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Comics A.M. | South Korea court rules ‘One Piece’ show can go on

From "One Piece"

From “One Piece”

Legal | A South Korea court has ruled an exhibition devoted to One Piece can be held as planned after it was abruptly canceled earlier this month following allegations that Eiichiro Oda’s popular pirate manga contains images that resemble the Rising Sun flag, considered a symbol of Japanese imperialism in South Korea. The company staging the One Piece show, which includes life-sized statues, rare figures and Oda’s sketches, asked the court to step in after the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul pulled the plug on the event just days before its scheduled July 12 opening. The court found that One Piece can’t be considered to “[hail] Japanese imperialism” simply because it depicts a flag reminiscent of the Rising Sun; and even if those images are of the Rising Sun flag, it’s mainly shown in a negative light. [The Asahi Shimbun]

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Hot Toys’ Rocket and Groot set is really cool, really expensive

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Start saving your money now, collectors. Hot Toys has unveiled its Rocket Raccoon and Groot action-figure set for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s undeniably awesome (and I say that as someone who hasn’t collected action figures since childhood), but it’s also $360. I should point out, however, that you can set up a payment plan, which seems absolutely crazy for a toy, but what do I know.

The “movie-accurate” figures come with a weapon (for Rocket), an interchangeable angry expression face (for Groot) and interchangeable hands (for both). See more details and photos on the Sideshow Collectibles website. You can preorder now for shipping in March. Did I mention it’s $360?

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SDCC | BOOM! and WeLoveFine launch deal with ‘Lumberjanes’ apparel

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BOOM! Studios has signed a first-look licensing deal with online apparel retailer WeLoveFine that will kick off this week at Comic-Con International with a line of T-shirts based on Lumberjanes and a limited-edition tee inspired by The Woods.

A selection of designs, including the convention-exclusive Lumberjanes “Holy Kitten” tee and the Lumberjanes Group Shot messenger bag, will be available during Comic-Con at the BOOM! booth (#2229) and at the WeLoveFine booth (#1235). They’ll also be available beginning July 24 on the WeLoveFine website; the “Holy Kitten” convention exclusive can be purchased online for a limited time.

Check out the designs below. Comic-Con begins Wednesday with Preview Night.

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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 | Mike Mignola’s poster for ‘Toy Story That Time Forgot’

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TVLine has unveiled Mike Mignola’s poster for the ABC holiday special Toy Story That Time Forgot, which will given away Thursday to attendees of the presentation at Comic-Con International.

Set after the events of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, the animated special sends the gang into uncharted territory during a post-Christmas play date as the coolest set of action figures ever turns out to be dangerously delusional.

The Comic-Con panel will be at 11:15 a.m. Thursday in Room 6A. Afterward a special autograph session will be held at the ABC booth.

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SDCC | Mondo to preview ‘Iron Giant,’ Ninja Turtles toys

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The folks at Mondo, the art boutique renowned for its limited-edition screen-printed movie posters, has been branching out, with VHS reissues, apparel, vinyl soundtracks and even a convention. However, they’re not stopping there: They’re moving into collectible toys, beginning with figures for The Iron Giant, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Alfred Hitchcock, which will be previewed this week at Comic-Con International.

“I am so pumped to announce toys!” Mondo CEO Justin Ishmael said in a statement. “We’ve been working on this in secrecy for a year and now it’s time to let you guys know about it. We’ll be focusing on existing properties that we love as well as working with artists to bring their own creations to life. This is a new area for us, but I resist the term ‘expansion’ since the goal for Mondo has always been to be a place where artists and designers can work to have their visions realized, whether that’s through posters, gallery shows, vinyl, apparel or now toys.”

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‘Simpsons’ fan sets record for cartoon character tattoos

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No matter how many Simpsons T-shirts, posters, figurines and lunchboxes you own, you’ll never be as big of a fan as Lee Weir is.

The 27-year-old New Zealander is a bit of a Homer Simpson devotee. Well, maybe he’s more than a bit, considering he holds the Guinness Worlds Record title for Most Tattoos of the Same Cartoon Character Tattooed on the Body. Because, yes, that’s a thing — so much of a thing that it requires “tattoo” to be mentioned twice.

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Lion Forge bringing Care Bears and Madballs back to comics

care bearsOn the heels of its distribution agreement with IDW Publishing, Lion Forge Comics has announced it will publish digital and print comics based on American Greetings properties Care Bears, Madballs and Packages from Planet X.

A St. Louis-based digital publisher, Lion Forge has released licensed comics based on 1980s NBC television series Airwolf, Miami Vice, Punky Brewster, Knight Rider and Saved By the Bell. Under the IDW deal, Lion Forge will bring its titles to print, beginning with Airwolf, Knight Rider and its original series Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier.

American Greetings introduced the Care Bears in 1981 for greetings cards, but the colorful bears quickly made the leap to toys and television, first in animated specials and then in a Saturday-morning series that aired from 1985 to 1988. The cuddly Care Bears, with their different tummy symbols and personalities, couldn’t be contained to the small screen, however, and quickly became movie stars. The characters were revived for television in 2012 with the CG-animated Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot on The Hub. They’re no stranger to comics, either: Marvel published a 20-issue Care Bears series as part of its Star Comics line.

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SDCC | LEGO wheels out Batman Tumbler

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Mere days before Comic-Con International, LEGO has finally revealed what many collectors long suspected would make its debut in San Diego: the Ultimate Collector Series Batman Tumbler.

Measuring 15 inches by 9 inches, the vehicle comes with Batman and Joker minifigs, which The Brothers Brick notes marks the first LEGO appearance of Heath Ledger’s version of the character from The Dark Knight. There’s also a nameplate and an accessible cockpit.

Composed of 1,869 pieces, the Ultimate Collector Series LEGO Batman Tumbler 76023 will be available in September for $199.

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Comics A.M. | Police accused of pre-SDCC homeless crackdown

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

Conventions | An advocate for the homeless claims San Diego police are harassing homeless people to keep them away from downtown during Comic-Con International. The mayor and police chief deny the accusation and say officers are simply doing outreach, but at least one homeless man has been given a “stay away” order. Comic-Con begins Wednesday with Preview Night. [ABC 10 News]

Digital comics | Following the news that the comics market was estimated at $850 million in 2013, of which $90 million was digital, George Gene Gustines looks at a couple of different digital models, including Thrillbent’s new subscription service and Panel Syndicate, Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s name-your-own-price approach. [The New York Times]

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The Flash, by way of Ingmar Bergman

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[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

Mash-up parody movie trailer may be one of my biggest guilty pleasures.  Back in the day when it was novel, I loved watching videos of Mary Poppins as a horror movie or the 1966 Batman movie as a modern day action extravanganza.  I learned to appreciate parody trailers thanks to Jim Emerson, a blogger at RogerEbert.com, who once cited the “Shining” parody trailer (which turned the psychological horror film into a sappy family movie) as an example of the fine art of film editing.  The whole movie parody trailer craze may have fallen in and out of favor with the fickle whims of the internet audience, but I personally have never stopped loving them.

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Death of Archie brings life to series finale

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[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

One has to assume the death of Archie was in the back of the publisher’s mind when it first conceived the Life with Archie relaunch (a series of the same name ran from 1958 to 1991). Like many people after the initial novelty of adult Archie getting married, I lost interest in the series. But reading Life with Archie #36 made me realize I likely missed out on some interesting storytelling.

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Thanos rises in this Shelf Porn from Quebec

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Happy Saturday and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly look at collections as submitted by fans around the world.

Today’s collection comes from Erik in Quebec, who shows us his collection of comics, statues, toys and more. If you’d like to see your collection featured here on ROBOT 6, just check out the instructions at the end of this post.

And now here’s Erik …

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Dark Horse announces artist line-up for ‘The Sakai Project’ benefit book

The Sakai Project

The Sakai Project

Dark Horse Comics has announced the impressive list of artists who have contributed to The Sakai Project: Artists Celebrate Thirty Years of Usagi Yojimbo, the oversized hardcover benefit book for Stan and Sharon Sakai.

All proceeds from the book will go to the couple to help pay for the medical expenses of Sharon Sakai, who suffers from a debilitating illness that required an extended hospital stay and convalescence, followed by 24-hour home care and medications. The Comic Art Professional Society, which spearheaded a series of auctions to benefit the Sakais, is working in conjunction with Dark Horse to produce the book. The auctions are ongoing and can be found on the organization’s eBay page.

You can find the complete list of artists, along with the page number where their art will appear, below. The 160-page book will be released next Wednesday in comic shops and at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and will cost $29.99.

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The Fifth Color | Speculation junction, what’s your function?

avengers nowWe’re less than a week away from Comic-Con International, and that means announcements from major publishers are coming in early to jockey for position before the masses gather in sunny San Diego. Marvel struck hard with big changes debuting on major media outlets, leading to your grandma knowing what’s coming up in the pages of Thor.

It’s a weird world we live in these days.

On The View, Whoopi Goldberg announced there will be a woman taking over the mantle of Thor. Marvel’s Ryan Penagos (a far better source for Marvel news, no offense to Goldberg) clarified that this wouldn’t be a more traditional female counterpart, but the actual god of thunder title would pass to a female character. On The Colbert Report, actually a decent and known source for Captain America news, Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada informed Stephen Colbert that she shield will be passed to the Falcon, Cap’s longtime partner Sam Wilson. In fact, Colbert specifically said that the event was tied to the events of Captain America #21 and the rather complicated story line within, which I believe is the first time a recent back issue was ever advertised on a cable TV show.

Superior Iron Man was also announced, indicating a darker outlook and a lighter “Genius Bar”-looking set of armor for Tony Stark, which led everyone from the New York Daily News to MTV to carry stories about what it means.

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