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Search your feelings, you want this custom Stormtrooper Fiat

stormtrooper car1

Earlier this month we featured some imaginative Star Wars-inspired car concepts, but now there’s an honest-to-goodness, official Force Awakens car.

Created by Milan-based startup Garage Italia Customs, the custom 500E Stormtrooper is a redesigned Fiat 500 that gives more than a mere nod to the soldiers of the First Order. The electric car, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is of course black and white, with tinted windows that mimic the visor and helmet of a Stormtrooper.

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DC superheroes can’t defeat old age in these paintings


With DC Comics and Frank Miller once more plumbing the world of The Dark Knight Returns, it seems like the ideal time to spotlight Eddie Liu’s “Old Heroes” series.

In four paintings, the Shanghai artist imagines Batman, Superman, Wonder Wonder and The Flash in their later years, complete with gray hair, wrinkles and whiskers.

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This Iron Man backpack may be Tony Stark’s greatest invention

iron man-bag2

In a Marvel Universe filled with nanotechnology, Pym Particles and unstable molecules, it was probably only a matter of time before Tony Stark turned his attention to little convertible backpacks like this one. Hey, you can only make so many Iron Man suits before that gets boring; tiny backpacks are virtually inevitable.

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Stormtroopers race longboards, talk smack in this fun short


Their aim with a blaster may be a punchline in every corner of the galaxy, but these Stormtroopers have some demonstrable skills with longboards. Just don’t ask them to pass through a low doorway.

Directed by Scott Winn, the short video “Stormtrooper Longboard Race Gone Bad!” follows a couple of smack-talkin’ Imperial soldiers as they ride “borrowed” electric skateboards down streets, on sidewalks and through offices, passing C-3PO and R2-D2, listening to “The Imperial March” on Muzak and spouting lines like “I’m gonna drop you like a Rebel base!”

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Comics A.M. | ‘One Piece’ is the king of manga sales, again

one piece-v76

Manga | Continuing its seven-year streak, Eiichiro Oda’s pirate adventure One Piece was the bestselling manga in Japan in 2015, according to the market research firm Oricon. The series sold 14.1 million copies between Dec. 1, 2014, and Nov. 30, 2015, an increase of 18 percent from the previous year. It’s followed by The Seven Deadly Sins with 10.3 million, Attack on Titan with 8.8 million, Assassination Classroom with 8.6 million and Kingdom with 8.5 million. You can see the full Top 10, as well as breakdowns by volume, at Crunchyroll. [Crunchyroll]

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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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