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JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS Get A Comic Book





JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS debuted on television in 1985, alongside a very successful toyline by Hasbro. The show was geared towards young females and featured a strong female lead along with mixed elements of science fiction, adventure, and romance. While it was a show geared towards young girls, the sci-fi elements and the music attracted young boys and young adults as well. JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS captured the spirit of the 80s with it's big hair and catchy melodies. As part of the weekday morning line up along side shows like Transformers, it was a show the most kids did not miss before heading out to school.

Hasbro announced earlier this year that a live-action, motion-picture adaptation of JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS from Universal Pictures starring Aubrey Peeples and directed by Jon M. Chu is slated for release October 2015. Following that announcement: IDW Publishing is excited to expand its long relationship with Hasbro and welcome JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS to the world of comic books. Starting in March 2015, Jem and company will star in their first ongoing series! The creative team bringing this world full of fashion, art, action, and style to life is writer Kelly Thompson (Storykiller, The Girl Who Would Be King) and artist Ross Campbell (Glory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), with subscription covers by Sara Richard (My Little Pony, Kitty and Dino).
Five stunning rainbow foil covers will be available for Issue One—one for each Hologram by artist Amy Mebberson (My Little Pony, Pocket Princesses), plus the whole band by series artist Ross Campbell—in a deluxe rainbow foil and hologram collectible box. A second box set for Issue two will feature another set of four covers by Mebberson and a group shot by Campbell—this time starring Jem’s greatest nemeses, The Misfits!

“Getting a JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS comic going was a top priority for me when I started at IDW,” says Senior Editor John Barber. “It took three years, but Kelly and Ross came in with a style and attitude that really got Jem. They understand Jem’s appeal—I can’t overstate the impact Jem has had on generations of fans and readers.”
The impact of the show is something that is still felt today thanks to the HUB network replaying those shows late at night and Black Nerd Girls doing their live tweets while the show is airing. Not only did the show feature some great music, but it incorporated music videos that went along with the story. The new look is definitely more interesting, it's like a combination of Punk and Glam rock with a more modern twist. It would be cool the hear the music that would be associated with the new look, but that will probably not happen until the new movie comes out. I hope it does lead to new animated series that is closer to the upcoming comic book than the movie, because who knows how good the movie will be.

ELPH Safety Bands



Losing a child in a crowded place is every parent’s worst nightmare. For children too young to often know their full name, parent’s phone number and other key information, it can be the scariest moments of their life. Some of these stresses are now eliminated with the launch of the ELPH safety bandELPH is a new state of the art tech product designed by Gannett employees to ease the stresses of traveling with a child.

The ELPH story began with a challenge among Gannett Co., Inc. employees to participate in a contest for new innovative ideas. Among 30 submissions, ELPH tied for first place and was awarded funding by Gannett to build and launch the product. Since its initial inception, ELPH Band has been awarded the PTPA Winner’s Seal of Approval. PTPA Media has North America’s largest volunteer parent testing community, with over 70,000 parents and was rated the Most Trusted Seal by over 22,000 parents across North America. 




A non-toxic, durable wristband provides an easy way for young children to be identified and safely reunited with their parents if lost. Each ELPH band is equipped with a one of a kind QR code and ID number. If a child happens to wander off while wearing an ELPH wristband a Good Samaritan is able to call the number on the ELPH band or scan the QR code to receive the necessary information to reach a child parent or guardian.  While the ELPH band provides a way to contact a parent or guardian it does not give out any personal information including a child’s name or phone number. Information can be updated in real time for any given situation.

The ELPH safety band provides parents with extra security if they happen to become separated from their child. Co-Founder Kathy Duffy says “Developing ELPH is close to my heart because I am a mother who has felt the fear of losing track of her son. He ran off while we were at the pumpkin patch and I can recall how time moved slowly as I panicked to find him.  The ELPH band now puts me at ease when I think of that situation or any other that may happen.” 



ELPH provides easy setup and quick registration. Guardians are able to input emergency contact name, email and phone numbers along with additional comments to alert the good samaritan who finds a child to be alerted to any special circumstances they might have, such as medical conditions, allergies or other requirements. ELPH can be registered via smartphone using any available scanning app and via computer using a unique serial code on the band. Email and text verification of account information will be sent to the guardian.


The ELPH Band is available in three different sizes and in Pink and Navy Blue, with Purple and Black becoming available in November. The ELPH Safety band retails for $19.99





Exclusive New Digital Fingerprinting Program Safeguards Content from Piracy Tube Sites!



A few of my friends and I have attended conventions geared towards Adult Entertainment. And at these conventions you get to meet and occasionally talk to a lot of those in the Adult Entertainment Industry. Myself and Master Gio have made quite a few contacts and even friends in the industry. One subject that a lot of entertainers and producers find to be the most upsetting the preventing of piracy, or the inability to prevent it. While it may be a billion dollar industry, it's not a mainstream industry where everyone involved can reap so many benefits. When a Hollywood movie has it's movie pirated, the hit it takes financially is small compared to what the adult industries hit is. People we still go out and buy that Hollywood movie they saw for free, while many adult films are not given a second thought; Either because of the shame that is associated with adult films or the fact that certain films don't really warrant a second viewing. According to Nate Glass he has a solution to the piracy problem that has been plaguing both the Adult Industry and Hollywood.

The way the adult industry protects its online content from piracy has been revolutionized by Takedown Piracy’s exclusive new digital fingerprinting program. Utilized as an application in Takedown Piracy’s revered Nemesis™ custom tool, the “game changing” service is now available for adult studios to utilize. Takedown Piracy (TDP) is an anti-piracy service started in April of 2009. The service was founded by 14-year entertainment industry veteran Nate Glass. TDP offers copyright holders an affordable and highly effective means to fight back against content thieves.  For less than the cost of a part-time, minimum wage worker, copyright holders can benefit from Glass’ expertise and passion for protecting copyrighted content from thieves. To date, TDP has removed nearly 40 million content infringements.  Leading piracy websites are closely monitored to always provide clients with immediate service and protection. Every month detailed reports are provided to clients with each action taken on their behalf. Takedown Piracy actively tracks at least nine different ways content may be pirated, providing widespread coverage.  Takedown Piracy’s army of servers offer protection in the following areas: Cyberlocker sites like Rapidshare, Torrent sites, Tube sites, Auctioned or unauthorized DVD resellers, Search Engines, Image Hosts, Blogs, Forums, Social Media.

 
During the beta-testing phase of the digital fingerprinting program, Takedown Piracy was able to verify the accuracy of the digital fingerprints by identifying the copyright holder of hundreds of thousands of videos violating copyright laws on tube sites.  Combined with Nemesis, which analyzes tube sites to pinpoint videos likely to be infringing on copyrights, the program virtually assures pirated material will be found and reported.
 “I want to stress how big of a game changer this is in the fight against piracy,” says Takedown Piracy owner Nate Glass, regarding the digital fingerprinting program.  “With this weapon, we will be able to ensure content from our studio partners will not appear on pirate tube sites.”
 
Available to all content creators, including DVD producers, pay sites, and webcam sites, the digital fingerprinting program is a separate service Takedown Piracy is offering its current and future clients.  For a nominal extra charge on top of Takedown Piracy’s standard services, companies can track all their content. The digital fingerprinting program is different than any previously attempted in the adult industry. It’s completely independent, working on any tube site Takedown Piracy applies it to. 
“Previously the adult industry tried to use a form of fingerprinting requiring tube sites to voluntarily take part in it,” states Glass. “This is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.  Now, we are able to dictate the terms, so we don’t have to rely on the moral conscience of pirates and tube sites.”
 
Takedown Piracy currently has the program set up to be implemented on 52 websites, with over a dozen more in the works. These are all actual source tube sites – no embedding sites. The program is designed solely for detection and removal of infringing content from tube sites and search engines, like Google.  
“I've never believed in partnering with tube sites – it’s a deal with the Devil,” states Glass.  “Too often copyright holders have tried to monetize piracy by searching for a middle ground with the tube sites.  At the end of the day, the tube sites make more money from pirated content than trying to monetize a promotional trailer.  Because of this, the tubes will never have enough incentive to totally clean up their act.  This new digital fingerprinting program gives content creators the power back.”
 
Glass will be available to demonstrate how the digital fingerprints work to content producers at AVN Media’s 2015 Internext and Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) in Las Vegas, and XBIZ Media’s 2015 XBIZ 360 in Los Angeles.



For more information about Takedown Piracy’s services, click here.

REVIEW: HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #18


Buy comics and more at TFAW.com

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #18
Story: Rob Davis & Lloyd Goldfine
Cover: Stjepan Sejic
Art: Pop Mhan
Colors: Mark Roberts

"The finale of “The Blood of Greyskull” is here! Darkness has taken over Eternia. He-Man is dead. Only one person can save the day – she is Adora. She is She-Ra!"

Assassin’s Creed® Unity Phantom Blade Now Available



On October 28, 2014 Ubisoft® announced that the Assassin’s Creed® Unity Phantom Blade, a wearable life-size collectible, is now available in stores and online for $59.99. Just in time for Halloween, the Phantom Blade comes equipped with a functional hidden blade, retractable crossbow and firing dart. The Phantom Blade is meticulously crafted from a design by McFarlane Toys and includes adjustable straps to fit most sizes. It is constructed out of thermoplastic and safety tested for actual use, age 17+. A replica of Arno’s signature weapon in Assassin’s Creed Unity, this is a must-have for Assassin’s Creed fans.

Lawrence Tabak: Author of "In Real Life"

Lawrence Tabak is the author of the soon to be released Young Adult book "In Real Life". He was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa and has since lived on both coasts before settling down not far from his roots in Madison, Wisconsin. He attended Northwestern University for two years before transferring to the University of Iowa to focus on writing. Lawrence graduated with degrees in English and General Science and while hanging around Iowa City picked up an MA in English.

After reading "In Real Life" I was very excited to have read such a well written and just amazing book. The story and the characters were just superb. I'm not really into Young Adult fiction, but this a book that I would highly recommend because it doesn't talk down to the reader, it is relatable on many levels, and is a great ride from start to finish. I had the pleasure of being able to interview the author, Lawrence Tabak, and was able to gain some insight into what went into the making of this story.


  • Was writing something you've always dreamed of doing or was it something you fell into?

While always an avid reader I don’t remember spending any time at all as a child dreaming of becoming a writer. I had wonderful teachers who were encouraging, starting in high school and then in college, when I started writing more seriously. I began writing and selling nonfiction while still in college and even though I had sold a couple of short stories, stayed with that focus for many years. Over the years I've published hundreds of magazine features and essays, including stories in the in-flight magazines for American and United, Fast Company, Salon.com and The Atlantic Monthly. Only when my own kids were teenagers did I return to writing fiction.


  • What is your background as far as gaming goes?

What did the sort of kids who are attracted to computer gaming do before computers? We played board games. We were particularly enamored with the strategy games from Avalon Hill, like D-Day, which had many of the same elements of today’s computer strategy games. Since my kids were fascinated by computer games as soon as they became available, I joined their experience, playing games like Lemmings and Simant with them. As they graduated into the more complex modern games, I became more of a spectator than participant.


  • Was the majority of the pro gaming experience mainly from what your sons went through or did you seek out other sources as well?

With serious gamers right in my house I didn't have to go far to get a sense of the scene. However, my background in nonfiction and feature writing made it a natural to do as much research as possible. As part of this process I had some extensive interviews with some older, more advanced gamers.


  • At what ages did your sons go pro?

My older son Josh is the one with professional gaming experience. He really ramped up his gaming in his senior year of college. He was only one course short of graduation in his second semester and found time to rise to top of the Heroes of Newerth competitive scene. That resulted in an invitation to join the SKgaming HON team.


  • What were some of the challenges/obstacles you had as a parent of pro gamers?

While it wasn't so much the pro side of the gaming that was an issue, I think seeking balance is an issue for many kids with obsessive interests or pursuits, whether it be gymnastics or chess or anime. As a writer I was very much concerned that my two boys find time to learn to enjoy the deep pleasures of reading. My wife and I are also very active physically and wanted the boys to have a similar outlet. Both were competitive tennis players who played high school varsity.


  • Did you travel a lot with your sons or were they like Seth mainly on their own?

Both of my sons were very much involved in Magic the Gathering and we've taken them to tournaments all over the country. At the time Magic had a national junior championship with a highly competitive qualifying structure. We ended up traveling to the national championships in Orlando, San Diego and Kansas City. Since then we've arranged at least one family reunion around a Magic Pro Tour event, where both of my sons participated. So we've been supportive of their interests and pursuits.


  • How much traveling outside the U.S. have you done? Where?

I’m not much of a world traveler although I’ve done a tour of Israel and have made a more visit to London and Paris.


  • Did you face similar language barrier issues as Seth did?

As someone with a low threshold for embarrassment, my sputtering French was a constant source of chagrin in the time we spend in Paris. People kept saying that the French appreciated the effort, but I’m not sure appreciate is the right word.


  • Did your childhood resemble Seth's in any way?

Not in the specifics, but in the universal struggle between the powerful urge to fit in and equally powerful need to believe in our own exceptionalism.


  • How did you come up with Hannah's character?

It’s commonplace to note that girls typically mature faster than boys physically. It’s also my experience that they often do so emotionally and intellectually as well. Hannah is way ahead of Seth in many ways, yet they are clearly kindred spirits.


  • The romance between Seth and Hannah felt more like memory than a work of fiction. Did you have similar romances yourself?

Not in specifics, but certainly in spirit.


  • Any plans for another book or a continuation of this book?

I've been actively writing other books before and since the completion of In Real Life, although there is nothing currently in the publishing queue. No current plans to continue this story, although it is conceivable.


  • If you had the option of turning this book into a TV series or a movie which would you prefer?

Do you have any contacts in Hollywood? I’m all for either.

"In Real Life" by Lawrence Tabak Book Review



“In Real Life” by Lawrence Tabak

Tuttle Publishing
Release date: 11/11/2014
Soft Cover: 287 pgs


“In Real Life” by Lawrence Tabak it is a Young Adult fiction story about a young Kansas kid named Seth Gordon who has been gaming his whole life and hopes to make a career out of it and go pro. Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old math prodigy Seth Gordon knows exactly what he wants to do with his life—play video games. Every spare minute is devoted to honing his skills at Starfare, the world's most popular computer game. His goal: South Korea, where the top pros are rich and famous. But the best players train all day, while Seth has school and a job and divorced parents who agree on only one thing: "Get off that damn computer." Plus there's a new distraction named Hannah, an aspiring photographer who actually seems to understand his obsession. 

This is not the typical story where said kid works hard throughout the book, and eventually discovers love, friendship, all while achieving his dream. As the story takes place, Seth Gordon is already ranked #5 in the United States and has realistic shot of going pro. He trains/plays ritualistically to the point of cutting classes to get in as much time gaming as possible. He’s not the typical social high school outcast; he has his best friend Donald aka DTerra (DT) who also plays Starfare and is just as good but not top ranked good. However DT lives in another state. Because of his rank he does make some acquaintances with other gamers and of course attracts the attention of a rival, Stompz, who just will not give him a break when it comes to playing this game. Starfare is like StarCraft, it’s a real time strategy game that pits player(s) against player(s). The participants’ position and maneuver units and structures under their control to secure areas of the map and/or destroy their opponents' assets. The way Seth talks about playing Starfare is almost surreal. The walls melt away, whatever noise was there fades away, and he’s in another world of 3D textured terrains, flashing lights, shouting commands as if it were real life. And when he’s done it’s like he was pulled out of that world, dripping sweat and breathing heavy as if he was in a real life battle. It just makes you want to pick up a controller and do a marathon of your favorite game. The visuals for describe Seth’s gaming experience and the game itself are enough to sell on you what a gamer is or even sell you a game itself.   

For Seth school was and was not an issue mainly because he is such an incredibly gifted student in math that they had him not only take AP classes, but college courses as well. But it’s the fact that he’s skipping classes and slacking in grades to play Starfare is what really becomes an issue with his folks. Like most parents dealing with a teenager always requires negotiations to be the great motivator. While things with his folks are not perfect, his older brother Garrett is his one constant in his life. Whenever he needs advice Garrett is always the one he can count on to help him out, even though Garrett is away in college. The relationship with both parents differs, as each parent’s personality is completely different from each other. Mom is more laid back and into trying new things but stern, while dad is more like your hard-ass boss at work with the occasional soft spot. The difference in personalities of the parents really makes them unique. The parents tend to play really pivotal roles in the book, especially when major changes are happening in Seth’s life. 

While socially awkward in the beginning; the author really lets Seth shine through. Throughout the book you start to see Seth grow; especially when he meets Hannah, a NJ transplant. It’s not an immediate change from shy to confident. But you see that once he starts to click with someone he becomes more open with them, and with Hannah you see this become more apparent. While Hannah doesn't get or is interested in the pro gaming scene, the fact that she and Seth are so passionate about their hobbies that it’s what draws them together. Hannah is an aspiring artist/photographer and just has this encyclopedic knowledge of artists that it rivals Seth’s knowledge of gaming. The more and more you ready about Hannah and Seth together, the more it feels like a happy memory. From the should of, would of, could of; to the playfulness of relationship itself it’s like remembering the best memories of your life and Tabak really has you rooting hard for them. 

The curve balls in Seth’s life aren't these small insignificant trips to the supermarket. These are constant life changing events that really move the story along. It’s almost like you’re part of a documentary crew following this kid around as he tries to make it pro. From an opportunity to play in a televised championship tournament, to a chance to play with the best team in the world it’s like a roller coaster that you glad isn't stopping anytime soon. Tabak never misses an opportunity to really showcase how incredibly gifted Seth is at math. When Seth first boots up his computer for Hannah a screen pops about with a weird message, Seth explains that it has to a with trying to find the prime number and that he took part in this global study and if his computer finds the number it’s an achievement. He does this with the main cast of characters in Kansas, really let each person in Seth’s life be their own personality in the book. 

Tabak mainly wrote this book as a way to get his kids more interested in reading. He has 2 sons that are pro gamers themselves, and as you read the book you definitely feel like he fully understands the gaming scene and makes it relatable for everyone to comprehend. A book that uses gaming as its backdrop is very unique, because there aren't many books that do use it as well as he did. I barely found any boring parts or pauses. He really has a great sense of flow in the book that keeps you interested, intrigued, and invested. They way he describes the various settings in the book, whether it’s the strip mall in Kansas or the random club in Korea he gives just enough detail that reader can picture it themselves without being hit over the head. 

I really found this book to be entertaining and delightful. As I said before the author really gets you to care about what happens to these characters and rooting for Seth along the way. I would rate this book 5 stars, because it is one of those Young Adult books that doesn't just cater to younger audience that may not have gone through similar situations in life and treats it's audience as intelligent readers. "In Real Life" will be available to readers in time for Christmas nationwide on November 11, 2014. 

Review: University Games


At this years Toy Fair I had the pleasure of meeting representatives from University Games and they introduced to a slew of games that they were putting out. Out of the games I was able to get a quick demo on, there were three that caught my attention: "Man Bites Dog", "Dirty Words", and "Dumb Ass". These three caught my attention because they were geared towards more young adult audiences; these were games that adults could enjoy as well. I was lucky enough to get my hands on all 3 games and have some fun with them along with a few friends.

Tiger & Bunny Cosplay Alpacas at NYCC



After months of planning, pitching, and development, and with the help from Viz Media, Yes Anime is pleased to announce that their Tiger & Bunny Cosplay Alpaca Plushies are now officially licensed and are currently being mass produced. 

The first wave of Tiger & Bunny Cosplay Alpacas will be available at this years NY Comic Con. 


Parallel Man Issue 1 review

Parallel Man

Published by Future Dude Entertainment
Writers: Jeffery Morris & Fredrick Haugen
Penciler/Inker: Christopher Jones
Colorist: Zac Atkinson


During World War 2 research was being done into all areas of science and the occult as a means to gain the advantage and put an end to the war. On our earth, the United States came up with the atomic bomb as a means to the end. But what if on another earth, a parallel earth, the United States found a way to traverse through alternate universes to end their war. Parallel Man is about one such earth in which the United States does just that. Parallel Man is a 7-issue comic book mini-series, mobile device video game, deck-builder game, and animated short film. The story follows Commander Nick Morgan, an intelligence agent from an evil version of America in an alternate universe. His government, known as The Ascendancy, has attacked and enslaved eleven other Earths and has its sights set on our world as their next target.

The story kicks things off with our current President, Obama, being kidnapped in midair by unknown assailants and taken to a parallel earth and being introduced to a man who says he's our new leader. The show of force the Ascendancy shows and just the bravado to kidnap our President in mid-flight shows just the tip of how powerful they are. As the president it returned back to our earth, we are introduced to Nick Morgan who is searching something that warrants the attention of his fellow commandos and turns him into a fugitive. The chase scene from our earth to a few of the other parallel earths in this books are just as imaginative as it could be. The chase itself is just edge of your seat gripping and it takes up about the majority of the first issue. The tenacity of the Ascendancy Commandos in trying to catch one guy and what they are willing to do to people who stand in their way already tells me that there may be a lot of bodies dropping at their feet before our hero can change things.

The details in the people, vehicles, and objects is fantastic. The ability to show fear, anger, and even that hint of smugness in a character helps add to the story. The colors in this are nicely done, they really add to the mood of each panel. When we are introduced to our hero, Nick Morgan, we find him near lake where everything is just at peace. As he's by the lake we get introduced to his A.I. Companion as well as the not so friendly members of the Ascendancy Commandos.
The technology presented in the first issue is the stuff that you would sort of expect like flying vehicles, & laser blasters. The blasters in question form a big bubble that takes a clean chunk/hole out of whatever it hits. Members of the Ascendancy forces have their own A.I. Companions, the ability to jump to other parallel earths on their own, Environ-suits that adapt to any environmental conditions, and hover boots.


I kinda wish this wasn't a mini-series, just because the amount of parallel worlds that are possible for the writers to create and Christopher Jones to draw are almost limitless and could add to an already great story so far. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 6 issues and how everything comes to an end for good or for evil. Parallel Man is definitely worth the pick up when it releases in October. If you to the Parallel Man website you can check out an animated short Infinite Pursuit, the coming soon mobile game World Jumper, and more. 

Salt Lake Comic Con Fights With San Diego Comic-Con International

NERD BLOCK: Comic-Con, Delivered Monthly. Join Now. Geek Tested. Nerd Approved.



Salt Lake Comic Con is organized by Dan Farr Productions in partnership with Media One of Utah, a joint operating agreement between the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, and ABC4/CW30 of the Nexstar Broadcasting Group. On Aug. 20, 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con announced that they have hired the law firm of Maschoff Brennan to represent them in the lawsuit against San Diego Comic-Con International. Maschoff Brennan is a full-service intellectual property and complex litigation firm with off-the-charts technical experience, reliable service, and forward-thinking practices that allow it to handle the toughest IP cases. The firm specializes in enforcing or defending IP claims, and its litigation team has the experience and expertise needed to defend Salt Lake Comic Con's interests in the legal dispute with San Diego Comic-Con

The dispute in question refers to a cease and desist letter that, on July 25, 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International sent Salt Lake Comic Con asserting that the company cannot use the term "comic con" for any event, logo, trademark or website moving forward, further claiming ownership of all variations of the generic term "comic con." The cease and desist letter was followed by a lawsuit against Dan Farr Productions, LLC, Newspaper Agency Company, LLC, Daniel Farrand Bryan Brandenburg in the United States District Court, Southern District of California claiming trademark infringement and false designation of origin. 


"This is something had been going around since the end of SDCC this year. While it is true the term Comic Con was once synonymous with San Diego, the amount of other Comic Book based conventions coming onto the scene since the San Diego based Comic Con made its debut is both outstanding and important to the growth of the industry. Comic Con San Diego has been the mecca for comic book geeks, with comic cons representing their City/State San Diego Comic Con doesn't have a leg to stand on with this frivolous lawsuit. It has no choice but to fall in line and just call itself San Diego Comic Con or SDCC for short; much like New York Comic Con(NYCC), Boston Comic Con(BCC), Hartford Comic Con(HCC), and the plethora of others comic cons. While it may be the cool thing to be known as the first, it's the not the coolest thing to be the biggest bully or act like a 5yr old throwing a temper tantrum. Everyone in the industry and fans alike are grateful for what SDCC has done in terms of making rockstars out of the hardworking men and women in the comic book industry, but it doesn't give them the right to turn around try to impede other conventions from doing nothing but promote the industry as well". 
A number of media outlets have taken interest in the story and have written about it. The Associated Press has written two articles on the issue, the last one of which was published in more than 160,000 news outlets worldwide. In the court of public opinion, many media outlets have already declared Salt Lake Comic Con the winner. To review the letter, lawsuit, press articles and other details of the issue or supply supporting evidence, images and advice for this case click here for the Salt Lake Comic Con resource page
Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 is September 4-6, 2014 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. In one year, Salt Lake Comic Con has already become the third largest Comic Con in the United States and is expected to draw more than 120,000 attendees at this year's event. To find out more about Salt Lake Comic Con or to buy tickets, visit the Salt Lake Comic Con website.


Save up to 30% of select Wonder Woman products at TFAW.com!

Snow White XXX Impresses Critics and Fans Alike


All New Wicked Originals


Betrayal. Desire. Malevolence. And, of course…steamy sex! Legendary director Axel Braun and adult powerhouse Wicked Pictures proudly introduce a brand new genre in the X-rated Parody market: erotic fairy tales. Featuring an all-star cast headlined by Riley Steele in the titular role and jessica drake as the Evil Queen, "Snow White XXX: An Axel Braun Parody" is a sexy, dramatic take on the dark Brothers Grimm story that will change the way you remember fairy tales forever. 

KPOP NOW! Book Review


K-Pop NOW!: The Korean Music Revolution
By Mark James Russell
Tuttle Publishing
Release Date:  April 29, 2014

KPop Now! Is a great guide for those that are interested in K-Pop music and in helping to get to know the big names in that genre of music. For fans it’s getting to know their favorite artist or band just a bit more. Filled with great photos and insight into the world of K-Pop music, Mark James Russell does an excellent job making the reader understand what makes this music so unique and why we should all pay attention.

Mark James Russell has been living in Korea for quite a while; covering pop culture in Korea for many publications since 1996. A great highlight of this book is that he gives you a brief history of Korea as it pertains to music from the 1970s up until now. He also gives you a great lay of the land; naming landmarks, which streets to go to, where the major studios are located and just the feel of what Korea is like now. He describes K-Pop as a reflection of what Korea is; which is loud, bright, and energetic. It’s as if K-Pop is the soul or Korea.

He goes into how each group is formed; open auditions through the studio that are held once a year in Korea, as well as in other parts of Asia, Canada, and the US. It’s not all about dancing and singing, the studio executives are looking for those individuals that exceed the basic aspects of being in a band. Once candidates make it through the audition and are chosen, the training they endure is rigorous and almost endless. Certain studios have reality TV shows for their bands to show who will be the next group of stars or who will be the new band that will be coming up.  While it may be a process, he assures us that it by no means takes away from how unique each of their music is or how they perform or stand out as individuals in a band.

This is a great book for those that don’t know the K-Pop scene all that well and want to look into popular artist or even find new ones. For fans they will appreciate the enthusiasm and appreciation Mark James Russell has for the culture of K-Pop.

Moe Manifesto Book review



The Moe Manifesto: An Insider's Look at the worlds of Manga, Anime, and Gaming
By Patrick W Galbraith
Published by Tuttle Publishing
Release Date: June 24, 2014


The Moe Manifesto is a collection of interviews conducted by Patrick Galbraith touching on the subject of Moe and its impact in culture of Japan and in the worlds of Anime, Manga, and Gaming. Each person interviewed that Galbraith interviewed is someone that has or is currently working in the industry. Some of his interviews have included those that are in the field of economics, psychiatry, and cultural studies. In this book Galbraith gives the reader a better understand of the definition of the word Moe, but he also gives readers a definitive insight the impact the word Moe has on those that feel it and the effect it has on the world around them. The book itself is softcover with tons of illustrations by well known manga artists and characters designers of well known games and animes. It also includes photos of each person being interviewed and photos of cosplayers when discussing the subject of cosplay or maid cafes. The binding of the book is held together with glue, so it may come apart when trying to spread the book flat.

Moe is described as an emotional response for or towards something fictional. The feeling of Moe can be elicited by a character in an anime or manga, an idol singer's character, or even by a cosplayer cosplaying a certain character. While the anime and manga characters elicit the most Moe responses, it is not uncommon to feel Moe towards a person portraying a character. In an interview with voice actress Momoi Halko, she says that when she dresses up like the characters she has portrayed, she gets a greater response from the fans because of Moe. There are fans that are happy to see her, but it's her Otaku audiences that really go all out for her and the series she's in. It would be the same here in US if a voice actress such as Tara Strong cosplayed as Bubbles or Raven at a convention. Tom Hiddleston did exactly that at SDCC when he appeared before a live crowd at a panel dressed up as his Avengers character Loki. While he is an amazing and popular actor, wearing that costume in front of his fans and reciting lines from the movie evoked such strong feelings of Moe. The feelings were so strong that there has been art work, memes, gifs, and fan fiction relating to Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki. I find it funny that a show like 30 Rock tried to mock Japan for Moe, without actually understanding it, but meanwhile in the United States fans have shown that we do have a clear understanding of Moe without really understanding what it is that they are feeling.

The book also goes into the early days of anime when it was as basic as anime for boys and anime for girls. When the Anime “Creamy Mami” came out, the animation studio Pierrot was surprised to find that in the middle of the season that there was a huge older male audience. When doing events for the Anime they saw that the majority of the fans that showed up were male. At that time the term Otaku wasn't that widely used and not so much in a positive light. The rise males getting into more magical girl anime changed how the anime industry approached their story telling, their artwork, and even their marketing. The Akihabara shopping district was changed because solely on the fact that more specialized customers were flocking to that area, first for computer hardware, then eventually anime, manga, video games, toys/statues, etc. One of the ideas behind Moe that make it so prominent is the culture from which it stems from. You get an idea of why so many adult males are experiencing Moe. It’s not so much that these are lonely men that can’t talk to women, it the fact that Japanese society has branded Otakus as undesirable. If you are not the typical salary man who can take his wife out to expensive restaurants on a regular basis, you become ostracized from society. So instead of seeking out true companionship they chose to find comfort in the form of a 2D character that will not question who they are as a person, a character that they feel needs their attention, and can continue to get to know and grow with at their own pace without pressure from anyone.

This book, The Moe Manifesto, really sheds light on what Moe is and its impact on people and society in Japan. It does not condemn it in any way; it goes into great lengths with its interviews covering various themes to better understand Moe. Just like how Otaku was once used as a negative, after reading this book you can see the positive in the Moe lifestyle. I would gladly recommend this book for those curious about what Moe is or to those that just interested in learning other aspects of Japanese culture, specifically otaku culture.

ETHNIKOS Multicultural Toys


Toy designer Ajuma Ataguba has created a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, with a funding goal of $50,000, so that she can launch her ETHNIKOS Collection. ETHNIKOS is a collection of educational and multi-cultural toys that were created with the hope of inspiring children to learn about the world, while giving them a golden educational opportunity. The team hopes to be able to deliver their first shipment of 250,000 toys in January 2015, with three more shipments following every few months throughout the year.



A big feature of this project is the "one million toys for one million kids" charity aspect. When asked how she came up this idea, Ataguba states: "I believe the ETHNIKOS Collection is for every child and not just for children whose parents can afford them." For this part of their venture, the company is partnering with several well-known charities. The donations will be channeled through these charities, with 25% of the donations going to children in Nigeria, 25% going to children in other parts of Africa, and 50% going to children around the world.

The ETHNIKOS Collection is an assortment of multicultural plush toys, an alphabet book and a book read play app starring characters such as 'Sunnieko the Sunflower'. "Each one shares stories about their origins, sing alphabet songs and nursery rhymes and teaches sociological messages. As children read and sing along, they get to learn more about the character beyond the Alphabets." the designer states. The target age range for these toys is ages 1-10. The ETHNIKOS toy collection teaches: literacy, rhymes, geography, diversity, animal facts, and good morals.



This collection promises to have a very positive impact in the lives of many children. However, for this to become a reality they are reaching out to the public through their crowdfunding campaign. The campaign started on July 21, 2014 and will close on September 7, 2014. As an added bonus to all of their funders the ETHNIKOS team is offering several perks. These perks, which serve as great funding incentives for supporters, range in value from a thank you, to various merchandise, toy collections, party packs, and much more. Full details about the campaign and ETHNIKOS toy collection can be found on their campaign page.




To learn more about the ETHNIKOS crowdfunding project Click Here

To view a video Click Here

For more information about ETHNIKOS Click Here

'Batgirl' Gets A Brand New Look From A Brand New Creative Team


Get comics and more at TFAW.com!

In an interview with MTV.com; Writers Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher and newcomer artist Babs Tarr join together for a brand new adventure with my personal favorite Bat-family member Batgirl starting in Batgirl #35 in October. This also sees the departure of Gail Simone from Batgirl after having a fantastic run with the character since her New 52 incarnation. This doesn't mean Gail Simone is gone from DC, she will be announcing her new project with DC very soon.

According to the interview, the new creative team will be taking Barbara Gordon to a new part of Gotham City, following a fire at her current apartment. That area of Gotham can best be described as a gentrified area of the city; As a New Yorker it's the Williamsburg Brooklyn of Gotham. Along with a new neighborhood she will be getting a whole new costume as well, a more practical look. This change in scenery is coming off the cuff of having dealt with so much in her life; getting shot and paralyzed by joker, the breakup of her Bat-Family, the constant doom and gloom. So in this new story arc she's about had it with all that and wants to embrace her youth, the fact that she's a passionate young woman in an urban city. 


"Barbara allows herself to be immersed in youth culture for the first time, exploring the social side of life in Burnside" - Fletcher.

The new suit is one she makes herself hitting up various thrift shops throughout her new city. I guess in a way you could say she is doing her own cosplay interpretation of her own persona. The new suit definitely has a Yvonne Craig flair to it. To me is looks more like a suit that she would have made when she first started started to wear the mask. So it is in a sense true to her character. Barbara Gordon has always been the bright spot in the Bat-family. While Gail Simone's run gave her more of that dark brooding edge everyone in the family is known for, the new team puts her character in the spotlight both figuratively and literally as Batgirl won't be the bump that goes in the night anymore. 


"Unlike Batman or Batwoman, she no longer needs to stay in the shadows, and in fact learns to embrace the spotlight" -Stewart.



In the beginning of the New 52, Batgirl had a few of her own villains to deal with, and it seems that will continue to happen in this new story arc. "There will be a variety of new opponents for her to fight that arise from her new environment. Her first task is to deal with a sleazy internet blackmailer" -Stewart. It will be interesting to see what kind of villains they come up for Batgirl in this new arc. They are definitely moving away from the darker more lethal villains that Batman has. So we could villains that are closer to the Flash's rogues gallery, which are are closer to what kind of villains they might be looking to create. It will be weird to not have cameos from Dick Grayson, Batman or her dad Commissioner Gordon as they wish to to do a clean break from that part of her life. So with no support system it will be interesting to see how Batgirl handles herself all on her own. The stories will not be stand alone stories, they will be part of the DC continuity. So unlike the comic Ame-Comi Girls, Batgirl will show up if any major DC/Batman stories occur that require her to actually be a part of it.




For the entire interview check out MTV.com: http://www.mtv.com/news/1864359/batgirl-exclusive-dc-comics/

  Save 20-35% on DC Comics Pre-Orders at TFAW.com! SuperHeroStuff - Shop Now! Entertainment Earth

Six Flags New England attends ConnectiCon 2014



When: July 11, 12, & 13
Where: ConnectiCon (Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT)

The Thrill Capital of New England will be Recruiting Performers for New England’s largest haunt event!
Six Flags New England will be attending this year’s ConnectiCon on July, 11-13 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT. The Entertainment team will be onsite discussing and recruiting the nearly 200 available positions open this fall for Fright Fest. Be sure to stop by the Six Flags New England booth as Zombies will roam the event and be watching your every move.

The Thrill Capital of New England will be looking for actors & dancers for stage shows plus technicians, makeup artists, freaks, fools, ghosts and ghouls to work at the largest haunt attraction in New England. Six Flags New England’s Fright Fest has over 20 terrifying attractions that will surely entertain kids and adults of all ages. Performers will be required to audition later on in the season and we will be looking for them to read, scream and even move around to showcase their best scare ability. All dancers will learn a short combination from our choreographer to perform and audition with. The theme park wants enthusiastic entertainers that are willing to scare their way to success at Six Flags New England.

To see behind the scenes or to learn more about Fright Fest this season be sure to contact Jennifer McGrath at 413-478-6334.

*All interested applicants are required to apply at sixflagsjobs.com prior to attending the event, and must be 16 years of age or older.




Book Expo America Book Con 2014



On Thursday May 30 – Saturday May 31st, Book Expo and Book Con took place at the Jacob Javits Center. Book Expo America (BEA) is the trade show part of the show, while Book Con is more open for consumers. From Thursday to Friday it was strictly trade show, but Saturday was open to public. While it was open on Saturday to the public it was still separated on the show floor. Basically parts of the con were kept as BEA, while the rest of the it was Book Con. So if you weren't press, an author, publisher, etc then you were not going into the BEA section. I was lucky enough to get press, so it was weird and kind of cool at the same time because of the fact that in the BEA section it wasn't as crowded, you could actually stroll through that section without being shoulder to shoulder with everyone.

Thursday of BEA was the best day to go meet and talk to a lot of the authors and of course get books. It was surprising to see what books were published by which companies, just because of the great variety each company had. It was incredible to see which companies were into publishing certain types of books as well. If you were an author looking to get your work published with a company, there was definitely a company there that would fit exactly what you are shopping around. And if you were more into self publishing, then they had plenty of resources for you as well. Bibliophiles and authors would have found this expo heavenly. That’s the beauty of Expos such as the BEA, it allows you make those connections direct connections with authors and publishers and talk to them about the industry. As well as ask any questions you may have about publishing or the industry, seeing which publishers would be into publishing your story/idea, and which kind of stories are gaining popularity and which ones are starting to gain popularity. The enormity of the booths a lot of the publishers had were just impressive. It gave you an idea great idea of variety of books that are published by these different publishers. Publishers that you thought only published children’s books, were also big into publishing young adult fantasy and crime thrillers as well.

I didn't keep a tight schedule in terms of interviews. I just set up a few interviews and just enjoyed the con itself. I do regret not going Friday to meet Stan Lee, because once Saturday hit it was insanity. For some odd reason they started the lines for the E hall panels out by the escalator. It wasn't just the line for Stan Lee, it was the line for any panel you wanted to go see in that particular hall. So you had no idea how long the line for the panel you wanted to go see was. And that line stretched out from the escalator almost to the other side of the convention. The line for the Amy Poehler & Martin Short panel, had no real organization. It started out as a cluster of people, and then at the last minute of the panel actually starting, everyone was told to line up. So even if you got there early you may not have been able to get to the front of that line. So it was like going to a panel at NY Comic Con.

Some of the Authors and editors I was able to talk to were: author/writer/blogger/geek Eric Smith who was signing his latest book “The Geek‘s Guide to Dating“, author Stephanie Bond who I talked to about her latest book “Two Guys Detective Agency”, author Nathan Whitaker who was promoting his latest book “Snap Decision”, and editor JR Han who was promoting his companies latest release of classic Chinese legends in graphic novel form. All were great to talk to; getting to hear how they started writing, what research or background they used when writing their perspective books, and hearing how much passion and joy they have in their projects. It was a honor to meet these great individuals read of course read their work.

Stephanie Bond (Author)

Myself and JR Han (Publisher)

Myself  & Nathan Whitaker(Author/Biographer) 

Eric Smith at his signing


After leaving BEA/Book Con I left with a lot of reading material that will keep me engrossed for a long while along with my huge stack of graphic novels I need to catch up with as well. As I said if you are someone who loves books, wants to publish or get published this was the convention for you. Everyone there was kind, courteous and if you didn’t have to wait on a long line you had a good time. Big thank you to Becki Ortiz for doing the filming for my interviews and taking some of the photos of the authors and editors I met with that day. Don't know what I would have done without her.

The Geek's Guide to Dating: Book Review


The Geek's Guide to Dating
by: Eric Smith
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: December 3rd, 2013


Eric Smith's The Geek's Guide to Dating isn't a typical or stereotypical dating book guide. This is the strategy guide to dating that geeks or non geeks alike can use. The book itself is as detailed as a World of Warcraft game, a symphony orchestral piece of music, or any sports playbook. Each chapter is goes into each phase of dating; starting with yourself, assessing your strengths and weaknesses,to the actual date itself. It even includes the break up that may/may not occur. Eric Smith does it in one of the smartest ways imaginable treating it like an old school game of D&D combined with the modern MMORPG. The use of modern geek terms, and quotes or events from movies, games, and comic books flows so well within the book that even non-geeks who may not get the significance of the references would still be able to follow and understand what he is saying in the guide. 



While it is a male targeted book, a lot of what is written in the can be and does apply to both genders. While he may refer to the person reading the book as “He”, the advice given is Universal. Advice such as choosing your wingman/woman. He gives you attributes that will help in choosing such a person that will work to your advantage and what will hurt you overall. Good Attributes: In a relationship, More outgoing, and Has your back at all times. Bad Attributes: Doesn't know that he/she is the wingman, Is a member of the opposite sex. 

One aspect of dating that I'm glad he talks about that a lot of people need to stop using as a negative term is “The Friendzone”. My own pet peeve with that is that there is nothing wrong with The Friendzone. Most people who are in relationships are the best of friends and some relationships started out as friendships. I strongly believe that if you can't be friends with the person you are pursuing, meaning that you couldn't see yourself just hanging with them having fun on a regular, then how is it you already see yourself in a relationship with this person. Eric goes into it saying that being friendzoned, puts you in a special place in this person's life as someone they trust. It's also a better starting point for you to get to know that person a lot better. 

Another aspect he covers is fashion and while he gives some great tips for what to wear on your first and second dates, he gives some great advice on emulating fashion based on iconic Scifi heroes. Heroes such as the 9th & 10th Doctors (Doctor Who), Han Solo (Star Wars), and even the original Captain James T Kirk. From the top down to the shoes, he gives great ideas on how to emulate those iconic costumes that won't make you stand out like a cosplayer at a dental convention. 

I found the book to be a fantastic guide for anyone starting to date, already in a relationship, or needs better advice after a bad break up. Or for that friend that just doesn't get it, and needs something to give them that epiphany of what they are doing wrong. A lot of this book is common sense, in the way that if are someone who has been striking out you'll quickly pick on why and if your current relationship is going well you'll see why as well and even pick up a few tips to keep it going that way. The 8 bit art woven in the pages of the guide are well done and it really adds to the overall theme of the book. It's a great and fun read. Worth picking up just for the geeky references alone. 

Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: Book Reveiw


Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls made a nation cool
Revised Edition with Flaps
By Brian Ashcraft with Shoko Ueda
Tuttle Publishing
Paperback: 208 Pages 
Release Date: May 13, 2014

"For years, Japanese schoolgirls have appeared in hugely-popular anime and manga series such as Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Blood: The Last Vampire. These girls are literally showing up everywhere—in movies, magazines, video games, advertising, and music. WIRED Magazine has kept an eye on the trends emerging from these stylish teens, following kick-ass schoolgirl characters in video games like Street Fighter and assassin schoolgirls in movies like Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. By talking to Japanese women, including former and current J-Pop idols, well-known actresses, models, writers, and artists—along with famous Japanese film directors, historians and marketers—authors Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda (who have both contributed to WIRED's "Japanese Schoolgirl Watch" columns) reveal the true story behind Japan's schoolgirl obsessions."

In Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda explore one of the biggest and most recognizable symbols of Japan, the Japanese school girl. The Japanese school girl represented a lot of things to people in Japan. For many it was a reminder of their own youths, for others it was who they are and who they will be. Japanese school girls represented the future of Japan. These young ladies would become future Doctors, Lawyers, or even Artists. But this book isn't about what these young ladies will become; it’s about how these young girls influenced an entire culture throughout the years and even now. Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda delve deep into the influences of the Japanese school girl. They go in on how the uniform was adopted and eventually made into a Japanese staple. From the cultural to the pop culture aspects of Japan, Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential puts the not only the school girl, but the uniform itself as an iconic status.

In each chapter of the book Ascraft gives readers an in depth look of each aspect of the influences that Japanese school girls have in Japanese society and the eventually the world. With every chapter acting like sections of life, he gives you an in-depth history of every aspect. So not only do you get to know how these school girls influenced the mainstream, but you get an understanding of the culture and some of its Western influences. Fashion was one of the biggest industries to be influenced by Japanese school girls. The magazine EGG in the early 90’s did do your typical fashions like you would find in vogue, but once they started shifting their gears towards the younger generation it was total boom in sales. Not only were school girls their main focus, but they were their cover models, their journalists, and even their fashionistas. School girls ran the industry because they weren't as much influenced so much by what was out there. Their style came from the fact that they were stuck in a uniform for most of the day, so they came up with more inventive ways to be cool in/out of school. They were the trend setter of the young, so a lot of people took notice. School uniforms became so fashionable that there are stores that sell only uniforms, but of course designed more for fashion and by no means a substitute uniform for school.  When it came to technology school girls changed the game heavily. According to Ascraft, when pagers became the tool of the business man, school girls saw them as another way to communicate with friends in secret because they didn't have the privacy they wanted at home. They developed their own numerical code, and when pagers gave the ability to text actual words, they fully took advantage of that as well. If not for school girls using pagers the way they did, they would have stayed in the business market as opposed to the mass consumer market. And when cell phones came about, if your phone had the ability to text and send emails you were among the top sellers. Like with every teenager, if you give them the ability to communicate without having to be in the same room as the person, they will in sense abuse that ability heavily.

Brain Ashcraft really gives you a great book on culture and influence in Japan’s society that spans decades. In certain chapters at first he goes into the historical significance of that aspect in Japanese society, and then he’ll bring in the influences that these girls and their uniforms had on it. So it’s a like a history book that focuses on thing, but gives you so much more. His detailed information and storytelling really help to understand how iconic the Japanese school girl is. The illustrations, photos, and his one page comic book-esque interviews with actual school girls at the end of every chapter help pull the insights of this book together. The actual pages mimic note book pages, pictures made to look like cutouts, with stickers all around. It feels like in a sense that, even though they are young, young women run Japan. It’s almost a testament to what the school uniforms represent, which is that long road ahead to graduation that is filled with big dreams and aspirations. That these young ladies can do just about anything and the whole world caters to their every wants and desires.