"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Marvel announced this week that as part of its “All New, All Different,” post-Secret Wars lineup, a new Hercules series will debut from writer Dan Abnett and artist Luke Ross. That’s awesome for many reasons, not the least of which is because Ross will set the tone, for sure, as his art has a clean, classic style that wouldn’t be out of place on a major title, as evidenced by his work on Captain America.
However, there’s a rhythm to his storytelling that goes beyond just choreographing big fight scenes and powerful figures. He can do everything form subtle humor to weightier emotional beats that tell me, even from the initial design work, that this title is going to be a different kind of Herc than we’ve seen before. Gone is the little Grecian wrap around the waist as Ross has updated the demigod.
However, that cocky smile remains.
Viz Media will publish Blanc et Noir: Takeshi Obata Illustrations, the high-end art book by acclaimed artist of Death Note and Hikaru no Go.
Originally released by Japanese publisher Shueisha, the oversize book collects Obata’s work from 2001-2006, including illustrations from Death Note and Hikaru no Go. Within the silver-stamped slipcase are 132 pages of full-color art, foldout posters and artist commentary, including a “how to draw” section. There are also three double-sided laminated posters.
The team behind the well-received Judge Dredd fan film Judge Minty is turning its cameras to another long-running 2000AD comic strip, John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s Strontium Dog.
“It was a chance meeting with John at a convention that got the ball rolling,” co-director Steve Green said in a statement. “After seeing Minty, John mentioned that we should do Strontium Dog next. It was only a passing comment, but we took it as a ‘direct commandment’ and began work the next day.”
The guest-creator period of Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, DC and TSR’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, the latter half of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle’s Batman comics, the death and return of Superman (and the “Reign of the Supermen” that came between), the first few issues of Spawn from upstart publisher Image Comics – these were my introduction to a medium that 14-year-old me would be surprised to discover I’m still writing about on the Internet 25 years later (but not as shocked as he would’ve been by the very existence of the Internet, of course).
Another thing I found at the time was a TV show that was seemingly on a good four hours every weeknight, between the end of cross-country practice and the time I took my bath, thanks to syndication and the explosion of cable channels: Saved by the Bell.
Manga | Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto has collaborated with Kenji Taira, author of the Naruto spinoff Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, on a one-shot comic that will appear in the Japanese edition Shonen Jump (and most likely in the North American version as well). The story ties in to the upcoming Boruto: The Naruto Movie, which opens on Aug. 4 in Japan before receiving limited U.S. release in October. The issue also includes a variant cover for the collected edition of the Naruto sequel Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring. [Anime News Network]
Conventions | Ethan Gilman looks forward to Boston Comic Con, which kicks off today and will feature appearances by Stan Lee, Jason Latour, and some movie and TV people as well. Boston Comic Con drew 900 attendees for its inaugural show, in 2007, and organizers expect 50,000 this year. [Boston Globe]
As if the promise of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and G.I. Joe weren’t enough to get you excited for Toy Soldiers: War Chest, Ubisoft has released a trailer trumpeting the addition of playable Cobra and Assassin’s Creed armies.
We previously characterized the fourth game in the Signal Studios series as an epic bedroom-floor battle imagined by sugar-fueled 8-year-old, and this announcement only reinforces that: Eight armies, made up from beloved toys (and now video game characters), battle for supremacy.
Peanuts is celebrating the 47th anniversary of the beloved comic strip’s first African-American character by declaring today National Franklin Day.
It’s a bit of promotion tied to the upcoming 3D-animated feature The Peanuts Movie, but it casts a welcome spotlight on Charlie Brown’s longtime friend, who was introduced by Charles M. Schulz on this day in 1968.
When Hot Toys teased it had more in store for its previously announced 1/6th-scale Avengers: Age of Ultron Hulkbuster figure, that wasn’t mere marketing hype. And this morning there are photos to prove it.
The company has revealed “upgrades” to the nearly 21-inch figure that include two more interchangeable neck-armor parts that allow the Hulkbuster to be displayed in different stages of suiting up, an interchangeable battle battle-damaged chest armor plate, and improved arm, legs and feet articulations.
Artist Clementine Campardou challenged herself to paint a new picture each day that she’d share through an e-newsletter “Colour Up Your Day.” Over the course of two years, she’s produced more than 500 paintings, mostly beautiful watercolors, featuring an eclectic mix of subjects, ranging from birds and flowers to movie characters and superheroes. A lot of superheroes.
Superman, Wonder Woman, Silver Surfer, Wolverine, Supergirl, Gambit — they’re all there, in some cases multiple times, alongside the likes of Goku, Totoro, R2-D2, Astro Boy and Ken from Gatchaman. Oh, and Prince.
While most of the political world is following the likes of Hillary Clinton, Jeb(!) Bush and Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been making waves in a few nerd realms. First came his Simpsons impressions, and then his assertion that Captain James T. Kirk was/is/will be a Republican. Now Cruz is listing Watchmen’s Rorschach as one of his favorite superheroes.
However, Cruz isn’t the first candidate to invoke nerd culture. President Obama, himself a Star Trek fan, listed The Amazing Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian as his favorite comics growing up, and was photographed in Metropolis, Illinois, imitating its Superman statue. In return, Obama was immortalized on a Spider-Man cover, and depicted in another Superman-inspired pose by painter Alex Ross.
For that matter, the election year of 2008 featured a couple of seminal superhero films with clear political overtones. The first Iron Man showed its hero working within the military-industrial complex, and The Dark Knight inspired pundits to compare Batman’s surveillance technology to government eavesdropping.
The flesh-devouring monsters of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan range in height anywhere from about 10 feet to a terrifying 200 feet (in the case of the Colossal Titan). But if the bestselling manga and hit anime were bound by the rules of real-world science, just how tall could the Titans really get? Not that big, it turns out. (Whew!)
While Comic-Con International attendees got a glimpse of the unpainted prototype at the Square Enix booth, no one had seen the completed Play Arts Variant Black Widow action figure, until now.
Square Enix has unveiled the first two official photos of the upcoming figures, but has yet to provide any details. We can see from the images that Black Widow will come equipped with (for starters) two pistols, interchangeable hands and a blast effect for her “Widow’s Bite.” Plus, whatever those spiky things are at her elbows.
Creators | Political cartoonist Ted Rall talks to the local news about his firing by the Los Angeles Times, which concluded a post he wrote in May for its OpinionLA blog about being stopped by police in 2001 for jaywalking contained “inconsistencies.” Rall, who worked for the Times on a freelance basis, insists the audiotape of the incident provided to the newspaper by the Los Angeles Police Department doesn’t contradict his statements about being treated rudely and handcuffed. “I would do it all over the same way today,” Rall told CBS Los Angeles. “I’m disgusted that the Times took the LAPD’s word, based on nothing.” [CBS Los Angeles]
Marvel Studios had a super-sized budget for its film about a tiny superhero, but Cinefix’s Homemade Movies cut more than a few corners for its low-cost, shot-for-shot remake of the Ant-Man trailer.
The result, which employs lots of cardboard, action figures and construction paper, is actually pretty impressive, with Ant-Man and Yellowjacket costumes that wouldn’t look out of place at a comic convention. (Seriously, Yellowjacket’s helmet is downright cool.) The jury’s still out on the soundtrack, however …
The latest Humble Bundle book bundle has been unveiled, and it’s a musical mix of novels and graphic novels that are either by or about musicians.
The Humble Bundle deal lasts for two weeks, and it works like this: For the first tier, you pay what you want — as little as a penny. This gets you seven items, including three graphic novels: The first volume of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s gods-as-rock-stars series The Wicked + The Divine, the first volume of Rick Spears and Chuck BB’s Black Metal and This Is a Souvenir: Songs of Spearmint & Shirley Lee, an anthology of short stories based on the songs of the British group Spearmint, plus three prose novels (two by Rush drummer Neil Peart) and an audio collection of Pete Seeger’s spoken-word pieces.