Current Transmissions

Grumpy Old Fan | To Grandmother’s Earth we go?

Oh, like I was going to pick another cover

Oh, like I was going to pick another cover

(NOTE: The Futures Index is on Thanksgiving vacation, so you’ll get a double dose next week.)

It doesn’t look good for the current Universe Designate 2. If the title of the miniseries Earth 2: World’s End weren’t enough of a clue, the setup of its companion Futures End tells the tale: Apokoliptian troops devastate the planet, forcing the refugees into the main DC Universe (Designate Zero). Moreover, glimpses of the previous Earth-Two — one-time home to DC’s Golden Age heroes and their legacies, like you didn’t know — suggest that it might be making a comeback.

Considering the New 52 relaunch eliminated the original versions of the Golden Agers, their collective reinstatement isn’t without its own set of issues. A few months ago I looked at how the current Earth-2 has distinguished itself from its predecessor. Therefore, today let’s ask how the return of that predecessor might work.

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With release of ‘Flash’ #36, news spreads of André Coelho’s death

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Today DC Comics released The Flash #36, an issue that represents the final work of Brazilian artist André Coelho. His death, while not widely reported until today, occurred in mid-October, as noted by this Oct. 20 MeiaLua memorial podcast. DC dedicated the issue of The Flash to the 35-year-old artist.

Co-writer Van Jensen also paid tribute to Coelho on his blog, writing, “He was an incredible artist, able to convey so much emotion into every panel. André also was always as nice as could be, responding to any request with a simple, ‘No problem!'”

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Glow-in-the-dark SHIELD shirts reveal hidden Hydra agents

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Anyone who’s seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. knows that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hydra has secretly operated within the espionage and law-enforcement agency for decades, plotting global conquest. Now it’s time for the organization to come out of the shadows … with shirts that give new meaning to the term “sleeper agent.”

Think Geek reveals true allegiances with this glow-in-the-dark T-shirt and tank top that boast the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo when the lights are on, and the Hydra emblem when they go off. I imagine The Winter Soldier would’ve gone differently had these been standard issue at the Triskelion,

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When aliens make amends: Nolan T Jones on ‘Colonial Souls’

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After lifetimes spent conquering alien species, what happens when a race of humanoid bugs finds itself about to die out, and is forced to work with others to survive? That’s part of the premise of Colonial Souls by Nolan T Jones and Andrew MacLean, a four-issue science fiction series Jones is self-publishing digitally.

The first issue arrived earlier this month, and the second went live this morning on the comics’ website (where you can also find previews of both issues). In addition to buying single issues, you can also get a price break by opting to purchase a subscription to the full series.

I spoke with Nolan about the comic, its distribution method and his other projects, including the role-playing website roll20.net.

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Conversing on Comics with Christopher Sebela

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The best way to learn how to make comics is to simply make comics, and writer Christopher Sebela found his way in by coloring and lettering.

He’s the first to admit he wasn’t the best, but it helped him to learn the industry while he continued to hone his writing skills. After years of work, and a couple of lucky breaks, Sebela is beginning to make a name for himself as a writer of diverse titles like Ghost, Escape From New York, Aliens vs. Predator: Fire & Stone and his own Dead Letters and High Crimes.

I spoke with Sebela about his entrance into comics, his beginnings as a color flatter, and his various projects. Along the way, he told me how the ability to hide a dead body gave him one of his biggest breaks in his career, and about his dueling passion and fear of Mount Everest.

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Kids react to ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer (and to comics)

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By now you’re likely familiar with the “Kids React” series, in which children and teens respond — not always favorably — to seeing a movie trailer for the first time. This week’s episode, featuring Avengers: Age of Ultron, doesn’t disappoint, as the reactions rang from excitement to disinterest to, in at least one case, outright dislike.

However, the most interesting part may be the the question portion, in which some of the participants acknowledge they’re aware the Avengers originated in comics books … something they don’t read. One kid even admits he’s been to a comic store, but only for toys.

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Former investigator indicted in theft of vintage comics

A copy of "All Winners Comics" #1 was among the stolen comics

A copy of “All Winners Comics” #1 was among the stolen comics

A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, has indicted a former investigator for the district attorney’s office accused of stealing thousands of dollars in rare comics.

The Houston Chronicle reports Dustin Deutsch was indicted Tuesday on charges of felony theft by a public servant and tampering with evidence, stemming from an embezzlement case he and his former partner Lonnie Blevins were investigating in 2012 for the district attorney’s office.

Blevins was arrested in January 2013 following an FBI investigation into the theft of rare comics seized from the home and storage units of Anthony Chiofalo, a corporate attorney who embezzled $9.3 million from his employer, and then spent a sizable chunk of the money on high-priced collectibles, including a copy of Detective Comics #27 valued at $900,000.

Blevins pleaded guilty in May to taking more than $5,000 worth of those comics and selling them at a convention in Chicago. He’s awaiting sentencing.

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Uncivilized Press unveils spring lineup

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Uncivilized Press has announced its spring 2015 lineup of graphic novels, and it’s well worth a look. There are just three books: Borb, by Jason Little, whose previous works chronicled the adventures of Bee in Shutterbug Follies and Motel Improvement Service (you can read an excerpt of the latter here); Vincent Stall’s Robot Investigator, a story about a robot wandering through a planet that’s like Earth but with only feral humans; and True Swamp: Book 2, by John Lewis.

Full descriptions and additional covers can be found below.

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Comics A.M. | Books-A-Million sees growth in manga sales

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Books-A-Million

Retailing | The Books-A-Million retail chain reported significant growth in the last quarter, due in part to strong sales of manga and strategy games. “Sales in the graphic novel category … grew nicely on the strength of a significant resurgence in the interest in several manga series, particularly Attack on Titan,” CEO Terry Finley said in an earnings call. The chain’s sales increased 1.2 percent, and same-store sales were up 1.8 percent last quarter compared to the same quarter last year; by contrast, fiscal year 2013 sales were down by 9.4 percent from the previous year. [ICv2]

Creators | Jeff Lemire talks about his new graphic novel Teen Titans: Earth One, which reflects his love of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s The New Teen Titans: “I wanted a fresh and clean take on a teen super-team without having to rely on other heroes or continuity. So I gravitated to these unique teen characters Marv and George had created, and re-envisioned them through my own sensibilities along with artist Terry Dodson, who really helped them come to life.” [The Kindle Post]

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Even a low-budget remake of ‘Age of Ultron’ trailer is awesome

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Watching the gleefully low-budget, shot-for-shot remake of the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, it occurred to me that many of us would probably line up to watch this movie, as long as there was the promise of an after-credits scene.

OK, maybe not, but this sweded take on the teaser is every bit as entertaining as you would expect, with cardboard buildings (and doors and Hulkbuster armor), terrible wigs, crepe-paper speed effects, and what I’m pretty sure is processed cheese sauce doubling as molten iron.

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Long Beach Comic Expo offers lifetime passes

Cosplay from Long Beach Comic Expo 2014

Cosplay from Long Beach Comic Expo 2014

For comics fans in Southern California, this Cyber Monday deal may rise above the others.

Long Beach Comic Expo is offering 50 lifetime passes for the annual event for $249.99 each through Dec. 13. After that, you’ll have to shell out $349.99 for one.

Not to be confused with its fall counterpart Long Beach Comic Con, the two-day expo is moving from its traditional late-spring dates to Feb. 28 to March 1 for next year’s sixth-anniversary show.

Held at the Long Beach Convention Center, the event also plans to expand exhibit space and its creator and programming lineups. Announced guests for the 2015 convention include Chris Claremont, Brian Wood and Greg Weisman. The passes can be purchased on the Long Beach Comic Expo website.

Geek OUT’s Flame Con campaign exceeds Kickstarter goal

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With eight days remaining in the Kickstarter campaign, Geeks OUT has surpassed its initial $15,000 goal to help fund Flame Con, “a super-queer comic con” to be held next year in New York City.

“We are over the moon with excitement!” the group said in a statement. ” THANK YOU to all who have helped us take this huge step toward realizing such an ambitious goal.”

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Alex Ross pits Darth Vader against Doctor Doom

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OK, so maybe Batman versus Darth Vader wasn’t exactly a fair fight, but what about Doctor Doom versus the Dark Lord? Alex Ross depicts such a scenario in a painting he created for a friend. Both characters blend magic and technology, and they cut mean figures in their capes and suits of armor. It seems like a pretty good match-up.

By this point, Ross is becoming an old hand at the Sith Lord, having recently provided variant covers for Marvel’s Star Wars #1 and Star Wars: Darth Vader #1.

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Comic-Con volunteer attracts controversy with inflammatory Ferguson tweets

UPDATE 11/25/2014 3:25 PM PT: A Comic-Con International representative has provided CBR News with the following statement:

There is no excuse for offensive or threatening behavior. The fact that it comes from a purported member of our committee is clearly upsetting. Even though we cannot control what an individual says, we can address issues that have a direct effect on our organization or persons affiliated with our organization. We would also like to mention this individual no longer holds a volunteer position with our association. We encourage any individual who feels threatened by these comments or others to seek assistance from law enforcement.


Comic-Con InternationalThe reaction to the announcement Monday night that a grand jury chose decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown sent thousands to social media to voice their feelings on the decision. Within the comics industry, much of the discussion on Twitter has involved a self-identified Comic-Con International volunteer known as “Bill in San diego,” who has posted a series of inflammatory and disturbing tweets.

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It’s Batman vs. Darth Vader in ‘Super Power Beat Down’

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If as a kid — or, hell, as an adult — you ever dreamed of seeing Batman face Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel, it’s your lucky day. In the 14th episode of its “Super Power Beat Down” series, Machinima pits the Dark Knight against the Dark Lord of the Sith in a mission to rescue Superman from the Death Star.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say we get to hear (but not see) Oracle, and Batman delivers a couple of solid lines, including, “I’ll take my science over your magic any day.” But is Bat-tech enough to overcome the power of the Dark Side?

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