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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.
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.”
Netflix has handed out an eight-episode series order for live-action drama series based on Jeff Lemire’s famed DC Vertigo Comics title “Sweet Tooth” which hails from Warner Bros. Television.
James Brolin will lend his voice as the show’s narrator while Will Forte (“MacGruber”), Adeel Akhtar (“The Big Sick”), Nonso Anozie (“Game of Thrones”) and Christian Convery (“Beautiful Boy”) will star.
Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell and Linda Moran are set to executive produce the project described as a family-friendly and broad appealing work following the storybook adventures of Gus – part deer, part boy – who leaves his home in the forest to find the outside world ravaged by a cataclysmic event.
He joins a ragtag family of humans and animal-children hybrids like himself in search of answers about this new world and the mystery behind his hybrid origins.
Jim Mickle (“Hap and Leonard”) and Beth Schwartz (“Arrow”) are set to pen the script, executive produce and serve as co-showrunners. Mickle also will direct.
An all-star cast has been assembled for Audible’s audio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed comic series “Sandman” with James McAvoy taking on the lead role of Dream/Morpheus while Gaiman himself serves as narrator.
Other cast members include Taron Egerton as John Constantine, Michael Sheen as Lucifer, Kat Dennings as Death, Riz Ahmed as The Corinthian, Andy Serkis as Matthew the Raven, Miriam Margolyes as Despair, Bebe Neuwirth as The Siamese Cat and Samantha Morton as Urania Blackwell.
There’s also Joanna Lumley as Lady Joanna Constantine, Arthur Darvill as William Shakespeare, Paterson Jospeh as Choronzon, Justin Vivian Bond as Desire, Reginald D. Hunter as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter, Anton Lesser as Dr. John Hathaway, Josie Lawrence as Mad Hettie, William Hope as Doctor Destiny, Matthew Horne as Hob Gadling and Sue Johnston as Unity Kinkaid.
The original comic ran for 75 issues from 1989-1996 and began with the accidental capture of Dream, the younger brother of Death, and the journey that begins when he is released seven decades later.
The first part of the Audible drama will debut July 15th and adapts the first three volumes of the graphic novel series. Gaiman is narrating the series and is executive producing alongside longtime collaborator Dirk Maggs who adapted the comics and is directing the series.
It comes as attempts are being made by New Line, Netflix and Warner Bros. Television to adapt the property into an event series – one that will be the most expensive TV series that DC Entertainment has ever done.