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Preview: Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con

Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is coming up again this weekend!

This is the 4th annual convention for Amazing in Las Vegas, and this year they have moved away from their usual space at Southpoint Casino and are instead taking up residency at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The venue isn’t the only thing that’s different this year. Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con has decided to take their convention in a new direction, focusing on what Comic Con used to be about: comics.

Many comic conventions are criticized for using pop-culture guests as their main attraction, and it seems as if Amazing has decided to counter this trend by focusing primarily on comic writers and artists.

Comic guests for 2016 include comic book legends Chris Claremont and Kevin Eastman, Marvel artists Steve McNiven and Kenneth Rockafort, DC artists Phillip Tan and Tyler Kirkham, along with many others. The convention’s focus on comics is also reflected in their panel lineup, meaning that guests will have plenty of time to learn a thing or two from their favorite comic artist/writer.

On Saturday guests can join Phillip Tan for a look at the DC Universe according to Harley Quinn, as well as join Steve McNiven, Charles Soule and Jimmy Cheung as they discuss the world of Captain America. Sunday is officially kid’s day, and guests will be able to talk TMNT with Kevin Eastman and attend a couple panels featuring MLP artist Tony Fleecs and Phineas and Ferb’s Matt Nastos.

There will be a variety of costume contests and performances by The Library Bards all weekend long, and guests will have the opporunity to meet the the executive producer of AMC’s Preacher and get the first issue of the original comic for free!

If you’re going to be in Las Vegas this weekend, then make sure to put this on your list of geeky things to do! It’s not too late to grab your tickets.

Will you be attending Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con? Let us know in the comments!

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Phoenix Comicon 2016: Wrap Up

This last weekend marked another successful Phoenix Comicon!

Running Thursday through Sunday, there were countless hours of programming and stars to meet and greet. Each year that I have attended, they have really taken to heart the suggestions of their guests from the previous year and changed how foot traffic flowed, where registration is held, and even where you can go to see your favorite media guests all in the hopes of making everything run more smoothly for each con-goer.

This year was not without its issues, of course

A downed network on Friday made registration a total mess, causing many to have to wait in line for several hours outside. Phoenix Comicon was very quick to address the problem, taking to social media to right the mishap.  Other than that one problem, the rest of the weekend appeared to continue on without a hitch.

Along with hours upon hours of panels, Phoenix Comicon was also host to two separate weddings: a Doctor Who themed one and a Zombie Apocalypse themed one. Many of PHXCC’s favorite panels returned for 2016, including P.U.G.S. and the Harry Potter Planetarium. Joining those favorites were newcomers Stream Team Podcast with several trivia panels and Blumhouse Productions with several horror themed panels. Both plan to return again next year.

For aspiring writers and lovers of books, PHXCC 2016 featured a newly laid out writing workshop schedule as well as an opportunity to drink with your favorite authors. There were also several opportunities during PHXCC to save a life with United Blood Services hosting a blood drive all weekend.

Check out the slideshow below for highlights of the weekend’s activities!

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Wizard World: Las Vegas Preview

Searching for something exciting to do this weekend? Look no further than Wizard World Las Vegas!

The multi-location convention is coming back to Las Vegas for its second year and will once again be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Featured guests include Jewel Staite (Firefly, Serenity, Warehouse 13, Stargate: Atlantis), Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob, Clerks II, Mallrats), Sean Maguire (Once Upon A Time, Meet the Spartans), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead, Jumper, Mallrats), and Lori Petty (Tank Girl, Gotham, Orange is the New Black, A League of Their Own).

In addition to entertainment guests, the event also will host a vast array of authors, artists, creators, and cosplay guests. There will also be a full line-up of panels to attend where guests can ask their favorite actor or author questions and gain general knowledge on a variety of geeky subjects.

If you have never attended a comic convention, then I highly recommend attending Wizard World. Conventions are a great way to meet people like you who are into comics, fantasy and sci-fi! There will be amazing vendors to help you fill your home and dress your person with the best in all manner of geeky goods and wares (we will be highlighting a few of those vendors soon, so stay tuned). Compared to other conventions, Wizard World is unique because they set a large area aside just for tattoo artists, where you can forever ink your love for your favorite character or fandom.

A full list of all the amazing guests attending Wizard World: Las Vegas can be found on their website.

General Info:

TICKETS

Use the code ZIARECORDS16 for 20% off

March 18–20, 2016

Las Vegas Convention Center

3150 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89109

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 – 3pm – 8pm

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 – 10am – 7pm

Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 – 10am – 4pm

Let us know if you will be in attendance this weekend, and share your experiences, photos in the comments!

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Comic Review: ’13 Coins’

WRITERS: Martin Brennan, Michael B. Jackson
ARTIST: Simon Bisley, Ryan Brown
COVERS BY: Simon Bisley, Ryan Brown
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGECOUNT: 160
COVER PRICE: $22.99
RELEASE DATE: 08 July

Review:

13 Coins is a unique story of faith, sin, lust, love, and murder.

It begins with a story of a great battle of fallen angels, with the actual story taking place in the aftermath of it. The title is one of the key components of this comic, as the 13 coins essentially resemble the 13 keys to free the king of the fallen angels. I have read and watched a lot of fallen angels stories, but 13 Coins really has a nice twist that adds to the amazingly dark and gory artwork and its unique form of story telling.

13 Coins is not for the faint of heart, for children, or for those who cannot stand blood, guts, foul language, and sexuality.

The artwork portrays the story line perfectly: dark and sinister. I enjoyed the characters and I definitely became connected to them, so when something dark befell them I would tear up! I caught myself gasping throughout the story,  in awe of the form of dark art that portrayed the emotions of the storyline, the way a few lines could capture disguised and pain. This was one of the more darker tales of a man’s life; it’s a story of letting go of the past and all of the pain that he had been through in order to lift himself up off the ground to help, and even save, mankind.

Major parts of this comic are accurate and biblical, but the creators and their warped minds twisted them to give it its own origin and story. You actually feel the pain, grief, sadness and rage the main character feels, and you connect with the supporting characters and learn to loath the villains.

I will definitely be looking for the rest of this series on the shelves when it is released!

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Amazing Las Vegas Comic Convention Preview

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Photo credit: Song River

The third annual Amazing Las Vegas Comic Convention will take place at South Point Hotel & Casino June 19-­21, 2015. It will feature an exhibit floor complete with more than 300 exhibitors, an exciting Artist Alley with more than 200 artists, and autograph sessions. Passes are available at the South Point box office, or online.

 

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Photo credit: Song River

Friday night will feature a Family Feud Cosplay edition, Saturday afternoon will have an elite Marvel panel including former Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, and Saturday evening will end with a cosplay contest complete with prizes. All weekend long there will be DIY workshops demonstrating costuming techniques, guest appearances by stars from the reality show Face Off, and fan meet-ups for Bob’s Burgers, Mortal Kombat X, Doctor Who, and more.

Families will not want to miss Sunday’s Kids’ Day, which will feature a costume parade, free sketches by Mat Nastos, Spotlights on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers, and will be offering a free anti-bullying program called Mission: Bully-Proof. It will be taught by Chris Casamassa, a martial arts champion. He will share his nationally acclaimed anti-bullying program with our young guests, teaching them how to create a respectful and healthy environment, and how to peacefully resolve conflicts.

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Photo credit: Song River

Special guests will include John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow), Tyler Mane (X-Men, Halloween, Troy), and Troy Brenna (Avengers, X-Men, Thor). Also featured will be several all-stars from Power Rangers, and voice actors from Sailor Moon. There will be several comic/cartoon industry guests like Kevin Eastman (TMNT), Rob Liefeld (Deadpool), Greg Capullo (Batman, Spawn), George Perez (Avengers, Teen Titans), and Steve McNiven (Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy).

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REVIEW: Doctor Who: The 10th Doctor #9

STORY BY: Robbie Morrison
ART BY: Daniel Indro
COVER BY: Slamet Mujiono
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: April 15, 2015


Finally the much anticipated wrap-up of the Weeping Angels of Mons tale has dropped! I have been catching myself thinking about this story in the weeks between new issues. Perhaps it’s that I’m a WWI and WWII buff and also a Doctor Who fan, but there are so many aspects of this story that have kept me interested.

I liked the introduction that caught us up on the story thus far. It was a “personal touch” to an opening I’ve seen before, but it fit nicely with Gabby’s personality. A little meta, a little 4th wall break, but as it’s Doctor Who, I can easily forgive it.

Screenshot 2015-04-15 at 10.43.33 PM
Our merry weary band of time travelers and soldiers has gotten themselves split up, with each side thinking the other is at the mercy of the Weeping Angels, who seem to have tripled in number since last we saw them. I always get the urge to cry out “Too soon!” when I see the Tenth Doctor separated from his companion.

But I live for  those awkward moments when the Doctor shows a spark of his dark side and makes god-like statements that absolutely thwart his “totally not going to change anything because it personally affects me” attitude. They’re the best. He’s two sides of his own coin. His conviction is both his strength and his weakness. The Doctor is always more real to me when his benevolent shell cracks and we see his passion glowing ominously underneath. I think that Morrison has done a fantastic job with the Doctor’s personality these last few books. As I’ve read them monthly, I’ve seen an obvious consistency which sometimes can be hard to achieve.

The Doctor, who has been part of a rather large ensemble cast these last few issues, finally gets a few moments alone to wax poetic over the marvels that are the Weeping Angels. Scenes featuring him standing face to face with a pack of his most terrifying foes (really, does the Doctor have any non-terrifying foes that travel in packs?) are always scenes I look forward to. While the Doctor might always be battling against dark forces, or intergalactic regimes, he also likes to take a moment to appreciate foes in all their wonder and horror. And it usually lends to some awesome insight into how to defeat them.

Screenshot 2015-04-15 at 11.01.10 PM

Some might disagree with me, but I found both the Doctor’s and Gabby’s solutions to their separate standoffs pretty enjoyable, but for totally separate reasons. I think we got a really gorgeous wrap up of the story line. I loved the simple, not overly sappy tribute to those who gave their lives during WWI. And of course, there was a little something thrown in to keep us reading on.

This book has been an interesting blend of the portrayal of the Tenth Doctor that we’ve come to expect from the television show and a unique take, and the style of storytelling that makes comics so engrossing. I would have been just as happy watching this storyline on TV as I was reading it on paper. And I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been attempting Indro’s dynamic crosshatching technique in my own sketchbook.

Did you read the whole arc for the Weeping Angels of Mons? Tell us what you thought in the comments!

Included is another installment of Rose the Cat, along with an intriguing teaser for May’s issue #10!


Doctor Who: 10th Doctor #9 retails for $3.99 and hit the shelves Wednesday, April 15, 2015. 

 

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INTERVIEW: Surface Tension’s Jay Gunn

Readers around the globe are anxiously awaiting Jay Gunn’s comic book debut, Surface Tension. This highly anticipated 5 issue mini-series is already being talked about within sci-fi and horror circles, but not a lot is known about the man behind the project. GeekGirl World had the unique privilege of asking Gunn about his work, feminism, the fate of the world, and what would happen in a celebrity death match between two Zombie Superstars. His eloquent answers left us completely enamored, and if his prose is anything like his graphic novel, then we absolutely can not wait for Surface Tension, which debuts May 2015 via Titan Comics.

Surface Tension
GGW: We heard that Surface Tension is creator owned, and you’re both the writer and artist of the work! Nice job. Did you have 100% control over the end product? What was that experience like? Did you prefer any one aspect of the job over another?

Gunn: When I originally pitched Surface Tension to Titan I had written a much longer treatment that focused more on the human relationship drama within the island community. Senior editor Steve White really liked the idea of the story but asked me to cut the page count down by about 50% and to merge a number of the characters. I restructured the story that helped to focus and streamline the action. I’m actually thankful for that initial steer as I’d still be drawing the book years from now and would never finish it!

I tend to think in visuals more than I do words and, if I could, I would prefer to just draw the story right onto the page and think about the words later. I had a very strong idea and vision of the overall story but I’m also a very collaborative artist so I enjoyed bouncing ideas around with others which is something you can do at the writing stage. Drawing is very time consuming, or at least it is for me as I was doing everything, I labour over every panel – what is the meaning in this drawing, what is the feeling I’m trying to convey?

From Gunn's Facebook: "A strange ceremony is taking place on the remote island of Breith! The font is a placeholder."
From Gunn’s Facebook: “A strange ceremony is taking place on the remote island of Breith! The font is a placeholder.”

GGW:  Surface Tension has been described by Titan Comics as The Walking Dead, meets Studio Ghibli and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. In what ways would you say your work is similar? Were they a conscious inspiration? What other works have inspired your career?

Gunn: I’d say I was more inspired by “Ghibli” and “Invasion of the body snatchers” than I was of “The Walking Dead.” Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the Philip Kaufman version) is a masterpiece of building up slow burn paranoia and there are some wonderfully composed street level shots and scenes that work at a subconscious level to make you feel uneasy. It’s such a carefully crafted film, in some ways it is the ultimate ‘nature versus humanity’ film. Everything worked so well, it had a very clever use of location – setting an alien seed pod invasion in San Francisco – the home of ‘flower power’, hippies and alternative psychotherapy. And that ending! Perfection! I tried to capture some of that sense of location in Surface Tension, both beautiful and at the same time a little off kilter.

It may not be obvious from the first episode of Surface Tension but the work of Hayao Miyazaki was instrumental in helping me to have the confidence to tell a story without the need for macho superheroes or overt violence. Underneath the lovely colourful visuals of his films are ideas and a philosophy, they’re not just stories of good versus evil. His films have a lot to say about our relationship with the world around us. I respond much more positively to these sorts of stories and so I wanted to put some of Miyazaki’s philosophy on nature and society, which is very similar to my own, into Surface Tension.

Most of all I wanted Surface Tension to be about my own personal outlook on with the world around me. In the end I was less inspired by the works of others than I was of my own experiences. In the early stages of writing Surface Tension I was diagnosed with cancer and, for a time, I thought I would be too ill to finish the book. I had to take some time out to re-evaluate my relationship with life in order to get better. I started to spend a lot more time outdoors and I started to notice the small things that I’d always taken for granted, the changing of seasons, birds, insects – all of that stuff that happens outside of the home or office. I soon realised that I had become disconnected with the natural world around me, always too busy hurtling from one office deadline to the next working on jobs that didn’t fulfil me and making myself very ill in the process. So I pulled myself together, took a deep breath and went back to the book with a new vigour for life, I wanted to write something that was full of optimism and hope. Even amongst the horror of human bodies falling apart and when most of humanity is threatened – there’s always that glimmer of hope, something to cling on to! So the biggest inspiration for the story was life itself.

From Gunn's Facebook: "Continuation of a Work In Progress... The final illustration will depict some of the more 'fantasy' elements"
From Gunn’s Facebook: “Continuation of a Work In Progress… The final illustration will depict some of the more ‘fantasy’ elements”

GGW: GeekGirl World is excited to see the story appears to contain a female protagonist! Gender in geek culture, specifically comics, is currently a hot-button issue. How would you describe the character? Do you feel as though she would be considered a feminist? What does the word “feminist” mean to you?

Gunn: All my life I’ve been surrounded by strong women. My mother was a home helper for the elderly and people with disabilities such as motor neuron diseases. She would bring them food, cook for them, bathe them and so on. As a child I would sometimes accompany her on these visits and see her helping. I was a little afraid, and sensing my fear the patients would chat me and try to put me at ease. At that young age I witnessed human frailties but there was always a smile, a joke or a story to be had. These people had a strength and a lust for life that, today, I don’t see in people half their age or ability.

It was natural for me to write strong female characters. For me strong female characters come in all shapes, skin tone and age and from all corners of the globe. I’m not overly keen on the ‘superhero’ representation of female strength. The superhero myth perpetuates this idea in society that ‘strength’ always comes down to a perfect physical appearance and who can hit the hardest.
I read a brilliant graphic novel, “The Photographer” that follows Medicins Sans Frontieres and Juliete Fournot who served as the head of a mission to bring aid to those caught up in war torn Afghanistan. Now she was a true depiction of a strong female ‘superhero’, someone brave and strong enough to stand up to traditional male dominated hierarchies, enduring and overcoming many hardships to alleviate the suffering of others. She was a strong and beautiful person!

There are two strong female protagonists at the heart of Surface Tension, Mary and Megumi;
Mary is a kindly 50 something lady who, even in darkest of times, believes in people, the community and the potential of people and humanity. Megumi is a 30 something biologist, she works in the field of environmental studies, going out to disaster areas. Megumi is world wear and has lost her faith in mankind, she now believes that the planet would be better off without us.
There is a debate at the heart of the story between the two female characters – can we be trusted as custodians of the planet, as a species are we cursed with a perpetual desire to destroy each other and everything around us? The outcome of this debate will decide the fate of the human race. The heart of this debate drives the story and the fact that two strong female characters are having this passionate conversation was very important to me and the story.
What is ‘feminism?’ For me, the answer is the same for both men and women – it is a belief in one’s self, to buck conventions (cultural and establishment) and to have the strength and the autonomy to stand up for one’s sense of ideal. Men and women should be the same in these regards, we’re all people prone to same strengths and weaknesses. I didn’t set out to write a pro-feminist story, I just wanted to write a story about men and women being equal, we all bring something different and unique to the table regardless of sex, race or creed.

From Gunn's Facebook: "non-official teaser montage"
From Gunn’s Facebook: “non-official teaser montage”

GGW: Surface Tension appears to take place in a post-apocalyptic world, in which most of mankind becomes ill and walks into the oceans, leaving the planet (and those who remain behind) radically different. Things appear to get stranger on earth when some return from the sea! How do you really imagine earth being 10 years from now? 50 years? 100?

Gunn: I think the Earth will go on with or without us, we might make a mess of it but it will always prevail over us, it’s vanity to think otherwise, the planet doesn’t need us but we need it. Now the future of the human race, that’s a different story! There are times that I can get quite pessimistic about our future. You only have to watch the news to lose one’s faith in humanity; images of war, human greed, clashing of cultures, environmental catastrophes, the list goes on. I feel that things will get even worse before they have a hope of getting better. The human race is just like any one person; it sometimes takes something bad to happen before you realise the error of your ways, something to wake you up! Be that from an unhealthy life style that you know is wrong or a job that is slowly killing you, a toxic relationship, or whatever it may be. Once you’ve had this bad thing happen to you then you might decide to change your life and try to prevent it from happening again. I think the human race hasn’t quite realised how bad things are getting, it is in a collective denial. I’m sure that there will be a major event in the near future that will shake things up and if we’re wise enough we’ll have to radically rethink our way of life in order for us to survive. I don’t think that we can sustain our way of life for much longer, we’re rapidly outstripping the planet of all natural resources without giving back, something has got to give – it always does. And that’s the debate that is at the heart of Surface Tension.

GGW: Who would win in a fight: George A. Romero or Frank Darabont?

Gunn: Who would win in a fight between Romero and Darabont? I see them as two different beasts; Romero I see as an outsider, a wily old coyote, a survivor that’s always circling the chicken coup of Hollywood. And Darabont, well he has way more heavy hitters behind him so he’s more as a big old grizzly bear. Would they fight? I know that they have a mutual respect for each other and they’re fiercely independent so I think that they would sit down together and have an understanding and then they would team up together to fight the suits that threaten their creative existence. :)


 

Watch the Surface Tension Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px48D2F1aRQ

Pictures provided by Jay Gunn’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JayGunnArts

Learn more about Titan Comics: http://titan-comics.com/

 

 

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