Current Transmissions

Balloonless | Tim Hanley’s ‘Wonder Woman Unbound’

cover of wwuThere’s a lot more than gender differentiating Wonder Woman from her fellow first generation superheroes that have, against all odds, survived to the modern day. More so than even Superman and Batman, the only other heroes whose comics have been in continuous publication since their creation, Wonder Woman is a character with sharp, often difficult to reconcile (or even wrestle with) contradictions built into her.

Foremost among those contradictions is the fact that, as Tim Hanley alludes to in the subtitle of  Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine, the character is universally known, to the point that she’s practically omnipresent in pop culture, but that knowledge tends to be pretty shallow.

That is, everyone knows Wonder Woman, but relatively few know much of anything about her. Her name and costume, her bullet-blocking bracelets and magic lasso, maybe her invisible jet, but that’s about it, really. Curious indeed.

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Mondo’s Lil Mikey TMNT figure is adorable, ready for preorder

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Mondo is now accepting preorders for its first entry into collectible toys: Lil Mikey, a 9-inch vinyl figure based on Mike Mitchell‘s adorable illustration of Michelangelo of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame.

Mitchell, a Mondo regular who’s been featured several times on ROBOT 6, drew Lil Mikey as part of his “Just Like Us” series, which features round-headed, child-like versions of characters ranging from The Punisher and Kraven to Ron Swanson and Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski.

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Stan Lee isn’t selling his home, ‘just a hunk of property’

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At the risk of ROBOT 6 turning into Excelsior! Home Journal, there is another followup to the Stan Lee real-estate story: It turns out that $3.75 million listing in the Hollywood Hills isn’t for the creator’s home, but instead for another lot he owns. In fact, there’s no longer even a house on it.

“I’m not selling my house. It’s just a piece of property we own,” Lee tells Los Angeles Magazine. “We tore it down, we were gonna rebuild and we decided to sell it instead, so it’s just a hunk of property that’s for sale.”

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Comics A.M. | Thrillbent launches new iPad app

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Thrillbent

Digital comics | The digital comics publisher Thrillbent has launched its own iPad app, which allows users to read Thrillbent comics and also load in their own comics in PDF, CBR and CBZ formats via Dropbox. [iTunes]

Publishing | Diamond Comic Distributors is dropping the price of its monthly Previews catalog from $4.50 to $3.99 with the January issue (in stores Dec. 24). That, as the company notes, is “the average price of a standard monthly comic book.” [PreviewsWorld]

Publishing | Dark Horse plans to publish the historical graphic novel Nanjing: The Burning City, by Ethan Young (Tails). [The Beat]

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Turning viewers into readers

DC-readingIn case you haven’t noticed, people like watching television shows and movies based on comic books.

This fall has been particularly exceptional television adaptations: The Walking Dead season premiere pulled in more than 17 million viewers, while more than 8 million watched the first episode Gotham, making it Fox’s best fall drama debut in 14 years. More than 6 million raced to see The Flash pilot, giving The CW its highest ratings ever. About 5 million are regularly tuning in for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and nearly 3 million for the third season of Arrow.

It’s not limited to live-action series, either: 2 million people watch Teen Titans Go!, and more than 1 million tune in to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon.

On the big screen, all four feature films starring Marvel characters — X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — each grossed more than $700 million each worldwide. So far, comic book movies have generated more than $3.8 billion dollars this year. While it’s unknown how many of those dollars are from repeat viewings, that’s still a lot of people.

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More than 300 line up for Jordan X ‘Slam Dunk’ Collection

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The photo above isn’t from a comic convention or even a new Apple release, but rather the debut over the weekend in Japan of the Jordan X Slam Dunk Collection. More than 300 people reportedly lined up to get their hands on the collaboration between Nike and manga artist Takehiko Inoue.

The collection includes the limited-edition Air Jordan VI ($250), Jordan Super.Fly 3 ($185), two T-shirts and a hat, all featuring Inoue’s artwork and other nods to the bestselling basketball manga (for instance, protagonist Hanamichi Sakuragi’s school and jersey number).

Jordan X Slam Dunk launches everywhere else in the world on Nov. 1.

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French comic about time travel, true love eyes U.S. audience

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What if you went your entire life went without meeting your true love, and you only found it due to a time-travel accident? And what if your job was to eliminate these kinds of accidents? Would you fix the timestream or fix yourself up with your true love?

That’s the story of The Infinite Loop by Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier, which debuts next month in France — but the creators are already looking toward an American release. The duo was at New York Comic Con earlier this month to drum up interest in the six-issue series from English-language publishers.

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DJs take center stage in dystopian ‘Future Prophecy’

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Superheroes come from all walks of life: journalists, scientists, school teachers, lawyers, even fast-food workers. But what about a DJ? In The Future Prophecy, two DJ sisters take on a dystopian version of Toronto under the control of a mutant army. But they aren’t just any DJ sisters, they’re creators — and real-life DJs — Sara Simms and Melle Oh.

So far, Simms and Oh have self-published two issues of The Future Prophecy, but to produce four more they’ve turned to Kickstarter.

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Stan Lee isn’t as wealthy as some may think, but he’s doing fine

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When word surfaced Tuesday that Stan Lee has put his Hollywood Hills West home on the market for $3.75 million, some commenters began to speculate about the legendary writer’s finances. Of course, they’re not the first.

Asked earlier this year by Playboy whether he at least received “a Tony Star-like helicopter” from Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Marvel, the 91-year-old creator was quick to point out that he’s not as wealthy as some may think.

“My daughter was looking at the internet the other day and read that Stan Lee has an estimated $250 million,” Lee said. “I mean, that’s ridiculous! I don’t have $200 million. I don’t have $150 million. I don’t have $100 million or anywhere near that.”

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

First Ever Sketch of Birch-banner

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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Batgirl vs. Mr. Incredible vs. Chewbacca on Hollywood Boulevard

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As strange as Marvel’s recent teasers haven been, with offbeat remixes of events past, they’re nothing compared to the inter-company mashup captured Tuesday afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard.

CBS Los Angeles reports that the Hollywood Walk of Fame, long a hotbed for costumed mayhem, erupted about 5 p.m. as Batgirl struggled with Mr. Incredible in a brawl that drew in a colorful cast of characters. Reporter Suzanne Marques offers play-by-play of the video, shot by a production company that happened to be working nearby:

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Want to host ‘DC All Access’? Here’s your chance

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If you watch DC Entertainment’s promotional web series DC All Access, you’ve likely thought either “Wow, I’d love to get that kind of access” or “I can do better than that.” Whichever the case, you may now get your shot.

DC has announced a social media-driven contest to find a new co-host to join Tiffany Smith on the year-old show, beginning in 2015. (Farewell, Blair Herter?) Here’s what you have to do:

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Comics A.M. | Turkish cartoonist faces prison for caricature

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Legal | Former Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed a criminal complaint against cartoonist Musa Kart over a cartoon caricaturing Erdoğan’s attempts to cover up a graft investigation. The prosecutor initially decided that there were no grounds for legal action, but Erdoğan took his case to the Bakırköy 14th High Criminal Court, which ruled that the cartoon exceeded the bounds of normal criticism and allowed the indictment to proceed. Kart could face nearly 10 years in prison if convicted and given the maximum sentence.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have dropped charges against all 209 of the people suspected in participating in the actual corruption Erdoğan is accused of covering up; those charges would have included “the transfer of lands with a value of billions of dollars at very low prices, the seizure of mines from businessmen by force, tender-rigging, illegally giving state tenders worth billions of dollars to businessmen, changing the status of protected areas through bribery, opening these [areas] for construction and making large profits off of them.” [Today's Zaman]

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Watch Takeshi Obata draw ‘Death Note’ sketches at NYCC

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Takeshi Obata, the renowned artist of Death Note and Hikaru no Go, made his first U.S. appearance earlier this month at New York Comic Con, where he participated in a couple of panels, met with journalists and signed autographs. Viz Media, which played host to Obata, was on hand to capture video (below) of the artist banging out sketches of Death Note characters Ryuk and L for undoubtedly ecstatic fans.

Obata spoke with ROBOT 6’s Brigid Alverson at the convention about character design, saying, “The clothes I put the characters in obviously become part of the characters, so I am really careful about how I dress them, for sure. I take a lot of care in that.”

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Marvel introduces hearing-impaired hero Sapheara

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Remember Blue Ear, the costumed character created in 2012 by Marvel to convince then 4-year-old Anthony Smith that superheroes do wear hearing aids? Well, now meet Sapheara, a pint-sized superheroine with cochlear implants.

She teams with Iron Man and Blue Ear in Sound Effects, a new comic by Marvel Custom Solutions and the Children’s Hearing Institute of New York that addresses cochlear implants, bullying, hearing-loss awareness and hearing-loss prevention. It will be distributed later this month to about 150,000 students in grades 3 through 7 in the New York City area.

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