Archive | Conventions

San Francisco Comic Con Heads to Oakland with Matt Smith, Jonathan Frakes, Wallace Shawn, and more

The San Francisco Comic Con returns to the Bay Area this June but not to its namesake city. The convention, which has been diligently filling a void left by WonderCon’s departure in 2012, will bring geeky comic goodness to the Oakland Convention Center June 8-10.

San Francisco Comic Con

Like most comic conventions these days, there’s more to San Francisco Comic Con than comics. The convention will include panels on everything from cosplay to gaming. In addition to panels, SFCC will host a number of celebrity guests (for an additional cost): Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Bonnie Wright (Harry Potter), Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG), Camren Bicondova (Gotham), Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride), Michael Biehn (Aliens), Rodger Bumpass (Sponge Bob), Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS), Nolan North (Uncharted), and Veronica Taylor (Pokemon).

The comic creator guest list is substantial and includes a number of rising stars in the industry as well as some big-name veterans. Possibly the biggest name is a weekend appearance of Jim Starlin who will be the focus of two panels discussing his life and work. Other guests include Gerry Conway. Amy Mebberson, Paola Rivera, and Renee Witterstaetter.

A complete list of panels and guests can be found on the San Francisco Comic Con website.

Tickets now on sale for Steve Wozniak’s Silicon Valley Comic Con

SVCCWozThere hasn’t been much news about Silicon Valley Comic Con since the initial buzz back in April, but it appears tickets have quietly gone on sale for the March 18-20 event. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is the mastermind behind the convention which seeks to “bring together the best in technology and entertainment all under one gigantic roof.”

What exactly SVCC will look like is still an unknown, but Wozniak appears to be tapping his resources to create something that will be a cross between SDCC and a TED Talk. The website promises: “See the hottest technologies, speak with the tech gods that shape and drive our world, catch the latest in new movies, and listen to the producers, directors and actors that are creating the pop culture we are all talking about. You can also engage in cosplay fashion shows, get thrown off a mechanical bull, or fall from a two story building.”

Discovering tickets are now available came as a bit of a surprise. SVCC has both a Twitter handle and Facebook page, but neither mention tickets being on sale. Mysterious.

What does SVCC mean for San Jose’s other comic con, Big Wow Comicfest? Instead of competing it appears SVCC has kindly partnered with Big Wow Comicfest. The older comic convention will be managing the Comic Pavilion which includes artist alley and vendors.

Currently the only announced guest is William Shatner as part of a 50th Anniversary of Star Trek celebration. More guests will be announced on October 10.

Ticket prices:
Friday Preview: March 18th, 5-9pm (Preview) $25.00
Saturday, March 19th, 10am-6pm: $50.00
Sunday, March 20th, 10am-5pm: $50.00
3-Day $99.00

Kids: (12 and under)
Friday (Preview) $10.00
Saturday $20.00
Sunday $20.00
3-Day $39.00

VIP $250.00 (Limited to 350)
VIP Entrance
3-Day Event and Priority Panel Entry
Fast Pass Photo Line
Private VIP Lounge (Includes private ATM, Coat Check, and Snacks)
Private Autograph Signing in VIP Lounge with one of two special guests

VIP Platinum $500.00 (Limited to 100)
VIP Plus:
Limited Edition T-shirt
Line Hopper Pass
One Ticket to Exclusive Cocktail Reception with Steve Wozniak

VIP Diamond *$899.00 (Limited to 50)*
VIP Platinum plus:
3 – Night Stay in Partner Hotel: (Choose from San Jose Marriott, Hilton San Jose or Hyatt Place, based on availability. Taxes not included.)

SF ZineFest – Tomorrow!

I had my comic event radar in the off position for a few months, so I’ve lost the habit of turning it on each morning. When I saw the Alternative Press Expo announcement it reminded me that San Francisco Zine Festzinefest must be coming up soon. Indeed it is! Tomorrow in fact.

SF Zine Fest returns to Golden Gate Park’s County Fair Building on September 6 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Yes, Zine Fest is only one-day this year due to various reasons, most notably financial constraints brought on by San Francisco’s art crushing high rents. The organizers do a great job laying out all of the changes and constants on the front page of the Zine Fest website.

One day will likely be helpful for creators this year due to the additional constraints brought on by the Labor Day weekend long BART closure between West Oakland and Embarcacdero. That’s one less day for exhibitors who typically depend on public transit  needing to use more expensive routes of travel. The BART closure was unexpected and happened after the venue was already secured (seriously, BART should be required to give at least one-year notice for big disruptions like this).

There are numerous alternative routes to get to Zine Fest. All of the local transit authorities are teaming up to run shuttles across the Bay Bridge from the 19th Street station. There’s always the relaxing cross-bay ferry.

APE 2014: The creator spotlights

Alternative Press ExpoAlternative Press Expo 2014 is just around the corner featuring two days highlighting comic indie publishing. On September 19 the programming schedule was published revealing the time slots for creator spotlights.

October 4
1 p.m. Bob Fingerman

Meet APE special guest Bob Fingerman, the creator of such acclaimed graphic novels as White Like She, From the Ashes, Recess Pieces, and his best-known series, Minimum Wage (currently enjoying its return with all-new issues after a 15-year hiatus), as well the novels Bottomfeeder and Pariah.

3:30 p.m. Faith Erin Hicks

APE special guest Faith Erin Hicks is the Eisner Award-winning cartoonist of The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Friends with Boys, The War at Ellsmere, and Zombies Calling. She is also the artist and co-writer of The Last of Us: American Dreams and the artist of the Bigfoot Boy series (with J. Torres), and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (with Prudence Shen). She started drawing comics years ago “for fun” and remains surprised that writing and drawing is her career. If you would like to know how this astonishing event occurred, Faith would be happy to talk about it at this panel.

4:15 p.m. Jason Shiga

APE special guest Jason Shiga is best known for his mathematically rigorous graphic novels Fleep, Bookhunter, and Meanwhile. But did you know the vast majority of his comics are hand assembled interactive minicomics? Jason will demonstrate some of his unpublished and rarely seen interactive comic creations, including the only known comic with movable parts. He will discuss past, present, and future projects, including an exclusive peek at his latest comic, Demon.

5 p.m. Robert Williams

APE special guest Robert Williams (painter, cartoonist, The Lowbrow Art of Robert Williams) and Gary Groth (publisher of Fantagraphics Books) will discuss Williams’s career, from underground comix legend, co-producing Zap Comix in the 1960s, to co-founding Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine in the 1990s.

October 5
12:45 p.m. C. Spike Trotman

APE special guest C. Spike Trotman is responsible for Kickstarter juggernaut Smut Peddler, along with The Sleep of Reason, Poorcraft, and the webcomic Templar, Arizona. Running the one-woman Iron Circus Comics out of Chicago, she’s a font of DIY comics knowhow, vanguarding the indie comic renaissance and spotlighting underrepresented genres and themes in the work she creates and publishes alike. Drop in to hear her plans for new projects and candid advice for go-it-alone types!

2:15 p.m. Paul Pope

Hot on the heels of his #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel Battling Boy, APE special guest Paul Pope is debuting his new graphic novel The Rise of Aurora West at APE! Paul will give you the inside scoop on his creative, artistic, and storytelling process, as well as providing an inside look at the world of Battling Boy and Aurora West. Moderated by CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein.


Have a sexy comic time at Bookish Beasts on July 13

Many comics fans like to think of our preferred medium as an insurgent to popular media, but in truth it’s in many ways nothing more than a leg of the same chair. In both comics and media as a whole violence has increasingly become an accepted form of “artistic” expression while the topic of sexuality is still relegated to the backrooms. There have been the hints of a possible sea change coming as publishers like Image and Oni challenge the status quo by not shying away from sexually provocative content while at the same time becoming the new standard-bearers of what mainstream companies should be adding to their superhero formulas. Still, there’s a thick jungle and our machetes are dull, so some of the most progressive and interesting stories addressing sexuality and gender are found at zine conventions, online, or often relegated to a comic book store’s “local creator” pander pile (“Do we carry local creators? Of course, just go dig through that unorganized pile in the very back of the store! We love local creators! Can we recommend one? No, but, um, hey, have you read Saga?“).


If you live in the Bay Area finding comics about sexuality, gender, and erotica will be much easier on July 13. For the second year in a row San Francisco’s Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street, will be hosting Bookish Beasts which is an effort to “expand the audiences of local zine and comic artists who make sexy books.” Over the last month CSC has been highlighting some of the publishers and artists who will be in attendance on their blog (warning: NSFW). Based on what’s highlighted in the posts it’s sure to be a provocative and fun event. It may even be the right level of smutty. More details:

Where: The Center for Sex and Culture at 1349 Mission Street
Date: July 13
Time: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: Free!
Age: 18+

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Image Expo 2014: Twitter accounts to follow

This is an updated list of Twitter accounts worth following to keep up to date on all of the news and commentary coming out of the Image Expo. I’ve updated this list with creators who are confirmed to be attending today and creators who have said things that lead various comic book news sites to believe they’ll be there. I also have a Twitter Image Expo list that includes the following people as well as various fans who’ve said they’ll be attending. There are some confirmations regarding creators who will be attending, but won’t necessarily be on a panel. Those include: Justin Greenwood (The Fuse), Ken Kristensen (Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth), Jim Valentino (ShadowHawk/Image co-founder), and Rob Liefeld (Youngblood/Image co-founder).

The hashtag is #ImageExpo
Ours: @ashareduniverse
Image: @imagecomics
Skybound: @skyboundent
Kelly Sue DeConnick: @kellysue
Brandon Graham: @royalboiler
Nick Dragotta: @NickDragotta
Rick Remender: @Remender
Matt Fraction: @mattfraction
Robert Kirkman: @RobertKirkman
Nick Spencer: @NickSpencer
Joe Keatinge: @joekeatinge
Wes Craig: @WesCraigComics
James Robinson: @JamesDRobinson
Paul Azaceta: @paulazaceta
Joshua Williamson: @Williamson_Josh
Ken Kristensen: @KenKristensen
Justin Greenwood: jkgreenwood_art
Rob Liefeld: @robertliefeld
Ed Brubaker: @brubaker (maybe)
Andrea Shockling (Comicosity): @andreashock
Aaron Meyers (Comicosity): @AaronMeyers
Tom Spurgeon (Comics Reporter): @comicsreporter
David Dissanayake (Bleeding Cool): @dwdissanayake
Comics Therapy: @comicstherapy
CheapGraphicNovels: @CheapGN
Mission Comics: @MissionComics
Heather (Fantastic Comics): @moriarteas
Juliette (Fantastic Comics): @ElusiveJ
Isotope Comics: @IsotopeComics
Brian (Brian’s Comics): @brianscomics

Advancing Image Expo 2014

imageexpoTomorrow Image Expo returns to San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Cultural Center to share with retailers, media, and fans what the company will be churning out over 2014. Twelve guests have already been announced with a number of unannounced special guests expected to appear. The rumor in the Bay is that in all there will be 18 to 20 guests attending the event, so that means six to eight unknowns (I’m privy to two far flung guests who will be attending, but I’m not at liberty to divulge even though I’ve been chomping at the bit for two months. I can say if you’ve been on the fence waiting to buy tickets you’ll want to snap one of the remaining few up and come to the Expo tomorrow).

The most recent buzz to come out regarding the Image Expo is Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint teasing a “startling” new direction for Invincible. The Outhousers suggest this is likely Kirkman trolling Marvel’s relaunch fetish.

Bleeding Cool’s David Dissanayake is playing the speculation game with a post trying to guess who the surprise guests might be. They put money on: Grant Morrison, Darren Arnofsky, Jonathan Hickman, Warren Ellis, and Ales Kot.

I’m still hoping San Franciscan Justin Greenwood shows up to promote The Fuse. That title is one of the new books hitting shelves this year that I’m most excited about reading.

More info on Image Expo:
List of the 12 known guests
Details on variants that will be available
Programming schedule

Twitter accounts to follow: (I’ll update this list tonight and repost it early tomorrow morning. If you’re going and will be tweeting about Image Expo let me know by tweeting at @ashareduniverse and I’ll add you)
The hashtag is #ImageExpo
Ours: @ashareduniverse
Image: @imagecomics
Kelly Sue DeConnick: @kellysue
Brandon Graham: @royalboiler
Nick Dragotta: @NickDragotta
Rick Remender: @Remender
Matt Fraction: @mattfraction
Robert Kirkman: @RobertKirkman
Nick Spencer: @NickSpencer
Joe Keatinge: @joekeatinge
Wes Craig: @WesCraigComics
James Robinson: @JamesDRobinson
Paul Azaceta: @paulazaceta
Joshua Williamson: @Williamson_Josh
Mission Comics: @MissionComics



Image Publisher Eric Stephenson talks Image Expo with Multiveristy

imageexpoFor the third year in a row comic news site Multiveristy named Image Comics “publisher of the year.” To coincide with granting the honor Multiversity’s David Harper sat down with Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson to talk about the past, present, and future of the company. In the interview, Stephenson discusses the successful Image Expo which will be returning to the Bay Area on January 9, 2014. While no news about what may be announced at the 2014 Image Expo is revealed Stephenson discusses how the event came to be and how it was Robert Kirkman’s enthusiasm that set everything in motion:

…my initial reaction was essentially a cross between unbridled revulsion and abject despair. It all sounded like considerably more trouble than it was worth, frankly, but as typically happens, I got caught up in Robert’s enthusiasm for the ideas, and what do you know? Everything was fine. Better than fine, actually, because what we quickly learned was that there’s real value in making big announcements outside the circus atmosphere of the regular convention circuit.

Since I last wrote about Image Expo a number of new creators have been added to the already robust slate: Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Bedlam), Joe Keatinge (Glory), Wes Craig (Deadly Class), James Robinson (The Saviors), Paul Azaceta (Outcast), and Joshua Williamson (Ghosted).


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