ComicCon-ing: Pensacon Is a Month Away!

Now that Wizard World New Orleans has come and gone, it is time to start focusing on Pensacon.  Pensacon will be held February 17-19.

Here are some guests that have been added since our last update:

  • Nita Strauss: Ms. Strauss is a guitarist who has performed with Alice Cooper. Check out this video of her teaching how to play Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen.”
  • Angus Macinnes:  Portraying Gold Leader in the original Star Wars, Mr. Macinnes is a must have for the Star Wars completist.  He is has also been in Vikings, Force 10 from Navarone, Eyes Wide Shut, and Strange Brew.
  • Robert Kurtzman:  A special effects master, Mr. Kurtzman has credits that include Pulp Fiction and Evil Dead 2.
  • Lindsey McKeon: The Supernatural actress has also appeared on One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars.
  • David Ankrum:  Another must for Star Wars completists, David Ankrum provided the voice for Wege Antilles (Red 2) in the original Star Wars (the role was phsyically played by Denis Lawson, the uncle of Ewan McGregor).
  •  Daniel Portman:  The Game of Thrones actor will be making his second apperance at Pensacon.
  • Jen Broomall:  This cover artist is returning to Pensacon this year.  You can check out her work here.
  • Elliot Fernandez: Mr. Fernandez is a comic artist whose work has been seen in Archie Comics and Dynamite Comics. Check out his work here.
  • Derec Donovan:  This artist has worked on the Adventures of Superman series with Joe Casey and has drawn Cyborg for DC’s Rebirth.
  • John Dell: This inker has worked for Marvel and DC. He is currently working on the Clone Conspiracy.
  • Daniel Newman: This former model has appeared on The Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries.
  • Guy Gilchrist:  This veteran artist created the Muppets Comic Strip. He has also worked on Nancy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Muppet Babbies. Ms. Nola Nerd Couple met him at Wizard World Nola and raved about how great he was.  He should be on your must go see list.

Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts have cause some guests to cancel.  Here is a list of people who will have had to cancel:

  • Tara Reid
  • Tony Todd
  • Sven-Ole Thorsen
  • Benard Rose
  • Gemma Whelan
  • Bill Morrison

To look back at all of our Pensacon coverage, click here.

ComicCon-ing: Discussion Panels at Wizard World New Orleans

For the next two weeks, most of our blogs will be about Wizard World New Orleans. The Convention is held at the Morial Convention Center on January 6,7, and 8th.  This week we will be previewing the event, and next week reviewing the event. 

Wizard World New Orleans allows people to find others with like minded interests. It also allows for fan groups to get together and discuss their favorite fandoms. Other people enjoy talking with others about social issues in the comic community.   If you are looking for thought provoking discussions, then these panels might be for you.

Here are just some of the discussion panels that will be taking place at Wizard New Orleans.

Friday

7:30-8:15 POE IN POP CULTURE (ROOM 240):  Bill Pulkovski and Tony Miello will lead a panel to discuss Edgar Allan Poe’s influence over modern pop culture.

Saturday

12:30-1:15 ONLY SHEEP EAT ROTTEN TOMATOES (ROOM 240): For those of you who liked Batman v Superman, this panel will be on your side.  This panel will attempt to prove those critics wrong.

1:30-2:15 PETER PARKER AND THE WOMEN THAT LOVED HIM (ROOM 240): Oh, Spidey and his love life.

2:30-3:15 CIVIL WAR: PICK A SIDE (ROOM 240)  I really hope this panel makes Iron Man fans sit on the right, and Captain America fans on the left (or vice versa).

2:30-3:15 STARSHIP SMACKDOWN: A SALUTE TO STAR TREK (ROOM 343): This panel will allow you to put forth your theories about which starship would do the most damage.

3:30-4:15 DON’T READ THAT! A HISTORY OF CENSORSHIP IN COMIC BOOKS (ROOM 240) I’m leaving this one in bold, because yours truly will be part of this panel.  This panel will be led by the Longbox Guys and will also feature a fellow educator colleague of mine.  We will look at books that have been challenged and why. I hope to see you there.

3:30-4:15 HARRY POTTER MANIA: SURVIVING HOGWARTS:  Harry Potter will be dissected by psychologists, professors, and a Burlesque performer. Normally, I wouldn’t miss this one, but it is at the same time as my panel. 🙂

4:00-4:45 TWO CENTURIES OF GENIUS: CELEBRATING THE SPIRIT’S WILL EISNER AND THE AVENGERS’ JACK KIRBY with MARVEL ZOMBIES’ FRED VAN LENTE, EISNER AWARD WINNER TY TEMPLETON, FANTASTIC FOUR’S DEAN HASPIEL & THE AVENGERS’ DANNY FINGEROTH (ROOM 238)  I will be running from my panel to this one. Mainly because of the topic and the presenters.

4:30-5:15 GODS AND MONSTERS: H.P. LOVECRAFT’S HORRIFYING CREATURES (ROOM 240) Horror fans, this is where you should be if you have no prior commitments.

5:30-6:15 DOCTOR WHO PSYCHOLOGY: A MADMAN WITH A BOX (ROOM 343):  A look at the kind of person the Doctor really is.

Sunday: 

11:00-11:45 HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE STEREOTYPES IN COMIC BOOKS (ROOM 343) Our good friends, the Longbox guys (link to the left of your screen), will be hosting this panel.  It’s in bold because we have attended this one before and it gets our highest recommendation.  

12:00-12:45 THE END OF WORLD IS ONLY THE BEGINNING: PREPARING FOR THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (ROOM 238) Dr. Robert Collins, of Dillard University in New Orleans, will look at how real life disease prevention can be aided by all those apocalypse programs and movies.

12:30-1:15 ZINES: FROM FANDOM’S EARLIEST PUBLICATIONS TO CONTEMPORARY CULTURE (ROOM 240):  New Orleans Public Library librarians will talk about the history and culture of zines.

2:00-2:45 WHO’S THE MOST NEUROTIC SUPERHERO? INSIDE THE MINDS OF BATMAN, SPIDER-MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, JESSICA JONES AND MORE with BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY’S DR. TRAVIS LANGLEY, MARVEL ZOMBIES’ FRED VAN LENTE, THE RED HOOK’S DEAN HASPIEL, SUPERHERO THERAPY’S DR. JANINA SCARLET & SPIDER-MAN’S DANNY FINGEROTH (ROOM 238)  Again, not only is the topic fascinating, but the leaders of the panel are fantastic. Fred Van Lente is one of my favorite writers and I highly recommend this book by him.

This whole week I’ve attempted to share just some of the panels that will be going on at Wizard World New Orleans.  There really is a lot to choose from and I didn’t even mention them all. In fact, the more I look at the list the more I’m upset I can’t be in two places at once. It really is one of the better panel line-ups I’ve seen.  Hope to see you there at a few!

 

For a full listing of the panels at Wizard World New Orleans, click here.

Comic Book Collecting: DC, Make Me a Fan Please!

I’m a Marvel guy.   I’m not happy about it, though.  And I blame DC.  Before I start, I want to be clear this is not about the quality of Marvel vs DC.  It’s about the marketing their products to someone who has been on the outside of their worlds and wants in. In this, I feel that Marvel has succeeded in getting me excited about their product, while DC has had some missteps.

As a 42-year-old guy, I should be a DC guy.  I didn’t grow up watching Marvel cartoons.  I grew up watching Super Friends.  While I did watch the Incredible Hulk and Spiderman TV shows, it was Shazam! that I yelled before attempting to fly down a set of steps.  (It didn’t end well). As kid and a teenager respectively, it was Superman and Batman that made me fans of comic book movies.

But they didn’t make me want to read the comics.  Part of this was my own geography which prohibited buying comics regularly.  Part of this was the lack of the internet to say that this movie was inspired by that series.  This should have changed with Christopher Nolan’s Batman, but it didn’t.  Even the games didn’t make want to buy comics.

Then comes along the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The keyword is the last one.  For someone who never stepped into a comic book shop until he was in his 40s, I didn’t really understand comic books had their own universe(s). I didn’t realize how detailed these could be. Marvel didn’t market their movies in a way to make people buy books.  They marketed them as movies.  Movies that worked with each other.  Then they let the fanboys/girls do the work.  They let them speculate on what would happen in the universe based on the comics, especially when they announced titles straight from the comics.  Plus, they had a secret weapon, Marvel Unlimited, which allowed people access to most of their rich comic history.

DC, from my point of view, hasn’t done this. First, they didn’t connect their television universe to the film universe.  I understand the reasoning for this, and actually agree, but looking at this as an outsider to the comic world, it can be confusing.  This especially true when you look at the tone of the tv shows, especially Flash and Supergirl, and compare them to the tone of the movies. It also doesn’t help that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has less moments of comic relief than David Fincher’s Seven. Because the movie had trouble telling a coherent story, it got bad reviews.  There was a split between the fanboys/girls.  Some see it the way I see it with bad story telling. (You can check out our podcast on BvS here).   Others pulled the, “Oh, if you read such and such comic you would get it” card. If this logic is true, shouldn’t I have been told that ahead of time?  No, actually I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t have to do homework before going to watch a movie (unless it’s a sequel to another movie than you should watch the first one.) But if I have to do homework, then promote the comics.  This would have helped with the “dream” sequence.  Sorry super fans (sorry for the pun), but a sequence that is that long without explanation doesn’t build up excitement.  It builds confusion.  I had to do research, but I’m an industrious nerd.  When I explained to Cristina what character that segment is alluding to, she had yet to hear of it.  When Marvel introduced Thanos, with a 2 second smile, she knew about him within hours of going home, because her facebook and twitter feeds were full of stories about it.  We both follow a lot of comic related sites on both platforms, and she hadn’t heard of Darkseid till I told her.

Now, I didn’t check DC’s website the week BvS came out, but I did check this week when it’s still number one in box office. There is a link to learn more about Superman but there is nothing on the front page about learning more about BvS.  They should have something like “Enjoyed BvS and want to learn more, click here” front and center on the DC Comics main page.  Nor do they have anything on Flash, Supergirl, or Arrow on the main page.  Thankfully, they do have required reading under the movies and TV links, but that needs to be front and center on the home page so they can attract new fans. That’s what new fans are going to the website to see.  Older fans know the navigation of the site so they will find what they need.  Marvel advertises everyting – comics, TV, and movies – on their website.  They do have an unfair advantage in that they do have the muscle of Disney behind them.  Yet, here is where Marvel Unlimited is brilliant.  When a movie or tv show comes out, they promote it in Marvel Unlimited. This includes movies, like Deadpool, that are not part of Marvel’s cinematic universe nor was released by Marvel.   If DC had a subscription service, they could push me to the comics that explained the dream sequence.  Sure, my local comic book store clerks could do this, but I usually only go once a month and a half and collect a bunch of comics at once.  We went before we saw the movie. Plus, I’m more apt to spend $9.99 a month to read all the comics, instead of $16-$24 for each trade paper back. Of course, there are exceptions such as Year One by Frank Miller which I will and have purchased.  I am more than willing to spend $9.99 for each Marvel and DC.  In fact, don’t tell them, but I would probably go up to $15 for each. As said in a previous post, I still collect Marvel comics in the tangible form.  This weekend I started collecting the Kevin Smith/Joe Quesada Daredevil run and the Joss Wheadon/John Cassaday Astonishing X-Men series.  Why? Because I read them and love them, and want to own them.  And I found them for cheap.

Now, I will start collecting some titles from DC when Rebirth starts.  I plan on doing Justice League because I like teams and I figured that would be a good way to get to know the main players.  I probably will collect Green Lanterns, because I know nothing about that series and that intrigues me. I didn’t even see the movie.  Cristina will buy Harley Quinn after reading some of the New 52 titles, but more so because she had a great time meeting the series writers, Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti, at Wizard World New Orleans.

Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 courtesy of DC Entertainment

Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 courtesy of DC Entertainment

DC Universe Rebirth courtesy of DC Entertainment

DC Universe Rebirth courtesy of DC Entertainment

Reading over this, it does seem that I’m asking DC to be Marvel.  For God sakes that is not what I mean.  I don’t want just fun movies. Plus not all the MCU movies are great (Iron Man 2, Thor: Dark World).  I do want darker movies in tone (but not in color, please), but ones that have moments of comic relief.  In fact, the darker Netflix Marvel series are  far superior to their lighter ABC counterparts. I do want DC to tell stories in their movies in the DC way.  And I have no problem with straying from canon.  I think people put too much into canons and don’t just enjoy each thing for what they are.  I don’t want DC or Marvel movies and TV shows to be slave to the books.  I just want good story telling.  Again, this blog is not about the quality of DC products or them making products tailored to my tastes.  I just want them to do a better job of marketing their products to possible new customers like myself.

The big exception to this so far is the DC Television universe.  They make me want to read comics, yet at the same I don’t because I’m enjoying being surprised by the shows. That’s good for DC.  That makes me excited about DC.  Also, they have also created an excellent one-stop app which is making me check it almost daily.

My main gripe is that I shouldn’t feel like an outsider to DC, but I still do. Maybe Rebirth will help the TV shows change that.

 

 

Podcasting: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Nola Nerd Couple presents “Watching: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Cristina and Kurt share their views of the new DC movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. They share what they liked, and debate what they didn’t. Warning: Spoilers.

Intro and Exit Music: Lady of the Punks by Martijn de Boer (NiGiD) (c) 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. dig.ccmixter.org/files/NiGiD/49068 Ft: Doxent Zsigmond