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5-year-old cancer patient’s family, friends become superheroes for his funeral

brayden-denton-pallbearers

Get ready to tear up: WPLG TV reports 5-year-old superhero fan Brayden Denton passed away on May 8 in Newton County, Indiana due to a rare form of brain cancer, and in order to honor him, his family donned the costumes of his favorite characters for the funeral.

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Merriam-Webster adds ‘fangirl’ to dictionary

Fangirl is one the 150 terms added to the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, joined by such other newcomers as steampunk, spoiler alert, crowdfunding, hashtag, selfie and tweep.

Interestingly, the dictionary pegs 1934 as the first known use of fangirl, which it defines as “a girl or woman who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something.” Merriam-Webster gave its seal of approval to fanboy in 2008.

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Comics A.M. | C2E2 sees growth in attendance, floor space

C2E2

C2E2

Conventions | Lance Fensterman, ReedPOP’s global senior vice president, talks about his company’s strategy of focusing on a few big shows, rather than a lot of smaller ones, and gives the numbers for last month’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo: Attendance was about 62,900, up 18 percent from last year, and the show floor grew by 15,000 square feet. Attendees are mostly in the 18-to-35 age group, and the majority are male, although the proportion of women at C2E2 has increased by 6 percent since 2011. Male or female, many of the folks on the floor seem to be “casual consumers” rather than “hardcore fans”: About 50 percent of attendees at New York Comic Con were there for the first time. “Depending on which exhibiting company you’re talking to, they either love it or they’re not sure what to do with it,” Fensterman said. “You’re delivering new readers and new potential consumers. We think it’s cool that you’re getting that fresh perspective, not quite so jaded (been there, done that).” [ICv2]

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The Fifth Color | Part of your world

is that a Sideshow Collectibles Prince Eric Statue?!?

is that a Sideshow Collectibles Prince Eric Statue?!?

This is a weird analogy, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense: While cruising YouTube, I found a review of the 1989 Disney classic The Little Mermaid that mentions, off-hand, how Ariel is a huge fangirl of human culture: She has big cave of collectibles that could be featured in ROBOT 6′s “Shelf Porn,” her father doesn’t really get what his youngest daughter is “in to” and dramatically objects when her fandom starts to take over her responsibilities. She’s obviously passionate about human life and culture, and while she might not have all the facts right, her enthusiasm is infectious.

(Quick aside: I’m going to replace “fangirl” with “fanatic” instead, as being enthusiastic and a little immature is not limited to a girl’s fancy. From Cheeseheads to Deadheads, everyone can look a little stupid for something they love. You know who’s just as annoying to me as the mobs of women lusting over Robert Pattinson? The dude that screams “I LOVE YOU, SCARLETT!” at every midnight showing of a Marvel film featuring Black Widow. DUDE. SHE CAN’T HEAR YOU. So, yes, let’s just call them fanatics for whatever — and whoever — they love, because everyone gets a little goofy sometimes. Moving on …)

Fanatic Ariel loves human culture and swims about in her cave of collectibles, longing to take her fandom to the next level. Cue song. And while she might not be the best role model in the Disney Princess lineup, her story does have some empowering lessons all fans could learn.

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Mad inventor creates fully automatic Wolverine claws

wolverine-claws

Just in time for the premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past, high-energy U.K. garage inventor Colin Furze has created fully retractable metal claws that will undoubtedly make him the envy of every Wolverine fan, and the prime suspect in countless watermelon stabbings. While we can take issue with his “adamantium” claim in the video below — unless he’s also invented that metal alloy in our universe –  there’s little denying the claws are pretty amazing.

They’re 12-inch stainless steel blades activated by a Spider-Man-like palm trigger and powered by a compressed-air system housed in a backpack. Furze also shot a video that explains the entire process. Watch both below.

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Envious Spider-Man mulls a move to suburbs in animated short

spider-man-suburbs

There’s probably no other superhero more closely associated with New York City than Spider-Man, who was born and raised in Forest Hills, attended college in Greenwich Village, and swings from skyscraper to skyscraper across Midtown.

But in the latest installment of Podtoons, from Left Handed Radio and Above Average, a distracted wall-crawler gets a taste of suburban life when he rescues a woman from Green Goblin and returns her to her New Jersey home. Her spacious three-bedroom New Jersey home … with an office … and in-ground pool.

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Comics A.M. | Is the world ready for a cosplay invasion?

Cosplay | The Christian Science Monitor looks at how cosplay is spilling out of comics and sci-fi/fantasy conventions and into “daily life,” such as movie theaters, pubs and public squares: “The spread of cosplay owes a lot to the Internet. Social media sites build buzz around the next big cosplay event. Tumblr and Instagram allow strangers to pass around photos of past work and offer words of encouragement from afar. YouTube videos reveal how to craft foam core into realistic-looking armor and braid hair like an elf.” [The Christian Science Monitor]

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Survey: More than half of Emerald City attendees were female

Via the Emerald City Comicon Facebook page

Via the Emerald City Comicon Facebook page

Although North America comic conventions are typically thought of as male-dominated events, that doesn’t appear to have been the case with this year’s Emerald City Comicon.

According to a survey of attendees, 52 percent identified as female, compared to 46 percent as male; 2 percent of respondents “referred to themselves in non-binary terms,” including agender, genderfluid, genderqueer and “a nebulous glow cloud.”

Of course the survey isn’t completely accurate, because not everyone filled one out, and of those who did, probably not everyone did so honestly (I’m willing to wager the person doesn’t really gender-identify as “Cthulhu”). However, as The Mary Sue notes, “at the very least, you cannot say that women were rare or a minority in the community.”

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‘Akira’ live-action fan trailer shows how to level Neo-Tokyo

akira

Hollywood has been trying since 2002 to produce a live-action adaptation of Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo’s pioneering cyberpunk manga and anime, coming frighteningly close two years ago with a version that could’ve starred Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart. Frustrated by those efforts, a group of fans in 2012 launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund their own adaptation that would “do Akira justice” by sticking as close to possible to the source material.

And now the Akira Project has released the result, a live-action trailer from CineGround Media directed by Nguyen-Anh Nguyen.

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What ‘Arrow’ has been missing: Lightsabers … and Ewoks

arrow-wars

Watching the April 16 episode of Arrow, Dave Jones thought the big fight scene between Slade Wilson and Oliver Queen would look “pretty nifty” as a lightsaber duel. So he transformed the sequence into something straight out of Star Wars, complete with musical score, opening crawl, blasters and cameos by R2-D2, mouse droids and, yes, an Ewok.

The result even received an endorsement from Arrow star Stephen Amell. Watch the video below.

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Comic-Con won’t hold a badge resale this year

comic-con

If you had pinned your hopes of attending Comic-Con International on the annual resale of refunded or unallocated badges in June, we have some bad news: There won’t be one.

Convention organizers announced this morning that, “due to an extremely low rate of refunds and cancellations this year,” they’re simply unable to hold a resale.

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Comics A.M. | Con’s response to cosplayer sparks backlash

Cherry City Comic Con

Cherry City Comic Con

Conventions | Ross Lincoln gathers up the threads of a story that’s been unfolding over social media for the past few days: A cosplayer expressed concern that the Facebook cosplay gallery for the inaugural Cherry City Comic Con in Salem, Oregon, featured significantly more women in costume than men. Displeased by the dismissive reply from the administrator of the Facebook page, she sent a private message asking for a refund of her convention registration fee, explaining, “I don’t think this will be a safe place for female cosplayers.” Organizer Mark Martin posted that request on his personal Facebook page with the response, “despite the no touch policy, the family friendly policy, the 3 security guards at all times, and the fact that you’re bat-shit crazy? Refunded!”

Several prominent cosplayers picked up on that, and it became a cause celebre on Twitter and Facebook for a couple of days; meanwhile, things got more complicated with sock puppets and a possibly fictitious con representative getting involved. In the end, Martin apologized; to give organizers their due, the convention includes a harassment policy in its official rules and policies. The con will take place on May 10-11. The Daily Dot has more. [The Escapist]

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How many ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ variants are there (and what do they look like)?

asm1-variants

Marvel welcomed back Peter Parker this week in a relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man that brought with it an avalanche of variant covers that undoubtedly triggered ’90s flashbacks with some readers (that may explain why you suddenly began worrying about Ross and Rachel and the whereabouts of your Rollerblades). But just how many covers are there?

The publisher hasn’t released an official figure, but best counts put the number close to 50, most of which are retailer custom covers purchased exclusively by stores and conventions. To get their hands on one of those exclusives, a retailer (or a convention, or a trade group like the Comic Book Retailers Alliance) had to order a minimum of 3,000 copies of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 for a standard edition; for a sketch version, the number dropped to 1,500 (both are the standard numbers for Marvel’s custom variants).

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How’s your comics diet?

A little bit of this...little bit of that

A little bit of this…little bit of that

Remember when all there was to read was Marvel and DC Comics? OK, those days never really existed, but I would bet a significant majority of us at one time read comics exclusively, or almost exclusively, published by the so-called “Big Two.” Some of you may even do so now. If recent studies are any indication, that’s changing. A growing percentage of people have been buying more titles from Image Comics and other publishers.

How about you? How is your comics diet? Going by direct sales numbers, many of us still live off a primarily Marvel/DC superhero diet. But we all know there’s more out there. Maybe we read The Walking Dead or Saga too. Those are good reads, no doubt about it, and there’s more where those came from. Lots more. Just a casual look on this site or any comics site will reveal a growing number of books from other publishers are receiving more attention, more positive buzz from readers, more good reviews from critics, and more exciting announcements. So how to jump in?

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Take a look: LeVar Burton endorses Free Comic Book Day

fcbd-levar-burton

Of all the promotional videos created for Free Comic Book Day, this is easily my favorite to date. In it, LeVar Burton, Star Trek: The Next Generation veteran and host of the long-running Reading Rainbow shares how his love of reading began with comic books.

“You see, I’m an Army brat,” he says. “My father was in the military, and when were stationed in Germany comic books were a treasured item we first read and then traded with one another. They also kept us connected to the popular culture back home.”

That provides the perfect segue for Burton to talk about Saturday’s Free Comic Book Day, when participating retailers across North America and around the globe will offer some 60 titles– for free. But you don’t have to take my word for it — just watch the video below.

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