“Imma let Bilal finish but Jodorowsky is one of the most inspiring artists of our time.”


Alexander Jodorowsky is the visionary filmmaker behind El Topo and Santa Sangre. He’s also kind of the original “films to comics” crossover creator, since filmmaking is very expensive but comics aren’t—in recent years The Incal, Bouncer, Tehcnopreists and many other weird and wonderful books.

Kanye West is a well known collaborator with Paul McCartney.

The documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune came out in 2013!

When a con HAS crap: Wizard World Chicago

Wizard World Chicago was this weekend, a now four-day extravaganza of mostly nerdlebrity stuff, but still, and it’s said to be a great place to sell art to the midwest’s large and eager fan base. It’s also the show where nerdlebrities like tweeting pictures of themselves with other nerdlebrities!

Levar Burton made a pretty epic selfie with Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner while William Shatner looked on. You can see more of this kind of stuff in the official @wizardworld twitter feed.

Also, Stan Lee finally took the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS….but there is a surprise twist, which you may guess if you are alarmed by the idea of a 91-year-old man having a bucket of freezing water dumped on his Members Only jacket.

The Chicago Daily Herald has a photo gallery here; Bloody Disgusting a rather cursory report here.

The most interesting (to me anyway) write I found was this by Randall A. Golden who gives Wizard shows an overall good review, but explains that even when you have a ticket, getting a nerdlebrity autograph can be can involve a lot of juggling, especially with nerdlebity travel schedules getting tighter and tighter…one late flight and things can get dicey:

As celebrity vicissitudes and temperaments update minute by minute, so are the autograph/photo-op schedules sometimes changed accordingly to keep up. If the con is well run, attendees are informed as soon as possible so they can work within whatever opportunities are available. If the con isn’t well run, then you wind up with situations where a famous British actor is left in his hotel room waiting for a ride that never comes to bring him to a Q&A he can’t find on his own, while fans threaten to burn him in effigy because they have no idea what’s going on and assume it’s all his fault. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for others, that happened at some other con that Wizard World didn’t run and we didn’t attend.

11:40 a.m.: The Evan Peters line has largely vanished, but he’s still not there. We join the autograph line for Famous Actor #2, whose first signing is scheduled for 12:30. We learn from the guy in front of us that Evan Peters’ flight was delayed. The showrunners were now expecting to arrive around
3:30. To those couple hundred disgruntled fans who’d been waiting in vain in his line since 10 a.m., WWC volunteers passed out numbered cards for them to bring back later and redeem for first dibs on Peters upon his arrival.

Meanwhile, Famous Actor #2 arrives a half-hour early for his signing in high-flying spirits. Advantage: us.

1 p.m.: Mandatory lunchtime.

1:30 p.m.: We join the autograph line for Hot New TV Actor, across the way from Evan Peters’ booth, whose front space is occupied by a few lonely wanderers. While we’re in line, the distant, overhead lights flicker as thunder roars outside. Adding two and two, we suspect in hindsight that weather may have affected Peters’ flight plan. TV Actor arrives half an hour late, but she’s cool with everyone in line.


As far as vicissitudes go, John Barrowman just plain overslept and missed his flight and made this very apologetic video. He surpassed even that later on though, with the PSA about the poopy potties of the Rosemont Convention Center

I used to go to Rosemont every year (although haven’t been in a decade) and I always found the toilets pretty clean and usually empty. So I dunno what is going on now—I hope this was a one time number two thing — just because you have to stand in line is no excuse not to flush the toilet.

Comics stars taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — UPDATED with Bendis and more

So far, I’ve only found one — Billy Tucci! Tragically, Tucci did not call out other comics folks, so the charity meme has not yet spread to out part of the world. But let’s give Billy a hand for doing it!

In case you missed it, the ice bucket challenge is meant to draw attention to ALS, aka Lou Gehrig disease. When called out, you must either dump a bucket of ice over yourself or donate $100 to the ALS Foundation. Most celebs who have been doing this do both. You make a mideo of yours;f getting dumbed on, and call out someone to take the challenge next at the end of your video.

It’s a fun way to while away the summer—somehow I don’t think this would be as popular in November. People who have done it so far include Lady Gaga, Robert Downey Jr., Justin Bieber (he didn’t actually use ice), Steven Spielberg, Carrie Underwood, Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, the NY Mets, the NY Jets, and a bunch of nerdlebrities folks like Tom Hiddleston (very popular),

Chris Pratt, Nathan Fillion, James Gunn and Stephen Amell.

I found Dave Bautista’s by far the most impressive however.

When we look back at the summer of 2014, will it be as the time that famous people dumped ice on themselves? In these turmoil filled days, it’s nice to have something giving and fun and silly to talk about.

Meanwhile, comic folk, step up!

UPDATED: OK OK, I missed Brian Bendis:

Who calls out Fraction and Oeming.

And Frank Tieri, although I can’t find his video,

who called out Scott Snyder:

I’m told Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci also took the challenge.

So NOW we’re getting somewhere!

The weekend in comics events, San Jose to Minnesota and beyond

Will every single comics creators be at a show this weekend? Since we know comics culture is booming I thought it might be interesting to check out just WHAT is happening around this nation of outs. I got most of these from Convention Scene but it didn’t include the biggest show, Big Wow.

If you’re going to one of these shows, feel free to report back to us here! We’re keen to hear about comics culture around the world.

Big Wow Comic Fest in San Jose, CA

With WonderCon moved south this is the biggest mainstream comics event in the Bay Area now, and I hear good things. Guests include Charlie Adlard, Sergio Aragones, Art Adams and Mike Mignola. If you’re going please let us know how it went.


SpringCon in St, Paul, MN.

This is the show that was encroached by a Wizard event, but based on the comments here it has a loyal following. Over 250 guests including Dan Jurgens, Peter Gross, Ursula Murray Husted and Silver Age artist Liz Berube. The poster promises 100,000 sq ft of extreme comic book action. Oh yeah!


Motor City Comic Con in Detroit, MI

This one runs three days in Novi. Guests include William Shatner, John Barrowman, Jon Bernthal, Milo Ventimiglia, Scott Wilson, Burt Young, Karl Urban, Jason Momoa, Lee Majors, Lindsay Wagner, Chris Claremont, Mark Waid and many more. As you can see it’s become more nerdlebrity focused. Time was when Motor City was one of the marquee events on the comics schedule (it’s been running for 25 years) but it’s way more regional now.


Dallas Comic Conin Dallas, TX
This is run by the same folks who put on the HUUUUGE Fan Expos in Toronto. This company was acquired last year by a larger event company, a change I should have paid more attention to. According to the guest page, William Shatner will also be at THIS show. I guess he likes to travel??? The guest list is all nerdlebrities, but a small pop up tells m that Len Wein will be there for comics types. A believe this show is descended from the old Dallas Fantasy Fair, also a long time comics event classic.


SC Comicon in Greenville, SC

Proving there are enough Nerdlebrities to go around, Lou Ferrigno will hulk out at this show, along with Van Jensen and Robert Venditti and other guests. The show is run by Borderlands Comics & Games, and it’s only $10 to get in for the day.


SuperFan Comic Con in Toronto, ON

It’s Victoria Day Weekend for our friends in the north so this runs Saturday-Monday. Lucky bastards. Guests include Mike Grell and Dyl Klöepfer who is billed as “Young cartoonist from a small town in Canada.” Hugs! And also…LOU FERRIGNO??? Do these nerdlebrities have doppelgangers? Margot Kidder and the guy who played the SOup Nazi will also be on hand. I don’t know much about this show, but Toronto is a crowded market.


  • Nerdlebrities can be in two places at once!
  • Conventions should make sure to put a LOGO or POSTER conveniently located in the PRESS section of their site.
  • Despite what I have posted above, not every single comics creator in North America will be at a show this weekend.

Gary Oldman told Ben McKenzie to read comics. Did he do it?


It’s getting so people who play various superhero roles must pass on the lore to younger versions of the roles. Thus when Gary Oldman—the essentialist Commissioner Jim Gordon of the Nolan Batman trilogy—was asked if he had any advice for Ben McKenzie, who will play younger Detective Gordon on the new TV show Gotham, he was to the point: “Go back to the comic books. That’s what I did…There’s great stuff about Gordon. He had a whole other life.”

And McKenzie, bring smart, did so, or at least he said he did on Twitter:

Looking at the books by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and Frank Miller McKenzie has assembled, we’d say he’s in for some FINE reading! Lucky.

Avenger actress admits that superhero costume isn’t for her

Elizabeth Olsen is a lovely, normal young woman, but she isn’t a superhero or a fitness model, and she’s nixed the idea of wearing the Scarlet Witch costume for the next Avengers movie.

My favourite piece is my secrecy cloak that prevents anyone from seeing what I’m wearing. There’s a hood, and a robe – it protects the image! I don’t think Joss ever would have hired me, honestly, if he wanted me to wear those outfits; I am not a professional athlete and nor am I a model. Wearing those costumes wouldn’t be fun for anyone who wasn’t those things. He already had a different idea. It respects and involves the comic-book character but it’s different, more rooted. It’s for someone today. Well, if someone walked around wearing what she wore in the comics, people would stop and say, ‘What the hell… she thinks she’s a superhero!’

Olsen is younger sister of the 90s famous Olsen twins, Ashley and Mary-Kate, who favor baggy, unstructured clothes.
Not like this.

While superhero movies are a desired screen role for more and more thespians, getting into shape for a skin tight suit is no laughing matter, as Thomas Jane once lamented here. It’s said that Hugh Jackman fasts for a day before every shirtless scene, and Scarlett Johansson lived on carrot sticks for months to look sleek in her Black Widow cat suit.

Olsen plays Scarlet Witch to Aaron Johnson-Taylor’s Quicksilver in Avengers; Age of Ultron, which…just began filming!

Did Shia LaBeouf rip off a Daniel Clowes comic for his short film? UPDATE: YEP

If you look at the plot of Shia La Bouef’s short film Howard Cantour, it sounds exactly like Daniel Clowes’s short comic Justin M. Damiano, which appeared in Zadie Smith’s Anthology of Short FIction, The Book of Other People. La Beouf:

Jim Gaffigan gives a perfect deadpan performance as movie critic “Howard Cantour”, spending his time flirting with freelancer cutie Dakota, played by Portia Doubleday. The film actually says some great things about cinema, but also does a nice job making fun of the movie critic world. That said, it’s actually quite well done without being too condescending and an enjoyable watch. Have fun.

and Clowes (reprinted with the author’s permission)
LaBeouf’s film screened at the Cannes Film Festival and has been well received — but not in the Clowes household, as the cartoonist told Buzzfeed:

“The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I’ve never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf,” Clowes told BuzzFeed. “I’ve never even seen one of his films that I can recall — and I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visual LaBeoufs from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work. I actually can’t imagine what was going through his mind.”

According to sources close to the situation, everyone at Fantagraphics is hopping mad at what seems to be outright idea theft.

LaBeouf’s camp hasn’t responded, although the film has been made pass-word protected for now. It isn’t the first time LaBeouf has been accused of plagiarism—an angry letter to Alec Baldwin over their Broadway appearance in Orphans LaBeouf leaked to the press was found to have been lifted from Esquire.

LaBeouf is a known indie comics fan, who has been flirting with the medium over the last few years.

Update: Howard Cantour is apparently a word for word adaptation of the comic, with the same opening monolog, and the blonde woman’s same observations to the critic:

Both stories then switch to a scene wherein the titular critic discusses a film with a freelance critic he dislikes, who asks whether he’s attending a junket where the director will be present. In Clowes’, the freelance critic explains that the director “so perfectly gets how we’re really all like these aliens who can never have any meaningful contact with each other because we’re all so caught up in our own little self-made realities, you know?” In LaBeouf’s short, she says the director “so perfectly gets how we’re all like these aliens to one another, who never have any meaningful contact with one another because we’re all so caught up in our little self-made realities, you know?”

The film, which has been generally praised as a strong directorial debut for LaBeouf, doesn’t have a listed screenwriter. However, in past interviews, the actor claims he came up with it “organically.”

However, late tonight, Labeouf tweeted a mea culpa and an apology:

Some might call it naivete hthat gripped Labeouf, but there might be some financial restitution coming, as well.


Jamie S. Rich’s Webseries ‘From The Gutters’ Launches with Matt Wagner Interview

From The Gutters, a new comics interview show, has launched their first episode today. Presented by Jamie S. Rich, the webseries will be hosting a number of notables from the world of comics over the next few months, including people like Becky Cloonan, Ming Doyle, Eric Stephenson and Mike Allred. Today’s inaugural episode sees Matt Wagner chat to Rich, and it’s a rather fantastic opening show.

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They’ve Cast Grant Gustin as The Flash

Setting up the TV pilot for a Flash TV series, The CW appear to have cast actor Grant Gustin – best known for his roles on Broadway and on Glee – as Barry Allen. The character will appear in three episodes of the second season of Arrow, before heading off to a pilot for a show of his own.

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Best idea ever: Shatner and West kibbitz at Salt Lake City con

HOW has no one ever thought of this before? Putting William Shatner and Adam West—the two most mellifluous, self mocking and endearing of legendary nerdlebrities—together on stage:

It was “The Shat” and “The Bat” for the first time ever on a stage together Friday night at the Salt Lake Comic Con, and their presence was enough to make every geek’s brain in the room explode.

William Shatner, aka Capt. James T. Kirk from the original “Star Trek,” and Adam West, who played the Caped Crusader in the 1960s cult television show “Batman,” sat down for the history-making event at the Salt Palace Convention Center, swapping stories about their start in Hollywood and their individual journeys to become pop culture icons. The one-hour event, which cost conventiongoers an additional $50 to $500 per ticket, was held on the convention’s main stage and drew hundreds of fans.

Who wouldn’t have paid $500 for this event?

We’ve been suggesting for over a decade that someone should put this duo together in a TV movie as old time detectives on one last case…who wouldn’t enjoy hearing them attempt to prove who has the bigger diction? Frankly, we’re shocked that it took the SLC con to finally put this dream team together.

It is not, though, the first time the two worked together. In their strapping youth, West and Shatner were both in an Alexander the Great tv project that never got off the ground, but this did not provide the interplay that this autumnal event did.

At the SLC event Shatner, 82 and West, 84, joked and riffed on everything from hip replacement surgeries to that long ago pilot. And Shatner ended trying to get West to agree to appear with him on the Big Bang Theory—it’s not the venue we’d pick, but someone needs to make this happen while it still can.

SDCC’13: South Park and the Stick of Truth

By Nicholas Eskey

This year at Comic Con International 2013, we were given a treat to have the South Park show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker make an appearance for a question and answer panel. Located in the 6CDE rooms, the two men sat down at the long table on the stage (oddly quite set apart from each other) and answered questions in their own funny, sarcastic way.

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Life among the nerdlebrities: Wizard World NYC

I had no idea what to expect as I approached the Wizard World Comic Con NYC Experience last Friday evening. First off it was located a new venue—Basketball City—in a part of Manhattan that I had never been to except on an FDR Drive flyover: a mysterious realm east of Chinatown, north of the Seaport and south of the Williamsburg Bridge. In local speak we call it “no mans land”: the moody banks of the East River.
It was a cloudy overcast evening, and the approach was sinister. But upon getting closer I spied the familiar sights of a Batmobile and people carrying Wizard World plastic bags. I was in familiar territory after all.

According to Wizard’s main PR guy, the always helpful Jerry Milani, Basketball City is a newish space mostly used for…basketball and corporate events. This was its first consumer event. Inside it was spacious and clean, with high ceilings and working bathrooms. I have to give the Wizard folks props for a set-up that played to the comfort of the fans. With no food vendors inside, a food truck court had been set up outside with Crif Dog and Kimchi Tacos (YUM) among others. An outside tent held the big nerdlebrity talks, and an upstairs mezzanine held the smaller panels. Ingress and egress were clear and well marked.

However, once inside I was reminded of some of the problems familiar to putting on any kind of show in New York. It has to be accessible, people have to park, blah blah blah. I would say there was a lively crowd for an after work Friday night. There were huge lines for CM Punk, and great excitement whenever Michael Rooker or Norman Reedus did anything. Stan Lee caused a buzz, of course. The Artist Alley was moderately sized, and I dunno if this was a huge money making show for people selling comics. The big event on Friday was the cruise, and there was a good sized line to get in. I toyed with the idea of going as a friend had a pass, but decided being on a boat with a lot of Walking Dead fans wasn’t my ideal Friday night. From the tweets it was a good time, however.

Hannah has a fine report and I don’t really disagree with anything in it. She hits on what was probably the biggest selling point of the con: the fact that the room wasn’t that big meant that all the nerdlebrities were near at hand, and that did cause a buzz when the Power Rangers guy went to the bathroom or something. By now all these people are used to seeing one another on the Wizard Tour, so when CM Punk and Michael Rooker share a laugh it gives the fans in attendance a sense of being somewhere cool and exciting. I myself was thrilled to catch sight of my hero Pam Grier, although being a little bit afraid of her, I didn’t go up to say hi. Henry Winkler was wandering around and being friendly, as was Wil Wheaton.

It was a fun, well run show, but for my taste, it was a bit expensive—to get in and get one autograph would cost you nearly $100, so you had to be ready to spend a lot of dough.

Also, as I’ve noted before, there is something about the “comics” part of a “comic-con” that is a key part of the equation. Autograph shows are common and doubtless profitable, but there is an innate sadness to people who used to be on TV asking you to pay to get them to sign an 8×10 that comic book artists sitting and sketching on their drawing boards don’t project. Artist Alley gives a sense of the here and now and doing stuff that former child stars don’t. It livens up the joint.

I dunno, maybe it’s me.

To be clear, the traveling Wizard World show presents an array of working TV stars, and certainly while I was there, the celebs were smiling and laughing. Stan Lee always brings a sense of energy with him. Beat Pal Joe Harris said that at one point Stan came by his fellow Bullpenner Ken Bald’s table and the two sang old Merry Marvel marching songs. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

I did wander around and take some of my bad hipstamatic photos.

The con floor in Walking Dead colors.
It was pointed out to me that these big standees with posters are ubiquitous now in Artist Alley. Time was you just needed one of those standees, but the exhibits are getting more impressive and easy to transport.
Mile High Comics’ Chuck Rozanski—star of Comic-Con the Movie—chatting with the CBLDF’s Alex Cox. Chuck had a camera crew following him around but was NDA’d as to its purpose. He did allow that since he was seen in one reality movie, other reality shows have approached him. Chuck is a star in any medium. The three of us had some discussion about the rise of comic cons and how putting them on is not child’s play given the size of the crowds that show up. Anyone who is planning to put one on, I would recommend checking out Mike Scigliano’s series here at the Beat, Comi-CONversations for the basics of show running.

The X-Files Joe Harris and Steve Vrattos of Fanfare/Ponent Mon. (Fanfare was not set up at the show.)
Rodney Ramos, most recently of The Tower Chronicles. As you can see from Rodney’s Mets t-shirt, we share a very special pain and a very special bond.
Gentleman JG Jones. JG is one of the nicest people in comics, and also one of the most talented. The show was slowing down so I had a rare chance to catch up with him and talk Game of Thrones, etc. Since finishing up The Comedian, he’s been doing covers but has some interesting projects in the works.
Closing time at Nerdlebrity Alley.
As the show ended, I walked out with Alex and JG. It had been raining, resulting in glorious moody Gotham City nightscapes. This wasn’t my kind of show, exactly, but I can see why people enjoy going, and it was very well run and tried to give fans what they came for. Alex and I left JG and Henry Winkler trying to catch a shuttle to their hotel in the smoky dampness on the East River as Wil Wheaton, king of the nerdlebrities, looked on and found it good.

Patton Oswalt Pitches a Star Wars/Marvel Crossover Movie

Patton Oswalt has been rather busy over the last few weeks. When not convincing the World that he should be cast as The Penguin in the next Batman movie, he’s appearing in Parks and Recreation, and delivering a message of unity. And that message of unity is for the union between Star Wars and Marvel. In a scene cut for length, Oswalt takes to the stand and delivers a nine-minute improvised pitch for a new Star Wars movie which brings in everything from Thanos to the X-Men. In a canny marketing movie, NBC have made the entire speech available online, and you can see it below.

Would you watch this movie? I certainly would. The episode of Parks and Rec airs this Thursday.


Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer Go “Live” at Bard College

The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Red Hook, New York, hosted “An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmeron the 6th of April, an event packed with poetry, prose, and musical performance numbers from Gaiman and Palmer alike, frequently in combination. Here are some photos and a few choice quotes from the Q and A session, which Gaiman and Palmer drew from a pool of fan questionnaire sheets left discreetly in the lobby before the performance.


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WonderCon 2013: Tarzan tells a tale of Tiger at Warner Bros. Pulp TV Panel

A powerful looking Ron Ely, star of the TV’s “Tarzan”(1966-1968) and “Doc Savage: Man of Bronze” (1975) spellbound his audience at WonderCon Friday, relating his fight with a wild tiger.  According to Ely, “The Script read: Tarzan sees tiger, Tarzan fights tiger, Tarzan and tiger walkaway in opposite directions with mutual respect.” Instead of firing the writer and walking off the set as would likely happen these days, the actor concerned himself with how to achieve the scene. Contacting the San Diego Zoo, Ely and his producer’s were able persuade Zoo officials to detour a recently captured tiger from India to the set of “Tarzan” in Burbank.  Gaining the big cat’s trust by his attending every feeding,  Ely and the Tarzan production crew took precautions to insure no one would be hurt.  By forbidding a gun on the set, Ely was also insuring the tiger’s safety.

“When we were set to film I hit him on the nose and he gave me a look like ‘Is that the best you got?’ I hit him again and he ignored me. There was only one other thing I knew to do to rouse him–if I turned my back.” Sure enough, the tiger went flying over Ely’s head to pounce and they wrestled. “To a tiger, its just play,” Ely said with equanimity.  Much to Ely’s own astonishment, the scene came off as written.

You can enjoy Warner Bros. Archive Collection of “Tarzan” and “Doc Savage” available at http://www.wbshop.com/category/wbshop_brands/warner+archive.do.

Also being released by WarnerBros. Archive Collection: “Bomba, the Jungle Boy” (1949) and “The Adventures of Superboy, Season 3″ In coming months there will be additional releases of other Boomer generation Televison shows.  One such is “Maya,” starring Jay North.  The star of “Dennis the Menace”, now a teen, searches the jungles of India for his missing father aboard an Elephant named Maya. The show was a milestone for TV at its time in that it was filmed on location in India.

On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick Pushes Fan Empowerment

While the Nerdist Industries’ arena event at WonderCon this year was ostensibly about the future of the Youtube based pop culture conglomerate, and, indeed, plenty was said about upcoming projects, the question and answer period really expanded into a call to arms for fans to help directly determine the future of pop culture.

mbrittany_hardwick_panel_1Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick took the stage, joined by panellists Paul Provenza, Troy Conrad, and Matt Bennett, on March 31st, in the lead up to the season finale of The Walking Dead. Hardwick’s job as host of Talking Dead meant there was plenty of frisson in the audience about the upcoming show, and Hardwick teased, but didn’t deliver, spoilers on the show’s finale several times. In fact, he informed the audience that he was about to “get into a car to film Talking Dead” following his WonderCon appearance. Envy at his early viewing of the finale was palpable.

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