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Comic-Con 2011 Preview

It’s the pop culture event of the year. When Hollywood and the comic-book and toy industries roll out the upcoming slate of movies, TV shows and toys. For a week in San Diego (July 21- 24), comic book fanboys (and fangirls) collide with superfans at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con.

It wasn’t always about movies, toys and TV shows. Once Comic-Con was only about comic books. Thirty-five years ago, the only movie that Hollywood marketeers were promoting here was an unknown film called Star Wars. And that was from a folding table where George Lucas’ marketing manager was selling Star Wars posters for $1.75. (Those same posters go for around $3,000 on eBay…) This year, Lucas’ company will be promoting Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray. Comic books however, are making making noise this year, too.


The reboot of the DC Universe, just one of the hot topics of 2011 Comic-Con. 

DC Do-Over
This September, DC Comics plans to restart its entire comic line-up of superheroes. The entire DC Universe will essentially get rebooted back to Issue No. 1. Gasp. Fans have come out against the reboot – and it’s easy to see why. Marvel pulled a similar trick a few years back and their faithful fans revolted, too. Ultimately, the uproar convinced Marvel to continue publishing the regular lines. For comic-book fans, throwing out everything you’ve come to know before is a serious issue.

The announcement has sent shock waves throughout the industry. The matter is of such importance that several different Comic-Con panel discussions from Day One will be devoted to the subject. Expect a big turnout for Thursday’s 12:45PM panel, with DC’s Grant Morrison. Likewise, that same day, the 2:00PM panel with DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras and DCU Executive Editor Eddie Berganza. For rival Marvel Comics, they’ll be joining Sony Pictures in pitching the superhero reboot – The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield (The Social Network).


Colin Farrell plays Douglas Quaid, in the $120-million remake of Arnold Schwarzenegger 90′s classic, Total Recall (Sony Pictures).

Sony will also exhibit the much-anticipated remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi actioneer Total Recall, now starring Colin Farrell. There’s also a new Twilight and plenty of other big-screen blockbuster surprises. Last year, a few of the highlights included unannounced appearances by Will Ferrell to promote his superhero tale, Megamind, and an extremely rare appearance by Harrison Ford to promote this summer’s Cowboys & Aliens.

Making Money with Comics
This year’s Comic-Con show has as much to celebrate as to promote; in addition to showcasing new and ultra-creative comics and graphic novels, this year’s show is celebrating the comic culture’s greatest influence on American pop culture. Never before has the local Cineplex been so dominated by superhero movies; never have comics been received with as much critical appreciation as they are now.


The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield (The Social Network).

Careers in comic books and other types of creative media are easy to pursue. In fact, there have never been as many opportunities to explore a talent for creating content for comic-books and/or cartoons. Information about breaking into the comic-book industry can be found online or you could spend a week this summer learning from a professional comic-book or cartoon creator at a digital media camp to learn how to create comics. Know how to tell a story with words and pictures? Then share your ideas and help create the superheroes of tomorrow.

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posted by DMA Jordan in Comic and Cartoon Creation,News Blog and have No Comments

Comic Developments: DC Destroys Universe, Goes Digital; Marvel’s Thor Hammers Box Office

These days there are plenty of people who can tell you with certainty when the world will end. DC Comics is going one better: It’s telling residents of the comics world who ask the question, “When will the DC Universe end?” exactly when to expect it – Wednesday, August 31st. Not only that, but DC has also revealed that the DC Universe will effectively re-set all its comic lines and begin anew the very next day – Thursday, September 1st.


There will be Justice for all…of the DC Universe, when the upcoming historic relaunch of its entire catalog takes place. Marvel? Been there. Done that.

DC Destroys Universe, Restarts Universe
When that happens, DC’s entire line of 52 superhero-themed comic books will all start over. Comic book characters like Superman and Batman will suddenly find themselves in new first issues, after more than seven decades of appearing in sequentially numbered issues. Each title will begin again from Issue #1 forward. All of your DC favorites will remain in place (no layoffs are expected at this time), although its been rumored the superheroes will be outfitted in different costumes and gear. Fans are lukewarm about the announcement. Marvel Comics did the same thing a few years back and then went back to pick up where they left off. Will DC’s decision to reboot the franchises pay off? The jury’s still out.

Another huge new DC development involves the way the comic books are distributed. Coinciding with the August/September reboot, DC’s entire comic book line will be available digitally on the day of each issue’s retail launch. In other DC-related news, filming is moving forward on the next installment of director Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” series, “The Dark Knight Rises,” with Christian Bale again reprising his role as the caped crusader.


Meanwhile, “Thor” puts the hammer down…at the box office.

Box Office God of Thunder
Superheroes are presently ruling pop culture. Hot off the success of “Iron Man 2,” over at Marvel Comics, movies are also the order of the day. “Thor,” directed by versatile actor/director, Kenneth Branagh, brought down the hammer on the box office, earning an estimated $163 million domestically (and a whopping $254 million internationally) – in just 26 days of release. Next up, Marvel Studios “X-Men: First Class.” Expectations are already running high for “First Class.” Many who have attended advance screenings have called it the best film in the entire X-Men series.

Fans are extremely excited about this next X-Men film, calling it a return to classic comic book storytelling. But by doing a prequel story, it also helps to refresh characters that have been overexposed. The new take on X-Men is a surprisingly successful movie sequel formula and one that will be repeated when Sony reboots the Spider-Man franchise next year.


The Muppet Mutants. Fan art like this has helped propel “X-Men: First Class” to the head of the class.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” will follow “X-Men: First Class” and introduce the leader of “The Avengers,” a Marvel Studios film releasing in 2012 starring “Thor’”s Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr. (as Iron Man), Samuel Jackson (as Nick Fury) and Mark Ruffalo (as Dr. Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk).

Comic books have been intersecting with pop culture for years, more recently dominating TV, music, and specifically, movies. Today’s most cutting-edge blockbuster films and TV shows (“The Green Lantern,” “Smallville,” “The Walking Dead”) had their start in comic books, or graphic novels. Even video games are often based on comic book characters and their exploits.

Creating Your Own Comics
Today comics earn real respect and are a thriving part of the world of visual arts. If you want to work in the exciting world of comics, why not spend a week this summer and learn how to make comic books? Summer camps like Digital Media Academy offer an interactive summer camp experience for creative 6 to 12-year-old youngsters who love comic books and cartoons.

Adventures in Comic Creation is one of Digital Media Academy’s most popular programs. The week-long camp lets students create the comic book of their dreams, and the companion course, Adventures in Cartoon Creation lets students create their own drawings and then bring them to life as animated cartoons on the computer. Both programs foster creativity and can lead students on a path of discovery that ends in a career in the digital arts industry. Let your imagination run wild this summer at DMA.

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