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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Rose City Comic Con Announces Full Schedule of Programming and Additional Guests

 


Rose City Comic Con Announces Full
Schedule of Programming and Additional Guests 



Three Days Packed with Special Celebrity Appearances, Industry Expert
Panels, Fan Meetups, and More Take Over the Oregon Convention Center September
22-24









Portland, OR (August 29, 2023) – Rose City Comic ConOregon’s premier comic convention, is
proud to announce three days of packed programming complete with exclusive
panels, celebrity appearances, over-the-top cosplay, and more, taking over
the Oregon Convention Center from September 22-24.
More than 50,000 pop-culture enthusiasts will unite to celebrate the strong
creative community in Portland, while bringing together passionate artists,
creators, gamers and fans from across the country. Rose City Comic Con continues
to grow and position itself as an annual can’t-miss-event in the Pacific
Northwest. Attendees can start planning their Rose City Comic Con experience
and view the full schedule online at:
 rosecitycomiccon.com/programming





Highlights from Rose City Comic Con
2023 include:









Celebrity & Comic Guests



Hear from some of the
biggest influencers from the world of pop culture and comic books at panels,
screenings, Q&As, and more. Our star-studded lineup includes Zoe
Saldana
Karen GillanFelicia DayRalph
Macchio
Rebecca RomijnTravis McElroy, the cast
of Critical Role, and many more. For a full lineup of confirmed
guests, visit: 
rosecitycomiccon.com/guest









Main Stage (Portland Ballroom) events
include:



·  Anne Yatco, Kaiji Tang, and Adam
McArthur Spotlight (Friday - 1:30PM)



·  Eric Vale Spotlight (Friday - 2:45PM)



·  Anjali Bhimani Spotlight (Friday -
4:00PM)



·  Steve Blum Spotlight (Friday - 5:15PM)



·  Travis McElroy Spotlight (Friday -
6:30PM)



·  Critical Role Spotlight (Saturday -
10:15AM; reservation required)



·  Karen Gillan Spotlight (Saturday -
11:45AM)



·  Jess Bush Spotlight (Saturday -
1:00PM)



·  Mark Sheppard Spotlight (Saturday -
2:15PM)



·  Rebecca Romijn (Saturday - 3:30PM)



·  Felicia Day (Saturday - 4:45PM)



·  Cosplay Competition (Saturday -
7:30PM)



·  Alex Kingston and Arthur Darvill
Spotlight (Sunday - 11:45AM)



·  Ralph Macchio Spotlight (Sunday -
1:00PM)



·  Wonder Woman Historia: Creator
Spotlight (Sunday - 3:00PM)









Star
Wars Fan Experience



The Star Wars Fan
Experience features over 3,000 square feet of pure Star Wars magic in 
Destination
Cosplay
. Located in B113-116, Star Wars Fan Clubs transports guests to a galaxy
far, far away. The experience includes a Mandalorian throne, jail cell and
forge set, an X-Wing cockpit, and a behind the scenes look at the incredible
props and costumes!



Weird
Stage


An exciting, unusual,
brand-new experience awaits guests at the Weird Stage! Located in the Oregon
Ballroom (203-204) and next to the VooDoo Ranger Beer Garden, the stage is
an explosion of fandom focused trivia and quirky content that is uniquely Portland.
Guests are invited to celebrate all things weird, while also enjoying pints
from the beer garden and lawn games like corn hole and horseshoes. Highlights
include:



·  FOGTOWN Unveiled! A puppet-based
mystery-comedy (Friday - 2:00 PM)



·  Weird Bagpiping 101: A Q&A
Tell-All with The Unipiper (Saturday - 12:45PM)



·  USS IMPROVISE: The Next Generation,
the musical (Saturday - 8:00PM)



·  ChefPK's Reverse Maid Cafe (Sunday -
11:45AM)



·  Talent Show Battle! Hosted by
@chewycosplays (Sunday - 3:30 PM)



Book
Fair



Rose City Comic Con Book
Fair is proud to partner with the world’s largest independent bookstore, 
Powell’s Books! Book Fair is a headquarters for lit lovers featuring author guests
Terry Brooks, Travis Baldree, Lauren Beukes, N.E. Davenport, Fonda
Lee, and more. Guests can head to Room E145-146 for Book Fair panels
throughout the weekend, and enjoy signings right after the panels at the RCCC
Bookstore, powered by Powell’s – Booth #1007. 



Creator
Pro 



Calling all aspiring pop
culture professionals! Unlock your potential and dive into the world of comics
with the Creator Pro track at Rose City Comic Con. Fans will have the
opportunity to have a Portfolio Review conducted by Editors from Dark Horse
Comics and DC Comics (applications are now closed), as a way to kick start
their career in the world of comics. Immerse yourself in a lineup of engaging
events designed to help you break into the business of comics. Guests can head
to Room E145-146 for Creator Pro panels throughout the weekend. Highlights
include:







·  APHNN: Black Creators vs the Alphabet
Gang (DEI & AI)  (Friday - 3:15 PM)



·  Indy Asian Creators- Self published
works from the start (Friday - 4:15 PM)



·  Mastering the Art of Script Writing
with Kelly Sue DeConnick (Saturday - 2:45 PM)



·  So you want to work in comics? The
Fine Print Crew! (Saturday - 6:30 PM)



·  From Idea to Execution: A Crash Course
on Indy Projects with Weird Enough Productions (Sunday - 1:00 PM)









Rose
City Jr


Rose City Jr provides
hours of fun with entertaining and educational programs for families, including
interactive workshops with characters from hit shows, costume parades, an
entire stage dedicated to kids activities and more.



·  Kids Cosplay Parade - (Saturday and Sunday - 12:00PM,
Hall E)  Kids will have the chance to strut their stuff and show off
over-the-top outfits in not just one but two costume parades inside Rose City
Jr. Entry is limited to the first 30 registrants. All kids will receive a keepsake
for participating.



·  The Force Experience - (Hall E) The Jedi of Saber Guild
Felucia Temple are looking for younglings to train in the ways of the force!
Come see the Jedi demonstration of force and saber handling, followed by a
hands-on training class. Foam training lightsabers will be provided for use
during instruction. Please note that this event has a capacity of 30 children
and requires a safety waiver to be signed. 









Additional Programming Highlights:









·  Destination Cosplay - Cosplay panels all
weekend long in D137-140, Cosplay Meetups in B117-119, and the RCCC Cosplay
Competition Saturday 7:30 PM on the Main Stage



·  Comics panels all weekend long in
E141-144 including:



o
Spotlight on Blacksad with Juanjo Guarnido and Diana Schutz (Friday -
3:00 PM)



o
Spotlight on Matt Kindt (Friday - 5:00 PM)



o
Exploring the world of Hellboy ft. Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Michael
Avon Oeming (Saturday - 12:00 PM)



o
The Mimi and Greg Show Live! Ft. Mimi Chan and Greg Rucka (Saturday -
3:45 PM)



o
Dark Horse Manga ft. Carl Horn and Zack Davisson (Sunday - 2:00 PM)



·  GeekFest Film Fests (Saturday - 7:30PM -
9:30PM, Room D135 - 136)



·  Wacom Stage (All weekend long, Booth 1001)



·  Tabletop Gaming (Friday - 1:00PM - 8:00PM,
Saturday - 10:00AM - 9:30PM, Sunday - 10:00AM - 5:00PM, Oregon Ballroom 201 -
202)



·  Video Gaming (Friday - 1:00PM - 8:00PM,
Saturday - 10:00AM - 9:30PM, Sunday - 10:00AM - 5:00PM, Rooms C120 - 122, C123
- 124, C125 - 126)











WEBSITE: rosecitycomiccon.com is updated regularly with new
guests, exciting exhibitors, and special programming.









MOBILE APP: Available for download on the App
Store or Google Play store, fans can access information, schedules, maps, and
more on their phones plus receive live updates.









Download official logos and access photos from past Rose City shows here



(credit LeftField Media)



SOCIAL MEDIA:



  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoseCityCC



  Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoseCityCC



  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rosecitycc









About Rose City



Founded in 2011, Rose City Comic Con is Portland’s largest and most
diverse comics convention. Building from the strong, independent creative
community in the city and combining well-known artists, creators, celebrity
guests, and cosplay enthusiasts in a family-friendly atmosphere, RCCC brings
together a variety of passionate fans in one epic weekend. Rose City Comic
Con is a creation of LeftField Media.









About LeftField Media 



LeftField Media, LLC is an events company focused on developing
face-to-face events in a range of communities rooted in contemporary culture
and shared passion. LeftField was formed in 2014 by Greg Topalian (CEO, Clarion
Events) and Kelly Comboni (President, LeftField Media) and is now owned by
Topalian and Clarion Events Ltd. With a keen sense of the evolving needs of
businesses and their consumers, as well as new opportunities created by change,
LeftField takes a clean slate approach to its work. LeftField’s portfolio
includes Awesome Con (
awesomecon.com), Washington D.C.’s Comic Con; Rose City Comic Con (rosecitycomiccon.com), in Portland, OR; Anime NYC (animenyc.com), New York City’s Japanese pop culture festival; and Anime Frontier (animefrontier.com) in Dallas-Fort Worth. LeftField
Media is headquartered in Shelton, CT (
leftfieldmedia.com).



 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Invincible Vol. 1: Family Matters

 Title: Invincible Vol. 1: Family Matters



ISBN: 9781582407111

Price: $12.99

Publisher/Year: Image Comics, 2015

Artist:  Corey Walker

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Collects: Invincible #1-4


Rating: 4/5


Mark Grayson is the son of Nolan and Deborah Grayson. Nolan is an extra-terrestrial who has committed himself to being a hero on Earth having left his own planet as part of their version of National Service. Nolan is taken by planet Earth and against his superiors’ better judgement, settles on earth in an independent role doing good by averting natural disasters and rounding up the baddies, be they terrestrial or just visiting for a spot of mayhem. Nolan can do everything Superman can with the additional gift of a rather splendid moustache. That crucial difference has won Nolan a wife, Deborah. Although his square jaw and the fact that he removed a car from Deborah may have contributed…


Mark is told about his father’s occupation whilst still young and gains his superpowers whilst at work in a burger outlet, soon after meeting the local teen group of superheroes, the Teen Team. Taking the name Invincible, together with the Team, he solves a bombing spree based not on ideologically-based terrorism, but the bullying of the perpetrator’s son by High School Jocks.


Despite similarities with Superman which initially appear a little trite, the story veers off in its own direction with a verve and an occasionally tongue in cheek approach which gives ‘Family Matters’ a brio which is very welcome. Mark comes from a loving family so doesn’t have to avenge a family tragedy; his mother recognises his superpowers and apparently accepts his new-found status with a phlegmatic acknowledgement that evening meals may be even more erratic with two family members flying about the place heroing and generally saving the world.


Cory Walker’s art is clear, clean and simple and yet is capable of intermittently surprising by conveying depths such as the hidden worries of Mark’s mother, his gaucheness with attractive female superheroes or in dispatching pesky aliens whom, as he correctly surmises, don’t belong here. A potential quibble could be the matter of fact way in which issues are identified, faced and overcome, but Robert Kirkman starts as he continues, dropping some cracking surprises, embracing change and keeping matters light-hearted and fun.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Locke & Key Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega

 Title: Locke & Key Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega



ISBN: 9781613779965

Price: $29.99

Publisher/Year: IDW Publishing, 2014

Artist:  Gabriel Rodríguez

Writer: Joe Hill

Collects: Locke & Key: Omega #1-5, Locke & Key: Alpha #1-2


Rating: 4.5/5


I feel like my re-read of “Locke & Key” went by in a flash. It could be because my re-read of “Sandman” was a few volumes longer, but I think that it’s also the fact that Joe Hill has created something that has depth, complexity, and some great horror and fantasy moments that is well packaged and easily digestible. I found myself kind of dreading the end, as I knew that it was going to pack an emotional wallop, but once I picked up “Alpha and Omega”, I basically devoured it in a sitting, taking breaks only to weep into my hands because of said wallop.


I don’t even know where to begin as I review the end of this series. Hill has built up to this moment, and you know that there are going to be a lot of casualties and a lot of collateral damage as Dodge makes his final moves into trying to open the Black Door, but when it centers around graduation night and a high school party in the caves, the stakes are raised to the highest point that the series has seen. It’s up to Tyler and Kinsey to try and stop Dodge, though they have no idea that Dodge has inhabited Bode’s body. So when Dodge does start wreaking havoc, all through the body of a child, it’s just heart-rendering to see. Especially since all the chaos that unfolds involves teenagers, and therefore other children. No one ever said that Hill was sunshine and rainbows, but I had forgotten just how goddamn bleak this last arc is as the horrors unleash and demons do their best to overtake Lovecraft, and perhaps the world at large. It’s a great reveal, it all comes together and makes sense in terms of what we’ve seen so far, and it is a fantastic climactic story arc for this series with awesome horror moments and full fledged mythology. And a whole lot of death, a lot of it coming for characters we have come to care for.


But there are also a lot of wonderful bits of hope throughout this tale. We’ve followed the Locke children (as well as their mother and uncle to lesser degrees), and now we get to see them come to the end of their journey and to live up to the potential of who they are meant to be, as Lockes and as people in general. Tyler and Kinsey have come so far as characters, and through the highs and lows of both I came to just fall in love with them both all over again, just like I did the first time I read it. They are teenagers with a lot of pain in their hearts, and they are messy and damaged, but they are also, ultimately, great people who love their family, even as the family has gone through something terrible and hasn’t figured out how to come through the other side just yet. Hill writes them both as incredibly human, and as such sometimes they just made me want to throttle them, and other times I want to hug them and never let them go. By the time we got to the end of their journeys, Tyler’s in particular, I was a weepy mess.


There are a couple things that don’t work. One is how Hill writes Jordan’s, Tyler’s girlfriend’s, final storyline. I feel like we never really got to fully explore Jordan as a character, as she was relegated to ‘bad girl with a heart of gold who pushes those who care for her away’. We’ve seen it before. She’s more there to give Tyler the ability to learn and grow, and I felt like she deserved more than that. There is also one big moment (no spoilers here) that didn’t really get the explanation I think that it needed, but ultimately these things are minor within the grand scheme of what does end up working. Because so much works.


And one more shout out to Gabriel Rodríguez. His artwork is so fantastic, and there are a lot of moments in this book that have emotional beats that fully rely on the visuals as opposed to what is being said.


“Locke & Key: Alpha and Omega” is a near perfect ending to a fantastic series. I am so glad that I decided to revisit it, as I feel like I got even more out of it this time than I did on my initial read. I imagine I will revisit the Locke Family in the future, as they and the story they have is a wondrous dark fantasy horror creation with so much heart.


A practically perfect ending that made me weep, “Locke & Key (Vol. 6): Alpha & Omega” brings it all to the finish with emotion, horror, and hope.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Locke & Key Vol. 5: Clockworks

 Title: Locke & Key Vol. 5: Clockworks



ISBN: 9781613776995

Price: $17.99

Publisher/Year: IDW Publishing, 2013

Artist:  Gabriel Rodríguez

Writer: Joe Hill

Collects: Locke & Key: Clockworks #1-6


Rating: 4.5/5


As we know I’ve really been enjoying this re-read of Joe Hill’s dark fantasy horror series “Locke and Key”, though I’ve been saying the whole time ‘I don’t remember when and how a lot of this is all going to come together’. The exposition has been building and building and it’s been getting close to the end of the series and there are still a lot of questions to be answered. I remembered really loving the series overall, but I think that the first time I read this I was like ‘okay, I have two books left and few answers, is this going to pay off?’. Because it has to pay off.


And my God, does it pay off. Everything comes together so perfectly and with such thoughtfulness and intricacy that I was just blown away, even though it is my second time reading this book. Joe Hill’s storytelling prowess is at its best in this volume.


There are two major reveals in this story right when things have started to get dire for the Lockes (even if they don’t realize how dire). Given that Kinsey killed Dodge, and Dodge (or whatever it is) moved its consciousness into Bode’s body without them knowing it, the race is on for the Lockes to discover the truth before Bode/Dodge can find the Omega Key. The first reveal that we see we jump into right away, which is the origin of the keys, Keyhouse, the demon, and how the Lockes are connected to it. And we go all the way back to the Revolutionary War, in which we meet a young locksmith named Ben Locke, who discovers that hidden Minutemen have opened a door deep in a cave that has let an evil out that they are trying to put back and contain. The first time I read this I remember thinking that it went on a little long, but this time I thought that this origin story of the Black Door and the keys was pitch perfect. I loved the setting, I loved the connection to the Locke Family (and the backstory for the Lockes, who were victims of Red Coat tyranny), and I loved how Hill sprang this all on us but still managed to make it feel in depth and well explored. He lays his magical system out bare, and it falls into place with ease.


Our second big reveal is we finally, FINALLY, get to see how Rendell Locke and his friends ran afoul Dodge, as well as explanations as to how back in the day Dodge Caravaggio became the Dodge that we know now, how Ellie Whedon became so broken, and how Erin Voss lost her memories and her consciousness, and how ALL of it relates to the keys. And it’s done in a way that doesn’t feel super exposition-y, as we get another key reveal that allows for Tyler and Kinsey to go back in time to see everything happen, and to get a new perspective on their late father. While I do think that we didn’t get enough exploration of all of Rendell’s friends (specifically his girlfriend Kim; I appreciated that Hill tried to make her complicated, but she just came off as cruel and privileged more than anything else), the backstory itself is so fantastic, so heart wrenching, and so SCARY as a bunch of kids who have been bestowed a monumental responsibility of guarding keys get too complacent… and all hell breaks loose. Good God is this an emotional story arc, as we know how things turned out for a few of our characters, but we didn’t know how they got to that point. Hill makes it so complex, satisfying, and devastating, and it adds compounded grief as two kids who lost their father in a terrible act of violence have to see his biggest mistake that ruined lives as it unfolds. Goddammit, it hurts, and it’s beautiful.


And the artwork continues to be great. I can’t praise Gabriel Rodríguez enough, and he has this way of creating the most grotesque and disturbing images as well as the most tender and joyous.


This penultimate volume is fantastic. We will finish up this re-read with the next and last volume, “Omega”. I’m not sure I’m ready to be emotionally destroyed by it, but it’s time regardless.


Fantastic pay off for all the build up before it, “Locke & Key: Clockworks” is the strongest in the series so far.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Locke & Key Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom

 Title: Locke & Key Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom



ISBN: 9781613772072

Price: $17.99

Publisher/Year: IDW Publishing, 2011

Artist:  Gabriel Rodríguez

Writer: Joe Hill

Collects: Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #1-6


Rating: 4.5/5


After I set “Locke & Key (Vol. 4): Keys to the Kingdom” down, I realized that I only had two collections left until the end. This re-read has gone by pretty quickly, and it had been long enough that I feel like I’m finding brand new things with each moment I turn the pages. I had been talking a bit about how patient and deliberate Joe Hill has been up until this point, but in “Keys to the Kingdom” things have started to speed up, which means that the intensity has started to build as well. And that has mostly been a positive thing.


Plot progression has picked up again in this volume, and boy does it ever! Hill covers a lot of territory in this collection, but he manages to do it in such a way that it doesn’t feel like it’s bloated, nor does it feel like things are being rushed. He opts to focus on certain things, but does show snippets of the Locke kids battling it out with Dodge over keys, as well as conflicts they are having with each other in the story arc “February”. I liked how it puts in the effort to have development for our characters, but doesn’t get bogged down in EVERY conflict they have with Dodge. We also get to see more backstory to Rendell and his high school friends, as Kinsey, Tyler, and Dodge run into Erin Voss, Rendell’s childhood friend who is now committed to a mental asylum. Kinsey is desperate to know what the connection is to Rendell, Voss, and the secrets they were keeping, while Dodge wants to keep Erin’s mouth shut since in her addled state she still recognizes him as her childhood friend. This also led to a kind of awkward within present context optics plot point, in which Kinsey and Bode use one of the keys to change their race so they can visit Erin, as her rantings make it seem like she is super agitated by the presence white people (let me just say that this isn’t the case, though I won’t reveal what I mean). I definitely understand the way that Hill used it to make a greater point about how Black people are perceived by white people in American society, and there is a moment that I thought was genuinely poignant at the end of the issue, but pretty much putting Kinsey and Bode into magical black face so they can learn a lesson about the humanity of Black people didn’t really land for me. It just felt a bit patronizing. But by the end everything had made a comeback for me, as a significant plot development that signals the last third of this series knocked my socks off. I knew it was coming, but it was still VERY well done, and ups the stakes to the highest levels they’ve been thus far.


And in terms of character development this volume was top notch. For Tyler, he is starting to feel the weight of all the difficult things in his life, and it’s making him overwhelmed and under severe pressure. His only solace is his girlfriend Jordan, whom he is head over heels in love with, and while Jordan obviously cares deeply for Tyler, she is pretty damaged. Which, of course, leads to problems down the line, and Tyler starts to think that being strong is something he can achieve through magic, much like Kinsey tried to extract her fear through the same means. It’s a pretty heavy moment when Tyler feels enough despair over everything that he turns to something that may not work out the way he wants it to. And speaking of Kinsey’s issue, we see all of that coming to a head now too, as having a lack of fear and grief has not only affected her relationship with Nina, it has also started to affect her friendships. Funnily enough, having no fear and no grief has made Kinsey a pretty shitty and selfish friend, and the most interesting part of this entire arc for me is that she recognizes this, but literally cannot bring herself to care because of her actions with the Head Key.


And finally, the art continues to be visceral and gory, but with a bit of a nostalgic twist in one of the stories. The first story, “Sparrow”, involves Bode trying to make friendships but preferring isolation, and he eventually puts himself into the body of a sparrow for a bit of time. And this is all drawn and written in a way that is in tribute to “Calvin and Hobbes”, a comic that has been near and dear to my heart since I was a small child. While it’s true that some of the juxtapositions of the nostalgic and bright Watterson style mixed with the gore and violence of “Locke & Key” is unnerving, I honestly thought that it was super charming and fun to give Bode this kind of adventure with a loving tribute to a cartoonist and storyteller that clearly inspired the Hill and Rodríguez.


“Locke & Key (Vol. 4): Keys to the Kingdom” has left us two thirds of the way into the story of the Locke family, and we are now heading for the final showdown between them and Dodge over the keys in Keyhouse. I know where we are going, and I’m still a little nervous to tread into the places that I know are coming up. But Hill and Rodríguez have something truly wondrous in store, and I’m ready.


Some things come to a head in this volume plot wise, with some social commentary and “Calvin and Hobbes” love thrown into the mix, which is a pretty good combination for the start of the final issues of this series.

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