Current Transmissions

Picture of the Day: Walter Simonson’s new mailbox brings the thunder

Walter Simonson has worked on a number of famous characters along with his own creations in his legendary comic book career, but he’s likely still best remembered for his legendary time on “Thor” at Marvel Comics. That’s something that’s clearly not lost on his next-door neighbor, who according to Twitter, surprised Simonson with a new addition to the writer/artist’s mailbox: Mjolnir.

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‘Raising Dion’ comic book trailer is better than most movies

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You’re unlikely to see a better trailer for a comic book — ever — than this one for Raising Dion, the superhero drama by Dennis Liu and Jason Piperberg. Wait, to call it a trailer does it a disservice; it’s a wonderfully produced, and wonderfully uplifting, short film.

While many superhero stories feature parents (whether alive or dead) as inspiration or a guiding force, Raising Dion offers a twist: It’s told from the perspective of single mother Nicole, who’s trying to raise her superpowered 7-year-old son.

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Grumpy Old Fan | The long and winding roads (of DC’s event arcs)

He showed his butt once too often

He showed his butt once too often

The end of August also marks three full months worth of DC Comics’ line-wide relaunches. Naturally, the highest-profile of these are in the Superman titles, featuring a depowered and spiritually depantsed Man of Steel; and in the Bat-books, where a buff, mohawked James Gordon is the new Dark Knight. The two main Green Lantern books are also going through status quo upheavals, as Hal Jordan has gone off the reservation with a stolen power-ring prototype, while John Stewart, Guy Gardner and a handful of their colleagues have been hurled into parts unknown. (I’d say more, but it’d spoil the latest issue of Green Lantern: Lost Army.)

While I’m not exactly getting tired of these various plots, I am starting to wonder how long they can each be sustained. That, in turn, reminded me of similarly dramatic storylines that played out over much longer periods of time. I’ll be discussing a lot of storylines today, from the Silver Age to the present, and I’m sure I haven’t listed every possible one. (Spoilers: I won’t have time to get to a “dead and revived” list.) Some of these arcs were planned with endpoints, and some reverted to “normal” thanks to external factors. However, each tested the limits of readers’ tolerance for change.

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Boing Boing’s Weekend of Wonder sounds pretty great

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Boing Boing certainly knows how to craft a difficult-to-resist pitch for its “three-day extravaganza of hands-on wonder”: Start with a name like “Weekend of Wonder,” add guests like Disney veteran John Edgar Park, puzzle designer Michael Borys and hot-rod artist Coop, and top it off with a musical performance by Adventure Time‘s Hunson Abadeer the Lord of Evil and Marceline the Vampire Queen (or, rather, Martin Olson and Olivia Olson, who play them). See?

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Artist creates adorable ‘Naruto’ paintings using everyday objects

naruto-social

Although Masashi Kishimoto brought his signature creation to a close after 15 years, Naruto continues to inspire, as Vietnamese artist Nguyen Quang Huy demonstrates with his “I Am Naruto” series.

Using everyday objects, from flowers to a peach pit to a conch, the 25-year-old artist recreates Naruto characters in whimsical illustrations. He previously took a similar approach with Marvel characters. “I’m interested not only in super heroes,” he explains on Bored Panda, “but I’m also fond of comics and manga.”

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Old witch, new comic: ‘Baba Yaga’s Assistant’ is enchanting

covBaba Yaga is a popular and enduring character from Slavic and Russian folklore, distinguished from her fellow witches by both her unique mode of conveyance (a flying mortar and pestle) and home (a semi-sentient cottage perched atop a pair of chicken legs). Undoubtedly a creature created in oral tradition, like most folkloric heroes and villains she’s appeared in every media as its been invented.

In comics, she’s had recurring roles in Bill Willingham and company’s Fables and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. The Marvel Universe has its own Baba Yaga, and naturally Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales has a “sexy” Baba Yaga among its sprawling cast. But if you want to know what the best Baba Yaga comic is, I would say it’s 1992’s The Sandman #38, by Neil Gaiman and artists Duncan Eagleson and Vince Locke.

Or at least I would’ve said that if you asked me a few weeks ago. Now that I’ve read Baba Yaga’s Assistant, a new graphic novel by first-time writer Marika McCoola and artist Emily Carroll, I’m not so sure.

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‘Pokemon’ recreated in ‘GTA V’ is even weirder than you imagine

gta-pokemon

As strange, and slightly disturbing, as it may have been to see the Scooby-Doo and the gang dropped into the world of Grand Theft Auto V, it’s nothing compared to this recreation of the Pokémon opening.

Created by YouTuber Merfish using an assortment of GTA V PC Mods, if the video doesn’t make you nostalgic, it will at least leave you viewing Pikachu in a decidedly different light.

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Comics A.M. | Wizard World reports $1.8 million loss

Wizard World

Wizard World

Conventions | After a profitable 2014, Wizard World Inc. is reporting a $1.8 million loss in the second quarter of 2015 (in contrast to a $760,000 profit during the same period last year), owing much to the rapid increase in the number of conventions it’s producing. However, as ICv2.com notes, the company is also seeing a drop in revenue per show. Wizard World also reports that its inaugural convention in China, held May 30-June 1, “was not as successful as we anticipated.” [ICv2]

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Here’s a handy guide to the weaknesses of superheroes & villains

aquaman44a

Faced with an angry Superman, every Tom, Dick and Dark Knight knows to break out the Kryptonite (it’s usually next to the bandages and antiseptic in the first-aid kit). Likewise, if cornered by Electro, most of us might make sure we’re well-grounded, and then reach for the nearest water hose. But what about those myriad other superheroes and villains?

Glad you asked! MorphSuits, which ruffled so many feathers with its breakdown of Marvel’s most badass female characters, now scrutinizes the Achilles’ heels of costumed characters, probing for a weakness that might help out in a pinch.

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This dad spent a year building a life-size Transformer for his son

transformers1-social

After watching Transformers: Age of Extinction last year, Wang Liansheng’s son wanted his own giant robot. Unable to afford the large toy model the boy had his eye on, the Chinese shipyard welder instead built a life-size replica.

China’s People’s Daily Online reports that, with help from his brother, Wang gathered abandoned car parts from a car factory and recycling center near his village in Jiangsu province and went to work in August 2014. A year later, they now have a nearly 16-and-a-half-foot Bumblebee standing in their yard.

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Homemade ‘Batman v Superman’ trailer is way more fun than real one

bvs-homemade

Strangely enough, when you remake the trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice using action figures, construction paper and actors in homemade costumes, Zack Snyder’s vision for DC Comics’ greatest superheroes suddenly doesn’t seem so grim. Or desaturated.

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Self-transforming Optimus Prime cake is a true birthday miracle

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Look, life can be a pretty bleak prospect sometimes and there are plenty of reminders on a daily basis of just that.

But — a man named Russell Munro made an Optimus Prime cake for his son’s 6th birthday that actually transforms from a car to a robot. By itself. Speaking authentic Peter Cullen dialogue. Based on the old-school, Generation 1 Optimus, rather than the current film franchise version that today’s kids presumably know a lot better. And oh yeah: It was a real, likely delicious cake. So maybe hope isn’t lost.

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This Deadpool/Spider-Man dance-off is the summer’s best crossover

deadpool-spidey

If only Peter Parker’s painful-to-watch dance scene had instead been a dance-off against Deadpool, Spider-Man 3 might’ve been an entirely different movie. There still would’ve been too many villains, and it still would’ve starred Tobey Maguire, but, hey, you can’t win them all.

Famed Deadpool cosplayer D-Piddy, the subject of a new profile, battles Spider-Man the best way he knows how — with dance! — in this video that sees them go toe to toe, and hip to hip, on a Los Angeles rooftop. At least until things get uncomfortable …

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Your books should be well-protected in this Han Solo in carbonite backpack

han-solo-backpack-social

If carbon freezing is suitable for transporting tibanna gas — or, say, a certain charming smuggler — over long distances, it should be good enough for hauling your textbooks from home to class.

This Previews-exclusive Star Wars Han Solo in Carbonite Plush Back Buddy (say that five times fast!) will either make you the envy of the campus or the target of the galaxy’s vilest bounty hunters. Whatever the case, it’s available for preorder for $39.99.

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Man of Steal? Police on the trail of Superman after watch heist

action comics1

To police in Nottinghamshire, England, the theft of a $33,000 watch looks like a job by Superman.

According to BBC News, authorities are searching for Superman Rostas, whom they say pretended to be a customer at a jewelry store in Newark, northeast of Nottingham. Using “distraction techniques” — and, we can only presume, super-speed — he allegedly made off with diamond-encrusted gold watch.

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