Tag Archives: fan expo

Fan Expo Interviews: Lee Scion

Fan Expo Toronto will be taking place this year between September 3rd and 6th, and Graphic Policy had the opportunity to talk with a few of their featured guests before the beginning of the convention.  We got to talk to Lee Scion, an outstanding cosplayer who is one of the featured cosplayers at the event.  She will be showcasing new costumes as well as conducting seminars on cosplay.

Graphic Policy:  Can you tell us what your first costume was?  And how did it turn out?

lee003Lee Scion:  Though I had made myself Halloween costumes before, my first actual cosplay was Lulu from Final Fantasy X. It was hands down the largest project I had tackled at that point. I wasn’t sure how much time I actually needed, and truthfully I was really bad for procrastinating on actual construction because I grossly underestimated how long I would need.  Because of that some of the details I wanted to include (such as hand embroidered trim) had to be scrapped. I did however manage to completely hand make my wig, get the dress done and make my first corset. All in all I am proud of what I did for that costume with the time and skill set I had back then. However, I would one day like to completely redo the costume.

GP:  What skills do you consider to be most your most useful when creating a costume?

LS:  I am luckily very good with pattern drafting and sewing, so anything that is a fabric garment I am generally very apt at making. This comes in super handy as it is almost impossible to find suitable patterns for most costumes. I love projects that are sewing heavy and very structured pieces such as corsets and properly tailored coats, so having strong sewing skills makes those type of projects a lot easier!

GP:  Does being a cosplayer give you a different perspective on what life would be like for a superhero?

LS:  That is a tough one to answer, I am not sure I would say it does. On some level I can say I understand what it’s like to put on a costume and run around being someone I’m not in everyday life, however when it comes down to it I don’t have superpowers, I don’t change the world, and no one is trying to kill me (that I know of). I’m just me.. in a costume.

lee005GP:  Part of the illusion of cosplay is not only the costume but the setting.  If you could choose any real world setting for a photo shoot, where would you go and which character would you choose?

LS:  The place I think I would be most interested in shooting, could I do a photoshoot anywhere on earth, would be the Five Flower Lake in the Jiuzhaigou Valley nature reserve in Sichuan, China. The lake itself is shallow and perfectly clear with dozens of ancient trees sitting just below the surface. It has a very unearthly feel to it and one of my dream photoshoots would be recreating Aerith’s death scene from Final Fantasy VII in a lake such as Five Flower. Jiuzhaigou Valley is however a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve, so interacting with the lakes and other nature within the park is strictly prohibited. Meaning this is a dream photoshoot I know will never happen.

GP:  One of the biggest developments for comics in recent years is the resurgence of comic book movies.  Does having such lifelike looking characters on the big screen force cosplayers to modify their approach?

LS:  I wouldn’t say movie versions of characters force cosplayers to modify their approach. However, they do offer another version of their favourite characters they can create. Comic book characters in particular tend to have many different outfits giving cosplayers a wide variety of options for exactly what they wish to do. I always appreciate having the option of recreating the very detailed costume designed for comic book movies, but also having the option of creating something much more graphic and closer to the comic artwork.

When you are creating a garment that someone else has actually made you can look and see exactly how it was made: where the seams are, what materials they chose, how pieces attach. When you create something based solely on a drawing however you are often tasked with figuring out how things have to go together, as most comic book artists don’t have to consider how, or even if, their clothes will work in the real world. I find this gives artwork inspired costume a much more personalised feel than those of direct garment recreations.

lee004GP:  Crossplay is catching on quite a bit as well, but it is probably more accepting for the girls than the guys.  Any advice for the guys dressing up as their favorite female character?

LS:  My advice for men who want to crossplay as their favourite female characters is do what makes you happy! Cosplay should never be for anyone but yourself, so you shouldn’t worry about what other people think. There is always going to be someone who dislikes what you are doing, no matter how perfect you are, so just do what makes you happy!

Some crossplayers like to go all out, shave their legs, contour their faces to look more feminine and pad out their bodies to make a more womanly shape. There are many amazing tutorials out there for how to achieve this, and if you delve into the drag community you can find endless information and tips. That being said, I have also seen many amazing male crossplayers who have simply made their favourite characters costume and worn it as they are. One of the best male crossplays I have ever seen was a man dressed as Sailor Moon at Fan Expo who had a full beard and visible chest and leg hair.

GP:  What should we expect to see from you in Toronto?  Any special plans?

LS:  My costume plans are a little up in the air for Fan Expo Canada. However, I will be running six panels over the weekend ranging from wig working to armour making. There are several costumes I would like to make, but my panel prep comes first. The only costume I can say for sure will make an appearance is a classic Jem costume from Jem and the Holograms. It will be truly, truly, truly outrageous!

All photos are copyrighted to Lee Scion

Fan Expo Interviews: Ronn Sutton

Fan Expo Toronto will be taking place this year between September 3rd and 6th, and Graphic Policy had the opportunity to talk with a few of their featured guests before the beginning of the convention.  Up first was Ronn Sutton, an accomplished illustrator known for his work in noirish stories and sci-fi.  We got a chance to talk with him about his career.

smPg3printedGraphic Policy:  One of the characters which you have most worked on is Honey West.  What are the main challenges of working in the crime noir genre in terms of the design?

Ronn Sutton:  Honey West was a female detective that appeared in nearly a dozen extremely popular pocketbook novels throughout the 1960s. The concept was that Honey’s father was a Private Investigator who was killed during one of his cases. His daughter solved her father’s murder and then took over the detective agency. So the Honey West books, a short-lived TV series, and the comics are all set in the 1960s. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to recreate the time period in my artwork with the clothing, hair styles, cars, furniture, etc of that era. I love researching and drawing comics that are drawn in a specific time period because it gives you a chance to recreate an authentic world on your pages.

But the character I worked on the longest was Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Over a nine year period I drew nearly 50 Elvira stories for Claypool Comics. That’s about 800 pages I drew for the Elvira, Misstress of the Dark series. Many scripted by my partner Janet L. Hetherington.

GP:  On the same subject what makes for a great femme fatale and how do you give this quality to Honey West?

RS:  I was very concerned with making Honey look like she lived in that era. So I showed off the clothes of the period by having Honey wear as many as six different outfits in one comic, using the styles of the times: pencil skirts, fur pillbox hats, gaucho jackets and lots of leopard prints, etc. I was trying to capture the essence of mid-60s female movie stars like Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe. There’s something indefinable about the way those women stood, walked, and dressed with a real earthiness. I tried to analyze what it was and I think I caught much of it. For the last two HW stories I drew I brought in a model to help me and had her pose.

C5DraculasGuestGP:  Switching subjects, how do you feel about the use of horror in comics?  Some might say that it is not the best medium for the genre as it is harder to capture the same tension.  How can you compensate for it?

RS:  I’ve drawn a couple hundred comics, probably the largest portion of them were horror comics. When it comes to drawing macabre comics, its all about the atmosphere; choosing what to show and what not to show. Drawing in a lot of deep shadows and not revealing more than you have to. I have a 14 page adaptation of Bram Stoker’s short story “Dracula’s Guest” coming out in the next month or two in the 144 page horror anthology called Graphic Classics Volume 26: Vampire Classics. I rendered the artwork in full-colour on the actual artboards using markers, dyes, and colour pencils. It required a very limited palette to set a constant mood through out the strip. For the most part in the story, Dracula isn’t really seen. He’s more of a presence. So I had to concoct clever way to visually have him there and not there at the same time.

GP:  Do you think that horror relies too much on a single concept instead of reinventing itself?  For instance movie horror tends to recycle ideas in numerous sequels while comic book horror tends to be more original?

RS:  I think the only limits to horror comics and illustration rest with the person creating it. Horror can be claustrophobic or it can be otherworldly. It can invoke a single horrible villian or even hordes of demons. Comics have a long history of turning monsters into heroes. Horror comics are wonderful to draw because you can let your imagination run wild with pencil & paper creating vistas and creatures that even could be unconvincing in film, as well as being costly and difficult to manufacture.

GP:  You have also had the opportunity to work on some characters such as Sherlock Homes and the Phantom.  Both of these characters have managed to survive to the modern day with some popularity.  What do you think that it takes for some characters to achieve this same level of notoriety?

RS:  I think a character like Sherlock Holmes has been around for so long, and been adapted, re-invented and parodied so many times that everybody is familiar with the basic character, while few have actually read the original books (I have!). What is neat about The Phantom is the costume has been handed down from father to son for 21 generations creating the illusion that its been one single long-lived person for hundreds of years. Hence the reference to him as “The Ghost Who Walks”. I think part of  the appeal of both characters is they’ve both been around for a very long time; both have distinctive looks, and both are just regular people who rely on superior intellect and physical prowess (without any sort of “super” powers).

ronn001GP:  One of your projects was Lucifer’s Sword which involved a story focused on a motorcyle gang.  How hard is it to draw a convincing motorcycle?

RS:  I think the important thing to know about Lucifers Sword M.C.: Life & Death In An Outlaw Motorcycle Club is that it was scripted by Phil Cross, who has been an active member of the Hells Angels for nearly 50 years. The 96 page graphic novel was a slightly fictionalized autobiography. The Lucifers Sword graphic novel was set in the late 1960s in San Jose, California area, so in my drawings I was striving to accurately portray the clothes, buildings, cars and, obviously, motorcycles of the time.

When it came to drawing all the Harley Davidson motorcycles, my editor was an enormous help in identifying and supplying me with photo-reference of those rigid-frame bikes. As well, each bike had to be drawn unique to its owner since those motorcycles were all chopped and customized. So no two were alike.  So, on top of all this I was watching all the old Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, etc biker films that were so popular 45 years ago (like Hells Angels On Wheels, Angels Die Hard, etc). I collected up all sorts of biker books and magazines including biker tattoo magazines in an attempt to just get everything right.

I’m VERY happy that the biker community has embraced and praised Lucifers Sword M.C.: Life & Death In An Outlaw Motorcycle Club, and particularly that they cited in their reviews the accuracy in the drawing of the choppers. You can hear a CBC radio interview between Hells Angel Phil Cross and myself discussing our graphic novel here.

smColorSciFiGirlGP:  Are there any genres which you would life to get some more exposure in?

RS:  I LOVE drawing science-fiction strips. As opposed to historical stories I’ve drawn that require so much accurate visual reference research, with sci-fi you get to make up EVERYTHING! Which is both fun and a daunting task. So many of the artists that I admired as I was growing up drew some wonderful sci-fi comics.

I have a “side-project”, that I work on in between more pressing comic assignments, which is a graphic novel adaptation of The Citadel of Lost Ships. It was written by Leigh Brackett and originally published in  Planet Stories, in the 1930s. I work on it at my own pace and while I want it to be a ripping traditional heroic adventure, the designs of the costumes, starships and alien cities range from the type found in old time pulp magazine illustrations to futuristic hi-tech. So its a wild amalgam of styles. It will be a long time yet before I’m done, but it will be enormous fun to read I hope. You can watch for news update about this project, and others, on my website.

Nerd Block Gives us More Star Wars #1 in February

Nerd Block has one more special item for us in the February Classic Block; an exclusive Nerd Block/ Fan Expo variant cover issue of Star Wars #1! This is a bonus item in the block! If you missed it from other sources, this is your chance to get it! This is something you won’t want to miss!

This is the second Star Wars #1 comic to appear in a “geek box.” Last month rival Loot Crate featured a different Star Wars #1 variant, while Nerd Block had a variant for Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #1.

Subscriptions close at 11:59 pm EST on the 15th!

nerd block fan expo star wars

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Zenescope’s 2014 Age of Darkness Tour

zenescopeZenescope Entertainment has announced its tour dates for the 2014 Age of Darkness TourAge of Darkness encompasses their Grimm Fairy Tales series which features classic characters and locales (Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, Robyn Hood, Red Riding Hood, Van Helsing, Captain Hook, the Dark Queen, etc) that have all been operating in their own titles. Age of Darkness books bring these characters together in a modern setting for a story that will have an impact the Zenescope titles across the board. The culmination will be in Grimm Fairy Tales #100. Let the countdown begin!

Wizard World Portland – Portland, OR – January 24th-26th
Amazing Arizona Comic Con – Phoenix, AZ – January 24th-26th
Wizard World New Orleans – New Orleans, LA – February 7th-9th
Wizard World Sacramento – Sacramento, CA – March 7th-9th
London Super Comic Con – London, England – March 15th-16th
Mega Con – Orlando, FL -March 21st-23rd
Emerald City Comic Con – Seattle, WA – March 28th -30th
Wizard World Louisville – Louisville, KY – March 28th-30th
Wizard World St. Louis- ST, Louis, MO – April 4th-6th
Marble City Comic Con – Knoxville, TN – April 11th-13th
Salt Lake Comic Con – Salt Lake City, UT – April 17th-19th
WonderCon – Anaheim, CA – April 18th-20th
C2E2 – Chicago, IL – April 25th-27th
Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo – Calgary, AB – April 24th-27th
Wizard World Minneapolis – Minneapolis, MN – May 2nd-4th
Motor City Comic Con – Farmington Hills, MI – May 16th-18th
Indiana Pop Con – Indianapolis, IN – May 30th-June 1st
Wizard World Atlanta – Atlanta, GA – May 30th- June 1st
Phoenix Comic Con – Phoenix, AZ – June 5th-8th
Denver Comic Con – Denver, CO – June 13th-15th
Wizard World Philly – Philadelphia, PA – June 19th-22nd
Florida Super Con – Miami, FL – July 3rd-6th
San Diego Comic Con – San Diego, CA – July 23rd-27th
Boston Comic Con – Boston, MA – August 8th-10th
Wizard World Chicago – Chicago, IL – August 21st-24th
Fan Expo – Toronto, ON – August 28th-31st
Dragon Con – Atlanta, GA – August 29th-Sept. 1st
Wizard World Richmond – Richmond, VA – September 12th-14th
Cincy Comic Expo – Cincinnati, OH – September 19th-21st
Pittsburgh Comic Con – Pittsburg, PA – September 26th-28th
Wizard World Nashville – Nashville, TN – September 26th-28th
Alamo City Comic Con – San Antonio, TX – September 26th-28th
Wizard World Austin – Austin, TX – October 2nd – 4th
New York Comic Con – New York, NY – October 9th-12th
Wizard World Ohio – Cincinnati, OH – October 31st-November 2nd
Comikaze – Los Angeles, CA – October 31st- November 2nd
Wizard World Tulsa – Tulsa, OK – November 7th-9th
Wizard World Reno – Reno, NV – November 21st -23rd

The company will be exhibiting several exclusives, many artist signings and plenty of giveaways and coupons. The company also screens the Grimm Fairy Tales Animated pilot and holds a panel at many of these conventions.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is here and the internet is still melting down over Batfleck. How are you spending the weekend? I’m hoping to get out and see The World’s End and maybe Kick-Ass 2.

Around the Tubes

CBLDF – New Zealand Library Refuses to Carry Lost Girls – Add some Hobbits to it, they’ll be good.

Bleeding Cool – Informa Bought Fan Expo Canada During The Summer – Well, with how the exchange rate is doing right now…

CBR – DC’s “Justice League of America” to Become “Justice League Canada” – Cause Alpha Flight did so well when Marvel announced something similar, Eh?

PBS – What Makes a Great American Comic Book Superhero? – And PBS continues to attempt to become cool.


Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Daredevil #30

ICv2 – Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born HC

Crack Smoking Mayor Ford Arm-Wrestles Sex-Tape Making Hulk Hogan to Promote Fan Expo Canada.

To kick off this weekend’s Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, arm-wrestled wrestler (and some time actor) Hulk Hogan. This is a meeting of scandals really. Mayor Ford has been embroiled in a meltdown that stemmed from a video supposedly showing the Mayor smoking crack. The Hulkster has been in meltdown mode himself with a nasty divorce and sex-tape scandal.

Two quality individuals to promote a geek festival.

FanExpo Canada 2013: Tiwary’s Fifth Beatle To Feature Forwards By Two Music Legends!

The anticipation around The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story continues to grow and Dark Horse has announced the involvement of music legends Billy J. Kramer and Andrew Loog Oldham lending their words and support to this remarkable piece of graphic literature chronicling the life of Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein. Billy J. Kramer was managed by Epstein in the 1960’s and had a string of hits including “Do You Want to Know a Secret?”, “Bad to Me”, and “Little Children”; and Andrew Loog Oldham was The Beatles’ publicist in 1963 before he went on to discover, produce and manage The Rolling Stones. Today, Kramer continues to record and release albums, and Oldham is a bestselling author and broadcast personality.

More than merely the story of “The Man Who Made the Beatles,” The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the desire to leave behind a legacy, amidst the struggle to overcome crushing personal obstacles and insurmountable odds. Written by multiple Tony Award–winning producer Vivek J. Tiwary and painted by fanboy favorite Andrew C. Robinson The Fifth Beatle will be released on November 19.

The standard hardcover edition will be available for $19.99 in an oversized library format. Both a collector’s-edition and limited edition hardcover of this groundbreaking graphic novel will also be available, featuring a wraparound, textured cover and a section of bonus materials including Beatles and Brian Epstein memorabilia, artist sketches, and alternate covers, for $49.99 and $99.99.

Tiwary will be signing limited prints of The Fifth Beatle at FanExpo in Toronto, Ontario this Friday & Saturday, August 23rd & 24th at the Dark Horse booth #856.

the fifth beatle

Fan Expo Canada 2013: Valiant Heads North to Toronto

This weekend, Valiant Entertainment is heading north for Fan Expo Canada!

From Thursday, August 22nd to Sunday, August 25th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, visit Valiant at Booth #738 for a week jam-packed with special guests and exclusive giveaways!

Stop by for signings and appearances all weekend long by some of the Valiant’s greatest talents, including Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord and Harvey Award-nominated writer Jim Zub! And shop a complete selection of Valiant comics, trade paperbacks, hardcovers, and merchandise – including t-shirts, prints, mugs and more!

New to the Valiant Universe? Be sure to pick up your FREE Eternal Warrior #1/Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #14 Sketchbook! Get the inside track on the the Summer of Valiant’s next two blockbuster releases with this convention giveaway – featuring exclusive artwork by Trevor Hairsine and Emanuela Lupacchino!


FanExpo Canada 2013: Dark Horse Announces Schedule!

This weekend, Dark Horse Comics is headed to Toronto for the second largest pop culture convention in North America – FanExpo! Stop by Booth #856 to pick up FREE giveaways—lanyards, window clings, buttons, and posters.  You can also buy copies of your favorite comics, books, and products, including an exclusive Fan Expo Canada variant cover of Halo: Initiation (10 per person per day). All giveaways, exclusives, and items for sale are available while supplies last.

Signings at the Dark Horse Booth

Lines may be capped as needed.

Friday, August 23


Vivek J. Tiwary (creator/writer)

*FREE The Fifth Beatle print!

5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. ORCHID

Scott Hepburn (artist)

*FREE Orchid comic!

Saturday, August 24

11:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m. BREATH OF BONES and CRIMINAL MACABRE

Steve Niles (creator/writer) and Justin Erickson (cover artist, Criminal Macabre)

*FREE Breath of Bones poster and Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein print!


Vivek J. Tiwary (creator/writer)

*FREE The Fifth Beatle print!

2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. MIGNOLAVERSE (Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Witchfinder, and more!)

Mike Mignola (creator/writer/artist)

*FREE Hellboy poster, Itty Bitty Hellboy window clings, and more!

Special Event

Saturday, August 24


Room 716

Since his first introduction in 1994, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy has gone on to achieve a status in comics typically reserved for characters created 40 years before him. Following up on the first arc of Hellboy in Hell (one of his most popular miniseries to date), an all-new Abe Sapien ongoing series, and the continuing adventures of the supporting cast of the B.P.R.D., we offer you a rare opportunity to enter one of the most intriguing minds of the industry today! Join Bloody Disgusting’s James Wright for a live interview with creator Mike Mignola, along with a chance to ask your own questions about your favorite cast of characters.


Aspen Heads to Fan Expo Vancouver

Aspen Comics is pleased to head north of the border and back to Canada for the first of two back-to-back weekends. Beginning on April 20th– 21st, Aspen will be attending the Fan Expo Vancouver 2013 convention and will be bringing some of their finest creators along with exclusive comics and prints.

Aspen creators Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Siya Oum and J.T. Krul will be at the Aspen Comics Booth all weekend long to meet fans, sign autographs and offer free sketches.

The all-new Aspen series Jirni will celebrate its release with a special Jirni #1 Fan Expo Vancouver 2013 exclusive cover by series artist Paolo Pantalena and Nei Ruffino, limited to 300 copies. Aspen will also be offering an exclusive Shrugged #2 Fan Expo Vancouver cover by Siya Oum, limited to 200 copies. Both exclusive books will only be available at the Aspen Comics Booth.

The celebration of Aspen’s ten years in the industry continues with the all new Aspen Tour Print Anniversary Edition art print by Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 125 editions. In addition to the Aspen Tour Print, the publisher will also be offering an all new series of their industry leading prints, including the all new series Jirni.

The latter of Aspen’s two stops in Canada will be at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo on April 26th-28th. The publisher will reveal more details about this appearance soon.

FanExpoVan_SHAKEYA-2013-print JIRNI-01f-FanExpoVancouver-Pant JRN1-1b-Vancouver_2013-print JRN1-1eCON-Vancouver_2013-print SHRUGGED-02d-Vancouver-Oum

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