With New York Comic Con just nine days away, Marvel has announced the lineup of new and exclusive merchandise from comics, television and film that will be available for purchase at the company’s booth (#1354). The items range a Rocket Raccoon plush with Skottie Young print to assorted glass tumblers to T-shirts featuring Pizza Dog, Groot and Rocket Raccoon, and the periodic table of Thor: The Dark World.
See the list below. New York Comic Con will be held Oct. 10-13 at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.
Matt Cowan’s handle on DeviantArt is “Matt Can’t Draw”, which isn’t necessarily true. Sure, he is more of a designer, a conceptual artist, than a straight-up “drawer.” His latest series, “Sounds Like,” is possibly a thinly veiled dig at the lack of imagination of Hollywood casting departments. Or is it just an excuse to draw his favorite characters together?
In any case, check them out below. And if you harbor some irrational prejudice against DeviantArt, Cowan’s work is also posted to his Tumblr.
Marvel history is filled with grudges, the kind that aren’t settled with harsh words and tough love over warm tea. Nope, they’re settled with fists — or sometimes claws, hammers or psychic blasts. WeLoveFine celebrates three of these ongoing rivalries with some new shirts featuring playbills for the brawl-to-end-all: Professor X vs. Magneto, Thor vs. Loki and Wolverine vs. Sabretooth.
I have it on good authority that they’re hoping to do more of them, so who would you like to see next? Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus? Captain America vs. The Red Skull? Howard the Duck vs. Dr. Bong? Share your ideas in the comments section.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of Marvel’s Avengers Alliance on Facebook, the turn-based social media game that lets you recruit Marvel characters and send them on missions to beat up the bad guys. The game launched almost a year ago, and it’s still going strong, with new chapters introduced at a steady pace, new player vs. player tournaments providing the opportunity to fight for in-game rewards, and special operations that introduce new characters to your ranks. They do a fairly good job of giving you something new to do at any given time. For instance, as the latest PvP tournament was getting close to completion (with the big prize being early access to recruiting the Punisher to your team), they introduced a new special operations quest “Cry Havok.” As you might have guessed, it introduces Havok … as well as the first “villain” you can recruit, Magneto.
As I said a while back, comics seems to be having an increasing influence on fine art and illustration. One aspect of this is fine art fetishizing the iconography of comics. You may already have seen the work of the photorealist Glennray Tutor, and his still lifes of toys and fireworks often positioned around comic art, like the above shot of some marbles illuminating a romance comic. Tutor is using comic art as a signifier of pure Americana, as American as the vinyl Donald Ducks or bottles of hot sauce he also takes as subject matter.
It’s hard not to see his influence upon the painter Matthew Bone. Bone isn’t a photorealist, and he utilizes the artifacts of nerd culture in a similar way to a very different end. His work literally fetishizes comics and toys: a semi-nude woman writhing on a bed of old Marvel comics; a pair of erotically charged models salivating over a Gundam toy; a nude in a Darth Vader helmet clutching handfuls of Storm Trooper action figures to her breasts; another mock-fellating a Gamorean guard toy. The bio on his website claims “by utilizing the conventions of pop culture, and it’s willingness to embrace the artifice as the sincere, Matthew is able to create a re-envisioned modern mythology.” That’s quite a claim for what a less sympathetic critic might just call an inappropriate fixation upon the pop cultural iconography of his youth mixing with a retrogressive view of female sexuality — NSFW examples below. Also below: Michael Latimer, the street art
swiper Lichtenstein, and Sam Spratt.
The release of downloadable content pack for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be delayed almost three months, apparently giving the video-game publisher time to remove the Magneto uniform that drew objections from Spain’s royal family.
According Capcom-Unity, the “Ancient Warrior” costume pack, originally set to debut today, now won’t be available until March 6 in the United States and March 7 in Europe. When it does arrive, however, it will contain only Firebrand, Arthur and Hulk; Magneto’s House of M-inspired skin will be gone.
The dispute dates back to 2005, when artist Mike Mayhew used the official portrait of King Juan Carlos as the basis for his cover of The Pulse: House of M Special. Except for the heads and the colors of their sashes, the images of Carlos and Magneto were virtually identical; even the medals and wall patterns matched (see below).
In 2005, Marvel drew the displeasure of Spain’s royal family when the official portrait of King Juan Carlos — right down to the sash, medals and wall pattern! — was used as the basis of Mike Mayhew’s image of Magneto for the cover of The Pulse: House of M Special. There were rumblings of legal action, followed by an apology and a new cover.
More than six years later, Magneto’s Juan Carlos-inspired uniform is back, this time as a downloadable skin for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. And so, too, are the royal family’s objections, apparently.
Courtesy of Kotaku and a Google translation comes word from the Madrid newspaper Heraldo that Zarzuela Palace has asked Spanish game distributor Koch Media to remove the skin, which is virtually identical to the uniform worn by Juan Carlos in his role as Captain General of Armies of the King.
Hey kids, it’s time once again for What Are You Reading?, a weekly look into the reading habits of your Robot 6 bloggers. This week our special guest is Rik Offenberger, comics journalist and public relations coordinator for Archie Comics.
To see what Rik and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
I had an impossible time picking just two samples of Colombian artist Ivan Camelo’s kawaii versions of DC and Marvel superheroes. There are a little over three dozen of them and they’re all adorable. I want a cartoon featuring these designs right this second.
Without getting into spoilers, I can tell you it’s a six issue mini-series for $3.99, and it’s a high concept for a high price. I can tell you that Brad Simpson is the colorist, gets third billing on the book and is pretty awesome. Likewise Nick Dragotta has an awesome name and an awesome website. Joe Casey is a Man of Action and has plenty of fantastic comics under his name. So by the creators alone, this book should be added to your pull list.
Or should it? Shakespeare and Michelangelo could make a really bad comic book, so why pick up anything on name alone? What is Vengeance about, really? It’s got Magneto on the cover; is it a mutant book? It’s got quote from someone about the generation gap; is it about kids? Is it about Ghost Rider?
From the solicitation, “When MAGNETO of the X-Men tries to rescue a young Mutant on the run, he accidentally kicks off a series of events that will shake the very Marvel Universe to it’s core! Who are the new TEEN BRIGADE?! Who are the Brotherhood and what do they want with the YOUNG MASTERS OF EVIL?! And how is the RED SKULL pulling the strings from beyond the grave? Joe Casey (AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST) joins Nick Dragotta (FANTASTIC FOUR) for some major acts of VENGEANCE!”
Aside from all the questions posed, we know that Magneto starts off something and that there’s gonna be some vengeance.
WARNING: Yeah, I’m going to tell you what Vengeance #1 is all about. The long and short of it is it’s a great book, so go get one, read it and let’s compare notes, shall we?
We sometimes get so immersed in our little world of words and pictures that it can be difficult at times to remember that comics are part and parcel of the larger pop culture and, as such, could often be referenced in other medium, like films and pop songs.
With that in mind, and since I’m always fascinated by this sort of cross-pollination, I thought I’d make a quick (and by no means definitive) list of some songs based on or about some beloved comic book characters. As a self-imposed caveat, I tried to stay away from theme songs or film contributions, so as much as I love The Ramones’ version of “Spider-Man,” I’m keeping it off the list for that reason.
Oh, and don’t forget to offer you’re own picks in the comments section …
1. Evangeline by Matthew Sweet
Sure, anyone can make up a song about Superman or Wonder Woman, but if you really want to establish your nerd cred, you need to write a song about a comic book character so long-forgotten even serious fans would need ten minutes or so to scratch their heads before saying, “Oh yeah, her.” So it was with Gen X songsmith Matthew Sweet, who penned a rather plaintive paen (“as sung by Johnny Six” the liner notes helpfully tell us) to the “sexy, killer vigilante nun” created by Chuck Dixon and Judith Hunt back in the heady days of the 1980s for Comico Comics. It’s a rather irresistible song — arguably one of Sweet’s best — as the singer looks at the figure he has placed on a pedestal and begs her to forget about all that “marriage to God” nonsense and give him the time of day, at least for a little bit. The fact that it features a really killer hook doesn’t hurt matters much.
As adorable as Skottie Young’s rendition of Marvel’s X-Babies is, something even cuter has emerged: CG artist Victor Hugo’s 3D take on one of Young’s X-Babies — Baby Magneto, the least-terrifying mutant terrorist in history. It’s a spectacular piece, but I particularly like the little details, like Captain America’s shield, Thor’s hammer and Cyclop’s visor in the toy box, and “ERIK” spelled out in magnetic letters. Visit the artist’s blog to see the giant-sized image.
(via Skottie Young, who dubbed the image “So freaking cool”)