…and we’re back! Comic-Con won’t start for another day, but the newsfeeds have been full of it today! There’s all sorts of anticipation, it’s kinda thrilling and scary! We’re ensconced at Stately Beat Manor, keeping house (Heidi, don’t worry about the Eisner fresco. Since the pigment is part of the plaster, it’s easy to clean. The capuchins are cleaning it as we speak. But in the future, don’t feed them Watergate salad.) and minding the intertubular websterific newswire!

This is Moritz. He helps maintain the exterior of the Manor, checking the roof, gutters, and masonry. In his spare time, he maintains the Lancelot Link wiki. Of the many comics in the Manor’s archive, he prefers the esoteric, short-run series of the 1980s, such as Fantagraphics’ “Vegenauts”.

Before we go any further, I’d like to give a big thanks to our helper monkeys here at Stately Beat Manor in the Hudson. The colony originates from capuchins who were outlawed by mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1935, during the organ grinder purge, and transplanted to the Manor. They are indispensable, from guarding the grounds from urban explorers, to polishing the chandelier in the Great Hall, to maintaining the miles of computer cables which power our systems. Some of them play a mean game of Diamondback!

Fourteen Survival Suggestions

E-Online has as 14 “rules” for first-timers.  Wear comfortable shoes, don’t record in Hall H, phone batteries will influence your experience, be nice to each other, plan ahead…

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

The Times of San Diego reports:

The guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins left San Diego on Monday on a deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Middle East.

The ship passed high-rises festooned with signage related to Comic-Con.

But to some, the real superheroes are the ones shipping out.

[Or maybe they’re leaving early to avoid the crowds!]

Kentucky Fried Comics

Dan Burke tells the true and crazy biography of Colonel Sanders! Eater has the comic! Or you can get a paper copy at Comic-Con!

Some Beat readers might recall that Bob’s Big Boy frequently gave away comics, some written and drawn by Steve Ditko!  Not surprisingly, these are not the first Colonel Sanders Comics!  And there was even a Ronald McDonald comic from Charlton!

…and Speaking of Custom Comics…

The Wall Street Journal investigates Marvel’s custom comics division!

Since the original “Avengers” movie was released in 2012, executives at Marvel say a wider variety of advertisers are coming to them to create marketing programs—not just the usual merchandisers that are tied to each movie release.

Marvel has helped produce custom content for brands including Western Union, Lexus, Popsicle, Kiehl’s and Benefits Cosmetics.

This year, Marvel—which is owned by Walt Disney Co.—entered into a marketing partnership with software maker Adobe Systems Inc. that will culminate at Comic-Con in San Diego later this week. As part of an Adobe contest, four students were selected from thousands of entrants to come up with original comics in conjunction with Marvel artists using the comics characters Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Iron Man—all created using Adobe’s Creative Cloud software. The four winners will present their work at Comic-Con, where Marvel will hand out 10,000 copies of each comic creation to attendees.


The GoodNites brand of children’s protective bedtime underwear had been licensing Marvel characters for a few years when the two companies started exploring how they could work together more closely. While one in six children wets the bed at some point, they are hard to reach in traditional media, and it is difficult to deliver the message in an ad that bed-wetting is normal.

But if Spider-Man, a character with his own secret identity, tells children that bed-wetting is nothing to be embarrassed about, it resonates, said Melanie Huet, the director of child care for Kimberly-Clark. “It was something new and different for us to turn our brand over to someone else like Marvel,” she said.

The result was an online Spider-Man comic in which the superhero fights a villain who controls dreams and a young boy confides in Spider-Man that he wears GoodNites.

They didn’t mention Captain Citrus! Or their PX comics! Or the many others!

Geek Style is Front and Center With Her Universe

Fangirls can now have this Iron Man cap-sleeve dress, reflecting his armor, to look super stylish on their next outing – making the geek fashion world a better looking place! And it glows-in-the-dark!


Her Universe, which is celebrating its 5th anniversary this summer, will be producing the second annual “geek couture” Her Universe Fashion Show with its partner, Hot Topic, for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The event, which will offer two winners the opportunity to design a fashion collection with Her Universe for Hot Topic, will be held July 9th, 6pm, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. Her Universe and Hot Topic will also be presenting a special screening of Studio Ghibli’s beloved film Spirited Away, hosted by Ashley Eckstein, after the fashion show, on Thursday, July 9th at 9pm at the Horton Grand Theatre in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Entry to the screening requires a ticket. Drawings for entry tickets at the Horton Grand Theatre will be held on Thursday, July 9th at 9am in the Autograph Area (upstairs in the Sails Pavilion) of the San Diego Convention Center. In addition, fans will be able to catch Ashley Eckstein on the following panels, Friday, July 10th, at San Diego Comic-Con:

  • 1:00pm – “The Business of Geek Fashion” in room 14A
  • 3:00pm – BBC/”How Comic Books Took Over Hollywood” in room 25ABC

Beam Me Up Scotty There’s No Intelligent Life Down Here

ThinkGeek offers a $150 Bluetooth Star Trek communicator at Comic-Con (Booth 3351), with other cool stuff for sale.

Along with the Original Series Star Trek Bluetooth® Communicator, ThinkGeek is also unveiling for the press and public the following other products:

  • Star-Lord Knapsack
  • Action Figure Beach Blanket
  • Knight Rider K.I.T.T Car Charger
  • Tesla Styled Watch
  • Black Widow Light-Up T-Shirt
  • Star Wars R2D2 Bluetooth® Speakerphone

To experience these products first-hang visit ThinkGeek’s booth at San Diego Comic-Con, #3351, and if you’re unable to make it to this year’s SDCC then everything can be viewed at www.thinkgeek.com.

Pardon my rant…  but we’ve had clamshell cellphones since… 1982. THIRTY-THREE years ago. In 2006, Boston Legal depicted Denny Crane (William Shatner) answering his cellphone, making it trill like a communicator when he opened it. That little bit got some press back then. I had to wonder then, “Why doesn’t someone license the design from Viacom and make a Star Trek communicator cellphone?!” Now, it’s 2015. Clamshell phones are kinda old school. Hell, we’ve had PADDs since 2010.

Now, we’ve finally got a communicator cellphone. Except it’s not a cellphone. It’s basically a microphone which syncs to your cellphone!  FOR THE LOVE OF UHURA, make a farking Star Trek cellphone! Sure, hide a keypad in the bottom for functionality, but make one! Not some $150 microphone! Hell, if you’re going to do that, then replicate Uhura’s earpiece! Or a communicator badge from The Next Generation! Come on, ThinkGeek, you can do better!

(I’m not the only one… io9 had a similar rant back in 2008.)

They also have a Rocket Raccoon backpack!

Hey…  Disney Will Be at Comic-Con After All…

sanjays-super-team-still-1Disney will release “The Good Dinosaur” later this year, and there will be a short cartoon attached, titled “Sanjay’s Super Team“.  USA Today has the report:

Wanting to fit in with his American friends, Patel initially pushed aside his immigrant parents’ culture. But later he found respect for Indian legends and began illustrating them through what he learned as an animator on Pixar films such as Toy Story 2, The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc.

His new short “felt like this bridge I needed to bring these two things together,” says Patel, who joins producer Nicole Paradis Grindle for a Sanjay’s Super Team panel Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con.

The artwork and filmmaking in Pixar shorts and features have always originated from personal tales, Grindle adds. Patel’s animation, however, “very clearly comes from a different cultural place than all the other stories we’ve told before. … And for kids who come from these backgrounds to see themselves on screen, it’s exciting for us.”

The panel is scheduled for Thursday July 9, 2015; 11:00am – 12:00pm in the Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

I thought I was The Bally table king / But I just handed my pinball crown to him.

Stern Pinball, Booth 501, will unveil their KISS pinball machine. as well as Metallica and WWE WrestleMania versions.

(Pinball?  It’s like crossing a pool table with a video game.  Try it.)

The Secret Origin of Star Athletes

Marvel and ESPN films will partner to create biopics of modern day athletes.

Starting Friday, July 10, Marvel Entertainment and ESPN Films are premiering “1 of 1 – Origins,” the short film series that gives viewers a unique look at some of the world’s most successful athletes by mixing the award-winning non-fiction style of ESPN Films with original Marvel art, design and creative animation. All eight films will have a television premiere and will also be released on the ESPN30 FOR 30 Facebook page the same day.

To Be, or Not to Be Cast?

Chris Pine, Green Lantern?
Dwayne Johnson, Shadow Moon?

…and Wonder Woman is Super Mom

Gal Gadot is interviewed in Canada’s Fashion Magazine. (Her Wonder Woman costume probably costs less than the clothes modeled on the cover…)

Betty Boop, “All-Ages”?  (Also “macro-cephalic”)

Dynamite Entertainment has announced a deal with the Fleischer Studios and King Features Syndicate to bring Betty Boop, the first female cartoon star, to comics for the first time in over twenty years.  The new Betty Boop comic book will be the first title in a new line of “all ages” comics from Dynamite.

So says ICV2.

If Vegas is Too Far and Too Hot, Perhaps Palm Springs?

A local fan wants to bring some of the comic con magic to Palm Springs, California.

Callego wants to bring that camaraderie and focus on comics to Palm Springs. He already has a website — pscomiccon.com. He had initially hoped to use Palm Springs High School for the inaugural event this coming February, but ongoing construction at the school has him looking at other venues in the city.

Marvel SHIELD / Agent Carter Posters are Released

You can decode them here.

Why Not Just Hire a Film Crew?

NBC San Diego reports on the growing selfie stick backlash.

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start

Who knew a major pornography adult film studio was located in downtown San Diego?  They’re offering the first virtual reality adult film, for couples.  Me… it sounds more like those 3DO laserdisc games from the 90s.  Which Vivid did produce…  Of course, adult films are usually the first to adopt new technologies. Has there been a regular theatrical DVD release which made use of multiple camera angles, for instance?

[Naughty America’s] release boasts that their product “allows couples and lovers a drama-free solution to asking partners to bring a third party into the bedroom,” offering views from both the male perspective as well as from one of the “chicks.”

Comic-Con attendees who wander by Tivoli Bar & Grill on Sixth Avenue between noon and 4 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday will have a chance to watch [“2 Chicks Same Time”] in the bar and provide critiques to chick performers Nikki Benz and Jaclyn Taylor, who will be on site.

 Me, I’ll wait for the strategy guide.  Unless they want to send a review copy.