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There’s still time to mark Batman Day with Bat Cave postmark

bat caveWith all of the events and announcements tied to Batman Day, the July 23 celebration of the Dark Knight’s 75th anniversary, it’s certainly understandable if some slipped through the cracks. Take, for instance, the pictorial postmark (below) offered by the post office in tiny Bat Cave, North Carolina.

To Batman fans disappointed they missed out on the opportunity, Linns.com has some good news: The postmark received a 30-day extension, meaning there’s still time to add one to your collection. Requests should be sent to BAT CAVE Station, Box 9998, Bat Cave, NC 28710-9998, July 23. Linns even provides instructions on how to ensure you get the cancellation.

Named after a nearby cave on Bluerock Mountain inhabited by several species of bats, Bat Cave is no stranger to Bat-promotion, as this 1989 newspaper article documents efforts by local businesses to capitalize on the release of Tim Burton’s Batman.

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You can read the first issue of ‘The Bunker’ for free

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If you’re having trouble deciding whether to pick up the first volume of The Bunker, out this week from Oni Press, Boing Boing may make things a little easier: The website is playing host to the complete first issue of the acclaimed sci-fi mystery by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari — meaning you can read it for free. It’s good, too; it was one of my favorite comics of 2013.

The series centers on five friends who, while on their way to bury a time capsule, discover an underground bunker where they find letters addressed to each of them … from their future selves. Warned that they’ll soon destroy the world, the friends grapple with their own deteriorating relationships as they struggle with bigger issues, such as whether their decisions can change the future, or only make things worse.

‘Doctor Who’s’ Noel Clarke introduces his comic ‘The Troop’

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Best known for his role as Mickey Smith on Doctor who, actor Noel Clarke is making the leap to comics with a series from Titan called The Troop.

“As a teenager, when I was young, I always liked the teen teams [...] but for me, they never really pushed the boundaries,” he said in a video played at Comic-Con International in San Diego, “they never really pushed the envelope, and with The Troop, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Written by Clarke and illustrated by Joshua Cassara, The Troop is billed by Titan Comics as “an edgy soap opera of violence and superpowers.” Watch Clarke’s video, and check out a preview of the comic, below.

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Read Chad Sell’s touching comic tribute to ‘The Authority’ #8

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In the wake of Comic-Con International, The A.V. Club launched a week-long celebration of comics — called, appropriately enough, Comics Week — that’s included a discussion about diversity by Janelle Asselin, Karl Bollers and G. Willow Wilson, an interview with Becky Cloonan, a spotlight on the comics-inspired song “Alley Oop,” and a comics tribute by Ryan Brown (God Hate Astronauts) to his influences.

However, as much as I’ve liked all of the pieces, my favorite so far is easily cartoonist Chad Sell‘s touching ode to Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s The Authority #8, and how the depiction of Apollo and Midnighter’s relationship affected him as both a closeted teen and as a budding artist.

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Singapore banned Kevin Keller’s wedding comic but not Northstar’s

astonishing xmen51bAn Archie Comics collection was recently banned in Singapore because it features the marriage of gay character Kevin Keller, but Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men #51 managed to escape a similar fate and remains available.

Although that 2012 issue depicts the wedding of Northstar and Kyle Jinadu, Singapore’s Today reports the Media Development Authority determined it was a balanced depiction of same-sex marriage.

“The issue featured characters who objected to the wedding and this offered a balanced treatment on the issue of gay marriage,” an MDA spokesman told the website. In the comic, by Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins, Warbird tells Northstar she “doesn’t recognize the validity of the ceremony vows,” and therefore won’t attend.

The MDA is tasked with both promoting and regulating Singapore’s media industries. Under the Content Guidelines for Imported Publications, those “that encourage, promote or glamourise sexually permissive and alternative lifestyles and deviant sexual practices are generally not allowed.”

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SDCC | Bendis to guest-star in Image Comics’ ‘Nailbiter’

Nailbiter #7

Nailbiter #7

In 2000, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers #7 featured a familiar guest star, although not one readers were used to seeing in their comics: Writer Warren Ellis joined series protagonist Christian Walker on a ride-along to conduct research for an upcoming book.

But while the series later moved from Image Comics to Marvel’s Icon imprint, Bendis will make a return, of sorts, in November’s Nailbiter #7 as he pays a visit to Buckaroo, Oregon, to research a book about serial killers.

Created by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, Nailbiter revolves around Buckaroo, a small town notable for being the birthplace of 16 serial killers. After beating a murder rap, the latest and most notorious of the “Buckaroo Butchers,” Edward “The Nailbiter” Warren, has returned home — and he’s a big fan of Bendis, as is Williamson.

“[The Nailbiter] is a very big Brian Michael Bendis fan,” Williamson said during Saturday’s Image Comics panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego. “But he’s a little mad he killed Peter Parker.”

Williamson, who, like Bendis, lives in Portland, Oregon, said the idea of putting words in the fictionalized writer’s mouth “is terrifying.” However, he’s working closely with Bendis to ensure everything feels authentic.

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SDCC | Enroll now for ‘Gotham Academy’s’ fall semester

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What’s an old prep school without a proper coat of arms? Fans who watched one of the new episodes of DC All Access glimpsed the one for Gotham Academy, but now the publisher has released the image in the form of a teaser, encouraging applicants to “Enroll Now For the Fall Semester.”

Announced late last month among a wave of new titles, Gotham Academy is set in the city’s most prestigious, and undoubtedly weirdest, school. It’s written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher and illustrated by Karl Kerschl, who draw some of their inspiration from Harry Potter, Nancy Drew and the secret history of Gotham exposed in Batman: The Court of Owls.

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PunditFact scrutinizes Whoopi Goldberg’s Thor claim

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A project of The Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute, PunditFact is dedicated to verifying the accuracy of claims made by political pundits, columnists, analysts and television hosts — your Rush Limbaughs, your Rachel Maddows, your Ann Coulters. Perhaps there’s something in the air, with Comic-Con International upon us, but for whatever reason, the Truth-O-Meter has turned its attention to the announcement of the new Thor last week on The View — specifically, a statement made by co-host Whoopi Goldberg.

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Watch the killer trailer for Larime Taylor’s ‘A Voice in the Dark’

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We’ve written before about Larime Taylor, creator of A Voice in the Dark, a Top Cow series, set at the perfectly named Slaughter University. The comic is infused with satire and black humor, so it’s no surprise some of that sensibility seeped into the trailer for the first trade paperback.

Narrated by Jon Bailey, doing his best Don LaFontaine, the trailer acknowledges Taylor’s disability — he was born with arthrogryposis, and draws using his mouth — and provides a solid overview of the book’s premise before going in for the kill (so to speak): “… featuring such pop-culture commercial kryptonite like a female protagonist, realistically drawn women, persons of color and a focus on character and dialogue over meaningless action and gratuitous sex. … Come on, this book would sell a lot more copies if it had more explosions and boobs.”

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SDCC | Gilbert Hernandez creates ‘Harbinger’ #25 Liberty Variant

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Fans of Gilbert Hernandez who are attending Comic-Con International next week will probably want to stop by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund booth (#1920). There they’ll find, among other goodies, Valiant’s limited-edition Harbinger #25 SDCC Liberty Variant, featuring a cover by Hernandez.

As if the cover weren’t enough, it’s a 48-page special issue containing work by Joshua Dysart, Khari Evans, Vivek J. Tiwary, Lewis LaRosa, Dan Goldman, Clayton Henry, Justin Jordan, Rafer Roberts, Lucy Knisley and Barry Kitson. Hernandez will be signing copies alongside Dysart, Tiwary and Knisley at noon Saturday, July 26, at the CBLDF booth.

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SDCC | Wood enlists Mutti for Revolutionary War-era ‘Rebels’

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Ten months after he began dropping clues to the project, Brian Wood has announced Rebels, described as a “Northlanders-style series set in and around the American Revolution.”

Debuting in April from Dark Horse, the monthly series teams the writer with artist Andrea Mutti (DMZ, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), colorist Jordie Bellaire (Moon Knight, Pretty Deadly) and cover artist Tula Lotay (Supreme: Blue Rose) for an exploration of the lives of soldiers, and ordinary colonists, in the era of the Revolutionary War.

Wood tells Nerdist that while Rebels is rooted in the nation’s past, its themes will resonate with modern readers.

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Exclusive teaser: Rascal faces a dark path in ‘Umbral’ Book Two

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After venturing “Out of the Shadows” with their first arc, Umbral creators Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten promise their Image Comics fantasy series will go down “The Dark Path” in Book Two, which begins Wednesday with the release of Issue 7. They’ve provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive teaser for the second chapter of their story, about a young thief named Rascal who finds some unlikely allies in her fight to stop a stealth invasion by shadow creatures known as the Umbral.

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Image announces ‘Punks: The Comic’ and ‘Goners’

punks1Ahead of the release next week of its October solicitations, Image Comics has announced the debut of Goners, a historical fantasy mystery by Jacob Semahn and Jorge Corona, and the return of Punks, the surrealist comedy by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Kody Chamberlain.

Beginning in 2004 as a self-published one-shot, Punks centers on four slacker roommates — Abraham Lincoln; Dog, a man with a dog’s head; Skull, a man with a skull head; and Fist, a man with a fist for a head — who fight alien robots, undead carrots and each other. The new series will feature all-new stories.

“Returning to both the world of Punks and Image is like a warm, slimey sock,” Fialkov said in a statement. “No. That’s a terrible analogy. It’s like a pungent pair of goiters. No. This isn’t going well. Um … Getting to make new Punks for a whole new audience is a dream come true. And not one of those weird dreams with too much massaging.”

Goners, meanwhile, centers on the Latimer Family, which for centuries has been the first line of defense against supernatural threats. When the present-day progenitors Raleigh Latimer and his wife Evelyn, stars of their own reality show, are murdered on live television while on a seemingly routine case, opportunists and creatures of the night both pursue their young children Josiah and Zoe, “for a sound byte or simply… a chomp.”

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SDCC | BOOM! to bridge ‘Planet of the Apes’ gap with new mini

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Just as Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes arrives in theaters, BOOM! Studios has announced it will release a miniseries that bridges the 10-year gap between the events of 2011′s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the new film.

Written by Michael Moreci (Hoax Hunters, Curse), the November-debuting comic will chronicle the fall of humanity as a result of the Simian Flu and the rise of Caesar’s ape civilization. Additional creative-team details will be revealed later.

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SDCC | Archaia to publish new ‘Fraggle Rock’ miniseries

Fraggle Rock coverArchaia is launching a new Fraggle Rock miniseries, based on the 1980s Jim Henson television show of the same name. This is Archaia’s third Fraggle Rock title, following a two-volume anthology of short stories in 2010 and a collection of issues from Marvel’s Star Comics imprint in 2011.

Debuting Oct. 8, Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring is a four-issue limited series with a single story arc, written by Kate Leth, who has worked on BOOM! Studios’ Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors comics, and Jake Myler, who was involved in the earlier Fraggle Rock comics.

In this series, the Fraggles’ water supply mysteriously runs dry, and a group sets out on a quest to find the Everspring, their water source, which no Fraggle has ever seen before. If previous comics are any guide, there will be strong personalities and plenty of silliness along the way.

This is just the latest in a long line of Henson-themed comics from Archaia, which has also published anthologies based on The Storyteller, graphic novels and novelizations of the movie The Dark Crystal, and an adaptation of Henson’s unproduced screenplay A Tale of Sand.

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