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Custom-painted Batman sneakers are all the rage in Gotham

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E.V. Kwun (aka Geektrooper) pays tribute to Batman: The Animated Series with these hand-painted high-tops featuring the Dark Knight and Killer Croc.

The attention to detail is pretty amazing, with Batman standing against the Gotham skyline and Killer Croc at home in the city’s sewers. The tongues of the shoes also reference the logo of the beloved cartoon, with each of the characters shown in silhouette against a red circle.

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Grumpy Old Fan | ‘Crisis’ at 30, Part 8

Season 2 cliffhanger

Season 2 cliffhanger

Cover-billed as “The Final Fate of The Flash,” Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 — which appeared in comics stores 30 years ago this month, during the first week of July 1985 — takes a while to get to the point. When last we saw the Anti-Monitor, in Issue 7, his citadel had been destroyed and he’d been forced to flee in some sort of rough-hewn spaceship. Thus, Issue 8 opens with a two-page sequence aboard Anti-M’s vessel and features Psycho-Pirate, Anti-Monitor, and the Flash; but after that they don’t appear again until Page 14.

Indeed, much of that gap is filled with six pages of digressions involving (among others) Firehawk, Blue Devil, Green Lantern and the apparently final fate of the android Red Tornado. As overstuffed as Issue 7 felt, with the origins of the Multiverse and various cosmic players, and the big battle culminating in Supergirl’s sacrifice, this issue seems rather thin. Still, the main event remains powerful, even knowing how it plays out, and even taking into account Barry Allen’s eventual return.

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After 23 surgeries to look like Superman, ‘Man of Plastic’ meets his Kryptonite

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Herbert Chavez, the Superman fanatic who’s undergone 23 surgeries to make himself look more like the Man of Steel, may have discovered his Kryptonite: his doctors.

Over the past 18 years, the Filipino man has spent thousands of dollars in hopes of achieving his goal — liposuction, eye surgery, skin lightening, cheek and jaw augmentation — you name it. “I hope to become the Man of Plastic,” he says.

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Kate Beaton crosses into picture books with ‘The Princess and the Pony’

cover of patpHere are five words that, to my knowledge, have never been spoken or written in this particular order: “I don’t like Kate Beaton.”

This being the Internet, there very well may be someone somewhere who does not, in fact, care for Beaton’s work, but I’ve never run across that person. Similarly, it’s difficult to find a cartoonist whose work is so widely enjoyed and championed that affection for it approaches universal.

From her long-running online comics about historical and literary figures (collected in the Hark! A Vagrant books, a second volume of which is due soon) to her online-only, more-doodled-than-drawn strips about visiting her family, Beaton’s work is always engaging and easy to share.

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Alfred is fed up with all of those bats in the Batcave

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Sure, an early encounter with a bat inspired Bruce Wayne’s costumed identity, and they undeniably add much-needed ambience to a subterranean lair. However, as Alfred Pennyworth tries to explain in this animated short from Dorkly, keeping thousands of the winged mammals creates some serious problems, not the least of which is the guano the devoted butler must clean from every surface.

“We are running out of Robins rather quickly,” he informs the Dark Knight. “They keep coming down with Ebola for some reason.”

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Kotobukiya debuts its ARTFX+ Magneto statue

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Kotobukiya marches ahead with its line of ARTFX+ statues inspired by the X-Men of Marvel Now!, with Magneto soon poised to take his place alongside the previously revealed Cyclops and Emma Frost.

Standing nearly 8 inches tall, the 1/10th-scale Master of Magnetism is based on a design by artist Adi Granov. Kotobukiya again promises the rest of the Uncanny X-Men team are “coming soon.”

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Comics A.M. | Scott Chantler named university’s cartoonist in residence

From "Two Generals"

From “Two Generals”

Creators | Scott Chantler, creator of Two Generals and the Three Thieves series of children’s graphic novels, will be the first-ever cartoonist in residence at the University of Windsor, in Ontario. [Our Windsor]

Cosplay | Alyssa Salazar, who runs the Tumblr The Hijabi Lolita, talks about combining frilly dresses and headscarves: “There’s really no difference, because Lolita is fairly modest to begin with. I could wear this without a scarf.” And don’t get creepy with her, because she carries pepper spray. [Vice]

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New ‘Legend of Zelda’ manga in the works by Akira Himekawa

zelda-phantom hourglassThe creative team of Akira Himekawa has announced a return to The Legend of Zelda manga series following a seven-year absence.

“2015, after 7 years … The Legend of Zelda manga series returns! Please support it!” the duo wrote on their website, as translated by Anime News Network. “Which version of me can you meet this time? Look forward to finding out!!” They also posted a new piece of art, below.

Akira Himekawa produced serialized adaptations of The Legend of Zelda video games, from 1999’s Ocarina of Time to 2009’s Phantom Hourglass. They returned to Hyrule in 2011 with a stand-alone prequel to Skyward Sword.

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U.S. company challenges Japan to a giant-robot battle

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After introducing the MegaBot Mark II, “America’s first fully functional giant piloted robot,” there was really only one thing left for MegaBots Inc. to do:  Challenge Japan to a giant-robot battle.

Seriously, if you had a mecha what would you do? Build public-works projects? Hell no, you’d fight other robots! For America!

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‘Samurai Jack’ returns in striking animated fan tribute

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If you’re wistful for Samurai Jack, Genndy Tartakovsky’s beloved 2001-2004 animated series, this beautiful fan film may make the years seem not quite as long.

Created by YouTube user Avemagnadude, the loving tribute manages to capture the spirit of the original even as it avoids aping Tartakovsky’s signature style. If there’s any complaint to be lodged, it’s that the film — at 1 minute and 21 seconds — is just too short.

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Batman interrupts Joker & Harley’s tango in new Alex Ross piece

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Alex Ross has debuted a new original painting featuring Batman, The Joker and Harley Quinn, which will be among his exclusives next week at Comic-Con International. Titled “Mind if I Cut in?,” it’s a sequel to his famed 2003 piece “Tango With Evil,” which debuted as the cover of 1999’s “Batman: Harley Quinn.”

The artist’s booth (#2419) will feature limited-edition signed prints, sketchbooks, comics, variant covers and, of course, original art.

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Mondo’s Comic-Con lineup includes TMNT figure, Ant-Man poster

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We debuted Mondo’s First Hellboy statue, based Mike Mignola’s original drawing of the character, earlier this month, but this morning the collectible art boutique revealed more of its offerings for Comic-Con International.

They include a limited-edition Ant-Man poster by Kevin Tong, inspired by the upcoming Marvel Studios film, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo collectible figure, and a vinyl edition of the Aliens soundtrack and a die-cut single of the themes from Superman: The Animated Series. (You may recall that last year Mondo released Batman: The Animated Series on 7-inch and 12-inch die-cut vinyl).

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Mattel brings ‘Batman v Superman’ toys to Comic-Con

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Following in the footsteps of Funko and LEGO, Mattel has unveiled its own Comic-Con International-exclusive toys for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Debuting this morning in USA Today, the lineup includes a two-pack of 6-inch action figures based on the likenesses of Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill ($30); a Hot Wheels Batmobile with limited-edition packaging ($25); and a 12-inch Wonder Woman Barbie based on Gal Gadot’s likeness (Batman and Superman will also be part of a new Barbie line).

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Comics A.M. | Comic-Con expected to inject $136M into local economy

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

Conventions | San Diego’s Convention Center Corp. has adjusted its estimate of how much money Comic-Con International pumps into the local economy, down from last year’s $178 million to $136 million, because of possible double-counting and other flaws in methodology. [Voice of San Diego]

Passings | Leonard Starr, who wrote and drew the comic strip Mary Perkins On Stage, died Tuesday at age 89. Starr started his career in 1942, when he was a student at New York’s Pratt Institute, and he worked for most of the early comics publishers: Funnies, Incorporated, Timely (now Marvel), Fawcett, E.C. and DC. He also did work for the Simon and Kirby studio, and both Joe Simon and Jack Kirby were admirers. When comics publishing began to decline in the mid-1950s, Starr began working on newspaper comics and crafting his own strip, Mary Perkins On Stage, which ran from 1957 until 1979, winning a Reuben Award in 1965. After Mary Perkins ended, Starr took over as writer and artist of Little Orphan Annie, bringing new energy to that legacy property until his retirement in 2000. He also wrote a series of graphic novels, Kelly Green, and was the main showrunner for the ThunderCats animated series. [News from ME]

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Why, yes, Colonel Sanders has his own SDCC-exclusive comic

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Amid the avalanche of variant covers, action figures, art prints and statuettes, the true must-have exclusive may be … KFC’s one-shot The Colonel’s Adventure Comics. At least we think it’s just a one-shot, and not the launch of some fast-food franchise universe-spanning event.

“If you love comics and fried chicken and subliminal marketing,” KFC states in a Facebook post, “then you’ll love this free exclusive #SDCC comic about me.”

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