Category Archives: Conventions

Megacon: A Trip of Errors Part 2

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Friday, May 26th. The gang and I woke up and prepared for our second day of Megacon. Matt and I decided to cosplay, him as Jason Voorhees (leaving quite the mess of fake blood in the bathroom that hopefully did cause some poor hotel maid to faint). Lacking creative but making up in looks, I brushed my hair back with product, put on a suit, and went as John Wick armed with a handgun and stuffed doggie. As it would turn out, plenty of people knew Jason but were blanking out on Wick. It could’ve been my blond hair or nerds showing poor taste.

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As reporters, Jeff and I made plans to go to certain panels since those are where the really interesting stuff about comics are discussed. Jeff went to a lot more than I did because my goal that was to meet Tom King and ask for an interview. If you don’t know who Tom King is, clearly you’ve been living under a rock but I’ll get you up to speed. He is the critically-praised author behind brilliant series such as The Vision, The Omega Men, and Sheriff of Babylon. What has made him such a household name is the use of genre fiction for dark, thought-provoking subject matters such as war, family, and religion. He also co-wrote Grayson with Tim Seeley and showed off the character’s butt a lot because, you know, even the moodiest writer needs a spark of joy.

Recently, Tom King has gotten big due to his run on Batman. It’s a highly contested run, some finding it trying too be smart or confusing for its own good. I on the other hand think it’s an emotional run about Batman coming to terms with his darker elements and attempting to become emotionally open and available to his friends. You know, while shooting out of his car to stop a plane crash and breaking into Bane’s fortress to take out thousands of goons. High literature! In all seriousness, this run has made me care about Batman again, and I’ll die on a hill defending it. I brought with me the first trade and waited eagerly in line for his autograph. I was also hoping to get an interview with him discussing his approaches to the series and Vision.

Tom King was exceptionally nice and energetic, appearing to be genuinely excited to meet fans. He wondered who I was cosplaying and guessed right away that I was supposed to be John Wick. He signed my trade and took a photograph with me. When I asked about an interview, he said that unfortunately he was not allowed to do interviews, that I had to ask permission from a Twitter handle I forgot. After Megacon, I would later find at least one video on YouTube of Tom King being interviewed with Scott Snyder. I remembered that Megacon instructed we had to go to a media room for approval, but it was a good walk back to where I had attained my press pass. Instead of pursuing this, I gave up too early and decided to move on. I did not attempt any other interviews that weekend. I was too caught up in the idea of interviewing Mr. King to think of alternatives. I will say though that I did request an interview with him online when filling out my press pass but never got back a response.

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That day was marked by two errors: 1) Make sure to persist in an interview and find out all your options, 2) Be prepared with a backup plan. I do have to comment that last year, I was allowed to interview comic guests simply by asking their permission and doing it at a time that would not interfere with their signings. I managed to do this with both Gail Simone and Brian Azzarello, the latter of which was a high profile guest that year with his work on TDKIII: The Master Race with Frank Miller. I appreciate that Megacon was running the con more efficiently this year, but at the same time restrictions being put on the press in regards to conducting interviews were needlessly strict and complicated.

Since I was unable to interview Tom King, I decided to go see him at a panel called Writing Comics 101. Along with Tom King were Gail Simone (Clean Room, Red Sonja), Greg Rucka (Lazarus, Wonder Woman), and Jody Houser (Faith, Mother Panic). They discussed what it’s like writing for comcis as a living, both creator-owned and work for hire, giving personal anecdotes to how they learned each lesson ever on the job. The moderator of the panel asked a series of questions, and each guest took time to give thoughtful answers.

    

1) When did you first realize there was such a job as writing comics?

Jody Houser, went first, saying that she always knew she wanted to be a writer but thought you had to write a novel or stage play to get recognized for it. She had always read comics here and there, but Mad Love by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm was the first she read that made her think “Man, comics are really good.” She first started off making webcomics before getting offers at bigger companies. It’s only recently now that she has so many high profile projects that she considers seriously pursuing them.

For Tom King, he always wanted to be a comic book writer, but he couldn’t say what that moment was. He distinctly remembers during Christmas when he was reading both The Dark Knight Returns and a trade of Frank Miller’s Daredevil run. He had no idea at the time who the writers were, so when he read them he thought “Man, these guys really know their voices!” King grew up in L.A., a mecca for failed writers. His father was run, so the thought of becomign one seemed absurd. He jokingly said he only realized you could a year ago when his wife stopped asking him if he wanted her job.

With Gail Simone, it took her five years into writing comics before she realized it could be a career. She always knew she wanted to be a writer, she always told stories, and the first big reaction she got was from a story she wrote in third grade. Everyone liked it, but Gail’s family talked her out of it, saying it wasn’t a viable career. Gail went on to be a hair stylist, owned a hair salon, and stayed at that while writing until it made no sense to continue. It was a scary moment to let go, but she eventually felt relieved. “Yay, I”m a comic book writer now!”

Greg Rucka’s mother was a journalist and his father a worker’s comp attorney, so writing was always in the house, plenty of books everywhere. He distinctly remembers hearing his mother’s typewriter going at machine speeds followed by an occasional DING! There was no mystery to writing. He knew it was a thing people did. As for comics, the first time he realized there was such a thing as authorial power in the medium was age 14 or 15. He was part of a group of Marvel Zombies, reading the comics they did. One day, he found something different from all the X-Men books they were reading, and that was Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again. He read it and described it as a book where you can’t know it’s not written. You could hear Frank Miller’s voice in the story. He didn’t fully comprehend the story, but it made him realize “Oh, wow. There are really people writing these things. That would be kind of cool.”

 

2) Who were writers that were touchstones for you, names that you started paying attention to and followed?

For Gail Simone, that was Steve Gerber, writer of Howard the Duck, who she found to be a genius with a boundless imagination and brave enough to do things that no one else did. She also read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, Garth Ennis’ Preacher, and other Vertigo titles. These writers made her comics could be literature. Even now, she finds that comics currently have the best writers and artists working.

Tom King hated to be cliche, but Alan Moore and Frank Miller’s work really inspired him. A good number of superhero works also influenced him, especially during his Marvel Zombie years reading Power Pack, New Mutants, X-Factor, and Roger Stern’s work on Avengers.

Jody Houser hated to be cliched as well, but Alan Moore and Frank Miller for her as well, especially Moore with his transitions as she described as having a rhythm like music. Ed Brubaker’s run on Captain America also was a huge influence. More recently, Jason Aaron and Mark Waid are influences, their books getting her back into Marvel. Oh, and of course everyone sitting at the panel.

For Greg Rucka, it was Dennis O’Neil. He tracked down everything that he wrote. When he started writing comic scripts, Rucka referenced Miller and Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One. Although he advised to pay attention to the structure of the book, NOT the actual script writing because it is radically different from how scripts are usually written. Also, do not do 18-something panels unless you have the right kind of artist, or else the artist you’re currently working with will kill you. He also remarked that on him being the oddball out not being a huge Alan Moore fan. He respects him, but doesn’t click with Moore’s work.

 

3) As I understand, sometimes working relations between writers and artists can be tricky in terms of communication. With creator-owned, it seems more direct. What have your artist collaborations taught you over the years?

Greg Rucka recounted how while a novelist, the communication was very direct. His editor was great and helpful even though she didn’t really like him. He would take 6 months to write a draft, send it to her, and she would give back notes on how to fix it. Even though they had a relationship where they stood in each other’s corners, they would communicate and see each other. It was easier to do that kind of relationship in novels than comics though when there are normally more than one person involved. When first starting at DC, there was a strict policy where writers couldn’t communicate with artists. Yeah, you could request a phone number, but usually the answer would be no. Everything went strictly through editors. Looking back at his old work, Rucka could see all the problems with it because of a lack of communication. Part of it was his failure to communicate clearly through the script, the other was editorial not giving a rat’s ass (his words, not mine). Things have evolved, fortunately. With social media, it’s easy to communicate with an artist and editorial is no longer as controlling.

Gail Simone said different projects come out differently. She always writes full scripts, so it is what it is. However, she understands things have to go through an editor. Each step, a little bit of the initial energy gets lost. When you’re working directly with your artist, there’s this energy on the page you cannot replicate if you have to go through ten people to get that message across. She finds that creator-owned work tends to have more of the original energy intake. Simone has also worked with artists whose second language is English. The frustration is that if she can directly talk to an artist, an issue is resolved in two days. If it goes through editorial, it can take two months. It’s important to have a good working relationship with an artist, one where they know what you’re saying and can do it without much instruction. It’s best when the editor of a project understands this and doesn’t feel the need to micro-manage so much.

Tom King had run a gauntlet of experiences. With Omega Men, Barnaby Bagenda (the artist) he never met him, never talked to him. He found Bagenda on Deviantart. He lives in Indonesia and has an agent that handles communication. He drew 11 issues perfectly, King did layouts which helped. The thing that is most important is to know your artist cares. If they don’t, that’s where you’re in a bad spot.

Tom King did his best not to curse at first, but when realizing the only child present was a baby let loose. Rucka informed the crowd that if they expected a room full of writers to not curse, they’re sadly mistaken. I can speak from personal experience as a writer. We curse like sailors. Worse than sailors, actually. So, like…demon sailors?

Going back to Tom King’s point about an artist caring, you need to know what they care about. Do they care about the project? Do they just want to reach a deadline, make some great pages for a portfolio? Hell, maybe they just want to draw scenes of hockey. That actually happened when King collaborated on Batman with Jason Fabok. Fabok is a Canadian and a big fan of hockey. So, that’s why in a recent issue of Batman, Bruce Wayne is watching hockey. King decided to attract Jason Fabok to the project by giving him hockey scenes he could draw. Point is, not matter what, just make an artist care enough to deliver good work.

Jody Houser was originally a screenwriter, and unfortunately got bad advice that comics were like that. They’re not. Houser’s original scripts were too sparse for an artist, and they had a zillion questions for her after reading them. It’s a balance between writing enough detail for your artist to have an idea of what to do but also room to do their own thing. Houser has only done work-for-hire so far in her career, so it all goes through an editor. However, there are projects like Mother Panic with rotating artists, so they’re all giving commentary on the scripts and art turned in, which Houser finds to be a cool process. There are other times where she likes to push an artist to draw something outside their boundaries, such as with Marguerite Sauvage on Faith. This artist is well known for her beautiful drawings, particularly with fashion. But Houser was happy on one issue of getting her to do horror-style art, since those are the kind of stories Houser likes best. Mixing things up is always a good idea.

There were many more questions like this, but to list them all would take too long. In summary, what I learned from this panel is to always have constant contact with artists, figure out what they like/don’t like to draw, sometimes push them outside their comfort zones, to always hope that you get a good editor and if not work around that. At one point, the audience lined up and asked questions for the writers. My question was:

 

4) When doing a creator-owned book, do you think while writing a story of a particular artist who will draw it because they fit the aesthetic you want? Even if it ends up a situation where you’re not going to know who the artist is until after some scripts are written because of, like, it’s a corporate work-for-hire thing, do you write your story to fit that artist’s style?

For Greg Rucka, creator-owned work tends to have more direct collaboration between writer and artist. Even then, you have to know what they don’t like to draw. Liam Sharp doesn’t like to draw cities or tech, but while on Wonder Woman, Rucka had to tell him to bite the bullet sometimes when it became necessary. Once he do this we’ll get to the stones and dancing demons, I prom. To me, story has to have primacy. The story must have primacy over comfortability. Michael Lark is another example because he hates almost everything Rucka asks him to draw and then will deliver it beautifully every time. He’ll be mad about it but also admit it looks good.

Gail Simone added that some of the best things come out when you’re uncomfortable. For her, it depends on the project. With Crosswind, she had Cat Staggs in mind. She approached her and Staggs made sketches and got the concept right away. She doesn’t worry much about it all after that point. With Walter Giovani whom she’s doing a creator-owned all ages project, they loved being a team on Red Sonja and wanted to work together again, so Simone sent Giovani some ideas and asked him which one was he most interested in. Giovani chose the all ages one because he has two young daughters and wanted to work on something they could read. Once she knows the artist and what they’re capable of doing, Simone likes to push it a little bit because she believes if you’re working on something and you’re comfortable, you should start over. You should be feeling uncomfortable whether it be anger, love, or horniness or whatever.

Speaking of his Batman collaborator Mikel Janin, Tom King said they have been working together for three years yet fundamentally disagree on how comic books should be done. King thinks comics should be in small boxes on a grid and read as a vertical medium. Mikel thinks of them as a horizontal medium, which means double page spreads. He’ll take King’s pages and smoosh them together. However, King sees Janin as a superior storyteller and trusts his judgment. In one issue, King did what Janin wanted and made an entire issue of just double-page spreads as revenge, and he ended up turning in his best work.

Last but not least, Jody Houser said it’s easier when you know who the artist is ahead of time and plan things out. That’s what’s going on with her current DC title Mother Panic. Each artist on the book has a distinct style, so each story is catered around to them.

Afterwards, I went back on the floor to pick up more comics from independent creators, including Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy A. Bastion. I also snagged mainstream books, such as a signed copy of Secret Six from Gail Simone.

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The final victory of the day was getting Scott Snyder to sign my trade of Wytches and compliments for Graphic Policy being fair and balanced in our reporting. Hot dog!

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The gang and I left the convention to go out for dinner. We stopped by an Asian restaurant where I picked up a mere salad. This would prove a mistake. I later joined up with my good friend Sorah Suhng and had cocktails with her. We had a pleasant about comics, the industry, music, etc. Unfortunately, Sorah was buying the cocktails and I was not keeping track of the amount of Maker’s Mark I drank. By the end of our conversation, I was very drunk. An uber back to the hotel prevented any roadside damage, but the swirling or the headache going on in my head. I went to bed feeling like I was tumbling through water. That would not be the end of my misery though.

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Gen Con Approaching Badge Sellout for Historic 50th Convention

Gen Con will begin to cap 2017 badge sales if current trends hold. The company recommends that interested attendees purchase 4-Day and Single Day badges soon to guarantee entry to Gen Con 50. Those interested can purchase badges at gencon.com while supplies last.

The convention will be the largest convention in its 50-year history. The move to cap badge sales is in hopes of providing the best experience for attendees. The convention has capped Trade Day and other individual badge types previously in Indianapolis, but has never limited 4-Day or Single Day badge sales.

This is the convention’s 15th year being hosted in Indy. With record-setting attendance and continued expansion into Lucas Oil Stadium, this year’s show will surely surpass last year’s $71 million in economic impact for Central Indiana.

Gen Con 50 takes place August 17-20, 2017 in the Indiana Convention Center, at Lucas Oil Stadium, and at participating hotels. The convention will feature more than 500 exhibitors, more than 17,000 events, and an exclusive concert from Grammy-winning recording artist They Might Be Giants.

Saturday is “Neal Adams Day” in Syracuse

Syracuse’s Salt City Comic-Con is excited to announce that the Honorable Stephanie A. Miner, Mayor of the City of Syracuse, has proclaimed Saturday, June 24, to be “Neal Adams Day”.

Neal Adams, the prolific and trend-setting comic artist, is best known for his groundbreaking comic art on characters like Batman, Green Arrow, Superman and the X-Men. Adams is respected for his innovative work in advertising and his passionate efforts championing creators’ rights. Adams is the Guest of Honor at Syracuse’s Salt City Comic-Con this weekend, June 24th and 25th.

The proclamation recognizes that “Neal Adams has been inspiring generations with his skills and vision for the past five decades in comics, graphic novels, and advertising, with his artistic trailblazing, integrity and innovation.

Neal Adams will be meeting fans at his exhibition booth on the showroom floor during this two-day event in downtown Syracuse’s Oncenter.

Our own Brett Schenker will moderate the highly anticipated Neal Adams Panel Discussion Sunday in the Oncenter’s “Hall of Justice” from noon to 1:00 pm.

Neal Adams will also be making a pre-show appearance at Larger Than Life Toys & Comics in the Great Northern Mall in Clay, NY. The event is scheduled from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Thursday, June 22nd and there is no admission fee.

Syracuse’s Salt City Comic-Con, celebrating its fourth year, moves to the Oncenter’s War Memorial building in downtown Syracuse this weekend, June 24th and 25th. This pop-culture convention focuses on comics, toys, games, cosplay and collectibles. Pre-sale tickets are available online.

Hasbro Reveals the Transformers x Primitive Skateboarding SDCC 2017 Convention Exclusive

Transformers has worked with Primitive Skateboarding, the company founded by legendary skateboarder Paul Rodriquez, to roll out this special edition item. The Transformers Primitive Optimus Prime figure was co-designed by Paul and features Primitive Skate’s classic black and gold colors for a more sophisticated and on-brand look. The figure is even placed in a Primitive Skate-inspired packaging that looks like a “skate shoe” box featuring  grip-tape inspired texture! Check out the full details below!

 

TRANSFORMERS PRIMITIVE OPTIMUS PRIME Figure

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available at Booth #3329 at Comic-Con International in San Diego)

Before OPTIMUS PRIME was blasting DECEPTICONS in battle, he was greasing the wheels of his skateboard with fellow skater, SHREDDICUS MAXIMUS. Shredding rad gnar on the boardwalks of the Senti Rust Pier, they up their street cred while nailing down their signature trick, the Null-Ray-Ray, annihilating the competition into mere grime… Now get ready for the gnarliest TRANSFORMERS stunt of the 21st century… TRANSFORMERS has worked with Primitive Skateboarding, the company founded by legendary skateboarder, Paul Rodriguez, to roll out this special edition TRANSFORMERS PRIMITIVE OPTIMUS PRIME Figure convention exclusive. Co-designed by Paul, the figure features Primitive Skate’s classic black and gold colors for a more sophisticated and on-brand look. To up the skateboarding theme, the figure is placed in premium Primitive Skate-inspired packaging that mimics a “skate shoe” box featuring grip-tape inspired texture. As the ultimate twist, the pack features rail, ramp and hover board accessories! The pack includes a LEADER CLASS OPTIMUS PRIME figure, a TITAN MASTER SHREDDICUS MAXIMUS figure and eight accessories. Converts from robot to tractor trailer in 23 steps and from tractor trailer to battle station in 10 steps. The TRANSFORMERS PRIMITIVE OPTIMUS PRIME Figure will be for sale during San Diego Comic-Con 2017. Following the convention, a limited number will be available on HasbroToyShop.com.

Gil Kane Panel added to Syracuse’s Salt City Comic-Con for this Sunday

Syracuse’s Salt City Comic-Con has just added a new panel to this weekend’s line-up called Gil Kane: Comic Book Storyteller.

Daniel Herman (author of Gil Kane the Art of the Comics, Gil Kane Art and Interviews and Silver Age the Second Generation of Comic Book Artists and Publisher of Hermes Press) will explore the work of one of the most influential artists of the Silver Age of comics, Gil Kane.  Herman will discuss Kane’s impact on art of comic book storytelling, his creation of the first modern graphic novels, his work in animation and more.

The program will begin with a brief video and will explore Kane’s growth starting in the Golden Age.  There will also be a question and answer segment at the end of the program.

Prizes, including Hermes Press’ classic (and out of print) Gil Kane Art and Interviews, and TwoMorrow’s Comic Book Creator issue #11, featuring Gil Kane, will be randomly awarded to panel attendees.

For the Salt City Comic-Con, Hermes will also be offering 100 Convention Exclusives of two titles: The Complete Jim Aparo Charlton Phantom   and The Art of Jim Davis’ Garfield.   Each book will include a “special limited edition insert plate”.  At the convention, Hermes Press will discount 20% off all the rest of their catalog of books.

This Gil Kane panel is scheduled for Sunday, June 25th, at 4:00 PM in the Hall of Justice at Salt City Comic-Con.

 

Syracuse’s Salt City Comic-Con, celebrating its fourth year, moves to the Oncenter’s War Memorial building in downtown Syracuse  this weekend, June 24th and 25th.  This pop-culture convention focuses on comics, toys, games, cosplay and collectibles.  Pre-sale tickets are available online.

The “Batman and Harley Quinn” World Premiere will be at Comic-Con on 7/21

Celebrating a decade of DC Universe Original Movie world premieres in San Diego, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will once again give fans their first look at an all-new animated feature with the presentation of Batman and Harley Quinn on the Friday night (July 21, 2017) of Comic-Con International.

Since the debut of the DC Universe Original Movies in 2007 with Superman: Doomsday, WBHE has premiered its next-to-be-released film (when available) before 4,250 ardent fans in the San Diego Convention Center’s massive Ballroom 20.

In Batman and Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet – and, unfortunately, eliminate most of humankind along the way. To save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to enlist Harley Quinn to catch Poison Ivy, Harley’s BFF and frequent partner-in-crime. But Batman’s patience is put to the test by the unpredictable and untrustworthy Harley during the twists and turns the reluctant companions face during their bumpy road trip. The result is a thrill ride of action, adventure and comedy no Batman fan has seen before.

The world premiere of Batman and Harley Quinn will include a post-screening panel discussion among available members of the core cast and filmmaking team. The latest DC animated film features a stellar voice cast led by Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) reprising his role as the Dark Knight, alongside Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) making her debut as the irrepressible Harley Quinn. Loren Lester, the voice of Robin in Batman: The Animated Series, returns as Nightwing. Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) and Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show) provide the voices of the villainous duo Poison Ivy & Jason Woodrue, respectively.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Batman and Harley Quinn is directed by Sam Liu (Batman: The Killing Joke) from an original story by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) with a teleplay written by Timm & Jim Krieg (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox). Co-Producer is Alan Burnett (The Batman). Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce Timm. Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers.

Spawned from an original story by animation icon Bruce Timm, Batman and Harley Quinn arrives August 29, 2017 as the first Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack ($44.98 SRP) release of a DC Universe Original Movie; Blu-ray Deluxe Giftset ($39.99 SRP), featuring an exclusive Harley Quinn figurine; Blu-ray Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP); and DVD ($19.98 SRP). The Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc featuring the film; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the film in hi-definition; and the DVD features the movie in standard definition. The Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack include a digital version of the film. Batman and Harley Quinn comes to Digital ($19.99 HD, $14.99 SD) on August 15, 2017.

2017 Inkwell Awards Winners Announced

The Inkwell Awards has released the names of the winners of its 10th annual awards for excellence in the art form of comic book inking. As before, nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee; this year had more nominees than ever. Voting by professionals and fans alike took place via live ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. One winner was chosen in each of five categories based on American-based interior comic-book work cover-dated 2016.

Separately, the Inkwells internally selected the two recipients of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and, this year, two recipients for the Special Recognition Award (SRA) category. Winners were contacted and many of the invited guests were present to receive their trophies during North Carolina’s Heroes Con, the host show for the Inkwells, for their seventh live ceremony. Winners and nominees are listed below, along with the percentage of votes received, where applicable.

FAVORITE INKER: Scott Hanna (21.06%)
(Action Comics, Batman, Justice League, Superman: Lois & Clark, Wonder Woman [DC]; A-Force, All-New Wolverine, Avengers: Standoff, Civil War II: The Fallen, Drax, Nova, Squadron Supreme, Uncanny Inhumans, Web Warriors, [Marvel]).
Other nominees: Sandra Hope-Archer (16.02%), Danny Miki (12.95%), Jonathan Glapion (12.53%),  Matt Banning (12.22%), Tim Townsend (11.44%), Eber Ferriera (9.15%),  Stefano Gaudiano (6.92%) and Mick Gray (5.2%)

MOST-ADAPTABLE INKER: Walden Wong (19.97%)
(Earth 2, Robin War [DC]; Jupiter’s Circle v2 [Image]; All-New Wolverine, Guardians of Infinity, Max Ride, Web Warriors [Marvel]).
Other nominees: Scott Hanna (14.87%), Sandra Hope-Archer (12.43%), Jonathan Glapion (12.38%), Mark Morales (11.23), Victor Olazaba (9.57%), Norm Rapmund (9.2%), Danny Miki (8.01%), Jay Leisten (4.42%), Wayne Faucher and Dexter Vines, both at (4.06%)

PROPS (inker deserving of more attention): Scott Hanna (24.34%)
(Action Comics, Batman, Justice League, Superman: Lois & Clark, Wonder Woman [DC]; A-Force, All-New Wolverine, Avengers: Standoff, Civil War II: The Fallen, Drax, Nova, Squadron Supreme, Uncanny Inhumans, Web Warriors, [Marvel]).
Other nominees: Jonathan Glapion (19.14%), Klaus Janson (18.72%), Dexter Vines (13%), Tony Kordos (12.64%), Andrew Hennessey (9.67%) and Jason Paz (6.76%)

S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press and Mainstream Independent): Jonathan Glapion (23.45%)(Reborn [Image]).
Other nominees: Stefano Gaudiano (23.09%), Karl Story (22.93%),  Brian Shearer (13.68%), Ryan Winn (12.43%) and Cliff Rathburn (6.66%)

ALL-IN-ONE (pencilling and inking together): Erik Larsen (18.46%)
(Savage Dragon [Image])
Other nominees: Nicola Scott (16.33%), Liam Sharp (16.28%), Stan Sakai (13.99%), Walter Simonson (12.95%), Jerome Opena (9.98%) and Joelle Jones (6.71%)

THE SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SRA): Violet Barclay, aka Valerie Smith (Golden/Silver Age) and Allen Milgrom (Bronze/Modern Age)

Other nominees (in alphabetical order): Michael Allred, Sy Barry, John Byrne, Ernie Chan, Jack Davis, Tony Dezuniga, Will Elder, Mike Esposito, Frank Frazetta, Gerhard, Geoff Isherwood, George Klein, Frank McLaughlin, Mike Mignola and Mike Royer.

THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Jerry Ordway and Rudy Nebres. Other nominees: Mike DeCarlo, Mark Farmer, Bob Layton, Pablo Marcos, Bob McLeod and Mike Royer.

Jack Kirby Will be Honored at This Year’s D23 Expo

This July, Jack Kirby will be honored for his remarkable creative achievements as a Disney Legend in a ceremony to be held at D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event in Anaheim, California.  Hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, the Disney Legends Award ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 14, in Hall D23 during D23 Expo 2017.

Jack Kirby first grabbed attention in the spring of 1941 with Captain America, a character he created with Joe Simon.  Kirby then followed this debut with a prolific output of comic books in the Western, Romance, and Monster genres–all a prelude to his defining work helping to create the foundations of the Marvel Universe.  For the next decade, Kirby and co-creator Stan Lee would introduce a mind-boggling array of new characters and teams — including the Avengers, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Ant-Man, Wasp, Black Panther, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Inhumans.  Kirby was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame’s 1987 inaugural class and continued creating comics throughout the ’90s before passing away in 1994.

Other honorees of this year’s Legends Award are Carrie Fisher, Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi, Manuel Gonzales, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Garry Marshall, Julie Taymor, and Oprah Winfrey.

Legendary Comic Announces Cursed from John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman & Erika Lewis

Legendary Comics announced during its Awesome Con panel that actor John Barrowman has teamed with his sister and writing partner Carole Barrowman and graphic novelist and television writer Erika Lewis to co-create Cursed: an exciting new comic book series that sees Celtic lore masterfully collide with a modern day anti-hero.

Cursed is part of Legendary Comics’ ongoing commitment to bringing distinctive voices into the comics’ medium by delivering bold new stories to fans around the globe.

Do you believe in curses? Charlie Stewart certainly does.

On the eve of his 40th birthday, he seemed to have it all: the big house, the fast car, the beautiful family, and a high-power career at a leading criminal law firm. Charlie was a 21st century success story, riding high on his own ego. But when he falls victim to an ancient Celtic curse, everything spirals out of control as his perfect life becomes a disaster zone of chaos and calamity. Every decision he makes, every relationship he has, every choice he’s given is doomed to fail spectacularly, no matter what he does.

Embarking on a quest for the truth behind the supernatural forces re-writing his destiny, he discovers that his ancient ancestor is Bonnie Prince Charlie, who made a deal with the ruthless Celtic God of War, Bregon. In return for the Bonnie Prince’s victory, Bregon demanded the prince steal three magical talismans from Bregon’s own sisters. These sisters cursed the entire bloodline and now Charlie must settle a centuries-long family squabble among gods in order to get his own family back.  Real life and ancient legend collide in unexpected ways as Charlie battles across this world and opens up realms of time and mystery that no mortal was ever meant to see.

A unique fusion of mythic storytelling and modern urban angst, this thrilling and imaginative new title from Legendary Comics is written by John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman and Erika Lewis.  Art team to be announced at a later date.

Get ready to be Cursed!

Director Ei Aoki to Be Guest at Otakon 2017

Animation director Ei Aoki, whose work has been critically acclaimed, will be a guest at Otakon 2017.

Since his directorial debut in 2004, Aoki has worked on many critically acclaimed titles such as “GA-REI-ZERO,” The Garden of Sinners,” and “FATE/Zero.” In 2013 he became a founding member of studio TROYCA and directed his first original anime series, “ALDNOAH.ZERO.”

Aoki’s most resent project, “RE:CREATORS,” has been gaining fans worldwide with its unique story and characters. Aside from directing, Aoki has also done work as an animation director and story editor.

Ei Aoki is brought in collaboration with Aniplex of America.

Otakon 2017 will be held from August 11 to 13 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

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