Denver Comic Con 2014 – Kevin Conroy

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

 

Panel Name: Batman 75th Anniversary: Kevin Conroy

Topic: Kevin Conroy spoke about his experiences being a voice actor on the highly acclaimed television series Batman: The Animated Series along with other Batman franchises since then.

Featured Guest: The one, the only, Kevin Conroy.

 

Going to the famed voice actor Kevin Conroy’s panel, I expected certain things.  Namely, that he would talk in his famous Batman voice for the entire hour, and while he didn’t do exactly that, he surely didn’t disappoint either.  He came out on stage and exclaimed in his gravelly voice, “I am vengeance!  I am the knight!  I AM BATMAN!”

Kevin Conroy is pumped
I don’t know who was more excited, Kevin Conroy, or all his adoring fans.

For about the first 20 minutes, Conroy spoke extensively about his how he got “the job” (it’s the voice of Batman if you haven’t caught on yet), his time on the show and other Batman franchises, and what he learned along the way.  Conroy had gone to Juilliard and done theater acting in New York.  He also had some experience in L.A. on TV.  With the combination of the two experiences, he had done some voice over work before.  His agent sent him to meet Bruce Timm and Paul Dini at Warner Brothers.  He initially told them the only thing he new about Batman was the campy 60’s TV show starring Adam West (let’s hope Adam West didn’t hear this panel).  Timm and Dini immediately let Conroy know that The Animated Series was very noir and had a much darker tone because it was about a man avenging the murder of his parents.  He said using his imagination and (in full Batman voice) “going into a deeper and darker place” both Timm and Dini stopped him to tell him he got the role.

His piece of advice about Hollywood and getting a job was more about luck.  He said that anybody can get a job who has talent, but it is about “the right person that day making the right choices who gets the job.”  Over 20 years later, Conroy is still here and he is still the voice of Batman.  He never planned on the path his career has taken him, but he is happy where is career has gone.  He also spoke on the difference between voice acting on the shows or movies vs. the video games.  On the show, he and the other actors were all together and were able to interact with one another, specifically Mark Hamill (The Joker), Richard Moll (Harvey Dent), Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Alfred).  Ice-T was even a guest voice once.  When Conroy asked what he was doing there, Ice-T replied “Are you kidding?  My kids love Batman.”  The games are much different because the every line has to be perfectly clean.  There is no interaction with the other actors.  In addition, the different plays of the game lead to different outcomes, and therefore, different lines of dialogue.  Conroy said there are “zillions and zillions of lines.”  He does say that the result for the audience is well worth the tediousness of that kind of voice acting work.  And as a little teaser of excitement for the audience he said “The new Arkham Knight is…” then he just looked down and shook his head.

Kevin Conroy 1

Conroy talked about his belief about why Batman has lasted so long.  For one, he isn’t a superhero.  Everyone can relate to a guy, which Batman is.  He makes the choice to do the things he does because he makes all his weapons and goes out and fights crime.  He also has high morals.  Instead of killing the criminals, he puts them in Arkham Asylum… “which means you get a great game!”  But the psychology of Batman is interesting to Conroy and to the fans because of his baggage and childhood.  It is what Batman does with it, trying to help people, that people connect with because everyone has an inner hero.  “Batman is the personification of that.”  As far as difference in Conroy’s voice when playing Bruce Wayne rather than Batman is based on how everyone has a double life.  But for Batman, the costume is Bruce Wayne.  “Batman in the cave is his naked self.  That is where he being the most honest.”  Bruce Wayne though is the business man, the show.  Conroy says we all have a face that we put on.

He also talked a bit about how production on an animated series works.  The voice actors record months before anything is aired because the animators match the mouth movements to what is being said.  He had no idea what anything was going to look like.  He and Mark Hamill were together when the first animations came back and watched it on a huge screen.  He said he looked at Mark and said, “Did you have a CLUE that this is what we were doing?!”  It was then that they both realized what they had been working on was pretty special.

Conroy spoke on the anonymity of voice acting.  However, this has changed more recently.  Then he told this amazing story about getting recognized in Hollywood:

Conroy took many questions, where answers ranged from an embarrassing story about shaking a bosses hand after he had coughed a loogie into his own hand, and working with voice actors who weren’t cut out for the business.  The last request from a fan was to sing a verse of any song as Batman.  What happened after was totally unexpected, but absolutely made my weekend.  Here is Kevin Conroy singing, “Softly, As I Leave You.”

 

 

Denver Comic Con 2014- Cosplay…The Lost Photos

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

 

Denver Comic Con 2014 had so many Cosplayers.  So many in fact, we had so many photographs to go through, we missed some!  Here are the best of the rest!

Denver Comic Con 2014 Interview – Leila del Duca

Leila del Duca, the artist for Image Comics Shutter, was kind enough to allow us this interview. Shutter is a fantastical adventure book and, although it is just three issues in, has already grabbed readers’ attention. It’s the kind of story that comic books were made to be about. The creatures, the action sequences – it all boils down to being a fun and exciting story about even crazy characters and situations. Short of making you buy the book, I’ll just say that the books are just as interesting as Leila is, so we’ll hop right to it!

 

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

Hush Comics: I keep telling my friends how awesome Shutter is, but it’s hard to explain the story to them. How would you pitch the book to somebody who has never seen anything like it before?

Leila del Duca: It’s a hard book to pitch because it’s so weird and out there and belongs in multiple genres. I usually say it’s about world-famous explorer Kate Kristopher who is thrown back into the adventuring life she tried so hard to leave behind. If I have more time, I stress that the book is about family, who you adopt into your life and how you deal with blood relations you don’t want. And if they still don’t look interested I’m like, “But sir, it’s set in this crazy version of Earth with mythological beings, talking animals, and spacemen!”

holy GD WTSHC: Shutter is a huge accomplishment! How does it feel to have “made it” in the industry?

LD: It feels freaking phenomenal! I love having strangers come up to me and tell me they like my work, which never really happened before. It’s super validating to finally feel this way after working towards this my whole life. I truly hope I continue to “make it” in this industry, because I’m having the best time creating comics for you guys.

HC: You’ve worked with other publishers, but how is Image unique?

LD: Working with Image has been such an educational, uplifting experience thus far, standing by me every step of the way and teaching me how the industry does, and, in many cases, should be run. Their amazing team is professional, timely, encouraging, and excited about what they’re doing. I’ve felt like I’ve joined a sort of family that takes care and looks after each other, and this family produces some of the most unique and enjoyable stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

HC: Although the book is pretty new, it’s been a long time coming for you as an artist. What kinds of projects did you take on to stay afloat as an artist?

LD: I worked on various genres, but mainly sci-fi and fantasy comics. I’ve also done slice of life, superhero, and zombie western stories. As much as I rave about how brilliant and perfect it working on Shutter is, every past project has a warm place in my heart. Without these stepping stones, I never would have made it here and though working on these past projects hasn’t always been a dream, I appreciate the good and bad that came with all of them and the creators I’ve worked with.

HC: On a similar note, which books other than Shutter can we find your work on?

LD: A few years ago, where it kind of started, was ESCAPE FROM TERRA, a libertarians in space web comic. I claim pencil, ink, color, and writing credits depending on when you jump in the story. It’s still online at Big Head Press. Next, I self-published a book of short comics called THE FOX WITCH AND OTHER TALES. I also art directed two volumes of the Denver-based literary and arts series, CELLAR DOOR. More recently, I did a zombie western with Fried Comics, DEADSKINS, which is still slowly being released online on their website. Lastly, I’m still finishing up the fourth and last issue of THE PANTHEON PROJECT, written by Erik Taylor, soon to be printed with Action Lab at the end of this year.

Photo taken from The Pantheon Project's Facebook page
Photo taken from The Pantheon Project‘s Facebook page

HC: How do you get the most out of the comic book scene in Denver as a professional?

LD: By being social, showing up to events, making friends, connection with other professionals. So much of comics is just networking.

HC: Joe Keatinge is known for his crazy imagination. How does his creativity fuel yours?

LD: In probably every way… His unbelievable imagination and ideas inspire me to create the best, most imaginative images I can. We’ve said a couple times that our mutual desire to impress one another is in large part what drives this comic.

HC: For being a new artist, you get a ton of gorgeous, full-page spreads. Is that something Keatinge pushes for, or is that something you present to him?

LD: Joe definitely is the one with all the great double page spreads, and 16 and 9 panel grid page ideas. He leaves other page layout stuff to me, but he really knows what needs a full page, what sequence needs a different type of panel layout, etc. He knows how to pace a story and what’s important to emphasize on a page.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.04.41 PM

HC: The various animals in Shutter are a huge selling point for me: foxes riding triceratops, lions in mobster suits, you know – the usual. Is there something that draws you to anthropomorphic characters over humans?

LD: I wouldn’t say I prefer them to humans, but I equally enjoy them just as much. I love giving characters personalities and it’s a different kind of challenge when I have to do that with an anthro character. Also, for the record, I never told Joe that I wanted to draw anthropomorphic characters, I just said I wanted to draw anything and everything and that’s what he gave me, and I’m super happy he did because they’re all a blast!

HC: Which of these characters around Kate is your favorite and can you give us a hint at any more of the insanity coming up?

LD: Awe man, I’d have to say Ekland is my favorite. She’s so fun to draw and I love her personality, her pointy samurai gear, her mohawk–everything! As for the insanity coming up, no spoilers for you! I think I already leaked some crazy things that happen in issue 4 to the internet so I don’t want to give any more away. But rest assured…there is a lot more insanity. Shutter wouldn’t be Shutter without it.

ekland

HC: Where is the best place for fans to connect with you?

LD: Probably Twitter, @leiladelduca, or DeviantArt, leilasedai.deviantart.com. Or the Shutter letters column email, shuttercomics@gmail.com.

 

The artwork posted belongs to Leila del Duca and Image Comics.

 

Denver Comic Con 2014- Cosplay… Day Three

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

 

The last day of Denver Comic Con wrapped up a wonderful weekend by wearing wonderful Cosplay, of course!  Check out what everyone wore below!

Denver Comic Con 2014 Interview- Lewis Brown

Hush Comics and Colorado local artist Lewis Brown were meant to meet.  Lewis has attended many of the same events we have attended in the last year.  We have watched his art grow in the last few months, which has been amazing to see.  We got the chance to interview him before this year’s Denver Comic Con.  You can find him at All C’s Collectibles booth working on charitable art for Aurora Rise, as well as selling prints.

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

 

Hush Comics: What is your origin story?

Lewis Brown: I grew up the son of a Trekkie, I and would stare at covers of Sci-Fi books my mom read.  So Sci-Fi is in my blood. My father was rumored to have the ability to draw.  Those traits started to show in me at an early age.  I had the need to draw.  I would also create complex Lego battles. I have worked at being a comic artist since 5th grade. I have been studying anatomy since then just to develop the skills to create the stuff in my head.

HC: Where are you from?

LB: Denver, Colorado

HC:  How did you get into comics?

LB: My mom took me to a 7-11.  She said I could choose between a comic or a ball of candy.  I chose the comic.

HC: What was the first comic you read?

LB: The Daredevil/ Captain America crossover in the 1980’s.   I have no recall of what the story was about I just remember the anatomy and details of the art.

HC: Who are your comic book inspirations?

LB: Jim Lee, Stjepan Sejic, Marc Silvestri, Michael Turner, Joe Mad, and Greg Capullo.

HC: What was the moment you realized that you wanted to be a professional in this business?

LB: I think I was nine or a little younger.   Just reading comics and watching morning cartoons like Super Friends.
Then seeing my mom come home tired and depressed from her day job. I realized that comic animation and art in general would be my happiness to get me through the formalities of life.

HC: What are your long-term goals in the industry?

LB: I want to be like Stan Lee.  I want to create my own universe and give new entertainment ideas for movies, games, etc.

Lewis Brown art
Sinett and the Silent Rock by Lewis Brown.

HC: What is your dream job?

LB: In the long term, I want to produce a movie.  In the short term, I want to start my own comic company.  I have a big story I’ve been working on for about seven years plan on releasing the first issue in 2015.

HC: What do you think are the best comic books/stories out right now?

LB: I really like Top Cow Universes like Artifacts and Darkness and Batman Death of the Family.

HC: How well-connected do you feel to the Denver comic community?

LB:  I feel pretty well connected, like, I’m teaming up with All C’s Comics and the Aurora Rise Century 16 fundraiser at Denver Comic Con to do some free sketches.  I plan on doing a book release/signing at All C’s in a month or so.  I’m actually trying to merge comic geek with hip-hop. I mostly fall into the hip-hop, skater, hipster type crowd I guess.  Shout out to Hush Comics, Geek Street Society, Drink and Draw groups, and any other groups starting their own movements.  I’ve done DCC for 3 years now so things have definitely developed over time.

HC: Where can the masses see your work?

LB: Facebook, Facebook, Facebook.  You can find me as Lewis Brown.  I am on Instagram and coming soon I will have a Deviant Art.   Look for me at the All C’s booth or the Aurora Rise table.

The artwork posted belongs to Lewis Brown.

 

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Cosplay… Day One

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

 

Denver Comic Con was in full force on Day 1 with some awesome Cosplay!  Check out what Hush Comics saw and come back tomorrow to see Day 2!

Denver Comic Con 2014 Interview – Gerry Mulowayi

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

 

Hush Comics was lucky enough to meet Colorado artist Gerry Mulowayi at this years ComicFest.  He was happy to oblige us with an interview just before this year’s Denver Comic Con.  You can meet him in Artist’s Alley this weekend, and even pick up some of his work!

Gerry M.

Hush Comics: What is your origin story?

Gerry Mulowayi: My origins start at the age of 7. I had accompanied my mother to get her hair done at a friend’s house. Once there, she started a conversation with her friends, something which I had no interest in, so I went inside the house to watch some cartoons. Sitting right in front of television set was another kid; he was a little older than me. Surrounding him were tons of pages and comics, and he asked me to sit down and draw with him. I told him I didn’t know how, so he grabbed some tracing page and showed me how it worked. I grabbed a comic called Lucky Lucke (a French Cowboy) and traced its cover, and I remember the feeling I had after that. It felt like a switch had been pulled.

HC: That is awesome!  Where are you from?

GM: I come from the African nation of Zaire, which was its name at the time. Now you might know it has the Democratic Republic of Congo.

HC:  How did you get into comics?

GM:  I was a fan of comics from a young age, and I had the skill.  But it wasn’t until I met my counselor in 5thgrade that I really started to push for it. She’s the one who got me hooked.

HC: What was the first comic you read?

GM: The first comic was Peter Parker Spiderman #88. When I first came to the States I had some difficulties to say the least. So I started seeing a counselor and she helped me get adjusted. She would copy some pages from a comic book and request a weekly report from my teachers on how I was doing in my classes. If all was good, I would get those pages at the end of the week. If not, then I wouldn’t get those pages.

Zulu Africanis by Gerry Mulowayi.
Zulu Africanis by Gerry Mulowayi.

HC: Who are your comic book inspirations?

GM: I’ve had many, but the strongest ones would have be Stan Lee, Michael Turner, J.Scott Campbell, Dwayne McDuffie, Carlos Meglia, Hergé, Jack Kirby, and Bruce Timm

HC: What was the moment you realized that you wanted to a professional in this business?

GM: I didn’t like the job I was doing and I felt like I was wasting my skill. So one day a friend of mine wrote my name in a craft show application. So I showed up at the event and people bought my art and I made some money that day. So that’s kind of what started it all.

HC: That is really inspiring for all up and comers.  What are your long-term goals in the industry?

GM: I’d like to teach and show other people how I did it, and encourage them to do so if they like to. The world of comics can always use more perspectives and ideas.

HC: What is your dream job?

GM: My dream job would be to become a cover Graphic Illustrator; this job would allow me to work on a wide range of projects and designs. But more importantly it’s a job that I could put my heart in and work at my own pace.

Knightfall by Gerry Mulowayi.
Knightfall by Gerry Mulowayi.

HC: What do you think are the best comic books/stories out right now?

GM: The All New X-Men is one book I’ve been following.  It just finished the trial of Jean Grey and that was pretty good. Beyond that I’d say Superior Spider-Man was a really interesting take on the character that I really enjoyed.

HC: We agree!  How well-connected do you feel to the Denver comic community?

GM: I’d say I’m getting there, I feel that in these last couple of years with the Comic Con and Starfest my name is starting to get out there.

HC: Where can the masses see your work?

GM: You can see my work on Facebook at The Art of Gerry Mulowayi, on DeviantArt under the name blaneblue and on Amazon.com I’ve got an art book available also under my name. I’ll be at this year Denver Comic Con table F38!

all art is property of Gerry Mulowayi.