SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
The promotional push for Free Comic Book Day 2015 kicked off this morning with a video from legendary Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, who not only endorses the event but also brick-and-mortar stores.
“Don’t buy them [comics] over the Internet,” he says. “Where’s the fun in that? You gotta get out, experience the community that is the fan world, maybe see some titles you never dreamed that you wanted.”
Last week we learned the April 11 date for the New York City edition of the Attack on Titan Real Escape Game, “Escape From the Walled City,” and now we know the place: Richmond County Bank Ball Park on Staten Island.
Inspired by Hajime Isayama’s bestselling post-apocalyptic manga, and the subsequent hit anime series, “Escape From the Walled City” is an immersive outdoor game that casts players as Survey Regiment trainees, whose graduation day is interrupted by an alarm warning that the enormous, flesh-eating Titans have breached the citadel. Participants must use teamwork to solve puzzles, decode clues and find the escape route.
Although SCRAP Entertainment has yet to announce details for the New York City edition of the Attack on Titan Real Escape stadium game, the trailer for “Escape From the Walled City” now provides a date: Saturday, April 11. However, no location is listed.
That information arrives even as tickets sell out for Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. That’s 3,000 players for that one run-through; tickets are still available for the 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. games, and for the Los Angeles stop on March 21.
California dates have been announced for “Escape From the Walled City,” the Attack on Titan x Real Escape stadium game.
According to the SCRAP Entertainment website, the immersive, interactive game — inspired by Hajime Isayama’s blockbuster manga and anime — will be held Sunday, Feb. 1, at San Francisco’s AT&T Park (10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.), and Saturday, March 21, at East Los Angeles College’s Weingart Stadium (also at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.). Tickets are now on sale.
No specific date has been announced for the New York City stop, which is targeted for April.
The “Attack on Titan x Real Escape Game” is crashing into the United States.
Kodansha and SCRAP Entertainment have announced dates in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City for “Escape From the Walled City,” an immersive, interactive game inspired by Hajime Isayama’s hit manga and anime.
Debuting in 2009, Attack on Titan is a post-apocalyptic fantasy set in a world where remorseless, flesh-eating giants have all but wiped out humanity, whose remnants are forced to live within a country surrounded by three enormous walls.
Diamond Comic Distributors has unveiled the Free Comic Book Day 2015 commemorative T-shirt designed by Amanda Conner and colored by Paul Mounts.
The tee, which will be available in adult and youth sizes from the January issue of Previews, depicts images of a variety of young readers — one of them otherworldly — enjoying comic books, set against a FCBD logo.
“I remembered what many of us comic book readers actually are … frustrated superheroes,” Conner said in a statement. “I thought about making a piece of art that would resemble a superhero insignia. Hopefully when you see it from a distance, that’s what it looks like.”
Diamond Comic Distributors has officially announced the date for Free Comic Book Day: May 2, 2015, the event’s traditional spot on the first Saturday in May, which coincides with the opening weekend of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Last year’s Free Comic Book Day saw a record-breaking turnout, with a reported 4.7 million comic books handed out to more than 1 million customers who showed up at the 2,100 participating locations across North America and around the globe. Diamond anticipates that next year’s celebration — the 14th — will be even bigger.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is opening a boutique store at the Toronto Reference Library, site of the annual event.
The TCAF Pop-Up Shop will kick off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with a book launch for the comedy sex guide Just the Tips, featuring co-author Chip Zdarsky (who wrote the book with Sex Criminals collaborator Matt Fraction). The store will begin regular business hours Thursday at 9 a.m.
Bone cartoonist Jeff Smith and comics journalist Tom Spurgeon are the driving force behind Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, an annual four-day comics festival set to debut in fall 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.
That will be preceded next year by a two-day CXC Launch Event held Oct. 2, 2015, at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and Oct. 3 at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center (the second day is characterized as a comics expo with up to 35 exhibitors).
Smith, who lives in Columbus, will serve as the festival’s president and artistic director. Spurgeon, editor of The Comics Reporter, will be festival director; he plans to relocate to Columbus early next year.
“We’re extremely excited to try and bring a first-class comics festival to Columbus, Ohio,” Smith said in a statement. “I’ve attended and enjoyed so many great shows over the years, and hope that CXC can take its place alongside them.”
Smith and Spurgeon are joined on the CXC executive committee by Lucy Caswell, founder of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, and Vijaya Iyer, president and co-publisher of Cartoon Books. More details are promised in early 2015.
If you’re a comics fan who happens to be in the Philadelphia area on Saturday, you’ll not want to miss the third annual Locust Moon Comics Festival.
Held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the The Rotunda in West Philadelphia (4014 Walnut St.), the event features an impressive guest list that includes Bill Sienkiewicz, Paul Pope, Denis Kitchen, J.G. Jones, Farel Dalrymple, Dave Bullock, Box Brown, Nathan Fox, Dean Haspiel, Rebecca Mock, Dave Bullock, Tom Scioli, José Villarrubia, Benjamin Marra and Ronald Wimberly.
On Saturday, comic shops across North America and around the world will celebrate Halloween ComicFest, which has taken on the dimensions of a second Free Comic Book Day. This is a relatively new event — the first was held in 2012 — but according to the HCF website, more than 1,400 stores participated last year, attracting 100,000 customers. The event is run by a group of retailers, publishers and suppliers, with Diamond Comic Distributors handling publicity and a lot of the logistics.
This year’s comics lindup includes 12 full-size comics and seven minicomics, although all retailers may not offer all titles. It looks like most of the comics are repackaged first issues of series that have been around for a little while, like Afterlife With Archie, Rachel Rising and Scooby-Doo Team-Up — all fitting choices for Halloween reading. Zenoscope offers a reprint of its first Halloween Special, and Avatar Press has the first issue of Max Brooks’ Extinction Parade.
THE DARE: To create a complete 24 page comic book in 24 continuous hours.
That means everything: Story, finished art, lettering, color (if applicable), paste-up, everything. Once pen hits paper, the clock starts ticking. 24 hours later, the pen lifts off the paper, never to descend again. Even proofreading has to occur in the 24 hour period. (Computer-generated comics are fine of course, same principles apply).
No sketches, designs, plot summaries or any other kind of direct preparation can precede the 24 hour period. Indirect preparation such as assembling tools, reference materials, food, music etc. is fine.
The 24 hours are continuous. You can take a nap, but the clock keeps ticking. If you get to 24 hours and you’re not done, either end it there (“the Gaiman Variation”) or keep going until you’re done (“the Eastman Variation”). I consider both of these “Noble Failure” Variants and true 24 hour comics in spirit; but you must sincerely intend to do the 24 pages in 24 hours at the outset.
It was Nat Gertler who turned the dare into an event: As he told ROBOT 6’s Tim O’Shea earlier this year, on the 10th anniversary, it started as a way to drum up publicity for an anthology of 24-hour comics he was publishing, and it snowballed from there. Now it is organized by the retailer group ComicsPRO, and participants are invited to send their 24-hour comics to the the national 24-Hour Comics Day archive at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University.
Because readers have undoubtedly been counting down the days on their calendars, it’s probably unnecessary to say what today is — but we’ll do so anyway: It’s Sept. 25, National Comic Book Day!
No, not Free Comic Book Day; that’s in May. National Comic Book Day, the unofficial holiday whose origins are as mysterious as its observers are scarce. As we noted last year, no one takes credit for its founding — heck, no one seems to know when it began — it receives little to no industry support, and there are no traditions tied to it (however, you can always try asking your local retailer for a free comic).
Although there have been plenty of events — with still more to come — in celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary, Popeye’s 85-year milestone has gone largely unnoticed. However, King Features Syndicate and Los Angeles’s Hero Complex Gallery are about to remedy that.
The official “Popeye: A Tribute Art Show” premieres Friday, with more than 100 artists from around the world paying homage to the spinach-eating sailor introduced in 1929 in E.C. Segar’s Thimble Theatre comic strip.
Curated by by the illustrator Chogrin, the show features works by such artists as Francesco Francavilla, Brent Engstrom, Miranda Dressler, Scott Balmer, Alina Chau and Shawn Dickinson. Of course, they’re just for starters. You can see some of the pieces below, and more on the art show’s blog and Facebook page.
To help celebrate what would’ve been Jack Kirby’s 98th birthday, Shmaltz Brewery in Clifton Park, New York, will debut a limited-edition King Kirby Ale as part of an Aug. 28 fundraiser to benefit The Hero Initiative. A limited number of cases will be available for purchase at the event.
Approached by local artists about holding an event, the brewery went a step further and created the exclusive ale (available as both pale and dark), which features a label designed by Paul Harding. “I tried to capture Kirby from an angle that few have seen before,” the Clifton Park artist said in a statement, “in a way that people can actually look up to him and get a sense of his artistic power.”