CA – Jim Lee Signing

Jim Lee, superstar creator and DC Comics Co-Publisher, announced on his Facebook page that he will appear at Earth-2 Comics on Sunday, February 11, 2018 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM with his daughter’s Girl Scout Troop to sell cookies and sign comics.

Earth-2 Comics
15017 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 386-9590

NYC – An Evening with Common

Common appears in conversation with Marc Lacey at Kaufman Music Center on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7:00 PM.

Press Release:

Join us for an evening of engaging conversation with Common, an Oscar and Grammy Award–winning musician, artist, actor, poet, producer and activist. His song “Stand up for Something,” co–written with Diana Warren and performed with Andra Day for the film “Marshall” about Thurgood Marshall (the first African American to serve as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) has been nominated for an Academy Award.

In honor of Black History Month, Common will discuss his storied career, how music and film can be a lens for social change, and how the Common Ground Foundation is empowering high–school students from underserved communities to become future leaders with Marc Lacey, National Editor of The New York Times.

RSVP on Facebook!

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023
(212) 501-3330

ON – Gotham Central Comics 6th Anniversary

Ty Templeton, Ken Lashley, and more appear at Gotham Central Comics on Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

RSVP on Facebook!

Gotham Central Comics
5170 Dixie Road Unit 102, Mississauga, Ontario L4W 1E3
Canada

DragonCon 2017 Report (Including Interview with Jai Nitz)!

Before I saw Suicide Squad, I knew nothing about Chato Santana, who is the alter ego of El Diablo, the pyrokinetic gangbanger from East LA. After seeing the movie, he quickly became my favorite comic book character and one of my all time favorite characters in any medium. The reason I personally enjoy him is because he’s relatable. Everyone has their own regrets and every person wishes they could redeem themselves for something they’ve done in their past. Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and Harley Quinn all seem to revel in their villainy, while Chato seems reluctant to even talk about it. He thinks of himself as a monster and attempts to control himself which is a direct contrast to, say, Harley’s defense of stealing from a department store: “We’re bad guys, it’s what we do.”

So, I was stoked when I realized that Jai Nitz, the creator of my anti-hero, would be at the very convention I was reporting on. This was my second year at DragonCon, and any of my loyal readers (thanks mom and dad!) would remember that last year I accidentally interviewed Nolan North, the voice of Deadpool and Desmond Miles from Assassin’s Creed. This year, however, I got an agreed interview that wasn’t illegal! Jai Nitz is what anyone would imagine the creator of a Latino Robin Hood would be… badass, intelligent, willing to sell all his stuff for $100. (These are all jokes, please don’t sue me). Reader beware, spoilers and ruined headcanons await!

How did you come up with the idea of Chato?

Chato is not a real name, it actually means butch, thick, beefy. The idea is that he would have had a real name at some point, it would have been Jaime or Guadalupe or something. He was always a big guy, so everyone would call him Chato. That was after my dad. They called my dad butch because there were seven kids in his grade with the same name as him. Everyone was called a nickname instead of just “Jerry.” That was kind of a nod to my dad, and the idea of who Chato was came from my cousin, Jaime. He’s my age, growing up close to the border in a culture that is 95% Hispanic. Drugs and human trafficking are not a thing on the news, they are a way of life. There are people who are dealing drugs and moving humans. They are not villains, they are Robin Hoods. They are sticking it to the man, instead of doing this nefarious, horrible crime to be on television, that’s not who they are. Not that my cousin is doing that, but I saw him in a situation where he was dealing with a lot of different stuff than I did. What would I have been if I had been in the same situation? In East Los Angeles where Chato was from, it is very much the same thing. There are neighborhoods that are closed off to the police because in 1992 only 10% of the Los Angeles police force was Latino. Today it’s 60%. Then, no one spoke Spanish. No one knew what to do if you got stuck in a Spanish speaking neighborhood. David Ayer, the director of Suicide Squad, his movie, End of Watch, is about a lot of that. It’s a lot about dealing with a culture that is alien to your own, and in the original El Diablo series, he was a gang lord. He was the Robin Hood of his neighborhood. He was the guy you would go to if you had a local problem that the police wouldn’t help you with. It was trying to show that just because you commit crimes doesn’t make you a bad guy, and just because you do bad stuff doesn’t make you a villain, and just because you save people doesn’t make you a hero. It was very much blurring the lines and I don’t think anybody was ready for that when I wrote it.

I think I fell in love with him when I first saw him.

If you meet Jay [Hernandez, actor for Chato in Suicide Squad] in real life, you will fall in love again because he is stupid good-looking.

How did you get your start in comics?

I got my start by self-publishing right out of college. As a new writer, the best way to make it in comics was to make your own comics. So I wrote my own comics and I found artists to work with. That was on the creative side, then you had to put on your business hat and you had to learn to make the files available to a printer, how to send them to be scanned by a scanning place because you didn’t have a scanner big enough, how to get those books printed and distributed, how to take them to conventions and sell them. Then that was my business card. I handed that out and said “please hire me.” It’s much easier for an editor to read a comic book than it is to read an idea on a piece of paper. Then once they trust you, they will read your ideas, but not until they believe in you as a writer. The best way to make them believe in you as a writer is to show something that you’ve written. If you want to write a comic book then write a comic book to hand out. So that’s what I did and I did it every couple of years until I finally started getting regular work. After about eleven years of trying, self-publishing, doing independant stuff, I got enough work at big publishers to go full-time freelance.

Did El Diablo actually die at the end of the movie?

He can’t die. HE CAN’T DIE! His powers dictate that the devil that possesses him. This is explained in the first series, and in the new series it is explained that, every time he dies, the devil just brings him back and takes more of his soul, so he gets more evil each time he dies. I was explaining this to David Ayer at the premiere of the movie. We were walking out of the movie, and he said, “How do we bring him back?” and I said, “You don’t have to. He can’t die. Every time he dies, the devil takes more of his soul and brings him back, so he comes back more evil, so if people like him in this movie, the next time he comes back, he’ll be worse, and the next time he comes back, he’ll be even worse. In your movie continuity, he says, ‘I was born with the devil’s gift,’ and the idea is that he was stillborn and the devil took him then, and every time he has died since then, the devil has taken more of his soul as he has brought him back every time.’”

If he drinks alcohol, will he just explode?

Not at all. His powers are magical in nature, which is the other reason you can just bring him back, because there is no science in how he throws fire, just as there is no science in how [Captain Boomerang] throws a boomerang, there is no science in how [Slipknot] uses ropes to climb stuff, there is no science in how [Deadshot] is the best shot in the world. He is made of demonic magical fire.

The reason I ask is because there is a deleted scene in the bar where Harley asks everyone what they want, he says, “Water,” and she says, “That’s a good idea, honey.”

That was definitely a great character moment. That was that character recognizing, “Me losing control is not good for anybody.” Because he knows what’s inside him, even though no one else does. The other thing is, it’s not really in the movie universe, but it would be the kind of thing I would explore. Nobody really believes him. Nobody really believes that there is a devil inside him. There are people who can fly, there are people who dress up like bats, there are people with magic power rings, but nobody believes he is possessed, and then you see it, and it’s a different animal.

I like how, in the movie, the other characters are afraid of him.

There’s a lot of really good subtle storytelling in the film that gets lost. They had re-shoots, and they had to change this, and they had to move scenes around, and stuff like that, to where there is some stuff that makes no sense. I’ve seen the movie so many times it isn’t funny. But then there is some stuff that is subtle like that, where even Deadshot realizes, this guy could kill us aaaaaaall. And nobody pays attention until it comes to that.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a book called Suicide Squad Black that has El Diablo as the leader of a Suicide Squad team. It was supposed to come out last month, but it’s been delayed, so hopefully it will come out in 2018.

 

Going into this interview, I was expecting just to talk about comics, not to get a lecture on race relations and the social economics of East Los Angeles. But I’m glad Jai discussed those topics. I admire how he puts his background in his work. It helps him maintain his passion, which was evident when I talked to him.

And I’m definitely buying Suicide Squad Black when it comes out. Who’s with me?

 

Jai with a really cool El Diablo cosplayer

 

Cover of El Diablo #1 (2008)

FL – The Immortal Men #1 Signing

Jim Lee, superstar comic creator and co-publisher of DC Comics, appears at Coliseum of Comics’ Millenia location to help celebrate the store’s 35th anniversary with a signing on Saturday, February 3rd from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

To attend the signing you only need to purchase a New Age of DC Heroes card from any of our locations. This card will also get you the #1 issues of Damage, Silencer, Sideways, The Terrifics, New Challengers, and a Jim Lee signed copy of The Immortal Men #1. Space is limited for the signing so come by to get your card today.

RSVP on Facebook!

Coliseum of Comics
4672 Millenia Plaza Way, Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 363-7676

DC in D.C. Pop-Up Shop Opens This Weekend

Press Release:

DC fans in the Washington, D.C. area are in for a treat when DC’s greatest Super Heroes arrive for DC in D.C. on Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. In addition to panel discussions, screenings and more, Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) and DC Entertainment are sponsoring a limited-time DC in D.C. Pop-Up Shop that will be open Friday, January 12–Sunday, January 14, 2018, in front of the Newseum.

Newseum, located in the heart of Pennsylvania Avenue midway between the Capitol and the White House, will be the center of DC in D.C.’s Friday’s screening and Saturday’s panel sessions. It will also be the location of the exclusive, limited-time DC Pop-Up Shop. Featuring the world’s greatest graphic novels, the fully heated store will be situated directly in front of the Newseum building at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

A fully transportable, high-tech container space that measures 40 feet by 10 feet, the DC Pop-Up Shop will not only support a DC merchandise shop, charging stations and a free Jitters coffee bar, but will also feature interactive displays covering the history of DC — from its earliest origins to the television powerhouses that those Super Heroes represent today. And even though it’s cold outside, the Pop-Up Shop is fully heated. Features of the DC Pop-Up Shop include the following:

  • Graphic Novels for Sale: Available for purchase at the Pop-Up Shop will be the Top 50 Greatest DC graphic novels of all-time. Among the many titles will be fan-favorites and cult classics such as The Death of Superman, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, The Killing Joke, Crisis on Infinite Earths and more. Also available will be a collection of books for young readers (ages 10 and above), including Teen Titans and DC Super Hero Girls.
  • Giant Comic Panels: On both sides of the shop will be a series of two dozen 7-by-4-foot flip panels featuring Titan-sized reproductions of some of the most iconic comic-book covers in history. Not only a fantastic photo opportunity, but fans will have the ability to flip their way through the history of DC and how comics are made. There’s even a behind-the-scenes look at the production process with the “How to Build a Hero” station. Imagine standing face-to-face with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and more as they look out from life-sized comic books! Both educational in their scope, they also provide a wealth of social media interaction with Instagrammable moments from the history of comics.
  • Talent Appearances & Signings: Visiting talent from both WBTV and DC Entertainment will stop by to meet fans and sign autographs. The casts from WBTV’s Gotham and Black Lightning are currently slated to attend, alongside noted DC writers and artists including Jim Lee (Batman: Hush), Tom King (Batman, Mister Miracle) and Geoff Johns (Rebirth, Doomsday Clock).
  • Jitters Coffee: Free coffee! Any fan of WBTV’s The Flash (Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW) will be familiar with CC Jitters, the go-to coffee house of the extended Arrow-verse. Washington, D.C.’s DC fans will be thrilled to learn that Jitters will be open as part of the Pop-Up Shop and serving free coffee for three days (January 12–14).  Warm up with a cup in the fully-heated retail space.
  • DC Super Hero Costumes: On display, the actual costumes worn by Barry Allen aka The Flash (series star Grant Gustin) and Kara Danvers aka Supergirl (series star Melissa Benoist) in their respective WBTV series (The Flash airing Tuesdays at 8/7c and Supergirl on Mondays at 8/7c on The CW).
  • Black Lightning Charging Station: Tying into the Saturday night world premiere of WBTV’s Black Lightning (Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW)the Pop-Up Shop will also feature a Black Lightning charging station for visitors to “Power Up” their devices on the go.
  • LED Megascreen: On the back side of the Pop-Up Shop, facing the Capitol Building, an enormous 15-by-9-foot LED screen will be running living art (motion graphics) of iconic comics and high-impact, super-powered video clips and trailers featuring DC Super Heroes from comics and television.
  • Custom T-Shirts: Also available for purchase onsite will be a selection of nine exclusive DC in D.C. themed T-shirts featuring DC’s greatest Super Heroes and imagery of DC’s greatest books. Artwork will include Superman meets JFK, Superman meets Reagan, Action Comics #1, Detective Comics No. 27, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Black Lightning, Freedom Fighters and more.
  • Funko Figurines: DC fans will be able to purchase a curated selection of DC Funko Pop! Figures, including fan favorites from the worlds of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Batman, Superman and more DC heroes.
  • Hours & Location: The DC in D.C. Pop-Up Shop will be open Friday–Sunday, January 12–14, from 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. and can be found in front of the Newseum at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

About DC in D.C.

Taking place during the MLK holiday weekend, DC in D.C., sponsored by Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment, brings together stars and producers from Warner Bros. Television’s DCTV series, as well as DC comic book writers and artists, who will join invited guests from politics, government service, entertainment, business, academia and more. The event will explore the intersection of comic books, culture, entertainment and enlightenment through panel discussions that aim to illuminate the story of America and current issues through the lens of comics and Superheroes. DC in D.C. will also feature the world premiere of WBTV’s upcoming DC series Black Lightning.

For additional info on the DC in D.C. event, please follow us on Twitter at @warnerbrostv and @DCComics, or visit www.dcindc2018.com.

 

FL – X-Men Gold #18 Signing

Artist Ken Lashley appears at Windu’s Comics on Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 1:00 PM to sign copies of his latest work on X-Men Gold #18! He will also sign any of the many DC, Marvel, X-Men covers that he has done over his tenure as an artist. Windu’s will have X-Men Gold #18 available for purchase. Ken will have posters and other items to share with his fans as well.

Bio: Ken is a gifted illustrator who has worked with clients like Hasbro, Mattel, Marvel comics, DC comics, Lucasfilm and many others. His latest work is Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Prime and X-Men Gold.

Windu’s Comics
194 US Hwy 27 Suite A, Clermont, FL 34711

TX – Justice League Day 2017 Signing

DC Comics Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee appear at 8th Dimension Comics on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 4:00 PM to celebrate Justice League Day the #HoustonStrong way!

To accommodate as many fans as possible, the signing is limited to a maximum of 2 items* per person. A limited number of free Justice League Day comics with a special Houston Strong variant cover also will be given away, all signed by Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, and Geoff Johns. Limit 1 per person.

*If demand is overwhelming, we reserve the right to limit this to 1 item signed per person to give more fans the opportunity to meet our guests and get an item signed.

RSVP on Facebook!

8th Dimension Comics and Games
15210 West Road, Houston, TX 77095
(281) 856-6506

TX – Justice League Day Signing

DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio sign at Space Cadets Collection Collection on Saturday, November 18th at 7:00 PM to celebrate the feature film release of JUSTICE LEAGUE. No charge for autographs. Limit of 1 item per person per time through line while time allows. 

RSVP on Facebook!

Space Cadets Collection Collection
27326 Robinson Rd, Ste 117, Conroe, Texas 77385
(281) 298-1111

TX – Jim Lee & Dan Didio Signings

Join Bedrock City Comics to celebrate The World’s Greatest Super-Heroes the Justice League!! DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee will be at three Bedrock City Comic Co. stores on Saturday, November 18, 2017, the day after the release of the feature film Justice League and an AMAZING event called Local Comic Shop Day!

Clear Lake 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Westheimer 2:30 – 3:30 PM
Washington 5:30 – 6:15 PM

Bedrock City Comic Co.
102 W. Bay Area Blvd, Webster, TX 77598

6516 Westheimer, Suite D, Houston, TX 77057

4602 Washington Ave Ste A, Houston, Texas 77007

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