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Grumpy Old Fan | Snow-day comics

Not pictured: Hawkman

Not pictured: Hawkman

Winter finally caught up with the Memphis suburbs over the past couple of weeks, bringing nasty bouts with freezing rain and (currently) a little snow. Digging out from under the ice has been more tedious than anything else, but the persistent cold kept us all housebound for a little while. Of course, compared to folks in other parts of the country, we are very lucky.

Still, the mere idea of days at home with nothing else to do made me want to search the DC archives on comiXology for decent binge-reading material. Everything from the New 52 forward is available there, so the following recommendations are for older series. I’ve tried to stay away from the bigger names, and go instead for stories and series which might make the time indoors a little more tolerable. They’re also organized according to Convergence eras, so even if you’re not coping with the cold, you can still look forward to April and May.

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Sideshow’s Gotham Knight figure has a cowl for every occasion

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Whether you’re a fan of Frank Miller’s short-eared Batman or Kelley Jones’ long-eared one, Sideshow Collectibles’ Gotham Knight 1/6th-scale figure probably has the cowl you’re looking for.

You see, the collectible comes with three cowls — long ears, average-size ears and little nubs — as well as interchangeable facial expressions (none of which is a smile, you’ll note). In addition to the tailored black-and-gray suit and cape, the fully articulated figure also comes with Batarangs, a grappling hook gun and — because he’s Batman — a Kryptonite ring for … y’know, just in case.

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Superheroes reimagined with realistic body types

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Fans and critics have long discussed and debated the unrealistic bodies of comic book superheroes, from gravity-defying breasts and tiny waists to bulging biceps and washboard abs. However, now Bulimia.com has done what it refers to as “reverse Photoshopping of comic covers,” and given the superheroes bodies that reflect average American body types.

“Today, 33.7% of men and 36.5% of women in the U.S. are considered obese, and more than two-thirds are overweight,” explains the website, a resource for people with eating disorders. “Weight gain has put millions of people at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other preventable conditions.Meanwhile, comic books depict vastly different figures: men with massive biceps and shoulders and women with toned abs and tiny waists.”

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Becky Cloonan and Matt Taylor create ‘Sex Criminals’ prints

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Comics are art, and sometimes art is comics. The print collective Secret Panel, which ROBOT 6 wrote about last fall, has released two new limited-edition prints by Becky Cloonan and Matt Taylor focusing on Sex Criminals, the acclaimed Image Comics series by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (now being developed for television).

This is the fourth release for Secret Panel since its launch in October, following prints based on Nameless, Hotline Miami and Revival. Here are Taylor and Cloonan’s prints, the latter of which isn’t exactly safe for work:

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Sweet Bessie Coleman, it’s a ‘Lumberjanes’ Holy Kitten talking plush

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Last year Ripley’s imagined Holy Kitten from Lumberjanes scored her own T-shirt, and now she’s received a serious upgrade: a talking plush.

Designed by Lumberjanes artist Brooke Allen, it’s WeLoveFine‘s first plush collaboration with BOOM! Studios. You can listen to Holy Kitten’s two sounds — meow and an angelic choir — below.

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The comics industry cameos of Peter Bagge’s ‘Sweatshop’

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You’ll be forgiven if you missed Sweatshop the first time around. Sure, it was created, written and mostly drawn by Peter Bagge, and yes, it was published by DC Comics, but not for long. It lasted just six issues in 2003 and, according to Bagge’s afterword to the new collection (published not by DC, but Fantagraphics), then-DC President Paul Levitz decided to pull the plug around the time the second issue shipped.

The unlikely pairing of DC with talent like Bagge was apparently an outgrowth of editor Joey Cavalieri’s success with the hardcover Bizarro Comics anthology, which teamed “alternative” comics creators with DC regulars. Bagge, who had written DC’s poorly received nine-issue Yeah!, met with Cavalieri and decided on a pretty perfect premise for a comedic comic book. (Yeah!, by the way, was drawn by Gilbert Hernandez and was also collected by Fantagraphics rather than DC.)

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Comics A.M. | Driver in ZombieWalk crash will face charges

ZombieWalk crash

ZombieWalk crash

Legal | Matthew O. Pocci Jr., who in July drove into the crowd of ZombieWalk: San Diego, held annually during Comic-Con International, will be charged with felony reckless driving resulting in serious injuries. Pocci, who is deaf, was in the car with his children, waiting for the Zombie Walk to pass, but he started moving forward before the crowd had cleared the area. According to Pocci, the walkers attacked the car and he feared for his safety. He accelerated and the car struck a 64-year-old woman; two other people were injured as well. Pocci will be arraigned on March 9. [NBC 7 San Diego]

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Babs Tarr’s Batgirl swings onto WonderCon program cover

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Batgirl heads from Burnside to Anaheim with series artist Babs Tarr’s program cover for WonderCon 2015.

The convention’s Toucan blog unveils the cover, along with a glimpse into Tarr’s creative process — and a hint that a T-shirt may be on the way. The program books will be given free to attendees at WonderCon Anaheim, held April 3-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

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Makeup artist transforms people into living comic book heroes

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A self-trained makeup artist, Lianne Moseley of Calgary makes her living working with brides and models. However, she recently expanded her repertoire to include transforming people into superheroes who look as if they’ve stepped right off the comic book page.

“When I first did Archer, I posted it on my Facebook page and my friends liked it but I didn’t have a big following but my brother really liked it and he posted it on Reddit,” Moseley, a comics fan herself, tells CTV News. “Just last night Ashton Kutcher shared an article on my work on his Facebook page.”

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CUTE! Iron Man cardboard cat art is awesomely adorable

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On its Facebook page, Architecture & Design Magazine began an Internet-friendly initiative that turns your average household pet into something truly fantastic using only cardboard.

Subtitled only “Cardboard Cat Art,” the post features a compilation of photos that feature cats turned superheroes, among other things. Check out the photos below to see Iron Cat and Mario: Super Smash Kitty, and head to Architecture & Design Magazine’s Facebook page for more.

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Slamacow, these ‘Adventure Time’ Oreo necklaces are tops

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If you love food more than you love people, these handmade Adventure Time Oreo necklaces may be for you.

Artist Monika Alexandria sculpts adorable little cookie-shaped pendants of Jake, Finn and Peppermint Butler out of polymer clay, and then hand paints them, meaning no two are alike. She also accepts custom requests, so you could have an entire Adventure Time set, with Princess Bubblegum, Marceline the Vampire Queen and so on.

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Tim Truman creates painting for Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary

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Veteran artist Timothy Truman recently revealed on his Facebook page the first of several paintings he was commissioned to create for the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary celebration. The veteran illustrator worked with the band in their active years on album covers, T-shirts, and even comics for an almanac series.

Truman hasn’t said how this painting will be used, but he’s also creating art for an acoustic guitar produced by Alvarez for the anniversary.

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IDW’s Chris Ryall commissions custom ‘Rom’ hardcover set

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No, it’s not a dream. That’s actually set of four hardcover volumes of Marvel’s Rom: Spaceknight. Unfortunately, however, your chances of getting one remain slim.

Despite a cult following, it’s been nearly 30 years since any Rom: Spaceknight has been published. The issue comes down to licensing, and Marvel’s agreement with Parker Brothers (now a Hasbro subsidiary) expired 1986. Certain elements created for the toy-inspired comic, originated by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, remain with Marvel, but the name and signature armor are off-limits — to both new work and reprints.

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‘Everyday X-Men’ reveals Marvel’s mutants in their off-hours

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Being an X-Men is a busy job. Between the fighting, the schooling and the baseball games, there’s not much time for anything else — or is there?

Vreeland cartoonist Chad Sells has begun depicting Marvel’s mutants during their off-time in a new series of illustrations dubbed “Everyday X-Men.” The 16 images so far show various X-Men (and even a few enemies) in their leisure pursuits … and interestingly enough, many of them are in their ’90s-era duds, if they’re wearing anything at all.

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Batman and Iron Man square off over ‘Dawn of Justice’

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Fans of DC Comics and Warner Bros.’ big-screen plans may cringe a little at this Dorkly video, in which classic arcade versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Batman and Superman square off over their upcoming movie team-ups, Civil War and Dawn of Justice.

Short version? Well, that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is essentially a lesser version of Captain America: Civil War, a stance that will undoubtedly launch a thousand Internet arguments. I’m not sure that holds much water, but the video is fun to watch as the Dark Knight turns his frustration on the Man of Steel.

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