It wouldn’t be Christmas without mashup king PJ McQuade adding another couple of designs to his growing range of Star Wars-themed greetings cards. Every year I bemuse my elderly relations with such delights as the Tauntaun snow-licking “Hoth-y Holidays!” card. This year they’ll be just as baffled to receive “Jabba All the Way,” ‘Wampa in a Winter Wonderland,” “Hive a Mos Wretched Holiday” or “Merry This Christmas Is.” And, hey, I’ve just noticed that if you stick a white beard on Yoda, he starts to look a little like Alec Guinness.
Manga | While Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan has been burning up the bookstore sales charts in the United States, the dystopian manga is also giving the smash-hit One Piece a run for its money in Japan. According to market research firm Oricon, Attack on Titan sold more than 15.9 million copies in the past year, just behind One Piece‘s 18.1 million (Kuroko’s Basketball is a distance third with about 8.8 million). Of course, Eiichiro Oda insanely popular pirate manga has little to fear: The 72-volume (and counting) series has 300 million copies in print in Japan, and 345 million worldwide. Kodansha’s Attack on Titan, meanwhile, is on its 11th volume. [ICv2]
Auctions | Select titles from Don and Maggie Thompson’s collection of rare comics — among them, The Avengers #1, Journey Into Mystery #83 and The Incredible Hulk #1 — sold at auction last week for a combined $835,384. A 9.6 copy of Tales of Suspense #39 alone fetched $262,900. [Heritage Auctions]
We’ve said before here on Shelf Porn that it isn’t the size of the collection that matters, only the passion of the person submitting it. Sometimes it’s also not about the number of pictures submitted, either. With that in mind, here are four collections I’ve received recently that had a lot to say in a few images.
Disney, which has long fought against the expansion of casinos in Florida, is bringing to an end some licensing deals that have been viewed as hypocritical to that anti-gambling stance: slot machines, online slots and lottery tickets featuring Marvel and Star Wars characters.
The New York Times reports the announcement, made over the weekend, comes as the Florida legislature again prepares to address whether Las Vegas-style casino resorts should be permitted to open in the state. The Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista attracts 52.5 million visitors annually; the entertainment giant argues that gambling hurts the state’s family-friendly brand.
Although Disney is so opposed to gambling that it doesn’t even casinos on its cruise ships — that’s an oddity in the industry — Marvel continued to sign slot machine agreements after it was purchased by the corporation in 2009 for $4.6 billion. But a Marvel spokeswoman told The Times the last deal was made two years ago, and the company has “discontinued plans to initiate or renew slot machine licensing arrangements as part of its integration with Disney.” Those that remain will be allowed to expire.
Marvel heroes like Iron Man and the Avengers have appeared on scratch-off lottery tickets in several states, but the company said there are no active licensing deals.
A spokeswoman for Walt Disney World attributed the lag to the complexities of aligning corporate policies following a merger.
Director J.J. Abrams will undoubtedly receive a lot of unsolicited advice about Star Wars: Episode VII, on which hangs the future of the blockbuster franchise and the hopes and dreams of countless fans, but none will likely be as succinct and stylishly rendered as “Dear J.J. Abrams” (or, “4 Rules to Make Star Wars Great Again”).
Produced by Prescott Harvey with the creative agency Sincerely, Truman, this love letter to A Galaxy Far, Far Away manages to capture much of what made the first three films so special, why the others were so … well, terrible, with just four rules. However, there was at least one more that didn’t end up in the video.
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn! Today’s shelves come from Gord in Calgary, who sent us pictures of his comics, statues and more during last June’s floods.
If you’d like to see your collection featured here on Shelf Porn, check out the submission instructions for complete details.
And now let’s hear from Gord …
Publishing | Although there’s been no official announcement beyond an Amazon listing, Fantagraphics is set to publish a Don Rosa Library line, beginning next summer with the 248-page hardcover Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: “The Son of the Sun.” That was the title of the cartoonist’s first Scrooge McDuck comic, released in 1987. [The Comics Reporter]
Creators | Writer and editor J.W. Rinzler talks about adapting George Lucas’ initial draft of the Star Wars screenplay into the Dark Horse comic The Star Wars: “This is not something you could film. Here’s a giant city and then here’s a giant vista filled with huge spacecraft. (Lucas) was doing his blue sky version of what he wanted to do. He knew this was not going to be filmable.” [The Associated Press]
Publishing | Douglas Wolk uses a classic comics trope — who would win in a fight between Marvel and DC Comics, or rather, Batman and Iron Man? — to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the two companies and how their business models have evolved. [Slate]
Comics | Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater and writer and artist Dan Parent talk about the latest story arc, which takes the Riverdale gang to India for an encounter with Bollywood. [The Times of India]
Manga | Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, spoke about manga and the importance of freedom of expression at the most recent Comiket, the world’s largest comics event, in Tokyo. [CBLDF]
Those newfangled social networks have been heaving with all manner of Breaking Bad-related nonsense over the past few days, and I’ve been trying to avoid all of it, for fear of spoilers. I did, however, come across this in my RSS feed and chuckle. It’s by mash-up king PJ McQuade (we’ve featured his Wolverine/Quint and his Walking Dead/Star Wars pieces recently), and it is so tonally pitch-perfect that I had to share it — my qualms that it’s maybe not really comics-related faded as I remembered that Star Wars has existed as a comic for essentially as long as it has as a movie franchise. So there.
Anyway, ladies and gentlemen: Darth Heisenberg. He’s available as a print (and as a vinyl sticker) from McQuade’s Etsy shop.
USA Today has premiered the trailer for The Star Wars, the upcoming Dark Horse miniseries based on George Lucas’ rough draft for his 1977 blockbuster. Announced in April at WonderCon, the project is written by LucasBooks Executive Editor J.W. Rinzler and drawn by Mike Mayhew.
Lucas’ original 1974 version, called The Star Wars, featured elements that found their way, in substantially altered form, into ground-breaking movie franchise: “lazer swords,” Jedi Annikin Starkiller, General Luke Skywalker, an alien Han Solo, and evil Sith Knights.
“You can teach a college course on how he got from that story to his first Star Wars film,” Rinzler tells the newspaper. “Francis Ford Coppola read the rough draft and thought it was pretty good. He wasn’t really sure why George was changing it.”
The eight-issue miniseries debuts Sept. 4.
Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. This weekend is the D23 Expo, the event that Disney devotees look forward to for months. But the latest installment also promises plenty for Marvel and Star Wars fans.
Before you pack your mouse ears, though, there are new comics to read, ranging from Sidekick #1 to The Thrilling Adventure Hour to In the Days of the Mob. Continue on to see what ROBOT 6′s contributors have to say about their picks of the week.
What as a simple request from Parks and Recreation‘s producers for Patton Oswalt to ramble on set about the subject of his choice turned into the comedian’s insanely epic pitch for a Star Wars/Marvel crossover, which became an Internet sensation before the episode even aired. That, in turn, gave birth to a movie poster, a video interpretation and now, thanks to Nerdist, an animated version — complete with Chewbacca’s head and new robot body.
For the latest video to promote Course of the Force, the Star Wars-themed charity relay that ends Tuesday in San Diego ahead of Comic-Con International, The Nerdist‘s Chris Hardwick turns to none other than Robert Kirkman to lend a hand. No, no, the other hand.
The nearly five-minute comedy skit not only exposes the duo’s bloody rivalry but reveals just what Hollywood has done to the comics creator.
“The Walking Dead is, like, the biggest show on TV — it gets higher ratings than anything on NBC!” a vengeful Kirkman declares to Hardwick. “If you factor in inflation, The Walking Dead has more people watching it than Seinfeld, Friends or The Cosby Show combined! Now I have more Hollywood power than you can possibly imagine!”
Oh, and Kirkman is a cyborg — a promotion-happy cyborg. Just watch it below.
Remember PJ McQuade’s Wolverine/Quint from Jaws mash-up? After we posted that, he sent a message to say he’d had a few ideas for a series of similar prints, and I guess this is the first to be completed: Michonne from The Walking Dead reimagined as a bounty hunter-slaying ronin Jedi, about to mow down some zombified Stormtroopers.
And just like clockwork, Comic-Con International organizers have rolled out the programming schedule for Friday, July 19.
On its second day, the San Diego convention kicks into high gear, with publishing panels from Dark Horse (including one dedicated to Joss Whedon’s titles, and another to Star Wars), DC Comics, IDW (including the Hasbro licenses), Marvel (including the perennial “Cup O’ Joe”), Oni Press, Titan Comics and UDON, retrospectives devoted to ElfQuest, Walt Kelly, Aspen and Strangers in Paradise, and tributes to the late Carmine Infantino and Kim Thompson.
Oh, and don’t forget the Eisner Awards ceremony, which caps off the day.
Check out some of the comics-related highlights below, and visit the Comic-Con website for the full schedule: