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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.

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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.