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Comic book artist Steve Ditko, 1927-2018

by on Jul.08, 2018, under Comics, Obituaries

Steve Ditko, a comic book artist who co-created with Stan Lee the characters of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, passed away. He was found in his apartment in New York on June 29th. He was 90.

He started out studying under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonists And Illustrators School in New York City, and in 1953 he went to work for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. He created the character of Captain Atom in 1960 for Charlton Comics. He also drew for Atlas Comics (which became Marvel Comics in 1961), where he worked with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He left Marvel in 1966 and went back to Charlton, later DC Comics, returning to Marvel in 1979, and retired in 1998.


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Stan Lee released from hospital, “feeling good”

by on Feb.03, 2018, under Comics, General News

Stan Lee, who was hospitalized on Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, was released from Cedars Sanai hospital yesterday and reports that he is “feeling great”.

“All I really want to do is tell you that I’m feeling great,” Lee told KABC via Skype. “I’m glad I spent that evening in the hospital. It did me a lot of good, now I’m home and looking for new trouble we get in to. You know, the usual…I figured that a little check up wouldn’t be bad for me. And in fact it turned out to be pretty good, it got me a lot of publicity. I didn’t realize the whole world worried if I was in the hospital of not.”

We do, Generalissimo.

The 95-year-old creator of so many comic book characters that have become central to the biggest blockbusters of recent years, has kept on the go with a seeming non-stop run of convention appearances.


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Elongated Man to join the team on The Flash

by on Aug.01, 2017, under Comics, Television

The Flash’s longtime ally Elongated Man – a.k.a. Ralph Dibny – will be joining the team on the CW’s The Flash this season as a recurring character, played by Hartley Sawyer (Glory Daze, Miss 2059).

Elongated Man has the ability to stretch his body to extremes. In the comics he gained this ability by refining a drink that was popular among the contortionists he admired. Presumably in the show it will be related in some way to the accident at Star Labs – in fact, he was named in the first season as one of the people presumed dead from the accident.


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Thor: Ragnarok trailer and Marvel panel highlights

by on Jul.23, 2017, under Comics, Conventions, Movies

Marvel Entertainment released the full trailer for Thor: Ragnarok last night during the Marvel panel, and our friends at Inside The Magic have a nice summary video of the panel…you can see both below!


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Iron Man poster lawsuit continues

by on Mar.29, 2017, under Comics, Movies

Remember that lawsuit filed almost two years ago which claimed that Marvel Studios ripped off elements from a comic called Radix for their modern take on Iron Man? Well, it hasn’t gone away just yet – it’s just transformed.

Early last year the court in Massachusetts denied the case based on jurisdiction, but the plaintiffs, brothers Ben and Ray Lai, owners of Horizon Comics Productions, refiled on April 4th, 2016 in New York. On Monday, U.s District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken issued a ruling on Marvel’s motion to dismiss the suit, dismissing portions of the complaint but allowing others to proceed.

In the ruling, Judge Oetken notes that several parts of the complaint revolve around elements that Marvel called “unprotectable” under copyright, and the court agreed. A “highly mechanized suit of armor” was one, as it was too vague, as was the “three point landing” pose that was common between a poster for Iron Man 3 and some Radix promotional artwork. The pose, frankly, is so utterly common it’s now a cliché and is even referred to as “scènes à faire” or an obligatory scene in the ruling, and despite the plaintiffs assertions that Iron Man originally wore spandex and minimal armor, he wore power armor well before Radix existed, and even when he first debuted in 1963. As those elements are unprotectable, they cannot be considered as part of the test for “substantial similarity” for the case.

Some elements, however, may be protectable in comparing the images, notably things like hairstyles, style of the suit, the use of blue lights in the suit, etc. and Judge Oetken will allow the complaint to proceed “in part”. However, with what seems to remain in the complaint to press on, it still looks like an uphill battle that got even steeper for the plaintiffs.


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JMS’ Rising Stars feature film finally moves forward

by on Jun.14, 2016, under Comics, Movies

After almost 13 years in Hollywood purgatory, a feature film based on J. Michael Straczynski’s maxi-series comic Rising Stars may finally move forward.

We last heard about a movie based on the comic in 2003, when we learned that everything was on hold due to a dispute between writer JMS and Top Cow Productions, the comic producer, over rewrites that possibly violated WGA rules (and common courtesy) and radically changed the story, and even halted the production of the comic, with the final 3 issues not being released for a couple years.

Now it seems that things are on the movie again with MGM optioning the rights for a feature film, with JMS writing a new script and Atlas Entertainment’s Alex Gartner and Richard Suckle producing, along with JMS under his Studio JMS shingle.

Rising Stars is the story about 113 people born after the appearance of a mysterious comet. These people, dubbed “Specials”, are born with unique abilities. The story explores how society reacts to the Specials, and the Specials to society – and themselves.


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Star Trek‘s Shatner launches comic imprint with LNL Partners

by on Oct.20, 2015, under Comics

Shatner SingularityLNL Partners, whose proprietary Cinematic Graphic Novels™ was introduced this past summer with William Shatner’s Man O’ War, has launched a special William Shatner imprint entitled Shatner Singularity. In addition to publishing works authored by William Shatner in LNL’s Cinematic Graphic Novel™ format, Shatner Singularity will also offer the latest graphic novel from comic book legend Stan Lee and his company POW! Entertainment.

The specific individual titles from William Shatner and Stan Lee will be revealed during a much-anticipated panel presentation featuring the two pop culture giants to be held at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo on Sunday, November 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“We are thrilled to unveil the Shatner Singularity imprint and its debut releases from William Shatner and Stan Lee at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. The team at LNL Partners has enjoyed the privilege of working directly with these two legendary industry icons to deliver to fans worldwide Cinematic Graphic Novels, a new and innovative way to enjoy comic book entertainment. Publishing Stan Lee and his newest literary work under the imprint adds yet another level of tremendous excitement to the Shatner Singularity brand,” said Mariano Nicieza, LNL Partners Co-Owner.

“With its Cinematic Graphic Novels™ LNL Partners has created a unique new genre. After proving to be a powerful and compelling platform for Man O’ War, I am delighted to have the format serve to showcase other works under the Shatner Singularity imprint. It is a particular joy and honor for my imprint to host work from my friend Stan Lee. As Stan himself is fond of saying, ‘nuff said’!” said Shatner.

“I’m thrilled to be working with my friend William Shatner’s new imprint. I look forward to sharing details of my new project at Comikaze Expo!” said Lee.

Jointly developed by LNL and Panelfly, the Cinematic Graphic Novel format delivers a groundbreaking form of digital comics that combines moving panels, a new stylistic dimension in animation, in-story sound effects and a music soundtrack to usher in an enhanced reading experience.


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Warner Bros and Bruckheimer to take another scan of DC Comics’ Global Frequency

by on Nov.20, 2014, under Comics, Television

Warner Bros TV are teaming up with Jerry Bruckheimer to adapt the DC Comics limited series Global Frequency, which has received a pilot commitment from Fox. Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape, Defiance) will pen the script.

Global Frequency was a limited series comic from Warren Ellis about an underground organization led by a former intelligence agent who calls herself Miranda Zero, who connects with a thousand members of the Global Frequency, chosen for their varied specialties, via specially modified phones to deal with any number of different crises. Although existence of the organization is known it’s members are not, even to each other, until they are called in for a particular case. The only constant characters are Zero and her dispatch coordinator, named Aleph.

This will actually be WBTV’s third attempt at a series for the title. in 2005 a Mark Burnett-led pilot starring Michelle Forbes (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Killing) as Zero and Aimee Garcia (Dexter) as Aleph, along with Josh Hopkins (Cougar Town), and looked promising (J. Michael Straczynski was already lined up to be showrunner) but ultimately was not picked up to series. Another script was floated for the CW several years ago but a pilot was never commissioned.


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See the extended preview for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron

by on Oct.29, 2014, under Comics, Movies

The leak of the trailer last week may have squelched the intended debut of the trailer on Marve’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last night a bit, but Marvel did give us a bonus – a scene clip, originally shown at SDCC, that leads us into the trailer…


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Marvel announces Captain America 3, Avengers: Infinity War, Phase 3 dates

by on Oct.28, 2014, under Comics, Movies

Marvel is staking out its claim for dates as much as 5 years out, setting release dates for more sequels and the Phase 3 titles. This includes a third Avengers movie, which will be split into two.

Here is a quick rundown [The initial version of this article neglected to list Captain Marvel due to an editing error]:

2016:

  • May 6th: Captain America 3: Civil War, which will introduce Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman (42)
  • November 4th: Doctor Strange

2017:

  • November 3rd: Black Panther

2018:

  • May 4th: Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1
  • June 8th: Captain Marvel, Marvel’s first female-lead superhero movie, based on the Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers version
  • November 8th: The Inhumans

2019:

  • May 3rd: Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2

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