Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor

It wouldn’t be Comic-Con without a panel of Kevin Smith in Hall H, telling stories and answering questions. Well, it’s not Comic-Con. It’s Comic-Con @ Home. So instead, we have a panel of Kevin Smith at his home, which debuted Saturday, July 25th. There’s no Hall H, and there are no fan questions… But according to Smith, that might not be such a bad thing. We don’t have to stand in line for hours on end to get in. He doesn’t have to worry about whether or not he’s getting laughs. He just stood in front of the camera to talk about whatever he wanted, and we can watch it at our leisure, from the comfort of our own homes.

Before there was CGI, there was Ray Harryhausen. Before dinosaurs roamed Jurassic Park, they were battling it out in the Valley of Gwangi. Before Bruce Campbell fought a battalion of medieval skeletons in Army of Darkness, Jason and the Argonauts were fighting off sword-wielding skeletons of their own. Stop-motion animation may seem primitive by today’s standards, but the movies Ray Harryhausen made, and the creatures he brought to life, are some of the most iconic in cinema history.

Upload is a rather silly comedy, but underneath the surface, it tackles some deep and complex issues and puts a unique perspective on a lot of things. Therefore, as you might expect, the Comic-Con @ Home panel, which premiered Thursday, July 23rd, also dealt with some deep and complex subjects in a unique way. And, of course, it also had a fair amount of that weird silliness that makes the show so much fun.

Few things fascinate me more than the intersection of real science with science fiction. I have little formal training in science, but it’s a subject that’s always fascinated me. That’s why I was so excited to see this panel, which premiered Thursday, July 23rd.

Star Trek has been a cultural institution for over 50 years. When my parents were dating, one of the hallmarks of their courtship was that my mother would come over to my father’s apartment to watch The Original Series. I myself grew up watching TNG from the time I was three years old. Now, thanks to streaming services, we have shows like Discovery and Picard to carry on the tradition and reach a whole new generation of fans. The Star Trek Universe Virtual Panel at Comic-Con @ Home, which premiered on Thursday, July 23rd, was a celebration of that legacy: what Star Trek has become and where it’s going. It’s also a perfect illustration of why #StoriesMatter.

Ansel lives in a fairytale world, full of gnomes and trolls, giants and dragons. Every year, each person turning 18 chooses a magical quest, where they strike out into the world to seek their fortune—and find themselves. Ansel’s not like the other 18-year-olds, though. Instead of the traditional fairytale garb, he wears a suit and a tie. He tinkers with bizarre magical devices, such as wristwatches and cigarette lighters. And for his quest, he wants to journey to a strange and unknown land of towering glass buildings, horseless carriages, and flying machines—the domain of the legendary Folklords.

The LEGO DC movies are always a lot of fun and completely ridiculous in the best possible way. A couple of years ago, I reviewed Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis, which gave us an undersea adventure that was funny and strange. Now, Shazam: Magic and Monsters gives us more of that same brand of off-beat LEGO humor, and the film doesn’t disappoint. There’s action, there’s adventure, there’s comedy, and the Blu-ray comes with a free LEGO figure. It’s really hard to go wrong with that.

The film, NoHo, came out in 1995, one year after Clerks. The two are very similar: ultra-low budget films about Gen X slackers, meandering their way through life while having amusing conversations. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this film is a direct result of writer/director/star David Schrader watching Clerks and saying, “Hey, I bet I could do that!” Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.

Madeleine Holly-Rosing’s short story, “Here Abide Monsters,” was originally published in the Steampunk anthology, Some Time Later, which I had the pleasure of reviewing a few years ago. Set in the world of Holly-Rosing’s Boston Metaphysical Society, it tells the story of Duncan, a young Irish lad in pre-Civil War United States, attempting to lead Mae, an escaped slave, to freedom and safety.

This comic kind of sneaks up on you. It can turn on a dime from “What’s going on?” to “What happens next?” Of course, it also switches back to “What’s going on?” just as easily. It’s not an easy journey, but it does make for a pretty intense ride.

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