The exclusive official C2E2 poster has been unveiled featuring the ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY leaping into action against a view of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue at night. The image, created for C2E2 by Declan Shalvey, will be given away at C2E2 events leading up to the Show and local comic book stores in the Midwest area. A signed poster will be included in the VIP packages this year.
The Guardians’ time grounded on Earth has ended, and it’s time for them to head back to the stars! Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot have reunited to keep the galaxy safe from all kinds of extraterrestrial threats. Follow their adventures in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 by all-stars Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder and Ive Svorcina, available in May!
Don’t miss Declan Shalvey at C2E2 2017 on April 21-23! He’ll be hanging out in Artist Alley all weekend long. Other guests include: Alex Maleev, Ale Garza, Amy Chu, Ande Parks, Andy Price, Art Baltazar, Ben Templesmith, Bill Willingham, Bo Hampton, Brian Churilla, Brian Stelfreeze, Brittney Williams, Chip Zdarsky, Chris Sprouse, Dan Jurgens, David Petersen, Dustin Nguyen, Eric Canete, Eric Powell, Erica Henderson, Franco, Frank Miller, Greg Rucka, Ivan Brandon, James Tynion IV, Jamie McKelvie, Jason Aaron, Jason Latour, Jeff Lemire, Jen Bartel, Jenny Frison, Jill Thompson, Jim Cheung, Jody Houser, Joe Eisma, Jordie Bellaire, Joelle Jones, Julie Benson, Katie Cook, Kel McDonald, Kieron Gillen, Larry Stroman, Liam Sharp, Luke Ross, Marcio Takara, Matt Wagner, Mike Perkins, Mirka Andolfo, Neal Adams, Ramon Perez, Rob Liefeld, Ryan Stegman, Scott Hepburn, Scott McDaniel, Shawna Benson, Skottie Young, Steve Orlando, Terry Moore, Tim Seeley, Yanick Paquette, Bill Sienkiewicz, Rick Remender, and more.
For further information go to the website: www.c2e2.com
Rob Liefeld (Youngblood, Deadpool, X-Force) celebrates the 25th anniversary of Extreme Studios at Big Red Comics on Thursday March 30, 2017 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM! Details at the link…
Artists Scheduled to Appear include:
- Jeff Matsuda – Extreme’s New Men/Kaboom – Producer and director of The Batman animated series, Jackie Chan Adventures and Wolverine for Marvel animation.
Dan Fraga – Extreme’s Brigade, Bloodstrike – Senior Producer/Director for Mattel’s Max Steele, Monster High, Ricky Gervais Show
- Andy Park – Extreme’s Avengelyne – Marvel Studios Visual Development Supervisor Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: Civil War, Ant–Man, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
- Shannon Denton – Extreme’s Youngblood, Brigade – Producer of Con Man, writer on Justice League Action, Ben 10, Avengers animated series.
- Chap Yaep – Extreme’s Youngblood, Warchild – Producer/director on Ben 10
- Todd Nauck – Extreme’s New Men– Marvel’s X-Men, Deadpool, DC’s Young Justice
- Marat Mychaels – Extreme’s Brigade– Marvel’s Deadpool Corps.
- Norm Rapmund – Extreme’s Brigade – DC Comics Teen Titans, Flash
- Art Thibert – Extreme’s Brigade – DC Comics Superman, Batman
- Danny Miki – Extreme’s Youngblood, Bloodstrike, – DC Comics Batman.
- Matt Hawkins – Extreme’s Avengelyne – Top Cow’s Think Tank, Postal
- Dan Panosian – Extreme’s Prophet – Marvel’s X-Men, Logan
- Karl Altstaetter – Extreme’s Bloodstrike, – Senior Designer Mattel Toys, Mirror
Big Red Comics
162 N Glassell Street, Orange, CA 92866
Emerald City Comicon hosts a reunion of the Image Comics founders for their 25th anniversary on FRIDAY MARCH 3rd at 1:00 PM with an exclusive signing to follow (details at the link)!
Twenty-five years ago, a group of comics artists looked at the difference between what they were capable of and what they were being given, and left the promise of steady work for new pastures. The result was Image Comics, which has grown from an upstart group to a comics publisher that has changed the course of the industry. Image’s 25th anniversary year begins with this special event, a very rare gathering of original founders Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, and Whilce Portacio, moderated by Robert Kirkman.
Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) is the premier comic book & pop culture convention in the Pacific Northwest. Join us March 2-5, 2017. For tickets and more information please go to the website: www.emeraldcitycomicon.com
On February 1, 1992 seven comics superstars Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino came together to form their own company that would ultimately change the landscape of comics forever. Current partners McFarlane, Valentino, Kirkman, Larsen, and Silvestri collectively have brought creator-owned comics to the forefront of industry change and, after 25 years of amazing storytelling freedom, Image is pleased to celebrate the milestone anniversary with Image Day—Feb. 1, 2017.
Image Comics wouldn’t have succeeded without the tremendous creativity and passion of its creators, the unwavering support of retailers, bookstores, and libraries, or the unbridled and unrelenting enthusiasm of the fans who show up each and every Wednesday to purchase Image titles. On Image Comics Day we celebrate together, nationwide, the exciting legacy that Image’s creator-owned publishing model has cultivated as we prepare for the next 25 years of amazing creator-owned comics to come.
There will be Image Comics promotions, giveaways, creator signings, social media events, and more—don’t miss out on all the festivities and check back to the events pages on imagecomics.com for more information and announcements about Image Comics Day celebrations near you.
Comics retailers are encouraged to jump on board this Image Day, February 1 and will be contacted by Jeff Stang, Director of Specialty Sales, with more information on how to participate.
Join us for the single most anticipated day of the year, as we come together and celebrate the 25th anniversary of Image Comics—but more importantly, the 25 years of true creative freedom and history-making storytelling from the best writers and artists in the world.
Rob Liefeld, creator of Deadpool, Cable, and X-Force, appears at JHU Comic Books on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 from 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM to celebrate the release of the Deadpool film and the Marvel True Believers: Deadpool #1 which reprints New Mutants #98! (Deadpool’s first appearance.) Come through and meet the legendary artist and comics creator!
**Purchase of Marvel True Believers: Deadpool #1 required. No outside items to be signed, please, only in-store stock.
JHU Comic Books MANHATTAN
32 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016
October 6, 2015 by Colin Solan
Filed under Comic Books, Comic Strips, Convention News, Horror, Movies, New York, New York Comic Con, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Television, Video Games, Webcomics
Creator-owned panels, con exclusive variants, signings, and after parties you won’t want to miss
Image Comics would like to welcome fans, retailers, and press to two official NYCC after parties this year. One on Thursday, October 8th at 8 p.m. at Village Pourhouse and a second bowling-themed party to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund on Friday, October 9th at 8 p.m. Full details below.
In celebration of NYCC, Image Comics is pleased to also announce an epic digital sale—get $0.99 digital issues and up to 50% off digital collections of WYTCHES, VOL. 1, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, VOL. 1 and VOL. 2, OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA, VOL. 1, SAGA, VOL. 1-4, SOUTHERN BASTARDS, VOL. 1 and VOL. 2, SEX CRIMINALS, VOL. 1 and VOL. 2, and more at imagecomics.com. The sale ends on Monday, October 12th at 11:59pm PST.
VARIANTS SOLD AT THE IMAGE BOOTH (#1544):
DESCENDER, VOL. 1 hardcover by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, $35
CHRONONAUTS hardcover by Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy, $35
TOKYO GHOST #1 by Rick Remender and Sean Gordon Murphy, $10
AXCEND #1 by Shane Davis and Michelle Delecki, $10
SPREAD #9 (art by Ben Templesmith) by Justin Jordan and Kyle Strahm, $20 (limited to 500)
LEGACY OF LUTHER STRODE #3 by Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore, $10 (limited to 500)
UNDERTOW 8.5 x 11 letterpress print, by Steve Orlando and Artyom Trakhanov, $10
PANELS HOSTED BY IMAGE COMICS:
Thursday, October 8
Location: Room 1A24
Image Comics: Where Creators Own Action
There’s nothing like the thrill of a well-executed action scene, and no other medium can do what comics can. Ivan Brandon’s DRIFTER, Alex de Campi & Carla Speed McNeil’s NO MERCY, Nick Dragotta’s EAST OF WEST, Matt Hawkins’ IXth GENERATION, and Steve Orlando’s VIRGIL all feature some impressive action. Where’s the line between perfect and gratuitous? Is there a line? More importantly, how do you make entertaining action? Ask the experts.
Friday, October 9
Location: Room 1A21
Image Comics: Where Creators Own Worlds
The beauty of comics is that they can transport you to another place, if you’ll let them. The comics of John Arcudi (RUMBLE), Bryan Edward Hill (POSTAL), Marjorie Liu (MONSTRESS), Declan Shalvey (INJECTION), and Jim Zub (WAYWARD) show us worlds as fantastic as any summer blockbuster, but executed so well that they burn themselves into your memory.
Saturday, October 10
Location: Room 1A24
Image Comics: Where Creators Own Reality
What makes a weird idea “real?” Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang (PAPER GIRLS), Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn (ALEX + ADA), and Joe Keatinge & Leila del Duca (SHUTTER) make the fantastic into an everyday affair while never losing sight of the fact that stunning readers is part of the magic of comics. Come see what’s so realistic about high-tech love, dark mysteries, and lion-gangsters.
Sunday, October 11
Location: Room 1A21
Image Comics: Where Creators Own Craft
Comics artists put in a lot of work to get your favorite funny books on your bookshelves. What does it take to be a comics artist? How hard is it to create an aesthetic or find your style? Wes Craig (DEADLY CLASS), Shane Davis (AXCEND), Bob Fingerman (MINIMUM WAGE), Jason Latour (SOUTHERN BASTARDS), Riley Rossmo (RASPUTIN), and Matt Wilson (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE) create some of the best comics around, and have the answers you seek.
SIGNINGS HOSTED AT IMAGE COMICS BOOTH (#1544):
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8
10:00-10:45 AM JOE EISMA
11:00-11:45 AM ROBERT KIRKMAN (wristband required)
12:00-12:45 PM WES CRAIG
12:00-12:45 PM ANTONY JOHNSTON
1:00-1:45 PM FRANK BARBIERE & CHRIS MOONEYHAM
1:00-1:45 PM FABIO MOON & GABRIEL BA
2:00-2:45 PM NICK DRAGOTTA
2:00-2:45 PM IVAN BRANDON
3:00-3:45 PM MATT HAWKINS, BRYAN HILL, AND ISAAC GOODHART (wristband required)
3:00-3:45 PM STEVE ORLANDO
4:00-4:45 PM TIM SEELEY
4:00-4:45 PM JASON SHAWN ALEXANDER
5:00-5:45 PM ED BRISSON
5:00-5:45 PM DECLAN SHALVEY
6:00-6:45 PM ALEX DE CAMPI & CARLA SPEED MCNEIL
6:00-6:45 PM BRANDON MONTCLARE & AMY REEDER
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9
10:00-10:45 AM BRIAN HABERLIN
10:00-10:45 AM PAUL AZACETA (wristband required)
11:00-11:45 AM JIM ZUB & EDWIN HUANG
11:00-11:45 AM MARJORIE LIU
12:00-12:45 PM SCOTT SNYDER (wristband required)
1:00-1:45 PM ROBERT KIRKMAN (wristband required)
2:00-2:45 PM DECLAN SHALVEY
2:00-2:45 PM JOHN ARCUDI & JAMES HARREN
3:00-3:45 PM KIERON GILLEN, JAMIE MCKELVIE, AND MATT WILSON
3:00-3:45 PM JASON LATOUR (wristband required)
4:00-4:45 PM BRIAN K VAUGHAN, CLIFF CHIANG, AND MATT WILSON (wristband required)
5:00-5:45 PM GREG RUCKA (wristband required)
5:00-5:45 PM JAY FAERBER, BRIAN JOINES, ILIAS KYRIAZIS
6:00-6:45 PM BRIAN BUCCELLATO
6:00-6:45 PM JOSHUA WILLIAMSON & ANDREI BRESSAN
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10
10:00-10:45 AM ADAM MCGOVERN
10:00-10:45 AM SEAN GORDON MURPHY (wristband required)
11:00-11:45 AM SCOTT SNYDER (wristband required)
11:00-11:45 AM KYLE HIGGINS & ROD REIS
12:00-12:45 PM ROBERT KIRKMAN (wristband required)
1:00-1:45 PM PAUL AZACETA (wristband required)
1:00-1:45 PM SHAWN MARTINBROUGH
2:00-2:45 PM ANTONY JOHNSTON
2:00-2:45 PM SEAN LEWIS AND BEN MACKEY
3:00-3:45 PM BRIAN K VAUGHAN, CLIFF CHIANG, AND MATT WILSON (wristband required)
4:00-4:45 PM KIERON GILLEN, JAMIE MCKELVIE, AND MATT WILSON (wristband required)
4:00-4:45 PM JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
5:00-5:45 PM SINA GRACE
5:00-5:45 PM NICK DRAGOTTA & FRED VAN LENTE
6:00-6:45 PM JONATHAN LUNA & SARAH VAUGHN
6:00-6:45 PM JOE KEATINGE & LEILA DEL DUCA
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11
10:00-10:45 AM TODD MCFARLANE AND CLAYTON CRAIN (wristband required)
11:00-11:45 AM TODD MCFARLANE AND CLAYTON CRAIN (wristband required)
11:00-11:45 AM RILEY ROSSMO
12:00-12:45 PM JASON LATOUR (wristband required)
12:00-12:45 PM SHANE DAVIS & MICHELLE DELECKI
1:00-1:45 PM JUSTIN JORDAN
1:00-1:45 PM SEAN LEWIS AND BEN MACKEY
2:00-2:45 PM JOSHUA WILLIAMSON & ANDREI BRESSAN
3:00-3:45 PM BOB FINGERMAN
3:00-3:45 PM JOE HARRIS & MARTIN MORAZZO
4:00-4:45 PM STUART MOORE
IMAGE CREATORS IN ARTIST ALLEY:
Alex De Campi, B4
Amy Reeder H10
Andrew MacLean, O6
Ben Templesmith, M1
Bill Sienkiewicz, I18
Brandon Montclare, H11
Brian Buccellato, CC18
Brian Level & Ed Brisson, Q15
Bryan J.L. Glass, Q7
Chris Mooneyham & Garry Brown, R2
Clayton Crain, N10
Dan Panosian, F2
Daniel Corey Z14
Dean Kotz, Q6
Declan Shalvey, K10
Dustin Nguyen, BB20
Eric Canete, F3
Erik Larsen, Q18
Frank Barbiere & Steve Orlando, Q14
Frank Cho, AA11
Fred Van Lente, W13
Gabriel Hardman, Q9
Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon, Y1
Gerry Duggan, H1
Ilias Kyriazis, W11
Jamie McKelvie, X2
Janet Lee, K13
Jason Latour, Y9
Jason Shawn Alexander, O16
Jay Faerber & Brian Joines, W10
Jeremy Haun , Q1
Jim Zub + Edwin Huang, X3
Joe Harris, AA2
Joe Eisma, X4
Josh Howard, N4
Justin Jordan, R6
Khary Randolph & Emilio Lopez, I9
Kieron Gillen, X1
Kyle Higgins, CC19
Kyle Strahm, R5
Leila del Duca & Joe Keatinge, Q8
Marjorie Liu, K2
Mark Dos Santos, J4
Mark Sable & Paul Azaceta, Q2
Matt Hawkins, Q17
Matteo Scalera, F6
Michael Moreci, U17
Michelle Delecki, E2
Mitch Gerads , DD6
Nick Dragotta & James Harren, R1
Martin Morazzo, U13
Rafael Albuquerque, Y2
Ray Fawkes, N1
Riley Rossmo, R3
Rob Liefeld, A1
Rod Reis, P3
Ryan Browne, Q11
David Messina, J10
Sean Murphy, F9
Andy Belanger, O2
Shane Davis, E1
Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson, D18
Tim Seeley, Q10
Tom Mandrake, C3
Valentine De Landro, BB12
Wes Craig, R7
Thursday Night Party: Welcome to NY Comic Con/Liberty Annual Release Party
6 p.m. — LIBERTY ANNUAL signing at Forbidden Planet (832 Broadway), featuring Fred Van Lente, Sina Grace, Bob Fingerman, and more.
8 p.m. — Party at Village Pourhouse (64 3rd Ave, mere blocks from the Planet)
$10 suggested donation at door, free to Comic Book Legal Defense Fund members
Attendees will enjoy drink specials, door prizes, and gift bags
Friday Night Party: Image Comics NYCC After Party
Come join some of your favorite Image creators for drink specials and free bowling all night long at Bowlmor Times Square (222 W. 44th Street). A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. (Must be 21+ to attend).
8 p.m. – 2 a.m. in the Art Deco room (4th floor)
12 lanes of free bowling (first come, first served)
Admission: $10 in advance (click the link), $15 at door—a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the CBLDF
Giveaway swag from CBLDF, Midtown Comics, and more
Creators attending: Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang, Amy Reeder & Brandon Montclare, Nick Dragotta & Fred Van Lente, and more.
|So Cal Comic Con|
|Convention Website Address|
|This convention will take place:|
|Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)|
|About This Convention|
|Come out to the 6th annual So Cal Comic Con on Sunday, October 18th, from 10am-5pm, at the QLN Conference Center in Oceanside! Kids 13 and under, and any member of the military, get in for FREE! Our Guest of Honor for this year’s show is Rob Liefeld, who is the creator of Cable, X-Force, and Deadpool, as well as the creator and publisher of titles like Youngblood and Bloodstrike.
The 1st 100 people in line get a FREE gift bag STUFFED with cool comics. There are raffles throughout the day where you can win prizes like signed comics, original artwork, and toy packages! Dozens of comic and toy vendors are on hand to sell your favorite Golden, Silver, Bronze, or Modern Age comics and toys. Check out our 1st annual Costume Contest and panel discussions throughout the day. IDW Publishing and Darby Pop will be in attendance, along with numerous comic creators, including:
George Perez (Avengers, New Teen Titans, Infinity Gauntlet)
Admission is only $10 for adults, or $9 with a flyer which can be found at many Southern California comic book stores. Parking is free. Bring the family!
|Venue Name and Address|
|QLN Conference Center; 1938 Avenida del Oro
Oceanside, CA 92056
|Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables|
|Please select the Category that best describes the convention|
|Rob Liefeld, George Perez, Tim Bradstreet, Howard Chaykin, Tony Fleecs, Richard Friend, Joel Gomez, Drew Johnson, Batton Lash, Danny Miki, Chris Moreno, Marat Mychaels, Rafael Navarro, Tone Rodriguez, Mike Wellman|
Rob Liefeld, creator of Cable, Deadpool, X-Force, and more, appears at Big Red Comics for a signing on Saturday August 15th from 2:00 – 5:00 PM!
Big Red Comics
162 N Glassell Street, Orange, CA 92866
Next year’s Deadpool film emerged as one of the highlights of this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Here are the full panel, interviews including one with Rob Liefeld, and the leaked trailer (NOTE: The trailer is not work-friendly or kid-safe.)
Deadpool Full Panel
Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, TJ Miller & Brianna Hildebrand’s DEADPOOL Interview
MTV interviews Ryan Reynolds
MTV interviews Ed Skrein
JoBlo interviews Rob Liefeld
Bootleg Copy of the Trailer
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 12, 2015
— 20th Century Fox (@20thcenturyfox) July 12, 2015
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) July 12, 2015
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) July 12, 2015
Back in the fall of 2014, when I saw that Wizard World, that latter-day arbiter of pop culture sensibilities, was having its first-ever convention in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 13-15, I thought, Cool. I had been to the Minneapolis and Chicago shows, traveling hundreds of miles to write about each (see here and here, respectively). Raleigh is only 45 minutes from my house.
When I later saw that William Shatner would be at Raleigh Wizard World, I thought, Sweet. Who better than the Captain to explore this strange, new world? I watched as more excellent guests were announced—Sean Astin, John Schneider, Kevin Sorbo. And when I saw Rob Liefeld, the creator of Deadpool, added to the list, I thought, Awesome! Liefeld is one of the hottest comic artists of the last twenty years. I need some more stuff signed by him.
And when I received an email on February 24 from Wizard World’s PR person telling me that Doctor Who’s David Tennant would be in Raleigh, I thought, Oh. My. God.
David Tennant! No offense to other guests, but this was huge. Poll after poll shows him as the most popular Doctor among Whovians (see here, here, and here). Tennant’s Doctor is charming, funny, and passionate. Christopher Eccleston, the Ninth Doctor, did the hard work of rebooting the twenty-year-dead series in 2005; Tennant presided over its expansion both in the UK and across the pond. Plus he is a rarity on the convention circuit. Raleigh would be, in fact, his Wizard World debut (his second appearance will be in Philadelphia this May).
I am a middling Doctor Who fan. My wife and daughter? Rabid. And their favorite, of course, is David Tennant. My wife makes and sells fandom-related jewelry, and she had another convention that weekend in Winston-Salem, about two hours away. Urban Dictionary defines fandom as “a cult that will destroy your life”; I prefer to think of it as the impetus for restructuring your life on the fly. Thus, after much wrangling and a pair of David Tennant VIP tickets ($399 each!), we settled on the following schedule:
Friday: My wife and me at Wizard World, our daughter at the Winston-Salem convention
Saturday: All of us at the Winston convention
Sunday: My wife and my daughter at Wizard World to see David Tennant, me at the Winston convention
Actually, my weekend started on Thursday, at the Wizard World launch party. It was held at the Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh.
Advertisements for the party indicated that celebrities (plural) would be in attendance, though the only one I saw was Kevin Sorbo, star of the 90s hit series Hercules. Still, we had a nice chat:
Kevin: There are a lot of people who have faith. All the polls show like 80% of people believe in God. We tend to skim over that, and Hollywood doesn’t put out movies that deal with that. And when they do, they sort of bastardize it. Look what they did with Exodus. Look what they did with Noah, for crying out loud. Why would you hire atheist directors to do something out of the Old Testament? It’s weird to me.
Me: The emphasis there seems to be more on special effects.
Kevin: Yeah. We went to a private screening of Noah, and my wife said, “This is like Transformers meets Water World.” Visually, it’s beautiful, but you’re like, does the Bible talk about Noah being schizophrenic, alcoholic, and hell-bent on killing his own family at the end?
Me: You’ve had a varied career, but of course you’re most known for Hercules . . .
Kevin: Yeah, that and Andromeda.
Me: Right. How did your role in Hercules come about?
Kevin: It was a typical audition through Hollywood. My agent called me up and said, “They’re casting five Hercules movies, and they want to see you.” I said, “I’m a big guy, but don’t they want some steroid dude with no neck or some bodybuilder who weighs 280 pounds?” He said, “No, they’re looking for an athletic-looking, sort-of decathlon, Joe Namath-type quarterback.” So I went and read. They called me back and called me back. Seven times they called me back. I was up in Vancouver, Canada filming an episode of The Commish, and they called me and said, “You’re Hercules.” I thought it was going to be five two-hour movies. Then, boom! It became a series, and it passed Baywatch to become the most-watched show in the world.
Me: Before filming, how did you get into the role? How did you prepare yourself to play a mythical hero?
Kevin: It was all in the writing. They made the character very 90s. It was a very Malibu sort of Hercules. He was very hip and accessible and approachable, very self-effacing. There was a lot of humor. The fight scenes were never very violent. Our spin-off show, Xena, was a much more violent show, killing guys. We never killed a guy.
Me: Speaking of writing, you did a book a couple of years ago. What was that like?
Kevin: It’s been great because of the number of speaking appearances I get. I did a dozen last year, and I’ve already got about eleven more lined up this year. It’s been amazing to get out there and do all the talking I’ve been doing about the book, which is about a health scare I suffered. I was the healthiest-looking guy in the world in the 90s, and I had three strokes and almost died. It took me out of the show [Hercules] for four months. We had to re-write everything.
Me: Which is harder, writing or acting?
Kevin [laughs]: I think writing is much harder. Writers take much of the blame for everything in Hollywood, so God bless them. It’s the toughest job around.
Me: How did you get started doing conventions?
Kevin: You know, conventions really didn’t kick off until about fifteen years ago. The growth has been astronomical. In the 90s, comic cons weren’t that big. They were around, but there wasn’t the publicity and the push and the hype. I got invited during the 90s, but I could do only one or two a year because I was in New Zealand ten months out of the year [filming Hercules]. Now, I go to a lot around the world. I’m doing two in April in Australia. I have one coming up in Belgium. I get invited to about five a month, and I go to six or seven a year.
Me: Are there things you won’t do for fans? Are there lines fans try to get you to cross that you push back against?
Kevin: Not really. Women have not exposed their breasts to me, but they have wanted me to sign the top of their chests. Some people get very nervous because they know you from TV, and now they’re seeing you in the flesh. It’s a surreal moment for them, and I get that because when I first moved to L.A., I started meeting some of the celebrities I used to watch on TV, and I was like, “Wow. That’s really him standing there.” For me, it was Anthony Quinn [who played Zeus in Hercules]. Meeting him blew me away.
The next night, Friday, was my night at Wizard World. It is often said that Wizard World, with its deep pockets and runaway costs, delights in squeezing out local conventions. See, for example, this article decrying “William Shatner at $199 an autograph,” which is ludicrously inflated. Shatner charges less than half that amount, and he has charged it for years.
What has changed, and not for the better, is the number of comic book artists who now charge for an autograph. Michael Golden charged $10. Dean Haspiel (who?) charged $10. Tom DeFalco gave one or two free signatures, but he charged after that due to, as the sign on his table exhorted, the miserable capitalists who sell his stuff on eBay.
And Rob Liefeld. When I saw him in 2012, he charged $20 to sign copies of New Mutants #87 (first appearance of Cable) or #98 (first appearance of Deadpool). Everything else was free. Now he charges $30 for any Deadpool item, $20 for any New Mutants or X-Force issue, and $20 for any book being witnessed by CGC. He’s still a cool guy, though, and he did not charge me for this picture.
I get that writers and artists are trying to make a living. A market exists for their autographs that they did not create and are merely tapping into. But their judgment—or is jealousy?—of collectors feels wrong-headed. eBay does not lower payments to creators (a buyer’s market does that) nor deprive them of ownership of their work (publishers retain this). Besides, CGC’s fees are rich enough. To pay an extra $20 for the signature hurts.
Perhaps it was this increase in signing fees that was responsible for the small crowd.
Or the fact that few celebrities showed up for opening night (aside from Tony Stark).
The dealer’s room was livelier, but what struck me most there was the dearth of comic book dealers. I counted two. The rest had toys, decals, T-shirts, etc. Curiously, there were also the Lasik Vision Institute and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, giving the dealer’s room a festival-in-the-park feel. I left without buying anything (or scheduling eye surgery).
I tried to buy a third David Tennant autograph ticket for Sunday, the day my wife and daughter would be there, for my daughter’s friend. But they were not selling any more tickets until Sunday morning—possibly (as it turned out, they didn’t have more then, either). “It’s the first time we’ve worked with him,” said the apologetic young woman, “and we’re not sure what to expect.” Translation: they had under-prepared. Wizard World has remedied this (sort of) for Philadelphia, making David Tennant photos and autographs available only to VIP ticket buyers. It’s an imperfect solution: a limited quantity of tickets at a cost that prices a lot of people out of contention. But at least they won’t run out by the first day of the con.
So my daughter’s friend lost out. My wife and daughter, however, racked up, each of them receiving (1) any item autographed, (2) a professional photo-op, (3) a David Tennant collector’s card, (4) other Doctor Who stuff, and (5) a limited edition Walking Dead comic book with a black-and-white sketch cover by Dean Haspiel (so that’s who he is!). And they got into the Tennant Q&A, which, we found out, was open only to VIPs because the room was so small. (My question: why didn’t they rearrange the rooms? It’s David Tennant. You can bump the Harry Potter fan fiction panel to a snack bar table.)
If the crowd was meager on Friday, it had Hulked up by Sunday. There were 500 VIP ticket holders that day (600 on Saturday), plus who knows how many who managed to get a one-day autograph or photo ticket before they were sold out. My wife took over 100 pictures during the Q&A, enough to allow us to play a game called The Many Faces of David Tennant.
David ponders why the TARDIS isn’t cleaner on the inside.
David does his Gilbert Gottfried impression.
David whistles “Dixie,” because he’s in the South.
David tries to hypnotize the crowd but puts himself to sleep.
This is David Tennant, not David Bowie.
“Blimey, Rose! I told you to close the TARDIS door before take-off!”
Tennant is surprised at how popular Doctor Who has become in the United States—surprised but pleased. Asked about his acting career, he said he likes the variety of roles (in his new drama, Broadchurch, he plays a character as far from the Doctor as you can imagine). Whom would he cosplay as at a convention? “Someone with a mask, so I could enjoy the convention.” One questioner recommended that he try the barbecue before leaving North Carolina. This apparently led to a discussion of food in which he dissed American bacon (too dry and crunchy). Another asked him who he fanboys over. Answer: Marvel Comics, which he had recently toured.
After the Q&A came photos, and about an hour after that, the signing line started. When my daughter reached the table, she asked Tennant if she could record him saying hello to her friend (the one who got gypped on the autograph). Most celebs won’t do this, but in the absence of an advertised prohibition, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Astonishingly, he agreed! Then a Wizard World staffer stepped in and put a stop to it. Normally, I would rail against this, but the staffer had a point. If Tennant did that for my daughter, he would have to do it for everyone, which would slow the line to a crawl. The lesson for convention goers is this: guests aren’t being rude or aloof when they refuse some of your requests. The refusal may simply be a matter of convention policy.
So the inaugural Wizard World Raleigh was a success. Great city, great guests, friendly service—and the Doctor. One woman my wife talked to had driven eight hours from Alabama with her two kids to see him. On top of the arm-and-leg-ness of VIP tickets, this struck me as insanely devoted. “Would you do that?” I asked my wife on Monday as she stared out the kitchen window, a melancholy smile on her face. “Yes,” she said without hesitation. “Yes I would.”
Well-played, Wizard World. Well-played.