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Omaha comic store robbed at knife point … for ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! cards

comic-store-robbery

Dragon’s Lair Comics & Games in Omaha, Nebraska, was robbed at knife point Monday morning by a man wearing a Darth Vader sweatshirt who demanded not cash, not rare comic books but Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. He made off with a box of the cards worth $150, and nothing else.

Owner Bob Gellner told WOWT News that the suspect asked the store clerk to show him specific cards, and then “he drew a knife, took the cards and ran.”

“I’ve had this business here for 35 years and this is the first time we’ve been robbed,” he continued. “We’ve been burglarized. We called the police and they caught them, but this is the first time we’ve been robbed.”

As of Monday night, no suspect had been found. No one was injured in the robbery, but as you can see in the video below, some the shop’s neighbors are plenty annoyed.

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The Joker charged with driving drunk in Maine

The Joker ArrestedIn his nearly 75-year career of villainy, The Joker has made it through some tough times: the Cesar Romero era, the loss of Harley Quinn … the loss of his, um, face. But this may be his low point.

According to the Waterville, Maine, Morning Sentinel, police arrested the Clown Prince of Crime early Sunday morning after he allegedly lost control of his 2002 Buick Regal and drove off the road, striking multiple trees and a rock.

Sixty-four-year-old Dennis Lalime of Pittsfield, Maine, who told police he was returning from a Halloween party, was subsequently charged with operating under the influence. Although the Pittsfield Police Department uncovered The Joker’s true identity, as you can see from his booking photo, the Somerset County Jail permitted him the indignity dignity of retaining most of his makeup.

Commissioner James Gordon had no comment on the arrest. Repeated calls to Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel went unanswered.

Comics A.M. | Cumbria comic festival already looking to next year

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Conventions | Declaring this weekend’s inaugural Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, Cumbria, England, a success, organizers have already announced the dates for next year’s event: Oct. 17-19. “Our first year has been everything we could have wished for,” said festival director Julie Tait. “There was a huge buzz right through Kendal – from The Brewery Arts Centre right to The Box on Wildman Street, as well as at the shopping centre and the library. The town has really got involved and there has been art work on every street. It feels like the weekend has involved everyone – from adults following their passion for Viz humour to kids learning how Peppa Pig was created.” This year’s festival featured guests ranging from Charlie Adlard and Ed Brubaker to David Lloyd and Trina Robbins. [Cumbria Live]

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Venezuelan president blames Spider-Man for nation’s violence

spider-man3

Costumed superheroes have developed a bit of a bad reputation over the past several months, and not without cause: There was the Spider-Man robbery on Hollywood Boulevard, the She-Hulk assault in York, England, the brawl between Spider-Man and two Captain Americas on Hollywood Boulevard, the Iron Man bank robbery in Florida, and, just this morning, the Spider-Man store robbery in Pittsburgh.

OK, so it’s primarily Spider-Man causing the problems. But can we blame the wall-crawler for the horrible violence plaguing an entire country? Let’s ask Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose nation saw 16,000 murders in 2012, and another 3,400 in the first quarter of this year.

In a new interview with the Bolivian newspaper La Opinión, Maduro said there’s a correlation between youth violence and the idolization of superheroes — it contributes to a “factory of anti-values,” apparently — a connection he made while he and his wife were watching Spider-Man 3.

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Pittsburgh police arrest Spider-Man in store robbery

spiderman-arrest2

Spider-Man has defeated foes ranging from the Green Goblin and Electro to Venom and the Rhino, but he’s no match for a convenience-store clerk with a Taser.

According to a Pittsburgh police report, a man wearing a Spider-Man costume entered the Atwood Xpress at 1:10 this morning and loudly asked the clerk, “How much money you got?” When the employee realized he was being robbed, he pulled out an “arcing Taser” and attempted to use on the wall-crawler, who then fled down the street quicker than Speed Demon.

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Superman saves Wonder Woman from Hollywood Blvd. attack

superman-wonder-woman

Typically when we report about the costumed characters on Hollywood Boulevard or in New York City’s Times Square, it’s because of their alleged misbehavior: assault, theft, all-out civil war. But this time the superheroes are actually, well, the heroes.

Los Angeles’ KABC reports that on Friday, well-known character impersonators Jennifer Wenger and Christopher Dennis (aka Wonder Woman and Superman) were taping a segment for Jimmy Kimmel Live when Wenger was attacked by a cowboy boot-wearing transient who’s apparently infamous for bad behavior.

“She got in my face and she flipped my lip, and then punched me in the face,” Wenger told KABC. And that’s when the Man of Steel stepped in. “I’m then reflecting all of her boot throws,” Dennis explained. “She actually hits Wonder Woman again with a boot. I reflected it and it just kind of ricocheted off my arm and hit her in the face.”

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After 13 years, DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer gets a trial date

Ed Kramer (Gwinnett County Jail booking photo)

Ed Kramer (Gwinnett County Jail booking photo)

Thirteen years after his original arrest on child-molestation charges, DragonCon co-found Ed Kramer is at last heading to trial. Or, at least he has a trial date.

The Gwinnett (Georgia) Daily Post reports that following a two-and-a-half-hour hearing on Monday, Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers added the Kramer case to the judicial calendar for the weeks of Dec. 2 and 9 — and according to Kramer’s attorney McNeill Stokes, his client “wants to go to trial.”

Kramer was originally arrested on charges of molesting three teenage boys between 1996 and 2000, but the trial has been repeatedly delayed since his 2003 indictment through legal maneuverings and claims of declining health, which at one point apparently required the attention of 16 physicians. He was first released on bond in November 2000, less than three months after his arrest, but he was back in jail within days when a neighbor reported seeing a teenage boy enter his home.

Following claims of a January 2001 assault by a deputy, Kramer was placed on house arrest, an order later modified to permit travel between Georgia and New Jersey or New York to receive medical treatments and visit his ailing mother. Under the conditions of the bond, he was to report his weekly location and not have any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16. However, in September 2011, he was arrested in Connecticut after he allegedly was found alone in a hotel room with a 14-year-old boy. He was extradited back to Georgia in January 2013 to face six counts of child molestation.

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Cosplay photo shoot spooks Boca Raton residents, police

boca weapons

What began Saturday night in Boca Raton, Florida, as a seemingly harmless photo shoot for an upcoming comics convention, quickly turned into a tense confrontation with police.

According to Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander, concerned residents approached two officers to report they saw four or five people donning body armor and taking guns from the trunk of a car. The cops immediately rushed to the top floor of a nearby parking garage, where they found five men in “military-style outfits” brandishing firearms; one had two samurai swords strapped to his back. You can see some of their weapons and gear, including a Deadpool mask, in the photos above.

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Iron Man falls on hard times, robs Florida bank

Man dressed like Iron Man robs bank

Tony Stark has hit many lows over his lifetime — alcoholism, Civil War, Secret InvasionIron Man 2 — but who could’ve guessed he’d resort to a poorly dressed life of crime?

The Orlando Sentinel reports a man wearing an Iron Man mask and tan jumpsuit ran into a Wells Fargo Bank in Flagler County on Thursday afternoon, waved a gun and demanded money. None of the 10 people in the bank at the time was injured, but the man got away with an undisclosed amount of money.

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Foiled death-ray terror plot is ‘the stuff of comic books’

death rayTwo New York men were indicted this week in an alleged plot to build a portable X-ray weapon to destroy enemies of Israel that scientists say is “the stuff of comic books.”

Indeed, while death rays may have been the preferred weapon of Golden Age supervillains and B-movie mad scientists, their real-world application is dubious in best. However, that apparently didn’t stop 49-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford of Galway, New York, and 54-year-old Eric J. Feight of Hudson, New York, from trying.

The two appeared Wednesday in federal court in Albany, New York, charged with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists with the weapon. According to The Associated Press, federal prosecutors allege that Crawford, an industrial mechanic for General Electric in Schenectady, approached Jewish groups last year searching for funding and people who could help him with technology that could secretly deliver damaging, and possibly lethal, doses of radiation to Muslims and other targets he considered enemies of Israel. The indictment states that he traveled to North Carolina to solicit more money from “a ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan,” who contacted the FBI.

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Taiwanese animators recreate Hollywood superhero brawl

civil-war-next-media

If you were left confused this week by reports of a brawl breaking out among costumed heroes on Hollywood Boulevard left you confused — two Captain Americas vs. one Spider-Man? — TomoNews US is on hand to sort things out with a typically absurd animated recreation of events.

If the work looks familiar, it’s because these are the folks at Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese studio that previously brought us such gems as explanations of Miles Morales as the new Spider-Man and the insanity of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. This video isn’t nearly as outlandish as those — sorry, no depictions of a Taiwanese wall-crawler strangling a panda — but it does envision what the fight at the Madame Tussauds kiosk might’ve looked like, complete with blood spurting from an unnerving mouth on Spider-Man’s mask.

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‘Civil War’ breaks out among Hollywood’s costumed heroes

hollywood-civil-war

In retrospect, the Superhuman Registration Act doesn’t seem like such a bad idea after all: First there were reports of assault, and theft, by Spider-Man, and then there was that late-night attack by She-Hulk. Now Civil War has broken out among costumed heroes on the streets of Hollywood.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Spider-Man and two Captain Americas (perhaps one was that crazy Cap from the 1950s) came to blows Wednesday afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Dolby Theatre. The cause? A turf war among superhero impersonators — who, like their Marvel Universe counterparts, operate with little regulation — and accusations of harassing tourists.

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Comics A.M. | Comic-Con countdown (unofficially) begins

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

Conventions | Comic-Con International in San Diego is about six weeks away, so it’s time for Tom Spurgeon to post his massive list of tips for those planning to attend: “It helps to remember that the hassle of going to Comic-Con is mostly an accident of our recent cultural history — All those spectacle movies! All those fantasy franchise books! Marvel’s post-bankruptcy comeback! All those graphic novels! The toy explosion! The rise of manga and anime! — rather than something the convention itself enjoys or endorses or requires or was ever shooting for. I honestly don’t have any more fun going now than I did in ’96 or ’01, back when it was so much easier to attend the con that the worst-case scenario was registering on-site and staying in a $65 hotel ten blocks away. It wasn’t that long ago!  But I also can’t stress this enough. I still have fun.” [The Comics Reporter]

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Comics A.M. | Stan Lee cancels Denver Comic Con appearance

Stan Lee

Stan Lee

Conventions | Stan Lee has canceled his appearance at Denver Comic Con, held May 31-June 2, citing a conflict with filming for a cameo in a Marvel movie. William Shatner has stepped in to take his place. Nonetheless, a reporter snagged a pre-convention  interview with Lee, in which he talks about what makes a convention great and how comics help kids learn to read, and counters a common criticism: “Some people will say, ‘Why read a comic book? It stifles the imagination. If you read a novel you imagine what people are like. If you read a comic, it’s showing you.’ The only answer I can give is, ‘You can read a Shakespeare play, but does that mean you wouldn’t want to see it on the stage?’” [The Denver Post]

Charities | Matthew Price rounds up efforts by the comics community to help those in Oklahoma devastated by the tornadoes. [NewsOK.com]

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Theater hires ‘gunmen’ for ‘Iron Man 3′ publicity stunt

missouri-iron man

Less than a year after a masked gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 others at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, the management of a Missouri theater paid an actor — or, rather, actors — dressed in tactical gear and carrying fake guns to walk into the multiplex last weekend to promote the opening of Iron Man 3. Needless to say, it wasn’t well-received by everyone, including the police.

Columbia, Missouri’s ABC 17 News reports Jefferson City police responded to a series of 911 calls from moviegoers stating “that a man dressed in all black and body armor and a rifle was walking into Capital 8 Theaters.” However, instead of confronting the active shooter that they expected, Capt. Doug Shoemaker said police arrived to find a publicity stunt orchestrated by the theater.

“Everything was in place, it’s the opening night of a superhero movie, it’s somebody walking in all-dark clothes, everything pointed to bad things about to happen,” he told the news station. “There’s really no good that can come of this.”

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