San Diego Comic-Con is the big show. For consumers of nerd culture it's E3, the Super Bowl, the Oscars, Cannes and prom night all at once. It's where our people go. Every year it brings together vast crowds of fans of comics, movies, TV shows, toys, games and more to stand in long lines, push through dense crowds and empty their wallets. It makes a lot of people happy. It makes a lot of people money.
But is there anything more to the show than that? Does it occupy an important place in comics culture beyond the value we attach to it for its scale? What is San Diego Comic-Con actually for?
Faith Erin Hicks' 2013 Comic-Con trip was very different from her first. Five years ago she took a "quintessential broke SDCC trip," and this year she was a special guest of the show. Like many in her situation would be, the creator of Friends With Boys and Demonology 101 was in a bit of disbelief about the difference in her experience five years later, so much so that she decided to chronicle her time at 2013 Comic-Con in a series of journal comics. The entire thing is charming and sincere, particularly the parts where she meets Joss Whedon (an idol of hers and the inspiration behind Demonology 101) and the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender, who actually remember Hicks and are familiar with her work, a revelation that causes her head to explode. (Editors Note: Her head did not literally explode).
The luckiest guy in the Marvel Universe has finally landed a solo series! Debuting in November, Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe will be penned by Dr. McNinja cartoonist Christopher Hastings and drawn by Jacopo Camagni, best known for his work on the all-ages Marvel Adventures line. We spoke with Hastings about his work on the series and the special nature -- and haircut -- of his cult favorite protagonist.
To commemorate the 75th birthday of the Man of Steel, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment hosted the "Superman's 75th Anniversary Celebration" panel. On hand to discuss the history, legacy and cultural significance of Superman were a group of writers, artists, actors and filmmakers who've had a lasting effect on the character: Paul Levitz, former DC Comics president; Jack Larson, the original Jimmy Olsen from the 1950's Adventures of Superman; Superman Unchained aritst and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee; All-Star Superman and Action Comics writer Grant Morrison; Tim Daly, the voice of Superman in the 1990's Superman: The Animated Series; Molly Quinn, who voices Supergirl in Superman Unbound; long-time Superman writer and artist Dan Jurgens; Man of Steel co-writer David S. Goyer; and Man of Steel stars Dylan Sprayberry (teenage Clark Kent) and Henry Cavill.
As expected, the room where the panel was held was packed, and many attendees were not able to get in. Fortunately, courtesy of Superman Homepage, the entire panel is now available to view online, and you can check it out after the cut.
I saw a ton of new toy offerings from the usual suspects at Comic-Con, but one new line of toys -- and from a new toy company no less -- that caught my eye was Toy Notch's Lost Planet line. Based on a Capcom's series of third-person shooter video games (Lost Planet 3 is set to drop in August on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC) the line's full of roughly 3.75" soldier characters, two smaller vehicles and a huge mech.
Even though the crowds of Comic-Con International might be a huge hassle, there's one thing that we can all agree on as being well worth the trouble: Burritos. And being able to talk to our favorite creators about their upcoming projects, I guess, but seriously, the burritos out there are amazing. Fortunately for me, I was able to combine both of those things when I grabbed lunch with Joe Keatinge, and we spent the walk back to the convention center chatting about his upcoming Knight story in the Batman Incorporated special, and the launch of Marvel Knights Hulk later this year.
Famed turntablist and DJ Mix Master Mike is known for his solo work, his long career as a contributing member of the Beastie Boys and collaborator with musicians like Travis Barker... to most teens and adults. To younger kids? Well, he may just wind up being known as the musician who made Puffy AmiYumi's 2002-2006 Teen Titans theme song a little easier to dance to for Cartoon Network's new Teen Titans Go!animated series on DC Nation. Taking the stage during the show's Sunday morning panel at Comic-Con last weekend, Mix Master Mike performed the show's new jam while on stage with producer Aaron Horvath and voice actors Scott Menville (Robin), Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), Tara Strong (Raven) and Khary Payton (Cyborg). As the moderator of the panel, CA's own Andy Khouri was on stage to capture Mix Master Mike's performance up close and catch the audience's enjoyment as the cast danced in celebration. You can watch the master at work, after the jump.
On the off chance that you aren't already aware of it through our near-constant coverage, Cartoon Network's Adventure Time is one of our favorite things in the entire universe. The show's unique combination of action, comedy and surprisingly dark content has won over a legion of fans, and raised plenty of questions. Fortunately, San Diego brought us the chance to sit down with John DiMaggio, Olivia Olson, Jeremy Shada and Tom Kinney to talk about their roles, their interaction with fans, and how they feel about fans mashing up their songs with the work of Jay-Z.
When it comes to San Diego Comic-Con, every publisher approaches the show a little bit differently. Whether they house cosplay contests, interactive displays, photo ops with talent, creator signings and/or a whole lot of purchasable product, SDCC booths are an opportunity for the publishers that can attend to make a big impression on one of the most attended pop culture gatherings of the year. You can get a sampling of what publishers like Marvel, DC, Archie, Boom!, IDW, 2000 AD, Dark Horse, Image, Fantagraphics, Oni and others were up to on the show floor of this year's SDCC after the cut.
Godzilla, King Kong and Rodan are going to want to start stocking up on thermal camouflage and acid-shielding; Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts action figure line will be joined by both Aliens and Predators in 2014.
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