"U.S.Avengers": A Guide to Marvel's New Patriotic Superhero Team
Distractotron has released video from DragonCon of the decidedly epic cosplay celebrating the 30th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths. And who else should be at its center — besides the Anti-Monitor, of course — than artist George Perez, acting appropriately melodramatic.
The video spotlights a selection of era- and series-appropriate cosplay, including Superman of Earths One and Two, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Batman, Nightwing, Blue Beetle, Amethyst, Green Lantern (John Stewart), Captain Marvel, Vixen, The Flash, Gypsy, Dr. Light, Donna Troy and Starfire.
Even if you didn’t order your Goku costume and instead spent days — weeks, even! — creating it from scratch, you’re still going to have a tough time topping this one from DragonCon. I mean, how often do you see a Dragon Ball cosplayer with his own Flying Nimbus?
North American anime distributor Funimation Entertainment captured video of the cosplayer, who not only transformed a Hands Free Mini Segway into a magical yellow cloud, but also comes equipped with light-up hands.
DragonCon set a new attendance record over the Labor Day weekend, drawing a reported 70,000 to Atlanta for the annual pop-culture festival.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the previous record of 62,000 was set just last year. Spread across five hotels, the event has experienced significant growth over the past decade: For comparison, the 25th-anniversary convention in 2006 attracted about 22,000 attendees; the 2013 edition clocked 57,000.
“We have great faith that our state’s leaders and legislators will, eventually, do the right thing for all Georgians,” organizers wrote in a statement. “Legislation that hurts one of us, hurts us all.”
Distractotron has released the appropriately titled “X-Men Epic Cosplay Video,” featuring a wide range of Marvel’s mutant — and mutant-adjacent characters — from Archangel and Scarlet Witch to Omega Red and Apocalypse. There are even anti-mutant protestors, and I’m pretty sure I spotted Doug Ramsey.
Shot at DragonCon by Blake Faucette, Justin Reich and Micah Moore, it includes animation by Reich, and a lot of slow-motion effects. Fair warning: The confrontation between the Beast and Toad is the stuff of nightmares. Don’t believe me? Just look below …
Legal | DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer is seeking to have his December 2013 conviction for child molestation thrown out, insisting he was forced into a plea deal by prosecutorial misconduct. His attorney Stephen Reba also claims that Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers ruled in 2009 that Kramer could determine whether he was healthy enough to stand trial, something she deemed unlikely. With the trial suspended, Kramer — who was accused of molesting three minors — was permitted to leave Georgia under conditions that included he not be alone with anyone under the age of 16. He was found in a Connecticut motel room in 2011 with a 14-year-old and subsequently extradited back to Georgia.
Reba claims that Beyers colluded with Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter to improperly reopen the case and denied Kramer the medical accommodations he needed to stand trial, forcing him into a plea deal. Porter has been removed from the case, as he is now a witness, and Reba wants Beyers removed as well. Nonetheless, Porter said the case is not going to go away: “The only way it will die is he’ll have to die or I’ll have to die and even that might not stop it.” [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Ed Kramer’s social-media activity didn’t violate the terms of his plead agreement, meaning he isn’t headed back to jail just yet. However, Gwinnett County (Georgia) District Attorney Danny Porter indicated it’s only a matter of time before the DragonCon co-founder makes a misstep.
“He’s very adept at the Internet … and he’s going to test us at every opportunity,” Porter told Atlanta’s WSB-AM last week. “So it’s still my belief that before this is all over, he’s going to violate his probation and I’m going to have him in prison.”
The D.A. began an investigation last month into Kramer’s online activity after reports circulated that his Twitter account was being followed by a 14-year-old girl and his Google+ page showed a connection to the then-14-year-old boy he was found with in a Connecticut hotel room in 2011.
Legal | DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer, who entered a plea deal in December to avoid more jail time on child molestation charges that date back to 2000, could find himself back behind bars for his use of social media. Kramer, who’s no longer associated with DragonCon, ended years of legal wrangling with an Alford plea that, among other stipulations, barred him from having any direct or indirect contact with anyone under the age of 16. A registered sex offender, Kramer set up a Twitter account under his real name in 2011, but didn’t do much with it until a couple of weeks ago, when he suddenly became active and began following people — including a 14-year-old girl. His Google+ page also shows a connection with the then-14-year-old boy he was charged with molesting. Kramer lists his address as Brooklyn on his social media accounts, but he apparently is still in Georgia. The Gwinnett County district attorney is investigating; a violation of the plea agreement could result in a 60-year prison sentence, 20 years for each of the three counts of child molestation. Heidi MacDonald has more at The Beat. [Gwinnett Daily Post]
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.”
Within days of being sentenced to 34 months of home confinement on three counts of child molestation, DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer had already petitioned the court to allow him more freedom.
The 52-year-old Kramer avoided possible life imprisonment on Dec. 2 when he entered an Alford plea in Gwinnett County (Georgia) Superior Court — it’s effectively a guilty plea that allows the defendant to maintain his innocence — that brought to a close the 13-year-old case. As a condition of the agreement, Kramer was sentence to five years of house arrest for each count, to run concurrently. Because he was previously jailed in Connecticut and Georgia for 26 months, he was left with 34 months. He will be a registered sex offender for life, and must pay $100,000 restitution to each of the three victims.
Some criticized the deal, saying it was far too lenient. However, District Attorney Danny Porter said he was concerned forthe three victims, now adults who were prepared to testify, and with the taxpayers, who have had to foot the estimated $200,000 to $300,000 bill for Kramer’s 11-month stay in the Gwinnett County Jail.
Although Ed Kramer pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of child molestation, the DragonCon co-founder insists he’s innocent of the charges that date back more than 13 years.
“He maintains his innocence on all charges,” hit attorney McNeill Stokes told reporters at the Gwinnett County (Georgia) Courthouse. District Attorney Danny Porter countered that the result remains the same: “If it made him feel better not to have to say ‘I did it,’ then what difference does that make in the end?”
Kramer, who was accused of molesting three teenage boys, entered an Alford plea, in which the defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there’s sufficient evidence that a judge or jury would likely find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The 52-year-old Kramer entered pleas on three of the six counts in the original indictment, one for each of the victims; the state agreed not to pursue the other charges.
Under the agreement, Kramer was sentenced to five years of house arrest for each count, to run concurrently. Because he was previously jailed in Connecticut and Georgia for 26 months, he’s left with 34 months. He also must pay $100,000 restitution to each of the victims. He will be a registered sex offender for life, and barred from interacting with anyone under the age of 16 — which includes involvement in any occupation that could put him in contact with minors. Kramer was previously involved in photography, videography and filmmaking, all of which are now off-limits to him.
DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer pleaded guilty this morning to child-molestation charges even as his long-delayed trial was set to get under way in Lawrenceville, Georgia. However, he won’t spend any additional time in jail.
The Gwinnett Daily Post reports the 50-year-old Kramer entered guilty pleas three of the six counts in the original indictment, one for each of the teenage boys; the state agreed not to pursue the other charges. Under the agreement, the district attorney recommended a 20-year sentence, with Kramer serving five years on each count, to run concurrently. Because Kramer was previously jailed in Connecticut and Georgia for 26 months, he’s left with 34 months — which will be served under house arrest.
That sentence, as the newspaper notes, is likely because of the myriad health problems Kramer claims to suffer. He also was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to each of the three victims by July 2014, and is prohibited from interacting with anyone under the age of 16.
If convicted, he had faced 25-year mandatory minimum sentences on each of the charges, with two aggravated counts potentially carrying life sentences.
Just ahead of Ed Kramer’s trial on 13-year-old child-molestation charges, DragonCon has announced a settlement that officially severs all ties with its litigious co-founder.
The board of the popular Atlanta sci-fi/fantasy convention revealed in July, amid a boycott effort, that it had offered to buy out Kramer’s shares in a merger — his attorney called it a “discriminatory squeeze-out” — in which a new company called Dragon Con Inc. absorbed the old DragonCon/Ace Inc. Kramer initially rejected the offer, which led the board to sue him in August; DragonCon spokesman Greg Euston told Atlanta magazine the out-of-court settlement calls for Kramer to be paid a “small amount over” what the company had offered.
Kramer, who helped found DragonCon a quarter-century ago, hasn’t been directly associated with the event since his arrest in August 2000 on charges of sexually abusing two teenage boys (a third later stepped forward). However, he continued to receive annual dividends from DragonCon — $154,000 for 2011 alone — after attempts to buy out Kramer’s stake in the for-profit corporation proved unsuccessful. He filed two lawsuits against co-founder Pat Henry and DragonCon/ACE, and rebuffed three previous offers to buy out his shares for $500,000, in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
It’s a little difficult to believe it’s been 10 years since the debut of JLA/Avengers, a crossover that found the greatest heroes of Marvel and DC Comics used as pawns in a cosmic game between Krona and the Grandmaster. Of course, it’s also hard to believe there hasn’t been another Marvel/DC crossover since then.
In any event, the Superhero Costuming Forum organized a gathering of cosplayers earlier this month at DragonCon in Atlanta to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the miniseries with — what else? — a photo shoot of an elaborate battle between the Justice League of America and the Avengers. Artist George Perez even got in on the action.
Thirteen years after his original arrest on child-molestation charges, DragonCon co-found Ed Kramer is at last heading to trial. Or, at least he has a trial date.
The Gwinnett (Georgia) Daily Post reports that following a two-and-a-half-hour hearing on Monday, Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers added the Kramer case to the judicial calendar for the weeks of Dec. 2 and 9 — and according to Kramer’s attorney McNeill Stokes, his client “wants to go to trial.”
Kramer was originally arrested on charges of molesting three teenage boys between 1996 and 2000, but the trial has been repeatedly delayed since his 2003 indictment through legal maneuverings and claims of declining health, which at one point apparently required the attention of 16 physicians. He was first released on bond in November 2000, less than three months after his arrest, but he was back in jail within days when a neighbor reported seeing a teenage boy enter his home.
Following claims of a January 2001 assault by a deputy, Kramer was placed on house arrest, an order later modified to permit travel between Georgia and New Jersey or New York to receive medical treatments and visit his ailing mother. Under the conditions of the bond, he was to report his weekly location and not have any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16. However, in September 2011, he was arrested in Connecticut after he allegedly was found alone in a hotel room with a 14-year-old boy. He was extradited back to Georgia in January 2013 to face six counts of child molestation.