Golden Apple Books Debuts at WonderCon 2018

Press Release:

Golden Apple Books, a new comic publishing extension of Golden Apple Comics, will debut three new titles this year, you can hear about all of it and meet our creators at WonderCon Anaheim on March 23-25 at booth #804. Also, don’t miss our spotlight panel Saturday, March 24th from 10:00 -11:30 AM in Room North 200B.

Signing Schedule:
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
10am – Richard Fairgray – Grab the debut prequel issue #00 of Blastosaurus and an autograph & doodle for only $3.99!

12pm – Darick Robertson (Happy!, The Boys, etc.) & R. Eric Lieb (CBGB, Turistas) They are the co-writers of the new series Sparrow that stars musical sensation Lindsey Stirling. Darick is the creator of the comic as well as the cover artist and penciler. FREE signed poster and a limited edition print by Darick for $20

Saturday Only:
12pm Meet legendary voice actor Paul Eiding, famous for Transformers, Metal Gear Solid, Ben 10, and more. He is the co-writer of Blastosaurus and will sign your copy of the debut issue #00!

Saturday & Sunday Only:
2pm Meet actor and author Michael McMillian (True Blood, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and grab a FREE autograph and preview copy of his new series Adventure Van!

RSVP on Facebook!

 

 

Sac Toy Con Welcomes Arthur Burghardt

Sacramento Toy Con welcomes actor Arthur Burghardt, the original voice of DESTRO, ICEBERG, and STALKER in the G.I. Joe classic cartoon series, DEVASTATOR in Transformers, CAPTAIN PETE from The Prince and the Pauper, CINGE from Dragon’s Lair, TURBO and COP-TUR from Challenge of the GoBots, ARGUS from Robotix, MANNOROTH in Warcraft III and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, VENOM in Ultimate Spider-Man, and THANATOS in God Of War: Ghost of Sparta.

Sacramento Toy Con is a toy and collectible convention to be held on Sunday, March 11, 2018. A great spot and time to find that hard to get toy or that brand new collectible. Fun and adventure for the whole family.

RSVP on Facebook!

Cost $10.00 Children under 12 are free
Hours 10am-5pm
Location – Scottish Rite Masonic Center
6151 H St, Sacramento, CA 95819

For further details, please visit the Sacramento Toy Con website: sactoycon.com

CA – 2nd Annual Black Comic Creator Day

Brandon Easton, Don Walker, Saddler Ward, more sign at The Comic Bug on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from noon till 4:00 PM for the 2nd Annual Black Comic Creator Day in honor of the upcoming release of BLACK PANTHER.

RSVP on Facebook!

The Comic Bug
1807 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 372-6704

DragonCon 2017 Report!

Each year, I start checking the guest list on the DragonCon web site in December. Call it my Christmas tradition. I check it once a month until, say, May, then once a week until summer’s midpoint. After that, I’m checking it pretty much daily until that pre-Labor Day Thursday, when the convention opens.

The web site has a full guest list and a featured list. The featured list is where the major authors  and actors appear. It is the only list I check because, unless you are self-published or have ten or fewer Twitter followers, that is the list you are usually on.

Except this year. This year, Wallace Shawn was too obscure to make the featured list, which is . . . wait for it . . . inconceivable. And Jerry Pournelle. Jerry wrote or edited 43 books. He won the Heinlein Society Award, the Prometheus Award, and the John W. Campbell Award. He was the president of SWFA and one of sci-fi’s leading lights. How was Jerry effing Pournelle left off the featured list?

(Don’t tell me they were added too late to make both lists. Arthur Darvill was on both despite being added the day before the con opened).

I had never met Jerry Pournelle at any convention, despite being a bibliophile and science fiction fan. Thus, there was a hole in my collection where his autograph belonged. Fortunately, I saw him on the web site before leaving home, so I grabbed my first edition of New Voices in Science Fiction: Stories by Campbell Award Nominees (1977). The book contains Jerry’s story “Silent Leges,” a masterpiece of military sci-fi. My copy was signed by George R.R. Martin. I wanted Jerry to sign it, too.

He was scheduled to be on a panel Friday afternoon. I got there early. Snagged a front row seat. The other panelists were milling, talking to fans, signing a book here or there. Then I heard someone say, “There’s Jerry.” Turning around, I expected to see the tuxedoed impresario on his Wikipedia page. Shuffling toward me instead was a gaunt man of many years being helped toward the stage. He used a walker. Settling into his chair, he sighed, the weight of a world (not this one, surely; one of his creation) on his shoulders.

I hate being the first to ask for an autograph, and as the panel was starting in ten minutes, I needed someone else to step up. And someone did. I was at the table next, passing Jerry my book and asking if I could have “a quick signature.” He turned the book in his hands like a rare gem.

“Am I in this?” he asked weakly.

“Yes sir,” I said, opening to the title page and handing him my pen.

“Am I a co-editor of this?” I was about to demur, but he answered himself: “No, that was George.” The pen I had given him was a felt tip Expresso, the only pen I can use without smearing the ink. He tried to sign his looping J and poked a hole in the page. I winced. He got it right the second time, though the signature was eroded-looking, like Sumerian clay tablets.

There. Target acquired. I needed to get my book back lest it suffer more damage, like a cracked spine. (Burt Ward did this at DragonCon 2012, opening my book so wide I heard the binding let go like a gunshot.) Inexplicably, I turned to the table of contents. “See? There’s your story,” I said. He smiled. “Oh yes,” he said. “That story.” Then he signed again, forgetting, I suppose, that he had already obliged me.

I don’t mean to ridicule. In fact, I admire Jerry for coming out to DragonCon. He was clearly unwell. Things got worse the following week, and he passed away on September 8. According to the New York Times, he “contracted a cold and flu on the trip.” I was getting over some sickness the day I met him. Did he contract my cold? Did I kill Jerry Pournelle?

I hope not. The memory of a once-vibrant writer hobbling down an aisle is haunting enough. It is hard seeing your heroes reduced by time. When I saw Adam West in 2013, he walked with a cane. William Shatner has put on a few cheb’a’. For some people, going to conventions is like going to a class reunion: they want to see who is still a geek or jock, who succeeded and who flopped, and who got old. I go to pay my respects. Knowing I was among the last people to see Jerry Pournelle alive is a sobering thought, one that has made me realize my responsibility as a fan: to treat celebrities with dignity. They show up for our entertainment; we show up for their actualization. Puts things in perspective, don’t you think?

Attendance at this year’s DragonCon was a record-setting 80,000-plus, which most people attributed to two factors: (1) Stan Lee, who had not been to DragonCon since 2012; and (2) a Doctor Who contingent of Billie Piper, Karen Gillan (who cancelled last year), Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston–and Matt Smith. I heard that Matt was the first post-2005 Doctor to attend DragonCon, and he was terrific, humble and funny, though he wouldn’t shake my hand, offering the fist bump instead. Karen limited herself to the fist bump too. Alex and Billie shook hands and hugged people. Different strokes, I guess.

All the Brits were in one room, sitting at a row of tables. It would have made sense to have a single line, and if you had autograph tickets for, say, only two of the five, you would simply skip the ones you didn’t have tickets for. Instead, once you got, say, Matt’s autograph, you were directed into a separate line for someone else, and if you wanted a third autograph, you had to trudge to a third line, and so on. Bit of a nutter way to do things, if you ask me. Also daft was the fact that Billie Piper was there only one day, but when I bought autograph tickets on Friday, I was told she was there all weekend. I didn’t learn she was Sunday only until I showed up on Saturday. DragonCon is staffed by volunteers, and it is bedlam from start to finish, but I don’t think I’m out of bounds to ask the autograph ticket sellers to know when the autographers will be available.

Lines are a fact of convention life, and with more attendees than all but four NFL stadiums hold, I expected some lines to be interminable. What I didn’t expect, though maybe I should have, was a line to get into a building. Vendors and artists occupy three floors of Americas Mart 2, and last year, the fire marshall shut down the building one day because it was at capacity. To prevent that this year, DragonCon staffers were funneling people into a line outside, letting them in a few at a time. It was a workable but maddening solution. One vendor told me that, next year, the artists will be moved to the fourth floor of Americas Mart, which is an excellent idea. Spreading out attendees over more of the building should curb the overcrowding problem.

After being unable to interview guests last year, I was scheduled for two this year: Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes. Remembering that only one of my two interviews in 2015 took place, I was cautiously optimistic. Turns out the caution was warranted, as was naked fury, because both Marina and Jonathan cancelled. Another reporter told me she had an interview with Gates McFadden, who simply didn’t show up.

To all DragonCon celebs: I know conventions aren’t your vacations. You are working while you’re there. I am working too, and I can’t do my work if you blow off a media session. Remember when you were young actors, struggling to make your way? People helped you, right? So pay that forward–help us. We’re not Nightline anchors. We need the exposure your interviews give us. I can’t speak for all reporters, but I make my interviews short and anodyne, possibly enjoyable. So if you agree to an interview, please keep it. That’s all we–I–ask.

This year was my seventh DragonCon, and despite my cavils, I love it. The show gets better every year. If you have the chance to attend, do it. Don’t say you’ll think about it. Don’t say you want to read more of my reviews first. Just go. But keep reading my reviews. And take a look at the pictures below. Talk to you soon.

Me with my colleague, Michaela McPherson. Check out her interview with Jai Nitz, creator of Suicide Squad’s El Diablo, on Convention Scene.

 

Cool board, bro.

 

Where’s Harley Quinn when you need her?

 

Never seen Marry Poppins and Bert cosplayers before. Excellent!

 

Excuse me, sir. Why is your suitcase wiggling?

 

Believe it or not, this is the first year I’ve seen a dragon at DragonCon.

 

When Michaela wanted to enter the armory, I told her she was axing for trouble.

 

When the rum is gone, you can buy more in the hotel bars . . . or from this guy.

 

Me Grimlock say, “Rawr.”

 

This guy is most definitely not a member of Hair Club for Men.

 

Before and after

 

DragonCon hoststhe Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive, which reached a milestone this year: 25,000 donors since 2002.

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

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