For almost 20 years (since I was five, Jean) I’ve given a party, a dinner, or both. For nearly that long I’ve hosted the Black Panel.
I’ve had some fantastic events to be sure, but I must say 2012 was my best event year ever. My best party, my best dinner and my best Black Panel.
That, if I say so myself, is saying something.
The party and my panel were reviewed by many news outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Comic Book Resources and the powerhouse Machinima.
Every year after the Black Panel, the haters come out in force. There are black people that hate the panel; there are white people that hate the panel.
Guess what? I win.
Until you haters get your own panel at Comic Con, throw your own party and get reviewed by some of the biggest news outlets in the world you are more than welcome to hate me.
I will endeavor to do what I can to continue to give meaning to your small life. I will continue to do great things so that you can go on the net and bitch that way you will feel important and in your mind you are.
You are a legend in your own mind.
I’ll be happy to comment on your success if in fact you were successful at anything except being a legend in your own mind.
So, haters continue to hate, because I win. Why do I win?
Because you are talking about me.
Who is talking about you?
Tuesday Afternoon: Emily S. Whitten and the Civil War
Wednesday Morning: Mike Gold, Creators’ Rights, and One Big Wrong
Electric Man, the micro-budget comedy shot in Edinburgh, has been selected for the prestigious San Diego Comic Con International Film Festival on July 13th – and is the only UK feature film to play at the world famous comic convention this year.
The film tells the story of Jazz and Wolf, two cash-strapped comic shop owners who need £5,000 in a hurry if they are to save their comic shop in Edinburgh. As luck would have it they chance across a copy of Electric Man issue 1 which just happens to be worth £100,000. But there are other people after the comic and it is soon lost, stolen, switched and switched again as Jazz and Wolf try to save both their business and their love lives.
Shot on a micro budget, the film has already gained BAFTA New Talent Awards nominations for its script and score as well as being shortlisted for Best Feature at the Celtic Media Festival. Selection for San Diego Comic Con places the film with the industry big hitters. The movie was selected as only one of three feature films to play this year’s festival from over 200 initial entries.
Director David Barras explains: “This is a game changer for us. We had already planned for digital distribution later in the year but we were going to limit that to the UK. Comic Con is enormous and we’re now looking to give the film a global launchpad. As a small independent movie we have to pick and choose where we go. But San Diego was the holy grail for us. Yes, it has blown a massive hole in the budget but we would be mad not to go. Who wouldn’t want to be at the same convention as Iron Man 3 and the new Superman movie?”
Cinema goers in London had the opportunity to see for themselves what all the fuss is about on Sunday 8th July, when the film played at The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Place. The film has already played to a sold out audience at the cinema in May but the team are bring it back to coincide with the London Film and Comic Con and give the capital’s movie goers a sneak peak before they fly to California for the film’s big night at Comic Con.
Electric Man is already a UK success story but the movie is far from your typical British fare. In an industry that is used to producing Scottish films that are usually about shooting up or shooting grouse, Electric Man is a distinct change of pace. Billed as ‘The Maltese Falcon meets Clerks’ the film makers have produced something set in the UK but with a definite American flavour.
You know you’re saving up to buy Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled but now you might need to save a little longer once you see the packaging. As revealed yesterday at MTV’s Splash Page. The package looks pretty sweet.
Additionally, Entertainment Weekly showed off the poster promoting the short film Item 47, which will be found on the Avengers Blu-ray disc. Copies of the poster will be given away following an Exclusive Premiere Screening at San Diego Comic Con later this week.
Here are the promotional details surrounding this event:
In anticipation of upcoming home entertainment release of Marvel’s The Avengers, Marvel is unleashing an all-new alternate reality game (ARG) that ultimately grants the first 300 fans with special access to an exclusive, premiere screening of Item 47, a Marvel One-Shot , fan experience & Special Filmmaker/Talent Q&A at Comic-Con.
Beginning on July 6th, Comic-Con attendees can download the all-new App – The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen App (at the iTunes store) – that will not only garner fans unprecedented access to exclusive content building up to the home entertainment release but also give them access to partake in the alternate reality game (ARG) at Comic-Con.
Beginning on Friday, July 13th, fans will be able to start solving special codes, that when unlocked, will guide them to their next clue. The App will also have a built in map of the Gas Lamp District in Downtown San Diego that will guide them to their location spots. There will be a total of 4 spots. Fans must complete the entire ARG experience in order to redeem access to the special screening.
WHAT: In celebration of James Bond’s Golden Anniversary, MGM and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment in partnership with EON Productions are bringing 007 to Comic-Con. Fans will be able to get behind the wheel of one of four famous vehicles featured in a past Bond film, with a new vehicle featured each day of the convention, and see props from the Bond archives representing 50 years of the iconic franchise.
Using RFID technology, attendees will be able to take a photo with the vehicle and have it instantly uploaded to their social media profile. Each day will feature a different Bond vehicle, so fans will have to check back in at booth #3528 with their RFID bracelets to see what’s new!
Fans will also be the first to get a sneak peek of the BOND 50 Blu-ray collection available September 25, 2012. Fans who pre-order the set on-site at Comic-Con will get an exclusive limited edition Bond 50th anniversary t-shirt.
BOND 50 features all 22 classic films on Blu-ray neatly packaged into one cool, sleek collectable box-set. The collection marks the debut of nine James Bond films previously unavailable in high definition Blu-ray and comes with a dossier of more than 122 hours of bonus features.
San Diego Comic Con, Friday, July 13th (Friday the 13th? Really?) 10:00-11:30.
The Black Panel— Michael Davis (The Littlest Bitch) returns to moderate the wildest panel at Comic Con, the Black Panel! Expect industry insight and outrageousness when Shaquille O’Neal (NBA On TNT, Shaq Entertainment), Jamie Kennedy (The Jamie Kennedy Experiment), Missy Geppi (President, Geppi‘s Entertainment Museum) Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained), E. Van Lowe (Earth Angel, the sequel to Boyfriend From Hell), and Steve McKeever (President Hidden Beach Records) as they field questions from the audience. The most entertaining and informative Q&A you’ll ever be a part of. It’s African American pop culture and then some! Room 5AB.
This ain’t just for black people, folks. Every year, it’s the don’t-miss panel of the San Diego Comic Con.
Comic Con is just around the corner, and Archie and the gang are all set for whatever adventures (or misadventures!) may come their way. Which one of the girls will win the Cosplay Costume Contest? Can Chuck Clayton strike a publishing deal for his new comics? And just how will the gang crack the Crooked Comic-Con Caper?! Explore the expanses of the convention floor with creators like Dan Parent, Fernando Ruiz, Alex Segura and Bill Galvan!
SAN DIEGO – June 26, 2012 – As it readies for its fifth season, the magical adventure of MERLIN returns to Comic-Con International when actors Colin Morgan and Katie McGrath, along with co-creators and executive producers Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps, lead a surprise-filled panel on Sunday, July 15.
The 10:30 a.m. panel, in Room 6BCF, will feature a Comic-Con-exclusive sneak preview of the upcoming season of MERLIN – which last season attracted its biggest audiences ever on both Syfy in the U.S. as well as BBC One in the U.K. Comic-Con fans will be the first in the world to get a glimpse of exactly what will become of the wickedly beautiful Morgana (Katie McGrath), the fate of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, and the role Merlin (Colin Morgan) will play in the future of Camelot.
The MERLIN panel will also feature a brand-new, fan-favorite blooper reel created by the producers especially for Comic-Con, as well as details of the soon-to-be-released MERLIN Facebook game.
It’s part of the growing magic of MERLIN, which fans at Comic-Con will also hear about – including an upcoming YouTube channel that will feature behind-the-scenes videos, deleted scenes and other special material from all four seasons of MERLIN.
Since its broadcast debut in 2009, MERLIN has become one of the most popular fantasy dramas in the world, winning acclaim from both critics and audiences. In its fourth season, MERLIN drew more than 8 million viewers in the U.K., while its U.S. ratings were its biggest ever – topping 2 million viewers – since it began airing on Syfy in 2010.
The series is produced and created by Shine Ltd. and distributed globally, in more than 180 countries, by FremantleMedia Enterprises. Its fifth season is currently in production in Wales and France.
MERLIN also stars Bradley James as Arthur, Angel Coulby as Guinevere, Richard Wilson as Gaius, and John Hurt as the voice of the Great Dragon Kilgharrah. The fifth season of MERLIN will begin airing this fall on BBC One, followed shortly by its U.S. premiere on Syfy.
Fans can keep up with all the latest news from Camelot at the Official MERLIN Facebook page or by following @MerlinOfficial on Twitter.
It was four years ago that Chris Crocker showed us what “going viral” would really mean with his Leave Britney Alone video on You Tube. Now Chris is back as the subject of a new HBO Documentary entitled ME @ THE ZOO. Chris fills us in on what life was like after You Tube. Also, get your wallet! Marvel Vs Capcom gives us the first cool ComicCon goodie so far.
A stroll around a comic convention is a lot different today than it used to be when it comes to experiencing original comic art which for me, as a young aspiring comic artist, was the highlight of any show. I would always immediately venture directly towards artist alley where pros and amateurs alike would form a welcoming community of comic art practitioners. To me it seemed less like an opportunity for the creators to market their work and more of a joyous reunion of folks with a common bond: The love of comics and a need to create them.
Maybe it is just a product of comic conventions no longer being the casual events they used to be, held in basement ballrooms of fading city hotels with the most sophisticated displays being a hand lettered card stock sign hung on a pipe and drape background. Professional comic artists were not viewed as the superstars they are today. They were heroes that we related to more like a favorite uncle who always new how to appeal to our inner child. Their art touched us in a personal way that established a relationship that was respected between them and their fans.
Those were the days when you did not wait in line to meet your favorite creator. At best you gathered around their table and shared as a group, listening to their stories, watching them sketch, and learning from their teachings which, though small casual tidbits of technique, were gems of insight into the magical world of creating comics.
Stacked high on their tables would be pages of original art that could be thumbed through and purchased for prices as low as ten or fifteen bucks! The opportunity to scan through those pages was a chance to stare into a window of a professional comics bullpen. Each page told a production story that was highlighted by the scents of bristol board and india ink often commingling with odors of white-out and rubber cement.
To be able to view those pages and see script notes in a corner, blue lines behind lettering, pen strokes appearing as a texture on the surface and brush strokes laying a deep wash in large shaded areas with a barely visible “x” etched in pencil beneath was a hands-on lesson in every page.
I always got a kick out of seeing revisions. Panels or words would be cut out with an x-acto and replaced with art that was cut to fit perfectly into the hole and secured from behind with a strip of masking tape. Splash pages had photostat logos pasted on leaving a trail of ever yellowing rubber cement beneath.
Every page was art, yet each was also just a mechanical, a production board from which final films would be photographed on large upright “stat” cameras. Each was a path of history, chronicling the creation of the page through the hands of the writer, penciler, letterer, inker, editor and production hand. Void of color, the line art resonated with a power of its own lending a new found appreciation for comics in black and white that would empower the independent comic publishers of the day.
It is still possible to marvel at original art at conventions but the atmosphere is so much more hurried that it is difficult to be absorbed into each piece. Those “uncles” are slowly passing away leaving a void where once was a nurturing wisdom behind the craft of each page. In its place is a new energy that is equally intoxicating, a new brand of comic artist with an entrepreneurial spirit hawking their own works.
It is thrilling to see the new, unlimited variety of comics, invigorating to see the community widening to include a wave of talented women that was always sadly lacking in that bygone era. What is missing is the original art, replaced by an ernest need to sell small print runs and assorted related merchandise or to direct readers to a growing web-comic. The art exists, but digitally, and can be panned easily on an iPad evoking a sterile creative process free of the sensory stimulators that fueled a personal romance with comic production in my formative years.
As I sit here at my keyboard, I’m suddenly realizing that I am now one of those “uncles” I came to embrace. Not that I could hold a candle to any of them but I have an opportunity to share from my experiences, as they did, only from the venue of this blog instead of a convention table. The new generation of comic creator, who creates digitally, shares too, through all kinds of forums and social networks on the internet. An aspiring comic creator no longer has to wait, as I did, for an annual comic convention to experience the knowledge of a comic pro, they can watch a tutorial on Youtube or follow a comment thread on Facebook!
Yes, I miss the sensory experience of the creative process of comics. Yes, I wonder if creators are losing an opportunity to cash in by not having physical comic art to sell. But it is not worth pining over any of my attachment to these relics while I am witnessing the future of comics as it blossoms before my eyes. The community of comic artists is no longer small and relegated to a musty convention hall. It is vast and continues to grow. It exists at our fingertips any time we wish to access it.
Today’s comic artists are creating much more than original art. They are creating the future of the medium. Support them any way you can if you love comics. Go read their web comics. Buy their print on demand books. Order their merchandise. Join them on forums and share ideas. Learn from them and teach others. We are all part of the same comics community that began in those old convention halls. Embrace that past and build the future.
Bill Cucinotta and I, here at CO2 Comics, are committed to both and are excited to be part of this growing comics community of artists with a keen eye on the future. No matter how comics are made we intend to maintain that commonbond we always had with those comic creators in artist alley: The love of comics and a need to create them.