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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: SDCC, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 59
1. SDCC ZombieWalk hit-and-run driver found guilty

Matthew Pocci, a Comic-Con volunteer who ran over a woman during the 2014 SDCC ZombieWalk was found guilty yesterday and now faced up to three years in prison. The jury deliberated only a day to reach its verdict. Pocci, who is deaf, was leaving the convention center and become caught in a crush of people […]

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2. SDCC ’15: We talk cape snaps, controversy and cons with the Batgirl of Burnside team

At SDCC '15 I talked with the Burnside Batgirl crew about their creative origins, how the look that launched a thousand cosplays came to be, how to handle creative criticism, and their earliest con experiences.

0 Comments on SDCC ’15: We talk cape snaps, controversy and cons with the Batgirl of Burnside team as of 7/24/2015 9:02:00 PM
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3. SDCC ’15: New Eighth Doctor series and holiday special announced at Titan Doctor Who comics panel

photo (2)

UK based Titan Comics brought plenty of Doctor Who comic news across the pond for their appearance at SDCC. In addition to assembling some of the artists and writers behind their SDCC 2015 exclusive story and upcoming four Doctor crossover, panel moderator and Executive Editor Andrew James announced a new mini-series and holiday special both coming this Fall.

The panel kicked off with Senior Editor Steve White leading the room in singing Happy Birthday to Ninth Doctor series artist George Mann before James took the podium to premiere a teaser trailer for the forthcoming four Doctor crossover as series writer Paul Cornell looked on. Fans got a taste of never before seen artwork from series artist Neil Edwards, including an image of Doctors Ten, Eleven and Twelve gathered around the TARDIS console with companions Gabby, Alice and Clara. A title card proclaimed the crossover would feature four companions, which begs the question of who the fourth might be.

The crossover hits stores August 12 to coincide with the second annual Doctor Who comics day the following Saturday, August 15. The celebration will feature appearances from Doctor Who comics creators “at over 2,000 stores and libraries world-wide,” according to James.

“This all comes about because Clara Oswald desperately tries to prevent what she refers to as ‘some kind of multi-Doctor event’ which she doesn’t want to happen,” said Cornell, describing the basic premise of the series. “Thankfully, she fails to do that completely.” As with any multi-Doctor tale, from early seventies television serial “The Three Doctors” on down through 2013’s “Day of the Doctor,” disagreements and power struggles between the iterations take center stage.

“Ten and Twelve really don’t see eye to eye. Twelve can’t explain how he’s even alive to the other two,” Cornell said, noting that the story takes place before Doctors Ten and Eleven meet up in “Day of the Doctor.” He acknowledged that how the pair don’t remember this earlier encounter is one of the main points his series will have to explain.

“Ten thinks Twelve must have done something diabolical to even exist, he calls him an ‘abomination.’ And Twelve says, ‘Abomination? Dalek word. Nice.'” Cornell’s take on the Twelfth Doctor includes further witticisms such as his referring to Doctors Ten and Eleven as “Manic Pixie Dream Doctors,” leaving the Eleventh Doctor in the unenviable position of trying to help the other two manage to get along. He promised that the story, which he said was “all about a photograph, the nature of which means the end of the universe,” would feature some compelling cliffhangers, lots of old monsters and some surprise cameos.

Cornell wrapped up by saying: “All the Doctor Who titles are coming to a halt to clear the way for this for five weeks, and then they’ll all be relaunched again with any survivors.”

One of those titles is the recently launched Ninth Doctor comic series. To the right of Cornell on the panel was Cavan Scott and Blair Shedd, respectively the writer and artist behind the series. Scott remarked that he couldn’t quite believe he was writing for a Doctor that had already reached the 10th anniversary of their appearance and then death.

“We wanted to do a big event to celebrate that,” Scott said, “and wanted to do things we hadn’t seen the Doctor do very often in that year.” He said that Nine is still dealing with the Time War, leaving him a “very, very raw, a man who’s remembering how to be the Doctor.” Scott felt the TARDIS team of Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness helped the Doctor with that, saying he loved the brilliant way that group interacted. He also noted the flirting between Jack and the Doctor and Rose, which he likened to a love triangle that was perpetually spinning.

In terms of story, Scott explained that annihilation of the Time Lords left a “vacuum of power” that two warring factions are vying to fill. This leads the Ninth Doctor, Scott said, “to come face to face with people who are saying, ‘We are the new champions of Time’ and he might not like that.”

Scott added another Doctor to the growing roster of Time Lords he’s written for when he paired with Mann on writing duties for the SDCC exclusive story “Selfie.” James explained that the origins of the Con-centric story, which he described as a “delight” to work on, lay truly with the writers as his brief for the tale only asked that they do a story set in San Diego with the Twelfth Doctor and Clara.

“We spent an evening on Skype arguing, basically,” said Mann, who elaborated that the loose brief from James gave them the freedom to go anywhere in the city, but that both writers agreed they wanted to do a story at the convention center which they saw as “the heart of comics.” This was why the story opens with the TARDIS landing in the middle of the convention’s main floor,  in a full-page shot that James explained took artist Rachael Stott weeks to complete as she kept adding detail and costumes for con goers that referenced a variety of fandoms.

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Scott said he and Mann asked themselves what summed up a convention these days and decided it was the many selfies taken by attendees. This led to the concept of an alien that could only be seen in selfies, and what endgame such a creature would have. “So if you look on your phones and see this,” Scott intoned in an ominous voice, gesturing to a slide showing a panel of the alien, “run.”

James segued into the announcement portion of the panel by saying that the Titan editors so loved Stott’s work on “Selfie” that she was the first artist invited to work on year two of the Twelfth Doctor series. Stott will support returning writer Robbie Morrison. “Selfie” writing team Scott and Mann will also return to a Twelfth Doctor story in a holiday special due out in early December. “Doctor Who is synonymous with Christmas back in the UK and around the world,” James said, “but we’re going to go slightly more international with the holiday.”

The other big announcement from the panel was the release of a new mini-series featuring the Eighth Doctor. James showed a slide of the series’ issue one cover by Alice X. Zhang, whose oil painting-style imagery depicts actor Paul McGann. McGann’s brief on-screen tenure as the Doctor only included one ill-fated TV movie, meant to test the waters for a possible BBC series collaboration with Fox. Though the film is much maligned, fans largely agree McGann himself shined in the role.


Due out October 28, the new series will be written by Mann with art by Emma Vieceli. “It’s a different format to the mini-series you’ve seen before,” Mann said, explaining that this was a later version of the Eighth Doctor, as seen just prior to “Night of the Doctor.” That television short, which served as a prequel to “Day of the Doctor,” was well-received by fans and may have paved the way for Titan to feature him in comic form.

Mann himself stated the short had personally made him want a season’s worth of Eighth Doctor stories. As a result, he wrote each issue as it’s own “episode” and “separate adventure.” Issue one will deal with a “village under siege set in the modern day,” but the issues will also see the Doctor travel to distant worlds and introduce new villains. Mann also said that we’ll meet a new companion named “Josie” who will be central to the stories, calling her “the backbone of the series.”

The Eleventh Doctor year two sees the introduction of a new writer to pair with Robbie Williams, Si Spurrier, who sent a video greeting to play to the panel introducing himself. Artist Simon Fraser returns, joined by newcomer Warren Pleece. The Tenth Doctor year two brings back Nick Abadzis on writing, while returning artist Elena Casagrande will be joined by Eleonora Carlini.

Check out some of the upcoming covers from Tenth and Eleventh Doctor year two, upcoming Twelfth Doctor and new Eighth Doctor covers below!







11D_2.2_Cover_A 12D_14_Cover_A



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4. SDCC ’15: Drawing with Jim Lee – “Do You Know the Difference between Law and Justice?”


Jim Lee

By Nick Eskey

One of the happy-highlights of San Diego Comic-Con is when DC Comics co-publisher, writer, and artist Jim Lee just sits down and draws. Well he doesn’t just draw. The talented artist also has the chops to be a regular comedian. Every year on Sunday, his “Drawing with Jim Lee” is a highlight of the convention.

The panel this year had a slight hiccup however. From what we were told, he had it on his schedule that it would start at 3pm to 4pm, not 1:30pm to 2:30pm. We wouldn’t have to wait till 3pm, but he wasn’t going to be there till 2:15pm. A number of people left, but a majority stayed the extra forty-five minutes.

When Mr. Lee did show, a wave of applause went through the room. He took to his chair, and looking out at the crowd said, “Thanks for staying. It’s a real testament to your guys’ love of a free sketch.” Everyone erupted with laughter.

He continued to thank the crowd as he pulled pencils, “Pigma” pens, inks, and brushes out onto the table. “Now, you see this? It’s a Pigma marker. It gives you a fine tip and you can go thicker. You can use it for defining, or shadowing… They always send me a bunch of these, so I use them. I’m still waiting on this year’s crate.” More laughter. “You’ll have to excuse me, it’s Sunday at Comic-Con, so I’m not all here. But really guys, I do enjoy this panel a lot. Compared to the other days, this one is just very intimate, and a fun atmosphere. So thank you.”


He proceeded to trace the lines on a “Wonder Woman” sketch that he had started earlier. “I thought I would get some drawings done beforehand so I had more to pass out to you all. So I… I got ONE. Yay!”

As he put the finishing touches on, he addressed the convention staff. “Is there anyone in here that works for Comic-Con? Do you know the difference between ‘Law’ and ‘Justice?’ Well, Law is what should be done. Justice is what needs to be done. So I know there’s some sort of rule forbidding panelists from handing out food to attendees in the room. But I got all these ‘Twix’ bars I want to give out.” Low and behold, Twix bars were passed out to everyone in the room. “We did an ad campaign back in June that took up a whole page… So yeah. That’s Law and Justice.”

While he finished his Wonder Woman, he had the crowd ask him questions. One person asked if he still did personal drawings from his Marvel days. “I’ll occasionally draw Marvel things for friends who like Marvel… It’s fun to draw these characters every now and then.” He was then asked if he would draw one. “Fine, I’ll draw Wolverine… but he’s got to wear the Batman suit.”

Jim gave out the first sketch, and then began on the second. He began with a circle, and built upon it. “Trace basic shapes. They are like the blue print.” With the skeleton of the drawing done, he started the detailing. “Wolverine is like Batman. But smaller nose, bad breath, and… 2.8 billion dollars.” As he began the lining, he added “Batman is a lot like Wolverine, but less feral in nature… DC has less angry characters.”

It’s obvious how much Jim Lee enjoys his art, and sharing it with others. The amount of care he puts into his work looks effortless. It comes from years of practice. As he’s working on Wolverine’s nose, he smiled and said, “Add the nose and the teeth that make him look like he’s going to drop a deuce.” The room erupts again in laughter. “No, see? He’s kind of hunched over. He’s about to sit on the toilet.”


“Add the nose and the teeth that make him look like he’s going to drop a deuce.”

Finished, he gave Wolverine away, and took the request of doing “Harley Quinn.” As he drew, an attendee asked, “With nine kids, what do you do to relax?” Jim Lee looked at him, and laughed a little. “I make nine kids… No really. What do I do to relax? I draw. When I draw, time goes by. I fall into my pocket dimension, which is full of shirtless, muscular men.”

As he finished the drawing and was going to give it out, another person asked, “Who’s your least favorite character to draw?” Without hesitation, he answered, “Spiderman. I do believe he’s one of the best creations of Jim Lee, but I don’t like drawing Spiderman. He has all that webbing…The webbing, it creates the form of the costume. And when it moves around and curves, it’s just hard to plot.”

For his last drawing, he asked who he should draw next. A flurry of responses came through. But the one he latched on to was “Aquaman.” “Look, this girl is putting her hands together and pleading! That’s the international sign of ‘I have to draw this.’”

While he drew the last sketch, the question of “What’s your favorite part of the costume to draw” came up.  And this was probably my favorite response of the night. Jim Lee answered, “Oh you’re not going to trick me with that.”

The Jim Lee Sunday panel is probably the favorite of many. The fun and playful atmosphere is one that can be greatly appreciated on a Comic-Con Sunday. Though it doesn’t really explain much of the techniques in his drawing, it does allow everyone to see one of comic’s greats make wonderful art. Let’s all hope it continues for a years to come.

1 Comments on SDCC ’15: Drawing with Jim Lee – “Do You Know the Difference between Law and Justice?”, last added: 7/17/2015
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5. Comic-Con Surprise

Our staggeringly talented pal Chris Gugliotti (of Thicklebit fame) surprised us with this sketch at SDCC. I laughed until I cried. I always did want to fly the Millennium Falcon.


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6. Salt Lake Comic Con claims trademark win; SDCC: “Not so fast.”

The ongoing legal battle over the trademark of the term "comic-con" between The San Diego Comic-Con (or to give it it's official name: Comic-Con International: San Diego) and the Salt Lake Comic Con flared up a bit yesterday when the SLC group claimed a win by being granted a trademark:

5 Comments on Salt Lake Comic Con claims trademark win; SDCC: “Not so fast.”, last added: 7/24/2015
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7. *Sunday UPDATE* SDCC ’15 Exclusive Funko Toy Announcements

By Nick Eskey

Thanks for tuning in geeky guys and gals to this Sunday update of SDCC ’15 Funko toy release. Better known for their “POP!” line, Funko strives to “cover as many beloved licenses and characters as possible to remind every Comic-Con attendee why they fell in love with these stories in the first place.”

Just as a reminder, this year Funko will not be taking pre-buys of their products. So if there’s any of these exclusive toys that you want to get, best to get them onsite or see if a lucky con-goer buddy will help you out.

Without further delay, here’s the addition to our list:

Pop! Disney/Pixar: Inside Out - Sparkle Hair Joy

Pop! Disney/Pixar: Inside Out – Sparkle Hair Joy

Disney’s Pixar, which arguably can be thanked for the recent revival of the Disney brand, has just recently released their newest movie “Inside out.” Involving the personified personality traits in people, this Pop figure from the movie features Sparkle Hair Joy. Don’t work, there’s enough anger and depression in the film to balance this perpetually happy and hyperactive lady.

Pop! TV: Sesame Street - 6" Flocked Mr. Snuffleupagus

Pop! TV: Sesame Street – 6″ Flocked Mr. Snuffleupagus

Whether he’s being an imaginary character that only a large yellow bird can see, or a real thing, this 6 inch super sized Snuffleupagus from the much beloved Sesame Street will be materializing to Comic-Con. Who doesn’t want to own a Snuffy?

Pop! TV: Once Upon A Time - Regina

Pop! TV: Once Upon A Time – Regina

Once upon a time, there was a toy who wanted nothing but to rule. Now with your help, this Regina from the Once Upon a Time series can rule your figure collection. And look, she’s got an apple for you too as a gift. How thoughtful!

ReAction: Arrow - Arrow Unmasked

ReAction: Arrow – Arrow Unmasked

Protecting your crime riddled shelves is this ReAction Arrow Unmasked. Complete with 1970’s style packaging and limited posable action, this fantastic plastic will be a must have.

Dorbz XL: Guardians of the Galaxy - 6" Mossy Groot

Dorbz XL: Guardians of the Galaxy – 6″ Mossy Groot

Guarding the galaxy is a big job. Thankfully, this Dorbz XL Mossy Groot is the humanoid plant you’ll be wanting for the job. Featuring a healthy growth of 6 inches, this happy creature will keep everything happily dancing along.

Dorbz XL: Guardians of the Galaxy - 6" Nova Suit Rocket Raccoon

Dorbz XL: Guardians of the Galaxy – 6″ Nova Suit Rocket Raccoon

And lastly, the big wooded Groot can’t go too far without his furry compadre. Dorbz XL Nova Suit Rocket Raccoon will be providing 6 inches of vinyl sharp tongued humor to your collection. Despite his gruff exterior, look how cute he is!

Thanks for tuning in, and see you fellow nerds for our next installment. Stay tuned!

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8. *WEDNESDAY UPDATE* SDCC ’15 Exclusive Funko Toy Announcements

By: Nick Eskey

It’s that time again, legion of toy lovers; The Wednesday update for the Funko toy exclusives for San Diego Comic-Con 2015.

Well known for their super popular POP! Toy collection, Funko strives to “cover as many beloved licenses and characters as possible to remind every Comic-Con attendee why they fell in love with these stories in the first place.” As a reminder, there will be no pre-buy option available this year. So if you need or want any of these beauties, best to pick them up at the Funko booth, or see if you can bribe a random person (we do not condone the practice of bribery).

Not to hold out any longer, here are the latest additions:

Pop! Star Wars: Princess Leia [Boushh Unmasked]

Pop! Star Wars: Princess Leia [Boushh Unmasked]

Though not one of her better remembered ensemble, this Star Wars Princess Leia [Boushh Unmasked] POP! is still pretty fetching. You’ll wish this bounty hunter was looking for you.

Pop! Marvel: Avengers: Age of Ultron - Grinning Ultron

Pop! Marvel: Avengers: Age of Ultron – Grinning Ultron

Just when you thought you saw every scary robot to date, this Grinning Ultron decidedly takes the cake. We don’t know why he’s so happy, but let’s hope we never find out. He’s sure to give a few nightmares.

Pop! Hanna-Barbera: Lil' Gruesome (Red)

Pop! Hanna-Barbera: Lil’ Gruesome (Red)

Before we know it, we’ll have an army of these Lil’ Gruesome figurines in a rainbow of colors. Joining his green and yellow brothers, this Red Hannah-Barbera character is my favorite so far.

Pop! Marvel: Guardians of the Galaxy - Nova Rocket with Potted Groot

Pop! Marvel: Guardians of the Galaxy – Nova Rocket with Potted Groot

At the end of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, did you find yourself a little misty eyed? No? Just me? Well… I’m sure this Nova Rocket with Potted Groot will find a way to tug at those heartstrings.

ReAction: Terminator 2 - T1000 with Hook Arms

ReAction: Terminator 2 – T1000 with Hook Arms

Any machine that can become liquid, a solid, or take the shape of any person is pretty sweet. This T1000 figure from the Terminator 2 movie is sporting his kick-butt Hook Arms, as well as vintage-esque packaging from when toys were simpler than the crazy articulated ones of today.

Vinyl Idolz: Ghostbusters - Marshmallowed Egon Spengler

Vinyl Idolz: Ghostbusters – Marshmallowed Egon Spengler

And lastly, this Vinyl Idolz from the Ghost Busters movie is a gooey exclusive. Marshmallowed Egon Spengler comes with his ghost containment pack, ghost detector, and white marshmallow splotches. I hope that stuff can come out in the wash.

As we’re getting closer and closer to San Diego Comic-Con, expect a few more toy leaks on the way. Stay tuned doers of all things nerdy!

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9. *SATURDAY UPDATE* SDCC ’15 Exclusive Funko Toy Announcements

By: Nick Eskey

Hello again toy enthusiasts, and welcome to another installment of San Diego Comic-Con Funko releases! You know Funko, the purveyors of the highly popular POP! series of collectible figurines, who also vow to “cover as many beloved licenses and characters as possible to remind every Comic-Con attendee why they fell in love with these stories in the first place.”

Monday will be the last announcement for San Diego Comic-Con exclusives, so make sure to check back soon. And remember, there is no pre-buy option this year. So if you see any of these toys you want to get, you’ll have to visit the booth while supplies last, or cry into your Lean Cuisine.

Without any more procrastination, here’s the next installment:

Pop! TV: Arrow - The Arrow: Unmasked

Pop! TV: Arrow – The Arrow: Unmasked

We can’t get enough of the show “Arrow.” Feed the hunger with this ruggedly-handsome Arrow: Unmasked. His arrow will go straight… to your heart!

Pop! Disney: Big Hero 6 - Transluscent Glitter Emoticon Baymax

Pop! Disney: Big Hero 6 – Transluscent Glitter Emoticon Baymax

How would you rate the “kawaii” factor of this toy? The Translucent Glitter Emoticon Baymax from Pixar’s “Big Hero 6” always rates a big smiley face in my opinion.

Pop! Movies: Minions - Gone Batty

Pop! Movies: Minions – Gone Batty

Can you imagine you’re life without a minion? Not only do they get the menial tasks done while you are plotting world domination, but they do it in historical style. Joining the large POP! minion collection is this Gone Batty. Wearing a purple cloak and showing off some pointy fangs, this blood sucker should be flying into your hands.

Pop! Disney: Tangled - Frying Pan Rapunzel and Burnt Pascal

Pop! Disney: Tangled – Frying Pan Rapunzel and Burnt Pascal

Not too long ago, every Disney princess would be the equivalent of a damsel in distress; but not this feisty lady. Frying Pan Rapunzel and Burnt Pascal are ready for a fight. She’s got cookery, and she knows how to use it!

Dorbz: Marvel - X-Force Deadpool

Dorbz: Marvel – X-Force Deadpool

The impending “Deadpool” movie has comic fans squealing with delight. Satisfy your Deadpool cravings with this X-Force Deadpool, dressed in his alternative grey onesie. If you don’t get it… well I just don’t know what this anti-hero will do to you. So, why chance it right?

Dorbz: Guardians of the Galaxy - Mossy Groot

Dorbz: Guardians of the Galaxy – Mossy Groot

And rounding it up, from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” we have this Dorbz Mossy Groot. We’ve already seen this fella on our list, but instead of the XL we are getting the regular size. Options are good to have.

Thanks for tuning it guys and gals, and don’t forget to come back for our last exclusive Funko releases post!

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10. *WEDNESDAY UPDATE* SDCC ’15 Exclusive Funko Toy Announcements

By: Nick Eskey

Welcome back toy enthusiasts to the last installment of exclusive Funko toys for the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con. Well known for their POP! line of figurines, Funko strives to “cover as many beloved licenses and characters as possible to remind every Comic-Con attendee why they fell in love with these stories in the first place.”

Though there might be more Funko toys announced, these are the last of the exclusives for Comic-Con to be revealed. Remember, there will be no pre-buy option this year. If you see any merchandise that you want, then you need to buy them at the booth while supplies last.

Without further hullabaloo, here’s the last of the reveals:

Pop! Heroes: Batman v Superman - Batman v Superman 2-pack

Pop! Heroes: Batman v Superman – Batman v Superman 2-pack

What ever happened if the Man-of-Steel fought against the Dark Knight? With this Batman v Superman 2-pack, you can play-out this epic fight of fights for yourself. Maybe Batman’s batarang is made of kryptonite?

Pop! TV: Breaking Bad - Blue Crystal Heisenberg

Pop! TV: Breaking Bad – Blue Crystal Heisenberg

Still reeling over the series end of Breaking Bad? Well this Blue Crystal Heisenberg (funny I know) will keep your withdrawals at bay. Just don’t upset the guy. He looks a little trigger happy.

Funko is excited to announce the debut of Pop! Tees at this year's San Diego Comic-Con!

Funko is excited to announce the debut of Pop! Tees at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con!

Steering away from the toy merchandise, Funko will also be selling the wearable variety. These shirts feature some of their best selling figures. Much like their POP! toys, these tees are displayed in fun colorful boxes.

Pop! Tees: SDCC Freddy Funko

Pop! Tees: SDCC Freddy Funko

Paying homage to the company’s mascot, this Freddy Funko tee has been made exclusively for San Diego Comic-Con. See Freddy in all of his splendor as he walks around the convention with collectibles, admittance badge, and light saber in hand.

Pop! Tees: Masters of the Universe - Disco Skeletor

Pop! Tees: Masters of the Universe – Disco Skeletor

All hail Disco Skeletor! This Masters of the Universe villain in his variant colors demands respect as he attempts to once and for all conquer Castle Grayskull.

Pop! Tees: Freddy Funko 8-Bit Pixelated

Pop! Tees: Freddy Funko 8-Bit Pixelated

For you “old-school” types, this Freddy Funko 8-Bit Pixelated tee will be the perfect fit. Whether he’s on his way to rescue a princess, or jump on top of baddys’ heads, he’s sure to be super.

Pop! Tees: Ghostbusters - Burnt Stay Puft

Pop! Tees: Ghostbusters – Burnt Stay Puft

Is there anything worse than burnt marshmallows? A gigantic Burnt Stay Puft marshmallow man, of course! Instead of having to clean this traveler off of every surface, best to stick to this shirt.

Pop! Tees: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Skyline Group

Pop! Tees: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Skyline Group

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Skyline Group tee shows the sewer-dwelling crime fighters on top of two buildings.

Pop! Tees: Marvel - Black Widow Shield (Women's Sizes Only)

Pop! Tees: Marvel – Black Widow Shield (Women’s Sizes Only)

And last on our exclusives list, this Black Widow Shield tee flies onto the scene. Unfortunately for her male fans, this shirt is only available in women’s sizes. Though I’m sure this will not stop some fellas.

Thanks for faithfully tuning in everybody for these Funko updates everybody. I can’t wait to see all of you at Comic-Con ’15!

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11. SDCC ’15: Art of Comic-Con, Sergio Aragones, and Announcement from Mayor Faulconer

Covers of Souvenir Guides arranged into an artpiece

Covers of Souvenir Guides arranged into an artpiece

By Nick Eskey

It’s one week and counting until the geek fest known as San Diego Comic-Con, a celebration of popular culture in television, comics, movies, cartoons and more, begins. Once known as “San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con” which took place in the basement of U.S. Grant Hotel’s basement, the then three-day event has become the juggernaut that we all know today.

Goals and Ethics

Much of Comic-Con is self-contained within the convention center. In recent years however, festivities related and unrelated to the C.C.I. have spread outward into downtown. There will be many offsite parties and exhibits coinciding with everything.

The Art of Comic-Con is right now on display at the Downtown San Diego Library. Situated on the 9th floor, it encompasses artwork spanning the life of the convention. The room is a history of artistry that have either been used for Comic-Con, or featured in their accompanying souvenir guides. Upon entering the space, a collage of artwork used for the Comic-Con guides covers a wall and spills to the floor. As the convention grew, so did the scope of the guides. It gives a glimpse into how things have changed for the convention. Simpler artwork and font begin to evolve, becoming edgier and commanding attention.


Logos throughout the years

The exhibit officially kicked off on June 20th with a reception featuring legendary cartoonist Sergio Aragones. In his usual fashion, he was more than willing to sign for autographs and pose for pictures.

Sergio Aragones, looking friendly as always

Sergio Aragones, looking friendly as always

Going clockwise, more art is displayed. A timeline shows how the logos changed through the years, featuring much of the whimsical toucan. Posters used for hyping big movies and shows that were coming out that particular year are on display, flanking the logo used for Comic-Con today made in Lego bricks. At the end of the opposite wall, a giant mural made in 2009 by Sergio himself to celebrate 40 years of the convention commands the space. And to the right of that, framed in glass is some of the original artwork used for the convention guides. One of my absolute favorites is Dave McKean’s rendition of Morpheus (“Sandman”) used for 2013.

Dave McKean's Sandman cover for 2013's Souvenir Book

Dave McKean’s Sandman cover for 2013’s Souvenir Book

In the center of the room however is probably the most exciting stuff. In class cabinets, over 60 artists are featured; the likes of Sergio Aragones, William Rotsler, Joyce Farmer, and more have their work on display. Work celebrating the rise and existence of Comic-Con. After all, San Diego Comic-Con came into being with the purpose of celebrating the artistry of those that entertain us with their work.

Art of Comic-Con

Looking at glass

Artists on display

Yesterday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer used this room as a platform for an announcement. He stated that Comic-Con’s stay has been extended into 2018. Not only that, the mayor assured that there are plans to expand the convention center.
It only makes sense that he’ll do what he can to keep the convention here. It brings millions of direct and indirect money to the city, and with the possibility that the Chargers football team will be relocating, we want to keep it here even more.

Art on display

Next week as many will be engaged at the convention, we should all keep our ears peeled. It’ll be very likely that the details of Comic-Con’s future and the conventions development will be talked about more in depth. When it comes down to it though, it’s not the money or the tourism that we care about, is it? As fans of various genres, we want to keep the convention here so we may continue to celebrate our love of geekdom as one community.

So if you have the time, I highly encourage you to check out The Art of Comic-Con, if at least to remind yourself what it’s all really about.




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12. SDCC Week: Monday

My calendar this week makes me laugh. A perfect representation of the many disparate segments of my life. Today: Full slate of appointments at the children’s hospital. Tomorrow: Frantic cranking-away at my novel revision. Wed-Sunday: SDCC madness. And somewhere in there I need to find time for a Damn Interesting article edit and a grantwriting assignment. And will MAKE time to start the new Sketchbook Skool “Playing” course with the kids. Because priorities.

I haven’t yet done my usual scouring of the SDCC schedule to see which panels I’d like to hit. Er, attempt to hit—the con has a way of swallowing up intentions with spontaneous developments, which of course is part of the fun. As always, the part I’m most looking forward to is the reconnecting with faraway friends: the lunches, the dinners, the late nights chatting over drinks.

Jenni & me at Wondercon 2011

annual lunch with jock 2014


Scott and Gene 2013

Jenni and Jonathan 2010

Scott and Chris 2014

hanging with the GeekMoms 2011

Dinner with Raina 2011

Meeting Ozma at Winkiecon 2014

my favorite person to hang out with ever

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13. SDCC ’15: Lego Doctor Who and a September 19th season 9 release date among highlights from Doctor Who panel


Many of the fans packed into Hall H on Thursday waited overnight on the street outside of the San Diego Convention Center for their chance to catch Peter Capaldi’s first appearance at SDCC since becoming the Twelfth Doctor on Doctor Who. Capaldi himself had visited the line for Hall H earlier in the day, embodying the goodwill actors portraying the Doctor have shown fans going all the way back to the classic series era.

Headoverfeels.com creators and editors Sage Young and Kim Rogers held their spots in line for 21 hours, with only one break to rest at a nearby friend’s house. “We had an amazing time,” Rogers said of the nearly day-long experience, “we thought it would be miserable but it was a gorgeous day. We had food, we had friends, and we knew we would have an amazing seat.” The pair ended up being some of the first 100 people let into the massive 6,500 seat hall.

If the fans were tired from their line-waiting experience, their enthusiasm was undimmed as Capaldi took the stage with co-stars Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez, who portray the Doctor’s companion Clara and long-time nemesis The Master respectively. The stars were joined on the panel by showrunner and long-time Whovian Steven Moffat. Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist and Talking Dead moderated the hour-long discussion.

Hardwick kicked things off by commenting on Capaldi’s take on the Doctor’s newest regeneration, saying:  “I love that you’re kind of cranky and intense.”

Capaldi replied: “I think he [Steven Moffat] just saw those qualities in me, and just cast me.”

For his part, Moffat explained that writing for the different Doctors wasn’t what made them unique, saying: “On paper the Doctors are actually quite similar, it’s what the actors bring to it.”

Putting on the mantle of a character that’s over 50 years old is no simple task. “Did you feel the weight of Who immediately?” asked Hardwick of Capaldi, who is still in the midst of filming the show’s ninth season.

“It’s in my bones, it’s the only show I’ve followed since I was six years old,” said Capaldi, who then referenced his first appearance on the BBC series in the rebooted fourth season. “I thought that would be the only time of being in Doctor Who.” He then related how excited he was to be on set while David Tennant was playing the part of the Doctor’s Tenth incarnation, asking: “‘David! David! where’s the TARDIS?’ I got quite teary.”

Coleman revealed that her character, Clara Oswald, companion to both the Eleventh and and Twelfth Doctors, “has a rule that that she gets dropped off 30 seconds before she left. I think she’s a bit of a control freak.” Coleman then added that “This series she’s more head first into the TARDIS,” and would be spending more time on-board the Time Lord’s time-traveling spaceship.

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Following “Death in Heaven,” the finale episode of season 8 which saw Gomez’s character seemingly de-materialized in the final moments of the show, there was much in the way of fan-speculation that we hadn’t seen the last of The Master’s game-changing female regeneration known as Missy. Her appearance on the panel confirmed the theories correct.

When Hardwick asked Gomez’s approach to playing Missy, she replied: “Luckily I never know why I’m saying what I’m saying…the writing is all there for me. It’s just a thrill to turn up and get this opportunity to be The Master, it’s still ‘pinch me?’” Gomez further explained her take on the long-running character, saying: “I think he or she or it is the best friend you love to hate…the rules don’t apply to her and that makes her really fun to play.”

Moffat agreed with Gomez’s assessment of the Doctor/Master relationship: “They are friends, which is terrifying. It’s like a friendship between a vegetarian and a hunter.”

Gomez added: “It’s this great friendship that just went wrong. And we’ve all had those…and you’re trying to get in the way of me destroying the universe,” she said, looking to Capaldi, “which I have to do! We both kill a lot of people, he feels bad about it, I don’t.”

Capaldi expounded on his feelings regarding the character of the Doctor: “ I think he doesn’t know who he is, he’s always scrambling around trying to figure out who he is…he’s a constantly growing character.” Echoing a debate his Doctor has with Clara’s love interest Danny over his military past, Capaldi continued: “He’s not a soldier. He’d rather sit at night in a car park looking at the stars than be blowing up Daleks,” before adding: “I like blowing up Dalek’s.”

Though Capaldi felt his Doctor was still mostly a “bohemian/philosopher/rebel time lord,” Coleman was asked about her character’s trouble with the transition of the Eleventh into the Twelfth Doctor.

“She was familiar with how it was working,” said Coleman, “then suddenly your best friend changes his face and who knows what to trust anymore? It’s changing all the rules basically.”

Hardwick inquired after the health of Twelve and Clara’s relationship, asking: “Are they okay now?”

Coleman felt they were, saying: “They’ve found their groove, eating up all of time and space with reckless abandon.”

A never-before seen trailer for Doctor Who’s upcoming ninth season was then shown, which announced the return date of the series as September 19th and ended with a shot of highly publicized guest star Maisie Williams squaring off with Capaldi’s Doctor. The Doctor clearly recognizes Williams’ mysterious character, saying, “You?”

To which Williams replies: “What took you so long, old man?”

When the lights came back up, Moffat explained he could say no more about the episodes featuring the actress, best known for her work on Game of Thrones as fan-favorite character Arya Stark.

photo (2)

Capaldi told the crowd about the first moment he felt he was really the Doctor: “I think it’s when they threw a rubber spider in my face and said: ‘fight it!’ I said, it doesn’t work, where’s the operator? And they said:  ‘there is no operator, it’s just a big rubber spider. Fight it!’”

Coleman was asked about her character’s difficulty in returning to a normal life after adventures on the TARDIS, to which she answered: “I think it becomes addictive and I think that’s the problem.”

Pondering the fact of the TARDIS’ “bigger on the inside” feature, Moffat said “I used to wonder why the Doctor didn’t use that more? ‘Don’t believe I’m an alien? Look at that!’” When the crowd didn’t react, he continued: “I guess that was just me, then. My Mom was right I should have got a girlfriend instead. Applause for my imaginary girlfriend!” The crowd offered some, and over the sound of the clapping Moffat teased: “Virginity kept me pure.”

The Doctor, for all his humanity, often fails to understand human nature. This seems particularly true of Capaldi’s incarnation, with Coleman commenting: “Clara teaches him how to interact with humans more this season…helps him with his social skills, makes him more of a welcome party guest.”

Speaking again of the Doctor/Master relationship, Moffat said: “This is not new, the Doctor and the master being friends.” He explained he recently went back and viewed  “the Delgado and Pertwee episodes.” Said Moffat: “One of them wants to blow up the world the other one wants to stop it, but they don’t let a little thing like that get in the way.”

When the panel opened up to questions from the audience, one came from a young boy who thanked the panel for helping him with his “Make-a-wish.” Moffat seemed visibly moved in recognizing the child, who asked what Capaldi felt was iconic about this Doctor.

Capaldi answered: “Eyebrows.”

Hardwick extended the question to the other actors on the panel, and when Coleman balked at answering, Moffat chimed in with: “Eyes, huge eyes!”

Gomez added “Lips. Obviously.” She then talked of her kiss with the Doctor in episode 11 of last season, asking fans to decide who was kissing who, saying that if they watched it back again: “Peter is —  there’s some suction there…what you couldn’t see was I was also holding Clara’s hand.”

“That’s hot!” a fan cried loudly from the audience.

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Another fan asked of Moffat what literature he drew most from for inspiration. Moffat answered: “Doctor Who is what made me wanted to be a writer…. I was so inspired by Doctor Who.“He added: “Every screenplay William Goldman has written is great, and if you want to know about comedy writing read Neil Simon.” He later added: “For the record, I do anything for a laugh, I’m a tart.”

When the panel was asked to describe their character’s perfect day, Gomez replied she thought Missy would start her day with a croissant and some tea before saying: “And then slapping Wonder Woman in the face.”

One of the final questions asked if the panel had any advice for aspiring actors. Gomez said: “My agent calls me the roach because I keep getting squashed like a bug and coming back,” before encouraging the audience: “just never give up. This world is abundant, there’s enough for everyone.”

As the panel drew to a close, Capaldi reflected on his first SDCC experience: “To come here and find this warmth and affection for something I’ve been following since childhood is extraordinary….I feel the warmth of the full 50 years pointed right at me.”

Hardwick closed the proceedings by showing a trailer for the recently announced Lego: Dimensions video game featuring a Lego version of Capaldi’s Doctor interacting with Lego Batman and character’s from the Oscar nominated The Lego Movie. Hardwick also announced that his Nerdist network would be broadcasting a TV special titled Doctor’s Finest on August 15th, showcasing the Nerdist’s top 8 favorite episodes of Doctor Who hosted by Youtuber Hannah Hart.

1 Comments on SDCC ’15: Lego Doctor Who and a September 19th season 9 release date among highlights from Doctor Who panel, last added: 7/11/2015
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14. SDCC’15: Skybound 5th Anniversary Panel Tells The Company’s Future

Though Robert Kirkman couldn’t be in attendance, it didn’t stop Skybound from bringing together members of there ever expanding collaborative universe at SDCC to celebrate the imprint’s 5th anniversary.

Hosted by gaming personality Geoff Keighley; the house of Kirkman’s dais consisted of Sean Mackiewicz, Skybound president David Alpert, Darin Ross, and from Telltale Games TQ Jefferson,

Alpert opened by talking about the organic growth of Skybound from Robert Kirkman’s creator owned manifesto. The company’s philosophy of an “open source” system hasnow paid more dividens with the upcoming TV adaptation of Outcast. From table top games to VR and movies, Skybound has grown beyond comics into a “creator company”. Alpert also teased some upcoming animation projects and even possibly “radio”.

Geoff brought up the company’s table top game “Superfight” which started with Darin Ross created a card game using Kickstarter. Alpert told a story of Ross playing the game at the Skybound office. Once the entire staff gathered to see it the studio immediately made an offer to publish the game. A new mobile app from 505 Games will expand the world by taking the cards digital. The trailer rolled showing the game in action which brings the game fully into the digital world with animations.

Next the panel went over Skybound games starting with Telltale Games. Former Marvel games executive TQ Jefferson and Mackiwicz came on stage to talk about the recently announce TellTale The Walking Dead Michonne game. TQ talked about a different feel for the game that the character naturally brings. As opposed to playing as Lee or Clementine, players won’t necessarily run from danger. It puts gamers in the feel of a bad ass in Kirkman’s universe. The story will tell the events of Michonne’s disappearance between issues 126-127. Some new concept art was unveild during the presentation; it’s not indicative of the final game but more of how Telltale are telling the story.



Keighly moved into Starbreeze VR’s Overkill’s The Walking Dead. At SDCC fans can play the teaser shown during E3 in the Skybound “VR RV”. The company’s also working on a live action experience with Samsung. Fans can pick up a set of cardboard glasses at the show and then download an experience you’ll go through by sliding your phone into the glasses. The RV will be touring around the country.

Shifting back to more traditional mediums, the panel talked about the upcoming Fear the Walking Dead spinoff show on AMC. With the setting shifting to Los Angeles and a different time line everything has to be reconsidered. The zombies you’ll see from one show will be affected differently from the other.

Outcast also got a bit of discussion. More, including the first footage will be shown Saturday during the Outcast panel.

Skybound’s first feature film, Air, showed the first trailer for the film. The script was co-written and directed by one of the creative leads on Rockstar Game’s western hit Red Dead Redemption, Christian Cantamessa.  The duel between Norman Reedus and Dijmon Hunsou looks intense. We’ll be at the premiere tomorrow night and give you a review shortly after.

The Q&A was short but did tease something in the works involving gaming for Invincible that fans can expect an announcement on for SDCC 2016.



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15. SDCC 12: Making a Living in Manga

By Alexander Añé
The Making a Living in Manga panel featured Adam Warren, Becky Cloonan, Fred Gallagher, Audra Furuichi, Christopher Butcher, JuYoun Lee, Erik Ko, and moderator Deb Aoki. This was a very diverse panel, hosting a good lineup of professionals and publishers including a journalist devoted to writing about the manga industry. From there they began to discuss their experiences in the industry, where it’s going and what they look for when training and hiring new talent.

The focus of the panel was to help shed some light on how to be successful in the manga industry, hence the name, as a professional and as a student. Aoki introduced the audience to a diagram following the conventional life cycle of a manga professional, from early inspiration to publishing. It was interesting to note that the cycle included bypassing mainstream publishers all together and publish independently or even bypassing the conventional portfolio review process that takes place at conventions.

Panelists also confirmed that region has a huge factor in determining the success of a manga artist. Some regions, such as Japan, even have schools devoted to learning how to draw manga. A few of the panelists, admitted that they went to more conventional art schools and drew manga in secret. Later this turned out to be a more helpful situation because they were given a good background to build a stronger career. Another important notion was that success in the manga industry was far from immediate and that it took several years of work in other trades related to being an artist or writer to be able to have manga work fund itself.

The piece of advice that was repeated among the panelists most often was that artists needed to have a deep understanding of the fundamentals; not just in manga but in any sort of art. It might have seemed harsh when Erik Ko mentioned that publishers, “aren’t there to babysit,” artists on their projects but it reflects an even harsher truth in that when artists fall behind from lack of skill set, the rest of the production line suffers for it. The key is to be able to develop versatility that can strengthen your prospects of being hired or noticed.

1 Comments on SDCC 12: Making a Living in Manga, last added: 7/28/2012
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16. SDCC Hijinks

photo lifted from Lalitha's FB

Fun times at Thursday night’s Scholastic party at SDCC with my pals Allison Tran, Jenni Holm, and Lalitha Nataraj. I lifted this photo from Lali’s FB page—thanks!

Jenni and Matt Holm won an Eisner last night for Babymouse for President! Wild huzzahs from here.


What’s Comic-Con without a full-size pirate ship in the harbor?


This book caught my eye—the fictional adventures of pulp-novel hero Frank Reade in history. Gorgeous illustrations, intriguing premise. It’s on my take-a-closer-look list.


Always fun to spot friends’ books at a show!

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17. SDCC ’14: Beyond the Convention Center


by Hannah Lodge

For some, the real glamour of San Diego Comic Con lies beyond the confines of the convention center. For four days, the Gaslamp quarter is transformed into an outdoor festival, with parties, guest appearances, live music, free food, and entertainment happening in parallel of the announcements and panels held behind closed doors. Here’s a sampling of unofficial events happening outside of the convention center halls.

Thursday (or ongoing)

Gotham Zip lining: From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday until Sunday, fans will have the opportunity to channel their inner batman and zip line (130 feet long, 30 feet h
igh) through Gotham-esque landscape. Souvenir photos will also be available, and the event will take place between the convention center and the Hilton Bayfront. If the experience leaves you too exhausted to walk home, Uber will also be featuring Gotham-themed cars to pick passengers up for free rides. To hitch a ride, select the Gotham PD under the Uber slider in the app or follow uber_sd on twitter.

Nintendo Gaming Lounge: From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, the Marriott Marquis and Marina Ballroom will feature the Nintendo Gaming Lounge. Featured games include 3DS features like Super Smash Bros, Sonic Book and Siesta Fiesta and Wii U titles like Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad, Sonic Book and Skylanders Trap Team. Admission is free and no badge is required.

BioWare Development Team & Dragon Age Inquisition: From 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Thursday, Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry Lounge at 379 4th Ave (Jolt N’ Joes) will host coffee & donuts with the BioWare Development team and will demo the newest installment in the Dragon Age Series, Inquisition, which releases this fall. Demos will continue throughout the weekend. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Borderlands Laser Tag: From 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nerdist and 2K Games team up to bring Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel laser tag to Petco Park. The event will also feature an oxygen bar and live events. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Adult Swim Fun House & Dome Experience: Starting 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Adult Swim will feature interactive experiences at Petco Park parking lot. The Fun House is a giant castle that will force guests to crawl, side, and sing their way through. The Meatwad Dome Experience features a two-story, 40-foot Meatwad planetarium with animated content that requires a “this event has loud music, flashing lights, and  images that could trigger seizures” caution on the label. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Jay & Silent Bob Podcast: At 5 p.m. Thursday, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes will perform a live podcast to celebrate the release of their new book. The event takes place at the American Comedy Co. at 818 B 6th Ave. Tickets are $35 and include a signed copy of the book.

MTV Fan Fest & Fandom Awards: At 5 p.m. Thursday, Linkin Park will perform at Petco Park for MTV’s Fandom Awards. Entrance is free but requires a Comic Con badge.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Welcome Party: From 8 -11 p.m. Thursday, the CBLDF party will feature exclusive comics and a chance to mingle with creators like Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Scott Snyder, Chris Burnham, Nick Dragotta, Nick Pitarra. The party will also feature original artwork and an alchemy/fragrance lab from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Suggested donations of $10-$20 at the door.

NerdHQ Fan Party: Starting at 9 p.m., the annual Nerd HQ will kick off with a fan party at Petco Park. Admission is free and no badge is required.


Cape/Cowl/Create: From 12 -7 p.m. Friday, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment will celebrate Batman’s 75th anniversary with an art exhibit at the Hard Rock Hotel. The exhibit will include the unveiling of life-size recreations of The Dark Knight’s cowl headpiece and cape from the upcoming video game as well as talent appearances, including Zack Snyder, Will Arnett, Mister Cartoon, and Buff Monster.  Some of the art pieces will be auctioned for charity. Admission is free and no badge is required.

Boxtrolls Food Truck: Though the truck will be available throughout the Con, at 1 p.m. the truck will be at the Petco Park Interactive Zone to feature Bug Chef David George Gordon, who will demonstrate his edible insect creations. Event is free and no badge is required.

Appleseed Alpha Screening: At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sony will screen the animated movie Appleseed Alpha, from the author Masamune Shirow (creator of Ghost in the Shell). The event is free but first-come-first-serve (RSVP on EventBrite recommended) and will take place at Reading Cinemas.

Danny Elfman Concert: At 8 p.m. Friday, composer Danny Elfman will perform in a concert featuring the scores from Tim Burton movies. Highlights include Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Big Fish, and The Corpse Bride. Tickets are between $28 – $90 and the event takes place at the Embarcadero Marina, directly behind the convention center.

Adam Savage Incognito: At 9 p.m. Friday, Tested.com is throwing a celebration for cosplayers, featuring Mythbusters star Adam Savage. Savage will demonstrate some of his most memorable cosplay and will reveal a meticulous replica of one of his favorite movie props of all time.  The event is 21+ and will be held at Side Bar, 536 Market St.

Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Jammy Party: Adult Swim’s Tim & Eric will feature a first look at their new series, Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories, from 11 pm – midnight on Friday. The screening will take place at Petco Park’s parking lot (at the bottom of the pedestrian bridge) and requires pajamas and a free RSVP (RSVP on Adult Swim’s Comic Con page).


Enhance Cosplay with Greg Nicotero: From 12 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Walking Dead special FX designer Greg Nicotero will demonstrate custom make-up designs for fans at the Super Hero HQ cosplay lab, located at the Courtyard by Marriott (100 Park Blvd). Free make-up touch-ups will also be available through the convention at the lab.  The event is free and open to the public.

George R.R. Martin Q&A: From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, George R.R. Martin will conduct a public Q&A at the Super Hero HQ at the Courtyard by Marriott. The event is free and open to the public.

Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival: From 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, beer aficionados will gather at the Embarcadero Marina Park North to sample from more than 40 breweries. The event will also feature food trucks, a costume contest and live music. Tickets are $45 ($20 for designated drivers).

ZombieWalk: Returning for its 8th year at Comic Con, the Zombiewalk will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and starts at Children’s Park (corner of Island & 1st Ave). The event is free and open to the public.

Norma Reedus Q&A: From 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Norma Reedus (a.k.a. Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead) will do a live Q&A at Super Hero HQ in the Courtyard by Marriott. Reedus will also judge cosplay costumes and select and crown the King and Queen of Cosplay.  The event is free and open to the public.

The Walking Dead Escape: From 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Walking Dead fans can purchase tickets for the survival-driven event, which forces Survivors and Walkers to climb, crawl, slide and hide through brutal scenarios, to either live or become infected.  Tickets are $95 or walkers and $50 for survivors and the event takes place at Petco Park.

Doctor Who Comic Creators Signing: From 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, writer Nick Abadzis, artist Elena Casagrande, cover artist Alice X Zhang and editor Andrew James will be on-hand at the Comickaze store, 5517 AB Clairemont Mesa Blvd. In addition to signings, the event will feature quizzes and a Doctor Who costume contest.

Thrilling Adventure Hour & Welcome to Night Vale Cross-Over Show: TAH & Welcome to Night Vale will be teaming up at 8 p.m. Saturday at Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway. The event will feature Marc Evan Jackson, Craig Cackowski, Hal Lublin, Mark Gagliardi, and show creators Ben Blacker & Ben Acker. Tickets range from $24 – $122.

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18. SDCC: Dynamite Nabs Will Eisner’s The Spirit

Spirit_Archives_Vol_1_1.jpgby Brandon Schatz

One day before the madness of this year’s San Diego Comic Con officially begins, Dynamite has announced their future intentions for Will Eisner’s The Spirit.

Most recently, the character has been a tangental part of the DC Comics line, starting with a ongoing originally helmed by Darwyn Cooke in 2006, before moving the character over to their ill-fated First Wave line alongside pulp heroes such as Doc Savage. He also briefly appeared in a Rocketeer crossover at IDW through an agreement with DC, who still held the rights for publication at the time.

This addition to Dynamite’s line makes perfect sense, as they seem to be building quite a library of pulp heroes. The company’s predication for those heroes to interact in various mini-series should make for some interesting content down the line. As it stands, we are still waiting on news as to who will be the creative team on any new book, as well as what form such a series would take.

More on this as it develops.

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19. The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 2: Don Rosa, Eleanor Davis, Lucy Knisley & Archie Comics

logo-pod-more-to-come-1400.pngLive from San Diego Comic Con, it’s More To Come! Publishers Weekly’s podcast of comics news, interviews and discussion with Calvin Reid, Kate Fitzsimons and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In part two of More To Come’s San Diego Comic-Con special, Calvin Reid talks to Don Rosa about Scrooge McDuck, European fans and Carl Barks; Eleanor Davis on her new book How to Be Happy; and Lucy Knisley about her new book An Age of License. Meanwhile, Heidi MacDonald interviews Archie Comics President Mike Pellerito and sr. v-p Alex Segura about Life With Archie, dead Archie and zombie Archie. All this and more from Publishers Weekly’s More To Come!

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the PublishersWeekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes


0 Comments on The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 2: Don Rosa, Eleanor Davis, Lucy Knisley & Archie Comics as of 7/25/2014 6:56:00 PM
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20. The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 5: Chuck Palahnuik

logo-pod-more-to-come-1400.pngLive from San Diego Comic Con, it’s More To Come! Publishers Weekly’s podcast of comics news, interviews and discussion with Calvin Reid, Kate Fitzsimons and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In part five of More To Come’s San Diego Comic-Con special podcast, Calvin Reid interviews award-winning author Chuck Palahnuik about his decision to write the sequel to his hit ‘Fight Club’ in comic book form, and the comics professionals who helped it happen. This has been San Diego Comic-Con 2014 from Publishers Weekly’s More To Come!

Download this episode direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the Publishers Weekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

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21. The SDCC Talk Back: Return to Onsite Sales, and More Disability Resources

President of the Comic-Con board of directors, John Rogers, returns for the Talk Back.

President of the Comic-Con board of directors, John Rogers, returns for the Talk Back.

By: Nick Eskey

Signifying the end of the four day odyssey that is SDCC is the Comic-Con Talk Back with John Rogers (president of the Comic-Con board of directors). As it normally does, the room has a line that runs the length of the room all the way to the back, and then some. The pressure is thick in the room. A mini argument even breaks out in the middle of the line before the Talk Back begins. Last year, the main points of discussion were the crass behavior of security, and Hall H issues in general.

Some of the more minor things that were mentioned maybe once or twice were; the ridiculousness of how Ace Parking decided to sell parking spots during the duration of comic-con instead of on a day-to-day basis, trying to add real-time line numbers to the online ticket queues, and how ill-informed the security can be. “If you have a solution for well informed security guards, I’d love to hear it,” said John looking over his glasses. Another thing was the bathroom passes given to those in Hall H. “How can you keep track if the same person is returning with the pass?” Rogers agreed to it, but reminded “We tried scanning people’s passes one year to keep track, but the process took too much time. I wish there was a simple way.”

A great number of discussion was over the frustrations regarding the online registration, and that people wanted a return to the onsite badge sales. John responded by saying, “Unfortunately because of the growing popularity of the convention, onsite sales would only increase wait times for everyone.” Despite this fact however, those who proposed the return stayed resolute to their request. One woman went so far as to ask, “well how about next year can you get me extra passes? I’ve been trying to get other family members some tickets, but I don’t understand the website. What can you do for me?” Rogers looked surprised, and went to say, “There’s a large demand and not enough to meet it. I don’t know what I can do.” “What about the press and the professional people? They get passes? What can you do for me?”

For those that can’t get into Hall H, or rather not brave the lines, there is a room designated for a Hall H play back. One of the downsides to it however is the lack of exclusives. Studios ask for certain things to be only viewable in the hall, so as to lessen the risk of recording. One man proposed that John give the studios an ultimatum. That they allow exclusives in the play back room, “or else. Comic-con  doesn’t need them. They need comic-con.” “We are about being fair and equal to everyone,” said Rogers. “How fair would it be if we don’t let 6’000 people get to see it because 900 people can’t?”

For serious issues, there certainly were some big ones this year. An observation of mine was that there were quite a bit of handicapped individuals lined up this year compared to las. And for good reason, for all of them had something to say. A couple points were that the comic-con website was not as insightful as some of them would have liked to, sometimes even confusing to the point of frustration. A large issue was especially the handicapped line for Hall H. As one gentlemen put it, “we didn’t have provisions such as the able bodied people did, and we weren’t given wristbands.” At the part about the wristbands, Rogers looked surprised. “They didn’t give you wristbands?” he asked. About two other people in the crowd also seconded it. “It wasn’t supposed to be that way,” answered Rogers. Apparently a line moderator deemed it “useless” for those in the line to have wristbands.

For Hall H, any handicapped person is allowed an attendee to help them traverse the lines and crowds. But one oddity that one woman brought to light was how the disabled individuals were then being separated from their attendees when led in the hall, and those left behind had to wait. “By the time I was allowed in, it was an hour and a half later,” said the woman. She also observed most of the attendees weren’t even allowed to sit next to those they came with. Rogers apologized and full heartedly agreed that in no world should something like that happen, and also would find out what was going on.

Though not everything was complaints. There was quite a bit of praise over the issuance of wristbands for the Hall H line. “It made it so much easier to counter people cutting when others have been waiting all day.” One man commented on how he wished he could grab multiples for those that couldn’t be with him at the time, but John pointed out that if they allowed this, “there’d be the risk of people selling them to others.”

It was good to see that one of the main points from last year was surely worked on. I maybe heard of one guard issue this year. I personally could see that they were more professional in their manor. But the Hall H issue is still on the table. In fact, it might be getting worse. And with all the issues that arose this year with disabled services to compound it, there was definitely a disconnect somewhere.

3 Comments on The SDCC Talk Back: Return to Onsite Sales, and More Disability Resources, last added: 7/28/2014
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22. Baseball, Comic-Cons, and Paying Volunteers

Minimum WageYesterday The Mary Sue published an article noting that for-profit comic-cons might be violating federal labor law by not paying minimum wage to workers improperly classified as volunteers. However, a recent case involving Major League Baseball shows how commercial comic-cons could beat the tag.

The use of free labor by for-profit companies has become a hot issue in recent years. Internships have become a particularly touchy topic – class action lawsuits by former interns have prompted some companies to end their unpaid internship programs, although there are at least a couple high-profile cases on appeal in which companies are challenging the Department of Labor’s standards for determining whether an intern is actually an employee.

Given how costly it can be for a company to fall afoul of federal law on this issue, it is indeed prudent for the companies that run comic conventions to assess whether it is legal for them to use unpaid volunteers. This is especially conventions run by for-profit companies, since charitable nonprofits enjoy a special exemption from minimum wage and overtime requirements in regard to volunteers. The Mary Sue has once again performed a service to the community in calling attention to this important issue.

With that in mind, in making this analysis it’s important to be aware of both the law’s requirements, the specific practices of each company, and the exemptions that are available outside the one given to charities.

First, since conventions produced by ReedPop — NYCC, ECCC, C2E2 — were mentioned in the post, it’s worth noting, as several “volunteers” have stated in the original comments thread and a related Reddit thread, that ReedPop pays volunteers minimum wage as official crew. Calling people volunteers in this context is a great way to foster a sense of community and community — one of things for which Lance Fensterman and company are to be commended is the way that they have fostered this communal sensibility while maximizing return on investment.

But not every for-profit comic-con that brings on volunteers gives these workers compensation – in fact, depending on the convention, you might actually be required to pay a fee for the privilege of helping the company out! Although this may seem on its face like a violation of federal law, there’s a legal loophole that has enabled countless commercial businesses to use volunteers in the standard sense of term.

Over the years the federal Fair Labor Standards Act has accumulated dozens of exemptions for a wide range of ventures, from homemakers making wreaths to C-level executives. For a company that operates a program taking place within a limited period of time during the year, there is one exemption in particular that catches the corporate attorney’s eye: minimum wage and overtime requirements do not apply to “any employee employed by an establishment which is an amusement or recreational establishment…” that operates no more than seven months a year or meets a financial test as to revenue generated at different times of the year. (29 USC 213(a)(3))

There are several cases that show how a commercial comic-con can take advantage of this provision, but the ruling perhaps most on-point was issued just a year ago in the Southern District of New York – coincidentally, the same federal district in which the New York Comic-Con takes place. Chen v. Major League Baseball Properties was brought by a former volunteer for the 2013 All-Star Week FanFest at the Javits Center (!), and the volunteer made arguments similar to those made in the intern lawsuits: volunteers at the event met the criteria for employee status, and thus Major League Baseball should have paid them at least minimum wage.

Major League Baseball — and the court — disagreed. As the court observed, although Major League Baseball operates all year long, Department of Labor regulations distinguish an entire enterprise from an “establishment,” which specifically refers to “a distinct place of business.” The exemption was put in place to accommodate seasonal ventures employing people for discrete periods of time in activities that might offer “non-monetary rewards.” The court concluded Major League Baseball’s FanFest was analogous to the amusement and recreational activities in view when legislators originally enacted the exemption, and the plaintiff’s federal as well as state law claims were summarily dismissed.

The plaintiff has appealed the district court’s ruling – in fact, it was argued in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today, March 30 – but as noted above, there are a number of cases in other circuits that have reached similar conclusions. What’s more, even if the appeal succeeds, the main case being cited in opposition focuses on aspects of one baseball team’s operations that are distinguishable from a comic-con. For instance, while the team in question utilized its stadium for events throughout much of the year, comic-cons typically take place in rented facilities for discrete periods of time.

The analysis gets somewhat trickier for an entity operating multiple conventions. For instance, let’s assume that Wizard World doesn’t pay its volunteers — there’s nothing about compensation in the volunteer information packet, at least; Wizard World volunteers don’t even get munchies or parking reimbursements. The fact that Wizard World operates year-round could be grounds for arguing that the seasonal establishment exemption doesn’t apply, but there are also clever counter-arguments and organizational strategies that could persuade a court to disagree. Others have tried and succeeded with even more daunting facts – which, on a related front, is why the NCAA doesn’t have to pay taxes on ads sold for March Madness.

The seasonal exemption has long been a lifeline for companies offering an opportunity to volunteer for ventures that operate on a limited-term basis, such as amusement parks, outdoor swimming pools, Oprah’s Life You Want Tour, and New York Fashion Week. If you are an unpaid commercial comic-con volunteer who believes a lawsuit for back wages would be a clear home run, expect Major League Baseball Properties and cases like it to be deployed to strike you out.

1 Comments on Baseball, Comic-Cons, and Paying Volunteers, last added: 3/31/2015
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23. Aspen Comics Announce SDCC Plans


That time of the year my geeks love is almost here. SDCC is so close. Before everyone starts complaining about the lines and the availability of soft pretzels all over San Diego, Aspen Comics are letting fans know what they can expect to see and hear about on pop culture’s grandest stage.

This October, the publisher [Aspen Comics] will debut the action/adventure saga set in Feudal Japan, Oniba: Swords of the Demon, by Paolo Pantalena (Fathom Blue, Red Hood/Arsenal) and Vince Hernandez (Fathom: Kiani, Charismagic). This all-new Aspen series will center around Yukiko, a deadly ronin on a quest to eradicate the ancient demons plaguing her land, as well as her past. The zero issue will feature two covers by Pantalena, and the series will include covers by Pantalena, as well as Mahmud Asrar (All New X-Men), Joe Benitez (Lady Mechanika), Laura Braga (Witchblade), Eric “Ebas” Basaldua (Fathom Blue), Mirka Andolfo (Damsels in Excess, Vampirella), Sabine Rich (Executive Assistant: Assassins) and more to be announced. This will be Aspen’s first standalone zero issue released in over three years.

Oniba_Paolo Oniba_MahmudAsrar ONIBA_00_Paolo


Aspen will reveal a new series from creator and writer David Wohl (Executive Assistant: Iris, Witchblade, Aphrodite IX) featuring art by veteran Aspen artist Giuseppe Cafaro (Fathom: Kiani, Trish Out of Water). This all-new Aspen title will be Wohl’s first new series since the popular Executive Assistant: Iris property debuted. The story centers on a young woman given a rare and powerful gift that soon turns out be something far more dangerous than she could ever imagine.


This Fall, Aspen will further expand Siya Oum’s hit title, Lola XOXO, with the anticipated second volume from creator Oum. Following the conclusion of the first spin-off mini-series, Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam, Oum will hint that the series will see even more expansion in the upcoming year, with new spin-offs and other Lola XOXO products in the works. November will also see the trade paperback releases of Lola XOXO: Volume One and Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam Volume One.

Lola_Vol2 LolaXOXO


2016 will also see the introduction of Aspen E-Book Novellas, beginning with the release of a new Executive Assistant story by writer Heather Finley (Executive Assistant, Zombies vs. Cheerleaders) featuring a young assassin named Zinnia, and her love affair that threatens her future—as well as her present.


Aspen Comics is expanding upon the first two releases from their Aspen Novels line of prose novels, “The Lost Spark” and “Seven to Die,” with a third new novel, “The People Vs. Planet Earth” by writer Vince Hernandez. This intergalactic drama will feature an alien forced to defend the planet Earth from imminent extermination at the hand of a much more advanced planet.


Aspen’s planned graphic novel release schedule for the final quarter of 2015 and into 2016 will see over eleven new and returning out-of-print trade paperbacks released via the publisher’s commitment to bolster their trade paperback shelf presence, beginning with the Lola XOXO trades, Jirni: Volume One, Charismagic: Volume One, Michael Turner’s Soulfire and Fathom sold out volume one and two reprints, as well as Soulfire: Volume Two for the first time ever. New trade paperback releases include Psycho Bonkers: Volume One and The Four Points: Volume One.


Aspen will be premiering new Aspen Convention Exclusive Hardcover Editions of their popular series at this year’s Comic-Con, beginning with the release of Michael Turner Presents: Aspen The Extended Edition hardcover by Geoff Johns and Michael Turner and the Damsels in Excess hardcover edition by Vince Hernandez and Mirka Andolfo. These convention-exclusive editions will be highly limited to 50 copies each.


Aspen’s Big Dog Ink imprint will see the conclusion of the re-mastered Shahrazad, Critter and Legend of Oz: The Wicked West series this year and the publisher will begin debuting the all new Aspen-BDI titles in 2016, as well as the first ever BDI Annual Issue featuring a selection of new stories from various BDI properties and creators. The publisher will debut the first ever Art of BDI: Volume One at this year’s Comic Con at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321, featuring artwork from Big Dog Ink’s large assortment of talented artists including J. Scott Campbell, Jen Broomall, Mike Debalfo, Eric “Ebas” Basaldua and more. BDI publisher Tom Hutchison will be on hand at the Official Aspen Comics Panel 2015 to discuss the imprint’s future titles and more.


BDI Artbook Cover

On the merchandise side, Aspen Comics will release an all-new Aspen Comics T-Shirt for both men and women available exclusively at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321, and the publisher will reveal a sneak peek at their long-awaited line of Aspen apparel and products at their panel featuring many of Aspen’s popular characters and titles. This new line will emphasize both men and women’s fashion, providing options for all fans of Aspen Comics. Comic Con 2015 attendees will also be able to purchase Aspen’s new string-back tote bag directly from the publisher’s booth #2321.


Fans attending the Official Aspen Comics SDCC Panel 2015 will also receive a one-of-a-kind panel-exclusive variant copy of Critter #1 featuring an Aspen Comics/Big Dog Ink jam cover by artist Alex Konat (Fathom, Eternal Soulfire). Aspen strongly encourages fans to arrive early to ensure their copy.



It looks like this will be the year Aspen finally brings apparel back to their catalogue. For the last few years the publisher has worked extensively to find the right licensing company to produce clothing. As we get closer to the show we’ll learn more about what the exclusive hardcovers look like and what else the publisher might announce at the show.


1 Comments on Aspen Comics Announce SDCC Plans, last added: 6/14/2015
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24. 12th Doctor and Clara land at the San Diego convention center in a story only available at SDCC

With the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) less than a month away, news is coming in fast and furious on con-exclusives. Titan is offering a cornucopia of SDCC only merchandise, with triptych covers featuring the 10th, 11th and 12th Doctors, an SDCC exclusive story line featuring the 12th Doctor and Clara battling a mirror-bound alien threat at the con itself, and two 10th Doctor vinyl figures including a 50th anniversary 10 wearing 11’s Fez! Titan will be at booth #5537. From Titan:


When the Twelfth Doctor and Clara turn up at San Diego Comic Con, a quick selfie outside the TARDIS reveals an alien threat among the con-goers and cosplayers! The green-skinned Lady of Neverness can only be viewed through mirrors, photos and quantum snapshots, and has turned up in the background of photos all over the convention! But if enough people view her at the same time, she’ll gain the power to breach into our dimension… to feed on the life-force of the whole planet! Can the Doctor and Clara defeat her and save the day?

Find out in this exclusive new short story, only available at San Diego Comic Con 2015! Plus, go behind the scenes of the comic with writers George Mann and Cavan Scott, and artist Rachael Stott – and get an early in-print glimpse of the Doctor Who 2015 Event – Four Doctors! All under two amazing covers from fan-favorite artist Alice X. Zhang!

When writer Cavan Scott talked to us about taking on the Ninth Doctor back in March, he mentioned he would be adding another Doctor to the long list of Time Lord incarnations he’s written for. This issue is what he was hinting at! Scott has previously written for Doctors: 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and now 12! The issue offers a choice of two gorgeous covers from Zhang, who really lovingly captures the Doctors and now a Companion in her oil-paint portraiture style:



Then there’s that nice series of interlocking covers featuring the three Doctors looking very British in front of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye. The special covers are unique to SDCC, and contain the latest issues in the ongoing series of the Doctors.

Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor #14, which is the penultimate issue of the ongoing series, finds 10 and Gabby separated by an “ancient force from the centre of the galaxy” according to the release from Titan. Can Gabby hold her own alone? Check out our interview with series writer Nick Abadzis to get your 10th Doctor fix before the issue drops.

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #14 is part one of a two-part season finale, that teams Al Ewing and Rob Williams up on writing duties for what Titan calls “an unmissable mini-epic.” Will companion Alice “find peace — or be marooned far from Earth? Will Jones fulfill his cosmic rock god destiny — or die among the stars? And who will be left to join the Doctor as we head into Year Two?” Check out our interview with Ewing and Williams and see if the spoiler hints they gave us have come to pass yet…

And finally Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor #11 finds the Doctor and Clara “Fresh from their adventures in Las Vegas” and apparently  the Doctor and “eager for a change of scenery, but their next destination aboard the TARDIS will prove a SHOCKING change of pace!

 Check out the the neat Triptych effect below of the SDCC exclusive covers below:


But what would a menu of SDCC con-exclusives from Titan be without adorable vinyl figures? Fear not, you’ve got your pick of tiny Tennant’s:

Doctor Who TITANS 3_ 10th Doctor Fez

Doctor Who TITANS 4.5_ 10th Doctor

0 Comments on 12th Doctor and Clara land at the San Diego convention center in a story only available at SDCC as of 1/1/1900
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25. SDCC ’15 Exclusive Funko Toy Announcements

By Nick Eskey

Funko, the company best known for their “POP!” line of figurines, will be releasing a plethora (great word huh?) of Comic Con exclusives this year. A new list of additions will be released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until June 29th, so make sure you check back for the latest news.

This year to the pleasure of some Con-goers, and dismay of others (especially resellers), Funko is not offering a pre-buy option. So those who want these hot toys better fight for their lives.

Without further ado, here’s a peak of what’s in store so far:

Pop! Movies: Penguins of Madagascar - Cheesy Skipper

Pop! Movies: Penguins of Madagascar – Cheesy Skipper

If you love those little black and white flightless birds of the Madagascar movies, this Cheesy Skipper is waiting for you. Complete with a bag of their favorite “cheezy dibbles,” this leader of the covert penguin group also is sporting a cheese flavor-dust motif.

Pop! Marvel: Ant-Man - Black Out Ant-Man

Pop! Marvel: Ant-Man – Black Out Ant-Man

Just in time for Marvel’s newest movie, Ant-Man makes the scene equipped with his black and red power suit. Get him before he shrinks out of sight.

Pop! Disney: Big Hero 6 - 6" Baymax Unmasked

Pop! Disney: Big Hero 6 – 6″ Baymax Unmasked

Need a personal healthcare companion who also knows how to kick major butt? This 6 inch Baymax Unmasked is your man. Err… robot. Don’t let this super-sized lover of hugs get passed you. Just look at those giant eyes!

Pop! Hanna-Barbera: Lil' Gruesome (Green)

Pop! Hanna-Barbera: Lil’ Gruesome (Green)

Hannah-Barbera cartoons have a place in animated history. This little blood sucker, affectionately named Lil’ Gruesome, is from the “Wacky Races” series. Changing it up from his normal purple to a truly gruesome green, this monster will be racing straight to Comic Con.

ReAction: Terminator 2 - T1000 with Hole in Head

ReAction: Terminator 2 – T1000 with Hole in Head

What’s better than an Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator? A shape-shifting cop Terminator! From Terminator 2, we have this somewhat posable T1000 figure reminiscent of the toys sold in stores in the 70’s and early 80’s. Adding to the cool factor is the hole in the head from one of the movie’s most famous scenes.

Hikari: Universal Monsters - Antique Verdigris Metaluna Mutant

Hikari: Universal Monsters – Antique Verdigris Metaluna Mutant

And last on our Monday reveal list is this gem from classic Japanese cinema. This Metaluna Mutant is packaged in a black and gold box and limited to 500, so it’ll be a must get for all exclusive toy collectors.

Stay tuned and check back for our Wednesday reveal!

1 Comments on SDCC ’15 Exclusive Funko Toy Announcements, last added: 6/17/2015
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