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SYFY WIRE Conan the Barbarian

WIRE Buzz: Area 51 festival Alienstock grounded; Gamestop powers down 200 locations

By Christian Long
Mad Max: Fury Road flaming guitar guy

Alienstock has officially crash-landed. The would-be music festival, which was (very) loosely planned as an alternative to the Area 51 "raid" that went viral on Facebook, has been canceled by organizer Matty Roberts. It turns out, Roberts created the initial Facebook event over the summer, officially titled "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," and tried to repurpose the event as a music festival and "gathering of weirdos" in the desert. 

That's no longer happening, as Roberts posted the announcement to the Alienstock website. "Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ Alienstock attendees, we decided to pull the plug on the festival." And before you make your own Fyre Festival joke, Roberts also wrote, "We are not interested in, nor will we tolerate, any involvement in a FYREFEST 2.0." Burn. 

Since posting the initial event back in July, 1.5 million people have RSVP. The "raid" was initially set to take place next weekend, as was Alienstock with its estimated 10,000 attendees. However, given that the closest town would have been Rachel, Nevada and its 90-person population, it almost certainly would've turned into a Mad Max situation. Immortan Joe's guitar player and all.  

Granted, it's not like an impulsively-planned music festival in a remote location as an alternative to a publicly planned raid of a government facility has ever gone well for anyone. 

(via Deadline

Next up, GameStop is pulling the plug on a number of stores in the coming months. 

GameStop CFO Jim Bell made the announcement at an earnings call this week, saying between 180 and 200 "underperforming stores" would be shuttered by the end of the fiscal year. While sales are down just over 14 percent, and they posted a $415 million loss in the second quarter of 2019, Bell stated that 95 percent of the company’s 5,700 stores are turning a profit. 

Despite Bell's optimism, it has been a tough year financially for Gamestop, starting with failing to find a buyer in January, which led to corporate layoffs. The CFO also expects the trend to continue, stating that "year-over-year sales to be down over the next three to four quarters reflecting the end of [the console] cycle." So, until those next-gen systems start to roll out, it doesn't sound like their situation will improve much. 

(via IGN)

Finally, Marvel Comics is expanding its Conan canon. 

After striking a deal with Conan Properties, Marvel will start mining more characters from Conan the Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard's deep backlog of characters. Both Dark Agnes and Solomon Kane were mentioned, and "a few more surprises" were teased in a statement by Marvel. 

"With their world-building and storytelling expertise, we’re happy that Marvel now will go deeper into the Howardverse to explore more of all his fantastic characters, and spinning new, exciting yarns," said Conan Properties executive VP Joakim Zetterberg in the statement.

It's not known, however, if these new additions would be getting their own titles, or integrated into the larger Marvel Universe. After all, Conan himself has been hanging out in the main timeline as part of the Savage Avengers lately. 

Since acquiring the rights to the character back from Dark Horse, Marvel started off 2019 with two new series for the loin cloth-clad hero, Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan. And Marvel has published some Solomon Kane books back in the mid-1980s, with the character appearing in a number of series around then as well, including Dracula Lives and The Conan Saga

More details about how Howard's characters will be brought into the fold will come "at a later date."

(via The Hollywood Reporter)