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Comics A.M. | Festival celebrates cartoon library re-opening

Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art

Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art

Events | The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University steps into the spotlight for the Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art, which celebrates the library’s move to a new 30,000-square-foot home on campus. The library’s extensive collection includes more than 300,000 original comic strips, 29,000 comic books, 45,000 books and 2,400 boxes of manuscripts, personal papers and the like. The festival, held today through Sunday, includes such guests as Eddie Campbell, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Herandez, Jeff Smith, Paul Pope, Hilary Price, Kazu Kibuishi and Dylan Meconis. [The Associated Press, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive]

Creators | Art Spiegelman talks about history, Maus, and being the creator of Maus: “I have to keep moving as best I can through the shadow of something that I’m glad I had pass through me.” [Tablet]

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Nickelodeon’s ‘Turtles’ products rake in $475 million in retail sales

ninja turtles

Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles products have grossed more than $475 million in retail sales since the latest animated series premiered in September 2013. The announcement, made this week at the Brand Licensing Europe show in London, comes just four years after the cable network’s parent company Viacom bought the property for a reported $60 million.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, about $250 million of those sales come from the United States, with the remainder coming from overseas markets, where the Turtles are just as huge. They’re the top action figures in Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and, yes, the United States (where Nickelodeon says they make up 15 percent of the action-figure market).

“Nothing’s bigger,” Pam Kauffman, the network’s president of consumer products, told the trade paper. “We are beating Iron Man, Batman, WWE.”

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BBQ, interrupted: Check out this TMNT fan comic

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.41.41 AM

Caleb Goellner and Buster Moody, two of the creators behind Task Force Rad Squad, have finished the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan comic they told me about when I interviewed them in May. Moody has posted the entire story on his blog, where you can also download it in PDF or CBZ formats.

The story revolves around the annual Foot Clan barbeque; Shredder hosts all the TMNT villains for some fun and grub, until five uninvited guests show up. If you download the .pdf, if it also includes the same story in black and white, which old-school Turtles fans should appreciate.

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SDCC ’13 | IDW Publishing rolls out Comic-Con exclusives

idw exclusives

A limited edition of the Artist’s Edition: Best of EC Covers Portfolio, two new Locke & Key pewter replicas and a glitter variant for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #9 are among the highlights of IDW Publishing’s exclusive merchandise for Comic-Con International.

All of the convention-exclusive items will be available at the publisher’s booth, along with limited advance copies of the highly anticipated Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies, Vol. 1, and Berkeleyworks: The Art of Berkeley Breathed: From Bloom County and Beyond.

See the full rundown below:

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Socks of the Day | George H.W. Bush’s Superman socks

george bush

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is known for several things — some good, some … not so good — but recently, he’s established a reputation as sock aficionado. Not just any socks, though: The more colorful, and the mouth outlandish they are, the more Bush 41 seems to like them.

For the introduction of the Houston Texans’ cheerleading squad in April, he donned the stars and stripes, and for the dedication of his son President George W. Bush’s library in May, he broke out a pink pair (with polka dots). So what did he choose for his 89th birthday on Wednesday?

Superman socks, of course. If you can’t tell from the above photo, circulated by Bush’s spokesman, they’re these Superman Cape Crew Socks, complete with red trunks, yellow belt, S emblem and, yes, a cape.

If the former president is considering another comics theme for his 90th birthday,we’d like to cast an early vote for these novel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Masked Crew Socks:

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‘Face Your Doom’ with new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirts

tmnt-shirt

If you’re looking for some T-shirt on the halfshell, Threadless has you covered, as they’ve released 15 shirts featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — as well as Shredder, Krang, Splinter and other characters from the comics and TV show. The Turtles join a growing number of shirts based on comics and/or cartoons at Threadless, which already include Marvel superheroes and various other Disney properties.

The above shirt, “Face Your Doom!!” by Matthew Skiff, is probably my favorite, and I’ve included a few more I liked below.

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Behold the terror of ‘Scientifically Accurate Ninja Turtles’

tmnt-scientifically-accurat

A few months ago, the folks behind ADHD, Fox’s upcoming late-night animation block, haunted our dreams with “Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man” — “Lanky arms and little mask, his web erupts from out his ass” — and now they’re back to turn on you off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles faster than you can say “Michael Bay.”

If you’re of delicate constitution or work in a place where cartoon images of reptile genitalia are frowned upon, you may want to skip this one. However, if you have the intestinal fortitude, and an understanding boss, then by all means, watch the video below for the horror that is the well-endowed, deaf, hissing, salmonella-transmitting Heroes in a Half Shell.

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Comics A.M. | Eisner entries due; Morrison talks Wonder Woman

Eisner Awards

Eisner Awards

Awards | A last-minute reminder: Today is the deadline for Eisner Awards submissions. [Eisner Awards]

Creators | Grant Morrison looks back on his run on Action Comics, which ends today with the release of Issue 18, and touches upon Multiversity and his long-discussed Wonder Woman project: “This is some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time, because it’s a completely different type of comic book. Usually I don’t do masses of research, but for Wonder Woman, I’ve actually been working my way through the entire history of feminism. I want this to be fucking serious, you know? I want this to be really, really good, to reflect not only what women think, but what men think of women. I’m trying to do something really different from what’s been done with the character before. That one’s been amazing fun, because it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever done before.” [Entertainment Weekly]

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Activision announces new ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ game

turtles-game

Activision has announced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, a downloadable game inspired by Nickelodeon’s hit CG-animated series — which is itself, of course, based on the comic created nearly three decades ago by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

Developed by Red Fly Studio (Thor: God of Thunder, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II), the third-person brawler will allow gamers to experience four-player online co-op play as Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael battle the Foot Clan in New York City.

Teenage Mutant Turtles: Out of the Shadows will debut this summer for digital download on for digital download on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, PlayStation Network, and PC via Steam.

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Previews: What Looks Good for April

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. We’ve each picked the five comics we’re most anticipating in order to create a list of the best new stuff coming out two months from now.

As usual, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Crater XV

Graeme McMillan

Crater XV HC (Top Shelf, $19.95): I’ve been following (and loving) the serialization of Kevin Cannon’s follow-up to Far Arden in the digital pages of Double Barrel, but I know that I’ll be picking up this hardcover collection of the further adventures of sea dog Rusty Shanks nonetheless. The Canadian space program deserves no less.

In The Days of the Mob HC (DC Comics, $39.99): To say that Kirby’s 1970s take on the organized-crime world of the 1930s is something I’ve been longing to read since I first discovered its existence would be an understatement, so I’m definitely looking forward to this deluxe reprint, complete with material that wasn’t in the original edition.

Indigo Prime: Anthropocalypse TP (Rebellion/2000AD, $24.99): John Smith’s cosmic authorities are one of comics’ most secret treasures, I think, especially when he’s paired with an artist like Edmund Bagwell, who brings a wonderful Euro-Kirby influence to the stories in this collection. Really looking forward to this one.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen GN (First Second, $17.99): As a sucker for good autobiographical comics and also good food writing, the idea of Lucy Knisley creating a food-centric memoir — complete with recipes! — is far too good to ignore. I love that publishers like First Second are publishing work like this.

Solo Deluxe Edition HC (DC Comics, $49.99): Even though I own most of these issues from their original appearance, the oversized hardcover format is waaaay too tempting when you consider some of the material this book has up its 500+ page sleeve: Paul Pope covering Kirby! Brendan McCarthy channeling Ditko as only he could! The amazing Darwyn Cooke issue! The only thing that could make this better would be if it included work completed on follow-up issues before the plug had been pulled … But maybe that can appear in a second volume, one day…

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Food or Comics? | Steak or Star Wars

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.

Star Wars #1

Chris Arrant

If I had $15 (big “if” this week!), I’d take a break from the struggles of adult life and find sanctuary in the pages of high mythology thanks to Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder #4 (Marvel, $3.99). Aaron and Ribic have really build up an excellent foil for Thor in the God-Killer, and also snuck in the idea of Young Thor and Old Thor – something I’d love to see expounded upon in their own series or one-shot (hint-hint). Second up would be the startling potent promise of Star Wars #1 (Dark Horse, $2.99). I never thought I’d see Brian Wood do a Star Wars comic, but I’m so glad he is – and seemingly doing it on his own terms. Thinking of him writing Princess Leia, and the potential there specifically has been rolling around in my brain for weeks. Third, I’d get two promising artist-centric series (at least for me) in B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth — Abyss Time #1 (Dark Horse, $3.50) and TMNT: Secret of the Foot Clan #1 (IDW, $3.99). James Harren and Mateus Santolouco, respectively, are two artists I’ve been keen on for the past year and both of these books look like potential breakouts to a bigger stage. On the TMNT side, I’ve always thought Shredder and the Foot Clan to be one of the most overlooked great villains in comics, so I’m glad to see some focus on that and some potential answers.

If I had $30, I’d continue my super(comic)market sweep with Womanthology: Space #4 (IDW, $3.99). This series has two things I love: new, young creators and a space theme. I’ve been on a space opera/sci-fi kick for a while now thanks to Saga and re-reading some Heinlein, so this anthology series comes to me most fortuitously. Next up would be Legend of Luther Strode #2 (Image, $3.50). Luther Strode is a real down-and-out kind of hero, like some sort of action-based Charlie Brown. Tradd Moore’s artwork really makes this sing, too. Finally, I’d get two Marvel books with Secret Avengers #36 (Marvel, $3.99) and Wolverine and the X-Men #23 (Marvel, $3.99). I’m gritting my teeth on the latter – not because it’s bad, but because it isn’t as good for me as the previous arcs. For Secret Avengers, I feel Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s run on this has been sadly overlooked in the wave of Marvel NOW books, but this mega-arc about the Descendents and now Black-Ant has been great. I’d love to see Black-Ant as a permanent part of the Marvel U.

If I could splurge, I’d throw practicality out the door and shell out big bucks for the Black Incal deluxe hardcover (Humanoids, $79.95). There’s few times I’d spend nearly 80 bucks on a comic, but this classic story by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius is one of those once-in-a-blue-moon kind of things. This has been reprinted numerous times (I have an older one), but I’m re-buying the story here for the deluxe treatment this volume has with its large size.

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Robot Roulette | Ross Campbell

Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Today we welcome Ross Campbell, creator of Wet Moon, The Abandoned, Water Baby and Shadoweyes. He’s also the artist of Glory, which unfortunately ends with issue #34, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo, in addition to other cool stuff. He’s always a good sport when I ask him to do stuff like this.

Now let’s get to it …

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Art Barrage | Bumper post-Thanksgiving meat sweats edition

Illustrator Christina Ung manages to fit in just about everyone on the planet going at it Gangnam Style, including The Caped Crusader. Batman is, of course, no stranger to faddish dance crazes (also by Christina – The Unreliable Superhero). More below, including work by Ron Wimberly, Ben Caldwell, Daniel Krall, Ashley Wood and many other talented human beings. Continue Reading »

Art Barrage | Space men, moon maids & more comic art in odd places


Following up from last week’s opening of their joint exhibitions at New York City’s John Levine Gallery, the contemporary art magazine Hi-Fructose has an image-rich, wholly enthusiastic review of the twin shows of Ashley Wood and Jeremy Geddes.

Another sometimes-comics artist, James Jean, is again producing work in unexpected formats (remember his delightful wooden wedding invitations?). Check out that work, and more by street artists Joe & Max, sculptor Tim Bruckner, Tim Maclean and more, below.

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Food or Comics? | Sage or Saga

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.

Saga #6

Chris Arrant 

If I had $15, I’d first double-down on creator-owned comics with Butcher Baker, Righteous Maker #8 (Image, $2.99) and Saga #6 (Image, $2.99). I’m glad to see Joe Casey and Mike Huddleston back on Butcher Baker after a hiatus in which I feared it was no more, and I’ve just pulled out #1-7 to get me back up to speed. I’m thinking that taking hallucinogenics would make me enjoy this comic more. On the other side, Saga #6 is flat-out amazing in the most conventional way (despite the unconventional setting). Aliens, ghosts and babies, and yet Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples bring it all together. At this point I’ve shifted into the The Walking Dead mode of reading – no point in reading about what’s ahead, as I’ll just buy it blindly on the great comics they’ve done so far. After that creator-owned two-fer, I’d give Marvel the rest of my money with Uncanny X-Force #29 (Marvel, $3.99) and Avengers vs. X-Men #10 (Marvel, $3.99). I think Marvel’s finally found a suitable replacement for Jerome Opena in artist Julian Totino Tedesco, and I hope he’s locked in to finish out this arc. And speaking of Rick Remender’s work, I spent about 15 minutes conversing the other day about how and why he should’ve been enlisted into Marvel’s Architects and worked into Avengers Vs. X-Men. While the group-written approach takes some getting used to, I’d love to see Remender do an issue of this. In Avengers Vs. X-Men #10 (Marvel, $3.99) however, we see Ed Brubaker taking the lead and showing the Phoenix Force Five venturing into K’un L’un for what seems like the Empire Strikes Back moment of the series.

If I had $30, I’d turn back in all my $15 purchases except Saga #6 and spend the recouped $25-plus dollars and get Hulk: Season One HC (Marvel, $24.99). I’ve never been the biggest Hulk fan, but seeing the previews of Tom Fowler’s art on this has won me over. Fowler, like the above mentioned Tedesco, is one of Marvel’s hidden gems and this might be the launching pad for him to (finally) get some recognition. And for me to get some good comics. Fowler SMASH!

If I could splurge, I’d do the boring choice and simply use it to buy all the single issues mentioned in the $15 section and be able to also afford Hulk: Season One HC. Easy, breezy, beautiful, comics boy.

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