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‘Absolute Batman Incorporated’ to feature new Chris Burnham art

batman incorporated13Chris Burnham confirms he has redrawn the fill-in pages from the end of his run on Batman Incorporated for DC Comics’ upcoming Absolute edition of the Grant Morrison series.

“They’re all done, too!” he emphasized this morning on Twitter. “So I’m not redrawing them, I have redrawn them!”

Batman fan site Gotham Spoilers, which posed the question to Burnham, notes the fill-in art was “unfortunate, because this was one of those stories, that you really just couldn’t slap any artist on, as is the case with most Morrison penned stories.”

Burnham mentioned the undertaking in July, following the conclusion of Batman Incorporated, telling Batman-News, “I’m gonna redraw all of the fill-in pages for the last five issues! You know how the little fill-in pages kinda snuck in? So I’m pretty sure I”m gonna redraw those pages for the big deluxe hardcover.”

That deluxe hardcover, which clocks in at 608 pages, collects Batman Incorporated Vol. 1 #1-8, Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes, Batman  Incorporated Vol. 2 #1-13 and Batman Incorporated Special #1. It arrives Dec. 2.

Does Disney’s ‘Frozen’ pay homage to ‘Watchmen’?

watchmen-let it go

While Adele Dazeem’s Idina Menzel’s performance of “Let It Go” from Frozen is inescapable (and downright catchy), I’d somehow missed widespread speculation that the big scene from Disney’s latest animated blockbuster is an elaborate homage to the Mars sequence from Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

It’s already inspired some mashups, but now Slate’s Forrest Wickman draws our attention to one that may just erase any doubts, ending the debate once and for all (or, y’know, not): Alex Wolinetz‘s combination of the song’s lyrics with Gibbons’ panels depicting a self-exiled Doctor Manhattan. (You can see the rest of the mashup at Slate.com.)

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IDW expands search for the truth with ‘X-Files’ board game

idw games-xfilesIDW Games, which has already announced big-box games based on 30 Days of Night and Kill Shakespeare, will expand its lineup in July with the release of The X-Files.

Designed by Kevin Wilson (Arkham Horror), with art direction and box art by menton3 (The X-Files: Season 10) the board game will draw heavily from the first three season of Chris Carter’s television series.

According to a press release, it’s designed for a playtime of between 60 and 90 minutes, with two to five players facing off against another, who will control the Smoking Man and the nefarious Syndicate.

IDW Publishing, which publishes The X-Files: Season 10, a canonical continuation of the television series “executive produced” by Carter, formed IDW Games  in October through a partnership with Pandasaurus Games.

“To me, there’s no more exciting title than The X-Files,” Jerry Bennington, IDW’s director of new business, said in a statement. “Who wouldn’t want the chance to play as the wise-cracking Fox Mulder or the incredibly intelligent Dana Scully? And what show created more classic villains than The X-Files?”

Batman is ‘The World’s Greatest True Detective’ in new mashup

true-detective-batman

Since its January premiere, HBO’s much-discussed crime drama True Detective has been crying out for a mashup with Batman, and Josh Newman is here to answer the call.

Offering up potential opening credits for the second season of the anthology series, Newman shifts the setting from Louisiana to Gotham City for The World’s Greatest True Detective. Sticking with the Handsome Family’s “Far From Any Road,” he combines images from comics, movies and video games to introduce a cast that includes Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, James Gordon, Barbara Gordon and, naturally, Errol Childress the Joker.

Newman injects a bit of commentary as well with the “created by” credit at the end.

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Teen with Down syndrome launches comics vending machine

romberger

Here’s an inspirational story to help start off your day: CBS 3 Philadelphia spotlights Chris Romberger, a 19-year-old with Down syndrome and autism who’s not only doing well at his job at Villanova University’s student cafeteria, he’s even started his own business — with a custom-made comic book vending machine.

When Romberger, a Spider-Man fan, was taken to a comic store by job coach Chris Haas, he instantly loved it. However, couldn’t afford to open one of his own, so he and Haas came up with an alternative: a vending machine that operates under the banner of Comic Man Comics and Books.

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Comics A.M. | Winter pours cold water on comics’ hot streak

Batman #28

Batman #28

Comics sales | ICv2 unpacks February’s miserable direct market sales numbers a bit, noting that for the second month in a row just one comic — in this case, Batman #28 — sold more than 100,000 copies, indicating weakness at the top of the list. Since September 2011, when the most recent “growth spurt” began, at least two comics have sold more than 100,000 copies each month; however, that streak ended with the first two months of 2014. One cause of the poor sales may be the unusually cold winter, which meant higher heating bills and thus less disposable income for some folks. ICv2 also has a separate analysis of dollar sales and the charts of the top 300 comics and graphic novels of the month. [ICv2]

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Talking Comics with Tim | Alison Sampson on ‘Genesis’

Genesis

Typically a newcomer artist to comics doesn’t have a background of 25 years of experience in architecture, but United Kingdom-based Alison Sampson is not your typical creator. One realizes that after seeing her one-of-a-kind work on Genesis, her upcoming Image Comics graphic novella with writer Nathan Edmondson about a man who gains unlimited power, only for it to become his worst nightmare.

Naturally, I was curious to learn how an architect decided to explore working in comics; we discuss that among other topics in this interview.

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Lesley Vamos’ portraits capture aging heroes, wrinkles and all

vamos1

With rare exception, characters in superhero comics seldom age. Sure, there’s Savage Dragon and, once upon a time, DC’s Justice Society and former sidekicks like Dick Grayson, Wally West and Donna Troy, but by and large, publishers (and creators and readers) like only the illusion of change; the heroes can’t actually age (or, in several cases, get married, as that mysteriously makes them older as well).

However, no one apparently told that to Lesley Vamos, artist for Lion Forge Entertainment’s Punky Brewster comic, who this month has been depicting costumed in their golden years in a series of wonderful illustrations on her Facebook page. From Storm to Iron Man to The Phantom, Vamos captures them and their wrinkles, gray hairs, liver spots and bulging midsections.

Check out Ant-Man and Rogue below, and even more on Vamos’ Facebook page.

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Valiant teams with Catalyst Game Labs for ‘Valiant Universe RPG’

valiant promo imageValiant Entertainment has announced an agreement for Catalyst Game Labs to produce role-playing and tabletop games based on its comic properties, a partnership that will kick off later this year with the release of Valiant Universe RPG.

Using the Cue System, the Origins and ENnie Award-nominated system first published in Catalyst’s Cosmic Patrol, Valiant Universe RPG will allow gamers to play any of dozens of characters — from X-O Manowar to Bloodshot to Shadowman — in a “dark and gritty world where every mission and every battle has deadly consequences.”

“Catalyst is exceptional at what they do, and we couldn’t be happier to be working with a games publisher of their caliber on Valiant’s very first RPG,” Valiant’s Russell A. Brown said in a statement. “With such a skilled an enthusiastic team at the helm, we have every faith that Valiant’s first foray into the world of role-play and tabletop gaming will live up to the expectations of our fans around the world.”

The announcement follows IDW Publishing’s recent entry into gaming through a partnership with Pandasaurus Games; a Kill Shakespeare game is scheduled to arrive in May.

It’s Goku vs. Luffy in the streets of Tokyo

one piece-dragon ball1

In the battle no one ever expected — Dragon Ball‘s Goku vs. One Piece‘s Monkey D. Luffy — no clear winner emerges, but there is an obvious loser: the sidewalks of Tokyo.

The pretty impressive life-size sculpture is on display through Sunday outside the Shibuya Parco department store to promote the release of J-Stars Victory Vs., the Shonen Jump 45th-anniversary multiplayer fighting game featuring many of the magazine’s most popular characters.

More photos can be found at Game Watch Impress.

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Watch that BBC documentary on Frank Quitely

quitely-bbc four

The BBC Four documentary about Frank Quitely we mentioned a couple of weeks ago has found its way online for viewing outside the United Kingdom.

The 30-minute episode aired as part of the channel’s What Do Artists Do All Day? series, which as the title suggests, centers on the working lives of artists. This installment follows the Glaswegian artist during a day of penciling Jupiter’s Legacy.

“If you’re a brain surgeon or a judge — a bad day at work is a big deal for someone,” Quitely says. “A bad day for me is when I rub out more marks than I leave on the page.”

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Lynn Johnston donates more material to Canadian archives

lynn johnston-archives canadaLibrary and Archives Canada has expanded its Lynn Johnston collection with the acquisition of new material, including more than 3,000 drawings, from the creator of For Better or For Worse.

“This is a remarkable addition to our holdings,” Hervé Déry, acting librarian and archivist of Canada, said in a statement. “Lynn Johnston’s work is significant to Canadians. We recognize ourselves in her characters’ reaction to everyday life.”

A native of Collingwood, Ontario, the cartoonist wrote and drew the comic strip about the Canadian family the Pattersons, which was syndicated from 1979 to 2008 in more than 2,000 newspapers worldwide. Returns continue to appear in almost as many newspapers. Johnston in 1985 was the first woman and the first Canadian to win the National Cartoonist Society’s Reuben Award; she was also nominated in 1993 for the Pulitzer Prize.

The new acquisition consists of 3,282 drawings, 296 watercolors, 3.5 meters (11.48 feet) worth of textual material, 244 photographs, 13 reproductions and eight object classified as “dolls and ephemera.” Those join 3,000 drawings and 5.5 meters of text already in the archive’s Johnston collection.

Based on Ottawa, Library and Archives Canada is a federal institution tasked with acquiring and preserving the country’s documentary heritage.

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A look at the cosplayers of London Super Comic Convention

Mary Turner of Getty Images and Carl Court of Agence France Presse captured some terrific images of cosplayers at London Super Comic Convention, which drew thousands of fans Saturday and Sunday to the Excel Centre. My favorite may be the troupe of dancing Predators, above, but there are plenty of other good ones below, from Iron Man posing with a pint-sized Captain America to Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy cosplayers Kia Sunda and Maria Grozova making sure their costumes and makeup are just right.

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Comics A.M.| Inaugural Indiana Comic Con draws 15,000

Indiana Comic Con poster by Joelle Jones

Indiana Comic Con poster by Joelle Jones

Conventions | The inaugural Indiana Comic Con, held over the weekend at the Indianapolis Convention Center, attracted nearly 15,000 attendees, and it sold out on Saturday. Guests included comics creators Joe Eisma, Steve Englehart, Geof Isherwood, Joelle Jones, Don Kramer, Cary Nord and George Perez, and actors Evan Peters, Caity Lotz, Maisie Williams and Daniel Cudmore. [WRTV]

Comics sales | Comics sales in the direct market were down in February for the second time in two months, according to Diamond Comic Distributors. John Jackson Miller runs the numbers: Sales of comics and graphic novels combined are down 10.39 percent from February 2013 in terms of dollars, 14.77 percent in units. Because January sales were also anemic, year-to-date sales are down as well. Still, Miller notes, total dollars are up 3 percent from February 2012. February is traditionally a low month for comic sales, and the number of releases is the lowest in months, with just 692 new products (comics, graphic novels and magazines) being shipped last month. [Comichron]

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Best of 7 | ‘Hawkeye,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘Adventures of Superman’ and more

bestof7-march16

Welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to a cool publisher’s announcement to an awesome comic that came out.

This week is all about the new releases, including Batman, Hawkeye, Beasts of Burden and more. So let’s get to it …

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