Comic-Con 2019: Mad magazine is not dead yet, say artists Sergio Aragonés and Tom Richmond

The news hit comedy fans like an stick of dynamite in one of Mad magazine’s Spy vs. Spy cartoons: After 67 years, the legendary humor magazine was to be no more?

That was the instant headline when news exploded on July 4 that the cartoon-and-comedy magazine would cease publishing new material after its next two issues.

  • Illustrator, Tom Richmond, draws a portrait at his booth during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center on Sunday, July 21, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Illustrator, Tom Richmond, poses for a photograph at his booth during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center on Sunday, July 21, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Cartoonist, Sergio Aragonés, signs autographs at his booth during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center on Sunday, July 21, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cartoonist, Sergio Aragonés, smiles while signing autographs at his booth during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center on Sunday, July 21, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • An illustration of Samuel Jackson by Tom Richmond on display at his booth during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center on Sunday, July 21, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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Layoffs at the publication owned by DC Comics were deep and may or may not have been accompanied by Don Martin-esque sound effects like “Tzing!” “Twong!” and “Floploploplop!” Heartfelt tributes came from far and wide.

But hang on, said a pair of Mad artists with booths at Comic-Con on Sunday morning. Things are changing, but maybe not to the drastic degree everyone expects.

“It’s not really closing, it’s changing,” said Sergio Aragonés, who has worked for Mad since 1962 when the Spanish-born cartoonist arrived in New York City. “Nowadays, somebody will they got fired, puts it on the telephone, and other people can say whatever they want.

“Mad is not dying at all,” he said while sketching himself sketching the magazine’s mascot Alfred E. Neuman for a fan. “It’s a pretty valuable property to let it go. There will be changes. Everybody has to change, and Mad is changing.”

Aragonés and artist Tom Richmond, who has worked for Mad since 2000, say a lot of what’s to come is still undecided.

There may be direct sales of publications to readers, Aragonés said, though he’s not a fan of that idea — Mad should be as easy to get as to pick it up at the supermarket or drugstore, he believes.

Richmond, who has movie parodies — long a Mad staple — of both “The Lion King” and “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” in the issue that reaches newstands in August, said there is talk of doing Year In Review annuals and other specials going forward.

Even DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio suggested during a Comic-Con panel on Saturday that we’ve likely not seen the last of Alfred E. Neuman’s gap-toothed smile, saying that there still will be new material, though the format it will take is still to be determined.

Richmond’s first issue with the magazine was its last to be published entirely in black-and-white, Richmond said. That’s the way he and so many others grew up reading it.

“When I was a kid, I just enjoyed Mad like everybody else did, for the humor and the voice,” said Richmond, who lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota. “As a kid, a lot of it’s over your head. I was introduced to ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ there when I was kid. I was 11, I had no idea what it was about.”

As he grew older, and started making his own art, he realized that Mad illustrators like Mort Drucker and Jack Davis were “the best of the best.”

And the humor of its writers shaped multiple generations of comedians and culture, Richmond said.

“I don’t think you can overstate the impact that Mad had on popular culture and humor,” he said. “And how many of today’s comedians have been directly influenced by it. It’s in their DNA.”

A lot of that DNA was likely planted there by Aragonés, who has contributed a huge number of cover ideas and whose “marginals” — small cartoons in the margins of the pages — have appeared in every episode of the magazine for more than half a century.

“It made me,” Aragonés says of landing at Mad as a 25-year-old cartoonist in 1962. “Within a month I was following the Gang of Idiots” — the nickname given the magazine’s legendary artists and writers — “I’ll be thankful for ever.”

So while Mad may be getting older: “Mad is like a crazy old uncle who is getting senile,” Aragonés jokes. “And it was very good to me.”

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Whicker: Manny Pacquiao’s win over Thurman will reverberate for a while

  • Manny Pacquiao (R) takes a hit fro Keith Thurman during their fight WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao took the win by split decision. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao (R) hits Keith Thurman during their fight WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao took the win by split decision. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

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  • Manny Pacquiao waves to this fans at the end of his fight with Thurman at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao took the win by majority decision. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao waves to this fans at the end of his fight with Thurman at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao took the win by majority decision. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao waves to this fans at the end of his fight with Thurman at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao took the win by majority decision. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao (L) hits Keith Thurman during their fight WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao took the win by split decision. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao (L) hits Keith Thurman during their fight WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao took the win by split decision. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao (R) knocks down Keith Thurman in the first round at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. . (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao (R) knocks down Keith Thurman in the first round at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. . (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao (R) knocks down Keith Thurman in the first round at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. . (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant TKO’s Mike Lee at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(L) knocks down Mike Lee in the 3rd round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(R) knocks down Mike Lee in the 3rd round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(R) knocks down Mike Lee in the 3rd round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(R) knocks down Mike Lee in the 3rd round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(R) knocks down Mike Lee in the 3rd round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(R) knocks down Mike Lee in the 3rd round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(R) knocks down Mike Lee in the 3rd round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(R) knocks down Mike Lee in the 1st round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Caleb Plant(R) knocks down Mike Lee in the 1st round at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caleb Plant won by TKO as the fight was stop in the 3rd round for the Super Middleweight Championship. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

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LAS VEGAS — “Oh Senator, oh Senator, great is he, Oh Senator,” Keith Thurman said.

He shrugged.

“I promised I’d say that if I lost,” he explained. “So I said it.”

It was that kind of night, that kind of fight. Faith was kept from the first bell to the final. Momentary victories gave way to momentary defeats, and then the cycle spun again. It began in fifth gear and stayed there for 36 minutes of action. Even with all that behind them and a painful night in front of them, they remembered all the commitments they’d made. In the end, victory went to the Senator who kept his promises.

Pacquiao won a split decision and hung on to the WBA welterweight title. In doing so he dealt Thurman his first defeat. This is a 40-year-old guy who has fought 71 times professionally, and has not done so in a self-preservational manner. Yet there he was, quicker than the 30-year-old Thurman, crisp and confusing in the early going, and just resolute enough late, when the actuarial stuff began to turn in Thurman’s direction. For the first five rounds he was about as good as he’s ever been.

It was a split decision. Glenn Feldman gave Thurman the final seven rounds, and thus a 114-113 edge. Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham were the other judges and they saw it for Pacquiao, 115-112. If Thurman had won, hell would have been raised. He had no serious objections.

“It was a beautiful night of boxing,” Thurman said. Remember, he lost.

“I wish my conditioning and my output had been better. It was just a touch behind Manny’s. I felt like he was getting a little tired, but he had the experience in the ring. Tonight was a blessing and a lesson.

“As my old coach (Ben Getty) used to say, ‘Smart fighters win, dumb fighters lose.’ I had some adjustments I needed to make and I didn’t.”

Two moments made the difference.

Both men came out of the corners as if jet-propelled, but Thurman took solid control of Round 1. He popped Thurman with repeated right hands. Then Pacquiao executed one of his usual leaps, got Thurman with a left and then clipped him efficiently with a right to the chin. Thurman went down. A round that seemed to be his, 10-9, was now Manny’s, 10-8. That’s a 3-point turnaround.

“I was thinking it was too close,” Thurman said, when asked about the decision. “The knockdown gave him some momentum.”

Pacquiao consolidated it with a much better second round, and he did an uncharacteristic shade dance when the bell rang. In the fourth, Thurman turned and walked slowly to his corner, and Pacquiao looked at him and flashed a derisive smile.

But then it all turned in Rounds 5 and 6, and Pacquiao understandably slowed, and Thurman saw ways to pile up combinations.

This is not the game plan he prefers. “If he gets a lead tonight it’s going to be tough for Manny,” said Kenny Porter, whose son Shawn lost to Thurman in 2016. “Keith is very good at getting ahead and then staying away from you the rest of the time.”

Thurman wasn’t ahead here, but his catchup act was on the verge of working. The 10th round was swaying in the wind.

Then Pacquiao thrust a left hook in Thurman’s ribs that buckled his knees and sent him in a desperate chase for time. Pacquiao tried to capitalize, but Thurman got out of the round to fight another day. Still, that one shot changed the vibe.

“At that point, (trainer) Dan (Birmingham) told me I had to win the rest of the rounds,” Thurman said. “That shot obviously had me in trouble. Without it, maybe I could have gotten closer to a draw. I was able to come back and trade at the end of the round, but at that point it was hard to convince the judges that it was enough.”

Thurman began campaigning for a rematch, a wish he shared with the sellout crowd of 14,356. That is problematic. Pacquiao did say he probably would fight in 2020, but Premier Boxing Champions is setting up a de facto tournament that would match him against the winner of Errol Spence’s matchup with Shawn Porter, set for Staples Center on Sept. 28.

Then the plan, as if plans mean anything in boxing, would be a clash of the welterweight titans between the PBC survivor and Top Rank’s Terence Crawford.

This is not to say Thurman can’t proceed through the “loser’s bracket” and get the fights he wants, and no one would begrudge him that.

“He is very heavy-handed,” Pacquiao said. “I’ve fought a lot of good fighters and he is underestimated. He has a good future.”

The public might demand Pac-Thurman II if the pay-per-view numbers are what Fox envisioned. But if boxing cared what the public demanded, it wouldn’t be boxing.

In the end Thurman landed 210 punches. That’s the most Compubox has calculated for one of Pacquiao’s opponents in 43 fights. He also landed 36.8 percent of his punches to Manny’s 28.4. But Pacquiao’s jab was a constant, finding Thurman 6.83 times per round.

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, had no interest in the crystal ball.

“Neither one of these guys has anything to prove,” Roach said. “It was a great fight. Now is the time to get some good rest.”

As Pacquiao and Thurman awaken Sunday and feel every imprint of these 12 rounds, they will have little choice.

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Whicker: Manny Pacquiao holds off Keith Thurman for WBA welterweight title

  • Manny Pacquiao (R) knocks down Keith Thurman in the first round at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. . (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

  • Manny Pacquiao (R) knocks down Keith Thurman in the first round at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. . (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing photographer)

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LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman brought out the best in each other and their sport on Saturday night, putting together 12 nonstop, passionate rounds.

The 40-year-old Pacquiao mocked the calendar and used a fast start to win the WBA welterweight championship, the 62nd win of his career. It was a split decision, with judges Tim Cheatham and Dave Moretti giving it to Pacquiao 115-112. Glenn Feldman favored Thurman, 114-113.

Pacquiao and Thurman (29-1) opened the fight as if they were getting paid by the punch. The younger, bigger, longer Thurman seemed to be landing more of the profound shots, too. But Pacquiao lunged with  a left, got Thurman moving backwards, and clipped Thurman on the chin for a stunning knockdown. He thus stole a round that was probably Thurman’s and won it 10-8 besides.

Thurman moved Pacuqiao against the ropes a few times , which was the plan, but couldn’t inflict enough pain to keep the 8-division champ from springing back. Pacquiao ended the second round with several juicy shots, and then danced, triple-time, back to his corner.

Through the early going, Pacquiao’s patented angles and hand speed looked as if he’d taped them from eight years ago and was playing them back on an invisible DVR, just for Thurman’s benefit. When the fourth round ended, Thurman turned and walked back with a perplexed look, and Pacquiao smiled in derision. The crowd, overwhelmingly in Pacquiao’s corner, drank every drop.

Thurman tried to settle things down in the fifth round and rocked Pacquiao several times with combinations,. Again he found it easier to initiate than to sustain. Pacquiao drew blood from Thurman’s nose near the end of the round, closed strongly again, and this time Thurman looked like the 40-year-old as he trudged back to his chair.

“It was a great fight,” Thurman said. “I wish my output had been a little better. It was just a bit behind Manny’s. It was a lesson and a blessing. I thought that knockdown in the first round might make the difference.”

But Thurman rallied. He found ways to get his right hand through to Pacquiao, whose infernal pace definitely slowed. Pacquiao seemed to regain control early in Round 8, but Thurman kept his cool and had the most significant punches late.

In the tenth, Thurman continued his comeback pattern. Then Pacquiao, who hadn’t tried many body shots, cracked Thurman in the left ribs, and the Florida fighter had to call on all his escape skills to regain his footing. Pacquiao chased him from corner to corner. At the end, both men looked like they’d finished a boxing decathlon — with two events remaining.

The pay-per-view card was preceded by a fiercely promoted IBF middleweight title match between champion Caleb Plant and Mike Lee, both undefeated. The matchup had boxing historians scrambling to remember the last significant match between American Caucasians. One candidate would have been Greg Haugen’s win over Ray Mancini in 1992, but that was the fourth of the four consecutive losses at the end of Mancini’s career.

Perhaps the real answer was Gene Fullmer’s middleweight championship TKO victory over Carmen Basilio, in 11 rounds. That was in 1960, nine years before one small step for man.

The pre-fight rhetoric was tart. Lee got into boxing late, thanks to his success at Notre Dame’s Bengal Bouts intramural event. He has a business degree and is a successful investor. Plant grew up tough, in Ashland City, Tenn., but was a distinguished enough amateur to become an U.S. Olympic alternate. To Plant, Lee was a walking entitlement.

Plant mocked Lee’s Subway TV commercials and, at the weigh-in Friday, said, “I’m going to teach you things you didn’t learn at Notre Dame.”

The main lesson was that Lee shouldn’t have fought Plant, whose preferred nickname is “Sweethands.” After this, maybe he should change it to “Clemson.”

The outcome was about as competitive as the most recent Cotton Bowl. Plant floored Lee once in the first round and twice more in the third. Referee Robert Byrd called it, halfway through the third, and Plant improved to 19-0.

“The speed was the difference,” said Lee, sounding a lot like Brian Kelly. “He is fast and very accurate.”

Although Plant has a mandatory match looming against the winner of Caleb Truax’s fight with Peter Quillan, he also is a possible opponent for David Benavides, a 22-year-old former super-middle champ who will try to take Andre Dirrell’s belt on Sept. 28 in Staples Center.

The headline fight that night is Errol Spence, the IBF welterweight champ, meeting WBA champ Shawn Porter. That winner could well meet the Pacquiao-Thurman winner sometime next year. The survivor of that, particularly if he is Spence, could then meet Terence Crawford in a full unification. Crawford, who fights for Top Rank, is the only one of the five who doesn’t fight under the shingle of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

Porter says he’ll be the most credentialed welterweight that Spence has faced, and he’s right. Porter lost a decision to Thurman by two points on all three judges’ cards, and defeated Danny Garcia to win the WBC title that he defended successfully, if not impressively, against Yordenis Ugas last month in Carson.

 

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How to handle your taxes in a blended family

This is part two of a series of 5 articles discussing the following case hypothetical from the various professional perspectives:

A and B are about to be married. A has two kids from a previous marriage. B has one child from a previous marriage. They plan to have children together. A receives child support from an ex-spouse. A’s mother also lives with them and helps to care for the children. B’s only child works in B’s business and both A and B hope their joint child(ren) will one day join the business as well. A and B have a lot to discuss!

This family situation may not be too unusual but it does create complicated tax issues. It would be wise for the couple to consult with advisers before the wedding to help prepare for issues that are likely to arise.

In this case, a CPA would want to meet with the family’s decision-makers for an initial fact-gathering session. The CPA would then assign homework for them to prepare for a second meeting during which a strategic tax plan would be developed.

The marriage and the blending of the family will impact how tax returns are prepared and the resulting taxes. For instance, questions would be asked about the children to see if they qualify as a dependent on either spouse’s tax return.

To be claimed as a dependent, a child must be the taxpayer’s child, under the age of 19, lived with the taxpayer for more than half of the year, did not provide more than one half of the child’s own support, and not be a qualifying child on someone else’s tax return. In this scenario, it looks like A’s children would meet all of those qualifications. It would be important to know, however, if A’s former spouse was claiming each child as a dependent.

If B’s child is over 19, the child might still be a qualifying child if in school full-time and under age 24. If that doesn’t apply, the child might be considered a qualifying relative if the child lived with the parent all year and the gross income of the child is less than $4,150.

There are a couple of tax credits that may apply to these children if they meet all of the requirements:

Child tax credit: This credit increased to $2,000 from $1,000 per qualifying child for kids under 17 years old. The child must be a dependent of the taxpayer and must have lived with the taxpayer for more than six months of the year. Up to $1,400 of the credit can be refundable for each qualifying child. There are phase-out thresholds on this credit.

Other dependent credit: Dependents who can’t be claimed for the child tax credit may still qualify for the new other dependent credit. This is a nonrefundable credit of up to $500 per qualifying person. These dependents may be dependent children over the age of 17 or other qualifying relatives supported by the parent.

In this case study, the child tax credit may apply to A’s kids while the other dependent credit may apply to B’s child.

A’s kids are younger since her mother helps to care for them. There is a child and dependent care dredit that may apply for their care. Both parents must have earned income and the expenses must be paid so that the parents can work. The expenses can cover household employees to take care of the child, but that employee needs to be paid wages and payroll taxes would need to be withheld. The employee’s name and Social Security Number is required to be reported to the IRS. The credit cannot exceed $8,000 for two children. The credit may be enough to justify giving A’s Mother some wages.

Child support is not taxable but the dollar amount received might affect the support test for the child being a dependent of the taxpayer if it is more than half of the support of the child.

B’s child works in the business. If the amount the child earns is over $12,000, there will have to be an individual tax return prepared for the child. That tax return will then have to be compared to the parent’s tax return to see which return would have the biggest benefit of claiming the child as a dependent.

A & B should carefully consider, then choose whether to file married filing separate tax returns or file a joint return. Normally, a joint return will result in lower tax liability or a bigger refund than two separate returns.

Reasons to file separately would include the fact that each parent wants to keep their tax liability separate, or one spouse has back taxes, student loan payments or child support owed.

Filing separate also has disadvantages such as both being forced to claim standard deductions or itemized deductions as the other taxpayer even if it is not advantageous to them. It also means a higher tax rate than on a joint return and they may not be able to take any tax credits or education expense deductions and may have other limitations.

Couples getting married, especially those with children, should discuss the tax ramifications and the possible unequal economic effect of filing their tax returns well ahead of time to avoid any surprises.

Next week we’ll write about an estate planning attorney’s perspective of this case study.

Related: Merging Family A and Family B: Who gets what?

 

Marcia L. Campbell has worked as a CPA for over 25 years specializing in seniors, trusts, estates, court and trust accountings and probate litigation support. You can reach her at Marcia@MCampbellCPA.com.

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Comic-Con 2019: George Takei draws from personal experiences in Japanese internment camps for ‘The Terror: Infamy’

AMC’s series “The Terror” infuses the supernatural with real life history.

The first season followed the crews aboard the British Royal Navy polar exploration ships and their lost expedition to the Arctic in 1845. The new season, however, is dubbed “The Terror: Infamy” and features an all-new cast, writers and creators and focuses on the United States during World War II.

This time around it follows the story of Japanese-Americans being forced into internment camps. The season premieres on Monday, Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC.


The crew from AMC’s “The Terror: Infamy” (from left: actors Derek Mio, Cristina Rodlo, Kiki Sukezane, George Takei and co-creators and executive producers Alexander Woo and Max Borestein) talked about the upcoming season of the show during a press panel at Comic-Con International on Friday. (Photo by Kelli Skye Fadroski, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“If you loved season one, none of it will be the same in season two,” co-creator and executive producer Alexander Woo said during a press conference at Comic-Con International on Friday, July 19. “Everyone here is new … but it does share some of the same DNA as the first season.”

In telling the real life horror stories that faced Japanese-Americans in the internment camps, “The Terror: Infamy” will also include elements of Japanese folklore and horror. Though the co-creators insist it’s much more in the supernatural style of films like “The Ring” versus the more gore-filled and body-dismantling section of the genre led by films like “Audition.”

The Comic-Con conference at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront next door to the San Diego Convention Center included actors George Takei, Derek Mio, Kiki Sukezane and Cristina Rodlo. For Takei, the series hits very close to home since he and his family were imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp when he was a child.

“That’s the very reason why it’s important to tell the story,” he said when asked how he felt about reliving these moments and sharing that period of history with the audience. “This is part of American history. It happened in the United States to American citizens of Japanese ancestry ordered by the United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“I hate the term the media always uses, ‘Japanese internment camp.’ Japanese internment camps would be run by the government of Japan, it was not. Many Japanese-Americans prefer the term concentration camp, because that’s precisely what it was.

It’s an important story that has chilling resonance for us today and yet so many Americans … they don’t believe that something like that happened to me,” he continued. “That’s why it’s important for Americans to know their own American history.”

Mio has connections to the history written into the show as well.

“There’s a scene where some family members get taken away and my grandfather, his father got taken away, so when we shot that, it was very powerful,” he said. “Probably the most emotional experience I’ve ever had acting.”

The co-creators also recognize the timeliness of re-sharing this bit of history as one of the current hot political topics is those being held at the Migration Detention Centers at the U.S. boarder to Mexico.

“(In television) risks are being taken,” co-creator Max Borenstein said. “One of the strengths of the television medium is that you can really build a relationship between the viewer and the characters and build a really strong empathy. That’s what were trying to do. We can use the (horror) genre in order to really bring out that experience (in the internment camps). So you’re not at home saying ‘Oh, that happened 75 years ago’.

“You know, thank goodness immigrants have nothing to worry about today,” he said sarcastically.

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Comic-Con 2019: The coolest stuff we saw and did on day 1

San Diego Comic-Con 2019 is fully underway and there’s already been plenty to see, do and report.

As you can see from all the Preview Night photos, people showed up to try out the experiences and have fun, to find one-of-a-kind merch and sell $1.1 million comic books. And on night 1? Well, we went to a “Supernatural” wake for those Winchester brothers, and can tell you just what happened.

  • Fans head down the escalators to enter into the exhibit floor for Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Castiel figurines by Funko Pop! on display during a Supernatural fan party at the Garage Kitchen and Bar in San Diego on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Sisters Carmen, left, and Patrice Amon, of National City, cosplay as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, from “Spongebob Squarepants,” during Comic-Con International in San Diego on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Tochi Onyebuchi smiles while signing copies of his science fiction novel, “Riot Baby” during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Angel Castillo, of Temecula, cosplays as his own mariachi version of Reaper from “Overwatch” during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • From left, nine-year-old Jaiden Espinoza of Riverside poses for a photograph with SpongeBob SquarePants during Comic-Con International’s Preview Night at the San Diego Convention Center on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Kat Contreras, of Rancho Cucamonga, left, and Jah’lon Escudero, of San Diego, cosplay as Super Broly and Goku, of “Dragon Ball Z,” as hundreds of fans attempt to set a Guinness World Record by performing the “Dragon Ball Z” Kamehameha super energy attack move at the Marriot Marquis San Diego during Comic-Con International in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Jim Velasco plays Iron Man VR with Playstation VR during Comic-Con International’s Preview Night at the San Diego Convention Center on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Matthew Morningstar, of Tucson, AZ, cosplays as the Joker as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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Oh, and do you love to see cosplay photos — and read about cosplay weapons checks? Because we have our definitive guide to Day 1’s best and worst cosplay outfits and our close-up look at the Her Universe Fashion Show will provide more fantastic and creative cosplay-inspired fashions to see — like the winning outfit and its designer.

There were serious moments as well, as when we witnessed a man rush the crowd and get taken down by law enforcement and anime fans discuss the arson attack in Japan.

The big movies and the big stars were there — Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger for “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Terminator: Dark Fate” — and people were freaking out about the trailers for those films and those for “It” and, er, “Cats.” And we not only talked movies, but we talked with some of the most interesting writers at the con.

There were sports — OK, e-sports — and you can’t have sports without an amazing Guinness World Record.

It didn’t take a genius to see how much fun it was, but there were geniuses on hand to talk anyway.

Want more coverage? 50 facts about the convention or the 12-year-old kid who helped start the event 50 years ago? We got all that and more. Clink the links below or above for a whole lot of Comic-Con.

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‘Supernatural’ fans hold a Comic-Con wake for the Winchester brothers as beloved series nears the end

Pamela Green has taken her guardian angel – in the form of a Funko Pop figurine of Castiel from the dark fantasy TV series “Supernatural” – around the world inside her purse.

Together, they’ve been to Iceland and Australia and Dubai, so many places that he was getting a little worn – it’s rough even for a TV angel inside a purse – so Green bought an identical one to back him up.

On Wednesday at San Diego Comic-Con, Green sat at a bar, her twin Castiels on the counter in front of her, steeling herself for the end.

“Supernatural,” which debuted in 2005, kicks off its 15th season in October, and after that, that’s it. The demon-and-monster-hunting brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, wayward sons, will ride off into the sunset, dust in the wind.

  • From left, Taylor Keepper hands Madelaine Scodro a cherry before serving her the signature cocktail Here Comes the Sons during a Supernatural fan party at the Garage Kitchen and Bar in San Diego on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Castiel figurines by Funko Pop! on display during a Supernatural fan party at the Garage Kitchen and Bar in San Diego on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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  • From left, co-writers of the “Scoobynatural” episode of the television series, Supernatural, Jeremy Adams and Jim Krieg pose for a photograph during a Supernatural fan party at the Garage Kitchen and Bar in San Diego on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pamela Green of Seattle Washington shows off her Castiel figurines by Funko Pop! during a Supernatural fan party at the Garage Kitchen and Bar in San Diego on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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Wayward Cocktails is the name of the annual party held by “Supernatural” fans during Comic-Con, and while this gathering at the Garage restaurant and bar in the Gaslamp Quarter might not be their last party, it felt different knowing that the end was near.

Because “Supernatural” fans aren’t like most other fandoms: They are engaged, they care deeply about the characters and stories and there’s not a lot they won’t do for it.

Just ask Green’s friend Amy Sjoberg, who participated with a team of 15 fellow fans in the scavenger hunt organized by Misha Collins, the actor who plays Castiel on the show.

“He asks you to do crazy things, like get serenaded at the dentist by a string quartet,” Sjoberg said.

And now you’ve gotten to know someone who got serenaded at the dentist by a string quartet because a TV star challenged her.

A year ago at Wayward Cocktails, fans serenaded a life-sized cardboard figure of Jared Padalecki, who plays Sam Winchester, by singing “Happy Birthday,” because the day of the party happened to be his birthday. Was there birthday cake served, too? Do you even need to ask?

This year there were no dreamy cardboard idols in attendance, but we did run into Jeremy Adams and Jim Krieg, the screenwriters who almost by accident created a crossover episode titled “Scoobynatural” in which “Supernatural” live-action footage was blended with “Scooby-Doo” animation, because, of course, the Winchesters and Shaggy, Freddy, Velma, Daphne and Scooby needed to team up to solve a mystery.

We invited the two men to walk down a back hallway at the Garage, the restaurant-bar where the party was held, to find a quieter spot and immediately Adams smelled a rat, or perhaps a demon. “This is how people on the show get killed!” he joked.

Adams and Krieg worked on Scooby-Doo among other projects at Warner Bros. Animation, and at one point came up with the idea of doing a Scooby episode that animated the “Supernatural” gang into the story. Their bosses were like, Don’t be crazy, boys, but when Adams mentioned the idea to a friend at “Supernatural,” well, they were all in.

“It was a series of preposterous events,” Adams said.

“We kept expecting it not to happen,” Krieg added. “Both shows have a series of tropes. We made lists of them and mixed and matched them.”

Adams has since joined the writing staff of “Supernatural,” while Krieg is a senior producer at Warner Bros. Animation.

“There are so many shows out there, it’s not often you have this much fan support,” Adams said of the way in which “Supernatural” fans have backed the show over the years.

A fan approached at one point with an autograph book — “Scoobynatural” is a favorite episode of many — and got both men to sign.

“Ruh-roh,” Krieg wrote in Scooby’s voice above his signature.

“Zoinks!” Adams added to his scrawled name a la Shaggy.

Heidi Tandy stood at the door signing in guests. The lawyer from Miami was the event organizer for the party this year, though she had to bail on her on fete to be a panelist on Harry Potter fandom, her first love.

“It’s been 15 years of intensity,” she said of her love of “Supernatural.” “I admit I didn’t start watching until season 2 but I was hooked instantly.”

She hadn’t watched that first season because she thought it was a horror show, and that wasn’t her cup of TV tea. Once she tried an episode, though, well, it wasn’t so much scary as it was a story about family, she said.

“It wasn’t just, ‘Oh, we’re going to go cut heads off,’ it’s the relationships between the characters,” Tandy said.

Relationships also blossomed among fans, mostly through SuperWiki, the “Supernatural” wiki group where fans like Tandy found like-minded friends and friendships.

“I have so many friends who come to this party because they know this is where they can see me,” she said, and indeed, right about then in walked Britta Lundin, a Los Angeles YA author and writer on the “Riverdale” TV series, and the friends who might not have seen each other since Wandering Cocktails a year earlier, shouted happy greetings and hugged.

As for the end, well, maybe it’s not really the end at all, Tandy said. Yes, new episodes will end, but much else lives on.

“I think that we’re still going to have the fan creativity,” she said. “Whether that’s fan art or fan films or just talking with each other about the show.

“I think that the fans are still going to be as celebratory as ever,” Tandy said.

Just in case, though, she’d included in the party swag bags small packets of tissues to help them face the end.

A little something to catch a wayward tear or two.

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Comic-Con 2019: ‘Jurassic Park,’ Marvel designs wow at Her Universe Fashion Show

Dinosaurs and trickster gods may not immediately evoke thoughts of glamour and couture fashion but on Thursday night gowns inspired by “Jurassic Park” and the Marvel villain Loki took top prizes at the Sixth annual Her Universe Fashion Show at Comic-Con International.

Adria Renee of San Diego took home the Judges Winner award for her prehistoric dress and Reno, Nevada resident Sarah Hambly’s Cardi B and Loki mash-up design received the Audience Winner award.

“When you see designs for ‘Jurassic Park’ they’re usually rugged, so I really wanted to translate it into something beautiful,” said Renee of her winning look, a silky and delicate slip dress adorned with meticulously cut-out tropical flowers and dinos.

During a prerecorded interview that aired during the show, Hambly said she believed Loki would be a Cardi B fan and created a form-fitting bodysuit in deep, jeweled green tones and gold accents and a flowing cape.

Hambly and Renee were among 24 designers in this year’s “The Power of Fashion” competition. A theme inspired by presenting sponsor DreamWorks’ “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.”

“I grew up with She-Ra and I was inspired by the Princess of Power,” said Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein. “We design an outfit like an armor you’re putting on for the day to fight the daily battle of life and to remind you, you are powerful.”

Eckstein revealed Thursday night that she would be voicing a character on the next season of Netflix’s “She-Ra,” however she couldn’t share details about the character.

Some of the fashion designers were inspired also by She-Ra, creating looks based on the characters.

“I was wiping away tears a little bit,” said “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” creator Noelle Stevenson who was in the crowd during the fashion show. She said she was overwhelmed to see so many people inspired by the characters.

Others, however, took their lead from other nerdy sources including anime “My Hero Academia,” Disney’s “Cinderella,” “It’s” Pennywise and even the miserly Uncle Scrooge McDuck of “Duck Tales.”

Renee and Hambly will begin working on a Wonder Woman-inspired clothing line for Her Universe to be sold at Hot Topic. Eckstein also announced that Her Universe and Hot Topic would be working on a clothing line to honor the 50th anniversary of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride.

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SDCC 2019: ‘Dragon Ball Z’ fans break Guinness world record with massive Kamehameha attack

“Kamehameha!”

The word was heard over and over again on Wednesday, July 17, as hundreds of “Dragon Ball Z” fan gathered to attempt to set a world record at the Marriott Marquis San Diego.

  • Sean Schemmel, the voice of Goku on “Dragon Ball Z,” performs the “Dragon Ball Z” Kamehameha super energy attack move with hundreds of fans as they attempt to set a Guinness World Record by performing the move at the Marriot Marquis San Diego during Comic-Con International in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Hundreds of fans attempt to set a Guinness World Record by performing the “Dragon Ball Z” Kamehameha super energy attack move at the Marriot Marquis San Diego during Comic-Con International in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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  • Kat Contreras, of Rancho Cucamonga, left, and Jah’lon Escudero, of San Diego, cosplay as Super Broly and Goku, of “Dragon Ball Z,” as hundreds of fans attempt to set a Guinness World Record by performing the “Dragon Ball Z” Kamehameha super energy attack move at the Marriot Marquis San Diego during Comic-Con International in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Sean Schemmel, the voice of Goku on “Dragon Ball Z,” walks up as hundreds of fans wait to attempt to set a Guinness World Record by performing the “Dragon Ball Z” Kamehameha super energy attack move at the Marriot Marquis San Diego during Comic-Con International in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Ashley Robbins, of San Diego, cosplays as Vegeta, of “Dragon Ball Z,” as hundreds of fans attempt to set a Guinness World Record by performing the “Dragon Ball Z” Kamehameha super energy attack move at the Marriot Marquis San Diego during Comic-Con International in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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The group of fans gathered ahead of Comic-Con International‘s Preview Night along with Guinness World Record officials to see if they could set the first record for the most people simultaneously performing the Kamehameha super energy attack move.

Those who were waiting in line joked about and demonstrated their “Dragon Ball Z” moves while discussing key plot points of the animated series and their favorite characters.

To set the record, at least 250 people needed to be present, but organizers were hopeful that they’d get up to a thousand by offering freebies to those who lined up Wednesday afternoon. Those participating had to also drag out the pronunciation of “Kamehameha” like the characters on the show holding the final “ha” for at least three seconds.

🏆GUINNESS WORLD RECORD ACHIEVED!! 🏆

Most people doing a KAMEHAMEHA at once! @GWR @BandaiNamcoUS pic.twitter.com/AVYsXRl1NF

— Dragon Ball Super (@dragonballsuper) July 18, 2019

 

Before the attempt, a Guinness official laid out the rules to the crowd, adding in jokes to help loosen everyone up, though he needed a Japanese translator to help him square everything away in the end.

The English voice actor of Goku, Sean Schemmel, also helped coach the crowd, giving pointers on how to yell “Kamehameha” without damaging their voices and telling them exactly how to space it out.

Schemmel led fans in a few dry runs before the did two record attempts to make sure everything was as perfect as it could be.

Fans screamed and giggled in delights as they set a new Guinness World Record and then posed for giant group photos with hundreds of their new best friends. The exact number of participants wasn’t immediately available.

The event marked the opening of the Dragon Ball Z World Adventure installation, which kicks off with its first stop at Comic-Con and then will travel to seven more cities across the world.

The installation includes exclusive collectibles, video games and photo booths and will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sunday, July 21.

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SDCC 2019: Preview Night kicks off Comic-Con, check out the photos

The night before Comic-Con International officially begins in San Diego each year, Preview Night kicks off the party at the San Diego Convention Center.

Preview Night is always a big hit for collectors who come out in the droves to purchase exclusive comics, figurines, clothing, toys, memorabilia and more.

Major movie and television studios, video game companies, toy makers and pretty much any type vendor you can think of also have booths along the exhibit hall floor.

This year’s Preview Night on Wednesday, July 17, gave con-goers a taste of what’s to come as the convention opens to badge holders on Thursday and runs through Sunday.

  • Matthew Morningstar, of Tucson, AZ, cosplays as the Joker as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Patrick Mendoza, of Diamond Bar left, and E.J. Cuevas, of La Palma, play Yu-Gi-Oh Speed Dual as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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  • Allie Narikawa, 7, of Irvine, colors on the Steven Universe Coloring Book wall panel at the Dark Horse Comics Booth as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans walk by the Marvel booth as they attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Giovanna Parise, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, photographs predator figurines at the Sideshow booth as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Kiersey Antonio, 4, of Boston, MA, touches a Lego Iron Man as her mother Katrina Hester tells her to be careful, as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Skeletor takes the escalator down as fans enter into the exhibit floor for Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Christopher Canole, of San Diego, cosplays as a steampunk Darth Vader as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Cara Hainsworth, of Las Vegas, cosplays as Princess Leia during Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans look at a “Game of Thrones” prototype by Mega Construx at the Mattel Booth during Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans head down the escalators to enter into the exhibit floor for Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Bernadette Bentley, of Los Angeles, cosplays as Wonder Woman as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Kevin Costa, of San Jose, looks at artwork by Alex Ross as fans attend Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans head down the escalators to enter into the exhibit floor for Preview Night before the official start of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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