NerdBastards recently had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Zach Galligan (Gremlins, Waxworks, Hachet) to discuss what he’s up to, the upcoming 30th Anniversary of Gremlins, and Zach’s appearance at the Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. (more…)
This weekend at the Wizard World New York Comic Con Experience, the 90 year old and lively Stan Lee said things. Things about Marvel movies, and now people are saying it is news… again.
For the record, I was there and I didn’t (and don’t) think that this passes for news, because… well… news should be new, and God bless him, but Stan Lee is admittedly not in those meetings anymore. He hasn’t been a creative force at Marvel for quite some time, and this is sorta part of his shtick.
What Stan Lee is, is a mascot for Marvel, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. He’s fan service, and the look on people’s faces when they come away from the microphone at a Wizard Con, or some other convention’s Q&A event is the same look that I’ve seen on a kid’s face as he toddles away from hugging Mickey Mouse at Disney World. The difference is, no one looks to Mickey for an update on Star Wars: Episode VII. Not yet, at least.
Anyway, here’s the deal:
Lee was asked about the possibility of a Planet Hulk film or a Marvel Civil War film (how, with the licenses spread all across the corporate cosmos?) and then he proceeded to say:
“I’m not involved in those decisions anymore, but the people at Marvel are spending hours trying to think ‘what will we do next?’ and there’s a damn good chance that they will think of just what you mentioned, ‘cos it would be a great idea and little by little everything you want to see will come along, because [Marvel] are just like you, they’re fans of the stories and they’re trying to think ‘what would the fans like to see next? What would we like to see next?’ So they’re working on Ant-Man, they’re working on Doctor Strange, they’re working on Guardians of the Galaxy, they’re working on god knows what. And did I say Black Panther also. Those are the ones I know about and there are others that I don’t even know about, and shame on them for not telling me.”
Now, obviously, there have been rumors about Doctor Strange and The Black Panther for quite some time, but if this were an official confirmation that Marvel was “working” on them, that would really be something. This isn’t that. This wasn’t Kevin Feige in Stan Lee cosplay, and oh by the way, Kevin Feige told Collider “Dr. Strange is something that I talk about often and it’s sort of next up for us to dig into and explore.” in May, and that’s a lot more official.
There’s one more wrinkle to this story: remember when I told you that this was a part of Lee’s shtick and that news should be new? Google “Stan Lee Confirms Doctor Strange and Black Panther” and look at how many articles pop up from last year. Just like the story about not digging Diablo or the way that Doctor Doom was portrayed in Fantastic Four (other things he said during the Q&A on Saturday), Stan Lee has “confirmed” Doctor Strange and Black Panther before, most notably in November of 2012, when he said:
“Oh they are all being made into movies! I can tell you there will definitely be a Dr. Strange movie! They are working on Antman, which requires really small cameras! Black Panther is being developed, one of my favorites…the Inhumans…All the hero’s will eventually be made into movies.”
Gosh that sounds familiar.
Joe Harris is the screenwriter behind the classic horror film When Darkness Falls and The Tripper, and a comic book writer who has put words in the mouths of both Batman and the X-Men. Now, Harris has been tabbed to work with X-Files creator Chris Carter on the canonical comic, X-Files: Season 10 for IDW in addition to his critically lauded work on Image Comics’ Great Pacific. Oh yeah, and Harris also has a new graphic novel coming out this year.
We caught up with Harris on the show floor during Wizard World’s NYC Comic Con Experience and he was nice enough to break off a few moments to let us ask him about his new book (Wars in Toyland), whether his work in X-Files: Season 10 would remain intact should another X-Files film come to be, and which fan favorite characters will join Scully and Mulder in the comic as the series goes on.
What can you tell me about Wars in Toyland?
Joe Harris: I guess it’s being billed as an all-ages story, but it’s kind of a dark fantasy. It’s very much a child themed adventure story, but with some dark elements because I think kids can handle stuff like that.
It’s about a boy named Matthew that gets sucked into this world where all of the toys he shared with his older brother, Alex, have come to life and are walking and talking of their own accord, but they’re also caught in this brutal, crushing civil war. And Matthew is an unlikely leader who they [the toys] think is going to deliver them from the evil clutches of Roxbury, who’s this teddy bear despot who has all the toys enslaved and is making life miserable and hellish in Toyland.
Matthew is reluctant, he just wants to get home with no idea how to get home until he discovers his older brother Alex has recently run away. The story opens with Matthew sort of playing on his own and kind of dealing with the fact that his brother is missing and no one knows where he is and we find out his brother may be in fact a prisoner or Roxbury.
So now he has this kind of added “oomph” to go find him and see if he can figure out someway to save these toys, find his brother and get home. Only he soon learns that things are not quite what they seem and his brother may be more connected to what is wrong with this world than he was previously lead to believe. So it starts getting a little complicated and a little dark, but I think it’s a pretty action packed story.
Adam Pollina is drawing it — who’s an old friend of mine — and it’s bound on the short end, so it opens kind of landscape wise. So it’s going to be told in really big sweeping vistas and double-page spreads. Gorgeous book, like I said; dark, high adventure, some pretty colorful characters, some of which include wooden soldiers that sort of march in lock step and salute Matthew as their leader.
You said that it’s all ages, but a bit darker — what are some of the inspirations and projects that you grew up with that respected kids a bit more, didn’t talk down to them?
Harris: Oh, God. Well, I mean, just reading or rather watching the Rankin and Bass version of The Hobbit when I was a kid sort of inspired me because watching Bilbo Baggins interact with Gollum was fascinatingly dark , and yet I was watching this in elementary school. Babes in Toyland on Thanksgiving morning, the March of the Wooden Soldiers.
I don’t even know if the movies holds up today that were whole and hearty, but it’s something really inspiring about the toys gathering together to go fight the boogie men down in the down in the well to go save Bo Peep and all that. A Wrinkle in Time, Wizard of Oz, I found these fascinating in a way that still holds up because there’s something universal I think that about the spirit of want to prevail and needing to get home. So yeah, stuff like that really inspired me.
With X-Files, it’s in continuity, if they make another movie, what happens to this story? Is this stuff still locked in?
Harris: Yes. Chris Carter is overseeing this and he has advised me in terms of what he would not like us to do, otherwise I’ve had a free hand. If there were to be a third movie, we would massage and orchestrate to make it work.
There’s a Lone Gunmen tease at the end of the first issue. What other familiar characters are you looking to work in?
Harris: Well, we already teased the Cigarette Smoking Man for number three, so he’s going to make an interesting return. All is not as it seems, is what I keep telling people, but the character most people will recognize, will play a role in this series going forward. And we’re going to bring back a lot of old concepts; villains, heroes, those people that were kind kind of in the middle, where you never knew if they were friend or foe. What can I tell you with out teasing some names?
I can say what we said in the past — which isn’t a confirm or deny — but I’d like to get into things like the syndicate. I’m a big Alex Krycek fan, so I’d like to work some of that back in. I’m a fan of the mythology from way back, so we’re really going to get into the alien mythology and try and get that on it’s feet and revisit all that stuff you could imagine, like the black oil, shape shifters, and kind of propelling that mythology while not treading on any territory a potential third movie might address.
There are other things we’re definitely going to do to deal with that threat and this never-ending idea that we don’t know the truth and that its out there somewhere. In terms of classic monsters, I don’t want to tease anything specifically, but I think fans are really going to wet themselves when they see who we’re bring back in issue 6, which is our second story arc.
Wars in Toyland comes out on July 12th from Oni Press. X-Files: Season 10 #2 comes out on July 17th from IDW.
EDITORS NOTE: These are the voyages of a Wizard World newbie; a first hand recap of one of our nations most popular cons.
Today was the day that I was supposed to get an interview with one of my personal heroes, Chris Claremont. Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned. Claremont was swarmed (and rightly so) by hordes of fans and I was unable to make my approach (sad face). So instead, I decided to hit up some panels and see what the con had to offer on this Saturday, the busiest of its three days. Check out the full scoop after the jump.
EDITORS NOTE: Nerd Bastard’s intrepid reporter Jason McAnelly is on a work vacation. He’s attending the Wizard World convention in Portland, Oregon. WW is like is a national comic-book, sci-fi, nerd gathering with seasonal conventions happening nation wide. This is Jason’s first Wizard World, and wants to share his experience with you. Recaps, pictures and various other coverage will featured over the weekend.
I arrived early, hoping that perhaps my media badge would get me through some secret side door and past the line that wound through the Oregon Convention Center like a giant snake. No such luck. So after grabbing a coffee, I traveled the 4.2 miles to the end of the queue and waited. Luckily it only took about 20 mins to get rolling and went pretty quick, else I may have peed myself.
I was first greeted by a wall of dealers, selling everything from comic books to action figures to artwork. At the center of this madness, a giant ugly tower of t-shirts. I think they’re sponsoring the event or something, cause the t-shirt tower kept blasting crap across the intercom about their sales. They did, however, have a dancing cow, so I can forgive them at least a little.
Being as how this is the first day and the first time Wizard World has visited Portland, Friday was pretty slim on the cosplayers. I saw a couple of good ones, including (see below for pictures) an awesome Bender, a kick-ass Hit-Girl, the obligatory but not crappy Harley Quinn and a dweller from Vault 101.
The other thing I saw was a prevalence of what I will henceforth be calling the “Con Sorority Girls”. I’m not sure if these ladies were hired to be promotional or if they actually possessed some sort of semi-fame, but they wandered around in high-heels and camel-toe inducing tight-pants and seemed well out of place. I’m pretty sure one must have been famous, since people kept getting pictures with her (not me, sorry). Of course, that also could have been due to the fact that she was boldly sporting an inch of both her butt-crack and her landing strip. And no, she was not dressed up as anyone.
Due to the first day being a bit shorter than the other two, I only managed to squeeze in two panels before the Con was closed for the day. The first was a Q&A with Gail Simone, which was pretty cool. She spent most of the time talking about her upcoming projects. Then I went into a Horror in Comic Books panel featuring Jesse Snider (Evil Ernie), Joe Keatinge (Mobius: The Living Vampire) and Jeff Balke (John Carpenter’s Asylum). This panel was 80% Snider talking a mile-a-minute, 19% Keatinge trying to get a word in edgewise and 1% Balke being asked his opinion. Entertaining, but a bit on the chaotic side.
All-in-all, a successful day at the con. Wishing I would have had the money to buy tix for the meet-and-greets, but you can’t have everything. Check out today’s pix below and tune in tomorrow evening for more coverage (and probably a much better set of pix, since I’ve got someone else doing them…).
The horn of Gondor has been blown. Military ‘Taps’ plays throughout the land. Yes, today is a sad, sad day. Wizard Entertainment has shut down Wizard Magazine and it’s spin-off mag Toy Fare.
Newsarama got a hold of a press release (which you can read after the jump) from a dude with a funny name, Gareb Shamus stating that Wizard Entertainment print media is dead. The company is being reconstructed under a new flagship entitled “Wizard World Inc.” where it will redirect it’s covering of mainstream pop culture to a new digital magazine.
“Wizard Entertainment is ceasing publication of the print magazines Wizard and ToyFare. Wizard World, Inc. will begin production of the online publication “Wizard World” beginning in February. We feel this will allow us to reach an even wider audience in a format that is increasingly popular and more readily accessible.”
The Wizard Word Comic Con tours have not been effected, the tour will go forth as planned, but will now be under the umbrella of a public company.
“This is a very exciting day for Wizard World and the industries it serves,” said Shamus. “Having the Tour produced by a public company provides additional opportunities to expand and grow the Tour. The new digital magazine Wizard World will give consumers the content they want in a magazine format with which they are familiar, but distributed in a form that is always available at any time on any device. It is a natural evolution for us in this market.”
Whoa! This is all too much to process. Magazines that I have been shit reading to since I was 12 are done? Magazines that left a positive impression of nerd culture on me and inspired me to want to become cultural commenter myself. What the deuce!? I understand that since the advent of the Internet media-in-print has been giving the kiss of death, nobody reads magazines anymore when we have instant digital gratification. I also know that Wizard went through tome tough times with management and was victim to some skeevy business practices (I.E. with reports of non-payment of freelancers, mail fraud from the Wizard store, and hefty layoffs). Regardless, this sucks so very much. While I gave up on Wizard a long time ago, I’m sad to see the magazine go. Toyfare I am going to really miss, I’ve been a subscriber since it’s 97′ first issue. I read it cover to cover, regardless if it’s content was broad casted across the net months prior. It was still funny and informative. I’m gonna miss Mego Spidey.
I have very little faith in this new webzine format. They already tried 2 times…and nothing came of it. Oi! I just can’t believe that from now on when I go to the comic store every week there won’t be any magazines for me to buy.