The wait is finally over! The first Iron Man 3 trailer has been released.
This will have to keep you going until May 3, 2013 when the movie will be released, so… savour every moment!
So we don’t have a means of teleporting but we like to think we did a fairly awesome job at being at two cons at once, AND being on both sides of the world! So, while some of the Curicon team were living it up in New York, the rest of the team took themselves down to Melbourne for the weekend, hung with the cool guys from Kings Comics and generally had an awesome time at Armageddon! Here is photographic evidence of the weekend
First five issues compiled into a hardcover collection
IDW have today announced the debut of True Blood: Where Were You? which will hit stores in December. The first collection of the True Blood ongoing series will be released in hardcover, arguably making it the perfect Christmas gift for any vampire loving collectors out there.
Written by comic luminary Ann Nocenti and series actor Michael McMillian (Rev. Steve Newlin), the collection includes creative collaboration by True Blood creator Alan Ball. According to the IDW press release, the book will allow fans of the series to learn ‘the beloved cast of characters’ roles in and reaction to the “Great Revelation”, the day when the vampires revealed themselves to the world’.
So what say you True Blood fans? Will you be rushing out in your droves or is it something you could willingly give a miss? Answers on a postcard! Or just below in the comments section. That’s what it’s there for….
TRUE BLOOD: WHERE WERE YOU? ($24.99, 120 pages, hard cover, full color) will be available in stores in December 2012. Diamond order code: OCT12 0408. ISBN 978-1-61377-424-3.
Well, we made it to the other side! One whole week of very little sleep, amazing people, bizarre and brilliant cosplays and we made it through NYCC. Below are some pics of the entire weekend!
Editor’s Note: Last week, we had a really enthusiastic lady come to Curicon. She was awesome and we wanted to keep her. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. She was in Sydney on a holiday from Ireland and used some of her holiday to learn about the geekery that is the world of collectors! So we released her back to the real world as a fully-formed comic book and vinyl toy fan. But not before we asked her to let you guys in on her experience at Nerd HQ. Meet Alice Carroll, intern-extraordinaire
Being a student of marketing, I was delighted when I was offered an internship with Curicon’s Marketing and PR department. However I must admit, what Curicon covers was totally new ground to me. But under the guidance of the brilliant Kerrie O’Callaghan (also once a newbie to the ‘geek’ scene), I quickly adapted and can now safely say I know a lot more about collectibles, comics, action figures and vinyl figures than I once did.
Interning for Curicon isn’t like interning for any other company. Simply because it isn’t like any other company! It’s completely new and different. I knew that the minute I stepped into the office to see stacks of comics and action figures on every desk. The best thing is, everybody there really loves what they’re doing. And that energy is infectious! It’s hard not to get caught up in the buzz of ideas and discussions about the site (even if I don’t understand all the lingo yet).
Another reason I loved interning with Curicon is because they give you the opportunity to learn by actually doing things. Having heard horror stories about interns at various companies being used more like slaves than employees (read: constant ‘coffee runs’), I was skeptical as to what I would be actually doing in the office. But I was pleasantly surprised on my first day as I was immersed in proper work and involved in brainstorming for upcoming advertising campaigns and competitions. (Stay tuned for a HUGE competition announcement – Ed)
Day two at Curicon was a little more… erm… unsettling. Despite being warned in advance, I was a little taken aback at meeting the in-house cockatiel. Mainly due to the fact that I – silly me – thought he’d be in a cage. So was just a little surprised to see him flying around the office! But that just adds to the laid back fun at the Curicon office.
The timing of my internship couldn’t have been better as, not only was the office preparing for the official launch, they were also preparing for New York Comic Con in October. So I really got to experience the work that went into planning for such events. And let me say, I have learned there is a LOT more ‘behind the scenes’ work to be done than I had realized. But once again, I was given the opportunity to be work first hand on the planning, between researching costs, emailing companies and presenting my ideas regarding promotional devices, I felt really involved in the whole process (plus I found the coolest USB Flash drives ever! Win-win!).
On my last day at Curicon, having finished up all my jobs, I sat back and surveyed the office. Even as a measly intern, I can see they’re onto something special at Curicon. With the momentum really building, the company is edging its way into the global geek scene, and I anticipate it will be an essential tool for every collector to display their collections in times to come. I’m delighted that I got to experience Curicon, first hand, in its starting stages.
It’s safe to say that Curicon has really brought out my inner geek and I really will miss being surrounded everyday by Comic Books, Dunnys and Labbits (Yes I know all the names, go me!). Who knows, you might see me at the New York Comic Con yet!
Alice Carroll- Intern
Curicon recently had the opportunity to speak with Jordan Hembrough about his new series ‘Toy Hunter’. Not one to turn down a chance to discuss collectibles and valuable plastic treasures with a self-professed ‘toy hunting and collecting geek’, we happily agreed to an interview.
The basic concept of the show is following Jordan as he travels around America, exploring people’s attics and garages in search of collectibles that have, until now, been over-looked. Think ‘Storage wars’ for nerds. In other words, it’s a lot less ‘Antique furniture’, a lot more ‘Star Wars Collectibles’. Still not totally buying it? How about when I tell you the program also includes interviews with vintage toy storeowners and even former Kenner designers? Now, I have your attention!
Speaking with Jordan, it’s clear to see he knows his stuff. And why wouldn’t he? He started his multi-faceted career buying antique and collectible toys for a chain of comic book stores in his late teens. Using this experience, he continued on to open his own store, Hollywood Heroes in NYC. Jordan has years of first hand experience with collectible toys. Having watched the pilot myself, Jordan gets truly excited when he finds something special. You’ll also find yourself getting excited about the find and it’s so easy to forget that you’re watching a pre-recorded program. His excitement is contagious and you really live in the moment with him!
Jordan opened Hollywood Heroes in 1995, specializing in selling vintage toys and collectibles. Now, Jordan specializes in what he likes to call the ‘Sweet spot’ of pop culture- the 70’s, 80’s, and a little bit of the 60’s. But he explains ‘nothing is off the table right now. “If I find a coo toy from the 1920’s and I think people would be really interested in hearing about it, I’ll definitively go after it as well.” So it seems he has something to suit every type of pop culture collector.
Getting down to the grittier details, Jordan’s opinion on the most valuable toys. According to Jordan, toys from the 1980’s such as Masters of the Universe and Gem dolls by Hasbro are in hot demand at the moment and some of the Strawberry Shortcake Dolls can be worth up to $300 each.
When asked his opinion on the Cabbage Patch Dolls, Jordan indicated that they didn’t maintain their secondary market like everyone thought they would. This is also the case with some of the newer My Little Ponies, mainly due to the fact that they are so easily obtained. But Jordan once again shows his true appreciation of all toys when he quickly followed up by saying ‘just because a toy isn’t cool, doesn’t mean it’s not cool’.
So what other toys does Jordan rate? Well for one, he believes the Jurassic Park line was one of the last great toy lines from Kenner before Kenner toys shut down. Some of the dinosaur figurines are still as popular as ever, fetching up to $500 a piece, which is quite surprising for such a new toy (i.e. produced within the last 10-15 years). In Jordan’s opinion, this is down to the fact that they were made well and also, because you could literally play with them anywhere. He enthuses ,‘the packaging was great, it was all bright and colorful and it had great artwork on it. It was just a really cool toy line to collect’.
It’s clear to see the child-like enthusiasm and love Jordan has for toys. Yes, it’s a business for him, but it’s also a passion. He is excited at the thought of Japanese company, ‘Super7’ are re-producing some of the old classics, helping us all ‘relive our childhood’.
The aim of the Toy Hunter series, according to Jordan, is to ‘bring back a lot of the memories from the 70’s and from our childhood’.
Seeing how passionate this guy is about toys and collectibles, the obvious question to ask is, how does he manage to sell them? I mean, isn’t there an urge to keep all the great collectibles he finds himself? I know I’d be tempted! “It’s called a mortgage, (I’ve) got one. It’s got to get paid every month” Jordan jokes. “I would love to collect and keep everything, you know, everything I find. But I made a decision a long time ago, this is a business”. But it’s not all tough decisions though, as Jordan admits he does keep some of the collectibles himself. I can’t say I blame him. No matter what field of work you’re in, how difficult would it be to sell on a mint condition Vinyl Cape Jawa?
Ok, so I’ve gone totally off-track (Star Wars, you win again). Back to ‘Toy Hunter’. Jordan compares hunting for rare toys to hunting for gold. As any collector would probably agree, finding a rare toy (in good condition) is really like striking gold. ‘Toy Hunter’ shares those moments of discovery with its viewers, making it pretty enthralling viewing. Will this lead actually prove a success? How much will The Mad Bubbler toy sell for? Jordan doesn’t claim to be the ultimate collector. He admits he’s made mistakes too, having bought toys for $300 only to find out there was a warehouse full of the same line in Brooklyn and the toys are then only worth $50, so it will be interesting to see his journey of buying and selling as well as the actual find.
In short, I definitely think ‘Toy Hunter’ is worth a watch for collectors or anyone with an interest in collectibles and toys in general. Tune in on Wednesday 15th August on the Travel Channel at 10pm to catch the first episode of ‘Toy Hunter’.
Peter Gutierrez has written about comics for the New York Times and ForeWord Reviews, on vampires, cosplay and Star Trek for the Financial Times, blockbuster movies for Screen Education, and graphic novels for Graphic Novel Reporter. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, he regularly contributes to sites such as Twitch and to magazines such as Rue Morgue and Metro where he is a contributing editor. He has also published his own genre fiction, comics and nonfiction books. As a media literacy advocate, Peter blogs at School Library Journal and has spoken at numerous pop culture and publishing events.
Web site: http://blogs.slj.com/connect-the-pop/
Because I am a nerd I believe that works of the imagination are redemptive, both personally and culturally.
Because I am a nerd I’m thankful for that I’ve been able to meet so many great talents, even heroes of mine, over the years.
Because I am a nerd I will never scoff at the fan object of any other nerd–live and let live.
Because I am a nerd I’ll never apologize for my love of popcorn movies, comic books, and the horror genre in any medium.
Because I am a nerd my dream help young fans realize that being a nerd doesn’t mean forsaking critical thinking.
You can follow Peter on Twitter
A group art show featuring customized Sucklord Figure Editions
Saturday, November 3, 2012 9am – 6pm
Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena CA 91101
DKE Toys and Suckadelic have announced that they will present “The Super Suck Up”, a group art show featuring 50 piece customized Sucklord Figure Editions by: Billions McMillions, Buff Monster, DrilOne, Doktor A., Ferg, Frank Kozik, Jason Freeny, L’Amour Supreme,Luke Chueh, Matt Doughty/Onell Design, October Toys, Paulkaiju, Scott Tolleson, Scott Wilkowski, Skinner, and The Sucklord himself.
DKE Toys asked each artist to customize, mash-up or paint an edition of 50 Sucklord figures each. These 3-3/4” figures will be complete with a bubble on a Sucklord designed backing card. Figures will retail for $100 each.
These special editions will premiere and be available for sale at Designer Con, Saturday, November 3, 2012. For those who can’t make it out to the annual art, toy and design convention in Pasadena, California, there will be a special way to purchase figures. More news on this coming soon.
The Sucklord is clearly excited about “The Super Suck Up”. In an official statement he said, “It’s great that I’m baller enough that all these successful artists have to make my shit for me. All I have to do is design some shitty grafix and wait for the check. I love how DKE is pimping real artists for my benefit.”
THE SUPER SUCKLORD is an intergalactic hustler and entrepreneur, trading in bootleg action figures, illicit remix records, and dusted internet video. Operating from a secret facility in Chinatown New York, The Sucklord is a master media manipulator and Downtown Designer Toy impresario. He is the supreme ruler of SUCKADELIC, an evil arts organization dedicated to the production and sale of the Sucklord’s ironic, low-quality art merchandise. www.suckadelic.com
DKE TOYS: Dov Kelemer & Sarah Jo Marks are Co-Founders of DKE Toys, the largest independent wholesale distributor of designer toys, limited edition art objects, collectibles, and gifts in the world exclusively representing hundreds of artists, designers, and boutique manufacturers. DKE also curates art shows, writes books, appraises and buys collections and toy closeouts of all shapes and sizes. www.dketoys.com
DESIGNER CON is an art and design convention that smashes together collectible toys and designer apparel with urban, underground and pop art. www.designercon.com
DKE Toys is also presenting the following events at Designer Con 2012:
Super Suck Up images and news: www.supersuckup.com
DKE news: www.dketoys.com/blog
Sarah Jo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SarahJo
Skip Harvey is a busy guy. By his own admission he has at least 8 projects on the go at any given time and he also holds down a job as a bartender and DJ. Oh, and he’s currently moving apartments!
Curicon’s own Kerrie caught up with Skip upon his return from this years San Diego Comic Con to ask him about his upcoming projects, and of course, his role in the Morgan Spurlock documentary; Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.
The documentary followed Skip and four others on their journey to Comic Com in 2010. You would have heard about him from our previous interview with Morgan Spurlock. Cast as ‘The Geek’, Skip’s story was one of a boy who had grown up in the Mid-West surrounded by comics and raised by parents who exposed him to all types of nerdery from a young age.
He recalls that, unlike many of his generation who were mainly raised on a diet of Marvel, his was a mainly DC upbringing. This was thanks in part to his forward-thinking Grandma who had saved the childhood comics belonging to Skip’s father and produced them for her grandson years later. In short, Skip’s choice of career path as an illustrator is no surprise.
So how does he feel about his portrayal in the movie?
“I loved it. In a lot of cases with documentaries and also with reality TV there can be a lot of scripting but that wasn’t the case with the team I had following me around. They just told me to be myself and go around the same way that I would if a camera crew wasn’t following me around. I think because they weren’t very intrusive, I learned to relax and I think I came across as myself. So yeah, I’m definitely happy with the final edit.”
In chatting to him it’s immediately obvious that Skip is passionate about comic books and what he does. He revealed that his artistic style has changed since his trip to Comic Con in 2010, “In as much as I love all the Marvel and DC characters and I love drawing them, they don’t represent my style. I took a step back and I’ve developed a style of my own so that when people see my art they’ll recognize it as being mine and nobody else”.
One of the projects he’s currently working on is a compilation comic book called Middle West. Skip explains, “We’ve gathered all these talented artists and writers from Missouri and compiled some of the best short stories we could find. “ Skip has woven these stories together in an over arcing narrative and the result is a document encapsulating what it means to be a geek growing up in the Mid West.
As Skip explains it, “There was nothing like that when I was growing up. Everything seemed to be set in Chicago or New York. There’s nothing wrong with that but as a geeky kid growing up in the MidWest who loved comics, at a time when it wasn’t ‘normal’, I wanted to explore that and see where we could take it. The final result will be a quarterly publication aimed at promoting talented writers and artists.
“The Summer Chicago show is like a comic fan village dropped into the middle of the Chicagoland area,” explained Metropolis Sales Director Frank Cwiklik on his enthusiasm for the annual August Wizard World Chicago. “The area around the Stephens Convention Center turns into an enclosed world of avid comic collectors for a long weekend every August, and you have to love that enthusiasm and the chance to catch up with collectors and clients.”
Metropolis has been attending the Summer Chicago show for many years now, and both Cwiklik and Metro COO Vincent Zurzolo will be there as always, armed with nearly a thousand extraordinary keys, vintage rarities, and tough-to-find classic comics, and are now gathering requests from longtime clients and new faces. “This is always our big request show,” Cwiklik continued. “For the past couple of years, we’ve actually had almost as many books brought by request for the Summer Chicago show as we do for the whole week of San Diego, which is huge. This has become a must-attend show for a lot of collectors who can’t make the trek to the coasts for the big blowout cons, or who can’t get tickets for them, so we have a lot of serious buyers and hardcore collectors who contact us weeks in advance with very detailed lists. It makes the job exciting every year, since we’re always bringing something new we haven’t had requests for before.”
This slew of requests comes with a price, though. “We have a limited amount of room for books every year, and the available slots for requests fill up fast,” Cwiklik explained. “I’ve already got a box full of stuff for savvy collectors ready to go, and only have so much more room left, so we’re getting the word out to anyone who wants to see specific material that they need to get their requests in fast and early. I like bringing material by request, since it ensures that my clients leave the show happy, knowing they got exactly what they wanted, and obviously it makes it easier for us to determine what folks want to see on our wall at this show. I personally contact many of our past buyers, but I know there are some folks who are on the fence about asking for material, or haven’t gotten back to us yet, or who aren’t on my radar. I want to hear from them!”
As always, Metropolis is buying at the show as well, and anyone with collections of vintage comics, memorabilia, or original art is encouraged to contact Cwiklik at 212 260 4147 x10, or firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment for their collection to be appraised and an immediate offer made at the show. “We’re especially looking for original art,” said Zurzolo, “and are always happy to look at comics-related merchandise and memorabilia, as well. Bring it on by!”
Metro strongly encourages requests for books to be made by end of business August 3rd, but can take requests up to the day before the show, space permitting. “Get your requests in now,” finished Cwiklik, “so you don’t miss out!”
Imagine you’ve been called in on a Saturday of all days for detention with a whole bunch of different archetypal characters! Sounds like a coming of age John Hughes film right? In actual fact, Bad Kids Go To Hell bypasses the schmaltzy path and goes straight for the gory bloodbath option. Six students from Crestview Academy begin to meet horrible fates as they serve out their detentions on a stormy Saturday afternoon.
Bad Kids Go To Hell has a tight, ensemble cast with some young, up-and-coming stars. Amanda Alch plays Megan, the know-it-all geek girl, Marc Donato plays Tarek, the smart, mysterious Arab guy, Augie Duke playing Veronica, the hard-core goth chick, Roger Edwards playing Craig, the popular jock, Ali Faulkner playing Tricia, the perfect, blonde coke-head and finally Cameron Deane Stewart playing the main character Matt, the new “bad boy” of the school. This ensemble cast is assisted by Farscape’s Ben Browder, who plays the bumbling school janitor and of course, Judd Nelson who ironically plays the role of Headmaster Nash.
The film opens with Matt on his way to detention on a Saturday. As the cast are introduced and taken into the creepy detention hall, the characters quickly find themselves arguing amongst themselves about whether or not the hall is haunted. A series of events takes places triggering the revelation of the secrets these “bad kids” have tried so hard to hide from one another.
The twist in film is that the horror is not in fact found in the ghosts that haunt the hall, or the sound effects or even by the fact that they have no logical way of escape from the building. The horror is actually inherent in the kids themselves.
It is evident the creators were keen to avoid many of the cliches apparent in too many horror films and haven’t taken themselves or the genre too seriously. Overall the film is well developed and has a strong storyline, it is held together particularly well by the performances of these young stars.
The music score is fantastic; clearly thought out and perfectly in tune with the theme of the movie and serves to draw the audience into action. It can however be overpowering at times and hinders our ability to connect with some of the characters on a deeper level. In terms of character development, certain nuances are easy to miss and therefore make it difficult to fully understand each individual character. From chatting to the creators, it’s evident that they do understand the motivations and compulsions of the characters but some of this understanding hasn’t transcended the final edit ensuring the ending isn’t as explosive as it might have been otherwise.
Given the great mix of humor and horror (neither of which is overdone) this film would be recommended for teenagers (probably over 15 considering the bits of gore) and twenty-something’s.
In terms of a horror film, “Bad Kids Go To Hell” was a notch above the rest. While the scenario these kids are put in might seem all too familiar, the storyline certainly is not. A mix between great acting and a great storyline makes it an engaging psychological horror.
This is not a film review. Because quite frankly, I’d be too afraid of spoiling the movie for anybody and I truly believe everybody should go see The Dark Knight Rises without any expectations. I will say this though; for me, it was exponentially better than Avengers, which I loved so ….there! And yes, I’ll go see it again!
Last night, myself and the Curicon team attended the Kings Comics midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises which was awesome. Kings Comics really pulled out all the stops with prizes and cosplay competitions for those who had gone to the trouble to dress up. The hardcore fans had been waiting in line since 9 o’clock, playing cards, eating snacks and generally just having a good time. The excitement was palpable and so many people had dressed up in amazing outfits that it was difficult to know where to look.
There’s something truly amazing about attending a highly-anticipated movie with real fans. Everybody was hyper waiting to be let into the theatre. I wish Christopher Nolan had been there to hear everybody laughing at the lighter moments, feel the tension in the room at crucial parts of the plot and be there for the thunderous applause at the very end. In short, it was epic!
Check out our photos from the screening!
With much geeky love
-Kerrie and the Curicon team xxx
David Gallaher may in fact be the grown up, real world equivalent of Eric Farrell, the main protagonist in The Only Living Boy. Gallaher, in as much as he is a fully paid member of the Grownups Club, has that innate ability to recall life as a 12 year old kid and the challenges inherent in that transitory period.
The Only Living Boy is a young adult graphic novel that tells the story of Erik Farrell, a 12-year old boy, who finds himself with alone and abandoned in a patchwork world. As the last human boy left on earth, he’ll try to piece his memory back together, while trying to piece together a new life for himself.
It’s easy to see how Gallaher would have made a great teacher. With his easy manner and gruff charm, the Harvey Award winning writer of comics such as High Moon and Box 13 is somebody you could sit and talk to for hours about comic books and life in general. He took a half hour to sit and share his wisdom with Curicon at his exceptionally busy booth at Comic Con and told us all about the ‘patchwork’ world of The Only Living Boy as a metaphor for life and the art of growing up.
On the inspiration for The Only Living Boy
There’s a Paul Simon song called The Only Living Boy in New York, and that was sort of the impetus for the title. But I was inspired by the fact that the movie I Am Legend was filming in my neighbourhood in New York and I thought how cool it would be to have a kid-centric story about being one of the only living boys left alive. As I was working on the story, I really got to think about my time as a teacher and how being 12 years old really was the most interesting time because you don’t know what kind of child you’re going to become; you don’t know what’s going to happen to you.
On being 12 years old
At 12 years old, the world is wonderful; it’s so fraught with danger, it’s so fraught with challenges and you go through some interesting phases like your punk rock stage, your British mod stage, that time you decided you’d talk like Jacko….
On living in a diverse world
We live in a world with Muslims, Blacks, Christians, Jews, Scientologists and Mormons and Australians and Scots and Brits and you know. So we live in that world and that’s what this [The Only Living Boy] is sort of a metaphor for, how we incorporate all that.
The story was sort of inspired by The Jungle Book and Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers and those sorts of worlds where it’s one man versus the entire world. I love stuff like that. … I love stuff that confronts the challenges of growing up.
On the art of growing up
When you’re 12 you’re sort of scared of everything. You’re stuck in this position where the rules you had as a kid don’t apply to you any more and you’re not ready for the rules grown ups have. Nobody gives teenagers a handbook; when you’re 12 nobody follows the rules, you get bullied, you get picked on, your body starts to change. (Does a convincing impression of a 12 year old) “Oh wow, I’ve got hair here”, (lowering his vocal register)“Oh wow my voice deepens”, it’s a really strange place to be.
So The Only Living Boy is sort of a metaphor for that (those interesting phases) as our main character Eric finds himself in a patchwork work where he’s able to try on different identities and cultures and determine what sort of a boy, and man, he’s going to become.
On the writing process
You have the idea, you work with it, you massage it, and you kick it around a bit.
On the impact of digital comics in the comic book industry
For me it’s fine because I’ve always been a supporter of digital comics. High Moon was originally digital so it’s nice to have that flow [of real and digital comics].
The Only Living Boy is available for download on Comixology
Academy award winning director, actor and producer Roger Corman was at Comic Con to announce his latest project; Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader. Describing it as a movie about a science experiment that goes wrong, the softly spoken 86 year old is still as enthusiastic and energetic about his profession as he was when he directed The Little Shop of Horrors all those years ago. And why wouldn’t he be? He reveals with a smile that there is a topless cheerleader scene at a certain juncture of the movie saying that he thought “some people might be interested in it”.
The movie, which is Corman’s first foray into the world of 3D film, follows a college coed (Jena Sims, pictured on the right) who uses an experimental drug to transform herself into a popular beauty – but poularity comes at a cost. Cassie begins to grow and grow.
Directed by acclaimed visual effects artist Kevin O’Neill, Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader is an update to the great genre pictures of the 50′s. O’Neill has stated of Corman, ” In a nutshell, he’s the most inspirational person in a room and the most educated film-maker I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from”. Corman himself is best known for movies such as The Little Shop of Horrors, Swamp Women, and Frankenstein Unbound.
Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader will premiere on August 25 at 10pm EST on EPIX
We chatted to William Shatner at San Diego Comic Con about everything from life on other planets to his enduring legacy as Captain James T. Kirk and his upcoming documentary called Get A Life.
Based on Shatner’s hugely popular book, this film examines the mystery, longevity and the cultural phenomena of Star Trek and its long-obsessed fans known as “Trekkers.” On the surface, the film is an exploration of strangers who have for years attended conventions which looked foolish and almost laughable to some – but Shatner discovers the many secrets and hidden motives behind these individuals’ compulsion to attend these events. The end result is a film that reveals a fun and touching side of the fanfare surrounding Star Trek, and examines the thrill of what’s happening at these fantasy conventions and the enduring popularity of the film and TV series as Shatner further embraces his role as Captain James T. Kirk and his own impact.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us a little bit about the movie.
The documentary is called Get A Life and it’s about people who come to Comic Con and people who attend Star Trek conventions. I did a sketch a couple of years ago called Get A Life and its humour resonated, as it was meant to do and then some time later I asked myself ‘who are all these people I’m talking to’ and I wrote a book (also called get A Life) in which I conclude that they’re coming to these conventions to see each other and renew old friendships and be a part of the community. That was the conclusion of the book. But when I asked that same question again years later, this year, I found something very different; that there is something very ritualistic, very mystical and sociological about these conventions and that have a far deeper meaning than even the people themselves know.
Last year we saw you at a news conference and you were doing ‘Captains’, now you’re doing this one and both seem to be retrospectives on your career. What’s happening with you, Bill Shatner?
I’m dying! (laughs) Well, it’s true. I’m just not sure of where and when yet. It’s not that I want to leave a legacy… It’s just that I’m having a sense of an entirety, I’m beginning to see the ‘whole’ and I’ve been given the opportunity by Epix … to make this documentary. Doug Lee in fact. He has given me the opportunity to work on these documentaries. I’m working on one on Xena (Warrior Princess). Who goes to see Xena twelve years after it’s been cancelled? It’s far deeper than you understand. There is a depth (in the series) and it’s human. Who goes to Comic Con? It’s (the reason) far deeper than you understand and it’s far deeper than they understand. When they see this movie, I hope that they conclude, ‘my God, is that what I’ve been doing’?
You became famous for being Kirk, people identified you as Kirk and you wanted to get beyond that as an actor and to do other roles. And now, it seems that you have returned to Kirk, that you love being Kirk and being identified as him. Is that true?
I never disliked being Captain Kirk but the show was over, I moved on because I had to make a living. But the Star Trek franchise has been extraordinary and I love the genre, I love the imagination behind it; the emotional appeal, the curiosity about what’s out there. As you know, it’s staggering how much we don’t know; in fact what is staggering is knowing that we don’t know anything. We’re spreading rumours about what you know is only rumours. The science is evolving every two or three years and there are always new conclusions…it’s too complex for us to grasp.
Through your career and your writing you have inspired so many people to enter the sciences. How do you balance science with science fiction?
They’re both the same. An astrophysicist looking out there is thinking in terms of science fiction. He’s stargazing, wondering if it’s possible that a planet he’s looking at has heat or if it’s got water. Our earth is 5 billion years old, what happened for 10 billion years? What was evolving for 10 billion years?…you just know when you’ve done all the calculations that there’s got be life burgeoning at every corner of the universe. The distance between us is so enormous, The dark matter that we don’t see has got to have some life in it.
And with the addition of a limited edition Curicon issue #2 metal card in his back pocket, William Shatner heads off to his next appointment.
Get A Life will premiere on July 28 at 8pm EST on EPIX
It’s Day One of Comic Con, so Curicon met up with superherologist Dr. Travis Langley at San Diego Comic Con to discuss his recently released book Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight. We settle down for a chat with the superherologist to discuss the advantages of interpreting the psychology of a fictional character over a real person, the villains of the Batman universe and what’s next for the Super Hero psychologist and all round nice guy.
I’m sure it’s the question that everybody asks you but what is it about Batman that made you write an entire book on psychology? What is it about a fictional character that makes you write a book on psychology in the real world?
It’s easy to explain why it’s Batman as opposed to other superheroes. Stan Lee brought a lot of dimensions to his characters in the sixties at a time when a lot of superheroes were quite two-dimensional but Batman is defined by his psychology whereas Superman is defined first by his powers. Spider man has a very rich personality but he’s defined by the fact that he was this kid who got bitten by a radioactive spider.
Batman made himself into a superhero and turned himself into this bat thing that he is. Peter Parker did not ask to get bitten by a spider, Superman did not ask to get rocketed to Earth . Ok, Batman did not ask to have his parents killed but he DID decide to become this bat.
How does this relate to real psychology?
Well, one thing I can talk about in psychology of a fictional character in the way I couldn’t with real people, is the fact that we see thought balloons. We know things about this person’s thoughts that we couldn’t know otherwise.
If you were to write a book and go back and analyse Ted Bundy – a worthwhile thing to do – but all we know about his thoughts are what he’s told us and he lied a lot. With Batman we see a thought bubble and we know what was going on inside his head. Also, Bruce Wayne can’t sue me!
I can address things with a fictional character in ways that I couldn’t with real people. I can speculate in ways that would be unfair to a live person, or their survivors or their victims. This being one of the most famous fictional characters in the world, you’ve got the fact that you don’t have to explain a lot of things [about his background],
And it’s not just him. You’ve got this whole rogues gallery of other characters through his entire life. You get to look at different aspects of psychology and not just the mental illness but also developmental psychology, social psychology, and many other things.
So, I guess to reverse the question, was it Batman who got you interested in psychology?
No, to ask me when I got interested in Batman is like asking me when I got interested in ice-cream. It’s just something that was always there for me. He was Adam West on TV when I was little and he was just …there.
So being introduced to Batman as Adam West, on the TV show how does that make you feel about the darker incarnations of Batman now?
I can still enjoy it [the darker versions of Batman]. But I can understand the people who don’t. For people who were 13 or 15 growing up with the Adam West TV show, I can understand them being appalled by that [new] approach.
What is it about Batman that has held people’s interest for almost 70 years?
Well, we want heroes. And we don’t just want heroes in the daytime. We need heroes in the dark. If you’re getting bullied as a little kid, you don’t just want that bully to stop. You want somebody to scare that bully and make that bully feel the way you feel. Batman’s the part of us that wants to make somebody do that to the bullies.
What about the psychopaths he comes up against? I’m interested in the psychology of Two-Face. What’s your take on him?
What I focused on with him is locus of control, our tendency to attribute causality, to take internal responsibility or external responsibility for our actions.
The main thing with him is I really think he’s somebody with an internal locus of control. He does, at heart, take personal responsibility but after this horrible thing happens to him and he wants to do these bad things, he doesn’t want to accept that responsibility that at heart he feels is his.
So do you find his character more interesting than the straight-up psychopathic Joker?
It’s hard not to be interested by The Joker. With The Joker there are so many things you can talk about. The main thing with the Joker would be to outline why in fact he would be considered legally sane. Most of Batman’s enemies, they get locked up in Arkham Asylum but most of them would qualify as actually legally sane. They know what they’re doing, they know it’s wrong,
When the Joker kills you he knows that you’re not a brain-sucking creature out to get him. He knows what he’s doing and he likes it. He’s bizarre. He has a bizarre way of thinking and doing things but he knows what he’s doing. One of the interesting things about him is his effect on other people. He affects Jason Todd. He affects Harley. For example. what exactly is the relationship between Harley and the Joker? Why did a smart woman go the way she went?
The Joker is a force of chaos in the entire Bat Universe in which we don’t that much about what goes on in his head as with others. We don’t know his history. All we ever get are inconsistent lies. In ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ he says “sometimes I remember one way, sometimes I remember another, if I have to have a past I prefer it to be multiple choice”. And it’s just as well we don’t know. Jerry Robinson who created the Joker, told me he never had any origin in mind. Even the bit about him falling in acid, some other people came up with that later on. They thought it best that you don’t know because with him (The Joker) what’s interesting is how he affects others.
Moving away from Batman’s villains and onto his young male friends, what’s your opinion on Batman having a sidekick?
In terms of narrative and for story-telling purposes, Robin was created because Bill Finger got tired of writing thought balloons! But it humanizes the character, even as odd as it seems having a child running around fighting crime.
The thing with Robin is this is a story about a boy. This is the story about somebody becoming a hero, somebody going through the hero’s journey, that archetypal path. With superheroes like Batman and so forth, you’ve got a hero-complete essentially. It’s a bit like Jesus; he’s a kid, then he’s grown. You don’t really see much in between. People don’t tell the stories in between very much with Batman but with Robin you’ve got the story of somebody who’s very much becoming a hero.
So what’s next for you? More books? More Batman? Or is Batman forever?
I’ve got other books I want to do. It’s a matter of me sitting down with my publisher and deciding from the things I want to do and what matches what movies are coming out. There are a couple of things I want to do that they say, “that’ll be great in three years time when such-and-such movie is coming out”. But nothing’s been decided just yet.
Any Spiderman books in your future? [Token fan boy question from Matt here]
I do want to write a Spiderman book. I want to write about all of the three best-known superheroes; Batman, Spiderman and Superman. With Superman though you’re venturing into a more mythical area, moving further away from real world. Also, most people don’t know his enemies outside Lex Luther and that makes it more of a challenge. Spiderman won’t be as hard.
And with a final flourish he signed a copy of Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight for us. Here’s the plug: available now from all good book stores.
Let the madness commence!! The most hotly anticipated event of the nerd year has finally opened its doors. After months of waiting, anticipating, endless hours trying to get tickets sorted (oh why is the SDCC computer system so archaic???), and angsting over which comic book character t-shirts to pack (answer: all of them), San Diego Comic Con opened its doors for preview night.
We’ve been absolutely HYPER in the run-up to SDCC. That just escalated into sheer madness by the time we got on the aircraft. Luckily the lack of sleep in the 24 hours before the flight ensured we passed out for the majority of the journey. But not before we took some pictures of….well, everything. We were like kids whose parents had let us out of the house for the first time. With a camera. Here are some of our better efforts
Mwahahaha…..yes, we’re press!!!
After all that hyperactivity, we needed a little nap to refresh us for preview night!
We were in line for a couple of hours to be let into the Exhibit Hall. I’m sorry to say we weren’t in any way professional and the fanboys and girls in us came to the fore in a most unbecoming manner. We were practically SCRATCHING at the door to be let in, foaming at the mouth at the thought of all those exclusive collectible toys. All in all, it’s safe to say our dignity was left in the overhead compartment of the Virgin aircraft we came in on. We’ll try to relocate it on our way back home.
Given the amount of people there, the line went surprisingly quickly so when the doors finally did open, it was like being left loose in toyland!
Here are some of our pics!
We had chilled out a little bit at that stage so were in a much better position to, you know, actually speak to people. We met the lovely David Gallaher from Marvel who, along with Steve Ellis, will be debuting his comic book The Only Living Boy at SDCC. They’re both really nice guys, so for those of you at the con, try to swing by Booth #2206 and say hello. For those of you who didn’t make it this year, try to get your hands on a copy. It looks awesome!
Other people we met include Spiderman and Silver Surfer inker Victor Olazaba, British artist Jim Cheung and Randy Emberlin, known for his awesome work on X-Men, Amazing Spiderman, Star Wars, Batman and The Avengers. It
Check out Victor settling down for a read of new amazing Aussie comic, Winter City. He’s a cool guy!
Randy very kindly signed a copy of Matt’s Scarlet Spider. So even if Matt had to go home now, he’d be happy.
Over the next few days, we’ll be keeping you updated on all the happenings at SDCC. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates on panels, announcements, interviews and anything else that takes our fancy.
With lots of nerdy love!
The Curicon Team
All correct answers will be put into a draw and the winner of this fantabulous prize will be announced on Friday evening 13th July at 5pm! GOOD LUCK!
RT, Share, re-blog, Pin, etc if you’re a Batman Fan!!
Ok, so that’s something of a morbid title and while we’re not expecting you to pop your clogs any time soon and shuffle off this earthly coil, we thought it would be fun to start a Nerd Bucket List; a list of things that you should definitely do before you die. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means – in fact, it’s anything but that. We just wanted to get you thinking about what it is you’d put on your list. Feel free to add anything to this list in the comments. We’d love to get your feedback!
Go to San Diego Comic Con
Yes we know it’s not about the comics any more, we know that the TV companies, the toy distributors and the publicity people have taken it over so it’s more like Entertainment Con than anything else. It’s jam packed full of people, the food is overpriced, you have to wait for two hours just to get to a panel and it’s a s**t-fight just to get to the toilets. So why go?
Because it’s San Diego Comic Con man! It’s nerd mecca and despite the fact that it’s overpriced and there are too many people and it’s not about the comics, those aren’t reasons not to go. Stripped back from all of the promotional stuff, Comic Con still has heart and that’s because of the people who attend year in, year out. People who have grown up going to SDCC and now bring their kids
It’s awesome. It’s one of the most hectic, fun-filled, exhausting weekends you’ll ever have in your entire life but it’s completely worth it just to nerd out on all the cool stuff that’s there. Artists Alley, the panels, the coolest cosplays you’ll ever see in your life, the people you’ll meet and make friends with for life, the sheer scale of the whole thing and of course, the swag! If you only go once, you should go. It will honestly stay in your mind as one of the best experiences of your life. Warning: Trying to get a member ID and a ticket will shave considerable years off your life, so don’t say we haven’t warned you.
If Comic Con really isn’t your thing and you’re just a die-hard comic collector, then you have to get to Heroes Con in North Carolina. Started 30 years ago by Shelton Drumm, Heroes Con is beloved by comic book fans for being ‘legit’. It should absolutely be on your list of ‘Cons To See Before I Die. It took place just last weekend so to get you in the mood and ready for next year, make sure you read the following articles. These will get your blood pumping and we promise you, you’ll have booked a ticket to North Carolina before the weekend is through!
Play a MMORPG - Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game
Sure it doesn’t trip off the tongue and these games might dredge up connotations of middle-aged men living in their mother’s basements but MMORPGs are so much fun! They’re also becoming a lot more mainstream now thanks in part to World of Warcraft’s massive advertising campaigns, so try one out before it loses its nerdiness. The beauty of a MMORPG is that you can create an entire back story around your character and completely immerse yourself in their world. Yes, it’s escapism but so what. Where else can you battle demons and trolls and have this much fun?
Even if you’re not a Trekkie, you should definitely try learning Klingon with its gutteral sounds and odd sentence structure. The language was created by Mark Okrand at the behest of Paramount Pictures for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek:The Next Generation.
You should pick yourself up a copy of the Klingon dictionary. For the collectors among you, you might like to try to source the first edition which was printed in 1985. If you can get one of those, let us know. We so want one!
Here’s something to aspire to: Okrand himself is said not to be fluent in Klingon so if you can beat him you will be one of approximately a dozen people on the planet who are fluent in Klingon. Now THAT’S an achievement!
Start a podcast
Inflict yourself on the internet with the intention of becoming famous for your in-depth knowledge of Kevin Smith films only to realise your fore-nerds got there before you. You can still have fun with it though. Invite your friends, make it a party. That’s the beauty of the internet – anybody can be famous for at least 15 seconds (look at Justin Bieber), you just need an internet connection and you’re set!
Solve the rubix cube.
Solve it without taking it apart or transferring the stickers around. Hours of fun, yes. Hours of frustration will follow though when you realise that this contraption was designed to baffle you and make you feel intellectually inferior. When you realise that you can’t solve it, feel free to wallow in your own misery by watching this youtube video of this three year old Asian kid who can solve it in 114 seconds. And she didn’t even have to leave the comfort of her high chair.
Back to back Star Wars
You cannot claim membership of the nerd club without having watched Star Wars back-to-back. Simple as. Even now, when we have 3D movies and special effects galore, you have to admit that George Lucas is a veritable genius for what he achieved at the time.
P.S: In case you were wondering, the term ‘bucket list’ comes from the idiom ‘to kick the bucket’, meaning to die – something of a euphemistic expression. If anybody knows the first person to die from kicking a bucket, we’d be most grateful if you would enlighten us. Answers on a postcard please. Or as the Klingons would say, “QIn ‘echletHom jang.”
“Death remembers all sins. And no sin goes unpunished”
Once in a while, something so great comes along that you have to tell people about it because you know it will enhance their lives in some way. That’s the case with Winter City Comics.
Ok, it’s not a way to turn base metal into gold, nor is it the next greatest app that will change the world but for lovers of well-constructed narrative and high-end artwork, Winter City Comics is a must-read. Others must think so too because Kings Comics sold out of them entirely over the weekend.
We first came across these guys through Twitter and after some quick Internet research, found pictures of this 12-part comic series on their website. The first response was ‘awesome!” The artwork in these comic books is superb, really great inking and the actual story itself is gripping.
Book 1 is called ‘Murder of a Fat Man’ so it’s not too much of a spoiler to tell you that the story opens with the grisly murder of Alan McLean, the city’s resident philanthropist. Set in Winter City, the story has a noir quality to it. It’s gritty, it’s mean and unflinching in the way it deals with the issues that crop up.
I promise not to spoil it for you so I can’t say anything else, except to tell you to collect all 12 issues in the series. I can promise you you’ll thank me for it. You can find their website here or place them into your collection on Curicon here.