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Comic Couture | Stupid, Stupid T-shirts

Stupid, Stupid T-shirt

With the Comic-Con International coming up next week, no doubt eager fans are getting ready for their trip to San Diego. What should I bring? How much cash do I need? And most importantly, what should I wear?

You’ve got your chest covered for at least one day if you choose to purchase one of these cool T-shirts from the Cartoon Books booth. They feature full-face action from those lovable stupid, stupid rat creatures that always gave the Bone cousins a hard time. Adult shirts will be in brown, and the kids sizes will be in purple.

Head on over to the Cartoon Books site for more details on what else you can get at the booth. Smith won’t be there this year, but they’ll still have the shirts, a new print and more.

SDCC ’12 | Sunday programming schedule announced

Comic-Con

2012′s Comic-Con International wraps up on Sunday with its traditional focus on kids. Kid-friendly properties like LEGO Ninjago, video game characters Sonic and Mega Man, SpongeBob SquarePants, Carton Network’s Ben 10 and Level Up!, and many more are represented, along with creators like Raina Telgemeier, Art Baltazar and Franco, Shane Houghton and others who know a thing or two about creating great kids’ comics.

Comic publishers get their final chance to talk up their lines, as Marvel, DC Comics, Image, Archie, IDW Publishing and more are represented. The schedule also includes spotlight panels for Jason Shiga, Angelo Torres, Tom Yeates and Alison Bechdel.

Here are some of the comics-related highlights below; visit the Comic-Con website to see the complete schedule.

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SDCC ’12 | Saturday programming schedule released

Saturday’s programming for this year’s Comic-Con International continues the grand “big movie panels” tradition typically associated with the third day of the con. Both Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios are on the schedule for Hall H; no doubt Marvel will have more than just Iron Man 3 to talk about at that 6 p.m. slot. Warner Bros., meanwhile, will talk about Man of Steel in their panel, which will also include The Hobbit and Pacific Rim.

Comic publishers are well represented, with BOOM!, Marvel, DC Comics, Archie, Archaia, Dark Horse, Image, Top Cow, Drawn & Quarterly, Skybound, Vertigo, Top Shelf and more scheduled for various panels on Saturday. CCI also puts the spotlight on Mark Waid, Morrie Turner, Klaus Janson, Stan Goldberg, Gary Gianni, Jim Lee and many more creators, and celebrates anniversaries for Funky Winkerbean, Love & Rockets, Bob the Angry Flower, Courtney Crumrin and the Gays in Comics panel. And don’t forget about the always entertaining masquerade.

Here are some of the comics-related highlights below; visit the Comic-Con website to see the complete schedule.

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SDCC ’12 | Friday programming schedule released

Comic-Con

Like clockwork, Comic-Con International organizers have released the programming schedule for Friday, July 13, the second full day of the San Diego convention. It sees publishers kicking things into high gear, with Marrvel’s “Cup O’ Joe” and DC Comics panels on the New 52 and Justice League and Green Lantern groups, as well as presentations from IDW Publishing, Oni Press, BOOM! Studios, UDON, and Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly.

That’s only for starters, though, as AMC’s The Walking Dead, Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The CW’s Arrow make Comic-Con appearances, and creators as diverse as Joss Whedon, Kate Beaton, Larry Hama, Scott Snyder, Lynn Johnston, Dan Piraro, James Robinson and Jeff Lemire get the spotlight. There are also tributes to legendary creators Jerry Robinson and Joe Simon, as well as Comic-Con co-founder Richard Alf.

And to keep off the day, there’s the 24th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

We’ve selected some of the comics-related highlights below; visit the Comic-Con website to see the complete schedule.

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SDCC ’12 | Thursday programming schedule released

Comic-Con International organizers have released the programming schedule for Thursday, July 12, the first full day of the San Diego convention. It’s a day that includes the final Twilight presentation — it’s the first event in Hall H, so no squatters! — and plenty of comics panels.

The programming include panels from IDW Publishing, Image, Bongo Comics, Marvel, DC Comics and Viz Media, a Malibu Comics retrospective, a conversation with The Walking Dead creators Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard, spotlights on Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl, Geof Darrow and Bill Amend, and a look at the depictions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender characters in comics.

Check out some of the comics-related highlights below, and visit the Comic-Con website for the full schedule.

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DC rolls out creator-focused Comic-Con ad campaign

Taking a page from Image Comics and its months-old “Experience Creativity” campaign, DC Comics has debuted the first of its creator-focused ads that will begin appearing next week in the company’s titles as the countdown to Comic-Con International begins.

Bearing the headline “See the sights. Talk the Talk. Meet the Makers,” the first installment features a photograph of Batman and American Vampire writer of Scott Snyder, accompanied by the quote, “It’s the greatest, biggest, most exuberant collection of geeks like me anywhere on the planet at once.” The ad also directs fans to the DC website, Twitter and Facebook accounts, where they’ll be able to follow announcements from Comic-Con.

DC teases that it will reveal the next creator on Friday, but want a list of candidates, you need look no further than the publisher’s recent portraits of writers and artists. See the full ad below.

Update: Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson writes, “Sincerely, we’re very flattered.”

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Drawn and Quarterly to debut Kate Beaton calendar at SDCC

There aren’t a lot of details, but I guess there isn’t much more to know than what’s in the title. Kate Beaton will be San Diego Comic-Con and so will her calendar. There are many reasons I’m excited to go to this year’s show, but this just jumped to the top of them.

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Cosplay and cocktails on comics-themed booze cruise

For Comic-Con International attendees looking to start the festivities a few days early, a California company is sponsoring a comics-themed booze cruise called, fittingly enough, Comicruise Booze Cruise. It’s all there on the label.

Okay, so the 19th-century steamboat departs from Long Beach, about 90 miles from San Diego, and it’s the Saturday before the convention, but you probably weren’t going to work that week anyway.

The floating party features music by DJ Esco, who we’re told “will be PLOWING! and BAMMING! the BEST tunes all night long” — I have no idea what that means — dance performances, and costume contests. So four hours of cosplay and cocktails. There may or may not be “a team of acrobatic Mark Twain impersonators” (which you don’t see nearly enough of at comic conventions).

Tickets are available for $45 in advance (or $26 through Groupon).

Comics A.M. | Frank Doyle, Steve Skeates receive Bill Finger Award

Bill Finger, by Jerry Robinson

Awards | Frank Doyle, who wrote thousands of Archie Comics scripts, and Steve Skeates, who wrote for both Marvel and DC Comics, will be honored with this year’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. Both were chosen by a unanimous vote of a committee headed by Mark Evanier. The awards will be presented July 13 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International in San Diego. [Comic-Con International]

Legal | The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman’s war with Funnyjunk has heated up the Internets over the past few days, but Andrew Orlowski questions why Inman didn’t simply send FunnyJunk a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when he realized his comics were being posted without permission. “Without the DMCA, Inman found himself in a knife fight armed with just a stick of celery,” Orlwoski said, and he blames his failure to use it on “nerd web culture.” “Inman didn’t use the ammunition available to him at all — he simply decided to play the victim. Whether he did so through naivety, ignorance or cynicism, it is impossible to say.” [The Register]

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Mimoco unveils DC Universe, Dark Knight Rises MIMOBOT series

Mimoco has introduced adorable MIMOBOT designer USB flash drives featuring Superman, The Flash, and Batman and Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. They join the previously released Batman and Green Lantern series. However, Bane is a limited-edition Comic-Con exclusive, meaning you’ll have to trek to San Diego, or have a friend pick one up for you (or, y’know, pay a minor fortune on eBay).

Mimico is counting down to Comic-Con by revealing a new exclusive or premiere each Tuesday at midnight until the convention begins. These DC Comics drives are only the first, so there are four more sets to go. Check out the individual drives below, along with a MIMOBOT Dark Knight Rises teaser.

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First look at Comic-Con DVD-exclusive Joss Whedon figure

There have been action figures based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Marvel’s The Avengers and even Firefly/Serenity, but there’s never been one been one of the man behind them — until now.

That’s right, Joss Whedon now has his own action figure. Or, rather, figurine, as Entertainment Weekly notes it doesn’t have moveable joints. But whatever you want to call it, you can get Whedon as one of four mini-figures packaged with the collector’s edition of Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. Spurlock, Stan Lee and Harry Knowles are the other three.

The Whedon and Spurlock figures will be available with the DVD exclusively at Toys ‘R’ Us beginning July 10, which means fans may even get a chance to have them signed by the filmmakers themselves at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Wait, that means you’d have to take them out of the package — so just have them sign the plastic case.

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Robert Kirkman and Hyundai devise zombie-proof car for apocalypse

As part of The Walking Dead‘s 100th-issue celebration, Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint has teamed with Hyundai for an Elentra GT sweepstakes that’s being marketed with a four minute-plus video interview in which the writer discusses surviving a zombie plague and (of course) designing a car for life after the apocalypse.

“I’m generally a good person, but I would not want to be eaten by zombies,” Kirkman confesses, “and I would probably do next to anything to keep that from happening – and I have next to no skills. I mean, in the apocalypse I’d be going from group to group going, ’Do you need anyone to write comic books for you?’

It’s an interesting, if somewhat odd, bit of promotion that does double duty as a nice showcase for the writer, who while devising a Road Warrior-style modified Elantra GT fit for the bleak world of The Walking Dead, praises George Romero, sorts through art in his office, and offers insight into post-apocalyptic living.

The car depicted in comic form in the video, and in the screen shots below, will be on display next month at the Hyundai Undead Future US booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

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Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope documentary trailer debuts

Apple.com has premiered the first trailer for Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, the film by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) examining the cultural phenomenon that is Comic-Con International by following the lives of five attendees.

As you can see from the cosplay-heavy trailer below, the documentary also boasts plenty of familiar faces, including Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen, Eli Roth and Stan Lee (who, along with Joss Whedon, is one of the executive producers.

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope opens April 6.

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Lucasfilm and Nerdist team for lightsaber relay before Comic-Con

George Lucas is partnering with Nerdist Industries for “Course of the Force,” a 136-mile lightsaber relay beginning July 7 in Santa Monica and ending July 11 at Comic-Con International in San Diego to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It will be officially announced tonight on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

The brainchild of Nerdist’s Peter Levin and Chris Hardwick, Variety reports the Star Wars-themed event will feature 500 participants walking or running quarter-mile legs, passing a Lucasfilm-produced “Course of the Force” lightsaber rather than the traditional torch or baton. Octagon and Machinima are co-producing the relay.

Participants are encouraged to come dressed in their best Star Wars or pop culture-themed running gear — Drew Carey and Jim Gaffigan have already committed to wearing costumes — for a chance to win prizes along the route. The conclusion of the relay in San Diego in the hours before Comic-Con’s Preview Night will be marked by a party and live podcast at the Balboa Theater.

All proceeds, generated through sponsorships, will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For more information, or to register for the relay, visit the “Course of the Force” website.

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Comics A.M. | San Diego Convention Center plan advances

San Diego Convention Center

Conventions | San Diego City Council on Tuesday approved the basic funding plan for the proposed $500 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, home to Comic-Con International. At the center of the financing scheme is an assessment district that adds between between 1 cents and 3 cents per dollar to room taxes of 224 hotels with more than 30 rooms. Those hotels closest to the convention center would be assessed an extra 3 cents per dollar, and those farthest away could be charged an extra penny per dollar.

The expansion plan has a ticking clock, as Comic-Con has signed a deal to remain in San Diego through 2015, but larger venues in Las Vegas and Anaheim have been lobbying organizers to look elsewhere. [NBC San Diego]

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