Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Although New York City had hoped to enlist Disney and Marvel in a crackdown on troublesome costumed characters in Times Square, the police commissioner insists the entertainment giants “want no part of it.”
The New York Daily News reports that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton singled out the two companies for refusing to take action against the performers — long a thorn in the sides of local businesses and politicians — for unlicensed use of their trademarks.
To police in Nottinghamshire, England, the theft of a $33,000 watch looks like a job by Superman.
According to BBC News, authorities are searching for Superman Rostas, whom they say pretended to be a customer at a jewelry store in Newark, northeast of Nottingham. Using “distraction techniques” — and, we can only presume, super-speed — he allegedly made off with diamond-encrusted gold watch.
Two Iowa men whom police say planned a mass shooting at the Pokémon World Championships in Boston were ordered held without bail Monday. A dangerousness hearing is set for Sept. 1.
Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, who were invited to participate in the weekend tournament, were arrested Saturday on firearms charges after police were alerted to alleged threats they’d made to the event through social media.
“We can never read someone’s mind,” The Boston Globe quotes Police Superintendent Paul A. Fitzgerald as saying. “What we can read is what they were saying and the actions that they took, bringing the weapons they were showing online as a threat.”
Two Iowa men who traveled to Boston to play in the Pokémon World Championships were arrested Saturday on firearms charges after police, alerted that the pair had made “threats of violence over social media,” discovered guns and ammunition in their car.
James Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, were invited to play in the “masters division” of the championships, held over the weekend at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. On Wednesday, Stumbo allegedly posted a photo (below) of two guns on the trunk of a car to the Mayhem Pokemon Crew Facebook page, with the message, “Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come!!!” When another poster wished them “Good luck,” Stumbo responded, “With killing the competition?”
Crime | OneBookShelf, which operates the digital-comics website DriveThruComics and several other retail sites, has suffered a data breach. “A hacker found a crack in our defenses and got in,” the company said in a Q&A on its websites. Hackers stole credit card information from transactions processed between July 10 and Aug. 6, and used the OneBookShelf’s servers to launch DDOS attack on other sites. It’s not clear which numbers were exposed, but the company recommends customers who made transactions, or had credit card information stored on the site during that time, get new cards. [ICv2]
Creators | Political cartoonist Ted Rall talks to the local news about his firing by the Los Angeles Times, which concluded a post he wrote in May for its OpinionLA blog about being stopped by police in 2001 for jaywalking contained “inconsistencies.” Rall, who worked for the Times on a freelance basis, insists the audiotape of the incident provided to the newspaper by the Los Angeles Police Department doesn’t contradict his statements about being treated rudely and handcuffed. “I would do it all over the same way today,” Rall told CBS Los Angeles. “I’m disgusted that the Times took the LAPD’s word, based on nothing.” [CBS Los Angeles]
Manga | Kentaro Miura’s action-fantasy manga Berserk has 35 million copies in print — 27 million in Japan, and 8 million overseas — Hakusensha’s Young Animal magazine announced today. Miura returned to the series this week after a 10-month hiatus. The manga, which centers on a pair of mercenaries in a medieval Europe-inspired fantasy world, debuted in 1989; 37 volumes have been released to date. Dark Horse holds the license to Berserk in North America. [Anime News Network]
Crime | Russell Brandom and Colin Lecher describe a fascinating case in which comics figured in two types of crimes, money laundering and theft of evidence. Along the way, they explain the importance of grading, how slabbing works, and why it’s pointless to steal a really valuable comic that’s already known to collectors. [The Verge]
A thief walked out of JC’s Comics ‘N’ More in Toledo, Ohio, with $1,400 worth of comics concealed in his pants, but he seems to had a change of heart– after video of the act was shared on a local newscast, the comics were mysteriously returned
Store owner James Collins said the seven missing comics were Marvel’s Civil War comics with variant covers, valued at between $70 an $250 apiece. Collins first noticed the missing comics last Wednesday, and when he viewed the security camera footage, he saw a man, accompanied by a woman, enter the store, stuff the comics into his pants, and walk out without paying. Collins was tending to other business at the time and didn’t see them enter or leave the store.
The Connecticut State Police are investigating a seventh-grader who allegedly created a Death Note-inspired booklet containing the names of classmates. The student won’t be permitted to return to Griswold Middle School for the remainder of the year, which ends Friday.
In an email sent Tuesday to parents, Griswold Public Schools Superintendent Paul K. Smith said that although students had been aware of the booklet’s existence, it wasn’t brought to the attention of the administration until Monday. The police were called immediately.
If we’ve learned anything from comic books and their adaptations, it’s that superheroes seldom choose their own aliases. More often than not, they’re dreaming up by enterprising reporters or gruff, cigar-chomping editors. Such is the case with South London’s new masked crimefighter, dubbed the “Bromley Batman” last week by a local newspaper.
It’s “God awful,” he told the Evening Standard, which gave him the name in the first place. Conceding he’d never thought about adopting an alias, he said, “As a young boy I always enjoyed The Shadow, so if any name then that one kind of makes some sense.”
Crime | A rare copy of 1939’s Superman #3 was stolen from Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton, Alberta, sometime in the past week. The comic was displayed high on a wall, and when owner Jay Bardyla went to show it to a customer on Wednesday, it was missing. This issue would be worth $30,000 if it were in mint condition, but Happy Harbor’s copy had tears and other defects and was priced at $2,000. Bardyla and his staff are keeping an eye on comics sites and other comic shops to see if it turns up. “To my knowledge there’s not another copy of Superman #3 kicking around Edmonton so if it shows up at another shop, pawn shop or a flea market … hopefully if they see it they’ll let us know,” he said. [Global News]
South London has its own masked vigilante, dubbed by local media as the “Bromley Batman.”
The Evening Standard reports the suburban Dark Knight, clad in “combat trousers and a muscle top,” made his presence known late Monday in Bromley, where he rescued a city worker from an apparent gang of knife-wielding “foul-mouthed thugs” who demanded his phone and wallet.
Retailing | Sales of both comics and graphic novels were strong during the 2014 holiday season and have continued to grow since then, according to the 13 retailers (nine direct market shops and four bookstores that carry graphic novels) surveyed by Publishers Weekly. The answers seem to reflect some trends that have been ongoing for a while: Image Comics solidifying its place as the No. 3 (and in one case, No. 2) comics publisher, the increasing popularity of graphic novels and an influx of new readers, many of them young and female. [Publishers Weekly]
Retailing | Brooklyn Comics & More Inc., the owner of two now-closed stores in New York City, has filed for bankruptcy. The corporation opened Brooklyn Comics & More in 2010 and Manhattan Comics & More in 2011; both closed in 2013. The company’s debts include $71,799.93 owed to Diamond Comic Distributors. [ICv2]
It seemed like a good idea at the time. When 40-year-old Star Wars fan George Cross bought a Stormtrooper costume, he thought it would be fun to show it off around the neighborhood in Lynn, Massachusetts, and surprise students at an elementary school. What could possibly go wrong?
Cross quickly found out.
The list of crimes involving people in Spider-Man masks is long and legendary, encompassing acts ranging from street brawls to convenience-store robberies. Let’s chalk it up to the widespread availability of Spider-Man costumes — he is, after all, one of the most popular and recognizable characters on the planet — and not a sign of a deeper sociological problem. Or, heaven forbid, damning evidence that J. Jonah Jameson has been right all along.
The latest entry on that web-covered tally comes from Powhatan, Virginia, where a man in a Spider-Man mask and his two bandana-wearing amazing friends — let’s call them Iceman and Firestar — ransacked a firearms dealer early Monday, making off with 30 guns.