Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Batman kisses Spider-Man on pre-Comic-Con magazine cover

Pacific San Diego Magazine

Batman kisses Spider-Man on the cover to the July 2014 issue of Pacific San Diego Magazine.

Free monthly Pacific San Diego Magazine has two big events this coming week: the city's gay pride festival this weekend, and San Diego Comic-Con next week. They took the two and combined them with a riff on the Spider-Man upside-down movie kiss in an unauthorized DC/Marvel crossover on this month's cover.

"As Pride and Comic-Con descend upon San Diego, the time has come to reveal the truth: all heroes are welcome, even when they’re kissing their boyfriends,” Pacific San Diego Magazine editor-in-chief/publisher David Perloff told Fox 5 San Diego.

The cover faced split reaction, with San Diego Pride voicing their support while mother Cindy Montoya told Fox 5 "I don’t want to see it right on the street where my daughter can get it."

Perloff also wrote some flirtatious dialogue for Spidey and Bats' secret identities, including Peter Parker promising to walk in the pride parade with the Hulk in drag as Wonder Woman.


Is it OK to crowdfund a trip to San Diego Comic-Con?

Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" Autograph Signing - Comic-Con International 2013

Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Marvel

A general view of the atmosphere at Marvel's 'Thor: The Dark World' Autograph Signing - Comic-Con International 2013 on July 21, 2013 in San Diego.

Writer and vlogger Kiala Kazebee is set to appear at a San Diego Comic-Con panel on women in comics, but she's come under fire for using crowdfunding to pay for her trip.

Kiala tweet

Kazebee explains on her GoFundMe page, which launched Tuesday, that she was laid off and lost her home due to a break-up. She has plans to move to Los Angeles, but that move is where her savings have all been allocated, so she sought support from her fans to enable her to attend Comic-Con.

In addition to the panel she's appearing on, she's also set to meet with fans of her online video show Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, which also stars actress Felicia Day, and she also wanted to socialize with friends and fans. The effort was fully funded in one day.

Kazebee expressed her own reservations about using crowdfunding.


Chinese moviegoers love Michael Bay's 'Transformers,' but where are the critics?


Fresh Movie Trailers (via YouTube)

Trailer for "Transformers: Age of Extinction": It's a huge hit...in China

Chinese moviegoers really liked the Na'vi in James Cameron’s “Avatar." But they are head over heels in love with the Autobots in Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

The latest clashing robots sequel has shattered China’s all-time box office record set by “Avatar,” which grossed $221.9 million back in 2010. In just three weeks of release, the third “Transformers” sequel has grossed $262.3 million.

That’s substantially more than the critically drubbed action film netted in domestic theaters, where “Transformers: Age of Extinction” has taken in $208 million. While that’s certainly a relatively good haul, the comparative returns trail the first three “Transformers” films at the same point in release.

Chinese moviegoers have been inordinately kind to Bay’s films for a long time.  The original “Transformers” movie grossed $45 million in China in 2007, the 2009 sequel took in $72 million there and the third film hauled in $172 million in 2011.


Emmys 2014: 'Naked category jockeying' and other tales from the nominations

Ali Goldstein/Netflix

“Orange is the New Black,” where the laughs are sometimes few and far between, was placed in the comedy category, where it earned an Emmy nomination.

In the legal world, it’s known as venue shopping — finding the best judge, jury or courthouse for your case.

With the Emmy Awards, according to Variety TV editor Cynthia Littleton, the practice is known as “naked category jockeying.”

The Emmy Awards give networks, cable channels and online outlets the freedom to pick a preferred category for a show, within reasonable limits. But the Emmy guidelines are loose and open to manipulation.

With Thursday’s nominations for the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, it was clear some shows bent the rulebook to their immediate advantage.

“Orange is the New Black,” in which the laughs are sometimes few and far between, was placed in the comedy category, where it earned a nomination. (A few months back, the show was in the drama category at the Golden Globes.)


#FireRickRemender: Captain America writer under fire over misunderstood timeline

Marvel Comics

A panel from Captain America #22.

Last week's issue of Captain America provided a big status quo change — Captain America losing his super soldier serum and suddenly becoming an old man — but the story element that caused an online maelstrom and calls for the firing of Los Angeles writer Rick Remender was two characters having sex.

Shortly after the issue came out, critics argued that it showed longtime Cap sidekick the Falcon — who recently made his big screen debut in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" — having sex with an underage character, Jet Black. You can read the full scene here.

One Tumblr post about the perceived controversy received almost 2,000 likes and reblogs. The only problem with the outrage — that character isn't underage.

The issue itself references her 23rd birthday, but some argue that the character couldn't be that old. The character first appears as a child in the first issue of the current run of Captain America, but the comic explicitly shows at least 12 years passing. If the age used in the new issue is approximately in line with the rest of her appearances, that makes her 11 in her first appearance, which doesn't appear to be off-base from the stories themselves.