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Jeffrey Baldwin statue unveiled in Toronto park

jeffrey-baldwin-statue

A bronze statue honoring 5-year-old abuse victim Jeffrey Baldwin, depicted in his Superman costume, was unveiled Saturday at Greenwood Park in Toronto.

The story of the Toronto boy, who died in 2002 of starvation and septic shock after years of abuse by his grandparent guardians, received renewed attention in Canada last fall with a coroner’s inquest, during which Jeffrey’s father testified to his love of Superman. “He wanted to fly,” Richard Baldwin recalled. “He tried jumping off the chair. We had to make him stop. He dressed up [as Superman] for Halloween one year. He was so excited. I have that picture at home hanging on my wall. He was our little man of steel.”

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Comics A.M. | Is NYCC really bigger than San Diego?

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

Conventions | Following reports that New York Comic Con attracted 155,000 attendees this year, surpassing Comic-Con International’s 133,000, Kerry Dixon scrutinizes producer ReedPOP’s counting system and finds it leaves “a lot of room for guesswork and error in attendance size”: “So did New York Comic Con beat out San Diego to take over the title of the largest pop culture and comics convention this side of the globe? Well, not really.” [Unofficial SDCC Blog]

Publishing | Filip Sablik, BOOM! Studios’ president of publishing and marketing, talks about the company’s new offering: a $20 bundle of 50 kids’ comics that can be handed out to trick-or-treaters. The selection includes Adventure Time, Peanuts, Garfield and other comics from the kaBOOM! line. [Comicosity]

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Dave Gibbons named comics laureate by U.K. literacy group

dave gibbonsAcclaimed Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons has been named the United Kingdom’s first comics laureate by the new advocacy group Comics Literary Awareness (CLAw).

The announcement was made Friday by Scott McCloud during the launch of the organization at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, England. CLAw is dedicated to improving literacy among children through comics while promoting the variety and quality of the medium.

According to the group, the title of comics laureate will be bestowed every two years to a comics writer or artist in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field. In that role, the creator will champion children’s literacy through school visits and education conferences. Gibbons will begin his term in February.

“It’s a great honor for me to be nominated as the first Comics Laureate,” Gibbons said in a statement. “I intend to do all that I can to promote the acceptance of comics in schools. It’s vitally important not only for the pupils but for the industry too.” Dave Gibbons takes up his position from February 2015.

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Welcome back to Priest & Bright’s Quantum & Woody

Q&W-banner

Really I toyed with the idea of merely posting: “Christopher J. Priest and M.D. Bright are together again: what more needs to be written?” But the return of these two creators to comics in particular deserves more discussion than just one sentence. This week marked the release of the first installment in the five-issue miniseries, Q2: The Return of Quantum & Woody #1.

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Shelf Porn | Beware my power … Green Lantern’s light!

shelfpornall lanterns

Happy Saturday and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly look at one fan’s collection. Today’s shelves come from Eric in Sector 2814, who shows off his collection of Green Lantern (and other) figures.

If you’d like to see your collection featured here on ROBOT 6, you can find instructions on how to do so at the end of this post.

And now here’s Eric …

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The Fifth Color | Who killed Wolverine?

Death fo Wolverine Skottie Young VariantSo, Wolverine’s dead. That’s a thing that happened.

It’s very easy to be blasé about comic superhero death, so I’m going to try and avoid the dismissive gestures to this event and quit side-eyeing the next one, as Secret Wars looks to be the right environment to revive a character that makes Marvel a ton of cash. Emphasis on “try.”

I can’t say this death came out of nowhere, as he’s been without his healing factor since Wolverine #7, a little more than a year ago. For the record, it was an intelligent virus from the Microverse, which is not only an awesome phrase to use in common conversation, but smart enough to suppress Logan’s mutant healing factor, and you think that would have been a bigger deal to mutantkind. If it could suppress Wolverine’s signature trait, who’s to say the virus couldn’t be used to eliminate all sorts of mutant powers (I’m probably thinking too far ahead on this)? This virus was simply a means to an end.

Wolverine’s initial weakening and eventual demise was set apart from the rest of continuity, just a piece in a larger story that strangely didn’t involve the rest of his friends and family. Sure, it was talked about in hushed tones in a few of the other books, but there was no race for the cure, no mutant apocalypse for him to sacrifice his life to prevent. This wasn’t the result of the grand machinations of some long-established villain. It was a small and humble story of one man and what he though his own life was worth. It was a good story, and well told for the most part, but it still felt as if something was missing.

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Cleveland store teams with local artists for anti-bullying campaign

By Clare Kolat (left) and Shawny Walthaw

By Clare Kolat (left) and Shawny Walthaw

Inspired by Marvel’s variant covers marking National Bullying Prevention Month, Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop in Cleveland enlisted the artists of the local Scribble Nerds collective to produce a series of stickers featuring Marvel heroes and the message “Be a Hero … Not a Bully.”

The seven stickers (one from each member of the collective) star Spider-Gwen, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Deadpool, She-Hulk, Wolverine and Storm, and Rocket Raccoon, Baby Groot and Drax. The entire set is free throughout October with the purchase of any graphic novel (even the discounted ones).

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Hot Toys goes claws out with Wolverine ‘Days of Future Past’ figure

wolverine1

Hot Toys has unveiled its alarmingly incredibly life-like 1/6th-scale Wolverine collectible action figure from X-Men: Days of Future Past, out now on Blu-ray and DVD (synergy!). As you can see, this is future Wolverine, so if you were hoping for swingin’ ’70s Logan, you may be out of luck.

“The movie-accurate collectible is specially crafted based on the image of Hugh Jackman as the future Wolverine in the movie,” the description states, “featuring a newly developed head sculpt, specially-tailored future Wolverine battle suit with armor parts and Wolverine’s signature metal claws.”

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‘Little Nemo in Slumberland’ comes to GoComics

little-nemo1-cropped

This week not only marked the 109th birthday of Little Nemo in Slumberland, it saw the debut of Winsor McCay’s revolutionary strip on Universal Uclick’s GoComics.

“Little Nemo in Slumberland was the greatest comic strip of its day, perhaps the greatest of all time,” the announcement states, “acclaimed the world over for its artistic majesty, unbounded imagination and groundbreaking techniques that helped define a new art form.”

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‘Walking Dead’ alum helps rescue children in Colombian sex trade

holden-nightline

During her three seasons as Andrea on The Walking Dead, Laurie Holden killed a lot of zombies, annoyed a lot of viewers and shot Daryl. However, now the actress has a new role, fighting a real-world threat: child sex trafficking.

ABC’s Nightline reported this week on Operation Underground Railroad, an organization founded by former CIA agent and Homeland Security investigator Tim Ballard that specializes in cases involving child sex trafficking. For a recent sting operation in Cartagena, Colombia — launched in cooperation with that country’s government — Ballard relied on “a ragtag group of volunteers” to help stage a bachelor party, with the goal of rescuing child prostitutes brought to the event and arresting the traffickers.

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This pristine Black Lotus ‘Magic’ card could be yours, for $100K

beta-black-lotus-croppedIf that video of the surprise discovery of an Alpha Black Lotus card has you itching to play Magic: The Gathering again, then do we have an offer for you. Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington — the same store that auctioned a copy of Action Comics #1 for a record $3.2 million — is selling the highest-graded Beta Black Lotus card in existence.

The asking price? A mere $100,000.

As Pristine Comics details on its website, the card is rated 10 by Becket Grading Services, which it argues is more comprehensive than Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) and Sportscard Guaranty Company (SGC).

“To compare, there is only one BGS-10 Beta Black Lotus,” the description states. “There are 34 PSA-10’s of this same card. An ungraded NM/Mint Beta Black Lotus lists for about $2400.00. PSA-10 sells for about $10,000. By comparison the BGS-10 Beta Black Lotus should command an asking price of $230,000 (when compared to the PSA-10), Or nearly a million dollars when compared to its ungraded counterpart.”

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Finalists announced for 2014 British Comic Awards

wicked-divine1The finalists have been announced for the third annual British Comic Awards, culled from a longlist of eligible titles submitted by creators, publishers and readers. From here, the judging panel will select the winner in each of the four categories, to be announced Nov. 15 in a ceremony during the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds.

In addition, the judges named Gemma Bovery and Tamara Drewe creator Posy Simmonds to the British Comic Awards Hall of Fame, where she joins previous entrants Leo Baxendale and Raymond Biggs.

Here’s the 2014 shortlist:

Best Comic
Dangeritis: A Fistful of Danger – Robert M Ball and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (Great Beast)
In The Frame – Tom Humberstone (New Statesman)
Raygun Roads – Owen Michael Johnson, Indio!, Mike Stock and Andy Bloor (self-published)
Tall Tales & Outrageous Adventures #1: The Snow Queen & Other Stories – Isabel Greenberg (Great Beast)
The Wicked + The Divine #1 – Kieron Gillen, Jaime McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)

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Comics A.M. | $2,000 Dunny figure stolen at New York Comic Con

The stolen Dunny

The stolen Dunny

Crime | A man was spotted on security video last week at New York Comic Con stealing a one-of-a-kind, 20-inch Dunny figure hand-painted by by Jon-Paul Kaiser valued at $2,000, plus two other items, from the Clutter Magazine booth. [DNAinfo New York]

Legal | Chinese cartoonist Wang Liming, who uses the pen name “Biantai Lajiao” (Perverted Chili Pepper), has applied for a visa to remain in Japan, saying he’s afraid to return to China. Liming’s account on the Chinese social media site Weibo, where he published his cartoons, was shut down in August, and the People’s Daily newspaper has called him a traitor and accused him of being pro-Japan. Last year, he was arrested and held overnight on charges of “suspicion of causing a disturbance.” “China’s situation surrounding freedom of speech has worsened during these six months,” Wang said in an interview. “I have no idea where the borderline is (between what is permissible and what is not anymore).” [The Asahi Shimbun]

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Grumpy Old Fan | Firestorm, Cyborg and corporate synergy

Science bros

Science bros

We’re just now into the back half of October and it’s already been a busy month for DC Comics’ television and movie adaptations. Gotham got under way, The Flash debuted and Arrow has returned, with Constantine on deck. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. announced a massive slate of Justice League-related movies, stretching from 2016’s Batman v Superman to 2020’s Cyborg.

However, the adaptation pipeline has the potential to flow in two directions. Between Caitlin Snow’s potential Killer Frost, the second episode’s Multiplex and the promise of both Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein, the new Flash show seems pretty intent on bringing in a good bit of Firestorm lore. If DC executives hadn’t already been thinking about yet another Firestorm comic revival, The Flash’s immediate success may well encourage them to. Similarly, of all the movies Warner Bros. apparently intends to make over the next six years, the only one without a solid comics presence is Cyborg.

Therefore, today we’ll look at these two creations of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, to see what DC might do with their four-color futures.

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Marvel Unlimited adds Ant-Man, Daredevil, Doctor Strange OGNs

season-one-titles

In a move that we can only presume is tied to Marvel’s upcoming television and movie plans, the publisher has announced the addition of some of its Season One graphic novels to the Marvel Unlimited digital library — specifically, Ant-Man, Daredevil and Doctor Strange.

Launching in 2012 with Fantastic Four: Season One, the line features current creators retelling, and expanding, the origins stories of some of Marvel’s most popular characters. Neither Fantastic Four nor Season One titles devoted to the X-Men, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, the Hulk and Thor are mentioned in the announcement.

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