SDCC 14: #comicsbeat Kneel before your god(zilla)

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SDCC 14: #comicsbeat Really top-notch Bee and Puppycat cosplay by @microcake !

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SDCC 14: #comicsbeat

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SDCC 14: #comicsbeat Sin City in the morning. Smells like whiskey to me. #sdcc #sdcc2014 #comicsbeat

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Pictures From the Guardians of the Galaxy Premiere

by Brandon Schatz

If you were on the Secret Comics Illuminati Twitter Feed last night, you probably saw folks complaining about John Cena and Brock Lesnar being the anchor match at this year’s Summer Slam in among the plans to destroy your childhood. Oh, and you might have also caught wind of the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Really, it all depends on which part of the illuminati’s feed you were digging through. You all have access to those secret tweets, right?


Um… anyway, here’s a smattering of pictures from the event, and uh… forget I said anything about the secret feed, okay? I… don’t want to get in trouble before SDCC.

(Where is that damn edit button…)

The premiere, held at David Lapham's palatial estate, one assumes. #comicsjokes

The premiere, held at David Lapham’s palatial estate, one assumes. #comicsjokes

Guardians of the Galaxy full cast

Lots of people on a stage

The body of Rocket Raccoon and Glenn Close, standing, totally comfortable.

The body of Rocket Raccoon and Glenn Close, standing, totally comfortable.

The World Premiere Of Marvel's Epic Space Adventure "Guardians Of The Galaxy" - Red Carpet

Vin Diesel catches sight of a bird

The World Premiere Of Marvel's Epic Space Adventure "Guardians Of The Galaxy" - Red Carpet

Karen Gillen, writer of Phonogram, friend (?) to Jamie McKelvie, beloved by animals everywhere.

The World Premiere Of Marvel's Epic Space Adventure "Guardians Of The Galaxy" - Red Carpet

Chris Pratt, handsome as the dickens.

Bradley Cooper

Fact: you can not contain Bradley Cooper in a suit. The suit will literally start on fire.

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana is just wonderful. I have not more comments other than this.

The World Premiere Of Marvel's Epic Space Adventure "Guardians Of The Galaxy" - Red Carpet

Michael Rooker thinks this premiere…

Michael Rooker

…is out of this world. #hyeeeaaaaahhhhhhhhh

A picture of a cat

A picture of a cat

"Oh you," says Lee Pace.

“Oh you,” says Lee Pace.

Samm Levine, who has grown up to look exactly like he did in Freaks and Geeks.

Samm Levine, who has grown up to look exactly like he did in Freaks and Geeks.

Dave Bautista emotes for the camera.

Dave Bautista emotes for the camera.

Guardians of the Galaxy premieres on August 1st, 2014. Check your local theatres for listings. If you don’t have a local theatre, yell “Star-Lord!” into the void, and Chris Pratt will arrive, scoop you up in his arms, and carry you to the nearest theatre while whispering about his time on Everwood into your ears.

The Beat’s 10th Anniversary Special: San Diego 2004 photo parade!

As mentioned earlier this week, The Beat is 10 years old this month! What was it like in the primitive days of 2004? Thanks to the wonders of digital archiving we can tell you! We can even take you back to San Diego 2004 for a look at skinnier but not necessarily better versions of many Beat favorites. So step with us behind the veils of time for….

Comic-Con International: San Diego 2004


Neil Gaiman accepting an Eisner award for SANDMAN; ENDLESS NIGHTS as Will Eisner looks on, as was the custom until Eisner’s death in January 2005. This was the last time that Eisner was at the awards named for him.



This was the year of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, starring Jude Law, Gywneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. These giant inflatable robots set up across the trolley tracks were, as I recall, one of the most spectacular movie marketing displays to date, and Sky Captain was one of the first movies to fall prey to the “Comic-Con Curse” — despite heavy promotion to the nerd herd, the movie was a flop. If there was anything at SD 2004 that was a harbinger of the future, it’s this. These robots would barely rate a nod these days when entire theme parks are set up to promote webisodes.


I think this is the last year I attended the indie beach party on Saturday night, probably because it was the last year that enough indie cartoonists to have a beach party actually attended. When things were less hectic this was a wonderful respite from the hectic world of the con. I think this may have been the year that Jim Lee drove  the McClouds, myself and Peter Milligan and an illegal number of people to be in one car to the party and I was forced to set on someone’s lap all the way there.  sd04d401

Future superstar Chip Zdarsky dreaming of the day he will be happy, along with Kagan McLeod.sd04d404

Dean Haspiel and Vito Delsante in a show of powder blue solidarity.  sd04d405

Trina Robbins, unknown in the center and Go Girl artist Anne Timmons. Looking at these photos what’s notable to me is how many cartoonists who I would never see at SDCC any more are in them.


Frequent Beat commenter Cary Coatney and his comic Deposit Man. Countdown until Cary comments on this post in 10…9…8…


Robyn Chapman and two people whose names I don’t remember. Yes boys and girls, once upon a time cartoonists went to San Diego!


Dave Roman, John Green and future superstar Raina Telgemeier.


I have no idea what happened to this Cardlings dude, but he was way ahead of the curve on the marketing spectacle that would later become necessary.


Sinister nuclear lemonade they served in the pro room that mutated all the cartoonists.


China Miéville.


DC’s Bob Wayne, who looks exactly the same right this minute and may be wearing a similar shirt, George Perez and writer Malcolm Bourne.  sd04d432

Pia Guerra and Ian Boothby


Diamond’s Kuo-yu Liang and Roger Fletcher


What then passed for an impressive display in 2004



And every single inch of the convention center wasn’t always jammed. Artist Alley wasn’t anyway. I think this may have been before Hall H even.



Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber were tabling-buddies and even had a hilarious blog back in the day, later to become the Periscope studio blog and then, Facebook. However to prevent each other from being driven insane by the other’s table patter, they erected a fence between them.


Skottie Young and Khary Randolph. I ran into Khary at Heroes Con a couple of days ago and almost didn’t recognize him because he wasn’t wearing a hat.


Dave Johnson, Tony Harris and Phil Noto.


Kirby inker and raconteur Mike Royer who once told me he had seen Blade Runner 70 times.



The Italian contingent, consisting of Matteo Casali, unknown, Giuseppe Camuncoli and unknown. Sorry I don’t recognize so many folks…life was so different then!



Beside the Sky Captain thing, the biggest showbiz buzz at the 2004 con was the presence of Burlyman, the comics company run by the Wachowskis. Both Andy (I think that’s him in the floral shirt above) and Lana showed up at the booth, which got a lot of attention as both had not done a public appearance in years.



The Golden Apple’s Sharon Liebowitz, the late George Gladir and the late Bill Liebowitz. I believe Bill passed away a few months after this photo was taken. I miss him still.

This was one of only two years when the Hyatt bar was closed to to construction so DC arranged to have a bar set up in the grassy area out in back of the Hyatt, a bar I dubbed the Chu-Fong, since DC’s Fletcher Chu-Fong had been instrumental in arranging it. There was never a more pleasant hang out at Comic-Con, as the sea mists rolled in, people satin the cool evening dew and the douchebag rabble didn’t exist yet.


Then as now, folks gather on the steps in back of the Hyatt after last call to talk and have fun. Such a simpler, more innocent time.

So there you go! Pretty much the same and yet subtly different. Do you have any memories of Comic-Con 2004? Did you drink that lemonade? Tell us all about it in the comments.

Photo parade: Daniel Clowes exhibit opening at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum


Here’s a pretty awesome photo gallery of the Dan Clowes art show opening at the Wexner Center for the Arts All photos including the above by Katherine Spengler © Wexner Center for the Arts, 2014

Photo: Al Feldstein and Jerry Robinson

I have some nice pictures of the late Al Feldstein from several San Diegos ago, but I couldn’t find them in my 20000+ digital photo library. But I did find this bad blurry photo of Feldstein and the late Jerry Robinson from 2008. I wish I’d gotten a better photo of them together but they literally saw each other in Artist Alley and were just saying hi. It was a nice moment to witness.

I’m so lucky to have been able to meet these comics industry founders, and if you can look beyond William Shatner and Matt Smith at the many comics show springing up, you might be able to find more of these pioneers and legends, just sitting and willing to talk and sign. Please take advantage while you have the chance.

Speaking of Feldstein, Steve Ringenberg has the Comics Journal obit. And here’s Gary Groth talking to Feldstein in 2013 for Child of Tomorrow, the Fantagraphics collection of Feldstein’s comics.

More Photos from Drew Friedman show at the Society of Illustrators

Just in case you can’t enough of a smiling Abe Vigoda, there’s a really nice Flickr set of the Old Jewish Comedians opening up at the Society of Illustrators page. With lots of old Jewish comedians and some great shots of the exhibit itself.

Nice photos: Comic-Con International 2013 Photo Gallery


The San Diego Comic-Con’s official site has a nice picture gallery of the 2013 show up, that is sure to trigger flashbacks just like being there. I’d like to steal this Galactus photo for every SDCC story from here out.

SDCC’13: The Final Photos – Axe Cop, Cosplay, Samuel L. Jackson and CROWDS

We’re at the end of our SDCC coverage! And we’re ending with Megan Byrd’s final selection of photos taken around the site. She’s found more fantastic cosplay than you can shake Gambit’s staff at, as well as looks at various signings, exhibits, art galleries and more! My favourite? The happy family of supervillains..

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SDCC’13 in Photos: Archaia, Cosplay, Joss Whedon and Hugs

We’re almost reaching the end of San Diego Comic-Con 2013, but before packing her bags and heading back to Chicago, Megan Byrd (@comicbookcandy) has sent two last sets of photos from the festival. There’s cacti made out of yarn, Spider-Man being a dick to Darth Vader, all kinds of amazing cosplay, and shots from Archaia, Boom Studios, and Oni Press! Oh, and Clark Gregg makes an appearance as well…

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SDCC’13 in Photos: Fast Cars, Cosplay, Grant Morrison and Puppy Dogs

It’s all happening at SDCC this year, and Megan Byrd has been on hand to document it all for us. Here’s some more photos from yesterday, featuring cosplay en masse, the Eisner Awards, and a DC portrait gallery!

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SDCC’13: Megan Byrd’s Friday Photo Marathon

Megan Byrd’s been hitting San Diego once more, and collected together photos from Dark Horse, Image, Boom, Felicia Day, various fantastic cosplayers, Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, and SO MUCH MORE!

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SDCC ’13: Comic-Con Day -1 in Photos from DC to Pacific Rim

ONe of our most trusted spies “Connie Snowden” managed to snap some surreptitious photos during set-up last night. The Lego booth looks amazing, you can look up He-Man’s skirt, Weta has yet another incredible model for The Hobbit Part 2, still under wraps. But no lie, the bes booth of all is Legendary which contains both one of the Jaeger Pilots and The Girl With The Red Shoes. I teared up a bit.




























On The Scene: LA Zoo hosts ‘Wild’ Comics Event + Photo Gallery!

Comics are everywhere. In the boom of the small comics event, even the LA Zoo staged a “Comics Jungle” event last Saturday geared at kids but drawing in families, artists, illustrators, and cosplayers. The event which advertised to come dressed as your favorite comic book hero, and partake of special activities, actually consisted of two specially arranged areas within the zoo, an exhibitor area with 9 booths, licensed Marvel characters for photo ops, an artists all sector with about a dozen booths, and plenty of costumed Star Wars characters for more photo ops.


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