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A Canadian prairie city best known for it’s petroleum industry and western motif is showing it’s geeky side this weekend.
The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (CCEE) is currently taking over the city in full force, and the people and even it’s mayor are fully embracing it. All of the CCEE’s 56,000 tickets were gone before it even started.
The event kicked off Friday morning with a parade that weaved it’s way though the downtown core all the way to Olympic Plaza. The parade was marshalled by the cast of Torchwood, who led a contingency of cosplayers, guests and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi gleefully rolled along in a Delorean, sporting a very McFly red vest. At the plaza, where they were greeted by an army of Storm Troopers, where Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi white-hatted various Expo guests, which is Calgary’s unique equivalent to being awarded the key to the city.
Conventions | Kandrix Foong, founder of Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, cautions latecomers that all 56,000 tickets for this weekend’s event are sold out. “We tell everybody now: ‘There are no on-site ticket sales,’” he said. “So they say: ‘OK, I’ll just try my luck when I get there.’ ‘No, no, no, you don’t understand. There are no on-site ticket sales. The end. If you show up you will be turned away. Sorry, but that’s the way it’s going to be.’” [Calgary Herald]
Conventions | Wizard World has released its annual report for 2012, and while its convention business was way up, from $3.8 million to $6.7 million, the company still finished the year with a net loss of $1 million. [The Beat]
Conventions | The University of Calgary’s student newspaper looks at the rapid growth of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, and the problems that go with it: Last year, ticket holders had to be turned away because the event was over capacity. “Last year it was really a shame that people had so much trouble,” says Lyndsay Peters, owner of Dragon Chow Dice Bags. “We saw a lot of frustrated customers and we talked to a lot of frustrated people. I know there are some people who won’t be coming back this year. But everything we have been told as vendors and everything that has been communicated to us shows that they are taking it very seriously this year.” This year’s convention will be held April 26-28. [The Gauntlet]
Awards | The jury has been announced for the Doug Wright Awards. [Doug Wright Awards Blog]
Conventions | Thousands of fans were locked out of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo after the local fire marshal declared that the building had reached capacity. The big draw was not actually comics but a reunion of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. [Calgary Herald]
Awards | The Thrill Electric, an online comic created by Leah Moore and John Reppion, Emma Vieceli, Windflower Studio and LittleLoud for the U.K.’s Channel 4, has been nominated for best website in the 2012 Broadcast Digital Awards. [Broadcast]
Creators | Jay Faerber talks about his early ambitions, his current comic Near Death, and what is so special about being published by Image: “The thing about Image is you have absolute creative freedom. Once Near Death was approved, I just wrote it. There were no notes from Eric or anyone else at Image telling me what they think I should do, which is awesome. But it can also be a burden, because if a book sucks, I can’t say, ‘Well, if I had been able to do it my way…’ – because I did do it my way. So working at Image has made me become my own editor. The buck stops here, you know?” [Broken Frontier]
Creators | Ahead of the premiere of the documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, the 89-year-old Lee discusses the big-screen success of his co-creations, the fairy-tale appeal of superheroes, his favorite character (he doesn’t have one), and a time when he was embarrassed to admit he wrote comic books: “Oh well, in the beginning, comics were the lowest rung on the cultural totem pole. I’d go to a party and people would say ‘What do you do?’ ‘Um, uh, I’m a writer’ and I’d try to walk away. And the guy would follow. ‘What do you write?’ ‘Oh, er, stories for kids.’ Well finally he’d pin me down and I’d say, ‘Okay, I write comic books’ — and boy, he couldn’t get away fast enough. Now, though, I walk into a party and someone sees me and they say, ‘Sorry, excuse me a minute, President Obama, I have to go over and say hello to Stan Lee.’ Well, okay. Slight exaggeration on my part.” [The Star-Ledger]
Conventions | The Calgary Sun previews this weekend’s Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. [Calgary Sun]
Conventions | Jimmy Jay wonders whether Comic-Con International in San Diego could expand to two weekends, like the Coachella Music Fest. [ComicConMen]
The winners of the seventh annual Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creators Awards were announced last night in conjunction with the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The awards are named in honor of Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster, co-creator Superman. The full list of nominees can be found here. The winners are:
Outstanding comic book artist: Francis Manapul – Adventure Comics #6, The Flash #1-6, Superman/Batman #75 (DC Comics)
Outstanding comic book cartoonist: Tin Can Forest (aka Pat Shewchuk and Marek Colek) – Baba Yaga and the Wolf (Koyama Press)
Outstanding comic book colorist: Julie Rocheleau – La fille invisible (Glénat Québec)
Outstanding comic book cover artist: Fiona Staples – Mystery Society #1-5 (IDW), DV8: Gods and Monsters #1-8 (DC/Wildstorm), Superman/Batman #79 (DC Comics), Acts of Violence: An Anthology of Crime Comics (New Reliable Press), Magus #1 (12 Gauge Comics)
Outstanding comic book publisher: Koyama Press
Outstanding webcomics creator: Emily Carroll – His Face All Red, Dream Journals, The Death of José Arcadio, Out the Door, The Hare’s Bride
Outstanding comic book writer: Émilie Villeneuve – La fille invisible (Glénat Québec)
Comics for kids: Three Thieves Book 1: Tower of Treasure, by Scott Chantler (Kids Can Press)
The Gene Day Award for Self-Publishers: John Martz – Heaven All Day
The Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Comic Book Retailer: Planete BD (Montreal, QC)
Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame: Chester Brown (1960-) and Todd McFarlane (1961-)
Judges’ comments can be found here.
Retailing | More than 1 million customers visited participating stores on Free Comic Book Day, according to a survey conducted by Diamond Comic Distributors. More than 2.4 million of the record 2.7 million comics ordered by retailers were handed out. What’s more, nearly 54 percent of stores saw higher profits than usual for a Saturday, while more than 37 percent reported higher profits than on a typical Wednesday. [ICv2.com]
Awards | Bob Haney and Del Connell will receive the 2011 Bill Finger Award for Achievement in Comic Book Writing, established in honor of the late writer, considered the “unsung hero” of Batman. Haney, who passed away, in 2004, is best remembered as co-creator of the Doom Patrol and Metamorpho and for his work on DC titles like The Brave and the Bold, Teen Titans and Aquaman. Connell, who began his career at Disney Studios working on such animated projects as Alice in Wonderland and The Three Caballeros, became a prolific writer and, eventually, editor-in-chief at Western Publishing. He also wrote the Mickey Mouse comic strips for more than 20 years. Connell, 94, will accept his award July 22 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International. [Comic-Con]
Tell me which is more awesome: That this year’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo will have a roller derby? That its theme is superheroes vs. zombies? That it’s taking place at the site of the X-Men’s first battle with Alpha Flight? Or that Dean Reeves’ poster for the event features Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman getting ready to knock the block off an undead rollergirl?
The nominees were announced this morning for the seventh annual Joe Shuster Awards, which recognize the achievements of Canadian comics creators. The awards are named in honor of Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster, co-creator Superman.
The winners will be announced on June 18 at a ceremony held during the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The nominees are:
Outstanding comic book artist
• Camilla d’Errico – Sky Pirates of Neo Terra #4-5, “Little Red Riding Hood” from Fractured Fables (Image Comics)
• Stuart Immonen – New Avengers #61-62/Finale/Vol.2 #1-7, “The Avengers” from Origins of Marvel Comics #1, “Second Coming: Prologue” from X-Men – Second Coming: Prepare (Marvel Comics)
• Jacque Lamontagne – Aspic 01: La naine aux ectoplasmes (Soleil)
• Francis Manapul – Adventure Comics #6, The Flash #1-6, Superman/Batman #75 (DC Comics)
• Julie Rocheleau – La fille invisible (Glénat Québec)
• Fiona Staples – Mystery Society #1-5 (IDW), Northlanders #29 (DC/Vertigo), Fringe: Tales from the Fringe #4 (DC/Wildstorm)
• Cameron Stewart – Batman and Robin #7-9, 16 (DC Comics), Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm (Disney Press)
If you used an ATM while at last weekend’s Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, it may be a good idea to change your card’s personal identification number.
Calgary’s Metro reports police were alerted to a possible skimming scheme at the BMO Round Up Centre on Sunday after a man discovered double-sided tape on the ATM — presumably securing the faceplate — indicating someone had tampered with the machine.
When you slide your card into the ATM, a skimming device reads the account information stored electronically on the magnetic stripe. Depending on the device’s sophistication, it may be able to read your PIN as you punch it on the ATM keypad.
“A guy who was on the ball and noticed something odd with the machine when double-sided tape came off alerted police this weekend, and I believe an arrest has been made,” a police spokesman told the newspaper.
In addition to the comic convention, the BMO Centre played host last weekend to the Calgary Women’s Show and a Hitmen hockey game.
The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo gets the red-carpet treatment from the city’s alternative newspaper Fast Forward Weekly, which devotes its cover and a handful of articles — all illustrated by Travis Sengaus — to this weekend’s event.
Held Saturday and Sunday at the BMO Round Up Centre in Calgary, the expo features a solid lineup of comics guests, including Kalman Andrasofszky, Art Baltazar, Jeffrey Brown, Rich Buckler, Stefano Caselli, Clayton Crain, Camilla d’Errico, Lar DeSouza, Ray Fawkes, Chris Giarrusso, Pia Guerra, Tony Harris, Greg Horn, Dale Keown, Leonard Kirk, Scott Morse, Steve Niles, Cary Nord, Ryan North, Brandon Peterson, Eric Powell, Andy Runton, Filip Sablik, Stan Sakai, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ryan Sohmer, Fiona Staples, Christina Strain, Jill Thompson, Matt Wagner and Len Wein.