Casual adventuring through the 2019 Emerald City Comic Con

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Last weekend, was another wonderful time at the annual Emerald City Comic Con for 2019, here in Seattle.

For me, it was my sixth year in attendance, still being easily accessible to my local home area. But, I wasn’t able to attend the full show, with just the weekend available for me. I kept my time simple to casual shopping, small panels, chatting with old and new friends. My con time was chill, and that was enough for now.

Here are some pictures, with notes:

ECCC was as usual, very family friendly. Getting in the spirit sometimes could just be putting on a mask while still being yourself.

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I spent the most time on the main Exhibit Floor. While there was a presence of comic indie publishers, I noticed a larger rise in art sold as prints of all sizes, ranging from postcards to large posters. A wide range of styles, through traditional paints to sophisticated digital art. There was something for everyone to purchase or just admire.

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Artist alley was full of awesome artists; many ready to meet, greet, buy prints for sale, and set up commissions (the best you can really get from an admired artist).  My first purchase from ECCC was a few stickers from Ian Flynn, Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog comics artist.

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Tim Sale, legendary artist best known in my opinion for Batman: The Long Halloween.

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Terry Huddleston, a proud and awesome artist presenting his work on the Exhibit Floor.  You can see more at thuddleston.deviantart.com.

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Artist Brianna Garcia poses with an awesome commission original piece of Captain Marvel and Goose… beautiful work! check out more of her work at www.deviantart.com/briannacherrygarcia.

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A new favorite painter, whose stunning work I admired and purchased. She is super awesome to talk to as well. Check out the work of Mia Araujo at http://www.art-by-mia.com. She is also working on an interesting take on Alice in Wonderland illustrative book, that you can follow and support through Patreon at patreon.com/miaaraujo

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I just really like this attendees Star Wars shirt, with art by Shag.

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A convention is nothing without its silly stuff to purchase, and maybe add unusual character in your life.

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Really awesome classic Planet of the Apes pro-makeup work and prosthetic, as the mouth moves. I was told this work took many hours, and I like the result.

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The ECCC has a huge amount of space for tabletop gaming, with something for everyone whether into quick card battles or large elaborate scenarios. Here is just a small portion of a display set up for Forgotten Fortress, miniatures RPG game.

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Later on, Saturday after the lines died down for exclusives, the Funko booth had some of their artists do some Pop sketches for fans of their work.

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Funko Pops as still popular, and plentiful on the showroom floor. Some still command some crazy prices.

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But the best collectibles I feel are those that hold or will hold some sentimental value. Getting something signed, with something more like a picture or a sketch makes the whole show worthwhile.

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ECCC is still a great place for geek attire. I was really tempted to buy one of these awesomely silly Pokemon shirts…

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The Dark Horse Comics booth had a cool wall for attendees to color…

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And the main event of ECCC, the Western Championships of cosplay on Saturday showed off the best craftsmanship in several categories.

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Regarding cosplay, there was plenty of dress-up fandom representation everywhere. I will share more in another post soon.

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And, that’s enough for this year. Overall, a great time but not entirely epic because I didn’t go out of my way for big experiences or crazy goals in mind. Sometimes, you just have to take that con time easy, and naturally mix in.

 

San Diego Comic Con 2018 Notes and Commentary, Part 2/5 – Interesting Persons

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(Continued from my last entry, San Diego Comic Con 2018 Notes and Commentary, Part 1)

And now, my continued chronicles of the greatest comics show on Earth, the 49th Annual San Diego Comic Con, 2018.

My next set of pics and notes are dedicated to a very important part of any con; the guests, promoters, and creative people who are the prime reasons are fandom passions develop. At the show, attendees can meet, observe, sample work from, and learn of the talented people who put a lot of passion into their work. Such interaction is on the grandest scale for concentrated fandom at the San Diego Comic Con. And 2018, was especially specially and further wondrous.

So, here are my pictures and notes within, featuring my notable people seen for this 2018 run…

Tom King, award-winning author, comic book writer, and ex-CIA officer. Recent notable work includes the ongoing Batman run, and the Mister Miracle series. My favorite work of his, and a must read is the Vision 2016 mini-series from Marvel Comics.

Longtime artist Randy Martinez, working on new work in the Artist Alley area of the Exhibit floor. We had an awesome chat about artistic drives, following through on work, and having fun along the way. Much of this I have recorded, and plan to share in the near future.

Classic Disney duck artist Patrick Block, chilled out in the artist alley.  We had a fun talk, and an interesting surprise among his original art pages for sale (best to visit him at a show and see for yourself).

Harry Potter book Illustrators Kazu Kibuishi (15th anniversary edition cover artist), Jim Kay, and David Saylor.

Elliot S. Maggin, an American writer of comic books, film, television, and novels. He was a main writer for DC Comics during the Bronze and early Modern ages of comics in the 1970s and 1980s. Kingdom Come (with artist Alex Ross) is his best work, in my opinion.

Yoshitaka Amano, famed Japanese artist, character designer, illustrator and a theatre and film scenic designer and costume designer. His work includes the original concept art for the most iconic Final Fantasy characters and games, the Vampire Hunter D book series, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Dream Hunters series, and so much more. Here, Amano does live work at his SDCC panel.

Yoshitaka Amano, later signing and greeting fans with his finished work from earlier. I got a big Final Fantasy retrospect book signed with a little sketch by him on the inside.

David W. Miller, longtime comics ant fantasy artist. Very passionate about this work, and doesn’t mind chatting about it.

Away from SDCC floor, at the Nerdeis House special event. Here, with voice actors Gary Paulsen and Maurice LaMarshe (Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, many more) as they meet and greet fans.

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Adam Savage, from Mythbusters greeted lucky lottery ticket winners to meet and sign pictures. He said I had a kickass name!

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Three actors from the Amazon Prime show, Man in the High Castle. I honestly have not watched yet. I was here with a friend, a big fan of the show. There were other cast members out of frame here.

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Fabian Rangel Jr. proudly presents his trade paperback volume of ‘Namwolf, a highly recommended comics story about a werewolf stuck in the Vietnam War.

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Famed cover artist Artgerm Lau. He hosted a great a panel earlier, sharing much about himself, and the lifestyle of doing art for a living.

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Afro-Futurism panel with Reggie Hudlin (Milestone Media, Black Panther), Denys Cowan (Milestone Media, The Boondocks), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek, Heroes), Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager, Spaceballs), Kevin Grevioux (Underworld, I, Frankenstein), Professor Adilifu Nama (San Diego State University, Superheroes Decoded), Professor Ajani Brown (San Diego State University), and La Quia Howard (Kemet, I Choose 2 Be Me). Moderated by Jimmy Diggs (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space 9).

Nichelle Nichols gives a quick Vulcan salute to room attendees (just missed with my camera).

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The Writer’s Journey: Maximizing Your Potential in the New Marketplace: an awesome panel for writers hosted by Brandon Easton (Vampire Hunter D: The Series, Marvel’s Agent Carter), and others sharing advice and answering questions.

Marv Wolfman, long-time comics and TV writer, creator of the Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, Nightwing, Tim Drake, Blade, and many more comic heroes and villians. At times, he could be found in the Artist Alley area, or at one his multiple panels giving great advice on writing.

Doctor Who panel in Hall H, featuring the latest person to portray the time-traveler from Gallifrey; Jodie Whitaker, in her first convention appearance with

The Predator panel in Hall H, promoting the new movie, with Shane Black, Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn, Keegan Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, Thomas Jane, Augusta Aguilera, and Jake Busey.

Predator panel – Olivia Munn on the left, and Thomas Jane on the right. Both whom I have seen at many con panels over the years.

Suddenly another aisle jammed and blocked by the WB booth, as the cast of Supernatural greets lucky fans (obtained through an online lottery system).

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That’s enough for now. More SDCC show coverage is coming in part 3. Stay tuned to the SW, and look forward!

SDCC 2017 Recap, Part 3 – Creative Persons at Comic Con

 

Every year, I look far more forward to seeing and meeting the people who most matter at these comic conventions, the creators. These creators matter, who bring characters and their world to life; they who write, script, draw, ink, color, plan and build the works many have come to immerse themselves.

The San Diego Comic Con delivers their presence well and throughout the Exhibit Floor and various panels. Here, they are a cornerstone of the show’s current success, present since the start.

Below, are some select pics of many creators, who range from well-known to just starting out. Some are personal favorites, while some are here to make themselves and their work known. Seeing and meeting such people are a favorite part of the show, especially on the Exhibit Floor.

Colorist and inker Peter Steigerwald, at the Aspen Comics booth

At the Heavy Metal booth, Erika Lewis (writer, artist, creator) pitched me her magical graphic novel series, The 49th Key.  You can preview it here.

Writer David M. Booher and artist Nathan C. Gooden after pitching their proud work Powerless at the Vault Comics booth. Inside the series is a world where everyone has superpowers until a virus eats them away. You check out more on the series and Vault Comics here.

The creator of Sam and Max: Freelance Detectives, Steve Purcell at his own booth in Artist Alley.  He talked a bit, and he signed my season one DVD of the Sam and Max TV show.

My favorite Transformers comics artist Livio Ramondelli, at work.

In the Small Press area at the Warhead K. E. K. booth. On the right is Katrina E. Kunstmann, artist. Check out her work here and her Warhead webcomic here.

Artist Sean Forney, at his own booth in Artist Alley

Legendary artist and storyteller Mike Grell, best known for his run on Green Arrow. We talked much about life in Seattle and that influence on the Green Arrow comics lore.

Longtime writer Marv Wolfman, hosting a classroom style panel at Comic Con. Didn’t have a better camera, but a real joy to hear him talk about his craft and give great advice to the crowd.

Artist, writer Scottie Young greeting and signing for fans, as Gert, star of his acclaimed Image comics series I Hate Fairyland looks on.

Artist Ken Mayer Jr, at work in Artist Alley.

Bill Maus, long time comic artist in the comics alley, living his craft.

Liam Sharp, live sketching a headshot of Ares, the God of War (of recent Wonder Woman comics).

Andrew Anderson and Osvaldo Montpeller present Gears and Bones, from Guardian Knight Comics. They tell me of this fantasy comic series of pirates, dragons, and other awesome things that interest me. I look forward towards checking my purchase from them soon.

Artist Paolo Pantalena, at the Aspen Comics booth.

Isaac Goodhart, artist on Postal (from Image Comics). He promotes his work well at the Top Cow booth.

Awesome and very funny cartoonist Shannon Wheeler, best known for his Too Much Coffee Man work. Now, he proudly presents his latest work, Sh*t My President Says, The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump.

Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, drawing his Heroes in a Half Shell for a fan.

Kevin Eastman and Ben Bishop. together for signings and people greet. Also, promoting a new Kickstarter project both are working on together Drawing Blood, coming soon.

And, that’s all for now for Part 3. Come back to strangerworlds.com, for Comic Con recaps.

SW Interviews comics writer Ivan Brandon, on Drifter and new projects

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Look through the current shelves and back issue bins at your comic  stores, and you will likely find the work of Ivan Brandon.

Ivan Brandon is a modern comic book writer, and editor; now working on Drifter, a sci-fi western fantasy published by Image Comics. Born in New York City from Cuban immigrants, Brandon drew his inspiration from comic books since the early 1980s, mainly from Marvel and the works of Bill Sienkiewicz and Frank Miller. Since the early 2000’s he has written and edited for Marvel, DC, Image and more publishers on many titles, working with a variety of veteran comic artists including but not limited to: Michael Avon Oeming (The Cross Bronx), Andy Macdonald (NYC Mech), Nic Klein (Drifter, Viking),, Rafael Albuquerque (Wolverine), Mike Hawthorne (Ruule: Ganglords of Chinatown), Tom Derenick (Men of War).

I talked with Ivan Brandon during the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, where I asked him about the craft of comics writing, working with others, and his latest work. He had much to say and reveal on his work, as detailed in the transcription below…

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Hello Ivan, thank you for joining us. It’s been a helluva Comic Con (Sunday, the last of the four-day event). Are there any fresh announcements or coming books you would like to share with our readers?

Ivan Brandon: There has been nothing new since Image Expo,where we announced the two books there. One is VS, which is done by myself and Esad Ribic. The other book is Black Cloud, which is done by myself, Jason Latour, Greg Hinkle.

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And for those not quite caught up, could you give us a short blurb on each?

Ivan Brandon:  Yes. Basically, VS is a sci-fi story set in a future where war has been privatized and is an organized spectator sport where different factions fight publicly in a sort of gladiator combat. We follow one character through one of his victories, and more importantly, some of his failures.

Black Cloud is about a world and past where reality was composed by storytellers by the will of the individuals. Their ability to define their space to believe in the world and basically dealing with a character who rebels and is exiled from that world and then stuck in New York City, and then struggles to get back to where she is from.

You have some interesting and varied styles with much of your writings. For either of these books, were there any new research or interesting preparations you looked into?

Ivan Brandon: Yeah, there is a lot of there and some of is hard to explain because of spoilers. I am to a fault..tend to paint myself into a corner of having to reinvent how I approach a story, every single time I do a new book..so it’s no different with these, as they are both different from anything I have done and different from each other. VS did involve me reading elaborate textbooks how the brain is composed, how it works for example. I ended up doing a ridiculous amount of research. Even when I was working the old days back at Marvel, I did a forty page story but read a 500-page story to plan for it. It’s not so much the data, but just getting myself in the mindset to jump into the story, and for the creative angle that’s interesting.

Drifter, of which I am a big fan of its unique style and storytelling. Something that has been a bit of a mystery to me..the time and setting. Could you elaborate a bit more on the large world, time and place of that, or is that meant to be a bit of a secret your withholding?

Ivan Brandon:  I can say a bit of this. We are just about to finish the 13th issue, which comes out next week (note: interview was done in late July), which is the penultimate issue of that the 3rd arc. There are some answers coming out, with definitely some major moves and answers on the difference factions of the world, and how they interact with each other. There will be a big reveal at the end of this arc. And then the next arc, there will be wall-to-wall reveals.

One thing I will say is that I don’t want to reveal too much and that not everyone’s checklist will be met. But, it is my intent to for my own understanding of the story is that all my questions that I think I have posed will have very clear and specific answers . Not only will they be answered, but they will be in such a way more going back to the beginning of the story, that you will see that to a degree they have been answered, but just subtle.

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Yes, I had a feeling that some pieces would come together, while I continue to enjoy the series with its awesome colors, art, and concepts.

Ivan Brandon: Thank you.

Looking back on Marvel and DC, where your world-building can only go so far, and then seeing how your creative work you has no boundaries, which can be an inspiration to new writers looking to build their own worlds. Do you have good advice on creating from scratch toward a believable setting?

Ivan Brandon: Yeah, it’s a balance where believability is key. You can make almost anything believable if you approach it the right way if you’re honest about it. I can’t say there’s a correct right or wrong way of doing that, but for me, it’s trying to sort of brown things in. Sci-fi is a great example, where people can get a little too obsessed with a lot of bells and whistles that make up sci-fi. For me, if you can create recognizable characters that can anchor the reader into some sort of something they are familiar with, from their own experiences and own emotions, or whatever. Then, you can build any sort of environment around it that you can believe, then you learn from that and appreciate that world through the characters eyes. Then, what I try to do is focus and find the humanity in the character in whatever period it is, like in my Viking story before Drifter. Different as that story might be, there are very classic desires that any kind of human has in any time period, with specific desires and emotions, I can hopefully connect with those things and then I can take the reader along to.

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That’s great. And you have worked with so many artists. For those also new in creating comics, do have any advice for those in picking out their artists?

Ivan Brandon: I think you want to work with the most exciting, most talented person you can because that’s the person ultimately telling your story to the world. They are the ultimate performer of the story, right? When the person is flipping through the book or walking past the stands..it’s that cover that I didn’t draw. That person is singing the song. You also want someone that has a great range in what they can express. To me, comics are a very really interesting place that you can do the freedom to present visually almost anything. You have to balance the excitement of almost gratuitously create the most exciting the most exciting visual spectacle that you can, with believability. To me, finding someone who can believably put real human characters into them. And, by human, I mean in quotes because it can be a story about an alien or whatever. But you still want to find that humanity, that heart that you can connect with. That to me, is one of the most important things what you need, to find someone who can handle that “acting” of the characters in a convincing way then that’s half the job right there. The audience than can fall in love with those characters, then it doesn’t matter where you take those characters, they will follow you..that is if you do that job right which is easier said done.

So, to wrap it up do you have any last-minute words to your fans and potential fans out there reading this?

Ivan Brandon: Thank you everybody. I’m really excited to bring the new books out, and I hope you dig them.

Thank you, Ivan!

Drifter monthly issues, the Volume 1 and 2 collected volume paperbacks , and other works of Ivan Brandon are available everywhere at awesome comic stores and better book retailers. Digital back issues are available via all current digital outlets carrying Image titles. For more info on Ivan Brandon and his work, visit his official site at ivanbrandon.com and follow him on Twitter at @ivanbrandon.

– Interview by Orion Tippens (Orion T) –  eic, frequent writer of the Stranger Worlds,explorer of all science fiction across all planes and platforms.

 

SW Interview with comics creator Brian Haberlin, on Faster Than Light and more..

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Brian Haberlin is a modern visionary through his special brand of science fiction storytelling.

He is a creative writer, artist, colorist, producer, and much more. You may have discovered Haberlin’s work through his critically acclaimed graphic novels (now in print and digital), Anomaly and Shifter. Recently, he brought forth via Image his latest comic book series, Faster Than Light; a cosmic adventure series of explorers braving the dangers of space travel and intergalactic relations. Through his own Anomaly Productions studio, he creates his stories, while working with a broad array of new talent to tell new tales. Much of his current productions uses his own Ultimate Augmented Reality (UAR) apps, where readers with the use of their mobile devices, may delve deeper into his work to reveal 3-D holographic-like imagery with revealing extra information.

Here is a video sample of a more recent issue of Faster Than Light with UAR app integration:

Haberlin’s work goes far back, for over two decades, beginning with his work at Top-Cow Productions where he co-created the Witchblade series. He would move on to work independently for the Marvel, DC, and Image comic publishers. Later, he cofounded Avalon Studios, where he would bring out new independent titles, including Aria, Stone, Area-52, and M-Rex. He also teaches comic art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and contributor for 3-D World and ImagineFX magazine.

Overall, Haberlin is a creative soul who enjoys storytelling through comic books. I also feel is also an explorer at heart, trying out new ways of content delivery through digital technology and the use of UAR and beyond. He often presents his work at his Anomaly booth at various conventions, where his stories and associated UAR tech are featured; drawing fans in, old and new. During the recent 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, I talked with Brian Haberlin about his work and thoughts on humanity’s future.

Below, is our enlightening discussion:

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Hello Brian! I much enjoy your current work of Faster than Light, which will soon reach its eighth issue. What are your thoughts so far on bringing this comic series into the comics market, and how it originally developed?

Brian Haberlin: It’s been very successful. It’s been a book I have wanted to do since 1994. I had ghost-written a (Star Trek) Deep Space Nine episode with Evan Carlos Summers on staff. I was busy with Warner Brothers, and he was doing his thing.  I didn’t think the freelance writing stuff was going to work. But we did an episode where a Kai was killed (Season 1.13 – Battle Lines). There was a problem with what was going on with the Star Trek stuff I saw at the time, where if you relate it to what’s happening right now there was this excuse of someone whose ‘oh, he’s into ancient earth music’ or, ‘or oh, that’s ancient earth history..’

I wanted to do a space show that’s happening now. If anything is happening on Earth now, you can reflect it in the show. You can have people comment, which I do quite often, on pop culture or the other sci-fi that happens in fiction that you can relate to that. Then you can mention and talk about it, without rationalizing “oh, it’s the year 2500, and there’s something in 2017” kind of nonsense.

Yes, and Faster Than Light feels much more different from anything in science fiction, revolving around this adventurous space travel. It does not feel like Star Trek, Firefly, Lost In Space; or whatever else we are familiar with. What else do you feel on what you said, that projects it as unique and different to what people perceive as a typical space travel adventure?

Brian Haberlin: I think it falls pretty heavily on the influence of my older brother who is 12 years older, who really got me into sci-fi, to begin with. Of most of that stuff, I was heavy into Larry Niven. If you read Larry Niven’s stuff, it’s very heavily science-based. Since then, he’s been a futurist because there are so many things he wrote about from around the 60s on stuff that’s totally come to pass. So, I think it’s mix of ‘that’, where ‘this’ can happen..which I’m trying to do on what could be real and eventually happen.

One thing I find interesting about Faster Than Light is the human relation to other aliens. Humans are sometimes gullible, kind of naïve in their place in the universe..not in a bad way, just as the new kid on the block of the interplanetary neighborhood and we are just trying to fit in, which is part of the drama. What do you think can be done today, to perhaps prepare us better for the future to better ourselves in that galactic menagerie?

Brian Haberlin: At the core of Faster than light, there is the Aurelian Signal and the potential threat of whatever got them is coming to get us. But using that as a jumping on point for our adventure, I framed everything purposefully… You can’t go out there thinking , oh my god we are all going to die and we have to be super suspicious of everybody. If you don’t go out there with hope like Captain Forest, who has the best possible outlook. We are out in space where no humans ever been before. No one has ever done any of this stuff, so turn around and give yourself a pat on the back. I know we are trying to save humanity here, so appreciate the wonder of the moment. I think that is the key.

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I like that message.

Brian Haberlin: Indeed, I think that was the wonderful thing about the reboot of Doctor Who, especially the Christopher Eccelston episodes, and the next one (David Tennant). There are moments of this Time Lord, this amazing character looks at humans and goes…’you don’t understand, you guys are amazing. You get up every morning, and do all these things, everything about you is amazing and you have this unlimited potential.’

I see (while admiring the fact that he gets the Doctor as a visionary for the good that humans can do).. 

Brian Haberlin: Because right now in issue #10 of Faster Than Light, where they are dealing with multi-dimensional creatures, who know a lot of things about us and our true reality. In that one of them says at one point, you in your dimension..you are the tip of the iceberg. there is more to humanity in the other dimension, that you’re not even aware of.’ So, I think, of things I try to pull off , is the one or two of the impossible.

And that’s interesting, but also shows where we need to work because learning is part of the adventure.

Brian Haberlin: Yeah, well people forget and I hope I’m not tipping my hand too much but there is a line from issue #10 I use.. when Pandora’s box is open and all the horrible things come out and there is one thing else left in the box, and that was hope.

Hmm… Speaking of hope, is there any updates on the news from April about a Faster Than Light TV show?

Brian Haberlin: Ah, I had a meeting with Skydance (Skydance Media) last week, and we are going over potential showrunners for the show.

Cool. And, nothing more on that, right?

Brian Haberlin: I just have to read the people and see if they can carry the ball or not. And, I am looking forward to it. But, I think of my goal. It’s not to just do comics and think I’m getting a big movie or TV deal. My goal is I love comics, I love the screen, I love telling stories. I see it all as good from what comes of it. It just comes down to if someone doesn’t do it right and doesn’t get it, I take it off the table. There have been other books of mine that are been a fast track for feature films and finally, I see the pitch and think, oh that’s nice then go back and talk to my agent and think, I wouldn’t make that movie with their money.

Like I think when the World War Z film happened, based on the book. I thought wow, they have the same title.

Brian Haberlin: That’s something as a creator that occurs quite frequently. Like when I had the Hellcop option, and it has been this, that and the other thing and when they come back to me with what it is..I think, then why didn’t you just buy the title from me?!

Yes. I see a lot of what you put into your current work, especially with the UAR app, where when used with the book gives all this additional info on elements in the story, sometimes as much as the book. How much time for each chapter do you spend on the what goes into the app, versus the actual book? 

Brian Haberlin: It’s about a week.

Then there is the virtual reality tech, that is now on its  steady rise. Have you been thinking or planning on using that technology in your storytelling?

Brian Haberlin; We have a couple VR apps already going. We have a Shifter Oculus App, we have Anomaly on Vive..that’s not finalized yet. But we are looking into a couple of companies now, doing some short VR stories based on Anomaly.

That’s great, as I think there is a lot of potential in VR that I can’t even begin to pick apart just yet. Possibilities are endless. So, are there any other news on Faster Than Light and other projects for the fans to get excited about?

Brian Haberlin: Anomaly 2 will be out beginning next year. Fury Formula will be out around the same time, which is a modern take on the Jekyll and Hyde story.

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Ooo (out of personal of interest for anything Jekyll and Hyde).

Brian Haberlin: The tagline is “Everyone has a dark side, his has its own wardrobe.” We also have some free Faster than Light stories on the website (See the Mission Logs here). The first one is “The Hermit” story on our website, which is available on the black and white ashcan here (at the convention), and every month a new black and white issue, focusing on a single character. First one focuses on Hippie, the second one focuses on Sally… And then we go back, as we have talked about in the book, a mini-series that is the Daedalus mission, which is why Forrest got the command and to begin with.

That’s great as that’s what i wanted more in the book, which is more focused on particular characters, to get to know them better.

Brian Haberlin: Yeah, problem is that end of the day where I love the characters, great ensemble piece., but at 22-30 pages it can be such a double edge sword where people think oh, it’s just a talking head issue. So, you have to be careful with the cool splash page and whatever, then have the character moments. Now, I think we are having interesting stuff going on with Malcolm and Sally right now, and then Ryan has a thing for Sally too, which is his unrequited love of her..for Malcolm how that will manifest, we will see.

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Those ashcans look great. But will those ever be collected into a trade paperback?

Brian Haberlin: Yes, and that will be colored and put into a trade paperback.

Do you have any final message out there for fans, and perhaps new fans interested in checking out your book through this interview, and those looking into the far future?

Brian Haberlin: You keep your eyes and keep yourself open to endless possibilities… As long as you don’t let the shit get you down and you keep going forward, then good things happen. If you’re not open to the possibilities of success  of good things, guess what that’s not going to happen. If you can’t believe in yourself, like people who think, no I can’t do this..No. It’s better to not look at such as a fail, but give it a try. At least give it a try. If not, then give it a few tries.

Thank you, Brian!

Faster than Light monthly issues, the Volume 1 paperback (ISBN – 978-1632156846) , and other works of Brian Haberlin are available everywhere at awesome comic stores and the best book retailers still around. Digital back issues are available via all current digital outlets that carry Image titles. You may download the UAR apps from the Apple and Android stores. For more info on Anomaly Productions, visit their official site at experienceanomaly.com and follow them on Twitter @AnomalyWorld and on Facebook

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– Interview by Orion Tippens (Orion T) –  eic, frequent writer of the Stranger Worlds,explorer of all science fiction across all planes and platforms.

 

San Diego Comic Con 2016 in Pictures and Notes – Part 3

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(continued from Part 2 and  Part 1)

Here are some of my favorite people of this year’s Comic Con!

What really makes a good Comic Con worth the while in attending? It’s the people who you can meet there. Among you, are creative types on the visual and literary arts.  Some are well-known, while others are striving to succeed. Others arrive to learn, while others are there to teach. Within the 200,000 people attending, is a good chunk looking to get inspired, or there to perhaps inspire, or maybe even both. So below, I captured moments with my favorite people of this year of the Comic Con..

In the Small Press area, here’s Jim Hillin. artist/writer on Zombie Bunnies – a fun little indie comic I really enjoyed. His pitch was a nice reminder of the best ways to enjoy the comic cons, through discovery and being susceptible to suggestions!

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Jim Davis, creator of Garfield! This was the best highlight for me for this year, hearing him talk and discuss the iconic cartoon cat and friends in his own panel.

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Ray Dillon, artist on The Legend of Wonder Woman, sketching the Amazon Princess at the DC Booth.

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Ron Lim, a favorite comic artist from my past years as a Silver Surfer fan. It was a joy to meet him and watch him in his natural habitat.

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Jeremy A Bastian, artist and writer of Cursed Pirate Girl, a book recently reviewed here on SW as a personal recommendation to anyone into adventure and awesomely detailed art. To meet him in person was an awesome joy.

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Michael Oushenker, indie comics artist and publisher of Cartoon Flophouse Comics, promoting his funny book, Trolls!

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Sebastian Kadlecik, comic writer and artist on Penguins vs. Possums; an awesome indie series nearing its completion on a full eight-issue run. I met him a while ago at the Long Beach Comic Con, and was cool to see him again at this bigger convention.

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Ivan Brandon, famed writer of the currently acclaimed series Drifter and many other books over the years. We had a fantastic conversation on writing and Drifter, which I shall put up soon on the SW site.

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Evis Fung, the Marketing Director for High Fly Studios shows high spirits at his stand promoting Dweores, a comic series of little-spirited robots.

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One of the several cosplayed promoters with artist Joe Phillips (around the corner but also in costume, see Part 2!), promoting a Midsummer’s Knight comic series,  new series with a different take on Shakespeare classic work.

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Speaking of artist Joe Phillips, here he is in full Jedi costume (on the right).

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Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, writer on Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and many other titles (mostly Marvel Comics). We had a nice chat about his work on Archie Comics and his love of writing.

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Coming writing legend, Howard Chaykin (Black Kiss, American Flagg, Satellite Sam and much, much more over four+ decades) hanging out by Artist Alley. We had an awesome chat about writing, social commentary in comics, and his next project. That interview will be up soon, here at SW!

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No idea who these people were at the Nickelodeon booth. I asked some phone snappers in the crowd on how (of which there were many), and they didn’t seem to know either. Still, do as the Romans do, or something…

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A trio of cosplayers promoting Jekyll Island Chronicles, a new comic from IDW.

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Jim Lee (to the right), is a joy to see him interacting with fans at the DC booth. Other writers and artists were also present,

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I think this was a promotion team for the new Star shows Ash Vs. Evil Dead; and a fantastic example of how a company can make Comic-Con fun by pushing a the cosplay element among the fandom to boost interest with an established franchise.

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The panel for the upcoming Injustice: Gods Among Us video game. Among the panel guests were Ed Boon (co-creator of the Mortal Kombat video game franchise), Tom Taylor (award-winning comic writer), Laura Bailey (voice actor), Phil Lamarr (a favorite voice actor), and George Newborn (voice actor).

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Brian Haberlin, creator comic artist/writer on Faster Than Light, Anomoly, and more. We had a great chat on science fiction in comics, and the use of UAR apps in his books. An interview with will be featured soon here on SW.

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Joëlle Jones, a comic artist whose recent work on an issue of Superman: American Alien has made me an instant fan. Currently, she writes and draws Lady Killer, a new series through Image Comics, out now.

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Here she is again, drawing Clark Kent on a small art card.

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The Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive movie panel, featuring the upcoming CGI animated film. Here present was its director (Takeshi Nozue) with voice talent and animators.

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And among the many wonderful people, are the cosplayers like the folk in this Doctor Who gathering. Many of the awesome costumed persons shall be featured in Part 4 of my 2016 Comic Con commentary. Look for it soon on SW!

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That’s all for Part 3. Come back soon to the SW for Part 4: featuring the creative cosplayers of Comic Con!

 

– Orion T

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – Paul Cornell, Tony Parker – THIS DAMNED BAND comic series

STRANGER WORLDS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:

Writer Paul Cornell and Artist Tony Parker, on their new comic book mini-series, This Damned Band (starting this August from Dark Horse Comics).

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(Tony Parker, Paul Cornell)

We had fun at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con in chatting with Paul Cornell; award-winning writer of comics, novels, short stories and television screenplays (his Doctor Who episodes “Family of Blood/Human Nature” and “Father’s Day” being among my personal favorites).

To my surprise and an awesome bonus, we were joined by Eisner-nominated artist, Tony Parker. Parker has published work with pretty much all the main comic book publishers over the recent years including Marvel, DC, IDW, Image, IDW, Boom!, Dark Horse.

And now, they unite to form this dark comedy mini-series published by Dark Horse, This Damned Band – a tale of rock n’ roll and occult devilry. In person at the Dark Horse booth, they shares with us more on this project of which we asked questions and got some intriguing answers…

From your own introductory perspective, share with us what your new series This Damned Band is all about..

Paul Cornell: This Damned Band is about the biggest rock band in 1974. We like to say in a pretentious British way that they worship the devil only to discover that to their surprise and horror that actually, they worship the devil. It’s a Ghostbusters style horror comedy. It’s told straight to camera like The Office. There are all sorts of different levels to it, as we have people saying one thing and doing another.

Interesting. How did this idea come together for Dark Horse to publish? 

Paul Cornell:  We came together as I pitched it to Dark Horse, and they gave me a choice of artists. Tony’s work is incredible,

Tony Parker: I was very lucky.

What were your personal inspirations in bringing together This Damned Band?

Paul Cornell:  I really like stories where people are very good at one thing, and blindsided by something completely different. Because in this case, they are insisting all the time they know all about better the thing…there is a certain deliciousness to that, I think..

The timing of the early 70s, where the idea of rock music being fresh is an interesting era and a turning point for pop-culture. Then along comes the devil and the idea of this being his music by some religious groups? What was it for these bands, do you think made this connection  as “devil music”?

Paul Cornell:  Well, there was a point in the 70s where occultism is much more pop than it is now and it’s a really interesting time. Dennis Wheatley is suddenly becoming popular again even before the Exorcist, and the Stones recording, “Sympathy for the Devil.” I think there is a part of the counter-culture also seemed to be against organized religion. And that went quite a lot into what a lot of musicians talked about at the time. I’m sure a lot of it was sheer pretense, and that really intrigues me. I think there is something about people pretending to believe stuff which is really interesting.

Tony Parker:  That combined with conservatives saying “that’s devil music!” Okay for devil music we will bring it, in fact well make money off it. So with a big counter-culture, we get all the teen money, therefore it adds into it.

Did either of you listen to any music that were frowned upon by the elders, considered perhaps to be that “devil music?”

Tony Parker:  All music of the youth..that’s one thing about it.

Paul Cornell: That’s what music is for when your 14. But you know, I’m slightly the wrong generation for that, as I was born in 1967..so I was out of my age precisely for the teenage audience, so I missed. But one of my earliest memories is with my brother who is a lot older than me who lived in a squat in London, and I remember going down a flight of stairs and seeing a mural painted on the wall of a cellar which was an enormous devil. I suspect that buried memory has resurfaced for This Damned Band.

I would love to see that turn up somehow in this book, perhaps.

Tony Parker: We shall find out.

Tony Parker: For me ..I lived in a very conservative area so that was anything that wasn’t soft mellow 70s gold. Even though that wasn’t the 70s, it was after the 70s so that was still the devil music. In the 80s and 90s, we had the metal bands, the hair bands, thrash bands, punk bands were all. The only thing that isn’t, (and I love Barry Manilow) that wasn’t Barry Manilow was a tool of the devil.

With your fictional band, Motherfather.. I’m sensing an amalgam of different bands here and there but are there any in particular pop bands for you that eclipsed the others in the bringing to fictional life, this band?

Paul Cornell:  I think there is satire and certain tropes that recur, so in Motherfather we certainly have the Who, the Stones, Led Zeppelin in there..certainly lead as Tony draws them to be absolutely perfect amalgam of them.,, Robert Palmer, Roger Daltrey and Mick Jagger…

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Tony Parker: And that’s why we did it..part of it was because I wanted to people think..I really love Mick Jagger or I really hate  Mick Jagger..so that’s going to affect the story..with more nuances of its got hints of this, or that as a measure of tropes a bit and play with that so they can enjoy the concepts of the character versus the logging in of the specific creator.

As the series progresses, what can us readers expect to absorb of this strange world of occultism and rock music?

Paul Cornell:  One of the joys of this is because it’s all meant to be filmed, there are certain sequences where they couldn’t film it.. So like the road trip in the first issue is related to a local artist who than has to draw it..like when a court reporter has to draw for television on the news. So in Issue 1, the local artist is Japanese..so Tony had the idea of doing it in a manga style.

Tony Parker: Which I never drawn manga before..but I love manga. I am a huge Otomo fan and Matsumoto Shiro, and we are trying to find a manga style that was 1972, 73,74 so that we can fit into that as well..and treat it with respect.

Paul Cornell:  In later issues we go to France so we get some Tintin, and some Windsor McCay in there..

In your plans, is This Damned Band a limited series or are there plans for a continuation for years ahead?  

Tony Parker: It’s a finite series,  and a complete story. I think a lot of people will appreciate that. It’s not a volume 1, with a trailer for 500 issues. You have the whole thing alone which you can enjoy by itself.

After this, are there any future projects to your fans and followers of this work to look forward to?

Paul Cornell:  Coming up in September..I have a novella coming up from Tor.com called called Witches of Lychford, which is about 3 women who are brought together to fight the supernatural evil of a new supermarket chain.

What?! (laughing with interest)

Paul Cornell:  And, I got a collection of short stories coming out in September called A Better Way to Die.

Tony Parker: I can’t say right now but I got a project set up right after this..but I got to say, its got a long history to it..and I’m real excited about it!

My curiosity senses are tingling. I look forward to all that and This Damned Band. Thanks for sharing! 

This first issue of This Damned Band is scheduled to come out on August 5th, 2015 and continue monthly for a limited time. Look for it at all the great comic book shops, stands, and digital apps that carry current Dark Horse published titles.

– Orion T

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San Diego Comic Con 2015, Part 2 – Great Creative Minds of the SDCC..

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The San Diego Comic Con, where one can meet and be inspired by some of the greatest creative folk in our modern times.

These wonderful people are everywhere; at booths, panels, parties, just walking around. You could meet or be in the same room with a hardworking actor, an accomplished writer, a fantastic artist, an innovative game programmer, a veteran dealer. Often times, there are invitations to make some connection, which include purchasing original work, receiving industry advice, answers to questions, getting an autograph, and the sharing countless more insightful and inspirational words. Some are well-known, as others just starting out. Some are there (but not limited to) to promote big projects, while others are there appealing to our inner nostalgic loves. All of which, barely scratch the surface of these exciting interactions of a Comic Con.

So below, include my highlighted moments I captured among favorite people observed at the this year’s show. Some are candid, others open themselves and welcome the ongoing audience. Enjoy, and also consider some of their  creative works..

Sunday at the DC Booth, where Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani (Tiny Titans) did some sketches for patient fans. The Darkseid one is mine!

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Game designer and creator of Fluxx, Andy Looney!

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Legendary artist Rob Liefeld. who many love to hate and hate to love.

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Bob the Angry Flower creator cartoonist, Stephen Notley!

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Back at the DC booth..Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr; the current creative team on Batgirl.

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Artist Tony Parker and writer Paul Cornell, creative duo of the new series This Damned Band! I did an awesome interview with them, of which I will share in the near future on SW!

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Stan Sakai, legendary cartoon artist/writer/inker/creator of Usagi Yojimbo! We also had a talk, of which I will share soon.

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Chris Burnham, a new favorite artist of mine and all around cool dude. Notable works include Batman Incorporated and Nameless.

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Art Thibert, awesome artist and inker being chill in the Artist Alley..

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Samantha Newark, voice actor of Jem form the original Jem cartoon. Was also the voice of the first female Transformer and love interest for Optimus Prime, Elita-One.

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Eric Shanowar on the left (not sure who is on the right), enjoying some hot dogs.

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Stanley Lau, also known as Artgerm, shares in his world of art and digital work..

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Another legendary artist, Steve Lieber..

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Fight Club and other works writer, Chuck Palahniuk

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Adam Warren (Empowered), working on a Shanna the She-Devil sketch. We also had an awesome interview, to be shared in the near future!

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A self promoter, name unknown. One cool Count costume, ah ah!

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William Shatner, promoting his new digital comic series Man O War.

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Image Comics: Where Creators Own Aesthetics panel with Rob Guillory (Chew), Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked + The Divine), Stuart Moore (EGOs), Lee Loughridge (Deadly Class), Scott Snyder (Wytches), and Joshua Williamson (Nailbiter). I learned from this entertaining panel, I should really read Nailbiter.

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Batman (current series) team..with Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki

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Grant Morrison, at his own panel discussing much on DC’s past and future of Multiversity. His time with us was a blast, as he let loose and shared much insight on his way of thinking and writing.

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Cosplayers, of which I will feature more in my next posting, Part 3!

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– Orion T