NYCC

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This time on The BastardCast, Jeremy and Jason are up all night to get some… cheese fries. They’re also talking about Jason’s adventures in the big city during New York Comic Con and all the big comic book news that came out of the con, as well as the week’s biggest nerd news stories, and that one time when people were doing it in the movie theater while Jason watched Machete Kills. (more…)

jla villians

The Joker, Lex Luthor, Darksied, Dan Didio…  DC Comics greatest villains will soon get the spotlight, and maybe even you too! Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment announced Necessary Evil today, a documentary that will explore the company’s big bad guys and be narrated by the legendary Sir Christopher Lee.

The doc will feature interviews with comic book creators, writers, actors and maybe even you. Yes you! Filming starts this weekend at WonderCon in Anaheim, California, and fans are encouraged to show up in DC Comic villain cosplay for a chance to appear in the documentary. Attendees of San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con will also have similar opportunities later this year.

As DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns, put it “It’s time we deconstruct these complex and sinister antagonists and celebrate the role they play as the engine and energy of some of the greatest storytelling in comics. 2013 is the Year of the Villain at DC Comics.”

If you are going to be at WonderCon on Saturday and have a green and purple powersuit – head over to the DC booth (#801), filming is expected to run from 10:30am till 1pm.

You can read the full press release -if that’s your kinda thing- after the jump. (more…)

Credit Dorkly.com

I’m goona rap at you people.

I respect Tony Harris’ art — the fellow can move a pencil on paper in a way that is pleasing and Ex Machina: The First Hundred Days is among my favorite books — but when he tries to pivot from pictures to words, something gets lost in translation.

Today, on the Great Public Embarrassment Generator known as Facebook, Harris took to the soap box that we are all given in exchange for our personal information and he told the world, nay, the universe, what he thought about female cosplayers. Apparently he thinks you are all phony, so please pack up your bosoms and go home. (Okay, that wasn’t expressed, but it’s sorta close to that, isn’t it? Go ahead, read it, I’ll wait…)

Now, I don’t know what Harris thinks a real female comic book fan dresses like, and I really don’t care. His notions are either fiction or a fraction of the truth, because in my experience as a chubdorable male that frequents conventions, female comic fans don’t dress in one specific way or the other.

They are cosplayers, they are “sexy” cosplayers, they are tee shirt clad, and so on and so forth. There is diversity within their ranks and that is outstanding, undeniable, and irreversible.

Women, men, Klingons, and everyone else should feel comfortable to be themselves when they go to a con because that is one of the most beautiful things about cons — they are a sanctuary for a group of people who love similar things and they should be a free, safe place.

What threatens that? People with agendas and people who think that women are there to be preyed upon, though the portrayal of Comic-Cons as a lawless badland over-run with dick-in-hand thugs feels inaccurate.

With that said though, every costume is not an invitation and they aren’t declarations of whoreishness. They aren’t political statements either. Sometimes a Power Girl costume is just a Power Girl costume and sometimes that’s someone’s way of getting attention and that’s cool too. Really, whatever thrills you.

Honestly, I’m too busy looking for 1/2 price trades or sprinting from panel to panel to notice (because as a grown up, I have seen breasts and thus they have no power over me), but sex and sexiness and dressing in a sexy way should be embraced and allowed because hell yeah freedom and all that good stuff. And oh by the way, plenty of men dress in cosplay and plenty of them wear the form fitting costumes popularized by their favorite characters as well, but no one ever brings that up or the fact that men are sexualized in comics as well. Well, almost no one.

Here’s another thing that should be celebrated at cons: newbies. I’ve been a hardcore nerd for five years. Wanna see my nerd card? Frak you. I’ve spent days marathoning Buffy, BSG, Angel, Trek, Doctor Who, and I’m coming off a period of hurricane inspired technical isolation that I spent in the OCD hell of action figure re-posing and the nerdvana of thumbing through the contents of a long box of comics and trades on my own private Elba. I didn’t do that to gain favor with others, I did that because I love this shit and I love this shit because science fiction and fantasy are about inclusion.

Tony Harris’ remarks aren’t about inclusion (or reality, unless I’m just too mellow and toy-obsessed to notice the sexual Gettysburg that Mr. Harris spies) and that’s unfortunate because as someone who makes comics, you would think it would be in his best interests to try and bring people into this world, not push them out.

Alright, that’s really all I have to say about this, so in conclusion: I really don’t care if people want to dress up as Chewie or Cheetara and I just want everyone to relax, read a comic (even a Tony Harris one if you can excuse his remarks), and enjoy this amazing era in nerdiness without letting the rest of the bullshit seep in. Peace out.

The opinions expressed in the above article are those of the writer and not Nerdbastards.com. Also, did he just close out the article by saying “Peace out”?

Beyond the commerce and the spectacle, Comic-Cons serve as a trade show where hundreds flock to have their work reviewed and their dreams bolstered.

At last month’s New York Comic-Con I met a few aspiring comic book artists at the DC Entertainment Talent Search where a lucky few get their portfolios reviewed and others are able to pick up a few tips on how to succeed.

Rachael Anderson was one of the artists in attendance. She was eager to have her work seen and her countless efforts justified. A call-center worker from Texas, Rachael says that her and her husband Josh “pretty much scrimped and saved every last dollar to get here for a day and a half.”

Nervous, but confident in her work, Rachael showed me a bit of her portfolio as we sat in the bare panel room one floor beneath the buzz and bustle of the main show floor. It’s the kind of room where you’d expect to hear salesmen talking about the exciting evolution of vinyl siding during one of the Javitz Center’s many other trade shows, but Rachael is here because she loves Batman and she’s wanted to draw comic books since she was 12.

Her work is good, clean, and professional and as my eyes rest on two pictures in particular – a black and white drawing of a spider straddling a car and a faithful sketch of Daredevil – I can’t help but wonder how many times Rachael has put pencil to paper to reach this point of proficiency. A point where there is little daylight between her work and some of the published work that can be seen in the bins and on the tables upstairs on the show floor.

That’s the unfair part of this: it isn’t purely about talent. Right now there are plenty of artists who make a living in the industry without the level of talent that Rachael possesses. For her and some of the people in this room on this side of the table, they’re forced to wait for luck and opportunity to allow their work to get seen, but its a long hard road that can exhaust people and force them to abandon their pursuits.

After the show, I find out that I was the only one to see Rachael’s portfolio in that panel room. Her sacrifice to get to New York and her talent weren’t enough to coax that little bit of luck from it’s hiding place but she did get some encouragement from a few artists on the show floor who looked at her work.

“Mike Choi gave me advice on anatomy and storytelling and then showed me where I could improve my page composition. So mostly I was told to work on my inking, hands, and story telling and then told to “get lucky” when it comes to finding freelance work.”

She tells me that she dropped off portfolio submissions at the DC, Marvel, Image, and Valiant booths and emailed/mailed IDW, Dark Horse, and Image (again) after the show but that she hasn’t heard anything back yet.

“Even though it’s depressing to realize [that] I still have a ways to go, I still think the show was worth it. It was a step in the right direction and as long as I keep moving in the right direction and as long as I keep moving in the direction of my goals and don’t give up, it will never be a waste.” she says before telling me that her and her husband decided that they would put aside their pre-NYCC deal that said she would go back to work at the call-center if she couldn’t get a lead on a paying gig at the show.

“My husband insisted that I just continue to focus on our graphic novel project (Horror Town). It sucks feeling like I’m not contributing anything or helping in any sort of way to pay off our living expenses or bills, but I am very grateful for all of the support and patience my spouse has had thus far. We both know that the best way to get a job in comics is to just make comics.”

Rachael Anderson will be back at New York Comic-Con next year.

To read Rachael’s web-comic on knitting, go here. To check out her website, go here

During NYCC our Anne Sisk got a chance to spend some time with Epic Mickey 2 and some of the behind the scenes talent that is working to make it a reality. This is her report: 

Disney follows up their Wii hit, Epic Mickey, with the multi-platform Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, available November 18th. This time Mickey and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit team up for more adventures, bringing new features to the franchise.

The most notable difference this time around is that the characters actually talk. Oswald (voiced by Frank Welker) and Mickey (voiced by Bret Iwan) are joined by Gremlin Gus (Carey Elwes), Yen Sid (Mike Himselstein) and the Mad Doctor (Dave Wittenberg). Finding the right voice for the Gremlins, based on the abandoned Roald Dahl/Disney collaboration, was important as Gremlin Gus serves as a guide through the game.

Expanding on the demographic-crossing appeal of Epic Mickey (the audience split evenly across gender and age ranges), Epic Mickey 2 hopes to foster further engagement by introducing a co-player option. There are tasks within the game that require character-specific skills (like Mickey’s paintbrush wielding or Oswald’s ear-powered flight), so be prepared to play with a friend or switch between characters to make it through the levels.

Epic Mickey 2 also offers a more customized game, adapting based on the style of play. Inkwells that help Mickey and Oswald along fill with invisible or indelible ink, depending on the way each player tackles challenges. Running through levels on the lookout for a fight? Inkwells fill with indelible ink, helping you make it through unscathed. More of a lover, less of a fighter? You’ll probably get invisible ink instead, letting you sneak through the tough spots. The ink does eventually wear off, through both time and damage.

This time, you can also outfit your characters in different, collectible costumes. Costumes, once assembled, add advantages to gameplay – in addition to looking quite snappy. You can take advantage of costumes at the various Photo Op Areas throughout the game.

Want something more out of your gaming experience? Keep an eye out for the 150 pins hidden throughout the Epic Mickey 2 world. All pins are available on a single play-through (though it might take a very observant and very obsessive single play-through to get them all). Collect pins and show them off in your main gallery – or use them for their (rumored) influence within the game.

Epic Mickey 2 also brings you an improved camera system and a better mapping system, resolving some player complaints from the original game. There are new worlds to explore, including Nature’s Wonderland and the Rainbow Caverns. And this time, the world has gone musical. Musical cut-scenes make the game feel just a bit more like a classic Disney production.

Having had the opportunity to play through a bit of the game, it looks fantastic. The co-op seems natural, playing to each character’s strengths. The worlds are vibrant with a hint of the slightly-askew (understandable because this is Oswald attempting to recreate a world he’s never actually seen). The game is tricky enough to be interesting, but not so fidgety as to be disheartening.

I asked about the possibility of a shared component – some co-operative system, or at least a way to share those pins that we kept hearing about. That’s not in the plan for this game, unfortunately, so I started to worry about the longevity of the gaming experience. Make it through the levels and, well, that’s it. The team behind Epic Mickey 2 has taken that into consideration it seems, creating boards rich in detail, full of hidden elements to find and areas to explore. Add to that the collecting drive for both the pins and the costumes and it feels like Epic Mickey 2 is a game that can last beyond the initial play-through.

Launching in concert with Epic Mickey 2 is the standalone Power of Illusion, available only on the Nintendo 3DS. Based on Disney’s Castle of Illusion, The Power of Illusion presents a bit of forgotten video game history while embracing the pure joy and simplicity of the 16 bit, side-scrolling game. Defeat Mizrabel by rescuing more than thirty classic characters from her traps. Once you rescue a character, he shows up in your fortress. Help that character out and he’ll update your fortress for you. The goal is to free all of the characters and end with a fully-restored castle.

What aren’t we getting with the release of Epic Mickey 2? Unfortunately, a few things. There won’t be a collectors’ edition of the game released in North America – though, there is one planned for other markets. Likewise, the Epic Mickey 2 graphic novel will not be released to North American markets, making Peter David’s adaptation a must-find-on-eBay release.

 


Beer Can Batman

Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut. Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at nerdybits@nerdbastards.com.

Above: What’s better than Batman? Batman made out of beer cans, of course! Japanese artist Macaon drank a whole lot of beer and soda to create this awesome caped crusader. Head on over to Geekologie to see more, including Darth Vadar & Super Mario.

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The Very NSFW NYCC ‘Evil Dead’ Trailer Leaks

So, if you want to see it… skip reading, hit the jump, watch it now before it is taken away! Yes, it is NSFW and also spoiler filled but if you don’t click it now you will miss it forever (until it gets an official release that will probably be happening soon anyway.)

If you were in attendance at New York Comic-Con this year for the Evil Dead panel with Jane Levy (the films star), Fede Álvarez, (the director) and Bruce Campbell (fake Shemp) you’ve seen this already. For the rest of us that have just read about it or watched the live stream that had the trailer blacked out, it is after the jump, unless it has already been yanked.

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If you’ve been to a large comic convention, or even a mid-sized one, you probably have a favorite part. For some of you, maybe the sales floor holds the most appeal. For others, it may be the cosplay, the panels, the demos, or the display cases that tortuously hold hostage a large collection of toys that neither you or I can play with for a long, long time.

For me though, my con-happy place exists within the confines of Artists’ Alley. There, in that area that is typically annexed from the rest of a con, the people who draw our comic heroes and put words in their mouths exist. These folks are the motor of the comic book industry. Honestly, I’m not really a Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, or IDW fan — I’m a Mark Waid fan, a Brian K. Vaughan fan, a Mike Mignola fan, a Clayton Crain, Steve McNiven, Warren Ellis, Jo Chen, and Alex Ross fan.

There is nothing craven or terribly commercial about Artists’ Alley. It isn’t filled with people shilling for those companies so much as they’re filled with tremendously creative people, happily mingling with their fans and promoting what they are passionate about. Sure, money changes hands and prints and original artwork get sold sometimes — afterall, tremendously creative people need to eat too — but there is no charge for a conversation and often there is no charge for an autograph or a picture, and that is a rarity in a world where a bit player from a long dead TV show can and will still charge $50 for the same access.

This weekend, I had the privilege to spend about 4 hours in a packed Artists’ Alley– making brief small talk with McNiven, buying a print from Ivan Reis, meeting both Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera. The best part though? Sitting behind Mike Mignola’s table for about 10 minutes beside the man who created Hellboy as I conducted an interview with him between signings and conversations (you’ll get to read that shortly).

Why was that experience one of the single best experiences of my con? Because I got to witness the true adoration that Mignola’s fans have for him and his creations. Something I saw at other tables with other comic pros as well.

I’m a cynic, but nothing could bitter or sour the experience of seeing a guy as he says — with a slight tremble in his voice — that Mignola has inspired him to be an artist. That’s someone meeting their hero, that’s someone making their dream come true and it sticks with you. Hell, the next day, I also had a slight tremble when I met Waid, and this ain’t exactly my first rodeo.

The point is, that that enthusiasm and that thrill seeps into you and you can’t help but nerd/geek out a little while you’re in Artists’ Alley  because this kind of access seemingly belongs in the bizarro world and these people are the one’s whose work is driving not just comics, but now has a hand in the shape of TV and film as well.

It’s more than big names though. Artist’s Alley is a land of discovery as well. This year, I met an action figure sculptor named Enrico Botta. Enrico has sculpted a Farscape action figure that went to market and he had some tremendous DC concept pieces. I hope to tell you a little more about him in the near future and the same can be said for an artist known as Epyon5, who produces hero and villain prints and paintings on old newspaper and comics.

These are just some of the people you can meet in Artists’ Alley, some of those jewels that are known and unknown. So, next time, when you go to a con — let the others wrestle over those con-exclusive Aquaman cuff-links and get your ass to Artists’ Alley.