Karl and Jason are joined by friend and fellow podcast host of the Star Wars Report, Riley Blanton as they discuss how their Star Wars fandom has evolved over the years! From kids playing with the toys to three guys podcasting about the Wars, they hit on all those big moments where they lived out their fandom in their own ways! Continue reading
Dallas Comic Con celebrates 10th anniversary with largest show yet!
Actors Patrick Stewart, Val Kilmer and TV’s original Dynamic Duo – Adam West and Burt Ward – join a long list of comic artists and media guests for the largest Dallas Comic Con yet on May 19 and 20. Presented by legendary comic book writer Stan Lee, the show will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the 300,000-square-foot Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas.
“This is definitely our biggest show thus far,” said producer Ben Stevens. “Not only do we have a huge line-up of artists, actors and other guests, but we’re using every square foot of the facility so we can bring in some new and exciting surprises for our fans. There will be more things for them to do and see at this show.”
Mr. Lee, a guest at last year’s Dallas Comic Con, signed up for this year’s show immediately afterward. In addition to being the former president of Marvel Comics, he’s well known in the industry as a writer, editor, actor, producer and publisher.
Comic artists appearing at the show include Neal Adams, co-founder of Continuity Comics and legendary artist of Batman, Conan the Barbarian, Green Arrow, Superman and X-Men; Superman artist George Perez, also known for Wonder Woman; Len Wein, co-creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing; and Marvel artist Arthur Suydam, award-winning creator of the smash hit Marvel Zombies series.
Mr. Lee charges a fee for autographs, and many of the artists draw small sketches for a fee. However, most artists will sign autographs at no charge
Actor Kevin Conroy, the voice of “Batman/Bruce Wayne” in both animated film and video games, also will be signing at no charge throughout the weekend.
Patrick Stewart and Val Kilmer top the media guest list that will appeal to fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Batman and even the recent hit movie, The Hunger Games.
Mr. Stewart is best known to sci-fi fans as Star Trek’s “Capt. Jean-Luc Picard” and “Professor Charles Xavier” in the X-Men movies and video games. Mr. Kilmer took on the iconic lead role in 1995’s Batman Forever, played “Doc Holliday” in Tombstone, and nailed the role of “Jim Morrison” in Oliver Stone’s The Doors.
Other media guests include actors Adam West and Burt Ward, aka “Batman” and “Robin” in the 1960s Batman TV series; actress Kristanna Loken from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; John de Lancie, who starred in both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Stargate SG-1; and Dallas native Tim Taylor, who plays “The Gamekeeper” in the recent smash hit The Hunger Games.
Star Wars fans will welcome back perennial favorites Dave Prowse, who played the villainous “Darth Vader” in the original trilogy; Jeremy Bulloch, portrayer of favorite bounty hunter “Boba Fett;” and Englishman-turned-Texan Peter Mayhew, best known as the gruff but lovable sidekick “Chewbacca.”
During the two-day event, the actors will be available to sign autographs, talk with fans and answer questions during special panel discussions, which are free to attend as space allows. Guests charge a fee for autographs.
In addition to meeting the actors and artists, fans may peruse more than 200 exhibitor booths featuring comic books, movie memorabilia, old and new toys, clothing and other merchandise. For an additional fee, fans also may have their photo taken with select actors by a professional photographer.
Admission to Dallas Comic Con is $20 Saturday and $15 Sunday when pre-purchased online, and an additional $5 if purchased at the box office. Online sales end April 20. VIP and Priority passes for this show are sold out.
Show hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 20. The Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., is at the intersection of SH114 and Northwest Highway in Irving, Texas.
For more information or to pre-purchase tickets, please visit the website at http://dallascomiccon.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FAN DAYS 2011 STAR WARS HELMET EBAY AUCTIONS ANNOUNCED
Los Angeles, CA – November 15, 2011
On Black Friday, November 25, 2011 the “Fan Days 2011” autographed Star Wars Clone Helmets will be put up for auction on ebay at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. The auctions will be listed under the seller name JaingSMandoMercsPO and will run for 10 days. All proceeds from the auctions will benefit “Princess Leah” and her family. This is your opportunity to own a rare, unique piece of Star Wars memorabilia.
The Republic Commando and the Animated Clone Trooper helmets were made and donated by Nick Bishop and his Thylacine Squad of the 501st in Tasmania.
Over 45 Star Wars actors, directors, editors, writers, artists and more signed each helmet. To document and authenticate the signatures, a photograph was taken of each person signing. These photos have been made into two photo collage posters and will be a part of the ebay auctions.
Kevin Ward of the Clan Murraan Mandalorian Mercs and his wife, Kelli, created one of a kind stands for each helmet. The base of the stands are engraved with the logos of four costuming groups who have been instrumental in helping raise awareness and donations for Princess Leah. They are: 501st Legion, Mandalorian Mercs, Rebel Legion and The Dark Empire.
A video documenting the signing of the Fan Days 2011 helmets created by Taylor Andriotis, aka LadyVader66, is available for sharing and viewing online via youtube.
Baby Leah Esquenazi and her parents, Zev and Frani, have spent most of the last 8 months in the PICU at UCLA hospital. “Princess Leah” as she has come to be known in the Star Wars community was struck by a mysterious illness that causes uncontrollable movement and breathing problems. She has had multiple surgeries including the removal of cataracts in both eyes and has to spend much of her time on a ventilator. Over 60 doctors, hundreds of tests and $2.5 million later, little Leah continues to struggle for survival.
For auction updates and more information via Facebook please visit:
To view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFWV_aVNMDU&feature=youtu.be
For more detailed information on Princess Leah and other ways you can help please visit:
Fan Days IV Recap
On October 8th and 9th the Irving Convention Center in Irving Texas hosted the 4th iteration of Fan Days. Fan Days this year was a mostly Star Wars focused convention featuring special celebrity guests, fan groups, Q&A panels, and numerous vendors. Fans from around the country, and even from other countries, gathered together for two days to celebrate their love for the Star Wars franchise. As with most conventions, there was not enough time to do absolutely everything, but here are my memories of what I did get to see and do.
I was sad to see there wasn’t much of a representation from Star Wars authors at Fan Days. Luckily, they did have two of the best. Aaron Allston, who has written books in the X-wing, New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi series, and Tim Zahn, who has written numerous Star Wars books and is considered by some as the “godfather of the modern Expanded Universe.” I was excited to hear from both of these authors and attended the two panels that they were on together. The first of these panels was called “Ask the Authors” and was exactly that. In a small but crowded room, fans got to get up and ask their questions and get them answered by the two authors. You can actually watch the entire panel over at YouTube thanks to our friends at TheForce.net. Here are some of the highlights.
Allston said that much of the direction of the story in Fate of the Jedi is dictated by Lucasfilm and Del Rey and not just the authors.
Tim Zahn doesn’t like the idea of time travel or “flow walking” in Star Wars. He really really doesn’t like it.
Aaron Allston’s favorite Star Wars film is Empire Strikes Back. “…it has the best character development.”
Tim Zahn on the subject of rebooting the Star Wars Expanded Universe – “A reboot would be very messy.” “There would be immense pressure from the fan community not to do a reboot.”
Awhile back, Allston pitched the ideal of a novel about the events of the Original Trilogy from the perspective of Darth Vader. Zahn thinks he should repitch the idea to Del Rey and the crowd heartily agreed.
When asked what he would have done differently with the Prequels, Zahn said he would have done Jar Jar differently. “The most irritating thing about Jar Jar is that he doesn’t grow.” Zahn also said the Yoda/Dooku battle in Attack of the Clones would have been better if it wasn’t as acrobatic. Have Yoda stand still and show his mastery.
Zahn – “Now that certain of my characters have been offed, there is less incentive to write in that era”
The other panel they did together was called “What Not to Put in a Story.” This panel was less Star Wars focused, and more advice to aspiring writers. Still a great panel, it was very enjoyable to listen to the two authors critique modern movies and books. Two things I learned from this panel were they don’t like Clive Cussler’s writing too much, and Zahn is a big fan of Doctor Who. Star Wars literature did eventually come up…
Zahn – “Maybe before they kill Han, Luke, and Leia they should destroy the Falcon and see what kind of fan reaction they get”
Allston said that at the beginning of The Clone Wars animated series there was not much communication between that team and the books department. He said now communication is much better. They actually had to change some things in the Fate of the Jedi series because of some things that were coming up in The Clone Wars show.
Allston was in talks with Del Rey to possibly continue the Republic Commando series. He ended up doing the Wraith Squadron book instead.
Hughes the Force
One of the big events at Fan Days was a screening of the fan made film Hughes the Force, written and directed by J.C. Reifenberg. The film is basically a mash up of Star Wars and John Hughes films, specifically borrowing from the plot of Weird Science. At the end of day one of the convention, they invited everyone up to an auditorium to watch the short film followed by a Q&A with the crew of the film. I have to admit that I haven’t seen too many John Hughes films, so some of the humor may have been lost on me, but the film was very well made and funny. Tons of Star Wars references and even cameos by some of The Clone Wars voice actors. I definitely recommend checking this film out. I even had a chance to talk to J.C. Reifenberg and the producer of the film Ruark Dreher while on the convention floor. They are both extremely nice, talented guys and I look forward to seeing what they can come up with in the future.
If you were looking for that hard to find Star Wars toy, a unique Star Wars t-shirt, or are hoping to meet a Star Wars artist or celebrity, the convention floor at Fan Days was the place to be. The floor was arranged so the celebrities were on the edge of the floor (Billy Dee had his own room) and the artists and vendors had booths organized in the center. Very easy to navigate and find what you were looking for. There were more artists and celebrities than I will mention here, but some of the names that stuck out to me were Ashley Eckstein, Stephen Stanton, Tom Kane, Tom Hodges, Spencer Brinkerhoff, Denise Vasquez, Randy Martinez and Matt Busch. Some were easy to get to and others had long lines, but all of the celebrities and artists were very friendly and more than willing to spend a few minutes talking to the fans that came up to them.
This year I wanted to see what it would be like to be a volunteer at a convention so I signed up to work a shift on the second day. There are many possible jobs you can get, anything from watching a door to sitting with a celebrity, and I was ready to do whatever they asked. Luckily for me, I got the job of sitting with one of the guests and helping them as they talked to fans and signed autographs. The guest that I got to sit with was Jon Berg, who did a lot of visual effects work on the Original Trilogy. I had not heard of him before but after talking to him for a few minutes I quickly realized how important he was to the Star Wars saga. He had done design work on some of the most iconic things in the movies including Imperial Walkers, Ithorians (he laughed when people asked him to sign “Hammerhead”), Duros, the holo-chess set, and a lot more. The conversations I had with him were amazing. It was like an interactive behind the scenes session. He was one of the nicest people I have met and very down to earth. He even offered to get me coffee at one point which is what I was supposed to be doing for him. This was only his second convention and I hope he goes to many more. If you ever get a chance to talk to him I highly recommend it.
This was my first time to Fan Days, and I was very impressed. It was well organized, well run and spacious. I never had the feeling that it was over crowded like some of the bigger conventions I have been to. A smaller convention like this allows you to relax and take everything in. The best thing about these conventions is getting together with your friends and other like-minded fans, and Fan Days was full of them. I am not sure when the next Star Wars Fan Days will be (my guess is 2013 since there is a Star Wars Celebration in 2012) but you should go. Hopefully I will see you at Celebration 6 before then.
Ashley Eckstein Brings Star Wars “Geek Chic” to Fan Days
September 28, 2011 — Almost half of all Star Wars and sci-fi fans are women who are just as eager as the guys to show their devotion to their favorite movies, television shows and books.
Now actress Ashley Eckstein, a featured guest at the upcoming Star Wars Fan Days in Irving, Texas, answers that call with her new “geek chic” clothing line, Her Universe, which offers female-focused apparel and accessories from the beloved Star Wars saga and other sci-fi genre.
Ms. Eckstein provides the voice of “Ahsoka Tano” in the Cartoon Network’s popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She’ll bring samples of her unique product to Fan Days Oct. 8 and 9 at the Irving Convention Center where she’ll sign autographs, meet the fans and talk about her new clothing line.
Married to former Major League Baseball player, two-time World Series Champion and World Series MVP David Eckstein, Ms. Eckstein grew frustrated with the lack of merchandise available for the growing number of female sci-fi fans. When she couldn’t find Star Wars clothing for herself, she decided to create her own line.
Ms. Eckstein has always expressed herself through her sense of style and now shares her love of all things sci-fi with other geek girls. She’s made it her mission to fight for the underdog and spearhead the call to create a place for female fans in a pop culture community typically dominated by men. Her stylish line of “geek chic” apparel and accessories features fashionable female-focused gear from such powerhouses as the Star Wars brand, and Syfy properties Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13 and Syfy’s original movies.
Some people may think science fiction is a “man’s world,” but Ashley is proving there is more than enough room in Her Universe for everyone.
Ashley Eckstein is available for interviews prior to Fan Days and at the event. Please contact Dan Madsen to schedule an interview.
To download images, please go to: http://www.heruniverseshop.com/syfyimages.aspx