Current Transmissions

‘Dark Knight’ meets ‘Akira’ in car that splits into two motorcycles

splitter3

If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic and fantasized you could split off a motorcycle from your car, Dark Knight-style, to race to your destination, you may be in luck. Well, some day.

Combining the functionality of Batman’s Tumbler and Batpod with the aesthetics of Kaneda’s bike from Akira and the Spinner from Blade Runner, the Lane Splitter concept design from Fast Company’s Mark Wilson and Argodesign is a car that converts into two functioning motorcycles.

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Halfway between 2D and 3D, there’s 2.5D

Attack 00 Gakuen 25DManga and anime fans are known for their love of two-dimensional girls, but artist Muneo Saito is rounding things out a bit without going overboard: To create his “2.5D” comic Attack 00 Gakuen 2.5D, he arranges flat cutouts in three-dimensional space.

RocketNews 24 has a detailed explanation of how Saito, who is the artist for the manga Pokémon Gold and Silver Golden Boys and was a character artist for several Pokémon anime, creates his comic: He draws the figures, inks them, cuts them out, and attaches them to little clear plastic stands. While the characters are two-dimensional, their surroundings are not; Saito has painstakingly put together a model school with 3D desks and even (my favorite touch) a little model wastebasket with carefully constructed trash.

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The Hero Initiative taps into Gravity No. 9 craft beer fundraiser

Gravity_No_9

Following the initial announcement last month by Boom Island Brewing Company, The Hero Initiative has revealed more details about the debut of the craft beer Gravity No. 9 at Wizard World Minneapolis.

The Belgian strong features a label specially designed by Fables creator Bill Willingham to support the organization, which helps to provide a financial safety net for creators in need.

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Beware the Court of Owls, even at the Stanley Cup Playoffs

court of owls-nhl

Apparently not content to operate behind the scenes of Gotham City, the Court of Owls was spotted Wednesday night attempting to infiltrate the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We can only guess what the ancient cabal had planned: An assassination to change the direction of the NHL? The kidnapping of a future Talon?

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Comics A.M. | This weekend, it’s C2E2

C2E2

C2E2

Conventions | Chicago’s RedEye has an overview of the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, which kicked off this morning at McCormick Place, and talks with Brian Stephenson of producer ReedPop about the future of the five-year-old show. “It has all the potential in the world to be bigger than San Diego [Comic Con] or New York, all based on the square footage at McCormick,” he said. Meanwhile Chicagoist checks in with a convention food guide, while Chicago Now offers a rundown of the best after-parties. [Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo]

Passings | Scott Simmons writes a lengthy appreciation of Roger Slifer, who died March 30. [Flashback Universe]

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Artists sue Marvel, Disney over ‘Iron Man’ armor design

iron man-radixArtists Ben Lai and Ray Lai have sued Marvel and Disney, claiming the Iron Man films ripped off the body-armor designs from their comic Radix.

The two brothers, who own Horizon Comics Productions, first rang this bell in April 2013, issuing a press release to announce a cease-and-desist letter just ahead of the premiere of Iron Man 3. However, as THR, Esq., first reported, on Thursday they finally filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court against Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, The Walt Disney Co. and a string of other defendants.

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‘2000AD’ goes DRM-free

2000ADThe British sci-fi anthology 2000AD was one of the first publishers to offer digital comics, and it ofers readers a choice: They can buy single issues and graphic novels within their iOS and Android apps or as direct downloads from their web store.

The advantage to the latter has always been that direct downloads are free of digital rights management (DRM) — they are simply files that can be freely moved from device to device — while comics purchased within the apps can only be read within the apps. Each way of buying comics has its advantages; the apps allow the user to store comics in the cloud and keep them organized in a single place on their tablet or computer, while PDF and CBZ files come with no strings attached.

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Artist Francis Tsai passes away

francis tsai3

Francis Tsai, the concept and comic-book artist who continued to draw even after Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis cost him the use of his arms and legs, passed away Thursday.

After word of his death began to spread last night  on social media, his wife Linda made the official announcement on his Facebook page, writing, This is all pretty new and I’m still a little in shock. Suddenly there is a big hole in my life. Francis was my soul mate. I loved him for his integrity, his (somewhat warped) sense of humor and his artistic drive. I will miss him like crazy.”

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Evangelist: Marvel’s gay Iceman is an attempt to ‘indoctrinate’ youth

From "All-New X-Men" 40

Evangelist Franklin Graham, the son and successor of influential Christian minister Billy Graham, claims Marvel’s outing of Iceman is part of a larger effort to “indoctrinate” young people.

“Today the Marvel comic character Ice Man, from the X-Men series, is coming out as gay,” Graham wrote Wednesday on his Facebook page. “This is another attempt to indoctrinate our young people to accept this destructive lifestyle. God’s Word says homosexuality is a sin, and we are to be on guard against all sin. God calls us to repent, turn from our sins, and put our trust in His Son Jesus Christ who died and rose again to pay the penalty for sin.”

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Iron Man fan creates working gauntlet with lasers, sound effects

iron-man-laser

Intrigued by the scene in Iron Man 2 in which Tony Stark cuts down drones closing in on him and War Machine using a laser fired from his glove, custom prop and gadget creator Patrick Priebe set out to make one of his own. And within three weeks, he had it, complete with working lasers, light-up palm and sound effects.

As a bonus, he can also eject spent “cartridges” from the top of the gauntlet.

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Grumpy Old Fan | DC in July, plus ‘Convergence’ goes ‘80s

Well done, Jason Fabok

Well done, Jason Fabok

This week DC Comics rolled out its July solicitations. Because they mostly cover the second month of a relaunch whose first month is still six weeks away, they feel rather comment-proof. I mean, last month was the time for first impressions, so you can’t really comment further on storylines that haven’t started or creative teams whose first issues haven’t appeared. That said, July brings the first issue of the Cyborg solo series, as well as the return of Justice League United, so it’s not as if there’s nothing new.

Onward!

HAIL TO THE VICTOR

As a longtime (i.e., aging) New Teen Titans fan, I’m a little torn about a Cyborg ongoing series. A spotlight on Victor Stone is long overdue, and I think the character is versatile enough to handle a wide range of adventures. (It’s also nice to note that with Starfire and Grayson, there will be three ongoing series based on ex-Titans.) However, I feel like Marv Wolfman and George Pérez established a lot of Vic’s backstory carefully and purposefully from 1980 through 1990, and then chucked it out the window when “Titans Hunt” blew up the Titans status quo. As the New 52 rebooted Vic (and since Forever Evil did it literally), he starts this ongoing with pretty much a blank slate. I’m looking forward to seeing what David Walker, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado have planned, but I hope that includes some of that forgotten history.

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Mad Max builds a ride, delivers beatings in gameplay trailer

mad-max-game

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Avalanche Studios have released a gameplay trailer for Mad Max, which puts player in the role of the film franchise’s star, left in a post-apocalyptic wasteland without a car. Or much of anything else, really. But once Max does assemble a new ride, everyone better get out of his way.

It’s a lengthy trailer — it clocks in at about four and half minutes — that also provides a good overview of the setting, vehicular combat and the beatdowns. Oh, the beatdowns …

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Stan Lee teams with Peter David, Colleen Doran for graphic memoir

stan-lee

Stan Lee is collaborating with writer Peter David and artist Colleen Doran to create his graphic memoir, billed as ” the story of how modern comics came to be.”

Revealed last week by Doran, Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir will be published in October as a hardcover graphic novel by Simon & Schuster. Bill Farmer will handle colors, with letters and art assistance by Allan Harvey.

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Review | IDW gets its ducks in a row with ‘Uncle Scrooge’ #1

uncle scroogeThe famously miserly Scrooge McDuck always refused to buy his own newspaper, preferring instead to find one discarded on a park bench. It’s therefore awfully difficult to imagine the World’s Richest Duck parting with $3.99 for a comic book. Why, that’s almost 40 whole dimes!

Naturally, Uncle Scrooge isn’t the target audience for the debut series from IDW Publishing’s new line of Disney comics, but he is the star. Absent from new-comics racks since BOOM! Studios lost the license four years ago, floppy comics starring the original Disney cartoon characters are now making their return. This month brings us Uncle Scrooge #1 (which is also being parenthetically numbered as #405, keeping the original numbering), and each of the next three months will add another title: First Donald Duck, then Mickey Mouse and ultimately Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories.

It’s appropriate that they start with Scrooge, as he’s the rare Disney character who got his start in the comics and later transitioned to animated stardom, rather than vice versa. And, of course, Scrooge has been a fixture of American comics, the longtime subject of his creator, master cartoonist and storyteller Carl Barks.

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‘Age of Ultron’ trailer gets an epic stop-motion LEGO remake

lego-avengers

Stop-motion LEGO recreations of movie trailers are becoming increasingly popular, but a lo of them are a little rough around the edges. However, that’s certainly not the case with this take on the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron by Kevin Ulrich of Brotherhood Workshop. It’s a project that took five months to complete, and it definitely shows.

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