May 18, 2015 | 5:23 a.m.

Shanghai Comic Convention: China is the new frontier for con organizers

A cosplayer poses at the Shanghai Comic Convention.  (Nick May / For the Los Angeles Times)
SHANGHAI — Two sexy female Captain Americas, a Superman, a Catwoman and Japanese anime schoolgirls come to life were milling around the second floor of the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center when Yang Wanjing emerged from a curtained booth, trembling. Unlike many of her counterparts at the first Shanghai Comic Convention, she had decided to forgo a costume. But the 23-year-old automotive quality-control clerk nevertheless was living out her personal fantasy, plunking down $115 — 20% of her monthly salary — for a fleeting meeting with her idol, Mads Mikkelsen of the NBC show “Hannibal.” Bashfully clutching photographic proof of her star encounter (“I look terrible next to him,” she lamented), Yang struggled to compose herself. She seemed unsure of whether she had just made the best decision of her life — or the worst. “All fans are idiots, in […]
April 06, 2015 | 10:08 a.m.

WonderCon will move to Los Angeles in 2016

WonderCon, the smaller-but-no-less-fervent version of San Diego’s Comic-Con International, has announced that it will move closer to the Hollywood spotlight, relocating from Anaheim to the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2016. “Los Angeles is honored to have been selected as the destination for WonderCon 2016,” read a statement from Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with Comic-Con International, the presenter, and helping them establish a home-base in L.A. We anticipate the show to be highly attended and to set the precedent for future successful Comic-Con events in L.A.” The Anaheim Convention Center is planning an expansion of their facilities with renovations to include: 200,000 square feet of space on two levels that can be used as exhibit, ballroom or meeting space; loading docks and 1,400 parking spots; and a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge connecting to the […]
April 02, 2015 | 6:43 p.m.

WonderCon set for pop culture playtime in Anaheim

WonderCon feature trio
A legion of superheroes, zombies, Jedi Knights and more costumed fans will be descending upon the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend for WonderCon, an annual pop culture expo expected to draw some 60,000 sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comic book professionals and enthusiasts. The expo, which begins Friday and has its roots in the Bay Area but has been held in Disneyland’s backyard since 2012, serves as the unofficial kickoff for Southern California’s burgeoning convention season celebrating fandom and pop culture. This year’s lineup includes mid-April’s Star Wars Celebration, Disney’s D23 Expo in August, the gaming industry’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June, July’s Anime Expo, Stan Lee’s Comikaze in fall and, of course, San Diego’s massive Comic-Con International, set for July 9-12. WonderCon is a sort of junior sibling to the San Diego mega-convention, which has drawn upward of 130,000 […]
Sept. 26, 2014 | 10:59 a.m.

Steven T. Seagle returns to comic book superheroes for ‘Imperial’

'Imperial' No. 3
Steven T. Seagle is getting back to basics for his new four-issue Image series “Imperial,” which follows an everyman named Mark who has been selected against all odds to pick up the crown and role of Earth’s superhero, Imperial. Both parties seem less than thrilled at this latest twist of fate. Mark’s got other things to worry about, like his upcoming wedding. And Imperial isn’t impressed with Mark at all. Seagle, who will appear at the Long Beach Comic Con this weekend with his writing collective, Man of Action — a quartet that also includes Duncan Rouleau, Joe Kelly and Joe Casey, recently chatted with Hero Complex about his aims with “Imperial.” The series’ third issue will be released Oct. 8. Hero Complex: Your last few comic book projects have not been superhero stories. Were you itching to get back […]
July 28, 2014 | 2:14 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies’ trailer brings war to Middle-earth

Ian McKellen  and Luke Evans in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."  (Mark Pokorny /Warner Bros.)
The first official teaser trailer has arrived for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the film that will bring to a close Bilbo Baggins’ journey and mark the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s years-long cinematic exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth. Set to open Dec. 17, the film enjoyed a high-profile presence at San Diego’s Comic-Con International this past weekend, where Comedy Central host and massive Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert was on hand to moderate the Hall H presentation devoted to the series, dressed head to toe in the Lake-town garb he wore in his brief cameo in the last “Hobbit” film. Joining Colbert and Jackson on the stage were a full assortment of familiar faces from both the “Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” films, including Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, […]
July 28, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

Comic-Con: Waid, Quesada, Slott on Marvel’s 75th, Daredevil’s 50th

Daredevil is coming to television. (Marvel)
Who is the most important person in Marvel Comics history? Several audience members responded to Mark Waid’s question by shouting back “Stan Lee!” No, the Eisner Award-winning “Daredevil” writer told the crowd gathered for a panel about Marvel’s 75th and the Man Without Fear’s 50th anniversaries. But they were close: It’s Lee’s wife Joanie, Waid said. In 1961, Lee “was starting to feel burned out” after 20 years and about 10,000 issues of various genre stories under the direction of publisher Martin Goodman, said Waid, an expert on comics history, and was looking to do something else with his life. “It was his wife Joanie,” Waid continued, “who said … ‘If you’re done with comics and go away and do something else, at least take one last shot and do something that you really want to do… And if it […]
July 28, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

Comic-Con: Chuck Palahniuk on ‘Fight Club 2’; Lemire, Kindt at Dark Horse

Chuck Palahniuk paused while describing the story of the upcoming “Fight Club 2” to read the Comic-Con reminder that some audience members may be under 18. He then mentioned, in moderate language, that the unnamed narrator from his 1996 novel and fellow support group faker Marla, now married in the 10-issue Dark Horse comic book continuation, “haven’t had great sex in 10 years,” since Tyler Durden was around. “And Marla is desperate to get laid the way she got laid by Tyler, even if it means titrating her husband’s medication so that late at night she can coax Tyler out of suppression,” Palahniuk said, “even if it means doing this to the extent that Tyler is more and more in the world and eventually destroys their home and their family and drags them into chaos” in search of the couple’s […]
July 28, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Hollywood stirs fan fervor to the very end

If Hollywood seemed a tad quieter than normal this past weekend, there was a good reason: Like moths to a porch light — or Batman to the Bat Signal — film and television creators, executives and stars were drawn en masse to downtown San Diego in an effort to drum up excitement for their upcoming wares at the annual Comic-Con International pop-culture expo. The unveiling of the first footage from the highly anticipated superhero mash-up “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and an extended early glimpse at “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” may have sent the biggest reverberations through the four-day film, television, video-game and comic-book fest. But there was plenty of other news to stir the excitement of the 130,000 or so convention-goers who descended upon the San Diego Convention Center, many decked out in costume, to watch exclusive […]
July 27, 2014 | 7:52 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: ‘The Simpsons’ sets world record with mural

Many amateur artists became part of a world record this weekend — another feather in the cap of “The Simpsons,” or more specifically, a feather on Homer’s Dome at San Diego’s Comic-Con International. The art installation Homer’s Dome included a mural that sat next to the San Diego Convention Center, blank and awaiting thousands of willing painters. The canvas had 5,565 squares in a paint-by-numbers type of format that the organizers were trying to fill out over the course of Comic-Con. The FXX team behind the event hoped to break the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a painting by the numbers. ———— FOR THE RECORD July 29, 9:12 a.m.: A previous version of this post contained several errors. “Homer’s Dome” is the name of the projection mapping experience and demo of the “Simpsons World” digital and online […]
July 27, 2014 | 5:22 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: ‘Boxtrolls’ truck serves up delectable insects [video]

“The Boxtrolls,” the upcoming animated film from Laika, features creatures who, among other things, eat bugs. In the spirit of having fans experience everything the movie characters do, the “Boxtrolls” lunch truck rolled into Comic-Con International touting a menu of insect delights. Those daring enough to partake could munch on grasshopper kabobs, tarantulas and worm quesadillas. Boxtrolls eat them by the handful, but at least on the truck you get cheese and a red pepper or two to make them go down a little easier. And, it’s not an easy task. Worm quesadillas may be palatable in terms of consistency, but the grasshoppers require a lot of chewing — and even then, you’re probably going to swallow a leg or two whole. PHOTOS FROM COMIC-CON: The scene | Cosplay But, as famed bug connoisseur David George Gordon says, we have […]
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