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‘Big Hero 6′s’ Baymax and Hiro are heading to Disney parks

big hero 6

Disney has announced it will bring Big Hero 6‘s Baymax and Hiro Hamada to Disneyland and Walt Disney World this fall to greet fans as part of a promotional push for the animated film.

Although Captain America, Thor and Iron Man have previously appeared at Disneyland, this will be the first time Marvel characters have greeted visitors at Disney World.

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Artist captures Winter Soldier in stained glass

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When Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting revived Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier, the character once best described as a plot device was elevated to a fan-favorite superhero — and a movie headliner. And now, he’s been immortalized in stained glass.

Based on an illustration by Axeeeee, this stained glass piece by Etsy artist RavingsAside uses authentic Murano glass for the snow-like background, German antique red glass for the Soviet star, and silverfoil glass the cybernetic arm. The artist has posted pictures of the piece during production on Tumblr to showcase how it was done. Here’s a look at the finished piece:

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Disney teases expanded ‘Star Wars’ presence at theme parks

star wars-disney

Surprising no one, CEO Bob Iger revealed Tuesday that Disney has plans for “a far greater Star Wars presence” at its theme parks.

According to Entertainment Weekly, he promised that the sci-fi franchise would become one of Disney’s answer to Universal Studios’ Harry Potter attractions. Details are expected sometime next year.

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Comics A.M. | Ex-intern hits Marvel with class-action wage suit

Marvel

Marvel

Legal | A former Marvel intern has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, alleging he was incorrectly classified and unfairly denied “minimum wages.” Kenneth Jackson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, claims he’s owed back pay for the work he performed for Marvel from August 2008 to December 2008, and seeks to include in his motion “all similarly situated persons who are presently or formerly employed by Marvel Entertainment, LLC.” [TheWrap]

Passings | Pran Sharma, the creator of the Indian comics character Chacha Chaudhary, died late Tuesday of complications from cancer. He was 75. The first comic featuring Chacha, “a wise old man who solves problems with his sharp intellect,” was published in 1971, and the character went on to star in his own comics and animated series. Sharma also created the teenage character Billoo. “If I could put a smile on the face of the poor, I would consider my life successful,” he once said. [The Wall Street Journal]

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How ‘The Winter Soldier’ should’ve ended (just add Hulk)

hishe-winter-soldier

The folks at How It Should Have Ended have turned their attention to Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, pointing out a couple of plot holes — or at least plot oversights — while delivering its good-natured tweaks. Y’know, their usual shtick. So if you haven’t seen the film, you may want to avoid the video.

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Comics A.M. | Viz Media executives talk state of manga market

Viz Media

Viz Media

Publishing | Leyla Aker, Viz Media’s vice present of publishing, and Kevin Hamric, its director of publishing sales and marketing, discuss the state of the manga market and how the company’s books are selling through the print and digital channels (including comiXology, where Viz just signed on last month). One interesting tidbit: Viz products are carried by 64 percent of Diamond Comic Distributors’ accounts (i.e., comic shops). “Some of the store owners just don’t understand manga yet,” Hamric said. “They’re like librarians were years ago. They’re afraid of it, but if it’s children’s and Pokemon, or has a tie-in, especially to anime or television, then they’re not afraid to take it.” [ICv2]

Publishing | Tom Spurgeon talks to Drawn and Quarterly’s Tracy Hurren about the company’s new website, which launched this week, as well as life in the D+Q offices. [The Comics Reporter]

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‘This was the greatest day of the last 22 years for … Bill Mantlo!’

Bill Mantlo and his brother Michael Mantlo (photo courtesy of Michalel Mantlo)

Bill Mantlo and his brother Michael Mantlo (photo courtesy of Michalel Mantlo)

While audiences packed theaters over the weekend, propelling Guardians of the Galaxy to a record $94 million North American opening, Marvel arranged a private screening of the film for Rocket Raccoon co-creator Bill Mantlo.

Long known as Marvel’s “fill-in king,” the prolific writer of such comics as ROM: Spaceknight, Micronauts and Cloak & Dagger suffered irreversible brain damage in 1992 after being struck by a car. Now 62, Mantlo lives in a nursing facility, where he was able to watch Guardians of the Galaxy on a laptop with his brother Michael, Michael’s wife Liz and their cousin Jean.

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Disney gets legal fees, judge’s criticism in Stan Lee Media case

disney-marvel-logoA federal judge in Colorado has awarded Disney $239,941 in attorney fees in one of its legal battles with Stan Lee Media over the rights to the Marvel characters co-created by Stan Lee — half of what the entertainment giant was seeking.

Law360 reports that U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez on Thursday admonished Disney’s attorneys for requesting $461,882, which he found “grossly excessive,” while also maintaining that Stan Lee Media was unreasonable in its pursuit of copyright claims after three other courts already determined there was no legal basis for the suit.

“It shocks the court’s conscience that defendants would bill almost half a million dollars, or 900 hours, on a case with minimal discovery that was resolved on a motion to dismiss,” the judge wrote.

It was Martinez who in September granted Disney’s motion, dismissing Stan Lee Media’s 2012 copyright-infringement lawsuit and saying it would be “futile” to permit the failed dot-com — which has had no connection to its co-founder and namesake for more than a decade — to amend its claim.

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Mondo’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ prints go on sale today

Star-Lord, by Francesco Francavilla

Star-Lord, by Francesco Francavilla

At some point today — you have to follow along on Twitter to find out when — Mondo will announce the availability of five Guardians of the Galaxy limited-edition screen prints by Francesco Francavilla, Tyler Stout, Kevin Tong, Phantom City Creative and Vance Kelly.

If you’re even vaguely familiar with Mondo sales, you know the the prints go quickly. And considering all the buzz surrounding Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, with premieres today nationwide, you can expect these to be snapped up in record time. Check out the prints below, and keep an eye on Mondo’s Twitter account.

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Comics A.M. | ‘Annie’ writer Jay Maeder passes away

Jay Maeder

Jay Maeder

Passings | Jay Maeder, who was the last writer for the comic strip Annie (formerly Little Orphan Annie), passed away Tuesday at age 67. A former New York Daily News columnist and editor who authored Dick Tracy: The Official Biography and contributed to The Encyclopedia of American Comics, Maeder worked on Annie, together with artist Andrew Pepoy, from 2000 its cancellation 2010. He created Amelia Santiago, a pilot and CIA agent, and once said of the strip, “I tell people it’s Indiana Jones with chicks.” [The New York Times]

Manga | Deb Aoki rounds up the manga news from Comic-Con International, including UDON’s license of Kill la Kill and Drawn and Quarterly’s plans to publish Shigeru Mizuki’s biography of Hitler. [Publishers Weekly]

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Kris Anka offers limited-edition ‘Ladies of X’ print

ladies of x

Marvel’s X-Men titles have by far the highest number of iconic female characters in all of comics — whether it be the superhero genre or elsewhere. It’s thanks in no small part to the work of writer Chris Claremont and artists like John Byrne and Paul Smith, but man others followed, and added to the ensemble, including Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, who created Abigail Brand. And now artist Kris Anka is paying tribute to these X-Men in an expansive, limited-edition print called “Ladies of X 2.”

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Everything is awesome in LEGO remake of ‘Guardians’ trailer

guardians-lego

As fans gear up for the Friday premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy, YouTube sensation Forrest Whaley has released his shot-for-shot LEGO remake of one of the film’s trailers.

The video has received the seal of approval from Marvel, which publicized it on its website and Twitter accounts. Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista even got excited about it, tweeting, “Geek convulsions! This is my ‘its a major award!’ moment. So proud!”

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Comics A.M. | SCOTUSblog co-founder joins Kirby heirs’ appeal

Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby

Legal | Attorney Tom Goldstein, co-founder of the respected SCOTUSblog, has joined with Marc Toberoff to represent the heirs of Jack Kirby in their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of the Second Circuit’s affirmation that the artist’s contributions to Marvel between 1958 and 1963 were work for hire and therefore not subject to copyright termination. In a response filed this week to Marvel’s brief urging the high court to decline review, Goldstein and Toberoff again challenge the Second Circuit’s “instance and expense” test and its definition of “employer,” and argue, “Many of our most celebrated literary and musical works were created before 1978 and signed away to publishers in un-remunerative transactions. Termination rights were ‘needed because of the unequal bargaining position of authors.’ It would be hard to find a better example of this than the prolific Jack Kirby, who worked in his basement with no contract, no financial security and no employment benefits, but without whom Marvel might not even be in business today.” [Hollyqood, Esq.]

Retailing | Memo to politicians: You don’t win friends and influence people by taking up five spots in a comic store’s parking lot with your campaign bus on a Wednesday — especially when it’s Batman Day. [The Clarion-Ledger]

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Comic-Con’s six best moments

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Comic-Con International has come and gone, and like every year, we’re left with a metric ton of announcements, hints, speculations, sneak previews, leaked footage and open questions.

There also seemed to be more pre-convention announcements than I can remember seeing in previous years. If the past week or so of frenzied news wasn’t enough, panel coverage and from is still rolling out. Based on the past several years, we should see those continue to be doled out for the next week or two.Comic-Con is truly a month-long event, maybe almost two months when all is said and done. So it’s understandable if it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of what was announced when or to even remember that awesome thing I was so excited about a week ago but can’t name now.

There are plenty that stuck with me, however; I’ve already written about comiXology’s DRM-free titles, and some of Image’s upcoming titles, and there were plenty of others. Of course, I can’t mention all of the cool things to emerge from Comic-Con — that would just be a near duplication of everything we’ve heard about for about a month now. So instead, here are six (more) things from Comic-Con I can remember thinking were extra-awesome:

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Watch Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ as an 8-bit arcade game

avengers-8bit

Reports of the Avengers: Age of Ultron footage screened Saturday at Comic-Con International have you wishing May 1 would hurry up and get here … well, there’s nothing I can do about that. However, I can point you to the latest installment in CineFix’s 8-Bit Cinema series, which allows you to experience Marvel’s The Avengers once again, only this time as a classic arcade game.

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