If you are not already watching Wynonna Earp, there’s no excuse! Season 1 is on Netflix, we’re half way through an exciting Season 2 on Syfy and the big news at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday was that Season 3 is go.
Maddy was able to talk to the cast – Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna Earp, herself), Shamier Anderon (Agent Dolls), Tim Rozon (Doc Holliday), Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Waverly), Katherine Barrell (Officer Nicole Haught), Varun Saranga (Jeremy), Tamara Duarte (Rosita Bustillos), Wynonna Earp creator Beau Smith & show runner Emily Andras at Comic-Con and it was really fun. And while it’s mostly all the questions a feminist teenager wants to know (though we didn’t have a lot of time — so it wasn’t ALL the questions we wanted answered), we have to warn you there might be some spoilers if you aren’t caught up with the current season.
You can tell in the interviews how genuinely nice and amazing everyone is on this show. Is it because they are Canadian? Or is it because such they are just so happy to be one of the best shows on TV right now (maybe of ever)?
It’s true that 2016 was kind of a dumpster fire, but thought we’d think really (really, really) hard about it & come up with the best things of 2016. And after like an hour, we realized that there were some great moments.
Like we started high school at OCSA, went to Hawaii, got into Club 33, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Studios, we were extras in Hairspray, saw Hedwig, Book of Mormon, Beautiful & Newsies, had some great times with our friends, got to interview some of our favorite writers & actors, went to a bunch of cons, and took in some amazing memes, TV, comics, books, & movies. Things were really good when they weren’t bad and we’re grateful.
So this week, we give you the best of last year….and look ahead to more good stuff in 2017.
It’s a New Year, a new me, and another 361 days of geekdom to look forward to! I started off this New Year by cruising the Internet and catching up on some geek updates and what caught my eye was the convention news. Usually, December/January is slow for cons, so I was shocked to find multiple stories that really caught my attention.
Some were positive, like diversity and inclusive Universal Fan Con getting fully funded. It looks awesome and needed and you should check it out. I’m a backer and I’ll see you there in April 2018. Others were sad, like the complete collapse of con company Geek Expos after they unsold their Marvelous New Year’s Eve Con with Stan Lee. It was a cool concept, but ultimately poorly promoted in a city that just couldn’t support it. And then I saw this next piece of news, which just pissed me off.
Phoenix Comic Con announced a new way for fans to apply for the volunteer army that works their convention each year. They want them to pay a yearly fee of $20 for the chance to apply. Amongst other things, I am not really sure that they understand the meaning of the word “volunteer.” It’s not a refundable fee either. This is going straight into the con’s pockets. PCC stated that they are doing this to ensure that volunteers do not just take the badge and not complete their volunteer shifts.
Here are the flaws with that plan. People bailing on their volunteer hours is still going to happen, even with paying. A $20 weekend pass isn’t as good as a free one, but it’s still cheaper than the full $55 price. But wait, they say. They will ban volunteers who do exactly that! But what was stopping you from doing that before??? If you want more reliable staff at your con, then hire people like ReedPop does. Or overbook your volunteer staffers so you have plenty of people. See who shows up for volunteer training and who doesn’t and keep records. Use the new popular tap system so many conventions are using so that you can deactivate badges from wayward volunteers, or only give them a badge for the day they are working. Do anything but forcing them to pay for the ability to apply to volunteer with no guarantee of getting the spot.
A good chunk of volunteers are people who don’t have the disposable income for tickets or for fees. I know this first-hand, as at one point I was one of them. I volunteered and I had a great time, meeting people and hanging out. So much so that I kept volunteering at that con, just for the experience. Volunteering is great and I highly recommend that everyone try volunteering at least once for the experience.
The thing that keeps making the story worse is that the convention is now getting into public fights. The con director and a former volunteer/vendor have been duking it out in comments. It’s a petty he said/she said fight. It became such a big comment war that Bleeding Cool even published an article about what happened in their comment section. What happened to the unwritten rule to not read the comments?
Volunteers are usually a convention’s biggest and most dedicated fans. Treating your fans with respect shouldn’t be a stretch for a business. It’s true, some people wrongly try to game the system. Those people should be banned, with no question. But don’t use the few bad apples as an excuse to abuse the rest. Cherish your fans or they will eventually abandon you.
This past week, Unshaven Comics was once again given the most sincere and polite brush off from a show promoter to be a part of the Artist Alley. The show was ReedPop’s C2E2, in Chicago.
For the record: Unshaven Comics has never missed exhibiting at this show. We consider it our home show. But a few years back, we were denied access to the part of the floor where we feel the most comfortable. We were faced with a hard choice — pay over twice the cost to have a table in the Small Press area, or forgo the show. We bit the bullet. We sold our beards off. And we still made profit.
For the record, Unshaven Comics is not a small press company in my estimation. We’re a studio that produces a single book, penalized for having the gall to want to share a single 8-foot table.
I’m not going to lie: I’ve been bitter ever since. Bitter still now, the third year in a row I have cut a check for a larger sum of money than I’d like, to ensure our localish fans know we still are alive and well.
Am I mad at the promoter, ReedPop? No. I don’t even fear repercussions for posting this op-ed. Reed isn’t concerned about the comings and goings of a speck of dust on the outskirts of the indie comic market. For as much as I’d like to inflate my resume of comic bookery, the simple truth is if Unshaven turned off the lights in the studio tomorrow maybe a few dozen people would really notice. I’m not saying this for pity. I’m just well-aware of the beast we’re trying to slay. In the land of content, he who can only produce (at best) a book a year, is not high in demand.
ReedPop, as all show promoters, are in business to do one thing: get butts in a building, spending wads of cash. And with the advent of on-demand printing, digital publishing, and affordable content creation tools out there, the industry feels choked to the nines with creators all vying for the same spaces. Granted, some of these artists are just trying for a quick smash-and-grab, applying a few filters and a few simple style choices to produce a litany of printed kitsch meant to attract the lowest common denominator. This is a topic for a whole other piece.
At the end of the day, show promoters must choose from those who apply for their space who will best attract those aforementioned butts. Whatever their selection process may be, Unshaven Comics must adhere to the same application rules as literally every other artist in line. Whatever boxes we check or don’t check off is all in the eye of the beholder. But this article isn’t really in defense of those choices. I am not a show-promoter. I know some amazing show-promoters. They have an unenviable job in my humblest of estimations. I write this week to tell you honestly how it feels to be told we’re not good enough.
But before I do, let me dog-pile on the pity party. C2E2’s rejection of Unshaven for their Alley wasn’t the least bit surprising to me. Since we’ve upgraded to the small press area the last few years, I believe we’re earmarked as suckers who they know will pay… and so we pay. And we still make it work. So it goes. It’s the combination of their rejection compounded on being recently turned away on a pair of smaller local shows that really shook me more than I’d honestly thought they would.
To hear from shows that are in my backyard declining to offer my studio a spot while I see literally dozens of my friends and colleagues being welcomed as guests of honor leaves me feeling truly rejected. On the precipice of finishing the final chapter in our Samurnauts mini-series (seriously… it’s being colored right now. We’re so close I can almost taste it.), 2017 is a do-or-die year for me and my bearded brethren. Every show counts. Every show is an opportunity to declare victory over a beast that has taken five years to slay. And to be told we’re not good enough, while our friends are lauded with social media call-outs is a gut punch I’m finding hard to shake off.
We have an amazing fan base. That I can include people like Mike Gold, Martha Thomases, John Ostrander, and Glenn Hauman amongst them is one of those little factoids that keep my heart beating and pen moving every night. That we still have fans — strangers met at conventions who have purchased our wares and continue to support us — clamoring for Unshaven to continue to fight our way into any show that will have us? Well, it’s the lit matches I’ll continue to use every time our fire begins to dim.
And I know right now, this article may be reaching any number of compatriots in the exact same boat as my little production house. Talented, driven creators being denied access to tens of thousands of potential customers… all so the guy who just sells posters of cheesecake pinups or indie darlings whose ‘zines aren’t worth the artisanal rice paper they’re printed on can hock their wares next to the same standby medium-famous artists and celebrities that are always there. Well, to you, I say be bitter with me.
We live in a gilded age, whether you believe it or not. There are more cons out there now than ever before. So, if ReedPop says no, so be it. Take the anger and the money you would have dropped on that show and find another. And another. Take your books to the local comic shop, and offer to do a signing. Do anime shows. Book shows. Craft fairs. Flea markets. Go anywhere and everywhere. And keep making your comics and art. The more you produce, the better you’ll become. The better you become, the better your product. And eventually, the better your product, the more people will notice. Those people have butts. And those butts wind up walking into big shows. And with that…
…you just might be see the acceptance you deserve. If you don’t believe me, be my guest and quit. More room for Unshaven Comics.
Maddy has become quite the Voltron geek since Netflix launched it’s new revival of the classic anime. At San Diego Comic Con, she got to interview show Executive Producers Joaquim Dos Santos & Lauren Montgomery and head writer Tim Hedrick.
Maddy & Anya are setting forth on their 3rd year covering San Diego Comic-Con International for ComicMix and as the Tweeks plan what to see and squee over, they share some of their picks for the best of SDCC 2016 for those lucky to hold passes, as well as those who are just coming down to the Gaslamp Quarter to soak in this crazy nerd fest.
Some topics covered are Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet, Jeremy Jordan, Sherlock, Marvel, Chris Pratt, Anna Faris is Unqualified, Ghost-mode free Lyft rides, local geek theatre from Turning Tydes, Supergirl, Supernatural, the Yelp! Pokemon Go filter, Voltron, We Bare Bears, Steven Universe, Moana, Wynonna Earp, and Nerd HQ. We also sing.
Follow The Tweeks on social media for all kinds of Con updates, like which celebrities are #TeamAnya & which are #TeamMaddy, and the chance to win free swag at our booth appearances (otherwise known as when we need to charge our phones & sit down for a bit in the ComicMix booth).
One of our favorite parts of attending cons is watching the cosplayers. We know that not everyone is a fan, and that’s too bad, because it’s such a creative way to show fandom. Though maybe after watching the documentary, Cosplay Dreams 3D, those who haven’t embraced cosplayers will. The film focuses on cosplay celebrities as well as those who just do it as a fun hobby. It’s the stories about the people under the costumes that really make the movie. Though the 3D effects and really cool costumes don’t hurt either.
At WonderCon, we not only got to see a screening of the movie, but we also had a chance to interview the filmmakers Christine and Gulliver Parascandolo (who are San Diegans like us — so we get why they would be inspired by Comic Con to make this movie). It’s very much Tweeks-Approved and once you watch our review, we know you’ll want to watch.
If you want to see Cosplay Dreams, you can find out where it’s playing on their Facebook Page. Upcoming showings are at the LVL UP Expo in Las Vegas on May 31st or on the opening night of the New Media Film Festival in LA.
You may never own one or even ride one, but you probably will agree that motorbikes can be cool. We take you right into the heart of they matter as we look at The History Channel series, BIKER BATTLEGROUND PHOENIX. Plus The Avengers get a makeover and ComicCon here we come!
English: Edgar Wright at the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
…these movies are all so intertwined from a business/perception perspective that Marvel can no longer afford to roll the dice on a hip, genre-subverting superhero film that might not do Winter Soldier numbers on its opening weekend. Letting Wright walk away makes Marvel look bad to film-geek Twitter, but if the box-office headline after Ant-Man opened were anything but ANT-MAN SQUASHES COMPETITION, it would call into question the viability of the whole Movieverse.
Paul Smith asked one question last week that would have been answered an entirely different way if not for a call where it was made clear that the only way Milestone will get any damn respect is the way I’ve gotten respect all my damn life.
What I’m about to say is my opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Denys Cowan and Derek Dingle both of which told me to calm down and ‘not do anything stupid.’
Paul, you my friend are about to become a very real part of Milestone history. It’s doubtful that after this that history will include me but just think what a story you will have to tell.
Paul, you wanted to know if I thought Milestone would be better off away from DC?
Yesterday morning the answer was no.
Yesterday late morning the answer was oh, HELL YEAH.
There’s a new editor at DC. She’s a woman and a person of color she has been given an editorial position which includes overseeing future Milestone projects.
How is that anything but great for Milestone?
I’ll tell you why: because she’s about as knowledgeable of the Dakota Universe as the Pope is about who killed Tupac and Biggie.
From the very little I could understand she headed up a pretty successful comic book company in India and was been hand picked by Jim Lee to head DC’s new diversity push.
The new head of diversity at DC had no idea Static was Black.
But wait—there’s more!
The new head of diversity and DC’s new Milestone point person is spearheading the Milestone Audio Books being announced at this year’s Comic Con.
Did I let that tightly guarded little secret slip?
I’m overreacting right? So what if she did not know anything about the Milestone universe? Who cares if she didn’t know Static was Black? She could learn all those things right?
She could and very well will. However there’s another and bigger reason I’m FURIOUS!
It’s impossible to understand her!
She has the thickest accent known to man; of this I’m positive. She sounds like a freakin’ customer service rep from the lowest bidding company in the history of India an American company ever outsourced to.
That was the extent of most of the Milestone side of the conversation. I swear at any moment I just knew she was going to ask me for an account number—and who knows, she may have.
I’m sure this is a knee jerk response to Marvel’s recent success with diversity. Marvel’s timing on the Black Avengers, Black Spiderman and Muslim Ms. Marvel seemed perfect. Perhaps DC thought they were running out of time to make a big diversity splash and couldn’t wait until Comic Con when the series will be announced.
Sometime timing isn’t everything. I wrote an entire damn article apologizing for missing my ComicMix Tuesday deadlines and yes I’m well aware its freakin’ Wednesday but you can still understand what you’re reading, can you not?
The head of diversity at DC Comics should not have to be told Static is Black. Anyone charged with a product where SOUND is the single most important element MUST be heard loudly and clearly.