Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sunday Programming Announced for Baltimore Comic Con 2014

BCC 2014 Sunday Programming Features Marvel Boot Camp, Spotlights Mayhew, Hughes, Sohn!
Annual Costume Contest Features $2,000 Grand Prize!

Coming to the show? Update your social media profile picture and let the world know!
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - August 28, 2014 - Join the Baltimore Comic-Con at the Baltimore Convention Center on September 5th, 6th, and 7th for our 15th annual show! You've been demanding it so here's the final piece of the puzzle -- the Sunday 2014 Baltimore Comic-Con panel schedule, including all of the Kids Love Comics panels! The big event of the day is the Costume Contest, but there's lots more!

Peter Mayhew, who plays the Wookiee Chewbacca, joins us for a very special spotlight panel. You can also learn what art inspires Adam Hughes and Allison Sohn in a spotlight panel.

Ever want to get into comics? Then make sure you get to the Marvel Boot Camp panel, as Marvel's SVP-Executive Editor Tom Brevoort shares with the public the training indoctrination lecture he gives to the Marvel editorial staff. This is a ticketed panel with all proceeds going to the Hero Initiative. Tickets will be available at the Hero Initiative Booth #1601 for $10.

Creators take a look at a fan-favorite character in A Wolverine Celebration on the eve of Logan's demise in The Death of Wolverine.

Take a look at the complete listings for all the Sunday panel goodness!

Room 345-346
11:00-1:00 - Marvel Boot Camp
To benefit the Hero Initiative, this special ticketed seminar takes you behind the scenes into the inner philosophy of Marvel Publishing, as SVP-Executive Editor Tom Brevoort shares with the public the training indoctrination lecture he gives to the Marvel editorial staff. Revealing how Marvel editors think about the business of storytelling as well as inside secrets and tricks-of-the-trade, this lecture will be followed up, as time permits, with an open Q&A in which attendees can probe Tom's mind on any and all questions relating to finding a career in the industry. And the proceeds all go to an excellent cause! Tickets will be available throughout the show at the Hero Initiative Booth #1601 for $10.

1:00-2:00 - Portfolio Review
What exactly is a portfolio review? What should you prepare? Find out here as Dave Bullock, Craig Rousseau, and Chris Kemple talk about portfolio reviews. Plus, the panelists will do as many portfolio reviews as time allows.

Room 347-348
11:00-12:00 - Comic Book Diner: Building Worlds in Comic Storytelling
The Comic Book Diner booth mates John Gallagher, Jamar Nicholas, and Mark Mariano are joined by David Petersen of Mouse Guard. Together, they'll discuss how world-building deepens the story and enriches your comic's setting.

12:00-1:00 - Kickstarting Your Comic Dreams
Thinking of doing a Kickstarter to fund your project? Here's your chance to get insights on running a successful campaign from beginning to end. Learn the critical things you need to do before, during, and after running your Kickstarter, and tips and tricks to not only improve your odds of success, but also making your life easier in the process!

2:00-3:00 - Mort Weisinger and the Witch of Metropolis
Appearing in Action Comics #1, along with Superman, was reporter Lois Lane. She and the Man of Steel have appeared in thousands of comics since their debut in 1938. In almost all of her media incarnations, she is known for being a determined reporter and Superman's main love interest. However, her personality has varied radically over time, depending on her writers and the cultural mores of the era which were changing dramatically during the 1950s and 1960s. At a time in pop culture when the Superman comic books reached millions, editor Mort Weisinger, who oversaw the adventures of the Superman books, imprinted his moral and social views on children worldwide. Weisinger, known to dictate most of the stories and all of the themes to his writers for nearly twenty years, used Lois Lane as a vehicle to express his own often-disturbing personal anxieties and fears about women, love, and the budding feminist movement. In this presentation, we will examine Weisinger's personal life and the culture of his time to discuss how these attitudes were expressed in the comic books, artifacts which can be used to study gender both diachronically and synchronically.

Room 339-342
11:00-12:00 - A Conversation with Paul Levitz
Paul Levitz is a comic fan (The Comic Reader), editor (Batman), executive (decades at DC, ending as President & Publisher), historian (75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking), educator (The American Graphic Novel at Columbia University), and serves on the boards of BOOM! Studios and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Join Mark Waid for a lively Q&A about his multi-faceted career.

12:00-1:00 - Funny Animals Panel
Call them funny animals. Call them anthropomorphic. Either way, they're humanized animals and they've been popular in stories for centuries for young and old alike. Creators Mark Buckingham (Fables), Steve Conley (Bloop), Steve Leialoha (Howard the Duck, Fables), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), and Andy Runton (Owly) talk about their work with funny animals in comics.

1:00-2:00 - Dynamite Pulps!
The Shadow, Doc Savage, The Avenger, and The Green Hornet: iconic heroes just as explosive now as they were during the '30s and '40s. Join writers Mark Waid (Green Hornet) and Michael Uslan (Justice Inc.) for an exciting look at the new age of Pulps. Find out what secrets are store for these classic crime fighters as Dynamite continues to pull out all the stops, and keep an eye out for surprise guests!

2:00-3:00 - A Wolverine Celebration
This month sees The Death of Wolverine. What better time to look back and celebrate this fan-favorite character? Join creators Herb Trimpe, Charles Soule, Joe Rubinstein, Frank Cho, and moderator Tom Brevoort as they look at Wolverine's legacy.

Room 349-350
11:00-12:00 - Creating Colorful And Meaningful Characters For Your Comics & Novels
This panel will focus on the creation of ethnically diverse characters for people who write and illustrate. Moderated by Eric Cooper.

12:00-1:00 - CBLDF: Protecting The Kids' Right to Read
Kids have rights too! As more outstanding comics for younger readers are published each year, the number of readers flocking to them is growing. But so are the challenges, evidenced by Bone and Captain Underpants showing up on the Top 10 Most Banned & Challenged Books list of 2013. So, what do creators and educators do to balance respecting the intelligence of young readers and the concerns of parents and community members? How do we protect kids and their rights at the same time? Jimmy Gownley and Meryl Jaffe, author of CBLDF's Raising A Reader: How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love to Read discuss in this panel moderated by CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein.

1:00-2:00 - Breaking In and Staying In the Business
Candid observations and advice from writers and artists at different stages in their career. Featuring: Marguerite Bennett (DC/Marvel/BOOM! Studios/IDW), Amy Chu (DC/Vertigo), Laura Martin (Marvel/DC), Louise Simonson (DC/Marvel), and Vivek J. Tiwary (The Fifth Beatle - Dark Horse Comics).

2:00-3:00 - Adam Hughes & Allison Sohn
The work of Adam Hughes and Allison Sohn has inspired many fans, but what inspires them? Join them for a conversation with artist and chair of MICA's Illustration Department Jose Villarrubia as they take a look at art they like.

12:00-1:00 - Peter Mayhew Spotlight
Peter Mayhew is known by fans the world over for his portrayal of Chewbacca, the Wookiee co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, in Star Wars, The Empire Strike Back, Return of the Jedi, and more, including the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII. Join us for this special look at the life and career of Mr. Mayhew.

1:00-4:00 - Costume Contest
The fun begins at 1:00 pm! With $2,000 up for grabs for the best overall costume and prizes for each of the 10 categories, this is one event all of you cosplayers don't want to miss! Adult Categories have a $5 entry fee per person. Registration is at Booth #1111.

All programs take place at the Workshop Area at the Kids Love Comics Pavilion

11:00-12:00 - Alien Art with Dawn Griffin
In Dawn Griffin's popular webcomic, Zorphbert & Fred, two aliens disguise themselves as dogs to experience life on earth. In this workshop, you'll meet Dawn, learn how she creates her comic, and draw your own wacky alien!

12:00-1:00 - The Zany Faces of SpongeBob SquarePants with Gregg Schigiel
Learn how to draw SpongeBob SquarePants from the man who draws the SpongeBob comics! Gregg Schigiel gives young cartoonists an inside look on creating the many expressions of everyone's favorite sponge!

1:00-2:00 - Doodle! Scribble! Draw! Hosted by Mark Mariano
Jason Horn & Lora Innes VS. Ben Caldwell & Frank Cammuso
Join in a frenetic game where you and professional comic artists pit your scribbles against one another in a series of improvisational drawing quests. Do you have the courage to doodle silly things for a crowd? And will the crowd have the imagination necessary to help the teams complete the quests and win the Doodle Scribble Draw championship belts?

2:00-3:00 - Superhero Factory: Cape and Mask Making
You won't be able to fly and it won't give you super powers, but you can still have fun making your own cape! PLUS, the best way to protect your secret identity is to make and wear your own superhero mask!

3:00-4:00 - The Imagination Aquarium with Jamar Nicholas
Ever find yourself stuck for cartoon ideas? Put on your wet-suit and dive into the IMAGINATION AQUARIUM, where cartoonist Jamar Nicholas will help you catch ideas in your net and create awesome cartoons!

4:00-5:00 - Groove Is In The Art with Mark Mariano and Chris O>Matic
The forecast is calling for a Jam Drawing with chances of Dance Outbursts in this exciting art experiment. Music can make us happy, make us cry, or invoke childhood memories, but what kind of drawings will it inspire? YOU can draw along side a bunch of guest artists with DJ Chris O>Matic spinning the tunes.

General Admission and VIP Package tickets for Weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are now on sale! Visit for more information and to purchase your advanced tickets now!

In the coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found on our website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Please take a moment to help us spread this message using the social media links embedded, reposting, or retweeting!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Winston Way,Oxford,United States

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Support INDIE COMICS at Baltimore Comic Con !

 EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an opinion piece. To read a review, just scroll over to the Archives at the right of this column and you will find what you are looking for. By the way - - thanks for visiting our humble little blog site.

With an ever expanding presence and easy accessibility through comic stores, digital copies, e-books and often free websites a true devotee of this beloved original American art form called comics should sample as much of the medium as they can. Why limit yourself to only a few publishers or just one genre of comics? (Super-heroes comes to mind first, of course.) There is such a breadth of material across various genres, and so easy to obtain. To one and all: come and sample at the Horn of Plenty!  Explore and find more!

With just a little exploration, you will be astounded at the number of choices and the variety of material. In fact, it’s not hard to become overwhelmed after just a little bit of research. However, there is an immediate solution available. I cannot think of a better gathering place to sample and learn about independent comics offering than at a comic convention.

There is no better convention to showcase and make space and time available for these lesser-known creators than at the Baltimore Comic Con.


They have a remarkable creators and publishers section to explore each and every year. If I’ve convinced you, then read no further. Just get yourself down to the Baltimore Comic Con, just a little more than one week away!

Recently, I’ve been considering dedicating more space on the BC Refugees blog site to the works of independent comics and creators (a.k.a. Indie Comics).

But wait, you say! Aren’t most writers and artists freelancers these days, working per contract as well as retaining rights to their original creations? And, doesn’t that make almost everybody working in comics in this century an independent creator? Yes, that’s true to a certain extent. But there are many writers and artists obtaining work on licensed properties. You will find the situation to be more like that at the bigger comic publishers, mainly Marvel and DC who hold the rights to characters with decades of history. Even at the Big Two publishers new creators can still retain rights to their characters, as long as they are savvy enough to negotiate the contract correctly.

I need to define my definition of independent comics so we are all on the same page. Naturally, the lion’s share of the comic-reading and comic-buying public’s hard earned dollars are being spent on Marvel and DC books. I call them The Big Two.

Next, a lesser share of the pie goes to the smaller publishers: Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Valiant, Boom, Archie, etc. Every single one of these publishers has enjoyed sales growth (deservedly so) over the last ten or less years and has gained more market share and presence. I call them The New Challengers, even though some of them have been around for a long time.

Then there are some even smaller publishers (by the way, I am not using the word smaller in a negative sense) that work just as hard at trying to get more sales dollars and more market share. They include Aazurn, Action Lab, Avatar, Bluewater, Black Lab, Legendary, Radical (still around?), Titan, and many others. I call them The Emerging Talent.

You will find almost all of these above publishers and more every month in the Previews catalog, as they utilize this method (and others) to reach their audience. So, why am I devoting this much space to explanation?  I plan to refer to these publishers by these name tags in future opinion pieces and reviews and I don’t want to explain what I mean every time I do. I have just one more category to explain - - - Indie Creators.

Indie Creators are even smaller than the publisher categories above, and don’t have as much resources and accessibility as the others. They use the same mediums to make their work available - - print editions, digital copies and pdf files, e-books, and web sites - - even showcasing their work via the Internet to view and read for free ( or donation). Some use Kickstarter and other social fundraising sites to help finance their projects.

Indie Creators are the most accessible of all for those who want to ask questions, get ideas, or just show some appreciation for a good story and/or illustration. One of the best things about being a comic hobbyist is the sense of family, networking and interaction between creators and fans. And, there is no greater sense of community among comics fandom than among the Indie Creators. Somewhere among their vast ranks and countless numbers are the super-star creators of tomorrow. Why not try and discover some of them now? Share your enthusiasm with others. Help promote their work and bring attention to them through your networking and social interaction.

They would appreciate your taking a little time to explore and see what they have to offer. For most of these creators, it’s a true labor of love. They put an incredible amount of time and energy into their creations realizing that it may not be profitable. They do it because it is what they love.

I can’t wait to meet more of them at the Baltimore Comic Con. Keep the fires burning.

NEXT: An pre-convention preview of some Indie Creators = PLB COMICS.


Hear the Words of Brian Michael Bendis . . . . Word Balloon Podcast


Commemorating The 9th Anniversary Of The Word Balloon Comic Book Podcast, Host John Siuntres gets the tables turned on him, as writer Brian Michael Bendis(POWERS, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, ALL NEW X-MEN) interviews John on a very special edition of THE BENDIS TAPES. It's a lengthy analytical conversation about the current comic book industry and its impact on today's pop culture. Want to listen? Go to or

A regular guest on Word Balloon since January of 2006, Bendis praised the podcast for it's editorial point of view regarding in depth interviews. "Your show fills an immense void in what was this great trifecta of (comic book magazines like) Amazing Heroes, Comics Buyers Guide, and The Comics Journal, as good documentation of who was doing what (comics) and why they were doing it... When I was a kid, if I wanted to know what Frank Miller was doing and why, I could go to these magazines for those kind of interviews The comic news websites today are 80% hit and run interviews and (book of the moment) promotion, but the true place to find out what makes Jonathan Hickman tick now is on your show...You have an inquisitiveness without judgment, and I think that's why guests and listeners gravitate to your show..."

The conversation continues with discussions about Bendis's longtime work as a consulting creative member of the Marvel Films Movie Panel fresh with the success of Guardians Of The Galaxy , his new creator interview book Words With Pictures, a how to write comics guide, and his active involvement as an executive producer in adapting his Creator Owned Comic Book Powers into a new live action television series debuting on the sony playstation platform this December.

Host John Siuntres created the Word Balloon Podcast on May 10th 2005, featuring interviews with the top comic book creators like Bendis, Matt Fraction, Geof Johns, Scott Snyder, Mark Waid, Jonathan Hickman, Jason Aaron, and Ed Brubaker, The all time greats like Dave Gibbons, Neal Adams, Gene Colan, Gerry Conway, and Denny O'Neil, plus the top TV and film creators of of genre fiction. People like writer Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Batman V Superman) TV Executive & Producer Jeph Loeb (Smallville, Heroes, Lost, Marvel's Agents Of Shield) and Animation legend Ralph Bakshi (Mighty Mouse, Cool World, Wizards, The '67 Spider-Man cartoon)

Since it's creation, Word Balloon has had over 4.6 million downloads. The Word Balloon podcast is currently the #3 "what's hot" podcast in iTunes literature category and was ranked as the top comic book podcast by USA TODAY pop culture columnist Whitney Matheson.

Starting as a sports-talk radio reporter, host, and producer in 1992, John Siuntres has worked in the Chicago TV and Radio market for Hubbard Broadcasting, CBS, Fox Sports, ESPN and The Sporting News Radio Network. In 1999 he earned a local Emmy nomination for outstanding on-air performance. In 2011 he appeared as an expert on The Science Channel TV series Prophets Of Science Fiction, hosted by filmmaker Ridley Scott.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ella Grasso Tpke,Windsor Locks,United States

Saturday 9/06 Programming at Baltimore Comic Con 2014

b>EDITOR'S NOTE: There are many interesting panels at this year's convention. Which ones will you attend? Start planning your day now to get the most value from your attendance at the BCC.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Friday 9/05 Programming at Baltimore Comic Con 2014

BCC 2014 Friday Programming Spotlights Creators Capullo, Parent, Simonsons!
Cosplay Panel Track Introduced!

Coming to the show? Update your social media profile picture and let the world know!
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - August 26, 2014 - Join the Baltimore Comic-Con at the Baltimore Convention Center on September 5th, 6th, and 7th for our 15th annual show! You've been demanding it and we're at last ready start releasing it -- the 2014 Baltimore Comic-Con panel schedule! This first batch of panels details all of the events scheduled for Friday, September 5th in the various panel spaces. Look for Saturday and Sunday details soon!

We're excited to be adding Cosplay panels this year, and we begin with our first two: Cosplay & Photography Etiquitte and Cosplay 101! These panels are great for those who are interested in learning more about cosplay as well as those who have been doing it for years. Look for three more panels tomorrow!

Greg Capullo, the red-hot artist on DC Comics' Batman, is featured in a career-spanning spotlight, and are Walter & Louise Simonson and Dan Parent.

There are also topics including Sexy or Sexualized? and Favorite Comics

This is just the tip of the iceberg for what we have planned! Stay tuned!

Room 347-348
2:00-3:00 - Cosplay & Photography Etiquitte
Ever wonder how to navigate a crowd in that bulky costume, or the best way to interact with and take photos of costumed fans? Cosplayers Lucid, Greyloch, and Han Pan are here to help you learn tips, tricks, and general rules for wearing that awesome costume and interacting with cosplayers!

3:00-4:00 - Let's Talk Comics with RAYTIMandROB!
Please join RAYTIMandROB as the CRAZY comic book guys go over how to create a comic from start to finish and everything in between! From thought to finished product and marketing and self-publishing. From creative to business to how to break into the great industry of comics, come talk shop with RAYTIMandROB!

4:00-5:00 - Cosplay 101
So, what the heck IS cosplay? How do you do it? This crash course on cosplay from cosplayers Lucid, Han Pan, and SunsetDragon will give you tons of information on what cosplay is, as well as provide you with some tools to help guide you through your own costume creations!

5:00-6:00 - CBLDF: History of the Comics Code
60 years ago, comics were put on trial in a nationally televised Senate subcommittee hearing that had shattering repercussions for this great American artform. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund presents the shocking history of moral panic that led to this historic hearing and the birth of the Comics Code Authority, which regulated the medium's content for more than 50 years. CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein tells the tale at this CBLDF presentation.

Room 339-242
2:00-3:00 - Hermes Press: A Celebration of The Phantom - The First Masked Hero
Be the first to see the premiere, concept, and design of Peter David and Sal Velluto's New Phantom comic book series, together with a multimedia presentation about the history of the The Ghost Who Walks. Sal Velluto (The Phantom, Flash, Justice League Task Force, Black Panther), artist for the new series, will discuss the direction and philosophy of the book and show off artwork from issue #1. Join Velluto, Daniel Herman (Publisher, Hermes Press), Pete Klaus (noted Phantom historian), and some surprise guests (who have written and illustrated the Phantom over the years), all of whom will discuss the history of the character, the classic strip and comic books, and the all-new version (which brings back the classic Phantom) of this iconic character, along with a Q and A session! A free poster will be given out at the panel showing off Velluto's variant cover for issue #1.

3:00-4:00 - Sexy or Sexualized
When does the depiction of a heroine stop being sexy and become sexualized? Where is the line? Join moderator Paul Levitz and guests Marguerite Bennett (Batgirl), Christina Blanch (The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood), Dave Gibbons (The Secret Service), Adam Hughes (Fairest), Gail Simone (Red Sonja), and Thom Zahler (Love & Capes) as they look at this difficult subject.

4:00-5:00 - Walter & Louise Simonson Spotlight
Walter and Louise Simonson have chronicled the adventures of heroes including Thor, Power Pack, Manhunter, Superman, X-Factor, Wolverine, and many more. Their adventures in comics continue with Walter on Ragnarok and Louise on Super Secret Crisis War! Join them for a lively look at their careers in comics.

5:00-6:00 - Favorite Comics
Every comics fan has favorite comics, and so do the pros! Join moderator Bob Greenberger along with Alan Davis (Savage Hulk), Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press), Ron Marz (Witchblade), Allison Sohn (Red Sonja), and Jim Starlin (Thanos: The Infinity Revelation) as they look at the comics they love and have had an impact on them.

Room 349-350
2:00-3:00 - Thrillbent Comics
Take a look inside the digital world of Thrillbent! Creators Christina Blanch, Barry Kitson, Ron Randall, and Mark Waid discuss their work at Thrillbent and where they're headed in the future.

3:00-4:00 - Teaching with Comics
A panel discussion with three graphic illustrators and writers exploring the benefits of teaching with comics. The panelists have published books about history, culture, and nature, all of which have been successful teaching and learning tools in the classroom and in libraries.

4:00-5:00 - Dan Parent Spotlight
Dan Parent is the popular Archie Comics talent behind the Love Showdown story and is the creator of Kevin Keller, Archie's first openly gay character. Join moderator Mark Waid for a look at this Harvey Awards-nominated creator.

5:00-6:00 - Social Issues Through Comic Books SuperMOOC with Christina Blanch
Social Issues have many dimensions and can sometimes be difficult to understand. By using popular culture, in this case comic books, to help understand these issues, we can see how the information can be presented in both negative and positive ways. This presentation will unveil the adventures of exploring social issues using comics, the design of the course, the interview process with the comic creators, and how the Social Issues Through Comic Books class fared.

5:00-6:00 - Greg Capullo Spotlight
He's worked on X-Force, Spawn, The Creech, Batman, and more. His art has graced album covers. He is Greg Capullo and he's one of the most popular artists in comics today. One look at his work and it's easy to see why. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about Greg and his work.


All programs take place at the Workshop Area at the Kids Love Comics Pavilion
4:00-5:00 - Drawing Aliens, Robots, and Nature with Steve Conley
The beautiful world of Steve Conley's book, BLOOP, is full of trees, flowers, lush landscapes, and a splash of aliens and robots. Join Steve as he teaches you how to draw the nature that surrounds us and all the awesome aspects of BLOOP!

5:00-6:00 - Drawing Heroic Females and Felines with Mike Maihack
Mike Maihack is the amazing author/artist of the graphic novel Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice from Scholastic/Graphix. In this workshop, Mike will share his technique for drawing heroines like Cleopatra, Supergirl, and Batgirl. He'll also be drawing cats, and who doesn't love cats?!

6:00-7:00 - How Cynja Are You? with Heather C. Dahl and Chase Cunningham
Today, our battlefield is a new frontier. It's one that's invisible to all but those with cyber powers. It's time to train a new kind of superhero - one who will protect cyberspace from attack! Join the creators of the new comic series, The Cynja, as they show you how to acquire the cyber powers to fight zombies, worms, and botnets. The world needs boys and girls with digital skills to become Cynjas and keep the Internet safe for all. It's time to become a cyber hero!

General Admission and VIP Package tickets for Weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are now on sale! Visit for more information and to purchase your advanced tickets now!
In the coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found on our website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Please take a moment to help us spread this message using the social media links embedded, reposting, or retweting!

Join us high atop the Baltimore skyline overlooking the Inner Harbor for an intimate evening that would be the envy of Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark! This cocktail party event with food, drink, and socializing will be attended by the likes of Reilly Brown, Mark Buckingham, Greg Capullo, Frank Cho, Alan Davis, Dave Gibbons, Dean Haspiel, Barry Kitson, Brandon Peterson, Gail Simone, Walter and Louise Simonson, John K. Snyder III, John Totleben, Rick Veitch, Matt Wagner, Mark Waid, Bill Willingham, and more on Friday, September 5th at 8pm. This unique opportunity is a limited ticket count event. Tickets are available at -- act now before the opportunity is gone

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ella Grasso Tpke,Windsor Locks,United States

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sometimes They Come Back

revivalfriendsREVIVAL Vol. 1
Writer: Tom Seely
Artist: Mike Norton
Image Comics | graphic novel | $12.99
Image is one of my favorite publishing companies. Along with Vertigo and Dynamite, Image is a great place to find creator owned, non-capes and tights stories that are consistently compelling. Revival is the latest breakout hit from the same company that brought us such fan favorites as FataleElephantmenInvincible and Saga.
You might know Tim Seely as the writer of Hack/Slash and as the penciler of the New ExilesMike Norton has illustrated extensively for DC and has his own webcomic, Battlepug.
Revival is the story of a small town in Wisconsin where the dead are returning to life but it’s not a Walking Dead wannabe. When the dead rise they are just as you remember them, a doting grandmother, a son taken too soon or a dearly missed spouse. In a town that is under government quarantine, decried by the clergy and under siege from grave robbers looking for the key to immortality, Officer Dana Cypress is trying to solve a murder that may have been committed by the of the Revived.
The writing in the book often jumps from the main narrative to short vignettes of people in the town dealing with the otherwordly implications of the dead returning to life. While I usually don’t like straying far from the main narrative, Seely does a good job at this. Sometimes he weaves some minor characters into the main tale and other times the small stories help to flesh out the town while having unexpected payoffs. The art in Revival is clean but detailed. The flat tones help impart the noir feel the book is going for but also works well for action scenes of which there are many.
The book succeeds at turning the zombie genre on its head and exploring its novel premise with asides while moving the main story forward in the first trade. I eagerly anticipate buying the second.
Final rating (out of 5): 5_Star

Guest Columnist = Current Trends: Are Super-Heroes finding the Young Adult market?


EDITOR’S NOTE: I agree with Matthew Phillion:  we definitely live in interesting times.  One of the things I most appreciate is the ease of networking compared to a decade ago.  This guest column is the result of that, and here’s how it occurred thanks to networking:  When I receive a press release that I believe would be of interest to BC Refugees readers, I follow up with a thank-you email to the publisher or marketing source.  I emailed PFP Publishing to thank them for the information about The Indestructibles and they in turn forwarded my email to Matthew Phillion, the author.  My preface to the blog article intrigued Matthew, and he wrote to me to ask if I was going to expand my thoughts and write about a connection between Young Adult (YA) novels and comics.  I wasn’t prepared to do that, but thought the idea was a good one.  So, I invited Matthew to write about it.  . . . And, here we are . . . . . .

Guest column by author MATTHEW PHILLION

As superhero or comic book fans, we live in interesting times.

The names and faces we’ve loved in sequential art for decades have become mainstream.  They’ve certainly taken over the box office (that terrifying list of superhero movies scheduled for the next three years borders on overkill) and you don’t hit that level of movie magic without reaching outside your core audience.

It feels only natural that the superhero novel should see a new popularity as well, and it has—Peter Clines, for example, with his wonderful zombies-fight-superheroes series beginning with Ex-Heroes is a household name, at least among fans of the genre, and he’s not alone.

And Young Adult novels have got the literary world in a stranglehold.  Vampires and teen romances, coming of age stories—the YA market is more popular and more influential than ever.  Stephen Colbert might call YA “books that people actually read,” but in defense of YA, it’s a fictional category—it’s only been around a few decades and acts more as a marketing technique and shelving suggestion than a hard and fast category (books like Catcher in the Rye, for example, would have fallen into YA if they were published now, which is a bit mind-boggling).


With my own superhero novel, The Indestructibles, I have to admit it feels very strange marketing it as YA.  I don’t disagree—it’s about a team of rookie, teenaged superheroes fumbling their way toward heroism—but, well, it’s a book I would read myself as a guy in my mid-to-late thirties.  What is YA, and where do superheroes fit in to all of this?

I’m convinced most YA authors don’t set out to write YA.  I admit I wanted to keep my own book closer to all ages. As a prodigious user of curse words in my day to day life, I had a note over my desk saying DON’T SWEAR while I was writing as a reminder to keep it clean—this is not hyperbole.  However, my real goals were to write a story that would entertain myself and my fellow superhero comic book readers in a prose setting.  I wanted to try to write a love letter to comics, with all of the snappy patter and cinematic fight scenes from the superhero stories we grew up with, while hopefully creating something new and fun.

And in the end I thought, oh no, I think I wrote a YA book.

Given the market trends right now, it was a lucky accident, and one I think a lot of writers find themselves in.  Can this be categorized as YA?

And I think I got lucky with my content as well.  There is something inherently not childish but rather all ages about superhero stories, and our society and culture have finally realized that.  For a long time, adults were shamed for loving superhero stories.  They’re stories for kids, we were told.  Grow up.  But just because something is accessible to young readers (whether they are four-color Archie comics, Watchmen, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower) doesn’t make it exclusively so.  While we get more and more restrictive with the categories we put books into, I think readers—and let’s face it, the readers are the most important part of the equation here—have figured out that the most important thing is to read what brings you enjoyment.

I didn’t write a YA superhero novel myself because superheroes and YA were the hot sellers this year (though admittedly it didn’t hurt).  I wrote a superhero novel because in my mid-thirties I realized what I really wanted to do was write about superheroes.  I was a far stronger writer than artist.  (I deliberately kept my heroes’ costumes a little vague in the book to allow for reader imagination, but also because I probably couldn’t draw them accurately myself if I tried.)  And I inadvertently kept the content all-ages enough to fit into a YA mold.

Someone once told me that, similar to the rush of vampire and werewolf books by mainstream authors in recent years, they wanted to tell authors to go write superhero books to hop on the current trend.  My reaction wasn’t “No!  Not competition!”  My reaction was: “You can’t fake this.”


I spent the weekend at Boston Comic Con recently and was blown away by the sense of community, by the shared experience, by the knowledge that everyone there was on the same team, from readers and collectors to cosplayers and vendors.  While I was at my booth a young woman crossplaying at Spider Jerusalem walked by and I yelled out to her to compliment her choice, because Spider in all his vulgarity actually inspired me to become a journalist myself.  Because I knew who she was, and I knew the shared experience of loving that character.

That’s the real beauty of reading, whether it is comics, novels, superheroes, romances.  The wonder of shared imaginative storytelling.

You can’t fake the joy of loving comics.  You can’t fake an understanding of the culture of superheroes. It’s got to be in your veins.  And I think this is why we’re seeing a bumper crop of new superhero prose fiction—there’s a lot of love out there for this type of content, and it’s out in the open.  It’s a big old tribe and it is having its day in the sun.

We live in interesting times.  And I’m excited to be a part of it, as a writer, as a reader and as a fan.


Matthew Phillion is a writer, actor, and film director based in Salem, Massachusetts.  The Indestructibles, a Young Adult superhero adventure story, is his first novel.

He has appeared in feature films including the sci-fi romance Harvest Moon and the independent horror flick Livestock.  His screenwriting and directing debut, the romantic comedy Certainly Never, premiered in 2013 at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival where it was nominated for five awards including best screenplay and best New England film.  An active freelance writer, Phillion continues to write about both local issues and the medical industry as both a freelance journalist and newspaper editor.

Friday, August 22, 2014

John Carpenter’s ASYLUM graphic novel drops at NYCC

EDITOR’S NOTE:  I’ve been following this series since Issue #1, and it’s actually scary. Very dark and supernatural.  Worth investigation by all fans of horror and dark fantasy. I hope to write a review of the first story arc soon. In the meantime, this announcement of a graphic novel treatment is good news indeed . . . . . .

. . . . . from the official press release . . . . . . . .

(Hollywood, CA-August 22, 2014) Storm King Productions announced today the graphic novel release of their six issue horror comic series John Carpenter's Asylum.  There will be three versions of the book, including a limited run collectors' edition, only available through the publisher, a hardcover edition (ISBN 978-0-9853258-8-6/SEP141622) in time for the holidays, and a softcover version (ISBN 978-0-9853258-7-9/AUG141656) that will hit stores in October.  Writer, publisher movie producer Sandy King Carpenter (They Live, Vampires) and renowned artist Leo Manco (Hellblazer, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Driver for the Dead) will be on hand at New York Comic Con for signings and autographs at booth #2029.  The soft cover at the show will be $19.99. The November hardcover release will be $35.00. The limited edition version will be $100.00 and available for purchase on-line and advance order at the show.  

The softcover NYCC release will be a full 200 pages which contain the 144 comic pages from the first six issues as well as a sketchbook from Leo Manco that shows pages in the three different stages of development (pencils, inks, colors), a “how to”guide covering the creation of the John Carpenter's Asylum animated trailer, and three new demons never before seen in the comic!  The hardcover will have the same interior, which includes one of two limited edition sketch cards.  The limited edition includes an oversized slipcase hand numbered with signatures by Sandy King Carpenter, John Carpenter, Leo Manco, Bruce Jones, Trent Olsen, Janice Chiang and possibly Thomas Ian Griffith.  The run will be strictly limited to 500.

About John Carpenter's Asylum:

There's a war coming to the City of Angels.  In tunnels beneath the city, in the dark alleys among the homeless, demons lurk and Lucifer bides his time.  One man knows.   One man sees.  One man walks those dark streets.  Father Daniel Beckett's seen demons and he's spoken to the Devil, but he's never seen an angel and he's never spoken to God.  Obsessed and driven as much by betrayal as righteousness and anger as redemption, he walks the smoke-filled encampments of lost souls like Dante's nine rings of the Inferno.  He is God's warrior at war with God.

With this step into the comic book world, John Carpenter brings it all to the serial world he's loved since childhood.  Supernatural horror with that twist of fate that only flawed mankind can provide.

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About Storm King Productions:

Storm King Productions is headed up by writer producer powerhouse Sandy King Carpenter.  Storm King focuses on artistic storytelling in all forms.  Their flagship comic book title John Carpenter's Asylum has become a global fan favorite.  Other comic properties including DarkChylde, are also currently in production.

PLB Comics debuts Halloween Special at Baltimore Comic Con

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re going to Baltimore Comic Con, please spend some time to check out and meet the many indie comics publishers who will be there. They need your support, and a Comic Con is a great way to get introduced, beginning with PLB Comics.

from the official press release . . . . . . .

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - August 21, 2014 - PLB Comics will be debuting their third annual Halloween Special at Baltimore Comic-Con 2014.  The special offers up tales of horror and suspense from such notable creators as Nikkol Jelenic (table A220), Cheltsey Vann, Brian Spicer, Ryan Thompson, Frank Dawson Jr., Josh Shockley, James Dufendach, and Isai Jose Leal Garza, with a cover by the incomparable Neil Vokes.

PLB is the Eastern Shore of Maryland's most prolific indie comics publisher, with 14 books in print and thousands of copies sold.  Their main titles, The Fall (a gritty vigilante title) and Gideon & Sebastian (a buddy cop, vampire slayer, action comedy with no sparkling) have been featured at BCC for over eight years.  PLB Comics is an independent group of artists and writers based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with contributing artists and writers all over the world.  PLB Comics offers original concepts and fresh perspectives on the world of Sequential Art, while maintaining an appreciation of mainstream classics.

"Baltimore is a fantastic show.  It is by far our favorite big show.  BCC's continued support of indie publishers and focus on the medium makes it an extremely welcoming place for creators and attendees alike," said James Dufendach, Editor/Letterer at PLB Comics.

Be sure to stop by tables A218 - A219 to check out PLB's full line of titles and prints, and to pick up their 2014 Halloween Special. And as always, free high 5's are available for the asking!
Find out more about PLB:  or

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New “young adult” novel debuts with super-heroes

EDITOR’S NOTE: I was contemplating the state of young adult novels just the other day, wondering if the recent interest in reading would drive some new customers to comics and whether anyone has written a young adult novel featuring super-heroes, when  I hear about this . . . . . .

. . . from the official press release . . . . . . .

The Indestructibles: an ‘indefatigably entertaining’ new superhero novel

A solar powered girl.  A ballerina vigilante.  A boy with an alien living inside his brain.  A werewolf with confidence issues.  A girl with a black hole for a heart. Five teenagers, each with their own unique abilities, are gathered by veteran hero Doc Silence to become their generation’s super-team.  But when they find out someone else is building their own monsters to change the world, will the Indestructibles be ready in time?  Or will their inexperience be their downfall?

Both a coming of age adventure and a love letter to comic book heroes, The Indestructibles, the first book by author Matthew Phillion, is the story of five reluctant super-powered teenagers as they set out to save the world while trying to figure out their own place in it.

“It’s an origin story,” says Phillion.  He had developed the characters individually for years before realizing they worked best as a unified team, playing off each others’ quirks, strengths, and weaknesses.  “They’re out to save the world, but at times their greatest challenges are their own insecurities and doubts.  It’s only after they learn about themselves that they can change the world.” calls the book “indefatigably entertaining,” and writes: “At the beginning of the novel, the Indestructibles weren’t very indestructible.  During their first official mission, for example, they looked like a bunch of toddlers in a bouncy castle.  But over time, and through experience and good-fellowship, they figured out how to become superheroes.  ‘Every so often humanity gets lucky and a hero is born,’ says Doc Silence.  ‘And these heroes shine in the sun.’  Three cheers for Solar, Dancer, Fury, Straylight, and Entropy: the five brightest stars in the sky.”

While each of the heroes undergoes a transformative journey, The Indestructibles isn’t just about introspection – the characters must face down everything from a sentient hurricane to giant monsters, armed robots, out of control cyborgs, evil magicians, and even each other.

Sci-fi fans will find a lot of winks and nods to the decades of genre classics that helped inspire the story.

“It’s a self-aware book,” says Phillion.  “These characters grew up in a world with its own super-powered heroes, but also a sense of history and pop culture shared with our own.  It is almost impossible to tell a story like this without tipping your hat to the past, and the characters, without breaking the fourth wall, are able to let the readers in on the secret handshakes of this genre.”

Phillion wanted this story to avoid the sense that it was a “book for boys” or “book for girls” by focusing on challenges both universal and uniquely personal.

“Each of our heroes must combat the problems inherent with being a young person with their own fantastic challenges – setting barns on fire with your thoughts, sharing your brain with an alien – in a realistic, relatable way,” says Phillion.  “They each have a part to play in making the world a better place, but they have to learn how to get out of their own way to get there.”

Pop culture blogger Peter Chianca writes: “The Indestructibles is a so-called YA novel, although to quote Stephen Colbert, that usually just means it’s a regular novel that people actually read.  And this one is definitely well-suited to your average 12-year-old superhero fanatic.  But if you’re like some of us, you have an inner 12-year-old that you can access at a moment’s notice… and if that’s you, and you know who you are, you’ll probably get as much out of the Indestructibles as any [younger] superhero junkie.”

The Indestructibles is the first in an ongoing series. Book 2, the Indestructibles: Breakout, will arrive in print and e-book formats this October.

Phillion has worked as a journalist, writer, and editor for almost 20 years.  He is also the writer, director, and producer of the feature film “Certainly Never,” a romantic comedy about what he calls “the stupid things we do to try to find our own happiness.”  “Certainly Never” premiered at the 2013 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival.

Print copies of The Indestructibles are available from independent bookstores everywhere, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Books-A-Million (BAM) as well as from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Digital versions are available in Barnes & Noble NookBook, Amazon Kindle, Apple iBook and Kobo eBook formats.  For additional information, please contact or visit

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Preview for August 20, 2014: Valiant DELINQUENTS mixes hobo culture with treasure hunts and hilarity as popular duos team up

THE DELINQUENTS #1 of 4  (Valiant Entertainment, August 20, 2014 release date) Written by James Asmus.  Story by James Asmus and Fred Van Lente.  Art by Kano.  Letters by Dave Sharpe.

  Hidden amongst the very entertaining but serious (and often dark) action-adventure series published by  Valiant Entertainment  are two successful titles that manage to take a light-hearted approach to story-telling and mix in some humor and satire in clever ways that don't insult the intelligence of the reader.  If you are not reading  ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG  and  QUANTUM AND WOODY then you are missing out. Good news!  Valiant has teamed up both couples in a mini-series called THE DELINQUENTS that debuts tomorrow. It is truly the perfect jumping on point if you have been curious about either of these books and weren't sure where to start.


     THE DELINQUENTS  is a funny book in every sense of the term.  It may not make you bust out laughing (that could be embarrassing, depending on where you choose to read your comics) but it will bring a smile, a grin, and possibly a little suppressed chuckle.  If it's not the situation, the jokes, one-liners, double-entendres, or the style of art that tickles your funny-bone then the complete package will win you over. After two readings, I'm eager to see Issue #2 and where this goes.

For the uninitiated, here's a short overview of the two eggs that hatched  THE DELINQUENTS. In the words of a reviewer (who we respect) featured in  BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #11: Archer & Armstrong are two mythos-busters walking a very fine line on the sword's edge between order and chaos, hoping to keep the balance shifted properly”.  This same reviewer (a friend of ours) calls Quantum and Woody “an even odder and more dysfunctional couple as the world's worst super-hero team gets into and out of threatening situations purely by accident and come out smelling like . . . well, it's not roses."  In  THE DELINQUENTS both Archer & Armstrong and Quantum & Woody possess parts of a map drawn in code on a tattered pair of moldy, smelly boxers. The map, when put together and deciphered, will lead to the lost treasure of the Hobo King.  Whether the two teams will cooperate with each other remains to be seen.  Issue #1 seems to indicate that they will be adversaries. However, knowing the capabilities of each team, anything and everything is possible. The only certainty is that is will be funny.


     Many years before Armstrong paired up with Archer, he spent a lot of time as a vagrant, running with the citizens of the hobo kingdom, hopping trains and seeing the continent with just a knapsack for baggage along with the obligatory hip flask.  While escaping from an shotgun-wielding irate farmer, the feeble hobo Rudy (Armstrong’s companion) was shot and died from complications. He entrusted Armstrong with his most valued possession - - the treasure map written in hobo code on some underwear. Not the most trustworthy individual to give such a valued item to, as soon as Armstrong becomes distracted during a nightly fireside hobo hoedown, some junkyard dogs rummage through his belongings and end up separating the map.  In a wonderful panel montage that illustrates what happens to one half of the map over several decades (battlefield gear, flea market item, overpriced art deco object, etc) we see that it finally ends up in the wrong hands. Recognizing the object as a treasure map, these new owners of dubious intent then hire Quantum and Woody to recover the missing half. The issue ends with Stinky Wally, who works at a hobo museum/village, tipping off Armstrong  about the half he no longer possesses.


    Among the highlights of Issue #1 is the discovery of hobo hieroglyphics, the crudely scrawled symbols that serve as code/messages to fellow hoboes. Many of these symbols are detailed throughout the story; and the symbols that represent Quantum and Woody are hilarious.  THE DELINQUENTS makes fun through satiric commentary of modern farming, dominated by giant chemical conglomerates who utilize gene splicing and synthetic proteins to develop their tainted agricultural goods -  and smothering the smaller organic farmers. There are several jabs taken at “hippies” and the 21st century vestiges of same - - exotic religions, mysticism, holistic medicine, Zen and gurus.  There are several Easter eggs planted throughout the art, as well as asides to current popular culture including an implied shout out to X-O Manowar, another popular Valiant character.    

    Just as amusing and entertaining as the story, the art by Kano is worthy of repeat inspections. Kano utilizes some very expressive faces and puts a lot of detail into some very tiny panels. Because the story features much exposition and dialogue, there are many multi-paneled pages as well as the use of smaller, wider, panoramic views. Once in awhile Kano is allowed to move the story along in caption-less, word-balloon free panels and he pulls it off in great fashion. Apparently he also inked and colored his work and it really shines.  These are great visuals. 

  There is a lot to appreciate in this book.  Make sure you don’t miss it.

DELINQ_001_002                   DELINQ_001_003

Hobby Game Market Wins As It Reaches $700 Million !

EDITOR'S NOTE: Great to see that geek culture is making a significant contribution to the economic recovery. Read more

From the official press release . . .

(August 18, 2014-Madison, WI) Pop culture experts ICv2 released today the results of their study on the hobby game market and it shows that the North American market totaled $700 million at retail for 2013. Breaking down the estimate for the total industry by category shows that collectible games was the largest at $450 million; miniatures second at $125 million; boardgames were third at $75 million; card and dice games fourth at $35 million; with RPGs coming in last at $15 million. “Hobby games” are defined as those games produced for “gamers” and are most often sold in the hobby channel or game and card specialty stores, but these items are not limited to sales in that market.

ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp commented, “A $700 million market is a significant geek culture market segment. With the growth it’s been experiencing, a billion dollar market is within reach in the next few years, and hopefully this kind of industry analysis will help us get there. I cannot thank enough the industry insiders who helped us compile these estimates. Without their willingness to speak frankly with us about their own estimates of market size and the reasoning behind them, we would have been unable to complete this project.”

The hobby game industry remained strong in the Spring season of 2014, according to information compiled by ICv2. In collectible games, WizKids' Dice Masters was the red hot and hard-to-find item due to high demand. Magic: The Gathering led the pack, but not as strongly as previous seasons. Boardgames continued to grow with support from hard core gamers and an influx of mainstream gamers coming over from other markets. The heat in the miniatures category came from Star Wars X-Wing and Star Trek Attack Wing, with any extra space filled by anticipation of the new edition of Warhammer 40K. The big news in the Card and Dice Game category was high interest and quick sell-out of both Boss Monster and Adventure Time Card Wars. The largest change overall in the RPG category was the failure of Dungeons and Dragons to hit the Top 5 list for Spring, before the release of the new edition. This change is a first in ICv2's decade long history of sales reporting on the hobby game industry.

About ICV2.Com:
For the people on the front lines of the pop culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn’t something that can be left to chance—it’s a basic necessity for being successful. That’s why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines. ICv2 is where trend-watching has become a science

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