March 25, 2013 | 2:26 p.m.

Fabletown and Beyond: Bill Willingham’s con goes where others don’t

Stephanie Horn played the outre party game Cards Against Humanity on Friday night with multiple-Eisner-Award-winning “Fables” artist Mark Buckingham, but the devoted fan isn’t ratting him out. It was “hysterical,” she says, “and that’s all I want to say because I don’t want to get anyone into trouble.” Interactions like hers and Buckingham’s were an aim of the Fabletown and Beyond gathering in snow-white-blanketed Rochester, Minn. Horn, who traveled from Ventura for the show, had enjoyed limited interaction with several of its special guests at larger events, but relished “deeper access than a standard convention,” a common sentiment during the weekend from readers and professionals alike. In addition to the usual signings, artist sketches and comic-book discussions, attendees could see Cthulu dangling his legs over the edge of a pool, a veteran of local theater performing the Bard’s Sonnet 71 […]
March 20, 2013 | 10:10 a.m.

Fabletown and Beyond: Bill Willingham launches mythic convention

This weekend, an acclaimed comic-book creator, colleagues and fans will attempt to open a portal between our mundane reality and the worlds of legend. Fabletown and Beyond, “Fables” mastermind Bill Willingham’s convention devoted to “mythic fiction,” becomes a reality this Friday through Sunday at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn. But will the gathering itself enter lore? When the creator of the long-running, mature myths-in-modernity Vertigo series spoke with Hero Complex in November about plotting the con, named for the New York neighborhood where many fables reside in his comic, he said he’d learned that “good convention hosts must be just a little bit suicidal” and “this is not something I would wish on anyone.” Willingham was kidding (a little). But the goal of the gathering is to create an environment where fans and creators “talk about the meat […]
Nov. 14, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Fables’: Bill Willingham lets ‘Werewolves’ loose, plots a con

Bill Willingham can trace his love of mythic fiction all the way back to his childhood, when he first became fascinated with comics starring a certain hammer-wielding Norse god. “I assumed Thor was just another Marvel superhero made up just like Spider-Man…. But one day my brother insisted that Thor, in his terms, was ‘stolen’ because the same character is in the encyclopedia,” Willingham said. Determined to prove his brother wrong, he checked the encyclopedia. “And sure enough, there was Thor, right there, wonderful mythological character. That just kind of opened my mind and probably started my love of folklore and mythology right there, just the realization that these modern stories we’re reading can be drawn from old sources, and that those old sources are wonderful…. That stayed with me forever, the fact that just normal guys like me can […]
March 05, 2012 | 2:54 p.m.

‘Supernatural’s’ rabid fans meet up with its playful cast

For most TV shows, the long days on set are where a lot of the bonding among actors happens, but for the CW show “Supernatural,” friends are made not just in Vancouver, Canada, where the series shoots, but all around the world at fan conventions. Most recently, the talent behind the horror show now in its seventh season (about two brothers who hunt ghosts, demons and all manner of beasties) got together at Creation Entertainment’s Salute to Supernatural convention, which took place Friday-Sunday in Burbank. Matt Cohen, who plays young John Winchester, the father of lead characters Sam and Dean, has never been in an episode with fellow guest stars Richard Speight Jr. (the Trickster) or Rob Benedict (Chuck). But they “now have become my buddies,” Cohen told the media during a roundtable interview at the convention. “We do Q&As together, and […]
Nov. 14, 2011 | 1:40 p.m.

Comikaze Expo and cosplay: A look back at L.A.’s new con

Over 30,000 people attended the first Comikaze Expo  on Nov. 5 and 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Comic book legend Stan Lee, actors Mark Hamill (“Star Wars,” “Batman” animated series), Ernest Borgnine (“The Black Hole,” “The Poseidon Adventure”), Richard Hatch (the original “Battlestar Galactica” series), and even Charlie Brown himself (voice actor Brad Kesten) were on hand. The real stars, though, might have been the fans themselves — the tradition of cosplay has become a true sensation in recent years  and, in the photo gallery above, you can get a sense of the heroic lengths that fans will go to create their own costumes and step into the sci-fi, fantasy and superhero worlds they adore. — Jay West RECENT AND RELATED ‘Hunger Games’: See the character posters Wonder Woman at 70: DC’s icon gets new origin ‘Hawk & Dove’ preview: Chaos […]
Jan. 28, 2011 | 8:34 a.m.

‘Xena’ convention will bring out L.A. weekend warriors

Although the series has been gone from syndication for more than a decade, “Xena: Warrior Princess” is still remembered for its feisty feminism and scantily clad leading ladies Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor — as well as the lesbian undertones that always added some pop-culture crackle to the show and stirred fan debates that still continue. The series unquestionably paved the way for more emotionally and physically powerful television heroines, and this weekend, around 500 fans of the show are expected to gather for the 16th  Official Xena Convention: The XVI Celebration, which kicks off Friday at the Los Angeles Marriot Convention Center near LAX. Expect an abundance of bare midriffs, thigh-high boots and leather bustiers along with celebrity panels, yoga workshops and photo-ops galore. Gary Berman, co-CEO of Creation Entertainment, who produces the event and other sci-fi and fantasy conventions, insists that the biggest […]
Sept. 15, 2010 | 8:57 a.m.

DragonCon people-watching with Chad Vader

The Hero Complex didn't make it down south to DragonCon this year but we feel like we were there when we watch this video by Chad Vader...
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