Kevin Melrose, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Superheroes get rockin’ makeovers in ‘Super Rockers’

super rockers

Outside of Dazzler, Lila Cheney and Zenith, we don’t often see musicians as superheroes — or is it superheroes as musicians? — in comic books. But that didn’t stop illustrator Andrés Moncayo from exploring the concept in “Super Rockers,” in which he assembles a lineup of DC Comics and Marvel superheroes for a rock-star makeover.

“I made this project because nothing inspire more as a child than superheros and music when I was a teenager,” Moncayo writes. “So here it is, music and superheroes together.”

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Magneto and Cullen Bunn were right (about the shirts, at least)

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As far as I can tell, the Quentin Quire-inspired “Cullen Was Right” image was a gag in response to reader comments on writer Cullen Bunn’s blog about the bald Magneto in his Marvel comic series. But now it’s become an honest-to-goodness T-shirt design, as you can see below.

“I admit, it started as a joke,” Bunn writes on his website. “But the response to the CULLEN WAS RIGHT t-shirt idea has been overwhelming … so I’m making them available for a limited time. I’m opening up pre-orders for the shirt for the next week or so, just to make sure I order appropriately. Show your allegiance as a Bunnhead … or just wear this shirt ironically. The choice is yours!”

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These takes on Manara’s Spider-Woman may cause nightmares

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Just when it seemed Milo Manara’s controversial variant cover for Spider-Woman #1 had been thoroughly scrutinized, criticized, defended and lampooned, two more critiques emerged that will likely lead you to rethink the image, and then wash your eyes out with industrial cleaner.

Note: Perhaps needless to say, neither of these is particularly safe for work.

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Quote of the Day | Gene Luen Yang on diversity

gene luen yang“We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree. But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say. This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities.

After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same. [...] We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s OK to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s OK if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human. Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.”

Gene Luen Yang, in his speech about diversity, delivered over the weekend at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Stan Goldberg ‘had a joy for comics and cartooning that was infectious’

archie-goldbergAs Comic Book Resources reported Monday, longtime Marvel colorist and Archie Comics artist Stan Goldberg passed away Sunday at age 82 following a recent stroke. The obituary recounts much of his lengthy and prolific career — it spanned six decades, from the Golden Age of comics to the birth of the Marvel Age to the wedding of Archie Andrews — so we won’t recount the details here.

Instead, we’ve rounded up statements about Goldberg, his impact and his influence, from Marvel, Archie Comics, the National Cartoonists Society and more:

“No less than Stan Lee, Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko, Stan Goldberg was one of the pioneers of the Marvel Age of Comics. As Marvel’s one-man coloring department, it was Stan G who determined that Iron Man would be red and gold, that the Thing would be orange, and that Spider-Man would be red and blue-black. He was also a talented cartoonist specializing in teen humor strips such as Millie the Model and Kathy the Teen-Age Tornado, which led him to become one of the mainstays of the Archie Comics line for decades. Stan was a gregarious and upbeat individual who was always a pleasure to work with.”

Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s executive editor and senior vice president of publishing, in a statement to ROBOT 6

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Japan’s ‘Chibatman’ revealed, but not unmasked

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Although the Batman of Japan’s Chiba Prefecture — or, as he prefers, “Chibatman” — drew international attention just last week, it turns out he’s been riding around east of Tokyo on his custom Batpod since 2011.

Reuters and BBC News caught up to the 41-year-old man, a welder by day whose identity remains secret. However, unlike the Dark Knight who patrols the streets of Gotham, Chibatman doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of evildoers. Instead, his mission is to bring smiles to those who see him.

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Stan Lee promotes importance of library cards for ALA campaign

stan lee-library cardLibrary Card Sign-up Month kicked off Monday, with Stan Lee serving as its honorary chair.

An annual campaign of the American Library Association, it’s intended to remind parents, educators and children that a library card is an important tool to academic success. Lee’s image appears in print and online in public service announcements containing the quote, “The smartest card in my wallet? It’s a library card.”

“When you have a library card it’s like having a key to all the information in the world,” the 91-year-old creator says in a video (below). “When you have a library card, you can read anything about anything, and I have found that whatever you read, it doesn’t matter, it increases your fund of knowledge. So a library card is the ‘Open Sesame’ to all the knowledge in the world.”

In the video, Lee recalls as a child being a frequent visitor to public libraries first in Manhattan and then in the Bronx because he couldn’t afford to buy all the books he wanted to read. “Without libraries, I just wouldn’t have read as much as I did, so it would’ve been a great loss, to me,” he says.

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

Books-A-Million

Books-A-Million

Retailing | Books-A-Million had a good second quarter, and CEO Terry Finley gives at least part of the credit to graphic novels: “We also saw strong growth in the graphic novel category, with continued success with titles related to AMC’s The Walking Dead series and a renewed interest in several manga series [that] drove sales increases.” And to boost that, the retail chain, which operates more than 250 stores nationwide, is planning Marvel promotions throughout September. [ICv2]

Conventions | Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Dan Farr is trying to measure how much money attendees are spending. In terms of hotel beds, at least, the convention seems to be dwarfed by trade shows, but with people coming to Salt Lake City from 48 states for the recent spinoff event FanXperience, that may be changing. Still, even in San Diego, attendees spend only about $600 per person; if Salt Lake attendees are similarly thrifty, the convention may not be a significant player in the Salt Lake City convention scene. [The Salt Lake Tribune]

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Beware the Gray Ghost in live-action ode to ‘Batman: TAS’

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Fans of Batman: The Animated Series undoubtedly fondly recall the 1992 episode “Beware the Gray Ghost,” which guest-starred Adam West as the voice of Simon Trent, the pulp hero of the black-and-white television series loved by a young Bruce Wayne. You remember: “Those with evil hearts beware, for out of the darkness comes … The Graaaaay Ghost!”

Well, now the Gray Ghost has inspired his own fan short, directed by J.L. Topkis from a script by Matt Landsman, and presented as a stylish episode of an almost-forgotten serial — complete with a nod to Batman’s own origin.

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Quote of the Day | Axel Alonso on Manara ‘Spider-Woman’ variant

spider-woman-manara“We always listen to fans’ concerns so we can do better by them. We want everyone — the widest breadth of fans — to feel welcome to read Spider-Woman. We apologize — I apologize — for the mixed messaging that this variant caused.

And that’s what this cover is. It’s a limited edition variant that is aimed at collectors. While we would not have published this as the main cover to the book, we were comfortable publishing this as a variant that represented one artist’s vision of the character — a world-renowned artist whose oeuvre is well-known to us, and to collectors. It is not the official cover for the issue. It is a collector’s item that is set aside or special ordered by completists — and it doesn’t reflect the sensibility or tone of the series any more than the Skottie Young variant or Rocket and Groot Spider-Woman variants. If you open up the book, you’ll see that this series has everything in common with recent launches we’ve done, like Black Widow and Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk and Captain Marvel. It’s about the adventures of two women that have complete agency over their lives, and that are defined by what they do, not how they look.

We’re far from perfect, but we’re trying. It’s been a priority for me as EIC to make our line and our publishing team more inclusive. We’re at an industry high of around 30 percent female in editorial group, about 20 percent of our line is comics starring women, and our Senior Manager of Talent, Jeanine Schaefer, actively looks to bring more female writers and artists into the fold each month. In fact, very soon we’ll be announcing new series and creators that I’m very excited about.”

– Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, addressing criticism of the Milo Manara variant cover for Spider-Woman #1, in this week’s “Axel-in-Charge” on CBR

Comics fan claims $140,000 collection missing after ex moves out

xmen1Many of us have experienced a bad breakup, marked by accusations and recriminations, followed by the discovery of a missing book or DVD. But for many comics fans, this is a nightmare scenario.

According to the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, a man called police to report his $140,000 comic-book collection was stolen from his apartment Thursday after he split with his girlfriend.

He apparently was told to leave the apartment while she moved out, and when he returned there was some kind of physical altercation with her family — the specifics of which weren’t revealed. Afterward, he discovered his box of comics, including X-Men #1, was gone.

That, of course, raises a few questions: Was that 1963′s The X-Men #1, or 1991′s X-Men #1 (I’m guessing the former)? Was it a long box, which holds about 250 to 300 comics, or something larger? What other presumably Silver Age or even Golden Age comics were among that little treasure trove? And why, for the love of Galactus, would you leave something so valuable in your apartment while your ex, or your ex’s family, moves out items in the aftermath of a clearly unpleasant breakup?

Police haven’t charged any suspects.

Canada introduces Superman coins featuring iconic DC covers

superman-15-cropped

Less than a year after unveiling seven collector coins celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel, this morning at Fan Expo in Toronto the Royal Canadian mint introduced four more, featuring iconic Superman comic book covers.

The superhero’s milestone anniversary and Toronto roots were also celebrated last year with a set of stamps from Canada Posts. Although Superman was created in 1933 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster when they were teenagers living in Cleveland, Shuster was actually born in Toronto, and lived there until age 9 or 10. He worked as a newspaper boy for the Toronto Daily Star, whose building served as a model for the Daily Planet (originally called the Daily Star).

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Funko unveils ‘Big Hero 6′ Pop! Vinyl figures

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Fans may not be getting any new Big Hero 6 comics from Marvel to go with Disney’s upcoming animated film, but they can get their hands on some pretty adorable Pop! Vinyl figures from Funko.

Available now for preorder, 3.75-inch figures of Hiro Hamada, GoGo Tomago, Honey Lemon, Wasabi No-Ginger and Fred, plus a and a 6-inch Baymax (mech variety) will be released in October, in plenty of time for the film’s Nov. 7 premiere. A “pearlescent” version of Baymax will arrive in late November or early December.

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Springsteen & Caruso turn ‘Outlaw Pete’ into a children’s book

outlaw peteBruce Springsteen has teamed with cartoonist Frank Caruso to create Outlaw Pete, a children’s book based on the music legend’s 2009 song about a bank-robbing baby who “cut his trail of tears across the countryside.”

The song, which appears on the album Working on a Dream, was inspired by the 1950 children’s book Brave Cowboy Bill, which Springsteen’s mother read to him when he was a child. “Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” the singer/songwriter said in a statement.

The idea for adapting the song into a book, using Springsteen’s lyrics, originated with Caruso, who in 2012 helped pay homage to the band Wilco in the Popeye comic strip — part of an unusual crossover that saw lead singer Jeff Tweedy as a potential suitor for Olive Oyl in the animated video for “Dawned on Me.”

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‘Grooting’ has entered the lexicon

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The 40-second scene from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy depicting a Baby Groot dancing to Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back” is so adorable that it’s taken root in our hearts, leading to countless works of fan art, and the creation of little potted replicas, both official and … not.

But it also has introduced the world to a new word: grooting.

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