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Would you pay $189,000 for this gold ‘One Piece’ statue?

one piece2

The bestselling manga in history, Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece” has a large and devoted following that’s only grown with the long-running anime series and now 13 films. But how many of those fans would be willing to shell out $189,000 for a 24-karat gold statue of Luffy D. Monkey?

To celebrate the release of the latest feature, “One Piece Gold,” precious-metal supplier Tokuriki Honten created two versions of the statue: one measuring about 7 inches tall and weighing 2.86 pounds (priced at $189,436), and the other standing about 4 inches tall and weighing 1.12 ounces. That one’s far more affordable, with a $6,147 price tag.

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Comics A.M. | Creators reveal what comic stores do right (and wrong)

emerald city comics

Emerald City Comics in Clearwater, Florida

Retailing | What do creators really think of comic shops? Dan Jurgens, Mike Mayhew, Greg Pak and Jimmy Palmiotti weigh in on what they feel retailers do right — and wrong. Spoiler: They prefer stores where the staff actively engages their customers rather than putting down books they don’t like. Palmiotti’s local store, Emerald City Comics in Clearwater, Florida, definitely has his number: “Emerald City will email about things that are in my interest range. They’ll say, ‘Hey, we know you’re into Frazetta, and here’s this book that’s available. Do you want us to order one for you?’ They get to know their customers, and honestly, they turn me on to stuff I would have otherwise missed.” [ICv2]

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DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe gets a ‘Suicide Squad’ makeover


Nearly a year after it opened, Singapore’s DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe has been conquered by the Worst Heroes Over.

Located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, the licensed theme restaurant has a menu featuring dishes named for the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Catwoman and The Flash, served in a setting adorned with images of the DC Comics icons. But through Aug. 30, the Super Heroes Cafe could easily be mistaken for the Anti-Heroes Cafe, as it gears up for Warner Bros.’ “Suicide Squad.”

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Comics A.M. | Retailer criticizes Marvel’s prostate cancer awareness variants

iron man-prostate awareness

Retailing | Retailer Robert Scott of Comickaze Comics in San Diego, California, criticizes Marvel’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month variant covers as a poorly conceived gimmick, noting that they’re not a fund-raiser — no money goes to any cancer charity — and don’t even do a good job of raising awareness. Not only that, but he says the minimum-order requirement means that some retailers won’t be able to order them, and many of those who do won’t be able to donate their cut of the proceeds to prostate cancer causes. [ICv2]

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Pokemon fans can catch some Z’s in this Snorlax bean bag chair


As any Pokémon Trainer — or “Pokémon Go” player — can tell you, traveling across the land, searching far and wide, can be tiring work. So after a long day of trying to be the very best, there are few things better than relaxing in a comfy sleeping Snorlax … bean bag chair.

If Bandai Namco’s $460 Snorlax cushion was a bit much for your budget (but not your living space), this one may be a better fit. Offered exclusively by ThinkGeek, the Snorlax measures about 4 feet by 2 feet — about the same as the earlier one — but costs just $150.

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Watch the original singer belt out the ‘Pokemon’ theme


If the current wave of Pokémania gripping the globe doesn’t already have you nostalgic for the original “Pokémon” animated series, then this video will undoubtedly do the trick.

Jason Paige, who’s best known as the singer of the original Pokémon theme song, recently recorded what’s dubbed as the “first official studio video performance of the legendary theme.” Two decades removed, he tackles the song with as much gusto as he ever did.

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‘Cul de Sac’ creator Richard Thompson passes away

richard thompson

Cartoonist Richard Thompson, creator of the all-too-brief but much-acclaimed comic strip “Cul de Sac,” died Wednesday from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 58.

While Thompson’s colleagues hailed “Cul de Sac” as a last flicker of greatness in a dying medium, Thompson himself will be remembered for the grace and humor with which he faced his disease — and the way it drew the cartooning community around him.

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Man arrested after throwing a Batarang at police car


The Dark Knight appears to have taken a dark turn this week in Seattle, where a man allegedly hurled a Batarang at the police car pursuing him. That may be just another night in Gotham City, but it’s a little out of the ordinary for Seattle.

It all began Monday evening when police were called to a Capitol Hill bar after a man allegedly threatened a bouncer with a homemade spear (it was a knife attached to a metal pole, with no obvious Bat-emblem). The suspect fled, and during their pursuit police saw him throw something toward their SUV. It turned out to be, yes, a metal Batarang.

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Square Enix’s Batman/Two-Face mashup figure is the insanely wonderful Dark Knight toy we deserve


At last weekend’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, Square Enix unveiled a new assortment of DC Comics Play Arts Kai Variant Batman figures. Called the “Rogue Series,” the new collection of figures mixes Batman with some of his most notorious villains. Square Enix released official images of the first figure from the line, the disturbingly unsettling “Two-Face Batman” figure.

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SDCC: NASA introduces Rocket Raccoon & Groot patch in honor of space exploration


It’s safe to say Rocket Raccoon and Groot have made their way into the mainstream consciousness. Considering their obscure comic book origins and minimal status in comics until the 2014 film, it’s happened pretty quickly. Now, NASA’s getting in on the love.

NASA is honoring the characters’ greatness with a special Rocket Raccoon and Groot-inspired patch, being given to employees who worked on the International Space Stations’ National Laboratory in 2016. Take a look at the patch below:

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Vintage photos become colorful superhero art


You could say that Los Angeles artist Alex Gross has a superpower all his own. He possesses the ability to transform stodgy, old black-and-white photos into colorful pop0culture icons. The likes of the “Star Trek’s” Christopher Pikem DC Comics’ Bizarro and even Flynn from 1982’s “Tron” have all graced Gross’ repurposed photographs.

His love of days gone by inspired him to create the pop-culture masterpieces. “I absolutely love old photos and vintage pictures,” he told Vivianite. “The Victorian Era is the time when I would have liked to live.” An avid collector of “cabinet cards” — a thin paper photograph mounted on a 4.5-inch by 6.5-inch piece of cardboard popular in the 1870s — Gross takes the single-shot portraits and transforms them in to pop culture icons.

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Reporter caught playing ‘Pokemon GO’ at State Department briefing


We’ve all been there: We’re supposed to be paying attention in class or at a meeting, but we can’t resist checking our phone for a text or sports score or, y’know, a pocket monster in the wild. So, we can undoubtedly sympathize with this reporter who was called out — on television — at a U.S. State Department press briefing for playing “Pokémon GO.”

CNN caught the exchange on Thursday, as State Department spokesman John Kirby briefly halted his discussion of efforts to combat ISIS to turn and ask, “You’re playing the Pokémon thing right there, aren’t you?”

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Nintendo debuts delightfully retro teaser for NES Classic


Nintendo transports us back the 1980s with this terrific promo for the recently announced NES Classic Edition — even going so far as to resurrect the slogan “Now you’re playing with power.” You may want to pop your collar to set the mood before you settle in to watch. Feathered hair is optional.

Announced last week, the miniature replica of the Nintendo Entertainment System — it can fit in the palm of your hand — will launch Nov. 11, loaded with 30 NES games, including “Donkey Kong,” “Final Fantasy,” “Pac-Man,” “The Legend of Zelda” and “Super Mario Bros.”

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Men in Pokemon tournament gun plot sentenced to two years

pokemon world championships

Eleven months after their arrest, two Iowa men were sentenced today to two years in prison after pleading guilty to weapons charges in what prosecutors and police characterized as a plot against the 2015 Pokémon World Championships in Boston.

The Boston Globe reports that James Stumbo, 28, pleaded guilty to possession of an AR-15 rifle, while Kevin Norton, 19, pleaded guilty to possession of a shotgun. Both copped to possession of hundreds of rounds of ammunition. The two have already spent 335 days in jail.

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Comics A.M. | How to enjoy Comic-Con without a badge

comic-con logo

Conventions | There’s still plenty to do in San Diego this week, even if you don’t have a Comic-Con badge. A local news station runs down the options, from events that anyone can enjoy with minimal effort to the hard-core nerd stuff. [KPBS]

Political cartoons | The cartoonist Faro, who’s from Nice, pens an anguished explanation of why he will not do cartoon memes about tragedies any more: “At a certain point, one must know when to stop, and I am not convinced that my fellow citizens — yes I am both a press cartoonist and from Nice — have the heart to appreciate these digital or paper mournings one more time. And I am not speaking of those who take a risk in trying to find humor in a similar situation. I have a hard time understanding the practice of producing the official logo of carnage and then seeking to pass it on in posterity while these innocents pass over to the other side.” [The Huffington Post]

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