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Make sure you come visit Gareb and Julie Benz at our Toronto Comic Con this weekend

Our mission statement... straight from the top!

I am doing something new...and it feels good. Starting a digital magazine feels like the smartest business decision I’ve made in years. It was a difficult one, but now that it’s done, I wonder, “Why didn’t do this a long time ago?” The creativity in the comic book industry is at an all-time high, yet it saddens me to see that publishers can’t get new people excited, and are losing existing fans at an alarming rate. The publishers keep doing what they’ve done in the past, but keep expecting better results. Not gonna happen! It’s time for fresh and BOLD moves, even some radical ones. Make no mistake, the printed comic book business is a struggling one, and pretty soon, it may not be a business at all—it may become a hobby. Execs say to me, “We can’t afford to do it.” I don’t know how you afford not to do it!  Hope you enjoy our new issue and please tell your friends about our new app. See ya! Gareb Shamus, Chief Executive Officer



Gareb Shamus Chief Executive Officer Stephen Shamus Chief Marketing Officer

| told you, Mr. Flint… the house always wins!

Editorial Justin Aclin & Mike Cotton Co-Chiefs of Pop Culture Carlos Mejia Senior Associate Producer

This is probably some sort of ironic ‘Twilight Zone’ thing, but |’m too drunk to care.

ART James Walker Creative Director Cover Design: EYStudios Contributors Rob Bricken, TJ Dietsch, John Gonzalez, Jon Gutierrez, Mark Allen Haverty, Dan Reilly, Ethan Sacks, Casey Seijas, Planet illogica


EXHIBITORS, SPONSORSHIPS, PROMOTIONS & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Peter Katz VP Business Affairs & Development (646) 801-5572

Planet Xenome Alien G.I. Joe Adventure Team, Hasbro Flint G.I. Joe, Sideshow Collectibles

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UP FRONT 3 IN OUR BOX We’ll read your letters, but that doesn’t mean we have to take them seriously. 4 MEANWHILE... Up-and-coming writers to watch, the Kirby vs. Marvel depositions and more…

FEATURES 9 SPACED INVADERS Brit comedy stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost go intergalactic with their new space farce, “Paul.” 14 TOYS OF SUMMER From Thor to Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean, we’ve got the best of this summer’s biggest movie action figures. 18 THE FIRE STILL BURNS Image comic book-turned-Cartoon Network CGI film, "Firebreather" heats up the TV.

AT THE BACK 21 PLANET ILLOGICA’S GAMES GIRLS AND GADGETS The PI team and Wizard World Girls meet real life superhero Phoenix Jones and trace the fascinating history of tennis games.

D A E R O HOW T lick on a story ts ers: C iPad us able of conten y t on the it. Click on an p to to skip ring up the to b o page t ation menu. navig

Wizard World Issue 1.3 • March 16, 2011 page 2 of 26

24 ART ATTACK Check out the amazing art our readers had commissioned. 25 TWISTED TOY THEATER James T. Kirk’s secession hijinks continue! 26 BACK DOOR Saying goodbye to the space shuttle with G. I. Joe’s Defiant.


MARCH 18-19-20 2011 FRI-SAT-SUN ALSO...




JULIE BENZ Buffy, Angel, Dexter & No Ordinary Family!



Phil JimEnez

IN OUR BOX Hey, folks! We’ve been getting hit hard with incredible custom artwork and action figures and a lot of commissioned artwork (check out page 24 for more), so we’re going to take a break for a few issues to sort through all of your awesome stuff. But in the meantime, here’s some letters on issue #2 and one bitchin’ custom! Keep up everything at LETTERS@ See you back here in a few weeks.

You write letters and we answer them. It's not rocket surgery.

CAN YOU DO BETTER? We get images of custom toys all the time. Think you can achieve a higher standard of custom excellence? |'d use my power but that would be CHI-Ting. Get it?


with errors as you see fit. And thanks for writing us again. Hi again, Jajajajja [sic] i knew you are Great job on the Optimus! going to laugh about my spelling when i read it after i THE LIST! send it i said "for the love of Dear WWD, god" but it was send from my A toyline [which was a] iphone and i have very big cartoon that needs to be a thums [sic] so thats why. well major blockbuster Hollywood here is something i like you film is Disney's "Gargoyles." to see its hand painted and i Now with the motion cap detailed myself [general sic]. like in "Avatar," Keith David can reprise his role, and of Fernando Solano course Jerry Bruckheimer would direct. The story is already written. All they need Those of you who missed it, is a good cast. Eva Longoria or last week we ran a grammar- Eva Mendez would be a good plagued letter from Fernando, Elisa. I'm just saying. and instead of him attempting to sue us, he was a good sport Erick Raffles E IC2 NAS about our jokes. So he wrote Oceana, N32 us the letter above, and…in a Via email world filled with auto correct and red squiggly lines, why Who says nerds aren’t tough! are you not using spell check, Erick, you’re living proof that Fernando? Just kidding, buddy! a nerd can be in the Navy! You can live your life filled Too bad you weren’t our friend growing up. We would have spent less time inside of lock-ers and toilets if you were around. But we agree! "Gargoyles" the animated series from the ‘90s would make an INCREDIBLE live action film. In fact, if Hollywood doesn’t go the "Avatar" route and used good old fashion make-up—we think we found the perfect leading man: Mickey Rourke! Just take one look at that guy’s face. Who needs make-up? He already looks like a real life gargoyle.

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This Month: Iron Fist By Adam Crohn via email The martial arts expert from Marvel— Iron Fist is one the many heroes who died and came back to life. See! You can learn a little here. Well, here’s what Adam Crohn had to say about his incredible custom. “The figure is a mash-up of a DCU Water-camo Aquaman and a ML Iron Fist, with custom sculpted belt and wrist wraps, and custom paint job. It took a couple days getting that dragon just right, and the sculpting.” Great job, Adam! So do you think you can do better than, Adam? Send it to I’M BETTER! c/o Wizard World 1350 Avenue of the Americas, Second Floor, New York, NY 10019 or email us at letters@wizardworld. com. The photos are high-res: at least 300 dpi!

TWEET THE DEETS Its like the modern day CB radio. 10-4! Send your comments, praise, anger, suggestions and thoughts to


Too busy not watching 'Mars Needs Moms'? Here's the news!

From left to right: Choker, CBC-B, Bluespear, Guerillas and Skullkickers.



'Wizard World' shines the light on five writers worth keeping an eye on in 2011!

Bored with Bendis? Feeling “meh” about Morrison? In other words, are you looking for the next great comic book writer? Well, we don’t mean to brag, but we’re kinda up on the up-and-comers around these parts, so if you’re looking for the next superstar scribe, here’s our blue chip predictions. Marvel and DC, you might wanna pay attention here…


Sure, McCool’s name has been bandied about for some time now—he’s even already done some work for the Big Two—but if you’ve been keeping up with his creator-owned series Memoir and Choker (Image Comics) you’re well aware that there lurks a much more dark and complex storyteller that’s destined to leave a mark on just the right character.


Believe it or not, comics are supposed to be fun— and no other rookie writer personifies pure comic enjoyment better than Humphries. A former editor at MySpace Comics, the be-Afro’d Humphries has since delivered laugh-out-loud (and at times touching) scripts for Fraggle Rock from Archaia Continued next page

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THEY SAID IT “I guess common sense would say it was made of orange rock too, but I always thought it was more interesting to think about Reed Richards. As you know, he had the ability to stretch, and sexually, that would seem to be a great asset in many areas.”

A look inside of Mike Cotton's butt.

and CBGB: The Comic Book for BOOM! Studios, which nerds-in-the-know ate up like visual deep-fried cotton candy.


Marvel Chairman Emertus Stan Lee in a recent Vanity Fair interview on the long-fought war over what The Thing is packing in his pants.

Never let it be said that Ewington does anything half-assed. After all, his award-winning GN 45 (Com.x) featured jaw-dropping art from 45 different artists, woven together by a script that broke all of the rules and left other aspiring writers heading back to the drawing board. His next project, Bluespear—due out this spring—is already building solid buzz.


Leave it to the talent scouts at Oni Press to always find the best of the best in terms of writer/artists. If you happened to miss out on “Venture Bros.” storyboard artist Revel’s groundbreaking OGN Guerillas—telling the story of a platoon of chimpanzees fighting in the Vietnam war—then get to downloading the free preview through comiXology not now but RIGHT NOW. And did we mention chimpanzees?


Critics and fans have been praising Zubkavich’s (a.k.a. “Jim Zub”) Skullkickers for some time now, and we’re not about to disagree with them. With a nod to action-comedies like “Army of Darkness,” Zub’s series perfectly blends shout-out-loud action with hysterical comedy, and has been hailed as an instant classic. If you happened to miss out on the single issues, the first trade just hit stores. • Casey Seijas

"I call this move the Secret 'Stache!"



Spider-Man’s first appearance sells for over a million dollars in near perfect condition

A private buyer bought a CGC graded 9.6 copy of Spider-Man’s first appearance for $1.1 million last week. The Silver Age collector’s staple will most likely only go up in value as the new “Spider-Man” movie reboot hits in 2012. Or maybe not. You know, a British guy is playing Spidey, so who knows. • Mike Cotton

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Comic book heavyweights hit the stand to settle how instrumental the King was to Marvel’s formation

Dr. Doom vs. the Fantastic Four. Loki vs. Thor. Green Goblin vs. Spider-Man. None of these great Marvel rivalries has the potential impact of Kirby v. Marvel, currently being fought out in the courts (as opposed to Asgard). For those that think that there is too much dialogue in a Chris Claremont or Brian Bendis script, please avert your eyes now. Otherwise, here are some of the highlights.

“I thought Spider-Man would be a good strip, so I wanted Jack to do it. And I gave it to him. And I said, Jack, now you always draw these characters so heroically, but I don’t want this guy to be too heroiclooking. He’s kind of a nebbishy guy. Anyway, Jack, who glamorizes everything, even though he tried to nerd him up, the guy looked still a little bit too heroic for me. So I said: All right, forget it, Jack. I will give it to somebody else. Jack didn’t care. He had so much to do.” Stan Lee on Kirby’s reaction to Peter Parker/SpiderMan

“I realize they were—I would say co-plotting the stories. I would not say plotting. When you are given a story idea, even if it is a few sentences, quite often, and certainly if it was more, as it was in many cases, you’re certainly not plotting the story, you were co-plotting.” Roy Thomas on artists’ contribution to plot development in the 1960s.

“The opinions in this report were formulated by my calling upon years and years of studying Marvel Comics, reading Marvel Comics, interviewing and talking to people who made Marvel Comics, visiting the Marvel offices, discussing Marvel history with other people who have done similar investigations and interviews, reading articles about Marvel. The opinions are based on…more than 40 years of following Marvel Comics.” Comic book historian and Marvel expert Mark Evanier during a contentiontious exchange with Marvel’s representative. • Mark Allen Haverty

“… (S)ometimes as little as $6,000 or $7,000 in a year, sometimes as much as $11-14,000, depending on what’s selling in the reprint department. They have made a series of collections, and whenever I am in a collection, I get a check—sometimes $20, sometimes $200, and occasionally a bigger check when it’s a big project.” John Romita on current Marvel royalties.

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MEANWHILE... Put a cork in it. We're done.


No, seriously. that's how it ends.


Three TV shows that should continue in comic books.


LOST Yes, the show did end with everyone "dying," but the real story for us was Hurley being left in charge of The Island and Ben Linus as his right hand man. The Season Six DVD gave us a 12-minute epilogue, which only made us want more! Did Sawyer end up with Kate? Did Claire become sane? How did Richard Alpert react to seeing the Internet? "Buffy" did an entire season in comics, so why can't "Lost" do the same?


LIFE ON MARS (U.S.) The UK original had two great seasons and an '80themed spin-off, "Ashes to Ashes." Its U.S. counterpart? Not so much. Its rushed ending told us the entire show was a virtual reality program for astronauts travelling to Mars. A comic could not only delve into the '70s cop vibe, but also the VR programs of the other life on Mars itself.


THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT Michael Scott is Michael Scarn! This season in "The Office," we witnessed Michael Scott's epic action movie "Threat Level Midnight," which follows the adventures of spy Michael Scarn. The episode—which showed the entire cast in the film — was the best in years, and we'd love to see a Midnight comic written in the same overblown tone of Axe Cop, as if Michael himself wrote it. That would make for some over-the-top, hilarious action! • Carlos Mejia and James Walker


Got a TV show you'd like to see as a comic? You could end up in an issue! E-mail us at



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OI! bono! whar be mai moosical, ya BAHSTARD?

Who's Back! No, seriously. That's his back.


The Doctor is in, So get ready for the time-bending, all-new sixth season with our 'Doctor who' primer.


SAME DAY SERVICE This season (much like the Christmas Special) will premiere in the U.S. the same day as the UK, April 23. No need to torrent (not that we did).


tor's hot-as-fire ginger 'Sandman' companion). Red Cometh Nose day is this friday, Episode three of March, 18. the new series is by comic pro Neil Gaiman British (Sandman) and he Invasion teases at some nods For the first time in to the past (check out the show's almost 40- the sidebar). year history, they've RED NOSE DAY come to America! The Answers, show filmed its series A Comic Relief Finally premiere two-parter in We'll learn more tradition in the UK, the Utah Badlands. Doctor Who has alabout uber-villian The ways been involved Silence this season, Splitsville with the "Red Nose and Moffat has also Unlike the last Day" charity telethon. promised that fans five seasons of the This year expect a will finally learn mini-episode by show- show, this season fea- the identity of River tures a split down the Song, the mysterious runner Steven Moffat middle, allowing for that features, among woman from the docother things, an extra an extra mind-blowing tor's future... and her cliffhanger! Amy Pond (the Docpast. • JW






Clues from Moffat have promised a return of something fan's haven't seen since the 1969 Patrick Troughton serial "The War Games." Is it the WarLord? Who knows (no pun intended)? The DVD is available now from 2|entertain. Do your homework!


‘DC Universe Online’ goes all-digital with new downloadable content Never had a chance to pick up Sony and DC Comic’s great MMORPG DC Universe Online? Hate standing in lines? Loathe leaving your house? DC has you covered. The huge, open-world game is now available on the PlayStation Network for download. The download, priced the same as the physical game, is $59.99 and allows fans to play the game straight from their hard drive. A monthly fee of $14.99 is also needed to play the game after you’ve downloaded it or bought the discs. •MC

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OUR FAVORITE IRISH COMICS CHARACTERS Once a year we celebrate the Irish then get drunk as penance! Banshee (X-Men) Sean Cassidy has the power to emit an earpiercing shriek that’ll clear a room in seconds—just like any Irishman in a bar at 3 am. Angel (Buffy) Many may forget, but Angelus was born in Ireland with a strangely bad Irish accent. Cassidy (Preacher) This Cassidy got bitten during the Irish uprising and palled around with Jesse Custer…before betraying him. Hellstrike (Stormwatch) This Jim Lee creation can project plasma from his body and his codename is the most generic ’90s superhero name you could possibly think of. Judge Joyce (Judge Dredd) First name not James— Dredd met him when he was in Ireland extraditing a suspect. •MC

ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER 800 west katella avenue anaheim, ca., 92802

april 29-30-May 1, 2011 FRI-SAT-SUN ALSO...







Bill sienkiewicz

Nick Frost & Simon Pegg,the hilarious duo from ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz,’ put on their nerdy shoes, travel across the U.S. and team up with a wise-cracking alien in their new film,‘Paul.'

By Ethan Sacks Additional reporting by Carlos Mejia

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Kristen Wiig, Paul, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have a close encounter.

erds get a bad rap all the time. Trust us, we know. But Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are doing something for nerds—making them cool. From their cult 1999 britcom hit “Spaced,” about a Star Wars-loving comic artist, to 2004's homage to the zombie master George Romero, “Shaun of the Dead,” then again in 2007 with their skewering of American action movies, “Hot Fuzz.” Now, with the release of their new comedy, “Paul,” Pegg and Frost play two geeky British pals who stumble onto the titular runaway alien (voiced by Seth Rogen) during a sci-fi sight-seeing road trip. Here, the two actors and real-life friends have a chat with Wizard World about their latest comedy (opening this Friday), how they forged their friendship years ago and explain to us just where the in hell George Lucas went wrong. WIZARD WORLD Can you take us back to the first time you two met? We’ve heard you two met at a party where Nick was sleeping on a speaker? Is there any truth to that story?

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NICK FROSTEssentially that is true. I got to know Simon through his then girlfriend, Charlotte. We both worked in the same restaurant. And as it happens in restaurants, there was a big drink-up one night in the house where I was living. And I knew Charlotte was going to bring her boyfriend, who was a stand-up, and we met and it was a bit awkward. I think there’s already a sexual chemistry there. SIMON PEGG [Laughs] FROST We were standing on the balcony. I was doing some impressions to impress Simon. And then, as you do at parties, you come together later on as you get drunker…and I think Simon’s lasting memory of me there as he left the party—I was slumped against a speaker with a can of Red Stripe in my hand. When did you guys realize that you were kindred spirits? PEGG I suppose it was over “Star Wars.” FROST Yeah, there was an Indian restaurant called the Pink Ruppee that we used to go to a lot. And we were in

Check out the nerdy t-shirts Frost and Pegg sport in the movie!

Seth Rogen voices the titular alien in "Paul."

“Scott Kurtz is at Booth #142. Right, we won’t be going there.”

‘‘I’ll tell you what. In 30 years time, we’ll do more ‘Spaced. ’ Okay?" -simon pegg

there one night after work and we were all very drunk and Simon made this noise of a little droid from “Star Wars.” And then Chewie goes, [Frost does a dead-on Wookiee impression] and the droid runs off. Simon did that noise and I had never known anyone else to know what that noise meant. That meant quite a lot to me. PEGG I think there was a point where we had been hanging out for a long time—and it just struck me as we were driving that I had probably spent 20 straight days with Nick—and it hadn’t occurred to me that it didn’t feel weird. I just thought, “F**k, I spend a lot of time with this guy and I’ve only just met him.” So it was a real epiphany. And that was long before we worked together. “Spaced” wasn’t for another five years after that. Speaking of “Spaced,” is there any possibility of a reunion down the road? FROSTI don’t think so. I think Mike [Watt, Frost’s gun happy character on the series] died in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan. PEGG When he went back into the real army, he went off to fight and got blown up. I don’t think [there’ll be a reunion]. I’d work with every single one of those actors again in a heartbeat. But the worst thing we could do now is spoil what we did before, and if we kind of got together and did some halfassed…the main thing is, practically

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speaking, Edgar [Wright] is never going to direct TV again. And “Spaced” doesn’t exist without Edgar. So, 30 years from now, you wouldn’t cash in on the nostalgia? FROST We’ll do something which is better than “Spaced” so you’ll forget about it. PEGG I’ll tell you what. In 30 years time, we’ll do more “Spaced.” Okay? Okay. Did you ever you hear anything from George Lucas after burning boxes of Star Wars merchandise in “Spaced?” PEGG I know people at Lucasfilm are very aware of “Spaced,” and they sent me the original trilogy on DVD without any of the Special Edition material, with a little note that said, “We thought you’d like these.” Which I thought was very sweet. But as far George is concerned, I doubt he’s ever heard of us. We know you guys don’t love “The Phantom Menace.” What did you guys think of the “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith?” PEGG [Pauses] You saw them right? FROST [Laughs]. PEGG They were just as bad. They were probably worse. You guys are obviously huge Star Wars geeks, but is it safe to assume you both are big George Romero fans as well because of “Shaun of the Dead”?

“Weird. It has the lyrics of Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ written on the back.”

FROST I was a big zombie fan. The difference between Edgar, Simon and I is that I don’t make an effort to learn names. I just watch and go, “That was good,” but Simon and Edgar will want to watch everything that man’s ever made. It kind of washes over me, because I’m a lazy tw*t. PEGG I actually have photographs from Halloween of 1994 when I made Nick up as a zombie. It’s quite weird to look at it now considering what was ahead of us. It’s good to watch that now, because it was like destiny for us. After the success of “Shaun of the Dead,” did you guys have a bigger budget to cut loose on “Hot Fuzz”? PEGG A little bit more, yeah. “Hot Fuzz” was a straight parody of American action films, and we put that into the context of a small British village, so it was very much a representation of the clash of the United States and Little England. Wouldn’t it be funny to see some Michael Bay-type action in a leafy hamlet in England? Looking back, did either of you guys have a particular favorite action sequence from “Hot Fuzz”? PEGG I really liked the fight with Timothy Dalton in the model village. That was great fun. Having a fight with James Bond was brilliant.

Your typical crowd at a comic book convention.

Edgar Wright said it’s going to be a while before the three of you get to the last movie in “The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy.” Should we stop hoping for the third film or is it going to happen? PEGG Of course it will happen. Nick and I are both tied into various things. Together we are both tied into “Tintin.” What we want to do is, the moment that Edgar and I are in the same room—at the moment he’s out in L.A., I’ve got “Mission: Impossible 4” to do and then “Star Trek”—but we are just waiting for that opening. It’s like finding the boxcar to jump onto when you’re waiting for the train illegally. FROST It’s kind of like money in the bank. It’s just there whenever Simon and I get together and do it, it will be done, I guess. But talking to Edgar, it will have to be a great idea, I don’t think they’re going to bang some old s**t out because the fans expect it. I think it has to be worthy of them, and worthy of Edgar and Simon as well.

couple of weeks of rehearsal and then we went off to New Mexico and Seth went off to make “The Green Hornet.” So on set we had Joe Lo Truglio playing Paul, often on his knees, and sometimes I would forget that Seth was in this movie. People would go, “Who’s in the film?” and I would go, “It’s amazing, we’ve got Kristen Wiig and Jason Bateman and Sigourney Weaver,” and then someone would remind me that we also had Seth.

In “Paul,” there are quite a few scenes at San Diego Comic Con. What was the process like of recreating the convention? PEGG We had like Star Trek collectibles and Image Comics and a variety of stands who set up as they would at Comic-Con. It was quite weird, knowing Comic-Con like we do, to step into this convention center in Albuquerque. It felt like stepping into San Diego. It was really weird. The art department did an amazing job; you just wouldn’t realize you weren’t in San Diego. FROST Greg Mottola, the director, did look into whether or not it was possible There are a slew of hilarious American to shoot in the real Comic-Con, but we actors in “Paul.” Is there a difference in were told that the fire marshal of San humor sensibilities? Diego said, and these were his words, PEGG I think there’s less difference than “No f**king way.” So that was that. I think you might think. We appreciate each nerds are a very flammable sub-genre of other’s output, and we’re big fans of Seth people. They go up quick. Very wispy hair [Rogen], Bill [Hader], Kristen [Wiig] and that would go up quick. Jason [Bateman]—and it wasn’t a difficult PEGG A lot of aerosol and deodorant. process for us to start working with them because we find them funny already. You two are also in the upcoming “The With Seth it was weird because we had a Adventures of Tintin” as the Thompson

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‘‘There’s no fruit on English film sets. In England, they just come around with balls of butter." -NICK FROST that's who reads 'Brit.'

THE BOOK OF Hey, Simon, we'll buy that Eightball shirt off you.

Twins. What can you say about it? FROST Same kind of technology that brought us James Cameron’s “Avatar,” and we shot in 2009, in Giant Studios in Santa Monica and it was a bloody good month. You really had to be on your game. If you were going to have a meltdown, you couldn’t pick three worse people to have a meltdown in front of than Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy. And [the visuals] look amazing. I think it’s the first time that Simon and I have been on screen and we weigh the same.

re-shoot it within the 3-D world. And we kind of did this scene and we did it right. And Steven Spielberg came on set and he did this little dance and he went, “That’s in the movie!” And Nick and I were kind of overjoyed that we made Steven Spielberg do a little dance. You can’t quantify how wonderful that is. I don’t think we ever lose sight of where we come from. So when we are in a situation where Steven is telling us stories about “Close Encounters” or we’re hanging out with [“X-Files” actress] Gillian Anderson, we all remember how we would have felt if this happened when we were younger. FROST Then there’s when you’re shooting “Paul” and you suddenly realize that me, Simon, Jason Bateman and Sigourney Weaver are having a chat. And you think, “What the f**k is this all about it?” And a guy walks by with a big tray of fruit and you think, “This is weird. There’s no fruit on English film sets.” PEGG Yeah, fruit’s a luxury. FROST In England, they just come around with balls of butter.

What’s been your biggest Hollywood moment, so far? PEGG When we were doing “Tintin,” we did a take of the Thomson Twins and it was a really complex movement. They were investigating something and they’re very in sync. And with motion capture, you basically do a whole scene and once you get the whole scene right, it’s basically done, you can

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Believe it or not, but the origins of ‘Paul’ was created out of a daydream. Here Nick Frost explains. Looking to keep dry from the incessant rain of London during the filming of “Shaun of the Dead” in 2004, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost daydreamed about making a film someplace sunny, maybe in the United States. “We spitball the idea: maybe the desert, Nevada, Area 51,” said Frost. “From there we got this idea of this very moody alien who’d been on Earth for 60 years—just because of the bad weather. Then when we got to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we shot the film, we discovered the weather was even worse.”


At least the alien wears pants.



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asbro’s line of 3 3/4-inch figures based on this summer’s godtastic Marvel flick goes well beyond the usual “main dude painted 17 different ways” of most movie lines. There are plenty of Thors, to be sure, but check out Anthony Hopkins’ Odin, Loki, Sif, the Destroyer and even the Warriors Three: Volstagg, Hogun and Fandral. Fun fact: Volstagg is Ray Stevenson—the last guy to play the Punisher—in a fat suit. We hope that gets worked into Marvel continuity somehow.


| like to rock and roll all night and part of every day.







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ichael Bay’s epic trilogy of giant robo-movies wraps up this summer with "Dark of the Moon." What little we know about it we’ve mostly sussed out from checking out Hasbro’s awesome new toys: Megatron sports a cool new cloak, there are new NASCAR Transformers (including Topspin, who's sporting a robo-mullet) and Optimus' trailer makes an appearance. Plus Sentinel Prime—Optimus’ old mustachioed mentor—is in the movie, and transforms into a fire truck! TOPSPIN




|'m a spoiler! DEAL WITH IT, NERDS!



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My delightfully witty character in this kids movie has sex with prostitutes!



hat do you get when you take Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly out of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and replace them with Penelope Cruz and Swearengen? Us, excited in the franchise again! JAKKS Pacific is rolling out a ton of figures based on the new film, including 4-inch figures with a UV “zombie reveal” function (and an in-scale boat, the Queen Anne's Revenge), plus the 6-inch figures seen here. Buy 'em all and get the pieces to build this Gunner figure!






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hn— u K y nd A d n ra e t s e ge H a l i m h I P film m h o k t i r r f w o ’ lk er tw e a h t N t a e n e W too ebr r r i a F C ‘ of the s t r u d! o o v t b d a e a n r o c s— Comic comic, now eir h t n o based page 18 of 26

The animated version of Duncan.

The Human Torch was eaten.


The comic version of Duncan.

2003, the Image comic book Firebreather flew out of the minds of writer Phil Hester and artist Andy Kuhn. Well, not really. The whole thing actually started around 1998—but this little comic that could has expanded its wings to a full-fledged animated film by Cartoon Network! With the Blu-ray/DVD release of the movie right around the corner (March 22), we chatted with Hester & Kuhn to find out the origins of the Firebreather character, their initial reaction to the animated film and how Duncan is not—repeat not a dragon!

WIZARD WORLD Let’s go back to 2003,

when Firebreather started. What was the initial inspiration behind the character of Duncan Rosenblatt? PHIL HESTER It’s a long story. Andy and I pitched a book that was basically a Young Avengers comic book [to Marvel] in 1998. You know, a teenage Captain America, a teenage Thing, Scarlet Witch, Wolverine [being] either clones or legacy versions—just teenage versions. And we made some headway with it. Marvel liked it. And Chris Claremont was the Creative Director at the time and he said, “You know, you should create some teenage villains, too.” And that got the ball rolling. I said, “I’m going to make a teenage Fin Fang Foom.” Eventually the whole thing was abandoned for one reason or another, and when you have a really good idea it stays alive in the back of your head. We had this visual of a teen dragon character, but we also had

the original pitch, which was a teenage Ben Grimm character. High school is already hell for most people, but what would it be like if you were The Thing in high school? So those two kernels kind of grew together and became Firebreather. And that’s where it all came from. ANDY KUHN And we’re still going! HESTER He’s been in high school for like 8 years now. KUHN Yeah, not only is he hideous, but he’s been held back for 4 years! Did you guys flip out when Cartoon Network said they wanted to turn Firebreather into an animated movie? HESTER You immediately are sort of terrified and excited at the same time. You’re flattered and happy that really talented people want to get involved with your project and bring it to a wider audience, but you’re also kind of scared because it’s out of your hands and it

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leaves your control. It’s like the world discovering your favorite band. It’s not your secret anymore. It’s out there for everybody. So there’s a little trepidation, but once I learned about the people on the project it was nothing but unbridled passion. All my apprehension went out the window when I heard [Director] Peter Chung’s name. KUHN That is true. We were definitely excited and nervous, but they did an awesome job. I’m very happy with the way [the film] turned out. What was your first reaction to seeing the characters fully animated? KUHN Last year at Comic-Con we had to go and see an 80% done version which the producer was going to show us, and we were sweating bullets the whole day. Up to that point we had seen a few drawings, but we had not seen any animation. We were just so worried that we were

"For the record, I had this haircut before Pauly D."

Duncan's dad: The King of the Kaiju

"Never eat the Blazin' hot sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings!"

going to have to lie to him. Then we saw the movie, and at first I was looking at every single little detail, but after about ten minutes I was really caught up in the story. HESTER And the great thing is the original version is always going to exist, and [the film is] sort of an extension of that. It’s like "The Lord of the Rings" movies did not make The Lord of the Rings novel go away. And yes I am comparing Firebreather to The Lord of the Rings. What are the chances of the movie spinning off to an animated series? HESTER You mean us clinging desperately to that hope? I would love to see more. The movie was so well received and I’m trying to be objective about it, but I think it was very good. I would like to see a sequel or a series. Was Firebreather originally going to be a traditional 2-D animated film or was

it always planned to be fully computeranimated movie? KUHN Our initial idea was that it was going to be a traditional 2-D animation. I think Peter Chung did a 2-D animation at one point. At some point Cartoon Network decided that they wanted a 3D show that they owned and was not licensed, like "The Clone Wars" is. HESTER I think the film was in every format. At one point there was even a live-action version. They didn’t cast actors, but I think there was a draft of a screenplay written as if it was going to be live action. But I think now that I’ve seen it [computer animated], I can’t think of it any other way.

came out, so that’s about 10 years now. They own the rights to it and I think they got it for Guillermo Del Toro to direct, but he got real busy. Del Toro wrote us a beautiful forward for the new Coffin hardcover, but there’s still a carrot hanging in front of me of [that the movie] might happen one day. I think that would make a great live-action film, and The Anchor would be a fantastic animated film. But that’s overthe-top violent and it would never be on Cartoon Network.

Set the record straight. Is Duncan a dragon, or is he some new monster hybrid? HESTER It’s funny. Everyone calls Duncan either a dragon, or half-dragon or a monster, and that’s good for us. When people Phil, you’ve written other great creator see him they assign their own name for owned books, including The Coffin and him. But in our minds he was always from The Anchor. Would you like to see those the heritage of a Japanese monster. Like a Kaiju. In my mind, Duncan’s father adapted into animation? was always equal parts Dr. Doom and HESTER Would I! James Cameron has owned The Coffin since the second issue Godzilla.

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presented by


The Wizard Girls break bread with Seattle's famous real-life super hero, Phoenix Jones

Girls d r a z i "Us Wshocked." were

YEah. Right. Whatever. how about less Talk, more pancakeS?

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hilosopher Frances Bacon said, “Hope is a good breakfast.” Never did we feel that more than when we had the great honor of having a nice home-cooked meal with the very inspirational real-life super hero, Phoenix Jones. Jones had been in LA for a taping of planet illogica LIVE at the Smodcastle and for our interview we suggested breakfast at Whitney’s place in the Hollywood Hills, a time was set, and preparations for blueberry pancakes and fresh-squeezed orange juice were underway. He arrived in his costume so of course, we started with that. “It’s actually a Super Suit,” he told us, not a costume, “because it’s fully functional. It’s made of neoprene and Kevlar. There’s a stab plate on the front made of ceramic tile, and under the hood is tyvek, which is basically industrial material. It’s bulletproof, stab-proof and taser-proof.” As for weapons, he’s got all the legal ones (per Washington State’s private citizen laws), but according to Jones the most important tool of his trade is his cell phone. “How [are] you going to report a crime in progress without a phone?” It was a cell phone that was the reason he created Phoenix Jones in the first place. “I was at a water park with my son, and he fell and cut his leg open on some broken glass. I was running to my car when I realized someone had broken into it. I was dumbfounded, standing there holding my son's leg together when this guy runs up to me with his cell phone out. I ask him if he’ll call 911, and he says, “I can’t, it’ll ruin my YouTube clip!” Us Wizard Girls were shocked. “And then more people show up with their camera phones video taping us,” he continued, “I finally rummaged through the debris in my car and called the paramedics.” That experience shook him pretty hard, but it was a fight outside a bar, which left his friend permanently scarred, that led to Phoenix Jones discovering his true destiny. "My friend was beat up pretty bad, and there were like 70 people just standing around watching it all go down. I ran to my car to get my cell phone out of my glove box, and as I did, this black ski mask I had fell out. I was standing there holding it thinking, “no one knows who I am, if I just put this mask on, and go back to the scene, I can break this up.” I ended up chasing the guy that was beating on my friend down the street, caught him and held him down until the police showed up. And that’s when it really hit me. This is what I do now.”

presented by

Universal Delight


t was during the annual visitor’s day at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York on October 18th, 1958, that the first video game was played. On that crisp fall morning, a line of people waited outside the office door of William Higinbotham, the nuclear physicist credited with inventing the first video game, to get their mitts on the metal boxes Higinbotham had connected by wire to an analog computer. Two by two they were brought into his lab and instructed to twist black plastic knobs atop the “controllers” back and forth, which, to their “universal delight,” made a tiny vertical line on his oscilloscope screen move up and down. Each player had one chance to “hit” a moving digital ball on the screen back to the other, and all got to experience the mind-blowing concept of a virtual tennis game. Fifty years later, I’m filled with “universal delight” (and somewhat aroused) by my ability to make my lifelike Ana Ivanovic avatar move in any way I see fit while she waits for a virtual Serena Williams to serve her a tennis ball in the latest installment of the Top Spin franchise— Top Spin 4. We see so many innovations in gaming these days—incredible imagery and environments, new ways to manipulate our virtual selves and intense boundary pushing storylines and dialogue—but what hasn’t changed is the core reason video games are the most powerful and profitable entertainment medium in the world. It’s the universal delight factor that gets us every Thoughts on the game industry by time. Planet Illogica co-founder Ken Goldstein But one sad fact remains: in the over-hyping of big-budget titles, the point of the whole experience can get lost. What made Higinbotham’s “Tennis for Two” so groundbreaking, beside what it represents technologically speaking, was that playing it instantly connected the gamer to the real world story of being on a tennis court and being engaged against another player. That’s the “delight” part. Where it fell short (outside of the obvious) is that it was a one trick pony. After a minute or so, players lost interest. In a very real way it’s a cautionary warning: the hype created the line outside the laboratory, but the game-play fell short of its potential. How many times have you played today’s big-budget games and had that same feeling? Super excited at first, then totally done minutes later. Just happened to me with Call of Duty: Black Ops. Because of masterpieces like Portal, Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted, developers don’t have the option of blaming technology or audience willingness to engage in deep storylines for cutting corners. The state of Top Spin 4 games today is that we expect more, while still needing that universal delight factor to motivate us to buy.


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RENDER'S GAME Want to make your own comics without pesky artists? 3-D software may be the key

Hey, jerks. My eyes were rendered up HERE.

Just about everyone who’s ever read a comic wishes they could write one of their own, but there are always certain roadblocks in the way. Like maybe how your drawings look like they were produced by a 6-yearold with a tremor. You could always drop a wad on a high-grade professional artist to bring your ideas to life, but what if there was a way you could do everything yourself and still make it look great? A company called DAZ 3D thinks they have the solution. It’s software called DAZ Studio, and—like almost nothing in life— it’s free! Here’s how it works in a nutshell: DAZ Studio comes pre-loaded with 3-D characters—from super-realistic to cartoonish—that you can pose, light and “photograph” however you want. You can complete the scene with outfits, props, environments and even animals, which you can purchase from DAZ 3D’s online store for not too much moolah. When you’ve got everything perfect (and there are tutorials to help you), you render the scene and you’re done. You own the art you’ve created, royalty-free and you can use it in your webcomic about that hilarious thing your roommate did when he was drunk that time. Once you get the hang of it (and it’s pretty easy, even for the non-graphically inclined), you can even upgrade to the pay model, DAZ Studio Advanced, for a more robust set of creative tools. But don’t get freaked out—the free version’s got everything you need to get going. You don’t have to be artistically challenged to use the software, either. Artists can use it to get just the right pose or figure out the lighting in a scene. And it even does animation, so you can use it to make one of those hilarious Taiwanese CGI news reenactments, as long as you can speak Mandarin. Feel like trying it for yourself? The free software is available for PC and Mac at A special advertising section


The place for never-before-seen original art, commissioned from today’s top artists!


his might be the coolest birthday gift ever. Reader Todd Erwin submitted this beautiful piece of art of the Joker and Harley Quinn, which he commissioned from artist Shane Davis (inks by Matt "Batt" Banning and colors by Steve Firchow) for his birthday. "I first saw Shane's art on his Superman/ Batman run and quickly fell in love with his style," said Erwin. "When I was turning 30 I knew I wanted something epic. I contacted his art rep and later had "Batt" [and] Firchow finish it off. It took just over a year and a half to finish but it was worth it." • Carlos Mejia

D! rt, N E S K CLIC ece of original oan

pi llhave a sketch or a fu ur u o y o D ntion e o f yo a conve ssion from on taring at it commi r tists? Stop s llpen@ a bu favorite nd it to us at o see it and se t wizard atured here! fe

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Wizard World

Comic Con Tour

The Largest Pop Culture Festival to Celebrate the Best iN Comics, Collectibles, Movies, Celebrities, Toys, Video Games, TV, Horror, Wrestling, Music, Anime, MMA, Manga, Gaming & More!







Penn Plaza Pavilion 401 Seventh Avenue at 33rd St. New York, NY 10001

PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER 1101 Arch St. Philadelphia, PA 19107

APRIL 29-30-MAY 1, 2011 FRI-SAT-SUN

MAY 21-22, 2011 SAT-SUN

June 17-18-19, 2011 FRI-SAT-SUN






Donald E. Stephens (Rosemont) Convention Center 5555 N. River Road Rosemont, IL 60018

John. B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center 900 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02115

Penn Plaza Pavilion 401 Seventh Avenue at 33rd St. New York, NY 10001


AUGUST 11-12-13-14, 2011 THUR-FRI-SAT-SUN

September 17-18, 2011 SAT-SUN



march 18-19-20, 2011 fri-sat-sun



Winnipeg Convention Centre 375 York Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3J3 CANADA

September 24-25, 2011 SAT-SUN


OCTOBER 22-23, 2011 SAT-SUN








Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC) 711 N.W. 72nd Avenue Miami, Fl 33126

JANUARY 28-29, 2012 SAT-SUN



OCTOBER 28-29-30, 2011 FRI-SAT-SUN

sponsorships • Badges • Banners • Convention Party • Email Blasts • Floor Signage • Giveaways • Lanyards • Meterboards • Online Promotions



• PR Campaign • Program Guide • Programming • Sampling • Screenings • Staff T-Shirts • Step-and-Repeats • TV Monitors • VIP Packages


November 11-12-13,2011 FRI-SAT-SUN

exhibitors • ABC • Amazon • CBS • Comedy Central • DC Comics • DELL • Disney • EA Sports • FOX • GEEKCHICDAILY.COM



Past Exhibitors and Sponsors include:

• Gillette • Hasbro • HERITage auctions • Intel • Lionsgate • Marvel • Mattel • Microsoft • NBC • Nickelodeon

• Nintendo • Paramount • SONY • Spike TV • SyFY • Universal • Warner Bros



they’re toys, and they’re twisted...



To try to save his job, kirk declared civil war on starfleet, losing spock in the process. During a tense negotiation, spock finally snaps and attacks kirk!



…stupid @$$hole face…

…put up with your crap for 45 years… …and you SLEPT WITH MY MOTHER

Pompous jerk…




! That…oof… wasn’t my fault--| thought she was an alien!



Oh, and say hi to your mom for me.



Fine, bowlcut. You want You got war? yourself a war!

Back aboard the Enterprise…

My name is Bktkork.

This is it, men. Some of you, depending on the color of your shirt, won’t be coming hoME.

|’ll be commanding the aerial attack from the Enterprise. Stonewall Jackson, you’ll be in charge of my infantry.

Well | say it’s Stonewall Jackson now! Battle stations! Ah, Mr. Spock.

Sir, the enemy fleet is in range. They’re hailing from one of their several hundred ships.

Are you ready to do the logical thing and surrender? Shut up! shut up! die! die! die!!!


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TO BE concluded NEXT WEEK!


We say goodbye to the Discovery Shuttle by saluting the greatest G.I. Joe space vehicle ever.



he United States Space Shuttle program will officially come to an end this June. In the 1980s the Shuttles, including Discovery, captured the imaginations of children worldwide. And to find a perfect example of that spirit, you don't have to look any further than Hasbro's G.I. Joe Space Shuttle playset, "The Defiant." Wizard World salutes the pioneering spirit of all the Booster/Space Station This booster doesn't fall off into space after launch, it becomes its own ship! It's two space ships in one!

STATS The Defiant Space Vehicle Launch Complex: Released in 1987, discontinued in 1989, approximate original retail price: $99.99

HIDDEN GEMS Toy sculpters hid a number of items in the Defiant mold. Among them: The engine cover from the Snow Cat, Trip Wire's mines (!) and a rat. Don't tell Low-Light.

HARDTOP One of the two included action figures was Hardtop. Nicholas D. Klas from Chicago, came with a white mouthpiece and a black handgun. Oh yeah, he also came with a giant SPACE SHUTTLE!

world's astronauts in the only way we know how: Talking about one awesome toy that is very loosley connected to the U.S. Space Shuttle program. Like the USS Flag and the TerrorDrome before it, The Defiant's crazy attention to detail and playability sets it far apart from other every playsets of its time. Lets take a look back at just what made the Defiant so damn...well, defiant! • James Walker PAYLOAD PILOT The pilot of this gigantic shuttle is Payload. Mark Morgan Jr hails from Cape Canaveral, FL and came with a white helmet with a yellow face-shield, a white backpack, and two white control arms that attached to the backpack. So yeah, he's wore a lot of white, even after Labor Day. MARVEL-OUS The Defiant made its cowmic book debut in Marvel Comics G.I. Joe Issue #65!

Shouldn't | have a shirt for this?

Space Vehicle A bit sleeker than its NASA counterpart since it didn't need to actually fly in space, the Defiant Space Vehicle's homage to the Space Shuttle is still evident.

Crawler/Gantry In case the Joe's needed to launch into space during a Cobra attack, the Gantry is literally COVERED with guns.

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Inside the

to Your guide the handheld s that prove isn’t intendo N s just for kid



Movies aren’t enough! Why e it’s time for th y Enterprise to fl again on TV.

The latest from the Wizard World Girls and Planet Illogica!


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* Exclusive: Get a close encounter with "Paul," Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's new alien comedy. * Planet illogica presents the state of the vi...

Wizard World Issue 1.3  

* Exclusive: Get a close encounter with "Paul," Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's new alien comedy. * Planet illogica presents the state of the vi...