Category Archives: Conventions

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Awesome Con Updates Attendees on Updated Safety Guidelines

Awesome Con 2021

With COVID restrictions in flux and cities “opening up” by lifting restrictions there are still many questions out there as to who will be impacted how and what requirements will be outstanding for conventions. Awesome Con, taking place in August, has sent out an update as to where they stand.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced plans to lift most capacity restrictions beginning May 21, 2021, with a full reopening of Washington D.C. effective June 11, 2021. LeftField Media, which runs Awesome Con, is still being cautious with the health and safety of those attending the convention a priority.

So, while some precautions will no longer be required by local authorities, the covention will still evaluate their own guidelines and safety measures “based on the science of the moment”.

At this time, these precautions will include:

  • Required use of masks within the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • Enhanced sanitization stations and cleaning protocols throughout the event
  • Increased spacing with wider aisles, designated entrances, and directional signage to ensure social distancing in all areas of the event on the show floor, panels, meeting rooms and public spaces
  • Ongoing updates on queueing procedures and capacity reduction measures for higher traffic periods over the weekend

At present, they do not plan to require proof of vaccination for entry, but the situation is fluid and this and any measures could change at any time. Furthermore, Awesome Con does not plan to have on-site badge pickup or sales this year. To allow for adequate social distancing, the hope is to reduce the number of touch points and eliminate long queues at in-person registration.

All preordered badges will be mailed after the Friday, June 25th mailing deadline. Those attending are encouraged to purchase their badges before the mailing deadline as tickets ordered after June 25th will include increased shipping fees for expedited delivery.

Again, please remember, all of this information is valid as of Friday, May 14, 2021, and is subject to change. We’ll keep things updated as Awesome Con releases more information.

Awesome Con takes place this August 20-22, 2021!

Diamond Select Toys Reveals Lord of the Rings Figures and Nightmare Before Christmas Minimates San Diego Comic-Con 2021 Exclusives!

The magic continues with two new pint-sized San Diego Comic-Con exclusives from Diamond Select Toys! First up are the two knee-high halflings from Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Gollum! Second is a commemorative set of tiny, 2-inch Nightmare Before Christmas Minimates! Both come in special packaging, and both can be pre-ordered at or through your favorite retailer!

San Diego 2021 Lord of the Rings Deluxe Action Figure Box Set

What has it gots in its pocketses? This exclusive two-pack of Lord of the Rings action figures lets the cat out of the bag, showing Frodo in his completely invisible mode, wearing the one Ring of Sauron. Standing right next to him is Gollum, who looks upset about someone stealing his “precious.” Each 4-inch action figure features multiple points of articulation, as well as detailed sculpting and paint applications. Limited to only 4,000 pieces, the pair comes packaged in replica of an opening book, along with Gollum’s boat. Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. (Item #FEB218593, SRP: $49.99)

San Diego 2021 Lord of the Rings Deluxe Action Figure Box Set

San Diego 2021 Nightmare Before Christmas Minimates Commemorative Gift Set

What’s this? What’s this? It’s a new gift set of Nightmare before Christmas Minimates! Based on Tim Burton’s stop-motion classic, Jack Skellington, Sally, the Mayor, the Wolfman, Behemoth and the Clown with the Tearaway Face come packaged in a hexagonal display that shows off a different character on each side. Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure features multiple points of articulation and fully interchangeable parts. Designed by Barry Bradfield! (Item #DEC208636, SRP: $39.99)

San Diego 2021 Nightmare Before Christmas Minimates Commemorative Gift Set

Diamond Select Toys San Diego 2021 Exclusive Reveals Include Cobra Kai and Muppets

San Diego 2021 Cobra Kai Dojo Deluxe Action Figure Box Set

Strike Fast! Strike Hard! No Mercy! Fans of the Netflix series Cobra Kai can enter their favorite dojo with this debut box set of Cobra Kai action figures! The front of the box shows Johnny Lawrence and John Kreese in the Cobra Kai dojo, but open it up farther and see Daniel LaRusso in the Miyagi-Do Karate dojo! Each 7-inch action figure comes with interchangeable hands and display stands, and the box comes packaged in a protective sleeve. Limited to 3,000 pieces. Figures sculpted by Chris Dahlberg and Rocco Tartamella. Package design by Jack Tsai! (Item #FEB218594, SRP: $75.00)

San Diego 2021 Cobra Kai Dojo Deluxe Action Figure Box Set

San Diego 2021 Muppets Bunsen & Beaker Lab Accident Deluxe Action Figure Set

Meemeemeemee! Beaker is in a panic, because he and Dr. Honeydew have been in some kind of lab accident! Scorched from a small explosion and looking like they just got slapped by science, Bunsen and Beaker feature an exclusive paint deco as well as multiple points of articulation. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, the pair comes packaged in a full-color window box with fifth-panel door. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! (Item #DEC208516, SRP: $29.99)

San Diego 2021 Muppets Bunsen & Beaker Lab Accident Deluxe Action Figure Set

Diamond Select Toys Reveals The Crow, Marvel Minimates, and Nightmare Before Christmas SDCC Exclusives

San Diego 2021 The Crow Eric Draven in Chair Action Figure Box Set

Capturing the famous image of Eric Draven sitting in an ornate chair on the set of The Crow, this San Diego exclusive box set includes a fully articulated Eric Draven action figure, an exclusive chair accessory, and the titular Crow. The 7-inch action figure features detailed sculpting and over 16 points of articulation. It comes packaged in a full color window box, and is limited to only 3,500 pieces. Designed by Yuri Tming, sculpted by Eric Dahlberg. (Item #FEB218595, SRP: $39.99)

San Diego 2021 The Crow Eric Draven in Chair Action Figure Box Set

San Diego 2021 Marvel Minimates Avengers Movie Commemorative Gift Set

Avengers Assemble! The six founding members of the movie Avengers reunite in this exclusive Marvel Minimates gift set! Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Hulk come packaged in a hexagonal display that shows off a different character on each side. Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure features 14 points of articulation and fully interchangeable parts. Designed by Barry Bradfield! (Item #DEC208635, SRP: $39.99)

San Diego 2021 Marvel Minimates Avengers Movie Commemorative Gift Set

San Diego 2021 Nightmare Before Christmas Deluxe Action Figure Box Set

What is this? It’s an all-new exclusive box set celebrating Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas! This massive set features Jack Skellington and everything he needs to make Christmas happen: the Hanging Tree, his toy-building table, and various toys! Jack is fully articulated, and the set comes displayed in a full-color window box. Limited to only 3,000 pieces! Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue and sculpted by Cortes Studios. (Item #FEB218597SRP: $120.00)

San Diego 2021 Nightmare Before Christmas Deluxe Action Figure Box Set

Diamond Select Toys Reveals its First San Diego Exclusive

San Diego 2021 Tron Retro Deluxe Action Figure Box Set

Visit the far-flung future of 1982! As we approach 40 years of Tron, Diamond Select Toys is looking back to the original Tron toy releases for this new exclusive box set! These three 7-inch figures – Tron, Sark and Flynn – are cast in translucent material to replicate their 1982 action figures, with black-light-reactive printed details. Each comes packaged on a retro-styled blister card, and all three come packaged in a full-color window box. Limited to only 3,000 pieces! Designed by Yuri Tming, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! (Item #SEP209387, SRP: $80.00)

San Diego 2021 Tron Retro Deluxe Action Figure Box Set

Small Press Expo 2021 Goes Virtual

Small Press Expo

Things are generally still up in the air concerning conventions being held in 2021. Small Press Expo has announced that they have decided to go virtual for this year. Due to the health and safety of guests and the community, the convention decided this was the best course.

SPX 2021 will feature a full slate of programming along with a livestream of the Ignatz Awards ceremony. They will also be announcing special guests who will take part in the virtual panels and workshops so stay tuned this summer for all the details.

They have also announced they have come to an agreement with Marriot concerning this years and future convnetions. The convention will incur higher costs for their 2022 and 2023 conventions instead of having to deal with the cancellation policy.

With that, funding for charitable initiatives are paused until 2024 at the earlest. That includes the Graphic Novel Gift Program and support of the National Book Festival. But, this means the beloved convention will be able to continue for years to come.

The 2021 Ringo Awards Jury Has Been Announced

The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards is an annual celebration of the creativity, skill, and fun of comics. The awards will be presented on Saturday, September 23, 2021 as part of the fan- and pro-favorite convention, The Baltimore Comic-Con. The Ringo Awards is currently in the midst of the 2021 nomination process, which is inclusive of fans and comic book professionals alike. You can submit your nominations before voting closes at midnight on June 24, 2021.

An esteemed jury of comics professionals will participate in the nomination process, selecting favorite works in over 20 categories. The 2021 jury was chosen as a representative cross-section of the comic book industry, with members representing seasoned and venerated educators, retailers, publishers, press, and creators across numerous genres.

Amy Dallen is a host and writer for geek media, both independently and on shows for Geek & Sundry (The Wednesday ClubTalkin’ Comics Weekly), DC Universe (former host of DC Daily), and Collider (Collider Heroes). She is known for her performances (Callisto 6Shield of Tomorrow), tabletop and video game streaming, and for her commentary drawing on over a decade in comics retail as a staff member at House of Secrets in Burbank, CA.

Dr. Katie Monnin is the first author to discuss teaching with graphic novels in 21st century classrooms. Alongside the award-winning Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), she has also written eight more books about teaching graphic novels and pop culture in 21st century classrooms. In 2018, Dr. Monnin created and launched Why so serious? Productions, an educational organization that creates curriculum and resource materials for teaching pop culture literature in 21st century classrooms. Dr. Monnin also wrote a monthly column for Diamond Bookshelf called “Katie’s Korner: Graphic Novel Reviews for Schools and Libraries” from 2010 – 2020. DC Comics also works with Dr. Monnin to create academic reading guides for DC’s most famous and upcoming literary titles.

John Siuntres has been part of the Chicago Radio and TV scene since 1991, hosting and producing shows for CBS Radio, CBS-TV, ESPN, Fox Sports Network, and the former Sporting News Radio Network. He covered the sport of boxing for these outlets and as a writer for Ring and Boxing Illustrated magazines. In 1998, John was nominated for a Chicago Sports Emmy Award for Best On Air Performance. In May of 2005, John created the Word Balloon Podcast, a talk show podcast featuring one on one interviews with comic book creators, novelists, screenwriters, and actors. In 2011 USA TODAY’S POP CANDY Blogger Whitney Matheson rated Word Balloon the number 1 comic book podcast. John was also featured on The Science Channel as an on-camera expert on the 8-part TV series, Prophets Of Science Fiction.

Steenz is a St. Louis-based cartoonist, editor, and professor. She’s the cartoonist on the syndicated comic strip Heart Of The City, the co-creator of Dwayne McDuffie Award-winning GN Archival Quality, and is featured in short story anthologies such as Eisner- and Ignatz Award-winning Elements: FireMine!, and Dead Beats. Steenz launched and edited the popular RPG periodical Rolled & Told. She participates in and creates community building comics-related programming, and is a frequent panelist at comic cons. Steenz currently teaches cartooning at Webster University while editing titles from Mad Cave Studios.

Brian Stelfreeze, one of the original Gaijin Studios members, is a multi-talented artist, with experience and credits penciling, inking, coloring, painting, and even writing. His comic book covers have gained him much attention and lauding, and his run painting covers on DC Comics’ Shadow of the Bat for over 50 issues is noteworthy by itself. Brian’s creative output can be found on BOOM! Studios’ Day Men, Marvel Comics’ Black Panther, and be sure to pick up BOOM! Studios’ The Signature Art of Brian Stelfreeze to get a definitive look at the works of his publishing career.

The Walking Dead: Survivors Presents Xpo 64 Details Revealed

The Walking Dead: Survivors Presents Xpo 64

Skybound Entertainment has unveiled the lineup for their May digital-pop culture event, The Walking Dead: Survivors Presents Xpo 64. Join The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman, Excellence’s Khary Randoph, and more on all things comics and video games!

Xpo 64 airs on May 14, 2021 on Skybound’s YouTube and Twitch channels. The schedule is listed below, and for the latest info, check out

SURVIVORS: Race to the Base

Would you have what it takes to build a community in the world of THE WALKING DEAD? Gaming superstars dive into the popular mobile strategy game THE WALKING DEAD: SURVIVORS and try to build up their settlement and defend themselves before an advance force of Saviors arrives and wipes them off the map.

ScreenPLAY: Writing for Video Games

Do you have any idea how hard it is to write a video game? Neither do we, so we asked some of the most prolific video game writers in the industry to compare notes with rising talent and share some wisdom about how to write words good for the video games.

The Horror Movie Trivia Schmoedown

The best of the best movie trivia competitors compete in a triple threat horror trivia match. Three rounds of deep cut trivia in the horror genre. The always unpredictable VideoDrew makes her Skybound Xpo debut against former champions William “The Beast” Bibbiani and last year’s Skybound Xpo Horror Free For All winner Adam “The Coyote’ Collins. Who will be the Ultimate champion in horror movie trivia?! If that isn’t enticing enough, on the desk for this historic event comedian Mark Ellis and WALKING DEAD creator and INVINCIBLE co-creator Robert Kirkman!


Celebrate TEN YEARS of Skybound and the exciting future to come in the new SKYBOUND X comic series with THE WALKING DEAD creator and company co-founder Robert Kirkman, joined by superstars Tillie Walden, Irma Kniivila, Khary Randolph and Ramon Perez!

Hosted by Arris Quinones.

Comics Vault Live 205

Big Clutch is back with another CVL special for the Xpo. As usual, he’s bringing the goods! Debuting for the fifth CVL of the year:

THE WALKING DEAD DELUXE #2 Second Print Color with Gold Foil Logo (Limit 1 per customer)

THE WALKING DEAD DELUXE #2 Second Print B&W with Red Foil Logo (Limit 1 per customer)

INVINCIBLE #1 Black Foil (Limit 1 per customer)

ATTACK! with Attack Peter & Urban Aztec

Skybound’s Peter Santa-Maria brings us another stunning exclusive print and catches up with artist Urban Aztec (Jesse Hernandez) for a never-seen-before collaboration!

STREAM ON: The Women of Twitch

Join an elite force of female streamers for a panel discussion about the grind of Twitch, the challenges of online fame, and which gaming chair is right for you.

SURVIVORS: Custom RPG One-shot

Four survivors attempt a desperate escape from their doomed settlement in our very first one-shot tabletop RPG set in the universe of THE WALKING DEAD: SURVIVORS. You don’t want to miss this all-star cast of celebrated actors and RPG streaming stars working together to triumph in the face of overwhelming odds.

Marvel Reveals its Free Comic Book Day Releases

Free Comic Book Day 2021 will be celebrated at your local comic shop on August 14th, and this year Marvel will release two comics, each containing two separate stories. These exciting tales will provide perfect entry points for new readers to the thrilling ongoing sagas of the Avengers, Spider-Man, Venom, and the Hulk and give comic fans their first glimpse at the exciting new eras for their favorite characters. These issues will shape the Marvel Universe as we know it with direct connections to the year’s biggest upcoming storylines.

Crafted by some of Marvel Universe’s chief architects including Jason Aaron and Chip Zdarsky and many more surprises and featuring art by superstars like Marvel’s Stormbreaker Iban Coello and Greg Smallwood, Free Comic Book Day 2021: Avengers/Hulk and Free Comic Book Day 2021: Spider-Man/Venom will be must-have for fans. They feature covers by Ryan Ottley and Patrick Gleason. Don’t miss your chance to pick up these extraordinary one-shots when they arrive at your local comic shop on August 14th. Check out both covers below and stay tuned for more information, including full creative teams.

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