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Naoki Urasawa takes on ‘Godzilla’ for Legendary Pictures

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Best known for his acclaimed manga Monster, 20th Century Boys and Pluto, Naoki Urasawa has now taken on the King of the Monsters with an exclusive print created for Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla. Unfortunately there’s no word yet on when, or if, the print will be available for sale.

Director Gareth Edwards’ franchise reboot has grossed $325 million worldwide in 12 days of release — and it hasn’t even opened yet in China (June 13) or Japan (July 25). A sequel, of course, is already in development.

North American readers will be seeing much more of Urasawa’s work this year, as Viz Media will release the Monster: The Perfect Edition omnibus series beginning in July, followed by the debut of his post-Cold War thriller Master Keaton in December.

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Beyond film: the language of comics

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Comics can do way more than this…not that there’s anything wrong with this

Oyster War cartoonist Ben Towle posted an interesting consideration this week about how we discuss comics, and the tendency to rely on film terminology. From scripts to reviews to casual exchanges, we often rely on film language, referring to a panel composition as a “shot” or “camera angle,” for instance, despite the vast majority of comics never employing cameras (fumettis not withstanding). By Towle’s own admission, the post is a collection of disorderly thoughts, but it encourages an examination of how we think and talk about comics, and how we make them.

His “Let’s Stop Using Film Terminology to Talk About Comics” is likely to elicit responses like “I’ll use whatever terminology I want” and “What difference does it make?” That first reaction is of course true: We can all use whatever terminology we like. A blog post isn’t going to change that, and certainly the ubiquity of film won’t prevent its terminology being used in the context of comics from being understood. However, the answer to the second response might cause someone to reconsider that first. As Towle explains early on, how we talk about something affects how we think about it. It’s why politicians are so careful in the terms they use to describe opponents and allies. They’re hoping to establish terminology for a group of people, which in turn influences how we think about them as well. Is someone receiving welfare relief or government hand-outs? Was information obtained from prisoners or detainees, and were torture or extreme-interrogation techniques used? Obviously those are very politically charged examples, but to bring it closer to home, there’s a reason the term “graphic novel” was promoted over “comic book” to bookstores and other mainstream outlets. Words not only have meanings, but also connotations; they can imply judgment, status, and much more. They influence how we perceive the subject of discussion and how we’re likely to think of it in the future. So yes, it does make a difference.

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First look at ‘Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.’ exhibition

Thor’s Cosmic Observatory at "Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N" at Discovery Times Square

Thor’s Cosmic Observatory at “Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N” at Discovery Times Square

The first official renderings have been revealed for Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Discovery Times Square, the upcoming interactive exhibition that brings visitors into the Marvel Cinematic Universe..

Presented with Victory Hill Exhibitions and Marvel, in collaboration with NASA and the National Academy of Sciences, the exhibit is designed to bring to life the science behind the superheroes: Visitors are recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. and granted access to the headquarters of S.T.A.T.I.O.N. — Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network — and its classified files exploring the history and scientific origins of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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The new Warner Bros., and the rise of DC Entertainment

Tied to last night’s official announcement of a Justice League movie, The Wall Street Journal takes another look at Warner Bros., comparing its superhero output to that of Marvel — that’s a familiar story by now — and, more interesting, highlighting the changing position of DC Entertainment within the media giant.

The studio in 2009 announced plans plans to better exploit its comics properties (across film, television, video games and consumer products) with a corporate restructuring that saw the creation of DC Entertainment, a new division overseen by Diane Nelson, a Warner Bros. veteran who headed up its direct-to-video label and served as shepherd of its Harry Potter franchise.

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Shelf Porn straight from the silver screen

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Welcome to a different kind of Shelf Porn, as today Eric shares his home office filled with all sorts of cool movie items, masks, toys and, of course, some comics. “My philosophy on collecting has always been to surround yourself with things that speak to you and pull particular feelings out of you,” Eric said. “Whenever possible, I try to find cheaper items and improve upon them, and this has also become a fun part of the hobby.”

If you’d like to share your collection with us, you can find details on how to do that at the end of this post.

And now here’s Eric …

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‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ mobile game swings in with launch trailer

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Marvel and Paris-based mobile game developer Gameloft have released the launch trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a tie-in to the Sony Pictures movie sequel that pits the wall-crawler against villains ranging from Electro and the Green Goblin to Kraven and Venom.

Available now on iOS and Google Play, the action-adventure follows Spider-Man as he swings through Manhattan in an effort to save New York City from the chaos of a costumed crime wave.

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Viz Media to roll out ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ movie tie-ins

AYNIK-GraphicNovel-CoverWith Tom Cruise poised to battle aliens (again and again and again) in Edge of Tomorrow, Viz Media has announced the May 5 release of the graphic novel adaptation of the book that inspired the sci-fi action film.

Written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and illustrated by alt-manga artist Yoshitoshi ABe, All You Need Is Kill is a 2004 light novel about a new recruit to the United Defense Force who’s killed in his first fight against Earth’s mysterious invaders — only to find himself caught in a time loop: He wakes up the day before that fateful battle, only to die and be resurrected time and again.

Adapted by sci-fi author Nick Mamatas and comic artist Lee Ferguson (Green Arrow, Miranda Mercury), the graphic novel will be available in print for $14.99 or digitally across multiple platforms for $8.99.

On April 29, Viz will also release a new movie tie-in edition of Sakurazaka’s light novel, which in 2009 launched the publisher’s Haikasoru imprint, with a new title (Edge of Tomorrow) and a covering bearing the poster of stars Cruise and Emily Blunt. It’s priced at $7.99.

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Welcome to the age of the Marvel Cinematic Crossover

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

What did you do last weekend? Nothing much, probably; no real reason to get excited. After all, it was just another awesome Marvel movie opening. Granted, “awesome” isn’t an objective description, and surely some people had a pretty miserable time. But judging from reviews, user ratings and my own anecdotal observations, odds are a significant majority of the approximately 11 million people who watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier enjoyed it.

The film has been thoroughly reviewed — you can read CBR’s take here — so I won’t get into a big assessment. (Suffice it to say, I liked it.) Instead ,what I want to talk about is the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how it hasn’t just successfully adapted stories and characters, but the very experience of the Marvel Comics Universe.

It is now well-documented that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is a big comics fan. The difference, however, is that he didn’t grow up with them, but schooled himself on Marvel’s stories while working under producer Lauren Shuler Donner on the first X-Men movie. That distinction might have given him the ability to view the characters and concepts without being hindered by nostalgia, and helped him to dissect how Marvel’s framework could be used for future movies. Hollywood is an even more collaborative business than comics, so it’s unlikely that credit rests solely with Feige. But he certainly was an advocate for leaning more faithfully into the source material.

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Mondo unveils ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ prints

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Coinciding with the opening of Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Mondo has unveiled a new limited-edition print by Rich Kelly that will go on sale today. Naturally, the poster casts the spotlight on the film’s two title characters, but it also makes room for Black Widow and Falcon.

You may recognize Kelly’s work from previous Mondo prints like Django Unchained and Son of Frankenstein, or his posters for Breaking Bad and Kings of Summer.

As usual, these Mondo prints are very limited — 435 copies of the $45 regular edition and 225 of the $75 variant — so they’ll disappear quickly You have to follow MondoNews on Twitter to find out what time today they go on sale.

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Stan Lee wishes Bob Kane were alive to see Marvel’s film success

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Separate from Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Marvel Studios cover story, Bloomberg Television chats with Stan Lee about the current popularity of superhero movies, concerns about “superhero fatigue,” and the differences between the box-office performances of the Marvel and DC Comics properties.

“I wish my friend Bob Kane were still with us — he’s the fellow who created Batman,” Lee says. “Bob always used to tease me about the fact that Batman was a big deal on television and in movies, and we at Marvel had done nothing. I wish he was here now so I could return that teasing. A character should be somebody that the reader, or viewer, really cares about, and maybe at Marvel we put a little more effort into refining the characteristics and the nature of our heroes, maybe a little more effort than they have on the other side of the aisle.”

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Three interesting Marvel tibits from that ‘Businessweek’ profile

businessweek-marvelBloomberg Businessweek‘s profile of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, timed to coincide with the release this week of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, naturally focuses on the film division, but it also drops some fascinating nuggets about the company’s corporate culture and the 2009 purchase by Disney.

• “In March, Feige gave me a tour of Marvel Studios at Disney headquarters in Burbank, Calif.,” writes Devin Leonard. “The offices are furnished like a college dormitory, with threadbare couches. The hallways are decorated with cardboard superheroes hawking Pizza Hut and Burger King. There’s barely enough room in Feige’s office for a replica of Thor’s hammer.” While that description may come as a surprise to some, Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter has a well-established reputation as a penny-pincher, reusing paper, limiting the number of coffee pots and even fishing paperclips out of trashcans.

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Evian TV spot introduces the world to the Amazing Spider-Baby

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If you were surprised by that promotional campaign by Sony Pictures and the United States Postal Service featuring Stan Lee and Spider-Man, you may want to sit down for this one: Evian stakes out its own Amazing Spider-Man 2 tie-in with a commercial that introduces the world to Spider-Baby, a web-slinging, rope-skipping, dancing infant-sized mirror version of the wall-crawler. The TV spot is either inspired, or completely insane, I can’t decide.

Titled “The Amazing Baby & Me 2,” it’s the latest commercial in Evian’s “Live Young” campaign (aka the baby series).

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Captain America and Winter Soldier ring opening bell at NYSE

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan appeared this morning at the New York Stock Exchange, where they joined Marvel Entertainment executives to ring the opening bell, and to promote the Friday premiere of their film.

The actors also posed for photos with a costumed Sentinel of Liberty whom we can only presume is that Captain America from the 1950s — or else a trader who lost a bet.

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‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ game debuts launch trailer

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Marvel has released the launch trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier — The Official Game, a film tie-in that allows players to control Steve Rogers as he commands an elite team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents tasked with stopping a sinister global plot.

Developed by Gameloft for Adroid and iOS, the mobile game features an original story by comics writer Christos Gage. Players can call in Falcon and Black Widow for help as the go up against such adversaries as King Cobra, Taskmaster, Puff Adder and the Winter Soldier. A multiplayer mode offers the ability to join clans and to compete for a higher position in leagues.

The game is available for download now. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens Friday.

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England’s Wolverhampton Station becomes Wolverine Station (for today)

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On a day rife with fake announcements and Photoshoppery, this April Fool’s Day prank is real (or, rather, “real”): Wolverhampton Station, in England’s West Midlands, has been renamed Wolverine Station, if only for today. It’s a stunt orchestrated by Virgin Trains and Fox to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past.

London24 explains that the station’s 65 signs underwent the change, which was even reflected in the departure board at London’s Euston Station. Other signs (below) warned travelers about the potential threat posed by mutants. (Local radio station BBC WM even got in on the action, tweeting its opposition with a poster that reads “Mutant And Proud.”)

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