Posted by Adam Wills
Fans know costumes!
But a weekend full of cosplay—including a Friday night costume ball with the band Shiny Toy Guns—isn’t the only reason to attend the second Long Beach Comic-Con, Friday 10/29 to Sunday 10/31 at the Long Beach Convention Center. Feeling nostalgic for the good ol’ days of the San Diego Comic-Con? Y’know, when the focus was still on comics! Well soak it up, fanboy!
MOT highlights at Long Beach this year include:
• Max Brooks (Booth 200)
Screenwriter and author of “Zombie Survival Guide,” “World War Z” and “Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks.”
• Stan Lee
Autograph tickets available at Booth 544 all weekend. Photos in booth 426 at noon-3 p.m. Sunday only.
• Josef “Joe” Rubinstein (Booth 544)
Israeli American inker of more than 2,500 comics. Rubinstein is best known for “The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.”
• Marv Wolfman (Booth 419)
Award-winning American comic book writer, best known for lengthy runs on “The Tomb of Dracula,” creating “Blade” for Marvel Comics, and “The New Teen Titans” for DC Comics. You can also catch Wolfman during “Comic Writing 101,” Friday, 3 p.m., Seaside Lobby; and at “Comic Book Sunday! Presents Marv Wolfman,” Saturday, 11 a.m., Seaside Ballroom B.
And while you’re there, be sure to check out: Bruce Boxleitner (“Tron,” “Tron Legacy”), Marvel Entertainment television head Jeph Loeb, “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola, writer-editor Barbara Kesel, artist Amanda Conner and screenings of “Dark Country 3D,” featuring Ron Perlman!
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July 29, 2010 | 5:03 am
Posted by Wendy J. Madnick
8. Ballroom 20—More Fun Than a Poke in the Eye
A surprise live performance of “The Big Bang Theory” theme by The Barenaked Ladies and “Chuck’s” Jeffster dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” in Ballroom 20 helped redeem Comic-Con this year after the disappointing final “Harry Potter” panel and that shocking nerd brawl in Hall H.
7. Klingons—Out, Stormtroopers—In
Despite the City of San Diego making a big show of translating its Gaslamp-area transit signs into Klingon, there were few Kronos natives to be found. Instead, stormtroopers ruled the weekend as the 501st Legion ferreted out Rebel scum ... and posed for pictures.
6. Berkeley Breathed—First-Timer, Award Winner
He was a daily/weekly cartoonist from 1978 to 2008, but—surprisingly—this year marked Berkeley Breathed’s first Comic-Con appearance. CCI honored Breathed with an Inkpot Award; he remarked it was the first award he’s received since his Pulitzer in 1987. Breathed presented a slide show (of actual playground slides) and offered a thought-provoking explanation of why he won’t sign the Cartoonists Freedom of Expression petition (he believes the petition needs to be signed by Muslim organizations willing to support cartoonists’ rights). His book, “Mars Needs Moms!,” is being adapted as a 2011 Disney motion-capture film starring Joan Cusack and Seth Green, and Breathed brought his own mom to Comic-Con. Awwww!
5. Wonder Woman’s Modest Costume—Such a Nonissue
Talented writers, directors and producers, including Felicia Day (“The Guild”), Marti Noxon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Melissa Rosenberg (“Dexter”), brought up Amazon warrior Diana Prince during the “Girls Gone Genre” panel, but nary a word was said about her outfit change. Now can we please start talking about a “Birds of Prey” reboot?
4. Zombies Are the New Vampires
Last year was all about sparkly vampires and Taylor Lautner’s chest with the debut of “New Moon.” This year, screaming Twihards were replaced with “The Walking Dead” as AMC filled the Gaslamp and the Exhibition Hall with bloody zombies and a ransacked country house to promote its adaptation of the Robert Kirkman/Tony Moore comic book series.
3. Bags as Swag
This is the first year I walked away with more swag bags than actual swag. Even though most of the studios seemed to holding back on the freebies, SyFy, DC and others handed out bags that might actually see the light of day after the con.
2. “RED” (Retired Extremely Dangerous)
The sight of Dame Helen Mirren sporting a machine gun in this Summit/DC Comics film won me over instantly. Bruce Willis stars as Frank Moses, a retired black-ops CIA agent targeted for assassination. With his identity compromised, Moses reassembles his former team—Joe (Morgan Freeman); Victoria (Mirren), a wet-work operative; and Marvin (John Malkovich), an LSD-fried weapons expert—in order to survive and save his handler, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). The Comic-Con audience went wild for the “RED” trailers. Yes, the buzz is strong with this one. Co-starring Richard Dreyfuss, the film is due out Oct. 15.
1. Stan Lee
A Holocaust motion-comic panel would normally be an also-ran at Comic-Con. But add former Marvel head Stan Lee and it became a standing-room-only event. At 87, Lee was busier than ever—taking part in six different CCI events in two days and attending a gallery exhibition. Oh, and don’t forget that feature-length doc, “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story.” Excelsior!
July 27, 2010 | 6:39 pm
Posted by Adam Wills
Seth Rogen tends to play characters who closely resemble … well, Seth Rogen. So does that make his modern take on Britt Reid—the masked vigilante newspaper publisher at the center of “The Green Hornet”—a Jewish action hero?
“Actually, Tom Wilkinson [who plays James Reid, Britt Reid’s father] is decidedly not Jewish,” Rogen told GeekHeeb at Comic-Con. “The Green Hornet is half-Jewish at best.”
Still, Rogen says real life does help inspire his Britt Reid, especially at the beginning of the action-comedy directed by Michel Gondry.
“We really wanted to show the journey of a guy from being very unheroic to ultimately being a hero. And so in the very unheroic parts of the movie I think I was able to inject a lot of my own personality in. And as the character evolves, he becomes more of what you would consider the traditional heroic type,” he said.
Rogen traces the inspiration for his big-screen “Green Hornet,” which co-stars Christoph Waltz and Cameron Diaz, back to his youth in Vancouver. After an episode of the campy 1960s “Batman,” Rogen and Evan Goldberg, his childhood friend/writing partner, would watch the 1966 “Green Hornet” series, starring Van Williams as Britt Reid and Bruce Lee as Kato.
“We wanted to write a movie about a hero and a sidekick and the relationship between them, and explore that. We just realized ‘The Green Hornet’ was the perfect movie to do that with, because of how famous Kato is in relation to the Green Hornet,” said Rogen, who describes himself as a big fan of Bruce Lee.
But calling Kato a sidekick in this “Green Hornet,” scheduled to open Jan. 14, is a bit of misnomer. In the script by Rogen and Goldberg, Kato (Jay Chou) is equal – if not superior – to Britt Reid.
July 24, 2010 | 10:16 pm
Posted by Adam Wills
Will Eisner‘s “A Contract With God, And Other Tenement Stories,” released in 1978, is considered one of the first graphic novels ... and an intensely Jewish one to boot. During the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con on Friday night, Denis Kitchen announced Eisner’s influential work will be adapted into a live-action feature film.
“A Contract With God” explored stories and memories from Eisner’s childhood growing up in a New York City tenement, with each tale capturing the brutality, fragility and tenderness among people living in a New York City tenement in the 1930s. In the film version, four directors will take on the graphic novel’s separate but related stories: “A Contract With God” (Alex Rivera), “The Street Singer” (Tze Chun), “The Super” (Barry Jenkins) and “Cookalien,” (Sean Baker).
Writer-producer Darren Dean said he looks “forward to finding the fine balance of offering Eisner fans a very faithful interpretation of his work and allowing the voices of these strong and competent filmmakers to be heard. We are all approaching the inaugural stage of this project with respect, honor and anticipation and hope that the fans will welcome us with both faith and scrutiny. This is for them, as much as any of us.”
Principle photography will begin in 2011.
The film adaptation will be produced under the auspices of the Eisner estate. Bob Schreck, a 30-year veteran of the comic book industry, and Michael Ruggiero, former head of original programming at STARZ, will serve as co-executive producers.
“Getting to know Will Eisner was one of the great honors of both my personal and professional journeys,” Schreck said. “We are all well aware that the work ahead has a very high bar of excellence to aspire to set by Mr. Eisner’s pioneering achievements in storytelling.”
July 23, 2010 | 5:59 pm
Posted by Adam Wills
When legendary comic book artist Neal Adams was 10 years old, he swore he would never get involved in anything related to the Holocaust.
In the early 1950s, Adams was living in Germany, where his father was stationed with the American occupation forces. The military screened three hours of concentration camp footage to the soldiers, their spouses and children “before they showed it to America, so they knew how much people could take,” Adams told an audience at Comic-Con on Friday. “I can tell you, after seeing that I didn’t talk to anyone for a week.”
More than 50 years later, those images are still with him.
But Adams, 69, changed his mind about doing anything related to the Holocaust in 2006, when he joined artist Joe Kubert and former Marvel head Stan Lee to create a comic book about Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, an Auschwitz survivor who sought the return of her Shoah-era watercolors from the concentration camp’s museum.
While the campaign to reunite Babbitt with her art was unsuccessful, the effort inspired Adams to reconsider getting involved in other Holocaust-related projects.
Now, Adams and Rafael Medoff, founding director of the Washington, D.C.-based David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in collaboration with ABC News, Disney Educational Productions and Vanguard Productions, are launching a motion-comic series set to debut in the fall titled, “They Spoke Out: American Voices Against the Holocaust,” which will be released online monthly at TheySpokeOut.com.
July 23, 2010 | 7:21 am
Posted by Adam Wills
Dani and Eytan Kollin have won the Prometheus Award for their novel “The Unincorporated Man,” which portrays a future, space-faring human society in which religion has died, people ostensibly live forever and can buy shares in each other. The brothers beat out Cory Doctrow, Harry Turtledove and Orson Scott Card with their debut work.
The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society, is one of the oldest fan-based awards, behind the Nebula and Hugo. The ceremony will be held during the 68th World Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne, Australia, Sept. 2-6.
For those who won’t be able to make it to Worldcon this year, the Kollin brothers will be at the 41st annual Comic-Con on Saturday, speaking alongside writers like Samuel R. Delany and Alan Dean Foster on the ominous-titled panel: “Welcome to The Future: Are You Sure You Want to Stay?” (4:30-5:30 p.m., Room 4).
July 22, 2010 | 8:28 am
Posted by Adam Wills
The following are our picks for panels, screenings, workshops, discussions, etc. for Comic-Con in San Diego (July 22-25).
Feel free to post your own picks—or reviews of events—under comments!
From Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure to Alice in Wonderland, composer Danny Elfman discusses his 25-year collaboration with director Tim Burton. Their legendary partnership includes such films as Beetle Juice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Joining Mr. Elfman will be Warner Brothers Records executives to announce their plans to celebrate this quarter-century milestone. Room 6BCF
Artists from Dumbrella, one of the most popular online comic collectives, discuss webcomics, independent publishing, and subverting popular culture. Feel free to quiz Andrew Bell (The Creatures in my Head), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), Jon Rosenberg (Goats), Richard Stevens III (Diesel Sweeties), and Chris Yates (Chris Yates Studios) about anything your Internet heart desires. Room 3
July 21, 2010 | 10:26 am
Posted by Adam Wills
The Riddler will be a villain in Chris Nolan’s next Batman installment, based on a source at Warner Bros. who claims to have read the casting grid for the film, according to First Showing. And the name of the “interested” actor listed on the grid to play said character: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, (500) Days of Summer). Then again, a similar rumor popped up in June, and Gordon-Levitt was rumored to have been a possible replacement for Heath Ledger’s Joker in 2008.
Still, who would you rather have as Riddler? Gordon-Levitt or Eddie Murphy?
We’d like to point out that this news should be considered confirmation that The Riddler is the villain in Batman 3 and less confirmation of the recent suggestions/rumors regarding Gordon-Levitt’s casting as the enigmatic villain. A casting grid is used in the industry to keep production companies, agencies, etc. in the loop on a project’s progress and the roles available for actors to potentially take. These documents are used for business planning in the industry and by no means would use internet speculation to list a character that may not even appear in the film. But when it comes to listing actors, this is info that can change at anytime, and just because an actor or studio is interested in one or the other, does not mean it will actually happen.
We’re also cautious because the age range listed for the character is 35 to 45, and with Gordon-Levitt being 29 years old falls a little short of the mark. Of course, this wouldn’t really be a reason for him to be excluded as characters can be modified in the script to accommodate a favored actor. On the lighter side though, the actor is fresh off working with Nolan on the brilliant Inception, so they’ve surely developed quite a working relationship as Gordon-Levitt called him “the genuine article… a real artist” and “a unique voice.” For now we’ll consider Gordon-Levitt’s involvement a rumor, but seeing The Riddler in a studio casting grid is solid confirmation of Nolan’s villain for Batman 3. Hopefully we’ll get an official confirmation sooner than later. [First Showing]