Monday, October 15, 2018

Keystone Comic Con Review







            This September I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Keystone Comic Con at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Considering this was my first official comic con adventure the introduction was incredible. Their were numerous panels, attractions, and vendors that made the entire place full of both new and classic nerd culture.

            The Con was divided into several sections throughout the Convention Center. The main stage was on the third floor away from the vendors and the lower level the gaming zone. This made it so the event was not over crowded.  While the con covered three floors of the Convention Center it was extremely easy to get around due to both their programs and a kick ass app sponsored by Webtoons. 

            The main floor is contained an Artist Alley, the Live Stage, cosplayers, and vendors. In the cosplay corner, you could go take pictures with cosplayers and get advice about cosplay and constructing costumes. Next to the cosplay corner was artist alley, where you could see various pieces of original fan art as well as commission  an original art piece. The Live Stage hosted the cast from The Office, music, and comedy.  This place even had live wrestling!        
           
Note to self: Make a budget before you attend a con!  I wanted to buy all the things.  You could purchase everything from custom costumes, tiny hats, comics, games, toys, and nightmare inducing teddies. 





            The Gaming Zone had to be one of my favorite parts of the Con.  The zone included about 50 different screens running games for Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox.  There both classic and current games available for play.  Some of the featured games included Mario, Donkey Kong, Just Dance, Street Fighter, Mario Kart, Tekken, Smash Bros, Rock Band, and Dragon Ball FighterZ.  There is something about dancing and singing at the top of your lungs in a room full of strangers that is just unforgettable.




            Another highlight, was attending a panel with the legend,  Frank Miller. It was amazing to hear the stories behind The Dark Knight, Sin City and The 300.  The moderator was very knowledgeable about Miller’s career  and constructed questions the dove deep into his career and gave the audience a good amount of time to ask questions. Additional panels featured the cast from The Office and True Blood and talents such as John Barrowman, Ray Park, and Catherine Tate.  




            Keystone Comic Con was well-run for a first-time convention. There was an abundance of volunteers to assist patrons.  Effort was made to consider inclusion for all fans by including such things as a Family Zone and an explicit harassment policy.  The organizers were able to get sponsors for many of the features of the Con such as lanyards, programs, charging stations, an app. The nerd community made the entire event feel amazingly fun and unique. Keystone Comic Con is great addition to the comic con landscape.  I plan to return August 23-25 2019!

Awesome DMT
Chanda Telleen













You can follow me @ctellen


Pilot Season: God Friended Me







CBS has a long history of courting religious people with semi-religious programming.  Its a part of their model to appeal to older, white Americans and one of the reasons CBS is the most watched television network.  Those white viewers love procedurals and drama's that have a moral( in their mind) right and wrong and an hour later, the bad guy loses and the good guy wins.  Like it or not, its their winning formula.

All the way back to Little House on the Prairie to Dr Quinn to, Promised Land, to Touched by an Angel, CBS has always flirted with overt religious themes in their programming.  This new entry, God Friended Me stars Brandon Michael Hall, who was on the criminally underrated, The Mayor on ABC last year.  He stars as Miles Finer, a young, atheist, who is one day friended by God.  Of course, he deletes the request but it keeps coming, as well as requests from people who keep popping into his life to help.

I am a little bothered by the idea of the Magical Negro.. a television and movie trope that always places God/religion on Black people as they help white people on their spiritual journey.  The twist with him being an atheist is interesting, but the foundation of Magical Negro is still there. And I wonder, if they will explore the potential romantic relationship between Miles and Cara as they are clearly the two leads.

Of course Miles thinks this is some crazy plot by unknown folks trying to sabotage his success as he is looking to get his podcast onto Sirius XM.

His friend group includes. Rakesh and Cara, a woman placed in front of him to help him on her "spiritual" journey of forgiveness of her mother.  Overall the show is carried by Hall. His charm and acting elevate the show and its shaky premise.  The shows themes are relatable and I can see how the people at CBS thought this show would be a hit with their audience.  Plus, it reaches their diversity mandate with a Black lead and a supporting cast member who is Middle Eastern.

For me, as a person who was formerly religious, its a no for me, but I would definitely recommend this show to my more religious friends.

The Producer



Pilot Season: The Neighborhood






The Neighborhood on CBS is a sitcom starring Cedric the Entertainer and Max Greenfield.  Greenfield plays David Johnson whose family( his wife is played by Beth Behrs ) has moved from Michigan to a Black neighborhood in Southern California next door to Calvin Butler played by Cedric the Entertainer.

The pilots main joke is the assumption by Calvin that a family with the last name Johnson and moving into this neighborhood would be Black.  Of course, they are not and we get all the typical, lazy jokes that come with a CBS sitcom.  The jokes are stale and unfunny and are a true waste of the comedic talent of the cast.  Sitcoms that have tackled race in the past were able to take chances to talk about race being edgy to expose bigotry and prejudice.  Not this show.  It takes general themes of race relations and sets them to a laugh track ( Black women wear wigs? White people don't use wash cloths?)

Much like the sitcom, Happy Together, starring Damon Wayans, Jr, this show feels like a forced attempt by CBS to diversify their sitcom lineup which has been overwhelming white for years.  Instead of taking a chance tho and booking smart, well written shows, they have taken the lowest common denominator route and have a simple show for simple minded viewers.

I like Max Greenfield and Cedric and most of all I like Tichina Arnold who plays Cedric's wife.  The potential for this show, based on the talent involved, could actually be something special.  It's not!  I wont be visiting this Neighborhood again.

The Producer


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Creator Profile: Leaders of the Free World





This week I got a chance to talk with Corey Lakel Pruitt about his upcoming comic, Leaders of The Free World.  We talk his upbringing in comics, what writers inspire him, and how his book came from thought to Kickstarter.  Fun listen and when you are done, Back his project at the link listed below!

https://soundcloud.com/brothas-hutchinson/leaders-of-the-free-world-creator-lakel-pruitt

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lotfw/the-leaders-of-the-free-world

The Producer


Cosplayers of Color at MegaCon Tampa 2018





Brothascomics does our best to highlight cosplayers of color at conventions we visit.  This represenation is very important for conventions to become welcoming and more diverse.
Enjoy this celebration of some of the best we saw in Tampa this year.
If you see yourself, tag yourself and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @brothascomics









Pictures from Tampa MegaCon





Did you make it to Tampa MegaCon?

Check out our Flickr stream and find yourself

https://www.flickr.com/photos/147097379@N02/?

The Producer

Pilot Season: Happy Together





On CBS, new show brings New Girl and Happy Endings actor, Damon Wayans, Jr back to sitcom tv with a new sitcom called Happy Together.  In the Pilot, Wayans Jr plays Jake, an accountant who lives with his wife, Claire in a suburb in Los Angelas. The couple is a typical, childless couple that spends most of their time in the house, ordering in, and binging shows on television.

In a tv plot twist, Jake's accounting firm has a famous client, rock singer named Cooper James, who dates another famous singer to form a millennial hit couple.  When that relationship hits the rocks and the paparazzi come calling, Cooper flees to Jake and Amber's house to hide out.

Typical fish out of water and CBS sitcom situations abound.  An excessively loud laugh track, corny jokes about being old, and a wacky neighbor couple- in this case, Jake and Claire's in laws come to stir things up. These are staples in the CBS sitcom world.

When Cooper gets back with his girlfriend, he is miserable and Jake and Amber go and rescue him and invite him to live with him as he looks to get his life back into order.  This pilot/show is loosely based on the life of Harry Styles, formerly of One Direction.

Overall, this was a terrible pilot.  The jokes were really stale, and Wayan's Jr is funny but is really close to putting on a minstrel show in his look and behaviors.  It was quite disappointing because he was so good and measured in Happy Endings and The New Girl, but those shows were well written and thought out.  Happy Together... not so much.

I will not be surprised if this is a hit on CBS, tho because the older, white demo that watches CBS loves to watch Negroes coon it up for them.  Its a hard pass for me tho!

The Producer