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*artwork by Billy "The Wiz" Munro
Australian movie, entertainment, pro wrestling and comics fans. It's time for yet another comic book movie, wrastling and entertainment news update. Sorry Vince McMahon, but may fans and wrestlers still like to call WWE professional wrestling, rather than "sports entertainment", and we understand the likes of CM Punk, Arn Anderson and "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair are just a few folks who agree with the sentiment. Yes, WWE is lots more than just pro wrestling these days, but wrestling remains the bread and butter of the operation - thank god.
CM Punk At Chicago Comic-Con...
Rosemont, IL, April 06, 2012 - Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, which for nearly two decades has thrilled hundreds of thousands of fans with standout celebrities, top-notch superstar artists, VIP experiences and more, rolls out an expanded, full four-day show, August 9-12 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. More than 50 celebrities, including headliners like William Shatner, Jeri Ryan, Stan Lee, Jon Bernthal and WWE Superstar CM Punk, notable artists Carlos Pacheco, George Pérez, Greg Capullo and dozens of others are already signed up to attend what is shaping up as the biggest Wizard World show ever and the Midwest's No. 1 Pop Culture Convention.
The international pop culture icon Shatner ("Star Trek," "T.J. Hooker") will appear on Friday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 11, Ryan ("Star Trek: Voyager," "Boston Public") on Sunday, Aug. 12, Eisner Award Hall of Famer and comic book legend Lee and Bernthal ("The Walking Dead," The Ghost Writer) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and WWE Superstar CM Punk, the current WWE champion, on Saturday.
"Wizard World Chicago Comic Con continues to grow in all areas, from celebrity guests to Artist Alley to evening entertainment to VIP experiences, so much so that we've made it a full four-day show for the first time," said John Macaluso, CEO, Wizard World. "William Shatner, Jeri Ryan and Stan Lee are at the top of a deep celebrity roster that will connect with fans of all ages."
The announcement follows the recent news that one of Hollywood's fastest-risers, Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers), will headline Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on June 2.
The longest-running and highest-attended show annually on the Wizard World calendar, 2012 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con will also feature movie and television stars such as Nina Dobrev ("The Vampire Diaries," CHLOE), Kate Mulgrew ("Star Trek: Voyager," Remo Williams), Bruce Campbell (Army Of Darkness, Evil Dead), Tom Felton (Harry Potter, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Amy Acker ("Angel," The Cabin In The Woods) and dozens of others.
Eisner Award winner Pérez ("Superman," "JSA"), nominee Pacheco ("X-Men," "Green Lantern") and Capullo ("Batman," "Spawn") are joined in Artist Alley by Rodolfo Migliari ("Green Arrow," "Green Lantern"), "Brom" ("Dungeons & Dragons," "The Plucker), "CAFU" ("Superboy," "Action Comics"), Ken Kelly ("Batman," "Star Wars") and Pat Lee ("Spider-Man," "Iron Man"), among a first-class roster of special guests.
Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, produced by Wizard World, Inc. (WIZD.PK), will bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.
For more on the 2012 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, visit http://www.wizardworldcomiccon.com/home-ch.html
Dwayne Johnson Named CinemaCon Action Star of the Year...
He'll receive the honor at the upcoming convention of theater owners in Las Vegas.
Dwayne Johnson will be lauded with the Action Star of the Year Award at CinemaCon.
This summer, Johnson stars in Paramount tentpole G.I. Joe: Relaliation. He's currently still in theaters in box office hit Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, from Warner Bros.
Johnson will receive the CinemaCon award during Paramount's opening night presentation.
Captain America sequel scheduled for 2014 release...
It's official: Captain America will continue to fight the good fight for liberty and freedom.
On Thursday, Walt Disney Studios announced that a sequel to last summer's Captain America: The First Avenger is scheduled to be released on April 4, 2014, one month before the release of the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, who begins spinning his web July 3 of this year.
Chris Evans -- formerly Johnny Storm/the Human Torch of The Fantastic Four -- finally put Marvel's patriotic super-soldier on the A-list of superheroes in the original, which earned $368 million dollars worldwide.
The actor returns to the role as one of "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" known as The Avengers with Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/the Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Scarlett Johnansson (Natascha Romanoff/Black Widow), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury); the film comes out in the U.S on May 4.
'Captain America' sequel heads to theaters in 2014...
LOS ANGELES — Captain America is getting another solo shot on the big-screen.
Walt Disney Studios announced Thursday that a sequel to last year's superhero hit "Captain America: The First Avenger" will arrive in theaters on April 4, 2014.
The first movie starred Chris Evans as the patriotic fighter for justice dressed in red, white and blue. "Captain America" took in $368 million at the worldwide box office.
Evans reprises his role as Captain America in "The Avengers," an ensemble adventure featuring Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner as a team of Marvel Comics heroes.
"The Avengers" is due out in the U.S on May 4, and Australia will likely be just days after.
WWE's Jerry "The King" Lawler Talks Art, Charity And More...
WWE performers are known as creative artists in the squared circle, putting on a show like few human beings can.
Some professional wrestlers also demonstrate an artistic streak outside the ring, and perhaps Jerry "The King" Lawler is the most famous (but long time Lawler nemesis Bret "Hitman" Hart also might like a shot at the title.)
Lawler is an accomplished artist in and out of the ring.
The WWE conducted its charity art auction during WrestleMania Week and Lawler was first and foremost as the company’s featured artist.
The Miami Herald must have ran about a dozen WWE stories regarding WrestleMania week, and here we look at some of the paramount aspects that Miami's finest broadsheet covered in detail.
“I was involved in the first WrestleMania Art (during WrestleMania 24 Week in 2008 in Orlando),” Lawler said, "and everybody was all excited about WrestleMania coming to Orlando. The Orlando Sentinel (newspaper) even let me draw a WWE comic strip for about a month leading into WrestleMania.
“The art show has grown bigger and bigger and raises a lot of money for charity every year. We have a tremendous turnout, surprisingly, for it, and also, surprising to me, I found out we’ve got some pretty good artists in WWE. Some of the superstars are darn good artists as well. We have a lot of great pieces in the show every year, and for the past couple of years, I’ve done an actual painting or drawing right on-site during the art show that they then auction off for the charity.
“Two years ago (in Phoenix), Bret Hart and I both did a picture at the same time, and each auctioned for $3,500. That was something we knocked out right there in less than an hour at the art show. Last year my picture went for almost $2,000. I did a quick picture of The Undertaker, and this young girl comes up and buys it, and I’m thinking, ‘What in the world, just walking around here with an extra couple of grand for a piece of art I just created.’
"It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed being a part of every year."
Lawler actually credits his start in the wrestling business when he was a teenager in Memphis because of his other artistic artibutes. Several WWE divas, legends and superstars also showcase their skills on that other canvas.
"I was surprised because I just didn’t know,” Lawler said. “It’s not something that they’ve ever put out there and talked about in the past. To see some of their work, I was really surprised. Vickie Guerrero’s a good artist. Tony Atlas did some really good portrait work."
There's others also...
“Last year [in Atlanta], it was funny, too. I had heard Booker T say he was a good artist, and he was going to actually do a portrait of his wife (Queen Sharmell),” Lawler explained. “So he and I started doing our pieces at the same time. I didn’t get to watch him do his because we were kind of back-to-back at dueling art tables.
“So I’d heard Booker was a pretty good artist (chuckle), and he had a photograph of his wife that he put up there on the canvas, and oh my God, wen he got through [laughs], it looked like maybe Stevie Wonder had drawn it. It was the thought that counted, and somebody still bought it because it was an original piece done by Booker T. It was sort of like a Pablo Picasso [more laughs]. Her nose was coming out of the side of her head. Her ears were where her eyes should have been. It was funny."
Booker T said: “I think so.
"I sat there next to King, and he’s so great. King is a great artist. He does water colors, water paintings. You can tell he’s put so much time — outside anyone’s eyes — behind the scenes putting the work in doing that. He inspired me to get a lot better. He inspired me to go work on my craft. I don’t think my art is great, but it’s really not about how great something is in that frame right there. It’s just about doing your best, and hopefully we can help somebody raise some money.
“Hopefully, I’ll do a whole lot better this year.”
Practice makes better, hopefully.
“I’ve been working on my drawing skills, my sketching skills since then,” Booker T said. “I hadn’t done it in a long time before that. It was something they asked me to do. I was like, ‘Wow, let me go out there and see if I still got it.’ I actually did a sketch of Josh Mathews at the announce table and made sure not to use his double chin on there [Booker T chuckles] and gave it to him. I do plan on doing that again.
“It was great last year, doing it for a great charity, first and foremost. That’s really what it’s all about. Guys really need to know what this business is all about. It’s about the fans and the kids who watch.
“We bring so much joy to special kids with special needs. You wouldn’t believe how they gravitate to us and make us feel so special at the same time.
“I’m definitely looking forward to WrestleMania Week. If it’s half as awesome as it was last year, it will be great.”
Lawler has done so many pieces. It’s difficult to note his favorite. After some thought, one did come to mind.
“I did do a charcoal portrait of Vince McMahon and his father, Vince Sr., and his son, Shane, as like a three-portrait piece that I gave to Vince,” Lawler said. “I had an unveiling, when I gave it to him, and I guess his reaction was such that it made it maybe my favorite piece of art, because it’s not easy to impress Vince McMahon.
“Here’s a guy who’s done it all, seen it all, and when he saw that portrait that I had done, he had no idea that it was coming, and I just gave it to him as a gift. It actually brought tears to his eyes, and that, to me, made that night.”
Former WWE superstar and talented artist Jeff Hardy participated in a WWE Charity Art Auction.
“I did one in Houston, WrestleMania 25,” he said. “It was a bummer because I asked if I could do a big canvas, and I’d used spray paint and do it outdoors, but they did it in a fancy library. So I couldn’t use spray paint, and then they had a canvas that was the size of a piece of plywood.
“So I go in there, and they go, ‘Oh yea, we’ve got your canvas,’ and I’m supposed to finish it with tubes of paint and a brush. Spray paint would have been easy. It was horrible, and I wasn’t satisfied with the painting, the outcome.
“Now they’re auctioning it off, and I’ll never forget it. My wife was out there, and she’s bidding, and we got it up to $2,200. So I ended up buying it myself. I told them, ‘Please send it to me. Let me spray paint it and do a great job, and I’ll send it back.’”
Hardy donated the money to the library as well as the painting which he returned after he completed his original concept.
Did Hardy ever discuss art with Jerry Lawler?
“Not much. There were a few times we did,” Hardy said. “He’s really talented. He’s really detailed, intricate stuff. Me, I’m more big and bold. He’d spend a day just on the smallest little detail. It’s cool to see him still doing that.”
As talented an artist outside the ring, Lawler is equally skilled inside. He has achieved success at basically every level of the professional wrestling industry and is a legitimate living legend of wrestling.
Lawler created art during the WrestleMania Premier Party: A Celebration of Miami Art & Fashion on Thursday, March 29 on Star Island.
American record producer, songwriter and rapper Timbaland and Stuart Miller hosted the event, which featured artwork created by WWE superstars, divas and legends. It’s was a fundraiser for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center/Alex’s Place and the Second Chance Program housed within the Center.
WrestleMania Week included an art show, but this is the first time they added a fashion show element to it with WWE divas modelling clothes designed by top South Florida designers.
There was even an online component for the art auction so WWE fans everywhere could get involved, purchasing WWE-themed art for a good cause.
Marvel Entertainment Interviews CM Punk...
Marvel interviewed WWE champion CM Punk. Here's some of our favorite parts of the interview...
Marvel.com: Which team are you supporting in Avengers Vs. X-Men? Why do you think they will win?
CM Punk: I’ve never been the biggest fan of mutants. They’re pretty damn powerful, y’know? But seriously, when you have Captain America, Thor and Iron Man together as a team, there’s no threat they can’t handle. In this super hero war, I’m with the Avengers
Marvel.com: Who do you think will win if Captain America battles Cyclops?
CM Punk: Captain America. Hands down. Nobody in the Marvel Universe has the experience he has, and he can definitely outwit, outsmart and outlast Cyke.
Marvel.com: Who do you think will win if Storm battles Thor?
CM Punk: No contest: Thor. I mean, the guy is a god—how do you take someone like him down? Don’t get me wrong, Storm is one hell of a warrior, but Thor has taken on Ragnarok head on!
Marvel.com: Which side do you think Wolverine will choose? Which one should he choose?
CM Punk: Ah, right; this is the tricky one. Personally, I think Wolverine is an X-Man through and through. Regardless of his differences with Cyclops, the guy grew up with the team, respects Xavier, and cares for the well-being and preservation of mutantkind. When it finally comes time to make a decision, I think he’s going home.
Marvel.com: Which X-Man or Avenger do you consider yourself most like?
CM Punk: Tony Stark—without the alcohol, obviously. The guy has all the coolest toys in the toy-box.
Marvel.com: Let’s say Tony Stark were to come out during your match at WrestleMania, what music would he come out to?
CM Punk: [Frank] Sinatra; not the most exciting entrance, but that’s the kind of guy I think Tony is. Suave, sophisticated and obviously would have been a part of the Rat Pack.
That's it fans. Stay tuned to Media Man and Street Corner for more entertainment news and scoops daily.
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