Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
With a nearly $127 million domestic box-office haul, an inescapable marketing campaign, countless merchandising tie-ins and a soundtrack debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard charts, it’s safe to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is worming its way into our pop-culture consciousness. And come Halloween, the streets and malls will be crawling with little trick-or-treaters dressed as Rocket Raccoon, and every grown-up party will feature at least two Draxes, a Star-Lord and a Gamora.
But few of them will be able to hold a candle to this Groot costume created by Calen Hoffman. The photos show the work in progress, which will likely clue in cosplayers as to how he produced the almost movie-ready ensemble. The last time I sculpted anything was in 11th grade art class, so I’m happy to just sit back and marvel at the finished product.
Tampa Bay Comic Con was scheduled to kick off this morning with a bid to set a new Guinness World Record for largest gathering of people dressed as comic book characters.
As you may recall, Washington, D.C.’s Awesome Con made the same attempt in April, but with just 237 fell significantly short of the record of 1,530 set in April 2011 at the opening of World Joyland theme park in China. And like the Awesome Con effort, Tampa Bay’s comes with restrictions — in this case, that the characters must have originally appeared in comics, rather than on television, film, video games, etc. Apologies in advance to all of the Harley Quinn cosplayers …
Legal | Attorney Tom Goldstein, co-founder of the respected SCOTUSblog, has joined with Marc Toberoff to represent the heirs of Jack Kirby in their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of the Second Circuit’s affirmation that the artist’s contributions to Marvel between 1958 and 1963 were work for hire and therefore not subject to copyright termination. In a response filed this week to Marvel’s brief urging the high court to decline review, Goldstein and Toberoff again challenge the Second Circuit’s “instance and expense” test and its definition of “employer,” and argue, “Many of our most celebrated literary and musical works were created before 1978 and signed away to publishers in un-remunerative transactions. Termination rights were ‘needed because of the unequal bargaining position of authors.’ It would be hard to find a better example of this than the prolific Jack Kirby, who worked in his basement with no contract, no financial security and no employment benefits, but without whom Marvel might not even be in business today.” [Hollyqood, Esq.]
Retailing | Memo to politicians: You don’t win friends and influence people by taking up five spots in a comic store’s parking lot with your campaign bus on a Wednesday — especially when it’s Batman Day. [The Clarion-Ledger]
Conventions | Samantha Melamed looks at the problem of harassment at comics conventions, particularly of cosplayers, and what some women are doing about it. The article includes interviews with artist Erin Filson, one of the co-founders of Geeks for CONsent, which has called upon Comic-Con International to institute a more specific, and more visible, anti-harassment policy; cosplayer Nicole Jacobs, who describes a recent incident at AwesomeCon; and psychology professor Kimberly Fairchild, who studies harassment. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
Creators | Frequent collaborators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie discuss their new series The Wicked + The Divine, which debuted this week from Image Comics. [USA Today]
Just days before HeroesCon kicks off in Charlotte, North Carolina, organizers have released a code of conduct addressing harassment and cautioning exhibitors about images and materials that exceed the event’s PG-13 standards.
Signed by founder Shelton Drum, the policy extends beyond the exhibition floor to after-hours events at host hotels, and spells out that, “HeroesCon is dedicated to providing a fun, safe and harassment-free convention experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion.”
Conventions | A reported 86,500 people attended the third annual Denver Comic Con over the weekend, up from 61,000 in 2013. The event is undergoing some growing pains, however, with organizers quickly rescinding an announced cart-service fee for next year’s convention following complaints from vendors. Even without that additional charge, some exhibitors remain unhappy about the proposed increase in booth fees. [The Denver Post]
Conventions | Preliminary estimates place attendance at Dallas Comic Con at 45,000, easily a record for the event, which not only moved this year to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center from the smaller Irving Convention Center but is also under new ownership. [The Dallas Morning News]
Conventions | Joe Rodriguez does some shoe-leather reporting at the Big Wow ComicFest in San Jose, talking to creators and attendees about cosplay, digital comics and the perils of self-publishing. [San Jose Mercury News]
Cosplay | The Christian Science Monitor looks at how cosplay is spilling out of comics and sci-fi/fantasy conventions and into “daily life,” such as movie theaters, pubs and public squares: “The spread of cosplay owes a lot to the Internet. Social media sites build buzz around the next big cosplay event. Tumblr and Instagram allow strangers to pass around photos of past work and offer words of encouragement from afar. YouTube videos reveal how to craft foam core into realistic-looking armor and braid hair like an elf.” [The Christian Science Monitor]
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
Comic Book Resources contributor George Tramountanas tapped into the Speed Force this weekend to capture an unexpected gathering of Flashes at Emerald City Comicon.
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.