INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Conventions | Denver Comic Con kicks off today, with organizers expected a weekend attendance of 100,000 — a big jump from the 20,000 who turned out in 2012 for the first convention. This year’s event will also see tighter security measures, which will include the confiscation of prop weapons deemed potentially dangerous. “While we can’t discuss details, we look at different threats going on around us and we have made adjustments accordingly,” said organizer Tara Hubner, “and we will have a robust security presence on site.” [KDVR, CBS Denver]
Each year Denver Comic Con teams with Breckenridge Brewery for a limited-edition beer, with fans voting to decide the name. Previous winners have included “The Caped Brewsader, “Brews Wayne” and “Hulk’s Mash,” but this year they’ll pay tribute to the late actor Alan Rickman with “Snape-ricot,” a nod to his character in the Harry Potter films.
The name was selected from among 500 entries, which were then narrowed to “Snape-ricot” and four other finalists: “Harley Quench,” “It’s a Trap-Ricot,” “Pale Hydra” and “Sweep the Lager.”
Manga | Remember when Kadokawa published a manga based on the BBC’s popular Sherlock television series? Well, maybe not, because the manga hasn’t been licensed for English-language countries. But now the first volume has been translated: Kadokawa, the publisher of the original manga, has released a bilingual Japanese and English version of “A Study in Pink” intended for students of English. [Anime News Network]
Conventions | Attendance at ReedPOP’s second annual Special Edition: NYC, held June 6-7, reportedly increased 40 percent from the first year. [Publishers Weekly]
Manga | Viz Media announced Friday it will publish a print edition of One-Punch Man, which managed to garner an Eisner nomination in its digital-only format. Zainab Akhtar provides some background on the book and reproduces a review by David Brothers. [Comics and Cola]
Conventions | Scott Eric Kaufman follows Devin Pike, one of the organizers of Dallas Comic Con, throughout the three-day event and gets a good look at what goes on behind the scenes: “As I witnessed these lines [of fans] snakes down corridors and spill into causeways, they began to seem like a physical manifestation of the passion fans have invested in these individuals and the iconic characters they’ve played, and it’s up to people like Devin to ensure that that passion is rewarded with an experience that is, if not equal to it, at least a reflection of it.” [Salon]
Museums | San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum, which announced last month that it would have to move by the end of June, will be able to remain at its current location at 655 Mission St. through September, thanks to a lease extension. Skyrocketing rent is forcing the museum to leave property that’s been its home since 2001; officials have yet to find a new location. [KRON]
Political cartoons | Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi has launched an online magazine of political cartoons, Black and White: Strokes of Resistance. The first issue includes work from another project, “A Cartoon for Every Lash,” a series of 50 cartoons in support of Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for allegedly insulting Islam. Trivedi himself was arrested in India in 2012 on sedition charges that were later dropped. [Reporters Without Borders]
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]
Creators | Stan Lee arrived at Sydney Airport for the Supanova Pop Culture Expo and was immediately presented with a “Captain Australia” shield, colored gold and green rather than red and blue. The Supanova Pop Culture Expo kicked off today, and continues through Sunday. [The Daily Telegraph]
Comics | Hussain Al-Shiblawi says he doesn’t usually mind the pamphlets he regularly receives from the local Bible Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia; even though he’s Muslim, he finds them inspirational. But he takes strong exception to the latest one, a Jack Chick tract titled Unforgiven, which claims that all Muslims are going to hell. The pastor, who declined to go on camera, says his church doesn’t create the pamphlets, it just distributes them, but he’s willing to meet with Al-Shiblawi to discuss the comic. [WDBJ News]
Passings | Retailer, creator, superhero fan and occasional crime-fighter Geoffrey Patterson Sr. died Sunday at age 72. The owner of Geoffrey’s Comic Shop in Gardena, California, Patterson created the character Captain Greedy, who appeared on local access TV and in the shop, as well as in comics. “Patterson was well-known for his eccentric love of super heroes,” writes Jordan England-Nelson. “His home in Torrance is decorated inside and out with super-hero statues, wooden cutouts and other comic book memorabilia. The home would get hundreds of visitors on Halloween, when Patterson would hand out comic books with candy and let people check out his superhero-themed graveyard.” And Patterson chased down purse snatchers and other wrongdoers on several different occasions, at least once while wearing his Captain Greedy costume. [The Daily Breeze]
Last year I questioned how in the world The Caped Brewsader could beat out Fin Fang Foam as the name of Denver Comic Con’s official beer (there were accusations of poll-rigging — seriously). This year, you’ll hear no complaints from me, as tonight convention organizers and Breckenridge Brewery will introduce their latest collaboration … Brews Wayne. Brews Wayne!
According to Breckenridge, the full-body amber ale has an “herbal and floral punch of aroma with woody undertones. With a hearty malt base and lively hop character, Brews Wayne is the perfect beer for the playboy by day and superhero by night.”
A town hall meeting planned for Sunday by Save Denver Comic Con was postponed after the convention’s board of directors and its ousted co-founder agreed to re-enter mediation.
Their dispute became public last week when Charlie La Greca, one of the founders of the nonprofit Comic Book Classroom and its program Denver Comic Con, launched SaveDenverComicCon.com to air his grievances against the board and rally support. In an open letter, he accused the board of removing him without explanation, mishandling $300,000 in revenues, and failing to live up to the organization’s educational mandate.
On Thursday convention organizers responded, spelling out their educational programs, denying any misuse of funds (and later providing a preliminary financial overview), and asserting that La Greca was aware he was precluded from serving on the board by his acceptance of a $10,000 contract position; that contract wasn’t renewed following Denver Comic Con 2013.
Responding to accusations made by one of the event’s co-founders, organizers insist “Denver Comic Con does not need saving.”
A letter posted on the show’s website addresses many of Charlie La Greca’s allegations, most notably that he was unceremoniously forced from the board of the organizing nonprofit Comic Book Classroom and that $300,000 in revenues from the 2013 convention remain unaccounted for.
“Allegations of misuse of funds are wholly untrue,” the statement reads. “As an applicant for 501(c)3 status, CBC’s financial statements are a matter of public record; the 2012 990 form is on file with the IRS, and when the fiscal year 2013 records are completed they will be filed and will also be publicly available as a matter of course.”
According to The Denver Post, co-founder Charlie La Greca claims he was unceremoniously removed from the board of directors of the nonprofit Comic Book Classroom, which organizes the event. The other founder, Frank Romero, has resigned.
“I set out my whole life to bring my passion and love of comics and geekdom to others,” La Greca writes in an open letter posted on the newly launched website SaveDenverComicCon. “I did not and will not give up on this organization that I envisioned and co-founded and so believe in. Nor have I or will I leave it.”
“We know that our fans — and fans of pop culture — come from all races and beliefs, and any sexual orientation,” Bruce MacIntosh, director of programming, said in a statement. “Denver Comic Con guests and programming are deliberately geared towards informing and entertaining the fanboy and fangirl in all of us! Being inclusive of the entire community — both the communities of Denver and the pop-culture community as a whole — has been a focus of DCC since its inception.”
Conventions | Attendance at Denver Comic Con topped 48,000, well over last year’s total of 27,700. Crowds were so heavy on opening day that the fire marshal and convention staff turned away 6,000 people. Guests included Star Trek‘s William Shatner (who was filling in for a double-booked Stan Lee) and George Takei, who stayed late on Friday so every fan could get an autograph. [The Denver Post]
Creators | Gilbert Hernandez talks about Marble Season, which is quite a departure from his previous graphic novels: “I’d been doing too many zombies and too much horror and crime, and I wanted to back off and do something pleasant. But I thought, can I do a pleasant story? And the only pleasant story I have is good memories from childhood. I wanted to connect to readers in a more genial way.” [The Telegraph]
In a matter of hours, the doors will open on the Colorado Convention Center for the second annual Denver Comic Con, which has grown by leaps and bounds from its wildly successful inaugural event. That first show drew 27,800 attendees — double what co-founder Charlie Le Greca had expected — but ticket sales for this installment are up 47 percent over last year.
However, the convention’s growth isn’t calculated solely by tickets: Artists Alley will feature more than 220 creators, while the number of panels have increased from 150 to 250.