Comic Book Reviews 07-16-14

Comic Book Reviews 07-16-14

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Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebookand The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for…

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  • #army of darkness #batman #comic book reviews #comic books #dc comics #dexter&039;s laboratory #Image Comics #magneto #marvel comics #ms. marvel #original sin #professor x #robin rises #teen titans #teenage mutant ninja turtles #tmnt #x-files #x-men
  • 3 days ago

The chanting seemed to come from nowhere as the lights dimmed at the Summit Music Hall Wednesday, July 9th. “DFTBA! DFTBA! DFTBA!”* Crossed Vulcan salutes were raised to the heavens as the crowd screamed their favorite initialism into the air, all in wait for one man— one incredible nerd— to emerge from behind the stage. Dawning various geek attire, over 800 fans crowded the venue to see Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers live, myself included. But we weren’t just there for Hank. Along with him was Rob Scallon, Andrew Huang, Harry and the Potters, and Driftless Pony Club, all of whom played wonderfully, often venturing out into the crowd for high fives and dancing. In the spirit of vlogging, as so many of these performers thrive on, I’ve included short clips (or rather one long clip spliced into several segments) of the concert as well as photos.

Hank Green does seemingly everything. He’s a vlogger, entrepreneur, writer, scientist, teacher, VidCon organizer, blogger, owner of DFTBA Records, charity organizer, and long time musician just to name a few titles. Above all things, Hank Green is a massive, self-proclaimed nerd. January 1st of 2007, Hank and brother John Green launched their video project Brotherhood 2.0 under the YouTube Channel The Vlogbrothers in an attempt to stay in better contact with each other. Seven years later, the two brothers and their videos have a massive following called “The Nerdfighters” with over two million members.

The show began like most. Everyone who had lined up outside the venue pilled into the building and made their way to the front of the stage. While waiting for the show to start, however, the space felt more communal than other concerts I’ve been to. Most of the audience were Nerdfighters and there is a strange phenomenon that occurs whenever Nerdfighters get together “IRL”; we all become instant friends. Nerdfighteria is a large community, but it still remains very close knit because we all generally like the same things. The majority of us also tend to be socially awkward. When you mix these two things, you get a very laid back group of people who understand each other extremely well without even knowing anyone’s name. Thus, while waiting for the concert to begin, the venue was abuzz with conversation between practical strangers.

With most concerts, the opening acts are either announced by someone who works for the venue or by the act themselves and are often ignored by the main performer. “Tour Because Awesome” was an entirely different story. When the house lights dimmed, it was not a venue worker or the first act who walked onstage to welcome us to the show. Hank himself came out, camera in hand, and thanked us for coming. He told us that not only had we chanted more than any other show on tour, but that Denver had the biggest turnout and that he was happy that we were there. He then introduced opening act Rob Scallon and proceeded to introduce every act after him. This is a testament to how much Hank really cares about the musicians that joined him on tour. They are not only some of his favorite musicians, but also closest friends.

Rob Scallon only played three songs on his own (he would later come on to drum), but each one them had me absolutely entranced. This guy doesn’t just play guitar. The instrument practically breathes in his hands. With a combination of finger picking, licks, and hammer on technique, it was hard to believe there was only one instrument on stage. As Hank put it, his music “makes your ears feel real good.” My ears felt so good in fact, that I ran to the merch booth the moment he got off stage and bought his album. Lucky for me, he ran just as quickly and not only gave me a free t-shirt but signed the album as well.

After Rob Scallon, Andrew Huang took the stage. This guy is hilarious and incredibly talented. He writes songs in a vast number of genres and frequently takes challenges from his fans of what songs to create. He also only played a few songs but joined Hank and the Perfect Strangers later on.

Andrew Huang is extremely creative. One of his songs (video below) had me swaying my hands back and forth, thinking of my past relationships, until I remembered it was actually written about his nipple ring that had grown out. He purposely wrote the song to be vague enough that it could be about any relationship, yet when given the context, it becomes incredibly funny. He also played fan favorite “Show Me Where Your Noms At” which he collaborated with Youtuber Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen to make. This song shows not just how great of a singer and guitarist he is, but also highlights his rapping abilities. He had the entire audience singing along.

Next on stage was Harry and the Potters, who led us in a pledge that we would have a good time at the show and use our voices to create positive change in the world. Harry and the Potters are considered the founders of the Wizard Rock genre. They are made up of brothers Paul (newly appointed as Executive Director of The Harry Potter Alliance) and Joe DeGeorge but onstage are known as Harry Potter Year Seven and Harry Potter Year Four, having used Hermione’s time turner to go back in time and start a rock band with themselves.

Harry and the Potters are probably the most exuberant band I’ve ever seen. Their banter with the audience is priceless and they seem to have a limitless amount of energy when it comes to performing, dancing and jumping up and down with each song. Both brothers even jumped into the audience, Joe jumping out twice and asking audience members to sing into the mic. Confetti was tossed into the air several times using a hollow wand and by the end of their act, everyone in the venue was screaming, “HAR-RY! POT-TER! HAR-RY! POT-TER!”

After Harry and the Potters finished their set, Driftless Pony Club took the stage. I’ve seen this band twice and they never fail to impress me. Their sound is energizing, fun to jump around to, and closely resembles Modest Mouse. Lead vocalist and guitarist Craig Benzine, like most of the musicians on the tour, has his own YouTube Channel WheezyWaiter. The band often makes funny videos with Craig.

Like always, they had the entire venue buzzing with excitement. At one point, bassist Sam Grant climbed over the barricade and into the audience where he danced along with us while he played. My friend Luke and I sang along to every song, bouncing on the balls of our feet and banging our heads to the beat. I’m a heavy metal fan, but nothing makes me happily light headed like dancing to Driftless Pony Club.

Finally the act we had all be waiting for was just moments away. I can’t convey to you the amount of excitement that was bouncing off the walls in that room. Every few moments you could hear someone squeal “Oh my god” or watch as another made a few little jumps of excitement. Everyone was grinning. Members of Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers (Paul DeGeorge on guitar, Joe DeGeorge on keyboard and saxophone, Andrew Huang on lead guitar, and Rob Scallon on the drums) made their way onto the stage and began to play ambient music. Suddenly, the beginning of “Perfect Strangers” began and Hank ran onto the stage to sing. Everyone in the venue went nuts and rushed to the front of the stage, screaming, dancing and singing along.

Of course no Nerdfighteria event would be complete without some sort of charity element. Before the show started, Hank informed us that their bass drum had broken. Instead of throwing it away, they decided all the musicians would sign it and raffle it off for one dollar per ticket. We had until the beginning of Hank’s set to buy as many raffle tickets as we wished. When the time came to choose a winning ticket, the audience had raised over $500 for the Foundation to Decrease World Suck, Nerdfighteria’s chief charity organization.

Hank played a ton of songs, mostly off his new album Incongruent with a few older songs thrown in here and there. Some fan favorites included “I Fucking Love Science”, “Video Game Books”, “A Song About an Anglerfish” and possibly his most famous “Accio Deathly Hallows”. He also talked with us about touring and his fellow bandmates and joked that Denver needed to fix our air shortage. During Accio Deathly Hallows, he handed a girl his mic while he climbed over the barricade so that he could join us in the audience. After many high fives and lots of dancing, he climbed back on stage and played a few more songs before ending the show. However, we weren’t ready to let him go quite yet. After much chanting, he and the band came back out and played a few encores for us, including the theme from Friends.

“Tour Because Awesome” was an truly spectacular show. Every single musician was on point and had the audience completely thrilled to be there. They also all came out afterwards for autographs, photos, and hugs, despite being absolutely exhausted from the four hour show. I was able to meet Sam Grant after the concert and we talked for a while about how cool online communities such as Nerdfighteria are. We both agreed they are a very unique, kind, and caring group of people that we are very glad to be a part of.

 

*DFTBA stands for Don’t Forget to Be Awesome and is the slogan of Nerdfighteria.

Videos courtesy of Lara Griffith and Andrew Huang. Bandcamp music courtesy of Jon Scallon.

Nerd rock took stage in #Denver as the “Tour Because Awesome” took stage. Check our account of @hankgreen & friends! The chanting seemed to come from nowhere as the lights dimmed at the Summit Music Hall Wednesday, July 9th.
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  • #andrew huang #concert #concerts #craig benzine #driftless pony club #hank green #hank green and the perfect strangers #harry and the potters #harry potter #music #nerd rock #nerdfighteria #nerdfighters #rob scallon #sam grant #songstowearpantsto #the vlogbrothers #vlogbrothers #wheezywaiter #wizard rock #wrock
  • 1 week ago
  • 1

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

Guns don’t kill people. Monkeys with guns kill people. Read our Dawn of the Planet of the Apes review and go bananas

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Genre – Sci-Fi/Action

Director – Matt Reeves (Felicity, Let Me In, Cloverfield)

Cast – Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kirk Acevedo (Miguel on OZ)

Alluring element – Apes riding horseback using machine guns. I mean, COME ON!

Scorecard: Plot – 9 Acting – 10 Representation of Genre – 9 Cinematography – 9 Effects/Environment – 10 Captivity – 10 Logical consistency – 8…

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  • #Andy Serkis #animal farm #ape not kill ape #caesar #cirque du soleil #damn dirty apes #dawn of the planet of the apes #felicity #fox and the hound #gary oldman #keri russell #monkeys riding horses with machine guns #movie review #movies #planet of the apes #POTA #rise of the planet of the apes #the lion king
  • 1 week ago

Comic Book Reviews 07-09-14

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Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebookand The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for…

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  • #batman #comic book reviews #comic books #dc comics #dexter&039;s laboratory #Image Comics #marvel comics #original sin
  • 1 week ago

Diggin’ Through the Crates: RZA “We Pop”

This week’s Diggin’ Through the Crates, we learn a thing or two about work ethic from @RZA “We Pop.” Word to #Batman

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Song: “We Pop”

Artist: RZA Ft. Division & Ol’ Dirty Bastard

AlbumBirth of a Prince (2003)

Lyric: “I cock arm, pass the bomb, like Troy Aikman/Play the basement like Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.”

Character Reference/Meaning:

Welcome back DTCers! Hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July. Over at Hush headquarters, we celebrated…

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  • #batman #birth of a prince #bruce wayne #comics #dick grayson #diggin through the crates #hip hop #hip-hop #hush #hush comics #hushcomics #music #nerd #rap #robin #rza #we pop
  • 1 week ago

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Organized Konfusion “Bring It On”

This week, Diggin’ Through the Crates goes to Cybertron when @Princepo takes the mic on “Bring It On” @PharoaheMonch

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Song: “Bring It On”

Artist: Organized Konfusion

AlbumStress: The Extinction Agenda (1994)

Lyric: “Rippin shit up at prime time, I’m Optimus Prime-time material/Imperial wizard of vocabularic havoc, I eat MC’s like cereal!”

Character Reference/Meaning:

DTCers, ROLL OUT! After a bit of a hiatus that I was on for grad school, we’re…

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  • #comic books #diggin through the crates #hip hop #hip-hop #music #optimus prime #organized konfusion #pharoahe monch #prince po #rap music #Transformers #transformers age of extinction
  • 2 weeks ago

Comic Book Reviews 07-02-14

Before you hit the BBQ, check out our Comic Book Reviews this week with some great books! #Deadpool, #GOTG #Superman

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Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebookand The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for…

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  • #batman #comic book reviews #comic books #dc comics #dexter&039;s laboratory #Image Comics #marvel comics #original sin
  • 2 weeks ago

Monthly Movie Preview: July 2014

There are some great movies coming out in July, like #dawnofapes #Hercules & #WishIWasHere. Check out our preview!

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 After a relatively quiet June, the summer really heats up with a slew of sci-fi thrillers, as well as a few comedies and independent films sprinkled in. If you’re a movie buff, you won’t be bored this month. Check out what we have to say about July’s films:

July 2 - Earth to Echo

Starring: Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese C. Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt

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  • #a long way down #Aaron Paul #cameron diaz #channing tatum #comedy movies #coming soon #dawn of the planet of the apes #disney #earth to echo #hercules #jason segel #johansson #jupiter ascending #kickstarter #lucy #mila kunis #movie previews #movies #pixar #planes #planet of the apes #previews #sci-fi #sex tape #tammy #the purge #the rock #wish i was here #WWE #zach braff
  • 3 weeks ago

Get your best People’s Eyebrow on, because finally, Hush Comics has come back… to Denver. It was just one year ago that we stepped in the Colorado Convention Center for the Second Annual Denver Comic Con and our eyes were open to what Hush could do. After the local convention blew us away, we started venturing to other conventions around the country – well, as much as our budget allows. This year, we were a well-oiled machine. We were handing out cards and stickers (hit us up if you want one because we have a few extras!), mingling with fellow con-goers and doing almost everything there was to be done. We took a bunch of pictures of cosplayers, attended a bunch of panels and even got to interview some of the hottest artists at the convention, all of which you can find at the links below.

In this article, you will find one of the most complete Denver Comic Con 2014 experiences on the web, all of which came from a diverse team (see Special Thanks To at the end of the article) of nerds that we have the pleasure of calling our own.

See also:

Denver Comic Con 2014 Cosplay articles

Denver Comic Con 2014 Panel articles

Denver Comic Con 2014 Interviews

Spotlights on 30 of our favorite DCC 2014 guests

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

The City

The Mile High City is home to the fastest-growing city of nerds in the country. In only its third year, the estimated attendance of nearly 75,000 people has sky-rocketed it to the fourth-largest comic book convention in the WORLD, right behind San Diego, New York City and Toronto – cities with at least four times the population than that of Denver. Google “Nerdiest cities in America,” and there’s a good chance you’ll find Denver on any given list.

One of the greatest qualities of the nerds here in Denver is how diverse they are, making comic cons here a hotbed for the Mile High community. A hardcore Star Wars fan might know all there is to know about but know nothing of Doctor Who and comic books, or vice versa. This diversity usually leads to tons of pocketed groups, meaning that there is always somebody that you can strike up a conversation with pretty much anybody at any time about anything. Most convention goers I have spoken with are nice enough to tell you about their respective fandoms.

The city of Denver isn’t actually all that big, but several large suburbs make up a fair percentage of the land and population. Thanks to years of construction projects, navigating the city from any particular section is fairly early when taking the RTD Light Rail system. The best part was boarding the train with a ton of cosplayers, decked out in their extravagant costumes, sitting right next to people who had no idea Comic Con was even going on. Also, if you wanted to drive, you don’t have to roll the dice on a spot downtown or settle for an expensive lot; there were plenty of parking spots across the street from the Colorado Convention Center at Metro State University.

If you’re staying downtown, there is plenty to do on the weekends. One of the nerdiest attractions is the 1UP bar, a full-service bar that has a plethora of old-school arcade games like Mortal Kombat IITron and Paperboy – even a real-life giant game of Jenga with 2 x 4 blocks of wood. The Pavilion area on 16th street is also quite the fantastical place, full of street performers, eateries and shops to pass the time. Theater nerds can geek out at the Denver Center of Performing Arts, which hosts a variety of plays and events all year long.

There are multiple comic book stores in the metro area, and additional ones in surrounding suburbs. Each shop offers a different experience and has a specialty of sorts. All C’s Collectibles in Aurora is a great place to find sports cards, coin collections and back issues. The shop has been in business for over 25 years and is the go-to spot when I’m on that side of town. I Want More Comics is an up and coming store in Northglenn (about 10-15 minutes of highway North of downtown) that has a lot of trade paperbacks and unique collectibles. It’s hard to spend less than an hour per visit there. The store we go to for books is Mile High Comics, which has four locations in the metro area. Their Glendale store on Colorado Blvd is pretty much home to me, where Aaron and Jay always hook us up with our weekly books and specialty figures. Mile High’s Jason St. warehouse is just that – a warehouse, and the biggest comic book emporium in the world. Whether it’s a rare back-issue, an out-of-print trade or a toy you didn’t know you needed, you can find just about anything in the world of nerd at that warehouse.

Denver is a city that makes itself very accessible to nerds, and is very accepting of the culture, in general. It’s one of the contributing factors that makes it one of the best cities in the country for young professionals, hipsters, and relocation. The continued diversity of people Denver gets only adds to the attraction of events like Comic Con. The best part is that the event hasn’t even been saturated; there are still thousands of people who either couldn’t go or need to be converted. Denver is a nerd gold mine right now, and it’s great to see how many people are striking big in the Mile High City.

How Denver Comic Con Works:

Let’s be honest; last year’s Denver Comic Con was poorly organized. It wasn’t DCC’s fault, either. There was just no way to prepare for the explosion of attendance that happened between the inaugural year, which saw a modest 28,000 people attend, and 2013, where attendance ballooned to 63,000 people – making it the fifth largest convention in the world after only two years. The problems were more logistical than anything, and this year was a great reaction to the issues that plagued the previous convention. The entire exhibitor’s hall was organized in a much more logical fashion, volunteers were actually informed of what was happening, and people were actually let in the doors when the Con opened.

This year, DCC saw a reported 75,000 attendees flood the convention center. Some were looking for autographs and art sketches, some were looking to go to panels and look at cosplayers, and some were just so absolutely lost in the chaos that they walked the exhibitor’s hall like a group of Amish at Best Buy. I would venture to say that a majority of the attendees knew what they wanted to do and how to get there. Artists and creators were located at the back of the hall, while retail shops and displays took up most of the front. Off to the side was the celebrity signing booths, where various celebs took to signing for large blocks of time. Meanwhile, panel rooms were sprawled out on the first floor. Convention food could be found in multiple places, and aside from the $4 bottles of water, it was reasonably priced and tasted delicious.

Due to the fact that we had a team of BAMFs (Nightcrawler or Pulp Fiction - either analogy works) networking, attending panels, and taking some great cosplay pics, we were free to do so much more than before at a convention. For others, it was a bit more difficult. Due to the small size of the Main Even and Mini Main Event panel rooms, it wasn’t uncommon to wait for an hour just to get a seat in a panel. We noticed the same thing when it came to getting a sketch from an artist or an autograph from a celebrity. At that point, it’s all a matter of prioritization. There were definitely things we didn’t get to do or see over the weekend, but I feel like had they been our top priorities, they would have gotten done.

There is so much cosplay going on at the Denver Comic Con that it punches you right in the face as you walk in the doors. The sheer volume was amazing. I’d guess that I saw more people dressed as Harley Quinn here than I did people dressed up altogether at Houston’s Comicpalooza. From Dragonball Z to Dark Crystal, the diverse crowd really made for a thoroughly entertaining game of Guess Who? People we talked to said they came to DCC specifically for the cosplay, and the hard work put into their costumes proved their validity – especially in the contest winning Mr. Freeze. The dedication didn’t just stop at costumes. Colorado Movie Cars had a fleet of nerd-inspired vehicles for attendees to look at, including the Ghostbusters‘ Ecto-1, Knight Rider‘s K.I.T.T., Bumblebee’s Camaro, Herbie and the TMNT Party Wagon, which it has become my new goal in life to build. There were also two Batmobiles in the house (Burton and West) and the Umbrella Corps Dodge Magnum.

This year also brought in some big name guests. Since the convention was created to promote Comic Book Classroom, a lot of the guests are people that we grew up idolizing as kids, like: Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series), Jim Cummings (the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Darkwing Duck), Adam West and LeVar Burton. We were all there to see somebody different, and our varying experiences were all equally cherished. The love didn’t stop there, though, as we were able to get some astonishing artwork and keepsakes from our favorite people in the nerd world.

 

Meet the Press!

Hush Comics was lucky enough to receive media passes to DCC, and we felt like we were treated with great respect. Not only were we able to get priority seating for the popular panels, but we were also granted access to the exhibitor’s hall before the doors opened. Both days we snuck in early, we were there to interview artists. We were able to sit down for an extended amount of time and speak with Georges Jeanty, who just ended his run on Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, and Yanick Paquette, who’s currently working on Wonder Woman: Earth One. Both were complete gentlemen, and the formal interview quickly turned into a completely casual back and forth. We were even able to request a commission from each of them of our favorite characters making a hushing gesture and they turned out amazing! Check them out below:

Like at Comicpalooza, we were lucky enough to give away a couple of 3-Day passes to a lucky Facebook fan by the name of Jumoke Emery, who is a great guy getting to enjoy his first Comic Con. Here’s his account of the weekend:

So I have a confession to make: This was my very first Comic Con experience. Mostly I spent it wandering around starry-eyed, high-fiving awesome cosplays while not the least bit tipsy off of Brews Wayne. I was most excited for the panels, yet managed to miss every single panel that I stood in line for (P.S. Comic-con lines for panels can be ridiculous, and I’ve decided that the fire marshal and I aren’t friends). However, I still had a blast! Being among my fellow geeks feels like home, now the only debate is whether I’m John Stewart or Power Man for next year’s Con. Shout outs to Hush Comics for helping me have an amazing Father’s Day weekend!

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Aside from the great interactions we had with people, it was such a joy to be able to tell people what we’ve built over the past year. It’s not the shiniest website on the web, but the hard work and hours of writing feels validated when we get such great feedback from people we randomly meet and strike up conversations with. I can only expect that we will continue to grow, adding more quality writers and covering more ground than we do now. Thanks to everybody that made this a fun and fruitful experience. See you next year!

Special Thanks to:

Jacob Robinson: You may have seen him dressed as Ash Bender at DCC, or just noticed his stylish mustache and dreads. Jacob wrote multiple panel articles and

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Jené Conrad: Although Jené had to leave for the weekend to attend a friend’s wedding, she was an integral part of getting set up for the convention, and was not shy at all about networking with others on Hush’s behalf.

Robert Michael: Most of the photography of the convention you see was taken by either Adrian or Robert. He also wrote a few of the big panels, like The Oatmeal and Arrow. Robert was the utmost professional and we are lucky to have him on the team

Robert LOVES reading

Robert LOVES reading

Alyssa Mitchell: This girl is a machine! She came to the convention after pulling night shifts, and was an absolute pleasure to be around. She’s Robert’s girlfriend, so it makes sense she was always at work – whether it be pushing the Hush name, taking media duties or helping us plan out the day.

Charlotte Renken: Our newest writer is a straight-up prodigy. We sawn her passion for cosplay inspire others in real time, and we’re lucky her unique voice has found a home at Hush Comics.

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Lewis Brown: This phenomenal artist is one of our favorites in Denver. Check out his Facebook page. He’s extremely humble and personable, and he spent a lot of his time at the con doing free work for the non-profit Aurora Rise. Definitely make yourself familiar with his work, so that one day, you can tell people you knew who Lewis Brown was before he made it.

Lewis Brown Sketch 1

Scott McCauliffe: Scott has had the most unique experience at DCC among us; he has been an artist at the con, a patron, and this year, a member of the press. He was able to make it for Father’s Day, and his article on his experience is one worth reading.

John Layman

Evan Lowe: Evan couldn’t be here in person this year. He was busy completing a rigorous course to get his Master’s Degree in Social Work! The only thing he requested was a picture of Lou Ferrigno. I’d like to think we delivered. Now that his courseload has slowed down, expect more from him soon.

Lou Ferrigno Evan

Sherif and Adrian: We had to throw a little love our way… mostly so I could post these pictures of us.

Tips for Future DCC-ers:

  • Buy your passes early. Even if you end up not going, you can definitely sell the passes on Craigslist or at the door. When we originally bought 3-Day passes a few months in advance, we paid $55/pass. Compare that to the daily rates of $40/day they were charging the week of the con, and you’ll be face-palming yourself for not capitalizing on the situation earlier.
  • Before the convention starts, make a list of things you want to do, and plan it out according to which days things are happening. If you plan things out, there’s a good chance you can get to it all.
  • Cosplaying is amazing, but what’s even better is wearing comfortable shoes. You will spend hours walking, standing, rinsing, repeating. On a similar note, please do shower and wear deodorant. Yes, people will know it’s you, and they will judge you for it. DCC even put on a satirical PSA about “Con Funk” to reiterate the dangers of not valuing personal hygiene.
  • If you get cold often, bring a sweatshirt in the convention center; it might be 90 outside, but it’s likely refrigerated inside.
  • Know where the Guiry’s booth is. Grab any sleeves for prints/pictures you need to avoid getting them all smashed up.
  • Come prepared to buy stuff: artists prints, doo-hickies, collectibles, and of course, comic books. Also know that you will be having to bring or send this stuff back home with you. Some of the best things to prepare are:
    • Comic book portfolio: holds approximately ten issues for signing and collecting.
    • Poster tube or picture hard-sleeve: don’t let those prints/signatures get bent. Trust me, hiding it in a book will not cut it.
    • Know where a nearby FedEx is to ship back the really valuable stuff
  • Take a fair amount of cash with you. A lot of the booths and special events only accept cash – not to mention cash only parking lots in the surrounding area – so avoid getting caught cashless when a good opportunity arises. There are ATMs available around the convention center.
  • If you have time to leave the convention center, there are a lot of great, relatively inexpensive places to chow down nearby. Some of our favorites are: Cheba Hut, Snarf’s and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (kinda pricey, but worth it if you’ve never been).
  • Over-estimate the time it takes to get anywhere. Denver is largely a commuter city, so plan accordingly.
  • Prior to going to the convention center, make a to-do list of what you want to accomplish and decide what is realistic.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Ever.
Two weeks later, we reflect on the awesomeness that was #DCC2014 @DenverComicCon. New pics! Get your best People’s Eyebrow on, because finally, Hush Comics has come back… to Denver. It was just one year ago that we stepped in the Colorado Convention Center for the Second Annual Denver Comic Con and our eyes were open to what Hush could do.
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  • #batman #btvs #buffy #colorado convention center #comic books #comic con #cosplay #dc comics #dcc 2014 articles #dcc2014 #denver #denver comic con #downtown denver #Fiona Staples #geek #Georges Jeanty #journal #LARPing #mile high city #mile high comics #nerd #news #review #Space Cadets #whedonverse #yanick paquette
  • 3 weeks ago
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Denver Comic Con 2014 - Kevin Conroy

Our hero, who voiced #Batman on the legendary Animated Series held an amazing panel at @DenverComicCon #DCCpanels

Kevin Conroy is pumped

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

Panel Name: Batman 75th Anniversary: Kevin Conroy

Topic: Kevin Conroy spoke about his experiences being a voice actor on the highly acclaimed television series Batman: The Animated Series along with other Batman franchises since then.

Featured Guest: The one, the only, Kevin Conroy.

Going to the famed voice actor…

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  • #arkham asylum #arkham city #arkham knight #batman #batman beyond #Batman The Animated Series #bruce wayne #dc comics #dcc #DCC 2014 #dcc 2014 articles #dcc 2014 panels #denver comic con #Denver Comic Con 2014 #gotham #justice league #kevin conroy #Mask of the Phantasm #Voice Actor
  • 3 weeks ago

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

Names: Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, Cecil Baldwin, and Disparition.

Professions: Writers, actors, artists and musicians.

Notable Works: Welcome to Night Vale, “A Commonplace Book of the Weird; The Untold Stories of H.P. Lovecraft”, and “What it Means to Be a Grownup”

“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep.” – Cecil Palmer, Welcome to Night Vale, Pilot Episode

Fiction, in it’s nature, is a little bizarre. It might seem commonplace, but when you actually think about our ability to suspend our disbelief while enjoying these stories, it’s quite remarkable. Then, of course, you have horror, which requires us to not only suspend disbelief, but voluntarily engage in something meant to make us afraid. You also have comedy, which requires our full attention and intelligence to enjoy. Break fiction down and our fascination with it is quite impressive.

Then there’s Commonplace Books, which is anything but commonplace. Co-owned by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, this group of writers, actors, artists and musicians take weird to a whole other level. With wit, expert pace, and a Lovecraftian feel, the stories they turn out are absolutely captivating and just plain strange. Their main project, Welcome to Night Vale, hit the top ten podcasts list in July 2013 and surpassed This American Life in the same month, becoming the number one podcast on the charts. It is currently just shy of being in the top ten at spot 11. More on Welcome to Night Vale in a bit.

Commonplace Books has two published books titled A Commonplace Book of the Weird: The Untold Stories of H.P. Lovecraft (available in Kindle format) and What it Means to Be a Grownup (currently out of print). A Commonplace Book of the Weird: The Untold Stories of H.P. Lovecraft is a collection of stories inspired by a list of 221 story ideas supposedly left behind by H.P. Lovecraft. It ranges from horror stories to memoir to poetry written by various writers of across the country and is edited by Joseph Fink. “What it Means to Be a Grownup” is also a collection of writing, but rather than containing post-mortem Lovecraft, various writers speak to what adulthood means to them. In the format of essays, short stories, charts, letters and one picture book, over thirty contributors can be found in the book including writers from The Onion, SomethingAwful.com as well as comedians Niel Hamburger and Kyle Kinane.

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“There is a thin semantic line separating weird and beautiful. And that line is covered in jellyfish.” - Cecil Palmer, Welcome to Night Vale Episode 22, The Whispering Forest

Welcome to Night Vale is just plain weird. When trying to recommend it to my friends, I’ve always had trouble describing it. Some attempts have been along the lines of “It’s like NPR from the Twilight Zone”, “It’s a radio drama podcast told in the format of a radio show from the weirdest desert town in fictional history” and, “It’s like if Stephen King and Neil Gaiman created a Sims world and then left it running for several decades” until finally settling with “It’s amazing. Just trust me and listen to it.” Commonplace Books describes it as “a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.” It is heavily inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, and David Lynch.

Co-writer Joseph Fink came up with the idea for WTNV in 2011, having become fascinated with podcasts. He wanted to bring something to the art form that no one had done before. Joseph has always been a huge fan of conspiracy theories. He doesn’t believe but constantly reads them, which is where the idea for WTNV came from. He thought of a town where all conspiracy theories were true and a few months later, the first script had been written. He recorded the first episode with help from his friends actor Cecil Baldwin and musician Jon Bernstein of the band Disparition who do the background music for the show. While this episode had originally been just a concept piece to convince Jeffrey Cranor to join the project, it became the pilot and was uploaded to the iTunes Podcast section on June 15th, 2012. Two years later, the radio drama has been wildly successful, with two tours already under their belt and another US and Canada tour starting June 30th in Montreal and ending at San Diego Comic Con.

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WTNV is narrated by Cecil Baldwin who also plays the main character, radio host of Night Vale’s local news show “Welcome to Night Vale”. Curiously enough, the main character’s name is also Cecil but with the last name Palmer. He is vaguely described as neither tall nor short, thin nor fat, allowing fans to create their own image or “headcanon” of what he looks like. Cecil is an extremely well crafted character. He has a broad emotional range from dark, serious, and at times terrifying, to hilarious, exuberant, and “fangirly.”

Cecil is particularly giddy when it comes to the character Carlos, a scientist and the only “normal” character. This leads to another great part of WTNV. Cecil is openly gay and while there is a whole episode dedicated to *SPOILER* his first date with Carlos *END SPOILER*, it’s a very small part of what makes the character great. Cecil is gay, but being gay is not the only facet of his character. So many stories today have gay characters whose sole purpose on the show is to be gay. They are the butt of a joke, the management’s way of seeming more progressive, or a way to make the show more scandalous. Cecil is none of these things. He is a radio host and he’s gay. He’s a reporter and he’s gay. He plays a major role in a revolution and he’s gay. He is not “the gay character”. He is the main character. WTNV is also extremely trans-postivie, having various metaphors and characters to represent transsexuality and non-binary genders.

When I first listened to WTNV, and Cecil announced the weather section, I was expecting a weather report that was strange but nonetheless had something to do with the climate. This was not at all the case. WTNV’s “weather” section, in fact, has nothing to do with weather, but is rather a different song each week from various independent artists. This part of the show is a fan favorite. The weather of WTNV varies in genre, but is always well selected and attributed at the end of each episode. Some favorites include “These and More Than These” by Joseph Fink, “The Bus is Late” by Satellite High (my personal favorite), and “A Little Irony” by Tom Milsom.

While all fandoms are creative, the WTNV fandom may have the rest of them beat. As WTNV is an entirely audio experience, there is not much to go off of when it comes to cosplay and fan art. However, the creations that come out of this vagueness are truly remarkable. Some of the best cosplay I’ve seen comes from WTNV and the fan art is just as exquisite. Given complete creative freedom as to what their favorite characters look like, fans have gone above and beyond. Depictions of Cecil range from suit and tie to parka to actual canon furry pants, yet various themes tend to pop up time and time again. While it is not always the case, most fans agree that Cecil has a third eye and at least half sleeve tattoos, often depicting octopus tentacles (a possible homage to H.P. Lovecraft) How did this headcanon come to be? No one knows. Cecil is never described as having either of these, yet look at any depiction of him and nine times out of ten, he has at least one of these attributes. Similarly, other characters have been depicted in a variety of representations, showing how truly creative this fandom is.

Another truly amazing thing about Commonplace Books is that they are completely advertisement and sponsor free. They are able to produce their content entirely through donations from fans and the sale of merchandise. Not only is this impressive, but it just goes to show how dedicated their fans are, some donating as much as $250 - even though the podcast is absolutely free. Commonplace Books survives on the idea that if people truly love something, they are willing to help the creators behind it.

Commonplace Books has cranked out a lot of amazing content in the past few years, but they aren’t done yet. A WTNV stand-alone novel is set to be released in 2015, which will explore parts of Night Vale that Commonplace Books hasn’t been able to cover in the podcast. They are also set to do another crossover show with The Thrilling Adventure Hour July 26th at the Spreckels Theatre in San Diego at the end of their much anticipated US and Canada Tour, tickets for which are on sale now. For those of you who live Colorado, they will also be stopping in Denver July 19th at the Paramount Theatre.

This strange, little group of underdogs are incredibly talented, wildly successful, socially conscious, and gut-wrecking hilarious. Their completely independent project, while little, has met incredible feats, being of low budget and surviving solely on the adoration of their fans. As Cecil Baldwin put it in a recent interview with Geek and Sundry, “You don’t need a lot of money, you just need creative people.”

Photos courtesy of Commonplace Booksvidentefernandezprince-virelaigelegenheits-stalkerJillian Fleckderpkind, and Charlotte Renken

@NightValeRadio’s 2nd ann. was 6/15. We dive into their work & why you should listen @PlanetofFinks @CecilBaldwinIII In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in.
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  • #cecil #cecil baldwin #cecil palmer #commonplace books #cosplay #David Lynch #fan art #HG Wells #HP Lovecraft #jeffrey cranor #joseph fink #podcasts #radio drama #respect my craft #videntefernandez #welcome to night vale #wtnv
  • 3 weeks ago
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Denver Comic Con 2014 - Cosplay: A Gentleman’s Perspective

We might be charting dangerous territory, but let’s explore A Gentleman’s Perspective on #Cosplay #DCC2014

Pretty Boy Flizzy from The Boondocks S4E1

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

This year’s Denver Comic Con did a great job of addressing the need for respect on the convention floor. There is absolutely no reason that people shouldn’t be allowed to dress up however they want without the fear of being harassed, physically violated or having their sense of security compromised. Cosplay is supposed…

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  • #comic book conventions #comic books #cosplay #cosplay etiquette #cosplay harassment #costumes #dcc articles 2014 #dcc2014 #denver #feminism
  • 3 weeks ago

Comic Book Reviews 06-25-14

You’re gonna have your hands full with this week’s comics. #Saga, #Superman, #DeadlyClass & #SSCW all get high marks

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Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebookand The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for…

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  • #batman #comic book reviews #comic books #dark horse comics #dc comics #deadly class #deadpool #Fiona Staples #geoff johns #Georges Jeanty #hulk #Image Comics #john romita jr #justice league #lex luthor #marvel comics #ms. marvel #original sin #Robert Kirkman #Saga #serenity #spider-man #spiderman #superman #the walking dead
  • 3 weeks ago

Denver Comic Con 2014 - Star Trek TNG Reunion

If you missed the #StarTrek TNG reunion panel at #DCC2014, no worries, Jacob has you covered. #DCCpanels

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Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

Panel NameStar Trek: The Next Generation Reunion

Topic: Most of the cast from Star Trek TNG discuss their time on the show and their experience working with one another

Featured GuestsJonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gate McFadden with William Shatner as moderator

Have you ever had a…

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  • #comic book convention #comic book conventions #dcc 2014 articles #DCC14 #denver #denver comic con #news #priceline negotiator #ST:TNG #Star Trek #star trek tng reunion
  • 4 weeks ago
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Denver Comic Con 2014 - Three Years, Three Experiences

Hush writer Scott is a traveled man. He’s been to #DCC2014 as an artist, patron, and now press. Here’s his tale!

DCC year 1

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

It’s a week since the third annual Denver Comic Con got underway. From everything that I saw and experience, it was a glorious weekend. This, like many of you, was my third time attending DCC. I have a unique perspective on the DCC experience, you see I’ve attended all three years in three separate capacities . I’ve…

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  • #comic book classroom #comic con #con #cosplay #DCC 2014 #dcc 2014 articles #dcc2014 #denver #denver comic #fathers day #independent comics #john layman #LARPing #lego #lord of the rings #mortal kombat #tim sale
  • 4 weeks ago
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