(UPDATE. 14th March): looks like the service is starting to plant its flags in all sorts of corners of t’interwebs – you can find COMIC-CON HQ on their Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest. Snapchat? Not a clue, I’m too old for that crap.)
Comic-Con International and Lionsgate launch the official name, and content initial plans, for their partnership VOD service… and, lo, it shall be known forthwith as COMIC-CON HQ. And we saw that it was good.
We’ve known about the bare bones of this for a while – all the way back to April last year, when the arrangement was first officially announced – but after months and months of preparation (including the recording of content at last years SDCC and WonderCon), the production team have finally let the cat out of the bag.
The subscription video-on-demand service will debut shortly before this July’s San Diego Comic-Con, with free beta access opening on Saturday 7th May. It will be made up of “an evolving slate of programming including original scripted and unscripted series, recurring daily and weekly entertainment commentary, plus unique access to a growing library of live and archival programming from their world-class events, a highly-curated selection of film and TV genre titles, and behind-the-scenes access and bonus features from genre titles that defy and define pop culture.” So, panels, finally? Looks that way.
The press release doesn’t say anything about live streaming of this years content – to be fair, CCI have always said that they’re not entirely enthusastic about such an prospect with David Glanzer (CCI, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer) saying that they feel that it would take away from the live appeal of attending the show in person. Still, at least the platform will be in place for such a thing to happen if anyone changes their mind in future.
“For nearly half a century, Comic-Con has served as the definitive common ground where the fans of genre entertainment come together to express their passion for comics and pop culture,” he says. “Comic-Con HQ aspires to extend that exchange 365 days a year, bringing everything we love about Comic-Con to the world in ways never before seen and experienced. The new platform will provide a year-round destination to enjoy all facets of the community and access the vast diversity of content the world has come to expect from the largest and longest-running pop cultural celebration of the year.”
COMIC-CON HQ will consist of the following, to start:
- Recurring daily and weekly programs featuring well-known personalities curating entertainment news and commentary across all facets of pop culture. G4 alum Adam Sessler (X-Play) will executive produce programs on comics, science and gaming, along with hosting his own insightful 1:1 interview series. Fellow G4 star Kevin Pereira (ATTACK OF THE SHOW) and his company Attack Media will executive produce an entertainment pop culture news show and a late night talk show format. Other formats on the fast track are two roundtable discussion shows, one weekly movie talk in partnership with Complex’s Collider inspired by their popular Collider Movie Talk series, and another all-female panel on pop culture from a female perspective.
- Original scripted and unscripted series debuting on the platform include: the scripted comedy series KINGS OF CON inspired by real-life fan convention experiences from Supernatural stars Richard Speight and Rob Benedict; the science entertainment program IMPOSSIBLE SCIENCE starring world champion illusionist Jason Latimer, who explores breakthrough technologies capable of achieving his seemingly impossible feats of magic with real science; and the formerly announced unscripted series with fangirl fashion company and lifestyle brand, HER UNIVERSE, hosted by founder and actress Ashley Eckstein, following contestants as they design their geek couture concepts for the catwalk of a live San Diego Comic-Con fashion show in July. These series are the first of many originals to be revealed in the weeks leading up to SDCC.
- Unparalleled San Diego Comic-Con access with live-streamed CCHQ programming, airings of select Comic-Con panels, and immersive access to the convention floor and sanctioned events never before available to the public such as the Masquerade and the Eisner Awards. Members will enjoy interviews and previews available only on CCHQ in a growing library of new and archival panels, bonus features, behind-the-scenes previews and more.
- An eclectic collection of licensed film & TV series featuring genre greats and hidden gems from science-fiction, fantasy, cult classics, action/adventure and horror.
This is a full official partnership with Comic-Con International, don’t forget, so expect to see the COMIC-CON HQ logo scattered around this years conventions, starting with WonderCon in a couple of weeks time. David Glanzer himself is also very excited about what this can bring to the CCI brand.
“CCHQ is welcoming both attendees and fans new to the Comic-Con phenomenon to join our community and enjoy all aspects of the experience in ways never before imagined. Lionsgate is a terrific partner in this venture and uniquely qualified to provide quality programming that speaks directly to our fans. We’re excited to see what we can accomplish with a dedicated Comic-Con channel 365 days a year.”
There will be more about upcoming programming and partnerships, rolled out in the coming weeks. Anyone can now pre-register for free beta access on www.Comic-ConHQ.com to enjoy a full platform of programming starting Free Comic Book Day on May 7 via their browsers and iOS/Android devices. The paid subscription service will roll out across more connected devises in the months to come such as Roku, AppleTV and Xbox One, with additional devices and distribution platforms becoming available throughout the year.
Exciting stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree. [cough] Talkin’ Comic-Con: A Cup O’ Tea weekly live show [cough!] Speaking of which, we have spoken to Seth in the past and he has agreed to join us on the Sunday show, as soon as they have something to talk about – which, I guess, they now do!. Here’s hoping we can announce him as a guest on a forthcoming episode soon.