TV

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Super-Guy: Tucson Comic-Con's Mike Olivares Fights For Truth, Justice and Old Pueblo Nerds

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Tucson Comic Con's Mike Olivares works with Alan Tudyk promoting 'Con Man.' - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Tucson Comic Con's Mike Olivares works with Alan Tudyk promoting 'Con Man.'

There has never been a better time to be into nerd culture. Superheroes dominate the movie theaters and TV lineups. Sci-fi novels are being mined for Netflix and Amazon streaming services. And Comic Cons are drawing huge crowds in cities around the world.

Here in Tucson, Mike Olivares is prepping for the ninth annual Tucson Comic-Con this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4-6.

The founder and director of the con, Olivares was born in Tucson and grew up in the southwest side. The youngest of three, he didn’t find it that easy to find comic books when he was growing up.

His first introduction to fantasy culture was the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

“My cousins would come down from California every summer and we would play Dungeons & Dragons,” Olivares said. "Maybe that left a little spark in me when it came to things like fantasy.”

But in middle school, he discovered comic books.

“I was really into art when I started going to Mansfeld,” he said. “Then I started getting into comic book art.”

His first comic book was given to him by his older brother.

“It was an Amazing Spider-Man,” he remembers. “I wanna say it’s either (issue) 38 or 48. I can’t remember the dang number.”

He was hooked. He started collecting comics and, eventually, decided to launch a Tucson Comic-Con.

"My whole thing was, why don't we have one?” he said. “Maybe I'll start one."

At the time, regional conventions got much less attention than the big cons, such as the ones in San Diego and New York. In 2007, the first Tucson Comic-Con was held for one day at a Four Point Sheraton.

"It was in this small meeting room in the back, maybe about 500 people showed up to the first one," he remembered.

That year they had a couple of guest artists and writers, but Olivares was always focused on Tucson.

“Besides Image and Marvel, you don’t think that there’s people creating comics books on an indie platform,” he said. “I was just as excited to know that we had indie companies here in Tucson.”

This year, the Tucson Comic-Con is a weekend-long affair at the Tucson Convention Center with various celebrities and artist and an expected 10,000 attendees.

Olivares describes the con being a yearlong job now, without pay: “A labor of love for sure.”

He has taken on Francesca and Brian Pulido as partners and directors of the Con. The Pulidos have been working in the comic book industry for the last 25 years, with their own property Lady Death, which was relaunched on Coffin Comics also owned and operated by the Pulidos.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Get In The Mood For Pride With Your New Favorite Coming Out Song

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 2:45 PM


Happy Celebrate Bisexuality Day, everybody! Are you celebrating? Gettin' bi alright?

As we detailed in this week's cover storyTucson Pride is happening next week and you should be there. Spotify has a few pretty spectacular playlists to help you get in a Pride state of mind, but I personally believe you need to start with the video above: "Gettin' Bi" from Crazy Ex Girlfriend.  

The rest of your "Getting Ready For Pride" to do list: Buy a ticket, apply to be a vendor/parade and, of course, read up on the changes from last year. 

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Simpsons Weigh in on the 2016 Election

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 3:30 PM


What's the future of the 3 a.m. phone call? The Simpsons wagers we're choosing between Bill and Hillary Clinton fighting over calls to the Situation Room or Donald Trump struggling to mold a dog into a toupee before it's "too late."

The choice is yours! Don't forget to register to vote before Oct. 10. 

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Take 10 Minutes to Enjoy Jon Stewart's Visit to the Late Show

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 11:50 AM

Nation, it's our first presidential election in a while without constant commentary from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Maybe you're satisfied by the plethora of politically savvy late night television hosts on the air, maybe you're happy to take on this election without watching any of this kind of nonsense. But I'm not.

Luckily we got a taste of classic Colbert earlier this week with The Word making it's debut on the late show—it was truthiness v. Trumpiness and it was beautiful. 

Then, last night, Stewart took over Colbert's desk for a full 10 minutes. Watch here for a dose of old school Comedy Central:


He even got an Arby's jab in there. We miss you, Jon. See ya election night? 

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

New Study Points Out Just How Poorly Pop Culture Portrays Characters With Disabilities

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 2:44 PM

Look at that cute face. This kid should be able to get cast on a successful TV show, no problem. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • Look at that cute face. This kid should be able to get cast on a successful TV show, no problem.

Remember last year when Emma Stone was cast as a Hawaiian character and movie lovers everywhere had to come to terms with Hollywood's history of whitewashing?

Well, get ready for round two because the Ruderman Family Foundation just released a study, The Ruderman White Paper: Employment of Actors with Disabilities in Television, about the poor representation people with disabilities receive in American media.  

Despite the fact that nearly 20 percent of Americans live with disabilities, characters with disabilities are rarely included in popular television—and when they are included in the scripts, they're nearly always portrayed by actors without disabilities.

According to their data (which looked at the top 10 TV shows at the end of the 2015-2016 season and the top 21 shows that are original content on streaming platforms) currently only 5 percent of characters with disabilities are portrayed by actors with disabilities.  

While the study itself says it's unrealistic to expect every character to be portrayed by an actor that share their background, we can do better than we're doing right now:
We believe that it is absolutely unacceptable to have 95% of characters with disabilities played by actors without disabilities. It is a matter of social justice to have a large segment of our population authentically represented in the mass entertainment that is television and scripted, dramatized stories. It is necessary to create an environment where actors with disabilities have access to play characters with disabilities. It is also necessary to reduce stigma surrounding “invisible” disabilities such as addiction and mental illness. Only by having actors who are open about those disabilities will we slowly create a society that doesn’t shun or shame a vast segment of its population. We have to tell stories about people with a variety of disabilities and we have to be fair in representing them accurately. Only then will we have more realistic stories that reflect our society.

We will not choose a number and say that this is how many characters with disabilities need to be played by actors with disabilities. But we are saying that it’s about time we start ensuring that it’s more than 5%.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Netflix Releases 'Binge Scale,' Basically Plans This Weekend For You

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 2:00 PM

bigstock-people-watch-tv-34351679.jpg

I know I have wondered, as I remove my glasses and slowly stumble into bed, if perhaps I've been over zealous on my Netflix binging. Well, if I am, it turns out I'm not alone.

Today Netflix released a "binge scale," offering a little insight into the streaming habits of the Netflix community at large.

screen-shot-2016-06-08-at-6.47.39-am.png

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Let's Watch Samantha Bee (and Caped Magician Patton Oswalt) Look Into Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Feelin' pregnant? Monday's Full Frontal with Samantha Bee broadcast a report on "crisis pregnancy centers"—antiabortion clinics that often masquerade as abortion clinics and legitimate pregnancy centers.

“A crisis pregnancy center is a fake abortion clinic,” Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation says in the segment. “They want women to believe there are long-term negative consequences, like they won't be able to have children, like they will suffer from 'post abortion stress syndrome,' or that they would have an increased risk of breast cancer.”

Saporta says there are about twice as many of these "fake clinics" in the U.S. than there are actual abortion clinics. 

Watch the segment here:


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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Samantha Bee Explains Superdelegates

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 4:00 PM


If you've been paying attention to democratic primary results, you may have heard someone say Hillary Clinton's 220 delegate lead on Bernie Sanders is actually bigger than it looks because of superdelegates. 

Samantha Bee used last night's episode of Full Frontal to explain the existence of superdelegates, and question the idea they ensure Clinton's nomination. Or, as she put it, "If Bernie gets more votes than Hillary, her superdelegates will drop her faster than she drops her fake southern accent the second she leaves South Carolina."
 

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