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Legal | The Japanese publisher Square Enix has filed a counterclaim against SNK Playmore, asking Osaka District Court to rule that its manga Hi Score Girl doesn’t infringe on copyrights held by the video game company. Earlier this year, SNK brought criminal copyright violation charges against Square Enix after learning Hi Score Girl contains more than 100 unauthorized images of characters from SNK Playmore games. The manga has been put on hold because of the dispute. [Anime News Network]
Conventions | Who’s buying, and how much are they spending, at conventions? Rob Salkowitz mines the numbers from a recent Eventbrite poll of convention-goers to get some answers: Most people spend between $100 and $500 per person; cosplayers actually spend a bit more than average; and women shell out more money at conventions, while men spend more online. [ICv2]
To celebrate the Season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday, comiXology is holding an apocalypse-scale sale on the comic series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.
Through Oct. 13, digital editions of the first 126 issues are available for just 99 cents each — the three specials focusing on the Governor, Michonne and Tyrese, too. If you prefer to devour the series in larger chunks, the collections are also discounted, with the majority of the volumes priced at $5.99.
Confession time: I haven’t seen the Season 2 premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet. Don’t get me wrong, I want to, but things have been busy here, and when I do tune in (thanks, Hulu Plus!) I want to give it my full attention. TV has become very serious in recent years, and the best stuff tends to require the viewer to invest some brain power into the shows.
It’s a good thing, but it can get a little exhausting. And if you’re a Marvel fan, there’s a lot to keep track of in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Characters, locations, devices and plotlines might trigger some stored bit of trivia in your brain and lead to a different appreciation for the approach.
Here at The Fifth Color, I try to keep abreast of all the Marvel comics news I can, and it’s requiring me to track more and more movie rumors and casting decisions — which is weird because The Fifth Color began as a way to relate to comics and how we readers view the stories. But comics are becoming more than just you and the pages in your hand; there’s a now a strong media influence on how we see comics. Even something as simple as a mobile game can draw you into a comic shop and change how you see the books on the shelves. No joke, I had a customer show me a comic cover he had unlocked on a Marvel mobile game and ask me if we had that book in stock. He wanted to find out what it was about. That’s good marketing.
Artist Cat Staggs and her partner, writer/actor Amanda Deibert, star in a pretty great new spot for Target in which they discuss their hopes for their baby, all while the nursery is magically furnished around them.
Staggs is probably best known for her Star Wars and Smallville Season 11 work, and Deibert for her television writing, but they recently collaborated on a story for DC Comics’ digital-first Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1.
Superheroes are all the rage these days. They’ve already conquered the multiplex, and now they’re poised to conquer the small screen. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. A lot of fans are already a bit wary these days, what with The Flash and Constantine joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Arrow as TV shows based on comic properties. And that’s not even counting the upcoming Agent Carter, the online streaming projects and the potential Supergirl show. It’s cause for both much excitement and much anxiety.
Perhaps nothing carried a bigger bull’s eye on its back than FOX’s Gotham. Pitched as a look at Gotham before there was a Batman, the show already faced several significant hurdles. There was the fact that it was coming right off the very successful Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. There were the stories of extensive retooling of the pilot to shoehorn even more villains-before-they-were-villains cameos (Edward Nygma, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman, specifically). And there were the fans who’d been looking forward to a Gotham Central show, but were becoming increasingly disheartened when it became more and more apparent that the show wasn’t going to do that.
This week has already seen an incredible ancient Mayan-inspired Batman suit and a somewhat-disturbing supercut of all of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s onscreen deaths, so it’s perhaps only fitting that we close it out with something else Dark Knight-related: “Batman Evolution,” an arrangement of the live-action television and movie themes, performed on piano and cello — actually, 100 tracks of cello — by The Piano Guys.
While the music would be satisfying on its own, as you can see below there’s a beautifully shot video that prominently features the appropriate Batmobile for each of the themes (Neal Hefti’s 1966 “Batman Theme,” Danny Elfman’s 1989 “The Batman Theme,” and Hans Zimmer’s 2008 “Like a Dog Chasing Cars”). You may also notice how the cinematography and screen dimensions shift from theme to theme, reflecting each adaptation.
If your parents ever complained that all of those Spider-Man and X-Men comics would interfere with your school work, show them this: This spring the University of Baltimore will offer a course examining modern culture through the lens of Marvel’s films, television series and comic books.
Thought to be the first class of its kind in the United States, “Media Genres: Media Marvels” will not only explore the intricate plotlines, characters and backstories that form the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also try to understand our fixation with superheroes and fictional global threats. Students will also study Joseph Campbell’s monomyth of the “hero’s journey.”
Earlier this year a Philadelphia microbrewery paid tribute to The Walking Dead with a beer containing smoked goat brains, but as difficult as it is to believe, that now pales in comparison — and in potential grossness — to what’s been cooked up.
London’s Metro reports that Fox TV U.K. has teamed with creative director Miss Cakehead and Chef James Tomlinson from Mess London to develop a hamburger that … tastes like human flesh. To promote the upcoming fifth season of The Walking Dead, and its Terminus storyline, of course.
Although we can never be assured that a film or television adaptation of Batman will be any good, there is one safe bet: It will likely include a depiction of the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne in Crime Alley (slow-motion shot of a broken string of pearls tumbling to the pavement optional, but preferred).
Gotham, which premiered Monday on Fox, was of course no exception, spurring Vulture to compile a supercut of the Waynes dying on screen, from Super Friends and Tim Burton’s Batman to Batman Begins and Batman: Arkham Origins. I imagine this is what Bruce Wayne’s nightmares look like.
Comics fans who tuned in last night to the premiere of Fox’s ambitious reality series Utopia may have been shocked to see a familiar face: Bizarro creator Dan Piraro is the show’s host and narrator. Surprised? So is he.
“Think about it,” the Reuben Award-winning cartoonist writes on his blog. “I’m at home in my sweatpants working on my cartoon career like I’ve been doing for the past 30 years, a friend asks me if I’d like to do some voiceover work for a TV show and I’m thinking, ‘Sure. If I can make a few extra bucks talking into a microphone for a few hours a week, I’m game.’ A few weeks later I’m on national TV, posing for publicity shots, and going on press junkets. I didn’t even have an agent or a headshot when this started. People who’ve been working for this kind of break in showbiz for years must hate me, and I can’t blame them. To them, I can only say I’m sorry.”
Fox’s upcoming drama Gotham of course borrows heavily from 75 years of DC Comics history, with its own take on characters like James Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Catwoman, The Riddler and Bruce Wayne. And, as anyone who’s seen any of the promo spots likely noticed, it also co-opts comic book imagery, most noticeable in the shots of Martha Wayne’s broken pearl necklace and young Bruce screaming in the alley between the bodies of his parents.
But in the latest promo, called “Heroes Aren’t Born, They’re Forged,” Fox uses actual images created by a comic artist — former Detective Comics artist Jock, who’s responsible for perhaps the most iconic Joker cover in recent memory. His contribution to the TV spot is three beautiful scene-transition illustrations, featuring the aforementioned alley shot, a determined young Bruce and a sniveling Oswald Cobblepot.
You can see the other two pieces, and the promo spot, below. Gotham premieres Sept. 22 on Fox.
If you were as bowled over as I was by Alexey Zakharov’s gorgeous 3D-animated Futurama introduction we spotlighted last month, you’ll be equally impressed by the artist’s new video, which shows how he created the sequence using 3ds Max, Nuke, Photoshop and After Effects.
Particularly fun, as you can see in part in the image above, is how Zakharov combined in image of Futurama’s Mom and a photo of Meryl Streep to create the holographic ad for Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil. I guess she is the most versatile actress of her generation!
Watch the original sequence, and the making-of video, below.
“Why has it endured? Because you, sir, can be Batman — you hang out with me, and you’ll see. All you have to do is be crazy enough to fight crime 24/7, right?”
The massive Comic-Con International bags are back, and Warner Bros. has provided Robot 6 with an exclusive first look at the Teen Titans Go! bag fans can get at this year’s show in San Diego. The bag features Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven in their chibi-style animated incarnations.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since Futurama ended (again), but if the series still holds a Bender-shaped place in your heart, you’ll likely appreciate this: Alexey Zakharov has created a gorgeous 3D-animated “test shot” of the Planet Express ship soaring over New New York (note the hologram ad for Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil).
On Behance, Zakharov also shows off some equally beautiful illustrations of the cityscape and ship (if you squint, you can even see a tiny Leela in one).