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Gaiman’s ‘Sandman: Overture,’ ‘Children’s Crusade’ get deluxe treatment

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Vertigo has announced the fall release of two Neil Gaiman deluxe hardcover editions, The Sandman: Overture and Free Country: A Tale of the Children’s Crusade.

The first may seem a tad optimistic, as the six-issue bimonthly miniseries by Gaiman and J.H. Williams III, which debuted in October 2013 as part of the 25th anniversary of The Sandman, has yet to release its final two chapters. Set to arrive in November, the deluxe edition will include all six issues, the gatefold from the debut issue, plus extras like pages from the Special Editions and script pages.

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DC Comics debuts an interactive guide to ‘Convergence’

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Ahead of the April 1 debut of “Convergence,” which DC Comics bills as “the biggest story in DC history,” the publisher has unveiled an interactive guide to the “Multiverse-shattering” nine-week event.

The above image of Telos hovering before a honeycomb of characters from alternate Earths is likely familiar by now — it was released in November, after all — but on the DC website you can now place your cursor on the individual hexagons to learn more about the worlds they represent. Well, most of the hexagons; DC promises more content will be added.

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Avengers-themed apartment is Earth’s Mightiest Fan Cave

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There are numerous levels of comics fandom, ranging from the casual fan who picks up the occasional issue and watches the television shows and movies to the devotee, who tracks down entire runs of series and collects original art.

And then there’s the level of fan who would have an entire apartment designed in an Avengers theme.

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B. Clay Moore on the history of female superhero costumes

spidergwen1[The following post appeared in its original form on the Facebook page of comic book writer B. Clay Moore, who provided CBR with a slightly expanded version of his text.]

Female superheroes and their costumes?

A lot of people arguing about this don’t seem to have a real understanding of the history of costume design in comics.

There’s this conventional wisdom in place that female superheroes were always designed with titillation in mind. Forget the strange psychosexual implications inherent in that idea, the fact is that most female superheroes up through the ’70s (maybe into the ’80s) were created to attract female readers, not to pander to boys. (Just as kid sidekicks were designed to appeal to kids… Robin didn’t wear short pants for kinky thrills.)

Sure, there were always notable exceptions (it’s hard to look at covers featuring Phantom Lady straining against ropes with “headlights” protruding and imagine them as an appeal to young girls), but the industry was trying to find something for everyone.

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Ronald Wimberly details ‘Lighten Up’ request in comic strip

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This week, The Nib published a comic strip by artist Ronald Wimberly, whose work includes Prince of Cats and Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm, titled “Lighten Up.” In it, Wimberly details his experience of being asked by a Marvel editor to lighten the skin tone of supporting character Melita Garner in a recent issue of Wolverine and the X-Men.

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Comics fans and pros share #MyFirstComic

On Wednesday afternoon, CBR asked its Twitter followers a simple question — what was your first comic book?

The hashtag #MyFirstComic — which has been used in the past by comics artist Mike Norton, among others — quickly gained traction, trending nationwide, with many comic book pros and fans joining in. Here are some highlights from among comics creators and industry professionals, and peruse #MyFirstComic on Twitter for much more.

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Bernie Wrightson’s wife shares update on his health post-surgery

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Legendary comic book artist Bernie Wrightson has had a difficult road in the past year, with a hospitalization last July following a series of small strokes. Wrightson since recovered and returned to the convention circuit, but recently underwent brain surgery. His wife, Liz, provided an update on his condition on Facebook, and while the news post-surgery is not what they were hoping for, with biopsy results indicating cancer, she says they are optimistic — his “prognosis is excellent,” and no cancellations of appearances are expected despite radiation and chemotherapy.

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DC Comics to release free, eight-page original stories in May

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After more than three years as the New 52 brand, DC Comics is retiring the branding and undergoing a status quo shakeup following the events of “Convergence.” The new initiative will not have a unifying name and will be comprised of 25 continuing series and 24 all-new ones, some featuring creators and concepts that are completely new to the publisher.

To get as many people as possible excited about these new offerings, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio revealed during a discussion with members of the press that the company plans on releasing a number of original eight-page stories highlighting these fresh starts for free via the DC website, comiXology and other platforms.

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Dark Horse unveils ECCC variants for ‘Past Aways,’ ‘Lady Killer,’ ‘Prometheus’

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Dark Horse has provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive first look at three limited-edition variant covers produced for the upcoming Emerald City Comicon: Lady Killer #1 by Joëlle Jones, Past Aways #1 by Scott Kolins, and Fire and Stone: Prometheus—Omega #1 by Patric Reynolds.

Limited to just 500 copies, each variant will available for $5 throughout the show, while supplies last, at the Dark Horse booth (#802). There will also be an ECCC variant for Frankenstein Underground, the new miniseries by Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck and Dave Stewart.

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Stan Lee, Michael Uslan team for online course on superheroes

EdX Smithsonian Institution

Stan Lee will join Batman producer Michael Uslan for a free online course that explores the history of comic books and superheroes.

Offered by edX and the Smithsonian Institution, “The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture” examines the factors that led to the Golden Age of comics, the ebb and flow of the genre, the scares of the 1950s, the acceptance of comic books as an artform, and the current popularity of superheroes in television, film and video games.

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‘The Spirit’ celebrates 75 years with new hardcover collection

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In celebration of “The Spirit’s” 75th anniversary, DC Entertainment will release a new hardcover collection of Will Eisner’s renowned creation.

“The Spirit” has passed through the hands of several legendary writers, including Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and Jeph Loeb. DC announced the book at the DC Entertainment Retailer Roadshow.

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Superheroes reimagined with realistic body types

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Fans and critics have long discussed and debated the unrealistic bodies of comic book superheroes, from gravity-defying breasts and tiny waists to bulging biceps and washboard abs. However, now Bulimia.com has done what it refers to as “reverse Photoshopping of comic covers,” and given the superheroes bodies that reflect average American body types.

“Today, 33.7% of men and 36.5% of women in the U.S. are considered obese, and more than two-thirds are overweight,” explains the website, a resource for people with eating disorders. “Weight gain has put millions of people at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other preventable conditions.Meanwhile, comic books depict vastly different figures: men with massive biceps and shoulders and women with toned abs and tiny waists.”

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IDW’s Chris Ryall commissions custom ‘Rom’ hardcover set

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No, it’s not a dream. That’s actually set of four hardcover volumes of Marvel’s Rom: Spaceknight. Unfortunately, however, your chances of getting one remain slim.

Despite a cult following, it’s been nearly 30 years since any Rom: Spaceknight has been published. The issue comes down to licensing, and Marvel’s agreement with Parker Brothers (now a Hasbro subsidiary) expired 1986. Certain elements created for the toy-inspired comic, originated by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, remain with Marvel, but the name and signature armor are off-limits — to both new work and reprints.

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Experience Hellboy’s Right Hand of Doom with limited edition beer

right hand of doom

Dark Horse Comics is celebrating Hellboy’s 21st birthday with a beer — specifically, the Right Hand of Doom Red Ale, a limited edition release from Oregon-based Rogue Ales.

Though available nationally at Rogue.com, the Right Hand of Doom debuts in Portland at the Things From Another World Comics store, where Hellboy creator Mike Mignola will be signing books alongside Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT), Eric Powell (The Goon) and Brian Wood (Rebels) on Friday, Feb. 20.

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Is an ‘Invader Zim’ comic coming from Oni Press?

doom is coming

To quote Zim, “Prepare your bladder for imminent release!” Or perhaps GIR’s “Doom Song” is more appropriate here.

Whichever the case, Oni Press released the above teaser image on Twitter and Tumblr, as a sure sign the publisher will announce a comic book revival of Invader Zim, the critically acclaimed animated series by Jhonen Vasquez. (If the phrase “DOOM IS COMING” isn’t clear enough indication, Vasquez retweeted and reblogged the image.)

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