The #1 digital comic platform, Webtoon, is set to return to New York Comic Con with an unprecedented five panels, lanyard sponsorship, and annual Green Room event, announced today. Webtoon will celebrate NYCC with an admirable slate of new and returning titles launching this week including the return of 2018 Eisner Nominee for Best Webcomic Brothers Bond (Kevin Grevioux, Ryan Benjamin), the next installment of Ringo Award Winner for Best Webcomic 1000 (Sanford Greene, Chuck Brown), Backchannel (Stan Lee, Tom Akel, Andie Tong), season 2 of The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn (Tri Vuong), Caster (Austin Harrison, Zach Howard, Mike Raicht, artist Jason Masters, original score and music by Robert Glasper and original song by Common), Finality (Warren Ellis, Colleen Doran), season 3 of Dents (Beth Behrs, Matt Doyle, Sid Kotian), Shadow Pirates (Sean Galloway, Ian Hopps, Cassey Kuo), season 2 of Nothing Special (Katie Cook), and Eat Fighter (Fred Van Lente, Crystal Skillman, Fernando Pinto) – more information below or visit webtoons.com.
Webtoon’s Road to NYCC follows an impressive number of Ringo Awards at last weekend’s 2018 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards at Baltimore Comic-Con with a total of seven including Favorite Hero: Mags (Assassin Roommate), Favorite Villain: Arlo (unOrdinary), Favorite New Series: I Love Yoo, Favorite New Talent: Quimchee, Favorite Publisher: Line Webtoon, Best Comic Strip or Panel: Sarah’s Scribbles, and Best Webcomic: 1000, Chuck Brown and Sanford Greene! Webtoon featured creator Katie Cook (Nothing Special) – returning October 9! – gave the keynote address celebrating the success of this digital frontier. Click to watch the Ringo Awards.
Road to NYCC Launch Summary:
Dents (Beth Behrs, Matt Doyle, Sid Kotian) – Available NOW
Dents is an apocalyptic journey to the year 2111, where more than half of the world’s population has been wiped out by an ancient plague. After a vaccination is developed, there is a massive increase in the birth of identical twins possessing extraordinary powers, known in society as “Dents.” Following an incident at school, Eleanor learns that she herself is a Dent, separated from her twin at birth, and is quickly swept into an underground society of other Dents trying to survive. Dents returns for its final season and epic conclusion.
Shadow Pirates (Sean Galloway, Ian Hopps, Cassey Kuo) – Available NOW
Mao, leader of The Yakooza Group, is stuck behind bars in Old San Diego following an unfortunate run in with The Shadow Pirates. After convincing a group of teenagers to aid in his escape by promising them a greater power than they can imagine the ultimate burst they are transported to New San Diego where they begin their adventure to unlock the burst in the form of The Four Horseman: war, pestilence, famine, and death.
Brothers Bond (Kevin Grevioux, Ryan Benjamin) – Available NOW
2018 Eisner Nominee for Best Webcomic – An exiled prince and his two blind samurai protectors set on a dangerous journey to reclaim their kingdom from demonic forces.
Backchannel (Stan Lee, Tom Akel, Andie Tong) – Available NOW
From Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment comes a sci-fi story following teenager Tom Tanner, a comic loving, engineering prodigy who was raised by his single father Martin, a police detective. On the surface, Tom is having an average high school life – struggling to stay on the lacrosse team, hiding his affections for his friend Sally, and trying to keep his head down and grades up. What his father and friends don’t know is that Tom is being recruited by BACKCHANNEL, a decentralized hactivist group causing havoc at prisons across the U.S.
The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn S2 (Tri Vuong) – Available NOW
Continues to follow the journey of the world’s greatest paranormal investigator – Oscar Zahn. Friend to lost souls, enemy of evil, he may lack a body but that doesn’t mean he’s missing a heart!
Caster (Austin Harrison, Zach Howard, Mike Raicht, artist Jason Masters, featuring original song by Common and score by Robert Glasper) – October 4
Caster is an original multi-media comic series created by the team at Noble Transmission and featuring an original song and score from Oscar-Winning artist and actor, Common. Bringing together action-packed art and storytelling with original music to set the tone, Caster follows the adventures of a world traveling rare antiques dealer who gets caught up in a world of international espionage.
Finality (Warren Ellis, Colleen Doran) – October 5
Finality is a heightened crime drama about Felicity Rockall, the world’s greatest criminal investigator, and Amy Ash, the young DCIS special agent assigned to try and control the eccentric genius as they deal with a frightening murder mystery that may prove to be Felicity’s final case.
Eat Fighter (Fred Van Lente, Crystal Skillman, Fernando Pinto) – October 6
Eat Fighter is a competitive eating, zombie murder epic that follows Miss, a thirty-something fitness nut who throws away her kale and step-counting ways to become a superstar on the competitive eating circuit.
Nothing Special (Katie Cook) – October 9
Callie thinks that in the grand scheme of the worlds at large, she’s nothing special. With the unexpected addition of friendship and adventure into her life, she’s about to find out that she was very, very wrong.
1000 (Sanford Greene, Chuck Brown) – October 11
2018 Ringo WINNER for Best Webcomic – Set in a modern world of aliens, warlocks, zombies, and ancient beasts, 1000 transports readers to a world like no other. The series follows Dragon Son – a supreme entity who’s abandoned all creation – as he struggles to return to his true Dragon form by completing 1,000 acts of repentance.
Webtoon embark on the Road To NYCC celebrating the 2018 New York Comic Con at the Javits Center in New York, October 4 -7, 2018. Webtoon is the lanyard sponsor and have five panels featuring appearances by top creators including Dean Haspiel, Sanford Greene, Common, Monica Gallagher – more information on panels below.
Thursday, October 4
WEBTOON PRESENTS “CASTER” FEATURING COMMON
Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Location: Room 1A10 – Javits Center
Description: Please join us for the launch of Caster, an all-new original digital comic series premiering on Webtoon from Noble Transmission and Freedom Road Productions and featuring original music and score by Common and Robert Glasper. Join Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and 3x Grammy Award winner Common, Freedom Road Productions Managing Partner Derek Dudley, co-creator Austin Harrison, artist Jason Masters, writer Mike Raicht, and Webtoon Head of Content Tom Akel for a special look at the series and discussion of this unique series.
Friday, October 5
SPOTLIGHT ON MONGIE (LET’S PLAY)
Time: 3:15pm – 4:15pm
Location: Anime Fest – Mirai Stage – Pier 94 – NOTE: TIX STILL AVAILABLE
Description: Fans will get a one-on-one experience with the popular creator of Webtoon’s Let’s Play (1.7million subscribers, more than 88 million views, with more than 3 million views per week–and it’s her debut comic!), Leanne “Mongie” Krecic. Her artwork can be seen on IGN, AdultSwim, YouTube, Freeblades, and ImagineFX Magazine.
Speakers: David Lee, Leeanne “Mongie” Krecic
WOMEN INCORPORATED: WEBTOON EMPOWERS CREATORS
Time: 6:45pm – 7:45pm
Location: Room 1A21 – Javits Center
Description: Webtoon has one of the most diverse rosters of creators, with more than 65% female creators and 75% female readership – astonishing figures in the entertainment community! Our female creators cover multiple genres including Fantasy, Slice of Life, Horror, Romance, and more. Hear from some of Webtoon’s top creators on how they broke into the business, found their voice, and some of the challenges they met along the way.
Speakers: Tom Akel, Yen Ee aka Fishball (My Giant Nerd Boyfriend), Monica Gallagher (Assassin Roommate), Leeanne Krecic aka Mongie (Let’s Play), Katie Cook (Nothing Special), and Chelsey Han aka uru-chan (unOrdinary)
Saturday, October 6
WELCOME TO THE DIGITAL AGE OF COMICS
Time: 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: 1B03 – Javits Center
Description: Panel discussion from the big three on the success of digital comics. No longer does a creator have to wait for print and ship, you can go live when you are ready and get immediate feedback from fans. For creators what it takes to join a platform. For readers, the diversity of content is endless.
Speakers: Heidi MacDonald (Moderator, Editor The Beat), Tom Akel (Head of Content, Webtoon; co-writer Backchannel), Dean Haspiel (creator The Red Hook, War Cry), Michael Son (Editor in Chief, Tapas), Michi (creator Born Sexy Tomorrow, The God in the Field), Ben Wolstenholme (CEO/co-founder Madefire; creator MO NO)
Webtoon Creators – Interview SyFy Live stage
Location: Show Floor, Level 3, Booth 174
Details: Fabian Nicieza, Reilly Brown, Monica Gallagher, M. Victoria Robado, Tom Akel
BREAKING IN AND MONETIZING YOUR COMICS WITH WEBTOON
Location: Room 1A02 – Javits Center
Time: 7:45pm – 8:45pm
Description: Looking to break into creator-owned comics with the world’s largest comics publisher? Hear from creators including Shen (Blue Chair), Fabian Nicieza (Outrage),
M. Victoria Robado (#Blessed), Sanford Greene (1000), and Jin Kim (Webtoon Community Manager/Creator Care) on what it takes to break into the industry, how they’ve built their fanbases through Webtoon, and how to survive once you’re a full-time creator. Webtoon Head of Content Tom Akel will walk you through how to publish and promote your own IP on the Discover platform, provide details on Webtoon’s new ad sharing program, their partnership with Patreon, and the eight finalists will be introduced.
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!