Vietnam 1969: Young men grouped in a shallow bunker discussing heroes. This is how the comic opens, in a tone that is dark, yet hopeful. Hopeful for the end (a theme this issue keeps); hopeful for the end of the chaos and destruction. We see this theme in the world today. We may not be at war now in the traditional sense of the word, but we are at war. We are at war with each other. A fight over equality, science, and wealth is here in our country, rearing its ugly head and threatening many people's lives. In war, we search for allies, for those who see what we see, for those who help to bear the burden. Soldiers need allies, too. This story is a story of two allies who met as soldiers.

As the impact of the Coronavirus continues to reverberate throughout the comic book industry and our society as a whole, we at Fanbase Press would like to provide an opportunity for all comics industry professionals to join together in solidarity. On Saturday, August 1, at 10 a.m./PST, Fanbase Press will host its weekly Creator Forum: Group Discussion, an hour-long, informal discussion about the positive ways to cope with the changing comics landscape. Taking place via the Zoom platform (video and audio), the Creator Forum will be free to join and limited to the first 100 attendees to RSVP. The previous Group Discussions have been a great success, with creators, publishers, media professionals, and educators from across the comics medium discussing new and positive ideas. We hope that this discussion will provide an opportunity to re-connect with colleagues, to find new resources and information, and to build hope in collaborating with other comics creators.

I have occasionally wondered why the NASA program that sent people to the Moon was named after Apollo, the sun god, and not Artemis, goddess of the moon. Well, apparently, I’m not alone. NASA’s new initiative to return to the Moon is called the Artemis program. And fittingly, one of their goals is to put the first woman on the moon.

When I saw the title of this panel, I was immediately sold. Puppets, fantasy, and musicals are three of my favorite things. It’s an extremely short panel, only 20 minutes, but well worth watching for anyone who’s a fan of puppetry and the stories you can tell with it.

It wouldn’t be Comic-Con without a panel of Kevin Smith in Hall H, telling stories and answering questions. Well, it’s not Comic-Con. It’s Comic-Con @ Home. So instead, we have a panel of Kevin Smith at his home, which debuted Saturday, July 25th. There’s no Hall H, and there are no fan questions… But according to Smith, that might not be such a bad thing. We don’t have to stand in line for hours on end to get in. He doesn’t have to worry about whether or not he’s getting laughs. He just stood in front of the camera to talk about whatever he wanted, and we can watch it at our leisure, from the comfort of our own homes.

Quick recap of “New Sheriff in the ‘Verse” so far: Surprise, surprise… Blue Sun’s been behind the super-soldier-pain-in-the-butt problem plaguing Mal so far. Why the interest in the newly minted sheriff remains less clear. Meanwhile, the Chang-Benitez Gang keeps biting off more than they probably wanna chew…

Executive producer and analytical mastermind Daniel J. Glenn welcomed San Diego Comic-Con’s virtual Comic-Con@Home audience to the Friday, July 24, panel, The Mandalorian and His Many Gadgets.  Joining Glenn as subject matter experts were Dr. Michael Dennin from Science of Superman, Star Wars Tech, and the speculative television series Ancient Aliens, and bio-engineer Ben Siepser.  

San Diego Comic-Con International’s virtual Comic-Con@Home program of panel streams on their YouTube Channel included a fan favorite back for another year: “The Psychology of Star Trek vs. Star Wars”  Brian Ward (The Arkham Sessions) starts the panel by holding up a Star Trek tricorder and a Star Wars blaster, proving he was qualified to be an objective moderator.  Two clinical psychologists will discuss Star Trek and Star Wars through a psychological lens, and two special guests who have worked on these powerhouse IPs will bring subject matter experience and knowledge to the discussion.  The objective: to provide a venue for the audience to observe a healthy and fun debate regarding two beloved franchises.

Before there was CGI, there was Ray Harryhausen. Before dinosaurs roamed Jurassic Park, they were battling it out in the Valley of Gwangi. Before Bruce Campbell fought a battalion of medieval skeletons in Army of Darkness, Jason and the Argonauts were fighting off sword-wielding skeletons of their own. Stop-motion animation may seem primitive by today’s standards, but the movies Ray Harryhausen made, and the creatures he brought to life, are some of the most iconic in cinema history.

Upload is a rather silly comedy, but underneath the surface, it tackles some deep and complex issues and puts a unique perspective on a lot of things. Therefore, as you might expect, the Comic-Con @ Home panel, which premiered Thursday, July 23rd, also dealt with some deep and complex subjects in a unique way. And, of course, it also had a fair amount of that weird silliness that makes the show so much fun.

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