Kevin Melrose, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Page 2 of 349

Stan Lee Excelsior Award announces 2015 shortlists

image-rocket girlThe shortlist has been announced for the 2015 Stan Lee Excelsior Award and the new Stan Lee Excelsior Award Junior, whose winners are selected by students at secondary and primary schools, respectively, across the United Kingdom.

Established in 2011 by Paul Register, a school librarian in Sheffield, the Stan Lee Excelsior Award is designed to promote comics and to encourage children and teenagers to read. The Stan Lee Excelsior Award Junior is being introduced this year.

The winners — first, second and third place — will be announced in July. The nominees are:

Stan Lee Excelsior Award

  • All-New Ghost Rider: Engines of Vengeance, by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore (Marvel)
  • Barakamon, by Satsuki Yoshino (Yen Press)
  • Rocket Girl, Vol. 1, by by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder (Image Comics)
  • Red Baron: The Machine Gunners’ Ball, by Pierre Veys and Carlos Puerta (Cinebook)
  • Superman/Wonder Woman: Power Couple, by by Charles Soule and Tony S. Daniel (DC Comics)
  • Moonhead and the Music Machine, by Andrew Rae (Nobrow)
  • Alone: The Vanishing, by Bruno Gazzotti and Fabien Vehlmann (Cinebook)
  • Ms. Marvel: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel)

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Nate Simpson’s ‘Nonplayer’ #2 gets a cover, likely May release

nonplayer2It turns out that Nate Simpson’s long-awaited Nonplayer #2 is not only finished, it has a tentative release date — and, as you can see at right, a cover.

Following up on last week’s announcement, the artist reveals the issue likely will be listed in Image Comics’ solicitations for May, a little more than four years after the critically acclaimed debut of Nonplayer #1.

In an FAQ posted on his website, beneath the headline “Halley’s Comic Returns,” the artist also elaborates on the factors that led to the lengthy delay between issues (in addition to the previously mentioned shoulder injury, new child and day job, Simpson reveals he also helped to care for his mother, who passed away last year).

“… I ended up having to throw out the original first six pages of #2,” he writes. “They felt like they had been drawn by somebody whose eye was not on the ball, which they were. When I finally shook off the brain-fog and gave the first pages an honest read, it was clear they’d have to be redone. Super bummer. On top of all that, I had contrived to switch from Photoshop to IllustStudio to streamline my pipeline. Not only did it take me a while to get comfortable with the new interface, the work I did with the program felt lifeless because of the way the linework was automatically stabilized. I finally found the right settings to replicate the feel of the first issue, but that took time. And then time ran out.”

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‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ author Norman Bridwell passes away

norman bridwellAuthor and cartoonist Norman Bridwell, best known for his celebrated Clifford the Big Red Dog books, passed away Dec. 12 in Martha’s Vineyard, the Martha’s Vineyard Times reports. He was 86.

Born in 1928 in Kokomo, Indiana, Bridwell attended art school in Indianapolis and New York City before going to work as a commercial artist. By 1962, with a wife and infant daughter to support, he set out to supplement his income by securing work as a children’s book illustrator; among his portfolio pieces was a painting of what would eventually become Clifford.

“I did about 10 paintings. One was of a little girl standing under the chin of a big red dog and holding out her hand to see if it was still raining,” Bridwell recalled last year to the School Library Journal. “I was rejected everywhere I went. One editor, Susan Hirschman, said that my work was too plain. She said, ‘You may have to write a story, and then if they buy the story, you could do the art. She pointed to the sample of the girl and the dog and said, ‘Maybe that’s a story.’”

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The dog says ‘Voff!': James Chapman’s ‘Soundimals’

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I’m sad to say I was unfamiliar with cartoonist James Chapman’s Soundimals before he tweeted this helpful primer to sounding like a dog in 14 languages. I plan to remedy that.

Available on his Etsy page, Soundimals: An Illustrated Guide to Animal Sounds in Other Languages is just what the title suggests: 32 pages of Chapman’s too-cute animals demonstrating what sounds they make around the world. In Romanian, the bear says “MOR,” and in Japanese, the elephant says “PAO,” and so on. You can see a selection of the pages on Chapman’s blog.

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Thailand’s Hobbit House is perfect for vacationing halflings

hobbit house1

No one is likely to mistake this for a hole in the ground, but Hobbit devotees looking to continue the experience beyond the trilogy-ending Battle of the Five Armies may want to consider a stay at the Hobbit House in Thailand.

Just two hours from Bangkok, the rental cottage is entirely above ground, but otherwise bears a fairly decent likeness to Bag End, right down to the round green door and earthen roof. Luckily, however, this version has air conditioning and wireless Internet, still unavailable in the Shire, despite Saruman’s efforts to modernize.

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Ivan Brunetti’s Patton Oswalt poster can be yours

patton-oswalt-ivan-brunetti

Patton Oswalt and Ivan Brunetti have a bit of a history, with the comedian writing the foreword to the 2007 collection Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti, and the cartoonist illustrating the cover of his 2009 album My Weakness Is Strong. So for Oswalt’s upcoming show at New York City’s historic Carnegie Hall, he again turned to Brunetti, who created a poster featuring a lineup of comedy legends.

Yeti Press is selling a limited number of those 12-inch by 18-inch posters on its website for $15. Given the popularity of both the comedian and the cartoonist, they probably won’t last long.

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Travel like a New God with DC Collectibles’ Mother Box

mother-box1

If you were to make a list of the greatest gadgets dreamed up by Jack Kirby, the Mother Box would undoubtedly rank somewhere near the top. It’s the Ginsu knife of (sentient) comic book tech: it can open and close boom tubes, absorb and project energy blasts, communicate telepathically, control non-sentient machines … It probably even slices and dices.

And soon, you can get one of your very own. All right, DC Collectibles’ Mother Box Prop Replica won’t open any boom tubes, but all the noise and lights will make you think it can. Just check out the video promoting its July release, below.

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Need a gift idea? Marvel Unlimited is offering a deal

marvel unlimited-unwrapIf you’re still searching for a gift for a Marvel fan on your shopping list, you might keep this in mind: The publisher is offering a two-month subscription to its massive digital archive for the price of one.

Through Jan. 4, new and returning subscribers can purchase two months of Marvel Unlimited for $9.99, gaining access to more than 15,000 classic and newer comics, dating from the Golden Age to about six months ago. In October, the publisher added some of its Season One graphic novels to the lineup.

Marvel Unlimited can be accessed on the web and through the Marvel Unlimited app on iPhone, iPad and select Android devices.

For full details, visit the Marvel Unlimited website; to take advantage of the limited offer, use the promo code “Unwrap.”

3A Toys teases its Judge Death figure: ‘Death Isssss Coming!’

3a-judge-death-cropped

Ashley Wood’s 3A Toys has unveiled a new peek at its upcoming Judge Death 1/12th-scale figure, the first in the new 2000AD line announced in January.

Initially teased in June with the familiar phrase “The crime is life, the sentence is death,” the figure now has a price and a preorder date — $60, beginning Jan. 14 — along with the promise, “Death Isssss Coming!”

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Dashcam captures crashed TIE Fighter, unhappy Stormtroopers

tie-fighter-ice

The seemingly ubiquitous TIE Fighters may have helped to build the Galactic Empire, but they apparently don’t handle well in icy conditions, as this dashcam footage shows.

Originating with the German Sky network, the all-too-brief parody gives a nod to the craziest Russian dashcam videos as a car slowly passes the burning wreckage of the starfighter on the highway as two safety vest-clad Stormtroopers wait patiently — if not exactly happily. Presumably, Imperial accident reports are a pain. And don’t get them started about the claims adjusters …

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You can buy ‘Venture Bros.’ sheets for your own learning bed

venture-sheets

It seems like ages since we last saw a new episode of The Venture Bros. (it’s actually been about 17 months), but the drought will end, if only briefly, on Jan. 19 with the premiere of the space-themed special. Then we’ll have to go back to dreaming again about new episodes.

To help with that (perhaps?), Adult Swim is offering, for a limited time, 300-thread count official Venture Bros. sheets depicting many of the characters from the series, and pillow cases emblazoned with the Venture logo. What more could someone with $50 and a queen-sized bed — yeah, they only come in one size — wish for?

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Wow Cool | Alternative Comics store robbed of comics, books

wow cool robbery

Courtesy of Marc Arsenault

The Wow Cool | Alternative Comics store, opened early this year in Cupertino, California, by Marc Arsenault, was burglarized over the weekend, with the thieves making off with “several hundred dollars of comics and books.”

“The thief or thieves were bizarrely selective in their choices of books to remove,” Arsenault, who purchased Alternative Comics in 2012, writes on the Wow Cool website. “Several new Alternative Comics-published books were removed, including copies of Derf Backderf’s True Stories, Devin Flynn’s Hawd Tales and four copies of Noah Van Sciver’s A City of Whiskey and Fire. Also missing were about 2/3 of a couple of shelves of big fancy art books and our hodgepodge shelfs of larger art books and political and slice of life comics including books by Henriette Valium, Keith Knight, Lloyd Dangle, and Neil Gaiman, including at least one signed edition.”

Arsenault said the thief, or thieves, used “a very large rock” to shatter a window and enter the store, which shares space with multimedia studio/mail-order house Wow Cool and indie publisher Alternative Comics.

‘Usagi Yojimbo’ comes to life in trailer for stage production

usagi-yojimbo-play

Southwark Playhouse in London has released a trailer for its Christmas show, a stage production of Stan Sakai’s long-running historical fantasy Usagi Yojimbo.

Adapted by Stewart Melton for ages 7 and up, the play opened Nov. 28 to positive reviews, with particular attention given to its production design and original live music (you get a little taste of both in the trailer). It closes Jan. 4.

While Usagi Yojimbo may not be what comes to mind when you think “Christmas show,” in previous years Southwark Playhouse has staged Howl’s Moving Castle and Anansi: An African Fairy Tale for the holidays. So, more kids’ fare than Christmas fare.

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Seth Kushner is returning home for the holidays

Seth Kushner self-portrait

Seth Kushner self-portrait

Diagnosed in April with acute myeloid leukemia, photographer and writer Seth Kushner was able to return home in late September after a seemingly successful bone marrow transplant. But after just 16 days out of the hospital, it was discovered the leukemia had returned; Kushner’s prognosis was grim. However, the writer’s Facebook page was updated Sunday with some welcome good news: Following what they’re now just referring to as “alternative treatment,” and some uncertainty, “there is now no leukemia in my blood.”

“The doctors are saying this is remarkable,” Kushner writes. “I don’t know what the future holds, but for now I feel great and I’m planning on going home on Wednesday. Spending the holidays at home with my family, after spending the better part of the 8 months in a hospital bed, will be a gift.  Thank you all for all your prayers, support and positive thoughts. I have a lot of people to thank, but for now I’ll thank my lovely wife, Terra, without whom I surely would not be here now. I’m still here because she wouldn’t let me go. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.”

Visit Kushner’s Facebook page to read the full post. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover medical costs not paid by insurance and for his wife and son’s living expenses.

Supreme Court to hear dispute over Spider-Man toy

web blaster

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Marvel owes royalty payments to the creator of a Spider-Man toy after the patent for the Web Blaster expired.

As first reported by Courthouse News Service, Stephen Kimble patented the toy in 1990 and then approached Marvel to license the rights. Marvel passed, and when another company began manufacturing a similar toy — it shoots foam string, simulating Spider-Man’s web-shooters — Kimble sued, claiming patent infringement and breach of implied contract.

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