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Peter David is walking (with help), would appreciate your well wishes

Less than two weeks after suffering a stroke, writer Peter David is able to walk forward and backward, with assistance, at the rehabilitation center in New York Florida.

“He is working on balance and trying to get the right leg to cooperate with what he wants it to do,” his wife Kathleen wrote today. “There was a minor set back with the arm that is being worked on. He does have a better range of motion than he has had since all this started so we are cautiously happy about it but he has a long way to go.”

Kathleen David, who last week asked those interested in helping to cover insurance co-pays to purchase some of Peter’s books from Crazy 8 Press, today said she will add a donate button to his website on Monday, and plans to organize online auctions. She also encouraged fans to send him cards and assorted well wishes:

Peter David
c/o Second Age, Inc.,
P.O. Box 239,
Bayport, NY 11705

On a related note, EW.com has published an essay Peter wrote in early December to mark the 50th anniversary of the Incredible Hulk. In the piece, the writer recounts being offered the reins of the title in 1986, his approach to Bruce Banner and, 12 years later, the circumstances that led to his departure.

“Out of fifty years of his existence, I took up twelve straight years (plus annuals and such) covering the concerns and chaos that the Hulk had to face daily,” he wrote. “If I’d known that I’d be leaving the book the issue afterward, I’d never have killed off Betty (although since then she was brought back to life and is now the red She-Hulk, so that made a lot of difference.) I had up periods and down periods. Times where I had the book fully under control and times where I was roughing it and had no clue what I was doing. In retrospect, if I had to draw one conclusion from my time on the series, it was this: Hunh. Nope. I still got nothin’.”

Comics A.M. | Turkey lifts ban on thousands of books (and a comic)

Legal

Censorship | At least one comic, alas unnamed, was among the thousands of books removed this week from a Turkish government restricted list. Most of the bans were widely ignored anyway, but Metin Celal Zeynioglu, the head of Turkey’s publishers’ union, pointed out one important effect of lifting them: “Many of the students arrested in demonstrations are kept in prison because they’re carrying banned books. From now on, we won’t be able to use that as an excuse.” [The Australian]

Publishing | Tom Spurgeon’s latest holiday interview is with Shannon Watters, the editor of BOOM! Studios’ children’s comics line, which includes Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors and Peanuts. [The Comics Reporter]

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Quote of the Day | ‘You pee your pants because you know your life is likely over’

“The great thing about the Hulk is that, as we saw in the Avengers movie, I don’t care if you’re 300 yards away when he changes. You pee your pants because you know your life is likely over, whether you’re his friend or his enemy. It’s like being in the middle of a lightning storm — you just don’t know. And I never want to lose sight of that sense of danger to the book.”

Mark Waid, discussing the Green Goliath as a force of nature, and a weapon of mass destruction, in Marvel’s Indestructible Hulk, which debuts today

Nine titles end in October as Marvel NOW! begins

Captain America #19

Nine Marvel series will end in October even as the publisher debuts Uncanny Avengers #1, the first title in its sweeping Marvel NOW! initiative.

According to Marvel’s October solicitations, which went live this morning, the month will mark the conclusions of Captain America, Fantastic Four, FF, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man, New Mutants, The Mighty Thor, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men Legacy.

Naturally, some of those aren’t entirely unexpected, as the new Uncanny Avengers, by Rick Remender and John Cassaday, will be joined in November by All-New X-Men, by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen, followed by Avengers, by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena, in December and New Avengers, by Hickman and Steve Epting, in January. Likewise, Ed Brubaker revealed two weeks ago that he’s ending his acclaimed seven-year-run on Captain America, a departure that dovetails nicely into Marvel’s relaunch plans.

However, what will replace such mainstay titles as Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man and The Mighty Thor, and when, remains to be seen. Although it’s unlikely the publisher will go too long without versions of those comics on the shelves, Marvel has promised a slow rollout of relaunches between October and February.

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Cosplay catastrophe: Hulk smash, but Hulk no wash off so easy

Even if you don’t understand the appeal of attending conventions dressed as your favorite comic-book or cartoon character, you have to admire dedicated cosplayers. Oh, not the ones who slap on a headband and call themselves “Naruto.” No, I’m talking about the ones who spend countless hours sewing costumes and then browbeating their friends into donning the costume of the appropriate teammate or supporting character.

Or, say, someone like this guy in Brazil, who decided to go all out as the Incredible Hulk, only to discover — too late! — that the green body paint isn’t entirely water-soluble.

According to Extra (Google translation), Paulo Henrique dos Santos dressed up as the Green Goliath for Sunday’s Challenge for Peace run in Rio De Janeiro, where the costume was a smash. But three miles and more than 20 baths later, he’s still unable to revert to human form.

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Keep on Hulkin’, Jim Steranko

The Giant-Size Marvel blog found this awesome example of Jim Steranko channeling Robert Crumb by way of Friends of Ol’ Marvel (FOOM), the Marvel fan club from the ’70s. In case it’s too small to read, that’s a FOOM membership card in Hulk’s hand.

Now if someone would only uncover a lost John Buscema drawing of Mr. Natural as Odin.

First look at Marvel superheroes from new Madame Tussauds exhibit

Entertainment Weekly has the first look at wax versions of Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk from Madame Tussauds New York’s “Marvel Super Heroes Cinema 4D Experience,” which opens April 26. According to the museum’s London website, the interactive exhibit features the S.H.I.E.L.D. command center, with “Hulk’s gigantic legs can be seen standing astride a massive plinth, his torso disappearing through a gaping hole in the ceiling” — that explains why the Green Goliath’s head is poking out of a manhole in the photo — the Hall of Heroes, the Heroes Gallery and the Super Hero Test Area, patterned after Tony Stark’s work room.

See the full photo below, along with the trailer for the Madame Tussauds London exhibit.

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What Are You Reading?

Saga #1

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Robot 6 crew have been checking out recently. To see for yourself, click below …

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Scientific-minded Stan Lee finds flying Superman ‘frustrating’

As a chief architect of the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee co-created everyone from the wall-crawling Spider-Man to the rampaging Hulk to the flaming Human Torch — y’know, characters grounded in science –  but he admits he finds the powers of one high-flying superhero a little “frustrating”: the Man of Steel.

Explaining his approach to creating the classic Marvel superheroes, Lee told TV Kids, “Basically, if you’ve read my stories you know I’m very scientific minded. For example, I didn’t just have Spider-Man gain a spider power miraculously, I did it as scientifically as possible — he was bitten by a radioactive spider. It could have happened to anybody. When the Hulk became the Hulk, it just didn’t happen casually — there was a gamma-ray bomb that exploded. If you ask me what a gamma ray is, I would have no idea at all, but it sounds very scientific, I think. The Fantastic Four, they gained their powers from cosmic rays, of which I know as little as I do gamma rays, but they sound impressive. At that point I ran out of rays, so when I had to do the X-Men, I took the cowardly way out, I said, well they’re just born that way, that’s all. They’re mutants. That got me off the hook there.”

After referencing Lady Gaga, the legendary writer has a little fun, insisting — with tongue firmly planted in cheek, no doubt — that, unlike so many of his characters, Superman’s flying ability doesn’t make much sense.

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What Are You Reading? with Jason Green

Gold Digger

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and other things we’ve read this week. Today our special guest is Jason Green.

Jason Green is the editor of comics coverage for the St. Louis-based pop culture website PLAYBACK:stl, and a writer and editor for the comics collective Ink and Drink Comics, whose fourth release (a Western anthology titled Off the Wagon) will debut at this year’s C2E2.

To see what Jason and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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You, too, can smell like the Hulk with The Avengers-themed cologne

As the licensing machine revs up for the May 4 premiere of The Avengers, fragrance company JADS International — the company behind such brands as Sulu Pour Homme, Slave Leia Perfume and Shirtless Kirk Cologne — has rolled out scents inspired by Captain America, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Nick Fury and even Loki. Sorry, Hawkeye, you’re out of luck.

The Avengers Cologne Set boasts “four unique fragrances”: PATRIOT, Mark VII, SMASH! and Worthy; you can probably piece together which name goes with which hero. Loki, meanwhile, gets Mischief Cologne (“Made to Rule”), and Fury has Initiative Cologne (“Activate the Initiative”).

Check out the details below, or on the JADS website.

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Comics A.M. | Drunken Incredible Hulk arrested for dealing drugs

Drunk Hulk

Crime | A drunken Coventry, England, man was arrested for selling drugs outside a nightclub while dressed as the Incredible Hulk. According to the article, “Police were alerted by his costume which was based on the TV and film character who becomes green and superhuman when angry.” [Coventry Telegraph]

Creators | Dinosaur Comics creator Ryan North discusses his work on BOOM!’s upcoming Adventure Time comic. [ComicsAlliance]

Creators | Colleen Doran posts some character designs she worked up years ago for a never-completed animation project written by Warren Ellis; she admits to using Star Trek actor George Takei as the model for the main character. [A Distant Soil]

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Talking Comics with Tim | Greg Pak on Bill Mantlo

Greg Pak's first Bill Mantlo comic

Greg Pak‘s Afterword tribute to Bill Mantlo in the final issue of his Hulk run (The Incredible Hulks 635) genuinely gave me pause (and as I said as much in that week’s WAYR). Then last week when Kevin Melrose made us aware of LifeHealthPro/Bill Coffin‘s devastating profile of Bill Mantlo’s life since 1992, which clearly struck a chord with many Robot 6 readers. Once I saw Pak’s comment in the thread, I realized I wanted to talk to Pak about Mantlo. While I have long respected Pak as a writer, his decision to set up a donations page for Bill Mantlo’s care is the reason why I admire him. My thanks to Pak for the interview and for scanning the cover to the actual copy of his first Bill Mantlo comic (Micronauts 3), which we get to discuss also.

Tim O’Shea: At what point in your run on the Hulk did you realize that you wanted to write the Afterword, partially about Bill Mantlo?

Greg Pak: I’d cited Bill Mantlo as a big influence many times over the years in press and publicity for my various Hulk storylines. So it was a natural for me to focus on him in the afterward to Incredible Hulks #635. And it was a huge pleasure to be able to formally dedicate the run to Mantlo on that final page.

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Hulk smashed? Incredible Hulk #2 boasts 11 total artists

Credits for "The Incredible Hulk" #2

Next week’s Incredible Hulk #2, solicited with Marc Silvestri as penciler, instead has six artists credited with pencils and finishes. Additionally, the original three inkers have grown to at least five. That’s 11 total artists for a 20-page story.

Taking advantage of an apparent glitch that made the issue briefly available last night on some comiXology platforms, Rich Johnston grabbed a screenshot of the credits box, which shows Silvestri joined as penciler by Whilce Portacio and Billy Tan. Michael Broussard and Eric Basaldua are credited with “pencil assists,” while Scott Hanna receives a nod for “finishes.” Solicited inkers Joe Weems, Jay Leisten and Don Ho, meanwhile, now receive help from Rick Basaldua and Crimelab Syndicate.

It’s unclear whether those changes will make The Incredible Hulk #2 returnable; the issue has yet to appear on Diamond Comic Distributors’ product changes list.

Announced in July at Comic-Con International, the new series from Silvestri and writer Jason Aaron debuted in October as Marvel’s highest-selling title, with an estimated 106,470 copies. Silvestri, who received pencil assists from Broussard on the debut issue, concludes his first arc with December’s Issue 3. Portacio will draw the fourth.

Food or Comics? | Heaping helpings of Kirby, Manara, X-Men and more

Wolverine and the X-Men #1

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d be a judicious comics buyer and pick the top four out of over 20 titles I’d want this week. DC/Vertigo makes it slightly easier by making the new Brian Azzarello/Eduardo Risso joint Spaceman #1 only $1. This dollar price point for first issues combined with the $9.99 price point they sometimes do for the first volume of comic trade paperbacks surely gets a lot of traction. Next up I’d get Jason Aaron’s new era of the X-Men in Wolverine & X-Men #1 (Marvel, $3.99) with Chris Bachalo. I’d also get my regular pulls of DMZ #70 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and The Walking Dead #90 (Image, $2.99) and last–but first in my stack to read-–would be Secret Avengers #18 (Marvel, $3.99). I hear some Ellis guy is writing it, but the big draw for me is artist David Aja. His Iron Fist run is one of my top favs in comics in the past ten years, and he’s a titan in my book.

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