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Hall H Show Podcast - Episode 46 - Alex Callego and Justin Holden

Ep. 46 – Alex Callego and Justin Holden (Palm Springs Comic-Con Co-Founders) / SDCC 2018 Preview

The Hall H Show podcast welcomes Alex Callego and Justin Holden, Co-Founders of Palm Springs Comic-Con. Besides PSCC, we also talk about San Diego Comic-Con 2018 (especially the panels that caught our attention), their relationship with Comic-Con International and more. This episode is also available on Google Play, iTunesStitcher, iHeart Radio and Spotify. The Hall H Show podcast is hosted by Aaron Nabus and Alex Benedicto.

Show Notes:

Hey fellow nerds and geeks, thank you so much for tuning into the Hall H Show – the voice of independent creators!

On this episode, we welcome Alex Callego and Justin Holden, Co-Founders of Palm Springs Comic-Con.

We quickly previewed some of the panels (outside of Hall H and Ballroom 20) and offsite events that we are interested in checking out, some of the shenanigans we will be up to at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 (come see Alex and myself at booth 1943) and we also discussed the unique relationship that  PSCC has with Comic-Con International.



Aaron’s Picks:


Diversity and Comics: Why Inclusion and Visibility Matter
Sanford Greene (artist, variant Black Panther: The Sound and The Fury #1), Stanford Carpenter (Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival), Sam Bright (art and collectibles, eBay), Nalo Hopkinson (Sandman Universe, DC; UC Riverside), Christina “Steenz” Stewart (Lion Forge), and moderator Aaron Grizzell (NorcalMLK Foundation) discuss how comics have become more inclusive of women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community to better reflect today’s culture and expand to a changing fan base.

Thursday July 19, 2018 | 11:00am – 12:00pm | Room 9

Podcast Advocates and the Podcast Gathering
Panelists focus on the ins and outs of creating a podcast, growing your audience, and networking with other podcasters. Moderated by Andrew Linde (The Benview Network, The Super Mario Bros. Minute), panelists include Ken Plume (A Bit of a Chat, Go Team Venture: The Art and Making of Venture Brothers), Emily Schmemily (The Super Mario Bros. Minute, James Bonding), Phil Vecchio (The Mandarian Orange Show, Alex P. Keaton Is My Friend), Cheryl Jones (Movies Made Me, Pete The Cat), and Brendan Creecy (Massive Buds Wrestling Show, Radio BrendoMan). Independent podcasters in the audience will also have a chance to pitch their podcasts to the room.

Thursday July 19, 2018 | 11:00am – 12:00pm | Neil Morgan Auditorium, San Diego Central Library

Stargate Franchise: Creative Storytelling
See the entire spectrum of Stargate franchise stories. The Stargate series, comics, books, games, and fan fiction have all contributed to the rich tapestry of the franchise, and there is more to come. Kieran Dickson will moderate a discussion with panelists Chris Judge, Darren Sumner, David Read, and more, as they share their creative process and behind-the-scenes stories.

Thursday July 19, 2018 12:00pm – 1:00pm | Room 7AB

Drawing with Artgerm Lau
This is a live demonstration of how Artgerm creates characters with universal appeal.

Thursday July 19, 2018 | 2:30pm – 4:00pm | Room 2

Drawing Inspiration: How Drawing Groups Can Empower Aspiring Comic Book Creators into Print
The Accidental Aliens, a San Diego-based drawing group, discuss creating comic stories from their individual talents and how they forged their resources together to launch a successful Kickstarter-funded anthology comic to print. Topics include how a drawing group can inspire artists to hit deadlines on top of real 9-to-5 day jobs, promotion of individual talents through a group social media campaign, working together to tackle the logistics of a successful Kickstarter campaign, promoting diversity, group networking, and how a drawing group can improve your skills as a comics artist while having fun making new friends in your very own creative tribe!

Thursday July 19, 2018 3:00pm – 4:00pm | 29AB

Directing Your Comic Book
Action Lab alumni/filmmakers Rylend Grant (Aberrant) and David Pepose (Spencer & Locke) along with Sean Lewis (The Few, Coyotes) examine the writer-artist relationship in comics creation, specifically casting the writer/creator as “director” of his or her book. What does it take to get your script ready for your artist (or your cinematographer/production designer)? What does working with a colorist and letterer look like? And how best do you see that your original “vision” for the book ends up on the finished page?

Thursday July 19, 2018 | 7:30pm – 8:30pm | Room 8



Indie Creators: What’s Next?
The Antidote Trust (TAT), a collective of indie creators, runs a roundtable discussion with industry professionals on independent creators and career development strategies they can use to further hone their skills and position themselves to take that all-important next step forward. Moderator Mike Wellman (co-creator of Guns A’ Blazin’!, co-owner of The Comic Bug shop in Los Angeles) will explore what hiring professionals are specifically seeking in independents with Karen Kirkland (creative strategist and founder of The Breakk; VP of Talent Development, Nickelodeon), Ashley Woods (artist, Lady Castle, Boom Studios; Tomb Raider: Survivor’s Crusade, Dark Horse Comics), Geoff Gerber (president, Lion Forge Comics, Lighter Than My Shadow- Amazon’s best graphic novel of 2017), Quinn McGowan (creator, Project: Wildfire; artist, Menthu: The Anger of Angels), and TAT co-founder Robert Roach (creator, Menthu; storyboard artist, Insomnia; concept illustrator, Lion-Origin of the Wailers).

Friday July 20, 2018 | 11:00am – 12:00pm | Room 4

How to Build a Geek Brand (And Get Paid!)
Do you dream of a career in the pop culture industry? Do you have an idea or product but don’t know how to get it to market? Do you have a geeky brand but feel stuck trying to get it to the next level? Hosted by Tony B. Kim (Hero Within, Crazy 4 Comic Con), pop culture entrepreneurs will share how they transformed their hobby into an exciting career and offer advice to attendees who hope to do the same. Panelist include Ani-Mia (professional cosplayer), Chris Gore (writer, creator), Genese Davis (author), and Andre Meadows (YouTube host).

Friday July 20, 2018 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm | Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Mobile Filmmaking: How to Make a Movie with a Smartphone, Tablet, Drone, GoPro
Mobile Filmmaking: How to Make a Movie with a Smartphone, Tablet, Drone, GoPro—Mobile Filmmaking is becoming the next big thing. You have heard of movies that used smartphone cameras to shoot, but you may still not be convinced that you can make a movie yourself using a smartphone from your own back pocket! Smartphone cameras now have the capability of shooting 4K—which makes mobile filmmaking now a possibility to be taken seriously. Meet the Founder of The International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego Susan Botello (S. Botello Productions) and San Diego Mobile Filmmakers to share with you the ins and outs of what you need to get started as a mobile filmmaker. Do you need an app? Can you use microphones? How do you stabilize your videos for a smoother more professional look? Do you need a million dollars? Panelists will answer your questions and present some cool filmmaking tools and accessories. Learn to edit on the phone (or computer) and share your films with the world. With moderator Machelle Noel (GeekRockTV)

Friday July 20, 2018 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm | Marriott Grand Ballroom 3 & 4

Enter the Uncharted Regions
Take a voyage into the Uncharted Regions and preview “These Haunted Hills,” the newest episode of the forthcoming series starring Farscape’s Gigi Edgley! Following the presentation, creators Neal Hallford and Jana Hallford talk about delving into the imaginative world of audio drama with episode stars Gigi Egdley (Farscape), Randy Davison (Wynonna Earp), Tamara Alsaied (Caruso), Larry Nemecek (Star Trek Continues), and Joe Paulson (Life-O-Matic).

Friday July 20, 2018 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Neil Morgan Auditorium, San Diego Central Library

Breaking in and Monetizing Your Comics with Webtoon
Looking to break into creator-owned comics with the world’s largest comics publisher? Hear from creators including Kaitlyn Narvaza a.k.a. instantmiso (Siren’s Lament), Monica Gallagher (Assassin Roommate, BOO! It’s Sex), Leeanne Krecic a.k.a. Mongie (Let’s Play), Shen (Bluechair, Live with Yourself), and 2018 Eisner-nominee Ryan Benjamin (Brothers Bond) on what it takes to break into the industry, how they’ve built their fan base through Webtoon, and how to survive once you’re a full-time creator. Webtoon’s head of content Tom Akel will walk you through how to publish and promote your own IP on the Discover platform, provide details on Webtoon’s new ad sharing program, their partnership with Patreon, and the latest Webtoon comic contest with an $80k first prize.

Friday July 20, 2018 | 7:00pm – 8:00pm | Room 4



Drawing Your Imagination with Kim Jung Gi
Take this amazing opportunity to learn how to draw your imagination that words cannot describe on top of white paper with a black pen. You will realize that you do not need any fancy equipment to draw your heart out after seeing Kim Jung Gi’s outrageous live drawing! You will get a chance to see an empty canvas transform into a completed scene with human anatomy and perspective in just 90 minutes.

Saturday July 21, 2018 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm | Room 2

Spotlight on Yoshitaka Amano
Join Comic-Con International in honoring one of the most recognized Japanese artists of the last half-century, Yoshitaka Amano. Amano’s storied career spans decades with thousands of works, including Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D, and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: The Dream Hunters. Amano will delight fans by live drawing some of his original characters and will participate in a brief Q&A. Moderated by Michael Gombos.

Saturday July 21, 2018 | 2:30pm – 3:30pm | Room 24ABC

Alternative Comics Anthologies, Then and Now
Eric Reynolds (editor, Mome, Now), Justin Hall (editor, No Straight Lines), Carol Tyler (contributor, Wimmen’s Comics, Weirdo), Robert Goodin (editor, Oden), and Manuele Fior (5,000 Kilometers Per Second, The Interview)-all editors and artists behind some of the medium’s best anthologies-will talk about finding the future masters of the artform, the thrill of seeing great work getting published, and finding its audience. Moderated by Rob Salkowitz.

Saturday July 21, 2018 | 4:30pm – 5:30pm | Room 26AB

Created at Meltdown
For 25 years, geekdom landmark Meltdown Comics was Hollywood’s pop culture bastion. Literally dozens of major and indie comic releases were created inside the shop’s numerous classes and workshops over the years. Meltdown alum Rylend Grant (Aberrant) brings together an eclectic group of creators/educators including Jim Higgins (former DC editor/director of Meltdown University), Steven Prince (Monster Matador), Michael Levine (Strange Romance Anthology), Karla Nappi (Duplicant), and David Schrader (Baby Badass) to discuss the shop’s now legendary comic creation legacy.

Saturday July 21, 2018 | 5:00pm – 6:00pm | Room 4

Cinematic Storytelling for Comics
Multi award-nominated animator, writer, director, and comic book creator Stephan Franck (The Iron Giant, Despicable Me, Silver) discusses his approach to visual storytelling and how to bring the clarity as well as emotional and cinematic impact of film language to the comics page.

Saturday July 21, 2018 | 5:30pm – 6:30pm | Room 24ABC



Inside the Comic-Con Museum
Staff and special panelists will present a behind-the-scenes look at plans for the upcoming Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.

Sunday July 22, 2018 12:00pm – 1:00pm | Room 29AB

Proper Pitching and Promoting
Learn what it takes to present a proper pitch to a client or company. In this panel, you will learn about presentation, body language, elevator pitches, standing out, interview skills, and how to make an opportunity when there isn’t one. Back by popular demand, this is the perfect panel for those who are looking to make a name for themselves or trying to get their ideas in front of their company of choice.

Sunday July 22, 2018 | 1:00pm – 2:30pm | Room 2

Super Asian America
With stellar performances in a galaxy far away and superpowered heroics battling Thanos, Asian Americans are forging new ground in Hollywood. At the same time, it’s a never-ending battle for individuals to represent their own American way. In Racebending’s 8th annual panel, panelists again assess (and nerd out over) the state of Super Asian America. Featuring Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6), Mallory Yu (All Things Considered), Tonya Kong (Daredevil), Joy Regullano (Supernatural), and Keith Chow (Nerds of Color). Moderated by Racebending’s Mike Le.

Sunday July 22, 2018 | 2:45pm – 3:45pm | Room 5AB

X-Men: The Animated Series Celebrates 25 Years

Series showrunner Eric Lewald (author of Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series), series producer/director Larry Houston (SDCC special guest), and series writers Julia Lewald and Len Uhley participate in a spirited discussion with behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the #1 hit.

Sunday July 22, 2018 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Room 7AB

The Origin of Jack Kirby’s Black Panther
In his new VisuaLecture, illustrator and comic book historian Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) shows and tells the fascinating comic book origins and background of the Marvel Comics character, now a cinematic superstar, and how these are-and are not-reflected in the smash 2018 film.

Sunday July 22, 2018 | 4:00pm – 5:00pm | Room 32AB


Alex’s Picks:


The Toys That Made Us
If you love toys and toy history, you’ll want to join Brian Volk-Weiss (show creator/director) and the TTTMU team Robin Henry (executive producer), Ben Frost (writer/editor), and Rich Mayerik (producer, toy collector) for the same brand of fun and informative toy-talk you’ve come to love from the hit Netflix series. Discussion will include a Q&A on what brought The Toys That Made Us to life, what the future holds, and maybe even a surprise or two along the way.

Thursday, July 19 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm | Room 5AB

Marvel Animation: Marvel Rising
Marvel Rising brings together the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes for the next generation of Marvel fans. This is your chance to be among the first to see a sneak peek of this group of powered teens and their adventures that are full of heart, action, comedy, and powerful messages for every kind of Marvel fan. Join our Ghost-Spider Dove Cameron (Descendants, Liv & Maddie), our Quake Chloe Bennet (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nashville) our Squirrel Girl Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us, Silicon Valley), our Ms. Marvel Kathreen Khavari (Big Little Lies, Marvel’s Avengers), our Patriot Kamil McFadden (K.C. Undercover, Grown Ups 2), Cort Lane (SVP, Animation and Family Entertainment), Marsha Griffin (VP, Animation Current Series and Development), Mairghread Scott (Writer, Marvel Rising) and Sana Amanat (VP, Content and Character Development) for an action-packed panel that will showcase the first look of the animated shorts, special announcements, and so much more.

Thursday July 19 | 2018 3:15pm – 4:15pm | Room 6DE

Len Wein Memorial
As one of the most prolific and inspiring comics creators of his generation, Len Wein brought the world the likes of Wolverine, Swamp Thing, and so many more beloved characters. Join a star-studded group from across the industry as they pay tribute to Len, his impressive half-century of magnificent creations, his influence on the comics realm, and the many lives he touched throughout his life.

Thursday July 19, 2018 | 8:30pm – 9:30pm | Room 4



Afro-Futurism: Black to the Future!
For decades, Daffy Duck was the only black actor getting any consistent work in Hollywood. For just as long, producers claimed that black screenwriters could only write comedies. Today, the landscape has changed, or has it? “Wakanda” opportunities are available in Hollywood for those of color today? Can we truly go black to the future . . . before we go black to the past? Panelists include Reggie Hudlin (Milestone Media, Black Panther), Denys Cowan (Milestone Media, The Boondocks), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek, Heroes), Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager, Spaceballs), Kevin Grevioux (Underworld, I, Frankenstein), Professor Adilifu Nama (San Diego State University, Superheroes Decoded), Professor Ajani Brown (San Diego State University), and La Quia Howard (Kemet, I Choose 2 Be Me). Moderated by Jimmy Diggs (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space 9).

Friday July 20, 2018 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm | Grand 9, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining
Hip-Hop and comics don’t just share influences and inspirations, they’ve constantly crossed over through the last five decades: graffiti artists and rappers make use of superheroic imagery; producers explore untold universes of sound; comics incorporate hip-hop’s music, visual vocabulary, and attitude; and both forms reconfigure existing elements to create groundbreaking new works. Patrick A. Reed (Depth of Field) assembles an all-star group of visual and musical innovators to discuss the enduring connections between these two vital creative cultures.

Friday July 20, 2018 | 7:00pm – 8:00pm | Room 9

Star Wars Mock Trial: The Court-Martial of Poe Dameron
The Legal Geeks and the Rebel Legion Sunrider Base present the mock court-martial of everyone’s favorite X-Wing ace, Poe Dameron. Based on the events of The Last Jedi, Poe stands accused of disobeying General Leia Organa and leading a mutiny aboard the resistance flagship Raddus against Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. Lawyers for the prosecution and defense, including a U.S. Army JAG attorney, will take on Poe’s case in front of United States Magistrate Judge Mitch Dembin. Participating attorneys include Steve Chu, Thomas Harper, Christine Peek, and Megan Hitchcock. With Rebel Legion members Rachel Williams as General Leia Organa and Marcus Holt as Poe Dameron.
Friday July 20, 2018 8:00pm – 9:00pm | Room 7AB



Quick Draw
Come early and grab a seat for the most talked-about panel at Comic-Con, at least among its participants! Three lightning-fast cartoonists duel to the death right before your eyes armed, with nothing but Sharpies, drawing pads, overhead projectors, and their own lethal sense of humor. Your Quick Draw Quizzzzmaster Mark Evanier throws the challenges at Sergio Aragonés (MAD, Groo the Wanderer), Scott Shaw! (The Simpsons, The Flintstones) and the new kid in the dais, Lalo Alcaraz (La Cucaracha). See why people think it’s the fastest, funniest panel of the whole danged convention!

Saturday July 21, 2018 11:45am – 1:00pm | Room 6BCF

Bridging Anime and Hip-Hop
Nerds on Hip-Hop podcast co-hosts Victoria Johnson (pop culture journalist) and Marcus Wolfe (hip-hop beatmaker) will lead a discussion capturing the relationship between anime and hip-hop with guest panelists Valerie Complex (movie critic), Noveliss (Clear Soul Forces rapper), and others.

Saturday July 21, 2018 1:00pm – 2:00pm | Grand 9, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Superhero Science
Joy Lin, author of the popular animated series If Superpowers Were Real on TED.com, along with Alex Siegle and Ben Siegle, will discuss the real-life consequences of having superpowers. The Invisible Woman would be blind because light is shining straight through her eyes, and Ant Man always weighs 180 pounds regardless of his size.

Saturday July 21, 2018 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm | Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina



The Annual Kirby Tribute
As is done every year, fans gather to salute the man some called “The King of the Comics” and its most imaginative artist and creator. Discussing the life and work of Jack Kirby this year are animation producer Larry Houston, illustrator/historian Arlen Schumer, Rand Hoppe of the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center, attorney Paul S. Levine, a few surprises, and your moderator, Kirby biographer and assistant Mark Evanier.

Sunday July 22, 2018 10:00am – 11:15am | Room 5AB

Cartoon Voices II
Animation voice director Mark Evanier gathers another stageful of the top actors who speak for animated characters to demonstrate their skills. Appearing will be Elle Newlands (Adventure Time, Final Fantasy), Kiff Vandenheuvel (Star Wars Forces of Destiny, World of Warcraft), Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars Rebels, Young Justice), André Sogliuzzo (Transformers: Robots in Disguise, World of Warcraft) and Dino Andrade (World of Warcraft, Batman: Arkham Asylum). There will also be a few surprises, and the actors will destroy a much-loved fairy tale with a live, unrehearsed reading.

Sunday July 22, 2018 | 11:45am – 1:15pm | Room 6A

Offsite Events:

Gabe Eltaeb’s Comic Kick-Off (benefiting the Hero Initiative)
Jeff Martinez, Chad Cavanaugh, Todd Nauck, Jim Calafiore and Gabe Eltaeb

Basic | Wednesday, July 18 | 9pm-1am | 410 10th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92121 (5 min walk)

Game of Bloggers
Theme: Nerd Civil War! It’s Marvel vs DC so choose a side and wear your favorite t-shirt! Prizes will be awarded!
– Special: First 30 guests at the door will get a drink ticket!
– Restrictions: 18+ years old
– Price: Free!

House of Blues | Wednesday | 9pm-12am

The Afrofuturism Lounge

ENJOY an ALL NEW type of comic-con show during the week of San Diego Comic-con! The Afrofuturism Lounge is a first of it’s kind; Part After Party, Part Black Artists Showcase. Complete with Drinks & Music! If you can’t get into the SDCC, or are looking for something fun to do in the Gaslamp District after the doors of SDCC close, THIS EVENT IS FOR YOU! And it’s FREE ADMISSION! Come experience Black Comic Book Creators and Artists all in one spot.

Jason Reeves, Rubyn Warren and Keithan Jones (former podcast guests), John Jennings, David Walker, David Phillips, Shawna Mills, LaWana Richmond and more!

The Broker’s Building Gallery | Friday and Saturday,  July 20 and 21 | 7pm-11pm | 402 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Black Heroes Matter Flash Mob
Our friend Uraeus, the founder of Black Heroes Matter will be organizing his annual SDCC flash mob.

If you want to take part in this special moment to celebrate community, inclusion, representation, and diversity in pop culture, they will be gathering OUTSIDE the convention center, in front of the Grand Staircase (which means non-attendees can participate). It’s open to everyone!

Friday | July 20 at 6pm

Hero Within Comic-Con After Party
Free with a Comic-Con badge.

Volcano Rabbit | Saturday, July 21 | 9:30pm-1am.


Our Guests:

Alex Callego:

Justin Holden:

Palm Springs Comic-Con:
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Thank YOU:

Thank YOU for listening to the Hall H Show podcast and thanks to Alex Callego and Justin Holden for coming on the show!

You can find this podcast on Google Play, iTunesStitcher, iHeartRadio and Spotify and our website, HallH.com.

If you believe in our mission to be “The Voice of Independent Creators,” we would appreciate a rating and a comment on iTunes. And please spread the word on social media using the hashtag, #HallHshow!

Peace, cheers and please make it a point to visit Artist Alley at all the conventions you plan on going to this year – especially at San Diego Comic-Con 2018!


Alex Benedicto

Alex Benedicto

3rd degree Black Belt in Sudoku and Minesweeper EOD specialist. Enlisted as a Steward on the Argo then eventually worked his way up to be a Black Tiger Pilot. Recruited as the original member of G-Force but moved on to help assemble The Voltes V Team. Trained both teams in the martial arts of Arnis, Escrima and Kali.

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