Have a great Saturday.Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive Returns for 44th YearThis year, the Comic-Con Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns for its 44th year for Comic‑Con@Home. The Comic-Con Blood Drive is the San Diego Blood Bank’s largest and longest-running blood drive. This year, appointments are required, and rest assured that the San Diego Blood Bank has taken proper precautions to ensure the safety of donors, staff, and the blood supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. See www.sandiegobloodbank.org for details.
For science fiction fans, few names are as revered as Robert A. Heinlein. From Starship Troopers to Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein was the dean of SF writers. Unfortunately, his readers had few opportunities to meet the master in person, as he rarely attended conventions.
Then in the early 1970s, Heinlein contracted a life-threatening illness and needed many pints of a rare blood type. He felt he owed his life to the blood donors, so when asked to be a guest at the 1976 Worldcon in his hometown of Kansas City, he agreed, but with one specific stipulation: that he would only sign autographs for people who donated blood.
Shortly afterwards, longtime Comic-Con committee member Jackie Estrada approached the author with an offer to hold a blood drive in San Diego if he would consent to being a guest. He agreed, and in 1977 Heinlein came to Comic‑Con. He and his wife, Ginny, had a great time, and Heinlein even drew a picture for the Sunday morning Art Auction.
"David Scroggy was the first Blood Drive coordinator," recalls Estrada. "We also had Theodore Sturgeon there signing his book, Some of Your Blood, which he gave to all of the blood donors. We also had entertainment for the people while they were donating. I remember that Leslie Cabarga played the piano, C.C. Beck played the guitar. It was a very fun event, and Robert was delighted. We've had the Blood Drive every year since."
Robert A. Heinlein and Theodore Sturgeon signing books at the first Comic-Con Blood Drive in 1977. Photo: Jackie Estrada
2020 Blood Drive shirt, while supplies last
Last year the Blood Drive collected 3,343 pints of blood during the convention, its biggest year ever, and the growth of the Blood Drive over the years has been absolutely phenomenal. In its first year, 148 pints of blood were collected, and as the convention has grown, so has the Blood Drive. Over the past 43 years, 25,950 pints of blood have been donated by Comic-Con attendees, exhibitors, pros, volunteers, and staff. The San Diego Blood Bank estimates that these donations have impacted more than 75,000 lives over the course of 43 years! In recognition of these efforts, America’s Blood Centers selected the Robert A Heinlein Blood Drive for their Outstanding Blood Drive of the Year award in 2016, and the Difference Maker award in 2007 was given by the San Diego Blood Bank.
Please join Comic-Con for the 44th Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive, which will run from July 22 through August 16 , 2020. Your donations are desperately needed. Donors for this year’s Blood Drive will receive a limited-edition Marvel Black Widow t‑shirt for donating on the dates of Comic-Con@Home, while supplies last. In addition, all donors will receive a free antibody screening for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (for donations made through the end of July). Results will be posted on your SDBB Wellness Portal in 7 to 10 days. Due to the current safety concerns, appointments are required (sorry, no walk-ins accepted at this time).
You can make your appointment at any one of the six San Diego Blood Bank Donor Centers or any bloodmobile locations around the county. Appointments are being accepted now at www.sandiegobloodbank.org/donate or call (619) 400-8251. Only a limited number of slots are available, so act quickly! Please use Comic-Con’s group code: “CCON”.Will Eisner Comic Industry Award ResultsThe 32nd Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were presented at a virtual ceremony last night.
The top recipients of the evening were Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell’s graphic novel Laura Dean Is Breaking Up with Me (Best Publication for Teens, Best Writer, Best Penciller/Inker; published by First Second/Macmillan) and G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward’s comic book series Invisible Kingdom (Best New Series, Best Writer, Best Painter; published by Berger Books/Dark Horse).
Multiple Eisners also went to Lynda Barry for Making Comics (Best Comics-Related Book, Best Publication Design; published by Drawn & Quarterly); Raina Telgelemier for Guts (Best Publication for Kids, Best Writer/Artist; published by Scholastic/Graphix); and Stan Sakai for Best Lettering (on Usagi Yojimbo, published by IDW) and Best Archival Collection/Project (Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter; IDW).
And the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Goes to …
Best Short Story: “Hot Comb,” by Ebony Flowers, in Hot Comb (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Single Issue/One-Shot: Our Favorite Thing Is My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
Best Continuing Series: Bitter Root, by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
Best Limited Series: Little Bird by Darcy Van Poelgeest andIan Bertram (Image)
Best New Series: Invisible Kingdom, by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
Best Publication for Early Readers: Comics: Easy as ABC, by Ivan Brunetti (TOON)
Best Publication for Kids: Guts, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
Best Publication for Teens: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell (First Second/Macmillan)
Best Humor Publication : The Way of the Househusband, vol. 1, by Kousuke Oono, translation by Sheldon Drzka (VIZ Media)
Best Anthology: Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival, edited by Diane Noomin (Abrams)
Best Reality-Based Work: They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker (Top Shelf)
Best Graphic Album—New: Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden (First Second/Macmillan)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint: LaGuardia, by Nnedi Okorafor and Tana Ford (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Snow, Glass, Apples, by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran (Dark Horse Books)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material: The House, by Paco Roca, translation by Andrea Rosenberg (Fantagraphics)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia (TIE): Cats of the Louvre, by Taiyo Matsumoto, translation by Michael Arias (VIZ Media) AND Witch Hat Atelier, by Kamome Shirahama, translation by Stephen Kohler (Kodansha)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Krazy Kat: The Complete Color Sundays, by George Herriman, edited by Alexander Braun (TASCHEN)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books:
Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select, by Stan Sakai, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Best Writer: Mariko Tamaki, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass (DC); Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (First Second/Macmillan); Archie (Archie)
Best Writer/Artist: Raina Telgemeier, Guts (Scholastic Graphix)
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team: Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (First Second/Macmillan)
Best Painter/Digital Artist: Christian Ward, Invisible Kingdom (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
Best Cover Artist: Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly (Image)
Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Black Hammer, B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know, Hellboy and the BPRD (Dark Horse); Gideon Falls (Image); Silver Surfer Black, Spider-Man (Marvel)
Best Lettering: Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (IDW)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: Women Write About Comics, edited by Nola Pfau and Wendy Browne, www.WomenWriteAboutComics.com
Best Comics-Related Book: Making Comics, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Academic/Scholarly Work: EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest, by Qiana Whitted (Rutgers University Press)
Best Publication Design: Making Comics, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Digital Comic: Afterlift, by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo (comiXology Originals)
Best Webcomic: Fried Rice Comic, by Erica Eng, https://friedricecomic.tumblr.com
Hall of Fame: Judges’ choices: Nell Brinkley, E. Simms Campbell; voters’ choices: Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Stan Sakai, Louise Simonson, Don and Maggie Thompson, Bill Watterson
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Hero Initiative; Creators4Comics; Comic Book United Fund
In addition, yesterday, the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award was given to:
Nostromo Sevilla, Sergio López, Seville, Spain.
Comic-Con thanks the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award Judges: Troy-Jeffrey Allen (Diamond Comic Distributors), Cecil Castellucci (Writer, Batgirl, The Plain Janes), Alejandro Gonzalez (La Revisteria Comics, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award winner), Ross Richie (Publisher, BOOM! Studios), and Steve Saffel (Editor, Titan Books), and Facilitator, Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld, Santa Cruz, CA).
Comic-Con congratulates all of the award recipients and nominees. You’re all winners in our book!
Please be sure to visit the Art Show to see lots of great artwork, from original art and prints to jewelry to sculpture, crochet, and more:
Comic-Con@Home Art Show on TumblrCheck Out the Comic-Con@Home Virtual MasqueradeFor this year’s 46th annual Masquerade costume competition, our regular large stage show with 4,000 in the audience enjoying large groups of costumes was just not possible. This time a page is our stage, and the show has moved online to the social media site tumblr, where contestants were able to upload photos and videos to best show off their creations.
Once again, our Master of Ceremonies is 5-time Hugo Award winning writer-artist Phil Foglio and family, providing a video intro and outro to the event. A panel of guest judges viewed the entries shortly before the convention, choosing the most outstanding in several categories. The trophy winners will receive not only our elegant Comic-Con trophy medallions, but also free badges to our 2021 Comic-Con!
In addition, one lucky winner will receive $1,000 cash from Frank and Son Collectible Show of the City of Industry, California, and another will win $500 in Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts gift cards from the Costume Designer’s Guild Local 892, representing professional Hollywood costume designers, assistant costume designers, and costume illustrators.
For the first time, SINGER® Sewing Brand is thrilled to carry the spirit of creativity and innovative design into the Comic-Con cosplay and costuming community and will present a prize of a new SINGER® Heavy Duty 6800 computerized sewing machine and a SINGER® Heavy Duty 0400s serger to the costume entry that best demonstrates exceptional sewing techniques.
The link from the Comic-Con@Home main page to the Masquerade tumblr site went live yesterday and remains active through the convention and for a time after. Tumblr accounts are free and easy to set up and use, and all entries can be viewed on the Comic-Con@Home Virtual Masquerade page on tumblr. Later today the winners will be announced on the Comic-Con@Home website and also across the Comic-Con social media platforms, but if you miss it there, we’ll have the results and pictures in tomorrow’s Newsletter.
One fun perk of being virtual is that among our 50 entries are residents of ten countries beyond the US: Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Scotland, England, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, and Australia.
Some costume entries include music and dialogue, so be sure to have your speakers on to enjoy the videos and photo montages as you scroll through all the photos, where you can see many construction photos too!
Our guest judges this year are:
- Laura Jean Shannon – Costume Designer Laura Jean Shannon's recent television credits include serving as Superhero/Specialty Costume Designer on DC’s Black Lightning, Titans, Doom Patrol, and Stargirl. Her film credits include: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Two Guns, and Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, as well as The Jungle Book, Chef , Elf, and Iron Man, the latter earned Shannon a nomination for the Costume Design Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Film Design.
- Gigi Bannister – An experienced producer, director, writer and special effects makeup artist and coordinator for a wide variety of independent feature films, TV shows, and live events, she’s been in the film industry for 45 years. Between making films is often a guest speaker at conventions, film festivals, seminars, and appears regularly at Comic-Con: International where she donates her time and talents with professional make-up assistance for Masquerade contestants.
- Allan Lavigne – Costumer, make-up special effects artist, sculptor, and painter with 40+ years with credits from Lucasfilm, Sony Pictures, Disney, and more, his work has been exhibited around the world in museums, film premieres, and numerous conventions. His Bronze Armory studio is in the San Francisco Bay area where he creates, lectures, and teaches. Formerly a top winner for many years in fan costuming at many conventions, he brings with him great insight from having learned and honed his costume skills as a contestant himself.
Test your ability to remember more-or-less useless bits of information with fun trivia quizzes on Kahoot! Everything from the History of Comic-Con to Kirk or Kierkegaard! That's right, on the latter you will be presented with a series of quotes and will have to decide if it came from 18th Century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, or 23rd Century Starfleet captain James T. Kirk.