August 10, 2016 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Anime, Comic Books, Comic Strips, Convention News, Cosplay, Massachusetts, Movies, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Television, Video Games, Webcomics
Boston Comic Con kicks off the three-day comic book convention on Friday, August 12 to Sunday August 14!
Boston Comic Con Celebrity Guest list includes William Shatner, the original Captain James T. Kirk, whose appearance, along with Vic Mignogna, marks the celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. Also appearing are leading stars from top current TV shows including John Barrowman, Caity Lotz, Ciara Renee, Danielle Panabaker and Robbie Amell from CW’s Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, Ben Mckenzie from Gotham, Elizabeth Henstridge from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Gillian Anderson from the X-Files and featuring special appearances from Doctor Who companions Jenna Coleman and Karen Gillan.
Frank Miller, the most celebrated creators in comic book history, headlines a stellar line-up of over 90 world class comic book artists and writers, including notable appearances by Sam Kieth and John Cassaday. Kieth is best known for his creator-owned titles The Maxx and Zero Girl and as co-creator of The Sandman. Cassady is a fan favorite artist with acclaimed runs on Planetary, Captain America, Astonishing X-Men and Marvel’s new Star Wars series. They join other famed artists such as Arthur Adams, Mike and Laura Allred, Greg Capullo, Amanda Conner, Terry Dodson, Phil Jimenez, Erik Larsen, Jae Lee, David Lloyd, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Snyder, Mark Waid, Marv Wolfman, Bernie Wrightson and many more.
On Friday, August 12, it’s Family Day where kids age 10 and under will receive free admission to the show featuring a variety of family friendly activities.
On Saturday, August 13, Mayor Marty Walsh will greet William Shatner and deliver a proclamation to the Star Trek legend. This will take place at 9:45 AM in the Harborview Ballroom at the Seaport World Trade Center. Also participating are Nick Kanieff and Jim Talbot, co-founders of Boston Comic Con.
On Sunday, August 14, the convention continues and includes one of the most anticipated events of the weekend, the annual Costume Contest on Sunday, August 14 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the Plaza Ballroom.
WHERE: Seaport World Trade Center
200 Seaport Boulevard
WHEN: Friday, August 12: 12:00PM – 8:00PM
Saturday, August 13: 10:00AM – 7:00PM
Sunday, August 14: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Tickets and information available at the link: www.bostoncomiccon.com
Artist Philip Tan (Batman and Robin, Green Lantern, Phantom Stranger) appears at Collector’s Paradise on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 from 6:00 till 8:00 PM to celebrate the release of SUICIDE SQUAD REBIRTH #1 from DC Comics!
319 S Arroyo Pkwy, Ste 4, Pasadena, California 91105
Inker Jay Leisten appears at Famous Faces and Funnies on Saturday June 25th from 4:00 – 7:00 PM for a store signing. Jay has worked on many books over the years including the New Green Lantern Series, Nightwing, Uncanny X-Men, Batman Beyond, Deadpool/Cable Split Second, and more!
Famous Faces and Funnies
3020 New Haven Avenue W, West Melbourne, FL 32904
Free Comic Book Day 2016 is this Saturday May 7th at Cards, Comics & Collectibles – Baltimore County’s Premiere Comic Book Store and the Official News Source of the Baltimore Comic-Con! You don’t want to miss our amazing guests, giveaways, events, and FREE COMICS!
The full-day event kicks off with an awesome line-up of creators appearing at the store! Mark Morales, Matt Slay, and Steve Conley will be all signing autographs at the store throughout the day.
Mark Morales has established himself as one of the industry’s go-to inkers for major titles and events for the big publishers. He has inked a vast number of titles at Marvel Comics including, among many others, A+X, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers vs. X-Men, New Avengers, Secret Invasion, Sentry, Siege, Spider-Man/Deadpool, Thor, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Force, and X-Men. He has also done work for DC Comics on titles like Action Comics, Batman/Superman, JLA, New Suicide Squad, Prez, and Superman: The Man of Steel. He was also awarded the Harvey Award for Best Inker in 2009 and 2011.
Matt Slay has contributed to the TMNT/Ghostbusters crossover and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Series: Leonardo. You can find his work gracing countless trading cards for Image, Cryptozoic, and Marvel, and more recently on covers from American Mythology Productions’ Equilibrium.
Award-winning designer, illustrator, and cartoonist Steve Conley has worked on such notable comics as Star Trek: Year Four (IDW), Michael Chabon’s Amazing Adventures of the Escapist (Dark Horse Comics), JLA-Z (DC Comics), and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (BOOM! Studios). Conley, who is also the creator of Astounding Space Thrills and the all-ages series Bloop (www.bloopstree.com), will be signing and sketching all day.
“We love giving away comics on Free Comic Book Day,” said Marc Nathan, owner of Cards, Comics & Collectibles. “It’s such a fantastic opportunity for the industry, where everyone walking in the store walks out with a comic, whether they’re a regular or just starting to read comics. We are delighted to host Mark, Matt, and Steve for this year’s signing, and the free comics we’ll be giving away are fantastic!”
Besides giving away free comic books, the store will have free Baltimore Comic-Con t-shirts to give away as well, and will offer 50% off modern and bronze age back issues, trade paperbacks, and hardcovers.
Join us on Saturday, May 7, 2016 as events kick off at 10:00am with store signings and, of course, FREE COMICS!
Cards, Comics & Collectibles is located at 100A Chartley Drive, Reisterstown, MD. For more information, please visit cardscomicscollectibles.com, our Facebook page, or call 410-526-7410.
The DALLAS COMIC SHOW returns to the Richardson Civic Center on August 6-7, 2016. We continue bringing the DFW area an affordable and family-friendly event featuring comic book creators, celebrity guests, anime, cosplayers and more. John Romita Jr. (ALL-STAR BATMAN) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca in the STAR WARS films) kick off the guest list with many more to come. Information will be updated on www.dallascomicshow.com as details are confirmed.
April 13, 2016 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Collectibles, Comic Books, Comic Strips, Convention News, Cosplay, Gaming, Horror, Michigan, Movies, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Television, Top Stories, Video Games
“C’mon Batman – There’s not a moment to lose…”. The excitement has been building and Motor City Comic Con 2016 is announcing a new cast of comic and media guests for its 27th
annual, three-day comic con and has opened ticket sales online. Michigan’s number one pop culture event will toast the 50th anniversary of Batman with stars from the original cast in their last year of appearances before they hang up their capes. The weekend event will feature stars from popular television series and films like Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Gotham, The X-Files, Monty Python, The Hobbit, and many more. “Holy smokes, Batman.” This year’s Motor City Comic Con will take place Friday, May 13 (12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.), Saturday, May 14 (10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday, May 15 (10:30 a.m. to 5
p.m.) at the Suburban Showplace, located at 46100 Grand River Avenue in Novi. Complete information about the event, tickets, panels and VIP passes is available at www.motorcitycomiccon.com
The weekend event features more than 300 creators, writers, illustrators and actors who will greet the fans, sign autographs, take pictures, and provide panels and Q & A discussions, while many super fans are dressed in their pop culture best. A popular event is Saturday’s cosplay contest where a mix of celebrity judges determine the best costume winners, presenting prizes and gift packages. Motor City Comic Con’s annual Saturday night bash celebrates comic con weekend with entertainment, refreshments, and light hors devours for the public. Sunday is Kid’s Day featuring kid-friendly activities.
Hot off the Gotham Globe press, some of this year’s Motor City Comic Con guest announcements include:
Lena Headey: The English actress is best known for her role as Cersei Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Other appearances include: The Purge, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dredd, 300, and more.
Adam West: Known as the original Batman from the classic television series, his film, television, character, voice, and stage actor career spans over six decades, making nearly 50 movies. West is the author of Back to the Batcave, and Climbing the Walls.
Burt Ward: Known as the original Robin from the classic television series and Batman: The Movie (1966). Ward wrote tell-all autobiography Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights, and continues to appear in numerous reunions with co-star Adam West.
Billie Piper: The UK singer, dancer and television star is best known for her role as Rose Tyler in Doctor Who. Piper can also be seen on Penny Dreadful. Other television film roles include: The Ruby in the Smoke, and The Shadow in the North, and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
Holland Roden: Known as Lydia Martin on MTV’s Teen Wolf and as Emily Locke on Lost. Other appearances include: Weeds, Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Cold Case, Community, and Criminal Minds.
Tara Reid: Best known for her roles in American Pie, The Big Lebowski, Josie and the Pussycats, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, My Boss’s Daughter, and SyFy’s Sharknado.
Elden Henson: Actor best known for playing Matt Murdock’s partner and best friend, Foggy Nelson in Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix series, Fulton Reed in the Mighty Ducks trilogy, and Pollux in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2.
The Four Horsemen: A rare reunion after 15 years of the greatest wrestling faction of all time. Professional wrestlers Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham and manager JJ Dillion were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.
Michael Nesmith: An American musician, songwriter, actor, producer, novelist, businessman, and philanthropist, Nesmith is best known as a member of the pop rock band The Monkees and co-star of the TV series The Monkees (1966-1968). This year marks the 50th anniversary of the show.
Michael Cudlitz: Known as Abraham Ford on AMC’s The Walking Dead. He played John Cooper in series Southland, and has appeared in more than 20 films and television series such as Prison Break, Lost, The Dark Tourist, Surrogates, Tenure, Six Feet Under, and more.
Robin Lord Taylor: Dubbed as “favorite breakout star of television,” Taylor is best known as Oswald Cobblepot or The Penguin on Gotham. Known for his role as Sam on The Walking Dead, and as Abernathy Darwin Dunlap in Accepted.
Dean O’Gorman: A New Zealand actor, artist and photographer, he is best known as Fili in The Hobbit trilogy, and as Kirk Douglas in Trumbo. Other appearances include: Shortland Street, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Young Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess, and McLeod’s Daughters.
Josh McDermitt: Comedian and star of AMC’s The Walking Dead made his television debut on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006. He was casted in TV movie Rehab for Rejects and as Brandon on Retired at 35. McDermitt can also be seen in Middle Man and Odious.
Sonequa Martin-Green: An actress and producer, known for her role as Sasha in The Walking Dead, and as Tamara in Once Upon a Time.
Mitch Pileggi: An Italian-American actor best known for his role as Walter Skinner on The X-Files. He later reprised the role in the show’s feature film The X-Files (1998) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).
Michael Trevino: Known as Tyler Lockwood in the CW series The Vampire Diaries, Lockwood also appeared in spin-off series The Originals.
Alan Davis: UK artist known for drawing the revamped Captain Britain story in The Mighty World of Marvel, he has also created D.R. and Quinch for 2000AD. Other recognizable works include: The Uncanny X- Men, Excalibur, JLA: The Nail, and JLA: Another Nail.
Kevin O’Neill: British comic artist is best known for his work on 2000AD, Marshal Law, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Other works include: Omega Men, Tales of the Green Lantern Corp., Metalzoic, and Avatar’s Cinema Purgatorio.
Neal Adams: Known for transforming Batman’s realistic incarnation seen in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Other legendary comic book work includes: X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, and Deadman. Adams is preparing to release his graphic novel Blood, and a Harley Quinn book.
Bob Layton: A comic visionary, creator, writer, artist, designer, and entrepreneur, known for reinventing Iron Man in the 70s, turning it into an all-time best selling comic series. Layton launched the first mini- series in comics’ history Hercules: Prince of Power.
Terry Jones: Best known as a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, Jones co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Other directing credits include: Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life, Personal Services, Erik the Viking, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and Absolutely Everything.
Ian Ziering: Known for his array of acting including Beverly Hills 90210, No Way Back, What I Like About You, Melrose Place, and Happily Divorced. Ziering became the most in-demand actor for various animated films and television shows Spider-Man, Mighty Ducks, Batman Beyond, and Biker Mice from Mars.
Additional media and comic guest announcements are coming soon. For more information regarding Motor City Comic Con guests and events, visit www.motorcitycomiccon.com.
About Motor City Comic Con
Michigan’s largest pop-culture event since 1989, Motor City Comic Con gathers comic book and multimedia dealers from across the country, offering a vast variety of pop-culture merchandise, including comics, art, t-shirts, movie memorabilia, posters and much more. Over 300 comic book creators, writers and artists are on site at Motor City Comic Con each year, as well as more than 50 actors from the television and movie industry. Motor City Comic Con offers big fun for kids young and old.
Join TFAW for the 15th annual Free Comic Book Day! We’re opening our doors early at 9:00 AM on Saturday May 7, 2016 to kick off Portland’s largest Free Comic Book Day celebration!
Choose up to 10 specially marked FCBD comics per person while supplies last and take advantage of storewide savings on nearly everything in the shop!
Portland TFAW FCBD Schedule:
9:00AM – 7:00PM — Day-long Free Comic Book Day Celebration (Free donuts while supplies last just before doors open)
9:00AM – 12:00PM — Free Face Painting for the Kiddos
9:30AM – 11:30AM — Comic Book Creator Signings
Robbi Rodriguez (Spider-Gwen)
Greg Smith (Junior Braves of the Apocalypse)
12:00PM – 2:00PM — Comic Book Creator Signings
Terry Dodson (Star Wars: Princess Leia, Red One)
Dylan Meconis (Bite Me!, Family Man, Outfoxed)
12:00PM – 3:00PM — Niall’s Zombie Control Service Photo Ops (check back for list of characters)
2:00PM – 7:00PM — Box Customer Appreciation Sale & FCBD Care Package Pick-Up
Things From Another World
2916 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
World renowned comics artist ARTHUR ADAMS will be visiting Flying Colors on Saturday April 2, 2016 from 11:00 AM till 1:00 PM.
Art is the cover artist for Flying Colors exclusive edition of AVENGERS STANDOFF ALPHA #1 which features Pleasant Hill CA’s historic landmark Soldier’s Memorial Monument. This will be your best chance to get a signed copy of this special edition that is available exclusively at Flying Colors Comics in Concord CA.
His work includes X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, SUPERMAN, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, MONKEYMAN & O’BRIEN, ULTIMATE X, UNIVERSAL MONSTERS, the creation of LONGSHOT and so much more.
Arthur’s work has influenced a generation of comics artists. He currently is Marvel’s “go-to guy” for iconic and fan-favorite covers.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the limited time Art has for this signing, he will not be able to do any sketches. We will be giving priority to fans buying Art’s Flying Colors Pleasant Hill exclusive Avengers special edition. We reserve the right to limit the number of signatures on other items. Thanks for your understanding!
Flying Colors Comics
2980 Treat Blvd (at Oak Grove Rd), Concord, CA 94518
I went to Rhode Island to see John and Chris. John is my best friend of 25 years. We have been through it all: four divorces (two each), five marriages (he can make it six), new careers, new houses, and the almost-death of his first son, Jonathan, back in 2000. John and I have been to a number of conventions together (see here, for example), and it was time to add the Rhode Island Comic-Con to our roll.
Chris is Chris Claremont. I love John like a brother, but let’s be clear: Chris is what drew me, a lifelong Southerner, to New England on the cusp of winter (November 5-8). I have been a fan of Chris since high school, when my friend Margot introduced me to a pretty cool comic called The Uncanny X-Men. The first issue I bought was #216. I read it, was hooked, and started buying it each month. My father noticed my zeal, and realizing he could teach investment skills while doing something fun with his soon-to-be-too-old-for-him son, he started advancing me allowances to buy back issues. I learned to grade comics and spot value, and within a year, I owned issues as far back as #12, the first appearance of Juggernaut.
I just realized: that was when Stan Lee was still writing the series.
Eventually, I let my collection stagnate, and then I sold it in 1999 for a couple thousand bucks so I could marry wife #2. (Now I don’t have her or the comics, and guess which I miss more?) But I never forgot my adoration of Chris Claremont. Then I saw he would be in Rhode Island, and I called John, with whom I hadn’t planned a trip all year. John said, “I’m in,” and I thought, You better be.
Rhode Island Comic-Con isn’t as large as San Diego or C2E2, and it isn’t as venerable as, say, DragonCon. But it is on the rise. I had this brought home to me when I talked to Susan Soares, the director of media. She told me she was expecting 60,000 attendees. In 2012, there were 16,000. This is an increase of 275%—in only three years! It is the “largest and most income-generating event in the state,” according to Susan, who expects the convention to keep growing because (1) Rhode Island is not a saturated market, (2) the staff is professional and easy-going, and (3) they advertise the heck out of it.
The growth hasn’t been easy to manage, however. In 2014, the convention made headlines for the wrong reasons, overselling and getting shut down for half a day by the Providence fire marshal (see this link for the full story). I asked Susan how that contretemps would be avoided this year, and she outlined a three-part strategy:
Expansion. Last year’s event was confined to the convention center in downtown Providence. This year, they planned to situate some elements (like the dealer room) in the adjacent Dunkin Donuts Center.
Day 3. Instead of being Saturday and Sunday only, this year’s convention would start on Friday.
Scanned badges. Using the New York Comic-Con model, convention employees would scan badges as people enter and exit. This would allow them to track how many people are in the convention center at any time, thereby not exceeding capacity and getting shut down.
Overall, the strategy was a success. They had sold out of Saturday one-day tickets by 11:00am on Saturday, but I heard no other accounts of people being turned away. There were, however, navigation problems. In a convention spread across two buildings, I was surprised by the dearth of directional signs. Plus there were no printed maps—the only map was on the mobile app—so all weekend, I heard people murmuring “Where is the dealer room?” or “I can’t find Vic Mignogna’s table!”
After two circumnavigations of artist alley, I found Chris Claremont, who had been gracious enough to agree to an interview.
Me: Chris, I want you to know: you are the reason I am at this convention. I wanted to see you. Princess Leia? Pssssh. Besides, she cancelled.
Chris: Oh, really? She cancelled?
Me: Yeah. [And she wasn’t the only one. Nearly a dozen celebrities were quietly flensed from the web site as of Friday morning. I’m used to one or two no-shows, but double digits?]
Chris: The funniest thing I’ve heard is the projected opening weekend gross for that film global is one billion. I saw the very first show of Star Wars at the Astor Plaza in New York, and it was empty. It gradually filled up, but there were empty seats, and we figured, nice movie when it started, but when it finished, it was like, holy shit. We walked out the door, and the line was four-deep around the block, and it didn’t go away for about three months.
Me: Speaking of movies, what do you think about Marvel’s movies, especially X-Men?
Chris: So far, Marvel has done very, very well. Kevin Feige is a brilliant film exec. Lauren Shuler-Donner is a brilliant film exec. Between the two of them, they have nailed the Marvel pantheon. The X-Men movies maybe aren’t as financially lucrative as The Avengers. On the other hand, the casting of them is breathtaking, from the first X-Men to Days of Future Past—and, from all accounts, Apocalypse. Kevin, by the same token, starting with Iron Man, it’s been an incredible ride. I mean, Ant-Man? Who would have thought Ant-Man?
Me: Ant-Man was good.
Chris: That’s the point. It was good. And, more importantly, the actors playing the roles seem to enjoy the experience. They want to come back for more.
Me: Did you have any involvement in the X-Men movies?
Chris: Well, I helped crystallize the deal that got it all started back in the beginning, when I was briefly an executive at Marvel. I provided north of 80 percent of the source material for the characters. I mean, they’re all my guys and gals. And two-thirds of them are pretty much straight adaptations of my work. I suppose you could honestly say it was all my fault.
Me: And we’re very grateful.
Chris: Actually, the funny part is, every so often I sneak into the Marvel movies. Scarlett Johannson’s secret identity in Iron Man 2, when she walks into Tony’s house and is introduced as Natalie Rushman . . . well, Natalie Rushman is a secret identity that I invented for the Black Widow when she did a four-part team-up where she had lost her memory as the Black Widow and thought she was a schoolteacher from Boston named Natalie Rushman [this takes place in Marvel Team-Up #82-85, and the alias is actually Nancy Rushman].
Me: Cool. Switching gears a little, you’ve written comic books, and you’ve written prose novels. What’s the difference in writing the two?
Chris: When you’re writing comics, the writer’s job is to tell the story to the visual artist. All the work that goes into writing a novel goes into describing the scene. [He opens a copy of Marada the She-Wolf. A Red Sonja-like character, Marada was created by Chris and the English artist John Bolton.] So it’s describing this scene so that John Bolton could bring it to life brilliantly. Which he does. It’s giving him the sequence of events and allowing him to do what he does best, which is draw a picture that makes you go, wow! When I first drafted this scene, there was going to be lots of dialogue about how she lost her father, lost her mother, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah. But when I got to the scene, when you see the images, when you get to this image, you don’t need any words. I mean, if you can’t figure out what’s going on, if you can’t figure out the emotional relationships just from looking at it, then neither of us is doing our job. John did his job brilliantly, unlike me talking now. The key to being a writer in comics is to know when to shut the hell up and let the artist do the work.
Me: So would your instructions for that panel be “Have someone lying on the bed,” or would you describe exactly how it should look?
Chris: Well, depends on the scene. Marvel did a 9/11 remembrance book [Heroes, released December 2001] where a writer and an artist would team up to do a poster commemorating what happened and how they felt about it, and when my page came around, I spent about 2,000 words describing the scene, and Salvador [Larocca] just drew this brilliant, brilliant picture, and as far as I was concerned, it didn’t need anything more from me. I had done my work, he had done his work, and the end result was brilliant.
Me: Very good. So you were inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame earlier this year. What was that like?
Chris: A lot of fun. One of the more unexpected things in my life. It’s way too cool for the likes of me.
Me: It doesn’t surprise me at all.
Chris: Well, you can think that. I’m not supposed to because I’m supposed to be shy and modest. But it’s way cool.
Me: When did you start doing conventions?
Chris: When they started asking me. How else can you meet the fans? In the old days, it was more fun because people would write letters, and the nice thing about them is it tells you what they were thinking of and how they were reacting to specific issues. Now it’s all posted online, and you seriously have to go looking for it. There aren’t that many hours in a day. But conventions are a really nice way of putting a face on the readership.
Me: What are a couple of your more memorable convention experiences?
Chris: Just meeting people. It’s a weird sensation when you run into creators, actors, people you’ve respected, and they tell you how cool you are, and you go, “No no no, that’s my line.”
Me: Do fans ever just go to pieces meeting you? Do they cry? Hyperventilate?
Chris: Oh yeah. But the cool thing is that now I’m starting to see a lot more young kids coming, which leads one to believe there’s hope.
Me: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Chris: Get a day job [laughs]. Being a writer is like being an artist: if you’ve got the bug, you do it. You don’t argue. You can’t argue. Then it’s just a matter of kicking at the wall until something sells. And then, once you make the first sell, you go for the second, then the third, then the fourth, and so on. There’s no real secret to being a writer. There’s just having an idea and then having the madcap determination to see it through to fruition.
You might assume this is an excerpt from the interview. It is not. This short conversation lasted over 20 minutes because we were sitting at Chris’s table in artist alley, and he was signing books all the while. My recording of the interview is peppered with crowd noise, his sidebars with other fans, and announcements blasted over the PA system. Chris had trouble getting into the convention—apparently, his vendor badge could not be located—and the interview started late, when he already had more people waiting for him than a Soviet bread line. Yet it was one of my best interviews ever. Chris is articulate and witty, and he cares a lot for his fans. Though I didn’t hyperventilate, meeting Chris Claremont is one of the highlights of my life. And it happened at Rhode Island Comic-Con.
The rest of the convention was as you might expect. Dunkin Donuts Center is a basketball arena, which makes it an odd venue for a convention. The dealer room was on the court, which was roomy, but some of the celebrities were tucked away in what looked like janitor closets. Know who had the longest signing lines that I saw? Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke—you know, SpongeBob and Patrick, which confirms my theory that the next growth market for collectors is 1990s memorabilia.
There were few fan-led panels, which disappointed John. Such panels were the seed of conventions back in the 1970s, but they are in danger of disappearing in this bigger-is-better era. John likes the panels. He considers himself a fan but not a super-fan. The super-fan award goes to the girl I saw at Jim Beaver’s table. Tears streaked her teenaged face, and after she and her mother walked away, they stopped and hugged as though a dog had died.
Friends, that is fandom. That is love. Wil Wheaton says that the defining characteristic of being a nerd is that “we love things. Some of us love Firefly and some of us love Game of Thrones, or Star Trek, or Star Wars, or anime, or games, or fantasy, or science fiction. Some of us love completely different things. But we all love those things SO much that we travel for thousands of miles … we come from all over the world, so that we can be around people who love the things the way that we love them.”
Rhode Island was a great place to go for love. The convention is young, so I have no doubt they will work out the problems of limited space and no maps and unreliable celebs. Every staff member I saw, every volunteer I talked to, was a delight, which confirms what Susan Soares told me in the beginning.
So if you have the chance, go to Rhode Island Comic-Con next November. Buy your badge early. Study the schedule. Stay hydrated. It will be one of your best shows all year.
John and I weren’t the only attendees.
This guy was also there. Wait, he’s at every convention!
Due to the no-weapons policy, this guy wasn’t allowed to be armed.
Chris Claremont signs my comic.
The Fonz tells me to leave the convention.
Whoops! This isn’t the way to the men’s room.
An angel just below my shoulder.
Various winners from Saturday night’s costume contest, which had 70-80 total entries.
“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Jim Beaver asked me where I am from. “North Carolina,” I said. He nodded and said, “That explains it.” I wanted to say, “Right. Like Bobby Singer doesn’t have a rural accent!”
John and Groot, not seeing eye-to-eye.
“Uh, Doctor? I think you regenerated a little too far back.”
This gal is a great little Kidder.
Not something you see at most conventions, but a good idea.
This guy also shows up at every convention. It’s like he has a time machine or something.
Writer Cullen Bunn appears at Distant Planet Comics on Saturday January 23, 2016 from 11:00 AM till 5:00 PM to sign the first issue of the All-New, All-Different Uncanny X-Men. Please join us that day and meet one of our favorite creators in the industry. Cullen’s works include Harrow County and Blood Feud (store favorites!), as well as Magneto, Sixth Gun, The Tooth, Hellbreak and much more!
Distant Planet Comics and Collectibles
601 Business Loop 70 W, Ste 263, Columbia, MO 65203