Category: With Further Ado

With Further Ado #307: See You in San Diego

With Further Ado #307: See You in San Diego

It’s a busy week for fans and professionals as they all (we all?) get ready for the world’s biggest Nerd Prom: San Diego Comic-Con. It’s a fascinating combination of creativity, passions and entrepreneurial dreams. There’s hustle and hucksterism. It’s also about friends and reunions and smiles and encouragement.

I hope to see you there. I’ll be spending a lot of time at the Atomic Toybox booth (#2549), Don McGregor’s booth, and at a series of panels. Drop in and say “Hi”! Here’s my sched:

“How to Get News Coverage”
Thursday, 7/25/24
10:30AM – 11:30AM, Room: 10

Small press publishers: What makes the difference between an item that will get news coverage, previews, and interviews and what doesn’t? Many publishers have no idea what to submit to the press, how to submit it, and why they are being overlooked for coverage. Comics journalist Rik Offenberger (First Comics News, G-Man Comics) moderates this panel of comic journalists who will tell you what they are looking for in your submission: Alexander Raymond (Monstar public relations), Ed Catto (Agendae, Pop Culture Squad, Captain Action), Francis Sky (First Comics News, Massacre Twins), Heidi MacDonald (The Beat), JC Vaughn (Gemstone Publishing), Josh Waldrop (Ultima Digital Media), Michael Kingston (Headlocked Comics, BOOM! Studios), and Rob Salkowitz (ICv2, Forbes).

AHOY Comics Gets Toxic!
Friday, 7/26/24
5:00PM – 6:00PM, Room: 28DE

AHOY Comics has made a name for itself on the comics scene with its acclaimed creators, witty satires, and commitment to bold and risk-taking storytelling. Author and legendary director Lloyd Kaufman (Troma), comics creators Matt Bors (Toxic Avenger, Justice Warriors), Mark Russell (Second Coming), Tyrone Finch (Deadweights), Melissa F. Olson (Project Cryptid), Juan Castro (The Wrong Earth), and AHOY Ops guy Stuart Moore (Captain Ginger) discuss the future of the publisher that asks its readers to expect more. Get the scoop on exciting upcoming projects like award-winning writer Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows’ sword-and-sorcery satire Babs; Pulitzer finalist Matt Bors and Fred Harper’s take on Troma’s Toxic Avenger; Tom Peyer, Jamal Igle and Castro’s epic multiversal satire The Wrong Earth; Russell, Bryce Ingman, and Peter Krause’s gut-bustingly funny superhero parody My Bad; the star-studded, cryptid-packed anthology series Project: Cryptid, and more. Continue reading “With Further Ado #307: See You in San Diego”

With Further Ado #306: Getting Ready for SDCC (part 1) – Don McGregor preparations

With Further Ado #306: Getting Ready for SDCC (part 1) – Don McGregor preparations

Ok, I guess the cat is out of the bag! San Diego Comic-Con has invited Don McGregor to be a guest of honor this July. And for his spotlight panel, I’ve been asked to be the moderator. As if anyone can “moderate” Don McGregor. He’s a man of many passions -always ready with larger-than-life stories, and contagious laughter, his strong friendships, and his focus for doing the very best he can.

And like everyone else, I’ve always found his best is always pretty damn good!

Clearly, the convention has saved the best for last this year. Don’t miss Don’s spotlight panel: It’s Sunday at 1:00 pm in Room 4.

And to help you get ready for this panel, let me steer you to this podcast. I had so much fun interviewing Don a few years ago, and John Siuntres ran it as a Word Balloon Podcast episode! You still can give it a listen right here.

Comic fans know of Don’s many accomplishments: the Black Panther stories, his Killraven adventures, Sabre – one of the first indie series to bravely navigate the direct market, Nathanial Dusk, Alexander Risk, Zorro (in comics and newspaper strips)…the list goes on and on. Just last month, in fact, I stumbled across an issue of Doctor Strange that Don wrote that was new to me!

The Mark of Z …uh, make that : D !

Beyond that convention appearance, I’ve the privilege of interviewing Don several times for several different articles. Every time, he’s fascinating and fresh with new stories and clever insights.

This Zorro article was originally published in TwoMorrow’s Back Issue #138, on sale about three years ago. It’s full of so many of things that make Don a longtime fan favorite. So, allow me to reprint a part of that article here for your reading pleasure. Continue reading “With Further Ado #306: Getting Ready for SDCC (part 1) – Don McGregor preparations”

With Further Ado #305: Summer Fun

With Further Ado #305: Summer Fun

There’s something about reading comics in the summer. Maybe it’s the sunshine? Maybe it’s carefree feeling – that makes it seem as if we all have endless days to lay around reading.

Here’s another beauty I rescued from the William G. Martin, Sr. collection. This is what summer is all about. It’s Walt Disney’s Donald Duck’s Beach Party #4, a Dell Giant from 1957. In this wonderful comic, Donald Duck and his three nephews go on a two week (!) vacation at a rental property. After a few convoluted adventures, they stumble across a bunch of comics. Continue reading “With Further Ado #305: Summer Fun”

With Further Ado #304: Same as it Ever Was : Toxic Fandom

With Further Ado #304: Same as it Ever Was : Toxic Fandom

There were a few online conversations recently that discussed the nature of Star Wars fans. On one side of the argument, Star Wars fans are categorized as crabby and inflexible, disliking all of the official recent adventures. On the other hand, there’s a school of thought that corporate owners “just don’t get it”, and that they are ruining the property with their clumsy attempts with new material.

And sometimes it gets really nasty.

Toxic Fandom is – unfortunately – a real thing. Conversations, forecasts, and analyses can quickly become judgmental, angry and ugly. Maaaan..I miss the old days when everyone was friendly and nice.

But wait! That might not have been quite the case. Maybe there never were any “good old days” when fans were happy, kind, and complacent. Here’s why I think that.

This past weekend, a comic shop near Buffalo, NY had an amazing sale of a longtime fan’s treasures. He had recently passed, but quite obviously had amassed, and hopefully enjoyed, an astounding collection. I rescued quite a few Avengers items from this “unveiling” sales event.

No, no, not those Avengers. These were books and fanzines all about the 1960s TV Avengers, from the UK. This weekly show was extraordinarily popular, and is still fondly remembered by folks like me. It mixed the prim and proper genteelness of British culture with the violence and sexiness of spy thrillers. Continue reading “With Further Ado #304: Same as it Ever Was : Toxic Fandom”

With Further Ado #303: Guest Columnist – Too Much Batman?

With Further Ado #303: Guest Columnist – Too Much Batman?

This week, I’m proud to present another student winner for our With Further Ado column: Aleks Maksymyshyn. Aleks is a powerhouse worker and a passionate fan. He is the type that always overdelivers – both academically and in planning/managing an effort like ITHACON.  And he knows his stuff too. I’m sure you’ll enjoy his article.

Step Aside Batman: DC’s Reliance on the Dark Knight to Sell Comics

By Aleks Maksymyshyn

If there is one thing DC Comics is known for, it’s being the publisher of Superman, Wonder Woman, Booster Gold, and a little-known character called Batman. Now, this phenomenon called Batman has caught on and had a lengthy run in TV, movies, and comics. Easily eclipsing all of the heroes above. “Wink.”

However, how much is too much? How much Batman can we have? Many of the most popular things to come out of DC are Batman related while other characters like The Question, Huntress, and The Doom Patrol seem to get side lined most of the time in favor of something more reliable. It seems like at this point, the entirety of the DC Universe revolves around Gotham City. Not a multitude of cities like Keystone, Metropolis, or Opal City. Gotham is the city getting all the major events, the newest villains, and the most attention by new writers and artists. It’s Batmania from the Summer of 1989 over at DC, and it seems to never end. We understand that Batman is DC’s most popular character. In fact, I grew up loving the character myself. Batman and Spider-Man were my favorites growing up, along with a bit of Scooby-Doo for good fun, but the overabundance of him feels like it’s hitting a saturation point. Marvel has promoted all their characters so much that everyone knows who Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, The X-Men, Spider-Man are. The diversity of their catalog is immense. So is DC’s, but they don’t seem to utilize it well. Continue reading “With Further Ado #303: Guest Columnist – Too Much Batman?”

With Further Ado #302: Go Ride Your Bike!

With Further Ado #302: Go Ride Your Bike!

For a comic lover like me, summer was the perfect time to dive into a stack of comics. I have vivid memories of reading comics on steamy summer days. I also have memories of my mom telling me to “Get out of the house!” and to “Go outside and play!”

I grew up in the quintessential TV sitcom neighborhood. Every day was a grand adventure for me and my buddies. And it often started with a bike ride. We did have a “need for speed”, as ridiculous as that sounds, but our bikes also gave us a certain amount of freedom. We could – theoretically – go anywhere.

I guess I wasn’t the only kid that felt that strongly about these two topics (comics and bikes) either. I’ve been digging through a bunch of vintage comics (more on this amazing collection gifted to me another time). I’m struck by just how many bike ads used to be in comics! Continue reading “With Further Ado #302: Go Ride Your Bike!”

With Further Ado #301: Guest Columnist – Communication in the Unknown – A Shogun Review

With Further Ado #301: Guest Columnist – Communication in the Unknown – A Shogun Review

It’s another week and time for another winning entry from our annual student competition. This one’s a great read.

Communication in the Unknown
By Sean Tierney

You’re steps away from entering an unfamiliar building, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, in an unfamiliar land; it’s your first day at a new school and the only thing you know for certain is that you don’t. Now imagine we bottle up this tense sensation of being engulfed in uncertainty and crank the dial up to eleven, that’s the feeling encountering main character John Blackthorne in FX’s Shogun. A character who is not only navigating the trials and tribulations of an unfamiliar culture and language, but one who is also coping with the understanding that his life is in another man’s hands and even the slightest false step could put him six feet under.

While Blackthorne strives to understand the foreign land he has stumbled upon, even more is hidden behind the stoic expressions of the Samurai and their culture. Blackthorne effectively serves as a tour guide through this renowned culture as both he and the audience are uncovering the many layers all at once. There’s a notion surrounding film culture that exposition is cheap and film/TV should ‘show don’t tell’. By utilizing Blackthorne as a tour guide, Shogun subverts the need for exposition allowing the audience to see Japan for the first time through a newcomer’s eyes. That is the superpower of Shogun, the show’s ability to demonstrate rather than explain, utilizing its main character for both practical and impactful purposes.

Japanese culture has always seemed to have somewhat of an aura around it; there’s a natural intrigue surrounding the uniqueness of it, yet also kind of a mysterious nature surrounding their culture. The podcast Hardcore History, hosted by Dan Carlin, did a six-part series called “Supernova in the East” centered around the Pacific Theater during World War II. This series focuses heavily on the fanaticism of Japan’s culture and the prevailing narrative surrounding them is that “The Japanese are just like everyone else, only more so”. Continue reading “With Further Ado #301: Guest Columnist – Communication in the Unknown – A Shogun Review”

With Futher Ado #300: RIP My Comic Book Reading Dad

With Futher Ado #300: RIP My Comic Book Reading Dad

My dad just passed away, and we’re all dealing with the grief and the loss. I am struggling to write one of the eulogies, and I’m hoping that writing this 300th “With Further Ado” will be a good “warm-up” exercise for writing that difficult speech.

It makes sense to shine the spotlight (Batsignal?) on my dad as he really was a comic book guy. He grew up trading comics, as did many of those kids from late 40s and early 50s. He would tell me that his favorite was Crimebuster (and his monkey) from Lev Gleason’s BOY Comics. In fact, a few years ago, Joe Kubert gifted my dad with an autographed sequence from when he worked on that series all those years ago. It was a joy to buy him back issues of that series every time I’d stumble across affordable copies.

My dad also enjoyed reading The Phantom and Prince Valiant Sunday strips in the newspapers. He loved the sweeping adventures, and of course, the father-son themes of each strip made if fun for me to enjoy each one with him. Continue reading “With Futher Ado #300: RIP My Comic Book Reading Dad”

With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots

With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots

It’s another week and time for another winning entry from our annual student competition. For the previous excellent submissions check here.:

Live Action
By Claire McGinnity

For the past nine years, it seems the biggest trend in entertainment has been reboots of older properties, especially live-action versions. This isn’t a new concept, live-action movies have been a consistent aspect of media properties, especially for cartoon shows or comic books, take the 1994 live action Flintstones movie or really any superhero movie, for example. However, there seems to be a rapid uptick in the live action reboots and, unfortunately, a notable drop in original or compelling content for them. The trend seems almost like a new “gold rush” that different studios are trying to capitalize off apparent interest instead of truly developing a story for the property that fits the media.

Starting with Disney’s yearly release of a live-action version of their classic Disney princess movies to today’s current live action tv show reboots like the recent Avatar, the Last Airbender are some of the main offenders of this issue. These properties have their origins in animation and are beloved by the public for their vibrant storytelling, fantastical worlds and characters, and beautiful artistic styles. Though not impossible, these aspects are very difficult to replicate in live action, and each release has seen varied success in doing so.

The live action versions also tend to lose some of the fantastical elements of the properties in order to increase the “realism”. It is unclear if this hyper-realism is an artistic choice by creators or just a downside of the medium of live action, but either way reveals a disconnect between this material and the reason why many fans enjoy the original properties. Additionally, many of these live-action reboots tend to just repeat the same story as the animated versions, which increases the accessibility of the content, but honestly does a disservice to the storytelling opportunities of each property. This isn’t to say that there is no value in re-telling a story in a different medium, in fact I believe that some of these reboots have had valuable updates to outdated stories and created space for previously underrepresented groups in Hollywood, like Asian representation in the Avatar reboot. Continue reading “With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots”

With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate

With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate

Following up on the theme from last week’s entry, here’s another winning entry from our annual student competition:

Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate
By Oliver Rucker

So, I am super late to the party. Being the Star Wars fan that I am, I’m frankly embarrassed, but I finally got around to watching Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series diving in on the beloved Jedi’s life in between the fall of the Republic at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and our introduction to Luke Skywalker and the gang in A New Hope.

For starters, I’d like to attempt to explain myself. I was coming off of The Bad Batch and The Book of Boba Fett, both of which I did not care for. I can go on and on, but to keep it brief, if I was twelve, I’d love Bad Batch, and I simply found Boba Fett to be remarkably boring. So as excited as I was to see what Obi-Wan was getting up to on Tatooine, my spirits were down, expectations low, I was dejected, and honestly just a little but Star Wars’d out.

Before going any further, I’d like to explain that I am not like every other Star Wars fan in existence, who just has a fiery hate for everything new that is put out into the cosmos. In fact, I find myself to be in the strong minority that really enjoyed Attack of the Clones. Sure, the dialogue is just awful, but the story is incredibly strong and it evokes emotions like sadness, anger, jubilation, memorization, and the anticipation of imminent disaster. All things I love in a movie. Continue reading “With Further Ado #297: Guest Columnist – Kenobi Gets Too Much Hate”