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Jeffy gets existential in ‘Family Circus’/'True Detective’ mashup

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For two months this winter many of us were swept up in HBO’s True Detective and the serpentine search by detectives Rust Cohle and Marty Hart not only for a serial killer but also for the meaning of life and the nature of good and evil. And while not everyone was satisfied with the ending, most of us remain enthralled with the writing of Nic Pizzolatto and the existential nihilism of Matthew McConaughey’s character.

And now we can experience both again, in a decidedly different form, with Time Is A Flat Circus, which combines dialogue from the crime drama with panels from the long-running comic The Family Circus. It’s as terrific as you imagine.

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Welcome to the age of the Marvel Cinematic Crossover

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

What did you do last weekend? Nothing much, probably; no real reason to get excited. After all, it was just another awesome Marvel movie opening. Granted, “awesome” isn’t an objective description, and surely some people had a pretty miserable time. But judging from reviews, user ratings and my own anecdotal observations, odds are a significant majority of the approximately 11 million people who watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier enjoyed it.

The film has been thoroughly reviewed — you can read CBR’s take here — so I won’t get into a big assessment. (Suffice it to say, I liked it.) Instead ,what I want to talk about is the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how it hasn’t just successfully adapted stories and characters, but the very experience of the Marvel Comics Universe.

It is now well-documented that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is a big comics fan. The difference, however, is that he didn’t grow up with them, but schooled himself on Marvel’s stories while working under producer Lauren Shuler Donner on the first X-Men movie. That distinction might have given him the ability to view the characters and concepts without being hindered by nostalgia, and helped him to dissect how Marvel’s framework could be used for future movies. Hollywood is an even more collaborative business than comics, so it’s unlikely that credit rests solely with Feige. But he certainly was an advocate for leaning more faithfully into the source material.

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Conan O’Brien heading to San Diego for Comic-Con 2015

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While everyone else is trying to get a hotel room for this year’s Comic-Con International, Conan O’Brien is already planning for 2015.

TBS has announced he’ll head to San Diego July 2-8, 2015 for a week of shows, marking the first time a late-night talk show has broadcast from the annual event. Conan will set up at the historic Spreckels Theatre, just minutes away from the San Diego Convention Center.

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Steve Ellis delves into origins of AMC’s ‘Turn’ in digital comic

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In the build-up to Sunday’s premiere of Turn, the Revolutionary War thriller based on Alexander Rose’s fascinating 2007 book Washington’s Spies, AMC has released a beautifully illustrated online comic that details the backstories of the members of the Culper spy ring.

Turn: Origins is drawn by Steve Ellis, known for his work on High Moon, Box 13 and The Only Living Boy, and penned by Turn writer LaToya Morgan, whose credits include Shameless and Parenthood. Kevin Colden did the lettering.

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National Cartoonists Society reveals 2013 Reuben nominees

"Daredevil," by Chris Samnee

“Daredevil,” by Chris Samnee

The National Cartoonists Society has announced the divisional nominees for the 68th annual Reuben Awards. They join the finalists for the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year Award — Wiley Miller (Non Sequitur), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange) and Mark Tatulli (Heart of the City, Lio) — revealed in late February.

The winners will be announced May 24 at the annual NCS Reuben Awards dinner in San Diego.

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Evian TV spot introduces the world to the Amazing Spider-Baby

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If you were surprised by that promotional campaign by Sony Pictures and the United States Postal Service featuring Stan Lee and Spider-Man, you may want to sit down for this one: Evian stakes out its own Amazing Spider-Man 2 tie-in with a commercial that introduces the world to Spider-Baby, a web-slinging, rope-skipping, dancing infant-sized mirror version of the wall-crawler. The TV spot is either inspired, or completely insane, I can’t decide.

Titled “The Amazing Baby & Me 2,” it’s the latest commercial in Evian’s “Live Young” campaign (aka the baby series).

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Saudi Arabia bans ‘The 99′ animated series

the99The government of Saudi Arabia has banned the animated adaptation of the comic The 99, saying its representations of Allah’s names and attributes cannot be tolerated.

Based on Islamic concepts but intended by creator Naif Al-Mutawa to promote universal values, the comic features 99 ordinary teenagers and adults from across the globe who become imbued with magical powers. The title and premise refers to the 99 names and attributes of Allah.

According to Dubai’s Gulf News, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta issued its decision in response to a complaint about the series’ broadcast on the Saudi-owned television channel MBC3.

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Batman is ‘The World’s Greatest True Detective’ in new mashup

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Since its January premiere, HBO’s much-discussed crime drama True Detective has been crying out for a mashup with Batman, and Josh Newman is here to answer the call.

Offering up potential opening credits for the second season of the anthology series, Newman shifts the setting from Louisiana to Gotham City for The World’s Greatest True Detective. Sticking with the Handsome Family’s “Far From Any Road,” he combines images from comics, movies and video games to introduce a cast that includes Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, James Gordon, Barbara Gordon and, naturally, Errol Childress the Joker.

Newman injects a bit of commentary as well with the “created by” credit at the end.

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BOOM! Studios inks first-look deal with Cartoon Network

steven universeBOOM! Studios, which already releases comics based on Adventure Time and Regular Show, has signed a deal with Cartoon Network that gives the publisher to option the cable channel’s original comedies.

The agreement kicks off in August with Steven Universe, based on the new animated comedy by Rebecca Sugar (Adventure Time) about a boy named Steven and a team of magical Guardians of the Universe. BOOM! teased the comic in October, ahead of the show’s November premiere, with a sneak peek in the Adventure Time 2013 Spoooktacular.

BOOM! began its partnership in February 2012 with the debut, under the KaBOOM! imprint, of Adventure Time, which has transformed into a hit franchise with spinoff limited series and original graphic novels.

“Our partners at Cartoon Network have a stellar lineup of new shows that we are looking forward to publish as equally stellar all-ages comics, following the tremendous success of Adventure Time and Regular Show,” BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie said in a statement. “Steven Universe has that same edginess that will resonate with readers — and that’s just the beginning.”

A ‘Walking Dead’ mobile game is lumbering our way

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AMC and Finnish developer Next Games are producing a mobile game based on The Walking Dead, the hit television adaptation of the bestselling comic series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.

The game is scheduled to launch in October to coincide with the Season 5 premiere of the TV series.

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‘The Simpsons’ reveals ‘ugly true story’ of that Oscars selfie

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By now we’ve all seen, or at least heard about, the Twitter-rocking star-studded selfie orchestrated by Ellen DeGeneres during Sunday’s 86th Academy Awards ceremony. Snapped by Bradley Cooper (who actually owns the rights to the image), the photo was retweeted a 3.2 million times, shattering the previous record of more than 778,000 set in November 2012 with the election-night post from President Obama.

While the not entirely spontaneous stunt certainly paid off for ABC and Samsung, which was reportedly promised airtime for the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone as part of its $20 million sponsorship and ad buy, they weren’t the only ones to get promotional mileage out of the photo.

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Find out what Frank Quitely does all day in BBC documentary

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Scottish fans on Tuesday will be able to tune in for a 30-minute documentary on Frank Quitely airing as part of BBC Four’s series What Do Artists Do All Day?

For the acclaimed Glaswegian artist, the answer is “Draw Jupiter’s Legacy,” his Image Comics collaboration with Mark Millar. The episode follows Quitely over the course of the day, until “he eventually calls it a night at 04.30am, sleeping in his studio, as he does regularly.”

Full details are available on the BBC Four website, along with a clip, which apparently won’t play in the United States.

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Stare into the Abyss with Hart, Cohle and Francavilla

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Breaking Bad may be over, but Francesco Francavilla has found a new television passion — True Detective. Like he did with Breaking Bad, the Afterlife with Archie artist is drawing posters based on the HBO series. You can find a limited edition one featuring the two main characters for sale at his Big Cartel site, and start speculating now what TV show he’ll focus on after the March 9 finale of True Detective.

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Kevin Eastman voices ‘Ice Cream Kitty’ on Sunday’s ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman contributed to tomorrow’ episode of the cartoon series in a unique way — he’ll voice the character of Ice Cream Kitty, a kitty made of ice cream.

According to US Today, Ice Cream Kitty gains its powers when it eats ice cream mixed with mutagen, and it “turns into the Turtle’s secret weapon.”

Eastman’s appearance on the show is just one way the TMNT’s 30th anniversary is being celebrated. A March 14 episode reunites the voice cast from the original cartoon — Cam Clarke, Townsend Coleman, Barry Gordon and Rob Paulsen. Meanwhile, an anniversary special being released by IDW will reunite Eastman with Turtles co-creator Peter Laird, who worked together on the cover. The Turtles will also be featured this year in Comic-Con International’s souvenir book, which spotlights various comics and pop culture anniversaries.

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Bam! Pow! Amazing ‘Fantastic Four’ cels actually justify this title

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I somehow missed this incredible auction when it took place in November, but thanks to Tumblr I still get to marvel at the art (not that I would’ve plunked down $850, mind you): 16 crash effects cels from Hanna-Barbera’s 1967 animated series The Fantastic Four.

Of course, those effects, coupled with Alex Toth’s character designs, are pretty much the best things about the cartoon, which like other series of the era was crippled by poor animation. These, however, are suitable for framing.

Check out some of them below, and more here.

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