Boise’s 2015 Anime Oasis Convention Comes to a Close; Reaches Record Attendance; 2016 to See Expansion

11196299_10152707909986269_825436462154574663_nMay 26, 2015 – Boise, ID – This past Memorial Day weekend saw the return of Boise’s longest running four-day anime convention, Anime Oasis, hosted on three floors of The Grove Hotel and Century Link Arena in downtown Boise, as it has been for it’s sixth year running.  From it’s humble beginnings in 2002, hosted at a Best Western motel in south Boise, Anime Oasis has endured the ebb-and-flow of changing economies and population booms,  having run consecutively for fourteen years straight, as of this year.

IMAG1092Calling western/southwestern Idaho home, this appropriately named convention has nearly doubled in attendance in just the past few years, with peak attendance for this year reaching 2591 unique paid attendees (an increase of 521 from last year alone), according to Jeremy Loppett, Anime Oasis’ chairman and founder, on the Anime Oasis Facebook page.  Not huge compared to some of the larger conventions in other parts of the U.S., however for a small to mid-sized city like Boise, nestled into the Mountain West’s Treasure Valley region, with a population of less than 250, 000 (just under 1.75 Million for the entire state of Idaho…Portland, Ore. alone has over 1/2 million residents) being a long-standing exclusively anime/Japanese pop-culture oriented convention as a fixture amongst in the reagion for going on two decades, has been something that local fans and cosplayers have really appreciated and have enjoyed calling their own over the years, in having the opportunity to meet in person, get autographs by and listen to panels from world-renowned voice actors, artists, and other talent relevant to the world of Japanese animation, manga, gaming, music, or acting.

Photo from Grovehotelboise.com

Photo from Grovehotelboise.com

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The Boise Centre (Photo from Idaho Business Review)

Burgeoning attendance can be a double-edge sword, between stretching facility resources and staff a little thin, and resulting in more crowded convention space, 2016 will see Anime Oasis’ first facility expansion since 2009.  Not only will Anime Oasis 2016 (dubbed Anime Oasis SP) be hosted at The Grove Hotel and Century Link Arena, but will share convention space within part of the adjacent Boise Center, adding a considerable amount of space for events, activities, artists, vendors and con-goers alike.

Summer Fiction Releases LP ‘Himalaya’ on June 16, 2015!

Review by Kara Shaw
HIGHRES_SF-CoverSummer Fiction is my go to summertime band. Their Himalaya LP, out 6/16/2015, is happy from start to finish; like sitting on the patio with sangria in my hand happy.

Spin Magazine said, “Brian Wilson-like melodic levity meets Johnny Marr-influenced guitar jangle.”

It’s obviously true where influences come into play on this album, but if we are going to be true to genre here don’t forget Dick Dale.  Let’s go back to the source, shall we.

With a light 60’s feel and exuberant vocals, my favorite song so far, “Perfume Paper”, harkens back to The Mamas and the Papas, and I can see it as the perfect tune for the end credits of a Mad Men episode.

Chris Marshall & the August Light Release Their Debut Full-Length Album – ‘Some Kind of Dream’ June 23, 2015!

Review by Kara Shaw
SomeKindOfDreamOn June 23, 2015, Portland, Oregon-based Chris Marshall & The August Light will celebrate the release of their latest full-length album.

When I first started listening to Chris Marshall & the August LightSome Kind of Dream, I was hastily going to compare them to the dreaded N word… Yes, Nickelback. It’s the graveling voice and slightly whiney nature of the beginning of the album. I had read that this album was hard to sequence because of the different moods and genres being touched on. Synth pop, folk, indie, atmospheric rock…woe is me.

I turned it on and almost tuned it out, but not for long. I was clicking along working and then “Break Bread” came on. My ears perked up and my fingers hit the volume button.

Dark Horse Debuts New Characters in Popular Line of Game Of Thrones Figures!

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MAY 19th, 2015 – Milwaukie, OR — Dark Horse is now revealing new additions to their successful ongoing line of figures based on the hit HBO® series Game of Thrones®!

We have been floored by the response to these figures, Dark Horse product development head David Scroggy noted,and these will give fans the new favorites we have come to know as the epic saga unfolds.

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Sansa Stark, the oldest Stark daughter, fled King’s Landing to the Eyrie with Littlefinger’s assistance after Joffrey’s murder and now travels alongside him. The figure measures 7.75” in height.  The fine detailing of her black and midnight blue dress is exactly as seen in the HBO series.

Image Expo Returns to San Francisco, July 2015

Image Comics takes industry by storm with a line-up of exciting creator-owned announcements

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Image Comics is thrilled to announce the return of IMAGE EXPO, taking place once again in the San Francisco Bay Area, on July 2, 2015! Image Comics will floor fans with a slate of all-new, exciting creator-owned news and creator appearances. The event is open to all fans, comics retailers, librarians, and members of the media.

This will be an all-day event, featuring such guests as Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA), Brian K. Vaughan (SAGA, WE STAND ON GUARD), Steve Skroce (WE STAND ON GUARD), Tula Lotay (SUPREME: BLUE ROSE), and Greg Rucka (LAZARUS). In addition, there will be special surprise guests in attendance.

Tickets to the event are now available for sale. Image Comics is pleased to offer early bird pricing through the end of May 2015 with General Admission tickets available at $20 and Premium Admission tickets available at $50.

Dark Horse to Publish ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection’ 

The Definitive Collection of ‘Masters of the Universe’ Minicomics!

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MAY 11, 2015: MILWAUKIE, OR—Following the critically acclaimed release of The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Dark Horse and Mattel have teamed up once again to deliver another must-have book in 2015: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection.

The toy juggernaut Masters of the Universe and its subsequent action figure lines featured memorable pack-in minicomics that aided in playtime for children across the world. Clocking in at 1,232 pages, this impressive oversized hardcover collection features sixty-eight US releases, including all minicomics from the ’80s Masters of the Universe line, the ’80s Princess of Power line, and the ’80s and ’90s He-Man line, plus an introduction to the minicomics in the current Masters of the Universe Classics toy line—all in production order. Relive the illustrated adventures that fueled your imagination!

IDW Publishing Honored With 11 Eisner Award Nominations for 2015!

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eisnerawards_logoSan Diego, CA (April 22, 2015) – The 2015 Eisner Award nominations recognized IDW Publishing with eleven nominations, with books being represented in multiple categories. The prestigious award ceremony, held annually at San Diego Comic-Con International, honors exemplary work from the past year in comics.

 

“We’re once again very gratified to get this notice for our books,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief. “Our nominations this year are a great sampling of the breadth and diversity of the kinds of books we publish here. We work very hard to produce the highest quality books in every category we are in and these nominations in themselves are much appreciated.”

IDW’s 2015 Eisner Nominations: 

Best Limited Series
- Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Garbriel Rodriguez

Best Publication for Kids
- Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Garbriel Rodriguez

Best Anthology
- In the Dark: A Horror Anthology, edited by Rachel Deering (Tiny Behemoth Press/IDW)
Best Coloring
- Nelson Daniel (Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, Judge Dredd, Wild Blue Yonder)
- Matthew Petz (The Leg) (Top Shelf/IDW)

Best Archival Collection/Project-Comic Books
- Steranko Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
- Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn, by Hugo Pratt, edited & designed by Dean Mullaney (EuroComics/IDW)

Best Comics-Related Book 
- Genius Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, vol. 3, edited by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)
- What Fools These Mortals Be: The Story of Puck, by Michael Alexander Kahn & Richard Samuel West (LOAC/IDW)

Best Cover Artist (shared)
- Francesco Francavilla (The X-Files: Season 10)

 Best Lettering (shared)

- Todd Klein (Nemo: The Roses of Berlin) (Top Shelf/IDW)

Eisners Announce 14 Nominations for Image Comics!

In celebration, digital editions of all nominated titles are on sale for a limited time

eisnerawards_logoDark_Horse_ComicsComic-Con International announced the nominations for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2015 this morning. Seven nominations were for books published by Image Comics, and an additional seven nominations were shared with other publishers, bringing the total nominations for Image Comics to 14. In celebration of the industry’s support of creator-owned comics, digital editions of all nominated titles are on sale at ComiXology, Google Play, and iBooks.

 

FULL LIST OF IMAGE COMICS EISNER 2015 NOMINATIONS:

Best Single Issue (One-Shot):

  • MADMAN IN YOUR FACE 3D SPECIAL by Mike Allred

Best Continuing Series:

  • SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  • SOUTHERN BASTARDS by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour
  • THE WALKING DEAD by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, & Stefano Gaudiano (Image/Skybound)

Best New Series:

  • THE FADE OUT by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
  • THE WICKED + THE DIVINE by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

Best Writer:

  • Jason Aaron, SOUTHERN BASTARDS (shared nomination)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick, PRETTY DEADLY (shared nomination)
  • Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA (shared nomination)

Best Penciller/Inker:

  • Mike Allred, MADMAN IN YOUR FACE 3D SPECIAL (shared nomination)
  • Fiona Staples, SAGA

Best Cover Artist:

  • Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE (shared nomination)

Best Coloring:

  • Laura Allred, MADMAN IN YOUR FACE 3D SPECIAL (shared nomination)
  • Matthew Wilson, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE (shared nomination)

Valiant 25th Anniversary Convention Tour Heads to C2E2 2015 w/ Exclusives, Signings, & More!

Valiant-logo-main-masterThis weekend, the Valiant 25th Anniversary Convention Tour is bringing BLOODSHOT REBORN,NINJAK, DIVINITY, X-O MANOWAR, and more of Valiant’s best-selling series to C2E2 2015 – Chicago’s premier comics and pop culture convention!

From Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April26th, join Valiant inside the South Building at McCormick Place Convention Center for a weekend packed with special guests, Valiant programming, C2E2-only exclusives and debuts, giveaways, and more!

Stop by Booth #327 to discover the best-reviewed publisher in comics today by shopping a complete collection of Valiant trade paperback and hardcover collections! Plus: don’t miss Valiant’s latest array of convention-only exclusives, beginning with the BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 C2E2 Exclusive Variant! Featuring an all-new cover by fan favorite artist J.K. Woodward (Star Trek: The Next Generation), jump on board the acclaimed new ongoing series from New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and visionary artist Mico Suayan right here! Then, check out two brand new Valiant t-shirt designs debuting this weekend at C2E2 2015 – including the first-ever DIVINITY t-shirt, featuring artwork by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic, and the official Valiant 25th Anniversary Convention Tour t-shirt, featuring the first wave of tour dates from Valiant’s silver anniversary celebration and artwork by Tom Fowler!

And look for signings all weekend long from an all-star cast of Valiant creators, including Matt Kindt(NINJAK, DIVINITY, RAI), Clayton Henry (IVAR, TIMEWALKER), and more!

Then, join a panel of Valiant staff and creators on Friday, April 24th at 4:15 pm in Room S405b for Valiant 101: The Story Starts Here – a step-by-step panel presentation detailing the origins of X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Ninjak, Dr. Mirage, and more of Valiant’s top heroes and villains. Looking for where to start with Valiant? This is the panel for you!

Finally, on SaturdayApril 25th at 1:30 pm in Room S403, get the inside track on all of Valiant’s silver anniversary plans with the Valiant 25th Anniversary Celebration! From NINJAK and BLOODSHOT REBORN to the upcoming events of BOOK OF DEATH, find out what’s coming next for the Valiant Universe’s greatest heroes with an all-star panel presentation featuring writer Matt Kindt, artist Clayton Henry, Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce, Valiant Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani, and more!

ONI PRESS OPEN SUBMISSION GUIDELINES!!

OniOn May 1st, 2015, Oni Press will be opening submissions to the public. We are on the hunt for new stories from new creators, featuring characters that reflect the diversity of the world around us. Oni Press has always valued content and execution, and we are looking for creators and projects that can support our goal to publish excellent, varied and original work.

WHAT ONI IS LOOKING FOR:

PITCHES - Cartoonists and writers, we’re looking for pitches. If you’re a cartoonist who can write and draw we’d love to see what you have. Writers, this is the day you’ve been waiting for—we are looking at story pitches without necessitating an artist attached. If you already have an artist lined up you think is up to snuff, fantastic! But if you’re a writer who needs help finding an artist, if your pitch is THAT good, we will help partner you up.

PORTFOLIOS - Illustrators and colorists! If you think your work is up to snuff and you are looking to be paired up and you think your artwork would fit in amongst some of the best storytellers in comics, now is your chance to prove it.

WHO SHOULD SUBMIT:

Anyone with a unique perspective and a firm grasp of the comics medium.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE:

An excellent sense of storytelling and well-developed characters with a definite perspective.

Ari    WHAT ASSOCIATE EDITOR ARI YARWOOD WANTS TO SEE:

I got my start in literary journals and feminist pop culture critique (shoutout to Bitch). I’m looking for complicated and nuanced characters with a developed perspective. I want to see diversity and originality, and I want stories with underrepresented characters—all I had in my formative years was Livejournal and The L Word, and no one should have to rely on The L Word to see themselves reflected in media. I’m a big fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and literary fiction fan, but most of all I want to read something I haven’t seen before. My favorite movie is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, because life is a rich tapestry.

 Robin   WHAT EDITOR ROBIN HERRERA WANTS TO SEE:

I started off in the YA/Children’s book world and I think that world has a lot of crossover with the comics world in terms of story and execution. I want fully-realized characters (not necessarily “strong” or even “likable”) with agency and direction. I want unique perspectives and different takes. I’m into a lot of different genres: high fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, literary, romance, coming-of-age, and anything that has to do with weird food-based Battle Royales. Or Battle Royales in general. (I wrote my graduate thesis about point of view choices in Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.)

    CharlieWHAT SENIOR EDITOR CHARLIE CHU WANTS TO SEE:

The biggest thing I would like to see from incoming submissions is more diversity in not only the voices we publish, but also the kinds of stories and characters in our books. For too long a period of time, we’ve seen way too much of the same ideas from the same narrowing demographic of creator get pitched to us, and the only way to change that is to evolve the pool of creators we are talking to. If you are a female writer or artist, someone who identifies as a person of color, or LGTBQ, consider this an invitation and please come pitch us. We’re not looking for affirmative action in our books by any means, but with the readership growing larger by day, it’s important we find space for new voices who bring new ideas to the table while still maintaining the same level of pop appeal that defines the Oni Press library. As the tentpole and genre focused member of editorial, I’m hoping to find fast-paced and ambitious books that center around grounded, believable characters with the same diversity as the world we live in, and most of all, books that are fun, accessible, and original.

    JamesWHAT EDITOR IN CHIEF JAMES LUCAS JONES WANTS TO SEE:

Oni Press has always been a place focused on publishing comics for an audience inclusive of a wide demographic. With other publishers finally catching up, it’s important for us to continue to break boundaries and continue to grow the diversity of our line. Our catalog has always been diverse, but it’s time for that variety to be reflected in the characters starring in our books and the creators making them. I’m looking for inventive stories with rich characters, a thoughtful approach to comic book storytelling, and a dedication to craft. You should be pitching us fully realized, considered pitches that continue the long Oni Press tradition of character-driven narratives that don’t fit in with other publishers’ conventions.