Author Archive | Jesse Russell

Signing: Emily Pearson Signing “The Wilds” at Cape and Cowl on March 10

If you pay attention to the comics media you know Black Mask‘s newest title The Wilds is the critical darling of the month.

Writer Vita Ayala described the book to

…humanity was ravaged by a plague that killed half the population, and turned a number of the remainder into essentially flower zombies. Humanity, to survive, has formed these walled-off city-states like settlements. We follow Daisy Walker, who works for a specialized settlement called The Compound – which is basically a mashup of the USPS and Black Market. Daisy is a Runner, which means her job is to find salvage to bring back to the Compound, and also to ferry cargo (which can be goods, people, or just messages) between settlements. Being a Runner is a brutal job and few make it to retirement. Runners are basically exploited, but without them, society as it stands, could not work.

Thematically, the book is about how marginalized people (PoC, and especially WoC) are exploited. How PoC are expected to perform massive amounts of physical and emotional labor with no reward, and often until we are used up or die.

Artist Emily Pearson and colorist Marissa Louise work together to compellingly illustrate a world where the bleak reality of the end times can co-exist with the beauty of flowering undead.

If you live in the Bay Area you can talk to Pearson about her vision when she makes a stop on March 10 at Cape and Cowl Comics in Oakland. She’ll be at the 1601 Clay Street comic shop from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. both signing the first issue and creating sketches. Check out the Facebook event here.

The Wilds team includes lettering from Jim Campbell and editing by Danny Lore.

If you can’t make it to Cape and Cowl to pick up a copy and meet Pearson please check out our list of Bay Area Comic Book Stores. Most will likely have a copy unless, of course, the book is sold out.


Black Panther Inspires Disney to Fund STEM Initiative in Oakland

At this point everyone in Oakland has had a chance to catch Black Panther, right? In case you haven’t, but plan on doing so, I should note everything below in this post is a spoiler for the final Oakland-based scene of the film. Okay?

Black Panther is breaking all sorts of records and that means plenty of dollar bills for the Walt Disney Company. According to, the House of Mouse has decided to put some of that money back into the communities that have no doubt helped make Black Panther one of the most successful superhero films ever.

Disney plans to donate $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club of America to help expand the organizations STEM programs. Part of that investment includes helping to establish an Oakland-based STEM Center of Innovation. The move is a clear nod to the film’s ending where Wakanda starts making contact with the rest of the world by establishing a science center in Oakland. T’Challa’s wicked smart sister, Shuri, is tapped to lead the science outreach initiative.

Black Panther - Shuir smiling

The majority of the film takes place in the fictional nation of Wakanda, but it is an Oakland film at heart. The Bay Area city is the birthplace of director Ryan Coogler who made his Hollywood debut with the critically-acclaimed indie film Fruitvale Station. That film told the story of Oscar Grant who on New Year’s Eve 2009 was shot in the back and murdered by BART police.

In a statement, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger noted that Black Panther is “sparking discussion, inspiring people young and old, and breaking down age-old industry myths.”

Disney’s money will additionally support STEM programs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Harlem, Hartford, Memphis, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Watts.

Signing: Liam Sharp at Escapist on February 24

The Escapist Comic Book Store, 3090 Claremont Avenue, will host comic artist and writer Liam Sharp on Saturday, February 24. Sharp, who most recently came off a critically acclaimed run illustrating Wonder Woman with writer Greg Rucka (and alternating artistic duties with Nicola Scott) is embarking on a new journey with DC’s Amazonian. Sharp is both writing and illustrating a six-issue miniseries of The Brave and the Bold featuring Wonder Woman and Batman.

Liam SHarp Brave and the Bold

A new, six-issue miniseries written and illustrated by Liam Sharp (WONDER WOMAN)! When a Celtic god’s murder leads to a war between the fairy folk and a possible breach between worlds, Wonder Woman must find the murderer and keep the peace while Batman investigates strange occurrences in Gotham City. As Diana must turn to the World’s Greatest Detective for help, the two heroes quickly learn their cases may be connected.

Sharp will sign copies of issue one between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on February 24.

Marvel Returns to San Francisco for More “Ant-Man and The Wasp” Filming

On the heels of Thor crushing the box office this weekend, Marvel has returned to San Francisco to shoot more scenes for next year’s Ant-Man and The Wasp.

The film crew, operating under the moniker PYM Particles Productions shooting a movie called “Cherry Blue,” spent Monday down at Pier 39. Thanks to additional signage posted around North Beach we know more filming is planned for this coming Wednesday near the Transamerica Building.


This is at least the second time this year the company has been to the city to shoot scenes for the second film involving  Marvel’s smallest (and sometimes largest) superhero. In September, PYM Particles Productions spent a week flipping cars near Nob Hill.

Ant-Man and the Wasp will be released in theaters on July 6, 2018. Most of the first film’s cast will return including Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas. Both Michelle Pfieffer and Laurence Fishburne have signed on for the sequel.

Hasbro Cinematic Universe could arrive as early as 2020

In April of 2016 news broke that Hasbro was going to make an effort to leverage several properties into a shared cinematic universe. The properties included G.I. Joe, Visionaries, M.A.S.K., Micronauts, and ROM.

Hasbro Shared Univrse

Art from IDW’s Hasbro Shared Universe which features Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Rom, and others

The toy company brought together a who’s who of storytellers to form a writers room and start figuring out how all of the pieces could interlock. From Variety:

The writers assigned to the room are Lindsey Beer (“Wizard of Oz”), Michael Chabon(“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”), Cheo Coker (“Ray Donovan”), Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), Joe Robert Cole (“Black Panther”), Nicole Perlman (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Jeff Pinkner (“The Dark Tower”), Nicole Riegel (“Soldier Girls”), Geneva Robertson (“Tomb Raider”) and Brian K Vaughan (“Lost”).

After that initial announcement, there wasn’t much follow-up on the status of any sort of shared universe.

We do know Akiva Goldsman, who oversaw the writers room as well as the last three Transformers films, has left Hasbro to work with Paramount.

Curious about whether or not we’ll ever see this universe I started to do some digging. The best (and limited) information I could find was in a Hollywood Reporter profile of Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. Buried at the very end of the June 2017 interview Goldner says:

There are vault brands like Micronauts, MASK, ROM and Visionaries. We had a writers room last summer to develop a suite of stories. My expectation is that by 2020, we should see some major entertainment coming from the development that we’ve undertaken.

That’s it. No follow-up for further explanation. Whether or not Hasbro still plans to combine that suite of stories into a shared universe is still a big question mark. The concept has worked well for IDW who holds the comic licenses for all of those toy brands.

The 10-year-old in me would simply be happy with a G.I. Jor reboot that mirrors the original Marvel comic book series.

Essential Guide to Northern California Haunted Houses

Halloween is right around the corner and that means all of the Northern California Haunted Houses are putting dust on the furniture, hanging the cobwebs, and resurrecting monsters. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys having the living daylights scared out of you (or watching your friends scream in terror) we’re here to help. Below you’ll find all of the haunted houses, creepy corn mazes, and petrifying paintball experiences within 150 miles of downtown San Francisco (in Southern California? Cool, check out our essential guide to Los Angeles Haunted Houses). This list is organized by earliest opening date so you can fit in as many scary weekends as possible.

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How To Live Your Authentic 80s Self This Fall

Scanning through our virtual stack of press releases from the last few weeks we noticed a rad trend: the 80s are back. This Fall the 80s will be all over your streaming services, on your grocery shelves, and in your ears. Here’s a quick guide to how you can live your authentic 80s self this fall.

Eating the 80s

Familiar brands are once again lining grocery shelves in an effort to tap into the 80s nostalgia.

Jolt Cola

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Essential Guide to Los Angeles Haunted Houses

Halloween Horror Nights kicked off at Universal Studios over the weekend officially marking the start to LA’s Haunted House season. We’ve pulled together this essential guide to finding all of the demons in the City of Angels. These haunts are organized by opening date so you can strategically plan as many Los Angeles haunted houses as possible this Halloween (closer to San Francisco? No problem, check out our essential guide to Northern California Haunted Houses).

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A Superpowered Bay Area Guide To Free Comic Book Day 2017

The Bay Area has more comic shops than any other region of the United States. Within a 15-mile radius of San Francisco’s City Hall, there are no less than 14 stores pushing funny books on impressionable youth (and adults). Free Comic Book Day returns on May 6 and due to the close proximity of Bay Area stores, it’s possible to hit five or six in a single day (if you’re so inclined). That equals a lot of free comics.

free comic book day 2017

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C2E2 2017: 20 Autographs To Hunt At C2E2

The Midwest’s biggest comics and pop culture conference, C2E2, is coming up this weekend. This year the event features more than 100 panels and nearly the same number of special guests. C2E2 2017 features photo op and signature hunting galore with stars from The Flash, Stranger Things, Harry Potter, and more. If you’re hoping for sketches from your favorite comic book creators they have those, too. We’ve pulled out some of the highlights from both entertainment and comics.

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