Kevin Melrose, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

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

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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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Artists Jim Evans, Coke Novarro take on TMNT for ‘Yokai’ project

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Paramount Pictures has released two new pieces of from “The Legend of the Yokai,” an international art project that explores the ancient origins of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Long before Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael emerged to face Shredder and his Foot Clan soldiers, the story goes, there were four heroic Kappa — ancient turtle warriors abiding by the pillars of honor, courage, wisdom and brotherhood — who vowed to protect a village overrun by a an evil warlord and his army of demonic monsters. To celebrate the tradition, and the international rollout of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, the studio commissioned more than 30 artists from 16 countries to explore the epic’s connections to the Heroes in a Half Shell.

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Batgirl enlists some unlikely help for Ice Bucket Challenge

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First, Archie Andrews took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and now it’s Batgirl’s turn!

Challenged by Stella of the Batgirl to Oracle podcast to take the plunge for charity, the incoming Batgirl team of Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr came up with a creative response: They recruited Barbara Gordon to stand in for them in a fun comic strip — and she brought along some unexpected help.

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Six Flags unveils Justice League, Joker and Harley Quinn rides

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Six Flags has announced a 2015 slate of new attractions at its 18 theme parks that includes the 3D interactive ride Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, the roller coasters Batman: The Ride, The Joker Chaos Coaster, and the Harley Quinn Spinsanity.

Arriving in the spring at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St. Louis, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis allows visitors, equipped with special 3D glasses and stun gun, to explore the Hall of Justice, battling Lex Luthor and The Joker, who have kidnapped Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Supergirl.

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Batman takes Manhattan in New York Comic Con poster

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The celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary didn’t end with Comic-Con International: The Dark Knight also graces the DC Comics poster for New York Comic Con.

As you can tell from “The Bronx” plastered across the head of the Caped Crusader in Francis Manapul’s illustration, Batman will be leaving Gotham for New York City, at least for one weekend.

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DC introduces students of ‘Gotham Academy’ in new promos

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DC Comics has released three new promos introducing the students of Gotham Academy, debuting in October from writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher, artist Karl Kerschl and colorist Romain Gaschet.

Announced in June, the teen drama is set in the city’s most prestigious school, where students attend classes (and get into mischief) in “the shadow of Batman and the craziness of Gotham.”

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Homer Simpson takes Ice Bucket Challenge, quickly regrets it

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Never let it be said that Homer J. Simpson doesn’t have a social conscience. Also, never let it be said that he passed up an opportunity to stick it to Ned Flanders.

Responding to the viral sensation with impressive speed — this isn’t South Park, you know; animation typically takes time — Fox has released a video of Homer embracing the spirit, if not the actual title, of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. All right, maybe a glass of water isn’t in keeping with the spirit.

However, in grand Simpsons tradition, even that doesn’t turn out well for him …

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SD Convention Center expansion goes back to drawing board

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San Diego City Council decided Tuesday it won’t appeal a court ruling that struck down the hotel tax devised to fund most of the planned $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.

That leaves the financing “up in the air,” council President Todd Gloria told City News Service after the unanimous vote. “It means we’re going to have to spend some time figuring out a way to pay for this project or find a new one.”

In short, as Scott Lewis writes on Voice of San Diego, after six years and $10 million, the expansion plan is dead.

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Artist transforms aluminum cans into pop-icon sculptures

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Although many of us are lucky if our empty soda cans make it as far as the recycle bin, Japanese artist Makaon has found another purpose for them: as raw material for incredible sculptures of pop-culture icons, ranging from Batman and Ultraman to Sgt. Frog and the Catbus.

As you can see from the photos below, and from even more images on the artist’s blog and website, Makaon doesn’t take shortcuts; he even tracks down peach-colored labels for Mario and Luigi’s skin tones.

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