Director J.J. Abrams will undoubtedly receive a lot of unsolicited advice about Star Wars: Episode VII, on which hangs the future of the blockbuster franchise and the hopes and dreams of countless fans, but none will likely be as succinct and stylishly rendered as “Dear J.J. Abrams” (or, “4 Rules to Make Star Wars Great Again”).
Produced by Prescott Harvey with the creative agency Sincerely, Truman, this love letter to A Galaxy Far, Far Away manages to capture much of what made the first three films so special, why the others were so … well, terrible, with just four rules. However, there was at least one more that didn’t end up in the video.
When Bruce Wayne was searching for a symbol to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, he decided that, “Yes, father, I shall become a bat.” When Blake Wilson was searching for a gift for a child’s birthday, he discovered a Batman mask in the toy aisle and decided … he would become BatDad.
That twist of fate, a mere three weeks ago, has both entertained and annoyed his wife and children (honestly, judging from a couple of the Vine videos, Jen doesn’t look too amused), and transformed BatDad into a bit of an Internet sensation. You see, Blake shoots video of himself wearing the mask as he, with a Christian Bale-like growl, shouts things like “Where is she?” at his young son, “Jen! Make sure you wash my pajamas!” at his startled wife, and “Wake up! It’s time for breakfast!” at his sleeping daughter.
Yeah, raspy-voiced BatDad shouts a lot, which may eventually put his jumpy family on a path toward Arkham Asylum. See some of the videos below, and more of them here.
“The circumstances could be more pleasant. You never want to take over a book when people leave on not the best terms, but the character is so rich and I’m such a huge fan of everything Greg [Rucka] and Haden and J.H. — especially J.H. — have done on that book, that I’m not going in to rearrange everything and say, ‘Everything that went on before is bad. I’m going to fix it.’ I want to do right by the character, and the character that they have done … I’ve got to say, the reaction on the Internet — I expected to be vilified, and drawn and quartered, and I’ve only been called ‘gay Uncle Tom’ by about three websites, so statistically, I’m ahead of the game. Statistically, the Internet’s been great to me.”
– writer Marc Andreyko, in an interview with CBR TV, discussing taking the reins on DC’s Batwoman following the sudden departure of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Two to three times a week for more than a decade, Jeffrey Babbitt made the trip from his home in Brooklyn to Forbidden Planet in Manhattan to buy comics or to simply talk with the staff. But then last Wednesday, while on his regular pilgrimage, the 62-year-old retired train conductor was attacked in Union Square, just blocks from the store, and struck his head on the pavement. Babbitt was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where The New York Times reports he was eventually declared brain dead and passed away Monday morning.
According to the newspaper, the attack was apparently random, from an assailant who proclaimed he would “punch the first white man I see.” Police arrested 40-year-old Lashawn Marten, who allegedly also struck two men who tried to help Babbitt. Marten was charged with three counts of assault; in the wake of Babbitt’s death, those will most likely be upgraded.
The longtime comics fan, who cared for his 94-year-old mother Lucille, was by all accounts the kind of person everyone liked. Forbidden Planet manager Jeff Ayers described Babbitt to the newspaper as “just a really, really, really sweet guy.” He visited Babbitt at the hospital, where Lucille sat part of the time at her son’s bedside.
The store’s employees are said to be deeply affected by Babbitt’s death, and are now worried about the welfare of his mother. They plan to establish a fund to help with her care.
While the Scott Pilgrim-themed proposal scavenger hunt and the Bat-themed wedding were fun and imaginative, here’s something that may give them a run for their money: typically dull engagement photos presented as a horror comic.
Photographer Laszlo Bodnar on the Hungary-based ElevenPhoto tells The Huffington Post that the future bride and groom, who are fans of horror movies, suggested a Texas Chainsaw-themed setting. So Bodnar took the idea and ran with it, transforming the photos into a comic.
See part of the comic below, and the rest at The Huffington Post.
In case the Brony Herd Census released earlier this year wasn’t enough to convince you the sparkly threat is real — it pegged the U.S. brony population at somewhere between 7 million and 12.4 million — we now have irrefutable evidence that it’s attempting to infiltrate the business world: May we present what is, by all accounts, an honest-to-goodness My Little Pony-themed resume from an unabashed brony.
Bronies are, of course, the adult- and teen-male devotees of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a nearly three-year-old animated series (based on the Hasbro toy line) that has already spawned a spinoff, comic books, a video game, a collectible card game, and who knows what else. It’s wildly popular, and attracts a male following large enough to 1.) have a name (“brony” is a combination of “bro” and “pony”), and 2.) rate its own conventions and meet-ups around the globe.
Conventions | Next week, Salt Lake City will get its first comics convention, Salt Lake Comic Con, which has already sold a reported 23,000 tickets (the event’s website says 20,000). But founder Dan Farr expects attendance to far exceed 40,000, surpassing the 33,000 recorded for New York Comic Con’s inaugural year.[Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune]
Conventions | Oni Hartstein, the co-founder of Intervention, talks about why she established the Washington, DC-area convention and why its DIY aspect sets it apart. [Comic Riffs]
“In the past, comics companies have tended to suggest diversity should ‘happen naturally,’ as if when you leave a comic book open overnight gay men might grow in the pages like mustard and cress, so it’s great that Marvel are now championing it, doing it deliberately. Because that’s the only way it can be done. Jeanine’s [Schaefer, his editor on Wolverine] a force for change. And there are a number of prominent female editors now who are altering the face of pro comics culture pretty swiftly.
Online comics fandom, meanwhile, if you judge solely by the comics message boards, remains conservative and behind the times. The action is to be found on Tumblr, where the Carol Corps lives.”
– writer Paul Cornell, who adheres to a strict “panel parity” rule at conventions (he won’t appear on all-male panels), talking to the New Statesman about embracing political issues in mainstream comic books
(Carol Corps ID card from PsychoAndy)
Simply by “liking” the book’s Facebook page, fans will be entered into a contest, with one winner selected to be depicted in the 17th issue of Mind MGMT. If you’re already liked the page, you’re already entered.
Debuting in May 2012, the series follows a young journalist named Meru, who investigates a bizarre case of memory loss on an airline flight only to stumble headlong into a world of super-spies, hypnotic advertising, weaponized psychics and talking dolphins.
Fox is developing a film adaptation of Mind MGMT, produced by Ridley Scott through his Scott Free banner.
Mind MGMT #14 goes on sale Aug. 28.
“Let me say that it’s great that every summer my area is crowded with people for Comiket. But for the love of god, take a bath! I live fairly close to the venue and there is an intense smell. Really, it’s a hell of an odor.
If you were to ask me to describe it, it’s as if you splattered someone with rotten eggs and then let it stand for another week. If someone swallowed poison, I would take them to Comiket to induce vomiting. I’m really not trying bash the people who go to Comiket, but it really stinks when these freaking people are here.
I think it’s fine if your hobby is to line up outside in the scorching sun to get your favorite dojinshi. But take bath. Seriously. Please.”
– an open letter from a resident of Odaiba, Tokyo, where twice yearly 560,000 or so fans flock to the Tokyo Big Sight for Comiket (Comic Market), the world’s largest fair for self-published manga, novels and other works. It’s a sentiment familiar to many who have attended decidedly smaller fan gatherings in North America and beyond.
Edmonton, Canada’s premiere anime convention, Animethon, is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this weekend. Over 7000 fans came out to the event, enjoying the blistering summer day, with costumes, concerts, shopping and more!
More images after the jump. Warning: Image heavy!
The doors open in just an hour on the D23 Expo, the official Disney fan gathering held through Sunday in Anaheim, California. Tickets for Saturday are sold out.
While much of the event, of course, caters to Disney devotees — theme-park fans, serious collectors and cinephiles alike — we should expect a decent amount of news that reaches beyond the Magic Kingdom. For instance, today there’s a presentation featuring many of the voice actors from Marvel’s animated television series, and a signing with the producer and director of Big Hero 6, Walt Disney Animation’s first adaptation of a Marvel comic. That movie, based on the characters created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau, is getting a promotional push at the event, which features a Big Hero 6 display (above, courtesy of ComingSoon).
As a kid, I kept a studious accounting of just how many comic books I owned, thinking a.) they’d eventually be worth a small fortune — never mind that among them were tattered flea-market finds and coverless prizes from the school carnival — and b.) I could one day boast the largest collection in … some geographic area. If not the state, then certainly the county. But as my hoard never moved much beyond 1,000 comics, I had to be content with the biggest collection in my house.
It’s a much different story for 51-year-old Bob Bretall, whom some in the British media have decided has the world’s largest collection of comic books. However, Bretall, whose name may be familiar from ComicSpectrum, says he has one of the largest collections, amassed over four decades.
When I was a kid, it seemed Guinness World Records (then called The Guinness Book of World Records) had very narrow categories, along the lines of tallest and shortest living man and woman, oldest living person, longest fingernails and pole-sitting. In more recent years, however, the scope has broadened significantly to include topics like largest comic book, the most people wearing a fake mustache, the largest gathering of people dressed as Smurfs within a 24-hour period in multiple venues and, now, the people dressed as Superman in one place/largest gathering of people dressed as Superman.
BBC News reports 867 people dressed as the Man of Steel on Saturday at the Kendal Calling music festival in Cumbria, England, breaking the previous record set June 5 by the Sears Holdings Corporation in Chicago. The stunt was organized to raise money for Help For Heroes, a 1charity for injured service members and their families.
According to World Record Academy, about 1,200 costumes were distributed, but only 867 people actually donned them for the official count.
The illusion of change is the usual approach to mainstream superhero comics. It offers the excitement of change without losing the successful elements to actual change. It’s cynical but it’s smart from a corporate standpoint. Every once in a while, however, actual change happens. Or maybe change is just talked about. Some like it, some don’t like it. And then there are the people that really, really don’t like it, and head down to their local torch-and-pitchfork store.
Such is where we find ourselves in the ongoing discussion of The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield’s hypothetical consideration of making Peter Parker bisexual.
But why did Garfield’s idea trigger such heated responses? I’m not talking about the calm “Oh, I don’t know, I’m not crazy about that idea, but rather the aggressive, threatening and hateful reactions that seem to come from a very dark place.