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Results 1 - 25 of 58
1. Singapore cosplayer finds room for all his mecha parts in amazing Ikea ad

Okay this is an ad for Ikea, but it is also a fantasy for most of us. Like, a Sex in the City/Axe ad level fantasy.

Imagine being a cosplayer in your small room, and all the parts of your Axis Powers Hetalia, Slam Dunk and other costumes are just strewn about, willy nilly, making your tiny living quarters a squalid mess. LIke you do. And then Ikea comes along and magically, wonderfully, enchantingly CLEANS EVERYTHING UP and puts all your wigs, satin gowns and plastic swords in a Besta or a Kassett. Lots and lots of Kassetts. And when you come back by MAGIC you have a clean organized home! And even your girl/boyfriend approves.

Admit it, you’ve had this fantasy MORE than the one about a $50,000 shopping spree at Nordstrom’s, haven’t you?

Frank is a Singapore cosplayer who has competed in the World Cosplay Summit for his country. And he has lived the fantasy.

However, it is only a fantasy, as one of the you tube commenters put it. “And truth be told…that room will be tidy until next con.”

So so true.

1 Comments on Singapore cosplayer finds room for all his mecha parts in amazing Ikea ad, last added: 3/7/2014
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2. On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

As I suggested in my early con impressions, WonderCon had a reasonable amount of space and handled the numbers of attendees pretty well. It was no surprise that Saturday brought bigger numbers than Friday, and the crowding was more obvious, but still never reached that feeling of pushing and shoving that can easily erupt at crowded cons. The floor occasionally got backed up, particularly around the constantly slammed DC Comics booth, where big names like Scott Snyder appeared frequently for signings and the DC booth’s location, at the very front of the con entrance, contributed to some difficulty getting onto the floor. I noticed that the retail side of things was fairly busy, too, with some crowding and difficulty navigating, suggesting that plenty of fans were there to buy back issues and memorabilia, as well. The artists alley at WonderCon was a little on the scanty side in terms of size and numbers of tables, but those artists who were present were very engaging and passionate about their work. They seemed to have regular followers who were coming in to buy their artwork and there was a strong representation of the fine art side of fantasy prints and original work, as well as handmade arts and crafts.

mbrittany plaza 200x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo GalleryOpen areas like the food court and outside atrium were a welcome oasis, but it also continued to be easy to exit the con into the outdoor plaza areas for a rest and there was no difficulty with re-entry. Though the floor only allowed a couple of doors for access, the many exterior doors were open for comings and goings, with several food trucks outside, far enough from the entrance not to cause back ups. One other surprise was that Sunday seemed just as busy as Saturday, as I heard retailers commenting. They were turning over sales at just as high a rate that day. This feeling may be due to the fact that there were slightly fewer panels on Sunday, making the floor more of a feature, or simply that people waited to do their shopping on the floor on Sunday. When I stumbled into the Arena, a venue I hadn’t seen before, I was impressed with the numbers it could hold, and also that it was completely full for a Joss Whedon Shakespeare film adaptation event. This suggested to me that the con was handling numbers well, since I generally had no idea that so many people were even at the con on top of the numbers moving in the open spaces of the con. It was Easter Sunday the last day of the con, and it closed a little early, at 5PM, perhaps for this reason, but fans still had a sense that they would have been happy for the con to go on a little longer, a good sign regarding WonderCon’s appeal.

One final follow up: I suggested initially in my coverage that people might find WonderCon in Anaheim appealing due to Disneyland access, and that this would appeal to people will kids particularly. Though this turned out to be true, I also underestimated the appeal of Disneyland to singles and younger congoers. I went to Disneyland the following Monday and found that quite a number of WonderCon attendees were there too, from a younger demographic than I expected. You could tell from their conversations and generally less pastel clothing what guests were in town for the con, and I’d say about 1 in 10 were from the con in the massive crowds Disney drew on that post-Easter day.

mbrittany dark horse 200x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo GalleryFinal thoughts: it was a well run and appealing con, offering plenty of choice in terms of panels, keeping up with what’s going on in comics and pop culture right now. Marvel were a little under represented, though Dan Slott was participating in panels, and several pros who were there for DC panels were formal Marvel people. Marvel didn’t have a booth on the floor, driving up the demand for DC variants and signings, which they happily accommodated. I was also impressed by the energetic presence of the mid-sized presses like Dark Horse, Archaia, Image, IDW, and ComiXology, for taking the opportunity to flourish and interact with fans when given a little more space to do so. The mid-sized presses really shone in their engagement with fans on the floor, their foresight in bringing new and upcoming books to purchase and get a sneak-peak at, and also through their involvement on panels. This gave the general impression that mid-sized presses are on the rise and taking on the role, collectively, as contenders for the Big Two. Good for them!

Whether WonderCon is in Anaheim again or back in San Francisco in the future, the planning and structure of the con should continue to hold up to make it a comfortable as well as enjoyable, exciting event for fans. This won’t be one of the cons where you have to sacrifice personal amenities just to see your favorite artists speak or get the variant your collection is calling for. They have a sense of putting the customer first at WonderCon and let’s hope that continues; it sets a good model for the growing con industry, and there are some bigger cons who could learn a thing or two from this.

Without further ado, some highlights of the con in photos from my trusty partner in crime Michele Brittany who proved her moxie as a pop culture photographer at WonderCon 2013 in spades. Thanks Michele!

mbrittany anime 207x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany artist alley 300x256 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany batman 224x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany big eyes 207x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany comics 300x200 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany holly hoxx graphic 300x200 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany golden comics 300x200 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany marvel art 300x212 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany moxie 193x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany mysterious galaxy 300x205 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany pirate 158x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany shredder 119x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany small press alley 300x180 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany super family 208x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany super hero stuff 300x200 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany tom hodges 211x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany valentine et al 239x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany wanted 230x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany wreck it ralph 212x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery


Photo Credits: All photos in this article were taken by semi-professional photographer and pop culture scholar Michele Brittany. She’s an avid photographer of pop culture events. You can learn more about her photography and pop culture scholarship here.

Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

5 Comments on On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery, last added: 4/28/2013
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3. Fully Dressed Redesigns of Superheroines

A project by Michael Lee Lunsford – of Supernnormal Step webcomic fame – that sees some of our favourite women superheroes dressed in non-revealing costumes has been causing a splash on the internet today.

Supergirl Fully Dressed Redesigns of SuperheroinesAll illustrations from Michael Lee Lunsford’s tumblr here. 

Point of this: An exercise in character design, attempting to clothe the heroines nearly all the way and not making them painted-on, while still keeping the look of their original costumes in some way. Hopefully keeping them looking as iconic as the originally were. Just showing what can be done with a costume breaking outside the barrier of the norm.

NOT the point of this: some moral code I’m trying to push on you.

Zatanna 194x300 Fully Dressed Redesigns of SuperheroinesJudging by the reaction on my own Twitter and Facebook, the overall response is incredibly positive and the negative responses somewhat revealing in themselves. There’s criticism that all the women are wearing trousers for example, or look frumpy, with fellow Beat writer Steve Morris noting that he was somewhat initially taken back by the fact that these women are drawn with realistic body shapes – not something superhero comic readers are perhaps used to.

Other negative comments followed the predictable paths of, “but superhero men are half naked too!”, “they look like men in drag!”, “prudes!”, and the ever popular, “TWILIGHT!!”. Criticising superhero outfits is, of course, a favourite past time of all superhero comics fans, but when it comes to the women characters such criticism can skate worryingly close to the sexist edge (if not outright flying right over it).

elekra 194x300 Fully Dressed Redesigns of SuperheroinesSo it’s easy to see why Lunsford is keen to point out that he is not pushing a moral code here. Let’s remember too, that women who like these outfits are not out on a crusade to ban all bare legs and boobs from superhero comics (Vampirella’s famous costume for example was designed by the wonderful and feminist Trina Robbins). But it is nice to see that these characters remain as iconic and powerful without all having to bare skin. Just as all superhero men should not have to sport the Namor speedo look. (Although actually, another illustrator has done almost exactly that to further illustrate this very point!)

Vampirella 194x300 Fully Dressed Redesigns of SuperheroinesI really love these, and it’s heartening to see the positive reactions. In my own world, superheroes would have more than one outfit because while some days we all feel like sex kittens, other days we just want to wear our pyjamas and veg out while reluctantly saving the world. And who wants to wear the same thing every day? Stick to a colour scheme to be recognisable, but work that capsule wardrobe folk. Lunsford is now working on a series called Super-Casuals, starting with Spider-Man.

Some of these characters of course have had (or currently have) equally non-revealing outfits. I think what sets these illustrations apart though is that realism in body shapes that Stephen spotted, and the fact that these also look like everyday wear for everyday women. I would totally wear that Supergirl outfit (minus the cape!).

(And wouldn’t these be great for real all-ages comics that aren’t just for kids but are suitable for them too?!)

Wonder 150x150 Fully Dressed Redesigns of Superheroines Psylocke 150x150 Fully Dressed Redesigns of Superheroines
Peej 150x150 Fully Dressed Redesigns of Superheroines Canary 150x150 Fully Dressed Redesigns of Superheroines

Source: Tumblr via Geek Native

15 Comments on Fully Dressed Redesigns of Superheroines, last added: 4/3/2013
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4. On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan Empowerment

While the Nerdist Industries’ arena event at WonderCon this year was ostensibly about the future of the Youtube based pop culture conglomerate, and, indeed, plenty was said about upcoming projects, the question and answer period really expanded into a call to arms for fans to help directly determine the future of pop culture.

mbrittany hardwick panel 1 300x146 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdists Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan EmpowermentNerdist founder Chris Hardwick took the stage, joined by panellists Paul Provenza, Troy Conrad, and Matt Bennett, on March 31st, in the lead up to the season finale of The Walking Dead. Hardwick’s job as host of Talking Dead meant there was plenty of frisson in the audience about the upcoming show, and Hardwick teased, but didn’t deliver, spoilers on the show’s finale several times. In fact, he informed the audience that he was about to “get into a car to film Talking Dead” following his WonderCon appearance. Envy at his early viewing of the finale was palpable.

mbrittany chris hardwick 1 300x298 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdists Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan EmpowermentWhile Hardwick has a cult following as host of Talking Dead, and also from plenty of Nerdist projects, his presence live is even more dynamic, bringing with it plenty of his stand up comedy background. Since it was also Easter Sunday, Hardwick opened with a relevant quip: “That’s one person who came back from the dead and didn’t do it to rip someone’s heart out. Just put the love in it”. About a thousand attendees found this hilarious. Hardwick showed a promo video preview of upcoming Nerdist projects, often punctuated by applause and cheers from the audience when they recognized an anticipated segment or a celebrity guest coming up on a project, and followed by discussing several of the projects in a little more detail with his panellists.

mbrittany chris hardwick 3 248x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdists Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan EmpowermentBennet’s new series, currently being filmed, entitled Nerdy Jobs, a play on Dirty Jobs, got particular attention. The series will involve him visiting nerdy “cool” companies like tech industries and comic book shops to give an insider’s view of working there. Hardwick pondered what Bennett would find to say if he visited NASA for the show: “Uh, sorry about your funding?”. Another big push for Nerdist is the launch of a comedy combination of stand up and improv based on the British series concept Setlist, a competition that will tour around the world. As a veteran of stand up, Hardwick was particularly enthused, commenting that forcing stand up comedians into an improv situation is like “looking for the God particle of comedy”. His request to the audience about the upcoming new shows: “Please don’t feel compelled to say horrible things IN ALL CAPS in comment threads”.

mbrittany hardwick panel 2 300x133 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdists Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan EmpowermentThis led Harwick to speak for a moment about Youtube as a venue for hosting programming. Though delivered in a comically serious tone, the message had some bite: “No longer do companies tell us what to watch”. It was the first of several comments that indicated that Hardwick still has a lot to say about the role of open access and its giant-killing capabilities in relation to big media. Nerdist Industries, he said, is going to be expanding, but not along the lines of some of their peers on Youtube, who branch out into “piles of channels”; instead, they are aiming for a “hyper-curated partnership” with 6-8 channels and plenty of intensive “cross promotion”. They are also considering a move, based on fan request, to try out video podcasts, though Hardwick is a little skeptical of why people would want to watch them. Demand has been high enough that he’s prepared to yield to the experiment. Upcoming guests for the video podcast will include Seth Rogan, Steve Young, Scott Adsit and “surprises” too. Nerdist will also, finally, launch a major app to link to its content and, even more surprisingly, will be venturing into filmmaking following their purchase by Legendary Entertainment. They hope to work as producers on smaller budget films in this new role.

mbrittany hardwick panel 3 300x131 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdists Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan EmpowermentWhile Hardwick was delivering his energetic spiel, Provenza interjected, “Do you ever sleep?”. It was true, Hardwick looked a little peaked. “I have a robot heart”, he intoned, and continued on to the question and answer period. Questions began with a repeat offender from SDCC who Hardwick had once hugged in the past for his super fandom regarding Superman. “Comic Con is about getting super freaked out about stuff you love”, Hardwick reminded the audience (and he would deliver another hug later to a girl dressed as Wario in sympathy with his own Mario Brothers t-shirt). Harwick was then asked what he would do if his girlfriend was found to be “patient zero” in a potential zombie apocalypse. “Oh, I’d shoot her in the fucking head. That’s what you do for your loved ones”, he said without hesitation, to much hilarity, and added that he hoped she’d do the same for him.

mbrittany chris and mario 300x233 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdists Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan EmpowermentHe seemed pretty serious about that topic, but not as serious as he became immediately after the question on the subject of open access production. “There is literally no excuse for you not to pursue things that you love now. You are living half a life if you do not pursue the things that you love”, he said, referring to the tools now available for fans and pop culture creators alike. When a middle school teacher asked him for ideas to keep her students interested in pop culture in their newly formed lunch club, he gave a very invested answer, repeating that the most important thing the teacher could do for them would be to get them to “make things”, whether videos, or other media. “Teach them to be creators vs. consumers”, he pleaded, to much approbation from the crowd.

mbrittany chris hardwick 2 278x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdists Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan EmpowermentOne of Hardwick’s winning qualities that keeps him from drifting too far from his fanbase  due to his ever increasing media success is his earnestness, often placing himself in the role of the fan once more. He described himself as a “lamprey” feeding off the “giant sperm whale” of pop culture products and feeling grateful, trying not to “impose” when working with actors from major shows. The Nerdist panel emphasized again that Hardwick still sees himself as an outsider in the mainstream, and an insider to “nerd” culture, no matter how many celebrity friends he accrues. That lends credence to his requests and his advice that fans continue to interact directly with the things they love through becoming “creators” too.


Photo Credits: All photos in this article were taken by semi-professional photographer and pop culture scholar Michele Brittany. She’s an avid photographer of pop culture events. You can learn more about her photography and pop culture scholarship here.

Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

4 Comments on On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan Empowerment, last added: 4/2/2013
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5. It’s Time for that In-Depth Investigation of ‘All-Winners Squad’ you’ve Yearned for

all winners squad Its Time for that In Depth Investigation of All Winners Squad youve Yearned for

Nobody has any idea why this exists, which I guess is precisely why everybody should be thrilled to view it? After first being announced at San Diego during a strange, strange panel which featured live appearances from several members of the cast, the first episode of Marvel’s ALL-WINNERS SQUAD animated webseries has gone online, which sees basically every Marvel character worth caring about… assemble onto one team.

Not since The Champions have we had such a powerful lineup in the same room. We’ve got The Unicorn (Russia’s greatest villain!), Hypno Hustler, Frog-Man, Squirrel Girl, Howard the Duck, Ruby Thursday and Walrus all on this team, you guys. Ruby Thursday, I say! She’s the notch Wolverine is proudest of having on his bedpost. It’s an inspired lineup of heroes. Here’s a photo Marvel took at SDCC with three of the cast members, who are IRL here but are contained to cartoon in the video:

detail Its Time for that In Depth Investigation of All Winners Squad youve Yearned for

The video is a ridiculous piece of silliness, in which the characters gather round a conference table to find out why they’re there, and what the point of everything is. The basic plot gets set up – no spoilers – and looks like it could be a whole lot of fun. Ruby Thursday has a seductive robot voice. Hypno Hustler speaks exclusively in 1970s Blaxploitation nonsense. And Frog Man appears to be masturbating.

There is little to no reason for this to exist, although apparently Doop will also show up soon – and as everybody knows, Doop Is. So I suppose that will have to be reason enough.

Now, I know some of you are going to look at this and think that Marvel are making fun of the sad-acts who use the internet to talk about comics. Here we have a group of losers, who can’t make it on their own, desperately clinging onto Marvel to provide them with some small semblance of dignity and power. Some of them are perverts, some of them are fat, and one of them is a furry. ISN’T THAT BASICALLY WHAT A MESSAGE BOARD IS?

Not really, no. And hilariously forced subtext aside from me aside, this is quite a fun start. It’s obviously the most cheese you’ve ever seen in the history of your life, but Hypno Hustler alone makes it worth watching. It’s sad that winning characters like DARKSTAR and HEPZIBAH have yet to appear, but maybe – just maybe – this could be the place to finally see the return of Peter Milligan’s finest creation…. RAIN BOY?

RainBoy Its Time for that In Depth Investigation of All Winners Squad youve Yearned for

Probably not. More likely are appearances from Deadpool, Pixie, D-Man and Batroc The Leaper. Expect a full breakdown once episode 2 hits the net!

2 Comments on It’s Time for that In-Depth Investigation of ‘All-Winners Squad’ you’ve Yearned for, last added: 7/26/2012
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6. If it’s Power Girl this must be Dragon*Con (and PAX)

dragoncon saturday bill 14 If its Power Girl this must be Dragon*Con (and PAX)
Labor Day Weekend is a circled on the calendar of free-spirits of all shapes and species, as WorldCon, Burning Man, Dragon*Con and PAX are all on the schedule — no matter what you like to dress up as, there’s definitely a place to parade around and search for someone else dressed up for the ultimate fantasy.

The Mary Sue has a nice little gallery of Atlanta’s Dragon*Con and Seattle’s PAX; we snagged the above new style Power Girl from the former.

cosplayer If its Power Girl this must be Dragon*Con (and PAX)

MTV Geek has their Dragon*Con galleries arranged by category — comics, video games, etc.

And there’s this CNN GeekOut photo parade of the Dragon*Con costume parade, which also included Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno. This parade always looks like a blast — people have been talking abotu some kind of mass parade for Comic-Con for a while, which we’re sure would be fun but maybe a logistical nightmare. Anyway, the takeaway is MORE PARADES.

For more photos, there’s always good old Flickr, as old fashioned as that may be.
201209040118 If its Power Girl this must be Dragon*Con (and PAX)

For instance here’s a Bane from SEB-1119′s photo stream.

4 Comments on If it’s Power Girl this must be Dragon*Con (and PAX), last added: 9/4/2012
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7. Radio 4 Gather Stunning Voice-Cast for Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’

Well, this is certainly one of the most British things I’ve ever heard. Please whistle the theme tune to The Archers while you read this article.

Yesterday Neil Gaiman announced on his blog that BBC Radio 4 have gathered a stunning collection of actors to record a radio adaptation of his story Neverwhere, which was first seen on television in the 1990s. Co-written by Lenny Henry, the story was sort-of simultaneously adapted into a novel by Gaiman, which was subsequently rewritten and adapted into radio plays and, well, all sorts of stuff happened with it, really.

This adaptation for radio, however, has managed to gather an incredible line-up of actors – several of whom sent this message across to Gaiman, which he shared earlier:

gaiman Radio 4 Gather Stunning Voice Cast for Adaptation of Neil Gaimans Neverwhere

Which sight excites you most? Manly David Harewood? Game of Throne’s Natalie Dormer? James McAvoy? Giles from Buffy? Benedict Crumpetpatch? Hold on tight, because this photo only skims the surface of an utterly incredible cast.

Also appearing will be Andrew Sachs, Sophie Okonedo, Christopher Lee, Don Gilet, Johnny Vegas, Bernard Cribbins, Lucy Cohu and Romola Garai. And that’s still not all! Gaiman also teases that there will be a few other secret cameos and appearances tucked in amongst everything else. Zoinks.

Scheduled for release as a 6-episode series in 2013, Neverwhere will be produced by Dirk Maggs. Okay, you can stop whistling now.

1 Comments on Radio 4 Gather Stunning Voice-Cast for Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’, last added: 11/30/2012
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8. One Week Until International Darkstar Day 2012!

You know how The Beat works now. While everybody else works hard on getting the best interviews, writing the strongest articles and the most incisive opinion pieces you could find, I run around in circles and yell excitedly about obscure D-List Marvel heroines.

Which brings us to the imminent arrival of 2012′s International Darkstar Day! A tradition dating back perhaps millennia, IDD celebrates Russia’s #1 Superhero, Laynia Petrovna!

Kalman Andrasofsky One Week Until International Darkstar Day 2012!

Darkstar by Kalman Andrasofsky

Currently a member of The Winter Guard and absolutely not floating lifelessly in orbit around the Earth, Darkstar was first created by Tony Isabella and George Tuska in The Champions, before getting taken on by writers like Bill Mantlo, Fabian Nicieza and Kurt Busiek. Secretly one of Marvel’s most popular characters, or so I keep telling myself, she was killed off by Grant Morrison in New X-Men. Boooo! But then she triumphantly returnedto life in the greatest Marvel storyline of all time, Darkstar & The Winter Guard, by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis. Hurray!

Danielle Corsetto One Week Until International Darkstar Day 2012!

Darkstar by Danielle Corsetto

How do we celebrate Darkstar Day? Well, let me elucidate ya. The basic premise of Darkstar Day is: people around the world draw pictures of Darkstar, and we post them online, and then we celebrate those pictures. It is… perhaps not the most revolutionary celebration. But it’s a fun one! If you want to take part, all you have to do is draw a picture of Darkstar – spend a week working on it or half a minute, it doesn’t matter – and then send it across to me at comicsvanguard@gmail.com. I will share every Darkstar I receive!

This year’s International Darkstar Day falls on the 18th December, so on that day I’ll be sharing some of the results with you right here, along with some of the great IDD offerings of the past. Guys, let’s do this! Tell your kids! Tell your parents! Gather around the fireplace and make IDD12 the biggest and best one yet!

Note: if you’d rather draw a picture of Pixie then that’s okay too

15 Comments on One Week Until International Darkstar Day 2012!, last added: 12/12/2012
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9. It’s International Darkstar Day!!

The big day is finally here! Ladies and gentlemen of The Beat, gather your young ones and race onto the street. Proclaim for all to hear, TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL DARKSTAR DAY, AND I FEEL GREAT!!!!

On this day we share the joy of Darkstar, Marvel’s least celebrated yet best superhero. Now you’ve returned back to your computer fresh from the street, lungs aching from the stress and feet covered in dirt (you could’ve at least put some shoes on, y’know – but I admire your impatience), let us bask in some of the art sent to me by a bevy of lovely artists!

First up is Isaac Leiro, whose work you can find every week at Stardark City. He offered both black/white and coloured versions of her, and I simply couldn’t choose between them. So I include both!

leirus2 Its International Darkstar Day!!

Up next is the work of Dr Sonic, who cuts characters into shape via construction paper and a rather sharp knife. Find him at http://docgold16.tumblr.com!

Dr Sonic Its International Darkstar Day!!

He appears on DeviantArt only as MohoFrappe, and his Darkstar could not be any more lovely!  Look how she swishes!

Affinity Its International Darkstar Day!!


Zhaxra offers a redesign (and new haircut) for Laynia Petrovna with his piece here, and you can find more of his art over at his DeviantArt page!

Zhaxra Its International Darkstar Day!!

Brilliant ol’ Rance Sims also offers a smart new redesign for the character, which captures ALL her class! He is on DeviantArt too!

 Shade2 Its International Darkstar Day!!

Finally…. oh dear, Isaac Leiro’s shown up again. And this time… well.

Leirus1 Its International Darkstar Day!!

Folks, International Darkstar Day is also my birthday. Can you even believe just how self-indulgent this entire post has been? I certainly can! But at least we all got some lush and tidy artwork out of it, can you not agree? What a great day this is. Three cheers for Darkstar! And hey — not forgetting…

DARKSTARDAY Its International Darkstar Day!!

EDIT!! More Darkstar has just arrived, from Studio YOLO’s Christa Cassano! If you look out the window right now, you’ll be able to see a small trail of sparks flying up out of sight, because MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED!

christa cassano Its International Darkstar Day!!

A Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all, and to all… A HAPPY INTERNATIONAL DARKSTAR DAY!

6 Comments on It’s International Darkstar Day!!, last added: 12/18/2012
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10. The Beat’s Guide to Avoiding the DC SPOILER

TweetOh no! Spoilers have escaped onto the internet once more, this time for a DC title of some kind! How can you avoid reading these before you pick up the issue they relate to? Why, by following this winningly winning guide to avoiding all the places where it’s being spoiled! I won’t spoil the spoiler [...]

8 Comments on The Beat’s Guide to Avoiding the DC SPOILER, last added: 2/26/2013
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11. Watch! Jesse V. Johnson’s Wonder Woman Fan-Trailer

We all want Wonder Woman to be in a movie. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say we want her to be in EVERY film. And every TV show. Maybe a few music videos. But for one reason or another, we’re repeatedly disappointed by a world which does not seem to share our desire for Diana to take over the entirety of culture. She can’t get a TV show off the ground, her film scripts never get put anywhere near production, and Nicki Minaj hasn’t dressed up as her ONCE.

So step-forward first-time director Jesse V. Johnson, a stunt co-ordinator who has worked on films like Lincoln, Thor, and Spider-Man, to show how it’s done. Johnson today uploaded a film trailer for Wonder Woman, to show off his ability as a director for potentially-interested parties… and it’s pretty darned good, you guys. It’s even got this poster, created by Robert Sebree.

 NINA BERGMAN jump3 Watch! Jesse V. Johnsons Wonder Woman Fan Trailer

Casting actress Nina Bergman as Wonder Woman and Peter-flipping-Stormare as her Nazi captor, this fan film captures basically everything William Marston could have possibly wanted to see in a Wonder Woman movie. There’s fighting, and empowerment, some light bondage, and even a touch of psychological theory. Johnson describes the project’s origins:

It was my manager / producing partner Kailey Marsh’s idea to shoot the trailer.  She really believes I should be a studio director, and thought shooting Wonder Woman would be a great way to show off my skills in a fun way that people could get excited about.

So without further ado, here’s the trailer for the movie. What do you think?

Female Super Hero Fan Film from Jesse V. Johnson on Vimeo.

11 Comments on Watch! Jesse V. Johnson’s Wonder Woman Fan-Trailer, last added: 2/28/2013
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12. On The Scene: WonderCon 2013, THE VIKINGS Invade!

 On The Scene: WonderCon 2013, THE VIKINGS Invade!Any illusion I had that I was the only human being watching the new History Channel drama THE VIKINGS was shattered walking into a fully occupied large capacity convention hall, already packed fifteen minutes before the panel actually started. The description for the panel stated that some of the cast members would be there, but in fact, all three of the main cast members appeared, moderated by journalist Kate Hahn, and joined by History Channel EVP of Development and Programming Dirk Hoogstra.

And by the way, there are no aliens or Nazis in THE VIKINGS, at least not yet, but there is plenty of reasonably seasoned research into early medieval languages, cultures, and locations. The titular Vikings of the show are presented, refreshingly, as the protagonists, though the darker side to their pillaging lifestyles are equally represented. Visually stunning, the show’s on location shooting in Ireland and Northern Europe is one of its big selling points. The others virtues are strong acting and just telling a ripping good story of ambitious Ragnar Lodbrok as he seeks new territories to terrorize and vies for authority with a resentful and scheming local Earl. The strength of the show’s writing in the hands of Michael Hirst of THE TUDORS is also particularly apparent.

IMG 4830 300x225 On The Scene: WonderCon 2013, THE VIKINGS Invade!The panel opened with a season recap so far, highlighting Ragnar’s motivation in life. “Odin gave his eye to acquire knowledge but I would give far more”, he tells his twelve year old son. This quest drives the series and illustrates with plenty of axe swinging the maxim “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”.

The impatient crowd were delighted when dynamic leading man Travis Fimmel appeared (Ragnar), but ecstatic when he was joined by female lead Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha) and the triad of central characters was completed by George Blagden (captured Anglo-Saxon monk Athelstan). Despite the simple entertainment value of hearing from the main actors on the series, the panel also revealed a lot about the research behind the series and the development of characterization for the central roles. Hoogstra mentioned the “struggle” the show faced in casting the key role of Ragnar until they met Fimmel, who “clicked” for them immediately, the difficulty of developing a “believable” mother/warrior role for “shield maiden” Lagertha, and constructing the character of Athelstan as a “go between” for the two worlds of pagan and Christian Europe.

IMG 4831 300x225 On The Scene: WonderCon 2013, THE VIKINGS Invade!When asked why they agreed to play their respective roles, the actors replied with personal anecdotes. Travis said, “I’m a bit of a kid at heart. You get to run around with an axe. Who wouldn’t want to be married to this lady?”. Travis was particularly animated and had the audience amused with his commentary, seeming to slip in an out of character. Winnick, a martial arts expert, said she was drawn to the strong writing, historical characters, and a fascination with Viking culture and mythology.

Some highlights from the panel discussion included Fimmel’s narration of working on replica Viking boats, one on the open water and one on a sound stage being battled by simulated storms, and Blagden’s very personal story of visiting the ruins of Lindisfarne, the monastery sacked by the Vikings during the show, and home to Athelstan, for character research. The actors displayed an impressive degree of enthusiasm and knowledge of the show’s subject matter, and spent plenty of time joking amongst each other about how their characters interact on screen, especially about sexual tensions.

IMG 4837 300x225 On The Scene: WonderCon 2013, THE VIKINGS Invade!The audience, particularly, wanted to know if the show would be renewed for future seasons, and Hoogstra said that he wasn’t able to comment on that yet, but that so far THE VIKINGS is a big success. Though the audience was sad to see the panel end, a preview of a tense, upcoming episode displaying some spectacular escapes by the diehard Ragnar consoled them. The rampant fandom displayed for THE VIKINGS at WonderCon was one of the most surprising panels of the show for sheer media wow factor.

IMG 4843 300x225 On The Scene: WonderCon 2013, THE VIKINGS Invade!

Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.




1 Comments on On The Scene: WonderCon 2013, THE VIKINGS Invade!, last added: 3/31/2013
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13. Tony Lee on being professional at conventions

201108051613 Tony Lee on being professional at conventions

Mr. Tony Lee, author of many Doctor Who and soon MacGyver stories, has posted some thoughts on guest behavior at cons, basically saying that if you are a paid-for guest, you should stay a guest after hours, and not just on the show floor.

I’ve seen ‘celebrity guests’ at conventions make children cry because they wanted to say hello to their icon at a time when they weren’t signing, or on a panel – only to be told to ‘**** off.’ I’ve seen other such guests drunk in a convention bar and insulting fans – the very same fans who’s fandom got them invited in the first place – and mocking costumes, outfits or even physical characteristics. I know a couple of writers, artists and actors who I would deem as socially impotent, and I’ve seen them too destroy the belief that a young fan has in them by blowing off a panel because the hall was too crowded, the ‘wrong type of fan’ was in or (more often) shouting at them in a bar. Writers and artists are a solitary bunch – used to working alone. It makes sense that we don’t do well in crowds. But to actually attend such an event and not acknowledge the people who got you there? Insane, in my opinion. And I saw way too much of it in San Diego.

In my opinion, and it’s something I try to live to, if a convention pays for me to fly out to them, puts me up in a hotel? Then I’ll damn well earn that faith. I’ll do panels, signings, meet and greets, whatever’s required. And more importantly, I’ll spend time in the lobby with the fans, in the bar with the fans. Because a convention in a hotel is usually a 24 hour experience. I want to ensure the fans have the best time ever, and come back to the convention next year. I did a convention last year where out of the fifteen guests, I was the only one who actually did this one night – and it was one of the best convention evenings I’ve had. When I do San Diego, New York, even places like the MCM Expo, I’ll hang out in the evening with the fans who I’ve met at these conventions, often over other writers, artists and editors. Not because I don’t like the writers, not because I really like the fans (though many of these are now solid friends) – but largely because I’m still working. I’m still wearing the tie.

I can see both sides of this. While remaining friendly and approachable at all times is a very valuable skill, some socially awkward (or even downright scary) fans don’t respect boundaries, and remaining on “after hours” could be misconstrued.

On the other hand, Tony’s idea of having a “uniform” (tie and waistcoat) that signifies when he’s “on duty” makes sense too.

What does everyone else think?

17 Comments on Tony Lee on being professional at conventions, last added: 8/7/2011
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14. Baltimore Comic-Con Photo Parade

It’s been a long time since I posted an arty Hipstamatic photo dump — and I know you missed it!

bcc2011IMG 5484 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

Road trip!

bcc2011IMG 5490 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

Jeff Smith signs for fans.

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All of these people were lined up for Stan Lee.

bcc2011IMG 5498 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

Steel drum afternoon.

bcc2011IMG 5501 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

Giant line for the costume contest!

bcc2011IMG 5504 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

Not even the Jedi could get in.

bcc2011IMG 5505 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

This guy had BLACK COMIC BOXES. BLACK COMIC BOXES! Where do you get these? WANT.

bcc2011IMG 5507 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

There were quite a few paramilitary folks threatening small children at the show .

bcc2011IMG 5511 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

The family that cosplays as the X-men together, goes to cons together. Not quite sure what was going on here.

bcc2011IMG 5515 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

Scott Kurtz, Harvey’s MC.

bcc2011IMG 5526 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

Jim Starlin, Ted Adams and Paul McSpadden.

bcc2011IMG 5530 Baltimore Comic Con Photo Parade

Mike Gold accepting his award.

3 Comments on Baltimore Comic-Con Photo Parade, last added: 8/24/2011
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15. Fun times in Baltimore, 2011 edition

bcc2011IMG 5514 Fun times in Baltimore, 2011 edition
And to think I almost didn’t go to the Baltimore Comic-Con. Like many I was feeling pretty conned out, but in the end the idea of a short road trip to an always relaxing show — and covering the Harveys — won out, so I was off on a road trip with Ed Catto of Bonfire Agency and Captain Action fame, and Josh Frankel, founder of new publisher Zip Comics. Beginning as it did at 7:30 am, the trip down was a coffee-driven affair, as we discussed our various endeavors and ideas for improvements and prognostications for the future. While all three of us are born optimists, the current uncertainties and question marks left any real attempts at planning akin to spitting into the wind. Future cloudy; ask again later.

I was checking twitter on the way down, and saw many reports of long lines to get into the show. When we arrived at noonish, I wasn’t surprised to see the Baltimore Convention Center was humming, and the streets right around it were practically…clogged with con-goers.

Inside, it was a madhouse! Cramped aisles and huge lines everywhere. I’ve been going to this show for nearly a decade, and I’ve always thought of it as “the relaxing show” where you could just hang around and gab. Not this time! Everyone was busy signing and (I hope) selling.

As I wrote in my official piece for Publishers Weekly, a lot of this was due to the appearance of Stan Lee. The living legend has been making quite a few convention appearances lately, but this was his first Baltimore. There was a huge, huge line for the “Froggy’s photos” booth, which went partway into a whole hall that had been set aside for the overflow. People paid $195 to get their picture taken with Stan — even more to get an autograph. Whatever of you think of the motivation for this, 88-year-old Stan’s stamina in sitting there and being “the Man” for hundreds of people is incredible. He was signing and being photographed all day; I, conversely, had to bail out of the hall after someone spilled coffee on me.

But as I also observed in the above piece, people with the Stan Lee VIP lanyards were everywhere in the hall. As often noted, Baltimore is a comics ONLY show. There are no celebrities — not even a Lou Ferrigno. No movie panels. No TV sneak peeks. It’s all comics. There was no way that all those people were there for anything but comics. (I know you could argue that Stan is a movie star, and certainly his fame has moved into the “personality” realm, but his appeal is rooted firmly in comics.)

Costumes were everywhere — I’ve noted before that Baltimore is a very family-oriented show where entire families go in costume. There were quite a few Two and a Half Avengers costume groups, but just more of everything than in past years. More girls, more people of color, more Jedi. The culture

7 Comments on Fun times in Baltimore, 2011 edition, last added: 8/25/2011
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16. Geek Girl Con was a sell-out

This weekend’s Geek Girl Con in Seattle sounds like it was a big success; both Saturday and Sunday sold out, and while the above news report doesn’t make it look like it was sardine-land, maybe selling out before you get to that point is not a bad idea.

Gail Simone has a lengthy write-up that deserves to be read in full; the idea of a female-run and female-centric convention seems to be fairly emblematic of the time and place we find ourselves in, and it sounds like the programming, in particular, was noteworthy:

The programming was astounding, there were panels I was dying to attend and could not. Usually, I’m sorry, I don’t feel any big need to see most panels at cons…these were fascinating topics and I sat in quietly in the audience in some. I can’t tell you how fun it was, for a change, to see a packed room, with 80 percent female audiences over and over. And not just for panels about Harry Potter, but for scholarly and ethical panels. It was so exciting. They even had a token male panel, called the VERY SPECIAL DUDES panel, which was really awesome. The guys were great sports about it, and I think they all really enjoyed the gender-flip of this event.

A few more reports:
Good Game Media

Some panels were quiet as they attempted to get a shy audience sharing and speaking, and other panels had SO MUCH ENERGY you could not help but laugh, clap and cheer to celebrate what this event was creating. Geek Girl Con 2011 was a complete sell out, and if in the first year that is not a success, I don’t know what is.

She Thought

The “Women In Star Wars” panel is a candid conversation examining female characters in Star Wars lore. The panelists include Mercedes Santaella-Lam (moderator), Misty Buxton, Deunan Berkeley, Sarah Silverman, and Amy Sjoberg. These women are impressively talented, with great sewing ability and they bring with them a vast knowledge about the Star Wars movies, the original books and fan produced literature. It is interesting to see that people see Star Wars as mostly male, in characters, because of the movies, ignoring characters in the books. This panel indirectly highlights there effect, in Hollywood, where many movies feature mostly male characters, even to the point of eliminating characters from books.

Geek Girl Con Line Geek Girl Con was a sell out

Poet Jeannine Hall:

Geek Girl Con was a lot of fun. I did a signing, sold a couple of books, the presentation went well, and I found a couple of really cool things – like Ada’s Bookstore and Tracy who runs the charmingly named
5 Comments on Geek Girl Con was a sell-out, last added: 10/11/2011
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17. Holiday Explorations: What kind of otaku are the craziest? Answer

201111250248 Holiday Explorations: What kind of otaku are the craziest? Answer

Via Crunchyroll, a translation of a 2chan chart which shows which kinds of otaku are the craziest and cause the most trouble.

In case you’re wondering about the “train” part that occupies the Michele Bachmann spot on the chart, it does not refer to various colloquial meanings of the word “train.” It means fans who like…trains.

You know, toot toots.

201111250230 Holiday Explorations: What kind of otaku are the craziest? Answer

Just what is it that makes them so crazy? Known as tetsudo otaku, train fans have long been looked on with suspicion by the Ahakibara crowd — Irvine Welsh is universal, it seems — but a band of younger, more energetic trainspotters has revitalized the subculture:

…a new “Train Boom” started in 2007, when events such as the Great Railway Expo began to capture the popular imagination, and famous folk started to openly gush about love for trains. The Nomura Research Institute has suggested the number of train otaku today might be closer to 140,000. At any station in the Tokyo metropolitan area, there is inevitably a young man (or woman or family) at the end of the platform openly snapping shots of incoming trains.

The charismatic “train talent” Masumi Toyoka was among the first to embrace this trend, lending her voice to the wildly popular anime Tekko no Tabi (“Train Girl’s Journey”), which helped legitimize and bring train otaku into the mainstream in fall 2007. In fact, no longer are these fans included in the dark ranks of “otaku,” but rather as the much cuter tecchan (for males) and tekko (for females). Following Toyoka’s lead, Yuko Kimura based her entire idol persona on her love of trains, inventing her own category of tetsudoru, or “train idol.”

After digging around a little, we even found links to videos of hot girls crushing tiny train villages. The Japanese know how to do everything the best.

250x189 giant girl Holiday Explorations: What kind of otaku are the craziest? Answer

Confidentially, we’re big train fans here at Stately Beat Manor. It’s our favorite mode of transportation and a viewing of RUNAWAY TRAIN or EMPEROR OF THE NORTH is a great way to relax. But even so, we’re not quite sure why so many people in so many cultures get so darned excited about keeping their train journals.

5 Comments on Holiday Explorations: What kind of otaku are the craziest? Answer, last added: 11/28/2011
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18. DC Retailer Survey results: older, male, middle-class, avid

201108310244 DC Retailer Survey results: older, male, middle class, avid
How many statistics can one news day handle? DC has just released results from their Retailer Survey which they launched in conjunction with the New 52. As we noted at the time, the survey was aimed at gauging interest in each and every New 52 title, as well as general readership demographics. As such, it represents the most comprehensive reader survey a comics company has made in some time. While it’s very New 52-centric, it does reveal a lot. While DC has released their own bullet points, which we’ve shown below, ICv2 has more info and an interview with John Rood. You’ll want to head over there and digest the whole thing. But here’s the broad picture:

• The launch of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 galvanized the traditional fan base for superhero comic books: male readers, who were already—or have at one time been—comic book fans.

• The survey results are not a reflection of all comic book readers or the broader audience for graphic novels. This was a survey of consumers who specifically purchased DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 comic books, either in print or digital format.

• DC COMICS: THE NEW 52 appealed mainly to avid fans and lapsed readers. More than 70% of those surveyed categorized themselves as avid fans who visit the comic book store every week. More than a quarter of in-store consumers were lapsed readers. The survey indicates that 5% of those polled identified themselves as first-time, new readers.

• More than 50% of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 readers were between the ages of 13 and 34. And more than 50% of in-store DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 consumers had an annual income of $60K or less. The data supports and arguably validates our philosophy of holding the line at $2.99 which DCE is committed to maintaining.

• The majority of titles generated strong interest and likely reader retention.

• Avid Fans purchased up to 20 titles out of the 52 titles.

• Digital: of dual mode readers, digital is far from replacing print.

• Impulse buys: Up to four-in-ten respondents reported that a NEW 52 title they were interested in (at a physical store location) was out of stock. Nearly two-thirds made a spontaneous purchase.

Not included in DC’s breakdown: 93% of the respondents were male.

ICv2 has much more on the print-vs-digital metrics, backing up Rood’s contention that digital is still “additive”:

Interestingly the survey did indicate that 57% of the digital readers did read print comics, while just 16% of the print readers had purchased or read digital comics. Also of interest are the top reasons that readers preferred one format or the other.  Digital readers preferred reading comics digitally because they provided immediate access (which could mean that many of these readers don’t have access to a convenient comic shop), and they also like the convenience and easy storage and portability of digital comics.  Print readers listed collectibility as the primary reason they bought physical copies, but they also expressed a dislike of reading comics onscreen.  Rood told ICv2 that the redemption of the digital codes in DC’s

15 Comments on DC Retailer Survey results: older, male, middle-class, avid, last added: 2/12/2012
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19. Quote of the day: Morgan Spurlock on his upcoming projects

201203301404 Quote of the day: Morgan Spurlock on his upcoming projects

“As deep as Comic-Con was, manscaping is even deeper.”

via Collider:

3 Comments on Quote of the day: Morgan Spurlock on his upcoming projects, last added: 4/1/2012
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20. Question of the day: “Where can I see DC or Marvel comics online for free?”

201204090323 Question of the day: Where can I see DC or Marvel comics online for free?
Yahoo Answers….the raw id of our unknowledge….the cry for help in a darkling plain of the unknown. Some lass named Jann wandered in there and asked:

Where can I see DC or Marvel comics online for free?
I want to see those comics, or that style, like superheroes, I’m not interested in Manga

But no one heeded her cry.

So again she wrote:

Additional Details
There most be an online site were you can see them for free, like scanned or something like that

And then, a savior named Natalie took pity on Jann’s plea:

You can’t; I’m afraid you’ll have to buy them. Comic books aren’t like manga, there isn’t anywhere on the internet where you can read them– for free, at least.

No, comics aren’t like Manga.

But if Jann is reading this….check out our Webcomics category…lots and lots of free comics to read on the Internet right there. If you search and search, there are even a few Marvel and DC comics for free on the internet.

15 Comments on Question of the day: “Where can I see DC or Marvel comics online for free?”, last added: 4/9/2012
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21. Fans: make your opinions known with the new FanPan consumer input panel

FANPAN Fans: make your opinions known with the new FanPan consumer input panel
The Bonfire Agency came on the scene a year ago with some great ideas for giving all levels of the comics industry more information; this month they are spotlighting one of the best, FanPan, a consumer input panel of 500 pop culture users and influencers. It’s free to join FanPan, but brands and products can then avail themselves of FanPan input to test how their products will be received by the highly vocal and internet savvy early adopters.

So yeah, it’s a focus group and focus groups can be a pain in the ass; but in this case it’s a valuable chance for market testing in an arena where a lot of people are simply flying blind.

There’s more info in the PR below, but if you’re interested in having your voice heard, go to the above link and sign up.

Bonfire Agency, the advertising and marketing firm dedicated to helping companies better understand and deepen brand engagements with more than 5 million passionate comic and pop culture enthusiasts, announced today a new phase of recruitment for the agency’s proprietary “FanPan” consumer input panel. Consumers interested in joining the panel may do so online at www.bonfirefanpan.com.

“Comic culture is such an incredibly influential force – not just in entertainment, but in areas ranging from fashion and politics to dining trends and automotive design,” said Ed Catto, co-founder of Bonfire Agency. “Brands want to connect and engage with these ‘firestarters,’ but they need clearer insights into what they’re all about beyond comics.”

Launched shortly after Bonfire’s founding early last year, FanPan consists of a rotating membership of more than 500 representative comic culture consumers of varying degrees of “fan-aticism,” The panel was created amid growing concern about the lack of genuine research into who these consumers are, what they think and what they like.

“Surprisingly, most of what is passed off as consumer knowledge within the industry is self-reflective, assumptive and not very helpful when you’re trying to convince marketers to spend dollars connecting with the ‘geekiverse,’” said Steve Rotterdam, Bonfire co-founder and a former senior vice president of sales and marketing at DC Comics. “This is a demo that tends to be highly opinionated, iconoclastic and elusive. We’ve found that one of the best ways to find out what they’re thinking is to ask them what they’re thinking. Go figure.”

E sig logo Fans: make your opinions known with the new FanPan consumer input panel
Among the consumers that Bonfire is talking to are members of the Fandom Advisory Network (FAN), a highly vocal, online group of comic fans eager to make their opinions heard. “The Fandom Advisory Network was formed to actively seek input from the entire fan community on the myriad issues facing collectors, so we believe it dovetails well with Bonfire

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22. Take back Nerd Prom!

download Take back Nerd Prom!

O rly?

Now how on earth did the White House Correspondents Dinner get to be tagged “Nerd Prom”?

This yearly ritual gives wonkish politicos and the journos who cover them a chance to dress up and listen to POTUS tell jokes, while rubbing elbows with a smattering of celebrities. It is the kind of place where Arianna Huffington tells these hilarious anecdotes:

“I remember last year when we had Scarlett Johansson, and suddenly I see her running. I said, ‘Where are you going?’ She was out of breath, and she said, ‘I saw Bernie Sanders,’” Huffington continued. “And everybody was running after Scarlett, and she was running after Bernie Sanders, because she’s a big fan of his. It’s really that kind of company. That’s the fun part of the night. “

Dear lord. Such fun!

Now we get that people enslaved to the dull but essential world of Washington politics don’t get out much. So the WHCD is definitely a social highlight of the year…and certainly obsessed over as some kind of humorous political barometer. But “Nerd Prom,” you see, is a term that was coined maybe a decade or so ago on the Warren Ellis Forum to refer to the San Diego Comic-Con. We’re not exactly certain who came up with it—many credit Kelly Sue DeConnick—but it was certainly popularized by Ellis himself. And used to refer to SDCC for quite a while.

And now Washington has co-opted it! Come on now, Keith and Arianna. It’s not “Nerd Prom” inside the beltway. It’s “WONK PROM.”

This year’s elite celebs were a couple of Kardashians and Lindsay Lohan. Nothing nerdy there. In fact we’d say the while the WHCD might ASPIRE to the nerdly wonders of seeing Peter Mayhew, Harley Quinn, Stormtroooper Elvis, Kevin Smith and Mark Evanier all wandering around trying to find a sandwich…to that we say…IN YOUR DREAMS, Wonk Prom.
Kris Jenner Kim Kardashian White House Correspondents Dinner 042812 10 502x388 Take back Nerd Prom!

lindsay lohan white house correspondents dinner 05 Take back Nerd Prom!

6 Comments on Take back Nerd Prom!, last added: 4/30/2012
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23. Wonder Woman and Supergirl Get Married

June is Gay Pride Month in America, with parades gathering in all the major cities to celebrate God’s chosen people as they wave from floats and hang out with Sarah Silverman.

New York had one of the largest parades this year, as you’d expect, with an apparent 2 million people joining the parade at one point or another over the course of the day. It’s also been a year since gay marriage was made legal in the state, and many took advantage and decided to tie the knot in classic Northstyle/whatshisname style. Roving reporter Phil Jimenez was on-hand at the parade today, and managed to catch the first-ever evidence that Wonder Woman… has a sex life. Here’s what he found:

 Wonder Woman and Supergirl Get Married

That’s right! While we’ve spent years wondering whether Wondy was more in love with Batman or Superman (or Steve Trevor, I guess?) the answer has been flying under our noses all this time. Supergirl! Who woulda thought it, right?

13 Comments on Wonder Woman and Supergirl Get Married, last added: 6/27/2012
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24. Adventure Time overwhelms SDCC ‘12 with cuteness

photo6 200x267 Adventure Time overwhelms SDCC 12 with cuteness

Pendleton Ward signs Adventure Time #6 for the kiddies

If San Diego Comic Con gave out an award for media franchise with the most widely distributed fan schwag coupled with the highest number of cosplayers – this year’s honor would definitely go to Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. Of course we knew going in that Finn, Jake and friends were going to have a huge presence at the show. There was, after all, an Adventure Time Theme Park located directly across from the convention center at the San Diego Children’s Museum, but to say that the con was literally crawling with little Finns and Jakes is an understatement.

Adventure Time fans also swarmed all of show creator Pendleton Ward’s appearances at the show – from Saturday morning’s standing room only Cartoon Network Adventure Time panel to a signing Ward did for the Adventure Time comic from Boom! Comics’ kid’s imprint, Kaboom.

Behold this sort of hard to hear video cuteness of Ward signing a limited edition variant cover for Adventure Time #6 (on sale at Comic Con only) for a couple of excited, adorable little cherub types…

3 Comments on Adventure Time overwhelms SDCC ‘12 with cuteness, last added: 7/16/2012
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25. SDCC 12: Comic Con Talkback 2012 Summary

201207171348 SDCC 12: Comic Con Talkback 2012 Summary

By Gabriel Neeb

The Comic Con International: San Diego holds a Talkback Panel every year to try and figure out what went right and what went wrong. The format of the Talkback Panel does not lend itself to formation of easy narrative. One representative from CCI sits behind a desk and answers questions from the line of convention attendees, taking down notes and suggestions, and responding when necessary. This year, the task fell to John Rogers, President of Comic Con International’s Board of Directors, to moderate the panel.

I attend Talkback to start the process of bringing myself down from the experience of CCI. Four or five days of intense exposure to fantastic events and ideas alters attitudes and removes you from the experience of daily life. I love the intensity, but I need to land in the real world with the wheels down. Talkback helps to lower my mental landing gear.

When there are few problems in a given year, the panel can be full of compliments. When there are big problems, Talkback can be unpleasant.

So how, based on the questions formed by the experience of attendees, did the convention do this year? It did well- which is great for the convention. However, there are some troubling aspects that need to be addressed in the future. If you want to skip to the end, I’ll save you the trouble. I’m sure CCI will make substantial fixes to these areas, but they’ll need another Talkback panel in 2013. After all, a perfect convention wouldn’t need feedback.

The most troubling failure had to do with the treatment of disabled attendees getting into panels and having access to autograph lines and giveaways, the sort of things most attendees take for granted. For a handful of panels, and at least one panel each in Hall H and Ballroom 20, the security guards and line monitors took the number of specifically designated disabled seats (seats with a red covering) as the upper limit of how many disabled Attendees could be allowed into that panel. For instance, one attendee cited an instance where the guards allowed only 84 disabled individuals into Ballroom 20 because there were only 84 seats with the red covering (Ballroom 20 has around 3500 seats). This tactic was repeated elsewhere by what I hope were ill-informed and confused personnel. Another story related by an Attendee involved a woman on a walker being removed from an autograph line because she was “too bulky” (the words told to her as she was kicked out). There is no happy ending to any of the stories, but I took some level of comfort in the moderator’s extensive note-taking and additional questions as each attendee described their experience.

The incidents themselves are troubling enough, and they indicate a failure of training and communication with the support staff necessary to manage tens of thousands of people with tens of thousands of physical and mental differences. To make matters worse, CCI has had a traditionally robust and often commendable section dedicated to disabled services. While there’s usually one or two complaints at a given Talkback panel (out of two or three dozen attendees commenting), at least a third of the attendees had some story or request. With the culture getting unhealthier and the number of military personnel leaving service for one physical or mental issue or another, attention must be paid to this or CCI, and society in general, will have larger problems in the near future.

A popular topic at Talkback

15 Comments on SDCC 12: Comic Con Talkback 2012 Summary, last added: 7/18/2012
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