INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Retailing | Online retail giant Amazon will open its first brick-and-mortar store this morning in Seattle’s upscale shopping center University Village. Called simply Amazon Books, the store features between 5,000 and 6,000 books, from bestsellers to Amazon.com customer favorites. “Amazon Books is a physical extension of Amazon.com,” Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books, said in a statement. “We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.” As The Seattle Times notes, the opening arrives with a dose of irony: For years Amazon has been able to undercut most other retailers largely because it didn’t have any physical locations. [The Seattle Times]
Although the city of Townsville would seem more fitting, Cartoon Network and Moschino chose Milan as the venue to unveil their Powerpuff Girls x Jeremy Scott collaboration.
Yes, Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup graced the runway Thursday during a Fashion Week event, as part of the Moschino Spring 2016 collection. The three pint-sized superheroes could be seen on leggings, a one-piece swimsuit, knitwear tops, a line of bags and more.
The borders of the Land of Ooo have expanded into the realm of virtual reality with the launch of Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games.
Based on Cartoon Network’s hit animated series, the mobile game allows fans to actually become part of the Adventure Time narrative, with the help of Samsung Gear VR. Boasting an original story and gameplay inspired by classic 3D platformers, Magic Man’s Head Games is voiced by the cast of the TV show.
Back in the era when some of Cartoon Network’s biggest hits included Space Ghost: Coast To Coast and Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law, even Aquaman found a second job. In 2001, DC’s King of the Seas hosted a tongue-in-cheek kids show called The Aquaman & Friends Action Hour which wasn’t exactly for kids. But until the advent of YouTube, the series never aired in America.
We stumbled upon the first two episodes alongside a few commercial bumpers starring the Super Friends cast online, and the results are an hilariously awkward trip down memory lane. Produced by Atlanta’s Wild Hare Studios (an independent contractor for Cartoon Network that also worked on series like The Brak Show and Aqua Teen Hunger Force), the clips initially appeared on the CartoonNetworkLa.com website that reached audiences in Latin America. Sharp-eared fans may recognize original Super Friends Aquaman actor Norman Alden reprising his role (some commenters have credited it to later Aquaman voice over star William Callaway, though it sure sounds like Alden to us). Check out the videos after the jump.
The announcement of the Adventure Time line of boots from Dr. Martens was made with much fanfare in February, but we nearly missed the stealthy addition of Marceline the Vampire Queen to the line.
Inspired by the 1,000-year-old guitar-playing vampire, the limited-edition design captures a different facial expression on each boot (mouth closed on the right, open wide on the left). Joining the previously released Jake and Finn designs, the Marceline boot is available for women, children and toddlers (prices range from $150 to $105).
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.