Denver Comic Con 2014 – Batman 75th with Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar

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Panel Name: Batman 75th

Topic: Q&A with the main characters from the 1960’s TV Batman series

Featured Guests: Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman)

 

It’s safe to say that a lot of 80’s babies and beyond don’t have the same appreciation for Adam West and company that our parents did. Most twenty-somethings know Adam West as Mayor West of Quahog from Family Guy, and that’s great, but I think the world needs to be reminded of just how vital Adam West’s portrayal of Batman was to the legacy of Bruce Wayne. The show spanned 120 episodes over a three-year period and had it’s own spin-off movie; it was great fun for the whole family – something that Batman titles have since moved away from.

The Dark Knight, as he is today, is a brutal and melancholy figure. He’s seen multiple close friends die – including his own son. He’s terrifying to his opponents, and off-putting to his colleagues. Oh, and his rogues gallery is filled with sick, twisted freaks that murder children and blow up hospitals. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t love every stinkin’ second that I read Batman, but there’s no denying he’s become more of an adult figure than the one I’ve grown up with in the slightly-dark Batman: The Animated Series, let alone the Batman that my parents grew up with in the 60’s.

This has all been changing. Ever since the Batman 66 series launched last July, adults and children alike have been gravitating back to this light-hearted Batman, which grabs at the nostalgic crowd, and puts Batman back on a relatable plane for children to connect with a character that’s celebrating his 75th birthday this year. The idea of solving riddles and catching the bad guys is a universal concept; not every child needs to see their parents murdered in front of them to relate to the Batman.

Batman 66 Panel

Let’s get to the panel, shall we? As Burt Ward, then Julie Newmar, and finally Adam West made their ways to the stage, they were met with possibly one of the warmest welcomes that I had seen at a panel all weekend. Fans from 7-70 years old were so grateful for their chance to meet the cast of Batman. Burt Ward ran out like a contestant on The Price is Right, hands in the air and looking like the most excited person in the world to be there. After Ward comes Julie Newmar, who looked just fantastic! How Newmar manages to stay so fabulous is beyond me, she even smooched the two volunteers that helped her to her seat on the cheek; it was adorable. The real roar happened when Batman himself, Adam West, came strolling up the ramp and onto the stage.

Mee-oww
Mee-oww

Batman 66 Newmar 2

We went straight into the Q&A here, which led to some pretty thoughtful questions right off the bat. When one of the audience members asked the cast if anybody ever felt the show was too campy or silly, West broke the silence with, “No, we’re terribly serious crime fighters!” The show was designed as family entertainment and it was nailed to the history books as such. There was no need to pretend to be more dire than it had to be. When compared to modern Batman, West said that Christian Bale “may be the Dark Knight, but I was the Bright Knight.” Batman ruled the 60’s in pop culture. West said that in the 1960’s, there were 3 B’s: Bond, The Beatles… and Batman.

Julie Newmar was an absolute diva at the panel, which was very reminiscent of her days at Catwoman. She commanded attention, and often became animated when talking about how to be sexy. If you’ve never seen an 80 year old woman take control of her sexuality, all you need is five minutes with Julie Newmar. When asked how her milkshake managed to get all the boys to the yard – I’m paraphrasing here – she says that all you need to do if pour licorice all over your body (dress in all black, not actual licorice for those of you at home trying this) and walk down the street; it’s all in your mind, she says. Somewhere along the line, at this family-friendly panel, she pretended to go down on Adam West, which is shocking only if you don’t know who Julie Newmar is.

Batman 66 Adam West 3

It was Burt Ward, who was quiet for a duration of the panel, that had the funniest story to tell. There was a stunt being performed that involved the Batmobile speeding out of the BatCave, then taking a sharp, 90 degree turn at 55 miles per hour. So Burt hops into the Batmobile in costume and turns to see somebody who isn’t Adam West sitting next to him. When asking who is he and where Adam is, the stuntman explains that they are about to do a dangerous driving stunt, and that Adam is over at the break station, drinking coffee. Burt says, “If this is a dangerous stunt, where is my stuntman?”… “Oh, he’s over there drinking coffee with Adam.” When Burt asked why his stunt double isn’t performing the stunt, the response was a flabbergasting, “Well, he doesn’t look like you.” They proceeded to make Burt do the stunt, and when the turn was made, the Batmobile door flung open. The only thing keeping him in the car was one little finger, which dislocated. Burt told us how, over the span of the next week, there were multiple trips made to the ER due to various explosions and other stunts. He laughed it off though, saying that it was the producers’ attempt to make good on his hefty life insurance policy.

The panel was full of nostalgia, just as you would expect from the fan favorite Batman show. The chemistry that the three have is still apparent after nearly fifty years of being off the air. You almost have to remind yourself that these faces of American television are that old, because their faces still light up with life, their voices still bring joy to anybody still breathing. Never take yourself too seriously and always enjoy new experiences. And never be afraid to charge $80 for an autograph – right, Adam?

 

Denver Comic Con 2014 – The Oatmeal

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Panel Name: The Oatmeal

Topic:  The Inception of The Oatmeal, Michael Inman’s start, Jizz Castles

Featured Guests:  Michael Inman (creator of The Oatmeal)

 

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the start of this panel, and I felt the exact same way when it was all said and done. This was one of the funniest experiences I’ve ever had at a panel in the last three years. What started out as a history lesson about Michael and his website, accompanied by awesome drawings, slowly lead into science lessons about some of the more interesting creatures in the animal kingdom.

I actually had a deep appreciation for the way Michael got his start in the business, as I had a similar experience a year or so ago myself. Waking up and realizing that he wasn’t happy with what he was doing, he decided to make a change. He got his first start founding a a website for online dating that included cat pictures, which eventually led to the creation of the book How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.

The Oatmeal I can make a website too

During his presentation, we were told all about different aspects of the website such as his dislike for making money from ads to making sure he includes bonus material in his books so people have an incentive to purchase. He also talked about how the simplicity of his drawings are what makes them funny and how the more detailed you get, the less funny something becomes.

From this point forward, the panel consisted of a science lesson about things like the Red Velvet Mite, how shitty it is to be a Male Angler Fish, Penis Fencing, Mallard Ducks and the Mantis Shrimp. The accompanying pictures were absolutely hilarious and only added to the stories he was telling. This, however, pales in comparison to watching the ladies there in charge of sign language for the hearing impaired. Certain parts of the panel actually had people paying more attention to the two ladies up front than the guest of honor – so much so that it was even mentioned during the Q&A. If you ever wondered how to say jizz-castle in sign language, than this was the panel for you. It almost left me in tears, it was so funny.

The Oatmeal Penis Fencing

The Q&A went just about how I expected but nothing meaningful was really asked. We did learn about a charity Michael took part in in town and how he would love to run a marathon for his charities here as well but Coloradoans are too cheetah-like for him. This panel was amazing and will make my future reading of the website even better after having gotten a glimpse into the mind of the man behind these tales.

Sign translators were the best here
“Jizz Castle”

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Beware the Walkers Walking Dead

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Panel Name: Beyond the Walkers! – Walking Dead

Topic: Rooker being Rooker, Interaction between walkers and cast, Q&A

Featured Guests: Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon), Michael Koske (walker), William Hart (walker), Vincent Gonzales (Assistant Director)

 

Ah, back at it at the 3rd Annual Denver Comic Con. Friday’s programming began, for us, with a panel featuring The Walking Dead‘s Merle Dixon, Michael Rooker. After writing a “Respect My Craft” on him, we learned how much fun he is at panels, and how much he loves his fans. This was our first taste of Michael Rooker and, accompanied by two of the show’s long-time walkers and former Assistant Director Vincent Gonzales, they put on an entertaining and informative show for the us.

The convention was Rooker’s first time in Denver, and he had good things to say about the Mile High City. The first thing Rooker commented on was that this city has a whole lot of tattoos, and was impressed that we get around 300 days of sunshine a year (this is a debatable claim, but let’s just say that we get a butt-load of sunny days here). However, Rooker believes that, as a city, we have poor eyesight when he heard chants of “Rooker!” when asked who was the better looking star, he or cast-mate Norman Reedus.

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This was the type of rhetoric Rooker had throughout the panel. From the get-go, he wrestled the spotlight away from the moderator (poor guy), introducing guests, asking the other guests questions and leading the overall discussion. It was awesome to watch, and even though the panel really became about him, he did a great job of interacting with the other panelists. Rooker and Co. go into detail about exactly how hard these actors work – all day long in over 100 degree weather, caked with “sexy dirt.” Nothing was more grueling or rewarding than the fight scenes.

Guest walker Michael Koske has played 43 different zombies on the show, more than any other walker on the show. His favorite scene was at Woodbury, when Merle and Martinez were putting on a show in the zombie pit. Rooker made more of a joke about the situation, but long story short, when they were choreographing the fight, Rooker got caught up in the moment and accidentally clocked Koske in the face with his metal stump of an arm. It wasn’t the first time either. Koske mentioned that actors will regularly get in a good lick or two, trying to make the stuntwork as realistic as possible. Did he complain? No, his biggest complaint is that he never gets the famous Death Dinner all his posthumous cast-mates did – a privilege that Rooker says gets revoked when you die 43 times.

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The Q&A section of the panel was a lot of fun, but there weren’t a whole lot straight answers, just a whole lot of smart-ass answers to generic questions – true Rooker style. Who is your favorite actor on the show? Michael Rooker. Who from the show would you pick to be in your group of the zombie apocalypse? The fattest, slowest people – so all of them. How do you have your hand back now after you lost it in the show? I’m part lizard. Alarmingly, a lot of parents sent their little children up to ask questions. Who is letting their young children watch this show? Sickos – like the parents of this sweet little girl who asked what went through Rooker’s mind when he was murdering people. Perhaps the best question, or answer, rather, was the response to what the actors took away from the veteran presence of Scott Wilson (Herschel). William Hart, who had been quiet up to that point said, “I got his leg.”

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TOO SOON!

At the end of the panel, we were in love with Michael Rooker and his ability to not take himself seriously, but still recognize his position as a total rockstar at the con. He’s a swell guy with a deep respect for his work and the hard work of others. Continue to follow us as we cover Denver Comic Con!

Denver Comic Con 2014 Preview

We’re one day away from the third annual Denver Comic Con. Just one year ago, we ventured through the Colorado Convention Center with our eyes and wallets wide open, soaking up the comic book convention experience like The Quickster. This year, we have new faces joining us as writers, adding to our little band of fancy-pants nerds. Denver Comic Con has EXPLODED this year, featuring more celebrities and more programming. In preparation for the Con, we’re going to be highlighting the guests that will be coming and the panels that we’ll be trying to check out. We’ll be writing live from the event, so if there is anything crazy happening, you’ll hear it straight from us.

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

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 with we will be able to cover a lot of ground. That doesn’t mean we can do everything (or does it??), but we will try. Here’s a list of the stops we absolutely have to make:

Guests:

Batmen: Continuing the celebration of Batman’s 75th Anniversary, Denver Comic Con has brought two of the most iconic men to take the mantle of the Batman. Legendary voice actor Kevin Conroy, who played Batsy in Batman: The Animated Series will be there, and so will Adam West, who played Batman in the 1960’s television series (and the spin-off movie). West brought friends, too; he will be joined by his Robin, Burt Ward, and his Catwoman, Julie Newmar. They’re all getting their own panels, to boot.

Star Trek: TNG: Perhaps the biggest announcement is that of a ST:TNG reunion panel, featuring some of the biggest names from the hit show. Among those attending are: Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, and LeVar Burton. Joining them is Star Trek alumnus William Shatner. Trekkie nerds will be freaking out.

Bruce Campbell: My top people to meet would first be Bruce Campbell. I would love to meet him because he is a legend in my eyes and has been a part of some of my favorite films of all time. Not to mention he is one of my biggest inspirations for pursuing film and acting. The second highest up person would be Jim Cummings because he has played some characters in animation that mean the world to me and those ones (Mr. Bumpy and Genghis Frog) are some he is not known for so of course you add Winnie the Pooh, Darkwing Duck and Taz in there and it is impossible to contain the nerdy child inside of me.

Arrow: We were lucky enough to meet Stephen Amell at Emerald City Comic Con this year, so imagine our delight to see that he’ll be making an appearance in our hometown. He may be a hardcore vigilante on TV, but Amell is a sweet guy in real life. With him comes his crime-fighting buddy, Caity Lotz, who plays Black Canary on Arrow. This is one of the best shows on right now, so don’t miss your chance to mingle with the superheroes!

Comic Book Artists: Some of our favorite comic book artists are coming. We’re expecting to take home an abundance of prints and/or sketches. These artists range from mainstream to independent, and are the reason we pick up the books  that we do. The beautiful art of Fiona Staples, the gritty Tim Sale, Whedonverse’s Georges Jeanty, the inspiring Colleen Doran and the innovative Yanick Paquette are just a few that we’re looking forward to talking to.

Very Honorable Mentions:
Max Brooks (World War Z)
Doctor Who (Peter Davison, Slyvester McCoy)
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
J. Scott Campbell (Marvel cover artist)
Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon from The Walking Dead)
Legendary Artists (Neal Adams, George Pérez)
Greg Weisman (Star Wars Rebels, Young Justice)
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from Star Wars)
Power Rangers (David Yost, Jason David Frank, Walter Jones)
 
Want to know more about the guests at Denver Comic Con 2014? Check out our 30 spotlight articles here.
 
See all the special guests here.

Programming:

Star Trek: The Next Generation Reunion Panel

Denver Comic Con announced it will host a reunion of six of the cast members of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to be moderated by William Shatner. The ticketed panel also includes Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis. Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Will Wheaton will not able to join the rest of the cast in Denver due to scheduling conflicts.

“Even though Star Trek: The Next Generation only originally aired for seven seasons, fans have come to have deep attachments to these characters,” said convention director Dr. Christina Angel. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide a forum where fans and cast members can interact—including, of course, the captain of the reunion panel: William Shatner.”

Batman 75th Panels

There will be three different panels celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight. The first, held on Saturday, will be a nostalgic journey with Adam West, Julie Newmar and Burt Ward that is bound to make the crowd laugh. Later that day will be a panel discussion about the actual comic books, where the room will gush over The Dark Knight Returns, The Court of Owls, and, of course, Hush (even if that somebody is us!). Then on Sunday, we get the Kevin Conroy panel. This guy pretty much raised us with his voice on Batman: The Animated Series, so we’re super excited for the panel.
See all the programming here.

Outside the Con

Mile High Comics Pre-Party

Denver Comic Con looks to have 75,000 guests. Yes, you read that correctly. Seventy-five THOUSAND. That’s just over half of the 130,000 capacity at San Deigo Comic Con (the world’s largest) and larger than Emerald City Comic Con. That being said, you definitely want to grab your badge before you get to the convention center. There’s no better way to do that than attend Mile High Comic’s Denver Comic Con launch party. While you wait, peruse the largest comic book warehouse IN THE WORLD. Meet legendary artists like Neal Adams (who was totally awesome to us last year) and George Pérez and mingle with other nerds about the world’s fastest-growing Comic Con. More details here. THIS HAPPENS TONIGHT!

Cosplay Contest Shindig

Denver has been the best con for cosplay we’ve been to – hands down. Even we got into the mix last year, dressing up as Jesse Pinkman and Walter White from Breaking Bad; here’s a free tip – don’t wear industrial grade chemical suits in a highly-crowded area. Yuck. Anyway, Denver is a breeding ground for creativity, and with as many hardcore nerds as we have here, this is a must-attend event.

Film on the Field

The Denver Outlaws and Denver Comic Con are partnering with Denver Film Society to bring you Film on the Field after the Outlaws June 14th home game. Watch The Amazing Spiderman on the HD Thundervision screen at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The game starts at 7pm and after the conclusion of the game, fans will be invited down to the field to watch the 2012 blockbuster staring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Tickets for both the game and the movie start at just $12 with $4 from each ticket going back to benefit Comic Book Classroom. Buy tickets here.

Denver Comic Con info can be found by downloading the Guidbook app. It’s a pretty seamless app, so hopefully it will be helpful.

 

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

ComicPalooza 2014 Preview

In just a few days, we will be escaping our day jobs to visit Houston for ComicPalooza, where we will be meeting up with Hush family member, Taylor Lowe! It will be our second out-of-state Comic Con this year, following up a fun trip to Seattle we took in March for Emerald City Comic Con. These were actually Christmas presents from Taylor, so we were excited to see not only him, but to see a more intimate convention; the ones we’ve been to previously are some of the biggest in the nation. In preparation for the Con, we’re going to be highlighting the guests that will be coming and the panels that we’ll be trying to check out. We’ll be writing live from the event, so if there is anything crazy happening, you’ll hear it straight from us.

Click on the link to take you to all of our Comicpalooza articles

Click on the link to take you to all of our Comicpalooza articles

  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 with four of us there (Taylor, my sister Sara, Adrian and I), we will be able to cover a lot of ground. That doesn’t mean we can do everything (or does it??), but we will try. Here’s a list of the stops we absolutely have to make:

Guests:

Comic Books:

Stan Lee: Just announced, the biggest name in comic books is making an appearance at ComicPalooza! Lee was supposed to be the guest of honor at Denver Comic Con last year, but had to cancel – it was super disappointing. This guy is pretty much the godfather of the industry. He created: The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The X-Men… pretty much everybody who makes up the core of the movies we see today. There are a total of 340 characters credited on Wikipedia, so don’t hurt your head trying to find them all. Thanks to a last-minute announcement, we will be meeting one of the forefathers of comic books. Excelsior! Neal Adams: We first met Adams at last year’s Denver Comic Con, where he was signing at a preview night party for Mile High Comics. We knew him from some of his earlier work, but the warmth with which he greeted us and the stories he told us left such a great impression that I’m instantly sold on anything new or old I come across. This veteran is most famous for his work on BatmanGreen Lantern/Green Arrow and Superman vs. Muhammed Ali, but has appeared on recent stuff as well (Batman: Black and WhiteBatman: Odyssey). He doesn’t let his celebrity get ahold of him, and that’s why we love him. Greg Capullo: It wouldn’t be a stretch to call this man the hardest working penciller in comics. He and writer Scott Synder have brought absolute magic to the New52 launch of Batman. From the detailed characters to the unique panel design, Capullo is an absolute beast, pencilling every single issue thus far. Capullo has been in the industry for over a decade, working on SpawnX-Force and others along the way. He was also a guest judge for Ink Master, where contestants were asked to create DC Comics tattoos. His unique style also inspired DC Collectibles to release a Designer Series of action figures. He’s easy in my top three of Batman artists, and the chance to meet him at CP will be an honor. James O’Barr: O’Barr, the creator of The Crow, is also on the list of comic book artists we’re excited to meet. O’Barr’s Crow is the highest-selling independent graphic novel ever, which is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year. He will also be at Denver Comic Con this year. For more on O’Barr, check out Jacob’s “Respect My Craft” about him.

Very Honorable Mentions:
David Petersen (Mouse Guard)
Jim Steranko (Strange Tales)
Chris “Oz” Fulton (tattoo artist)
David Petersen (Mouse Guard)
Nicholas Pitarra (The Manhattan Projects)
Shane Davis (Superman: Earth One)

 

TV/Movies:

Whedonverse: Adrian and I always geek out at cons, because at least a couple of the Whedonverse family always been to pop up. J August Richards (Gunn, Deathlok) and Clare Kramer (Glorificus) have been at every con we go to, which is awesome! This time, though, we are blessed with the presence of James Marsters (Spike) and Nicholas Brendon (Xander). On top of that, the cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be attending. Maybe Clark Gregg (Coulson) will sign my Captain America trading card (that I don’t have…yet). We are going to nerd out SO hard.
Lou Ferigno: The Hulk himself will be attending ComicPalooza. He was convincing enough to play the Incredible Hulk at a time where there were no CGI effects. He convinced me that he really was this monstrously strong being full of rage. In real life, Ferrigno is a really nice guy, and hangs out at cons all over the country, and sits at Mile High Comics’ booth when he can. 
Jim Cummings: This man has been unaccredited with raising a lot of children. His voices on iconic 90’s cartoons like Darkwing Duck, CatDog and Winnie the Pooh have shaped the way late 80’s babies remember childhood. He’s also a really sweet, funny guy, who tells inspiring voice actors that there is no such thing as a bad impression, just a different impression.
Doctor Whos: Several Doctors will be in the house, including: Peter Davison, Paul McGann, Slyvester McCoy, Colin Baker. Captain Jack Harkness will also be in the house – the actor John Borrowman also plays Malcolm Merlin in Arrow.
StarFest: Two big names that were at Denver StarFest, Billy Dee Williams & Nichelle Nichols, will be at CP. Williams is most known for his role as Lando Calrissian, but also played the role of Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s Batman. Nichols similarly got her fame from a Star-show. She played Uhura in Star Trek; at a time when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, which led to Martin Luther King Jr. giving her props.
 
Very Honorable Mentions:
Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob)
Power Rangers (Walter Jones, August St. John, David Yost, Karan Ashley)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Comic Book Men
Rose McGowan (Charmed)
Veronica Taylor (voice actor of Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Professional Wrestling Stars (Amy “Lita” Dumas, Kevin Nash, Bret Hart)
Cary Elwes (Westley from The Princess Bride)
Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel on GoT)

See all the special guests here.

Programming:

How to Run A Successful Kickstarter Campaign

“This panel is a review of successful Kickstarter campaigns and ideas about networking, partnerships, social media promotion, building a base of fans, setting goals, choosing swag items, stretch goals and so on. After that, the moderator will open the floor to questions from the audience regarding how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign.” Presented by Reema Farra, Erick Calderon, Christian Strain, Jason Aydelotte

Excelsior! Stan “The Man” Lee

“Come along Brigadiers, and sit in the bullpen with your beloved Generalissimo, Stan Lee, in his first time appearance at Comicpalooza. Join us as he regales you with his humble beginnings at Timely Comics, to becoming one of the greatest names in comic book history. This is your chance, True Believers, to ask Stan those queries that have rattled around in your head for so long. Excelsior!”

Buffy: Looking Back

Looking back at 17 years and how the characters and the writing have changed television. Presented by Clare Kramer, George Herzberg, James Leary, James Marsters

Ask A Stormtrooper

“Those were the droids I was looking for, and yes, I did have friends on that Death Star. Come talk with 501st costumers who have and wear the very notable costume of the Stormtrooper. Find out what it takes to get all of the pieces and the work that goes into making it screen accurate.” Presented by Shawn Crawford

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

“A chance to ask about Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from the big screen to the living room.” Presented by Brett Dalton, Clark Gregg, Elizabeth Henstridge, J. August Richards, Glenn Morshower, Ming Na Wen

The Joke’s On You: Behind the “Mask” of the Joker

“Journey with Greg Capullo in a discussion of the Clown Prince of Crime. Arguably one of the greatest villains in comic books the Joker is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma and covered in a purple suit the Joker has survived through thick and thin but what makes him such a persistent piece of pop culture?” Presented by Jeff Dixon, Greg Capullo

Check out all the programming here.

Outside the Con & Interactive Panels

Geeks Who Drink

“Waiting for the chance to show off your vast store of geekological knowledge? Geeks Who Drink, the nation’s biggest and best pub quiz company, is crashing Comicpalooza with a comic-themed quiz! Form a team of up to six players, skilled in the geek arts of film, comics and gaming, and prepare to compete for glory, honor and prizes!”

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog

“After Midnight is a traveling shadowcast company who brings shows such as the Rocky Horror Picture show, Dr. Horribles Sing-Along blog, and Repo the Genetic Opera to life. We bring awesome entertainment wherever we go, to whatever town that may be. So come out, bring a friend, bring their friends, and come spend an evening out with us! It’s not like you were doing anything anyway!”

Water Dance Swordplay

“Learn the “Water Dancer” style of swordplay from Game of Thrones’ former First Sword of Braavos. Purpleheart Armory, the artisans who created the wooden practice swords used by Arya and Syrio.” Presented by Miltos Yerolemou

Advanced Lightsaber Techniques

“A two-hour hands-on class that reveals the advanced biomechanics that can be applied to make imaginary light saber combat more exciting and physically powerful” Demonstration by John Clements

James Marsters Performs

A lot of people don’t know this, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel actor James Marsters has recorded multiple albums, and has a great voice – as shown by his performance on the musical episode “Once More With Feeling.” He’ll be performing live at the con! Below is one of my favorite songs of his, “Smile.”

Going to ComicPalooza? Have any topics you want us to cover while we’re there? Care to share any tips about Houston in general? We want to hear it!

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!

SDCC Journal Day One by Adrian

So this is my first official post. I have been apart of Hush Comics since the beginning, but this is my first piece of writing I have contributed. And really, what a better way to start than writing about the ultimate nerdy thing: Comic-Con

Last year, about a week before Comic-Con started, I found out Sarah Michelle Gellar was going to be there. That’s right, Buffy Anne Summers herself; like in real life. I didn’t care that she wasn’t there representing Buffy. Rather, she was there talking about her show Ringer, which as it turned out, didn’t work too well for her because everyone knows she will always be Buffy, which is alright with me. Anyway, I scouted the Internet for tickets. I found a guy in San Diego who was selling them for a great price. But because we live in Denver, we couldn’t get him the money until the day Comic-Con started and apparently he had a problem with this because he sold the tickets to someone else. I have said for quite some time that if I ever met Sarah Michelle Gellar and Joss Whedon, I would be alright with dying because really, life can’t get much better after that. Well, thanks to the Craigslist asshat, I’ll have to postpone my death. But fear not! Sherif was determined for us to go this year.

He spent all morning online back in March to secure us our 4-day passes. Apparently, it was very confusing as to whether we actually got the passes. Sherif went on the message boards to ask how people knew they had gotten a pass. Someone responded to “Face it, you’re not going”. Sherif had a few choice words for him. But, we had indeed gotten the passes. Whilst in San Diego, we discussed taking a picture of Sherif standing outside of the Convention Center holding a sign that said, “I’m here, motherfucker” and e-mailing it to that guy. We decided against it.

The two days prior to is leaving for San Diego, I worked two 12 hour shifts in a row. Needless to say, Tuesday night, I was exhausted. Basically, this means I didn’t pack for the trip until early Wednesday morning. The benefit of being a super procrastinator is that I really didn’t pack anything I didn’t need. Otherwise, I could have ended up like this:

I packed just a few nerd t-shirts, some shorts and one pair of jeans. I wound up wearing those same jeans all 5 days because the Convention Center is fairly chilly. On the first day, I was wearing flip-flops (bad choice), jeans and a red-striped t-shirt. This made me stick out because I looked like I did not belong in the sea of nerds. Don’t worry: pictures are to come.

When we arrived in San Diego, we didn’t really know how we were going to get to our hotel, The Town and Country Resort. Little did we know that this city is prepared for Comic-Con. Super shuttles, busses and taxis are a plenty, and it was a quick trip from the airport to the hotel. We went to check in, and luckily, they were allowing check-in early that day, again because they are really prepared for the overwhelming amount of people who are coming in for the convention. At the check-in desk, the clerk told us that we could check-in for Comic-Con at the hotel as well. We were confused by this because every online source we had read said that registration for the convention was at the San Diego Convention Center. We inquired the clerk about it and he told us that all registration for Comic-Con was held at this hotel because this particular hotel used to hold Comic-Con when it first started in San Diego. I since have researched this, using the ever-trusty Wikipedia, and have found that the convention was never held there. But, what we found out that day was that registration for SDCC was at various locations, and our hotel was one of the many locations to register. We went to pick up our badges. After receiving them, we were directed to a room where a lot of people were waving lanyards, guide books and finally, the swag bags in our faces. We grabbed them all and were on our way to the line for the bus to take us to the actual Con.

Our fresh badges. Taken with Instagram.

Now these swag bags we received are huge. At my 5’6 stature, if I was wearing my bag on my shoulder, the bottom of the bag would hit the floor. I could fit in the bag and be pretty comfy. These things are built for the ultimate shopping spree. And this shopping spree would turn out to be much better than any I had ever dreamed of. The ones we received were the DC Nation bags. We were pretty excited because other people got Supernatural bags, and not knocking that show, but DC Nation was a better bag to get. Upon arriving downtown, we grabbed some grub and walked the bridge to get to the Convention Center. There were so many people, it was really unbelievable. I have never been in such a large crowd of people, and I’ve been to Manhattan, so that is really saying something. We navigated our way in to the Convention Center. The word huge cannot really describe how big this place is. Ginormous might work, but I still feel it falls short. Everyone was herded (I use the term herded because often times you are forced to be a sheep in crowd of sheep) upstairs to lead everyone away from the Exhibit Hall, which was closed until later in the evening. As we were walking down a long corridor, a fellow nerd approached us and asked if we could trade bags. He had a Supernatural bag. Because we had two of the same bag, he figured one of us could part. Sherif was kind and did. This long-haired man seemed very unassuming, but I caught on to him after I figured out the game. There were more than just DC Nation and Supernatural bags. There were Hobbit bags. There were Arrow, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, and Man of Steel. But none compared to what Sherif wanted the most. It was the bag being handed out if you registered for your badge at the actual Convention Center. You guessed it: The Dark Knight Rises swag bag. After walking around the Con, we knew we had to get that bag. We realized that these bags were status symbols. The Vampire Diaries bag was the worst one to get. The best three were Man of Steel, The Hobbit and, well duh, The Dark Knight Rises. But there was no way we could trade up to that bag with a Supernatural bag. Not only that, but we were both especially shy to walk up to random strangers and ask for a trade. But thats when two random strangers walked up to us and started up a conversation. There names were Mark and John, ahem Sherif. They were there representing a comic shop in North Carolina. These two guys were so excited for the next 5 days; it was so nice to talk to them. They walked around and asked everyone in the vicinity with a TDKR bag to trade with Sherif because it was what he really wanted. In the mean time, people were constantly asking to trade with me. And then I realized the game is to ask people to trade if they look like they don’t belong. Well with my above mentioned outfit, I looked like I did not belong to this crowd, but indeed, I did. “Hell, no.” I would say to people who asked for my bag. At the same time that John, Sherif and I found a man with TDKR bag, Mark went to ask the main desk handing out the bags for a trade. The man we found accepted a trade, but only for my bag. Because I love Sherif so much, I was willing to wear a “low-class” bag so he could have his beloved Batman swag bag. Mark found out the main desk would only trade if the bag was broken. So, I took that Supernatural bag, ripped off the handle, and a minute later, I too was outfitted with the Batman bag. And then we were the coolest of the cool in the Mecca of nerds.

Sherif and I decided to walk up to the Gaslamp district and put in a reservation at The Old Spaghetti Factory. While waiting for a table, we walked around. Sherif decided that his bag was so big, it really could be a cape. And with that, he ran around the streets of San Diego like this:

Sherif AKA The Dark Knight takes over San Diego, CA. Boy, that cape can flap in the wind!

Here is an interesting point of fact: I didn’t know that the first day was preview night.  How could I not know this?  I don’t really know.  I thought preview night was just a showing of new shows to premiere in the fall, which I didn’t have too much interest in.  I did not know the Exhibit Hall opened that night and that vendors were ready to sell their goods.  Had I known that, I would have worn Nike’s instead of flip-flops.  I also didn’t know this was the evening that if you were able to be the first to buy a special item, you could get a special item.  The main items I am referring to are: if you are the first of fifty to pre-order The Walking Dead video game at the Activision booth, you receive a necklace of Daryl’s zombie ears.  This was Sherif’s goal.  Sherif, of course, knew this was preview night and seemingly had the Exhibit Hall layout memorized. So did thousands of other people.  This hall is 525,701 square feet.  This is 12 acres.  Twelve.  As he said, you cannot even see to the other end of the hall.   We were at a set of doors to enter the hall about 10 minutes before it opened.  Sherif told me the booths which were our goal.  First was to get those zombie ears.  I got a pen and wrote the booth number on my hand.  As soon as those doors opened, pandemonium ensued.  My word of the week was pandemonium because people were everywhere fighting their way to get some prized item or waiting to see some prized celebrity.  Thousands of people at a time were doing this.  All. The. Time.  As we walked in, Sherif began walking faster than I knew was humanly possible without running.  There was a voice on the overhead speaker saying, “No running.”  I feared that if there was a Comic-Con Big Brother, they would spot all the people who were running.  I thought it would be like the security system of Wall-E and instead of saying, “Caution: Rogue Robots,” the overhead would say, “Caution: Rogue Nerds.”  In the crowds of people, I quickly lost Sherif.  He kept stopping to find me, but I simply could not keep up wearing those kind of shoes.  I finally told him dramatically, “It’s O.K.!  Leave me behind!  Get those zombie ears and I’ll find you!”  I met up with him a few minutes later.  I asked if he got them and he had.  Here is the proof of the puddin’.

Zombie Hunter. Pretty freaked out by his own necklace. That’s O.K. Anything goes in the apocalypse.

From there we went to a small booth selling an action figure of Anya from Buffy.  It featured her wearing her bunny suit.  Then we were off to the Image Comics booth where watches from The Walking Dead signed by Robert Kirkman were being sold.  On the way there, I still could not keep up with Sherif’s pace.  I later joked with him that it was a good thing I wore a red striped shirt, because I’m sure he had plenty of practice finding Waldo in a crowd.  Here is the Image booth.

Woah, that’s a big booth. And a big Rick Grimes.

We walked around the entire hall checking out everything from the small seller booths to the big name booths.  From a smaller seller, we snagged  a really awesome Katniss action figure.  We passed by the ComiXology booth where Sherif was interviewed about his use of the site.  It was pretty awesome to see him look all famous with a camera guy and everything.  Passer bys were looking at him like he might be famous.  He got a t-shirt out of it, so that was pretty much worth it.  We took a picture at the TMNT booth and then moved on to the Dark Horse booth.  In the following pictures, you can see my poor choice of footwear.

Giant Ninja Turtles. Kid dreams come true. Taken with Instagram.

And Dark Horse:

Me amongst all my childhood heroes. Total geek out moment. It was such geekery, that thumb had to stay in the corner of the picture just to contain the excitement.

We decided to go back to the hotel.  Walking at this point was quite painful for me.  The parking lot next to the bus stop had a lot of stuff that wasn’t there before.  Lots of trucks.  But what ended up haunting my dreams was the car set up to promote The Walking Dead Escape.  It was bloody and had the words “Sophia wait here” painted in “blood” on the back window.  Knowing the next night, Sherif and I would be running for our lives from those flesh-eating fiends, I was stuck in the apocalypse during all my dreams that night.  It was awesome.

Stay tuned for Day 2 and then a special blog in which Sherif and I re-create The Walking Dead Escape for all of you to relive with us!