Current Transmissions

Run, run, run , run Runaways!

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One of the neat things about this upcoming Secret Wars mega-super-hyper-combo event is that a lot of cool projects are coming out of the woodwork — not just to support the unfolding crash of realities, but to sneak in some books that make entirely too much sense. While Battleworld rages on, it would be ridiculous not to have a cadre of teen heroes roaming the field and making their way in the mighty Marvel manner. Since the Secret Wars themselves are happening to create a universal order on a massive scale and enforcing a set universe out of countless others, it makes sense that someone (or someones) are going to want to rebel against that universal order. Thus, the Runaways.

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Matt Madden’s ‘Drawn Onward’ runs forward and backward

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Drawn Onward, by Matt Madden (Retrofit Comics)

I’m mostly familiar with Matt Madden as someone who writes about the theory and practice of comics, as the co-author (with his wife, Jessica Abel) of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, as well as the sole author of 99 Ways to Tell a Story, so I wasn’t too surprised that this comic would be an experiment in form. In fact, the name gives it away: Drawn Onward is a palindrome. The story, a tale of infatuation and obsession set almost entirely on the New York subway, reads at first like a straightforward tale of a woman’s encounter with a strange man who keeps bothering her—and with whom she becomes obsessed. But the last page of the comic is only the midpoint of the story: The narrator tells the reader to go back and read the comic backwards, and when you do, it’s the same story with the roles reversed.

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This Batman-themed hotel room is covered in Bat symbols

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For those who always wanted to stay in their very own Batcave, Taiwan’s Eden Motel has just the room for you. Yahoo! Travel recently discovered this one-of-a-kind getaway spot (via Comicbook.com), and the pictures are just full of awesome.

As you can see above and below, everywhere in the room is simply covered in Bat symbols: the headboard, the nightstands, the mirrors, even the TV mount. The walls and ceiling are carved like a cave, and there’s a chair shaped like the Tumbler. Absolutely everything in the space is a reference to the Dark Knight, and you can actually stay here… for an hourly fee.

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Action is your reward in ‘Spider-Gwen’ #1

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In September 2014, when readers first met Spider-Gwen in Edge of Spider-Verse #2, I expressed a desire that the Spider-Verse crossover event would not be the last folks would get to enjoy the adventures of the alternate Marvel universe (Earth-65) with a living Gwen Stacy. In fact, I speculated “judging by the creative team’s eagerness to do this one-shot, I imagine they could easily be persuaded to do far more than one issue.” Just how much more they were ready to do became delightfully obvious this week with the launch of the new Spider-Gwen ongoing.

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‘Super Powers’ assemble in this week’s Shelf Porn

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Happy Saturday and welcome to Shelf Porn, your weekly invitation into one fan’s home. This week’s Shelf Porn comes from Jason Horn, creator of the webcomic Ninjasaur. Jason is currently running a Kickstarter for a print collection of the strip, so head over there and check it out if you like dinosaurs, ninjas or dinosaurs who are ninjas.

If you’d like to see your shelves here on ROBOT 6, you can find instructions on how to do so below.

And now let’s hear from Jason …

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Here are your favorite NFL players as your favorite superheroes

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For many, stars of professional sports are the closest things to real life superheroes. They’re bigger, stronger, and faster than seems humanly possible. They’re able to perform feats beyond the capabilities of your average individual, jumping and twisting and barreling through opponents.

But just imagine: If the stars of the NFL really were superheroes of comic book lore, who would be whom? The folks at NFL Memes went and matched up the biggest names in football with the biggest characters in comics to answer that question with these incredible mashup renditions. Some are obvious, like Calvin Johnson as Megatron and Cam Newton as Superman, but others are pretty spot on. There’s Odell Beckham Jr. as Spider-Man, Peyton Manning as Iron Man, Rob Gronkowski as Thor, and – perhaps best of all – Andrew Luck as the Beast.

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‘The Spirit’ celebrates 75 years with new hardcover collection

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In celebration of “The Spirit’s” 75th anniversary, DC Entertainment will release a new hardcover collection of Will Eisner’s renowned creation.

“The Spirit” has passed through the hands of several legendary writers, including Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and Jeph Loeb. DC announced the book at the DC Entertainment Retailer Roadshow.

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The Fifth Color | RIP Leonard Nimoy, the artist and the Vulcan

Leonard Nimoy tribute by Jim Mahfood

Leonard Nimoy tribute by Jim Mahfood

Taking a large step back from what we know as fandom today, it’s amazing to imagine what things were like in the beginning — before we had the Internet to produce original material, before we had hundreds of pay channels. Long, long ago in the far away time of the 1960s, when a show reached a generation of people in a surprising new way.

The best stories sneak in moral lessons or truths about ourselves and our society, not in a preachy direct way, but couched in the comfort of fantasy and fable. “Persevere” sounds like a direct command, but “slow and steady wins the race” can be taken however we wish. Star Trek could be about racism, religion, greed or power balance, but because it was set in space and spoken in the language of science fiction, we chose how to interpret its meanings and the messages given to us by Mr. Spock.

A lot of obituaries for Leonard Nimoy, who sadly passed away today at age 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, will mention that Gene Roddenberry called him “the conscience of Star Trek,” something I’d never heard before but that I can believe wholeheartedly.

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Don’t plan your trip to Spain’s Middle-earth theme park just yet

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A plan to build a J.R.R. Tolkien theme park in the Spanish coastal town of Rincón de la Victoria has attracted the all-seeing eye of Warner Bros.

Announced early this month by the town’s mayor, La Comarca (roughly, “The Shire”) was initially trumpeted as “a top-rated tourist attraction” based on the works of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings author. However, with a budget of just $2 million, the 20-acre Shire seems like a pretty low-rent affair; y’know, a gift kiosk, a couple of carnival cutouts and a gaggle of prickly Hobbits to pose for photos and pick up trash.

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Society of Illustrators announces award winners

Society of IllustratorsThe Society of Illustrators has announced the winners of the 2015 Comic and Cartoon Art Annual competition. Olivier Schrauwen took the gold medal in the Long-Form category for Arsène Schrauwen, and Bianca Gagnarelli received top honors in the Short Form category for Fish. Lauren Weinstein won the gold medal in digital media for Carriers, her five-part webcomic about learning she and her husband both had the gene for cystic fibrosis, and therefore her unborn child might have the disease.

The winning entries will be put on display in two exhibits at the Society of Illustrators gallery in New York: The Short Form, Digital Media, and Special Format exhibit will run from June 16-July 18, and the Long Form, Single Image, and Comic Strip show will run from July 21-August 15. Many of the entries will also be on display at the MoCCA Arts Fest in April.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

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Finn & Jake celebrate Dr. Martens x ‘Adventure Time’ with new promo

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Ahead of the Tuesday release of those limited-edition Adventure Time boots, Cartoon Network and British footwear company Dr. Martens have unveiled a 30-second promo kicking off their partnership, featuring new animation of Finn and Jake.

The spot, which debuted on Footwear News, gives a big push to “Stand For Something,” the Dr. Martens campaign celebrating “free-thinking individuals; from first-timers to those who have been with us forever.” Presumably, Finn and Jake qualify.

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Good Smile debuts new TMNT statue based on James Jean art

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Japanese collectibles manufacturer Good Smile Company has debuted Michelangelo, the second in a series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles statues inspired by the art of Eisner-winning illustrator James Jean. Leonardo was revealed in October.

Standing about 8.7 inches tall, the Michelangelo statue will connect with the other three to create a larger diorama. It’s set for release in July for $129.99.

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Happy birthday, Norm Breyfogle

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Veteran Batman artist Norm Breyfogle turns 55 years old today, which is the perfect opportunity to remind his fans of the fundraiser to help pay for his care and rehabilitation. With two days remaining in the campaign, the effort has generated nearly $98,000 — not quite half of its $200,000 goal.

Breyfogle suffered a stroke in December that left the left-handed artist paralyzed on his left side. With no medical insurance and his savings eaten away by hospital stay, he and his family turned t crowdfunding to help pay for his months of care and physical therapy at a nursing home.

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Comics A.M. | Suspect charged in theft of comics collection

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Legal | A 48-year-old man has been charged in the theft of the extensive comics collection of artist Jim Wheelock last month from a storage facility in Brattleboro, Vermont. William Brown pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 17 counts of burglary, petit larceny and unlawful mischief after he was allegedly recorded on security camera breaking into numerous units. Brown said he sold all of the items, and none of Wheelock’s comics has turned up in searches of the suspect’s home and car. [Brattleboro Reformer]

Retailing | Comics retailers surveyed by ICv2 were more optimistic than ever before, thanks to strong sales and excitement around upcoming titles in the superhero, creator-owned, and kids/teens sectors; the analysis also includes charts of the top-selling properties during the fall and holiday season of last year. [ICv2]

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‘Mortal Kombat X’ comes out swinging with story trailer

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WB Games and NetherRealm Studios have unleashed the story trailer for Mortal Kombat X that not only reveals the setting — 25 years after the events of 2011’s Mortal Kombat — but also a new generation of fighters.

In the footage, Cassie Cage is joined in the fight against power-hungry clone Mileena and her Outworld rebel army by: Jacqueline Briggs, daughter of Jax; Takashi Takeda, son of Kenshi; and Kung Jin, descendant of Kung Lao.

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