Early this month, comedian, actor and occasional comics writer Patton Oswalt issued a call for help on Twitter: His 3-year-old daughter wanted to dress as Spider-Girl for Halloween, and insisted “Daddy has to be Doctor Ock-a-pus.” The problem was, he didn’t have time to make the required costume. Who should come to Oswalt’s aid but Adam Savage, veteran special-effects designer and co-host of Mythbusters. The delightful results can be seen above.
“As sometimes happens, I just immediately saw in my head how to make a really easy-to-wear, inexpensive, fast-to-build Doctor Octopus costume,” Savage explains. How inexpensive, and how fast to build? Well, he constructed the costume in just four hours using off-the-shelf crafting materials. See how in the video below.
Welcome to a special Super Bowl Sunday edition of What Are You Reading? Not that it’s any different from a regular WAYR column, but you can enjoy it while eating hot wings while the TV is paused.
Today our special guest is biology professor Jay Hosler, creator of Clan Apis and Optical Allusions. His latest book, Evolution, with artists Kevin Cannon and Zandor Cannon, was recently released by Hill & Wang. Check out his blog for a story he’s working on about photosynthesis.
To see what Jay and the Robot 6 gang are reading, click below.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
If I had $15:
I’d start with Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever #1 ($2.99). I love weird western tales and can’t imagine a better creative team for one than the writers of BPRD and artist John Severin, who illustrated so many of Atlas’ classic westerns. Then I’d grab The Muppet Show, Volume 5: Muppet Mash ($9.99) because hey, Roger Langridge, Muppets and classic monsters.
If I had $30:
I’d add a couple of Big Two all-ages comics to the pile. If Marvel’s Super Hero Squad Spectacular #1 ($3.99) is half as fun as the show it’s based on, it’ll be worth taking home and reading to the boy. I’ll just have to keep ignoring the irritating, unnecessarily three-fingered character designs. I’m even more confident that we’ll enjoy DC’s Super Friends, Volume 4: Mystery in Space ($12.99) because we’ve been so delighted with the first three collections. David just turned nine and by way of celebration, he wanted to go back and re-read the Superman’s Birthday story from volume two.
Comics | A copy of Detective Comics #27 bought for 10 cents by Robert Irwin in 1939 sold at auction Thursday for $492,937. It’s not a record price for the first appearance of Batman — a CGC-graded 8.0 copy fetched more than $1 million in February — but the $400,000 that the 84-year-old Irwin will make after the commission fee is subtracted will more than pay off the mortgage on his home. [Sacramento Bee]
Digital piracy | The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would grant the Justice Department the right to shut down a website with a court order “if copyright infringement is deemed ‘central to the activity’ of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime.” In short, Wired’s Sam Gustin writes, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act “would allow the federal government to censor the internet without due process.” [Epicenter, AFP]
Legal | The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly is resurrecting a revised bill to tighten regulations on the sexual depictions of minors in manga, anime and video games. An earlier version of the controversial proposal was voted down in mid-June. The new bill removes vague defining terms like “nonexistent youth” and reportedly avoids references to “characters younger than 18,” increasing the likelihood that the proposed legislation will pass. [Anime News Network]
Retailing | As the small independent retail chain Joseph-Beth Booksellers files for bankruptcy protection, its president warns of even tougher times ahead for bookstores. “I think in the next three to five years, you’ll see half the bookstores in this country close,” Neil Van Uum says. [Lexington Herald-Leader, via ICv2.com]
If you were wondering if “The_Spider_Girl” on Twitter was the real Spider-Girl or not, wonder no more … it’s really her. Or, at least, it’s not a fan-run feed — it’s being run by Paul Tobin, writer of both the upcoming Spider-Girl comic and the back-up story that’ll be featured in Amazing Spider-Man #648. And the Twitter feed will reflect Spider-Girl’s tweets in the comic.
“When editor Nate Cosby and I first started working on the book, we talked about how there was so much to be said with a character, so much character development, so many character’s thoughts that never make it onto a page,” Tobin posted yesterday on his blog. “This is a way to get some of those character thoughts out there, so her twitter account can be followed / used to get even more of the story and her character. There will be far more tweets than make it into the actual comics. There’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED to follow the twitter account in order for any of the printed stories to make sense. It’s all right there in the comic. But… we (myself, and editors Tom Brennan and Steve Wacker) are looking at The_Spider_Girl’s twitter account as a sort of DVD extra: a behind-the-scenes look at what makes Spider-Girl tick.”
“I think there are a number of factors. For one, tastes change. I like to do stories that are paced a lot faster than the current style. I hate to see comics that have people standing around talking like they’re in a radio drama — a drama that is told entirely through dialogue. I actually enjoy a good radio drama, but radio is radio and comics are comics. I prefer to keep the action flowing with visual bits or sequential story-telling. I also go for broader action and emotional scenes. [...] Another factor is that I doubt many editors are currently reading my stuff. They remember me from when they were growing up and just assume they won’t like my writing now that they’re older. They think of Spider-Girl as a comic for ‘young kids’ and don’t think I’m capable of producing work for their ‘more mature’ titles. I can understand why they feel that way.”
The back cover of August Previews catalog provides our first look at Marvel’s Spider-Girl, the new series debuting in November, presumably with Araña under the mask.
The front cover spotlights the first issue of Dark Horse’s new series Star Wars: Knights Errant — Aflame, written by John Jackson Miller. See both covers, and full details of the August catalog, after the break.