With Issue #44, IDW’s Angel series comes to a close. IDW has taken the vampire with a soul through a multitude of adventures during their time with him, some good and some less than good. While the final issue of Angel is not exactly the pulse-pounding ending the series deserves (and some of that can be blamed on Dark Horse’s snatching of the license), they do manage to deliver something the tortured lead character is not necessarily used to: a sense of hope.
Here’s a quick summary of Issue #44:
While Connor attempts to use his unusual powers to save Anne from the demon baby growing inside her, Laura channels her anger over the death of Mr. Polyphemus into a protection spell that is barely holding off the epically evil James. Just when all seems lost, a portal opens courtesy of the future version of Illryia, and our hero Angel comes jumping through.
James and Angel trade punches until James gains the upper hand. Using the vanishing gem provided by Darrow, Angel is able to momentarily immobilize James, but a twist of fate knocks the gem from Angel’s hand, sending it through a portal to the farthest point of the outer realms, or as James calls it, home. With the help of Connor and his new super powers, James is defeated and the demon inside Anne is born without killing her.
Back at the new offices of Angel Investigations, the team reflects and bonds over the events of the previous issues. Angel makes a final stop at Wolfram & Hart’s white room to make it clear that he’ll always be there to stand in their way. And even if he’s not, Connor is following in those footsteps. In the final shot of the series, Angel does his trademark exit down an alley as he contemplates Doyle, Cordy, Wes, and his other fallen friends. They’ve always been and continue to be his reason to keep fighting. It’s time to get back to work.
Michele Brittany is an independent popular culture scholar who is the editor of James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy (2014) and the Bram Stoker-nominated Horror in Space: Critical Essays of a Film Subgenre (2017), both from McFarland & Company. Additionally, she serves as the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics.
She is also a freelance journalist/photographer, having worked with Bleeding Cool (online and print), The Beat, Heathen Harvest, Comics Forum, and TrueAchievements. She has presented at Southwest Popular Culture Association, WonderCon as part of the Comics Arts Conference series, and at the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference, which she also co-chairs. In addition, she has moderated panels at Long Beach Comic Expo, Long Beach Comic Con, WonderCon, as well as at San Diego Comic-Con International.
Finding free time between writing, editing, and working a full-time day job, you can find Michele writing her first book on mummies, reading, hanging with her kitty, watching Netflix, or playing video games. (Assassins Creed: Origins is her new favorite, along with Witcher III: Wolf Hunt!) She is sure that, in a former life, she was a medieval cat herder.
Michele is a Horror Writers Association academic member.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @unexpectedhobby
UnexpectedHobby on Etsy
A Geek's Guide to Cross-Stitch: Journeys in Space
Claire Thorne (née Clarissa) is a small-town girl who transplanted to the big city with few regrets that aren’t completely made up for by having a Starbucks within constant spitting distance. Growing up in the lawless wilds of New Mexico and Arizona, she eventually landed at The Grand Canyon but completely took for granted the view from her own backyard.
Upon landing in Los Angeles, she collected a highly valuable liberal arts degree, found herself a husband, and settled down in a suburb voted “Easiest to Escape From in the Event the World Ends.” She encourages her artist husband to draw more zombies than is healthy and frequently fights with her teen-aged son over who gets to spend the most time on their Nintendo Switch.
Claire takes an “all-inclusive” approach to her geeky fandoms. From utopia to dystopia, hard sci-fi to space opera, history to fantasy, normal to paranormal, magical to muggle, superhero to villain, pre-apocalyptic to post-apocalyptic … all are welcome. Unless there are spiders, then she’s out.
She would very much like to see Tom Waits perform live preferably on the International Space Station. At this very moment, she is reading about the end of the world and wondering what her next tattoo will be.
Claire is the proprietor of Unexpected Hobby on Etsy, where you can find a fine selection of geeky cross-stitch patterns. She is the author of A Geek’s Guide to Cross-Stitch: Journeys in Space, currently available from Fanbase Press.
Desmond Walsh is the only Director of Concept Development for the Aero Space Defense Industry with Secret Level Clearance who also writes and illustrates comic books. Although this has not been measurably proven, it is very likely a fact based on many awkward and short-lived conversations started by Des about comic books with high-ranking members of the Department of Defense.
Des attended Massasoit Community College, Syracuse University, and the Stern School of Business at New York University while achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus on finance. This lengthy and very expensive educational background was clearly the ideal choice for anyone wanting to work in comics.
Des is thrilled for the opportunity to provide content to Fanbase Press and is looking forward to many long conversations about comic books…. or ballistic helmets or body armor or air crew helmets or digital night vision or impact protection. He is well versed in all of these areas and can be reached at DesmondMWalsh (at) gmail (dot) com.
Erica McCrystal lives in New Jersey, where she dabbles in various activities from triathlons to collecting penguins. She earned her Ph.D. in English from St. John’s University, writing her dissertation on urban Gothic supervillains. She currently does a little teaching, a little writing, a little coaching, a little editing, and a lotta momma-ing.
If Erica were stranded in a deserted Gotham City, she would want the complete works of Charles Dickens, running shoes, and a flashlight.
Erik Cheski is an actor who works in a Diamond Certification Lab, where he comes into contact with chemicals and equipment that would make for a great origin story. Having lived in the fantasy worlds of books, video games, tabletop games, and the absurd realm of theatre for longer stretches than the normal one, it’s somewhat a surprise that only in recent years he’s begun picking up these picture books and diving into their world, too. He’s always looking for stories that resonate, and he loves finding them in the oddest of places. He mourns the passing of the Star Wars EU and is hoping to watch, play, read, and know everything ever, a work perpetually in progress.
Gabe left a successful career as a high school teacher and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for writing and entertainment. He’s an avid pizza enthusiast, he’s surprisingly good at pub trivia, and he finds inspiration from the films of Kevin Smith and the novels of Neil Gaiman. He co-hosts a weekly Futurama fan podcast called Another Lousy Millennium, and part one of his first comic, For Molly, is available for free on his website. He's originally from New Jersey.
J.C. Ciesielski is a writer/actor/snark junkie living in Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys anime, movies, manga, video games, and the like. You can usually find him doing one of those things, probably while enjoying a frosty beverage. He really enjoys making fun of stuff, but it doesn't come from a mean place, just finding the humor in everything. For example, that shirt you're wearing. Be sure to add him on Twitter and say, "Yo!"
The die was cast at around age 7. I had seen Star Wars, too many times to count at that point, and my parents bought me a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars despite the somewhat risqué cover by Michael Whelan. They changed everything. I decided that I was going to write a book: Murder in Manhattan by Justin Peniston. Note that I didn’t think I was going to be a writer when I grew up. I was still circling around astro-physicist, marine biologist, or Captain America. (Seriously.) I couldn’t conceive of being a writer as a job, because it was clearly something that people did for fun.
It wasn’t until college, shortly after finishing my first real short story, that it occurred to me that I was on my actual career path. Even then, when my buddies asked me if I wanted to move to LA with them, I was tempted to say no. I was going to write prose. I was going to write comics. Who needed LA? But DC had grown… dull. I knew that I needed longer paths, farther away from the convenience of my parents and my oldest friends.
Since then, it’s been Blue Beetle and JSA and Eternal Descent and Avengers Assemble! and Ben 10 and Mega Man: Fully Charged! and Hunter Black and Fanbase Press… and my beloved Squirrel. (And as for Murder in Manhattan? The main character was named Jim White, which was a name used by an amnesiac Superman in an old comic, after Jimmy Olsen and Perry White. It never got much farther than that.)
From alternating Batman and Green Lantern as childhood Halloween costumes, to getting punched in his adolescent heart by Love & Rockets, to playing convention sidekick to the legendary Len Wein, comics have been a part of Kevin's entire life and are his favorite artform.
A TV, feature film, and comic book writer, Madeleine is the winner of the Sloan Fellowship for screenwriting and the Gold Aurora and Bronze Telly for a PSA she wrote and co-produced with Women In Film. She also won numerous awards while completing the UCLA MFA Program in Screenwriting.
BOSTON METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY webcomic is the recipient of an Honorable Mention at the 2013 Geekie Awards and was nominated for Best Comic/Graphic Novel for the 2014 Geekie Awards. The comic has also been nominated for a 2012 Airship Award, as well as a 2013 and a 2014 Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice Award. Her novella, Steampunk Rat, was also nominated for a 2013 Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice Award.
She currently has novelettes and novellas available in all eBook formats based on the BOSTON METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY universe. Her goal is to eventually develop a series of novels based in this world.
Formerly a nationally ranked epee fencer, she has competed nationally and internationally. She is an avid reader of Steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, and historical military fiction. In addition to her M.F.A. from UCLA, Madeleine also holds a B.A. in Politics from U.C. Santa Cruz and an M.A. in Arabic and the Cultural History of the Arabs from Columbia University in New York.
Madeleine lives with her rocket scientist husband David and two rescue dogs, Ripley and Bishop.
She is represented by Melissa Rogal at Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, and Adler.
Paul's Website: www.paulpakler.com
Paul Pakler was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he first started acting professionally at the age of ten. He graduated from Point Park University, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting. Paul was also presented with the Raymond Laine Outstanding Senior Award by Point Park’s Theatre Department.
Paul currently lives in New York City, but he has acted all over the country (and once in The Bahamas). His skills as a character actor have led him to portray an array of roles and genres from broad physical comedy to intense drama. For his performance as Ray in Joe Penhall’s Some Voices, Paul was awarded the OC Weekly Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, 2005.
In college Paul was a founding member of the sketch comedy group The Animal Club where he functioned as a writer as well as an actor. Since that time Paul has written spec scripts, one-act plays, sketches and songs. Last year he produced a workshop of A Night at the Agora, a comedic one-act that he co-wrote with Christopher Warren Gilbert. Paul is currently developing a pilot script for a sitcom about homeless people in New York City titled Welcome to Paradise.
Recently, Paul has begun performing as a guitar comic around New York City. He has performed at The Gotham Comedy Club and The Underground Lounge.
He imagines them waiting in anticipation for an answer, wondering: Who is Phillip Kelly? I was once told by a friend that what we do defines who we are. I like to tell stories. A lot. I’ve been accused of this, as if it was something to be held against me. Especially by my mother who always “caught” me in what she would call a “lie” . . . to each their own. Today, other than a few people, the entirety of nature and the pizza place just down the street, without hesitation, I can safely say – yes, I love stories more than anything else. Here are the ways in which I tell stories: acting; standup comedy; the silent half of the vaudeville duo, Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy (www.snapperbuddy.com); the very vocal Jeremy Gayhorse and other comedy characters; filmmaking as a screenwriter, director, editor, producer; I have dipped my toes into the world of writing indie, self-published comics (which I will return to soon); writing/directing for live theatre/sketch comedy, which I have produced more than my fair share of; and tap dancing. I love movies of all kinds, classic lit, video games, opera, jazz, music, etc., and I spend way too much money on comic books every week. Oh, and peanut butter. I love peanut butter. So, to answer the question fairly and without bias: Who is Phillip Kelly? I like to think of myself as peanut butter.
Russ Pirozek is a Michigan transplant now living in Southern California. From an early age, he embraced being a nerd and intended to work in video games as a concept artist. It was while in art school that he discovered that art is super hard, and he wanted to be a writer anyways.
Now, a few years into that dream, Russ is a published freelance comic book writer and avid loud-talker about television, movies, gaming, and comics.
His Twitter is @RSPirozek, just in case you wanted to see him not tweet.
Scott Larson has worked in the comic book industry for over a decade. In addition to drawing comics for Capstone Press (Marie Curie and Radioactivity), Markosia (Kong: King of Skull Island, Heretic), AC Comics (Femforce), Moonstone Books (The Saint), Zenescope Entertainment (1000 Ways to Die, Hook), and Bluewater Productions (Victoria’s Secret Service), Scott is the creator of the independent comic book series, Visitations, which depicts the history of Chicago as seen through the eyes of the residents of the city's oldest cemetery. He also interviews cosplayers and comic and entertainment professionals on his YouTube channel.
Steven W. Alloway
Steven's website: www.youtube.com/user/thegentilewoodyallen
Steven W. Alloway is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Professionally, he writes articles about Internet Marketing and occasional blog posts about air conditioning, as well as a variety of other topics that are not as boring as they sound. In his spare time, he writes sci-fi and fantasy stories, which are also sometimes about air conditioning. He's the author of the short story "The Man in the Mirror," which was recently published in the fantasy/crime anthology "Mortis Operandi," as well as the children's sci-fi story "Riley and the Paranormal Phenomenon." Both are available on Amazon, if you care to look.
A lifelong theater geek, Steven also runs the community theater troupe Spirit OnStage, as well as its film offshoot, Spirit OnScreen, which between them produce plays, short videos, webseries, and other forms of entertainment, on a virtually nonexistent budget. Having grown up with Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who, his dream is one day to create something that inspires a fandom.
In his spare time, Steven enjoys reading, baking, and watching movies. If this writing thing doesn't work out, he hopes to pursue a second career as a time traveling secret agent.
Tony's website: quixoticworld.wordpress.com
Tony Caballero discovered comic books after his father left a box of them behind in the divorce. He got the better end of the deal, and a lifelong love of storytelling was born. Condemned by prophecy (and teachers and his own wicked soul) to be a writer, he received his B.A. in Film/TV from Chapman University and his M.F.A. in screenwriting from UCLA. In addition to his day job, Tony was the Literary Director at the Attic Theatre in Los Angeles, directing the Southern California premiere of Starcrossed (www.starcrossed.biz) and is currently the Director of Publicity for Whedonopolis.com and a writer/executive producer on The Katniss Chronicles. His most recent movie, Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story, was produced by Lifetime.
Likes: Springsteen, good books, intelligent movies, clean modern architecture, smart, cute girls with glasses, and rain.
Dislikes: Bad drivers, trendy food, heat waves, and writer's block.
Tony is haunted by the ocean, the smell of old books, and the sound of train whistles, all of which appear in his best writing.
Website: Joss-Xian Universe
Twitter: @BioProfX / @SlayAliveForum
Xian Tan is an esoteric mess. He’s wanted to be an elephant conservationist, a paleontologist, a marine biologist, a writer, and a goatherd. He earned a B.S. in Molecular Biology (with minors in English Lit and Math) and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology. (Well, that’s a life goal accomplished.) Naturally, he’s an Assistant Professor of Biology at a Historically Black College/University where he frequently references Disney and pop-culture in class. Other than his contributions on Fanbase Press, his assorted musings can often be found on SlayAlive, a Joss Whedon-centric fan forum.
His interests – in no particular order – are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, dinosaurs, Firefly/Serenity, cetaceans, Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat, The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, post-colonial Asian literature, queer-centric literature, female-centric sci-fi, '90s teen comedies (so much fodder for dissection), cooking opulent meals with his husband, puppies, and dad jokes.
He has an intense phobia of snakes.
The following is an interview with Michael Freedman, who owns the comic book store Comic Smash in Studio City, California. Freedman shared his thoughts with Fanboy Comics President Bryant Dillon on the upcoming Free Comic Book Day and what Comic Smash had to offer those looking to celebrate this special day for fans of the comic book genre.
This interview was conducted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011.
Dear Conan O’Brien and Staff,
As a longtime viewer of your show, I must submit a formal complaint. You are too humorous for your own good.
Prior to watching the newly-released Thor movie in theatres this past weekend, I was privy to your cut of the Thor trailer. Needless to say, I have been unable to watch the Marvel-generated trailers when they appear on television in the manner in which they were intended. Unfortunately, all of Thor’s dialogue has resonated in my head in a flamboyant and highly effeminate tone. In fact, I was brought to laughter in the movie theatre this past weekend when Thor repeated the lines that appeared in your cut of the trailer.
BRYANT DILLON President, Co-Founder, & Director of Velociraptor Resources
bryant (at) fanbasepress (dot) com
BARBRA DILLON Editor-in-Chief, Co-Founder, & Director of Jedi Recruitment
barbra (at) fanbasepress (dot) com
Barbra Dillon is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fanbase Press, an Eisner Award-nominated publishing company and geek media outlet that seeks to produce new and distinctive works that give voice to the themes, ideals, and people that make “geekdom” so exceptional. She also serves as an Advisory Board member and Co-Coordinator of Programming and Marketing for The Latinx Comic Arts Festival. Outside of the comics community, Barbra is the Director of Marketing Operations for Gemelli Biotech, as well as an award-winning voice-over actress with credits including The Katniss Chronicles (Katniss Everdeen) and Pendant Audio's Phantom Canyon (Clara).
DREW SIRAGUSA Senior Contributor and Head of TARDIS Maintenance & Repair
drew (at) fanbasepress (dot) com
Andrew Siragusa hails from the ostensibly fictitious-sounding village of Fredonia. The harsh Western New York winters forced our young lad to stay indoors frequently, so much of his childhood consisted of watching movies or staging plays with his sisters and cousins.
If you asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would have given one of two answers: either an astronaut or Spider-Man. As he got older, he realized the impracticality of both options, so he landed on the reasonable goal of being a screenwriter.
In 2007 he moved to Los Angeles and made the cross-country road trip from New York to California in just under two days.
He received several screenwriting awards from his school’s short film festival. They are currently on display above his father’s television. Most recently, he was featured on Google maps.
He is still waiting for that damn radioactive spider to bite him.
SEAN FOSTER Graphic Designer and Head of Lightsaber Maintenance and Repair
Sean Foster was born and raised in Washington, DC. He went to college at Point Park University, majoring in film and video. Raised on comics, anime, and video games, he has become the geek boy you know and love today. Spider-man is his hero, and Star Wars is his bible.
Sean has loved to write and draw ever since he was a child. He also started making movies on his parents' video camera at the age of 7, where he would write, star, and direct in every film. Right now, Sean works at Drinkmore Water just outside of DC and is saving up to make the move to Los Angeles, where he plans on making a career as a voice actor.
JODI SCAIFE Senior Contributor and Director of Fantastic Beasts (and Where to Find Them)
Jodi Scaife was born in Salem, Massachusetts, but, despite her parents’ upbringing, the universe was determined to try to mold her into a Southern lady as her family relocated to Austin, TX, before she hit the tender age of two. The universe’s attempt to mold her into something classy and cultured failed miserably, as Jodi was a wild tomboy from the moment she could walk. The one thing that could slow toddler Jodi down was a good book, and she developed a deep love of reading from a very young age. She continues to love reading and jokes that she will read anything she can get her hands on, although she will draw the line at gossip mags and car guides.
Austin has gotten under Jodi’s skin, and she seems to always end up back there, even though she has lived in San Antonio and Nagoya, Japan, as a college student. She has studied Spanish, German, Chinese, and Japanese and can fake fluency in Spanish and Japanese.
Jodi is owned by five dogs and three cats who do not always approve of her love of anime, manga, books, comics, and anything else geeky that distracts her from her job as their caretaker.
TRAVIS LAKATA Creator of the Geeky Parent Guide, Senior Contributor, and Guardian of Fantasia
travis (at) fanbasepress (dot) com
Travis likes to turns his writing talents toward the creative realm, which he plans to make a full-time reality at some point. He hopes to publish a collection of his short stories ranging from general to science fiction, and has self-published three books in the Weiland Kershaw series, with the fourth currently in edit.
He grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation, video games like Legend of Zelda and Kid Icarus, and playing basketball almost every day of his youth. His favorite comic books early on were X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, and WildC.A.T.S. The book that catapulted his love of science fiction happens to still be his favorite – Sphere by Michael Crichton.
Now, his wife and kids drive him to keep doing what he loves, because he wants his kids to know it’s okay to go for it. His go-to show is still TNG, but close behind all-time are Fringe and Lost. His ultimate goal is to be a fiction writer of novels, short stories, comic books, TV shows, or movies.
Some of my favorites:
Date Night Movie: 10 Things I Hate About You
TNG Book: Dark Mirror
Fanbase Press celebrates fandoms and creates new ones! As an Eisner Award-nominated comic book publisher and geek culture website, Fanbase Press produces new and distinctive works, as well as daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts, that span the pop culture spectrum and give voice to the themes, ideals, and people that make geekdom so exceptional.
Fanbase Press believes that #StoriesMatter. Acknowledging the importance of stories and the impact of storytelling is at the core of the organization. Universal communication through stories allows us to examine the essentials of human existence, to understand ourselves better and to grow and/or heal, to pass on important values, knowledge, and lessons to the next generation, and to connect with one another through empathy and compassion. Fanbase Press holds a commitment to looking beyond the simple entertainment factor of pop culture storytelling in order to find the value that each story offers to us as individuals, our world, and/or the human condition.
The company was founded in 2010 (originally under the name Fanboy Comics) rebranded to Fanbase Press in May 2016 by co-founders Barbra and Bryant Dillon.
Fanbase Press' graphic novels, including the 2018 Eisner Award-nominated Quince, the 2020 IPPY Award-winning Quince: The Definitive Bilingual Edition hardcover, the 2022 International Latino Book Award-winning Nuclear Power, the 2019 IPPY Award-winning A Geek's Guide to Cross-Stitch: Journeys in Space, the 2014 Bram Stoker Award-nominated Fearworms: Selected Poems, Ripple Effects, The Sequels, The Margins, The Gamma Gals, Something Animal, Identity Thief, The Arcs, and Penguins vs. Possums, are available online at www.fanbasepress.com.
"...searingly dark, low-dialogue dreamscapes that boast surreal art styles and inconclusive narratives—much like a nightmare does." - Famous Monsters of Filmland
When Daphne and Craig move into a new apartment, they are unaware of the hidden terror lurking in their home. Will they discover that something from another world is seeking a way in before it's too late?
Written by: Bryant Dillon (Something Animal)
Illustrated by: Meaghan O'Keefe (Romancing the Bridge)
Genre: Horror, Psychological Thriller
Printed Price: $14.99
Join Identity Thief:
Story and Art by Michael Troy
Press Release from Prism Comics:
Michael Troy is Going Gaga! for everyone's favorite Fame Monster with an Exclusive Pre-Sale through Prism Comics!
Los Angeles, CA—Michael Troy and Lethally Blonde Productions (The Blonde Squad, Crotchmen) are offering an exclusive pre-sale of Going Gaga!, an unauthorized pop culture satirical comic book account of the rise of everyone's favorite Fame Monster.
"I don't think an artist has sang this strongly to my gay little heart since Madonna and I just had to express myself on paper," says Troy. "In addition to looking at a phenomenon, this is also a love letter from a fan."
As an added incentive, the first 100 people who pre-order Going Gaga! through the Prism Comics Online Store will receive a free copy of Troy's comic book, The Blonde Squad, about a group of shallow blonde superheroes. Books that are pre-ordered will arrive in early to mid-June. The 20-page comic in full color retails for $2.99.
Dear Mr. Tarantino:
On behalf of fan-boys (and fan-girls) everywhere, thank you for the many films that cultivated our adolescence. Our teenage years were laid to a soundtrack of K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the '70s, as we mimicked some of the coolest, most bad-ass characters that we had ever witnessed, the likes of which had not been portrayed since Boba Fett. The wit of your dialogue and the ingenuity of your storylines captivated us and spawned a generation of Tarantino groupies.
Having viewed the faux-trailers in the midst of Grindhouse and, most recently, Inglourious Basterds, I must beg of you: please choose your friends and business partners more wisely. It seems as though you have fallen into the wrong crowd, Mr. Tarantino, and by the wrong crowd, I mean Eli Roth. While your films were once intelligent and violent with an artistic flair, they have become so over-the-top with the gore and camp that characterizes Roth’s films that I shudder in disbelief when your name rolls through the credits. You are quickly falling off the pedestal on which your fans had placed you, and I would hate for movies like True Romance, Reservoir Dogs, and Pulp Fiction to be tainted by association.