Current Transmissions

Hot Toys unveils Thanos ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ figure

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First came the cameo in The Avengers, then came a full-fledged appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, along with the promise of a larger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What could possibly be left for Thanos? How about movie-accurate figure from Hot Toys?

The high-end collectibles company has revealed its 1/6th-scale figure of the Mad Titan, based on his appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy. He comes complete with two sets of interchangeable hands and a throne with LED light-up function.

However, there’s no mention of price or release date, so stay tuned.

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Comics A.M. | Zunar speaks against ‘cartoon’ government

Zunar's "Pirates of the Carry-BN"

Zunar’s “Pirates of the Carry-BN”

Creators | “This is really a government of the cartoon, for the cartoon and by the cartoon,” Malaysian cartoonist Zunar said in an interview following the police raid on his Kuala Lumpur office. Zunar was in London at the time of the raid but expects to be summoned to the police station on his return to face charges under the Printing Presses Act, Sedition Act and Penal Code. “Why are the police involved in this?” he said. “If it is true I have defamed certain people, why not filed a civil suit? The government condemned Charlie Hebdo’s attacker but now they are ‘attacking’ me.” He also sent out some photos of the raid. [Malaysian Digest]

Freedom of Speech | Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch Asia, called the raid Zunar’s office “shocking and outrageous” and demanded the government to return the confiscated books and drop all charges against him. [The Malaysian Insider]

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Angoulême International Comics Festival opens

Angouleme poster 2015The 42nd annual Angoulême International Comics Festival kicked off this morning with extra security, as is to be expected just three weeks after the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices.

The president of last year’s festival, and the winner of the previous year’s Grand Prix d’Angoulême, was Willem, a staff cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo. He didn’t like to attend staff meetings, so he wasn’t in the office on Jan. 7 when two gunmen killed 12 people, including another Grand Prix winner, Wolinski.

“The 2015 festival will be a time to remember but we also want to demonstrate that life goes on,” said festival director Franck Bondoux. The commemorations include a special exhibit on Charlie Hebdo, a virtual album with contributions by artists from around the world, and a new award, the Charlie Prize, which will be awarded posthumously to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists this year, and in future years will recognize creators who have fought for freedom of expression. The town of Angoulême will also festooned with posters of Charlie Hebdo covers.

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LEGO lifts off with epic SHIELD Helicarrier playset

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Ahead of next month’s Toy Fair in New York City, The Wall Street Journal has the first look at LEGO’s massive 2,996-piece S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier playset.

The Helicarrier is 11 inches high, 17 inches wide and a whopping 31 inches long, and boasts two runways, microscale fighter jets, Quinjets and ground-support vehicles, plus five minifigures from Marvel’s 2012 blockbuster The Avengers, including — brace yourselves! — two female characters: Nick Fury, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and new addition Maria Hill. Imagine that.

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White House uses comic reminders about Obamacare deadline

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For a gentle reminder about the Feb. 15 HealthCare.gov enrollment deadline, the White House turned to comics and Curls creator Carolyn Belefski.

Intended to be shared on Facebook and Twitter, the seven comic strips depict Americans living vastly different lives — from the fitness nut to the adrenalin junkie to the hipster — who have one thing in common: They have health insurance. Each four-panel strip has at its center a badge encouraging readers to joint that person at HeathCare.gov.

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Sean Murphy tackles creator’s rights for conventions

Illustrators Christian Dibari, bottom left, and Sean Murphy above left, at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in 2013.  Photo by Tim Greenway.

Illustrators Christian Dibari, bottom left, and Sean Murphy above left, at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in 2013. Photo by Tim Greenway.

Speaking up is a hard thing to do for many creators, because as freelancers they often work at the whim of others. But Sean Murphy has made a name for himself beyond his actual work as an outspoken member of the artist community. Recently, he took to his deviantART page to pull back the curtain on an overlooked aspect of a creator’s life — one rife with doubts and unfulfilled promises, but with the occasional bright spot: conventions.

“While many of my pro friends are eternally grateful for their careers and for these generous invites, some of the shows are taking advantage of creators — ALL levels of creators — and not following through with what’s promised,” Murphy wrote. “Believe me, I love traveling and I want to visit all my readers in every country I can, but there’s nothing worse than getting to the ‘convention reserved’ hotel room and finding out you wasted your money staying in some foreign ghetto.”

While Murphy might now be in the upper echelon of creators vied for by conventions and stores, the New England artist has been attending cons for more than a decade.

Murphy is doing more than just complaining, however; he’s offering a solution — what he calls a list of “Creator’s Rights” pertaining to conventions.

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Danish officials foil man’s bid to change name to Superhero

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Danish officials have dashed the hopes of a Copenhagen toy store owner who wanted to call himself Superhero. However, like a true superhero, he isn’t giving up without a fight.

BBC News reports that 26-year-old Benjamin Preisler Herbst hoped to tack “Superhero” onto the beginning of his name, as so much of his life revolves around comic book characters. But after a four-month review, authorities rejected his request, writing, “The word superhero is a term for a fictional/non-existent figure. We don’t believe that Superhero lives up to the criteria for being approved as a boy’s name.”

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Tony Moore’s daily sketches are pretty amazing

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Tony Moore is among the most versatile artists in comics, and after returning recently from a sabbatical he’s producing some excellent chipboard sketches that showcase his range.

Posted on his blog (and available for sale as original art!), these headshot sketches shine a spotlight on the nuance of Moore’s abilities. He seems able to find richness in characters ranging from Batman to Beetlejuice to Tina Belcher in these pieces.

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Justin Greenwood on ‘The Bunker’s’ Joe Infurnari

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We frequently relish the opportunity to recommend creators or projects that readers might not otherwise consider. But in an effort to mix things up, it never hurts to solicit opinions from the creators themselves. This week, Justin Greenwood, artist of The Fuse and Stumptown, takes a moment to discuss Joe Infurnari‘s work on the sci-fi mystery series The Bunker.

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Kotobukiya unveils ‘Li’l Gotham’ mini figures

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Collectible toy company Kotobukiya has revealed a new set of DC Comics mini figures based on Li’l Gotham by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs.

Measuring less than 2 inches tall, the figures — Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, The Joker, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy — come in randomly selected two-packs and in six colors. No price is given, but they’ll be available in June.

Nguyen’s designs for a pint-sized Gotham City are proving to be popular in the collectibles market: Last year DC Collectibles unveiled a line of Lil’l Gotham action figures.

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‘Attack on Titan’ Real Escape Game gets a trailer, New York date

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Although SCRAP Entertainment has yet to announce details for the New York City edition of the Attack on Titan Real Escape stadium game, the trailer for “Escape From the Walled City” now provides a date: Saturday, April 11. However, no location is listed.

That information arrives even as tickets sell out for Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. That’s 3,000 players for that one run-through; tickets are still available for the 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. games, and for the Los Angeles stop on March 21.

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Mr. Incredible convicted in Hollywood Boulevard attack on Batgirl

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Mr. Incredible is headed into anger-management classes.

You may recall that, in October, a camera captured video of a brawl on Hollywood Boulevard between Batgirl and Mr. Incredible that drew in Chewbacca, Waldo, Freddy Krueger in a cracked-mirror version of Disney Infinity. Mr. Incredible was shown fighting with Batgirl and slamming her to the ground.

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Comics A.M. | Police raid office of Malaysian cartoonist Zunar

Zunar

Zunar

Legal | Kuala Lumpur police raided the office of the Malaysian cartoonist Zunar and seized 149 copies of his books Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar and Pirates of the Carry BN. They were looking for the cartoonist himself, but he was in the United Kingdom, speaking at Oxford and Cambridge universities and giving a talk in London titled “To Fight Through Cartoons.” In a press release, Zunar said the raid occurred under the Printing Presses Act, Sedition Act and Penal Code, and that he would be called to the police station on his return to the country; he was arrested under that act in 2010. He also tweeted, “If the cartoons are defamatory, those who feel aggrieved should file a civil suit. No problem. I oppose the use of criminal laws like the Sedition Act” [The Malaysian Insider]

Political cartoons | Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Zineb El-Rhazoui, on a fundraising tour in Canada, said the terrorists who attacked the magazine’s offices and killed 12 people were the ones who made a mockery of religion, not the cartoonists who drew caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. “This is the most ugly caricature, that this is the most ugly picture of their religion,” she said. “It is not the pictures made by Charlie Hebdo.” [CTV News]

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Nothing says ‘meditative’ like a Zen Judge Dredd statue

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Although I have my doubts as to the calming, meditative qualities of a character whose signature line is “Hulk SMASH,” I’m not immune to the appeal of these 3D-printed Buddha sculptures of an assortment of pop-culture characters, from the Star Wars cast to Batman to Judge Dredd to Groot (with Rocket Raccoon, naturally).

The statues, which come in three sizes — 2 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches — range in price from $7.99 to $27.99. You can see some of the pieces below, and the full selection on Chris Milnes’ Etsy page.

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Suspect in plane bomb hoaxes used webcomic for Twitter handle

Zortic last panel

Being a webcomics creator has its challenges, but here’s one you don’t see too often: finding out the title of your long-running strip is being used by someone who tweeting bomb threats to airlines. That’s the surreal situation Mark Mekkes found himself in on Saturday.

Mekkes is the creator of the long-running Zortic, which he describes as “a weekly science fiction, comedy adventure comic with a lot of parody and popular references.” The comic has been running for 14 years, but on Saturday, Mekkes noticed a spike in traffic and social media mentions. He didn’t think too much of it until he got a phone call from his brother-in-law, who had seen “Zortic” mentioned on the national news. The reason: Somebody using the Twitter handle “King Zortic” had tweeted bomb threats to Delta and Southwest airlines, resulting in two planes being escorted by fighter jets to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and then scoured by bomb squads. The threats were ultimately determined to be a hoax.

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