Category Archives: comics

Robotech Franchise Previews New Comic Book Series



Robotech LogoIt’s not easy being a Robotech fan. Like a lot of people my age, I first encountered the franchise in its original incarnation as an animated series that ran in syndication on local TV stations in the mid-1980’s. The series really captured my imagination at the time and I’ve been a fan ever since.

For the uninitiated, Robotech began as a mashup of three Japanese anima series that actually had very little to do with each other. In order to meet U.S. TV syndication requirements, Los Angeles-based producer Carl Macek combined the three different shows (Macross, Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross, and Mospeada) into a new story called Robotech, which allowed Macek to meet the requirement that daily animated TV shows have at least 85 episodes. Macek reimagined the three disparate anime series as an epic intergenerational sci-fi series that would see planet Earth caught up in three different intergalactic wars. At the time of Robotech’s debut, there hadn’t been anything like it. The storylines were deep and complex, and contained dramatic elements like interpersonal relationships and the deaths of lead characters.

Despite its early success, the Robotech franchise has gone thru some tough times. Plans for two sequels to the franchise (The Sentinels and Robotech 3000) were scrapped due to various reasons. Macek left the franchise in the 1990’s, leaving the studio that owned the property, Harmony Gold, to go thru a rubber-stamping period that saw the rise of all kinds of Robotech-related merchandise and media. Some of that stuff was great and some of it was terrible.

The 21st century found Robotech trying its best to expand its reach. A full-length animated film called Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles was released in the mid-2000’s. Plans for a sequel went into action but it seemed like the Robotech curse had returned, as that project was put on hold and another idea for a new Robotech TV series was canned when the project couldn’t generate sufficient funds via Kickstarter to produce a pilot episode.

Despite these setbacks, the Robotech franchise continues onward. It was recently announced that a new comic book series was in development. And while full details haven’t been announced as to what the series will cover, the first previews of artwork from the series show some promise. The series is set for release during the summer of 2017 and will be produced by UK-based publisher Titan Comics.

The preview panels contain no dialog, but hint that at least part of the series will take place during Robotech’s first story arc, as the characters and vehicles depicted are definitely from the Macross Saga.

It’s doubtful this series will do much to truly revitalize the franchise. But it’s good to see something coming out of the Robotech camp these days that looks intriguing.


Wizard World / Free Comic Book Day – May 6




Early risers at partner stores in Des Moines, Iowa; Philadelphia; Sacramento, Calif.; Albuquerque N.M.; Columbus, Ohio; Orlando, Fla.; Chicago and Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday, May 6, will be treated to a limited supply of exclusive Wizard World Walking Dead variants, as Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) is proud to celebrate Free Comic Book Day across the country.
Store customers seeking the highly collectible comics, which were previously only available at Wizard World conventions, can also register to win a pair of passes that day to an upcoming Wizard World Comic Con in their market. The first 500 attendees at Wizard World Comic Con in Minneapolis on May 6 will also receive an exclusive variant comic.

Says Wizard World CEO John Maatta, “Local shops are the cornerstone of the entire comics entertainment industry. Everything that has sprung from the industry in the past 50 years–the books, the characters, the fandom, the culture–all started at the comic shops. What was originally fringe is now mainstream; and yet even so, there are tons of niche groups devoted to their favorite characters, genres, and media. The stores provide a home-away-from-home for fans of all types, a meeting place in real life to discuss their passions with fellow fans and to find the latest adventures of their favorite characters.” Continues Maatta, “The comics community is very important to us, and we at Wizard World strive to promote the efforts of many sides of the entertainment industry.” To that end, inserted flyers will also promote noted comics industry nonprofits Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (http://cbldf.org/), which supports First Amendment rights, and Hero Initiative (https://www.heroinitiative.org/), which provides financial support to creators in need.

Walking Dead Wizard World Variants are available on May 6 at the following locations (upcoming Wizard World Comic Con dates in parentheses):
Des Moines (May 19-21) http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/des-moines
Capes Kafe, Mayhem Collectibles, Pop Culture Utopia, Rodman
Philadelphia (June 1-4) http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/philadelphia
Amalgam, Brave New Worlds, Fat Jack’s Comicrypt, Johnny Destructo’s, South Philly
Sacramento (June 16-18) http://wizardworld.com/guests/sacramento
A-1, Big Brother, Comic Command Center, Comics & Collectibles, Empire’s Comics Vault, Metropolis
Albuquerque (July 14-16) http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/albuquerque
Age of Comics, Lobo
Columbus (August 4-6) http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/columbus
Capital City, Comic Town, Heroes & Games, Laughing Ogre, Moore Comics, Packrat
Orlando (August 11-13) http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/orlando
A Comic Shop, Coliseum, Gods & Monsters, Mike’s, Sci Fi City
Chicago (August 24-27) http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/chicago
Challengers, Chicago Comics, Dark Tower, First Aid, Graham Crackers, Maximum Distraction, Third Coast
Nashville (September 8-10) http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/nashville
Comix City Too, Outer Limits, Rick’s Comic City, Starbase 1552

As an added bonus, fans using the code FCBD can enjoy 20% off their general admission ticket price to Wizard World in any of the above listed markets.
Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Comic Con is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor and participate in the famed Wizard World Costume Contest on Saturday evening.

About Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD)

Wizard World, Inc. (www.wizardworld.com) produces comic, gaming and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming and entertainment takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched ComicConBox™ (www.comicconbox.com), a premium subscription-based monthly box service, SocialCon™ (www.socialcon.com) and Wizard World Touring. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.

The 2017 Wizard World convention schedule is available at: http://www.wizardworld.com/comiccon.


Cleveland Comic-Con 2017



Wizard World’s Cleveland Comic-Con kicked off its third annual show this past weekend, with a pretty good crowd. Fans gathered at the Huntington Convention Center in downtown Cleveland to get their fill of comics, art, toys and several celebs. Famous faces included: Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Gene Simmons (Kiss), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Charisma Carpenter and Nicholas Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jewel Staite (Firefly), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek) and more. Wizard World Comic Con Cleveland will return, March 23-25, 2018.


See the iTunes Terms & Conditions Rendered in Comic Book Form



iTunes comicEvery piece of software we use comes with some kind of license agreement. These agreements are usually filled with tens of thousands of words; a veritable sea of legalese and technical terms. Most of us (me included) just scroll down to the bottom of these agreements without reading a single word. Then, we click the Accept button in blissful ignorance and go on to use the latest app we’ve acquired.

But one comic-book artist has decided to take the somewhat unenviable task of poring over the entire Terms & Conditions that come along with Apple’s all-encompassing media consumption platform, iTunes. It’s a daunting project, for sure. But artist R. Sikoryak is definitely having fun with it by turning those lengthy terms into iTunes Terms And Conditions: the Graphic Novel.

The project is being posted on Tumblr where it’s described as, “The complete, unabridged legal agreement, as drawn by R. Sikoryak. A new page added every day.” R. Sikoryak is also fashioning each day’s comic after the work of other comic-book artists. All of the comics feature a vaguely Steve Jobs-esque character and all of the text in the comics is pulled directly from the iTunes Terms & Conditions verbiage.

Imagine if tech companies actually presented their legalese like iTunes Terms And Conditions: the Graphic Novel. They’d be a lot more fun to read, and more people would actually see them!


Stan Lee to Teach Online Course



Stan-Lee

Comic book legend Stan Lee is teaming up with the Smithsonian Institution to teach a five week course on the rise of superhero culture.

The online course is open to all ages, and is delivered via video lectures and interviews, interactive exercises, curated links and readings, and online discussion with course faculty and students from around the world.

Upon completion, graduates will receive a certificate featuring original artwork and Stan’s signature.

“It’s a great honor being invited to share my views on the evolution of superheroes and the genre’s overall impact across all generations of people,” said Stan Lee. “Throughout my career, characters have evolved so much – from drawings on a page to other-worldly special effects only animation could produce, to live-action and so much more. I can’t wait to dive into these discussions thanks to Smithsonian and edX.”

For more information, you can visit the “Rise of the Superhero” sign up page.


Cleveland Comic Con 2015 (Images)



Wizard World kicked off its first Cleveland based Comic Con this weekend with an impressive “thousands of fans” attending, according to Wizard World PR. Lou Ferrigno and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson cut the ribbon Friday evening to open the doors for the inaugural con. The event included celebrity guests (mostly from the West Coast) commenting on the record cold weather Cleveland was experiencing, but all in good fun. Notable attendees included Bruce Campbell, Joey Lauren Adams, William Shatner, Drea De Mateo, and Karen Gillan among others.

Wizard World has already announced dates for next year’s Cleveland Comic Con, which will be held Feb. 26-28, 2016.

Stay tuned for this week’s Robot Underpants show here on Geek News Central for audio clips from some of the panels.