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What ‘Arrow’ has been missing: Lightsabers … and Ewoks

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Watching the April 16 episode of Arrow, Dave Jones thought the big fight scene between Slade Wilson and Oliver Queen would look “pretty nifty” as a lightsaber duel. So he transformed the sequence into something straight out of Star Wars, complete with musical score, opening crawl, blasters and cameos by R2-D2, mouse droids and, yes, an Ewok.

The result even received an endorsement from Arrow star Stephen Amell. Watch the video below.

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Which states are the nerdiest? You may be surprised

Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience

Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience

I’ve never given any thought to which state might be considered the “nerdiest,” but if pressed I may have guessed California, with Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Comic-Con International, or Massachusetts, because of MIT and Harvard. However, it turns out I would’ve been way off.

Estately, the real estate blog that recently ranked the states most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, has now turned its attention to the nerdiest states in America, and — surprise! — Utah comes out on top. I guess that helps explain why Salt Lake Comic Con and its FanXperience spinoff pull in such large crowds.

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Shelf Porn straight from the silver screen

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Welcome to a different kind of Shelf Porn, as today Eric shares his home office filled with all sorts of cool movie items, masks, toys and, of course, some comics. “My philosophy on collecting has always been to surround yourself with things that speak to you and pull particular feelings out of you,” Eric said. “Whenever possible, I try to find cheaper items and improve upon them, and this has also become a fun part of the hobby.”

If you’d like to share your collection with us, you can find details on how to do that at the end of this post.

And now here’s Eric …

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Time for Yoda Shelf Porn it is

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Happy Saturday and welcome to Shelf Porn. Today’s collection comes all the way from Dagobah — “where it bubbles all the time like a giant carbonated soda” — as Joey Endres shares his collection of Yoda toys, statues and more.

If you’d like to share your collection here on Robot 6, you can find details on how to do that at the end of the post.

And now let’s hear from Joey.

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Jeffrey Brown shows that ‘Kids Are Weird’ in new book trailer

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 9.38.32 AM

Chronicle Books will release Jeffrey Brown’s latest graphic novel, Kids Are Weird, next month, and to promote it they’ve released a video trailer.

While the creator has been focused on the Star Wars universe lately — and in fact has a new Star Wars-themed book featuring more adventures of Daddy Darth Vader and little Luke and Leia coming soon — Kids Are Weird returns Brown to his home planet and his observations about his own kid.

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Artist reimagines ‘Star Wars’ as 1980s high school comedy

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It’s highly unlikely that once the Star Wars license returns to Marvel next year that we’ll see the original trilogy reimagined as a 1980s high-school comedy, but after seeing Denis Medri’s take on Luke, Leia and the gang, I now realize that’s exactly what I want to read. (Hey, someone at Lucasfilm greenlit Star Wars: Detours, so stranger things have happened. Of course, Disney quickly shelved the project, so …)

Medri offers up a Han Solo with nunchakus, short-shorts and Pontiac Firebird, Nerd-droids with pocket protectors, motocross-racing Vader, Boba Fett and stormtroopers, Principal Palpatine and so much more. It’s fast times at Mos Eisley High … or something.

See some of Medri’s work below, and more at Behance.

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Nintendo + Dark Horse = replacement for ‘Star Wars’ license

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Ever since Disney announced the purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, virtually everyone in the comics industry knew there was a ticking clock on Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics; it’s only natural, after all, that the entertainment giant would move the profitable Star Wars license in-house, similar to how it shuffled the Disney and Pixar titles from BOOM! Studios to Marvel in 2011. Following the announcement last month that Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics line will end its 20-plus year run at the end of the year, the next obvious question concerns what will take its place.

It’s difficult to overstate how big of an impact the Star Wars comics have had on Dark Horse. In the early days 0f 2014, the publisher has two ongoing series and two miniseries — one of which, The Star Wars, was the highest-selling Dark Horse and licensed title in 2013. The company has already announced plans for a broader Aliens/Predator/Prometheus line that could fill some of the holes left by Star Wars come January 2015, but recent news in the video game world gives me another idea …

Nintendo.

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Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ characters heading to ‘Disney Infinity’?

disney infinity

Coming perhaps as little surprise, if still welcome news to hopeful fans, Disney is rumored to be developing new versions of its expansive Disney Infinity video game that will feature Marvel and Star Wars characters.

The information is included in a Wall Street Journal report about the expected layoffs of “several hundred” more people from Disney Interactive Studios, despite the game’s strong launch in August.

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Jeffrey Brown’s ‘Vader’ comics get special editions, maquettes

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Chronicle Books has teamed with Gentle Giant Ltd. to bring to life Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader and Son and Darth Vader’s Little Princess as a pair of limited-edition maquettes based on the cartoonist’s work.

Released in 2012, the bestselling Darth Vader and Son reimagines the Dark Lord of the Sith as an involved father, raising a 4-year-old Luke Skywalker, while its 2013 follow-up Darth Vader’s Little Princess chronicles the trials of shepherding Leia as she grows a sweet ltitle girl to a rebellious teenager.

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Comics A.M. | Case of Sherlock Holmes rights isn’t over just yet

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #2

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #2

Legal | As the dust begins to settle on the ruling last month by a federal judge that Arthur Conan Doyle’s first 50 Sherlock Holmes stories have lapsed into the public domain in the United States, out march the analyses pointing out the buts. Chief among them, of course, is the possibility of appeal by the Conan Doyle estate, which contends the characters were effectively incomplete until the author’s final story was published in the United States (the 10 stories published after Jan. 1, 1923, remain under copyright in this country until 2022).

However, Publishers Weekly notes that because U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo didn’t rule directly on that “novel” argument, the estate may be satisfied with the ambiguity of the decision, given that uncertain creators still may seek to license the characters to steer clear of any trouble. Estate lawyer Benjamin Allison also insists that the Sherlock Holmes trademarks remain unaffected, an assertion that puzzles author and scholar Leslie Klinger, who brought the lawsuit. “There is a very good reason why the Estate did not assert trademark protection: The Estate does not own any trademarks,” he told PW. “They have applied for them, and there will be substantial opposition.” There’s more at NPR, The Independent and The Atlantic. [Publishers Weekly]

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Dark Horse editor finds bright spot in loss of ‘Star Wars’ license

star wars omnibusWhile it was certainly inevitable, Friday’s announcement that Dark Horse will lose the Star Wars license after more than two decades to Disney-owned Marvel nonetheless left many longtime readers dismayed, to say the least. To those fans, Dark Horse Vice President of Publishing Randy Stradley points out a silver lining: “[If] Dark Horse must lose the license, this is probably a good time for it.”

“From my perspective, the upcoming films will mean less freedom to do what we at Dark Horse have always done best: expanding the universe,” Stradley, who has served as senior editor of the Star Wars line since 2002, wrote Sunday on his Facebook page. “With a new film scheduled every year, and a new television series, it is likely that there will be a lot of comics pages devoted to adaptations and direct spin-off stories in support of the films and TV shows. That’s not where my interests lie, and it has never been Dark Horse’s strong suit. That would be too much like real work to me. Probably, the coming years will be a great time to be a Star Wars fan (especially a *new* Star Wars fan), and I hope you all enjoy the ride, but I think I’m going to be glad to not be in the mix.”

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Comics A.M. | Looking back at the year in comics business news

Sales

Sales

Comics | Retail news and analysis site ICv2 lists the top 10 comics business events of 2013, from strong sales growth in all three channels (book market, direct market and digital) to issues with sexual content, both Apple’s restrictions on in-app purchases and the sentencing of a Missouri man to three years in prison for possession of obscene comics. [ICv2]

Comics | Here’s a local-news take on Dark Horse’s loss of the Star Wars comics license, in which Publisher Mike Richardson reveals the franchise makes up 4 to 6 percent of the company’s bottom line. [KGW]

Comics | Tom Spurgeon talks to writer-about-comics Zainab Akhtar about her own writing and a good handful of other people’s graphic novels. [The Comics Reporter]

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Never mind Wonder Woman’s bracelets, check out this tiara ring

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Pennsylvania jeweler Paul Bierker sure knows the way to the hearts of fanboys and fangirlt: After previously creating rings based on Star Wars and Adventure Time, the SUNY grad’s latest work is literally wonderful.

That’s real gold — and five real rubies. Unlike some other comic-themed adornments you’ve seen online, this isn’t a mock-up; this is real, and available now. You can buy this ring, starting from $595, at Bierker’s Etsy store; it’s available in sterling, gold, palladium and platinum alloys. You can check out some of his earlier creations below, and even more at Etsy.

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Art Baltazar and Franco team for Dark Horse’s holiday card

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Dark Horse took a rather novel approach with its holiday card this year, turning to Art Baltazar and Franco of Tiny Titans and Itty Bitty Hellboy fame to create not just a card but an unfolding comic, with cameos ranging from Darth Vader and Battlepug to the Mask and Publisher Mike Richardson.

See the rest of the card/comic below.

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PJ McQuade wants you to ‘Hive a Mos Wretched Holiday’

PJ header

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.

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