DC Universe NYCC HQ Announced!

DC UNIVERSE is back in New York with the DC UNIVERSE Headquarters … or DCUHQ.

A true fan destination for its members, as well as all DC Fans to escape the hectic convention floor and enjoy unique and exclusive programming. Plus, no badge required!

DCUHQ will continue to give DC Fans and DC UNIVERSE members unique experiences, talent meet-ups and an array of programmed entertainment throughout the weekend including special events and giveaways.

A DC UNIVERSE membership unlocks the door for a chance to attend exclusive signings, screenings and private gatherings. Members can check back for an updated schedule of events here.

DCUHQ will be located just steps from Javits Center at: 447 W 36th St on the 3rd Floor

DCUHQ is open to the public during the following hours:

Friday October 4, 2019: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Saturday 10/5/19: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Sunday 10/6/19: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #047: “The Three Bears of Selling”

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #047: “The Three Bears of Selling”

Once upon a time, in a magical land called The Comic Con, there lived three bears. The first bear, Cool Carl, was a cool cat. Which was funny, because he wasn’t a cat at all. He was a bear! The second bear was named Pushy Peter. Ole’ Pete was a grouse of a beast! And that left Social Sam, the third bear. He was kind, and loved to talk-talk-talk.

And in their home of The Comic Con, Carl, Peter, and Sam all had one job to do: to sell their funny books in the magical forest to the other animals who lived in the land. Some animals liked scary stories. Others liked action and adventure! And still others were hipsters and they only liked books about books — old musty vintage books from yesteryear.

Well, on a day not unlike any other, Carl, Peter, and Sam all set up their tables to sell their wares. Cool Carl’s table was cool. He covered his table in a cool blue tablecloth, and decorated it with pictures he drew. Carl was a very good illustrator! Pushy Peter arrived at the space where his table was, and pushed it flat against a tree. Peter took box after box of his funny books, and stacked them high on his table against that tree. It wasn’t as neat and organized as Cool Carl’s table. Social Sam’s table looked a bit like both Carl and Peter’s — but with neatly stacked piles of books on top of a bright and festive table cover. Sam kept his table where it belonged. Continue reading ““So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #047: “The Three Bears of Selling””

Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Frank Gogol

Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Frank Gogol

Frank Gogol is a budding comic writer who has produced some impressive work in his short career so far. He is an alumnus of the Comic Experience program, and has displayed a lot of maturity in his writing. We met Frank last year on the con circuit and were immediately impressed.

His collection of short stories, Grief,  was printed by Source Point Press last year and has recently been nominated in the Best Anthology category for the 2018 Ringo Awards. Voting for industry professionals is still open.

Frank’s latest work is Dead End Kids. It is a three issue mini-series on which he is working with Nenad Cvitcanin and Sean Rinehart. It is also being published by Source Point Press. Issue #2 came out last week, and issue #3 is due on September 25th.

We spoke to Frank earlier this summer and below is the result of that conversation. Before we got started in the question and answer portion of this discussion, Frank and I were talking about the Final Order Cutoff, or FOC for those in the trade, for issue #1. He stated that people would still be able to order the issue past the FOC until the print run was gone. Low and behold, since we spoke the first issue sold out at the distributor. So, it is good.

Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Frank Gogol”

Keystone Comic Con Review and Cosplay Pics

Keystone Comic Con Review and Cosplay Pics

This past weekend of August 23 – 25, 2019, PopCultureSquad attended the Keystone Comic Con at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.  It was an entertaining convention. There were high level celebrity guests and a good collection of comic professionals. Tom Holland was the big celebrity draw.

The “Artist Alley” set up was very well laid out, and even on a surprisingly busy Sunday, getting through the aisles was easily manageable. The amount of incredible creativity on display and produced was amazing. Unfortunately, we were made aware of some behind the scenes drama among the guests, which was not very pleasant. The show was not interrupted by any personal issues.

This show was definitely designed for all types of fans of pop culture. There were two types of gaming areas; tabletop and video. There was also a wrestling ring on the show floor for fans of the grappling arts.

The vendor areas flowed nicely around the guests and had a good variety of crafts, bargain comics, and high-end comic resellers. The food vending area had an interesting array of menu items and was appropriately sized for the population of the show.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable late summer show. We would be interested in going back. We would hope that the show would grow to the point that there would be a larger selection of comic pros, but that is what we hope from every show. Also, this relatively new show contended with FanExpo Canada in Toronto, and Wizard World in Chicago on the same weekend.

In parting, let us leave you with some excellent cosplay that we saw. Continue reading “Keystone Comic Con Review and Cosplay Pics”

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #046: “Gotta Catch Em All, Or Not”

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #046: “Gotta Catch Em All, Or Not”

With but one major convention left on the docket for Unshaven Comics in 2019… I had a bit of a panic attack. Dragon Con is a mere less-than-half-a-month-away, and everything I thought we Unshaven Lads would have done is no where close to it. Welcome to me digitally cleaning out my closet, so you too can enjoy what it means to have a semi-professional business.

After leaving Denver’s Pop Culture Con in the spring happier-than-clams, Unshaven Comics took to a well-needed breather. Our long car ride home energized us for the multitude of tasks to complete before hitting Atlanta come Labor Day Weekend, yet here I sit — procrastinating by-way-of writing to you, my huddled dozens of fans. See? This is your fault.

Nah. It ain’t. It’s wholly ours. And while I’d love to sit here and tell you any completely believable excuses as to why our backlog of to-dos is still not-do’ed, it’s honestly a waste of both our times (for me to list it, and you read it and honestly not care). Beyond the simple — ordering posters, dry cleaning and pressing our table covers, and getting all our mise en place — a personal to-do bubbled up to the surface nary a week ago. And it rhymes with kvelling my soul. Gotta catch em all…

A little over a year ago, I had a complex desire: sell a product at the Unshaven table that wouldn’t compete for the attention of our comics, be easier to fulfil than commissioned sketches, and ultimately net me enough money per con-day to pay for dinner that same night. What I came up with has become a sullen obsession as of late. The notion: mash-up Pokémon with popular cartoons and characters in different universes. I started small, with the big three of both the Poke-universe, and the always-popular-now, Marvel Universe. I mashed Iron Man with tiny fiery dragon Charmander. I smooshed Captain America with water turtle Squirtle. And then I took Spider-Man and married him visually to the only-in-Japan-does-this-make-sense lizard-flower hybrid Bulbasaur.

I took those three designs, along with some My Little Pony mashups, and Teen Titan mashups I’d completed (for earlier commissions, now repurposed with permission by the original requester) and ultimately produced a set of collectible postcards. They were affordable for me to produce in small quantities, easy to display (literally put them on my third of the shared Unshaven table-space), and easy enough to price-to-move ($3 for 1, $10 for 5). After a little test-or-two at some smaller shows, the idea went gangbusters for me. Over the course of the year (2018), I expanded my repertoire eventually to 11 Poké-Vengers (and the stalwart ponies and titans as wonderful filler). And happily for my wallet, the cards have provided me exactly what I’d set them out to do, and very little more (equally an important notion — as it’s not my desire to become a shiller of commoditized parodies-for-profit).

Yet here I was just a week ago sweating bullets over forgetting my note-to-self post-Denver; to expand my ranks yet-again to truly lean in to the gimmick and see how far down the rabbit hole goes. Soon after Denver I’d purchased myself a beautiful tabletop spinner rack especially built for my cards. But the rack boasts 24 available slots. Given that I’d since run out of my stock of Ponies, and my Titans were never the sellers I’d longed them to be… I’d given myself the homework to complete one new Poké-Mashup a week between the Mile High City and Hotlanta. A week ago? I’d completed zero new designs. Panic button pushed.

It astonishes me, honestly, when my back is up against a wall, how well I can both manage my time and produce a litany of work. With a literal week until an internal deadline would be reached (where I’d not incur extraneous rush-fees to produce the final postcards and have them shipped-and-in-hand prior to wheels up for Atlanta (wheels up being a joke, kiddos, because we drive it)… I created enough new-and-pretty-sweet mashups to fill out my aforementioned spinner rack. Granted as of this writing, I’m not done yet. But let me take you through my insane work-flow:

  • I listed out all the current cards I’d had in my collection, and figured out I’d need to fill 13 spots with designs to have each slot in the rack with its own design.
  • I turned to the hive mind in my Facebook friends list to vote on how best to fill out the ranks (be it with a “stick to what brought you to the dance” and go all-Marvel, to split Marvel with “they still should be loved” DC, or to do a little more Marvel, a little DC, and some famous video game characters as a why-the-hell-not bit of fun. The votes overwhelmingly demanded that last option.
  • Knowing I had 3 commissioned cards (that originated digitally) I obtained permission from my customers to reproduce the cards for my set (because I think it’s only fair if someone gives me an idea to draw for them they should have a say if I care to profit from their idea after giving them what they paid for). 13 due now became 10.
  • I listed out each of the major characters I wanted to mash up, to ensure I didn’t duplicate any previously made mashup (because it’s not cool to just make a dozen different Pikachus to me)
  • Each night over the last 5 nights prior to this article being written, I inked 2 characters… bringing me to the 10 needed within a week.
  • I hired my Unshaven Comics color production assistant to flat each of the new 10 cards.
  • From here, as he completes them, I will color correct his work, add in backgrounds and a few special effects, and call it a day.
  • Then all that is left is placing the order and praying I get it in on time to have it printed and shipped to my door without any hefty rush charges.

Of course, I wish I could append this article with the big reveal of what all will hit my spinner rack in a few short weeks. But much like my stand-up comedy… I believe in the power of the moment. As such, I’ll let the fine folks of Atlanta get first gaze on my menagerie. Stay tuned, my friends… because next time? I’ll choose you (to see the cool stuff. I was trying to end on a poignant reference. Nailed it?)!

 

FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics

FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics

Flame Con 2019 was held this past weekend August 17-18, 2019 at the Sheraton Times Square in New York City. We were lucky to be in attendance and had a terrific time.

Flame Con is “the world’s largest queer comic con”, and this was its fifth year. The event features comics, arts and other entertainment, while hosting creators and special guests from all corners of the LGBTQ fandom.

There was a fantastic array of creators from corporate publishers and small, independent, often self, publishers. The atmosphere was intensely joyous. While the show floor was a little tightly packed, the visitors made their way through the aisles with little complaint. The placement of featured guests was spread out around the show floor which was an inspired decision.

Continue reading “FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics”

Spotlight Interview: Talking Comics and Geekdom With Writer Amy Chu

Spotlight Interview: Talking Comics and Geekdom With Writer Amy Chu

Picture copyright Amy Chu

If you are not familiar with comics writer extraordinaire Amy Chu, you should be. If you are, then we will endeavor to share with you some great tidbits about her writing, current projects, and other passions.

We were able to catch up with Amy at Awesome-Con in Washington, DC back at the end of April. In the past five years, she has exploded into comics and has worked for DC, Marvel, Dynamite, Lion Forge, and more. Her titles include Girls Night Out, Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris, The Green Hornet, Summit, KISS, and more.  Recently, Sea Sirens, her original graphic novel with Janet Lee was published by Viking Books.

Amy has also just been announced as part of the faculty for the Kubert School starting this fall. You can see the press release here.

Besides comics, Amy Chu has led an amazing life that included suing her school under Title IX to be allowed to play on the boys’ soccer team in high school. She holds degrees from both MIT and Harvard. She is also the mother to two wonderful boys. [I’ve met them. They are good kids.]

Amy is regular on the comic convention scene. We often wonder how she has time to do all she does, and yet she manages to do it all. If you see her at a Con, she will most likely appreciate coffee and donuts, as her Twitter motto these days includes “#DonutKiller”

Continue reading “Spotlight Interview: Talking Comics and Geekdom With Writer Amy Chu”

With Further Ado #053: Entrepreneuring at SDCC 2019

With Further Ado #053: Entrepreneuring at SDCC 2019

The 50th annual San Diego Comic-Con was filled with creativity, passion and innovation. But it always seems to be. You can see it in everything from the cosplay (see the post from Tuesday) to the big corporate announcements about the next phase of the Marvel movies.

But I’d like to take a moment and focus on just a few of the creative entrepreneurs who find their own path in nerd culture. They don’t participate in the usual distribution channels, instead relying on the entrepreneurial power of exhibition, kickstarters and trail-blazing in general. And they were in full force at SDCC.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #053: Entrepreneuring at SDCC 2019”

SDCC 2019 Cosplay

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With Further Ado #051: Blah Blah at the Nerd Prom

With Further Ado #051: Blah Blah at the Nerd Prom

You can make the argument that Comic Conventions are just big Pop-Ups, designed to promote all manner of geeky and unexpected treasures. Or you may say that they are more akin to treasure hunts. After all you just know that that one old comic or exclusive toy is out there somewhere on the dealer’s floor. For so many entrepreneurial businesses, they are the ultimate trade show: commerce wrapped up in the showy fashion of focused nerd-dom. To others, comic conventions are a way to scoop up amazing bargains. (Nobody likes diving into the bargain boxes more than me.)  Continue reading “With Further Ado #051: Blah Blah at the Nerd Prom”