Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
While many of us had brightly colored Spider-Man or Captain America sheets and pillowcases when we were kids, now that we’re adults they’re a little tougher to get away with. Thankfully, Marvel has us covered with sophisticated (well, “sophisticated”) bedding for adults.
Gone are the garish colors of our youth, replaced with a gray-and-black Avengers comforter, featuring subdued stripes depicting Captain America, Falcon, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor.
Alpha Flight has every right to be upset.
As the world’s most famous Canadian [non-Wolverine bracket], rapper/ actor/ walking internet meme Aubrey “Drake” Graham is bound to make some enemies. But being pitted against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes might be a fight that not even Swole Drake can win.
Egyptian hieroglyphics can accurately be considered an early form of the type of sequential art storytelling seen in comic strips and comic books, and artist Josh Ln has drawn a very straight line between the two in his “Hero-Glyphics” series. Ln has taken some of the biggest pop cultural icons — including Spider-Man, Darth Vader and Wolverine — and interpreted them in the style of hieroglyphics; retaining the recognizable qualities of the characters but placing them in a considerably different context.
Most of my childhood attempts to draw anything more than a horribly mutated flower on an Etch A Sketch usually ended in frustration, and occasionally profanity. However, Christoph Brown is a professional who’s moved far past flowers (horribly mutated or otherwise), for far more impressive and ambitious subjects. like Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Passings | Archie Comics artist Tom Moore died yesterday at the age of 86. Moore got his start as an artist in the Navy, where he served during the Korean War: His captain found a caricature that Moore had drawn, and instead of calling him on the carpet, he assigned him to be staff cartoonist. Moore’s comic strip, Chick Call, ran in military publications, and after the war he studied cartooning in New York, with help from the GI Bill. Moore signed on with Archie Comics, drawing one comic book a month, from 1953 until 1961, when he left cartooning for public relations. “It’s important to create characters that can adapt to anything, but whose personalities are consistent,” Moore said in a 2008 interview. “Establish that, and don’t deviate. Betty doesn’t act like Veronica, and Charlie Brown doesn’t act like Lucy.” He returned to cartooning in 1970, drawing Snuffy Smith, Underdog, and Mighty Mouse, and then went back to Archie to help reboot Jughead, staying on until his retirement in the late 1980s. After retiring, Moore taught at El Paso Community College and was a regular customer at All Star Comics. [El Paso Times]
Publishing | DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio talk about the comics market as a whole, variant covers, and their move to Burbank, among many other topics, in a three-part interview. [ICv2]
Commentary | Christopher Butcher discusses the way the comics audience has diversified, and the way that parts of the industry (the parts that aren’t involved, basically) have refused to acknowledge the enormous popularity of newer categories of comics by “othering” them: “‘Manga aren’t comics,’ went the discussion. They were, and are in many ways, treated as something else. The success that they had, the massive success that they continue to have, doesn’t ‘count’. All those sales and new readers were just ‘a fad’, and not worthy of interest, respect, or comparison to real comics. It was the one thing that superhero-buying-snobs and art-comics-touting-snobs could agree on (with the exception of Dirk Deppey at TCJ, bless him): This shit just isn’t comics, real comics, therefore we don’t have to engage it.” Butcher sees these attitudes changing at last, though, thanks to the massive commercial and critical success of books like Raina Telgemeier’s Smile (three years on the New York Times graphic novel best-seller list!) and Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer. [Comics212]
Wouldn’t it be nice to reinvent yourself every year? Just toss out all your old clothes, get a new job, take a new direction in life? It’s fun to think about, but really difficult to put into practice; there’s a lot of security in knowing who you are and working a job (you hopefully love) for year after year. We crave consistency but yearn for change. It’s why fiction is so important as an escape, from what comforts us. Heroes can risk it all in these huge, life-changing decisions, and we can watch from the bleachers, cheering them on or judging them harshly.
Let’s get to doing that with the latest all-new, all-different titles at Marvel, arriving in October.
Oh, man. The toughest part of these announcements is the sheer weight of information we get at once. Marvel could reveal these one at a time, but I think that would take away some of the spotlight, as one new title would be forgotten as the next new was announced. Instead, we get this 45-title avalanche showcasing a variety of new books and looks for our favorite heroes and villains, leaving people like Yours Truly to sort it all into manageable chunks. How do we parse all of this?
I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Falcon. Darren Wallace is an Australian special effects artist who gets his kicks mashing up disparate films into uncanny parody trailers. His latest such clip may be his greatest masterwork yet.
When you think about it, Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is really just the Tin Man from “Wizard of Oz,” except without a moral compass. He’s a heartless mechanical creation who joins up with other unfortunate downtrodden souls to reach his own end. Okay, so that’s stretching the Tin Man’s motives some, but stick with it for a minute and you’ll enjoy the heck out of Wallace’s “Avengers of Oz: Age of Tin Man” trailer.
Disney today unveiled a line of toys and wearable accessories that’s billed as “the next step in the evolution of play.”
More than two years in the making, Playmation uses motion sensors and wireless technology to encourage children to be more active during playtime, sending them off to run, jump and shoot as they set off on missions and battle their opponents.
QWERTY is fine and all, but after a 142-year reign, it may be time for GEEKY to inherit the keyboard throne.
A company called GeekKeys offers a selection of plastic and metal key caps inspired by comic books, movies, television video games and more, from The Avengers to Star Wars to Big Hero 6.
While some artists are a masters of charcoal, watercolors or metal, Daniel Drake‘s chosen medium is pancake batter. Perhaps better known as Doctor Dan the Pancake Man, he’s gone from goof-off fry cook to “the World’s First Professional Pancake Artist,” which you have to admit probably looks pretty cool on a business card.
In a video now making the rounds thanks to Reddit, Dr. Dan takes on Avengers: Age of Ultron, creating pancake portraits of the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, Iron Man, Nick Fury and even an impressively complex Ultron. Sorry, no Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Vision or Quicksilver …
Much has been written and said about the dearth of female characters in superhero films, but I’m not sure anyone has addressed the issue quite like Agnes, an 18-year-old blogger from Hungary: She created a series of incredible portraits gender-swapping the cinematic Avengers.
For her alternate movie universe, Agnes recasts Captain America as Amber Heard, Iron Man as Kate Beckinsale, Bruce Banner as Mila Kunis, Thor as Jennifer Lawrence, Hawkeye as Shailene Woodley and Loki as Kristen Stewart.
Sure, 33 flavors sounds great, until you realize Baskin Robbins locations in South Korea are serving up Avengers-themed ice cream and — better still — Avengers cake.
According to The Korea Times, the promotional tie-in to Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron has been a boon for the company, with Avengers Ice Cream — in three flavors, with candy representing Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America — resulting in a 40-percent increase in sales over April 2014. (Before you ask, the flavors, which have nothing to do with the characters, are chocolate fudge, chocolate and milk chocolate.)
In what we can only hope is a preview of Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War, Beat Down Boogie delivers a tribute to those horribly dubbed martial-arts films of the 1970s and ’80s that pits Tony Stark against Steve Rogers in an epic face-off.
If Marvel doesn’t incorporate techniques like “Iron Fist,” “Bald Eagle Claw” and “Drunken Playboy Style” into its comics and films, then they’re missing out.
Superheroes sprang from the era of pulp icons like The Phantom and Doc Savage, and now cartoonist Chris Schweizer has some of today’s most popular costumed characters back to their roots.
In a project undertaken just for fun, the creator of The Crogan Adventures imagined some of the Avengers and X-Men as they might’ve appeared in the 1920s and 1930s in a series called “Marvel Pulp.”
The collection features designs based on Marvel’s Avengers by Amy Beth Christenson and Andrew MacLaine, winners of last year’s Her Universe fashion show at SDCC, and includes several dresses and jackets. The designs were inspired by Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man, Loki and Thor in particular.