Lego Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
It’s easy to become so wrapped up in the monthly direct market horse race that we overlook success stories in other channels. Oh, not the bookstore performances of The Walking Dead, Saga or Attack on Titan; we get regular reminders of that from BookScan. In this case we’re talking about Ninjago, the LEGO toy line turned animated TV series turned graphic novel line.
Although the debut of the latest book atop The New York Times bestseller list should’ve provided a clue to how well it’s doing, Papercutz has trumpeted that with the release of LEGO Ninjago, Vol. 9: Night of the Nindroids, the series has surpassed 2 million copies in sales.
“LEGO Ninjago titles have been a phenomenon for us,” Papercutz President Terry Nantier said in a statement. “We’ve been back to press numerous times and it seems like we’re always struggling to keep up with consumer demand. I’ve been in the graphic novel publishing business for quite some time and I’d be hard pressed to name a lot of other kids ‘series that have hit that level of sales.”
Things are going so well that the publisher, perhaps unsurprisingly, is expanding the line in May with a series of graphic novels based on Ninjago “Legends of Chima” LEGO sets.
On the heels of the proposed “Assault on Wayne Manor” LEGO playset there arrives on LEGO Cuusoo another massive comics-themed project for consideration (from the same designers, no less): the X-Men’s X-Mansion.
As with their previous proposal, DarthKy and Glenbricker don’t skimp on the details, delivering elements of 1407 Graymalkin Lane that will be familiar to longtime readers of Marvel’s mutant saga. Everything from Cerebro and the Danger Room to the headmaster’s office and Storm’s attic garden are included.
LEGO modelers the Arvo Brothers have recreated Kaneda’s bike from Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark manga and anime Akira, using only those little Danish bricks, of course. What’s more, they’re going to share just how they did it in a 200-page book that will be available beginning next week — complete with die-cut decals.
LEGO and Marvel are re-teaming for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload, an online series launching today on Disney.com, the Disney YouTube channel and the Roku and Xbox Live TV apps. All 10 episodes will premiere simultaneously.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series finds Loki discovering “a way to put the ‘super’ in super-villain” as he assembles an army to conquer Earth, leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel’s most popular heroes to face old foes who suddenly possess new powers.
Although LEGO began releasing superhero-themed products fairly recently in the company’s long lifespan, it’s the creativity of the fan community that continues to impress. Flickr user and LEGO enthusiast Xenomurphy put together a truly impressive (and massive) custom model of Arkham Asylum that’s sure to turn some heads.
The model itself is impressive enough, but Xenomurphy actually released a full making-of PDF that details the exact specifications and research that went into everything from the architecture to the design of the mini figures. It’s a truly astonishing accomplishment considering it took him a full year to complete.
“One thing became clear very fast — my Arkham wouldn’t look like a church or a cathedral, but rather like a hospital/prison,” Xenomurphy wrote. “I didn’t want to build a cathedral, but a gray, blockish and depressing multi-story building. It should loom large like a daunting monolith.”
Ahead of the video game’s release on Tuesday, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has debuted a new poster for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes that features everyone from a shield-throwing Captain America to a web-slinging Spider-Man to a gun-wielding Deadpool.
Developed by TT Games for PC, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, DS and PlayStation Vita, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes begins with the Silver Surfer is knocked out of the sky, and his surfboard shattered into “cosmic bricks” that are scattered across the globe. Because of the blocks’ immense power, Nick Fury calls upon the heroes of the Marvel Universe to find them before they can fall into the wrong hands (namely, Doctor Doom and Loki).
Playable characters range from the unusual suspects (Iron Man, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Storm, Wolverine, Black Widow) to the more offbeat (Stan Lee, Squirrel Girl, Groot, H.E.R.B.I.E., Howard the Duck, Rocket Raccoon).
Comic-Con International is spilling out of the San Diego Convention Center as Warner Bros. Entertainment takes over Bayfront Park for Lawn Con, a free pop-culture event for big and little kids alike.
Open to the public Thursday through Sunday, Lawn Con features lives DJs, a picnic area, and characters and replicas from Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Pictures: enormous blow-ups of the Teen Titans Go! crew, ranging in height from 17 to 30 feet; a life-size LEGO model of Bag End from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, complete with Gandalf, Bilbo and others; life-size LEGO models of Batman, Robin and The Joker; and a replica of Scooby-Doo and the gang’s Mystery Machine.
Bayfront Park is located between the San Diego Convention Center and the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel.
Stop-motion animator and LEGO fan Nicolas of Paranick Filmz, who’s already recreated the first two trailers for The Dark Knight Rises using the colorful building-block toys, has now moved on to the third — and as you might expect, it’s a lot of fun. It kind of made me wish Christopher Nolan had worked with LEGO from the start …
More proof that Paul Pope’s Battling Boy may actually be about to see the light of day emerges arrives courtesy Mark Siegel’s diary for The Comics Journal. And, providing corroborating evidence that Pope can finish a job as well as start it, he has got a short story, “Treasure Lost,” coming up in Vertigo’s Halloween special Ghosts. Some lovely sci-fi/fantasy art going on in that ‘un, reminding me of those Dune pages he used to do for fun. Check that out, and lots more by Jamie McKelvie, Yuko Shimizu, Jason Shawn Alexander and others below.
DC Entertainment and LEGO this morning announced that several of the publisher’s all-ages titles, including The Batman Adventures, Tiny Titans and Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, on the LEGO Hero Factory app created by DC and sponsored by LEGO.
As the name of the app suggests, the emphasis is on digital comics based on the LEGO Hero Factory toy line — they’re free! — other kid-friendly DC books like Teen Titans Go!, Young Justice and Superman Adventures are also available for 99 cents per download.
“LEGO Hero Factory is all about building heroes so it’s the perfect match for an app that also features DC Comics Super Heroes,” Hank Kanalz, DC’s senior vice president of digital, said in a statement. “We’ve had a great, longstanding relationship with LEGO Systems and we’re really excited to bring these comics to kids through the LEGO Hero Factory app.”
Among the deluge of pre-NYCC press releases was one from Papercutz that really grabbed my attention: According to publisher Terry Nantier (who also helms parent company NBM), pre-orders of their Ninjago graphic novel have topped 170,000 copies. That’s a pretty impressive number.
The graphic novel is based on Lego’s ninja-themed Ninjago playsets, which have already spawned a couple of made-for-TV movies, and there’s a cartoon series in the works. Plus, people really like Lego, so it’s logical that it would do well.
Still, numbers like that put Ninjago in rarefied company. The first printing of Scott Pilgrim (which admittedly wasn’t a slam dunk) was about 10,000, if memory serves. Potential blockbusters justify greater risk: Yen Press announced an initial printing of 350,000 copies of the first Twilight graphic novel, and over 168,000 copies were sold in stores monitored by BookScan (which includes sales from bookstores only, and not all of those) last year.
There aren’t many books that do that well, though. Dork Diaries, which is a prose-graphic novel hybrid, actually topped Twilight on the BookScan charts, and The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung Fu Cave, by Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey, came in a very close third. But only those three topped 100,000 copies; Scott Pilgrim filled slots 4 through 9 on the chart, with sales ranging from 90,000 to almost 60,00, and the number 10 book was a volume of Naruto that moved about 53,000 copies.
That effect was even more pronounced in 2009, when BookScan’s top seller Watchmen, dwarfed the ninjas and the vampires with sales of well over 400,000 copies. The second best-selling book that year was Dork Diaries (again!) with sales of over 68,000, a considerable dropoff from the top spot. With graphic novels, it seems you can’t count on volume—unless you have Lego ninjas on your side.
Comics | In a post subtitled “Why the new biracial Spider-Man matters,” David Betancourt shares his reaction to the news that the new Ultimate Spider-Man is half-black, half-Latino: “The new Ultimate Spider-Man, who will have the almost impossible task of replacing the late Peter Parker (easily one of Marvel Comics most popular characters), took off his mask and revealed himself to be a young, half-black, half-Latino kid by the name of Miles Morales. When I read the news, I was beside myself, as if my brain couldn’t fully process the revelation. My friendly neighborhood Spider-Man was … just like me? This is a moment I never thought I’d see. But the moment has arrived, and I — the son of Puerto Rican man who passed his love of comics to me, and a black woman who once called me just to say she’d met Adam West — will never forget that day.”
If, like me, you don’t follow developments in the world of Lego very closely, you might not be aware that there is a new Lego theme called Ninjago, which features little Lego ninja characters practicing the newly invented martial art of Spinjitzu.
Ninjago includes a complicated backstory (laid out neatly at the Lego wiki Brickipedia) in which the world is created by the first Spinjitzu master, using the four mystical ninja weapons: the Nunchucks of Lightning, the Shurikens of Ice, the Scythe of Quakes, and the Sword of Fire. Of course, things went bad and now the good ninjas are battling the evil skeleton warriors using these weapons. Needless to say, Ninjago is more than just building blocks; there’s a video game, an iPhone app, and now—and this is why you are reading about it here—a graphic novel.
Papercutz, the children’s comics imprint of classy NBM Publishing, will be announcing a series of Ninjago graphic novels at Book Expo America. Papercutz probably flies below your radar if you’re over 12, but they make some pretty solid kids’ graphic novels that sell like hotcakes. The Ninjago books will be written by Greg Farshtey, the writer of the Bionicle graphic novels, and illustrated by Paulo Henrique, who draws the Hardy Boys graphic novels. Although the Lego people seem to have this pretty well thought out, creating an action-packed story about interlocking blocks with martial arts skills does seem like it would present a challenge. On the other hand, you have the Lego and ninja fandoms locked up, so how can you lose? And with a television show in the works and a DVD ready for release, I would say there’s no stopping these square little ninjas.
Lego fans and comics fans seem to overlap quite a bit in the Venn diagram of life, so it’s not too surprising that Lego artist Nathan Sawaya has chosen to bring his Lego stylings to New York Comic-Con next weekend. From the press release:
Spanning the floor of the Javits Center, Nathan’s life-size LEGO people tell stories, bring emotion and make people smile.
His most iconic sculpture – Yellow – depicts a man with LEGO cascading out of his open chest cavity and will be on public display for the very first time other than in fine art museums.
Other sculptures will be created live for Comicon attendees.
Sawaya will be at booth 401 if you want to see the magic up close—and it sounds like his sculptures will be hard to avoid. I just hope he has secured them somehow, so con-goers don’t succumb to the temptation to rearrange things a bit.