Current Transmissions

Don’t miss UDON Entertainment’s ‘Boxing Day Super Sale’

If you’ve been eyeing that Marvel vs. Capcom: Complete Work hardcover for a while now but just couldn’t talk yourself into shelling out a hundred bucks, today’s your lucky day: UDON Entertainment is holding a “Boxing Day Super Sale,” with all items in its online store offered at 50 percent off their original price. So today (and today only) that art book can be yours for $49.99. You can also get your hands on issues of series like Street Fighter and G.I. Joe Vs. Transformers III, posters, prints and softcover collections — all at a 50-percent discount.

Stumptown Comics Fest announces special guests

Nearly missed in the wind-up to Christmas was the announcement of the special guests for the 10th annual Stumptown Comics Fest, to be held April 27-28 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland:

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Massachusetts retailer gets road renamed Lois Lane

Not the actual street sign

Beginning later this week, customers of That’s Entertainment will be able to find Worcester, Massachusetts’ “Pop-Culture Emporium” at the corner of Park Avenue and Lois Lane. The store isn’t moving from its 20-year-old location, however. Rather, the city is changing the short private road that runs beside the building from Marmon Place to Lois Lane, in honor of Superman’s longtime love interest.

That’s Entertainment owner Paul Howley and manager Ken Carson made the formal request in March 2011; it received unanimous approval in August from City Council. The store is paying for the manufacture and installation of the new street sign, which will be put up this week. A formal ceremony will be held Sunday, with artist Paul Ryan drawing sketches of Lois Lane on a special commemorative print given free to attendees. There also will be a Lois Lane look-alike contest.

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Barefoot Gen creator Keiji Nakazawa passes away

Keiji Nakazawa, who lived through the bombing of Hiroshima as a child and wrote the internationally acclaimed Barefoot Gen about his experiences, died Dec. 19 of lung cancer. He was 73.

Nakazawa was 7 years old on Aug. 6, 1945, the day the bomb was dropped. As he recounted in his autobiography, he was walking to school and stopped to answer a question from an adult, when suddenly, in an instant, the whole world changed: “a pale light like the flash of a flashbulb camera, white at the center, engulfed me, a great ball of light with yellow and red mixed at its out edge.”

He was standing next to a concrete wall, so he was partially shielded from the blast, although he was covered in rubble, and a nail went through his cheek. The adult he had been speaking to was burned to death on the spot. There was more horror to come: His father, brother and sister were killed when their burning house collapsed on them. Nakazawa recounted these events, which his mother told him about later, in a 2007 interview:

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Comics A.M. | Tokyo’s Comiket to lose $117,900 due to threat letter

Kuroko’s Basketball

Conventions | Japan’s Comic Market (aka Comiket), the world’s largest convention dedicated to self-published comics, stands to lose about $117,900 because of a decision to bar artist groups (“circles”) dedicated to the manga Kuroko’s Basketball following a threat letter. Organizers are refunding entrance fees to about 900 Kuroko’s Basketball circles that registered for the Dec. 29-31 event, and must help pay for increased security in cooperation with local police and the Tokyo Big Sight complex. Since October, letters containing powdered and liquid substances have been sent to more than 20 locations linked to Kuroko’s Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki. At least six Kuroko’s Basketball doujinshi events have been canceled. [Anime News Network]

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Stan Lee reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’

As the Robot 6 contributors search for our ‘kerchiefs and caps — hey, there are long winter’s naps to be had! — it seems fitting that we prepare for our holiday festivities with a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” by none other than Stan Lee (courtesy of FRED Entertainment).

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Six 2012 Shelf Porn submissions I envy

Our Shelf Porn feature almost died from natural causes earlier this year. It wasn’t because we wanted it to die, but after four years, the submission well began to dry up. Could we have reached a point where everyone who wants to show off their shelves has shown off their shelves? I thought. You always hear about this limited number of comic collectors out there in the world, so maybe, statistically speaking, we’d hit critical mass on the subset of that number who own cameras or like to take pictures or read the site or whatever.

It wasn’t the first time we’d seen submissions slow down, but there was enough of a gap between February and July that I thought maybe that was it. But you can’t keep a good Shelf Porn down, it seems; over the past few months, we’ve had a bit of a resurgence in submissions. In fact, I think I have enough submissions to make it through the end of January. So thanks to everyone who submitted this year and kept it from going the way of the dinosaur.

With it being the end of the year and all, I wanted to look back at the year in Shelf Porn, and as I started going through the ones we’ve posted here, it occurred to me that a lot of them had some defining element that really jumped out at me–usually in the realm of “Man, I wish I had one of those!” So instead of doing a “best of” list, I thought I’d focus in on six 2012 submissions that made me envious …

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Comics A.M. | Cartoonist Robert Ariail wins Berryman Award

By Robert Ariail

Awards | The National Press Foundation has named political cartoonist Robert Ariail, who draws for Universal UClick and the Spartanburg, South Carolina, Herald-Journal, as the winner of this year’s Berryman Award. [The Washington Post]

Creators | Brothers Wesley and Bradley Sun discuss their upcoming graphic novel, Chinatown; Wesley is a hospital chaplain in Chicago, and Bradley quit his job in Florida to join his brother and work on the book. [Hyde Park Herald]

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Kapow! Comic Convention put ‘on hold’ for 2013

Citing an increased workload at Millarworld and Millarworld Productions, organizers Sarah and Lucy Unwin have announced London’s Kapow! Comic Convention won’t return next year. However, there are hopes for “an even bigger and better show” in 2014.

“Sarah and I have had to make a very tough decision, and after much deliberation and poring over upcoming work schedules, we have decided to put Kapow! 2013 on hold,” Lucy Unwin said in a statement. “The event is a genuine pleasure to work on and everyone has been a total delight, but this year we are unable to dedicate the time necessary to deliver a weekend that once again exceeds the expectations of attendees, guests, exhibitors, publishers and studios.”

Mark Millar, who launched Kapow! in 2010 “to bring “San Diego Comic-Con to these shores,” added on his message board: “4 movies, 4 new comic series, overseeing the Marvel movies at Fox and starting our TV line mean 2013 just too mental for Kapow this year, I’m afraid. we absolutely hope to come back and wow everyone in 2014 tho.”

In addition to signing on in September as a consultant on Fox’s Marvel film properties, Millar has Kick-Ass 2 opening next year, and a handful of adaptations — Nemesis, Supercrooks and The Secret Service among them — moving into production. Add to that such Millarworld comics projects as Jupiter’s Legacy, Nemesis 2 and Kick-Ass 3, and the aforementioned television line, which begins Jan. 3 with the BBC One documentary Pavilion of Dreams.

What Are You Reading? with Josh Hechinger

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? We are joined today by special guest Josh Hechinger, writer of The Grave Doug Freshley, Bear Beater Bunyan, and Robot + Monsters. Check out his blog or the R+M site for more from Josh.

To see what Josh and the Robot 6 team have been reading lately, click below …

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Robot Reviews | Spacehawk

Spacehawk

Spacehawk
by Basil Wolverton
Fantagraphics Books, 272 pages, $39.99

When Fantagraphics and editor Paul Karasik re-introduced comic book readers to the work of Fletcher Hanks via the books I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets and You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation, the work seemed like a complete anomaly, separate in tone and manner from what every other Golden Age cartoonist was doing in the then-nascent medium.

Now, with the release of Spacehawk, Basil Wolverton’s sci-fi superhero series, it’s clear that Hanks’ work wasn’t as much of an oddity as previously thought. While Spacehawk isn’t quite as surreal or unsettling as any of Hanks’ best stories, it nonetheless shares some of the same crazed brutality.

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Doug takes us inside his ‘Fortress of Solitude’

Happy holidays and welcome to Shelf Porn, our look at the collections of fans around the world. Today Doug Welch shares his collection of action figures, comics and more.

If you’d like to see your collection here–either for the first time or again–send your write-up and some jpg images to jkparkin@yahoo.com.

And now here is Doug …

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Chain Reactions | The Black Beetle #0

Black Beetle: Night Shift

Francesco Francavilla has been showing us his pulp character the Black Beetle for awhile on his blog, and earlier this year the Beetle made the jump from the screen to print with a three-part tale in the Dark Horse Presents anthology. That story was re-released this past week as its own comic, Black Beetle #0, the precursor to a four-issue miniseries.

Not bad for a character that Francavilla re-discovered while “diggin through my things” back in 2009. Francavilla started creating stories about the Beetle after an informal poll on his blog asked his readers which character he should do more with–Black Beetle or a “sci-fi pulp noir” character named Max Malone. Maybe one day Malone will find his way into Dark Horse Presents.

In any event, if you like pulp heroes or Francavilla’s awesome artwork, this might be the book for you … and here are a few reviews from around the web if you still need help making up your mind:

Ryan K. Lindsay, Comic Book Resources: “The story is straight forward, as such a self-professed ‘mystery novelette’ should be for a zero issue. A special Nazi command has descended upon Colt City to steal an ancient artifact. The Black Beetle works to protect the item and the lady who currently curates it. The tale whizzes by with action set pieces for the Beetle to do his thing and then slower moments to expound character and plot. It is interesting watching Francavilla, as both writer and artist, structure pages. He isn’t afraid to drop plenty of six-panel, over-ten-caption pages while people stand still if it affords him a few breakout moments elsewhere to splash his art out for show. There are four splash pages and two dynamic, scattered double page spreads, where Francailla allows the mood and science of this story to cut loose. He obviously knows how to pace his story and gives himself room to make very pretty art.”

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Robot Roulette | Faith Erin Hicks

Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Today Faith Erin Hicks steps up to the wheel. You know her from such works as Friends with Boys, Brain Camp, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellesmere, as well as the upcoming The Last of Us and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. Check out her website for more information.

Now let’s get to it …

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U.S. government seizes artist’s paycheck as suspected terrorist funds

The U.S. government reportedly has seized an advance payment to artist Tim Hamilton for his work on nonfiction graphic novel detailing the activities of notorious Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony in the Congo, claiming the money was being laundered for a terrorist organization.

The news comes from journalist David Axe, who collaborated with Hamilton on Army of God: Joseph Kony’s War in Central Africa, which was serialized online by the Dutch website Cartoon Movement. It will be published next year by Public Affairs.

According to a press release, the title Army of God, which is also the name of a terrorist organization, “threw up a red flag” with the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the division of the Department of the Treasury that administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions. The money was seized early this month, and neither Hamilton nor his agent have been able to secure its release; the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has been contacted.

Cartoonist Matt Bors, who edited Army of God, offers: “OFAC hasn’t responded to my request for comment yet, but their answering machine urged me to visit the U.S. Treasury’s website. Comics wouldn’t be a great way to fund terrorism. They don’t pay very well. But now we know no one fighting terrorism knows how to use Google, which sure makes me feel safe.”

Hamilton, who’s worked on titles ranging from Green Lantern to Deadpool to MAD, illustrated the Eisner-nominated adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451.


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