Gift Guide: King Ice jewlery for the bling-loving nerd in your life

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Looking for some nerd themed bling fro gifts? King Ice offers this nice Thor’s helemet pendent, along with a lot of other hip hop swag and other items with crossover appeal, like this  Black Octopus Wearing Sunglasses Ring.  King Ice sent the Beat a golden Thor pendent as a review item a while ago and it’s […]

Derf gets turfed by Facebook

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The other day, Tom Spurgeon linked to a Facebook post by cartoonist T Edward Bak in which he frets about the “money vs art vs oh god what the hell am I doing” feeling that many in the indie world are having, and which we’ve written about many times. In response I was about to go link to a fantastic FB post by Derf Backderf in which he talks about being a cancer survivor and what he’s done since—delivered the great book My Friend Dahmer, continued to cartoon, enjoyed life with his family, travelled the world. It was a wonderful life affirming post that puts a lot of things into perspective.

But….it was gone.

Humble Bundle sold $3 million worth of comics in 2014

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The whole Humble Bundle move to selling comics and e-books worked very well, Calvin Reid reports:

UK publisher Great Beast shuts down—but it’s for good reasons

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While comics seem to be holding their own as an industry, with revenue generally up, there are a few folks on shaky ground, and 2014 saw a few casualties. One of them is Great Beast, the indie uUK graphic novel publisher run by cartoonists Adam Cadwell and Mark Ellerby. The imprint was sort of run as an “Image” like model, with Great Beast generally handling distribution for an emerging generation of UK cartoonists including , Robert M Ball, Dan Berry, Adam Cadwell, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Dan Cox, John Cei Douglas, Marc Ellerby, Isabel Greenberg, John Riordan and Rachael Smith.

The reason for the shut down? Too much success basically. Ellerby had left running the publisher earlier in the year and Cadwell did not have the time to keep things going:

Captain America’s Shield and Joe Quesada show up on the Stephen Colbert farewell

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There were few dry eyes across America as Stephen Colbert wrapped up his nine year run on The Colbert Report—and staying in character, instead of breaking the wall and getting sentimental, he went gonzo fantasy, defeating Grimmy, his long time nemesis, or Death himself, and gaining immortality. Immortality has perks, such as assembling a zeitgeist all-stat lineup of pals from Bryan Cranston to George Lucas to Cyndi Lauper and James Franco who came out to sing the closing song from Dr Strangelove, “We’ll Meet Again. ” Although it was hard to spot all the celebs in the chorus, among them was two-time guests, Marvel CCO Joe Quesada:

Webcomic alert: What it’s like for an incarcerated teen on Rikers Island

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The federal government is suing NYC over the treatment of teen-aged inmates at the legendary—and not in a good way— Riker’s Island detention facility. The federal government plans to file a lawsuit against New York City alleging “widespread civil rights violations” against teen inmates at Rikers Island. The suit comes on the heels of a blistering […]

2015 Eisner judges announced: D’Angelo, Graham, Howe, Kirtley, McFee and Thompson

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The judges for the 2015 Eisner Awards have been announced, and as usual they are a stellar group: Carr D’Angelo, librarian/professor Richard Graham, Marvel the Untold Story author Sean Howe, academic Susan Kirtley, volunteer Ron McFee and the incomparable Maggie Thompson, who I can’t believe has never been a judge before!

The judges will meet in early April to binge read every comic put out in 2015, and nominees will be announced shortly afterwards. More info here.

PW Comics World’s Critics polls reveal what was and is

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PW’s annual Graphic Novel critics poll, which I oversee, is out. This One Summer was the winner, which is hard to argue with. There’s also a list of books of the year selected by the graphic novel reviewers. It’s a small group, but they usually get it right. I thought it would be fun to look up past winners. The very first one isn’t online, but it’s a pretty strong list overall, and clicking the links will immediately take you back to whatever people were talking about in comics that year:

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 12/18/14: Get well soon, Norm Breyfogle

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§ Veteran Batman artist and nice guy Norm Breyfogle has suffered a stroke, as reported by his ex-wife. He’s expected to make a full recovery but send good thoughts.

Guy DeLisle’s Pyongyang film adpatation scrapped after Interview disaster

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In case you missed it, Sony Pictures has been forced to cancel the theatrical release of The Interview after hackers have released a catastrophic trove of private emails and scripts, and threatened to bomb theaters showing the film—and theater owners began saying they wouldn’t carry it. The film follows a pair of bumbling journalists sent to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong Un, and apparently, Supreme Leader did not like this plot line.

The repercussions of this Hollywood disaster will be felt for years to come, but one piece of collateral damage was a planned adaptation of Pyongyang, Guy DeLisle’s graphic novel about his two months spent in the North Korean capital working on an animation project. New Regency has pulled the plug on the project which was to have starred Steve Carrell and be directed by Gore Verbinski from a Steve Conrad script. However the log line for the movie bears little resemblance to the book that I read:

Review: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five CGI Armies (SPOILERS)

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There is a tower defense game I love to play on the iPad called Kingdom Rush. Not too long ago they released a new version called Kingdom Rush Frontiers which is the most imaginative and adorable version of the game yet. Like all fantasy games, it’s completely tangled up in the vision of JRR Tolkien, with elves, dwarves, rangers and even in this version an ent. Each stage has many extras like little dragons, gnomes, fairies, magic mushrooms and even a game of Simon. It’s adorable and a great way to pass the time.

I found the first Hobbit movie two years ago to be similar to a tub of Cosy Shack rice pudding in that I never got sick of each and every bite, and I just liked watching people named Thorin and Elrond run around. Since then, while I have yet to tire of Cosy Shack, I have tired of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies because they are nothing but a map in Kingdom Rsh blown up to IMAX size and length and noise. Maybe it’s just me being 11 years older than when the Return of the King came out, or Peter Jackson being 11 years older, but The Battle of Five Armies seemed to take as much from Jackson’s fanfic King Kong remake as it did the slim book it was based on. And that is not good.

The Cover to Nonplayer #2 and how to make money as an artist

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Some rambling thoughts on various aspects of making comics and making money.

I alluded earlier to the sudden announcement that Nonplayer #2 by Nate Simpson was finished and would be presumably be coming out later this year. Simpson has written a much longer piece complete with a FAQ confirming that the issue will be in the May solicitations from Image; he’s contacted Image about reprinting issue #1 but no response yet, and Warners—which had optioned the comic—has let their rights lapse, so it’s there for the taking. And then he gets to why it took 3 1/2 years to draw the comic. It’s a long answer but I’ll lift a graph:

Seth Kushner Update: home for the holidays

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Photographer/comics writer Seth Kushner has been very ill and battling for his life after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia in the spring. A failed bone marrow transplant a few months ago left him with very few options but….well, just go read this. That’s all I have to say. And keep thinking good thoughts.

Also, also, he has a GoFundMe which I’m sure is still taking donations.

WonderCon Anaheim announces first five guests for 2015

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Soon 2014 will be a memory and 2015 will be an itinerary from Travelocity. And WonderCon Anaheim—to be held April 3-5 in Anahaim has announced its first five guests, Neil Adams, Becky Cloonan, Aaron Kuder, Kevin Maguire and Dustin Nguyen. I’m sure many more will be announced, as this has grown to be the SoCal […]

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 12/15/14: What Grant Morrison has to say about diversity is like a unicorn

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§ A white, straight man named Grant Morrison said something that wasn’t stupid. I think. Q: I love that the first issue of “The Multiversity” is full of people of color, from black superheroes and politicians to aboriginal gods and gay geeks. Why did you do this, and does it have anything to do with […]

DC Movie Variants Include Greatest Damn Cover Of All Time

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As a reminder that not everything in comics is doom and gloom—and that we as a country can still laugh, smile and drool, DC has released a list of its March Movie Variant covers, and they include this Justice League cover by Emanuela Lupacchino inspired by Magic Mike, the greatest film of the 21st century.

On that note, it is definitely time to call it a weekend. And the complete list, courtesy of Newsarama — more smiles to come we hope.