Posts Tagged ‘Comic’

Episode 21 of the N3rd Link podcast s hot off the presses.

Some of the topics that are covered:

We breakdown the Designer Toy Awards and give our thoughts on winners and losers.

Mawuli, Geoff and Nico talk about their time at NYCC and all the parties and shows that happened including the Dok A, kaNO retrospective, Kidrobot Anniversary party

We talk the new TV season too.

Nico wanted this posted the Double Fools trooper piece.  http://doublefools.blogspot.com/

Geoff loves the cacooca

This ep’s intro music is from the Cocoa Brovas

Take a listen…Share the link on Facebook, RT us spread the word!

 

New York Comic Con is upon us!!!  This year looks to be one of the strongest in the con’s history.  Not only are there exclusives and panels to check out at the convention center there are shows around NYC.  Doktor A has a show opening at My Plastic Heart, kaNO has an art retrospective show, Kidrobot is having their 10th anniversary party…and the list goes on.

N3rd Link members Geoff, Nico and Mawuli are in New York for the convention and will be providing some pics of the convention through the weekend.

Hear are some pics from the first day of the convention.  It’s great to see the expansion of the vinyl toy scene at the convention as well as other pop culture staples like The Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, Back to the Future Delorean and others.

More pics will be added as the weekend progresses.  Stay Tuned.

Are you at the Con? what are you most excited for?  Tweet us @n3rdlink

Pics were taken at the Kidrobot, Rampage Toys, Art Whino, Tenacious Toys and other booths.

From conventions past, I don’t think Luke Chueh has had as much to offer as he did at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.  With two toys, a print and his book “Bearing the Unbearable” Luke was running on all cylinders for the entire convention.

But was all the hype worth your hard earned cash?  Here are my thoughts on all of his releases.

Target

Overview:  Luke’s latest toy was released one year after seeing the prototype displayed at last year’s SDCC.  When compared to his “Black in White” release I was surprised to see it hit the shelves so quickly.  Adapted from his original painting, Target sports a vinyl toy bear and comes with a paint brush and can as accessories.  The toy then can be displayed with the weathered resin display wall that comes with the figure.  Luke took the time to “tag” each wall with a sketch of his bear with a crown that when viewed from the correct angle it looks as if the vinyl toy is wearing the crown.  Talking with Luke at the convention it looks like there are 3 color ways planned (SDCC White Bear Red paint, OG White Bear w/ black paint, and a Black Bear w/ Gold paint.  Although, No official word on the final two releases has been announced.)

The Good:  The first thing you notice about Target when you pick of the box is its weight.  The heft is not so much from the bear figure, but from the display wall.  The wall is solid resin and created to connect to future Target color ways.  The wall has a lot of texture and gives a feel that it has seen a lot of firing squad sessions.  It is solidly built so be careful placing it in your detolf or onto a glass shelf display (So you don’t break your case).  The sketch of the Bear on the wall was a great added touch by Luke.

The Bad:  If I have to pick one thing “bad” about the figure it is the feel of the bear itself.  The bear is hollow vinyl and is pretty light weight.  When compared to Possessed I feel it doesn’t have as good a mass to it.  My other thought could be the $140 price tag but once you have the figure in your hand I think you will change your mind.

The Verdict:  This was one of the pieces I looked forward to the most at SDCC and it exceeded my expectations.  Munky King did a great job producing it and Luke’s painting translated really well to the 3D environment.  It was one of the best releases at the convention and definitely worth the price tag.  If you are a Luke Chueh fan, pick this up! 

Manufacturer:  Munky King

Ed. Size: 250

Price: $140US

 Emo Bear Murderworld Mini 10-DOH

Overview: Based on the original Nintendo cartridge, Squid Kids Ink created the collectible 10-DOH figure and recently came out with a Blind Box mini version of its larger predecessor.  Luke teamed up with S.K.I. to create a special limited edition mini 10-DOH figure for SDCC with hand splattered red paint done by Luke himself.

The Good:  I grew up playing the NES so the nostalgia factor always gets to me.  It’s a cool little toy that stands about 3.5” tall. The added paint splatter was a cool touch and fits well into the scheme of the “game” Emo Bear Murderworld.  There is also a cool written piece where there is usually a warning sticker on the back of the cartridge.

The Bad: The game label design is pretty simple on the toy.  It’s a close up of the head of Luke’s bear with the title “Emo Bear Murderworld” written above it.  I would have liked to see a little more complicated label design but there is not a ton of room on the mini figure. 

The Verdict: The 10-DOH is not my favorite toy out there but it definitely has potential.  If the SKI crew can continue to work with some great artists it could have a bright future.  Although I am a Luke Chueh fan I was on the fence about this but since there was some added red paint splattered done by Luke I decided to pick it up.  With it being $20 it’s not a bad pick up and overall I am pretty happy with it, but if you decided to pass I wouldn’t hate you…Emo Bear might.

Manufacturer: Squid Kids Ink

Ed. Size: 100

Price: $20

Root Down

Overview:  Luke teamed up with Hi-Fructose to release his SDCC exclusive print.  The print depicts Luke’s Emo Bear, about to saw through his legs which are rooted into the ground as if they are tree trunks. 

The Good:  I really enjoyed the irony of the image because it was printed on wood, because the bear is trying to cut his tree trunk legs.  The quality of the printing was great.  Hi-Fructose did a great job producing the print.

The Bad: The print was a little small for my liking.  It was approx. 11”x14”.  I Normally like a little larger prints to be able to hang on my wall. 

The Verdict:  This is the one Chueh release I passed on.  Besides the fact that I have a bunch of prints in my collection that need to be framed, the image overall didn’t do anything for me.  It’s nice, but not one of my favorite Luke images and I had a budget for SDCC so I had to choose.

Manufacturer: Hi-Fructose

Ed. Size: 50

Price: $60

Bearing the Unbearable

Overview:  If you have been following Luke lately you know that he teamed up with Gallery 1988 and has been on a signing tour for his new art book.  Luke was one of the artists that helped solidify g1988 as a legit art gallery.  The book contains art work and commentary spanning Luke’s career.

The Good:  Jensen from g1988 wrote the foreword for the book, sharing his thoughts on how Luke’s career grew and affected the success of g1988.  From not selling his first painting to literally dodging bullets during one of his early shows you get a glimpse of how Luke’s career got started.  The photos of the artwork are fantastic as well. 

The Bad:  I am not sure how the book can be improved upon.  Maybe choose a different piece for the cover…It’s a book of Luke’s art, how can you go wrong?

The Verdict:  If you are a Luke Chueh or a pop art fan in general it’s a must have.  It’s the next best thing to owning a painting or print and putting it on your walls.  The galleries that were lucky enough to have a book signing each have an exclusive print by Luke.  So if you are in the market to buy the book and want a print as well, checallery 1988, Nucleus Gallery, Giant Robot to see what they have available.

Manufacturer: Gallery 1988

Price: $35

Overall Luke had a great showing at this year’s con.  He is a really humble guy and I am glad I am able to support his work.  I look forward to traveling to Chicago this fall for his next solo show at Rotofugi where he will J-Ryu will be having his first solo show as well.  Two great artists showing right next to each other!

 

Here are some pics of his releases.  So what did you all think of what luke had?

Sorry for the yellowish pics.  Poor lighting.  Root Down pic provided by Hi-Fructose

 

For those that read our blog I apologize for the non-postings.  I (JOhn) got a new job and am in the middle of packing for my move back to Michigan this weekend.  SDCC fever is in full swing and with less than a week away there definitely is a ton of stuff going in the toy world.  I am hoping to have some more posts up as well as some helpful info on exclusives at the Con. 

But for now here is helpful information if you plan to attend any panels (What?! There is more to do than just buy toys?!  Get out of here!)

If it’s popular SDCC probably will have a panel for it.

Here are some tips:

  1. What is a Panel?:  Like most other comic conventions, a panel is a time and place where fans gather to learn about their favorite pop culture obsessions with the creators, producers or actors.  Panels cover anything from comic books to video games to upcoming movies and TV shows. 
  2. Know Your Schedule & Panel Room Locations: If you ever have went to or plan on going to SDCC you undoubtedly have heard of Hall H and Ballroom 20. These are the two largest rooms at the convention center but also the most popular and most crowded.  This is where you will see panels like (Twilight, Big Bang Theory, Psych, The Expendables 2 etc.) If you want to see a panel in one of these rooms be prepared to be in line extremely early…(more on why in a min.)  Other panel rooms are smaller, but make sure you are familiar with their location and that room’s schedule.  Knowing what is before or just after the panel you want to see can help you plan out your day.  Comic-com.org has posted the panel schedules and has some helpful maps and scheduling tools including an iPhone app (which is actually becoming functional) to help plan out your day.
  3. Get there Early:  Panel rooms are not cleared out after each panel. This creates “panel campers,”  people that stay in a room the entire day and are usually only interested in one or two panels.  Plan to be in line at least a few hours before your panel and if it is really popular…otherwise there is a good chance you will miss it.  People will campout overnight (sometimes multiple nights for the beginning of the con) to make sure they get to see the panel they want to.
  4. Ask Smart Questions: After the Actors/Creators/Producers finish their talk they usually allow fans to ask questions.  Once this portion begins my advice is to leave the panel.  The vast majority of fan questions are either terrible, terribly specific (something the actor won’t know or it’s trivial), can’t be answered (the answer would include spoilers), or ask the actors for something (ie. a hug, autograph or some other time consuming crap.)  It’s rare that a fan will ask an educated worthwhile question.  So if you are inclined to ask a question go for it but think twice otherwise you could get booed.
  5. Make Friends in the Panel:  If you plan on being panel camping, make friends with people you are sitting by.  This can help if you have to get up to use the bathroom (which you can do, but don’t forget to grab a panel ticket on your way out or you won’t be let back in) and you don’t want to lose your seat.  Being nice could also help you avoid being stabbed with a pen (not like what happened a couple years ago.)
  6. Clean Yourself: If you plan on camping at night or during the day make sure to clean yourself so you don’t smell.  It is really annoying to sit next to a smelly fanboy, because they haven’t showered or cleaned themselves in a couple days.  At the very least bringing some deodorant and gum can save you some embarrassment.
  7. People Love Free Crap:  If they are handing out free swag at the panel get ready to fight people for it.  People love free stuff and will pretty much trample you to get it.  This happens more on the convention floor but it can happen in panels too.  So prepare yourself.

My thoughts on panels:  Panels can be fun.  I was able to go to a few panels last year and enjoyed myself.  But nothing groundbreaking is announced that I would want to waste an entire day camping out for just to see one panel.  If you love panels, then have at it.  But you really won’t catch me in line for Hall H.

One thing I have learned while collecting toys is to look at pictures artists post on social media of their workspaces.  A lot of times it can give insight into what the artist collects but more importantly, you sometimes get a sneak peek into what the artist has coming out.  Whether intentional or not it’s still pretty cool

The most recent one that was posted also could be one of the first confirmed exclusives at SDCC.

Today kaNO posted a picture on his that showed what looks to be the 5th and final Red color way of his Dragon King figure.  It’s not exactly a close up but you can make out the shape of the figure in the picture.  kaNO also confirmed in a comment that it is the red version and will be released at SDCC.  No other information is known at this time. 

SDCC is only 2 months away so we should be seeing a lot more news about exclusives coming up.  Stay tuned because I am sure we will be having a lot of posts leading up to the con…so get excited.

 

Since I am a collector I spent the majority of my first experience at C2E2 on the convention floor.  This is where all the vendors and the artists in “Artist Alley” are set up.

While walking into the convention center con goers were greeted by a DJ spinning nerd-core music (artists like MC Chris and MC Frontalot).  Giant C2E2 letters mark the convention floor entrance.  After walking past the entrance there are rows and rows of vendors.  For those that have been to SDCC and would expect the same thing I believe you will be pretty disappointed.  At C2E2 the current focus is more on comics and art than TV and Movie studios (we shall see how long this lasts if the convention becomes more popular as time goes on.)

The majority of the vendors on the convention floor sold comics.  This is a fairly big contrast compared to SDCC since comics seemed to be pushed to the side.  There was a good mix of comics available to purchase.   From silver and golden age to more recent titles, any fan of comics could find something they liked if they had the funds to do it (I myself had my eye on a Walking Dead #1 graded at a 9.8 but unfortunately I couldn’t pull myself to pay the approx. $1800 price tag.)

So was there a down side?  If you are a fan of vinyl toys you could be a little disappointed.  There were no real big exclusives and not much of a showing by the vinyl community.  The only booth I saw that really came close was Marty from God beast with his resin glyos type figures.  Other than that it was pretty slim pickings.

As for those fans of prints the best place was to head to Artist alley.  There you could commission drawings or purchase prints or comic art from many talented artists.  Artists like Tony Moore (Walking Dead) and Skottie Young (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) were just a few booths I stopped at during the convention.  Most sketches that you could commission were pretty reasonably priced (<$100).  The quality of the artists in Artist Alley was definitely one of the bright spots on the convention floor.

Besides the food and comic vendors there was a stage (called +2) set up where Con goers could sit and listen to nerd comedians, watch cosplayers entertain the crowd.  This stage has potential, but the sound system was not loud enough to drown out the hustle and bustle of the convention floor.

The coolest thing I saw at C2E2 was probably the Shifty Look display towards the entrance of the convention floor.  Shifty Look takes older video game characters and puts them into a comic series.  First the Shifty Look space had about 6 full size arcade cabinets where you could play old school 8 bit video games for free.  The other cool part was that throughout the weekend an artist made a chalk drawing collage on a board approximately 10’x20’ of all the characters in the video games people were playing.  Though I didn’t get to see the finished product, seeing the piece develop was really cool to just sit and watch.  I hope they are back next year.

Overall I felt C2E2 was a success.  It is a fairly new comic convention that really focuses on…comics.  With tons of panels and many booths and artists to visit it was definitely worth the short trip to Chicago.  Would I fly across the country to attend like I do for SDCC, probably not but if you live near Chicago it is definitely a con you should check out.

Check out some of the pictures I took below form the convention.

If you have any questions or would like to share your experience please feel free to post comments below or hit us up on twitter @n3rdlink.

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Since I was only at C2E2 for a limited time, much of my day at the convention was spent on the showroom floor.  I was able to spend a few hours at a couple of the comic panels I wanted to check out.  Here are my overall thoughts and some of the information I learned while at the panels.

 Panel #1 Marvel’s Avengers v. X-Men:

The panel of course focused on the new comic series that will bring back the phoenix and undoubtedly shake up the Marvel universe.  The speakers at the panel were writers Jason Aaron (Wolverine), Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man), Rick Remender (Secret Avengers) and Editor in Chief Axel Alonso.

The panel was run pretty normally, but started off with a funny short video of Wolverine trying to get retribution for the pranks played on him, which quickly got out of hand and began the fight between the X-Men and Avengers. The video was very Robot Chicken-esque, in that all the characters were action figures.  After the video ended the speakers finally started talking about Avengers v. X-men and allowed some fans to read the next for the majority of the remaining time centered the Marvel app and how if you buy the issues of A v. X you would get a free digital copy of the comic as well as another comic (WHAT a savings!).  I will say, enjoy having a hard copy of a comic, if done correctly an App could really improve the comic reader’s experience. 

No groundbreaking information was shared but I really didn’t expect it.  The majority of the questions asked by fans got the “That’s a spoiler we can’t answer that” response. 

The only solid information that I took away from the panel was that alliances will change and that there will be definite winners and losers.

Panel #2 The Big IDW Panel:

Marketing director Dirk Wood hosted the panel with some of the artists from IDW’s newest and upcoming releases.  This was more of a “What’s coming up from IDW” more than anything.  A few lucky fans walked out of the panel with an exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hong Kong Exclusive action figure.  Some of the upcoming comic releases announced were a new Rocketeer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dr. Who x Star Trek, a new KISS comic, GI Joe, The Crow and Locke and Key will be wrapping up with the last series coming out next year.  Also one comic I did get a little excited about is the upcoming Battle Beasts releases. (I really hope they somehow can incorporate a heat sensitive sticker like the old action figures!)!

The main comic that was talked about during the panel was Smoke and Mirrors.   This 5 issue series produced by writer Mike Costa (GI JOE: COBRA, Blackhawks) artist Ryan Browne (God Hates Astronauts, Blast Furnace), and sleight of hand artist Jon Armstrong  The comic takes place in a 30-40’s era, where magic exists but the main character cannot perform magic.  He must then resort to sleight of hand to try and blend in with the crowd (he isn’t from the magical world).  A young magician finds out his secret and forces the main character to teach him his tricks.  Each issue furthers the story along and at the back of the issue, teaches the readers a sleight of hand trick they can perform.  After the panel I went to their both and picked up issue 2 (one of the only things I bought at the convention…I was quite proud of my restraint.)

Other than that fans asked questions.  I did ask 2 questions at the panel;  It seems there may be a new Ashley Wood book in the works and for the most part the Locke and Key TV show is dead.

Overall many of the comic panels were easily accessible.  Some of the longer lines were for the major players A v. X and DC’s new 52 but they were still manageable.  I didn’t run into problems until I got in line for The Walking Dead panel with Steve Yeun and Lauren Cohan which took place in the IGN Theater (the largest room at the Con).  The room next to the theater was used to corral fans into a snake like line.  There were no ropes or organization to help stop line jumpers or whatnot.  When I got into line, I wasn’t the last person but was at the farthest point from the door so once people started filing into the theater the lines bunched together and blurred so I wasn’t able to get into the theater so I left the line.  I highly doubt I missed much.

Here are a few pictures I took while in the panels.

Next post the Convention floor!

C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) just wrapped up in Chicago.  N3rd Link was lucky enough to be able to obtain a Press badge for the event (we are big time now lol).  C2E2 took place at in Chicago at the McCormick Place North Building.  The convention has only been around for a few years but already has a good turn out of fans coming from all over the Illinois and surrounding areas.

Over the next few posts I’ll be giving my thoughts on the convention and if it is worth your time and energy (spoiler alert it is.)

For this post I will be talking about the actual convention center:

The McCormick Center is located a couple miles from the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.  While walking around the convention center, there did not seem to be a lot of restaurants in walking distance (that’s if you didn’t want to eat inside the convention center.)  BUT the convention had plenty of cabs available to take a quick drive to your destination or if you don’t mind stopping at a couple stops C2E2 provided free shuttles to many different destinations (the shuttle I was able to take took you all the way to the Millennium station right near the “Bean” and a quick walk to many different restaurants and downtown shopping.

The McCormick center North is one section of the four building complex.  The facility itself is fairly new and was kept very clean.  The North building consists of 4 different levels each one housing the different panels for the weekend.  It took some time getting used to the layout of the facility and how the numbering of levels worked (the main convention floor was on level 2, I would have assumed it was on level 1 since it’s probably the largest area.)  But once you get accustomed to the building, it became easier to find the different rooms to visit panels.

For the number of attendees, the McCormick center handled it quite well.  There was plenty of room to walk around and outlets to use if your phone needed a charge.  It’s not as stuffy as SDCC but I have a feeling the number of people attending will only continue to increase as the years go on.  Luckily as the convention expands there are other buildings connected to the North it could easily move into.

Im attaching a few pictures of the facility to check out.

Next post: The Panels of C2E2.

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Episode 11 of the N3rd Link Podcast is up for your listening pleasure.

Due to some vacation plans we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to record last week but we did and here it is.

Links of what you heard on the show will be posted tomorrow. Follow us on twitter for more info!

In its debut, Morgan Spurlock brings his newest film Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope to a limited number of movie screens and accessible on video on demand through most cable providers.

Filmed during the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, Spurlock tries to explain the magnitude the Con has on the geek/nerd population.  Along with following the fans journey to the Con there are a lot of interviews and perspectives from celebrities like Seth Rogen, Seth Green, Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, Stan Lee and others. 

A main point of the movie is that there are different types of people that attend Comic-Con and the documentary follows the trials and tribulations of fans that are attending the con. 

Here are the types of people that were covered:

The Cosplayer: This type of person walks around the Convention floor (and/or in the Masquerade) dressed as their favorite comic/video game/anime character.  Costumes at SDCC range from horrible to elaborate professional grade, that can take hundreds of hours to create.  It is amazing the lengths some fans will go to create costumes.  For the movie Jessica and her cosplay crew created some pretty crazy Mass Effect costumes.

The Comic Artist: This type of fan brings his art portfolio, in hopes of becoming a professional and breaking into the comic industry.  Many companies will hold portfolio reviews to critique artist’s skills.  It’s a tough industry to break into, but if you have the talent Comic-Con is a great placed to get noticed.  The movie shows the highs and lows of 2 artists as they try to break into the scene.

 The Comic Vendor: This fan runs one of the many thousands of booths on the convention floor.  The vendor featured in the movies is the owner of Mile High Comics.  The proclaimed largest comic vendor in the world.  The focus is on the decline of interest of actual comics at the Con which the vendor feels has been taken over by the huge production companies.  He is trying to sell a Red Raven #1 with a price tag of $500,000 to help pay off his debt.  (From experience Mile High has one of the largest booths for selling comics. I purchased some comics from this vendor at last year’s Con.) 

The Panel Camper:  “Panel Camping” refers to fans that go to Comic-Con and sit in a specific Hall and stay there the entire day.  This happens with the rooms that host the most popular panels (usually Hall H or Ballroom 20).  Due to limited space and since they do not remove people from the halls, if you want to see a specific panel you need to be in line hours beforehand which can take up the majority of your day.  This can be annoying especially if there is other stuff you would like to do at the Con.  Some people begin to camp right after the con closes for that day.  The couple in the movie started dating at Comic-Con and the guy is planning to propose to her during a Kevin Smith panel.

The Collector:  This type of fan spends most of his time on the convention floor at different vendor booths standing in line and purchasing the different Comic-Con exclusives to add to their collections.  The movie follows one such collector in his quest to purchase his exclusive toys (We at N3rd Link fall into this category.) 

So here are my thoughts on the movie and if it’s worth your hard earned $6-8 to rent.

The Good:

The movie does a good job of giving an overview of the convention, and how the convention has evolved from a “comic-centered” convention visited by a couple hundred people to a pop-culture mecca with over 140,000 visitors and now sells out almost instantly.  I also believe it did a good job portraying the different types of people that attend the Con.  There are so many different types of fans that attend Comic-Con and I was glad to see that Morgan Spurlock made that known.  One important theme the movie shared was, that  although it is called the San Diego “Comic-Con” comics definitely take a back seat to the movies and TV production companies.  If you have attended Comic-Con recently you probably know that if you want a break from all the pushing and crowds you walk over to the comic section.  There you won’t find people shoving each other to get whatever free thing that is being passed out.  It’s a little sad that comics get overshadowed at the Con even though the many of the blockbusters that have been coming out lately are comic related.

The Bad:

Understanding that this movie is more about getting understanding what the San Diego Comic-Con is…the love of pop culture and the newly accepted celebration of your inner nerd/geek, there isn’t a ton I would change.  I wish they had gone a little more in depth with the process.  Whether it’s the behind the scenes of putting on the Con or a more realistic perspective of the steps fans go through to get to the con and what they put up with to attend (Although if that happened half the movie would be standing in lines.)

The Verdict:  If you are a fan of Comic-Con or interested in what the big fuss is about then it’s definitely something to check out.  If you have been to Comic-Con you probably won’t learn a lot of new information much but you will recognize a lot of what you see in it and it can help tide you over for the 3 month wait for SDCC 2012 to start.  Go check it out! 

It’s available now on your VOD cable provider, itunes.  Morgan Spurlock is taking his movie on tour to select cities with a Q&A after the screening.  Click here for more information.