INTERVIEW: "Fantastic Four" EP On Character-Driven Approach, Sequel Plans
Comic Books, Film
Thousands of dancing Pikachus will descend on Yokohama, Japan, next week for “Dancing? An Outbreak of Pikachus,” which is no officially an annual event (because, why not). To prepare attendees for this onslaught of adorable yellow pocket monsters, the Pokémon Company has released an instructional video that teaches them how to do the Pikachu Dance.
Be warned: The routine is a bit elaborate, and includes moonwalking. Also, the song will bore into your brain, like … whatever Pokémon bores into brains. There is one that does that, right?
Magnetic Press got off to a good start last year, with two Eisner Award nominations (Best Publication for Teens for Tony Sandoval’s Doomboy and Best Graphic Album—Reprint for Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands), and it looks like the publisher is doing its best best to avoid sophomore slump with the newly announced second-year lineup.
The new books are very much of a piece with the first season’s offerings: Full-color graphic novels that combine action and bold, confident art, much of it from European creators. The recent announcement of a partnership with Darby Pop should shake things up a little.
Here’s a look at what’s on deck for next year:
We may be on the verge of a world much like that of Pacific Rim, only we’re going to need the kaiju to be the size of house cats.
Brick enthusiast and tech head Danny Benedettelli has constructed a pint-sized humanoid LEGO robot, called Cyclops MK II, that he can control with a wearable exoskeleton (or “exosuit”). Check out the video demonstration below.
It was only last year that 398 college students in London set a new a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Spider-Man, but it looks like that crown has already been snatched away.
Although there’s been no official proclamation from Guinness, The Sydney Morning Herald reports the record was broken Tuesday as part of a charity event organized by an Australian recruiting agency. Hundreds of adults and children clad as the wall-crawler filed into the City Recital Hall, where they had to sit in full costume for five minutes, in keeping with Guinness criteria.
Creators | Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto isn’t getting the break he was looking forward to, although he was finally able to take his honeymoon, more than 10 years after his wedding. At a preview of Boruto: The Naruto Movie, he talked about moving from the hit manga, which ended its 15-year run last fall, to working on the movie: “I had thought that I could finally rest when I finished the manga series, but I couldn’t rest …” His own son is the same age as Boruto, the protagonist of the new movie (and Naruto’s son). And when asked about a sequel, he said, “I can’t. Please let me rest now,” adding that he thought Boruto was “perfect.” The movie will open on Aug. 7 in Japan and Oct. 10 in the United States. [Anime News Network]
Believe it or not, there’s more to LEGO Dimensions than throwing together a bunch of characters from unrelated franchises into the same video game. There’s actually a story, as this new trailer demonstrates.
You see, evil mastermind Lord Vortech vows to rule the LEGO Multiverse by summoning characters from assorted worlds to help him find the Foundational Elements that will allow him to achieve his goal. When a powerful vortex appears and sweeps up characters from DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings and The LEGO Movie, Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle set out to save their friends, only to discover that Lord Vortech is summoning villains from different LEGO worlds to help him gain control.
The Los Angeles Times has fired political cartoonist Ted Rall, who worked on a freelance basis, after finding “inconsistencies” in a post he wrote in May for the newspaper’s OpinionLA blog about being stopped by police in 2001 for jaywalking. However, Rall insists his story is true, and accuses the Los Angeles Police Department of pressuring the paper to ax him.
Rall, who has drawn many cartoons critical of the LAPD, described the incident in the original blog post:
Now that the New Horizons mission has provided NASA with the most detailed images yet of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, it’s time for scientists to put names to the previously unknown surface features. And things have gotten pretty nerdy.
Maps the New Horizons team will submit to the International Astronomical Union for approval include nods to mythology, naturally. But there are also shout-outs to Star Trek, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, Firefly, Alien and H.P. Lovecraft.
Before the the first image even materializes on screen, hauntingly familiar piano notes put you in the perfect frame of mind for this stunning tribute to the films of animation legend Hayao Miyazaki.
This is no mere compilation of clips, however. Up-and-coming animator “Dono,” whose work has drawn the attention of Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, recreated settings from Miyazaki’s films using the 3D-animation software Blender, and then incorporated key scenes into those CG environments using Gimp, Octane and Natron.
Pop-up books aren’t just for kids anymore — and if that wasn’t apparent already, a new pop-up book based on “The Walking Dead” looks to make that abundantly clear. “The Walking Dead: The Pop-Up Book,” based on the massively popular AMC TV series based on the Image Comics series created by Robert Kirkman, is set to feature five two-page spreads, described as “uniquely terrifying” and depicting “blood-drenched action,” words never thought to describe the likes of “Richard Scarry’s Biggest Pop-Up Book Ever.”
By Becca Zerkin & David Hawcock (paper engineers), Sally Elizabeth Jackson (illustrator) and Stephani Danelle Perry (words), “The Walking Dead: The Pop-Up Books” will focus on the show’s fearsome walkers — lots of pop-up gore potential there — and depict locations like Hershel’s farm and Terminus.
Published by Insight Editions — the same folks behind last year’s “Game of Thrones: A Pop-up Guide to Westeros” — “The Walking Dead: The Pop-Up Book” is scheduled for release on Nov. 10.
In a promotional tie-in that nobody expected (or likely wanted), the producers of the live-action adaptation of Attack on Titan have partnered with Esthétique TBC for “Attack on Beauty,” a campaign that targets not flesh-eating giants but rather unwanted body hair.
According to Crunchyroll, Women’s body hair TBC, Men’s TBC and female lower region Epiler brands will each have transit and web ads through Sept. 4, all featuring Survey Corps members confronting enormous people in apparent need of a trim. That’s better than the alternative, I suppose …
It may be aimed at ages 8 to 12, but I have a sneaking suspicion DC Super Heroes Origami will be on the wishlists of more than a few adult comics fans.
Created by origami designer and author John Montroll and illustrator Min Sung Ku, the 448-page book offers step-by-step instructions on how to transform a simple piece of paper into Superman, Wonder Woman, the Daily Planet, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl, for starters. You can even make (no joke!) Jumpa the Kanga and Aquaman’s seahorse Storm.
Emma Frost’s 35-year history has been marked by a series of corset calamities, with the former White Queen routinely clad (if barely) in fetish gear, impossibly high heels and/or cleavage-exposing tops. Empowering? Eh, maybe. Dated? Probably. Impractical? Definitely.
Inspired by a recent ComicsAlliance article about the character’s wardrobe, Terry Blas has launched the Emma Frost Fashion Redesign Project, which is exactly what it sounds like: a blog devoted to fan reinterpretations of the White Queen’s look.
Although this brief video from The Story Plus certainly won’t answer all of your questions about Hot Toys, it offers a fun glimpse behind the scenes of the collectible company’s production facilities.
JC Hong, president of Hot Toys production in South Korea, breaks down the laborious process of creating the often startlingly life-like action figures based on the stars of Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Dark Knight and other blockbusters.
“It’s always a hard challenge,” he explains, “like giving birth to a new child.”
Manga | More than 2.5 million copies of the English-language editions of Attack on Titan in print, Kodansha USA announced earlier this month at Anime Expo. Although that may seem like a lot, there are more than 44 million copies of the same 15 volumes of Hajime Isayama’s post-apocalyptic manga in print in Japan. The Asahi Shimbun estimates the U.S. comics market as one-fifth the size of the Japanese market. [The Asahi Shimbun]
Passings | Bill Garner, the editorial cartoonist for The Washington Times from 1983 to 2009, has died at age 79. Garner was born in Texas and attended the Texas School of Fine Arts, then went to the University of Texas at Austin for one year. He served in the Army from 1956 to 1962, then went to work as an illustrator for The Washington Star. His editor there suggested he try his hand at cartooning, and it took. He moved on to become the editorial cartoonist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, where in 1981 he won a National Headliner Award. His best-known cartoon is one he drew for the Times shortly after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, showing a tank with the bumper sticker “Saddam Happens” driving over a sand dune. [The Washington Times]