Thursday, February 21, 2019

Wizard World Teams With Transition Projects On Comic Book Program In Portland

Wizard World is proud to team with Portland-based Transition Projects to help put comic books,

As a Thank You, fans who donate two or more items to Transition Projects during Wizard World Portland will receive a free pre-autographed celebrity photo from a selection of previous Wizard World guests. These photographs are available to fans on a first-come, first-served basis while supply lasts, one per family donation per day, at the full discretion of Wizard World.

Fans can learn more about Transition Projects at

Wizard World events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The second event scheduled on the 2019 Wizard World calendar, Portland show hours are Friday, February 22, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, February 23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, February 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

Wizard World Portland is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor and participate in the famed Wizard World Costume Contest on Saturday evening.

For more on the 2019 Wizard World Portland, visit

graphic novels and other reading material in the hands of those transitioning from homelessness to housing in the Portland metro area, for Portland’s most vulnerable citizens including veterans, women, and people with disabilities. Wizard World is asking fans to bring graphic novels, comics, science fiction books, or any other similar materials to Wizard World Portland on February 22-24 and leave them in a specially marked donation receptacle near the Special Guest Registration desk.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Kistler, Koblish, Estrada, Cook, Ortiz Among Top Creators At 2019 Wizard World Portland, February 22-24

Jeremy Clark, Mostafa Moussa, Joe Wos, Shawn Coss Also In Artist Alley At Oregon Convention Center

Art by Thomas Estrada.pngPORTLAND, Ore., January 29, 2019 Mark Kistler (“Secret City,” “Imagination Station”), Scott Koblish (“Deadpool”), Thomas Estrada (Disney, DreamWorks), Tom Cook (“Masters of the Universe,” “Scooby Doo”), Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons”), Shawn Coss (“Cyanide & Happiness”), Jeremy Clark ("Grimm Fairy Tales," "Day of the Dead") and Mostafa Moussa (“Superman,” “Fantastic Four”) are among the leading creators scheduled to populate Artist Alley at the seventh annual Wizard World Portland at the Oregon Convention Center, February 22-24. The weekend will also feature many demonstrations and discussions at the Creative Stage.

Other artists and writers scheduled to appear include James Morris (Three Kingdoms trilogy), Brett Weldele (“The Surrogates,” “The Beauty”), Joe Wos (“Mazetoons”), Jason Christman (licensed Lucasfilm/Star Wars), Jed Thomas (“CryptTV,” “The Amity Wars”), Ray Wenck (Random Survival, Ghost of a Chance), Jerry Pesce (PescEffects) and more.

Wizard World Portland  will also include non-stop live entertainment, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions with select celebrities and autographs/photo ops with with top stars such as Aquaman headliner Jason Momoa, “Supergirl” Melissa Benoist, “Teen Wolf” star Tyler Hoechlin and nine “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” stars including Alyson Hannigan, Alexis Denisof, James Marsters, Juliet Landau and Julie Benz, as well as a dedicated kids zone and more, along with Wizard World’s Master of Ceremonies, Kato Kaelin.

Wizard World events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The second event scheduled on the 2019 Wizard World calendar, Portland show hours are Friday, February 22, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, February 23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, February 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

Wizard World Portland is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor and participate in the famed Wizard World Costume Contest on Saturday evening.

For more on the 2019 Wizard World Portland, visit

Saturday, January 19, 2019

2019 Outlook

Last year there were a great deal of ups and downs for me personally. I'm hoping that 2019 will play out better and I wanted to give my loyal readers an idea of what's coming down the pipeline.

As I had mentioned towards the end of December, I'm considering making some major changes to how I broadcast information on both of my blogs (Zanziber's Point of View and RPG4EVR). Because I find difficulty finding time to be able to sit and write, I am thinking of moving towards a podcast based system. I have no problems at all talking about my viewpoints and opinions, and this would also open-up some opportunities to include people outside of myself to add content to what is brought here.

As of this writing, I am still working on getting the right equipment and learning more about how the process actually goes. When I begin, I plan on making the podcasts around 45 mins to 1 hour in length and will be more than just reviews. I will incorporate some additional opinions about the state of the comic book industry, role playing games, cons and other events as well as local items within geek culture. I also look forward to doing some interviews with artists, creators and people I happen to meet at events I'm attending.

On that note, I should make note of the various upcoming events that are coming to the Pacific Northwest in 2019.

We just had Fandom PDX up in Portland not too long ago. This is the second year, and I haven't gone once. For me, it's scheduled way too early in the year and all the advertising I saw was primarily anime based. Since my anime tastes run to the old school (Robotech), and I don't understand many of the series that have cropped-up over the last 2 decades, I have decided to give Fandom PDX a pass.

I recently learned that I Like Comic Con is taking a year off in order to make the next event in 2020 even better than the inaugural event in 2018. I wasn't able to go last year, which I really wished I had been able to attend, because there was some serious talent I would have loved to meet. I'm eager to see what they'll have planned for 2020.

As my loyal readers know, I was able to attend 2018's Oregon Coast Comic Con and had a fun time. Unfortunately, due to circumstances behind the scenes, it seems like that was the last time we will see Oregon Coast Comic Con. I don't want to bring-up sore issues, nor do I want to open old wounds so I will not post the information that I have learned through various sources since I have not hear the other side of the story.

And that segues into Cherry City Comic Con. It doesn't look like there will be another Cherry City Comic Con any time soon. There was a big issue with being able to actually hold the event soon after Oregon Coast Comic Con. One day, the promoter posted a video declaring that the event was cancelled, and the very next day it was miraculously saved; although many of the guests that had been promoted to be attending would not be able to.

While I'm uncertain about the actual circumstances behind this cancellation and resurrection, on the face of it there seemed like a ploy for marketing and trying to get everyone's attention to possibly motivate people to actually purchase tickets. From what I saw when I attended, and the information I have received from people who were either also attending or even a guest/vendor there, the entire event was incredibly lackluster. From what I saw personally, there were not nearly as many people attending as in years past. Also, there were many of the booths that were empty and vendors there that had no real connection to comic books.

It's very unfortunate that Salem has not been able to keep a decent show alive; between Cherry City Comic Con and Northwest Comic Fest. I know that the Facebook Group "Pop Culture Northwest" has been holding small events in Salem. Maybe if these were expanded, held on a Saturday instead of a Sunday, and received additional outside promotion, these events would be akin to the old Portland Comic Book show that used to be held at the Memorial Colosseum. IMHO, it doesn't actually have to be too fancy and have a ton of Hollywood guests to be good.
Since I am on the topic of events that have been cancelled, there has been some news that the once cancelled Walker Stalker Con for Portland will be returning later in the year. The event was scheduled for February (I believe), and I had seen many people making posts about their eagerness to attend and making plans. Then... for some reason... they cancelled. Just this past week, it was announced that they are trying to work with the venue to come back to Portland in November. We'll see how that plays out.

As much as I would love to go back to Emerald City Comic Con, it seems like it is being managed poorly. The last year I attended, it was more crowded that in years previous; and that was somewhat unpleasant to me. It seems that it has grown even more, to the point that they have moved the celebrity area and main stage has been moved to a hotel that is about 4-6 blocks away from the convention center. I understand that Seattle is working on building a new convention center (or modifying the existing site), but this level of expansion and inconvenience to the con goers is not sitting well.

The biggest issue with having the main stage and celebrity area away from the area where the other panels, artists and vendor are is the fact that there are always so many people outside of the event either trying to sell you something, scalp badges to the event, or potentially mug you. This will create an even more unsafe environment for people who simply want to go to the event and have a good time. They have already paid so much for badges, travel and other related expenses and now they're being told that they will need to go to a remote location in order to get the full experience of the event. I look forward to the new convention center opening in 2021.

For the first time, I have submitted my request to be part of the media for this years Wizard World Portland. This will be February 22-24 and should be a fun event. If I'm approved, I hope to bring my photographer friends from Chrysalis Rising Photographic Studio to help document the experience. Perhaps I will have transitioned to the podcast format by then as well and I can get some great interviews recorded. I'm very excited.
You can bet that I am looking forward to Rose City Comic Con, running September 13-15. As my loyal readers can attest, this event is my favorite from all the events in the Pacific Northwest. Early last year, I was hoping that I could get a table or booth for my non profit; Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer. Due to circumstances, I was unable to commit to this level of attendance. There are several factors that are in play for the likelihood of attempting this for 2019, so I am uncertain at this time. You can bet that it I am unable to table at the event, I will make sure to submit my application to be able to cover it again as in years past.

I am so happy that I have not only attended every single Rose City Comic Con, but that I have been blessed to be a part of the media for the past several years. If I end-up going as a member of the media again, I will work to schedule some interesting interviews with a variety of guests.

While I wasn't able to attend EUCON last year, I hear it was a blast. At the time of this writing, there has been no official announcement on when the next event will be held. When dates are announced, I do plan on requesting a table/booth for Comic Book Cover 4 Cancer. I feel like Eugene may be an area that needs to learn about our fundraising activities for the American Cancer Society.

As of right now, the next series of auctions are scheduled to begin March 2nd. We'll also have our annual Free Comic Book Day series of auctions in May. The dates for the remaining 2 series of auctions are TBD and dependent on getting more covers from artists. If you, or somebody you know, would like to donate to Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer in our effort to raise $$ for the American Cancer Society, please contact me through our Facebook page. To date, we have raised just over $9,200 for cancer research since 2013.

For those of you who have blank covers that we have sent you, please let me know what the status is for receiving them back to us. There are a handful of artists who have had their blanks since 2017. We can't continue without covers to put up for auction.

If you have covers you have already worked on that you would like to donate, please PM me and I will give you our shipping address. We are also branching-out with sketch cards as well. All donations are greatly appreciated.

For those that need blanks to work on, we have plenty; unfortunately our financial situation does not allow for me to ship anything right now. If we were to receive some donations through the "Donate" button on our FB page, we would be able to ship some.

I will continue to post reviews here for trade paperbacks and graphic novels. I have a large section of shelf of trades that have been read, but now need the reviews to be written. Finding time to do the writing is the biggest difficulty right now. Changing to the podcast format would help greatly. If anyone has suggestions on equipment to use or best practices, please feel free to comment.

Oh.. and yesterday I picked-up 40 new trades to add to my collection. Here's what the "To Read" pile looks like at the moment:
I'm looking forward to sharing more updates, reviews and information when it becomes available. I hope you have an excellent 2019!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

East of West Vol 5: All These Secrets

Title: East of West Vol 5: All These Secrets

ISBN: 9781632156808
Price: $14.99
Publisher/Year: Image, 2016
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Collects: East of West #20-24

Rating: 4/5

I was one of the few fans out there that was late to the East of West party. The series was already three graphic novels deep by the time I picked up my first trade and it wasn’t long before I caught up with the rest of the comic loving world.

Hickman has built as series that rivals George R.R. Martin in political intrigue and violence, the difference being the heavy Sci-Fi bend to the tale that Hickman tells. If there was ever a decent alternative to Game of Thrones then East of West would be it. There is layer upon layer of betrayal and conspiracy. Every character that we meet is nothing more than a pawn on a larger chess board to be moved around at Hickman’s whim, and at times the reader themselves become a pawn in the game, lead to throw favor to one character only to find that their own loyalty is misplaced and better served to be saved for another camp of characters. It would take five thousand words to properly summarize a work of this scope, and let’s face it, if you’re not reading this title this is not the volume to jump in. That would be the equivalent of doing a cannonball in the middle of a half-finished swim meet. It accomplishes nothing and you end up looking like an ass for trying. New readers need to seek out volume one and start at the beginning.

As for readers who are familiar with the world that Hickman has built through the previous 19 issues, you’re getting more of the same, but now the stakes seem higher as war looms on the horizon for all the nations and characters involved. We watch as political leaders try to grasp at the fading strands of peace before the unstoppable ending starts; you can guess at their success.
There are a handful of high points in this graphic novel, a fair share of them belong to the beautiful artwork of Nick Dragotta, who does not fail to impress with every panel. His unique style has been a cornerstone for the series and maintains its high quality in this volume.

As for the plot, there are also a handful of great moments. I’ll give a short description of each here but the over-all plot is far too extensive to cover in one small review. I suggest that you read the book for yourself if you’re experienced with this series.

  • Watching the transformation of Doma was thrilling. Going from the right hand of the President to being thrown to the wolves of the Endless Nation, we watch Hickman peel layer after layer off of this character to reveal a woman whose loyalty is to only to the one she loves, placing herself firmly in the machinations of two major camps, playing both sides against the middle, in the hopes of surviving long enough to see her lover once more.
  • The leader of the Endless Nation takes a trip to the deadlands. A place where if his feet touch the soil he will be pulled to the underworld. His fix to this problem is not only clever but humorous.
  • The assassination attempt on Xiaolian, leader of the House of Mao, is one of the high points of action not only in this volume, but also the series. There are shades of Frank Miller in the artwork, with just enough nods to Miller’s work Ronin to make an old fan like me smile.
There is more than enough here to warrant a purchase. The thick plot will take multiple read-throughs to understand and digest all of the finer nuances hidden throughout. Making this volume a value at its low price point, and a fine edition to bookshelves across the world. I give this a high score and hope you enjoy.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

East of West Vol 4: Who Wants War

Title: East of West Vol 4: Who Wants War

ISBN: 9781632153814
Price: $14.99
Publisher/Year: Image, 2015
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Collects: East of West #16-19, The World one shot

Rating: 3.5/5

East of West Vol 4: Who Wants War has a slightly shorter story arc, as this volume also contains the East of West: The World one shot, which is a helpful little guide that gives a little bit of back story for each of the seven different factions involved in the main narrative.  It also provides a timeline that spans several pages that gives a brief overview of what happened to lead up to the current conflict.  Once we get past that, the story picks up immediately after the end of Volume 3, with the “Beast” and his mentor on the run following their escape.  They meet another interesting character in their travels, and the Beast is forced to learn some very difficult lessons… It’s getting harder and harder to write these without giving anything away…

Jonathan Hickman takes a different approach in this story arc and chooses to focus the narrative predominantly on one character rather than what is happening in the world at large.  We get a few glimpses here and there of a large scale war going on between two of the factions, but for the most part the focus remains more intimate, which leads me to believe that Hickman is telling us this story is not so much about the big action itself, but more the characters that manipulate and steer the action to where they want it to go.  It still works, but it makes for a slightly slower story, especially when he’s given us three volumes chock full of intrigue and backstabbing leading up to this one.  Ultimately, the story still moves, but it took a little bit of a detour in this volume to add some life to one of its secondary characters, who appears to be working his way into a much larger role.

Nick Dragotta’s artwork is just as solid as it’s always been.  No major complaints in this area.  I will point out that it’s quite interesting to see the Beast’s perception of the world, as shown to him by his mentor, vs. the way the world actually looks.  He does a great job with the juxtaposition of the two perceived “realities” … I guess you could call them that.  One other really bright spot in this issue is the killing fields that the horsemen War, Conquest, and Famine encounter early on on the volume.  The art is conjunction with some of the dialogue in that particular segment is actually kind of chilling to read and see.  It’s like seeing something out of the machine ruled future of the Terminator movies.

All in all, this volume won’t blow your mind, but it does accomplish the task of moving the main story along (just a little), while simultaneously giving us a much deeper look at a character who had kind of been on the sidelines up to this point.  It certainly was not the best of most interesting volume in the series so far, but it’s still a worthy addition to one of the best series currently on sale.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

G.I. Joe: Deep Terror

Title: G.I. Joe: Deep Terror

ISBN: 9781613775110
Price: $19.99
Publisher/Year: IDW, 2012
Artist: Will Rosado, Alex Cal
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Collects: G.I. Joe Season 2 #13-17

Rating: 3.5/5

In this book, we see a G.I. Joe team (led by Scarlett) become captured by Cobra and sent to their mines for forced labor. Mainframe, stows away on the mission and it is up to him to try and save the woman he loves and his teammates.

For the most part, the bulk of the story is a bit mundane and seems like it would have made for a decent cartoon episode in the ’80s but it wouldn’t be one of the more memorable ones. The Joes in the mine and some of the other captives attempt an escape, led by Stalker, while Scarlett is dealing with the Cobra leaders at the facility.

This collection encompasses five issues but the main story is concluded by the end of the fourth issue. The fifth and final issue here, serves as a bridge to the next story: G.I. Joe: Target Snake Eyes. In this issue, Scarlett discovers that Snake Eyes is actually still alive and she confronts Helix, who she feels lied to her about Snake Eyes’ fate.

This isn’t a bad chapter in the IDW G.I. Joe franchise. It just serves as filler and as a much needed break from the intensity that was back-to-back-to-back major events: Cobra – The Last Laugh, Cobra Civil War and Cobra Command.

Deep Terror is fairly fun and it gives you time to breathe before the Joe team sets off to hunt down Snake Eyes, who is now in league with Storm Shadow and the Arashikage ninja clan.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Considering A Change

To all my loyal readers that have followed me over the past 8+ years 
(Yes, it has been just over 8 years for this blog now.)

I have been giving some strong consideration about changing the format for my reviews. As much as I thought changing the style of my blog or including additional features would help, I now believe that I want to go with an actual change of format. I would love to bring you more reviews and updates on geekery, but I find I have a difficult time putting thoughts to words when I have the time. Yet, I have not problems talking about them... even if it's to myself.

So I am now doing research on taking Zanziber's Point of View to the next level.
That's right. I'm working to change gears from the written word to the verbal. I'll continue with my reviews, and make sure to post the information about each trade along with a link to the episode it is reviewed right here. I also want to expand with interviews and provide recordings I make while I am at events such as Rose City Comic Con. I hope to expand the range that I have been working on for the better part of a decade, and with that be able to provide a better range of topics covered and a more in-depth view of what I experience.

It's been one thing to be able to relate the tales of meeting various artists and creators over the years. It will be another to be able to bring you closer to my experiences. I look forward to being able to go to events and perhaps schedule time with a variety of people who help make the comic book industry great.

So stay tuned for more info about when my podcast will be available for your listening pleasure. If you happen to have some experience in podcasting and have some tips, please feel free to share them here in the comments section.