ComicCon-ing: MegaCon Continues to Focus on Comic Creators

MegaCon has excellent celebrity guests year in and year out.  This year is no exception, and we are trying to figure out how to pay for it all.

However, MegaCon, which is under the Fan Expo umbrella of Infroma Exhibitions,  doesn’t forget the comic part of their convention. To comic book collectors, this year’s guests is as star-studded as the celebrity guests.  In fact, we might spend more time in the comic creators’ area.

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Comic Book Creator Area at MegaCon 2017

Some of the people that will be appearing:

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ComicCon-ing: Pensacon Panels about Comics

Comic Cons are called comic cons for a reason.  It all started with a love for comics.  Of course, they have grown by leaps and bounds to include all sorts of media and genres in those forms.  Still, there is nothing like a great comic book discussion.  If time permits, we love attending panels about comics, so you meet see us at one of these…come and say hello. Again, I’ll probably miss a few so make sure you check the Pensacon guide for the full details.  The Comics panels have a bright red color next to them.


1:30 – 2:15 Stupid Super Villains and Why We Love Them at the Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A.  Our good friends the Longbox guys will be hosting this panel.  We will be en route at the time, so if you are there please ask a question about Stilt-Man for us.


5:15 – 6:00 Think Independent (Making Comics) at the Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A.  Want to publish your own comic?  This is the panel for you.  It will be led by And Childress and Geoffry Gwin.


11:00 – 11:45 am Diversity in Comics at the Saenger Theatre 2nd Floor Room B.  Comic book creators will discuss how diversity has grown both on the pages of comics but also in the offices of comic book publishers. Comic writers and artists for this panel include Jen Broomall, Elliott Fernandez, Tony Isabella, NEN, Rodney Ramos, and Jeremy Whitley.

12:15 – 1:00 Creator-Owned Comics at the Saenger Theatre 2nd Floor Room B.  Go beyond the big publishers and create your own comic book.  Comic writers and artists for this panel include Pat Broderick, Steven Butler, Derec Donovan, Barry Gregory, and Kelly Yates.

2:45 – 3:30 Jack Kirby Tribute at theSaenger Theatre 2nd Floor Room A. The more you learn about comics and comic book history, the more the name Jack Kirby will grow in stature. Artists and writers will discuss his impact on the industry.  Comic writers and artists for this panel include Buzz, Mark Maddox, Steve Scott, and Scott Shaw.

4:00 – 4:45 Civil Rights and Social Justice as Reflected in Comic Books in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A. The Longbox guys will discuss how social issues have been reflected in comic books.  Plus, as a special treat, Tony Isabella will be joining them.

5:15 – 6:00 CNA Debate (vs) Panel Discussion at Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A.  This panel is billed as a fandom showdown.

5:15 – 6:00 Drawing TMNT at the Saenger Theatre 2nd Floor Room A.  Legendary creator Guy Gilchrist will give you the lowdown on creating Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. Guy Gilchrist is always interesting and this is sure to be an informative panel.

6:30 – 7:15 Getting Started in Self-Publishing: From Comic Books to Video Games at the Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A.  Byran Kind and Steven McCall of Neo-Realms discuss the process of self-publishing.

7:45-8:30 Civil Disobedience as Reflected in Comic Books (Why Luke Cage Can’t Breathe) at Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A. The Longbox Guys (there is a reason why their podcast is one of the few I make a point to listen to every episode) will show how comic books reflect civil disobedience in the 60s and 70s as well as today.


12:15 – 1:00 How to Make a Truly Terrible Comic: Common Storytelling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them at the Saenger Theatre 2nd Floor Room A.  If you are a writer, go learn from the pros.  Comic writers and artists for this panel include Pat Broderick, Jose Delbo, Barry Gregory, Tony Isabella, and Jeremy Whitley.

2:45 – 3:30 Horrible, Horrible, Horrible Stereotypes in Comic Books at the Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room C.  comichistorianspanelWe attended this panel last year, and it truly made us want to learn more about comics.  In fact, Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple used a few topics that were brought up in her AP Human Geography class when discussing culture and culture appropriation.  (Which is why she is probably Teacher of the Year and not me). This one is again led by the Longbox guys who do so many panels because, frankly, they are good at it.

4:00 – 4:45 Creating Comic Books for the Digital Age at the Saenger Theatre 2nd Floor Room A. How has technology changed the medium?   Comic writers and artists for this panel include Barry Gregory, Elliott Fernandez, Matt Frank,  and Kelly Yates.

5:15 – 6:00 The Process of Creating Comics at the at the Saenger Theatre 2nd Floor Room B.  Comics don’t just magically appear at your shop.  It’s a long process and these comic book writers and artists will give you the scoop. Comic writers and artists for this panel include John Dell, Derec Donovan, Roland Paris, Michael Russell, Steve Scott

Again, here is the map for Pensacon.








ComicCon-ing: Discussion Panels at Wizard World New Orleans

For the next two weeks, most of our blogs will be about Wizard World New Orleans. The Convention is held at the Morial Convention Center on January 6,7, and 8th.  This week we will be previewing the event, and next week reviewing the event. 

Wizard World New Orleans allows people to find others with like minded interests. It also allows for fan groups to get together and discuss their favorite fandoms. Other people enjoy talking with others about social issues in the comic community.   If you are looking for thought provoking discussions, then these panels might be for you.

Here are just some of the discussion panels that will be taking place at Wizard New Orleans.


7:30-8:15 POE IN POP CULTURE (ROOM 240):  Bill Pulkovski and Tony Miello will lead a panel to discuss Edgar Allan Poe’s influence over modern pop culture.


12:30-1:15 ONLY SHEEP EAT ROTTEN TOMATOES (ROOM 240): For those of you who liked Batman v Superman, this panel will be on your side.  This panel will attempt to prove those critics wrong.

1:30-2:15 PETER PARKER AND THE WOMEN THAT LOVED HIM (ROOM 240): Oh, Spidey and his love life.

2:30-3:15 CIVIL WAR: PICK A SIDE (ROOM 240)  I really hope this panel makes Iron Man fans sit on the right, and Captain America fans on the left (or vice versa).

2:30-3:15 STARSHIP SMACKDOWN: A SALUTE TO STAR TREK (ROOM 343): This panel will allow you to put forth your theories about which starship would do the most damage.

3:30-4:15 DON’T READ THAT! A HISTORY OF CENSORSHIP IN COMIC BOOKS (ROOM 240) I’m leaving this one in bold, because yours truly will be part of this panel.  This panel will be led by the Longbox Guys and will also feature a fellow educator colleague of mine.  We will look at books that have been challenged and why. I hope to see you there.

3:30-4:15 HARRY POTTER MANIA: SURVIVING HOGWARTS:  Harry Potter will be dissected by psychologists, professors, and a Burlesque performer. Normally, I wouldn’t miss this one, but it is at the same time as my panel. 🙂


4:30-5:15 GODS AND MONSTERS: H.P. LOVECRAFT’S HORRIFYING CREATURES (ROOM 240) Horror fans, this is where you should be if you have no prior commitments.

5:30-6:15 DOCTOR WHO PSYCHOLOGY: A MADMAN WITH A BOX (ROOM 343):  A look at the kind of person the Doctor really is.


11:00-11:45 HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE STEREOTYPES IN COMIC BOOKS (ROOM 343) Our good friends, the Longbox guys (link to the left of your screen), will be hosting this panel.  It’s in bold because we have attended this one before and it gets our highest recommendation.  

12:00-12:45 THE END OF WORLD IS ONLY THE BEGINNING: PREPARING FOR THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (ROOM 238) Dr. Robert Collins, of Dillard University in New Orleans, will look at how real life disease prevention can be aided by all those apocalypse programs and movies.

12:30-1:15 ZINES: FROM FANDOM’S EARLIEST PUBLICATIONS TO CONTEMPORARY CULTURE (ROOM 240):  New Orleans Public Library librarians will talk about the history and culture of zines.

2:00-2:45 WHO’S THE MOST NEUROTIC SUPERHERO? INSIDE THE MINDS OF BATMAN, SPIDER-MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, JESSICA JONES AND MORE with BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY’S DR. TRAVIS LANGLEY, MARVEL ZOMBIES’ FRED VAN LENTE, THE RED HOOK’S DEAN HASPIEL, SUPERHERO THERAPY’S DR. JANINA SCARLET & SPIDER-MAN’S DANNY FINGEROTH (ROOM 238)  Again, not only is the topic fascinating, but the leaders of the panel are fantastic. Fred Van Lente is one of my favorite writers and I highly recommend this book by him.

This whole week I’ve attempted to share just some of the panels that will be going on at Wizard World New Orleans.  There really is a lot to choose from and I didn’t even mention them all. In fact, the more I look at the list the more I’m upset I can’t be in two places at once. It really is one of the better panel line-ups I’ve seen.  Hope to see you there at a few!


For a full listing of the panels at Wizard World New Orleans, click here.

ComicCon-ing: Artists Panels Preview For Friday and Saturday at Wizard World New Orleans

For the next two weeks, most of our blogs will be about Wizard World New Orleans. The Convention is held at the Morial Convention Center on January 6,7, and 8th.  This week we will be previewing the event, and next week reviewing the event. 

In addition to celebrity panels, artists will also be the focus of panels as well.  These panels provide great insight into how comics are produced.  You can learn about what motivated artists and writers.  These panels are a great way to understand the comics business. We also highly suggest you visit these artists in Artist Alley.

Here are some of the panels for Friday and Saturday:


6:00-6:45 (Friday) FUNNY FOLKS: HOW TO DRAW HUMOR COMICS! with REN & STIMPY’S BOB CAMP, THE SIMPSONS’ PHIL ORTIZ, HOWARD THE DUCK’S TY TEMPLETON & NANCY’S GUY GILCHRIST (CREATIVE STAGE).  We have met quite a few of these artists and they are very entertaining and informative.  We highly suggest you also visit Phil Ortiz at his booth during the weekend so you can have your likeness “Simpsonized”.


12:00-12:45 THE ART OF SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON PRODUCTION WITH ANIMATOR/DIRECTOR TOM COOK (ROOM 238)  Mr. Cook has worked on Saturday Morning heroes such as He Man and She-Ra.  This panel will be a demonstration panel of his craft.

1:00-1:45 HOW TO DRAW THE HULK THE MARVEL WAY (CREATIVE STAGE).  Steve Geiger, who has worked on Marvel Comics such as the Incredible Hulk, will take you through his process.

1:00-1:45 A VERY SPECIAL SESSION WITH AMERICAN FLAGG!’S HOWARD CHAYKIN—AND HIS PALS THE RED HOOK’S DEAN HASPIEL & COMICS SCHOLAR BRANNON COSTELLO (ROOM 238) We met Howard Chaykin at Wizard World Philadelphia 2016, and he was probably the most entertaining artist we have ever met at a booth. He has been in the industry for forty years.  We highly recommend this one.

2:00-2:45 DRAWING DISNEY WITH CLINTON HOBART (CREATIVE STAGE) This renowned Disney artist will he hosting a panel.

3:00-3:45  INKING IS AN ART with DEADPOOL’S ADELSO CORONA (CREATIVE STAGE)  Adelso Corona will be taking discussing the inker’s role in the comics process.

5:00-5:45 SECRETS OF VISUAL STORYTELLING: TOP ARTISTS DRAW COMICS with X-MEN’S ARTHUR ADAMS, SPIDER-MAN’S STEVE GEIGER, ALL-NEW WOLVERINE’S JOYCE CHIN, AND TANGLED’S CLINTON HOBART (CREATIVE STAGE)   Some of the top names in the business will take you through their process and give insights to their craft.

We will be writing more panel previews in the upcoming days, so keep checking back. For a full listing of the panels at Wizard World New Orleans, click here.

Reading: Nerd Links September 11-17

It’s been a while since we published nerd links. But now that we are back in our school routine, we will start publishing these more often.

Exploring the Double Standard of Ethnicity in Pop Culture Film Casting:  A very good take on casting for superhero films.  The article isn’t afraid to address both sides of the issues and makes some great points.  I don’t care who is cast as what as long as they are a good enough actor to make me believe they are the character.

The State of the Industry: An interesting article into the business of comics.

 Why Wizard World Will Regret Banning Fake Guns:  I don’t really think guns belong at a comic con.  I don’t really think swords do either.  I don’t even understand why people want to carry in replica weapons at all. In fact, if a character is defined by their weapon, they really aren’t much of a character, in my opinion.  Link is recognized without his sword, and Master Chief is recognized without weapons.  However, if you are going to allow actual swords which can only be classified as weapons, then why not allow the lawful sale of guns.  Or ban both. Now, I know you have to check a sword and pick it up as you leave the con.  However, someone “testing” a sword is a dangerous.   I don’t agree with everything this article says – in fact I’m on the other side of the spectrum – but it raises some great points. (The incident that sparked this letter is here.)

The Longbox: Suicide Squad and John Ostrander: Jon Ostrander always provides a great interview. The Longbox guys podcast is the best comic podcast.


Reviewing: The Paybacks Vol 1

One of the best things to happen at Space City Comic Con was meeting Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal, and Geoff Shaw. These creators have made a fantastic comic called The Paybacks. Vol 1, Payback’s a Bitch is out now. New issues for Volume 2 will be released in July.


The plot, by Mr Cates and Mr Rahal,  is simple but ingenious. Not every superhero can be Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne.  Specifically, they don’t have those guys bank accounts. Yet, a superhero needs to have toys. What happens when they can’t keep up with the payments? I mean, saving people is nice, but do superheroes bill people after. Plus, liability insurance and other factors come into play causing this particular job not to be a lucrative one. In other words, the creative team discovers a side of being a superhero that most of us can relate to.

In this story, there is a shadowy figure who calls in superhero loans. This figure, Mr. Pierce, seizes their assets and in some cases causes others to become basically indentured servants. In other words, some superheroes become repo men. However, someone his beating these heroes to their targets and killing them. When they do, they write, in blood, “Payback is a bitch” on the wall.


This seems like very serious stuff, and it is. However, it is also laugh out loud funny.  People get cut off before telling their origin story and a hero recite Rorschach’s line about being locked up with him right as he gets knocked out.. There is a Russian character that is treated as if he’s not all there till you find out he is entirely fluent in Spanish. He also misquotes famous movie lines in English (my favorite being the line from They Live!).

Not only is the story there, but it is also wonderfully drawn. There is an attention to detail by Mr. Shaw that I often find lacking in other books.  Lauren Affe also gives the story bright colors but with enough shadows to enhance the mood of the story being a thriller.

The only complaint is that the story ends on a giant cliffhanger. We need to know what happens. This book was published by Dark Horse Books. However, Dark Horse canceled the series, but did release the first four books as one volume and gave the creators permission to carry on the story elsewhere.  Heavy Metal will publish the next set of comics and should come out in July.

I’m letting my comic book store know to put it in my pull folder.

ComicCon-Ing: Space City Comic Con in Houston 2016

Cristina will share her experience of Space City Comic Son in this blog. Kurt’s experience will come tomorrow, with an editorial the following day.

Kurt and I had plans to attend MegaCon this year, but due to budgetary restraints, and the fact that we’re going to Wizard World Philadelphia next week, we decided to stay home. On a whim, we applied for media passes to Space City Comic Con (SCCC). We attended in January 2014 when it was in Galveston, TX and thoroughly enjoyed it. Luckily, we were accepted and found a cheap hotel close to the NRG Center. Since it was our anniversary weekend, May 28th marked five happy, nerdy years married, I decided to make sure Kurt had a great experience by meeting some of the Sons of Anarchy cast. SOA is one of Kurt’s favorite television shows and over fifteen people from the show were attending the con. SCCC pushed buying autograph tickets ahead of time and in order to ensure that we stayed on budget, I bought autograph tickets for Kim Coates (Tig), Ryan Hurst (Opie), Drea De Matteo (Wendy), and the elusive Charlie Hunnam (Jax). Kurt was going to have a wonderful anniversary present and we’d have a great time covering the con as media! Or so we thought… Continue reading