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Zero Contact Trailer Drops from Vuele
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Zero Contact Trailer Drops from Vuele

Beverly Hills, CA – New global NFT distribution and viewing platform VUELE™ today launched the trailer for thriller ZERO CONTACT starring Oscar-winning Best Actor Anthony Hopkins (The Father).  ZERO CONTACT marks the first feature film release on the Vuele.io platform and will be offered in several consecutive “drops” with new content for fans including the exclusive “Platinum Edition” auction launching on the VUELE™ platform on Sept. 24th
The 72-hour online auction of the premiere “1 of 1” drop will feature the exclusive opportunity for one lucky winner to join the cast in a walk-on role for the ZERO CONTACT Universe. 

For both “Platinum Edition” and “Elite Edition” drops, fans will also have an opportunity to be edited into the feature film.  Additional drops of the film include the “Exclusive” and “Collector’s” Edition coming in October.

In addition, a “Golden Ticket” sweepstakes launching today will offer 100 early NFT fans each week to score exclusive free NFT bundles just for signing up at the Vuele.io site. 

“Our platform is designed to offer something to high-end collectors as well as the every day film fan.” said Director/Producer and VUELE™ Co-Founder Rick Dugdale.  “The ZERO CONTACT Golden Ticket offers fans an opportunity to explore this NFT world and start building their digital wallet to get comfortable watching and owning movies on this new platform.  As the NFT market is driven by scarcity, we are offering a “1 of 1” NFT for the film.  There will only ever be one minted of its kind.”

VUELE™ will offer multiple NFT Bundles for the ZERO CONTACT feature film.  Fans can sign up for more information at Vuele.io to receive notifications on auctions and bidding opportunities on the following:

ZERO CONTACT Golden Ticket NFT Sweepstakes (ongoing, 100 per week to lucky winners)

  • A digital “Golden Ticket” token providing you with access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the VUELE™  
  • NOTE: Each week, 100 winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries, with the final draw on September 30, 2021.

ZERO CONTACT Platinum “1 of 1” Edition (72-hour online bidding begins September 24, 2021)

  • Zero Contact Platinum Edition Original Cut – this will be the only version ever to be minted, and will be yours to own. (1 of 1 Editions)
  • All-expense paid trip to visit production set for Zero Contact Universe to meet the cast, crew and experience a day on the set. (1 of 1 Editions)
  • A walk-on role in the Zero Contact Universe, available to be utilized by yourself or someone else you nominate. (1 of 1 Editions)
  • Crypto Art – Original Generative Art NFT by REMO x Dcsan (1 of 11 Editions)
  • Personal Zero Contact shoot and edit – An opportunity to have yourself (or someone you nominate) professionally shot and edited into the actual Feature Film as one of the characters playing alongside Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the cast. (1 of 11 Editions)
  • VUELETM Golden Ticket – A digital Golden Ticket token providing you with access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the VUELE™ platform. (1 of 2,500 Editions)
  • Zero Contact Digital artwork of Film Poster Signed by Cast & Crew. (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film – (1 of 2,511 Editions)

ZERO CONTACT Elite Edition (48-hour online bidding begins September 24, 2021)

  • Crypto Art – Original Generative Art NFT by REMO x Dcsan (1 of 11 Editions)
  • Personal Zero Contact shoot and edit – An opportunity to have yourself (or someone you nominate) professionally shot and edited into the actual Feature Film as one of the characters playing alongside Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the cast. (1 of 11 Editions)
  • VUELETM Golden Ticket – A digital Golden Ticket token providing you with access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the VUELETM platform. (1 of 2,500 Editions)
  • Zero Contact Digital artwork of Film Poster Signed by Cast & Crew. (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film – (1 of 2,511 Editions)

ZERO CONTACT Exclusive Edition (NFT Offering available October 4, 2021)

  • Zero Contact Digital artwork of Film Poster Signed by Cast & Crew. (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film – (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage (1 of 27,511 Editions)

ZERO CONTACT Collector’s Edition (NFT Offering available October 22, 2021)

  • Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage (1 of 27,511 Editions)

Produced in 17 different countries entirely virtually during the 2020 global pandemic,
ZERO CONTACT follows five characters based all over the world, connected only by their devotion to the late founder and tech titan Finley Hart (played by Anthony Hopkins).  Forced to work together to shut down Hart’s most secret invention, a machine that is either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on earth.  The ensemble cast also features Veronica Ferres, Aleks Paunovic, Chris Brochu, Lilly Krug, TJ Kayama, and Martin Stenmarck.

VUELEis a feature-length film and digital collectible viewing and distribution platform created by Enderby Entertainment and CurrencyWorks Inc.

ZERO CONTACT is produced and directed by Rick Dugdale (Intrigo Anthology, Recon), written and co-produced by Cam Cannon (USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage), production design by Tink, cinematography by Edd Lukas; producer, Peter Toumasis (Man on Fire, Domino) with an executive producer team that includes Dan Petrie, Jr (Blackway, An Ordinary Man) and Dan Fellman (Logan Lucky) and Hakan Karlsson.

Warner Animation Shares Injustice Trailer
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Warner Animation Shares Injustice Trailer

Warner Animation has released a trailer for its forthcoming Injustice, an all-new, feature-length DC Animated Movie from DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE). The movie is coming October 19, 2021 on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray and Digital. 


Inspired by Injustice: Gods Among Us, NetherRealm Studios’ popular video game, and the best-selling DC graphic novel based on the video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One by Tom Taylor, the animated film Injustice stars Justin Hartley (This is Us, Smallville) and Anson Mount (Star Trek Discovery, Hell on Wheels) as Superman and Batman, respectively. 

31-Disc Middle Earth 4K/Blu-ray Box Set Coming in October
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31-Disc Middle Earth 4K/Blu-ray Box Set Coming in October

BURBANK, CA – Celebrate 20 years of adventure and friendship as Warner Bros. releases the Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector’s Edition, timed to the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  The 31-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga contains new special features along with the theatrical and extended versions of all six films in 4K Ultra HD and on Blu-ray discs remastered from the 4K master. The Ultimate Collector’s Edition will be released on October 26.

The Ultimate Collector’s Edition includes the theatrical and extended versions of the six films from New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures in 4K UHD with HDR – The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. 

The Ultimate Collector’s Edition comes in unique “Puzzle Box” collectible packaging and includes a 64-page booklet featuring costumes, photography and production notes from the film, and art cards featuring travel posters and images from iconic locations throughout Middle-earth including The Shire, Lake-Town, Erebor, Anduin, Rohan, Minas Trith, and Rivendell.

Also included are the original Cannes Film Festival presentation reel, and footage from the recent Alamo Drafthouse cast reunion featuring director Peter Jackson along with cast members Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellan, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortenson, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, and Elijah Wood.

4K Ultra HD** showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, and more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.   

The 4K remastering process was overseen by Peter Jackson.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will also feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector’s Edition contains the following special features: 

  • Cannes Film Festival Presentation Reel
  • Alamo Drafthouse Cast Reunion
  • “The Fellowship of the Ring” – RT: 39:38​

(with Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Sean Astin and Elijah Wood) 

  • “The Two Towers” – RT: 32:24​

(with Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortenson)​

  • “The Return of the King” – RT: 29:48​

(with Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis, and Peter Jackson)​

BASICS

Ultimate Collector’s Edition                                                  $249.99

Street Date: 10/26/2021

Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese

Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese

Rating: All films rated PG-13 except for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended

Edition, which is Rated R for violence

DOLBY ATMOS [CC]

Injustice Game gets DC Animation Adaptation

Injustice Game gets DC Animation Adaptation

BURBANK, CA (September 1, 2021) – An unthinkable tragedy propels Superman into a dangerous new mindset, ultimately pitting Justice League members against each other in Injustice, an all-new DC Animated Movie. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the feature-length animated film is set for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack (USA $39.99 SRP; Canada $44.98 SRP), Blu-ray (US $29.98 SRP; Canada $39.99 SRP) and Digital on October 19, 2021.

Inspired by Injustice: Gods Among Us, NetherRealm Studios’ popular video game, and the best-selling DC graphic novel based on the video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One by Tom Taylor, the animated film Injustice finds an alternate world gone mad – where The Joker has duped Superman into killing Lois Lane, sending the Man of Steel on a deadly rampage. Unhinged, Superman decides to take control of the Earth for humanity’s own good. Determined to stop him, Batman creates a team of like-minded, freedom-fighting heroes. But when Super Heroes go to war, can the world survive?

Justin Hartley (This is Us, Smallville) and Anson Mount (Star Trek Discovery, Hell on Wheels) lead the Injustice all-star cast as Superman and Batman, respectively. The massive cast also includes Janet Varney (The Legend of Korra, You’re The Worst) as Wonder Woman, Brandon Micheal Hall (God Friended Me) as Cyborg, Kevin Pollak (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as Joker & Jonathan Kent, Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog, The Good Wife, Dreamgirls) as Catwoman, Reid Scott (Veep, Venom) as Green Arrow & Victor Zsasz, Edwin Hodge (The Tomorrow War, Mayans M.C.) as Mr. Terrific & Killer Croc, Gillian Jacobs (Community, Invincible) as Harley Quinn, Oliver Hudson (Rules of Engagement, Nashville) as Plastic Man, Laura Bailey (Critical Role, Avengers Assemble) as Lois Lane & Rama Kushna, Faran Tahir (Iron Man, Star Trek) as Ra’s al Ghul, Derek Phillips (Friday Night Lights, 42) as Nightwing & Aquaman, Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10 franchise, Young Justice, RWBY) as Mirror Master, Flash & Shazam, Zach Callison (Steven Universe, The Goldbergs) as Damian & Jimmy Olsen, Brian T. Delaney (Fortnite, Batman Unlimited) as Green Lantern, Fred Tatasciore (Family Guy, American Dad!) as Captain Atom, and Andrew Morgado (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) as Mirror Master Soldier.

Matt Peters (Justice League Dark: Apokolips War) directs Injustice from a screenplay by Ernie Altbacker (Batman: Hush). Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) is Producer and Alyessa Ornelas (Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge) is Associate Producer. Producer is Rick Morales (Mortal Kombat Legends franchise). Sam Register is Executive Producer.

The Injustice 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the film in hi-definition, and a digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition and a digital version of the movie.

Catch a sneak peek at Injustice whenDCFanDome, the ultimate global fan experience, returns on Saturday, October 16 at 10 a.m. PDT, with an all-new, epic streaming event. The free virtual event will once again welcome fans from around the world to immerse themselves in the DC Multiverse at DCFanDome.com and celebrate the stars and creators of their favorite feature films, live-action and animated television series, games, comics, home entertainment releases and more. DC FanDome 2021 will also be available on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, giving fans more ways to watch the events unfolding in DC FanDome’s Hall of Heroes.

InjusticeSpecial Features

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray and Digital

Adventures in Storytelling – Injustice: Crisis and Conflict (New Featurette) – The storytellers behind the new Injustice animated film discuss how all the intense drama and unabashed action was brought to life.

  • DC Universe Movies Flashback
    • The Death of Superman
    • Reign of the Supermen
  • From the DC Vault
    • Justice League – Injustice For All, Part I
    • Justice League – Injustice For All, Part II

Looking for a refresher course on animated Super Hero entertainment before seeing Injustice? HBO Max has a rich catalog of DC Universe Movies and DC-centric films and series.

Injustice will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.

BASICS

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, $39.99 USA, $44.98 Canada

Blu-ray, $29.98 USA, $39.99 Canada

Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian

Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish

Running Time: 78 minutes

R for bloody violence

The Green Knight Comes to Disc in October

The Green Knight Comes to Disc in October

The bold new take on the 14th century medieval story of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, comes home! The Green Knight arrives on 4K, Blu-ray™, DVD, and Digital October 12 from Lionsgate. From acclaimed writer-director David Lowery (Petes’ Dragons, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, A Ghost Story), this fantasy re-telling of the classic 14th century medieval tale stars Academy Award® nominee Dev Patel (2017, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Lion), Academy Award® winner Alicia Vikander (2016, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, The Danish Girl), Golden Globe® nominee Joel Edgerton (2017, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, Loving), Sarita Choudhury (Blindspot, Jessica Jones, Little Fires Everywhere), Sean Harris (The King, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Tresspass Against Us), Kate Dickie (Prometheus, The Witch, Filth), and Ralph Iverson (The Witch, Brahms: The Boy II, The Accidental Medium). The Green Knight will be available on 4K + Blu-ray™ + Digital Combo , Blu-ray™ + DVD + Digital Combo, and Blu-ray™ for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.96, respectively.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

An epic fantasy adventure, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel),

King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Boldest of Blood and Wildest of Heart: Making The Green Knight
  • Practitioners of Magic: Visual Effects
  • Illuminating Technique: Title Design
  • Theatrical Trailer

CAST

Dev Patel                                Slumdog Millionaire, Lion, The Personal History of David Copperfield

Alicia Vikander                        Tomb Raider, Ex Machina, The Danish Girl

Joel Edgerton                          The King, Boy Erased, It Comes at Night

Sarita Choudhury                    Blindspot, Jessica Jones, Little Fires Everywhere

Sean Harris                             The King, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Tresspass Against Us

Kate Dickie                             Prometheus, The Witch, Filth

Ralph Iverson                          The Witch, Brahms: The Boy II, The Accidental Medium

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Year of Production: 2020

Title Copyright: © 2021 Green Knight Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Type: Theatrical Release

Rating: R for violence, some sexuality and graphic nudity

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Closed-Captioned: N/A

Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH

Feature Run Time: 132 minutes

4K Format: 2160p Ultra High Definition, 16×9 (1.85:1) Dolby Vision

Blu-ray Format: 1080p High Definition, 16×9 (2.39:1) Presentation 

DVD Format: 16×9 2.40:1 Presentation

4K Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio

Blu-ray Audio: English Dolby Atmos

DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

DC FanDome Programming Teased

DC FanDome Programming Teased

BURBANK, Calif. — Get ready to suit up! DC FanDome, the ultimate global fan experience, will return on Saturday, October 16 at 10 a.m. PDT, with an all-new, epic streaming event. The free virtual event will once again welcome fans from around the world to immerse themselves in the DC Multiverse at DCFanDome.com and celebrate the stars and creators of their favorite feature films, live-action and animated television series, games, comics, home entertainment releases, and more. DC FanDome 2021 will also be available on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, giving fans more ways to watch the events unfolding in DC FanDome’s Hall of Heroes. Additionally, DC Kids FanDome will launch the same day with a special kid-friendly experience accessed separately at DCKidsFanDome.com.

Ann Sarnoff, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said: “DC FanDome 2020 was a first-of-its kind global virtual fan experience and showcased every aspect of the DC Universe with unprecedented scale and access. This year, we’re taking everything that people loved about DC FanDome and supercharging it to super-serve fans with even more exclusive first-looks, breaking news, in-depth interviews and insight from the stars and creative teams of their favorite DC content.”

World’s Greatest Super Heroes — and Super-Villains

DC FanDome will feature an unrivaled gathering of casts and creators behind fan-favorite DC games, comics, movies, and TV shows. Expect breaking news, exclusive trailers and announcements, never-before-seen footage, revealing conversations, and more surprises in the DC FanDome:

  • Warner Bros. Pictures will showcase six highly anticipated titles with an exclusive new trailer for The Batman, new content from DC League of Super-Pets, a first look at Black Adam, a sneak peek at The Flash, and behind the scenes looks at Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
  • Warner Bros. Television will offer a look at new seasons of Batwoman, The Flash, Superman & Lois, and Sweet Tooth; a farewell tribute to Supergirl as it approaches its epic conclusion after six seasons; a celebration of 100 episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow; a first look at forthcoming new drama Naomi; and a sneak peek at an upcoming episode of DC’s Stargirl.
  • Warner Bros. Games will feature new reveals from the highly anticipated Gotham Knights, developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal, and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, developed by Rocksteady Studios.
  • DC publishing will honor the legacy of one of the world’s greatest Super Heroes and icon of truth and equality, Wonder Woman, with a showcase of three upcoming books. DC explores her history with the DC Black Label miniseries Wonder Woman Historia, expands the Amazon mythos with Nubia and the Amazons, and honors the inspiration she has provided to women around the world with the original graphic novel Wonderful Women of the World. Additionally, DC will share details about the next installment of the epic, universe-spanning Batman/Fortnite comic crossover, and fans can also expect to hear more about the upcoming Batman: Fear State, the new six-issue Black Manta series, the return of the Milestone Universe, and much more.
  • HBO Max will unveil an exclusive look at the upcoming series Peacemaker and limited event series DMZ. The streamer is also debuting more surprises and sneak peeks from new series as well as returning favorites such as Titans and Doom Patrol. All four series hail from Warner Bros. Television.
  • Warner Bros. Animation will feature a look at the upcoming limited series Aquaman: King of Atlantis; provide a sneak peek at season three of the adult animated comedy series Harley Quinn and share what’s in store for #HarlIvy; deliver a very early look at the next animated chapter of the Dark Knight in the all-new upcoming series Batman: Caped Crusader; and give fans a preview of Young Justice: Phantoms (warning: there will be spoilers!).
  • Warner Bros Home Entertainment will preview two upcoming original DC Animated Films: a sneak peek at Superman and the rest of the Justice League in Injustice, an all-new animated movie inspired by the popular games and comic, as well as the premiere of the trailer for the all-new animated heist movie Catwoman: Hunted. Both movies are produced in association with Warner Bros. Animation.
     

DC FanDome Around The Globe

All DC FanDome programming will be captioned in multiple languages, including Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. And DC FanDome will again be completely free to all fans worldwide. Adding to the worldwide DC FanDome experience, fans in China will be able to enjoy the global content plus a variety of exclusive and engaging local DC content.

DC Kids FanDome

Once again, DC FanDome is going to be a family affair, serving the youngest DC fans with their own special experience in the DC Kids FanDome. Kids and their parents around the world can explore the DC Multiverse alongside their favorite DC Super Heroes, catch sneak peeks of upcoming DC animated adventures like BatwheelsDC Super Hero Girls and Teen Titans Go!, and immerse themselves in at-home digital activities all in a safe, kid-friendly environment at DCKidsFanDome.com.

All Access DC FanDome

In addition to joining the DC FanDome at the main DCFanDome.com destination, fans will be able to watch the event via Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. DC FanDome will be fully accessible on phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops, allowing fans to take DC FanDome with them wherever they are. For all the latest scoop on DC FanDome, please be sure to visit DCFanDome.com regularly for news and updates. By registering at DCFanDome.com (it’s free!), you’ll get DC FanDome news directly in your inbox and gain access to members-only exclusives. And please follow the #DCFanDome hashtag on social media and the DC social channels on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

DC FanDome Shop

Beginning today and running through the end of October, Warner Bros. Consumer Products will launch the DC FanDome Shop in the U.S. with additional territories around the world to follow, allowing fans from across the globe to stock up on DC FanDome apparel, accessories, collectibles and more. Featuring exclusive, only-available-here DC Comics merchandise, the DC FanDome Shop will drop new items every week leading up to the main event on October 16.

Legion of Brand Super Heroes

WarnerMedia Ad Sales has recruited a Legion of Brand Super Heroes to join the action at DC FanDome 2021. Ally and Unilever have come on-board as official sponsors and brand collaborators. With Ally’s commitment to The Milestone Initiative and Unilever’s support of Believe in Wonder, these franchise-first partnerships will allow each brand to align with DC’s IP to drive impactful change across the advertising and entertainment industries, as well as fans worldwide.

DC UNIVERSE INFINITE

Leading up to DC FanDome and the event day itself, DC UNIVERSE INFINITE will be releasing more than 300 comics and graphic novels available to read for FREE with registration. New titles will be available each week, starting with the complete storyline of “Flashpoint”, fan-favorite series “Injustice: Gods Among Us Vol. 1” and, available for the first time on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE, “The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes”!

Legacy

DC FanDome 2020 was the first-of-its kind global virtual fan experience and brought together the largest gathering of talent, announcements and content reveals in DC history. DC FanDome: Hall of Heroes and DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse supercharged the worldwide fanbase, generating over 22 million global views across 220 countries and territories with more than 150 million views of trailer content.

Gloomtown by Lewis Trondheim

Lewis Trondheim has done a lot of comics, in lots of different styles and modes. The ones that come closest to major US comics genres – funny books for kids, dark fantasy adventure , autobio stories – have been the most likely to be published well on my side of the Atlantic and to succeed here. The rest…well, publishers keep trying, but some things haven’t really clicked yet.

His first big popular series in his native France, nearly thirty ago now, was Les formidables aventures de Lapinot, a loose series of ten books which all had the same “characters” (anthropomorphic animals, in roughly the same roles in the story and with roughly the same personalities) in which those “characters” often played different roles, as if they were actors cast in movies with each other a lot or the members of a repertory theater company.

Some time ago, Fantagraphics published two of the books in that series – Harum Scarum and The Hoodoodad  – in paperbacks matching the size of the original French albums. Both were part of the contemporary “plotline” (as I recall, they didn’t really connect with each other), and I read and enjoyed them quite a while after it was clear Fanta wasn’t going to make what they called “The Spiffy Adventures of McConey” happen.

Well, time marches on, and publishers are enthusiastic about books for a living, so Europe Comics (a newer publisher of graphic novels) jumped in and published three McConey books in digital formats in 2018: Slalom, and Gloomtown, and The Hoodoodad (again). They have slightly modified the series title – Lapinot/McConey is now having “marvelous” rather than “spiffy” adventures, perhaps because it is no longer the late ’90s – and seem to be be planning to do the whole series in initial-publication order, if everything goes to plan.

(Note: there’s been no sign of the remaining seven books in the three years since this first batch, so my guess is that the plan is just as busted as last time. Maybe the next attempt will start from the other end, and translate some different books.)

Gloomtown  was published in French as Blacktown, which title gives different expectations in English these days than I gather it did in French in 1995. It’s a Western; McConey (who I don’t think ever gets a name in this book; he’s just “the stranger”) is an Easterner, on the run from a vicious gang for reasons we don’t know as the book opens. He lands in a small town, expecting to spend the night and get out quickly the next morning.

But the town is corrupt and the requisite Old Prospector type has just wandered into town with a big bag of gold, so McConey gets caught up in a battle to find and control the vein of gold somewhere nearby, plus being assumed to be a criminal just because he’s a stranger, plus the subsequent arrival of the very angry ex-Rex Logan Gang. (Logan being ex is the main reason for their anger, at least towards McConey.)

This is an album, so it all has to happen and hit a moderately happy ending in 48 pages, and it does — luckily, being an album, they’re large pages, so Trondheim has room for a lot of dialogue and action and takes advantage of that space. Complications pile on complications, characters race around town and outskirts at high speed, often pursued by each other or by bullets, and more than one character meets a sudden unexpected death.

The tone is similar to Dungeon: not 100% serious, but mostly straight. Trondheim likes to use genre tropes while winking a bit about them at the reader, as if to explain that he likes them, and is happy to exploit them, but doesn’t believe in them.

So I still think the McConey books are fun, and will read as many of them as I can get my hands on. But I do see why they’ve been a harder sell in the USA: Americans, as a class, are allergic to irony, and there’s no throughline of a larger McConey story to keep a reader coming back for the next one.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Trots and Bonnie by Shary Flenniken

In memory, the past is moments. We slot in memories to specific points in time: that was when I was living there, remember when Y was five years old and started doing Z?, that was the Christmas when A had that crazy hat.

But time is more fluid than that. Anything we remember was more than a moment: it was a period, an era, an epoch. It’s true for our own lives, and it’s true for a lot of art.

Especially comics, which are the great serialized art form of the American 20th century. I might rhapsodize about Saga of the Swamp Thing #21, the famous Alan Moore “Anatomy Lesson” story that upended that series and gave corporate comics a new template to exploit for the next few decades, and peg it to February 1984. But Moore started writing Swamp Thing one issue before, and “Anatomy Lesson” is full of the loose ends of the previous stretch of stories – and the reason we look back at it in the first place is what came afterward. It lived up to its promise, so we remember it.

Shary Flenniken lived up to her promise in Trots and Bonnie . More than that, she made radically different, larger, stronger promises than almost anyone else in comics: some other women were aiming in the same direction, but Flenniken’s work was purer, more precise, and consistent over a much longer period.

That’s the memory-moment issue again. I think of Trots and Bonnie in the context of the height of National Lampoon in the 1970s, as a burst of feminist energy in the middle of that very sophomoric, boyish humor. But Flenniken produced Trots and Bonnie strips for more than twenty years, from 1972 to 1993, spanning not just the Lampoon height of the ’70s but its declining years in the ’80s and its eventual implosion. Flenniken was one of the most consistent things about Lampoon for those years: a page of female concerns and anger in the middle of some of the most male-oriented humor imaginable, a context that got steadily blander and more derivative as those ’80s wore on.

That’s the wonder of it: that Trots and Bonnie existed at all, that it lasted almost the entire life of the Lampoon. Some editor at the Lampoon (OK: it was Michel Choquette) saw Flenniken’s early work – the first four Trots and Bonnie strips collected here predate her Lampoon years, and she did some other work as well – and said “my audience of college-aged sex-obsessed boys needs a comic strip about a thirteen-year-old girl obsessed with sex in very different ways.” He was right. And his successors, who kept the strip running, were just as right.

This book is the first time the Trots and Bonnie strips have been collected together in English; there was a previous collection only published in France, for whatever reason. It is not complete: for all that some of these strips are shocking and norm-breaking – the Lampoon prided itself on breaking norms; Flenniken chose different, more central norms than most of its contributors – there are some unspecified number that are too much to be republished. Flenniken says they were omitted because “Oh, that might hurt somebody’s feelings or something.”

I suspect it’s a bit deeper than that. But that’s how Flenniken works. That heavily-socialized voice of mid-century womanhood comes easily to her, even if the reader isn’t sure if she’s using it to tell the truth, to mask her intentions, or to set up her next attack on its sexist assumptions and crippling control of women.

But know that, no matter how shocking some of the strips here are, there are some Flenniken left out. She’s thinking about your poor shocked sensibilities, oh eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-old boys, the same way she was for the twenty years she made these comics. She’s thinking about those sensibilities, but maybe mostly about how to pop them most effectively and quickly.

Bonnie is a thirteen-year-old girl. She reads a bit tomboyish on the page: Annie-style blank eyes, always wearing pants, usually in a dark pullover sweater over a white shirt, like a school uniform. But she’s obsessed with sex, because she is thirteen. The great secret of Trots and Bonnie, for even the dull boyish readers who didn’t get any further into it, was that girls (and, if they realized it, by extension women) were as interested in and fascinated by and eager to learn about sex as boys were.

Of course “as” covers a wide range in both populations: that’s the point. But Flenniken, in the sex-obsessed Lampoon, gave those boys a window into the ways girls could be sex-obsessed, the ways they might talk about boys, might have their own concerns and worries and demands. Girls in most of the rest of the pages of Lampoon were objects – pretty naked bodies to adorn a joke in Foto Funnies, the targets of lust in most of the written pieces – but in Trots and Bonnie they were central, and active, and in control.

Trots is Bonnie’s dog: in best classic-comics fashion, he can talk, at last some of the time. He gets the punch lines a lot of the time, because that’s the deal with talking animals: they don’t have the hang-ups and fears and interpersonal problems of humans. They can just do; they don’t have to be self-conscious about it.

The third main character of Trots and Bonnie is the one who isn’t in the title: Pepsi, Bonnie’s best friend and inciting influence. Where Bonnie is questioning, Pepsi is demanding. Where Bonnie is concerned, Pepsi is outraged. Where Bonnie is interested, Pepsi is fascinated. Pepsi’s angers and enthusiasms and appetite drive a lot of the strips.

Flenniken wraps those three characters, a few others that recur at least a few times (perpetually smiling boy-next-door Elrod, Bonnie’s clueless and complaining parents), and a whole lot of one-offs into a series of stories, most usually single-pagers, that are all about sex. Sometimes it’s sex as in the old in-out (or the desire for same, more specifically), sometimes sex as an advertising campaign, sometimes sex as in women. There are strips about menstruation, abortion, and rape: Flenniken is not here to be happy and nice for your entertainment.

In retrospect, the Lampoon was a great home for this work. It was an outlet obsessed with pushing boundaries. Flenniken was pushing in an entirely different direction – I’d argue a better, more important direction – but just that she pushed so hard must have appealed to the Lampoon editors.

Trots and Bonnie is not dated. Not in the slightest. The details of the lives Bonnie and Pepsi lived in these stories are of their times, but their mental lives are still current. (Sadly, I guess. We should have gotten beyond this by now.) Even the classic early-20h-century style art just makes it seem more eternal and current.

I still think boys need to read Trots and Bonnie more than girls do – and I use the diminutive forms of both deliberately – because girls already know all of this. (Maybe not consciously, all of them: we all know different things. But I expect it’s already in their heads, one way or another.) So I’m very glad to see that it’s available again, and I hope the thrill of sex will induce some of the right readers, the boys who most need to learn that girls are people, to read it, and to laugh, and to achieve enlightenment.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

2021 Ringo Awards Ballot Announced

2021 Ringo Awards Ballot Announced

The final ballot from one of our favorite awards (for somewhat obvious reasons) has been announced — the 2021 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards final ballot is out! The nominees were selected by the combined efforts of jury and public voting. The final ballot voting is restricted to comic book industry creative community — anyone involved in and credited with creating comics professionally.

The Ringo Awards, the Fan-Only Favorites from the nomination ballot, and The Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award and The Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award will be presented at the Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards ceremony on Saturday, October 23 as part of The Baltimore Comic-Con. We’ll be there, and hope to see you too!

2021 RINGO AWARDS NOMINEES

BEST CARTOONIST (WRITER/ARTIST)

  • Derf Backderf
  • Mongie
  • Stan Sakai
  • Rachel Smythe
  • Adrian Tomine
  • Sophie Yanow

BEST WRITER

  • Penelope Bagieu
  • Anthony Del Col
  • Jason Douglas
  • N.K. Jemisin
  • Marjorie Liu
  • James Tynion IV
  • Ram V

BEST ARTIST OR PENCILLER

  • Josh Adams
  • Jamal Campbell
  • Elsa Charretier
  • Hanza Art
  • Sana Takeda

BEST INKER

  • Sanford Greene
  • Brett Hobson
  • Jjolee
  • Gabriel Hernandez Walta
  • Tonci Zonjic

BEST LETTERER

  • Deron Bennett
  • Aditya Bidikar
  • DC Hopkins
  • Micah Myers
  • Chas! Pangburn

BEST COLORIST

  • Toyin Ajetunmobi
  • Laura Allred
  • Tamra Bonvillain
  • Aladdin Lee Grant Rutledge Collar
  • Jacob Phillips
  • Joe Todd-Stanton
  • Christian Ward

BEST COVER ARTIST

  • Gian Carlo Bernal
  • Stephanie Hans
  • Maan House
  • Steve Lieber
  • Peach Momoko
  • Kevin O’Neill
  • Joe Todd-Stanton

BEST SERIES

  • The Department of Truth, Image Comics
  • Far Sector, DC Comics
  • Lore Olympus, WEBTOON
  • My Deepest Secret, WEBTOON
  • Usagi Yojimbo, IDW Publishing
  • Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, DC

BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY

  • All-America Comix #1, Image Comics
  • Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds (BOOM! Studios)
  • Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx, Flying Eye Books (US) / Nobrow Press
  • “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” from Ice Cream Man Present Quarantine Comix Special #1, Image Comics
  • The O.Z., self-published
  • Parallel, Source Point Press

BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL

  • Buried But Not Dead, Source Point Press
  • Kent State, Abrams Books
  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, Drawn & Quarterly
  • Moms, Drawn & Quarterly
  • Pulp, Image Comics

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • Be Gay, Do Comics, IDW Publishing
  • Hey, Amateur! Go From Novice to Nailing It in 9 Panels, IDW Publishing
  • Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope, A Wave Blue World
  • Pandemix: Quarantine Comix in the Age of ‘Rona, self-published
  • Votes for Women: The Battle for the 19th Amendment, Little Red Bird Press

BEST HUMOR COMIC

  • Akissi: Even More Tales of Mischief, Flying Eye Books (US) / Nobrow Press
  • ArkhaManiacs, DC
  • Billionaire Island, AHOY Comics
  • Love and Capes: The Family Way, Maerkle Press/IDW Publishing
  • Metalshark Bro 2: Assault on Hamzig Island, Scout Comics
  • Moms, Drawn & Quarterly
  • Wicked Things, BOOM! Studios

BEST WEBCOMIC

BEST HUMOR WEBCOMIC

BEST NON-FICTION COMIC WORK

  • Banned Book Club, Iron Circus Comics
  • Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker In California, Z2 Comics
  • Come Home Indio, Street Noise Books
  • Dancing after Ten, Fantagraphics Books
  • Grateful Dead – Origins, Z2 Comics
  • Kent State, Abrams Books
  • We’ll Soon Be Home Again, Dark Horse Comics

BEST KIDS COMIC OR GRAPHIC NOVEL

  • Akissi: Even More Tales of Mischief, Flying Eye Books (US) / Nobrow Press
  • Cat Kid Comic Club #1, Scholastic Graphix
  • Jupiter Jet and the Forgotten Radio, Action Lab Entertainment
  • Max Meow: Cat Crusader, Random House
  • The Perhapanauts: First Blood, Scout Comics
  • Twins, Scholastic Graphix

BEST PRESENTATION IN DESIGN

  • Crescent City Monsters, Dream Fury Comics
  • Dave Cockrum’s X-Men Artifact Edition, IDW Publishing
  • The Harrowing of Hell, Iron Circus Comics
  • Heavy Metal #300, Heavy Metal
  • Impossible Jones, Volume 1: Grin & Gritty, Panic Button Press
  • Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx, Flying Eye Books (US) / Nobrow Press

Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

It’s a cliché now: the superhero story that makes a startling new origin or explanation for a character. But there was a time when it was new. There was even a time when it was reserved for minor, unimportant characters – it was too much of a risk to radically change anyone important.

We’re very far from that world now: it’s been gone for almost thirty years. Perpetual transformation of the most profitable characters is the standard. I assume the Big Two have wall-sized whiteboards to keep track of who’s currently dead, when they’re coming back, which are swapping races or genders or powers or doing heel/face turns, just so they don’t trip over themselves.

And if they don’t have whiteboards like that, they should. They need them.

But 1988 was the other side of that wave: it had just started. Alan Moore had done it with Swamp Thing, most obviously. And the glimmerings of the all-crisis-all-the-time world, of eternal reboots, was faintly visible in the passel of Secret Wars and John Byrne Superman. And the conveyor belt of all-new! all-different! minor characters was just starting.

One of them was Black Orchid , a three-issue series in the newly hot Prestige Format (forty-eight pages, perfect-bound, on fancy paper with a fancy price tag to match) by two British creators making their American debut: writer Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean.

Black Orchid was a definitively minor character: she didn’t even have an origin, she hadn’t had a comic named after her before. She was some kind of mob-infiltration expert, a mistress of disguise with some other powers (flight, toughness, giving and taking punches – the usual stuff). So she was perfect for the soon-to-be standard British Creator Makeover — there was very little to worry about.

So Gaiman killed Black Orchid in the opening pages. (Spoiler, I guess, for the set-up of a thirty-five year old story. Citizen Kane is about an old rich guy who owned newspapers; Star Wars is about this space farmboy named Luke; The Usual Suspects are criminals.) He connected her to a bunch of other DC characters, mostly through the Alan Moore Swamp Thing (probably because that was the current model of “treating superheroes seriously” or “making comics for adults”), giving her an origin that’s not a million miles away from Swampy himself.

Oh, the first Black Orchid was dead. And the woman she was based on was dead long before that. But you grow orchids. It’s not like there’s only one of them in the world.

There are supervillains doing supervillainy and some vague ecological stuff in the background, but this is mostly about new Black Orchid trying to figure out who the heck she is and what the heck she’s supposed to do. (In the end, it will be: fight crime in a skintight costume that shows off her tits, because DC wants to sell more comics. But that’s after this series is over.)

In some ways, Black Orchid is “The Anatomy Lesson” writ large, with the General Sunderland role broken up into several people, the “principle” one a much more important DC character. This is all origin story for a character we didn’t realize needed an origin.

It is lovely and mostly thoughtful: the adventure-story hugger-mugger sometimes tonally clashes with the “as a newborn plant-woman, who am I?” soul-searching. Gaiman admirably keeps his heroine from violence for the course of this story. (I have no idea what happened afterward: I assume she used her plant-based barely-covered tits to batter miscreants into submission like every other female superhero with strategic cutouts in her outfit.)

These days, Black Orchid is most interesting as a warm-up for The Sandman, which began soon after. It shows that Gaiman was already eager to dive into the obscure corners of DC lore, and that he wasn’t happy with the obvious story choices that universe provided. And McKean’s art is simply stunning: this was the high point of his realistic style, fully painted and drop-dead gorgeous in every panel, just as stunning as the better-known Arkham Asylum.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.