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Comics A.M. | CCS to offer masters in applied cartooning

The Center for Cartoon Studies

The Center for Cartoon Studies

Academia | The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, is adding a masters of fine arts degree in applied cartooning that will allow students to focus on using the comics medium for journalism, medicine, business and other fields. [Valley News, press release]

Creators | With the arrival of the second issue of The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman talks about the joy of writing the first series and returning for this one, why he chooses to pen a story as a comic rather than a novel, and how his process differs as well: “When I’m outlining a comic, I write down the numbers 1 to 24, and I jot down what’s happening on each page, because I have to think of things in terms of pages, and double-page spreads. In a novel, if I want to move a scene, I just cut and paste. In a novel, it’s a completely different conversation.” [CNN]

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Attack ad warns, ‘Don’t Trust Captain America’

dont-trust-cap

With midterm elections approaching faster than most of us would like, we’ll soon be inundated by political commercials peppered with bold claims, blatant lies, ominous voiceovers and bizarre graphics. Looking to beat the rush, Jason Inman has released an attack ad targeting the most patriotic of public figures: Captain America.

Wading deep into the mud, Inman questions Steve Rogers’ Army records, his faithfulness, his dancing abilities — he even accuses him of … palling around with terrorists!

Swift-boating was introduced in the 2004 Presidential campaign; does this ad mark the debut of shield-throwing? (Wing-heading? Winter-Soldiering? Super-Soldier truthers?) And who’s this mysterious group paying for Inman’s ad?

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Photographer documents real-life superheroes in portrait series

we the people

Superhero comics are typically about good versus evil, and a growing number of people are taking those lessons to heart — and to the streets — as honest-to-goodness superheroes. Los Angeles photographer Dean Bradshaw has captured some of them in a new series titled “Real Life Superheroes.”

This photo set features heroes like Nevada’s We The People (above) and 18 others, many of whom are based in California. Eighteen of these are new creations dreamed up by the hero, with only one — Chicago’s Moon Knight — taking his name and design from an existing character. Here’s a selection of some of the portraits, but visit Bradshaw’s site to see all of them.

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Business picks up with ‘The Adventures of Business Cat’

2014-03-25-Whiskey

Are you a cat person? Are you a comics person? Well then, we’ve found your catnip.

U.K. cartoonist Tom Fonder has announced a spinoff webcomic from his popular Happy Jar series focused on the adventures of a cat in a business suit titled, appropriately enough, The Adventures of Business Cat. The dapper cat was born in a one-off Happy Jar strip in January by Fonder and his partner Rachael Robins, and became a hit with fans, leading to this spinoff.

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In zombie apocalypse, New Jersey will be fast food

The Walking Dead #16

The Walking Dead #16

Robert Kirkman established more than a decade ago in The Walking Dead that no one is safe in a zombie apocalypse. It turns out, however, that when it comes to survival, location may be everything. And for those located in New Jersey … well, it’s been nice knowing you.

In its new ranking of the United States, real estate website Estately determines the Garden State is the least likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, followed by Mississippi, the District of Columbia, New York and  Georgia. My money would’ve been on the most obese states, in which case Mississippi would again be doomed. (Our condolences.)

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Art Adams covers Legendary’s ‘Godzilla: Awakening’

godzilla-awakening-wide

Legendary Entertainment has released the official cover for its Godzilla graphic novel tie-in, Godzilla: Awakening, by fan-favorite artist Art Adams. His take on the King of Monsters is, of course, highly detailed, with particular attention paid to the texture of the skin and scales.

Co-written by Godzilla screenwriters Max Borenstein and Greg Borenstein, Awakening features the work of a number of artists, including Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah and Lee Loughridge. Arriving May 7, the original graphic novel serves as a prequel to director Gareth Edwards’ film, although no concrete plot points have been revealed. Check out Adams’ cover and the Godzilla: Awakening synopsis below.

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Michael Cho announces debut graphic novel, ‘Shoplifter’

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Michael Cho has become a much sought-after artist, creating variant covers for Marvel and DC Comics, and contributing to Madman, Fear Agent and AdHouse’s ambitious Project anthologies. But in all that time, he’s never done a comic of his own. But now Cho has announced that Pantheon Books will publish his debut graphic novel in September, Shoplifter.

In a press release, the publisher describes Shoplifter‘s story as a “young woman’s search for happiness and self-fulfillment in the big city.”

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‘Akira’s’ Katsuhiro Otomo tackles Astro Boy for magazine

anime-buscience-astro-cropp

Here’s a treat for fans of both Astro Boy and Katsuhiro Otomo: The creator of Akira drew Osamu Tezuka’s robot for the cover of the third volume of the industry magazine Anime Busience as only Otomo can.

Crunchyroll notes that Neon Genesis Evangelion character designer and manga author Yoshiyuki Sadamoto took on Akira for the cover of the magazine’s second volume (below), while Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno depicted Space Battleship Yamato for the first.

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Watch trailer for Bryan Talbot documentary ‘Graphic Novel Man’

granville

Digital Story Engine has released a trailer for its documentary The Graphic Novel Man: The Comics of Bryan Talbot, which, as the title suggests, chronicles the four-decade career of the creator of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, The Tale of One Bad Rat, Alice in Sunderland and Grandville.

The trailer, which clocks in at more than three minutes, showcases plenty of shots of Talbot and his work, interspersed with excerpts from interviews with the likes of Neil Gaiman, David Lloyd, Warren Ellis, Pat Mills and Michael Moorcock about the artist and his impact.

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Comics A.M. | ‘The 99′ creator questions reports of Saudi ban

The 99

The 99

Legal | The creator of the Islamic superhero comic The 99 says he hasn’t been officially notified of a reported ban of the animated adaptation of his comic in Saudi Arabia. “Nobody ever contacted me, nobody ever asked me any questions,” Naif Al Mutawa says. There have been numerous Twitter campaigns against me for a while now and so for me it’s not new. Maybe it is true this time, but I find it very difficult to believe that a group as influential and high profile as them [Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta] wouldn’t recognize the good that The 99 has done for Muslims around the world.” He adds that the comic has been available in Saudi Arabia for seven years, while the cartoon has been airing for two and a half years, making the timing of a ban “a bit weird.” [Gulf Business]

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Silvestri and McFarlane offer peek at cover process

silvestri-mcfarlane-cover

On his Facebook page, Marc Silvestri pulls back the curtain on his collaboration with Todd McFarlane on a cover for an unidentified Robert Kirkman comic. It’s a work in progress, with McFarlane inking over Silvestri’s loose pencils — and providing a bit of commentary about the role of the inker and how this collaboration came about.

“Robert was able to convince Marc Silvestri to pencil the cover and since I happen to be on the phone with him when he mentioned he was doing this cover, I offered to ink it for him,” McFarlane explains. “I also told Marc to ‘loosen up on your pencils, I’ll do some of the artistic lifting on the page.’ So, what you have is a female character riding a giant insect creature as they battle in the sky.”

There’s more at the link.

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Erratic driving, meth prove to be this Superman’s Kryptonite

superman-reevesHe may have thought he could leap tall buildings in a single bound, but it was driving that spelled doomsday for Utah’s Man of Steel. Well, that and a stash of meth “about the size of a baseball.”

The Davis Clipper reports a Davis County deputy stopped 33-year-old Christopher Reeves around 3 a.m. Tuesday after he was spotted weaving in and out of traffic in his Chevrolet HHR at speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour. That’s Reeves pictured at right, wearing the Superman T-shirt.

Yes, both the sheriff’s office and local media gleefully recognize the similarities between the suspect’s name and that of the late Superman actor Christopher Reeve. The Clipper used a “faster than a speeding bullet” reference, while Fox 13 went with, “He won’t be kneeling before Zod, but he will have to stand before a judge” (I’m pretty sure Fox 13 wins). Davis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Susan Poulsen acknowledged the T-shirt might not have been “a wise fashion choice” — but as we’re about to learn, wise choices may not be part of Reeves’ repertoire.

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Kanigher, Mantlo and Mendelsohn to receive Bill Finger Award

finger-recipients

Robert Kanigher, Bill Mantlo and Jack Mendelsohn have been named the recipients of the 2014 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Writing, named in honor of the uncredited co-creator of Batman.

Although the committee typically selects one posthumous and one living honoree, this year it voted to recognize two living creators, Mantlo and Mendelsohn.

“This year, the judges couldn’t decide between two living recipients so one said, ‘Why don’t we just give it to both of them?’ And we decided to give it to both of them,” committee chair Mark Evanier explained in a statement. “They’re two men who deserve the honor and we figured, why make one of them wait until next year, especially in light of the fact that Bill Finger would have turned 100 this year? And as for our posthumous recipient, Robert Kanigher, that one’s long overdue.”

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Yen Press becomes digital distributor for Square Enix manga

Square Enix banner

Yen Press unveiled its digital distribution plans for Square Enix manga on Monday — and while the implementation is news, the basic concept isn’t; Yen announced at New York Comic Con 2012 that it would be the exclusive worldwide digital distributor for Square Enix. The digital manga model has shifted quite a bit since then, though, and what was announced yesterday was a bit different from what one would have expected a year and a half ago.

Here’s how it will work: Full volumes will be sold as e-books through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google and Kobo, while individual chapters (some being published simultaneously with their release in Japan) will be available through those platforms and via the Yen Press iOS app, which is limited to North America, according to Kurt Hassler, Yen Press’ vice president and publishing director. “The Yen Plus magazine, our previous ‘streaming’ service, was closed following the December issue of the magazine to pave the way for individual chapter availability by virtue of these various platforms,” he said in an email to ROBOT 6.

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Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon filling up quickly [Updated]

avengers half-marathon

Registration opened this morning for runDisney’s inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, and it’s nearly sold out already. You’d almost think this was Comic-Con International.

Announced last month, the Nov. 14-16 event brings runners to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, for kids races, a 5K, a half marathon, a pre-race pasta party featuring the Marvel characters and a merchandise expo. It marks the first such collaboration since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009.

At the time of this post, the kids races and Avengers 5K were sold out, with the Avengers Half Marathon at 98 percent; there’s still a little room at the pasta party, however.

Update (11:25 a.m.): And just like that, the Avengers Half Marathon is sold out.

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