All posts by Trae Dorn

Trae is the tallest of the hosts, and he is certain it’s because he is the oldest. This is (at the very least) why he is the baldest. Trae co-founded Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con and refuses to apologize for it. Which he probably should. Trae also writes the webcomics UnCONventional and The Chronicles of Crosarth, which leads many to ask when the hell he has time to actually do anything anymore. He says he has time because he “does it all quite poorly.”

Game Designer C.A. Suleiman Banned From StokerCon Due to Sexual Harassment Allegations

C.A. Suleiman was one of many figures in the role playing game industry to have allegations of sexual harassment come to light in the last few weeks. Though not really a household name, Suleiman is a game designer who has done work multiple game settings, including White Wolf’s World of Darkness and Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons.

Some of these sexual harassment incidents allegedly occurred while Suleiman was in attendance at StokerCon, In response, Lisa Morton, President of the Horror Writers Association (which runs the convention), has announced that Suleiman is banned from Stoker Con 2018 and any other future event they run:

HWA/StokerCon has recently been made aware of a number of incidents that occurred at our previous events involving C.A. Suleiman and female attendees. In accordance with its anti-harassment policy as stated here – http://stokercon2018.org/393-2/ – HWA’s Board of Trustees have permanently banned Mr. Suleiman from attending our future events. We encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses harassment by any person at any of our events to contact us via the above-mentioned web page. We are dedicated to making our StokerCons and other HWA-sponsored events safe and comfortable events for all attendees.

This, of course, stands in stark contrast to another convention’s (poor) choices when confronted with a simliar situation. Frankly, it’s just nice to see a convention’s management doing the right thing, as shining a light on these situations is the only way to alleviate geek culture’s “missing stair” issue.

Via File 770

First Look at Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor (And an Updated TARDIS)

Jodie Whittaker will take over as the thirteenth Doctor at the end of this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, but we’ve only seen her in outgoing twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi’s costume so far. Since every regeneration of the Doctor has a signature look (or two) that’s their own though, many have wondered what she’d end up wearing normally.

Well, I guess now we know. Earlier today the BBC tweeted out the following image of Whittaker in costume, standing in front of the TARDIS:

It’s definitely… different? I mean, I like it (and that long coat is going to look great in running scenes), but it’s not exactly what I expected.

You’ll also notice the TARDIS itself has been updated – gone is the St. John’s Ambulance sign that’s adorned the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor’s tardis, and we’ve reverted to the dark backed sign (matching most of the Old series and the 1996 movie). Overall, I like it. It harkens back to the old show while still feeling really modern.

What do you think?

You Need to Watch This Short Film ‘HEWLOGRAM’ (Starring David Hewlett)

Look, I know you probably have a lot on your plate right now. We’re all very busy people. But at this moment you need to drop all of it, sit down, and watch the short film Hewlogram. We’ve embedded it below so you don’t need to go looking for it.

Made by Red Giant effectively as a tech demo of their special effects software, it harkens back to 1980s shows like Automan and Knight Rider. Mostly it’s just really fun, and a great way to waste a little time this morning.

So watch it. Immediately.

So Universal’s ‘Dark Universe’ Is Pretty Much Done

Universal has been desperately trying to create a shared monster movie universe for years, and after a couple of false starts (and contradictory stories), they finally got the thing moving this year with The Mummy. Unfortunately, The Mummy was also terrible.

Critically lambasted and with a disappointing domestic box office, the few people who might still have been excited about this franchise have been worried. Things didn’t look good for the Dark Universe, and now the final nails may be going into its coffin.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the main creative team behind the Dark Universe, Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, have now left the project. Additionally, preproduction stopped on Bride of Frankenstein in October, which would have been the next film made in the series. Needless to say, there’s no word on the Wolfman and Invisible Man films.

Universal isn’t giving up hope on making a shared monster movie universe, but it really looks like the Dark Universe plan is dead in the water.

Via THR

North Texas RPG Con and How Not to Respond to Sexual Harassment Concerns

Sexual harassment and assault have always been a problem in the convention community, but it’s only really had a light shown on it for the last couple of years. We’ve written about it before, but it never hurts to reiterate how important it is that conventions have written, accessible policies that address sexual harassment. We’ve also stressed the importance of proper follow-through of these policies.

I think that’s why it’s always a mild shock when we discover another con that doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. Not only that, but when those same cons, rather than look and see what’s working elsewhere, decide to just dig in their heels and bury their heads in the sand.

I’m losing myself in metaphors here – what I’m talking about is North Texas RPG Con. And as this story literally kept changing while I was writing it, you’re going to want to make sure you stay all the way to the end. Continue reading North Texas RPG Con and How Not to Respond to Sexual Harassment Concerns

Sorry, But Disney Probably isn’t Buying 20th Century Fox

The internet went crazy over the last few days with when the news broke that Disney was in talks to purchase most of 20th Century Fox. The idea that the X-Men and Fantastic Four could join the Marvel Cinematic Universe was enticing, and it would consolidate the rights to the original Star Wars trilogy under one roof.

Unfortunately, it’ll probably never happen.

Bloomberg is reporting that while the two companies had been in talks, those talks have now fallen apart. So while there was a point where this pop culture merger could have moved forward, we are no longer living in a world where that’s a likelihood.

It was interesting to think about for a while though.

Via Bloomberg

Here’s the Inevitable Mash Up of ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Perfect Strangers’

Netflix’s Stranger Things relies heavily on ’80s nostalgia, so it seems inevitable that people are going to want to do mashups with with it and properties actually from that decade. Due to the name, one of people’s favorite references to bring up is, of course, the sitcom Perfect Strangers.

ScreenJunkies, of course, used the Perfect Strangers‘ theme song as their template for their “Honest Retro Television Theme” for the show. Now Jimmy Kimmel Live! has upped the ante, by actually getting Mark Linn-Baker and Bronson Pinchot to appear as their characters in a sketch called (you guessed it) “Perfect Stranger Things.”

It’s pretty funny (for a Jimmy Kimmel sketch), though what won me over was the Full House joke at the end. Of course, you should just watch it and judge for yourself.

Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jason David Frank Faced Off at La Mole Comic Con

In what can best be described as “a massive headache for a convention’s guest relations staff,” Jason David Frank and Jean-Claude Van Damme reportedly came to blows at La Mole Comic Con in Mexico this last weekend. According to The Blast, Frank was asked by Van Damme to do a joint photo. As the two have been notoriously feuding for years, Frank apparently thought Van Damme wanted to bury the hatchet.

This wasn’t so much the case.

When Frank arrived at the green room, he found a hostile Van Damme. As The Blast reports:

That’s when the Power Ranger says he realized it was “all a setup.” Frank tells us JC approached him with cameras rolling and demanded Frank apologize for calling him out in 2010 and said if he wanted a fight, “Let’s throw down.”

Tension seemed to rise (as the cellphone video posted by The Blast shows), and you pretty much end up with two guys who have way too much invested in their masculinity and egos getting in each other’s faces. Continue reading Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jason David Frank Faced Off at La Mole Comic Con

Asher Angel Cast as Billy Batson in ‘Shazam!’

Last week it was announced that Zachary Levi was cast as the adult-bodied version of Captain Marvel/Shazam! (depending on what DC calls the character) in the forthcoming Shazam! movie. Since then, we’ve been trying to figure out who would play young Billy Batson in the film. And while we speculated it would be one of the kids from Stranger Things in last night’s podcast, it turns out we were super wrong.

It’s now been announced that actor Asher Angel will take on the role of Billy Batson. People may know Angel from playing Jonah Beck on the Disney Channel’s Andi Mack. I mean, I’m just sort of assuming people would know him from that. I was born in the 80s and don’t have kids — so the last thing I watched on the Disney channel was probably Kids Incorporated.

I’ll let you google that yourself.

Mark Strong is reportedly in talks to play the bad guy, but that casting isn’t for certain. Peter Safran is producing the Shazam! movie, with David F. Sandberg directing. The film’s screenplay is by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke.

Shazam is the next DC movie to go into production, so let’s see how this all works out.

Via Variety

Amazon in Talks to Make ‘Lord of the Rings’ Television Series

Amazon is apparently in talks to develop a television series based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. Warner Bros and the Tolkien estate have apparently been shopping the program around with a pretty hefty price tag, and it looks like the streaming service is biting.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos had apparently instructed Amazon Studios to pursue a large scale genre show, so it makes sense that this is a property they’d go after. The fact that Warner Bros and the Tolkein estate are working together productively is probably the more surprising part, as they only just settled their 2012 lawsuit over merchandising this last summer.

Honestly, I’m not sure if this is something that anyone really wants though. While the later Hobbit films had some issues, most people love the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies. Any show they produce will not just be judged against the source material, but against a movie version of the franchise that’s remembered fondly. While Jackson’s films weren’t flawless, if a television series gets wrong what the movies got right the critics will have a field day with it.

But I guess we’ll see what happens.

Via Variety, Deadline