"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
Manga | Pioneering U.S. manga publisher Tokyopop is back with its first new books in five years, and all three are tie-ins with other media. Alice in Wonderland: Special Collector’s Manga is a hardcover collection of Jun Abe’s manga adaptation of Tim Burton’s film, which will be released just before the premiere of Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. Similarly, Finding Nemo: Special Collector’s Manga, Ryuichi Hoshino’s adaptation of the Pixar blockbuster, will be released a week before the sequel Finding Dory. The third property is the five-volume series Kilala Princess, a shoujo manga series featuring Disney princesses. Tokyopop published the first two volumes of Kilala Princess during its earlier incarnation. [ICv2]
Legal | Despite a joint appeal from Spider-Man and The Joker, New York City Council passed legislation Thursday to allow the Department of Transportation to regulate public plazas and place new restrictions on the costumed characters who now roam Times Square. The move comes in response to repeated complaints, and some arrests, involving fights between the characters and the solicitation of tips from tourists. Keith Albahae attended last week’s City Council meeting dressed as The Joker, and Abdelamine Elkhezzani was there as Spider-Man, to tell their side of the story. “I agree with The Joker, even though he’s a villain and I’m a superhero,” Elkhezzani said. “We’re there to entertain people, we put a big smile on people’s faces and we work on tips. This has opened up a lot of opportunities for people to support their families.” Last year, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called on Disney and Marvel to crack down on unlicensed costumed characters, but to no avail. [CNN, The New York Times]
Creators | Writing for New York Magazine’s Vulture blog, Abraham Reisman takes a warts-and-all look at the career and legacy of Stan Lee in a lengthy article article alternately titled “It’s Stan Lee’s Universe” and “Why is Stan Lee’s Legacy in Question?” Peppered with quotes from the likes of Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Mark Evanier, Colleen Doran, Paul Levitz and Mark Waid, it’s a deep dive into Lee’s history, touching upon everything from his disputes with one-time collaborators Jack Kirby and Steve Dikto to his more recent output to the state of his company POW! Entertainment, which by most indications is struggling. [Vulture]
Creators | Stan Lee has announced his visit to Fan Expo Canada in September will mark his final appearance in that country. “It’s so pleasant to go somewhere where people like you and want to hear what you have to say,” he said. “It’s very flattering. But I’m 93 years old. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to do it. I want to make this one big event.” When it was pointed out that Lee doesn’t look as if he’s slowing down, the legendary creator replied, “Well, I can’t run the marathon and win the way I used to.” Lee made his final convention appearance in Europe in 2014. [Toronto]
Legendary writer and editor Stan Lee, who turned 93 just two weeks ago, revealed his vision has declined to the point that he can no longer read the adventures of the superheroes he helped to create.
“My eyesight has gotten terrible and I can’t read comic books any more,” he told Radio Times. “The print is too small. Not only a comic book, but I can’t read the newspaper or a novel or anything. I miss reading 100 percent. It’s my biggest miss in the world.”
Legendary writer and editor Stan Lee, who alongside such collaborators as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Bill Everett, Larry Lieber and Don Heck forged the Marvel Universe, turns 93 years old today.
To celebrate the anniversary of Lee’s birth, we once again gather some of our favorite photos of the Man taken over the past five decades or so, some by himself, others with the likes of KISS, Lou Ferrigno, Chuck Norris, Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. Oh, and one in which Lee is wearing nothing but a copy of Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk … and a smile.
Funko has even further expanded its anime lineup with Pop! vinyl figures based on Naruto, Fairy Tail, Sword Art Online and Soul Eater. And if that weren’t enough, the company has also unveiled is Vinyl Idolz figure of legendary comics creator Stan Lee.
Available now, there are 3.75-inch vinyl figures of Lucy, Natsu and Happy from Fairy Tail, Asuna and Kirito from Sword Art Online, Soul and Maka from Soul Eater, and Naruto from, well, Naruto. The young ninja is joined by a special 6-inch figure of Kurama, the nine-tailed fox.
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.