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Comics A.M. | Longtime ‘Mark Trail’ artist Jack Elrod passes away

"Mark Trail," by Jack Elrod

“Mark Trail,” by Jack Elrod

Passings | Longtime Mark Trail artist Jack Elrod Jr. died Wednesday at age 91. Mark Trail was created in 1946 by Ed Dodd, who brought on Elrod four years later as a background artist. When Dodd retired in 1978, Elrod took over the comic strip, and earned many awards from environmental organizations. He also made a significant change due to reader feedback, removing the title character’s pipe after a 6-year-old fan wrote to him saying, “It is bad for his health, pollutes the air, and it is dangerous to the birds.” Elrod retired in 2014, handing over Mark Trail to current artist and writer James Allen. [Gainesville Times]

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This massive LEGO SHIELD Helicarrier would make Nick Fury jealous

helicarrier-social

Last year LEGO released a 2,996-piece Marvel Super Heroes S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier playset that, while undeniably impressive, fell a bit short when came to the scale of the microfigures and jets compared to the flying fortress itself. However, a group of brick enthusiasts in Taiwan have tackled that problem head on by building their own massive Helicarrier.

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Comics A.M. | Akira Himekawa to release ‘Zelda’ manga ‘Twilight Princess’

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda

Manga | Akira Himekawa, the two-woman team that drew the Legend of Zelda manga, has announced a new project: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, based on the 2006 game of the same name. The manga will be published on Shogakukan’s MangaOne app, which is not the same as the Manga One app available in English. Viz Media published Akira Himekawa’s previous Zelda manga, which ran from 1998 to 2008. [Anime News Network]

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Marvel Select unmasks new Spectacular Spider-Man figure

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Diamond Select Toys has teamed with the Marvel Shop to introduce the exclusive Marvel Select Spectacular Spider-Man action figure.

Standing 7 inches tall and boasting 16 points of articulation, the figure features four pairs of interchangeable hands, a camera accessory, interchangeable masked and unmasked heads, and (perhaps best of all) a bunched-up mask that Peter Parker can hold in his hand.

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Artist transforms Disney Princesses into iconic X-Men

Snow White as Jubliee

Snow White as Jubliee

If there isn’t an animated television special or Marvel miniseries already in development recasting the Disney Princesses as X-Men, then someone’s not doing their jobs.

San Francisco-based illustrator Diego Gómez has done just that, transforming movie images of such beloved Disney characters as Cinderella, Pocahontas and Snow White into such iconic Marvel mutants as Emma Frost, Psylocke and Jubilee.

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Marvel’s Ike Perlmutter gives $1M to Trump’s veterans fundraiser

 

Reclusive Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter was drawn into the spotlight Thursday with the announcement that he and wife Laura had donated $1 million to Donald Trump’s fundraiser for wounded veterans.

The Republican presidential candidate described Perlmutter as “one of the great, great men of our country in terms of business and talent” during a rally last night at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, held at the same time as the GOP primary debate broadcast on Fox News.

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Madballs from Mondo are Coming!

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Kids who grew up in the eighties might remember the whacky-faced bouncy balls called Madballs. Now Mondo, a poster and apparel design company, is launching a new line of Madballs called “MondoBalls.”

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‘X-Men: Danger Room Protocols’ shut down after one episode

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“X-Men: Danger Room Protocols,” a fan-made animated tribute to the 1990s cartoon and comics, has ended after just one episode, purportedly due to legal pressure from Marvel.

“When I set out to make this project, I never really thought this was going to be an issue,” creator Joel Furtado said in a video posted this morning. “I didn’t think that Marvel was going to react this way, and this outcome, for me, is a little bit shocking.”

When contacted by ROBOT 6, Marvel declined comment.

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Hot Toys uncloaks its ‘Iron Man 3′ Sneaky collectible figure

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Ensuring that fans will soon have to build their own Hall of Armor, Hot Toys has unveiled another Iron Man 1/6th-scale action figure — and, perhaps predictably, it’s pretty stunning.

The latest entry in the Hong Kong toymaker’s “House Party Protocol” collection, it’s based on the Mark XV armor from Iron Man 3, nicknamed “Sneaky” because of its cloaking system.

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Become a merc with style in this Deadpool clothing

deadpool-clothing1

Not content with merely breaking the fourth wall, Marvel’s Merc With a Mouth is now digging deep into our closets in an expanded line of Deadpool clothing from WeLoveFine.

The apparel company, which already had more Deadpool T-shirts than you can shake a chimichanga at, is gearing up for the release of the Ryan Reynolds film by unveiling even more items, like a stylish side-zip jacket (above), an aloha shirt, a varsity jacket (because why not?) and, yes, a “Yay, Tacos!” tee.

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Comics A.M. | The changing industry and its changing audience

The Mighty Thor #2

The Mighty Thor #2

Comics | The comics industry has undergone seismic changes in the past few years, and Heidi MacDonald rounds up some recent comments from retailers and pundits about what they’re seeing. It’s a good read that leads to many other good reads, but here’s the takeaway: “
The real issue — one that many people in the industry may have trouble dealing with — is that the comics audience has changed. They didn’t get into comics during the first run of the Ultimate universe. They didn’t come in with the original 52 mini series or Final Crisis. They probably didn’t even start with the New 52. The methods and product mixes that were formulated to deal with a readership that grew up when comics were a niche product for nerds have to be reevaluated when new readers are coming in from the top properties in every form of entertainment, from graphic novels that they were taught in school, from webcomics, from creators with strong social media, from every which way. There is no well marked four lane highway to comics any more, just a delightful variety of roads, interstates and worn down dirt paths.” [The Beat]

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Suit up for ‘Civil War’ with Hasbro’s ‘Captain America’ toys

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By the time the new Captain America movie arrives in theaters in May,  pint-sized superheroes will be able to stage their own Civil War in the backyard with this upcoming merchandise from Hasbro.

Unveiled by Yahoo! ahead of next month’s Toy Fair in New York City, the toys will allow kids to gear up for the fight between Captain America and Iron Man: There’s a Captain America Blaster Reveal Shield, which fires Nerf darts (that’s probably not in the movie); Iron Man Slide Blast Armor, which also fires Nerf darts; the Iron Man Tech FX Mask, which boasts sound effects; and a Captain America Scope Vision Helmet, with targeting scope and missile launcher.

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Comics A.M. | Ta-Nehisi Coates among Book Critics award finalists

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Awards | Adding to a list of recent honors that includes a National Book Award and a MacArthur “genius grant,” author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism for his acclaimed memoir Between the World and Me. Coates is collaborating with artist Brian Stelfreeze on Marvel’s new Black Panther series, which debuts in April. [The New York Times]

Creators | Comics-industry pundit Rob Salkowitz looks at the resurgence of interest in Jack Kirby, who has posthumously received credit (and pay) for the work he created over the years for Marvel Comics: “For decades, the story of how everyone made a fortune off the work of this visionary creator except for Kirby himself – who until his final days toiled to eke out financial security for his family – stood as one of the most egregious injustices in an industry distinguished by its ill-treatment of creative talent. Now, as we approach his centenary in 2017, the man that Stan Lee nicknamed ‘King of the Comics’ is finally starting to get his due in the wider world of art, culture and commerce.” [Forbes]

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Comics A.M. | Complete set of Marvel comics goes up for sale

marvel collection

Retailing | Kansas City retailer B-Bop Comics is offering a complete collection of Marvel comics, from Fantastic Four #1 (published in 1961) through all books published in 2015, for $200,000. The set, which doesn’t include any comics from Marvel predecessors Atlas and Timely, was put together by a collector who bought most of the comics as they were released. B-Bop is offering them as a complete set until next month; if they don’t sell in that format, the retailer will offer them individually, which will probably bring in more money. The set includes between 32,000 and 34,000 comics, housed in 106 longboxes, plus some boxes of books of various sizes. [ICv2]

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This new Hulk statue will definitely smash your piggy bank

hulk1

Although fans are gearing up for the release of Captain America: Civil War, Marvel licensees have yet to finish with their Avengers: Age of Ultron merchandise. Case in point: This impressive Hulk statue from Sideshow Collectibles.

Based on the Green Goliath’s appearance in the blockbuster sequel, the highly detailed statue maquette stands 24 inches tall, and boasts a body rippling with muscles … and rage. Also: purple shorts.

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