By Jason Harris
Altered Reality Entertainment and Rhode Island Comic Con have announced this week a new division to their ever-growing presence in the comic book and entertainment industry, Altered Reality Entertainment Comics. Altered Reality Entertainment Comics will release THE RHODE WARRIOR #1 on November 11 at the fifth anniversary Rhode Island Comic Con.
Written/Co-Created by: Ian Chase Nichols
Interior Art by: Chris Campana, Hannibal King, Ian Chase Nichols, Joe St. Pierre
Cover by: Pat Broderick and Sean Forney
Pinup by: Jay Kennedy
[Assistants: Griffin Ess, Jay Kennedy, Robert Carmona]
24 pages • ALL-AGES
In Issue #1, a vile new menace has brought his evil plans to Providence, which threatens the safety of the entire city and all its citizens! Local authorities have only one person to turn to—The Rhode Warrior. In a world filled with super-powered beings and villains of all types, she is Rhode Island’s new defender.
The Rhode Warrior’s adventures are all-ages superhero stories which take place in Providence and the surrounding areas. The Rhode Warrior is a tough character with a strong sense of right and wrong. She is meant to embody the personality, strength, and resilience of the people of Rhode Island & New England.
“Steve (Perry) and the rest of Altered Reality Entertainment have given us an opportunity, and we are doing everything we can to deliver something new and exciting to the fans attending Rhode Island Comic Con. The Rhode Warrior has work by phenomenal creators that I grew up reading. Seeing them bring a superhero to Rhode Island is really something else,” commented the book’s co-creator, Ian Chase Nichols.
The Rhode Warrior #1 will be available exclusively at Rhode Island Comic Con, November 11 to 13 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin Donuts Center arena. Copies of the premiere issue may also be pre-ordered through the convention’s website, http://www.ricomiccon.com. Tickets to Rhode Island Comic Con are still available through their website, The Dunkin Donuts Center Box Office, and all Toy Vault locations.
Ian Chase Nichols has worked on multiple Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series for IDW, Imaginary Drugs (IDW), The Tick (NEC) and numerous other independent comics, books, and newspapers. He is also a graphic and web designer. He has been the lead designer for numerous award-winning books.
Altered Reality Entertainment, LLC is an event entertainment company based in New England. It currently produces multimedia, multi-genre events in the New England area including Rhode Island Comic Con, Terror Con, and Southcoast Toy and Comic Show. In 2016, Altered Reality Entertainment expanded its footprint to include Hartford ComiCONN and Colorado Springs Comic Con. Comic book publishing is its newest venture.
Altered Reality Entertainment, owners of Rhode Island Comic Con, the Biggest Show in the Smallest State, have announced a partnership with Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, Rhode Island based auction house to host a Major Toy Buying Event slated for January 16 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Crossings in Warwick, Rhode Island.
The daylong event, featuring entertainment for the entire family, will be hosted by TV’s toy hunting phenom Travis Landry. Attendees of this free event will have the opportunity to sell toy collections consisting of Star Wars, Transformers, comic books, G.I. Joe, and Barbie, among many other toys and collectibles. Collectors can also participate in free, no-obligation appraisals of their collections.
Entertainment of this exciting inaugural event will include celebrity appearances by pro-wrestler Rikishi, Ghost Hunters’ own Joe Chin, and Rhode Island’s TAPS team. Singer VChenay will also perform live. Family events of the day include a chicken wings contest and cosplayers.
This major toy buying event runs this Saturday, January 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking and free admission is available to all in attendance.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Crossings is located at 801 Greenwich Avenue in Warwick, Rhode Island.
By Jason Harris
The second Rhode Island Comic Con held at the Rhode Island Convention Center was a big success. The attendance for this year was around 33,000, which was close to 11,000 more than last year’s convention. There were some issues with pre-sale tickets and a few celebrities such as Anthony Michael Hall, Jett Lucas, and Nichelle Nichols weren’t able to make it because of the gunman who shot up Terminal 3 at the Los Angeles International Airport Friday morning. Nichols felt so bad about missing the convention that she has already signed on for next year’s convention.
Comic Con had the entire convention center this year so the organizers were able to make more room in the aisles so there was plenty of room to browse the vendor tables and get pictures of the cosplay that were on display around the entire convention. There were people dressed as characters from movies, television, comic books, video games and books.
I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures.
By Jason Harris
Lew Temple’s time on The Walking Dead has ended, but he’s still proud of the work he did on the series, even though he thinks his character Axel had more to do in the show.
“I was obviously disappointed,” Lew Temple said. “I thought he was going to be serviceable to the group.”
Temple was given the news three weeks in advance that his character was going to die. He was in denial at first, but after some time he had to commit to it, he said.
“My intent is to always serve the story and that was my job. I wanted to do the best job possible.”
Temple did feel “disappointed for Axel,” though. As an actor, he will go on and work, but Axel is gone forever, he said.
The character of Axel will live on in The Walking Dead comic books and in reruns.
Temple did use the comic book character of Axel as a blueprint. Since comic books are one-dimensional, he had to make the character three-dimensional.
“I’m certain that we were able to use some of Robert [Kirkman’s] characteristics of Axel, but also brought some of my own to it as well.”
The producers on the zombie series knew of Temple before he came on in season three since he had been in to see them for the pilot.
“They looked at me for the role of Merle, originally, and then after that they hired Michael Rooker. Then they needed Merle’s brother, Daryl, who at that time was not even named.”
Temple auditioned for Daryl by reading Merle’s lines differently, which he was asked to do by the producers.
“Thankfully, they hired Norman Reedus. So when Axel came around they came to me and we were able to make that work.”
Temple was aware of the popularity of The Walking Dead, but not of the cross-cultural phenomenon it has become.
“I would say it hasn’t hurt me,” Temple said about Hollywood recognizing him from the popular series. “I would say prior to The Walking Dead I had a certain body of work Hollywood was aware of, and I was working prior to The Walking Dead …”
He admits that the series has elevated his visibility, which has helped him. He doesn’t know if his time on the series has defined him, which only “time will tell.”
“I like to do diverse stuff. I’m certainly proud of the work I did on The Walking Dead and to be part of that show. It’s been such an incredible hit.”
Temple has worked with writer and director Rob Zombie on Halloween and The Devil’s Rejects. He has “a really great relationship beyond a working relationship” with Zombie.
“I adore working with him because he knows what he wants and wants what he knows so there’s not a lot of grey area in-between. He is an absolute perfectionist and he does whatever it takes to make the day work, and if that means he needs to provide something on set, he does so.”
He does expect to work with Zombie again because he thinks they work well together. He just doesn’t know when that will happen.
“I think that I bring something to his story that he appreciates. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Lew Temple in a Rob Zombie production yet again.”
Along with acting, Temple is “an incredible baseball fan.” He adores the game and it has been his first passion since he was a little boy. He’s even played it all the way up until the minor leagues with the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. When he couldn’t play the game, he worked as a baseball scout for the New York Mets. Now he roots for the Atlanta Braves.
“I would say I’m excited for the Red Sox, but rooting for the [Detroit] Tigers.”
Temple also writes music.
“I think that I am a pretty interesting songwriter. I think that I am able to spin a tune, at least in my head.”
He has a record deal with Universal through the Rob Zombie production, Banjo and Sullivan.
Pictures from the First Day of Necon 32
by Jason Harris
The trip to the Northeastern Writers’ Conference (Necon) took a stop in Bellingham, MA. at the Friendly Neighborhood Comics. It wasn’t a stop for comic books, but a few collections of Batman comics were bought. The stop was made to meet the store’s owner, Ernie Pelletier, Jr. and to look over the store since there will be an Epitaphs signing on Saturday, Oct. 6.
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.
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.