Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Conventions | Convention producer ReedPOP will add Vienna Comic Con in Austria to a growing roster of shows that already includes the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, New York Comic Con, Emerald City Comicon, PAX, OZ Comic Con, Shanghai Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration and Comic Con Paris. It’s scheduled for Nov. 21-22 at Messe Wien in Vienna. ”We aim to make Vienna Comic Con the leading pop culture event in Central Europe,” Barbara Leithner of Reed Exhibitions said in a statement. “Fans at Vienna Comic Con will experience unique programs and events, and meet pop culture creatives from all over the world.” [press release]
Cartoon Network is setting off in a different direction with its next Adventure Time game, reteaming with Little Orbit for a story-driven 3D adventure that transforms Jake and Finn into detectives.
Developed by Vicious Cycle, Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations sees Pendleton Ward’s beloved characters follow in the footsteps of Finn’s foster parents and become professional investigators. Faced with mysterious disappearances and strange events in the Land of Ooo, players will interrogate its inhabitants, dispatch evil-doers, solve puzzles and explore new and familiar locations.
If you’re planning a trip to the Land of Ooo, it’s important to travel there in style.
Thai Smile, a subsidiary of Thai Airways, has rolled out its Adventure Time-themed Airbus A-320, emblazoned with Finn, Jake and Princess Bubblegum. The fun doesn’t stop at the exterior, however: As you can see below, inside characters from the beloved Cartoon Network series adorn the headrests, overhead compartments, cups, serving trays and even the air-sickness bags (sorry, Jake).
Ahead of the Tuesday release of those limited-edition Adventure Time boots, Cartoon Network and British footwear company Dr. Martens have unveiled a 30-second promo kicking off their partnership, featuring new animation of Finn and Jake.
The spot, which debuted on Footwear News, gives a big push to “Stand For Something,” the Dr. Martens campaign celebrating “free-thinking individuals; from first-timers to those who have been with us forever.” Presumably, Finn and Jake qualify.
Venerable British footwear company Dr. Martens has collaborated with Cartoon Network on a line of limited-edition Adventure Time boots for men and women.
Called, appropriately enough, “Dr. Martens x Adventure Time,” the collection of Finn and Jake boots — there are three designs — is limited to just 1,460 pairs, ranging in price from $130 to $150. They’re available for preorder now for release on March 3.
Warner Bros. Entertainment could eliminate as many as 1,000 jobs — more than 10 percent of its worldwide workforce — as part of studio-wide cutbacks confirmed earlier this month, Variety reports. However, the studio insists that although the cuts will be “substantial,” it hasn’t settled on the exact number of layoffs.
“The plans are still in process,” Dee Dee Myers, Warner Bros.’ new executive vice president of corporate communications, told TheWrap. “We’re reducing costs and it will result in reduced overhead, but the plans are not done.”
Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed impending layoffs across the studio in a memo sent Thursday afternoon to employees. Although no date or numbers were given, Deadline suggests the cuts will likely take place in the fourth quarter.
“We are doing our best to minimize staff reductions,” wrote Tsujihara, who was named CEO in January 2013. “However, and it pains me to say this, positions will be eliminated — at every level — across the Studio.”
Warner Bros.’ subsidiaries include DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Home Video and New Line Cinema. It also co-owns The CW with CBS Corporation.
Although reports earlier this week indicated the studio would offer buyouts before it resorted to layoffs, there’s no mention of that approach in the memo. In fact, it would seem buyouts are off the table, as Tsujihara’s introduction makes it clear he wanted”to set the record straight” following “misinformation in the press.”
The massive Comic-Con International bags are back, and Warner Bros. has provided Robot 6 with an exclusive first look at the Teen Titans Go! bag fans can get at this year’s show in San Diego. The bag features Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven in their chibi-style animated incarnations.
KaBOOM! will publish a comic based on Cartoon Network’s hit animated series Uncle Grandpa as part of BOOM! Studios’ first-look deal with the cable channel.
Created by Pete Browngardt, Uncle Grandpa is a surreal adventure comedy the centers on everyone’s magical uncle and grandfather, who travels the world in his mystical RV, helping children with their problems. Did we mention he’s accompanied by a talking fanny pack, an anthropomorphic dinosaur, a photo cutout of a tiger and a talking slice of pizza? Well, he is.
Where is the line? When is an image empowering, and when is it too risque? While the case of the contested variant cover of The Powerpuff Girls #6 has a lot of silly aspects, its core speaks to larger issues the comic book industry has been wrestling with of late, and may find itself wrestling with even more. The questions it raises aren’t always easy to answer — as is so often the case, the devil is in the details.
All-ages comics have a larger presence now than they have in decades. Every month, tie-ins to popular kids’ shows and original books suitable for readers are released in high enough numbers that you could open a comic book store that’s just for kids. Many stores have increased their kids sections, and with events like Free Comic Book Day, it’s easier for those shops to prove themselves to parents as a safe place. Meanwhile, awareness of the industry’s female readership has never been higher; in October, digital comics platform comiXology released some startlingly specific data: Its average female reader is “17-26 years old, college-educated, lives in the suburbs, and is new to comics. She prefers Tumblr to Reddit. She may have never even picked up a print comic.” In six years, female readership on comiXology increased from less than 5 percent to 20 percent.
Artist Mimi Yoon, whose withdrawn Powerpuff Girls variant cover has been the subject of much discussion over the past several days, has revealed one of her next projects for: a cover for BOOM! Studios’ Adventure Time, also licensed by Cartoon Network.
As she pointed out in the comments on her Facebook page, it was painted last year for the miniseries Adventure Time: Candy Capers, which concluded in December, but the publisher now has decided to use it for the main series. Yoon also teased that another, as-yet-unrevealed cover she created will appear before this one.
Dennis L. Barger Jr., the retailer who last week publicly criticized the “sexualized” nature of Mimi Yoon’s Powerpuff Girls #6 variant, leading Cartoon Network to withdraw the cover, has released an open letter in which he calls upon the comics industry to police itself, and to keep film studios and television networks out of the decision-making process.
The remarks from Barger, co-owner of Wonderworld Comics in Taylor, Michigan, follow a sharp response by Yoon in which the artist criticized him, in part, because “he brought up kids and used protecting kids and kids’ perspective in his reasoning/excuse.”
In his open letter, in which he touches upon a dwindling readership and the need to reach a younger audience, Barger writes, “I will not discuss why this cover upset me and this is the last time I care to talk about it, aside from this. I did not feel that it was appropriate for the cover of a book aimed at young children, especially young girls, and many people agreed with me. A Hollywood corporate machine like Warner Bros and Cartoon Network would not have pulled it unless enough people saw that this was inappropriate in some way.”
Read Barger’s full letter below:
Artist Mimi Yoon has responded to the controversy surrounding her variant cover for IDW Publishing’s The Powerpuff Girls #6, which was withdrawn last week by Cartoon Network following complaints that the illustration “sexualized” the pre-teen animated characters.
The chain of events began early last week when retailer Dennis Barger Jr. singled out the cover (at right) on his own Facebook page, asking, “Are we seriously sexualizing pre-teen girls like perverted writing fan fiction writers on the internet?”
IDW Publishing’s Dirk Wood explained that the cover was “mandated” by Cartoon Network, which selected Yoon and approved the artwork. When contacted by ICv2.com, the network’s licensing division noted that the cover was intended as direct-market collectible item; however, “We recognize some fans’ reaction to the cover and, as such, will no longer be releasing it at comic book shops.”
After making vague references to the dust-up on Thursday, Yoon took to her Facebook page Friday afternoon to address the matter directly:
Stan Lee has a pretty good track record when it comes to creating heroes, and now he’s added one more to that long list: Chakra.
The character that will make his animated debut Nov. 30 in an hour-long television movie called Chakra: The Invincible, which will air across South Asia on Cartoon Network. According to Deadline, the movie potentially could reach 34 million households. Readers received their first taste of the character in May in Liquid Comics’ Free Comic Book Day offering.
Now that Cartoon Network has released a clip from a series of five Metal Men animated shorts debuting Saturday as part of its DC Nation programming block, Evan Dorkin reveals that he and Sarah Dyer collaborated on the project, with the cartoonist also providing character designs. “Although they were simplified quite a bit from what I submitted,” Dorkin notes. You can see the clip, along with some of Dorkin’s designs, below (with more on his blog).
“We had no idea they were going to announce this so we’re playing catch-up,” he writes. “Anyway, I hope DC Nation viewers enjoy them, especially the kids. Nothing against longtime fans and responsometer wonks — there’s two or three Ross Andru/Mike Esposito-designed villains in the mix — but the kids were who we were thinking of while working on the stuff.”
DC Nation airs Saturdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network.