"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Falcon. Darren Wallace is an Australian special effects artist who gets his kicks mashing up disparate films into uncanny parody trailers. His latest such clip may be his greatest masterwork yet.
When you think about it, Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is really just the Tin Man from “Wizard of Oz,” except without a moral compass. He’s a heartless mechanical creation who joins up with other unfortunate downtrodden souls to reach his own end. Okay, so that’s stretching the Tin Man’s motives some, but stick with it for a minute and you’ll enjoy the heck out of Wallace’s “Avengers of Oz: Age of Tin Man” trailer.
Quickly catching up to an online link, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has officially announced LEGO Dimensions, a new video game that allows players to mix and match characters from different universes, including DC Comics, The LEGO Movie, The Lord of the Rings and Back to the Future.
Arriving Sept. 27, it’s a “toy-to-life” console game, similar to the popular Skylanders and Disney Infinity. However, in this case, players won’t purchase characters but instead LEGO sets that they’ll build into characters, vehicles and devices that can be introduced into the game with the Toy Pad.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our guest this week is writer and letterer Ed Brisson, whose comic Comeback with artist Michael Walsh arrives in November. He’s also the writer of Murder Book and Black River.
To see what Ed and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
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.
I don’t know quite why, considering I’ve been feeling cynical and disinterested in the DC Universe over the past couple of weeks, but I find myself tempted by both Flash Annual #1 and Justice League International Annual #1 (both DC Comics; $4.99) this week; something even more surprising considering I haven’t been following the JLI series past trying out the first issue. And yet, if I had $15 this week, I suspect I’d be using a chunk of it for that. I’d also grab Joe Hill and Gabriel Hernandez’ Locke & Key: Grindhouse (IDW Publishing, $3.99), because, well, Locke & Key is a very, very good comic book.
If I had $30, I may find myself picking up the first collection of Peter Panzerfaust (Vol. 1: The Great Escape; Image Comics; $14.99) because I like the high concept behind it even if I managed to miss the single issues. People who did pick it up in singles: Is it the kind of thing I’d like, do you think?
Should I find the money and ability to splurge, I find myself surprisingly drawn to Dark Horse’s Star Wars Omnibus: Clone Wars Vol. 1 ($24.99); I blame people in my Twitter feed talking about Star Wars Celebration last week, and my thinking, “I haven’t really kept up with Star Wars in ages” in response. Does that count as peer pressure?
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics.
Wait a minute … “monthly”?
It’s true that we haven’t taken a What Looks Good tour in a few months, but the feature is back with an all-new approach that we hope will be more varied and useful than the old format. Instead of Michael and Graeme just commenting on everything that catches our attention in the catalog, we’ve invited Chrises Mautner and Arrant to join us in each picking the five new comics we’re most looking forward to. What we’ll end up with is a Top 20 (or so; there may be some overlap) of the best new comics coming out each month.
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.
1) Love and Rockets New Stories #5 by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics) — How do you possibly top the triumphant storytelling feat that was “The Love Bunglers”? I dunno, but Jaime Hernandez is certainly going to give it the old college try, this time shifting the focus onto the vivacious “Frogmouth” character. Gilbert, meanwhile, brings back some of his classic Palomar characters, so yeah, this is pretty much a “must own” for me.
2) Skippy Vol. 1: Complete Dailies 1925-1927 by Percy Crosby (IDW) — Percy Crosby’s Skippy might well be the great forgotten comic strip of the 20th century. Extremely popular in its day, and a huge influence on such luminaries as Charles Schulz, the strip has largely been forgotten and the name conjures up little more than images of peanut butter. IDW’s effort to reacquaint folks with this strip might change that — the few snippets I’ve read suggest this is real lost gem.
3) The Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell (Uncivilized Books) — Tom Kaczynski’s small-press publishing company drops its first major, “big book” release with this memoir from the always-excellent Gabrielle Bell. Collecting work from her series Lucky (and, I think, some of her recent minis), the book chronicles a turbulent five year period as she travels around the world. Should be great.
4) Godzilla: The Half Century War by James Stokoe (IDW) — I usually stay as far away from licensed books as possible, but there is one simple reason I’m including this comic in my top five: James Stokoe. Stokoe’s Orc Stain has quickly become one of my favorite serialized comics, and his obsession with detailing every inch of the page combined with his ability to incorporate significant manga storytelling tropes in his work convince me he can do a solid job chronicling the adventures of the big green lizard that spits radioactive fire.
5) Barbara by Osamu Tezuka (Digital Manga) — Speaking of manga, here’s one of the more noteworthy Kickstarter projects of recent years: Digital Manga’s attempt to bring the master’s saga of a famous author and the homeless, beautiful woman he takes in and assumes to be his literal muse. This is well regarded in many Tezuka fan circles as one of the cartoonist’s better adult stories, and I’m glad to see Digital willing to take a chance on bringing more Tezuka to the West. I’ll definitely be buying this. I should also note that Vertical will also be offering some Tezuka this month, namely a new edition of Adolph (originally published by Viz in the ’90s), here titled Message to Adolph but well worth checking out regardless of the title.
Publishing | DC Comics joins the Kia Soul, Goldfish, My Little Pony and several others on Advertising Age’s annual list of America’s Hottest Brands: “With decades of stories under their capes and utility belts, Superman — and other DC characters, including Aquaman and the Flash — had ossified. Though relaunching its entire cast and making their adventures available to print and electronic audiences might alienate some hard-core DC fans, it might also gain plenty of new ones. Making DC characters more popular is crucial for its parent company. While the comic-book business is way down from its heyday, its characters fuel big-ticket Hollywood movies that can generate millions of dollars in revenue and licensing. The pressure may be on DC because rival Marvel, now owned by Disney, has churned out superhero film properties on a regular basis for years.” [Advertising Age]
Broadway | Producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have changed their tune on the $75 million musical; previously they predicted they wouldn’t make back the money invested in the show without franchising it in other cities and countries, but now they predict they’ll make it back entirely from the Broadway run. They also are considering adding in new scenes and a new musical number to the production every year, “making it akin to a new comic book edition, and then urging the show’s fans to buy tickets again.” [The New York Times]
Robot 6 has Planet of the Apes on the brain lately. Kevin Melrose just finished a PotA marathon that made me want to start my own and I’m anxiously looking forward to BOOM!’s prequel comic tomorrow. But while talking primates fans wait for that, I thought it might be nice to check out Scott Campbell’s version that also includes King Kong, the flying monkeys of Wizard of Oz, the primates of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Ro-Man Extension XJ-9 from Robot Monster.
Be sure to check out the rest of Campbell’s post too. He has a playground full of werewolves, a picnic with the Draculas, a floating bar for sea monsters, and much more.
A Utah company has recalled drinking glasses featuring DC Comics superheroes and Wizard of Oz characters after independent testing revealed they contain high levels of lead. Federal regulators have begun an investigation.
The tests, commissioned by The Associated Press, found the glasses contained lead up to 1,000 times the federal limit for children’s products, as well as lesser amounts of the more-toxic heavy metal cadmium. The AP purchased the China-made glasses from Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank, Calif.
The central issue may be whether the glasses are intended for children or for adults. Salt Lake City-based importer Vandor contends the products are targeted to adult collectors and passed testing for lead. However, a spokesman for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission told The AP the agency considers the glasses to be children’s products, which are subject to more strict lead limits. The CPSC is collecting samples for its own testing.
In a press release announcing the voluntary recall, Vandor said that less than 10,000 sets of each item have been shipped since their January release.