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Grumpy Old Fan | New year, old habits from DC in January

Rowsdower!

Rowsdower!

Although the first issues of Who’s Who and Crisis \on Infinite Earths got a headstart in the closing months of 1984, January 1985 kicked off DC Comics’ 50th anniversary in earnest. No doubt real life — i.e., the DC offices’ upcoming westward move — is preventing the publisher from starting the 80th anniversary celebrations this January, and the solicitations certainly don’t have much in the way of commemoration.

(To be sure, the month’s variant-cover scheme involves the 75th anniversary of The Flash, which Robot 6 contributor J. Caleb Mozzocco has already covered extensively on his own blog.)

Therefore, while the real fireworks will probably have to wait another couple of months, the January solicitation tease the return of Robin, changes in the Super-status quo, and other various and sundry plot churning.

LOOKING AHEAD

One thing that jumps out at me from these solicits has to do with numbering. Now, we all love numbering — big versus small, gimmicks versus straightforward integer progression — but the January books are soliciting the 38th issues of the remaining original New 52 titles. That puts the 50th issues of those series on track for January 2016; or, more likely, February 2016, if next September is another “take a break for a set of specials” month. If I were DC and wanted to relaunch my various titles, and I were a year away from a set of 50th issues, I’d probably wait a year.

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HISHE targets ‘Man of Steel,’ ‘Winter Soldier,’ more in bonus video

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The folks at How It Should Have Ended produce a lot of videos suggesting “fixes” for blockbusters ranging from Iron Man 3 to Frozen to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But all of the scenes don’t necessarily make it into the final product, which brings us to this newly released “Bonus Bundle.”

“Often we write too many sketches when creating a HISHE and some scenes get left out,” they explain. “Sometimes they are cut because it didn’t fit the flow of the main video. Sometimes they are cut because they aren’t finished in time. Well rather than let them collect dust we bundled them all together in one collection so you can see those extra scenes that might have been.”

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Before there was ‘Riverdale,’ there was this ‘gritty’ Archie parody

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The announcement today that Greg Berlanti is developing a drama for Fox called Riverdale, is certainly big news, if not entirely unexpected, given some of Archie Comics’ recent ambitions. Written by Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the series promises both the wholesome Riverdale readers have come to expect over the past seven decades and the “surrealistic twists of small-town life plus the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath.”

But before this Riverdale, there was another that featured just that: Longtime readers may recall the 2011 parody trailer of the same name that perfectly lampooned both Archie Comics and the tropes of teen melodramas.

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DC heroes juice up with French drink brand

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French manufacturer Orangina Schweppes has partnered with DC Entertainment to produce special cans for its Oasis fruit-drink brand featuring some of the publisher’s most iconic superheroes.

According to The Ephemerist, the promotion is tied to the 75th anniversary of Batman, here portrayed by Mangue Debol. He’s joined by Ramon Tafraise as The Flash, Fambougeoise as Wonder Woman and  Orange Presslé as Superman. It’s worth noting that all four heroes seem to be wearing a variation of their New 52 costumes, which don’t often appear in licensing efforts.

You can see closeups at Geek Art.

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Magnetic Press to release ‘Poet’ from Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge

Poet close

Magnetic Press has announced Poet, a three-issue miniseries created by Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves frontman Tom DeLonge.

Written by DeLonge and Ben Kull (Mission Hill, The Oblongs) and illustrated by Djet Stéphane, the sci-fi fantasy adventure debuts in the spring, serving as a prequel to the animated short Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker, which will receive wide release Dec. 9 alongside the new Angels & Airwaves album The Dream Walker. A full-length feature is also being developed.

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Balloonless | Tim Hanley’s ‘Wonder Woman Unbound’

cover of wwuThere’s a lot more than gender differentiating Wonder Woman from her fellow first generation superheroes that have, against all odds, survived to the modern day. More so than even Superman and Batman, the only other heroes whose comics have been in continuous publication since their creation, Wonder Woman is a character with sharp, often difficult to reconcile (or even wrestle with) contradictions built into her.

Foremost among those contradictions is the fact that, as Tim Hanley alludes to in the subtitle of  Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine, the character is universally known, to the point that she’s practically omnipresent in pop culture, but that knowledge tends to be pretty shallow.

That is, everyone knows Wonder Woman, but relatively few know much of anything about her. Her name and costume, her bullet-blocking bracelets and magic lasso, maybe her invisible jet, but that’s about it, really. Curious indeed.

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Mondo’s Lil Mikey TMNT figure is adorable, ready for preorder

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Mondo is now accepting preorders for its first entry into collectible toys: Lil Mikey, a 9-inch vinyl figure based on Mike Mitchell‘s adorable illustration of Michelangelo of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame.

Mitchell, a Mondo regular who’s been featured several times on ROBOT 6, drew Lil Mikey as part of his “Just Like Us” series, which features round-headed, child-like versions of characters ranging from The Punisher and Kraven to Ron Swanson and Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski.

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Stan Lee isn’t selling his home, ‘just a hunk of property’

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At the risk of ROBOT 6 turning into Excelsior! Home Journal, there is another followup to the Stan Lee real-estate story: It turns out that $3.75 million listing in the Hollywood Hills isn’t for the creator’s home, but instead for another lot he owns. In fact, there’s no longer even a house on it.

“I’m not selling my house. It’s just a piece of property we own,” Lee tells Los Angeles Magazine. “We tore it down, we were gonna rebuild and we decided to sell it instead, so it’s just a hunk of property that’s for sale.”

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Comics A.M. | Thrillbent launches new iPad app

Thrillbent

Thrillbent

Digital comics | The digital comics publisher Thrillbent has launched its own iPad app, which allows users to read Thrillbent comics and also load in their own comics in PDF, CBR and CBZ formats via Dropbox. [iTunes]

Publishing | Diamond Comic Distributors is dropping the price of its monthly Previews catalog from $4.50 to $3.99 with the January issue (in stores Dec. 24). That, as the company notes, is “the average price of a standard monthly comic book.” [PreviewsWorld]

Publishing | Dark Horse plans to publish the historical graphic novel Nanjing: The Burning City, by Ethan Young (Tails). [The Beat]

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Turning viewers into readers

DC-readingIn case you haven’t noticed, people like watching television shows and movies based on comic books.

This fall has been particularly exceptional television adaptations: The Walking Dead season premiere pulled in more than 17 million viewers, while more than 8 million watched the first episode Gotham, making it Fox’s best fall drama debut in 14 years. More than 6 million raced to see The Flash pilot, giving The CW its highest ratings ever. About 5 million are regularly tuning in for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and nearly 3 million for the third season of Arrow.

It’s not limited to live-action series, either: 2 million people watch Teen Titans Go!, and more than 1 million tune in to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon.

On the big screen, all four feature films starring Marvel characters — X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — each grossed more than $700 million each worldwide. So far, comic book movies have generated more than $3.8 billion dollars this year. While it’s unknown how many of those dollars are from repeat viewings, that’s still a lot of people.

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More than 300 line up for Jordan X ‘Slam Dunk’ Collection

jordan-line

The photo above isn’t from a comic convention or even a new Apple release, but rather the debut over the weekend in Japan of the Jordan X Slam Dunk Collection. More than 300 people reportedly lined up to get their hands on the collaboration between Nike and manga artist Takehiko Inoue.

The collection includes the limited-edition Air Jordan VI ($250), Jordan Super.Fly 3 ($185), two T-shirts and a hat, all featuring Inoue’s artwork and other nods to the bestselling basketball manga (for instance, protagonist Hanamichi Sakuragi’s school and jersey number).

Jordan X Slam Dunk launches everywhere else in the world on Nov. 1.

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French comic about time travel, true love eyes U.S. audience

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What if you went your entire life went without meeting your true love, and you only found it due to a time-travel accident? And what if your job was to eliminate these kinds of accidents? Would you fix the timestream or fix yourself up with your true love?

That’s the story of The Infinite Loop by Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier, which debuts next month in France — but the creators are already looking toward an American release. The duo was at New York Comic Con earlier this month to drum up interest in the six-issue series from English-language publishers.

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DJs take center stage in dystopian ‘Future Prophecy’

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Superheroes come from all walks of life: journalists, scientists, school teachers, lawyers, even fast-food workers. But what about a DJ? In The Future Prophecy, two DJ sisters take on a dystopian version of Toronto under the control of a mutant army. But they aren’t just any DJ sisters, they’re creators — and real-life DJs — Sara Simms and Melle Oh.

So far, Simms and Oh have self-published two issues of The Future Prophecy, but to produce four more they’ve turned to Kickstarter.

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Stan Lee isn’t as wealthy as some may think, but he’s doing fine

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When word surfaced Tuesday that Stan Lee has put his Hollywood Hills West home on the market for $3.75 million, some commenters began to speculate about the legendary writer’s finances. Of course, they’re not the first.

Asked earlier this year by Playboy whether he at least received “a Tony Star-like helicopter” from Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Marvel, the 91-year-old creator was quick to point out that he’s not as wealthy as some may think.

“My daughter was looking at the internet the other day and read that Stan Lee has an estimated $250 million,” Lee said. “I mean, that’s ridiculous! I don’t have $200 million. I don’t have $150 million. I don’t have $100 million or anywhere near that.”

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Creative process: Gibbons and Goellner’s ‘Birch Squatch’ #1

First Ever Sketch of Birch-banner

Beginning today, writer Jim Gibbons and artist Caleb Goellner‘s Birch Squatch: The Last Bigfoot #1 (which premiered digitally in mid-September on Gumroad) is available on comiXology for 99 cents. To mark the occasion, Goellner shared with ROBOT 6 a glimpse into the creative process through a series of images.

The comic, about a legendary figure driven out of the woods by rampant development, is definitely worth a read.

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