Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
Conventions | Cox Communications and Comic-Con International will provide free WiFi to the entire downtown area of San Diego from July 8 to July 24, a period that encompasses the 2016 MLB All-Star Game as well as Comic-Con International. However, the WiFi will only be available outside the convention center during Comic-Con. Cox will install 100 hotspots around town, and for the period of Comic-Con will make them available for free to all users. After July 24, the hotspots will be available to Cox customers, and non-subscribers will be allowed one free hour per month. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
Dozens of Iron Man armors have been introduced since the debut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008 — with “Captain America: Civil War,” we’re up to Mark XLVI — and a good number of those have been immortalized as action figures, from multiple toymakers. While those seemingly countless collectibles tend to blur together, Comicave Studios has found a way to make its latest Iron Man release stand out … by adding a couch.
Yes, just like the one in “Iron Man 3.”
Conventions | Organizers of the San Diego Hall of Champions sports museum announced this week they’ve been in talks with Comic-Con International about establishing a comics-focused museum in the city’s Balboa Park. The report notes that “details remain sketchy,” even though discussions have been under way for the past year. “There’s no hurry to move it along,” said Hall of Champions board member Dan Shea. As the report notes, this isn’t the first time a Comic-Con museum has been discussed: Stalled expansion plans for the current San Diego Convention Center called for a museum celebrating the event. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]
Entertainment Earth has unveiled a new Captain America Chair Cape that’ll be sold as a convention exclusive at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego for a mere $24.99 USD.
There’ll only be 1200 of these Chair Capes sold, so if you want to guarantee yourself a cape-clad computer chair, be sure to hit up Entertainment Earth’s booth (#2343) at Comic-Con, on July 20. If you can’t make it to Comic-Con this year, you can pre-order the chair over at Entertainment Earth’s website, in the event that supplies remain after the convention.
If you plan to attend Comic-Con International in July, your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-loving friends will soon be hounding you to pick up these convention-exclusive action figure box sets. They’re probably already laying the groundwork with offers to drive you to the airport or to feed your pets while you’re gone. Just so you know, there’s an ulterior motive …
Produced by NECA, the figures are based on Konami’s 1989 Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles arcade game, which longtime fans could probably tell without even looking at the game-screen backdrop. (Note the “pixelated” details on each of the figures.)
Crime | Two brothers in Florida have been arrested in the theft of about $30,000 worth of comic books from their grandparents. Nicholas and Robert Mason of Milton, Florida, were charged Thursday with grand theft and 16 counts of dealing in stolen property after police say they sold the comics in repeated trips to local shops, telling retailers the collection had been left to them by their late grandparents, who owned a comic store themselves. However, only part of that was true: Their grandparents did own a comic store, but they’re very much alive, and have been banking on the collection for their retirement. [WEAR TV]
Publishing | Japanese publisher Kadokawa is buying a 51 percent stake in the American manga publisher Yen Press, which will become a joint venture between Kadokawa and Hachette Book Group. Founded in 2006 as a manga and graphic novel imprint of Hachette, Yen Press publishes Black Butler, Alice in the Country of Hearts, and the Twilight graphic novels, and it will release a new edition of Fruits Basket beginning this summer. In recent years it has expanded its line to include light novels (prose novels aimed at young adults), and that seems to be what Kadokawa, a major publisher of light novels, is interested in. With this deal, the top three manga publishers in the United States are wholly or partially in Japanese hands: Viz Media is co-owned by Shueisha and Shogakukan, and Kodansha Comics is a subsidiary of Kodansha. Vertical Inc., a smaller publisher, is partially owned by Kodansha and Dai Nippon Printing. [Yen Press]
Set phasers on stunning, because Star Trek is getting a cosmetics line in celebration of the franchise’s 50th anniversary.
Announced by MAC Cosmetics, the 25-piece special deco collection features lipstick, eyeshadow, nail polish and other products inspired by Deanna Troi, Uhura, Seven of Nine and Vina the Orion slave girl.
Manga | As part of its Cool Japan initiative, the Japanese government plans to build the “Manga National Center” — a museum dedicated to manga, anime and video games — in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Expected to cost about $90 million, the project will be funded through a mixture of public and private-sector money. [Chicago Tribune]
Passings | Augie Scotto, an artist whose work appeared in Will Eisner’s PS magazine, passed away March 15 at age 88. He began his career in 1949, drawing largely crime and Western stories for such early publishers as Eastern Color, Atlas and Charlton. Scotto seems to have left comics for a while around 1953, but returned in 1968 as the penciler for Tower Comics’ Dynamo and as an inker for DC Comics until around 1978. [Timely-Atlas-Comics]
Conventions | While the San Diego Chargers support the construction of a multi-use stadium that’s not connected to the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con International still favors a contiguous expansion. “If a convention center is built across the street or blocks away from the current location, any convention considering an event in San Diego would be forced to determine who gets to stay at the main facility and who is relegated to the ‘other’ venue,” Comic-Con’s David Glanzer writes in a column reiterating the organization’s stance. “Comic-Con experienced a similar scenario some years ago when we attempted to create more exhibit space by moving some exhibitors upstairs to the Sails Pavilion. Even though all exhibitors were in the same building, the fact that some were only one floor removed from others caused a great deal of consternation as they objected to not being on what they considered to be the main exhibit floor.” [San Diego Union-Tribune]
Legal | It looks as if the end is in sight in the trademark dispute between Comic-Con International and Salt Lake Comic Con over the use of the term “comic con.” The organizers of Comic-Con International in San Diego claim legal ownership of the term “Comic Con” and sued the producers of the Salt Lake City even in 2014 for trademark infringement. Although settlement talks have broken down before, attorneys for both sides say they’ve resolved many of their disagreements, and have asked a federal judge to give them until March 1 to work out the finer points of a deal. [The Associated Press]
It has begun. The blue wheels are spinning, and thousands of fans across the globe are waiting impatiently to see if they can be one of the few to get badges for Comic-Con International: San Diego 2016.
Two major changes to this year’s badges is the fact that SDCC has embraced RFID and will be shipping out badges to all U.S. residents for the first time. The RFID technology is in place to hopefully reduce scalping, as faking the chip technology is far more difficult than counterfeiting the older badges. What’s more, SDCC officials can now effectively “turn off” any lost or stolen badges. Shipping badges in advance is mainly a matter of convenience. Any questions about the new technology and shipping policy can be answered at the Toucan FAQ page.
As fans sit and wait in the EPIC Registration Waiting Room, they’re once again forced to stare at the spinning blue circle of doom. This year, however, programmers got a bit cheeky and tossed a few jokes into the highlighted information section.
You know those plans you had for Saturday morning? You should probably cancel them, at least if you hope to attend Comic-Con International, because that’s when badges go on sale.
Open online registration will begin shortly before 9 a.m. PT, although the EPIC Registration landing page will be accessible starting at 8 a.m. to allow hopefuls to enter their personal registration code and authorize their device or browser to enter the waiting room.
Comic strips | The soap opera comic strip Apartment 3-G ended its 54-year run Sunday with little fanfare, leaving it up to a handful of bloggers, including Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter and Josh Fruhlinger of The Comics Curmudgeon, to give the longtime funny-page staple a proper sendoff. “It definitely has an unaffected, what-we-call-Lynchian quality where what you’re seeing and what you’re ‘hearing’ as dialogue don’t match,” Spurgeon writes. “The limited sets and slightly faded color choices make it a bit nightmarish, almost like the world is collapsing comic book ‘crisis’ style around these increasingly feckless characters. It’s hard to believe there are more than a dozen “places” in the world these characters exist. [The A.V. Club]
Conventions | Although it may seem way too early to begin the countdown to Comic-Con International, badge sales open Saturday at 9 a.m. PT for those who attended the 2015 convention and preregistration (this isn’t the annual mad dash, which arrives in a few months). If you’re eligible, you should receive your registration code by email at least 24 hours before badge sales open. Comic-Con provides a detailed walk-through of the process. [Toucan]
Legal | The Malaysian Federal Court affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the government shouldn’t have banned two books of Zunar’s political cartoons, 1Funny Malaysia and Perak Darul Kartun. “This is a victory for all cartoonists, it tells the Home Ministry and the government that drawing cartoons is not a crime,” Zunar said. He also said the ruling means that the government must also lift bans on all his books and drop sedition charges against him. “Stop raiding this my office, stop harassing my webmaster for selling the books online, and stop raiding and threatening printers and shops involved in the production and sales,” he said. [Malaysyakini]