It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s DC Super Heroes taking over the L.A. Zoo!
On Saturday, February 8, 2020, DC and the Los Angeles Zoo are encouraging families to turn off the TV, leave the house, and spend the day together enjoying superheroes, graphic novels, and up-close animal demonstrations at “DC Presents: Reading with Zoo-per Heroes at the L.A. Zoo.” The all-day event will feature interactive presentations with live animals, signings, author/artist meet and greets, as well as free giveaways, photo ops with a costumed Batman, and much more.
The festivities will take place within the L.A. Zoo at Treetops Terracenext to the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel. Activities are free to attend with the purchase of Zoo admission and free for Zoo members. The full day of programming from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will kick off with an honorary naming ceremony of one of the Zoo’s green and black poison dart frogs. The frog will be named “Russell,” after the main character in Kirk Scroggs’s critically acclaimed The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid. The graphic novel follows middle schooler Russell Weinwright as he navigates the highs and lows of middle school as a half-swamp creature/half-human and befriends a tree frog that makes its home in his arm.
Following the 10:30 a.m. naming ceremony, Zoo attendees can participate in various all-day activities and enjoy fun presentations at the top of every hour. Programming highlights include:
Interactive Author/Artist Talks and Drawing Demonstrations:
Aspiring artists of all ages can learn how to draw their favorite animals and DC Super Heroes during drawing demonstrations by Scroggs and fellow DC artists Agnes Garbowska (DC Super Hero Girls) and Victoria Ying (Diana: Princess of the Amazons).
Surprise Animal Appearances: Several author/artist talks will feature surprise animal guest stars.
Book Sales and Author/Artist Signings: Throughout the day, participating authors and artists will be on hand to meet fans and sign copies of books available to purchase at the event space. Additional graphic novels beyond those presented at the event will also be available for purchase.
Photo Ops with Batman: A Batman costumed character will make appearances to greet fans, take photos, and sign autographs.
Free Giveaways: Signed books, superhero capes, bookmarks, posters, and Wonder Woman’s tiara and bracelets are among the many free giveaways that will be handed out throughout the day, while supplies last.
For L.A. Zoo tickets and to learn more about “DC Presents: Reading with Zoo-per Heroes at the L.A. Zoo” visit LAZoo.org/DC. Fans can also RSVP and follow the event on Facebook here.
In 2020, the Los Angeles-based Secret Movie Club is hosting screenings of some of the most beloved anime of all time, as part of their Anime Buffet programming slate, which will run from January through April 2020. The Anime Buffet slate is scheduled to include such films as Ghost in the Shell, Perfect Blue, Paprika, Millennium Actress, Metropolis (2001), The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Vampire Hunter D, Grave of the Fireflies, and Tokyo Godfathers. Screenings will alternate between two different locations: the Vista Theater in Los Feliz, the historic single screen theater built in 1922, and the Club, Secret Movie Club’s new downtown location.
Attendees can purchase limited edition SECRET MOVIE CLUB posters for every screening at all events, which feature new art by contemporary illustrators. Each film is preceded by a brief talk from Secret Movie Club founder Craig Hammill and a trivia question for the audience.
COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE
(2001, Sony, dir by Shinichiro Watanabe, 35mm, 115mns)
Friday, January 10, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista
In 2071, earth has been ravaged by catastrophe. Humans have colonized other planets and the universe is a new Wild West. A group of Bounty Hunters travel on the spaceship BeBop in search of quarry and rewards. When a contagion gets released in a truck disaster on Mars, our heroes-Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein (a dog with human-grade smarts due to artificial enhancement) go off in search of the culprit and the reward that goes with it.
“One of the great things with Japanese anime, as with all cinema and art, is how each set of creators imbue the genre with their own personal style and stamp,” said Craig Hammill. “Cowboy Be Bop, as its title itself implies, is a mashup of sci-fi, westerns, Hong Kong action movies, and an improvisatory iconoclastic jazz rhythm that make the viewing experience a total blast and totally singular.”
VAMPIRE HUNTER D
(1985, Sentai Filmworks, dir by Toyoo Ashida, 80mns)
Friday, January 17, 2020 @ 7:30p, The Club, 1917 Bay Street, 2nd Floor, LA, CA 90021
The movie centers on Doris Lang, the daughter of a werewolf hunter, who gets bitten by 10,000 year old Count Magnus Lee one night. She then meets a strange vampire hunter, who only goes by the name D, and employs him to take on the long-lost vampire lord and try to help her from becoming a vampire herself.
“Vampire Hunter D is one of the earliest examples of Japanese anime that was made explicitly with teenagers and adults more in mind than children,” said Hammill. “Made for the then emerging direct to video market, Vampire Hunter D had a smaller budget than its feature film peers. But in a strange way, this freed up director Toyoo Ashida to make a more exciting, violent, sensual animation. Ashida has gone on the record as saying his intent with the movie was to make something thrilling that tired students could enjoy during study breaks rather than make an anime that further exhausted them. Full of genre mash-ups, amazing art and design, and storytelling, Vampire Hunter D definitely serves as a prototype and torch in the darkness for future directors like Satoshi Kon, who will take anime into ever more complex, adult, shadowy realms.”
GHOST IN THE SHELL
(1995, Lionsgate, dir by Mamoru Oshii, 85mns)
Saturday, January 18, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista:
Often the cyberpunk genre, which would come to full flourish here in the United States with the Wachowski’s The Matrix, can be traced most directly to two Japanese anime parents: 1988’s Akira and 1995’s Ghost in the Shell. Often considered one of the greatest Japanese anime movies of all time, Ghost in the Shell, dives head first into the darker, deeper waters of more adult sci-fi.
It’s 2029 and the human body can be augmented with “smart” prosthetic cybernetics. The most recent innovation, and the most terrifying, is a cyberbrain, which allows humans to now go online/get hooked into the internet, straight through their neural pathways. Our hero, Motoko Kusanagi, is part of an elite squad that fights crime in “New Port City” in Japan. Currently, they are kept busy by an arch criminal known as “The Puppet Master” who appears to have the ability to hack into these “cyberbrains” and get folks to assassinate, kill, commit crimes. As Motoko further explores what’s going on with both the Puppet Master and the innovations in cybernetics, she stumbles across a revelation that goes to the very heart of our philosophical understanding of what makes us unique individuals: what constitutes our “soul”.
(2006, Sony Pictures Classics, dir by Satoshi Kon, 35mm, 90mns)
Friday, January 31, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista:
If Hayao Miyazaki is synonymous with a kind of all-ages wildly imaginative Japanese anime, then director Satoshi Kon is synonymous with a Japanese anime that dares to go to the very limits of what any kind of cinema can explore in terms of human psychology, fear, desire, imagination. And he does it in the most creative and miraculous of artistic ways.
Paprika is one of his wildest mind-bending creations of all. In the near-future, there is a device called the “DC Mini” which allows Dr. Atsuko Chiba to enter the dreams of her patients (using her alter-ego “Paprika”) to help try to discover the root of their fears, anxieties, and hang ups. But the problem is that the “DC Mini” is still in prototype mode with no restrictions or safety barriers whatsoever. And if it gets into the wrong hands (which of course it does), it allows the thieves to enter dreams for more sinister and nefarious reasons.
(2001, Sony, dir by Rintaro, 113mns total, 35mm, Japanese with English subtitles)
Saturday, February 1, 2020 @ 10:45p, The Club
Written by Katsohiro Otomo (writer/director of the classic anime Akira), Metropolis shares much of its DNA with that seminal anime classic including a central character who is rocked to their psychological core by the realization of their “super human” abilities and an impending apocalypse that threatens the entire foundations of a huge city.
(2002, 11 Arts, dir by Satoshi Kon, 82mns, Japanese with English subtitles)
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 @ 8p, The Club
Millennium Actress tells the emotional story (in a decidedly surreal and modernist way) of famous actor Chiyoko Fujiwara, who tells her life story to documentarians and explains she only ever became an actress in the hopes of being recognized by an artist/political rebel she fell in love with as a teenager and never saw again. As Chiyoko tells her story, it becomes hard to tell what’s her real life, what are movie scenes she starred in, and where fiction/reality meet and diverge.
Special Note: There will be three originally written 3-4 minute monologues performed by three actresses ahead of the screening running a total of 10-12 minutes.
(1997, GKIDS, dir by Satoshi Kon, 35mm, 81mns)
Friday, February 21, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista
Kon fully commits to an anime that is as rich, dark, and complex as any Scorsese, Kubrick, Lynch, or Bergman movie. But with the added benefit of being able to cinematically represent psychological states of mind in a way that is often impossible in live-action cinema.
“If you want to see anime that absolutely succeeds in expanding the playing field of what cinema can do, come join us for Perfect Blue,” said Hammill.
THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME
(2006, Funimation, directed by Mamoru Hosoda, 98mns; English dubbed version)
Saturday, March 14, 2020 @ 10:30a, the Vista
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time tells the story of young teenager Makoto Konno who discovers a magical object in her high school that allows her to leap through time and prevent situations that caused her great embarrassment. This premise, as with all good premises fully explored, deepens into a meditation on wish fulfillment versus reality. Makoto, first using the device for frivolous things, comes to realize that the device has its price. And that she is not the only one using it. . .
GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES
(1988, GKids, directed by Isao Takahata, 90mns; Japanese with English subtitles)
Saturday, April 4, 2020 @ 10:30a, the Vista
One of the absolute greatest animes ever made, Grave of the Fireflies, directed by Isao Takahata, deals with siblings Seita and Satsuko, who have to rely on each other to survive after they’re separated from their parents during the American fire-bombing of Tokyo in the late stages of World War II.
Secret Movie Club is a group project among the founders and the audience. Audience suggestions are taken and often used. Secret Movie Club aims to celebrate the wonderful experience that comes from watching the world’s greatest movies in great movie theaters with great audiences.
BOOM! Studios has announced they’re heading to the 2020 ALA Midwinter Conference and Exhibition from January 24-28, 2020 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. The publisher, home to award-winning imprints BOOM! Studios, BOOM! Box, KaBOOM!, and Archaia, will host panels and signings throughout the weekend.
The award-winning publisher will return with a curated booth (#1633) environment and an exclusive limited edition Lumberjanes-themed tote bag, as well as special advance readers copies and chapbooks of hotly anticipated graphic novels including b.b free by Gabby Rivera and Royal Dunlap, An Ember in the Ashes: A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir, Nicole Andelfinger, and Sonia Liao, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Ryan Parrott and Simone di Meo, Once & Future by Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain, and Something is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera.
Throughout the weekend, attendees will also have an opportunity to speak one-on-one with the writers behind some of the most anticipated graphic fiction of 2020 during signing events with:
Sabaa Tahir, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series An Ember in the Ashes.
Kieron Gillen, co-creator of Once & Future with BOOM! Studios, and co-creator of hit books such as The Wicked + The Divine, Die, and Phonogram with Image Comics.
James Tynion IV, comic book writer best known for GLAAD Media Award-winning series The Woods with Michael Dialynas, The Backstagers with Rian Sygh, and Something is Killing the Children with Werther Dell’Edera at BOOM! Studios.
Visit the award-winning publisher’s booth for the exclusive chance to meet your favorite creators. Fans will have the opportunity to get exclusive merchandise signed by these BOOM! Studios special guests. Schedule below:
Friday, January 24 7:00-9:00PM BOOM! Studios Signing with Kieron Gillen and James Tynion IV at Brave New Worlds comics bookstore (55 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106)
Saturday, January 25 8:00AM-10:00AM GNCRT Coffee & Comics: Sabaa Tahir 11:00AM-12:00PM Meet the Author: Kieron Gillen 1:00PM – 1:50PM BOOM! Studios Panel: Creating Bold New Worlds (PopTop Stage) featuring Sabaa Tahir, Kieron Gillen & James Tynion IV 2:00PM-3:00PM Meet the Author: Sabaa Tahir 3:30PM-4:30PM Meet the Author: James Tynion IV
Sunday, January 26 11:00AM-12:00PM Meet the Author: James Tynion IV 1:00PM-2:00PM Meet the Author: Sabaa Tahir 3:00PM-4:00PM Meet the Author: Kieron Gillen
In addition to visiting the booth for signings and giveaways, everyone is invited to attend an exciting new panel, CREATING BOLD NEW WORLDS, hosted by BOOM! Studios, and meet bestselling author Sabaa Tahir at Coffee & Comics, a ticketed event hosted by the ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable . Full details below:
Saturday, January 25 GNCRT Coffee & Comics (8:00 AM – 10:00 AM, Room 103-A)
Join BOOM! Studios and bestselling author Sabaa Tahir at the Midwinter Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table Comics Breakfast! Whether you are new to comics in libraries or a veteran of the “comic books are real books” fight, the GNCRT is here now to connect you to resources and other library folks with similar interests. Come socialize, eat some breakfast, drink some coffee, and connect with comics publishing representatives and creators. This is a ticketed event.
BOOM! Studios: Creating Bold New Worlds (1:00 – 1:50 PM, PopTop Stage) Join acclaimed authors Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes), Kieron Gillen (Once & Future) and James Tynion (Something is Killing the Children) for an in-depth discussion about what it takes to create exciting new worlds in fantasy, science fiction, action and more than reflect the world outside your window. Moderated by Spencer Simpson (Sales Manager, BOOM! Studios).
All fans, including ALA Midwinter attendees, will also get the chance to meet Kieron Gillen and James Tynion IV at a special offsite BOOM! Studios signing event at Brave New Worlds (55 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106) on Friday, January 24, from 7-9PM.
Baltimore Comic-Con will return to the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center on October 23-25, 2020. Discount tickets for the show are now on sale but only through January 1, 2020.
Tickets currently available include:
As always, children 10 and under are free with a paid adult admission!
VIP ticket holders receive the following package items and benefits:
Exclusive early admission to all 3 days of the show
2020 Baltimore Comic-Con t-shirt
2020 Baltimore Comic-Con yearbook
$40 gift voucher to the Baltimore Comic-Con Exclusives table
Show-exclusive Frank Cho print
Limited time offer! Between now and January 1, 2020, the Baltimore Comic-Con is offering a 10% discount on all ticket sales.
General Admission and VIP Package tickets for Weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are now on sale! Visit the tickets page for more information and to purchase your advanced tickets now, and as always, kids 10 and under get into the show free with a paid adult General Admission!
In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Brian Michael Bendis (Action Comics), Howard Chaykin (Hey Kids! Comics!), Cliff Chiang (Paper Girls), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Becky Cloonan (Dark Agnes), Katie Cook (Nothing Special), Alan Davis (Tarot, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), Mitch Gerads (Mr. Miracle), Greg Hildebrandt (Wolverine), Jamal Igle (Wrong Earth), Tom King (Batman), Scott Kolins (The Flash, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Joseph Michael Linsner (Red Sonja), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Richard Pace (Second Coming), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Sinestro: Year of the Villain), Afua Richardson (Omni), John K. Snyder III (Killers), Timothy Truman (Grimjack), Robert Venditti (Hawkman), and Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan).
Diamond Comic Distributors has revealed the artwork for the commemorative artist T-shirts available for Free Comic Book Day 2020. Award-winning artist and illustrator, Jeffrey Brown, has created a one-of-kind design emphasizing the timelessness of comic books for this year’s Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2020 T-shirt. The T-shirt is available for pre-order at comic book shops starting December 20 and is featured in the January issue of Diamond’s PREVIEWS catalog.
Jeffrey Brown began his comics career alternating between intimate, sincere auto-biographical works including the critically acclaimed Clumsy and humorous parodies such as Incredible Change-Bots. Jeffrey combined his personal style and deep fan knowledge of Star Wars into the New York Times bestsellers Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess, and followed up with the middle grade series Jedi Academy. Jeffrey has also explored prehistoric cave-kid life with Lucy & Andy Neanderthal andelementary school with his picture book My Teacher Is A Robot. Jeffrey returned to everyday life in the Star Wars universe with Rey and Pals, and the first volume of his new science fiction series Space-Time! launches in June 2020, with a preview available at participating comic shops as a Free Comic Book Day 2020 Gold sponsor title!
Brown’s artwork for the FCBD 2020 Commemorative T-Shirt captures the timelessness of comic books while highlighting the enduring ability of comic book shops to bring together pop culture fans and forge a sense of community.
The FCBD 2020 T-shirt will be available in men’s sizes (MSRP: $14.99-$17.99) in black and navy, in women’s sizes (MSRP: $14.99-$17.99) in black and forest green, and in youth sizes (MSRP: $11.99) in black and light blue. The shirt, along with a complete listing of all the FCBD 2020 comic book titles, can be found in the January issue of PREVIEWS, available in comic shops on January 1, 2020.
Free Comic Book Day has announced the upcoming release of this year’s Free Comic Book Day PREVIEWS Exclusive (PX) collectible merchandise available only during the event on Saturday, May 2, 2020!
Funko leads the way for Free Comic Book Day 2020 exclusive collectibles with their first-ever PREVIEWS ExclusiveMystery Box (JAN200050-64; SRP: $34.99)! The mystery box features a brand-new Marvel Comics POP! PX bobble-head figure, an exclusive PX Marvel Funko Variant Comic Book (title TBA) and a PX Funko POP! Character Tee! POP!figure comes in standard Funko window box packaging for easy display, while the Marvel comic book features cover art in the Funko style, depicting the Mystery Box’s featured POP! character in three randomly distributed designs: Main Variant Cover (65%), No Logo Variant (25%), Gold Logo Cover (10%)! There are three Mystery boxes to choose from, A, B, and C, each with its own exclusive T-Shirt design of the featured POP! character. The featured character in the box is a mystery for now, but Funko and Free Comic Book Day will be announcing the featured character in mid-March!
Try to keep your mind clear when you look at FCBD’s Diamond Select Toys sculpture of the X-Men’s resident Femme Fatale, Emma Frost (OCT190014; SRP $49.99)! Shipping exclusively to stores participating in Free Comic Book Day, this approximately 12-inch PREVIEWS Exclusive PVC diorama features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box for display.
Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, thrilled audiences in the animated blockbuster Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Now, this PREVIEWS Exclusive this 1.2″ hardenamel pin of Miles Morales (OCT190015; SRP $10.00) from Mondo Tees will be just as exciting to your customers on Free Comic Book Day! The butterfly clutch pin comes on an Into the Spider-Verse backing card.
The PREVIEWS Exclusive Black Widow HeroClix Figure from Wizkids/NECA is based on Marvel Studios’ upcoming Black Widow movie! The Exclusive FCBD 2020 Marvel HeroClix Exclusive Figure will include an exclusive HeroClix figure and character card in a polybag with a hangtag.
WizKids/NECA! have also paired up with Marvel and DC to offer fans a selection of PREVIEWS Exclusive Dice Masters Team Packs. The Dice Masters Marvel and DC FCBD 2020 promotion offers gamers deal pricing on three backlist Dice Masters Team Packs, giving retailers an opportunity to introduce the Marvel and DC Dice Masters game to their customers at a low price point. The Dice Masters Team Pack from Marvel (OCT190017; SRP $11.25) includes the Dark X-Men Team Pack, Defenders Team Pack, and the Kree Invasion Team Pack. The Dice Masters Team Pack from DC (OCT190016; SRP $11.25) includes the Harley Quinn Team Pack, Mystics Team Pack, and the Doom Patrol Team Pack.
These PREVIEWS Exclusive collectibles will only be available in extremely limited quantities on Saturday, May 2, 2020 from participating Free Comic Book Day stores.
Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2020 features an amazing selection of comic book titles for the industry’s most anticipated annual event which will take place Saturday, May 2, 2020 at participating comic book shops worldwide.
A committee made up of comic shop retailers chose fourty-seven titles overall to be available on Free Comic Book Day: twelve Gold Sponsor comics and thirty-five Silver Sponsor comics that give fans a great opportunity to discover new titles and genres. There will also be two educational support titles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Gemstone Publishing. This year’s announcement of Silver Sponsor comics includes such great titles as Stranger Things & Minecraft, Mean Girls: Senior Year, Spider-Man/ Venom, Disney Masters: Donald Duck, Blade Runner, Naurto/ Samurai 8, and more.
A complete listing of all fourty-seven FCBD titles, including the twelve Gold Sponsor and thirty-five Silver Sponsor comic books, can be found in the January issue of Diamond Comic Distributors’ PREVIEWS catalog, on sale at comic book shops on January 1, 2020.
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2020: GOLD COMICS
Archie Comics | ARCHIE BLUE RIBBON PRESENTS
BOOM! Studios | POWER RANGERS: RANGER SLAYER
Dark Horse Comics | NORSE MYTHOLOGY/ CRITICAL ROLE
DC Comics | DC COMICS TOP SECRET GOLD BOOK
IDW Publishing | MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC
Image Comics | FIRE POWER #1 – ROBERT KIRKMAN & CHRIS SAMNEE
Macmillan/ First Second Books| INVESTIGATORS: TAKE THE PLUNGE SNEAK PEEK
Marvel Comics | X-MEN
Random House Children’s Books | ONLY A MATTER OF SPACE TIME
Ten Speed Press | JACK KIRBY: THE EPIC LIFE OF THE KING OF COMICS
Valiant Entertainment | VALIANT 30TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
VIZ Media | THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS / SPLATOON: SQUID KIDS COMEDY SHOW
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2020: SILVER COMICS
AfterShock Comics | DARK ARK: INSTINCT
Albatross Funnybooks | HILLBILLY: THE LIZARD OF RUSTY CREEK CAVE
Artists, Writers & Artisans | THE RESISTANCE
Benitez Productions | LADY MECHANIKA
BOOM! Studios | LUMBERJANES: FAREWELL TO SUMMER
Chapterhouse Publishing | CAPTAIN CANUCK BEYOND AND CAPTAIN BATTLE
Dark Horse Comics | STRANGER THINGS/ MINECRAFT
DC Comics | DC TOP SECRET SILVER TITLE
Drawn & Quarterly | LITTLE LULU: NO BOYS ALLOWED
Drawn & Quarterly | MANHWA: CONTEMPORARY KOREAN COMICS
Dynamite Entertainment | THE BOYS #1
Fantagraphics Books | DISNEY MASTERS: DONALD DUCK
Golden Apple Books | RICHARD FAIRGRAY’S MONSTER SHOWCASE
Now having traveled a bunch, and visted many a Con, seen so much I have. Sorry it is the end of 2019 and Baby Yoda speak is sweeping everyone. However, what I saw this day was much much different. In fact, I have never seen anything like this at a Comic-Con. Or any convention for that matter. That is what makes it so special.
This past November at Rhode Island Comic Con, I had the unexpected privilege of meeting part Reed Richards, part Batgirl aka Leigh from the company Stick FX which has just got some astounding stuff to share so without further ado.
Leigh: Hi I’m Leigh from Stick FX, and what we’ve developed is the first self adhering, reusable, silicone mask for your face.
GP: So I’ve been observing and I noticed that you just peels these off and slap them on again with what looks like no fuss whatsoever. How long do these each last Leigh?
Leigh: So the masks that we have here that we are using to demo, are over seven years old and have more than a thousand uses on them. Best part is there is no glues, no removers and they are hypoallergenic because they are 100 percent silicone.
GP: Wow! That’s genius. So I’m a huge Nightwing fan myself and I said, “I just gotta get a Nightwing, but they’re really is no good Nightwing masks out there.” At least not ones without a string or you need to use adhesives. Until.. now. How did you come up with this idea?
Leigh: Okay. So I’m a silicone technologist and I’ve worked in the silicone industry for over twenty years and I’ve developed and own the patent on this. So I understand silicone and it’s properties for reuse as well as being skin friendly, and I’m also a huge superhero fan. To that point I’ve never watched a superhero movie where you ever see the superhero wear a mask that has a string or worries about it falling off. Right?
Leigh: So how do we develop a mask where they can put it on and take it off really quickly? That is where silicone technology comes in.
GP: Looking around I noticed that a lot of these designs are very Arrow centric, Bat Centric, are you a DC (Comics) girl?
Leigh: Oh I’m a DC girl. Yeah.
GP: So who’s your choice?
Leigh: Ahhh don’t make me choose, don’t make me choose right here. I tell you what since you brought up a good point about the Nightwing, as pertains to the Nightwing mask we sold out of our whole stock of 120 just on Friday which is what we brought, that is how popular he is.
GP: Oh no kidding, I mean it is fantastic. I bet you’d sell out of Arrow if you made a straight Arrow one.
Leigh: Yeah we actually have had a lot of requests for Arrow. So yeah.
GP: I actually think you should definitely go ahead with Arrow or Canary. I mean there’s not much really of a difference in design so it could be cost-effective.
Leigh: The good thing about most of those masks you are talking about, is they are kind of a universal shape. So we had a woman use one for Black Cat yesterday over hers that she had so that was pretty cool.
GP: It’s unbelievable the versatility of these because they can be used with so many similar cosplays. Batgirl, Black Cat, Nightwing. I mean I saw the Nightwing one and stopped dead in my tracks and was like boom, I need to have this. They are so striking.
Leigh: What is so cool is that speaking to the versatility, they can be used for guys, girls, kids, really just about anybody.
GP: Before you said that you’ve worked in silicone for a long time, besides the hero thing what made you design this type of process?
Leigh: So I’m a prosthetics specialist and I design prosthetics for the face for amputees. So if you are missing a nose, an eye or an ear, I’m the person you are going to come see.
Leigh: I invented the silicone adhesive that you see here and filed the patent about seven years ago. I thought “You know this would be a badass costume thing! ” I worked in the film industry for a long time too and I know how time-consuming and uncomfortable it is using glue and spirit gum and all those really harsh and harmful products on your face and skin so I thought this is absolutely perfect. I have my three-year-old walking around with one of these on right now.
GP: Oh it’s absolute genius! Also the world’s cutest marketing tool. (Laughs) People are dressed up here but you are making real-world superhero applications here. It doesn’t get any better.
Leigh: Right? I mean anyone can slap one of these on and instant hero. We actually had a Nightwing who looked awesome but his spirit gum was coming off and he stopped by the booth and said “Hey put one aside for me, I’m coming back, I can’t wear this shit anymore.” So seeing the demand for these, it is a really good feeling.
GP: Absolutely. You can’t oversell this. So please tell us where we can find you and how quick is this all available?
Leigh: Awesome. We are online at www.stickfx.com and we are going to have to refill all our orders but we usually ship out same day.
GP: Terrific. Well, I think you found your spot and are going to be a mainstay at Comic Cons and I hope to see you around at the next ones I travel too.
Leigh: We hope to see you around too. This has been awesome. Thank you.
Yes. I totally tried one on and rocked the hell out of it.
So there you have it. If you a are an uber hero comic nerd like me, you want to check these folks out. It is seriously remarkable. The pictures don’t do it justice. This is very cool stuff being born out of a good place. So go grab these up, but just save me a Nightwing! Check out all the links below.
Diamond Comic Distributors has announced that its 2020 Retailer Summit for comic book specialty retailers will take place Tuesday, April 14 through Thursday, April 16 in Orlando, FL ahead of MegaCon Orlando, which is set to run from Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, April 19 at the Orange County Convention Center.
The 2020 Retailer Summit will offer a wealth of entertaining, educational and informative activities, bringing together the industry’s retailers, publishers, key vendors, and Diamond staff for the 3-day trade-only event. The Retailer Summit will feature key supplier presentations, a trade-only Exhibit Hall, retailer workshops, publisher forums, and more fun and informative events for comic book specialty retailers.
Diamond’s Retailer Summit is the leading annual event for comic book specialty retailers to meet with publishers and suppliers who come together to discuss the industry and their businesses. Top publishers sponsor the event and share exciting new projects, while retailers get to network and learn about new and proven business practices to help them succeed in today’s retailing environment.
Additional details and registration information to come.
Don’t call it a comeback, because they never left. It was that time of year again, the blasters were loading and the capes were flowing. Yes it was the annual trip to Nerdvana for Rhode Island Comic Con and it was hosted right here … in Providence, Rhode Island! (cheap Mick Foley plug)
It certainly was an interesting sight as the streets were filled and the building to capacity as everyone was gearing up to meet the who’s who of geek culture who had decided to descend on this state. I for one thoroughly enjoy this show as I marvel at the assemblage of guests and creators that arrive each year.
Now like most spectaculars, your day soon becomes a task list of what to accomplish first and just how much you can fit in each day. The show tends to make that easier to do as you set off on your quest, you can choose to use the website, app or even the program to navigate your way. For me though, I prefer the old fashioned way of just hoofing it across the terrain and venturing into the hallowed halls.
First stop, as always since I am a proud and avid collector, I hit up the vendors. There always seems to be something for everyone and this year was certainly no exception. There’s comics, action figures, movie props and numerous paraphernalia from just about every genre you can think of, horror, hero, video games, tv, movies, sci fi, you name it, they got it.
So of course since they had it, I got it. Not a bad couple of finds as well.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to haggle, trust me the vendors want this stuff to go home with you as much as you do.
So after spending a good time feeling like a dog at fire hydrant convention, I made my way away from the vendors and to the main show floor. What I was not prepared for was all the coolness that awaited my pupils when I turned the corner. Almost every inch of the show had some kind of wow factor that was present for your optics, wherever you moved.
At times it was easy to feel like you were on a Hollywood sound stage with all the creativity abound. So I did what any lighthearted news hound would do …
I joined the Dark Side. I mean seriously the benefits are way better. Also they have cookies. Lots of cookies.
All joking aside though, as you make your way through your fellow aficionados, you arrive at the main ballroom where there is more celebs and guests than you can shake an NDA at. If you take a look around there is someone representing from each corner of the Pop Culture Galaxy. From TV, to movies, to voice acting and even wrestling.
I mean if you’re not careful you might just turn around and bump into, Mark Paul Gosellaar, Jaleel White or even this happy guy .. from AEW: JonFreakingMoxley.
Like I said there is someone for everyone in this place and I observed quite a bit. Even though at times the lines were quite arduous, I saw that everyone got a fair shake. Each attendant got a little time to shine with their icons and heroes and that is really what it is all about.
Now like everything, it wasn’t perfect, but it was as near to that as organized chaos can get. These shows are truly wonderful as we in fandom spend so much time and energy into giving ourselves of this hobby and lifestyle. It is refreshing to get a return on our time. This is no easy feat to put together and this year more than before, it has me appreciating all the efforts that go into this just a bit more.
So if you ever find yourself on this side of the world and you want to see all the hub bub for yourself, take a slide on down and check out, what I think is the Best Show in any State each year and you tell me yourself.
Whether it is coming across a comic book or grail piece you have longed to have in your collection or meeting your childhood hero or even just taking in the wackiness. The memories you will have will be treasured in all your travels.
So what are you waiting for? Keep an eye out for updates and see you here next year!
*** Thank you for the staff at Rhode Island Comic Con for welcoming me back and allowing me to cover the show once again. Great job all around and see you for the big one in 2020!! ***