New X-Men: First Class trailer with more mutations and romance


Why do all the mutants have English accents?

Jennifer Lawrence, hot off her Oscar nod, is steamy as Mystique!
firstclass.jpg

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS opens on June 3rd.

Nice art: Tomer Hanuka's Star Trek poster and more

tumblr_lkbs77SKgS1qaq493o1_500.jpg

via Alex Segura, a DVD cover for the great episode where “goatee” and “Evil Spock” became forever synonymous.

spidySkt3.jpg

While we’re at it…here are Hanuka’s sketches for an illustration in the New Yorker accompanying a review of…Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

p8s.jpg

AND for added fun, go read “The Dirties” from MEATHAUS by Tomer and brother Asaf.

Read another Eisner nominee for free: Frank Stockton's "Hamburger for One"

5612550836_b706c6fe13_o.jpg
The parade of free award-nominated online comics reading continues with Frank Stockton’s “Hamburger for One”, which was nominated for an Eisner in the “Best Short Story” category. It’s the almost painful story of an awkward teen boy and his attempts to interact with his world.

Read the whole thing in the link. The original story appeared in POPGUN #4.

Anaheim Comic-Con acting like they have nothing to do with Wizard

Speaking of con wars, this rather odd story from UGO goes on and on about how great this weekend’s Anaheim Comic-Con is going to be, without ever mentioning of the fact that it is part of the Wizard World Tour:

Anaheim brings the masses together for an unforgettable weekend of tributes, gaming, celebrities and general geekery. The weekend is not one to be missed, and here are a few reasons why:…[snip] For smaller conventions, it’s always a question of what talent they’ve found to show up for the event — and ACC is obviously not messing around. In attendance are Battlestar Galactica’s seductive Number Six aka Tricia Helfer, the man behind Darth Maul, Ray Park, Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree, Harry Hamlin from the original Clash of the Titans, Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation, John de Lanice and many, many more. Plus Adam West and Burt Ward — because it wouldn’t be a Comic-Con without them!


No, you couldn’t put on a Comic-Con without nerdlebrities! That’s been proven, right?

Obviously the story was written from a press release of some kind, but you’d expect a site of UGO’s caliber to at least name an actual comics-type person attending, even if the show itself, being in SoCal and all, is more of a Nerdlebrity con than a comic-con. Comics guests don’t even get their own guest category:
comics-toys.jpg
It’s this kind of thing that makes some industry-watchers a little sad that CCI didn’t enforce their “Comic-Con” trademark a little more stringently — with more policing, it’s very likely that the Anaheim show would have been given the more accurate name “Reality Rocks Expo II.”

Thwipster aims to be Groupon for nerds

201104271550.jpgDiscount coupon sites are all the rage, with Groupon headed for a $20 billion public offering and Facebook and Google trying to get in on that action. But why should nerds be left out of the fun? The recently-launched Thwipster aims to be the Groupon for nerds, according to founder and CEO Lance Sells, with GNs, action figures, artists sketchbooks, webcomics, and more available.

“We envision Thwipster being much more than your typical daily deal website. We go through a rigorous selection process to try to provide the best products that we can and we’re simply not going to sell products that we don’t like,” he says. Chad Sells, Director of Operations and co-founder adds “We’re geeks at heart and love delving into the story surrounding the products we’re selling, so we’re providing our customers with videos, photos and content for each and every product.”

Today’s deals involve discounts for ALL-STAR SUPERMAN and THE WALKING DEAD hardcovers, so you can see where this is headed. You can even follow Thwipster on Twitter and Facebook to get more bargains.

South Park Season 15 premieres tonight

HUMANCENTiPAD
Tags: SOUTH
PARK
more…

Oh boy!

Con Wars! Hobby Star vs UFC/Reed Pop for "Fan Expo"

201104271324.jpgJust when things looked all lovey dovey on the convention front, Kiel Phegley reports that Canadian convention organizer Hobby Star has filed a lawsuit against Reed Pop and Zuffa LLC, owner of the UFC, over the use of the term “Fan Expo,” which Hobby Star claims to have trademarked. Reed and the UFC, the hugely popular mixed martial arts organization, have been putting on a series of “UFC Fan Expo” events in conjunction with their fight shows. However, Hobby Star puts on the Fan Expo Canada every year, generally considered the third biggest comic-con-type show in North America. The suit probably only covers the Canadian use of the term “Fan Expo,” however:

In the federal court statement obtained by CBR News, Hobby Star has filed for trade-mark infringement on the name “Fan Expo” as well as the slogan “The Ultimate Fan Experience” and the web domain www.ufcfanexpo.com. The papers were filed in a Toronto federal court and make no mention of previous UFC events labeled as “Fan Expos” such as a London, England event last summer, nor do they mention anything about the company’s potential plans for a Fan Expo in Las Vegas this summer. This is likely because Hobby Star only have the “Fan Expo” trademark registered within Canada.


As Phegley writes, this is the latest in a somewhat feisty history for all concerned:

This case marks the latest wrinkle in the overriding back-and-forth actions between convention organizers that have popped up over the last several years. While Reed has publicly jostled with the Wizard World series of shows over dates, locations and treatment of staff over the past two years, Hobby Star is also known as a shrewd player when it comes to defending its brand. From 2004 to around 2007, the Toronto Fan Expo made the local comics press thanks to a hard-lined booking feud with the smaller local show known as the Paradise Comicon. Those grudges seem to have receded in recent years as Wizard World bought up Paradise and rebranded it the Toronto Comicon (also held in the Direct Energy Centre).


He also notes that the term “comic-con” itself has been trademarked by Comic-Con International (the non-profit organization that puts on you know what.) However, since CCI has not protected the trademark for years and years — anyone can use it — they have likely lost the rights to any trademark damages.

Just as a reminder, US courts only enforce trademark infringement when the trademark owner DEFENDS their trademark. Thus over the years, such brands as Kitty Litter and Kleenex have sent out many a C&D letter claiming to defend their trademarks when they are casually used in writing everywhere. With the proliferation of the internet, such casual usage has only snowballed, making trademark defense ever more of an ongoing activity.

Trademark usage is also why you continually see big entertainment conglomerates roll out one-shots or miniseries for obscure characters — they need to reassert the trademark so no one else can call a comic-book WOODGOD.

As for the current con wars — well, see next item, but also if this one comes to a street fight, we’re totally putting our money on the UFC.

Eisner reading: I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER now online

Tis the season for sampling Eisner nominees!

The Eisner Awards ballot went online last week — meaning eligible voters (comics professionals) everywhere were racing to record their picks for the best of 2010.

However, one book unintentionally was left OFF the ballot: Shannon Wheeler’s I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER, published by BOOM! Studios, was omitted in the Best Humor Publication category. The book is a collection of Wheeler’s rejected New Yorker cartoon submissions.

201104271147.jpg
The ballot has now been updated, but many people have already voted — however, they can still change their votes if the Wheeler opus is the one they prefer.

In order to give the book even more of a chance, BOOM! has made the whole thing available to read online for FREE — see above. And they are also making selected physical copies available to eligible voters.

“I thought it would be funnier if I got left off the Eisner ballot, but I guess not!” said Shannon Wheeler.

“When we didn’t see Shannon’s book on the 2011 Eisner Awards ballot, we thought the joke was on us!” said BOOM! Studios Marketing Director Chip Mosher. “But now that the good folks at the Eisner Awards have fixed the glitch, we’re offering voters a chance to experience the unrelenting hilarity of I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER for free. So be sure to get your free copy and take another look at your vote for Best Humor Publication!”


The press release notes that I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER is actually sold out from BOOM! but they have nick-and-dent copies available to send out. Those eligible Eisner voters whh’d like a copy should email [email protected] with their eligibility status to have a physical copy sent out to you!

A new giftable hardcover edition of I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER will be available in the fall.

TWISTED SAVAGE DRAGON FUNNIES Collection goes bizarro

It’s Image’s answer to STRANGE TALES or BIZARRO COMICS — an indie comics take on one of their best known characters. We’re talking about TWISTED SAVAGE DRAGON FUNNIES, a back-up feature in the long-running regular series, edited by Michel Fiffe and featuring the best talents in today’s alt.comix world taking on Erik Larsen’s green and strong super-cop. A collection of these tales is due this July, an oversized 144-page book with contributions by everyone from Benjamin Marra

MARRA.jpg

to Kris Mukai.

MUKAI.jpg

Fiffe has more eye-catching preview pages in the above link. Other contributors include

Tom Scioli. Jim Rugg, Paul Maybury, Zack Soto and Dieter Van Der Ougstraete.

First look at where the movie Avengers will plant their butts

marvel-chairs.jpg
Marvel has released the first still from the just commenced AVENGERS movie, and it’s all about the sitting down. Director Joss Whedon and crew went into production yesterday in Albuquerque for the movie you may have always dreamed would happen.
Marvel PR, which actually has a bit of a spoiler, revealing that Loki and Erik Selvig from THOR will be in this movie.

Production has commenced today in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated movie “Marvel’s The Avengers,” directed by Joss Whedon (“Serenity”) from a screenplay by Whedon.  The film will continue principal photography in Cleveland, Ohio and New York City. Robert Downey, Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) as Thor, Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (“Thor,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are Alright”) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (“Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (“Iron Man,” “Thor”) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury.  Set for release in the US on May 4, 2012, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the first feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Marvel’s The Avengers” brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time. The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (“Wallander”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Angels & Demons,” “Mamma Mia!”) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature “Thor.”

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patty Whitcher, and Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce.

The creative production team also includes Oscar nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”), production designer James Chinlund (“25th Hour”), Oscar winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs (“Iron Man 2,” “The Matrix”), visual effects producer Susan Pickett (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”), stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell (“Superman Returns”), and four-time Oscar nominated special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Iron Man,” “War of the Worlds”). The editors include Oscar nominated Paul Rubell (“Collateral”) and Jeffrey Ford (“Crazy Heart”).

Marvel Studios most recently produced “Iron Man 2” which was released in theatres on May 7, 2010. The sequel to “Iron Man,” starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow as well as Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson and Mickey Rourke, took the number one spot its first weekend with a domestic box office gross of $128.1 million. To date the film has earned over $620 million in worldwide box office receipts.

In the summer of 2008, Marvel produced the summer blockbuster movies, “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk.”  “Iron Man,” in which Robert Downey, Jr. originally dons the super hero’s powerful armor alongside co-stars Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow, was released May 2, 2008 and was an immediate box office success. Garnering the number one position for two weeks in a row, the film brought in over $100 million its opening weekend and grossed over $571 million worldwide. On June 13, 2008, Marvel released “The Incredible Hulk” marking its second number one opener of that summer. The spectacular revival of the iconic green goliath grossed over $250 million in worldwide box office receipts.


While we’ll be eagerly awaiting set leaks, cast photos and other tidbits, here’s a photo of the cast from last year’s Comic-Con to tide you over.

comiconavengers.jpg

ALA conference launches Artists Alley for comics

201104261748.jpgLibrarians love cartoonists who create books that people of all ages want to actually check out of the library. And cartoonists love librarians who buy their books and shelve them in high traffic GN sections.

This great love affair for our times is going even further at this year’s American Library Association conference in New Orleans — organizers are making space available for an Artists Alley for the first time.

Artist and illustrators are invited to participate in this new pavilion at the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. The Annual Conference Graphic Novel/Gaming pavilion has been a destination for librarians for over 5 years and this new pavilion allows librarians to meet face-to-face with artists and illustrators who create comics, games, and graphic novels.

A free opportunity to participate

In order to give visibility to a wide variety of artists and illustrators, the association will provide free space to participants. In return for this space, participants are asked to supply one original piece of work to be included in a silent auction for the Association’s scholarship fund.

If you want to expand your reach into libraries, this is a perfect opportunity. Artists are encouraged to bring a variety of materials to display, distribute for free and to sell. Each artist exhibit space includes one skirted table, two chairs, carpet, back drape and an identification sign.
Click here to reserve space. For more information, contact [email protected]


So, to sum up: FREE space at a show where you will reach 19,000 librarians.

Good deal…or great deal?

This year’s summer ALA conference takes place June 23-28th in New Orleans, LA.

Nice art: Dave McKean's Celluloid

4670-1.JPG
The just arrived issue of PW Comics Week has a nice preview of CELLULOID, Dave McKean’s first graphic novel since CAGES. You’d think an undertaking of this sort might have gotten a little more hoopla. Perhaps when people start looking at the art, it will

CELLULOID is described as a “pornographic work of art” about a man, a woman and a porn film that all intersect. It’s out from Fantagraphics next month.

4671-1.JPG

Marvel releases "Not a dry eye in the house" variant for DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN

UltimateComicsSpiderMan_160_QuesadaVariant.jpg
Normally we don’t run more than one Marvel PR in a day — and they send out about 38 each and every day — but when we saw that Joe Quesada had done a variant billed as the “No dry eye in the house” variant for The Death of Spider-Man storyline just now wrapping up in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN…well…we had to share. Because we like everyone to blubber in the afternoon. It’s good for you.

There’s a full color cry and a sketch cry.

Death of Spider-Man, the story that everyone from ABC to MTV and FOX News are talking about, reaches its stunning conclusion this June and, to commemorate this momentous issue, superstar Joe Quesada illustrates an all-new variant cover! This powerful piece, from Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, arrives in two different versions—the full color Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160 Quesada Variant and the raw, penciled version for Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160 Quesada Sketch Variant.
 
It’s the biggest story in Ultimate Comics history—and it all ends in Ultimate Spider-Man #160. No fan can miss out on the story that’ll have fans around the world talking for years!


While ofttimes PR is rife with hyperbole, after the ongoing “One More Day” argument going on in the Beat comments section, the phrase “the story that’ll have fans around the world talking for years” seems more descriptive than wishful thinking.
UltimateComicsSpiderMan_160_QuesadaSketchVariant.jpg

Nice art: David Aja's RED SKULL covers

RedSkull_1_Cover.jpg
This July, Marvel is serving up a RED SKULL miniseries starring the villain in the Cap movie, written by Greg Pak with art by Mirko Colak. David Aja has provided some tasty covers, influenced by WWII imagery from propaganda posters and the like.

“Due to the nature of the story, I wanted to portray the historical aspects on the covers,” said Aja. “In doing so, I approached the covers as if they were real posters, newspapers and Nazi propaganda from that time, kind of in a documentary style. To make it work, I utilized different typographic techniques for each issue, emulating different typefaces in real work; so I needed a uniform tone, technique and color in the finished art to identify all the covers as a whole collection.”
 
“Red Skull was never intended to be one of our typical super hero comics, so it shouldn’t have anything like typical cover art,” said series editor Alejandro Arbona. “We knew David would invest the thoughtfulness and deliberation to capture the complex and difficult ideas of this story. In short, his covers say ‘This is what we’re doomed to watch Johann become,’ and his imagery – war, conquest, cruelty, a great evil – springs from the same tragic well. It’s a disturbing set of cover images, for a dark and disquieting story.”


Although this is powerful and thematically appropriate stuff, is it going too far to have a comic book with Nazi-inspired imagery on the cover? What do you think?

RedSkull_2_Cover.jpg

RedSkull_3_Cover.jpg

RedSkull_4_Cover.jpg

RedSkull_5_Cover.jpg

B&N radically increasing comics periodicals offerings in June

201104261136.jpg

It looks like bookstores are getting so eager for new product categories that they are actually going back to the periodical market. Barnes & Noble, the still-standing book chain, is adding comics racks to its product mix, apparently in advance of this summer’s comic book movie heavy slate. Bleeding Cool has an internal memo on the matter:

New Comics Category in Newsstand

Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America are coming to your store! We’re excited to announce a new comics category.

In early June, we will begin carrying both Marvel and DC Comics titles that until now have only been available in comics specialty stores. We’ll also have new assortments from such publishers as Dynamic Forces, so series like the popular Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris will come straight to your store. We will continue to search for new and exciting titles to add to this category to drive customer interest and sales.

To feature these new titles, we will be creating new layouts for all stores. With your help and support, we believe Newsstand sales will increase and Barnes & Noble will become the destination for comics lovers.


Of course, Borders had comics spinners racks for years and it didn’t do them much good, but they carried more vaguely family friendly offerings. With more of a corporate push, could comics periodicals become a profit center for the beleaguered bookstore?

Remember when they said you couldn't take your computer into the toilet?

smartphonez.png

Via Cyanide and Happiness