I know I promised that I would never write about Spider-Woman’s butt again, but the topic has proven incredibly durable. The Telegraph was only the latest mainstream entity to look at the overall semiotics of it, and referred to many experiments in the captivating pose imagined by Italian erotic master Milo Manara. For instance, this Reddit user rendered the pose in 3D and the result was a hideously deformed freak that will haunt all our nightmares. “Crouching like a Jaguar” indeed.

Another intrepid YouTuber got her friends to attempt the pose with disappointing results.

The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman gave us a memorable MALE version of the pose, which is actually NSFW.

Finally, and most importantly, just as we were heading off to the long holiday weekend, Marvel’s editor in chief Axel Alonso finally addressed the crisis and admitted that under the circumstances—i.e. launching a female led book to a far more diverse readership—maybe this male-centric variant wasn’t the greatest idea ever.

While opinions on the actual piece vary, we realize that the message this cover sent was not the one we meant to send. And we understand — and respect — the concerns of those who expressed a negative reaction to the cover, I want that to be clear.

And Alonso was also forced to bring out the “We have women on staff!” card

We’re far from perfect, but we’re trying. It’s been a priority for me as EIC to make our line and our publishing team more inclusive. We’re at an industry high of around 30 percent female in editorial group, about 20 percent of our line is comics starring women, and our Senior Manager of Talent, Jeanine Schaefer, actively looks to bring more female writers and artists into the fold each month. In fact, very soon we’ll be announcing new series and creators that I’m very excited about.

He also mentioned that Manara would be considered for future variant covers. Hopefully they will be for series that are more appropriate, such as Naked Superheroics, Marvel Big Juggs Spectacular, and I Never thought It Would Happen To Me: The Pool Guy Cometh.

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biggerbang Author D.J. Kirkbride has been an important force in the comics’ industry for years now spearheading projects like Amelia Cole for Monkey Brain Comics with Co-Author Adam Knave and artist Nick Brokenshire. As Amelia Cole continued to grow larger, the author then shifted gears along with Adam Knave to work on Never Ending, a book about an immortal superhero. Now the author is going solo, and launching a new title from IDW Comics entitled The Bigger Bang, a story about a second of the fabled Big Bang events spawning a Superhuman golden age type hero. Through the unique vision of artist Vassilis Gogtzilas, the two are likely going to craft a superhero tale unlike any other with The Bigger Bang. Author Kirkbride shared some further insight into the project:

Where did your interest in Superheroes stem from, and what do they mean to you?

There is nary a memory from a time in my life where, if I were being honest, I didn’t wish I was wearing a cape. SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE came out when I was still very new to the world (yeah, I’m old), and it is the basis of my entire outlook on everything somehow. I love heroes, and super ones are, you know, even better. The idea of bigger than life characters helping the regular folk, having epic struggles and battles… what’s not to love?DJ_Pic

After NEVER ENDING, why continue to deconstruct the modern Superhero? Is this going to be a better deconstruction of the superhero than WATCHMEN (no pressure or anything)?

THE BIGGER BANG has nothing to do with WATCHMEN. It is as far “what if superheroes were real?” as a comic could get. In my notebook, I one time wrote “THE BIGGER BANG: A Cosmic Fairy Tale”. That’s what it really is. It is not a deconstruction of anything. I don’t really like taking things I love apart, to be honest. Superheroes are great. I don’t want to pick at them. People much smarter than me already have.

How did the creative team come together?

Vassilis and I met on some anthologies I was editing. We worked together on a short story for an anthology called TITMOUSE MOOK Vol. 2, along with my co-writer pal Adam P. Knave. It was a lot of fun, and we tried to get some other things going that never worked out for whatever reason. After a while of doing our own things, Vass sent us a picture of a big, amazingly over muscled superhero guy floating in space and asked if we wanted to do a cosmic superhero book with him. Adam and I were (and still are) writing AMELIA COLE together, but he was (and still is) also co-writing a series called ARTFUL DAGGERS, plus who knows how many novels and stories and… the guy’s way more prolific than me. So, he didn’t feel he had time. I had plenty and was hungry to try something new, without the crutch of writing with someone way smarter than me, so I went for it. Vass is obviously very involved in the story piecing and development, visually and thematically, plus our IDW editor Justin Eisinger has helped me a great deal, being a sounding board and a source of ideas. And mainly saying, “LESS WORDS, MAN!” which has worked out well, I think.

Is the group worried about the series possibly touching on religious implications, or is the team instead looking at the incident from an alternate history touchstone?

We do go along with the Big Bang origin of life, but I’d be surprised if there was any controversy or anything. This is a crazy science fantasy adventure with far out ideas and drama so I personally find it pretty funny, but we don’t talk about religion at all, actually.

This is D.J. Kirkbride’s first solo writing effort for a while isn’t it? What was it like to tackle a project with fewer collaborators?

Vass and Justin have really helped guide the story with me, and our letterer, Frank Cvetkovic, has helped keep the words and the art together, the glue, honestly. But, to be perfectly frank, it’s been scary. Aside from a few anthology shorts, I’ve co-written all of my comics’ work with Adam. Doing this without him was a challenge I really felt I needed though. He has read different edits of the first issue, because his feedback means a lot to me, but, yeah, I wrote the words without him. It freaked me out and is still freaking me out. The wacky part is that Adam is far better versed in big cosmic comics than I am, and this kind of huge space opera madness is right up his alley, whereas I tend to lean toward smaller, more personal and dialog-heavy writing. tumblr_static_984bbxonto8wg0k0ck8g8ocsk_1280_v2 How did the team decide that IDW was the right home for the project?

Vass has worked with IDW on a great mini-series called THE ADVENTURES OF AUGUSTA WIND, written by none other than J.M. DeMatteis, one of the best comic writers of all time — no pressure to be his next writer, right? I also work with them on the AMELIA COLE print collections, so it seemed like a good fit. They put out good books, but it wouldn’t have happened without Justin Eisinger. Something about the core of our pitch, the basic idea of this character’s birth causing so much destruction with pseudo-science and fantasy spoke to him, I guess. He championed us, and this book wouldn’t be happening with out that fella.

What does the supporting cast for the book look like?

It’s a diverse group. The lead character, Cosmos, is the only one that looks traditionally human — at least an amazingly muscular human. There’s a kinda heavy, tentacled, green monster in a crown called King Thulu who kind of runs this sector of the multi-verse. His best warrior pilot is a three-eyed darker green lady named Wyan. She’s the character that has maybe the most interesting arc to me, and it grew very organically. There are many other aliens of various shapes and sizes, some of which started with brief descriptions from me, many just visualized from Vass’s amazing mind.

Is it difficult to compress a story into a limited space of pages in four issues after working on the AMELIA COLE series from Monkey Brain?

Actually, AMELIA COLE is the first ongoing series I’ve ever worked on, so that was the challenge at first. Before that, I’d gotten very used to writing really short stories for anthologies. I like stories with endings, even AMELIA COLE will have one someday (hopefully far, FAAAAAAR off into the future), so that’s how we designed and pitched THE BIGGER BANG. We had a story with a beginning, middle, and end. If possible, I’d love to do more one day, but if not, these four issues compose a complete story that I think folks will enjoy. neverending Is Vassilis Gogtzilas’ work completely painted in the title?

No, he is doing pencils, inks, and digital colors for the interiors. The painted covers were his idea, and I love them. It’ll be great seeing it in print and looking at it up close, because he is not a careful, timid painter. You can see the chunks and textures of the paint. It’s really cool. I love all the covers and can’t wait to be able to share them. I think they get better with each issue.

Does his work and style alter from the different projects he draws?

Oh yeah, Vass is eclectic. His style can vary within a project–from page to page. It’s not random. He’s a very emotional artist, and he’s more concerned with how the art FEELS than realism. It’s been an interesting challenge writing for him sometimes because his mind moves so differently than mine. It’s amazing, and I would have never come up with something like this on my own. It is a true collaboration.

When can fans dash out to their local comic book shops to pick up THE BIGGER BANG #1?

Issue 1 is out November 19, 2014. If anyone out there is interested, please pre-order it with item code SEP140487. Pre-orders are way too important, but that’s the way it is. There is a lot of competition for comic shop shelf space, so an indie book like this can use all the pre-help it can get. I’m really excited to see what the reaction will be. We’ve put together something really interesting and fun. I’m happy to get to be a part of it.

Thanks for your time!

Thank YOU, good sir!

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new julia wertz mini comic
Following the hilarity of Fart Party and the hilarity tinged with self-examination of Drinking at the Movies and The Infinite Wait, cartoonist Julia Wertz proved herself one of the sharpest observers out there. However she’s been in hiatus from making new comics for the last two years, while getting a new reputation as an urban explorer. (If you want creepy, follow Wertz on Instagram.)

However, good news: Wertz is cartooning again and will have a new mini at SPX this one dealing with “girlie subjects.” And she’ll have plenty of other stuff as well:

I’ll be with Atomic Books from SPX opening until 4pm, then I’ll be with Koyama Press from 5-7. I’m signing with Renee French at Atomic, who I adore, so I’ll be more excited to be there than you will, I’m sure. To buy Museum of Mistakes, come by Atomic. To buy The Infinite Wait & Other Stories, come to Koyama. At both tables you’ll be able to buy this mini, but I will have tons of other stuff at Atomic, like original art, hand made trinkets, photos, posters, etc…so if you want all that hot garbage, swing by Atomic before 4pm. If you want both books, don’t worry, I won’t make you wait, I can totally sell you both at the same time.

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icv2 conference logo
ICv2 will once again hold a conference the day before New York Comic-Con officially kicks off, on Wednesday, October 8th. This year’s conference has a timely theme: “The New Comics Customer” — given all the quickly changing demographic info we’ve been seeing in the last 12 months, this should be a lively one. (Disclosure: The Beat is a sponsor of the conference.)

ICv2 has announced that its 2014 Conference, held in conjunction with New York Comic Con, will be called “The New Comics Customer,” and will focus on the dramatic changes in the comics audience that are transforming the business. 

“The audience for comics is changing rapidly, in ways that present the greatest opportunities for the medium since the 50s,” ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp said of the topic.  “New channels, formats, and content are reaching new customers, and the phenomenon appears to be growing by the day.  This year’s conference will look at these trends and where they’re taking the business, with speakers from the forefront of the change.”

The ICv2 Conference: The New Comics Customer will be held on the eve of New York Comic Con, Wednesday afternoon, October 8th, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The conference will also include ICv2′s Milton Griepp presenting his annual White Paper on comics sales. The conference is recommended for industry professionals, librarians, booksellers and other allied fields. Tickets are on sale here.

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wizard world logo

Summer 2014 behind us it’s time to move on to 2015 planning, as Wizard World has confirmed two more dates for 2015,
adding Louisville, KY and Reno, NV to its 2015 and bringing the total number of planned shows to 24. Tickets are now in sale for the first seven events of 2015, which will feature such nerdlebrities as Stephen Amell (“Arrow”), Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf”), William Shatner (“Star Trek”),The Bella Twins and Michael Rooker. Get em while they’re hot! Here’s the complete 2015 schedule — new events are noted with an *. Still no return to New York City.

January 9-11 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
January 23-25 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con, Oregon Convention Center
*February 6-8 – Wizard World Wisconsin Comic Con, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
*February 13-15 – Wizard World Indianapolis Comic Con, Indianapolis Convention Center
*February 20-22 – Wizard World Cleveland Comic Con, Cleveland Convention Center
*March 6-8 – Bruce Campbell’s Horror Fest (Chicago), Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill.
*March 13-15 – Wizard World Raleigh Comic Con, Raleigh Convention Center
*April 24-26 – Wizard World Las Vegas Comic Con, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 1-3 – Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con, Minneapolis Convention Center
May 7-10 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, Pennsylvania Convention Center
May 22-24 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, America’s Center
*May 28-30 – Wizard World Greenville Comic Con, TD Convention Center
*June 12-14 – Wizard World Des Moines Comic Con, Iowa Events Center
June 19-21 – Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con, Sacramento Convention Center
July 31-August 2 – Wizard World Richmond Comic Con, Greater Richmond Convention Center
August 20-23 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
September 4-6 – Wizard World San Jose Comic Con, San Jose Convention Center
September 18-20 – Wizard World Columbus Comic Con (formerly Ohio Comic Con), Greater Columbus Convention Center
September 25-27 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, Music City Center
*October 2-4 – Wizard World Ft. Lauderdale Comic Con, Broward Convention Center
October 23-25 – Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con, Cox Business Center
October 29-31 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con, Austin Convention Center
November 6-8 – Wizard World Louisville Comic Con, Kentucky International Convention Center
*November 20-22 – Wizard World Reno Comic Con, Reno-Sparks Convention Center

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stan goldberg

Legendary Archie artist Stan Goldberg has passed away at age 82. The artist suffered a stroke two weeks ago. His passing was noted on his Facebook page, where fans are invited to share memories.

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of Stan Goldberg. Stan touched many lives through his artwork but was also a dear friend, beloved husband, loving father and doting grandfather. Through the years, countless fans shared how much his work meant to them and what a thrill it was to meet him or have a piece of his work. Stan felt just as strongly about all the people he met and would fondly recall the stories that fans would share with him.

His friends and family were what he treasured most. May his memory be for a blessing.

Goldberg got his start in the 40s as a teenager, working for Timely Comics and eventually drawing such titles as Millie the Model and Patsy Walker and heading their coloring department during the early Bullpen era. He continued to work on humor comics, becoming best known for his work on Archie titles, starting in the 70s and working on them until 2010. His most recent work for was for parodies in Bongo Comics and Papercutz. A final Goldberg story, wirtten by Tom DeFalco and featuring Spider-Man, will appear in this October’s Marvel 75th Anniversary Special

CBR has a fine obit for Goldberg.

Photo Via Godlberg’s Facebook page.

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cosplay san diego

by Lawrence Brenner

[Editor’s note: As a non-combantant in the cosplay wars, I’m not sure how much actual warfare is involved in this, but as with all things con, competition is heating up.]

Cosplay is one of the most visual and important aspects of conventions especially in the last ten years. It is one of the greatest and creative expressions of fandom, displaying a multitude of art forms combined. In addition, many cosplayers are employed in multiple capacities by companies to help in the promotion of their products, services, etc. Cosplayers themselves are also a new form of retailer for and at conventions (and con goers) who sell various products based on their likenesses as various characters and interpretations of from different properties, and this includes props and commissions. In fact, many cosplayers and photographers/videographers go to conventions to photograph and videograph different cosplayers and be the subjects of photos and videos.

Since the beginnings of many of conventions cosplay has been a part of them. (I was thinking of linking the io9 article about cosplay in the 1970s.) In almost all conventions, there are various cosplay contests with the largest one usually run by the convention, referred to as the masquerade. In recent years there have been rise of larger cosplay competitions with significant monetary prizes and cosplay competitions as part of a circuit on a national and international level.

There are several that come to mind that are very well known such as the World Cosplay Summit, the EuroCosplay Championship, the Madman National Cosplay Championship in Australia, and now ReedPOP’s Quest for the Crown Champions of Cosplay with NYCC hosting the Eastern Championships of Cosplay with C2E2 being the finals. They call the “Quest for the Crown” “a new global Cosplay competition circuit that celebrates the very best in Cosplay design from all over the world.” (Side note: I actually wonder why Wizard World has not created one of their own given the number of conventions they have, which has increased in the past year.)

From the press release itself: “The Crown Championships of Cosplay debuted at ReedPOP’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo earlier this year, and New York Comic Con represents the kick-off of a larger Quest for the Crown competition that will span multiple events, all leading up to a final again set in ReedPOP’s C2E2. ReedPOP, with over 15 events around the globe, looks forward to setting up additional stops in the Quest for the Crown from the US to Australia, creating a new, worldwide platform to showcase the Cosplay community.”

The Quest for the Crown Cosplay Competition Circuit is easily doable for ReedPop and it is not the first they have created. Originally, when there was a New York Anime Festival it first hosted a part of the World Cosplay Summit and then created its own large prize the Yume Cosplay Prize in 2009 that was won by the team of Yaya Han and Anna Raper, and had other conventions serving as preliminary rounds for the competition.

Since then ReedPop has expanded nationally and internationally with multiple conventions across the world including America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Their properties include NYCC, C2E2, PAX Prime, PAX East, the Singapore Toy, Game, & Comic Convention, PAX Australia, PAX South, Oz Comic-Con, Star Wars Celebration, Star Wars Celebration Europe, among others that are sure to be announced.

There is also something very important to know: the concepts of pop culture conventions are global, some of them also having a “comic con” name but the fact this there are many all over the world on six continents.

I have listed ten of the events from the ReedPOP site itself but the press release shows there will be more. Some of the events above do happen on multiple weekends such as those in Australia yet are still listed as one event, this occurs with multiple events around the world.
Now how does this lead into a new front for the con wars?

There are several some with overlapping concepts from prior aspects of con wars. One of these that has been covered is the dates. This is something happening this weekend as there is PAX Prime, FanExpo Canada (run as a part of a for profit series of conventions in Canada), and DragonCon occurring the same weekend. The time of a convention is very important because it can be the event to do that week/weekend. This is already know but unless you cosplay yourself you might not think about the time it can take to create a costume especially one for a competition of the level that ReedPOP is looking to do.

Let me emphasize that cosplay is of course for everyone, I cosplay for fun, and so do many others. The level of artistry even from those just starting in cosplay can be astonishing.

Now for competition you are looking to impress the audience and the judges. This was something seen often on the Syfy reality series Heroes of Cosplay and as such in a competition like “Quest for the Crown” everyone competing brings and usually creates new their most impressive and in some cases literary largest cosplays.

As such, there is time that has to be dedicated to the fabrication as well as the financial investment. The creation of various costumes can become an expensive proposition. Add to this the travel and lodgings expenses (which are usually split among a group). These cause an effect on who will decide to attend which convention for cosplay competition purposes, especially if they are not remotely local to the event in question. To attend such an event they might decide to forego other conventions/events to afford all the expenses of the larger event, possibly decreasing who would come to the smaller events. This is not as much of an impact but it is something to note.

The larger part of the con wars comes with the impact on other conventions, specifically those related to cosplay guests and careers via cosplay, and you need to know the above for this to make sense. Many times, we not question why someone is a guest of a convention; this is due to their bio. However, sometimes some have wondered that especially with some cosplay guests. Sometimes the listings include the number of costumes they have made and/or their high level of artistry or awards, and sometimes these awards titles are from smaller conventions or even the past conventions where they have competed. With larger titles and more mass media exposure which the largest events do have this can lead to becoming more well-known and having the titles of the largest events is something that can become part of a convention bio and can lead to the requests by fans to have this winner at a convention and/or for the convention to invite them as guests (and some guests have appearance fees [when I am a guest I do not have one]).

The second part is careers via cosplay. I mentioned this in the start of the article, that there are plenty of people who have cosplay related businesses which can entail commissions (making costumes and props for others), print and product sales (usually sold through a service like Storenvy and Etsy), being a vendor at conventions (where they sell the print and products at a booth), and sponsored cosplay (where cosplayers are hired by companies [some quite large] to make and usually wear the costumes themselves at events as part of fan relations, basically being the character). Sponsored cosplay happens quite often from American anime companies, many game companies, many comic companies, and many video game companies, the level of compensation does vary, but the larger the fan base you have the more exposure you can bring to the brand/property. I would not know of several properties except for the fact my friends have cosplayed for them.

Now think about these concepts applied on a global scale. Several of my friends from around the world who derive all of their income through cosplay. Several are brought in as guests and sponsored cosplayers for companies internationally. Now for the most part these friends have not been the winners of the major contests at events like those above, but everything can change especially now there is the global focus. If the cosplayers who do sell prints and products do compete and win in these larger events, it can cause an increased amount of sales.

What I am very interested in myself is the introduction of more international cosplayers from around the world. Especially at the global championships. Many of the international cosplayers that people are introduced to by mutual friends, from shares by other cosplayers and news sites, and from those who cosplayers come to international conventions. International cosplay guests are one of the rising form of cosplay guests. In addition, something to think about would be the global properties that these globally recognized cosplayers could introduce their fan bases too.

Now let us look at the categories proposed by ReedPOP for NYCC:
Costume Category:
• Comic Books
• Movie & Television
• Video Games
• Anime & Manga
• Fantasy
Something very interesting to note are the sheer number of transmedia properties that exist with characters. For example Batman, there are many variants and versions of Batman so how would you characterize different versions of Batman for a cosplay without adding qualifiers? This is partially done through the photos of course, but there are a lot. They are also missing figures that are usually inspired by all of the above, but for example the various characters from One Piece which itself is also a manga, anime, series of games, etc. There is also the potential here to think about the possible missing types like sci-fi, illustration, etc. The fantasy category is not descriptive enough and would this include things like Magic Cards? I think creating the categories might be more complex than simply having the open system with just allowing for the references to the said characters via wikis, websites, etc. Grouping by age, skill level, etc. is much different.

There are a few problems with the NYCC Quest already:

1. They already require you to have a badge for NYCC to entry for the NYCC Quest, which was difficult before due to the sheer speed in which the badges sold out of all types, plus the time this was announced August 25th. To make this a more fair entry to the competition they should offer complimentary badges to those selected for entry into the competition, especially at this late time, and provide some badges for their handlers who are people who help cosplayers with larger costumes or in some cases prep with makeup, body paint, etc. Handlers and assistants are also something that can be seen from Heroes of Cosplay. Because of this there may be and probably will be people with some awesome cosplays who will not be able to participate. Since this is likely to become a yearly event people will consider this when doing the badge rush buy.

2. From the rules: “Contestants are responsible for their own belongings. We are unable to provide a secure area for personal items. We recommend bringing an assistant to help with belongings. A bag check area is available at the Javits Center.” Right here they recommend a handler and this person must have a badge themselves which can lead right back to the problem above about not having a handler. Though I am sure they will be able to secure personal items temporarily, it should be offered to the cosplayers. I know of plenty of cosplay that is wearable for photoshoots and for the stage/parade but not walking around a crowded convention in. Hopefully, ReedPOP or Riot Games will also have a cosplay repair station, which would be very important in the case of damage or needed repairs, which is very important.

3. Also for check-in I would recommend having a place for cosplayers to get into their NYCC Quest Cosplay because the Javits is not connected to any hotel and you do have to travel from wherever you are staying in NYC to Javits and then to the check-in. The travel can be far even in light cosplay (and I mean light as in not heavy in weight) and it can be extremely complicated to get through doors and travelling even if only some parts of the costume are on, and this is not including such things as body paint and makeup, and fixes that would have to be made accordingly.

4. This also a shared concern about each of the possible other events because some of them have already started to sell and sell out of tickets.
I am not talking about the limited amount of entries because there could be thousands if it was an open cosplay contest like many conventions have because the time of the contest can go for hours along with the sign up lines, etc. Though I am wondering how many people will be a part of the NYCC Quest because they will be featured on the NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay webpage with their bios, headshots, and other information.
For an open cosplay contest: You can see things like this at the at booth cosplay contests such as the ones that Marvel hosts and theirs are at a very fast pace. I participated in one of Marvel’s at SDCC this because I had new Punisher props (I make documentation and identity props and had new digital props) and was asked to attend by Marvel staff. (I normally do not compete.)

However, I do expect NYCC Quest to be quite a show especially because it will be livestreamed, probably by Amazon’s Twitch as they have with other events such as those at PAX East. I do have a few questions about the livestream, at Special Edition: NYC I spoke with their digital sales person about adding closed captions to livestreams for the hearing impaired, so I am wondering if that will happen (post show they should be put on YouTube for later viewing).

This also makes me wonder about a new form of con wars too which may start happening which I call the “virtual attendee.” This exists to a degree via the livestreams that currently exist, but I was thinking about the cons that would start to monetize these in terms of selling tickets to them (for all the attendees who cannot attend the event itself) or by advertising.

Let me finish by thinking about how ReedPOP may do Quest for the Crown Cosplay Competition Circuit:

As I have noted there are multiple conventions around the US and abroad that are ReedPOP properties. The various PAXes can have prelims for the finals along with NYCC. These PAXes are on the west coast in Seattle, Washington, east coast with PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts, the south with PAX South in San Antonio, Texas and of course Australia with the PAX there. Through from the PAXes I expect rather large and very impressive cosplays from video games. I am unsure about the cosplays from the Star Wars Celebrations but I expect these to be impressive Star Wars characters, and there are a lot of them with more to come with new shows and movies.

I would expect see more comic and anime/manga cosplay at NYCC, C2E2, and the OZ cons along with the large amount of comic cosplays. However, truthfully like SDCC, NYCC, and C2E2 has all sorts of cosplay covering everything.

What I am interested in are the 15 events they will have. We already know of two with NYCC and C2E2, and I have listed several of the possible and likely conventions, but these are not confirmed and even with all these, this does not total 15 global events. I am very interested in seeing what will be announced in terms of other events. Back to the dates too, I am curious if any of these events that host major cosplay competitions would compete with other major cosplay competition events such as those listed above causing cosplayers to choose which event they want to compete in. If so would the other conventions look into changing their dates, even a week can make difference, especially when they host big competition events or prelims.

So there it is the new front of con wars, cosplay. Not only do cons have to worry about getting guests for the con dates before another con does, not only do fans have to think about what convention they want to go that weekend, but now conventions have to think about the other dates of other cosplay competitions, and cosplayers who compete may also have to consider what cons they want to go to, prepare for, and all the associated expenses. The wars are expanding and evolving, it will be interesting to see the battles.

[Lawrence Brenner is a global researcher, documentor, and educator on cosplay and other pop culture topics. His works have been presented at The Anime and Manga Studies Symposium at Anime Expo and the Japanese Cultural Institute at Katsucon and have been featured in many news outlets.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect that of The Beat or its staff.]

Celebrating it’s 14th year, the National Book Festival moves to the Washington Convention Center this Saturday, offering twelve hours of bibliophila!  (The National Park Service says the hordes of eager readers, some 200,000, was damaging the lawn.)

Started in 2001 by librarian and First Lady Laura Bush with support from the Library of Congress, the National Book Festival has grown steadily, from a small fair set on the east lawn of the U.S. Capitol near the Library of Congress, to multiple tents on the National Mall, to the convention center.

The NBF was slow to discover the popularity of graphic novels, but that changed in 2012 with the first graphic novel pavillion.  It returns this year, along with the first night session of events!

But… most exciting and intriguing of all?  A special reception at the White House, hosted by honorary chairs President and Mrs. Obama!  (Is it considered gauche to present the President with a graphic novel at a formal event?)

Can’t get to DC?  C-SPAN2′s Book TV will have live coverage!

Sweet Golda Meir!  There’s an Activity Badge!

Here’s a listing of the various graphic novel creators appearing during the day!  The complete schedule can be found here!

Rep. John Lewis At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Contemporary Life
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 12:45 pm – 1:30 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

2004 podcast

2012 podcast

Jules Feiffer At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Picture Books
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 4:40 pm – 5:10 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

2002 podcast

2010 podcast

Gene Luen Yang At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Teens
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 4:40 pm – 5:10 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

2007 podcast

Dav Pilkey At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Children
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 11:20 am – 11:50 am

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Jeffrey Brown At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Children
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 10:00 am – 10:30 am

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 11:00 am – noon

Jeff Smith At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Graphic Novels Super Session
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 9:00 pm – 9:45 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

2010 podcast 

Liza Donnelly At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Graphic Novels Super Session
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 8:15 pm – 8:50 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Kyle Baker At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Graphic Novels Super Session
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 7:30 pm – 8:05 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Vivek Tiwary At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Graphic Novels Super Session
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 7:30 pm – 8:05 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Bryan Lee O’Malley At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Graphic Novels Super Session
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 6:45 pm – 7:20 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Raina Telgemeier At the 2014 National Book Festival


  • Graphic Novels Super Session
  • Saturday, August 30
  • 6:00 pm – 6:35 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, August 30
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

2012 podcast

Bob Staake

Jennifer Gavin from the Library of Congress speaks with Bob Staake, poster artist for the 2014 National Book Festival on August 30 in Washington, D.C.

…and beyond!


Jennifer and Matthew Holm

Jennifer and Matthew Holm appear at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Gilbert Hernandez

Graphic novelist Gilbert Hernandez appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Jaime Hernandez

Graphic novelist Jaime Hernandez appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Jonathan Hennessey

Jonathan Hennessey appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Fred Chao

Fred Chao appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Lynda Barry

Cartoonist Lynda Barry appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

2012 (first Graphic Novel pavillion)

Craig Thompson


Jennifer Gavin from the Library of Congress speaks with author Craig Thompson, who will appear at the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival on Sept. 22-23, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.


Graphic novelist Craig Thompson appears at the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Hope Larson

At the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival, Hope Larson, Anita Silvey and Leonard Marcus discuss the classic book “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle upon its 50th anniversary.

Jeff Kinney

Sheryl Cannady from the Library of Congress speaks with author Jeff Kinney, who will appear at the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival on Sept. 22-23, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

2011 (Graphic Novels Super Session)

Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein

Mark Pett & Gary Rubinstein perform at the 2011 National Book Festival.

Kazu Kibuishi

Kazu Kibuishi appears at the 2011 National Book Festival.

Harry Bliss

Author and illustrator Harry Bliss appears at the 2011 National Book Festival.

Eric Wright

Graphic novelist Eric Wight appears at the 2011 National Book Festival.

Richard Thompson

Cartoonist Richard Thompson appears at the 2011 National Book Festival.

Kazu Kibuishi

Kazu Kibuishi appears at the 2011 National Book Festival.

Jon J Muth

Poster artist Jon J Muth appears at the 2011 National Book Festival.

Allen Say

Allen Say appears at the 2011 National Book Festival.


Mo Willems

Children’s author and illustrator Mo Willems appears at the [2009] National Book Festival.


Neil Gaiman

Young adult novelist Neil Gaiman appears at the [2008] National Book Festival.


Mo Willems

Author Mo Willems speaks at the 2006 National Book Festival.


Harry Bliss

Illustrator Harry Bliss at the 2005 National Book Festival

Neil Gaiman

Author Neil Gaiman at the 2005 National Book Festival.

Also, Neil himself reflects on his experience at the NBF.


Neil Gaiman

David Macaulay

David Macaulay speaks at the 2004 National Book Festival.


Brian Selznick

Allen Say

And in 2000 (before the National Book Festival existed):

Jenette Kahn

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As they do periodically, is running a cartoonist diary; this week it’s Eleanor Davis. Her collection How To Be Happy is out now and it’s amazing. These diaries are one of the best features at TCJ, spontaneous and quotidian at the same time.

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