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Archive for July, 2011

Webcomics at SDCC 2011

Posted by Jordan On July - 30 - 2011

As a guy who loves comics and whose job involves being on the internet most of the day, it will come as no surprise that I am a fan of many webcomics. There are various webcomics that I feel the need to check on every single day, even if it means putting off a little bit of work. One of the things I was most excited about at SDCC 2011 was getting to meet some of the guys who help me procrastinate all the time. Here are some of the webcomic artists/writers that I met at SDCC 2011.

Stan Yan – Subculture

Stan Yan is actually a friend of mine, so I of course had to stop by his booth at SDCC. He is also a very talented comics creator, both as a writer and an artist. I am a big fan of the webcomic he illustrates, Subculture, which he works on with writer Kevin Freeman. Basically it is a comic about nerds being nerds, and it is hilarious. Stan likes to add little pop culture references into a lot of his illustrations as well, so it is always fun to look for those. The sketch of the Subculture character Arthur dressed as Spock Stan did for me never ceases to amuse me.

Jeph Jacques – Questionable Content

Questionable Content has built up a huge following over the years, making Jeph Jacques the most popular guy I saw in the webcomics section of SDCC 2011. While most other webcomic booths had crowds ranging from one to five people at a time, Jeph Jacques had a line of people weaving through the aisles waiting to meet him. Sure, it wasn’t anywhere near as long as a panel line, but it was impressive nonetheless. The chatter in the line was all excitement about what Questionable Content character they wanted Jeph to sketch. I went with Pintsize because butt jokes are funny.

Chris Hastings – Dr. McNinja

Dr. McNinja is one of my favorite comics of all time. In fact, I even dressed up as a Dr. McNinja character for a day at SDCC. I looked very handsome as Gordito Delgado. Chris Hastings, the creator/writer/illustrator of Dr. McNinja, was super nice to everybody who came by, and did personalized sketches inside all of the Dr. McNinja books when people bought them.  I actually thought there would be a bigger crowd around him since he is also doing some work for Marvel, namely writing the Fear Itself: Deadpool title. Luckily that left him time to become best friends with me as evidenced by the picture below.

Ryan Sohmer and Lar deSouza – Least I Could Do, Looking For Group, The Gutters

Ryan Sohmer and Lar deSouza are two of the most prolific webcomic creators in the world. They do great work consistently, with Sohmer Writing and deSouza doing the art. All three webcomics that they work on, Least I Could Do, Looking For Group, and The Gutters, manage to remain consistently funny despite the fact these guys always seem to be working on a million projects at once. The gigantic stash of Red Bull behind their booth could probably explain that, though. I find The Gutters especially entertaining, as it pokes fun at the world of more mainstream comics in very clever ways, while making it clear that the creators are most assuredly comic book fans.

Sideshow Collectibles at SDCC 2011

Posted by Jordan On July - 29 - 2011

Visiting the vendor booths at San Diego Comic Con is a great way to spend the day. A lot of companies produce exclusive content just for this event, others bring in special guests to draw a crowd, and others will promise big announcements and giveaways. Sideshow Collectibles grabbed my interest in a different way. Their booth was surrounded by their statues, ranging from large to gigantic, and all masterfully made. If I was super rich, I would have bought every single one of them. Check out the video I took of some of them below.

I really liked the prototype Wolverine statue and the WWII Captain America they had on display. Thor had an…interesting face. This was one booth I spent a lot of time at, just walking back and forth looking at all the sculptures. They are all works of art. Maybe next year I’ll be able to get one.

I need this Galactus.

Some Things I Learned at San Diego Comic Con 2011

Posted by Jordan On July - 29 - 2011

This past weekend I attended the world famous San Diego Comic Con with fellow Hero District writer Billy. While I am a big comic book fan, I had never made it out to this convention before, so I really wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from it other than a great time. Here are some things that I learned while attending SDCC 2011.

Conflu is Real

I actually meant to write articles about San Diego Comic Con all week. Judging by the fact it is Thursday and this is the first SDCC article, you can see that this didn’t happen, and it is all because of conflu. Conflu is what happens when you pack over 100,000 filthy nerd folk inside a convention center for around 12 hours a day. There are a lot of germs floating around and it is not uncommon for people to get sick after the convention. I mean, I saw a baby’s diaper being changed in the middle small press section. Basically what I’m saying is remember to bring some Purell to Comic Con.

Show Up Early

That is all one line. Actually, part of one line. 

SDCC has gotten so popular that you have to show up early for absolutely everything. This goes for registration for badges, hotel rooms, getting in the door, going to panels, everything. One panel I really wanted to attend this year was the Adventure Time panel. To make sure I got in, I stood in line about 3 hours before that panel started. I got into the panel room pretty quickly and had to sit through a terrible panel on why middle aged women want to make love to vampires. It’s a good thing I went early though, as everybody else at that panel was also waiting for the Adventure Time panel to start, so the 600 people or so waiting in line outside the door were out of luck.

You Never Have Enough Money

There is a ridiculous amount of cool stuff to buy at SDCC. There are action figures, comics, clothes, accessories, and comics that are just begging you to buy them. If you’re really into spending the big bucks, there are also original art pieces and giant statues. The thing is, everything is really expensive at SDCC. That goes for everything from the hotel rooms to trying to find a decent meal. My suggestion for most people is to start saving up now for next year’s SDCC. I know I am.

Convention Exclusives are Hard to Get

There were a couple convention exclusives that I really wanted to get this year. I figured I’d probably have to show up early to get them, but it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Boy, was I wrong. Those things sell out fast. Also I am convinced that some of the people who attend comic con are wizards, as there was a day when I was at the front of the line to enter the convention center when the doors opened, yet there was a line of hundreds of people in front of me when I power walked over to one of the vendor booths. It is so ridiculous that Hasbro actually made you stand in line in one area to get a ticket that would let you stand in line in another area.

Panels, Panels, and More Panels

I have to say the highlight of my Comic Con experience was attending some of the panels, especially the Adventure Time panel. The panels give a unique insight into pretty much everything you could want to know, plus they usually have some pretty awesome swag to give out. The unpredictability of what’s going to happen at the panels is a lot of fun as well. Matt Groening actually stopped by for an appearance at the Adventure Time panel, which was awesome. Just remember to show up early so you can actually get in.

Top Five Things To Do At Comic Con

Posted by Billy Lane On July - 19 - 2011

There is just so much to do at Comic Con, it’s impossible to get it all done. However, I’ve taken the liberty of making a list of the top five things I need to do at SDCC.

5. TV Panels

The Avengers and Batman are sadly missing from Hall H this year. After crying for a few hours, I realized that two of the greatest TV shows of all time will be there. In addition to hits such as Archer and Community, we have the unholy pairing of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones! Both shows are coming off of stellar first seasons that completely kicked ass. I can’t imagine either falling short for season two, since they can both rely on brilliant source material.

Bad news though. The actor playing Prince Joffrey will not be attending, so you won’t have the chance to beat him into sweet oblivion. A damn shame.

4. Deadpool Squirrel!

Comic-Con is renowned for exclusive items, and the winner this year has to be the Deadpool Squirrel. It’s a squirrel…with a Deadpool mask. Some things just make sense in life. Supplies are very limited, so get in line early to grab yours! Wait, why am I telling people about this?

3. Captain America early showing, with Chris Evans!

What’s better than a midnight showing? Seeing the movie a day early with an introduction from Captain America himself! I’ll finally be able to pitch Chris Evans on all my Captain America sequel ideas! Spoiler Alert: the villains are Porcupine and the juggling Death Throws.

2. Find True Love

Is Felicia Day seeing anyone?

1. Punch Out Mark Millar

It’s not that I don’t like his writing. That’s only part of the equation. Oh sure, I hate how he substitutes shock and brutality for storytelling, or that he’s ruined several of my childhood icons. I just can’t stand how pompous and arrogant he is, or how he completely talks out of his ass. You can’t complain about superheroes saturating theaters when you’re trying to develop four more of your own, dick. Quite simply, Mark Millar is my archnemesis and I plan on taking this grudge to the next level.

So that’s the list. If there are any celebrities you want me to beat up, just let me know. If I’m going to jail for punching Mark Millar, what’s a few more years to the sentence? It’s all relative.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Teaser

Posted by Jordan On July - 19 - 2011

Season 1 of The Walking Dead on AMC was pretty awesome. It was faithful to the comic books without being a word for word reprint. As good as it was, there is a lot of room for the series to grow, which will hopefully happen during the 13 episodes of season 2. AMC has previously shown us some new zombie pictures and a behind the scenes look at the filming of season 2, but now we have our first teaser trailer of what to expect from season 2 of The Walking Dead. As you’ll see in the trailer, things are about to get pretty brutal.

Yeah, Rick Grimes is tired of these damn zombies. One thing I really like about this teaser is that it shows a different mentality in the characters than they had in the first season. Now it is time to fight back. One of the best things about the comic is seeing how far these people are willing to go to survive. It looks like we are about to see Rick Grimes and his motley crew move further away from civilized life than ever before, and I can’t wait.

Those zombies are so dead… 

New Amazing Spider-Man Photos

Posted by Jordan On July - 18 - 2011

There hasn’t been a whole lot of news about the upcoming Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, that we haven’t known about for a while. The quick recap is Andrew Garfield is the new Spider-Man, Emma Stone looks great as a blonde Gwen Stacy, and the Lizard will be the big villain. We have gotten a couple looks at Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man already, and even a small photo from the set which has Spider-Man walking around looking all awesome and stuff. Entertainment Weekly decided that we the people needed a better look at the upcoming movie and ran a feature with 9 photos from The Amazing Spider-Man, and they look great.

Recent news has been dominated by rumors about The Dark Knight and The Avengers, but this is a nice reminder that there is another comic book movie in the works. Check out the EW site for the rest of the photos from their feature.

What Costumes To Wear At Comic-Con

Posted by Billy Lane On July - 16 - 2011

If you’re going to Comic-Con, you damn well better bring a costume. Oh sure, you could go out and buy some cheap Spider-Man costume. If that’s your plan, then I will find you. And I will laugh. If you want to be a real fan, you should go as one of these fantastic characters.

5. Grimlock

Make sure to hold your arms like a t-rex.

Grimlock is the most brilliantly stupid creation in Autobot history. For one, he supremely violates the whole “robots in disguise” thing. I would be more shocked at seeing a giant mechanical thunder lizard than I would a normal robot. Not to mention, why did the Autobots program him to have zero intelligence? Why would you give your near omnipotent superweapon the intelligence of Captain Caveman?

Because it’s awesome , that’s why. Someone needs to do a Grimlock costume.  And the kicker? It must transform into a dinosaur. Sounds excessive? Guys, this is Comic-Con. Go big or go home.

4. Fantomex

People’s eyeballs will melt at the sight of this awesome costume.

You might remember a recent article describing the avatar of badassery that is Fantomex. Hero-District has a staunchly Pro-Fantomex agenda, and we plan to promote that agenda every chance we get. Seriously, go as Fantomex. You might even gain enough swagger to snag a fabled booth babe!

3. Darkwing Duck

I am the termite that devours your floorboards.

He is the terror that flaps in the night.  Joining other classic Disney cartoons like Tail Spin and Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck was the reason you wanted to get home to watch afternoon TV. What the hell do kids watch these nowadays anyway? Darkwing’s an icon, so somebody better make this happen. If not? Let’s get dangerous.

2. Harvey Birdman (Attorney at Law)

Just be prepared to be asked for legal advice.

Starting as one of the classic Hanna Barbara superheroes, he then moved on to be a depressed guy on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast before finding his true calling in law.  Even before he became an Attorney, the character was essentially a significantly cooler clone of Hawkman. But as a lawyer? Voiced by the ever-popular Gary Cole? If I don’t see someone in this costume I’m going to sue.

 

1. Dr. McNinja And Gordito

Or dress as Ben Franklin.

The greatest webcomic of all time, The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, has just buckets and buckets of awesomeness in every panel. The character is pretty much exactly what you think he is, and the series is magically ludicrous.  Want raptor-riding banditos? Check. Dracula’s moon base? Check-arooni. Angry tennis playing Aztec temple guardians? CHECK MATE. I can only hope that a pair of handsome, articulate internet writers decide to go this route. What a sight that would be!

 

Honorable Mentions:

Doc Ock with fully functional arms.

Nipple-suit Batman, because only a real fan can rock that look.

Spider Jerusalem, for completely unhinged rage.

The Dark Knight Rises Poster

Posted by Jordan On July - 13 - 2011

Everything I have seen for The Dark Knight Rises has been amazing so far. Tom Hardy looks great and menacing as Bane in the only photo released so far, although I agree with fellow Hero District writer, Billy, that it is about time we got a clearer view of him. While we still have to wait a little while longer for that, the teaser poster for The Dark Knight Rises has been released, and it is amazing.

Christopher Nolan, I love you and your design team. 

Wow. Judging by this poster, Bane is going to be messing Gotham City up big time. Not surprising, since he is the man who broke the bat. With all the clues being given out for the Batman: Arkham City game, I want to believe there is some clue other than ‘things will get broken’ in The Dark Knight Rises. I’m sure if there is, somebody will find and post the results on the internet by the end of the week. Either way, I think we can all agree this is a great example of how to make a movie poster. The other option would have been slapping Anne Hathaway on a poster in her Catwoman costume.

The cutest cat burglar in the world.

Batman: Arkham City introduces The Riddler

Posted by Wezzo On July - 12 - 2011

The latest sneak-peek release from the upcoming game Batman: Arkham City is a teaser trailer introducing The Riddler. A couple of hidden messages have been thrown in for good measure well, which a certain YouTube commenter cracked in no time:

The trailer flashed words with numbers in them, the words are as follows:

pup(1)pet Kee(18)p wh(2)at t(5)o Shar(8)p t(13)his doe(5)s m(1)e a(20) i(20)t Ridd(9)le str(2)ing? t(20)ake o(14)n Str(15)ange

Rearranged they spell out -

Ridd(9)le m(1)e t(13)his wh(2)at doe(5)s i(20)t t(20)ake t(5)o Kee(18)p a(20) Shar(8)p pup(1)pet o(14)n (25)a Str(15)ange str(21)ing?

“What does it take to keep a Sharp puppet on a Strange string?” refers to Mayor Sharp and Hugo Strange, and the numbers spell out “I am better than you” in the classic A=1 alphanumeric code.

Personally I cannot wait for Batman: Arkham City to launch. If you’re still not too sure if you’ll be picking it up, check out the jaw-dropping gameplay footage featuring catwoman we posted last week – that might change your mind!

[via TDW]

The Problem of Batman: Is Batman a Superhero?

Posted by Aidan McKiernan On July - 11 - 2011

I have spent so much time debating this question during just about every notable family function with my bullheaded, Juggernautesque, older brother that I can barely see where the comic panels begin, and where I stand correct in all my assertions. Batman is very much a superhero, and I will prove it simply and without pinching anything.

“He can’t fly, all he does is use his little toys. What’s his superpower? He doesn’t DO anything” – Brother. The major assumption the naysayers out there hold is to look at Batman from what I call the “Too Superman Context.” This simply means that the very idea of what a superhero should be, is, or will be in the future must conform to the ridiculous physical attributes of the Man of Steel. Thus, a superhero must have no physical or mental weakness, and the only chink in his, or her, spandex armor is a small piece of green rock from a planet that existed a long time ago, blew up killing all of its inhabitants except one, and some how made it to earth to serve as the bane of existence to an otherwise impenetrable creature. (I know he was written to fight the Soviets, but even this is a little bombastic.) So, just because Batman cannot fly, resist multiple forms of terrorist attack, or make the earth spin backwards, does not mean he is not a superhero. It just means he is not Superman. Is Green Lantern a superhero despite all his powers coming from a ring? Is Captain America a superhero despite being guinea pigged by the US government to fight Nazis? Is Thor a superhero despite being a god and having a hammer do all his work for him? Batman’s greatness lies in my next point.

Yes, even you, Ryan, would be deemed “not a superhero.” Missing that pizza place?

Each and every superhero has wonderfully detailed mythology to him or her, but what sets them apart from any other type of literary character is they exist visually as much as they do textually, and because of this visual component they are now deemed super. There are heroes in literature dating back as far as Achilles, and as recent as Boobie Miles, but all of them exist solely in a 2D world (exempting any film or television adaptations) and were created with the sole intent of being a character to be read. Comic books fully incorporated the visual and now heroes were meant to coexist equally with the text. There were of course pictures of the characters used in the cannon of literature, but they were not used as a part of the story. They were extra and often looked down upon for making the character appear a specific, rigid way in the reader’s mind. Batman is a wonderfully rich, uniquely accessible, and deeply involved superhero that has had multiple re-imaginings over time, and still seems to draw the attention of the public and influence other comic book franchises. There would be no Kickass, Super, or any number of vigilante justice stories without the Batman storyline. He is a uniquely crafted character that finds a certain amount depth in his reincarnations, as he does in his original. He may not be the pinnacle of physical prowess, but he is the every-man’s superhero and people like to root for something close to the heart.

“Hey, man. Johnny Gobs got split and walked off a roof.” “That’s not what I heard. I heard the Bat got him.”

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