Tag Archives: sdcc

SDCC 2014: Dark Horse to Manufacture Halo Replica Ships and Vehicles

HALOIN #1 FC FNLIt was announced during Dark Horse’s “The Art of Video Games” panel at this year’s San Diego Comic Con that Dark Horse would develop and manufacture a line of replicas based on the ships and vehicles which have appeared in the multi-million selling video game franchise, Halo!

Furthering the arrangement between 343 Industries and Dark Horse, which has to date, produced two blockbuster comics series with canonical storylines written by writers from the video game franchise, this news is sure to excite gamers and collectors alike!

The product category was created in 2005 with the massively successful line of ships from Joss Whedon’s Serenity, which was soon followed by a popular line based on Bioware’s Mass Effect series, to great success and the unanimous approval of gamers, collectors, and comic fans!

While 343 Industries and Dark Horse are not yet ready to disclose which ships and vehicles will be included in the program, fans and retailers are encouraged to keep an eye on the news in the coming months for more information!

SDCC 2014: Aspen Comics’ Announcements

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Aspen Comics had numerous announcements throughout the convention and their panel.

Aspen’s runaway hit 2014 series Lola XOXO returns in 2015 with an action-packed Lola XOXO: Volume 2 by creator Siya Oum, as well as an all new spin-off mini-series Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam written by Vince Hernandez and illustrated by Oum. Lola XOXO: The Wasteland Madam will feature an all new heroine in the Lola Universe struggling to maintain control over a renegade force of post-apocalyptic survivors, while trying to come to grips with her horrific and tragic past.

LOLA_WASTELAND-MADA#198D207 LOLA_XOXO-V2-01(promo)[1]Aspen’s classic series Dellec, created and written by Frank Mastromauro and Vince Hernandez, returns for a second volume with art pencils by Pasquale Qualano. This return of one of Aspen’s leading heroes focuses on the aftermath of the catastrophic first volume’s climax, while offering an all new jumping on point for new readers.

DELLEC-v2-01-DONEw-logoPopular “10 for 10” series Legend of the Shadow Clan returns next year with creator/writers David Wohl and Brad Foxhoven returning to the family clan of ancient ninja heritage with art by penciler Giuseppe Cafaro.

LEGENDSHADOWCLAN-V2#198D2032015 will see the debut of the first series of Aspen Sourcebooks line, featuring essential and never-before-seen handbooks of Aspen’s most popular and longest-running titles, including Michael Turner’s Fathom, Soulfire and Executive Assistant: Iris, written by Hannibal Tabu, with future editions planned for Aspen’s later titles.


Aspen Novels, the new prose imprint from the publisher, will release its second novel this November, Seven to Die, from author T.G. RobertsSeven to Die tells the story of Lex MacArthur, a San Francisco college student who comes into possession of an enigmatic clay pendant that unlocks a bevy of dormant superhuman genes. She’s stronger, she’s faster, and she’s on a mission to find out why. As Lex sets out to discover who she is and where she really came from, she comes face-to-face with Egil, a killer who has been tracking Lex her entire life.  At the helm of an enormous operation to eradicate all of Lex’s kind, Egil captures Lex’s long-lost mother, forcing Lex to confront him head on and save those she loves from certain death.

SevenToDie-TG_Rober#198D2EDThis October, Aspen continues its push to a broader reach with a more kid friendly library with the release of Fathom: The Adventures of Ernie on October ComicFest 2014. This kid-friendly coloring and activity book will feature a story written by Vince Hernandez with art by Agnes Garbowska.

The publisher has confirmed their recent addition to the Madefire Motion Comic App with a series of upcoming announcements planned for their release schedule in the coming months.


Aspen has signed on with the consulting firm, The Powell Group, to expand their multi-media publishing in the video game industry with a plan to adapt their popular titles into several platforms.


Aspen has teamed up with the app beacon company Webble to produce a Cosplay Card Set featuring the industry’s most popular cosplayers as Aspen’s top characters.

SDCC 2014: Darby Pop Announces Dead Squad

At San Diego Comic-Con, Darby Pop Publishing announced plans for a brand new series, their fifth, to launch in October. Dead Squad is written by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, and will be distributed by IDW Publishing. While the duo of Federman and Scaia is relatively new to comics, their work is well-known to genre fans as they have written and produced for a number of “cult” television series including Jericho, Warehouse 13, and DC’s Human Target. Additionally, the pair is responsible for two high-profile features in development, Y: The Last Man (with New Line) and Ghost Recon (with Michael Bay/Ubisoft/Warner Brothers).

Dead Squad spins the tale of three U.S. military operatives who discover that their commanding officer has gone rogue, meaning that they are now considered traitors as well. Unfortunately, this realization comes only moments before their years of service are rewarded with a swarm of snipers’ bullets. Since the trio’s early deaths would make for a very truncated series, however, each is granted a reprieve thanks to advanced nanotech and a government intent on interrogating them mercilessly.  But the stay of execution is a limited one, as the Dead Squad learns that the “biotic” serum reanimating them is only a “beta” version with a 30 hour life span. Living on borrowed time, the Dead Squad must track down their betrayer and retrieve the one thing that can keep them alive — knowing all the while that a very different “after-life” awaits each of them.

The “Dead Squad” creative cadre is rounded out by the art team of Kirk Van Wormer, Michael Montenat, and Doug Sirois. And their artwork will be brought to life by colorist Sirois, who’s contributing to his third Darby Pop Publishing title.

Cover duties for the debut issue are being handled by Top Cow alum Steve Firchow, with the legendary Howard Chaykin contributing both a subscription cover and a convention-exclusive sketch variant.


SDCC 2014: LEGO Time-lapse of Rocket and Groot Statues Being Built

Watch 300 hours and 80 builders come together to build the Marvel‘s Guardians of the Galaxy statues that were on display at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 and the film’s London premiere!

San Diego Harbor Police Release Their Investigation Results Concerning the Injured Cosplayer

San Diego Harbor Police have released more news concerning the investigation of a cosplayer who wound up in the hospital with severe injuries early Sunday morning during San Diego Comic-Con. A plea was sent out to for attendees to send in any information they could to help piece together the puzzle as to what happened. Below is the full release from the department:

Incident Type: Arrest

Incident Date/Time: July 27, 2014 1:15 a.m.

Location: 333 W Harbor Dr.

Case #: 14-03122

Prepared by: Sergeant Todd Rakos

This press release is being issued because of the high volume of inquiries about this case.

The following information is updated from the press release issued on July 29, 2014.


Shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday, July 27, 2014, a juvenile female was found with significant injuries in the pool area of a hotel at 333 West Harbor Drive in San Diego. The juvenile female had attended Comic Con earlier in the day and still had her costume on. She was transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment.

In connection with the case, Harbor Police arrested a 29-year-old man early Sunday morning, July 27 at the hotel. He was booked into San Diego County Jail at 11:20 a.m. on charges of sexual contact with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Harbor Police Investigations Unit has been investigating the incident, including the cause of the injuries to the victim.


After the incident, Police began a thorough investigation of the facts, including a review of footage from multiple surveillance cameras, as well as the assistance of community members and Comic Con attendees who provided extensive information and sent photographs for review. The investigation concluded with a finding that the juvenile female’s injuries were not the result of a criminal assault, and were likely the result of a fall. Her injuries, and physical evidence at the scene, were consistent with a fall from the distance of approximately six feet.

This finding does not affect the charges against the 29-year-old male, which will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office. Because this case involves a minor, no further information will be released about this incident.

We wish the victim a speedy and full recovery.

…as well as the assistance of community members and Comic Con attendees who provided extensive information and sent photographs for review.

For everyone who has read our original article (over 600,000 of you), shared the original article (over 13,000 times), and for those that reached out to provide photos that helped in the investigation from the bottom of our hearts at this site, we thank you immensely.

Hopefully as this year’s “con season” wraps up, and next year’s begins, we as a community, and those who produce conventions, will think about ensuring the safety of attendees both on site, and after convention hours so that others aren’t hurt in any way.

If you’d like to wish the cosplayer well below (we won’t identify her due to age), you are welcome to. If you’d like to talk about “safety” at conventions, and ideas for improvement, you can do so as well in the comments. Any non-constructive comment will be deleted.

Comic Con and Hall H

Brett Schenker:

An interesting take on fandom and using it to good and make positive change.

Originally posted on Acting Like A Chef:

Comic Con 2014 was my first Comic-Con. I was there networking for a film I’m producing Wraith of Love. Not that I haven’t followed it in previous years or never been to another convention, but San Diego Comic-Con is something special. And in the last 6 or 8 years it has become a pop culture phenomenon, causing so much fan frenzy that convention goers stand in line for hours, many even sleeping outside of the convention hall the night before to get into Hall H the following morning. Keep in mind that Hall H holds about 6,500 people, but at some point in the Comic Con rise to fame, fans were so worried about not getting up early enough to stand in line that they started sleeping outside.

Hall H Hobbit Panel 2014 Inside Hall H during the Hobbit panel 2014.

You heard me right, people sleep outside of a convention hall of…

View original 729 more words

SDCC 2014: Action Lab Entertainment’s 2014-2015 Plans

Flanked by Action Lab staffers and talent including Ray-Anthony Height, Jeremy Dale, Vito DelSante, Gayle Middleton, Emily Martin, James Wright, Phillip Selvy and Nick Marino, Creative Director and writer/ artist Dave Dwonch announced Action Lab’s slate of upcoming releases at the is years San Diego Comic Con.

New releases include the all new series of Puppet Master books, written by Shawn Gabborin, successfully funded Kickstarter projects like Cazadora by Randy Kintz and Sam Eggleston, Nutmeg by James Wright and Jackie Krofts as well as Erik Taylor and Leia Del Duca‘s The Pantheon Project.

The line-up also features the return of several popular Action Lab titles. The award winning series, Princeless returns with a new sea faring storyline. Everyone’s favorite buccaneer/gumshoe, Smitty returns in a brand new volume of Pirate Eye, and Dean Rankine‘s hysterical Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candyland return in a new one shot.

Action Lab continues to prove it’s the home of creation and innovation. With their 5th anniversary looming in 2015, look for more huge announcements.


SDCC 2014: A publisher’s perspective from Action Lab

Another San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and with that the postmortem, good and bad is being written and discussed. Comic publisher Action Lab Entertainment took to their Facebook page to discuss their experience at the convention and thoughts about the show in general.

Below is their full post unedited (and after you read it you should head to their site to support them with a purchase or two or three):

Comic Con International 2014: A publisher’s perspective

Another Comic-Con International has come and gone, and just as with the previous seven shows that I have attended, this year’s version both thrilled and horrified me. Most of us in the comic book industry already have heard ad nauseum arguments about how Comic-Con is no longer a “comic” con. The big studios have taken over the show, and comic publishers, dealers, and fans have become much less important in the grand scheme of the show. Attendees are there to sit on panels, catch a glimpse of celebrities, show off their costumes, people watch, and, if they are lucky, pick up an exclusive or three that they can flip on eBay. The crowds are huge, the space is difficult to broker, and everything is incredibly expensive. Because much of this has been discussed previously by people more qualified than I am, I am not going to focus on that. Instead, I want to look at it at the micro level, from the perspective of the smaller comic book publisher.

For those of you who don’t know, as the President of Action Lab Entertainment, my primary functions at the show each year are to maintain our booth, sell our products, and (hopefully) network in hopes of developing new relationships, brokering new deals, and finding new talent. This is my third year at SDCC with Action Lab after five years manning the booth with Ape Entertainment.

I feel fairly safe in saying that, for most publishers of Action Lab’s relative size, Comic-Con is not a “sales” show. That is, you can’t expect to generate a profit at this show. A corner booth in the less-trafficked Independent Press Pavilion (the red carpeted area for those of you who have been there) runs about $3,300. This gets you a 10’ square space, two 8’ tables, and one outlet. A middle booth, with only one table, still runs $2,700. Adding my $600 airfare, five nights in a hotel at roughly $200 a night, food, shipping, and other miscellaneous expenses, you’re dropping about $6,000 to set up at this show. Granted, I shared in these expenses with others, but the point is still relevant.

And as a whole, business for us was decent. We moved quite a bit of product. We had exclusives. From simple observation, I’d say we were doing a hell of a lot better than many of the booths around us. But it is still a losing endeavor. But we understand this. As I mentioned, this isn’t a sales show. For people and companies like us, this is predominantly a marketing and networking event. And as a result, given the sheer size of Comic-Con, we could make the argument that we HAVE to be there. More on this momentarily.

Sure, some of the more recognized comics publishers like Boom, IDW, Marvel, Image, and the like have larger budgets, paid employees, and corporate backing that allows them to buy big spaces in prime locations, ship thousands of books, offer extensive exclusives, and get media coverage that smaller guys like us can only dream of. Comic-Con becomes a giant advertisement for them—advertisement that creates demand for their product.

Action Lab and similar publishers, on the other hand, have to claw for every nickel. We don’t have the name recognition, and have to earn it the hard way. Sure, those other guys were like us at one point, but times were a lot different back then, and creating your niche was a little easier (and less expensive). Competition for entertainment dollars has increased multifold, comics have become very expensive, and convention goers only have so much money to spend and so much time in which to spend it. And most of that money is not being spent on comics.

Comic retailers are feeling this heat as well. Chuck Rozanski, the owner of Mile High Comics, has gone on record saying that this very well could be his last Comic-Con. He simply does not make enough money to make the show viable. He mentioned that he can make twice the money at smaller shows with less overhead. Why? Because not only is he competing with every other comic book vendor on the floor, but also because he is competing with the publishers as well, who pull out all stops to make the quick buck at the convention. This doesn’t even mention the large percentage of people at the show who have no interest in purchasing comic books whatsoever. I am happy to say that we, as a publisher, have worked very positively with Mile High and other retailers. We offer them our exclusive covers at wholesale prices at the show. We offer to have our creators sign books at their show. We understand the relationship that exists between the retailer and the publisher, even at a convention like San Diego. While I am not here to laud Action Lab, the point is that everyone seems to be competing with everyone else at Comic-Con for limited dollars. Many retailers and dealers have decided to go elsewhere because it is no longer profitable. I don’t necessarily think this is the right thing to do. The comic book industry is small and incestuous. Market share is small enough that it behooves all of us to work together rather than begrudge everyone else.

But back to my earlier point. We HAVE to be at San Diego. Why? For one thing, not being at San Diego creates, at least on the surface, the belief that you aren’t a big enough player (and as such, not important enough) to compete in the comic book market. Simply being there sends the message that you DESERVE to be there. Second, it is a massive marketing and networking show. There are creators, distributors, digital vendors, agents, entertainment moguls, retailers, media, and other industry professionals there with whom a positive relationship can help you. If you are lucky enough to get selected for a panel (which we have been the last two years), you can show off your work to a captive audience and generate future interest, publicity, and hopefully business. What this ultimately means is that you have to write this show off as a business expense. It is advertising. It is publicity. It is the ability to touch a few thousand people in one fell swoop.

All of us who are a part of Action Lab are very proud of the product we are producing. We have an amazing array of talent producing some of the best comic books out there. The staff we have here are incredible in their own right, doing all they do for love rather than profit. We all still have day jobs. Most of us cover our own expenses at San Diego and other shows like it. But we endure. We endure in the hopes that the right people will discover us, and tell the industry what we already know about our product. Spending thousands of dollars at Comic Con maximizes our chances of this happening. And it will.

I invite all of my friends in the industry to share this and spread the word.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic day! What’s everyone thinking of getting this week when they head to the shop?

Around the Tubes

The Beat – The State of Conventions in 2014 (AKA – The Annual Gripes Turn Up) – A good read.

The Beat – SDCC ’14: Fashioning a Response to Cosplay Harassment – A very good read as well. Especially in light of recent horrific events.

ICv2 – Father Gabriel Joins ‘The Walking Dead – Awesome!

GamePolitics – FCC Opens Public Comments On State Laws Banning Municipal Broadband Operations – Comment folks! Internet providers shouldn’t have a monopoly.

SDCC 2014: SDCC Sends a Cease and Decist to SLCC

Saturday as folks were enjoying San Diego Comic-Con, a letter made its way through the press from Salt Lake Comic Con concerning a cease and desist letter they received from SDCC concerning their use of the word “Comic-Con.”  San Diego Comic-Con, or Comic-Con International as they’re going by now, trademarked the term in 2005.

comic-con trademarkHere’s a link to the letter SLCC received from SDCC’s law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. And here’s a copy of the press release that Salt Lake Comic Con sent out.

San Diego Comic-Con International vs. Salt Lake Comic Con 
– San Diego Comic-Con International sends cease and desist order siting intellectual property infringement for use of name of “Comic Con” –
SALT LAKE CITY, July 26, 2014 – On Friday, July 25, 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con (http://saltlakecomiccon.com/) organizers received a cease and desist order from San Diego Comic-Con International asserting that Salt Lake Comic Con cannot use the term “Comic Con” for any event, logo, trademark or website moving forward, further claiming ownership of all variations of the generic term “Comic Con.”
San Diego Comic-Con International is asserting intellectual property infringement for use of the name “Comic Con”, challenging hundreds of comic conventions around the country and the world already using the words comic con for their show.
To view a copy of the cease and desist order or to join Salt Lake Comic Con’s effort to protect Comic Con, click here.
Dan Farr Productions produces the Salt Lake Comic Con events.  The next Salt Lake Comic Con is scheduled for September 4-6, 2014 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.
“This cease and desist order is baseless and has been attempted before by this organization and has failed. Our primary concern is our fans and making sure we provide them with an event that allows them to meet, greet and get up close and personal with their favorite celebrities and pop culture icons,” said Dan Farr, Salt Lake Comic Con Founder and Show Producer.  “We’re puzzled why Salt Lake Comic Con was apparently singled out amongst the hundreds of Comic Cons around the country and the world. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves from this frivolous action.”
In one year, Salt Lake Comic Con has achieved record setting success.  The first Salt Lake Comic Con surpassed more than 72,000 fans.  In its second event called Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience (FanX) attendance exceeded more than 100,000 people making it the third largest Comic Con in the country. For Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 show organizers anticipate an even larger outpouring of fan support with expectations of more than 120,000 fans.
“San Diego Comic-Con International is threatening not only us, but all the other Comic Cons by trying to prohibit them from using the term for their events, “said Bryan Brandenburg, Salt Lake Comic Con Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer.   “San Diego Comic-Con attempted to trademark ‘Comic Con’ in 1995 and the application failed. Furthermore, precedence for the mark ‘Comic Con’ was set when Denver Comic Con received a trademark for their convention on November 26, 2013. Nobody owns the words ‘Comic Con’ (short for comic convention) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office has already ruled on this.”
To find out more information about Salt Lake Comic Con, the country’s third largest comic con, visit the Salt Lake Comic Con website.
Salt Lake Comic Con is organized by Dan Farr Productions in partnership with Media One of Utah, a joint operating agreement between the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, and ABC4/CW30 of the Nexstar Broadcasting Group. Dan Farr Productions is an event and marketing group devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium celebrities and brands in the pop culture arena. Dan Farr Productions is dedicated to producing spectacular celebrations of popular culture that lead the market in providing exceptional and rewarding experiences for our consumers, fans, celebrity guests, vendors and partners. Find out more at: www.SaltLakeComicCon.comwww.mediaoneutah.com,www.abc4.com/.

While I’m not a lawyer, I know quite a few individuals who are, and a few individuals who actually deal in trademark. Companies doing this sort of thing isn’t anything new. So, I decided to consult them as to what this all means and how much of a viable case San Diego Comic-Con has.

SDCC started in 1970, and since then dozens of other conventions using “Comic-Con” (or some variation) have sprung up. SDCC even isn’t the first “Comic-Con,” that belongs to the British Comic Art Convention which began in 1968, and does go by Comicon. That variation is important as you’ll see below. There is a strong case that the “Comic-Con” mark has been abandoned, as mark owners have a positive duty to defend the mark, or lose it.

SDCC’s complaint stems from SLCC supposedly sending a car to promote their show during San Diego Comic-Con 2014. Except, that didn’t happen. In an interview with The Outhousers, SLCC gives us the scoop:

There are “comic cons,” “comic-cons,” and “comiccons” all over the world every year. Why do you think Salt Lake Comic Con has been targeted in particular?

They found out we were bringing our wrapped car to San Diego and threatened us with legal action. We agreed not to bring it down and didn’t but they sent the letter anyway

We also had our 2nd event the same weekend as their Wonder Con and we had record attendance over 100,000 and they did poorly.


So, claims made in the letter to begin with are possibly false. But there’s the trademark claim itself. San Diego Comic-Con has sent “cease and desist” notices in the past, for example to Chicago Comic-Con, but those haven’t gone anywhere. So, they aren’t defending their trademark at all, and at a minimum not consistently. If you fail to enforce it, there’s legal consequences about how much you can defend it down the road, and what you’d get out of it if you do.

Next there’s the trademark granted. San Diego’s trademark is  for “Comic-Con” while Salt Lake uses “Comic Con.” It is a minor detail, but could be enough to distinguish the two uses in combination with the other context. If SDCC also claims the name without a hyphen, then they might also try to use other derivations including Comicon, which as we stated before was in use for a convention that proceeds SDCC by two years. Also, originally as filed, the term “Comic-Con” is a pretty narrow term to begin with, as it is not really unique . It is, at its heart, an abbreviation.

There’s also a chance that any decision if it were to go to court would grant the convention the use of the trademark in a geographic area, but not generally. Basically, San Diego to prevail would likely need to show actual damages from Salt Lake’s move. SDCC claims that SLCC promoted their show a the same time, both in person and online. Unfortunately for SDCC, so have many other conventions with the word “Comic-Con” in them. I’ve seen numerous online ads for instance during the same time period with that trademarked item included.

Salt Lake Comic Con has vowed they’re going to fight this, and they should, as from my understanding as well as the lawyer I consulted, San Diego’s claim is thin at best. But more importantly, this needs to be fought, because while SLCC might be the latest to be bullied, they won’t be the last.

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