Category Archives: Conventions

Image Expo Will Feature Four Exclusive Variants

Image Comics has announced four jaw-dropping exclusive Image Expo variants will be available on the day of the show, January 8, 2015: Bitch Planet #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro, Rumble #1 by John Arcudi and James Harren, Wytches #3 by Scott Snyder and Jock, and East of West #16 by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta with cover art by Meredith McClaren. All Image Expo variants will be priced at $5 each, Premium ticket holders will be receiving them complimentary with their ticket purchase.

An Image Firsts Compendium trade paperback will also be available at Image Expo for the first time, collecting nine #1 issues of Image Comics’ hottest new series at the low introductory price of $5.99. The nine included are: C.O.W.L. #1 by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel, LOW #1 by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, NAILBITER #1 by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #1, SHUTTER #1 by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca, SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1 by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, THE FADE OUT #1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1 by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, and WYTCHES #1 by Scott Snyder and Jock. This is the perfect sampling of some of the best creator-owned series available and allows readers interested in trying out a variety of new series to do so without breaking the bank.

There will also be a very limited number of posters for sale that feature the complete collection of connecting East of West #16 covers. East of West artist Nick Dragotta will be present for a signing.

Previously announced Image Expo guests include: Brian K. Vaughan, Todd McFarlane, Scott Snyder, Emi Lenox, Jeff Lemire, Marjorie Liu, Emma Ríos, Brandon Graham, James Robinson. In addition, there will be special surprise guests in attendance.

Image Expo will be an all-day event held in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on January 8, 2015. Image Expo will begin the new year with a slew of thrilling creator-owned news announcements and will be open to all fans, comics retailers, and members of the media.

Tickets to the event are now available for sale. General admission tickets are $20, while premium tickets are $50 and include preferred seating and exclusive Image Comics releases. Seating is limited.

bitch planet variant east of west variant rumble variant wytcher variant

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Otakon Vegas to Host Prolific Artist Wendee Lee

WLeecardOtakon Vegas will host prolific artist Wendee Lee as a guest at Otakon Vegas 2015.

Wendee Lee has over 300 credits as a voice actress in anime, video games, and live action. She is best known for the role of Faye Valentine in the megahit classic Cowboy Bebop. She is also well known for the roles of Haruhi (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), TK (Digimon Adventure), and Konata Izumi (Lucky Star). In addition, she has been ADR Director for anime including Bleach and Outlaw Star.

Wendee was born and raised in Southern California, living between San Francisco and Los Angeles as a child. She knew from a very young age that she would become an actress and began performing in theater and studying dance. By the time she was a teenager, she was a full time dancer and budding choreographer.

A lucky break turned into an audition and landed Wendee her first anime role in Robotech. She kept her day jobs, and continued working as a struggling actress and voice artist. A variety of part time jobs ensued, including working as a dance instructor, make-up artist, and choreographer.

Over time, her voice resume grew and afforded her the opportunity to branch into ADR script writing, adapting, and finally directing. It was difficult breaking into the all-male world of voice directors at the time, but Wendee found a way in and has gone on to direct numerous productions for network broadcast as well as many other major anime titles.

Now she has an extensive list of titles to her credit as voice artist, writer, adapter, and director and has had a number of theatrical as well as network releases all over the world. She works full time as an actress and director and loves the anonymity animation provides. She is still active in theatre and choreographs everything from lives shows to music videos. She lives with her musician husband in Southern California and collaborates with him musically while continuing to do the work she so loves in the world of animation.

Wendee Lee appears with assistance from Funimation, and will participate in a special Cowboy Bebop eventat Otakon Vegas 2015! Details on the event will be announced soon on Funimation.com and OtakonVegas.com.

Otakon Vegas 2015 will be held January 16-18 at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

Check Out this Army of X-Men Cosplay from DragonCon

Distractotron put together this video at DragonCon 2014, getting as many X-Men (and their villains) together in one place. Very cool stuff, and fantastic cosplay!

(via Kotaku)

Shatner, Dalton, Kinney Among Top Celebrities At Wizard World Madison Comic Con, February 6-8

Brett DaltonWizard World continues its 2015 schedule with its first trip to the Alliant Energy Center at Wizard World Madison Comic Con, February 6-8. William Shatner, Brett Dalton, Emily Kinney, WWE Divas The Bella Twins, Josh McDermitt, Kristin Bauer, Eliza Dushku and George Wendt headline the roster of celebrity guests scheduled to attend the pop culture extravaganza.

Shatner will attend on Friday and Saturday, February 6-7; Dalton, Kinney, McDermitt, Bauer and Dushku will appear on Saturday and Sunday, February 7-8; Wendt is scheduled for all three days of the event.

Other well-known Wizard World Madison Comic Con guests include Michael Rooker, Adam West and Burt Ward, Jason Mewes, Adrian Paul, Billy Dee Williams, Edward James Olmos, Cassandra Peterson, Scott Wilson, William Kircher, James Marsters, Lou Ferrigno, Jason David Frank and Ernie Hudson.

Wizard World is also the home of the most creative comics artists and writers on the planet. Artist Alley at Madison Comic Con will feature Phil Ortiz, Mike Grell, Valerio Schiti, Joanna Estep and many others.

In addition, all full-price Wizard World Madison Comic Con attendees will receive a limited edition exclusive variant cover The Walking Dead comic, drawn by one of Wizard World’s talented artist guests (to be announced shortly). Comics will be issued at registration while supplies last and VIP attendees will receive an additional black & white sketch version.

Wizard World Madison Comic Con show hours are Friday, February 6, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, February 7, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, February 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Lantis Anisong World Tour Presented in Conjunction with Otakon Vegas

Otakon Vegas will be working in conjunction with Lantis for the Anisong World Tour in Las Vegas.

Lantis Records, the world’s largest label for anime song artists, presents “Anisong World Tour ~ Lantis Festival” on January 16 and 17th , 2015 at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV. The Lantis Festival brings 7 major artists to spread their Anisong circle to U.S. fans.

Lantis Festival World Tour is scheduled to start in 2015 across 6 cities. The U.S. show will kick off their world tour as “the circle of Anisong” that connected all of Japan goes overseas to deliver the heat of Anisong througout the world.

Many of these artists have appeared independently at other Otakorp events. JAM Project has previously appeared at Otakon (2008), and with Faylan at Otakon Music Festival (2012); Yoko Ishida appeared at Otakon (2002); and Sayaka Sasaki appeared at the inaugural Otakon Vegas (2014).

The show dates are:

Tick prices are:

VIP Tickets: $125 (limited quantity)

  • VIP Pass
  • Early Entry
  • Lucky bags
  • High-touch session with all artists after show

Advance tickets are $50.

The event will take place at The Joint – Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV.

Otakon Vegas 2015 will be held January 16-18 at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

Sushio Heads to Otakon Vegas

Otakon Vegas is welcoming Animator, Character Designer, and Animation Director, Sushio to Otakon Vegas 2015.

Sushio’s work has been featured in numerous critically acclaimed anime titles such as Diebuster, GURREN LAGANN, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt from GAINAX, and ONE PIECE THE MOVIE, Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island, the Ojamajo Doremi series from Toei Animation and many more. He has also worked as a Key Animator on many series and movies including Evangelion: 1.0, 2.0, and, 3.0, FLCL, and Redline.

This would be his first visit to Las Vegas, to promote his latest work as Character Designer and Chief Animation Director for the smash hit anime series, KILL la KILL. Sushio appears courtesy of Aniplex USA.

Otakon Vegas 2015 will be held January 16-18 at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

SUSHIO card

Otakon Vegas Announces Guests, Steve Blum, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Lisa Ortiz

LOrtizcardOtakorp has announced a wave of guests for Otakon Vegas 2015. Voice actors Lisa Ortiz, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, and Steve Blum will all be guests at the show.

Lisa began her career as the high elf Deedlit in Record of Lodoss War. Since then, she has gone on to record dozens of anime series, audiobooks, video games, and films, as well as eventually moving behind the microphone as a producer, director and adapter. Her work has appeared in film festivals and on television. She can currently be heard as Fletchling, the Gym leader Korrina, and Oshawott in Pokemon, Rina in Time of Eve, Anna in Berserk, Mini in RoboCar Poli, Ogakai in Dungeon Hunter 4, Lotus Hanazoe in Yugioh GX, as well as roles in Gangstar 3. Her directing and producing work includes mobile games for The Dark Knight Rises, Iron Man 3, and Littlest Pet Shop. She is President of Noise of O Productions, and currently resides in NYC, with her fabulous felines Fitz and Stan.

As an actress, Mary portrayed Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost In The Shell Innocence, Solid State Society and Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex for which she won the American Anime Award for Best Actress. You can also hear her as the Female Crusader in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Kurutsu in Ghost in the Shell Arise, Mrs. Maheswaran in Steven Universe, Sei in Alpha Protocol and Nora in Final Fantasy XIII. Some of her other popular roles are Cornelia in Code Geas. Kurenai from Naruto, Julia from Cowboy Bebop, Zanpakuto from Bleach, Helba and Bordeau from .hack, Jagura from Wolf’s Rain, Nuriko in Fushigi Yuugi and Caroline from Vampire Hunter D.

MEMcGlynncardMary is directing Penn Zero: Part Time Hero for Disney XD premiering in 2015 starring Thomas Middleditch, Adam Devine, Alfred Molina and Larry Wilmore. She is also directing Naruto: Shippudenwhich just reached its 500th episode! She has directed the 6 Naruto Movies as well as Naruto and Naruto Shippuden the series for which she received the 2008 SPJA award for best director. Among her many other directing credits are Cowboy Bebop the series, Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,Tenkai Knights, Digimon Fusion, Wolf’s Rain, Digimon Tamers, the movie Appleseed and was a co-writer for the American adaptation of Metropolis. She also directed the original animated series Boing The Play Ranger and Gormiti: Lords of Nature.

Mary Elizabeth has had the great honor of singing the music of Akira Yamaoka for the movies Julia Xand Silent Hill as well as the games: Silent Hill 3, The Room, Origins, Shadows of the Damned and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Book of Memories which she also voice directed.

SBlumcardWith literally hundreds of V/O credits to his name, “Veteran Voice Monkey” Steve Blum is best known as the voice of Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop, Wolverine from several incarnations of X-Men (animated movies, games, The Wolverine and The X-Men TV Series, The Super Hero Squad Show, X-Men Anime and more), Orochimaru, Zabuza, and others from Naruto, Green Goblin from the Spectacular Spider-man series, Heatblast, Vilgax and Ghostfreak from Ben 10, Grayson Hunt (Bulletstorm), Grunt (Mass Effect 2 and 3), Zoltan Kulle from Diablo 3, Abathur from Starcraft 2:Heart of the Swarm, Tank Dempsey (Call of Duty), Killer Croc from Arkham Asylum, Oghren (DragonAge), Vincent Valentine (Final Fantasy VII), Leeron (Guren Lagann), Jamie from Megas XLR, Storm Troopers and many others in most of the Star Wars games, The voice of 7-11, dozens of Digimon and a gigantic list of other characters from Anime, Video Games, TV and Film. In 2012, Steve was inducted into the Guinness Book of World records as Most Prolific Voice Actor in Video Games – appearing in almost 300 games! Recently, you can find him on the Emmy award-winning Transformers: Prime, playing the sometimes delusional but always deadly Decepticon, Starscream, and as Heatwave on the action-packed, kid-friendly, Transformers: Rescue Bots. Also as Devil Dinosaur on HULK: Agents of SMASH, several characters on Ultimate Spider Man, Ben 10: Omniverse, the Regular Show, Doc McStuffins, Uncle Grandpa, Wander over Yonder, Tenkai Knights, and as the terrifying anti-bender Amon on the hit series Avatar: The Legend of Korra.

And after 4 years off the air, thanks to tremendous fan support, Steve once again takes the helm of the great star cruiser Absolution, reprising his role as TOM the robotic host of Cartoon Network’s Toonami on Adult Swim.

Look for him as Zeb Orrelios in the incredible new series Star Wars: Rebels on Disney XD. And this fall, Steve is Dare to be Square as Shoe and Sparky in Laika’s new feature film: The Boxtrolls.

Otakon Vegas 2015 will be held January 16-18 at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

 

Interview: Pat Broderick on Comic Cons, Cosplay, and all that Controversy

2014-12-07_2344If you regularly pay attention to comic and cosplay blogs, you’ll no doubt have noticed a new “controversy” surrounding comments concerning the role of cosplay, and direction of “comic” conventions has cropped up over the past week. The story has been covered by numerous sites, and even some mainstream press like The Atlantic.

This latest round was spurred by the comments by comic artist Pat Broderick (known for his work on The Fury of Firestorm, Swamp Thing, Micronauts, Batman: Year Three, Doom 2099, among others) made through his Facebook account. The comments, which you can read to the left, concerns friend invites on the site from “cosplay personalities” and also invitations from “comic” convention promoters, where the convention is more focused on cosplay events and television and movie stars, instead of comic writers, artists, and the comics themselves.

This debate has cropped up numerous times in recent years as the focus on “comic” conventions have shifted from comics to more broad entertainment and fandoms. While some comic conventions still exist, (Baltimore, SPX, Heroes Con, are examples), conventions with “comic con” still in their names, like Comic-Con International (aka San Diego Comic Con) and New York Comic Con, have moved on to wider audiences. Other conventions have ditched the “comic con” label such as Wizard World who has found success in their dozens of shows a year that appeal to a wide fandom. Cosplay is an absolute draw, becoming more mainstream over the years, as evidenced by numerous televisions series involving it, some even being picked up for multiple seasons.

Like a bad game of telephone, Broderick’s post was interpreted and reinterpreted in numerous posts that twist and ignore what he was getting at. A lot of “comic cons” aren’t that. They’re entertainment or fandom shows. Also, with the shifting demographics in fandoms and focus, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for comic creators to make money at shows, and support themselves. This is an issue that’s been echoed by numerous creators, for some time now. They’re not just competing with each other, but also with that person that appeared on that one show in that one episode that one time.

Some have pointed out studies and surveys, like the one by Eventbrite, that dispel the notion these attendees aren’t spending money. While that particular survey doesn’t break out the cosplaying attendees, it also doesn’t say what they’re spending money on. The fact is, both sides can be right in this. Cosplayers are spending money, just not necessarily on comics or from the comic creators displaying at the show.

There’s also the issue of the “celebrity.” Lets face it, the comic creator has never been the real focus of comic publishers, the comics and the characters are. The creators rotate (sometimes pretty regularly) so to invest lots of money promoting non-exclusive writers or artists isn’t the most sound strategy. This is unlike movies where the actors are the promotion, there to talk up the movie, and make the rounds. Think about the last time you’ve seen a comic creator on a talk show to promote a comic release.

There’s also the different goals of convention promoter, and the creator. The promoter’s job is to get people in the door, and clearly cosplay and celebrities help make that happen. The creator’s job is to sell themselves and their products to those attendees, and at times it might not be the right audience at all.

2014-12-07_2342What’s most egregious about all of this, is the fact no site reached out to Broderick to ask for clarification. Instead of treating it like a story, commentary and opinions (some times heated and pointed) were thrown out without talking to the source first.

I decided to do exactly that. I reached out, and asked him about his comments, the controversy, and conventions, and through email, Pat agreed to partake. Check out below for further details on what he has to say, and meant, and see why you shouldn’t always jump to conclusions without talking to someone first.

Graphic Policy: It seems like we should just dive right into it. What prompted your post about conventions and cosplay? How long had you been thinking about it all?

Pat Broderick: Well Brett, I had just finished about six conventions and all along I had seen where what should had been a great con based on attendance turned out to be shows plagued with problems. A general sense of aggravation underlining conversations with vendors and professionals. For the first show I wrote this off to inexperience, but by the third show I had to change my conclusion. So I was still scheduled for a show in south Florida this upcoming weekend. A small show trying to establish a presence. I had seen that this show seemed to be building itself on cosplay attractions and cosplay personalities. After many times inquiring why the artist seemed to be getting the back seat at the show and getting reassurances that it wasn’t the way it looked I decided to cut my losses. After all I do have pending work which is time sensitive. Now the very next morning when I got online and opened my friend requests I had noticed quite a few cosplay inquiries. I went to their pages and was faced with the same photos. Wonderful kids having a great time at shows. But nothing strangely enough was there about comics. Just them posing for the shots, rarely any of them with shots of them with different creators holding art. Or purchased comics. Or anything. I rarely accept cosplay friends at all. But that being said I do have cosplay friends. These are people who have photos of them with comics, and family, you know, the regular photo page items. So I decided that I should just go ahead and make a statement. It came off rather harsh, and was directed at the show promoters building large cosplay based shows combined with multiple media guest to just please don’t invite me as I probably will pass. That cosplay based shows really add no value to the industry. It took about an hour for this statement on my home page to get picked up and go viral…

GP: How many conventions have you been to in your career? What have you generally seen over that time?

PB: I’ve been going to conventions since 1974… I cut back on them back in ’96 and started again in ’99. I witnessed the change in the industry from video gaming to media guest and along the way from a few people in costume to what we call cosplay today

GP: So the big thing about your original post was this part, “You bring nothing of value to the shows, and if you’re a promoter pushing cosplay as your main attraction you’re not helping the industry or comics market..” Who was the “you” in “you bring” aimed towards?

PB: It was aimed at cosplay Facebook requests, and convention promoters who are developing their shows in the described direction.

GP: Did you expect your post to get picked up by sites like it did?

PB: Well obviously no, I woke up the next morning to quite the storm. But really when I reviewed the different blog sites I realized what was going on and how to handle it…. which is stay in front.

2014-12-07_2353GP: Did any sites or press (other than us) reach out to you at all?

PB: No one has asked for any clarification of my comments. So I posted a second statement giving more detail and apologized to any cosplayer who my comments might have offended. It saw some pick up, but not to the degree of the first. I guess that one wasn’t “News worthy.”

(We’ve included that second statement to the right for you to read – The Management)

GP: What’s the reaction and feedback been like?

PB: Well how could I put this compared to how should I put this… I’ve had a huge turn out of negative response from cosplayers, loads of threats, and conventions uninviting me to their shows… I’ve also had an even larger turnout of support from fans and pros backing my position, and I’ve gotten convention invitations. So I guess that my original comment worked. But even more than that since I’m not the first comics pro to make such statements about these problems perhaps this attention will make some of these show promoters realize that there IS a problem out there which CAN be addressed in a positive way.

GP: What’s your thoughts on cosplay in general beyond the personalities/celebrities?

PB: I think they’re great. I also think that they have a responsibility to uphold a PG rating with their outfits. These are family shows and not nightclubs. Take some consideration for the family’s who attend. And also when someone asks if they can take your picture just ask the interested party to step with you to an area outside of the isles. You’re there for fun and to show off your costumes, artist and dealers are there to earn some rent.

GP: There’s comic conventions and then there’s general entertainment conventions. What do you see as defining the two?

PB: The direction it’s going will divide it itself. Its happening even now. There will eventually be a clear “comics” show controlled, and there will be media shows.

GP: What conventions today would you consider “comic” conventions?

PB: Right off of the top of my head is HeroesCon.

GP: You announced also on Facebook that you’ll be developing your own four show convention circuit. What can you tell us about that? What prompted it? Where are you looking to have them? How will your shows stand out?

PB: I started down this road about three months ago. These shows will first be in Florida, North, Central and South. These will be shows for the vendors and the public. I’m also an old adman so I know the power of not only promotion, but linked promotional events. We already have some exciting ideas which will bring in the public but also bring in people looking to discover a great find. pick up sketches, meet the creators. We will be bringing in media guest. but controlled and very limited in number. we will also be involving cosplay into our shows but in such a way as to satisfy both their needs and the shows direction. But first and fore most these will be shows for the industry. for the vendors and for the creators…

The Queer Press Grant Moves to WonderCon

queer press grantPrism Comics are shaking things up a bit, and moving their Queer Press Grant award ceremony to WonderCon. The 2015 Annual Award Ceremony will take place at WonderCon Anaheim on the weekend of April 3-5, 2015.

In the past, the award has been presented in the fall, but this move will bring “more opportunities for the Queer Press Grant to help LGBTQ comics creators.”

The Queer Press Grant is a financial grant of $2000.00 that assists one LGBTQ comic book self publisher get their comic, web-comic, or graphic novel printed, and into the hands of readers. Since its inception in 2005, the Queer Press Grant  has been awarded to fourteen outstanding comics creators who have gone on to contribute greatly to the queer comics community.

Submissions for the 2015 Prism Comics Queer Press Grant will begin January 1, 2015 and end on March 10, 2015.   The recipient will be announced at one of Prism Comics’ panels at WonderCon. Which panel will be announced in the spring.

The grant is entirely funded by donations. You can do so here.

Emma Ríos, Brandon Graham & James Robinson revealed for Image Expo

Three new artist names have been added to Image Expo’s January lineup: Emma Ríos, Brandon Graham, and James Robinson.

Emma Ríos, known for her ethereal and visceral artwork on Pretty Deadly alongside bestselling writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, will be making a rare American appearance for her exciting Image Expo announcement.

Bestselling cartoonist Brandon Graham, whose work on the ongoing Prophet saga is critically acclaimed, will also be making a very special announcement at Image Expo this year.

James Robinson of the forthcoming Airboy—a collaboration with artist Greg Hinkle that will launch in 2015—will return to Image Expo to announce another new series to thrill fans.

Previously announced Image Expo guests include: Brian K. Vaughan, Todd McFarlane, Scott Snyder, Emi Lenox, Jeff Lemire, and Marjorie Liu. In addition, there will be special surprise guests in attendance.

Image Expo will be an all-day event held in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on January 8, 2015. Image Expo will begin the new year with a slew of thrilling creator-owned news announcements and will be open to all fans, comics retailers, and members of the media.

Tickets to the event are now available for sale. General admission tickets are $20, Premium tickets are $50 and include preferred seating and exclusive Image Comics releases. Seating is limited. Admission for retailers and members of the media is complimentary.

image expo

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