stood in front of his signing table, and he occasionally walked to the end of the line, shaking hands and thanking people for their patience. (Of course, if he didn’t take these breaks, there wouldn’t be such a need for patience.) Once, he stopped to perform a magic trick for a group of kids. John and I went to Henry’s Q&A, which was held in an honest-to-goodness theater next to the convention center. From the moment Henry stepped on stage, he owned it. I had read before that Henry was dyslexic, but I didn’t realize how problematic that was for him. He said that, academically, he was in the bottom 3% of the United States. He can’t spell and isn’t good at math. In high school, he took geometry four times, finally passing with a D.

But he had wanted to act since he was seven years old, and he found a way to do it. How? Tenacity and gratitude: “two words I live by.” Both traits power his lifelong advocacy for literacy and education. “If you have trouble in school,” he said, “it has nothing to do with how smart you are”—good advice from a man who overcame his obstacles. He has a new show coming out on August 23 called Better Late Than Never. He lauded the cast and writing of Arrested Development, and of course, he talked about being the Fonz, whom he based on Sylvester Stallone’s character from Lords of Flatbush. “One of the things I brought to the Fonz,” he said, “was loyalty to my friends,” which was why Fonz was always watching out for Richie, Ralph, and Potsie. Fonz was the anti-bully, at a time when bullying was becoming an epidemic. And when someone asked him about working with the late Robin Williams on Happy Days, he gushed for five minutes about Williams’s brilliance. The next person asked about Ron Howard and got this response: “Ron Howard looks like a loaf of Wonder Bread.” He didn’t say “Ayyyyyy” after that line, but it was implied.

The Fonz signs something for me. Whoa!

The Fonz signs something for me. Whoa!

What else can I tell you about Supercon? Actually, I’ll let John Stover tell you in his words. John and I have been to a lot of conventions together, and he tends to give thoughtful feedback on things.

Me: Tell me about a couple of the panels you attended.

John: Okay. I attended a tap dance show which was based on video games such as The Legend of Zelda. Link was the lead, and there were about 6-7 other tap dancers.

Me: Were they children performers?

John: No, I’d say late teens or early 20s. It was set to music inspired by video games. I watched about 15 minutes of the hour and decided that was enough. Then I went to watch a short film which was part of the short film festival. It was okay. You know how those are. Some of them are good, some are mediocre.

Me: The one I watched with you, Attack of the Killer Donuts, was worse than mediocre.

John: Cheesiness.

Me: Thirty minutes of my life I won’t get back.

John: I stuck my head into one session that had something to do with light saber technology [actual title: The Lightsaber Combat Global Movement and How to Participate]. That was a little over my head.

Me: It turned up the nerd factor. That’s like the people who teach themselves to speak Klingon or Elvish. They are immersed.

John: Yes. That is one reason why I liked this convention more than any of the others we’ve attended. I like the breakout sessions. Those to me give it a more local feel. They are organized by local fans, and I feel like there is more enthusiasm and more energy in the convention when that happens.

Me: As opposed to, say, Wizard World conventions, which are more commercial.

John: Yes. This is not a bunch of experts. It’s local fans volunteering their time for the thing they love.

Me: So you would recommend Florida Supercon?

John: Yes!

Me: What does someone need to know before coming here?

John: Don’t be a fuddy-duddy. At least buy a nerd-related T-shirt at Target or something. We made that mistake for the first few years. I was looking this weekend at all the people not dressed up or even wearing a T-shirt, and I thought, get some enthusiasm. I would also recommend wearing comfortable shoes. But that’s what I liked about the panels. Whenever you get tired of walking, just find one that interests you or that you want to learn about.

Me: I liked the eating choices. Often, in conventions held in a convention center, there is only one restaurant, the convention center snack bar. This one had several food courts with Papa John’s Pizza, a Chinese place, a taco place, a French place, gyros, barbecue. There were lots of options for dining—all overpriced but lots of options.

John: The biggest food court could have had more tables, though. Did you see that?

Me: Yeah. It had a huge open floor with nothing on it where they could have put in more tables.

John: I liked how, at the photo op area, there was a schedule of all the photo ops for each day with prices. There was a big screen monitor with a spreadsheet listing them all. Too often, it is hard to know when the photo ops are scheduled and how much they cost. It might be printed in the program, but then you have to dig that out and flip through it. Here, the information was right up on the screen, so I appreciated the organization.

The whole convention was well organized, in fact. I saw few signs rescheduling things, and as far as I know, only three guests cancelled: Jerry Lawler, Karl Urban, and Arthur Darvill. I liked the extended dealer room hours: until 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday. And the cosplays were among the best I’ve seen. I guess my only disappointment was the schedule on the web site, which was not a single printable sheet. Each day had its own web site page. There was a convention app, but my antediluvian Android is not app-friendly, meaning I had to rely on the web site—not good for a place where 50,000+ were soaking up the Wi-Fi.

I agree with John: Florida Supercon is terrific, well-organized and fun. Despite its size, it is not unwieldy. We’ve all attended conventions that were too much for their staff, but this is not one of them. Check out the pix below for more fun!

I see the Scarecrow, but I don't think either of the other two is Mrs. King.

I see the Scarecrow, but I don’t think either of the other two is Mrs. King.

 

The site of wonderful cosplayers fills you with determination.

The site of wonderful cosplayers fills me with determination.

 

Now that's a good idea: homemade wings to fly to the front of autograph lines.

Now that’s a good idea: homemade wings to fly to the front of autograph lines.

 

I see Link, so I guess that means he isn't missing.

I see Link, so I guess that means he isn’t missing.

 

You, robot.

You, robot.

 

John and Lady D sittin' in a tree, K-I-L-L-I-N-G.

John and Lady Deadpool sittin’ in a tree, K-I-L-L-I-N-G.

 

Springfield awaits!

Springfield awaits!

 

If I leave John alone too long, he ends up with some unsavory characters.

If I leave John alone too long, he ends up with some unsavory characters.

 

Greg Capullo signs a book for me.

Greg Capullo signs a book for me.

 

Why is no one in this guy's autograph line?

Why is no one in this guy’s autograph line?

 

Cool tats, bro.

Cool tats, bro.

 

Best. Cosplay. Ever.

Best. Cosplay. Ever. The frame is PVC pipe, the wheels are spray foam, and the seat is an overturned mop bucket with wheels on it.

CA – Here’s Hank Signing

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Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver appear at Barnes & Noble on Sunday, April 24th at noon!

Press Release:

Hank is a kid who doesn’t try to be funny, but somehow always manages to make the other kids laugh. He’s pretty bad at memorizing stuff, and spelling is his worst subject (but so are math and reading!)

Actor, director and producer Henry Winkler, perhaps best known for his role as The Fonz on Happy Days, has been entertaining audiences for thirty years. Henry is also the bestselling co-author, with Lin Oliver, of the popular children’s book series Hank Zipzer, which chronicles the hilarious adventures of a boy struggling to make it through 4th grade.Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver are passionate about connecting with kids and encouraging them to succeed. Winkler’s own challenges with learning – the diagnosis of dyslexia came when he was 30 – led
him to send this message to children coping with their own learning difficulties: “No matter how you learn, it has nothing to do with your brilliance. You have greatness inside of you.” Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver are passionate about connecting with kids and encouraging them to succeed.

This is a wristbanded event.

A wristband will be issued to customers who purchase Here’s Hank: You Can’t Drink Meatballs through a Straw” at Barnes & Noble at The Grove beginning April 24th at 9am

· Limit 1 wristband per book
· Books can be personalized
· Photos from the line only. No posed Photos
· Henry Winkler will only be signing Here’s Hank Books
· No memorabilia please

For more information contact Barnes & Noble at The Grove at (323) 525-0270

RSVP on Facebook!

Barnes & Noble – The Grove
189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 525-0270

NY – Here’s Hank Signing

00000000-hereshank7Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver appear at Book Revue on Sunday, March 13th, 2016 at 1:00 PM!

Press Release:

The star of Happy Days and Arrested Development Henry Winkler and New York Times bestselling author Lin Oliver will be speaking and signing their new book, Here’s Hank: You Can’t Drink A Meatball Through a Straw.

Find out what Hank cooks up in the seventh book of the series!

Hank is nothing like his cousin Judith Ann. When she comes to stay with the Zipzer family while taking part in a junior chef competition, she gives off an air of perfection. She’s an excellent cook, and doesn’t let Hank forget it, either. But when Hank enters the competition, too, he finds out that he and Judith Ann have more in common than he thinks—and it’s not cooking!

IMPORTANT!
All books signed at Book Revue events must be purchased at Book Revue. If you purchase the book prior to the event please save your receipt. If you have purchased the book from somewhere else you can still get your book signed, we just ask that you make a purchase in our store of equal or greater value to that of the book.

Book Revue
313 New York Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743
631-271-1442

NYC – Here’s Hank Signing

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Legendary actor and director Henry Winkler is joined by partner Lin Oliver to present Fake Snakes and Weird Wizards, the very funny fourth installment of the ‘Here’s Hank’ series on Sunday February 8, 2015 at 5:00 PM. This event will be wristbanded; please call the store for more details.

Barnes & Noble
150 East 86th Street, New York, NY 10028
212-369-2180

Mad Monster Party Charlotte 2014 Con Report!

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Tom Savini & Katie Bearden. Photo courtesy of Long Walk Productions.

Tom Savini & Katie Bearden. Photo courtesy of Long Walk Productions.

 

The Mad Monster Party returned to Charlotte this weekend, March 21-23, 2014, by far their biggest effort yet. This was the third year for the convention that celebrates everything from old school Twilight Zone to A House of 1,000 Corpses, and everything in between. In fact, where else could you find Leatherface himself, RA Mihailoff reciting the Bard with Shakespeare Carolina, while music legends The Misfits looked on? It was truly a bizarre weekend.

I had the great fortune to be invited by local independent film makers, Long Walk Productions, to hang with them at their vendor booth for the convention. This meant that my time was split between working the Con and also enjoying it from a visitor’s perspective. It’s interesting to see things from both sides of the house, especially if you want a clear impression of what is really going on around you. It’s always a good thing, unless of course you are reviewing a restaurant. In that case, I assure you…stay out of the kitchen.

The Mad Monster Party (MMP) was set up between two large ballrooms at the University Place Hilton in Charlotte. The hotel is situated by a small lake, amongst many shops and restaurants all connected by small footbridge. Parking was a little tricky, but almost always is at events such as these. MMP utilized every bit of space that they could, lining the hallways of the hotel with various vendor booths and installing a gala tent in the parking lot. Everywhere you turned, strange collectibles and stars of the macabre awaited. Upon set up Friday, it seemed as though everything was planned to perfection. Little did I know how busy things were in the lobby with people trying to get through Will Call with their pre-paid ticket receipts.

And then, of course, came Saturday. Saturdays are notorious for being the busiest convention day because that’s when most people are able to attend. It became evident quickly that the volunteer staff was not prepared to handle the situation. Social media began to explode with posts citing excessively long lines and ticketing issues among other things. Television and film star John Schneider, who was there to do a special screening of his new film Smothered, remained positive as he told me, “We had a good turnout [for the screening] but I wouldn’t do it on a Friday night again, because I’ve had a bunch of people say that they couldn’t get in last night because in order to see Smothered, they had to get in here first. And the line was too long, so by the time they got their ticket, Smothered was either already started or over.” Aside from that snafu, Schneider seemed rather pleased with the rest of MMP.

That seemed to be the consensus all around. Nightmare on Elm Street’s Heather Langenkamp, commenting on the amount of people waiting in line to meet her,  “It’s something like I have never experienced.” For the most part, vendors and celebrities were easily accessible, with no more than a 10 minute wait at any given time. But as Saturday progressed, maneuverability waned. Table lines grew wildly, specifically for William Shatner, Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson, and Corey Feldman. Traffic flow to the tables was not designated prior, so fans were coming at them from all sides. It was a complete cluster. Finally, someone had the sense to put some silver duct tape on the floor in front of Elvira’s table to split the flow of traffic in either direction. Feldman told me, “I think it’s [MMP] great, you know. It’s probably the biggest one I’ve seen outside of [San Diego] Comic Con, that would be my guess.

Joe Moe, one of the three event organizers, was on hand throughout the weekend, talking to vendors, guests, and overseeing things first hand. I witnessed him assess a pedestrian traffic jam and quickly remedy the situation by addressing volunteer staff and guests. Having been on the working side of conventions before, I know how overwhelming things can become. Moe, always with a smile on his face, took it all in stride. “We’re having some growing pains, yes. Ballpark, it looks like we’re on track with 4-5,ooo in attendance, which is what we had hoped for.” Moe also made sure to respond to comments on social media outlets throughout the weekend, which were not always positive, and address concerns in the best way that he could. “We’re really responsive to fans.”

Many of those fans had some downright horrible things to say in their posts. This is the first time that I have seen that level of response to a convention. Sure, I had issues with the event. For starters, the power went off twice in the ballroom leaving everyone in the dark for a few moments. The A/C was all but non-existent. There wasn’t enough signage or a proper map laid out in their pamphlets to let guests know which celebs were in which ballroom, or to provide the location of any special panels (the tent in the parking lot, in case you were wondering). One of the actors, I won’t name names, bumped into me at a water cooler. “I ain’t seen a staff member in hours.” He’d had to abandon his autograph table in order to get a drink of water because volunteers all but disappeared the more chaotic the crowd became. There were so many things that I witnessed–again, as both vendor and guest–that I would have done differently.

Certainly, there were cases where the venting was called for. If I’d pre-purchased tickets and still been subjected to a 3.5hr line to hand in the receipt, I would have been pissed! If my car had been lost by the valet (yes, that happened) the whole world would have known about it. But, the majority of the complaints were, in my opinion, blown out of proportion. I don’t know anything about this Joe Moe or his colleagues. But what I do know, is that someone who is a fanboy at heart, got the idea to start a convention. A party by the fans for the fans. For everything that was wrong, so much of the weekend was right. Even Disney World gave me a headache (fast-pass my behind). But it was still one of the greatest vacations of my life.

That being said, let’s consider the rest of MMP, shall we? One minute I’m discussing special effects make-up with the great Tom Savini, and the next, I’m cracking jokes with the likes of Richard Kiel and Dick Miller. There was a panel between WWF (yeah…I said it) legends Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan. Henry “the Fonz” Winkler was showing off children’s books. Cherie Currie was chatting me up on the history of rock legends the Runaways. Corey Feldman used my cell phone. Megan Grant, a licensed cosmetologist and entrepreneur, was set up with her Get Dead Crew, providing air-brush and prosthetics to people, literally turning them into monsters on site. There was karaoke in the hotel bar Saturday night. I laid down the boogie and played that funky music til they died. Or at least until the Misfits’ Dr. Chud cracked up laughing at me. The highlight of my weekend at MMP was Saturday night at midnight, when an estimated 1,000 guests piled into the gala tent to watch a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, featuring a spectacular shadow-cast troupe called That Type from Charlotte’s Cinebarre, and featuring the film’s stars Barry Bostwick, Patricia Quinn and “Little” Nell Campbell. RHPS historian, Larry Vizel was on hand to film and conduct interviews for the upcoming 40th anniversary documentary Rocky Horror Saved My Life. It was an historical evening. In her second year attending with her family, Roseana Matthews found a “Golden Ticket” in the “Monsta Bar” she had purchased. The chocolates were a monster mock up of the famous Wonka Bar, with 6 lucky winners being upgraded to RIP status.

I guess the point that I’m trying to make, is that people need to lighten up. Unless something truly horrible happened to you or someone you care about as a direct result of something at a convention, you’re problem isn’t as big as you’re making it out to be. MMP is, as Moe said, experiencing growing pains. In 3 short years, the event has grown exponentially. Given their celebrity guest list, perhaps they should have considered a different venue. This is an event that is convention center worthy, crammed into a hotel. In order to make up for the overcrowding (which, according to local news, had the attention of the Fire Marshall), organizers will need to carefully consider where they set up next year. Or at least, reconsider the amount of vendors in the halls (many in wheelchairs had difficulties navigating) or alter the layout. Volunteer staff could be better trained. But this is how it is done, honestly, trial and error. As an event organizer, you try to prepare for every possible scenario you can imagine and you train your staff based on that. Without fail, something unexpected will always crop up; being short handed, celebs that cancel, ticketing issues, photo-op issues, and so forth. Conventions should be looked at as viable organisms, growing and changing and evolving. They will never be able to please all fans all the time. But they will certainly try. Year to year, they’ll try.

And it’s important for MMP to learn from their mistakes and move forward a little more prepared next year. For every celebrity guest I interviewed raved about how much fun they were having and how they couldn’t wait to come back. Celebrating all that scares us excites our film heroes, too. “Your first scare is the most important one you have,” said Langenkamp, admitting that the Flying Monkeys from the Wizard of Oz is what started it all for her. Dick Miller laughed, “I’ve very rarely been scared by movies…except for something Shirley Temple did.” Barry Bostwick had other ideas, “You wanna know why I do this? I do this to talk to lovely people like you and to oogle the girls. I just sit here and watch the girls go by.” Thanks, Barry.

All in all, in spite of a few hiccups–some preventable, some not–I think Mad Monster Party was a huge success. It is a relaxed environment where you get to hang out with the celebrities, rather than being separated from them like at some other conventions. Between the few panels that they had, the movie screenings, and the Rocky Horror reunion, it was definitely worth the ticket price for anyone who attended. Even though I did my fair share of mumbling and complaining throughout the weekend, I will admit, as a fan I am grateful an event such as this has been put together. I hope that, in time, other fans will learn to appreciate what all goes into putting on an event of this size and what they got to experience over all. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings for the Mad Monster Party!

Photos courtesy of Garrett Marks and Walker Bait Productions, unless otherwise noted.

Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson.

Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson.

RA Mihailoff (Leatherface) reciting with Shakespeare Carolina and Long Walk Productions.

RA Mihailoff (Leatherface) reciting with Shakespeare Carolina and Long Walk Productions.

Patricia Quinn chatting with the Carolina Ghostbusters.

Patricia Quinn chatting with the Carolina Ghostbusters.

Barry Bostwick.

Barry Bostwick.

Joking around with Richard Kiel.

Joking around with Richard Kiel.

Setting up in one of the MMP ballrooms.

Setting up in one of the MMP ballrooms.

Tom Felton and Henry Winkler Added to Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con 2013

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Tom Felton

Press Release:

Tom Felton, Henry Winkler Added To Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con Celebrity Roster, March 22-23-24

‘Draco Malfoy’ From ‘Harry Potter’ Joins ‘Happy Days’ Actor, Successful Producer, Director As Additions To Inaugural Event At America’s Center; Stan Lee, Laurie Holden, Billy Dee Williams, WWE® Superstar Randy Orton®, Superstar Comics Creators Also Headlining

NEW YORK and ST. LOUIS, February 20, 2013 – Tom Felton, best known for his portrayal of “Draco Malfoy” in the Harry Potter series, and Henry Winkler, who first became a pop culture icon as “The Fonz” in the classic TV series “Happy Days,” have been added to the standout celebrity roster at the inaugural 2013 Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, March 22-24 at America’s Center.  The two join previously announced guests Stan Lee, Laurie Holden, Billy Dee Williams, WWE® Superstar Randy Orton®, James Marsters and Dean Cain among the headliners.

Felton, who began filming commercials at age eight and auditioned for the Malfoy role at age 12, appeared as the increasingly prominent villainous character in all eight films based on J.K. Rowlings’ blockbuster fantasy series, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001 through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.  He also appeared as “Dodge Landon” in Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011.

After taking the entertainment world by storm in his breakout role as “Fonzie” in the popular sitcom “Happy Days” (1974-84), Winkler established himself as an award-winning producer and director, mixing in a few well-placed acting roles like Scream, Waterboy and last year’s Here Comes the Boom along the way.  After achieving success as “Fonzie,” originally written as a minor character but which soon earned him billing alongside other series stars Ron Howard and Tom Bosley, Winkler quickly transitioned to produce the successful television series “MacGyver” and direct the film Memories of Me, among dozens of off-screen credits over the past four decades.

Felton will appear at Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, while Winkler is scheduled to attend all three days.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.  Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con show hours are Friday, March 22, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 24, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more on the 2013 Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-stlouis.html.

About Wizard World:
Wizard World produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

***** SAVE THE 2013-14 DATES *****
February 22-24 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con
March 22-24 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
May 30 – June 2 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
June 28-30 – Wizard World New York City Experience
August 8-11 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 20-22 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
October 18-20 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
November 22-24 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
February 7-9, 2014 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con

Wizard World Portland Comic Con 2013 to Feature The Walking Dead, The Real World: Portland, and More

February 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Comic Books, Convention News, Horror, Oregon, Sports, Television, Top Stories

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Walking Dead Dixon Brothers

Press Release:

‘The Walking Dead,’ Stan Lee Q&A, ‘MTV’s The Real World: Portland Hosted by WWE® Superstar The Miz®,’ Henry Winkler Panels Highlight Programming At Wizard World Portland Comic Con

‘Dean Cain, Morena Baccarin, Other Celebrity Panels, Portfolio Reviews, Creator Q&A’s, James Marsters Concert, Game Demos, Evening Parties, Costume Contests, ‘Kids Day’ at Oregon Convention Center, Feb. 22-24

NEW YORK and PORTLAND, Ore., February 4, 2013 – A wide variety of panels, from sessions with cast members from “MTV’s The Real World,” “The Walking Dead” and The Boondock Saints, to interactive Q&A’s with stars like Henry Winkler, Stan Lee, Dean Cain, Morena Baccarin and others highlight the programming offerings at the inaugural Wizard World Portland Comic Con, Feb. 22-24 at the Oregon Convention Center.  The diverse schedule also includes portfolio reviews by leading artists, gaming demonstrations, “Creator Spotlights,” an evening concert by James Marsters, evening parties, costume contests and more.

On Friday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m., fans can get a preview of the 28th season of “MTV’s The Real World” – right from the cast.  “MTV’s The Real World: Portland Panel Hosted By WWE® Superstar The Miz®” features the seven new “strangers” of The Real World, who are about to stop being polite and start getting real in Portland.  Friday also features a Creator Spotlight with the one and only Gail Simone (4:30), portfolio reviews by Glass House Graphics’ David Campiti (6 p.m.) and the Wizard World Portland Comic Con Kick Off Party (8 p.m., Splash Bar, 904 NW Couch St., Portland).

Saturday starts off strong with Winkler, best known to many fans as “The Fonz” on “Happy Days,” hosting a Q&A (11 a.m.).  Cain (1 p.m.), Lee (2:30 p.m.) James Hong (3 p.m.), Bruce Campbell (4:30) and “The Walking Dead” stars Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker (5:30 p.m.) will also answer fans’ questions in sessions, while creators like Scott Lobdell, Chris Claremont and Kurt Busiek are among the “Creator Spotlights.”  Lee will also conduct two private “meet and greets” (12:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., additional ticket required).  CBS Films presents The Last Exorcism Part II star Ashley Bell for a discussion of the upcoming movie (3:30 p.m.).  And the fun goes on when the sun goes down with the Adult Costume Contest (7 p.m.), After Party (9 p.m., Holocene, 101 SE Morrison St., Portland) and “Ghost of the Robot” concert featuring Marsters (8 p.m.).

Sunday’s full slate includes Q&As with Boondock Saints stars Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco (noon), Morena Baccarin (1 p.m.) and the tandem of Marsters and Juliet Landau (2 p.m.), more thought-provoking creator panels, and a slate of “Kids Day” activities, highlighted by the Kids Costume Contest (2 p.m.) and Green Ranger Power Hour with Jason David Frank (2 p.m.).

Unless noted, programming events take place in the designated General Programming Rooms at the Oregon Convention Center.  Most are included as part of standard Wizard World Portland Comic Con admission; VIP tickets or additional costs may apply to ensure access to select activities, as noted.  Seating for panels is strictly limited and available on a first served basis. Wizard World does not clear panel rooms unless attendee is seated in a section that is marked with a sign at the end of the row reading: “Row Will Be Cleared At The End Of Each Panel.”  Programming subject to change; attendees should check the schedule board on site and the Wizard Cons smartphone app for updates.

A full list of Wizard World Portland programming is below; further details on each at www.wizardworld.com/programming-portland.html (subjects, guests, times and rooms subject to change):

Friday, February 22
4:30 – 5:15pm Creator Spotlight: Gail Simone (Room C124)
5:00 – 5:45pm Building Your Portfolio (Room C120)
5:30 – 6:15pm The Writer, Artist Relationship W/ Kurt Busiek And Carlos Pacheco (Room C124)
6:00 – 7:00pm Portfolio Reviews! w/David Campiti  (Booth 1105/1107)
6:30 – 7:30pm MTV’s The Real World: Portland Panel Hosted By WWE® Superstar The Miz® (Room C124)
7:00 – 7:45pm Unexploded Cow Game Demo (Room C120)
8:00 – 11:00pm Wizard World Drink & Draw (Stir, Convention Center)
8:00 – 2:00am Wizard World Portland Comic Con Kick Off Party (Splash Bar @ 904 NW Couch St.)

Saturday, February 23
11:00 – 11:45am Henry Winkler Q&A (Room C124)
11:00 – 11:45am Creator Spotlight: Scott Lobdell (Room C120)
11:00 – 11:45am Breaking Into Comics (Room B119)
11:30 – 12:15pm Jason David Frank Meet And Greet – Paid Event (Room B119)
12:00 – 12:45pm Vampire Lore And Other Urban Myths And Legends W/Dr. Rebecca Housel (Room C124)
12:00 – 12:45pm Comics For Social Justice: The Making Of Oil And Water (Room C120)
12:00 – 12:45pm Storytelling With Michael Golden: Taking It To The Next Level (Room B119)
12:30 – 1:15pm Stan Lee Meet And Greet – Paid Event (Room C126)
12:30 – 1:15pm Cosplay Panel (Room B114)
1:00 – 1:45pm Dean Cain Q&A (Room C124)
1:00 – 1:45pm Amped: We Are The Robots (Room C120)
1:00 – 2:00pm A Writer’s Life: Making A Living In Comics (Room B119)
2:00 – 2:45pm Jason David Frank: Power Ranger Q&A (Room C124)
2:00 – 2:45pm Creator Spotlight: Chris Claremont (Room C120)
2:00 – 2:45pm Eberron & Beyond (Room B119)
2:30 – 3:30pm Portfolio Reviews! w/David Campiti (Booth 1105/1107)
2:30 – 3:15pm Creator Spotlight: Stan Lee (Room B114)
3:00 – 3:45pm James Hong Q&A (Room C124)
3:00 – 3:45pm Creator Spotlight: Kurt Busiek (Room C120)
3:00 – 3:45pm Illustration Techniques w/Val Mayerik (Room B119)
3:30 – 4:15pm Space Goat Productions Portfolio Review – WWP 2013 (Room C126)
3:30 – 4:15pm CBS Films: The Last Excorcism Part Ii (Room B114)
4:00 – 4:45pm Science Fiction Writers: Imagining Our Future (Room C124)
4:00 – 4:45pm The Artist Life: What Does It Take To Be A Working Artist In The Industry (Room C120)
4:00 – 4:45pm Lettering As Cosmetic Surgery: What To Do When The Art Is In The Way Of The Script w/Tom Orzechowski (Room B119)
4:30 – 5:15pm Bruce Campbell Q&A (Room B114)
5:00 – 5:45pm Serious Comics: Beyond Escapism (Room C120)
5:00 – 5:45pm Developing Fantasy Worlds (Room B119)
5:30 – 6:15pm Stan Lee Meet And Greet 2– Paid Event (Room C126)
5:30 – 6:15pm The Walking Dead Q&A w/Norman Reedus And Michael Rooker (Room B114)
6:00 – 8:00pm Ghosts Underground: The Superstitions Of Ghost Mine Explored (Room C124)
6:00 – 6:45pm Geek Slant (Room C120)
6:00 – 6:45pm Fish Cook Game Demo (Room B119)
7:00 – 9:00pm Wizard World Adult Costume Contest (Room B114)
8:00 – 9:00pm Ghost Of The Robot Concert – Paid Event (Room C120)
9:00pm – 2:00am Wizard World Portland Comic Con After Party (Holocene @ 1001 Se Morrison St.)

Sunday, February 24
11:30 – 12:15 Pm The Bronze Age W/ Mike Grell, Paul Gulacy And Val Mayerik (Room B119)
12:00 – 12:45pm Jason David Frank Meet And Greet – Paid Event (Room B119)
12:00 – 12:45pm Boondocks Saints Q&A (Room C124)
12:00 – 12:45pm Panel To Panel: Hereville And Creating All-Ages Comics (Room C120)
12:30 – 1:15pm Captions & Thought Balloons: What Are They For, Where Did The Go? (Room B119)
1:00 – 1:15pm Space Goat Productions Portfolio Review – WWP 2013 (Room C126)
1:00 – 1:45pm Morena Baccarin Q&A (Room C124)
1:00 – 1:45pm Geekdad/Geekmom: Raising Geek Generation 2.0 (Room C120)
1:30 – 2:15pm Building The Next Superhero (Room B119)
2:00 – 2:45pm James Marsters/Juliet Landau Q&A (Room C124)
2:00 – 2:45pm Wizard World Kids Costume Contest (Room C120)
2:30 – 3:30pm Portfolio Reviews! W/David Campiti (Booth 1105/1107)
2:30 – 3:15pm Basics Of Game Design (Room B119)
3:00 – 4:00pm The Green Power Ranger Power Hour (Room C120)

*Seating for panels is strictly limited and available on a first served basis. each room will be cleared before panels.

Wizard World Portland Comic Con, produced by Wizard World, Inc. (WIZD.PK), will bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.  Admission is free for kids 10 and under, and Sunday, Feb. 24, is “Kids Day,” with an array of programming specially designed for children.

Event hours are Friday, Feb. 22, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb, 24, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more on the 2013 Wizard World Portland Comic Con, visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-portland.html.

About Wizard World:
Wizard World produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

***** SAVE THE 2013-14 DATES *****
February 22-24 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con
March 22-24 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
May 30 – June 2 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
August 8-11 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 20-22 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
October 18-20 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
November 22-24 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
February 7-9, 2014 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con

Steel City Con Announces Henry Winkler and Other Celebrities for December 2011 Show

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Henry Winkler The Fonz

Press Release:

The Steel City Con is very proud to announce that the following guests will be appearing at the upcoming Steel City Con. This is a rare opportunity for you to meet American Icons!

 MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!

HENRY WINKLER – 

The Steel City Con is VERY pleased to announce that HENRY WINKLER will be  attending the December Show! Mr. Winkler is a very accomplished Author, Actor & Director. He has acted on many TV programs as well as many major hit films.     Many of you know him as “THE FONZ” from HAPPY DAYS!  Mr. Winkler has also appeared in many classic films such as Wes Craven’s SCREAM (1996), Adam Sandler’s THE WATERBOYLITTLE NICKY and CLICK. He currently stars i the TV seriesROYAL PAINS.

Mr. Winkler will be signing on ALL 3 DAYS of the show!
Friday  4-8pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 11am – 2pm
SPECIAL SIGNING PRICE:  STEEL CITY CON EXCLUSIVE
Steel City Con Special price of ONLY $25. ( Many were expecting $40 – $60 )
Pre-purchase your 3 Day Pass online now so that you can meet Mr. Winkler before the general public gets in the show! (3 Day Pass holders get in 1/2 hour early on Sat & Sun)

Go To http://www.steelcitycon.com for all the details!

CELEBRITY GUEST LIST:

MARGOT KIDDER- Most of you know Margot  from her role as “Lois Lane” of the SUPERMAN Films with Christopher Reeves.  Margot also starred in The Amityville Horror.    Don’t miss this special signing appearance!

LINDA BLAIR –   This is an EXTREMELY RARE Signing Appearance and we encourage everyone to make plans now to attend the December Steel City Con!  LINDA BLAIR is a GOLDEN GLOBE & PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD winner. She has also been nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD.  Many of you know Linda Blair from her role in the horror film THE EXORCIST. 

DOUG JONES –  Ready to meet THE SILVER SURFER?  Doug Jones has appeared as The Silver Surfer in the recent file THE FANTASTIC FOUR: THE RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER.

Special Note: Mr. Jones signing appearance is being sponsored by the Comic Book Ink.

Visit their web site at http://www.thecomicbookink.com

ERIKA ELENIAK –  Yes, that’s right …. it’s ” Shauni McCain from the hit TV seriesBAYWATCH! Many of you also remember Erika as the high-school girlfriend of Jesse (John Stamos) in FULL HOUSE. Erika’s film credits also include UNDER SIEGEE.T., and THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.

BONNIE PIESSE –  Australian actress and singer/songwriter. Star Wars fans will be happy to meet the “YOUNG AUNT BERU” from STAR WARS! In particular, she appeared in Star Wars Episode II: Attack OF THE CLONES and STAR WARS Episode iii: REVENGE OF THE SITH.
MARK DODSON –   The voice for STAR WARS’ “SALACIOUS CRUMB” / The Voice of STAR WARS’ Ewok’s / The Voice for many of your favorite GREMLINS. Mark has also been involved in DAY OF THE DEAD, WISHMAN and NATURAL BORN KILLERS.

“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN – Former WWE Wrestler. His best known character is that of an American patriot, which sees him use a 2×4 length of wood as a weapon, the battle cry “Hooo!” and the USA Cheer! During his time in WWE he was the oldest active wrestler after Ric Flair retired in 2008.”Hacksaw” Jim Duggan is also the second inductee in the WWE HALL OF FAME Class of 2011.

Special note: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan’s appearance is being sponsored by COLLECTORS REALM

visit their web site at   http://www.collectorsrealm.iwarp.com/

MARIA KANELLIS – Former WWE DIVA!     Maria Kanellis is an actress, singer, TV hostess/personality, former WWE Diva and aspiring fashion designer. She is currently appearing on THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE on NBC. She is releasing her first music album, a 4 song EP, on April 13th, 2010. She is most well-known as a former professional wrestler and personality within World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for the past 5 years !

For details go to http://www.steelcitycon.com 

NYC – The Fonz Signs

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Henry Winkler signs on Wednesday July 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM!

With I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River: Reflections on Family, Fishing, and Photography, the beloved television star offers humorous anecdotes and heartfelt observations he’s collected while honing his skills as a fly fisherman.

Special Instructions
Event space opens at 5:00 pm. Please do not arrive for this event prior to 5:00 pm. Priority seating available with purchase of I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River. Stand-by customers who do not wish to purchase the book will be seated at management’s discretion as space allows.

Barnes & Noble – Union Square
33 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003
212-253-0810

MA – The Fonz Signs

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Henry Winkler signs on June 4th from 3-5pm at Porter Square Books! He will sign his new book I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River: Reflections on Family, Fishing, and Photography 

A veteran of showbiz and television legend, Winkler’s paramount pastime has always been fishing. A novel volume to live by, or at least learn something about dry flies and woolly buggers, I’ve Never Meet an Idiot on the River is Winkler’s collection of everyday wisdom learned from fatherhood, family, and fly-fishing.

Winkler is an actor, producer, director, and author. He is probably best known for his role as the Fonz in the 1970s U.S. television sitcom Happy Days. His fishing exploits have been featured on Fly Fishing the World and he regularly recounts them during his speaking engagements around the country. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Stacey, their three children, and two dogs.

Porter Square Books
25 White Street, Cambridge, MA 02140-1413

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