Current Transmissions

The beginning of the ‘End’ is a lot like ‘Futures End’

earth2-worlds-end

Do you like Batman? Sure, everyone loves Batman, which is what makes this new series Earth 2: World’s End so great. It’s got Batman in it! Well, not Batman so much as Batman’s dad. And not the “real” Batman’s dad, but an alternate dimension’s Batman’s dad … who has taken over for his son as Batman II. So, it stars a legacy version of an alternate version of Batman.

That’s one aspect of World’s End, which joins Batman Eternal and The New 52: Futures End on DC’s slate of ongoing weeklies, that I found particularly striking.

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Now Groot is getting his own limited-edition Funko Hikari figure

groot-funko-hikari

Not content to stop with its Groot and Dancing Groot bobbleheads, Funko has officially announced — through Marvel’s Ryan Penagos – a third figure based on Guardians of the Galaxy‘s breakout star.

It’s part of the company’s Hikari Japanese Vinyl line of limited-edition hand-crafted figures (in this case, it’s limited to 5,000 copies). No further details were revealed this morning, but you can likely expect it to cost somewhere between $50 and $80, depending upon whether the figure is 6 inches tall or 8 inches.

Marvel Toy News snapped some photos of the Groot figures last week at New York Comic Con, if you’re interested in a close-up look.

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What big project is Mark Millar teasing?

millar-teaser-cropped

Mark Millar is teasing a 10-issue series that has some fans guessing could be his first DC Comics work since 2003’s Superman: Red Son.

Posting a page of artwork this morning on his message board, the writer asked members to guess the artist, the project and which “well-known superheroes” are shown, promising, “All will be revealed next week.” “You will be SURPRISED,” he added.

Clearly enjoying the game, Millar was quick to offer four clues:

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Comics A.M. | Cosplay, and the fight against harassment

NYCC's "Cosplay Is Not Consent" poster, designed by Amy Reeder

NYCC’s “Cosplay Is Not Consent” poster

Cosplay | Visiting New York Comic Con, Andrea Romano takes a look at the world of cosplay, the issue of sexual harassment — one person notes it’s certainly not exclusive to cosplay, observing, “There’s harassment when a woman is just wearing a crop top on the street” — and efforts being made to stop it.  Convention organizers placed their new anti-harassment policy front and center this year, and it seems to have helped: There were just eight reported incidents of sexual harassment during the four-day event. [Mashable]

Conventions | Fensterman talks at greater length about NYCC’s anti-harassment measures in this article, which contrasts the comics scene with what’s going on in the gaming world. [Time]

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Tony Harris reveals deluxe Disney prints for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘Haunted Mansion’ & more

harris-pirates

If you’ve ever wondered how Ex Machina co-creator Tony Harris would take on some of the iconic rides at Disney parks, look no further — Harris has posted four deluxe prints done for the House of Mouse on Facebook, including his take on Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion and one of Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent fame.

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East Coast vs. West Coast: NYCC surpasses SDCC

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

What a difference a decade makes. New York Comic Con is now North America’s biggest comic book convention, attracting a reported 151,000 people to this year’s event, and surpassing Comic-Con International, which has been forced to cap attendance at about 130,000. In just eight years, producer ReedPOP has managed to surpass what San Diego organizers took 40 years to build.

It may sound like exciting news, but here on the West Coast, we’re crestfallen, heartbroken even. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for nearly 15 years, which virtually makes me a native. The city has a long-running rivalry with New York City, which always goes on about how it’s the best at everything. Well, you can have your best pizzas, but this was ours! OK, sort of. San Diego is close enough to LA to pretend as if Comic-Con International is ours. Let’s face it: Every other part of Southern California is essentially a suburb of Los Angeles, so it’s always been a point of pride that although modern comics were born in New York City, here is where they’re celebrated the loudest and biggest.

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Stan Lee calls for ‘raw realism’ in comics (aka bathroom breaks)

stan-lee-realism

With the birth of the Marvel Universe more than five decades ago, Stan Lee helped create real heroes with real problems. However, now he’s beginning to think Marvel’s comic books aren’t realistic enough.

“I wonder why, in any story, we’ve never shown that a hero or heroine has to go to the bathroom?” the legendary writer says in the latest installment of “Stan’s Rants,” appropriately titled “Superhero Potty Talk.” “To be terribly realist, wouldn’t it be something: You have a fight scene, and the hero is fighting the villain, and suddenly he says, ‘Hey, hold it a minute, please. Can we finish this later? I just have to go!'”

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Dark Horse launches Humble Star Wars Bundle

star-wars-bundle

The Star Wars license is passing to Marvel at the end of the year, but before that happens, does Dark Horse have a deal for you.

The publisher has partnered with Humble Bundle to let fans to get up to $190 worth of Star Wars digital comics for … well, a heck of a lot less than that. Humble Bundle allows customers to purchase DRM-free downloads for as little as a penny, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity (in this case, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).

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AT&T U-verse releases short film on Toronto’s R.A.I.D. studio

raid

Making comics is generally a solitary experience, but there are a few pockets of camaraderie that have sprung up where artists share a space and work together. One of the most thriving spaces is Toronto’s R.A.I.D. Short for the Royal Academy of Illustration & Design, it’s where some of today’s top comic artists, including Francis Manapul, Ramón Pérez, Cary Nord and Kalman Andrasofzsky, do a majority of their work — and they’re now the subject of a short documentary film.

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Slim Jim wants you to associate its meat snacks with flesh-eating zombies

slim jim

You wouldn’t think a company that sells dried spiced meat would want its products associated with decaying human flesh, but Slim Jim — “a leading brand of meat sticks” — has snapped into a partnership with AMC’s The Walking Dead that sees its Carne Asada strips temporarily renamed … “Carnage Asada.” Get it?

“Slim Jim’s bold flavor pairs perfectly with AMC and The Walking Dead,” Jill Dexter, Slim Jim’s brand director, says in a statement. “In a post-apocalyptic world or in your living room, it’s important to be prepared with the right snack, and our Carnage Asada Steakhouse is just that.”

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Warner Bros. seeks to cut costs by $200 million annually

The Warner Bros. mural (photo by Jonah Weiland)

The Warner Bros. mural (photo by Jonah Weiland)

Although the upcoming DC Comics film slate was the headline-grabbing news from this morning’s Time Warner investor presentation, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara also announced the studio is seeking to reduce costs by $200 million annually as part of company-wide streamlining effort. That’s about double what some reports indicated ahead of today’s meeting.

How much of that will be a result of layoffs has yet to be revealed, but Variety maintains Warner Bros. is expected to cut between 900 and 1,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of its worldwide workforce.

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Quote of the Day | Kurt Busiek on writing ‘believable women’

Kurt-Busiek“I’ve never been asked how to write believable male characters. I have been asked how to write believable female characters, as if they’re alien beings or something.

‘How do I write believable women?’ from male writers, is essentially asking how to write characters that are different from you. But all characters are different from you, or should be, unless they’re you. Characters are individuals, not types. If you’re writing them as types, you’re doing it wrong.

All characters are like you in some ways, and not like you in others. How do you write the parts that aren’t like you? Same as you do with any character. You have eyes, ears and a brain. You write from observation, experience, research and analysis.

If you’re writing a woman, you’re not writing a ‘women.’ Write her. That character, that individual. A person, not a category.”

– Kurt Busiek, writing in response to the oft-asked question of “writing believable female characters” posed to comics writers

Roz Chast’s memoir shortlisted for National Book Award

chast-cant we talkRoz Chast’s acclaimed memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is among the five nonfiction finalists for the 2014 National Book Award, announced this morning by the National Book Foundation. It’s the first graphic novel to be nominated in one of the adult categories.

The first memoir from the longtime New Yorker cartoonist, the bestseller centers on Chast’s efforts to care for her aging parents in their final years.

The other nonfiction finalists are: Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes; John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh; Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China; and Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence. The winner will be announced Nov. 19 during a ceremony hosted by author Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket.

In 2006, Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese became the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award when it was recognized in the Young People’s Literature division. His Boxers & Saints was shortlisted last year in the same category.

Also the author of Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons of Roz Chast, 1978-2006, Chast illustrated Steve Martin’s bestselling children’s book The Alphabet from A to Y, with Bonus Letter, Z.

Comics A.M. | A peek behind the scenes of New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

Conventions | ReedPOP Senior Vice President Lance Fensterman talks about how New York Comic Con reached 151,000 attendees this year, what went well, what could have gone better, and what he learned for next time. The new badges and check in/check out system, introduced last year, let producers know exactly how long people stayed at the show, and that turned into a nice surprise for two attendees: “There was a couple [last year] who literally spent every minute that was possible at New York Comic Con for three and a half days. We reached out to them and did something special for them—gave them a bunch of free stuff and free tickets because they were at the show longer than anyone who wasn’t paid to be at the show.” [ICv2]

Political cartoons | Egyptian cartoonists Mohamed Anwar and Andeel discuss the difficulty of critiquing Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who doesn’t tolerate dissent; Anwar is a cartoonist for a mainstream newspaper and pulls some punches as the tradeoff for reaching a wide audience, while Andeel has moved over to the alternative press, where he can speak more freely. [The Guardian]

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‘Can you really argue that Batman is good for Gotham?’

john-green

John Green is the author of such bestselling young-adult novels as Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, a prolific vlogger and, it turns out, a vocal opponent of the Dark Knight.

In a recent video, titled simply “I Kind of Hate Batman,” Green makes it clear this isn’t simply a preference for, oh, say Spider-Man. No, he has serious issues with the very essence of the Caped Crusader.

“Batman is just a rich guy with an affinity for bats who’s playing out his insane fantasy of single-handedly ridding Gotham of crime,” he says. “How is that heroic? [...] Can you really argue that Batman is good for Gotham? I mean, in the Batman universe, crime is caused by 1.) evil people who just want to see the world burn, and 2.) stupid people who follow the evil but charismatic cat-persons/Joker/Penguin — God, the villains in Batman are terrible!”

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