Friday, April 18, 2014
By DENNIS PERKINS
In its second year, Portland's own Coast City Comicon continues to celebrate the connection between comics and film (and comic and film geeks), providing enthusiasts of all stripes more impressive and varied nerd-ery that they can shake a lightsaber at.
Last year’s Comicon was the event’s inaugural, and it’s even better this year – a celebration of superheroes, Internet filmmaking and multimedia ingenuity.
COMING TO LOCAL SCREENS
ABROMSON CENTER, USM, Portland
Friday: "The Fifth Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival." The Friends of Casco Bay present 15 environmental and outdoor adventure films in a varied, entertaining and educational two-hour program.
SPACE GALLERY, Portland
Wednesday: "Keep the Lights On." A gay couple in NYC navigate a decade of relationship ups and downs in this emotionally fraught yet romantic drama. Director Ira Sachs will be on hand for a Q&A after the film.
A full roster of events taking place from Friday to Sunday can be found at coastcitycomicon.com, and more info about the festival can be found in Ray Routher's Off Beat column. But I asked Comicon founder Tristan Gallagher to walk us through all the movie-related goodness. As Gallagher says, "Comics have become more movie-centric." So let's see what's in store for the comic/film fanatic:
The Good (and Bad) Old Days Panel featuring Bob Camp ("Ren & Stimpy"), Alex Irvine ("Avengers Alliance") and Jeff Kline ("GI Joe"):
"These guys have worked on a ton of stuff from a time that is on the cusp of becoming the new wave of nostalgia, things like 'Thundercats' and 'Transformers.' From their perspective, was it a paycheck and they were laughing the whole way, or was there was a sense of accomplishment? It's cool to see how nostalgia itself allows you this base from which to create modern mythology. Actually intensely caring about these ridiculous robots who transform into cars and making them into something that people care about."
Entertainment Experiment Panel featuring creators of the Maine web series "Ragged Isle," "Haunt ME," "Vacationlanders," "Food Coma TV," "No Refund for Content" and "The Cleansed":
"I can't talk a lot about this one because of the important announcement they're going to make. I can say it's going to have a huge impact on the Maine filmmaking community. Seriously -- this is kind of a big deal."
Writing in a Multi-media World Panel featuring Jeff Kline, Alex Irvine and Mort Todd ("Cracked," "VEX"):
"Great advice from the people who are writing for various media -- novels, games, comics and websites."
Celebrity Draw-Off and Coast City Comicon Costume Contest:
What do these events have to do with movies? They're both going to be moderated by "Mystery Science Theater 3000" star Bill Corbett! "One of the things that separates our convention is a lot of what we're doing is interactive, and obviously, Bill is super-cool and hilarious."
Wanna Be Famous On the Internet?
"Barry Dodd and the creators of the Maine web series 'Ragged Isle' essentially tell you how to create your own content, brand your own web series and make content people will pay attention to."
Comics to Film to Comics featuring Fred Van Lente ("Cowboys and Aliens") and Christian DiBari ("The Warriors"):
"A couple of creators talking about their experiences adapting their comics into movies and vice versa. It's not always a pretty process."
The Horror Panel featuring horror hostess Penny Dreadful and Maine special effects house The Shoggoth Assembly:
"Basically an all-over talk about horror movies -- things they love and hate, and things they've encountered making them."
Dennis Perkins is a Portland freelance writer.