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C2E2 2012

This past GEEKend was a whirlwind of awesomeness as the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) descended upon McCormick Place for its third year. Besides navigating around some awesome cosplay, 12-year-old-girling out to some of my favorite artists/writers in artists alley, and grabbing some sweet deals on books ($30 for issues 1-48 of The Walking Dead? HECK YES!), I was able to sit in on some great panels from Marvel Comics. And while the general theme of the panels were "We really can't say for sure until after Avengers vs X-Men," there were some pretty sweet reveals:


Amazing Spider-Man panel

Marvel Director of Communications Arune Singh moderated a panel consisting of ASM writer Dan Slott, Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, Assistant Editor Tom Brennan, Scarlet Spider artist Ryan Stegeman, Venom writer Rick Remender and a very agile Spidey cosplayer. Right off the bat, I have to remark that team Spidey is quite the handsome bunch. Dan Slott discusses that after the current arc "Ends of the Arc", ASM will kick-off a 4-issue arc called "No Turning Back" featuring the Lizard and Horizon Lab's mystery scientist in Lab 6. With what Morbius is concoting in Lab 6 to cure himself of vampirism, is a cure for Curt Conners (Lizard) in the future? Time will tell in this status-quo changing arc dropping in time to cross promote with the rebooted film. 

In Scarlet Spider news, I'm very sad to report that Ryan Stegeman will be leaving the book after issue 6. Team Spidey's loss is the Fantastic Four's gain, however, as he will be joining Jonathan Hickman on Fantastic Four. I cannot WAIT to see his take on Johnny Storm. (fun sidenote on Johnny Storm: him singing "Friday" in his undies during ASM #688 is credited to the issue's co-writer Christopher Yost.) Ana Kraven (daughter of Kraven the Hunter) will go up against the Scarlet Spider sometime after issue 6.

Writer Rick Remender will bring the Savage 6 to face off against Venom in issues 20-21, dropping July 2012. There will be a lot of tension when Peter finds out his buddy Flash has donned his longtime enemy symbiote. "It'd be like Capatain America finding out the Red Skull was recruited to a team of Avengers," noted Remender. Summer will also bring a crossover event between Spidey, Daredevil and Punisher in "The Omega Effect," with ASM writer Slott quipping "When the Punisher is around everyone dies." Over in the Ultimate Universe, Gwen Stacy will begin to play a bigger part in Miles Morales' taking up of the late Peter Parker's Spider-Man mantle. This segued directly into the forthcoming 5-issue Brian Michael Bendis event "Spider-Men" where Peter Parker gets paired up with new Ultimate Spidey Miles Morales. Some possible future teasers in the world of ASM include the Kingpin being in possession of anti-Spidey tech from Horizon Labs and more Spider-Fu (as learned from Shang Chi.)

After the "No Turning Back" arc, a huge event will begin in August to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of Spider-Man.

Avengers vs. X-Men panel

The panel began with Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada polling the audience which side they were on. To the fans who raised their hands for the X-Men, he jokingly ribbed, "Well, you're not invited to the Avengers movie then." God, I hope he was joking. Editor Alonso set the tone for this bi-partisan panel by insisting "There are no good or bad guys; everyone is just fighting for what they believe in." He also noted that this is the first crossover event that the X-Men have actually been in the center of as they were on the sidelines for Civil War and Secret Invasion. They then began to tease covers, with Issue 7 showing the Avengers getting their collective asses kicked. The covers for AvX VS (a companion book that focuses on the ass-kicking) teased some of the X-Men/Avenger face offs. Axel summed AvX VS best: "It's like comic book porn."

All the books under each franchise will be touching on the event in some way, though it is not necessary to pick up any of them to get the full story. The panel did share some insight into some of the tie-ins in the existing books. Secret Avengers have become a suicide team that will try to stop the Phoenix Force from entering Earth. Mar-Vell and the Kree will play a huge part in this story. The double-allied Wolverine has sided with the Avengers, but the X-Men on faculty at his Jean Grey Institute in Wolverine & The X-Men will make their own choices on where they stand on the conflict. Talk then turned to the new platforming for digital comics and the augmented reality options. Those who picked up the book in print will notice the sporadic AR logo in some of the panels. When read digitally, these logos link to some awesome behind the scenes material, with the writers and artists talking about the development of that particular moment.

Marvel: The Next Big Thing

A lot of the info at this panel had been announced sporadically throughout other panels over the weekend, but some pretty awesome announcements did come out. Although it'd been previously announced that Carol Danvers would be taking on the mantle of Captain Marvel, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick talked a bit more in-depth about the story, noting that "Carol Danvers is going to re-find her swagger." Thor and Journey Into Mystery will be mashed up in August for the event "Everything Burns." Captain America and Hawkeye, whom writer Cullen Bunn quipped were "The Tango & Cash of the Marvel Universe" will also be matched-up this year. Bunn will be taking over Wolverine this month and promises the return of Dr. Rot, the doctor responsible for Wolverine in the Weapon X program. 

An oft asked fan question at panel is "What's going on with the Runaways?" and often there's nothing in the works. CB Cebulski noted that next year would be the 10 year anniversary, and while there are no plans for a new ongoing series, they are in talks to bring an event to commemorate the anniversary.

The most exciting news from this panel was the inside scoop on the long teased Gambit solo series beginning in August. Writer James Asmus and artist Clay Mann will team up on the book. "The series will focus on two aspects," said Asmus. "First, is that Gambit is super sexy. Second, he's a bad ass king of thieves. Gambit is best when he's dealing with mixed morality."


Danny Bernardo is GoPride's official geekologist. This weekend of geek awesomeness (and running this show) was SO EPIC, he needed a day to recover before being able to write this blog. His prized buys this weekend were the hardcovers of Avengers: Children's Crusade and Morning Glories: Deluxe Edition, which he got signed by the creators of each. For MG, here he is with Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma. Of course, if you were following him on Twitter all weekend, this old news. Anyway, did you hear about Marvel's first gay marriage? You didn't?! Well, read his coverage about it here




The awesomeness of C2E2
Fair citizens of Chicago, it's that time again. The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is back at McCormick Place from April 13-15. Whether you've been to all three years of this con's ever growing awesomeness or coming for the first time, it'll be well worth a visit. For you first timers, let's go over some basic con etiquette and must-see's for the weekend.

Go to panels
Sure one could spend an entire day just exploring the epic show floor full of great deals on books, interesting people in costume (cosplayers) and geek celebs at their booths. But the con is jam packed with panel discussions, ranging from "how to create your own book" to "the next big thing at Marvel Comics." So instead of just basking in all the geeky awesomeness that is the show floor, add some insight from the industry's thought leaders to your con-going weekend and be the first to know all the cool things coming up in geekdom.

Don't be that guy
So you've braved going to a panel. You've heard the likes of CB Cebulski talk about talent recruitment or had a Cup O'Joe on Marvel's Next Big Thing. You're dying to ask a question. STOP! Pause. Before you queue up at the mic behind the cosplayer dressed as Ocarina of Time Link and in front of Age of X Dazzler (she was pretty awesome last year and got major kudos from my buddy Daniel Ketchum at the X-Men panel, but I digress) BEFORE the words form in your brain and begin their way to your mouth, ask yourself "Am I that guy?" Are you going to be the guy that asks the groan-inducing canonical question "If Spidey got biological spider powers in The Other storyline, why didn't it happen again post-Brand New Day?" or any variation of that? STOP! Don't be that guy. Nobody likes that guy. By asking such nonsensical questions and trying to prove your geek knowledge you A) prove to everyone in the room you really don't have a social life outside of 22-color glossy pages and B) it is that small. Just saying. 

Still in line? Are the next words out of your mouth going to be word vomit about how much you love this particular artist/actor/writer/editor and somehow doesn't end in a question mark? STOP! Don't be that guy. Don't take up three minutes on a non-question and waste panel time. Save your glowing compliments or gushing until after, when you see them on the show floor or even on Twitter.

Oh, you haven't sat down yet? Good, you're almost at the mic. Are the words bursting to come out of your mouth a tirade about there be no proper representation of blacks/women/Asians/gays/any-other-disenfranchised-group in comics? STOP! Don't be that guy. Yes, these things are true for the most part. Yes, they should be discussed. But you're at a panel discussion. The panelists are on a dias. They will laugh you off or dismiss you for fear of repercussions from the legal department. The other attendees will boo at you.  Do these injustices exist? Yes. Do they need to be talked about it? Yes. This is simply not the time and place. Instead, take the conversation to social media. Tweet or blog about it. Believe it or not, writers/creators/editors listen.Get off your soapbox, sit down, and enjoy the panel.

So you're out of the panel. You're hitting an autograph table or artist alley. The artist/writer/actor you've been dying to meet is feet away from you. You have no less than ten things for them to sign and five cameras to take a picture with them with. STOP! Don't be that guy. Remember, they're people too. (GASP!) and they're seeing A LOT of people this weekend. Although this is you're once in a lifetime opportunity, you're number 975 for them. Take a breath. Choose ONE thing for them to sign. And if they're selling something at their table, DO be that guy and buy it from their table for and have them sign that. Also, tell them in a few words why you're a fan (but avoid awkward personal stories like "I came out because of you" or "your book got me over a really bad break-up/parent's death" that will make them feel uncomfortable.) Ask them politely if you can take one picture with them. Be in and out in a minute or less. They'll appreciate it. And the 616 other people in line will appreciate it too.

Cosplayers are people
I admire cosplayers so much. Their artistry, their balls-out-"I will walk in any major city in full costume regalia on the way to the Con" attitude. They're awesome. As you see them roaming around the show floor, take a second to appreciate their costume. If you like their costume, tell them. You'll make their day. If you'd like a picture with them, ask politely. More often than not, they will be very happy to. But they're there to enjoy the con as much as you are. So understand if you're the millionth person to ask them and all they want to do is peruse the 50% off trade paperbacks or are on their way to a panel if they politely decline. But most importantly, do not gawk and do not make fun. Con's should be as safe a space as any. No bullies allowed.

My dance card at this year's C2E2 is pretty full. If you read this blog heavily, you'll know my bias towards Marvel. So besides Marvel's Next Big Thing and Cup O'Joe, I am also stoked that my buddy Cheeks and writer/producer extraodinaire Jane Espenson will be in attendance to promote their hilarious, gay web-series Husbands. They will also be speaking at a panel which is not to be missed! Over at artists' alley, the creators of one of my favorite books Morning Glories will be in attendance. Do yourself a favor, grab the Deluxe Collection and have the brilliant Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma sign it.

And the highlight of ANY con, the costume contest on Saturday.

Memories from C2E2 past...
...and other Con's can be found here.

Wanna join in the fun? Get your tickets now! GEEK ON!

Danny Bernardo is GoPride's official geekologist. He'll be attending every day of C2E2 with his favorite con-going buddy and live-tweeting during panels and instagraming some pretty sweet pix from the show floor, so follow along to get real-time antics. Most importantly, he apologizes for his two week absence, but he's been very busy rehearsing and opening this. Some lovely people have had some lovely things to say about it. But be ready...because Danny B is ready to Geek Out five days a week starting next week! Can you handle the awesomeness? He thinks you can.

The GEEK in Review! issue 2, volume 1
Everybody's working for the GEEKend! Well, I am anyway. And some pretty fantastic stuff in the geek world happened the week of 3/19/12:

The Walking Dead Season 2 season finale
***Spoiler Alert! Skip to the next post if you haven't seen the finale yet and try not to look at the pix***

This season was a bit hit or miss for a lot of fans. While the claustrophobia of being stuck on Hershel's farm all season made for some tense drama, fans of the book were screaming "GET OFF THE FARM! Get onto the (awesome next location teased in one of the vids below)" This sentiment was so palpable in the fanboy community, Dan Slott and Chris Yost mentioned it in Amazing Spider-Man #680 (my review of it can be found in my 3/1/12 entry) With the count down to the end of season 2 brought on some surprise (and long anticipated canonical) deaths, the walker herd that overtook the farm came out of left field. And provided the catalyst for some much needed ass-kicking in a mostly static season. Our little-survivor-group that could had some much needed trimming of the fat (sorry Jimmy and Patricia) and we are left with a much needed "Ricktatorship." Two awesome moments that teased some great things for season 3 caused a loud huzzah heard around the geek world.

That's right, Michonne is coming. On Chris Hardwick's Talking Dead, producer Glenn Mazarra announced that actress Danai Gurira (whose play The Convert is currently running locally at the Goodman) will pick up the sword.

And finally, the last shot is the location that all the fans of the book have been eagerly awaiting. 

If you like the series but don't know much about the books, I can promise you this is the sign of awesome things to come. And fall cannot get here quick enough!

In other The Walking Dead news...
On the video game front, Telltale Games released a creepy teaser trailer...

...and much anticipated gameplay video...


New teaser footage for The Amazing Spider-Man movie and video game

A promo "news video" from The Daily Bugle, with a statement against Spider-Man from Captain George Stacy (played by Denis Leary) utilizes the grafiti, grass roots viral marketing done in select cities across the country a few months ago.

Beenox released this trailer of the new tie-in video game that shows web slinging as never before, in cinematic parkour style awesomeness.

Michael Bay's reimagining of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles origin story upsets fans
Almost every geek child of the 80's knows the origin story of our favorite pizza-eating ninja turtles...

TMNT Original Intro by AbstractMindset

...but Michael Bay, director of the film reboot, is changing that. Because fucking with our 80's robot-car toys wasn't bad enough, Bay is saying our beloved turtles are from another planet. And it's not so much the messing with the origin story as much as his douchey response to fanboy outcry:

"Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They
have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original
creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story.
Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first
place. We are just building a richer world."

Okay, so maybe the first line is douchey. But still...when you have a track record of fucking up the beloved nostalgia of your target demographic, I think a little more care and empathy should go into your response to rebooting of our Green Machines. (Oh god, please don't make them machines next...)

We're not the only ones outraged. Robbie Rist (the actor who voiced Michelangelo in the original movie) told TMZ that he felt that Bay was "sodomizing the franchise" and "raping our childhood memories."

Co-creator Peter Laird (who hasn't had any ownership or creative control over the franchise in years) responded more eloquently:

"I would actually encourage TMNT fans to
swallow the 'chill pill' Mr. Bay recently suggested they take, and wait and see
what might come out of this seemingly ill-conceived plan. It's possible that
with enough truly creative brainpower applied to this idea, it might actually
work. I'm not saying it's probable, or even somewhat likely… but it IS

Knowing what Bay did to Transformers, I'm doubtful. But we'll see.

Mighty Fine tees makes it possible for geeks to go business casual
Seriously, just check out these awesome Marvel polos from Mighty Fine!

If I have any secret admirers out there, I'll take one of each in a men's medium please. ;)

This week's pull-list
Sorry I didn't have time to write a review of a book this week. I barely had time to get to Chicago Comics between day job and rehearsal. But there was some seriously good reading this week (enough to distract me THISmuch from memorizing my lyrics and lines LOL)

Aright True Believers, I'm taking my night off of rehearsal to see The Hunger Games with one of my best friends. Have a great weekend and GEEK ON!

Danny Bernardo is GoPride's official geekologist. Since we've touched on 80's nostalgia this post, he'd like you to know when he wasn't playing Captain N (complete with Nintendo controller tied around his wait) during recess, he was commanding TMNT missions as Leonardo. In fact, the only time he got in official trouble at school as a kid was bringing his (plastic) replica of Leonardo's katana. Also, his friends would like him to shut up about going to Comic Con already. (But seriously, I'M GOING TO COMIC CON!) Wanna chat more geek? Holla at ya boy!


Highlights: WonderCon 2012
While I was dodging puking green-clad drunkies on the fair streets of downtown Chicago this weekend (and joining them after rehearsal), my brother and sister geeks were partying it up at WonderCon in Anaheim, CA (a hop, skip and a jump from my hometown of West Covina.) Some exciting announcements were made this weekend and I'll report some of the highlights, as found on my favorite blogs Comics Alliance and iFanboy:

The Lizard returns to the Amazing Spider-Man
After tragically succumbing completely over to his lizard side in 2010's SHED arc, Curt Conners returns to the pages of ASM. Conveniently close to the release of the rebooted film franchise where the Lizard is the main villain? Probably. Still awesome to see a potential cure and redemption for Dr. Connors and more page time for living vampire Morbius? Heck yes! 

Brian Wood makes his mark in the X-Men universe
Fresh off his run on the mini-series Wolverine & The X-Men: Alpha and Omega, Brian Wood will be taking over two X-books. The first, (adjectiveless) X-Men features Cyclops' main team on Utopia, with the notable omission of (vampire) Jubilee. The one I'm fearful of (no disrespect to Mr. Wood) is his replacing of Nick Spencer in Ultimate Comics: X-Men. Having seen W&X:A&O through from the beginning, I have no doubt that Wood is a good writer. But Spencer is just so fucking genius and his run on UC:X is pretty fucking brilliant. I guess I'll have to get my (now only) monthly Spencer fix on Morning Glories.

Ms. Marvel gets a makeover
Fans won't have to wait too long after X-23's (too early)finale for Marvel's next female led solo title. Carol Danvers dons the Captain Marvel mantle in a makeover that's as dramatic (if not less iconicly controversial) than Wonder Woman's recent de-sexifying

Mark Waid's approach to digital comics
Digital comics has been a hot button topic for the last three years. How does the comic book medium transition into the digital age. Comics writer Mark Waid posits to write specifically for the medium and not just directly and literally translating a printed book into digital form. Proof is in the pudding in his awesome proof of concept story Luther, available for free download here.

I am happy to report that this is the last major con I will not be attending this year. In just one month, I will be attending our homegrown C2E2, then flying out to San Diego mid-July for all 4 days (with preview night) of the awesomely epic Comic Con and and closing out the con-going season with New York Comic Con in the fall. GEEK ON!

Danny Bernardo is GoPride's official geekologist. To see how he feels about missing WonderCon this year, click here. You'll be able to catch him geeking out in a completely different way in two weeks. Intrigued? Find out more here. Wanna chat more geek? Holla at ya boy!

the GEEK in Review! issue 1, volume 1
Everybody's working for the GEEKend! Well, I am anyway. And some pretty fantastic stuff in the geek world happened the week of 3/12/12:

Midnight tickets for Avengers movie go on sale
I've never been to a midnight showing in my life. This year, the exceptions will be made. Marvel released the info on cities doing midnight showings on May 3 and my friends and I joined many other fanboys to make Chicago the first top-selling city. As an added bonus, AMC Theatres will be running an all-day Avengers marathon, showcasing all 6 movies leading up to the premiere. Geekgasm!

The Walking Dead Facebook game announced for April drop
Yes, I'm the guy that blocked all of your Mafia Wars and Farmville requests. But hear me out: this game is going to be EPIC! Based more on the TV show than the comic book continuity, the player goes on narrative driven quests to survive in a virtual world of brain eating zombies. It goes beyond any other social networking game because it remains active in real-time, even when you log off, so you have to depend on your friends playing to keep you safe and survive. And upping the awesome factor, when your friends die, they can come back as walkers and attack you. This game may or may not contribute to the decline of my productivity.

It's a great week to be Brian K. Vaughan
The former Lost writer and creator/writer of such awesome books as Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina (which featured a gay wedding) returns to comics with Saga, a sci-fi fantasy epic about two new parents trying to protect their child amidst an intergalactic war. Described as Star Wars meets Game of Thrones, Saga #1 in all of it's double-sized goodness is on sale NOW at your local shop for just $2.99. Right on the heels of his new book's launch, New Line has optioned a film version of his most beloved and acclaimed work to date, Y: The Last Man. Y is the story of Yorrick, a young man who survives a plague that wipes out every living being with the Y chromosome (i.e. males) The project is in pre-production with Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia slated to adapt.

Meanwhile, Danny B's going to Comic Con...

If you follow me on Twitter, you know how difficult getting passes to San Diego Comic Con International is. I think it might be just one step below getting gay marriage to pass in difficulty level, with fanboys and geeks all around the world vying for roughly 40,000 passes to attend the mecca of con's. So, after due diligence (STALKING) on Twitter, obsessively checking my e-mail, and paying a chunk of change to be able to monitor all communications around ticket sales while on plane/cruise on family vacation, thanks to my great buddy Dorton, he and I will be going to Comic Con! For those who want to join, early ticket sales are sold out but they might release some more at a later date, sorry. BUT you can still get passes to the equally awesome, albeit smaller (size queens) C2E2, happening at McCormick Place here in Chicago from April 13-15. Sure you can buy them online, but why not visit your local shop instead! I've been every year since it started and it just keeps getting awesomer.

Alright, that's me, signing out. Have a great GEEKend! GEEK ON!

Danny Bernardo is GoPride's official geekologist. He'd like you to know that even with his busy day job and rehearsal schedule, he managed to find time to FINALLY beat Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and boss rush Scott Pilgrim a couple times. Wanna talk geek? Holla at ya boy!

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