"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
As we begin the countdown to New York Comic Con, Funko has unveiled its first wave of event-exclusive merchandise, including a Batman: Arkham Asylum (Detective Mode) 6-inch Dorbz, a Walking Dead bloody Daryl Dixon Vinyl Idolz, and a Tenth Doctor Pop! figure in a spacesuit.
They’re joined by the likes of the Star Wars Platinum Greedo Hikari figure, the classic Battlestar Galactica Commander Cylon Pop! figure, the Bravest Warriors Catbug Orange Glow Pop! figure, and the Futurama Alternate Universe Fry and Leela Pop! two-pack.
Some questions have plagued humanity for millennia: Why are we here? Is there intelligent life on other planets? Who would finish the New York City Marathon faster, Green Goblin atop his Goblin Glider or Batman in the Batmobile? Now handy infographic holds the answer to one of those. (I’ll let you guess which one.)
If you were as bowled over as I was by Alexey Zakharov’s gorgeous 3D-animated Futurama introduction we spotlighted last month, you’ll be equally impressed by the artist’s new video, which shows how he created the sequence using 3ds Max, Nuke, Photoshop and After Effects.
Particularly fun, as you can see in part in the image above, is how Zakharov combined in image of Futurama’s Mom and a photo of Meryl Streep to create the holographic ad for Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil. I guess she is the most versatile actress of her generation!
Watch the original sequence, and the making-of video, below.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since Futurama ended (again), but if the series still holds a Bender-shaped place in your heart, you’ll likely appreciate this: Alexey Zakharov has created a gorgeous 3D-animated “test shot” of the Planet Express ship soaring over New New York (note the hologram ad for Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil).
On Behance, Zakharov also shows off some equally beautiful illustrations of the cityscape and ship (if you squint, you can even see a tiny Leela in one).
Given that Wednesday is the series finale of Futurama — at least until it’s resurrected again — it seems only appropriate that we showcase this eBay auction of a piece of original art by Bill Morrison, signed by him, series creator Matt Groening, Producer Lee Supercinski, Executive Producer David X. Cohen and the entire cast.
Anyone who attended the Futurama panel last month at Comic-Con International, where Groening used the piece to “cheat” in his draw-off against animation director Edmund Fong. (You can see the video below.)
The current bid for the drawing, which measures 48 inches by 36 inches, is $1,125. All proceeds from the auction will benefit TLC (Tiny Loving Canines), a nonprofit small-dog breed rescue in Simi Valley, California. The auction ends Sept. 8.
Neil Gaiman, Torchwood and Arrow star John Barrowman and Futurama voice actors Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom and David Herman will be among the presenters at the 25th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony, held July 19 during Comic-Con International in San Diego.
They’ll be joined by talk-show host and comics writer Jonathan Ross, TV host Chris Hardwick, artist (and nominee) Becky Cloonan, writer/artist Bill Morrison, Hall of Fame cartoonist Sergio Aragonés and promised “special surprises.” This year’s title sponsor is Syfy.
Doors will open to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom at 7:45 p.m., with the Eisner Awards ceremony beginning at 8 p.m. Advance seating will start at 7 p.m. for nominees, sponsors, presenters and attendees with pro badges. Everyone who attends the ceremony will receive a graphic novel from the Will Eisner Library, published by DC Comics.
In addition to the 30 Eisner categories, other presentations will include the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award and the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing.
As you no doubt know by now, Matt Groening announced earlier this week that he’s bringing his long-running weekly comic strip, Life in Hell to a close.
If it hadn’t felt like it already, Groening’s announcement certainly signals the end of an era, in this case that of the alt-weekly comic strip, a product Groening, along with Lynda Barry and Gary Panter, pioneered back in the early 1980s (OK, Feiffer was the true pioneer but let’s for argument’s sake let’s play along with my faulty thesis). Together, they showed hungry cartoonists a way to earn, if not a living wage, at least a regular paycheck, and many people — Keith Knight, Tom Tomorrow, Ruben Bolling — followed in their wake as more and more urban areas developed their own version of the Village Voice and L.A. Weekly. Whether it was for financial reasons or (as I suspect) an ever shrinking readership, Groening’s exit, confirms what many have long suspected: That market, thanks largely no doubt to the Internet, has disappeared.
Four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves … welcome to day three of our holiday gift-giving guide, where we ask comic pros:
1. What comic-related gift or gifts would you recommend giving this year, and why?
2. What gift (comic or otherwise) is at the top of your personal wish list, and why?
A great big thank you to everyone who helped us out this year, including the ones who’ll be showcased tomorrow. Be sure to come back then for our big wrap-up!
1. The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis. Leela helps Maggie deal with school bullies. Homer and Bender go drinking. England invades the USA. Come on, you need this.
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery. The most ludicrous and wonderful supporting character from Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol got his own miniseries, and it’s just now being reprinted for the first time. I loved this miniseries when it first came out, and I’m gearing up to love it all over again.
Starstruck. The great Lee/Kaluta sci-fi epic, now between two robust hard covers. I should declare an interest: I wrote the intro. But I did that because it’s awesome beyond the feasible limits of possible awesomeness.
2. A Very Peculiar Practice, season 2. Wow. Just how much of my life right now is ’80s nostalgia? I think I need to get some professional help. Probably from Duran Duran.
Mike Carey has written numerous comics (and a few novels) over his career, including Lucifer, My Faith In Frankie, Ultimate Fantastic Four and Hellblazer. He currently writes X-Men: Legacy and The Unwritten.
Welcome once again to Food or Comics? Every week the Robot 6 crew lists what comics we’d buy if we had $15 to spend, if we had $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we’re calling a “Splurge” item.
So join Brigid Alverson, Chris Mautner and me as we run down what we’d buy this week, and check out Diamond’s release list to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15 …
The obvious choice seems to be the newest and final volume in Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour (none of my local comic stores are getting the book until Wednesday, the stinkers). I’ve been a fan of the series for awhile (http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/cr_holiday_interview_101/) and am anxious to see how it concludes. (Unfortunately, I don’t actually have $15 of real world money to spend this week, so I’ll have to wait another week or two.)
Is it possible to make devil horns with a four-fingered hand? I guess we’ll find out when The Simpsons/Futurama/Life in Hell creator Matt Groening curates this May’s All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival in Minehead, England. The lineup, hand-selected by Groening himself in the usual ATP curated-festival fashion, includes such avant-rock notables as Iggy & the Stooges, Coco Rosie, Built to Spill, Panda Bear, Deerhunter, Daniel Johnston, the Residents, Boredoms, the Raincoats, Amadou and Mariam, and Shonen Knife.
This isn’t the first time ATP and Groening have hooked up: The animation and alt-weekly legend (and one-time music critic) also ran a 2003 festival in California that boasted performances from the Stooges, Sonic Youth, Spoon, the Shins, !!!, the Mars Volta, Mission of Burma, Modest Mouse and Cat Power. (You can buy a CD compilation from that show here.) He’s a hip dude, is what I’m saying.
The 2009 San Diego Comic-Con kicks off with preview night on Wednesday, July 22 and runs through Sunday, July 26. If you are a publisher, creator, retailer or any other kind of exhibitor who would like to let folks know about any special plans you have for the show (panels, signing schedules, exclusives, debuts, etc.) drop me an email and I’ll run it here.
Organizations | The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Things From Another World have teamed up to create a set of limited edition cards by various comic creators that will be handed out by various publishers, the CBLDF and TFAW. The original artwork for the cards will be auctioned off at the con, with proceeds going to the fund. Contributors include Mike Mignola, Phil Hester, Eric Powell, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon, Steve Lieber and many more.
Panels | Although the official programming schedule hasn’t been released yet, a few companies have started sharing their panels via press releases and such. Thursday at the con brings a panel on Disney animator Walt Stanchfield, who is profiled in a new book called Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes.
Also, FOX TV has released their schedule. They’ll have panels dedicated to the Simpsons, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show (a Family Guy spinoff), 24, Futurama and Bones. They’ll also have Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku on hand to introduce a never before seen episode of Dollhouse. And they’ll have a panel dedicated to their new show Glee, where they’ll show another episode. You can watch the first one on Hulu; it is hilarious.
Interestingly enough, the release doesn’t mention Fringe, but there will be a panel with several members of the cast.
With the New York Comic Con coming up Feb. 6-8, we’re posting information on the various things fanscan do and see at the show. If you’re a publisher, creator, retailer or otherwise exhibiting at the show, feel free to drop me an email with your plans for the show.
• The NYCC blog Medium at Large has more details on the Joss Whedon/Dollhouse preview panel, set for Sunday at 12:45 p.m. ET, which is currently being advertised on the CBR home page. They’ve also announced they’ll be showing the next Futurama movie, Into the Wild Green Yonder.
• Love and Capes creator Thom Zahler is bringing Valentines to the show:
I will be at NYCC next weekend with tons of Love and Capes stuff. I’ll have new Valentines featuring Mark and Abby. Kind of like Ralph Wiggum’s “I Choo-Choo-Choose You” one. I’ll be selling the complete run of LNC, the trade, sketchbooks, t-shirts and pins. And I’ll be doing commissions all weekend, too! If you come by the booth, too, you may see a glimpse of the new promotion I’ll be doing for Mark and Abby’s upcoming wedding.
If people aren’t going to be able to attend, they can still go to my site and print out the LNC Valentine and give it to their Special Someone. While there, they can enter the Love and Capes Valentine’s Day contest. You can win some books, a set of matching t-shirts, and even some chocolate. That contest ends February 2nd, so time is running out. (But that way you’ll get the goodies before Valentine’s Day.)
For more info, visit www.loveandcapes.com or http://www.loveandcapes.com/love-and-capes-valentine.html for the contest info.