With Further Ado #041: Making Comic Cons Look (Big) Easy

With Further Ado #041: Making Comic Cons Look (Big) Easy

Just about every year, I spend a week in Louisiana.  Sometimes I get over to New Orleans, but most of the time I’m with old friends in New Iberia parish.  My pals are folks like Dave Robicheaux, his daughter Alafair and his best friend Clete Purcell. They are good people, but boy, do they get into a lot of trouble.

My visits are facilitated by author James Lee Burke, and he’s been writing about these characters for years.  He’s prolific and his novels never disappoint. Have you read a James Lee Burke story yet? Ostensibly they are thrillers. He’s superb at ratcheting up the suspense each and every time.  Beyond that, Burke also has a way to peer into humanity’s soul and wrap it all up in poetic prose. His brilliant writing is achingly beautiful.

I just finished the second most recent one, called Robicheaux. His newest, which I should read soon, is called New Iberia Blues. Burke also writes other books outside of this series, and I’ve been enthralled by them too.  I’d strongly suggest you give them a try.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #041: Making Comic Cons Look (Big) Easy”

Awesome-Con 2019 Cosplay Pics

Awesome-Con 2019 Cosplay Pics

Here is just some fantastic cosplay that we saw at Awesome-Con this year.

It was diverse and ubiquitous. There were some really unique an intricate designs that we saw on the floor this year in Washington. We hope you enjoy these and appreciate the effort put into making these costumes.

 

 

 

 

Photography by Shari Harrison and Adriane Nash

Awesome-Con 2019 Panel LiveBlog: DC Celebrates 80 Years of Batman Comics

Awesome-Con 2019 Panel LiveBlog: DC Celebrates 80 Years of Batman Comics

We will be bringing you the info from this panel live from Awesome-Con in Washington DC.

Awesome-Con Panel Description

Eighty years after his debut, Batman continues to be one of the most iconic Super Heroes of all time. Meet some of the key players in the Dark Knight’s world who create and bring you the best Batman comics stories ever.  Buckle up for an incredible ride in the Batmobile and hear what these creators have to say about one of your all-time favorite DC Super Heroes.

Follow along in the 24LiveBlog window below.

 

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #034: End Game

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #034: End Game

Sup, nerds. I know I’ve been away for a tic, but you’ll forgive me right? I changed day jobs — and I’m sure you’d love to know all about that — and it put me in Austin last week. But I’m back in the saddle here in my newly upgraded Man-Cave/Actual-Adult-Office and ready to populate your brainstems with pop-culture thoughts and prayers.

I could wax poetic on Wrestlemania and the subsequent superstar shake-ups, but I’m saving that until next week. You’ve been warned. I could compare and contrast Captain Marvel to Shazam, but frankly it’d wind up being very mean to Shazam — because comparing the two flicks would be akin to comparing a fine meal at an upscale farm-to-table fast-casual restaurant… and Arby’s. I could detail my recent love affair with the binge-worthy Santa Clarita Diet but I just started season 3, and I don’t want 100 people to spoil things for me.

So, what does that leave me? Oh, how about the whole reason I have a column here in the first place? Independent comic bookery!

At the tail end of March, Unshaven Comics (my lil studio, don’t cha know) had a decent showing at the annual C2E2 comic con in our “home” city of Chicago. The con itself was plenty enjoyable. Our neighbors on both sides were fun, genial, and downright friendly. Our friends and fans came out in droves to give us well wishes and high fives. I personally minted a minor fortune (see also: gas and food money for a whopping 2 weeks, baby!) selling my PokeVengers cards. Please don’t alert The Pokemon Authority I’m making parody art. The best thing to come out our con experience though, was a sobering declaration. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #034: End Game”

Spotlight Interview with Comic Legend Gene Ha, Creator of Mae

Spotlight Interview with Comic Legend Gene Ha, Creator of Mae

Hey! Welcome back to our special feature Spotlight Interview column. When we are fortunate enough to get to talk to creative professionals, we love to bring those conversations to you folks.

Last month on March 24, 2019, we were able to get together with comic legend Gene Ha and talk about his current project and his career in comics.

Gene is well-known for working with Alan Moore on Top 10 from the America’s Best Comics imprint of Wildstorm. He has done work for DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, and Malibu comics. Gene has won four, count them folks, four, Eisner Awards.

Beginning in 2015, Gene has focused mostly on his creator owned stories. His all ages story Mae was originally published by Dark Horse and has now been picked up by Lion Forge. It is the story of sisters, monsters, and magical dimensions. The second volume is finishing up in single issues and the first volume trade was re-released last year. We are big fans of Mae.

PopCultureSquad: What is your process like these days? Are you still using traditional materials or are you moving to digital?

Gene Ha: Honestly, I have hit the bifocals age. So, it’s hard for me to see anything except for the two distances where my lenses are set.  Having pinch and zoom on an iPad Pro in Procreate and drawing there is a lot easier for doing fine detail. So, I have abandoned paper mostly, unless I am doing sketches at a convention.

PCS: Where does Mae’s voice come from?

GH: It comes from having a lot of female geek friends and realizing that I hadn’t heard a lot of voices that actually talk like them, who are the heroes of their story. There are so many stories that have a female geek character, but she tends to be support or the best friend of the hero.

Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comic Legend Gene Ha, Creator of Mae”

With Further Ado #037: Stepping into the Twilight Zone with Nick Parisi

With Further Ado #037: Stepping into the Twilight Zone with Nick Parisi

In one of those summers of my youth, my buddies and I would always wrap up our nightly mischief so that we could get home in time to watch The Twilight Zone reruns at 11 pm. The next day, my buddy David Locastro and I would eagerly ask one another, “Did you see that one last night?”  With our utmost fanboy authority, we’d begin to dissect the most recent episode.

Fast forward to late March when the 44th Annual Ithacon hosted Twilight Zone expert and Serling aficionado Nick Parisi. His recent book, Serling, His Life, Work and Imagination is a fascinating and engaging work. As Rod Serling was a professor at Ithaca College and Ithacon was exhibiting treasures from the Serling Archives this year, it made perfect sense to invite Parisi as a guest.

The show was great fun but, as all shows are, it was also a blur of activities. So, it was after Ithacon that I caught up with Nick to speak more about this book.

Ed Catto: So many of us grew up with The Twilight Zone and we all have our stories.  For me, I have fond memories of watching it on WPIX out of New York City. What was your interaction and how did you become so much of fan that you’re now an author and expert?

Nick Parisi: Ed, I have similar memories of WPIX. I started watching TZ on WPIX when I was nine or ten years old and I still remember the nightly schedule: The Odd Couple at 11, The Honeymooners at 11:30, Star Trek at midnight, and The Twilight Zone at 1 am. I would do my best to stay awake and I would usually make it! The show mesmerized me pretty much immediately and I became a fanatic for it pretty quickly. Then Marc Zicree’s Twilight Zone Companion came out and it kicked my fanaticism into another gear. That was a truly revolutionary book.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #037: Stepping into the Twilight Zone with Nick Parisi”

My Convention Experience After Hip Surgery Was An Eye Opener

My Convention Experience After Hip Surgery Was An Eye Opener

Shari HarrisonI want to start this post by saying that I love going to Comic Conventions. They are great places to see friends and make new ones.

There is so much to do from shopping, to going to different panels, and to getting autographs from your favorite writer, artist or TV/Movie star. Some lines are longer than others. Even if you are looking for exercise and are counting steps, a Comic Con is the best place to do that for 3 days straight.

My love for Comic Cons was disrupted in a big way for me on the weekend of August 18, 2018 at TerrifiCon at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Hotel in Connecticut.

Let me explain. On July 10, 2018 I had hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and remove some bone spurs. I had to be on crutches for two months, which takes us through TerrifiCon. Bobby, my wonderful husband, rented me a motorized scooter to help me get around the huge hotel and the convention. The scooter was easy to operate. It moved at a good speed and maneuvered around corners amazingly well.

What Went Wrong?

With all the being said, I felt invisible at the Con. People were cutting in front of me, and I was afraid of running them over. I couldn’t wait on line to get an autograph from our favorite writers/artists. I felt I was in the way, and I was afraid of knocking items off their tables if I got too close. People would step in front of me so they could get ahead in the line to get an autograph. They would say that they were sorry, but they still cut in front of me. It was very frustrating and my self-esteem was as low as it could get. Bobby did all he could to make me feel better, but it was everyone else at the Con that left me frustrated and damaged.

Continue reading “My Convention Experience After Hip Surgery Was An Eye Opener”

Spotlight Interview with the Creators of Grumble: Mike Norton and Rafer Roberts

Spotlight Interview with the Creators of Grumble: Mike Norton and Rafer Roberts

Hey! Welcome back to our special feature Spotlight Interview column. When we are fortunate enough to get to talk to creative professionals, we love to bring those conversations to you folks.

Last month on March 24, 2019, we were able to get together with the creative team behind the hit comic series Grumble, published by Albatross Funnybooks.

We interviewed artist Mike Norton, and writer Rafer Roberts at their tables on the floor at C2E2.  The pair have previously worked together on Valiant’s Archer and Armstrong.

Mike is a veteran comic artist, having also done work for DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, and Devil’s Due. He is also well-known for the multiple award winning webcomic BATTLEPUG that he both writes and draws. Last year, he published a collected edition of his web comic strip Lil’ Donnie which is a satire of a certain orange infant that resides in a big white house.

Rafer is a writer and artist who has done a lot of work for Valiant, including Harbinger Renegade, and also wrote Modern Fantasy that was published by Dark Horse.

Grumble is a comic about a guy that magically gets turned into talking pug, and with his companion Tala, is on the run from multiple entities that are out to get him. It is fun and action packed. The writing and art are top notch, and the colors by Marissa Louise and lettering by Crank! make this an excellent book all around.

Pop Culture Squad: Where did the idea for Grumble come from?

Rafer Roberts: It started with Mike.

Mike Norton: I’ve always got pugs on the brain. That is not like a hidden thing about me, but I really was longing for a “Howard the Duck” sort of thing. I love those adventures with a character that you can sort of relate to, but it’s a completely alien sort of creature. I don’t know how it happened in my head, but one day I said out loud to the other guys in the studio, “What if John Constantine was Howard the Duck?”  Everybody hates John Constantine, but what if people didn’t want to be around him, not because he was bringing the devil or he was dangerous, but he was just an asshole. Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with the Creators of Grumble: Mike Norton and Rafer Roberts”

Walkin’ and Rollin’ Making Cosplay Accessible for Everyone!

Walkin’ and Rollin’ Making Cosplay Accessible for Everyone!

When attending a modern Comic or Entertainment convention, it is almost impossible to avoid sensory overload. There are so many fantastic colors and shiny objects that draw your attention from second to second. Despite that massive onslaught of distractions, in the first hour on the floor of C2E2, our attention was grabbed by two little boys. They were in full cosplay costumes. One was Ant-Man, and the other was Woody from Toy Story. Pretty cute! Right?

What made these two little guys stand out to us was that they were in wheelchairs, and their personal transport vehicles were made to be a part of their cosplay. It was precious. We asked and were granted permission to take their pictures. They seemed to really enjoy it.

We made sure to include their pictures on our Facebook page, and they got quite the reception. Later on, during the Con, I stumbled across the booth for the people who helped to make those little boys’ dreams come true.

Walkin’ and Rollin’ is a non-profit organization that works to create costumes for mobility limited children. The founder Lon Davis created the organization in 2015 in Missouri. They now have multiple chapters in Kansas and California and are working to bring joy to young people everywhere. They appear regularly at PlanetComicon in Kansas City and made there debut in Chicago at C2E2 this year.

It is a fully set up non-profit organization. We encourage all readers to check out there website an consider what they can do to support this wonderful organization. They are even available to make as your designated charity on smile.amazon.com.

We here at Pop Culture Squad reached out to Lon and were able to ask him about the organization.

PopCultureSquad: We see from your website that this started with a desire to create a costume for your son. When did you start building costumes for other people? Continue reading “Walkin’ and Rollin’ Making Cosplay Accessible for Everyone!”

Spotlight Interview with the Creators of The Underfoot (Emily Whitten, Ben Fisher, and Michelle Nguyen)

Spotlight Interview with the Creators of The Underfoot (Emily Whitten, Ben Fisher, and Michelle Nguyen)

This month, Lion Forge will be releasing the first volume of The Underfoot: The Mighty Deep. It is the first of what will be at least a trilogy of graphic novels that are suitable for all ages of readers. It will be in comic shops on April 10, and everywhere else on April 23.

It is a post-apocalyptic story of intelligent hamsters and their struggles for survival in a world without humans. We have had the opportunity to read the book, and it is truly a wonderful and inspiring story. It is full of danger, clever concepts, and lots of humor. We certainly recommend reading it.

At C2E2 last month, we were able to get together with the creative team responsible for The Underfoot. It is co-written by Ben Fisher and Emily S. Whitten. Michelle Nguyen is the artist on the book.

PopCultureSquad: Where did the idea for The Underfoot come from?

Emily S. Whitten: So, I have tiny hamsters and other rodents as pets, and I was on Twitter managing an account as my tiny hamster, Izzy. Around the same time, I reviewed Ben’s comic Splitsville, for ComicMix. I guess that was seven years ago. I tweeted at him that I really liked it. Ben then found my hamster account and started tweeting at that account as well. After many real and hamster conversations, we decided that we should write a comic together about hamsters, and that is how it started.

Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with the Creators of The Underfoot (Emily Whitten, Ben Fisher, and Michelle Nguyen)”