Current Transmissions

‘Mark Trail’ fans want more poacher-busting, less Rusty

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With its glacial pacing, signature earnestness and freakishly out-of-scale wildlife, Mark Trail is a fairly easy target for mockery, but the 68-year-old comic strip does have its fans.

Cartoonist James Allen, who worked as Jack Elrod’s assistant for nearly a decade, thought he had a pretty good idea of what those fans wanted: the occasional window into Mark’s family life (with a giant dog or goldfish, perhaps?). So after he taking over the daily strip in April, he set the khaki-clad adventurer on a course to spend a little time with long-neglected wife Cherry and son Rusty. Boy, was that so not what fans wanted.

After receiving several letters from “annoyed” readers, the Sun Journal of Lewiston, Maine, contacted Allen, who explained:

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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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Comics A.M. | Was Marie Duval the real creator of Ally Sloper?

Ally Sloper

Ally Sloper

Creators | A U.K. researcher argues that Marie Duval was the real creative force behind the wildly popular 19th-century British comic Ally Sloper, which is largely credited to her husband Charles Ross. Duval, the pen name of French cartoonist Emilie de Tessier, drew the character at the height of his popularity in the 1860s and ’70s, but historian David Kunzle now questions what role Ross actually played in his creation. [The Guardian]

Commentary | Chase Magnett pushes back on Chris Suellentrop’s statement, made in a column about GamerGate, that comics are “a medium that has never outgrown its reputation for power fantasies and is only very occasionally marked by transcendent work (Maus, or the books of Chris Ware) that demands that the rest of the culture pay attention to it.” [Comicbook.com]

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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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Tremble in the presence of 3A Toys’ Doctor Doom figure

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It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything about the Doctor Doom figure from Ashley Wood’s 3A Toys, but judging from this post on the company’s production blog, that’s about to change very soon.

While we wait, however, the company provides a look at all colorways for the 1/6th-scale figure: Classic Edition, Ghost Edition and Stealth Edition. 3A’s Iron Man figures are kind of pricy, and I’m guessing these will be in the same range. Still, they’re pretty amazing-looking.

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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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First look at the cover of ‘Last Man: The Chase’

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First Second has provided ROBOT 6 with the first look at the cover for Last Man: The Chase, the third volume of the martial-arts fantasy by Bastien Vivès, Balak and Michael Sanlaville.

Originally published by Casterman, Last Man is an homage to American pop culture that centers on Richard Aldana, a cigarette-smoking, leather jacket-wearing stranger who enrolls in the gladiatorial-style games of a medieval fantasy world, but insists on relying on his martial-arts skills rather than magic.

First Second will begin releasing Last Man in March with The Stranger, followed in June by The Royal Cup and in October by The Chase. The remaining volumes will be published in 2016.

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‘Walking Dead’s’ Danai Gurira gives a lesson in zombie-slicing

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When The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira appeared last week on Live! with Kelly and Michael, the took a couple of minutes to show the co-hosts the finer points of zombie-killing, Michonne-style.

During a commercial break, the actress impressed the audience by demonstrating with a wooden katana how to slice a zombie in half. But then she was given a real blade. “I feel like I’m cheating on my girl here,” Gurira said, referring to her sword from the AMC drama.

Michonne, who had been without her signature weapon for a couple of episodes of the series, was reunited with it last night. Watch the video of her Live! appearance below.

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15,000 pieces of Batman memorabilia go up for auction

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More than 15,000 pieces of Batman memorabilia, from vintage model kits to 1980s action figures to kites, will go up for auction Tuesday in Manchester, England.

It’s the collection amassed over the course of 25 years by Steven Matthews, a 57-year-old hairdresser who acknowledges his interest in the Caped Crusader “quickly became an obsession.”

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Robert Kirkman shoots down ‘Walking Dead’ coma theory

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Like a particularly stubborn zombie, there’s a Walking Dead fan theory that simply refuses to die: The events of the bestselling comic and hit television series all take place in the mind of Rick Grimes, who never awoke from his coma.

It staggers to life every so often on a message board, or in a YouTube video, before disappearing, Sophia-like, into the wilderness of the Internet. However, when the theory reemerged last week, with the help of Uproxx, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman was on hand to strike a killing blow to the head.

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Seth Kushner returns to hospital, chould use your help

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Late last month, I celebrated Seth Kushner returning home after a bone marrow transplant to combat his April-diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia. Soon after the article appeared, I corresponded briefly with the photographer and writer, and it was clear he was eager to regain his strength and begin working again.

Unfortunately, as his wife Terra noted last week in a Facebook post, within two weeks doctors informed Kushner that his leukemia had returned:

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Comics A.M. | Alexis Deacon wins Observer/Cape/Comica prize

From "The River"

From “The River”

Awards | Alexis Deacon has won the 2014 Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story prize for “The River,” “a luscious, tangled, whispering kind of story” that earned him £1,000 (about $1,611 U.S.). The runners-up were Fionnuala Doran’s “Countess Markievicz” and Beth Dawson’s “After Life.” The short-story competition has been held annually since 2007 by London’s Comica Festival, publisher Jonathan Cape and The Observer newspaper. [The Observer]

Publishing | Mark Peters spotlights Archie Comics’ recent transformation from staid to startling, with titles like Afterlife With Archie and the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. [Salon]

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s Shelf Porn!

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Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, where we take you into the home of one unsuspecting fan. Actually they send us these pics; the other way would likely result in an arrest.

Anywho, today’s shelves come from Steve M., who shows us his comics, statues and more. “I bought a house and the girlfriend allowed me to take one of the rooms,” Steve told ROBOT 6. “I tried to make the standout Superman in the room, but I collect a lot of other DC and spawn stuff. It’s still an ongoing process, but I think it’s coming along all right.”

Check it out below.

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The Fifth Color | A new age for Ultron

age of ultron posterWe’ve all seen the teaser trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, right? If you haven’t, then please check it out below, and enjoy the sweet, sinister sounds of James Spader (that man could give the evilest recitation of the phone book in history). To be perfectly honest, though, considering how well the first movie did, Robert Downey Jr. could have come out against a black screen and say “Hey everyone! We’re doing a new movie!” and I would have already been in line to see Avengers 2: More Avengering.

But no! Marvel is determined to further expand its cinematic universe by reaching into its history to introduce an amazing villain in the evil robot Ultron. Putting his name front is a bit risky considering the name doesn’t ring a lot of bells for the average moviegoer, but then again, neither did Iron Man once upon a time. Besides, Age of Ultron is such a killer title. The idea of an “Age” of anything makes the danger seem long-term, and Ultron is an amazingly villainous name, with a really scary face to go with it. The idea of an evil robot isn’t lost on the general public, and when you tell them he’s like Skynet with daddy issues, the concept is pretty clear.

Mind you, I wouldn’t blame you if that’s not the first thing you think of when you hear “Age of Ultron.” Some comics might even groan.

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This weekend, it’s the Locust Moon Comics Festival

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If you’re a comics fan who happens to be in the Philadelphia area on Saturday, you’ll not want to miss the third annual Locust Moon Comics Festival.

Held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the The Rotunda in West Philadelphia (4014 Walnut St.), the event features an impressive guest list that includes Bill Sienkiewicz, Paul Pope, Denis Kitchen, J.G. Jones, Farel Dalrymple, Dave Bullock, Box Brown, Nathan Fox, Dean Haspiel, Rebecca Mock, Dave Bullock, Tom Scioli, José Villarrubia, Benjamin Marra and Ronald Wimberly.

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