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Comics A.M. | Free Comic Book Day; how Rise of Arsenal won PRISM Award

Free Comic Book Day: Captain America-Thor

Retailing | Following a week in which much of the comics coverage was fixated on Action Comics #900 and Superman’s apparent renunciation of his U.S. citizenship, mainstream media outlets are now shifting their four-color focus to the 10th annual Free Comic Book Day, which will be held Saturday at more than 2,000 stores worldwide. You can see a list of notable creator appearances at the FCBD website, but here’s a rundown of some event previews: FCBD press release, Wired’s GeekDad blog, Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex blog, Phoenix New Times, The Marietta (Ohio) Times, The Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia), The Daily Athanaeum (West Virginia University) and TribLocal (Evanston, Ill.). [Free Comic Book Day]

Awards | Rich Johnston asks a PRISM executive how DC Comics’ widely reviled miniseries Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal rated the group’s award honoring “the accurate depiction of substance abuse and mental illness.” “Obviously our criteria is a bit different from that of reviewers,” said Larry Deutchman, PRISM’s executive vice president of marketing and industry relations. [Bleeding Cool]

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Ohio’s Department of Transportation calls upon Green Lantern’s light

Green Lantern: Rebirth

In what has to be the strangest government press release in a while, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced this morning it’s turning to Green Lantern to protect its snowplows. Well, a Green Lantern.

“Taking a cue from the comic book superhero who uses green light to protect the people of Earth,” the release begins, “the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is hoping a Green Lantern will protect its snowplows from a dangerous spike in crashes this season.”

Citing 63 instances of drivers crashing into snowplows in just the first month of winter weather — that’s up from 57 for all of last winter — ODOT has proposed in its 2012-2013 budget request for the use of green lanterns (flashing LED lights) atop snow-removal equipment: “Research indicates that green lights have a better visibility in snowy, wintery conditions.”

Too bad the proposal isn’t for this year; ODOT might’ve been able to strike a deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment for a movie cross-promotion — complete with a ready-made slogan: “In snowiest day, in blackest night, no snowplow shall escape your sight.”

(via The Plain Dealer)

Iranian general declares Spider-Man a menace

Spider-Man: Hero or Menace?

Taking a cue from J. Jonah Jameson, the commander of Iran’s 400,000-member volunteer militia has blasted Spider-Man as a “false” cartoon character that may be part of a “soft war” against the Islamic republic.

According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi made the remarks last week when he announced the creation of a body called the Organization of Basij and the Media designed to increase the activities of the militia within the media.

Naghdi argued that characters that promote the authority of the government should be used in television programming rather than Spider-Man and other figures, which he seemed to suggest are part of a deliberate attempt to transform the cultural values of Iran.

“Today, we are engaged in a unique and historical war with the enemy in the frame of a soft war,” he said, expressing concern that more wasn’t being done to confront the threat.

Spider Lizard! Spider Lizard! Does whatever a spider lizard does!

Photo by Gordon E. Robertson

Photo by Gordon E. Robertson

Demand for a Sub-Saharan lizard has soared in the U.K., apparently after comics fans realized the red-and-blue reptile resembles Spider-Man.

The Sun reports the boldly colored male Mwanza Flat-headed Rock Agama, with its bright red head and blue body, is in such great demand that one online pet store is sold out until next month. (The female is brown.)

“The coloring is unbelievably similar, especially in the chest arms and legs,” comics retailer Rich Nunn told the tabloid. “I am sure there would be lots of comic fans who would want a lizard like this, because it looks so much like Spider-Man.”

However, the similarities don’t end with the colors: Spider Lizard can scale vertical walls and run uprights on its hind legs. That’s pretty much it, though, as I’m pretty sure Peter Parker doesn’t eat crickets or mealworms.

Teens discover suspected Warwolf, promptly beat it to death



A group of excitable, and violent, teens in Panama may have saved our planet from other-dimensional invasion.

According to media reports, the kids were playing in a town north of Panama City when they saw a grotesque, hairless creature emerge from a cave. So what did they do?

Why, they beat it to death, of course.

“Fearing for the safety as it moved towards them,” the U.K.’s Telegraph reports, “the youths claim they attacked the beast with sticks before throwing its lifeless body into a pool of water.”

Don’t be quick to condemn them, though: Judging from these photos, the beast can only be a Warwolf — Popsie or Jacko, possibly — one of a pack of genetically engineered lupine creatures that do the bidding of Mojo, ruler of the Mojoverse.

If not a Warwolf, then it’s probably a follically challenged sloth.

But better safe than sorry, I say. Had the teens not bludgeoned the monstrosity to death, it might’ve drained their life essences and worn their skins as clothing! Without Excalibur to battle the Warwolves, none of us would’ve stood a chance. Today Cerro Azul, tomorrow New York City!

Of course, if it was that other thing, the beast likely would’ve avoided all human contact as it searched for cecropia leaves and bugs. But who wants to take that risk?

(via Gawker)

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