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Comics A.M. | Judge refuses to suppress evidence in Justiniano case

Josue Rivera (aka Justiniano)

Legal | Don MacPherson, who covers the courts for his daily newspaper, updates the case of Josue Rivera, aka comic artist Justiniano, who pleaded not guilty in May 2011 to charges of possessing more than 100 photographs and videos containing child pornography. Rivera was arrested in Connecticut following a July 2010 incident in which police say he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera’s computer and found 153 files of suspected child pornography. A judge has denied a motion to suppress the thumb drive, which Rivera’s attorney had argued was obtained by police through an illegal, warrantless search. However, the judge ruled the search valid, as the material on the drive was brought to the attention of the police by a third party, the funeral home. MacPherson’s summary of court documents provides more details on the case. [Eye on Comics]

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Cosplay catastrophe: Hulk smash, but Hulk no wash off so easy

Even if you don’t understand the appeal of attending conventions dressed as your favorite comic-book or cartoon character, you have to admire dedicated cosplayers. Oh, not the ones who slap on a headband and call themselves “Naruto.” No, I’m talking about the ones who spend countless hours sewing costumes and then browbeating their friends into donning the costume of the appropriate teammate or supporting character.

Or, say, someone like this guy in Brazil, who decided to go all out as the Incredible Hulk, only to discover — too late! — that the green body paint isn’t entirely water-soluble.

According to Extra (Google translation), Paulo Henrique dos Santos dressed up as the Green Goliath for Sunday’s Challenge for Peace run in Rio De Janeiro, where the costume was a smash. But three miles and more than 20 baths later, he’s still unable to revert to human form.

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C2E2 2012 | Sunday Photodiary

Sunday was a great day. It started off awesomely with a marriage proposal. A young man named Matthew had hired my friend Grant to draw a picture of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for his girlfriend, Lisa, a Buffy fan. When they picked up the commission, Lisa read the word balloons, “Hi, Lisa. Matthew tells me he loves you very much and he has a very important question to ask…”

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C2E2 | From Detroit to Chicago, and back again

[Editor's note: Doug Zawisza, who regularly writes reviews for Comic Book Resources, joins us for a look at his one-day con experience at C2E2 this past Friday.]

The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo opened its doors for the 2012 edition at 1:00 in the afternoon on Friday the 13th. I decided to tempt fate, spit in the eye of superstition and join a trio of friends from my local comic shop to make the four-hour trek between Detroit and Chicago, take in the sights to see at C2E2 and return home, all in one day. That’s right: I was silly enough to think a whirlwind visit to Chicago would be a good idea.

We hit the road around eight o’clock and with a pair of stops on the way to coincide with the wonderfully easy traffic all the way into the great state of Illinois, we made it to McCormick place by 11:15 Chicago time. Coming in from the south side of the convention center, we mingled with Chicago White Sox traffic (oddly enough, the Detroit Tigers were in town to play the Sox) and managed to find parking at McCormick after driving through the shipping area of the parking facility.

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C2E2 2012 | Saturday Photodiary

Typically, I’ll spend most of Saturday in panels, but the first one I was interested in wasn’t until later in the morning, so I killed time taking in some of the more offbeat exhibitors, like Ben the Bubble Guy, a businessman who hires himself out for birthday parties, corporate events, funerals. Okay, maybe not funerals.

When it was time, I headed up to the fourth floor for the AV Club‘s panel on the Future of Superheroes.

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C2E2 2012 | Friday Photodiary

Welcome to C2E2

One of the things a lot of pros like about C2E2 is the late start on Friday. It doesn’t open to the public until 1:00 pm, so creators can sleep in and recover from their trips if they want. Or, if they want to go early to set up or just walk around and visit with each other, they can do that too. It’s also helpful for press jerks taking lots of pictures. Lots. Of pictures.

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Mom, can I be MODOK for Halloween this year?

I mentioned a few days ago that March MODOK Madness was kicking off. And while most of their contributions are artistic renderings of Stan and Jack’s big-headed boy, this year they started strong with a cosplay contribution from Genevieve Tsai. That’s her boyfriend dressed up in a homemade MODOK costume, and iGenevieve wearing a MODAM costume. Because even big-headed evil scientists need love.


Comics A.M. | Comics rebound in 2011 while graphic novels slump

Justice League #4

Publishing | John Jackson Miller takes apart the December sales numbers and finds that while comics were up for the month, graphic novel sales fell just enough to prevent the direct market from having its first up year since 2008. In fact, trades are down 16 percent from December 2010, and Miller spends some time discussing why that might be — and why next year might be different. [The Comichron]

Publishing | Houghton Mifflin has high hopes for Are You My Mother?, the new graphic novel from Fun Home author Alison Bechdel: The publisher plans a first printing of 100,000 copies. [Publishers Weekly]

Retailing | Diamond’s Retailer Summit will be held the two days before the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, with attendees receiving free admission to the April 13-15 convention. [ICv2]

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Comics A.M. | Antarctic Press to stop selling Wimpy Kid parody

Diary of a Zombie Kid

Legal | Antarctic Press has agreed to stop selling Diary of a Zombie Kid and Diary of a Zombie Kid: Rotten Rules under the terms of a temporary restraining order issued Wednesday by a federal court. Wimpy Kid Inc. is suing Antarctic for trademark infringement, among other things, claiming that its Diary of a Wimpy Kid parodies are too close to the real thing. Antarctic CEO Joe Dunn signed the temporary restraining order, signifying that Antarctic agreed to it; the two companies are negotiating a settlement, according to court papers. One interesting tidbit: Diary of a Zombie Kid sold all of 850 copies in comics shops in August, while the first printing on the latest Wimpy Kid book was 6 million. [ICv2]

Retailing | The auction for the inventory of Arizona retail chain Atomic Comics announced last week has been moved to Jan. 10. [Sierra Auction Management]

Comics | Bayou Arcana is a new anthology of Southern Gothic horror comics with a gender twist: All the comics are written by men and illustrated by women. There are some pretty broad generalizations in this article — “There is a certain sensitivity that you find in women’s art that just does not appear in a lot of guys’ work,” says the project editor, James Pearson — but the project itself sounds interesting. [The Guardian]

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Comics A.M. | DC Comics named one of America’s Hottest Brands

Action Comics

Publishing | DC Comics joins the Kia Soul, Goldfish, My Little Pony and several others on Advertising Age’s annual list of America’s Hottest Brands: “With decades of stories under their capes and utility belts, Superman — and other DC characters, including Aquaman and the Flash — had ossified. Though relaunching its entire cast and making their adventures available to print and electronic audiences might alienate some hard-core DC fans, it might also gain plenty of new ones. Making DC characters more popular is crucial for its parent company. While the comic-book business is way down from its heyday, its characters fuel big-ticket Hollywood movies that can generate millions of dollars in revenue and licensing. The pressure may be on DC because rival Marvel, now owned by Disney, has churned out superhero film properties on a regular basis for years.” [Advertising Age]

Broadway | Producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have changed their tune on the $75 million musical; previously they predicted they wouldn’t make back the money invested in the show without franchising it in other cities and countries, but now they predict they’ll make it back entirely from the Broadway run. They also are considering adding in new scenes and a new musical number to the production every year, “making it akin to a new comic book edition, and then urging the show’s fans to buy tickets again.” [The New York Times]

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SDCC ’11 | Because every hero (and villain) needs to eat

While riding the bus back to my hotel yesterday, we passed the world famous Kansas City Barbeque, where several heroes and one villain had just finished dining.

Kansas City Barbeque is well known as the setting for the famous bar scene in the 1980s Tom Cruise movie Top Gun, but as you’ll see in the image below, it’s also the favorite BBQ joint of super heroes from every publisher — including Crusader and Darkblade from Love and Capes, who are on the poster behind Cap:

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Comic-Con International announces Saturday programming

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International continues to roll out their programming schedule, as Saturday’s schedule of activities went live earlier today — a day that starts off with a philosophical discussion between Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison, and ends with the annual masquerade.

In between you’ll find a tribute to Harvey Pekar, as well as spotlight panels on Jerry Robinson, Ernie Chan, Jim Steranko, Terry Moore, Anders Nilsen, Robert Kirkman, Peter Kuper, Jamal Igle, Garth Ennis, J. Michael Straczynski, Mell Lazarus, Peter Tomasi, Walter and Louise Simonson, Jim Lee and Jonathan Hickman. Companies like Archie, Top Cow, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Legendary, BOOM! and Archaia will share their publishing plans, while Dark Horse will focus on their Joss Whedon books, DC highlights their Green Lantern, “Dark” and “Edge” titles, and of course, Marvel brings you the annual Cup O’ Joe panel with Joe Quesada.

To help you with your Comic-Con planning, we’ve highlighted the comics-specific programming below. To see the full Saturday schedule, complete with television, film and video game content, visit the convention website.

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Your video of the day | Meet SamDroid, mayor of Portland

As if Portland, Ore. needed any more help in becoming comic-friendly, apparently their mayor is also a superhero. Mayor Sam Adams appeared at the recent Stumptown Comics Fest in full cosplay, dressed as SamDroid, a character designed by Manny McIvor as part of a competition held by the Alter Egos Society. The above video, courtesy of Things From Another World, includes interviews with the mayor, McIvor and Alter Egos Society founder Benja Barker.

C2E2 | Friday on the floor

Waiting to get in.

My big question heading into the show this year was, “How much is it going to feel like a comics convention?” With Chris “Thor” Hemsworth and much of the cast of Chuck being around this weekend, would C2E2 start to feel like San Diego or – God forbid – Wizard World Chicago from a couple of years ago with movies and TV taking over the center of attention?

It’s only Friday, but so far so really damn good.

After last year’s C2E2, I had high expectations for the convention this year and everything got off to a great start. Press registration went smoothly again and some of the Artist Alley creators who hadn’t attended last year told me how impressed they were with the professionalism and just general niceness of the staff they’d worked with.

One major difference though is that the convention’s in a different part of McCormick Place this year. Instead of the impressive Lakeside Center with it’s unbelievable view of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, it’s in the West Building. Still a very nice space with lush carpeting and plenty of room, just not as jaw-droppingly grand as last year. I’m not sure why that is, but one artist brought it to my attention that the setting sun through the giant picture-windows last year could sometimes make it difficult to see and interact with fans. So whatever the rationale for moving, there are positive and negative things about both spaces.

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Sailor Moon, Star Wars, Strawberry Shortcake, Superman and sex

Hey college students — if you’re looking to woo your significant other with a night of fantasy, guys may want to consider dressing up as a Disney prince, while ladies may want to consider Sailor Moon.

L.A. Weekly has posted the results of a recent sex survey they did of 175 students from UCLA. The survey covers everything you’d ever want to know about their opinions on sex, from how much a virgin should sell their virginity for to what music they listen to during sex. Question 14, which reads “Which innocent childhood fantasies could best morph into adult sexual fantasies?,” is probably the most relevant to comic fans:

from the UCLA Sex Survey

For females who responded, an intimate night with Aladdin or Prince Charming beat out one with Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue, as well as “an orgy with a cast of anime characters.” Males named Sailor Moon — which seems a bit dated to me, but to each their own — as well as Harry Potter, Superman, the Pink Power Ranger and “Batman and Robin.”

But no Slave Girl Leia, though Star Wars did top the list of movies guys consider the “best date movie to watch before having sex,” followed by American Pie and the movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300. The surveyed women seem to prefer a romantic film, with The Notebook and Titanic taking the top spots.


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