EXCLUSIVE: Battleworld Gets Dangerous in Marvel's July 2015 Solicitations
The mayor of Ankara, Turkey, has a robot problem. A giant robot problem.
Melih Gökçek, who’s been mayor of the country’s capital city since 1994, is facing criticism after unveiling a 20-foot statue of a robot intended to promote a new theme park.
Writing for Time, Rebecca Collard examines how the iconic “long-fanged” skull logo of Marvel’s Punisher has been appropriated by Iraqi security forces and Shi’ite militia fighting against ISIS.
The use of the skull is so widespread that Italian journalist Daniele Raineri last week tweeted photos of the emblem — on a vehicle, on a flak jacket, on pouches — from several locations across the country. The Punisher may be a distinctly American creation, but the Iraqis have made his symbol their own.
For most of its existence, peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol BitTorrent has been associated with mass piracy, a reputation the company of the same name (co-founded by Bram Cohen, inventor of the protocol) has fought against in recent years. To that end, BitTorrent started offering commercial bundles of music and TV shows in 2013, and today unveiled its first foray into comic books: “The Dynamite Mega Bundle,” featuring more than 200 digital comics released by Dynamite Entertainment.
The bundle has both a pay-what-you-want option, with more than 170 comics available for a minimum of $6, along with 30 comics free to download. Comics offered include “Kirby: Genesis,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Project Superpowers,” “Red Sonja,” “Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet” and the full run of Dynamite’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time.”
Three comics — Persepolis, Saga and Drama — were among the 10 most frequently challenged books last year in U.S. public schools and libraries, according to the American Library Association. This appears to be the most comics to make the list.
The organization released the annual findings of its Office of Intellectual Freedom as part of National Library Week. In 2014, the OIF received 311 complaints to remove or restrict materials in public libraries or in school curricula, up only slightly from the year before.
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of her life as a child and young adult in Iran during the Islamic revolution, came in at No.2, with complaints frequently citing “gambling, offensive language [and] political viewpoint” as well as its “graphic depictions.” Although the ALA doesn’t note specific challenges, we reported last year on incidents in Oregon and Illinois.
With the help of tattoo artist Kelly Rogers, lifelong comics fan John Engle has spent the past year transforming his back into a tribute to the characters he loves. There, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Carnage and Venom share space with Batman, The Joker and Spawn — Engle enjoys a good intercompany crossover.
However, there was one thing missing: Stan Lee’s seal of approval. And over the weekend at MegaCon in Orlando, Florida, Engle got it. The legendary creator signed his back, just above Spider-Man (where else?), then Rogers made the famous signature permanent.
“I, and most of my colleagues, have spent a lot of time discussing red lines since the tragedy in Paris. As you know, the Muhammad cartoon controversy began eight years ago in Denmark, as a protest against ‘self-censorship,’ one editor’s call to arms against what she felt was a suffocating political correctness. The idea behind the original drawings was not to entertain or to enlighten or to challenge authority — her charge to the cartoonists was specifically to provoke, and in that they were exceedingly successful. Not only was one cartoonist gunned down, but riots erupted around the world, resulting in the deaths of scores. No one could say toward what positive social end, yet free speech absolutists were unchastened. Using judgment and common sense in expressing oneself were denounced as antithetical to freedom of speech.
[…] What free speech absolutists have failed to acknowledge is that because one has the right to offend a group does not mean that one must. Or that that group gives up the right to be outraged. They’re allowed to feel pain. Freedom should always be discussed within the context of responsibility. At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious. It becomes its own kind of fanaticism.”
— Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, no stranger to controversy, talking about Charlie Hebdo‘s Prophet Muhammad cartoons as part of his remarks on receiving the George Polk Career Award at Long Island University.
It’s not every Sunday afternoon that you walk down the street and bump into nearly a dozen people dressed as assorted Spider-characters, from Mary Jane Watson and Spider-Girl to Venom and Carnage. However, CBR contributor Alexa Tomaszewski was leaving work yesterday in Toronto — it wasn’t even a convention weekend! — and stumbled upon what could’ve been mistaken for the cast of Marvel’s “Spider-Verse” storyline.
Passings | Michael S. Bradley, owner of Collectors Kingdom in Huntington Station, New York, has died at age 48. The comic shop was destroyed in a fire in January, and Bradley, who had no insurance, lost all his stock. An IndieGoGo campaign to revive the store failed to meet its $25,000 goal, and Bradley’s last post on the store’s Facebook page thanked his customers and said he was “blessed to be allowed to be [the store’s] guardian.” He was rushed to the hospital on March 21 and passed away on April 6. No cause of death has been released. [ICv2]
To butcher a few words from a wise man, “Welcome to Shelf Porn … hope you survive the experience!”
Today’s collection comes from Marshall in Washington, D.C., whose wife encouraged him to share his X-Men collection with us. He said his love for Marvel’s mutants inspired him to start a nonprofit.
“I really love to come home to this collection because it inspired my life’s work so far which was to create an international development nonprofit called Leadership Initiatives (originally called X-C.O.R.E.),” Marshall said. “Essentially we go to developing countries find a communities’ best local leaders and train them how to open and design businesses that will solve a community need. The businesses are then funded by local investors ensuring that the community is building up it’s own infrastructure instead of becoming more dependent upon foreign assistance.”
If you’d like to see your collection featured here, you can find details on how to do that at the end of this post.
And now, here’s Marshall …
This weekend, Benton, Haspiel, Kushner and Josh Neufeld, who joined HANG Dai last year, premiere new comics at MoCCA Fest 2015 [at Table 314]. To mark the occasion, I conducted a brief Q&A with each creator, in which they share what makes MoCCA such a great show.
No one is happier about it than Kushner, particularly as MoCCA 2014 was the last show he attended before his diagnosis with myeloid acute leukemia. So, much to everyone’s delight, MoCCA 2015 heralds Kushner’s return to comics.
To mark the debut today of the entire Star Wars saga on digital platforms, Lucasfilm is releasing LEGO recreations of legendary artist Drew Struzan’s posters for all six films. LEGO will have them available for attendees next weekend at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California.
The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm have a relationship that dates back to 1999, when Star Wars became the toymaker’s first licensed property. From those first few playsets, their successful partnership has expanded to encompass video games, animation, comics and even theme parks (Legoland California just last month added a massive Death Star model to its four-year-old LEGO Star Wars Miniland).
I’ll admit it: I fell asleep at midnight last night. I got really close to the debut of Netflix’s Daredevil series, and stayed up as late as my poor brain could take, but then the next thing you know it was 7 a.m. and I had a kid who wanted breakfast.
Early reviews have been extremely positive; sure, everyone’s going to make the same Ben Affleck jokes, but I think a TV series is better venue for the Man Without Fear than a two-hour movie (good gracious, that was a long movie!). Due to his court dealings and his continual fights against similar foes (or just the Kingpin over and over), Daredevil better suited to the episodic format. His roots are in a quantifiable location, and his threat level remains the same. There’s a reason you don’t see Daredevil on the moon fighting Galactus; he’s just not that kind of guy.
His origins are very humble and, radioactive goo aside, very practical. In fact, if you break apart his backstory, you could get a variety of shows and movies out of Matt Murdock, yet none of them would inform all that much on the man he is today. Despite his early years, Matt Murdock is so closely associated with the Frank Miller era that the most important book for new fans to read is still Daredevil: The Man Without Fear. We’re lucky the new TV show seems to be skipping the steps it took to get to be Daredevil and going right for why he’s so cool now. It would be really easy to slow everything down to a step-by-step guide to being the Man Without Fear, but then when would we get to the kicky-punchy parts?
The first sketches of Wonder Woman, drawn in 1941 by artist H.G. Peter for the superheroine’s creator William Moulton Marston, is up for sale for an undisclosed price.
Acquired originally from the artist’s estate, the sketches are made even more interesting because the page includes comments from both Peter and Marston about the design. Peter wrote:
When DC Comics bid farewell this morning on Twitter to New York City, its home since the founding of National Allied Publications in 1934, it may not have expected the touching reply from its biggest competitor.
“Thanks, NYC, for being part of DC Comics’ history for so many years,” the publisher tweeted as the last of its staff makes the move to Burbank, California. “And special thanks to everyone who’s worked here over those years.”
Russian artist Artyom Trakhanov broke into American comics with his nuanced and idiosyncratic work on the 2014 Image Comics series Undertow with writer Steve Orlando. Since then he’s contributed covers and short stories to several titles while working on multiple new projects, both with writers and on his own.
ROBOT 6 spoke with Trakhanov about working in the English-language market from his home in Novosibirsk, Russia, balancing his professional and his home lives, and what the comics scene is like in his own country. Trakhanov also revealed the first pages from an English translation of his long-running Russian webcomic MadBlade.