§ Nice Art: At Heroes Con, Paul Azaceta drew a commission of “What if Jack Kirby had designed Batman”.
§ I can’t find the kerfuffle that set this off, but many people on Twitter linked to this tutorial on skin tones and lighting and painting. So that was good.
§ Writer Jess Keating got on the “comics are great for literacy”  bandwagon but came with many great links and made a resource page!

So here’s a list of resources for you, dear readers. Below are some links that describe just how wonderful graphic novels can be, in terms of literacy development, empathy and social growth, and many other facets of development and reading enjoyment. Please feel free to share them anytime you encounter someone who doesn’t quite get how wonderful these formats can be, and reach out to me if you’ve got additional info or links you’d like me to add.

§ Henry Cavill is till swole. But now scarred. The Witcher is going to be awful though, right?
§ After 20 years one of the original geek brand is shutting down, as ThinkGeek is being absorbed into parent company Game Stop.   And the Mary Sue was sad.

This feels like the end of an era. The news struck me because ThinkGeek is an Internet institution, sharing space online nearly as long as I have. Founded in 1999, the site and its products were once described as “SharperImage for sysadmins,” which shows its ancient age. ThinkGeek was one of the first purveyors of easily-accessible nerd merch and gadgets, and I remember gazing longingly at its products in high school and college when I had zero means to buy them. Where else are you going to find products like a TARDIS coffee press? A bronze statue of Jean-Luc Picard facepalming? A Minecraft foam diamond sword? A complete Disney Princess-themed dinner set? The Star Trek Bluetooth ComBadge you’ve always wanted? Loki horned slippers? A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder?

With more and more stuff available on Etsy, Ebay, Amazon and everywhere, really, the need for a dedicated channel for this can be debated but OTOH….people love to shop? I’m a little sad about this, too.
§ I’ve always been a big fan of follow-up stories  and here’s one: several years ago cartoonist Jim Wheelock was devastated to learn that his comics collection – one taht went back to the 40s and was valued at more than $100,000 – had been stolen from his storage unit. Wheelock lives in LA and the unit was in Vermont. Its loss coincided with many other health and financial woes for Wheelock.
Well, they got the guy and he pled guilty to multiple burglaries in a Brattleboro court. He was caught on video breaking into many other storage units. You must hit the link to see the perp., because if anyone looks like the kind of guy who would do that, it’s this guy.

In 2015, a video surveillance camera caught William Brown, 49, of Brattleboro, breaking into numerous storage units at the Hillwinds Storage facility on Upper Dummerston Road. Previously, Brown faced 17 counts of burglary, unlawful mischief, petit larceny and grand larceny; he pleaded guilty to eight.

Area man Steve Bissette (misspelled as Visette in this story) read a statement from Wheelock in court:

“I’m sure Mr. Brown is well aware of how lucky he is with this plea bargain,” Wheelock wrote in the impact statement that was read in court. “I also want him and all here to be aware how badly he has ruined my life by robberies in stealing my comics collection officially appraised at $136,310.22. …Thanks to William Brown I can have no real retirement, I will be forced to work until the day I die, scrambling to make the rent,” Wheelock’s wrote.

§ But some rest of the stories will never be known…like the Snyder cut! Oh ZING. Fans have raised $20,000 to help get this mythic film released. Now you may think this is a paltry amount to cover the costs of restoring this lost classic, but the group is actually going to use the funds for ADVERTISING their demands for the restoration and it’s all going down at Comic-Con!

A statement on their page reads – “The time has now come to make an ultimate statement to Warner Brothers and AT&T, of our firm and unyielding desire for the release of the full and complete Zack Snyder, Cut of ‘Justice League'” The advertising dollars will be used for “educational fliers,” “handheld signs,” and “swag” that will be brought to this year’s Comic-Con. They are also planning to fly a banner near the San Diego Convention Center and renting a billboard in an attempt to get Warner Bros. attention.

§ I could have called this installment of K’n’B “Actor castigated for naked haku at comic-con” but I didn’t. I wanted to, though. It seems that New Zealand actor Manu Bennett was in Romania for some kind of “comic con” (more likely an autograph show) and was filmed by a bystander one morning, while performing a haka while naked. Bennett was out for a run, passed by a beautiful old ruin and just felt the call. Unfortunately it was Sarmizegetusa Regia – a Unesco World Heritage Site with great historic value to ancient Dacia.. So some people thought that Bennett’s actions were very inappropriate.
The haka is a ceremonial Maori dance,  and Bennett has performed it around the world, sometimes naked, when he feels so moved. This time, he thought he was alone but a German tourist captured it for Instagram. And now  Bennett says he’s being unduly criticised. 

 Given the location was so isolated and he saw only one other car in the car park, Bennett thought he was alone. He denied any suggestion the act was “attention seeking”. It wasn’t until much later when he realised he had been filmed and the video uploaded to Instagram by a German tourist, who Bennett said had since apologised. The tourist said he was “in awe” of Bennett’s display and wanted to document it, he said.

Bennett – perhaps best known for playing Deathstroke on Arrow –  defended the integrity of doing the haka naked, and although he’s been dragged to tomorrow and back, he vows to continue doing the dance. However, he’ll be more careful about where and when and the presence of German tourists. A lesson for us all, I think.


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