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Amazon selects best comics & graphic novels of the year, so far

Afterlife With Archie

Afterlife With Archie

If you’re searching for some summer reading, Amazon’s Best Books of the Year So Far For 2014 is a pretty good place to start.

Led by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla’s Afterlife With Archie: Escape From Riverdale, the Comics & Graphic Novels division is as diverse as you’d probably expect, with entries ranging from Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s East of West to Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer to Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

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SDCC | BOOM! to debut exclusive ‘Lumberjanes’ scout patches

lumberjanes patchesNo sooner did the “Which Lumberjane Are You?” quiz debut, complete with a question about which scout badge you’d earn first, than BOOM! Studios announced it will debut an exclusive set of those patches at Comic-Con International.

Designed by Kate Leth (Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time: Seeing Red), the iron-on patches are based on those featured so prominently in the BOOM! Box imprint’s breakout series.

Created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson, written by Ellis and Stevenson, and illustrated by Brooke Allen, Lumberjanes centers on five teen girls — Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley — who head off to summer camp, only to be faced with monsters in the woods and a mystery that puts the whole world at risk. The comic, which premiered in April, was upgraded from a miniseries to an ongoing in May.

The Lumberjanes Scout Patches Set, available for $20 at the BOOM! Studios booth (#2229), features:

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Marvel and Wizard World debut Jorge Molina X-Men variant

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Marvel and Wizard World have unveiled Jorge Molina‘s exclusive variant cover for the 100th Anniversary X-Men Special #1, which will be given free to VIP attendees of the Aug. 1-3 Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con.

Limited to 3,000 copies, the variant is the latest entry in a deal between Marvel and Wizard World in which a limited-edition cover will be available at each of the 16 Wizard World Comic Con events scheduled this year. Previous variants in the series featured work by Neal Adams, Greg Horn, Michael Golden, David Mack, Mike Grell, John Tyler Christopher and J.G. Jones.

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Hyundai Tucson rolls out ‘Walking Dead’ Special Edition

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Those die-hard fans who can’t get enough of The Walking Dead, even with the comic books, television series, video game, special events, clothing and collectible toys, now have an opportunity to kick up their devotion several notches: the Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead Special Edition soon will be arriving at U.S. dealerships.

Announced in November, the release of the limited-edition model coincides with the 10th anniversary of the comic series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. Featuring an Ash Black exterior with red accents (including surprisingly subtle walker hands), the Tucson comes with decals representing the comic’s four factions — Hilltop, Kingdom, Saviors and Survivors — and a 72-hour custom zombie survival kit/backpack, branded with the Walking Dead logo, naturally.

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Archaia to publish new Jim Henson ‘Storyteller’ series

Storyteller Witches 2

A few years ago, Archaia published an anthology of traditional tales based loosely on the Jim Henson television series The Storyteller. In the book, as on the screen, each of the stories was introduced by a genial storyteller (played on TV by John Hurt), who was always portrayed sitting by the fire with his dog.

Now, Nerdist brings news that Archaia is putting a slightly different spin on the concept with The Storyteller: Witches, a four-issue miniseries of folk tales about witches. As in the earlier collection, it will consist of stand-alone folk tales, each told by a different set of creators, but this time they will be published as single-issue comics. The fourth issue, Vaslissa the Beautiful, is based on an unproduced screenplay from the television series, adapted by Jeff Stokeley, the artist for Six-Gun Gorilla and The Reason for Dragons. But the one that caught my eye was the second, which will be published in landscape format (the others are portrait). And yes, the Storyteller will introduce each tale.

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Legendary reveals new pages, date for Morrison & Irving’s ‘Annihilator’

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Legendary Comics unveiled Grant Morrison’s Annihilator at New York Comic Con 2012, only for the creator-owned project to drop off the radar. However, now the publisher has released new details about the upcoming series, including a Sept. 4 release date and a first look at pages.

Featuring art by Frazer Irving, Annihilator centers on on Ray Spass, a former screenwriter with a brain tumor who gets a big break to write a huge blockbuster film.

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X-O Manowar gets his own cool summer drink

valiant-coffee2Valiant Entertainment is teaming with New York City coffee roaster Oren’s Daily Roast and Midtown Comics for a three-month celebration of X-O Manowar that includes a limited-edition beverage.

Beginning Friday, customers at Oren’s 10 Manhattan locations will be able to order the X-O Manowar Green Tea Blast, described as “a deliciously cold combination of frozen matcha green tea and vanilla perfect for the height of summer.” What’s more, anyone who purchases tea or coffee will receive a Valiant-branded drink sleeve that can be redeemed at any of the three Midtown Comics stores for a free Valiant comic (on the flip side, you can also present a Valiant comic at any Oren’s for 10 percent of your next purchase).

The new partnership kicks off Friday at 3 p.m. with an invitation-only X-O Manowar Green Tea Blast Release Party at Oren’s flagship location in Times Square.

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Big robots, big troubles in ‘Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew’

STANDARD TEMPLATE

Imagine an all-star team of pilots who control a giant robot dedicated to protecting the universe. Sure, that story has been told before. But what about the story of the men and women — the blue-collar workers — who actually make the giant robot work?

That’s what drives the comic  Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew, and indie series by Nate Hill and Mervyn McCoy that follows the real nuts and bolts behind a giant robot named Herotron. The three-issue miniseries follows one worker in particular — Erica Pratch, a newbie to Herotron’s maintenance crew, who quickly discovers servicing Herotron isn’t as exciting as you might think. And apparently, it doesn’t help that the star pilots who control the thing are as vacant as the open space Herotron travels.

It’s Clerks meets Voltron, and looks like a giant robot-sized bit of fun. Here’s a preview of the first issue, which arrives in August:

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Popeye the Sailor Man meets Sailor Moon in Fred Perry mashup

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If you ever wondered what might happen if you were to combine Sailor Moon and Popeye the Sailor Man, Gold Digger cartoonist Fred Perry may have the answer. However, his mashup, titled Momeye the Sailor Scout, isn’t merely a one-off illustration — it’s a full-fledged comic coming soon from Antarctic Press.

Scheduled for August release, Momeye the Sailor Scout mixes Sailor Moon‘s Usagi Tsukino with E.C. Segar’s Popeye in a homage/parody that, according to the publisher, is “not just gender-bent, it’s gender punched through the ceiling!” Whereas Popeye gets his strength from spinach, Momeye gets hers from avocados — and she’ll need it, as she’ll be up against her “best frenemy,” Bruta.

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Forget Tony Stark’s fortune: Black Panther is richest superhero

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Speaking of billionaire heroes: U.K. loan site Buddy Loans has employed scientific research (Wikipedia, Marvel.com, etc.) to arrive at a rundown of “The World’s Richest Superheroes” … which also includes villains. But never mind that: It’s actually a pretty fun chart that’s topped by not Bruce Wayne or Lex Luthor, but rather by Black Panther, whose estimated worth of $500 billion – billion — leaves everyone else in his dust.

As king of Wakanda (not “Wakanada”) T’Challa controls the world’s supply of Vibranium, which accounts for most of his wealth. By contrast, fellow head of state Victor Von Doom possesses only about $35 billion; on the plus side, he also has his own time machine and robot army, so maybe it all evens out.

Bow before Doom’s entry below, and see the rest at Buddy Loans.

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‘Supernatural’ actor Osric Chau guest stars in ‘Red Sonja’ #10

Osric Chau

Osric Chau

Fans of The CW’s Supernatural television series will recognize Osric Chau as Kevin Tran, the honor student turned prophet of God who helped Sam and Dean translate various tablets of significant importance and had to deal with an overprotective mom.

Now the actor, who also appeared in The Man with the Iron Fists and Fun Size, is making the jump from the screen to the printed page, as his likeness will be used for a character in Red Sonja #10.

Red Sonja writer Gail Simone shared some artwork from the comic on her Tumblr, showing Chau in action as “the greatest swordsman in the entire world”:

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Chinese comic adaptation of ‘Star Wars’ is wonderfully surreal

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As weird as Marvel’s 1977 adaptation of Star Wars was with its off-model Darth Vader and unrecognizable Jabba the Hutt, it has nothing — nothing! — on a bizarre, unlicensed version published some three years later in China.

Discovered by historian Maggie Greene, the adaptation doesn’t much resemble a comic book as we know them; instead, there’s one panel per page, with some text. Greene notes that Star Wars had been released in Hong Kong about two years earlier, which she presumes is “where the ‘libretto’ and stills, etc. came from.” However, she writes, “it seems pretty obvious from the drawings that the artists weren’t always working from an actual film, or really much at all.”

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New comic aims to dispel ‘Comic Book Guy’ retailer stereotype

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Every week new comics appear in stores worldwide, and soon a comic will explore how one of the stores came to be.

In the upcoming one-shot comic Number One, writer Gary Scott Beatty and artist Aaron Warner look behind the counter and into the world of comics retailing. Number One follows a budding comics fan named Steve as he transitions from reader to retailer. In a statement, Beatty said the stereotype of comic retailers is “distorted,” and he’s hoping to change that.

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‘Scriptnotes’ co-host clarifies his ‘Slut-Hulk’ comments

she-hulk3While comics fans — joined by none other than Stan Lee himself — line up to lambast screenwriter David S. Goyer for his recent podcast comments about She-Hulk, Scriptnotes co-host Craig Mazin has stepped forward to clarify his own remarks, insisting, “I wasn’t saying that I think she’s a slut.”

Goyer, the writer of Man of Steel and the upcoming sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, sparked controversy by asserting that She-Hulk was created as “a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.” However, Mazin has also been criticized for suggesting, “The real name for She-Hulk was Slut-Hulk. [...] The whole point of She-Hulk was just to appeal sexistly to 10-year-old boys. Worked on me.”

Writing Thursday on the Scripnotes blog, Mazin emphasized that he “used the word ‘sexist’ in the podcast,” and explained, “I said this because I believe it. Unlike the Hulk, whose appeal was clearly divorced from any kind of normative standard of physical beauty, She-Hulk was initially drawn (and consistently drawn for many years) as slender, long-legged and large-breasted with flowing locks. Her face was the same old media-model-pretty version we see time and time again.”

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Stan Lee responds to David Goyer’s She-Hulk remarks

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Stan Lee scoffs at screenwriter David S. Goyer’s suggestion that She-Hulk was created as “a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck,” responding that, “Only a nut would even think of that.”

“Never for an instant did I want her as a love interest for Hulk,” Lee, who with artist John Buscema introduced She-Hulk in 1980 as Bruce Banner’s cousin, told The Washington Post.

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