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Creative process: ‘Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom’ #4

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One of the Monkeybrain Comics titles debuting this week on comiXology is the fourth issue of Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom, a series by Kevin Church and Grace Allison about an NYU student who goes on a bender only to awaken the next day in a fantasy realm. To mark the release of the new issue, Allison provided ROBOT 6 with a glimpse into the creative process.

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Runton and Jensen’s sketches from Greenville’s ComicFest

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On Saturday, Greenville, South Carolina, retailer Richards Comics & Collectables hosted an all-ages ComicFest featuring a range of guests, including Andy Runton, Van Jensen, J. Chris Campbell, Gregbo Watson, Duane Ballenger and Tracy Yardley. Judging from the Halloween Costume Contest photos, the event drew a fair number of children.

Afterward, Owly creator Runton and Jensen (DC Comics writer, and author of the Kickstarter-funded Leg) gave ROBOT 6 permission to feature sketches the they drew at the event.

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Creative process: Nguyen, Dagnino & Mena on ‘Captain Midnight’ #16

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Hitting shelves today, Captain Midnight #16 is a special Halloween-themed issue by writer Joshua Williamson, artist Fernando Dagnino and colorist Javier Mena. To mark its release, editor Jim Gibbons provided ROBOT 6 with a glimpse into Dustin Nguyen‘s cover process, as well as the evolution of some of the interior pages.

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They may not be Earth’s mightiest heroes, but they’re the cutest

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Illustrator Rocky Davies, who previously took us back to the ’80s with supervillain album covers, now delivers an overdose of cuteness with his “Kid Hero” series, depicting pint-sized versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Leonardo (of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame) and more.

I know I should probably question teeny Tony Stark’s Van Dyke, but I’m too busy smiling about li’l Nick Fury chomping on a peppermint stick.

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Doctor Strange and Dormammu materialize in Mondo prints

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Could the timing be anything other than magical? Following word that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is in talks to play Marvel’s Doctor Strange, Mondo is offering prints from the We Buy Your Kids gallery exhibit that include two downright psychedelic renditions of the Sorcerer Supreme and his classic foe Dormammu.

The two takes on the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko creations look as if they should be rendered on black velvet, which may not be such a bad idea. Each18-inch by 24-inch print is $40, with Dormammu limited to 110 copies and Strange to 125. Keep the Eye of Agamotto trained on the Mondo Twitter feed, where they on-sale time will be announced sometime today.

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Jock and Francavilla help Mondo celebrate Batman’s 75th

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For those of us who can’t make it to Austin for Mondo’s gallery show celebrating the 75th anniversary of Batman, Slashfilm has rounded up all of the prints and paintings on display. It’s an incredible collection of works that draws inspiration from television, film and comic books, although more the first two than the list.

However, ROBOT 6 favorites Jock and Francesco Francavilla do stick close to home with their contributions: Batman: Year One (in regular and variant varieties), by Jock; Batman & Dracula: Red Rain by Francavilla; and Batman: The Black Mirror, a collaboration between the two of them.

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Sideshow Collectibles adds premium art prints

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Sideshow Collectibles, best known for its premium figures, has expanded into limited-edition art prints featuring Marvel and DC Comics properties, and its own Court of the Dead.

Its Premium Art Print line debuts with Gotham Sirens: Poison Ivy by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, Spider-Woman by Scott Forbes, and Kier: Call of the Forsaken Valkyrie by David Palumbo, with upcoming work promised from the likes of Ariel Olivetti, Kris Anka and Fabian Schlaga.

Priced at $79.99, each 18-inch by 24-inch print is hand-numbered, and includes a penciled artist signature and embossed seal of authenticity.

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Creative process: Gibbons and Goellner’s ‘Birch Squatch’ #1

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Beginning today, writer Jim Gibbons and artist Caleb Goellner‘s Birch Squatch: The Last Bigfoot #1 (which premiered digitally in mid-September on Gumroad) is available on comiXology for 99 cents. To mark the occasion, Goellner shared with ROBOT 6 a glimpse into the creative process through a series of images.

The comic, about a legendary figure driven out of the woods by rampant development, is definitely worth a read.

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Screen Panel announces ‘Revival’ print series

Details of the prints by Randy Ortiz (left) and Angela An

Details of the prints by Randy Ortiz (left) and Angela An

Secret Panel, the Chicago-based screen print collective, is launching a print series based on Revival, the “rural noir” series by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton.

Limited-edition prints by Angela An, Randy Ortiz and Revival cover artist Jenny Frison have been teased on Secret Panel’s Facebook page, but not fully revealed. They’ll be available for $30 each (quantities are limited to 140 copies), or all three, plus an exclusive Secret Panel print, for $90.

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Mondo celebrates 75 years of Batman with gallery show

By Alex Pardee

By Alex Pardee

We’ve already seen plenty of 75th-anniversary tributes to Batman, but the year isn’t over just yet — and beginning Friday, Mondo takes its turn.

The collectible-art boutique, which in July debuted a series of Batman: The Animated Series 7-inch vinyl records featuring Danny Elfman’s theme, will celebrate the Dark Knight’s milestone with a gallery show in Austin featuring posters and original art from more than 30 artists.

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Six artists explain how they stage a fight sequence

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Anyone with even a passing interest in comics art and storytelling should set aside some time to read this A.V. Club discussion with three Marvel art teams — Tradd Moore and Val Staples, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, and Michael Walsh and Matthew Wilson — about their approach to staging specific action scenes in their respective books All-New Ghost Rider, Moon Knight and Secret Avengers.

“I used a lot of panels here of varied sizes because I feel it gives the scene an undulating flow,” Moore explains of an All-New Ghost Rider page. “I do that a lot with fight scenes. Speed up, slow down, rise, fall. It’s kind of mesmerizing to me. To make a comparison to metal: The small panels are like a frantic blast beat, while the bigger, clearer panels are like a heavy breakdown or head-banging riff. I imagine viewers’ eyes speeding up and slowing down, widening and narrowing, as they scan across the page. I think it’s the kind of page that warrants multiple, extended views.”

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NYCC | Check out Tom Whalen’s Gotham library cards

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Speaking of Mondo, boutique mainstay Tom Whalen is exhibiting this week at New York Comic Con, where he’ll have for sale a selection of prints Batman ’66, the Universal Monsters series, The Incredibles, Ghostbusters and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. As if collectors need any incentive for buying the posters, Whalen is offering daily specials, which includes — on Thursday — a free Gotham Public Library card set with a purchase of $100 or more.

While I like Whalen’s design of the card, I appreciate his attention to detail even more: For instance, “S. Kyle” first checked out The Secret Lives of Cats on April 7, 1940, roughly corresponding to her first appearance in Batman #1; American Robins is borrowed by a succession of people — on the appropriate dates — ranging from D. Grayson to C. Kelly, and so on. He even includes Dewey Decimal classifications.

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This scrap-metal Hulk is nothing short of incredible

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The BanHunLek metal workshop in Thailand specializes in creating hand-crafted art out of used auto parts. We’re not talking the quirky little figures your eccentric uncle threw together using a few discarded spark plugs, a bolt and those stick-on googly eyes. No, these are mind-blowing scrap-metal sculptures ranging from Batman and R2-D2 to classic Iron Man and the head of Gollum.

However, the most spectacular creation may be — oh, heck, it is — this highly detailed, and seemingly life-sized, Incredible Hulk. Check out the images below, and find more pieces on the BanHunLek Facebook page. Just don’t tell the WGN news team; they won’t be able to handle it.

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Artist carves Groot sculpture using chainsaws

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When it came time for chainsaw artist Griffon Ramsey to decide what she would sculpt next, she turned to Twitter for suggestions — and she quickly learned that Groot is very, very popular.

So, using Eastern Red Cedar and chainsaws, Ramsey went to work carving the breakout star of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, as she documents in the video below, which is as much a documentary about the artist’s approach and philosophy as it is about the sculpture.

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Mondo is offering prints by Ross, Francavilla and Shaw

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On Thursday, Mondo will offer six posters by Alex Ross, Francesco Francavilla and Jay Shaw that were previously only available at MondoCon, held last month in Austin, Texas. So if you’re a fan of those artists, or of The Iron Giant, Afterlife With Archie or Deadpool, you’ll probably want to keep an eye on Mondo’s Twitter account for the on-sale announcements.

Check out the prints, and the details, below.

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