Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Retailing | The Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal looks at the increasing popularity of custom retailer variant covers, focusing on local stores Acme Comics and Ssalefish Comics, which last week debuted an exclusive red-foil variant for Wrath of the Eternal Warrior and this week will release a cover by John Romita Jr. for Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1. The latter costs Ssalefish $18,800, which covered printing of color and black-and-white covers and Romita’s commission. “Even if we don’t make money back on the books, it’s still nice advertising,” said Bret Parks, owner of Ssalefish. “It’s a lot of fun and it makes our customers realize they’re getting something special, because although you might see a big stack of these ‘Eternal Warrior’ variants in our store, we’re the only store in the world that has them.” [The Winston-Salem Journal]
Although the revelation that Marvel’s Iceman is gay has been widely covered in the mainstream media, it came as a surprise to the character’s co-creator Stan Lee.
“Is Iceman really gay?,” the 92-year-old writer asked BBC Radio 4 presenter Sarah Montague, who broke the news to him this morning.
Legal | Japanese police have arrested three men on copyright violation charges, alleging they scanned and uploaded a chapter of One Piece from Weekly Shonen Jump to mangapanda, an English-language scanlation site. Police also arrested an employee of a delivery company who allegedly got his hands on a copy of the magazine at some point on its way from the printer to the newsstands and handed it over to the scanners. All four men are denying any wrongdoing. The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, which first reported the news, said this is the first time action has been taken regarding a foreign-language website. [Anime News Network]
The iTunes’ Terms and Conditions agreement has got to be the least-read-yet-most-signed contract in human history. For pages and pages (and a nearly limitless downward digital scroll), it enumerates Apple’s latest subtle shifts in policy regarding the ways we purchase, license and “own” music and media acquired through the most influential online marketplace to date. Who reads those things? Who could even pretend to? Can one even imagine a more arduous task than going through that document, line by line, and trying to parse what exactly it is we are all signing on for?
But ah, the magic of comics. Cartoonist R. Sikoryak, whose work has appeared in Drawn and Quarterly and The New Yorker, is publishing his painstakingly thorough, unabridged graphic adaptation of the iTunes Terms and Conditions agreement on Tumblr. This version of the contract is no mere dry rendering of legalese — instead, Sikoryak has transformed the document into a showcase of styles from talent all across the history of comics, making each page an experiment in the diverse visual language of the medium’s most beloved luminaries.
When legendary comics creator Stan Lee met Internet phenomenon Grumpy Cat, there was only one way things could go down: with a grump-off. While it’s unclear who emerged the winner (besides us, of course), at least the showdown was captured for posterity.
The encounter occurred over the weekend at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles, where Grumpy Cat was promoting her multimedia empire (including the new Dynamite comic The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat), and Lee was being, well, Stan Lee.
After teasing us a couple of weeks ago with a preview of the ghostly head sculpt, Hot Toys has at last revealed its Stan Lee 1/6th-scale action figure, and it’s every bit as life-like as you expect.
Sporting the legendary creator’s signature windbreaker, the figure features both regular glasses and sunglasses, seven interchangeable palms (two of which make Spider-Man’s web-shooting gesture), a pen (which it can actually grip), a wristwatch, director’s chair and a display stand.
Judging by this sneak peek at its upcoming Stan Lee action figure, Hot Toys may be taking its reputation for realism to another level.
Famed for its movie-accurate collectibles, the Hong Kong toymaker reveals a ghostly head sculpt that seems to capture the 92-year-old creator’s every wrinkle, pore and hair. It’s downright uncanny.
Stan Lee narrates the trailer for his upcoming graphic memoir Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible, a collaboration with writer Peter David and artist Colleen Doran.
Announced in April, the graphic novel is billed as “the story of how modern comics came to be,” chronicling the life, career and legacy of the co-creator of the Marvel Universe.
Today marks the 98th anniversary of the birth of Jack Kirby, King of Comics. And all corners of the comics internet are celebrating the contributions of the most legendary artist in the history of the medium (see CBR’s gathering of 98 mind-blowing Kirby images or Comics Should Be Good’s artist tribute for starters).
But the birth of Kirby also marks another strange anniversary for comics historians as 28 years ago today, the artist and his longtime Marve collaborator Stan Lee had one of their very few public arguments about what went in to the creation of the Marvel Universe.
In 1987, Kirby celebrated his 70th birthday with an interview on “Earthwatch” — a cultural program on New York City public radio station WBAI. During the broadcast, hosts Robert Knight, Warren Reece and Max Schmid asked Kirby about a range of fan topics from the origins of the Red Skull and the Cosmic Cube to comics perceived readership in the Golden Age and beyond. But the journalists pulled a somewhat stunning “Gotcha” move on their guest by asking him about the legend of the Marvel Bullpen before inviting Lee on as a caller.
When an annoying, if confused, Dark Knight challenged a baffled, yet patient, Man of Steel last fall in the stop-motion animated short “LEGO Batman vs. Superman,” the confrontation didn’t end well for the Caped Crusader. Not well at all.
Now, nine long months later, Tommy Williamson and BrickNerd Studios have returned with the sequel “LEGO Batman vs. Superman 2: Dawn of Justice Desserts,” which finds the World’s Greatest Detective just as we left him: stuck beneath the overturned Batmobile.
Stan Lee has been immortalized in comics, on television and film, in toys and even in the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game, but never actually in LEGO. However, a proposal at LEGO Ideas could change that.
It’s LEGO Stan Lee, a bust of the legendary writer constructed from 649 LEGO bricks. It even includes his signature sunglasses!
Forget Drake vs. Meek Mill, the greatest rap beef of our time is clearly between Stan Lee and Jim Henson.
In the latest installment of “Epic Rap Battles of History,” the co-creator of the Marvel Universe and the father of the Muppets (or at least a couple of guys who look sort of like them) settle old grudges by spitting mad rhymes.
Political cartoons | Cartoonist Ted Rall, who was cut loose last week by the Los Angeles Times after the Los Angeles Police Department cast doubt on a blog post he wrote for the newspaper about being stopped in 2001 for jaywalking, has posted an enhanced version of the audiotape of that incident, which he says backs his version of the story. [aNewDomain]
Creators | Stan Lee waxes philosophical in an interview conducted at Boston Comic Con: “I think people need somebody to look up to as a role model, you know? Just like people need to believe in God, you need to feel there’s someone somewhere who can help you because you’re aware this is not a perfect world.” [Boston Herald]
Marvel movies sure have come a long, long way. We’re currently on the brink of a third incarnation of Spider-Man on the big screen. If things had played out a little differently, however, it could have been the fourth.
Back in the early 1990s, Carolco Pictures came incredibly close to producing a Spider-Man film that was written, directed, and produced by none other than James Cameron. In the end, financial and legal troubles, among other Hollywood hooha, kept the film from seeing the light of day. Fans have known about this obscure piece of comic film trivia for decades, but new slice of nostalgia recently surfaced via Imgur brings us back to a period of “What If…,” courtesy of Stan Lee himself.
In one of Lee’s classic Stan’s Soapbox pieces from the Bullpen Bulletin section that ran in the back of ’90s comics, Spider-Man’s co-creator sings the joys of signing the deals to bring Cameron onto the film. “So you can take this to the bank, Believer,” writes The Man, “SPIDER-MAN is destined to be the biggest, boldest, baaaaadest block-bustin’ bombshell of a super hero action extravaganza ever to hit the screen!” Well, almost anyway. Read the whole thing above.
A Stan Lee cameo has become a secondary source of intrigue in Marvel Comics-based films — when will he show up, what will he be doing and how will fit in with everything else going on? He’s able to dwell in the worlds of the in-house Marvel Studios movies, Sony’s Spider-Man films and 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four and X-Men franchises. There have even been fan theories about how he can show up in so many different places.
The UK-based MorphCostumes, who offer a wide variety of skintight superhero bodysuits, have put together an infographic documenting Stan Lee’s cameos in Marvel films, dating back to 1989’s made-for-TV “The Trial of Incredible Hulk” and finishing with “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” released this past May. This follows an earlier infographic from MorphCostumes, looking at the “Murderers of Marvel.”