Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Editorials Manager

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Editorials Manager

While disco was hot and bell bottoms were cool, the late 1970s saw an influx of popular culture milestones on the silver screen that included the release of Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Halloween, Apocalypse Now, and Alien. Director Ridley Scott introduced a new kind of science fiction space horror in which he re-appropriated and re-imagined the slasher genre. With this film, Scott explored themes of survival, isolationism, the final girl concept, and the uncanny valley, as well as showcased the visual aesthetic created by German artist H. R. Giger. In Alien, Scott introduced audiences to LV-426, one of the three moons orbiting Calpamos, but it was in James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens that revisited LV-426, no longer devoid of human life, but inhabited with a terraforming colony called Hadley's Hope. Needless to say, there wasn’t a whole lot of hope or colonists by the time Ripley returned to the xenomorph-infested moon.

Titan Comics released the first of two issues of Dark Souls: Tales of Ember earlier this month. Based on the video game developed by FromSoftware, Inc. and produced by Bandai Namco Entertainment, this issue collects three stories bookended by an intro and outro. The anthology expands on the lore of Lordan and Dragleic under the editorial guidance of Tom Williams (Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame) and Wilfried Tshikana-Ekutshu as the series designer. Lettering for the issue is provided by Williams and Michael Walsh (Hawkeye; King Warlock and Blue Bird).

Moderator Patrick Reed (ComicsAlliance) began the WonderCon 2017 panel, “Discover the Music of Comics,” on Saturday afternoon, April 1, 2017, by explaining that music and comics go way back, back to at least the 1960s in which popular bands, such as The Beatles and The Monkees, crossed over into comic books. In the 1990s, Prince was based on a concept pitched and approved by the musician, Deadline introduced the character of Tank Girl, and Michael Allred created Red Rocket 7. More recently, music has been featured in The 5th Beatle and The Wicked & The Divine; however, it’s not all just rock ‘n’ roll: the 1986 Rappin Max Robot featured hip-hop culture, and the period comic book, Stagger Lee, had a blues focus.

Charles "Chuck" Higgins was at the wrong place at the wrong time when he bumped into an inebriated space traveler named Joppenslik "Jopp" Wenslode. Quickly captured by the Prime Partners Intergalactic Consortium, Chuck and Jopp are forced to work together, hauling cargo between space destinations. Their friendship is solidified when Haaga Viim and his crew of mercenary space pirates attack Jopp and Chuck’s cargo ship, causing them to crash on an outpost planet. The madcap adventure takes off from there, and after some plot twists and red herrings, the pair solve their crisis.

On Sunday afternoon, April 2, 2017, at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Winner Twins (Brittany and Brianna) were joined by Steven L. Sears (writer and executive producer, Xena: Warrior Princess) for the “How to Create Your Own Novel: From the First Idea to Publishing and What You Need to Sell Your Work to TV and Film” WonderCon panel.

Gray Bear Comics has just released issue two of Speak No Evil, where the story picks up with brothers Silas and Edwin in the basement of a derelict cabin in upstate New York. Unbeknownst to them, the cobwebbed box they just opened is the same one that Nicolas Tesla packed all of his equipment into after an experiment went terribly wrong. The boys inspect the various items including goggles, a plasma blaster, and a phonograph, on which they played a couple of recorded cylinders. The gang chasing the siblings show up, but so does….well, you’ll just have to read issue two to find out. Like the old-time serials that were shown in cinemas prior to the feature film, a six-page short story “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” (Chapter 2) follows up the main story and provides an interlude tale of a con artist. And, a second episode of “Speak Up, Chuck” is a flashback of Tesla building the plasma gun and the teenage Charles proving incapable of catching a goat for an experiment.

A Fanbase Press photo gallery has been created to accompany this panel coverage. Feel free to reference the photos as you are reading through this panel coverage.

Positive energy and enthusiastic vibes reverberated through the Anaheim Convention Center as fans of popular culture converged the location for the return of the three-day annual event, WonderCon 2017. In one of the upstairs conference rooms on Friday afternoon, March 31, 2017, Vice President of Marketing & Communications Hunter Gorinson and publisher Fred Pierce took to the stage to lead the panel, “Valiant 101: The Story Starts Here.”

On a warm sunny Sunday afternoon, March 26, 2017, fans flocked to the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles for a screening and panel discussion with the cast of ABC’s Scandal. The panel was part of the PaleyFest sponsored by Hulu (streaming the panels), Official Card Citi, and The Los Angeles Times. For those who may not be familiar with this TV program, the show revolves around a fixer, who is the "go-to" person to resolve delicate and sensitive political situations that require crisis management. Set in Washington, D.C., there are naturally several story tendrils involving White House staff – all the way to the President. As the name implies, there is plenty of scandal in the nation’s capital and fans love it.

Having announced retirement at the beginning of this year, the 68-year-young Wrightson succumbed to brain cancer on Saturday, March 18, 2017, and it was devastating news to many in the industry. His artistic style was easily recognizable among the comic book titles on the shelves over the years, and he was an inspiration to many aspiring artists interested in taking a more classical approach to their illustrations.

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