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From Aces Weekly:

David Lloyd (V for Vendetta, Kickback) empowered the world with his iconoclastic Guy Fawkes mask  in V for Vendetta. Today, comic conspirator Lloyd is changing the world with his publishing launch of an ambitious new online magazine called Aces Weekly. is a sequential art magazine, available exclusively through on-line subscription which will be released as seven weekly issues which form a volume. Each issue will have at least 3 landscape pages from 6 contributors (18 pages per issue), plus many pages of extras such as artists sketches etc.  Readers subscribe to volumes which cost £6.99/$9.99 per seven issue volume. Aces Weekly will be available exclusively on-line and feature all new material. Stored online, readers now have access to their magazine wherever they have web access.  The website goes live September 30, 2012.   What makes Aces Weekly special? The creators have more control then ever before.

Lloyd explained the origin of the magazine, “Well, the aim was to create something very much like a traditional weekly English comic but without limiting the subject matter.  We asked a range of creators who we knew to be excellent – the reason for the ‘ aces ‘ of our name – to do whatever they liked within certain bounds of taste, and they just came up with a great mix of stories.  Creators in this business rarely get asked to do whatever they like, so that’s part of the pull of the project for them.  And they’re enthused by the newness of the project and its potential for growth.”

Bambos Georgiou is the managing editor; “Most comic companies use creators to make money for the company, this company has been set up to make money for the creators. This time readers will know their money is going direct to the creators.”  All strips are creator owned.

Lloyd, who along with writer Dave Jackson has created Valley Of Shadows for, has gathered together some of the top names in the comic industry to appear in Aces Weekly, such as Kyle Baker, Steve Bissette, Colleen Doran, Bill Sienkiewicz, Billy Tucci and Herb Trimpe, including, alongside him in the first volume ; Phil Hester & John McCrea (Progenitor), JC Vaughn & Mark Wheatley (Return Of The Human) Alain Mauricet & Alexandre Tefenkgi (Shoot For The Moon) and David Hitchcock (Paradise Mechanism) who all contribute twenty-one page stories serialized over the first seven issue run.  Also included in the first volume are stand alone three page strips by Lew Stringer (Combat Colin), Carl Critchlow (Thrud The Barbarian), David Leach (Psycho Gran), Esteban Hernández(Harmony), Phil Elliott (Gimbley)Rory Walker (Chloroform) and Mychailo Kazybrid & Bambos (Dr Queer).

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Tripod Entertainment announced today that their 3D animated steampunk feature War of the Worlds: Goliath will ave its official US premiere at the 3D Film Festival in Los Angeles.  The festival is the premiere showcase for 3D media in North America and takes place from September 20-22, 2012.

War of the Worlds: Goliath will be one of the headliners closing the Festival.  Screening is on September 22 from 4:30-6pm at Regal Cinema #5, LA Live Stadium 14 (1000 West Olympic Blvd).

The premiere is open to the public and ticket details can be found here:  The screening will be followed by a Closing Gala hosted and performed by Quincy Jones.

“Being part of the LA 3D Film Festival is HUGE,” explained Director-Producer Joe Pearson.  “The Festival brings together thousands of people from all over the globe – from filmmakers to manufacturers – the people who not only understand the cutting edge nature of 3D today, but its future.  This is THE place to introduce your 3D movie to the world.”

“It was an extraordinary challenge to build a compelling story about a Martian invasion set in an imagined history, featuring real characters like Teddy Roosevelt, Nikola Tesla and the Red Baron,” said Producer Leon Tan. “The real kicker however was the 3D – our movie is a hybrid of 2D cel character animation and CG vehicles, and we had to make both elements work together technically and aesthetically to create a cohesive and powerful cinematic stereoscopic experience.  I think the audience is going to be pleasantly surprised.”

Pearson and Tan will be representing Tripod, accompanied by writer-producer David Abramowitz, at the screening and Q&A session, and will be available for further enquiries.

The Story of War of the Worlds: Goliath

“War of the Worlds: Goliath” is a sci-fi steampunk action-adventure animated movie about a Martian invasion of Earth set in an alternate-history 1914.  At the heart of the story is the young multinational crew of the Goliath, a giant battle walker which forms the crucial vanguard of the human resistance fighting the Martians.

Directed by animation veteran Joe Pearson (Epoch Ink Animation), written by accomplished wordsmith, David Abramowitz (Highlander), and executive produced by Heavy Metal CEO Kevin Eastman.  Featuring the voice talents of Adrian Paul (Highlander), Peter Wingfield (Highlander, X-Men 2), Adam Baldwin (Serenity, Firefly, Chuck), Mark Sheppard (Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural), Elizabeth Gracen (Highlander), Jim Byrnes (Highlander), Beau Billingslea (Cowboy Bebop) and many others.


For more information visit
YouTube HD Trailer at
Production blog at

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About Tripod Group

Tripod Entertainment creates, owns and manages animation and live-action titles for audiences worldwide, in multiple formats including theatrical, television and new media.

Tripod Entertainment is part of the Tripod Group of companies, a diversified media group based in Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles, with interests in animation and live-action production, audio post-production and 3D stereoscopic services, and intellectual property development and management.

Tripod’s stereoscopic 3D animated movie, “War of the Worlds: Goliath”, will be released worldwide in 2012-2013.  The Group is currently developing a slate of projects planned for production from 2013 onwards.

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from Nerdist:

Saturday the 11th is Nerdist Day at San Francsisco’s festival of music, food, art and comedy.

For four years, the Outside Lands festival has brought Golden Gate Park the best in bands, food, art and more, but this year, Aug. 10-12, they top themselves with an entire day of Nerdist. In the Barbary, a tent with mirrored walls and a stained-glass ceiling, three days of comedy and variety include a Saturday presented by us.

Nerdist Day, August 11th (which we’d call “Sat-Nerd-Day” if BBC America hadn’t beaten us to it.) kicks off at noon with a session of soft rock and sweet ‘staches from Mustache Harbor.  Then things really get into gear at 1 p.m. with a Nerdist stand-up cluster hosted by Jonah Ray, featuring Pete HolmesDavid KoechnerMichelle ButeauJesse Elias and Caitlin Gill. If your weekend isn’t sufficiently magical after that, stick around at 2:10 p.m. for Justin Willman and his masterful Magic Meltdown.The Dork Forest‘s Jackie Kashian hosts a second stand-up cluster at 5 p.m. with Reggie WattsRon Funches, Michelle Buteau, Cory Loykasek and Mike Drucker, and then between 5 and 8 p.m. there’ll be back-to-back Nerdist variety shows featuring Chris HardwickNeil Patrick Harris, David Koechner, Justin Willman, Marcus Monroe, Jonah Ray, Pete Holmes, Ron Funches and Jackie Kashian. Holmes will also be hosting a live edition of You Made It Weird Sunday at noon with stars from Adult Swim.

So come and step “Outside” next weekend. In addition to our all-star line-up, some of the finest in food, beer and wine will be available, plus there’s an art show and of course some heavy-hitting bands like Metallica. But to quote one of their more famous tunes, when you’re hanging with the Nerdist gang at the Barbary, “Nothing Else Matters.”

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Just in time for Free Comic Book Day and our crossover event, Intrinsic, Arcana is pleased to announce! is the home for our ever-growing library of characters. Featuring stunning artwork, both pulled from the pages of books and original artwork from Arcana artists, character biographies, first appearances, and more, brings Arcana’s characters to life in a new and exciting way!

From the main page of, you can see just how many characters are represented on the site… and it’s just the beginning. We are adding new characters, artwork, and biographies, written by Arcana creators and staff, regularly, so keep checking back for new content.

When you’re finished reading Intrinsic on Free Comic Book Day, be sure to head over to to learn about characters from the book!

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From Cinematic Titanic:

Hello everyone!

We’ve all had a blast on tour this season, and would like to thank each of you who have come out to see us! Meeting you is always the highlight of these shows, and we hope to visit new areas soon. Please let your local theatres know you’d like to see the show!

Here’s the lowdown on upcoming events:

Apr 21 Princeton, NJ
8:00 pm McCarter Theatre Center

J. Elvis Weinstein will not be joining us in Princeton due to a prior commitment, however we are very happy to welcome special guest riffer Dave ‘Gruber’ Allen in his place! Some of you may remember Dave from “Freaks & Geeks”, “The Naked Trucker”, “Gilmore Girls”, or – if you’ve seen the show before – from our very own opening act! Dave is a super-cool, funny guy, and we’re excited to have him on board.

What’s playing, you ask? It’s audience choice! Will it be “Rattlers”, “Danger on Tiki Island”, “The Astral Factor”, “Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks”, “The Wasp Woman”, or “The Oozing Skull”?? Find out this Saturday! Tickets are available here.

Apr 27 & 28 Milwaukee, WI
The Pabst Theater
Doors open at 6pm

We’re happy to have the opportunity to perform at the Pabst Theater again. Shows are as follows:

Friday, Apr 27 – “Doomsday Machine”
The Chinese are plotting to destroy the Earth! So just before a space mission to Venus is set to launch, the U.S. replaces half of its all-male crew with women. Oh, the humanity!

Saturday, Apr 28 – “The Astral Factor”
A convicted strangler is on the loose and can make himself invisible! Is anyone safe in this 1976 B-movie gem?

We hope to see you there! Get tickets here.

This just added:

July 5 Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Summer Festival
Michigan Theater

You really, really, REALLY won’t want to miss us in Ann Arbor this year… Why? Because we’re performing TWO great shows, one of which will be a WORLD PREMIERE RIFF!

At 6:00pm, we’re presenting everyone’s favorite slithery snake-fest, “Rattlers”.

Then, at 9:00pm, it’s our maiden riff of 1973’s campy “The Doll Squad”, which features an elite team of female super agents out to foil the bad guys! Some folks believe another elite team of female super agents was based on the team in this movie. Is it true? Decide for yourself! Tickets are available here.

Later This Year…

We are excited to announce our return to the St Louis area!

Nov 17 St Charles, MO
Family Arena

We don’t know yet what’s playing (it will most likely be one of our unreleased titles), but you can get tickets NOW here.

Can’t make it to a show?

Get your funny fix via Mary Jo Pehl’s laugh-out-loud-hilarious new book, “Employee of the Month and Other Big Deals”. Here’s what folks are saying:

“I love Mary Jo Pehl’s hilarious writing almost as much as teenage Mary Jo Pehl loved Roddy McDowall, which is to say, desperately.” John Hodgman, Author, Resident Expert & Minor TV Personality

“If this book is even 1/10th as wonderful as the woman that is Mary Jo Pehl you will be so overcome that you will purchase this book every time you see it. Damn.” Smoove B., Columnist for The Onion

Available at

Or perhaps you’d enjoy Trace Beaulieu’s “Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children”, available at ThinkGeek, or It’s a yucky big book of rainy day fun for belligerent children & odd adults with nothing better to do!

Joy, age 7, says, “Ewww! Read me another!”

Trace and Mary Jo’s books were illustrated by Len Peralta, of Geek-A-Week and Monster By Mail fame. Check him out!


The CT Gang

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from FUBAR Press:

FUBAR PRESS, publisher of the Kickstarter funded New York Times Best Seller FUBAR: Empire of the rising Dead are teaming up with fellow Independent publisher 215 INK to bring free comics to shops all across the country via the brand new Indie comic distributor Liber on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Both publishers are contributing 28 page stand alone comics to the event and are launching a Kickstarter campaign to secure funding for the printing of those comics.


“Kickstarter has been an immense game changer for independent comics in general and small-press indie comics in particular. A few years ago we couldn’t even hope to participate in an event like Free Comic Book Day. Kickstarter has been great because not only does it help us raise funds, but it also is an excellent tool to help spread the word on events like FCBD and introduce comic shops to a new distributor like Liber.” says Jeff McComsey, Editor in Chief of FUBAR PRESS.

Andrew DelQuadro of 215 INK had this to add, “My only regret is that we didn’t start this project earlier and pull in a few more of our fellow indie publishers and make this a gigantic event. Next year We want to go bigger.”

215 INK and FUBAR PRESS are asking for a modest $1,200 in their campaign but have said,  “The more money raised, the more books will be printed and the more shops we can ship our books to.”

Any questions can fielded through Jeff McComsey:

Follow us on Twitter:!/liberdistro
Friend us on Facebook:



FUBAR PRESS’s contribution:


Cover by: Steve Becker   Story and art by: Jeff McComsey

The Devil’s Dance floor is a 28-page stand alone World War II story about the remnants of the British 6th Army in North Africa’s last stand against zombie Erwin Rommel’s Undead Afrika Korp. Down to the very last bullets, bombs and bayonets these battle hardened Brits are out to prove that he who dares, Wins.

From 215 ink:

We have 2 shorts in one awesome book. 215’s book will be a flip style book.



Cover by: Jim McMunn Story by: Shawn Aldridge Art by:Jason Copland

This 12 page short follows Future Portland’s notorious ex motorcycle daredevil turned private eye as he takes a vacation from the non stop robot ass beatings, femme fatale double crosses and cigarette smoking to relax at the shore… where he is immediately attacked and double crossed.



Cover by: Jeff McComsey Written by Mark Bertolini Art by Peebo Mondia

Created by Rolf Ledejgard

This 12 page short introduces Milford “Ecus” Lang as the premier black market delivery-monkey in the Primate Nation. After getting handpicked to deliver a mysterious package, Ecus then lands the job offer of a lifetime…is he monkey enough to take it?

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From VIZ:

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, returns to WonderCon 2012 as the show comes to Anaheim, CA, March 16th-18th at the Anaheim Convention Center. WonderCon is one of the country’s best comics and pop culture conventions. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 206. Complete details on WonderCon are available at:

Throughout the convention, VIZ Media will treat WonderCon attendees to special “test drives” of the company’s new WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA digital manga magazine. Drop by the VIZ Media booth, sample the new digital content, and complete a special survey to be entered to win a new Apple iPad 2! The winner will be notified following the show.

Each new digital edition of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA treats manga fans in North America to the latest chapters of some of the world’s most popular manga series only two weeks after they debut in Japan’s massively popular WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP magazine. Featured series include BAKUMAN, BLEACH, NARUTO, NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, ONE PIECE, and TORIKO. WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA is available through an annual membership that provides 52 weeks of access to 48 weekly issues for just $25.99; members also receive an annual collector’s yearbook, collectable YU-GI-OH! game cards four times a year, and access to exclusive content.As a show special, attendees that become new members will receive a special bonus premium (while supplies last).

Celebrate all things SHONEN JUMP at a special SHONEN JUMP Fan Meet-Up on Friday March 16thfrom 2:30pm – 3:30pm in Room 208 and learn about the benefits of being a WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA member! Grill the WEEKLY SJ ALPHA editors in a live Q&A session! Win prizes at the trivia contest and join in the live fan art jam! Meet editor Urian Brown, the lead hype-man of #TEAMJUMP, specializing in video games, anime, and assorted fun wacky antics. Also meet Misaki Kido, female leader of #TEAMJUMP, and challenge her manga knowledge or ask for advice about your own manga!

Finally, sit in with WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA editor Urian Brown as he joins NAMCO BANDAI Games to celebrate NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations in a special panel discussion on Sunday March, 18th from 4:00pm-5:00pm in Room 207. With over 10 million units of the popular game, based on the smash hit anime/manga series, sold worldwide, all fans of NARUTO are encouraged to attend this celebration of the series. In addition to being treated to an appearance by Production Head Director Hiroshi Matsuyama of CyberConnect 2, fans can enjoy a panel covering the exciting world of NARUTO video games, with a guest host, Urian Brown, master of all things video game-related at WEEKLY SJ ALPHA. Don’t miss all of the action happening live on-stage with this exciting and breakthrough game franchise.

For more information on WEEKLY SJ ALPHA and exclusive subscriber offers, please visit or


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from The Nerdist:

See 35th anniversary edition of Wizards in Anaheim; win it from us now.

It’s fitting that Ralph Bakshi is known for his take on Mighty Mouse, because in a world where animation is still perceived as being mostly for kids, here he comes to save the day. Wizards, his darker, racier take on Tolkien fantasy, sees release as a 35th anniversary Blu-ray today, and we’re giving two of them away. But we also got an earful from the ever-entertaining auteur in a no-holds-barred interview.

NN: Back in 2008 there was some talk of doing a Wizards sequel. Is that still in the works?

RB: I wanna do a sequel because it was written for a sequel; it was written as a trilogy. I had just finished reading Lord of the Rings when I wrote Wizards…I think it’s another franchise like Rings or Star Wars. But I won’t do it for a million dollars – I need a budget that’s bigger than a million. I’ll take a million and a half.

NN: Was it a struggle for the PG rating at the time, or have we just backslid in what we tolerate?

RB: No, because basically they were just happy to see me stop cursing! I’m dead serious – they were so happy, they thought I’d reformed, that I’d changed my wicked ways from Hey Good Lookin‘ and Traffic and Street Fight…they were so pleased I was doing fairy tales that they let it slide. I don’t know how the hell I got away with that.

Conjure your way to our full-length interview with Bakshi, then enter to win the Wizards Blu-ray. For extra chances at the magic, journey to our Facebook and Twitter.

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In 24 hours, people across the planet are joining a global street protest to bury ACTA for good.

This week our massive 2 million ACTA petition caused shockwaves in Brussels, and we’ve just learned that Germany has put ACTA on ice and other governments are close to following suit. If Europe says no to ACTA, it dies!  We’re at a tipping point — If enough of us join the protest tomorrow, we can secure our online freedom and end the threat of ACTA’s censorship nightmare.

Let’s turn out in thousands to protest or, if we can’t be there in person (most of the protests are in Europe), send messages of solidarity to our fellow citizens who are marching. Click here to use our map tool to find an event near you, or leave a solidarity message for marchers:

Our massive ACTA petition was personally delivered to leading EU politicians in Brussels this week as it grew to 2.2 million signers and beyond. The European Parliament is choosing their new point person on the treaty right now. Let’s make sure that person realises that ACTA is too hot to handle.

Four Eastern European governments and now Germany have just said they’ll stall their decision on the treaty. Now, if hundreds of thousands of people attend thousands of rallies all across Europe tomorrow, we can ensure that all politicians across the 27 EU countries are put on notice that people don’t want ACTA and will continue to take action until the treaty is buried.

Those of us in Europe can join the protests. And we all can send messages of solidarity to encourage the people there and use social media to pile the pressure on key parliamentarian. Click here to check out the action centre, and tell everyone.

Again and again, we’ve shown how people power can work. When our fundamental freedoms are at stake, and we act together, we can forge an unstoppable force that makes politicians turn away from the corporate lobbies, and work in the interests of all of us. Let’s do it again.

With hope and determination,

Alex, Alice, Pascal, Emma, Ricken, Maria Paz, Luis and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

Acta activates mass opposition (Euractiv)

Acta: Europe braced for protests over anti-piracy treaty (BBC)

Latest pact on internet piracy set to be derailed (Financial Times)

Czech Republic, Slovakia freeze anti-piracy pact (AFP)

ACTA vs. SOPA: Five Reasons ACTA is a Scarier Threat to Internet Freedom

Act on Acta now if you care about democracy and free speech (The Guardian)

The secret treaty: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Its Impact on Access to Medicines

Support the Avaaz Community!
We’re entirely funded by donations and receive no money from governments or corporations. Our dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way.


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NEW PEOPLE, the dynamic San Francisco entertainment destination showcasing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture, brings the newest Japanese live game sensation to the United states for the first time ever with a special installment of “The Real Escape Game: The Escape From The Werewolf Village,” beginning Friday, March 23rd thru Sunday March, 25th.

“The Real Escape Game” is an inventive live game event that requires players to cooperate and use their detective skills to solve multiple mysteries to
locate a hidden key in order to escape from a locked room within a limited time. The U.S. edition, “The Escape From The Werewolf Village,” will be
staged inside the venue’s spacious 3rd Floor SUPERFROG Gallery at NEW PEOPLE, which will be remade as a mysterious village where werewolves have been known to attack people by night. As villagers disappear one by one,players must work together and use their deductive skills and gather clues to escape before the werewolves attack! The game setting will be accentuated with the use of actors, music, sound effects and lighting elements to add ambiance and immerse players in the environment.

NEW PEOPLE Game Times For “The Real Escape Game”

Friday, March 23rd: 6pm, 9pm
Saturday, March 24th: 2pm, 5pm, 8pm
Sunday, March 25th: 11am, 2pm, 5pm

Advanced tickets are now available for $20.00; Tickets at the door are $25.00. Each game session lasts about 90 minutes. Advance tickets and
complete game details are available at:

**Note: The Game puzzles require no special skills or knowledge to solve; all puzzles can be solved with use of intuitive logic and deductive reasoning. All aspects of The Game will be conducted in English.

“The Real Escape Game” was first played in Tokyo in 2007 and since then, more than 100,000 participants have played in multiple cities across Japan,
China, and Singapore. “The Real Escape Game” was the brainchild of Takao Kato, the founder of the Kyoto-based publishing company, SCRAP. Over 2,300 sessions have been staged to-date with as many as 10,000 participants taking part simultaneously. The Game was recently played by several hundred participants at massive arena venues including the Tokyo Dome and the city’s Jingu Baseball Stadium. The San Francisco session at NEW PEOPLE will be the first time “The Real Escape Game,” has been played in the United States.

“The Real Escape Game has become a big sensation in Japan and is a fun wayfor people to meet and work together to solve ingenious puzzles,” says Seiji Horibuchi, president and founder of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. “The Real Escape Game is often staged in eclectic settings ranging from small theatres to large sporting arenas to cathedrals. NEW PEOPLE will be transformed into a foreboding village beset with werewolves and ingenious hidden puzzles that players must solve in order to escape! Come meet new friends and try out the latest live game phenomenon from Japan with this fun event happening in March!

About NEW PEOPLE, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, California, NEW PEOPLE, Inc.  offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan through its unique entertainment destination as well as through licensing and distribution of selective Japanese films. NEW PEOPLE Entertainment ( <>, a film division of NEW
PEOPLE, Inc. strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the “Kingdom of Pop” for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America. Some titles include DEATH NOTE, GANTZ, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, and THE TASTE OF TEA.

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The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival has announced the initial line-up for its inaugural exhibition, taking place May 26th-27th 2012 at the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre.  The Festival, which will feature local and international independent cartoonists, will be open to the public and free to attend.  The guests will include indie successes such as Jeph Jacques, Ryan North, and Sarah Leavitt, with artists, creators, inkers, colorists, writers, and small press collectives rounding out the exhibitors.  Special events taking place throughout the festival will be announced shortly.

Artists wishing to exhibit at VanCAF can apply to do so by filling out the application form on the website at

Further inquiries can be directed to Shannon Campbell, Event Coordinator, at

Follow them on TwitterGoogle+, or Facebook to get all the latest news on VanCAF and comics in general!

About VanCaf:

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival is a weekend-long celebration of comics slated to enjoy its launch in May 2012. This festival of local cartoonists will feature galleries, readings, panels, and workshops, culminating in a two-day convention for cartoonists from across the country and down the coast to connect with their readers and peddle their wares.

The goal of VanCAF is to appeal to everyone, whether they’re already die-hard comics fans or simply experimenting. For this reason, admission to all events will be free, and table costs for exhibitors will be as low as possible. We’re not so much concerned with making a profit as we are transforming Vancouver into a city of story-telling and comics.

Although we take inspiration from other great Canadian shows, such as the Calgary Comic Expo and Toronto Comic Arts Festival, we are not affiliated with either event. Check back soon for updates on events andexhibitors.

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival is managed and organized by theVancouver Comic Arts Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting local cartoonists with the community.

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As many of you know, ÜberSciFiGeek participated in the recent SOPA/PIPA protest by “Going Dark” for a day. All content was blocked and was replaced with information about why we were protesting and how you could learn more. I also took the time to contact my representative via several of the contact forms available through sites like Google and Wikipedia. Today I received a response from my Senator, Maria Cantwell. I felt I should share this with those of you who are following the issue and would like to know where things currently stand.

Thank you for contacting me about the internet streaming of copyrighted material. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

On May 12, 2011, Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act. Under current federal law, U.S. law enforcement officials and holders of copyrights, trademarks, and patents, have limited legal remedies available to combat internet websites that are registered in foreign countries but operate in the United States by selling products, services, and/or content that violates U.S. intellectual property law. If enacted, the proposed legislation would create an expedited process for the Department of Justice and intellectual property rights holders to shut down through a court order these websites by targeting the owners and operators of the Internet site, if known, or the domain name registrant associated with the Internet site.

While I am supportive of the goal of protecting intellectual property, I am deeply concerned that the definitions and the means by which the legislation seeks to accomplish these goals will have unintended consequences and hurt innovation, job creation, and threaten online speech and security. On November 17, 2011, I signed a letter along with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) objecting to the bill as it is currently written.

On December 17, 2011, Senator Wyden introduced the “Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade” (OPEN) Act (S. 2029), of which I am an original co-sponsor. The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, where it is currently awaiting further review. The OPEN Act is a more effective approach to stop foreign web sites that are found to be primarily and willfully used to infringe intellectual property rights. The OPEN Act builds on the existing legal framework used by the International Trade Commission (ITC) for addressing unfair acts in the importation of articles into the United States, or in their sale for importation, or sale within the United States after importation.

Our trade laws have yet to catch up to deal with the global digital economy. The OPEN Act recognizes that the Internet has created new opportunities for foreign products to reach the U.S. market and that there is little difference between downloading a pirated movie from a foreign website and importing a counterfeit movie DVD from a foreign company. For those foreign web sites that are determined after an investigation to be primarily and willfully infringing, the International Trade Commission will issue a “Cease and Desist” order. The “Cease and Desist” order may also be served on financial intermediaries that provide services to that foreign web site, compelling financial payment processors and online advertising providers to cease doing business with the foreign site in question.  This would cut off financial incentives for this illegal activity and deter these unfair imports from reaching the U.S. market.

The OPEN Act addresses the same challenges as the PROTECT IP Act, while protecting freedom of speech, innovation, and security on the Internet. The challenge of rogue web sites is one that many nations face. The United States has always been seen as a leader on Internet issues. Laws we establish in the United States regarding the Internet are likely to be used as models around the world. And because the Internet is global in nature, it is important that we carefully consider how the laws and policies we adopt in this area may be received and translated by other countries.

The Protect IP Act was scheduled to go to the Senate floor for a procedural vote on January 23, 2011. Due to the effective grassroots advocacy and public outcry against the bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has pulled the proposed legislation from the floor calendar.

I appreciate Majority Leader Reid’s decision to postpone a vote on the PROTECT IP Act. America’s economy thrives on innovation and freedom of speech. We can’t afford to rush an Internet policy that could trample on our innovation economy. The American people clearly spoke and their voices were heard. As we move forward, I’ll continue to advocate for a policy that protects both creative content and online freedom of speech.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at

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