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Exclusive: STAPLE! announces lineup for March 2-3 expo

Organizers of STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo have provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive first look at the details for their ninth annual event, held March 2-3 at the Marchesa Hall & Theater in Austin, Texas. Billed as the premier indie-comics convention in the Southwest, STAPLE! showcases a range of performers, exhibitors and artists, with an emphasis this year on independent table-top gaming, web TV, animation and pop-culture podcasting.

The announced panelists are: comics creators James O’Barr, Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson; veteran game designers Jason Morningstar, Jeff Dee and Marc Majcher; web TV icons Danni Danger, Sara Reihani and Jessica Mills; animators Dax Norman, Kyle Sullivan, Bill Byrne and Mongrel Studio Productions; and podcasters Geek Bombast, Chris Cox, Martin Thomas, The League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen and The Random Access Web TV Podcast. See the panelist biographies below. A full list of exhibitors can be found on the STAPLE! website.

The event, and its official “Live Art Show” after-party, also will feature performances by the macabre musical troupe After Midnight, nerdcore hip-hop artist Bad Barry, DJ LD and chiptune artist Run/DMG.

Two-day passes can be purchased for $15 from the Marchesa Hall & Theater website, or at the door.

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McBess unleashes the music in animated TV spot for Deezer


Matthieu Bessudo, the French artist commonly known as McBess, is becoming very popular indeed with the advertising industry. Known in the comics world primarily for the work he’s produced for the boutique U.K, publisher NoBrow, his background is both in animation and music, playing guitar in various bands, making him the perfect man for this great ad for the streaming music service Deezer.

The 32-second short features a host of trademark McBess tattooed rock ‘n’ rollers who refuse to allow music to be contained like a genie in the bottle, letting it spill out in a series of bravura flowing animated musical set pieces, then ending with the motto “nothing will stop the music.” McBess’sstyle has previously graced ads for the Nissan Qashqui SUV and this memorably filthy and effective one for the charity Good Books.

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Good grief! Original voice of Charlie Brown jailed on threat charges

Former actor Peter Robbins, best known as the original voice of Charlie Brown, was set to be arraigned today in San Diego on charges that he threatened a police officer, a doctor and two others with death.  “AAUGGGHH!!” indeed.

U-T San Diego reports the 56-year-old Oceanside, California, resident was arrested Sunday night returning from Mexico after border security discovered he had an outstanding warrant in San Diego County. He was booked early Monday and held on $550,000 bail until his arraignment today on four felony counts of making a threat to cause bodily harm or great bodily injury and one count of stalking.

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Chernin Group partners with Liquid Comics on Graphic India

Ramayan 3392AD

CA Media, the Asian investment arm of The Chernin Group, has acquired what it’s calling “a large minority stake” in Graphic India, a new subsidiary of Liquid Comics.

Launched in 2011 by Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman, Graphic India is a comic book and animation company focused on creating mythological and superhero characters and stories for the Indian youth market, published across mobile and online platforms. The Chernin Group was founded in 2009 by former television and film executive Peter Chernin, who was previously president and CEO of News Corp. The investment makes CA Media and Liquid joint owners, with the latter contributing its catalog of comics.

Graphic India, which partnered with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment to create the superhero Chakra–The Invincible, plans to release new digital content centered on properties previously published by Liquid Comics. They include: Devi, developed by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur; The Sadhu, created by Gotham Chopra; and Ramayan 3392AD, developed by Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur.

“India is home to some of the most creative minds in the world, and we believe that the next Batman, Harry Potter, Pokemon or The Avengers, can come from this country,” Devarajan said in a statement. “At Graphic India, we intend to find, nurture and promote a new generation of creators to transform the world with their stories. The team at The Chernin Group and CA Media bring an unparalleled level of experience in entertainment and we could not imagine a better partner to work with to launch this mission.”

Axe Cop imagines his presidency in teaser for Fox animated series

Although the animated adaptation of Axe Cop, the hit webcomic by brothers Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle, doesn’t premiere for more than six months — July 27, to be exact! — Fox is offering a taste of what we can expect from the show in the form of another installment of “Ask Axe Cop.”

In the clip, which you can watch below, young Keith asks, “Would you ever consider running for president? And if so, what would your platform be?” The answer, as delivered by Nick Offerman — yes, in case you missed it, Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation voices Axe Cop — is as funny as you might expect.

Part of Fox’s new Animation Domination High-Def late-night programming block, Axe Cop also features the voice talents of Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino and Peter Serafinowicz. ADHD premieres Saturday, July 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

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First look at Disney XD’s ‘Marvel Comics Close-Up’

Ahead of the Jan. 21 season premiere of Ultimate Spider-Man, Disney XD has released a preview of “Marvel Comics Close-Up,” a new series of interstitials that uses Marvel comics in an effort to encourage kids to read.

As we noted last month, the spots are hosted by Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada (aka “Marvel Master”) and Dylan Riley Snyder (“Kickin’ It”), who offer viewers an inside look at 10 of the publisher’s comics. In the segment below, which arrives courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, they tie in the debut of the Lizard in the animated series with his appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man #7, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley. Viewers will be able to read the comics they discuss on the Disney XD website.

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Rich shows us his spinner rack, statues, Moebius and more

Happy January an welcome to Shelf Porn. You’ve got shelves, we’ve got a blog … and then the magic happens. Today Rich shows us his collection of statues, graphic novels, animation cels and a pretty awesome Batman sketch by Moebius.

If you’d like to see your collection here, drop me an email at jkparkin@yahoo.com with a brief write-up and some jpgs.

And now here is Rich …

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Fox sets July 27 premiere for Axe Cop animated series

Fox has announced a July 27 television premiere for Axe Cop, based on the hit webcomic by brothers Malachai Nicolle (who was 5 when it launched in 2009) and Ethan Nicolle (28), as part of the network’s new Adult Swim-style Saturday-night animated programming block ADHD.

Axe Cop, which follows the adventures of the title character and his loyal partner Flute Cop as they deliver their brand of vigilante justice, features the voice talents of Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino and Peter Serafinowicz. The show is joined in the 90-minute block by High School USA!, from Community writer/actor Dino Stamatopoulos, and an untitled project from twin comedians Kenny and Keith Lucas.

Teasing Axe Cop in October, Fox released a Halloween-themed test clip based on the comic’s “Ask Axe Cop” feature. You can watch it below. ADHD (Animation Domination High-Def) premieres Saturday, July 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.

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Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon to promote reading using Marvel comics

One of the longtime laments of many fans is that DC Entertainment and Marvel don’t better utilize popular animated series like Young Justice or the late Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to promote their comic books. Well, that’s about to change.

When Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man returns Jan. 21 for a second season, it will be accompanied by a new series of interstitials designed to encourage kids to read. Hosted by Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and Dylan Riley Snyder (“Kickin’ It”), “Marvel Comics Close-Up” will give viewers an inside look at 10 comics, including Ultimate Spider-Man #7, Invincible Iron Man #7, Hulk #3, Thor #364 and Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #16. In addition, free Marvel digital comics will be offered on the Disney XD website.

Ultimate Spider-Man returns Monday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. ET/PT with a one-hour premiere that introduces Electro and the Lizard. New episodes follow in the show’s regular time slot, Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT.

Watch opening of 1990s X-Men cartoon, recreated with action figures

If you’re a comics fan who came of age in the ’90s watching the terribly animated X-Men cartoon as part of the Fox Kids Saturday morning lineup, you’ll likely appreciate this video, which recreates the show’s opening using action figures and stop-motion animation. According to Kyle Roberts’ YouTube page, he used more than 4,000 pictures, and “spent two months rotoscoping and animating all of the special effects.” Add to that the work done by Nathan Poppe on the doodle-style background, and the theme song recreated by Colin Nance and Zach Zellar.

And on top of all of that, there’s a mildly amusing framing sequence. Still, though, the stop-motion credits sequence is the star of the show.

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Confused by ‘fiscal cliff’ debate? Allow Montgomery Burns to explain

Although he’s still reeling by the defeat of Mitt Romney — hey, he didn’t heed valuable advice — C. Montgomery Burns pulls himself together to deliver a helpful explanation of the “fiscal cliff” from within the ominous-looking headquarters of the Springfield Republican Party.

“Think of the economy as a car and the rich man as the driver,” he offers in a new Simpsons promo. “If you don’t give the driver all the money, he’ll drive you over the cliff. It’s just common sense.”

Watch the video below. New episodes of The Simpsons air Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.

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SuperF*ckers now available to watch and wear

Ultra Richard

SuperF*ckers made its animated debut today on the Cartoon Hangover site. Based on the comics by James Kochalka published several years ago by Top Shelf, it features, as Kevin noted earlier this week, “teen superheroes doing, and saying, bad and occasionally disgusting things.” And some very funny things.

A censored version of the first episode can be found below, and you can watch the uncensored version on YouTube. Neither one of them are really safe for work, though, so put your headphones on before watching.

In addition, once you’ve enjoyed the cartoon, you can buy the merch … WeLoveFine has a whole Cartoon Hangover section on their site now, featuring the SuperF*cker characters, and to celebrate the show’s premiere, the above shirt featuring Ultra Richard is their deal of the day. They’ve also got one featuring Jack Krak that’s tied to the first episode. You can find images of some of them below.

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Countdown to Friday premiere of SuperF*ckers cartoon

Top Shelf points out that Cartoon Hangover has been adorably counting down to the Friday debut of SuperF*ckers, the online animated series based on the comics by James Kochalka. If you’ve read the series, which the publisher describes as “obscenely funny,” or even just read about it, you have a pretty good idea what to expect from the cartoon: teen superheroes doing, and saying, bad and occasionally disgusting things. If that’s not enough to sell you on the animated SuperF*ckers, it’s produced by Frederator Studios, the folks behind Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors.

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13-year-old Walking Dead fan creates Daryl Dixon animated short

Like many of us, 13-year-old Nick Mastrangelo is a fan of Daryl Dixon, the crossbow-shooting, motorcycle-riding loner from AMC’s The Walking Dead. But while the rest of us are content to watch Merle’s younger brother kill walkers, and the occasional owl and possum, once a week, aspiring animator Nick created his own Daryl Dixon adventure. The result is bloody, manic and undeniably awesome (Robert Kirkman calls it “the coolest thing I’ve seen all day”). If The Walking Dead can spin off a weekly talk show, then I see no reason why it can’t spawn a series of animated shorts (by Nick Mastrangelo, naturally). Get on it, AMC.

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The Goon Kickstarter campaign gets funded with $441,900

The Kickstarter campaign to fund a feature-length story reel for the stalled CGI-animated adaptation of The Goon ended successfully Sunday, exceeding its $400,000 goal by $41,900.

“Frankly, we don’t have the words to describe our APPRECIATION, Goon Fans,” the message on the Kickstarter page states. “We NEVER could have imagined how much SUPPORT we’d receive from this fan community. It’s truly been OVERWHELMING. Through your time, energy, dedication, and donations, you’ve given us an AMAZING opportunity to help keep The Goon Movie dream alive.”

That dream dates back to at least 2008, when it was announced that producer David Fincher and Blur Studio would adapt the acclaimed comic by Eric Powell. Progress soon stalled, however, as financing proved difficult. Test footage, featuring the voices of Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti, was at last revealed last year, giving fans hope the project might eventually see the light of day. With few additional signs of movement, Powell gave in to pressure and revealed at Comic-Con International he would turn to Kickstarter.

The result of the campaign won’t be the actual film; that budget is pegged at somewhere around $45 million. Instead the $441,900 will be used to finance a story reel to shop to studios.

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