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‘Naruto’s’ Masashi Kishimoto to appear at New York Comic Con


Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto will make his first-ever appearance outside of Japan in October at New York Comic Con and New York Super Week.

Kishimoto, who concluded the bestselling manga in November after 15 years, will participate in two convention panels (on Thursday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 10), and multiple autograph sessions at Kinokuniya Bookstore and Barnes & Noble as part of New York Super Week.

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IDW and Marvel team for ‘Star Wars’ Artist’s Editions, fun packs


IDW Publishing has expanded its partnership with Marvel to include Artist’s Editions and Micro Collectors Fun Packs for the classic Star Wars comics.

Launched in 2010, the Artist’s Edition hardcover line presents complete stories scanned from the original art and printed at full size. IDW previously teamed with Marvel to produce Artist’s Editions for Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor, John Romita’s The Amazing Spider-Man, John Byrne’s Fantastic Four and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again.

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Frank Castle delivers death, bad wordplay in animated ‘Pun-isher’


After his family was murdered by the mafia, ex-Marine Frank Castle turned to a life of vigilantism, waging a bloody one-man war against crime as The Punisher. However, as this latest video from Animation Domination High-Def demonstrates, Castle could’ve gone down a far darker path … and embraced the sordid world of puns.

Sure, The Punisher still deals out justice one bullet at a time, but in this animated parody, he also serves up wordplay so bad that it would make David Caruso roll his eyes.

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Conan O’Brien will tape shows July 8-11 at Comic-Con


More than a year after the initial announcement, Conan O’Brien has provided a few more details about bringing his late-night show to Comic-Con International.

Although Conan typically airs Monday through Thursday on TBS, on last night’s episode he revealed that for the July 8-12 convention, it will be broadcast Wednesday through Saturday. “We’ve never done anything like that before,” O’Brien said. “It’s pretty cool.”

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Comics A.M. | Gaiman, Bechdel, Spiegelman join PEN in honoring ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

Creators | Art Spiegelman, Neil Gaiman and Alison Bechdel are stepping in as table hosts tonight at the PEN American Center gala, after a number of writers dropped out of the event to protest the organization’s decision to give a posthumous freedom of expression award to the staff of Charlie Hebdo. [The New York Times]

Collectors | Scottish collector Alec Whitelaw owns every issue of the Oor Wullie annual ever published, but he was stunned to learn his collection was worth nearly $38,000 when it was appraised on the BBC’s version of Antiques Roadshow. Whitelaw had come to the event by train, but organizers arranged for a chauffeured car for the return trip, as he had brought the books with him. “After they told me the value of the books they wouldn’t let me go home with them,” he said. “They got me transport home in a nice car and I felt like Lady Muck.” [Daily Record]

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Hot Toys reveals ‘Batman Returns’ Batman and Bruce Wayne figures


Hot Toys takes collectors back to 1992, and the cinematic world of Tim Burton, with the unveiling of its 1/6th-scale Batman and Bruce Wayne collectible figures from Batman Returns.

These are actually two releases, one the Batman figure and the other the Batman and Bruce Wayne set. The former boasts three interchangeable lower faces that capture Michael Keaton’s expressions, nine interchangeable palms, a batarang, grapple gun, two napalm packets, a line launcher, a Batmobile remote control, a signal jammer, and an LED light-up figure stand.

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ISIS claims responsibility for Texas shooting, but police are dubious


ISIS has claimed responsibility for the foiled attack Sunday on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon exhibit and competition in Garland, Texas, but local investigators are leaning toward a different conclusion.

“Two soldiers … of the caliphate attacked an exhibit in Garland in American Texas, and this exhibit was holding a contest for drawings offensive to the Prophet Muhammad,” an ISIS-controlled Syrian radio station announced Monday, according to The Washington Post. The statement also threatened “worse and more bitter” attacks but offered no indication of any actual connection between the two gunmen and ISIS.

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Beleaguered Turkish mayor replaces robot statue with T. rex

turkey-t rex

Photo via Mete Sohtaoğlu

Facing mounting criticism for erecting a 20-foot statue of a robot that some have labeled a “monstrosity,” the longtime mayor of Ankara, Turkey, arrived at a solution: He replaced it last week, at taxpayer expense, with a replica of a 32-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex.

A flamboyant politician who’s been mayor of the country’s capital city since 1994, Melih Gökçek had responded to backlash over the initial statue by saying “Respect the robot,” only to later announce plans to replace it with a dinosaur, because the robot “got on the leftists’ nerves.”

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‘Grand Theft Auto 2′ recreated in real life, with the help of a drone


There have been a lot of Grand Theft Auto fans films, but few that display the level of late-’90s authenticity as this one.

Created by Czech gaming aficionado Vojta Paul with the help of a drone, some friends and clearly understanding neighbors, the video recreates the top-down perspective of 1999’s Grand Theft Auto 2, complete with gameplay, graphics and sound effects.

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World’s largest LEGO Millennium Falcon built for Star Wars Day


To celebrate Star Wars Day, a group of Australians assembled Sunday to help build the world’s largest Millennium Falcon made from LEGO.

Constructed out of about 250,000 bricks, and measuring nearly 16 feet across, the iconic spaceship was created at the Westfield Southland mall in Melbourne under the supervision of father-and-son LEGO master builders Dan Steininger and Chris Steininger.

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Cosplayer gender-swaps Jared Leto’s tattooed Joker


Reaction to Jared Leto’s tattooed Joker from Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad has been decidedly mixed, but cosplayer Mary (aka SuperMaryFace) embraced the new look in a series of photographs by James Gilstrap.

With the help of makeup artist Devan Weitzman, Mary is transformed into the Clown Prince of Crime for an image set that’s both fun and unsettling while channeling the spirit of the original photograph posted by director David Ayer.

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Comics A.M. | A look at banned manga, from ‘Death Note’ to ‘Ultraman’

Light Yagami, from "Death Note"

Light Yagami, from “Death Note”

Manga | Lynzee Lamb lists seven manga that have been banned in different areas, including Ultraman (banned in Malaysia for alleged misuse of the word “Allah”) and Dragon Ball, removed from all school libraries in Wicomico, Maryland, because of nudity and “sexual content.” [Anime News Network]

Retailing | Joe Field, owner of the Concord, California, comics shop Flying Colors, talks about how he markets children’s and all-ages titles, with a staff that is ready to make recommendations special area in his store that is easily recognized as safe for kids. “Besides what we’re doing right in that corner though, I think it’s the approach that we take to the entire store, and that is that I’ve never hung up a poster that has blood splatter on it or that has sexually suggestive stuff. We keep the store very family-friendly for everyone,” he said. “It’s not that we’re not selling things for a mature audience, we just don’t push that in the face of people who come in because we are in a suburban area. It is an area with a lot of families and we want the store to be accessible to everyone.” [ICv2]

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‘SNL’ parodies Marvel, romcoms with ‘Black Widow: Age of Me’


Saturday Night Live and host Scarlett Johansson this weekend skewered both the romantic-comedy formula and Marvel Studios with a trailer for Black Widow: Age of Me, a parody that’s probably already fueling a few misguided Hollywood pitch meetings.

Demonstrating that “Marvel gets women,” the imagined solo movie mines every romcom trope for the story of Natasha Romanoff, who tries to juggle an internship at Fashion Weekly, a circle of good friends (including Thor as the stereotypical gay BFF), and a burgeoning romance with … Ultron.

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‘Attack on Titan’ 3DS game gets character trailer, May 12 release


Confirming the May 12 North American release of Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains, Atlus USA has debuted a new trailer showcasing the characters that appear in the Nintendo 3DS game. As fans of the manga and anime might expect, there’s Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Sasha and, of course, Levi.

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Two gunmen killed at Muhammad cartoon exhibit in Texas [Updated]

Police block nearby streets in Garland, Texas, following Sunday's shooting

Police block nearby streets in Garland, Texas, following Sunday’s shooting

UPDATE (8:14 a.m.): An FBI official has identified one of the gunmen as Elton Simpson of Phoenix, ABC News reports. The FBI had previously investigated Simpson for possible terrorism, and he was convicted in 2010 of lying to federal officials about the purpose of a trip to Africa. He is suspected of being the person who tweeted several times, once using the hashtag #TexasAttack, shortly before the event.

Two gunmen were killed Sunday evening after they shot a security guard outside a controversial contest and exhibit in Garland, Texas, devoted to cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

According to The Dallas Morning News, the two men pulled up in front of the Curtis Culwell Center, just as the event was ending, opened fire on a security guard and then were shot and killed by Garland police. The guard was taken to the hospital but was later released. Meanwhile, the bodies of the two gunmen remained in the street while the bomb squad was called to investigate their vehicle. The center was locked down, and nearby Walmart and Sam’s Club stores were evacuated.

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