Tag Archives: chicago

Atlas Comics Returns to Chicago September 30th

Atlas Comics, a fixture of the Chicago-area pop culture retail community for 25 years will return to a new retail space at 5251 N. Harlem Avenue in Chicago, just miles from their old location. The store lost the lease to its suburban Norridge store in 2013 and migrated to online and subscription-only business. After a four year hiatus, Atlas will have its Grand Re-opening from 12:00 – 6:00pm on Saturday, September 30th.

According to Atlas owner John Stangeland, the store will be a little different than it once was. “We were always known as the place for vintage back issues,” he said. “And we’ll still have a deep inventory of classic comics. But the industry is changing, and Atlas needs to do the same thing. That means providing a larger selection of graphic novels in a variety of genres from all over the world, and casting a wider net over the pop-culture landscape. And it means more toys and gaming, too.” In addition, Stangeland promised that the general ambiance of the shop will be upgraded. “I think there will be a little less Tchiakovsky and a little more Ramones,” he said. “The customers have been punished enough.”
Asked why he decided to return now, Stangeland was enthusiastic. “It’s just the right time. I was a little burned out before,” he said, “but I got the itch back. The recent movies have been great, lots of interesting new creators, new publishers – it’s a very exciting time. I want to be in the thick of it again.”

Opening day will feature free comics and giveaways, a sale including thousands of comics priced $1 or less, discounts on vintage back issues, supplies, toys, games and memorabilia, and around the clock music, movies and cartoons. There will also be food (catered), drink (lots of it) and conversation (cheap).

For more information on opening day and store hours visit their Facebook page or website or call 708 453-2110.

The Sights, Sounds (and Selfies) of C2E2 2017

Four years after I first visited it as a 19 year old journalist, I returned to C2E2 in 2017 to a much more crowded show floor and a world where a monosyllabic tree and a talking raccoon, not Iron Man were the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe. Most of my C2E2 was spent wandering around Artist’s Alley, chatting with creators/fellow fans/Twitter friends, and trying to not get lost.

One reason I love C2E2 is that they bring in excellent comics guests to balance the celebrities and their overpriced autographs. ($100 for Stan Lee. Come on!) There’s everyone from the very friendly and passionate webcomic creator Ngozi Ukazu from Check Please! to veteran writers, like Greg Rucka and Kieron Gillen, and I found myself flipping from Archie to Black Mask and occasionally a side of the Big Two while walking around. The Artist’s Alley is the beating heart of the con even though C2E2 also has two quite large gaming areas for console gamers and tabletop fans, and the Weta Workshop truly spoke to the Lord of the Rings nerd in me.

Here is a gallery of pictures of my C2E2 2017 experience starting with the Captain Marvel cosplayer I met while waiting for the shuttle bus and ending with a moment where I felt like a comic book character. (Dionysus from The Wicked + the Divine #8 aka the rave issue to be specific.)

 

 

 

Six Things at C2E2 I’m Most Excited About

I love C2E2, not just because it’s located in the great city of Chicago, home of the best pizza, rappers, and (As of this writing.) basketball team in the world. C2E2 one of the few big time cons that still focuses on comic books and their creators, not just celebrities and movie trailers. It’s also the first comic book convention that I attended many moons ago in 2013 when I strode into the press lounge asking how to interview a comic book creator and frantically texting my editor. But it was a great time, and I got to see some of my heroes, including Felicia Day, comic book painter demigod Alex Ross, Kieron Gillen, and the very kind Doctor Who and Wolverine writer Paul Cornell.

I am very excited to return to C2E2 in 2017 and bask in the glow of comic book fans, creators, and publishers. Here are six things you should check out at (or after) the show, which runs from Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23.

  1. C2E2 Exclusive Variants/Comics

At their most primal (and capitalist) level, cons are about buying stuff that we think is cool. Whether that’s a celebrity pretending to care about us for sixty seconds, a print by our favorite artist, or a replica of Mjolnir because we have a god complex. One thing I love about comic book conventions is the opportunity to get special covers of comic books. It can be a snapshot reminder of meeting a certain creator, having an artist draw a character you like, or a bit of both like when I picked up Joe Quinones’ Serenity: Leaves of the Wind variant at Baltimore Comic Con in 2014. (Mal and Inara drawn like a pulp novel cover equals major heart eyes.)

Number one on my list of special comics to pick up at C2E2 is an exclusive early copy of Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss’ hilarious 80s period piece/crime comic Four Kids Walk Into A Bank #4, published by Black Mask Studios. There are only 66 copies of this comic, which features a cover by We Can Never Go Home so get to their booth quickly, and all proceeds to go to the anti-gun violence charity, CeaseFire Illinois. You get to read a cool comic early and help an important cause. Some other comics worth checking out are horror maestro Rafael Albuquerque’s variant for the new Alien: Dead Orbit series, Scott Hampton’s classic fantasy style cover for American Gods #1, Matt Wagner’s creepy Joker-centric cover for The Dark Knight III #1, and Mike Allred doing Flash of Two Worlds Harley Quinn #1 style.

And if you’re a huge Lord of the Rings geek and have money to burn, you could always grab an exclusive Helm of Sauron from Chicago Costume…

2. The Valiant X-O Manowar Release Party (And General Con Presence)

The resurrection of Valiant Entertainment as a publisher has been one of the great comics success stories of the past five years. And they have quite the C2E2 planned with everything from a special beer to commemorate the launch of X-O Manowar #1 by Matt Kindt and my favorite Conan artist Tomas Giorello to Bloodshot coffee mugs.

Valiant is doing a full spread of panels, including ones about X-O Manowar’s past, present, and future as their flagship book and one about the upcoming Harbinger Wars 2 crossover with never seen before art and information about this book, which will affect almost all Valiant titles, including Faith. There’s also an early look at Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universea live action webseries featuring many Valiant heroes, like Ninjak, who will be played by Jason David Frank. (The former Green Power Ranger.)

And to cap things off, there’s the X-O Manowar #1 release party held at 7 PM on Friday at the Cobra Lounge. The party is also celebrating the release of Pipeworks Brewing Company’s X-O Manowar Galactic Golden Ale and has a $5 cover charge that will be donated to the suicide prevention charity, Hope for the Day. Comics and craft  beer are an excellent combination, and maybe you’ll spot Valiant’s famous ale and wine swilling immortal, Armstrong, at the party.

I HATE FAIRYLAND

3. Image Comics Panels

Image Comics is home for some of the creative comics of the 2010s in a variety of genres from dystopian science fiction (Bitch Planet) to space opera (Saga), urban fantasy (The Wicked + the Divine), and even sex comedy (Sex Criminals) and autobiography (Self-Obsessed). And all of Image’s books are owned by their creators.

One place to see all of your favorite Image creators at one place is at various panels. The one I’m looking forward to most is  “Image Comics Presents: Storytelling Essentials”, which will be held on Saturday at 11:15 AM and is a general chat about craft, influences, and inspirations. The panel lineup is pretty stacked and includes up and coming writer Donny Cates (God Country), queen of all colorists Jordie Bellaire (Injection), artist of all the pretty people Jamie McKelvie (WicDiv), the legend Greg Rucka (The Old Guard), the artist with one of the cleanest lines in comics Declan Shalvey (Injection), and writer/artist of adorable superhero babies and demented fairy tale characters Skottie Young (I Hate Fairyland).

I can’t wait to hear the interactions between this eclectic group of creators, who demonstrate on a daily basis that comics are much more than superheroes, and artists and colorists are equal, if not superior participants to writers in the creative process.

4. Weta Workshop Awesomeness

Before I got into comics, I was a huge (and still am) J.R.R. Tolkien and Lord of the Rings nerd. They weren’t splashed on the covers of Entertainment Weekly and People, like the trilogy’s stars and Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson, but the visual effects and makeup team at Wellington, New Zealand’s Weta Workshop truly brought the denizens of Middle Earth to life in both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Plus they’re named after a prehistoric, resilient cricket that only lives in New Zealand.

Weta is also responsible for crafting the worlds of Narnia, the Planet of the Apes, Mad Max Fury Road, and the upcoming Thor Ragnarok and excels at both practical effects and CGI. One thing that they are especially known for is creating large scale miniatures, like the ones of Minas Tirith, Helm’s Deep, and the dark fortress of Barad-Dur in Lord of the Rings as well as the Great Wall of China in the recent 2017 Matt Damon film with the same name.

And lucky for fans of science fiction and fantasy, they have booth and panel at C2E2 where you can geek out over Gollum, King Kong, Elven blades, or Power Ranger suits and check out the company’s portfolio and history. As icing on the cake, you can see a live makeup “transformation” featuring Warren Dion-Smith. Basically, you will see how flesh and blood human beings become orcs live and in person. The panel is at 2:30 PM on Sunday.

5. Mike Colter Panel

Marvel Studios is bringing several of the actors from their TV shows to C2E2, including Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge, who play the adorable, quirky British agents in Agents of SHIELD, the Kingpin of crime himself Vincen D’Onofrio, and finally, Mike Colter, who played Luke Cage in Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and will reprise his role in the upcoming Netflix series, The Defenders. Before playing the hero formerly known as Power Man, Colter was a crime lord in CBS’ The Good Wife and had roles in The Following and American Horror Story: Coven.

Colter’s appearance at C2E2 is almost perfectly timed as a bulletproof, black superhero is a powerful image for the United States in 2017. We currently have an Attorney General in Jeff Sessions, who has disparaged the NAACP and was considered by Coretta Scott King to be too racist for a federal judge and is one of many cabinet members and high ranking racist, xenophobic (usually) men that run this country. By standing up for his community of Harlem against corruption, Luke Cage is a symbol of hope in this dark time, and Mike Colter embodies him perfectly by playing him with a wonderful mix of physical presence, understated politeness, and a touch of rage in the middle of battle.

And, on a pure fan level, it will be interesting to see how much (or little) Mike Colter is allowed to say about Defenders, which is coming out in about four months. I am intrigued to see if he has anything to say about working with Finn Jones’ Iron Fist, and if they had any of the chemistry that Luke Cage and Danny Rand had in the comics. Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage were all enjoyable shows, and the environment in this panel room is bound to electric with anticipation for their team-up in Defenders with the audience hanging on every crumb of information Colter doles out about the upcoming show.

6. WicDiv Panel and Exclusive Merchandise

If you have read my work at all, you know that I wouldn’t end an article about a comic convention without bumping The Wicked + the Divine, which is my favorite current comic. Writer Kieron Gillen is making his first appearance at C2E2 since 2013, which was the glory days of Young Avengers, and artist Jamie McKelvie is going to his first C2E2 ever. They are bringing some exclusive merch, including pins of a death skull and Persephone’s hand and a very metal Baphomet t-shirt. Wearing this shirt instantly gives you the superpowers of ripped abs, Andrew Eldritch sunglasses, and fire swords.

And it’s kind of fitting that the WicDiv panel is being held on Sunday as fellow fans, er, worshipers of the Pantheon can join together and air out our feelings about the bittersweet ending to the “Imperial Phase” arc and get ready for the WicDiv #455 featuring the gods of ancient Rome. The panel is at 2:30 PM and will most likely have some glorious cosplay.

And that is my highly subjective list of the six coolest things to do at C2E2. Remember to stay hydrated, pack a portable phone charger, and take plenty of selfies with your favorite comic book creators and fans of general awesome things.

Review: Deathstroke #11

deathstroke11coverIn Deathstroke #11, writer Priest and a stellar guest art team of Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and regular colorist Jeromy Cox tackle the problem of gun violence. The story is set in Chicago, and Priest does his usual non-linear narrative thing switching from neighborhood to neighborhood and getting a variety of perspectives on how Chicago can have less homicides. Is it okay to take revenge on your killer’s children with your own gun, or the gun of a mercenary? Priest and Cowan explore this question through the specific lens of the city of Chicago in a scratchily inked (Sienkiewicz is kind of the best at this.) mystery yarn.

Deathstroke #11 is a master class in both how to tell a story that is both engaging and socially relevant in a non-preachy way and with an O. Henry twist ending. Priest’s writing gives insights into the characters of Detective Gill, the journalist Jack Ryder who has been following Deathstroke since he was responsible for a string of killings in Philadelphia, and the mysterious reverend. He focuses on ideas and characterization while letting Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz seed in visual clues about who has been killing the child killers in Chicago.

Cowan and Sienkiewicz’s artwork feels like a talented lead guitarist and rhythm guitarist trading riffs and creating a flawless wall of sound. Except nothing about the artwork of Deathstroke #11 is smooth or refined with Cowan going for gritty almost photorealism with his figures and backgrounds, and Sienkiewicz adding crosshatching and thin lines. Jeromy Cox adds splashes of red when Deathstroke makes his kills, an exclamation point in the wintry gloom. Yes, there is a lot of snow in this comic, and you can feel the subzero Chicago temperatures on almost every page. And when Creeper shows up, Cowan channels George Perez, Cox assaults our eyeballs with Christmas-like reds and greens, but the scratchy inks are still there because this is definitely not an issue of New Teen Titans.

deathstroke11interior

Creeper himself is an agent of chaos, who literally won’t die and messes with Priest’s  procedural-meets-journalism with little eruptions of violence tone. Jack Ryder is a kind of oblivious, kind of empathetic investigative journalist and keeps the narrative as the facts keep changing with victims and murderers switching, and the urban legend of Deathstroke lurking in the background. He centers the narrative until he transforms into a straight up freak hellbent on violence. This might be a bit of a logical leap, but I think that Creeper symbolizes using over-the-top violence to stop crime in the United States. Like the tanks in Ferguson after Trayvon Martin was killed, or Donald Trump tweeting about sending “the Feds” to Chicago when he was too afraid to even give a speech there while campaigning. It’s tone deaf destruction and noise like Creeper’s over the top dialogue, or George Zimmerman’s repeated 911 calls, and doesn’t even come close to helping out.

Priest and Cowan face the intersection of racism and gun usage head on in Deathstroke #11. Why are Oregon militamen who occupy a wildlife sanctuary for 41 days and leave shit, bombs, and guns behind for government employees to clean up, and a police officer who shot a 12 year old boy in Cleveland  named Tamir Rice acquitted? It’s white privilege plain and simple, and Priest echoes that in the dialogue of the mothers of the dead children in Deathstroke #11. They just want justice for their kids even if they have to spend their hard earned money on a masked assassin. Their desperate straits makes you sympathize with them even if the killings by Deathstroke in the comic are horrific like a jarring image of a fireman’s ax in a rich white man, who sent his secretary to buy his drugs in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. Vigilante justice is cathartic, yet hollow, but again Priest doesn’t go the “message route” and ends the story on an ambiguous line of dialogue to go with Cowan’s pure black and white art.

Deathstroke #11 is an intelligent, tightly plotted, and well-researched piece of vigilante fiction from Priest, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Jeromy Cox aka the comic book equivalent of the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls starting lineup  It’s worth picking up even if you don’t know your Deathstrokes from your Deadshots (Or Deadpools.) and rewards rereading.

Story: Priest Pencils: Denys Cowan Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz Colors: Jeromy Cox
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Glenn Head’s comix memoir Chicago

From Harvey and Eisner-nominated cartoonist and editor Glenn Head and acclaimed publisher Fantagraphics Books comes Chicago, a harrowing graphic novel about sex, art and the search for authenticity. Starkly confessional, Head’s memoir chronicles his transformation from a 19-year-old virgin who hates his family and lives at home to a successful Brooklyn-based cartoonist who’s raising his daughter as a single dad. The journey along the way? It’s complicated and messy, uncomfortable and unforgettable.

Glenn Head’s life is full of contradictions. He meets the girl of his dreams…. only to lose her when she runs away from their hometown. He’s a promising artist at the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Art…  but chafes at his restraints and drops out. He gets his first big cartooning break when he’s hired to do a spot illustration for Playboy Magazine…. but he’s homeless, depressed and adrift. His days are increasingly spent dodging street hustlers, ducking the police, fighting starvation—surviving at any cost. In sharp contrast are a dramatic confrontation with Muhammad Ali on the Chicago streets and his introduction to Robert Crumb at a dinner party, two events which hint at a world bigger than the one he knows.

When Glenn bottoms out, he plays with his father’s .38 revolver. Is he suicidal? The book offers no easy answers. But Glenn spins the chamber and raises the handgun….just to see. Like Jim Carroll’s The Basketball Diaries, Chicago tells the story of a troubled young man who rejects a conventional life but does so with a frankness and surrealism all its own.

A student of Art Spiegelman at the School for Visual Art in the early ‘80s, Glenn has edited the acclaimed comix anthologies Hot Wire and Snake Eyes. His cartooning has appeared in R. Crumb’s Wierdo Magazine and Bad News and his comix include Avenue D, Guttersnipe Comix and Head Shots. His comics and illustrations have appeared in a wide array of publications, including Advertising Age, Screw, Sports Illustrated and The Wall Street Journal. This week Fantagraphics Books will publish Chicago, Glenn Head’s first major original graphic novel and the first major standalone work of his career.

CHICAGO

Around the Tubes

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As we prepare for a hurricane (seriously, an earthquake and now this!?) and catch up on writing reviews and reading a few weeks worth of comics, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – Jim Lee, Geoff Johns Morning Radio Show Blitz Beginning Tomorrow – With a week to go, better late than never.

ICv2 – Showtime Gets ‘The Damned’ – This has been sitting on my shelf for a while now.  Guess I should finally read it.

Con Coverage:

Bleeding Cool – Wizard World Chicago Vs Baltimore Comic Con As Seen From Artists Alley

CBR – Orlando MegaCon Announces Initial 2012 Guest Lineup

Hollywood Soapbox – YOUR GUIDE: FanExpo Canada comes to Toronto, Aug. 25-28

Bleeding Cool – Collectors Cornered #6 – The Big Baltimore Comic Con

The Mary Sue – Baltimore Comic Con Cosplay

The Mary Sue – Interview: Frank Cho at Baltimore Comic Con

The Mary Sue – Interview: Amanda Conner at Baltimore Comic Con

MTV Geek – FanExpo Canada Starts Today – Here’s What We’re Looking Forward To!

MTV Geek – PAX Prime Primer: Your Guide to Tabletop Gaming

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – Punisher #2

Saffron Walden Reporter – Turf

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 8/24/11

Anthony Michael Hall To Attend Chicago Comic Con

Official Press Release

From The ‘Brat Pack’ To ‘The Dead Zone’:  Anthony Michael Hall To Attend Wizard World Chicago Comic Con

Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Stephen King’s Dead Zone Actor Joins Patrick Stewart, Bruce Campbell, Christopher Lloyd, Morena Baccarin, 500+ Celebrities And Artists At Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, August 11-14

NEW YORK and ROSEMONT, Ill., July 8, 2011 – Actor Anthony Michael Hall, who gained fame for roles in 1980’s “Brat Pack” films SIXTEEN CANDLES and THE BREAKFAST CLUB and later starred in “Stephen King’s Dead Zone” among dozens of film and television credits, will attend Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, August 11-14.  Hall joins such other distinguished celebrities as Patrick Stewart, Bruce Campbell, Christopher Lloyd, Morena Baccarin, Felicia Day, Academy Award Winner® Lou Gossett Jr. and James Marsters at the event, which will bring together thousands of fans of all ages and dozens of celebrities and industry professionals to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.

Hall began his career in commercials and on stage as a child, and made his screen debut in 1980. His films with director-screenwriter John Hughes, beginning with the popular 1984 coming-of-age comedy SIXTEEN CANDLES, shaped his early career. Hall’s next movies with Hughes were the teen classics THE BREAKFAST CLUB and WEIRD SCIENCE, both in 1985.  His performances as lovable geeks in these three films connected his name and face with the stereotype for an entire generation.

Hall diversified his roles to avoid becoming typecast as his geek persona, joining the cast of “Saturday Night Live” (1985–1986) and starring in films such as OUT OF BOUNDS (1986), JOHNNY BE GOOD (1988), EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990) and SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION (1993). After a series of minor roles in the 1990s, he starred as Microsoft’s Bill Gates in the 1999 television film “Pirates of Silicon Valley” and played pitcher Whitey Ford in Billy Crystal’s “61*.” He had the leading role in the USA Network series “The Dead Zone,” from  2002 to 2007.  During its run, the show was one of the highest-rated cable television series.

Chicago Comic Con is the seventh stop on Wizard World’s 2011 North American tour.  Hours are Thursday, August 11, 5 – 9 p.m.; Friday, August 12, noon – 8 p.m.; Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, August 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Tickets are available in advance online at http://www.wizardworld.com/chicago.html at a savings over tickets purchased at the door.  Advance adult single-day tickets are priced at $25 ($35 on site); four-day all-session tickets are $50 ($60 on site), and tickets are free for children age 10 and under when accompanied by a paid adult (limit two children per adult).  VIP packages with special entry and exclusive items are also available on a limited basis.

About Wizard World:
Wizard World produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests. Wizard World also produces Wizard World Digital, an online publication covering new and upcoming products and talents in the pop culture world, and is distributed on a weekly basis to online and iPad users worldwide.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

***** SAVE THE 2011/12 DATES *****
August 11-14, 2011 – Chicago Comic Con
September 24-25, 2011 – Los Angeles Comic Con
October 22-23, 2011 – Mid-Ohio Comic Con
November 11-13, 2011 – Austin Comic Con
January 28-29, 2012 – New Orleans Comic Con
March 24-25, 2012 – Toronto Comic Con
April 28-29, 2012 – Anaheim Comic Con
May 19-20, 2012 – Big Apple Comic Con
June 1-3, 2012 – Philadelphia Comic Con
October 2012  – New England Comic Con
December 8-9, 2012 – Miami Comic Con

Stewart, Campbell, Lloyd, Baccarin Headline Chicago Comic Con Aug. 11-14

Official Press Release

Patrick Stewart, Bruce Campbell, Christopher Lloyd, Morena Baccarin, Felicia Day, James Marsters Among Headliners At Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 11-12-13-14 At Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

Ray Park, Julie Benz, Charisma Carpenter, Colin Ferguson, Lou Gossett Jr., Vivica A. Fox, Mimi Rogers, Among 500+ Celebrity Guests, Leading Comics Artists & Creators Scheduled To Appear

NEW YORK and ROSEMONT, Ill., June 22, 2011 – North America’s largest pop-culture tour continues as Wizard World Chicago Comic Con returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, August 11-14, with superstar guests Patrick Stewart, Bruce Campbell, Christopher Lloyd, Morena Baccarin, Felicia Day, Academy Award Winner® Lou Gossett Jr. and James Marsters headlining the list of celebrity attendees.  The event will bring together thousands of fans of all ages and dozens of celebrities and industry professionals to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.

Stewart (X-MEN, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) will attend on Friday and Saturday only.  Campbell (“Burn Notice,” ARMY OF DARKNESS) and Day (“The Guild,” “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”) are scheduled to appear on Saturday and Sunday.  The three-time Emmy Award winner Lloyd (BACK TO THE FUTURE, “Taxi”) and Baccarin (“V,” “Stargate SG-1”) will be available on Saturday only.  Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Caprica”) is scheduled for Friday through Sunday.

Morena Baccarin (photo: Adriana Piltz)“Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is our longest running event, and we are excited to be bringing our most star-studded field of celebrities and artists ever to the Stephens Convention Center,” said Gareb Shamus, Wizard World CEO.  “The show has huge stars like Patrick Stewart and Christopher Lloyd who are known all over the world, and, as always, features guests from some of the most popular film, TV and comics franchises like Star Wars, Buffy and Spider-Man.  This is by far the largest pop-culture event in the region, and the fans, vendors, guests and other attendees have rewarded us by coming in more record numbers every year.”

Wizard World Chicago is also an incredible place to meet and get sketches and autographs from some of the top international creators, many of whom rarely, if ever, appear in the U.S. This includes Mike Deodato Jr. (Brazil), Eduardo Risso (Argentina), Humberto Ramos (Mexico), Mico Suayan (Phillipines), Will Conrad (Brazil), Ariel Olivetti (Argentina), Pia Guerra (Canada) and more.

Wizard World also has a massive number of top comics creators scheduled for Artist Alley, such as Jim Cheung (“Avengers,” “Uncanny X-Men”), Brian Azzarello (writer, “Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance,” “100 Bullets”), Dave Johnson (“Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance, 100 Bullets”), Patrick Gleason (“Batman and Robin”), Michael Golden (“Spider-Man,” “Hulk”), William Stout (Paleontological Artist), Larry Elmore (“Magic: The Gathering”), Ben Templesmith (“30 Days of Night”), Greg Horn (“Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,” “Hero For Hire”), Freddie Williams II (“JSA All-Stars”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”) and hundreds of others.

In addition to Gossett Jr., the Chicago Comic Con celebrity roster includes a bevy of major award winners and nominees, including Emmy Award Winners LeVar Burton (“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” ROOTS), Peter Tork (“The Monkees”) and Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons”), Emmy Award Nominees Mimi Rogers (AUSTIN POWERS, “The X-Files,”) and Pam Grier (“Smallville,” “The L Word”), Grammy Award Winner Tia Carrere (WAYNE’S WORLD, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Tony Award Honoree Dan Fogler (BALLS OF FURY, GOOD LUCK CHUCK).

Other popular celebrity guests scheduled to be on hand at the event include Julie Benz (“Buffy: The Vampire Slayer,” “Desperate Housewives”), Charisma Carpenter (“Buffy: The Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”), Colin Ferguson (“Eureka,” THE OPPOSITE OF SEX), Vivica A. Fox (KILL BILL VOL. 1 and VOL. 2, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Kai Owen (“Torchwood,” “Fun at the Funeral Parlour”), Ray Park (STAR WARS: EPISODE 1, X-MEN), Gareth David-Lloyd (“Torchwood,” SHERLOCK HOLMES), Alaina Huffman (“Smallville,” “SGU Stargate Universe”), Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk,” “The King of Queens,”) and James C. Burns (voice actor, “Call of Duty: Black Ops”).  BOONDOCK SAINTS co-stars Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery will also reunite at the event.

The convention center floor will also feature several famous TV and movie vehicles for fans to pose with, including the Batmobile (original “Batman” series), DeLorean Time Machine (BACK TO THE FUTURE), The Mystery Machine (SCOOBY DOO) and Ecto-1 (GHOSTBUSTERS).

Children and adult attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite villain, superhero or pop culture personality for the chance to win special prizes in costume contests.  Event-goers may also try their hand interactive product exhibits and shop for collectible comics, movie and television memorabilia, toys and games at more than 200 dealer booths.

And Sunday, August 14, is Kids Day at Chicago Comic Con, with face painting, balloons, a “passport” treasure hunt and other activities designed especially for kids!  Other special events include card gaming tournaments, professional photo opportunities (Photo Ops) and more.

Chicago Comic Con is the seventh stop on Wizard World’s 2011 North American tour.  Hours are Thursday, August 11, 5 – 9 p.m.; Friday, August 12, noon – 8 p.m.; Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, August 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Tickets are available in advance online at http://www.wizardworld.com/chicago.html at a savings over tickets purchased at the door.  Advance adult single-day tickets are priced at $25 ($35 on site); four-day all-session tickets are $50 ($60 on site), and tickets are free for children age 10 and under when accompanied by a paid adult (limit two children per adult).  VIP packages with special entry and exclusive items are also available on a limited basis.

About Wizard World:
Wizard World produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests. Wizard World also produces Wizard World Digital, an online publication covering new and upcoming products and talents in the pop culture world, and is distributed on a weekly basis to online and iPad users worldwide.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

***** SAVE THE 2011/12 DATES *****
August 11-14 – Chicago Comic Con
September 17-18  – New England Comic Con
September 24-25 – Los Angeles Comic Con
October 22-23 – Mid-Ohio Comic Con
October 28-30 – Central Canada Comic Con (C4)
November 11-13 – Austin Comic Con
January 28-29, 2012 – New Orleans Comic Con
March 23-25, 2012 – Toronto Comic Con
April 27-29, 2012 – Anaheim Comic Con
May 19-20, 2012 – Big Apple Comic Con
June 1-3, 2012 – Philadelphia Comic Con
December 8-9, 2012 – Miami Comic Con

Chester Brown’s Paying For It: Chi, NYC, Mtl, Van & Seattle

Official Press Release

CHESTER BROWN’S PAYING FOR IT IN STORES NOW

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR STARTS TOMORROW!

SLIDE SHOW, CONVERSATION & SIGNING
ON THE MOST TALKED ABOUT GRAPHIC NOVEL OF 2011

WEDNESDAY MAY 11 | CHICAGO | QUIMBYS | 7 PM
THURSDAY MAY 12 | NYC | THE STRAND | 7 PM
WITH TRACY QUAN & BENJAMEN WALKER
SATURDAY MAY 14 | MONTREAL | D+Q LIBRAIRIE | 7 PM
WEDNESDAY MAY 18 | VANCOUVER | VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY | 7 PM WITH LUCKY’S
THURSDAY MAY 19 | SEATTLE | ELLIOTT BAY | 8 PM
JULY 22-25 | SAN DIEGO | COMIC-CON INTL
SEPT 10-11 | BETHESDA | SPX

“Brown’s subject is inherently fascinating—who’s not a little curious about other people’s sex lives?—and his cartooning skills are as sharp as ever.”–ONION AV CLUB

“[Paying for It] registers less as a memoir than as a thoughtful, if contentious, treatise.”–WALRUS

“[Paying for It] somehow manages to be about more than just its author’s journey into john-dom, wrangling with issues such as the nature of love and sexual attraction, all thanks to Brown’s almost-fiendish command of the medium.”–GLOBE & MAIL

“Chester Brown’s graphic novel Paying For It is that rare thing, a john testifying outside of the courtroom.”–NATIONAL POST

“PAYING FOR IT is as personal as you can get. It’s a clear-eyed, not-even-slightly-erotic, compulsively
readable, sometimes painfully honest account of his time, reasons and experiences paying for sex…
PAYING FOR IT is the kind of book that will engage your mind and force you to think about things in ways you may never have done before.”–NEIL GAIMAN

“In PAYING FOR IT, Chester Brown not only makes a compelling case for the decriminalization of sex work but he also seems like an excellent client. Sex workers and sex worker rights advocates couldn’t ask for a better ally. A must read in the canon of sensible and sensitive voices making a case against prurient ideology-based rhetoric about consensual sexual behaviour.” –SASHA (Nationally syndicated sex columnist)

“Chester Brown is perhaps the most transparent, honest and relevant voice remaining in contemporary comics, and this is, to my mind, his most powerful and affecting work to date. PAYING FOR IT explores life in the world’s oldest customer-base, and does so with heart, intelligence, and a complete lack of sentiment or self-justification. Rewarding repeated readings, this book will love you long time.” –ALAN MOORE

“PAYING FOR IT is a great comic book, maybe Chester Brown’s best work to date.” –R. CRUMB

Chester Brown has never shied away from tacking controversial subjects in his work. In his 1992 book, THE PLAYBOY, he explored his personal history with pornography. His bestselling 2003 graphic novel, LOUIS RIEL, was a biographical examination of an extreme political figure. The book won wide acclaim and cemented Brown’s reputation as a true innovator. Featuring an introduction by R. Crumb, PAYING FOR IT is a natural progression for Brown as it combines the personal and the sexual aspects of his autobiographical work with the polemical drive of LOUIS RIEL. Brown calmly lays out the facts for us of how he became, not only a willing participant, but a vocal proponent of one of the world’s most hot button topics —prostitution. While this may appear overtly sensational and just plain implausible to some, Brown’s story stands for itself. PAYING FOR IT offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work from the timid john who rides his bike to his escorts, wonders how to tip so as not to offend, and reads Dan Savage for advice, to the modern day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of cliché depictions of street corners, drugs, or pimps. Complete with a surprise ending, PAYING FOR IT provides endless debate and conversation about sex work and will be the most talked about graphic novel of 2011.

Chester Brown On Tour In May

Official Press Release
Previews

CHESTER BROWN ON TOUR FOR “PAYING FOR IT” THIS MAY

TORONTO, CHICAGO, NYC, MONTREAL, VANCOUVER, SEATTLE

Chester_brown_self_portrait

It’s tempting to call Chester Brown a recluse, but if you live in Toronto, he’s not. But it is rare for him to hit the road, and he will be on tour in 2011 for PAYING FOR IT, with more dates to be announced. But for now, mark your calendar….
TORONTO | Sunday, May 1st | Goodhandy’s | With Sasha
TORONTO | Sat & Sun May May 7th-8th | TCAF
CHICAGO | Wed May 11th | Quimby’s
NYC | Thursday May 12th | Strand | With Tracy Quan
MONTREAL | Saturday May 14th | Librairie D+Q
VANCOUVER | Wed May 18th | Vancouver Public Library | With Lucky’s
SEATTLE | Thur May 19th | Elliot Bay

Paying

Chester Brown has never shied away from tackling controversial subjects in his work. As the cartoonist of the autobiographical The Playboy and the biography Louis Riel, Paying For It is a natural progression for Brown as it combines the personal and sexual aspects of his autobiographical work with the polemical drive of Louis Riel. Brown calmly lays out the facts of how he became not only a willing participant in but also a vocal proponent of one of the world’s most hot-button topics–prostitution. Paying For It offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work–from the timid john who rides his bike to meet his escorts, wonders how to tip so as not to offend, and reads Dan Savage for advice, to the modern-day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of cliches street corners, drugs, or primps.

Paying For It is a book that stands for itself and will be the most talked about graphic novel of 2011. In stores this May.

Hardcover, 5.5 x 7.5, Black & White, 272 pages, ISBN: 9781770460485, $24.95 US / $25.95 CDN

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT “PAYING FOR IT”

Paying

“PAYING FOR IT is a very enlightening book, as well as being entertaining…{Chester Brown} is a very skillfull artist in that way.”–R. CRUMB, from his introduction to PAYING FOR IT

“In PAYING FOR IT, Chester Brown not only makes a compelling case for the decriminalization of sex work but he also seems like an excellent client. Sex workers and sex worker rights advocates couldn’t ask for a better ally. A must read in the canon of sensible and sensitive voices making a case against prurient ideology-based rhetoric about consensual sexual behaviour.”–SASHA, Nationally syndicated sex columnist, playwright and sex worker rights activist.

“The self-aware john, a quirky and surprisingly realistic guy, is everywhere, but he’s also been silent and overshadowed by his belligerent deluded brothers. PAYING FOR IT is a fascinating modern (and enjoyable) response to that anonymous Victorian sex classic My Secret Life. The characters encountered here evoke Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Chester Brown’s emotional honesty is riveting. This is what sex ed looks like when we refuse to stop learning.”–TRACY QUAN, author of Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl and Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl

“Chester Brown is perhaps the most transparent, honest and relevant voice remaining in contemporary comics, and this is, to my mind, his most powerful and affecting work to date. PAYING FOR IT explores life in the world’s oldest customer-base, and does so with heart, intelligence, and a complete lack of sentiment or self-justification. Rewarding repeated readings, this book will love you long time.” –ALAN MOORE

“I’ve loved Chester Brown’s work since the early days of Yummy Fur. He started out as a remarkable cartoonist telling strange stories that slowly became, over time, increasingly personal.

PAYING FOR IT is as personal as you can get. It’s a clear-eyed, not-even-slightly-erotic, compulsively readable, sometimes painfully honest account of his time, reasons and experiences paying for sex. I learned things about Chester from reading this, and I learned things about sex-workers, and about the world, and, oddly, I think I learned things about myself.

The argument about when or whether comics had grown up ended when people started making comics for grown-ups. This is one of them. PAYING FOR IT is the kind of book that will engage your mind and force you to think about things in ways you may never have done before. Chester would probably like that. And if you find yourself arguing with the page, or with the author’s notes, I think Chester would probably like that too.”–NEIL GAIMAN

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