Jodi Scaife, Fanbase Press Social Media Strategist

Jodi Scaife, Fanbase Press Social Media Strategist

Mid-30s geek type with a houseful of pets, books, DVDs, CDs, and manga

Kodansha Comics is probably best known in the US (and among the WonderCon crowd) for bringing the hit manga, Attack on Titan, to English-speaking readers.  At 4:30 p.m., fans of the series, including some adorable cosplayers, stormed Room 515B for information on the upcoming Attack on Titan Anthology and other news from the publisher and members of the creative team behind the upcoming work.

On Saturday, March 26, moderator Brian Ward (The Arkham Sessions) brought together a panel of geeky entrepreneurs to share their successes and challenges with eager WonderCon attendees in Room 502B.  Matthew Arevalo from Loot Crate, Donna Ricci of Geeky Teas (formerly Clockwork Couture), Janelle Badali from family business Badali Jewelry, and David Nett of LA’s own Nerdstrong Gym generously shared stories of how and when they identified as nerds/geeks and when that love developed into a viable business.

Instead of rushing the WonderCon exhibit hall when it opened at noon on Friday, fans of both the original and rebooted Battlestar Galactica series gathered in Room 408AB to talk with Richard Hatch (the original Captain Apollo as well as the brilliant Tom Zarek in the BSG reboot) and other sci-fi visionaries about a future for the beloved universe. The topics ranged from the place for fan works to deep questions about the themes explored in the show.

Scott Larson’s first installment of Visitations reads as much like a love letter to Chicago’s history as a set up for a tale about organized crime, spirits, and supernatural shenanigans. The opening pages set up the era with a little of Chicago’s history before jumping into the story of a man (who dares to steal from the mob) being treated to being buried alive and then turning the tables on the men who attacked him. Somehow, the seamless merging of history lesson and entertaining tale works perfectly to create something that drew me in immediately.

Chen is enjoying a day of fishing with his young son, Kai, when the water suddenly recedes before the onset of the 2004 tsunami off the coast of Thailand. Strange beings appear in the sand as he races desperately towards the shore, warning him to hold onto young Kai to keep both of them safe. The story is a tribute to the amazing events that occurred in the wake of the terrible tsunami and the reports of supernatural phenomena throughout the region.

The 9-page free Ms. F comic from The Almighties initially seems to be retreading old territory, since the opening scenes have been featured in other versions of the superhero comic; however, it quickly moves into new territory, complete with the tongue-in-cheek, subversive humor that gave the original comic its quirky feel.

Gabriel and Wendy’s lives felt extraordinarily blessed when they were able to reverse the effects of hypno-touch and cure their myriad of life-threatening cancers.  On top of this blessing, Wendy somehow became pregnant during the worst of her illness, and the promise of a child together should bring them closer together than before; however, Wendy’s healing came at a painful cost: complete loss of her special abilities including the emodar that has been part of her being as long as she can remember.  As she struggles to learn how to interact with her husband and family without the crutch of reading their emotions, Wendy spirals into anger and depression that gets fueled further by bad news about her infant son; however, there are people who still value her abilities over her health and safety, and they will stop at nothing to get her help. Could the unexpected trials help Wendy rebuild herself as a stronger woman who will stop at nothing to protect those she loves?

Quin Kincaid’s world was shattered by the final events in Seeker, but she’s ready to try to right the wrongs the Seekers have done to the world with her cousin and newly beloved Shinobu by her side. The Young Dread, Maud, gifted the young woman with the Athame of the Dreads, and Catherine Renart’s old journal contains hints of what John’s mother searched for before her disruption by Quin’s father Briac. The truth is more dangerous than any of the young Seekers can imagine, though, and John, Quin, and Shinobu will all be tested as they dig into an ancient secret that could tear their world even further apart.

If the second issue of Exit Generation dialed the tension up a notch, the third installment in the futuristic, carnivorous alien rescue story takes things up to eleven! Hanna may have only used a flight simulator before, but she knows how to drive her duct-taped and salvaged space craft, even if her maneuvers scare Scrap and Mo to death. (Jack appears to be enough of an adrenaline junky to love risking his life with Han’s crazy stunts.)  While they hurtle towards the alien space ship, Grunt, the vegetarian prison guard, helps the human food escape the larder, but he drops a serious bomb before the captives can board an escape ship: The ship’s leader found Earth because they captured a survivor of the Exit Project, and the individual needs to be rescued along with the other captives!

I had the opportunity to review the first version of Adam Korenman’s When the Stars Fade back in 2014, and when I was invited to read the California Coldblood edition, I jumped at the chance to see how the raw nugget of an excellent sci-fic epic had been honed.  All of the potential that I saw in the original shines, and the plot is tightened to create a more digestible piece for readers to process and appreciate. The series has also been converted from a trilogy to a hexology, so the epic has room to breathe a little more and explore some plot points that were almost footnotes in the first version due to the sheer scope of the ambitious storyline.

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