We closed The Next Issue with a double sized episode and we open Pop Culture Uncovered with a double sized episode!
Join Aitch, Armand and Ben as they discuss (and rant) in this first issue about the following!
Baltimore Comic Con Wrap up
iPhone 6 Talk
Alleged Batmobile photos
Destiny first look
Aitch Boycotts Madden and why people should keep ands to themselves
Our Comic Reviews
East to West 15
In our Pull List for September 17th, 2014
Superior Spider-man 33
Fade Out 2
and one more thing…an interview with Brian Reber
Catch us at
Twitter – @PCUncovered
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iTunes, Stitcher and our App on Windows Phone
One of the greatest things about some action figures is when they are done right, it’s hard to tell the figure from the actual people that play them. Couple that with an outdoor setting and the illusion becomes all too real. These pictures were shot this year in various parts of Washington DC so the backgrounds are real. The characters in them are not.
The Superior Spider-man makes his way through the Gallaudet University area
The Man of Steel keeps a close watch over the Capitol
Ezio seeks his target at the National Cathedral
Captain America Honors American Soliders at the USMC Memorial
I’ve been to several SPX in the past, and sometimes even volunteering. I wish I could say that this one was different from the past, but it’s hard to improve on perfection.
If you haven’t heard, the Small Press Exposition (SPX) is a gathering of artists celebrating independent and self published stories, mostly in comic form. The thing I like about events like this is it’s diversity. They not only do they have local creators but people from all over. Their works are just as varied. You can find stuff for kids as well as the macabre.
Some of the local artists is the gang that puts out Magic Bullet. It’s a newspaper size publication of bizarre comics. They get together to come up with a central theme for each issue. Another artist I met is Bryan Brown. He make martial art theme illustrations, some based on his own life. This uniqueness is typical for the small press expo.
It is refreshing to find several women participating in what is considered a male dominated industry. One example is Spider Forest. Two young ladies from opposite ends of the country managed to collaborate on their projects and have a artist table two years in a row. It seems like their second time around they learned the importance of branding.
This expo is not just about small independent comic content. Well established artists were also in attendance. They could be found either speaking on a panel, or signing their work at a various tables where you can get a chance to meet and talk to them. I saw Jules Feiffer, who has been drawing for over 50 years. I also met Derf Backderf who was signing his collection of comics called True Stories. From his book, It’s interesting to see that all his ideas came from his own experience.
Of course, the attendees can be just as interesting, but, this batch presents themselves as creative types. Slightly different than most fandom I’m use to. If you drop a “hipster” in this hotel they would feel at home. They were as many guys wearing plaid shirts as much as irreverent t-shirts and you couldn’t be sure if the girls were wearing glasses for prescription or as a fashion statement. This atmosphere of creativity makes one want to grab a pen & paper and start drawing.
With that said, the expo has made some significant improvements. There used to be long line for the only ATM within the hotel. This time Marriott installed more machines and Dealers room had a couple of their own.
I have been to past SPX, but I have never stayed to see the awards show that they do on Saturday night. It’s called the Ignatz award, named after the brick throwing mouse in the Krazy Kat comic strip and this year I decided to attend. Fittingly, the award presented is a brick instead of some statue. The ceremony started by informing the attendees, (standing room only), about the philanthropy this non profit organization does. Some of which are donating materials to the Library of Congress, supporting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and giving out new books to local libraries.
Afterwards there was a special event. Someone got married to comics. Simon Hanselmann an Ignanz nominee was dressed in drag as a bride and there was a ceremony performed. Later there was a reception with exquisite food catered by the hotel. Like all good things the food didn’t last. There was also a cake served at the wedding. They must not have trusted this bride with a knife because all s/he could do was stab it with a fork. All this may have symbolized how most people here feel about standard conventions. There was a live band present for what I might describe as a nerd prom.
Sunday morning just before the noon opening there was a meet and greet breakfast. This gave attendees a final chance to do a face to face with others they have only known online.
One of the best things about conventions is meeting all sorts of people and sharing ideas and stories. For SPX, this is the heart of the whole event.
THE PRIDE writer Joe Glass is out to change the world with his super powered comic book team The Pride.The Pride is an all LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer) team of super-heroes fighting against adversity for LGBT everywhere. I had the pleasure of conversing with Joe about The Pride project, his inspirations, and his next steps.
Val: Can you provide a small synopsis of The Pride? Just for folks who may not be familiar with the comic.
Joe: The Pride is about the adventures of FabMan and the team as he brings them together to improve representation of LGBTQ superheroes in a world where they are too often seen as a joke or faced with homophobia. They face some interesting challenges in this, but it gets all the more challenging when the team finds they are the only super-team left in the world to face a nefarious, globe-threatening madman.
Val: Wow! Sounds intriguing! It’s always refreshing to hear about groundbreaking projects such as yours. Which brings me to my next question…What was your inspiration for creating The Pride?
Joe: It started back when I was a teen and wanting to make comics that I wanted, and to have characters like me, to make LGBTQ more visible in the medium. At the time, there were not many gay characters in comics, and what there were, were obscure, and rarely found any comics, so I felt like there were none. I felt that I was being represented. While characters like the X-Men are great metaphors, there were none as openly as me. It seemed that a lot of people felt that way too, so I started making characters like me and my friends and The Pride started to form. Of course, by the time I got the first issue out, things were starting to improve, but I think there is still a long way to go…and I like to think The Pride can go some way to helping with that.
Val: I think some of these comic writers, especially at the big two, (Marvel and DC); fail to realize there is more than one demographic in this world. Targeting and representing other groups and subgroups of individuals could possibly bring more readers and money to the comic medium. I would like to hear more about The Pride characters, so, How did you go about coming up with the characters and their powers?
Joe: Well, it’s hard to say. A lot of their personalities formed naturally from the people in my life and myself. But a lot of the power sets and things came from my desire to sort of show the classic hero and how being LGBTQ doesn’t change their heroism or capabilities; thus some of the characters, power-set wise at least, are kind of archetypes. Some would argue that some of the characters are stereotypes too, but that’s kind of the point. The stereotypical gay guy exists, I’m one a lot of the time, and many of my closest friends are too. But stereotypes can be used in such negative ways that it’s caused the LGBTQ community to automatically aim negativity towards those of us within the community that match them. It is sad and kind of dangerous too. I knew I also wanted to take stereotypes and present them in a stronger, positive light, and maybe spin people’s preconceptions on their heads a little. We all deserve a voice after all.
Val: That is an interesting perspective Joe. I am glad that someone is looking to change the public perception of LGBTQ. Now are far as the look and art of The Pride…What type of artistic look are you going for? And how do the artist help further your vision?
Joe: One thing I wanted to do was create a product that wouldn’t look out of place on the shelves next to Justice League, or X-Men. I think we have done that, with our mix of artists both pro and small press/rising stars. I love the idea of following on by having diversity in the art styles as well as the context of the book, so I’ve never really looked for a specific style per se, just if the artist is any good.
The series has been blessed with a wide range of art styles, from pros like Kris Anka, W Scott Forbes and Cory Smith, to rising stars like Gavin Mitchell, Christian Wildgoose and so many more to count. Hopefully, fans enjoy seeing all these new artists too.
Val: I think diversifying the art in your publication keeps fans guessing. There is nothing worse than a predictable comic. Ugh!
With that said, what do you think of the current state of LGBTQ characters in mainstream comics? And how do you think things can be improved upon?
Joe: I think we need continuous representation in big mainstream comics. We also need to get some inclusion of LGBTQ creative voices too. However, I will say things are definitely on the road to improvement in my mind. I would just love to see some bigger characters involved in huge important storylines often, not just for headline grabbing stunts, but meaningful events to the continuity etc. I would say there is more inclusion and representation in indie comics than anything else. It just gets better all the time.
Val: Have you experienced any adversity on your journey to making The Pride a reality?
Joe: Only financially! LOL! Nah, genuinely, if anything the response has been almost entirely positive and we’ve had loads of great support. No negativity has come from a homophobic standpoint either, but rather we have lots of straight readers and fans who love seeing these kinds of characters and the community as much as anyone else.
Val: Well, that’s good news to hear! I think these days LGBTQ topics are expected to be met with adversity. However, your situation tells me that maybe times are finally-a-changing. Ok, last question…What can fans expect from The Pride in the near future? And what can they expect from Joe Glass in general?
Joe: I have a few new projects up my sleeve that I’m slowly working on, we’ll see how soon I can make announcements on them, but I think a lot of people will be very excited. As for The Pride, we have the second half of the main series still to come, and another issue of The Pride Adventures too. We have some big surprises, shocks and even a new member still to come, so there’s still plenty more to come. There’s never been a better time to jump on board with The Pride!
Joe could not be more correct. You cannot deny Joe’s enthusiasm for The Pride, and that enthusiasm is going to help this comic Skyrocket. So to all comic fans, do not miss your opportunity to be a part of something big, so click HERE to find out more about The Pride, AND upcoming issues and projects by Joe Glass!
For anyone that didn’t make it down to Annapolis this past Saturday due to the weather missed out on some fun and craziness courtesy of Jim and Chip. Early in the day we did an interview with them as well as a young lady who was first in line to meet them and then later that evening, Third Eye Comics hosted a Crucial Feels party at Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge where I realized that these creators of comics when done creating comics should be comics.
Hi folks! It’s been a long time since I blogged, but I wanted to share a few thoughts with you. Over the past weekend I attended Otakon 2014 in Baltimore, MD which is one of my home cons. I’ve been attending for eight years now, and each year I go gets better and better in terms of cosplay. All troubles with the lines aside, I found myself impressed not only by cosplayers, but by attendees recognizing ALL types of cosplayers. In February, I wrote an article on the acceptance of black cosplayers (link here) in the eyes of photographers and others. This piece serves as a follow up and expansion of sorts, as well as a personal update on my journey as a cosplayer of color.