Yesterday I received the heart breaking news that a very close friend of mine, Jason Graham, had passed away. Some of you might of know Jason from his Lamentations of the Grognard column here on the site. But my adventures with him started 36 years ago.
Jason and I first met in 7th grade art class. It was there that he introduced me to the game Dungeons and Dragons. We spent most of our time in that class either playing, creating characters, planning campaigns, or painting miniatures. Somehow we managed to get passing grades for being creative. He introduced me into a world that said don’t be ashamed to be a geek. He helped me to open my eyes and change my point of view on my life.
Jason moved away later in the year and we didn’t meet up again until we were in our 30’s. That initial meet up was great. It was like we were never apart. We spent hours catching up and geeking out. It was like that everytime we got together and it eventually lead to him being a writer on this site.
Jason was an extremely passionate and intelligent man. He had a big heart and a love for D&D to match. It was easy to get pulled into his world. And once you were there you never wanted to leave. He changed my life. A lot of who I am today was thanks to him. It’s a debt I could never repay, no matter how hard I might try.
I regret the years we were apart and the times I couldn’t join any of his campaigns. But I will remember the 24hr day we spent sitting next to each other at 4 Color Fantasies making our artists lives horrible. I will also remember the 12hr D&D session we spent with our friends having an awesome campaign that left my character in limbo, still waiting to be revived. And who can forget his Mead.
Jason was a writer, web designer, world creator, Dungeon Master, brewer, father, husband, singer, HP Lovecraft addict, and mad genius. But most importantly he was my friend. I will miss him dearly.
I hope he’s up there giving Gary Gygax lessons on how to DM and having the campaign of ages.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SDCC will be virtual this year. Fear of large crowds as well as the inability to use the Gaslamp district has caused the convention giant to stream live. Here is the schedule of events that has been released. Beware, as has been made evident by tickets sales for previous years, SDCC servers may become overloaded fast and cause some lag time. Hopefully, they will have all the bugs worked out before then.
Thursday, July 23rd:
10am: All CBS All Access’ “Star Trek” Series
11am: “Solar Opposites” (Hulu)
12pm: “Truth Seekers” (Amazon Prime)
12pm: “Duncanville” (FOX)
1pm: “His Dark Materials” (HBO)
1pm: “A Look Inside Marvel’s 616” (Disney+)
1pm: “Utopia” (Amazon Prime)
2pm: “Upload” (Amazon Prime)
2pm: Kosinski, Trevorrow, Rodriguez Panel
3pm: “Close Enough” (HBO Max)
3pm: “Superstore” (NBC)
3pm: “The Boys” (Amazon Prime)
Friday, July 24th:
10am: Charlize Theron: Evolution of a Badass
10am: “Summer Camp Island,” “The Fungies,” “Tig N’ Seek” (HBO Max)
11am: “Adventure Time: Distant Lands – BMO” (HBO Max)
11am: “Vikings” (History)
12pm: “Fear the Walking Dead” (AMC)
12pm: “Infinity Train” (HBO Max)
1pm: “The Walking Dead” (AMC)
2pm: “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” (AMC)
3pm: “Helstrom” (Hulu)
3pm: “The Capture” (Peacock)
3pm: “Robot Chicken,” “Final Space,” “Primal” and “Samurai Jack” (HBO Max)
4pm: “Bob’s Burgers” (FOX)
4pm: “Crossing Swords” (Hulu)
5pm: “Archer” (FXX)
5pm: “Pandora” (The CW)
Saturday, July 25th:
10am: “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” (FOX)
11am: “The Simpsons” (FOX)
12pm: “Bless the Harts (FOX)
12pm: “Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe”
1pm: “Constantine” 15th Anniversary Film Reunion
1pm: “American Dad” (FOX)
1pm: “Antlers” with GDT & Scott Cooper
1pm: “The Right Stuff: The Series” (Disney+)
2pm: “Family Guy” (FOX)
2pm: “For All Mankind” (Apple TV+)
3pm: “The Order” (Netflix)
3pm: “Bill & Ted Face the Music”
4pm: “Stumptown” (ABC)
5pm: “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)
Sunday, July 26th:
10am: “Hoops” (Netflix)
11am: “Next” (FOX)
2pm: A Conversation with Nathan Fillion
Matt Reeves’ upcoming “The Batman” film is going multi-platform.
HBO Max has handed out a series commitment to Warner Bros. Television for an original DC drama set within the Gotham City police department.
Said project will be set in the same world Reeves is creating for “The Batman” and will build upon the film’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City, along with exploring the myriad of complex characters of Gotham.
Reeves will executive produce, as will “Boardwalk Empire” creator Terence Winter who will also pen the series which sounds very akin to the “Gotham Central” comic. Dylan Clark also executive produces.
Reeves says in a statement: “This is an amazing opportunity, not only to expand the vision of the world I am creating in the film, but to explore it in the kind of depth and detail that only a longform format can afford – and getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter, who has written so insightfully and powerfully about worlds of crime and corruption, is an absolute dream.”
This marks the first project for Reeves under his recently announced major overall deal with the Warner Bros. Television Group. It is not clear whether Batman will be among the characters on the show.
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman – Available 07.15.20 only on Audiblehttps://www.audible.com/pd/The-Sandma…
Hailed by the Los Angeles Times Magazine as “the greatest epic in the history of comic books”, The Sandman changed the game with its dark, literary world of fantasy and horror – creating a global, cultural phenomenon in the process. At long last, Audible and DC present the first-ever audio production of the New York Times best-selling series written by acclaimed storyteller Neil Gaiman (who also serves as co-executive producer). Adapted and directed by multi-award-winner (and frequent Gaiman collaborator) Dirk Maggs, and performed by an ensemble cast with James McAvoy (It, Parts One and Two, X-Men: First Class, Split) in the title role, this first installment of a multi-part original audio series will transport you to a world that re-writes the rules of audio entertainment the way that The Sandman originally re-defined the graphic novel.
When The Sandman, also known as Lord Morpheus – the immortal king of dreams, stories and the imagination – is pulled from his realm and imprisoned on Earth by a nefarious cult, he languishes for decades before finally escaping. Once free, he must retrieve the three “tools” that will restore his power and help him to rebuild his dominion, which has deteriorated in his absence. As the multi-threaded story unspools, The Sandman descends into Hell to confront Lucifer (Michael Sheen), chases rogue nightmares who have escaped his realm, and crosses paths with an array of characters from DC comic books, ancient myths, and real-world history, including: Inmates of Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, Doctor Destiny, the muse Calliope, the three Fates, William Shakespeare (Arthur Darvill), and many more.
A powerhouse supporting cast helps translate this masterwork into a sonic experience worthy of its legacy, including Riz Ahmed, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Andy Serkis, and more. Setting the stage for their performance is an unprecedented cinematic soundscape featuring an original musical score by British Academy Award winner James Hannigan. Fans will especially revel in a new twist for the audio adaptation: Neil Gaiman himself serves as the narrator. Follow him as he leads listeners along a winding path of myths, imagination and, often, terror. Even in your wildest dreams, you’ve never heard anything like this.
Daily Planet intern Clark Kent takes learning-on-the-job to new extremes when Lobo and Parasite set their sights on Metropolis in Superman: Man of Tomorrow, available later in summer 2020 on Digital, 4K, Blu-ray & DVD.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Superman: Man of Tomorrow is the 41st film in the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Darren Criss (Glee, American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace) and Emmy nominee Zachary Quinto (Star Trek franchise, Heroes) lead a star-studded cast as the voices of Superman/Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, respectively. The cast also includes Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas, Baywatch, All My Children) as Lois Lane, Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Parasite/Rudy Jones, Ryan Hurst (The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Remember the Titans) as Lobo, Ike Amadi (Mass Effect 3, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge) as Martian Manhunter, Neil Flynn (The Middle, Scrubs) as Jonathan Kent, Bellamy Young (Scandal, Prodigal Son) as Martha Kent, Cristina Milizia (DC Super Hero Girls) as Maya, Petey & Kaylie, Eugene Byrd (Bones, LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures) as Ron Troupe, April Stewart (South Park) as Mrs. Ross, and Piotr Michael (The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle) as Perry White, as well as Cissy Jones (Firewatch) and David Chen (Gotham).
Chris Palmer (Voltron: Legendary Defender) is the director of Superman: Man of Tomorrow, utilizing a script by Tim Sheridan (The Death of Superman). Supervising Producer is Butch Lukic.
Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons – The Movie offers a new take on the Deathstroke legacy. Mercenary and master assassin Slade Wilson leads two lives: one as the relentless killer known as Deathstroke, and the other as a dedicated family man. When these worlds collide, forced together by the vicious terror group known as H.I.V.E., it is the killer in Slade who must fight to save his loved ones, as well as what remains of himself. With his soul torn apart and his young son held captive, Deathstroke will have to atone for the sins of his past to fuel the battles of his future!
Canada’s Lark Productions has acquired the exclusive television rights to Image Comics’ sci-fi graphic novel series “Descender,” and its sequel “Ascender,” created by New York Times bestselling author Jeff Lemire (“Black Hammer”) and artist Dustin Nguyen (“Batman: Streets of Gotham”).
“Fortunate Son” producer Lark, which is part of NBCUniversal International Studios, will develop and produce the series.
“Descender” was launched in 2015 and 32 graphic novels were published through 2018. It follows Tim-21, a companion robot who is thrust into a hostile cosmos when he discovers that he’s the missing link between a fleet of life-annihilating constructs and modern robotics. In 2016, Nguyen won the Eisner for best painter/multi-media artist for the series.
“Ascender” was launched in 2019. Set 10 years after the events of “Descender,” “Ascender” imagines a magical world sans machines and follows a young girl who embarks on an epic quest to find Tim-21.
Lemire said, “The world of “Descender” and “Ascender” just keeps growing, and Dustin and I are very happy to be working with Lark to bring it to televisions screens as well. Their passion for the comics and devotion to telling the story the right way has us both very excited.”
“‘Descender’ [and] ‘Ascender’ is a beautifully crafted saga, examining the tolls of technology on nature and humanity, which feels very timely for television,” added Erin Haskett, president of Lark Productions.
Haskett, Lemire and Nguyen will serve as executive producers on the project.
In 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired rights for a feature film adaptation of “Descender.”
As a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez), a career criminal who was never able to hit the big score, teams up with famous gangster progeny Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt), and black market hacker Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster), to commit the heist of the century and the last crime in American history before the signal goes off. Based on the Radical Publishing graphic novel created by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, The Last Days of American Crime is directed by Olivier Megaton, written by Karl Gajdusek, produced by Jesse Berger, p.g.a., Jason Michael Berman, p.g.a., and Barry Levine, with Sharlto Copley also co-starring. Watch The Last Days of American Crime on Netflix June 5.