Watch: X-Men: First Class trailer

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Just unveiled over at Facebook, the X-Men: First Class trailer is here. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kick-Ass) and staring James McEvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones and a cast of thousands, it’s a retcon showing the origins of the mutant team in the 60s, starring young Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. The original X-Men: First Class comic was written by Jeff Parker, but it hasn’t been explained how much of an influence it had on filmmakers.

This is miles better than the dreadfully boring stills have were previously released; Vaughn knows his superhero stuff and how to give it some life. Our one big beef: this does not look like it was set in the 60s! Some JFK voice-overs do not a different decade make! Have they never seen Mad Men? Or A Simple Man? Or…the British Avengers.

South Park crew is creating a Broadway musical!

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BTW, did you know that while the Spider-Man musical has been painfully making its way to a long-delayed opening, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have done what they should have done years ago and created a Broadway musical? The Book of Mormon opens at the end of March. It’s a collaboration with Robert Lopez, creator of the cult puppet hit Avenue Q. Parker and Stone wrote the book and the songs, as they did with the South Park movie, TEAM AMERICA, and countless episodes of South Park.

And so far, people actually like it!

Captain America — F*** yeah!

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From Team America to Captain America — the great message comes through.

DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: December 2010

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

On the surface, December 2010 was a great month for DC Comics. The company had a bigger share of the market than its main competitor Marvel, if only in terms of dollar value, and took all of the Top 5 spots on the chart, as well as a total 8 out of the Top 10. That doesn’t happen a lot.

Upon closer inspection, though, a less rosy picture emerges: DC’s average comic-book sales in the direct market were slightly down from November, average dollar and unit sales were only slightly up. So, despite big releases like the debut of writer/artist David Finch’s Batman: The Dark Knight and, over in the “Graphic Novel” section, J. Michael Straczynski’s Superman: Earth One book, it turns out December was more or less business as usual, from a commercial vantage point.

Meanwhile, DC’s WildStorm imprint, which the company bought from Jim Lee in 1998 and then proceeded to slowly but determinedly squeeze the life out of, ceased publication in December. Average WildStorm sales sagged below the 5K mark, to the lowest number in history.

Preview: AN ELEGY FOR AMELIA JOHNSON

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While comics dealing with cancer have usually been true life tales — Mom’s Cancer or Our Cancer Year — AN ELEGY FOR AMELIA JOHNSON takes a more unusual tack, following the two best friends of a dying woman — a slightly egotistical documentary director and a self-absorbed journalist — as they journey to bring her last words to the people she cares about. But if you think this is going to be a weepy about a saintly sick person…you are wrong.

Japan; The manga censor's day

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This article from New Zealand goes into more detail on he thinking behind the current manga sales restrictions, and they are pretty much aimed at stopping young folks from doing anything stupid and fun, not stopping perverts. Take this from gynecologist Dr Tsuneo Akaeda, who thinks manga leads to STDs:

SD11: No more room at the volunteer booth, either

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If you were thinking of getting into the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con via volunteering, that window too passed a few weeks ago:

EXCLUSIVE: Diamond's Dave Bowen explains how they will sell digital comics in stores

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[Yesterday Diamond announced their plan to team with iVerse to offer digital comics downloads for sale in comics shops. Gievn the hot button nature of this discussion, and the big picture nature of the announcement, Dave Bowen, Diamond’s Director of Digital Distribution, was eager to talk to us to explain more about it. This is a long interview, but Bowen goes into welcome detail on the thinking behind and motivation for this plan. Short version: retailers deserve to be brought into the process.]