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Comics A.M. | Con’s response to cosplayer sparks backlash

Cherry City Comic Con

Cherry City Comic Con

Conventions | Ross Lincoln gathers up the threads of a story that’s been unfolding over social media for the past few days: A cosplayer expressed concern that the Facebook cosplay gallery for the inaugural Cherry City Comic Con in Salem, Oregon, featured significantly more women in costume than men. Displeased by the dismissive reply from the administrator of the Facebook page, she sent a private message asking for a refund of her convention registration fee, explaining, “I don’t think this will be a safe place for female cosplayers.” Organizer Mark Martin posted that request on his personal Facebook page with the response, “despite the no touch policy, the family friendly policy, the 3 security guards at all times, and the fact that you’re bat-shit crazy? Refunded!”

Several prominent cosplayers picked up on that, and it became a cause celebre on Twitter and Facebook for a couple of days; meanwhile, things got more complicated with sock puppets and a possibly fictitious con representative getting involved. In the end, Martin apologized; to give organizers their due, the convention includes a harassment policy in its official rules and policies. The con will take place on May 10-11. The Daily Dot has more. [The Escapist]

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Hugh Jackman battles ‘Magneto’ on ‘Monday Night Raw’

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You never know what to expect when Hugh Jackman appears on WWE’s Monday Night Raw.

A couple of years ago he helped Zack Ryder win a match by clocking Dolph Ziggler when the referee’s back was turned. Last night, Jackman returned to Raw to promote the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, bury the hatchet with Ziggler and battle Magneto — or at least wrestler Damian Sandow, who was cosplaying as the Master of Magnetism.

On a night that included announcer JBL making references to Asteroid M, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, Sandow tried to use his magnetic powers to take Jackman’s microphone, which — SPOILERS! — didn’t end well for Sandow. Check out the video below.

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Which states are the nerdiest? You may be surprised

Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience

Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience

I’ve never given any thought to which state might be considered the “nerdiest,” but if pressed I may have guessed California, with Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Comic-Con International, or Massachusetts, because of MIT and Harvard. However, it turns out I would’ve been way off.

Estately, the real estate blog that recently ranked the states most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, has now turned its attention to the nerdiest states in America, and — surprise! — Utah comes out on top. I guess that helps explain why Salt Lake Comic Con and its FanXperience spinoff pull in such large crowds.

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Awesome Con falls way short of cosplay world record

Although an attempt on Friday to set an new world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as comic book characters fell considerably short — 1,294 people short to be exact — it did manage to attract a lot of media coverage for Washington, D.C.’s Awesome Con.

According to WUSA Channel 9, just 237 cosplayers rallied at the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool, leaving intact the record of 1,530 people set in April 2011 in China.

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DC’s Awesome Con shoots for new cosplay world record

Awesome Con illustration by Sam Bosma for The Washington Post's Express

Awesome Con illustration by Sam Bosma for The Washington Post’s Express

Organizers of Washington, D.C.’s Awesome Con hope they can pack the National Mall today with enough costumed heroes (and villains) to set a new world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as comic book characters.

The current record, as certified by Guinness World Records, was set in April 2011 at the opening ceremony of International Animation CCJOY LAND in China. The magical number? 1,530 people. “I know we can break that record and mark Washington, D.C., as the capital city of cosplay,” Ben Penrod, co-founder of Awesome Con, said in a statement.

In an effort to do just that, Awesome Con and the Museum of Science Fiction sent out the call for cosplayers to gather at noon at the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool, where the Guinness adjudicator will undertake the official count.

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ECCC | Flash mob

flash mob-cropped

Comic Book Resources contributor George Tramountanas tapped into the Speed Force this weekend to capture an unexpected gathering of Flashes at Emerald City Comicon.

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A look at the cosplayers of London Super Comic Convention

Mary Turner of Getty Images and Carl Court of Agence France Presse captured some terrific images of cosplayers at London Super Comic Convention, which drew thousands of fans Saturday and Sunday to the Excel Centre. My favorite may be the troupe of dancing Predators, above, but there are plenty of other good ones below, from Iron Man posing with a pint-sized Captain America to Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy cosplayers Kia Sunda and Maria Grozova making sure their costumes and makeup are just right.

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Man proposes with epic cosplay movie mash-up

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We’ve showcased plenty of creative marriage proposals and ceremonies, with all of the trappings, from the “battle wedding” and slasher-comic engagement photos to the Scott Pilgrim-themed proposal scavenger hunt and the Bat-themed wedding. However, this one may take the cake (so to speak): When Victor Delgado wanted to ask his girlfriend to marry him, he turned to some friends — more than 50 of them, in fact — for help. A lot of help.

It took months of shooting and weeks of editing, not to mention assistance from the likes of the Costumers Guild of Hawaii, the Pacific Outpost 501st, Ghostbusters:Hawaii Division and the League of Shadows Hawaii, but the epic mash-up of sci-fi and action movies produced by Oahu-based JHM Productions was undoubtedly worth it. If, y’know, Delgado’s girlfriend said “yes.”

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ReedPOP & Wikia launch C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay

c2e2-cosplayConvention organizer ReedPOP is partnering with the social network Wikia to launch the C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay, described as “the biggest and most prestigious costume contest in the United States.”

Debuting in April at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, the competition will bring together veterans and amateurs alike in a battle for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes.

“With some of the amazing costumes we’ve seen at our other shows, we thought it would make for a great showdown between the best of the best in cosplay,” Lance Fensterman, Global Vice President of ReedPOP, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have teamed up with Wikia for the C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay to truly celebrate pop culture and the creativity of its fans.”

The inaugural event will feature a panel of celebrity judges that includes Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Her Universe fashion line), Yaya Han (Heroes of Cosplay) and Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume designer and head of costume design at The Theatre School at DePaul University).

Online registration for the competition begins today. Complete rules can be found here.

The comics convention boom is now

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

One of the under-analyzed indicators of comics’ recently improved health is the seemingly exponential growth of convention attendance. Rarely does a Comics A.M. goes by where some convention, even a smaller, regional one, isn’t reporting how attendance is up from the previous year and they’re expecting even more the next; often it’s in the thousands, headed into tens of thousands.

That seems to be in direct contrast to conventional wisdom: Digital comics sales are increasing, most comics creators are a tweet away, and travel in this still-sluggish economy is still cost-prohibitive for a lot of fans. Yet, just as print sales in the direct market have been steady, and even improving, attendances at comics conventions is up virtually across the board.

The leader of this pack is easily New York Comic Con. In just seven short years, it has positioned itself as the comics convention of the year, providing stiff competition for the long-held leader Comic-Con International. In fact, New York Comic Con hit San Diego-sized attendance numbers this year.

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Wonder Woman and Sailor Moon face off in epic dance battle

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In one of the most incredible crossovers ever, Wonder Woman and Sailor Moon faced off in an epic dance battle during the 2013 Streetstar dance festival in Stockholm, Sweden. The two dancers — France’s Lasseindra (Wonder Woman) and Finland’s Ida “Inxi” Holmgren (Sailor Moon) — went up against one another in the Vogue Femme Final Battle dressed in full costumes. Although the competition took place back in February, the video was only posted last month on Streetstar’s YouTube page, and showcases some incredible impressive dancing, bringing a crossover battle the likes of which have yet to be seen in a comic.

The battle routine takes place over the course of seven minutes, and it gets progressively more and more ridiculous, showcasing nigh-superheroic invulnerability to floor impact until a winner is crowned.

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Deadpool vs. Robin Thicke in ‘Merc Lines’

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I realized this morning that, despite a fairly steady stream of ongoing titles, miniseries and one-shots over the past two decades, I’ve never read a comic featuring Deadpool. Therefore, the sum total of my knowledge about Marvel’s popular Merc With a Mouth comes from Wikipedia, trailers for that recently released video game and those “Deadpool vs.” videos. Y’know, the ones where someone dressed as the character dances and fights his way through a comic convention, to “Gangnam Style,” or whatnot.

If Deadpool comics were about him dancing, only occasionally inappropriately, with the denizens of the Marvel Universe while taking periodic breaks to seek out tacos, I’d probably buy them all. And that, strangely enough, brings us to the latest video, in which Deadpool sends up Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring’s theme song to The Facts of Life Robin Thicke’s inescapable “Blurred Lines” — with a little help from the Marvel Universe — in “Merc Lines.”

I apologize in advance for the tune getting stuck in your head again.

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Animethon 20 | Cosplay photos from the con

Edmonton, Canada’s premiere anime convention, Animethon, is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this weekend. Over 7000 fans came out to the event, enjoying the blistering summer day, with costumes, concerts, shopping and more!

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More images after the jump. Warning: Image heavy!

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Comics A.M. | Digital’s role in ‘resuscitating’ comics industry

comiXology

comiXology

Digital comics | Financial-services company The Motley Fool touches upon how digital has helped to boost the comics industry, rather than undermine print sales as some predicted it would. “Digital has not to anyone’s observation pirated the sales of comics. It looks like just the opposite,” writer and charts-watcher John Jackson Miller tells the website. And then, because it’s The Motley Fool, the story veers off into what investors can learn from digital comics — specifically, “three forces [that] conspired to transform digital from a threat into a catalyst”: quality, format and access. [The Motley Fool]

Creators | Brian K. Vaughan talks about producing the CBS sci-fi thriller Under the Dome and writing Saga as well as his digital comic The Private Eye. His take on Saga: “I definitely wanted to write about the experience of fatherhood and parenthood while also recognizing that’s extremely boring for most people. How do you talk about these mundane topics in an exciting way? Hopefully setting this story in a wacky sci-fi fantasy universe has given us room to tell this story with some visual spectacle and just Fiona Staples being awesome.” [USA Today]

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Cosplay photo shoot spooks Boca Raton residents, police

boca weapons

What began Saturday night in Boca Raton, Florida, as a seemingly harmless photo shoot for an upcoming comics convention, quickly turned into a tense confrontation with police.

According to Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander, concerned residents approached two officers to report they saw four or five people donning body armor and taking guns from the trunk of a car. The cops immediately rushed to the top floor of a nearby parking garage, where they found five men in “military-style outfits” brandishing firearms; one had two samurai swords strapped to his back. You can see some of their weapons and gear, including a Deadpool mask, in the photos above.

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