The Excitement of Boston Comic Con 2013

by Jason Harris

The Seventh Annual Boston Comic Con happened this weekend at the Seaport World Trade Center. It was originally scheduled for the weekend April 20 through 21 at the Hynes Convention Center, but was postponed because of the lockdown following the Boston Marathon bombing.

The convention organizer’s expected this year’s attendance to be 15,000. There were artist and event panels. There was also an Independent Film Festival on Saturday and a Zombie Film Festival on Sunday.

Boston Comic Con’s biggest celebrity guests were Laurie Holden of The Walking Dead and Kristen Bauer of True Blood. The other guests included Aidan Turner and Dean O’Gorman, who play the dwarves Kili and Fili respectively in The Hobbit movies.

Laurie Holden of 'The Walking Dead' talking with a fan.

Laurie Holden of The Walking Dead talking with a fan.

The convention had many comic book artists such as Mark Bagley and James O’Barr. It had celebrities for the reading crowd too such as authors Joe Hill, Christopher Golden, and Steve Niles, who have all written comic books.

Illustrator Gabriel Rodriguez and author Joe Hill.

Illustrator Gabriel Rodriguez and author Joe Hill.

Author Christopher Golden.

Author Christopher Golden.

There were authors there that are not involved with comic books.

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Author Estevan Bagley signing a book for a fan.

Author Estevan Vega signing a book for a fan.

Author Estevan Vega isn’t new to big conventions. He was meeting fans and signing books at last year’s Rhode Island Comic Con.

If you went to the convention to see what attendees were dressing up as then you weren’t disappointed.

Captain America and Wonder Woman.

Captain America and Wonder Woman.

Loki.

Loki.

Futurama'sTuranga Leela, Philip J. Fry, and Dr. John A. Zoidberg.

Futurama’s Turanga Leela, Philip J. Fry, and Dr. John A. Zoidberg.

Green Lantern.

Green Lantern.

Princess Leia and Darth Vader.

Princess Leia and Darth Vader.

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Batman talking with a mermaid.

Batman talking with a mermaid.

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The X-men

The X-men

The Transformers' Bumblebee with some con attendees.

The Transformers’ Bumblebee with some con attendees.

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Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom.

Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Thor.

Thor.

Mr. T and Bane.

Mr. T and Bane.

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Bane and Mr. Freeze.

Bane and Mr. Freeze.

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Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman.

Pictures of the crowds, vendors, game players and groups at this year’s Boston Comic Con.

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The 501st New England Garrison.

The 501st New England Garrison.

The 501st new England Garrison.

The 501st new England Garrison.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire.

The women of Sci-fi Saturday Night.

The women of Sci-fi Saturday Night.

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Author Stacey Longo with  Sci-fi Saturday Night's The Dome.

Author Stacey Longo with Sci-fi Saturday Night’s The Dome.

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Boston Comic Con is over, but I’m looking forward to the 2014 one.

Pre-BCC Faneuil Hall Cosplay Event on Wednesday

 

The Boston Comic Con, Dick’s Last Resort, Newbury Comics, and Faneuil Hall Market Place are teaming up for the first PRE-BOSTON COMIC CON COSPLAY EVENT, being held at Faneuil Hall Marketplace on Wednesday, July 31st 11:45am to 1:00pm!

This event is in addition to The Boston Comic Con’s regular annual costume contest being held Sunday August 4th at 3pm at The Seaport World Trade Center.

Contestants of all ages are encouraged to dress up as their favorite comic book, anime, sci-fi, horror, or fantasy character. The contest will kick off with a costume parade around Faneuil Hall, beginning and ending at Dick’s Last Resort, and will culminate in a costume contest for which the winners will receive prizes.

The 1st place winner will receive two weekend passes to the 2013 Boston Comic Con, a limited-edition Boston Comic Con T-shirt, and Boston Comic Con poster. The 2nd place winner will walk away with a $100 gift certificate to Dick’s Last Resort, a t-shirt and poster; and the 3rd place winner will be awarded a $50 gift certificate to Newbury Comics, t-shirt, and poster.

Costume contestants will be asked to arrive at Dick’s Last Resort (4 North Market St., Faneuil Hall, Boston) at 11:45 a.m. to check in and register. The parade will begin shortly after 12 p.m. and the final winners will be announced at 12:45 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. However, space is limited and contestants will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis. Adults and children of all ages are welcome to compete!

Judges will include representatives from Newbury Comics, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and The Boston Comic Con.

For general inquiries please call 617-646-1066

The Walking Dead’s Andrea Coming to Boston Comic Con

According to a press release, Boston Comic Con is happy to announce that the convention will go on this weekend as scheduled. They hope to stand as an example of the resilience of Bostonians in the wake of this horrific tragedy that happened at the Boston marathon this past Monday. The many statements of solidarity they have received from fans and guests alike have been very encouraging. They will be donating a portion of the art auction proceeds to the Red Cross for the Boston Marathon victims relief effort.

In light of the heightened security in the city we ask cosplayers to not bring prop weapons this weekend.

It was announced today that Laurie Holden who portrayed Andrea on hit show, The Walking Dead, will be attending Boston Comic Con this weekend.

She will be signing autographs on a first come first serve basis.  There are no advanced on line tickets for her signings.
Other guests include Mark Bagley, Nick Bradshaw, Lauren Cohan, Amanda Conner, Tony Daniel, Colleen Doran, Ming Doyle, Jason David Frank, Ed McGuinness, Mike Mignola, Steve Niles, Carlos Pacheco, Jimmy Palmiotti, Shelli Paroline, George Perez, Amy Reeder, Don Rosa, Craig Rousseau, Tim Sale, William Stout, Bill Willingham, and many, many more!
Admission tickets to The Boston Comic Con are on sale on-line at Boston Comic Con and at the door.

Boston Comic Con Happening as Planned

Boston Comic Con Happening as Planned

by Jason Harris

After the Boston Marathon bombings yesterday that left three people died and more than 170 people injured, the organizers of Boston Comic Con have said the convention is still going on this coming weekend, which is being held at the Hynes Convention Center, located at 900 Boylston St. The convention center isn’t that far from where the bombs went off.

Since a previous entry on April 3 about the convention, there have been some updates about guests. Jon Bernthal (“Shane Walsh”) from the hit television series The Walking Dead, has cancelled due to his filming schedule.

This morning it was announced that rock n’ roll icon Marky Ramone of The Ramones will be attending the convention.

Stars of ‘The Walking Dead’ to Invade Boston Comic Con

Boston Comic Con celebrates its sixth year with its biggest show ever. The convention runs from April 20 through 21 at the Hynes Convention Center.
Lauren Cohan (“Maggie Greene”) and Jon Bernthal (“Shane Walsh”) from the hit television series The Walking Dead will be in attendance both days.
The guest list features some of the most illustrious comic creators in the world including George Perez (Superman), Carlos Pacheco (X-Men), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Amanda Conner (Silk Spectre), Mark Bagley (Fantastic Four), Bill Willingham (Fables) plus many, many more!
Convention events will include Q&A panels, stand up comedians, a zombie movie marathon, gaming, and much more. You definitely will not want to miss the annual cosplay contest which features hundreds of fans dressing as their favorite characters from comics, video games, and cartoons! This year we are happy to announce famous cosplayer Yaya Han as our guest judge.
For this year’s show specials the convention will have a limited edition t-shirt featuring Captain America artwork by world-renowned comic artist Tim Sale and an exclusive My Little Pony variant cover drawn by Agnes Garbowska! Both of these are sure to sell out and become collector’s items! Get them while you can!
Tickets are $25 per day or $40 for the weekend and available at the door or through the Boston Comic Con website: www.bostoncomiccon.com.
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 40,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. Next year’s convention will be held Saturday April 20th and Sunday April 21st opening at 10:00 am each day at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.
For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!

On the Road to Two Comic Book Shows

On the Road to Two Comic Book Shows

by Rick Silva

Boston Comic Con 2012

Quick introduction: I’m Rick Silva. I’m a relatively new member of the NEHW, but I’ve been involved in the local convention scene for quite a number of years. These days, most of the conventions I attend are in my capacity as a small press comic book publisher, although I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a couple of prose stories published in the last year or two, and have done panels and readings in that capacity as well.

For Boston Comic Con, my Dandelion Studios comics were sharing a table with Joe McGlone of Fallenmage Productions and his comics. We drove in early Saturday morning, and were shown right to our table by the very well-organized convention staff.

The show was held in one of the main exhibit halls of the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. We parked at the Prudential garage both days, which was pricey. I’d originally thought we could get around some of that cost by validation deals, or by moving the car to the street for part of the show, but those options proved to be too much of a hassle and we ended up paying full price both days. I think I will go back to taking the subway in (which I did for Anime Boston) if I attend this show again.

Photo by Rick Silva.

The show itself was lively and well-attended. There were some incredible cosplayers making the rounds. Star Trek, Star Wars, and Ghostbusters fan groups were set-up where the fans entered and the hallway was crowded with people taking pictures. The Ghostbuster guys even had a giant inflatable Stay-Pufft Marshmallow Man.

We had a steady stream of people stopping by our table, and just about all the local small press comic creators I know were present at the show, so I caught up with a lot of friends, and bought some new comics and mini-comics in between selling my own books.

Joe was thrilled to get a stack of book autographed by iconic horror artist Bernie Wrightson, and I bought a copy of Womanthology as a birthday present for my wife and got it signed and sketched in by eight of the contributing artists.

Photo by Rick Silva.

Boston Comic Con has been growing every year. I didn’t get too much time away from my table, but the guest list was really incredible this year, and the fans seemed to be having a great time shopping and meeting an impressive guest lists of great comic artists.

Maine Comics Arts Festival 2012

The Maine Comics Arts Festival is one of my absolute favorite shows for a bunch of reasons.

First of all, it’s all small-press creators. As much as I love buying older collectible comics, there is something really amazing about a show made up entirely by comic creators and their labors of love.

Organizers Casablanca Comics does a great job of getting the word out, and the show is always well-attended, and a lot of the audience are families discovering small press comics for the first time. It also helps that the price of admission is only $5.

Then there’s the setting. The venue is the Ocean Gateway terminal in Portland, a cruise ship facility that sticks out into Portland harbor. Forget about dimly-lit rooms or cavernous conventions halls. This place has huge windows all the way around and a spectacular view of the harbor.

It’s also in walking distance of restaurants, and for our son, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum.

The Maine Comics Arts Festival was the first convention our son attended, at age 2. This year was his third time at the show. He’s old enough to have some input into the plans, and what he wants is a train ride!

Portland is a little over three hours from Cape Cod, so we got on the road around 6 a.m. To make things a bit more challenging, I’d pulled an all-nighter scrambling to put together the newest issue of our mini-comic series Unpopular Species (a science/nature comic about creatures that are, well, less loved). Gynn did much of the driving while I got some much-needed sleep on the way up to Portland. Fortunately, even Boston is quiet traffic-wise early on a Sunday morning, and the trip went smoothly.

We spent the day taking turns selling comics and taking the Kiddo on train rides. Turns out you can ride all day for one price. Kiddo was thrilled. Unpopular Species was a big hit, and we had a really good show in general. The ride home was exhausting, but we got back without incident.

This was the finale to a whole series of Spring conventions we’d done appearances at for the comics. Starting with Conbust at Smith College, we were at Anime Boston, Boston Comic Con, the Rochester New Hampshire Free Comic Book Day festival, the Southcoast Toy and Comic Show, and finally the Maine Comics Arts Festival. Now, we get a couple months break before a major road trip at the end of July to Baltimore for Otakon. See you out on the road!

An Outing to Boston Comic Con

An Outing to Boston Comic Con

By David Price

I had no intention to attend Boston Comic Con this year. My son’s girlfriend, Amy, had brought it up a few weeks ago, but no plans were made to go. On Friday night, however, she was over visiting and brought it up again. My son, Devon, had no desire to go either, so she was doing her best to convince him. Now, I haven’t been to a comic con in many years, but the prospect of going piqued my interest. I pulled up the website and checked out the details. There was going to be 74 featured guest artists there. 74! Wow, these things have gotten much bigger since the last time I went.

I use to collect comics. I stopped pretty much cold turkey back in the nineties, when all those endless crossovers became big. They drove me nuts, interrupting the ongoing story lines of your favorite series and also forcing you to buy books you didn’t want, just to keep up. It was a sales gimmick that I quickly grew to despise and drove me away from comics completely. I’m still a fan, of sorts. I see every comic book based movie that hits the screen and I’ve been pretty happy with Hollywood’s attempts to bring some of my old favorites to life. I still have probably thirty boxes of comics in storage. It’s like the fan in me is in hibernation, I guess, like my collection.

So when I looked over that list of 74 artists, I didn’t recognize quite a few of them. I’m guessing there are many who have entered the business since my comic collecting days. But still, there were a few that really caught my eye, like Bernie Wrightson, for instance. Wrightson is an artist I have admired since I started reading and collecting comic books. You see, what first drew me into comics were horror comics. I was reading them for a couple years before I even noticed the super hero books. Maybe it was growing up watching Creature Feature on Channel 56, but I’ve always had this fascination with monsters. Wrightson was of course, an illustrator on many of the horror comics that I grew up loving. These had titles like, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Tales of the Unexpected, and Vampirella. Did I mention he was the co-creator of Swamp Thing? Yeah, that too.

Wrightson didn’t stop with comic books, though. He did an illustrated version of Frankenstein, which is absolutely beautiful. Later in his career, he went on to do some illustration for my favorite author, Stephen King. Mr. Wrightson illustrated The Cycle of the Werewolf, The Stand, and even did some work on the Dark Tower series. Needless to say, I was excited at the chance to meet him.

Also on the list of artists, I noticed the name Bill Sienkiewicz. Wow! There was another guy who had impressed the hell out of me with his art. You see, Sienkiewicz brought a style unlike any other I had ever seen when he entered the comic book industry. In 1984, Sienkiewicz took over as the artist for the X-Men spinoff, New Mutants and brought an expressionistic style that was mind-blowing. I’m not sure it was for everyone, but I know he gained quite a bit of recognition and managed to work with some of comicbook greats at that time like Frank Miller and Alan Moore.

There were a couple other names that stood out to me like Bob Layton of Iron Man, Kevin Eastman of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Simon Bisley whose work I remember from Judge Dredd and Lobo. It was enough for me to want to go. To top it all off, my twelve-year-old daughter, who to my knowledge has never read a comic book, begged to go. Between my son’s girlfriend and my daughter, they managed to convince Devon to give it a try. I was happy to drive, so the plans were made. My daughter invited her cousin, Roberta, so she would have someone the same age to tag along with her.

Saturday morning, I picked up Amy and brought her back to the house. She was carrying this trash bag full of costumes because apparently the three girls were determined to dress up. They had the idea that people went in costume to these cons and they wanted to participate. I certainly wasn’t going to put a costume on, but I didn’t mind if they did. There wasn’t a lot of planning involved here, so my daughter Kay ended up as Alice in Wonderland, Roberta was a sort of Victorian age vampire, and Amy wore a Pink Floyd shirt and flag as a cape. With the girls dressed up and ready to go, we headed off to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

The first problem encountered is that the Hynes is near Fenway Park, and the Yankees were playing the Red Sox that day. Finding parking was an adventure. As we passed the Convention center looking for a parking garage, we saw this ridiculously long line outside of the building. That couldn’t be the line to get in, we said. Spotting several people in line dressed as comic book characters confirmed our worst fears, though.

The line moved quickly, however, and we probably only waited thirty to forty minutes to get in the building. None of us were prepared for what we found inside. It was wall to wall with people. You really couldn’t get anywhere without fighting your way through the zombie-like horde of comic book fans. At first, this really bothered my daughter. She complained to me quite a bit. I reminded her that she begged me to bring them. After a while, we all just got used to it.

Devon and his girlfriend went right over to the Newbury Comics table to check out The Walking Dead books. My family is a fan of the show, but none of us have read the books. He grabbed the first few, which was okay with me, since I wanted to read them, too. Amy grabbed a few things that she was really excited about, including a Doctor Who book as a thank you present to me. We stopped at an artist who did a portrait of my daughter and niece in anime style. This put them both in happier moods. When we hit the back row, I saw the line for Bernie Wrightson. I stepped up and he asked if I had anything to sign. I knew I had forgotten something. Oh well, he had some prints from his work on Frankenstein, so I bought one of those. More importantly, I got a picture with him.

Bernie Wrightson and David Price at Boston Comic Con.

We fought our way through the mob and did our best to take in the whole thing. I had just about given up on finding Bill Sienkiewicz when we finally stumbled upon him. I got another cool picture and my daughter got an autographed Cat Woman print. We tried to find another vendor called Madknits, who had these handmade stuffed little monsters, on the way out, but after bumping our way up and down a bunch of aisles, we gave up and decided to call it a day. The kids were hot, tired, and feeling a bit claustrophobic.

All in all, Boston Comic Con was very cool, but it definitely needs to find a bigger venue. The Boston Convention and Exhibition center on the waterfront is much bigger and more suited to something that attracts as many people as comic con does. They should probably consider upgrading, even though I heard that this was an upgrade from previous years. We all had fun, which was the most important thing. Well done, Boston Comic Con.

Thousands Attend Boston Comic Con this Weekend

Thousands Attend Boston Comic Con this Weekend

by Rob Watts

Finally, the time had come! The weekend where comic geeks all across Massachusetts could gather together and not hold their heads down in shame for enjoying sci-fi, fantasy and adventure. Myself included. This was a major event.

Over the years, this con had gone from being held in small hotel function rooms, to small-scale expo centers, and finally inside the widely popular Hynes Convention Center located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay. Judging by the attendance, an even larger facility may be necessary in the future. Literally, thousands of people flowed in and out of the hall throughout the day, many dressed as their favorite film and comic characters. It’s always cool to see parents bringing their young children to events such as this. It’s a wonderful bonding experience when the older generation can expose their kids to pop culture from their youth, as well as the parents learning about the newer culture through their kids. I actually witnessed a young child asking his dad who the two guys in makeup were (2 guys dressed up as KISS), and as he explained who they were, the kid begged to have his picture taken with them because they looked “so cool!” They actually did so I had to follow suit.

Rob Watts with two convention-goers dressed as KISS musicians.

Oddly enough, there were no celebrity appearances at this event, as large of an event as it was. With the exception of high-profile illustrators, there were no “celebrity” signings to speak of. Last week’s Toronto Comic Con, in which I was in attendance, had many celebrity appearances, such as Scott Bakula, Jeri Ryan and Jeremy Bulloch. This isn’t an important selling point for me, I’m just curious as to why celebs (and the con) wouldn’t take advantage of such a largely attended event. I did have the pleasure of talking to some of my favorite illustrators such as Anne Cain, Ming Doyle and Ken Kelly, who designed a few KISS album covers and he was kind enough to give me a sneak peek of what may turn out to be KISS’ next album cover.

Artist Ken Kelly. Photo by Rob Watts.

Of course, the coolest booth of the day was the good folks over at Sci-Fi Saturday Night. They had an ideal spot by the entrance and had a lot of visitors stopping by to chat with the cast. Dome, Kriana, Illustrator X, The Zombrarian and crew were cool enough to include me in their promo package, highlighting my book, CD and theme song I created for their show. Thanks guys. All in all, a fun day with amazing energy. If I don’t get to the Comic Con in San Diego this year, this one will certainly hold me over for a while.

From left to right: Zombrarian, Dome, Rob Watts and Kriana.

Editor’s Note: I want to thank Rob for writing this entry for the NEHW website and for his Live Journal page. Check out his page here for other entries.

The Mocking Dead

This article originally appeared in the Journal Inquirer, a newspaper out of Manchester, Connecticut.

Local filmmaker to debut “Atomic Zombie” movie in Stafford

By Heather J. Linder

Zombies are taking over the Old Town Hall Saturday as local composer-turned-filmmaker Tony Diana hosts the debut of his first movie, Attack of the Atomic Zombies.

Diana, along with his two friends, created Butterfleye Films to pursue his passion for movie making. The trio developed the zombie movie as a spoof of black-and-white B-movies of the 1950s, he said.

The premiere starts at 6 p.m. at the Old Town Hall, located on Route 19 near Hydeville Road, and costs $5 to get in.

The cast and crew will be present to answer questions and sign autographs. DVD copies of the movie will be on sale for $10.

Attack of the Atomic Zombies was filmed exclusively in Stafford and features an almost entirely local cast of actors, including Diana’s wife and daughter.

The film’s plot centers around an evil scientist named Dr. Harry Housen who comes to town to conduct experiments and then dumps atomic waste into the Stafford water supply. When residents drink the water, they are transformed into atomic zombies.

Diana’s zombie’s don’t attack or bite, though. They loiter more than anything, he said, which was designed as a parody on small town life.

The film is a “love letter to the B-movie genre,” Diana said. “The acting is supposed to be stiff and wooden to make it work. It comes across really hilarious.”

The production company had a limited budget and all-volunteer talent, so Diana, who freelances full-time as a composer and digital editor, used his computer editing skills to enhance the film and make its ‘50s setting look more realistic.

In one scene, he superimposed a 1950s Chevrolet Bel Air in a parking lot, and in others he digitally removed cars or objects that looked too modern.

“The computer opens up a whole bunch of possibilities,” he said.

The movie’s dialogue is also unique, Diana said, because none of the lines were scripted. Rather, Diana wrote a synopsis of all 23 scenes and let the actors improvise.

“They knew what they had to do in the scene but not what to say,” he said.

Many of the actors were familiar with improvisation, but some were new to the craft.

When the cast viewed the film for the first time in November, they were relieved at how well the movie turned out and how hilarious the dialogue was, he said.

“The film has a good heart,” he said, “and it’s a lot of fun. People had a passion for making it.”

All three members of Butterfleye Films worked on the production. Diana wrote the film’s music and synopsis and did visual effects. Brian Thone made all of the props, including Dr. Housen’s nuclear reactor, and did zombie makeup. Steve Bednar helped create the film’s concept and plays Sheriff Ed Wood, the story’s hero, on screen.

The trio is already busy making their second film, which Diana said will be more dramatic and ambitious than the comical zombie spoof.

He hopes to someday make movies full-time and to work with a consistent group of friends and actors to pursue his “intense passion” for filmmaking.

“My hope as we go forward with this venture is to keep using the same people to develop a troupe,” he said. “People will get used to the actors in it and see them play different roles in different movies.”

The movie’s runtime is 71 minutes, including trailers. It was filmed in early September over three weekends, and Diana spent five weeks editing and adding special effects.

After the special Stafford showing Saturday, Attack of the Atomic Zombies will make an appearance at Boston Comic Con in April.

For upcoming event information, visit the film’s website, http://aotaz.necromare.net.