UK – The Silencer #1 Signing

Writer Dan Abnett will be signing THE SILENCER #1 at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday 3rd February from 1:00 – 2:00 PM.

‘CODE OF HONOR’ part one!

She’s one of the DC Universe’s deadliest assassins and you’ve never heard of her. Super-strong, highly trained, armed with devastating and stealthy metahuman abilities, the Silencer is virtually invincible. Or at least she was.

After decades as Leviathan’s chief assassin, Honor Guest put in her time and managed to get out with her skin intact. Now she lives a normal life with a normal family in a normal house on a normal street.

But the past has come back to haunt her in the form of her old employer and a deadly new mission…and Talia Al Ghul won’t take no for an answer.

Dan Abnett is a bestselling author and an award-winning comic book writer. He has written over fifty novels, and his 2008 run on The Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel formed the inspiration for the blockbuster movie. He is a regular contributor to 2000AD and is the writer on Aquaman, The Titans and Earth-2 for DC Comics.

Forbidden Planet London Megastore
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR
0207 420 3666

 

SF – Rocko’s Modern Life LIVE

Press Release:

Rocko’s Modern Sketchfest! Modern Life gets weird when SF Sketchfest honors the original cast and creator of the iconic cartoon series Rocko’s Modern Life on Sunday January 14, 2018 at 4:00 PM! Creator Joe Murray joins legendary voice stars Carlos Alazraqui (Rocko), Tom Kenny (Heffer), Charlie Adler (Mr. Big Head and Mrs. Big Head), and Mr. Lawrence (Filburt) for a live reading of the classic episode “Wacky Deli” followed by world premiere sneak peeks from the upcoming Nickelodeon special, Rocko’s Modern Life, Static Cling! After the Q&A, come and meet the cast as they sign posters and even your wallaby.

Presented by the Cartoon Art Museum and SF Sketchfest! It’s the city’s greatest comedy festival, with a variety of sketch and improv, film and television tributes and reunions, solo performers, podcasts and stand-up comedy performers. See the greatest names live and in person!

Get tickets at the link!

Marines Memorial Theatre (MMT)
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Free Comic Book Day 2018 Announces Gold Sponsor Comic Titles

Press Release:

The Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) Committee has selected the twelve Gold Sponsor comic book titles for the comic book industry’s most anticipated annual event, Free Comic Book Day. FCBD happens each year on the first Saturday in May at participating comic book shops worldwide, with next year’s event taking place on May 5th, 2018.

The titles were curated by over twenty comic shop retailers who make up the FCBD Selection Committee and the comics feature something for everyone: from superheroes, to popular films and television shows, to beloved video game franchises, and all-ages favorites. The Gold Sponsor titles come from the industry’s top publishers, including:

  • DC Entertainment (TBA)
  • Marvel Comics (MARVEL AVENGERS/CAPTAIN AMERICA)
  • Dark Horse Comics (OVERWATCH/BLACK HAMMER)
  • IDW Publishing (TRANSFORMERS: UNICRON: THE DARKEST HOUR #0)
  • Image Comics (BARRIER #1)
  • Archie Comics (RIVERDALE)
  • BOOM! Studios (MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS SPECIAL)
  • First Second Books (COMICS FRIENDS FOREVER)
  • Joe Books (DISNEY PRINCESS: ARIEL SPOTLIGHT)
  • Oni Press (INVADER ZIM: FLOOPSY BLOOPS SHMOOPSY)
  • Titan Comics (DOCTOR WHO #0)
  • VIZ Media (POKÉMON: SUN AND MOON / POKÉMON: HORIZON).

“With 91 titles submitted from over 70 publishers, the FCBD Retailer Committee had to make some tough choices for this year’s Free Comic Book Day,” said FCBD spokesperson Dan Manser, “but we think retailers and fans alike will be thrilled with the sponsor titles chosen for 2018. Free Comic Book Day is the comics industry’s most important event—a day to celebrate comic books and comic shops, and to introduce family and friends to the comics medium we all know and love. It’s important that the titles reflect the varied interests of people coming into stores these days—and we believe there’s a comic book for everyone this Free Comic Book Day!”

The full line-up of this year’s comic books will be announced next week, when thirty-eight additional FCBD Silver titles will be announced on Tuesday, December 19th. A complete listing of all fifty FCBD titles, as well as two education titles about the industry, will also be found in the January issue of Diamond Comic Distributors’ PREVIEWS catalog, on sale at all comic book shops December 27th, 2017.

UK – Transformers: Lost Light Signing

Writer James Roberts and artist Jack Lawrence appear at Orbital Comics on Friday 10 November from 5:00 – 7:00 PM to sign the trade of TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT from IDW Publishing!

Orbital Comics
8 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JA, United Kingdom
020 7240 0591

NC – Transformers Celebration Signing

Meet Transformers artist and inker Brian Shearer at Acme Comics for a signing on Saturday November 4th!

RSVP on Facebook!

Acme Comics
2150 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408
336-574-2263

CA – Transformers #57 Signing

Writer John Barber and artist Livio Ramondelli appear at Yesteryear Comics from 2:00 – 5:00 PM on Saturday November 11th for a signing.

RSVP on Facebook!

Yesteryear Comics
9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Suite D2, San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 279-6121

New My Little Pony & Transformers Unveiled at HasCon 2017

HasCon, Hasbro’s first ever convention included many special events, panels, and autograph sessions with celebrities, artists, and athletes. But at the heart of the show is the toys upon which Hasbro has built its empire. When speaking with staff members, their commitment and passion for the stories and characters built around this merchandise is clearly self-evident. Convention Scene spoke with managers for both My Little Pony (MLP) and Transformers, two of the company’s most stalwart brands.

As both of these properties are entering their fourth decade, the obvious question is how do they stay fresh and remain relevant for generations of fans. Tyla Bucher (Vice President of Global Brand Strategy & Marketing, My Little Pony) explained it thusly, “One of the responsibilities of the brand owner is to make sure that the brand always feels new and different and timely and really all of it starts with our show and the content. We have our main six ponies that are pretty consistent as far as cast go but they’re always having new adventures, meeting new friends, and the way that our writers write them and their personalities is so timely that there’s something about that content that continues enthusiasm and engagement around the brand. We bring that to life on the product side so that whatever you see on the show you experience when you take it home.”

Ben Montano (Director of Brand Marketing, Transformers) said, “Whether it’s Robots in Disguise now or Rescue Bots or the movie universe to G1, Optimus Prime still stands for loyalty and dignity but he’s a little weathered or a different iteration or he may be from a time before the war. That’s where the fun has been, it’s how can we bring those parts of their story to life in a video game or a new animated series.”

As Hasbro continues to expand its brand across multimedia platforms, with animation, feature films, video games, and comic books, the staff emphasized that product is a key component to keeping the story cohesive and continuity intact. “It’s a seamless dialogue,” said Montano, “What’s fun is that I get to work a lot with our partners whether it’s Paramount Studios, Hasbro Studios, or Polygon for Robots in Disguise and those partnerships are great; we all understand that together we make better story.”

Bucher reiterated this sentiment, “Brand integrity and continuity is something that we focus on and I have people on the team. We’re really connected everyone who works on the brand so even though Pony touches on a lot of different businesses all those team are really connected because they want to be linked to the story and the right way.”

MLP in particular has seen a huge resurgence in the past few year with the launch of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. “The content is really what attracts our fans, and we have fans of all ages and genders,” said Bucher, “The timing of the show in 2010, or G4 as people call it, was perfect for people who remembered it from the 80s and now may or may not have kids that they are introducing to the brand, both girls and boys.”

One of the big developments underway right for MLP is the brand new feature film set to debut next month. “We have a movie coming out in five weeks so everything that we’re doing now is driving towards generating excitement for that which is a huge thing for our brand it’s such an exciting thing,” said Bucher “The Ponies are going on an adventure where they leave the Equestria for the first time which is a huge thing if you’re a fan and if you’re not it doesn’t matter because you still get introduced to these Ponies are having a really, really fun adventure. The new form factors are we have sea Ponies we have hippogriffs, we have a mysterious Pony with a broken horn so we’re taking the characters and the worlds of the brand in all these really different directions.”

On the Transformers side, Hasbro has rolled out a new line called Power of the Primes, which allows fans to combine multiple Transformers into a new, unique figure. “One of the things we thought would be magical would be to pay off the idea that a mortal Transformer, like Hot Rod, changing into a Prime, or the thirteenth Prime specifically once they get the Matrix of Leadership,” said John Warden (Design Manager, Transformers) “It’s a fun and challenging transformation and something we’ve never tried before. And as a result where fans are going to get a cool new version of Optimus Prime. So I think in a lot of ways it’s taking the D.N.A. of the character and then adding something that’s revolutionary and fun that plays homage to something that fans know about but have never experienced before in toy.”

Finally both teams credited the passion and savviness of their fans as motivation to create a better product. “Our fanbase is really smart and really engaged with the brand so if you go off the rails they’ll notice that and they’ll call you on it so we try really hard to make sure that all of our story lines and our characters and our Backstory are tied together in a way that if you’re the consumer it seamless,” said Bucher.” Warden stated, “Lots of new stuff on the horizon and I just wanted to say a big thank you out to the fans in your audience. Thank you for being Transformers fans, you inspire us and we’ll keep trying to bring awesome toys for you.”

HasCon Is More Than Meets the Eye

This year Hasbro debuted the inaugural HasCon, a “FANmily” event in which the popular toy and gaming company invited fans to get an in-depth look at their latest products, purchase exclusive collectibles, rub elbows with celebrities, and indulge in their passion for the many brands represented.

The initial impression that HasCon was very different from most public conventions in that most of the main exhibition hall was not devoted to vendors and retailers, aside from the Hasbro booths selling convention exclusives. Instead, there were large pavilions dedicated to the variety of Hasbro brands such as Transformers, My Little Pony, GI Joe, Nerf, and Magic: The Gathering as well license partners like Star Wars and Marvel. Each area was filled with latest toys and games which staff members encouraged attendees to play with. Additionally, they showcased movie props, original design and packaging artwork, and interactive displays.

Located at the Rhode Island Convention Center, directly across the street from Hasbro’s global headquarters, many (if not all) of the staff on hand were employees of the company who were friendly, engaging, and enthusiastic to talk about their work with attendees and show off their latest projects. “We know that we have such a vested audience and so many brands so why don’t we open up our doors and let in everybody in who would love a peek behind the curtain,” said Tyla Bucher (Vice President of Global Brand Strategy & Marketing, My Little Pony), “It’s not so much driving the brand forward as much as it is about creating another point of connection with consumers and fans.”

John Warden (Design Manager, Transformers) echoed this sentiment, “Any chance to actually meet the not just the designers the marketing team like we normally would get at a San Diego Comic Con but also the engineering team, the packaging team, copywriters… We’re all part of the big Hasbro family and really fans have an opportunity to see everything that makes the brand work.”

Another marked difference is that HasCon was incredibly family-friendly with games and activities geared toward children as well as adult fans. There were stylists on hand to give attendees My Little Pony and Troll-themed makeovers, a Nerf shooting gallery to demo their entire collection, several cosplayers in costume to interact with fans and pose for photos, and, naturally, the latest toys. While it may seem obvious to the layperson, the fact of the matter is that most large conventions are geared toward adult fans with kid-oriented events and exhibits being an afterthought, if they are included at all.

“Obviously the big idea around HasCon,” said Ben Montano (Director of Brand Marketing, Transformers), “is to bring all families together, not just the super fan or a collector but also fans who want to bring their kids into a property or they’re already sharing a love of. For Hasbro to be able to do that, not just for fans of Transformers but My Little Pony, Magic the Gathering, that’s absolutely insane and mind blowing and we’ve seen in the last day and a half now fans and families coming in and their kids split off one way and they go another and everyone has something to appreciate and enjoy.”

Shane Wilhelmsen, a local fan and veteran of many comic conventions across the United States, attended HasCon on Friday accompanied by his two-year old daughter. “Honestly, when I bought our passes a few months ago I didn’t have a very clear idea what to expect or how well she would handle the whole experience,” said Wilhelmsen via email, “I had a general sense of what brands were going to be there based on the information on their website, but wasn’t sure what was going to have its own booth, or what sort of experiences were going to be there beyond panels (which I knew she wasn’t going to want to sit through).” However, his fears were soon alleviated as his daughter enjoyed playing with Mr. Potato Head toys, participating in a singalong with Sesame Street’s Elmo and Abby Cadabby, and meeting the Trolls cosplayers at their booth which Wilhelmsen cited as her favorite part of the convention. “She had an amazing time! She was well-behaved and totally engaged from the time we got there to pick up our badges in the morning until we had to leave at 5:00 PM.”

Overall, the first HasCon was a rousing success. There were certainly some organizational hiccups but those occur at any show, and certainly for an initial launch it’s to be expected. But the level of fan-engagement and excitement was clearly evident from top to bottom and fans are sure to want to come back next year to see what new excitement Hasbro has in store.

IDW Heads To Rhode Island For HasCon 2017

Press Release:

IDW is joining longtime partner HASBRO for their debut convention in Providence, Rhode Island – HASCON! Featuring unique brand-based experiences, celebrity appearances, and premiere paneling, HASCON is set to be a fun-filled convention for the whole family. Taking over both the Rhode Island Convention Center and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center from September 8th – September 10th, fans will be treated to a convention unlike any other!

Find the IDW booth stocked with comics, graphic novels, enamel pins, lithographs, and more, all weekend long at booth L104! Those that weren’t able to secure one of the highly-sought after Tom Whalen prints at SDCC will have another chance at HASCON, as ROMG.I. JoeOptimus Prime, and Megatron will all be available as a gift with purchase at the IDW booth. Be sure to get yours while supplies last.

IDW will also be offering several HASCON exclusives, at $10 each, that can ONLY be found at the IDW booth, including:

  • First Strike #1, A Hasbro Comic Book Event, with a new cover by Sara Pitre-Durocher
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1 reprint, with a B&W cover by Neal Adams
  • My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel TP with a special cover by Tony Fleecs

IDW will also be bringing remaining 2017 convention variants for ClueJem and the HologramsMy Little PonyROM, and Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, to HASCON for their original price.

Talent from across the IDW line will be on hand to sign throughout the weekend including Marcelo Matere (Transformers), Brenda Hickey (My Little Pony), Aubrey Sitterson (G.I. Joe), Chris Ryall (ROM), Chris Mowry (Transformers), and more!

IDW Transformers Panel
Friday, September 8th | 12:30p.m. | HASCON Main Stage
Have you ever wanted to know how a comic book comes to life? Hear from the artists and writers that create the Transformers comics. Learn how story ideas are developed and brought to life by the amazing team of writers and artists at IDW.

From Unicron to Megatron – Explore the Villains of Transformers
Friday, September 8th | 2:30p.m. | HASCON Main Stage
It feels good to be bad. Dive into the history of some of the most evil bots in the Transformers universe. Hosted by the Transformers brand team.

G.I. Joe Legends Dinner
Friday, September 8th | 6:30p.m. | Providence Renaissance Hotel
Join co-emcees and G.I. Joe authors Derryl DePriest and Dan Klingensmith for an intimate and entertaining evening event featuring one of the greatest gatherings of G.I. Joe Legends ever assembled! As we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the launch of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line, enjoy a sit-down dinner, meet and mingle with Legends and listen to them discuss their experiences on G.I. Joe. All attendees will receive an event-exclusive G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Lithograph Set featuring paintings from the 1980s line.

Tickets available here: www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=236825

My Little Pony Mane Event Dinner
Friday, September 8th | 6:30p.m. | Omni Hotel
Enter the world of Equestria for an unforgettable evening of entertainment! Join us for special guest appearances, a sit-down dinner and a first look at select 2018 My Little Pony toys. Head Storyteller, Meghan McCarthy will introduce a sneak preview of scenes from the upcoming My Little Pony: The Movie! Plus, enter a raffle for a chance to win My Little Pony merchandise. Each VIP attendee will receive a Super Fan My Little Pony gift bag including pre-signed autographs from multiple members of the Mane 6, Special Comic reprints for HASCON, a VIP event exclusive pin set and more.

Tickets available here: www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=236825

IDW Revolution Panel
Saturday, September 9th | 11:00 a.m. | Discovery Family Stage
IDW and Hasbro have been making great comics together for over a decade now! How’d it all get started? Where’s it going next? IDW CCO Chris Ryall and guests to be named will share stories of comics past and Visions of comics future!

IDW Transformers Panel
Saturday, September 9th | 1:00p.m. | HASCON Main Stage
Have you ever wanted to know how a comic book comes to life? Hear from the artists and writers that create the Transformers comics. Learn how story ideas are developed and brought to life by the amazing team of writers and artists at IDW.

IDW MLP Panel: Comics are Magic
Sunday, September 10th | 12:00p.m. | Discovery Family Stage
IDW has been publishing My Little Pony comics since 2012, and recently passed the major milestone of Issue #50. Come meet some of the creative team behind these beloved comics, and learn first-hand what goes into creating original stories about your favorite Pony friends. Bobby CurnowMy Little Pony series editor at IDW, and lead artist Andy Price, have been working on the comics since the very first issue. And Brenda Hickey, who is currently drawing the new My Little Pony: Legends of Magic series, joined the team not long after in 2013. Join us for behind the scenes stories of how My Little Pony comics come to life!

Tickets and information for the convention are available at: hascon.hasbro.com

Hasbro Unveils Full Entertainment Program For First-Ever Hascon

Press Release:

HASCON – the first-ever FANmily™ event from Hasbro, Inc created for fans to enjoy their favorite stories and characters they love in a whole new way – is excited to share with fans the full programming schedule for all of Hasbro’s major brands and talent in attendance.

Attendees will get the chance to celebrate their iconic brands with an abundance of entertainment programming. These include behind-the-scenes panels with their brands, larger-than-life games to play, meet-and-greets with HASCON’s talented guests and unforgettable brand experiences. Fans of Hasbro’s iconic franchises, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, NERF, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and premier partner brands such as MARVEL, STAR WARS and DISNEY PRINCESS will have many ways to experience the joy and power of play during the three-day event.

Fans will have a chance to meet and snap a pic with Zach King, the online filmmaker whose magical and inventive videos have entertained millions of fans across the globe. Joining Zach on stage will also be Internet Personality Action Movie Kid, Actor/Filmmaker and Impressionist Jamie Costa and Internet Make-Up Sensation Charisma Star.

HASCON activity highlights include:

  • Newly added talent including New England Patriot player Danny Amendola and online filmmaker Zach King
  • Over 45 individual panels that highlight the breadth of Hasbro’s popular brands, from comic books and toys to television, film and games – with select panels featuring notable guests such as Mark Wahlberg, Stan Lee, Isabela Moner, Candace Payne, and James Gunn among others
  • VIP and add-on events for attendees interested in a more intimate and engaging fan experience with TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, and top talent such as Mark Wahlberg, and Dude Perfect.
  • Musical performances from award-winning musicians, including Flo Rida, Daya, and Hasbro’s own Toys 2 Men
  • Check out the latest VR, game tech and sneak peeks of digital games for some of Hasbro’s biggest brands, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY and MY LITTLE PONY at the HASCON HASCADE
  • Over 20 individual meet and greet / autograph sessions with HASCON talent, including Daya, Dude Perfect, the voices of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Flo Rida, James Gunn, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Maddie Ziegler, David Ortiz, James White and more
  • The IDW Publishing Artist Alley that features appearance from industry-recognized comic illustrators, artists and designers.
  • Opportunities for youth fans (Ages 3-15) to audition for the opportunity to be in a real Hasbro video.
  • Activities for Hasbro’s youngest fans including PLAY-DOH creation stations, photo opps with costume characters and an interactive sing-along with Sesame Street’s beloved Muppets Elmo and Abby Cadabby.
  • Access to merchandise for purchase (including exclusives) at HASCON’s on-site Hasbro FANmily™ Boutique from TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MARVEL, STAR WARS and more.

HASCON will bring Hasbro’s most iconic and imaginative brands to life like never before, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY and G.I. JOE and exceptional partner brands such as BEYBLADE BURST, DREAMWORKS TROLLS and SESAME STREET. Fans will get a sneak peek behind the Hasbro curtain during the three days filled with exciting first-look previews and panels from Hasbro’s biggest television and movie series, including Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERS: RESCUE BOTS, LITTLEST PET SHOP and MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC as seen on Hasbro’s joint-venture television network Discovery Family.

To view the full list of HASCON panels, guests and an overall schedule, visit hascon.hasbro.com/schedule

HASCON is set in Providence at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center from Sept. 8-10, 2017. To purchase General Admission and VIP tickets, view complete package details and stay up to date on all the latest information on HASCON 2017, please visit hascon.hasbro.com

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