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Comics A.M. | Trade deal could pose threat to fan comics

Comiket 88

Comiket 88

Legal | Anime and manga fans in Japan are raising concerns that a proposed provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership would threaten the existence of doujinshi, fan-made comics that are often parodies of commercial manga. Many established manga creators cut their teeth on doujinshi (and some return to it even after their series hit the big time), and the biggest comics expo in the world, Comiket, is devoted to doujinshi. The works are self-published and made in small batches, sold to fellow enthusiasts at large and small conventions, and Japanese publishers generally ignore them. Under current Japanese law, only the rights holder can bring a copyright complaint, but the TPP would allow complaints from third parties, including the creator of a rival doujinshi. “If creators can be prosecuted without complaints from rights holders, it could lead to some kind of snitching battle between fans,” said Negima creator Ken Akamatsu, himself a former doujinshi-ka. “Places for people to share their work will also disappear.” [The Japan News]

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What better way to play ‘Minecraft’ than on a custom Redstone PC?

redstone2

When Spencer Kern decided to build a PC from scratch, he turned to Minecraft for inspiration. After all, if the sole purpose of the computer for playing the wildly popular sandbox video game, it should look the part, right?

And so began the Redstone PC, a beautiful cube that resembles the Redstone blocks from Minecraft. That in itself would probably be enough for most people, but not Kern, who also crafted a custom keyboard, controller and mouse. As he explains in his breakdown of the project, there’s even a Steve minifigure.

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Thor drops the hammer on zombie Hulk in animated fan short

thor-zombie-hulk

Thor and the Incredible Hulk have faced each other on so many occasions that it’s virtually impossible to keep count (although I’m sure somewhere there’s an intrepid fan who knows the exact number), but it’s safe to say this new animated short is the first time Marvel’s new Thor has fought zombie Hulk.

The work of Milton Pool of Miltonius Arts, the video is a little heavy on fan service, with Thor (or “She Thor,” as he refers to her) clad in a costume apparently deemed too skimpy by Red Sonja. However, the short possesses an undeniable frenetic appeal, with a story — OK, there’s not really a story: Thor smashes some zombie skulls, only to be confronted by an undead Hulk.

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Jinkies! ‘Scooby-Doo’ gets a ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ makeover

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The influential Hanna-Barbera classic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! has endured through a series of lesser spinoffs, sequels and revivals, live-action films of varying quality, and even Scrappy-Doo. But can it survive a visit to San Andreas?

YouTube user BTZ places the Mystery Incorporated gang within the world of Grand Theft Auto V, using the Rockstar Editor and Director Mode to remake the opening of the 1969 cartoon. Franklin’s rottweiler Chop is recast as Scooby, naturally.

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‘X-Men’ fans give Emma Frost an overdue fashion makeover

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Emma Frost’s 35-year history has been marked by a series of corset calamities, with the former White Queen routinely clad (if barely) in fetish gear, impossibly high heels and/or cleavage-exposing tops. Empowering? Eh, maybe. Dated? Probably. Impractical? Definitely.

Inspired by a recent ComicsAlliance article about the character’s wardrobe, Terry Blas has launched the Emma Frost Fashion Redesign Project, which is exactly what it sounds like: a blog devoted to fan reinterpretations of the White Queen’s look.

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Comics A.M. | Despite ban, ‘Death Note’ is still big in China

Light Yagami, from "Death Note"

Light Yagami, from “Death Note”

Censorship | China may have banned 38 manga and anime series, including Attack on Titan and Death Note, but fans are still finding ways to read and watch them — and Death Note is one of the most popular topics on the social media service Sina Weibo. “Chinese authorities are used to a certain degree of permeability in their various bans and directives,” says Jonathan Clements, author of Anime: A History. “The issue with a lot of Chinese censorship isn’t about a blanket ban that keeps 100% of material out. It’s about making life as difficult as possible for people who actually want it. A ban like this is about restricting casual access.” [BBC News]

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This custom R2-D2 themed PS4 is the console you’re looking for

r2-ps4

As incredible as the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront video game looks, it wouldn’t seem right to play it on just any PlayStation 4. You need something like this, a custom R2-D2 themed PlayBook 4.

Constructed by Eddie Zarick, with some assistance from the folks at Astromech, it’s effectively a scaled-down, rectangular version of the fan-favorite droid, with a 3D-printed case and realistic sound effects. As you can see in the video below, the console features an R2-style red/blue light and makes appropriate sounds when certain buttons are pushed.

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Unable find his daughter a Ms. Marvel costume, this dad made one

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When his comics-loving daughter was invited to a superhero-themed birthday party, one geek dad set out to buy the 6-year-old a Ms. Marvel costume, only to be disappointed when he couldn’t find one. None of the alternatives — Spider-Girl, Captain America, pink Spider-Girl — would do, so he broke out the sewing machine and made a Kamala Khan outfit himself. The result, as you can see, is just about perfect.

In an open letter to Marvel, Captain Milkshake lists all of the materials and their prices (the dress was marked down, so all told the project cost about $49), but also makes an appeal for more girl-inclusive merchandise.

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‘The Simpsons’ meets ‘Akira’ in ‘Bartkira’ animated trailer

bartkira

Ryan Humphrey had no way of knowing that his Simpsons/Akira mashup would inspire James Harvey to spearhead Bartkira, an ambitious — epic, even — jam project in which hundreds of artists would recreate every page from Katsuhiro Otomo’s pioneering cyberpunk manga using characters from Matt Groening’s beloved animates series. That, in turn, led international art shows. Now add to the chain Bartkira: The Animated Trailer.

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After 23 surgeries to look like Superman, ‘Man of Plastic’ meets his Kryptonite

superman-chavez3

Herbert Chavez, the Superman fanatic who’s undergone 23 surgeries to make himself look more like the Man of Steel, may have discovered his Kryptonite: his doctors.

Over the past 18 years, the Filipino man has spent thousands of dollars in hopes of achieving his goal — liposuction, eye surgery, skin lightening, cheek and jaw augmentation — you name it. “I hope to become the Man of Plastic,” he says.

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Fan recreates classic comic book covers in LEGO

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Who needs LEGO’s Comic-Con International-exclusive Superman playset when you can create your own brick homages to classic comic book covers? Well, as long as you have the creativity, and the right LEGO pieces.

Luckily imgur user Corsairsteel has both, as demonstrated in this gallery of LEGO dioramas recreating covers ranging from Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 to The Incredible Hulk #125 and Batman: The Killing Joke. Most of them even include the trade dress, word balloons and blurbs.

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Comics A.M. | ‘Naruto’ spinoff manga to end next week

From "Weekly Shonen Jump"

From “Weekly Shonen Jump”

Manga | The Naruto spinoff Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, which is running simultaneously in the Japanese and American versions of Shonen Jump, will end in the July 6 issue. [Anime News Network]

Fandom | Rob Salkowitz presents results of a recent survey of convention-goers conducted by the online ticket platform Eventbrite. Interestingly, they found almost complete gender parity (48.9 percent female, 48.7 percent male, and 3.1 percent non-binary/other) among convention-goers in general but much bigger skews in individual categories: “Comics, toys and gaming are predominantly male, while media, anime/manga and sci-fi/fantasy fandom are predominantly female.” A typical con-goer spends between $100 an $500, with comics fans being the biggest spenders and prints and original art the most popular thing to buy. There’s a lot more detail in the article about what people like and don’t like (biggest beef: lack of wi-fi an connectivity in convention centers). The survey updates and expands on a similar survey conducted last year. [ICv2]

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An 8-year-old fan wrote Steve Ditko a letter, and here’s how Ditko responded

steve ditko

Steve Ditko isn’t known for being a chatty fellow with the press, but one 8-year-old just nabbed the exclusive of a lifetime.

A young comic reader named Carl runs the blog Carl’s Comix! with help from his father. Although Carl is a big fan of Spider-Man and Batman, he more frequently talks about the old-school stuff, like ’60s Flash comics and early Amazing Spider-Man stories. That’s why he took it upon himself to write to the legendary Ditko.

Carl wanted to know whether any of Ditko’s teachers made him want to get into comics, and also what he had the most fun drawing. He capped it off by thanking the artist for inventing Spider-Man. It was a fan letter anyone might’ve have written at one point or another in their lives, but Carl’s actually received a response.

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This fan-made ‘Doctor Strange’ credit sequence is spellbinding

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Last week we were teased with a fun fan-made trailer for Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, and now we treated to a wonderfully imaginative credits sequence that employs animated comic book art.

The song is “The W.A.N.D.” by The Flaming Lips, which seems strangely appropriates — “We’re the enforcers, the sorcerer’s orphans, and we know why we fight” — even if it’s highly unlikely to show up on the movie soundtrack.

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Fan creates detailed LEGO replica of Uncle Scrooge’s money bin

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Some of us have fantasized about going for a swim in a gold-filled vault like Scrooge McDuck, but Carl Barks fan Dennis Steppe put his time to better use: He built a painstakingly detailed model of the legendary money bin using LEGO bricks and Don Rosa’s blueprints. And it only cost a small fortune.

The artist discovered the impressive project while appearing over the weekend at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con, where he signed one of the money bin’s exterior walls.

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