SDCC: Marvel: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Panel
Manga | It’s official: Tite Kubo’s “Bleach” will come to an end within the next 10 weeks. Japanese “Shonen Jump” editor Hisashi Sasaki revealed the news on Viz Media’s weekly Shonen Jump podcast. The 74th volume will be the final collection. [Anime News Network]
It’s little early to start making a holiday wish list, but we already have a pretty good idea what will be at the top: Nintendo’s just-announced NES Classic Edition.
A miniature replica of the fondly remembered Nintendo Entertainment System, the Classic Edition will come complete with 30 NES games, including “Donkey Kong,” “Final Fantasy,” “Pac-Man,” “The Legend of Zelda” and “Super Mario Bros.”
LEGO has announced its latest approved LEGO Ideas submission — a set of eight build-able characters based on Cartoon Network’s hit animated series, “Adventure Time.” The set includes the bricks and instructions for Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Lady Rainicorn, Marceline, BMO, Gunter and the Ice King.
The “Adventure Time” set began as a Lego Ideas submission from Ludovic Piraud, a diehard fan of the “Adventure Time” series. The submission was a hit with the Lego Ideas community, garnering more than 10,000 supporters.
“Mercury Insurance covers it all,” according to their website, including — apparently — superheroes. In a thirty-second advertisement published to YouTube, the insurance company claims to cover collateral damage caused by caped crusaders.
“The red guy threw my car at the blue guy, and the blue guy had a freeze ray,” says the distressed claimant, standing in his destroyed living room.
“We see that a lot this time of year,” his agent responds.
Passings | Nine Culliford, the woman who made the Smurfs blue, died on July 5 at the age of 86. Nine met Pierre Culliford, the artist who would later take the pen name Peyo, in 1946, the same year his first cartoon was published. Nine was the colorist for the Smurfs from their first appearance in “Johan et Pirlouit” (English title: “Johan and Peewit”) in 1958 until her husband’s death in 1992, and she continued to be active on Smurf projects after her son Thierry and her daughter Véronique took over. It was Nine who came up with the idea of coloring the Smurfs blue, as she felt the color would stand out agains the green, wooded backgrounds of the comic. [The Blue Print]
Comics | Sales of comics and graphic novels have crashed through the $1 billion threshold, according to calculations by Milton Griepp of ICv2 and John Jackson Miller of Comichron. That includes $350 million in sales through retail book channels, $90 million in digital, and $20 million in newsstand sales, with the rest coming through the direct market. Griepp and Miller estimate that graphic novels account for $535 million in sales and serial comics for $405 million. Griepp attributed the growth in sales to increased attention to comics properties from the media and an expanding audience, as more women and children come to the medium. [ICv2]
Thanks to a new app from Disney Games, you’ll soon have access to more than 400 Disney-inspired emojis.
Yes, that means you’ll be able to express your emotions by using everyone from Mikey from “Monster, Inc.” to Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.” And no Disney game would be complete without classic characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto.
Digital Comics | Digital comics sales dropped 10% in 2015, according to calculations by the geek-industry retail site ICv2. This is the first decline since the category started to take off in 2010. “Industry participants” offered a number of possible explanations for this, including the leveling-off of new tablet and e-reader purchases and competition from Humble Bundle and other bundle services. Conspicuously not mentioned is comiXology’s decision, in spring of 2014, to eliminate in-app purchases on iOS devices, removing the most convenient way to buy comics from the most popular platform. The article does mention that sales through the Google Play store and direct digital sales from publishers of DRM-free comics had increased, although they are still a small segment of the industry. Also, e-book sales in general are down. Despite all this, ICv2 calculates that digital sales totaled $90 million last year, which is still pretty good considering that the market was just $1 million in 2009. [ICv2]
Conventions | New York Comic Con will extend the party with a series of events tagged “NYCC Presents,” running from October 3-9 (the con itself is October 6-9). The events include a “We the Heroes” Ball, Doctor Who costume and trivia contest, a live episode of “Game Grumps,” and “Shipwreck Presents: A Literary Erotic Fanfic Competition based on William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.” All events require separate tickets—your NYCC badge won’t get you in. [New York Comic Con]
Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox face legal allegations over unpaid merchandising rights to the Batcycle from the 1966 “Batman” series.
Disneyland has unveiled new concept art for its eagerly anticipated “Star Wars”-themed land.
Featuring an X-wing, the Millennium Falcon and an assortment of buildings, markets and rock formations, the image will make its official debut today on the fence of Big Thunder Trail in Frontierland, which will serve as one of the entry points to the 14-acre area.
Passings | Illustrator Geneviève Castrée, whose debut graphic novel “Susceptible” was published in 2013 by Drawn & Quarterly, passed away Saturday from pancreatic cancer. She was 35. “She was truly driven to work and stay living right up to the last minute, insisting on getting up and going to work in her studio way beyond when many would have surrendered to rest,” Castrée’s husband, musician/songwriter Phil Elverum, wrote on her GoFundMe page. “Last night and this morning she declined quickly and receded into her own eyes as her body vetoed her wishes, her lungs filling with fluid. She died at home with me and her parents holding her, hopefully having reached some last minute peace.” Castrée was diagnosed with cancer in May 2015, just four months after giving birth to their daughter. [GoFundMe]
Note (July 11 at 6:31 a.m.): Following what turned out to be a leak over the weekend, LEGO has officially announced its massive Cinderella Castle set, complete with photos, video and details.
LEGO has unveiled its epic 4,080-piece Cinderella Castle set, based of course on the iconic flagship attraction of Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland theme parks.
Few details have been released, but as you can see, it’s impressive, with an open back providing access to an interior that’s every bit as awe-inspiring as the facade.
The Dynamic Duo battles the Clown Prince of Crime in this spectacular LEGO diorama that looks so much like a comic book cover that you’ll either want to read it or frame and hang it on the wall.
Called “LEGO Batman vs Joker Gotham Theater Showdown,” Paul Hetherington’s incredibly detailed piece uses as its backdrop an appropriately ornate Art Deco theater. “I absolutely love Art Deco-style buildings,” Hetherington explains, “so building this was an excuse to indulge myself and create my own Art Deco Theater.”
Retailing | The Sacramento, California, comic shop Big Brother Comics was severely damaged last weekend by a fire. Owner Kenny Russell, whose apartment adjoins the store, heard a loud noise on Sunday morning and opened his back door to see his store in flames. “It was all on fire, like movie-style fire,” he said. Although firefighters responded quickly, and his apartment was protected by fire doors, his store is “toast” and much of his merchandise suffered smoke damage. A GoFundMe campaign to help Russell rebuild has already brought in more than $12,000. [KCRA]
Sadly, the Disney Infinity line of games has been cancelled, which unfortunately means — along with any planned games — proposed character designs from fans will never be manifested. One of those fans is artist Hector Moran, who conceived ’90s-inspired designs for several Disney Infinity figures — even creating a Deadpool figure for himself.
While it’s extremely unlikely that Disney would’ve picked up these designs anyways, it’s still amazing to see Moran’s work on Marvel’s Mighty Mutants, including Wolverine, Beast, Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey, the Sentinel, Rogue, and Storm, all based on the classic Jim Lee designs from the ’90s comics.
The Wizarding World just got a little more DIY.
If you’ve ever been disappointed that you can’t find a Monopoly set in your very particular shade of Pottermore nerd, ease your worrying mind, because with a little elbow grease you can finally know the joy that erupts when magic and capitalism share the same game board. A recent post on Instructables from user kroedel will walk you through how to make an astonishingly professional-looking Harry Potter-themed Monopoly board.