INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
DragonCon set a new attendance record over the Labor Day weekend, drawing a reported 70,000 to Atlanta for the annual pop-culture festival.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the previous record of 62,000 was set just last year. Spread across five hotels, the event has experienced significant growth over the past decade: For comparison, the 25th-anniversary convention in 2006 attracted about 22,000 attendees; the 2013 edition clocked 57,000.
In a recent poll conducted by the San Diego Union-Tribune, voters say that Comic-Con is more important to San Diego than the NFL team the Chargers.
Take that professional sports. At long last the nerds have overpowered the jocks.
“We have great faith that our state’s leaders and legislators will, eventually, do the right thing for all Georgians,” organizers wrote in a statement. “Legislation that hurts one of us, hurts us all.”
Following Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s signing of the controversial “religious freedom” bill into law, Gen Con organizers announced Thursday they’ve begun “discussions” about whether to remain in Indianapolis once their contract expires in 2020.
Gen Con owner and CEO Adrian Swartout issued an open letter earlier this week urging the governor to veto the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, cautioning that it will “have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy, and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.”
Gen Con, described on its website as “the original, longest-running, best-attended, gaming convention in the world,” has threatened to withdraw from the Indiana Convention Center if Gov. Mike Pence signs the controversial religious freedom bill into law, IndyStar reports.
Gen Con owner and CEO Adrian Swartout feels that the bill, which would allow business owners to refuse services to same-sex couples, would impact both the convention and the state economy and issued an open letter to Pence to express this. “Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy, and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years,” she wrote.
As one famous Marvel hero is prone to saying, “Flame On!”
Plans for the first New York City-based LGBTQ convention are ramping up, as Flame Con has announced artist Phil Jimenez (Wonder Woman, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin) as its latest guest.
While we’ve all heard the complaint that too many comic conventions focus too much on Hollywood, the same can’t be said of Chromic Con. It’s focused on other things. Primarily weed.
Debuting Nov. 22 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Nov. 23 in Denver, the (rather literally) grass-roots event is billed as “the world’s first marijuana-friendly comic and fantasy convention.” It’s the brainchild of Jaymen Johnson, owner of the Speak Easy Vape Lounge in Colorado Springs, who was inspired by his visits to other conventions.
The posters, featuring the art of Mike Mignola, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Daniel Danger and Rob Jones/Ken Taylor, will be screen-printed live at the convention by Industry Print Shop. That’s two on Saturday (Mignola and Jones/Taylor) and two on Sunday (O’Malley and Danger); only those with the corresponding MondoCon wristband will be permitted to pick up the posters for the day. There will be no refunds or cancellations, and no shipping from the show.
Brooklyn Brewery is once again teaming up with the New York Comic-Con to create a beer for New York Super Week, the week leading up to the convention. And as they have in years past, they’ve recruited a comic artist to redesign the beer’s label and the hero featured on it.
Amy Reeder of Rocket Girl and Madame Xanadu fame said being asked to put her personal stamp on the brew “was such a cool opportunity,” she wrote on her blog. “I went for a homegrown vigilante vibe and I made sure to make her easy to cosplay.”
Like the label, the recipe for the special edition beer changes each year. This year, it’s a red IPA. “We incorporated some German red malts that give the beer the slightest edge of roast and a suggestion of caramel, and the explosive Mosaic hop steps out front with the aromatics,” brewmaster Garrett Oliver told the New York Daily News.
The brewery will host a release party Sept. 10 for the beer, which will then be available in various area bars Oct. 3-12. New York Comic-Con runs Oct. 9-12.
Check out Reeder’s designs and a video featuring Reeder and Oliver below.
Mondo has announced the complete lineup for the inaugural MondoCon, the Sept. 20-21 event in Austin, Texas, celebrating film, music, art and toys. And it turns out the participation of artists Geof Darrow, Francesco Francavilla, Jock, Mike Mignola and Bernie Wrightson is only the tip of the comics presence.
There’s the world premiere of Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD, a documentary celebrating 35 years of the influential comics anthology (watch the trailer below); a “Designing Movies” panel, with Darrow, Jock, Mignola, Wrightson and others discussing their film work; and “Geof Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy,” which includes a presentation of eight minutes of never-before-seen animation from an uproduced adaptation of his comic.
If it seems far too soon, and far too exhausting, to start planning for Comic-Con International 2015 (it’s just330 days away) then think about this: Early-bird tickets went on sale Thursday for D23 Expo 2015, scheduled for about a month after the San Diego convention.
Billed as the Ultimate Disney Fan Event, it will be held Aug. 14-16, 2015, at the Anaheim Convention Center, across the street from Disneyland. It brings together elements of Disney, Pixar, ABC, Lucasfilm and Marvel under one (figurative) tent.
As I noted in the intro to the first round of HeroesCon 2014 Day 1 photos, I tried to cover a lot of ground in taking photographs. It turns out I got around to so many people on the first day that I needed to split the photos into two posts. Now on with part II!
Over the past four decades, Hello Kitty has planted her flag on the worlds of toys, fashion, animation, music, video games, comic books, restaurants and even home appliances. And next the adorable Japanese bobtail/merchandising juggernaut is setting sail for new waters: conventions.
As part of the character’s 40th-anniversary celebration, owner Sanrio is staging the first-ever Hello Kitty Con Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Los Angeles. Held at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the four-day event will feature lectures, panels, workshops, exhibits, a pop-up shop, a tattoo parlor, parties, an arcade and, of course, plenty of exclusives.
The art gallery and online store Mondo has announced the inaugural MondoCon, a Sept. 20-21 event in Austin, Texas, designed to celebrate film, music, art and toys. It will coincide with the first weekend of Alamo Drafthouse’s annual Fantastic Fest.
The initial wave of guests includes such comics artists as Geof Darrow, Francesco Francavilla, Jock, Mike Mignola and Bernie Wrightson. To mark the occasion, Mondo has also announced a Bride of Frankenstein limited-edition print by Mignola, on sale Thursday at MondoTees.com.
“We specifically picked these first 15 to show a sampling of what to expect from MondoCon,” Mondo Creative Director Justin Ishmael explains on the event website. “Not only will we have people that we’ve worked with before, but we’ll also have guys that we’ve been HUGE fans of showing up, too. We want you in the same room as Mike Mignola who is also in the same room as Richey Beckett who has a booth next to Geof Darrow, etc. Picture walking down that aisle and stopping at like every booth. That’s at least the idea and if you do or not is obviously up to you, but if we were to walk into a convention and these guys were all there, it’d be a day long event for me going around bugging everyone. The thing is that we’re 100% fans of everyone in this room.”
MondoCon will feature new artwork and products, as well as panels and special screenings. Tickets, which go on sale Wednesday, cost $35 for one day and $70 for the full weekend.
Settling into an apparent “every other year” pattern, D23 focuses on “what’s new and what’s on the horizon from theme parks, television, music, games and films, including Pixar, the Muppets, Star Wars and Marvel.” At past D23 Expos, Disney has brought out everyone from Johnny Depp, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow to announce the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, to the almost-complete cast of Avengers. Last year saw Tom Hiddleston singing “Bare Necessities,” while Disney and Marvel teased their “Seekers of the Weird” comic project.
Advance tickets for D23 Expo 2015 will go on sale at D23Expo.com beginning Aug. 14, 2014.