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Quote of the day | Timeless, and subversive, Riverdale

live with archie-alex ross“I have a fleece that I wear that has an Archie patch on it, and everywhere I go people will stop me and say ‘Archie, I love Archie!’ I think the teen years are such a universal experience — people are either going through it, looking forward to going through it, not looking forward to going through it, went through hell in high school, loved their high school experience — and somehow Archie and his adventures capture all that. I went to an all-boys prep school and had a pretty good high school experience, I would say, but there’s always something about those stories where I always wished I went to Riverdale High. And I wish I was part of that kind of gang of friends. I don’t know why. But there was something really comforting about it. I also always thought there was something subversive about the brand. I always felt like there was stuff happening right to the right or the left of the panels, and I was always interested in what those stories were.”

– Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa,
on the enduring appeal of the Riverdale gang


Reminder: Annual Comic-Con hotel rush kicks off this morning

The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889

The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889

If you purchased badges for Comic-Con International but haven’t received an email directing you to the Travel Planners hotel reservation website, it’s time to begin frantically searching your spam folder. That’s because, as we noted Friday, the annual free-for-all for discounted rooms begins this morning at 9 PT. That’s, oh, two hours from now …

If you didn’t receive, or can’t find, that email with the website link, the URL should appear on the Comic-Con International hotel page after 9 a.m. At that time you can also call 1-877-552-6642 or 212-532-1660 for assistance.

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Harley Quinn only wants to kill the Batman in ‘Frozen’ parody

harley-frozen

While “Let It Go” has received most of the attention (to say nothing of an Academy Award), Disney’s Frozen has plenty of catchy tunes, including “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” Now that song gets its moment in the sun (so to speak) with a parody called “Do You Wanna Kill the Batman?,” performed by SydneyAmber as Harley Quinn.

It works even if you’re unfamiliar with the original, as a lonely Harley tries to persuade The Joker to join her in a little mayhem, and perhaps mend their relationship.

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‘Cardboard Tony Stark’ creates full-size Iron Man suit

cardboard-iron-man-cropped

When 20-year-old Taiwanese artist Xhongkai Xiang boasts, “I am the cardboard Tony Stark,” it’s difficult to argue with him. Sure, Stark is a billionaire playboy who fights evil alongside a gamma-irradiated monster and a god, but Xiang has a full-size Iron Man suit … created entirely out of cardboard.

“Tony Stark’s suit cost almost $1 billion,” he says in the video below. “But mine cost almost zero.”

Xiang spent nearly a year constructing the armor in his free time, “because I have many, many things to do.” Some of those things are likely other amazing cardboard constructions, a dragon, Optimus Prime, and a bird and lizard that look real. He also made an Alien out of drinking straws.

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The mad dash for Comic-Con hotel rooms is Tuesday

san diego

Now that you’ve recovered from the 90-minute marathon for badges, it’s time prepare for the next hurdle on the route to Comic-Con International in San Diego: the annual melee for discounted hotel rooms. As the little bird at the convention’s Toucan blog tells us, reservations open Tuesday at 9 a.m. PT.

More than 70 hotels, from Downtown San Diego to the airport to Mission Valley, are part of the convention block, offering room rates ranging from $152 to to $375 per night — up slightly from last year — the July 24-27 event.

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Deathstroke goes in for kill in trailer for ‘Arkham Origins’ fan film

deathstroke

Going Nowhere Studios has debuted a pretty impressive trailer for Deathstroke: Arkham Assassin, a fan-film prequel to the Warner Bros. video game Batman: Arkham Origins.

In the game, a bounty is placed on the Dark Knight by the Black Mask, bringing eight of the world’s greatest assassins to Gotham City on Christmas Eve — including the formidable Deathstroke. But as the trailer teases, the crime lord requires a demonstration of his skills.

The short film is set to premiere Monday online.

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BaneCat is going to have to kill you now

banecat

It’s been nearly two years since the release of The Dark Knight Rises, and we’re no closer to figuring out the reason for Tom Hardy’s bizarre and grating Bane voice (the actor has said it was based on bare-knuckle boxing champ Bartley Gorman, but that doesn’t explain why). Still, it gave Bane the most recognizable voice of any Batman villain since Burgess Meredith’s Penguin, and paved the way for … BaneCat.

Somehow, that voice is less annoying when it comes from a plump, plotting feline wearing a respirator mask and fleece-trimmed coat — one who’s apparently getting his own series.

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ECCC | Flash mob

flash mob-cropped

Comic Book Resources contributor George Tramountanas tapped into the Speed Force this weekend to capture an unexpected gathering of Flashes at Emerald City Comicon.

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Attack ad warns, ‘Don’t Trust Captain America’

dont-trust-cap

With midterm elections approaching faster than most of us would like, we’ll soon be inundated by political commercials peppered with bold claims, blatant lies, ominous voiceovers and bizarre graphics. Looking to beat the rush, Jason Inman has released an attack ad targeting the most patriotic of public figures: Captain America.

Wading deep into the mud, Inman questions Steve Rogers’ Army records, his faithfulness, his dancing abilities — he even accuses him of … palling around with terrorists!

Swift-boating was introduced in the 2004 Presidential campaign; does this ad mark the debut of shield-throwing? (Wing-heading? Winter-Soldiering? Super-Soldier truthers?) And who’s this mysterious group paying for Inman’s ad?

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Photographer documents real-life superheroes in portrait series

we the people

Superhero comics are typically about good versus evil, and a growing number of people are taking those lessons to heart — and to the streets — as honest-to-goodness superheroes. Los Angeles photographer Dean Bradshaw has captured some of them in a new series titled “Real Life Superheroes.”

This photo set features heroes like Nevada’s We The People (above) and 18 others, many of whom are based in California. Eighteen of these are new creations dreamed up by the hero, with only one — Chicago’s Moon Knight — taking his name and design from an existing character. Here’s a selection of some of the portraits, but visit Bradshaw’s site to see all of them.

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Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon filling up quickly [Updated]

avengers half-marathon

Registration opened this morning for runDisney’s inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, and it’s nearly sold out already. You’d almost think this was Comic-Con International.

Announced last month, the Nov. 14-16 event brings runners to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, for kids races, a 5K, a half marathon, a pre-race pasta party featuring the Marvel characters and a merchandise expo. It marks the first such collaboration since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009.

At the time of this post, the kids races and Avengers 5K were sold out, with the Avengers Half Marathon at 98 percent; there’s still a little room at the pasta party, however.

Update (11:25 a.m.): And just like that, the Avengers Half Marathon is sold out.

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Comics A.M. | Author, ‘Vermillion’ writer Lucius Shepard dies

Lucius Shepard

Lucius Shepard

Passings | Award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Lucius Shepard, whose work included Life During Wartime and The Jaguar Hunter, passed away March 18. He was 66. Shepard ventured into comics writing on a few occasions, with the series Vermillion, part of DC Comics’ short-lived Helix imprint, and with contributions to Vertigo anthologies Gangland and Flinch. [Tor.com, BoingBoing]

Creators | American Vampire artist Rafael Albuquerque talks about the upcoming “Second Cycle” of the Vertigo series, which returns after a hiatus of more than a year. [Hero Complex]

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Animator creates awesome custom ‘Dragon Ball’ short for son

dragon-ball-custom

Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball has been delighting fans worldwide, first as a manga and then as an anime, for three decades. Clearly there’s something magical about the adventures of Goku that transcends national boundaries and generations — and Robson Menezes dos Santos tapped into that for his son’s birthday present.

The Brazilian animator spent five and a half months to create a short that recasts himself and his young son Rasdael as Toriyama’s heroes. He even went so far as to enlist the talents of Wendel Bezerra and Tania Gaidarji, voice actors who worked on the official Brazilian dubs.

“This is my greatest gift to my son,” Robson writes in the video below, “a fan animation in the style of the anime we enjoy most together …”

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Comics A.M. | MegaCon expected to attract 70,000 this weekend

MegaCon

MegaCon

Conventions | Organizers anticipate as many as 70,000 people will attend MegaCon, held Friday through Sunday at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, up from about 60,000 last year; that could translate to $23 million impact on the local economy, according to the Orlando Business Journal. Guests include Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, Chuck Dixon, Adam Kubert, Greg Land, Stan Lee, Jimmy Palmiotti, George Perez, Herb Trimpe, Mark Waid and Skottie Young. However, the names drawing the most attention may be The Walking Dead stars David Morrissey, Danai Gurira and Steve Yeun. “We are the first convention in the U.S. to have both David Morrissey and Danai Gurira at the same time,” Jason Smith, MegaCon’s director of operations, told Florida Today. “The show is definitely a fan favorite of our attendees.” [MegaCon]

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Is the world ready for … a comics truck?

Penguin Book Truck

Penguin Book Truck

The story of Chris Romberger’s comics vending machine reminded me of an idea I had kicking around my head a couple of weeks ago: Here in Los Angeles, there has been something of a food-truck revolution going on for the past several years. And then I saw that last summer, Penguin Books launched a book truck. As Book Riot pointed out, bookmobiles and other ways to bring books to the people are nothing new, so I thought, why not comics?

A comics truck would be a fun way to spread the love of comic books, graphic novels, manga and all things sequentially artistic. It would probably never really be a replacement for a comics store, due to space limitations, but it could be effective as an outreach tool to drive buyers back to shops — plus be a dynamic retail outlet that can carry specific titles for the readers it will reach.

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