Comic-ConHQ Winter Series Showcase

Comic-Con HQ held their Winter Series Showcase last week, which included previews of three shows and the requisite Q&A with the stars, with a reception following. They have two scripted series set in and around comic conventions, ‘Kings of Con’ and ‘Con Man’, along with ‘Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest’, which we previously reviewed. The evening at the Paley Media Center in Beverly Hills included the obligatory “red carpet” stream of interviews, screenings and discussion, and a reception afterward.

‘Moana’ and the Evolution of the Princess

Moana is the first “Disney Princess” for whom romance is never mentioned or even hinted at. This is an action-adventure story about a smart, fearless, resourceful and (to use the buzzword) strong girl setting out to single-handedly save the world (spoiler alert: she does), without a single mention of marriage, boyfriends, romance or love of any kind except her love for her island, family and the sea.

Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest

My buddy Scott Zillner is featured in the second episode of Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest, and Scott’s a good guy, so I’m gonna go ahead and pimp it. Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest is a new web-based series featured on Comic-Con HQ, a subscription-based website and streaming service created by Comic-Con International.

‘American Flagg!’ – Satire is Prophecy

I recently re-read the two-volume edition of American Flagg! jointly published by Image and Dynamic Forces in 2008, which reprints issues 1-14, and it holds up surprisingly well. It’s also surprisingly relevant in today’s political climate. Aside from being alarmingly prescient, it’s a perfect illustration of one of my adages, “satire is prophecy.”

Of Red Pills and Fandom

I was going to write a post about some bit of pop culture ephemera here, as usual, but this week I was reminded that there’s this boil that’s festering in fandom (and in society at large), it isn’t going away, and it needs to be addressed head on. I refer, of course, to the ongoing and escalating river of misogyny that flows under the comics world, occasionally bubbling up in a noxious eruption.

‘Doctor Strange’ Brings the Magic

Marvel’s Doctor Strange is exactly the kind of superhero movie we all wanted to see back when the ads were promising that we would “believe a man can fly.” The mystic warriors here do a lot more than fly, and it’s all visually stunning. Much more important than the eye candy, however, are the personalities involved, their histories and motivations, and the importance of what they are all fighting for or against. If those things don’t engage us, the amazing effects are just a digital fireworks display.

‘Doctor Strange’ Cast Speaks

The cast of Marvel’s Doctor Strange assembled at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills to discuss the film. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, and Benedict Wong, producer Kevin Feige and director Scott Derrickson, were interviewed by Access Hollywood’s Scott Mantz and took questions from the audience.