The SoCal Retro Gaming Expo held its 2017 winter edition convention this past weekend, on February 4th and 5th at the Ontario Convention Center. Previously, the convention’s 2016 summer show was held at the Frank and Son Collectible Show in the City of Industry and was a one-day affair. (Read the Fanbase Press coverage of the summer edition here.) Although the winter convention was a two day event, this write-up serves to document Sunday.

New Jersey’s largest indoor toy, comic, collectibles, and gaming con, ToyConNJ, was held the weekend of November 12 and 13 at the PAL building in Parsippany. Over 30,000 square feet of gyms, utilities rooms, and hallways held over 200 eight-foot tables filled with vintage and contemporary toys, movie memorabilia, comic books, video games, artwork, and more. From hard-to-find G.I. Joes to the latest Funko POP! figures, the vendors offered a huge range of toys at reasonable prices.

Special note: Madeleine Holly-Rosing is a Fanbase Press Contributor, and Sebastian Kadlecik is the writer/artist of Fanbase Press’ Penguin vs. Possum comic book series, as well as the creator of the upcoming series, Quince.

As one of the last panels of Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con on Sunday afternoon, October 30, moderator Barbra Dillon led “Fanbase Press Presents: A Guide to Self Publishing” and assembled a group of panelists who have published projects independently. Lending their expertise were Josh Trujillo (Death Saves: Fallen Heroes of the Kitchen Table, Love Machines), Amanda Meadows (from The Devastator: We Don’t Think Your Racist), Madeleine Holly-Rosing (Boston Metaphysical Society), Sebastian Kadlecik (Penguins vs. Possums, Quince), and Joshua Henaman (Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman).

In anticipation of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, four fans were inspired to create a website that they aptly called The One Ring (TORn). It started as a basic, informational landing page with a message board in which fans could discuss all-things Tolkien. Although the LoTR and Hobbit films have faded with time, it does not mean that the fandom surrounding them has subsided. Cliff Boardway moderated the Saturday, October 29th, panel “Tolkien Fandom: The Road Goes Ever On” and was joined by fellow Tolkien enthusiasts that included Josh Rubenstein, Cathy Udovch, and Nancy Steinman.

On the last morning of Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con, a small audience group gathered for the “From Wonder Woman to Elektra: How are Women Characters Represented?” panel which was moderated by Jessica Tseang (Little Geek Girl). Joining her were Ify Nwadiwe (Krillin It with Dani and Ify), Dani Fernandez (Krillin It with Dani and Ify), Barbra Dillon (Editor-in-Chief, Fanbase Press), and Steven L. Sears (Xena: Warrior Princess, Sheena).

Moderator Russell Nohelty (founder, Wannabe Press) posed the question: How do you build an audience when you don’t have a product to sell? To answer that question, Nohelty assembled a handful of creators that included Bryant Dillon (Fanbase Press President and Co-Founder), Lynly Forrest (HexComix Producer), Neo Edmund (author of A Tale of Red Riding: Rise of the Alpha Huntress), Joie Brown (writer/artist of Heavenly Kibble Guardian Corgi), and Mom (organizer of the Los Angeles Women’s Comic Creator Group - a.k.a. The Ladybugs).

It was 75 years ago that Wonder Woman first appeared in the December 1941 All-Star Comics #8 as an 8-page story. The warrior princess was created and written by William Moulton Marston, while artist H.G. Peter brought her to life visually. She is a founding member of the Justice League and has most recently been honored in the real world a couple of weeks ago with a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. And, at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con last weekend, she was the subject of multiple panels, including “Wonder Woman 75: A Retrospect of an Icon,” moderated by Londyn Jackson, who was appropriately attired in a Wonder Woman costume. Joining Jackson were Shannon Farnon (voiced Wonder Woman on Hanna-Barbera’s Super Friends), Cat Staggs (artist, Wonder Woman ’77), Marc Andreyko (writer, Wonder Woman ’77), Susan Eisenberg (voiced Wonder Woman on Cartoon Networks’ Justice League and Justice League Unlimited), Christie Marston (granddaughter of William Moulton Marston), and Albert Ching (Managing Editor, Comic Book Resources).

This Halloween season, The Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns brought 5,000 hand-carved jack o’lanterns to four locations across the country for guests to explore. Artists crafted their pumpkin masterpieces to the likeness of classic characters, celebrities, athletes, and politicians. The New Jersey event at the Meadowlands Expo Center contained Disney characters, horror movie legends, superheroes, supervillians, and Hillary and a Trumpkin. There was an in memoriam section that included Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali, among others. The room was dark, allowing the illuminated pumpkins’ carved images to glow.

Clive Barker is one of the leading creators in the horror genre today. Over the years, he has raised the level of scares on a physical and psychological level with such films as Hellraiser and Lord of Illusions. With the harvest and Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con upon us, moderator Rebekah McKendry of Blumhouse assembled a handful of individuals dedicated to Barker’s vision at the “Clive Barker: Looking Ahead” panel held Saturday, October 29. Included in the panel were Blumhouse’s David McKendry, Matt Murray of POW! Entertainment, Mark Alan Miller, VP of Seraphim Inc., Thommy Hutson (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy), and Ben Meares, Creative Executive at Seraphim Inc. During the panel, upcoming books, films, and comics were revealed.

As unfortunate events happen to the character of Barb in the Netflix original series Stranger Things, it seems uncanny that the actress that portrays her, Shannon Purser, would also have a bit of bad luck surrounding her panel at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con that took place on Saturday afternoon, October 29th. Scheduled to start at 1:30 pm, her panel did not commence until 1:55 pm. While her panel was in two combined meeting halls, a large majority of attendees were, in fact, claiming their spots in anticipation for the following 2:30 p.m. panel on Batman ’66. This caused seating issues for folks arriving to see the Stranger Things panel, but not finding a spot due to all the Batman attendees. Per the program, the panel was to be attended not only by Purser, but also by Shawn Levy (executive producer, and director of episodes 3 & 4), Dan Cohen (executive producer), Andrew Furtado, and Tyler Craig Henry, but in the end, it was only Purser and moderator Greg Beville.

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