Con Crud and The Comic-Con Blues: Hannah’s SDCC 2014 Wrap and Dr. Lucy’s Slideshow

Category : Comics, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con

“Normality” reigns once again: only the corset welts remain and, thankfully, those are fading fast. (Beach parties are never far off around here; always lurking in the shadows, like Homey the Clown with a sock full of nickels in a dark alley. Ka-pow! Guess what? You’re going to a luau, girl! Damn it. Where’s my parasol?)

Major contributor to Con Crud: the apres-show cocktail. Photo: JSDevore

Major contributor to Con Crud: the apres-show cocktail(s). Photo: JSDevore

Similar to Christmas or Hallowe’en, ’tis not just the actual week of San Diego Comic-Con that excites, ’tis the weeks of preparation and anticipation which makes the event all the sweeter. Planning travel itineraries, organizing in-town logistics, scheduling Meet-and-Geeks, making costumes and booth-lists, plus purchasing all the necessary goodies which accompany any upcoming fete is truly half the fun. Once the big day arrives, it’s a nonstop party rife with too much fun, too little sleep and oft a severe deviation from one’s usually healthy lifestyle: unless you’re Don Draper, a body does not need that many G&Ts in a week. In Con-speak, the condition is known as Con Crud, as in, “I’m so sorry, sweetie. I would love to meet you in Vegas for your birthday, but I still have a serious case of Con Crud.”

Even the best of Comicchanalian carousing must end: a.k.a. Comic-Con Blues. Again, like Christmas or Hallowe’en, when it’s all over, there remains naught but feelings of sadness, satiation and, in some cases, corset welts. Happily (or, sadly for some) there also remain photos! Thanks to our Dr. Lucy and her Canon EOS, we have a plethora of Poison Ivy and a wealth of Doctor Who, yet, oddly, a dearth of Darth. After you’ve scrolled through our slideshow here, find even more of Dr. Lucy’s snaps at Twisted Pair Photography: featuring photographic variety ranging from surfing and skateboarding to The Renaissance Faire, WonderCon Anaheim and, naturally San Diego Comic-Con.

Briefly, as promised amidst this year’s coverage for GoodToBeAGeek, a quick S/O to a few vendors of SDCC 2014. As longtime readers will already know, I love to treat myself at these things (all year-round, really) and help support artists as well as the economy, local or otherwise. After all, as I say, Mom can’t buy all our art; we need others! As tradition dictates, I like to highlight those Con vendors from whom I purchase. This year’s goodies came from the following:

  • Sighco (a.k.a. ArkhamBazaar): Lovecraftian Novelties & Other Weird Oddities: Poe and Lovecraft gear aplenty, mostly tees … mostly. (In fact, a very special raven led us there. Thank you, Dante! We love and miss you dearly!)
  • JefBot: The True Sci-Fi Adventures of a Nerd in Hollywood: Led by the head-bot himself, Jeff Schuetze, Jefbot is comic strip roman à clé of sorts: “a multigenre, multidimensional and multiethnic comic strip” following the adventures of a struggling actor/working graphics designer who is addicted to film, TV and gaming. IRL, Jeff and his cohort Joe are also the purveyors/artists of International Beatsro t-shirts, like “Mouthfuls of Madness Ramen House” and “Casa del Chalupacabra Restaurante y Cantina”. If you find yourself craving a bowl of Ramen overflowing with Cthulhu, seaweed and spring onions, Jefbot’s the right place.
  • The Bonebreakers (f/the artist known as “O”): Balls Deep: When Nobody’s Weird, the Weirdo is You: Artist and publishers of “The Bonebreakers” graphic novel. My purchase? A whimsical portrait of Mr. Moon! (A character who would fit well within my own Savannah of Williamsburg circle of friends!) Mr. Moon is a portly, Holmesian kitty in tweed with a calabash pipe, mutton chops and, what I surmise is, a churlish attitude tolerated strictly due to his preternatural brilliance. I believe he also harrumphs a great deal, especially when dealing with underlings. Mr. Moon patiently awaits framing and I thank O for his creation, as well as apologize for asking him to sign Mr. Moon on the back, then on the front of my print. (Bellatrix, btw, does not apologize. She’s quite mad, you know?)
The artist "O" signs author Jennifer Susannah Devore's Mr. Moon. SDCC 2014, photo: Twisted Pair Photography

The artist “O” signs author Jennifer Susannah Devore’s very own Mr. Moon. SDCC 2014. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Finally, if you’ve kept track (of course you have) … this girl’s Hellboy article was published in this year’s official SDCC Souvenir Book! That’s #4, kids! Fun times! Past years’ books included J.S. Devore articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.

SDCC 2014 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Now, back to normal for this girl. SDCC is over; enough summer already. Where’s the damn light switch? Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Adrianne Curry Bullwhips Tigra Panty Offenders at SDCC 2014: Party’s Over, Kids.

3

Category : Candid Conversations, Conventions, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

San Diego’s annual invasion of dapper Doctor Whos, mysterious Batmen, chubby Lolitas and steampunk Poison Ivys has ceased; the marauders having retreated to their workaday lives and quiet homes, wherever those might be. (In fact, roughly fifty per cent of those homes are right here in San Diego, based on attendee registration info.) No one throws a Con quite like America’s Finest City and the financial handshake between Comic-Con International (CCI) and the City of San Diego is hearty, healthy and mutually-beneficial.

According to CelebrityNetWorth, San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2013 infused the local economy with approximately $163million; hotel reservations alone, some 40K, bring in nearly $30million alone. 2014′s figures are expected to be even more impressive. The crush of con-goers, as well as curious looky-loos, is a healthy boon to not only the city, but the Golden State, not nearly as golden as it was in its namesake, 1849 heydays. Perched on the edge of western civilization, California in currently in the pains of drought, immigration woes and incompetent, unfathomably wasteful, Sacramento politicians. If anyone needs a profitable, notable party, it’s California.

Of course, out of every notable party comes an obligatory fool, the dude who drinks too much and is best left on the cool, bathroom tile for the night. SDCC 2014 was no exception: a Zombie Walk Hit-and-Run; and the Tigra Panty Raiders. Also, out of any notable party gone nuts, there comes a hero: ours was #superherobadass Catwoman, a.k.a. Miss Adrianne Curry.

Where there’s Comic-Con, there are hot chicks; where there are hot chicks, there are boys; where there are boys, there is booze and, often, trouble.  Too much booze and testosterone makes for a sketchy situation. Even San Diego CBS8 field reporter Shawn Styles was nearly shaken to pieces by a rowdy, seemingly buzzed, buff group of Outlander promo models as he covered the Con from the always bar-soaked Gaslamp District. Leaving the safe confines of the San Diego Convention Center and venturing into the Gaslamp is risky, even on the best of Saturday nights, but all the more so in a Mardi Gras atmosphere and in costume. The Con floor might be a sardine-packed muddle of geekage, but it’s navigable and friendly. If something goes down in the Con, even just a drop-kicked smartphone, there’s always a Superman nearby to help!

Superman, author Jennifer Susannah Devore, SDCC, 2014, Bellatrix Lestrange

Safety, and gentlemen, abound inside the Con; Superman saved my phone! My hero! Photo: JSDevore

CCI has very clear rules about harassment; then again, so does the San Diego Police Department. Someone -naturally it was a zombie- chose not to heed those rules and attacked one Alicia Marie Bellanger, a.k.a. Tigra, in the Gaslamp District, well outside the Con.

Partial post from Alicia Marie‘s Facebook page:

YESTERDAY, myself, dressed as Tigra, was … in the super crowded San Diego Comic-Con International Gaslamp area taking photos with #SDCC peeps and fans. Some total A$$H0LE came up behind me and tried to stick his hands in my bottoms and then yanked my tail and pants down. I just freaked out, screamed trying to keep my bottoms up — but Adrianne Curry literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his ass. Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip — he had zombie blood on his face – got on her costume.  I have to thank #superherobadass “Catwoman” Adrianne Curry Poison Ivy Katrina and Todd for being such EPIC friends.

Clearly, the offenders were unfamiliar with masked #superherobadass Catwoman, Adrianne Curry.

Adrianne Curry, Alicia Marie Bellanger, SDCC, 2014, Tigra, Catwoman, Poison Ivy

L to R: Poison Ivy (Katrina), Catwoman (Adrianne Curry) and Tigra (Alicia Marie) Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Adrianne Curry‘s Facebook reply:

I beat the shit out of his face with the butt of my whip …..which is a real bullwhip

As of this post, there is no update as to any pending arrests, or the condition, of Miss Bellanger’s attacker.

Even well-mannered zombies can fall prey to the bedlam of the Gaslamp. Amidst an otherwise well-organized Zombie Walk through the Gaslamp District, a hearing-impaired motorist, his car idling at a crossing area and waiting for the zombies to pass, eventually used his car as a zombieplow to escape the Walk, pushing through the crowd and knocking down a number of pedestrians: zombies and humans alike. Whilst some bystanders surmised he simply grew impatient, the driver later told police his small children  were frightened by the crowd and he, being hard-of-hearing, was confused. Video shows two rather big guys settling on the hood of his car and it was at this point he plowed through said-bedlam.

S.D.P.D. Officer David Stafford stated, “The car windshield was shattered by the crowd. The family was scared so the father drove forward again trying to get away from the angry crowd.’

In the end, three people suffered injuries; one of those leading to a hospital stay, the other two being of minor concern. The driver was not arrested and, thus far, no charges have been filed.

After quite a few years of covering SDCC for GoodToBeAGeek, my cohorts and I ventured into the Gaslamp a number of nights this Con. Most years have been spent either in the Convention Ctr. or the lobbies, patios and bars of the Hilton Bayfront and the Omni Hotel. The only exposure to the outside world being a short walk along Front Street to Santa Fe Depot in order to hop a train back to the calming balm of our wee beach burg. My takeaway? Unless you’re a frat boy at heart, stick to the hotels and Conv. Ctr. Traffic, booze and boys rule the Gaslamp night and for this oft socially awkward, pale and quiet geek girl, the crowds inside the Con are plenty of hustle-and-bustle for me.

SDCC 2014 was far more bonkers, it seems, than previous Cons. WonderCon, for all its discounted stigma as Comic-Con’s Little Sister, is a lovely and elegant tea party, comparatively. As I noted in my pre-Con post, Boobs Are Not Bunnies, CCI makes very clear their rules of conduct. Obviously, as Miss Bellanger noted further on her Facebook page, these rules are becoming more and more necessary:

Continuing post from Alicia Marie‘s Facebook page:

I was very VERY upset because as many times as I have attended #SDCC, I have never experienced this behavior. Just the day before, one of the Trek Bunnies, Amanda Orion) had to have a guy kicked out of the con for being lewd and disgusting and shoving his camera lens between our legs when 3 of us were walking out. This event is supposed to be a fun, light-hearted, exciting, and yes over the top time for everyone. That does not mean start disrespecting people and thinking you can act like an IDIOT just because they have a costume on.  

Then again, if you have #superherobadass Adrianne Curry by your side, have a drink, be safe and if someone does trifle with you, let Catwoman whip some butt!

Through all the absurdity of this year’s Con, it was still, as always, an absolute blast! Miss Bellanger summed it up perfectly:

%$^$-tards aside, it’s still the best time I have all year –
Right now, I am just thankful and happy I have friends that don’t even have to put a costume on to be superheroes.

SDCC, 2014, San Diego Comic-Con, Adrianne Curry, Catwoman

Adrianne Curry, a.k.a. #superherobadass, a.k.a. Catwoman. SDCC 2014 Photo: JSDevore

Well said, Tigra! Very well said! Cheers! Abyssinia next at WonderCon, kittens!

 

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Let The Gates of Geekhalla Open: SDCC 2014 Commences

1

Category : Comics, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

The Simpsons, SDCC, 2014, geek girl, girls

Always cute boys at SDCC! Mr. Burns is just Miss Hannah’s type! Photo: JSDevore

Aaaaaaand … awaytheygo! San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (July 24-27, 2014, San Diego Convention Ctr.) is officially commenced! Preview Night, Wednesday night’s unofficial kickoff for industry pros, press and others, has come and gone, and whilst crowds may not have peaked to the expected numbers for Friday and Saturday, the crush inside the San Diego Convention Center was as tightly packed and palpably amped as any Con day in recent recall. From the moment one stepped out of the steep, summer humidity and into the blessed, blasting air-conditioning of the Conv. Ctr., there was an energy one could feel through one’s soul, like the floor was made of millions of excitable tribbles. It was as though everyone there, from jaded industry pros to Baby’s First Comic-Con, was just happy, and amazed, to even be there.

Perchance it’s the year-over-year, burgeoning, Herculean task of even getting into the Con, but Preview Night 2014 transmitted a sensorial vibe of sheer joy and unabashed gratitude, like getting a governor’s stay-of-execution or realizing you don’t have to go to the family cabin for Thanksgiving this year. Every minute is a gift. Many a hardcore geek thought WonderCon Anaheim might be it for the year; actually getting into Comic-Con can be a gift from the Nordic gods, a badge to Valhalla.

If folks weren’t simply soaking up the warm and safe embrace of Geekhalla, they were dashing hither and thither, in the brief 6-9p window, to do their part for the economy. Many a vendor offers pre-Con deals, sales and “Preview Night Only” collector’s items. If you think the posh, petite, Asian girls gliding daintily across the marble floors of South Coast Plaza carry impossibly-huge Louis Vuitton and Chanel shopping bags, that’s nothing compared to the sweaty, pasty, peeking-tummy army of Comic Book Guys hefting gargantuan Hasbro and LEGO bags through the carpeted halls of SDCC. Either way, pretty Asian girl or tubby comic nerd … “get out the way, fool!” If there existed any semblance of personal space, it was only due to the fact that Preview Night is not a popular costume day: behold, Friday and Saturday! Wednesday night cosplay was mild, if notable at all. The number of folks in dress could be counted on two hands, if you’re a Simpson.

Now that SDCC 2014 is in gear, keep up the energy, folks! Keep doing your bits for the local economy, too! San Diego loves geeks: local and tourists! Spend freely in our bars, restaurants and shops; and tip generously! Most of all, be kind. Of all that body-crush and shoulder-bumping last night, in the Con and on the streets of the Gaslamp District, I received one, only one, “Excuse me!” It doesn’t hurt your vocal chords, take any time or cost a dime to say something nice when you nudge a fellow geek. Give a pleasant “Hello!” or “Thank you!” to the crossing guards around the Con, too! Armed with little more than a whistle and a smile, these folks have guest control at Disneyland levels! Thanks, guys!

Remember, Yours Truly was picked up by Rotten Tomatoes’ official SDCC 2014 Twitter feed and Dr. Lucy and I will covering all our Con shenanigans for GoodToBEAGeek. Come along with us @GoodToBeAGeek @JennyPopNet @Eslilay and @RottenTomatoes!

SDCC, 2014, Hellboy, Souvenir Book, Jennifer Susannah Devore

SDCC 2014 Souvenir Book: Hellboy’s 20th anniversary. Photo: JSDevore

Finally, if you’re keeping track … Yours Truly’s Hellboy article was published in this year’s official SDCC Souvenir Book! That’s #4, kids! Fun times! Past years’ books included J.S. Devore articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

 

The Nerdicane, it is a-Comin’! SDCC 2014 Pre-Preview Night

Category : Conventions, Featured, San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic-Con Convention Center, before

The calm before the storm. Photo: JSDevore

The streets were eerily quiet last night. With the exception of oddly quiet construction setups and a formidable sense of a looming pop culture storm, San Diego’s Gaslamp District was nearly devoid of any signs of the true onslaught of geekage fast bearing down on America’s Finest City. Yours Truly used the time to enjoy the vast amount of personal space and the ability walk about the Gaslamp District with arms akimbo and even engaging in the occasional twirl. (I was wearing a tutuesque skirt, after all.) Still, amidst the serene dusk, one could feel a slight tremble in the Earth, like a TGV heading down tracks on the French countryside, or a tornado steadily rumbling toward a calm, Kansas burg.

Nearly every bartender we met said this was their first Comic-Con and, to a man, they all claimed proudly they “weren’t worried”. Suckers. One of them noted plainly and proudly she was from Portland whilst another, across the Gaslamp, stated in the same manner that she was from Seattle, as if hailing from these metropoli alone was pedigree enough to command the coming Nerdicane.

Although, I do have faith in the mirthful and ebullient Kit. Nestled behind the bar, as though in a Shakespearean farce and ready to proffer the occasional aside and commentary to the audience, Kit pours out yummy, Icelandic-tundra, gin cocktails at McCormick & Schmick’s on the ground floor of the Omni Hotel. (Ask for him by name: Kit with one “T”, not two, like Knight Rider.) Kit seemed not only prepped and perked for the pending squall, but struck me as an even greater dork than Yours Truly. (A compliment, Good Sir Kit, to be certain! The cool kids will never know how to follow our lead!) Kit shall be amongst his own kind and, I predict, do raw-ther well.

Keep that smile plastered, Kit! You'll need it for the Nerdicane. Photo: JSDevore

Keep that smile plastered, Kit! You’ll need it for the Nerdicane. Photo: JSDevore

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 kicks off, unofficially, tonight with the coveted Preview Night. Twisted Pair Photography‘s Dr. Lucy and I will be there scoping out the Con floor (to make the most of our time during regular Con days) and checking out all the earlybird geekage like D&D tourneys, sneak-peek screenings and First Come, First Served deals on geek girl gear: notably, the Princess Leia V-neck tee I passed on at WonderCon. Of course, the biggest task of the night? Procuring an official Comic-Con Souvenir Book. Did my article submission make it in again, a 20th anniversary Hellboy retrospective? Fingers and painted toesies crossed!

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the Souvenir Book.
San Diego Comic-Con, setup

Open, open, open! Miss Hannah Hart (a.k.a. Jennifer S. Devore) is ready! Pre-Preview Night at SDCC 2014, photo: JSDevore

Best of all, I was picked up by Rotten Tomatoes’ official SDCC 2014 Twitter feed! Additionally, Dr. Lucy camera and I will covering all our Con shenanigans for GoodToBEAGeek. Come along with us @GoodToBeAGeek @JennyPopNet @Eslilay and @RottenTomatoes!

 

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

 

Boobs Are Not Bunnies: Miss Hannah Hart’s Tips and Common Con Courtesy for SDCC 2014

Category : Conventions, Featured, San Diego Comic Con

Cheers, kittens! It’s Moi! One week to go! San Diego Comic-Con (July 24-27, 2014, S.D. Conv. Ctr.) is nigh and America’s Finest City is all abuzz. My own home at the Hotel del Coronado is stuffed to its ivory cornices and red turrets with not just the usual summertime crush of les touristes from all over the globe, but also with a healthy, amusing dose of geekery. Bienvenue a tous! San Diego loves geeks!

SDCC 2013 TMNT

SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Be ye a local geek (comme Moi) and didn’t get in (ni comme Moi), there’s still a faint ray of hope. Local “news” station FOX5 is giving away a pair of badges a day, in this week leading up to the Con; naturally, one must actually watch the local broadcast to learn the “Code of the Day”. Of course, considering what I went through for badges, the hoops could be more difficult than having to endure an hour a day of local news. If you are going, local or not, contest winner or no, I proffer a few helpful tips and links to help your Comic-Con 2014 be as easy-peasy lemon-squeezy as can be.

  • Toucan Blog: daily tips leading up to the Con from the very wizards themselves behind the Comic-Con Int’l (CCI) curtain
  • Programming Schedule: SDCC’s complete, online, Wed.-Sun. catalogue of panels, screenings, autograph signings et al
  • Transportation Info.: quick links to parking, hotel shuttles and local transportation like the MTS Trolleys, Coaster and Amtrak
  • Uber and Lyft: sure-fire, friendly ride-sharing to, from and around the Con; but know these private companies’ rates fluctuate depending on the time of day/night and need. Business 101, kids. Supply and demand hard at work here.
  • Taxi Magic: the beauty of free enterprise and capitalism? It forces real competition! The taxi industry is trying a friendlier, gentler, cleaner approach to service. Download the Taxi Magic app and give S.D. Yellow Cabs another chance.
  • North County Coaster: a great option if you’re coming anywhere from Oceanside south; the Coaster is a quiet, clean ride with great views of the Pacific for most of the way (Snag a seat on the west-facing side for the best views!).
  • Call a friend or beg Dad: if you have anyone in the area whom claims to love you, even tolerate you, even a little bit, capitalize on that. Beg them for a ride! Drop-off and pick-up anywhere in the Gaslamp District makes your life easy-peasy!

As one expects, SDCC is a complete jumblef#&*. Whether you end up inside the Con rubbing elbows and armour with the likes of  Salma Hayek, Daniel Radcliffe, George R.R. Martin, Weird Al and Seth Green or, enjoying the wild festivities that occur just outside the Con doors, it can, at times, feel like a claustrophobic nightmare. Remember to be kind. (As a dyed-in-the-wool geek, I can attest that a lot of us don’t groove well in large volumes of people; we’re oft a pale, quiet, nervous type.)

Princess Leia, Daphne Blake, SDCC 2013

Be nice to the geek girls! SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Comic-Con is a haven for nerdery, creativity and pop-culture camaraderie. It’s also a Tokyo metro-style, sardine-packed, hot-and-humid mess. Try to say “Pardon me” when you bump into Poison Ivy, “Thank you” when Adam West Batman holds open a door for you and a chivalric “After you, Milady!” when you and Princess Leia arrive at the same egress, at the same time. When it comes to cosplay, leave the snark and sneers at home; compliments go a long way in making someone’s day. Some of those costumes take forever to make, are probably raw-ther uncomfortable and it’s a good bet that no matter how smoking they look, the wearer feels just a tad self-conscious.

Apropos: the boobs. Yes, the boobs. As I wrote in my coverage of WonderCon Anaheim 2014, “Of course, de rigueur, there are lots and lots of boobs. There are always lots and lots of boobs. Funny thing is, after a few years of this, I’m beginning to recognize some of them.”  There is also a lot of chatter about the appropriate amount of attention one should give those boobs.

For this girl’s take, if you’re going to put them out there, waaaay out there as some of the ladies do, I think you’d better expect some feedback. Still, that does not excuse some of the vile, verbal assaults hurled their way. Keep it clean, folks. Common courtesy guides one should ask before taking a picture, glance but don’t gawk and never, ever touch! (Please, see official guidelines below.) Just be nice. Like Thumper’s mama says, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” A good time shall be had by all, especially when we’re all cheery comic chums! Come on, everyone! Let’s all play the Pollyanna Glad Game!

boobs, SDCC

They are not bunnies; you may not pet them. SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

As in years past, Dr. Lucy (Twisted Pair Photography) and I shall be covering SDCC 2014 for geek-culture website GoodToBeAGeek, even Preview Night! To boot, Yours Truly is champing at the bit to learn if this year’s submission to the official Souvenir Book -a Hellboy retrospective- made it in again: previous published articles include Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics. So, follow us on Twitter and stop by GoodToBeAGeek.com in the days following the Con for all the geeky, gooey, booby goodness coming straight from San Diego Comic-Con 2014!

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the 2014 Souvenir Book!

*CCI’s Code of Conduct and Anti Harassment Policy

Attendees must respect common sense rules for public behavior, personal interaction, common courtesy, and respect for private property. Harassing or offensive behavior will not be tolerated. Comic-Con reserves the right to revoke, without refund, the membership and badge of any attendee not in compliance with this policy.

Persons finding themselves in a situation where they feel their safety is at risk or who become aware of an attendee not in compliance with this policy should immediately locate a member of security, or a Comic-Con staff member, so that the matter can be handled in an expeditious manner. If your safety is at risk and you need immediate assistance you may also use a white house phone and dial 5911

Security may be contacted by visiting our Show Office in Lobby C. A Comic-Con staff member will be in the office during public hours.

 

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

Follow  @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek @Eslilay  for Con-floor Tweets and pix! #geek #SDCC #cosplay

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

 

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Badge Quest: Victorious!

2

Category : Conventions, E-vents, Featured, Geek Rants, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

Holy moly, Hellboy!! This year was a close one! If you read my Adventures in WonderCon post, you will have noted the tint of sadness that came with realizing WonderCon Anaheim (WCA) was it for the year; the Comic-Con Badge Quest Slaughter of 2014 had left Dr. Lucy and myself emotionally exhausted and near expiration, with little hope of survival on the Con battlefield. Yet, like a Phoenix, rising from Arizona -wait, that doesn’t sound right- we mustered every cell of life that remained, gathered our courage and cerebral weaponry and … huzzah! With two weeks to spare, we parried and riposted our way into San Diego Comic-Con!

Dr. Lucy and I have had a pretty good run of not only getting into SDCC to cover it for geek-culture website GoodToBeAGeek, but also of Yours Truly getting into the accompanying Souvenir Book for a number of years. (Past years included articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.) This year’s submission is a piece on the 20th anniversary of Mike Mignola’s half-demon/half-Boy Scout, Hellboy. (Cloven-hooves crossed I get in the Book this year, too!)

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the 2014 Souvenir Book!
Frank Cho artwork, Hellboy, SDCC

Hellboy artwork by Frank Cho

Still, as anyone will tell you, SDCC is becoming more and more difficult to permeate. Getting into the Con via standard, online badge purchase is a crap shoot; obtaining a Member ID is simple enough and getting in the online queue is equally non-taxing; getting to the front of the queue before every day sells out is a seemingly random, lottery-style mind%&*#. GoodToBeAGeek’s very own editor, Jessa Lynn Phillips, who one should note is closely tied-in with SyFy Channel’s upper-echelon, stated, “I don’t think I know anyone who got passes (other than panelists) for more than one day this year.”

To wit, not only is a badge purchase a shot in the dark, this year Comic-Con International (CCI) eliminated the ability to purchase 4-day badges. (Exception being if you purchased a Preview Night badge, for an extra fee, you can add an automatic 4-day pass.) The purpose, according to CCI, was to cut down on unused, precious badge space: folks buying all four days with the intention of only using one or two days. Further, the ability to purchase for friends (up to three plus yourself) during the pre-registration phase -which one can only enter if one attended the previous year- also limited those three friends to those whom attended the previous year. (Crikey! Getting a law degree has got to be simpler. Of course, based on some attorneys I know, it very well might be!)

Naturally, WCA was a blast and, for someone whom loves to play dress up, getting to don my Louise Belcher costume was fun enough in itself and enough to hold me over until Hallowe’en. Still, there had been a faint raincloud over my head as I read CCI’s Toucan Blog daily posts counting down to SDCC 2014.

I had worked my wee fingers to the bone massaging every contact, acquaintance and stranger I could. No one can say I didn’t try. I jiggled all the door handles; like Hillary trying to get into the White House. I even answered an ad on Craigslist to wear an M&M costume; and offered my scribing services for legit pro or press passes, only to be flagged. Apparently “honest-work for honest-comps” is offensive to the CL community; had I offered boudoir photos for scalped badges, I might have made “Best of Craigslist”. Besides the Badge Quest Slaughter, we here at GTBAG applied for press passes, only to be sliced and diced by CCI’s intensely perlustrative press wizards: You shall not [press] pass! I offered to man a booth at GoComics -sadly that contact was no longer with the organization- ; and I looked into volunteering anywhere there was a need within the Con, except the lavvies. One industry-insider advised with a pitiful shake of the head, “Volunteers was filled months ago. It goes almost as fast as the badge sale these days.”

In the end, neither the M&M suit nor a volunteer’s t-shirt was necessary. Happily, Lucy and I were fortunate enough to garner not just an enviable Saturday-pass, but the much-coveted Preview Night-pass! How, you may wonder, mouths collectively agape like codfish? Simple: intricate dealings in the Black Arts, magick of the Teutonic strain and a serendipitous, random spin of Lady Fortuna’s wheel.

Keep all this in mind next year, kids. SDCC online badge sales usually hit mid-February to mid-March. If you got in this year, use that pre-registration phase next year! If you don’t get a badge for 2015, try not to utter in disgust the words of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. It’s okay. You know, th-there’s always WonderCon in Anaheim, you know? Th-that’s just as good. Excuse me. (Turns to cry)

The Big Bang Theory S7e14: "Convention Conundrum". Chuck Lorre Prod., Warner Bros. Prod.

The Big Bang Theory S7e14: “Convention Conundrum”. Chuck Lorre Prod., Warner Bros. Prod.

Take not ye Cons for granted! Each one seems to grow exponentially, year over year. Citing Events in America, a North American trade show and conference directory, SDCC 2014 augurs 130K attendees once again: a self-imposed, max. capacity. Only CES Int’l Las Vegas and New York Comic-Con (NYCC) will bring in more geekage per cubic sq. ft.: 150K and 133K, respectively. NYCC’s projected attendance is up from 117K last year.

As I wrote earlier this year of WCA, oft minimized and discounted as Comic-Con’s little sister, “Whether you get into SDCC or not, WC is fast-becoming a good time all her own and very possibly, depending on how things line up, just as high-maintenance.”

HelloKittyHellboy

Hello Kitty loves dress-up, too!

 

 

Follow  @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek @Eslilay  for Con-floor Tweets and pix! #geek #SDCC

 

 

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

The Circus Pulls Up Stakes: Dr. Lucy’s SDCC 2013 Slideshow

1

Category : Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

Well, cats, as Porky Pig struggles to declare, “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!”. San Diego Comic-Con 2013 is a wrap. The big burg with the filthy mayor and the small beachtown chill is back to it’s groovy, mellow, peaceful ways. (Save for trying to oust said-filthy mayor. What a loony, dangerous maroon!) The air around the Convention Center smells like salt air once again; the trademark smell of The Con hovering somewhere over Santa Fe by now. What is that smell, New Mexicans might wonder? It’s a simultaneously exhilarating, exciting and pathetic amalgam of anxiety, camping, body odour, latex, cheap polyester, sycophancy, Japanese perfume, cheap leather, desperation, domestic “beer” and nacho “cheese” sauce.

I seriously need a shower.

I seriously need a shower.

Seaport Village is back to hosting apple-shaped families from Minnesota and the humourless, tanned beach cops are re-focused on sunburned tourists frantically enjoying their last hurrahs of summer holiday. The “normal” clientele has returned to local strip clubs, replacing zombies, Zorg and Sheldon Cooper in the Champagne Room; alternately, barmaids about town have, thankfully, removed their faux nerd glasses and Hello Kitty “I Love Nerds” t-shirts. (Please, ladies. Leave hot nerding to the real hot nerds.)

The Gaslamp Quarter is still predictably lively with Happy Hours and summertime, bistro seating; but the dark-suited business folk of the downtown area are no longer treated to the  lunchtime spectacle and wonder, not to mention parking and traffic jumbles, of Comic-Con. No more Leeloos leaning over the bar at Lou & Mickey’s, no more Han Solos in line at Starbucks, no more Walking Dead at McCormick & Schmick’s and no more Transformers trying to work the fountain dispensers at 7-11. Like a birthday night in Vegas, we are left with sore feet, curious bruising, singed tendrils, oddly placed piles of sunflower seed shells, mysteriously depleted bank accounts, and a faint, pleasurable memory that it might be fun and/or nuts to do it all over again next year … but next time with an even better costume! (They’re called boobs, Ed!)

The Con will return, kids, no worries there. It has been speculated for years that it could move to Anaheim. Well, at least through 2016, Comic-Con shall remain in America’s Finest City; Hallowe’en in July is all San Diego’s. Until next year, enjoy a wee slideshow of this year’s scene, courtesy of our own Dr. Lucy and her EOS Canon Digital Rebel XT.

All slideshow photos by Twisted Pair Photography with the exception of the following:

Rotten Tomato by Rebecca Lane; The Two Daphnes: Classic & Post-apocalyptic, all Conv. Ctr. exteriors and Once Upon a Time murals by J.S. Devore

  • BTW, because I know you care, each con, I treat myself to a wee something: a Chewbacca tank by WeLoveFine, a Bettie Page parasol by Retro a-go-go, a Jetsons tee, etc. This year, it’s my Evil Coffee Hour messenger bag by BeKyoot.com. Get one! “Cause Evil Coffee Hour is a brilliant idea and Christy Sanderson is a total doll who designs all the gear herself! It’s what Japanese girls and I call supa kawaii! Cheers, Miss Christy, Tuxie Cat and Momocheet!
Danger + coffee + Time + ??? = Profit! Evil Coffee Hour! Photo: Twisted Pair

Danger + Coffee + Time + ??? = Profit! Evil Coffee Hour! Photo: Twisted Pair

Jeepers! What a Con! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Jeepers! What a Con! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

 

Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame (a.k.a. authoress Jennifer Susannah Devore) contributes regularly to the official San Diego Comic-Con Souvenir Guide. Read her articles here: The Simpsons, Peanuts & Tarzan!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online? jenniferdevore.blogspot.com  JennyPop.net  amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore


When Tom Cruise Stops Singing: Comics Quietly Continue to Float SDCC 2013

3

Category : Comics, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Travel, WonderCon

If San Diego Comic-Con was a geologic feature, it would be the Grand Canyon: strata upon strata of distinct, well-defined, colourful variants comprising an arresting, alluring travel poster for destinations Geekward. Every summer, America’s Finest City hosts Hallowe’en in July wherein layers of sci-fi, fantasy, history, science, IT, comics, gaming, cosplay and countless other substrata converge on the San Diego Convention Center to make each year’s Con more popular, more profitable and more prohibitive to entry than the last.

It’s arguable which strata top the bunch, but it’s clear the lone comic dork is at the bottom of the pile, at least where acquiring a badge or an independent press pass is concerned. Press passes, unless associated with a major outfit, are becoming more difficult to garner; online badge purchasing for the individual comes earlier and earlier each year and your clicking finger better be younger and faster than your competition’s. Badges sell out in mere minutes and second chance lotteries just play with a dork’s heart like a cat with a wounded bird. Still, if you can get in the air-conditioned doors, press or otherwise, the event will present you with an experience fantastic and powerful enough to drain you of all common sense, vacuum up all your hard-earned dough, morph your feet into Chinese feet-binding and deliver claustrophobic flashbacks for years to come … and leave you salivating and shaking to do it all again next year.

The joy of Comic-Con: meeting old friends! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

The joy of Comic-Con: meeting up with old friends! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

San Diego Comic-Con, the grandfather of all DorkCons and once a purist, geek Mecca, is now a Gigantor, world-class, Cannes-scale, multimillion-dollar, media bash of Big Bang proportions. Always something of a boon to the local economy, SDCC has become a veritable pot o’ gold over the past decade, the rainbow streaming in from Hollywood-way and infusing hundreds of millions of dollars into San Diego coffers and wallets, not to mention luring paparazzi, as well as legitimate photojournalists, to San Diego’s sunny harbor for five, titillating days. The byproduct of the manic, short-lived press coverage? Unquantifiable results in healthy tourism the rest of the year.

Although no exact figures have been released yet, attendance for 2013 threatens to easily top 130K. As far as local pockets? Last year’s Con delivered the area a vintage, Adam West-era Batman KAPOW! of 180 million clams. Add approximately three million more clams in local tax revenue and no wonder San Diego and The Simpsons‘ Comic Book Guy have been scratching, clawing and letter-writing to keep The Con in town and out of Anaheim.

Why would anyone want to move The Con, other than the obviously jealous Anaheim? (Anaheim, you have WonderCon for a bit; be happy with that.) The Hakken-Kraks, Buzz Killington and young and old biddies alike will complain about the crowds, the late-night boozing in the Gaslamp Quarter and the annual, predictable proliferation of Leeloos, Slave Leias and Sailor Moons. No worries though, Comic Book Guy. Leeloo’s ass, Slave Leia’s gold bra and Sailor Moon’s navel will remain in place, relatively firmly, in San Diego at least through 2016.

A lovely Leia, who goes by the name Lala. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

A lovely Leia, who goes by the name Lala. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Conventioneers and the correspondents covering them bound in from around the globe to gather and gawk at all Comic-Con has to offer: the costuming being the loudest Call of the Wild. Cosplay becomes more and more the focus each year. When Charlie Rose reads “The Babes of Comic-Con” on his Teleprompter with a stilted discomfort in his voice, the Con is reaching its alternative threshold. What used to be counter-culture and Mom’s Basement-nerdy, is now the pinnacle of geek chic. Comic-Con is, for now, the Hurley of Geekdom. Even though H-town seems to have taken over, the core elements are still there, like Spanx: tightly bound and working feverishly to hold the whole thing in place. Akin to the Colorado River, subtly trickling through the Canyon it created it in the first place, the Old School comic strip and graphic novel can still be found at Comic-Con. You have to walk your Duff Man off to find them, but they’re in there.

Clearly, Comic-Con’s focus is still based in comic-as-art-form; just look at some of this year’s themes. Superman, Sandman, Bongo and Aspen Comics are all celebrating milestones of great note. Still, H-town’s involvement, Hulk heavy-handed since the mid-2000s, turns the global focus over to the folks at Entertainment Tonight, Huffington Post and the heaving, final gasps of air coming out of the crew at Variety. Every one of their correspondents tripping over their own phone chargers to cover Halle Berry’s baby-bump, Hugh Jackman’s stubble and Tom Cruise’s impromptu, Rock of Ages serenade. Meanwhile, the Clark Kents of Comic-Con quietly and sagely keep the homefires burning in small, cheerful booths, oft near the lavvies, along the side doors or buttressing Café Express, the indoor, overpriced hot dogs-and-shady-nachos stand. The booths are manned by company execs themselves whom happily snap and post Instagram pics of their fans and heartily shake each and every hand that wends through the maze of aisles to seek their comic wares.

Whilst the Craigslist-hire, brand-ambassador models and bouncers working the behemoth, Hollywood studio booths poorly hide their sneers and eye-rolls at overzealous fans and, with tight-lipped smiles, begrudgingly hand out buttons and bandanas for shows they will likely never watch, the head honchos, chiefs and veeps at smaller media companies like IDW, Diamond Comics and GoComics are happy to stand with a fan for a picture (Plus, help her find the last X-Files: Season 10 comic book in the booth … sadly sold out, though.) or enthusiastically proffer pro subscriptions “for special folks” and other goodies produced from behind the curtains and posterboard.

Whether they be creators and publishers like IDW Publishing (X-Files, Star Trek, 30 Days of Night, Doctor Who) and SLG Publishing (Haunted Mansion, Tron, Gargoyles), distributors like Diamond Comics Distributors (Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Marvel Comics) or syndicators like GoComics (Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Get Fuzzy, Foxtrot) and its parent company Universal Uclick, these folks are the lifeblood of any comic book convention, the River to the showy Canyon walls. Without their conveyance, nobody gets Wolverine costume claws, The Big Bang Theory t-shirts or Sandman annotations. Even within the river, notable and gifted creators like SofaWolf Press fight the current of mass media, straining and mushing like sled dogs just to get the Kudos they so deserve. Read Caterwall or Nordguard? If not, acquaint yourself with the Disney-level artwork and storytelling of Jack London proportions.

True, the course of the river has shifted dramatically; it’s more of a culture-con now, and that’s fine. Most folks love some glam, some flash and even boobies, naturally. To boot, when more eyeballs seek a curiosity such as Comic-Con, it can mean a lucrative, pleasurable outcome for all. Art and the creatives will always progress, should progress; it’s the nature of the beast. Still, amidst the après-hours, high-end hotel-bar, cocktail parties, the Gaslamp pub networking circuit and even the intrageek debates about cosplay inaccuracies, it’s nice to recall the original trickle from whence such a gathering came.

Peanuts. That is all. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Peanuts. That is all. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Comic-Con International has a mission statement. Brief and to the point, it reads:

Comic-Con International: San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.

Clearly, the hot Poison Ivys, the intricately detailed Walking Dead, the frenzied sightings of Halle Berry and Neil Patrick Harris and the rumours of surprise appearances by Tim Burton or Guillermo del Toro will always win the gaze of amateur phonecams and AP entertainment reporters alike. Yet, even when the Con is gone, if years down the road the flash and dash dim, all our fave comic characters will remain: Betty & Veronica, Citizen Dog, Sherman’s Lagoon, Calvin and Hobbes, Vampirella, The X-Files, Peanuts, Haunted Mansion, My Little Pony, Wonderland, Gargoyles, Foxtrot, Get Fuzzy, The Simpsons, Sandman, Superman, Spongebob Squarepants, Dick Tracy, Savage Chickens, The Avengers, The X-Men, Pearls Before Swine and so many other familiar, longtime and new-found friends. Tiny, tireless warriors one and all, they will surge ahead quietly, like the greenish-grey Colorado River forever playing second fiddle to the colour-saturated travel posters of breathtaking, Canyon sunsets. Diligently they will trudge so we might enjoy their quirky company all year long … until the Con, the crowds, the chicks and the claustrophobia return to San Diego next year, at least through 2016. Better start getting your clicking finger in shape now.

Pray away the Poke! Not everyone loves SDCC! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Pray away the Poke! Not everyone loves SDCC! Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame (a.k.a. authoress Jennifer Susannah Devore) contributes regularly to the official San Diego Comic-Con Souvenir Guide. Read her articles here: BongoComics/The Simpsons, Peanuts & Tarzan! She also loves a Pikachu!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online? @JennyPopNet  JennyPop.net  amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

All photos by Twisted Pair Photography

Bartbarians at the Gate: 20 Years of Bongo on the Digital Frontier

1

Category : Candid Conversations, Comics, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Literature, San Diego Comic Con

So, for those whom did not make it to San Diego Comic-Con this year, or did and unwisely tossed your official Souvenir Guide, my pally, author Jennifer Susannah Devore, made it into the book once again! She tells me this year’s is her favourite thus far: article and Souvenir Guide in toto. Sandman, the cover art commemorating twenty-five years of Neil Gaiman’s Gothic oeuvre, has hit Miss Jenny’s radar anew, having not read it since the glorious, gloomy, gringy Nineties. After reading the Sandman articles and delighting in the accompanying gorgeous and ghoulish artwork, The Annotated Sandman has made her very particular birthday and Christmas lists: as there are multiple volumes, it is worthy of both.

For now, enjoy a posting here of Miss Jenny’s article, Bartbarians at the Gate: 20 Years of Bongo on the Digital Frontier.

 

Research at WonderCon 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Research at WonderCon 2013, J.S. Devore Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Bartbarians at the Gate: 20 Years of Bongo on the Digital Frontier

By Jennifer Susannah Devore

 

‘Cause he’s an old [comic junkie] and he don’t know what to do.

Should he hang on to the old, should he grab on to the new?

He’s an old [comic junkie], this new life is just a bust.

He ain’t trying to change nobody, he’s just trying real hard to adjust.

-David Bellamy

 

November spawned an empire. Like an impatient, petulant newborn, Bongo Entertainment spewed forth, squealing and sliding into our arms like a greased up Spiderpig. Present in the room for the birth were Radioactive Man, Bart Simpson, Itchy & Scratchy and, naturally, The Simpsons. Waiting in the hallway, anxious friends and family would queue up for years to administer the requisite welcome-slap on the bum: Bender, Comic Book Guy, Leela, Professor Frink, Ralph Wiggum, Fry, Li’l Homer, Zoidberg, Maggie, Poochie, Mr. Burns, Akbar & Jeff, all the denizens of Treehouse of Horror and dozens more.

“Welcome to the world of print comics, you magnificent bastard!” the masses cried outside the gates. “It’s about time!”

No matter how you manage the journey, it’s a long and sketchy trip from the overcast, damp alleys of Portland to the sunny, ocean-misted offices of Santa Monica. Matt Groening and Bongo the Überhip Rabbit are no longer hawking Macintosh computers for laser printers. With a Lewis & Clark deftness, Bongo Entertainment has successfully navigated the choppy, brackish waters where analog and digital converge.

The 1990s came flying at us like those imminent asteroids Dr. Michio Kaku warns will eventually slam into Brooklyn. Many smart folks, especially those in print journalism and book publishing, are getting nailed regularly by turn-of-the-century fallout, like digital mosquitoes carrying a cheeky, cutting-edge virus which grows more and more immune to the amusingly ineffective slaps of indignity and Old Guard pride. The likes of newspapers, authors and artists who remain certain newfangled progress is for guys with neck tattoos and film school girls sporting Boy Scouts shirts, are likely to go the way of the original dinosaurs, especially those living in Brooklyn. Happily, Bongo knows better, even if Comic Book Guy is still lamenting years-old chatter about San Diego Comic-Con possibly moving to Anaheim.

The precise number of ventures poorly judging a turn-of-the-century is up for debate. Victorian gas proprietors loathed Thomas Edison as much as the fading Vaudevillians did. John Henry fought tooth and railroad nail against the steam engine, whilst across the Atlantic, Luddites vilified machines taking labor from textile artisans. The 21stC. Technological Revolution is no different, in theory, than the 20thC. Industrial Revolution. In both wakes lie more dead ideas and failed executives than Jack the Ripper had bad dates. (R.I.P. Kodak Film and Thomas Bros. Guides)

What is certain is that each era is replete with dogmatic examples subscribing to the maxim: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Surely, some monk complained about the lack of work for illuminated-manuscript artists when that hipster doofus Gutenberg and his skinny jeans set about developing the printing press; and if there wasn’t a Neanderthal grumbling about Cro-Magnons and their fancy, sloping foreheads, I’ll eat my Bluetooth.

Like responsibly farmed, Whole Foods mussels, Bongo’s road to sustainability began with integrity, tenacity and probably a lot of ice. Briefly, Groening created “Forbidden Soaps” in 1978, a lengthy, Life in Hell soap review for Wet magazine and founder Leonard Koren. His soapy stories seduced Tracey Ullman Show producer James L. Brooks and by 1989 The Simpsons were standard TV fare.

Like Toulouse Lautrec’s 1880s cabaret art, Matt Groening’s 1980s Apple art is collector-worthy. Early advertising material for Apple featured Life in Hell residents. If Lautrec’s 1889 La Danse is worth a pretty centime, 1989’s Dream Dorm is sure to be worth half that. Bongo’s Dream Dorm: Macintosh. Part of Every Student’s Wildest Dreams (full title) features the original Bongo, “jungle passion” offspring of Binky, living large in a four-story dorm, complete with helipad, moat, robot chef, pet octopus and a Mac, naturally.

In 1991, fueled by rabid Simpsons fans, Groening with Steve Vance (DC Comics), Cindy Vance (Disney Adventures Digest) and Bill Morrison (Futurama) co-published the fan mag, Simpsons Illustrated. Naturally, this led to more frothing Bartbarians at the gate and in 1993 they published a one-off: Simpsons Comics & Stories. Finally crying Uncle! in November 1993, Bongo Comics Group was birthed: slippery Spiderpig and all.

Today, twenty years later, on the hip side of Santa Monica where crunchy, lunchtime surf sessions beckon, and after infinite Pantone #116C, Bongo Entertainment thrives, more Monty Burns than Comic Book Guy these heady days. Their catalog encompasses an impressive compilation of calendars, trade books and comics: Futurama, Simpsons Classics, Summer Shindig, Lisa, Milhouse, Krusty, Futurama/Simpsons Crossover, Treehouse of Horror and Professor Frink to list a few.

Adding Futurama in 2000 and with reprints of Simpsons in Mexico, the U.K. and Australia, the amount of print around the globe is growing at a fungal rate. Bongo has produced and distributed at least twenty different series for Simpsons comics alone. Currently, at least ten of those original titles are ongoing. Add trade books, calendars and the occasional beast, like the 1,200-page omnibus Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide Seasons 1-20, and it’s a wonder the streets aren’t as coated with Bongo mags as Charles de Gaulle’s runways are with Gauloises cigarettes and absinthe bottles.

Like any sage impresario, Bongo Entertainment has brought fellow artists to its stage, recently adding Spongebob Comics and Mylo Xyloto to their catalog. Moreover, to please burgeoning generations of readers allergic to paper, Bongo Digital offers select issues alongside traditional, print format: at least two per week, they pledge.

Although you must wait one month after newsstand-release, download versions are available via comiXology for iOS, Android, Kindle, Windows 8 and Windows RT. Bongo Entertainment partnered originally with comiXology to develop the Simpsons Comics app for iTunes. Along with the freshest issues, Bongo pledges to reach way back into the dairy case of archived content to bring readers tasty treats from the past.

How does an enterprise prosper throughout a lifespan of Apple IIe to iPad5? Quality, intelligence and old-fashioned zeitgeist. Plus, though Bongo Digital makes instant gratification easy, Bongo understands there remains a tactile courtship with comics that is unlikely to fade in the wash.

If you’re Old School, subscribing to your comics via Snail Mail, you’re one of the few delighting in a fed outside your door. Whether you haunt your local comic store or scour eBay, there is visceral happiness in holding that paper. Carrying it in your purse, backpack or briefcase, it’s your secret to be enjoyed throughout the day. Everyone has a ritual with a new issue. Maybe it’s de rigueur for business flights; maybe it’s summer beach reading. If you’re proud and loud, it’s at Starbucks with an espresso. If you’re the rare, outdoorsy geek, Treehouse of Horror is great, camp reading. Whatever your liturgy, it helps breathe life into the likes of Bongo. There’s a reason we attend Comic-Con; in the end, it’s Comic-Con, not Culture-Con.

In the new age of distribution, be it anti-copyright love-ins, or “everybody-is-an-artist” curses, the ancient, runic tablets of publishing are crumbling. This means your shelves and devices are bursting at the seams, like Slave Leia’s bikini, with more content and ways to blow your day than imaginable. Solution? Choose wisely. Anyone can sketch a doodle, add some Japanese space boobs, slap on a knock-knock joke and call it a comic. The point is, even if it’s free –and so many are- is it worth your time?

Bongo is the New Yorker of comic books. Thus far, only Bongo has proffered a truly funny iteration of Jack the Ripper (finally) in From Hell and Back, Or: The Truer Story of Jack the Ripper (Treehouse of Horror #9). Bongo also stepped up with a “Yo Mama So Ugly”-style poetry slam in Rhymes and Misdemeanors (Simpsons Comics a Go-Go). I additionally wager they solely have recognized the obvious humor in Olmec vs. Aztec traits in The Return of Xt’tapalatakettle (Simpsons Comics #98).

Thirty-four years after “Forbidden Soaps” and 1,669 strips later, Groening ended Life in Hell syndication on June 15, 2012. The groovy rabbit who started it all and the rest of the wonky and fez-capped crew are on extended leave. As if to assuage the masses, February 2012 saw the resurrection of long-dead (1991-1993) Simpsons Illustrated: now a quarterly with catalog reprints.

Choose intelligently, folks; there’s a lot of shlock out there. Anyone can pick a comic book worthy of T&A; pick one worthy of an M.F.A.

 

Novelist, correspondent, geek. SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Novelist, correspondent, geek. J.S.Devore SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Reprinted from the official SDCC 2013 Souvenir Guide

Read Miss Jenny’s previous SDCC articles on Peanuts and Tarzan!

Abyssinia, cats!

 

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? JennyPop.net  amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore


When The Anime Girls Start Looking Old: Sobering Up, SDCC Day 4

1

Category : Conventions, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

The Borg Queen’s makeup is starting to wear, Arthur the Moth’s white bodysuit has nacho cheese stains and Slave Leia’s posterior-veil is flaking away from the glue that has, thus far, kept it titillatingly adhered to said-posterior. It must be the last day of Comic-Con.

 ... and you thought you'd met your soul geek last night. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

… and you thought you’d met your soul geek last night. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Cheers, kittens! What a weekend! DorkCon has been an absolute blast! Day three, Saturday, was sheer bonkers and, despite my attempts to Tweet and report to you directly from the Con floor, the villains at Sprint communications did their best to vanquish my valiant efforts and blocked all ghostly transmission to the non-Con masses. What you missed will come to you soon, via my annual SDCC wrap-up post, complete with a fantastic (in the truest sense of the word) slideshow, thanks to our own Dr. Lucy and her EOS Canon Rebel! For now though, it’s Sunday; and, like Vegas in the early morning hours, things are starting to look pretty sketchy and the broad you thought was your dream gift from Fortuna looks like an old drag queen impersonating Sailor Moon.

Cases of unused, 2013 Souvenir Books, Event Guides and Con bags sit bored and stacked up in blue-curtained, administrative corners of the Convention Center lobby and the degree, and quality, of costuming has dwindled significantly. Of the four days (Thurs.-Sun.), Friday and Saturday were the days for cosplay. It’s like showing up for a party, a little uneasy and nervous for the first hour or so; then, you have a drink, loosen up, lose some inhibition, gain some confidence and next thing you know you’re leading the conga line with a G-string on your head that you found in the hamper of the upstairs lavvy. Of course, after the Sambvca is all gone and the host is passed out on the lanai, you realize it’s time to go home.

Even today’s rainy threats are coaxing along the end of Comic-Con 2013, as if entreating the cosplay ladies to don some pants and plaguing the Pokémon-picketing, Jebus fanatics to go away. San Diego loved hosting you, folks, really; but America’s Finest City cannot remain that way if the streets are clogged, the Gaslamp District is unapproachable to the more timid locals and there are 12-stone cosplay chicks on street corners with dimpled ass-cheeks hanging out of their very poorly chosen Poison Ivy costumes. Folks, it’s Sunday and the host is unresponsive on the lanai … time to go home.

All right, folks. Let's move it along. Show's over. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

All right, folks. Let’s move it along. Show’s over. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Follow @JennyPopNet

Hell Yeah, It’s Friday at San Diego Comic-Con! Thanks, H-town!

1

Category : Candid Conversations, Conventions, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

“Samuel”, we’ll call him, an affable, casually t-shirted executive at a prominent, East Coast-based comic book distributor, sat next to us last night at Jolt ‘N Joe’s in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, after the Con closed its doors.

San Diego Comic-Con 2013, Convention Center Photo: JSDevore

San Diego Comic-Con 2013, Convention Center Photo: JSDevore

“Let’s see,” he started, looking up and to the right as he counted silently in his head, “I guess I’ve been coming to Comic-Con since 1994. It’s nuts. Each year when you think it can’t get any crazier, the next year is worse. Each day gets worse. Friday will be crazier than today, Saturday crazier than that.”

“When did you notice it start to grow so wild?” I asked over my Dirty Shirley, a Shirley Temple with Vodka.

Again, he looked up and to the right, his lips counting the years. He swirled his Budweiser bottle and, upon settling on an answer, set it down with a clink.

“2004, I’d say. When Hollywood started paying attention. That’s when it really changed. Hollywood realized, ‘Hey. There’s a key demo here and they’re trapped.”

My cohort took a sip of his G&T and said, “Totally trapped. Nowhere to go but Mexico.”

 

Follow for SDCC updates @JennyPopNet!

San Diego Comic-Con 2013: Under A Simpsons-Blue Sky!

Category : Comics, Conventions, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

Not much time to post today, kittens… it’s Day 1 of San Diego Comic-Con! The weathers is bonkers-gorgeous and I am chock full of comic book glee for my pally Jennifer Susannah Devore! Third year now (Peanuts & Tarzan marking previous articles), she’s published in the Official Souvenir Guide! This year’s theme? The 20th anniversary of  Bongo Entertainment: the fine minds behind The Simpsons, Futurama, Bartman, et al.

Souvenir Guide 2013, Bongo article by JSDevore Photo: Rebecca Lane

Souvenir Guide 2013, Bongo article by JSDevore Photo: Rebecca Lane

So, off to the Con! Will certainly post more later. In the meanwhile, follow @JennyPopNet, @Eslilay and @GoodToBeAGeek for up-to-the-minute Tweets and snaps! Now, so much to do today, like buying one Rebecca Lane of Rotten Tomatoes a G$T for snapping this shot of my article for me and Tweeting the following:

“Some pre #SDCC reading; penned by my talented friend @JennyPopNet Souvenir Guide pg 164…check it out!”

Cheers, Beki!(Look for her at SDCC; she’ll be the one in giant tomato suit!)

 

Bongo and Jeepers, Kids! Danger-prone Daphne Heads to SDCC 2K13

1

Category : Comics, Conventions, Featured, Geek Out, San Diego Comic Con, Television, Travel

Cheers, kittens! If you’ll kindly check your calendars, you’ll see it’s summertime and if you regularly follow the scribblings and adventures of Dr. Lucy Devereaux and Moi, you’ll know summer here in sunny San Diego means just one thing: San Diego Comic-Con!

IMG_20130212_132925

Bits of Hannah’s private Bongo stash. Photo: JSDevore

Summertime lists of entertainment alternatives for the geeky and the pale put SDCC firmly on top of the pile. It’s air-conditioned fun where we ghosties and our fellow friends of pasty pallor can hide from the vile sun and retain our dewy freshness. It’s a venue where geeks, dorks and nerds of every shade of pale can gather in costume, greedily clutching their comic books and collectible figures whilst dork-walking at revved speeds to snag front-row seats to panels such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Action Figure Showcase and I Can’t Write, I Can’t Draw, But I Love Comics!, all without fear of a wedgie anytime during the day … as long as conventioneers don’t wander too far into the neighboring Gaslamp District. The Gaslamp is no place for a lone nerd in costume, especially at night when the surfy sportos, apathetic hipsters and sloshed beach thugs roam, and own, the darkness. Travel in nerd packs if you must; but be assured, like any Star Trek exploratory mission, the one in the red shirt will be sacrificed. Don’t be the red shirt.

Dr. Lucy, her EOS Canon Digital Rebel XT in-hand, and I will be covering all the geeky goodness of SDCC 2K13 for you and Tweeting snaps, sightings, booths of note and nerdy news all weekend long from the floor and beyond the ether! Panels will be plentiful and will run the gamut of information and instruction from Inside The Big Bang Theory’s Writers’ Room to Steampunk 101, and Showcasing the Best in Korean Comics to Snoopy: A Retrospective. As always, SDCC is also a bit of a celeb trek and this year, expect to see the likes of James Spader (Lincoln, The Blacklist), Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline) and  J. Michael Straczynski (Superman: Earth One, Before Watchmen). Of course, Dr. Lucy is always on the hunt for Seth Green and one can hope one bumps into Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, George Lucas or Adrianne Curry in one of the aisles. (Bring the smelling salts, Dr. Lucy!)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a comic book convention if I wasn’t interviewing somebody fabulous for your reading pleasure! (WonderCon offered Leah Cevoli (Deadwood, Robot Chicken) and Katrina Hill (Action Movie Freak). Dr. Lucy and I will be squeezing our fine, cosplayed cabooses into the SyFy Press Room once again: this time, a table chat with the cast of SyFy’s Warehouse 13. Interview and candid pics, à la last year’s Being Human interview, will post after the Con concludes.

In past years, I’ve been … I mean, my pally Jennifer Susannah Devore  has been fortunate enough have her articles selected for the official Souvenir Book: 60th anniversary of Peanuts (which earned her a citation in TIME magazine) and the 100th anniversary of Tarzan (which garnered her an invitation to meet Dr. Jane Goodall). One never knows what good fortune and opportunity this year’s submission, if accepted, will bring her. Cross your fingers, kids!

The themes for this year’s Souvenir Book are many and varied: amongst others, the 75th anniversary of Superman, 50th anniversaries of Marvel Superheroes and Doctor Who and 25th anniversaries of The Tick and The Sandman. Miss Jenny’s selection? The 20th anniversary of Bongo Comics. Known as Bongo Entertainment since 2012, it is the comics publishing empire founded by The Simpsons-creator Matt Groening with three BFFs in 1993: Steve Vance (DC Comics, Disney Adventures Comics), Cindy Vance (Disney Adventures Comics) and Bill Morrison (Roswell: Little Green Man). Navigating twenty years of analog-to-digital waters is no easy task; yet, Bongo has flourished, combining classic comic core and the moving target that is modern zeitgeist.

The frosting on the Comic-Con cupcake? Getting to dress up months before Hallowe’en! Last year’s costume was Steampunk, WonderCon was Abby Sciuto and this year’s con will be Scooby-Doo‘s Daphne Blake. I thought about Velma. Surely, the scholarly, brunette geek girl does seem to suit me better. Still, Velma’s sweater is ugly and unflattering and, quite frankly, she’s too good of a ghost hunter. I can’t abide that, really. Danger-prone Daphne, though?!  She’s hot, she’s nice, she’s wealthy, what’s not to like? Plus, I’ve always wanted orange hair for a day and what girl doesn’t love hot pink tights, lime-green accessories and a purple micromini? Jeepers!

Iconic Daphne Blake: a variety of iterations, from sexy to saucy to classic.

Danger-prone Daphne is on her way! Let’s go, Freddy!

Abyssinia at the Con, kids!

 

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? JennyPop.net and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Follow @JennyPopNet @Eslilay and @GoodToBeAGeek for SDCC floor updates!