When Eric Stephenson took the stage at the Image Comics Expo keynote, we had no idea just how many creators and new titles we'd be treated to that day. Between the keynote presentation and the subsequent interviews with each of these creators, there was a lot of information thrown out there, but let's focus on the exciting, new properties at Image.

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.


Yesterday was Image Expo, an all-day media event to show off what's next from Image Comics. Fanboy Comics sent Kristine Chester and I to cover the event in San Francisco. Kristine will be delivering an article with all the news from the show, so I thought I would deliver more of an opinion piece on the Image Expo experience.

 

Tekkoshocon X2Is it just me or are Otaku constantly getting younger? When it comes to an online presence, the young'uns are always gonna have a step up on everyone else, because besides school, homework, and maybe an after-school job, they have an insane amount of free time. I remember those carefree days, hitting up the video store (yes video a.k.a. VHS. Wiki that if you have no idea what I'm jabbering about.), wandering over to a friend's house, popping in the latest hard-to-find anime and sitting back chillaxin' when those kanji credits rolled. Afterwards, we'd talk about it while playing some street hockey and then getting on an AOL chatroom to further that discussion with dorks from other states. If you have to ask what a chatroom is, then Wiki that, too. The point is hardcore Otaku talk used to be few and far between for many. That is, until we could convince Mom to let us go to a con. We wouldn't know anyone other than who we came with, but soon made friends over common interests like what we were watching, how we figured out how to make a cosplay outfit from stuff we found at a thrift shop, and what bands from overseas we got a bootleg of at the last anime club meeting. Thank goodness for cons.

 

Remember MeBy the year 2084, social media has evolved to the point that everyone is equipped with a memory-capturing implant called a SenseEm. People record what they see, hear, smell, feel, and taste and share their experiences with others. This is the core concept by which the setting of the first game from Dontnod Entertainment, Remember Me, is built. Nilin is a memory hunter, one of a select few who can alter the memories of targets with the right reasons, but when she wakes up with no memories of her own, she will have to piece together her past while going up against Memorize, manufacturer of SenseEm, and the most powerful company on the planet.

 

Chew 29If by “despair” they meant “laugh your a-- off,” then the title of this panel is completely accurate. John Layman is perhaps best known for his work on the Image series Chew, but he's also done a lot of other work ranging from lettering and editing to writing other books like Detective Comics and Mars Attacks.

During this Q&A session, Layman told the story of his publishing life: how he first became involved with Wildstorm, editing books like The Authority and Danger Girl, and after a rough ending to that relationship, began freelancing in the world of video games writing Metroid Prime, the “s--t talking dialogue” for the World Series of Poker, American Choppers, and many more. However, Layman's heart has always belonged to comics and to the idea of a cannibal cop in a world forever changed by bird flu. Chew was shopped around for a while, being rejected by Vertigo, IDW, and other publishers before finally landing at Image, where it became an instant success.

 

bells-of-st-johns-doctor-who-poster-247x350The whirl of sonic screwdrivers filled the air as over 1,500 people eagerly waited in line to see an early look at the premiere episode of Doctor Who's second half of Series Seven, “The Bells of St. John,” on Friday night at WonderCon. The excitement of Whovians should be harnessed as an energy source it was so palpable and prevalent throughout all those gathered. Everyone from cosplayers dressing as a wide assortment of Doctors and companions from the series' 50-year history to little kids who got their start during the Matt Smith era and are excited to see their Doctor return were present en mass.

But, as the line filed forward, it became clear that the theater wasn't going to have room for all those who had gathered. Concern started to spread when the call came from someone at BBC America to show not one, but two more screenings of Doctor Who and Orphan Black to ensure everyone who wanted to could see the episodes. BBC America, you're all right in this reviewer's book. You've never seen a more grateful crowd as we filed into the second screening and some familiar music started playing.

Music that Makes You ScreamDear Fanboy Comics Readers:


The FBC Crew attended BMI (@BMI) and White Bear PR's WonderCon panel entitled 'The Music That Makes You Scream,' which featured film and television's talented composers as they discussed the art of composing for the horror genre.  From the frightening two notes that signal the arrival of the great white in Jaws to the shrieking minor chord that will forever be tied to the shower scene in Psycho, music adds an extra special "creep factor" to our favorite frightening films.  Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the leading global music rights organization, and White Bear PR hosted the horror-themed panel in an effort to educate audiences about the role of music in TV and film.

 

The Big Bang Theory PaleyThe Paley Center for Media is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of its highly successful and critically acclaimed PaleyFest, the annual television festival that honors “rich and diverse programming and the creative process behind the medium.”  Last night’s installment of the festival featured the cast and producers of The Big Bang Theory, the highest-rated situation comedy on television, which features four overachieving scientists in their quest for knowledge (and their socially awkward adventures in between).  Hosted in front of a sold-out audience in the Saban Theater of Beverly Hills, CA, the PaleyFest panel succeeded in entertaining fans nationwide by way of The Paley Center’s partnership with Fathom Events, which offered a live broadcast of the event to more than 525 movie theatres across the US.

 

Neil GaimanYou see it on television clips from the past, not so much anymore. Hordes of fans writhing to a frenzy, just to catch a glimpse of the band or performer that sets their soul ablaze. Teenage girls swooning at the sight of Elvis, screaming 'till hoarse as The Beatles exit a plane. Today's fans don't give that same impression. Many seem to be there just to get their faces on television, to extol to the masses that they were there, rather than being there. Many are desensitized to the experience, because they can access their personal lives at the click of a button. Knowing where they are, who they're with, and what they have to say on the topic of everything they care to share. Instances of overkill have become more and more frequent with the advent of technology. I myself have become immune to most events due to the nature of viewing them. Celebrity means less than the fiber content of a cereal being shilled. I haven't felt the excitement of actually being in the same room and getting to meet someone in 15 years. Having done interviews with celebrities, working with them, even eating with them has less (if any) effect on me than the time I got to meet, talk with, and shake hands with John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants. I still remember exactly how it happened and how that memory has stayed with me over all these years. Again, I haven't felt that twinge in the back of my neck or chill of awe and inspiration in over 15 years. Until November 14, 2012. Like the great Peter Sellers movie taught us, the most important part of life? Being There.

 

Husbands S2The Paley Center for Media, known for leading the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and other emerging platforms, made headlines last night at its Beverly Hills location by honoring its first online sitcom, Husbands.  The web series, created by writer/producer Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Upon a Time) and writer/actor Brad “Cheeks” Bell (Pop Up Video), follows a young same-sex couple as they deal with the trials and tribulations that all newlywed couples face.  In a red carpet event, the Paley Center hosted the creators, cast, and crew of Husbands for a panel discussion and preview of the first two episodes of Season 2.

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