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Bill Finger biographer proposes NYC memorial bench for Batman co-creator

Bill Finger

Bill Finger

Last year Bill Finger biographer Marc Tyler Nobleman campaigned unsuccessfully for a Google Doodle to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the writer’s birth, but now he’s proposing a more attainable goal: a commemorative bench in Poe Park in The Bronx, New York, honoring the uncredited co-creator of Batman.

In a blog post published Sunday — Finger’s birthday — Nobleman dusts off a Kickstarter proposal he’d written in 2013 that lays out the plan, which calls for $6,000 to install the bench and plaque as part of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s Adopt-a-Bench program. “If it generates enough enthusiasm here, it might embolden me to launch it immediately!” he writes.

Nobleman, author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, states that the project would not only “help right a wrong,” but also make pop-culture history as “the first memorial honoring a superhero creator in NYC, the Superhero Capital of the World.”

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‘Breaking Bat’ hilariously inserts Batman into other TV shows

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Although it may be difficult to imagine modern television classics like Breaking Bad and sadly short-lived Freaks and Geeks could be improved upon, PistolShrimps proves the adage true once more: Everything is better with Batman.

In the new video “Breaking Bat,” a petulant, needy and slightly dimwitted Dark Knight is inserted into scenes from Friends, Two and a Half Men, America’s Next Top Model and the aforementioned Breaking Bad and Freaks and Geeks, bringing with him barely contained rage, part of a knock-knock joke and more than a few F-bombs.

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Mezco teases Mutant Leader ‘Dark Knight Returns’ action figure

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Mezco, which in October unveiled its Dark Knight Returns Batman 1/12th-scale action figure, is now teasing an unexpected addition to its One:12 Collective line: the Mutant leader from the landmark 1986 miniseries by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley.

Details are, well, virtually nonexistent. The toy company posted the photo of the recreated standoff, accompanied by a DKR quote — “You don’t get it boy .. .this isn’t a mud-hole … it’s an operating table. And I’m the surgeon.” — and a note saying it’s gearing up for a pre-Toy Fair event to be held today.

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‘Doctor Who’ LEGO official, X-Mansion and Wayne Manor aren’t happening

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The results are in from the latest LEGO Ideas Review, and depending on your perspective, it’s something of a good news, bad news situation.

Two of the sets up for review will indeed move into official production: “Doctor Who and Companions” and “WALL-E.” While LEGO has produced multiple Disney and Pixar-themed sets, this will be the first Doctor Who-themed LEGO release. (Who building sets have been released in recent years as part of the United Kingdom-based Character Building line.) Official details — final design, pricing and release date — are yet to come.

The Doctor Who set was submitted by gaming artist Andy Clark; WALL-E hails from Angus MacLane, a Pixar animator and director who worked on the 2008 film.

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McFarlane reveals abandoned Spawn/Batman crossover plans

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Todd McFarlane has unveiled a glimpse of a planned Spawn/Batman crossover that never saw the light of day. In what the Image Comics co-founder characterizes as “a bit of fate,” the project was to have been drawn by current Batman artist, and longtime McFarlane collaborator, Greg Capullo.

“Years ago there was a deal for DC Comics and myself to do a cool Batman/Spawn cross-over book (for those not hip to comic lingo, that’s a book in which both characters are in the same issue),” McFarlane writes in a Facebook post accompanying the long-lost cover. “I [was] to have written and inked it, while a talented penciller, Greg Capullo, was going to draw it. For a variety of reasons (mostly on my shoulders) the book never got off the ground, but a few pages and promo pieces were done for it. Below is one such piece drawn by Greg and inked by myself.”

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Swanky case turns your iPhone 6 into a Tim Burton Batmobile

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That state-of-the-art iPhone 6 you stood in line for is practically the size of a small car, so it might as well be a stylish car. Say, the Tim Burton-era Batmobile?

For $50, you can by a case that not only protects your smartphone but also transforms it into a detailed replica of Michael Keaton’s sweet, sweet ride, complete with LED lighting … and a projector that actually casts the Bat-Signal! As Gizmodo points out, a little utility belt covers the phone’s home button, while pop-out front wheels give access to its camera lens.

Don’t think of it as something that makes your bulky iPhone 6 even bulkier; think of it as a conversation starter! “Excuse me, I think that Bat-Signal is for me …”

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Norm Breyfogle: ‘I’m crying tears of joy every day’

norm breyfogleIn a whirlwind of updates over the past few days — including a video from his Michigan nursing home — we learned veteran Batman artist Norm Breyfogle is making headway following his Dec. 17 stroke.

“This is just another little video for me to express my thanks to all you out there who have provided such great moral and financial support,” he says in a message recorded by BJ Litsenberger. “I want to show you I can move my afflicted side. I can even stand. Check this out!”

That video arrives amid a New York Times story about crowdfunding medical expenses that highlights Breyfogle’s situation, and a Paste magazine profile of the 54-year-old artist.

Famed for his stints on Batman and Detective Comics in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Breyfogle was hospitalized in mid-December after suffering a stroke that paralyzed his left side, including his drawing hand. According to the online fundraising campaign launched by his brother Kevin Breyfogle and sister-in-law Wendy Wiegert, he has no health insurance and a savings eaten away by his hospital stay, yet requires months of care and physical therapy at a nursing home. (The artist tells Paste had hadn’t signed up for Obamacare at the time of his stroke, explaining, “I just never got around to it. I was on the hamster wheel of meeting deadlines. I was in denial.”)

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Nothing says ‘meditative’ like a Zen Judge Dredd statue

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Although I have my doubts as to the calming, meditative qualities of a character whose signature line is “Hulk SMASH,” I’m not immune to the appeal of these 3D-printed Buddha sculptures of an assortment of pop-culture characters, from the Star Wars cast to Batman to Judge Dredd to Groot (with Rocket Raccoon, naturally).

The statues, which come in three sizes — 2 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches — range in price from $7.99 to $27.99. You can see some of the pieces below, and the full selection on Chris Milnes’ Etsy page.

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DC solicits ‘Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle’

batman465Amid efforts by relatives and colleagues to raise money for veteran Batman artist Norm Breyfogle‘s medical care, DC Comics appears to have rushed solicitation of Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle, Vol. 1.

The 54-year-old artist was hospitalized in mid-December following a stroke that paralyzed his left side, including his drawing hand. Breyfogle has no health insurance, and his savings was eaten away by the hospital stay, leading his brother and sister-in-law to launch an online fundraising campaign to help pay for months of care and physical therapy.

To date, the effort has generated nearly $86,000 of its $200,000 goal.

Related: On Norm Breyfogle: What Would Batman Do?

DC Comics had no comment about the collection or its timing, but the blog Collected Editions notes it hadn’t part of the publisher’s 2015 releases.

No details are known beyond the Amazon listing, which specifies a 520-page hardcover, set for release on July 7 for $34.35.

A fixture of DC from 1987 to 1995, collaborating with writer Alan Grant on Detective Comics, Batman and Shadow of the Bat. The folks at Collected Editions speculate what storylines might be included in the hardcover.

On Norm Breyfogle: What would Batman do?

retun of scarfaceSpring 1992’s Batman #475 may not be all that important in the Dark Knight’s history, but it was a pretty pivotal issue in my own history with comics. It wasn’t just the first time I bought a Batman comic — beginning a growing interest in superhero comics that has yet to subside — but it was also the first time I encountered the work of artist Norm Breyfogle.

It was his incredible artwork that convinced me to purchase that issue over all of the other Batman comics on the stands and in the beat-up boxes of my local comic shop, and that fueled my many return visits, to buy new Breyfogle-drawn Batman comics as they arrived and dig out the dozens of earlier ones from the back-issue bins.

At the time, comics cost just $1 — a quarter of what the average issue costs today — but I was 14 years old, so my only income came from allowance, birthday and Christmas gifts, and what my grandfather paid me to mow his lawn. Comics were to me then, as they are now, a luxury purchase of sorts, something one spent one’s extra money on. As adults, that means they’re what we buy after we’ve paid the rent and utilities, bought groceries and filled up the gas tank.

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Scarecrow joins ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ action figure line

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DC Collectibles has revealed Scarecrow from its line of action figures based on Batman: The Animated Series. Consider Jonathan Crane the vanguard of the fifth wave, available this fall.

Scarecrow joins such figures from earlier waves as Batman, Robin, Batgirl, The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin and Poison Ivy. Unlike most of those figures, priced at $24.99 each, Scarecrow isn’t pictured with any accessories.

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You’ll want to cruise around in this Batmobile stroller yourself

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Just when you had moved past your envy of the proud owners of than that custom Groot swing, Super-Fan Builds comes along with another, even cooler project: a one-of-a-kind Batmobile stroller, designed to look like the Tumbler from the Christopher Nolan films.

Constructed by Hollywood pop company Tim Baker Creations as a surprise for father-and-son Batman fans, the stroller is on a steel frame, making it well-suited for those danger-filled walks through Gotham City Park or, I don’t know, Toys “R” Us.

Of course, as Toyland notes, figuring out how to transport the thing — not to mention store it — may require the mind of the World’s Greatest Detective.

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Drew Struzan paints poster for ‘Batkid Begins’ documentary

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Although Drew Struzan is rumored to be returning to paint posters for the new Star Wars trilogy, the famed artist came out of retirement a little early for another project: Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, a documentary chronicling the events of Nov. 15, 2013, when San Francisco was transformed into Gotham City to fulfill the wish of 5-year-0ld leukemia patient Miles Scott to be Batman.

Deadline unveiled the poster, created for free by Struzan, who’s legendary for his iconic posters for such films as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner and Back to the Future. The artist retired in 2008.

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Wood’s Finest: Chainsaw carver sculpts ‘The Bark Knight’

Wood-Batman

The Dark Knight has been depicted in numerous mediums, but what about wood? Sure, comics are technically made out of wood — but this is on a different level.

Chainsaw carver Thomas Earing has taken his tools to a silver maple, creating this 7-foot tall piece he calls, fittingly enough, The Bark Knight.  The Washington-based artist has been making these types of sculptures for 12 years, according to an interview with KOMO News, and estimates that pieces such as this take at least 30 hours to complete.

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Cosplayer uses 3D printing to create ‘Arkham Origins’ Batsuit

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When U.K. cosplayer Stevie Dee wanted a realistic Batsuit, he turned not to online costumers but to 3D printing.

A CG propmaker, Dee worked with Tundra Designs and Gauntlet FX to recreate the Dark Knight skin from the Batman: Arkham Origins video game.

According to 3D Print, the suit was 3D modeled before being printed. A mold was then created for casting of the armor (everything except the cape and undersuit shown in the photos was produced through 3D printing). “The suit is quite comfy to wear and movement is great,” Dee said. “I can’t bend at the stomach but I didn’t expect that.”

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