Diggin’ Through the Crates: Childish Gambino “Run This Town (Bambi Remix)”

Song: “Run This Town (Bambi Remix)”

Artist: Childish Gambino

Album: (No album single)

Lyric: “Yea, the flow so absurd/It’s C.G. boy, king of the black nerds/I gotta get my Urkel on/ I won’t stop until i see an afro at Comic-Con/And not just Samurai.”

Character Reference/Meaning:

Childish Gambino is back with “DTC” to prove once again that nerds cannot fit into a one size fits all mask and cape. In this week’s song, “Run This Town (Bambi Remix)” he is out to spread a message to everybody out there that has ever experienced any sort of bullying simply for being who they are. If you have ever been teased or made fun of because you don’t fit into the stereotypes of your race or culture, or like to express yourself differently, this song is for you. Gambino talks about his experiences with such matters, just because he likes to wear pink clothing, yellow hats, and rainbow colored items people use to call him hurtful things and basically tried to destroy him just because of his style. He talks a lot about how this happens to black kids, while at the same time addressing various stereotypes. If you are a young black man who prefers a power ring to a dime bag, or likes to hit the skate park after school while listening to Coldplay and recite every syllable and letter, then you are made to believe that you should be ashamed of who you are.

Gambino said no to all of this, and tells us that we have dealt with haters like this for too long. It is well known that Childish Gambino is a huge nerd. With his #donald4spiderman campaign, various comic book references in music, TV, and comedy, and overall praise of nerd culture, Gambino is at the top of my list to wear that nerd crown. Even back in 2012 Gambino made a cameo appearance in an Image Comics series called The Li’l Depressed Boy. In issue #10, Gambino can be seen performing a concert, which inspires the main characters to get out and experience the world. The series is said to mirror Childish Gambino’s first studio album Camp. Although it is exciting to see Gambino represented in a comic book, the chosen lyric for this “DTC” reminds us that African-Americans are still vastly underrepresented in the nerd community, both in character and fandom. It may not be a surprise to most, but there are not very many black superheroes in the mainstream. Sure, we have had some: John Stewart, Storm, Black Panther, Bishop, Static Shock, Luke Cage, Falcon, and Blade. But beyond that, there aren’t an abundant amount of characters compared to white heroes – who always seem to be at the top of the comic book totem poll.

The same can be said for people who attend comic conventions around the world. Thing is, black people want to be represented at comic conventions beyond cosplay. And a majority of the time, at a majority of the conventions, that representation is not present. As the years have gone on and progressed, I believe this image and concept of the “black nerd” has been skewed and misunderstood. When people think of black nerd, they automatically think of Urkel. However, that is rarely the case nowadays. Black nerds are as diverse in their interests and styles as Iron Man is with his suits or armor. Urkel can no longer be the poster boy for black nerds. In fact I’m not so sure there even can be a go to black nerd for today, but if there had to be one, Gambino is a front runner. Currently Gambino is on the “Deep Web Tour” promoting and performing his latest album, because the internet. I know one thing, this black nerd is going to be in that crowd when he comes to Denver, CO. on April 29th. If there is one thing to take away from this article, I would say this, be who you are and love yourself because of that. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, brown, purple, orange, green or whatever, in the end we all want to be represented and we all want to be able to embrace what we love and be embraced by those around us. Because for every person who is willing to put you down for being you, I’m sure there has to be two people who that you are pretty cool for not giving a crap what the others think. And if not, then scratch all three in the face and make it known that they just got beat up by a nerd. So stay nerdy, stay proud, and be open to new experiences, because you never know if that person sitting next to you on the bus stop is also on their way to the comic book shop.

Emerald City Comic Con 2014

Emerald City Comic Con 2014

This weekend marked our first trip not only to Emerald City Comic Con, but our first trek to the wonderful city of Seattle. While ECCC wasn’t our first con, it is the first one we really attended as Hush Comics.  This article is our way of giving you OUR experience.  We don’t want to give you a transcript version of each panel and event because that wouldn’t fully embody our experience Note: The links for transcript versions are provided at the bottom. Instead, we bring you the most complete experience that our tired bodies could muster in a three-day period.

The City

The Emerald City itself is one of the most gorgeous and interesting cities we’ve been in. Seattle is rainy, cloudy and sometimes really windy. We were told that it’s like that for about 9-10 months out of the year. The dreary weather was perfect for deep thinking and it makes the ground lush and green; Seattle’s weather creates a perfect storm of hipsters, coffee shops and grown men in My Little Pony costumes (even outside of the Con, from what I hear). If you think there is a Starbucks on every corner where you live, you haven’t been to Seattle. There was at least one within view of every street corner in downtown Seattle, and at one point, we found three in eyesight of each other in an indoor mini-mall. I don’t know how people there don’t absolutely hate Starbucks by now. The coffee place we really enjoyed was Seattle Coffee Works on 1st and Pike.  They have magnificent mochas, chai tea, and chocolate (cayenne orange white chocolate, mmm). However, coffee wasn’t all there was to offer in Seattle.

Being right next to Puget Sound, we ate nothing but fish the entire time. The first stop we made when we got to town was the Pike Place Market. The market is full of unique shops, restaurants, street performers and a giant wall where people stick their used gum wads on (yes, it’s real, and yes, it’s disgusting). In a way, Pike Place Market, and downtown Seattle in general, reminder us a lot of 16th Street in Denver. We gorged ourselves on Clam Chowder and sushi. Our favorite spot was Blue C Sushi – which was actually right inside our hotel lobby. We had never had anything like this before: the sushi came out on a conveyor belt, an actual Sushi Train! One the blank wall above the Sushi Train, there was a projected video of cameras in Tokyo.  Who knows when they were recorded, but during one of our dinners, we watched a flash mob version of Grease, Tokyo style. It was as confusing as it was enjoyable. There was also La Creperie Voila, which is a mom and pop Creperie directly outside the Washington State Convention Center; we ate there EVERY. DAY (Adrian loved the Lemon one and Sherif had the Dulce de Leche one).

We didn’t just stay at the convention, though. We took the monorail down to the Space Needle area. Aside from the breath-taking view, the surrounding area of the Space Needle was really intriguing. There was a glass museum, The Chihuly, complete with gigantic, singing flowers, and the Pop Culture Museum. The Space Needle looks intimidating from the ground, and the view from the top was amazing. The public transportation in Seattle is so navigable. The bus, monorail and light-rail system are so easy to use; Seattle is built for large conventions. We also stopped by the Museum of Flight on Thursday. We originally went for the Carol Corps Celebration, but we spent most of our time looking at all the badass planes.

By the end of our trip, we were in love with Seattle. The ease of public transportation, the friendly natives (most of the people from the Con were cool, too, but there were plenty of cranky people) and the unique melting pot that it has become, we enjoyed the city equally as much as the convention itself. And as much crap as we got for being from Denver (that whole Super Bowl thing), the two cities are more alike than their affinity for marijuana – which is not exaggerated (Canni-Bus? Really?). I guess it really is the greenest city in America.

How ECCC Works

If you’ve ever been to a comic book convention, then your logic will fail you here. Nothing is set up the way you would think it is. The autograph sessions are set up in entirely separate floors than the photo ops, the panels are immediately before or after the photos and signings – which means it’s practically impossible to do both. The photos are taken professionally, behind walls of security, and ECCC volunteers will tackle you if you take your phone out in the signature hall; yes, those areas are separate. Everywhere you go, you are herded and prodded like cattle. It was often hard to find where a line stopped or started unless you knew where to look and lines to see people were often capped and then un-capped moments later. It wasn’t all bad, though.

Everybody was generally helpful when we asked questions. The convention is mostly a local one more than an international one (like San Diego) from what we saw, so people are more likely to give you honest and positive advice when asking for directions or opinions, both in and out of the con. Like most things comic book related, ECCC has exploded within the past few years, so it’s only natural that there are some growing pains. I can understand the need for a tight system to keep things moving, but the whole ordeal feels disconnected and impersonal. Denver Comic Con (DCC) did a much better job of letting patrons interact with the very people that attracted them to the convention in the first place.

The layout of the convention’s exhibition hall was pretty straight-forward – it consisted of two big rooms separated by a sky-bridge. Where previous cons we had gone to, like SDCC, have been geared towards retail and pushing big brand names, ECCC is largely focused on independent artists and writers. You’ll have a guy who does beautiful air-brush paintings that he did in his garage in a booth right next to Dustin Nguyen, renowned Batman artist. We saw a bunch of our favorite comic book people just hangin’ out at their booths, giving free autographs and telling stories. The fan interaction is what makes people go to these conventions in the first place, and unless you’re looking for somebody ridiculously big in comics right now, you don’t have to stand in line for more than 10-20 minutes to do it.

Overall, the convention is fairly well organized, but it takes a good day or so to understand how things work. These two newbies were able to attend all the big panels we wanted to, get all the signatures and photos we wanted, plus meet a whole bunch of cool people along the way – but we were exhausted, every day. The convention could serve itself well by having a preview night similar to San Diego Comic-Con; it’s just getting that big. There are so many celebrities, both in TV/movies and comic books that they may need it. It would also benefit them to send in the programs along with the badges next year before the show.

They’re Just Geeks, Too!

Forget the exclusives, the big-shot comic book companies and their fancy doo-dads; why do you go to a comic book convention? More than any convention we’ve been to, we were reminded that conventions are run by nerds, with nerds, for nerds. The insane amount of comic book artists, writers and inspired product-makers made for a great opportunity to interact with people who we admire and look up to. When they’re all just hanging out at a booth, signing comics, posing for pictures and telling stories, it’s easier to erase the celebrity we’ve given them. In many ways, they’re nerdier than we are.

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One of the best times I had on the floor was meeting Matt Fraction (who writes Hawkeye and Sex Criminals) and Kelly Sue DeConnick (who writes Pretty Deadly and Captain Marvel). This married couple are like the Jay-Z and Beyoncé of comic books. Both were very receptive to comic books, and despite the line, were very willing to answer questions. Along with Chip Zdarsky, who does the art for Sex Criminals, they were quite possibly also the most entertaining group there. At one point, Matt had told people that one copy of their Sex Criminals hardcover had been blessed with Chip’s semen; which one? Who knows? Other notable creators we were fortunate enough to meet were Dustin Nguyen (Lil Gotham), Scott Synder (BatmanAmerican VampireThe Wake), Ed McGuinness (Superman/BatmanNovaAmazing X-Men), Gail Simone (BatgirlTomb RaiderRed Sonja) and G Willow Wilson (Ms. MarvelCairo).

The Hollywood celebs who drew us to the con in the first place are pretty nerdy, too.  Chad L. Coleman, of The Walking Dead and The Wire, geeked out when we met him at his photo-op when he saw Sherif’s “Omar Comin’, Yo!” t-shirt.  During his TWD panel with co-star Emily Kinney, he talked extensively about what the show means to him and was very deep about his feelings regarding the story and his character, noting that Tyreese does not think of Carol as a monster and that Tyreese is not a one-dimensional character.  He kidded Emily about how she reacted to Hershel’s death.  Oh, and for all you Bethyl haters out there, Emily approves.  Emily Kinney loves Bethyl.  Ok, that is out of our system, now.

 

Stephen Amell aka Oliver Queen aka The Arrow aka the best abs on the CW was fresh off a shoot that started at 3 am in Canada.  He almost wore his Arrow costume and fans of the main hall were let down to know this was even a possibility.  Amell talked a lot about how he shoots his bow (he doesn’t and there is in fact no safe way to shoot one on set), how he is trained by a professional archer on how to hold his bow and how his hair is “grippy” enough to hold that hood on as he runs.   He was also equally excited as the fans were that in the Suicide Squad episode that Harley was alluded to and was voiced by Tara Strong (pretty much any Batman animated series ever, My Little Pony, and my god, every cartoon ever).  Stephen showed his soft side by talking about his experience in helping out the BatKid story, making women in the audience sigh.  And he won a place in Sherif’s heart forever by rating The Dark Knight a “10”.  We both agree that Stephen Amell is one of the most down-to-earth stars and clearly loves his job.

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Eliza Dushku wooed the audience within about 1.5 seconds of her entrance, even though she was almost 10 minutes late.  She is so cool and so sexy; she can just flip her hair (apparently her hair is her comfort zone) and everyone will swoon.  But don’t take her looks or demeanor for granted.  Eliza is very aware of herself and her projects. She pitched her new project Gable 5 several times during her panel.  And yes, she takes Faith very seriously.  She was quick to correct anyone who dared misspeak anything about the other Vampire Slayer.  One fan asked her what “five by five” meant and another nervously said “Want. Need. Have.”  Miss Dushku was quick to correct her with “Want. Take. Have.”  Very Faith.  She told us she didn’t know what Boyd’s fate would be in Dollhouse and that she broke her elbow while filming the last episode.  She seems to be very used to male fans asking her semi-inappropriate questions, handling them all very well.  She even indulged some by sensually feeding them her Turkish Apricots.  Yeah, she fed people.  Notably, she talked about how she loves all the characters she has played, but that Faith is eternal.  Our favorite part of her panel was when she talked about how Buffy fans are intense; popping out of a bush and asking who she thinks she is.  Hmmmm… Buffy fans would do that.  At her signing, we picked a still of her from Buffy.  She got very nerdy and crossed out Buffy’s name and wrote over it “FAITH” in all capitals.  It was precious, and so is she.

And then there was Alan.  Alan Tudyk, Joss’s gift to Firefly and Serenity.  Not only was he hilarious during his photo-ops, but pretty much all the time.  After picking up a baby during his pictures, he offered to pick Adrian up the same way.  She missed her chance.  During his panel, he talked a lot about how Wash had the biggest part of Joss in the character.  Alan also broke it to fans and all that fan-fiction that Wash is really dead.  “It sucks, but he’s dead.”  Apparently Nathan Fillion thinks its funny that Wash died, and Summer is glad because she gets to fly the ship.  His response to Summer?  “Boppity Boppity Boo… You’re craaaazzzzzyyy!”   He also discussed that the Firefly Christmas party became the cancellation party.  Joss said he wasn’t done and Alan said every one else said, “That’s so sad.  He thinks he can do it…”  Alan really knows how to tell stories geared towards his audience.  He also revealed that he is writing something to be hopefully released very soon… maybe.  It was all very cryptic and ended with him just saying, “Yup.”  Geeks will have to wait to see what that is.  Every fan who asked a question during the panel got to hear, “Get some shit.”  This was his endearing way of pulling out random crap from his bag, autographing it, and handing it to adorers.  The best fan question was from a kid dressed as Wash complete with his toy dinosaurs.  He was taken on stage and got to act the infamous inevitable betrayal scene, but rather that get some shit, the kid got his dinosaurs signed.  How priceless is that?  That kid and everyone in the main hall adored Alan Tudyk just a little more.

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One of the most personal connections we made at ECCC was with an independent artist from Portland named Ibrahim Moustafa. He draws a book titled High Crimes, a ComiXology exclusive book (that we have since read and plan to review soon!). Just like Sherif, he is a half-Egyptian nerd who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Just like it’s great to identify with characters in the industry, meeting people who work in the industry you can relate to is just as important. We talked a lot, and it was really cool to meet someone that gifted who was willing to shoot the breeze with us. He was so cool, he even commissioned a drawing of our logo. We hope to keep in touch with Ibrahim, it not for his amazing art, then his hilarity.

 

Tips for Future ECCC-ers:

  • Avoid a taxi at all costs. Public transportation is the way to go. It’s cheap, takes credit cards (except for the bus), and is actually pretty quick.
  • Get yourself a hotel near the convention. When we went to SDCC, we “saved money” and stayed further away and took a shuttle. Long story short, it sucked. Staying near the convention center will get you much needed sleep and peace of mind. Also, if possible, avoid any of the Con-sponsored hotels. They might sell it as savings, but really, they’re paid a crap-ton of money to promote each other.
  • If you’re not going to sit down and enjoy a meal, don’t spend a bunch of money on it. Food is one of the biggest small-time expenses that can be limited, so why spend $30 on sandwiches when you could spend $10 and put the extra towards an artist sketch?
  • Cosplaying is amazing, but what’s even better is wearing comfortable shoes. You will spend hours walking, standing, rinsing, repeating. On a similar note, please do shower and wear deodorant. Yes, people will know it’s you, and they will judge you for it.
  • Come prepared to buy stuff: artists prints, doo-hickies, collectibles, and of course, comic books. Also know that you will be having to bring or send this stuff back home with you. Some of the best things to prepare are:
    • Comic book portfolio: holds approx ten issues for signing and collecting.
    • Poster tube or picture hard-sleeve: don’t let those prints/signatures get bent. Trust me, hiding it in a book will not cut it.
    • Know where a nearby FedEx is to ship back the really valuable stuff
  • Make a few game plans of when EVERYTHING you want to do is. Always give yourself 30-45 minutes before each show or panel to make sure you’ll get in. Depending on the popularity and room size of the event, it will be more/less likely you’ll get to see what you want. The main hall always seems to have room since it’s like 10x the size of the rest of the rooms.
  • Always ask questions. And just like with your parents: if you don’t like the answer you get, ask somebody else. When all is said and done, the volunteers have no real authority, so if you can get what you want without throwing a tantrum, go for it.
  • The photo-ops are super quick and impersonal, but the signatures allow you to take more time and converse with the celebs a bit more. This really only applies to the TV/movie celebs and the comic book creators with huge lines. Most other creators, you can spend as long as you want talking to them.

 

Amell panel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51826

Dushku panel: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51822

DC All Access: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51792

Marvel – Breaking into the Business: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51825

DC Batman Eternal: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51790

Written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

Emerald City Comic Con 2014 Preview

In just a few days, we will be escaping our day jobs to visit Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con! It will be our first out-of-state Comic Con since 2012, when we went to Comic-Con International. We were initially stoked for ECCC just for the sheer amount of guests coming, but when the programming was released just a couple days ago, we are now ecstatic! In preparation for the Con, we’re going to be highlighting the guests that will be coming and the panels that we’ll be attending. We’ll be writing live from the event, so if there is anything crazy happening, you’ll hear it straight from us.

It was so difficult for us to narrow down the list of things we want to do. If it were up to us, we’d do everything, but Emerald City Comics Con is so ridiculously awesome, the Adrian and I will simply not be able to do everything (or will we??). Here’s a list of the stops we absolutely have to make:

Guests:

Comic Books:

Jim Lee: Legendary artist and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee will be stopping by on one day only. His art from X-Men to Batman: Hush, all the way to the ongoing Superman: Unchained has been phenomenal. At cons, he usually holds his own drawing workshop where he holds Q&A while he sketches. It’s the best thing ever. We are looking forward to seeing him again at ECCC. Check out our profile on Jim Lee in our weekly piece “Respect My Craft.”

Scott Synder: Batman has been written by more writers than I can count, but there’s something insanely special about Scott Synder’s New 52 run of him. Synder, whose work on Detective Comics: Black Mirror and American Vampire has scared the pants off readers, has been superb on Batman. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted from a Batman comic book. Meeting the man who created the Court of the Owls will be quite the treat.

Gail Simone: Gail is one classy lady. She is the strongest female presence in comic books today, writing DC’s BatgirlRed Sonja and now Tomb Raider. We love her color commentary and she recently reached out to us on Twitter when we spotlighted her in our weekly “Respect My Craft” article. She’s good stuff and I can’t wait to hear what kind of stories she has for us!

Matt Fraction: This guy just might be the funniest writer in the biz right now – or a giant perv, the jury is still out. I religiously follow Hawkeye and Sex Criminals.  He manages to capture perfectly relatable situations and turn them into ridiculous stories that you can’t find in a book. Sadly, he’s a much bigger deal than he makes himself out to be; a lot of people don’t realize how much he’s had his hands on in the recent Marvel universe (Fear Itself, FFFantastic Four… a lot of F’s).

G Willow Wilson: A Colorado native who has spent most of her adult life in Egypt? Sounds like somebody I want to be friends with! Her graphic novel Cairo, as well as past novels Alif the Unseen and The Butterfly Mosque, have accredited her as a unique storyteller with insight on Muslim culture while still having a keen sense of American humor to tell the stories with. Her recent start in Ms. Marvel has shot her near the top of my list. Check out our profile on G Willow Wilson in our weekly piece “Respect My Craft.”

Very Honorable Mentions:

Chris Burnham (artist for Batman Inc.)
J. Scott Campbell (artist, famous for Spiderman, Danger Girl and Gen 13)
Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer for Captain Marvel)
Kyle Higgins (writer for Nightwing)
Jeff Lemire (writer/artist for Trillium, Underwater Welder)
Ed McGuinness (artist for Superman/Batman, Amazing X-Men, Nova, etc)
Dustin Nguyen (artist for Heart of Hush, Lil Gotham)
Jimmy Palmiotti (veteran writer & artist, will be releasing the graphic novel Denver)
Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo)
Tim Sale (artist of Batman: Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory, Spiderman: Blue)

TV/Movies:

Whedonverse: At past conventions, we’ve been lucky enough to meet J August Richards (AngelMarvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Clare Kramer (Buffy), and Nicholas Brendan (Buffy). This year, we are chomping at the bit for a fanboy/fangirl moment to meet Faith and Wash! Eliza Dushku, who played Faith in BTVS and Echo in Dollhouse will be there. Joining her will be Alan Tudyk, who played Hoban Washburne in Firefly/Serenity and Alpha in Dollhouse. We are so stoked, because we will also get to see J. August Richards and Clare Kramer again (who we actually gave rock candy meth to when we dressed as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman for Denver Comic Con last year). Whedonverse!The Wire: They might be representing different shows now, but I know a planned Wire reunion when I see one. Chad Coleman (Cutty) and Lance Reddick (Daniels) will be joining us. The Wire is one of our favorite television dramas of all time, and to meet Lt. Daniels and Cutty would be a highlight for sure.Steve Amell: This badass archer from CW’s Arrow will be making a one day appearance. Besides headlining one of the best comic book to television adaptations EVER, he’s also one of the funniest celebrities on Facebook. It would be awesome to meet the man under the hood.Very Honorable Mentions:

Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG, Breaking Bad)

See all the special guests here.

Programming:

Copyright Infringement and the Fair Use Defense

“What does copyright protect? What is infringement? When does “fair use” protect me? What happens if I infringe? Join attorney Caitlin DiMotta for a primer on copyright infringement, the fair use defense, & how to understand the difference.”

Fanfiction of the Whedonverse – LIVE!

“Not all fanfiction is bad. Some is just written that way. And some is so bad you may need therapy. Join us as we read aloud the worst in Whedonverse fanfic plots, puns, grammar, & super sexy scenes with Bobby Roberts, Benja Barker, & Kara Helgren.”

Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining

“This program discusses the intersections of Hip-Hop and comics, from rappers and graffiti artists utilizing super-heroic imagery and adopting fantastic alter-egos to comic creators utilizing the rich visual vocabulary of hip-hop in their work.” Note: Check out our “Diggin’ Through the Crates” articles for more info on comic book references in Hip-Hop.

30 Years of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

“Join Andrew Farago, author of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History, Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo, and Mirage Studios alumnus Michael Dooney as they look back on three decades of Eastman and Laird’s TMNT!”

Genetic Engineering: Star Trek versus Reality

“From eugenics (Kahn and Star Trek Into Darkness) to manipulating DNA in embryos (The Auguments on Enterprise), genetic engineering was invented by science fiction, but how far behind is science? It is closer than you think! Join Professor Ilana S. Lemann, author of the upcoming book All You Need to Know About Disability Is On Star Trek, for a fascinating look at the science in science fiction.”

Making Your Own Comics

“Jimmy Palmiotti, Becky Cloonan, Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey talk candidly about how they got their first comics off the ground. Be prepared to take notes – we’ll cover tough topics like collaboration, print vs. digital, finding an audience, and importantly, the money stuff!”

ECCC Costume Party

The Clock King and other villains have hatched a plot utilizing costumed decoys and they’ve chosen Emerald City Comicon as the place to select their team of miscreants! You’ll see various costumed attendees walking the showroom floor during the convention… Now see the best ECCC has to offer from multiple comics and cosplay-related categories. Judges will pick winners from each category and the audience will determine the best overall, who then will join a masters’ round of veteran cosplayers for a final showdown and ultimate prizes. Costumed audience members may also be selected to come onstage to show off their creations for prizes. Temple Fugate hosts what is always a highlight of the weekend.

Join The Corps!

“The Carol Corps. Find out what the fiercest & friendliest fandom is all about! It’s a powerful movement happening in comics right now and you can be a part of it! Join Prof. Ben Saunders as he speaks with Captain Marvel scribe Kelly Sue DeConnick and Ms. Marvel author G. Willow Wilson. They’ll talk about the origins of “The Carol Corps”, it’s Ms. Marvel-inspired offshoot “The Kamala Korps” and what’s in store for the future.”

Check out all the programming here.

Outside the Con

Carol Corps Celebration

At the Seattle Museum of Flight, there will be a celebration celebrating Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and their creators. So Kelly Sue DeConnick and G Willow Wilson will be there! It’s a great way to kick off the convention and visit the flight museum at the same time.

Explore the Town a Bit

We’ve never been to Seattle, so we’d love to spend some time outside the convention exploring. The Space Needle is a must, as is the fish market. Without a car, our options are a bit limited, but if you all know of any places in Seattle worth checking out, please pass us along some info. 🙂

ECCC Cinema Series

Each night of the convention, ECCC will be showing a movie that stars one of their special guests. The guests will have a Q&A session while watching. At $25/person, it’s a bit steep of a price for a movie and some Q&A, but the thought of watching Serenity with Alan Tudyk is hard to pass up… aside from that awkward moment at the end there. Leaves on the wind and all that.

Going to Emerald City Comic Con? Have any topics you want us to cover while we’re there? Care to share any tips about Seattle in general? We want to hear it!

Breaking Bad Week – Keeping BrBa Alive After the Felina

It’s only after you finish wiping the tears from your face from “Granite State” that you realize that there is only one episode left in what could be the most cerebral television show of the past decade. It’s normal to have these feelings of anxiety. White people had it when Friends ended, black people felt it when The Wire came to a close, and the Hispanic population all held vigil when the George Lopez Show was canceled. Too soon, I know. Heartbreak aside, there are plenty of ways to commemorate the finale of Breaking Bad. We’ve thought of seven you may want to hear about:

1.) Read Hush Comics’ “Breaking Bad Week” articles:

Every day this week, we will be posting a list relating our favorite moments, episodes and Easter eggs from the rest of the series. We will have interactive polls seeing what your opinion on the matter is, as well as original fan art by John Soweto sprinkled throughout the week in our ultimate love letter to Vince Gilligan and Co. Check out Instagram for updates as the week goes on, too. The entire Hush family is invested in the show and are as excited to bring you news as you are to read it. It’ll be a sad, sad moment when the series comes to an end, and we want to hear what you all think about it, too.

sketch by John Soweto. Check our Instagram, HushComics, for details on how you can snag some BrBa giveaways
sketch by John Soweto. Check our Instagram, HushComics, for details on how you can snag some BrBa giveaways

2.) Buy the Complete Series Blu-Ray Set:

Collectors rejoice! On November 26th, just two months away, the Breaking Bad Complete Series is set to make its way to a retailer near you. With a whopping $225 price tag, the Breaking Bad set has all the feel-good (or Bad, ha!) extras you’ll need to curl up and cry for a week straight. Among the notable bonus feature are: a two-hour long documentary capturing the filming of the final eight episodes, a nostalgic look at each character’s development, as well as numerous amusing anecdotes pertaining to filming and storyline. All told, the extras, which are listed as over 55 hours long, rival the full length of the entire series.

breaking-bad-complete-series-xl

Extras are cool and all, but let’s get real – you buy a complete series for THE STUFF! Stuff-collectors will not be disappointed, as the box set comes inside of a “BrBa” branded barrel of methylamene that you can carry home (or you can roll it, cuz it’s… ya know, a barrel). Inside the tub, which we’re estimating is about two feet tall, are such collector’s items as: a personal 16 page letter from the creator, Vince Gilligan, a Los Pollos Hermanos kitchen apron and a commemorative challenge coin, which I will no doubt scratch one side and flip it around like Two-Face while wearing a pork-pie hat and the signature beard. If you pre-order directly from the Breaking Bad Store, you will receive a free t-shirt. It’s a steep price for any television series set, but collectors and die-hard fans will jump at the chance to own this piece of TV history.

3.) Breaking Bad: Alchemy app/book:

If you’re looking for exclusive interviews, factoids and high-quality photos to give you the inside scoop on Breaking Bad, the Apple iBook app, Breaking Bad: Alchemy, is the place to go. The iPad only app is downloadable for $10; making this an iPad app only definitely leaves the market unsaturated, but after using it, I’m convinced that making it available for smartphones wouldn’t do it justice.  I downloaded Alchemy before I set out on a road trip from Denver, Colorado to Lincoln, Nebraska (“What’s in Nebraska?” – Saul Goodman).  In the seven-hour drive, I was amazed at the level of depth I came across. I mean, there’s only so much you can learn from a Wiki page before it feels like a chore to read. Not with Alchemy – there was interactive trivia, there was hide-and-seek style clues to click on, and there was death! A really cool detail in this app was the interactive death timeline of all our favorite homies and villains. If I had a 40 with me, I would have poured it all out along I-80. Another great read is the episode guide, in which the titles of episodes are explained. Some focus on a tribute to a past movie or catchphrase, and some mean nothing at all until they are grouped together. In a generation of television that is all about instant gratification, it’s very satisfying to see that kind of forethought put into something as simple as the episode names. The app also focus a lot on different aspects that make up the show, such as cinematography, sound and special effects. Alchemy is all substance (pun!), unlike most books of the same nature. It does a great job of utilizing the medium, by doing what a book cannot by showing the reader instead of telling the reader. It’s any fan’s compendium for the series, giving value to casual and dedicated viewers the same.

Here is shot of the Cousins' attack on Hank with the film lens alteration on and off.
Here is shot of the Cousins’ attack on Hank with the film lens filter on and off. Edited with Diptic mobile app.

4.) Road trip to the ABQ:

Who wouldn’t want to take a trip to the ABQ and relive their favorite scenes? We have no idea; they definitely aren’t reading this blog. Taking trips to Albuquerque, New Mexico solely for the purpose of paying tribute to Breaking Bad is totally normal. And unlike The Wire, is totally encouraged by the city that it was filmed in. Albuquerque takes great pride in Breaking Bad, with many of the local businesses feeding off the recent tourism that the heralded show now brings in. We will actually be embarking on our our Breaking Bad tour in a couple weeks, the weekend after the finale which also happens to coincide with the annual International Balloon Fiesta. If we’re lucky, we might even see a gigantic Heisenberg face floating in the distance. Keep up with us as we document all our findings through our trip through Heisenberg’s Hometown. By the time we are done, we will hopefully have compiled a comprehensive list of places to go, people to see, and meth dealers to meet. Kidding, we’re keeping that information to ourselves. 

The White Housela-tr-albuquerque-escape-20130728-photos-004

5.) The internet is for porn Breaking Bad:

In this lovely age of information, there isn’t much that you can’t find out about your favorite things. In the case of Breaking Bad, there is plenty of buzz. From nerdy t-shirt sites (like Redbubble.com and OnceUponaTee.com) to poorly-drawn webcomics, there’s something for everyone. Before writing our reviews, we always check out other people’s opinions on IGN, the Breaking Bad wiki or Reddit. And we always check out the Heisenberg Chronicles on Tumblr, or deviantart for screencaps and original fan art. Wikiquotes also offers some pretty great lines of dialogue in the series that you might have forgotten throughout the series. As Breaking Bad falls off the tongues of your friends, the internet is a great place to keep the legend of the Heisenberg alive. Oh, and here’s one on us, http://www.bettercallsaul.com is REAL.

Just grab your meth and double click, it's Brea-king Bad!
Just grab your meth and double click, it’s Brea-king Bad!

6.) Spin-offs:

Of all the characters that have blank pages of background story, Saul Goodman AKA Saul McGill AKA we don’t actually know if any of that is true is the most intriguing. He always seems to know a guy who knows a guy (spoiler alert: sometimes, that guy also knows a guy, too). So imagine my delight when it was announced on my birthday (gush!) that AMC has given the green light to a prequel story to Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman titled Better Call Saul. It will be fulfilling to find out just how exactly Saul became a “criminal” lawyer. Certainly, it won’t be from positive experiences. He and Mike probably didn’t meet while talking about water on Mars at the bar. The most reassuring news is that it will be created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, so we should see high caliber writing with both members of the Breaking Bad brain-trust having their hands on it.

Another spin-off that Breaking Bad is getting is far less spin-offy, and more cultural recreation. In what I consider a tribute to the original, Mexican television network Univision has picked up the series. From what it sounds like so far, it’s going to be a hilarious telenovela version of the show, boasting main characters Walter and Cielo Blanco (no seriously) as they pretty much do the same thing AMC’s Breaking Bad has done, but with rice and beans for awkward dinner instead of Albertson’s deli food and a significantly lower budget. While it’s undoubtedly going to be hilarious, it will be interesting to see how a Mexican network portrays the very cartel that infects its country. I won’t knock it until I’ve seen it, because, honestly, I can’t think of a better way to teach nerds Spanish.

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7.) Comic-Cons:

Go to your local comic book convention. Each year, it becomes less about actual comics (although they are the backbone to such events) and more about thousands of nerdgasms happening simultaneously. Costumes, television shows, action figures, homemade trinkets and fan art capture so much more of the nerd spirit than before, and everybody has benefited. All you need to be at a Comic Con is the appreciation and respect of cult followings. And Breaking Bad definitely has that among all nerd walks of life, as we found out at the Denver Comic Con. Not only is it fully appropriate to wear a yellow haz-mat suit and shave your head to become the Heisenberg, but people loved it when we handed out blue rock candy meth and they crooned when Adrian (dressed quite well as Pinkman) called everybody nearby a “bitch.”  Cosplay aside, there were tons of merch, from t-shirts to fan art and cool jewelry, Breaking Bad has already solidified itself as a great American treasure in pop culture with the possibility of being resurrected every time a middle-aged man in sweat-stained underwear and a green button-up shirt walk by.

Sherif and Adrian aka Walt and Jesse
Sherif and Adrian aka Walt and Jesse

We hope you liked our article! Join us tomorrow as we discuss Jesse’s Top 7 Bitch Moments… BITCH!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

Official photos courtesy of AMC Television and the internet.

Denver Comic-Con 2013

After going to San Diego Comic Con last summer and not being able to get tickets for this year, going to the 2013 Denver Comic Con seemed like the second best choice.  Albeit, we were disappointed with my choice at first, well because, it’s San Diego.  But after attending Denver’s 2nd con, our first time going, we were pleasantly entertained the whole weekend.  Friday night was good for 2 things: seeing the line and getting an idea of the layout of the exhibition hall.  The line was ridiculous, a gripe to be heard around Denver for days to come. By the time we arrived at about 5 p.m. people were told that if they did not pre-pay for a ticket, they would need to leave the line because tickets had sold out.  But as we found out later, this was not the case.  Several people in the Hush family were still able to get tickets for the weekend.  That night we checked out the main hall.  The goodies were pretty good.  The Artist Alley had some pretty good pickings.  Our friend Zak Kinsella was in attendance with his comic series MidspaceJenny Parks  was there with her illustrations of cats as superheroes.  We picked up these four:

catman and mewane
Batman and Bane by Jenny Parks
Katniss and Black Widow by Jenny Parks

Blake Henriksen had a booth, too.  We had picked up some of his art at Denver’s Starfest.  His Ninja Turtles were such good art, we couldn’t pass them up.  There was also a booth for Sparkle Jewelry designs where we bought this awesome Breaking Bad necklace charm.

Breaking Bad Charm
Breaking Bad Charm

Spending all your money on the first day can be a curse or a blessing, but for us, it worked out well, because we weren’t tempted to blow money we didn’t have the rest of the weekend.  The highlight of the evening for Adrian was meeting J. August Richards, notably from Angel and soon to be notably in Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Obviously, I’m a huge Whedon fan.  Growing up watching Buffy and then Angel, I (Adrian) looked up to Charles Gunn a lot.  He was the best character on Angel consistently.  Meeting him was a real pleasure.  He is very down to earth and really cares about his fans and their reaction to him.  It was really refreshing.  A lot of people in the entertainment industry can be nice and laid back, but with J., it really felt as though he could be your best buddy.  We like best buddies.

J. August Richards, Adrian and Sherif
J. August Richards, Adrian and Sherif

Saturday was really the day to be there.  Yes, the line to get in even if you had a badge was ridiculous.  I hope that with all the backlash, next year will be a smoother process.  However, being that it is only the second year of its existence, and that it is now half the size of the international con, I imagine that there weren’t enough volunteers to keep up with the masses.  Our day started off great.  Sherif, Taylor, Evan, and Adrian all dressed as meth cooks from Breaking Bad.  Sherif, Taylor and Evan were Walt White and Adrian was Jesse Pinkman.  We all dressed in yellow chemical suits.  The guys had different aspects of Walt, but all wore his glasses and facial hair.  Adrian wore yellow shoes and a yellow striped beanie to match the suit.  It was a lot of fun getting stopped all the time to take pictures.  We even gave out samples of our “blue stuff” (which was really just rock candy) to people who wanted our picture.  But there is a down side to this costume.  Have you ever worn a chemical suit?  It’s hot.  Have you ever worn a chemical suit in a room with 40,000 other people?  Oh dear God.  Never been so sweaty and stinky.  But when you dress up as meth cooks, bad hygiene seems to be part of the costume.

Sherif and Adrian aka Walt and Jesse
Sherif and Adrian aka Walt and Jesse
Taylor and Evan aka Walt and Walt
Taylor and Evan aka Walt and Walt

Sherif and Adrian went to J. August Richards’ panel on his new project called The Hypnotist.  It was a short featuring Lisa Gay Hamilton and Sharif Atkins.  The story is simple: a man goes to a hypnotist to cure his smoking addiction.  But the ideas behind the story are brilliantly complex.  The cast is black, and of course J. is black.  What is great about this all-black cast is that it doesn’t matter the race of the characters, the story is relatable to everyone, which is exactly what J. wanted.  Of course because Richards is brilliant, the writing is impeccable.  The characters are both easy to relate to.  The theme of African-American history is apparent in the story, but more importantly, it is direct symbolism.  I love when little details mean so much to a story.  It shows a high intelligence of literary tools.  There should be more coming soon with different characters being hypnotized.  J. did say that he doesn’t want to put it online.  In today’s society, it really does need to be online for people to want to watch it.  He said he doesn’t want people to be flipping between tabs while his story is on in the background.  I, for one, would not do that because the story is really compelling.  I think it would be great if he could sell it to Netflix to avoid that, but with each story being so short, I don’t know if that is a possibility.  Congratulations to J. and his new project.  I hope the public gets to see the rest of his brilliance.

Evan and Taylor also got to experience the Star Wars trivia event, hosted by Geeks who Drink.  This event was the most exciting and disheartening experience Taylor had all weekend long – allow me to explain.  I’ve only ever participated in one other general public Star Wars trivia event in my life.  During that faithful day I choked on a relatively easy question and knocked myself out of the running for first place (I had to settle for third… shameful, I know).  This day at DCC would serve as redemption and was guaranteed to put me in a room with dozens of other fanatics just like me.  While the competition was indeed exciting and my brain-farts were gratifyingly limited I was overall disappointed in my fellow enthusiasts.  Plain and simple – they were jerks.  Now, I’m not speaking for everyone – my experience is limited to the extents of my sight and hearing of my immediate surroundings – but since when did SW fanboys become the elite of the nerd world?  Before the competition I enjoyed the prospect of happy and accepting fans congregating and sharing a common passion.  By the time we left I was practically holding my brother back from “unleashing The Force” all over an exceptionally snobby guy that had been sitting next to us the whole time.  Overall the experience was enjoyable, but I hate that it was cheapened by those who weren’t there just to have fun.  That being said – one of our Hush goals is to foster a nerd-universe where all are welcomed, accepted and wanted regardless of depth of knowledge or interest.  If you’re a fan/enthusiast – don’t disservice the passion you have by putting down others who aren’t at your level.  Share the love and knowledge and I guarantee everybody wins.

During the day, Sherif and Adrian met with J. August Richards again, Clare Kramer from Buffy, and the awesome, “it’s ok” to be George Takei.  All are wonderful people.  And all were willing to sign our official Hush Comics poster.  It was lovely!  George is a fun guy who loves to talk.  He also has really good penmanship.

It's definitely ok to be George Takei!
It’s definitely ok to be George Takei!

To spare you reading a novel of my (Taylor’s) adventures over the day and a half of my time spent at the convention, I’ll share just a few highlights.  First being the time my little bro and I spent just walking around.  This was neat for the obvious reasons (people watching, ogling artwork and crafts, stalking famous people), but was enhanced by what my brother and I were wearing.  What I mean to say is that we were in costume as well.  Anybody watch Breaking Bad?  If you do then picture Walter White in his yellow haz-mat suit (respirator and all) carrying around little sample baggies of that crystal blue meth.  Got the image?  That was me and Evan at DCC (our meth was actually candy though – just for the record).  What made this uncomfortable experience so worth it (hazardous material suits don’t breathe people… not one bit) was really feeling like you were a part of it all.  I mean really, really feeling a part.  I know I would have loved it had I gone in normal people clothes, but there’s something extra special about a Storm Trooper coming up and asking to get a picture with you.

Taylor and said Storm Trooper
Taylor and said Storm Trooper

Saturday was a good day for all of us.  Being in a land of nerdom was like being at home.  There were so many people who shared our interests.  It was really inspiring.  We plan on holding a booth there next year!

On Sunday, Sherif and Adrian went to the Whedon panel, which featured J. August Richards and Clare Kramer.  J. of course played Charles Gunn on Angel and Clare Kramer played Glory on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  It was a little like a town hall meeting.  They talked about their time working with Joss and their stories of being hired.  It was very informative to listen how the business works for actors.  Clare had an easier time than J. did with being hired.  Both actors recalled big learning experiences with Joss and the other actors on both series.  J. told the audience that his favorite actor to work with was Andy Hallett, who played Lorne on Angel and has since passed away.  Clare talked about being given the “reward” of being able to do her own stunt in her last scene in season 5 where she is thrown through the brick wall.  She also talked about doing fight scenes with Sarah Michelle Gellar and their stunt doubles.  It was interesting to hear how those scenes are filmed, because as Clare said, one time, she hit Sarah’s stunt so hard that she got a black eye and a huge bump on her head for 3 weeks.  They also talked briefly about their new endeavors.  Clare works on her website geeknation.com while J. is working on The Hypnotist and the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  J. was mum about what his role would be in the series, but from previews it looks like he will be a mutant.  Overall, it was a great panel.  There were many tid-bits fans wouldn’t get from any other source.

The rest of our day was just walking around and observing the costumes.  Our costumes were ditched the day before.  We couldn’t handle two days of being Walt and Jesse.  Their life is beyond our realm…  The weekend was a success.  We had fun, saw some things we hadn’t seen before, met new people and enjoyed being ourselves.  We can’t wait until next year!

written by Adrian Puryear, Sherif Elkhatib and Taylor Lowe