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C2E2 2012 | Sunday Photodiary

Sunday was a great day. It started off awesomely with a marriage proposal. A young man named Matthew had hired my friend Grant to draw a picture of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for his girlfriend, Lisa, a Buffy fan. When they picked up the commission, Lisa read the word balloons, “Hi, Lisa. Matthew tells me he loves you very much and he has a very important question to ask…”

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Food or Comics? | Dark Horse preserves

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop 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 a splurge item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

West Coast Avengers: Lost in Space-Time

Graeme McMillan

It’s not even a fifth week, but I find myself curiously distanced from this week’s releases for some reason. Outside of some books I’ve been reading for awhile, there’s little to really catch my eye, so if I had $15, I’d likely find myself buying Dark Horse Presents #10 (Dark Horse, $7.99) and Memorial #4 (IDW, $3.99), and being quite happy with those two books.

If I had $30, I might go back to Justice League with #7 (DC, $3.99); I wasn’t entirely convinced by the opening arc, but I found myself enjoying the Pandora back-up in #6 enough that I found myself more curious about sticking around than I would’ve expected. I’d also grab Legion of Super-Heroes #7 (DC, $2.99), another book I’ve found myself liking more than I initially thought, as well as Thunderbolts #171 (Marvel, $2.99) for one of the few, final times before it becomes a part of the Avengers family.

Splurging, oddly, is a much easier choice for me than what I’d get in single issues: Avengers: West Coast Avengers – Lost In Space-Time (Marvel, $34.99) collects some of the first issues of West Coast Avengers that I read way back when, launching a love affair with Steve Englehart’s writing that continues to this day. Those original issues are long since lost to history (Somewhat fittingly, considering the time travel subject matter), so this will be a welcome nostalgia trip for me.

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DC partners with Sonic Drive-In for Justice League Tots

Have you heard? Some maniacal super villain has kidnapped the Justice League and turned them into… tater tots? Don’t worry, super friends, it’s all part of a unique promotion DC is doing with the fast food chain Sonic Drive-In.

Sonic Justice League Tots

Available “for a limited time only” with purchase of one of Sonic’s Wacky Pack Kids’ Meals, these “Super Tots” come in 10 varieties: Superman, Clark Kent, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, Supergirl, Bizarro, and Plastic Man. Batman and Green Lantern are conspicuously absent, but I’d chalk that up to the adult world of licensing agreements and what not given their recent movies.

This isn’t the first time comic heroes have shown up in fast food kids meals, but it’s arguably one of the most deliciously cute ones in recent memory. Check out all the little guys after the jump, courtesy of Sonic.

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What Are You Reading? with Thom Zahler

Hiya kids, it’s time for What Are You Reading?, a weekly look into what the Robot 6 crew has been reading lately. Today’s special guest is Thom Zahler, creator of the delightful superhero/romantic comedy comic Love and Capes.

To find out what Thom and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.

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Grumpy Old Fan | We are family: DC solicits for February 2012

Because a Crisis On Infinite Earths homage would have been too predictable

At first I wasn’t especially excited about too much in DC’s February solicitations. However, the more I looked around, the more optimistic I became. Six months into the New 52, some connections are starting to gel, and their interactions (well, as far as what you can glean from the ad copy) seem more organic. As always, there were a few pleasant surprises in the collected editions, and some details from which to spin hopeful speculation.

But enough with the purple prose — let’s hit the books!

TO UNLIMITED AND BEYOND

The gee-whizziest news of the February solicitations has to be the digital-first format of Batman Beyond Unlimited. I have not been the quickest to adapt to digitally-conveyed comics, mostly because my personal technology level hasn’t caught up. However, I do read a number of webcomics, as well as newspaper strips online, and if the price were right, I’d gladly sample BBU’s features on my computer before picking up the print version. Having Dustin Nguyen and (yay!) Norm Breyfogle involved doesn’t hurt either.
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Food or Comics? | Vess, Wonder Woman, Mudman and more

Mudman

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop 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 a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Graeme McMillan

What’s that, you say? Paul Grist’s new Mudman series starts this week (#1, Image Comics, $3.50)? Well, that’s how I’m starting my $15 haul this week. While I’m at it, let’s add Avengers Origins: Luke Cage #1 (Marvel, $3.99) and Kirby Genesis: Captain Victory #1 (Dynamite, $3.99), before finishing up with the third issue of Wonder Woman (DC, $2.99) for a superheroic week that goes from the earth to the gods, with some blaxploitation and aliens thrown in the middle for flavor.

DC would dominate the other half of my budget if I had $30. I’d be grabbing the third issues of Green Lantern Corps, Justice League and Supergirl ($2.99 each, except Justice League for $3.99), but I’m surprising myself as much as anyone else by grabbing The Bionic Man #4 (Dynamite, $3.99) for my final pick – I read the first three issues in a bunch this weekend and really enjoyed the book to date much more than I’d been expecting.

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Victoria, Australia to offer custom license plates featuring DC heroes

As I continue to wait patiently for word that I can put a Snoopy license plate on my car out here in California, Andy Khouri at ComicsAlliance brings word that Australians in the state of Victoria will soon be able to sport DC Comics heroes on theirs.

The character plates include Superman, Supergirl, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern, and for all but the Flash, you can choose a plate that either features the hero or their associated logo. Or, in the case of Supergirl, a pink license plate. As Khouri points out, the plates will sport images taken directly from the DC Comics Style Guide circa 1982, drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Dick Giordano, rather than the recently redesigned “New 52″ versions of the characters. They’ll become available on Nov. 30, along with several Looney Tunes plates.

Check out the plate after the jump, and for more information, visit the Vic Road Custom Plates website.

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Gender bender: Where are the male versions of female heroes?

Casting an eye over the expanse of superhero comics, you’ll find yourself looking at a number of heroes so popular that they’ve spawned spin-off characters that are either younger, pluckier or, more often than not, of the opposite sex. From DC’s Supergirl (tied to Superman) to Marvel’s Ms. Marvel (connected to Captain Marvel), this has been a trend going on longer than most of us have been around. But in this world of male heroes sharing their costume designs with women, I’ve always wondered why there isn’t much going the opposite way: heroes who base their costumes and names on heroines.

One of the key reasons is that by sheer number there are far more popular male superhero characters than female characters. By my unscientific estimation, the only female superheroes the general public could name would be Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Invisible Woman, Catwoman, Jean Grey and Storm. Compare that to the male heroes most people know, and you’ll get the picture. But even then, where are the male counterparts to those female heroes I mentioned?

The closest thing we have to that is DC’s Catman, the lone example of an in-continuity character borrowing his style from a female character — Catwoman. There’s also  the rare alternative universe where all genders are switched, such as Earth-11 as seen in Teen Titans Spotlight #11, or other unique circumstances.

I’m not saying DC should bring back Wonder Man (or Captain Wonder) as a counterpart to Wonder Woman in the New 52, but she does have a pair of star-spangled pants she’s not using.

Grumpy Old Fan | New 52 Week 3: I’m every woman…?

The new Blue Beetle #1

Whether by accident or design, this week was dominated by female leads (four, not including Starfire in Red Hood) and Bat-titles (four including RH; five if you count Birds Of Prey). It is tempting to say the woman-led titles ran the gamut of experiences from A to D, but thankfully it is a little more complicated than that.  As you might expect, the week produced issues of varying quality, although I found something to like about each one. Sometimes it was harder to find that one thing, though….

Naturally, SPOILERS FOLLOW.

* * *

In theory, the DC Universe Presents anthology has a longer lease on life because its sales can’t be judged fairly on the basis of only one arc. I suppose that, given Deadman’s relationship with one of Hawk & Dove’s headliners, that book’s readers might be interested in this one. By and large, though, the audience for this title is made up either of DC stalwarts waiting for a good Obscure Character X story, or (less likely, I’d say) impulse buyers. Such an approach might have been a great way to introduce a totally new character within the context of the New 52, and piggyback that feature on the rest of the relaunch’s popularity — but I’m not surprised DC chose Deadman, fresh off Brightest Day.

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DC’s push for the New 52: A Supergirl for The Hunger Games crowd

Supergirl #1, by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Mahmud Asrar

USA Today talks with Supergirl co-writers Mike Johnson and Michael Green about their approach to the relaunched title, and provides a five-page preview of the first issue, which goes on sale Wednesday. “We’re really excited about the opportunity to hand this book to a female reader who is into things like The Hunger Games,” Johnson says. “This is a strong character with her own point of view.”

• Writer J.T. Krul will be replaced by Keith Giffen and artist Dan Jurgens on Green Arrow with December’s Issue 4. The news comes just days after John Rozum announced he’s leaving Static Shock.

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What Are You Reading? with special guest Janice Headley

Big Questions

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly column where we successfully answer the question in the title. Our special guest this week is Janice Headley, events coordinator, publicist and “ambassador of awesome” for Fantagraphics.

To see what Janice and the Robot 6 crew have been reading this week, click the link below.

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Mike Maihack’s Supergirl/Batgirl sort of does happen

Kevin was right when he said that the world needs a Supergirl/Batgirl comic by Mike Maihack. Fortunately, Maihack’s been kind enough to oblige. Check out his blog for the last two panels of the story. It gets even more adorable.

Be warned, though: It’ll make you want more.

Mike Maihack’s Supergirl/Batgirl really, really needs to happen

Supergirl/Batgirl, by Mike Maihack

Although we covered the launch of DC Fifty-TOO! just last week — it’s the Jon Morris-spearhead blog on which cartoonists offer their own ideas for DC relaunch titles — I already find myself revisiting it to spotlight a cover. Heck, I could close my eyes, point and land on a half-dozen pieces worth highlighting, but today I’ll focus on the contribution by Cow & Buffalo creator Mike Maihack, who floats an irresistible spin on DC’s classic World’s Finest formula starring Supergirl and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon):

Can the same blonde-haired, wonder teen from Metropolis who helped Barbara Gordon finally put an end to Killer Moth’s week-long crime spree also be the new popular transfer student at Gotham High? Good thing they have superheroics in common because Babs’ and Kara Zor-El’s student lives are about to clash.”

That’s a rough tagline for a book that shouldn’t come as any big surprise for those who have followed me online for longer than a week. I would take a more all-ages approach to the series, placing Babs and Kara in high school who, despite some social differences, eventually become best friends. That’s when I would introduce an idolizing fourteen-year-old Mary Marvel to annoy the heck out of them.

It’s the promise of Mary Marvel that really sells it, isn’t it?

Hey, how about some more DC Comics ‘New 52′ art?

Supergirl by Mahmud Asrar

And again, the #52splash hash tag on Twitter remains active, as more artists post more art from DC’s relaunched September titles (and beyond, in some cases). I’ll start with some that came in last night, and add more throughout the day when I get a chance.

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What Are You Reading? with Mike Baehr

Elf World

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Fantagraphics’ Marketing Director Mike Baehr, who runs their indispensable company blog, Flog!, among other duties.

To see what Mike and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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