DC Comics' "Rebirth" Character Designs for Batman, Wonder Woman and More
Manga | Viz Media announced it has licensed three Naruto novels, three novels based on the manga series Tokyo Ghoul, and the Gangsta manga spinoff Gangsta.: Cursed. Two of the Naruto novels, Naruto: Itachi’s Story – Daylight and Naruto: Itachi’s Story – Midnight, are prequels to the main series, and they are being adapted into anime in Japan under the title Naruto Shippūden: Itachi Shinden-hen: Hikari to Yami (Naruto Shippūden: The True Legend of Itachi Volume ~Light and Darkness~). Shin Towasa’s Tokyo Ghoul novels, Tokyo Ghoul: Days, Tokyo Ghoul: Void, and Tokyo Ghoul: Past, follow the characters at different times not covered in the manga. Gangsta.: Cursed is the story of Marco Adriano, one of the characters in the main Gangsta manga. [Anime News Network]
As part of the kickoff for “Marvel Week” on his late-night show, Jimmy Kimmel premiered the new trailer for Captain America: Civil War — no, wait. Make that AMERICA: Civil War, starring presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
“There’s some interesting parallels between our current presidential election and the movie Captain America: Civil War,” Kimmel explained. “Both of them feature former friends who are now enemies. They both feature powerful men and women who are also cartoon characters.”
Creators | Legendary MAD Magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee now holds the Guinness World Record for the longest career of a comics artist, at more than 73 years. Jaffee was presented with the certificate, and a proclamation from the New York City Mayor’s Office declaring March 30 as “Al Jaffee Day” in a gathering on Wednesday to celebrate his 95th birthday. [DC Entertainment]
Graphic novels | With audiences flocking to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s little surprise that the bestselling graphic novel in bookstores in March was Batman vs. Superman: The Greatest Battles, a compilation of previously published stories about the pair’s earlier tiffs. Also not surprising: All five volumes of Tokyo Ghoul are on the chart. That manga series seems to be the new Attack on Titan, with more readers coming in every month. The rest of the chart is a very mixed bag, with two Deadpool titles, a new Plants vs. Zombies graphic novel, and Daniel Clowes’ Patience among the month’s big sellers. [ICv2]
Legal | New York City Council is once again considering legislation that would restrict Times Square’s infamous costumed characters to specific zones. The council’s transportation committee will take up the bill this morning, just days after after a man in a Spider-Man costume was charged with assault following an alleged fight with a tourist over a tip. “Come to New York, duke it out with a superhero!” said Councilmember Daniel Garodnick, one of the bill’s sponsors. “Is that really what we want to be known for?” [Fox 5]
Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch tried to draw Pokémon while listening to U.S. election news, and we’re all the better for it, because the result is this wonderful series that fuses presidential candidates with the little pocket monsters.
His “Presidential Pokémon” delivers Bernie Sanders as Charmander, Trump as Muck, Hillary Clinton as Butterfree, Marco Rubio as Diglett and Carson as Snorlax. Gravity Falls animator and storyboard artist Dana Terrace also stepped in with “HypnoCruz” (“Type: Creepy ATTACKS: Makes women sterile just by looking at them SECRET: Is the Zodiac Killer”).
Managing to straddle the divide between timely and nostalgic, Topps has unveiled nine new Garbage Pail Kids cards featuring the presidential candidates, just in time for the New Hampshire primary. There’s a catch, however: They’re only available for 24 hours.
That’s probably just as well, though, considering that by this time Wednesday, a couple of those candidates will probably have dropped out of the race.
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]
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.
Political cartoons | The Washington Post has removed a political cartoon from its website following a complaint by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Drawn by Ann Telnaes, the cartoon depicted the Texas senator in a Santa suit playing an organ grinder, and his daughters as monkeys on leashes. Cruz and his family appeared in an offbeat campaign ad released over the weekend in Iowa in which he and his wife read their daughters books with titles like “How Obamacare Stole Christmas” and “The Grinch Who Lost Her Emails.” Telnaes insisted that by allowing his daughters to appear on television, he had made them “fair game,” saying, “Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad — don’t start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well.”
Manga | Huge news for manga fans this weekend: Yen Press has picked up the license for Fruits Basket, one of the top-selling shoujo (girls) manga of all time. The story of Tohru Honda, a teenage orphan who becomes involved with a large family that suffers from an ancient curse, Fruits Basket was originally published in North America by Tokyopop and arguably helped create the manga boom of the mid-2000s. The series often made the USA Today bestseller charts, and together with Sailor Moon, it brought girls and women into the comics world in large numbers for the first time in decades. Also, it’s a cracking good read. Yen Press will publish it in deluxe two-in-one omnibus format with a new translation. [Anime News Network, Yen Press]
In the wake of Chewbacca’s arrest Sunday in Ukraine, Emperor Palpatine has risen to power — however much he can have on Odessa City Council.
According to multiple reports, Darth Sidious himself (aka “Palpatine Dmitry”) claimed a seat on the port city’s council after securing 54.4 percent of the vote in Odessa’s Poselok Kotovskogo. If only the actual Palpatine’s rise had been so streamlined, the Star Wars prequels would’ve been a lot more bearable.
Still, Palpatine Dmitry’s success left at least one politician bewildered.
The next time Marvel and DC Comics want to reboot their superhero universes, they may want to turn to Vladimir Putin for inspiration.
The Russian president, famed for his public — and frequently shirtless — displays of virility, celebrated his 63rd birthday on Wednesday by playing hockey and accepting an award (for his contributions to hockey). Some of his supporters, meanwhile, marked the occasion with an art exhibition in Moscow titled … wait for it … “Putin Universe.”
If you’re not already experiencing deja vu from a 2016 campaign populated by a Clinton, a Bush, a billionaire reality star who’s often threatened a presidential run, and a gaggle of hopefuls long past their sell-by dates, this may do the trick: Opus and Bill the Cat have thrown their tattered hats into the political ring once more.
It’s of course not entirely unexpected, as Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed credits Donald Trump’s presidential bid with inspiring the recent online revival of the beloved comic strip. You see, in the waning days of the original Bloom County, which ended in August 1989, Trump was fatally injured and his brain transferred into the body of Bill the Cat, the near-catatonic drug-abusing televangelist/heavy-metal superstar/presidential candidate. The tycoon-cat subsequently bought the comic strip and fired all of its characters.
Metropolis has Superman, Gotham City has Batman, and now Ohio has a superhero of its very own. However, some critics it were somebody else — anybody else.
Meet Buddie, the caped crusader enlisted by ResponsibleOhio to aid in the fight to legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State. You’ll recognize him by his green-and-white costume, marijuana leaf-like gloves, washboard abs, half-closed eyes and blinding smile. Oh, and by the enormous marijuana bud that serves as his head.