O Say Can You See: The Greatest Patriotic Super Heroes of All-Time
Passings | MAD Magazine writer Lou Silverstone has died at age 90. Silverstone was the writer of many of MAD‘s movie and television satires in the 1960s and 1970s, starting with “Bananaz,” a parody of Bonanza. Later he went to work for Cracked, MAD‘s chief competition, and he also wrote for the Jackson 5 animated series and the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents comic, a gig that he got through former MAD artist Wally Wood. The MAD website also pays tribute to Silverstone. [News From ME]
Conventions | Oregon’s Cherry City Comic Con has a new owner and a new attitude. The con fell on hard times last year, and at one point this year’s show was canceled. New owner John Roache bought the show when he heard that news; he and his wife, artist Nicole Brune, had been to last year’s show and enjoyed it. He’s keeping the name but changing the format to more of a pop-culture convention, with a long list of entertainment guests, and he has expanded the number of slots available for vendors. The show is scheduled for April 11-12. [Statesman Journal]
Conventions | Ahead of New York Comic Con, George Gene Gustines shares producer Michael Uslan’s program from a 1964 comics gathering in New York City; it actually was released after the show, and includes some thoughts on how things could be improved, mainly by shifting the focus from buying and selling comics to bringing in creators so the fans could meet them personally. Nonetheless, Steve Ditko was there, and the list of registered participants included George R.R. Martin. [The New York Times]
Creators | Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talks about taking Sabrina the Teenage Witch to the dark side in her new series, a Riverdale horror story in the same vein as Afterlife With Archie. In this case, rather than zombies, Aguirre-Sacasa is drawing inspiration from the 1960s film Rosemary’s Baby. [Hero Complex]
Events | The driver who plowed through the crowd last month at the annual SDCC ZombieWalk: San Diego, injuring a 64-year-old passersby, has given an interview providing his version of the event, saying he had turned off the engine to wait for the parade to pass when participants began surrounding his car. The situation quickly escalated, he says, when a spectator sat on the hood and hit the windshield, shattering it, and another person opened the back door. “I got scared. That’s when I plowed my car through the crowd,” says the unidentified 48-year-old. “I had to do this to save my family because of the crowd. I couldn’t tell if the parade was done.” He adds, “I felt awful about it. I just couldn’t believe that I actually hit the old lady.” [iDeafNews, Times of San Diego]
Fans of the supernatural Western The Sixth Gun who were upset last year when NBC passed on the television adaptation may want to pack for an impromptu trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. That may be the only place you’ll be able to watch the unaired pilot.
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, who last year bought the Jean Cocteau Cinema in downtown Santa Fe, has announced the venue will stage two screenings of the episode on May 23.
Comics | Parents at a Woodland Hills, California, elementary school are outraged that a comic handed out to their children turned out to include graphic images of cows being mistreated in factory farms. A calf had been brought to the school for a unit on dairy farming, and when children were given a copy of what looked like a kid-friendly comic titled A Cow’s Life, they didn’t anticipate what they found inside: Images of cows being mutilated, electrocuted and dehorned. PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman apologized, saying the comics were intended for adults (it’s not clear how or why they were distributed to the children, though the copy provided to the local media is labeled on its covers as “PETAkids Comics”), and offered to provide non-dairy ice cream sandwiches to students and staff.
UPDATE: PETA has clarified to ROBOT 6 that the comic itself is a kid-friendly publication. However, it contained an inserted pamphlet intended for parents which featured graphic photographs of “pictures of baby cows being electrocuted, factory farms with machetes.” PETA maintains that the pamphlet was not intended to be included inside the comic, and “intended for the in-depth leaflets to go to the students’ parents so that they could be fully informed about how the dairy industry hurts animals (and how dairy products can make kids and adults sick).” [CBS News]
Events | The British Library is staging a “long overdue” exhibit on comics, called “Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the U.K.,” which will feature comics in a variety of genres from the 19th century to the present. Featured items include The Trials of Nasty Tales, which chronicles the 1972 obscenity trial of the editorial staff of Nasty Tales. “I went to a very traditional school where they would raid desks and take comics off to the orchard to burn them,” said Dave Gibbons, one of the contributors to The Trials of Nasty Tales. “Fast forward 40 years and they now invite me to the school to lecture on graphic novels.” The exhibition runs May 2-Aug. 14. [The Guardian]
Following its move into fan-fiction publishing with Kindle Worlds, Amazon entered the comic-book arena with Jet City Comics, an imprint that launches today with the debut of Symposium, a new digital series by Christian Cameron and Dmitry Bondarenko set in the “Foreworld” universe created by Neal Stephenson and others.
That will be followed in October by adaptations of George R.R. Martin’s short story “Meathouse Man,” illustrated by Raya Golden, and Hugh Howey’s dystopian novel Wool, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, and illustrated Jimmy Broxton, Jet City will serialize its comics for the Kindle, and then offer bundled digital editions and print collections.
In addition to those launch titles, the imprint will re-release The Hedge Knight, by Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller, a prequel set in the world of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, in print and digital formats in November and its sequel The Sword Sword in early 2014.“My fans have been clamoring for the return of Dunk & Egg ever since the graphic novels of The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword went out of print several years ago,” Martin said in a statement, “so I am delighted to announce that Jet City Comics is bringing them back — newly formatted for digital readers, and in paper for those who still prefer the traditional formats. And Jet City will be bringing you something new as well: the graphic novel ‘Meathouse Man,’ adapted from one of my strangest, darkest, and most twisted short stories by the amazingly talented Raya Golden. I’m pleased and excited to be a part of Jet City’s takeoff. May they fly high.”
The new season of Game Of Thrones may not be released until March, but until then I have something that’ll keep you warm and giggly on the cold nights: a A Song Of Ice & Fire comic strips. No, not an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s novels or an adaptation of the television show; rather, it’s a comedic look at the world Martin created with all the characters played up for hilarious intent. Published under the banner Comics of Ice & Fire on Tumblr, these comics come by way of cartoonist Azad Injejikian, veteran of the Flight anthology and creator of the 2004 graphic novel A Very Sammy Day.
Launched four months ago, Comics of Fire & Ice has a great collection of one-off strip pages ranging from Daenerys Targaryen’s pompousness, portends of winter, and covers the rampant sexiness pervading the novels. Injejikian is showing himself to be an excellent cartoonist, understanding the characters and knowing where the humor is — I just hope he keeps it going!
Check out the strips he’s created so far at coiaf.tumblr.com.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guests are Gardner Linn and Dave Lentz, the creative team behind the webcomic Registered Weapon — “the internet’s only webcomic starring a robotic cash register who fights crime.” They just kicked off their latest story, Case 006, on Nov. 12, and you can also download the first ten pages from their site if you prefer to read in bigger chunks.
To see what Gardner, Dave and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
George R.R. Martin, author of the bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, is a Marvel fan from way back, with a letter in 1964’s Avengers #12 counted among his earliest published writing (he was a New Jersey teen at the time). So it probably should come as little surprise that, in theory at least, he wouldn’t mind taking a crack at writing Doctor Strange, whom he says “was always one of my favorites.”
A comic with “From the Creator of Game of Thrones” slapped across the cover would seem like a license for Marvel to print money. However, before Martin would even consider tackling the Master of the Mystic Arts, he would require an unlikely guarantee from the publisher.
“Before I would ever do that, I would have to have my lawyers to meet with Marvel’s lawyers and work out an absolutely iron-clad contract that would say whatever I did in the story would continue to be canon forever, and would never be retconned, rebooted or reimagined out of the universe when some later writer decided to mess around with it,” Martin tells MTV Geek in an interview recorded at Worldcon. “Because I hate that, I hate — I’ve always hated reboots and retcons and the fact that a writer comes in and undoes what a previous writer did and, y’know, brings dead characters back to life, kills new characters that weren’t intended to die. That’s the one thing I don’t like about comics. That drives me crazy.”
Comics sales | Torsten Adair takes a snapshot of what graphic novels were selling best on the Barnes & Noble website last week, and the results look very good if you’re Robert Kirkman: Thirteen out of 20 graphic novels to make the Top 1000 books were volumes of The Walking Dead, and overall, hardcovers outsold paperbacks. So maybe the zombie thing isn’t totally over? The top-selling graphic novel isn’t even out yet: It’s the graphic novel adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. Both that and The Walking Dead Compendium cracked the Top 100, which includes all books, not just graphic novels. [The Beat]
Digital comics | Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times says the new iPad improves the comic reading experience: “But the iPad’s new Retina Display throws the door to digital comic books wide open. The experience of reading a comic book on either of the first two generations of iPads was, at best, adequate. If your vision is good and you’re willing to squint a little, you can possibly read comics in fullpage mode. Halfway through the first issue of a story arc, though, you’ll stop being a hero. If you’re using an open comic book editor, you’ll start zooming and scrolling. If you bought your comics from the Comixology mode, you’ll switch to their guided panel view mode.” [Chicago Sun Times]
Talk about your harmonic nerd convergences: John Hodgman spoke with George R.R. Martin about Marvel Comics in yesterday’s episode of public radio’s The Sound of Young America. In one corner: George R.R. Martin, author of the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire and its #1 New York Times–bestselling latest installment A Dance with Dragons, executive producer of the HBO television adaptation Game of Thrones, and inspiration for Dynamite Entertainment’s own comics adaptation A Game of Thrones, whose first issue debuts tomorrow. In the other corner: John Hodgman, nerd-friendly writer, comedic cultural commentator for The Daily Show, and “I’m a PC” guy, filling in as the radio program’s guest host. The topic: One of Martin’s first pieces of published writing, a piece of fanmail published in Avengers #12 in 1964 when Martin was 16 years old.
Hodgman used the letter, which entered wide Internet circulation a few weeks back, to kick off the interview. And he was probably kidding around when he asked Martin to explain why his 16-year-old self believed Avengers #9 to be superior to Fantastic Four #32, as his letter had argued. But once Hodgman jogged Martin’s memory by reminding him that Avengers #9 marked the debut of Wonder Man, Martin knew exactly why he liked the issue so much. His explanation to Hodgman is a solid exploration of why the early Marvel superhero comics were so groundbreaking for the genre — and in offering it, Martin seems to come to the realization that that issue had an impact on his own writing that resonates with him to this day. (For readers of the book or viewers of the show, the influence will be obvious.)
Read a transcript of the relevant section below, then listen to the entire interview.
Because every fantasy epic needs a sequel, right? Three weeks ago I posted a massive gallery of fan art for A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, author George R.R. Martin’s addictive revisionist-fantasy series of novels and the HBO television show adapting it respectively. Almost immediately, Robot 6’s commenters started suggesting additions, while the wider ASoIaF/GoT fan community keeps generating kick-ass artistic homages to their favorite characters and scenes faster than Tyrion Lannister would tear through a copy of Chester Brown’s Paying For It. (That is to say, pretty goddamn fast.) As was infamously the case with the series itself, it soon became clear that another volume was necessary. So here you go! Now all that’s left is to wait until the recently released A Dance with Dragons yields a Gregor Clegane-sized amount of fan art of its own…
Many thanks to Jamie S. Rich and the rest of the original gallery’s commenters, Fuck Yeah Game of Thrones Art, Zack Soto’s The Wall Defends Itself, Kris Mukai & Maritsa Patrinos’s Game of Thrones minizine, and Elio & Linda of Westeros.org for helping to scour the Internet’s riverlands for these images.
Please note: If all you’ve seen is the TV show, there are some mild SPOILERS ahead in the form of characters you haven’t met and, in a couple of cases (though nothing major, so don’t panic) events you haven’t seen. Also, some of these images are tastefully NSFW, so be warned.
Check out the whole gallery after the jump — click on any image to go to its original source, or as close to it as I could get. Don’t forget to check out Volume One of the gallery too if you’re looking for more. And again, please, NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS, for any book in the series. I will be very strict about this. To quote good old Tyrion Lannister, “Heads, spikes, walls.”
Have you spent the past week plowing through all 959 pages (plus appendices!) of George R.R. Martin’s long-awaited A Dance with Dragons, volume five in epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire? Are you counting the days and following the casting announcements until HBO’s Game of Thrones, the show based on the series, returns next spring? Did you feast on the Gregor Clegane-sized gallery of GoT/ASoIaF fanart Robot 6 put together last week but find yourself hungry for more? Then do yourself a favor and order Blood Magic, the new zine edited by Kris Mukai, Maritsa Patrinos, and Hunter Heckroth. It features Ice and Fire-inspired art from over two dozen illustrators, including Sam Bosma, Kali Ciesemier, L. Nichols, Evan Dahm, Rory Phillips, and Jen Wang. Even George R.R. Martin himself appears to have enjoyed it, so consider it blessed in the sight of gods and men. The zine costs $7 — order it here.
Tomorrow, the Game of Thrones is afoot once more. After six long years of waiting (longer, in the case of some characters), A Dance with Dragons — the fifth volume in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy saga A Song of Ice and Fire, the first volume of which, A Game of Thrones, being the inspiration for the hit HBO series — will finally be released. Personally, I’ll be so cut off from the Internet in order to read the thing that you’ll have to reach me by raven. But until then, let’s celebrate the publication of this long-anticipated hope-it’s-a-masterpiece with a gallery of the best Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire art the Internet has to offer. Please note: If all you’ve seen is the TV show, there are some mild SPOILERS ahead in the form of characters you haven’t met and, in a couple of cases (though nothing major, so don’t panic) events you haven’t seen. Just avoid that map at the bottom and you’re all set.
Many thanks to Zack Soto’s The Wall Defends Itself tumblr, Kris Mukai & Maritsa Patrinos’s Game of Thrones minizine, the #Winterfell deviantART community, and Elio & Linda of Westeros.org for helping me discover many of these treasures.
Check out the whole gallery after the jump — click on any image to go to its original source, or as close to it as I could get! And please, NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS, for any book in the series. I will be very strict about this. Longsword-swinging strict.