From 80 years of Superman to headline-making publishing initiatives, DC Entertainment will reveal further details regarding its innovative new imprints alongside the industry’s biggest artists and writers, as well as unfold a celebration for the record breaking “Action Comics #1000” at WonderCon, taking place in Anaheim on March 23-25.
Pop culture history will be made when the series that launched the superhero genre and introduced Superman to the world, “Action Comics,” reaches its landmark 1000th issue. From the return of the red trunks to eight decades of hope, optimism and adventure, the DC’S “Action Comics 1000”: Celebrating 80 Years of Superman panel will not just celebrate the history of the legendary Super Hero, but discuss why Superman is needed now, more than ever before.
Plus, WonderCon will debut the first ever “DC All Access” live broadcast of the DC Publishers panel. Live from Anaheim on Saturday, March 24, the special 90-minute panel headlined by Jim Lee and Dan DiDio will feature a trove of surprise guests. Be there as the DC Publishers share their bold editorial vision that promises to expand readership like never before. Fans not attending WonderCon can watch the Livestream on the DC YouTube channel or on the DC Comics Facebook page.
DC’s expansive booth (#1101) will be a must visit for fans, hosting various exhibits showcasing DC’s world class characters, fan giveaways, and more. The booth will also host a packed signing schedule including appearances from Jim Lee alongside Alex Sinclair, bestselling writer Scott Snyder (“Dark Nights: Metal”), the producers and writers behind the hit new CW series “Black Lightning,” the voice cast behind Cartoon Network’s “Teen Titans Go!,” the “Constantine” animated series from CW Seed and the forthcoming Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay” and “Batman Ninja.” VIP signings are only available through WonderCon’s online Exclusive Portal at https://www.comic-con.org/wca/exclusive-signings. The final day of eligibility for VIP signings is Wednesday, March 14.
Across the aisle, the Graphitti Designs booth (#1001) will also feature a collection of rare, limited edition silver foil variant issues of DC’s hottest comics featuring covers by Mikel Janin (“Batman #43”), Stanley “Artgerm” Lau (“Supergirl #19”) and Mitch Gerads (“Mister Miracle #7”). All comics are priced at $15 each, bagged and boarded and available while supplies last.
From bestselling series to iconic characters, DC’s WonderCon programming features a collection of must attend panels (panelists and panel times are subject to change).
Friday, March 23:
5:30-6:30 p.m. DC “Action Comics”: Celebrating 80 Years of Superman – As the longest-running superhero comic series in history reaches its millennial milestone, contributors to the star studded issue of “Action Comics #1000” include “Action Comics” creative team Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund, DC Publisher Jim Lee, Jason Fabok (“Man of Steel” miniseries), Alex Sinclair and Marv Wolfman will join fans in a celebration of eight decades of enduring hope, optimism and adventure from the most iconic Super Hero of all time – Superman. Room: North 200B
Saturday, March 24:
10:00-11:30 a.m. DC Publishers – Streaming live from WonderCon to fans around the country, DC Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio will highlight key initiatives that have made DC the talk of the industry. The first few months of 2018 alone has produced two new imprints for young adult readers, The Sandman Universe line of comics overseen by Neil Gaiman, DC Black Label imprint, featuring a collection of edgy, provocative graphic novels and comic books, a new editorial team for iconic MAD Magazine and more. Some of the biggest names in publishing will take the stage with Jim and Dan to discuss how DC will elevate its iconic Super Heroes to a level never before reached. Room North 156
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. DC Universe – Featuring action-packed series that have enraptured fans and garnered critical acclaim, join some of the creative minds bringing DC Universe’s world class roster of iconic Super Heroes to life, including Mitch Gerads (“Mister Miracle”), Julie Benson and Shawna Benson (“Batgirl and The Birds of Prey”), Liam Sharp (“The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman”), Josh Williamson (“Justice League: No Justice,” “The Flash”), and more for a compelling dive into the most talked about series in comics. Room: North 200B
5:00-6:00 p.m. DC Super Hero Girls – Making headlines for chart topping sales, the wildly popular franchise aimed at young girls is taking the world by storm and introducing DC’s iconic characters to a new generation of fans. Anais Fairweather, who stars as Supergirl in the “DC Super Hero Girls” animated series, will join writer Shea Fontana, artists Monica Kubina and Yancey Labat and editor Marie Javins to discuss how the franchise, with its books, animated series and action figures, continues to enthrall parents and kids alike while giving its young fans superhero confidence. Room: 210
Sunday, March 25:
10:30 – 11:30 p.m. DC – Art Academy – Home to some of the most talented artists working in comics today, panelists including Dan Jurgens (“Action Comics”), Yancey Labat (DC Super Hero Girls), Chris Uminga (DC Artists Alley line) and more will offer a special look into their visual approach in shaping some of DC’s most celebrated Super Heroes. Room: 210
1:30-2:30 p.m. MAD – Featuring new faces and all-star contributors, the panel will give a sidesplitting preview of what’s to come in the world of MAD. Executive Editor Bill Morrison will be joined by legendary cartoonists and illustrators Tom Richmond and Sergio Aragones, new contributors Bob Fingerman, Luke McGarry and more for a laugh out loud look at the future of MAD. Room: 213
For a complete list of signings and panels, behind the scenes coverage and in-depth interviews directly from DC’s web series, “DC All Access,” download the “DC All Access” mobile app. The app is available for free at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
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!