Jessica Jones Shows Off Vertical Leap In New Series Teaser
Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga Vol. 1 (DC Comics): It was so long ago at this point that it might as well have been the 1950s, as fast as Internet time moves, but I seem to recall Chip Kidd and company’s 2008 book Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan getting some static for its treatment of Jiro Kuwata’s Batman manga. Kuwata’s contribution was by far the most fascinating aspect of the book — and took up the bulk of the page count — but many thought he didn’t get the credit he deserved (his name didn’t appear on the cover alongside Kidd’s and those of two others), while others felt weird about comics work being presented alongside photos of goofy Batman toys, as if it were just one more example of collectible kitsch.
Kuwata’s contributions certainly proved to be the most influential element of the book, however, inspiring an almost beat-for-beat adaptation in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon and inspiring writer Grant Morrison’s scripts for his critically-acclaimed Batman, Inc series. Now DC is giving Kuwata’s Bat-Manga its due, packaged in a distraction-free all-manga format.
They’ve been serializing the comics, created in 1966 and ’67 during the height of “Batmania,” digitally, and are following up with hard-copy collections, the first of which is this hefty, 360-page brick.
Unlike Kia Asamiya’s 2003 Batman: Child of Dreams, in which that eminent manga artist told a regular American Batman story in his style, Kuwata’s Batman feature is a highly-strange, almost heady parallel take on Batman. The most basic elements of the story are there — millionaire Bruce Wayne and his young ward become Batman and Robin to fight crime in Gotham City, using the Batmobile, batarangs and other gadgets — but everything around the Dynamic Duo seems somewhat alien.
Remember earlier this month when the narrator of the Honest Trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy conceded, “We’re really reaching here”? Well, there’s no such admission this time, as the Screen Junkies crew takes on the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — aka “April O’Neil: The Movie.”
There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit, naturally, from the “four ‘roided-out, nightmare versions of Shrek” to the overly complex revised origins to the expected Michael Bay filmmaking tics. However, as the disembodied voice of a child interrupts to remind the narrator (and us), “You know this is a kids’ movie, right? It’s not like the Turtles were better in your day.”
In this past summer’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, the latest live-action iteration of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird enduring multimedia franchise, Splinter tests the foursome’s mettle by attempting to break their concentration with a 99-cheese pizza dubbed “Novantanove Formaggio” — which for those counting at home is a full 95 cheeses more than a comparatively pedestrian four-cheese pie.
With the film out on DVD and Blu-ray today, Paramount actually attempted to create the mythical concoction — first crafted by an Australian chef — and sent it out to media outlets, including Comic Book Resources. A publicity stunt? Yes, but when a publicity stunt involves dozens of melty cheeses sent to our door, you can bet that we’re going to mark the occasion accordingly.
Editorial cartoons | The Indianapolis Star first altered a cartoon by Gary Varvel and then removed it from its website after receiving an outpouring of protests from readers. The cartoon, a reaction to President Obama’s executive actions delaying deportations, showed a white family sitting around a Thanksgiving table, looking in horror as brown-skinned people, presumably immigrants, climbed in the window. The caption was “Thanks to the president’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving.” “Gary did not intend to be racially insensitive in his attempt to express his strong views about President Barack Obama’s decision to temporarily prevent the deportation of millions of immigrants living and working illegally in the United States,” Executive Editor Jeff Taylor said in a post explaining the removal of the cartoon. “But we erred in publishing it.” Tom Spurgeon offers some commentary. [Indianapolis Star]
Illustrator Rocky Davies, who previously took us back to the ’80s with supervillain album covers, now delivers an overdose of cuteness with his “Kid Hero” series, depicting pint-sized versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Leonardo (of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame) and more.
I know I should probably question teeny Tony Stark’s Van Dyke, but I’m too busy smiling about li’l Nick Fury chomping on a peppermint stick.
Mondo is now accepting preorders for its first entry into collectible toys: Lil Mikey, a 9-inch vinyl figure based on Mike Mitchell‘s adorable illustration of Michelangelo of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame.
Mitchell, a Mondo regular who’s been featured several times on ROBOT 6, drew Lil Mikey as part of his “Just Like Us” series, which features round-headed, child-like versions of characters ranging from The Punisher and Kraven to Ron Swanson and Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski.
This fall has been particularly exceptional television adaptations: The Walking Dead season premiere pulled in more than 17 million viewers, while more than 8 million watched the first episode Gotham, making it Fox’s best fall drama debut in 14 years. More than 6 million raced to see The Flash pilot, giving The CW its highest ratings ever. About 5 million are regularly tuning in for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and nearly 3 million for the third season of Arrow.
It’s not limited to live-action series, either: 2 million people watch Teen Titans Go!, and more than 1 million tune in to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon.
On the big screen, all four feature films starring Marvel characters — X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — each grossed more than $700 million each worldwide. So far, comic book movies have generated more than $3.8 billion dollars this year. While it’s unknown how many of those dollars are from repeat viewings, that’s still a lot of people.
Eagle-eyed attendees at New York Comic Con may have been lucky enough to see prototypes of Good Smile Company’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sculptures, based on the work of Eisner Award-winning artist James Jean.
The four sculptures, which can be combined into a larger diorama, is the result of a collaboration between Jean and Good Smile President Takanori Aki, who asked his friend to create an image reminiscent of the comic-book version of the Turtles.
If there were any doubt that every party you attend this month will essentially be a forest of Groots, take a glance at Fandango’s annual survey of movie-inspired Halloween costumes, which found the breakout star of Guardians of the Galaxy is the top choice this year among men.
Maleficent leads among women, followed by Katniss from The Hunger Games, Mystique from X-Men: Days of Future Past, Black Widow from The Avengers/Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Mondo has debuted four limited-edition posters by four artists representing four eras of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That’s a lot of fours.
Going on sale sometime Thursday, the prints are: the 1980s animated series, as depicted by Tom Whalen; the 1990 live-action film, as interpreted by Rich Kelly; the Kevin Eastman/Peter Laird comics that started it all, as reimagined by JC Richard; and (my favorite) the current Nickelodeon cartoon, as illustrated by Andrew Kolb.
Mondo fans know the drill by now: The posters will go on sale online Thursday at a random time; you have to follow the Mondo Twitter account to watch for the announcement.
Paramount Pictures has released two new pieces of from “The Legend of the Yokai,” an international art project that explores the ancient origins of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Long before Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael emerged to face Shredder and his Foot Clan soldiers, the story goes, there were four heroic Kappa — ancient turtle warriors abiding by the pillars of honor, courage, wisdom and brotherhood — who vowed to protect a village overrun by a an evil warlord and his army of demonic monsters. To celebrate the tradition, and the international rollout of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, the studio commissioned more than 30 artists from 16 countries to explore the epic’s connections to the Heroes in a Half Shell.
Publishing | Seconds, by Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, had an impressive debut, landing at No. 2 and No. 5 on the BookScan chart of graphic novels sold in the book channel in July. The book had a standard edition and a Barnes & Nobles exclusive. ICv2 reckons if there had been a single edition, Seconds would have topped the list; instead, the No. 1 spot went to the latest volume of Naruto. It was also a good month for DC Comics, which charted seven titles, six of which involve Batman.[ICv2]
Publishing | In an overview of the comics and graphic novel market, ICv2 reports direct market retailers are optimistic despite flat sales in the first half of the year. [ICv2]
Toronto may have the likes of Wonder Woman, Agent Cooper and Astro Boy watching over its neighborhoods, but New York City has Turtle Power.
That’s because for the past month 33-year-old Sean Haynes, an avowed “Turtle fanatic” has been spreading his love for the heroes in a half shell by creating his own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles decals and sticking them around the city — on subway cars, bus shelters, wherever. He then uploads photos of them to his Instagram account, encouraging his followers to find them.
Although Preview Night is still hours away, there’s still plenty of Comic-Con International news and miscellaneous tidbits, ranging from early announcements and last-minute preparations to convention exclusives and recommendations. We’ve rounded up just some of them here.
• Fox has partnered with BOOM! Studios to produce a convention-exclusive Maze Runner comic. Written by the film’s director and screenwriter, Wes Ball and T.S. Nowlin, and illustrated by Marcus To, the one-shot will be given to attendees of the studio’s Hall H presentation on Friday.
• Dark Horse rounds up its pre-convention announcements of 12 new creator-owned comics, including Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Alex Maleev, EI8HT, by Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson, The Black Hammer, by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston, and Fight Club 2, by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart.
• The online comics education resource Comics Experience has partnered with IDW Publishing to release creator-owned titles by new talent, beginning in January with five miniseries: Drones by Chris Lewis and Bruno Oliveira; Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit by Rob Anderson and Fernando Melek; Gutter Magic by Rich Douek and Brett Barkley; and Tet by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker.
The folks at Mondo, the art boutique renowned for its limited-edition screen-printed movie posters, has been branching out, with VHS reissues, apparel, vinyl soundtracks and even a convention. However, they’re not stopping there: They’re moving into collectible toys, beginning with figures for The Iron Giant, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Alfred Hitchcock, which will be previewed this week at Comic-Con International.
“I am so pumped to announce toys!” Mondo CEO Justin Ishmael said in a statement. “We’ve been working on this in secrecy for a year and now it’s time to let you guys know about it. We’ll be focusing on existing properties that we love as well as working with artists to bring their own creations to life. This is a new area for us, but I resist the term ‘expansion’ since the goal for Mondo has always been to be a place where artists and designers can work to have their visions realized, whether that’s through posters, gallery shows, vinyl, apparel or now toys.”