Never been to a comic book or pop culture convention before? Always wanted to go to San Diego Comic-Con but you don’t have the vacation time available or the funds? Planet Comicon is next weekend in Kansas City and although it isn’t as big as SDCC, it is a great way to get a complete three-day convention experience centrally located in the Midwest, ideal for a last-minute road trip for the family or a car full of friends. It’s less than 8 hours by car from Dallas, less than 7 hours from Minneapolis, a little more than 7 hours from Indianapolis, and a little more than 8 hours from Denver. And you don’t need to buy advance tickets–you can purchase them at the door.
So why make the trip? How about meeting Jason Isaacs, the latest captain of a Star Trek television series and star of the Harry Potter movies (and great TV roles)? Want to compare notes on Doctor Who companions with Catherine Tate (in her first U.S. convention appearance) and Billie Piper? Want to talk Arrow and Torchwood with John Barrowman, or have another chance to meet Arrow star Stephen Amell? Are you a Hellboy and Star Trek fan and haven’t yet met Ron Perlman? It’s the Star Wars 40th anniversary–how about meeting the newest actor to portray Darth Vader, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Spencer Wilding?
Are you a Browncoat? Firefly’s Summer Glau is scheduled to attend, and Supernatural’s Jim Beaver. Do you want to talk 20 years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Emma Caulfield? Are you a fan of Lost Girl and need to get your fae fix with Anna Silk, Rachel Skarsten, Zoie Palmer, and Emmanuelle Vaugier?
Want to buy comics, books, or sketches from some of the best creators from across the country, like one of the all-time greats, Howard Chaykin, or Timothy Zahn, creator of the new novel Thrawn? Click here to see everyone you can meet at Artist Alley. Do you collect busts of superheroes and are missing some key characters? Check out thousands of square feet of dealers selling everything from action figures to T-shirts to limited edition prints and toy lightsabers. Whatever you collect, crazy or not, if it’s related to TV, movies or comics you’ll likely find something there. And that’s just part of your day. There will also be panels, and cosplay is always a highlight of the show.
Looking back to only a few years ago, who would have thought audiences would have so many choices today in movies and television series based on comic books? And who would guess a title as obscure as Marvel Comics’ Cloak & Dagger would make it to television? ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The CW, FX, Netflix, and coming net year ABC Family’s renamed Freeform channel will enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.
Cloak & Dagger stars Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen aka Dagger and Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Johnson aka Cloak, two teenagers who discover superpowers and form a romantic relationship. The first trailer, shown below, reveals a series that appears to be equal parts CW teenager series with an edge to it as found in the Netflix Marvel series starring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage.
The characters were created in 1982 by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Ed Hannigan, and first appeared in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-man, Issue #64. The superpowered duo really took off with a four-issue limited series in 1983, resulting in an ongoing series and various appearances in comic books since. If you wonder why you’re not seeing much by way of supersuits in the trailer, that is consistent with the comic books, which focused more on the real world battles of its stars.
Check out this preview for Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger:
This summer Dynamite Entertainment is re-uniting the team of writer Andy Diggle (Detective Comics, Green Arrow, James Bond: Hammerhead) and artist Luca Casalanguida (James Bond: Hammerhead) to bring spy thriller genre fans the next chapter in its series of James Bond international espionage stories, James Bond: Kill Chain.
Dynamite describes the new story line:
When a counterespionage operation in Rotterdam goes catastrophically wrong, James Bond finds himself in the crosshairs of a plot to smash NATO. Someone is assassinating allied agents, and 007 is the next target in the kill chain. Having kept the peace for decades, the old alliance is collapsing, pitting MI6 against its former ally – the CIA!
Issue #1 of James Bond: Kill Chain will feature a selection of cover variants, with covers drawn by Greg Smallwood (Archie, Moon Knight), interior artist Casalanguida, and Juan Doe (Guardians of the Galaxy), among other variant options.
Centipede–It was one of the most addictive arcade and home video games in the first generation of video gaming. Technically a “vertically-oriented fixed shooter arcade game,” it was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey for Atari in 1980. The player would defend against centipedes, spiders, scorpions and fleas, completing a round after eliminating all the segments of the centipede that winds its way down the screen. Check out the video below from the Atari 2600 home version and you may remember it well, including the ever quickening, relentless impending beeps.
Co-creator Dona Bailey was one of the first women video game designers. She intended for Centipede to appeal to female gamers, and it would become the second most popular coin-op arcade game behind Pac-Man for the demographic.
Dynamite Entertainment and Atari are releasing a new comic book series this summer based on the game. Centipede #1 begins a tale of survival and vengeance, written by Max Bemis (Worst X-Man Ever, Foolkiller) and artist Eoin Marron (Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original). Dynamite reports the book will blend sci-fi, horror, and action to appeal to fans of Aliens, The Thing, and Predator: “When a terrifying creature from beyond the stars attacks his planet, protagonist Dale’s journey begins, but he is not out to save his world; it’s already much too late for that. As the lone survivor, the only thing Dale wants is revenge.”
They only get one chance to save the galaxy…twice.
It was five years ago next month that theaters across the country hosted the mega-marathon of Marvel Studios movies leading up to the premiere of The Avengers, followed up two years ago this month by a massive eleven movie marathon of Marvel films. Last year saw a double feature of Captain America movies, and in two weeks Marvel fans will be able to join Peter Quill, Baby Groot, and the rest of the gang for a double feature of Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
The most unusual of all the Marvel superhero movies with its unlikely but epic outer space heroes, Guardians of the Galaxy was the surprise box office hit of 2014. The follow-up movie only has good buzz surrounding it. We’ve previewed several trailers for the film so far here and here at borg.com.
Select theaters will screen the first movie in RealD 3D on Thursday, May 4, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. local time, followed by the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at 7 p.m.
Happy Easter! Along with the Easter Bunny, how well do you know the famous rabbits of print and screen? We thought we’d dig in and see what we found and a few dozen surfaced that you probably know, maybe don’t know, or might want to know. Americans are raised knowing something about the Easter Bunny from year one. Are any of these other rabbits even more famous?
We had a hard time finding a photo of one famous movie rabbit. There he is–Harvey, from the 1950 movie co-starring Jimmy Stewart.
Everyone needs a painting in their home like that.
Since it’s Star Wars Celebration weekend, we won’t forget our favorite rogue rabbit, Jaxxon, from the Howard Chaykin and Roy Thomas 1970s Star Wars comic book series. (That’s him at the top of this article).
We discussed another comic book rabbit only yesterday here at borg.com, Stan Sakai’s samurai from Usagi Yojimbo.
Usagi is a rabbit you want on your side. But so is Judy Hopp. She’s one great cop.
She’s the star of last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Animated Film, Zootopia. And speaking of zoos, Judy would fit right in with this next guy.
That’s Captain Carrot, from Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew!, the 1980s DC Comics series.
Who could be cuter than Thumper, the rabbit from the 1942 Disney movie, Bambi?
It’s not every day we get to read a new story by its original creator, especially 30 years later. Comic book readers are getting just that this summer as Japanese-American comic book writer/artist Stan Sakai returns to his creation Miyamoto Usagi, a samurai rabbit living in late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth-century Japan whose exploits were chronicled in his Usagi Yojimbo saga. Usagi will partner with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a one-shot graphic novel crossover event. Both series were created in 1984, the Turtles created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.
The new story written and illustrated by Sakai is called Namazu, and the conflict centers on the Japanese myth about a giant catfish that lives under the islands of Japan. A god named Kashima trapped the fish and it now threatens to free itself and destroy the islands, helped in Sakai’s story by Jei, a character on a mission to destroy all the evil in the world. Can Usagi and the Turtles join forces to save the future of Japan?
The catfish is featured prominently in a beautiful variant cover by Mouse Guard artist David Petersen (below). Sakai will provide the standard cover for the book. A softcover and hardcover edition will be available, the hardcover edition including extras like concept art and story notes selected by Sakai. Sakai has won a total of seven Eisner and Harvey Awards, and was nominated for 21 Eisners, over his long career.
When you think of the Alien franchise, what iconic images come to mind? Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley in a giant power loader suit or going face-to-face with a Xenomorph? The first facehugger? Hicks, Hudson and Vasquez realizing they were facing something hopeless? Queen of sci-fi Veronica Cartwright’s scream at the first terrifying chest burst? Ridley holding Jonesy finally sighing with relief that they survived the alien onslaught? Dozens of these and other iconic images are packed into a new adult coloring book, Alien: The Coloring Book, coming this May from Titan Books.
The adult coloring book business is gaining steam with publishers taking extra efforts to see that the artwork inside meets the standard of the franchise. Alien: The Coloring Book has pulled together artwork that resembles the actors and key scenes from the movie, but also does so in a visually interesting manner and conforms to the whole point of these books: to give fans a chance to color their favorite scenes (in or outside the lines).
Creating scenes from all of the Alien movies featuring heroine Ellen Ripley are artists Leandro Casco, Wellington Diaz, Vinz El Tabanas, Salvador Navarro, Guilherme Raffide, Rubine, Vincenzo Zerov Salvo, Adriano Vicente, and Daniel Wichinson. Eighty pages provide Xenomorphs, chestbursters, Xenomorph eggs, your favorite characters, spacesuits, ships, Ridley Scott’s futuristic sets and H.R. Giger-inspired designs. One of the fun illustrations features Lance Henriksen’s cyborg Bishop playing mumbletypeg with the hand of Private Hudson (played by the late Bill Paxton).
In Marvel Studios third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe featuring Thor, Thor: Ragnarok, we catch up with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor–absent from last year’s Captain America: Civil War. Where’s the golden-haired hammer-wielder been? In the first trailer for the film we see him imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his hammer and struggling to return to ward off the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela, played by Cate Blanchett.
But first he is captured Spartacus style and thrown in an otherworldly Thunderdome. To survive he must face off against a rather angry and unforgiving fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). How did Hulk end up on the other side of the universe as a warrior in Sakaaran gladiatorial combat? We’ll have to wait and see.
Directed by Taika Waititi, produced by Kevin Feige, Thor: Ragnarok introduces characters old and new: Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Idris Elba as Heimdall, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, and newcomers Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), and Karl Urban (Skurge).
Check out this new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok:
For those millions of Star Wars fans that purchased their Blu-ray and DVD copies of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this week and were disappointed that the special features did not include the many missing scenes that appeared in the bulk of the movie’s trailers, have no fear: Today, Marvel Comics is releasing the first of a six-issue adaptation of the film, and it will include many scenes not in the final theatrical version of the movie, woven into the film for the first time. Check out a preview below of Issue #1.
The adaptation is written by Jody Houser (Max Ride), with interior art by Emilio Laiso (Star Wars Annual) and Oscar Bazaldua Nava with colorist Rachelle Rosenberg. Phil Noto is the cover artist for the series with variant covers by Mike Mayhew and several other artists, plus a movie poster cover, action figure cover, and blank sketch cover. You’ll find all the look and feel of the movie here. Here is a preview of Phil Noto’s cover art for Issues #2 and #3:
Each of the eight Star Wars films have now been adapted to comic book form. Back before videos, these were many fans’ only way to revisit the film. They are also a great way to introduce kids to reading. All of the adaptations are still available at Amazon at these links: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens.
Check out a preview of Issue #1 below and many of the variant covers available.