Pop Culture Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

‘Grooting’ has entered the lexicon

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The 40-second scene from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy depicting a Baby Groot dancing to Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back” is so adorable that it’s taken root in our hearts, leading to countless works of fan art, and the creation of little potted replicas, both official and … not.

But it also has introduced the world to a new word: grooting.

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Hello Kitty shocker (she isn’t a cat!) isn’t all that shocking

Hello Kitty BookThe story that broke Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times rocked social media, and had a lot of people questioning whether everything they know is wrong: Hello Kitty isn’t a cat.

Anthropologist Christine Yano received the news when she was writing the annotations for a Hello Kitty show at the Japanese American National Museum:

That’s one correction Sanrio [the owners of Hello Kitty] made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.

However, it turns out Hello Kitty isn’t human, either. RocketNews 24 contacted Sanrio and got the straight dope, which comes down to a difference in terminology: Hello Kitty is a 擬人化 (gijinka), which they translate as “a personification or anthropomorphization” — like Mickey Mouse or, in a parallel some have drawn, like the pipe in René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images. They further added that Hello Kitty does indeed have a mouth, it’s just not drawn (most of the time, anyway).

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Artist transforms aluminum cans into pop-icon sculptures

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Although many of us are lucky if our empty soda cans make it as far as the recycle bin, Japanese artist Makaon has found another purpose for them: as raw material for incredible sculptures of pop-culture icons, ranging from Batman and Ultraman to Sgt. Frog and the Catbus.

As you can see from the photos below, and from even more images on the artist’s blog and website, Makaon doesn’t take shortcuts; he even tracks down peach-colored labels for Mario and Luigi’s skin tones.

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Live news report derailed by discovery of life-sized Hulk statue

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Thunderstorms dumped nearly 5 inches of rain on some parts of the Chicago area late last week, causing flooding in parts of the city and several suburbs. So, like many TV news teams, WGN took to the air to survey the damage. The live report was, presumably, going as these things usually do … until the anchor caught sight of a life-sized Incredible Hulk statue in someone’s back yard.

“Is that the Hulk there in the back yard?” the anchor says in the video below, interrupting the Skycam9 report. “I’m sorry, I’m just getting distracted by this video –”

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Russia is tired of Bulgarians vandalizing Soviet monument

Vandalized monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria

Vandalized monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2011

In 2011, we reported on an epic act of vandalism: A graffiti artist in Sofia, Bulgaria, transformed a monument dedicated to the the Soviet Union’s 1944 “liberation” of the country into a superhero tableau. The eclectic group includes Superman, Captain America, the Joker and Ronald McDonald, who I guess is kind of a superhero if you’re hungry.

This week, the Russian government gave us an excuse to revisit the story by complaining to the Bulgarian government that it wasn’t trying hard enough to stop repeated vandalism of the statue and bring the culprits to justice.

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Batman, Spider-Man kiss for magazine’s Comic-Con/Pride issue

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With Comic-Con International and San Diego Pride on the calendar this month, Pacific San Diego magazine decided to combine the two major events for the cover of its July issue. The result, as you can see, is a new take on the famous kissing scene from 2002′s Spider-Man, with Batman replacing Mary Jane. The accompanying banner reads “Heroes Welcome.”

“As Pride and Comic-Con descend upon San Diego, the time has come to reveal the truth: all heroes are welcome, even when they’re kissing their boyfriends,” David Perloff, the magazine’s publisher and editor-in-chief, told Fox 5. He also writes an imagined conversation between the two superheroes.

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Punisher & Red Hood get bloody in ‘Super Power Beat Down’

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If you’re unfamiliar with Machinima’s “Super Power Beat Down” short films, they’re essentially those “Who would win in a fight?” fan conversations brought to life — Wolverine vs.  Predator, Captain America vs. Master Chief, and so on — with the winner determined beforehand by vote. The latest installment is billed as “the bloodiest battle yet (and make no mistake, it is bloody, so consider yourself warned.)

Created by Bat in the Sun Productions, “Red Hood vs. Punisher” opens with Frank Castle in search of Jason Todd (who’s wanted for murder, aggravated assault, B&E and … disturbing the peace). Twenty seconds into the short, Frank finds his target — or rather his target finds him — beginning a pretty brutal, and well-choreographed, fight that continues for nearly three minutes.

I won’t say who wins, but you likely already have a good idea.

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Marvel-designed Brooklyn Nets mascot won’t return next season

brooklyknight

Bad news for fans of the BrooklyKnight: Grantland reports the Brooklyn Nets mascot won’t return next season, and is likely headed for mascot limbo. “We put a lot of effort into the BrooklyKnight,” the team said in a statement, “but we’ve decided to go in a different direction.”

The current mascot is the result of a 2012 consulting deal with Marvel, which designed a basketball-themed superhero in a metal mask and shield. As the BrooklyKnight’s Instagram shows, the Marvel connection continued to play a role in his appearances. In addition to photos of the mascot with Nets fans, there are shots of the “official superhero of the Brooklyn Nets” at New York Comic Con 2013, posing with cosplayers and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. convertible.

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SDCC | MAC to offer sneak peek at ‘Simpsons’ cosmetic line

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Last year MAC Cosmetics used Comic-Con International to introduce Archie’s Girls, a makeup line inspired by Betty and Veronica. But this year, Marge Simpson gets her turn in the spotlight.

Announced in May on Twitter, the Simpsons collection — released in celebration of the animated series’ 25th anniversary — officially arrives online Aug. 28 and in stores Sept. 4. However, according to Pret-a-Reporter, there will be a one-day sale/sneak peek on July 26 at the MAC Cosmetics store in San Diego’s Gaslamp District (234 Fifth Ave.).

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NFL bans ‘Shredder’ and ‘Bane’ face masks

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In late February, the NBA asked Miami Heat forward LeBron James not to wear the black protective face mask that drew comparisons to Batman and Bane. Now the NFL is making its own move against masks with similar comic-book parallels

NFL Network reports the league will ban non-standard/overbuilt face masks in the 2014 season, saying they aren’t up to safety standards. That means Oakland Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck will have to say farewell to his “Shredder Mask,” which he named because of its similarity to the one worn by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain. So too will Raiders rookie Khalil Mack, who wore a similar design in college.

And no Bane masks, either. According to NFL Network, four players last season wore what will soon be considered illegal face masks.

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War Machine really hates his job

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Considering James Rhodes’ impressive resume and references (Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, the President …), to say nothing of his multibillion-dollar armor, you’d think he would have a pretty great day job. However, as the video “War Machine at the Office” demonstrates, he faces many of the same problems other nine-to-fivers do: boorish co-workers, an insufferable boss and a troublesome photocopier.

On the plus side, he is, quite literally, a war machine, and is better equipped than the rest of us to handle that daily grind …

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Batman’s Tumbler forced to drop out of Gumball 3000 motor rally

gumball-tumblr

If everything had gone as planned, sometime Wednesday a street-legal replica of Batman’s Tumblr from Christopher Nolan’s movie trilogy would be crossing the finish line in Ibiza in a triumphant conclusion to the Gumball 3000.

Unfortunately, those plans went awry before the annual 3,000-mile motor rally even got under way last week in Miami Beach, Florida.

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NSFW Spider-Man statue removed after arousing complaints

spider-sculpt1-cropped

Sometimes your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man can get a bit too friendly. Case in point: the sculpture of the wall-crawler by Eunsuk Yoo that was (ahem) erected last year at the Lotte Shopping Center in Busan, South Korea.

As you can see from the decidedly not-safe-for-work photos below, courtesy of Kotaku, Peter Parker’s spider-sense isn’t the only thing tingling. However, despite the seemingly unmissable presence of Spider-Man’s amazing friend, the sculpture apparently dangled above the mall’s playground and rest area for about a year before it drew negative attention.

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Heroes keep an eye on Toronto from neighborhood watch signs

lamb4Toronto residents may have noticed a host of classic heroes, from Wonder Woman to Astro Boy to the Fantastic Four, are now protecting the city’s streets. At least that’s what many of the neighborhood watch signs insist.

According to CBC News, an artist calling himself Andrew Lamb has “hacked” as many as 70 of the signs, pasting over the familiar houses-with-eyeballs icons with the even more familiar figures from comic books, television and movies (Mr. Rogers, Cliff Huxtable and Dale Cooper, among them).

“I walked by and thought those signs would be much better with a superhero up there,” he told CBC News. “The first one was a splash page — a common thing in comic books, a bunch of superheros popping out at you. Then came Batman and Robin, RoboCop, Beverly Hills Cop, and then it snowballed.”

Lamb acknowledges his project is “technically illegal” — he’s received just two vandalism complaints — but he doesn’t believe it’s “ethically or morally wrong.”

You can see more photos of his handiwork below, and on Lamb’s Instagram account.

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The Mountain of ‘Game of Thrones’ Hulks out for kid’s birthday

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As fans of Game of Thrones can attest, Icelandic actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is an imposing figure. Standing at 6 feet 9 niches tall, the professional basketball player turned strongman competitor turned actor made his debut two weeks ago on the hit HBO series as the fearsome Gregor Clegane, aka the Mountain. And with Sunday’s episode, his impact was truly felt (by some more than others).

But Björnsson has a softer side, one the people of Westeros will never see: For a 3-year-old’s birthday party, he fulfilled the child’s wish to meet his favorite Marvel superhero by having himself airbrushed to look the Incredible Hulk.

Unfortunately, as you can see in the video below, the sight of a real-life Green Goliath was a little too much for the birthday boy …

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