This weekend marks the 22nd annual Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the best-regarded pure comic cons and the convention that was my hometown con for many years. In my experience, Heroes has never published a public anti-harassment policy, but that seems to have changed for the better this year, as organizer Shelton Drum issued a policy this year in the form of a personal letter to attendees. The move makes Heroes Con just the latest comics convention to publicly address the pervasive problem of harassment -- both sexual and otherwise -- that takes place at these kinds of events.
Last week, ReedPOP (the company behind New York Comic Con) announced that it would present an event called "New York Super Week" in October -- a ten-day festival of pop media events at venues all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. And while the initial press release was full of hype and excitement, and contained a few intriguing tastes of planned events (Neil DeGrasse Tyson! Podcasts! Concerts!), the announcement came with very little information. There was no language about pricing, ticketing, or other logistics. The just-launched Super Week website contains links to forms so retailers and restaurants/bars can sign up to offer special promotions in association with the festival, as well as a submission form for organizations and individuals to propose events -- but again, concrete details were light on the ground.
As might be expected, this has led to a variety of reactions from the comic and entertainment community. Many welcomed the idea of an expanded event, unbound by the confines of a convention center, while other conversations on websites and social media expressed skepticism about the motivation for crowd-sourcing venues and events, and commented that it seemed like an attempt for ReedPOP to monetize satellite events not actually organized by the company.
ComicsAlliance reached out to Matthew Wasowski, the Festival Director of Super Week, to ask for clarification on some of these issues, and get answers to a few of the questions that have arisen.
SPX, the Small Press Expo, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, it's centering its entire 2014 convention on a much-read -- but not-often-discussed -- type of independent comic: strips from alt-weekly newspapers.
Late last week, organizers announced the first three major guests: Lynda Barry, the cartoonist behind Ernie Pook’s Comeek from The Chicago Reader; Jules Feiffer, the so-called godfather of the alt-weekly newspaper comic, and James Sturm, who co-founded The Onion and Seattle's The Stranger in addition to being an accomplished cartoonist and graphic novelist.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
The comics, sci-fi, gaming and fantasy communities’ talents for homemade disguises, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics are definitely on display this weekend at the first ever Special Edition: NYC, and we were there to check out the show as well as capture some of the stellar cosplay on display.
Mondo, the boutique merchandise arm of the celebrated Austin movie theater the Alamo Drafthouse, has developed a reputation over the years for super-cool movie posters and art prints. Now, it's got a convention to showcase even more cool art.
MondoCon will take place at Austin’s Marchesa Hall & Theater September 20 and 21, and the guest list is pretty amazing: It includes Hellboy creator Mike Mignola (who just created a new, amazing Bride of Frankenstein poster for Mondo), Afterlife With Archie's Francesco Francavilla, revered horror artist Bernie Wrightson, Shaolin Cowboy creator Geof Darrow, ComicsAlliance favorite Jock, Mondo's animated Batman poster designers Phantom City Creative, and a bunch more.
San Diego's Comic-Con International has a problem that it doesn't want to address. See, a few weeks back, a group called GeeksForCONsent launched a petition urging Comic-Con to adopt a formal harassment policy in place of the broad, basically unenforceable "code of conduct" that's currently in place. Like many conventions, SDCC has a huge problem with women -- particularly women cosplayers -- being harassed by other con-goers and dubious media "professionals", and the present policy offers victims little recourse.
If you saw last year's Pacific Rim, then you probably recall that all the giant monster-fighting robots were housed Shatterdomes, sprawling bases that were all set, as the title implies, around the Pacific Ocean. But when you consider the time frame of the movie and the amount of time it spends on explaining the research that humanity had to do to figure out exactly what was going on with all these kaiju, it's easy to imagine that they probably would've built a few East Coast Shatterdomes as well, just in case. Of course, given that all those monsters were, in fact, coming from the Pacific, the folks on those East Coast Shatterdomes would've had an awful lot of free time. And now they're using it to throw a convention.
Or at least, that's my theory on how Shatterdome Atlanta, a one-day convention for Pacific Rim fans being held tomorrow down in Georgia, came to be.
Darwyn Cooke just can't get enough of Richard Stark's Parker.
The writer/artist has already adapted four (five, if you consider that one adaptation, The Outfit, is a combination of two) of the novels author Donald Westlake wrote under the name Richard Stark. Now, Cooke is teaming up with IDW to illustrate new, deluxe editions of those novels starting in June with the first in the series, The Hunter. Attendees at the Toronto Comics and Art Festival next week will have the opportunity to grab The Hunter a bit early, in the form of a super-fancy limited edition.
Marvel went to C2E2 armed with a plethora of publishing announcements for the Chicago crowd, focusing largely on special projects like miniseries and some pretty cool-sounding Original Sin tie-ins, but with a couple auspicious new series as well. In an inspired bit of comic book casting, Our Love Is Real and Avengers A.I. writer Sam Humphries will write the The Legendary Star-Lord, a new series drawn by Paco Medina starring the Guardians of the Galaxy leader. In similarly agreeable news, fan favorite X-Men leader Storm will star in a new ongoing series, this one courtesy of Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez.
As you know from our weekly Best Cosplay Ever feature, we’re big fans of cosplay at ComicsAlliance. The comics, sci-fi, gaming and fantasy communities’ talents for homemade disguises, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics were definitely on display last weekend at C2E2, and you’d better believe we were on hand to document as much as we can.
Also known as the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, C2E2 has come and gone, but memories of its plentiful colorful cosplayers needn’t only live on in your hearts. We’ve assembled a gallery of the show’s costumed fans we met at Chicago's McCormick Place convention facility.