Tag Archives: california

Has a California Law Rewritten the Comic Industry’s Employment?

California Capitol

The gig economy is booming and allowing corporations to take advantage of workers and get around costs by considering “employees” as “independent contractors.” That distinction allows businesses to get around state and federal labor laws as well as not provide some benefits.

The California state Assembly has passed AB5 which now does to the state Senate. It impacts thousands of “independent contracts like Uber and Amazon drivers, tech companies, and possibly comic creators.

The legislation expands upon a California Supreme Court case decision last month known as Dynamex Operations West v Superior Court. The ruling, and the bill, instruct businesses to use the “ABC test” to figure out if a worker is an employee.

To hire an independent contractor, the worker must not meet all three of these conditions.

(a) is free from the company’s control,
(b) is doing work that isn’t central to the company’s business, and
(c) has an independent business in that industry.

If all three aren’t met, they have to be classified as an employee.

Comic creators aren’t always clear from the company’s control. They are absolutely central to the company’s business, but many have independent businesses in the industry. One of these conditions is not met. It fails the court, and legislative, mandate. One has to look closer at the languageof the legislation and its exemptions. An example are professionals who rent space like a Doctor or Hair Stylist.

The legislation does exempt “those performing work under a contract for professional services”. There would likely not be impact to the industry as comic creators would likely fall under this exemption. Publishers will need clarification. Due to the court’s ruling they should seek it out anyways.

It’s all in the contract and working relationship between the two. That will be a tight line those in charge will have to walk.

This legislation and decision is stricter than federal guidelines which has ever changing guides and opinions.

If a company is found to violate this, they would be liable to reimburse local agencies and school districts for mandated costs.

California Has Made Getting and Selling Autographs and Limited Edition Items More Confusing and Labor Intensive

2000px-flag_of_california-svgIn early September Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1570, a consumer protection law aimed at fake signatures on sports memorabilia. The legislation has been the subject of a lot of chatter lately sparked by an impassioned blog post by Eureka Book Sellers. As usual, the discussion is full of hyperbole as to what the law does and does not do, and let me begin by flat-out saying it’s bad legislation that accomplishes little to solve the issue of fraud autographs.

Championed by celebrities like Mark Hamill (who we’ll point out make a decent chunk of change by selling autographs) the law does the following:

  • Expands the definition of “collectible” to mean an autographed item for sale in or from California by a “dealer” to a consumer for five dollars or more
  • “Dealer” is defined as a person who is mainly in the business of “selling or offering for sale collectibles in or from this state, exclusively or nonexclusively, or a person who by his or her occupation holds himself or herself out as having knowledge or skill peculiar to collectibles, or to whom that knowledge or skill may be attributed by his or her employment of an agent or other intermediary that by his or her occupation holds himself or herself out as having that knowledge or skill. “Dealer” includes an auctioneer who sells collectibles at a public auction, and also includes persons who are consignors or representatives or agents of auctioneers. “Dealer” includes a person engaged in a mail order, telephone order, online, or cable television business for the sale of collectibles.”
  • Whenever a dealer sells, or offers to sell, an autographed collectible in or from California, the dealer has to provide a certificate of authenticity at the time of sale. That certificate has some specifics that need to be met:
    • Shall be in writing (does a computer print out count?)
    • Signed by the dealer or authorized agent
    • Feature the date of sale
    • Must be in at least 10-point boldface type
    • Contain the dealer’s legal name and street address
    • The dealer must retain on file a copy of the certificate for no less than seven years
    • It shall describe the collectible and specify the name of the personality who autographed it
    • Specify the date of sale or be accompanied by a separate invoice with that information
    • Contain a warranty
    • Specify if the collectible is offered as a part of a limited edition and if so it has to say how it’s numbered and the size of any prior or anticipated edition. And if that’s not known, it should state that it’s unknown.
    • Indicate if the dealer is bonded or otherwise insured to protect consumers against errors and omissions and if so, provide proof
    • Indicate the last four digits of the dealer’s resale certificate number from the State Board of Equalization
    • Indicate if the item was autographed in the presence of the dealer and if so the specific date, location, and name of the witness
    • Indicate if the item was obtained or purchased from a third-party and if it was the name and address of the third-party
    • Include a serial number that corresponds any identifying number printed on the collectible item, if any. That should also be on the sales receipt and if that receipt is printed then write the number on the receipt
    • A dealer shall not present an item as a collectible if it was not autographed by the personality in his or her own hand
    • You need to post a sign close to where your collectibles are that let consumers know you need to provide them with a certificate of authenticity
    • Mail order dealers have some other things they need to do, especially if they advertise
    • If you plan on selling autographs at conventions you need to displace a “specimen example of a certificate of authenticity”
    • Consumers who don’t receive a certificate of authenticity with the above, or if it’s got false information, shall be able to receive damages equal to 10 times actual damages, plus court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, interest, and expert witness fees. Plus the court can award additional damages
    • Dealers in the state must have a valid resale certificate number from the State Board of Equalization
    • A dealer may be surety bonded or otherwise insured for purposes of indemnification against errors and omissions

And there’s some things promoters need to do as well, such as warning any dealer about the above with specific language provided:

As a vendor at this collectibles trade show, you are a professional representative of this hobby. As a result, you will be required to follow the laws of this state, including laws regarding the sale and display of collectibles, as defined in Section 1739.7 of the Civil Code, forged and counterfeit collectibles and autographs, and mint and limited edition collectibles. If you do not obey the laws, you may be evicted from this trade show, be reported to law enforcement, and be held liable for a civil penalty of 10 times the amount of damages.

There are exemptions to the law as far as what a “dealer” is….

  • “Dealers” don’t include licensed pawnbrokers
  • An online marketplace that is not primarily in the business of selling, or offering for sale, collectibles, in or from California
  • The personality who signs the memorabilia

Get all of that?

Lets begin with the failure of the law…

johnhancockThe exemptions are the first problem with the legislation. The fraud that exists with online sellers through eBay is rampant and though there’s no numbers as to how bad it is, the legislation begs individuals to move their business online solving nothing at all in reality. But, eBay’s lobbyists are strong and their money flows regularly to California politicians. Check out 2015 through 2016’s donations and I’m sure the company’s donation of $15,000 to Jerry Brown’s run for Governor had no impact at all (and $5,000 to his Attorney General race). In general, the company’s donations to California’s politicians has greatly increased in recent cycles. When it comes to rampant forgery online, California elected officials apparently don’t care.

The exemption of the personality who signs the memorabilia is also hypocritical. I’m not sure if I’d really call this a failure, but there’s irony in the fact the celebrities who have demanded certifications themselves don’t have to provide one. What’s good for the rest isn’t good for them. And, I guess they don’t stand by their autograph, and as a consumer I wouldn’t trust any I didn’t see them sign in person. Autopens do wonders.

Finally, there’s already protections for consumers about fake autographs, this legislation really creates a consumer right to a certificate of authenticity. There’s already laws to protect against forged signatures. In other words, it’s not needed. Those who break the law by selling fake autographs will now likely continue, just with a piece of paper. There’s no difference in practicality of what was and what is when it comes to fighting this issue. Consumers had a right to sue then. Consumers can now sue now for the same thing. What is needed is for celebrities to file lawsuits, not consumers, put the onus on them, but then again, they can’t be bothered by providing a piece of paper themselves for authenticity.

There’s also the weird…

The legislation goes into defining “limited edition.” A consumer can request proof that the films, electronic coding, molds, or plates used to create the collectible was destroyed after the edition is up. It also decides to delve into the debate on “mint condition” to mean an item that must never have been circulated, used, or worn, with no signs of aging, and otherwise free of creases, blemishes, or marks. There’s no use of “mint condition” in the legislation other than to define what it is.

What’s the actual impact to comic dealers and comic creators?

For creators, there’s little impact by the legislation. They fall under that personality exemption so they can continue to go about selling autographs directly.

For dealers, the impact is much greater. There’s the signage that will now had to be had if they’re selling autographed materials in their store or their booth at conventions. In reality, the legislation is worded so poorly it indicates everyone that sells collectibles needs the sign, but I don’t think that’s the actual intent or how it’ll be enforced. If you’re selling autographed items for $5 or more you’ll need to provide a certificate and keep it on file for seven years. Yay more paperwork! I’d also expect more lawsuits by individuals looking to make a good buck. The fact is anyone can sue anyone and there’ll be a nice business coming out of this legislation potentially. Dealers should also be aware of any autographed items they’re purchasing, such as from Diamond, in that they’ll now need to provide a proper certificate of authenticity. I know autographed items I’ve purchased through Diamond in the past have had one, but they didn’t comply with the above.

For consumers, this is a good thing in that, in theory, it should scare off some sellers of forged autographs. It also means you get to keep a certificate of authenticity somewhere, so more items for you too.

The up in the air…

Since this includes all autographed items this now includes greeting cards as mentioned in Eureka Book’s post, something that wasn’t intended, unless that item is less than $5. Then “agent or intermediary” that is defined under dealer isn’t defined as well.

The bigger impact is signings in stores. If a comic creator comes to a comic shop and then signs items before leaving, that may fall under the celebrity exception, but maybe not? If the shop is selling the item at a celebrity signing, like what happens in shops, is one needed?

In reality…

The legislation is a failure of those who drafted and lobbied for it, but also a failure of those in the memorabilia industry for letting it get passed. This has been something that’s been lobbied for quite some time and went through the legislation process. Where was the comic industry speaking up about this when it was going through that? Where was our lobbying effort? We have a CBLDF, is it time for someone to look out for creators, stores, and consumers when it comes to matters beyond free speech?

The biggest reality is the legislation is passed and signed by the Governor.

What can you do?

You can still make your voice heard. Contact Governor Jerry Brown or contact elected officials in the State Senate and the State Assembly. Most importantly, pay attention at your state level to make sure you speak up before legislation like this is even passed.

The law takes effect in January.

Rascal Raccoon’s Raging Revenge Reading with author Brendan Hay at Mission: Comics, Dec 17th 1pm

Official Press Release

Rascal Raccoon’s Raging Revenge Reading with author Brendan Hay at Mission: Comics, Dec 17th 1pm

Join Mission: Comics in celebrating the release of Rascal Raccoon’s Raging Revenge by local Brendan Hay! He’ll be reading from the book and signing copies for fans.


Mission: Comics & Art
3520 20th St., Suite B
San Francisco, CA 94110

Saturday December 17th – 1:00pm

“Welcome to Toonie Terrace, home of the fun-loving Toonies and their jealous, bitter rivals, the Meanies. For all their shenanigans, no Meanie has ever murdered a Toonie… until now. After thousands of painful failed attempts, Rascal Raccoon has finally killed his arch-nemesis, the charming and adorable Jumpin’ Jackalope. Rascal is overjoyed, but there’s one problem: what does he do now? With nothing left to obsess over, Rascal’s life falls apart. Fortunately, he soon finds a new target for his anger: the animator who created him!”

Brendan Hay, former headline producer of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and contributing writer on Stewart’s book, AMERICA, has written for Robot Chicken (Emmy Nominated!), The Mighty B! and The Simpsons. He’s now head writer on the upcoming animated Star Wars comedy show, but his heart belongs to comics.

Rascal Raccoon's Raging Revenge

Comikaze Expo Gets Inked

Official Press Release

Comikaze Expo Offers Fans and Attendees the Makings of a Pop Culture
Makeover and Amazing Access to a Modern Day Renaissance
To Die For Tattoos, Special FX Makeup and a Viral Invasion, Oh My!

Los Angeles, Calif.,
(September 2011) – Comikaze Expo, the largest multimedia pop culture, comic book, horror, anime and gaming convention in California, announced that it will host incredible one-of-a kind features at its Los Angeles show: LIVE tattooing, Special FX makeup artists, and a chance to win a role in one of the most cutting-edge viral campaigns in history.

Attendees can schedule appointments to get inked during Comikaze by some of America’s most well-known, in-demand tattoo artists, including Amy Nicoletto of LA INK and Tattoo Tony. Huge names in Special FX like Chet Zar of Hellboy and X-Men, and Glenn Hetrick of Buffy the Vampire fame, will lead the pack of stellar special effects czars. Project Modern Day Renaissance will introduce convention goers and artists alike to Live Painting, Sculpting, Special FX Prosthetics and the likes of a Modern Day Renaissance as never seen before.

“We are so excited to have these guys doing something so unique at the show,” says Comikaze CEO Regina Carpinelli. “Since our fans are already making this such a worthwhile venture, we’re offering a little something special. If any attendees want to get a tattoo of the Comikaze logo, WE WILL PAY FOR IT and provide free entrance to Comikaze Expo FOR LIFE!”

In addition, there will be a booth to get made up and audition to play a part in the cutting-edge viral campaign of YA author Victoria Foyt’s Save the Pearls Part One—Revealing Eden. Crazy special effects makeup and other never done before concepts will be executed right there in the middle of Comikaze! Other talented contemporary artists in attendance include Nick Benson (The Blob, The Abyss), Darrin White, R.H. McClurg, Andres Correa, and many more special guest artists.

The first and only multimedia, cross-genre expo to hit Los Angeles, Comikaze Expo has created a pop culture extravaganza that brings together the best in comics, gaming, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, anime and all other cult programming. Deemed the LA Comic-con and only Los Angeles comic convention, Comikaze promises that their LA invasion will be the best horror, comic, fantasy convention and gaming expo that Californians have ever experienced.

Comikaze will kick off with appearances by the father of modern comics, Stan Lee, and Comikaze’s official “Spooksperson,” horror icon Elvira, at the event’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event’s wide-ranging appeal has attracted celebrity appearances from icons and budding artists of this exciting world, including animators, comic book and anime artists, special effects teams, writers, actors, and filmmakers, from both the mainstream and geek worlds.

This unparalleled event’s wide range of innovative programming and activities provide fans access to their favorite artists and creators. From independent film screenings, live shows and star-studded panels to fan contests, games, portfolio reviews and a masquerade ball, there is something for everyone and more at Comikaze. Family-oriented events are scheduled for Sunday, November 6.

In an effort to make Comikaze accessible and affordable for everyone, tickets are only $12 each, and children under 12 are FREE. Each ticket holder will receive their choice of a celebrity lithograph photo valued at $79-$189. For more information about Comikaze, including sponsorship information, vendor applications and ticket sales, visit ComikazeExpo.com.

About Comikaze

Comikaze Expo is the largest multimedia pop culture convention in Los Angeles. The brainchild of Southern California siblings, Regina and Mario Carpinelli, this unique event brings together the best in comics, gaming, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, anime and all other cult programming. Comikaze takes place November 5-6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and offers a slate of innovative programming, panels, contests and other activities that provide fans access to their favorite artists and creators in this adventure-packed weekend. Featured appearances include the father of modern comics, Stan Lee, and Comikaze’s official “spooksperson,” horror icon Elvira, in her final convention appearance. For more information, visit ComikazeExpo.com.

Collector’s Paradise Celebrates DC’s Relaunch with Midnight Release Party & more

Official Press Release

Collector’s paradise CELEBRATES DC COMICS’ RELAUNCH with a midnight release party, sale and announcement of signing events!

Los Angeles area’s Leading Retail Comic Book Store Chain promotes DC’s Ambitious Relaunch with a special event!

Canoga Park, Calif., August 22, 2011 – Collector’s Paradise Comics & Gallery, is proud to announce that the on August 30th, starting at 9 pm and lasting until 1 am on Wednesday, they are celebrating the Relaunch of the DC Universe with a Midnight Release Event, at the Canoga Park store location.

“What DC is doing is a gutsy and comprehensive re-branding of their brand, an event that eclipses anything else that’s been done in the world of comics, including their own “Death of Superman” storyline in ’93 which brought back thousands of lapsed comic readers and created many thousands more.” said Edward Greenberg, managing partner of Collector’s Paradise, adding: “We are very excited about the relaunch, and so are our customers. We have had many new faces in our stores, asking for the new books. This Relaunch is what our industry has needed for many years, a boost to excitement, sales and awareness.”

To help launch the Midnight Release Party in a big way, Collector’s Paradise is holding a big “52% OFF” Sale on specific DC products, as well as refreshments and snacks for all who attend. That night will also be their customers’ last chance to take advantage of the “All 52 #1s for $99.99” promotion, a huge incentive to try out all 52 of the #1 issues for almost 40% off retail price. The promotion ends when the Midnight Release Party ends.

The Midnight Release Party is just the beginning of the big month-long promotional plans for the Relaunch. The store has announced to its customers an amazing Risk-Free way to read the new #1 issues, by making all 52 books 100% Returnable. Customers can check out any or all of the books, and return them by the following week to receive 100% credit towards any other books in the store. The is the first time in the store’s 17 year history that a whole line of products was made returnable to everyone.

In another attempt to make the Relaunch “special”, Collector’s Paradise reached out to many of the store’s industry friends who reside in the LA area. Two major signing events will take place on September 21st and 28th, at both stores, to promote many of the new #1 issues coming out that month. An extensive list of Artists and Writers will be announced through all our promotional channels in the coming weeks.

Collector’s Paradise Canoga Park is located at 7131 Winnetka Ave, at Sherman Way in Canoga Park.

Collector’s Paradise Pasadena is located at 319 S. Arroyo Parkway Unit 4, at the corner of Del Mar, in Pasadena.

For additional information, please contact Edward Greenberg, managing partner of Collector’s Paradise @ 818-999-9455 (business) or 818-326-2517 (cell), or by email, at store@comicsandcards.net.

Collector’s Paradise Comics & Gallery has been a mainstay in the Southern California Comic Book scene since 1994. In recent years, the store has focused on offering their customers an exceptional experience that goes beyond collecting comic books, from creator appearances, to proprietary online subscription manager software, and an Art Gallery. The store’s future plans include many new and very different ways to experience the comic book culture. The store recently opened its second branch, in Old Town Pasadena.

2011 J-Pop Summit Japanese Pop Culture Festival? only 16 Days Away!!!

Official Press Release


NEW PEOPLE Details Events For Annual Bay Area Celebration Of Japanese Pop Culture With Live Music, Fashion Shows, Film Premieres, Street Vendors And More!

San Francisco, CA, August 11, 2011 – An explosion of colorful artists and pop culture music, fashion, art, and film takes over San Francisco in only 16 DAYS when the 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival will be held the city’s Japantown. The annual is newly expanded to two days and will take place Saturday and Sunday, August 27th– 28th.

The weekend-long festival is highlighted by live bands and DJs, fashion shows, a vocaloid music conference, several theatrical film premieres, dance workshops and performances, and assorted arts, crafts and food vendors. NEW PEOPLE, the dynamic entertainment destination showcasing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture, presents the annual event and also welcomes several Guests of Honor to this year’s J-Pop Summit.

A dedicated web site with full details and event schedules is now available at J-pop.com.

J-Pop Summit Festival Event Highlights include…

Saturday August 27th:

Girls Rock Explosion! Day 1


Bay Area and Japanese musicians rock the Pagoda Stage in Japantown’s Peace Plaza.

Layla Lane are a cross-cultural rock duo combining exquisite arrangements and clever harmonies for a style that is equal parts 1960′s pop, gypsy swing, and rock. Layla Lane is fronted by guitarist Heday from Shizuoka, Japan and Los Angeles-born pianist Valerie Stern.


The Patsychords are a Pasty Cline Tribute band that will rock the Girl Rock Explosion 2011 with their brand of smooth rockabilly country and a tribute to Kyu Sakamoto’s Sukiyaki Song!


Fashion Events:

SOUSOU Fashion Show

Hosted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, designer and producer Takeyuki Wakabayashi from Kyoto, Japan, SOU・SOU’s first U.S. fashion show will showcase NEW PEOPLE and SOU・SOU’s new Clothing line collaboration. Enjoy the art of modern designs meeting traditional craftsmanship in an innovative style of Japanese tabi shoe and clothing.

h. NAOTO Fashion Show

Designer Naoto Hirooka (aka h. NAOTO) attends the 2011 J-Pop Summit to preview the opening of his first U.S. flagship store on NEW PEOPLE’s Fashion Floor on October 7th!

Lolitas! Fashionistas! Boys and girls! This year, BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT and Animation on Display co-host a circus-inspired, over-the-top Lolita fashion contest.


Film Events:

GANTZ II: Perfect Answer (San Francisco Premiere)

How will we face the end? The two-part GANTZ film meets its kinetic conclusion in GANTZ II with an intensely gripping story-line yet to be known even to readers of the manga series!


Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal U.S. Premiere (subtitled)

Based on the self-titled manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki, Rurouni Kenshin follows Kenshin Himura, a highly skilled swordsman and his journey across Japan during the Meiji era.

K-ON! Anime Vol.3 Premiere and Mini Concert

Enjoy a mini live event by the K-ON! English voice cast and the premiere of the third volume of the anime series. K-ON!’s story revolves around four Japanese high school girls who join the Sakuragaoka Girl’s High School’s light music club to try to save it from being disbanded.

Tokyo Freshly Squeezed: Hottest Music Videos from Japan!

MUSIC ON! TV (www.m-on.jp) from Japan will feature the hottest J-Pop bands and artists performing Visual Kei, J-rock, anime songs, and more to be screened with NEW PEOPLE cinema’s THX® sound system. Attendees for VIP Party at 7:30pm on August 27th at NEW PEOPLE will be all invited to this event. VIP Party tickets are now on sale at:





Dance & DJ Events:

Danceroid Dance Performance

Danceroid is a group of four girls that have become an international musical dance sensation with their performances choreographed to popular Vocaloid songs. The group’s videos have been played more than 100 million times online

Miku Mix DJ Battle
LA meets Tokyo in San Francisco! DJ Amaya and ZANEEDS rocked out thousands of fans at the Nokia Theater during this year’s Anime Expo will join together on the J-Pop SUMMIT’s Pagoda Stage to take turns mixing up some mean Hatsune Miku vocaloid remixes!

Sunday August 28th


Vocaloid Conference: The Voice of Future Music

Brian Zisk (Executive Producer, SF Music Tech Summit), ZANEEDS (vocaloid music creator), and Danceroid (vocaloid music dance unit) will discuss, “The creative explosion caused by internet platforms and vocaloid idols like Hatsune Miku, and how it’s affecting the future of music.” Also see ZANEEDS and Danceroid behind the scenes footage!

Vocaloid Dance Workshop

Vocaloid music dance sensation Danceroid will teach audiences one of their very own dance routines. Contestants of the Vocaloid Dance Contest are welcomed to participate winners will perform on the Pagoda Stage with Danceroid!

Vocaloid Dance Contest

Vocaloid fans hit the stage to dance and lip-sync in front of a huge audience! Animation on Display is the host and guest performers Danceroid will judge the performances.



Girls Rock Explosion! Day 2

The Bayonettes are presented by the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp. The teen duo will deliver their sweet acoustic set, including a version of Japan’s #1 punk rock song “Linda Linda!”

SpacEKrafT is a performance group that re-creates a futuristic interactive travel environment complete with flight attendants, ground crew, video projections, sound chairs, interactive music equipment, personality feedback station and interactive art.

Emi Meyer is a jazz-inspired pop musician born in Kyoto Japan and raised in Seattle. Her bi-cultural heritage has shaped the unique jazz-inspired pop sound heard on her three albums. With the release of her first album, Curious Creature, Emi was invited to perform at the Sundance Film Festival and shot to #1 on the Japanese jazz charts.


Come check out anime K-ON!’s English Voice Actresses’ live show! Yui (Stephanie Sheh), Mio (Cristina Vee), Ritsu (Cassandra Lee), Mugi (Shelby Lindley), and Azusa (Christine Marie Cabanos) all will rock out with full-gear on the Pagoda Stage.



Film Events:

h.NAOTO Tokyo Collection Film Screening

Enjoy h.NAOTO’s fashion on the big screen! For customers who purchase over $100 at the h.NAOTO pop-up-shop inside the NEW PEOPLE Fashion Floor. Designer Naoto Hirooka will appear for an after screening Q and A session!


DOCUMENTARY OF AKB48 To Be Continued… (U.S. Premiere)

Don’t miss the US premiere of the documentary following the unstoppable all-female Japanese idol group, AKB48! With their ever-growing popularity and success, this is a must-see for fans. The footage sheds a light on AKB48’s struggle, joy, growth, and dream

Other Events & Performances (Saturday & Sunday):

Ken Hamazaki

Ken Hamazaki returns for the second year in a row to perform his avant-garde Red Tea Ceremony -YOU ARE GOD on the festival grounds!


Estria Foundation Presents: MIKE “BAM!” TYAU

Mike “BAM!” Tyau (rhymes with ‘meow’) has been creating graffiti art since 1983 during the NYC B-boy era. On Sunday the 28th, watch Mike “BAM!” paint a live graffiti art all day in the Peace Plaza. The artwork will be silent-auctioned to raise funds for Japan.

Fortune Telling by Hoshi from “not for sale.”

Translating ancient Eastern knowledge and languages to suit our modern lives, Hoshi from not for sale. reads over 2000 fortunes per year in the Tokyo area. He comes to the J-Pop Summit to read the fortunes of attendees!

About NEW PEOPLE, Inc.

Based in San Francisco, California, NEW PEOPLE, Inc. (www.newpeopleworld.com) offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan through its unique entertainment destination as well as through licensing and distribution of selective Japanese films. NEW PEOPLE Entertainment (www.newpeopleent.com), a film division of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the “Kingdom of Pop” for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America. Some titles include DEATH NOTE, GANTZ, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, and THE TASTE OF TEA.


Sam Sarkar Unlocks The Vault #1 at Golden Apple Comics

Official Press Release


On July 27th, starting at 7:00 P.M., Golden Apple Comics will present an autograph signing with Sam Sarkar, for the release of the new comic book from Image Comics, THE VAULT.

THE VAULT is about a small team of treasure hunters, struggling to excavate a dangerous and legendary treasure pit before a massive storm hits Sable Island, the “Graveyard of the North Atlantic.” Equipped with all the latest technology, the scientists believe they are prepared against all of nature’s fury, but nothing can prepare them for what they are about to unleash.

THE VAULT is kind of a contemporary Pandora’s Box story,” explained creator and writer, Sam Sarkar. “Though it appears on the surface to be a pretty straightforward story, it has most of its mythology buried deeply. It gets uncovered both literally and figuratively as the pit gets excavated.”

THE VAULT issue #1 autograph event will take place in Los Angeles at Golden Apple Comics on July 27th, 2011 from 7-9 P.M. at 7018 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. For more information, please call 323-658-6047.


Golden Apple Comics has been the premier comic book & pop culture store in Los Angeles for over 30 years.Always cutting edge & proactive in the community, Golden Apple views this as a great opportunity to attract new readers to our thriving industry. A place in LA for anything groundbreaking in the comic world.ABOUT SAM SARKAR

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sam Sarkar is a 23-year veteran of the entertainment industry. He began his career as an actor and was one of the leads on the long-running, syndicated television series Neon Rider. Following the series, Sam decided to pursue writing and worked for the hit television series Beverly Hills 90210. Stemming from his work on the show, he also co-wrote a television pilot for Spelling Entertainment under the direct guidance of TV legend Aaron Spelling. Deciding then to embark on feature films, Sam took some chances, following a varied path of writing screenplays and working as a sound technician. In 2004, after working on several films with actor Johnny Depp, Sam was asked to help run Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, headed by Christi Dembrowski. As Senior VP at the company, he continues to serve the varied needs of Hollywood as an executive, producer and writer.ABOUT IMAGE COMICS

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

Three Signing Events headline Grand Opening of Collector’s Pardaise Pasadena

Official Press Release


San Fernando Valley’s Leading Retail Comic Book Store Welcomes Industry Creators to help promote Grand Opening of the new location in style! 

PASADENA, Calif., July 23, 2011 – Collector’s Paradise Comics & Gallery, is proud to announce that the new Pasadena store has been completely remodeled to fulfill our vision of a modern comic book store, and will have a Grand Opening Celebration starting July 27th with a big sale and a series of signings.

“Taking over an existing store is not easy, and we wanted to make sure to turn it into what we feel (and our customers enjoy) as a modern vision of a Comic Book store.” said Edward Greenberg, managing partner of Collector’s Paradise, adding:  “We believe people who enjoy reading comics these days are a far cry from the typical stereotype of a comic book reader, and our stores should reflect that. Modern, sleek bookstore look with professional signage and easy-to-find merchandise should be the goal of anyone who tries to create an “experience” for their patrons.”

To help promote the Grand Opening event, Collector’s Paradise reached out to some of the store’s best supporters, publishers Top Cow Productions, Aspen Comics, and jack of all trades, owner of Comicraft and creator/writer of Elephantmen, Richard Starkings.  Three signing events, throughout the Grand Opening week, will help to celebrate three very different genres of comics, from espionage fantasy, to beautiful futuristic SCI-FI to chilling psychological horror.


Wednesday, July 27th, 5pm-8pm. Collector’s Paradise is excited to help Aspen Comics launch their HIT LIST AGENDA Crossover Event, which stems from creator David Wohl’s sequel to the critically acclaimed Executive Assistant Iris series. The event includes the second volume of Executive Assistant Iris, and a set of 3 mini-series, Lotus, Violet, and Orchid. Illustrated by an array of Aspen’s awesome artists, including Oliver Nome, with stunning covers that include superstar artist Joe Benitez (Lady Mechanika), HIT LIST is a hard-hitting, super-sexy, sword-wielding event.  Collector’s Paradise will host creator/writer David Wohl, writers Scott Lobdell, Vince Hernandez and Marc Andreyko, plus artists Joe Benitez and Oliver Nome.

Friday, July 29th, 7pm-10pm.  Collector’s Paradise is proud to announce our first adult-only night-time event at the Pasadena store, that will feature music, free Alcohol Drinks, and an awesome release party with some of our favorite creators,  Joshua Hale Fialkov (TUMOR, Elk’s Run, Superman/Batman, Echoes) and Rahsan Ekedal (Echoes, DH Solomon Kane, Warhammer).  We will be EXCLUSIVELY Pre-Releasing the limited San Diego Comic Con edition (300 made) of the ECHOES Hardcover, the only place to find it until the regular edition is released in August.  The event starts at 7pm with a Q&A Session with Josh and Rahsan, hosted by Andrew Leigl of ComicAttack.net, with the signing / party to follow.

Saturday, July 30th, 12pm-3pm.  On Saturday, Collector’s Paradise is proud to host again, for the first time in Pasadena,  one of the store best friends, Richard Starkings, fantastic letterer for many comics published, as well as writer/creator of the fantastic Sci-Fi series, ELEPHANTMEN.  Richard is going to be joined by Boo Cook, one of the artists on the ELEPHANTMEN series. Attendees to the signing will have an opportunity to receive a free J. Scott Campbell ELEPHANTMEN Poster with any Elephantmen purchase during the signing, while supplies last. The poster is very rare, only available at San Diego Comic Con and our event.

In addition to the signings, Collector’s Paradise will have a great sale at the store, starting on Wednesday.  For sale details, please visit the store’s website, ComicsAndCards.net.

Collector’s Paradise Comics & Gallery has been a mainstay in the Southern California Comic Book scene since 1994. In recent years, the store has focused on offering their customers an exceptional experience that goes beyond collecting comic books, from creator appearances, to  proprietary online subscription manager software, and an Art Gallery. The store’s future plans include many new and very different ways to experience the comic book culture. The store recently opened its second branch, in Old Town Pasadena.

SDCC – ICv2 Announces Special Conference on the Future of Comics

Official Press Release

Conference Held in Conjunction With San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC)

San Diego – The ICv2 Comics, Media, and Digital Conference, held in conjunction with SDCC, will bring together thought leaders from the comics, media, and digital worlds to discuss how the two most powerful trends in comics are shaping the future.  Speakers and panelists at the Conference will look at the state of comics now; how comics are being used in other media; how digital comics are interacting with the transmedia uses of comic properties; and a panel discussion on “Comics at Comic-Con 2013,” in which digital, retailing, distribution, and creator panelists will look ahead two years to answer key questions about the future of comics.

“Comics are changing more rapidly and in more profound ways than at any time since the mid-80s,” ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp said. “This Conference can help us understand and profit from the powerful forces that are transforming the industry.”

The ICv2 Comics, Media, and Digital Conference is sponsored by Publisher’s Weekly, Heidi MacDonald’s The Beat, and Media and Entertainment Technologies.

The Conference will be held at the Marriott next to the San Diego Convention Center on Wednesday afternoon, July 20th.  All four sessions of the Conference have now been announced, along with the initial slate of speakers:

 The ICv2 White Paper

This ICv2 White Paper will present a comprehensive look at the comics market and the trends in comics, their media uses, and digital distribution.

Presented by Milton Griepp, ICv2.

 Selling Comics in Hollywood—State of the Market

Panelists including Hollywood agents and managers discuss the market for comic properties in film, TV, and videogames—what types of projects are getting made, and why.

— Scott Agostoni, Agent

— Rick Jacobs, Producer and Manager, Circle of Confusion

— Nick Harris, Co-head of Media Rights, International Creative Management

Digital Comics and Transmedia Properties

Panelists from the comic and digital worlds discuss how awareness from other media is creating unique opportunities to sell digital comics to new customers, and how digital comics are being used to enhance interest and revenues in other media.

— Ted Adams, CEO, IDW Publishing

— Alvin Lu, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Viz Media

— Michael Murphey, CEO, iVerse

— Mike Richardson, CEO, Dark Horse Productions

Comics, Paper and Digital, at Comic-Con 2013

Our panelists look ahead two years to answer key questions about the future of comics. At Comic-Con 2013, what is a comic?  How do consumers buy them?  How are comics tied to other media?  And who were the winners and losers in the previous 24 months?

— Joe Field, President, ComicsPro; and CEO, Flying Colors

— Bill Schanes, Vice President, Diamond Comic Distributors

— David Steinberger, CEO, comiXology

— Mark Waid, Writer and Editor


Additional Information:

For more information on the speakers and panelists at the ICv2 Comics, Media, and Digital Conference, click here.


For more information on the ICv2 Comics, Media, and Digital Conference, including information for press interested attending, click here.


For registration information, click here.


CC 2011 - ICv2 Conference

SDCC – “Deadliest Warrior – Vampires vs. Zombies” Panel Session

Official Press Release

Spike TVdeadliest warriorSpike TV


WHO:    WES CRAVEN (“Scream,” “Nightmare on Elm Street”) – Panelist

        MAX BROOKS (Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z) – Panelist

        STEVE NILES (30 Days of Night) – Panelist

        RICHARD “MACK” MACHOWICZ (“Deadliest Warrior” host) – Panelist

        DR. ARMAND DORIAN (“Deadliest Warrior” host) – Panelist

        RASHA DRACHKOVITCH (“Deadliest Warrior” executive producer) – Panelist

        ROBERT DALY (“Deadliest Warrior”) – Panelist

        GEOFF BOUCHER (LA Times writer, HeroComplex.com founder) – Moderator


Vampires and Zombies have terrorized and tantalized their way through pop culture for decades – from “Dracula” to the “Twilight Saga” to “Walking Dead.”  SPIKE TV and its “DEADLIEST WARRIOR” franchise are going to finally answer the question – which of these mythical creatures would come out on top in a fight to the finish?  “DEADLIEST WARRIOR” steps outside the confines of history for this groundbreaking fantasy episode destined to rouse heated debates amongst fans in the blogosphere for months.  The special episode features an array of icons of film and fiction who are authorities on the topic.  Through these expert interviews, scientific tests and careful analysis, it will be determined who would win in a battle to the death between these two iconic groups, Zombies and Vampires. The “DEADLIEST WARRIOR ” team of Richard “Mack” Machowicz, Dr. Armand Dorian, Rasha Drachkovitch, Robert Daly and special guests Wes Craven, Max Brooks and Steve Niles will be on hand for this special Comic Con panel to make their case for who is, indeed, the fiercest.  Acclaimed Los Angeles Times writer and HeroComplex.com founder Geoff Boucher will serve as moderator.

WHEN:   Thursday, July 21 from 10–11 AM

WHERE:  Room 25ABC

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