Soule Finds a Weakness in the Afterlife, Discusses Surprise "Inhuman" Return
I’ve always thought there’s a beautiful eloquence of having a connection to something that was designed 50, 60, 75 years ago, that is essentially undiluted. They don’t need to be over-altered for the sake of upcoming generations. They don’t have to be unified.
If you have to always make characters younger because, ‘well, young people won’t connect with older protagonists,’ well, that is such horseshit.”
– Alex Ross, lamenting the desire of some publishers to remake superheroes for a modern audience, in the same piece in which he says he’s learned not to get too attached to certain depictions of characters: “If you start thinking that your version of a thing is the most popular, beloved version, then when they go a different way, as they have with their version of Superman today, it breaks your heart.”
Analysis | Rob Salkowitz kicks off the new year with big-picture questions about “geek culture”: With the popularity of comics-based movies, will continuity and nostalgia become less important? And will comics themselves become less important? “Putting out comics is a relatively costly and troublesome process with limited revenue potential relative to other ways of exploiting the intellectual property. A fan base that buys licensed merchandise and watches entertainment programming without needing a monthly fix of new art and story is probably considered a feature of the new comics economy, not a bug.” [ICv2]
Creators | Chew artist Rob Guillory, who will appear this weekend at Wizard World New Orleans, talks about the strange comics that he read as a kid (The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man) and the unexpected success of Chew, which will end next year with its 60th issue: “In the beginning, John and I were kind of like, ‘Well, best-case scenario, we can go 60 issues. Worst-case scenario, we can do five and go our separate ways and never speak again.’ I don’t know if we’ve seen the peak of our reception. I don’t think we’ll see how popular we’ve been until it’s over. When it’s wrapped and it’s the complete thing, I think people will start missing us.” [Best of New Orleans]
Alex Luthor (not that Alex Luthor) created a stir online last week with his epic trailer for the DC vs. Marvel movie that we’ll likely never see. For his follow-up, he teamed with video editor kashchei2003 for a fan trailer that’s not as epic or as polished, but certainly interesting nonetheless: Superman vs. Doomsday.
Inspired by the 1992 DC Comics storyline “The Death of Superman,” the trailer naturally borrows heavily from Man of Steel, with the Doomsday sequences appearing to be largely altered footage from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk (taken from kashchei2003’s own Superman: Doomsday fan film).
Your holiday sweater collection doesn’t have to be scary anymore; you can improve it with comic book-inspired designs. Once upon a time, the thought of attending an ugly-sweater themed holiday party was unappealing: The sweaters used to be legitimately hideous and tacky, with flocked teddy bears, noisy bells and glittery snow, and they were itchy and hot. Those garments of yore could be fun to wear, but I never liked scouring thrift stores and forking over cash for them.
That’s all changed, because the idea of the ugly holiday sweater has evolved. The designs are no longer what I’d call ugly, and they’re more likely to be printed on comfortable sweatshirts instead of stuffy sweaters. You can find several prints inspired by pop culture franchises and even comic books.
You’d think that during its 10 seasons, Smallville would’ve thoroughly covered ever facet of the Man of Steel’s early years. However, it turns out the producers glossed over a particularly dark chapter of his youth: the terrible twos.
Luckily Nerdist and writer/director Victor Quinaz are on hand to document that period in Superman: Terrible Twos, a short film that finds a beleaguered Jonathan and Martha Kent (Matt Hobby and Jessica Chobot) driven to drink by little Clark’s burgeoning powers, which make bathtime, bedtime and, well, anytime virtually impossible.
Where’s Letitia Lerner when you need her? (Be warned: The video auto-plays.)
That’s a far cry from the record $3.2 million paid in August for a pristine copy of the 1938 first appearance of Superman, but certainly nothing to sneeze at.
“High-end, vintage comic books across the board continue to show incredible market durability,” Ed Jaster, Heritage’s senior vice president, said in a statement. “The auction total, at $7.17 million, is the third-highest grossing comics auction in history, period.”
Other comic book highlights of the Nov. 20-22 auction include a CGC-graded 7.0 copy of Pep Comics #22, featuring the first appearance of Archie Andrews ($143,400) and a CGC-graded 6.5 copy of Captain America Comics #1 ($107,550).
The auction house also noted high prices paid for the first appearances of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, which it attributes to anticipation for the characters’ big-screen debuts: a CGC-graded 5.5 copy of All Star Comics #8 sold for $44,813, more than triple its list value, and a CGC-graded 3.5 copy of More Fun Comics #73 went for $38,838, 10 times its guide price.
Also of note: Bill Everett’s original cover art for 1967’s Strange Tales #152, depicting Doctor Strange and Umar, sold for $71,700, while Frank Frazetta’s 1967 cover painting for Jongor Fights Back fetched an impressive $179,250.
There’s something wonderfully and refreshingly uplifting about this video, which chronicles DesignSpark‘s mission for Mattel Toys Italy to launch a Superman action figure to an altitude of 29,000 meters — “to the edge of space” — and bring it parachuting back to Earth. It’s pretty amazing.
DesignSpark has provided more details at Instructables, including downloadable instructions so you can send your own action figure into the atmosphere.
Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice won’t arrive in theaters for another 16 months, but BrickNerd Studios has already envisioned the tense standoff between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel.
In “LEGO Batman vs Superman,” the stop-motion animated short by Tommy Williamson, the Caped Crusader may not be sure why he opposes the Last Son of Krypton, but that doesn’t stop him from breaking out his entire arsenal. Well, almost his entire arsenal. In restrospect, Bruce probably wishes he’d brought the Batmobile into play.
French photographer Sacha Goldberger, who previously made a splash with images of his 91-year-old grandmother as a superhero, exhibited his latest series “Super Flemish” over the weekend at the Grand Palais in Paris. As you might have guessed from the title and the above photo, the project features superheroes (and villains), Star Wars characters and other pop-culture figures — as if they were posing for Flemish paintings.
But these are indeed photographs, requiring models, costumers, hair and makeup artists and the like. And, as you can see from the gallery on Goldberger’s website, he even recruited his grandmother again. See more images, and photos from the exhibition, on Goldberger’s Facebook page.
The wishes of countless nostalgic comic book and animation fans appear to have been answered, because they can now purchase Underoos in adult sizes.
Produced by Fruit of the Loom beginning in 1978, the line of underwear — “Underwear That’s Fun to Wear!” — allowed children to wear T-shirts and underpants that mimicked the costumes of their favorite comic book, cartoon and movie characters, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, C-3PO and Archie and Veronica.
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn! Today’s collection comes from Dan O’Rourke, who teaches courses like “American Comics,” thus giving him a reason to decorate his office with the likes of Superman, Captain America and more.
If you’d like to see your collection featured here on ROBOT 6, you can find instructions on how to do so at the end of this post.
And now here’s Dan …
Judge Dredd has crossed paths with Batman, Predator, the Xenomorph, Lobo and even Mars Attacks!, yet somehow Mega-City One’s finest has never run into the Man of Steel. But while Andy Diggle admits he doesn’t envision that changing anytime soon, the writer has an idea that may have fans pining for the heyday of the intercompany crossover.
“An object falls from space and crashes towards Mega-City One. The anti-missile lasers can’t seem to vaporize the thing, and it hits the ground and demolishes a fortunately uninhabited area of ground,” Diggle tells CBR News in an interview about the release of Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus and Other Stories. “Turn the page. Cue close-up of tech Judges in radiation gear looking down into this crater. Superman is lying at the bottom of it. He’s basically been blasted into a parallel dimension by a device created by Lex Luthor, which has partly depowered Superman.
“He’s not as super as he used to be, partly also because of all the pollution in the atmosphere of Dredd’s world. It’s called the death belt, this layer of pollution and junk thrown up in the upper atmosphere by nuclear war. It cuts out the sun’s rays, which depower Superman a bit. Dredd is not going to like having an illegal alien running around in his city. Superman is not going to be very keen on this fascist version of justice. It’s no longer truth, justice and the American way, because it’s no longer America: It’s Mega-City One, creep!”
And that’s only the beginning, he assures. Although he has the story plotted out, it seems unlikely DC Comics will be in crossover mode in the near future. But if that changes? Diggle would “absolutely” be up for it.
(Commissioned Dredd art by Kevin Levell)
Comics | Check your longboxes, folks: Copies of Marvel’s Sunfire & Big Hero 6 #1, from 1998, with a CGC grade of 9.8 are selling for $450 and up ahead of the premiere of the Disney animated film, and even non-graded copies are good for $25 or more. [ICv2]
Creators | Captain Marvel writer Kelly Sue DeConnick talks about the character, and her reaction to the newly announced Marvel film: “I feel so proud of her, like Carol is this person who lives in my head, and ‘look what you did, girl!’ It feels like a friend just got a promotion.” [Speakeasy]
Publishing | Chris Butcher announced that, after three years as marketing director, he’s left UDON Entertainment to focus more fully on his work for the Toronto store The Beguiling (where he’s manager) and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (where he’s festival director). [Comics212]
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, where we take you into the home of one unsuspecting fan. Actually they send us these pics; the other way would likely result in an arrest.
Anywho, today’s shelves come from Steve M., who shows us his comics, statues and more. “I bought a house and the girlfriend allowed me to take one of the rooms,” Steve told ROBOT 6. “I tried to make the standout Superman in the room, but I collect a lot of other DC and spawn stuff. It’s still an ongoing process, but I think it’s coming along all right.”
Check it out below.
Even if you didn’t make it to New York Comic Con, you can still view the pristine copy of Action Comics #1 that fetched a record $3.2 million at auction — every single page of it.
Certified Guaranty Company, which graded the copy 9.0, has a digital version of the entire issue, which contained not only the landmark 13-page story by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster that introduced Superman, but also 10 other tales. The debuts of Zatara and Tex Thompson have been overshadowed by the Man of Steel, and the rest of the contents — “Chuck Dawson,” “Sticky-Mitt Stimpson,” etc. — are now little more than footnotes, but they’re still of historical interest.
Also, if you want a general idea of what a 76-year-old comic worth $3.2 million actually looks like … let’s face it, this is probably your only chance. The viewer on the CGC website is actually pretty decent, too, allowing you to zoom in to read the text and study the art.