Category Archives: Conventions

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The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Goes Virtual on February 20th

Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics

The ceremony announcing the highly-anticipated winner of the 2020 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics will take place online in a prerecorded event this Saturday, February 20, on what would have been Mr. McDuffie’s 59th birthday. The ceremony will be streamed starting at 9pmEST/6pmPST on the DMAD’s official facebook page.

Fan-favorite actor, Phil LaMarr, who worked extensively with Mr. McDuffie as the voice of Virgil/Static on Static Shock and of John Stewart/Green Lantern on Justice League, returns as Master of Ceremonies, this time online.

This prestigious award has grown exponentially in recognition and esteem since it was established in 2014 in honor of Dwayne McDuffie (1962-2011), the legendary African-American comic book writer/editor and writer/producer of Static Shock, Justice League, and Ben 10: Alien Force & Ultimate Alien, who famously co-founded Milestone Media, the most successful minority-owned comic book company in the history of the industry, which recently announced development of a Static feature film produced by Black Panther co-star, Michael B. Jordan.

The FINALISTS for the 2020 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics are:

Iyanu: Child of Wonder
written by Roye Okupe
illustrated by Godwin Akpan

They Called Us Enemy
written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott
illustrated by Harmony Becker

Excellence
written by Brandon Thomas
illustrated by Khary Randolph

Angola Janga: Kingdom of Runaway Slaves
written and illustrated by Marcelo D’Salete

From Truth With Truth
written and illustrated by Lawrence Lindell

Anika Noni Rose Has Been announced as a Special Guest at Virtuous Con

Anika Noni Rose

Virtuous Con has announced that Tony award-winning actress and Disney Legend, Anika Noni Rose, will be recording a special children’s book reading for a Children’s Hour at the virtual festival next week. Best known for her beloved role as Princess Tiana in The Princess and The Frog and most recently, the highly acclaimed Christmas musical Jingle Jangle, Ms. Rose is also a voracious reader and a serious nerd! We’re honored that she has taken time out of her busy filming schedule to share her love of storytelling with a special selection for Black History Month!

Sponsored by both DC and indie Black media company Subsume. Virtuous Con: Black History Month launches live worldwide on February 20 and 21 and will feature panels on comic books, scriptwriting, health, cosplay and more! Other special guests include YA author Daniel José Older, artist, editor and founder of Megascope imprint John Jennings, Eisner Award-winning artist Alitha Martinez award-winning writer L. L. McKinney on the panel Nubia is Back! The DC Storytellers who reintroduced Wonder Woman’s Sister. Founder of YouNeek Studios Roye Okupe and award-winning science fiction author and producer Tananarive Due.

Founded by award-winning science fiction writer ​Cerece Rennie Murphy, ​Virtuous Con: Black History Month​ will feature indie artists and exhibitors in a live interactive virtual space dedicated to science fiction, fantasy, comic books, anime and more. “It feels really gratifying to have such an established institution in fandom coming to Virtuous Con and celebrating the excellence of Black and Brown creators with us!” Murphy says.

February will not be Virtuous Con’s premiere convention. Murphy successfully beta-tested the event in October 2020 with a small group of attendees and vendors on the ​Remo​ platform, customized to support the convention. Virtuous Con still has a few tables left for vendors, but programming space is limited.

Deadpool’s Nerdy Thirty Anniversary Kicks Off with a Live Virtual Event

Deadpool Nerdy Thirty Virtual Event

Celebrate 30 years of Marvel’s Merc with a Mouth during Marvel’s year-long Deadpool Nerdy Thirty anniversary event! Kicking off LIVE during the Deadpool Nerdy Thirty Virtual Event on Thursday, February 25 at 7pm ET, fans will get a chance to go inside the madcap mind of Wade Wilson with creators and industry legends from across the decades, spilling behind-the-scenes secrets, history, and exclusive reveals featuring Deadpool collectibles, comics, and more!

The Deadpool Nerdy Thirty Virtual Event is completely free to Marvel Unlimited Annual Plus members, one of many perks including exclusive access to special invitations for Marvel events, special Marvel Unlimited Annual Plus members collector’s kits, benefits and discounts, and instant access to over 28,000 comics on Marvel Unlimited.

If you are not a current Marvel Unlimited Annual Plus member, you can subscribe to Annual Plus now and attend the virtual event. Fans who take part in the Deadpool Nerdy Thirty Virtual Event will hear from some of the biggest names behind Deadpool’s decades, including Fabian Nicieza, Ed McGuinness, Joe Kelly, Gail Simone, Daniel Way, Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, Mike Hawthorne, and Rob Liefeld!

There will also be a limited quantity of tickets available for sale for non-Marvel Unlimited Annual Plus members interested in attending the event.

Later this year, fans will want to look out for a bonanza of new collectibles, home décor, apparel and more—all celebrating Deadpool’s signature style and flair, including:

  • Deadpool Funko POP! collectibles 
  • Deadpool home décor from Jay Franco and BoxLunch that instantly spice up any room
  • Cooking With Deadpool cook book, featuring flavorful recipes that add humor, fire and fun to every cook’s kitchen
  • Marvel Legends: Deadpool’s Interactive Head from Hasbro—the perfect companion for any Marvel fan
  • And more soon-to-be-announced product hijinks just in time for the April prank season. What will Deadpool do next?!

Don’t miss the start of our wildest Deadpool celebrations all year long, LIVE on Thursday, February 25 at 7pm ET!

Skybound Entertainment Unveils 2/19 Skybound Xpo: Creatorfest Lineup

Skybound Xpo: Creatorfest

Skybound Entertainment has unveiled the lineup for Skybound Xpo: Creatorfest, airing on YouTube and Twitch on February 19. The digital pop-culture event will celebrate creators, Black History Month, and various Skybound properties.

Please find the lineup for Skybound Xpo: Creatorfest below.

Skybound Xpo: Creatorfest Lineup

#INVINCIBLEFRIDAY

Join Hector Navarro & additional guests to talk the upcoming Amazon Prime original series!

VISIONS OF EXCELLENCE

Superstars Brandon Thomas, Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez, and Deron Bennett discuss the future of EXCELLENCE, from new issues to a Skybound Signature hardcover on Kickstarter. Hosted by Danielle Radford.

Excellence

EXCELLENCE & FRIENDS

All-star creators Brandon Thomas, Khary Randolph, Brandon Easton and more come together to discuss what’s inspiring and exciting them in pop culture today. Hosted by Danielle Radford.  

ALICIA MARIE’S COSPLAY MEETUP

Cosplayer and costume designer Alicia Marie hosts friends from the cosplay community to talk about origins, inspirations, the ins-and-outs of cosplay, and more!

COMICS VAULT LIVE 202

Shawn “Big Clutch” Kirkham cracks open the Skybound vault for season two episode two of Comics Vault Live, debuting two huge items. Get them before they’re gone!

  • The Walking Dead Deluxe #7 Virgin Variant featuring the stunning inked version of the cover by superstar David Finch. Each copy sold will be a minimum CGC grade of 9.8, limited to 200 copies.
  • Radiant Black #1 Tyler Kirkham Variant, featuring all-new cover art for the biggest super hero launch of the year from Kyle Higgins and Marcelo Costa. This is the first Image Comics variant to be offered through CVL and will be limited to 240 copies, with each copy sold graded at a minimum CGC 9.8.

ARTISTS ALLEY

We shine a spotlight on some new faces in the Skybound family and get a first-hand look at their creations and processes. Hosted by Danielle Radford.  

ATTACK! WITH ATTACK PETER

Our very own Peter Santa-Maria unveils his latest print and gives us the low-down on what’s new in the world of Attack Peter!

Black Cinema Movie Trivia Schmoedown!

The Movie Trivia Schmoedown is hosting a Black Cinema Trivia exhibition match in celebration of the countless works from black creatives that have inspired many and helped shape the film industry.

XPO Creatorfest

The Comic Arts Workshop is now OPEN!

The Comic Arts Workshop is now open for enrollment! The classes allow participants to gain the skills and attitude they need to make their dream of making comics come true! Classes are Wednesdays at 8:00 pm EST starting February 24.

  • Weekly online work sessions with a supportive community of fellow creators
  • Easy, bite-sized lessons on Making Comics at your own pace
  • Assignments, exercises and big comic projects to help you grow
  • Access to all past interviews with industry guest speakers
  • One-on-one mini coaching sessions
  • Make a habit out of Making Comics!

For more information, visit comicarts.newzenler.com

Virtual Open House, Wednesday, Feb 10 at 7:00 pm EST
Join them and meet fellow creators and members of the workshop, see the work they’ve produced and get more information about the program. The event is free. Drinks will be served.

Comic Arts Workshop

DC Announced as an Official sponsor of Virtuous Con

Virtous Con

Virtuous Con has announced that international comic book publisher DC is an official sponsor and virtual vendor of the virtual convention launching live worldwide on February 20 and 21 along with several new special guests. Including Eisner Award-winning artist Alitha Martinez (World of Wakanda, Immortal Wonder Woman)​ and Robyn Smith (Wash Day, NUBIA: Real One)​ , who will both join previously announced guest, award-winning writer L. L. McKinney (A Blade So Black, Immortal Wonder Woman, NUBIA: Real One)​ on the panel “Nubia is Back! The DC Storytellers who reintroduced Wonder Woman’s Sister”. ​ Live host and culture journalist ​Karama Horne (SYFYWIRE, theblerdgurlLIVE, NERDIST)​ will moderate the panel.

Founded by award-winning science fiction writer Cerece Rennie Murphy, Virtuous Con: Black History Month will feature indie artists and exhibitors in a live interactive virtual space dedicated to science fiction, fantasy, comic books,
anime and more.

Martinez, Smith and Horne will join previously announced guests YA author Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper Cypher, Star Wars: The High Republic​), artist, editor and founder of Megascope imprint John Jennings (Black Comix Returns, Kindred: A Graphic Novel), writer and H1 imprint co-founder Kwanza Osajyefo (BLACK, Ignited) and Nigerian comic creator and founder of YouNeek Studios Roye Okupe (E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams, Malika).

February will not be Virtuous Con’s premier convention. Murphy successfully beta-tested the event in October 2020 with a small group of attendees and vendors on the Remo platform, customized to support the convention. Virtuous Con still has a few tables left for vendors, but programming space is limited. For details about vending, panels, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit https://virtuouscon.com/.

TCAF Goes Virtual in May with the Addition of Canzine and Comics X Games

After a challenging year, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival has announced that TCAF is back from May 8-15, 2021 — with a virtual twist!

Free of the shackles of corporeal existence, TCAF’s marketplace will have more days than ever before, and include a week of on-demand programming. Comic and art lovers will be able to visit TCAF 2021 online to peruse and shop hundreds of exhibitors’ amazing works, sit in on classic Q&As, workshops, talks, and so much more!

TCAF’s new exhibition website is being made in partnership with Canzine (the festival of zines) and the Toronto Hand Eye Society. Zinesters and indie video game creators will be among the 600 virtual exhibitors in May!

Applicants will have the choice to apply for TCAFCanzine OR Comics x Games. Accepted exhibitors will have a customizable online shop page where they can upload up to 5 items for sale. After TCAF, exhibitors will send all sold items to a warehouse, where orders will be bundled and shipped off to shoppers. This process is to help save exhibitors and visitors excess transaction and shipping fees. Options will be available to see additional products.

Applications to exhibit at TCAF 2021 are open until March 3rd, 2021. International exhibitors are welcome! CLICK HERE TO APPLY.

Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2021

Founded by Cerece Rennie Murphy, Virtuous Con: Black History Month Launches in February!

Virtuous Con

Virtuous Con, a brand new virtual comic book convention series, announced several special guests today for Virtuous Con: Black History Month going live February 20 and 21, 2021. The announcement featured on the Virtuous Con
website included several award-winning artists and writers, including YA author Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper Cypher, Star Wars: The High Republic​), artist, editor and founder of Megascope imprint John Jennings (Black Comix Returns, Kindred: A Graphic Novel), author and activist L.L. McKinney (A Blade So Black, NUBIA: Real One), writer and H1 imprint co-founder Kwanza Osajyefo (BLACK, Ignited) and Nigerian comic creator and founder of YouNeek Studios Roye Okupe (E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams, Malika).

The virtual venue will feature Indie artists and exhibitors in a live interactive virtual space dedicated to science fiction, fantasy, comic books, anime and more. Complete with virtual “booths” for vendors to interact live with attendees about their products and interactive panels. Also, live programming, where the audience can watch and interact in real-time discussions, as opposed to pre-recorded Youtube or Zoom links.

Virtuous Con also happens to be founded by an African-American woman. Cerece Rennie Murphy, a science fiction author (The Order of the Seers ​ and The Wolf Queen), entrepreneur, is no stranger to conventions. An avid comic con attendee herself, she was already immersed in the speculative lit space with her indie scifi website Narazu. Murphy created Virtuous Con out of a need to help many of her creative colleagues and friends whose businesses were adversely affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns. Especially BIPOC creatives.

February will not be Virtuous Con’s maiden voyage. Murphy successfully Beta tested the event in October 2020 with a small group of attendees and vendors on the Remo platform, which she customized to support the convention. Currently, Virtuous Con is offering an early bird discount to vendors who sign up by 1/22/2021. For details about vending, special guests, and sponsorship opportunities, visit the convention website.

SPX 2021 Faces an Unknown Future Due to COVID

SPX

At this point, the planning process for this year’s Small Press Expo would be well underway. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that planning has led to continued uncertainty over the event.

In an update to the community, the SPX team has let it be known that the “only certainty we have for SPX 2021 is uncertainty”.

The convention is in a difficult position as large-scale in person events are booked years in advance which means there were already contractual obligations for 2020 and 2021 before everything went to shit.

Due to those contracts, SPX can’t unliaterly and preemptively cancel their 2021 event. They would experience penalties they’d have to pay the hotel and it’d jeopardize the future of the show.

So, that puts the convention in the hands of the Montgomery County, MD government. If the county says events such as SPX still cannnot happen, it makes it easier for the show to back out of their contract. So, the convention needs to wait to see what decisions the county makes before making a final determination on the status of the 2021 event. Last year, that decision was made in June.

SPX has vowed to do the following:

  • Stay in contact with MontCo’s Department of Health and other agencies to monitor them so SPX can see how they are reacting, or not, to allowing events like SPX to happen.
  • SPX will hold off the exhibitor processes of the lottery and invites until at least April. Sometime in late March, they will update the community on whether they will start the Exhibitor processes or not.
  • Room block information for reserving hotel rooms will not go out until SPX decides whether to move forward with the Exhibitor processes.
  • SPX will work with publishers on a slate of Special Guests with the understanding that they might not attend an in-person event but would be invited to participate in virtual programming.

The next update will happen in late March when we all will have a better idea as far as how vaccination programs are going and what the infection rates are.

Edelweiss Announces Edelweiss BookFest for 2021

Edelweiss

Edelweiss has announced the launch of Edelweiss BookFest, a virtual event that’s intended to fill the gap left by in-person event cancellations.

The new online Edelweiss BookFest event will take place June 8-9, 2021. Preliminary education tracks will include: New Title Discovery, Retail Bookselling, Library Best Practices, and a special track on revenue generation in the evolving pandemic period. Edelweiss BookFest will consist of virtual booths for attendees to visit that will enable live conversations, videos, and downloadable tools for sales and marketing.

Edelweiss currently works with over 95% of the book publishing community to provide sales and marketing tools that make books easier to discover, sell, and purchase. The two-day event will be preceded by a series of individual book launches using an expanded Edelweiss platform.

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