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Comics A.M. | Zunar speaks against ‘cartoon’ government

Zunar's "Pirates of the Carry-BN"

Zunar’s “Pirates of the Carry-BN”

Creators | “This is really a government of the cartoon, for the cartoon and by the cartoon,” Malaysian cartoonist Zunar said in an interview following the police raid on his Kuala Lumpur office. Zunar was in London at the time of the raid but expects to be summoned to the police station on his return to face charges under the Printing Presses Act, Sedition Act and Penal Code. “Why are the police involved in this?” he said. “If it is true I have defamed certain people, why not filed a civil suit? The government condemned Charlie Hebdo’s attacker but now they are ‘attacking’ me.” He also sent out some photos of the raid. [Malaysian Digest]

Freedom of Speech | Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch Asia, called the raid Zunar’s office “shocking and outrageous” and demanded the government to return the confiscated books and drop all charges against him. [The Malaysian Insider]

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DC Collectibles reveals Wonder Woman statue by Robert Valley

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You may recall those stylish DC Nation animated shorts by Robert Valley featuring a sunglasses-wearing Wonder Woman who cruises around in a classic Dodge Charger, fights a rollerskating Giganta and rescues a clueless Steve Trevor. If you don’t, you should watch them immediately (below), because they’re terrific — but also because DC Collectibles has unveiled a Wonder Woman statue based on Valley’s design.

Details are scant, but we know that it arrives this fall as part of the Wonder Woman: The Art of War line … and it’s pretty great-looking.

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Ron Wimberly reimagines Wonder Woman as ‘WARP-D’

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Prince of Cats creator Ron Wimberly, who recently floated his ideas for reimagining Marvel’s Blade and Cloak & Dagger, has now turned his attention to Wonder Woman for a print created the collective Out of Step Arts. This is no mere costume redesign, however. It’s a full-blown overhaul of the nearly 75-year-old superheroine that embraces elements of manga while stillremaining true to the character’s roots.

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Comics A.M. | Manga is 80% of Japan’s digital book market

Shueisha's digital Jump Book Store

Shueisha’s digital Jump Book Store

Manga | Manga accounted for almost 80 percent of Japan’s digital book market in the 2013 fiscal year, according to a report released by the Yano Research Institute. The marketing research company predicts the country’s larger digital market, which is worth about $710 million, will see a 23.5 percent growth in the 2014 fiscal year. [Anime News Network]

Publishing | Tom Devlin, creative director of Drawn and Quarterly, talks about the unlikely success of Tove Jansson’s Moomin comics. [Montreal Gazette]

Comics | Noah Berlatsky writes about Wonder Woman the character and Wonder Woman the comic. [The Atlantic]

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Fun from the Carter Administration in ‘Wonder Woman ’77’

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When the first few pages of Wonder Woman ’77‘s inaugural installment finds the Amazon Princess squaring off against a trio of Soviet roller-derby assassins, clearly it’s setting a very specific tone. DC’s latest digital-first series borrows its core conceit from the successful Batman ’66, presenting new comics stories from the world of an old TV adaptation.

Indeed, so far it’s fairly faithful to the show’s then-present-day setting, with Diana Prince and Steve Trevor working for a fictional government intelligence agency (the IADC) and getting their exposition from IRA the computer. Accordingly, in terms of period pieces, it’s not exactly The Americans, but writer Marc Andreyko and artist Drew Johnson have done a great job capturing both the look of the show and the style of its leads. Their Lynda Carter is spot-on, and their Lyle Waggoner evokes TV-Steve’s sparkly toothed swagger perfectly. Johnson (with colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr.) draws an especially detailed 1977, from the subtleties of Wonder Woman’s costume to the crowds at Studio 52. (Of course it’s “Studio 52.”)

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Shelf Porn | A Wonder-ful collection from California

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Happy New Year and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly glance into one fan’s collection. Today’s shelves come from Jason in California, who shows us his sharply designed shelves of action figures and Wonder Woman stuff.

If you’d like to see your collection featured here on Robot 6, you can find complete details at the end of this post.

And now here’s Jason …

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Des Taylor shows DC superheroines in their downtime

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Being a superhero may be a full-time job, but everyone’s got to have a life outside of work … right? Artist Des Taylor, creator of the upcoming series Scarlett Couture, answered that question recently with illustrations featuring the likes of Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Batgirl and Lois Lane, and they don’t disappoint.

“There are enough artists drawing them kicking the hell out of each other,” Taylor writes on his deviantART page. “I like to illustrate my favourite heroes doing everyday casual stuff.”

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Grumpy Old Fan | 10 from 2014, 10 for 2015

Ring in 2015?

Ring in 2015?

As the new year is still fairly new, it’s time once again to revisit some old speculation, and offer a fresh batch.

2015 promises to be an unusual year for DC Comics, thanks to a couple of well-publicized real-world events: moving its offices from New York to California, and publishing two months’ worth of retro-themed comics while the regular series take a break. Although I’m getting tired of writing about these things, they will continue to dominate DC news for the next little while. Accordingly, counterintuitive though it may be, this week I’m going to resist talking about them as much as possible. You know they’re coming, I know they’re coming; but let’s try to find some other topics in the meantime.

Now to catch up on 2014’s items:

1. Anniversaries. Besides Batman’s 75th, which naturally got lots of play, I noted that last year was the 50th anniversary of the Teen Titans, the 55th of the Silver Age Green Lantern, Nightwing’s 30th, Zero Hour’s 20th and Identity Crisis’ 10th. The Titans got a commemorative hardcover and IC likewise received a new edition. However, Nightwing-the-series ended in 2014, as Nightwing-the-identity was exposed and Dick Grayson got a new spy-oriented comic. I also wondered whether the 50th anniversary of Batman’s “New Look” would get some special attention (it didn’t, unless you count the flood of Batman ‘66 love that accompanied the long-awaited home video releases of the New Look-inspired series).
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DC Collectibles spotlights new Wonder Woman statue

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DC Collectibles has released a video showcasing its upcoming DC Comics Cover Girl: Wonder Woman statue.

Solicited last month for release in July, the statue is designed by artist Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, and sculpted by Jack Mathews, the approximately 10-inch statue is a limited edition (5,200) priced at $99.95.

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Comics A.M. | Defiant ‘Charlie Hebdo’ plans to publish next week

"Je Suis Charlie"

“Je Suis Charlie”

Publishing | The French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo will be published next week, to demonstrate that “stupidity will not win,” according to columnist Patrick Pelloux. Ten of the magazine’s staff members were among those killed Wednesday when three armed men attacked their Paris headquarters, apparently because Charlie Hebdo published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. [The Guardian]

Political cartoons | Adam Taylor looks at the history of controversies regarding depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. [The Washington Post]

Political cartoons | Cartoonist and syndicator Daryl Cagle pens a remembrance four of the slain Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, some of whom he knew personally, and also talks about the importance of editorial cartooning in France. [Darylcagle.com]

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LEGO releases Wonder Woman’s invisible jet

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LEGO is starting to roll out its superhero sets for the New Year, and one in particular is sure to catch the eyes of comic fans and collectors alike. While it may not be completely invisible, LEGO’s newest DC Super Heroes set features a smaller version of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. io9 has posted photos and details on the new LEGO building set, which will retail for about $50 and officially goes on sale Thursday.

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This ‘Wonder Woman’ theme cover will make a hawk a dove

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I’m not sure why, four years after its release, this cover of the Wonder Woman TV theme song is making the rounds, but I’m incredibly happy it is. Performed by the Ontario band The Bombsters, it’s delightfully earnest, and the perfect way to end a cold and dreary day.

And, yes, the drummer is wearing a Batman-like mask, but it’s not only for this video. That’s Mr. Somebody, who … apparently wears a mask during performances. I dunno. Fun little drum solo, though.

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‘Action Comics’ #1 leads $7.17 million comics auction

action-310000A CGC-graded 3.0 copy of Action Comics #1 fetched $310,700 in a recent $7.17 million comics and comics art auction, Heritage Auctions announced.

That’s a far cry from the record $3.2 million paid in August for a pristine copy of the 1938 first appearance of Superman, but certainly nothing to sneeze at.

“High-end, vintage comic books across the board continue to show incredible market durability,” Ed Jaster, Heritage’s senior vice president, said in a statement. “The auction total, at $7.17 million, is the third-highest grossing comics auction in history, period.”

Other comic book highlights of the Nov. 20-22 auction include a CGC-graded 7.0 copy of Pep Comics #22, featuring the first appearance of Archie Andrews ($143,400) and a CGC-graded 6.5 copy of Captain America Comics #1 ($107,550).

The auction house also noted high prices paid for the first appearances of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, which it attributes to anticipation for the characters’ big-screen debuts: a CGC-graded 5.5 copy of All Star Comics #8 sold for $44,813, more than triple its list value, and a CGC-graded 3.5 copy of More Fun Comics #73 went for $38,838, 10 times its guide price.

Also of note: Bill Everett’s original cover art for 1967’s Strange Tales #152, depicting Doctor Strange and Umar, sold for $71,700, while Frank Frazetta’s 1967 cover painting for Jongor Fights Back fetched an impressive $179,250.

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Comics A.M. | ‘Naruto’ creator looks ahead to next series

Naruto

Naruto

Creators | In an interview to be published in Japan next Friday, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto says he plans to spend some time with his wife and child, and take a long-delayed honeymoon, before starting his next series. And as he is about to turn 40, he hints that he may not be up for another weekly series. [Anime News Network]

Comic strips | The first color Sunday funnies appeared on Nov. 18, 1894, in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. David Shedden observes the 120th anniversary of this innovation with a look back at some popular comic strips and footage of New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reading the funnies over the radio during the newspaper strike of 1945. [Poynter]

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Photographs transport superheroes back to 16th century

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French photographer Sacha Goldberger, who previously made a splash with images of his 91-year-old grandmother as a superhero, exhibited his latest series “Super Flemish” over the weekend at the Grand Palais in Paris. As you might have guessed from the title and the above photo, the project features superheroes (and villains), Star Wars characters and other pop-culture figures — as if they were posing for Flemish paintings.

But these are indeed photographs, requiring models, costumers, hair and makeup artists and the like. And, as you can see from the gallery on Goldberger’s website, he even recruited his grandmother again. See more images, and photos from the exhibition, on Goldberger’s Facebook page.

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