MotherF*cker In A Cape Talks Sexual Harassment In Upcoming Episodes

Written by Neil Greenaway

The Mother F*cker In A Cape podcast has a trio of new episodes planned for the end of April, and they touch on some fairly uncomfortable subjects. While the podcast normally focuses on marginalized figures in the comics community, these three episodes want to directly address the #metoo movement by tackling the topic of harassment and breaking it into its baser parts.

The first episode sees the creator of the podcast, R. Alan Brooks, speaking with Sarah J. Berg - the anti-harassment trainer at University of Colorado-Denver, who provides a legal definition of sexual harassment and some strategies for addressing it.

R. Alan Brooks recording the MotherF*cker In A Cape podcast.

The second episode hears stories of harassment from the women who have experienced them, touching on the very real damage that can be caused by predatory sexuality.

The third episode cuts to the heart of the problem by speaking with men who have admitted to practicing harassing and abusive behavior. These men discuss their thinking and motives at the time of the harassment, how they learned that their actions were wrong, and what they've done to change their views on women since.

Brooks admits that this topic is a bit outside the purview of what he normally features: "I typically focus on marginalized people in the geek world: disabled geeks, a sex worker who makes comics; that kind of thing. But I think sexual harassment needs to be addressed directly by men, and this is the forum that I have, so I'm using it."

The first of these three episodes will premiere on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, and Podcastland on April 30, 2018, which is the last day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month - with the next two episodes following weekly after that.

DINK 2018 Is Coming: Celebrate Independent Comix with O'Barr, Gerhard, Kindt & Cruse

Written by Neil Greenaway

This weekend (April 14&15, 2018) the McNichols Civic Center Building in Downtown Denver will once again play host to the Denver Independent Comics & Art Expo (DINK!). Now entering its third year, the DINK convention has quickly become a favorite for both fans and creators of independent comics - even winning the Best Comic Con award from Westword Magazine. Show runner Charlie LaGreca has proven before that DINK can pull in big-name guests without compromising his staunch support of independent comics and art, and this year proves it again. With headliners that include James O'Barr (The Crow, Pink Dust), Matt Kindt (Dept. H, Mind MGMT), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Essex County), Howard Cruse (Gay Comix, Wendel), and Gerhard (Cerebus) this year's lineup has plenty of star power - and that is only the tip of the iceberg with nearly 200 different artists and exhibitors planning to attend.

This year sees the introduction of a few new features as well, and they start right at the front door. DINK has partnered with Meow Wolf to create an "immersive entry experience" that will have ticket holders make their way through a series of comic worlds created by local Denver artists Barry Brown, Lonnie Allen, and Brian Essig-Peppard.

The next big change this year is that the convention will host it's first celebrity guest -  John Leguizamo be there supporting his graphic novel Ghetto Klown and his new comic series Freak. DINK is offering ticket upgrades that include the graphic novels, single issues, signatures & selfies from Mr. Leguizamo.

Guests at DINK 2018!

Ghetto Klown

A Promo poster for DINK 2018.

Of course the Cannabis & Comix tour returns for its third year as well. This year DINK has teamed up with Good Chemistry to provide a 2-hour weed tour bus excursion with an open bar. Entrance to the Cannabis & Comix Tour also includes VIP tickets to the convention and access to a Cannabis & Comix panel with Denis Kitchen & Howard Cruse.

DINK will also be hosting a viewing of the new movie I Kill Giants with Joe Kelly (author of the series) at the Alamo Drafthouse. The show begins at 7:45 on Friday the 13th and will also include the short animated film Your Black Friend by DiNKy Award Winner Ben Passmore, Alex Krokus & Krystal Downs. Attendees will receive a free I Kill Giants poster that they can have Joe sign at the convention!

In addition to all the big names and events, DINK 2018 will also be bringing together an amazing collection of the best and brightest creators that independent comics have to offer - including a huge selection of Colorado-based talent. Influential Denver locals like Kevin Gentilcore, Daniel Crosier, R. Alan Brooks, J James McFarland, Mister V, Karl Christian Krumpholz, and Red Team Go CO will all have tables - there are too many others to list and they are all worth stopping and talking to.

All of this, plus: a full schedule of panels, a dog cosplay contest, the DiNKy awards, Sunday morning cereal & cartoons, food trucks, & much more. Tickets are still available, but they are selling out fast. You can buy yours HERE.

Black Panther: Y’all #TeamKillmonger Cats is On Some Bullshit

Written by R. Alan Brooks

Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger.

Hey, so listen: for the fifteen of y’all in the world who haven’t seen the Black Panther movie yet, you should just roll on, because this article has spoilers. That’s your warning. Fall back, now.

Black Panther is an audacious movie that takes viewers on multiple adventures, while blazing new trails in silver screen depictions of Africans, women, and frankly, superheroes.

One of the shining stars of the film is its villain, Erik Killmonger. Michael B. Jordan’s capacity for bringing complex and charismatic humanity to this character’s struggle is compelling. (And if you don’t think I used enough “c” words in that last sentence, I concur).

Killmonger is a great villain, because he’s a well-written antagonist that we can empathize with. As a testament to the strength of the film’s storytelling, Killmonger makes some valid and relatable points, we understand his pain, and we know why he came to be the person that he is. This is to writer and director Ryan Coogler’s credit as much as it is to Michael B. Jordan’s. Honestly, they should both be proud of this accomplishment.

T'Challa battles Erik Killmonger.

But some of y’all are trying to hold Killmonger out as a hero, like he’s some admirable beacon of The Revolution; some example that we should follow. Sure, in some ways, he was more likable than Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. He was more devilishly charming, he had more passion, and he had credible reasons to be so angry.

But damn, y’all, just because he said some true things, that doesn’t make him the one for you to follow. (And MAN, he said some true things. That last line of his? That was everything.)

But let’s look at this brother’s actions. I’m just gonna pick three disturbing things that he did.

  • He murdered his girlfriend, who was loyally helping him on his mission. We don’t learn how long they’d been together, but it was definitely serious enough between them for her to risk her life and break the law to help him accomplish his objective. But as soon as she wasn’t useful to him, Killmonger murdered her. That’s your hero? You must be part of that, “I’m still riding with Magneto even though he abandoned Mystique as soon as she lost her powers” camp. Boo!

  • He choked an old woman in Wakanda for not obeying him quickly enough. He choked a defenseless old woman. He choked her. Y’all want this dude around your aunties? You’re probably waiting for the Wakanda edition of Logan’s Run, then. Double Boo!

  • He burned all of the heart-shaped herbs, so no one else could be king after him. Ok, so his mission was to bring some liberation to all of the world’s oppressed African people. Good. But why burn the herbs? So no one else could ever have the power of the Black Panther? More likely, it’s so no one could ever challenge him. Does that sound like a liberator or a dictator?

I know some of y’all want to argue that leaders don’t have to be perfect. After all, MLK was known for infidelity, Jesse Jackson jealously announced he wanted to “cut off” Obama’s nuts, and well, I won’t even speak on Bill Cosby.

Erik Killmonger contemplates a new mask.

So we’re left with this fictional character who is reacting to very real cruelties, like oppression, slavery, murder, and rape - specific, inhumane crimes that people of African descent have endured for centuries.

But, to take it a step further; to look at this character, and to see him as a hero - a champion worthy to right these wrongs - that’s just out of hand.

Killmonger treats women’s lives as worthless. He has no love or respect for the elders around him. And he wants to destroy the possibility of a kingdom existing after him.

These things make sense to his character. It’s part of what makes him a great villain. As a viewer, I absolutely understand why he does them.

But it doesn’t make sense for you to aspire to them.

Y’all might need to rethink yourselves.


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R. Alan Brooks is a writer, musician and host of the popular “Mother F**ker In A Capecomics podcast, which interviews marginalized members of the geek world. Alan writes educational children’s comics and “The Adventures of Captain Colorado” for Pop Culture Classroom (the non-profit that stages Denver Comic Con). He is the writer and creator of “The Burning Metronome, a supernatural murder mystery graphic novel.
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R. Alan Brooks

Raised in Atlanta and now a Denver resident, Alan is a writer, musician and host of the popular “Mother F**ker In A Cape” comics podcast, which interviews marginalized members of the geek world. Alan writes educational children’s comics and “The Adventures of Captain Colorado” for Pop Culture Classroom (the non-profit that stages Denver Comic Con). He is the writer and creator of “The Burning Metronome”, a supernatural murder mystery graphic novel.

Free Comic Book Day 2018 - Full List Of Titles With Covers and Previews

Written by Neil Greenaway

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May 5th, 2018 will mark the seventeenth annual celebration of Free Comic Book Day - a day when local comic shops across the country will host events handing out free comics. Many events also feature cosplay contests, artists and authors selling their comics, gaming tournaments, and steep discounts off of the regular store merchandise. With some of the larger celebrations starting to resemble small comic conventions, FCBD has become one of the most hotly anticipated dates on the comic calendar. Below we have put together a sneak peek at more than 50 of the free books to be offered this year (plus the Michael Allred t-shirt!). Click on a cover to be taken to a more in depth look at the issue including the cover image, a brief synopsis of the story, and some of the creative teams

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If you see the orange banner, you can preview actual pages of the comic!


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  FCBD 2018 2000AD Regened (Rebellion)

FCBD 2018 2000AD Regened (Rebellion)

  FCBD 2018 Avengers #1 (Marvel)

FCBD 2018 Avengers #1 (Marvel)

  FCBD 2018 Barrier (Image)

FCBD 2018 Barrier (Image)

  FCBD 2018 Berlin by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)

FCBD 2018 Berlin by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)


  FCBD 2018 Bob’s Burgers (Dynamite)

FCBD 2018 Bob’s Burgers (Dynamite)

  FCBD 2018 Bongo Comics Free-For-All (Bongo)

FCBD 2018 Bongo Comics Free-For-All (Bongo)

  FCBD 2018 BOOM Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake Special (BOOM!)

FCBD 2018 BOOM Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake Special (BOOM!)

  FCBD 2018 BOOM Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger Special (BOOM!)

FCBD 2018 BOOM Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger Special (BOOM!)


  FCBD 2018 Brief History of Tank Girl (Titan Comics)

FCBD 2018 Brief History of Tank Girl (Titan Comics)

  FCBD 2018 Comics Friends Forever (First Second)

FCBD 2018 Comics Friends Forever (First Second)

  FCBD 2018 Crush (Yen Press)

FCBD 2018 Crush (Yen Press)

  FCBD 2018 Overwatch & Black Hammer (Dark Horse)

FCBD 2018 Overwatch & Black Hammer (Dark Horse)


  FCBD 2018 DC Super Hero Girls #1 (DC Comics)

FCBD 2018 DC Super Hero Girls #1 (DC Comics)

  FCBD 2018 DC TOP SECRET GOLD BOOK (DC Comics)

FCBD 2018 DC TOP SECRET GOLD BOOK (DC Comics)

  FCBD 2018 Defend Comics (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund)

FCBD 2018 Defend Comics (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund)

  FCBD 2018 Die Kitty Die: I Love You To Death (Chapterhouse)

FCBD 2018 Die Kitty Die: I Love You To Death (Chapterhouse)


  FCBD 2018 Disney Princess Ariel Spotlight (Joe Books LTD)

FCBD 2018 Disney Princess Ariel Spotlight (Joe Books LTD)

  FCBD 2018 Doctor Who #0 (Titan Comics)

FCBD 2018 Doctor Who #0 (Titan Comics)

  FCBD 2018 Worlds Greatest Cartoonists (Fantagraphics)

FCBD 2018 Worlds Greatest Cartoonists (Fantagraphics)

  FCBD 2018 Ghost In the Shell:  Global Neural Network (Kodansha Comics)

FCBD 2018 Ghost In the Shell:  Global Neural Network (Kodansha Comics)


  FCBD 2018 Graphix Spotlight: Sparks (Scholastic/Graphix)

FCBD 2018 Graphix Spotlight: Sparks (Scholastic/Graphix)

  FCBD 2018 Howard Lovecraft’s Big Book of Summer Fun (Arcana)

FCBD 2018 Howard Lovecraft’s Big Book of Summer Fun (Arcana)

  FCBD 2018 Infinity Watch / Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel)

FCBD 2018 Infinity Watch / Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel)

  FCBD 2018 Invader Zim: Floopsy Bloops Shmoopsy (Oni Press)

FCBD 2018 Invader Zim: Floopsy Bloops Shmoopsy (Oni Press)


  FCBD 2018 Invasion (Chapterhouse)

FCBD 2018 Invasion (Chapterhouse)

  FCBD 2018 James Bond: Vargar (Dynamite)

FCBD 2018 James Bond: Vargar (Dynamite)

  FCBD 2018 Lady Mechanika (Benitez Productions)

FCBD 2018 Lady Mechanika (Benitez Productions)

  FCBD 2018 Legend of Korra & Nintendo Arms (Dark Horse)

FCBD 2018 Legend of Korra & Nintendo Arms (Dark Horse)


  FCBD 2018 Malika – Creed & Fury (YouNeek Studios)

FCBD 2018 Malika – Creed & Fury (YouNeek Studios)

  FCBD 2018 Maxwell’s Demons #1 (Vault)

FCBD 2018 Maxwell’s Demons #1 (Vault)

  FCBD 2018 Metabaron: Meta-Guardianess and Techno-Baron (Humanoids)

FCBD 2018 Metabaron: Meta-Guardianess and Techno-Baron (Humanoids)

  FCBD 2018 Miraculous Adventures (Action Lab)

FCBD 2018 Miraculous Adventures (Action Lab)


  FCBD 2018 Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey #0 (Tokyo Pop)

FCBD 2018 Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey #0 (Tokyo Pop)

  FCBD 2018 Only Living Boy (Papercutz)

FCBD 2018 Only Living Boy (Papercutz)

  FCBD 2018 Overstreet Guide To Collecting (Gemstone)

FCBD 2018 Overstreet Guide To Collecting (Gemstone)

  FCBD 2018 Pokemon Sun & Moon & Horizon (Viz Media)

FCBD 2018 Pokemon Sun & Moon & Horizon (Viz Media)


  FCBD 2018 Relay #0 (AfterShock)

FCBD 2018 Relay #0 (AfterShock)

  FCBD 2018 Riverdale (Archie)

FCBD 2018 Riverdale (Archie)

  FCBD 2018 Scout Comics Presents: The Mall (Scout Comics)

FCBD 2018 Scout Comics Presents: The Mall (Scout Comics)

  FCBD 2018 Shadow Roads #1 (Oni Press)

FCBD 2018 Shadow Roads #1 (Oni Press)


  FCBD 2018 Shadowman Special (Valiant)

FCBD 2018 Shadowman Special (Valiant)

  FCBD 2018 Silver (Dark Planet)

FCBD 2018 Silver (Dark Planet)

  FCBD 2018 SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies (United Plankton Pictures)

FCBD 2018 SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies (United Plankton Pictures)

  FCBD 2018 Star Wars Adventures (IDW)

FCBD 2018 Star Wars Adventures (IDW)


  FCBD 2018 Starburns Presents #1 (SBI Press)

FCBD 2018 Starburns Presents #1 (SBI Press)

  FCBD 2018 Strangers In Paradise XXV #1 (Abstract Studio)

FCBD 2018 Strangers In Paradise XXV #1 (Abstract Studio)

  FCBD 2018 Street Angel’s Dog (Image)

FCBD 2018 Street Angel’s Dog (Image)

  FCBD 2018 Tick 2018 Free Comic Book Day (NEC)

FCBD 2018 Tick 2018 Free Comic Book Day (NEC)


  FCBD 2018 Transformers: Unicron #0 (IDW)

FCBD 2018 Transformers: Unicron #0 (IDW)

  FCBD 2018 Ultra Street Fighter II #1 (UDON)

FCBD 2018 Ultra Street Fighter II #1 (UDON)

  FCBD 2018 My Hero Academia & RWBY (Viz Media)

FCBD 2018 My Hero Academia & RWBY (Viz Media)


  FCBD 2018 Worlds of Aspen Anniversary Edition (Aspen)

FCBD 2018 Worlds of Aspen Anniversary Edition (Aspen)

  FCBD 2018 Worm World Saga (Lion Forge)

FCBD 2018 Worm World Saga (Lion Forge)

  FCBD 2018 Michael Allred "Madman" T-Shirt

FCBD 2018 Michael Allred "Madman" T-Shirt


A Walk Around the Landmark Comic Book Club Mini Con 2018

Written by Neil Greenaway

On Saturday, January 27th, the Landmark Academy in Commerce City, CO once again opened its doors to the Landmark Comic Book Club Mini Con. This was the club's second annual mini-convention and several local Colorado creators came out to help them celebrate. Belying the "Mini" in their name the day-long event featured several panels, a Pokemon tournament, a Kid's Cosplay Contest, and a full table of prizes to be raffled away through the afternoon. Offered below is a gallery featuring some of the creators that were set up and selling their wares at the show.


The Landmark Academy at Reunion - in Commerce City Colorado hosted the Mini-Con.

The Landmark Academy at Reunion


Almost immediately inside the front door, I found Patricia Krmpotich and Dan Conner with the full spread of their My Gal the Zombie comics.

To see more from Dan & Patricia you can check out:  mygalthezombie.com, crazygoodcomics.comFacebook, Youtube, Instagram (Dan), Twitter (Dan), Instagram (Patricia), Twitter (Patricia).

Patricia Krmpotich and Dan Conner sit at their table with Dan's daughter.

My Gal the Zombie: The Delusional Life - by Dan Conner & Patricia Krmpotich.

 

A page of My Gal the Zombie cards for Valentine's Day.


The folks at Game Face Photography and Printing were there with a variety of prints. Their table also featured information and a sign-up sheet for the Monster Rangers (from Steam Crow)! It is great to see the Rangers starting to spread and grow.

To see more from Game Face Printing and Photography you can check out: GameFacePP.com, Facebook, Instagram, or Etsy.

To see more from the Monster Rangers you can check out: MonsterScouts.com, SteamCrow.com, or Facebook.

At the Game Face Photography and Printing table, with the Monster Rangers sign-up.

 

Game Face Photography and Printing

Monster Ranger info.


Moriah Hummer had the first three issues of her comic - Flat Track Furies at her table. Her book is about a Roller Derby team, which is something Moriah knows about - she plays with the Denver Roller Dolls

To see more from Moriah you can check out: FlatTrackFuries.com, Twitter, Facebook, or her personal blog.

Moriah Hummer and her Flat Track Furies - providing both substanse and style.

Flat Track Furies stickers!

  Flat Track Furies  issues #1, #2, & #3 - from  Moriah Hummer .

Flat Track Furies issues #1, #2, & #3 - from Moriah Hummer.


Colton Muheim, Andrew Mark, & Terry Schayes were on hand to represent Red Team Go Colorado and - as always - sketches for children were free. With this event taking place in a school, these guys were busy all day.

To see more from Red Team Go Colorado you can check out:   www.redteamgocolorado.com or their Facebook.

Terry Schayes with Colton Muheim at the Red Team Go Colorado table.

Andrew Mark drawing free sketches for the kids at the mini-con.

The comics of Red Team Go Colorado.

Andrew Mark of Red Team Go Colorado dispensing knowledge (and art) to the children.

Cryptids & Cogs Volume 2 - from Red Team Go Colorado!


Gerhard Kaaihue was set up with copies of his book Elilani: The Art of G. Kaaihue and several prints, stickers, and original art pieces.

To see more from G. Kaaihue you can check out:  gkaaihue.com, his store, or his Facebook.

Gerhard Kaaihue sketching at the mini-con.

 

Falling Deep #1 - from R. Alan Brooks & Gerhard Kaaihue.

Elilani: The Art of G. Kaaihue

GKaaihue.com


William DeLuca and his husband Craig "Pepper" DeLuca had a table at the mini-con where they were selling copies of Campfire Stories of Lake KikiPapi - the comic that they create together. They also had a coloring sheet for children (which my son thoroughly enjoyed).

To see more from William & Pepper you can check out:  Comixology or the Peppercopia Publishing Facebook page.

William & Craig "Pepper" DeLuca at the mini-con.

Campfire Stories of Lake KikiPapi #1 - written by William DeLuca with art by Craig "Pepper" DeLuca.

A coloring sheet featuring the cover to the next issue of Campfire Stories of Lake KikiPapi - art by Craig "Pepper" DeLuca


Lonnie Allen was there with his art and copies of the latest issue of Suspect Press - a Denver magazine where he is the Art Director/Comix Editor. 

To see more from Lonnie you can check out:  lonniemfallen.com or suspectpress.online.

Lonnie Allen with the latest issue of Suspect Press.

Suspect Press #16, cover by Lonnie Allen.

The latest issue, Suspect Press #17.


Danielle Hines, Sean Benner, and Jeremy Taveras were all on hand to represent White Stag Productions and Sean's book - West of Oz.

To see more from West of Oz you can check out: Twitter or the White Stag Productions Facebook.

  Danielle Hines ,  Sean Benner , and  Jeremy Taveras  at the mini-con.

Danielle Hines, Sean Benner, and Jeremy Taveras at the mini-con.

West of Oz #1 - written by Sean Benner with art from Nicholas Winand.

 

West of Oz posters - art by Nicholas Winand


Jay Peteranetz was there selling his comics, prints, original art, Magicians Must Die (MMD) cards - a comic book printed on a deck of playing cards.

To see more from Jay you can check out:  jnoblepeteranetz.com, DeviantArt, Twitter, or Instagram.

Jay Peteranetz drawing at the mini-con.

Action Lab: Dog of Wonder #6, cover by Jay Peteranetz.

Magicians Must Die (MMD) issue #3, art by Jay Peteranetz.

Magicians Must Die (MMD) issue #3, art by Jay Peteranetz.


Cartoonist and illustrator Ron Ruelle was set up at the mini-con selling collections of his daily comic strip - At The Zü. He also had a whole stack of original art from published strips, and I was lucky enough to get one.

To see more from Ron you can check out:  www.ronruelle.com or Amazon.

Ron Ruelle at the mini-con.

Hey Darwin - At The Zü Daily Strips Vol. 1 by Ron Ruelle.

Non-Human Resources - At The Zü Daily Strips Vol. 2 by Ron Ruelle.

An original At The Zü comic strip from Ron Ruelle.


Stan Yan had a table where he was selling copies of his children's book (There's A Zombie in the Basement) and we were able to talk a bit about his upcoming graphic novel - Regret: A Cancer Survivor's Story. He was also printing out custom Pokemon cards for people (an idea he had with his son).

To see more from Stan you can check out:  zombicatures.com, TheresaZombieintheBasement.comstanyan.me, or read Regret here.

  Stan Yan  and his wife  Erica  at the mini-con.

Stan Yan and his wife Erica at the mini-con.

 

There's A Zombie in the Basement - a story book by Stan Yan.

Regret: A Cancer Survivor's Story, by Stan Yan.


Jacenta Irlanda of Centalynn Artworks was there selling her fine art prints. Her line of Steampunk Robots is awesome. She was cosplaying as Jubalee from the X-Men, which is also awesome.

To see more from Jacenta you can check out: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Jacenta Irlanda of Centalynn Artworks.

Centalynn Artworks - Fine Artist Jacenta Irlanda


Steve Moore of MacWolf Productions was on hand selling his laser-cut clocks and placards. He had a really impressive display laid out for the show, and it all looked amazing.

To see more from MacWolf Productions you can check out:  www.macwolfpro.com, Facebook, or Twitter.

Steve Moore of MacWolf Productions at the mini-con.

A Metroid clock from MacWolf Productions.

 

A Weyland-Yutani Corp placard from MacWolf Productions.


Michelle McAveney of Ink Splotch had a table and was selling her comics, prints, stickers, and bookmarks at the mini-con.

To see more from Ink Splotch you can check out:  her website, smackjeeves, Twitter, Facebook, Patreon, or Storenvy.

Michelle McAveney of Ink Splotch.

A mini print from Michelle McAveney.

 

Spider Wings Vol.1 by Michelle McAveney.


Matt Barclay of Lunch Bag Lab arrived at the mini-con with a plethora of original lunch bag art for sale - and then proceeded to sit down and make a whole bunch more!

To see more from Matt you can check out the Lunch Bag Lab Facebook page.

  Matt Barclay  of  Lunch Bag Lab  at the mini-con.

Matt Barclay of Lunch Bag Lab at the mini-con.

Han & Chewie by Matt Barclay.

 

Lunch Bag Lab

Snorlax by Matt Barclay.


A Look Inside Ace Comic Con Arizona - A New Kind Of Convention

Written by Emily Davenport

A banner ad for Ace Comic Con Arizona.

The first time I heard of ACE Comic Con was through a sponsored Facebook post I caught while mindlessly scrolling. I thought to myself, “How the heck have I never heard of this before,” and after a few clicks, quickly discovered it was brand spankin’ new. It’s Arizona show already had an A-list roster, and would be ACE’s second ever convention.  I needed to know how it was going to compare to more “established” comic conventions, so my fiancé, Ryan, and I took to the arena floor to find out.

Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ.

            As we walked up to the arena on the sunny Saturday afternoon, we saw the line for general admission was quite long and wrapped well around a building opposite the arena that divided into smaller lines in front of multiple security checkpoints. Fortunately, the Gila River Arena is used to large crowds, so every checkpoint was armed with several security staff to help the line of attendees enter as quickly and smoothly as possible. Despite the well-organized lines and quick security, some attendees spent almost two hours waiting to get through and grab their passes. ACE had established a separate entrance for its VIP pass holders on the opposite side of the arena, whom were able to enter prior to general admission pass holders. By the time we had arrived on Sunday (two hours after the floor opened), there were no lines of people waiting to enter - which was a stark contrast to other conventions we’ve attended where people have waited multiple hours.

            Inside the arena, ACE had laid out their convention on three different floors; the arena floor, the main concourse, and the upper concourse. The arena floor housed the main-stage panels, second-stage panels, photo-op areas, and a handful of exhibitors. The rest of the exhibitors were spread out between the main and upper concourse, with the creators located on the main concourse. The main concourse also housed the kid’s convention area where little ones were able to enjoy more age appropriate activities. Celebrity guest booths were placed on the upper concourse. Having the three levels made it easier to find what you were looking for, helped to make foot traffic flow freely, and at no point did either of us feel like we were canned sardines shuffling to our next destination.

Watching the panels from the arena seats above the show floor.

The main stage (with a packed-in audience) behind the show floor.

The photo ops section was in a seperate area.

            ACE had introduced a new way of making panels accessible to all guests, regardless of where you were located inside the convention. This was something no other convention we’ve attended has done, and was a huge upsell for us. To view a celebrity panel up close and in person you had to have a pre-purchased ticket. However you were able to view the panels from the upper concourse seats quite easily, from the dozens of television sets scattered throughout the main concourse or the jumbotron located in the exhibitor hall behind the main stage. Gone were the days where you had to rush to one side of the convention center to the other, and stand in a long line hoping you got the opportunity to view the panel before all the seats were taken. It was awesome.

            We were able to see everything that the convention had to offer within two hours due to the quantity and exclusivity of the exhibitors. On the one hand, this was nice because it was easier to plan what you would do. On the other hand, it felt very repetitive because you were frequently walking by the same vendors multiple times a day. Unlike other conventions there were extremely limited workshops or panels that didn’t consist of celebrities. When combined with the exclusivity of exhibitors, this sometimes made us question if the convention was worth paying the high price for a whole weekend (a full weekend pass was $95 if pre-purchased or $100 at the door - ed).

            ACE was focused on bringing the A-list experience to everyone, but felt a little more geared to the mainstream comic fan due it’s focus on exclusivity. It’s best for convention goers who want to see specific celebrities or a have a one-day experience, but it may not satisfy the convention goers who like to explore the many aisles of exhibitors and find new things. It was a new style of comic convention that was fun to attend, and we’re glad to say we were a part of ACE’s infancy. Will we go again? Time will tell, but we are excited to see where the future of ACE Comic Con is headed.

Captain America #695 Ace Comic Con Arizona Exclusive, cover by Billy Martin.

Captain America #695 B&W Ace Comic Con Arizona Exclusive, cover by Billy Martin.

 Many of the creators invited have done amazing work for Marvel, which was the theme of the convention.

Many of the creators invited have done amazing work for Marvel, which was the theme of the convention.

 The Marvel theme of this convention was reflected in the celebrity guests.

The Marvel theme of this convention was reflected in the celebrity guests.

30 Cosplay Photos From Ace Comic Con - Arizona, Day 1

All photos taken by Emily Davenport & Ryan Hall

Ace Comic con - Arizona started on Saturday at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ - and Nerd Team 30 was on hand to get coverage of the new convention. Started by the Shamus Brothers (the pair that created Wizard World), Ace aims to do things differently by setting up in arenas, broadcasting the panels over the Jumbotron, and having a theme for each new convention. Over the next few days our site will be running reactions to the new show layout, photo galleries, and interviews from the con floor. To start us out, here is a look at some of the cosplay at day 1 of Ace Comic Con - Arizona!

About a “Certain Point of View” - Understanding Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Written by J. James McFarland

This is intended as an overview of the central themes and character arcs of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It contains spoilers for the film.

 Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

“The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”

This is a movie about a certain point of view, the wrong point of view. This is a story about making mistakes, then forgiving yourself and getting on with the task of making up for the errors. Each of our main characters has opportunities in The Last Jedi to make choices which will define the future of the struggle against The First Order. As we are informed in the crawl, the First Order fleet has now been sent out across the known Galaxy after the destruction of The New Republic, and there is no force large enough to stop them.

The movie opens with an evacuation of the base seen in the prior film. The Last Jedi takes place within a very short period of time after the end of The Force Awakens, perhaps hours. A truly ugly First Order ship enters the stage, and “our hero of the Resistance” Poe Dameron confronts this monstrosity himself, without support, in a humble X-Wing. His pal BB-8 tells him it is a bad idea, Leia tells him it is a bad idea, yet Poe puts his ego first.

During this setpiece, we learn a great many things about Poe which were not revealed to us before. His skill as a pilot has made him arrogant and has turned him into a disastrous example of a poor leader. During The Force Awakens we get to know Poe as a somewhat aloof, confident and joyful man. During The Last Jedi we see him descend into paranoia, self-centered arrogance, and a lack of faith in his superiors. He is willing to allow the Resistance to be defeated and his peers to be killed in pointless shows of self-importance. This becomes clear as Poe ignores General Leia’s orders and commits a large portion of the remaining offensive pilots of the Resistance to a desperate gamble. He has noble intentions, but is doing the wrong thing.

Meanwhile, Poe is self-satisfied with taunting General Hux about his parentage. Hux, a proper and straight-laced official who is insecure about being the bastard son from an extramarital affair his father had with a serving woman. This is a pretty sly wink at the audience and certain to go unnoticed by most.

The point of view for much of the movie is that of Poe. Poe FEELS a lot. He's very emotional. We witness him defy orders. Later he will do so again, only worse, which will make him responsible for the end of The Resistance.

 Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

If Poe had not taken a self-centered stance each time, each time with “noble intentions,” The Resistance would still exist. During the movie we FEEL with him that he's doing the right thing, we're exhilarated at his "success" even as we watch Rose lose her sister Paige, and we sympathize with Rose and Finn as they join in his mutiny - also defying orders - to run off on a hopeless errand.

Our new focal character for the film, Rose Tico, is introduced as Finn has chosen to run away from the Resistance. This is the second time Finn has chosen this course of action also choosing to save himself in The Force Awakens. However, in The Last Jedi we see that Finn has grown to care about one person besides himself, Rey. His decision to run away from the battle in this film can be said to have “noble intentions,” as he intends to put distance between the scenario he fears is about to befall the Resistance and the homing beacon which will bring Rey back there. In reality he is not only depriving the Resistance of Rey, but also unintentionally changing Rey’s goal of bringing Luke back to the Resistance and Leia. The audience may read into the depths of that motivation, but he joins “our hero of the Resistance” Poe in being motivated by folly.

During this sequence in the film we meet Rose Tico, who is mourning the loss of her sister Paige. Paige could be said to be one of the real heroes of the opening sequence, her selfless sacrifice of her life alongside those other pilots and gunners who died having taken down the monstrous First Order gunship. Indeed, General Leia identifies them as the heroes of the battle.  Rose takes the position during this film of being the one character who continues to be heroic throughout the narrative. She is also a teacher to Finn who still has little personal identity outside of his brainwashing as an agent of The First Order.

Rose tells the audience and Finn that he is her hero - though he has let her down and been more legend than hero. This becomes the theme of the film. We have to experience that ourselves with Luke, Rey and Poe. We have to watch our heroes be real people who make mistakes, a hard real-world lesson, and then are rewarded to see them begin becoming what they were meant to be. Rose's hero-worship for Finn is a metaphor for us.

“I’m endangering the mission. I shouldn’t have come.” “It’s your imagination, kid. Come one.”

 Rey trains to be a Jedi.

Rey trains to be a Jedi.

When we catch up with Rey, we find that she has an unknown connection to the tiny island which Luke has been living his humble life upon. She knows this place, she tells us. Rey finds that Luke is desperately sad and even hopeless. Our hero of the original trilogy, “The New Hope,” has become despondent. This places the audience expectations of a super-powered, flying and fireball throwing righteous Luke Skywalker quickly out of reach. We want to continue to see that young optimistic man who would never give up but life has been hard on him. This is our own failure. Since the prior film Luke has been a question mark and we have forgotten who Luke really was. Most of us expected something unrealistic, when what we find is a still-genuine Luke who has grown to be a simple farmer, hunter and gatherer, reflecting his true personality and his roots.

During her time on Luke’s island, Rey spends her time experiencing conversations with Kylo Ren, and seeking answers in dark places. Kylo Ren is behaving in the manner of all classic abusers, alternatingly shaming Rey and then being “the only one who understands.”  Rey, like Poe, ignores the orders of her wiser master and continues to allow Ren to manipulate her, like most women in this position. She believes “she can fix him.”

Rey explores the Dark Side in a scene which will be endlessly interpreted. My personal takeaway from her experience underground is one which confirms my views on the Dark Side in general: the person who goes to the Dark Side is one who is self-seeking and self-centered,  putting themselves ahead of everyone else in general. In her vision, there is only Rey, surrounded by Rey, and finally coming face to face with Rey.

In these scenes with Kylo Ren we see a succession of interpretations, flashbacks of an event which led to Luke being so detached from his higher calling. These alternating “he said / he said” interpretations of one moment in time show when Luke momentarily became hopeless over his ability to save Ben Solo, and saw a dark future he had to prevent. A folly of the audience from these scenes is to internalize the second flashback’s shock, when Kylo Ren is relating his false point of view. During this scene, in the same way that director Rian Johnson has connected us to Poe’s emotions and point of view, we are connected to Kylo Ren’s emotions and point of view. However, his views and actions are also wrong, and so again the audience has been put in the position of feeling emotions which support a false view.

We do not know what actions young Ben Solo has been taking. We never get to see how he has behaved, what choices he has made which make Luke fear him so. What was Ben Solo DOING during his time at the academy which made Luke so afraid that he would glimpse into Ben’s sleeping mind? In The Force Awakens, we find out that Leia and Han are familiar with Snoke. Starwars.com specifies that “Snoke seduced young Ben Solo when the Force-sensitive boy desperately needed a teacher. Snoke’s influence would prove critical when Luke Skywalker finally agreed to make Ben one of his new Jedi apprentices.” In The Last Jedi we are told that Luke has been aware of Snoke’s influence on his pupil and he does not seem surprised that other students leave with Ben. Ben slaughters his peers. This is very similar to when Anakin destroyed the Jedi temple, but at a much younger age.

Kylo has shown a very strong inclination towards a pattern of behavior of "no, not the light, anything but the light!" He is choosing to be evil instead of acting out of unconscious behavior, a pattern which Anakin never did. There is no “noble intention” in Kylo Ren, and as the movie progresses we find this truth deepening. The difference between Anakin and Kylo Ren is the big difference between "there is still light in him" and "he refuses the light and intentionally wants to be evil."

“I cannot be betrayed, I cannot be beaten. I see his mind, I see his every intent.”

 Inside Snoke's chambers.

Inside Snoke's chambers.

We are deprived of Snoke’s history in a subverted way. Instead of focusing on the man behind Kylo Ren, we are quickly forced to watch Kylo Ren ascend the throne of The First Order himself. Snoke is only to us what Kylo Ren grows beyond. We do know how Snoke ruined Ben Solo, however. He promised him the same thing all Dark Side Masters promise their pupils. This is the promise that your own self-centered character defects can take focus in your life. We know exactly what drives these sorts of people, it is always the same. Power over others. Self before others. Self-importance. Self-aggrandizement. Ego satisfaction.

We can see that Kylo Ren is a monster who only cares about himself and is willing to let the whole Galaxy suffer to "become what he's supposed to be." Kylo Ren doesn't give a fig about anyone except Kylo Ren. What we learn in this movie is that it started really early. We don't know what he has done by that point in the flashbacks, but whatever Ren has done and the path he started down during those dark times is enough to make Luke lose his hope in the future.

After The Force Awakens, many fans of the Saga were confused about Kylo Ren’s role in the film. At the time my habit was to kindly reinforce that not only were we as the audience mistaken to see him as a strong man, but that he was in fact only a kid wearing a scary mask. However I would point out that he was on par with the Anakin Skywalker we see in Episode II, and that I hoped to see him grow into a monster that might surpass Vader. With The Last Jedi, we see him cross that threshold and become his own man.

Luke spends some time training Rey, and tells us that he has only “seen this power once, and he wasn’t afraid then.” This further solidifies that there was a slow decline of Ben into Kylo Ren, as we see that young Ben Solo’s actions were making Luke fearful. Luke launches into a diatribe of spite at the old Jedi. “The legacy of the Jedi is failure,” whining about hubris, a view that the Jedi led to the creation of Palpatine and of Vader. I see this as Luke summing up the endless negative fan opinions I refute regularly online. I do not believe that this is an accident of the scripting. My belief during this scene is that Luke’s faith has fallen so far that he is actually resonating with the lowered and weakened faith of that segment of the fanbase which continually echoes that the Jedi were corrupt, or that they should have let Anakin do as he wished, or that they deserved to die. Meta!

 Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, and Rey.

Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, and Rey.

This line of thinking ignites me to such strong views! I do not want to lose focus of the topic at hand by being distracted into a completely different essay, suffice to say that my views on the Jedi and the future importance of the Jedi is so strong that I self-published a printed tract going into these topics. Luke is here expressing a point of view which I believe to be wrong, but his simply saying these things fills me with great hope! In a film whose entire basis is that heroes can be wrong, make mistakes, and then learn to become masters, this indicates to me that the future of the films will not only address the true mistakes of the Jedi, but that Rey will also restart the Jedi from fresh. The films can get into the true failures of the Jedi, which were getting involved in politics, moving from Jedha to Coruscant, then allowing outside opulence to reduce their own strong-points of aloofness and neutrality in The Galaxy.

We see that Luke has reconsidered his stance, reconnected to The Force, and sought his sister Leia. Upon waking Leia, whose own strong connection to The Force has just saved her life, he then quickly rushes to Rey’s hut. In this moment, it is my belief that the Luke we see running down the hillside excitedly is a Luke who will now announce to Rey that he wants to accompany her and join the struggle against The First Order. That was a sense which I cannot justify except in his behaviors, just prior to realizing that Rey is communing with Kylo Ren. I believe this realization has jilted Luke away from his new momentary intentions. I do believe that upon seeing Leia he has changed his mind, but his resolve dissipates quickly during a disagreement with Rey. Luke cannot follow. His submerged X-Wing has been scuttled, the S-Foils aren’t even on the plane any longer. From the paint pattern, we can see that parts of the wing have become the door of his hut.

“Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, essential to a Jedi's life.”

Making emotional attachments forbidden was something that Anakin completely ignored and considered below him. The Jedi did not have rules about not having emotions, rather they trained their adherents to live in a manner of personal humility and also emotional sobriety. This allows The Force to communicate it's Will, the will and needs of life around them. A Force user who exerts selfish needs is someone who will ignore the needs of other lifeforms and be a taker, not a giver.

The biggest problem the Jedi had to me was getting involved in Galaxy business. Historically separate and apart, they had maintained clarity on Jedha. They were more focused and knew what their role was. They were meant to train young Force users to be mature and emotionally sober adults who wouldn't use their abilities for evil or selfish gain at the expense of others. They were meant to prevent the rise of people like Palpatine or Vader. Moving to Coruscant, being surrounded by politics, tangentially involved with structures of governance, living in a wildly opulent manner, and involving themselves in the business of other people's life is what I see as some of their major failures. They lost their purpose.

By choosing to drag the audience along in the grip of our emotions, by putting us in the position of sympathizing with the wrong choices our heroes are making yet simultaneously making us a participant in the self-righteousness of those characters, The Last Jedi is forcing we the audience down the path of The Dark Side. We participate in Rey’s Dark Side journey and the film allows us to simmer in selfish righteousness during its journey. Is this an intentional effect of the writing and directing? It’s hard for me to say, although if I were to expand on the idea it would be natural to say that this movie is about the Dark Side in the way that Episodes III and V are, however this one compels the audience through their own Dark Side experience. It isn’t pleasant.

“Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you see it, you'll never make it through the night."

  Vice-Admiral Holdo

Vice-Admiral Holdo

Poe was kicked out of the loop of leadership. He was a danger to the others because of his ongoing propensity to ignore orders demonstrating himself as a loose cannon.  Vice-Admiral Holdo had a plan and the other ship captains were aware of it. They were in the middle of pretending to flee aimlessly while preparing a secret secondary mission. This is while executing a secret third mission, which was the cloaked vehicles leaving the abandoned ships with refugees and coming to the capital ship. Nobody had enough time to worry about Poe and his lessening mental state, keeping an eye on his paranoia and behind the scenes plotting.

Holdo is presented to us as a threat, and potentially even a traitor. Sinister music plays in her presence, and we still haven’t had the time to process the mistakes which Poe has already made. I bought in to the myth and hero-worship of Poe. I suspect we all did.

Vice-Admiral Holdo had reason not to trust Poe. Let's look at this more because this is the CENTRAL bait-and-switch of this movie. People wanted an "I am your Father" moment in which the truth of the entire story is flipped upside down, and they expected Rey's parents or Snoke's one-liner history to be that moment. Instead, you get something high concept: like Rose (rose-colored glasses?) we are super proud of our heroes from The Force Awakens. Poe, Rey and Finn are our heroes, we want to watch them rush in, kick ass, and be awesome. Then we see that they have massive character defects because they are human and fallible. Luke then demonstrates this, and Yoda just smiles and laughs and tells us that it's okay! That is how we grow into leaders. Our heroes will be leaders: Poe, Rey, Finn, Rose, Chewie, Nien Nunb... everyone on that little piece of junk life raft.

That is the "I am your Father" moment, not that the bad guy might be redeemed, but the opposite: the good guys might have irredeemable flaws. In real life, admitting that we are wrong verbally to another person is one of the most humbling and difficult things to do. However, actually accepting it and coming to terms with it in these circumstances is far less likely. Self-honesty is nearly impossible for most of us. In the next film, our heroes are freed up now to be epic… they have earned it.

“That’s how we’re going to win. Not fighting what we hate. Saving what we love.”

Rose has lost her sister, been awake for days on guard duty, had her hopes dashed on a failed mission, lost faith in a hero figure she admired, become his teacher, been through an arrest and escape, gone for an aggressive physical ride, watched 99% of the entire Resistance die because of the actions of the man who sent her on a failed mission, and then been promoted to front line combatant because there are no pilots left. Aside from all those things which make Rose one of the only heroes in the Resistance, she saves Finn’s life, interrupting his impossible attempt of being a savior figure. If she had not done so the Rebels in Episode IV would not have Finn to help rebuild the Resistance. During their wild good chase mission she has watched him grow from a self-motivated coward into a self-sacrificing hero. Rose Tico has done the opposite of both of Poe's major boneheaded mistakes which destroyed the Resistance, she saved a part of the Resistance. She didn't let Finn have a Pyrrhic victory. 

Rose begins as a focal character for ourselves, her hero worship analogous for our emotional views of Poe. By the end of the film, she has potentially become one of the three primary leaders of the New Rebellion.

 Finn, Rey, & Rose Tico

Finn, Rey, & Rose Tico

Will Rey join her in that role? It is difficult to say. Like Luke, she may isolate to focus on self-training using the ancient secret Jedi texts which she possesses. Rey's curiosity about her parentage is solved. Rey has now become a hard-reboot on the Jedi Order capable of a fresh start without the baggage of the past which Luke had. She can return to Ahch-To, or find a new place like Jedha to begin again.

Rey spends this movie slowly being drawn into Kylo Ren’s devious emotional web. Like all emotional abusers he confirms her own fears that she comes from nothing. He lets her know that she is not anything special or important, putting her down and then offering her a hope. She’s something to him, he protests, and only with him will she be of any potential value in the future. This is textbook abusive behavior. Kylo Ren is demonstrating behavior closer in nature to The Emperor than he is to Darth Vader during this moment. I do hope that this is followed up in Episode IX.

They told us in The Force Awakens that her parents were gone, in the past, and that she needs to look forward. They said it multiple times. Being an orphan is Rey's thing and it makes her everything that Kylo Ren wishes to be. She's her own person. After The Force Awakens, they continued to push the narrative on social media that her parents were gone, in the past, and that she needs to look forward. Daisy Ridley kept reiterating in interviews that it was very clear in The Force Awakens who her parents were. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

It could all still be a big reveal, there's an air of mystery around whether Kylo Ren is telling the truth or lying to her. After The Empire Strikes Back came out, people spent years debating whether Vader was lying or not. The truth is that there isn’t reason to revisit this topic. When Rey meets Poe for the first time at the end of the film, she introduces herself and Poe responds “I know!” Rey is already important, somebody of great value to other people and The Galaxy itself. Contrary to Ren’s manipulations, Rey now knows that he is wrong.

“See you around, kid.”

 During this thought process I have tried to adhere to constraints within the boundaries of topics integral to this film specifically when possible. Here I would like to take a moment to “go deep” on Star Wars lore with a concept which occurred to me during the first viewing. Follow with me on this side path for a moment.

In Episode III we learn that Qui-Gon Jinn has transcended death due to his own studies outside of the Jedi Order. His body did not dissipate upon death, however he is able to come back as a voice without a visual body. Later we see that he has attained this mastery as well which occurs in media outside the films. The important part of the narrative is that Revenge of the Sith demonstrates that Qui-Gon is the first to learn of this affect of being One with The Force. He then imparts this knowledge to Yoda, who passes it on to Obi-Wan. These are the first three Jedi in recorded history who we know to have this ability. Obi-Wan has advanced the knowledge to the point where his body dissipates upon death. He also appears first as a voice and later in a visual body.

We find out now that Yoda has also advanced the knowledge. Yoda came back first as a visual body skipping the voice-only form and he can now influence the real physical world. “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force flow around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, yes, even between the land and the ship.”

 Rey & Luke Skywalker

Rey & Luke Skywalker

The Last Jedi makes it clear that Yoda and Luke have not communed in a very long time. We are not given specifics, however we know that Luke has learned the secret of dissipation at some point from someone. I posit that he learns it from Yoda in this very movie, right there in front of the burning tree. My personal view is that Luke also improves on it and learns to Force Ghost while still alive, and that this is the nature of the visual projection. We have a precedent example of this sort of visual manifestation carer-of-Snoke earlier in the film, however the behavior of the manifestation is very different. Snoke’s manifestations are limited to the participants in three of the four examples we have. These earlier versions appear to be manipulations of the mind, a talent that Snoke is a master of, and it can be argued that Snoke “lets Luke in on” the final one in order to cause the conflict between Rey and Luke.

My suggestion is that Luke is letting The Force flow so deeply through him that he can project his Force Ghost though living still. Later, after he has been One with The Force in the same way that Obi Wan and Yoda have, we watch him get up from the exertion, sit back down and begin to float meditate. To me this signals us that Luke has not actually succumbed to some unknown Force exertion in the manner which most of the fanbase online seem to believe. Rather I believe that he has been so pleasantly at peace in The Force during the experience that he just allows himself to return to it. This would differ from Obi Wan and Yoda, who needed a push to dissipate, a physical death. My view is that Luke never experienced a physical death, just saw through "this crude matter" and chose to be a luminous being. He chose to peacefully become One with The Force.

“They really hate that ship.”

Rising above our mistakes is the central theme of this movie. Everyone loses, no one wins, and the stakes have never been higher in Star Wars before. Yoda has even told us that we have to let go and be at peace with ourselves.

There is no longer any Resistance against The First Order. The First Order will have complete control potentially on a larger level than The Empire for the next movie, depending upon the time gap. There are only around 25 characters left alive on the lifeboat Millennium Falcon and most of them are leaders.

This film plays with the expectations of the audience masterfully. We get to see Luke become the legend which Rey wants him to be and which The Galaxy needs. All our protagonists are fallible, mistake-making heroes and now they can get on with the business of being “The Salty Twenty-Five” against the entire Galaxy. The Millennium Falcon is now the most important ship in The Galaxy.

The audience has been through our own version of The Dark Side, and now we can get on with discarding it. Yoda is also talking about us, and speaking directly to those of us in the audience who are listening.

 "Page turners, they were not" Luke Skywalker with the sacred Jedi texts.

"Page turners, they were not" Luke Skywalker with the sacred Jedi texts.

Cigarettes & Carrot Juice: 5 Questions With Ash Maczko & Ashley Witter

Written by Neil Greenaway

The Nowhere Girls - the stars of Cigarettes & Carrot Juice.

Ash Maczko and Ashley Witter, the creators of the hit comic book series Squarriors, have created a new story – which they intend to release as a webcomic. Titled Cigarettes & Carrot Juice, the webcomic would focus on the Nowhere Girls – an all-girl gang that rumbles with vampires, witches, and surf-Nazis in 1980’s Santa Cruz. The writer and artist pair (also known as Team Ash) have described the release of their Squarriors books as “painfully slow” and they say that this new comic will feature an intentionally simplistic design that will allow them to regularly release new content, even while they are on the road. There is no need to worry about their flagship title either, as they have assured me that Squarriors will continue on its current schedule.

Cigarettes & Carrot Juice debuts on February 14, 2018 on sites such as Smack JeevesTapas, & Line Webtoon. In anticipation of the release, Ash was kind enough to answer 5 questions I had about the new comic – and Ashley shared a sneak-peek at the Nowhere Girls themselves.

Neil Greenaway:  Can you tell us anything about the ladies in the promo image (names, roles in the gang)? Is the puppy in the story?

Ash Maczko: From left to right we have Jalyn, Rhiannon, Kitty, Jamie, Jack, and Alison. We will be revealing more as we get closer to launch, and during the series itself. I can say, each character adds a very unique, and... supernatural element to the story; including Jack.

NG: Santa Cruz in the '80s is a fairly specific place in both style and time. Is there a reason you chose to tell this story there?

AM:  Santa Cruz was a place I used to fantasize about as a kid. Of course, The Lost Boys had a lot to do with that fantasy. The idea that there was this theme park, on a beach, that was a constant party, it was magical to me. I finally made my way there a few times as an adult, and it was really exciting for me. With Cigarettes & Carrot Juice, Ashley and I wanted to include as many things that we love as we could; Lost Boys-era Santa Cruz made the perfect setting.

NG:  The press release says that this will be like a mix of The Lost Boys, The Warriors, and Riverdale. So we have '70s action, '80s horror comedy, and contemporary drama. Are these elements difficult to blend in one story?

AM:  Cigarettes & Carrot Juice is Team Ash’s playground. This is a place where we can create any kind of stories we want; total freedom to be as weird, or as dark, or as scandalous as we want. I’ve been writing this series without any rules or pretense. I’d say it’s all come pretty easy so far. And you can bet someone is going to be sucked into and arcade game...

NG: Cigarettes & Carrot Juice is a highly evocative phrase. How does it factor into the story?               

AM:  The phrase, “cigarettes & carrot juice” comes from one of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite bands, “Big Dipper” by Cracker. I have been a Cracker fan since the early 90s. I found out fairly recently, that the band was from Santa Cruz, and the song “Big Dipper” was about the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. After doing some research, it turns out that “cigarettes and carrot juice” is some kind of slang/local term for Santa Cruz. This bizarre coincidence only furthered my fascination with Santa Cruz.

NG: The Nowhere Girls pictured all look a little beat up: some cuts and scrapes, a busted lip, a bloody nose. Is it safe to say that they do not always win in their fight against the supernatural?

AM:  These women are fighters. And when you fight, you get hurt. There’s a lot of elements like that in CCJ; fighting for what’s important to you, and accepting the threats and sacrifices that come with it. This series is going to be a lot of fun, but will still have that “Team Ash edge” that readers expect.

If you would like to see more, you can find the full press release for Cigarettes & Carrot Juice here.

 Ashley Witter

Ashley Witter

 Ash Maczko

Ash Maczko

Squarriors’ “Team Ash” to Publish New Webcomic Series: Cigarettes & Carrot Juice

The Nowhere Girls - the stars of Cigarettes & Carrot Juice. Art by Ashley Witter.

An all-girl gang rumbles with vampires, witches, and surf Nazis in 1980’s Santa Cruz.


CHICAGO, IL -- January 8, 2018 From the creators of the hit comic book series, Squarriors , comes a brand new webcomic: Cigarettes & Carrot Juice! Illustrator Ashley M. Witter (Squarriors, Doctor Aphra, Scorch, Interview with a Vampire) and writer Ash Maczko (Squarriors, Squarriors: The Card Game) deliver an intense webcomic lovingly described as “The Lost Boys meets The Warriors meets Riverdale.”

“Over the last year, we have been developing an original project that our friends and fans can follow as they wait for the painfully slow release of the Squarriors comics,” says Maczko, sharing his understanding regarding Squarriors’ delayed release schedule. “Cigarettes & Carrot Juice has an intentionally simplistic design that will allow Ashley and I to regularly release new content, even while we are on the road.”

With the success of Squarriors, Maczko and Witter frequently travel to attend comic conventions and share their projects and love of geek culture with fans. Since Cigarettes & Carrot Juice is a “completely independent project,” Maczko states they, “have the benefit of delivering uncensored, unflinching, and unapologetic content that Team Ash fans want and deserve.”

Cigarettes & Carrot Juice releases Valentine’s Day (2/14/2018) on multiple publishing sites like Smack JeevesTapas, & Line Webtoon! You can also follow the new series on Facebook and Tumblr.

The Premise

In 1980’s Santa Cruz, a gang known as The Nowhere Girls defend their home turf against rival gangs that include vampires, witches, werewolves, zombies, and other manner of supernatural beings. In between rumbles, The Nowhere Girls deal with other day-to-day gang operations like recruitment, making money, and trying to break the dark curse that’s consuming the boardwalk.

If you would like to see more about Cigarettes & Carrot Juice, you can find 5 Questions with Ash Maczko about the new series here.


 About Ashley Witter

Ashley Witter is a talented illustrator at the helm of the Squarriors comic book series, which received an adaptation into Squarriors: The Card Game on Kickstarter in 2017. Witter’s work spans from comic book covers like Harley Quinn, Red Sonja, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra and more. This isn’t Witter’s first experience with a webcomic series, having successfully launched Scorch on Kickstarter with Devil’s Due Entertainment in 2015.

 Ashley Witter

Ashley Witter


 Ash Maczko

Ash Maczko

About Ash Maczko

The writing talent behind the comic book series, Squarriors , is Ash Maczko. Maczko spins a brutal tale of survival and war in this compelling series and is the lead developer behind the conversion of the comic book into a competitive card game. Squarriors: The Card Game showcases the savagery and tactical prowess of war in a tabletop game launched on Kickstarter.

Cards Against Humanity Saves America - Day 6

Day 6 of the Cards Against Humanity Saves America promotion has arrived and brought with it an end to the annual CAH inspired holiday fun. To close out the celebration this year, CAH bought the naming rights to a minor league baseball field and provided us with blueprints of the field and free tickets to any game on the schedule in the upcoming season. They also included a pack of 12 baseball cards (out of 22 in the series) representing the team that will play at The Cards Against Humanity Baseball Place, and - of course - there was a new pack of 6 CAH game cards as well.


From the cardsagainsthumanitysavesbaseball.com website:

Congratulations! America has been saved! Donald Trump is no longer the president, and the Republican Party has retreated to its secret volcano lair. Now it’s time to kick back, crack open a cold one, and enjoy America’s pastime.
For the final day of Cards Against Humanity Saves America, we really “hit it out of the park” by purchasing the naming rights to a minor league baseball stadium in Joliet, Illinois. Kindly remove your caps and stand — no kneeling! — for The Cards Against Humanity Baseball Place, the new home of the Joliet Slammers!

Cards Against Humanity Saves America - Day 5

 The day 5 banner at cardsagainsthumanitysavesamerica.com.

The day 5 banner at cardsagainsthumanitysavesamerica.com.

The package that I received for Day 5 of the Cards Against Humanity Saves America promotion was a little larger than the others that had come. Inside, I found a pack of 6 CAH game cards (the Pulse Of The Nation pack) and a small magazine full of charts and data. For the fifth day of their holiday promotion, Cards Against Humanity has funded a year worth of surveys for the American people. The results of these surveys can be found monthly at ThePulseOfTheNation.com, but the good folks at CAH printed out the first batch of responses and mailed them to us. The questions ranged from thoughts about our current presidential embarrassment to whether or not it was ok to pee in the shower. 


From the thepulseofthenation.com website:

For the fifth day of Cards Against Humanity Saves America, we used your money to fund one year of monthly public opinion polls. We’ll ask the American people about their social and political views, what they think of the president, and their pee-pee habits.
In fact, we secretly started polling three months ago. What a delightful surprise!
To conduct our polls in a scientifically rigorous manner, we’ve partnered with Survey Sampling International — a professional research firm — to contact a nationally representative sample of the American public. For the first three polls, we interrupted people’s dinners on both their cell phones and landlines, and a total of about 3,000 adults didn’t hang up immediately. We examined the data for statistically significant correlations, and boy did we find some stuff.

Cards Against Humanity Saves America - Day 4

Written by Neil Greenaway

For day four of the Cards Against Humanity Saves America promotion, I received a pack of 6 CAH playing cards, 3 thank you notes from children, and a Position Statement from the Chicago Children's Museum concerning homework for school children. The museum, it turns out, is against homework - and so are Cards Against Humanity.


From the website cardsagainsthumanitysavesamerica.com:

Mounting sociological evidence confirms something we’ve always suspected: homework sucks gorilla balls. It stifles creativity and makes kids hate learning.
For Day Four, we sent out cards, thank you notes from children, a policy paper written by the Chicago Children’s Museum, and we’ve partnered with Donor’s Choose to support teachers who are creating alternatives to traditional homework.
Teachers came up with a ton of ideas, like taking field trips to museums, making slime, reading with their families, and playing board games. You can support these projects by donating at DonorsChoose.org right now. We’re matching your donations up to $100,000.

A Walk Around The Denver Public Library Mini Comic Con 2

Written by Neil Greenaway

 Denver Public Library - Sam Gary Branch.

Denver Public Library - Sam Gary Branch.

Last Saturday (December 9, 2017) I found myself at the Sam Gary Branch of the Denver Public Library to attend the 2nd Annual Mini Comic-Con that was held there. The Mini Comic-Con is organized by Thane Benson, a Denver artist whose comic - Burnt - can now be found on webtoons.com. The free event played host to over 30 local artists and comic book creators and featured games, cosplay, face painting, and a costume contest. Not only was the Mini Comic-Con a great chance to meet and talk with creators, I also learned about an awesome anthology book being put out by the Denver Public Library called Mutant Rabbit. The anthology consists of comics written and drawn by teens who participated in the graphic novel or art workshops offered at the library. I was able to pick up both the 2016 and the 2017 issues, and I was really impressed with what I saw. 

Mutant Rabbit 2016 Anthology

A jam Comic from the Mutant Rabbit 2016 Anthology

An interior page from the Mutant Rabbit 2017 Anthology

Mutant Rabbit 2017 Anthology


As I walked around the library, I was taking photos and talking with the creators there. Below are photos of only some of the many talented creators who attended. 


Adrienne Norris, the artist behind Afro Triangle Designs and the "Women Behaving Badly" series.

 Adrienne Norris

Adrienne Norris


R. Alan Brooks, author of The Burning Metronome graphic novel, stands with a lovely lady beside him. 

 Alan Brooks poses with his girlfriend.

Alan Brooks poses with his girlfriend.


People always want to talk when you're eating. Just ask Amanda McManaman & Laurissa Hughes.

 Amanda McManaman & Laurissa Hughes

Amanda McManaman & Laurissa Hughes


Brian Essig-Peppard, the co-creator, writer, and illustrator of Zeroes For Hire.

 Brian Essig-Peppard

Brian Essig-Peppard


Michael William Prince, of Cellar Door Books. Pick a topic, get a poem.

 Cellar Door

Cellar Door


Cori Redford, purveyor of Sophisticated Dick Jokes, was showing her art.

 Cori Redford

Cori Redford


Crystal McDowell had several books and pins on display with her art.

 Crystal McDowell

Crystal McDowell


Gerhard Kaaihue was sketching and selling his artbook. See more of his work here.

 Gerhard Kaaihue

Gerhard Kaaihue


Jesse Dubin was on hand, representing 8th Wonder Press.

 Jesse Dubin

Jesse Dubin


Karl Christian Krumpholz, the author and artist of 30 Miles of Crazy and The Denver Bootleg.

 Karl Christian Krumpholz

Karl Christian Krumpholz


Niré Aschenbrenner, fine artist and illustrator. You can see more of her amazing pencil work here.

 Nire Aschenbrenner

Nire Aschenbrenner


Sarin Tatroe (of Sariochan Arts) with her many bookmarks, and Thea Hunt - showing pages from her upcoming comic. You can see more from Thea here.

 Sarin Tatroe & Thea Hunt

Sarin Tatroe & Thea Hunt


William DeLuca was there selling copies of Camp Fire Stories of Lake Kikipapi, the series he co-created with his husband Craig "Pepper" Deluca.

 William DeLuca

William DeLuca

Cards Against Humanity Saves America - Day 3

Written by Neil Greenaway

For the third day of the Cards Against Humanity Saves America promotion, CAH decided to try a little wealth re-distribution. They estimate that close to 150,000 people signed up for the promotion this December. When people signed up, they were asked to fill out a survey that provided a little insight into their financial situation. The answers to those surveys (plus a few other calculations) were then used to break all of the subscribers into three different groups.

  • The overriding majority of subscribers (around 140,000 people) got no money at all.
  • The next group (around 10,000 subscribers) received a full refund of the $15 they spent on Cards Against Humanity Saves America.
  • The final group consisted of the people who were in the worst financial situations (100 subscribers). These people all received a check for $1000, paid for by everyone else. 

Taken from the CAH website.

Some FAQs taken from the CAH website.

As to how CAH decided who needed the checks and who did not, they released the following on their website - cardsagainsthumanityredistributesyourwealth.com:

  • 33%: Census Information
    Since we had everyone’s addresses, we looked up their Census Tracts (and/or ZIP Code Tabulation Areas). This gave us information about the median household income, the per capita income, the labor force participation rate, and the percentage of people below the poverty line in their neighborhood.
  • 15%: Race, Gender, and Education
    We used recipients’ race, gender, and education levels to estimate incomes using Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2015.
  • 15%: Occupation
    We asked recipients what field they worked in and used the median salaries of those professions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • 10%: Health
    We gave extra weight to people who said they were in “poor” or “fair” health.
  • 10%: Debt
    We gave significant extra weight to people who had medical debt or credit card debt. We also gave a bit of extra weight to people with student loan or other debt.
  • 10%: Stressed About Money
    We asked people whether they were stressed about various things. We gave them extra weight if they said they were stressed about money and a lower weight if they said they weren’t worried about anything. Everything else (terrorism, alligators, etc.) we ignored.
  • 5%: Smoking
    We gave extra weight to people who said they smoke or used to smoke. Smoking is highly correlated with poverty.
  • 2%: Ordering In and Eating Out
    People who ate out more often were considered to be slightly better off.

Alas, the kind folks over at Cards Against Humanity did not send me a check. Or even a refund. They did send me a pair of CAH game cards (pictured below) that make up for a lack of funds. Knowing that I was able to - in some small way - help out families in need this holiday season helps, too.


Cards Against Humanity Saves America - Day 2

 THE BANNER AT THE TOP OF  CARDSAGAINSTHUMANITYSAVESAMERICA.COM .

THE BANNER AT THE TOP OF CARDSAGAINSTHUMANITYSAVESAMERICA.COM.

Day Two of my Cards Against Humanity Saves America packages arrived on December 4th. Inside the patriotically marked envelope I found 6 CAH cards, 4 stickers, and a whole lot of Good News. Siting the fact that every day seems to be filled with more bad news these days, the folks over at CAH have started up TheGoodNewsPodcast.fm. This new podcast would attempt to make every day a little brighter by broadcasting the good news that is happening all around us. Through the CAH Saves America promotion, The Good News Podcast has been fully funded to run a new episode every weekday for a year, free of ads. The four stickers included were also from TheGoodNewsPodcast.fm. In keeping with the theme of the envelope, the CAH pack was also a "Good News Podcast" set featuring 6 soft-and-cuddly new white cards.


Editorial: Superman - The American Way

Written by Roberto Martinez

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

The first contract for Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster at National Periodicals. They signed for $10 a page!

December 4, 2017 marks the anniversary of a momentous occasion in comic book history. It was on this day 80 years ago - December 4, 1937 - that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (the creators of Superman) signed their first contract with National Periodicals. That contract would change the face of comics and graphic storytelling forever. In commemoration of that anniversary, Nerd Team 30 presents an editorial on Superman written by correspondent Roberto Martinez.


            This was supposed to be a short article. It was supposed to be a quick little rant about a movie I didn’t like, but it turned into a treatise on a character I love. It snowballed, collecting research and theory it careened out of my control. I’m glad it did. But, since this was supposed to be a short work that was ready after a couple of days, I’d like to apologize to Nerd Team 30 for my tardiness and offer an explanation.

            I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what to make this article about. Completely lacking any idea of what to say, I asked my mother for a topic.  “Write about what heroes we need today in comics” she says.  I kept thinking about that over the course of a day, figuring out what or who could possibly help in this new era which resembles a shit-covered-shit-burrito-wrapped-in-a-crappy-crunch-shell-of-crap.

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel.

            I kept thinking about Superman. “But we have Superman already, why would we need Superman?” I asked myself. “Hmm. You really think people know who Superman is after watching Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman?”  Then I felt a seething anger build in me, very similar to the sensation I had coming out of the theater in 2013.  I hated Man of Steel  with a passion I did not fully understand at the time.

            Originally I had thought the anger was derived from it being such a bad representation of the Superman I knew from the comics, but then I realized it was far more personal than that. I used to love Superman. In fact, I had forgotten how I used to love Superman. When I was a kid, Superman was the only superhero besides Spider-Man who could capture my imagination. My mom used to tell me bedtime stories about superheroes when I’d exhausted her knowledge of fables and myths.

Christopher Reeves as Superman.

            Superman was one of a few mythic pieces of pop culture that shaped my understanding of what it meant to be a good person. But then my friends made it clear to me that Superman was not cool. The arguments made to me (in much more basic terms than I’m using here) were: How could a big blue boyscout who was so damned happy be cool? How could someone with so much power be interesting? He can just shrug off anything you throw at him, there’s no tension in that. How the hell do you play as Superman with your friends on the playground when Superman is so much more powerful than all the rest of the characters you could play? And what’s the point of him when he’s so good in the first place? Where’s the drama in that?

            Superman became my first concept of what people called a Mary Sue.[*] Too perfect.  Too powerful. Too adolescent, even for a kid who had not yet even come close to double digits in age. But somehow, in the short amount of my life which had occurred before the time before I decided Superman wasn’t cool, I’d created some idea of what the character was supposed to be; who he really was beneath the blue pajamas and red S. But I only remembered this because I fucking hated the version of Superman presented to me by Zack Snyder and DavidSuperman Should Be Allowed To KillGoyer.


[*] I’m of the current opinion that the trope of the “Mary Sue” is a bullshit label that doesn’t actually convey a concept very well. That or the Divine Comedy is just some self-insert Mary Sue bullshit, take it or leave it. 

            First of all, contrary to my early rejection, Superman was not all-powerful. Besides the obvious limit of kryptonite, he was limited by his humanity. There were things that Superman would and would not do based on his moral compass, and those limits were important.  He was a big blue boyscout who had the might to make things right, yes, but only ever used that might against bullies. He had embodied Truth, Justice and the American Way, and then abandoned the lattermost part of the creed to better serve the world. He was inspiration personified – and I really think the John Williams theme for the character is the best summation of this trait. Go listen to it right now and tell me if it doesn’t give you enough get-up-and-go to at least do the dishes. Superman, the alien who learned how to be a better human than most humans.           

The theme song from Superman: The Movie

            Let me lay out my case for why my childhood idea of what Superman is was correct all along. We’re going to go back to Superman’s origins and I’m going to prove he’s the hero we need today by describing the 1930s and the 2010s at once: Newsflash! After a crippling American financial crisis causes huge fallout across the face of the earth, a fearful global population begins to turn towards fascism and nationalism. Far-right demagogues design laws to penalize all who differ from their ideal norm and promise a return to their nations’ former greatness.

            Eerie, right? Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman in 1933 when they were still in high school, although in a very different incarnation from what would appear in Action Comics #1 five years later. In the 30s America and a good chunk of the world had either flirted with, or outright chosen, authoritarianism (again, pretty close to today’s landscape) in the form of dictatorships and fascist alliances.  People were fed up with their living conditions and the basic insecurities of low wages and lack of upward mobility. Many were lured by the siren song of a strongman promising a greater quality of life. With little or no framework to fulfill those promises, the demagogues instead turned public attention to foreigners and other "interlopers" as scapegoats. This was just as true in America as it was in Europe. For some, Hitler was not seen as a threat but as a role model.  As a result, the German American Bund held a great amount of influence. Almost 20,000 American Hitler-supporters showed up at one Madison Square Garden rally in 1939 shortly before the Bund dissolved when its assets were seized. Siegel and Shuster would be well aware of the Bund when they published Action Comics #1 in 1938.

The Reign of the Superman - the earliest incarnation of the character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

            Discarding previous incarnations where Superman had been a villainous vagrant, a tough-as-nails detective, or a baby sent back in time from the future, the two Jewish creators developed Clark Kent as we know him today: an immigrant refugee from another planet whose alien name “Kal-El” resembles the Hebrew words for “voice of God.”  These implications were not unnoticed at the time. After Superman took on Nazi Germany in the comics, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, went as far as to publicly denounce Superman and say of one of his creators, “Jerry Siegellack [sic] stinks. Woe to the American youth, who must live in such a poisoned atmosphere and don’t even notice the poison they swallow daily.” The Nazis saw Superman and what he stood for as a threat to their goals.

             In the years during and after the Second World War, Superman became the king of superheroes. He was widely known as a paragon of virtue and synonymous with the motto of “truth, justice, and the American way,” a phrase coined by the Superman radio program.  Of greater note, in 1946 when Superman needed new villains to replace the defeated Nazis, he went on to take on the Ku Klux Klan which resulted in the newly resurgent Klan being stopped in its tracks after the group’s secrets were broadcast over the course of 16 episodes. I want everyone reading to take a moment and think about how awesome that is: Superman is so good at beating xenophobic bullies that he managed to break a hole into reality and kick the KKK’s ass (take that, Superboy Prime.)

An add for Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of the Superman!

The original cover art for Action Comics #1 by Joe Shuster.

The final cover art for Action Comics #1.

            All right, I know I’m doing a lot of hero-worship here, but there are some big problems with Supes, particularly from the World War II era, that need to be addressed. A lot of the Golden Age comics are racist and Superman is no exception.  The comics and the Fleischer cartoons feature hateful depictions of the Japanese. Besides that there were a lot of missteps that have been made in writing the character, some even within recent memory. A lot of this stuff still needs to be tackled elsewhere (sidebar: I really think someone should write a story about what Supes thinks and/or thought about the Japanese-American internment camps).  I’m not here to defend these problems or say they don’t matter – they totally do. Despite this, I’m convinced that the core of Superman is not racist/nationalist propaganda, but a human responsibility to use whatever power you have whenever you can to help others. I needed to address these flaws before talking about Frederick Wertham.

            A good portion of Supes’ modern problems stem from a period of time shortly after the war when Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent in 1954.  This forever changed the landscape and readership of American comics.  What had once been a multifaceted industry with a variety of genres read by a large cross-section of readership became synonymous with both superheroes and children in America. It also fundamentally changed the way that we look at Superman, with Wertham ironically aligning the character with fascism and authoritarianism by virtue of his near-godly amount of power and his attacking foreigners (I. E. the racist portrayals of the Japanese among others). This happened only 14 years after Goebbels had accused Superman of being Jewish propaganda.

 Superman #6 released in September 1940. Cover by Joe Shuster.

Superman #6 released in September 1940. Cover by Joe Shuster.

 Superman #11 released in July 1941. Cover by Fred Ray.

Superman #11 released in July 1941. Cover by Fred Ray.

 Superman #90 released in July 1954. Cover by Win Mortimer.

Superman #90 released in July 1954. Cover by Win Mortimer.

            Wertham was also the first to claim that Batman championed homoeroticism and was in a relationship with Robin. He also claimed that Wonder Woman was the Sapphic equivalent of Batman and a bondage fetishist (Wertham considered homosexuality and bondage to be immoral). Superman, superheroes, and DC ultimately won the war against Wertham by creating the oppressive comics code authority and censoring themselves into near-oblivion as well as effectively destroying E. C. Comics. Despite this, Wertham’s claims against Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman managed to gain a foothold in popular culture.  The connection between Superman and fascism has followed him ever since.

            And that brings us back to 2013’s The Man of SteelI hate this movie. I hate this setting. I hate the utilitarian, objectivist, joyless, drab murderfest.  The entire DC cine-verse (up until Wonder Woman) was obsessed with the possibility of a corrupted, fascist Superman. It’s a side-focus of Man of Steel, a main focus of Batman V. Superman, and a postulate of Suicide Squad. While they never fully commit to the idea of Superman being fascist, they flirt with the fear of it constantly. It’s an anxiety built into the DNA of the world.

Superman fights General Zod in Man of Steel.

Superman with a defeated Zod in Man of Steel.

            Snyder’s Superman wrestles more with his moral compass than with threats against mankind, and his upbringing is a huge chunk of why the threat of fascism is ever-present.  Normally in a Superman story we don’t worry about Superman taking power that doesn’t belong to him because his human parents have done such an outstanding job raising him to respect the agency of others.  In contrast, Snyder’s Jonathan Kent errs on the side of selfishness rather than selflessness more often than not:


Jonathan Kent: You have to keep this side of yourself a secret.

Clark Kent: What was I supposed to do? Let them die?

Jonathan Kent:  Maybe… But there’s more at stake here than our lives or the lives of those around us. When the world… When the world finds out what you can do, it’s gonna change everything…


 Jonanthan Kent with a young Clark in Man of Steel.

Jonanthan Kent with a young Clark in Man of Steel.

            Yep, Jonathan Kent suggests that maybe Superman should have let the school bus full of his classmates (and more importantly, Jon, your neighbors’ kids) die in order to make sure that Superman can deal with some real problems later. I’m not sure how talk about this. You could argue that this is an attempt at injecting some realism into Superman’s story, that in real life you have to make some sacrifices in order to ensure the most good gets done – except that Snyder’s Superman doesn’t really seem to care about that when it comes down to it. As has been pointed out by an entire army of other sources, Man of Steel’s Superman doesn’t make even the hint of an effort to change his venue with his climactic fight with General Zod, presumably causing a large amount of collateral damage in both property and human life. I find it utterly bizarre that MoS’s Superman cares so much about saving people from being murdered by Zod at the climax given how many incidental deaths he has to be responsible for at that point.

            This is not to say that I think the subject of sacrifice should be forbidden in Superman’s world. I think a Trolley Problem scenario could be a great story for Superman, but it does not work for this interpretation. I think some of the questions Zack Snyder asks in both Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman are good questions, I just think his answers are mostly incoherent. So much of Snyder’s focus in the Superman movies is an attempt to show how his concept as a character doesn’t reconcile with the real world.  But he was never meant to reconcile with the real world. He’s a fantastic, unattainable ideal. His power is not meant to represent physical power but the strength of a moral will to do right.  Superman is a power fantasy, plain and simple, but one that’s meant to inspire us to do better as people.

 Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Superman, Cyborg, Batman, and The Flash all join forces in Justice League.

Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Superman, Cyborg, Batman, and The Flash all join forces in Justice League.

            Much to my relief this is reflected in Justice League. This is not a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination, but the tone was so much closer to what I’ve wanted from the DCEU that I’m willing to forgive some errors that otherwise would have merited an entirely different article. I was not expecting to enjoy this movie, but everything in it was so refreshing compared to the previous, dour installments of the shared universe. On some very basic levels I feel like they interpreted Superman and Batman in ways that were so idealistically true to the characters’ origins. Batman says in the movie that Superman is more of an inspiration than he’ll ever be, and for the first time in this franchise they prove it. This Snyder/Whedon interpretation of Superman truly cares about the welfare of not just the world, but the other heroes in the universe. I’m not sure how much of this was Snyder trying to interpret the character through other fan’s eyes and how much of it was Joss Whedon’s rewrites and reshoots, but either way the product is satisfying.  

            I think my problem with Snyder’s previous version of Superman is that it’s too close to the reasons I wrongly rejected Superman in my youth. I misunderstood him as I grew up in a way that feels very similar to the way Snyder interpreted him in his first two forays into Superman. But I ultimately have to say I owe a debt of gratitude to Snyder on two levels. First, without hating his Superman so much, I wouldn’t remember why I loved him so much I the first place -- and why I think he’s the number one thing we need now in these days that feel darker every minute. Second, without his Justice League I wouldn’t finally have a modern cinematic interpretation of Superman that stands up to a world dominated by men trying to strong-arm the world into obeying their wills.  For the first time in a long time I can look at the cinematic Superman and feel that hope which was promised back in 2013.

Superman knows what it is to be All American.

 It's Superman!

It's Superman!

A page from All-Star Superman #10 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

Comment

Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez was born and raised in the city of Denver, Colorado. He writes in a variety of forms including comic scripts, screen plays, stage plays , nonfiction, fiction,  and poetry. He worked to help create the Denver Comic Con and continues to contribute to the Denver Independent Comics and Art Expo.  He’s been active in the industry for eight years, starting with a supernatural western called Boot Hill.  More recently he was in the anthologies Dinopocalypse and  Cryptids and Cogs.  In 2016 he won Sigma Tau Delta’s award for Best Short Play submission for A Quarterlife Crisis Inspired by Connery and Lennon and went on to stage three short plays called Life Lessons which can be viewed on YouTube.

The Centennials - A Kickstarter Spotlight

Written by Neil Greenaway

The Centennials comic book.

Everybody knows that Colorado is home to the Rocky Mountains, craft beers, and a generally laid back attitude.  What many people don't realize is that it is also home to several awesome comic book creators - many of whom are working on creator-owned characters. It was while working on a poster featuring several of these characters (for the Comix Collective) that Lee Oaks came up with the idea to do an independent comics crossover. Not an anthology series, but a cohesive story that is made just like a professional comic. And so he united the talents and characters of over 30 comics pros for an epic crossover event - Colorado style - and The Centennials were born. This groundbreaking comic team-up headed to Kickstarter for the crowd funding it would require to get started, and they held their launch party at one of Denver's largest comic shops. Roberto Martinez was on hand to talk to several of the creators responsible for the new book about what they had contributed.


 The Story:

A young boy named Milo, (from Stan Yan’s book: There’s a Zombie in the Basement). He has the ability to imagine things to life. He unwittingly imagines a kaiju sized monster with nuclear-like powers, (created by monster extraordinaire Robert Elrod). The boy Milo must then use his power to summon heroes to stop the monster he has unleashed on the world. With unexpected twists that only the Bloody Red Mike Baron can concoct, The Centennials features characters like Tom Rasch's Black Alpha, Dan Conner's My Gal the Zombie, his and Patricia Zoom-Cat's Black Diamond, Mike Baron's Badger and Nexus, Lee Oaks' Thunder Monkey, the one and only Enigma and creative talent like Jason Meents, Cachet Whitman, Barry McClain Jr. and many others. This will be one eventful book you won't want to miss!

And to keep it local we will be printing the books in Denver with Bob Conway, who printed Thunder Monkey: The Young Years.


 Lee Oaks at the Centennials launch party.

Lee Oaks at the Centennials launch party.

 Lee Oaks

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I’m the guy who decided to put it all together. It actually spawned from a poster that was someone else’s idea and I said, ‘hey, why don’t we do a full on crossover comic?”

My character is Thunder Monkey, he has explosive skin and so whenever he punches something, it explodes. The tricky part is he can’t actually touch regular people, inanimate objects, anything. His adoptive human father is a scientist who comes up with technologies (clothing basically) that he can wear and that protects him.

What other projects are you working on?

The biggest thing I have going right now is the Centennial crossover. If funded we’ll have 30+ Colorado independent authors working on this book or contributing their characters and you know, people who’ve  been in the industry years, worked for major publishers, down to people who this might be their first paid comic book work. So it’s an exciting project for me because I’m a fan of most of the creators and I’m a huge fan of indie comics coming together. This is just the one-shot right now, but there’s nothing to stop us from doing more. And there’s nothing to stop us from having more people join the team in the future.

Where can we find you online?

If you Google “Lee Oaks Comic Art” my stuff is super easy to find. I’m on Facebook, Thunder Monkey has a Facebook page, the Comix Collective has a facebook. If you are familiar with any of the 30+ artists involved in the project you will definitely find a link to me


 Robert Elrod at the Centennials launch party.

Robert Elrod at the Centennials launch party.

Robert Elrod

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I created the giant monster/kaiju creature that’s going to be featured in the book and I will be providing a variant cover for the kickstarter.

Well it just started out as something I was doodling that I thought I might paint at one point, and it just ended up going into a pile of other drawings and waiting and waiting and waiting. Lee Oaks contacted me about the Centennials project and asked if I might have anything to contribute in terms of a giant monster creature - and I really liked this one and thought it would be a fun thing for people to check out. I named him Svansarmar. I was looking at, I think it was Norwegian for “two tails”. I came up with this interesting combination of words and I put it together and made up my own word for it. So it was just a doodle, just an original thing I was going to do and maybe do a small painting of. I will probably still do the small painting and that may end up being incorporated into the variant cover I’m going to do, or it’ll be something that I have at a show coming up.

Where can we find you online?

My website is RobertElrodLLC.com, you can always find me on Facebook or Instagram, again Robert Elrod LLC should get you where you’re going. Or if you go to my website you can get to my social media.


 Mike Baron (and his popcorn) at the Centennials launch party.

Mike Baron (and his popcorn) at the Centennials launch party.

Mike Baron

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I am writing the Centennials and I contributed Nexus and Badger to the team. Lee asked me to work on the project, I've been working with Lee for years.

You know I’d have to look at a chart because there are so many characters involved.  But it starts with a little boy dreaming about a monster and when he wakes up the monster is real and it starts eating people in Colorado. So every hero that’s based in Colorado comes together to form an ad-hoc committee to get rid of the monster.  And the heroes include Thunder Monkey, and several others – I need my list. The Vanishteer, Nexus and Badger of course, and Robert Elrod has created the monster.  So if you’re familiar with Robert’s work you know what it’s going to look like. Kind of Cthulhu like.

What other projects are you working on?

We’re in the midst of a fundraiser right now for Q-Ball, which I’m doing with Barry McClain who’s right behind me. Q-Ball is a martial arts/espionage thriller and aside from being a very gripping story the martial arts are going to blow your mind because they’re going to be very accurate and exciting. If you google Q-Ball Kickstarter it’ll take you to that. And Q-Ball is Curtis Ball, who is a Detroit native, joined the Merchant Marines at 18, all he wanted to do was see the world and study kali escrima. Kali escrima is the Phillipino art of stick fighting. Q-Ball ends up managing a warehouse in Manilla and one day a big crate comes in. The next day some sketchy characters try to take the crate away but they don’t have the right papers so he turns them down. Well they come back at midnight and Curtis has to defend his warehouse.  Turns out the crate contained a Chinese dissident who was forced to flee the country because of her exposes of human rights abuses. Curtis tracks her down and they end up on the run, they’re trying to make it to the United States with the Chinese Government on their tail and the Tongs and a gang of mercenaries.

Where can we find you online?

I have a website called BloodyRedBaron.net and I often blog there. I’m also on Twitter @bloodyredbaron, and of course a Google search will take you to every comic I’ve done, which is a lot.


 Barry McClain Jr. at the Centennials launch party.

Barry McClain Jr. at the Centennials launch party.

Barry McClain Jr.

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I am an artist at Valiant, Blue Juice Comics, Source Point Press, I dunno, I just work in comics. I am going to be doing some of the pencils on The Centennials.

And again it was a good time to get me, ‘cause I’m in between two projects right now, the Q-Ball project with Mike Baron. Well I knew the editor of the Centennials, so he just reached out to me and he knew I’m making noise locally here, and I’m the type of guy that doesn’t shut up as you can see. And I think that kind of got his attention, probably, with some of the work as well that I did with Valiant so he reached out to me via the internet and he was like “hey you want in” and then he told me the premise of it, local aspect, I’m all about local. And as well cultivating local talent, and I’m like, ‘I live in Englewood, why didn’t you holler at me earlier’ so like, no brainer.

What other projects are you working on?

Oh, besides that beautiful project Centennials which is getting backed right now, (thank you everybody for the support on Kickstarter, we really appreciate it), Q-Ball, another Kickstarter that I’m doing with Mike Baron as well, that’s getting funded so if anyone can contribute to that, please we’ve got several days left, it’s very much appreciated, we’ve got some good gifts and prizes and that.  As well I’m working with Justin Grey, we’re going to be doing a project here so be on the look out for Billy The Kid, it’s really exciting. I’m also got work out on Blue Juice Comics with the Comic Book Men, Kevin Smith and all of them, that gang. I’ve got two pinups in Accelerators #14 and #15, sold at Barnes and Nobles. And the new issue of Badger that’s coming out, I did a cover on the Badger. As well Source Point Press work, the Salvagers with Bob Sally, please get that ‘cause I’m going to be in the trade paperback of that. Really exciting stuff. Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer, David Crownson, I’m gonna be on issue 3 with a pinup in there. And I’m always busy, man, your boy got a lot of work going on, what do you want from me?

Where can we find you online?

Online you can go to BuyBlueJuice.com for the Accelerator stuff, SourcePointPress.com. What else? You can reach me FirstComics.com. MechaWorkshop.com  (cause I also do a book in Singapore with Mecha Workshop called The Armarauders, with Brandon Easton. You can Google me, it don’t matter, I mean I’m everywhere, you can’t get away from Barry McClain Jr.


 Bob Conway & Dan Conner at the Centennials launch party.

Bob Conway & Dan Conner at the Centennials launch party.

Dan Conner

What are you doing for The Centennials?

Well I’ll be doing some colors on the finished story for the book, the art, I guess as it’s published. And the My Gal, the Zombie character of mine, Chelsea, will be one of the team members. And then Black Diamond who I work on with Patricia Krmpotich, is going to be in it as well.

Lee Oaks reached out to me. Lee was probably one of the first artists that I met in Denver when I moved here  not quite 10 years ago. We've been bumping shoulders at conventions ever since then. I’m just really excited to be a part of this project. I think it’s a great opportunity to have some great characters all on one team.

What other projects are you working on?

Other than that, I have the My Gal The Zombie webcomic and I'll be doing flats on the next volume of Cleopatra In Space with Scholastic. I have some art in the new 3 Stooges trading card set coming out. Also, I colored the entire Halloween Man Christmas issue with Drew Edwards. That will be out before Christmas.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me online at CrazyGoodComics.com, MyGalTheZombie.com, CrazyGoodConner on most of the social media, Instagram, Twitter, probably Facebook


 Stan Yan at the Centennials launch party.

Stan Yan at the Centennials launch party.

Stan Yan

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I’m contributing a character. The main character (I think) who kind of launches the story - but you’ll have to ask Mike Baron because he’s writing it. But my character is Milo, the little kid, and all these characters that sprout from his imagination. That’s what I’m lending. It’s a character that’s based on my son from my children’s picture book There’s a Zombie in the Basement

What other projects are you working on?

I’m also working on a couple of other things right now. One of them I’ve been working on since 2009 called Regret: Cancer Survivor Story. It’s a memoir graphic novel about my best friend’s battle with cancer. I hope to have all of the pages done in this 100+ page graphic novel roughed out by the end of the year. And you can follow the progress on that with my Patreon page along with what I’m working on for NaNoWriMo, which is a graphic novel project based on the comic that was in the Denver Comics Newspaper, Salem Charter Academy, so I’m expanding this into a full-fledged middle-grade graphic novel featuring my zombie girl from There’s a Zombie in the Basement as well.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me at StanYan.me and instagram @Zombicatures and twitter @Stan_Yan


 Cachet Whitman at the Centennials launch party.

Cachet Whitman at the Centennials launch party.

Cachet Whitman

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I’m just doing some pencil work for some of the comic pages. Lee had reached out and asked if I was available, and I said "Yeah".

What other projects are you working on?

I'm not really working on any other big projects right now, though I am working on a bunch of commissions.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me on Tumblr and Instagram, Pirate-Cashoo.


 Todd Jones at the Centennials launch party.

Todd Jones at the Centennials launch party.

Todd Jones

What are you doing for The Centennials?

Mike Baron told me that he was going to be using Clinton Slade (The Paranormal Consultant). Clinton's background is somewhat mysterious. He has appeared in two issues so far in Wicked Awesome Tales. We know from the first story that he can speak to ghosts (although he can't see them). In the second story, he is called by a friend in the church to help him deal with the possession of a young boy. Demons aren't very fond of him. There is a history there that we'll get to eventually. His name - Clinton Slade - comes from my grandfather's name: Clinton Slate. He was one of the best men I have ever known so I decided to use that name to honor him. 

Also, Chad Blakely and I might be contributing a second character from a story in Wicked Awesome Tales. Lee told me they were looking for a robot. I decided to hit up my friend Chad Blakely about a character that we used in this Dad 2.0 story. This guy basically creates a robot to be a father to his daughter because he knows he’s dying. Its heartbreaking. But he dies off panel, you don’t see it. You basically just see the kid growing up with the robot dad and the humor that comes with that. But he is programmed to “care” as you can totally see in the story.

Where can we find you online?

You can find any of the Wicked Awesome Tales comics on Comixology, I think Stakes is also up on Comixology. And you can follow the Wicked Awesome Tales page on Facebook.


 William & Pepper DeLuca at the Centennials launch party.

William & Pepper DeLuca at the Centennials launch party.

Pepper and Bill DeLuca

What are you doing for The Centennials?

We contributed our character called “Ant Gal”, she’s from the first episode of Campfire Stories of Lake Kikipapi. Visually she’s this normal, everyday girl-next-door type character. Unfortunately in the course of our story she gets drowned and then inhabited by a demon ant that brings her back as an ant-human hybrid. And she does a whole bunch of hi-jinks to get revenge for the killing of her ant-pile, and ironically enough her name is Anne Pile.

What other projects are you working on?

As of right now we’re in chapter two of Campfire Stories of Lake Kikipapi and Ant-Gal (Annie) is actually the lunch lady in the modern day camp. So she’s still a part of our story. She’s this big robust woman who basically cooks food for campers during the camp season and she enjoys what she does.

Where can we find you online?

LakeKikipapi.com is our main website if you want to find us online.


The campaign finishes on December 16, 2017. As of this writing, the Centennials Kickstarter still has two weeks to go before it ends - with several high end rewards still available to backers. You can back their campaign here.


The Rest of the Creative Team

Below is a photo gallery of all the creators who will be working on The Centennials that we were not able to speak to at the launch party.

 The Centennials

The Centennials

Cards Against Humanity Saves America - Day 1

 The banner at the top of  cardsagainsthumanitysavesamerica.com .

The banner at the top of cardsagainsthumanitysavesamerica.com.

Cards Against Humanity is at it again. After having sworn that they were done with their celebratory holiday promotions, they are back this year with a more politically charged offering. Though the structure of the promotion is the same as in previous years (a $15 payment buys 6 gifts delivered throughout the month of December), the game company swears that it has a more noble pursuit than the celebration of another winter holiday. They want to Save America. I have always been willing to gamble my money on what the envelopes held in the past, so of course I had to see what surprises this year had in store. I will be posting the contents of my packages here, or you can follow along at the CAH Saves America website. After having paid for the subscription in mid-November, Day One arrived in the mail promptly on December 1st. So far, I am not disappointed. 


From the Cards Against Humanity Stops The Wall website:

Right now, the federal government is working to pour billions of your tax dollars into building a wall between the United States and Mexico, despite the fact that walls have been militarily obsolete since the advent of gunpowder.

Last month, 150,000 people paid us $15 to save America with six days of incredible stunts and surprises. For Day One, we used some of the money to purchase a plot of vacant land on the US/Mexico border and retain a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for Trump to build his preposterous wall.

The whole legal process can take quite a long time — who knows, maybe longer than the current president will be in office? For however long it takes, we are ready for a protracted resistance to any attempts by the government to build a wall on this land.

– Our lawyers at Graves, Dougherty, Hearon, & Moody


A Night At the DINK Colorado Showcase 2, TALA (Take Art Leave Art), and Draw-Off

Written by Neil Greenaway

 DINK Colorado Showcase 2, TALA (Take Art Leave Art), and Draw-Off

DINK Colorado Showcase 2, TALA (Take Art Leave Art), and Draw-Off

On November 11, 2017, I attended the DINK Colorado Showcase 2, TALA, and Draw-Off event at the Globeville Riverfront Art Center (GRACe) in Denver CO. The event was broken into three separate sections, as the name implies, all hosted by the founder of DINK - Charlie LaGreca. First, there was the DINK Colorado Showcase 2 art show. This was a fairly straightforward art gallery showing with pieces from several different artists. The 31 art pieces on display that night represent a portion of the artists and styles that will be available at the Denver Independent Comic & Art Expo (DINK) in 2018.

 Take Art Leave Art (TALA) wall at the DINK Showcase 2. (1)

Take Art Leave Art (TALA) wall at the DINK Showcase 2. (1)

 Take Art Leave Art (TALA) wall at the DINK Showcase 2. (1)

Take Art Leave Art (TALA) wall at the DINK Showcase 2. (1)

 Take Art Leave Art (TALA) wall at the DINK Showcase 2. (1)

Take Art Leave Art (TALA) wall at the DINK Showcase 2. (1)

In the second section, Take Art Leave Art (or TALA), their was a long wall covered in art that had been donated by local artists and past DINK guests. Attendees were encouraged to make a piece of art with the provided supplies and then exchange it for a piece that was already hanging on the wall. Everyone was welcome to participate regardless of artistic skill level, and this proved to be a big hit over the course of the evening. Several professional artists were seen creating new pieces just to trade something off of the wall, and so fresh high-quality pieces kept appearing through the night. I personally was able to come home with two beautiful pieces from Daniel Crosier and one from J. James McFarland, both talented Denver artists. 

 My Take Art Leave Art (TALA) trades: A Zombie Head and Spine by Daniel Crosier.

My Take Art Leave Art (TALA) trades: A Zombie Head and Spine by Daniel Crosier.

 My Take Art Leave Art (TALA) trades: Wolverine by Daniel Crosier.

My Take Art Leave Art (TALA) trades: Wolverine by Daniel Crosier.

 My Take Art Leave Art (TALA) trades: G.I. Joe: Kwinn by J. James McFarland.

My Take Art Leave Art (TALA) trades: G.I. Joe: Kwinn by J. James McFarland.

The third part to the event was the Draw-Off, where artists (who had volunteered earlier) were split into four teams who then competed to create the best drawing that they could from random audience suggestions. The roster of artists participating included: J. James McFarland, Jeff Washenberger, Ted Intorcio, Terry Schayes, Cori Redford, Colton Muheim, Thane Benson, Brian Essig-Peppard, Karen Blanch, and Zak Kinsella. Charlie hosted the game with his brother, Jeff LaGreca, while the audience judged the art. There were penalties added on certain rounds (drawing with a claw hand, or drawing with a non-dominant hand) and things quickly devolved into laughter and chaos. And a good time was had by all. As the evening wound down, I was reminded why DINK was awarded with "Denver's Best Comic Con" by the Westword - because it is independent, because it is inclusive, and because it is fun.

Below are two photo galleries. The first showcases the art from the DINK Gallery show, the second displays the madcap antics of the Draw-Off. Don't forget that DINK already has its dates for next year (April 14th & 15th, 2018) and they have already announced headliners Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt.


DINK Colorado Showcase 2 Art Gallery



DINK Colorado Showcase 2 Draw-Off