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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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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Bay Area Comic Events Update April 2017

Hello. How have you been? We haven’t spoken in awhile. That’s on me. I’ve missed you. Where have I been? Glad you asked, thank you. In early February I started a new job. This new job (which I love) is mostly focused on writing and content production. By the time my week comes to an end the part of my brain handling all of my writing is usually burned out. I want to do the weekly Bay Area comic event updates, but I also want to rest. It hasn’t been easy because I do feel like this is an important service.

At some point during the last week I asked myself “Self, does it really need to be weekly? Usually, there aren’t that many surprise creator signings, so what if I make it monthly?”

“Ahhh,” I replied, “your 13 newsletter readers will totally understand, right? In fact, they’d probably appreciate not receiving as many redundant emails.”

That’s where we’re at. I want to continue providing this service to Bay Area comic book fans but I need to moderate my output. At the moment, I’m 100 percent positive I can pull together a monthly calendar. So, without further boring extrapolation on my thinking process, I present The Shared Universe’s Bay Area April Comic Events Update.

April 2017

Michael DeForge signing Sticks Angelica: Folk Hero at Comix Experience
When: April 5, 6 p.m.
Where: Comix Experience
305 Divisadero Street, San Francisco
What: “Celebrate the release of Sticks Angelica: Folk Hero from Drawn & Quarterly by welcoming Michael DeForge with us!
“He will be having a public signing for the book before our Comix Experience Graphic Novel Club meeting. If you would like to join the discussion you can sign up and get more details on the club at graphicnovelclub.com
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/380953648926784/

Donny Cates signing God Country, Paybacks, and Rednecks at Mission: Comics and Art
When: April 7, 7 p.m.
Where: Mission: Comics and Art
2250 Mission Street, San Francisco
What: “He just launched the new hit series GOD COUNTRY and has a new book REDNECK coming in April, but he’s been doing quirky books like BUZZKILL AND THE PAYBACKS for years.  Come ask him about growing up in the King of the Hill town, chat about the Austin scene, or get advice on building you own career in comics.”
More Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/224709761331722/

Jason Latour, Ivan Brandon, and Greg Hinkle singing Black Cloud at Escapist AND Tr!ckster
When: April 8: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Escapist & 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Tr!ckster
Where:
Escapist Comics
3090 Claremont Avenue, Berkeley

Tr!ckster
2631 Ashby Street, Berkeley
What: Both of these stores will take a unique spin on this rockstar signing event. Join Escapist for BBQ and follow the trio to Tr!ckster for beverages and conversation.

Escapist: “Writers Jason Latour (Southern Bastards, Spider-Gwen), Ivan Brandon (Drifter, Viking), and artist Greg Hinkle (Airboy, Rattler) will be in the store SIGNING for the release of their new Image comic Black Cloud #1. Be a part of the BBQ & a session with the creators recorded for the Escapist Comics Podcast featuring BBQ’d treats.”

Tr!ckster: “Join us April 8th as we welcome Jason Latour, Ivan Brandon, and Greg Hinkle to TR!CKSTER to celebrate the release of Black Cloud issue #1 with an evening art reception. We’ll have original art from this beautiful book, as well as a limited number of prints! Don’t miss this spectacular event! You’ll be able to sip beverages, nibble snacks, and chat with (almost) the entire creative team! And, if you desire it, they’ll happily scribble on your books!”
More Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/176138269559994/

Adrian Age Scott signing SuperHood at Mission: Comics and Art
When: April 7, 2 p.m.
Where: Mission: Comics and Art
2250 Mission Street, San Francisco
What: “Join us in welcoming back Adrian Age Scott and his new book SuperHood! Zomby Girl, Beef, Story and Shiva return for a whole new adventure in the hood. Chaos erupts when a powerful being runs rampant shooting everything in its path.”
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/258098697951186/

Colossus Con 2017
When: April 8, 2017
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds
Pleasanton, Calif.
What: “Colossus Con is the ultimate pop culture convention event. Catering to the fans to enjoy the comforts of fandom without the corporate hustle and bustle.”
More info: http://www.colossuscon.com/

Queers and Comics
When: April 14-15, 2017
Where: California College of the Arts
1111 8th Street
San Francisco, CA
What: Queers & Comics features two days of discussion panels, workshops, readings, and comics galore, along with a multitude of off-site events. This year we will spotlight international and emerging LGBTQ cartoonists, the role of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the future of queer comics. Keynote speakers include Mariko Tamaki and Gengoroh Tagame.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/655077967985077/

Silicon Valley Comic Con
When: April 21 – 23, 2017
Where: San Jose Convention Center
More info: http://svcomiccon.com/

June 2017

ID10T Music Fest + Comic Conival
When: June 24 & 25
Where: Shoreline Ampitheatre, Mountain View
What: Chris Hardwick brings together his three passions: music, comedy, and comics. This music festival will not only have a stand-up comics stage with the likes of Michael Ian Black, Garfunkel & Oates, Brian Posehn, and Nikki Glasser, but will feature a comic book section! Some of the confirmed guests include Babs Tarr, Becky Cloonan, Rick Remender, Nick Dragotta, and Cameron Stewart.
More info: http://id10tfest.com/

September 2017

San Francisco Comic Con
When: September 1-3, 2017
Where: Moscone Center West
747 Howard Street in San Francisco
More info: http://sanfrancomiccon.com

 

Bay Area Comic Events Update February 12, 2017

Ken Garing signing Planetoid Praxis at Escapist
When: February 18, 1 p.m.
Where: Escapist Comics
3090 Claremont Avenue
Berkeley, CA
What: San Francisco-based writer and artist Ken Garing returns to the Planetoid universe he created in 2012. Garing always intended for the first Planetoid mini-series to be a standalone title, but, as often happens to writers, the rich Universe he created had more stories to tell. Planetoid Praxis is the start of telling those stories.

Greg Rucka and Liam Sharpe signing Wonder Woman at Flying Colors
When: February 22, 5 p.m.
Where: Flying Colors
2980 Treat Avenue
Concord, CA
What: DC’s Wonder Woman was a bit of a confused mess prior to the company-wide Rebirth. Diana’s story had become muddled and uncertain. Greg Rucka, with the help of artists Liam Sharpe and Nicola Scott, was enlisted to untangle the lasso of truth behind her story. Rucka alternated between two Wonder Woman stories. Scott draws the issues exploring Wonder Woman’s first year discovering the “world of men” (Scott will leave the title after issue 14). Sharpe draws the modern Wonder Woman as she seeks to decode the last five years of her life. What was true and what was made up? That latter storyline, called “The Lies,” is collected in a new trade paperback dropping on February 22.  Rucka and Sharpe will join Flying Colors in Concord for a signing around the release. 

March 2017 

Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky signing Sex Criminals at Fantastic Comics
When: March 29, 2017, 6 p.m.
Where: Fantastic Comics
2026 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA
What: Fantastic Comics is hosting a signing and Q&A with Sex Criminals team Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. They’ll be making a rare joint appearance as part of the return of their on-going series about people who stop time when they climax. Stop time and commit crime. More details as the date approaches.

April 2017

Colossus Con 2017
When: April 8, 2017
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds
Pleasanton, Calif.
What: “Colossus Con is the ultimate pop culture convention event. Catering to the fans to enjoy the comforts of fandom without the corporate hustle and bustle.”
More info: http://www.colossuscon.com/

Queers and Comics
When: April 14-15, 2017
Where: California College of the Arts
1111 8th Street
San Francisco, CA
What: Queers & Comics features two days of discussion panels, workshops, readings, and comics galore, along with a multitude of off-site events. This year we will spotlight international and emerging LGBTQ cartoonists, the role of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the future of queer comics. Keynote speakers include Mariko Tamaki and Gengoroh Tagame.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/655077967985077/

Silicon Valley Comic Con
When: April 21 – 23, 2017
Where: San Jose Convention Center
More info: http://svcomiccon.com/

September 2017

San Francisco Comic Con
When: September 1-3, 2017
Where: Moscone Center West
747 Howard Street in San Francisco
More info: http://sanfrancomiccon.com

Bay Area Comic Events Update January 2, 2017

Welcome to 2017! Here’s your list of known comic book based events coming to the Bay Area. You can receive this weekly update in your email by subscribing to the tinyletter.

January 2017
Mariko Tamaki signing at Mission: Comics and Art (writer Hulk, Supergirl: Being Super, Skim, This One Summer)

When: January 4 at 5 p.m.
Where: Mission: Comics and Art
32250 Mission Street, San Francisco
What: Writer Mariko Tamaki kicks off Mission’s new year with a signing. Tamaki is best known for the New York Times bestseller This One Summer (with illustrator Jillian Tamaki). This month she’s stepping in as the regular writer of the new Jennifer Walters-focused Hulk ongoing series at Marvel and the new Supergirl: Being Super mini-series at DC.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/532542666949224/

Isabel Greenberg streaming at Comix Experience (The One Hundred Nights of Hero)
When: January 7 at 11 a.m.
Where: Comix Experience
305 Divisadero, San Francisco
What: Isabel Greenberg will appear via video to discuss her new book The One Hundred Nights of Hero. Description from Hachette Book GroupIn the tradition of The Arabian Nights, a beautifully illustrated tapestry of folk tales and myths about the secret legacy of female storytellers in an imagined medieval world. This event is a private for members of the store’s Graphic Novel Club.
More info: http://www.graphicnovelclub.com/events.html

Jeffrey Brown at Comix Experience (Darth Vader & Son, Unlikely)
When: January 8 at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Comix Experience
305 Divisadero, San Francisco
What: Jeffrey Brown, the creator of Darth Vader & Son, will be at Comix Experience celebrating the release of his new book Lucy and Andy Neanderthal. From PenguinLucy and Andy are a sister and brother who get into trouble much like any sister and brother. Only difference? Lucy and Andy live in the Stone Age! Discover their laugh-out-loud adventures as the Paleo pair take on a wandering baby sibling, bossy teens, cave paintings, and a mammoth hunt. But what will happen when they encounter a group of humans?  This event is a private for members of the store’s Graphic Novel Club for Kids.
More info: http://www.graphicnovelclub.com/events.html

Black Comix Art Festival
When: January 15-16, 2017
Where: San Francisco Public Library and City View at Metreon
What: “The Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) celebrates African Americans’ creativity in the comic arts and popular visual culture and is dedicated to the notion that all audiences deserve to be subject in the culture in which we participate. The two-day event includes a grand expo, kids activities, film screenings, panels and conversations, cosplay events and much more.”
More info: http://bcaf.norcalmlkfoundation.org/

Richard Kadrey at Fantastic Comics (Sandman Slim, Accelerate, Lucifer)
When: January 18 at 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Fantastic Comics
2026 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
What: Richard Kadrey, the author of the Sandman Slim novels, returns to comics as the new writer for Lucifer. Kadrey, along with artist Lee Garbett, will provide a new dark and twisted spin on the character made popular in Neil Gaiman’s timeless Sandman series (no relation to Sandman Slim). He’ll appear at Fantastic for a signing on January 18 for the kick-off of the new story arc.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/245177805895617

February 2017

East Bay Comic Con (tentative)
When: February 12, 2017
Where: Concord Hilton
1970 Diamond Blvd, Concord
More info: http://eastbaycomiccon.com

April 2017

Colossus Con 2017
When: April 8, 2017
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds
Pleasanton, Calif.
What: “Colossus Con is the ultimate pop culture convention event. Catering to the fans to enjoy the comforts of fandom without the corporate hustle and bustle.”
More info: http://www.colossuscon.com/

Queers and Comics
When: April 14-15, 2017
Where: California College of the Arts
1111 8th Street
San Francisco, CA
What: Queers & Comics features two days of discussion panels, workshops, readings, and comics galore, along with a multitude of off-site events. This year we will spotlight international and emerging LGBTQ cartoonists, the role of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the future of queer comics. Keynote speakers include Mariko Tamaki and Gengoroh Tagame.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/655077967985077/

Silicon Valley Comic Con
When: April 21 – 23, 2017
Where: San Jose Convention Center
More info: http://svcomiccon.com/

September 2017

San Francisco Comic Con
When: September 1-3, 2017
Where: Moscone Center West
747 Howard Street in San Francisco
More info: http://sanfrancomiccon.com

Bay Area Comic Events Update December 19, 2016

I’d like to thank everyone who’s signed up to receive this newsletter as an email. This will be my last missive of 2016. Please enjoy two weeks without me in your email box and have a happy holiday.

Quick note: I wrote a thing investigating Zendaya’s books in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer.

Did you hear the news about the Castro’s Whatever… comics launching a GoFundMe so they can stay open? The shop managed to raise nearly $10,000 in five days with an average donation of $63. Whatever… is only one of a number of comic shops in the country reporting news of financial struggles as the year comes to a close. The Comic Beat’s Todd Allen wrote a solid piece about some of the theories behind the challenges local comic shops are facing. The piece inspired an equally solid Twitter thread from Dublin’s Big Bang Comics.

The discussion ties in with two events being hosted by Comix Experience in January. We’re spoiled in the Bay Area because we have more comic shops in our 6900 square miles than most comparable regions. We also have the highest cost of living in the country so our retailers are looking at new ways to cover the bottom line and keep the lights on. The Comix Experience response was to start two Graphic Novel Clubs: one for kids and one for adults. Having a club subscription gets members a curated graphic novel experience, access to private events, and unique swag.

January 2 – January 8, 2017

Mariko Tamaki signing at Mission: Comics and Art (writer Hulk, Supergirl: Being Super, Skim, This One Summer)
When: January 4 at 5 p.m.
Where: Mission: Comics and Art
32250 Mission Street, San Francisco
What: Writer Mariko Tamaki kicks off Mission’s new year with a signing. Tamaki is best known for the New York Times bestseller This One Summer (with illustrator Jillian Tamaki). This month she’s stepping in as the regular writer of the new Jennifer Walters-focused Hulk ongoing series at Marvel and the new Supergirl: Being Super mini-series at DC.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/532542666949224/

Isabel Greenberg streaming at Comix Experience (The One Hundred Nights of Hero)
When: January 7 at 11 a.m.
Where: Comix Experience
305 Divisadreo, San Francisco
What: Isabel Greenberg will appear via video to discuss her new book The One Hundred Nights of Hero. Description from Hachette Book Group: In the tradition of The Arabian Nights, a beautifully illustrated tapestry of folk tales and myths about the secret legacy of female storytellers in an imagined medieval world. This event is a private for members of the store’s Graphic Novel Club.
More info: http://www.graphicnovelclub.com/events.html

Jeffrey Brown at Comix Experience (Darth Vader & Son, Unlikely)
When: January 8 at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Comix Experience
305 Divisadreo, San Francisco
What: Jeffrey Brown, the creator of Darth Vader & Son, will be at Comix Experience celebrating the release of his new book Lucy and Andy Neanderthal. From Penguin: Lucy and Andy are a sister and brother who get into trouble much like any sister and brother. Only difference? Lucy and Andy live in the Stone Age! Discover their laugh-out-loud adventures as the Paleo pair take on a wandering baby sibling, bossy teens, cave paintings, and a mammoth hunt. But what will happen when they encounter a group of humans?  This event is a private for members of the store’s Graphic Novel Club for Kids.
More info: http://www.graphicnovelclub.com/events.html

January 2017

Black Comix Art Festival
When: January 15-16, 2017
Where: San Francisco Public Library and City View at Metreon
What: “The Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) celebrates African Americans’ creativity in the comic arts and popular visual culture and is dedicated to the notion that all audiences deserve to be subject in the culture in which we participate. The two-day event includes a grand expo, kids activities, film screenings, panels and conversations, cosplay events and much more.”
More info: http://bcaf.norcalmlkfoundation.org/

February 2017

East Bay Comic Con (tentative)
When: February 12, 2017
Where: Concord Hilton
1970 Diamond Blvd, Concord
More info: http://eastbaycomiccon.com

April 2017

Colossus Con 2017
When: April 8, 2017
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds
Pleasanton, Calif.
What: “Colossus Con is the ultimate pop culture convention event. Catering to the fans to enjoy the comforts of fandom without the corporate hustle and bustle.”
More info: http://www.colossuscon.com/

Queers and Comics
When: April 14-15, 2017
Where: California College of the Arts
1111 8th Street
San Francisco, CA
What: Queers & Comics features two days of discussion panels, workshops, readings, and comics galore, along with a multitude of off-site events. This year we will spotlight international and emerging LGBTQ cartoonists, the role of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the future of queer comics. Keynote speakers include Mariko Tamaki and Gengoroh Tagame.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/655077967985077/

Silicon Valley Comic Con
When: April 21 – 23, 2017
Where: San Jose Convention Center
More info: http://svcomiccon.com/

September 2017

San Francisco Comic Con
When: September 1-3, 2017
Where: Moscone Center West
747 Howard Street in San Francisco
More info: http://sanfrancomiccon.com

Castro comic shop seeks community support

The Castro’s only comic shop, Whatever…, needs to raise $8,000 by Saturday or they could be forced to close up shop for good. They’ve launched a GoFundMe campaign to help get through the shopping doldrums of January and February. Earlier today the store received a boost from outspoken comic book retailer Dennis Barger who used his Facebook Live Daily D at 3 show to push for Whatever…’s support. He’s even pulled an issue of New Mutants #98 (first appearance of Deadpool) out of his personal collection and put it on eBay to raise funding for the store.

Whatever… opened 10 years ago bringing a much needed comic store to San Francisco’s Castro District. They’re an important stop along the West Bay Comics Trail.

The state of local comic book shops has been a hot discussion on comics twitter. Concord’s Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff owner Joe Field recently went on a tweet storm about how local shops are faring as the year comes to a close. In a tweet, Field said “Word on the street is there will be a round of shop closings in early ’17.” The Comics Beat kindly collected the tweets into a single post.

Consider doing some holiday shopping at your local comic shop. If you need to find one in the Bay Area we have a list located here.

What is Zendaya reading in the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer?

Since it was announced Zendaya was cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming there’s been a big question mark around her character. Early rumors that she’d been cast as Mary Jane Watson were quashed by the star in a November interview with ET Online. She verified her character is named “Michelle.” Last night we saw the first trailer for the film which gave us our first glimpse at Zendaya in her role.

The moment doesn’t give us many answers other than showing us “Michelle” is an avid book reader. As a fan of seeing books on film and figuring out what characters are reading I took some time last night to squint at the blurry screen capture.

Here are the top three books in the pile with wikipedia synopsis:

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Adolescent

The novel chronicles the life of 19-year-old intellectual, Arkady Dolgoruky, illegitimate child of the controversial and womanizing landowner Versilov. A focus of the novel is the recurring conflict between father and son, particularly in ideology, which represents the battles between the conventional “old” way of thinking in the 1840s and the new nihilistic point of view of the youth of 1860s Russia. Whereas the young of Arkady’s time embraced a very negative opinion of Russian culture in contrast to Western or European culture.

Another main theme is Arkady’s development and utilization of his “idea” in his life, mainly a form of rebellion against society (and his father) through the rejection of attending a university, and the making of money and living independently, onto the eventual aim of becoming excessively wealthy and powerful.

Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove

This novel tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her effect on the people around her. Some of these people befriend Milly with honorable motives, while others are more self-interested.

Kōbō Abe’s Woman in the Dunes

In 1955, Jumpei Niki, a schoolteacher from Tokyo, visits a fishing village to collect insects. After missing the last bus, he is led, by the villagers, in an act of apparent hospitality, to a house in the dunes that can be reached only by ladder. The next morning the ladder is gone and he finds he is expected to keep the house clear of sand with the woman living there, with whom he is also to produce children. He eventually gives up trying to escape when he comes to realize returning to his old life would give him no more liberty. After seven years, he is proclaimed officially dead.

As for the fourth book, there are many books that have “Democracy” and I haven’t been able to find a matching book spine image.

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