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‘GeGeGe No Kitaro’ creator Shigeru Mizuki dies at age 93

Shigeru Mizuki

Shigeru Mizuki

Shigeru Mizuki, author of the enduring supernatural manga GeGeGe No Kitaro, which popularized the Japanese spirits known as yōkai, passed away today at age 93.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Mizuki had been hospitalized since Nov. 11, following injuries he sustained when he fell and hit his head at his home in Tokyo.

Long beloved in his own country, Mizuki rose to international attention in 2007 when his NonNonBa became the first manga to be honored as Best Album at the Angouleme International Comics Festival. Drawn and Quarterly began publishing his work in English in 2011, with his searing semi-autobiographical war story Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, which won an Eisner Award; two volumes of Showa, his history of the Showa period, won the 2015 Eisner. His most recent work to be released in English is his biography of Hitler, published earlier this month by Drawn and Quarterly.

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Looking for a Batman T-shirt with a logo made of cats? You’ve found it


While we may never know who at Warner Bros. Consumer Products signed off on a Batman T-shirt on which the iconic emblem is comprised entirely of cats, one thing’s for certain: She or he deserves a raise.

The black tee — it’s unimaginatively named the “DC Comics Batman Cat Logo T-Shirt” — is available from Hot Topic in sizes XS to 3X for a price ranging from $20.50 to $24.50. We can only hope this is the first in a series of cat-logo superhero shirts.

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Comics A.M. | Tintinologist named as UK’s first professor of comics


Comics | Benoît Peeters, a French comics writer, critic and Tintin expert, has been named as Lancaster University’s Visiting Professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art, characterized as the first appointment of its kind in the United Kingdom. “This professorship is a great honour for me,” said Peeters, whose works include Tintin and the World of Herge. “I want to explore the connections between the history of graphic fiction and contemporary creation, between the world of French and Belgian bande dessinée, and the world of comics and graphic novels.” [The Telegraph]

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This copper chrome Stormtrooper is shiny, cool and just out of reach


The good news is that this copper chrome-colored Stormtrooper action figure exits, and it looks incredible. The bad news is that Hot Toys is releasing it only in Asia, which means Star Wars fans in the rest of the world will probably never get their hands on one.

But they can still gaze at these photos and dream of a galaxy far, far away, where this rare, shiny collectible rests on a shelf next to that 1/6th-scale Captain Phasma figure.

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Man dressed as Darth Vader attempts to rob convenience store, struck by salad dressing


A man in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, was charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon for attempting to rob a convenience store — dressed as Darth Vader.

According to ABC News, Jacob Mercer, age 32, carried a handgun into the Jacksonville Beach convenience store on Sunday evening and demanded money from the cashier. The store clerk refused to give Mercer — again, dressed as Darth Vader — the money, and threw a jar of salad dressing at his helmet. Mercer then ran out of the store, where witnesses saw him take off the helmet and reveal bleeding cuts on his face, before escaping in a car.

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WooBots are wooden Transformers for the wee ones


There’s an undeniable charm — and a wonderful dichotomy — to these transforming WooBot toys. Although we may think of chrome and steel when we imagine the Transformers, or their poorer cousins the Gobots, the WooBots are made from wood, as if carved and assembled in, I don’t know, Santa’s Workshop.

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R2-D2 and BB-8 minifridges can cool drinks, store lightsabers


If you’re in the market for something to keep a six-pack (or two) cold, these may be the droids you’re looking for.

Continuing the Star Wars merchandising frenzy, ThinkGeek has unveiled R2-D2 and BB-8 minifridges that should fit perfectly in your X-wing, although it’s doubtful they’ll be able to help out with repairs or navigation.

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Yes, you’ll be able to play as Levi in the ‘Attack on Titan’ game


Koei Tecmo has added Levi Ackerman and Hange Zoë to the growing list of playable characters for its Attack on Titan action game. Considering that the abrasive Levi is probably the most popular character in the hit manga and anime, it would only be surprising if he weren’t playable.

They’ll join such previously announced playable characters as Eren, Mikasa, Sasha, Conny, Armin, Annie Leonhart, Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover. The voice actors from the anime series will reprise their roles for the video game.

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Comics A.M. | Bidding farewell to the long-running ‘Apartment 3-G’


Comic strips | The soap opera comic strip Apartment 3-G ended its 54-year run Sunday with little fanfare, leaving it up to a handful of bloggers, including Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter and Josh Fruhlinger of The Comics Curmudgeon, to give the longtime funny-page staple a proper sendoff. “It definitely has an unaffected, what-we-call-Lynchian quality where what you’re seeing and what you’re ‘hearing’ as dialogue don’t match,” Spurgeon writes. “The limited sets and slightly faded color choices make it a bit nightmarish, almost like the world is collapsing comic book ‘crisis’ style around these increasingly feckless characters. It’s hard to believe there are more than a dozen “places” in the world these characters exist. [The A.V. Club]

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Disney World debuts its ‘Star Wars’-themed monorail

From Inside the Magic

From Inside the Magic

It’s not quite the Star Wars-themed Rapi:t train introduced over the weekend in Japan, but it’ll certainly do: Walt Disney World on Monday unveiled the new Force Awakens overlay for one of its monorail trains.

As photos and video from Inside the Magic show, the wrap is fairly subtle, with images of the film’s logo, the desert planet Jakku, the Millennium Falcon, a TIE Fighter, BB-8 and Daisy Ridley’s Rey appearing on the windows of Monorail Black.

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‘Arkham Knight’ update trailer teases ‘Batman v Superman’ Batmobile


Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released a trailer highlighting the next series of add-ons for the blockbuster Batman: Arkham Knight, which includes the Batsuit and Batmobile from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The 2016 Batman v Superman Batmobile Pack will be available for download beginning today for Season Pass holders, along with “Catwoman’s Revenge,” which allows players to take control of Catwoman in a story set after the events of Arkham Knight, and “Flip a Coin,” which allows them to play as Robin as he attempts to take down Two-Face’s money-laundering operation.

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How to make ridiculously large lightsabers (because, why not?)


This may be the most important how-to you read all week — more important than instructions on how to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey, or repair a string of broken Christmas lights. It’s how how create a pair of ludicrously large, and surprisingly durable, lightsabers, for holiday lawn ornaments or for equally ludicrous Jedi battles.

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This LEGO-inspired apartment is the home you dream about

Photos by Hey! Cheese

Photos by Hey! Cheese

When a couple in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, mentioned their love of LEGO, interior designers HAO Design took the idea and ran with it, transforming their 1,300-square-foot apartment into a playful, colorful homage to the building bricks.

The design centers around the elevated lounge with a “play pond,” a circular built-in sofa with a ball pit, perfect for the clients and their young daughter. Walking down two enormous yellow brick-like steps takes you into the kitchen and dining area, where one end of the table is held up by large blocks.

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Artist reveals the superhero within every child


Most of us have warm memories from childhood of jumping from chair to chair, or running with a towel tied around our necks, pretending to be a superhero. Artist Jason Ratliff captures that feeling of boundless imagination, and an undeniable sense of nostalgia, in his new series of prints “Super Shadows.”

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Comics A.M. | The rise of the custom retailer variant cover

John Romita Jr.'s exclusive "Dark Knight III" #1 variant for Ssalefish Comics

John Romita Jr.’s exclusive “Dark Knight III” #1 variant for Ssalefish Comics

Retailing  | The Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal looks at the increasing popularity of custom retailer variant covers, focusing on local stores Acme Comics and Ssalefish Comics, which last week debuted an exclusive red-foil variant for Wrath of the Eternal Warrior and this week will release a cover by John Romita Jr. for Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1. The latter costs Ssalefish $18,800, which covered printing of color and black-and-white covers and Romita’s commission. “Even if we don’t make money back on the books, it’s still nice advertising,” said Bret Parks, owner of Ssalefish. “It’s a lot of fun and it makes our customers realize they’re getting something special, because although you might see a big stack of these ‘Eternal Warrior’ variants in our store, we’re the only store in the world that has them.” [The Winston-Salem Journal]

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