Category Archives: Comic-Con International

Comic-Con 2014: UNCLE GRANDPA

Uncle-Granpa-Kaboom-Boom-Studios

Batman, meet Uncle Grandpa. Oh sure, we are going to see a full-on Batman at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. But there’s also room for other compelling characters, like sweet little ole Uncle Granpa. It sounds surreal already, doesn’t it? Well, if you like comics greats Don Martin, Gary Larson, and Robert Crumb, as well as Golden Age-era animators such as Tex Avery, then Uncle Grandpa has something for you! Uncle Grandpa debuted on Cartoon Network last September as the #1 telecast of the week among boys 6-11. That says it all, right? You can hear it from Uncle Grandpa himself, Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). And you can read the new comic book series coming to you from KaBOOM!, an award-winning imprint of publisher BOOM! Studios, and Cartoon Network Enterprises, the licensing and merchandising arm of the network. More details follow:

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Filed under Boom! Studios, Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2014, Comic-Con International, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Comics, KaBOOM!

Henry Chamberlain’s Campaign To Support A Comics Reviewer and Creator

From Henry Chamberlain's "Ballard Comics"

From Henry Chamberlain’s “Ballard Comics”

I am heading out to Comic-Con International in San Diego this year and this is the year that we take things to a new level. With your support, we can do some exciting new things here at Comics Grinder and beyond. You can check out the new campaign, “Support A Comics Reviewer and Creator,” over at GoFundMe right here.

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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con International, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Comics, Comics Grinder, Comics Journalism, Crowdfunding, Geek Culture, Geeks, George Clayton Johnson, GoFundMe, Henry Chamberlain, Interviews, Jim Woodring, Mark Z. Danielewski, Media, Nerd Culture, Nerds, San Diego Comic-Con

Greg Koudoulian’s Campaign To Raise Funds For Comic-Con Documentary

Greg-Koudoulian-San-Diego-Comic-Con-A-Legacy-In-Time-Documentary

Greg Koudoulian is a distinguished supporter and archivist of Comic-Con International in San Diego. His roots go back to the early years of Comic-Con. He has an impressive collection of rare memorabilia that has reached the level of museum quality. And Greg knows everyone.

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Filed under Comic-Con International, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Comics, Greg Koudoulian, pop culture, San Diego Comic-Con

Comic-Con 2015: Conan O’Brien To Broadcast TBS Show

Conan "The Flaming C" O'Brien

Conan “The Flaming C” O’Brien

Yes, you read that right, Conan O’Brien will be broadcasting from Comic-Con in 2015. True Comic-Con fans are quite familiar with announcements made way in advance. I’m sure Conan will get a lot of love and support from his fans at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Details follow from Deadline Hollywood:

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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con International, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Conan, Conan O'Brien

SDSU Library Launches New Website: THE COMIC-CON KIDS: FINDING AND DEFINING FANDOM

Comic-Con belongs to everyone. It is a shared experience. And it has a unique history full of heart. There’s a clarity of purpose and pure simplicity about the original Comic-Cons that you can still find at Comic-Con today many times over. Of course, it is not what it used to be. The history is priceless, beginning with a band of kids, ranging in age from 12 to 17, who were integral in putting together the first Comic-Con in 1970. Since 2011, San Diego State University Library has been collecting personal histories through a series of interviews with individuals involved in San Diego’s early Comic-Cons. SDSU Library takes a big step forward with a new website that explores the cultural history of Comic-Con.

Press release follows:
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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con International, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Comics, Fandom, History, pop culture, San Diego Comic Fest, San Diego Comic-Con

ComiXology Sponsors the Comic Creator Connection at Comic-Con International 2013

Meet-Your-Makers-Comic-Creator-Connection

This is exciting news for comics writers and artists looking to connect on a project. ComiXology is sponsoring the Comic Creator Connection at Comic-Con International 2013. This is a one-of-a-kind meet up for up-and-coming creators. ComiXology will guarantee marketing support for qualified participants.

Press release follows:

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Filed under Comic-Con 2013, Comic-Con International, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Comics, Comixology, Comixology Submit

WONDERCON INTERVIEW: Greg Koudoulian and Collecting Comics

Greg-Koudoulian-Collecting-Comics-WonderCon-2013

If you are heading out to WonderCon, you will definitely want to set aside time for a very special panel discussion on the wonderful world of collecting comics. This panel is moderated by an important player in the world of comics and Comic-Con, Greg Koudoulian. Greg goes back to the beginning of the San Diego Comic-Con and has many friends to show for it. He started out as a film contributor for the early Comic-Cons and even went on to host is own mini-monthly cons in LA in the early ’70s.

It was in 2009 that an idea took hold that has been growing ever since. Shel Dorf, the leading founder of Comic-Con, was in hospital and did not have long to live. Greg, and a close group of friends, which included George Clayton Johnson, Richard Alf, William Clausen, Mike Towry, and Clatyon Moore, created The Shel Dorf Fan Club and Entourage. It was a beautiful gesture that pleased Shel very much and a wonderful way to say goodbye. Since 2009, the club has honored numerous talents in the industry with plans for much more to come, even an art museum. Then, early in 2012, SDCC co-founder Richard Alf passed away. This sad event has only spurred the Fan Club and friends to greater action. It is good to mention here that Richard Alf and Mike Towry were working on San Diego Comics Fest, a return to a more intimate event reminiscent of the early years of Comic-Con. And San Diego Comic Fest held its first annual event in 2012.

Through it all, Greg Koudoulian has remained a trusted, active, and much loved part of Comic-Con and its legacy. There are some special plans up ahead for the cartetaking of valuable archival material. While no formal announcements are ready to be made, it is what Greg is doing today that will lead to some exciting prospects for securing Comic-Con history in the future. One project is a documentary of the early San Diego Comic-Cons of the 1970s. The documentary has a working title of “Planet Cortez, A Legacy in Time.” The work involved is multi-layered: everything from digitizing a vast collection of material as well as creating essential new material.

When asked about his thoughts on the emergence of geek culture, specifically the evolution of the comics collecting culture, Greg is ready with an answer: “When Charles Kuralt, of CBS, went to Cherokee Books in Hollywood in 1973 and said that there might be a goldmine in your grandma’s attic, things went through the roof. When you’ve got Walter Cronkite endorsing your hobby on national television, that got it booming! The prices in the Overstreet Comics Price Guide began to inflate. For example, I bought ‘Superman #2′ in 1974, in fair condition for $125 and, a year later, sold it for $250. Around that time, Johnny Carson had on as a guest on ‘The Tonight Show’ someone who’d bought a copy of ‘Action Comics #1′ for $1,800. I was interviewed for the pilot to Tom Snyder’s ‘Tomorrow Show’ with my comics collection. And I managed to get a copy of ‘Action Comics #1′ lent to me to show but my interview never aired.”

And this leads us back to the WonderCon panel, “The Business & Hobby of Collecting Comics,” March 31, Sunday, 3:30-4:30 PM, Room 213AB. The panel will offer a variety of insights and stories to tell. Plus, stick around for some fun giveaways. Go to the Facebook page here. You can also call the hotline: 858-215-3659

Here are the details:

“The Business & Hobby of Collecting Comics,” March 31, Sunday, 3:30-4:30 PM, Room 213AB

From personal collections, working with museums and art galleries and even a little bit of hoarding, George Clayton Johnson, Barry Short, John Ellis, Eric Hoffman, Michael Hamersky, Alan Williams, and Dave Arshawsky are all fans and collectors of most things related to science fiction and comics. Collecting is a major industry these days; just watch the cable shows dedicated to it! Join moderator Greg Koudoulian to discuss how we can make sure that our histories and legacies are preserved for future generations, in both museums and art galleries and your own home!

The panelists:

George Clayton Johnson, wrote 8 original “Twilight Zone” stories and screenplays, wrote the first episode of “Star Trek” to be broadcast, and co-created “Ocean’s 11,” and “Logan’s Run.”

Barry Short, was a former Program Director for SDCC from 1982-86 and owner of 21st Century Comics from 1986-2003.

John Ellis, Partner in the Milton Caniff Estate, a Special Effects artist and writer.

Greg Koudoulian, Moderator, Early SDCC film program contributor, also produced first Mini Cons on the west coast in 1973-74 and a Collector too.

Eric Hoffman, Writer, Film Historian and collector of most SF Genre! Early SDCC film program contributor too.

MICHAEL HAMERSKY, Comics Dealer, blogger, and expert on the Comics Industry, past, present and future.

Alan Williams, former Comic Book store owner, Fanzine expert and writer.

Dave Arshawsky, Comic Book Artist, Toy designer, Sculptor, writer and Collector.

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Filed under Business, Collecting, Comic-Con International, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Comics, Entertainment, George Clayton Johnson, Greg Koudoulian, Investments, Panel Discussion, pop culture, Richard Alf, San Diego Comic Fest, San Diego Comic-Con, Shel Dorf, The Shel Dorf Fan Club and Entourage, WonderCon

COMIC-CON 2012: Welcome To The Future

I’ve been reading “Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture,” by Rob Salkowitz. It is the perfect companion for those who attempt to make sense of Comic-Con and see the big picture. Having settled into San Diego, survived the line to get my official badge, and had some precious time to organize my thoughts and schedule, I marched into Preview Night to get my first whiff of the big event. Just before going in, I took a moment to admire a banner ad on one of the massive tour buses. It was for Showtime’s “Homeland” and had a photo of a tough and perplexed-looking Clare Danes with the catch phrase, “Your Mission Starts Now.” The irony was not lost on me. Indeed, my mission was just starting.

I shouldn’t be too hard on the collectors and fans who descend upon Preview Night but the consumer orgy, as Yoda would say, “Is something upsetting, I found.” Sure, I would enjoy the gift of, perhaps, a Buffy The Vampire Slayer action figure but, it’s just not something I’ll go out of my way to get. I have no driving need to own any of the exclusive action figures and toys that become availabe beginning on Preview Night. I might even go so far as to say that the buying frenzy is a prime example of American consumerism gone bannas. I witnessed numerous jazzed up fans with huge boxes of merchandise. If Salkowitz is trying to get a bead on what the future looks like from Comic-Con, I suggest that most, if not all, American/Western consumers can be quite a self-indulgent lot and that’s not likely to ever change. But all is not lost because that is only one aspect to this event. Comic-Con will surprise you every time. Where else can you find a scholarly discussion on superheroes with members of the audience dressed up as the same superheroes. Only at Comic-Con.

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Filed under Comic-Con 2012, Comic-Con International, Comics

COMIC-CON 2011 Memo #3: CAPTAIN AMERICA

While “CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER” did not premiere at Comic-Con, which would have been pretty cool but perhaps overwhelming, it did have special screenings at Comic-Con which included a performance by a group of USO-style chorus girls and an appearance by Chris Evans.

Here is Robert Downey Jr. at the LA premiere of “CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER” on July 20. Asked to speak about Chris Evans, of course, Mr. Downey Jr has good things to say.

Check out my review of “CAPTAIN AMERICAN: THE FIRST AVENGER,” over with our friends at GeekWeek.

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Filed under Captain America, Comic-Con International, Comics, GeekWeek

Has Hollywood Soured on Comic-Con?

In a now famous piece in The New York Times last month, the focus has been on the major pull back from Hollywood to this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. That would seem understandable during the Great Recession. Not at the party in any significant way this year: Warner Brothers, Disney, Dreamworks, The Weinstein Company and Marvel Entertainment. No panels for “Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” or “Hunger Games.”

However, as expressed in a nice piece from CNN, at the end of the day, with 120,000 attendees and all the media coverage, Comic-Con has hardly been abandoned by Hollywood. A draw down by Hollywood is relative. Should any studio spend over $60 million on a movie like, “Scott Pilgrim v. The World,” that common sense would tell you will likely make about $30 million? The thing is, $30 million is a lot of money. Did Universal expect to make $100 million? Come on, it is a quirky offbeat comedy. Maybe Universal should have followed what Sony did with “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” and make a movie for $10 million and earn $30 million. That’s $20 million profit, not bad. Instead, they took a genuine and fun story by cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley and turned it into a bloated monster, with a poster that covered the whole side of the Hilton nearby Comic-Con last year, that did not earn but lost money. Is that Comic-Con’s fault somehow? This year, that same Hilton has another poster, this time it’s for “Cowboys and Aliens” and it’s smaller.

Hollywood can, or should, learn how to be more resourceful, just like the cartoonists and various geeks that are at the heart of what Comic-Con is truly about. There is supposed to be some sort of strong presence on the convention floor for “Hunger Games.” And there are viral campaigns for “Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” That sounds resourceful.

Sony rolls out the first footage of “The Amazing Spider-Man” at this year’s Comic-Con. Of course, “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” is in Hall H. “Cowboys and Aliens” premieres at Comic-Con. “Captain America,” “Fright Night” and “Attack the Block” all have screenings too.  It is hardly a cold shoulder from Hollywood. It is more of a sensible approach. With any luck, it will save money, maybe enough money to support yet another quirky offbeat comedy based on a genuine and fun comic book.

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Filed under CNN, Comic-Con, Comic-Con International, Comic-Con International: San Diego, The New York Times