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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!

A Tour of The Library of Congress’ Library of Awesome

Coinciding with Awesome Con, the Library of Congress is celebrating comics and graphic novels with the “Library of Awesome.”

The “Library of Awesome” is a pop-up exhibit featuring items from the Library’s comic collection. We walk you through what you can expect when you visit.

The display runs Wednesday June 14 through Saturday June 17 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington DC. Tickets aren’t required.

Awesome Con’s Programming Highlights and Schedule are Out!

Awesome Con, Washington DC’s Comic Con, has announced three days of programming complete with panels, workshops, celebrity appearances, and more, taking over the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from June 16-18. This year, Awesome Con attendees will have access to specialized sections including Future Con, presented in partnership with the Smithsonian, featuring more intellectually stimulating and entertaining content than ever, and robust family-friendly programming called Awesome Con Jr., presented in partnership with Nickelodeon. Attendees can start planning their Awesome Con experience and view the full schedule online.

Highlights from Awesome Con 2017 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. Events include:

  • Stan Lee Q&A (10:30AM – June 18 – Main Stage) Stan Lee will discuss his exciting career spanning several decades and answer questions from audience members. Seating begins at 9:30 AM.
  • Tech of Batman Panel with Greg Capullo, Scott Snyder & Tom King (1:30PM – June 17 – Room 150) – Capullo and Snyder, the creative duo behind today’s Batman comics, join engineers and experts in technology and intelligence to look at the plausibility of replicating Batman in real life. Panelists will examine Batman’s endurance, tech, and more to determine what’s real and what’s best left to fiction.
  • David Tennant Explores Time and Space (10:30AM – June 17 – Main Stage) – Actor David Tennant, who ‘visited’ the furthest futures while playing The Doctor on BBC’s Doctor Who, joins experts Dr. Grant Tremblay and Dr. Matt Shindell on Awesome Con’s Main Stage to discuss the outer reaches of the galaxy. They’ll cover topics including Doctor Who, what’s really going on out there among the stars, and answer questions from the audience. Seating begins at 9:30 AM.
  • Edgar Wright: Meet the Director of Baby Driver (2:00PM – June 17 – Main Stage) – Meet Edgar Wright, the director of popular film juggernauts including Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Shaun of the Dead, and get a first look at his new film Baby Driver. Wright will share insight into his career and the creation of Baby Driver, with giveaways and extra surprises planned for fans. Hosted by Felicia Day.
  • WWE® Superstars Charlotte Flair™ & Shinsuke Nakamura™ Q&A (2:30PM – June 17 – Room 146) – WWE® Superstars Charlotte Flair™ and Shinsuke Nakamura™ discuss life as WWE stars and answer audience questions.
  • The Guild Reunion with Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, Amy Okuda, Jeff Lewis, and Robin Thorsen (11:30AM – June 18 – Room 146) – Cast members of The Guild, the award-winning original web series, reunite to talk about working with each other, their careers, and new projects, and answer audience questions.
  • Experience Japan! (1:00PM – June 17 – Room 154) – Hosted by the Embassy of Japan, this panel seeks to help participants understand the influence of Japanese culture on American pop culture. Explore traditional Japanese culture, play Japanese games, and meet the embassy’s very own therapeutic robot, PARO.
  • Representation Matters with Bryan Turner, Jerry Gaylord & Penelope Gaylord (3:30PM – June 16 – Room 152) – How important is it to see characters and creators that look like you? Join Identity Comics Studio and the “Loading Snacks” crew for a discussion on diversity in media, from the characters leading stories to the creators behind them.
  • Comics Conversation: Collections and Preservation at the Library of Congress (11:00AM – June 17 – Room 150) – Join Library of Congress staff members for a panel discussion about the comics collections at the Library. Specialists from the Library’s newspaper, graphic art, and popular art conservation teams share collection highlights, insights on comics conservation, and suggest how attendees can utilize the Library’s comics collection.

 

Future Con

  • StarTalk Live! with Colonel Chris Hadfield & Scott Adsit (8:00PM – June 16 – Main Stage) – Colonel Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station, and award-winning actor and comedian Scott Adsit (Veep, 30 Rock) co-host a special edition of award-winning talk show StarTalk Live!, bridging the intersection between pop culture and science with humor and passion.
  • Brave New Girls: Women in STEM (5:00PM – June 17 – Room 146) – Some of the greatest scientific advances in history have been made by women, but girls are seldom encouraged to explore the sciences. Future Con presents a panel of scientists jointly discussing the achievements of female scientists, women’s roles in STEM today, and the need for advocacy to create the next generation of female scientists, engineers, and astronauts. With speakers from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and more. Hosted by Nerdist’s Jessica Chobot.
  • IBM Watson: Superman or Supercomputer? Making Money with Artificial Intelligence (5:30PM – June 16 – Room 146) – IBM’s Artificial Intelligence creation Watson, which made its debut on Jeopardy! in 2011, amazed American audiences and today is an open platform for millions of users and developers. Dr. Marc Teerlink, IBM’s Chief Business Strategist, takes the stage to discuss what Watson represents for AI progress worldwide.
  • NASA’s Space Lasers (4:00PM – June 16 – Room 143) – Explore the latest laser technology and the key science behind missions helping us investigate our home planet and beyond. Engineers and scientists will take you behind the scenes of missions like the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite 2 launching with green lasers in 2018, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter currently orbiting the Moon, and more.

 

Awesome Con Jr

  • GeekDad Celebrates Father’s Day: Raising Geek Generation 2.0 (1:30PM – June 18 – Room 149) – Join some of the writers from GeekDad.com and their kids for a discussion about raising the next generation of geeks. Topics covered will include introducing various fandoms to kids, sharing old and new geeky passions, and determining what’s age-appropriate.
  • Padawan Lightsaber Training presented by Saber Guild Corellia (5:45PM – June 17 – Backlot Stage) – Adults and their ‘Padawans’ can join Saber Guild Corellia to learn how to wield a lightsaber and stave off the Dark Side on the Backlot stage.
  • Kids Costume Parade presented by The Emoji Movie (1:00PM – June 18 – Backlot Stage) – Awesome Con encourages budding costume designers to strut their stuff in custom outfits at the Kids Costume Parade presented by The Emoji Movie. Participation is limited to the first 30 kids (and their parents) who register at the Backlog stage 30 minutes before the parade.
  • Let’s Go LEGO! (1:00PM – June 17 – Awesome Con Jr Stage) – Cartoonist John Gallagher shows you and your kids how to draw LEGO versions of your favorite characters. Come expand your art skills and take home the art as a souvenir.

 

Pride Alley

  • Making LGBT+ Representation Matter in Fiction (5:00PM – June 16 – Room 144) – Engage in a lively conversation about LGBTQ+ characters in fiction and what creators are doing, or not doing, to foster representation.
  • A History of LGBTQ+ Representation in Comic Books & Television (June 17 – 12:30PM – Room 144) – Learn about the history of LGBTQ+ representation in Nerd Culture through discussion of the most iconic LGBTQ+ characters in anime, comic books, video games, and television. The important dialogue will conclude with thoughts on the importance of LGBTQ+ characters in the media and pop culture.
  • Pokémon, Musicals, & Gay with Voice Actor Jamie McGonnigal (4:30PM – June 17 – Room 144) – Fans will have the opportunity to discuss Jamie McGonnigal’s impressive resume including his voice work on Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, his global LGBTQ+ activism, and his career as a Broadway producer. From questions about how to get started in voice acting to how to come out to your high school anime club – nothing is off the table!

 

Esports

  • NRG at Awesome Con (11:00AM-2:00PM – June 18 – East Salons G-I, Booth 16) Fans of video games and esports will have a unique chance to meet players from NRG Esports’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team at Awesome Con on Sunday, June 18. Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, will host the NRG CS:GO team’s visit in Awesome Con’s Video Game Room in East Salons G-I from 11:00AM to 12:00PM for a live gaming experience, followed by an autograph session in the show’s Exhibit Hall at booth 16 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM.

Awesome Con Welcomes Scott Adsit as StarTalk Live! Co-Host

Awesome Con and StarTalk will welcome actor and comedian Scott Adsit as a co-host of StarTalk Live! on June 16 during Awesome Con. Ticketholders for Awesome Con, which runs June 16-18 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, will be able to attend StarTalk Live! on a first come, first served basis with the option to purchase VIP tickets.

StarTalk Live!, an award-winning talk show bridging the intersection between pop culture and science with humor and passion, will headline Smithsonian’s Future Con – an event series and science-focused pavilion within Awesome Con, Washington DC’s Comic Con. Colonel Chris Hadfield, who audiences may recognize from his documentation of his time in space via Twitter, and award-winning actor and comedian Scott Adsit (Veep, 30 Rock) will take the stage as co-hosts for this exciting program. StarTalk Live! is open to all Awesome Con ticket holders with first come, first served seating, and attendees have the option to purchase VIP tickets which include guaranteed seating and a book signing with Col. Chris Hadfield. StarTalk Live! will take place at 8 PM on Friday, June 16 in the Walter Washington Convention Center.

The Library of Congress will Celebrate the World of Comics

The Library of Congress is gearing up for a super summer treat celebrating the role of comics and graphic novels in promoting literacy, as collectibles, in the arts, advertising, sociology, popular culture and history. Making a variety of collection items more accessible to the general public, the “Library of Awesome” features a pop-up display of famous comic-book issues, drawings, original comic strips and related items. Programming for all ages will be offered.

Nearly 100 comic-book collection items will be on display for “Library of Awesome,” a pop-up exhibit featuring items from the Library’s comic-book collections presented in conjunction with Awesome-Con, Washington, D.C.’s annual convention of comics, cosplay and pop culture. The display will be on view Wednesday, June 14 – Saturday, June 17 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington D.C. Tickets are not required.

The collections of the Library of Congress include nearly 140,000 comic books dating back to the 1930s. Visitors will see famous editions of such comic-book characters as Wonder Woman, Superman and some of the most significant artwork and storylines in comic-book history. These include original artwork for the first appearance of Spider-Man and the American classic known as Famous Funnies No. 1 (1934), considered by many to be the first American comic book. First appearances of Batman, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk will be on display, as well as rare early science fiction and children’s comics. The exhibit will also feature first issues of Archie, Luke Cage: Hero for Hire and Supergirl.

Additional programming includes a family-friendly costume contest with a chance to win a pair of tickets to Awesome-Con 2017, workshops and demonstrations.

Events are free and open to the public. Visitors who come to “Library of Awesome” dressed in a superhero character costume will receive a 15 percent discount on merchandise at the Library of Congress Shop.

The programming includes:

Wednesday, June 14

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (LJ 113, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building)

“Library of Awesome” Comic-Book Display

Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today’s most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, children’s comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

Thursday, June 15

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (LJ 113, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building)

“Library of Awesome” Comic-Book Display

Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today’s most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, children’s comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

2 p.m. (Young Readers Center)

Cosplay Demonstration

Library Technician Ashley Dickerson and other cosplayers will demonstrate how they develop characters. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

3 p.m. (Young Readers Center)

Cosplay Workshop

Library of Congress Young Readers Center staff and cosplayers will teach visitors how to make superhero arm gauntlets using basic craft supplies. Kids are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite characters. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

Friday, June 16

9:30 a.m. (Neptune Plaza)

Costume Contest

Get your capes ready! Come dressed up as your favorite comic-book character for the ultimate costume contest. There will be separate categories for children and adult participants. The winners of the adult contest will receive a pair of passes to 2017 Awesome-Con to be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Free and open to the public. Reservations required; visit Eventbrite for reservation and official contest rules.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (LJ 113, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building)

“Library of Awesome” Comic-Book Display

Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today’s most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, children’s comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

Saturday, June 17

9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Young Readers Center)

“Library of Awesome” themed activites and displays 

Young Readers Center staff will host activities all day, including drawing comic books, creating props, and assembling costumes. Visitors will also be able to explore comic books, graphic novels and other Young Readers Center collections and partake in superhero and sci-fi-themed photo shoots.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (LJ 113, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building)

“Library of Awesome” Comic-Book Display

Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today’s most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Children’s comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

11 a.m. (Walter E. Washington Convention Center)

“Comics Conversation: Collections and Preservation at the Library”*

Join Library of Congress staff members, including Senior Rare Book Conservator Claire Dekle, Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art Sara W. Duke, Reference Specialist Megan Halsband, Head of the Newspaper Section Georgia Higley and Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art Martha H. Kennedy, for a panel discussion about the original art and collections held at the Library. Panelists will share highlights of the collections, provide insights on the conservation and preservation of this material, and suggest how attendees might come to use the Library’s collections for their own research. *Awesome-Con 2017 ticket required for attendance.

The Library of Awesome 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.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.

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