Emerald City Comic Con 2015 … Cosplay Day Three

Sunday wrapped up the weekend at ECCC 2015 just the way it should have: with AMAZING Cosplay! Well done Seattle!

 

All images were taken by Hush Comics co-owner Adrian Puryear. Please ask permission before re-posting.

Emerald City Comic Con 2015 … Cosplay Day Two

Saturday at ECCC proved that Seattle really knows how to Cosplay. We were blown away at the creativity on display!

All images were taken by Hush Comics co-owner Adrian Puryear. Please ask permission before re-posting.

Emerald City Comic Con 2015 … Loot!

Emerald City Comic Con has it all… the celebs, the comic book stars, a sea of Harley Quinn and Deadpool cosplay as far as the eye can reach. But they also have some really cool stuff, too. Here is some of the loot we picked up on our travels!

Emerald City Comic Con 2015 … Cosplay Day One

Emerald City Comic Con is upon us again! We spend most of our day in the Main Hall for some amazing panels, but we were also able to grab some great Cosplay pictures today! Way to nerd out, Seattle!

All images were taken by Hush Comics co-owner Adrian Puryear. Please ask permission before re-posting.

Yesterday in the Nerd Verse Feb 21, 2015

It’s Oscar night tonight. Or as we like to call it here at Hush, The Walking Dead night. As John Oliver would put it, “The Oscars: why is this still a thing?”

Speaking of zombies, how do you introduce a new undead series and make it a smash hit? Well, you recruit Matt Smith (11th Doctor in Doctor Who), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones), and now John Bradley (Sam Tarly from Game of Thrones) to star in Patient Zero. There isn’t a lot of info released about the upcoming series, but I do know that British people + zombies = win. Source: The Mary Sue

If you didn’t get enough Interstellar the first time around (judging by Adrian’s review, she certainly did not), you can check it out again in theaters starting yesterday – this time with 12 minutes of unseen footage AND a BOGO free offer at AMC theaters. Source: AMC

I swear, I read it for the articles. Playboy has an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming graphic novel sequel to Fight Club, published by Dark Horse Comics. It will be released at the end of May. Source: Playboy

Zim will be Invading the comic book world, spelling DOOM for Oni Press and all their readers in July. Mwhahahaha.

Alura Zor-El, Supergirl’s mother, has been cast for the upcoming Supergirl CW series. The role goes to Laura Benanti (Nashville) and will be recurring, which makes me think “flashbacks!” Source: Deadline

Lara Croft used some of those extra pixels and gave herself some clothing! Check out the new gear she’ll be sporting in the PS4/XBO release of Rise of the Tomb Raider. Source: Game Informer

Anybody up for Hugh Jackman eventually playing Old Man Logan? If Jacked Man had it his way, he’s play the part of Wolverine forever. Source: E! Online

Who wins in a fight against the Avengers: Age of Ultron and the most anticipated boxing match of the decade? Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are set to face off on May 2nd. I say we are the real winners. Source: ESPN

Black Widow Scarlett Johansson has teamed up with other female artists to create “super pop” as The Singles. Check out their first track, “Candy” at the link. Source: Rolling Stone

Oh, and San Diego Comic Con sold out in an hour – a record-breaking sell-out time. BUT! You can find Hush Comics wondering around Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle at the end of March. They actually have comic book creators there.

Well it seems FOX’s own golden goose, Bill O’Reilly, is under fire for exaggerated claims of his coverage of the Falklands War. Fresh on the heels of Brian Williams drama, I think it’s great we are holding journalists and reporters accountable for their stories. However, I’m much more appalled at the actual bullshit they cover more so than who almost got Gumped (shot in the buttocks) in a war zone. Just my two cents… Source: Former CBS Colleague Eric Jon Engberg’s Facebook

“Respect My Craft” – Stephen Amell

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Name: Stephen Amell

Profession: Actor

Notable WorkArrow (2012-present), Hung (2011), Private Practice (2012)

“We’re making a kick ass show. We will continue to make a kick ass show. And I will continue to interact and provide interesting content for our fans. Because I love our fans. If every once and a while, some dickweed wants to pull a headline out of thin air to generate page views, then that’s the price we pay.” – Stephen Amell

 

The quote you see above is from an angry Stephen Amell in response to a member of the media “leaking” fabricated rumors that Amell was in talks to be a part of the Justice League movie, announced for 2016. You see, that kick ass show that Amell was referring to is Arrow, one of the hottest television shows out right now – and possibly the best live-action superhero show ever on the small screen. I’m actually sitting here writing this article as I re-watch the Season 3 finale of Arrow. I realize that, even though this is really Stephen Amell’s breakout role – his presence on it has been a contributing factor to why it is so phenomenal.

The Canadian sensation has stayed humble through the transition into stardom. It hasn’t been an instant rise to fame for Amell; it took nearly a decade-long career to get casted as Oliver Queen in Arrow. Like many actors without a pedigree, he got his start with small roles in popular television shows. The first of which was Showtime’s Queen as Folk, where he played a spin instructor. Spin class, for those who don’t know, is a gym class where a group of people vigorously ride stationary bikes to the tempo of music. Vigorously. Ironically enough, Amell was actually a spin instructor in real life prior to breaking into the business – which he had been training for since taking acting classes in high school.

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Amell expanded his repertoire when he was cast on the gay super-natural soap opera, Dante’s Cove, home to some pretty risqué dude-on-dude scenes – Amell excluded, sorry ladies and/or fellas, if you’re into that. He proved early on that he is comfortable with his sexuality, playing a gay prostitute in the third season of HBO’s Hung, a role that he apparently didn’t tell even his parents about (probably because he didn’t have this awesome video to break the news with). Aside from playing Arrow, his role of Jason has been his longest-running. His openness to trying roles like this led to a slew of other opportunities, from CSI and NCIS to the award-winning Canadian shows like HeartlandRent-A-Goalie and ReGenesis. Amell also played Brady the Werewolf in The Vampire Diaries. The CW, the channel that hosts both TVD and Arrow, likes to keep their actors in the family, which led to his audition – and prompt casting – for the part of Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow.

If you’re going to choose a character to get type-casted as, a billionaire crime-fighter isn’t the worst. Green Arrow has been a dark horse favorite among DC Comics characters – which is great, considering he is often in the shell of Batman (oddly enough, Arrow will be competing with FOX’s Gotham drama based on the Dark Knight). Nothing comes easy to Queen, and it shows through the stream of flashbacks to the island Queen was stranded on.  This is such an impressive feat for Amell, who must portray both a character living a current-day double life, and a character in progression – a guy who goes from entitled douche to unlikely hero.

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The dreaded Salmon Ladder. Stephen Amell does his own stunts, thank you very much.

Now, Stephen Amell doesn’t just play a hero on television; he’s kind of one in real life. Most people by now have heard of Batkid, but just in case you haven’t, I will give a little background. Miles was a kid who had battled leukemia and was in remission. His one wish was to save the city of Gotham with Batman. The entire city of San Francisco was transformed in Gotham City and Batkid went around foiling the nefarious plots of many of Batman’s greatest foes. In what could be considered the greatest nod to Batkids work, Stephen posted a video on his Facebook as Oliver Queen with Diggle and Felicity. He is talking to his partners about how there is absolutely no criminals to fight thanks to the heroics of Batkid and thanks to him he gets to go out and enjoy dinner for a night.

It goes further than that. He has one of the best Facebook pages known to man, which he frequently uses to interact with fans and post hilarious memes making fun and promoting the show. Amell also found time to voice the Arrow version of the Green Arrow (regular version played by Alan Tudyk) character in the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game. Aside from posting memes, Amell uses social networking as a platform for the various cancer research causes that he believes in, stemming from his mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer. To name a few: he recently auctioned an autographed Arrow statue away (going for over $25K on eBay at time of writing) for a cancer patient, he attends fundraiser balls in the name of awareness (Boobyball and Fuck Cancer, to name a couple).

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How he manages to juggle being the hardest working actor in television with his wife, former America’s Next Top Model contestant, Cassandra Jean, and their baby girl, Mavi, is anybody’s guess. Plus, he’s now an expert archer, or at least what he told us at his panel at Emerald City Comic Con, he has the form of an expert archer. The humanitarian aspect he brings to the table, coupled with his work ethic – and workout ethic, sets him apart from the rest of the industry. How lucky we are to have Amell spearhead the superhero television revolution. Oliver Queen should take notes.

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None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (DC Comics). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with the voice actor that raised a generation, Jim Cummings.

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

Weekend Wrap-Up…March 30, 2014

With Adrian and Sherif in the wonderland that is Emerald City Comic-Con, I will be taking over the weekly news updates, and since we weren’t able to publish on Wednesday, this edition is PACKED with nerdcore details.

Think there is such a thing as too much Spiderman?  Marvel, Spidey writer Dan Slott and Hush all disagree!  Get ready for the Spider-verse!!

Speaking of ol’ web-head, I knew it wouldn’t take long before Disney got on their corporate high horse and decided to be a dick to Stan Lee, telling him that he doesn’t own Spider-Man. It’s the equivalent of telling your grandpa that his service in Vietnam didn’t mean shit for your freedom. Shame on you Disney. Respect your elders; I mean, the guy is twenty years younger than Walt Disney himself and has arguably brought just as much joy to the world.

This might be old news to some of you, but this is Batman’s 75th Anniversary (Detective Comics #27 debuted in May 1939). DC has announced their plans for the year to celebrate the Dark Knight.

On a somber note, original Batman TV series creator, Lorenzo Sempler Jr. passed away earlier this week.  Our cowls go off to Sempler who was truly a trailblazing force for one of the most iconic and popular heroes of all time.

EA says that upcoming Star Wars games will try to follow the Batman: Arkham model. Good news is that Arkham games are awesome. Bad news is that the last time EA tried to model something after another publisher, we got NBA Live 14. Why not emulate Mass Effect? We hear that was pretty good.

Looks like we’ll all be able to start liking our friend’s status in a whole new virtual world we wear on our face!!  Facebook purchased Oculus in a move that’s sure to make techies all over the world giddy.  What’s an Oculus you ask?  Think of ski-goggles that put you right in the middle of your favorite video game/virtual world.  Finally – something to take my Farmville experience to another level.

Been practicing your bending skills?  Compare how much progress you’ve made when Book 2 of the Legend of Korra hits DVD and Blu-Ray shelves – officially announced to be released on July 1st.

We all knew whoever was lucky enough to date S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Agent Coulson would have to be  able to hang with the likes of the Avengers.  Amy Acker (AngelDollhouse) is no stranger to action and adventure, so we think she’ll fit right in.  It’s also got us wondering – does Acker really know how to play the Cello?

AMC’s Comic Book Men got renewed for another season. They must really be hurting for new shows. I’m still wondering how they will cope with the end of Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Two options: ride The Walking Dead til the wheels fall off or put out a new version of Low Winter Sun every year.

Arnold is back at it again.  Schwarzenegger will play an aged cyborg in Terminator: Genesis, the next installment in the popular sci-fi series.  He did say he’d be back…

This next one left me shell shocked.  I’ve already donned my masked and strapped on my sais.  The first TMNT teaser is out.  Watch it as many times as you can while you wait for that pizza you just ordered.

Also teasing us this week is the first trailer for Hercules: The Thracian Wars.  This one is bound to be better than the other Hercules that dropped earlier this year.  I mean, it stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson pretty much as himself.  Can you smell what the demigod is cooking?

This kid is out of control and Hush is eating it up.

And it case you hadn’t heard – The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale premiers in a few hours!  Catch up on where our wayward survivors by reading our reviews!

Comic Book Reviews 03-26-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

Superior Spiderman #30 – A

We knew the end of Superior Spider-Man was approaching when an all-new Amazing Spider-Man was announced late January. However, the details of how it would come about were still up in the air. This issue unveils that mystery, and in spectacular fashion. Otto does the only thing he feels he can to end the terror of the Goblin. There are a lot of heart-felt, you-had-no-idea-this-was-coming moments, which makes it a tad unbelievable, but genuinely moving at the same time. The series wraps up in next issue, so don’t miss the thrilling conclusion to Superior Spider-Man where we find out who really is Superior. – S

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Blackout #1 – B+

A suit that lets you travel through shadows and dimensions?!  Now that’s a sweet concept.  And that’s exactly what readers get with Blackout #1.  What I really like about the start of this new Dark Horse series is that it’s not a cliché superhero comic.  It’s just an average scientist using a supercool suit to do supercool stuff.  Kinda like Ironman, but a lot more complex in premise.  Blackout is already shaping out to be one of Dark Horse’s more interesting series. – T

Tomb Raider #2 – B-

The story of the video game continues with the island coming home to haunt Lara. There is really no major indication of what the heck is going on but I assume that it will continue with the progression of Lara from beginner to seasoned adventurer. The part that I find most disappointing is that after years of her being a badass and for that matter a badass by the end of the game, she has regressed to an unknowledgeable non-badass that clearly contradicts what we have come to know. I am assuming and hoping that Gail Simone’s plan is to show her evolve into the badass we expect her to be. – R

DC/Vertigo:

Injustice: Year Two #3 – B

Just because a series isn’t canon doesn’t mean it can’t have impact. Superman’s totalitarian regime is just starting to dig its heels in to the rest of the world and there’s really nobody standing in its way – unless you count the entirety of the Green Lantern Corps. As the rest of the world falls in or out of favor with the Man of Steel, everything is getting real. Fast. I was pretty disappointed in the Batgirl/Oracle and Jim Gordon reveal, especially when Barbara was moments away from revealing herself in Batgirl. – S

IDW Comics:

Rocky and Bullwinkle # 1 – A-

The first of a four-issue Rocky & Bullwinkle special was great. If you have ever seen the classic show this issue will really bring back some good memories.  The whole time I was reading it, it felt just like watching the series with updated jokes to include modern culture; on top of the two part Rocky & Bullwinkle story in this issue, we get a short story for Dudley-Do Right where he has to thwart his nemesis Snidley Whiplash for the 349th time, supposedly. The style of Rocky & Bullwinkle lends itself to comics very nicely and makes me hope they extend this series beyond the four issues planned. It would be great to see shorts of Aesop’s Fables and Fractured Fairy Tales, as well, but I believe Dudley Do-Right is the main focus besides the title characters. Definitely a good read for anyone needing a laugh, anyone who enjoys classic animation, any comic aficionado, or any kids alive today. – JR

X-Files: Conspiracy #2 – B-

It is the final issue of the X-Files: Conspiracy series and it all goes out in a bang, well almost. Only one of the properties that had been included in this series makes an appearance in this issue, which was a bit of a let down.  We only see the man possessed by the Crow show up but it would have made me squeal with glee if we could have seen Egon, Michelangelo, Optimus Prime, and The Lone Gunmen together. Despite the absence of the other properties, this issue seemed rather simple. The conflict ends half way through the issue and gives us a look at an alternate reality. In doing this, it was rather upsetting because we had to see some people go through things I never wanted to see again… But hey, it was in a different reality so no worries, I guess. Ultimately, I feel this series was hyped up and looked way better than it was, but it is worth a read – and seeing The Lone Gunmen save the world once again is always a plus. – JR

Image Comics:

Deadly Class #3 – B

Deadly Class #3 was a good issue and I like that we gained more background story on a few of our characters; however, it doesn’t hold up to the standard set by the first two issues. There were minor story developments that got me excited to read the next few issues. I still believe that Deadly Class has been a great new comic and I hope it continues down the path set by the first 3 issues. – E

The Walking Dead  #124 – B-

Has anyone else noticed that there a now two guys named Carson in TWD? The Hilltop is under siege by Negan and The Saviors. Rick is rushed to Doctor Carson after being shot by Dwight’s arrow.  Eugene and his group are desperate to get back to help in the fight and he even kills his first man. The battle continues, Rick and their combined forces fight desperately to free the kingdom as Jesus and Michonne make a shocking discovery.  – JS

Well, there are only two more issues of All Out War; so far, the twelve issue run hasn’t really produced anything. All relationship building has been put on hold. A bunch of people have kicked the bucket, and the Negan has dropped the F bomb more times than The Wolf of Wall Street. I really do hope something happens here that will inspire me to keep reading past this arc. I never thought I’d say this, but the future of the book is in Dwight’s hands. Is the Two-Face looking gentleman a double agent, or just that much of a pussy? – S

The Revenge #2 – C+

This comic is just plain weird. It’s full of blood and boobs and dwarfs with horns… I don’t know. No matter how weird and strange it is, there are some pretty cool things about this comic. Based off some of the dialog from this issue, I am semi-confused about who is going to backstab who, but I don’t believe it really matters at this point. Overall, this comic is crazy and I am fairly interested to see how it progresses in the future. – E

Sex #12 – C+

The plot continues to stagnate to the point where I’m wondering when the hell something is actually going to happen. If the Armored Saint doesn’t show up in the next few issues I can’t see myself continuing to be interested in where this is going. If you are buying this for the sex scenes then I feel sorry for you because I am sure there has to be better stuff out there. As for this issue, the foreplay continues. There was finally some action but it didn’t come from the person we are all waiting to see. It is time to step it up or they are going to start losing readers. – R

Real Heroes #1 – C

In the first issue of Real Heroes, we are introduced to the super hero team The Olympians, or at least the actors that portray them. This seems to be a basic story that has been done before of the mistaken heroes being thought to be real. The story so far seems to be a super hero version of the film Galaxy Quest with heroes that seem to mimic famous ones, almost to a tee. Although the originality of the story and heroes is incredibly small, the villains and the set up are both very original. I feel this series may have a rocky start, as many people will give up on it due to the fact it has been done before, but ultimately it will likely end up becoming something so much more. It was hard to give this a C grade as it just seemed so bland so far, but just like every origin story you have to get past the hump to fully respect the material and the universe jumping, the huge brained aliens, as well as what seems to be the depiction of real actor types had me engaged despite the plot and idea behind it all. – JR

 

Marvel:

All-New Ghost Rider #1 – B+

I actually enjoyed the first issue of the All-New Ghost Rider. I appreciated how they developed a solid background history, and story line for the new character Robbie Reyes in such a short amount of time without making everything feel rushed. I can already tell by the way the first issue ended that there is going to be much more to come from this story and I’m actually pretty excited to read the next issues. Seeing that it is only the first issue, it has a lot of potential to be great or terrible; hopefully it will turn out to be a solid character and story. – E

Honestly, the story was just too short to really get the good debut that it definitely could have. We get to see the relationship between Robbie Reyes and his brother, and then we see Robbie’s character, and then somewhere in there his face melts off and he becomes the Ghost Rider. The art team did a great job; All-New Ghost Rider has a unique identity in color and shape, giving off a graffiti vibe. I’m really excited for #2, I just wish that there was more happening in #1. – S

Origin II #4 – B+

Talk about an interesting plot twist, I didn’t think this issue was going to go anywhere but by the end I was left a bit speechless. This issue we are finally given a little advancement on the plot, and not a moment too soon seeing as we only have one issue left after this. They still haven’t really let on to what the purpose of this origin sequel is but I heavily suspect that it shows the beginning of the eternal feud between Sabertooth and Wolverine. With only one issue to go I’m not sure how it’s all going to end but I look forward to the epic conclusion. – R

Amazing X-Men #5 – B-

Once it was announced that Nightcrawler was coming back in hi own series, I knew that his tenure in Heaven was to be short-lived. With that in mind, I still readily enjoy any time an X-team comes together to kick butt. The issue is a bit predictable, but Jason Aaron’s lucid writing keeps the story going, and fills in all the gaps with some truly funny quips. – I can’t wait to see the boy in blue again. – S

Hawkeye #18 – B

After a spectacular animal-centric issue in #17, we join Hawkeye Kate as she uncovers something fishy going on in Los Angeles. I’m usually a bit weary of issue built around here, but so much crazy stuff goes down, I couldn’t help but get sucked in. Trouble is a’brewin, as Kate has kicked the hornets’ nest. – S

Survive #1 – B

The world is in mourning in the wake of Galactus. Ultimate Cataclysm left us with Reed Richards branded as a terrorist,  Monica Chang blamed for the loss of human life and the deaths of Thor and Captain America. Most of this issue sat us in the back row of Steve Rogers’ funeral where Tony Stark delivered a heartfelt, although forced, eulogy. I personally expected Stark to deliver something a bit more grand to honor his Avenger brethren, but it served its purpose. The speech inspired new heroes to form, and by the end of the issue we are introduced to  The Young Ultimates. – JS

Silver Surfer #1 – B-

To be honest, I found this issue somewhat boring. I felt that a lot of it was very bland and there wasn’t much about this issue to keep me entertained. There was indeed action; however the way it was drawn and colored made the action panels look boring or dull. I didn’t feel much excitement from much of this comic. There were some interesting and cool things about this comic, though. With the introduction of a new “plant” and the story line that is about to develop is just enough to make me want to read more. Hopefully future issues will prove to be better. – E

All New X-Factor #5 – C+

If it wasn’t for amazing artwork and a story focused on a small core of fan-favorite mutants I would have but this series down three issues ago.  But something keeps pulling me back every few weeks!  All New X-Factor has developed into a story with two plots – one involving the interworking’s and secret motives of Serval Industries and it’s CEO Harrison Snow, the second being pure Marvel mutant action & adventure.  On the second front, I’m completely lost, BUT totally captivated due to the really engaging battle and action sequences.  My patience is wearing somewhat thin on the first front.  Die hard X-Men & Marvel fans are sure to love this, but an average Joe like me is struggling a bit.  That said, I’m still looking forward to the next issue. – T

Iron Patriot #1 – C

Tony Stark’s substitute teacher is back for another go. Admittedly, it was difficult to get excited about this title. As Iron Man hype dies down we are still well aware that his is the only hero arc we REALLY care about in his universe. James Rhodes is a less compelling character but this book seeks to change that perception. Iron Patriot vows to the world to “limit my involvement in military operations to those occurring on American soil.” The powers that be see this as a threat and plans are set in motion to put James and his niece Lila in harms way. – JS

Deadpool #26 – C-

I go back and forth with this series a lot. On one side, you gets arc like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. that make you believe that maybe there is some merit to a character like Deadpool. And then some months, you get crap like fighting MechaHitler with a time machine. Shames me to say it but this was actually a bit enjoyable – like smelling your own farts enjoyable. It seems like it’s only gonna get worse, as we go back to a groovin’ Wakanda next issue. This is why Deadpool fans can’t have nice things. – S

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 B, yielding a 3.00 (really?? one book? )

Marvel Comics: 1 A, 6 B’s and 3 C’s, averaging out to a 2.80

Independents: 1 A, 5 B’s and 3 C’s, averaging out to a 2.78

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib, Evan Lowe, Adrian Puryear, Taylor Lowe, Robert Michael, John Soweto and Jacob Robinson

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!