What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'fandom')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: fandom, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 103
1. Fan Girl's Guide to the Galaxy

This is a Cybils book, but the opinion expressed in this review is just mine, and not the committee's.

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks Sam Maggs

Here's the guide you've been waiting for on Fandom 101, especially for girls. Everything is covered--how to get started, next steps to take, great books to read and shows to wath, how to make an awesome cosplay costume, tips for writing awesome fanfic, finding your people, and dealing with various levels of trolls. Parts of it are a general rah rah rah celebration of fandom, and parts are very nitty gritty hands-on practical advice (which sites you'll want to be on, but with a throw-away name/email that's not linked to any of your other social media)

It's great and interesting and wonderful with one major fatal flaw that made me want to throw it across the room. It's written right on the back-cover, but I didn't read it, because too much is obscured with library stickers. It's "The Geek Girl's Litany for Feminism."

I m a geek girl and I am a feminist... I don't have to prove my nerd cred to anyone, ever.

There are some great lines in there:

From SuperWhoLock to Shakarian, I accept all fandoms and ships as equally meaningful and important in our geek girl lives...I will support empowering, lady-created media and amazing female characters...

And then we get the kicker that made me roll my eyes so hard they almost fell out of my head:

Buffy, not Bella

Because, all fandoms are meaningful and we support lady-created media, right? Oh... only if they're the right ones. Yeah. That's when I flipped back to where she's introducing fandoms and in the list of major fandoms, the Twihards aren't listed at all. Sure, they might be covered under "YA Book Nerds" but the Nerdfighters get their own shout-out. Potter has its own section. In non-book fandoms, Gleeks get a mention. Squints get a mention. Scoobies are mentioned on the list, despite the fact there's a whole section on Whedonites in general. Leaving off Twihards seems pretty deliberate. And telling.

Outside the Buffy, not Bella thing, Twilight only gets name-checked in the section on how to critique media. There's a general introduction about why we need to critique media and that it's ok if we enjoy not-perfect things but... it's glib and kinda snarky ("I'm not telling you... to stop reading your guilty-pleasure YA romance novels!") And in things to look out for, there's a section on "How Healthy is that relationship, anyway?"

There a lot of media out there (like Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey) that glorifies abusive, controlling, or even violent behavior as a romantic relationship. When we read these books and think, "Wow, that's so sweet that he shows up at her house, uninvited, at night while she's unconscious, to watch her sleep!" we subconsciously accept that behavior as okay.

There could have been a great section on how things that are mostly liked by teen girls are automatically dismissed as lesser and what that says about us as a society and how to deal with that as a fangirl. Or, you know, it could just pile on.

Most importantly, it could have been a great section on how to reconcile how problematic our faves are. I know all about problematic faves. How? Because I am Buffy, not Bella. And even though this book is all over the awesomeness of Buffy (as it should be, Buffy is awesome) it never points out its problems. And Buffy has plenty of problems.

For instance, that whole thing there it's painted as "romantic" for a vampire to show up uninvited to watch his girlfriend sleep? Before Edward did that to Bella, ANGEL WAS DOING THAT TO BUFFY. Speaking as someone who got into Buffy late in the series and didn't go back and watch the beginning until after I read Twilight? Angel has most, if not all, of Edward's icky points. Buffy's other loves all come with major issues in the "healthy relationship" category. Maggs mentions Spuffy elsewhere in the book, and trust me, Spike over Angel any day, but Spike is ISSUES and their relationship is all ISSUES. And I really like Xander, but that guy is really a whole heap of Nice Guy (tm) problems.

When Twilight was still new there were T-Shirts and sayings of"And then Buffy staked Edward. The End" Yeah... Buffy wouldn't have. Edward and the other Cullens would have all been Scoobies. There's a good chance Buffy would have dated Edward. Or at least made out with him, or had a MEANINGFUL slow dance (note to self: see if there's any good fanfic with Rosalie and Cordelia as BFFs. Or Willow and Alice.)

I think the main difference is not the guys, or the relationships, but Buffy and Bella themselves. To save the world, Buffy killed Angel--I don't think that Bella could have killed Edward. BUT, BUT, BUT in one of my many conversations about this (hi, my name is Jennie, and I'm a fangirl) my Twitter friend @FangirlJeanne pointed out something major that has me rethinking that stance:

Buffy was THE SLAYER. She had a job given to her by the POWERS THAT BE. She was the CHOSEN ONE and had to deal with DESTINY. Of course she killed Angel. Bella didn't. Bella was just a normal girl who turned into a normal vampire and she still fought serious battles before and after to protect her friends and family. If Bella was a CHOSEN ONE and had to deal with SLAYER DESTINY, could she have then killed Edward? If Buffy wasn't the SLAYER, could she have still killed Angel? I don't know, but these are the kind of things fangirls think about late at night, both the Buffys and the Bellas.

Maggs went a snarky, easy route that ended up invalidating a lot of her book for me, undermining her main argument. We like all fandoms, but not that one.

And now I'm rage-defending Twilight, which is not a place a like to be. (This review sums up my Twilight feelings pretty well)

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

0 Comments on Fan Girl's Guide to the Galaxy as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
2. Meet Tom, the Man Inside the Hulkbuster Iron Man Cosplay that Tore Up NYCC ’15

An exclusive look at the BEST cosplay of #NYCC2015.

3 Comments on Meet Tom, the Man Inside the Hulkbuster Iron Man Cosplay that Tore Up NYCC ’15, last added: 10/13/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
3. The Harry Potter Alliance Celebrates 10th Birthday!

Over the past weekend (10th October), the Harry Potter Alliance celebrated its tenth birthday.

Their celebrations included a party at GeekyCon in August, and a month-long Indiegogo campaign (HPA10), through which they raised total of $106,545, well-surpassing their initial goal of $77,777.

NerdCon: Stories provided the venue for HPA’s birthday party, which featured important special guests such as Leaky’s own Melissa Anelli, (President of the Board), Paul DeGeorge (Co-Founder and Board member) and Hank Green and Maureen Johnson (long-term supporters of HPA), along with many more!

The event itself was full-Potter style (though the HPA itself now encompasses all manner of fandom). Harry and the Potters were the Wrock band for the night, and Hank Green played Accio Deathly Hallows, along with his other Harry Potter songs.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.54.06

The NerdCon event page stated:

‘ On October 10th, 2005, the Harry Potter Alliance held its first-ever event in Somerville, Massachusetts. Now, ten years later – and with the support of many people in the NerdCon: Stories community – the HPA has grown to a global organization with accomplishments under its belt such as sending five cargo planes of disaster relief supplies to Haiti, donating over 250,000 books around the world, and getting Warner Bros. to make all Harry Potter chocolate ethically sourced.

Come celebrate ten years of the HPA using fandom to make the world a better place and learn how to get involved for the next ten. Recommended attire: dress robes and/or party hats.’

Geeky News reports:

‘Over the years, the Harry Potter Alliance amassed a strong base of supporters and many volunteers. For a long time, that was entirely how the organization was run – by volunteers taking time away from their evenings and weekends, away from day jobs and school, to help make a little non-profit make a difference. I was one of those volunteers for several years. And the HPA highlighted a couple of hundreds  of them during the party. Some, like Claudia Morales and Jack Bird, are now paid employees. Morales, on talking about her reaction to becoming a staff member of the organization she had come to love: “It was like getting my Hogwarts letter.”’

‘Their success is a testament to the power of fandom to change the world for the better. The HPA is the true illustration of what powerful communities united around the passion for a common love of story can do in the world. And it was abundantly clear as several hundred people gathered in the Minneapolis Convention Center, to celebrate the organization that had brought them together.’

The Harry Potter Alliance is a non-profit organisation with the slogan ‘The Weapon We Have is Love’, and its website states:

‘The Harry Potter Alliance turns fans into heroes. We’re changing the world by making activism accessible through the power of story. Since 2005, we’ve engaged millions of fans through our work for equality, human rights, and literacy.’

You can read more on the event and see more photos here.

Join Leaky in wishing the Harry Potter Alliance a very happy 10th birthday, and a huge congratulations on their success so far!

Add a Comment
4. NYCC ’15: Cosplay Fabrics Announces New Line at Jo-Ann’s

     As cosplay flies from niche to mainstream, so too goes the market for the material used to create it. Quality cosplay is a combination of craft and components – even the most ingenious designer and tailor can find themselves frustrated by poor quality material. One sign of the demand for good cosplay goods: […]

1 Comments on NYCC ’15: Cosplay Fabrics Announces New Line at Jo-Ann’s, last added: 10/12/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
5. NYCC ’15: Diversity Sells Out

Diversity is a recurring theme in panels at this year’s New York Comic-Con, mirroring a trend in fandom nationwide. Race, gender, physical ability, mental health, even geeks as an emerging protected class – amidst the how-to’s and PR announcements, programming about diversity is filling rooms and getting headlines. The power of this theme is something […]

4 Comments on NYCC ’15: Diversity Sells Out, last added: 10/13/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. More details on Doctor Who Comics Day: new website and variant covers

We’re less than a month away from the second annual Doctor Who Comics Day on August 15th, and if our SDCC exclusive details on Paul Cornell‘s four Doctor series (not to mention the book’s first six pages) aren’t enough to get you vworping with excitement, check out the recent updates to the tumblr Titan has set up for the occasion. There you’ll find a trailer for the five-part crossover arc (which kicks-off in connection with the Doctor Who Comics Day celebration) featuring Doctor’s Ten through Twelve, their companions, and The War Doctor.

The four Doctor series is illustrated by Neil Edwards (Assassin’s Creed) and officially debuts on August 12th, but you’ll only get the chance to meet Doctor Who comic creators and artists if you drop by a participating store the following Saturday for Doctor Who Comics Day. The tumblr has a list of of the talent you can catch at in-store signings, as well as a peak at the local cosplayers scheduled to appear. Not enough? Most stores will also feature Doctor Who themed giveaways, contests and games.

My favorite two variants so far:

Bohemian Rhapsody inspired Forbidden Planet exclusive cover from Joshua Cassara And Luis Guerrero:



This lovely nod to the season five episode “Vincent and the Doctor” from David Carr for Twilight Comics:



1 Comments on More details on Doctor Who Comics Day: new website and variant covers, last added: 7/26/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
7. Great Moments in Star Wars cards signed by Mark Hamill

Autograph authenticator Steve Grad has a collection of 100s of Star Wars cards signed by the original cast, and he’s posted a gallery on FB, with more to come. But I think this one by Mark Hamill may be the best one of all. Although these are pretty good, too. More in the link.

2 Comments on Great Moments in Star Wars cards signed by Mark Hamill, last added: 7/31/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
8. Interview: Paul Cornell talks Manic Pixie Dream Doctors, Warcraft, and that time he “messed up.”

We talk with series writer Paul Cornell about his Four Doctors crossover event for Titan, his Dark Horse limited series This Damned Band, a recently announced Warcraft graphic novel due out next year and the one comic he walked away from.

1 Comments on Interview: Paul Cornell talks Manic Pixie Dream Doctors, Warcraft, and that time he “messed up.”, last added: 8/12/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
9. Doctor Who Comics Day is tomorrow!

We've been writing about it for months now, and can hardly believe it's almost here: the second annual Doctor Who Comics Day is tomorrow!

1 Comments on Doctor Who Comics Day is tomorrow!, last added: 8/15/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
10. Flame Con announces 2016 return: twice as long, new location

2016 Flame Con will be held for TWO days this time. And that's not all: they're moving to a bigger location too

1 Comments on Flame Con announces 2016 return: twice as long, new location, last added: 8/26/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
11. LeakyCon.com and Social Media Updates!

In preparation for the exciting LeakyCon 2016, LeakyCon is updating their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. These sites are currently veiled under an air of mystery, as they are being rebuilt from the ground up. With constructing a new theme, LeakyCon promises new and exciting details about the relaunch of LeakyCon in Los Angeles in 2016.

Next Tuesday, September 1, is the “start of term” and the day LeakyCon will unveil it’s new sites. Are you ready to go to Hogwarts?

Please watch the LeakyCon website, Twitter, Facebook page, and Tumblr for more exciting news coming soon! Sign up for newsletter updates on LeakyCon.com.

Add a Comment
12. Person of interest sought in sexual assault at DragonCon

Dragon-Con has the reputation for being an no holds barred exploration of fantasy and cosplay. It draws a lot of lookie-loos, as well, and there have been reports of harassment incidents for some time. Now, sadly, there is a report of a sexual assault that took place Sunday night. The victim has been drinking and […]

0 Comments on Person of interest sought in sexual assault at DragonCon as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. Harry Potter Memorabilia In Auction

This week, someone will own a piece of Harry Potter film history.  Prop Store, a source for movie collectibles, will be holding its world-wide live auction on Wednesday, September 23rd.  In August, Entertainment Weekly reported on the upcoming sale, and now, Moviefone and others have articles about it.  Nearly 500 items related to film production, including props and costumes for numerous franchises and cult classics, will be sold.  Three auction lots in the catalog this year are from the Harry Potter films.

The first item, #178, is a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie poster signed by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint.  The auction catalog says, “This poster was acquired directly from a crew member who worked on location with the key cast members on the film.”


The second item, #179, is a Hogwarts acceptance envelope with its wax seal (that may or may not have a letter inside).  It is one of the many envelopes in the scene where a tornado of owls and post swirls through the Dursley’s house.

Made from marbled-effect paper, Harry’s address is printed in green on the front of the envelope with the Hogwarts crest printed on the reverse. This hero envelope features an actual red wax Hogwarts seal rather than the many printed envelopes that were also used in the scene. The envelope remains sealed with paper seemingly contained within,” says the auction catalog.


The third lot, #180, is two scarves given to crew members on the sets of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  They are both in Gryffindor house colors and have embroidered logos from the respective films.  The Goblet of Fire scarf is in a color-block similar to Harry’s Triwizard Tournament uniform.


Wednesday’s auction will include a live webcast, and bids will be accepted in person, online, and by phone.  Will someone finally get a Hogwarts acceptance letter?

To see the full catalog of items for sale, see here.

Add a Comment
14. Better Than a Vault at Gringotts

Menahem Asher Silva Vargas, the Guinness World Record holder for largest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia, didn’t want to pack his over 4,000 items away in boxes somewhere.  So this week, after a previous exhibition at Mexico City’s Museum of the Antique Toy, Silva Vargas opened his own museum.

According to an Associated Press article published by El Daily Post, “The House of Asher Potter” museum (a literary name if we ever saw one) opened in Mexico City earlier this month.  Silva Vargas, or “Asher Potter,” started his collection in 2001 and has been building it for the past 15 years.

“I had the good fortune to be able to register it and make the Guinness record a year ago,” Silva Vargas, 38, said. “I’m very proud of it because the record belongs to Mexico. Mexico is now an authority on Harry Potter fandom.”

Harry Potter article main_497x280_tcm25-328739

The collection is expansive.  There are nearly 4,000 official items counted toward the record, but Silva Vargas also has nearly 400 paper items, including magazine articles, clippings, and autographs that weren’t counted.  Rather than store it all away in a Gringotts vault where these things would never be seen, Silva Vargas opened his interactive museum in a family residence in Mexico City.

 It recreates a number of passages from the novels, including the Potter home… There’s a themed cafeteria, a terrace, a small gift shop and a movie room… The museum also has the contribution of El Callejón D, a themed café located in the south of Mexico City, which offers museum visitors such Potteresque fare as veritaserum and butterbeer.

Visitors can also interact with two birds that Potter fans know well — a crow and a snowy owl…“We want to create a consciousness about birds of prey,” said Javier Illescas, a falconer and museum collaborator. “These two birds in the museum were rescued from logging areas.”

From what we’ve read of it so far, the House of Asher Potter may need to be added to a list of unofficial Harry Potter sites to see.

To read more, see the Associated Press article, here.

Add a Comment
15. Harry Potter and the Inappropriate Hallowe’en (an unofficial Harry Potter show in London!)

If you’ll be in London, England for Hallowe’en and you’re at least 18 years of age, we’ve just learned about a live comedy performance that might be up your alley (though sadly it won’t be in Diagon Alley). Time Out, a London site-seeing website, rated a new comedy show a critics choice must see in a recent article. The show, Harry Potter and the Inappropriate Hallowe’en, is put on by Laugh Out London comedy club–which Time Out ranked the 3rd best comedy club in London.

Harry Potter and the Inappropriate Hallowe’en is described by the event’s creators as the unofficial sequel to Harry Potter, and thus far its only performance date is on Hallowe’en itself–which is, incidentally, the anniversary of the deaths of Lily and James Potter. It is a comedy that centres on Harry returning to Hogwarts years later as an adult to attend the annual Hallowe’en party. Some pressing questions, such as these, from the event page, will be answered:

There will be wands, spells, owls and people with Latin names that represent part of their personality. How will Harry keep his neurosis in check? Will Ginny develop a personality? Is Malfoy still a twerp?

The show features a set of critically acclaimed performers. Adam Larter stars as Harry Potter, and Eleanor Morton as Ginny Weasley, among others.

It takes place on Saturday, October 31st at Leicester Square Theatre and commences at 7:15 p.m., with a run time of 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Adults aged 18 and over are welcome, and to encourage the spirit of Hallowe’en, ‘fancy dress’ (costume) is strongly recommended. The fee is £12.50 for regular tickets and £10 for concession tickets (a discounted fee for seniors and students). Please click here for the full event details and to purchase tickets.

Add a Comment
16. 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
Display Comments Add a Comment
17. Doctor Who wrap up: BBC renews, Titan previews 3-Doctor FCBD issue and Texas celebrates “Dr. Who Day”

Doctor Who is here to stay…at least for the next five years. Whovians around the world have reason to celebrate today, as the BBC reported executive producer Steven Moffat’s comments to Doctor Who Magazine that the rebooted series would do a “minimum of 15 years” in total.  Ben Stephenson, BBC’s outgoing head of drama commissioning  was even more optimistic, saying: “As long as the people looking after it are passionate about it… there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t do another 50 years.” This announcement comes on the heels of the new series’ 10 year anniversary, celebrated by fans across the world. The show’s popularity has led even mainstream outlets like MTV News to cover the anniversary, ranking the modern episodes in order of quality.

When the modern version of the series went on the air in 2005, Doctor Who was largely unknown to mainstream America. The adventures of the time-traveling, two-hearted alien known only as “The Doctor” were confined to PBS rebroadcasts of the original or “Classic” series, which was produced by the BBC from 1963-1989. Low production values and the show’s undeniable Britishness were barriers to crossover success in the States, though a cult following developed among science fiction fans who grew up watching the series.

That all changed in 2010 when BBC America licensed the show for broadcast in the United States. Instead of waiting months for rebroadcasts of episodes, they now waited weeks. Perhaps there is no better bellwether of the shows immense Stateside popularity than the town of Denton, TX. Local comic book store retailer Tim Stoltzfus of More Fun Comics lobbied to nab an exclusive cover and won. Titan Comics released 29 variant covers for Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Issue 1 and among them was a cover featuring the TARDIS parked outside the Denton County Courthouse.


Local Denton artist Jake Ekiss drew the exclusive cover.

The recognition drew the attention of Denton Mayor Chris Watts, who drew up a proclamation declaring April 4, 2015 “Dr. Who Day” in Denton. Local Whovians attended a reading of the proclamation in front of the courthouse where local a local cosplay group erected a TARDIS prop. Brothers Travis and Tom Huston attended the ceremony, dressed as the Eleventh and Tenth Doctors, respectively. Tom, 12, liked seeing “so many Whovians,” while Travis, 9, said: “there aren’t many great shows on like it, our whole family watches it together.” Both brothers agreed it was  “really awesome that our courthouse is on the cover.”

Geronimo and Allons-y! The Huston brothers dressed as their favorite Doctors: Travis, age 9, dressed as Eleven and Tom, age 12, went as Ten.

Geronimo and Allons-y! The Huston brothers dressed as their favorite Doctors: Travis, age 9, as Eleven and Tom, age 12, as Ten. Photo by Cristy Flowers Huston.

Likely the Houston brothers are among the fans excited for the upcoming three Doctor issue to be released on May 2nd, Free Comic Book Day. Check out the cover and preview pages below:




0 Comments on Doctor Who wrap up: BBC renews, Titan previews 3-Doctor FCBD issue and Texas celebrates “Dr. Who Day” as of 4/10/2015 5:46:00 PM
Add a Comment
18. Interview: Joey Stern, co-founder of Geeks OUT talks Flame Con – NYC’s first ever LGBTQ comic convention


Back in November, queer nerd organization Geeks OUT launched a kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a convention by queer nerds, for queer nerds. A month later they’d far exceeded their $15k goal, raising nearly $20,000 to make their con a reality. I spoke with Joey Stern about what led him start Geeks OUT, how that led to Flame Con, and what queer geeks and their allied communities can expect from New York City’s first ever LGBTQ comic convention on June 13.

Edie Nugent: Tell me a little about your role at Geeks OUT and how you got involved with the organization.

Joey Stern: We founded Geeks OUT in 2010 after New York Comic Con.  There was only queer panel that year and it was so packed that you had to stand in the back just to be there.

We wanted to make an organization that connected these fans, and gave them a more than once a year event to gather and see each other. We also wanted to make NYCC a gayer place, so we held events and parties as we fund raised to get enough money for a table.

It was really intense, but a year later, we debuted at NYCC with monthly queer comic/geek events and a table where people could come and find a group for themselves.

Nugent: So how did you decide to make the leap from that to putting on an entire convention?

Stern: We and the board of Geeks OUT felt like it was a natural progression and an opportunity to introduce an existing queer audience to amazing queer and ally artists and creators.

There’s so much out there now, it’s really hard to find a lot of the stuff that’s made for you, and Flame Con offers a connection for people and creators to meet and find new passions.

It also creates connections and empowers queer fandom, which is an important part of what we do.

Nugent: Why do you think comic book fandom appeals to the queer experience?

Stern: There really is no art like Comic Books. It’s not only informative, but it offers a lot more context for the writers’ words than traditional books do (or paintings offer on their own). They also have an indie experience, and like queer culture, were for a long time considered the realm of weirdos and freaks.

Comics in general are often about exploring new worlds and future tomorrows. And I think that idea is really appealing to anyone who has experiences of being on the outer edge of polite society.

For me, the X-men’s construct of creating new family, and finding friendship with people like you was really informative.

Nugent: You really leveraged queer fandom to launch Flame Con, raising almost $20k for the event. Were you surprised by how much support you received?

Stern: Yeah! Oh man, it was terrifying, we were worried the whole thing was going to fail, but people really came out to support us and this effort. It just shows how vibrant and important this community is.

Nugent: Do you think recent media attention on sexual harassment at cons, especially of cosplayers, helped identify a real need for a more progressive type of con experience?

Stern: Sure! But I think a lot of that work has been done by cosplayers coming to the media. It’s been really amazing to see people having that conversation and pushing for safer spaces (and to see cons, like NYCC respond positively to those changes).

Nugent: What are some programming highlights from Flame Con that you’re excited about?

Stern: We’re excited to be putting on all sorts of programming – hopefully something for everyone! A panel about writing for LGBT teens hosted by award-winning author David Levithan, a Q&A with Steve Orlando, writer of DC’s upcoming Midnighter series (DC’s first ongoing title to feature a gay man as a lead character,) a great panel on queer horror with Mark Patton, star of the infamously queer Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and Cecil Baldwin, voice of the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, a panel about looking at Sherlock Holmes from a queer perspective, a discussion with some up-and-coming industry pros about costume design, and lots more. We’re really packing something interesting into every minute of this con! There’s also a performance from Sarah Donner!

Nugent: What makes Flame Con different from other cons that aren’t queer-centric?

Stern: It’s tailored to its audience. All Gender bathrooms, queer artists and creators taking center stage, and panels that are not Gay 101, but a bit more focused.

Nugent: How so? 

Stern: Bigger cons have panels focused on Gay Artists, we have panels focused on writing Gay Sherlock Fan Fiction.

Flame Con is a one-day event on June 13 in Brooklyn. Here’s a complete list of guests appearing at the con. For more information check out their website and their Facebook page.

0 Comments on Interview: Joey Stern, co-founder of Geeks OUT talks Flame Con – NYC’s first ever LGBTQ comic convention as of 5/26/2015 3:35:00 PM
Add a Comment
19. Marvel panel at NYCC Special Edition reveals no Secret Wars reboot

photo (1)

There were quite a few announcements the NYCC Special Edition Marvel panel. We learned of the fall launch of a new line of $1 comics featuring women of Marvel, saw new pages from the upcoming Lando Calrissian limited series, and were told of a new post-Secret Wars Iron Man series from Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez.

But perhaps the most interesting moment of the panel was when Bendis, speaking on the dais with Marguerite Bennett (A-Force) and Charles Soule (Inhumans: Attilan Rising), said that Secret Wars was “never planned to be a reboot” to the Marvel Universe, and that “no continuity would be damaged or reversed.” Bendis explained that Secret Wars was always meant to be part of on-going continuity.

Bennett received loud applause when speaking to a fan during the Q & A portion of the panel who asked her what advice she had for women and girls interested in the comics industry. “Don’t be scared,” Bennett replied, “I’ve had one of the worst weeks of my life with hate mail and it doesn’t matter.” Bennet said she would “prove through her work, I’m not going anywhere.”

Sound issues plagued the presentation, which alternately found Bendis yelling into his mic and audience members having to approach the panel and speak into their mics to be heard over a panel in the adjacent space (separated only by a curtain).

Keep reading for panel exclusive images of forthcoming series, including those never before seen pages from upcoming Charles Soule penned series Lando!

photo 1

The new “True Believers” line of $1 comics debuts in September 2015, and will feature a women of Marvel theme for it’s first 10 issues.

photo 2

Marvel also showed art from their forthcoming variant covers, including several images from an upcoming line of Manga variants. A House of M variant cover was shown, drawn by Katsuya Terada (Blood: The Last Vampire).

photo 3

Marvel’s variant announcements continued with images of a line of variant covers honoring the fast-growing cosplay scene.

photo 4

Artist Alex Maleev joins Soule for the upcoming Lando limited series. Soule said the series would have “a lot of twists and turns” but that it would be the charming, “smarmy” Lando we all know and love, as Con-exclusive images were shown on the big screen.

photo 5

“New Armor, new villains,” promised Bendis of his upcoming Invincible Iron Man series, scheduled for release following Secret Wars. He promised the series’ first issue would have a “whopper of a last page,” and reveal the identity of Tony Stark’s biological parents. He also confirmed that, despite internet rumor, it was indeed Stark inside the Iron Man suit. Though he wouldn’t confirm how many limbs Stark still had following the events of Secret Wars.

photo 2 (1)

When a fan approached the panel to ask “how important are the X-Men” after Secret Wars, Bendis joked, “it’s almost like Marvel is screwing around with people who have X-Men paranoia.”

photo 3 (1)


5 Comments on Marvel panel at NYCC Special Edition reveals no Secret Wars reboot, last added: 6/10/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
20. The Dylanologists by David Kinney

So when you ask some of your questions, you're asking them to a person who's long dead. You're asking them to a person that doesn't exist. But people make that mistake about me all the time. 
—Bob Dylan, 2012

If you've ever spent any time around any sort of fan community, most of the people you meet in The Dylanologists will be familiar types. There are the collectors, there are the hermeneuts, there are the true believers and the pilgrims. Some reviewers and readers have derided a lot of the people Kinney writes about as "crazy", but one of the virtues of the book is that it humanizes its subjects and shows that plenty of people who are superfans are not A.J. Weberman. They seem a little passionate, sure, and if you're not especially interested in their passion they may seem a bit weird, but how different are they, really, from denizens of more culturally dominant fandoms — say, devoted sports fans? (Indeed, the term "fan" as we think of it now dates back to 19th century American sports, at least according to the OED.)

Or how different are they from academics? That was the question that kept buzzing through my brain as I read the book. It's no surprise to me that one of the great Milton scholars of our time, Christopher Ricks, would have become a Dylanologist; the fights among the Dylan fans are at least the equal of the fights among the Miltonists, who can be a rather contentious lot... (Speaking of Miltonists, Stanley Fish's invaluable "What Makes an Interpretation Acceptable", a chapter from Is There a Text in This Class?, came to mind again and again as I read.) In so many ways — its esotericism, its gate-keeping, its initiation rites — academia is a collection of high-falutin' fandoms.

Given that I have spent most of my life studying written texts, it's probably predictable that the chapter I found most exciting in The Dylanologists is the one about Scott Warmuth and other researchers who have traced the vast web of references, quotations, echoes, allusions, shadows, and traces of other writings through Dylan's own, particularly in Dylan's work over the last 15 years or so. (See Warmuth's fascinating essay for the New Haven Review about Dylan's Chronicles: Vol. 1.) One of the things that makes Dylan so extraordinary is that he's like a human filter for particular strains of Americana and of musical and literary history. He's like a human cut-up machine. Puritanical squawkers may scream, "Plagiarism!", but for me the effect of, for instance, Warmuth's revelations about Chronicles is that I was in even more awe of Dylan's achievement — the book reveals itself to be not just a memoir, but a more readable cousin to Finnegans Wake. Dylan's references, allusions, echoes, riffs, cut-ups, and copies expand his work and connect it to networks of meaning.

Don Hunstein; Bob Dylan, New York, 1963

(It's worth noting, tangentially, that these references, allusions, echoes, etc. are most effective at the level of language and music. While Dylan certainly has written songs and even entire albums that are explorations of what in fandom get called tropes, he's too great an artist to exert most of his energies at that level.)

(It's also worth noting that there are inevitably differences of power in how such references, allusions, echoes, etc. are perceived and the effect they have, especially in a culture of white supremacy. Dylan's not always great about this, but he's also not always bad, and to castigate him for "appropriation", as some people do, seems to me too reductive to be useful. At the same time, as I pointed out in a review of a book about Charley Patton and Jimmie Rodgers for Rain Taxi's most recent print issue, racism shaped what was possible for even the most talented artists, and the popularity of Patton and Rodgers, for instance, can't be said to be parallel: "The nature of their popularity was significantly different, and no small bit of that difference must be the result of race — both the race of the musicians and the racialized marketing of record companies that offered one set of music to black (and mostly Southern) audiences and another to white (and nation-wide) audiences." Both men were significant to the history of American music, both were hugely talented, and both drew from and played off of similar influences. But Jimmie Rodgers got rich and Charley Patton didn't, even though today it's Patton's name — partly due to Dylan's advocacy and homage — that is probably more likely to be recognized.)

Masks are easy to pick up and just as easy to discard. He's a man of masks, the man of thin wild mercury — the Dylan we know, the Dylan we can know, is a performance. The original image that was sold of Dylan — the earnest protest singer — has been resilient, and people still seem shocked when Dylan does something like a TV commercial. But Dylan was never pure, and it drives purists crazy. Dylan is all poses, all artifice, and he always was. He's not, though, a postmodern ironizer; his earnestness is in the earnestness of his artifice. (His art is real for as long as he performs it.) Many fans fall in love with the earnestness, but hate the artifice.

Fans tend to be both passionate and possessive. This is a bad recipe for Dylan fans, because he seems to take a certain joy in pushing against whatever expectations are set up for him. The history of Dylan fandom is a history of fans denouncing him at every juncture. The "real" Dylan is Dylan before he went electric, Dylan before he went country, Dylan before he went gospel, Dylan before the doldrums of the '80s, Dylan before he did a Victoria's Secret ad, Dylan before... Kinney does a good job of showing the ways that great passion can also lead to great disillusionment and even great hatred. The relationship between fans and celebrities can be pathological and destructive. One of the strengths of Kinney's book is that it shows various ways that pathology may manifest, from the benign to the fatal.

There's a kind of Harry Potter syndrome to a lot of fandom, well expressed by one of Dylan's die-hard followers, an expert at getting to the front of the admission line at concerts. Kinney asked him if he wanted to meet Dylan (not all fans do). Charlie said yes. "I think he would think I was funny. I really believe I could be the one guy who could talk to him without bullshit."

I really believe I could be the one guy — the one guy who understands, the one guy who knows the beloved's soul, the one guy who really gets it. The true fan. Another fan says late in the book:
"He and I have been through a lot together and he doesn't know it," she said. "He doesn't know I exist. Can you see how that would be frustrating? I don't have any grandiose idea that because he's affected me he's going to care. I just think it's not fair that it's a one-way relationship." She wasn't delusional. She didn't think he was going to ask her out on a date, or invite her to his home. But if he did she would have to drop everything and go. "I don't think he's Jesus, I don't think he's the messiah. He's just a human being. But he's filled with poetry."
Or another fan, one that Dylan seemed to occasionally pay some attention to:
"I think it's a wonder he shook my hand. I don't want to speculate," he said. But a few minutes later he stopped midsentence and looked me in the eye. "I take that back. I do have a theory, and I happen to think it's right. I don't think it, I know it. I think he's got a problem similar to my problem: being misunderstood, being misjudged. People take me the wrong way. I suspect it's because they don't listen to the words I say."
Fans may want to distance themselves from religious fanatics, but theirs is still a religious position — fan as worshiper, artist as God — and as various people have pointed out over the years, there's a secular religiosity that such fervent fandom satisfies. The fan is created in the god's image, the god in the fan's. I could be the one guy; He and I have been through a lot together; I think he's got a problem similar to mine. Throughout its history, the word fanatic possesses a religious connotation, and a fan, of course, is a type of fanatic. We don't worship gods that seem alien to us.

I don't say all this to scoff. Personal identification is a fundamental part of any artistic appreciation. It's hard for such identification not to slip toward certain types of fantasy, dreams of contact. I'm a huge fan of some things, and so is Bob Dylan: Kinney tells the story of Dylan's visit to John Lennon's childhood home, and the experience described is that of a fan. Even in academia, at least in my field of literature, one of the things that motivates some of our work (now and then, here and there) is the sense that we can understand a particular text or writer in a way that nobody else can.

And then there are relics. Kinney tells various tales of collectors: people who not only listen to the music, or collect rare recordings, but seek out physical objects somehow related to the singer. As I was most intellectually interested in the hermenauts close reading Dylan's texts, so I felt most sympathy for the people whose lives have been in many ways hindered by their quests for Dylan's stuff. I inherited a collector's personality from my father, though I hope I've also learned from his negative example, because for all the pleasure it sometimes brought him, his quest for the stuff (in his case, militaria, guns, etc.) in so many more ways limited his life. On the other hand, like so much else in fandom, collecting seems to have given the Dylan collectors a sense of purpose as well as a sense of community.

Relics are also religious, a kind of objective correlative for the zeal of worship. The Benjaminian aura becomes for some people even more important in the age of mechanical reproduction. Is anybody who really cares about a work of art impervious to this? I was recently at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, where a friend works, and getting to see and even hold so many unique items of literary history was overwhelming. "I now know what people mean by 'religious experience'," I said. I understand the impulse to buy the windows of Dylan's childhood home, even as I recognize that such an impulse is absurd. Kinney's book conveys both the attractions of the impulse and the absurdity.

This paragraph toward the end of the final chapter is especially revealing of the complexities that Kinney is able to find in the subject of Dylan and his most passionate fans:
What must it be like to be Dylan, the music writer Paul Williams once wondered, and carry around "the half-formed dreams of millions on your back"? Dylan always had been afraid of his followers, and Williams could understand why. "Their relationship with him is so intense, they expect so much, and more than once over the years they've turned really nasty when he chose to deliver something other than their notion of who 'Bob Dylan' should be." Williams wrote that in the aftermath of the first gospel concerts in 1979, but he just as easily could have said it after Another Side in 1964, Newport in 1966, Nashville Skyline in 1969, Live Aid in 1985, or London in 2009. So many controversies. So much disappointment. Dylan acted entirely unfazed: "Oh, I let you down? Big deal," he said once. "Find somebody else." More than one fan really did wish he had died in the motorcycle wreck in 1966. It would have been better that way. He'd have been frozen in his glory. Instead he got old. He kept putting out new records and doing shows. He kept confounding.
One of the effective choices Kinney makes is to set the book up as a kind of biography. It generally, though not slavishly, follows Dylan's career from the early days to later. The Dylanologists become a kind of cast of characters, moving in and out of the narrative. These two structural choices sometimes can be frustrating or feel a bit strained, but nevertheless give the book a unity and sense of narrative momentum that wouldn't otherwise be available. I expect readers' interests will ebb and flow depending on which types of Dylanologists they themselves find most interesting, and it's also likely lots of people will want to know more about particular people and less about others, making it difficult to say the book is entirely satisfying, but Kinney's interest is not so much in individual manifestations of Dylanology, but in how the idea of Bob Dylan gets kaleidoscoped through the many different ways of hearing him, seeing him, loving him, and hating him. I'm Not There did something similar in a more abstract way, and it might make a good companion piece with The Dylanologists, certainly more so than any conventional biography, which can really only tell us so much, and very little of what truly illuminates the work. Whether The Dylanologists can illuminate the work depends on what you desire for illumination. Certainly, it illuminates the quest for illumination.

0 Comments on The Dylanologists by David Kinney as of 6/20/2015 5:50:00 PM
Add a Comment
21. Eventbrite Survey: conventions have achieved gender parity but some still feel unwelcome

EventBrite, the ticketing agency, caused a lot of talk last year when they released the results of the first survey of convention attendees with breakdowns on gender, spending and more.

They’ve done another survey this year, and the results are even more detailed. Rob Salkowitz has done a round-up over at ICv2 but the Beat has also been given an exclusive preview of some of the data on safety at the con.

The survey was done to provide greater insight into the multi-billion dollar fandom events and convention business, and surveyed 2165 total respondents over two weeks in May. Respondents were drawn from Eventbrite users, with a few from external respondents via social media. 94% of respondents attended a fan event or convention in the past 12 months, While the poll did not cover sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, it delved into gender, and the news is that as far as men and women go it’s now even steven. Also, there is far more gender diversity among purchasers of indie/alt.comix than among regular comics. And that attendees of Tabletop/role-playing games felt less safe than any other kind of event — perhaps because fans of these are actually USED to acting out? Just a guess there.


SO MUCH TO CHEW ON. For breakdowns read on:



Fandom Overall Has Achieved Gender Parity


• Last year, in a survey using the same methodology and roughly the same sample size, the overall gender breakdown across all fandoms was 46% female, 54% male, but was 50/50 under age 30. (the survey did not provide a non-binary/other option in 2014)
• This year, gender identity breakdown across all responses was 48.9% female, 48.7% male, , 2.4% non-binary/other
• Fandom as a whole is trending female, with women very slightly outnumbering men in our overall sample.
• Under age 40, it’s 50.8% female/46.1% male/3.1% non-binary/other
• There are hardly any significant attitude or behavior differences expressed between male and female fans across most topics polled.

…but gender gaps remain across specific fan interest areas.

• Despite the overall trend toward women across all fan interest areas polled, no individual fandom is close to 50/50
• Tabletop and role-playing gaming and comic book fandom are where the boys are, clocking in at over 62% male.
• Female fans flock to anime/manga, science fiction and genre/comics-based media.
• Fans identifying as “non-binary/other” are most likely to be found in Alt/small press and anime/manga fandom.

Cosplayers are Intense Fans, Spenders, Frequent Con Attendees


• 499 respondents, or around 23% of our sample, identified themselves as serious cosplayers and/or people who attend shows just to engage in cosplay
• The highest percentage – 29.4% – identified themselves as primarily manga/anime fans. 21% are fans of comic and genre-based media, and 17.7% science fiction and fantasy fans.
• More than 85% of cosplayers are under 40, with nearly 60% between the ages of 23-39.
• Cosplayers are predominantly female (62.5%), with 32% male and 5% non-binary/other
• Only 30% of cosplayers report spending less than $100 at shows. Most (42.7%) spend between $101-250, consistent with the spending patterns of non cosplayers.
• Cosplayers go to more cons than practically any other group. 64% of serious cosplayers attend 3 or more fan events per year. More than 27% attend 5 or more fan events per year.

Cons Generally Make Fans Feel Safe and Welcome
• When asked “In general, do you feel the fan events you attend do enough to make all attendees feel safe and welcome,” 7.2% of respondents (143 total)  said no. 92.8% said yes.
• Anime/manga and toy/collectible fans seem to feel their events do best, with fewer than 5% feeling unsafe.
• By far the worst fandom for safety is Tabletop/role-playing games, with around 17% of fans in that category answering “no.”
• Videogaming fans (mostly male fandom) response is at about 10%; comic and genre-based media (the most female fandom) is around the same.
• There were few statistical differences between how men, women and non-binary/other genders answered this question.

• Among those who feel unsafe and unwelcome:
o 53.5% are female, 45.1% are male, 1.4% are non-binary/other
o 20% are serious cosplayers. 44% do not cosplay at all.
o 40% have been going to cons for more than 10 years
o 35% spend $250 or more
o 85% go in groups of two or more, including family

1 Comments on Eventbrite Survey: conventions have achieved gender parity but some still feel unwelcome, last added: 6/30/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
22. SDCC ’15 – Comic Book People at Comic-Con

FullSizeRenderWant to know what comic-cons are really about? Get these books.

In my previous post I talked about the importance of community — it is central to proper understanding of ethics, and as such it is essential to a fan life well-lived. As an influx of new people explore the comics universe, the risk of losing sight of what connects us beyond passive viewing increases and the importance of learning from our history only grows.

That’s why Jackie Estrada’s Comic Book People is so vital – and if you’re at San Diego Comic-Con, you can get the hot-off-the-Kickstarter second volume at the Exhibit A Press booth, #1909 (aisle 1900, near the Lobby B2 entrance).

If you’re new to comic-cons there might be a temptation to think that books filled with photos of people from the ’70s and ’80s (vol. 1) and ’90s (vol. 2) are just for people who went to conventions back then, but as Don Draper would say, this isn’t nostalgia; it’s a time machine. The genius of these books is that you are in many ways their target audience — in addition to names and photos, Comic Book People explains who these people are and why they are important. Not only will this help you discover stories you might have otherwise missed, but they show you a world-shaping network as it grows. These folks built a global pop-culture empire that made billions and changed lives, inspiring an intensity of personal connection that rivals if not transcends that found in other art. Know them and you’ll understand the world you’ve just entered; follow their example and you’ll create a world that today exists only in dreams.

0 Comments on SDCC ’15 – Comic Book People at Comic-Con as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
23. 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.

photo (3)

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.

photo (1)

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
Display Comments Add a Comment
24. SDCC ’15 Photo Essay – Cosplay Culture

IMG_3070If you’re into cosplay, Saturday night is made for fighting the lines to get into the annual masquerade contest. Here are a few backstage pics from the show, along with a few other shots.

If you attended any of the panels I moderated, you know that my themes this year were community and personal connection. The above candid of what appear to be a mother and son is probably my favorite scene of the show.

As you know, guys have a proclivity toward taking pictures of cosplaying women in revealing garb, with little regard for who these women are as people. A pic I didn’t get: a young woman in an artful Poison Ivy costume who explained her costume to the photographer with a rather revealing statement: “I’d rather wear this every day than be slinging coffee.”


Captain America stopped by lunch on Saturday afternoon, and judging by the detail on the costume he wasn’t a cosplayer but the real Captain America.


The good folks at Comic-Con let me join the lucky few Jimmy Olsens and Peter Parkers who get to go backstage the shoot posed photos after each entry performs their routine. Before the show, however, cosplayers who aren’t part of the contest can have their photos taken as well. Harley Quinn dazzled the photographers with an array of poses …


… and afterward she handed out business cards – turns out she’s a talented seamstress, designer and costume fabricator. This is the case more often than one might guess — cosplay is often a marketing tool as much as a form of self-expression, an aspect of the culture that your typical “babes of cosplay” photo essay tends to miss.


The daughter of Batman and Poison Ivy enchants the photographers. Kids open the annual cosplay masquerade contest.


Princess Anna of Arendelle. This is where being in the photographer area was rather illustrative vis a vis the real culture of cosplay. The cosplayers weren’t told to strike a sexy pose — the repeated requests were for them to show the fabric details, construction, and in many cases, lighting and other tech that didn’t show up all that well on my iPhone under bright lights.


Fabric on display – cosplayers are asked to pose front, back, side to side, in angles highlighting key details, and finally, in whatever pose happens to be their favorite.


This looked great, but when the head came off it looked like the costume had almost killed the wearer. These things are hot and heavy.


The Transformers Bumblebee cosplay was a technological marvel to behold – and so tall that it couldn’t fit in the photographer staging area. As a result, we could photograph only the folks who made it work.


Minecraft 3D.


This costume was clever and funny – the Barbie doll was a fantastic touch. After the photographers called out for poses highlighting particular aspects of the design, one called out, “Show us your teeth!” — to which the cosplayer deadpanned: “I don’t have interesting teeth.”


There were a number of other costumes worth highlighting, but like most of the other folks I know here, I’m beat.

0 Comments on SDCC ’15 Photo Essay – Cosplay Culture as of 7/12/2015 6:58:00 AM
Add a Comment
25. More from Daniel Radcliffe at Comic Con

Daniel Radcliffe has shown his good humor this week at San Diego Comic Con.  While officially there to promote Victor Frankenstein, he hasn’t shied away from media interviews and selfie shots.

The photo of the Con so far has been Maisie William’s Instagram post of herself with Hannah Murray, Daniel Radcliffe, and Jenna Coleman.  Nothing makes fandom swoon like a Game of Thrones/Harry Potter/Doctor Who meet-up!

Also, Daniel Radcliffe has done some brief camera interviews while in San Diego.  Talking to Extra, Radcliffe confirms that a cameo in Fantastic Beasts is highly unlikely.  Considering the action of the new film takes place decades before Harry Potter is even born, this isn’t surprising.

Radcliffe also shares his excitement for Victor Frankenstein, calling it a “buddy-adventure movie, but with a lot of, like, you know, dissection of animals and stitching them back together to make new improved animals,” since Frankenstein and Igor’s projects involve a lot of animal re-composition as part of the larger storyline.

In another interview, Daniel Radcliffe jokes about his Rear of the Year award.  To E!, he glibly says, “Oh, yeah, I’ve been campaigning for years.”  Radcliffe then gives a mock acceptance speech for the award, saying that he’s honored– and we’ll all get to see more of his backside in the future.

To read more about the Instagram photo, see here.  To read the article from E!, see here.

Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts