Tag Archives: awesome con

Atlas Brew Works and Awesome Con Debut 2019 Beer Collaboration

AwesomeCon-mockup-can
Photo credit: Atlas Brew Works

Ivy City brewery Atlas Brew Works is partnering with Washington DC’s Comic Con Awesome Condebuting Hop Bot, a limited-release pale ale canned exclusively for the convention and available for purchase at local restaurants on Monday, April 22, and the brewery’s Tap Room starting Friday, April 26, while supplies last.

The seventh annual Awesome Con returns to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from Friday, April 26, to Sunday, April 28. Before then, guests can visit outstanding area restaurants and bars, including The Capital Burger, City Tap Penn Quarter, Espita Mezcaleria, Iron Horse Tap Room, Jackpot, Lost & Found, Morris American Bar, Moxy Washington, DC Downtown, and Penn Social.

Hop Bot is generously hopped with funky Citra and juicy Mosaic hops. Atlas adds wheat malt to the grain bill of the pale ale to give the beer a robust body and silky mouth feel that perfectly complements the floral and citrus flavors from two of the brewery’s favorite hops. The blend was derived to play off the iconic robot face that has become emblematic of Awesome Con since it began in 2012 and will be used on the cans and tap handles at participating locations.

Future Con Returns to Awesome Con Highlighting the Science in Science Fiction

The Smithsonian magazine Future Con returns as part of the region’s premier comic and pop culture convention, Awesome ConFriday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Scientists and entertainers will come together at the themed pavilion and on stage to connect science and technology with science fiction and fantasy. Future Conpresents three days of special programming that will include tech demos, meet-and-greet opportunities with prolific thought leaders and the opportunity to dive into the stimulating and fantastical overlaps between real-world science and the science of the future. Attendees of all ages will be able to engage at panel Q&As and discussions as well as hands-on tech demos and workshops, all focused on fostering awareness and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Awesome Con, now in its seventh year, is thrilled to welcome a range of leaders and experts from organizations that represent scientific advancement and education across numerous industries. Representatives from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, NASA Goddard Space and Flight Center, APS Physics, Nova Labs, Central Intelligence Agency, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science will lead programs and workshops throughout the weekend.

Among highlights of this year’s Future Con programming, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will join commercial space leaders for a discussion of exciting new developments at NASA and in the growing space industry.

Image Credit: NASA

Guests can explore space with Dr. Erin Macdonald, who will guide a panel dubbed Astronomy 101, blazing through the science of planets, the solar system and stars. Looking to dive a little deeper? Dr. Macdonald will explore the science of gravitational waves, the collision of black holes and a neutron star merger with fun stories and a conversation about what these discoveries mean as we move forward.

Image Credit: Dr. Erin Macdonald

The Central Intelligence Agency will demystify the Agency in several sessions that showcase intelligence work. Guests will work through actual operations officer tests, hear about the U-2 and A-12 spy planes and Area 51, the testing site that made them famous, and will learn how eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes contributed to one of the most audacious CIA missions of the Cold War. And, in the grand tradition of Madam Pince in Harry Potter, Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dr. Barbara Gordon in Batman, the curious can learn what it is like to be a librarian working in espionage and why some heroes wear cardigans.

Image Credit: Central Intelligence Agency
Image Credit: Central Intelligence Agency

As true crime gains a mainstream following in the US, Future Con will explore technological advancements in criminal investigation, and the fight against the same technology being used in sinister ways. U.S. intelligence experts focused on digital and physical 3D modeling will demonstrate tools used on national security missions, including imagery and geospatial information used to visualize human activities that occur on the surface of the Earth.

Future Con will also explore the possible realities that exist in popular comics as well. Two panels will highlight the science of Voltron: Legendary Defender, and Aquaman. Attendees will learn about wormholes, crystals, the future of flight, life in the extremes of the deep ocean, and bio-inspired technologies that could one day allow humans to take on superhero abilities.

Future Con takes place Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28 inside this year’s Awesome Con, and no separate ticket is needed to attend Future Con events—admission to Awesome Con includes access to Future Con’s speakers, exhibits, and events.

Awesome Con Reveals its Programming Schedule

Awesome Con, Washington DC’s Comic Con powered by Third Eye Comics, has announced three days of programming complete with panels, workshops, celebrity appearances, and more, taking over the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from April 26-28.

Family-friendly pavilion Awesome Con Jr presented by the Toy Association returns with even more events planned to educate and entertain kids of all ages and parents alike. Smithsonian is partnering with Awesome Con once again to present Future Con, a science pavilion showcasing the intersection between science and science fiction with live demonstrations and experts discussing everything from space exploration to spy technology, and more. Back for the third year is Pride Alley presented in partnership with Geeks OUT and Washington Blade, shining a spotlight on LGBTQ creators and fans in an even more robust section of Artist Alley and presenting special programs addressing diversity in pop culture.

Highlights from Awesome Con 2019 include:

Celebrity & Comic Guests

Hear from some of the biggest influencers from the world of pop culture and comic books at panels, screenings, Q&As, and more. Main Stage events include:

  • Weird Al Q&A (2:30PM – April 26 – Main Stage)
  • Karate Kid Q&A (4:15PM – April 26—Main Stage)
  • The Office Q&A (6:00PM – April 26 – Main Stage)
  • Riverdale Q&A (11:45AM – April 27 – Main Stage)
  • Princess Bride Q&A (2:00PM – April 27 – Main Stage)
  • Star Trek: Next Generation Q&A (3:45PM – April 27 – Main Stage)
  • Matt Smith Q&A (11:45AM – April 28 – Main Stage) 
  • Weird Science Q&A (2:00PM – April 28 – Main Stage)

Future Con

  • Exploring the Future of Crime (11:00AM – April 27 – Room 150) – Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways—but there is an ominous flip side. Criminals are often the earliest, and most innovative, adopters of technology, and modern times have led to modern crimes. From big data to artificial intelligence and genetics to robotics, today’s criminals are at the forefront of the tsunami of technological threats coming our way. In this session, Marc Goodman, author of the New York Times best-selling book Future Crimes, rips opens his database of hundreds of real cases to give the audience front-row access to these impending perils. While many of the stories Goodman will tell sound like science fiction, they are indeed fully rooted in startling scientific facts. This discussion will raise raises tough questions about the expanding role of technology in our lives and propose a path forward to ensure we all benefit from humanity’s technological advances rather than become imperiled by them.
  • The Science of Voltron: Legendary Defender (5:00PM – April 26 – Room 144) – Come along, Paladins! The Voltron: Legendary Defender series has come to a close, so it’s time to explore some of the best science in the series. We’ll learn about wormholes, crystals, gluon fields, and much more while we discuss how much the series got right (and a few things they got wrong). Kids of all ages are welcome!
  • Science of Aquaman (7:00PM – April 26 – Room 144) – This panel will discuss the actual science behind Aquaman’s powers. He can communicate with marine life, is adapted to live and thrive in harsh underwater environments and has superhuman strength. All these abilities, including being able to “talk to fish,” as Batman would say, are rooted in science. Come learn about the incredible adaptations that allow life to thrive in the extremes of the deep ocean, the methods scientists use to study the undersea landscape, and the bio-inspired technologies being developed that could allow a human to effectively take on the abilities of Aquaman.
  • Germ Warfare: A Very Graphic History (12:00PM – April 27 – Room 146) – Join world-renowned author Max Brooks (World War Z) for a conversation about his newly-released graphic novel on the dangers posed by biological agents. Members of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense will also be present to discuss the novel and its message about the threat of biological attacks and naturally occurring outbreaks in the 21st century.
  • Astronomy 101 Through Science Fiction (5:00pm – April 27 – Room 144) – Welcome to Astronomy 101! Always wanted to learn astronomy? Science Fiction fan? Dr Erin Macdonald will take us through the first semester of astronomy with hardly any math and a whole lot of science fiction references. We’ll blaze through the science of planets, the solar system, and stars at warp speed; come ready to learn!
  • Intelligence Super Models: 3D Modeling in the Intelligence Community (8:00pm – April 27 – Room 144) – Join U.S. Intelligence Community experts on digital and physical 3D modeling who will demonstrate and discuss their experiences impacting national security missions. 3D modelers will exhibit a variety of capabilities utilized by NGA and CIA across the 3D disciplines, including leveraging imagery and geospatial information to visualize human activities that occur on the Earth.
  • The Story and Science of Gravitational Waves (2:00pm – April 28 – Room 144) – In 2015 our quest to study and explore the universe took a giant leap forward with the discovery of gravitational waves. The LIGO Scientific Collaboration has detected ripples in spacetime from the collision of black holes as well as a neutron star merger that showed up in every spectrum possible. Dr Erin Macdonald (a former member of LIGO) will discuss the history behind the detection, share some fun stories, and what these discoveries mean for astrophysics going forward.

Awesome Con Jr

  • Monster Battle Time KO! (3:45PM – April 28 – Awesome Con Jr Stage) – Three teams of artists go head-to-head in the biggest Monster Battle Time of the season! This year there are three teams of stellar cartoonists to design your monsters and battle for ultimate artistic glory! Free comics to all attendees.
  • Dreamworks Screening (4:00PM – April 26 – Awesome Con Jr. Stage) – Dreamworks will surprise guests with a special feature screening.
  • Kids Costume Parade (12:00PM – April 27 | 12:00PM – April 28 – Awesome Con Jr Stage) – Awesome Con is excited to announce the Kids Costume Parade! Registration is limited to the first 30 kids (and their parents).
  • National Wildlife Federation Animal Show with Naturalist David Mizejewski (1:30PM – April 27 – Awesome Con Jr Stage) – An educational presentation of exotic animals from all over the world with a message about conservation.

Pride Alley

  • Fabulous Fictional Females (1:30PM – April 26 – Room 152) –  featuring a diverse panel of female writers, artists, and editors discussing the ‘Strong Female Character’ trope, breaking down what goes into telling a great story and sharing our professional experiences in the realms of comics, literature, and theater.
  • Gender in SFF Fiction: Women & Nonbinary Authors (2:30PM – April 26 – Room 152) – From the elusive Strong Female Protagonist to LGBTQ representation, and what an individual author’s responsibility is, this panel will explore what it means to be a female or nonbinary author in the male-dominated genre of sci-fi and fantasy fiction.
  • Diversity Amongst the Stars (4:30PM – April 26 – Room 144) –A celebration of the diverse characters we love and a discussion about how the galaxy has changed over the last few years and where we still hope it may go.
  • Strengthening Geek Culture (4:30PM – April 26 – Room 152) —A spotlight on queer creators and fans, Strengthening Geek Culture will unite the LGBTQ and allied creators attending Awesome Con through a panel celebrating the diversity and creativity of queer geekdom and LGBTQ contributions to pop culture. 
  • Exploring Gay & Lesbian Comic Creators (5:30PM – April 26 – Room 144) – This panel will explore some of the creators and their contributions to producing gay and lesbian comics and how they have influenced the mainstream comic industry to this day. Some of the creators that will be explored are Howard Cruse (Stuck Rubber Baby), Trina Robbins (Wimmen’s Comix), Alison Bechdel (Fun House), and Joe Phils (Joe Boys) to name a few.
  • Resistance, Feminism, & Fandom (6:30PM – April 26 – Room 144) – Science fiction is often a form of social commentary, and engaging with sci-fi fandom means voicing that commentary via social media. As women, people of color, and other LGBT+ participants who are quite visible in fandom during this charged era in American politics, we want to discuss our experiences speaking out on various social platforms even when it may not be the popular thing to do.
  • We ARE Gaymers! Be Proud! (11:30 AM – April 27 – Room 152) A discussion surrounding the collective identity of gamers, outside negative feedback, and how the community can response
  • Pro Wrestling Connection for Marginalized Fans (1:30PM — April 27 – Room 152) Centering women, non-binary, & LGBTQ+ voices in wrestling fandom-these fans have crucial perspectives to share. If you’ve never felt comfortable at a wrestling panel before, this one’s for you.
  • Crossplay 101 (2:30PM – April 27 – Room 152) – An introductory lecture about what crossplay is and educating how to crossplay safely.
  • Representation Matters, So Make It Good (4:30PM – April 27 – Room 152) Stories matter. More diverse media representation is incredibly important, but not all representation is created equal. The result of years of narrative research, this panel lays out a comprehensive and easy to follow guide to creating healthy and compelling queer characters and stories, with examples and suggestions across media and genres. 
  • The BLERD Panel (5:30PM – April 27 – Room 152) – Picking up where we left off last year, the BLERD Panel will give the black nerd state of the union with comedy, connection, and community!
  • Cositivity (12:30PM – April 28 – Room 152) – This panel is designed to be a safe space for cosplayers to discuss their experiences with cosplay. Mediated by the panelists, we will be sharing our experiences as well as opening the floor for others to discuss theirs.

Additional Programming Highlights:

  • Voice-a-Palooza (6:30Pm – April 26 – Room 146) – VIDEO GAME VOICE ACTORS BEHAVING BADLY. Join professional voice actors as they reinterpret movie scripts, poetry, songs and more in their character voices, read the craziest phrases that YOU provide in their character voices, and create an entirely new video game from YOUR suggestions. A Classic and a MUST NOT MISS.
  • Awesome Con Short Film Fest — Grabbing some popcorn, all your friends, and a seat, as Joe Carabeo (Award winning Director, Astray Productions President, Project Resolution Producer) brings the Awesome Con Short Film Festival to you! There will also be an exclusive filmmakers Q&A after the screenings afterwards moderated by TV host Molly Nevola.
    • Sci Fi / Action / Horror (2:00PM – April 26 – Room 101)
    • Awesome Con Short Film Fest – Comedy & Drama (12:00PM – April 27 – Room 101)
    • Awesome Con Short Film Fest – Documentaries & More (12:00PM – April 28 – Room 101
  • Helping Kids Understand the World Through Nonfiction, Fact-Based Fiction, and Real Science (1:00PM – April 28 – Room 150) – National Geographic Kids Editors talk about writing exciting non-fiction for kids, how to infuse your story with a good dose of real science, and how to keep ’em coming back for more of the good stuff: facts.
  • Very Secret, Very Cool, But Not Aliens: The U-2, the A-12, and Area 51 (5:00PM – April 26 – Room 140) – CIA historians will present the development, deployment, and capabilities of the CIA’s most famous spy planes, as well as the testing site the helped make famous.  Come learn about the U-2, the A-12 (and the vastly inferior SR-71), and Area 51.  Also, join a discussion of studies conducted by Gerald Haines about UFO sightings and the correlation with the operations conducted by these aircraft.
  • DC Celebrates 80 Years of Batman Comics (5:00pm – April 27 – Room 150) – Eighty years after his debut, Batman continues to be one of the most popular and iconic Super Heroes of all time. Meet some of the key players in the Dark Knight’s world who create and bring you the best Batman comics stories ever. Buckle up for an incredible ride in the Batmobile and hear what these creators have to say about one of your all-time favorite DC Super Heroes!
  • Some Heroes Wear Cardigans: Librarians at CIA (1:00PM – April 27 – Room 140) – Madam Pince in Harry Potter. Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Dr. Barbara Gordon in Batman. Librarians and libraries have been depicted in pop culture a variety of ways throughout the years, but are often portrayed as sidekicks. The librarians at CIA think differently. Come hear them talk about what it’s like to be a librarian working in espionage and discuss why they think some heroes wear cardigans.

Awesome Con returns to Washington, D.C. April 26 – April 28

The seventh annual Awesome Con by LeftField Media, will unite 80,000 fans of comics, technology and science, television and film, custom art, over-the-top cosplay, and more at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28, 2019. The convention floor and panel rooms will buzz with hundreds of hours’ worth of programs including: celebrities and experts hosting panels and exclusive reveals; cosplay fashion shows; gaming tournaments; iconic pop culture memorabilia collections; and as always, a diverse array of activities for the whole family.

Family-friendly pavilion Awesome Con Jr presented by the Toy Association returns with even more playful events planned to educate and entertain kids of all ages and parents alike. Smithsonian partners up with Awesome Con once again to present Future Con, a science pavilion showcasing the intersection between science and science fiction with tech demonstrations, experts discussing everything from dystopia to scientific advancement, and more. Back for the third year is Pride Alley presented in partnership with Geeks OUT and Washington Blade, shining a spotlight on LGBTQ creators and fans in an even more robust section of Artist Alley and presenting special programs discussing diversity in pop culture.

In addition to returning esteemed comics publishers such as DC Comics and Third Eye Comics, for the first time at Awesome Con, Dark Horse Comics, and Oni Press will be onsite. Attendees will have the opportunity to stop by their panels for special announcements and exclusives. 

With Awesome Con 2019 hosting more energetic programs, more globally recognized special guests, and presenting more exclusive previews and announcements to attendees than ever before, it continues to grow into a standout annual destination – and unite fans at one of the largest pop culture events in the country.

WHEN: Friday, April 26; exhibit hall hours 12pm – 8pm, programming until 10pm

Saturday, April 27; exhibit hall hours 10am – 7pm, programming until 10pm

Sunday, April 28; exhibit hall hours 10am – 5pm

WHERE:

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt. Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001

SPECIAL GUESTS:

Screen Stars:

Comic Guests:          

  • Greg Capullo (BATMAN series for DC Comics, SPAWN, Marvel Comics X-FORCE, QUASAR, The Creech)
  • Amy Chu (Red Sonja, Kiss, Wonder Woman, Deadpool)
  • David Walker (Luke Cage, Occupy Avengers, Cyborg)
  • Amanda Conner (Vampirella, Harley Quinn, Power Girl)
  • Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas, X-Men First Class, Hulk, Flash Gordon, Aquaman)
  • Amy Mebberson (Walt Disney Company)
  • Cat Staggs(DC Comics, Smallville, The Vampire Diaries)
  • Steve Orlando (Midnighter, Justice League of America)
  • Chrissie Zullo (Vampirella, Josie and the Pussycats, Fables: The Wolf Among Us, Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love)
  • James Silvani (Disney and Muppet comics for BOOM! IDW and APE Entertainment)
  • Jimmy Palmiotti (Event Comics, Marvel Knights, Paperfilms)
  • Peter Tomasi (Batman and Robin, Robin Rises: Omega, Superman/Wonder Woman)
  • Richard Starkings (Hip Flask, Elephantmen, Doctor Who Magazine, The Real Ghostbusters, Transformers)
  • Kyle Starks (Sexcastle, Rock Candy Mountain, Secret Wars, Too, Invader Zim, Rick and Morty)

TICKETS: Daily and full weekend passes are available. Badges purchased before March 11 can be mailed to a provided address. Prices increase on April 1.

  • Friday Only Admission: $40
  • Saturday Only Admission: $55
  • Sunday Only Admission: $45
  • 3-Day Weekend Pass: $80
  • 3-Day ‘Geekend VIP’ Pass: $150
  • Kids Admission: $15. Valid for kids ages 3-10. Valid for full weekend or any day individually.
  • VIP passes & experiences range from the VIP Geekend ($150) to the premium, limited quantity Club Awesome Reserve Membership ($399-$999) which offers access to various celebrity appearances, reserved Main Stage seating for marquee programs, and exclusive Club Awesome Reserve-only events.

Dan Jurgens and Paul Levitz Discuss the Enduring Legacy of Superman

Before Awesome Con, held in Washington DC March 30th-April 1st, the Library of Congress held a discussion with two comic industry legends, Dan Jurgens and Paul Levitz to discuss Superman who turns 80 years old this year. He debuted in Action Comics #1 which was released in May 1938 and a cover date of June 1938.

Levitz has held numerous roles within the comic industry including writer, editor, and executive and was the President of DC Comics from 2002-2009 and worked for the company for over 35 years in various roles.

Dan Jurgens is both an artist and writer who has taken on Superman numerous times, including the famous death, and wraps up his current run with the character in this week’s momentous Action Comics #1000 passing the torch to the next generation of creators in a way.

Before their panel discussion, I got a chance to sit down with the two of them to talk about their fondest memories of the character and what makes Superman so super to survive 80 years.

Graphic Policy: We’re here celebrating the 80th birthday of Superman. What’s your earliest memory of Superman?

Dan Jurgens: I always had that consciousness of Superman. My earliest solid memory was walking into a drug store, which at that point just had your general magazine stand, which had comics on the bottom wrack and buying at that time Superman #189 for 12 cents. That was my first comic book I ever bought. So that was my first solid memory of Superman. I knew who he was but that was my first tangible experience.

Paul Levitz: It’s amazing how you remember the physicality of buying comics.

DJ: Oh yeah.

PL: I think we all did in out generation. I think I probably experienced the George Reeves television show before the physical comics. The first time I had my own Superman comic was Action Comics #300 which my babysitter gave me to shut me up when I was five years old. It had a subscription ad, a dollar for a year of Action Comics. So I conned my parents into sending for a subscription and I had that subscription for a couple of years after that.

GP: Both of you have worked on this iconic character. How does it feel to have worked on a globally recognized character that means so much to so many people?

DJ: I think we’re reminded often at how iconic Superman is. The reality is as a writer or artist when you work on it, it’s a pretty solitary experience. It’s always somewhat alarming to see how you can do something that goes from the privacy of your office or studio and your privacy of your drawing board to become a national or even an international story. And that’s only because Superman is so iconic. And we get reminded of that quite often.

PL: You feel like you’re being made a custodian of something that’s precious to you and precious to other people. There’s a lot of characters you can writer where it’s a character. It’s a story. You can screw up their life some interesting fashion. You can change them in some fashion. Someone out there will care. But, they’re mostly going to care in a good way because they’re going to be curious, going to be interested, going to be excited by what you do. When you’re working with something like Superman that has survived so long, you know you don’t want to be the one to screw it up. You know what it meant to you and you want to hand it on to whatever is going to follow you hopefully in better shape than you got it and hopefully more successful than you got it.

GP: Is there extra pressure working with this particular character?

PL: Yes.

DJ: Yes.

PL: Yes.

DJ: Yes.

DJ: I know when I started on Superman it was as an artist and that was just fine and I could handle that. When the call came in from the editor at the time, a guy named Mike Carlin, he said “would you like to write a couple of issues?” I said “sure, no problem.” I hung up the phone and said “ok, now what have I stepped in?” I’ve never had that with any other character but there’s something about Superman that’s special in that way.

PL: I mean it’s the level of responsibility. Years ago we did a series of tv commercials with an animated Superman and a live Jerry Seinfeld for American Express. I remember sitting there and arguing with Jerry about a line for one of them that I wasn’t willing to approve. I’m arguing about Jerry Seinfeld about something. Jerry’s basically saying, “I know what’s funny.” And I have to say, “it’s my job to know if Superman would say that or not.” And, I was pulling on my collar the whole time. He loved Superman and was trying to be faithful but it just didn’t sound exactly Superman. You just feel that weight on you that you have to get it right.

GP: For each of you, who is the character to you? If you had to boiled him down to his essence, what would that be?

PL: He’s a guy who could have chosen anything but chose to do the right thing always. We’re all flawed, it’s part of being human. We do stupid stuff. We do stupid stuff in our professional lives. We do stupid stuff in our personal lives. We do things we look back on and think can I get a do-over on that day? And, here’s someone who’s really had the ability to make every choice in a way that could have been self-serving and very consistently chosen to do the right thing. That’s a very critical part of the essence of the character.

DJ: I agree with everything Paul said of course. I’ve written many lines in the comics where people speculate on what Superman’s life is like. They say, “he lives on a secret island with an incredible mansion” or something like that or all sorts of crazy ideas because it would not occur to most people that Superman puts on a pair of glasses, has a job, and goes to work and lives among them. I tried to actually to address a little bit of this in Action #1000. There’s a famous Superman story called “For a Man Who Has Everything.” The title of my story is “From the City That Has Everything” and it’s basically Metropolis saying thank you to Superman. How do you thank Superman? There’s nothing you can really do?

PL: *laughter*

DJ: What are you going to do? Buy him a car? Give him a vacation? I mean it really is that. In part of that story they talk about “we don’t know what sacrifices you’ve made on our behalf, but we know it must be substantial.” So, I think that’s something we try to portray. Even in Metropolis they understand that there’s this sense of moral integrity that is there and the selflessness that even though he doesn’t come out and say it people can understand.

GP: When the character started he was so different than he is today. When he began he was fighting slumlords and crooked politicians and today he’s fighting Brainiac and Lex Luthor. He’s changed over the 80 years a lot. What is it about the character that has made him enduring to last 80 years and survive such change?

PL: I start with the triangle. I think the Clark/Lois/Superman relationship was really the soul of the character that gave it birth. We all have our Clark Kent side. Whether we’re male or female. We have moments where we wish someone would see us, see the real us, what’s great about us, at least decent about us. Instead of focusing in on what’s not so great about us, focusing in on our insecurities. Jerry (Siegel) really captured that brilliantly. That’s been a very powerful engine that has made that character endure. Yes, that relationship has changed over the years, but that central triangle is really a pivotal piece of it.

DJ: I think there’s a couple of things. I think one reason he’s been so accepted is that he doesn’t wear a mask. It’s interesting. If we go back to the time, so many characters wore a mask. You look at Batman who in some ways is the polar opposite, and a lot of people recognize that, but here’s Superman and he’s so open. He’s so open because he doesn’t wear a mask backs up that idea of inspiration and hope and moral integrity. Whenever you see the Justice League assemble there’s two characters that aren’t masked and that’s Superman and Wonder Woman. There’s something about that, I think, is some sort of visual clue that’s laid out there that I’m there for you. I think he radiates that. When written well that comes through and that always endures.

GP: For both of you, is there one Superman moment that really sticks out to you? Maybe it’s something you’ve worked on or just something in general about the character?

PL: It’s experiential. If I had to pick a single moment it’s standing on the street watching Christopher Reeve pluck the cat burglar off the side of the building when I was a young man and they were shooting in New York. We were allowed to go and gawk at what was going on. I made no useful contribution to the first Superman movie. I was way too junior. But, to just be part of that was such an astounding experience.

DJ: I think when I was kid I read a story in reprint form, and Paul you can help me out here with the issue number, but it was called “Superman’s Return to Krypton.”

PL: Mhmm. I don’t remember the issue number.

DJ: At that time it was called a “three part novel from what I recall.” That meant the issue wasn’t broken up into a bunch of different stories. But that was the first time I saw, I remember being exposed to the idea that Superman had some sort of loss in his life. It’s basically the story about Superman getting back to Krypton and seeing the life he could have had and what his parents were like. When I read that I remembered thinking, and I was a little bit older because I read it in reprint form, but thinking that there is loss there. That’s kind of knowing someone personally. We see everyone on the outside and think their lives are great and then we get to know them and see that’s not the case. I saw that with Superman and that’s always stuck with me.

GP: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat.

Awesome Con & DC Comics bring comics celebration to Washington D.C. this Week

Top illustrators, writers, and celebrities in the comics world will unite at Mid-Atlantic pop culture convention Awesome Con presented by LeftField Media, taking over Washington, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center from March 30-April 1, 2018. Comics powerhouse DC Entertainment and other renowned publishers will present special programming like industry insider and celebrity-driven panels, share exclusive announcements, debut designs, and more at the show. Awesome Con is proud to mark its sixth year by working with comic book artist Patrick Zircher on the official show poster and original art in the con’s program guide, distributed to all show attendees.

Show attendees can look forward to programming celebrating eight decades of Superman, marking the icon’s 80th anniversary since debuting in April 1938 from DC. Fans will be able to attend events and interact with special guests Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, who played Clark Kent and Lex Luthor in beloved television series “Smallville,” during the weekend. Kids attending Awesome Con will also receive special keepsake badges featuring official Superman artwork from acclaimed artist and DC Publisher Jim Lee specially commemorating the weekend. Creators from renowned publishers like DC will meet-and-greet with fans throughout the weekend at booths on the Awesome Con show floor, making it easier than ever to meet the makers behind some of the most beloved characters in pop culture.

Comic fans will love events like Past, Present & Future: The 80th Anniversary of Superman, a panel bringing together DC artist Greg Capullo and writer Scott Snyder and comic book artist and writer Dan Jurgens, alongside Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum to retrace the iconic character’s history and discuss what’s next for the Man of Steel.

Attendees can also reserve tickets to special limited-access events during Awesome Con weekend to closely engage with the industry’s most celebrated creators. A DC Writer Panel and Meet & Greet on Friday, March 30 brings celebrated writers and artists Tom KingFrank TieriJoshua WilliamsonSam HumphriesMatthew Rosenberg, and James Tynion IV together for an intimate hour-long Q&A with attendees. Tickets for this special experience are available for $100, and include an autographed variant comic cover featuring each guest’s work, a photo opp with all the guests, and up to five autographs from each guest. Attendees must also have a Friday day pass or Weekend pass to Awesome Con.

The creative minds behind Batman comic miniseries “Dark Nights: Metal” come together at Awesome Con for a Batman Metal Q&A and Meet & Greet on Saturday, March 31. Artist Greg Capullo, writer Scott Snyder, and inker Jonathan Glapion host a private one-hour Q&A with attendees, who will each receive a color Greg Capullo Batman print, a black-and-white Greg Capullo Batman print, and an inked Batman variant comic book cover by Jonathan Glapion. The iconic trio of guests will sign the prints and comic cover along with up to five items per attendee. Tickets are available for $100; attendees must also have a Saturday day pass or Awesome Con Weekend pass.

Special Guests

Comic Guests

  • Scott Snyder (Superman Unchained, American Vampire, Batman, Swamp Thing, Voodoo Heart)
  • Greg Capullo (Dark Nights: Metal, Batman, Reborn, X-Force, Quasar, The Creech)
  • Sean Gordon Murphy (Batman: White Knight, Hellblazer: City of Demons, Punk Rock Jesus, Shaun of the Dead, Teen Titans, The Wake, Tokyo Ghost)
  • Tom King (A Once Crowded Sky, Batman, The Sheriff of Babylon, The Vision)
  • Clay Mann (Batman, Batman Eternal, Gambit, X-Men)
  • James Tynion IV ((DC’s Detective ComicsBatman, Teenage Mutant Turtles, The Backstagers, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Constantine: The Hellblazer)
  • Josh Williamson (Skybound, Flash Rebirth)
  • Frank Tieri (Wolverine, Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3)
  • Sam Humphries (Nightwing)
  • Matthew Rosenberg (4 Kids Walk Into a BarWe Can Never Go Home, The Archies)
  • Jonathan Glapion (Superman, Batman, Curse of the Spawn, Elektra: The Hand)

    Entertainment Guests

  • Stephen Amell (Arrow)
  • John Barrowman (Arrow)
  • Tom Welling (Smallville)
  • Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
  • Cress Williams (Black Lightning)
  • Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
  • Phill LaMarr (Justice League Unlimited)

Awesome Con runs from Friday, March 30 until Sunday, April 1 in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. More information about Awesome Con and tickets are available at www.awesomecon.com.

Awesome Con and the Smithsonian present Future Con

Science experts and entertainers will unite this month at the Smithsonian magazine Future Con, a themed pavilion celebrating science, technology, science fiction and fantasy within the Mid-Atlantic’s premiere pop culture convention Awesome Con. From March 30-April 1 Future Con presents three days of special programming that will include tech demos, meet-and-greet opportunities with scientific leaders and the opportunity to dive into the stimulating and fantastical overlaps between real-world science and science fiction. Attendees of all ages can engage with panels and discussions as well as hands-on tech demos and workshops, all focused on fostering awareness and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Awesome Con welcomes the brightest minds from organizations leading scientific advancement and education to Future Con, with representatives from Boeing, National Science Foundation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Psychological Science, and the Planetary Society leading programs and workshops throughout the weekend.

Panels like Turning Science Fiction Space Travel into Science Fact presented by Boeing will bring together visionaries and engineers to share how ongoing scientific developments and research are laying the foundation for future space exploration. Learn from experts about what it takes to survive in space, travel to Mars, launch the largest rocket ever into space, and more.

Science lovers will also be able to sit in on Future Con events like the Netflix: “Lost in Space” panel presented in partnership with Netflix, an exclusive preview of the upcoming dramatic re-imagination of the classic show and an exploration of the goals of modern space travel. Attendees can stop by the Future Con pavilion and into an immersive “Lost in Space” pop-up complete with show props and décor that will be featured on the galactic adventure show.

In the panel Science behind Mad Science, X, The Moonshot Factory’s Rich DeVaul will reveal how the moonshot factory brings science fiction-sounding technologies such as driverless cars and balloon-powered internet to life. DeVaul will also share tips for aspiring moonshot takers and unveil some never-before-seen explorations. At the X booth at Future Con, show attendees will be able to see some of X’s prototypes up close and learn more about how engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs are part of X’s early-stage work. The X booth will also allow attendees to play a rapid-fire moonshot thinking game, learn about rapid prototyping and meet some of the scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs behind X’s technology.

Star Wars fans will be delighted with exhibits and events presented as part of Future Con, with franchise film stars John Boyega, Joonas Suotamo, and Jeremy Bulloch planning special appearances over the weekend.

Sci-fi movie fans can also attend a Science of “Pacific Rim” panel inspired by the blockbuster 2013 film. Dr. Rich DeVaul, Director of Mad Science at X, and Legendary Comics’ Senior Vice President of Creative Strategy Barnaby Legg clue attendees in to how close to we are to building defensive robots known as ‘jagers,’ whether we can merge consciousness and share memories and feelings with other individuals, and delve into the scientific principles explored in the film.

Future Con also takes a fun look at fiction vs. fact in the comics world, with panels like The Technology of Dark Nights: Metal featuring a discussion with “Batman” artist and writer duo Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder about the technology at the iconic character’s disposal.

Special Guests

                Industry Experts

  • Dr. Rich DeVaul (Director of Mad Science, X, The Moonshot Factory)
  • Dr. Suveen Mathaudhu (Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science, University of California-Riverside)
  • Dr. Erin McDonald (“Dr. Erin Explains the Universe,” Stanford University)
  • Dr. Theresa McCulla (Beer Historian, Smithsonian)
  • Jared Espley (Planetary Scientist, NASA)
  • Terry Hurford (Planetary Scientist, NASA)
  • Carie Lemack (CEO, DreamUp)

 

                Entertainment Guests

  • John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Pacific Rim Uprising)
  • Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Spectre)
  • Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, The Walking Dead)
  • Pom Klementieff (Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Gilmore Girls)
  • Michael Dorn (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
  • Jeremy Bulloch (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, The Newcomers, Doctor Who)
  • John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Arrow, Torchwood, Legends of Tomorrow)
  • Joonas Suotamo (Stars Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Future Con takes place March 30-April 1, 2018 inside this year’s Awesome Con, and no separate ticket is needed to attend Future Con events.

The Library of Congress and DC Entertainment Celebrate 80 Years of Superman

The Library of Congress will celebrate the 1000th issue of seminal DC comic book series Action Comics, a commemoration of 80 years of Superman, with a live interview featuring DC legends on Thursday, March 29. Former publisher and president of DC, Paul Levitz, will join famed DC writer and artist Dan Jurgens, known for his work on the Superman series and the pop culture phenomenon “The Death of Superman,” for a conversation about the history of superhero comics, the writers and artists who create comics and the legacy of DC’s iconic Superman character. The event coincides with Awesome Con, which will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center beginning March 30.

Levitz and Jurgens will be interviewed by creator Michael Cavna, of the Eisner-nominated “Comic Riffs” column for The Washington Post. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free, but tickets are required.

The event also will be livestreamed on the Library’s YouTube channel. Follow the conversation on Twitter at @librarycongress and #LibraryofAwesome.

Guests will preview of Action Comics #1000, which features the DC debut of acclaimed writer Brian Michael Bendis, art by legendary DC Comics publisher and artist Jim Lee and stories from Superman writer Peter J. Tomasi, artist Pat Gleason and artist Dan Jurgens. Selected materials from the Library’s comic book and comic art collections will also be on display during the event.

In 2017, the Library welcomed visitors to explore “Library of Awesome,” a pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today’s most popular characters. The collections of the Library of Congress include nearly 140,000 comic books dating back to the 1930s.

DC Entertainment will publish a new hardcover book, “Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman,” this spring as part of the celebration of the 1,000th issue of Action Comics—the longest continually published comic book of its kind in history, the series that introduced Superman to the world and the title that launched the superhero genre.

This “Library of Awesome” event is made possible by gifts to the Library of Congress Fund. Those interested in supporting free programs at the Library can contact devofc@loc.gov.

Awesome Con returns to Washington, D.C. on Easter Weekend

The sixth annual Awesome Con by LeftField Media, the Mid-Atlantic’s premier pop culture convention, will unite 80,000 fans of comics, technology and science, television and film, custom art, over-the-top cosplay, and more at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1, 2018. The convention floor and panel rooms will buzz with hundreds of hours’ worth of programs including: celebrities and experts hosting panels and exclusive reveals; cosplay fashion shows; gaming tournaments; iconic film memorabilia exhibits; and a diverse array of activities for families on Easter weekend.

Family-friendly pavilion Awesome Con Jr returns with even more playful events planned to educate and entertain kids of all ages and parents alike, with special promotions in place to engage Awesome Con’s youngest fans throughout the show. Future Con, Awesome Con’s science pavilion, will dive into the latest developments in science and science fiction sure to delight even the most curious minds. Back for the second year is Pride Alley presented in partnership with Geeks OUT, shining a spotlight on LGBTQ creators and fans in an even more robust section of Artist Alley.

With Awesome Con 2018 hosting more energetic programs, more globally recognized special guests, and presenting more exclusive previews and announcements to attendees than ever before, it continues growing into a standout annual destination as an unbridled celebration of pop culture and pure fun.

WHEN

Friday, March 30; exhibit hall hours 12pm – 8pm, programming until 10pm
Saturday, March 31; exhibit hall hours 10am – 8pm, programming until 10pm
Sunday, April 1; exhibit hall hours 10am – 5pm

WHERE:

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt. Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001

SPECIAL GUESTS:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Cast: Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Sean Gunn (Kraglin)

Screen Stars:

  • Stephen Amell (Arrow, New Girl, Private Practice)
  • John Barrowman (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Torchwood, Doctor Who)
  • Cress Williams (Black Lightning, Prison Break, Hart of Dixie)
  • Tom Welling (Smallville, Lucifer)
  • Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Guardians of the Guardians Vol. 2, IMPASTOR)
  • Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story)
  • Joe Keery (Stranger Things, Molly’s Game, Slice)
  • Ben Savage (Boy Meets World, Girls Meet World, Chuck, Dear John, Little Monsters, Without a Trace)
  • Will Friedle (Boy Meets World, Girls Meets World, Batman Beyond, Kim Possible, Guardians of the Galaxy animated series)
  • Rider Strong (Boy Meets World, Girl Meets World, Cabin Fever)
  • Charisma Carpenter (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel)
  • Phil LaMarr (Futurama, Samurai Jack, Pulp Fiction, Justice League Unlimited, Mad TV, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Comic Guests:

  • J. Scott Campbell (Gen¹³, Danger Girl, Spider-Man)
  • Fabian Nicieza (Deadpool co-creator, X-Men, Thunderbolts, Action Comics)
  • Jim Starlin (Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Infinity Gauntlet, Batman; co-creator of Drax, Gamora, and Thanos)
  • Greg Capullo (Batman, Reborn, X-Force, Quasar, The Creech)
  • Scott Snyder (American Vampire, Batman, Swamp Thing, Voodoo Heart)
  • Tom King (Batman, The Sheriff of Babylon, The Vision)
  • Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil, Wonder Woman, Amazing Spider-Man)
  • Sean Gordon Murphy (Batman: White Knight, Hellblazer: City of Demons, Punk Rock Jesus, Shaun of the Dead, Teen Titans, The Wake, Tokyo Ghost)
  • James Tynion IV (Detective Comics, Batman)
  • Sorah Sungh (Iron Man, Princeless)

TICKETS: Daily and full weekend passes available

  • Friday or Sunday Only Admission: $35
  • Saturday Only Admission: $50
  • 3-Day Weekend Pass: $75
  • 3-Day ‘Geekend VIP’ Pass: $150
  • Kids 10 and under: free with coupon code AWESOMEJR
  • VIP passes & experiences range from the VIP Geekend ($150) to the premium, limited quantity Club Awesome Reserve Membership ($999) and offer access to various celebrity appearances and special events.

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!

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